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Friday, February 15, 2008

News from 1692 


The Saudis have sentenced a purported witch to death by beheading, which is humane if you compare it to pressing the poor illiterate woman to death under heavy stones.

UPDATE: The comment thread to this post sort of wandered away from Saudi-bashing (which is fine), but this comment from regular commenter Assistant Village Idiot rolled up the history of witchburning in an interesting way:

Not that anyone here has fallen in to the popular historical traps on the issue, but just for the record: The Salem witch trials were a late American eruption of the European Renaissance. From 1400-1700 a hundredfold more witches were executed in England and ten thousand fold more in continental Europe. As in Salem, a noted irreligious town of Puritan Massachusetts, these executions were less frequent in areas of notable piety, especially in Germany and what is now the Czech Republic.

Not that Christians get exoneration on this score, but the popular imagination, that witch-burning was a result of the especial distillation of Christianity is quite the reverse of the facts. The fascination with witches parallels the the rise of science, not the rise of the church. As people experimented with the laws of the universe via alchemy and more respectable sciences, they came to believe that others could use dark science obtained from demonic powers to control the weather, disease, or the growth of crops.

It's one reason I would contend that the idea of the Renaissance is an imposed mythical narrative of history put forth by the thinkers of the Enlightenment, who had their own agenda in this.


In other news, the sitemeter indicates that it is raining Canadians around here, thanks to a link from the monster True North blog Small Dead Animals. Since I lived in Canada as a child and learned "O Canada" before "The Star-Spangled Banner", I am of course delighted, and hope that some of you book mark the main page and come back from time to time.

22 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 02:48:00 PM:

Infidel, you have defamed Islam!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 02:52:00 PM:

At least they aren't pouring water on her face for 30 seconds.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 04:10:00 PM:

Is it just me, or has the quality of anonymous posters here risen lately?

Get get some names!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 05:02:00 PM:

"Is it just me, or has the quality of anonymous posters here risen lately?"

Did you mean "quality" or "quantity". I'm, uh, pretty sure the quality of the anonymous posts hasn't risen recently.

If ever.

And without even looking, you could bet dollars to donuts that the Blogger people who own this thing are a bunch of Lefties. It seems to go with the territory (Google, WiredNews, C-Net, ad nauseum), and they're the ones who program the little comment edit box, and make it just so darn easy to be Anonymous.

And you know how Lefties just l-o-o-v-e that snarky anonymous stuff.

Exhibit A:

"At least they aren't pouring water on her face for 30 seconds."

Signed?

Anonymous

Who else?
_______________________________

I may be wrong, but it would appear that not everyone here completely agrees with Mr. Chambers every time he leaves a comment. However, this can be said for him: he's never shirked behind the veil of Anonymous.
_______________________________

Anyway, I just thought someone should give a little credit where credit is due:

"The Saudis have sentenced a purported witch-"

Tiger's withholding of judgment by his use of the word "purported" is exemplary, indeed. Young bloggers everywhere could learn from a true wordsmith in action. Given the damning evidence at hand, many would have condemned her outright -- but not our Tiger.

Conversely, many in the so-called "intelligent community" might have assumed her innocence from the start.

But not our Tiger.

Evenhandedness.

That's why we're here. :)  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Fri Feb 15, 05:07:00 PM:

Actually, the poor sod who got crushed under heavy stones during the Salem Witch hysteria was Giles Corey, a man over 80 years old. They were trying to extract a confession. His last words were; "more weight."

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/gilescoreypage.HTM  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Fri Feb 15, 05:11:00 PM:

Ah, but I see you were not referring to a poor illiterate woman in Salem, but the aforemention "purported" Saudi Witch. My error. Carry on.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Feb 15, 05:45:00 PM:

To Dr. Mercury,

Re: "At least they aren't pouring water on her face for 30 seconds."

I read that as a wisecrack from a person on the right, not the left.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 06:25:00 PM:

That being pressed under large stones bit is pure English: They liked to put people under heavy oaken doors and pile stones on top of that.

BTW, I took the comment about pouring water on the face for thirty seconds to be sarcasm.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 07:29:00 PM:

Dawnfire, In cyberspace, anonymous and Dawnfire are the same. Both are anonymous. SEW  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 15, 07:53:00 PM:

"I read that as a wisecrack"

"I took the comment about pouring water on the face for thirty seconds to be sarcasm."

Yep.

"Both are anonymous."

In the sense of not knowing actual identities. However, anyone can see the signature 'Dawnfire' and immediately associate those words with past words with the same signature, which helps wonderfully in communication.

To flatter another regular, I take posts labeled 'DEC' seriously because that particular handle has shared experiences and demonstrated clear thinking in the past.

On the other, you can be sure that something labeled "Christopher Chambers" is (discounting a couple of recent posts, which I regard as aberrations) ideologically blinded, race obsessed, drug-fueled snarkiness in the extreme, the online discussion version of a methed-up adolescent anarchist.

Thanks for the brief lesson on the use of the Internet, though. 14 years online and sometimes I still feel like a neophyte...  

By Blogger commoncents, at Fri Feb 15, 08:13:00 PM:

Great site!

Would you consider a Link Exchange with The Internet Radio Network? At the IRN you can listen for free to over 60 of America’s top Radio Shows via Free Streaming Audio…

http://netradionetwork.com  

By Blogger Grumpy Old Man, at Fri Feb 15, 10:25:00 PM:

OK. Harvard men crush witches to death.

What do they do at Princeton? Toss them in the Joisey "meadows"?  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Fri Feb 15, 11:27:00 PM:

Waterboarding comment was appropriate, yet strangely misplaced--the way an activist at a Darfur event said we had our own Janjaweed: it was called the KKK and the 7th Cavalry. Again, accurate, but not bizarre in the mode it was conveyed.

All I can say is it'd be great for my children and my children's children when we no longer need fossil fuels and can leave these a-holes to themselves...  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Fri Feb 15, 11:48:00 PM:

Not that anyone here has fallen in to the popular historical traps on the issue, but just for the record: The Salem witch trials were a late American eruption of the European Renaissance. From 1400-1700 a hundredfold more witches were executed in England and ten thousand fold more in continental Europe. As in Salem, a noted irreligious town of Puritan Massachusetts, these executions were less frequent in areas of notable piety, especially in Germany and what is now the Czech Republic.

Not that Christians get exoneration on this score, but the popular imagination, that witch-burning was a result of the especial distillation of Christianity is quite the reverse of the facts. The fascination with witches parallels the the rise of science, not the rise of the church. As people experimented with the laws of the universe via alchemy and more respectable sciences, they came to believe that others could use dark science obtained from demonic powers to control the weather, disease, or the growth of crops.

It's one reason I would contend that the idea of the Renaissance is an imposed mythical narrative of history put forth by the thinkers of the Enlightenment, who had their own agenda in this.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Feb 16, 12:29:00 AM:

Their living in the middle ages in suadi arabia  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Feb 16, 05:52:00 AM:

AVI, that's a great contribution to the thread! Thanks for that.  

By Blogger HeatherRadish, at Sat Feb 16, 08:44:00 AM:

Misplaced? The waterboarding comment was an excellent summation of how stupid this all is. We temporarily inconvenience someone trying to kill us all, we're horrible, terrible, vicious beasts who must be ashamed; they cut a woman's head off (and the way they do it, it will probably take more than one stroke) because someone blames her for his ED, and it's a legitimate expression of a beautiful cultural tradition...

Well, there goes my breakfast.  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Sat Feb 16, 11:15:00 AM:

To take the 17th-century history lesson a step further, the method of execution used in Puritan New England for condemned witches was hanging, not burning (though that was certainly employed in Europe during the preceding centuries). Burning at the stake was employed here during colonial times in a number of noted examples to execute slaves during times of actual or feared insurrection. TH, CV and I descend from ancestors who presided over one such execution in Elizabeth, NJ in 1741. It was also used during ritual torture executions by many woodland Indian tribes.

Fire played a significant part in 19th and 20th century lynchings in our country, as it has and does still in vigilante murders elsewhere (see necklacing in South Africa's townships during the 1980s for a modern example). Many corpses were burned during lynchings, and some people were executed that way. In other cases, the bodies of lynching victims were saved from mobs that tried to burn them.

There are strong historical and cultural associations with fire and its use in legal and extralegal executions as a means of cultural and religious cleansing, social bonding and terror. .  

By Blogger TonyGuitar, at Sat Feb 16, 12:58:00 PM:

Grumpy Old Man at 10:25 says . .

** All I can say is it'd be great for my children and my children's children when we no longer need fossil fuels and can leave these a-holes to themselves... **

This IS cutting to the bone FOCUS.

The Saudis run a power kingdom using black shirt religious police thugfest control.

http:// Muttawa.blogspot.com

The swing away from oil is well underway, but we, due to GM and ExxonMobile, are sadly behind.

http://AutobogGreen.com

Brazil is 85% Ethanol now and headed for 95% next year.

Devalued oil will eventually help to encourage fairer government and ease the grip of *Religious Police* on witches and mediums. = TG  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Feb 16, 07:43:00 PM:

"Devalued oil will eventually help to encourage fairer government and ease the grip of *Religious Police* on witches and mediums. = TG"

Sadly untrue.

In the 1970s, Saudis were wealthy, happy, and the most liberal they'd ever been. Hordes of idle rich brats traveled the world and studied in myriad universities, living it up and doing things the western way.

The king who allowed this, Faisal, was assassinated for not being Muslim enough. Ever since, it's descended into reformist fundamentalism, accelerated by the fall in oil income in the early 90s. The whole sorry story is summarized in 'The Siege of Mecca.' (book)

The entirety of the nation depends on petrol dollars. When it goes, the kingdom goes... back the Middle Ages from whence it was dredged.  

By Blogger TonyGuitar, at Sat Feb 16, 08:50:00 PM:

With the onset of PEV , hybrid, TDI diesel, compressed air and alternate fuels vehicles, the writing on the wall must be very disconcerting. = TG  

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