Friday, April 25, 2008

Global Warming and Witchhunts

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times reported on an interesting point in the opinion section earlier this month.
He’s talking about a paper entitled “Poverty and Witchcraft” by Edward Miguel at UofC Berkley which you can read at
In it, he notes that periods of drought or flood are linked to witch killings in developing areas, particularly of older women, but not murders of other sorts.

In short, when the weather gets weird, people look for someone to blame and lo, the witch gets killed and if there’s always a witch in the neighborhood, even if there isn’t.
Mr. Kristof connects this to research by Emily Oster at the University of Chicago who points out that colder weather correlated with witch hunts in Europe. You can check that out at

Now it’s true that witch burnings are, at present, not a concern for most of America, but they occur all over the world. In India police are hoping that displaying the severed head of a an accused witch killed by an angry mob will help to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. Hundreds of witch killings take place there every year and many go unreported.

In Kinshasa, a city in Congo in Africa, there is a rash of people being accused of stealing penises right off folks. The police are arresting the accused mostly to prevent them from being attacked by their accusers, or from having the accusers get a mob together.

Witchcraft in India and Africa have alot more in common with each other than Witchcraft either have with Wicca or modern Western witchcraft. I don’t think the local herbalist has much to be worried about, but the witch hunt isn’t just about witches. It’s about scapegoats. In the United States, lynchings of blacks increased when farm values went down and all over the world economic crisis is a recipe for Civil War. It must be someone’s fault, it’s not ours/mine. We’d better kill them.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Burning Time Era Witchcraft Evidence Found

Archaeologists have found evidence in Cornwall of witchcraft dating back to the era known in the Pagan community as “the Burning Times”. Dr. Jacqui Woods and her team have found several pits lined with swan pelts and filled with the carcasses of birds, unhatched eggs, human hair, nail clippings, quartz pebbles and even part of an iron cauldron. A (possibly) sacred well has also been unearthed filled with offerings such as bits of cloth and fruit. Dr Woods believes that the pits were part of fertility rituals.

Read the entire story at
I would like to make one small correction to the fast facts at the end of the story. It states Thousands of women, the vast majority innocent, were burnt, hanged or drowned
I would like to correct that to Thousands of people, not just women. While many of the people who were killed during the Burning Times were women, many of them were men.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I Bought Girl Scout Cookies Today

Recently, I stumbled upon various articles on the web condemning the Girl Scouts for being too liberal, to feminist, not Christian enough. One blog in particular annoyed me with the following quote:

However, buying that box of (Girl Scout) cookies now presents a moral dilemma, as the Girl Scouts have become a training ground for the left-wing feminist agenda.

I shared this with my boyfriend and he replied: “Well if she’s so offended by the left wing feminist movement, then why does she think she gets to express her opinion. Tell her to go back to the kitchen.”

I have to agree with that statement….

The tart continues on thusly:
I can still remember the pride I felt as I stood at attention in my crisp Girl Scout uniform to recite the promise:
On my honor, I will try:
To do my duty to God and my country,
To help other people at all times,
To obey the Girl Scout Laws.
How times have changed! Now God has an asterisk telling the girl that “it is OK to replace the word ‘God’ with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.”
The word “duty” (to God) has been replaced with “serve” and the new all-inclusive Girl Scouts are free to serve anyone, including themselves, which seems fitting after reviewing some of their materials that stress “girl empowerment” and moral relativism.

So please, someone correct me if my interpretation is flawed, but it sounds to me as if this woman is saying that female empowerment and inclusivity is a bad thing. It sounds to me… no, surely I’m wrong… that this woman is condemning the Girl Scouts for not discriminating against people. Of course, if she hates the Girl Scouts because they’re not Christian enough and they don’t discriminate, she could always enroll her daughters with the KKK. I’m sure they’re accepting members….

She goes on to further condemn the Girl Scouts for allowing girls of nature-based religions to receive special faith-based awards, accepting donations and training materials from Planned Parenthood, the Arcus Gay and Lesbian fund, for supporting the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Million Mom March and for not encouraging girls to be homemakers.
Once again, will someone please tell this woman to shut up and get back in the kitchen if that’s where she wants to be!
But she’s not the only one annoyed by the Girl Scouts’ affiliation with Planned Parenthood. It seems the entire town of Crawford, Texas is up in arms and a bunch of folks are calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies because a Planned Parenthood executive won their Woman of Distinction award last year and because the Girl Scouts had been endorsing Planned Parenthood’s sex education course, which includes information on masturbation and homosexuality.
Spider says: Why is masturbation such a faux pas. I mean, if they don’t want folks to have sex… well, give em something else to do.
I agree with that sentiment too!
About the sex ed program:
Some 400 to 700 fifth- through ninth-graders attend the half-day Nobody’s Fool conference in Waco each July. The program never mentions abortion, according to Planned Parenthood. The youngsters receive a book with chapters on homosexuality and masturbation, as well as illustrations of couples having sex, people examining their naked bodies and a boy putting on a condom.
Some Girl Scout mothers called it soft-core porn.
“It embarrassed me to look at it with my husband,” said parent Shannon Donaldson.
The book in question, I found out is It’s Perfectly Normal
Spider says: That’s one sad marriage relationship if you’re going to be embarrassed looking at stuff with your partner.
Okay, I don’t know if pictures of couples having sex is necessary but I’m glad somebody’s teaching these kids about sex, because their parents probably aren’t! (Especially if they’re embarrassed to look at books with pictures of naked bodies with their own spouses!) I am very annoyed to have to live in a world where the majority of the kids my kids come in contact with have no sex education beyond “don’t do it or God will hate you”.
By the way. The boycott was started by a man, of course. Dr John Pisciotta. Now I am not a feminist, and I have ranted before about how feminists get on my nerves sometimes, but what is up with the housewives jumping when the man says how high? Where does he even get off talking on this subject?
(Yes, even Spider will agree that men have no business running their mouths about women’s issues. But he’s downstairs playing some sweet gospel somethingorother on the electric organ and beyond hearing me exclaim about it at the moment.)
And so, I am buying Girl Scout cookies because they support the left wing feminist agenda, because they support girl empowerment and because they support sex education!
And you should too.
And when you do. Tell them why you’re buying them.
And say thanks.
Now if you don’t mind, he’s really feeling the power on that organ. It’s time for me to get downstairs and dance in the spirit. Hallalujia!