These are pictures of puritan judges in the Salem witchcraft trials.
It should be noted, however, that the one at the bottom might have got confused with Sarah Hall Ingram, of whom the Washington Post reports:
An Internal Revenue Service official criticized by Republicans for the agency’s controversial targeting of political groups denied practicing various forms of black magic during testimony before a House panel on Wednesday. Sarah Hall Ingram, former head of the IRS division that singled out tax-exemption applicants for extra scrutiny based on ideology, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that she has never practiced witchcraft or consorted with Satan. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) prompted the exchange in an apparent attempt to mock Republicans who have demonized Ingram, now head of the IRS group that oversees certain aspects of President Obama’s healthcare law — namely by enforcing the “individual mandate” that requires all Americans to obtain health insurance.
So she is not a witch.
But, at some time or other, she was certainly one of the witch-hunters.
Who is the woman in the purple garment? (No prizes for correct answer.)
“I could eat you up” is now less an expression of love than of gluttony.
In the last few years cannibalism has been often enough the subject of new reports to make it unremarkable.
You can watch a YouTube film of a Syrian rebel (one of those the EU and US want to help win control of Syria) cutting open the body of a soldier he has just killed, carving out an organ – he hoped it was the heart but apparently it was part of a lung – and eating it. It was a political gesture as well as an imbibement of protein. It announced to the world, “This is how passionately I hate the enemy of our cause” – that cause being the victory of Sunni Islam over Shia Islam. It’s message is: “We will devour you for believing that Muhammad s successor in the 7th century should have been his son-in-law Ali” – or something noble and compelling like that.
On Al-Tahrir, Egyptian TV advisor Ahmad Abdo Maher discusses the high-school curriculum issued by the highest religious authority in Egypt, Al-Azhar University, which encouraged students to cannibalize apostates and Muslims who abandon praying. The schoolbook stipulated that the act can be carried out so long as the human flesh is eaten uncooked in respect to the dead body and that the act does not necessitate a governor’s consent or is punishable by law.
Most recently, Daniel Greenfield reports and comments on the story of a Nigerian Muslim cannibal at Front Page:
But at least he was doing it for the kids. His kids.
A self-proclaimed Islamic cleric and native doctor has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for selling human parts. 60-year-old Gazali Akewadola, was said to have killed innocent people and used their parts to perform rituals.
He also confessed to eating some of the parts while the other parts were used in making charms for his customers with a full live human being costing between N30, 000 and N40, 000.
“I am an Islamic teacher and a cleric and I own an Islamic school in Owode, Yewa. I am also married with eight lovely children. I am also a native doctor. I cure people of ailments and help those who want to become rich quick. I use human parts to prepare charms and concoctions for them.”
According to reports, he was asked if he could sell the parts of his children, but he replied: “God forbid! I do ritual because the money I make from sales is used for the well-being of my children. Also, if I had killed my children and sold them, it could have aroused suspicion and my relations might expose me but if the people I use for the ritual are brought from far away, it is safer for me and my business.”
“It is cheaper to buy a live human. You get a lot of parts from it and it is more powerful because the efficacy of the charm or concoction you prepared with fresh parts cannot be compared with the ones you prepared with parts you got from the grave.”
“For instance, a live human being will give you blood. There is charm you can prepare with it. The same body will give you hairs from private parts, head and moustache. You can also cut out private parts. Each part of human being is useful. Even the meat and intestine, liver, heart, eyes, lips, tongues can be used for pepper soup.
“If you buy full human being for N30,000 or N40,000 and dismember it, you can end up getting N100,000 or more because you get more than ten parts and can yield good money.”
When asked why he ate human parts, he said, “It tastes so good and better than animal meat especially when taken with hot drink, or wine or beer but the most essence of eating it is to assure those who patronise us see that it is eatable and sweet, and of spiritual and physical benefits. It can cure serious illness and can make one get rich quick.”
The suspect, who was not remorseful for his crime, said his only regret was that he had not become as rich as he wanted to be. “My regret is that I did not become rich even after selling human parts. I even found it difficult to feed my family sometimes,” he said.
So much for the “Get Rich Quick Selling Human Bodies” scheme. If you want to know the official Islamic position on cannibalism …
“We allowed the eating of the flesh of dead humans… under necessary conditions. It [dead human flesh] must not be cooked or grilled to avoid Haram [wrongdoing]. …and he can kill a murtadd (apostate) and eat him.”
No word on whether the Nigerian Islamic cannibal grilled before eating. That would be Haram.
Of course we know Islam is barbaric, but when it comes to eating people, well, Europeans do it too – at least in Germany.
A few years ago there was a trial in Germany of a man who answered an ad by a man who wanted to find someone who would eat him. The responder invited the advertiser to come and be cooked and eaten.The consumee arrived at the picturesque half-timbered house on the agreed date full of eager anticipation, had his private parts cut off, watched them being fried, then shared them with his fellow cannibal. They were no doubt well-seasoned with condiments and herbs. The host filmed the cooking and dining. After satisfying his appetite by devouring his own flesh, the guest presented the rest of his body to his host and dinner companion, the chef, who cut it up, stored the parts in the deep freeze, and devoured them with deep pleasure and a sincere sense of gratitude to the donor over the next few months.
This cannibal’s name was Armin Meiwes. He was a computer specialist “described as a polite, helpful, but introverted man”. He confessed to “slaughtering and eating the flesh of a Berlin man, identified as Bernd Juergen Brandes. … According to Meiwes, the two men had met in an Internet chat forum, where the victim had advertised his desire to be eaten.”
“I always wanted someone to be part of me,” Meiwes explained at his trial.
“Several films of the killing” were shown in court.
Meiwas liked to watch.
Meiwes, who described himself as bisexual, increasingly found satisfaction in zombie movies, particularly scenes in which flesh was dismembered. He later became interested in Internet chat rooms that dealt with “death” and “cannibalism”. German police officials say that hundreds of users meet in these sadomasochistic and “torture” forums, but mostly for sexual stimulation and role play.
So Islam keeps up its sacred traditions century after century, and in Germany – plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?
6 a Woken by the Common Alarm loud as usual. Shower water cool as usual. (Am not complaining.) Did not shave as this is the very day scheduled for my conversion to Islam and I’ll have to grow a beard.
6.30 Ate a salad from my own mini-refrigerator. Got the bed into the wall (mechanism now fixed), so able to lower table and eat comfortably sitting on the chair.
7.00 Bicycled to work. Timed myself. 25 minutes from the Unitarium to the Ministry, bicycle hall to bicycle hall. Enjoyed the ride today. Lovely weather thanks to the City Council finally achieving its goal of carbon dioxide reduction to lowest level in the state. Saw that they’ve begun to remove the dead trees along Michelle Obama Avenue. Larger sign over main door must have gone up overnight: New America Federal Ministry of Tolerance.
8-12 noon. Productive morning. Found an intercepted email from an 80-year-old woman to her son in the Progressive Army Pre-School Sex Education Division complaining about getting no treatment for her heart condition. They just don’t get it, these oldies, that they’ve had their time and resources simply cannot be squandered on keeping them alive. Stupid really. Obstinate. What are they clinging to life for when they’re of no more use to the People? Launched the prosecution of both of them as the son has not reported receiving the complaint.
12 noon. Ate a salad in the Ministry Food Space. Also today both slices of Pleistocene Loaf. A hard chew. Still not used to the taste. (Am not complaining.)
12.30p Had to search for nearly twenty minutes of Love Hour to find someone to copulate with. Looked first for a same sex partner as per regulations, but eventually had to settle for a womin. Her living unit no nearer than mine, and time running out. Copulation Hour always a rush as regular partners are forbidden and search always takes time. (Am not complaining.) So we went to the Ministry Love Annexe. Every cubicle engaged. Had to wait ten minutes. Then she made me use a condom (the Free Dispenser was working) even though she was on the pill, because, she said, she knew how unreliable the Pharmaceutical and Birth-Prevention Department was as she’d once worked in it, and also from her own experience, having had seven abortions in the last three years. She talked too much, actually. And it amounted to complaining in my opinion. Am wondering whether to launch a prosecution. Would have to find out her full name and Unitarium. It wasn’t an A-class experience. I signed off on a B- on the Records Chart. She signed off on a C-, which I thought was just plain insulting. Yes, a prosecution will be the honest thing to do.
1–4 Not productive. I suppose I was a little over excited about my conversion coming up. Confined myself t0 searching for the word “freedom” without result. Had no time to look for “Constitution” or “patriotic” or “gun”.
4-6 Off early from work to go to conversion ceremony. Actual conversion took only a few minutes. Recited the first shura of the Holy Koran aloud, and bingo! I was a Muslim. But then there was buying a prayer mat (special allowance in my cash packet this month for that as conversion is increasingly encouraged), then prayers and a sermon from the imam. I knew the guy. He was at my school back in the bad old days. He singled me out to welcome me personally into the faith. He used to be a good baseball player. Wanted to join the old Army – willing to kill people! Being an ethnic minority (half native-American) and gay, he was admitted into the State university. “Not the old Army then?” I said – perhaps a little unkindly. “They cured me of all that in my first semester,” he said. Then he asked me where I went to college. Had to admit I’d been turned down everywhere. He remembered I was only good at math and physics. I told him how I’d finally got a degree in computer science from Common Core Higher Education Online. “Main thing is, you must learn the Koran by heart,” he said. “One year from now I’ll be testing you.” I wanted to ask him if he was still gay, but didn’t dare. Must find out first thing tomorrow at work whether I must still look for same-sex partner in Love Hour now that I’m a Muslim.
6 Ate a salad in our Unitarium Food Space. Then met Mike in the Play Space for a game of chess. Not easy to concentrate. Noisier games all round us, much more popular. Almost everyone naked now. Mike said he hoped they don’t make it a Play Space rule. Actually I do too, but he shouldn’t have said so. He caught the look in my eye and quickly added,“I’m not complaining. It’s fine really – I just feel the cold rather more than most, I think.” After that his game went off and I won three times in a row.
9-10.30 Did some Koran memorizing and now finishing these diary notes just before Conservation Time lights out. Hope the bed comes down okay. Don’t want to have to sleep on the floor. (Am not complaining.)
We are happy to announce that L: A Novel History by Jillian Becker is recommended by PowerLine.
See it on the prestigious PowerLine mobile book shelf here.
“For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures. …
“She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social class to which she belonged herself . …
“She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions.”
- Joseph Conrad (The Informer)
Quotations from the MailOnline:
Katherine Russell, the widow of Boston bomb suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was “an all-American girl who was brainwashed” by her extremist husband according to one schoolfriend. … At high school her personal motto was ‘Do something about it or stop complaining’. She dreamed of going to college and joining the Peace Corps. …
Instead she met Tsarneav, 26, a disenfranchised man who came to America from his troubled homeland of Chechnya who rapidly had her in his thrall. By the time she was 21 she had married him and borne his child, Zahara, now three. She had converted to Islam …
It would be hard to imagine a childhood more rooted in America’s pilgrim heritage than Katherine’s. It is in there in the names of the towns – Plymouth, Dorset, Greenwich – where many of her friends still live and writ large in the wholesome values of the one-time Honors student’s home life. …
The eldest of three daughters, to emergency physician Dr Warren Russell and nurse Judith, hers is a background steeped in the values of family and education.
She attended Daisyville Middle School, North Kingstown. As a sixth grader she is pictured smiling from the pages of the 2001-2002 yearbook dedicated to The North Kingstown Police and Fire Departments in the wake of 9/11 – a date, the opening dedication reads, “forever in our minds”.
An historical event of mass murder by Muslims, noted with all the right sentiments by this nice all-American girl, but without the least understanding.
Quotations from the Washington Post:
Three American civilians and three U.S. troops were killed in two attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, including a powerful blast that struck officials traveling to a school to donate books. Among the dead was the first State Department diplomat to be killed in the country since the war began. The bloodshed Saturday, the deadliest day this year for Americans in Afghanistan, underscored how dangerous the country remains as the United States proceeds with the withdrawal of its remaining troops over the next 20 months, leaving security in the hands of Afghanistan’s fledgling army. …
The American diplomat killed Saturday was identified as Anne Smedinghoff by her parents. Smedinghoff was recently tasked with assisting Secretary of State John F. Kerry on his trip to Kabul.
Four other State Department officials who were with her, traveling to a school in the southern province of Zabul, were injured in the same bombing, one critically, Kerry said in a statement. “She was everything a Foreign Service Officer should be: smart, capable, eager to serve, and deeply committed to our country and the difference she was making for the Afghan people,” Kerry said. “She tragically gave her young life working to give young Afghans the opportunity to have a better future.” …
In a somber address to State Department employees in Istanbul, Kerry paid tribute to Smedinghoff.
There is no greater contradiction, Kerry said, between Smedinghoff’s zeal to “change the world” and help others and a bomber who he said drove a car into their vehicle. …
A contradiction? No. A symbiosis.
[Ann Smedinghoff's] parents, Tom and Mary Beth Smedinghoff … live in the Chicago area … “She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work directly with the Afghan people and was always looking for opportunities to reach out and help to make a difference in the lives of those living in a country ravaged by war,” they said. “We are consoled knowing that she was doing what she loved, and that she was serving her country by helping to make a positive difference in the world.” …
Tom Smedinghoff said his daughter died in the pursuit of a career she loved. “The world lost a truly beautiful soul today,” he said. “She was such a wonderful woman – strong, intelligent, independent, and loving.”
In fact, she did not die in a car. She was walking to the school bearing a gift of books, when an Afghan came close to her and exploded himself.
Quotations from the Weekly Standard:
State Department employee Anne Smedinghoff was killed in Afghanistan last weekend. At first reports suggested the young diplomat was part of an armed convoy that was bombed, but new reports say that she was actually on foot. And that the group she was with got lost on its way to deliver books. …
The security officials said there was an initial car bomb detonated by a remote device. Then a suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest appeared and caused more casualties.
What difference did Anne Smedinghoff really make to Afghanistan?
What difference can be made by any American, or any number of Americans, to Afghanistan?
What has America bought with the thousands of lives lost in this longest war in its history?
[Stanley Ann] Dunham gravitated toward an intellectual clique. According to former classmate Chip Wall, she caught foreign films at Seattle’s only art-house theater, the Ridgemont, and trekked to University District coffee shops like the Encore to talk about jazz, the value of learning from other cultures and the “very dull Eisenhower-ness of our parents.”
“We were critiquing America in those days in the same way we are today: The press is dumbed down, education is dumbed down, people don’t know anything about geography or the rest of the world,” said Wall … ”She was not a standard-issue girl. … ”
Obama describes his mother [Stanley Ann Dunham] arguing with her second husband, Lolo Soetoro. Soetoro had become an Indonesian oil company manager and wanted Ann to accompany him to various social functions with American oil company personnel. Ann refused arguing, “Those are not my people.” …
As with Obama, his mother’s generation of these pseudo-intellectual leftist high schoolers found a way to think of themselves as superior. … Dunham thrived in the environment … As much as a high-school student can, she’d question anything: “What’s so good about democracy? What’s so good about capitalism? What’s wrong with communism? What’s good about communism?” …
Starting in the 1930s the Communist Party promoted opportunities for “inter-racial” relationships among its members. The Seattle Times describes Ann Dunham’s attitude towards dating at all-white Mercer Island High School: “Dunham hadn’t had a boyfriend in high school, according to Maxine Box, her best friend at the time. So Box and others were stunned when Dunham wrote them to say she’d married the University of Hawaii’s first African student, a Kenyan named Barack Obama.”
A bookish outsider and only child, she was plunked down in Hawaii the year after it became a state by her restless father and her resolute mother. In her first months as a college freshman, at 17 years old, she got pregnant by her first boyfriend, an older student from Kenya named Barack Hussein Obama, who married her but left her when the baby was 11 months old. Twice, she married men from different cultures and races, then divorced them. With the help of her parents, she raised two biracial children as a single mother on the Pacific islands of two nations, got degrees in math and anthropology, spent years in peasant villages studying Javanese cottage industries, and pieced together grants and development work to make money and provide for her children’s education. …
Quotations from Godlike Productions (condensed from other sources):
In Hawaii, she married an African student at age 18. Then she married an Indonesian, moved to Jakarta, became an anthropologist, wrote a dissertation on peasant blacksmithing in Java …
“She felt that somehow, wandering through uncharted territory, we might stumble upon something that will, in an instant, seem to represent who we are at the core,” said Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s half sister. “That was very much her philosophy of life – to not be limited by fear or narrow definitions, to not build walls around ourselves and to do our best to find kinship and beauty in unexpected places.”…
“She was a very, very big thinker,” said Nancy Barry, a former president of Women’s World Banking, an international network of microfinance providers, where Soetoro worked in New York City in the 1990s. …
In a Russian class at the University of Hawaii, she met the college’s first African student, Barack Obama. They married and had a son in August 1961, in an era when interracial marriage was rare in the United States. Her parents were upset, Obama learned years later from his mother, but they adapted.
The marriage was brief. In 1963, Obama left for Harvard University, leaving his wife and child. She then married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian student. …
Those choices were not entirely surprising, said several high school friends of Soetoro, whom they remembered as unusually intelligent, curious and open. She never dated “the crew-cut white boys,” said one friend, Susan Blake: “She had a worldview, even as a young girl. It was embracing the different, rather than that ethnocentric thing of shunning the different. That was where her mind took her.”
Her second marriage faded, too, in the 1970s. …
“She gave us a very broad understanding of the world,” her daughter said. “She hated bigotry. She was very determined to be remembered for a life of service and thought that service was really the true measure of a life.”
All three good, broad-minded, liberal girls. Two of them married men of another culture to prove it. One walked among enemies to show how friendly she was. All of them wanted to be noble.
At least two of them were academically smart.
Joseph Conrad saw such Western, educated, gently-reared, idealistic girls as belonging to a certain class of which he wrote:
“Its own life being all a matter of pose and gesture, it is unable to realize the power and the danger of a real movement and of words that have no sham meaning. It is all fun and sentiment.”
The Pope is resigning. There will soon be a new Pope.
Meanwhile, as the world holds its breath in anticipation, here is a grandly irreverent video titled A New Pope, by Adam Buxton.
Here is an extract from Jillian Becker’s book L: A Novel History. (Find out more about it through the link in the margin. Click on the image of the book cover.)
On the 3rd June, 1979, at about 6 o’clock in the evening, members of the Theatre of Life, arriving for an audition, pushed open the doors of the dark auditorium and saw a hooded figure standing in a spotlight on the otherwise bare stage. He stood as still as a dummy. They thought at first it must be L, “because he was dressed in the sort of overalls that L usually wore in the theatre, a kind of tailored boilersuit made of blue suede.” The hood was of black cloth, like a hangman’s, with a pair of eyeholes. The would-be performers, some thirty of them, took their seats silently, and when they were all settled, the man spoke. It was not L’s voice.
In a loud, harsh, unvaried tone, he repeated what L had often said about life and art being indistinguishable. He said that violence was “the goal, the climax, of all action”, and that it was “right at this time for the compelling violence of the most significant action to spill over from the stage into the world.”
The light then spread over the whole stage. Another man was standing near the back, dressed in a policeman’s uniform. All round them, on the boards, armaments were laid out, in neat order: rifles, pistols, machine-guns, grenades, “looking very like the real things”. There was also a heap of wooden staves, iron bars, rocks, broken railings, pickaxes and spades. The hooded man took up an iron bar, lifted it with both hands above his head, whirled about and rushed towards the other man, swinging the bar down and forwards with the utmost speed and strength into his face. The watchers gasped, some screamed, some rose from their seats, as the man fell. But he fell straight backwards, with a soft plop, like a bundle of laundry being dropped. He was a dummy.
The hooded man took up a large cardboard box, came down from the stage and handed out knitted balaclava helmets. The lights came up over the auditorium and there was L, sitting on an aisle seat towards the back, “dressed in a dark suit, looking very Savile Row elegant, and watching without saying a word”.
“Put them on!” the hooded man commanded.
The knitted helmets were old, grubby and stained, and smelt of unwashed human bodies, underarms, feet and worse.
“Breathe in deeply,” they were ordered when they were all hooded, sitting in their rows (“like so many gagging turtles,” as one of them said).
They breathed in the stink of the dirty wool.
“That,” the hooded man said, loudly and harshly, “is the smell of the armed proletarian struggle. It is the smell of the future. It is the smell of your dedication to that future. You will learn to love it.”
Which of them, they were asked, had any experience of or training in wrestling, self-defence, armed combat, or marksmanship, and those who claimed to have either or both were asked to remain. The rest were told that classes were to be organized in “fighting techniques”, and they were advised to attend, as there was to be a season of plays in which they would need such arts. They would also learn “to understand the liberating emotions which accompany the response of violence against the oppression of air-conditioned boredom”. Upon which, “a sigh went through the group, like the sigh of release from tension when something promised and yet almost given up has at last been delivered,” as one of the would-be actresses there that day has recalled. “I felt as if I suddenly knew what I had been waiting for and expecting, why I had been coming here.”
“All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
(Hat-tip, our reader and commenter Frank)