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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mass Sociogenic Shock - Paranoia, Fear and Smear in the US

If you don't know your past, you don't know your future.
Bob Marley

June 2 1692 - first execution of a 'convicted' witch, Bridget Hunt. She was slowly strangled to death.

July 19 - five more hanged in Salem Village whereby, an implicit bargain between the court and the accused; confess, give names and you will not be hanged otherwise, you will be sent to the dungeon and be hanged.

Cotton Mather - looking for the specter (a person's likeness and not actual physical). He personally oversaw the hanging of minister George Burroughs - despite the Minister's oration if the Lord's Prayer, something Mather had previously contended could not be done by people possessed by the Devil. Mather's condoning of the hanging led to the final and bloodiest chapter of murders known as Bloody September. Nine more people died before the madness stopped.

Increase Mather - Cotton's father wrote a letter of caution to the judges saying, "better that ten guilty witches be set free than one innocent life be taken." a variation of the Blackstone formulation.

The question today is, where is that voice today? Instead, the vitriol coming from the far right.  Today's asinine variants such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, are yesterday's purveyors paranoia.

Happy Halloween my friends - but this isn't Halloween.



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