cottons undoubted knowledge of witchcraft, valley view from the hill wallpaper, the good news about the debt ceiling

These things are true. European religious traditions for better or worse, played a role in early America’s history and development. Cotton Mather was an important part of that early history. The first truism is of problematic value. The second is a tragedy of history and the cultural commons. Cotton Mather, Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions

To the Honorable Wait Winthrop Esq; Sr.

By the special Disposal and Providence of the Almighty God, there now comes abroad into the world a little History of several very astonishing Witchcrafts and Possessions, which partly my own Ocular Observation, and partly my undoubted Information, hath enabled me to offer unto the publick Notice of my Neighbours.

[  ]…Sect. III. About Midsummer, in the year 1688, the Eldest of these Children, who is a Daughter, saw cause to examine their Washerwoman, upon their missing of some Linnen ‘ which twas fear’d she had stollen from them; and of what use this linnen might bee to serve the Witchcraft intended, the Theef’s Tempter knows! This Laundress was the Daughter of an ignorant and a scandalous old Woman in the Neighbourhood; whose miserable Husband before he died, had sometimes complained of her, that she was undoubtedly a Witch, and that whenever his Head was laid, she would quickly arrive unto the punishments due to such an one. This Woman in her daughters Defence bestow’d very bad Language upon the Girl that put her to the Question; immediately upon which, the poor child became variously indisposed in her health, an visited with strange Fits, beyond those that attend an Epilepsy or a Catalepsy, or those that they call The Diseases of Astonishment.

[  ]…Sect. VIII. It was not long before the Witch thus in the Trap, was brought upon her Tryal; at which, thro’ the Efficacy of a Charm, I suppose, used upon her, by one or some of her Cruel the Court could receive Answers from her in one but the Irish, which was her Native Language; altho she under-stood the English very well, and had accustomed her whole Family to none but that Language in her former Conversation; and therefore the Communication between the Bench and the Bar,’ was now cheefly convey’d by two honest and faithful men that were interpreters. It was long before she could with any direct Answers plead unto her Indictment and; when she did plead, it was with Confession rather than Denial of her Guilt. Order was given to search the old womans house, from whence there were brought into the Court, several small Images, or Puppets, or Babies, made of Raggs, and stuff’t with Goat’s hair, and other such Ingredients. When these were produced, the vile Woman acknowledged, that her way to torment the Objects of her malice, was by wetting of her Finger with her Spittle, and streaking of those little Images. (all empahsis mine)

In Mather’s Wikipedia entry one line reads “Cotton Mather was not known for writing in a neutral, unbiased perspective”. Mather defended the Witch trials until his death.

spring wallaper, landscapes

valley view from the hill wallpaper

The Conservative Pledge to Freeze the Debt Ceiling Is a Looming Disaster

The budgetary consequences of this conservative pledge would be catastrophic and far-reaching, forcing the immediate cessation of more than 40 percent of all federal government activities (excluding only interest payments on the national debt), including Social Security, military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, homeland security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. This would not only threaten the safety and economic security of all Americans, but also have dire impacts for the economy and job growth.

In my admittedly biased view these would not be good things.

Moreover, such a move could lead to a panic in the international financial markets. Following the 2008 financial crisis, we have seen debt crises hit Ireland, Greece, and Italy, with fears that this could spread further and cause a global economic downturn. The financial markets are on edge today, with U.S. Treasury bonds being the safe haven for most investment capital. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling would recklessly disrupt the sale and purchase of new Treasury bonds, and could potentially cause a run on outstanding Treasurys as well, as investors sought other investments. This could have catastrophic consequences for our economy as well as the economic stability of the rest of the world.

These consequences would also not be good for the average American, or European or Asian. On the other hand it would really piss off a lot of Wall St wankers and multinational corporations.



lines of nasca in peru. This is one of a hummingbird. “The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.”  The “Mysterious” Nazca Lines –  A Bibliographical Tour of the Internet goes into most of the major theories about the lines. Most of them – the lines having to do with religion and astronomy are plausible and interesting. The ones having to do with the lines being related to the visit of ancient astronauts who the Nazca thought were gods, more bizarre than interesting.