Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Feast Of Samhain

October is almost over. What does that mean? Cooler weather, Autumn, and of course, Halloween. But what are the origins of this semi-holiday? Halloween is one of the few holidays of completely White origin, relatively uncontaminated by other races and cultures.

Halloween is actually an abbreviation of a Catholic term: All Hallow's Eve. It precedes the Catholic Holy Day of All Saints Day. This is a day when practising Catholics are required to attend Mass. But the origins of Halloween go back many centuries before Christianity.

The day we observe as Halloween originated in the British Isles among the Celtic peoples. They called it the Feast Of Samhain (pronounced sow-WEN in Gaelic). Samhain was the Celtic ruler of the Underworld. On this night, Samhain would open the gates of the Underworld, and spirits, both good and evil would walk the Earth. It was a night of masques and balefires when anything was possible and nothing was quite as it seemed.

If people had to go out on this night, they wore masques so that if they encountered an evil spirit, it would think that they were one of them and leave them alone. Jack-O-Lanterns were carved and lit to frighten evil spirits away. However, interestingly enough, pumpkins were not used. The pumpkin is a New World vegetable, and the ancient Celts had no knowledge of them. Other gourd type vegetables such as turnips and squash were used.

They also lit bale fires and would make sacrifices of animals, and sometimes humans to welcome the return of the dead.

As time passed, and pagan beliefs were replaced by Christian Doctrine, and many of the old Celtic traditions went the way of the dinosaur. Some were turned into days of pure amusement, such as Halloween. Now the masques are used by children to get candy from their neighbours, instead of frightening evil spirits away. The same with Jack-O-Lanterns. Images of Samhain have been replaced by that of the Devil, witches, ghosts, and goblins.

A few Christian denominations consider Halloween the Devil's day, and they take it very seriously. In reality, it is not Satanic, but a pagan festival which no one takes seriously any longer. It's a night of fun to be enjoyed by all. Happy Halloween everyone!

Dan 88!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

75 Years Ago Today...

Seventy five years ago today America got the scare of a lifetime.  CBS Radio broadcast a radio play based on H.G. Wells's novel "The War Of The Worlds".  It was done in the form of live, but simulated news broadcasts about Martians invading the Earth.  Millions listened to the broadcast, and at least one million believed it to be real.  Many of them went panicking into the streets causing millions more to get caught up in it.  There were riots, and attempted suicides. The players had no idea of the mayhem they were causing until after the show was over.

All this was caused by nothing more than the spoken word and some very clever sound effects. For example, the sound of the Martian space cylinder opening was done with nothing but a pickle jar, a microphone, and a toilet bowel (for the reverberation effects).

It was so effective that the three networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS got together and agreed never to use fake news bulletins again.  This agreement was adhered to until the 1980's when a TV network (I forget which one) used fake news bulletins in a movie about terrorists holding an American city hostage with a homemade atomic bomb.  The bomb was eventually exploded. Incredibly, over a million people believed it was real and switch boards at the network and at police departments became hopelessly jammed with frightened callers.  People never learn.

The program, broadcast from the 20th floor at 485 Madison Avenue in New York City, starts with an introduction from the novel, describing the intentions of the aliens and noting that the adaptation is set in 1939, a year ahead of the actual broadcast date.  The program continues with a weather report and an ordinary dance band remote featuring "Ramon Raquello and His Orchestra" (actually the CBS orchestra under the direction of Bernard Herrmann) that is interrupted by news flashes about strange explosions on Mars. Welles makes his first appearance as the (fictional) famous astronomer and Princeton professor Richard Pierson, who dismisses speculation about life on Mars.
The news grows more frequent and increasingly ominous as a cylindrical meteorite lands in Grover's Mill, New Jersey. A crowd gathers at the site. Reporter Carl Phillips (Readick) relates the events. The meteorite unscrews, revealing itself as a rocket machine. Onlookers catch a glimpse of a tentacled, pulsating, barely mobile Martian inside before it incinerates the crowd with Heat-Rays. Phillips's shouts about incoming flames are cut off in mid-sentence. (Later surveys indicate that many listeners heard only this portion of the show before contacting neighbors or family to inquire about the broadcast. Many contacted others in turn, leading to rumors and confusion.)
Regular programming breaks down as the studio struggles with casualty updates, firefighting developments and the like. A shaken Pierson speculates about Martian technology. The New Jersey state militia declares martial law and attacks the cylinder; a message from their field headquarters lectures about the overwhelming force of properly equipped infantry and the helplessness of the Martians in Earth's gravity until a Tripod alien fighting machine rears up from the pit.
The Martians obliterate the militia, and the studio returns, now describing the Martians as an invading army. Emergency response bulletins give way to damage reports and evacuation instructions as millions of refugees clog the roads. Three Martian tripods from the cylinder destroy power stations and uproot bridges and railroads, reinforced by three others from a second cylinder as gas explosions continue. An unnamed Secretary of the Interior (Kenny Delmar) advises the nation. (The secretary was originally intended to be a portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then President, but CBS insisted this detail, among others, be changed. Welles directed Delmar to nonetheless imitate Roosevelt's voice.)
A live connection is established to a field artillery battery. Its gun crew reports damaging one machine and a release of black smoke/poison gas before fading into the sound of coughing. The lead plane of a wing of bombers broadcasts its approach and remains on the air as their engines are burned by the Heat-Ray and the plane dives on the invaders. Radio operators go active and fall silent, most right after reporting the approach of the black smoke. The bombers destroyed one machine, but cylinders are falling all across the country.
This section ends famously: A news reporter, broadcasting from atop the CBS building, describes the Martian invasion of New York City – "five great machines" wading across the Hudson River, poison smoke drifting over the city, people running and diving into the East River "like rats", others "falling like flies" – until he, too, succumbs to the poison gas. Finally, a despairing ham radio operator is heard calling, "2X2L calling CQ. Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there... anyone?"
After an intermission for station identification, in which announcer Dan Seymour mentions that the show is fiction, the last third is a monologue and dialogue. Welles returns as Professor Pierson, describing the aftermath of the attacks. The story ends, as does the novel, with the Martians falling victim to earthly pathogenic germs, to which they have no immunity.
After the play, Welles informally breaks character to remind listeners that the broadcast was a Halloween concoction, the equivalent, as he puts it, "of dressing up in a sheet, jumping out of a bush and saying, 'Boo!'". Popular mythology holds this "disclaimer" was hastily added to the broadcast at the insistence of CBS executives as they became aware of panic inspired by the program; in fact, it had appeared in Koch's working script for the play.
Some listeners heard only a portion of the broadcast and, in the atmosphere of tension and anxiety prior to World War II, took it to be an actual news broadcast.  Newspapers reported that panic ensued, with people across the Northeastern United States and Canada fleeing their homes. Some people called CBS, newspapers or the police in confusion over the realism of the news bulletins.
Future Tonight Show host Jack Paar had announcing duties that night for Cleveland CBS affiliate WGAR. As panicked listeners called the studio, Paar attempted to calm them on the phone and on air by saying, "The world is not coming to an end. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you?" When the listeners started charging Paar with "covering up the truth", he called WGAR's station manager for help. Oblivious to the situation, the manager advised Paar to calm down, saying it was "all a tempest in a teapot."
In Concrete, Washington, phone lines and electricity went out due to a short-circuit at the Superior Portland Cement Company's substation. Residents were unable to call neighbors, family or friends to calm their fears. Reporters who heard of the coincidental blackout sent the story over the news-wire, and soon Concrete was known worldwide.
Within one month, newspapers had published 12,500 articles about the broadcast and its impact. Adolf Hitler cited the panic, as Richard J. Hand writes, as "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy."
Later studies indicate that many missed the repeated notices about the broadcast being fictional, partly because The Mercury Theatre on the Air, an unsponsored cultural program with a relatively small audience, ran at the same time as the NBC Red Network's popular Chase and Sanborn Hour. About 15 minutes into Chase and Sanborn, the first comic sketch ended and a musical number began, and many listeners began tuning around the dial at that point. According to the American Experience program The Battle Over Citizen Kane, Welles knew the schedule of Chase and Sanborn and scheduled the first report from Grover's Mill at the 12-minute mark to heighten the audience's confusion. As a result, some listeners happened upon the CBS broadcast at the point the Martians emerge from their spacecraft. Because the broadcast was unsponsored, Welles and company could schedule breaks at will rather than structuring them around necessary advertisements. As a result, the only notices that the broadcast was fictional came at the start of the broadcast and about 40 and 55 minutes into it.
A study by the Radio Project discovered that some who panicked presumed that Germans, not Martians, had invaded.
"The shadow of war was constantly in and on the air. People were on edge", wrote Welles biographer Frank Brady:
For the entire month prior to The War of the Worlds, radio had kept the American public alert to the ominous happenings throughout the world. The Munich crisis was at its height. Adolf Hitler, in his address to the annual Nazi party congress at Nuremberg in September, called for the autonomy of the Sudetenland, an area on the Czech border regions populated by three million Sudeten Germans, as they were called. Hitler ranted and lied over German radio … For the first time in history, the public could tune into their radios every night and hear, boot by boot, accusation by accusation, threat by threat, the rumblings that seemed inevitably leading to a world war.

 On December 14, 1988, the original radio script for The War of the Worlds was sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York by author Howard Koch. The typescript bears the handwritten deletions and additions of Orson Welles and producer John Houseman. It was thought to have been the only copy of the script known to survive.
"The police came in after the broadcast and seized whatever copies they could find as evidence, I suppose", Koch told The New York Times. "There was a question that we had done something that might have criminal implications." Expected to bring between $25,000 and $35,000, the script sold for $143,000 — setting a record for an article of entertainment memorabilia.  "I had a private offer of $60,000", Koch said after selling the 46-page script, which had been in his file cabinet for years. "They advised me to take the gamble. I guess it was the right gamble."
A second surviving War of the Worlds radio script — Welles's own directorial copy, given to an associate for safekeeping — was auctioned June 2, 1994, at Christie's in New York. Estimated to bring $15,000 to $20,000, the script was sold for $32,200.  The successful bidder was filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose collection also includes one of the three balsa "Rosebud" sleds from Citizen Kane. Spielberg adapted The War of the Worlds for a feature film in 2005.
The New Jersey Township of West Windsor, where Grover's Mill is located, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the broadcast in 1988 with four days of festivities including art and planetarium shows, a panel discussion, a parade, burial of a time capsule, a dinner dance, film festivals devoted to H. G. Wells and Orson Welles, and the dedication of a bronze monument to the fictional Martian landings. Howard Koch, an author of the original radio script, attended the 49th anniversary celebration as an honored guest.
On 27 October, 2013, BBC Radio 4extra broadcast the show at 6pm GMT to commemorate the 75th Anniversary with an introduction by George Takei. On the previous day, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an analysis of the impact the broadcast made on an unsuspecting audience and its legacy. It looked at the myths and anecdotes generated since the original broadcast.
On October 29, 2013, the PBS documentary series American Experience examined The War of the Worlds broadcast on the eve of its 75th anniversary.
On January 27, 2003, the Mercury Theatre broadcast of The War of the Worlds was made part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
Comment:
The War Of The Worlds Panic Broadcast also goes to show how easily manipulated the Sheeple are.  If a simple radio show could do this, is it any wonder what damage television and movies are doing to the American people?
ZOG has a very effective weapon against the People, and unfortunately he knows how to use it well.
The video below is a full length docu-drama about that fateful night.  Happy Halloween!
Dan 88!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Memo to Workers: The Boss Is Watching

 and 



Dennis Gray suspected that workers in his pest-control company were spending too much time on personal issues during the workday. So the general manager of Accurid Pest Solutions in southern Virginia quietly installed a piece of GPS tracking software on the company-issued smartphones of five of its 18 drivers.
The software allowed Mr. Gray to log onto his computer to see a map displaying the location and movement of his staff. One employee, he discovered, was visiting the same address a few times a week for a few hours during the workday. At that point, Mr. Gray told the driver he was being tracked.
The employee confessed he was meeting a woman during work hours. Another driver admitted he was blowing off work. Both men were let go. "We were certainly impressed with the software," said Mr. Gray.
Blue-collar workers have always been kept on a tight leash, but there is a new level of surveillance available to bosses these days. Thanks to mobile devices and inexpensive monitoring software, managers can now know where workers are, eavesdrop on their phone calls, tell if a truck driver is wearing his seat belt and intervene if he is tailgating.
"Twenty-five years ago this was pipe dream stuff," said Paul Sangster, CEO of JouBeh Technologies, a Canadian company that develops tracking, or "telematics," technology for businesses. "Now it is commonly accepted that you are being tracked."
Office workers have come to expect that their every keystroke is tracked on a server somewhere, but monitoring for hourly and wage workers has long been limited to video cameras in the break room and GPS on delivery trucks. Companies are now watching a wider swath of blue-collar workers more closely to ensure work is getting done.
A 2012 report from research firm Aberdeen Group found that 37% of companies that send employees out on service calls track the real-time location of workers via their hand-held devices or vehicles.
High-tech monitoring feels like a violation of privacy to some workers, but employers say such measures improve workplace safety and productivity while also helping to reduce theft, protect secrets and investigate harassment or discrimination claims, among other things.
Workplace tracking technology is largely unregulated, and courts have found that employees have few rights to privacy on the job.
No federal statutes restrict the use of GPS by employers, nor force them to disclose whether they are using it. Only two states, Delaware and Connecticut, require employers to tell workers that their electronic communications—anything from emails to instant messages to texts—are being monitored. (Please see related article.)
"It's not a question of whether companies should monitor," said Lewis Maltby, founder of the National Workrights Institute, which promotes employee privacy. "It's a question of how."
His group advises companies to clearly explain how workers are watched and set procedures for monitoring of workers suspected of misdeeds.
Though companies say monitoring isn't solely used for discipline, that is often exactly what they are doing, Mr. Maltby added. "Employers suspect that some of their field service workers are goofing off and they want to catch them," he said.
Last year, Jane Rodgers, finance manager of Plants Inc., a Chicago business that provides interior landscaping services to homes and workplaces, bought a mobile monitoring program from Awareness Technologies to keep watch over employees who work mostly outside the office.
She installed the software on the company-issued phones of nine of its 16 employees.
While she has the capability of viewing any photo, text message, or email sent over company phones, along with call logs and website visits, she said she uses only the geolocation tracking feature—and turns to it only when customers raise questions.
She also advised her workers to turn off their work phones at night if they didn't want her to know their whereabouts.
One Plants customer recently called to ask if a technician had visited the client. Ms. Rodgers pulled up the program and saw that the employee was at the site between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
"You feel more confident," she said. "You want to find out who the troublemakers are."
Rockwell Vance, a Plants Inc. technician, didn't think much about Ms. Rodgers's monitoring efforts, but said some of his co-workers felt their privacy was invaded.
Telematics goes beyond GPS tracking, which was pioneered by the trucking and logistics industries decades ago; now, the latest software can, say, decelerate a truck if a driver fails to take action if a rig gets too close to another vehicle.
Trucking company Schneider National Inc. uses software from Telogis Inc. to see whether drivers are braking too hard or heading into an area with high risk of theft. The company uses that data not only to discipline drivers, but also to reward those with top safety records, said Don Osterberg, Schneider's senior vice president of safety. He concedes, that "there are some who don't like the eye in the sky looking over their shoulder."
Companies that keep quiet about tracking efforts may miss out on the benefits of deterrence. A 2013 academic study of NCR Corp.'s NCR -0.11% theft-monitoring software used in 392 restaurants found a 22% reduction in server theft after the software was installed and staffers were told about it. Drink sales, meanwhile, rose 10%. Being watched, researchers found, made waitstaff work harder. (The software alerts managers to excessive numbers of sales that are voided—an activity that suggests cash is being pocketed.)
At Accurid Pest Solutions, Mr. Gray said the phone-tracking tool costs about $50 per quarter per user, compared with about $200 per quarter per car for a GPS tracker.
Since rolling it out, he has cut back the monitoring to a monthly review of a handful of employees.While he terminated two additional workers this summer, he said overall the technology has made drivers more productive and prompted more honesty, he said.
"If guys have to veer off, they call us and say we are taking a little personal time," he said. "It is changing their behavior in a positive way."
Comment:
First we are watched 24/7 in stores and other public places - obstensibly for our "protection". Now Big Brother is watching us at work.  What's next?  Cameras in our homes?  Of course we will be told it's for our own protection as in the case of home invasions and burglaries.  
However it will be ZOG that will be the invaders, not common street thugs.
Folks,  there are three groups to blame for this:  Over-bearing bosses, goof-off workers, and the REST of us for putting up with this crap.
If people would go to work and do their jobs with honesty and integrity, employers would have no need for electronic surveillance.  Americans have a pitiful work ethic.  That must change if the country is to change.  We have to do our work with pride and honour.  
We must start by teaching those qualities to our children.  Without them, they grow up with a sense of entitlement and the desire to do as little work as they can get away with and still collect a paycheck.
"If you don't like your job, you don't strike.  That's not the American way.  The American way is to go in everyday and do your job really half-assed." - Homer Simpson, American working man.
Sadly, Homer has become the embodiment of the American working class.  D'OH!
Dan 88!
















Monday, October 28, 2013

Wells Fargo Study: 37 Percent of Middle-Class Americans Say They Never Will Retire

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 10:28 AM
By Dan Weil

Many middle-class Americans apparently aren't expecting to live their golden years in leisurely retirement.

A hefty 34 percent of them think they will work until at least the age of 80, because they haven't saved enough for retirement, according to a Wells Fargo study survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

That's up from 25 percent in 2011 and 30 percent in 2012.

But 37 percent say they'll never retire and will work until they are too sick or die.

What's the solution to this?

Building savings and creating a retirement plan can improve the retirements for those now in their working years, says Laurie Nordquist, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust

Meanwhile, a 59 percent majority of the middle class say paying monthly bills is their chief day-to-day financial concern. That's up from 52 percent last year.

Saving for retirement takes second place, with 13 percent calling it a priority. Overall, 42 percent say saving for retirement and paying bills concurrently is impossible.

Thus 48 percent don't have confidence that they will be able to save enough for a comfortable retirement.

The survey of 1,000 middle-class Americans between the ages of 25 and 75 was conducted July 24 to Aug. 27.

"For the past three years, the struggle to pay bills is a growing concern, and the prospect of saving for retirement looks dim, particularly for those in their prime saving years," Nordquist says in a statement.

"Having a plan and saving not only creates more hopefulness, but it produces results that can grow and lead to a solid retirement." 

In the survey, 52 percent of the middle class say they are confident they will save enough for retirement. But only 29 percent say they have a written plan. 

Among those who have a written plan, 70 percent feel confident about their retirement, while only 44 percent of those who don't have a plan feel confident.

Of those who have a plan, 91 percent say they have willpower to save, compared with 75 percent for those who don't have a plan.

In the key 40-to-59 demographic, those who say they have written a plan also say they have saved $63,000 for retirement, while those who say they haven't written a plan say they have saved $20,000.

"This data so clearly shows what a difference a retirement plan makes in that people who have a plan have saved three times what those without a plan have saved," Nordquist explains. "A plan instills confidence and gives people the discipline to stick with their objectives and reach their financial goals."

As for the respondents who don't have a written retirement plan, 45 percent say it's because they have "so few financial assets." One-third of the middle class say Social Security will be their "primary" source of income in retirement. 

"People say they don't have a plan because they don't have enough money," Nordquist notes. "The most important message I can impart about retirement is that planning is for everyone. It is the foundation for consistent savings, which can allow people to have the nest egg they will need in retirement and can also help people determine the role Social Security will play in their retirement." 

Further, 40 percent say a large unexpected healthcare expense represents their biggest retirement fear, while and 37 percent list the loss or reduction of Social Security as fear No. 1.

As for the stock market, only 24 percent of the middle class view stocks as a good investment for retirement. Meanwhile, 45 percent say "the stock market doesn't benefit people like me." 

A majority (52 percent) say they shun stocks because "I am afraid to lose my nest egg in the ups and downs of the market." 

Surprisingly enough, fear of the stock market is more intense among those aged 25 to 29, with 56 percent of them afraid they would lose their savings in equities. Asked what they would do with $5,000 given to them for retirement investment, 58 percent of people in this age group say they would allocate it to a saving account or certificate of deposit. 

The reluctance for stocks may stem partly from the fact that 51 percent of the middle class say they have little interest in learning about investing. 

Nordquist is struck by the fear of stocks. "The middle class just isn't making the link between being invested and the potential growth of their savings, but on top of this fear is apathy. There is no interest in learning more about investing," she states. 

"Fear and apathy are a bad combination, whereas knowledge about saving and investing is empowering. We've got to move people to this mindset." 


Comment:

Investing may be an option for what's left of the Middle Class, but what about the Working Poor?   They say you should not be spending more than 25 percent of your monthly income on rent/mortgage plus utilities. Twentyfive percent?  I spend 50 percent on rent and utilities.  Then there's food, gas, insurance, internet service, phone, cell phone (no smartphone), plus miscellaneous expenses.  Most of us feel lucky to just get through the month.  Investing or saving is out of the question.

That's the crux of the matter.  The Working Poor don't count for squat.  We are like the Serfs of the Middle Ages - one step above slaves.  If anyone thinks that's an overstatement then I suggest they pull their heads out of their collective asses.  WE MEAN NOTHING TO THE ONE PERCENT - other than as a source of expendable labour.

The ANP is the only real voice the White Worker has.  If you don't $upport us, then you have nothing.  

It's up to you.  If you like living as a near slave, then be good little systemites and obey your masters. Work for slave wages, and spend your hard earned money on cheap crap from China sold at inflated prices. 

What's it going to be people?  Freedom or slavery?  


Dan 88!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween: Season Of The Witch

The Witchcraft Trials in Salem: A Commentary 
by Douglas Linder



In 1690, the communities of Salem-Towne-By-The-Sea and Salem Village were very troubled places.  Massachusetts was without a governor, a written charter of laws,  and back in  England the  king was  overthrown.    Add  to  that  Salem Village had been without a minister for a year.

The Rev. Samuel Parris was hired as minister for Salem Village.  He was a failed merchant from the West Indies who had never preached before.  With him he brought his wife Elizabeth,  his six-year-old  daughter Betty  (a sickly child since birth),  and an  older girl - his 12-year  old niece,   Abagail Williams  (it would be Abagail who would start the witch madness with the first accusation).  Parris also brought  with him two slaves: Tituba, a Carob Indian who did most of the household chores.  Her slave husband John Indian did little of what was left. 

From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill (now a disused children's playground), a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges.  Giles Corey refused to enter a plea of guilty or innocent.  Under Colonial legal procedures, a trial could not begin until the accused entered a plea.  Placing the accused under a large, wide board and applying stones one-by-one was the method used to induce the stubborn to enter their plea.  If they refused, this usually ended in the victim being crushed to death over a period of several days. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials.  Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended. 

Why did this travesty of justice occur? Why did it occur in Salem? Nothing about this tragedy was inevitable. Only an unfortunate combination of an ongoing frontier war, economic conditions, congregational strife, teenage boredom, and personal jealousies can account for the spiraling accusations, trials, and executions that occurred in the spring and summer of 1692.

In 1688, John Putnam, one of the most influential elders of Salem Village, invited Samuel Parris, formerly a marginally successful planter and merchant in Barbados, to preach in the Village church.  A year later, after negotiations over salary, inflation adjustments, and free firewood, Parris accepted the job as Village minister. He moved to Salem Village with his wife Elizabeth, his six-year-old daughter Betty, niece Abagail Williams, and his Indian slave Tituba, acquired by Parris in Barbados.

The Salem that became the new home of Parris was in the midst of change: a mercantile elite was beginning to develop, prominent people were becoming less willing to assume positions as town leaders, two clans (the Putnams and the Porters) were competing for control of the village and its pulpit, and a debate was raging over how independent Salem Village, tied more to the interior agricultural regions, should be from Salem, a center of sea trade.

Sometime during February of the exceptionally cold winter of 1692, young Betty Parris became strangely ill. She dashed about, dove under furniture, contorted in pain, and complained of fever. The cause of her symptoms may have been some combination of stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse, epilepsy, and delusional psychosis.  The symptoms also could have been caused, as Linda Caporael argued in a 1976 article in Science magazine, by a disease called "convulsive ergotism" brought on by injesting rye--eaten as a cereal and as a common ingredient of bread--infected with ergot.  (Ergot is caused by a fungus which invades developing kernels of rye grain, especially under warm and damp conditions such as existed at the time of the previous rye harvest in Salem. Convulsive ergotism causes violent fits, a crawling sensation on the skin, vomiting, choking, and--most interestingly--hallucinations.  The hallucinogenic drug LSD is a dervivative of ergot.)  Many of the symptoms or convulsive ergotism seem to match those attributed to Betty Parris, but there is no way of knowing with any certainty if she in fact suffered from the disease--and the theory would not explain the afflictions suffered by others in Salem later in the year.

At the time, however, there was another theory to explain the girls' symptoms. Cotton Mather had recently published a popular book, "Memorable Providences," describing the suspected witchcraft of an Irish washerwoman in Boston, and Betty's behavior in some ways mirrored that of the afflicted person described in Mather's widely read and discussed book. It was easy to believe in 1692 in Salem, with an Indian war raging less than seventy miles away (and many refugees from the war in the area) that the devil was close at hand.  Sudden and violent death occupied minds.

Talk of witchcraft increased when other playmates of Betty, including eleven-year-old Ann Putnam, seventeen-year-old Mercy Lewis, and Mary Walcott, began to exhibit similar unusual behavior. When his own nostrums failed to effect a cure, William Griggs, a doctor called to examine the girls, suggested that the girls' problems might have a supernatural origin. The widespread belief that witches targeted children made the doctor's diagnosis seem increasingly likely.

A neighbor, Mary Sibley, proposed a form of counter magic. She told Tituba to bake a rye cake with the urine of the afflicted victim and feed the cake to a dog. ( Dogs were believed to be used by witches as agents to carry out their devilish commands.) By this time, suspicion had already begun to focus on Tituba, who had been known to tell the girls tales of omens, voodoo, and witchcraft from her native folklore.  Her participation in the urine cake episode made her an even more obvious scapegoat for the inexplicable.

Meanwhile, the number of girls afflicted continued to grow, rising to seven with the addition of Ann Putnam, Elizabeth Hubbard, Susannah Sheldon, and Mary Warren. According to historian Peter Hoffer, the girls "turned themselves from a circle of friends into a gang of juvenile delinquents." ( Many people of the period complained that young people lacked the piety and sense of purpose of the founders' generation.) The girls contorted into grotesque poses, fell down into frozen postures, and complained of biting and pinching sensations. In a village where everyone believed that the devil was real, close at hand, and acted in the real world, the suspected affliction of the girls became an obsession.

Sometime after February 25, when Tituba baked the witch cake, and February 29, when arrest warrants were issued against Tituba and two other women, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams named their afflictors and the witchhunt began. The consistency of the two girls' accusations suggests strongly that the girls worked out their stories together. Soon Ann Putnam and Mercy Lewis were also reporting seeing "witches flying through the winter mist."  The prominent Putnam family supported the girls' accusations, putting considerable impetus behind the prosecutions.

The first three to be accused of witchcraft were Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn. Tituba was an obvious choice (LINK TO TITUBA'S EXAMINATION). Good was a beggar and social misfit who lived wherever someone would house her (LINK TO GOOD'S EXAMINATION) (LINK TO GOOD'S TRIAL), and Osborn was old, quarrelsome, and had not attended church for over a year. The Putnams brought their complaint against the three women to county magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne, who scheduled examinations for the suspected witches for March 1, 1692 in Ingersoll's tavern. When hundreds showed up, the examinations were moved to the meeting house. At the examinations, the girls described attacks by the specters of the three women, and fell into their by then perfected pattern of contortions when in the presence of one of the suspects. Other villagers came forward to offer stories of cheese and butter mysteriously gone bad or animals born with deformities after visits by one of the suspects.The magistrates, in the common practice of the time, asked the same questions of each suspect over and over: Were they witches? Had they seen Satan? How, if they are were not witches, did they explain the contortions seemingly caused by their presence? The style and form of the questions indicates that the magistrates thought the women guilty.

The matter might have ended with admonishments were it not for Tituba. After first adamantly denying any guilt, afraid perhaps of being made a scapegoat, Tituba claimed that she was approached by a tall man from Boston--obviously Satan--who sometimes appeared as a dog or a hog and who asked her to sign in his book and to do his work. Yes, Tituba declared, she was a witch, and moreover she and four other witches, including Good and Osborn, had flown through the air on their poles.  She had tried to run to Reverend Parris for counsel, she said, but the devil had blocked her path. Tituba's confession succeeded in transforming her from a possible scapegoat to a central figure in the expanding prosecutions.   Her confession also served to silence most skeptics, and Parris and other local ministers began witch hunting with zeal.

Soon, according to their own reports, the spectral forms of other women began attacking the afflicted girls. Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Cloyce, andMary Easty(LINK TO EASTY'S EXAMINATION) (LINK TO EASTY'S PETITION FOR MERCY) were accused of witchcraft. During a March 20 church service, Ann Putnam suddenly shouted, "Look where Goodwife Cloyce sits on the beam suckling her yellow bird between her fingers!"  Soon Ann's mother, Ann Putnam, Sr., would join the accusers.  Dorcas Good, four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good, became the first child to be accused of witchcraft when three of the girls complained that they were bitten by the specter of Dorcas. (The four-year-old was arrested, kept in jail for eight months, watched her mother get carried off to the gallows, and would "cry her heart out, and go insane.")  The girls accusations and their ever more polished performances, including the new act of being struck dumb, played to large and believing audiences.

Stuck in jail with the damning testimony of the afflicted girls widely accepted, suspects began to see confession as a way to avoid the gallows.  Deliverance Hobbs became the second witch to confess, admitting to pinching three of the girls at the Devil's command and flying on a pole to attend a witches' Sabbath in an open field.   Jails approached capacity and the colony "teetered on the brink of chaos" when Governor Phips returned from England.  Fast action, he decided, was required.

Phips created a new court, the "court of oyer and terminer," to hear the witchcraft cases.  Five judges, including three close friends of Cotton Mather, were appointed to the court.  Chief Justice, and most influential member of the court, was a gung-ho witch hunter named William Stoughton. Mather urged Stoughton and the other judges to credit confessions and admit "spectral evidence" (testimony by afflicted persons that they had been visited by a suspect's specter). Ministers were looked to for guidance by the judges, who were generally without legal training, on matters pertaining to witchcraft. Mather's advice was heeded.  the judges also decided to allow the so-called "touching test" (defendants were asked to touch afflicted persons to see if their touch, as was generally assumed of the touch of witches, would stop their contortions) and examination of the bodies of accused for evidence of "witches' marks" (moles or the like upon which a witch's familiar might suck) (SCENE DEPICTING EXAMINATION FOR MARKS). Evidence that would be excluded from modern courtrooms-- hearsay, gossip, stories, unsupported assertions, surmises-- was also generally admitted. Many protections that modern defendants take for granted were lacking in Salem: accused witches had no legal counsel, could not have witnesses testify under oath on their behalf, and had no formal avenues of appeal.  Defendants could, however, speak for themselves, produce evidence, and cross-examine their accusers.  The degree to which defendants in Salem were able to take advantage of their modest protections varied considerably, depending on their own acuteness and their influence in the community.

The first accused witch to be brought to trial was Bridget Bishop.  Almost sixty years old, owner of  a tavern where patrons could drink cider ale and play shuffleboard (even on the Sabbath), critical of her neighbors, and reluctant to pay her her bills, Bishop was a likely candidate for an accusation of witchcraft (LINK TO EXAMINATION OF BISHOP). The fact that Thomas Newton, special prosecutor, selected Bishop for his first prosecution suggests that he believed the stronger case could be made against her than any of the other suspect witches. At Bishop's trial on June 2, 1692, a field hand testified that he saw Bishop's image stealing eggs and then saw her transform herself into a cat.  Deliverance Hobbs, by then probably insane, and Mary Warren, both confessed witches, testified that Bishop was one of them.  A villager named Samuel Grey told the court that Bishop visited his bed at night and tormented him. A jury of matrons assigned to examine Bishop's body reported that they found an "excrescence of flesh."  Several of the afflicted girls testified that Bishop's specter afflicted them.  Numerous other villagers described why they thought Bishop was responsible for various bits of bad luck that had befallen them.  There was even testimony that while being transported under guard past the Salem meeting house, she looked at the building and caused a part of it to fall to the ground.  Bishop's jury returned a verdict of guilty . One of the judges, Nathaniel Saltonstall, aghast at the conduct of the trial, resigned from the court.  Chief Justice Stoughton signed Bishop's death warrant, and on June 10, 1692, Bishop was carted to Gallows Hill and hanged (LINK TO IMAGE OF BISHOP'S HANGING).

As the summer of 1692 warmed, the pace of trials picked up.  Not all defendants were as disreputable as Bridget Bishop.  Rebecca Nurse was a pious, respected woman whose specter, according to Ann Putnam, Jr. and Abagail Williams, attacked them in mid March of 1692 (LINK TO EXAMINATION OF NURSE). Ann Putnam, Sr. added her complaint that Nurse demanded that she sign the Devil's book, then pinched her. Nurse was one of three Towne sisters , all identified as witches, who were members of a Topsfield family that had a long-standing quarrel with the Putnam family. Apart from the evidence of Putnam family members, the major piece of evidence against Nurse appeared to be testimony indicating that soon after Nurse lectured Benjamin Houlton for allowing his pig to root in her garden, Houlton died.  The Nurse jury returned a verdict of not guilty, much to the displeasure of Chief Justice Stoughton, who told the jury to go back and consider again a statement of Nurse's that might be considered an admission of guilt (but more likely an indication of confusion about the question, as Nurse was old and nearly deaf).  The jury reconvened, this time coming back with a verdict of guilty(LINK TO NURSE TRIAL). On July 19, 1692, Nurse rode with four other convicted witches to Gallows Hill.

Persons who scoffed at accusations of witchcraft risked becoming targets of accusations themselves.  One man who was openly critical of the trials paid for his skepticism with his life.  John Proctor, a central figure in Arthur Miller's fictionalized account of the Salem witchhunt, The Crucible, was an opinionated tavern owner who openly denounced the witchhunt.  Testifying against Proctor were Ann Putnam, Abagail Williams, Indian John (a slave of Samuel Parris who worked in a competing tavern), and eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Booth, who testified that ghosts had come to her and accused Proctor of serial murder. Proctor fought back, accusing confessed witches of lying, complaining of torture, and demanding that his trial be moved to Boston.  The efforts proved futile. Proctor was hanged. His wife Elizabeth, who was also convicted of witchcraft, was spared execution because of her pregnancy (reprieved "for the belly").

No execution caused more unease in Salem than that of the village's ex-minister, George Burroughs.  Burroughs, who was living in Maine in 1692, was identified by several of his accusers as the ringleader of the witches.  Ann Putnam claimed that Burroughs bewitched soldiers during a failed military campaign against Wabanakis in 1688-89, the first of a string of military disasters that could be blamed on an Indian-Devil alliance. In her interesting book, In the Devil's Snare, historian Mary Beth Norton argues that the large number of accusations against Burroughs, and his linkage to the frontier war, is the key to understanding the Salem trials.  Norton contends that the enthusiasm of the Salem court in prosecuting the witchcraft cases owed in no small measure to the judges' desire to shift the "blame for their own inadequate defense of the frontier."  Many of the judges, Norton points out, played lead roles in a war effort that had been markedly unsuccessful.

Among the thirty accusers of Burroughs was nineteen-year-old Mercy Lewis, a refugee of the frontier wars.  Lewis, the most imaginative and forceful of the young accusers, offered unusually vivid testimony against Burroughs.  Lewis told the court that Burroughs flew her to the top of a mountain and, pointing toward the surrounding land, promised her all the kingdoms if only she would sign in his book (a story very similar to that found in Matthew 4:8).  Lewis said, "I would not writ if he had throwed me down on one hundred pitchforks."  At an execution, a defendant in the Puritan colonies was expected to confess, and thus to save his soul.  When Burroughs on Gallows Hill continued to insist on his innocence and then recited the Lord's Prayer perfectly (something witches were thought incapable of doing), the crowd reportedly was "greatly moved." The agitation of the crowd caused Cotton Mather to intervene and remind the crowd that Burroughs had had his day in court and lost.

One victim of the Salem witchhunt was not hanged, but rather pressed under heavy stones until his death.  Such was the fate of octogenarian Giles Coreywho, after spending five months in chains in a Salem jail with his also accused wife, had nothing but contempt for the proceedings.  Seeing the futility of a trial and hoping that by avoiding a conviction his farm, that would otherwise go the state, might go to his two sons-in-law, Corey refused to stand for trial.  The penalty for such a refusal was peine et fort, or pressing. Three days after Corey's death, on September 22, 1692, eight more convicted witches, including Giles' wife Martha, were hanged. They were the last victims of the witchhunt.

By early autumn of 1692, Salem's lust for blood was ebbing. Doubts were developing as to how so many respectable people could be guilty. Reverend John Hale said, " It cannot be imagined that in a place of so much knowledge, so many in so small compass of land should abominably leap into the Devil's lap at once."  The educated elite of the colony began efforts to end the witch-hunting hysteria that had enveloped Salem. Increase Mather, the father of Cotton, published what has been called "America's first tract on evidence," a work entitled Cases of Conscience, which argued that it "were better that ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person should be condemned." Increase Mather urged the court to exclude spectral evidence. Samuel Willard, a highly regarded Boston minister, circulated Some Miscellany Observations, which suggested that the Devil might create the specter of an innocent person. Mather's and Willard's works were given to Governor Phips. The writings most likely influenced the decision of Phips to order the court to exclude spectral evidence and touching tests and to require proof of guilt by clear and convincing evidence.  With spectral evidence not admitted, twenty-eight of the last thirty-three witchcraft trials ended in acquittals. The three convicted witches were later pardoned. In May of 1693, Phips released from prison all remaining accused or convicted witches.

By the time the witchhunt ended, nineteen convicted witches were executed (LINK TO LIST OF DEAD), at least four accused witches had died in prison, and one man, Giles Corey, had been pressed to death. About one to two hundred other persons were arrested and imprisoned on witchcraft charges. Two dogs were executed as suspected accomplices of witches.  

Scholars have noted potentially telling differences between the accused and the accusers in Salem.  Most of the accused lived to the south of, and were generally better off financially, than most of the accusers.  In a number of cases, accusing families stood to gain property from the convictions of accused witches.  Also, the accused and the accusers generally took opposite sides in a congregational schism that had split the Salem community before the outbreak of hysteria.  While many of the accused witches supported former minister George Burroughs, the families that included the accusers had--for the most part--played leading roles in forcing Burroughs to leave Salem.  The conclusion that many scholars draw from these patterns is that property disputes and congregational feuds played a major role in determining who lived, and who died, in 1692.A period of atonement began in the colony following the release of the surviving accused witches. Samuel Sewall, one of the judges, issued a public confession of guilt and an apology. Several jurors came forward to say that they were "sadly deluded and mistaken" in their judgments. Reverend Samuel Parris conceded errors of judgment, but mostly shifted blame to others. Parris was replaced as minister of Salem village by Thomas Green, who devoted his career to putting his torn congregation back together. Governor Phips blamed the entire affair on William Stoughton. Stoughton, clearly more to blame than anyone for the tragic episode, refused to apologize or explain himself. He criticized Phips for interfering just when he was about to "clear the land" of witches. Stoughton became the next governor of Massachusetts.

The witches disappeared, but witchhunting in America did not. Each generation must learn the lessons of history or risk repeating its mistakes.  Salem should warn us to think hard about how to best safeguard and improve our system of justice.

The last five Salem Witches were pardoned by the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts on October 31, 2001 at the request of their descendants.

Comment:

Indeed the Witch Hunts have not ended.  Today, the new victims are Whites who publicly take pride in their own race.  They are branded as hateful, and treated as such.  This has the effect of silencing moderate racialists into being "good little boys and girls" - at least publicly.

When we are allowed to show the same racial pride as all other groups, maybe then the Witch Hunts will finally be over.

Dan 88!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Illegal Aliens Take Radical Approach in Bid for Amnesty

In a marked change of strategy, illegal aliens and their supporters have decided to shun peaceful tactics in their struggle to gain amnesty for illegal aliens.  Instead, they intend to take more radical actions to force their own arrest.
A popular tactic of recent days and weeks has been to block buses filled with illegal aliens destined for deportation.  Last Friday, protestors blocked buses from leaving a dentetion center in Tucson.  The same tactic was used yesterday in San Francisco.
The amnesty activists, backed in many instances by the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, are also interfering with law enforcement officers' lawful attempts to arrest individuals.  Last week in Tucson, around 100 pro-amnesty activists surrounded two border patrol agents when they tried to arrest suspected illegal aliens after a traffic stop conducted by the Tucson Police Department.  Pepper spray had to be used to disperse the crowd.  A Tucson courthouse dealing mostly with illegal aliens was also shut down for the day after protestors barricaded it.
This decision to raise the stakes and abandon peaceful protests has been made due to a sense of betrayal by President Obama and his failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  Marisa Franco, an organizer for the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, said about the change in tactics:
It's absolutely out of frustration and impatience. Immigrant communities who are losing 1,100 loved ones every day to deportation cannot wait for Congress to end its political games or for the President to rediscover his moral compass. The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow.... The promise the President made in 2008 is now so empty that people have forgotten he even made it. Unless he actually uses his authority to provide real relief, he'll only be remembered as the Deporter-in-Chief.
Comment: 

Let me get this straight.  These so-called law-abiding people hope to get citizenship by breaking the law?  I mean breaking the law in addition to crossing the border illegally and working illegally.  That makes a lot of sense.  

But then again if these people had anywhere near the intelligence we do, they would not need to come here at all.  Mexico is a poor country, but it need not be.  Mexico has a lot of oil.  If that oil were exploited properly and the government were not so inept and corrupt they would have plenty of money to take care of their people.

Folks, this latest development demomstrates the growing need for increased border security and deportation of those already here.  I mean, the bloody gall of them!  They come to our country illegally, then as soon as they set foot here they start demanding their "rights".  Just who in the hell do they think they are?

Reminder:  ANP Talkshoe today, Saturday, October 26 at 5:00 PM Pacfic Time.

Dan 88!