Christine O'Donnell's imaginary witchcraft

Slactivist:

The oddest thing to me about Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s “I Was A Teenage Witch” claims is that so much of the reaction has accepted her claim that such a thing might be possible.

It is not. Her claims of “dabbling” in what she called “witchcraft” are not true. The supposed witchcraft she describes is not something that exists. Such stories of bloody altars and Satanic covens are common and they are false. All of them. That is a matter of established fact.

The supposed witchery O’Donnell describes is simply the stuff of Satanic panic urban legends. Her descriptions come straight out of the fabrications of proven liar and con-man Mike Warnke. He made this stuff up. Her claims are about as credible as if she had said that she once conjured Bloody Mary by repeating her name three times in the bathroom mirror.

“I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things,” she said. This is not true. The wholly imaginary form of Satan-worshipping “witchcraft” in which O’Donnell claimed to have dabbled has never actually existed. You can’t dabble in things that don’t exist.

That Christine O’Donnell would repeat such well-established lies as facts — embellishing them with additional patently false claims of first-hand experience — is not surprising. Her entire political career has taken place within the strand of the evangelical Christian anti-abortion movement that is driven and shaped by this very same late-20th Century variant of the medieval blood libel. These imaginary Satanic baby killers form the core of her identity — they are the Other against whom she has always defined herself. They are the enemy in contrast to whom O’Donnell and her supporters are able to feel good and righteous and special. That these enemies do not, in fact,exist — that they have never, in fact, existed — only highlights the desperate insecurity of O’Donnell and her witch-hunting comrades.

There’s a lot more and it’s really interesting. Highly recommended.

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake bring you the history of rap

From last night’s show, I think. Imagine if you were sitting in the audience on the stage-right side, thinking, “Dang, if only I’d sat on the other side, I’d be dancing with Justin instead of Jimmy Fallon.”

Posted because a. it’s pretty cool, b. I’m tired and c. it’s raining outside. Not necessarily in that particular order, either.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you’re one of the four-or-so frequent readers of this here blog, chances are you also occasionally check out the New York Times op-ed page. You may even know the names: Thomas “Friedman’s Just Another Word For Nothing Left to Lose” Friedman, Gail “The Colander” Collins, Nicholas “The Dark Crystal” Kristof, &c. This is a daily feature dedicated to these folks: one line that is either awesome, funny, insightful, intelligent, ridiculous, or utterly divorced from reality.

Today’s is from Gail “The Colander” Collins, who in her column “Waiting for Somebody,” writes:

I’m still haunted by a debate I stumbled across in the Texas Legislature a decade ago in which conservatives repelled any attempt to impose accountability standards on the state’s charter schools, even after only 37 percent of the charter students passed state academic achievement tests, compared with 80 percent of the public schoolchildren. There’s something about an unfettered school that lifts the hearts of the Born Free crowd.

Poem of the Week: The Rain

The Rain

by Robert Creeley


All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.
What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it
that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me
something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.
Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out
of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you’re one of the four-or-so frequent readers of this here blog, chances are you also occasionally check out the New York Times op-ed page. You may even know the names: Thomas “Friedman’s Just Another Word For Nothing Left to Lose” Friedman, Gail “The Colander” Collins, Nicholas “The Dark Crystal” Kristof, &c. This is a daily feature dedicated to these folks: one line that is either awesome, funny, insightful, intelligent, ridiculous, or utterly divorced from reality.

Today’s is from Thomas “Tommy Boy” Friedman, who in his column “The Tea Kettle Movement,” writes:

How can you take a movement seriously that says it wants to cut government spending by billions of dollars but won’t identify the specific defense programs, Social Security, Medicare or other services it’s ready to cut — let alone explain how this will make us more competitive and grow the economy?

Morning Constitutional – Wednesday, 30 September 2010

Good morning, folks. Lindsay’s back in rehab. Now, your morning constitutional:

Brussels and other cities across Europe today are hit by protests against austerity measures their governments have adopted in the wake of the great recession.

Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a bill that would have ended tax deductions for costs incurred when businesses move workers overseas, imposed a new tax on products that are made by foreign workers that were once made in the U.S., and offered a two-year tax holiday on jobs moved back to the U.S. from abroad.

A resolution to fund the government’s operations through December 3 is making slow progress through the Senate. However, while Republicans are so far cooperating, with the new fiscal year beginning on October 1, no funding resolution has yet been approved, and none of the 12 spending bills are even close to passage. Additionally, Sen. Mary Landrieu has a hold in place on the administration’s nominee for budget director Jacob Lew.

While the Senate doesn’t plan on voting on extensions to the Bush tax cuts until after the election, the House is considering a vote on extending them for families making under $250,000 beforehand, possibly by suspending the rules, which would require a 2/3 vote to pass.

At an event focused on the economy yesterday, President Obama was asked why he’s a Christian and abortion.

Absorbing lessons learned from this year’s massive oil spill, BP is creating a global safety division.

The Baltimore school district has struck a major deal with its teachers union to end the practice of linking teacher pay to years on employment and replace it with a system of rewarding skills and performance, bringing the city to the forefront of the education reform movement.

A superior court judge in Ontario has struck down several prostitution laws on the basis that they endanger prostitutes.

Wrestling legend Mick Foley on how Tori Amos changed his life.

Finally, a man and his…crocodile.