We’re Still Burning Women At The Stake?

In the year 2013 it’s hard to imagine that people are burned at the stake for being a witch—but that happened. Kepari Leniata, a twenty-year-old mother living in Papua New Guinea, was accused of sorcery by relatives of a six-year-old boy who died on February 5th. After the accusation an angry mob found Leniata and brought her to the town square.
Bystanders, many of whom were children, watched as she was tied to a stake and burned alive. Some took photographs; some just stood and watched– no one did anything. They watched as she was bound, tortured with a hot iron rod, covered in gasoline, then set on fire while lying on a pile of car tires in the provincial capital of Mount Hagen.
The police have not arrested anyone despite having hundreds of witnesses. The chief of police did say that there are more than fifty people suspected to have “laid a hand on the victim” but her husband is the chief suspect. He fled the province and is suspected to have a relationship to the dead boy’s family.
There are no details as to what “sorcery” or “witchcraft” Leniata had allegedly practiced. There are no details on the six-year-old boy’s death; it is unknown where Leniata’s children are. All that we do know is she was a woman, she was accused, and she was burned. No one helped her, no one protected her, and as of this post no one has given her any kind of justice.



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Anonymous In 2013: Expect Them

Anonymous is not an organization. It is a hacktivist movement. Anonymous is an idea—or, more accurately, a group of ideas—and anyone on the internet can be a part of the movement and a part of that idea. In some ways, most people who use the internet are a part of that idea. And there’s more to it than Guy Fawkes masks (which, by the way, are a reference to V For Vendetta and not directly to Guy Fawkes, who was actually a lunatic).

Different spokespeople within Anonymous talk about different things. There’s no hierarchy or chain of command or leaders—just people and ideas and group efforts. I do not agree with all of those ideas. Sometimes, there are statements against capitalism, arguments against the existence of government, or statements against the use of predator drones overseas or the domestic use of surveillance drones (I’m fine with surveillance drones so long as they are used within certain ethical parameters—just like wiretaps). I love capitalism. I think that anyone willing to submit to anarchy is merely romanticizing what would actually be a deplorable abandonment of all moral and social responsibility—particularly towards those who cannot protect themselves and their property. Some members of Anonymous are anti-police. I am so not anti-police. Sometimes police officers do terrible things, yes. Sometimes teachers or electricians do terrible things.

Every now and then, there’s even a crazy statement about secret societies and the Illuminati (the kind of nonsense that I just live for when it shows up in comments on Evil Beet Gossip. I mean, have you read those comments? People analyze music videos and Madonna’s half-time show and find little things and then make up the most outlandish theories about Illuminati ritual, which apparently encompasses anything and everything). Again, Anonymous has no one official mouthpiece. There are going to be a few crazies in any group—but it just stands out more when that group is a minority or otherwise cloaked in mystery.

But, you know what? Anonymous gives hell to “White Power” and Neo-Nazi groups. Anonymous reminds powerful government organizations (not just in the US and Europe, by the way) that they are not all-powerful when those governments and organizations do something bad. Anonymous members work to protect ecosystems. Anonymous did an awesome job as one of the many, many groups that worked tirelessly to make the Westboro Baptist Church hate-group’s attempts to protest at the Sandy Hook funerals into a miserable and unrewarding venture. Anonymous is a collection of global …

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What Makes You Happy?

photo of food is happiness pics
This post isn’t about ABC’s Once Upon A Time series, but a lot of that Disney-influenced fairytale show revolves around people pursuing their own happiness (which, in some cases, means destroying that of those who have wronged them). And that show, among other things, definitely has me wondering about different people’s definitions of happiness, and what sources they find for it.

Plus, you know, happiness is kind of integral to human existence.

And there are a lot of different types of happiness.

For example, there is a sort of happiness that comes from hate. I don’t mean the angry, raging sort of hatred. And I do not mean bigotry. I mean a calm and pure hatred for an evil person who has grievously wronged you to such a degree that you can only imagine what your life would be like if you had never encountered that person. A cold hatred of sufficient intensity is such a sweet and satisfying sensation that it is almost an ecstatic experience. One can only imagine (legally, anyway) how satisfying it would be to erase the object of one’s hatred from existence.

Some people come from a different line of thinking, and believe that true happiness comes from forgiveness—from letting go of that hatred. These are probably the sorts of people who don’t cope with the world by fantasizing about murder (like, is there any other way to read about Chris Brown or Michael Vick or Casey Anthony and stay sane?). Personally, I don’t know how they …

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Rape Victim Vindicated … But Does it Change Anything for Other Women?

Photo of Rapist Willis in Handcuffs

Rape is arguably the worst possible crime in existence.  While the physical damage generally heals, the emotional repercussions of a sexual assault are lifelong.  Perhaps the worst thing about surviving a rape is the intrinsic need to keep it secret.

It is very difficult to say the words, “I was raped.”  It is even harder, however, to must the courage to say the words and face a firestorm of people casting doubt.  Since sexual assault is often difficult if not impossible to prove (never mind define), there is a surprisingly high percentage of people (and some of them are regular Zelda Lily readers) that automatically assume a woman claiming rape is lying.

I was raped.  It happened in 1998, I was drunk, and it was unspeakable.  While the physical effects healed fairly quickly, I will never fully recover emotionally.  To this day, I am not able to …

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