Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Better late than never

Although 300 years may be a little much. Even for a witch.

On Monday, the governor of Virginia finally overturned the only witch conviction his state had ever seen. The conviction came after a "water trial", where the suspect in question was believed to be a witch if they were able to float. Given that Grace Sherwood, the woman in question, floated, she was declared as being guilty of witchcraft, although there is evidence that, while she may have been jailed, she also quite possibly lived to die of natural causes.

This news coming out of Virginia yesterday is actually quite interesting, in a number of different lights. First of all, it points out the sheer ridiculousness of the trial itself, as a woman who was "dunked" could be found guilty of witchcraft by simply not drowning. Secondly, it shows a willingness by a politician to alter bad decisions of the past, which could lead to some hope for the country with future elections. Third, it demonstrates the sheer ridiculousness of many of the decrees of current government. After all, while it's a good thing to correct mistaken verdicts, is there ever a need to overturn a ruling of 300 years ago that caused prison time, but not, by many accounts, an overall loss of quality of life?

Of course, there are other examples of government changing things recently that don't necessarily hold such good will. For example, there's Tony Snow's declaration that the Bush Administration is not continuing the policies of the Clinton Administration with regards to North Korea. This should come as a "Duh" to anyone playing at home, especially when one focuses on the fact that during the Clinton presidency, North Korea had no measurable nuclear potential.

But the Snowjob doesn't finish there, as his recent declaration over the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo exhibits. He's stating that the change in the way prisoners will be treated and tried isn't a reversal of position by the administration. Which, I suppose, is technically true, given GDub would probably push his ideas further towards the military tribunals had the Supreme Court not shot him down.

Come to think of it, exonerating a witch after 300 years probably isn't such a bad move after all.

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