Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 20th, 2014


Five scary Christopher Columbus quotes that let you celebrate the holiday the right way

Katie Halper

 posted this 13 Oct 2014

You’ve probably heard lots of great things about Christopher Columbus and tons of inspiring quotes from him about hard work, god, the sea etc.

But those don’t really capture what Columbus and the colonial expansion of which he was part were all about.

So, without further ado, allow me to present these quotes that you may not have heard, from or about Christopher Columbus. 

YOUR HIGHNESSES, as Catholic Christians and Princes who love the holy Christian faith, and the propagation of it, and who are enemies to the sect of Mahoma [Islam] and to all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Cristóbal Colon, to the said parts of India to see the said princes …

with a view that they might be converted to our holy faith ….

Thus, after having turned out all the Jews from all your kingdoms and lordships

your Highnesses gave orders to me that with a sufficient fleet I should go to the said parts of India ….

I shall forget sleep, and shall work at the business of navigation, so that the service is performed.

I was right about how easy that whole subjugation thing would be!

In another letter to King Ferdinand, Columbus wrote 

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.

And so it was that they soon understood us, and we them, either by speech or by signs, and they have been very serviceable.

These Natives are so nice, we’d be crazy not to enslave them! 

This excerpt from Columbus’ diary describes the Arawak people who greeted him and his men:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… .

They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features….

They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… .

They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

 Rape! Columbus was such a mensch, he would let his men do whatever they wanted with the natives they captured. One of his men and a childhood friend of Columbus, Michele da Cuneo, describes in a letter how he raped a native woman:

While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire.

She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears.

Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores.

 But the anecdote captured above was not some isolated incident of cruelty.

Ironically, but in no way surprisingly, the Spanish who came to save the “heathens” from their idolatry, weren’t very Christ-like in their behavior.

In his book The Devastation of the IndiesBartolome de las Casas, the priest who accompanied Columbus on his conquest of Cuba, detailed the abuse and murder of the native population:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy…

And the Christians, with their horses and swords and pikes began to carry out massacres and strange cruelties against them. They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house.

They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike.

They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them head first against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, “Boil there, you offspring of the devil!

Other infants they put to the sword along with their mothers and anyone else who happened to be nearby. They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim’s feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots of thirteen, in memory of Our Redeemer and His twelve Apostles, then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive. To others they attached straw or wrapped their whole bodies in straw and set them afire.

With still others, all those they wanted to capture alive, they cut off their hands and hung them round the victim’s neck, saying, “Go now, carry the message,” meaning, Take the news to the Indians who have fled to the mountains.

They usually dealt with the chieftains and nobles in the following way: they made a grid of rods which they placed on forked sticks, then lashed the victims to the grid and lighted a smoldering fire underneath, so that little by little, as those captives screamed in despair and torment, their souls would leave them….





Israeli forces kill 13-year-old Palestinian

If not killed and murdered by live bullet, car over run, bulldozed… Palestinian youth are rounded up and put in administrative detention prisons.

Relatives of 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmed al-Beitawi mourn during his funeral procession in Ramallah, West Bank on October 17, 2014. (Photo: Anadolu Agency – Issam Rimawi)

Published Friday, October 17, 2014

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces in the village of Beit Laqiya northwest of Ramallah on Thursday evening.

Medical sources said Bahaa Samir Badir, 13, was shot in the chest after Israeli forces raided the village.

Badir was reportedly shot in the chest from close range, and suffered from severe bleeding shortly before dying at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Clashes broke out in the village of Beit Laqiya after news of Badir’s death spread.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that Israeli forces “encountered an illegal riot in Beit Laqiya,” and “while they were exiting the village, rioters hurled Molotov cocktails at the forces.”

“They responded to the threat with live fire,” she said, claiming that the 13-year-old child posed a serious threat to the armed Israeli soldiers.

“Reports of a dead Palestinian are being reviewed. There will be military police investigation,” she added.

She also said that the Molotov cocktails had posed a “direct threat” to the lives of the armed soldiers.

The death of Bahaa brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank so far this year to 42, in addition to the nearly 2,200 Palestinians slain during Israel’s summer offensive across Gaza.

More than 4,300 Palestinians have also been injured by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank since the beginning of 2014, as well as more than 11,000 during the nearly two-month assault on Gaza.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

Meet 5 year old Inas Khalil

Inas Khalil, 5 years old, died today in Ramallah after being run over by an Israeli settler’s car.

Naomi Wolf reported:

The second child who was hit along with Einas Khalil, RIP, Nilin Asfour, is in intensive care.

Many good suggestions below for excellent charities and aid organizations operating in Palestine to whom to donate money. Some understandable critiques below of why send flowers in a war zone.

Instead of food, money, medical supplies….the answer is long and delicate and I will explain more fully when I am less tired.

But it has to do with an instinct about depersonalization versus personalization.

All civilians everywhere who are killed are killed after depersonalization. So peace starts with each of us in our hearts really knowing Einas’ family are our close neighbors and their loss is our loss.

It may be pointless in the great sweep of violence to make loving respectful personal gestures heart to heart but I don’t think so. The settlers dancing are making personal gestures of hate and they don’t take long but have huge impact.

I think this is true of personal gestures of love as well. My own awakening about Palestinians and Muslins generally being part of my family came through acts of personal kindness on their part.

So of course I think that if there were waves and waves of caring responsible gestures and actions to counter waves of hate it would be powerful. That is what I hope this community can be…a cloud of love that can be sent around the world…person to person.

Also of course it can be transformational for the oppressor to do one small thing….it is about transforming the oppressor not just helping the oppressed. That is why flowers to the family could well be wrong but our making a personal gesture that says we care honor love and remember is right.

Plus it shows the US and Israel that we are watching and caring and not colluding in dehumanization of our collective children.Which dissidents do say helps to keep them safer.

You may know. Still, are there enough sufficiant conditions to demonstrate your knowledge?

You might know the topic before the interview. You might know the topic after the interview.

During the interview you failed to demonstrate your knowledge. Do you know or don’t you?

Apparently, knowledge is Not a mere mental process: It is intrinsically related to your emotional system.

There are periods of memory lapses. And it does not matter how often you repeat “I do know”, but the external observer has no tangible evidence to your claim.

You may know, but if you are unable to communicate this knowledge then your audience will believe you are another idiot.

That is why people feel comfortable within their circles of competent companions or same professional colleagues.

It is the hardest job of all to explain your knowledge using various perspectives and angles to convince your various audience.

In fact, if the institutions designed to properly disseminate knowledge are not doing their jobs, then your audience will have no idea what you are talking about.

There got to exist a base level of compatibility between your knowledge and the methods you use to explain your knowledge.

For example, it is necessary that you strongly believe in your knowledge of the topic.

And it is necessary that you are capable of providing reasonable justifications that you know about your topic.

The problem is that neither belief nor justification are sufficient to prove your knowledge.

The community has to “think clear” too in order to comprehend your knowledge.

If it was so, it might be. And if it were so, it would be. But as it , it ain’t. That is logic” (Lewis Carroll)

If an experiment says that there is significant probability that cause A has effects on B, it would be wise to consider the counter-effect scenario: If Not A, then No B. Otherwise, what the experiment discovered as the cause may not be the real cause but correlated to other more important causes.

We fall prey to False Causality bias, or this false prophet tendencies

For example, if you have high fever, this fever is not the consequence that your head is filled with lice: actually, lice vacate your hair as soon as it senses that your head is hot and feverish. “Hot heads” are not the favorite dwelling place for lice.

Removing the lice from your hair does not guarantee that your fever will come down.

Large fires leave big damages. It is not because too many firefighters were present at the scene that the damage increased. Well, it depends:

If 8 fighters are engaged doing the same task, each one will be investing 50% OF HIS ENERGY or potential talent in putting down a fire.

Members of teams of firefighters must have different specialties so that each one will be cognizant that if anything wrong happens, then the investigators will know who was at fault and failed to perform according to his specialized task.

Each member must be aware that accountability can be pinpointed and no cover ups can convince the investigators.

Another example. Students with good grades tend to have a library at home.

Obviously, if the books are covered with dust, no reading is taking place. Because you parents are professionals and read books that does not mean that you are a passionate reader.




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