Newt Gingrich, a serial adulterer and disciple of New Age futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler, makes a singularly unlikely Crusader. Yet apparently at some point in the past year or so Gingrich looked in a mirror and saw Don John of Austria looking back at him.
An epiphany of that kind would explain Gingrich’s perverse determination to depict the contrived controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque” as a contemporary Battle of Lepanto. A more reasonable explanation would be that Gingrich, one of the most penetrably insincere figures in American politics, is trying to distill irrational populist resentment into a propellant for a presidential campaign.
Four women and eleven men have been convicted of “mingling” at a party, in Saudi Arabia. Sentence? According to the AP, “flogging and prison terms.”
The men, who are between 30 and 40 years old, and three of the women, who are under the age of 30, were sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and one or two year prison terms each.
The fourth woman, a minor, was sentenced to 80 lashes and was not sent to prison.
We don’t really need to ask why this was done. We all know. The Sauds follow the Old Time Religion, and it’s pretty darn strict. (The AP explains it as follows: “Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam that prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling.”) It is also amazingly illiberal, in almost all of the senses of the word.