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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Irish, With A Twist of Irony

Ah, me. Seems the Mother Church is having a bit of a fit over the celebrations in honor of their venerable 'saint' Patrick. Apparently, they object to the drinkin' and the dancin' and the partyin' during their annual Holier-Than-Thou week. Seems the revelry smells a bit too much like those heathen - dare I say it? - PAGANS.

Pagans, snakes, it's all the same. A bit of historic news flash for ya: the snake is a Celtic symbol of eternal life through reincarnation, and as such is an icon of wisdom. Well, I cannot really say Celtic, 'cause some other cultures use this much-maligned animal to mean much the same. Hm - wonder if that lends any credence to the thought? Apparently, the Catholic Church thinks so - so much that they say that Patrick cleared Ireland of the snakes. People, please. Do you really think this means legless lizards here?

At any rate, I find it a tad funny that they are having a dilemma here. Particularly since their so-called holy week is named such because it contains Easter. Easter...easter eggs? Pagan. Easter bunny? Pagan - duh. Easter = OSTARA. Pagan holiday of FERTILITY and NEW GROWTH. Also known as the vernal (Spring) equinox. See, it makes it easier to convince people to abandon their religion and culture in favor of yours if you only change the names. Those that don't become team players are burnt at the stake or hanged. Would you need much more in the way of motivation?

by the way, the best part of all this business about st. patrick's day is that the Church wants to move celebrations to the 15th. Anyone recall a well-adjusted gentleman by the name of Julius Caesar? No? Google the Ides of March...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Massive Letdown for 5th Potter Installment

I console myself with the idea that in days, all the loose ends will be tied (well, most anyway) by Ms. Rowling's skilled hand. David Yates' Order of the Phoenix was not up to snuff, in my humble opinion.

This was the first time I noticed glaring inconsistencies between the book and the film. I understand the manic urge to shorten a novel of nearly 900 pages, but get real - certain crucial elements of the story were missing, and those that were included happened differently. Omitted items include:
  • Aunt Petunia's howler from Dumbledore
  • Marietta, and her 'relationship' with the DA
  • Harry's unwrapping of Sirius' two-way mirror
  • Harry's conversation with Nearly Headless Nick
  • Kreacher lying to Harry, causing him to rush to the Ministry
  • Ron & Hermione being named prefects
  • 'Weasley is Our King'
  • Harry's reaction to seeing James in the pensieve
  • the locket in Grimmauld Place
  • McGonagall's injury attempting to shield Hagrid from Umbridge
  • the scene at St. Mungo's
Differing details:

  • It was Marietta, not veritaserum-induced Cho, who ratted out the DA - so we missed a humorous scene involving the word 'SNEAK'
  • the Dursleys left Privet Drive to (presumably) take Dudley to hospital in the film, not receive a garden award (staged by the OOP)
  • the trio met Luna on the carriage ride in the film, not on the Hogwarts Express
  • Umbridge had the whole class write her horrible lines in the film (not mentioned in the book)
  • scene depicting Mr. Weasley being attacked was unclear in the film
  • Harry only received one owl post at the Dursleys in the film; the second was missing
I truly hope the director takes into consideration for the next film the comments by many of the fans, and does a much better job incorporating the details in the 6th film, scheduled to begin rolling in September. Quite disappointed. After all, many classic films based on long novels have been equally lengthy - and successful - Gone With The Wind, anyone?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell not Well

I don't feel sorry for him one bit. Hateful, anti-Pagan thing to say, I know. But in this mortal coil I find it very hard to overlook things like this:

1998: Confronted on national television with a controversial quote from America Can Be Saved!, a published collection of his sermons, Falwell denies having written the book or had anything to do with it. In the 1979 work, Falwell wrote, “I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” Despite Falwell’s denial, Sword of the Lord Publishing, which produced the book, confirms that Falwell wrote it.

Click on the article title above to see more charming lies and other subversions from this supposed 'man of God'

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stewards of the Earth, Listen Up!

Free Trees - Pledge to Plant!

http://www.doubletr eespledgetoplant .com/index. php

Doubletree Hotels are planting the seeds of knowledge with a new
generation of kids at grade schools and youth organizations in 150
cities across the U.S. and Canada as part of its award winning
Teaching Kids to CARE community outreach program. Thousands of
students from late April through early May will learn about why
are one of the earth's most precious resources and will receive
10,000 seedling trees to re-green their neighborhoods.

How can YOU be part of the celebration? It's as easy as planting two
trees of your own, compliments of Doubletree and The National Arbor
Day Foundation. To commemorate one of the oldest environmental
holidays, Doubletree is challenging people across North America to
part of what could become a 50,000 tree planting pledge across
America in just one month!

No purchase is necessary.

Simply fill out the Pledge to Plant Promise Form by May 31, 2007. As
a result, you will receive two live seedling trees, with our
compliments, suitable to plant in your own community.

For every "double-tree" Pledge to Plant Promise, Doubletree will
match your pledge by planting an additional two live seedling trees
in a U.S. forest in need, through reforestation projects currently
underway by The National Arbor Day Foundation.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Which Witch Update

Well, the move to "new" blogger was inevitable and now it seems that switching will be mandatory. I took the liberty of doing the update today, and reworking the old template to work with the new format. Some things were lost in the switch but they can be replaced. Fear not, Sirona, as there are many features in the new template that will make life MUCH easier for code avoiders. When you go into the cutomize menu, you will be able to add things to the sidebars (like new links, pictures, etc.) without having to mess with code at all! There are also a few new things like the "labels" feature. Play around and let me know what you want tweaked. Just for fun I added the spider (below). She can be mesmerizing! -L

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bittersweet Progress

With the begrudging acceptance of the VA, our veterans are beginning to receive the posthumous respect and honor awarded to their paths in accordance with their final wishes.

May the Ancient Ones walk with this one in the Summerland, and may his spirit know the peace of the afterlife as he awaits rebirth.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Peace and Justice at LAST

U.S. Says 'Yes' to Wiccan Grave Symbols

Associated Press
Print Page

Madison, Wisconsin - The Wiccan pentacle has been added to the list of emblems allowed in United States cemeteries and on government-issued headstones of fallen U.S. soldiers, according to a settlement announced Monday.

A settlement between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Wiccans adds the five-pointed star to the list of "emblems of belief" allowed on VA grave markers. Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons, but variations of the pentacle have been used in horror movies as a sign of the devil - a usage not accepted by Wiccans.

"This settlement has forced the Bush Administration into acknowledging that there are no second-class religions in America, including among our nation's veterans," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the Wiccans in the lawsuit.

Eleven families nationwide are waiting for grave markers with the pentacle, said Selena Fox, a Wiccan high priestess with Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin and a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The settlement calls for the pentacle, whose five points represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit, to be placed on grave markers within 14 days for those who have pending requests with the VA.

"I am glad this has ended in success in time to get markers for Memorial Day," Fox said. Memorial Day is celebrated in May.

The VA sought the settlement in the interest of the families involved and to save taxpayers the expense of further litigation, VA spokesman Matt Burns said. The agency also agreed to pay $225,000 (euro165,965) in attorneys' fees and costs.

The pentacle has been added to 38 symbols the VA already permits on gravestones. They include commonly recognized symbols for Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, as well as those for smaller religions such as Sufism Reoriented, Eckiankar and the Japanese faith Seicho-No-Ie.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the agreement also settles a similar lawsuit it filed last year against the VA. In that case, the ACLU represented two other Wiccan churches and three individuals.

VA-issued headstones, markers and plaques can be used in any cemetery, whether it is a national one such as Arlington near Washington or a private burial ground.