Archive for the Political Category

What to do?

Posted in Political, Techniques on December 20, 2010 by P. Dunn

On Tuesday, the solstice, there will be a lunar eclipse. This is a pretty rare occasion. Some magical traditions, I understand, frown on doing magic during eclipses. Others smile on it. In my own experience, doing magic during an eclipse can burn through blockages that prevent previous works from . . . well . . . working.

So the question is, what do to Tuesday? My life is fairly awesome (knock wood), so there’s nothing I urgently need. But of course the same isn’t true of the rest of the country. Normally, I avoid large scale heroic acts of magic, but there’s historical precedent. Dee called up a storm to defeat the Spanish Armada, after all, and more than one coven worked to keep Hitler out of England. I might try my hand at a bit of patriotic magic.

The obvious elephant in the room is the economy, but how do you form a magical link for the economy? Well, as above so below. It’d be the same as an individual prosperity spell, but writ large. There’s several things to be careful of. I don’t want a war, if such a thing will bring prosperity. I don’t want the curtailment of our freedoms if such a thing will lead to prosperity. And I don’t want widespread suffering for the benefit of a few prosperous people.

How’s this for a statement of intent? “I will that America and its people immediately develop greater freedom and prosperity.” Anyone see a monkey’s paw in that one? Obviously, I’ll divine about it, and I trust the universe not to screw me over too hard, but I like to be thorough.

Anyone care to join me in this particular goal? I’m not sure I can move this boulder myself (although my plan is to call in some heavy celestial hitters. As Robert of the Doing Magick blog might put it, I don’t intend to use my own “energy” for this. Of course, I don’t intend to use any “energy” at all, finding that metaphor full of more pitfalls than benefits. But choice of metaphor aside, I like the insight).

Congratulations

Posted in Political on November 4, 2008 by P. Dunn

I’m proud of you, America.

The Internet

Posted in Political, Writing on July 24, 2007 by P. Dunn

I like the Internet a lot.  I use it for a lot of very, very useful stuff.  I also waste time on it, and sometimes, it depresses me.  Sometimes, indeed, it’s not what we had hoped it would be.

Little Late on This — Hindu Cleric Heckled

Posted in Political, Weird on July 23, 2007 by P. Dunn

A Hindu cleric was asked to give the introductory prayer to congress.  This is what happened.

The Kids are All Right

Posted in heroes, Political on June 30, 2007 by P. Dunn

This is what I’m talkin’ about. Sixteen year old Jesse Lange politely and articulately explains his opinion to Bill O’Reilly, who calls him a “pinhead.”

Jesse, you’re my newest hero.

Copyright Explained

Posted in Political, Writing on May 19, 2007 by P. Dunn

Here’s a video explaining copyright law using clips from Disney.  It strikes me as quite appropriate — and really kind of useful.

BBC NEWS | Technology | DRM group vows to fight bloggers

Posted in Political, Writing on May 4, 2007 by P. Dunn

BBC NEWS | Technology | DRM group vows to fight bloggers

Via Boingboing. How odd.

Symbols

Posted in Political, Weird, Writing on May 4, 2007 by P. Dunn

Some symbols are so powerful that, even though they convey no meaning in the linguistic sense, it is illegal to say them. For example, it is illegal to say 09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0, to post it on a blog, to publish it in a public place.

I find the entire issue of copyright complex.  Certainly, it can be reduced to simplicity: copying and transfering copyrighted information — such as my book, say — is a crime.  But just as the printing press changed the entire concept of intellectual property, making it possible to “own” words and ideas, so does the internet change the way we must approach copyright.  Yet no one making laws about the internet has the slightest notion how it works or, in some cases, what it is (“Someone sent me an internet Monday and I didn’t get it until Wednesday!”).

I am in favor of protecting copyright of movies, music, books, and all other forms of intellectual property.  A number, however, is not intellectual property.  Making it intellectual property has some rather odd implications for accountants.

Moreover, preventing people who pay for a movie from making a copy for their own use goes beyond copyright.  The concept of intellectual property has never denied a customer from making a copy for his or her own use.  Making a profit or interfering with sales of a piece of intellectual property that belongs to another — yes, that’s forbidden.  So if I rip a copy of a movie for my own back-up, that is legal.  If I rip a copy of a movie and share it on the internet — of course that’s illegal.  But companies have no right to prevent the former if they wish to avoid the latter.  Or, more accurately, they have the right, and I have the right not to buy such things.

It is hard, even for a staunch supporter of intellectual property rights like me, not to recognize that copyright in this country — and worldwide — is in a shambles, not least of all because of the internet, but also because of corporations like Disney who exploit copyright for purposes other than its intended function.  Copyright exists to encourage artists to create; it expires to encourage artists to create new things as old ones become public domain.  The creators of a piece of art have the right to own it; however, the public has a right to own intellectual property in the public domain.

Finally, copyright protection doesn’t exist so jackasses in suits and ties can sue old ladies, children, and college professors for posting a goddamned number on their blogs.

09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0

My Way News – Voodoo Practitioner Tries to Jinx Bush

Posted in Political, Speculation, Weird on November 18, 2006 by P. Dunn

My Way News – Voodoo Practitioner Tries to Jinx Bush

BOGOR, Indonesia (AP) – A renowned black magic practitioner performed a voodoo ritual Thursday to jinx President George W. Bush and his entourage while he was on a brief visit to Indonesia.

What strikes me as odd is that it’s refered to as “voodoo.” I thought maybe this was just a clumsy way to translate the Indonesian idea of “ilmu hitam” (literally “black knowledge”) but a friend of mine more knowledgeable in Indonesia than I says that it’s quite possible he really is practicing voodoo. Neat.

Slashdot | Bush Signs Bill Enabling Martial Law

Posted in Political on October 29, 2006 by P. Dunn

Slashdot | Bush Signs Bill Enabling Martial Law

Some among my small group of readers may find this interesting. Or alarming. I certainly hope that you all vote next week.

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