Thursday, August 20, 2009
For those interested, you can visit my tv-related blog, "Boobin' the Tube," or follow me on Twitter for the latest ramblings of the Rabbit. (And, of course, you can always find me on Facebook.)
Hopefully things will calm down soon and I can get back to "just Micael..."
Love & Slack,
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Okay, enough of that. You get it. I get it. Bored with it. Point made.
But it is good motivation, I will say... Have to go to town today to talk to someone about a (paying) project that I am rather excited about. Am a bit nervous as I have to be a Real Person (well at least one that functions normally in the "real world") which is not something I am apt to do all that often these days. Hopefully all will go well.
School should be rockin' and rollin' soon too. Talked to the gal earlier this week and I was in the process of being processed so the September 9th start date should be a reality! Wow.
Also, my first assignment for PureSYTYCD has been submitted this morning. Just pending approval and it should be up. It's crap. Not at all up to par with my normal writings, but I was stressed and out of sorts and not near where I needed to be to write it but I think it still holds its own. The next one will be better. Of that I am certain.
But anyway, this is really just breadcrumbs so I can look back on the journey and see where I was when. It's been such a dark and strange few years that it's kinda nice to see the sun again.
I don't know how I allowed myself to get so far into the woods - but I am, at long last, finding my way out of the witch's oven - and onto the right path.
"Sometimes you meet yourself on the road before you have a chance to learn the appropriate greeting. Faced with your own possibilities, the hard part is knowing a speech is not required. All you have to say is yes."
Friday, August 7, 2009
"I want to believe this is fake. I really want to believe this is fake. Otherwise, I may have to give up my self-respect and that of other fellow Star Wars fans."Okay, there are so many things WRONG with this lovely letter. I've not seen Star Wars anything since the '70s, but if I recall correctly didn't Luke have to hack into the stomach of that poor thing and gut it - subsequently KILLING it - in order to crawl inside. WTF?
I remember why I am single. And plan to stay that way for a very long time...
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Nothing. Just a breath of not so fresh air.
I hate that.
The Matthew Shepard Act (officially, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act or LLEHCPA), is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would expand the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
The bill would also:
- remove the current prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally-protected activity, like voting or going to school;
- give federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue;
- provide $10 million in funding for 2008 and 2009 to help state and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes;
- require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track statistics on hate crimes against transgender people (statistics for the other groups are already tracked).
On March 20, 2007, the Matthew Shepard Act (H.R. 1592) was introduced as federal bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Congress, sponsored by Democrat John Conyers with 171 co-sponsors. Matthew's parents, Judy and Dennis, were present at the introduction ceremony. The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 3, 2007. Similar legislation passed in the Senate on September 27, 2007 (S. 1105), but then-President Bush indicated he might veto the legislation if it reached his desk. He did veto the bill in 2007.
On December 10, 2007, congressional powers attached bipartisan hate crimes legislation to a Department of Defense Authorization bill, though failed to get it passed. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, said she "is still committed to getting the Matthew Shepard Act passed." Pelosi planned to get the bill passed early in 2008 though did not succeed in that plan. Following his election as 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama stated that he is committed to passing the Act.
The U.S. House of Representatives debated expansion of hate crimes legislation on April 29, 2009. During the debate, Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the "hate crime" labeling of Matthew Shepard's murder a "hoax." Matthew Shepard's mother was said to be in the House gallery when the congresswoman made this comment. Foxx later called her comments "a poor choice of words".  The House passed the act, designated H.R. 1913, by a vote of 249 to 175. The bill was introduced in the Senate on April 28 by Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, and a bipartisan coalition; it had 43 cosponsors as of June 17, 2009, and is currently on the route to being voted upon. The Matthew Shepard Act was adopted as an amendment to S.1390 by a vote of 63-28 on July 15, 2009.[via Wikipedia]
Update on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act
July 24, 2009
The U.S. Senate late Thursday gave its final approval to federal legislation that provides grants and law-enforcement assistance to local governments to prevent hate crimes based on victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity, and allows federal prosecutions where local authorities cannot or will not secure convictions.
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act was attached earlier this week to the annual military funding bill, which then cleared the chamber on an 87-7 vote at 10:30 p.m. Thursday. The bill now goes to a House-Senate conference committee to work out differences between the two versions of the legislation.
The Matthew Shepard Act is one of those differences, included only in the Senate version of the bill. It would allow the federal government to prosecute anti-gay hate crimes when local authorities cannot or will not, in the same way the Justice Department already can intervene in racist hate crimes. It also authorizes grants to local jurisdictions to back up their own efforts against bias crimes.While conferees will have to decide if it remains in the final compromise version, expected to face a vote in September after the upcoming congressional recess, the House is on record strongly supporting the Act in a separate, stand-alone vote back in April.
Congressional leaders have also stated their commitment to make sure it remains in the Pentagon spending bill that the president could receive as early as September.
Conference committee members will also decide the fate of other amendments to the Act, including requirements for new Justice Department rules on the use of the hate-crime prosecution authority; the addition of military personnel, their families and their property to the bill’s protected classes; and most controversially, the authority of federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in some hate-crimes cases, a move opposed by many of the Matthew Shepard Act’s supporters.
Also, while the Senate removed $1.75 billion in additional F-22 fighter jet purchases which the Pentagon does not want and over which the president threatened a veto of the Defense bill, the House version still contains a smaller $389 million F-22 purchase, to which the White House still objects. That too will be a key negotiating point between the two sides.
[via Matthew Shepard Foundation]
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Heavens help us all.
"German brothels are offering customers the chance to sleep with as many prostitutes as they like for a single fee, in recession-busting deals criticised as immoral by politicians.
The "flat-rate sex" promotions, which are based on all-you-can-eat restaurants, have been introduced by brothel owners in a bid to revive trade that has fallen around 30 per cent in the economic downturn.
Other imaginative offers include rebates for pensioners and people on benefits, 10 per cent discounts for men who arrive by bicycle or public transport, and free shoe-polishing for customers who stay overnight.
But it is the flat-rate deals – which are priced as low as £60 (€70) – that have attracted particular controversy in a country where prostitution is legal and generally well-tolerated.
The promotion is popular which brothel owners who have to pay their sex workers a fixed daily wage whether or not they have any clients.
But conservative politicians have expressed disgust at the innovation and have ordered a wave of police raids on sex clubs in an effort to bring it to an end.
“This is an outrageous violation of human dignity,” Heribert Rech, the Baden-Württemberg interior minister, told The Times.
“So-called flat-rate sex is an immoral development which cannot be tolerated in our society.”
Because the promotion is not forbidden by law, officers have focused their raids on immigration and hygiene offences at brothels where is has been introduced."
Sunday, August 2, 2009
via The Wild Hunt
Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas) is the first of three harvest festivals celebrated in many modern Pagan traditions. Lughnasadh originated as one of the four main Celtic fire festivals and was dedicated to the Celtic god Lugh/Lugus the many-skilled (or, in the case of Ireland, Lugh’s foster-mother Tailtiu). It is a time of thanksgiving, first-harvests, and the end of summer.
Lammas food altar (Photo: BBC)
Here are some quotes for the holiday.
“Lammas, or Lughnasad, has always been one of my favorite Sabbats. It is celebrated from July 31 to August 2, generally, and we are fortunate this year that all the dates are on the weekend. Lammas is the first and biggest of the harvest Sabbats, for it is at this time that in the temperate places in the northern hemisphere the earth’s bounty most fully opens. … Lammas celebrates the abundance that can come from our hard work and creativity. But to receive requires reciprocity if the gift is to be truly honored. We can give to the giver, or keep the circle flowing outwards by giving to another. Lammas is in this respect an echo of the old gift economy that once sustained so many of the world’s people and has to some extent been reinvigorated with the rise of the net.” - Gus diZerega, Beliefnet
“Celebrate a Happy Lammas with the family, and friends, then begin the work to stock the shelves for the long winter ahead. Make a toast to the passing of Summer. Lammas Harvest Feasts include: tomatoes, peaches, corn (popcorn), potatoes, cabbage (sauerkraut or cole slaw), onions, grains (breads and fest breads), berries (especially blackberry pies are traditionally eaten in honor of the Harvest), cider, cornbread sticks, and barley soup. Bake any of these breads on Lammas: wheat; corn; gingerbread; or just make popcorn! Feed a piece of the baked bread to someone, saying, ‘May you never go hungry.’” - Terry Smith, The Town Talk
“This is the season of Lughnasadh in my spiritual tradition. We also celebrate it as the Cross-quarter day that marks the beginning of Autumn on the modern Celtic calendar. Modern, of course, because the tribal Celts divided the year into only two seasons–Bealtinne and Samhain. It’s the time when we gather in the First Harvest–the harvest of grain–and we share the bounty of squash and tomatoes with our friends, neighbors and co-workers. In fact, we know that all car doors must be locked starting the first of August, lest you return to find a box of baseball-bat-sized zucchini waiting for you.” – Byron Ballard, Asheville Citizen Times
“On the Pagan calendar, the summer began with Beltane on May 1, hit the midpoint at Pagan Midsummer (Litha Sabbat) on June 21, and ends August 1 with Lammas (Lughnasadh) Sabbat: the beginning of the harvest season. County fairs are traditionally held around this time in the UK to celebrate the early harvest, and county fairs are often held in the United States before children go back to school, too. The fertility and growth seasons have passed, and the earliest signs of autumn can be seen.” – Dr. Deb Brown, Examiner.com
“The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 and call it Lughnasad after the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice. The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life. If all this sounds vaguely Christian, it is. In the sacrament of Communion, bread is blessed, becomes the body of God and is eaten to nourish the faithful. This Christian Mystery echoes the pagan Mystery of the Grain God.” – Waverly Fitzgerald, School of the Seasons
May you have a fruitful holiday!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
The name Elias has links and is likely to also be derived from the pagan Greek name Helios/Elios, spelt Ήλιος in Greek, and which literally means "sun".
It is known that the name existed for males in ancient Greece. At this time, the cult worshipping the sun God Helios was well established by all Greeks, despite being eventually replaced by Apollo. This implies the ancient name was derived from the god. Interestingly, there is evidence suggesting Helios was also worshipped by the ancient Jews.
After Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, it is alleged that some pagan customs were incorporated into the new religion. This was to ensure an easy transition into the new religion by subjects of the empire, which included modern day Greece. Aspects of Helios's imagery were incorporated into the religion, as well as the name.
One telling piece of evidence is how in pagan times, the peaks of mountains were reserved for temples to Helios, the sun god. This was because it was the closest point to his presence. However in modern Greece, high peaks in many regions are named after Prophet Elias or προφητης Ηλιας. Alternatively one might view this as visible evidence of the new religion superseding the former, and asserting its dominance.
You touched many with your light. Shine on, my friend.
"Helios the sun-god became the prophet Elijah (the Greek form is Elias and, as the [...] had probably already fallen into disuse at the time of the changeover, the disguise was very thin). The name of this Hebrew prophet is now very common in Greece, but rare in Italy, where this name for Apollo was unknown. His shrine is always on mountains and hilltops where Helios, the heaven-born flaming charioteer, was worshipped. They symbolize, says the Church, Elijah's whirlwind assumption to heaven in a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire; and hundreds of lofty peaks all over the Greek world still commemorate this personification of Apollo"