Archive for September 2008

Witchcraft on ABCs "The View"

September 27, 2008

Well, I wasn’t sure whether I should post this here or not, but based on the positive feedback I have received from other areas, I think I will.

I received the following email Thursday, but didn’t actually read it until last night…

Hi all!

Not sure if anyone here saw today’s "The View" or ever watches it. However, the hot topic was about Sarah Palin and her preacher who drove the witch out of the town. Well the Co-host Elisabeth said she was against witchcraft and agreed that it was okay he was preaching against evil and Whoopi agreed that it’s okay to preach against witchcraft or any evil.

I think we should all write them a kind, not nasty letter to let them know they are very misled. You would think in 2008 that the bad stereotypes would be a thing of the past.

This is the link where you could write them.

Write to ABC

Being the curious (and occasionally outspoken & opinionated) creature that I am, it piqued my interest. I clicked the link. It took me a little while to find the referenced segment (click "Video" at the top, then click on the clip titled "Blessing") but I almost wish I hadn’t. I’ll admit I don’t watch The View  I barely watch tv at all, but I am familiar with several of the co-hosts, particularly Whoopi, and I am seriously disappointed.

I followed the "Ask A Question" link at the top of the page, as I felt a need to make my disappointment known. Here is what I sent. I would appreciate any comments or feedback any of you might have.

I recently watched the video of your show from 9/25, the segment titled "Blessing." Up to this point, I have held the members of this panel in a fair amount of respect as well-informed, intelligent and talented individuals. I am therefore deeply disappointed to hear my religion referred to as "evil." Yes, I am a practicing witch. I am also a mother, wife, grandmother, aunt and sister. I am married to another practicing witch. We are both law-abiding, tax paying, GOOD people. I work 40 hours a week, my husband usually 55-60. I have seen my husband spend the last money he would have for some time to come to buy a complete stranger a tank of gas because this man claimed to be stranded and without money. I have seen him work a 15 hour day, then go spend another 8 hours helping someone move, because he was the only one this person knew who had a truck. Until last year, once a week, he would work a 12-15 hour day, then drive to his Grandmother’s house (a good twenty miles from our home) to cut her grass for her as she could no longer do it herself. The only reason he no longer does it is that she has passed away. We constantly receive comments on how kind and polite our five year old son is – not things usually associated with "evil" people. We are striving to raise HIM to be a GOOD person, too. Teaching by example – giving to those who don’t have, even when they are too proud to ask, offering assistance and friendship with no strings attached, being as kind to a stranger as you are to the persons you love most in the world, not passing judgment on someone without knowing all the facts, and attempting to learn about the things we don’t understand, so there is one less thing to fear because of ignorance.  We go to work, pay our bills as best we can, offer what we have, and try to make the world better for having been a part of it. We don’t preach to others, we don’t judge based on skin color – including skin color voluntarily changed (meaning tattoos), clothing, hairstyle, speech pattern, occupation  (regardless of what it may be) – we have friends in many fields including everything from homicide detective to stripper to business owners. We don’t make assumptions based on a person’s sex or sexual preference, nor do we automatically shun people who are ill, regardless of the illness or the cause. And we most certainly don’t pass judgment on others because they believe differently than we do. Our circle of friends includes  Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics,  and I’m fairly certain many other faiths. Different isn’t evil, it’s different.
Because a small minority of people calling themselves something, in this case witches, do things that are not acceptable by any standard, shouldn’t be cause for you to jump to the belief that witchcraft is evil. Following that logic, one could say that all Christians are evil, based on the actions of men such as John Wayne Gacey, Dennis Rader, David Berkowitz, and Jeffrey Dahmer, all of whom were perpetrators of undeniably evil acts on a large scale. All of whom also claimed Christianity as their faith, and several of whom were considered by friends & acquaintances to be "Fine, upstanding community members and good Christian men."
I am personally offended by the remarks made by the co-hosts of this show, as well as offended on behalf of all the citizens of this country, and the world, who have decided (usually based on much research and serious self-examination) that Christianity is not a belief system they can have faith in. Remarks made to an audience of millions, which will be taken to heart by many who saw this show. Remarks which will do much to strengthen the stereotypes and misconceptions already in place and accepted by many people. Remarks with no basis in fact, and which showed a lack of compassion, consideration and knowledge. When a person is in the position these ladies are in, influencing the opinions of many, many people, perhaps it might be beneficial to think before speaking, and make sure one is well informed on the subject being commented upon. It never reflects well to be seen as uninformed, narrow-minded, thoughtless, discriminatory and derogatory.
I truly wish people would take the time to learn about a subject – this one or any one – before they start making blanket statements like "Witchcraft is evil." I am a witch, my husband is a witch, one of my children is a witch, one is not, and the other may or may not be – that is a decision he will make for himself when he has the information he needs to do so. Many of our friends are witches, or Asatru, or Pagan or Heathen or Buddhist or nothing as far as a label regarding faith is concerned. I am not evil. My husband is not evil. My children are not evil, nor are my friends. I feel a public apology would be appropriate, but not sufficient. I also feel the time should be taken to try to lessen some of the misconceptions and superstitions surrounding MY beliefs. Misconceptions & superstitions you have either intentionally or unintentionally strengthened…
I appreciate the time spent on reading this comment, and hope that maybe it will have a positive effect on someone in a position to make a difference.
Thank You

So, whatdya think, was it too much..?

BB

dawtch….

The Birk Economic Recovery Plan

September 27, 2008

Here’s an idea!
I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG. Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend. To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up…So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00. My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00. What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

  • Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
  • Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
  • Put away money for college – it’ll be there
  • Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
  • Buy a new car – create jobs
  • Invest in the market – capital drives growth
  • Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves
  • Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces. If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President. If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG – liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up. Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.
Sure it’s a crazy idea that can "never work." But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party! How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC . And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,
Birk

T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

Free Purse Contest

September 21, 2008

Hey All! A girl can never have too many purses, and Goddess knows they aren’t cheap! So go to Handbag Planet and enter their 24 bags in 24 Hours contest…whadaya got to lose, except maybe 5 minutes to register..?

I’m sorta hijacking a post…and the title *grin*

September 9, 2008

I was checking out the usual suspects (read blogs) this morning, and on Trench Warfare I came across a post that I thought was a great idea. I hijacked the title (as you’ll see if you go visit…) This was started by AntiSWer with a post titled "What I am reading". Let me warn you though, what THEY are reading is much heavier subject matter than what I am reading…

What I am reading: Right now, I am actually a bit short of normal, as I just finished one book and I am waiting on the next to arrive via USPS…but I am going to include that book, as it was VERY good. It’s called Dies The Fire: A Novel of Change by S.M. Stirling.

The basic premise is all of a sudden, anything and everything mechanical, electrical, powered in any way other than by "Armstrong Energy" quits working. Everything. At the same time. That translates to major catastrophe – think about it – planes fall out of the sky, communication is non-existent, cell phones, land lines, radios, short-wave, all kaput. No electricity anywhere in the world. Guns don’t work. Cars, trucks, buses quit where they are. No more computers. Are you getting the picture..? Riots, panic, looting. No one believes it’s for good (kinda like us Americans not believing gas prices are going to stay at ridiculous levels and still buying SUVs and huge trucks…).

The book follows two different groups and their response to "The Change." One group is in a small plane when it hits. The other is in a bar (the "leader" is a Celtic singer). The singer is a witch. Yep – that’s what caught my attention. But boy am I glad it did. like I said, I found this to be an excellent book.

I have read another book by the same author, "Conquistador," which is also an "alternate reality" scenario. Also very good. But despite feeling that the books were similar (as in the basic idea, not the stories themselves), I didn’t realize they were the same author until I went looking for the follow-up to Dies…LOL. So now I sit, waiting for the next (two) installments to arrive 😦 I hate that. I have about 10-12 different series I am "waiting for the next installment" on. And several more that should have follow-ups, but seemingly won’t…that majorly SUX!

Ok, the next book I am currently reading is "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman. As a rule, if a book grabs me, it’s history! I can usually read a fairly large book (Dies has 496 pages, and reading only on my lunch hour & breaks, I finished it in less than a week), in no time flat. If it grabs me…my preferred genres are Historical Fiction, usually based on real events,  Fantasy, and Horror ( although I’ll admit horror has taken a backseat – mainly because I rarely buy a book new, and for a long time couldn’t find any horror in the used book stores that I hadn’t already read, and that wasn’t romance disguised as horror…). His Dark Materials definitely falls into the Fantasy category, and I was excited when I got it, but…I have had it for several months and still haven’t finished it. I probably won’t. It just hasn’t grabbed me…

The next book I am reading is "Black Cross" by Greg Iles. Completely different from the others. This book is set during World War II, and contains alot of Nazi/concentration camp type stuff. I like books like this. I truly believe that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. On a side note, I used to be married to a man with the last name of "Hess." Now it would seem to be a fairly simple name, both as far as pronunciation and spelling, but apparently it isn’t. As a form of clarification, when giving my name I would jokingly say "You know, like  Uncle Rudolph…" Rudolph Hess, one of Hitler’s right hand men, next in line after Goering, one of the most heinous and notorious people of recent (we’re only talking 60 years or so ago…) history. His name should be familiar to anyone over the age of, oh say 15? who is breathing, and most definitely should at least ring a bell for those over 30. Yet I consistently received blank stares when I made that comment, followed by "Who..?" To me that is SCARY! How can you not be familiar with the name of the man who ordered and participated in the deaths of MILLIONS if not BILLIONS of people? Not just death, but mutilation, torture,  experimenta-tion on, and flat out MURDER..? Do you live in the same world I do..? How will you recognize these things early enough to stop them in the future? This is how these things are allowed to occur.

Ahem…

I just started a book called "A Mankind Witch" by Dave Freer. I’m only about 20 pages in, so really can’t comment yet, beyond it being set amongst the Vikings, or a Viking type peoples, and so far seems pretty good.

When it comes to books, I could go on and on. But Hunny just called and said gas prices have jumped .40 and I didn’t fill up yesterday…so now I gotta go find some cheap gas before there isn’t any…that is cheap, relatively speaking – $3 is never cheap…

See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! 

 

My New Blog Template

September 2, 2008

Well, as you can see if you look around, I changed my template. OK so you see it right away – hope no one thought they were at the wrong place and left…I really liked the other one, pretty much, except for the sidebar stuffs. I could never figure out how to make it as big as the stuff I put in it. I felt it looked kinda cheezy and tacky, but just didn’t have the time to do anything about it. Sure, I could have just thrown any ole template up here, but as I am sure most of you, being fellow bloggers, know, there is more to it than just changing it. To start with, you lose all of your widgets. Or at least I do. If there’s a way to change template and not lose them, I’d love to know about it!
So, today I decided it was time to do something about it. I spent several hours going through different free template sites, but found very little that appealed to me. This (obviously) was the winner. You’ll find I am a VERY Christmassy person – and before any of you fellow pagans out there go on a binge about how it is YULE NOT CHRISTMAS let me just say BITE ME! I know it’s Yule, I know the history, I have done my research on this and many Pagan/Christian holiday correlations, and you know what..?BITE ME! It’s been “Christmas” for me for 41 years, and it will be Christmas for the next however many I have. Do Christians celebrate their Christ Mass at the same time we celebrate Yule? Yep. So really, the Pagans came out ahead. Our holidays stayed the same, the dates not only unchanged but still honored. I mean really – history is written by the winners, and do you think if the ancient Christians had “won”, so to speak, that we would know of the existence of those holidays, let alone see them celebrated world wide..?
Besides, if you take offense to the word “Christmas” how are you any better than any other narrow minded bigot who believes their way is the only way?
Ahem….
So, I settled on a Christmas themed blog, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve been known to have Christmas stuff out before Halloween (don’t go there either…) I also changed the picture that is part of my profile. I found a really cool website that will take a picture you upload and transform it in different ways – as infant, child, teen, senior, as well as offering things like “as a Boticelli painting.” The one on my sidebar is what I would look like drawn by Mucha. Pretty cool, huh? I’ve added a link to the sidebar called “Face of the Future. Go check it out when you have time. No, really, when you have time on your hands – you’ll probably be there a while. Here are some of the others I ended up as:

Me as drawn by Boticelli
Me as an anime character

My Hunny as an anime character
My boy as an anime character


Do you like the new set up? Let me know what you think good, bad or indifferent  🙂
See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

WooooHoooo! I love Tom’s Hideaway!

September 1, 2008

I won! I won! I got the top spot for the month over at Tom’s Hideaway! He runs a daily trivia challenge over there, and if you’re a trivia buff, it’s for you. I have made a trip to his site part of my morning routine, and enjoy challenging myself every morning. The topics range from the ridiculously easy (What country is commonly referred to as "down under"?) to the ridiculously obscure (***Which 6’3" quarterback, who played for the Packers, Bears & Jets is married to Susan Thomas?***). But if you have a wide range of useless information floating around inside your head, I highly recommend checking it out!

Hell, if I can come in first for the month, any one can!!!!

Gotta go for now, I hope to be back with more later.

See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!