A Little Humor for Your Day – ‘Jail vs. Work’

Jail Vs. Work

IN PRISON…you spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell.
AT WORK … you spend the majority of your time in a 6X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON…you get three meals a day.
AT WORK…you only get a break for one meal and you pay for it.

IN PRISON…you get time off for good behavior
AT WORK…you get more work for good behavior

IN PRISON…the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK…you must carry around a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON…you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK…you get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON…you get your own toilet.
AT WORK…you have to share with some idiot who pees on the seat.

IN PRISON…they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK…you can’t even speak to your family.

IN PRISON…the taxpayers pay all expenses with no work required.
AT WORK…you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON…you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get  out.
AT WORK…you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON…you must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK…they are called managers.

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Good Tuesday Morning, dear Precious Family!

I will try to make this brief as possible. We have a lot to get to today. There will be a prayer and a remembrance for all of those who lost their lives yesterday. But first, I would like to say a few words….

I found out about the shootings late yesterday afternoon. I had just came in, fixed myself a cup of coffee and turned on the TV. I had it on a local News Station that doesn’t know it’s butt from a hole in the ground. It was reported a Naval Base had been shot up, details at 6:00. You hear something like that these days you don’t want to wait to 6:00 to find out. You want to know then. Right then! So I turned it over to CNN and they were broadcasting what had happened. I couldn’t believe it. A civilian had went in there and killed 12 and injured 8. What on earth was this madman thinking? There is no other explanation for it, he had to be stark raving mad! There is no other reason for it. No respect for life. No respect for self. No respect for anything or anyone. Just a cold blooded killer that turned on a bunch of innocent people. What is this planet coming too?

I got a little upset to say the least this morning. Every time we would change the channel, it would show a picture of the killer. Fantastic mugshot, so good he is even smiling in. That’s the one that pisses me off. It looks like he has this sheepish smile, as to say, “guess what’s next?” Oh, it makes me angry! All I heard about last night and all morning is about the shooter. Finally I heard the victims mentioned once. I got on-line. Heck I knew I could find anything there. Yeah, right! I had to search for the victims of the Navy Yard Shooting.

The point I am getting to is simple, why does the media play up the killer, shooter, murderer, whatever you want to call it. Everyone seems to want to know what would make a person do something like that. Well, in that case, drag the body off, hold it in a morgue, do an autopsy and then publish a paper. To all the media press, killing a bunch of people is not something to give a person a gold medal for.  Yes, we know we have sick individuals in our community. Yes, we know there will be more killings. We this, we are human and is going to happen.

But can’t you realize there are individuals, families, parents, brothers, sisters, sibling, that will never see their loved one again. They are all in a state of shock right now. I know they have questions but let them ask. Give them the respect and dignity they deserve. Instead of some crazy person that went on a rampage and killed their loved ones. Think about them.

Facebook Monitors Your Posts and Chats To Catch Sexual Predators

Facebook Monitors Your Posts and Chats To Catch Sexual Predators

By

Ever wonder if Facebook is reading your posts? Well, it is—or, its computers are, at least. And if you say the wrong thing, you could be locked up.

That’s the takeaway from a recent Reuters article, which recounted a case in which Facebook’s software detected a man in his thirties allegedly trying to set up a meeting with a 13-year-old Florida girl for sex. From Reuters:

Facebook’s extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.

Officers took control of the teenager’s computer and arrested the man the next day, said Special Agent Supervisor Jeffrey Duncan of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alleged predator has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of soliciting a minor.

Facebook’s chief security officer told Reuters that the company’s monitoring software uses actual chats that led to sexual assaults to predict when another might occur. This is eerily similar to the hypothetical software I discussed in an article last month on whether police could arrest people based on suspicious-looking Google searches. I noted in the piece that while the idea might sound far-fetched, the technology already exists, and it might even be legal.

In Facebook’s case, the scanning hasn’t stirred outrage—probably because it seems to be focused on catching sexual predators. There are two reasons why online predators make sense as an initial target for automatic-monitoring algorithms. First, soliciting sex with a minor on the Internet is a crime in itself, not just a prelude to a crime (like, say, searching Google for ways to murder someone in their sleep). And second, sexual predators are unlikely to elicit much sympathy, so the public is more likely to tolerate intrusive means of nabbing them. Facebook is fighting creepy with creepy.

The key to the technology’s success—from a public-opinion standpoint, and possibly from a legal standpoint—is avoiding false positives. Arresting an innocent person based on a Facebook chat would surely cause controversy. So according to the Reuters piece, Facebook dials down the algorithm’s sensitivity, to minimize the chances of this happening.

It seems clear that this technology has the potential to do some good. But that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that it represents a further erosion of our online privacy, one more serious than selling our personal information to advertisers.

Hexing the Enemies of Women and Peace

Hexing the Enemies of Women and Peace

Author: Z Budapest

Some women shirk from fighting back. Too many years have passed since the heroic age of the seventies, when everything new started. We used to have self-defense classes, repair our own cars classes, women’s studies about who we are as women and what have women done in Herstory that we are not aware of. Gathering our treasures and our tears.

Still we live in male centered societies. Males often rule by violence and rape, and the everlasting wars. Not by law. Too many rapists have gone free, too many murderers as well. White-collar thieves live long and hardly ever fall into the hands of justice.

But something has happened here in the San Francisco Bay Area that tripped the “that’s enough!” wires for me as a witch. A lesbian was viciously gang raped by four men. Then they kidnapped her, and continued their assault for another 45 minutes. She was brutally beaten to within an inch of her life for being a woman, for being a lesbian. Then, they stole her car and left her naked in the chilled winter winds and pounding rains, daring her to survive.

She did.

I have not hexed anybody since the Trailside Killer (still in jail) in the 80’s, but something turned inside me when the crime came this close to my life. I’m much older now at 68 and somewhat incapacitated with artificial hips. I gathered enough courage to call to arms all those women who considered holding a hexing circle in defense of our lives a worthwhile effort.

13 women answered the call. It was a magical number. I went ahead.

As always we document all hexes, so there could be NO doubt we are not calling on the devil.

I contemplated the situation and carefully chose the Lady of Guadalupe as our Queen of all Americas to be the center. I asked a friend to get me some large banners of the Lady. She sent us two large banners, glorious in her appearance, the Lady in her full queenly glory. Thank you, Karen!

Next I gathered the all-important occult supplies. Yes you can cast successful spells without anything, just praying but when you are up against a rape culture, violence of this hate crime magnitude, it’s good to have some mandrake root with you, and other secret baneful herbs to burn in your cauldron.

I represented the lives of the rapists with red thread, and over the smoking cauldron, praying to the Queen, I cut their luck into many small pieces. The only man who came to our hex, Lez, helped to put them all into the burning cauldron of change. This was important. Men must stop rape. Men must come over to the women’s side and fight for us.

Rarely ever happens.

To the Queen who we invoked as grandmother (her old name used to be Tonatzin) , we asked her to help us and to bring these men, and ALL rapists down with Unluck. We cut their luck into tiny little pieces, their luck now gone.

Next I hexed them so nobody would hide them. Hexed them that their own family would give them up. Hexed them that they would turn on each other. Hexed them that the youngest one would talk.

Video of parts of this hexing ritual are on my DU website: http://wicca.zbudapest.com and on my blog: http://blog.zbudapest.com

Then we went home. I lie down on my couch and let the new year arrive. Thought it would be a little while that this spins out its necessary wheels.

By Wednesday, the news was on the front pages of the SF Chronicle. Three of the men were arrested. The younger one’s family gave him up! And then he talked as the hex had requested. They arrested two more and by Thursday the fourth criminal turned himself in. Blessed be Tonantzin!

Sisters of the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One participated with us globally in this incredible fast Justice. In Orange County in Southern California, and elsewhere, the women gathered to support this hex. All could see the success of their labors. Enough is enough!

On the same day the arrests began here, a serial rapist was caught in Columbus, Ohio … No luck for rapists! Justicia rules! So now I have allowed myself a little victory toe-dance. Yeahh!

What I hoped would result from this experience is a nation wide hex on ALL rapists and similar gender initiated violence. This would take place annually, on the dark moon at the end of every year.

But the real change can only come from a change of consciousness. A mind change that would see women differently. Not as meat, not as holes, or whores, but as sisters and mothers and citizens with rights.

Male gods’ religion didn’t help at all. Thousands of years and the societies are still not civilized. The male gods remain the Lords. They have holy books full of violence and trashing of women. Switching back to Goddess culture and appreciation of life is what would help see women in the loving light.

After all we are the doors of life. We birthed everybody.

Where is the gratitude? Why the rage against us?

I hope that women ‘grow a pair’ and learn not to be fear driven, to stand up for themselves and each other. Learn SISTERHOOD again!

Maybe it’s time that the ‘Take Back the Night Marches’ that I started back in the 70’s, becomes an annual hexing ritual done by sisters and brothers alike. A hex on all enemies of women and peace. Maybe that will make the difference! It has to begin somewhere!

Z Budapest
http://www.ZBudapest.com

How to Make a Magical Focus Board

How to Make a Magical Focus Board

Author: Deborah

A focus board has been called a lot of different things in a lot of different places. The (in) famous Secret calls it a Vision board. A lot has been made of The Secret‘s many flaws and issues. As Kathy Griffin said when her assistants made focus boards and then attributed her recent uprising in success to said boards, “I’m so sure it was the two of you and your Secret boards that did this, not, like, my many years of constant work.” So besides taking away that you should never get into a sweat lodge with these people*, as my friend and fellow blogger Gordon said, visualization is not enough.

On his blog RuneSoup.com, he calls it a success map. A focus board is not a replacement for solid magical spell work, which should include consistent mundane work, consistent magical work, divination, reachable goals and regular progress check-ins to ensure that what you’re doing is working and you’re not inadvertently missing the forest for the trees. But what a focus board will do is keep your eye on the prize and in my opinion, that’s the real purpose in having one.

You might be easily distracted like myself and get sidetracked from all the important things you’re actually supposed to be doing and instead watch back to back episodes of Bridezillas in your pajamas and/or drinking too many French Greyhounds and getting sucked into Facebook for nine million hours. It’s easy to get completely and utterly off track.

True confession time, I call mine a “serial killer” board. This is not due to aspiring to become a serial killer or advocating for others to become serial killers but because I watch a lot of crime dramas and inevitably if a fictional serial killer is involved on one of my shows, they tend to have a board that resembles a focus board, even on GossipGirl when it was just a run-of-the-mill single white female stalking problem. Juliet still had the Miss Martha level of organization and where-with-all to be sure to have a board neatly outlining all her plotting against poor Serena VanderWoodsen.

For some reason on television or in a movie, a serial killer always has an extremely high level of organizational skills even though they are also completely unhinged. Personally, I attribute that to word count issues for writers and a team of television writers who would like to hold onto their jobs as long as possible by making the main ‘big bad’ hang around for as long as possible, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. But yeah, while my board is a very benign corkboard with pictures with scrapbook cut edges, pink yarn and a font with hearts in it, I can’t help but think about the crime procedural shows I watch, which gives merit to the argument that television does rot your brain though admittedly no real desire to do anything about it.

Anyway. For an example as to how to make sure you’re approaching your goals holistically, I’m working to bring more money in my life by mundanely working on my freelance writing career as well as a small Internet crafting business. Magically, I have a honey jar that I work with in the hoodoo tradition as well as some Feng-Shui work I do. I constantly make sure I’m working with my honey jar by inscribing words and symbols into candles I burn on it weekly and I make sure to keep my eyes open for new writing opportunities in various places. But, as I’ve said, I get distracted. So when I find myself getting into a massive Twittering frenzy, talking about things that have nothing to do with work, a quick glance to my focus board in my office reminds me when I see a picture of a typewriter and the word “Create” to get back to making sure I’m following through on my work mundanely.

Magically speaking, it gives your subconscious something to focus on to bring about things you would like in your life. I wanted more serenity and a yoga practice, randomly a few days after making my board I noticed a local yoga studio and got up the courage to email the owner to ask about a “work/trade” agreement where I would trade her administrative work for yoga classes. After a very successful interview (and I made sure to do a charm so I was charming) , we’re hammering out the details for the work/trade.

How to Make a Focus Board of Your Very Own

1. First, think about what you’re trying to accomplish in your life. For me I started by thinking of words because my brain sees words before pictures. My words are: Aspire, Create, Live, Serenity, Serve and Want.

2. Now find pictures that you feel are good representations of what you’re trying to accomplish. Some examples of my pictures include candles, a bank vault and the Eiffel Tower.

3. Get a smallish corkboard and push pins. Pick a font if you want to print words. I also used good quality heavy paper for my pictures and scrapbooking scissors to cut out my pictures so they had pretty edges.

4. Arrange. This is an awesome meditative stage where you get to play god of your own life and arrange all the pictures in a way that makes sense to you. I grouped my pictures according to each word.

5. Using yarn or string, carefully weave the thread between your pushpins. Magically speaking, it’s useful, as weaving the yarn through the push pins and connecting them together can be a magical act that’s as simple or elaborate as you’d like to make it. Spinning has long since been thought to be a magical act in many cultures. Grandmother Spider does it, The Fates do it and now you can weave together your goals for yourself. You should also think carefully about which pin to connect to which pin. For me, it was even more magical because I got to use the (pink) yarn that I had handspun myself for this.

6. Place the board in the right position. If you’re constantly glancing at it for a quick second at a time, it gives your subconscious food for thought. Mine is in my office, just out of direct eyesight but I can see it just out of the corner of my eye. When I get bored working, I tend to look around a lot so that adds to the occasionally seeing it but not seeing it too often aspect.



Footnotes:
*Sweat Lodge Deaths Investigated as Homocides http://articles.cnn.com/2009-10-15/us/arizona.sweat.lodge_1_james-arthur-ray-sweat-lodge-spiritual-warrior?_s=PM:USIn