If You Use the Internet

You’ll read this post. All of it.

Everyone who has ever used the internet is risking their freedom, myself included. No matter what site you’ve been to, video you’ve watched, or photo you’ve shared; you are at a potential risk of being jailed and fined. You think SOPA and PIPA were the only things we had to worry about? They are still a threat to the people of this country. What about ACTA?

Remember MegaUpload? They were shut down. Their offices raided and all computers taken for the files. The thing is, if you have ever uploaded or downloaded anything from MegaUpload, you are at risk of being jailed. All of your information from the downloads you made are in those files taken by Obama’s justice system when they busted in and took everything. On Jan. 20th your information became government property. I hope this is hitting home to those who have used this site. The creator was arrested as well as the staff. Do you want to know how many people are going to be arrested when all of the seized information has been gone through? 25 million people. Let me start from the beginning.

For those of you who do not keep up with what’s going through Senate or the House of Reps, let’s talk about SOPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act. Only a politician from Texas would make it that easy to figure out. It is what it says it is: to stop the theft of online copyrights. Still don’t get it? Here, take music for example. It’s actually the best example because millions of people pirate music every single day. Do you use frostwire, kazaa, limewire, or beemp3? You’re copyright infringing. You’re a pirate. You are what SOPA is trying to stop. Yes, it’s wrong to steal music, but hell, they shouldn’t make it so damn easy now should they? Haha. Just joking. I used to be that way. I was young and didn’t know the difference, but you know what? That will not matter if this bill gets passed. I would be arrested and indited $150,000 for every copyright infringement I did. In my paranoid state I’ve stopped using those sites in order to protect myself from my own government. How sad is that? We live in a “free” country yet here we are trying to hide from the big bad government. Doesn’t sound like a democracy does it? Anyway, U.S. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) brought this bill to the floor for the other politicians. So he’s Republican AND from Texas. Haven’t we been down this road before? Well let’s take a small excerpt from the wonderful Wikipedia, the free man’s encyclopedia.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/09/inquiry-opened-about-new-black-panther-case/?feat=home_top5_shared

” a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Provisions include the requesting of court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, and search engines from linking to the sites, and court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to the sites. The law would expand existing criminal laws to include unauthorized streaming of copyright material, imposing a maximum penalty of five years in prison.”

Let me break this down for you. “…to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.”  Intellectual property, IP, is a term most often used to describe many unrelated legal concepts. It’s a creation of the mind that is protected by law, those laws being trademarks, copyright, or patents. It’s basically what your mind comes up with, or something so genuine that no one else has it or thought of it and you can protect it by getting it copyright or trademarked or patented. (BILLY MAYS HERE WITH OXYCLEAN!) Yeah, Oxyclean was a patent that is someone’s intellectual property. So is most everything you see or hear on the tv or radio today. Moving on. Counterfeit goods, aka Knock-offs are basically an imitation of something that is already an IP protected by fields of law. Sam’s Choice ring a bell? A brand created by the biggest multimillion dollar corporation in the wold, Wal Mart. They are the creators of Dr. Thunder, Mountain Lightning, Sam’s Cola; all that stuff you buy because it’s just a little cheaper than the name brand. It’s not just food. Clothing, movies, furniture, hardware, tires, and toys are all counterfeit goods! Why buy a $35 shirt at Abercrombie when you can get it at K-Mart for $15? Well good thing this is just for the interwebs right?

“Provisions include the requesting of court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, and search engines from linking to the sites, and court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to the sites. So maybe there’s one good thing that would come out of this: no more annoying flash adds on youtube? What this basically means is any website that is partnered with another site that has counterfeit goods or violations of intellectual property will be shut down and removed from search engines. So basically….every website known to man….which is mostly porn anyway. Part two of this quote talks about our, OUR, internet service providers blocking these webistes from us. That means these people will remotely be inside our computers looking at everything we look at and decide what website they deem violates these laws. Sorry if you like I-Am-Bored.com or even Wikipedia. This also runs along the lines of the PIPA bill, but that’s for another blog.

“The law would expand existing criminal laws to include unauthorized streaming of copyright material, imposing a maximum penalty of five years in prison.” This last bit is pretty much self explanatory. This bill would cause existing laws on copyright infringement to include anything that you can stream from a website. That means movies, music, anything of that particular theme. If you’re caught doing it then you get put in the state penitentiary for five long years. I’m not talking about county jail. I’m talking about maximum security facility where you and Bubba will become the best of friends. On top of that just imagine the humiliation that comes with being put in FEDERAL PRISON for committing such a crime. You will be everyone’s bitch in the pen. The question will be asked,” What did you get put in here for? Murder? Rape? Burglary?” Your answer will simply be,” No, I was caught copyright infringing when I downloaded that Lady Gaga song from Kazaa.” Hahaha. Sorry. I know it’s a serious issue but anytime this situation comes to mind I can’t help but find humor in it.

So that was a breakdown of the first paragraph. If you want to know more on the bill then go to Wikipedia and check it out. It should be easier to understand now that I’ve explained the main terminology in the page. If you still don’t get it then why the hell are you still one here? You want to keep your internet? Then become more educated on what our government is doing, what Congress is doing. There are videos out there for you to watch. There are petitions for you to sign. You want to be free? Then fight for it.

Pagan History

*This post is also featured on the Pentacle Project Blog here on WordPress.

Paganism

Among the vast numbers of religions that are practiced throughout the world, Paganism is one of the oldest, though it has not always been called such. I’m sure that the readers of this article are pagan or are interested in such. Some here are probably elders, Priest/esses, novices or even followers of other religions wanting some insight. Whatever you are, you have come to the right place. Let me start at the beginning.

Most people who think of Pagans get the picture of ancient Celtic Druids in the woods worshipping different deities. Think back about 10,000 BC. Believe it or not, that’s where it started. The Paleolithic Age carried with it the beginnings of people grouping together in what I will call tribes. Hunting and gathering started to appear in this period, and along with it, gods and goddesses. The women of the tribes started to discover that the food they placed in the ground started to grow. Now they no longer had to follow the migration of the animals they fed on. This discovery led to the realization of the mystery of fertilization. Agriculture resulted in the men realizing they had a part in the life cycle as well. As the tribes no longer lived as nomads they became “paganized”.

  Pagan fertility symbols.

As time went on, people migrated. Of course these pagans came across the Greco-Roman people who worshipped different deities. Then came the people of the British Isles who learned about agriculture the same time as Indo-Europeans. Nowadays we call them Celts. When the Cult of the Dead came from the Mediranian Islands, they shared their secrets with the Celts and therefore created the Druids. Somehow the Druids became the overseers of the Pagan people. Not many women were known to be Druids as the men went and gained knowledge from the surrounding areas.

In the end of this time there were three major groups: Druids, the Wice, and the Pagans. The Druids were the keepers of the mysteries from the Cult of the Dead and dealt with mostly men. The Wice, who were mostly women, were the teachers of the solar/lunar tribes and held mostly women who worshipped the Goddess. The Pagans were known to be the common people who sought out knowledge from the Wice and Druids. The actual word “Pagan” is derived from the Latin word meaning “Country-dweller”. I honestly think of little hobbits when I read this description, but you can put whatever image you want there.

Hey look! Druids!

Anyway, back in the Middle East, the Old Testament of the Bible was being written. When the death of Christ came and went, people started sweeping across the land to spread the word of their lord and saviour. Soon enough they got to Rome. Tricky as they were, they converted the rulers first, as a result, had their “country-dwellers” convert as well since they needed the rulers for their survival. Pagan temples were torn down and Christian churches were erected on the sacred ground. Pagans being even trickier were made to build the churches and stuck a few Pagan symbols in the architecture, which can still be seen today.

The dark ages came and went and still Pagans worshipped the way they chose as the Christian flood drove farther out. Unfortunately for the Christians, their new ways of worship weren’t catching on with the Pagans. Unfortunately for the Pagans, the Christian leaders started spreading news that the Pagans were associating themselves with “the devil”; hence, came the inquisition. During this time, we all know, two monks under the rule of Pope Innocent the VIII wrote the book Malleus Maleficarum or “The Witches’ Hammer.” This book was the basis of the Witch Hunts that spread through Europe, resulting in the estimated nine million deaths of men, women, and children.

This reign of terror lasted from 1494 until the mid 18th century. It caused many Pagans to go underground until the 1950s. By this time, all of the anti-witchcraft laws had been abolished in England, spurring a man named Gerald Gardner to come out with a book called High Magicks Aid. He was the cause for the New Age of Religion for Wicca. Wicca became a legalized religion in 1985. The numbers for people who practice Wicca are well into the hundreds of thousands. There are more out there and there are more coming out of the Broom Closet each day. Not just Wiccans, but Pagans, Druids, and all groups under the Pagan umbrella are appearing in vast numbers throughout the world.

If most of the world knew the true history of Pagans, I believe they wouldn’t hold such a fear against us. It isn’t our fault that we can’t get the word out. People are keeping us from taking the fear from people and turning it into understanding. We all know who is keeping us from doing that, from becoming more understood and able to commune with our fellow humans in peace.

I will leave you with a little thought to carry with you throughout your walk in religious practice. How many people have died in the name of religion? How many wars have been fought between two nations who believe that their imaginary friend is better than the other? It needs to stop. I believe we are being targeted because we show no retaliation. We are indeed a peaceful people, but don’t think we can’t hold a grudge. We are taught from DAY ONE that you will harm none lest ye be harmed. Why is it that we, as Pagans, are one of the few religions who actual see the wrong doings of our brethren humans? Something can be done. Will you do that something?

Blessed be, Brothers and Sisters.

~Aradia Lecrawe

Disturbed always put it the best way.