Posts by WH

  • Hard News: The next four years,

    There are two main types of criticisms of witchcraft and the occult: those associated with the view that it’s a kind of fantasy or fraud (it often is) and those associated with the view that it’s capable of generating real effects.

    Staying safe means considering the possible downsides of using magic before getting involved. It’s important to bear in mind that simply taking what you want by force can adversely affect other people in ways that violate their basic human rights.

    To use a familiar example, using a love spell to cause a person to have romantic feelings without their consent is a particularly revolting form of abuse. There are good reasons to doubt the validity of consent to sexual contact obtained by such means, a fact that could have ongoing relevance in the #MeToo era. If you were to ever get caught really doing that, you could rightly expect a lengthy prison sentence.

    If you’re going to get involved – or are already involved – be careful about what you wish for and who you collaborate with. You may wish to familiarise yourselves with the rules of party liability and attempts codified into s.66 and s.72 of the Crimes Act 1961. Don’t dial up random spirits with a ouija board hoping to find a nice one.

    Lastly, in the spirit of staying safe, remember that a force that carries out instructions that disregard other people’s rights can’t possibly respect your own. Others will have their own enduringly negative opinions about attempts to bring about hardship and suffering.

    Don’t get involved in the occult. It’s neither harmless experimentation nor the kind of artistic novelty you should prostitute for fame. It’s incredibly dangerous and more common than you might think.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump 2018,

    It's an attack on the left
    then a drive through the right

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Trump 2018,

    The political movement originally established to end slavery in the United States is dying. US Christians - who make up a substantial fraction of US conservatives - should reject the increasingly stark corruption of the modern Republican Party.

    Trump's presidency could scarcely have been scripted to be more corrosive and inane.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

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    Russia Today has noted that the curse of the Seventh Fleet has been implicated in three further naval incidents:

    - the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold was participating in a scheduled towing exercise on November 18 when a Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the ship;
    - a C-2A Greyhound transport plane was carrying eleven people to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea on November 22, resulting in three deaths;
    - the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald was damaged for a second time as she was being loaded onto a transport ship on November 26.

    The Russian term soroka-veschchitsa means magpie witch and pertains to some of the more extraordinary powers claimed by the dark arts.

    Don’t get involved in the occult.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

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    As you’ve probably heard by now, this handsome fellow has just been voted Australian Bird of the Year. Congratulations to magpies everywhere!

    We recently lost one of our local magpies. It had lived in the trees in the school across the road. We’ve since seen the surviving member of the pair scouring the neighbourhood, calling for its mate to no avail.

    I like to imagine that it was a good bird that kept a good nest and that it had raised a family of which it was rightly proud.

    It’s actually a very sad story. If circumstances allow, I'll tell you the rest some day.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

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    The Bohemian Club

    Every year, some of the most prominent men in the world gather in California to pay homage to a giant owl. Despite the uneasy fit with the Christian/conservative prohibition against such practices, it’s mainly a Republican thing. The photo shows Nixon and Reagan in attendance circa 1955.

    The Bohemian Club was founded in 1872. It’s Californian sister – the summer solstice celebration Burning Man – was formally inaugurated in 1988.

    1964: Johnson v Goldwater

    Goldwater’s radical 1964 candidacy shunted Republican politics away from the moderate conservatism of Hoover, Dewey and Eisenhower and put the United States on a course that ultimately led to the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

    Was the unlikely pairing a cosmic joke? You decide.

    Anthony Wiener

    Wiener’s career as a US Congressman was cut short by his compulsive tendency to share intimate pictures of himself on an unsolicited basis. His flaws played an important part in the 2016 Presidential election: FBI Director Comey’s infamous letter to Congress – made public just days before the ballot – pertained to emails placed on Weiner’s laptop by his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

    The Tromp family

    During the 2016 Presidential Election, an entire family – the Tromp family – went missing after experiencing a shared delusion that they had been placed under surveillance. The family fled their home in distress and was ultimately found strewn across southeast Australia.

    The case is not readily explained. The investigating officer, Sergeant Mark Knight, called the tale the most bizarre thing he’d seen in 30 years of policing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It all seems so unnecessary. It's been a month and the Opposition's strategery is already getting out of control. Let us all take a moment to think about the fate of the lockbox. Perhaps each of us could offer a short prayer.

    8791 questions in a single month... More than 7000 of those questions came from MP Trevor Mallard alone.

    I don't see how that serves a worthwhile purpose. Colour me opposed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Harkanwal Singh: What really…,

    Great stats – thanks for the link.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…,

    I'm unfamiliar with the rules that govern parliamentary procedure but would have thought that asking 6,000 odd questions is something akin to the common law concept of abuse of process.

    The manoeuvre seems intended to tie up resources that would otherwise be used to enact the new Government's agenda.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Harkanwal Singh: What really…, in reply to linger,

    It’s a rough figure but it’s not too far off. The 2013 Census indicates that:

    In 2013, 49.8 percent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 percent in 2006.

    Less than 20% of twentysomethings own their own home; around 40% of thirtysomethings own theirs. The proportions are falling as unaffordability is rising. People in their forties have seen home ownership rates decline to just over 60%.

    The older cohorts are better placed but purchased their first homes before the prices rose.

    Statistics NZ has said that the home ownership rate dropped to 63% in 2017.

    Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

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