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Monday, October 20th, 2008
11:32 am - Legalize it?

Some advocate legalizing (or decriminalizing) recreational marijuana use in the US. I would contend that this advocacy will lead nowhere, since marijuana cannot overcome it's reputation and risks.

long one...Collapse )

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Monday, November 6th, 2006
10:53 am
baseng101 I have been talking about the idea of euthanasia for a a couple weeks now and i was wondering how others felt about it. Should euthanasia be completely outlawed?

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Sunday, October 8th, 2006
4:33 pm - Canada's demands in Arar case



I have a question to all republicans: do you stand for this?

Arar was deported to Syria from the United States where he was then tortured. Grounds? "We thought he was a terrorist". He was tortured. For a year. AND the US acted without consulting Canada in any way.

X-posted here

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Friday, September 29th, 2006
11:27 am - Act Today to Prevent War on Iran

We need to take urgent action to prevent a war on Iran. Today, the Senate will probably vote on a bill that would ruin ongoing European negotiations with Iran. These negotiations are designed to avert war, and they have had several break-throughs lately.

The Senate could vote today, though, to increase sanctions both on Iran and on our European allies who trade with Iran. It also would support "regime change" by funding groups who want to take-over the government in Iran. This would be extremely provocative and probably lead Iran to withdraw from negotiations, paving the way for another disastrous war.

Go here to take action: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/iran092906.html

Negotiations with Iran are an alternative to war supported by a majority of Americans. Iran has hinted that it would be willing to suspend uranium enrichment during talks.

The Iranians are actually within their rights to enrich uranium under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is being monitored by expert inspectors. Iran says it is for peaceful nuclear power rather than a nuclear bomb. Even if they are lying, the CIA says they are five to ten years away from being capable of producing a bomb.

Now is the time for peaceful discussion and negotiation, not war.

Take action today!

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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
12:11 am - Young, Hip, and Muslim?

Salaam Aleykoom!

I'm a young American Muslim who is sick and tired of only hearing about Islam in headlines. So I've started a new line of clothing and gifts that is geared towards young, modern Muslims who are ready to make their own headlines. Some political, some funny, some religious, and lots of ARABIC! So check it out, please spread the word if you dig it, and check in periodically for new designs.

And if you like it, WEAR IT WITH PRIDE!

American Muslim


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Wednesday, September 7th, 2005
5:31 pm - Wanna See him gone?


Take the image from this site and plaster it on every telephone/light pole in your city. We did it last weekend, most of them were gone in a few days, but we are going to put up 1000 this weekend instead of 600.

Have them wake up the next day to see how many people don't want him around!

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Friday, January 7th, 2005
11:27 am - what did it mean?

i haven't posted in this forum before, i'm guessing this may have already been discussed.

i just posted a simple survey in my journal, very similar to one that was recently on Beliefnet (with a couple of more options that i think are key).

it will only take a second to vote, i'd really appreciate it if you did. i totally admit i am trying to get lots of people to answer the poll, but i think its a valid enough issue for the results to be interesting.

tsunami poll

the survey concerns the role you believe God played, if any, in the loss of 150,000+ people during the Indian Ocean tsunamis.

i'm curious to see what everyone thinks; atheists, agnostics, and especially believers. comments are welcome as well.

(the rest of the entry is about some of the skepticism i've developed as i went from Christianity to agnosticism a few years ago... hopefully no one will take any offense at what i've said, that was absolutely not my intention.)


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Sunday, October 10th, 2004
6:25 am - www.nytimes.com / www.adbusters.org


Published: October 10, 2004


Lies and the Lying C.E.O.'s Who Tell Them

So this is where we are now in corporate America. Even in the post- Enron era, some executives still think nothing of misleading investors, analysts and their customers. And when they get caught dissembling, their companies respond in a way that may provide legal protection but also allows the lie to live.

How in the world does corporate America expect to regain investors' trust when it makes boneheaded moves like this?

CAMPAIGN 2004: THE BIG ISSUES </nyt_kicker>

How to Rescue Education Reform

Americans are generally stunned to learn that their schools perform poorly and have been losing ground when compared to those of industrialized nations abroad. This country once led the world in high school graduation rates, but it has dropped to 14th, well behind nations like France, Germany and Japan. We have tumbled even further when it comes to student achievement in reading, math and science. At a time when a college degree is the price of admission to the new economy, the college-going rate has flattened over all and appears to be dropping among the poor.

Most of the nations that are passing us by educationally have a national commitment to strong curriculums and intensive oversight of teacher training and educational progress. The United States employs a radically decentralized system under which the states do as they choose. The result is a wildly uneven system littered with educational dead zones.

Despite its difficulties, the No Child Left Behind Act is potentially the most important education reform since the nation embraced mandatory schooling. The Bush administration nearly capsized the law when it gave the cash-short states new educational burdens without providing the money it had promised. But the recent revelations about the Department of Education offered by the G.A.O. and other, nongovernment critics reveal an equally serious problem: The government agency in charge of the most important education reform in 100 years lacks the capacity, courage and leadership to do its job.

Congress can stand idly by and wait for the reform effort to collapse, or it can provide the states with the money it promised and build the capacity and authority that the Education Department needs to further reform. The clock is ticking and time is short.

OP-ED COLUMNIST </nyt_kicker>

Nuclear Fiction


George Bush is not giving an inch on Iraq. He's toughing out the cascade of confirmation and criticism from his own people about the hyperpower hyperbole that led to an unnecessary war and an unruly occupation. His advisers say it's better for the president to appear out of touch than apologetic. He'd rather seem delusional than deluded.

He can't admit what the Duelfer report says, that Saddam was no threat to the U.S. or any other country. The mushroom cloud was a Fig Newton of Dick Cheney's feverish imagination. That would mean W. didn't fix his father's screw-up, but he screwed up his father's fix. A big Oedipal oops.

OP-ED COLUMNIST </nyt_kicker>

The Other Intelligence Failure


Let's start with a simple observation: There have been some 125 suicide bomb attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq in the last 16 months, carried out most likely by Sunni Muslims. We need to think about this. There is some kind of suicide-supply chain working in the Muslim world and in Iraq that is able to draw recruits, connect them with bomb makers and deploy them tactically against U.S. and Iraqi targets on an almost daily basis. What is even more unnerving about these suicide bombers is that, unlike the Hamas crew in Israel, who produce videos of themselves, explain their rationale and say goodbye to families, virtually all the bombers in Iraq have blown themselves up without even telling us their names.

We don't really know how they are chosen, trained, indoctrinated, armed and launched. What we know is that the suicide bombers have killed and maimed hundreds of Iraqis, many of them waiting to join the police or army, and in doing so have done more to block U.S. efforts to reconstruct Iraq than any other factor. To put it bluntly: We are up against an enemy we do not know and cannot see - but who is undermining the whole U.S. mission. In fairness, this sort of network is very hard to crack, especially when it has the support of many Sunnis, but our ignorance about it is part of a broader lack of understanding of changes within Iraqi society.

The Promise of the First Amendment

By ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER JR., chairman and publisher, and RUSSELL T. LEWIS, chief executive, The New York Times

Why does all of this matter? The possibility of being forced to leave one's family and sent to jail simply for doing your job is an appalling prospect for any journalist - indeed, any citizen. But as concerned as we are with our colleague's loss of liberty, there are even bigger issues at stake for us all.

The press simply cannot perform its intended role if its sources of information - particularly information about the government - are cut off. Yes, the press is far from perfect. We are human and make mistakes. But, the authors of our Constitution and its First Amendment understood all of that and for good reason prescribed that journalists should function as a "fourth estate." As Justice Potter Stewart put it, the primary purpose of the constitutional guarantee of a free press was "to create a fourth institution outside the government as an additional check on the three official branches."

Last Gasp
One breath for revolution

one breath time

Hold your breath as long as you can. But keep reading. Here’s what you’ll experience: your respiration has stopped, but your heart continues beating, converting oxygen from inhaled air into carbon dioxide. With no way out, the CO2 concentrates in the blood, raising its acid levels and lowering the amount of oxygen that makes it to the brain and other organs. You’ll feel this first as a sensation of fullness or saturation, then as light-headedness, possibly altered vision, an inability to focus on these words, and a growing sense of desperation. Eventually, when the CO2 levels reach the “critical line,” your nervous system will override the brain’s command to not breathe, prompting an uncontrollable impulse to open your lungs wide, sucking in sweet, precious air. If you don’t, you’re options are grim: pass out, possibly with brain damage, or die.

For Israeli artist Emilio Mogilner, this experience offers a powerful, if unflinchingly direct, metaphor: we, as a people and as a planet, are on our last gasp. We’re facing suffocation--environmentally, socially, politically, even spiritually--and how we live our final breath is the essential question. Mogilner’s artistic practice centers on a process he calls “1 Breath Time”: holding his breath, he lunges desperately with paint brushes, frantically filling large canvases with expressionistic gestures and multicolored representational images. When the air runs out, sometimes resulting in a loss of consciousness, the painting is finished. His message is literal (the body’s overdose of carbon dioxide parallels the processes of the greenhouse effect) as well as symbolic, but the method circumvents logic, he says. As oxygen dwindles and the body kicks into survival mode, the art becomes primal, driven by something that transcends knowledge of technique or expectations about how art should look.

While he likens his artmaking to the survival instincts of a West Bank protester dodging a teargas canister or a New Yorker avoiding the poison dust of the shattered World Trade Center, Mogilner’s inspiration for 1 Breath Time arises from more personal sources. In 2001, a masked gunman entered his studio in Rehovot and shot him with an M16 at point-blank range, ripping his right arm off at the shoulder. He grabbed his severed limb—his dominant painting arm—jumped out the window, and took refuge under a tree. There, groggily drifting toward death, an image of his one-year old daughter entered his mind. Motivated to stay alive, he grabbed his arm and in a surprising burst of strength ran to the hospital, where it was reattached (but never regained full function). He learned to paint with his left hand, but within a year of the attack, gave it up, finding painting an impotent act in such troubled times. But a few words spoken by his brother changed all that: Breath is time. “And when he told me those words—boom—like from the sky, the same as when I saw the face of my little girl, I received a message: 1 Breath Time. This is the only breath that I have for survival,” says Mogilner. “This is the only breath that can lead the human race to social and environmental revolution.”

Now Mogilner and a team of 1 Breath Time artists lead workshops with children and adults—Arab and Israeli alike—to help them connect with their “survival momentum,” the visual depiction of their essential final mission. When the breath is gone, says Mogilner, the painting is finished. But watching him create his work, it’s easy to ponder a hopeful beginning: the human race’s last gasp has a striking resemblance to a newborn’s fierce struggle for its first breath.

- Paul Schmelzer

To read the 1 Breath Time Manifesto or see video of Mogilner’s work, visit www.1breathtime.com.

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Tuesday, July 20th, 2004
3:22 pm


Click here to join Pagan_students_N_teachers

Click to join Pagan_students_N_teachers

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Sunday, May 30th, 2004
10:22 pm

nobody updates in this thing so i decided to start a new debate community .....http://www.livejournal.com/community/timeofyour_life/

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2004
7:25 am

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<nowrap><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=art_politics"<img src="http://img30.photobucket.com/albums/v91/staredecisis/blwhpolitics1.jpg" border="0"></a>

new community, trying to get liberals and conservatives to join in on discussion, debate, with the use of political art. Click the image to link. Spread the word.

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Saturday, May 22nd, 2004
11:45 pm - a mistake in the middle east

Hello everyone!

My name is story, I'm 16 and I live in Fl. I'm new to this community so if I say something wrong...sorry.

Theres some weird things that are going on with this Nick Burg tape. One thing being that in the still photos, theres no blood. and i mean we are talking decapatation here people. thats a little weird if you ask me. not that i want americans to be blamed for this too.

The Iraqi prisoner abuse. Oh dear. When I first saw those pictures I thought it was some sort of joke. I couldn't believe that AMERICAN SOLDIERS would do something like that. Truly some people in this world need help. My dad, stepdad and brother are in the marine corps. I was just glad that this was the army and not the marines because..i'd hate to be caught up in that. I just wonder what could have possessed someone to do something like that. But one thing that makes no sense...they are trying to blame the President for this? I'm sure he just called them up and said. Yeah go ahead. I hate the media.

anywho. what are yalls opinions on these two topics? sorry i kinda rambled. its a bit late

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2004
10:14 pm - AP TESTS SUCK!!!!!

Yesterday, I took the AP english language exam, and one of the free response questions asked you to pick a current issue and present an argument. I really wanted to write about gay marriage, but i knew that it would be hard for me not to get emotional and make it totally one sided, so i discussed the Iraq war.

Afterward, i got into a heated debate with my friend about the topic. She said the war was necessary, and that although the whole WMD thing was a horrible disguise, it was necessary because America needed to stand up for civil rights/liberties and protect people from injustice (which is quite funny, i think, given the recent exposure of the POW abuse). The main premise of my argument was that this "war on terror" is being fought in the entirely wrong way. Using violence to deter violence makes no sense. All the guns and tanks and bombs in the world couldn't solve the fundamental problem of lack of understanding between cultures. All the fighting and killing will do is create more resentment and create more martyrs. It will fuel the fires of hatred around the world, and paint our country as a bully rather than as a peaceful, generous, benevolent nation. And perhaps the West should step back and examine why there are terrorists in the first place. Do we really think that the other side will just give up? Do we really think that they're any less devoted to their cause than we are to ours? You can't just stamp out misunderstanding and years/generations of injustice and anger.

And the whole concept of enforcing democracy is ridiculous, it's a paradox. And America's expectations going into the war was incredibly naive, people acted like everyone was going to be soooo happy and creating a democracy out of a war torn nation would be simple. It'd be just like America, right? Wrong.

But my friend said that that wasn't what America was fighting for; not democracy, not oil, not WMD's... it was about the civil injustices occuring there every day; it was to protect the kurds...saddam was gassing them. Well, i have an issue with this:

1. Saddam DID gas the kurds...like years ago. So it wasn't necessarily a present danger. (he wouldn't dare make such a move with the U.S. and the rest of the world pressuring him the way we were)
2. There are civil injustices everywhere! Should we just go and invade every dictatorship or third world country and rip it's infrastructure apart?!?!
3. You want to talk about civil injustices? What about war? What about all of the atrocities of war?
4. I think that the civil liberties of people across the globe was the last thing on the administration's mind when we went into Iraq. Although now i don't really know what to think, since the American public has been lied to repeatedly.

I agree that it is important to move toward change, but i feel that the way the United States handled the problem of saddam was horribly irresponsible, and just made things worse and escalated the situation. Especially the way we practically disregarded the UN and the rest of the world opinion. Sure, we got across the message that we were serious, but now we're arrogant war-mongers too. I didn't see the urgency. I didnt see why WAR was necessary. War begets war, aggression begets aggression (dont we love ani?). It's a horrible cycle. I feel that if the West could just take a step back from war and violence, and take a step forward towards peace and reconciliation (rather than total destruction and annihilation) then perhaps we could start to build the bridges of understanding, and civil rights and democratic revolutions could come about naturally, out of globalization. I don't see how peace can come about out of war. Sure it would be nice if we could just blow a bunch of stuff up and kill a couple people and say we put a democracy in place and have everything be okay, but that's not realistic. Sure, it would take time for the seeds of peace to grow, but do we really need to continue this cycle of war and violence and resentment and hatred? By using this violence we're just adding to the list of reasons why the world should hate us.

And i also have an issue with the whole concept of unilateral pre-emptive strikes. It's a very dangerous idea that could eventually backfire on the U.S...

It might sound a bit naive, but if the world doesn't strive for peace and just sits back and accepts the fact that there will be wars then the cycle will never end. We've all been brainwashed into thinking that war is the only way to settle conflicts. Sure, it's probably the fastest, but it's also the most costly, and does nothing but slash the hopes our generation has for future peace. Someone has to stand up for peace and understanding and knowlege. I just wish that was my country.

What do you guys think?

current mood: sore

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
2:42 am
cobain_x_mortis A thought to ponder.
For the past few days I've been involved in an ongoing debate on gay rights with people on livejournal over this and I figured I'd present my arguments for the case in what I hope is an intelligent and well thought out manner, this is something I've been working hard on, gathering all my thoughts together and presenting them in a way where I am (hopefully) not being directly offensive t religious people or demanding that you see my side and try to understand where we're coming from. I know you're all probably sick of the gay rights posts all over by now but I think this is worth bringing up:

Where religion and government clashCollapse )

Sanctity of marriage?Collapse )

Is homosexuality natural and is it good for mankind?Collapse )

Is it a trend or a product of depressed/abused kids seeking attention?Collapse )

My main point in posting this was because I realise that when I debate (especially on this subject) I tend to get very emotionally involved and therefore when I am attempting to make a point, it's so surrounded by emotion that it comes across like either I'm trying to pick a fight or like a rally call.
This is, I hope, a clear and organized explanation of why I feel homosexual marriage should be legal. I tried to think of a lot of arguments against it so I could give my two cents on those arguments, but I'm drawing a blank, so I wrote what I could think of. I want to hear your thoughts on the matter.


current mood: contemplative

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Saturday, January 24th, 2004
10:51 pm

I have started a community. Please join it and post stuff and whatnot.

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8:55 pm

Just wanted to let you all in on what we can expect from Karl Rove and his GOP if Kerry wins the nomination.
I really hope Dean wins, but it'll be fun to see Kerry clobbered as well.

[link via Sully]

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2004
11:38 pm - An Introductory Thought

Last night, I was walking to a class that never convened at the time and place stated in my university's catalog. But, on my way to this non-class, I passed a car with a bumper sticker, which read "Pro-Woman, Pro-Child/ Pro-Life." Pause.

What do you think about these words?

These were my initial thoughts:
* "Choose Life"--that's not so bad a slogan, if you just think about the language--just those two words in combination--rather than the campaign it's connected to.
* What do the owners of "Pro-Woman, Pro-Child/ Pro-Life" bumper stickers mean by "Pro-Life"?
* What does & can "Pro-Life" mean?
* Essentially, if you combine the sentiment behind the words "Choose Life" with "Pro-Woman, Pro-Child/ Pro-Life," you're presented with a tolerant perspective on the abortion issue--one which is not Anti-Choice.
* Jailing & Fining Women (i.e. overturning Roe v. Wade) in combination with Bush's abstinence-only programs cannot possibly be the best or even a satisfactory route to the amelioration of the abortion problem. However, the Pro-Choice Advocate who does not ponder the ability of the fetus to feel pain is an advocate in denial and ignorance.
* Abortion is not necessarily a clear-cut moral wrong, but the Pro-Choice Advocate must acknowledge that the issue of its ethical nature is at least a bit murky.
* I wonder if people understand that Pro-Choice and Pro-Life are not competitive but compatible concepts.
* I wonder how one goes about enabling and inducing critical analysis, beyond common-held polarized perspectives, in other people.

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2003
9:34 pm - X-POSTED! SORRY!

I'd really appreciate it if you all would help me out and support my Aunt's new album title 'At Last' (in stores November 18th, get more info by going to this web-site) by doing the following. She just called and asked if I would spread the word to my friends and classmates to request her songs on all radio stations, especially one in New York called 106.7 Lite FM. You can do this by going here. Once there, scroll all the way down and look on the left where there is a section called About Lite FM and a sub-catagory called 'Requests'. Please click on this and you'll be brought to a page where you should enter your name, town, e-mail, and age. They will then ask what song and artist you would like...please say a song by Cyndi Lauper called "Till You Come Back To Me". The both of us would really appreciate all your help with this!!! Thanks in advance and spread the word please!!!


p.s. you can get samples of her songs at this web-site.

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2003
3:51 am - new discussion community

I want to announce a new discussion board: Compassionate Dialogue.
The goal of this community discussion board, Compassionate Dialogue, is to create a forum in which all people can come together to form solutions to society's problems and political issues by transcending partisanship and political boundaries that otherwise might tear us apart. Partisan politics and categories we put ourselves into have caused a rift, made us argue thoughtlessly, and have made it harder to solve society's problems. Real, sustainable solutions to society's problems cannot come about in the current political realm with so much useless quarreling, and without true, compassionate listening. This is beyond partisan politics, liberal and conservative, left and right, republican and democrat, green and socialist, anarchist and capitalist, religious, spiritual and atheist. Through compassionate listening and thoughtful, logical dialogue, we can come together, find a common humanity in each other, and begin to solve the world's problems.

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Thursday, September 25th, 2003
4:28 pm - Hey!

Just wanted to let anyone on this forum know about weirdjews2 - if you are Jewish (or converting) and strange please join. It was started because of the drama on another community (guess the name) but as with most things on that community it created more drama. Either way check it out. Thanks. And sorry for promoting a community only tangental to this one. I'll understand if you delete it (however I did advertise this one on pro_war_liberal so I do have some clout)

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