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Sunday, January 29th, 2006
12:55 am

"A lie told often enough becomes truth."
- Vladamir Lenin

It seems to me that this is happening. The message that is being drilled into our heads is one of ignorance and complete falseness. George Bush would love to have us all believe that it's so simple. Bush wants us to think that our enemies attacked us in totally unprovoked attacks, because they hated our freedom. Conservatives, nationalists and idiots are willingly lead by the dilusional president because they don't want to think about anything that WE may have done. It's much easier to accept that they hated our freedom, even though that's a complete mockery of the truth. The people who usually look for scapegoats to put the blame on, have happily, willingly and ignorantly overlooked the real facts and chose instead to pick up their guns and go to kill everyone with a turban and a dislike of our oppressive foreign policy in the Middle East.

So what's the truth?

"We say our terror against America is blessed terror in order to put an end to suppression, in order for the United States to stop its support to Israel."
- Osama Bin Laden

It sounds like our enemies are saying that our outragious support of Israel is leading a lot of support against us. I can see why. The double standard he have for the region is a disgrace. Look at the way we've treated Iran, making it out to be a hostile country, making it out of be a violent country, manipulating the media to make it sound like Iran has any nuclear weapons, capability of making nuclear weapons in the short term, or any intent of hostility towards our allies. We know Isreal has weapons. We know Israel has the full intent of using them illegally. Yet when the UN weapons inspectors tried to get into Isreal to inspect their weapons, and Isreal told them to get lost, they promptly did get lost and nothing was said of it again. Maybe it's THIS double standard that provokes them.

"If inciting people to do that (9/11) is terrorism, and if killing those who kill our sons is terrorism, then let history be witness that we are terrorists."
- Osama Bin Laden

"Just like you kill us, we will kill you."
- Osama Bin Laden

Perhaps this is the reason they hate us? The countless people we've killed, we don't know exactly how many, because it's "not our responsibility to count dead Iraqis" but there are very many. Look at the million (at least) people we killed with sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s, mostly the sick, the elderly, then women and the children. Look at the war that we provoked between Iran and Iraq because the US were scared shitless of the Islamic revolution. A million people died. Or perhaps it was the constant airstrikes on that region that have been going on, unpublished by the media, for the last decade. It's not that anyone was hiding it, it just wasn't news anymore. Airstrikes like the one only days ago, targeted at the supposed target of Ayman al-Zawahiri, uncleared by the Pakistani government, and it turns out that the strike killed 17 local men, women and children instead. Airstrikes like the one the US planned on Al Jazeera, a civilian target, an utterly illegal proposition.

"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Each and every state that does not tamper with our security will have automatically assured its own security."
- Osama Bin Laden

"Free people do not relinquish their security. This is contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not strike Sweden, for example."
- Osama Bin Laden

This clearly blows apart the myth that we were attacked because we're a peaceful, heavenly and downright great bunch of people.

So with all of this in mind, what did we do about this hostility with the Middle East and the (more than) billion Muslim people that now see us for what we really are? What we SHOULD have done, is drained support for our enemies. We should have stopped our illegal weapons support of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land. We should have stopped our oppression of the Middle East.

Why DIDN'T we do that?

Middle Eastern resources, obviously. The biggest oil supplies in the world are in the arabic Middle Eastern countries. The biggest natural gas supplies outside of Russia are in the Middle East. We couldn't let all this blood money slip away, regardless of how many people die.

Did our enemies notice this?

"This war in Iraq makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction, such as Halliburton and its sister companies... It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes."
- Osama Bin Laden

Sometimes the best way to understand a war, isn't to listen to our own leaders, but rather, the leaders of the other side. Maybe then, we'd see what we really are.

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2005
2:16 pm - Investing Your Taxes?

Anybody got any opinions on the Bush plan to allow people to invest a portion of their federal income taxes in stock in order to have a retirement fund? I am coming to the opinion that, if this is meant to replace social security, that it is not a very practical solution. Social security was designed to help the poor, while this program appears targeted to help the rich and highly educated. After all, if the amount of money you invest is a certain percentage of your taxes, the people who will get to invest the most are the people paying more income taxes...the rich.

Secondly, those folk didn't reach the upper-classes by accident. They had the education and business knowledge to know how to use their money effectively and where to invest (or their parents did). So, they have the know-how needed to take advantage of a system which offers them more money to invest with. Investing is a risky business. You have to be familiar with the ratings of particular businesses, and how to diversify. How are blue-collar workers going to know where to invest smartly, without screwing themselves over and losing the money they need for retirement?

And really, which is the lesser of two evils? A social security program which could run out when the baby boomers need it (not to mention later generations), or a program where one's nest egg depends upon using taxes in the ever-fluctuating stock market in an economy where many people (esp. the lower to middle classes) don't know how to invest?

It seems to me like the people who have the knowledge to take advantage of this program could benefit greatly from it, espeically if they are already wealthy. But the people who really need help with funding their old age, and their families, won't have the knowledge to take advantage of it, plus they won't any longer have social security. So, you potentially have a greater number of poor people either working all the way through old age, to the end of their life, or you increase the poverty level in America.

That's my take on the info I've learned so far, but if I am misunderstanding something here, or have misinterpreted something, feel free to correct me. I really want to figure out whether or not this program will benefit America as a whole.

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2004
8:18 am - Beyond the Pale
jaladeen Okay, this is ridiculous. The private voter registration firm hired by the GOP to work the swing states has been trashing non-GOP registrations in Nevada. The extent of the damage is not know, but they estimate that thousands of people who think they are registered will not be eligible to vote in Reno alone. And since this same group is operating in at least 3 other states that I know of, who knows how many people will be turned away at the polls?

Ignoring the fact that this violates at least two Nevada statutes and at least one federal election law, can anyone here offer any justification for election fraud, breach of public trust, and just plain sleaziness like this?

How can anyone who intentionally defrauds people of their right to vote consider themselves a true American? I'm not talking about incompetence, or accidental mistakes here: I'm talking about taking it upon yourself to decide who gets to vote and who doesn't.

Could you work for a party like that? Could you vote for a party like that? I don't know that I could.

Kudos at least to the two whistle-blower employees who turned these bastards in, with evidence. But I am really wondering how much longer we will be able to call ourselves a "democracy" if we allow shit like this to go unanswered. And I don't mean just by criminal prosecution--there is some group of people in our culture who think this kind of thing is OK, that it's "the right thing to do" even, if it makes your side win. But where will they stop?

If destroying voter registration cards is OK, what about changing people's voter registration cards (as has apparently happened in Leon County, Florida)?

If changing the registration cards is OK, why don't we jam the "get a ride to the polls" phone lines of the opposing party so voters calling for a ride can't get through?

And if that's OK, then why don't we just have groups of protestors near the polls in distircts that tend to vote against our candidates? We could even make sure they were loud and armed so people would be really intimidated?

Or maybe we could just pass a law saying that members of other parties are not allowed to vote? And then we could shoot them if they try to show up at the polls?

Where the heck do you draw that line? I mean, anything's OK as long as our side wins, right?

current mood: infuriated

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Tuesday, October 12th, 2004
1:44 pm - Bad Leadership

In this political season we're looking for strong leadership. There is a huge industry in teaching people how to be good leaders. So why is there so much bad leadership? Why do bad leaders succeed in getting followers to go along with their vision? What is a bad leader? Someone who is immoral or unethical? Someone who is incompetent? In her new book Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters</i> Barbara Kellerman of the Kennedy School at Harvard writes that we can learn a lot from studying bad leaders, yet we don't. We'll talk with Kellerman about why ignoring bad leaders leads us astray, and how learning more about what makes them bad can lead to better leadership.

*Collapse )

ResourcesCollapse )

GuestsCollapse )

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
The Conversation on NPR's KUOW.
1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern KUOW 94.9 fm Listen to past shows in The Conversation archive
Call-in numbers
206 543 5869

All of The Conversation programs are broadcast live at NPR's KUOW and archived immediately following the end of the program so you can listen online anytime.


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Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
5:25 pm - Debate Debate Debate

In much of the debate coverage there is this rush to find the 'undecided voters' who will, supposedly, be able to give the most valid assesment of who won or lost because they're supposed to be undecided. While it has been shown that some of these undecided people are actually shills for one of the parties, I am still curious about how the debates really sway people. Granted, I refused to watch them. I doubt a debate could change my mind or help me make a final decision about who I was going to vote for. Did the debates have any influence on you guys? Or do you feel like it's too late for anything these guys have to say to have a real impact on the election? It all seemed scripted and prepared to me.

What I want to see is a real debate.

current mood: contemplative

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11:12 am - Women in Politics: The F Word: Feminism In Jeopardy

Wednesday on KUOW/NPR's WeekdayCollapse )

Women and Politics
Audio available online at 10:05 AM Pacific Standard Time

There are two obvious ways that women can be involved in politics -- they can vote and they can run for office. So why it that so few women hold elected office, particularly at high levels in state and federal government? Why is it that 19 million young women didn't vote in the last election, despite bemoaning the lack of gender equality in the United States? By ignoring electoral politics, are women ignoring a crucial means of making change in society? Environmental and political consultant Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner takes a look at why so many young women avoid both electoral politics and the word feminism in her new book The F Word: Feminism In Jeopardy. Marcie Sillman talks with her this hour on Weekday.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner author, The F Word: Feminism In Jeopardy - Women, Politics and the Future
Marie C. Wilson president, The White House Project

Related Links:
KUOW (and Julie) does not review or control the content at the following websites, nor do we endorse any of the content.
The F-Word Web site
The White House Project

(The preceding PSA was published by KUOW, not Julie. I merely passed it along as written.)

Julie's PerspectiveCollapse )


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8:57 am - Bit of moderator ranting

It came to my attention the other day that one of the recent discussions here dissapeared. I remembered a few minutes ago and went looking. Sure enough, one of our biggest discussions was gone. I believe the poster was juliesmagicmoon (darktenchi, you probably have the most comments from whoever it was. Do I have it right?) Whoever it was, they deleted the post because neither I nor ravenonthemount did.

I am Not Happy about this. Deleting posts is a couple of rungs up the ladder from deleting comments. And how we feel about that is spelled out in the user info. I'll add the deleting posts thing later today to make it more clear.

I don't know the motivations behind the deleting (and maybe it was just a mistake, which is fine cuz we all make 'em) but if it had something to do with the conversation not going the way you wanted it to... well, you're just going to have to suck that kind of thing up. This isn't your personal journal, it's a community. And one of the things this community is founded on is mutual respect and open discourse. Discourse cannot be open when the discussion dissapears.

There are not many things that will get you banned from this community (because I hate banning, it goes against our vision) but this is one of them. And for this, there is only one warning. Consider yourself warned.

current mood: angry

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Tuesday, September 28th, 2004
9:16 am - Jon Stewart vs. Bill O'Reilly

Apparently Jon Stewart was on The Factor!

I snagged this from another LJ entry but I have no clue if it's a real transcript. It's funny, though, and seems right. I can definitely hear Jon's 'voice' in this.

Some highlights:

O'REILLY: You know what's really frightening?

STEWART: You've been reading my diary.

O'REILLY: You actually have an influence on this presidential
election. That is scary.

STEWART: If that were so, that would be quite frightening.

O'REILLY: But it is. It's true. I mean, you've got stoned slackers
watching your dopey show every night, OK, and they can vote.


O'REILLY: You can't stop them.


O'REILLY: Come on, you do the research, you know the research on your program.

STEWART: No, we don't.

O'REILLY: Eighty-seven percent are intoxicated when they watch it.
You didn't see that?

STEWART: No, I didn't realize that.

O'REILLY: Yeah, we have that there.


O'REILLY: But you do have some influence. Now, how do you see that?
You have influence. John Kerry bypassed me and went right over to
you. You're only four blocks away. He said, "O'Reilly, I don't think
so. Stewart, I'm going to go talk to you."

STEWART: Well, I have to tell you -- and again, I mean no disrespect,
but the snack selection backstage, quite frankly...


Full TranscriptCollapse )

current mood: amused

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Thursday, September 23rd, 2004
4:48 pm - Open Mindedness

Hey, I copy/pasted this from one of the communities I belong to called convert_me. I thought the article was relevant to the whole issue of being an independent thinker. I would really be interested in discussing the results if anyone tries the exercises.

Open-MindednessCollapse )

The idea some have expressed that a person can be "too open-minded" (IE Gullible) seems like a misunderstanding. By this definition, at least, there's no amount of open-mindedness that throws out the requirement to weigh all evidence fairly.
It's something I really think everyone can work on.

current mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, September 16th, 2004
1:55 pm - Convince me why

The community seems to have gotten a wee quiet. That's my fault, sorry. I'm here to liven it up again.

I have a serious question to which i would like everyone to give some thought. I haven't decided if I'm going to vote this year or not. It seems silly on the face of it, I know. But this guy, nihilistic_kid, has made an interesting case over the many months I've been reading him that voting for either candidate would be bad. So, just don't vote at all. (I think he even wrote a book on this topic.)

So now my thing is, what are the reasons for voting for Kerry? What are the reasons for voting for Bush? What are the reasons NOT to vote for one or the other or both? Are third party candidates really useful? Is there a true independent choice for president?

Someone convince me. I'm very convinceable right now.

current mood: worried

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Sunday, August 22nd, 2004
10:07 pm - Has anyone else noticed the phenomenon...

...of criticizing something a little too much for what it is not, all the while ignoring what is is?

That's probably a bit unclear. But I was thinking about this recently while reading an issue of Bitch magazine (which I know I probably referenced in an earlier post, but hey, it had some good stuff). There was an article on the VH1 nostalgia programs, and the author criticized "I Love the 80s" for not delving into social issues of the time, such as the AIDS epidemic. I thought, "Um...but it's a pop culture program, and it's fair that it be restricted to pop culture things!" In the same issue was an article on the TV show "The West Wing" which said that, while the show had had some excellent storylines involving women's issues, a penalty should be given to it because it didn't follow through with them enough. I thought, "But...would they really have time to create the multi-issue, multi-faceted show that it seems to be if they spent so much time on women's issues?" And then earlier today I read a post on another community about a book I quite enjoyed, Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed". Some posters said that it seemed to be a simple liberal rant, that the study wasn't valid because a priviledged and well-off author always had that to fall back on (the book is about Ehrenreich's attempts to live as a member of the working class), and that she didn't spend enough time going into the race and class issues that related to her study. "Well," I thought (and posted), "I rather liked the book, because I thought it did out what it set out to do--show a woman trying to move beyond being an outsider looking in, and put that into language accessible for those beyond the academy--really well."

I suppose what I want to know is: what is the limit to which we can criticize something for not being so much of something? I understand that we want things to be better, and even to encompass everything that they can, but isn't there a point at which we should stop and appreciate something for what it is and doing well within the boundaries with which it was probably meant to exist? Should we always expect that a great work will breach those boundaries left, right, backwards, and forwards to be great?

I hope that this makes sense. I suppose I just feel like I can't expect every book or movie or TV show to do everything for every cause or piece of societal benefit at once, and I wonder where I draw the line between what I am justified in expecting and what I am not.

(I'll be cross-posting this to my own journal.)

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Thursday, August 19th, 2004
3:53 pm - Volvo Unveils First-Ever Car Designed by Women

One of its features is that the hood is nailed shut. Well, not exactly. You can only open the hood with a special key only the mechanic has. Because, i suppose, women don't need to look under the hoods of their cars...


current mood: quixotic

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Wednesday, August 18th, 2004
9:15 pm - Women and the Glass Ceiling

Well, this gives me a chance to show off a sort of social commentary comic I did and get a little bit of feedback. Please excuse my terrible lack of drawing skills.

Women in the WorkplaceCollapse )
However, (I am going some place with this) I thought I would bring up the idea of the glass ceiling. Some people think it no longer exists and that in the work place women have become completely equal. Well, I don't have enough information to argue one way or the other, but I wanted some opinions. What do you think?

current mood: creative

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Tuesday, August 17th, 2004
10:41 am - Moo

Saw something interesting while I was watching an old episode of The Practice yesterday. The special guest star was Christopher Reeve and he apparently came up with the story.

In short: Chris is a paraplegic because, three years before, he was giving a driving lesson to his nephew and they had an accident. Nephew died, Chris is in a wheelchair. Chris' brother, the kid's father, blames Chris for the accident and won't help him out financially. Chris' wife is going a wee crazy caring for him and dealing with insurance companies and not getting any help and one day the brother ends up dead and the wife is blamed. The lawyers, as usual, figure out the truth - that Chris and his brother's wife plotted to have the brother killed. When they confront the two of them, Chris' character says something like: "But Eleanor, I'm in a wheelchair. People in wheelchairs are weak and helpless. People in wheelchairs are VICTIMS. We don't murder people."

Despite the fact that this particular episode came during the season when The Practice had seriously Jumped the Shark, I was really impressed with this story (as opposed to the other, stupid story going on at the same time). I thought the writing in that moment (which I did not capture well, I'm sure) was brilliant.

On to my point. Do victims really still have this sacred cow status? Do people really look at those in wheelchairs and think that they are weak, incapable, etc? Would it be really hard to prosecute a person in a wheelchair because of the wheelchair? Or because of anything else that might give them victim status?

How do you combat the scared cow?

current mood: contemplative

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Friday, August 13th, 2004
11:52 am - All about thinking

Since this community is for people who think (hopefully ;) ) I thought to get the ball rolling with this quote:

"If you're a Democrat, you win when people think."
--Bill Clinton on the Daily Show.

So, do Republicans not think?

current mood: curious

(7 comments | comment on this)

11:38 am - Welcome!

Welcome to indie_thinkers. I'm going to post the information found on the user info page for now.

Are you someone who thinks of herself as liberal but doesn't think affirmative action is a good idea? Are you a 'conservative' who thinks that homosexuals should be able to get married if they want? Are you sick of extremists but don't really think of yourself as moderate? Is the two party system about to make you hurt small animals? Then perhaps you're an Independent Thinker.

Independent Thinkers is a community for the discussion of social and political issues in which people from all sides of a debate can give their views and opinions without being torn down, ridiculed, or dismissed. For those who do not slavish adhere to the party platform, or who do not fall in lockstep with the accepted definitions others place on a group. Everyone is invited to join, but keep in mind that open-mindedness is highly valued in this community. If you know that you will never change your mind about that which you are even mildly passionate about, this community might not be for you.

IT is not only about debate, but about action. For too long extremists and ideologues have ruled activism, media, politics, and just about everything else. We think it's time that people who don't fall lockstep into any one group - conservative, liberal, republican, democrat, etc. - had a chance to shape the direction that this country is going. So often our voices are lost, how can we get them heard?



Respect is our number 1 rule because this is bound to be a very charged atmosphere. The moderators will not tolerate flames or attacks. It's fine to be passionate about a subject, but not to the point where you're browbeating another member who doesn't agree. Also, try to read the posts in the spirit that the poster intended. This can be hard over the internet, but keep in mind that the tone or motives you assign to a poster may be completely opposite from how they are. When you find yourself getting too angry, just step back and take a break.

If a member constantly breaks this rule, they will be warned one time. If they continue, then comes a second warning and moderation of their posts and comments. Third time you're banned. Trolls only get one warning.


Posts need to be on-topic. Though things that are on-topic around here can be many and varied, let's not clutter up the group with irrelevant posts. At first, posts that are not on-topic will be flagged by the moderator. If it gets to be a problem, the posts will be deleted.

If you have a very long post, pictures, items not work safe, etc. please put it behind and lj-cut tag.

Memes / Quizzes / Etc

Not allowed. If you create one, we'll delete it. Polls are okay, but shouldn't be used in place of discussion.


Comments on every entry should be turned on. Deleting comments is really, really not a good idea (unless it's your own and if you're just correcting a typo or something). The moderators will do this if it's necessary. Same goes for freezing threads. Members who delete or freeze will be warned twice before banning.


We say this again because it's a biggie. If this community dissolves into one big bitchfight after another then it's no fun. We're here to discuss (intelligently) and debate (intelligently).

Moderators: ravenonthemount ktempest

current mood: accomplished

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