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Saturday, February 12th, 2005
7:07 am

February 10, 2005

U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

More than 200 Fish and Wildlife researchers cite cases where conclusions were reversed to weaken protections and favor business, a survey finds.

By Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer

More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says.

The survey of the agency's scientific staff of 1,400 had a 30% response rate and was conducted jointly by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
A division of the Department of the Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service is charged with determining which animals and plants should be placed on the endangered species list and designating areas where such species need to be protected.

More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.

Bush administration officials, including Craig Manson, an assistant secretary of the Interior who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, have been critical of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, contending that its implementation has imposed hardships on developers and others while failing to restore healthy populations of wildlife.
click link at top for the rest

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Monday, November 29th, 2004
12:33 pm - (Names withheld to protect the ignorant)


current mood: cranky

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
3:47 pm - An article in a high school newspaper

The unmitigated, unsubstantiated BS, in its entirety:

Election Day, No Kids AllowedCollapse )

My thoughts, in short: Who writes this shit? How in the world can we expect people to consider voting when anyone is explicitly telling some potential voters that they're too brainwashed to have a mind of their own, merely on account of age?

current mood: bitchy

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Wednesday, August 25th, 2004
6:37 am - Catholic Church Crisis updates

Seattle: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/187625_priest24.html

Priests in abuse cases avoid defrocking
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 Vatican's concerns lie with victims -- and clergymen -- says church spokesman
Three priests accused of sexual abuse, among them one of the most infamous clerics in the Seattle Archdiocese, have been formally barred from ministry with an edict from Rome. But the Vatican stopped short of defrocking any of the men, leading some to wonder where the concerns of the church lie -- with victims, or with priests.

The answer, said archdiocese officials, is both.

Archbishop Alex J. Brunett is "not looking to punish the priest," said Greg Magnoni, a spokesman. "He's looking to do what's in the best interest of the victims and the public and the priest who's under his authority."

By keeping each man "within the clerical state," the archbishop can maintain control over where they live and how they comport themselves, Magnoni said. He also can ensure that they never advertise themselves as practicing prelates. Defrocking them, Magnoni said, would permanently sever that oversight.

But Scott Brady, a member of the victims advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, found the church's logic hard to fathom.
`Vows of Silence' authors make their case against John Paul II
(atticle ends with)
The authors return regularly to their theme that it is the pope, not callous bishops and callow priests, who deserve the blame for the crisis.

"His myopia on the church's corruption suggests the kind of hubris we associate with kings in Shakespearean drama, coupled with a tragic naivete about sexual intimacy," they write in an epilogue. "Instead of squarely facing the sexual revolution inside the priesthood, asking why so many good men left and others refused to enter, John Paul sanctioned the punishment of scholarly priests and intellectuals who asked the hard questions and argued for honesty and structural change."

The authors make an intelligent, passionate case, and they seem to be on the side of the angels. But precisely because Vatican secrecy denies them the sort of corroborative evidence contained, say, in the court files of abusive priests in the Boston Archdiocese, their charges against the pope are more argumentative than proven.

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Tuesday, August 17th, 2004
10:53 pm - You, Too, Could Be A Suspected Terrorist

You, Too, Could Be A Suspected Terrorist

By Anthony D. Romero
Tuesday, August 17, 2004; Page A15

Antonio Romero is what my mother calls me. Antonio Romero is also how I am known to many of my friends and family members. Unfortunately, the name Antonio Romero also appears on a U.S. Treasury Department list titled "Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons." The government provides only this name, some known aliases and a date of birth for Antonio Romero. No further attempt is made at delineating one Antonio Romero from the next. A quick Internet search found no fewer than 10 of them in New York, not to mention four Anthony Romeros.
Read more...Collapse )

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2004
3:20 pm

I read today that islamic militants have again taken more hostages, this time 7 from countries ranging from Kenya, India and another country. They don't even have troops in Iraq but these ppl work for contractors who are aiding the transport of oil, military supplies, food etc. This just ONE day after filipino forces withdrew from Iraq upon the demands of the islamic groups holding hostage a filipino truck driver. I am wondering if the early withdrawal by the filipino goverment is going to spurn a rash taking of more hostages and threats to behead them all. I personally understand the reasoning behind the filipino backout but as a President I dont think it was a wise decision made by Pr. Arroyo. I believe she may have saved the one life of her citizen but has put thousands more in danger by allowing the terrorists to think that everyone will back down. What do you guys think?

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4:02 am
x_marx yo yo! This seems like a cool idea for a community. Doesn't seem very active tho. Maybe we can pick things up a bit!

I'm Mark, I'm 23, and I'm new to live journal. What a fun idea! I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Anyway, so I'm interested in talking about all kinds of things. Social justice, politics, fighting discrimination, civil rights. I'm very involved in these things here in VA. It's a tough state to live in when you're anything but straight. I believe in the "live and let live" philosophy. I don't want to force anyone to live by my beliefs any more than I think I should have to live by the beliefs of others. I've had some bad experiences with discrimination as a gay man, and I've witnessed quite a few negative things other people have gone through. But I've also seen the beauty and compassion of the human heart go above and beyond what I previously thought was possible, so I have hope. Hope is what this country needs. I think people give up on the idea that this is a country for the people. Problems in this society are so overwhelming that I think a lot of people don't really think they can make a difference. Apathy is what is wrong with America. So many people don't care anymore. There is so much ignorance here it amazes me. At least that is my opinion.
Anyway, I got off on a tangent there, but I'd love to have a forum in which I could discuss my views as well as hear the ideas of others. So if anyone's out there, I'd love to hear from you, and maybe make a few new friends while I'm at it.


current mood: cheerful

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Monday, June 14th, 2004
3:53 pm - Soooo...

It seems people who view homosexuality as immoral are secretly attracted to others of the same sex.

I agree. But that doesn't go nearly far enough, don't you think? Anyone who is a flaming queer is trying to hide the fact that he's in doubt about his sexuality. Likewise, the women who go on about how wonderful their visits to the abortion clinics are very much in denial. And anyone who claims "homophobia" is a bad thing is secretly disgusted by actual homosexuals.

current mood: cynical

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Monday, April 19th, 2004
9:13 am - last week on NPR

NPR did a piece on search engines and how they work last week. At one point scientists working on them lamented that they still couldn't filter out advertising when the user didn't want that. "What we need is something that will figure out what the user needs and give that to them," one of the interviewees said. (more or less).

So today, someone wrote in, saying it's already been invented. It's me, I'm a public librarian and I do that ...

ah, those old classes about the Reference Interview ...

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Friday, March 5th, 2004
2:19 pm

So in US History me and Jessy were being really funny, Nam told us about this girl named Ruth who was nice to Jews but a Nazi and then when things got bad she just kind of abandoned her Jewish friends and told on anyone who talked to them. So Jessy dubbed her (and I agreed) as “Little Red Nazi Hood.” And you know what I figured out that period? That Bush is so totally HITLER! Think about it, Hitler was to Jews as Bush is to Gays. It won’t be long before gay people have to wear rainbows on their heads and then Bush will send us all away and kill us… and he’ll put us all in isolation with a member of the opposite sex so that no sex or unchristian practices can occur… he will try and wipe out “America’s little homosexual problem”. Who really has the problem with it? He does, him and his tater tot fascism that has become the bible ruled government of the United States. Does he even realize that throwing a bible at a homo will do nothing? Still he tries, he tries and tries but no prevail. Those goddam faggots rise and marry in the streets! BLASPHEMY! Oh dear. The suppression and attempted extermination of the homosexuals of America will do nothing but make the rebellion come harder. We will rise and he will fall. He knows he is wrong and he knows that every homosexual in the world would be right by his side when he gets injured to support him… well, to support that battery and torture of his “heart”, “mind” and pathetic body.

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Sunday, January 25th, 2004
8:33 am - Daily show

As Iowans headed to the caucuses this evening, their backsides were still glistening from a weekend of intense posterior kissing by the four leading candidates in the Democratic race: Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry and John Edwards. All of whom came into election day in a statistical dead heat.


I do love the Daily Show.

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2004
1:37 am

Hmm this community isn't too active, so let's say something

Did you watch the State of the Union tonight? I was going to listen to it while I was on the comp, but my roommate commandeered the tv, so I didn't.

What did you think? Who do you plan on supporting in November? Any opinions about the Dem. race?

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Friday, January 17th, 2003
2:34 am - new and opinionated....

hi, i'm mike and new to the community. i was driven to find a community like this after recent events in the news and many debates between my friends and i about current political issues.

i'm just going to jump right in and sound off with my opinions about the affirmative action lawsuit with the university of michigan that has recently gained nationwide attention. if anyone thinks it's relevant, i am a 23 year old lower-middle class white guy, although i don't think it would matter much to me if that were different. i try to view everything in the most objective way i can.

affirmative action is inherently wrong, and i've been bashed before for saying that, but it is true. i think a basic problem is that too many people equate affirmative action with equal rights, and that is clearly not the case. if pure equal rights existed in our society, then no one would have any kind of artificial advantage over anyone else, whether it be based on race or financial status, etc. affirmative action does not promote equal rights. it provides an adnvantage to those who are viewed as being at a societal disadvantage (i.e. being poor or a minority). of course if anyone is given any kind of subjective preference like this, someone else is inevitably being put at a disadvantage.

the point-based system that the university of michigan uses in its admissions process is a transparent way of fulfilling quotas at the school, and they do this for obvious but unfortunate reasons. if the school was comrised 100% of white students, it would draw national attention and their admissions process would immediately be brought under fire. so of course the school wants to promote diversity, it keeps them out of trouble. by admitting a fair amount of people of different racial and financial backgrounds, they are guaranteeing that they will remain adequately diverse to avoid any negative attention. but affirmative action is the wrong way to go about creating diversity.

in fact, in a nation such as america, diversity is a natural occurrence. in the purest sense, everyone is free to pursue their goals, and everyone is equally able to work hard, study well, and make a better life for themselves. if, as i propose, schools were to disregard any subjective factors such as race, social status, geographical location, and relation to alumni, diversity would naturally occur. and if it did not, and this is an important point, it would not be a fault of the admissions system.

if i may digress for a moment, a related argument can be made for the welfare program in this country, which i think you will see is relevant to the previous discussion.

the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, no? that's what they always say. well, let's examine the welfare program, which is intended to change that, to help the poor get back on their feet and eventually move up into the higher ranks of society.

with welfare in place, we are rewarding people for being poor. we are in essence giving preference to the poor by giving them money they've done nothing to earn or to repay. under this system, people are paid when they don't work, and paid more for every child they have. consider a couple in poverty who choose not to work for a living because they can make more money sitting at home. they have three or four children, and are provided with even more money to support their "underpriviledged" kids. in twenty years, their children grow up, they stop receiving the child support welfare money, and are now poorer than before. not only that, but now there are four more adults who were raised in poverty and who are now also poor. they could strive to make a better life for themselves, or they could follow the example set by their parents and remain in poverty as well.

granted, there are many social factors involved here, and many people who surely do not follow the example i just described. but the reality is that an overwhelming majority do follow that pattern, and the problem is not being addressed. like the argument between giving a homeless person a handout or a hand-up, these people are not benefitting from the welfare program. free money sounds nice on the surface, but it does nothing to really help them in the long run, and teaches them nothing about the value of helping themselves.

i am not totally against welfare, of course, and in the short term i think it can be very beneficial, as long as it is not used as a crutch or a sole means of living.

now back to affirmative action. admitting people into school partly because they are a minority or poor, etc, does nothing to help them in the long run and teaches them nothing about the value of working hard for what they want to achieve. at the same time, it discriminates against a more qualified person who was, unfortunately, born white and middle to upper class.

the fact is that no subjective information should be included in college applications. no names, races, religions, etc. everything could easily be completed using only a social security number, and race or social status would never once be an issue. then only the most qualified students would be admitted. if by chance they all happened to be white, then something would need to be done to promote educational opportunities in lower class minority areas, but it would not be the fault of the system.

that is the important point. obviously in reality things don't always work out the way they theoretically should, and in america, minorities in poor school districts may be at a disadvantage when it comes to educational resources. but it is ridiculous to "fix" the admissions process by letting them into colleges anyway.

affirmative action is a nice idea, trying to promote equal rights, but it simply addresses all the wrong problems. if all that misdirected effort were focused on the real problems, then affirmative action would not be necessary at all.

endnote: i apologize for the long and rambling entry, but i've had a lot on my mind the past few days, and needed to get it all out. i look forward to hearing your opinions on these matters, and to having many more interesting and enlightening discussions with you all. thanks. :)

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Thursday, January 16th, 2003
9:40 pm
mouthforwar Hey there, without too much intro space... I'm new here, and this is a cross post, but I thought it to be a good way to start off in this community....

#1. How come it's suddenly in fashion for the government to tell me where I can and can't smoke? Isn't it really a matter of choice?


I mean, there are some who would argue that abortion affects more than just the person who's doing it. Isn't it funny how the liberals can argue that there should be freedom of choice on that issue, yet say there shouldn't be one for smokers.

What if someone wanted to tax abortion so that it became completely unaffordable for anyone to do? Would the Democrats cry foul?

Simply put, these are the things that are being done to smokers... think about it, free of your own personal bias.

#2. Would somebody please explain to me how giving up all of our civil rights is in the best interest of this country. There's been talk of getting rid of Miranda rights, throwing out the 4th amendment. As I type this right now, I have a feeling I'm being monitored by the government.

Anybody here ever read 1984?

#3. I've come upon some incredibly disturbing news stories as of late, and I'm wondering if anyone can make sense of any of them for me.

A provision in the federal "No Child Left Behind Act" requires school districts to help military recruiters contact students. If recruiters ask, districts have to send them the students' addresses and phone numbers.

Failure to do so could result in a loss of federal funding.

Why are we paying tax dollars to educate kids so they can get blown up in a foreign country fighting a war we shouldn't be in?

Missing Ho-Chunk Gambler Found In Las Vegas
Family Says He Doesn't Have Gambling Problem

The most disturbing thing about this is his family believes he doesn't have a gambling problem.

Daschle said the White House position will mean the fight for civil rights and diversity will be uphill.

President George W. Bush announced that he will file a friend-of-the-court brief Thursday in support of white students who were denied admission to the University of Michigan.

The rejected students maintain they had grades and qualifications at least equal to those of successful minority applicants.

So if I have this right, it's completely fair to give preferential treatment to minorities (if I remember correctly it's 20 bonus points on U of M's scale), however treating them as equals is wrong. Interesting.

A federally funded study has paid women as much as $75 to watch pornographic videos to determine "what types of audiovisual erotica women find sexually arousing."
Women participating in the $147,000 study at Northwestern University funded through the federal National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) were paid to "watch a series of commercially available film clips, some of which will be sexually explicit, while we monitor your body's sexual arousal," according to a flyer seeking volunteers for the study.

Rep. Dave Weldon, Florida Republican, cited the Northwestern study as an example of misplaced research priorities, saying he asked NICHD three years ago to study whether the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was associated with autism.
"The NIH couldn't find the money to look into this relationship between kids with regressive autism and the mandatory MMR vaccine, but they can pay people $150,000 to watch pornography," Mr. Weldon said.

I'd have to say I agree on this one... we're paying people to watch porn. Now while I don't mind a skin flick here and there, this is just fucking ludicrous. I sure as hell would like to be paid to watch porn, or eat fatty foods, or drink or smoke... all things which our government spends our money on to study. But instead I'm pay for others to do it? Why doesn't Washington just let me keep my hard earned money in my pocket so I can do these experiments myself?

Enough of that for now, I need to light up another smoke, have a drink and eat some red meat for dinner.

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Tuesday, January 14th, 2003
1:08 am - I'm sure all of you US news junkies will know to what I refer in my obscurity.

Of course he can be blamed, he stood on a platform two years ago and said that 1+1 would equal 4. But in fact 1+1 equaled less than 1 in this case. There is no excuse for poor arithmetic.

Are we worried about who will have to pay a premium for their internet? Can we have a president named Joe? Do other countries have flags that are flammable? Real estate is booming in Kuwait, if we knock Saddam Hussein off the wall, we can bring in highways, shopping malls and elevator music. Fight for the right of people to propagate parking lots!

Shh you Green Peacers, Niki Taylor and Connie Chung are having an enlightening conversation about her extraordinary life and near death experiences.

Speaking of near death experiences, how dare we not shoot up possibly innocent men with poison? If they are released, who else will we implicate for the crime to comfort the families of the "victims?" Not innocent until someone else can be packaged guilty and put to sleep. I must see someone murdered for the murder of the person I loved. Then those that loved him must see someone else murdered for murderer's murder. Perhaps we should start being more economic, Timothy McVeigh had the right idea. Instead of playing dominoes with lives, why not just knock us all off at once? The US truly does have an utter disregard for the idea of economy. Mass murder--save energy, time and the expense. But in the true manner of a world of contradictions, we practice homicide economy where we think that the powerful voters can not see, but where the even more powerful lobbyists have front row seats to the opera.

Hey, if you're good and promise not to defend yourself when we come to spank you, we'll teach you some of our decadence and maybe even shower you with SUVs. How dare you defend yourself?

My love for the news surpasses my love for hollywood movies. I find it infinitely more occupying. I find it infinitely more ubiquitous. I find it infinitely more economic.

current mood: high

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Sunday, January 5th, 2003
11:28 pm - ...I just don't get it...

Ok, please I don't mean to offend anyone BUT I figured this was the place to post this:

Today I read a story about an African American man who is suing a bank for making him take his sunglasses. He says he was being discriminated against. Now, I'm 18, a small girl, and this summer whilst making a deposit for work, I was asked to do the same thing. I thought it was weird yes, but does everything in the world have to be discrimination?!?!?!

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Monday, July 22nd, 2002
10:36 pm - first post

This is a community designed for people to come and share thier opinions and get feedback from the other members. You are welcome to post on any subject(politics, school, religion, etc) Anything you have an opinion about. Please be respectful to the members of the community.

Any suggestions or comments about the community can be directed to me

current mood: happy

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