dont_deny_me

Quiz Thingamajig

Intelligent Beauty
D:

Your Beauty lies in
Intelligence. Logical, wise and a book-worm. You
have a mature beauty and
look that shows how smart you are. You rely solely
on your logic to solve all
your or anyone else's problems, which is a bit of a
two-sided coin. The fact
makes you seem rather emotionless and cold to some
people. Not everything can be
solved with logic. Despite it, many come to you for
advice and love how
smart you are, wondering if there is anything you
don't know. You probably don't
wear much make-up as it distracts you from your
studies, but you may wear a pair
of glasses just because you like how you look in
them, whether you need them or
not. For the most part, your looks mean little to
you, which makes all the more
attractive, especially when you're concentrated on
something. Good for you. Now
go get your next A+.



Some Things That
Represent
You:



Element: Water,
Light Animal: Owl Color: Black,
White, Blues Song:
Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata Expression:
Concentrated Stare



Gemstone: Topaz
Mythological
Creature:
Centaur Planet: Uranus
Hair Color: Dusty Blonde Eye Color:
Gray-Blue



Quote:
"Knowledge is
power."




Where Does Your Beauty Lie? ..::Original Pictures Are Back! Detailed Results::..
brought to you by Quizilla

Lol it's quite accurate. Ahem. Naturally :P

I'm into white and blues, especially blues. And I think I'm a water-person. I'm allergic to UV light, and I think I'm quite sensitive to light. And I'm up at 2.30am. That makes me a vampire! Owl? Nocturnal? Yeah that sounds right..Centaur? Haha, okay I'll bet they were horsing around when they said that lol. Uranus cracks me up. I blame it on the fact that my mud friends have corrupted me :P
dont_deny_me

(no subject)

I hereby declare that the *only* forums I will bother about are those that contain serious, civil, INTELLIGENT discussion and where I am rahter assured of the intellecutal level of the majority of the posters(yes I know I'm being a snob but I never said that I wasn't one!) because I am so bloody sickened by these dilettante (and mind you this word is almost a compliment) philosophers / political theorists coming up with totally stupid theories/comments/questions that are supposed to pass off as something intelligent. Yeah right.

So much for using Livejournal as a means to tap into various nuclei of intellectual discussion around the globe on top of checking friends' locked posts. Bah.
dont_deny_me

FASCISM USA

Gacked off this forum I'm on. Here is the argument as to why:

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
from Free Inquiry, Spring 2003
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

-----------

My counterargument (as posted in response, on that forum):
The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. >> this is contrary to the fact that the US soldiers who were involved in the Abu Ghriab prison abuse are facing court martial.

Supremacy of the Military >>> Really, I thought it was because of the Iraq War that put a heavy burden on the military spending, and not because the leaders are generally fascist and are hence obsessed with the military. Anyway, the future of Iraq is important for America's image in the global community, so perhaps this increased military spending could arise from political, and not ideological motivations instead?

Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe >> You cannot possibly think that terrorists are NOT a real threat. The 911 attacks just serve that terrorism is REAL. and very ALIVE. how can they be PERCEIVED?? (And yes, there are many examples I could quote to back me up too, from all over the world...) Herein lies the difference between a human reaction to a real threat, and a fanatical "THEY HATE US!!! THEY MUST!!! THEY DO!!!" (pun not intended) frenzy...

Controlled Mass Media >> Michael Moore is alive and kicking. And Fahrenheit 911 was shown 1 day before the elections. All over America, there are tons and tons of anti-Bush (and well, anti-Kerry) literature. Freedom of the press is still alive, methinks.

traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. i don't think the issue here is on sexism, but because Bush Jnr is a very traditional Christian in terms of belief (and yes, the Moral Majority in the US would like this very much too, methinks). And if the Bush Admin was truly sexist, then it does not explain why Condoleeza Rice and Elaine Chao are serving in office.

Religion and Government are Intertwined >> I agree that many of Bush's speeches etc have been peppered with lots of relgious quotes, God this, God that, but I doubt that religion is used here as a deliberate political construct. Instead, I would argue that the religious flavour US governance has taken on, is a natural antithesis to a world movement that is religious in nature (ie: Islamic fundamnetlaism)

On this point: Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts >> Funny one should say this. The US boasts some of hte world's greatest universities, and the prestigious Ivy League Unis of the US, for example, are synonymous with world-class educational and research excellence. And the part about freedom of expression being attacked is even more ludicrous. See my point on Michael Moore.

So...no...they do not sound familiar...sorry :)
dont_deny_me

in response to flyingfaerie's article

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,514207,00.html

check out the story there!

havent been following British politics, let alone the *history* of British politics, so I can't give a comparative analysis btw the Blair govt and other British governments but anyway.

I don't know if the article is with regards to the *downside* of the system of meritocracy itself, or the screwing up of the powers that be in failing to move society towards that of a more all - encompassing one. It seems to be a rant against the powers that be and how they are totally ignoring the plight of the masses and licking the boots of the industry moguls.

Meritocracy is by nature not a bad thing in itself(in fact I would argue in favour of meritocracy), and in some warped way, it is the "fairest" (although it might be interesting to note that it is not really that fair since some people obviously have more desirable traits than others to begin with) system compared to a caste system or a communist system or anything like that. It is a philosophical carrot used to entice people in general to work harder to climb ladders to grab more oppurtuinities for themselves in order to lead a better life, which translates to progress.

Having been "branded" by the education system is a shallow way of judging one's abilities (I've heard complaints about Oxbridge grads not even being able to do simple stuff), agreed, but i think that there is an incresaing recognition that it is but only one way to judge a person, and i think employers, or whoever, are placing an increasing premium on other qualities. (I'm speaking in a general sense, not really a British sense)

But even so, I think it inevitable that where there is a group of people, there will always be tiers created by society to try to set people apart based on their perceived abilities. And the truth is, there is always going to be a limited number of people in a certain tier. Undeniable. I'm not even sure if this "caste" system is a Frankenstein created by meritocracy itself, or is it just a part of the human condition. I personally think that it is just so human to try to classify and judge.

The rants being descriptions of the disgraces of meritocracy is a misnomer imho. I would call it a rant against human nature, or to put things more specifically, a rant against the shortcomings of the powers that be. Don't you think it's human nature to want to suckup and kiss the asses of the big and powerful people who can keep you in power? And hence if it is about the desire for power, the focus should be about a study of the behaviour of governance, not meritocracy itself isn't it? Meritocracy might have created the problem of Oxbridge folks being blind to the problems of the masses as described here, but then again, theoretically, it doesn't have to be this way. At best, it just happened to be an accidental Pandora's box.

Plus, a very important question to beg is: why are those that are being branded as failures by the education system being branded as failures? Of course we cannot rule out the possibility that it just but a result of the law of numbers (think the bell curve), but then again, I would suspect it might be because that these people never tried to put in the effort to progress up the educational echelons when they were younger.

Am not sure too, if he was making a generalization when he said more participation from the lower classes = better governance. For one, could those examples he cited be anomalies? Also, would members of the lower economic/social classes in society devote time to thinking about social issues seriously? This begs the question of how deeply involved they should be in local politics (let's leave foreign affairs out for obvious reasons :p)

"You should consider opening a casino nearby. We are so poor and underprivileged that we think gambling is good so we can try our hands at making a fortune"

OR

"get those migrants away from here/stop outsourcing, these people are competing with us for our lower end telemarketing and what have you jobs"

not that the views of the underprivileged should be dismissed, they should never be, as tehy are the ones who neeed the greatest boost in climbing up the socio economic ladder, but I'm just saying that one might want to be cautious about taking them TOO seriously.

:)
dont_deny_me

(no subject)

If I were a month, I'd be: December

If I were a day of the week, I'd be: Friday

If I were a time of day, I'd be: Evening

If I were a planet, I'd be: Plato

If I were a sea animal, I'd be: A clownfish. or any sorta nice looking fish.

If I were a direction, I'd be: fooling everybody because i'll get my signs mixed up

If I were a sin, I'd be: Pride/Sloth/Gluttony

If I were a historical figure, I'd be: Socrates/Amazon warrior! :P (oops I think they're mythical...)

If I were a liquid, I'd be: Water. Or orange juice. Yum.

If I were a tree, I'd be: Sycamore tree

If I were a bird, I'd be: a nice little colourful bird.

If I were a tool, I'd be: Nuts.

If I were a flower/plant: Lily, daisy

If I were a kind of weather: rainy day.

If I were a mythical creature: faerie.

If I were a musical instrument: Violin

If I were an animal, I'd be: a fish.

If I were a color, I'd be: Blue.

If I were an emotion, I'd be: Hmmmm.

If I were a vegetable, I'd be: Capsicum. Yum.

If I were a sound, I'd be: silence

If I were an element, I'd be: water

If I were a car, I'd be: driving around town.

If I were a song, I'd be: Sarah McLachlan's "fallen"

If I were a movie, I'd be: Dumb and Dumber :P

If I were a book, I'd be: no idea

If I were a food, I'd be: Japanese!

If I were a place, I'd be: A nice quiet meadow/beach/woodlands

If I were a material, I'd be: a material girl.

If I were a taste, I'd be: mildly sweet

If I were a scent, I'd be: natural but nice.

If I were a religion, I'd be: somewhere between Atheism and Agnosticism and Christianity. Am I confusing you?

If I were a word, I'd be: Meh.

If I were an object, I'd be: A bed...zzzz

If I were a body part, I'd be: eyes

If I were a facial expression, I'd be: blank

If I were a subject in school, I'd be: Econs.

If I were a cartoon character, I'd be: bugs bunny!

If I were a shape, I'd be a: circle

If I were a number, I'd be: 0

If I were a disease, I'd be: love
dont_deny_me

haha.

1. Reform Judaism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (94%)
3. Sikhism (94%)
4. Bahai Faith (86%)
5. Jainism (84%)
6. Unitarian Universalism (83%)
7. Islam (77%)
8. Orthodox Judaism (77%)
9. Mahayana Buddhism (76%)
10. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (75%)
11. Neo-Pagan (73%)
12. Orthodox Quaker (70%)
13. Theravada Buddhism (68%)
14. New Age (63%)
15. Taoism (61%)
16. Hinduism (59%)
17. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (52%)
18. Scientology (50%)
19. Secular Humanism (50%)
20. New Thought (47%)
21. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (46%)
22. Seventh Day Adventist (41%)
23. Eastern Orthodox (39%)
24. Roman Catholic (39%)
25. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (33%)
26. Jehovah's Witness (33%)
27. Nontheist (26%)
dont_deny_me

for anyone interested in american politics.

eh well. i certainly dont claim to be an expert on american politics, but having read 'the economist' today (a rather outdated issue actually), i felt that i had to make some comments on America and her relationship with the Middle East. Despite the fact that Gulf War II was launched almost slightly more than a year ago, I think, the aftermath of the Iraq War is still rather hotly debated about in all corners of the world. The incident of the Iraqi prisoners abuse still has its vibrations of shock and anger felt in many parts of the world, and the question of Iraq's fate still lies looming around, and it is pretty hard to be optimistic about the whole situation.

I've always thought that the war was not justified, simply because the end result of it all was still a pretty messed up Iraq, and there seems to have been no quality plans laid out by the Bush administration to rebuild a peaceful, democratic and happy Iraq. The war was absolutely justified in terms of human rights issues, Sadam Hussein was no doubt a tyrant, the list of grotesque deeds he has committed towards those under him is almost unspeakable of, and endless nonetheless. Removing his government by military force was definitely justified. But the aim of the war was not to remove a government just for the sake of it. In the end, theoretically speaking, you want a peaceful and happier Iraq. If the Bush admin has no real plan in producing that, then the war is not justified.

However, it might still be too early to pass the final judgement on the Bush Administration on the issue of Iraq itself. The only true teller of America's rightness or wrongness will be history and time itself. But in the meantime, it is not difficult to envision another failed American campaign of democracy in the form of a crippled Iraq.

The greatest tragedy, I feel, is that America is not exercising its power in the most responsible manner. With great power comes great responsibilty. But sometimes the greatest fools are the wielders of the greatest powers. America's actions have alienated many in the Arab world, and both Muslims and non-Muslims in her foreign policy, and is sadly greeted with much cynicism and hostility in many parts of the globe. But then again, this is to be expected isn't it? How can anyone trust America with the responsibility to ensure that a real difference can be made in the future, politically or socially speaking in any country after each disgraceful mistake, each with its own fair share of costly consequences? And the sad truth is this : many countries in the world still have governments that have terrible human rights records. America can make a difference, but she needs the trust of the global community. And this trust has been betrayed time and again, and viewed with nothing but cynicism and anger.

Anyhow, I still hope that the Iraq War will be won, simply because it has to be. It's America's redeeming chance to prove to the rest of the world that hope still exists. If not, it will add on to the decades of distrust and hostility that will simply teach our future generations that even the world's best alternative to a global police force cannot serve its citizens properly, and all rhetoric of a peaceful, happier, democratic globe will be dismissed as an idealistic dream, nothing more.

The statue of liberty will just see all it embraces merely buried dead in stone, no more a shining light that provides hope for many, but a grim reminder that maybe liberty is a dream of the past already.

oh and before i end, maybe i should say 'welcome' to xue, latest addition to my LJ friend list. :)