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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:46 pm 
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The Times December 21, 2006

FBI reveals its Lennon records
LOS ANGELES The FBI has released its final surveillance documents on John Lennon to a university historian who has waged a 25-year legal battle to obtain the secret files.

The ten pages contain new details about Lennon’s ties to leftwing groups in London in the early 1970s, but nothing indicating that the former Beatle was considered a serious threat, Jon Wiener, the historian, told the Los Angeles Times. The FBI had argued that an un-named foreign government secretly provided the information and that releasing the papers could lead to diplomatic, political or economic retaliation against the United States.

The documents include a report stating that two prominent British leftwingers had courted Lennon in the hope that he would finance “a left-wing bookshop and reading room in London; but Lennon gave them no moneyâ€￾.(AP)

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FBI releases last of secret John Lennon files

REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The FBI has released the last 10 documents from its secret files on slain Beatle John Lennon that had been withheld for 25 years on the ground they could prompt "military retaliation" against the United States, campaigners for their release said on Wednesday.

The files turn out to contain only well known information about Lennon's ties to left-wing leaders and antiwar groups in London in 1970 and 1971, said Jon Wiener, a history professor at the University of California, Irvine, and the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Today we can see that the national security claims the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning. The Lennon FBI file is a classic case of excessive government secrecy," Wiener said in a statement.

The released documents include one that states Lennon "encouraged the belief that he holds revolutionary views ... by the content of some of his songs."

Another talks of the Beatle turned anti-war campaigner promising to finance a left-wing bookshop in London. A third describes a 1971 interview with Lennon in The Red Mole, a London underground newspaper, in which the singer "emphasized his proletarian background and his sympathy with the oppressed and underprivileged people of Britain and the world."

Wiener first requested the files in 1981. After legal action under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act that went all the way to the Supreme Court, he got most of the 300 pages in the Lennon files released in 1997.

But 10 documents remained classified on the grounds of national security. The FBI told the U.S. courts in 1983 that release of those documents could "lead to foreign diplomatic, economic and military retaliation against the United States."

Wiener, whose campaign was detailed in a book and formed the basis of the 2006 documentary "The U.S. vs John Lennon," has posted the documents on the Web site www.LennonFBIfiles.com.

"I doubt that Tony Blair's government will launch a military strike on the U.S. in retaliation for the release of these documents," Wiener said.

Lennon, whose iconic song "Imagine" has become a rallying call for anti-war activists around the world, was murdered in New York in December 1980 by a deranged fan

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:35 pm 
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Government spooks helped Microsoft build [Windows] Vista

The Inquirer | January 10, 2007
Nick Farrell

THE USA GOVERNMENT'S cryptologic organisation, the National Security Agency, has admitted that it is behind some of the security changes to Microsoft's operating system Vista.

According to the Washington Post , the agency which was once so secret that it was jokingly referred to as 'No such Agency' has admitted making 'unspecified contributions' to Vista.

Tony Sager, the NSA's chief of vulnerability analysis and operations group, told the Post that it was the agency's intention to help everyone these days.

The NSA used a red and a blue team to pull apart the software. The red team posed as "the determined, technically competent adversary" to disrupt, corrupt or steal information. The Blue team helped Defense Department system administrators with Vista's configuration.

Vole said that it has sought help from the NSA over the last four years. Apparently its skills can be seen in the Windows XP consumer version and the Windows Server 2003 for corporate customers.

The assistance is at the US taxpayers' expense, although the NSA says it all makes perfect sense. Not only is the NSA protecting United States business, its own Defense Department uses VoleWare so it is in the government's interest to make sure it is as secure as possible.

Microsoft is not the only one to tap the spooks. Apple, with its Mac OSX operating system, and Novell with its SUSE Linux also asked the NSA what it thought of their products. The NSA is quite good at finding weapons of mass destruction that are not there.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Defense Workers Warned About Spy Coins

By TED BRIDIS
Associated Press Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Can the coins jingling in your pocket trace your movements? The Defense Department is warning its American contractor employees about a new espionage threat seemingly straight from Hollywood: It discovered Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside.

In a U.S. government report, it said the mysterious coins were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

The U.S. report doesn't suggest who might be tracking American defense contractors or why. It also doesn't describe how the Pentagon discovered the ruse, how the transmitters might function or even which Canadian currency contained them.

Further details were secret, according to the U.S. Defense Security Service, which issued the warning to the Pentagon's classified contractors. The government insists the incidents happened, and the risk was genuine.

"What's in the report is true," said Martha Deutscher, a spokeswoman for the security service. "This is indeed a sanitized version, which leaves a lot of questions."

Top suspects, according to intelligence and technology experts: China, Russia or even France - all said to actively run espionage operations inside Canada with enough sophistication to produce such technology.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said it knew nothing about the coins.

"This issue has just come to our attention," CSIS spokeswoman Barbara Campion said. "At this point, we don't know of any basis for these claims." She said Canada's intelligence service works closely with its U.S. counterparts and will seek more information if necessary.

Experts were astonished about the disclosure and the novel tracking technique, but they quickly rejected suggestions Canada's government might be spying on American contractors. The intelligence services of the two countries are extraordinarily close and routinely share sensitive secrets.

"It would seem unthinkable," said David Harris, former chief of strategic planning for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. "I wouldn't expect to see any offensive operation against the Americans."

Harris said likely candidates include foreign spies who targeted Americans abroad or businesses engaged in corporate espionage. "There are certainly a lot of mysterious aspects to this," Harris said.

Experts said such tiny transmitters would almost certainly have limited range to communicate with sensors no more than a few feet away, such as ones hidden inside a doorway.

"I'm not aware of any (transmitter) that would fit inside a coin and broadcast for kilometers," said Katherine Albrecht, an activist who believes such technology carries serious privacy risks. "Whoever did this obviously has access to some pretty advanced technology."

Experts said hiding tracking technology inside coins is fraught with risks because the spy's target might inadvertently give away the coin or spend it buying coffee or a newspaper.

They agreed, however, that a coin with a hidden tracking device might not arose suspicion if it were discovered loose in a pocket or briefcase.

"It wouldn't seem to be the best place to put something like that; you'd want to put it in something that wouldn't be left behind or spent," said Jeff Richelson, a researcher and author of books about the CIA and its gadgets. "It doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense."

Canada's physically largest coins include its $2 "Toonie," which is more than 1-inch across and thick enough to hide a tiny transmitter. The CIA has acknowledged its own spies have used hollow, U.S. silver-dollar coins to hide messages and film.

The government's 29-page report was filled with other espionage warnings. It described unrelated hacker attacks, eavesdropping with miniature pen recorders and the case of a female foreign spy who seduced her American boyfriend to steal his computer passwords.

In another case, a film processing company called the FBI after it developed pictures for a contractor that contained classified images of U.S. satellites and their blueprints. The photo was taken from an adjoining office window.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:56 am 
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Secrecy Is at Issue in Suits Opposing Spy Program

By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: January 26, 2007

The Bush administration has employed extraordinary secrecy in defending the National Security Agency’s highly classified domestic surveillance program from civil lawsuits. Plaintiffs and judges’ clerks cannot see its secret filings. Judges have to make appointments to review them and are not allowed to keep copies.

Judges have even been instructed to use computers provided by the Justice Department to compose their decisions.

But now the procedures have started to meet resistance. At a private meeting with the lawyers in one of the cases this month, the judges who will hear the first appeal next week expressed uneasiness about the procedures, said a lawyer who attended, Ann Beeson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lawyers suing the government and some legal scholars say the procedures threaten the separation of powers, the adversary system and the lawyer-client privilege. (...)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:08 am 
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they already got your picture...

FBI obtained records 'illegally'

The FBI has been illegally obtaining information on the US public, a report by the justice department's inspector general has said.

The FBI used the Patriot Act, passed after the 11 September 2001 attacks, to compel the release of information illegally or improperly, it said.

It said most of the errors were through poor record-keeping or agent mistakes rather than criminal misconduct.

The errors were "unacceptable" and would be corrected, the FBI said.

Rise in requests

The 126-page report by inspector general Glenn Fine said in some cases agents had failed to get the proper authorisation to obtain personal data.

In others they sought the data in non-emergency situations.

"We believe the improper or illegal uses we found involve serious misuses of national security letter authorities," it concluded.

The Patriot Act allowed for the use of such national security letters, or administrative subpoenas, in cases relating to spying or terrorism.

Under such a subpoena, personal records of clients and customers must be handed over to the FBI from such sources as banks, telephone firms and internet service providers.

The report said national security letter requests had risen from 39,000 in 2003 to about 56,000 in 2004 before falling back to about 47,000 in 2005.

In a review of field office files, the report found that 22% of the cases it investigated contained one or more possible unreported or unidentified violations.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales praised the report and said he had told FBI director Robert Mueller past mistakes would "not be tolerated".

Mr Mueller said the deficiencies were "unacceptable".

"While we've already taken some steps to address these shortcomings, I am ordering additional corrective measures to be taken immediately," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6435891.stm

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Bush Wants Phone Firms Immune to Privacy Suits

Washington Post | May 04, 2007
Ellen Nakashima


The Bush administration is urging Congress to pass a law that would halt dozens of lawsuits charging phone companies with invading ordinary citizens' privacy through a post-Sept. 11 warrantless surveillance program.

The measure is part of a legislative package drafted by the Justice Department to relax provisions in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that restrict the administration's ability to intercept electronic communications in the United States. If passed, the proposed changes would forestall efforts to compel disclosure of the program's details through Congress or the court system.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Microsoft develops 'big brother' software

The Inquirer | May 23, 2007
Nick Farrell

BACKROOM BOFFINS at Microsoft have had a breakthrough in developing software which can accurately guess your name, age, gender and potentially even your location, by analysing patterns in your web browsing history.

The big idea is to prevent people from protecting their online identity by telling porkies about their personal details.

According to New Scientist, Volish software engineer Jian Hu from Microsoft's research lab in Beijing said that there are strong correlations between the sites that people visit and their personal characteristics. For example, 74 per cent of women seek health and medical information online, while only 58 per cent of men do. And 34 per cent of women surf the internet for information about religion, whereas 25 per cent of men do the same.

Another Volish boffin said that Hua-Jun Zeng said software could get its raw information from a new type of "cookie" program that records the pages visited or even your own cache of web pages. So far the software can only guess gender and age with any accuracy, the next stage is to predict your occupation, level of qualifications, and perhaps your location.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:36 pm 
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6673579.stm

A senior police officer has said he fears the spread of CCTV cameras is leading to "an Orwellian situation".

Deputy chief constable of Hampshire Ian Readhead said Britain could become a surveillance society with cameras on every street corner.

He told the BBC's Politics Show that CCTV was being used in small towns and villages where crime rates were low.

Mr Readhead also called for the retention of some DNA evidence and the use of speed cameras to be reviewed.

His force area includes the small town of Stockbridge, where parish councillors have spent £10,000 installing CCTV.

Mr Readhead questioned whether the relatively low crime levels justified the expense and intrusion.

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'Every street corner?'

"I'm really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next?" he said.

"If it's in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner?

"And I really don't think that's the kind of country that I want to live in."

There are up to 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain - about one for every 14 people.

The UK also has the world's biggest DNA database, with 3.6 million DNA samples on file.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:51 pm 
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The world makes you sick doesn't it? It scares me just how much of this shit the government is able to get away with without being brought in to question, the bastards.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:23 am 
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You know Dan, I am more worried with the media than with the gov't.

After Screaming CCTV Cameras in the UK, it doesn't get more much more Orwellian than this:

Wi-fi and RFID used for tracking

Wireless tracking systems could be used to protect patients in hospitals and students on campuses, backers of the technology said.

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People can wear the Siemens/Ekahau tags

The combination of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and wi-fi allows real-time tracking of objects or people inside a wireless network.

Angelo Lamme, from Motorola, said tracking students on a campus could help during a fire or an emergency.

"You would know where your people are at any given moment," he said.

Marcus Birkl, head of wireless at Siemens, said location tracking of assets or people was one of the biggest incentives for companies, hospitals and education institutions to roll out wi-fi networks.

Both firms were at The Wireless Event, in London, this week selling new products in the area of so-called real-time location services.

Siemens is pushing a complete system, developed with Finnish firm Ekahau, which can track objects or people.

Battery powered

Battery-powered RFID tags are placed on an asset and they communicate with at least three wireless access points inside the network to triangulate a location.

Mr Birkl said: "The tags have a piece of software on them and they detect the signal strength of different access points.

"This information is sent back to the server and it then models the movement of the tag depending on the shift in signal strength detected."

For the system to work, the building or area that has been deployed with a wireless network needs to have been mapped and calibrated.

To effectively locate objects a wireless access point is needed every 30 metres and Siemens said it was able to pinpoint assets to within a metre of their actual position.

Mr Birkl said: "It's very useful for the health care industry - where there are highly expensive pieces of mobile equipment that move around a hospital.

"At every point in the day health staff need to know where it is."

The system can also be used to track wi-fi equipped devices, such as laptops, tablet PCs and wi-fi enabled phones.

"You can record movements over a period of time. You can see if the security guard in the night makes the right rounds, for example," said Mr Birkl.

He added: "You can set certain boundaries and parameters. If a certain device enters or leaves an area it could trigger an alarm."

'More popular'

As wi-fi becomes more popular in schools, the technology could also be used to track students.

"It has to be aligned with the understanding of the people who are tracked," said Mr Birkl.

There have been privacy concerns expressed in some quarters about RFID tags, especially around the possible use of tags on shopping goods to monitor consumer spending habits.

RFID supporters have pointed out that the tags cannot be read at a great distance, but combining the technology with wi-fi raises the possibility of remote tracking.

Tags on products are typically passive - they have no power source and are only activated when read by a scanner in close proximity. These tags contain only an identifying number and can be small enough to embed in a sheet of paper.

But the tags used in conjunction with a wi-fi network have to be active - they need a power source and have software installed on them that communicates with the wireless access points.

The tags, therefore, are larger in size, and currently are impractical for use on anything other than high value consumer goods or, potentially, on people.

"There needs to be standards put in place so the data is not abused for other purposes," said Mr Birkl.

He added: "But there are clear benefits to keeping people safe."

More than half of respondents to a recent pan-Europe consultation on RFID said regulations were needed to police the use of tags.

[my bold]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6691139.stm

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:26 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
I am more worried with the media than with the gov't.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6691139.stm


and then you post yet another copied and pasted bbc news report... wow! you're so radical! :twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 10:43 am 
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And you are SO clever, I just can't believe it! :mrgreen: :twisted:

Thanks for reading my thread, Lumpy...

What search engines know about us

By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website

The search engines that power our journey through the internet know a lot about us - from the operating system and browser we use, to the kinds of websites we typically visit.

As Google comes under scrutiny over its privacy policies in Europe, our technology editor looks at the information that search engines and web services firms record about us.


The websites I visit most frequently include the BBC News website, Wikipedia, Microsoft, Apple and Cnet, while Pirate Bay, the World Time Clock and RFID and wi-fi are among my most searched for terms in the last 30 days.

I know this because Google tells me so. As a Google account holder, and because I asked it to, the computer giant records how I use the internet whenever I am logged into its service.

The data is quite detailed: it shows that I do most of my search engine queries between 11am and noon, but also that I am still busy online through most evenings.

It tells me the products I have searched for, the news items, the video clips, the images and even the maps I have looked at.

If anyone were to look at this information, they would have a comprehensive idea of my lifestyle, my interests and potentially even my movements - Google records that I searched for the location of a hairdressers in Richmond last week.

Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN probably know a lot about me too. I am frequently logged into their services, and while I don't use their search engines, both firms know some personal details because I had to provide them when I registered.

And this is what worries some privacy experts. They want to ensure that this information remains private and is not abused in any way.

(...)

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
Thanks for reading my thread, Lumpy...


oh, I'm just checking to see if someone, besides you, might have posted something interesting. something I wouldn't already know.

oh, and there you go again with "your" thread... :mrgreen:

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Lumpy Gravy wrote:
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
Thanks for reading my thread, Lumpy...


oh, I'm just checking to see if someone, besides you, might have posted something interesting. something I wouldn't already know.

oh, and there you go again with "your" thread... :mrgreen:


don't sugar coat it Lumpy,, tell it like it is,,,,

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:58 pm 
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who gives a fucking shit. yawn.

You could replace these topics with something else and you'd get worried in the exact same way. Getting alarmed over political/current event issues is a superficial waste of time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:07 pm 
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pigs03 wrote:
who gives a fucking shit. yawn.

You could replace these topics with something else and you'd get worried in the exact same way. Getting alarmed over political/current event issues is a superficial waste of time.
It isn't really. Your freedom to do what you want is contingent on politics/current events. It certainly warrants paying attention to.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:32 pm 
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Virtually all democratically elected governments won't intrude your 'freedom' to the extent of your life being unlivable. Stuff like this just lies beyond, and it's not altering you in any way, no matter how much you'd like to claim it does.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:04 pm 
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pigs03 wrote:
Virtually all democratically elected governments won't intrude your 'freedom' to the extent of your life being unlivable. Stuff like this just lies beyond, and it's not altering you in any way, no matter how much you'd like to claim it does.


Russia is a 'democracy'. Since Putin became president there have been journalists assassinated, this whole litvenko thing, and then the other day anti-Putin protests were broken up, many peaceful protesters and journalists arrested. There is one case of a democratically elected government intruding on your freedom.

If you let small things slide the small things will grow until you're faced with big things that you can't stop from sliding.

And, of course, some people do, believe it or not, have moral issues with various government policies. Moral issues that are important enough to them to be worthy of making a stand for.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:19 pm 
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king wrote:
And, of course, some people do, believe it or not, have moral issues with various government policies. Moral issues that are important enough to them to be worthy of making a stand for.


And get ignored for it, or pick up a little pride along the way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:42 pm 
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and if yer free and democratic government existed only in name, like they tell ya where the reality encourages people who 'don't wanna be bothered with the waste of time of knowledge' to instead stick their head in the sand . . .
well,
maybe you should think about this, as an alternative to yer gated mindset:
"When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun
When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting on death row
You can crush us
You can bruise us
But you'll have to answer to
Oh, the guns of Brixton
The money feels good
And your life you like it well
But surely your time will come
As in heaven, as in hell
You see, he feels like Ivan
Born under the Brixton sun
His game is called survivin'
At the end of the harder they come
You know it means no mercy
They caught him with a gun
No need for the Black Maria
Goodbye to the Brixton sun"
Guns of Brixton, Paul Simonon, The Clash

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Hahaha, yet another example of conforming to stereotypes. My opinion differs from the 'correct one', so you lump me in with 'people sticking their head in the sand.'

I am apolitical, and I, above all, don't live in the same world as everone else, so such trivial matters are of no concern to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:35 pm 
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You don't live in the same world as everybody else.
Seems like it must be a pretty nice place.
Lonely too, I bet.
Bet yer a real hipster at school, too.
Just a friendly li'l reminder then that you can't live outside of reality. Reality is bigger than you. and the more you know about it, the more you concern yourself with it, the better you become at dealing with it. Ignoring this sets you up for a fall.
"cuz don't you know that this could start
on any street in any town,
in any state if any clown
Decides that now's the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain't no Great Society
As it applies to you and me
Our country isn't free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns the store
y'know"
--Trouble Every Day, Freak Out!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:41 am 
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pigs03 wrote:
I am apolitical, and I, above all, don't live in the same world as everone else, so such trivial matters are of no concern to me.


I don't think there is such a thing as being apolitical. The fact you've expressed your opinion upon this topic shows otherwise...

Nice quotes punknaynowned...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:21 am 
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Well yeh, and you can't be a 'conservative' or a 'liberal' in that case either, then. We all have different tendencies towards everything, and when you sum yourself up by one word, you are rejecting your conservative leanings, or green leanings, etc. Opting for a political party, and presenting yourself as part of that political party, is a gross overgeneralization of yourself, because there are different factors within your mind that differ from the concrete, established rule you impose upon yourself, and naively follow. By calling myself apolitical, however contradictory that may sound in relation to what I just said, I am rejecting the political 'motive' - thinking by a formula.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:42 am 
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Still, there's a big difference between refusing to conform to a political typecast, and not caring at all about anything. Seem to me like what you really are trying to do is to resist the "knee-jerk" reaction of "the left" and "the right" ideologies to a given sociopolitical situation. Which is a healthy attitude - but don't assume that anyone taking a "left" position or a "right" position is doing so out of conformity. There are plenty of free thinkers out there besides yourself and your ilk.

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