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I'm against the death penalty. I find killing someone to show that killing is wrong is hypocritical. Death prevents people from having the chance of rehabilitation. Keep people in prison without parole if they are incapable of reform (like serial killers). The death penalty doesn't protect people from violence (yes, I am aware that there is violence in prisons. But this means we need to improve security in prisons. It doesn't mean we have to support capital punishment). There's the argument that it can be used in the war against terror. However, It doesn't serve as a deterrent against people like suicide bombers. It can make martyrs out of people (e.g. Timothy McVeigh). Mistakes happen. Judges and juries are not infalllible. Innocent people have been killed through capital punishment, and you can't bring back the dead to life.

Death Penalty: Questions and Answers (Amnesty international):  http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/010/2007/en/f45ed09c-d3a2-11dd-a329-2f46302a8cc6/act500102007en.html

Use of Death Penalty around the world:http://www.amnesty.org.au/images/uploads/adp/amnesty_international-death_sentences_and_executions_in_2009.pdf

Here are some posts on the death penalty  I found fascinating: http://miketroll.livejournal.com/399799.html

http://bec-87rb.livejournal.com/190189.html

http://peace-froggs.livejournal.com/155466.html

http://community.livejournal.com/talk_politics/571752.html?thread=41561192#t41561192

Read more... )

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Don't have least favourite book genres. But I do have least favourite books. Liiike...Mills and Boon books. Chock load of sexism and racism in a lot of the Mills and Boon novels I've read - ugh. Hatehatehate the exoticised ethnicity romances (which are chock full of racist stereotypes). Seriously, it wouldn't hurt for authors to do their own research on other cultures.

Read more... )

Least favourite movie genres: uh...hm. Bigoted and brainless movies like My Super Ex Girlfriend, and Killer Lesbian Vampires (where lesbian vampires are attacked with phallic symbols like stakes). Crappy sexist Horror films like Dracula 2000 and Scream - where the girls who have sex are portrayed as weak/bad and get killed, whereas the virginal girl is the 'good one' who lives. And Sacha Baron Cohen's (of Ali G fame) movies (like Bruno and Borat). Racist stereotypes suck, they hurt and they're not funny.
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I'd speak the Hue dialect of Central Vietnam (which is what my mother's side of the family speaks). That way, I can understand what my grandma is saying. :D

Right now I speak English and the Northern Vietnamese dialect (I speak it at survival level, but not fluently).
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Best books

'Les Miserables' by Victor Hugo. It's melodramatic, yes, but so incredibly moving. An unforgettable story of redemption of a criminal who tries to evade a police officer. A story that tells how the very outcasts of society struggle to survive. Basically tells how if we want to reduce crime, we must eliminate to conditions that lead to people committing crime (poverty, ignorance). Hugo had revolutionary ideas (and was lighyears ahead of his peers) for a person of his time.

'Looking for Alibrandi' by Melina Marchetta. A bildungsroman novel on an illegitimate born teen who comes to accept her Italian heritage. She deals with first love, death and finally meeting her father for the first time.

A tie between 'First Test' and 'Page' by Tamora Pierce. These first two books are part of a Fantasy quartet about Kel, the first girl to train as a knight in the European medieval world of Tortall. Simply written and for young teens, but told so well. The first book deals with hazing and bullying, and how to deal with bullies. The second one covers violence against women, self defense, bullying. These books have their flaws (Kel overcomes her fear of heights too quickly), but I love them all the same.

Worst books

Left Behind books, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. Read hilarious and insightful summaries by slacktivist (Fred Clark, a liberal Christian) here:

http://exharpazo.blogspot.com/2007/01/index-to-slactivists-left-behind.html

Awful far right wing Christian propaganda. Sexist, racist, homophobic, prejudiced against other religions, with flat characters, awful Gary Stus who are more hateful than the villain...Fred Clark describes these books as having anti-Christian values, and I couldn't agree more.

Read more... )

There was someone who came up with the great quote that bad morals make for bad writing(I think it was baeraad) . All in all, I can only agree.
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Roxas from Kingdom Hearts. I chose Roxas because he's quiet, intense and says sorry waaay too much. XD

Tonino Montana from Diana Wynne Jones' Magicians of Caprona. Both of us are massive bookworms. We may be slow, steady plodding workers, but we're hardworking and get there in the end. And we're capable of building on other people's ideas to our advantage. :D

Also Belle from Beauty and the Beast, because I love books and seeing beauty within others. I'm not interested in pretty boys with nothing to offer on the inside either.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]Popular Books I don't like:

-The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I thought Eragon was OK, but the other books? They had poor 2D characterisation, and a plot ripped off from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and ideas on magic (ancient language used for magic) stolen from Ursula K. Le Guin's books. Plus the biggest Gary Stu you could ever hope to avoid who never pays any real price for the consequence for his actions. Read this review by the marvellous juju_recs at http://community.livejournal.com/antishurtugal/220821.html to find out more (and to have a good laugh while doing so).

-The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. Look - it's great that girls have a series they can enjoy that is written for girls by a woman. My concern is thatTwilight portrays unhealthy abusive relationships as being acceptable. To be fair, leia_naberrie has mentioned that Stephenie Meyer realises the relationship between Edward and Bella is unhealthy. However, I don't think Meyer realises that Edward and Bella's relationship is abusive though, given her words here: http://community.livejournal.com/the_venom_apple/22079.html

Just go to these sites: http://stoney321.livejournal.com/317176.html and
http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/602881.html to see examples of how Edward and Bella's relationship is abusive.

-The Seven Sins series by Robin Wasserman. All female blondes are portrayed in a negative manner (nearly all of them are nasty and/or bimbos). The books are revoltingly lookist. All of the non good looking characters are portrayed as being mousy, wimpy or nasty (e.g. Beth's former friends, Greg, C, the drug dealer in Gluttony). Plus there are plenty of ageist comments e.g.  "He wasn't an old man trying to get up on Viagra, he was a young man in his prime" (Adam's thoughts from the book Pride)and Harper's thoughts on elderly people (when she's dancing with one of them) in the book Envy. I also got some 'Nice Girl' vibes from the author's portrayal of Miranda, seeing how Kane's shallowness in only going for good looking women is condemned. Miranda's shallowness in only going for Kane due to his looks and charm is never condemned however.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling. I loved the first 3 Harry Potter books, but DH was a let down for me. leia_naberrie has an excellent post that contains the reasons why I disliked DH here: http://leia-naberrie.livejournal.com/96343.html
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[Error: unknown template qotd]-L from Death Note. He's got a brain the size of the universe, he's brave, and (almost) nobody can pull the wool over his eyes. Plus - we could share sweets!

-Hercule Poirot, the private detective from Agatha Christie's crime novels. The man's a pure genius. Love the way he fiddles with things to tidy them up. The way he fusses over his moustache - so funny and cute! And I find his comments on the 'little grey cells' LOLarious, for some reason. 

-The Teen Power Inc gang from Emily Rodda's Teen Power series. I get the feeling they'd be fun to hang out with. Plus I could swap art tips with Tom and ramble on about writing with Liz Free.

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[Error: unknown template qotd]Sure do! It can be quite peaceful to eat alone. I still enjoy eating out with family and friends, of course.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]What I want might change in time. But right now? I'd prefer it if my body was cremated and the ashes were used to fertilise the ground after I die.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]I'm a wood ox. So! Apparently this is my year?

Bolded text are my own thoughts.

WOOD OX Astrology
Jan 25, 1925 to Feb 12, 1926
Feb 20, 1985 to Feb 8, 1986

People who come under wood ox astrology are put on a higher pedestal than other people. Really? By who?:/ Born geniuses these people are bright and brilliant. Ahahahaha...no. Along with their charming personality they are also quite stubborn and short tempered. Charming? o_O. I admit that I can be stubborn. Wood ox people have many times been mentors and people tend to look up to them. In my line of work, nearly *everyone* ends up doing some form of mentoring. Eventually. Maybe. These people also have a great sense of humor and challenge everyone’s tickling buds. I sure hope so :D. They have a strong moral code and believe in ethics and integrity in life. I'm not sure if I do have a strong moral code. I try to, though. Don't most people do that? Wood oxen people are also very practical but the finances are not very stable, as they tend to lend money to friends quite often. OK...up until recently, the bit about my finances was actually true. People under this Chinese sign are very good with relationships. They always sit down and talk their differences over and don’t let misunderstandings crop between them Well...I try.
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Victor Hugo reading from Les Miseables. He sounds like a facinating, well learned and passionate (albeit very biased) person from what I've read about him. Plus I simply adore Les Miseables. It's an amazing novel that has larger than life characters, social commentary, politics, depth, humanity, gorgeous poetic writing. It has may flaws, but I could go on and on about it.

I'd also *love* to hear Terry Pratchett reading from his Discworld novels. Preferably his later ones, as they're the best (in my opinion). I find the Discworld novels to be smart, funny, insightful and humane with out being preachy.

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