Monthly Archives: February 2008

Anwar vows to end Malaysia’s Race Policies

Anwar vows to end Malaysia’s Race Policies

“If you really want to deal with the issue of poverty, why can’t we just say we have an affirmative action policy helping the poor and the marginalised. It should not be racially based.”

-Anwar Ibraham while campaigning for his wife

Malaysia has an affirmative action (more like apartheid system) called “bumiputras”, which was originally set up in the 1970s to close the wealth gap between the Chinese and the Malai. It is costing the government 43.4 billion ringgit annually- a lot of money! It ignores those who are poor and not Malay such as the many ethnic Indians and it is not being effective in helping the poor Muslim Mulays, according to this article. 

There is a new political manifesto called “A New Dawn for Malaysia”which offers help to the poor and marginalized, not to those of a certain ethnic group.

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Filed under Malaysia, Malaysia Elections, Uncategorized

Wendell Berry’s Question

“Did you finish killing

everybody who was against peace?”

From The Contrariness of The Mad Farmer by Wendell Berry


Filed under poetry, War

RIP: Larry Norman April 8, 1947- Feb 24, 2008

 Larry Norman, one of the fathers of Christian Rock music, died this weekend at age 60. I listened to his music over and over again when I was in high school. He made a huge contribution to Christian music and the power of being genuine. Here is the words of one of my favorite songs of his:

He’s an unidentified flying object.
You will see Him in the air.
He’s an unidentified flying object.
You will drop your hands and stare.
You will be afraid to tell your neighbor.
He might think that it’s not true.
But when they open up the morning paper.
You will know they’ve seen Him too.
CHORUS I         Gm
He will come back like He promised.
With the price already paid.
He will gather up his followers.
And take them all away.
He’s an unidentified flying object.
He will sweep down from the sky.
He’s an unidentified flying object.
And some will sleep, but will not die.
He’s an unidentified flying object.
Coming back to take you home.
He’s an unidentified flying object.
He will roll away your stone.

CHORUS II                Gm
And if there’s life on other planets.
I’m sure that He must know.
And He’s been there once already.
And has died to save their souls.

For more information and to read a letter he wrote recently:

http://www.larrynorman.combyGoodbye, farewell, we’ll meet


Filed under Christian Music, RIP

Lord of The Rings, Matrix, and Be Kind Rewind Trailer sweded

Lord of the Rings Sweeded. A Sweded video, according to the movie Be Kind Rewind starring Jack Black, is a twenty minute remake of a hollywood movie filmed by yourself in an afternoon with special effects that cost nothing.

LOTR part 1

LOTR part 2

Matrix Sweeded

These movies are based on a premise in Jack Black’s new movie – Be Kind Rewind – that I saw this afternoon (4 out of 5 moons). Here is a sweded trailer of it:


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Filed under youtube

Benjamin Franklin, the 1700s and negative 6

One way to master the 1700s timeline is to figure out how old Benjamin Franklin was at that age. Understanding Ben’s life is like understanding the 17th century because he invented so many things and he was at so many important events. Ben was born on Jan 17, 1706 – so to find out how old Ben was at a certain date – just subtract 6 from it.

For instance:

How old was Ben when he signed the declaration of Independence? (70)

How old was Ben when he died on April 17, 1790? (84)

How old would Ben be now? (302)

When was the constitution ratified? (1787, when a feeble Benjamin Franklin had this famous speech read?

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Filed under America, history

The Poem “I am a Christian” is by Carol Wimmer

…and not by Maya Angelou. Maya denies that she wrote this on her web site, and here is the snopes for this urban legend:

but it is a wonderful poem in both it’s original form and its urban legend form.

The true author is Carol Wimmer who is happy with  its popularity, but not so happy that the words have changed.

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Filed under Christianity

There should be Malaysia Election Debates

update 2/23/2008:

 There is an election in Malaysia on March 8th! So if there is a debate between between Prime Minister Badawi and the opposition, I will point my international audience to the webcast.

My last webpost got some interesting comments – check them out  here.

Here are some interesting articles and opinion pieces I have read recently.

A former editor of the Malaysian Newspaper New Strait Times writes an opinion piece on whether or not Prime Minister Badawi was telling the truth when he said that he had forgotten who Anwar Ibriham is. Anwar is a Malaysian politician who is not eligible to run for office until April – after the election. Badawi forgot about this when he was doing his election planning!

…and here is an article about the Malaysian Election in cyberspace. Apparently there is a media blackout of information about the opposition candidates so people are turning to the internet to find out more. What impact will this have on the election?

Malaysian bloggers have been heavily criticised by the government which accuses them of spreading lies, and threatened severe punishment and tighter controls on Internet use.

Here is an article in the International Herald Tribune on how Malaysian churches campaign for religious freedom in elections

and here is an article on how Malaysia Police fire tear gas at flower protests

Some ethnic Indian (descendants from India laborers brought to Malaysia by the British in the 1800s) demonstrators were trying to give flowers to the prime minister but they did not have a permit for the gathering!

Ethnic Indians being hit by water canons in Kuala Lumpur.

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Filed under Malaysia, Malaysia Elections, politics, Religion

Egyptian Supreme Court allows for Christian re-conversions


The case concerns 12 converts from Islam to Christianity who wanted their ID to reflect that fact. These were Coptic Christians who had converted to Islam, and then decided to convert back.  The case went all the way to the Egyptian Supreme Court.

There have been 211 lawsuits in Egypt to correct religious designations  since April 2004.

Why would people want to change their ID status?

This designation subjected them to Muslim family law and predetermined the religious affiliation of their children and the mandatory religious education they will receive in public schools.  

Why is this an important decision?

Muslim-born converts to Christianity are similarly denied identification documents reflecting their conversion and are often subject to official and social harassment, detention, and sometimes even torture by security officers.  

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Filed under Christianity, Egypt, Islam, Religion

My update

My mother-in-law is still not doing well. She went from the hospital to the nursing home. She has not stood up under her own power or walked since going to the hospital with a knee infection. She will be at the nursing home for a month because she needs a lot of injections of antibiotics. The food is not very good. Gretchen is visiting her every day.

We are meeting with Katie’s parents on March 8th! Sam and Katie are getting married the first week of August. Sam already has a job lined up for the summer after he graduates from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

We are going to visit our son Josh during Easter weekend in Savannah GA. He is a Junior at SCAD – Savannah College of Art and Design.

I need to fax some SAT scores to some art school in Memphis for Hannah…

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Filed under Life, mother-in-law

Supernatural Superserious

I have been enthralled by R.E.M’s new song that came out last week. I think it is the best new song I have heard since Vertigo. It is entitled “Supernatural Superserious” which presents an interesting cultural challenge.

Is the story we find ourselves in naturalistic or supernaturalistic?

Is the story we find ourselves in superserious or silly?

of course I have an answer but it would take too long to explain and you guys probably wouldn’t be interested because you all have your own answers. I listened to the song over and over trying to figure it out – but couldn’t. Unlike the questions, the song is not figurable outable. Here is the song:

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Filed under Uncategorized