Archive for April, 2008

Victoria loves me

 | April 30, 2008 5:01 PM

Victoria, my youngest child and only daughter, has suddenly taken a liking to me.  She often wants me to hold her, even screaming at me when I walk by and don’t pick her up.  I’m not sure why this is happening but I’ve really enjoyed it. 🙂

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Today CNN published this article, Obama says he’s ‘outraged’ with pastor’s comments.

In his harshest criticism yet of his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama said he was “outraged” by Wright’s comments at the National Press Club Monday, and “saddened by the spectacle.”

“I have been a member of Trinity Church since 1992. I have known Rev. Wright for almost 20 years,” he said at a Winston-Salem, North Carolina press conference Tuesday. “The person I saw yesterday is not the person I met 20 years ago.”

I for one have lost respect for Barack Obama.  I think he is caving into pressures to distance himself to maintain his electability.

But wouldn’t he be more electable if he did the courageous thing and stood by his pastor?  I do not believe that Reverend Wright is not “the person I met 20 years ago.”  I think he’s the same person, the person who prayed and cared for Barack Obama for 20 years and it’s just wrong to now suddenly cut that man off.  Reverend Wright even was at his presidential campaign announcement to pray for him and his family.

It speaks poorly of Barack Obama’s character and his faith.  I’ve steadily been losing faith in politicians and I was hoping Barack Obama was different.  I guess I was wrong.

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Defending Rev. Jeremiah Wright

 | April 29, 2008 3:23 PM

Yesterday I watched on CSPAN Reverend Jeremiah Wright defend himself. He was eloquent and intelligent. I learned much about the perspective of an oppressed group that distrusts its governments and struggles for rights within the context of Christ’s love and desire for reconciliation. I did feel during questioning he was a best defensive but I do not fault him for this and overall I am a bigger admirer of him and Barack Obama too.

Here are some of my observations from yesterday’s talk.

  • Reverend Wright is being unfairly characterized as unpatriotic using a couple of taken out of context statements and no one is talking about his six years of service in the military and the other ways he has served his country. Also his church has sent many people into military service including several serving in Iraq for this “unjust war.”
  • Reverend Wright explained that it is the American government and its policies that he has issues with, not the country nor its people.
  • Reverend Wright asks why the American government has not apologized to the African-American people for its enslavement when Britain has apologized to the African nations, Germany has apologized to the Jewish people and Israel. It’s more than a fair question and the same as my asking why the Japanese government has not apologized for its atrocities during the Korean occupation of the early 20th century.
  • Reverend Wright believes the American government may have created the AIDS virus. I find this somewhat preposterous but this kind of thinking reflects such an incredible distrust of this government and I can’t help but believe this comes from deep, personal and painful episodes in his life.  A friend pointed to a 2005 EPA study that was to study the effects of known toxic chemicals on children and which would have targeted low income children.  Though this doesn’t necessarily substantiate Reverend Wright’s claim it seems to add least a little bit of credence to the black community’s suspicions.
  • Reverend Wright pointed out injustices such as blacks serving much longer prison sentences for possessing crack while whites get shorter sentences for possessing cocaine, the whie drug. My wife pointed out studies showing the much higher proportion of blacks on death row. You can just go on and on listing injustices visited upon the black people.
  • Reverend Wright pointed out that one of his quotes where he said the U.S. is culpable for 9/11 was actually him quoting the Iraqi diplomat.
  • Reverend Wright said it’s Biblical that God condemns the nations for their iniquities and that condemn is the same as damn, hence the infamous quote “Damn America.” He also correctly quotes Jesus calling the Pharisees as a “brood of vipers.” He also quoted another “bombastic” quote of Jesus’s but I forgot what it was.
  • When Barack Obama was asked why Reverend Wright was not at his Presidential campaign announcement, he said he chose not to have him there because of his sometimes inflammatory remarks. But Reverend Wright said he wasn’t there because it was a political view. However before the event started he was downstairs with Barack and his family praying for them. This is something Barack obviously failed to mention.
  • When asked how can whites and blacks reconcile Rev. Wright pointed out that the underground railroad was done by white Christians and gave many other examples of white Christians helping their black brothers.
  • Rev. Wright explained that he does not necessarily agree with everything that Louis Farrakhan believes but that Louis Farrakhan is a very influential person in the black community and that when he speaks people listen.
  • Rev. Wright said he is being unfairly characterized as anti-semitic and that he has said that he expect God’s people, the Israelis, to reconcile with the Palestinians.
  • Rev. Wright pointed out he’d like to be Vice-President. I think he was 50% serious.

I was disappointed in the media’s coverage of this event. NPR said Rev. Wright did nothing to help his image and that it would hurt Obama even further. The New York Times was not too kind either and both of these are liberal media sources.

The TV Watch
Not Speaking for Obama, Pastor Speaks for Himself, at Length
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: April 29, 2008

It turns out that the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. doesn’t hate America, but he loves the sound of his own voice.

In general what stirs me about this situation is that immediately after 9/11 many conservative Christians, including myself, questioned whether what happened was a sign of God’s judgment for the U.S.’s many sins. Jerry Falwell was one of the most famous conservative evangelicals who talked about this. (Note I don’t hold to this belief anymore as my theology has changed to believe that we are in a new covenant and that Jesus has taken upon all of God’s punishment for all our sins, the most unfair and gracious exchange ever.)  Pastor David Wilkerson of Times Square Church in a service that I attended said that New York city was worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

Yet no white politician was sullied by those words. George Bush was elected because of his overwhelming support amongst conservative evangelicals.

Admittedly it is a little different, Jerry Falwell is not any politician’s personal pastor. On the other hand how much Barack Obama is being associated with his pastor’s views is unbelievable to say the least. If I ran for office and was being judged based on my pastor’s views I would be flabbergasted. This is why I think there is a tinge of racism here. Obama is black, Wright is black, it’s a black church, this must be how those blacks think. We can’t trust them. They’re not patriotic. They’re not us.

My opinion of this situation, which Rev. Wright alluded to, is that Barack is distancing himself from Rev. Wright because he knows white America is not ready for Rev. Wright. White America is not ready to hear just how hurt Black America is. I myself was never really aware of it. And I’m grateful that Rev. Wright has communicated this to me.

(This reminds me of a story I heard where at a church planting conference they spoke about multi-ethnic churches. One black woman said she saw no reason for why she needed to worship with whites. I am not sure exactly what she said but a white friend of mine who was there heard her words and her heart, I am sure there was much more than what I am saying, and just started crying and apologizing on behalf of whites. That’s the beginning of reconciliation in the name of Christ).

I more than ever hope Barack Obama wins. This country needs to heal and I am hoping that electing a multi-racial man as President will do just that. Unfortunately I believe that mainstream white America is not ready for a white President and that he will go down as the media continues to character assassinate.

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Rickrolled

 | April 28, 2008 7:48 AM

Today I put a link on my Google Talk custom message to my mostly 80’s YouTube playlist. One person IM’d me back saying “I think I’ve been rickrolled.” I didn’t know what he meant so he explained it to me. Here is a more descriptive answer from WikiAnswers – What does it mean to be Rickrolled

What does it mean to be Rickrolled?

A rickroll is a prank played on an unsuspecting web surfer. To be rickrolled is when browsing a website (especially a discussion forum or comment board), one comes across a link expecting it to lead to one thing, but finds something completely different when the link is clicked.

The name Rick refers to 80s pop singer Rick Astley. The standard rickroll generally involves someone posting a link claiming it leads to something quite interesting, but actually linking to a video of Mr. Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” This is usually considered a major let-down.

What’s interesting is that someone seems to be making money off of this. There are a ton of YouTube videos of this song but none of them are embeddable and seem to be coming from the same source. I hope Rick Astley himself is making some money off of this but I’m guessing he probably isn’t.

Anyway for your pleasure, here is Mr. Astley singing the famous “Never Gonna Give You Up” which I couldn’t embed here.

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International / Asia Pacific
Elite Korean Schools, Forging Ivy League Skills
By SAM DILLON
Published: April 27, 2008

Two rigorous South Korean prep schools have achieved a spectacular record of admission to U.S. colleges.

This New York Times article doesn’t really surprise me based on my experiences, the experiences of my parents’ and the experiences of other second generation Koreans who were academically successful. Koreans believe that getting into a top university will make all the difference in one’s adult life and while this is somewhat true in Korea, in North America not so much. Koreans are willing to sacrifice sleep and any form of pleasure to achieve this.

It is 10:30 p.m. and students at the elite Daewon prep school here are cramming in a study hall that ends a 15-hour school day. A window is propped open so the evening chill can keep them awake. One teenager studies standing upright at his desk to keep from dozing.

And, oh yes. Both schools suppress teenage romance as a waste of time.

“What are you doing holding hands?” a Daewon administrator scolded an adolescent couple recently, according to his aides. “You should be studying!”

Still it is quite amazing the success rate of these prep schools.

This spring, as in previous years, all but a few of the 133 graduates from Daewon Foreign Language High School who applied to selective American universities won admission…

Their average combined SAT score was 2203 out of 2400. By comparison, the average combined score at Phillips Exeter, the New Hampshire boarding school, is 2085. Sixty-seven Daewon graduates had perfect 800 math scores.

South Koreans seem to have a special affinity for the universities of the United States. I meet Korean students all the time and they are not here for just the elite universities, they can be found at all levels.

South Korea is not the only country sending more students to the United States, but it seems to be a special case. Some 103,000 Korean students study at American schools of all levels, more than from any other country, according to American government statistics. In higher education, only India and China, with populations more than 20 times that of South Korea’s, send more students.

Strangely enough this year Harvard decided not to accept any of these elite students.

This year, Daewon and Minjok graduates are heading to universities like Stanford, Chicago, Duke and seven of the eight Ivy League universities — but not to Harvard. Instead, Harvard accepted four Korean students from three other prep schools.

And finally many Koreans can relate to this.

Ms. Kim developed fierce study habits early, watching her mother scold her older sister for receiving any score less than 100 on tests. Even a 98 or a 99 brought a tongue-lashing.

“Most Korean mothers want their children to get 100 on all the tests in all the subjects,” Ms. Kim’s mother said.

Can’t wait to send my kids to these schools. 😉

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Angry letter to the Sports Guy

 | April 24, 2008 8:45 AM

Being originally from Toronto I share much of your love for the old NHL. Bobby Orr is one of my favourite players and I loved watching Lafleur fly down the ice.

I am also a big fan of yours, Mr. Sports Guy. However I cannot agree with your applauding violence against fans of the opposing team.

We won an emotional Game 3 in overtime, followed by a number of postgame brawls on and around Causeway Street between Boston and Montreal fans, at least 50 of them involving guys named Sully and Murph teaming up to beat the hell out of someone named Pierre.

Do you know that one of the Montreal Canadiens fans ended up in the hospital because of some overzealous Bruins fans? The Boston Herald called it “just plain evil” and that the fans were “Sore-loser B’s fans.”

Do you really think sports is worth it? It’s just a game. Why can’t a fan of an opposing team go and watch the game?

I was once at a Red Sox game wearing my Blue Jays jersey. I was heckled a little by a female Red Sox fan but it was all in good fun, especially for her since the Red Sox won. That was good. Being beat up is bad.

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30 Day Notice

 | April 23, 2008 8:08 PM

Today we gave our 30 day notice to our apartment managing office, i.e. our landlord.  We can’t wait to move to our new home, which is actually not that new, it’s 38 years old.  But still it’ll be nice to finally have a single family home with a small yard for the kids and a study for me. 🙂

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This sounds like an interesting book. Maybe one of my friends can read it and tell me about it. 🙂

Amazon.com: God’s New Whiz Kids?: Korean American Evangelicals on Campus: Rebecca Kim: Books
In the past twenty years, many traditionally white campus religious groups have become Asian American. Today there are more than fifty evangelical Christian groups at UC Berkeley and UCLA alone, and 80% of their members are Asian American. At Harvard, Asian Americans constitute 70% of the Harvard Radcliffe Christian Fellowship, while at Yale, Campus Crusade for Christ is now 90% Asian. Stanford’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship has become almost entirely Asian.

There has been little research, or even acknowledgment, of this striking development.

God’s New Whiz Kids? focuses on second-generation Korean Americans, who make up the majority of Asian American evangelicals, and explores the factors that lead college-bound Korean American evangelicals—from integrated, mixed race neighborhoods—to create racially segregated religious communities on campus. Kim illuminates an emergent “made in the U.S.A.” ethnicity to help explain this trend, and to shed light on a group that may be changing the face of American evangelicalism.

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Firefox tried to automatically upgrade me from 2.0.0.13 to 2.0.0.14.  However it would fail with this error:

One or more files could not be updated. Please make sure all other applications are closed and that you have permission to modify files, and then restart Firefox to try again.

Then when I’d press the OK button Firefox would again try to upgrade, fail and display the error.  It was an infinite loop and I was forced to use the Task Manager to kill Firefox.

I searched around and found an incredibly complicated solution in the blog article, Firefox error resolved: One or more files could not be updated.  Fortunately within the article it mentioned briefly that you could use the “delete the updates folder” approach.  Reading the comments of this article I was able to figure out what that meant.  Here are the steps I followed.

  1. Close Firefox.
  2. Go into your Firefox settings folder.  For me it is located in C:\Documents and Settings\fkim\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Mozilla Firefox.
  3. Remove the updates folder.
  4. Restart Firefox.  It will download again the 2.0.0.14 update and then when it tries to update it there won’t be a permission problem.
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