- Klinik Kanak-Kanak Pakar Yong: Janson's first visit
- Penang Hokkien Meet-up at 3G Cafe
- Attending Buddhists function
- Chocolate Lover
- HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Piety and Places of Worship by Dr Chandra Muzaffar
- Hari Raya’s holiday is now on
- Two Australian teenagers: What a CASH!
- najib altantuya: Kelantan Umno to use Internet in electoral battle
- najib altantuya Soi Lek: MCA boss 'grandpa of all nonsense' - nizar nizar
- Era Najib Altantuya : Pegawai Daerah Pro UMNO Takut Dengan SELCAT
- Era Najib Altantuya : Selcat Tetap Diteruskan Secara Terbuka - Speaker
- Jemputlah masuk...
- Organic baby food - Ella's Kitchen organic fruit: The Red One
- najib altantuya: Mahathir takes another dig at Pak Lah - nizar nizar nizar
- Birthday !!!
- IDF's Cast Lead videos show Hamas terrorists using civilians as human shields
- Englandistan: Christian hoteliers charged with insulting Muslim guest
- Egyptian Christian Girl Abducted to Force 'Reconciliation' in Murdered Brother's Case
- Obama's Worldwide Star Power Finds Limits
- President Barack Obama is beginning to look out of his depth
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 10:25 AM PDT
Janson was ill since last Sunday afternoon. I 'detected' his body temperature when he ran from mah mah and came to sit on my laps, wearing only his diaper. Mommy gave him medicine. After that, he was slightly better in the evening. His temperature was 37.5 °C.
On Monday morning, the next day, his temperature rose to 37.8 °C. Needless to say, yeh yeh and mah mah were very concerned and wanted me to bring him to the clinic. I was concerned yet frustrated. Reason being Janson's paediatrician didn't work on a public holiday. Also, I did not trust a normal general practitioner to see a child.
So, I did a google search for 'klinik kanak-kanak cheras' and called two clinics - Klinik Kanak-Kanak Cheras and Klinik Pakar Kanak-Kanak Yong. The former was closed and the latter was opened! Without delay, we went to the clinic. Though it was quite far, we were glad that we made the trip there. Janson has fully recovered! Thank You Jesus for guiding us and healing Janson!
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 10:02 AM PDT
Penang Hokkien's creator and host, John is back to town and he had a meetup last weekend, I was there. It had been 2 years + since I met John. I still remembered it was at Little Penang Street Market at Upper Penang Rd that I met up with him and it was friendly and nice.
I am quite a fan of the podcast show, Penang Hokkien and have been listening it since Form 2. Still remembered it was the Chinese paper, Kwong Wah Yit Poh that I first read about this podcast show, then I got interested in it because the show is entirely recorded in my local dialect, the Penang Hokkien.
Back to the meet-up, Alvin who is also a listener of the show fetch me to 3G Cafe at E-gate to meet up with John and some other listeners.
It's kinda excited to meet them, can sit around, talk and see the real faces which we would probably can't see behind the speaker. There's like 14 people, they come and go, we had a little chattering and then John took out his portable mic to do a recording for the show.
It was my first time getting on the show and it's fun but I didn't talk a lot because I am not talkative. Haha. One interesting thing is that everyone who goes on the show has a Hokkien's nickname, John himself is Miku, and there's like Bo Mo (hairless), Bak Ewe (lard), Sua Ba (jungle), Curry Mee, Chee Cheong Fun, Hai Som (sea cucumber), etc. and I am the Bo Mo. ^^
John Ong and me.
I was actually posting live at Away From Computer. The recording went on for an hour and it's fun to see live. We talked about the topic hotel at first which then turned into some ghost stories and there's some laughter brokes out too. Forget to mention that this place is not a good place for recording because the sound of blender will interrupt once in a while.
Took some photos, and headed somewhere else.
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 09:21 AM PDT
As reported in Sinchew. Speech delivered in a Buddhist function. The State Government will adopt a fair treatment to all religions as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 09:00 AM PDT
Attention all Chocolate lovers,
There is one chocolate cake sales in the town... Petaling Jaya Hilton is celebrate their 25 anniversary with selling the chocolate cake for RM25++ (Normal: RM65++).
Thanks to Bahija for letting me know and helping me to reserve one... I have a nice chocolate cake for my breakfast, tea and dessert after my dinner... Yummy! even i have stomach upset... blek~
Here is the notes that sent from Bahija... you can reserve one to by calling the number below... quick quick.... it's nice eh~
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 09:00 AM PDT
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Posted: 21 Sep 2009 09:05 AM PDT
I knew Raya was coming, I knew last Friday was a very last minute announced special public school holiday, I knew the Muslim friends were and are having fun, I knew this week is a school holiday for me, I knew it will be a traffic jam everywhere in Penang and highway, but I didn't know about the exact date of the Hari Raya until I see everyone wishing "Happy Hari Raya" on Twitter and Plurk, I suck a bit, but now I know so I wish you all have a nice Hari Raya Aidilfitri. =)
So Raya was Sunday and Monday. The holiday started on Friday and I have been on holiday mood since then after a 9 days long trial exam. I need a break but I don't know what am I doing, I don't have a plan for this holiday and it's so unorganized, it's like there's so many thing want to do but I don't know where to start. That's bad.
The holiday mood started on last Thursday right after school. I didn't go home right away to sleep or anything but instead went to the cinema to watch Gamer with Arron. The movie was pretty cool, you will like it and understand it if you do or did play game. I did play games last time but not now.
Simon, Arron, Edmond, Fangs.
Andy, Min Sheng.
I then went to karaoke at Red Box on Friday, it's a usual routine for me and them since last year where we will (mostly) go to karaoke to sing our crazyness out after the exam, before the holiday week. It's a standard thing for us. It's kinda tiring singing there, I still hardly improve my singing.
Then I went for movie again and it's the Singapore's film, Where Got Ghost. I gave it a rating of 4.5/10 because I don't think it's good enough, felt like nothing's new from Jack Neo.
Saturday was pretty quiet to me. Woke up in a dull, cloudy morning and the Sun was hiding somewhere, which made me felt so lazy to go places. I went to town for lunch with mom and I came home, staying indoor for whole afternoon.
I then spent time at home reorganized my stuff and clear all the papers and notes lying around since before trial exam. I don't like the room to look like a mess, I like to have a clean and nice workstation. =) Took me few hours for this and hopefully this will be clean for at least a few weeks and then I will need to do it again. It's true that I like cleaning out my workstation because I enjoy the clean look after that.
Sunday was the first day of Raya and I went to Queensbay Mall in the afternoon to wait for Alvin who lives nearby to come and fetch me to the Penang Hokkien's mini gathering at Egate. It's so crowded at Queensbay and interesting to see the Muslim in their nice Malay attire shopping around in the mall.
Nothing much for me to do there except walking around and looking at people. I saw the same spectacles shop name where I bought my specs, A-look and I took my specs for the specs washing service, it's a free service and it's a way to pass my time.
Alvin then came and fetch me to 3G Cafe at E-gate to meet up with the famous podcast, Penang Hokkien's host and listeners. It had been 2 years since I last meet up with John Ong, the host and creator of the show. Will talk about it in another post.
After being at E-gate for 2 hours, I and Alvin went back to Queensbay Mall again for dinner and to shop for some stuff. Later in the evening, I went to the airport to fetch my brother and that concludes my Sunday.
Monday, today is a day that I spent my time with my brother. It's still a public holiday for everyone and it's Gurney Plaza that I went. It's just window shopping and watched a movie, G-Force in the cinema just now, the movie was cute and that's what I wanted to say about it.
That's all for now, Happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri and school holiday, pals. =)
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 08:49 AM PDT
@ The Star Online:
Published: Monday September 21, 2009 MYT 2:06:00 PM
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 07:04 AM PDT
In the next general election, Kelantan Umno will use virtual media to provide information on BN to contest against the PAS campaign.
State Umno information chief Dali Hussin said the virtual media was found to be effective in the July 14 Manik Urai state seat by-election as it won the majority votes among the younger generation. As such, it was an important tool to wrest Kelantan back to BN.
If Umno-led BN does not change, the media is not going to help.
In the last general election, BN must have spend a lot of money on ads in Yahoo! The ad ended with the message 'ONLY ONE CHOICE'. I was simply pi**ed off by it. Click here to read my posting on March 5, 2008.
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 02:21 AM PDT
'Do not allow the party to be used as an instrument only by the president in his fight'.
Speaking to reporters at Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's Hari Raya open house at Sri Perdana here today, Chua said, "It is a party for all members and let the delegates decide the future of the leaders and direction of the party."
Yes, yes. Remember what your boss Najib said too - no use being popular in your own party if you are not popular in your own community.
Personally, I've come across one person who really HATES Chua Soi Lek over his sex video. To him, CSL has brought shame not just to himself but also the Chinese community. ;-)
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 02:33 AM PDT
Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Mengenai Keupayaan, Kebertanggungjawaban dan Ketelusan Selangor (Selcat) tidak perlu takut dengan rungutan pelbagai pihak yang gelisah tidak tentu pasal, kata seorang pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat di sini hari ini.
"Hanya mereka yang bersalah dan telah terdedah kesalahan mereka akan merasakan kononnya maruah mereka diaibkan. Apa yang berlaku kini ialah Selcat telah berjaya membongkar banyak perbuatan salahlaku kerajaan UMNO BN di bawah pimpinan Mohd Khir Toyo dan yang paling menjijikkan ialah kedapatan pegawai-pegawai kerajaan yang menjadi seperti patung-patung dan pak turut kepada Khir Toyo," katanya.
"Yang paling ketara ialah isu BALKIS yang akhirnya apabila ianya di bawa mahkamah, mahkamah menggantung keputusan Pendaftar Pertubuhan yang membubarkan BALKIS," tambahnya.
Kelmarin, Pegawai Daerah Klang, Bakhtiar Hussin) menyifatkan kononnua Selcat tidak mencerminkan proses siasatan sebenar kerana lebih menjurus kepada serangan peribadi selain menjejaskan imej serta kredibiliti diri beliau sebagai penjawat awam.
Beliau adalah antara sembilan Pegawai Daerah di Selangor yang dipanggil memberi keterangan pada 9 September lalu.
Bakhtiar mendakwa siasatan yang diketuai oleh Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN), Teng Chang Khim itu dilakukan dalam suasana tegang dan tidak berhemah.
Persoalan kini, maruah apa yang pegawai-pegawai kerajaan miliki jika selama ini mereka hanya menjadi orang suruhan kepada pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO negeri dan apabila ianya dibongkarkan, mereka tiba-tiba melenting dan menuduh ianya sebagai serangan peribadi?
Ada diantara mereka jelas menjalankan kerja-kerja tidak beretika dan tidak mengikut peraturan malah dibawa ke muka pengadilan apabila mereka terang-terang meluluskan peruntukan setelah Dewan Undangan Negeri telah dibubarkan, malah melakukan pembayaran serta-merta tanpa mengikut prosedur yang sepatutnya sehingga jutaan ringgit peruntukan kerajaan negeri Selangor telah habis jutaan ringgit di dalam sekelip mata.
Semalam Exco Kerajaan Negeri, Datuk Hasan Ali telah cuba melakukan pembelaan dan dengan menjelaskan beliau bersimpati dengan pegawai-pegawai kanan berkenaan.
Malah beliau yang juga Pesuruhjaya PAS Selangor mengesyorkan agar keanggotaan Selcat tidak hanya dihadkan kepada ahli-ahli politik semata-mata, sebaliknya dilantik kalangan bekas hakim dan bekas pegawai kanan kerajaan.
Namun kenyataan beliau telah dikecam hebat oleh pelbagai pihak dan ada yang menyatakan simpati Hassan Ali kepada pegawai-pegawai kerajaan negeri itu sebagai satu tindakan biadab Hassan Ali yang tidak mencerminkan pendirian kerajaan negeri Selangor dan PAS seluruhnya.
Hassan Ali adalah seorang pemimpin PAS pernah terlibat dengan kontroversi ura-ura penubuhan kerajaan campuran PAS-UMNO dan dikatakan pendokong kuat gagasan Kerajaan Perpaduan tersebut.
Speaker DUN Selangor yang juga Pengerusi Selcat, Teng Cheng Kim dan Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim telah mempertahankan penubuhan Selcat.
Posted: 21 Sep 2009 01:42 AM PDT
Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Selangor Teng Chang Kim menolak gesaan supaya Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Mengenai Keupayaan, Kebertanggungjawaban dan Ketelusan (Selcat) diadakan secara tertutup.
Bertaut pada prinsip pemisahan kuasa yang jitu, Teng yang juga Pengerusi Selcat berkata jawatankuasa terbuka dan telus seakan Selcat telah menjadi amalan negara-negara demokrasi berparlimen.
"Setakat ini dari maklum balas orang-ramai, mereka amat berpuas hati kerana dengan adanya Selcat mereka nampak ketelusan dalam pentadbiran kita. Ketelusan bukan sahaja bererti kita membenarkan orang ramai melihat prosiding sepenuhnya, tetapi yang penting ialah melihat kebenaran disebalik isu-isu yang ditangani. Walaupun Selcat ini adalah baru di negara ini, tetapi ia menjadi amalan di negara-negara Komanwel lain," kata Teng.
Selcat Selangor meraih pengiktirafan masyarakat sebagai mercu ketelusan dan ketrerbukaan selepas ia membongkar penyelewengan RM9.9 juta wang rakyat oleh isteri-isteri Adun BN melalui Badan Kebajikan Isteri-Isteri Wakil Rakyat Selangor (Balkis).
Prosiding Selcat yang terkini sedang menyiasat misteri adun-adun BN menghabiskan kesemua peruntukan negeri mencecah RM500,000 dalam masa dua bulan sahaja, sebelum Pilihanraya Umum ke-12 8 Mac 2008.
Namun, para Pegawai Daerah yang dipanggil membantu siasatan merungut bahawa mereka disiasat tanpa belas oleh Selcat.
"Mungkin ada sesetengah pihak yang tidak dapat ikut rentak. Mereka boleh maklumkan ke pihak jawatankuasa supaya kita boleh tengok dimana kita boleh memperbaiki dan menaiktaraf Selcat. Dalam pada itu, mereka juga perlu mengikut rentak ketelusan dan keterbukaan dan tidak bertaut pada amalan lama," kata Teng.
Menyahut aduan pegawai-pegawai daerah ini, Exco Selangor Datuk Dr Hassan Ali mengesyorkan bahawa prosiding ditutup dari tatapan awam dan keanggotaan Selcat dirombak dan diisi oleh bekas-bekas hakim.
"Selcat adalah jawatankuasa pilihan khas yang dilantik oleh dewan melalui peraturan tetap. Mengikut amalan Parlimen Komanwel, tidak ada keanggotaan jawatankuasa diisi oleh orang luar, melainkan di kalangan ahlinya sendiri," kata Teng.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim juga akur kepada prinsip pemisahan kuasa dan berkata pihaknya tidak akan mencampuri urusan Selcat.
Teng juga berkata pihaknya tidak mahu dan tidak akan campuri urusan Eksekutif berhubung tindakan Pegawai Daerah Klang, Datuk Bakhtiar Husin yang melanggar Perintah Am dengan mengkritik Teng.
Bakhtiar dilaporkan Sinar Harian sebagai berkata dia telah dimalukan oleh siasatan Selcat.
"Pegawai Daerah bukan dibawah kawalan saya. Mereka tertakluk dibawah bidang kuasa Eksekutif, demikian itu saya tidak mahu mencampuri soal Perintah Am ini," kata Teng.
Sementara itu, Dr Hassan Ali menafikan desas-desus bahawa beliau mempunyai agenda tertentu dengan menyerang Selcat dan Teng.
Dr Hassan berkata Pakatan Rakyat menyokong penuh kewujudan jawatankuasa siasatan ini.
Mengulas mengenai syor supaya Selcat ditutup dari tatapan awam, Dr Hassan berkata beliau cuma bimbangkan rungutan para pegawai daerah dan syor dibuat adalah untuk dibincang dan direnungkan bersama.
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 09:38 PM PDT
ASSALAMUALAIKUM!!! KAMI DATANG NAK RAYA!!!
Eh, jemputlah masuk... buat macam rumah orang lain... (kalau buat macam rumah sendiri, nanti kena basuh pinggan mangkuk pulak kan?)
Silalah makan apa yang ada...
Ha? Apa dia? Nampak macam sikit je rendang tu? Eh, don't worry, banyak lagi dalam periuk! Rendang ayam ada lagi...
Rendang daging pun ada lagi...
Rasa tak larat nak makan pulut, makan lah mi...
Kuahnya dalam mangkuk ni...
Nak cookies ni bukalah bekasnya. Bertutup tu bukan tak bagi makan, takut masuk angin!
Eh, budak-budak! Nak balik dah ke? Wait! Wait! Don't forget your duit raya!
Thank you all for coming! Do feel free to drop by again anytime, open house or not.
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 11:42 PM PDT
a blend of strawberries, raspberries, apples and bananas
'BAbooBA' is Janson's call for food!
He loves it!
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 10:22 PM PDT
The ex-premier is glad that the PM's Hari Raya open house is back at Seri Perdana after a five-year lapse. He also talks about meeting...
When approached by reporters at the event, Dr M said the public liked to go to Sri Perdana as it was one of the places that they liked to see and the place belonged to the people.
I think basically, the people just want to eat lah.
Personally, I don't like the idea of going all the way there for the open house.
The long queue is enough to 'scare' me. ;-)
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 07:32 PM PDT
If you are a birthday boy or birthday girl... How you wanna to celebrate your birthday? A simple birthday dinner with a bunch of closer friends? A birthday party with expensive gifts and a dinner in expensive place? Invites lots of friends until you only able to say "Hello" to all your invitee... so what is your choice?
This friend of mine choose none of the above... but as a friend of his. I decided to organize a simple and invited a few closer friends of his to a simple dinner. I was not sure whether where is the more suitable place... so i got the suggestion from Twilight the famous YUEN buffet Steamboat @ Sunway.
Who is the birthday boy? hehehehe... Let sing a song to him first.
Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday to Anton.
Happy Birthday to You.
Ok... let me cut short the story and fast forward to Friday night... I actually gave my fellow friend Anton a surprise. I told him only four of us (Anton, Medie007, Jerry Kiat and I) gathered to have simple dinner @ Yuen. Later, Twilight, Michi and K|E|E|N|Y|E|E were there too... thanks for attending the gathering. Pikey and Leumao could not attend this gathering due to Friday night conference call with US and Leumao drove back to Penang...
The moment Anton walked in, he was surprised to see Twilight and K|E|E|N|Y|E|E was sitting there... Surprise! Anton... :p Anyway, Michi joined us later... We started our all you can eat steamboat.... It's a paradise of food with so many variety of food. hehehe... my favorite seafood too.
Yuen famous for its Teriyaki BBQ Chicken Wings, look at what twilight and Jerry holding @ their hand. They were so happy since they managed to grab lots of Chicken Wings after a fight with others. :p
hehehe... we sat there chatting, laughing, teasing each other, having fun from 7:30pm till 1am. We were the last table to leave the place. The food was nice but the companies even better. I hope Anton was enjoying himself as i was enjoying myself so much with the food and the companies.
So how you wanna to celebrate your birthday? ...
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 09:33 PM PDT
Anyone sees the so-called human rights groups rushing to file crimes against humanity lawsuits against Hamas? Nope, they are all busy trying to find anything against Israel.
1. Hamas Terrorist uses Children as Human Shields.
In this IAF aerial footage taken during the Cast Lead Operation in January 2009, a Hamas terrorist fires a rocket from the roof of a house, he then calls to a group of children accompanied by an adult to come to the entrance of the house to escort him out. This is yet another example of how Hamas deliberately exploits civilians to provide cover for their terrorist activities.
2. Civilians Flee Hamas Terrorist as He Attempts to Use Them as Human Shields.
In this IAF aerial footage taken during the Cast Lead Operation in January 2009, a Hamas terrorist repeatedly attempts to use innocent bystanders including children as human shields. The terrorist approaches a group of three children who run away from him, then the terrorist lies on the ground feigning an injury. Afterward the terrorist walks into a civilian compound and approaches a man who pushes him away, he then enters a civilian building.
Hat tip: Eye On The World
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 08:16 PM PDT
A Christian couple who run a hotel have been charged with a criminal offence for allegedly insulting a female Muslim guest about her beliefs.
Is freedom of speech already a thing of the past in the UK? Telegraph Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang are charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act –causing harassment, alarm or distress. If convicted, they face fines of £2,500 each and a criminal record.
The Muslim woman was staying at the Bounty House Hotel in Liverpool, which is run by the Vogelenzangs, when a conversation arose between the hoteliers and their guest about her faith.
It is understood that among the topics debated was whether Jesus was a minor prophet, as Islam teaches, or whether he was the Son of God, as Christianity teaches.
Among the things Mr Vogelenzang, 53, is alleged to have said is that Mohammad was a warlord. His wife, 54, is said to have stated that Muslim dress is a form of bondage for women. More... Hat tip: Eye On The World
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 08:07 PM PDT
Egypt is usually billed as one of the so-called moderate Muslim countries, and yet abductions and forced conversions to Islam are no extraordinary events there.
Egypt AINA -- Amal Estephanos, a 19 year old Catholic Copt, was abducted in broad daylight on Saturday, September 12, 2009, by a Muslim to force her father to accept reconciliation with the families of the Muslim murderers of his son Amir Stephanos.
In an interview with Osama Eid of Free Copts, Estephanos said his daughter Amal was kidnapped by the ?unemployed worker Ibrahim Ali Negm, after she was drugged and bundled into a pickup truck, with the assistance of village strangers. She was taken to Aswan City, to be forced to convert to Islam. This abduction was witnessed by several people..
Estephanos said the State Security has pressuring him to accept taking part in a "reconciliation session" with the family of the murderers, which he adamantly refuses. "With this abduction, they want to humiliate me, and force me to cave in to their reconciliation efforts," he told Free Copts. He appealed to President Mubarak saying "I want my daughter back. It is enough what happened to my son Amir, whose blood is not yet dry." Reports from Hegaza village indicate that Amal is in Aswan with one of the organizations specializing in forced Islamization of Copts, and that she may have been raped. More...
It's worth to remind that it was Egypt where Obama told the world that "throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality." Hat tip: Eye On The World
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 08:07 PM PDT
By Michael D. Shear and Howard Schneider Washington Post Staff Writers Sunday, September 20, 2009
Eight months into his presidency, Barack Obama has become a global celebrity, far more popular abroad than he is at home and sometimes eclipsing foreign leaders among their own people. He has sought to use his renown to repair America's image in the world, extending an "open hand" in major speeches on trips to more than a dozen countries. Obama has restarted talks to limit nuclear weapons, begun engaging adversaries, helped orchestrate the world's response to economic collapse and reversed Bush-era policies that had angered allies and distanced the United States from the world community.
But just as his domestic honeymoon has clearly ended, international events have demonstrated the limits of Obama's personal charm. As he takes the stage to address the United Nations for the first time Wednesday, Obama will face world leaders -- adversaries and allies alike -- whose rebukes of the new American president serve as reminders that the world's differences with the United States transcend who is in the White House.
European nations have refused to send significant numbers of new troops to aid the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan. Few countries have agreed to accept detainees held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Scottish officials ignored Obama's plea to keep the Lockerbie bomber in prison, and U.S. efforts to head off a coup in Honduras were ineffective. North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons, Iran may be doing so, and Middle East leaders have rebuffed Obama's efforts at peacemaking.
"When he came into office, there was kind of a sigh of relief around the world because he wasn't Bush," said Leslie H. Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "What was he going to do to solve these problems? They haven't seen that yet." Obama's top foreign policy advisers say the president's popularity abroad has helped to clear a path for substantial policy achievement by ushering in a new era of respect for the United States in other countries.
Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in an interview that the administration's conscious decision to break with the past -- and specifically with the presidency of George W. Bush -- has altered the dynamics of world politics. "It's palpable every day with a new openness and a new willingness to listen and respect our positions and our policies, a readiness to cooperate even where in the past we have met resistance," she said. "Not just change in tone and reaction, but change in policy that has been noted and recognized."
Yet even staunch Obama defenders such as Rice concede that the expectations for the president abroad were exceedingly high. "What did you expect?" she said. "The president gets elected and all of a sudden, you know, we reach nirvana in short order? I mean, that's a little bit ridiculous."
Obama began building expectations for peace in the Middle East in the first months of his presidency and raised hopes even higher with a June speech in Cairo in which he pledged that he could make things happen. Continued here......
Posted: 20 Sep 2009 09:40 PM PDT
It is lovely to feature in other people's dreams. The problem comes when they wake up. Barack Obama is an eloquent, brainy and likeable man with a fascinating biography. He is not George Bush. Those are great qualities. But they are not enough to lead America, let alone the world. By Edward Lucas 20th Sept 2009.
Admittedly, the presidential to-do list is terrifying. The economy requires his full-time attention. So does health-care reform. And climate change. Indeed, he deserves praise for spending so much time on thankless foreign policy issues. He is tackling all the big problems: restarting Middle East peace talks, defanging Iran and North Korea and a "reset" of relations with Russia. But none of them are working. Regimes in Moscow, Pyongyang and Tehran simply pocket his concessions and carry on as before. The picture emerging from the White House is a disturbing one, of timidity, clumsiness and short-term calculation. Some say he is the weakest president since Jimmy Carter.
The grizzled veterans of the Democratic leadership in Congress have found Mr Obama and his team of bright young advisers a pushover. That has gravely weakened his flagship domestic campaign, for health-care reform, which fails to address the greatest weakness of the American system: its inflated costs. His free trade credentials are increasingly tarnished too. His latest blunder is imposing tariffs on tyre imports from China, in the hope of gaining a little more union support for health care. But at a time when America's leadership in global economic matters has never been more vital, that is a dreadful move, hugely undermining its ability to stop other countries engaging in a ruinous spiral of protectionism.
Even good moves are ruined by bad presentation. Changing Mr Bush's costly and untried missile-defence scheme for something workable was sensible. But offensively casual treatment of east European allies such as Poland made it easy for his critics to portray it as naïve appeasement of the regime in Moscow. Mr Obama's public image rests increasingly heavily on his extraordinary speechifying abilities. His call in Cairo for a new start in relations with the Muslim world was pitch-perfect. So was his speech in Ghana, decrying Africa's culture of bad government. His appeal to both houses of Congress to support health care was masterly – though the oratory was far more impressive than the mish-mash plan behind it. This morning he is blitzing the airwaves, giving interviews to all America's main television stations.
But for what? Mr Obama has tactics a plenty - calm and patient engagement with unpleasant regimes, finding common interests, appealing to shared values - but where is the strategy? What, exactly, did "Change you can believe in" – the hallmark slogan of his campaign – actually mean? The President's domestic critics who accuse him of being the sinister wielder of a socialist master-plan are wide of the mark. The man who has run nothing more demanding than the Harvard Law Review is beginning to look out of his depth in the world's top job. His credibility is seeping away, and it will require concrete achievements rather than more soaring oratory to recover it. Telegraph
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