Monday, November 2, 2009

Tired and Disappointed Monday

Tired and Disappointed Monday

Tired and Disappointed Monday

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 08:00 AM PST

I was drained out after my gym yesterday night. I didn't sleep well the whole weekend as i was out until 2am on Friday night, 2am on Saturday night and study until 1am on Sunday night Errmmm Monday morning as per said.
Anyway, it was a tired Monday... i was having an appointment in the afternoon. Waited for about 1/2 hour and it was a disappointed with the result... please don't ask me as i wouldn't wanna to talk about it. Let's forget about it. :(

I hit the gym @ about 5pm, started with cardio for about 15mins, followed by the weight training for about 45mins, ended my gym session with an Intermediate Step class by Chikoyo. I was not able to concentrate last night. I was so tired... After the gym, i went for a quick bites and picked up my mom from her meeting. Headed home and washed all my sweaty gym clothing...

Now i'm laying on my nice and cooling bed enjoying nice classical music... gotta hit the bed now. Need to wake up early tomorrow morning. Another busy day...

Vince Cable

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 10:15 AM PST

A few months back, a Malaysian friend who is a doctor in the UK came over. Knowing me as a politician, she said she treated an MP once at a London hospital.

"Which party?" I asked.

"Lib Dems."

"Oh well, I don't know many of them…"

"His name was Vince Cable."

"VINCE CABLE? Why didn't you tell me earlier. He is like the most well-known Lib Dem MP!"

Vince Cable is the Liberal Democrats Chief Economics Spokesman in the British Parliament, who shadows the Chancellor of Exchequer (the British equivalent to our Minister of Finance). A Cambridge graduate, he was formerly Chief Economist at the Shell. His reputation grew as he had long predicted the high level of debts would contribute to the collapse of the British economy when everyone else was in denial.

While being the acting leader to the Lib Dems as the party was in transition, he was credited for a strong performance in Parliamentary Question Time against Prime Minister Gordon Brown. His description of Brown's "remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean, creating chaos out of order rather than order out of chaos" is simply memorable.

Anyway, while at Westminster today I had to decide between buying his memoir Free Radical and his book about the economic crisis The Storm: The World Economic Crisis and What it Means. I chose his memoir, and placed The Storm in my wishlist for 2010. The memoir is a fun read!

Youtube – best of China

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 09:30 AM PST

Best of Youtube series: China & Chinese
Methodology: Just search for specific keyword on Youtube and share some of the most viewed videos here; limited to one video per channel.

Chinese Backstreet Boys – That Way [by ewo]

Two of the earliest Youtube celebrities, which shows the website's power of creating instant fame out of ordinary folks…

Read the rest of this post »

Youtube – best of China from YeinJee's Asian Journal

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Exotic fragrances & free honeymoon to curb divorce rate

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 07:32 AM PST

A Malaysian state is scrambling to find ways to improve sexual relations, as the divorce rate in the state is rising in an alarming rate. There's at least three in every ten marriages registered in the Terengganu state that ended in divorce.

Boring sex and smelly body odour were said to be the main reasons behind the break up among young folks; thus the state is thinking of inviting cosmetic firms to introduce exotic and sensuous fragrances which can arouse sexual ardour.

Earlier last month there's also suggestions that couples on the brink of divorce to be offered free honeymoon packages to rekindle their romance.

This is turning into an interesting series; note that Terengganu is one of the most conservative states in the country… wonder what is coming next lol.

Exotic fragrances & free honeymoon to curb divorce rate from YeinJee's Asian Journal

Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards at Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 08:32 AM PST

On the previous post, I talked about myself going to Vivo City in the afternoon, wasting quite some times there. We went back to the hotel at around 5 and reached room at about 5.30pm. Alvin was so lazy and jumped on to the bed. For me, I did not take any rest but was just surfing a little bit of the net only then I went to get ready for the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

I was expecting something grand, something like Oscar, with red carpets, camera, tuxedo, suits, gown and etc.

Because of my tiny body and short height, I can hardly get a pre-made blazer out there for me. I think I should go tailor-made one for me already, in case I need to attend such event again in the future (hope not very far future). I went for simplicity, all black and with my favourite polka dots tie.

IMG_2110 by nicholaschan.

I am always late, everyone was asked to gather at the lobby at 6.30pm, but I only got out from the room at that time. Took my camera with me, my phone and it's all set. The lobby of the hotel is very small and I was so surprised to see everyone looking so gorgeous.

IMG_2105 by nicholaschan.

It seems like everyone had already been waiting for a while at the lobby already and the Nuffies had started calling names. Bloggers were just busy taking photos. I was so stranger at there because I found no familiar faces and not a face that says he or she is from Penang. So, I waited for me to arrive at Pan Pacific Hotel, only then I starts my "Hi, I am Nicholas, I blog at Nick Chan Dot Net, bla bla bla".

IMG_2119 by nicholaschan.

There's 4 bus parked at the back of the hotel. Ferrying around 150 bloggers from the hotel to the location. One thing I forgot to say is that, DSLRs were so common among them, almost every of the blogger has one, it's so freaking cool.

IMG_2129 by nicholaschan.

IMG_2128 by nicholaschan.

We arrived at the ballroom side of the hotel instead of the lobby. It seems like everyone was already there and camera flashes were everywhere as we stepped into the cocktail area. It's Western style, with people moving around with glasses of water and there's chips on the table too as Pringles was one of the sponsors.

IMG_2124 by nicholaschan.

Boss Timonthy Tiah.

IMG_2120 by nicholaschan.

We have to sign ourselves up at the registration booth to get a Nuffnang booklet which works at an entry ticket. Then I spent quite some times at the cocktail area wandering around, looking at peoples, said hi to some I-didn't-know blogger.

DSC_0701 by nicholaschan.

They even have this cool area set up for photography. Just like any awards show where the celebrities will stand there, pose for photograph or speak.

DSC_0672 by nicholaschan.

IMG_2139 by nicholaschan.

I'll skipped my photos taken with fellow blogger first and go into the Nuffnang Blog Awards banquet hall.

IMG_2141 by nicholaschan.

IMG_2154 by nicholaschan.

There's a red carpet out there, it's real red and as I walked into the hall. Camera flashes on me again. I felt like I am a celebrity but in fact, everyone felt the same too. My table number was 36 and it's quite far from the stage.

IMG_2149 by nicholaschan.

Though, that's not the problem because there's a big screen showing what's happening on the stage at our place. The music in the hall was rather loud which made communicating a little bit difficult. We had Western styled, four course fine dining, which was also my first time and I liked it a lot.

Entertainment of the night was the very interesting illusion magic by hot Magic Babe Ning and JC Sum, very loud rock band, Electrico and the night was hosted by Amazing Race Asia's host, Allan Wu.

It's so interesting to see those nominated blog, now only I know that there's so many good blogs out there. For the list of Winner, you can check it out here. I'll still share you 2 names that everyone knows and it's Xiaxue and Kennysia. Xiaxue was the biggest winner of the night as she got away with 3 awards. Cool.

My submitted video for Pringles competition didn't get nominated and I believe I didn't add in the tagline and it's not in English. Somehow, I salute the winner, Jayden who is really pro in video making.

IMG_2226 by nicholaschan.

IMG_2224 by nicholaschan.

IMG_2210 by nicholaschan.

The whole thing ran quite well and ended at around 11.30pm. Pity the MC/Host Allan Wu because he's always on stage announcing the winner and don't get to eat with us. The only thing that made the event not-so-perfect was the lack of alcohol, I bet everyone will be high if there's alcohol in the hall. But then, I am underage. Haha.

We did not really go home right after it ended, but it's photography session with fellow bloggers outside the ballroom until near midnight. The last bus was really late because of some technical error. We almost need to call for cab to take us back to hotel but in the end, the bus was there.


Next stop: Same place but lots of photos with bloggers.

Hippo & Dog - The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Pre-Bedtime Song for Janson

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 09:12 AM PST

One of Janson's fave pre-bedtime songs.

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nizar: RM555 million for government from RM50 tax! nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 08:55 AM PST

PARLIAMENT The Penang chief minister and Bagan DAP parliamentarian says the charges only added on to the burden of the lower income group.

According to him the government will earn RM555 million in revenue from credit card holders annually and is expected to gain an additional RM6.3billion in net revenue according to the 2010 Federal Government Revenue for next year, if the RM50 service tax on principal credit cards is imposed.

I really wish to know what kind of service that the government is giving me for paying RM50???

Paloi Punya Budak!

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 06:52 AM PST

Read the news? I mean this news.

My reaction towards these stupid bunch of useless kids, is, Paloi tahap babun! I don't know why they mocking other people's religion? Is that fun mocking other religion? Aren't their religion taught how to respect others? Shame on you! Plus, they did it in a CHURCH. Yes, a church. Supposed to be a God's house. Don't call yourself a Christian if you don't behave like one. Memalukan saya saja!

I'm ashamed with these stupid kids. I'm really sorry with their action. Paloi punya budak!

I believe, if you want people respect you, we should respect others too.

Siapa Namewee? Apasal Dia Marah??

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 06:31 AM PST

Anda ingin tahu kenapa dia marah? tggu cerita selanjutnya....tonton video diatas ni...

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nizar: New reward system for civil servants - nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 07:14 AM PST

UPDATED 11.35PM The PM says the new reward system is to motivate civil servants and inculcate the culture of high performance in the public sector.

The annual Auditor-General's report is already a proof that civil servants are richly 'rewarded'.

The new reward system will certainly make them more richly rewarded than they already are.

Thief smashing car window to steal: Be careful! - nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 06:42 AM PST

Be careful people. The above cartoon strip by Kee's World @ The Star Online is a true depiction of rampant acts of on-the-road crime.

My sister was a victim on the same day as the day the cartoon strip was published. Funny? Not if the victim is you!

Muslims call to kill Christians in Egyptian town

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 06:08 AM PST

The drama in the Egyptian town, which began with the circulation of an intimate phone video of a Muslim girl and prompted the murder of her Christian boyfriend's father and two relatives, continues to unfold, with calls to kill the Christians, take revenge on churches and "burn, vandalize and clean the country" of Christians and Jews.

And I will not tire of reminding that in his Cairo speech Obama insisted that "throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality."

Egypt (AINA) -- Egyptian security forces have intensified their presence in the Upper Egyptian town of Dairout, in anticipation of a recurrence of Muslim violence against Christians. Copts expressed their fear over leaflets entitled "These have to Die!" which are being distributed to all Muslims in Dairout and neighborhoods, enticing them to "burn, vandalize and clean the country of these evil immoral infidels."

Reports from Dairout, 313 km south of Cairo, confirm that Christian Copts are afraid to leave their homes and have stayed indoors since violence against them erupted on October 24, 2009. This collective punishment of Copts was caused by an illicit sexual relationship between a Muslim girl, Hagger Hassouna, and the Christian Romany Farouk Attallah. It was rumored that he sent videos of them intimately together to cell phones in Dairout before fleeing. This prompted the Hassouna family to kill his father, Farouk Attallah, on October 19, 2009, in revenge. Four of the Hassouna killers were detained by prosecution, leading to Muslim riots against the Copts (AINA 10-27-2009).

According to Wagih Yacoub of the Middle East Christian Assosiation (MECA), Muslim-owned businesses are now displaying stickers with 'Allah Akbar' (Allah is Great) to differentiate between them and Coptic-owned businesses, as a form of pre-planning for a forthcoming wave of Muslim violence.

Handwritten leaflets (Arabic) have been circulated among Muslims in Dairout for the last two days; they call on Muslims to unite to take revenge for their religion and honor, claiming that Hagger Hassouna is innocent and that she was forced into vice, and "all Jews and Christians should come to learn that Muslim honor is precious." The fliers state that Muslims are the masters of the world since beginning of times until the present day, and entices them to "burn and vandalize and clean the country of the evil immoral infidels."

It also calls on Muslims to take revenge for the "rings of prostitution" which are the churches and in particular the church in the village of Ezbet Hanna. Those specifically named to be killed are Reverend Pavlos of the Church of the Virgin Mary, Coptic lawyer Gamal Youssef, two brothers who own an optometry practice, and a Copt who owns a beauty saloon and photography shop.

Muslims are asked to die for their honor and they will be rewarded with eternal paradise. "Do not say it is a matter of just a girl, no, it is a public and a serious issue, it is the biggest issue, it is Islam's issue." A transcript of the the leaflet (in Arabic) is published on Copts United website. More... Hat tip: Eye On The World

How you become a racist ...

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 04:54 AM PST

One can easily become a racist because of this. I experienced this sad episode involving my daughter once , not too long ago. This is one method of pushing down the numbers of the Non Muslim Bumis in East Malaysia, to bloat the numbers of the majority. One follows the race of the father, which is normal, with the exception of the majority race, where when you get married to a Malay, you are considered to have "masuk Melayu". Your children, will be Malays even if you are a male of any other race. You lose your manhood there. The same rule is not applicable to other races. So if one parent who is the real original people of the land, your offspring are categorised as the race of the "pendatang" just because your better half maybe a Chinese, an Indian or some other. Welcome to the world of supremacists. In the case below, she is an Iban for all intents and purposes.

NOV 2 — In the past week, newspapers in Sarawak have been covering a story of an Iban-Chinese girl who was denied a place in the matriculation programme because she was deemed a "non-Bumiputera". This is what the Borneo Post (Oct 29) reported:

"KUCHING: Getting her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) result was the best — and the worst — thing that could happen to Marina Undau.The 18-year-old science stream student of SMK Simanggang scored 9As and 1B in the SPM examination last year. She thought she was on her way to university, especially being a Bumiputera and all, but that was not to be. Born to an Iban father and a Chinese mother, Marina's life was turned upside down when her application to undergo a university matriculation programme was rejected by the Ministry of Education. The ministry determined that she is not a 'Bumiputera'...

"Seated between her parents, Undau Liap and Wong Pick Sing, the disappointment in the teenager was obvious. Speaking in Iban, she said: 'Aku amai enda puas ati nadai olih nyambung sekula ngagai universiti (I'm very sad that I can't pursue my university education).' With no chance of entering a university for now, Marina has started Form 6 in her old school.

"Asked what she thought of everything that was happening, she replied: 'What worries me is that will this happen again when I pass my STPM next year? If I get good results, what's next?'

"In Sarawak, under the federal constitution, both parents must be 'native' in order for the offspring to be classified as a 'Bumiputera'."

In case you are curious how they play the blood game, this is the official definition used by the Student Intake Management Division, Higher Learning Department and Higher Education Ministry:

You are a Bumiputera if

• Semenanjung — "Jika salah seorang ibu atau bapa calon adalah seorang Melayu yang beragama Islam/Orang Asli seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 160(2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera." (If either parent of a candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/Orang Asli as defined in Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

• Sabah — "Jika bapa calon adalah seorang Melayu yang beragama Islam/Peribumi Sabah seperti yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(a) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera." (If the father of the candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/native of Sabah as defined by Article 161A(6)(a) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

• Sarawak — "Jika bapa dan ibu adalah seorang Peribumi Sarawak seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(b) Perlembagaan persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera." (If the father and mother is a native of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A(6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

Since this story broke, many others from mixed, i.e. native-Chinese background, have come forward to tell their appalling stories about not being able to enter matriculation classes and a direct route to a public university.

Just in case you do not know, to enter a public university in Malaysia, you can either do the one-year matriculation programme or the two-year STPM. But there is a catch. The matriculation is only available to Bumiputeras so all the non-Bumiputeras must take the STPM route. It is also common knowledge that matriculation is much easier than STPM and once you get in, you are almost certain to get a university place. Hence, the desperate rush to get into matriculation (see quoted story above).

Oh, before you get any ideas in your head, according to the government, we practice "meritocracy" in the intake of university students! But don't ask hard questions like why matriculation is restricted or that there is a separate university for Bumiputeras only.

What really bothers me is not the individual sad stories about how children from native-Chinese marriages are denied their Bumiputera rights, but how the media is only reporting from one side. All the stories tell of how their future is damaged since they cannot get into the matriculation programme, and how they are "forced" to go to STPM or Sixth Form.

It is truly shocking that none of the newspaper dare to write the real angle of the story — how about the thousands of poor Chinese students who are denied a place in university because they are completely shut off from the matriculation programme. Are you telling me that there are no poor Chinese or Indians in Sarawak, or that all poor non-Bumiputeras in Sarawak, or for that matter in the whole of Malaysia, happily go into the two-year, tougher STPM and "try their luck" with university admission?

Why do the newspapers only focus on the children of mixed marriages?

Isn't this exactly why normal people become racist when they see this sort of shenanigans happening right in front of them? How do you explain to your child that she cannot enter university because she was born of the "wrong" race? Education is one of the most basic human rights and here we using higher education to turn an ordinary human being into a racist — all because someone is obsessed with the definition of race. No wonder Sarawak is the model for 1 Malaysia! Malaysian Insider

Here are more reasons why people become racists in Malaysia,when there is an apartheid like policy, a well articualted letter in Malaysiakini, "Minorities surreptitiously being denied equal rights".

Welcoming Winter

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 02:19 AM PST

Hi people!

For the first time, I can see the sign of winter approaching here in Hong Kong. Weather still as sunny over the day but as night approaches, the day ended pretty early, as early as 5PM, we can see darkness here already. And today, the wind blow is strong, I got a feeling that I will experience some typhoon alert here like the one I experienced here last year.

For friends who are coming over, do remember your wind breaker ya, pretty chilly here as the night approaches. As for myself, I am busy with my work here, doing the final mapping and design for approval, let's say once I concluded the design for the Hong Kong HQ, I will be back to Malaysia, targeting December 2009. If not I guess I will be celebrating my Christmas & New Year here.

It's November and for November boys & girls, happy birthday peeps! There are far too many to list out all here, you know who you are!

And some Malaysian friends updated me that the weather there is pretty wet now, it rains almost everyday I heard, so people be extra careful with everything. And of late, heard many back to back incident in Kampar, 6 people were drowned in less than a week. Just take precaution in whatever you do peeps. Kampar indeed is a very nice little town and I pray that there will be no further incident happening here.

A simple text updates here, not much pictures I can upload as of now. Will do a more picturesque posting later this week as I am joining 15 other medias from Malaysia for the latest LG mobile phone launching here in Hong Kong. I will be covering the event for LG Blog as well. In meantime, LG Blog has some 50 pairs tickets to the Da Vinci The Genius exhibition to be given away. Check out the blog post now! Unfortunately I am unable to attend the exclusive exhibition back home but hopefully I can get my project done here soonest possible and pay a little visit to see Da Vinci's exhibits!

Until then people, Happy Winter!

Singing Tong Hua Together In Class 5SA1

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 04:23 AM PST

It's always nice to see the whole class unite and do something, work out something together. Last Thursday, my friend brought a guitar to school. At first, we were just asking him to play some tunes and sooner, more and more people gather around and started to sing.

The song that made everyone in class sings was Tong Hua (the song by Guang Liang). There's no teacher in class, only then we can do things like this.

Singing is fun!

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Perak PAS Youth: Nizar will be vindicated - nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar nizar

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 04:50 AM PST

Perak PAS Youth is confident that Nizar will be vindicated as rightful Perak MB, as article 72 of the Federal Constitution ensures that only a...

Counterterrorism, Obama style

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 04:17 AM PST

Five months ago, when al-Qaeda jihadist Ali Saleh Kallah al-Marri pleaded guilty, it was obvious that the Justice Department had given him a sweetheart deal. On Thursday, a federal judge in Illinois dutifully finished the job. Al-Marri, a committed sleeper operative sent by our enemies to carry out a post-9/11 second wave of mass-murder attacks inside the United States, was given an appalling sentence: He'll be eligible for release in about six years.

When al-Marri entered his plea back in May, Attorney General Eric Holder crowed that the case demonstrated the criminal-justice system's capacity to confront and quell international terrorism. As I observed at the time, though, the plea bargain was a travesty. It marked a dramatic step backwards even from the wayward 1990s philosophy that saw international terrorism as strictly a law-enforcement issue, not a national-defense matter.

Prior Justice Department practice required prosecutors to charge the most severe, readily provable offense. And in 1996, to ensure that this practice would result in sentences of death or life imprisonment for terrorists, Congress — with significant encouragement from the Clinton Justice Department (in its pre-Holder days) — overhauled federal counterterrorism law. These new laws did not solve the underlying problems: that terrorism is not a mere crime, and that regarding it as such badly compromises national security. But they did at least mean that terrorists who were successfully prosecuted would never again be able to harm Americans or anyone else. The new laws were tailor-made for terrorists like al-Marri, who joined al-Qaeda in 1998, reported directly to the network's top echelon, and was sent to the United States by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda's operations chief and 9/11 master planner, to carry out mass-murder attacks using chemical and biological weapons.

In stark departure from prior Justice Department practice, Holder permitted al-Marri to plead guilty to providing material support for terrorism. The material-support offense is generally reserved for non-terrorist sympathizers who facilitate the jihad but are unlikely to carry out atrocities themselves. It is a significantly less serious charge than the crimes — the acts of war — that Marri had actually committed, such as full-fledged membership in the al-Qaeda conspiracy to kill Americans, as well as conspiracies to use weapons of mass destruction.

Because of Holder's abandonment of past DOJ practice, al-Marri was looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years. Had the Justice Department filed appropriate charges and taken the case to trial, the 43-year-old al-Marri would have been looking at a life sentence. I am not just speculating here: As I recounted back in May, the terrorist conceded at his guilty plea that the government was in a position to prove his conduct went miles beyond material support. He agreed that he had been sent to the U.S. by KSM to conduct attacks, and that, to quote the plea agreement

the government would prove at trial that his research into cyanide compounds is consistent with research conducted by persons trained in camps teaching advanced poisons courses to terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda. He also agreed that the government would prove at trial that his research into cyanide compounds is consistent with research conducted by persons trained in camps teaching advanced poisons courses to terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda. He also agrees that the government would prove at trial that an almanac recovered in his residence was bookmarked at pages showing dams, waterways, and tunnels in the United States, consistent with al-Qaeda planning for the use of cyanide gases.

The Justice Department absurdly spun the plea as harsh, with Holder portrayed as sternly holding out for a sentence of at least 15 years. But this was nonsense. As I also pointed at the time, "The sentence will at most be 15 years, and Holder has expressly agreed that al-Marri may argue to the judge that he should receive a lighter sentence, as little as the time he has already served." Continued here....

Israel does not “deliberately” target civilians, fighting the Lies harder than fighting the war

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 03:58 AM PST

The war over the war in Gaza is heating up. Next week, the United Nations General Assembly will consider the tendentious Goldstone Report, the highest-profile exercise in blaming the victim in the U.N.'s tawdry history. Simultaneously, lawyers in Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Norway are drawing up criminal indictments against IDF officers who participated in the Gaza operation. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that a number of names are on a police watch list for arrest and detention should they attempt to enter Britain.

Israel's enemies certainly seek to terrorize and demoralize Israel. But the more important campaign — which is gaining traction — is to delegitimize her and to brand Israel's self-defense as a war crime.

Because the United States has not yet descended to that level of moral inversion, I was able to sit down yesterday with Col. Ben Gruber, deputy commander of the armored division of the IDF, and one of the officers who participated in the Gaza campaign. Like 80 percent of the IDF, Gruber is a reservist. In civilian life, he's a computer scientist and father of five.

Soft-spoken and reflective, Gruber tries to think the best of everyone — even Richard Goldstone. "He could not have read" this report before attaching his name to it, Gruber sighs. Readily acknowledging that mistakes are always made in war, and that those who intentionally transgress deserve punishment, Gruber is dumbfounded that the Goldstone report accuses Israel of "deliberately" targeting civilians.

Consider the assessment of Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and a veteran of the Gulf War and the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Macedonia: "During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population."

What army has offered 48 hours' notice to its enemies of planned operations? Israel did so, dropping 2 million leaflets in advance of army movements. Twenty-four hours before the IDF moved on a suspected terrorist site, the army phoned civilians to warn them to evacuate. There were 100,000 calls. And five minutes before an operation began, the IDF sent out text messages. The calls and messages contained not just warnings, but instructions on which roads were safe to take and which schools or other buildings could be used for shelter. In the midst of the conflict, hundreds of trucks brought food, water, and medical supplies to Gaza.

In Rafa, Israel sought to close 225 tunnels (with 800 entrances) used to smuggle arms to Gaza from Egypt. The easiest and safest course for the IDF would have been to level, without warning, the homes that contained the entrances, using air power or tanks. In Gaza City, to avoid civilian casualties, IDF infantrymen went house to house, encountering booby traps along the way and fending off seven attempted kidnappings.

Hamas was so confident that Israel would not knowingly shoot at civilians that they hid behind human shields throughout the short war. It was common, when word came of an impending attack, for Hamas to send children out to play in the streets at that moment. "Will I shoot?" Gruber asks. "I will not." There is video of a terrorist with a rocket launcher slung over his shoulder grabbing a ten-year-old boy by the collar and dragging him across the street to deter Israeli snipers. And it worked. Israel has similar video (from Reuters actually) showing U.N. ambulances ferrying armed men. "Yes," says Gruber with resignation, "the 'ambulances' were always at the front."

There are scores of other examples — Hamas firing from mosques, schools, private homes, and hospitals. The very fact that Hamas used human shields betrays their admission that Israel abides by ethical standards in war fighting. They took advantage of Israel's moral qualms about harming non-combatants. Now they accuse Israel of the crimes they themselves committed — deliberately targeting civilians by raining down 12,000 missiles on southern Israel since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Gruber grudgingly accepts the moral asymmetry. "I will not shoot a civilian for his sake, but also for the sake of my soul," he explains. The more intolerable injustice is the world's embrace of the lies and calumnies now peddled by the same people who sent those kids into the streets in a war zone.Mona Charen in the National Review

Scandal Watch: New York Times - Leftist arseholes and Bush bashers

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 04:44 AM PST

Remember that reporter from the New York Times, David Rohde, who "escaped" from the Taliban in June?

Michael Yon tweets:

Kept it all quiet for NYT. Now why are the NYT endangering British hostages in Somalia? NYT needs to shut up. They are endangering British.about 3 hours ago from web

I have been told by very close sources that ex-CIA officers helped pay off release for Rohde. I knew this while it was ongoing.about 3 hours ago from web

NYT is endangering the hostages in Somalia.about 3 hours ago from web

Am told by good sources Rohde is good guy, but still NYT cannot ask for discretion when they don't use it.about 3 hours ago from web

Numerous very well placed sources have told me New York Times/associates paid millions to get Rohde release.about 3 hours ago from web

New York Times cannot expect quiet about David Rohde when they blab all: 3 hours ago from web

Now, if you remember, there was a second New York Times reporter, Stephen Farrell, who was rescued in September from the Taliban, resulting in the death of a British commando. Time magazine reported on his rescue and why the questionable need for a military raid:

Negotiators were "optimistic" that Farrell and Munadi would be freed within days, without payment of a ransom. Hostage-taking is a long-standing Afghan practice and almost always ends with captives being freed in exchange for money after days or weeks of haggling. But in this case, sources tell TIME, the senior Taliban commanders of Kunduz were "acting reasonably" and seemed willing to hand the reporter and his aide over without a payoff.

Hours before the British raid, Munadi was allowed to place a cell-phone call to his worried parents to reassure them that he and Farrell would soon be released. When the British commandos made their surprise attack on the house where the pair were being held, the two men rushed out. Munadi died in the firefight, shouting, "Journalist! Journalist!" Farrell recounted to his Times colleagues in Kabul. "He was lying in the same position as he fell," Farrell said. "That's all I know. I saw him go down in front of me. He did not move. He's dead. He was so close, he was just two feet in front of me when he dropped."

I read this at the time and was suspect of the "no ransom" reporting. Have the Taliban ever done that? If what Yon is saying about Rohde is true, it's reasonable to at least question if the New York Times was arranging a payment for Farrell and the translator. And if so, were they telling the military of their negotiations? Reporters at the New York Times and elsewhere owe it to the family of the fallen British soldier to act on Yon's tips and find out what management at the New York Times was up to. Source...

These Shoes are Made for Walking

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 01:29 AM PST

(down the isle)

i've found The Pair of Shoes. these are for both nikah and reception.

i just loved the minimal bling factor on the shoes. :)

very, very comfortable.

(i must wear a comfy shoes, otherwise my right foot would be very painful. so choice of wearable shoes are limited – no nice strappy sandals for me – sad)

most importantly, it comes with a reasonable price tag. ;)

after a long search here and there, i finally found my shoes at Neva Shoes, Ampang Park Shopping Center. ground floor, near Guardian. they don't have much wedding shoes, but they really have a nice collection of shoes. mom has been a loyal customer since forever. shoes are priced from RM59. neat workmanship, and comfy too. try check it out, who knows, you might find your ideal shoes there. :D

Posted in shoes, wedding bell

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