"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"The Constitution gives every American the inalienable right to make a damn fool of himself." - John Ciardi

***

"In the past, you don't like your enemy... you put on your armour.... ride your horse... poke him in the chest... Now it's rule of the law... revenge is extracted by suing the pants off your enemy."

--- Yortsin on International History (Phantasmagoria)

He still hasn't lost his touch :)

***

Someone: After serious consideration and discussions with the Deans of the Business and Law Schools, the university has decided that the Business School will remain at Kent Ridge, but also have a facility at Bukit Timah in which it can conduct enhancement and enrichment programs that will bring alumni, students and faculty together.

Me: let the law students stew on their own haha

Someone: yar lor

Me: how to do law CBMs like that
how will law do non-law electives?

Someone: then their own pang sai business already
call other ppl SNAILS
this is called retribution
lol


Someone: let's see if my ego can take the bashing if i get bashers
seriously. i think i've protected my ego too long
too fragile liao

Me: yah
I help you train up by insulting you


Someone else: my fren thot tat agagooga was an indian guy :P


Tim: [I want] RJ's Dieu! qu'il la fait bon regarder
i want to hear just how badly they mangled it

playing RJ Chorale's
why's it so slow?! they can't handle the triplets/doubles otherwise?

wah lau.
the beautiful girl they're singing about must have passed away.

intolerable. i shut it off


Me on the next Young Republic gathering: We need a more diverse crowd!

Someone: in other words, need more girls la.

***

The Watling Street episode of Time Commanders was a disaster. Most teams in other episodes I watched lost, but this team was doomed to failue from the get-go due to internal squabbling and awful tactics, and not just because Boadicea / Boudica / Boudicca (whichever you prefer) outnumbered them 6:1.

Dr Aryeh Nusbacher, Senior Lecturer in War Studies, Royal Military Academy (RMA) Sandhurst: The problem is that we heard somebody before talking about Ben-Hur. And they have got cultural preconceptions about war. They think there needs to be a front line. They think it needs to be long and they, this is true if you've got muskets. But they don't have muskets. What a Roman army needs is depth.


Mike Loades, Historical Weapons Expert: They're seconds away from defeat. Well it's not defeat, it's complete annihilation.

Interesting thing I learnt from the episode: Woad, the blue dye the Celts applied over their bodies as magical war paint, helps wounds to close and heal, so the Celts' ascribing it magical properties was not entirely unwarranted.

***

Gay Teenager Stirs a Storm

"Teenagers have been outing themselves online for years, and many of Zach's friends already knew he was gay. It was another sentence in the Web log: "Today, my mother, father and I had a very long 'talk' in my room, where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays."

"It's like boot camp," Zach added in a dispatch the next day. "If I do come out straight, I'll be so mentally unstable and depressed it won't matter."

The camp in question, Refuge, is a youth program of Love in Action International, a group in Memphis that runs a religion-based program intended to change the sexual orientation of gay men and women. Often called reparative or conversion therapy, such programs took hold in fundamentalist Christian circles in the 1970's, when mainstream psychiatric organizations overturned previous designations of homosexuality as a mental disorder, and gained ground rapidly from the late 90's. Programs like Love in Action have always been controversial, but Zach's blog entries have brought wide attention to a less-known aspect of them, their application to teenagers...

The program at Love in Action has parallels to 12-step recovery programs. Participants, referred to as clients, study the Bible, meet with counselors and keep a "moral inventory," a journal in which they detail their struggle with same-sex temptation over the years, which they read at emotionally raw group meetings, former clients say.

Excessive jewelry or stylish clothing from labels like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are forbidden, and so is watching television, listening to secular music (even Bach) and reading unapproved books or magazines.

"It's like checking into prison," said Brandon Tidwell, 29, who completed the adult program in 2002 but eventually rejected its teachings, reconciling his Christian beliefs with being gay.

Physical contact among clients other than a handshake is forbidden, and so is "campy" talk or behavior, according to program rules that Zach posted on his blog before he began at Refuge. Occasionally, recalled Jeff Harwood, 41, a Love in Action graduate who still considers himself gay, some participants would mock the mandatory football games.

"You could get away with maybe one limp-wristed pass before another client would catch you,"

... Critics of programs that seek to change sexual orientation say the programs themselves can open a person to lifelong problems, including guilt, shame and even suicidal impulses. The stakes are higher for adolescents, who are already wrestling with deep questions of identity and sexuality, mental-health experts say.

"Their identities are still in flux," said Dr. Jack Drescher, the chairman of the committee on gay, lesbian and bisexual issues of the American Psychiatric Association, which in 2000 formally rejected regimens like reparative or conversion therapy as scientifically unproven. "One serious risk for the parent to consider is that most of the people who undergo these treatments don't change. That means that most people who go through these experiences often come out feeling worse than when they went in.""

***

To the Marketplace, my minions!

"To surmise the 2 hour endurance test (I wonder how much of the sermon the teens actually listen into - I can barely get them to pay attention to an hour of teaching): there are 7 pillars holding up society. These are: Family, Religion, Education, Government, Arts, Media and Business. In Singapore, Christianity has done very well in the above two (Family and Religion).

Curious that there was no mention of science and technology as foundations of society. Then again, I doubt the Church and the Sciences have been on good terms since the latter propsed that the Earth revolved around the Sun and people evolved from apes.

Dare say science and tech not important in Singapore? Later City Harvest kena sued by A*STAR then they knoe.

However, sayeth the Rev. Kong Hee, this is not enough. Religion is not just about transforming people, friends or family. It's about changing societies and nations! We must push our influence into the other 'pillars' of Media, the Arts, Government, Education and Business - collectively known as The Marketplace...

Sayeth the Rev. Kong Hee, 'Jesus wore the modern-day equivalent of a business suit. That is why I'm dressed like this. I want to be like Jesus! Hallejulah!'

Something seems amiss when Jesus gets an Extreme Makeover going from humble carpenter to Donald Trump.

The pastor proceeded to give many examples from the Bible of people Jesus met and formed Marketplace business contacts with, including tax collectors - which happened to the most depised people in society at the point in time, so I wonder what kind of connections Jesus was making. Not to mention what kind of argument Rev. Kong Hee was making.

Rev. Kong Hee also says Jesus attended high-class functions and banquets to further his Marketplace influence.

From Donald Trump, Jesus now become wedding singer liddat. I dunno leh, if Jesus so well-connected and popular, why he still crucified ah?

... Like in this example Rev. Kong Hee gives, this businessman wants to build a super stadium dedicated to God in the middle of urban Jakarta. He owns a field with tons of coal underneath but the price of coal is so low it's not worthwhile to mine it and make money.

So how? (This is where Rev. Kong Hee sounds really excited) God answers this guy's prayers. Hundreds of miners in China die in multiple mining accidents forcing all the mines in the country to close. The price of coal goes up, giving the guy a profit margin to mine his coal! Hallejulah!"

***

On a roll - "They have six-inch and foot-long versions, myriad fillings and sauces that defy description. Now Britons have so taken to Subway sandwiches that the franchise is challenging McDonald's as the UK's No1 fast-food outlet.... Choice, therefore, becomes an increasingly illusory concept. As Lang notes, already and almost without noticing it, most of us (urban dwellers especially) no longer have the option of returning home at lunchtime for a home-cooked meal, making us dependent on the nearest fast-food outlet for our midday refuelling. And while the array of options within a Subway store may appear vast, if those stores have squeezed out every alternative along the high street, the offering suddenly looks less bountiful."
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