Monday, August 30, 2010

Updates to urgent need for B- blood in Gwangju.

By now news of Michael Simning has probably reached you on Facebook. Mike---owner of Gwangju's Underground Grocers and The First Alleyway, host on GFN 98.7 FM, a "beacon of Gwangju's foreign community," husband, father, and all-around great guy---was diagnosed with leukemia and is in urgent need of B- blood, a type especially rare among Asians. Reaching out to South Korea's diverse expatriate communities to find matches is of utmost importance.

There are restrictions imposed by the Korean Red Cross on who can donate blood---impositions found throughout the world---something learned earlier in the year during another blood drive in the expat community, and written about by Roboseyo in an important post in April and summarized again last week.
The donation eligibility form is the same at any red cross clinic worldwide:

Take a look at this document. Read it carefully.
Take a look at this document. Read it carefully.
These two documents'll help you determine your eligibility.

In this article, and this one, I was told you need to meet these requirements to donate blood in Korea:
1. You need to have an Alien Registration Card. Bring it, and be ready to present it.
2. You need to have been in Korea for a year.
3. You need to be able to answer some questions about your medical history... mostly the ones inthose two documents above... the guy at the Seoul Global Center, when I called in April, was pretty sure that you need to speak enough Korean to answer the medical history questions yourself, but when I went in person, the nurse did allow me to answer the questions through an interpreter. Some of the questions made my translator feel awkward -- "have you shared needles"? But if you can help save a guy's life, it's worth it, right?

Michael's friend Hughie Samson has collected information via Facebook and sent out an update, including information about how to find out your blood type, what to say in Korean at the clinic or hospital, and what else you can do to help:
A few days ago Michael Simning - an expat in Gwangju - visited the hospital because he wasn't feeling very well.

He discovered that he has leukemia, was admitted into the hospital immediately (where he will stay for at least a month), and has started to undergo chemotherapy treatments.

As part of his treatment Michael needs to receive several blood transfusions.

Michael's blood type is B-, which is very rare, and so he, his family, and his friends are trying to find people in Korea who can donate blood to him immediately as well as periodically throughout the next couple of weeks. (O- blood won’t work in this case.)

If your blood type is B-, and you are able and willing to donate, please consider contacting Tim Whitman at 011.9600.6378 or Tim will pass your name and phone number along to Michael and his family.

You can also help by passing this message along to friends of yours here in Korea too.

Many people -- unfortunately -- don't know their blood type. You can find out yours -- and at the same time find out if you can help Michael -- by visiting a hospital in your area.

The procedure is relatively painless and should only take a few minutes.

In case you’re worried about communicating with the staff, you can print out and show them the following information, which explains to them why you’re there and why you need this information:

친구가 백혈병에 걸려서 도움이 필요합니다.
제 친구는 Rh-B 형 입니다.
제 혈액형 검사받고 하고 싶습니다. Rh-/Rh+ 인지까지 정확히 검사 받고싶습니다.

Once you find out your blood type, and if it is B-, you can do the same as those who already know theirs: contact Tim Whitman at 011.9600.6378 or

In the meantime Michael’s immune system is very weak so he isn’t able to receive any visitors. He is able to communicate using the internet and telephone, however, and many friends have been wishing him well using Facebook.

And as a side note from me, a friend: Mike’s sickness and rehabilitation may cause a lot of financial strain to him and his wife and daughter, so if you are in Gwangju, please consider supporting him in a very direct manner by shopping at the Underground Grocers and by eating at the First Alleyway, both of which will remain open in his absence.

Underground Grocers is open on Wednesday from 11 to 7, on Thursday and Friday from 1 to 7, and on Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 7; the First Alleway is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5 to 10ish and on Sunday from 11 to 5 for an all day breakfast.

For people eager ot know what else they can do to help, mutual friend Jessica---in another Facebook message---reiterates that people in the area continue to shop at the Underground Grocers and The First Alleyway. People staying away because they mistakenly think the two are closed can raise more money for Michael and his family by their continued patronage.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I love this Doctor!

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!

Well... I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"


For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans..

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Movie Review: Predators (2010)

When I heard that they wee going to make a new Predator film, I only had one question in my mind, Why? After seeing this film, I still have the same question, Why was this film made?

All the film is really about is that humans are now being sent to a planet where it is man vs. Predator to see which one is the best hunter/killer. It does nothing to set up why or anything, Its just you're dropped into combat and you die.

The casting of Adrian Brody as the hero of this film was a joke. I never believed him for a moment and the other actors seemed liked they wanted to be somewhere else than trying to make this film.

The only time I actually liked the film is when it was over and I could not believe that someone actually said that this was a good film.

Please pass on this film at all cost when it opens here in Korea on AUG. 26TH 2010

Grade: D-

: Excuse me, I'm - just what the hell is going on here?
Royce: We're being hunted. The cages, soldier, all of us. We were all brought here for the same purpose. This planet is a game preserve, and we're the game. In case you didn't notice, we just got flushed out. They sent the dogs in. Just like you would if you were stalking boar, shooting quail. They split us apart and they watched. Testing us.
Isabelle: How do you know this?
Royce: Because, that's what I would do.

Movie Review: The Expendables (2010)

Now I really had no idea what to expect in this film. The previews looked great and the film has a scene with Sylvester Stallone,Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis all together is what sold the film for me. I am glad that I saw this film because it was a great summer blockbuster type of film.

The film is basically a throwback film in which Dolph Lundgren described it as "an old-school, kick-ass action movie where people are fighting with knives and shooting at each other." What I liked about it that there was actually a bad guy and the good guys were fighting to try and save some people's lives.

The film is definitely a popcorn film, in which the story is OK, the plot is OK and when it hits the fan, you know that you are going to be a world of a good time at the movies.

But the part of the film that I really loves is when Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis were all in the film at the exact same time, the jokes and the plot telling were just classic and the little subtle jabs at each person past acting roles and maybe future jobs was just too funny and really needs to be extended if there is a part 2 for this film.

This film will never win an Oscar but if you see it you might actually be surprised when you like it.

Grade: B

Trench: Give this job to my friend here. He loves playing in the jungle, right?
Barney Ross: [sarcastically] Right.
Mr. Church: [referring to Trench, confused] What's his fucking problem?
Barney Ross: He wants to be president.

Please see the film when you get a chance.
Movie Review: The Man From Nowhere 아저씨 (A-jeo-ssi)

At the time of this review, this film has sold over 3.5 million tickets and is the #1 film in Korea and to be quite honest, I have no idea why. There is nothing new in this film and while the film was playing, I kept telling myself which film, the film makers, borrowed or heavily cribbed from.

The film's star, Won Bin, just looked liked he wanted to be anywhere else in the world but actually doing this film and the child star really brought nothing to this film.

The plot has it usual twist and bends but that is the problem in this film. If you have seen many Korean films then you will know exactly what is coming next and when you guess correctly, it really took away from any real drama of this film. To me it was just becoming more cartoonish because it was bad acting violence just for the sake of violence and the plot and the story and reality never seemed to be in sync in this film.

When the film was over, I recalled all of the plot holes and the bad acting it just didn't work for me. The film really could have used a very tight edit.

Please pass on this film.

Grade: D

As a student of history, one of the first lessons we are taught is, That if you forget the past's mistakes, then you are condemned to repeat its errors. I kept thinking of that the entire time I was watching this film. I kept wondering, will badly idealized films, like this one, be the death of the 3D fad that has once again sweeped Hollywood?

I will not list all of the mistakes that this film had in it. If you want to please click here and see if you agree with the both of us about this film.

It just really got to a point where I stopped watching the film and started to count all of the plot holes and the insanity of the logic or a lack of in the plot, acting and overall story of this film.

The only time I was glad about this film is when it was over. I found the film to be a very pretty 3D picture but truly lacking in anything else. With this film, Cats and Dogs 2 and Piranha 3D are we starting to see the end of 3D films. This is what killed it the last time, pretty 3D effects but with some very badly made film that weren't worth the price of admission.

Please pass on this film at all cost.

Grade: F

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.

For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Burt Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

3. “Go West, Young College Grad” has always implied “and don’t stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way.”

4. Al Gore has always been animated.

5. Los Angelinos have always been trying to get along.

6. Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.

7. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.

8. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

9. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus’s folks on Parents’ Weekend.

10. A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority…unless it involves “real” aliens from another planet.

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

13. Parents and teachers feared that Beavis and Butt-head might be the voice of a lost generation.

14. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

15. Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

16. Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

17. Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection.

18. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

20. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

21. Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.

22. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.

23. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

24. “Cop Killer” by rapper Ice-T has never been available on a recording.

25. Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.

26. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

28. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

29. Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.

30. “Viewer Discretion” has always been an available warning on TV shows.

31. The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

33. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

34. “Assisted Living” has always been replacing nursing homes, while Hospice has always been an alternative to hospitals.

35. Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.

36. Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.

37. Whatever their parents may have thought about the year they were born, Queen Elizabeth declared it an “Annus Horribilis.”

38. Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

39. Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

40. There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.

41. American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

42. Potato has always ended in an “e” in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.

43. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

44. The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

45. They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.

46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

47. Children have always been trying to divorce their parents.

48. Someone has always gotten married in space.

49. While they were babbling in strollers, there was already a female Poet Laureate of the United States.

50. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.

51. Food has always been irradiated.

52. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.

53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn’t he?

54. The historic bridge at Mostar in Bosnia has always been a copy.

55. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

56. They may have assumed that parents’ complaints about Black Monday had to do with punk rockers from L.A., not Wall Street.

57. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife.

58. Beethoven has always been a dog.

59. By the time their folks might have noticed Coca Cola’s new Tab Clear, it was gone.

60. Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.

61. Presidential appointees have always been required to be more precise about paying their nannies’ withholding tax, or else.

62. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

63. Their parents’ favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.

64. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.

66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.

67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.

68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

69. The Post Office has always been going broke.

70. The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg has always been rapping.

71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.

72. One way or another, “It’s the economy, stupid” and always has been.

73. Silicone-gel breast implants have always been regulated.

74. They’ve always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi Channel.

75. Honda has always been a major competitor on Memorial Day at Indianapolis.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Exclusive: How the Cheonan Really Sank -- and What Happens to the Koreas Now?

By BILL POWELL Bill Powell Fri Aug 13, 7:15 pm ET

On a chilly spring evening late last March, a South Korean naval ship called the Cheonan was conducting routine exercises in waters just off the coast of a sparsely populated island in what the Koreans call the West Sea (better known as the Yellow Sea), just 10 kilometers from North Korean land. It was just before 9:30, and for most of the ship's 104 crew members, work was done for the day. Some sat in the ship's mess chatting; others were exercising in a small gym. A few had already headed to their bunks for a night's rest. The ship's commanding officer, Choi Won Il, had retired to his cabin for the night and was checking email.

What happened next would shock and anger many South Koreans and roil that country's politics. It would also contribute heavily to a deteriorating diplomatic and security climate not just on the Korean peninsula, but throughout East Asia. Within a few weeks, the South Korean government privately became convinced that a North Korean "midget" submarine fired a torpedo that sunk the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. They went public with that suspicion on May 20. The South Koreans had dredged up the shattered vessel in sections, and also recovered the remains of what it claimed was a North Korean torpedo.

The North Koreans have steadfastly denied that and - thanks to support from China and Russia, both members of the U.N. Security Council - managed to successfully tamp down international outrage over the incident. On July 9, the U.N Security Council issued only a "Presidential statement," a milquetoast declaration which condemned the attack on the Cheonan but failed to identify who the attacker might have been. Ever since, President Lee Myung Bak's government in South Korea has vowed to release the full investigative report done by the international team (which brought in experts from the United States, the U.K., Australia and Sweden). It is a document Seoul says will prove conclusively that, in the words of Kim Tae Hyo, President Lee's senior adviser on relations with Pyongyang, "that there is no other plausible explanation" except that a North Korean torpedo sank the Cheonan. (See what war on the Korean peninsula may be like.)

In South Korea, where attitudes toward the North go to the core of the country's politics, opposition politicians have expressed deep skepticism with the official line that Pyongyang was at fault. Choi Moon Soon of the opposition Democratic Party, a member of the National assembly, is typical. He told TIME on August 13 that he believes the ship simply ran aground, and that the government concocted the whole North Korea attack story as a way to influence local elections that were held on June 2. (Elections which President Lee's ruling party actually lost.) He says he doesn 't believe the government will ever publish the report, and questions even whether it actually exists. (See why South Korea chooses to live in denial.)

It does. The document, a draft of which has been seen by TIME, consists of 286 pages of sometimes dense scientific and engineering analysis. It not only presents the case for why a North Korean attack is the "only plausible possibility" but sources with detailed knowledge of its preparation say that its intent is to pick apart, in a manner worthy of a Sherlock Holmes story, the most prominent competing theories that have been publicly raised in the months sine the incident. There is no way the ship ran aground, the report says, because the damage to the Cheonan's hull was in no way consistent with that scenario. To the contrary, "two types of hull deformations, impossible to occur in a grounding event, were observed." (See rare images from the North Korean countryside.)

The possibility of a friendly fire episode, widely debated on the web in South Korea and elsewhere, is similarly dismissed. The report asserts that all "submarines from neighboring countries were either in or near their home bases at the time of the incident." A collision with another boat? No trace of "an incoming vessel" was found. A ship-to-ship or ground-to-ship missile? The damage done to the Cheonan, the report states, would have been considerably different had that happened. In all, the report runs through 10 different possible scenarios of why the ship might have sunk, and after outlining the evidence in each of those cases it concludes with the words: "no chance." (See the iconography of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il)

By contrast, it labels the notion that a North Korean torpedo struck and sunk the Cheonan as a "high possibility." It asserts that the survivors of the Cheonan heard "one or two explosion sounds [sic]," and says that South Korean Marine sentries posted on the nearby Baekyrong Island testified to seeing "a flash of white light" about 100 meters in height. The report further states that analysis done by the U.S. Navy for the joint commission concludes that the sub fired a torpedo with an explosive weight of 250 kilograms that blew up just under the center of the boat, to its port side, at a depth of six to nine meters. The report goes on to a detailed technical discussion of "shape and trace analysis," which explains why the damage done to the Cheonan's hull is consistent with a torpedo attack.

It s unclear yet whether the full report will satisfy the outside academic skeptics who have raised questions about the government's conclusion. For example, Lee Seunghun, a physicist at the University of Virginia, has questioned, among other things, why the numeral 1, written in magic marker on the torpedo fragment that the government recovered on May 15 and displayed at a press conference five days later, would not have evaporated given the heat generated in an explosion. (The report states among other things that the portion of the torpedo on which the markings were found - part of its propulsion system - was pushed back upon detonation and thus escaped the heat generated by the blast.)

Kim, the presidential adviser, who sits on Seoul's National Security Council, says the report is in the final stages of preparation for public release, which will happen "soon." Others sources in Seoul have suggested within two weeks. By releasing the full report, the South Korean government, at minimum, may succeed in putting its domestic political critics onto their back foot. Indeed, some conservative politicians in Seoul have conceded that the government should already have made the detailed report public. "They've made some mistakes," says Chung Ok Nim, a national assemblywoman in Lee's ruling party.

The report will have repercussions beyond Seoul. It could conceivably generate more heat for both China and Russia, given their role in carrying North Korea's water in the Cheonan affair at the United Nations. China originally even opposed the weak "Presidential statement" that the U.N. Security Council ultimately issued, diplomatic sources have said. Beijing modified its stance ultimately when presented with the joint investigative group's report earlier this summer, but then protested loudly when the U.S. and South Korea announced plans to stage five day naval exercises as a response to the attack. The Lee government invited the Chinese to send a delegation to review the findings of the Joint Investigation Group together, but Beijing declined.

That's probably not surprising. The report appears pretty damning, and once it goes public, Beijing, as the North's sole economic lifeline and diplomatic big brother, will likely just want to change the subject. It's hard to argue with South Koreans who believe the Cheonan attack was an act of war; and just as hard to argue that Pyongyang is paying much of a price for it.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mischief in Manhattan

We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation

New York Mayor Michael  Bloomberg and city council speaker Christine Quinn announce this  week's decision to deny landmark status to the site of a planned  Muslim centre near the World Trade Center site.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city council speaker Christine Quinn announce this week's decision to deny landmark status to the site of a planned Muslim centre near the World Trade Center site.

Photograph by: Michael Nagle, Getty Images

Last week, a journalist who writes for the North Country Times, a small newspaper in Southern California, sent us an e-mail titled "Help." He couldn't understand why an Islamic Centre in an area where Adam Gadahn, Osama bin Laden's American spokesman came from, and that was home to three of the 911 terrorists, was looking to expand.

The man has a very valid point, which leads to the ongoing debate about building a Mosque at Ground Zero in New York. When we try to understand the reasoning behind building a mosque at the epicentre of the worst-ever attack on the U.S., we wonder why its proponents don't build a monument to those who died in the attack?

New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it's not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.

The Koran commands Muslims to, "Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book" -- i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of "fitna"

So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the "Cordoba Initiative" and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?

Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?

There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.

If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.

It's a repugnant thought that $100 million would be brought into the United States rather than be directed at dying and needy Muslims in Darfur or Pakistan.

Let's not forget that a mosque is an exclusive place of worship for Muslims and not an inviting community centre. Most Americans are wary of mosques due to the hard core rhetoric that is used in pulpits. And rightly so. As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.

The Koran implores Muslims to speak the truth, even if it hurts the one who utters the truth. Today we speak the truth, knowing very well Muslims have forgotten this crucial injunction from Allah.

If this mosque does get built, it will forever be a lightning rod for those who have little room for Muslims or Islam in the U.S. We simply cannot understand why on Earth the traditional leadership of America's Muslims would not realize their folly and back out in an act of goodwill.

As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America, we understand their goodwill.

Unfortunately for us, their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within.

Raheel Raza is author of Their Jihad ... Not my Jihad, and Tarek Fatah is author of The Jew is Not My Enemy (McClelland & Stewart), to be launched in October. Both sit on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, August 09, 2010

Emmitt Smith steals the show with emotional enshrinement speech

But the hands-down moment of the 2010 Hall of Fame ceremony was a moving and heartfelt tribute from one teammate to another. After a Jerry Jones-narrated intro montage of his career highlights, Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith took the podium and delivered an unforgettable speech. First of all, he was remarkably well-spoken for someone who's taken some heat for his public speaking in the past, and it was good to see -- he spoke with a clear voice and a very strong resolve. Typical of his unselfish nature, Smith spent most of his time thanking others. And 10 minutes in, after he thanked Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin -- the two other "Triplets", things got really good.

The crowd started chanting "Moose!" before Emmitt could even mention his name, and that where he went next - asking fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston to be recognized.

"Daryl Johnston, where are you? Would you please stand?"

"Daryl, you mean the world to me. Not just because we shared the same backfield, but because you sacrificed so much for me. People don‘t understand what it took to be a fullback in our system - the sacrifices you made not just with your body, but your whole spirit. You took care of me as though you were taking care of your little brother. Without you, I know today would not have been possible.

"I love you, Daryl -- from the bottom of my heart."

Smith started tearing up halfway through this soliloquy, and I defy anyone who loves the game and understands the importance of the the efforts of many in the ultimate team sport to watch that part of the speech and not get a little misty-eyed yourself. While Smith lasted long enough to set the NFL's all-time rushing mark, Johnston's career was cut short by a neck injury. It was as great a reminder as you'll see why when former players are asked about what they miss most about the game, they will almost always mention the camaraderie -- the moments they shared with their teammates as they went through the wars together.

On this night, Emmitt Smith did himself, his beloved teammates, and the Hall of Fame proud. If you haven't yet (or you'd just like to relive the moment), see for yourself:

Smith rushes to Canton with heartfelt message

Emmitt Smith capped the night of inductees with a warm speech at the Hall of Fame in Canton.
(AP Photo)

CANTON, Ohio – Gil Brandt meant the phrase in football terms. Instead, the former scout/personnel director came up with a poetically graceful way to describe Emmitt Smith.

“Emmitt Smith carried the uniform well,” Brandt said.

On Saturday night, Smith carried himself and his new uniform, the gold jacket from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with the grace that defined his 15-year career. Smith spoke with passion and conviction as he was inducted to the Hall, shedding tears and expressing his deep thanks to teammates. More than anything, Smith delivered a speech from the heart, almost never glancing to his notes nor stammering through any passage.

It is exactly how Smith carried his uniform during his record-setting career with the Dallas Cowboys. Smith highlighted the seven inductees with a speech that brought his former teammates, not to mention the fans at Fawcett Stadium, to their feet.

Smith named every offensive lineman he ever played with, and singled out former teammates and Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman.

“Without you there is no me,” Smith said to Irvin and Aikman. “That’s why we are called ‘The Triplets.’ You cannot have one without the other. Troy, your leadership, dedication and focus helped me become a better football player because I did not want to let you down. Michael, your work ethic, your passion, your love for this sport helped me learn to train and prepare myself differently.”

Smith saved the most gracious part of his speech for fullback Daryl Johnston, who had the duty of playing a largely anonymous role on those Cowboy teams. Johnston, known admiringly as “Moose,” was a vicious blocker. Or as Brandt put it: “Emmitt was one of the greatest running backs ever at running the lead draw … because of Daryl Johnston.”

Johnston was one of the last of a dying breed. Over the past 10 years, the fullback position has faded as teams have gone more to three- and four-receiver sets. There may never be another Daryl Johnston. On Saturday, Smith put his teammate on a pedestal.

“You mean the world to me,” Smith said, tears streaming down his face as he looked at Johnston in the sea of more than 19,000 people. “People don’t understand what it took to be a fullback in our system, the sacrifices you made not simply with your body but your whole spirit. You took care of me as though you were taking care of your little brother.

“Without you, I know today would not have been possible. I love you from the bottom of my heart.”

It was a perfect sendoff by a man who holds the NFL rushing record with 18,355 yards, breaking the mark held by Walter Payton – a record Smith aimed to break when he started as a 21-year-old rookie with the Cowboys.

“I was his roommate [in Smith’s rookie year],” Irvin said. “We were sitting in our dorm room at training camp one night and he said that and I was thinking to myself, ‘Who is this crazy cat?’ ”

Smith wasn’t exactly crazy, but he was driven to levels most players never comprehend. His drive, much like that possessed by fellow inductee Jerry Rice, drove him past what most people thought was the limit of his talent.

Emmitt Smith gave special thanks to former teammmate Daryl Johnston, the fullback who helped pave the way for Smith in the '90s.
(Getty Images)

“He was a smallish, 199-pound running back who had good, but not great, speed. He had good, but not great, quickness,” Brandt said, running through a scouting report as if he was going into a draft room. “He had a really strong lower body and he was a great, great competitor.

“When I say great competitor, I mean really, truly great.”

That quality allowed Smith to outdistance the likes of Payton, a man Smith emulated as he prepared for his career. Smith didn’t have the absurd quickness and ability to change direction like Barry Sanders. He didn’t have the sprinter speed of O.J. Simpson. He didn’t have the size and speed of Eric Dickerson. He didn’t have the explosiveness of Gale Sayers.

While many critics consider those guys better runners, Smith outdistanced them all when it came to production. Morever, Smith has more titles than them combined.

Smith also had a record 164 rushing touchdowns and helped lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles.

“Emmitt’s heart wouldn’t let us fall apart,” Irvin said. “He was the heart of our team, this little guy running right in the middle of all those big ol’ bodies, never going down, never stop running, never stop beating.”

Smith’s speech digressed for a moment into a Tony Robbins-like monologue about goal-setting. He also failed to mention his alma mater, the University of Florida, which isn’t going over well with Gators fans. Nevertheless, his speech was instructive about a man who had a vision of what his life was supposed to be.

“I know it was ordained by God,” Smith said. “And because of this, he has predestined me to do great things in life. The Dallas Cowboys have given me that platform.

“That’s why I did everything I could … to make this team the very best it could be.”

On Saturday night, Smith did it again. As he did for his career, Smith carried the uniform well.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Movie Review: Dinner for Schmucks (2010)

For those who do not know, its an American remake of the 1998 French comedy "Le Dîner de Cons". Based on how many times I laughed during this film, it should have stayed not remade at all.

This film should have been very funny, It has 2 actors, who in the past, have displayed great chemistry together. The idea of bringing an idiot to dinner isn't a new one but we can laugh at it. The sad thing was that I didn't laugh at this film and I kept wondering why this was called a comedy at all.

For this film to work you have to believe that Steve Carrel is an idiot and every time he was on screen the film just kept getting worse and worse and by the end of the film, I wanted a huge mute button so I wouldn't have to hear anymore of this horrid acting role.

What really disappointed me about this film was the way that they used Jemaine Clement. How in the heck could someone make me LOL as I did every time I watched, Flight of the Conchords, be utterly miscast as a self snake driven artist. Every time he was shown in the film, I just wanted to be sick and get this film out of my mind.

All around a huge misfire for Jay Roach and Steve Carell.If you're a fan of these two then this film should make you weep with despair. Please pass on this one at all cost.

Grade: F

Barry: In the words of John Lennon; you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not...
Tim: The only one...
Barry: What?
Tim: You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one... that's the lyric...
Barry: Ya, OK Tim..
Movie Review: Toy Story 3

A few months ago, I selected this film as the #1 film to see this summer. I stated this about it...

1. Toy Story 3 (Aug 5, 2010)(IMAX 3D)

I have no idea what will happen in this film but the preview looked awesome and in 3D IMAX, This has all of the hype of being a huge Summer hit.

And I was right, at the time of writing this review the film is close to the 400 million dollar box office mark. But at the same time how can a film be so good and really left me mad at the same time be this great of a film.

As I was reading another review of this film, the answer became very clear to me...

What was wrong with Toy Story 3?


Now, we've never found out why ANDY had Woody - and in all the time in that house, we've never seen Andy's father. I bring this up, because I'm writing this on FATHER'S DAY. What is Andy's father situation? The father isn't there the day the boy goes off to college? We met Andy right after the birth of Andy's sister - and there was no Father then. I like to think that Andy's father died in some manner that left Andy's mom with the money to buy the house and take care of the two kids. Whatever happened to Andy's father, he was out of the picture significantly in advance of the first film... but... I always harbored the suspicion that WOODY was Andy's father's toy. That Woody's obsessive compulsion to be there for ANDY came from that relationship he had with Andy's father. And that it was possible, that Woody never necessarily knew this. I imagine that Woody was played with by his previous owner, that he went into the attic - then perhaps when Andy's father passed away, his Grandmother went through her son's things and found Woody - remembered how much that Woody meant to Andy's father - and felt it should go to Andy.

When I read the above part of the article, that's what click for me also. Where is the father and how did Andy Davis end up with Woody? I was hoping that this film would have answered these 2 questions but sadly it doesn't and I thought that it kind of hurt the story. If the film is basically about Andy growing up and moving on without his toys, then how can we if we don't know how they came together?

Now with that one complaint out of the way, this is a really good film and when I saw it in the CGV 4-D plex, the audience really seamed into it. The films has all of the things I want for a film to be great. A fantastic story, a somewhat believable plot and one heck of an ending to tie it all together. The scene of the toys at the dumpster, I thought, with all of them together, was a stroke of pure genesis. I also loved it when Buzz gets accidentally resent into a Spanish speaking mode and he goes crazy over Jessie in a very original way.

I also liked during the credits you are shown a little more of the story and it was a nice surprise.

Grade: A

Spanish Buzz: [immediately after being reset into Spanish, Buzz speaks into his wrist communicator] Estrella de registro: He despertado de hiper-sueño en un planeta extraño.
Hamm the Piggy Bank: [to Rex] Now what did you do?
Rex the Green Dinosaur: I just did what you told me!
Spanish Buzz: Estoy rodeado de criaturas alienígenas de intenciones desconocidas. ¿¡Quién va ahí? Amigo o enemigo?
[aims his laser at Woody]
Woody: Uh... amigos! We're all amigos!
Spanish Buzz: [turns off laser and is suddenly friendly] Debo tener un aterrizaje forzoso y tuve mi memoria borrada.
[helmet still up, he kisses Woody quickly on each cheek]
Spanish Buzz: ¿Alguien ha visto a mi nave espacial?
Woody: [dumbstruck] We gotta switch him back.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Movie Review: Salt

When I first saw the preview of this film, I thought that this film really can't look that bad. After I saw the film, I realized that I was wrong about my earlier idea about this film. Sad to say, it was a lot worse than the preview indicated that it would be.

The entire time I was watching this film I kept wondering was I really seeing a film that had this many plot holes and as the film kept on continuing, the story kept getting worse and worse. I really could not believe that someone approved this bad of a script.

If you want to read of this horrid plot, please click here.

I can only recommend this film to you if want to see Angelina Jolie do some very interesting CGI stunts. If you are looking for anything else then I recommend that you pass on this one at all cost.

As of right now the main idea of the proposed sequel is to have Salt looking to unleash hell and to have her being hunted by both Jack Ryan and Ehan Hunt. A film, I will definitely not watch.

Grade: F

Evelyn Salt: What is your name?
Orlov: My name is Vassily Orlov. Today, a Russian agent will travel to New York city to kill the President. This agent is KA-12.
Evelyn Salt: The KA program is a myth.
Orlov: Don't you want to know the name?
Evelyn Salt: You're good. You can tell the rest of your story to one of my colleagues.
Orlov: The name of the agent is Evelyn Salt.
Evelyn Salt: My name is Evelyn Salt.
Orlov: Then you are a Russian spy.
Movie Review: Death at a Funeral (2010 film)

When I first heard that a USA remake of the 2007 film, I really could not believe it and when it was released I refused to watch it because of the recent failures of US remakes. I thought that the original was flat out hilarious and I saw no way that the American could do this film justice. I am so glad that I decided to see this film.

I saw that the film was on and I had no real plans so I decided to watch the film. I just started to laugh and through out the entire film, I was laughing and some of what I was laughing at, I would have never had laughed at a real funeral. The more I watched the film the more I laughed.

I really could not believe that the US remake was actually funnier than the original film.

The star of this film is James Marsden. In this film he plays Oscar and when he is accidentally given acid instead of Valium, his acting makes this comedy into a great one. His quote of "Everything is so green" really had me laughing.

The other star of this film, I found to be Danny Glover. He plays Uncle Russell in this film and he is used as a transitional actor that helps along the main plots stories and at the end of the film his quote of, "Everything is so fucking green" has me laughing.

When the film comes to Korea at the cinema or on DVD please give it a chance. You might be glad that you did.

Grade: A

Aaron: Let me get this straight: our father was romantically involved with a guy that could fit in his pocket, and you're mad because he's white.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Tomi (Ballou) Smith

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Tomi Ballou Smith passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 1, 2010, after a courageous battle with brain cancer at the age of 43.

Tomi was born on Oct. 8, 1966 in Blackwell, Okla. to Harold and Mary Beth Chilton Ballou. She was the twin sister to Traci Ballou Bush, and the older sister to Laura Ballou Alvarado.

She attended Denison I.S.D. schools and graduated from Denison High School in 1985. She received her bachelor of science in education in 1988 and masters of education in school counseling in 1994 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
She was married for 20 years to Bryan Smith. They married on Dec. 16, 1989 in Denison and had two sons, Bryant and Grant Smith.

Tomi began her teaching career at Denison I.S.D. in 1988. She taught third grade at Terrell Elementary and was also a counselor at Lamar Elementary. She continued her teaching career at S&S C.I.S.D. where her children attended school. She taught fourth and fifth grade at S&S Elementary. Throughout her 22 years as an educator, Tomi earned several teaching awards for her accomplishments and dedication.

Surviving are her husband, Bryan Smith of Sherman; sons, Bryant and Grant Smith; parents, Harold and Mary Beth Chilton Ballou of Denison; sisters, Traci Ballou Bush and husband Bart of Sherman, Laura Ballou Alvarado and husband David of Georgia; grandparents, Raymond and Willa Chilton of Oklahoma City; in-laws, Richard and Lauren Smith of Sherman, Hazel Smith of Denison; sister-in-law, Rhonda Copley of Bells; nephews, Justin and Josh Copley, Davey Alvarado, and niece, Kaci Bush.

She is also survived by uncles and aunts: Stanley and Melba Ballou of Denison, Ronald and Patricia Ballou of Denison, Raymond Jr. and Charolette Chilton of Oklahoma City, and Bill and Liz Chilton of Yukon, Okla.

Surviving immediate cousins include Robbie Parks and husband Mike of Louisiana, Tonja Miller and husband Bill of Prosper, and Kristi Corcoran of Denison; from Oklahoma: Shela Chilton Harrell and husband Randy, Kyle Chilton and wife Barbara, Lance Chilton and wife Shannon, Alycia Chilton Barry and husband Bill, Brandy Chilton, Bill Chilton Jr., Staci and husband Rhappy Talaoc.

Tomi was preceded in death by her grandmother Mamie Ballou Parker; stepgrandfather George Parker, grandfather Hayston Ballou, grandfather-in-law Clayton B. Smith, grandparents-in-law Ora Bud and Mary Lou McFarland, cousin Kari Ballou, and aunt Katherine Chilton.

An online registrar is available at

The family wishes to invite the community to a "Celebration of Life" Memorial Service honoring Tomi on 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Trinity Lighthouse Church, Spur 503 in Denison, under the direction of Pastor Raymond England.

Tomi wished to thank the community for all the prayers and financial support that was made on her behalf.

A memorial in Tomi's honor will be placed at Camp Goddard Educational Camp in Sulphur, Okla. in representation of her service to the children of Denison and S&S elementary schools.

Teaching children was her love and her passion. She lived for the outdoors and loved her family dearly. Her memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all she touched.



Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Very interesting...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Believe it or not, MTV actually used to play music videos!!