Friday, November 28, 2008

Victory Speech by Mr. Barack Obama (5 November 2008)

I was overjoyed when i knew of his victory. Not because i wanted so badly to get rid of nonsensical Bush Jr nor I am an American. I am thankful to fellow Americans for their overwhelming votes to Mr. Obama.

143 years after the demise of Mr. Abraham Lincoln, his spirit of democracy reverberates once again when Mr. Barack Obama won the US Presidential Election on 4 November 2008 ~ Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.

May this good vibe spread all over the world..May goodness prevail..

Victory speech of Mr Barack Obama, the 44th USA President - Elect

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

50 Tips on How to "Make A Difference"

1. Say something positive as early as possible.

2. Believe in miracles but don't depend on them.

3. Never allow anyone to intimidate you.

4. Don't work for recognition but do work worthy of recognition.

5. Remember the credo of Walt Disney: Think.Believe.Dream.Dare.

6. Never comment on someone's weight unless you know it's what they want to hear.

7. Seek respect rather popularity.

8. Seek quality rather than luxury.

9. Start a "read again" file for articles you might want to enjoy a second time.

10. Look for opportunity that's hidden in every adversity.

11. Remember that when your mom says "you'll regret it" you probably will.

12. On your birthday send your mom a thank you card.

13. Never let the odds stop you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.

14. Be happy with what you have while working on what you want.

15. Celebrate even small victories.

16. Dont forget that a couple of words of praise or encouragement can make someone's day.

17. Whenever you hear an ambulance siren say a prayer for the person inside.

18. When in doubt smile.

19. If it's not a beautiful morning let your cheerfulness make it beautiful.

20. Marry someone your equal or a little bit better.

21. Remember that a minute of anger denies you 60 seconds of happiness.

22. Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it.

23. Dont write something you don't want others to read.

24. When taking a true-false test, remember that any statement that includes the word any, all, always, never or ever is usually false.

25. Never tell anybody they can't sing.

26. Become the world's most thoughtful friend.

27. Remember that anything worth doing is going to take longer that you think.

28. Remember that bad luck as well as good luck seldom lasts long.

29. Root for your team to win not for the other team to lose.

30. Accept triumph and defeat with equal grace.

31. Learn your great-grandparent's name and what they did.

32. Savor everyday.

33. Share the remote control.

34. Remember it's not your job to get people to like you, it's your job to like people.

35. Never miss your prayers.

36. Remember that the only dumb question is the one you wanted to ask but did not ask it.

37. Spend time with lucky people.

38. Stand up for your right principles even if you have to stand alone.

39. Remember that everyone has bad days.

40. Marry someone who loves music.

41. If you know you are going to lose, do it with style.

42. Remember that not all right are popular and not all popular are right.

43. Work diligently.

44. Live simply.

45. Think quickly.

46. Fight fairly.

47. Give generously.

48. Laugh loudly.

49. Pray faithfully.

50. Love deeply.

~Author unknown

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"In Malaysia, to be 'pandai' is a sin"

I came across this article by Mr. JD Lovrenciear, which is so dishearteningly true. Hmm, so much about practising Asian culture so they say that you should never appear brighter than your superior or you will wreck their ego and you'll be blacklisted.

Perhaps, if you are a parent to a child, you could instil the right value of knowledge enrichment to this innocent soul, for learning and knowing is all about making you a better person - inside out - and not a tool to undermine or to intimidate others or to guarantee a good-paying job. Above all, learning is a lifetime experience.

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't" - Anatole France

In Malaysia, being 'pandai' is a sin - JD Lovrenciear

A leading opposition veteran and member of parliament has published the claim that Malaysian universities have fallen way off the radar of the 2008 international university ratings.

According to the claim, Malaysia has also lost to Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines. For the second consecutive year, the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (Thes) - Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ratings indicates that Malaysians universities fell far off the list of the world's top 200 universities.

That also places us nowhere near Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.
In response, the public has been reacting to the report, bordering from ‘absolute rubbish’ to ‘having some substance’. Along with it we are also getting to read arguments involving racial sentiments and party politics.

Our education system - given its track record in the past and the huge budget allocations these past fifty years - should rightfully be a model for the developing world.

Instead of blaming race and political parties for the decline in our international standing, we need to have the courage, ability and learned disposition to see the problem in the eye. We need to look at this problem by being focused on nation-building through the raising of human capital that serves Malaysia first.

If Malaysia is successful, all Malaysians will be the beneficiaries. Only with such an un-blinkered view can we appraise the problem with a resolute will to effect change.

Malaysians, as a whole, have to take the blame. Leaders have to feel the guilt. Leave politicking and race out for the moment.

Malaysians, generally, are not interested in the pursuit of knowledge. What matters is how much money one can make. How much influence one can have over those that matter. Merely getting A-grades through spotted questions seems to be the only passion.

Listen to how parents trumpet about their children having obtained so many ‘straight A's’. In universities, speculating on what the exam questions are likely to appear seem to be the narrow perspective among students.

Reading, research and intelligent debates are not our way of life. Just take a look at the blogs. The content, comments and articles are often so narrow and speak volumes about our intellectual maturity.

At the workplace too, intelligent articulate reasoning and having a broad knowledge about things around us is often sneered at. To be pandai is a sin seemingly.

Take stock of what transpires within parliament. The exchanges and antics re-affirm our bankrupt state of mental capacities.

Hear what politicians blurt out through the media all so often? Most often, it is void of articulate, intelligent and honourable thoughts.

Schoolgoing children are not taught to think, critically appraise and reflect. Learning by rote and regurgitating in whole is the safe and predominant approach taken by teachers, students and schools. The tuition industry is a clear benchmark of the state education is in in this nation.

Hence, what goes into the university is short of being garbage.

Yes, we have many JPA 'scholars' entering institutions of higher learning. But what is their attitude towards learning? ‘Pass the exams’ seems to be their only attention.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to pass exams. One has to be graded at the end of the day to know if he or she qualifies.

But the problem is they do not read and research outside of their study area either. It is not a question of no time; on the contrary it is all about ‘why waste time’.

Pass the exams. Get a job. Earn and enjoy. That is the national mantra. So how would you expect better substance to enter universities?

And leaders are not able to revolutionise our education system. We lack the courage and the will to act decisively in the long-term interests of the nation. Party politics and interests are more important than having a world-class education system in place.

And voters will buy anything as long as it meets their immediate selfish personal interests. Therein lies our dilemma. Perhaps it would take a miracle for us to pull ourselves out of this rut.

Of Ciku and Cikunga

I was down with severe bout of viral fever, that my Kaw Kaw GP thought I could be down with Cikunga (after consultation with my GP uncles and aunty, they thought I could be down with Dengue Fever), landed me with 4-day Medical Leave straight in a row. Wow…that’s a record breaking people. I never felt so sick before that I spent days in bed, sleeping and nursing my gastric attacks due to various medications taken. Alhamdullilah, I’m a OK now.

It is rather coincident that I tasted my first ciku about a week before I was suspected of Cikunga. Guess I should not attempt anything peculiar to my taste buds like petai, jering, budu, cencaluk, etc.

My good friend PT’s Corporate Athlete shared with me that he drank 3L of 100 Plus and everything crabby to recover from his dengue fever. I am so sure I recovered from my viral fever from my 100 Plus consumption. Alahai…crab…I’m so lazy to eat crab la…anyone to volunteer removing the crab flesh for me?

I hugged my mom before I came back to work the following week, thanking her for taking care of me. Tears rolled down my cheeks. It crossed my mind – perhaps I should settle down so my mom doesn’t have to care for me when I’m sick. Heck! That's pathetic. Throughout the 'ordeal', i kept thinking, too, am i going to die? I always feel like I will die young (not that i am saying i am good - only the good die young). That prompted me to really list down things i should do to make sure once i'm gone, everything is under controlled.

Garfield's Good-Life Guide

I’m a cat lover and my departed soulmate (bless his soul) used to tell me that a cat person is a lonely being. That’s partly true because I am, most of the time, a ‘lone ranger’ and I don’t need many friends to make my life so alive – only a few kind souls (with unconditional love) would do.

At this juncture, Mulan, my alter ego female cat, who tried her very best to lie down on my comforter, is tormenting me. It’s just timely I read the following article from Reader’s Digest Jan 2008 and boy, I am so like a cat too especially Garfield’s Point No. 1. I guess I need to do this reverse psychology with Mulan so she will stop ‘stalking’ me ;)

Garfield’s Good-Life Guide

You never really own a cat. You can only make him happy and hope he wont leave you for someone better, like the pizza guy. Here are some morsels of advice: -

1. Let the cat make the first move

Don’t come to me and expect me to rejoice. I will come in my own time. When I meet a new human, I know immediately whether he’s a cat person. If he pets me and suffocates me with hugs, yuck! It’s so over. But if he ignores me or is allergic or terrified, I find him irresistible. Unlike indiscriminate dogs, a cat likes a challenge. Always let the cat make the first move, or suffer the consequences.

* Dang! No wonder I’m still single…hehehehhe

2. Be polite.

If I bring you a dead rodent, I expect thanks. If you are not in the mood for a rodent, get in the mood. Appropriate responses: - (a) scratching behind my ears, (b) praising me or (c) putting the gift on some sort of pedestal or perhaps in a well-let china cabinet.

* I couldn’t agree on this one because I’ll cry if you thank me as if I’ve made your day. I’m so much of a giver. No thanks required…

3. Do I look like I need a dog?

I appreciate that you are thinking of me but seriously, a dog? Why not just throw me in a barrel of drool and roll me in fleas? The dog that licked your face just rinsed down the litter box treats with toilet water.

* Thank god, my matchmaking years are all over now…

4. Learn the language.

A faint meow when you’re petting me means “That’s nice, you may continue”. A long drawn-out meow means “I’m hungry – feed me or I’ll poop in the bath tub”. A low throaty meow means “My litter box is most unpleasant”. A hissing meow is “You idiot, you’re standing on my tail”.

* hehehhehehe…watch out for my body language (since I cannot meow)…

5. 14 to 18 hours a day of napping is normal.

I’m not lazy, depressed or narcoleptic. I’m tired. You would be, too, if you had as much on your mind as I do.

* this is so true I told my mom I cherish my sleep because I deem it stress-relieving and it is scientifically proven that taking a nap can increase your memory. Next time you dozed off in front of your PC at work, be glad that your ‘RAM’ has been upgraded ;)