"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To the Park, NK Book, World News

Happy April!  Hope you are enjoying lovely spring weather these days!  Yesterday Michael and I went to the park and had a picnic.  We went for a hike along a nature trail. (We took his "pet" fuzzy worm that his friend's father got him as part of a bribe that involved a scary ride at Great Wolf Lodge.  Wormy is fake and he's on a string, in case you were wondering.) 

Michael played with some children he met at the play area, and I continued reading Nothing to Envy a book about ordinary citizens of North Korea by Barbara Demick.  It was a very interesting read if you are interested in that sort of thing. Made me wish to go over there and take food to those in need.  Koreans have that cultural thing where the first born son is expected to care for the parents when they get old. Also in the case of divorce, the father's family gets custody of any children, riding a bicycle is considered a bit suggestive for women to do and they are much more modest (i.e., conservative) than their South Korean counterparts.  Kim Il-sung's era forced a pretty strict dress code including skirts a certain length, no blue jeans or t-shirts with Roman alphabet writing ("a capitalist indulgence") and men couldn't have hair longer than 5 centimeters on top (unless you were balding, they allowed 7 cms for comb overs apparently!).  Of course boys are preferred and women are blamed if they have daughters.  *sigh* Same old, same old.

Here is an example of the type of propaganda the kids get while attending school.  Consider this math problem...
A girl is acting as a messenger to our patriotic troops during the war against the Japanese occupation. She carries messages in a basket containing five apples, but is stopped by a Japanese solider at a checkpoint. He steals two of her apples. How many are left?  (pg. 120)

I greatly enjoyed the book and recommend it to those who like cultural things and learning about other people in the world.


In other news, here is an interesting CNN Belief Net post that a Jewish guy wrote about the Bible.


Did y'all know Syrians had been protesting a bit in recent weeks?  That's pretty huge for a police state such as this.  The elder Assad had 15,000 or more of his people killed in an uprising in Hama back in the early 80s. The younger Assad, they hoped, would be better, but after 11 years in office, Syria is still pretty brutal to political dissidents and corruption is rampant.  I wonder why speaking your mind is such a thing to be punished?  Regardless, I've been following that news with interest.  I'm sure that is no surprise to any who know my love for Syria.  

Syria has a very pretty first lady.  In fact Vogue magazine did a flattering piece on Asma Assad a few weeks ago.  Many of my Syrian friends think it's crazy how Westerners love dictators as long as they have glamorous, modern (read: not outwardly-Islamic) wives.  Maybe if Ahmadinejad married a hot babe, we'd suddenly find him endearing.

Here is just one article about her, but there are many more that have been surfacing lately.

A different British article that I read yesterday suggested maybe she could save the day in Syria!  Asma the Super Hero...expect the action figure in a Walmart near you come Christmas!  ;) 


Here is an interview of an American student who was studying in Damascus and got arrested when he started recording something going on. (Turned out to be a protest.)  He was held by Syrian authorities for two weeks and describes his time there in this CNN interview.


I've found the deaths in Afghanistan due to Nincompoop Floridian Guy's (NFG) actions disgusting.  I think burning holy books unnecessary and NFG's intentional provocation to be exactly what Jesus would not have done, but obviously, y'all, this dude is not a follower of Christ.  I don't understand why the Afghan leader would mention it knowing the kind of intolerant, abusive people who exist in his country. And for sure I don't understand people who kill because a book was burned. Not everyone in this world thinks the same things are good and holy. Suck it up.  Learn this lesson and get over it. Enough with the murdering because you don't like what people do. 

I swear sometimes I wish the world were still large and people didn't know what happened thousands of miles from them.  

So what's new with you?


Lat said...

Happy April,friend!

hope you had a good time with Micheal in the park and it's one good way to read a book!

thank you for sharing views on Korea and Syria.And it's upsetting to know the fighting and deaths in Afganistan due to book burning in US.It's as if Afganistan has not much problems at home to deal with.

Amber said...

I think the whole NFG/Afghanistan situation is best described as this:

One asshole burned a Qur'an and now a bunch of assholes are murdering people over it.

I like how NFG keeps saying he's getting death threats and is not afraid to die. It's easy to do that when you're in a protected place. I'd personally like to see him go to Afghanistan and say it. Other people are in danger and dying for his jackassery, and he doesn't give a damn.

On a very vaguely positive note, he has lost nearly his entire congregation. I think there were only three people (including him) left in his church.

Susanne said...

Lat, thanks for your comment. Yes, Michael and I enjoyed that very lovely afternoon at the park! :)

Amber, I had to come up with some name for him because I don't like to think of him as a pastor. Glad his congregation has shrunk so much. Yeah, I think we should buy him a one-way ticket to Afghanistan. :) I think "uncommon stupidity" would be a crime that fits him well.

Becky said...

Susanne, can we please add arrogance to his crimes? :P
I agree, what he did was completely unnecessary and disrespectful. So are the violent reactions in Afghanistan as a result.

LOL at the Korean math problem. It is pretty sad though.