Links of the Day, September 9

Happy 09.09.09 (especially for Julia, Dave and Jude)!! It’s also a good day to get married in Chinese culture.


  • You can watch Barack’s school speech here.

Health care



Say, "Ahh …"

Today, two weeks after I had my jaw broken, I had my first post-op visit with the surgeon, and finally had the rubber bands—that have been my bane over the last fortnight—removed. I can open my mouth again, I can eat (soft foods), I can brush my teeth properly; it’s the little things that I’m able to appreciate again. ☺ I lost 7 pounds over the last couple weeks and I’m looking forward to putting it back on! It’ll take a little while since I’ll be on the soft food diet for a good 6-8 weeks, during which time my jaw (which was fractured on both sides, aligned by the surgeon going inside my mouth, and then reconnected by a screw on each side, and the punctures sewn shut on the outside) will continue to heal, and my jaw muscles (which have been inactive over the last couple weeks) will get used to working again. Right now, I can open my mouth, but nowhere near normal capacity. That’ll take awhile … … which also means that my singing abilities are limited for a little while. But I’m hoping to be back and ready to go by the end of May, when I’ll hopefully play one more time at Fuller before I graduate. In other news:

  • I’m loving my classes so far, and I’ve been to three out of my four: I’m particularly looking forward to reading a bunch for my Theology & Politics in Modern Society seminar (even though it’s all guys—first all-male class in my time at Fuller). And I’m also enjoying starting out with the All-Seminary Council (so far!). ☺ It’s gonna be busy. But it’s gonna be good. I can feel it.
  • It looks like the G20 summit was actually fairly successful, at least in the sense that something was agreed upon. And what’s more promising is that it includes substantial provisions for combating poverty. Hopefully, something concrete will come out of these proposals.
  • Thinking about the economic crisis: the markets have been improving somewhat in the last few days, and some economists think that we’re past the worst of the recession, which would be great, right? Now this is just amateur economic theorizing, but if the economy is going well, isn’t there less incentive to change things such as health care and the auto industry and financing regulations and market practices? Of course, if the economy is going badly, this is not good coz people are suffering, losing jobs, losing houses, etc. But I wonder if the momentum for change comes most when people are unhappy with the current situation?
  • If and when we get through this economic downturn, will we still recognize the need for health care reform, for cutting back on greenhouse gases, for making our cars and transportation greener, for investing in clean, green energy sources, for making sure that free market capitalism isn’t allowed to run amok and the few aren’t allowed to prosper at the expense of the rest? I hope so.
  • In South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is accused of “sacrilege” for criticizing the African National Congress, whose leader Jacob Zuma has been embroiled in corruption and an arms scandal. I’m with Bishop T on this one: if he’s innocent, well and good; if not … should he really be running the country?
  • And back in the US, the House approved legislation that will, for the first time, give the government the powers to regulate tobacco products (in the same way that they regulate food items).
  • Finally … Opening Day is Monday!! Baseball season is back!

A quick update

Welcome to October! Here’s the latest:

  1. Last weekend, I was supposed to head to Las Vegas to do some campaigning for Obama, but I got taken down by illness on Friday and so ended up not going. A couple of my friends did go and had a blast, so perhaps I’ll be able to fit in a trip before the election. If not, I’ll still be doing a little bit here and there around Pasadena or on the blogosphere.
  2. I’m still working on a piece detailing why I support Obama—it may not be the magnum opus that I envisioned it would be simply because I’m taking 14 units (four classes) this quarter and am already busy with school. But I’ll definitely try to update the various sites that I’m blogging at (in addition to the Nog): Amateur Political Commentary, Evangelical Political Analysis, and Fuller’s Blog for Prospective Students.
  3. The classes I’m taking this quarter are: Church in Mission, Church in American Culture, Communication, and Introduction to Islam. It’s gonna be a busy quarter school-wise, with hundreds of pages to read and analyze each week, various papers and blogs to write and contribute to, speeches to write and prepare. Then again, I’ve been taking a full class load for nine straight quarters … thus far, it’s never not been busy.
  4. Adding to the busyness, this weekend, I’m gonna be leading worship at a staff retreat for my friend’s church. It’s been awhile since I’ve led, but I’ve enjoyed being back in the saddle this last week, with prepping and planning and praying through sets, and I’m looking forward to seeing what God does.
  5. As for my leg, I got the stitches out a couple weeks ago and it’s healing up fine; it’s gotten to the stage of getting dry and itchy, and I’m going to have a sweet scar, but it’s healing up a lot quicker than I would’ve thought. I’m so looking forward to being ready to go for the start of the intramural flag football season (next weekend) and getting back to playing soccer, swimming and going to the gym.
  6. This last week saw the birth of John Denton Lotz, JP and Susan’s fourth kid and first son, so congratulations to them (as well as Hannah, Phoebe and Abigail on the birth of their little bro). I can’t wait to head back to the UK to see them all! (P.S. Happy anniversary to JP and Susan as well!)
  7. My best friends, Tim and Tiff, are coming out to visit in early November (just after the election, and just before my birthday), so I’m starting to get really, really excited. Tim came out to CA last October, but I haven’t seen Tiff since their wedding last June. Let the good times roll …

And now … back to work.