Thursday, September 25, 2014

Anti-Muslim (?) blogger from Malaysia seeks political asylum in the USA

Lots of people want to come to the USA.  This is where they think they will have maximum freedom and where they think they can make lots of money.

Many people are able to get into the USA by appealing for political asylum.  What does this mean?  It means that if a person is going to be harmed by his/her government for political or religious reasons, the person will be given safety in the USA.  So if a person has been fighting for human rights in a country where the government kills such people, the USA will let this type of person in.

I was a bit shocked to see that a person from Malaysia who has apparently posted anti-Muslim postings, and who was going to be prosecuted (put on trial) for this in Malaysia, is seeking asylum in the USA.

The person seems to be arguing that he has the right to post anything he wants on the internet and that the government of Malaysia is violating his human rights.  Yet, hate-speech should not be tolerated anywhere.  Frankly, I am a bit shocked that the US government is considering the possibility of allowing this person asylum.     

You can read the following article, however, and judge for yourself:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

asylum - safety, Ed Snowden was given asylum in Russia because the US government wanted to arrest him and throw him in jail for revealing various governmental abuses in the USA

apply for - please remember that when you use 'apply' you also have to use 'to' or 'for'
I applied to this school.  I applied for my visa.

jumped bail - that means he was arrested by Malaysian police and a judge indicated he would have to go to trial for his actions.  He was allowed to pay a certain amount of money to stay out of jail until his trial.  He, however, has illegally left Malaysia.  Bail - the money a person pays to stay out of jail until a trial. To jump bail - to illegally leave the country after you pay the money.

resurfaced - reappeared, presented himself again

a hearing - it's like a trial; at a hearing a person is asked various questions

tyranny - a tyrant is a dictator, one leader who controls the entire country

three charges - three accusations of doing something wrong

Ramadan - a very important Islamic holiday.  Apparently they deliberately intended to offend and upset Islamic people by posting something about Islam with naked photos.

pornographic - something is pornographic if it shows something sexual that is not meant to be artistic

confident - pretty sure

repression - a holding down or a stopping of something

seditious - meant to harm a government or people

to taunt - to provoke, to try to cause someone to do something you want them to do

to bolster - to strengthen

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Are most bicyclists in Manhattan stupid? (A bicyclist accidentally killed a woman in Central Park.)

{{{image taken from the NY Post}}}

The last mayor of NY City (a mayor is the leader of a city) encouraged people to buy and use bicycles.  Now you see people bicycling all over the place.

Unfortunately, it seems that most bicycle riders in Manhattan are, basically, STUPID. They do not pay attention to traffic signs or lights, they ride on the sidewalks, they ride in the wrong direction, they ride dangerously fast etc. In fact, bicyclists often hurt people in Manhattan (Manhattan is the central 'borough' of New York City - the other boroughs are Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island).

Here is a story about a guy who literally killed a woman with his bicycle (he was riding too fast and ran into her).  What's really shocking is that after he killed her, the police let him go home. They, apparently, didn't find anything to be wrong with a bicycle rider killing a woman. This is typical New York City police behavior.  If you are drinking a can of beer outside of your house, they will arrest you, but if you kill a woman with your bicycle, they don't do anything.

Here's a good article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to veer into - to turn into

tragic - something horrible involving the loss of human life

to plow - to drive forcefully into something

brain-dead - her body is alive but her brain is no longer functioning

a speed-demon - someone who drives too fast (a demon is a devil, like Satan)

to zoom down - to move in a downward direction very fast 

pedestrian - people who walk are pedestrians

a vehicle - a car

law enforcement - police

barreling - moving incredibly fast with a lot of force. A barrel is a round, large container. If you push it on its side it will roll when you push it.

A barrel ---> 
restricted for - saved for children and people who were walking

to swerve - to turn quickly in a curving manner

the mid-60s - the streets in NYC go up so this was between 60 and 69th streets

diagonal - not a straight line, an angled line

the curb - the raised area between the sidewalk and the street

a ventilator - something that helps you breathe

1010 WINS exec - she had a high level job at the NY radio station called: 1010 WINS

saxophone -

to pedal - to move your feet to make the bicycle go forward

to slam into - to hit something with great force

frustrated - an emotional feeling when you can't solve a problem

conceded - admitted, stated

to boast - if you boast about something, you are proud of it and want people to know it (i.e. Bob often boasts that he went to Columbia University.)

blazing speeds - fast speeds

precise - very close

All systems go - this means, "I'm ready!"

the speed limit - this is as fast as you are allowed to go

sprints - quick runs

to brake - to stop your bike or car

he had not been charged -  the police had not arrested him or taken him into custody - the police let him go home

precarious - uncertain, risky

a summons...reckless homicide - he could get a ticket and have to pay an amount of money or he could be charged with 'reckless homicide' which means he killed someone while acting stupidly

confiscated - taken away

evidence - proof that something happened, something which shows that an event happened