lots of random stories

Last week in Edison, NJ, a ceremony marking India's independence anniversary led to protests by local veterans advocates after they learned the POW/MIA flag would be removed from a pole outside Town Hall so the Indian tricolor could fly below the American flag: Tempers flare over flag move in Edison. Here's the quote that gets me: "It's no longer Edison, it's little India," said Rosemary Wilson, a 30-year Edison resident... No, dear Rosemarie. It's America.

Interesting story in TIME on the large number of South Asian-owned hotels that have popped up along America's historic Route 66: No-Tell Motels. Members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association now own 37% of the U.S. hotel industry. Unfortunately, the trend has prompted a xenophobic, racist response from competitors, with AMERICAN OWNED signs popping up outside motels around the country. Let me translate that for you... what they mean to say is, "NOT IMMIGRANT OWNED" ... or dare I say it, "WHITE OWNED."

Speaking of Asian-dominated businesses... here's a New York Times article on the ugly, not-so-glamorous side of the nail salon industry—often filled with cutthroat price wars, long hours, low wages and hazardous chemicals: At Nail Salons, Beauty Treatments Can Have a Distinctly Unglamorous Side. Your beautiful nails can come at a high price...

Christopher Pak is trying to change the cityscape of Los Angeles. Think taller, denser living and building: A taller L.A.? He's making it happen. I'm trying to envision this, but all I can think about is traffic.

Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim, the Justice Department's top civil rights enforcer, resigned this week following more than a year of criticism that his office was hiring conservative GOP loyalists over experienced attorneys with civil rights experience: Top Civil Rights Prosecutor Resigns. He was the first immigrant and first Korean-American to head the department's civil rights division.

John Seo and John Rhee, hotel owners in Joliet, IL, have filed a federal lawsuit which alleges an informant worked with Will County Sheriff's Detective Dennis Carey and Sgt. Edward Hayes to manufacture false identity theft charges against hotel owners and employees, "the majority of whom were of Asian descent": Hotel owners sue Will sheriff. Not only were the charges false, the hotel owners say their arrests almost destroyed their business.

An update on that slavery case from last month... the federal government has dismisssed the slavery charges against three men accused of detaining a troupe of Chinese acrobats and forcing it to perform: Slavery Charges Are Dismissed. It appears that the government wasn't able to develop evidence sufficient enough to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, the China Star Acrobats carry on.

Last week, activist Yang Jianli returned home to the United States after spending five years in a Chinese prison: 'I respect even my guards'. Yang, the co-founder of the Foundation for China in the 21st Century, a pro-democracy group based in Boston, was imprisoned in China in 2002 after he used a friend's passport to enter the country illegally so he could report on unfolding labor unrest. It's been a long road back to freedom...

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