2.26.2010

bambu's paper cuts ep release party


Have you heard? This one's for my people in Los Angeles... Bambu's got a new EP, Paper Cuts, out now from Beatrock Music. To celebrate, they're throwing a release party this Saturday, February 27 at SIPA in Historic Filipinotown. The show will feature Bambu and DJ Phatrick, with special guests.

The show is an all ages party. For more details, go to the Beatrock website here. Also take a look at this short behind-the-scenes video by our friend Tad Nakamura, on Bambu's music video shoot for "Slow Down," which features Geologic from Blue Scholars. For more information on Bambu and Paper Cuts, visit his website here.

new apalc report on need for healthcare interpreters

This week, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center released a new report outlining the need for health care interpreters in Los Angeles County. Walking the Talk: Investing in Healthcare Interpreting Programs uses original research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research to investigate the current capacity to provide trained language services in the healthcare setting.

all asian skaters look the same?


This Yahoo! Sports photo gallery of U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu has mistakenly slipped in several photos of Japanese silver medalist Mao Asada. Come on! I know they're both Asian, and they're both wearing red/black outfits... but they don't look anything alike! Not cool, Yahoo! Sports.

reminder: win kollaboration 10 tickets

Just wanted to remind everybody that I'm giving away four pairs of free general admission tickets to Kollaboration 10, happening next Saturday, March 6 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. You have until the end of today to enter the drawing. Please enter only if you truly intend on going to the event.

All you have to do is email me with your name and email address by the end of today (Friday, February 26). Be sure to include "KOLLABORATION GIVEAWAY" in the subject line. I'll throw all the names in a hat and pick four winners at random, and you and a friend be on your way to the Shrine.

If you don't want try your luck, you can purchase Kollaboration 10 tickets here. For more information about the show, including performers, competitors, tickets and seating, go to the Kollaboration website here.

angry reader of the week: chenda duong



Hey! It's the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's reader is Chenda Duong, who is currently chasing her dream of becoming a writer.

surprise, surprise: abercrombie discriminates again

Ah, Abercrombie and Fitch. You never let me down. In San Mateo, California, a Muslim woman has lodged a complaint with federal officials after she said she was fired from her job at a Hollister clothing for refusing to remove her hijab: Muslim goes to feds over head-scarf firing.

19-year-old Hani Khan, who is of Indian and Pakistani descent, says she was fired Monday at the Hollister store at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo. She was dismissed a week after a district manager visited the store, called her into a meeting and said she was not supposed to wear the scarf while at work.

Khan was told her hijab was in violation of the store's "look policy."

On Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relation filed a complaint on Khan's behalf with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Abercrombie & Fitch, which operates Hollister stores. A&F should be getting used to these complaints by now. Hell, they should expect them.

You might recall back in September, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Abercrombie & Fitch for allegedly discriminating against a 17-year-old Muslim in Oklahoma by refusing to hire her because she wore a hijab. The case is pending.

queen yu-na


First things first: John Park wasn't eliminated from American Idol this week.

That said, Kim Yu-Na is the Queen. Undisputed. With a record-shattering score of 228.56 points, she took the gold medal in figure skating last night -- and it was one of the most amazing, stunning performances an Olympic audience has ever seen: Kim shatters record with 228.56 points.

Mao Asada of Japan won the silver medal, but it wasn't even close. It's South Korea's first medal at the Winter Olympics in a sport other than speedskating, and you can bet your ass it set off citywide celebrations in Seoul: As Kim Raises the Bar, South Korea Delights.

I have to admit, I've never really been much of a follower of figure skating... until I watched Kim Yu-Na skate in Tuesday night's short program. She made me a believer. I saw what the hype was all about, and I couldn't wait to see what she did next. Tell me I'm not the only one who was completely dazzled by this athlete.

By the way, I have to give major props to 16-year-old rising star Mirai Nagasu, who had to perform last... and totally skated her ass off, placing fourth with charm, grace and gusto. Indeed, she is the future.

robbery/carjackings targeting elderly asians in boston

I've heard some disturbing news out of Boston about a recent series of carjackings and street robberies targeting elderly Asians in the Chinatown area: Outsiders Robbing Elderly Chinese. Here's the advisory issued by Boston police:
Chinatown Robbery & Carjacking Advisory
Since 1/17/2010, there have been 3 carjackings and 2 street robberies committed in the Chinatown area.

  • On Sunday, January 17, 2010 @ 10:38 P.M., a 48 year-old Asian female victim reported that while at 25 Beach Street, a black male suspect, 5'10", opened her car door and snatched her purse. When she resisted the suspect punched her in the face and stole her 2008 Toyota Corolla. The stolen vehicle was recovered the same night in the area of Hayward Place and the Harrison Avenue Extension.

  • On Friday, January 22, 2010 @ 6:45 A.M., an elderly Asian female victim was attacked at 15 Oxford Street by a black male suspect while entering the elevator. The 6'1" black male was wearing a white/tan baseball cap, black puffy jacket, dark pants and black sneakers with white soles and trim grabbed the victim by the neck, pushed her and demanded money. The victim was robbed of $100.00 US currency.

  • On Wednesday, January 27, 2010 @ 5:50 A.M., a 57-year-old Asian male was approached by two males while he was entering his vehicle at 21 Edinboro Street . The two suspects demanded money from the victim. The suspects were described as (1) black male, dark clothing and dark hat & (2) white male 5'10", thin, wearing a light brown jacket. The victim was punched in the face, knocked to the ground and was robbed of his wallet, US Currency and his vehicle, which was a 1995 Chevy Lumina van. The van was subsequently recovered 2/2/2010 in the Transportation Building garage by the Massachusetts State Police. The vehicle was towed and processed.

  • On Tuesday, February 16, 2010 @ 2:49 P.M., a 59 year-old Asian female victim stated that while sitting in the passenger's side of a 2009 Jeep, at Beach Street and Harrison Avenue she was robbed by two black male suspects; possibly a white male. The victim stated that she was pulled from the car and punched in the face. The suspects fled the area in the vehicle with the victim's purse including credit cards.

  • On Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 7:20 A.M., a 65 year-old female victim was sitting in a vehicle at a parking lot located at Hudson Street and Tai Tung Street when she was approached by two black males ( one wearing a red jacket and the other wearing a black jacket). The suspects opened the vehicle's door and demanded her purse. The victim refused and the suspects punched her in the face area several times before grabbing the purse and fleeing the area on foot towards Marginal Road. The suspects did get the victim's credit cards and money during the robbery.
  • I am not sure how many elderly Asians in the Boston area read this blog. Probably not many. So please spread the word, and advise relatives and friends to stay vigilant. For more information, contact the District A-1 Detectives at #617-343-4571 and/or the District A-1 Community Service Office at #617-343-4627.

    2.25.2010

    2010 korean american film festival new york



    Hey, film fans. This weekend, the Korean American Film Festival New York (KAFFNY) presents its fourth season with 19 short films and 4 features by emerging and award-winning Korean directors from America, Korea and around the world. It's this Saturday and Sunday, February 28-29 at the SVA Theater. Some details:
    The 4th Annual Korean American Film Festival New York

    Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010- Sunday, February 28, 2010
    Location: SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011
    Price: general-$10, students & seniors - $8, weekend pass: $25

    PROGRAM SCHEDULE
    Saturday, February 27
    Shorts competition program#1 : 5pm
    Shorts program #2: 730pm

    Sunday, February 28
    Feature 1: 2pm: Thirst (theater 1)
    Feature 2: 2pm: Going Home (theater 2)
    Feature 3: 4:30pm: Munyurangabo (theater 1)
    Feature 4: 4:30pm: Make Yourself at Home (theater 2)
    This year, KAFFNY is launching its inaugural Narrative Shorts Competition. . The jury will select one short to receive the Jury Award and $500 cash prize. The audience will also take part and select the Audience Award by vote. This award also comes with a $500 cash prize. For more information, including the full schedule and ticket info, visit the KAFFNY website here.

    cal's max zhang is out with a collapsed lung

    Ouch. UC Berkeley's sophomore center Max Zhang, aka the Tallest Chinese Dude at Cal, suffered a collapsed lung after colliding with another player in practice this week: Cal's Max Zhang out with a collapsed lung.

    He definitely won't be playing in tonight's home game against Arizona. It's uncertain whether or not he'll be out of Saturday's game against ASU as well.

    A 7-foot-2 1/4 native of China, Zhang was the hero of Cal's win at Oregon last Saturday, coming off the bench to score eight points in just five minutes and helping to trigger the Bears' 64-49 victory.

    Zhang averages 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds for the Bears (18-9, 10-5), who are in first place in the Pac-10 Conference.

    music video: "bulldozer" by the invisible cities


    A dose of cute for your Thursday evening... Check out the music video for "Bulldozer" by our friends The Invisible Cities, and directed by Melissa Hung.

    The video is part of the DIY Music Video Contest presented by Locus @ Kearny Street Workshop and the 28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

    Melissa admits that she owns some of the toys in the video... but not all of them! To learn more about The Invisible Cities, go to the band's website here.

    what happened to sandy khoo?

    The mother of Sandy Khoo, the 18-year-old San Diego State University freshman who was found dead on the cliffs below Torrey Pines Gliderport earlier this month, is searching for answers on how and why her daughter died: Mother, police seek info in Torrey Pines death.
    Khoo said she thinks her daughter was with someone when she fell 50 feet to her death. Sandy Khoo’s body was discovered about 12:30 p.m. by people walking on the beach, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque.

    Her purse, a water bottle and flashlight were found nearby. Her mother said it was common for her to carry those items. She also carried Mace, which was not found in her purse, Saw May Khoo said.

    Khoo said it would have been extremely out of character for her daughter to be out alone late at night.

    Khoo said she thinks her daughter was with someone or was meeting someone.

    Authorities have said they found no sign of foul play or anything suspicious in Sandy Khoo's death. According to the Medical Examiner's Office, she died of blunt-force injuries consistent with a fall.
    The part that doesn't make any sense to Sandy's mother or friends is what she was doing on the cliffs so late at night. San Diego police have opened an investigation into her death at the request of her mother, but detectives haven't come up with any new information. At this point, there's little to go on.

    Anyone with information on Khoo's death is asked to call the San Diego police at 619-531-2293 or 888-580-TIPS. More here: Death of Mills High graduate prompts questions.

    children of invention opening in boston


    Boston! One of my favorite Asian American indie films of the moment, Children of Invention is coming home. It opens this Friday, February 26 and runs through March 4 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. If you're not familiar with the film, here's the official synopsis:
    One of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film," writer-director Tze Chun makes his feature film debut with one of the most-awarded and best-reviewed films of the year. CHILDREN OF INVENTION is by turns humorous and heartbreaking, an "edge-of-your-seat family drama" (Spout) that's both "powerfully moving and rigorously intelligent."(Boston Phoenix).

    After being evicted, hardworking single mom Elaine Cheng (Cindy Cheung, Lady in the Water) tries to maintain a normal life for her children, Raymond and Tina. Elaine juggles a number of jobs, including working for a questionable pyramid scheme. When Elaine doesn't return home one night, nobody knows the kids are home alone, and they are left to fend for themselves. As the days pass, Raymond, a budding inventor, realizes he needs to come up with a plan to take care of his little sister.

    Referencing both the mortgage meltdown and suburban Ponzi schemes, "the film finds delicate moments of beauty and grace as its child heroes are forced to make their way" (Filmmaker Magazine). Featuring "gifted child actors--off-the-charts cute, refreshingly free of Hollywood precociousness" (LA Weekly), CHILDREN OF INVENTION is "as close to cinematic purity as one is likely to see this year" (Film Society of Lincoln Center), a timely drama about the influence of the adult world on children and resilience in hard times.
    What makes this run particularly cool is that Children of Invention was set and filmed in the Boston area. And if you check out the film this weekend, writer/director Tze Chun and producer Mynette Louie will be there Friday and Saturday night for post-screening Q&As. Some details:
    BOSTON - Opens Fri, 2/26

    FEB 26 to MAR 4, 2010

    Brattle Theatre
    40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA (map)
    Subway: Red Line T to Harvard Square
    (617) 876-6837

    Q&A w/Tze & Mynette after Fri, 2/26 + Sat 2/27 screenings

    >> BUY TICKETS!
    Come out, pack that theatre, and support this film! Cop Out and The Crazies can wait for another day. Heck, I've already seen it multiple times, but I'll happen to be in Boston this weekend, so I'll be there too! For more information about the movie, visit the Children of Invention website here.

    duckworth declines lieutenant governor job

    A couple of weeks ago, we learned that Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, was Governor Pat Quinn's top pick for lieutenant governor. Awesome, but this week she made it clear she didn't want the job: Tammy Duckworth turns down Lt. Gov. candidacy.
    Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's first choice for running mate declined the offer Tuesday, with Tammy Duckworth telling the governor she made a commitment to President Barack Obama and the nation's veterans to serve as a top-ranking federal Veterans Affairs official.

    Quinn had favored Duckworth to replace the embattled Scott Lee Cohen, who won the Feb. 2 primary for lieutenant governor but resigned the nomination days later following damaging revelations about his personal conduct. Quinn discussed the position with Duckworth during a visit to the National Governors Association meetings in Washington over the weekend.
    Duckworth made a commitment to President Obama's administration, and she's going to see it through. Democratic leaders will gather next month to formally select a running mate for Quinn. You can take Tammy's name off the list. More here: Tammy Duckworth Says No To Lieutenant Governor Offer From Quinn.

    did you vote for john park?


    John Park has got me watching American Idol for the first time in a really long time. And finally, as one of the guys in the top 24, we got to see him perform. Watch video of his performance here. The guy is immensely likeable... it's just too bad the judges ripped him to pieces.

    I think he's got a great, unique voice, but I wish he had chosen a better song instead of the soulful-but-downbeat "God Bless the Child." Was it enough for voters to give him a chance? I hope so. I must have called like fifty times. Let's hope he gets another opportunity to shine.

    what's wrong with the south philly high report

    More on the report released this week investigating the December 3 attacks at South Philadelphia High School: Report released on racial violence at S. Phila. High. Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who commissioned the report, called it "thorough and comprehensive" and "fair."

    Some community activists, however, aren't buying it. Helen Gym, a board member at Asian Americans United, finds the report glaringly incomplete, with huge discrepancies between accounts of student victims and witnesses. The findings also appear to absolve the District of any responsibility. Yes, imagine that -- a District-commissioned report covering its own ass.

    With little insight, the report leaves the community right back where it started. Helen breaks down the report pretty thoroughly: No resolution on violence at South Philadelphia High School. Among the areas where the report falls short:
    No review of the history of violence at SPHS: For more than a year, students and community advocates documented dozens of incidents of harassment and assaults on Asian immigrant students at the school. Yet, Judge Giles said he was directed to limit his investigation to only two days, December 2 and December 3rd. Only three sentences in the report (p. 28) reference prior violence at the school. The investigation also ignored documented efforts by students and community advocates to implement critical changes to address racially motivated violence at the school.

    Limited interviews: The investigation only involved a fraction of the student victims and neglected the majority of victims, as well as other witnesses, school staff and community advocates who were at the scene on December 3. In a number of instances, those individuals interviewed expressed concern that they were denied a chance to tell their full stories and were cut off when they attempted to do so.

    Limited attention to racial bias: While the investigation acknowledged the role of race in the assaults and harassment against Asian immigrant students, it does not recognize racial bias in the failure of the District to respond to that harassment and communicate with families and students. In particular, it does not address how the on-going harassment of Asian immigrant students and the school's failure to respond creates a hostile climate for Asian immigrant youth at South Philly.

    Innuendo and rumors as deflection: I was particularly troubled by the use of innuendo and rumor to suggest that the events of Dec. 3rd may have been gang-related. Two pages are devoted to references to gang activity despite the fact that no credible evidence was presented other than the suggestion that group activity is "reminiscent of a street gang conflict" (p. 5). In any investigation, it's essential that innuendos, gossip and rumors be addressed and put to rest. It's troubling that a stereotype of urban youth is so casually deployed in this report to deflect attention away from school accountability.
    Helen also points out how quick and eager Ackerman is to accept the findings and close the chapter on December 3, completely refusing to acknowledge the long history of violence at South Philly High, as well as staff and administrators complete failure to address and respond to this hostile environment. And with the report's limp recommendations, nothing's really going to change. Anyway, read Helen's full analysis here.

    2.24.2010

    5pan's 4th annual spring issues and leadership conference


    This is for my student friends in and around the 5 colleges... This weekend the 5 College Pan Asian Network (5PAN) will be hosting its fourth annual leadership conference, "Digging Deep: Discovering Our Roots and Learning to Grow"on Saturday," February 27th, 2010, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

    Lots of networking opportunities and cool workshops on a wide range of topics, including South Asian in Relation to U.S. Politics, Modern Day Disenfranchisement - Asian American Voting Rights and Patterns, When Hate Hits You - Asian Americans and Hate Crimes, and more. Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, will be the keynote speaker. The details:
    The Five College Pan Asian Network presents its 4th Annual Spring Issues and Leadership Conference

    "Digging Deep: Discovering our roots and learning to grow."

    We hope to focus on what it means to be an Asian/Asian PacificAmerican and how we come to consciousness and gain an understanding of our identity, especially by digging deeper and learning about our racial history in this country.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010
    UMass, Herter Hall 2nd Floor
    9 am - 4:30 pm

    **Keynote Speaker: Jennifer 8. Lee, a journalist for the New York Times**

    Workshops

    * Margaret Abraham - Domestic Violence in the Asian Pacific American community
    * JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), Bill Yoshino - Asian American and Hate Crimes
    * Sujani Reddy - South Asian/American Politics in the US
    * Iyko Day - Asian Americans and Affirmative Action
    * Joshua Roth - Racial Slurs and Jokes
    * Floyd Cheung - Reading Asian American Poetry
    * Eric Hamako - Monsters, Messiahs, or Something Else?: Mixed-Race in Science Fiction Movies
    * AALDEF - Asian Pacific American Voting Rights
    * Panel with CN Le, grad students, faculty - Mutual Mentoring
    * Panel: Miliann Kang and Elena Volpe - APA Women and Mental Health
    * Calvin Sun - Social Networking Ettiquette
    * Eric Hamako - Zombie Orientals Ate My Brain! Orientalism in Contemporary Zombie Film & Fiction
    * CN Le - Balancing "Asian" and "American" Identities
    * Panel: Richard Chu, Falguni Sheth, Larry Hunt - White Liberal Racism: An Oxymoron?
    * AALDEF - Human Trafficking
    I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker at this event last year, and really enjoyed 5PAN's enthusiasm and hospitality. For more details, and to register for the conference, go to the 5PAN website here. And for further information, take a look at the Facebook event page here.

    documentary world premiere: 1040


    I recently heard about a new documentary, 1040, produced by a bunch of friends of mine... Directed by Evan Jackson Leong, produced by Anson Ho and Carl Choi, and featuring Jaeson Ma, Jin the MC, Van Ness Wu, Mike Bickle and MC Hammer, the film is described as a journey through the "spiritual landscape" of Asia:
    1040 is an explosive documentary that focuses on the rapid changes in Asia and the significant shift of spiritual landscape in the area known as the "10/40 Window" - the regions between 10 degrees and 40 degrees North Latitude on the eastern hemisphere. In the film, artist and minister Jaeson Ma takes us on an exciting journey through the Asian countries in the window, showing us the dramatic changes happening on the ground. We visit China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia. Through incisive observations, intimate interviews with prominent leaders and celebrities, and powerful, never-before-heard stories, 1040 dynamically explores a part of our globe that is experiencing vast socioeconomic expansion and profound shift in identity - it is an area that is now nothing less than the frontier of world Christianity.
    The film is making its world premiere as the official Opening Night Film of the 2010 City of the Angels Film Festival this Friday, March 12 at the Director Guild of America in Los Angeles. Here are the screening details:
    1040 - A Feature Film Documentary

    An Adventures.TV and Arowana Films Production

    Featuring Jaeson Ma, Jin the MC, Van Ness Wu, Mike Bickle, MC Hammer, and Sean Noh

    Directed by Evan Jackson Leong. Produced by Anson Ho. Executive Produced by Carl Choi

    Friday, March 12th, 2010 - Showtime: 7:00 PM
    (Pre-Opening Reception and Red Carpet at 5:30pm)

    City of the Angels Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America
    7920 West Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90046
    (Free Parking Available in the DGA garage, on N. Hayworth Ave, off Sunset Blvd.)

    **Ticketing Info: $10 VIP TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE NOW AT www.caff.eventbrite.com

    The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film's stars and filmmakers. The evening will conclude with a Premiere After-Party at Opera Crimson in Hollywood (Complimentary with Ticket Stub). Please join us for this extraordinary celebration!
    I'm told that guests at the screening will include Sean Noh from Korean hip hop group "Jinusean," hip hop legend MC Hammer(!), Van Ness Wu and Jin the MC. Yes, you read that correctly -- MC Hammer. To learn more about the documentary, visit the 1040 website here, and watch the teaser trailer here.

    olivia munn cast in nbc's perfect couples


    G4's Attack of the Show geek queen Olivia Munn, who is all kinds of hotness and has been a little bit of everywhere lately, has been cast as one of the leads in the NBC sitcom pilot Perfect Couples: Olivia Munn is Perfect.

    The show revolves around three couples. Olivia will play the character of "Leigh," one half of one of the couples. The script describes her as "24, very put-together. The youngest of the group, but easily the most mature. Asian-American, but the biggest Burberry-wearing, Pasadena WASP you ever met."

    Does that mean the end of her AOTS gig? If you can't enough Munn, you can also catch her in Iron Man 2 this summer. I also spotted her briefly in the trailer for Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carell. More here: Olivia Munn Lands 'Perfect Couples' Pilot.

    obama nominates goodwin liu for u.s. court of appeals

    Today, President Obama nominated Goodwin Liu for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Liu currently serves as an Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. From the White House Media Affairs Office's press release:
    Goodwin Liu: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    Goodwin Hon Liu is an Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. An acclaimed scholar, teacher, and lawyer, with experience in both the private and public sectors, Liu is a nationally-recognized expert on constitutional law and education law and policy. In 2009, he received Berkeley's most prestigious teaching award.

    Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty in 2003, Liu was an associate at O'Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. He clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the October 2000 Term, and for Judge David S. Tatel on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1998-1999. Between his clerkships, Liu served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. He has also worked for the Corporation for National Service, where he helped launch the AmeriCorps program.

    Liu was born in Augusta, Georgia, to parents who emigrated from Taiwan, and he grew up in Sacramento where he attended public schools. Liu earned a B.S. from Stanford University in 1991, an M.A from Oxford in 2002 (where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1998.
    If confirmed by the Seante, Liu would become the sole Asian American sitting as an active judge on the Ninth Circuit -- the largest of the thirteen federal courts of appeals, with jurisdiction over cases from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. More here: President Obama Nominates Berkeley Law's Goodwin Liu for U.S. Court of Appeals.

    the new asian guy on lost


    Hey, Lost fans. Here's a brief interview with the show's newest mystery man, Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays the bearded, long-haired guru of the temple: 'Lost': Meet Hiroyuki Sanada.

    The producers offered him the role of Dogen without any scripts, and just an explanation of character's background. And when he took the role, he apparently spent a month and a half catching up and watching the entire series.

    Like everyone else associated with Lost, he's not quick to give up any answers, but he does drop a few hints about what to expect this season. According to Sanada, it will be clear why he came to the island and what his mission is.

    hey lonely losers, look to the philippines

    This is rather pathetic, on many levels. Are you middle aged man who happens to be a virgin? This Chicago Sun-Times columnist recently heard from one such person with some very groan-worthy advice: Middle-age virgins: Look overseas
    "I suggest looking to the Philippines. I've met and am now engaged to a wonderful Filipino woman who holds a set of values that mirrors my own.

    I recently returned from a trip there to meet the woman who is now my fiance, and I can tell you that there are many women in that country who are not looking for sexual pleasure.

    "Many of the women I met when I was there can't understand why American people are so fixated with having sex. There's no divorce over there, and the biggest reason for that is because they value positive personal qualities like honesty, loyalty and sincerity in one's actions over how outgoing and charming a person is. They realize that most American men are too egocentric to make a lifelong partner.

    "The problem for women in the Philippines is that the culture is so male-dominated that it's difficult for them to find a man who will treat them as an equal. I know that there are many Filipino women who would like very much to meet a nice American man and take care of him. Some of my fiance's friends are very wonderful women who are also very lonely.

    "So I suggest that men look to other countries to find a special someone. After spending many years believing that the old cliche, 'There's someone out there for everyone,' was just a myth, I can finally say that the saying is definitely true.
    Ah, I see. The simple answer to your problems is to find yourself a mail-order bride! This article was published a couple of weeks ago, just before Valentine's Day. I am frightened to think about how many lonely dudes might have read it and immediately booked a flight to the Philippines...

    hmong veterans of the cia's secret war




    Take a look at these amazing photos by KC Ortiz, of some of the thousands of Hmong nomads and their descendants still hiding and surviving in the jungles of Laos, under constant attack by the Lao and Vietnamese armies. They are the Hmong veterans of the CIA's "Secret War."
    In the early 1960's the CIA recruited and led the Hmong people of Laos to fight the communist forces during the Vietnam War in what is known as "The Secret War". Known as some of the world's best guerilla fighters, the Hmong loyally served as an efficient counter attack to communist forces on America's behalf.

    In 1975 the US withdrew from the region, leaving the Hmong behind in communist controlled territory to fend for themselves. Many attempted to flee to refuge in Thailand, thousands were killed by Lao and Vietnamese forces during that journey. Some returned to their villages where they suffered retaliations such as death and prison, and even others escaped to the remote mountains and jungle in fear of that same fate.

    Today, some 5000 Hmong veterans of the CIA's secret war and their descendants remain hiding in those same mountains. Life today is harder then ever before as they live a life forever on the move, under constant attack by the Lao and Vietnamese armies. They defend themselves with antiquated guns and those taken from dead enemy soldiers. Neither man, woman, nor child is spared in the government's genocidal attack against them.

    The military attacks are far from their only worry however. Living a life on the run prevents the Hmong from farming or domesticating animals, ensuring that every day is a battle just to survive as food is scarce. They must forage the jungle for the roots and tree bark that they survive off of.

    While most of the world has long forgotten about the Hmong, the Lao government has not. In December 2009 the Thai government forcibly deported 4000 Hmong refugees back to Laos at the government's request. This latest move is one that worries the jungle Hmong the most. Now, there is no hope of escape or refuge and the seemingly never ending battle truly has no end in sight. Their cries for help to the world's leaders have once again been overshadowed by international politics and they are left to play the unwilling pawns.
    The photos are fascinating... and haunting. These people are what remains of a dark American legacy, -- a battle with no escape or refuge, and no end in sight. View all the photos, with full captions, here: FORCED REBELLION - HMONG CIA VETERANS OF THE SECRET WAR. (Thanks, Anne.)

    judge releases new report on south philly high attacks

    Yesterday in Philadelphia, retired federal judge James T. Giles released a report on the racial violence at South Philadelphia High School, concluding that a series of fights and rumors triggered the attacks on December 3: Report: fights, rumors led to racial beatings at South Phila. High.
    On Dec. 2, there was an in-school confrontation between African American and Asian students, and an after school incident outside the building.

    Afterward, there were rumors that a popular, disabled African American student was jumped by a group of Asian students. Judge James T. Giles said he was not able to determine whether the African American student was in fact a victim or an attacker, but that rumor and others were enough to fuel tensions that spilled over the next day.

    On Dec. 3, a number of Asian students were attacked by African American students and a Cambodian student in multiple episodes during the school day and afterward. A number of students required hospital treatment, and one victim's nose was broken.

    The students attacked on Dec. 3 had no direct connection to the violence the day before, Giles said. Most were recent immigrants.
    The judge also concluded that race or ethnicity "were contributing factors" in the December 3 attacks. Whoa, really? You'll recall that school officials have frustratingly refused to acknowledge that race had any role in the violence at South Philly High... but I didn't need a report to tell me otherwise.

    Giles interviewed administrators, some teachers, some witnesses and only those victims who agreed to participate. The alleged perpetrators -- 22 students have been suspended, and some are in the expulsion pipeline -- were not interviewed because they may face criminal charges.

    I'm sorry, but how does this report help anyone? And this has to be the most ridiculous recommendation from the judge's report: Fix for violence: Ban on hoodies. No more hoodies! That is the answer. This report is a joke: Whitewash in South Philly.

    It should be noted that Giles was directed to only investigate the incidents on December 2 and 3. The report does not account for the history of violence against Asian immigrants at South Philly High, which students and community members say has been happening for a long time. It's going to take a lot more than a report to address those problems. More here: Asian group hits report on school fights.

    2.23.2010

    mo'olelo presents self (the remix)


    Here's a cool show for all my friends in the San Diego area... my man Terry tells me about self (the remix), a one-man spoken word, hip hop play written and performed by Robert farid Karimi, directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang, and presented by Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company. It runs February 24 - March 21 at the 10th Avenue Theatre. Check it out:
    Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company Presents
    a kaotic good production

    self (the remix)

    Written and Performed by
    Robert Farid Karimi
    with live soundscapes by
    DJ D Double
    Directed by
    Ellen Sebastian Chang

    Mo`olelo at The 10th Avenue Theatre
    930 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

    self (the remix) is a spoken-word, hip-hop play that mixes together stories, movement and music to tell the tale of an American child of Iranian and Guatemalan immigrants growing up in California in the 1970s and 1980s in the shadow of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Acclaimed playwright and performer Robert Farid Karimi, accompanied with a soundscape created by DJ D Double, tells a "remixed" autobiographical tale of a boy struggling to learn about manhood, nationhood, and neighborhood with the voices and music of his environment helping him along.

    Info and Tickets: www.moolelo.net, 619-342-7395
    It sounds like a pretty damn cool show, and at several of the performances, there will be post-show discussions. And hey, if you use the coupon code SDAFF222, you get $5 off. For more information about self (the remix), and to purchase tickets, go to the Mo'olelo website here.

    east west magazine shutting down

    East West Magazine is ceasing publication. I know what you're thinking -- what in the world is East West? I guess I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't heard of it. Founded by Anita Malik back in 2003, it was one of several APA-centric magazines that sprouted up around the same time. But like for many of these print publications, times have been tough, and it's officially shutting down:
    Friday, February 19 2010

    EW * EW Woman * East West Magazine

    2003-2010

    After seven years of sharing the stories of merging cultures on the Web and in print, East West is saying goodbye. It is time to move on to the next chapter for our small team. We thank you for your patience, support and gratitude over the years.

    Our founder and editor-in-chief Anita Malik has been blogging about this decision at GlossyontheOutside.com, and she will continue to share stories of her journey about the decision, the process of shutting down and reinventing identities.

    If you're on our email list, you might hear from us from time to time about future East West branded projects... if we decide to go that way. If you'd like to stay connected, register your email here.

    If you are a subscriber and have questions or claims, these will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please email subscriptions@eastwestmagazine.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    If you want a piece of East West history, we'll keep our online store open until the end of March 2010. Single back issues are available, and we have 45 Collector's Sets on sale.

    Visit the store.

    The Web site archives will remain up indefinitely.

    (Features and Departments)

    Thank you for your readership. We've had fun. We've enjoyed the conversation.
    It's a shame, but not really surprising. Another print pub bites the dust. At the beginning of the last decade, a bunch of Asian American magazines, including A and Yolk (remember those?), also folded around the same time. However, a wave of several other publications soon popped up in their place. But with print going the way it is, what's going to happen now?

    all eyes on the ice


    Tonight, all eyes are on South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-Na. Hugely popular in her home country, she's got an array of lucrative endorsement deals and throngs of photographers following her around, but now it's time to live up to the hype. The pressure's on -- bring home a medal or bust: Pressure on Yu-Na Kim to turn Olympic gold into gold.

    Meanwhile, 16-year-old American skater Mirai Nagasu isn't really considered a favorite to win (it's a 'rebuilding year' for U.S. figure skating), but she's still looking at the biggest night of her career. Who knows what could happen? She's skilled, cute, and immensely charming, and I can't wait to see what she does on the ice: Nagasus work together to reach Olympics.

    And with all this awesome Asian talent on the ice, from Kim to Nagasu, as well as a strong group of Japanese skaters -- and let's not forget skating royalty Kristi Yamaguchi or Michelle Kwan -- it's inspiring a whole new generation of young Asian American figure skaters to go for the gold: Young Asian American skaters dream they can soar.

    park chan ho signs with the yankees

    It looks like Chan Ho Park is headed to New York. The Yankees have signed the South Korean pitcher to a one-year major league contract that will pay a guaranteed $1.2 million plus $300,000 in incentives: All Kidding Aside, Yankees Pick Park for Relief.

    Park made the announcement yesterday at a news conference in Seoul. His deal with the Yankees will be official once he passes a physical. More here: Park Chan-ho Signs with New York Yankees.

    Park, a 36-year-old right-hander, went 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 45 games for the NL champion Phillies last year. He then pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in the World Series. He has a lifetime record of 120-95 in 16 major league seasons.

    kina grannis' stairwells out today


    Stairwells, the debut album from Kina Grannis, is officially out today. I have ordered my copy, so it's still making its way to my mailbox, but I've had the fortune of hearing the album's songs live, and they're pretty darn great. Purchase the physical CD here or download it from iTunesicon.

    To learn more about Kina and her music, visit her website here. Stairwells will be streaming on the site through March 1. Need some more convincing? Here a video with the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Stairwells. Be sure to also watch the super-cute video for "Valentine."

    Fans have been waiting for this for a long time. It's awesome to see how far Kina's come since winning that Super Bowl contest back in 2008, and honestly, I have a feeling great things are only just beginning for Ms. Grannis.

    toyota recall could free jailed camry owner

    By now, you've heard about the massive recall on Toyota vehicles that has rocked the auto industry. So what if you were blamed -- and sent to prison -- for an car accident that wasn't actually your fault? What if it was indeed the car's fault, as you've insisted all along?

    It looks like that's what might have happened in Minnesota, when Koua Fong Lee's Camry experienced brake failure, suddenly accelerated and slammed into another car, killing three members of one family: New Evidence of Runaway Toyotas May Help Imprisoned Camry Owner.
    The county prosecutor, Susan Gaertner, said she welcomed an inspection of the Toyota "to see if there is any possibility that this particular car had mechanical difficulties that would lead to sudden acceleration syndrome."

    There was no evidence of alcohol or drug impairment in the case, which occurred on a Sunday afternoon in June 2006 as Lee returned home from church with his pregnant wife and other members of his family.

    Lee's car hit the other car at a speed estimated between 70 and 90 miles per hour. Lee testified he shouted to his family, "Brakes, brakes not working," moments before the fatal crash.

    The jury apparently did not believe Lee's testimony, said Schafer, who did not represent him during the trial.

    "He's always, from the day this happened, maintained it was the car," said Schafer. Lee's testimony was presented through a Laotian translator and Schafer said the judge commented at Lee's sentencing that Lee did not seem to show remorse.
    This is crazy. Lee, a Hmong refugee from Laos, is now serving an eight-year sentence in a Minnesota state prison. Could it really be that the flaws in his Camry caused the "unintended acceleration," and it's Toyota that's been responsible for the death of these three people all along? What a nightmare. For the sake of justice, let's hope Lee gets his retrial.

    badass chopsticks



    Whoa. WHOA. I want a pair of these awesome retractable chopsticks, aka the greatest things ever invented. A quick search reveals these aren't anything new, and are widely available. So why did no one bother tell me about these things? Do I not seem like a guy who likes awesome things? (Saw it first here.)

    responding to ucsd's "compton cookout"

    This isn't directly Asian American-related, and yet in a lot of ways, it is... The controversy: a recent off-campus party at UC San Diego boasted the unfortunate theme of "Compton Cookout," which urged partygoers to dress and act "ghetto": UCSD race tensions rise after 'Compton Cookout,' use of n-word.

    Racist, ignorant theme parties are nothing new -- this nonsense happens all the time, at frat parties on college campuses all over the country, with varying degrees of protest or uproar depending on if/who hears about them. Why does this keep happening? People keep letting it happen.

    Like I said, the incident in question didn't have much to do with Asian stereotypes, but it affects us in a very real way. I know I write about a lot of things, asking people to care about this or that. I'm asking my friends, at UCSD and beyond, to really stand up and pay attention to what is happening here.

    According to this article, UC San Diego administrators met with more than 100 students who gathered last week to protest the "Compton Cookout." Is it too much for me to hope that there was a significant number of Asian Americans among that group of concerned, outraged students?

    Honestly, I understand why Asian students could easily slide in complacence when the moment arises to get angry about... well, anything. I don't know the exact numbers, but Asians comprise a majority of UCSD's student population. But this is significant, considering that the school's Black population is under 2%.

    Hell, we know what it's like to be on the receiving end of stereotypes and racial mocking, then feel a complete lack of support -- both from within and outside the APA community -- when we try to speak out about such incidents. This is one of those times to stand in solidarity, not only because you've been there, and you get it, but also simply because it's the right thing to do.

    I just want to leave you with a link to this letter from Dr. Jody Blanco of UCSD's Department of Literature -- written to Filipino American students, but completely applicable to all APA groups -- on why it's important to stand as allies with UCSD's African American students: Blanco: In Solidarity with 1.3% of UCSD.

    UPDATE: Here's an online petition that's been circulating on behalf of Asians and Asian Americans who stand in solidarity with all who are protesting the racist incidents at UCSD and, more importantly, the systemic forces that support such incidents. Read it and sign it here: Asian-American and Asians of the UC community in solidarity with black students at UCSD.

    2.22.2010

    saving face screening at wellesley


    For those of you at or around the area, the Wellesley Asian Alliance is hosting a screening of the 2004 comedy Saving Face, followed by a Q & A with writer/director Alice Wu. It's happening this Friday, February 25 at Pendleton East 239. Oh, and there will be free food. Free food!

    I love this film. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it. For more information, see the flyer above, or if you have any questions about directions/location/etc., contact Jennifer Chun at jchun@wellesley.edu or Emily Zia at ezia@wellesley.edu.

    research survey on asian american comic book characters

    You know I dig comic books. So I'm happy to help out Jonathan, a San Diego State University student who's working on a research paper on Asian American comic book characters, talking about representation, stereotypes and historical contexts.

    His paper is titled "Amending Masks and Secret Identities: The Journey of Asian-American Superheroes and Portrayals." Here's a short summary:
    As many iconic superheroes as Batman and Iron Man remain popular in contemporary society, the gap between White American superheroes and superheroes of ethnic diversity continues to widen. Within the Marvel and DC Comics rosters, Asian and Asian American superheroes have limited visibility and have remained solely as secondary characters. The Asian American superheroes who have emerged and have gained popularity such as "Master of Kung Fu" Shang Chi of the 1960s and more recently Amadeus Cho (noted as the 7th Smarted person in the entire Marvel Universe) exemplify characters possibly created due to racial preconceptions and stereotypes.
    Part of Jonathan's research is to measure the general visibility of Asian American comic book characters. Thus, he needs some folks to take an online survey. Doesn't matter if you're into comic books or not. Can you help him out?

    j.r. celski's pinoy pride tattoo


    A lot of stuff happened during the Vancouver Olympics over the weekend, but all anyone really really wanted to tell me about J.R. Celski's tattoo. Specifically, the giant-ass Pinoy pride (plus the Polish eagle) emblem inked on his chest, which apparently created quite a bit of buzz around the internets.

    Celski, alraedy a bronze medal winner in short track speed skating's 1500m, was disqualified from the 1000m event on Saturday night. He didn't race, but I'm willing to be he won a few more fans by taking off his shirt: JR Celski's tattoo of the Philippine flag has created quite the buzz.

    You might have already seen Celski rocking some Filipino pride in this commercial for 24 Hour Fitness. He talks about recovering from the gruesome skating injury that almost took him out of the sport. At the end of the spot, you see him on the cycle wearing a shirt with the colors of the Philippines' flag -- and Manny Pacquiao's face. That's double Pinoy pride.

    visiting stanford student dies in bike crash

    Some sad news out of Stanford... Yichao Wang, a visiting Chinese graduate student who suffered serious head trauma after a bicycling accident, died on Friday. He was 25: Visiting Ph.D. student dies following bike accident.

    Wang was a doctoral student visiting the civil and environmental engineering department from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He was biking home from the lab earlier this month when he collided with a car:
    Wang was biking east on Museum Way on Feb. 3 at about 9:30p.m., Montiel said. According to the Stanford News Service, Wang was headed from his lab to his Palo Alto home. It is unclear whether he had a bike light.

    In the Palm Drive intersection, Wang failed to yield to a Honda Civic, Montiel said. At 20 miles per hour, the Civic was driven by a 79-year-old San Jose man.

    Wang was thrown off his bike, onto the hood of the car and then to the roadway, where he was found 128 feet north of where he first collided with the car. Without a helmet, he suffered major head trauma and was taken to Stanford Hospital, Montiel said.
    Wang was taken to Stanford Hospital after the accident, where he remained in a coma until Friday. His family, who arrived in the U.S. last week and now face huge medical bills, has found help from a network of community members: Campus groups raising funds for visiting researcher who died after campus bike crash.

    win tickets to kollaboration 10


    Just wanted to throw out another reminder about Kollaboration, the largest Asian Pacific Islander talent showcase in North America, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. They said it couldn't happen! Well, it is happening. Be there, on Saturday, March 6 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

    Competitors for Kollaboration 10 are Jason Yang, Clara, Paul Jisung Kim, Sam Hart, Mike & Alfa, Will Volume, and Bhangra Empire. Special guest performers include Rex Navarette, Tony Rock, We Are Heroes, Prepix, Pigeon John, Vudou Soul, Just Kidding Films and Korean Union Dancerz. Here's the rundown:
    Kollaboration 10

    Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010
    Time: 7PM (Doors open at 6PM)
    Venue: Shrine Auditorium
    665 W Jefferson Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90007-3626

    ~6,300 SEATS ~ PERFORMERS COMPETING FOR CASH PRIZES~
    CASH PRIZES for Freestyle Dance & Freestyle Vocal Competition!!

    LIMITED DISCOUNTED TICKETS AVAILABLE

    Special Guest Performers:
    Rex Navarrete - Comedian
    Tony Rock - Comedian
    We are Heroes
    Prepix - Dance group from Korea
    Pigeon John - Rapper
    Vudoo Soul - Singer
    Just Kidding Films - Guest Appearance
    Korean Union Dancerz - Hip Hop Dance Group

    Competitors:
    Jason Yang
    Clara
    Paul Jisung Kim
    Sam Hart
    Mike Isberto & Alfa
    Will Volume
    Bhangra Empire

    Guest Judges:
    Kev Jumba - Youtube Comedian
    Joseph Kahn - Director
    Rex Lee - Actor, HBO's Entourage
    Lisa Ling - Journalist
    Michelle Phan - Youtube Beauty Guru
    Nita Song - President IW Group
    Patty Yoon - CEO Garco Enterprises
    Wanna go? I'm giving away four pairs of free general admission tickets. All you have to do is email me with your name and email address by the end of Friday, February 26. Be sure to include "KOLLABORATION GIVEAWAY" in the subject line. I'll throw all the names in a hat and pick four winners at random, and you and a friend be on your way to the Shrine.

    This is going to be a hot show. If you don't want try your luck, you can purchase Kollaboration 10 tickets here. For more information about the show, including performers, competitors, tickets and seating, go to the Kollaboration website here. Oh, and if you're in San Francisco, mark your calendars and hang tight -- Kollaboration SF Bay Area happens on April 10.

    win a copy of snakes can't run by ed lin



    What up, angry readers? Author Ed Lin has a new book coming out next month: Snakes Can't Run, out March 30 from Minotaur Books. The detective story is a sequel to 2007's This Is a Bust. Here's the official blurb:
    It's a hot summer in New York's Chinatown in 1976 and Robert Chow, the Chinese-American detective son of an illegal immigrant, takes on a new breed of ruthless human smugglers - snakeheads - when two bodies of smuggled Chinese are found dead under the Brooklyn Bridge overpass. But as Robert comes closer to finding some answers, he discovers a dark secret in his own family's past.
    I doesn't hit shelves for over another month, but here's where it gets good. Exclusively for you, the good readers of this blog, I've got the first two chapters of Snakes Can't Run available for download. Get it now as a PDF preview here (239 KB). Here's an excerpt:
    August 1, 1976

    By the time I got to Henry Street under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, one black and white and one unmarked police car were already there.

    Peepshow was standing at the edge of the crime scene, twirling his baton, the one thing he could do without fucking up.

    "Keep moving, keep moving!" he yelled to the murmuring Chinese people. He touched his cap when he saw me. I nodded back.

    Two bodies, Asian men in their twenties, lay on their sides. Both had their hands tied behind them with wire. They didn't look fresh, and one man's tattoo behind his ear stood out in sharp contrast to the white bloodless flesh of his neck.

    I walked up to English, but before I could say anything he put a hand on my shoulder.

    "These fucking bag monkeys won't let me past the tape," he said, pointing out the forensic team collecting samples around the bodies.

    "They're just trying to do their job right."

    "I'll do their job for them right now. These guys died from gunshot wounds and the bodies were dumped here. You can analyze for blood type all you want, but you can't find the criminals looking down a microscope."

    "I hear you."

    "You know what solves crimes?"

    "What?"

    "Shoe leather. Walking around and asking questions."

    "All right."

    "Chow," he said, coming in closer. "You see the guy in the crowd in the red knit shirt smoking a cigarette?"

    "Yeah," I said, knowing better than to look immediately.

    "I don't like his face. Too smug."

    "I'll follow him."
    But wait! It gets even better. I am giving away an advanced reader copy of Snakes Can't Run -- signed by Ed Lin -- to one lucky angry reader. All you have to do is email me with your name and mailing address by the end of March 1. Be sure to include "SNAKES GIVEAWAY" in the subject line. I'll throw all the entries into a hat and pick one lucky winner at random. Cool?

    If you're a fan of Waylaid or This Is a Bust, you're probably going to like Snakes Can't Run. For more information about the book, visit Ed Lin's website here. Ed will be doing a tour to promote the book this spring. You can also watch a cool book trailer for Snakes Can't Run here.

    mandarin man chinese costume


    Okay, so Halloween was several months ago, but this is not a Halloween costume. It's apparently a mascot costume. To be precise, it's a "highest quality" Mandarin Man Chinese Costume. Hey, don't worry, they've got Native American Indian and Mexican costumes too.

    I am haunted by the fact that someone would actually pay $983.14 for this monstrosity. I am also deeply disturbed that there is a school or sports team out there that might actually use this damn thing as their mascot. The Fighting Mandarins? Or maybe the Orientals? (Thanks, Eric.)

    chevron supervisor calls employee 'stupid jap'

    Oh hell no. Saw this here, from a press release detailing the plight of John Suzuki, a former Chevron employee who was forced to take early retirement this month rather than risk his health by returning to work under a supervisor who harassed and threatened him, and called him a "stupid Jap":
    The doctors had diagnosed Suzuki as being at high risk of another heart attack after he had at least two episodes of severe chest pains following incidents in which his supervisor, Alan Klaassen harassed him by yelling at him, making false accusations and threatening him.

    After one such incident in January 2008, Suzuki went to his doctor, who told him that he had to reduce his workload or else he might have a heart attack. When Suzuki told Klaassen and a manager, Frank Turner, what his doctor said, Klaassen and Turner laughed at Suzuki.

    Things came to a head in August 2009 when Klaassen again yelled at Suzuki, waved his fist in his face, threatened him and falsely blamed him for problems in the work. Klaassen also called Suzuki a "stupid Jap."

    Use of racial slurs by supervisors on the job violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws and laws prohibiting hostile and abusive work environments. As one federal appeals court noted in 1993, "Perhaps no single act can more quickly 'alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment' . . . than the use of an [unambiguous] racial epithet . . . by a supervisor…."

    Following the August 2009 incident, Suzuki again suffered severe chest pains. His doctors put him on medical leave and have been treating him since then. They told Chevron that he could return to work only when he was taken out of his hostile work environment and moved to a different department.

    Chevron categorically refused to consider moving Suzuki to a different department. If Suzuki did not return to his department and his supervisor Klaassen, he faced termination, Chevron told him.

    Suzuki got an attorney, John Ota of Alameda, Calif., who pointed out to Chevron that under California law, the company must separate Suzuki from Klaassen, at the very least until Chevron did a fair and thorough investigation of Suzuki's charges that Klaassen had insulted him with a racial epithet and otherwise created a hostile work environment.
    The rest of the press release describes how Chevron's actions indicated that the company had no intention of conducting a fair and objective investigation of the matter as required by law. Faced with termination and the possible resulting loss of his retirement benefits, Suzuki reluctantly chose early retirement. Read all about it here: Chevron Allows Supervisor to Harass Employee with 'Stupid Jap' Slur. (Thanks, Kate.)

    2.21.2010

    blaze of glory: hyphen's issue 19 release party


    If you're in the Bay Area, this Friday the good people at Hyphen are throwing a party to celebrate the release of issue 19, hot off the press. Come on out, meet some friends, and enjoy the music of The Gold Medalists, Jack Tung, Jelani Lateef & DJ Shawn Dub (Movimento Negro) and Power Struggle. And more! Here are the details:
    BLAZE OF GLORY

    It's time for the Trailblazing Issue Release Party! Come party with us as we celebrate our latest issue hot off the press and give our kudos to some notable trailblazers. DJs Citizen Ten, DJL!, and Malicious Lee (Golden Age) will spin us right round and performing live will be The Gold Medalists, Jack Tung, Jelani Lateef & DJ Shawn Dub (Movimento Negro) and Power Struggle. Live art will also be on tap courtesy of Lawrence Yang.

    WHAT: #19 Trailblazing Issue Release Party

    WHEN: Friday, February 26, 2010 | 9 pm - 2 am

    WHERE: 111 Minna Gallery | 111 Minna St, San Francisco

    COST: $10 | $20 w/ a subscription (50% off) | 21+

    Live Art
    Lawrence Yang

    Live Music
    Power Struggle
    The Gold Medalists
    Jack Tung
    Jelani Lateef & DJ Shawn Dub (Movimento Negro)

    Live Beats
    Citizen Ten
    DJL!
    Malicious Lee (Golden Age)

    RSVP on FACEBOOK
    Hyphen is doing it again! Sounds like it's going to be some good fun. More more information, and to RSVP for the party, go to the Facebook event page here. And if you haven't already done so, you can subscribe to Hyphen (real physical print magazines!) here.

    man found guilty in murder of his wife

    Some news out of Massachusetts... Last week, after nearly three full days of deliberation, Suffolk Superior Court jurors found Da Lin Haung guilty in the brutal 2001 murder of his wife: Da Lin Huang guilty in murder of his wife.

    The first degree murder verdict carries a minimum life sentence. Huang murdered his then-separated wife, Gin Hua Xu, and mutilated her body with tools in his home on January 27, 2001 after she filed for divorce.

    State prosecutors pushed for the maximum sentence, stating that medical examiners were unable to determine how many times Huang stabbed his wife due to the damage to her skull and posthumous mutilation. Gruesome.

    anbu ninjas: a dance anime



    Check out this video of a badass dance routine put together by Mike Song and Anthony Lee, performed at VIBE XV. It's described as a "dance anime," complete with ninjas and fights and sacred boxes and all that.

    Pretty awesome, considering it was put together in a month. At eleven minutes, it's downright epic. For more information about the performance, including the music and choreography, look at the info here.

    homeless ucsd student gets some help

    This is a nice story out of San Diego about a UCSD student whose family fell victim to a series of hardships: Strangers Offer Homeless UCSD Student a Home. David, a 21-year-old junior in computer engineering, could accept homelessness, but would not quit school, so he chose to sleep in his car:
    First David's father lost his job. "He had to file for bankruptcy, so we haven't had money," David said.

    Then David's mother, who paid for half of his education, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    David said he tried to apply for financial aid, but was told he didn't qualify.

    "I was living on campus, my parents were several months behind on payments, and so I got evicted during finals week and that's when I knew I just had to accept it," David said.

    He could accept homelessness, but would not quit school. Instead, David borrowed money from his girlfriend and her family and chose to sleep in his car.

    Today, David typically wakes up early and showers at a nearby 24-hour fitness center, where he's a member. He's back on campus by 8 a.m. and stays there all day.

    "If I want to sleep by 12, I just wait until the library closes and I go to one of the bathrooms and I brush my teeth, floss," David said.

    His pride, he said, is still intact.
    After NBC San Diego ran a story on David's plight, the response from locals was immediate, with a number of offers from people with places to stay. David said he hopes to complete his education at UCSD and eventually earn his MBA at Harvard.

    music video: "love" by jaeson ma



    Last year, I wrote Pastor Jaeson Ma's first single "Love," a spoken-word-on-beat track (produced by Kevnish of Far East Movement) which had been getting lots of attention and support. He recently released a new music video for song. Nicely produced video, cool track, and a positive, inspirational message. To learn more about Jaeson Ma and his "365 Days of Love," visit his official website here.

    ah, I see: it was just "poor judgment"

    The Justice Department has concluded that the Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo, the lawyers who gave legal justification to the Bush administration's brutal interrogation tactics for terrorism suspects, used flawed legal reasoning but were not guilty of professional misconduct: Report Faults 2 Authors of Bush Terror Memos.

    The final report, released last week, was authorized and reviewed by long-time Assistant Deputy Attorney General David Margolis, who found that the who found that that Bybee and Yoo had not committed professional misconduct but instead "exercised poor judgment in connection with the drafting of the pertinent memoranda."

    Wait, what? These are the architects of the so-called "torture memos," which authorized waterboarding and other "enhanced" interrogation techniques. An internal Justice Department investigation found that indeed, Yoo committed "intentional professional misconduct" when he advised the president that such techniques were legal.

    But this new memo apparently dismisses these findings. Nope, not professional misconduct -- just "poor judgment." And that means no official censure or punishment for John Yoo. Guess who's breathing one massive war-on-terror-sized sigh of relief? More here: Justice: No misconduct in Bush interrogation memos. And here: Justice Department decision on terror memos sparks legal debate.

    2.20.2010

    who doesn't love a deal?


    Back by popular demand! For today only, Asian American empowerment apparel specialist Blacklava is bringing back my Angry Asian America t-shirt at the discounted price of $15.00. This is Blacklava's first-ever Second Chance Saturday. Every Saturday, they're going to secretly pick a past Blacklava Daily item for those who might have missed out. Get yours today!

    this week's angriest posts

    Not really the angriest, just the most viewed.Make sure you get your discounted Angry Asian America t-shirt today!

    2.19.2010

    totally pointless but adorable video



    Eugenia sends me this video. Sure, they all think it's pretty cute now, but wait until this kid grows up with some serious attitude. That hand and the eye-roll won't be so cute anymore...

    olympics stuff

    See the not-so-Olympian photo of snowboarding bronze medalist Scotty Lago -- and a scandalous fan also going for the bronze -- that apparently got him in a bit of trouble in Vancouver: Olympic Medalist Packs Up after Biting Photo.

    Another story on the Reed siblings -- Olympic ice dancers who are all Americans, but aren't competing on behalf of the United States. With dual citizenship, brother and sister Chris and Cathy are on the ice for Japan, and sister Allison is competing for the Republic of Georgia: Three Siblings Carry Two Different Flags.

    While Apolo Anton Ohno might be the most recognizable face in U.S. short track speed skating, coach Jae Su Chun is arguably responsible for turning the Americans into a world-class team. Formerly a coach for South Korea, he was dismissed prior to the Turin Olympics but eventually found a job as head coach for the United States: Korean Coach Jae Su Chun Transforms U.S. Short Track Skating.

    Even more than the Olympic athletes, I really enjoy watching the reactions of the athletes' family as they compete -- and win. For instance, the tears of joy from J.R. Celski's mother as he crossed the finish line, after all the crap he had to go through to recover from his crazy injury: J.R. Celski's mother never wavered in her belief.

    aziz ansari in get him to the greek


    Briefly spotted funny man Aziz Ansari in the beginning of the trailer for Get Him to the Greek. Between like 4 or 5 movie appearances in the last year, with more in the works, and his starring role in the cast of NBC's Parks and Recreation, I'd say his career is in a pretty good place.

    And if you haven't seen his standup special Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, it's pretty frickin' funny. Oh, and check him out in this recent Fresh Air interview: Aziz Ansari: The Funniest Tool In 'Parks' Utility Shed. No joke, he gets Terry Gross to say "tatties" -- whatever the hell that means.

    chinese americans: join the wall

    Calling all Chinese Americans! (And there are a lot of you.) Phil over Wong Fu Productions informs me about an interesting project currently being put together by the Committee of 100, to be presented in the USA Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai later this year: Join the Wall.

    For the exhibit, "The Chinese in America," they're trying to gather thousands of photos of Chinese Americans, grouped together by family name, or where they're from in China and where the live now, and post them all up on the wall. Here's the blurb:
    70 million people. 192 nations. 180 days. And you can be there. In 2010, from May 1-October 31, one of the largest events in history will take place in Shanghai, China — The World Expo 2010. The USA Pavilion, in partnership with the Committee of 100, will feature an exhibit on "The Chinese in America". To demonstrate America’s unique strengths as a nation embracing diversity. Offering freedom of choice. And providing the opportunity for everyone to succeed.

    To build this exhibit, the Committee of 100 is rallying everyone of Chinese descent across America to submit their photos to create The Wall of the Chinese in America. It will feature thousands of photos organized by Chinese family names to demonstrate that "We Are Family".

    It is our big opportunity to demonstrate our collective pride in our achievements in America and in our Chinese heritage - and show the world the proud face of "The United Chinese of America".

    It's really easy. And it's FREE. Just click below to upload your photo and JOIN THE WALL!
    Yo, there are a lot of Chinese Americans in the United States. Even if only a fraction participate, that's going to be one big-ass wall. For more information, and to upload your photo and join the wall, go here.

    angry reader of the week: leanne koh



    All right, friends. It's time for another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's reader is San Francisco's very own Leanne Koh.

    a judge keeps his side of the bargain

    Last month, I wrote about 29-year-old Qing Hong Wu, a once-troubled teen who went to prison and managed to turned his life around, but now faces deportation to China because of the crimes of his youth. Immigration authorities apparently don't really give a crap about rehabilitation.

    Here's a New York Times story on Michael A. Corriero, the judge who originally sentenced Qing Hong Wu, and told him he'd stand by him if he turned life around. Now, in Wu's time of need, Corriero is trying to keep his side of the bargain: Judge Keeps His Word to Immigrant Who Kept His.

    barack and his holiness


    Came across this photo from the official White House Flickr stream... President Barack Obama meets with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House. I would've loved to be a fly on the wall for this little sit down. Whatever they discussed, I'm sure the Chinese government wasn't very wasn't happy.

    jim lee named co-publisher of dc comics

    Some big news in the comic book industry... Yesterday, DC Entertainment announced its new executive management team, which includes none other than Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, the newly named co-publishers of DC Comics. Here's an excerpt from DC's press release:
    Jim Lee and Dan DiDio Named Co-Publishers DC Comics

    New York, NY and Burbank, CA) DC Entertainment, founded in September 2009 to unleash the power of the DC Comics library of characters across all media platforms, has named its executive management team, including new co-publishers of DC Comics and a Chief Creative Officer, as well as heads of Sales/Marketing/Business Development and Finance/Administration. Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, made the announcement today.

    The new senior executive team includes Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, who have been named Co-Publishers of DC Comics, and Geoff Johns, who will serve as Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. Additionally, John Rood has been named Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development, and Patrick Caldon will serve as Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration. Each of these executives will report directly to Nelson.

    "DC Entertainment's new executive team is a creative ‘dream team,' with accomplishments and talent unrivaled in the business," said Nelson. "This announcement continues and underscores DC's legacy as the ultimate destination for creators. We'll benefit enormously from the deep experience this team represents, while re-energizing the direction and focus of the company. I'm excited and honored to have each of them with me at the helm of DC Entertainment."

    "With this new leadership team, Diane will be able to fully and respectfully integrate DC's brand and characters, not only as key content drivers in the film division, but across all of the businesses of Warner Bros. and Time Warner," said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. "I am very proud and excited about the accomplished executives who are charged with expanding this powerful library. They each have a diverse and complementary skill-set and are deeply committed to contributing to the DC Comics legacy."

    Prior to his current post, Lee served as Editorial Director, where he oversaw WildStorm Studios and was also the artist for many of DC Comics' bestselling comic books and graphic novels, including "All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder," "Batman: Hush" and "Superman: For Tomorrow." He also serves as the Executive Creative Director for the upcoming DC Universe Online massively multiplayer action game from Sony Online Entertainment.
    Lee is an award-winning comic book illustrator/creator/publisher who started his professional career at Marvel Comics where his work on the X-Men continues to hold the all-time sales record for single issue sales at eight million copies sold in one month. At Marvel, he also drew the Punisher and co-created many characters, the most popular being Gambit, featured in 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" feature film. In 1992, he started his own production company, WildStorm Productions, and co-founded Image Comics, an independent comics company which quickly grew to become the number-three North American comics publisher. His most notable creations, "WildCats" and "Gen 13," saw life beyond comic books as a CBS Saturday morning cartoon and as a direct-to-video animated movie distributed by Disney, respectively. In 1998, he left Image Comics and sold WildStorm to DC Comics.
    From way back in my youngsta comic book collecting days, Jim Lee has been one of my heroes, both as a pioneering artist and as an businessman. This is great news. But wait, what exactly does a co-publisher do? Here's an interview with Jim Lee and Dan DiDio at Comic Book Resources: DC's Executive Justice League.

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