October 25, 2014

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8) is Expecting

Editor’s Note: The AAAF endorsed Tammy Duckworth for her 2012 campaign.

Tammy Duckworth and her husband Bryan Bowlsbey are expecting a baby girl in early December! The Chicago Sun-Times reported the announcement yesterday as has the The Chicago-Tribune.

Congratulations to the growing family!

Futility of Peace

War Is Peace

I’ve blogged here since 2008 specifically about the toxic mix of religion & politics & notably how religion self-justifies personal flaws.

Today, let’s categorize Middle East crisis (now in its 2,500th year) camps:

  • Rational Historians: There’s been plenty written for centuries, especially recently, about the Mideast crisis. Most of what’s to be said has already been said.
  • Gave Up: A religious war 2500 years long with which self-justifies the mutual killing will end only when religion ends. Which is never.
  • Idealists: Let’s make peace! The endless stream of preachey & arrogant social media posts (i.e. “A Plea to Christian, Muslim and Jewish Friends“) by outsiders, especially white saviors & their kind
  • Jews: Peace is killing all the other side & taking their land.
  • Islamists: (see Jews)
  • Lawyers: Let’s defend religious expression with ethics and the rule of law. (as always, such folks are clueless & useless)
  • Killers: Busier killing the other side instead of bothering with futile social media posts like our friends’ & blogs like this.

So it goes on. And on. Until the end of time mortal. That’s not news, that’s daily life.

Clay Pell for Governor

Clay Pell for Governor

Exciting news about 1 of my childhood heroes when I heard Michelle Kwan’s husband Clay Pell is running for Rhode Island Governor. Yes, that’s the same Pell as in the famed scholarship program, the Pell Grants, which has funded the college education for a number of our readers including yours truly.

Putting aside Kwan’s star power, here’s why I’d vote for him if I were a Rhode Island voter:

  • accepting neither lobbyists’ nor PAC’s monies to avoid legalized corruption/bribery
  • Harvard undergrad & Georgetown Law School show the best education
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education at US Department of Education; White House Fellow 2011-2012; director of strategic planning for President Obama’s national security team; active duty Coast Guard officer
  • more important than the still good party support is his on-the-ground support; if polls speak to some political industry insiders, then he’s also +9% there
  • he doesn’t lie, whether you want to use experience reading news about him, his PolitiFact page, factual defense of the usual dumb accusations during campaigns, etc.
  • doing what progressive & smart economies are doing, funding professional internships
  • this past Tuesday’s debate showed how he’s not a career poltician in style, thought & treatment
  • sure his Republican opponent is an Asian, but Allan Fung is conservative and harmful to the state proving how supporting the greater good may take us outside our Asian roots

Learn more about Clay at ClayPell.com, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Or update the race’s Wikipedia or Ballotpedia pages.

Justice for Danny Chen 3/3

Pvt. Harry Lew, whose killers are even less unprosecuted.

Pvt. Danny Chen, US Army

On October 13, 2011, Private Danny Chen, a Chinese-American active duty private in the US Army, died while deployed in Afghanistan. The circumstances surrounding his death are outrageous and illegal (even in military law, a largely unknown beast): racially-biased hazing both physically and emotionally over months prior to his death. Suicide or murder, we can’t tell. His superior, Sgt. Holcomb, spent 30 days in jail & a weak admission of race-based hazing are the results. Not good enough. We take it to the court of public opinion to embarrass the DoD by:

  1. re-highlighting the intense and un-sustained media attention, especially during the military trial
  2. outing misperceptions & cultural myths by clarifying hazing vs murder
  3. list what rights one has once one enlists so those enlisting & enlisted have; we can’t bust military culture, but we can expose it as light shines most where there is darkness
  4. showing how to contact Congress & DoD to end race-based hazing

We’ll coordinate with the Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA) NY chapter as we did when the news first broke. To quote the Angry Asian Man, “In the end, all of this is work to ensure that another tragedy like this never happens again.”

Related

Lord’s Resistance Army’s Un-Christian

With all the bad news from Iraq thanks to so many failures from so many overpaid corrupt folks enjoying an Iraq time, I thought it useful to visit another failed state. So many to choose from, so let’s try Uganda, #22 on the Failed States Index, 1 better than North Korea (ouch).

Some are concerned that our sending military advisors to Uganda last year worsend the US’ might or our image in central Africa. Some falsehoods & truths:

Falsehood: Rush Limbaugh said the LRA (“Lord’s Resistance Army”) are Christians. They fight the Muslims in Sudan. They’re on our side. Obama’s a Muslim so he wants to fight Christians.
Truth: The LRA is not “Christian”. They are agnostic. It is not fighting “the Muslims”. It is killing, abducting and torturing ordinary citizens, originally in Uganda, now mainly in South Sudan, DRC and CAR. Most of its victims are Christians or followers of African traditional religions. The oppressive Islamist regime in Khartoum supports the LRA openly and officially with all sorts of support: logistical, governmental, militarily and legally.

Falsehood: The US sent soliders to fight their war.
Truth: These advisors are forbidden by international law and our mission from firing (except in defense) or being in direct combat. For something that doesn’t sound like it came from a press officer, we’ve too little to gain by breaking the law because they’ve not enough oil to satisfy any American corporate lobbyists.

Falsehood: The US is getting involved in war & we’ve no oil to gain anyways.
Truth: See above. Seriously. And Uganda’s our friend not enemy. Conservatives like the world black and white: no oil, no troops.

Falsehood: The Lord’s Resistance Army is the Lord’s work.
Truth: Just another Christian terrorist group waving the flag of Jesus to justify their personal flaws & equally flawed ideology.

Falsehood: The US is getting into messy alliances with people we can’t trust.
Truth: Luckily, we owe the LRA & Uganda government little.

Falsehood: We need to stop the terrorists.
Truth: The situation is so local, even professionals in international policy don’t understand the true nature of this fight.

I note the danger of listening to politically extreme radio personalities who don’t deal in truths but rather whatever is entertaining which can include falsehoods because few know the truth and fewer fact-check because they’re intellectually lazy.

DC, June 13-14: World Premiere of “An American Soldier”

Justice for Danny Chen

We covered the hazing death of Pvt. Danny Chen in parts 1 and 2.

Commissioned and produced by the Washington National Opera, Huang Ruo’s new opera An American Soldier will receive its world premiere at The Kennedy Center on June 13 and 14, as part as the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative. Composed by Huang Ruo with a libretto by David Henry Hwang, An American Soldier is based on the life and death of American soldier Pvt. Danny Chen. On October 3, 2011, Chinese-American Army Pvt. Danny Chen was found dead in a guard tower at his base in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The real circumstances behind his death, though, illustrate a darker undercurrent to life in the military. Based on a true story, and drawing from the ensuing courts-martial of Chen’s fellow soldiers, An American Soldier explores what happens when the very people who are supposed to protect you in a combat zone become your enemy. For more information about the opera, visit its event page & NY Times review.

June 13 Friday 7:30 pm, The Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, Washington D.C.
June 14 Saturday 2:00 pm, The Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, Washington D.C.

David Paul, director
Steven Jarvi, conductor
Washington National Opera
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Election 2014: Update 1

I also update my original “Election 2014” post, but highlight yesterday’s elections below.

I congratulate Mike Honda and Ami Bera for finishing in 1st place in their primaries for Congress! Ted Lieu also successfully made it to the general election in his important race to replace Rep. Henry Waxman. We also congratulate our official endorsees who lost hard-fought races, Swati Dandekar for Congress in Iowa and Suja Lowenthal for CA State Assembly. They’ve made their communities a better place by stimulating dialog.

Our other endorsed candidates all also did great:

Shameless pitch: to fully support these candidates to victory, we need YOUR support at our June 18 reception. Early bird SPECIALS expire this Friday!

They Helped Build a Railroad − and a Nation: Honoring the Chinese Railroad Workers

We wrote about the Secretary Tom Perez’s inducting the Chinese Railroad Workers into the Department of Labor’s Labor Hall of Honor last week. Read about it at Tom’s blog post! Personally speaking, the importance of the railroad in America’s development in so many ways relied on the railroad in ways which effect us to this day including where cities are, interstates, universities, economic networks, etc.

For more labor news, note also new AAPI unemployment data to educate you about how our community experiences work before you go out to make improvements in it.

Their latest is at Facebook.com/departmentoflabor, their blog or @LaborSec as always. Have a great weekend, all!

Ro Khanna Donors Want Refunds

Editor’s Note: Below is by Richard Chen speaking for himself not as Editor.

Mike Honda at San Jose High School

To follow up to how important it is to have Mike Honda and not Ro Khanna representing CA-17, the juicy headline “Ro Khanna Hasn’t Been Elected Yet, But Some Donors Already Want Refunds” gets at too many issues:

  1. if you’ve someone who’s taking big tech money then doesn’t want to be associated per PR with money heavy tech giants, you think he’ll represent all the people of Silicon Valley?
  2. if he’s already keeping monies he knows from the donors wasn’t intended to be used against Mike Honda, what’ll he do with money he gets from corrupt lobbyists as will happen if elected (banish the horrid thought of such representation)?
  3. if he’s so defensive in office against his own donors and potential subjects, imagine what he’d do on his own while in office?

All the ways not to conduct a campaign suggest someone who’ll do even more unethical to corrupt doings in office.

In lighter news, happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! I’ll be reposting/reTweeting our partner’s hand picked posts and events to our Facebook and Twitter as always.

And don’t forget to phone bank for Mike Honda in DC daily until June 3.

Colleen Hanabusa (2/2)

Colleen Hanabusa

Naturally, President Obama endorsed his own Hawaii state campaign head Brian Schatz for US Senate over the proven lead Colleen Hanabusa. I wrote 2 months ago about how Hanabusa provides not just any leadership or the party’s most well connected leadership but the most principled, focused & ideal leadership. Ignoring sustained junk politics like her age (which is a plus, but mean politics never sees that), we can all see the President will back his campaign staff while other Democrats back Hanabusa as it’s an all-Democratic field which leads to disillusionment over the political process that leads to political fragmentation & polarization that makes Congress what it is today.

Also, Obama’s been so unwilling to help any US Senate candidate except 1 other (then again, it’s desired). Unfortunate but understandable.

Today’s Honolulu Star Advertiser poll asks, “Should President Obama have endorsed his candidate in Hawaii’s Democratic race for U.S. Senate?” where you can vote your say. You know my say.

Update: Poll results agree, Obama should’ve stayed out of it.