On Friday of last week, the day after Veterans Day, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to lift the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, even though a lower court had ruled that the law which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military is unconstitutional. It’s estimated that 66,000 gays and lesbians–or 2 percent of all U.S. military personnel–are currently serving our country. That’s 66,000 people who are making sacrifices, sometimes leaving their loved ones, and often risking their lives for a country that continues to tell them that their sexual orientation is a problem.
L.A.-based photographer Jeff Sheng has spent two years making portraits of a few of these 66,000 good men and women. His “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” photos were on display last week at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, and they’re also available in book form.
Because of DADT, however, Sheng’s portraits are portraits where his subject’s faces have been blurred, obscured, shadowed, and hidden.
“If this person got outed, they would lose their pension, their retirement benefits — their 20 years of service in the military would be gone,” Sheng said.
By hiding their faces, his subjects assume the posture of shame. The real shame isn’t in Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Photography Exhibit
Filed under: DADT, Discrimination, Discriminatory Laws, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Don't Ask Don't Tell Photographic Exhibit, Don't Ask Don't Tell Photography Exhibit, Equal Rights, Gays in the Military, Jeff Sheng, LGBT, LGBT Discrimination, Military Policy, Photographers, Repeal DADT, Shame, Shameful Laws, Supreme Court Upholds Don't Ask Don't Tell, U.S. Military, Veterans Day
No, we are not talking about “Twinkies” in the “yellow on the outside, white on the inside”-sense. We are talking 1,800 calories a day of Twinkies, Doritos, Oreos, and other “foods” that come in crinkly, plastic, environment-hating packages. We are talking a diet of junk food that one nutrition professor undertook for 10 weeks that not only made him lose 27 lbs., but also lowered his BMI from overweight to normal, dropped his bad cholesterol by 20 percent and increased his good cholesterol by 20 percent, and reduced his triglycerides–or fat–levels by 39 percent.
Don’t get us wrong. This diet is fucking disgusting.
One man’s Twinkie is another man’s Kyochon fried chicken, and it gives us hope that there’s a way to keep eating some of our favorite foods without one of our relatives at the next family gathering making that dreaded but inevitable observation that’s somehow okay to make when you’re Asian:
“[Insert Asian-Language Exclamation Word of your choice]–YOU GOT SO FAT!”
Hails from: Wai’anae, Hawaii
Occupation: Labor lawyer, Hawaiian State Senator, and Democratic nominee for Hawaii’s 1st congressional district
Known for: Becoming Hawaii’s first woman President of the Senate in 2006, thereby becoming the first Asian American woman to preside over a state legislative chamber in the U.S.; getting endorsed by U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, former President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama; running a close race against Republican incumbent Charles Djou, who won the seat in a May special election, in part because the liberal vote was split among Hanabusa and several other candidates.
Karl Rove has spent more than $16 million on ads trying to defeat Democrats like Hanabusa and install candidates in Congress like her opponent Djou, who favors extending Bush’s tax cuts even to the most wealthy Americans and limiting government spending even at the expense of job creation. The irony, of course, is that Rove is one of the main architects of our current deficit that the GOP has been so keen on blaming on Obama and Democrats. The last thing Hawaii–which had the ninth-highest foreclosure rate in the 3rd quarter–needs is to put someone in office supported by Rove.
The GOP also wants this seat so badly because it’s in Obama’s home state and district, and a win would be “hugely symbolic”–so it’s time to show your mahalo spirit, Hawaii, and not let that happen!
Filed under: American Crossroads, Asian-American Politicians, Bush Tax Cuts, Charles Djou, Colleen Hanabusa, Congressional Races, Deficit, George Bush, GOP, Government Spending, Hawaii, Hawaii 1st Congressional District, Hawaiians, Karl Rove, Karl Rove Acolytes, Pacific Islanders, Tight Congressional Races, Turd Blossom
Name: Chen Wei-yih
Occupation: Office Worker
Known for: Committing herself to Number One by proposing… to herself. Chen wants to puncture the perception of single women as something to look down on–so at age 30, having not yet met anyone else she wants to spend her life with, she has decided to marry her own bad self.
For the 30-year-old Taipei resident, there will be no Prince Charming, no tuxedoed groom. In an effort to defy the traditional Asian perception of single, independent women as failures, Chen says she will marry herself.
“Age 30 is a prime period for me,” Chen is quoted by Reuters as saying. “My work and experience are in good shape, but I haven’t found a partner, so what can I do?”
Hails from: Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea
Occupation: Elephant at Everland Theme Park
Known for: His ability to “speak” human words (it is unclear whether or not he can fly when holding a feather). CBS recently reported that Kosik, a captive elephant at Everland Theme Park, has developed the ability to speak seven words in Korean (which is three more words than I can say, if you don’t count food). He is the only known living elephant to do so, and even though it’s unlikely he can understand what he’s saying, scientists are dazzled by his ever-improving pronunciasian.
Filed under: Awesome Korean Behavior, Elephant Can Say 7 Words In Korean, Everland Theme Park, firsts, Kosik, Kosik Talking Elephant, Mimicry, Only Known Talking Elephant, Scientists, South Korean, Talking Elephant, Video
Occupation: Literature professor and jailed Chinese dissident
Known for: Returning to China from the U.S. during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and saving hundreds of lives by persuading students to leave the square as army tanks were rolling in; being imprisoned for most of the last 20 years for his peaceful protest of the Chinese government; helping to draft Charter 08, a manifesto calling for freedom of expression, free elections, and human rights in China.
First the good news: On Friday of last week, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Liu is the first Chinese citizen still living in mainland China to ever win a Nobel.
Now the bad: In advance of his winning, 14 overseas Chinese dissidents wrote a letter to the Nobel committee declaring Liu an “unsuitable” laureate for, among other reasons, being soft on the Chinese government. Then, when the award was announced, China censored any mention of Liu and the prize. And now Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, is apparently under house arrest.
A peace prize has been given, yes, but still, no peace.
Filed under: Censorship, Censorship in China, Charter 09, China, Chinese Censorship, Chinese Dissidents, Freedom of Expression, Give Peace a Chance, Human Rights, Liu Xia, Nobel Committee, Nobel Laureates, Nobel Peace Prize, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, Norway, Peace, The Chinese Government, Tiananmen Square
Name: Peter Mikami Rouse
Occupation: Interim White House Chief Of Staff (previously Senior Advisor to President Obama)
Known for: Calm, assertive energy. The man who has, as of October 1, signed on as Rahm Emanuel’s interim replacement as the White House Chief of Staff is no stranger to President Obama, members of the Obama administration, the House or Senate. Pete Rouse, a third-generation sansei son of a Japanese American mother, is a 4-decade veteran of Capitol Hill once known as the “101st senator“–working notably for eighteen years as Tom Daschle’s Chief of Staff (before the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader was ejected from his seat in ’04). The quiet, private “pragmatist” is often hailed as the man who gave lift to Obama’s meteoric rise to President, and joined the administration as one of three senior advisors, alongside David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.
Oh, and Rouse is the kind of man that makes Sarah Palin nuts, which is always a good sign (or at least a sign of intelligence).
Despite his long career and ever-evolving sphere of influence, Rouse is known as a behind-the-scenes guy who is honest and effective. Couldn’t we use a little bit of that in our political environment today?
Occupation: Lawyer, mom, former beauty queen
Known for: Helping foreigners sitting in Afghan jails. The Daily Beast‘s Elise Jordan just profiled the daughter of an American dad and South Korean mom, mother of three and 2004 Miss Wisconsin, who is currently a registered attorney with the American, British, Italian, Norwegian, German, and Canadian Embassies and recently negotiated the release of high-profile Brit detainee Bill Shaw. Motley wears neither a dress, veil nor headscarf in trial and is, according to Jordan, “one of the most respected lawyers in Kabul.”
Motley, who was crowned Mrs. Wisconsin in 2004, grew up in Milwaukee and earned her law degree at Marquette University. She had never traveled outside the U.S. before she began working to rebuild Afghanistan’s legal system in 2008 as a part of the State Department’s Justice Sector Program. Traveling around the countryside—visiting women’s prisons, juvenile detention centers, and some of Afghanistan’s roughest and toughest jails—she found that “not only were due process violations being ignored for virtually all of the accused persons, but there were quite a few foreigners trapped within the legal and prison system,” she says.
Filed under: Afghan Jails, Afghanistan, Attorney General, Awesome Ladies, Balls of Steel, Beautiful Ladies, Beauty Queens, Bill Shaw, Blasians, Bribery, Death Row, Foreign Lawyer In Kabul, Foreigners, Fraud, International Law, Jails, Justice System, Kabul, Kim Motley, Kimberly Motley, Languishing, Lawyers, Locked up abroad, Miss Wisconsin 2004, Moms, Morality, Negotiating, Prisons, Release, Security, The Daily Beast, Threats, Westerners, Women
Name: Hines Ward
Occupation: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and newly-appointed member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Known for: Four Pro Bowl selections; a pair of Super Bowl hardware; being voted Super Bowl XL MVP; Steelers career records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs; donating $1 million to create the Helping Hands Foundation, which works to improve literacy among children in the U.S. and, in Korea, fights discrimination against biracial youth like Hines, who’s Korean and African-American; being Amazian of the Week twice; making Diana smile every Sunday; reprezenting in the Obama administration.
Also named to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders? The unstoppable Ramey Ko–fellow Texasian, municipal judge, founder of Asian Americans for Obama, and hero of that unfortunate Betty Brown name-changing kerfuffle. Congratulasians, Ramey!
For a complete list of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders appointees, click here.
Filed under: Amazians, Biracial People, Blasians, Hines Ward, Hines Ward President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Mixed People, Mixed-Race People, Pittsburgh Steelers, President Barack Obama, Ramey Ko, The Pro Bowl, The Super Bowl
Name: Bruno Mars (né Peter Hernandez)
Hails from: Hawaii
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, producer
Known for: Co-writing and producing the most viral song of 2010, Cee-Lo’s “Fuck You”; co-writing and lending his smooth R&B stylings to B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You,” which was nominated for Best Pop Video at this year’s VMAs, where Mars performed a “Nothin’ on You,” “Airplanes” and “The Only Exception” medley with B.o.B and Paramore’s Hayley Williams, a trio MTV billed as the VMAs’ “dream team” (watch a grainy version of it here); looking kinda dorky cool in a fedora.
Speaking of dreams, Hawaiian native Bruno Mars, who is of Puerto Rican and Filipino descent, has been steadily realizing his of late. After penning the feel-good kiss-off song of the summer and getting nominated for a VMA, the 23 year-old singer, who’s thus far been better known for his writing and producing skillz, will finally take center stage with the release Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Bruno Mars
Filed under: B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Cee-Lo Fuck You, Dream Teams, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Hayley Williams, Kanye West, Mixed People, Mixed-Race People, Music Producers, Musicians, Paramore, Peter Hernandez, Pinoy Pride, Pinoys, Singer/Songwriters, Taylor Swift, Video Music Awards, VMAs
Occupation: Point/2-guard for the Golden State Warriors
Known for: Proving that Ivy Leaguers can ball and Asian men can jump; going undrafted but then impressing NBA teams with his performance for the Dallas Mavs’ summer league team; almost giving Jen and Diana a collective heart attack last week when he was rumored to be signing with the
Fakers Lakers; signing with his hometown Golden State Warriors instead; becoming the first Chinese American player to join the NBA.
(The first Asian American player in NBA, as Lin was initially reported to be, was Wat Misaka, back when the NBA was known as the Basketball Association of America. Other Asian Americans who played in the NBA were Filipino American Raymond Townsend and Japanese American Rex Walters.)
Name: Allen Lim, PhD
Hails from: Boulder, CO (via Los Angeles)
Occupation: Sports Physiologist, Team Radioshack’s Director of Sports Science
Known for: Living science. Though his boss and opus, Lance Armstrong, has been dealt more crashes than a test dummy in this Tour De France and is no longer a contender for an 8th yellow jersey, Team Radioshack Sports Director Allen Lim and his funky, futuristic scientific approach to cycling continue to become more high-profile (and, dare we say it, chic?) with each passing stage.
He is as well decorated with academic achievement as any Hardass Asian Parent could possibly ask for–a doctor, of course, with graduate and postgraduate degrees, and a penchant for buzzworthy leaps in sports technology. But Lim is no science robot; he does his thing with style and a smile. Known as a good-vibes, calming force, it’s no wonder that he was heavily pressed to leave Team Garmin last year and take his dream job with newly-formed Team Radioshack, quickly entered Armstrong’s inner circle, and somehow managed to look like a DJ when photographed with all of his nutty sports equipment (see above photo, from his official site). It’s been a long time since applied science has seemed so fun and necessary. And COOL.
Filed under: Allen Lim PhD, Cool Dudes, Cycling, Doctors, Dr. Allen Lim, Dream Jobs, Good Vibes, Hardass Aisan Parents, Lance Armstrong, Legends, LiveStrong, PowerTap, Science Is Chic, Science is Fun, Science is Sexy, Sports Physiologists, Sports Science, Stage Win, Sushi Rice Cakes, TDF, Team Radioshack, Team Win, Tour De France, Yellow Jersey