In what has possibly been the worst-kept secret in Washington, current Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel officially announced today that he would resign his post to run for the mayor of Chicago. Emanuel, who has been characterized in mainstream media as a no-nonsense — and quick-tempered – personality on the Hill, will be launching his campaign early next week.
The New York Timesreported today that President Obama will be appointing senior advisor, and close friend, Pete Rouse to replace Emanuel as the new Chief of Staff. Rouse, who is hardly a household name outside of the White House, worked with Senator Tom Daschle before being recruited by Obama in 2004 to run his Senate office. The New York Times reports that although Rouse has reservations about being the new Chief of Staff, he’s willing to assume those duties at least for now.
Jeff Yang, of Asian POP, notes on his blog that if appointed, Rouse would also be the first Asian American to hold the position of Chief of Staff. Jeff reminds us that, though Rouse hasn’t made a big deal about his Asian American heritage, he is the son of Irving Rouse and Mary Mikami — a Japanese American woman (see more about Rouse’s maternal family tree here). Further, Rouse’s grandparents were interned during World War II, giving Rouse an incontrovertible link to a watershed moment of Japanese American history.
If Rouse is appointed, he would also be the fourth Asian American in President Obama’s cabinet. The other three are: Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce, Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy, and Gen. Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veteran Affairs.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty dang cool to see so many Asian Americans breaking through the political glass ceiling in Washington.
Five Things My Mom Taught Me in the Kitchen that I Still Use Today: Ming Tsai
1. Dumpling Skins: keep the edges thinner than the middle
“To this day, my mom is still better at making dumplings than me. As early as two years old, we would gather with my brother, dad and grandparents to make dumplings. It was a social event for my family, and it was time for my brother and I to have fun and make a mess. My mother’s method was to keep the edges of the skin thinner than the middle. This way when you fold and seal them, the thickness is the same all around. Whether I make my own or use store-bought skins, I always make sure to follow her teachings.”
2. It’s O.K. to play with your chopstick wrappers
“My mom loved origami and would occupy us often out at restaurants with her paper creations. She could make anything. The most practical was to make chopstick rests out of our wrappers. It’s a great trick to know – most restaurants don’t provide you with rests and this gives you a way to keep your chopsticks off the tables. My kids love doing this today. It’s a family thing!”
3. You can never have too much rice
“My mom’s rule if you’re making rice is to make double. Day-old rice is best for when you are making a stir-fried rice dish. She would always make extra purposely when cooking rice – this way we could have a stir-fry dish the next day. Mom’s tips on rice: it is best to transfer your extra to a storage container and break it up a little, but not too much, to store in your refrigerator. Use wet hands to break it up because this helps with the rice sticking.”
4. Always plan on 20 percent more
“When we were younger, my family would cater. My mom always had us bring 20 percent more than what the customer had asked for. This didn’t cost us much to do, but we were ready if more people arrived. It’s also part of our Chinese culture that we never leave a table hungry. I still practice this today in my restaurant.”
5. One for all plus extra!
“Whenever we go to a Chinese restaurant, my mom always had us each select our dish for the table. She then would always double it and add a noodle dish. This way everyone at the table gets to try something different. I feel if you don’t leave a Chinese restaurant with a bag then you didn’t order correctly. My mom would then turn the leftovers into other meals, sometimes putting her own spin by adding more to the dish.”
Mout Iv is a Cambodian refugee who immigrated to the U.S. at age 7. After committing a crime in 1998, he should have been deported -- yet I.C.E. placed him on "supervised release". 12 years later, they are suddenly uprooting and deporting Iv as part of the Obama administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
The war on undocumented immigrants has dominated news coverage over the last six months, fueled in large part by Arizona’s recent spate of anti-immigrant legislation. While issues of immigration reform are complicated, one of my pet peeves is how the debate has been characterized — almost exclusively — as a Latino issue.
So, let’s not get it twisted — all of this talk about undocumented immigration affects affects Asian Americans, of whom more than 70% are foreign-born and currently hold visas or have naturalized. A fraction of these Asian Americans are, also, undocumented immigrants who have overstayed their visas. Changes to federal immigration policies affect these Asian Americans, yet too often their stories are unheard in mainstream coverage of the immigration debate. Interestingly, these populations of undocumented immigrants may actually be disproportionately targeted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement: unlike undocumented border-crossers who are never registered in the system, visa overstays can be tracked down based on the information filed when they legally entered the country.
One population of Asian Americans who are rarely heard from are the Southeast Asian refugee population. These are Asian Americans who found asylum in the United States to escape war and poverty in their countries of origin. Today, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the plight of a Cambodian man was profiled.
After he was convicted of assaulting a Philadelphia man in 1998, Cambodian refugee Mout Iv knew he was in the United States on borrowed time.
As it turned out, quite a lot of borrowed time.
He was freed from a Pennsylvania prison after four years, but paperwork snafus prevented his immediate return to Cambodia, as required by law. So immigration agents put Iv on “supervised release,” allowing him to open a barber shop in Olney
The government kept tabs on him with scheduled interviews, random phone calls, and unannounced visits.
Last week, at an ostensibly routine appointment, Iv, 33, was fingerprinted, photographed, and arrested. He’s now in prison being readied for deportation.
Now, we can’t get around the fact that Iv committed a violent crime more than ten years ago: he participated in a mugging during which the victim was stabbed in the side. Being convicted of a crime of this sort is clear grounds for deportation by I.C.E.; all immigrants are (or at least should be) aware of that fact.
But that’s not what’s at issue here.
The Obama Administration — under pressure to prove that they are “tough on illegal immigration” to satisfy the xenophobia of Right-Wingers — has cracked down on visa overstays, as a means of counter-balancing their mantra on immigration reform. The silent victims of that politically-motivated crackdown are people like Iv, who have since reformed and become a contributing — and tax-paying — small business owner.
I will not argue that Iv’s deportation is unfounded. Frankly, if you break the rules, you cannot stay — that’s just part of the agreement immigrants have made in being permitted to enter and work in America.
However, I do think that Iv’s story indicates a fundamental break-down of the system, that extends far beyond the Obama Administration. When Iv first committed the crime that now are the grounds for his deportation, he should not have been allowed “supervised release”, and certainly not for over ten years. Iv’s story demonstrates the fundamental lack of attention that has been given to the nation’s immigration system: immigration and border authorities are so underfunded, so undermanned, and so overwhelmed with cases, that it took them 12 years to find the resources to deport a man who violently assaulted another. These offices are so lacking in basic resources that Tony, an undocumented young man who was profiled on MTV’s True Life would have to wait 13 years to naturalize.
That’s 12 years that Iv’s life was expected to be on hold awaiting deportation. And that’s 13 years that Tony’s life was expected to be on hold awaiting naturalization.
This isn’t Obama’s fault — not really, anyways. This is a chronic problem arising from prolonged band-aid solutions. Legislation like SB 1070 does nothing to fix an immigration and naturalization department with waiting periods measured in years, not weeks or months. Last week’s defeat of the DREAM Act only exacerbates the existing problems of a broken bureaucracy that has crippled this nation’s immigration system.
Meanwhile, as far as Iv’s story is concerned, I think that there should be a statute of limitations on deportation proceedings. If I.C.E. is so underfunded that it takes them more than a decade to deport a person, than they shouldn’t be able to swoop in one day (when the White House needs to save face over a political debate) and unroot him or her from the new life they have made in America. In so doing, the federal government in essence stole 12 years from Iv’s life because they couldn’t get their act together, and then they expected him to sit and wait patiently in some sort of limbo state until they finally could deport him. Meanwhile, he paid taxes, stimulated the local economy, and obeyed the law; clearly the same grounds under which he should have been deported in 1998 no longer apply now. The federal government screwed up in failing to deport him, why are they not facing any consequences for that mistake? Can there not be some sort of compromise reached wherein Iv must still face consequences for breaking the terms of his entry, but that still acknowledges how I.C.E. failed in their responsibilities in this matter?
I’ve replaced the TweetMeme button with the official Twitter button, which should not alter functionality for the site, but may cause some of the tweet counts for each post to change (since the older button used a different metric for counting how often a post got tweeted).
I’m also writing this post because there doesn’t seem to be documentation on the Internet about how to manually position TweetMeme’s version of the official twitter button directly into your WordPress layout.
To use the “Manual” feature for TweetMeme’s Official Twitter button, do this:
In your dashboard, go to the options page for the official Twitter button, which is located as a sub-menu of the TweetMeme drill-down.
Set your various options. For display, choose “Manual”.
Open your theme file where you would like the button to display (e.g. index.php or single.php) in Notepad or some other text editor.
Wherever you would like your Twitter button to display, copy and paste the following code:
<? php if (function_exists('twitter_generate_button')) echo twitter_generate_button(); ?>
Save and upload your file.
Update: It’s also possible (I found it necessary) to alter the file so that post attributes (e.g. post title) would actually be displayed in the tweet textarea. If there’s interest, I will make my changes to that file available.
Also, I’ve noticed that the Twitter count seems to be reverting to 0 — at least when I tweet. If you notice this is also happening for you, please let me know so I can figure out what’s wrong with the tweet count.
Fong Lee, 19, was brutally shot multiple times -- including 5 times while he lay on the ground -- and killed by Minnesota cops in July 2006. A jury failed to find the officer who killed him guilty of excessive force. Now, his family is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justice system in this country has one simple, straightforward task: to uphold civic order and protect the civil rights of American citizens. We believe in this country’s justice system; we believe that when we are wronged, the courts are set up to determine the truth and convict the guilty.
And then, you come across a story that shakes that belief to its core.
Back in July 2006, Fong Lee, a 19-year-old Hmong-American living in Minnesota, was riding bikes with his friends when he was chased down and brutally shot several times — five of those bullets shot at close range while he was lying bleeding on the ground — by Jason Andersen.
Jason Andersen is not a drug dealer. He is not a gang member. Jason Andersen is a Minneapolis police officer.
Slant Eye for the Round Eye re-posts a press release that details the Lee family’s contention that Lee was murdered by Jason Anderson in an act of cold-blooded police brutality, and than how his murder was covered up.
Andersen stated he was justified in the killing, claiming that Lee pointed a gun at him. He was cleared by the MPD’s internal investigation even though neighborhood eyewitnesses were not interviewed, many of whom contradicted the police officers’ version of events in community press reports.
In 2009 the family of Fong Lee brought a wrongful death lawsuit again the City of Minneapolis and Jason Andersen, citing surveillance cameras that showed Fong Lee did not have a gun and evidence that demonstrated that the gun found at the scene had been in police custody, suggesting that the gun had been planted.
Jason Andersen was first in the media’s eye with his shooting death of Fong Lee but he has remained a contentious member of the Minneapolis police force. In September 2009 Police Chief Tim Dolan fired Andersen for violating the department’s ethics policy because of a dropped domestic assault charge. A state arbitrator returned Andersen to the force after the police union grieved the firing. Andersen is currently being indicted on federal charges for allegedly abusing a black teenager while part of the notorious and now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force. On September 22, 2010 he was fired for a second time for violating the department’s code on “truthfulness” about this incident in which he allegedly kicked the teen in the head.
It wasn’t a jury that had at least some Asian Americans or other POC on it who decided that excessive force wasn’t used. It was an all-white jury.
The police officer in question has a history of abuse on the job.
This week, the Lee family is announcing that they are appealing the court’s decision all the way to the Supreme Court, and they are looking for your help in demanding justice. They are calling for a rally and press conference to take place this Saturday, October 2ndto formally announce their filing for a writ of certiorariwith the Supreme Court of the United States.
Protesters at an earlier rally for Fong Lee
Here’s the skinny, including details on how you can attend:
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA SEPTEMBER 28, 2010
PRESS CONFERENCE AND RALLY: FAMILY OF SLAIN TEEN FONG LEE APPEALING CASE TO SUPREME COURT
WHAT: Press Conference and Rally to announce the Lee family’s decision to appeal their wrongful death suit against Jason Andersen and the Minneapolis Police Department to the Supreme Court. The Lee family has retained the law firm Hilliard, Muñoz, Gonzales (http://hmglawfirm.com/) in the shooting death of their teenage son Fong Lee by Minneapolis police officer Jason Andersen, who was recently fired because of a federal indictment in another brutality charge.
WHEN: Saturday, October 2, 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Cityview Elementary School, where Fong Lee was killed.
3350 North 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55412
WHO: This press conference is being organized by the Justice for Fong Lee Committee and the family of Fong Lee. Family members and Janelle Yang, the legal contact for the family, will be making statements about the appeal. Community organizations and leaders will also be making statements of support.
WHY: The family and community were shocked and angered by the 2009 verdict in their wrongful death suit as well as the district court’s recent denial for an appeal. They view these decisions as part of a growing pattern of police misconduct and lack of accountability in the Twin Cities. Under new representation from the firm Hilliard, Muñoz, Gonzales, the Lee family is appealing their wrongful death suit to the Supreme Court.
Statement from the attorney:
“Amidst the recent news of Minneapolis Police Officer Jason Andersen being fired for the second time in his career for lying about events when he was accused of kicking a teenager in the head while a member of the Gang Strike Force, the family of another of Andersen’s nineteenyear-old victims, Fong Lee, is petitioning for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the Eighth Circuit Court’s recent decision refusing to award Fong Lee’s family damages after he was shot 8 times by the officer. There are a number of issues in the case that warrant Supreme Court review and perhaps we can bring a rogue officer to justice.”
We can’t really know for sure the detailed circumstances surrounding Fong Lee’s death — and that is precisely the miscarriage of justice that has occurred in this case. Witnesses were not appropriately interviewed. Video tape footage of the incident were not adequately considered. Forensic evidence could not be found or presented that otherwise would be expected to tie the gun to Fong Lee — if the gun was his.
I don’t know if anti-Asian racial bias played a role in Andersen’s killing of Fong Lee. What I do know is that a young Asian American boy is dead, and that the cop who killed him has an ongoing history of racialized abuse of his authority. We expect the justice system to sort out the facts of this case and figure out whether or not Lee’s death was wrongful or not — yet, for nearly five years, the justice system in Minnesota has failed to even reasonably consider the facts of the case, let alone bring repercussions against Fong Lee’s killer or quell any uncertainty over the circumstances of his death.
Perhaps the Supreme Court can do better. Justice — even if that just means a fair opportunity to advocate and be heard on behalf of their son — is what Fong Lee’s family deserves.