Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Nifty java game

Very innovative and all about perception:

Coign of Vantage.

It's about rotating 3D pixels until they match an image - much different than a typical spot the difference or any other game. And a good way to while away the winter hours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The atheist's prayer

This is beautiful:

An Atheist’s Thoughts At Christmas

Tue Dec 23, 2008 at 09:02:28 AM PST

Christmas, to me, is still a time of joy, comfort, renewal, and forgiveness. I think of the people who are important to me in my life, I think of the less fortunate, and I think of how I might have been a better person in the last year, and what changes I can make in the new year. I hope that I will actually get off my ass and do something meaningful to make this world a better place in the coming year, instead of just forgetting about that warm Christmas feeling after the holiday has passed.

As your atheist husband/son/friend/uncle (etc...), I promise to help you when you need help, love you when you need love, challenge you when you need to be challenged, forgive you when you ask for it, ask for forgiveness when I need to, and be there for you in any other way I possibly can.

I won’t worry about saving your soul, but will challenge you to be a better person here on earth, as I hope you will do for me. I will ask that you not wait for an after life to celebrate the life you have, but live your life to it’s fullest measure now. I will not assume that if I wrong you, we can meet in heaven and work things out; I will try and work things out now.

I will not mock or devalue your faith, whether I disagree with it or not, but if you subvert your faith because you are in my presence, then I will question how firmly you hold your faith.

I will be offended if you trust me so little that you think I wouldn’t respect your wishes to pray over supper, wear a cross around your neck, go to church or tattoo a picture of Jesus on your back if that’s what you want to do. It is your faith, not mine.

I will ask that you understand that I didn’t come to my belief that there is no god because of some whim. I will hope that you understand that it is my sincerely held belief that I see no good evidence of a benevolent, omnipotent, and all knowing god. Also, I don’t see any evidence of ghosts, angels, spirits or other super natural beings that either support or battle an almighty god or interfere in our lives. If you and I are having issues, it is because of you and I, no one else.

I will hope you understand that the phrase "I don’t believe in god" is different than "I don’t believe there is a god," which is a subtle, but important difference. The second statement is the one I prescribe to.

I hope that you can see one day that I do have faith, but that it is faith in you. You have been there for me; you’ve helped me when I needed a hand; nursed me when I was sick, listened when I needed an ear to bend, comforted me when I was sad or grieving, and celebrated with me when the opportunity presented itself.

I hope that instead of praying for me, that you will call me, come see me, email me, text me, or write me. To me, all those things are better than a prayer I will never hear.

All in all, what I value in you is your humanity. I see no need to prescribe your kindness, loyalty, and strength to a heavenly father, maybe just your earthly mother and father, brothers and sisters, and other friends and family who helped make you the imperfect, but lovable person you (and I) are.

In the end, I hope for you all the all the things I hoped for you when I was a Christian; Joy, health, longevity and most of all, love.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Senator Kennedy, not so fast

Caroline Kennedy, that is. I am sure if she became Senator she would be fine and that one day she might even become the well respected Senate lion that her uncle Teddy is. But really, I think that one of the things that Barack Obama's election has shown is the uselessness of political dynasties. (Although the Salazars and Udalls got their own thing goin' in the West.)

Obama made it because of his hard work and intelligence. And he broke through the Chicago machine to do so. I am sure that there are plenty of people in NYC who would be just as, if not more qualified to be Senator from New York, especially during a financial crisis when we need someone who has lots of experience legislating, who would have a much harder time getting A1 ink. It's nothing personal, just that she would probably have a bunch of staff running the show for the most part.

On another note, Blagojevich?!? Can the media get over Obama's ties or lack thereof to one of the stupidest governors in Illinois' history? The guy is from a state with a political machine second to none (maybe New York's) and what do you expect? Someone I was talking to said, "Shyeeet. This sorta stuff goes on all the time, but did he have to be so friggin' idiotic about it?!?"

And that's the weekly rap.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama picks an Asian American for DoE

Word is Obama is picking Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Chu who runs the Lawrence Livermore labs at UC-Berkeley for Secretary of Energy. This is a huge cabinet level pick and actually fits in really well with Obama's ability to position and frame narratives - first Japanese American general to run the VA (Eric Shinseki) announced on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Also Shinseki had been a critic of the Iraq War strategy and yet stayed mum after the fact.

Now he names Dr. Chu to run Energy. Lest anyone forget, it was the DoE who persecuted Taiwanese American physicist Dr. Wen Ho Lee who used to work at Los Alamos. It was this racist scapegoating that led many Asian American scientists to leave or turn down jobs at national labs, and it was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson who was heavily suspected of being the

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Family roles affect work behavior

Interesting article on how family role and statuses may play a role in workplace relationships. In a bit of Adlerian psychology, they analyze how if you re the first born, it carries over in work behavior as being disinclined to like authority figures; if the middle child you wind up playing the mediator or diplomat role.

“I sometimes have to tell myself, she is not your mother, she’s your partner,” said Amy Frankel, 53, the chief strategy officer, referring to her two co-owners.

Both Ms. Frankel and her partner Terry Rieser, 58, the chief operating officer, are eldest children, and for them, an important motive in starting the company in 2001 was to be their own bosses. Like many other firstborns, they said, they are dominant personalities and have trouble with authority.

The third partner, Gina Delio, 52, the chief creative officer, is the second of five children. Her two partners describe her as the peacemaker of the group, true to middle-child form.

Ms. Rieser, whom her partners described as the most direct of the three, is often asked to handle difficult conversations with clients or employees.

Interesting because I can see behavior like that at my current and previous workplaces. It makes perfect sense that the behavior we exhibited when we were kids and that we grew up acting out would continue over, as natural and as instinctive (though actually learned and taught) as any survival training. Especially in periods of stress, we revert back to our practiced behavior that we displayed as children -- I'd hazard that most workplaces are stress incarnate.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sunny punk rock: the Happy Hollows

I've been rocking out to the sounds of the Happy Hollows recently. They have a free/pay what you want new EP, The Imaginary, and it's like Sonic Youth meets quirk rock. (Yeah I made that one up.) The trippy, hoppy, sunny, happy beats belie lyrics about things like Vietnam. But most importantly they just like to have fun - and on My Wet Tongue, the lead singer sounds like she is a panting meowing kitten cooing and purring her life away.

The band is fronted by an energetic woman who I swear sounds just like Kim Deal growling on this track, plus they have a drummer who looks to be pinoy!

Here's a good review of their newest album, and they have been getting some really great press including Wired and major rags like the Los Angeles Times.

Pimp it, it's good.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Chinese Andy Rooney

Pretty well thought out imitation of Andy Rooney. The curmudgeonliness translatse well.

China�s Andy Rooney Has Some Funny Opinions About How Great The Chinese Government Is


I am thankful for my health. A short but simple tribute, because I have been in much worse shape. Just look back to where I was when I started, and well, now I am mostly holding up decently, if you don't count the gaffer tape.

I'm alive and happy, and that's what matters.

Oh, I am also eternally grateful for Stephen Colbert.

Make happy happy dancing!