Archive for category politics

New #SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action passes the buck and says let voters decide

The best possible spin on the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in Michigan is that it doesn’t end affirmative action.

The decision did not say affirmative action was unconstitutional.

It merely narrowly decided that Prop.2, the Michigan initiative that voters passed to end race-based affirmative action in that state could be applied and that the equal protection clause was not violated.

It even sounds good. Let the voters decide, right?

OK, but why do we leave it to the voters to decide on that issue and that issue alone, and not on every single item that the University officials oversee?

Why take that power away from the professional educators?

As I went through the 6-2 opinion, I wasn’t that surprised that someone liberal like Breyer would vote with Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas.

Breyer stated he was for some forms of affirmative action, but didn’t see why the voters shouldn’t be allowed to weigh in.

But then there was Sotomayor’s lengthy dissent, which took the hardline, that this ruling indeed was setting up the situation where down the line we might  see the tyranny of the majority, and see the violation of minority rights under the equal protection clause.

That’s what was at stake here.

The majority of justices seemed happy enough to see the voters figure out where they stand on affirmative action.

After reading Sotomayor’s minority dissent, I’m not sure if that’s such a great thing.

We know how fair elections are now, with money driving everything.

That means we’ll probably see  a lot more SCA-5 style battles–until the court makes yet another ruling on the constitutionality of race based methods in university admissions.

 

 

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“Asian American Hustle”? With California State Senator Leland Yee’s arrest, Asian American political empowerment in the Bay Area takes a huge hit

Here’s when I last saw Sen. Leland Yee. He’s not a particularly warm guy. But maybe I should have sensed, he was just going through the motions, and that at age 65, he was looking for an exit plan.

I was the emcee of a community event in the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco last October, and he was the featured speaker. The event honored the day the  U.S. landed on Leyte during WWII,  whereby General Douglas MacArthur and Filipinos retook the Philippines and changed the course of the war. Yee was there to present a Senate  resolution honoring the day.

I remember Yee to be all business that day, and not any different from normal. He was there for the community, as always.

And yet, after losing the SF’s mayoral race and gaining a new $70,000 debt, and with the pressure of being term limited and being forced to seek a new job (was Secretary of State, the overseer of elections, really all that appealing?), I should have sensed the musical chairs game of politics was beginning to get old.

If I had, then maybe Wednesday’s sordid tale of a bizarre and surreal FBI sting that includes drugs, convicted gang members nicknamed “Shrimp Boy,” and talk of illegal firearms from Muslim groups in the Philippines would not have been such big a surprise.

But with the key figure in all of that being Yee, I have to admit to being flabbergasted.

This is a case that rocks the Bay Area’s Asian American political scene hard…

Continue reading this piece at  http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

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“Delano Manongs” gets CAAMFest 2014 screening in SF; Tells true story of Filipino American role as the original instigators in the UFW labor struggle unlike typical stories that delete the Filipino and glorify Cesar Chavez

Marissa Arroy’s “Delano Manongs” gets a sold-out screening at CAAMFest2014 in San Francsico Sunday night. Just saw a preview of the documentary and it fills in the blanks in the Filipino-less, UFW/Cesar Chavez story.

It clearly shows how the Filipinos and the Mexican workers forged a union to fight for fairness.

Arroy’s documentary (which will be making the festival circuit and shown on PBS station KVIE-Sacramento) is  in stark contrast to the new narrative feature film on Cesar Chavez opening up in your nearest 12-plex. But the multi-million dollar feature film very conveniently streamlines the UFW saga to make it seem like Chavez did it all.

Oh, a Filipino actor is seen, but it’s almost like an extra.

Accuracy is not a strong point.

In one historical scene, the feature film leaves out Filipino labor leader Larry Itliong entirely.

I asked Arroy if the filmmakers should have made Larry a more prominent part in the new commercial picture opening next week.

“It was a conscious omission,” said Arroy in a phone interview just. “And I……(long pause) ….I think it’s unfortunate not to have Larry there at the table.”

See my post on Itliong:

http://www.aaldef.org/blog/restoring-larry-itliong-to-his-rightful-place-during-filipino-american-history-month.html

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What the New York Times left out: More on the PETA investigation on the abuse of drugs in horse racing

All the news that’s fit to print? Or that fits? And then what about video?

This PETA-produced video fills in all the gaps left by the New York York Times story (3/20/14)  on horse racing and drugs.

Specifically, there are two main points–the use of thyroxine , and the use of a buzzing device that shocks horses into running faster–that were left out by the Times.

I did the voice-over for this video.

As previously disclosed, my wife is with PETA.

 

New York Times covered the investigation with this story on 3/20/14:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/sports/peta-accuses-two-trainers-of-cruelty-to-horses.html?ref=sports&target=comments#commentsContainer

 

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