Last days of James Foley

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Photo credit: Nicole Tung

There’s a really beautiful New York Times article on the last days of James Foley. Read it here. It’s really amazing how he was able to summon such strength under the torture, starvation, and abuse he suffered at the hands of ISIS.

After the first proof-of-life questions, Mr. Foley was hopeful that he would be home soon. As his second Christmas away from home approached, he threw himself into organizing a jailhouse version of Secret Santa, a tradition in the Foley household.

Zuck speaks Chinese

Tsinghua University, via Associated Press

Tsinghua University, via Associated Press

Mark Zuckerberg recently gave a 30-minute talk in Chinese at Tsinghua University. You can watch/hear it here (on Facebook, of course, and you don’t need an account to see/hear it). While I don’t feel bad over deactivating Facebook, and while I feel bad for the Chinese who may someday fall victim to the Facebook time-suck, I must say that Zuck’s efforts and relative proficiency in Chinese are pretty impressive.

The Flash on the CW

Photo credit: Jack Rowand / CW

Photo credit: Jack Rowand / CW

The Mrs. and I felt like veging out in front of the computer (we still don’t own a TV that gets any outside reception), so I did a quick look through the Redbox and Hulu websites. I was surprised to see that the K-pop star BoA finally made an American movie, but I was sad to see that it’s about her playing a Japanese national and swapping saliva while dancing erotically with some supposedly oppressed White dude. Will Yun Lee is in it too, but his role is that of the Asian brother who tries to cock-block the White dude. Will went from being a bad guy on Hawaii Five-O to playing the bad guy Asian cock-blocker in an AF/WM movie. I obviously ended up skipping this nonsense. Per the requests, I won’t link up BoA’s crappy movie–I don’t want to support Robin-Hood-in-Reverse.

Nina Pham, nurse who caught Ebola

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Photo credit: Jennifer Joseph

It looks like the nurse who contracted Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan is Vietnamese American Nina Pham. The Times has an interesting short bio of her here.

I’m a bit surprised by how this is all turning out. Just a day or two ago, Dr. Frieden of the CDC said that Pham breached protocol, but now it turns out that he’s apologizing for that comment and that it looks like they don’t know how she got it. Hopefully everyone else who cared for Duncan remains healthy.

“Liberals must stand up for liberal principles”

Check the video above for an interesting discussion about Islam by Bill Maher, Sam Harris, Ben Affleck, Michael Steele, and Nicholas Kristof. This video has gone viral. In the video, Maher criticizes Islam, saying that it is a religion that largely condones violence and terrible beliefs. Ben Affleck takes offense and says that Maher’s views are racist. Harris says that liberals will freely criticize Christianity which is “white theocracy,” but liberals will never criticize a non-white religion. He’s totally right. It’s much the same problem in affirmative action–too many liberals are racially selective when it comes to speaking out on their issues. Liberals will get all worked up against racism against black people, but affirmative action? “Let’s take away those hard-earned seats from those privileged Asian hordes!” This double standard ends up hurting both parties–both those whom they condemn and those to whom they give a free pass.

Hong Kong protests

Check out the videos/footage of the Hong Kong protests from the NY Times. They’re quite stunning. The protests came about because of China’s plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong elections.

Karthick Ramakrishnan survey gets slammed in the LA Times

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It looks like the walls are a’ coming crashing down. In yesterday’s LA Times, Yunlei Yang, a committee member of the Silicon Valley Chinese Association, called out Karthick Ramakrishan’s biased and misleading Affirmative Action survey. Of course this is bigWOWO where we’re at the forefront of knowledge, and we did the same thing recently. But this is also a small blog. It’s AWESOME that Mr. Yang was able to voice his opinion in the LA Times where hundreds of thousands of people can see it, where hundreds of thousands of Asian Americans will read it and identify with the anger at being mischaracterized by a biased, misleading, and deceptive survey.