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March 18th, 2014
thesmithian

"As the first South Asian to serve on the federal bench in California, he has also made California’s Indian-American and South Asian community proud."

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February 26th, 2014
thesmithian

…Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—are experimenting with secular governments and free markets. Their efforts have had many fits and starts…

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February 8th, 2014
thesmithian

…if you visit South Korea’s jimjilbangs and epic lip gloss emporiums, you will see the country far more deeply: its culture of ceaseless self-improvement and corresponding quest for relaxation; its ingenuity and love of the new, twinned with stubborn conformity and oppressively narrow standards; the commercial instincts that have made Seoul the center of Asian pop culture and propelled brands like Samsung and LG around the world; and gender and family dynamics that can seem traditional except when they’re not…

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…if you visit South Korea’s jimjilbangs and epic lip gloss emporiums, you will see the country far more deeply: its culture of ceaseless self-improvement and corresponding quest for relaxation; its ingenuity and love of the new, twinned with stubborn conformity and oppressively narrow standards; the commercial instincts that have made Seoul the center of Asian pop culture and propelled brands like Samsung and LG around the world; and gender and family dynamics that can seem traditional except when they’re not…

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January 5th, 2014
thesmithian
America tries constantly to ignore the weak and break the strong. Korea has no love for itself or for the others. We worship, consume, and imitate forms of whiteness, forms of blackness, and forms of Asianness, but we still label them Yankees, niggers, chinks, and Japs. And America and Korea both don’t love their beautiful or the ugly. We define and limit beauty. Korea decided that double eyelids are beautiful, so we put them artificially on those who don’t have them. America can’t love a crooked smile, so our kids live with metal in their mouth for three years. We’re bad lovers, so we continue the cycle of hate and self-hate. We let the producers of 21 whitewash Asian characters. We let Spike Lee remake Oldboy and cast Josh Brolin as its lead. We let shows like Friends and Girls show only white relationships and use Asian and black actors and actresses to play interim lovers. We let SNL go thirty-nine years without casting a single Asian comedian. We make talented Asian actors come to America and play ninjas and yakuzas. We cast Asian actors and models with stereotypical Asian faces and un-stereotypical Asian bodies. We fetishize them by giving “sexiest man of the year” or “sexiest woman of the year.” And we ignore Baldwin’s warning that we could “lose our faith—and become possessed.” We lose our faith in ourselves and lose our faith in our ability to love. And instead, we partake in phony performances and dialogues of love. Drake singing “Shout out to Asian girls, let their lights dim-sum” is not love. A commercial saying “White, black, brown, yellow, purple, green, we’re all the same” is not love. I want to hear our pop culture honestly try to articulate love. I want to stop reading buzzwords like “safe space” that generate the false illusion of safety and the false sense of invasion. I want to see us love and fight for each other when no one is watching.
August 3rd, 2013
thesmithian

MSNBC doesn’t opt for the “sprinkling” of diversity. On any given day, viewers are exposed to journalists, business experts, political analysts, scholars, academics and authors who are…also a diverse group based on race, gender, lifestyle and religion. Diversity-hungry black viewers are no doubt drawn to the network when they see the African-American anchor and host of her own show, Melissa Harris-Perry with her signature braids, moderating a roundtable of people of different hues and expertise — a black Ivy professor wearing an unstructured “natural do,” a gay woman from Pakistan who heads a large non-for-profit agency and an Asian journalist—who are chatting up politics, social-justice topics and issues that speak to a broad audience, but are particularly relevant to the black community. Props go to the direction that comes from the top.

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July 11th, 2013
thesmithian

In May 2010, the temperature in Pakistan soared to more than 128 degrees—the hottest…ever recorded in Asia. Just a few months later, extreme monsoons left more than a fifth of the country underwater. Around the same time, Russian authorities declared the worst heat wave in 1,000 years…Floods, droughts and heat records grab headlines, but…how do we know when extreme weather is the result of natural variations and when it’s a sign of something more? A new report from the World Meteorological Organization tries to contextualize the headlines of recent years by…considering all those heat waves, droughts and storms not as single events, but across decades.

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July 6th, 2013
thesmithian

'…Russia and China appear to have decided that…they need to knock Washington down a peg or two…As this sense of common interests becomes entrenched, increasing Russian-Chinese cooperation could pose grave risks…'

…they see American decline and decadence. In their view, the United States is on the wrong side of history, holding on to ties with Europe and parts of Asia, while losing economic leverage and moral authority in the rest of the world…many Russian and Chinese elites consider American foreign policy objectives fundamentally hostile to their vital interests. Neither group views American democracy promotion as reflecting any genuine commitment to freedom…

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June 20th, 2013
thesmithian

…devotes chapters to the historical background of Asians immigrating to the United States, the two-edged sword of racism and sexism experienced by Asian American women, the use of compartmentalization and assimilation to navigate these waters, and the work of other theologians, especially other Asian American women and liberation theologians. 

more. and an interview with the author, here.

…devotes chapters to the historical background of Asians immigrating to the United States, the two-edged sword of racism and sexism experienced by Asian American women, the use of compartmentalization and assimilation to navigate these waters, and the work of other theologians, especially other Asian American women and liberation theologians.

more. and an interview with the author, here.

June 14th, 2013
thesmithian
India and Japan have a shared vision of a rising Asia…Our relations draw their strength from our spiritual, cultural and civilizational affinities and a shared commitment to the ideals of democracy, peace and freedom…[Japanese] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and I will work together to strengthen our strategic partnership.
Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh
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