Sunday, September 07, 2008

Is a Will or Living Trust Right for you?

Is a Will or Living Trust Right for you?

Choice of a Lifetime
By: Joe Vidueira Source: Segunda Juventud Date Posted: Summer 2008

Who will get your money, your property, or even your favorite pearls or pocket watch when you're gone? That's not something most of us like to dwell on. The evidence? Few Hispanics have the main documents used to distribute property after death: only one in four has a will, and one in five has a living trust.

Yet deciding exactly who gets what could relieve your loved ones of a considerable burden. After all, if you don't decide, the government will. "And that can lead to many headaches," says Luz Herrera, a California-based estate planning attorney.

Most people consider a will the best tool to make their wishes known to relatives and to have those wishes carried out. That may be true in many cases. But sometimes a living trust, alone or in combination with a will, offers a better solution, according to Herrera and other experts.

Wills are usually easier to set up and less expensive to create and change than living trusts. A will also lets you name a guardian to care for minor children after your death—something that's not possible with a living trust (unless a supplemental document is attached).

And if you have debts, a will provides another important benefit: creditors face a cutoff date for bringing claims against your estate. Creditors can't seek assets from beneficiaries once ownership is transferred to them. Should disputes involving beneficiaries and creditors arise, the courts supervise the resolution.

Living Trusts
For smaller estates, the setup and maintenance costs for a living trust may outweigh any after-death savings. But Dennis Sandoval, at the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, explains that a living trust may be the more economical route, especially for people with estates exceeding $2 million for the 2008 tax year.

Also, says Sandoval, "A will speaks for you only after you die. A living trust can help you while you're alive." Like a will, a living trust sets out how your assets will be managed and distributed after you die. But a trust is also created to hold and manage your assets during your lifetime, and you can serve as the trustee and name a successor to take over upon your death. Then if you become disabled, a trusted advisor you've designated can take over—a feature that will save your beneficiaries the hassle and expense of going to court to appoint a guardian or conservator.

In addition, a living trust can sometimes minimize probate at death. Whether your estate would go into probate—the sometimes slow and costly court process that transfers assets after death—varies by state and usually depends on the size of your estate.

Still, there are important caveats regarding living trusts. You'll most likely also need a "pour-over" will, providing for the distribution of any property not included in the trust. You'll also need to transfer ownership of any property you want to include in the trust to the trust. So if you own your home, for example, you'll have to spend the money and time to transfer the title to the trust. And as you acquire new property, you'll need to decide whether to include it in the trust, and then update the trust.

Make It Personal
There are other caveats to keep in mind regarding both wills and living trusts. Neither will change how property you own with another person is distributed at your death. And neither will affect assets with a designated beneficiary, such as individual retirement accounts or life insurance. Also, you may still need other documents, such as those that let you name someone to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated.

All these factors and more need to be considered when plotting your course. That's why experts recommend that you review your situation and available options with your legal and tax advisors. Experts agree that, in all cases, family members bear the highest costs when their loved ones fail to make a plan.

Beware of scams!
Beware of "free lunch" estate-planning seminars and other scams that suggest that AARP endorses living trusts. AARP doesn't sell or endorse any living trust product. And trusts sold through these schemes often are more costly and don't comply with state law.Read an excerpt of AARP's Crash Course on Estate Planning about choosing your executor or trustee, and test your knowledge of estate planning with our quiz.

More on This Story
Be Aware to Whom You Bequeath Your Nest Egg
What Happens to Probate Property if You Die Without a Will?
A House Divided? Some Advice Before Dividing Up Property
Decisions About Trusts Should Be Kept in the Family
Related Articles
What Happens to Probate Property if You Die Without a Will?
Avoid Probate When the Executor Is Far Away
Legalities Are not Enough: Family Dynamics and Estate Planning
Decisions About Trusts Should Be Kept in the Family

Friday, September 05, 2008

Asian Americans Combating the Gambling Addiction

Asian Americans Combating the Gambling Addiction
New America Media
Pacific Citizen, News feature, Todd Kushigemachi, Special to the Pacific Citizen
Posted: Sep 01, 2008

Michael Liao's stepfather is a compulsive gambler, and he almost ruined the family's financial situation when he accumulated $40,000 in debt.
Liao's mother Sandy Lee and stepfather Joseph Chan live in Taiwan where they have a computer business. Lee works as a piano teacher and was hoping to slow down and possibly retire, but that has changed now that the money from the business goes to paying off the gambling debt.
"She's forced to continue to work, and there's a lot of pressure to compete with other piano teachers in the community," Liao said. They even had to remortgage their home to help sustain themselves.
Chan was so ashamed of his debt he left town at one point, explaining in a note that he could not face anyone.
"The debt kept piling up until it was so overwhelming, and he felt so ashamed that he wasn't able to turn his luck around and win everything back like so many problem gamblers fantasize about," said Liao, director of programs at the NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, a group of health and social organizations that serve the Asian Pacific American community.
Although gambling is widely accepted as a social activity among APAs, it can lead to addiction. While the average percentage of problem and pathological gamblers in the United States is less than 5 percent, the average is about 20 percent for APAs, according to Tina Shum, a social worker at San Francisco's Donaldina Cameron House.
Dr. Timothy Fong, co-director of UCLA's Gambling Studies Program, said gambling is a "real hidden addiction," especially among APA communities.
The Pull of Casinos
Eugene Lee, program associate for the National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse, is currently working on a problem gambling prevention project, but a little over a year ago he worked at Commerce Casino, a Southern California card club.
Lee was a dealer who played to make money for Progressive Gaming, a third party proposition company. Estimating that Asians make up 80 to 90 percent of the clientele at Commerce Casino, he said the worst part of working at a card club was watching those who suffered from problem gambling."Some of these guys that come in to play at the card club don't even go home," he said.
Lee worked the swing shift from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. He would sometimes go home after the end of this shift to get his eight hours of sleep, come back the next day and see the same people gambling."They're still there in the same clothes," Lee said. "It's not like they're winning money. They're just trying to get their money back.
"For Asian immigrants, it is often difficult to find a place where they fit in, but casinos and card clubs can provide the sense of community they need, said Liao. Casinos sometimes fill the void left by a lack of community outreach.
"Do they have recreational centers? Community centers? The casino becomes a central focal point for immigrants," Liao said.
Casinos often bring in Asian entertainers and ethnic food to help draw in crucial portions of their clientele. Many try to hire card dealers who speak Asian languages. Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut even has a version of their Web site entirely in Mandarin Chinese.
"With gambling, there's no language barrier," said Chien-Chi Huang, Asian Community Program Specialist for the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling.
Difficult Road To Recovery
What many people do not know about problem gambling, however, is that it is medical rather than habitual, said Huang.
"Most people think it is a moral issue," Huang said. "We're trying to change that perception. We want people to understand this is a health issue.
"Until members of the APA community see gambling as a health issue, however, it is difficult to seek help because of the shame it can bring upon a family, according to Huang. Additionally, the idea of talking to a stranger is not widely accepted."For many Asians, counseling is a foreign idea. You don't tell a stranger about your personal problems," Huang said.
Dr. Fong, who has done research on the impact of gambling on APA communities in Los Angeles, said APAs often go into treatment too late, seeking help from churches and families before looking for professional help. Additionally, therapists are often not sensitive to issues important to the APA community.
"You can't dismiss values such as losing face and not including the family," Fong said. "With the Asian collective thinking, you have to have the family part of recovery.
"Some organizations have taken steps to provide resources for members of the APA community to deal with gambling addiction and its effects.
The Mass. Council recently produced an informational video to be played on a bus to Mohegan Sun, a casino located in Connecticut. The video will be available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Khmer, alerting riders of the signs and symptoms of problem gambling and notifying them of hotlines they can call.In addition to providing counseling services in Chinese at member organizations like Cameron House, the NICOS Chinese Health Coalition has a hotline, which provides assistance to problem gamblers. The phone number for the hotline is 888/968-7888, playing on the fact that "eight" sounds similar to "prosperity" in Mandarin Chinese.
In 2001, the problem gambling program at NICOS used the campaign slogan, "When one person is addicted to gambling, the whole family suffers." Liao said this emphasizes the importance family has in treatment for problem gamblers in the APA community.
"Once family members become engaged, they can become a powerful way to get the gamblers to come in," Liao said.
Liao has done his best to support his own family, sending money to his mother every couple of months in order to help her financially. However, he hopes his stepfather will seek help because it could be an ongoing problem, as it is for many problem gamblers."
He claims that he doesn't gamble now, but if he doesn't address the underlying issues, they'll come out some way or another," Liao said.
Related articles

Stand by your Name

Thursday September 4, 2008
Stand by Your Name
Rihoko Ueno
It all started with my aching feet. Forced into appropriate attire for a job interview, I was limping, unaccustomed to anything more formal than sneakers. Shoes that are comfortable in the store can be anything but, after a few hours of pounding the pavement. The solution? More shoes, of course. I zipped into a store in Times Square, and when I was ready to purchase, the guy at the register looked at my credit card and asked, "Why didn't you change it?" Admonishing my taste in shoes? No, my name. From my unaccented English, he deduced that I grew up in America, so why hadn't I changed my Japanese name to something more suitably Western? The man was a bespectacled Asian, and his name tag claimed one of those American standards, those classic monosyllablics like Joe, Steve or Mike, but his last name showed his heritage – Chinese. I had never been asked this question before so I hemmed, I hawed, then I bought the shoes and left. ....................(more)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GCAA grass roots activists flex political muscle

Dear officers and friends of Asian American communities,
Recently, a racist article about China appeared in the Herald Tribune, a publication of the New York Times Media Group. The Gulfcoast Chinese American Association (GCAA) spearheaded a letter writing campaign to the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the paper and it result in a quick and public retraction and publication of a lengthy rebuttal to the original column (Letters to the Editor is normally limited to 250 words). Please see the attached. It included a letter from Dr. Carolyn Bloomer, who is a board member of GCAA.
This incident highlights the power of collective action and reminds us how important it is for all of us to work together to fight prejudice and ignorance. Some of our best allies are enlightened Euro-Americans who (like the early Euro-American civil rights leaders who founded the Southern Poverty Center and fought alongside the African Americans for their right to vote and public education) are well positioned to provide support to our cause to end racial hatred and bigotry. Let’s reach out to them and, together, work for a better, more equitable America.
At the national level, there is no other organization like 80-20 Initiative, which is making landmark progress in the fight for equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Americans. We have won iron-clad written commitment from Senator Obama to enforce Executive order 11246 to lift the glass ceiling for Asian Americans, to appoint more Asian American Federal judges, and to nominate an Asian American to the supreme court. We continue to try to achieve the same with Senator McCain.
80-20 needs your support as much as we all need 80-20. All 80-20 officers work for no pay and regularly dip into their own pocket for their hundreds of hours of pro bono services. We must feed and take care of our work horse. When you send in a membership check for $50 to 80-20 as Eric Man of Tampa Bay did yesterday, you are saying with conviction that you must do your part to change history for the better, and you are committed to walk the talk. Thank you, Eric, for stepping up to the plate. I hope many more will join you in setting leadership examples for the rest of our communities.
Warm regards to all,
Dr. Edward Lin
80-20 Initiative (
Equal Opportunity and Justice for ALL Asian Americanse-mail:

Columnist does a disservice to Chinese-Americans

Columnist does a disservice to Chinese-Americans

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 7:20 a.m.
Morgan Stinemetz's column of July 14, "Polluted sailing water not the only reason to avoid trip to Olympics," began: "Maybe I'm just too conservative in my old age, but the mere thought of going to the Olympics in China this summer brings up mental images I care not to contemplate."
Related Links:
Note to readers regarding sailing column
Alas, what followed soon revealed Mr. Stinemetz not to be too conservative but rather too ignorant and bigoted to bother with the truth. He urged readers to conjure up images of things in China that he himself admitted he had not seen or even read to be so. Drawing liberally from unidentified Internet sources that he reasonably ought to know are either untrue or only highlight rare extremes, he proceeded to embellish and multiply myths about China in his writing, which not only reflected poorly on Mr. Stinemetz, but also on the newspaper that irresponsibly approved this ill-concocted piece of "journalism."
Is the world to believe that America is a nation of polygamists just because they exist in parts of the country? Or that mountain oysters, squirrel brains and chitterlings reflect mainstream tastes?
If Mr. Stinemetz had limited his criticism to the coastal pollution and sailing conditions, that'd be one thing. However, he ranted about many other issues in a biased and broad-brush approach that merits a rebuttal.
If the United States had the crushing population and the manufacturing and agricultural burdens that China had, it is very doubtful we'd have done as well in terms of environmental pollution and waste reduction. Are we so quick to forget the decimation of fish in the Great Lakes, the burning of the Cuyahoga River from oil slicks, Love Canal and numerous other toxic waste dumps, dead zones in our Gulf waters from fertilizer overuse (one nearing the size of the state of Massachusetts)?
We are the only developed nation that exports its hazardous electronics waste (mostly to China). As a nation comprising 5 percent of the world population but consuming 30 percent of its resources, with a per capita carbon footprint 12 times that of China, perhaps we Americans might indulge in a little introspective humility before pointing a finger at another nation.
According to the Center for American Progress, 37 million Americans live below the poverty line (as of April 2007), an increase of 5 million since 2000. In contrast, the International Monetary Fund in 2006 credited China with pulling 300 million people out of poverty in the past two decades and adding $2 trillion to the global GDP. According to the report: This is "like adding a country the size of Portugal every year to the world economy, creating as many new jobs each year as Australia's total labor force, and eradicating poverty from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia combined."
The inability of our government to do justice to Hurricane Katrina victims three years post-disaster speaks volumes. China is far from perfect or blameless, but for a not-so-wealthy nation that has had to deal with socio-economic and environmental problems of far greater magnitude than those of any other nation in history, it has done remarkably well and deserves fair recognition instead of ignorant, off-base condemnation.
On behalf of the Gulfcoast Chinese-American Association, I express our dismay and profound disappointment that both Mr. Stinemetz and the Herald-Tribune have failed the community in their journalistic responsibility to present balanced and factual information.
Dr. Edward Lin is chairman of the board and past president of the Gulfcoast Chinese-American Association, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide educational, cultural service and charitable support to the community. Web site:
Editor's note: Please see statement in today's sports section.This story appeared in print on page A10_OPED
Note to readers regarding sailing column
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 7:21 a.m.
A column Monday on the front page of the Sports section, "Polluted sailing water not the only reason to avoid trip to Olympics," included comments that had nothing to do with sailing or China's Qingdao Olympic sailing venue. The comments do not reflect the opinion of the Herald-Tribune and should not have been published.
Related Links:
Columnist does a disservice to Chinese-Americans

Sailing column is irresponsible

Sailing column is irresponsible
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 5:50 a.m.
Where was the journalistic responsibility when Morgan Stinemetz's tasteless column of July 14 crossed the sports editor's desk? Stinemetz's gross ignorance of China and his invocation of racist mythologies harking back to 19th century fears of the yellow peril are truly shocking in a 21st-century newspaper.
Intelligent Internet users recognize that numerous sites capitalize on sensationalized, often fabricated representations. Anyone gullible enough to believe them should not be writing newspaper columns.
I am a cultural anthropologist who regularly spends time in China and who speaks and reads Chinese, so I can tell you the Internet pictures of "street food" are, for the most part, cherry-picked and inaccurately identified, and the "Chinglish" examples are purposefully atypical and bizarre. Beijing has embarked on a massive project to standardize menus and signage in preparation for the Olympics.
Consider how Chinese respond to mangled Chinese tattooed on American bodies, the Chinese word for "love" displayed upside down on a car bumper, shirts sporting Chinese writing in mirror-image, video titles printed upside-down, travel companies using Taiwanese fonts advertising trips to mainland China.
While committed to economic development, China has a national policy pushing renewable energy, reforestation and green building design.
Sixty percent of the world's carbon-reduction projects are in China (Foreign Policy magazine, March-April 2008).
Carolyn M. Bloomer The writer is on the liberal arts faculty of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. She resides in Sarasota.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Awakening the New "Sleeping Giant"?

1.Awakening the New “Sleeping Giant”?Asian American Political Engagement
Paul Ong, Melany Dela Cruz-Viesca, and Don Nakanishi
1University of California, Los AngelesJuly 2, 2008Press Contact: Letisia
IntroductionSuper Tuesday of the 2008 Primary (February 5, 2008) was a milestone in the emergenceof Asian Americans as a factor in American politics. The national television newsnetworks openly discussed and analyzed California’s Asian American voters, whocomprised an estimated 12% of the state’s registered voters.
2. A CNN exit poll indicatedthat Asian Americans in California voted for Senator Hillary Clinton by a 3-1 margin (71percent), allowing her to win the popular vote by 8 points through an Asian Americanand Latino voting bloc.
3 To a lesser extent, newscasters took note of the Asian Americansin other primary elections. The focus has been on the Democrat race because more AsianAmericans are registered with that party than any other party. A report by the AsianAmerican Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) on the 2004 PresidentialElections surveyed Asian Americans in 23 cities in 8 states: New York, New Jersey,Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. AALDEFaffirmed that 57% of Asian Americans were registered Democrats, over a quarter werenot enrolled in any political party, and 15% were registered Republicans.
4 Similarly, astudy by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) found 35% of Asian1 The analysis in this analytical brief was partially supported with grants from Russell Sage Foundation andCarnegie Foundation. Additional support was provided by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, theUC AAPI Policy Multi-Campus Research Program, and LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics)..............(More).

Friday, June 20, 2008

CAA Honors Three APA Entities

CAA Honors Three APA
By: Leila Kang, Jun 19, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO — Civil rights group Chinese for Affirmative Action held its annual Celebration of Justice Gala at the Westin St. Francis on June 11.
This year’s honorees were the Asian Pacific American magazine Hyphen, the legal team at the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and historian Him Mark Lai. Honorees were chosen on the basis of how they have advanced, broken ground and created new movements in the Asian community.
Hyphen magazine was honored for its culturally and politically savvy coverage of Asian America. Editor in Chief Harry Mok, who oversees the volunteer staff of approximately 30, spoke of the need for media geared toward the Asian American community and filling a niche that conventional media has left open.
The legal team at Pillsbury was honored for their work on the Asian American amicus brief in support of the California Marriage Cases, which sought to win the freedom to marry for lesbian and gay couples through the California Supreme Court. Kevin M. Fong, a partner at Pillsbury, accepted the award on behalf of his team. Fong spoke about recognizing that the Asian American community needed and wanted to be heard. In turn, Fong said he wanted to show them that they had an ally both in the courts and in the community.
Him Mark Lai, the foremost scholar on Chinese American history, was honored for a lifetime of chronicling the Chinese American experience. Originally trained in mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, he saw that there was no history of Chinese Americans and embarked on creating it. He has taught at both San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley.
Author Frank H. Wu, former dean of Wayne State University Law School and former AsianWeek columnist, was the keynote speaker. His remarks addressed racial discrimination, the pressures to assimilate, and what the Asian American community can do in order to be more politically empowered. “There is tremendous growth in Asia, and it is clear that the future is there.”

Monday, April 28, 2008

Re: Jack Cafferty at CNN and how to be effective politically

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. Edward Lin - E-mail April 26, 2008

Dear friends,
I do not know where you are located, but presume you are from the Tampa Bay area. Please correct me if I am wrong. I have extremely limited ability to read Chinese and therefore rarely save document in Chinese. I regret that I no longer have the article you are interested in.

You asked a very important question that more of us should think about, “What can we do as proud Chinese in this case?”. Assuming that you are interested in an answer that will really work, please read and reflect on my answer below.

First of all, if you are not a US permanent resident or citizen, you are much more limited in what you can do in this case. In other words, the US government and elected representatives (congressmen, senators, etc) will treat your protest as “just a protest from a foreigner.” You are not likely to get much (if any) desired response. Indeed, if it is expedient (convenient) to score political points by slamming down on such protests by Chinese citizens, you can expect many politicians and public figures to seize the chance to do so. After all, the very reason Cafferty said what he did was to boost his own ratings at the expense of China. At a time of depressed US economy, rising unemployment and loss of international standing, public figures/politicians/administration are looking for a scapegoat to blame or our domestic and international problems. That convenient scapegoat is China and I predict there will be even more Cafferty-like incidents.

However, if you are a PR or US citizen, the politicians are more likely to listen to your concerns. Why? Because it is ultimately votes that will get them into office or help them stay in office. As a minority group, we are not expected to have the ability to garner huge numbers of votes (possible only when we vote together as a bloc) so it is much harder to get the politicians’ attention UNLESS we show them that we are united as a political group.

As a clear example, all you have to do is to study AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It is the single most powerful lobby in the US. There is no American politician at the state or national level who can hope to win any election without the consent or blessing of AIPAC. If the politician says or does anything that is not to AIPAC’s liking, AIPAC declares that it will defeat the anti-Semite candidacy of that politicians. And because American Jews are united behind AIPAC not just in words (speeches, demonstrations, lobbying pressure, etc.) but also in action (contributing lots of money), AIPAC delivers! So, with time, no one dares to go against AIPAC and that is why you see our foreign policy shaped the way it is towards Israel. So, even though the American Jews are a minority, because they are united and motivated to participate in the democratic process of government, they are able to make their voice be heard—LOUD AND CLEAR!

In January 2007, Jimmy Carter released his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. " In the book, he criticized the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and blamed Israel, the Palestinians, the United States and others. Kenneth Stein, a Carter Center fellow and a longtime Carter adviser immediately resigned in protest; and this was followed by the en mass resignation of fourteen members of an advisory board to Jimmy Carter's human rights organization. It was a show of political force to embarrass Carter for his criticism of Israel. Even board members who were not American Jews felt they needed to resign in order not to be viewed a being unfriendly towards Israel.

We have much to learn from American Jews and their political effectiveness. If they can do it, so can we; and we have to start now.

Starting with each and every one of us. Yes, that means YOU and ME.

As you probably know, there are fewer Jews in America than there are Chinese, but their political effectiveness compared to ours is like comparing day to night. The “secret “ is their high unity and extremely low apathy. In contrast, the American Chinese are ununited and extremely apathetic. When you look at the impressive number of 700,000 supporters of 80-20, less than 1% (yes, less than one percent!!) pay their membership dues. And if you are not already an 80-20 dues-paying member, you know which group you belong in.

Chinese Americans in the US continue to cling to Chinese political ways which not only don’t work in a democracy but is self-defeating. How often have you heard your well-intentioned family or friends tell you, “Don’t get involved in politics and stay out of trouble!” or “Mind your own business”? Well, it is exactly this kind of mentality and BAD advice that got us into the predicament we face as a group in America: We are viewed as “model citizens” (meaning mostly we will work like mules without complaint) and there need be little concern about abusing us at the work place (Just blame/dump on Chang and Zhang because they’re too timid to complain and lack the political power to fight back anyway).

Is this the future we want for ourselves and our children? Can we feel good that this is the legacy we will leave to the next generation of Chinese Americans?

So, the best way for all of us to be effective is to become empowered and active in the American democratic process. Through unity and bloc voting that is advocated by 80-20, we can tip the election results in the direction we need in order to lift the glass ceiling for Asian Americans, to get more Asian American federal judges and an Asian American supreme court justice so that events such as the internment of Japanese Americans can never happen again.

Which of the following two do you think will more likely lead to constructive positive action?:
1) 300,000 Chinese citizens demonstrating in the US about unfair US policies and press, or
2) 150,000 Chinese Americans demonstrating in the US about unfair US policies and press?

The first one will lead to an examination of visa policies that resulted in “so many of them” in this country and the second will get the politicians to sit up and listen to our concerns. You and I both understand that the future of China and the US are inextricably intertwined. We are so heavily interdependent, the only intelligent thing to do is to engage in policies and practices that are win-win and mutually benefitting. As patriotic Americans, our duty is to help our elected officials and our administration see and understand that it is destructive and counterproductive to engage in name calling and hostile policies towards China or in discrimination and unfair practices towards Chinese in America. Just as American Jews lobby our government to recognize the importance of Israel as an ally, American Chinese should do likewise.

It is important for Chinese citizens to really understand that the best way they can help China in the international arena is to support Chinese Americans in their fight for equal opportunity and justice in America. 80-20 is focused on issues of equality and justice affecting Asian AMERICANS. It cannot and will not take a position on foreign governments but it takes action when issues relating to a foreign government (such as Cafferty on China) have the potential to impact Asian Americans. Only when Chinese Americans become strong in America can China have a powerful friend. Remember AIPAC? It is time to re-think the traditional (failed) strategy of the past and take heed of the wise-saying: “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

It is a lot easier to just mobilize a group to demonstrate and protest. It is a lot more EFFECTIVE to build the infrastructure (political organization) that enables Asian Americans to flex their political muscle through a bloc vote. If you have not already done so, I urge you to visit the 80-20 website below and to study the information there and take note of the landmark and historic progress that has been accomplished to date.

For Asian American who truly understand what is at stake, they do not ponder, ‘Can I afford to join 80-20?”

For Asian Americans who care about their future, the question is, “Can I afford NOT to?”

I hope you will join hands with me in DOING YOUR PART to make a real difference. Join 80-20 today and make a commitment to recruit a friend to join in the next 30 days. Thank you.

Dr. Edward Lin
80-20 Initiative (

Equal Opportunity and Justice for ALL Asian Americans

Encourage Inspire Empower

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Register Now if You are One in a Million

Register Now if You Are One in a Million
Oct 13, 2006

To disprove a revolutionary Chinese maxim, Asian Pacific American political power comes not from a barrel of a gun, but through the ballot box of the democratic process. In this issue, AsianWeek and the Asian Pacific Democratic Club have teamed together to distribute in this issue over 40,000 voter registration cards in San Francisco.
It’s our contribution to registering 1 million additional Asian American Californians. Accomplishing that, we bolster a potential force to over two million Asian American voters. With that type of clout, we can anoint the next president of the United States and give birth to future waves of Asian American elected leaders in California.
This November’s election for Controller and Board of Equalization, for example, represents that new wave, or “GenerASIAN Next.” If elected, candidates John Chiang, Betty Yee, Michelle Park Steel and Judy Chu will have a major voice on the state tax policies affecting billions in funding of education and billions from taxes on consumers and owners of small businesses and homes.
Not only could more Asian Americans be elected, but this powerful force of two million voters will influence the political calculus of major national figures.
The Bay Area is not only the capital of Asian Pacific America, but also a great national hub of political influence where House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman and Democratic National Committee vice chairman Mike Honda, U.S. senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are from.
So, if Asian Americans of the Bay Area register and vote, their potential for greater political influence exceeds that of many American citizens on major issues like the war on terrorism, the economy, immigration and ethics in government.
With this clout, Asian Americans have made strides. Four decades since the passage of the voting rights and immigration reforms, more Asian Americans have become citizens and voters. More APAs are seeking and holding office.
It was only as recently as 1999 that Cabinet Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta was the highest Asian American to be entrusted as eleventh in the line of presidential succession. It’s no longer how far we are, but how close we are to one day occupying the White House when we register and vote before Oct. 23.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

FBI Thinks China is Greatest Threat -

Date: Nov 5, 2007
Sent by: Judy Lai

I am concern about the public's view about the "Chinese" and many of them will not know the difference between the Chinese and the Asian from other region of Asia, such as Vincent Chin's case twenty five years ago.

After 911 we could see how is the Mideast-American been treated. If any thing happen between USA and China in the future, we the Asian American will be at the firing line.
I do believe we have to reach out to the mainstream, to build up the goodwill in the community. Each of us can play a part of this to helping our public image.

We should remember the Generosity of the American for allow us to living in our American dream, it is time to give back. Please keep this in your heart for our Children and the next generation to come.

Judith Lai
John Chang Foundation, Inc

FBI Thinks China Is Greatest Threat

The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that China poses the greatest threat to the U.S. in terms of espionage — and that thousands of “front companies” in America have been set up to aid Chinese spying, according to the Maldon Institute. A new report from the respected think tank, titled “The Chinese Secret Intelligence Service,” warns, “China’s intelligence services today consist of a vast shadowy organization that employs approximately 2 million full- or part-time agents. “Federal officials in the United States, in numerous interviews during the past year, say and have said that there are more foreign spies operating in the United States than during the Cold War . . . “In size and numbers, no country now can equal the numbers of Chinese spies in our country.”
The report quotes David Szady, FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, who said in a recent interview that the Chinese spymasters “figured out that what they want is throughout the United States, not just embassies, not just consulates. It’s a major effort.”
The Maldon Institute report states: “The FBI believes that for the next 10 to 15 years, China is the greatest threat to the United States. “The Bureau believes that today there are more than 3,000 ‘front’ companies in America whose real job is to direct espionage efforts. Then there are thousands of Chinese visitors, students and business people: how many of them have tasks to perform for Beijing’s Ministry of State Security?”
A great deal of the FBI’s information comes from the highest-ranking Chinese defector to arrive in Washington: Xu Junping, director of Strategy in Beijing’s Defense Ministry.
He claims that for five years he oversaw all operations against the U.S. and set up the business plans for the more than 3,000 Chinese companies launched to operate across the United States, according to the report. The report also intimates the success of the Chinese espionage: “An analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency informed a colleague that during the past three years, the Chinese have stolen $24 billion worth of secrets, and that many of these items enabled Beijing to accelerate its space program . . . “The FBI also is following up on a number of investigative leads, such as who is funding individual Chinese students and which students, after graduation with a computer or other science degree, seek employment with a high-tech company.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ABC 20/20 Exclusive: Inside the Bodies Exhibit--Video

Promoter Insists "Bodies Revealed" are Donated
Written for the web by George Warren

ReporterReporter Brian Ross uncovered evidence some of the bodies used by Premier Exhibitions may be those of executed prisonersAn ABC News 20/20 investigation challenges the source of human bodiesprovided to the company behind public displays in Sacramento and other cities.Premier Exhibitions, which brought the "Bodies Revealed" show to Sacramentoin December, claims all the plasticized corpses come from individuals whodonated their bodies to medical science.The company says, however, bodies used in its other exhibits were unclaimedor unidentified bodies provided by a medical university in the Chinese cityof Dalian.
ABC News 20/20 reporter Brian Ross travelled to China to speak to the president of the medical school, who denied a relationship with PremierExhibitions."They don't give any bodies, they say, to anybody connected with puttingthem on display in the United States. They don't know about PremierExhibitions," Ross said in a satellite interview with News10.Ross said he found evidence that at least some of the bodies are those ofexecuted prisoners bought in a thriving Chinese black market.
Assem. Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, has authored legislation that wouldrequire exhibitors of human bodies to prove the corpses were donated."We need to better regulate these shows to make sure that these bodies are,indeed, donated," she said. Ma's 7_amended_asm_v96.html> Assembly Bill 1519 has been approved by the stateAssembly and awaits action in the state Senate.
In an e-mail, a spokesperson for Premier Exhibitions insisted, "All of thebodies and organ specimens in 'Bodies Revealed' came from individuals whochose to donate their bodies to accredited medical universities... for thepurpose of study and education. All individuals died from natural causes."The spokesperson goes on to say that 20/20's report only pertained to"Bodies...The Exhibition" which is also run by Premier Exhibitions.
Created: 2/15/2008 4:15:13 PMUpdated: 2/16/2008 11:57:24 AM

"If the Chinese does not care why should you?"

-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Lai []
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:12 PM
Subject: "If the Chinese does not care why should you?"

When I read the "Bodies of art - or artless insult?" article in the Miami Herald, it was shocking and it made me very sad. How could anyone be so cruel? Displaying human beings without their consent. Letting the world gawk at their bodies with their muscles peeled back, their organs exposed, their skin peeled off and their bodies positioned in ridiculous poses.

The State of Florida 's Anatomical Board considers that the MOSI exhibit highlights the need for the public and lawmakers alike to carefully consider the tolerable ranges within our society of the use of human bodies for science, study, and exhibition. The ethical standards for human body exhibits, the impact of exhibits on the donations for medical education and research, and issues of human dignity and respect, have been the subject of discussion at many venues where such exhibits are proposed.

On August 16, 2005, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance in a vote of 10-1 to ban such exhibits. There appears to be national concern by many that such exhibits need to be better regulated. If we allow this to continue, I believe non Asian-Americans will think we do not care. A non Asian-American, when he tried to protest, was told by his friend, if the Chinese does not care why should you?

Our culture respects the dead! How could this happen to these people from China? As China is emerging from behind the Iron Curtain to become a global leader, one of the consequence is greedy individuals dishonoring our heritage and not respecting the dignity of Humanity.If we Asian-American do not standup and demand respect for these twenty nameless human beings, how could we complain if we are mistreat by others when we do not respect ourselves. Can you see the impact this can have on our communities, our childrenand our children's children?

Please send an e-mail to Governor Jeb Bush ( and sign the Petition at to requesting the Congress to "considering laws to govern the use of human bodies for public display and profit." You are able to write an e-mail to Mayor Pam Iorio, and Council members of the City of Tampa, Florida and Hillsborough County's Commissioners to voice your opinion.
Please forward this e-mail to your colleagues, friends, and family members to request for their support. If you want to read the related articles please visit

Following is the link to Miami Herald ' s article " Bodies of Art - or artless insult?" Bodies of art¡Xor artless insult? The corpses are bent into jaunty poses, their flesh peeled away to reveal perfectly preserved muscles, bones and organs. The anonymous bodies of 20 Chinese men and women are the stars of a blockbuster exhibit that has drawn more than 80,000 visitors since opening here in August over the objections of the state anatomical board, which regulates the use of cadavers. The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time: © 2005 and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

Judith Lai
John Chang Foundation, Inc

AsianWeek Offers The Most Complete Lunar New Year Coverage

Rat Recipes, Why Eat Tangerines, and How Much to Put in A Red Pack:

AsianWeek Offers The Most Complete Lunar New Year Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO--(U.S. ASIAN WIRE)-- February 19, 2008-- AsianWeek and are publishing the most complete and most entertaining news coverage available regarding the Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, and Year of the Rat.Articles include tips on how to throw a Lunar New Year party in style; what to eat to celebrate the New Year and why; who the famous Asian American rats are; and much more. Fun features include eyebrow-raising recipes featuring rat meat as the main ingredient; how much money should people put in a red envelope without being considered cheap; and predictions for the year ahead by I-ching Master Y.C. Sun.
Stories will be unveiled in the print edition on Friday Feb. 22 and are already up online at: new-year-souvenir-supplement-year-of-the- rat/.AsianWeek's Top Lunar New Year Stories:Rat Recipes Link: carte/Phil Chung's Look at Rats on FilmLink: tails-rats-on-film/How Much Should You Put in a Red Envelope?Link: w-much-should-you-put-in-a-red- envelope/How to Throw a Lunar New Year PartyLink: lunar-new-year-fete-in-style/About AsianWeek and
AsianWeek and are based in San Francisco, CA. AsianWeek is the and largest and most established English language news outlet serving the Asian/Pacific Islander American community. It is the only print media using audited circulation and U.S. Census tract demographics to target this affluent multicultural market. is the Number One Asian American website with the most viewership and content. includes daily news updates, daily blogs and the most interactive technical capabilities of any APA news site.
Angela PangAsianWeekCommunity Editor