My Brother Nikhil is on TV! – World Aids Day


It was World Aids Day yesterday, I almost forgot had Sony not played My Brother Nikhil. I made sure to record it for my mother and MADE her sit through it. I should own the movie, but haven’t had time to get it.

Sanjay Suri (my favorite) plays a champion athlete swimmer who just happens to be gay and very “normal” and contracts HIV. The movie shows the sheer ignorance of people around him, including family, to deal with his identity and “disease.” He is even put in solitary confinement for a while! It has that beautiful song “Le Chale” … Anyway, to date, it is the best Indian movie that deals with homosexuality, in addition to AIDS. The most beautiful thing about My Brother Nikhil is that they make clear that IT DOES NOT matter how someone contracts HIV, the point is to discuss WHAT HAPPENS with that person after he/she contracts HIV.

Former Fiji Nationals Invited to Apply for Gates Millennium Scholars Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

The Fiji Embassy in US should ideally be looking for educated and overeducated Fiji Nationals and recruit them. We have a severe problem of brain drain in the country with ethnic coups and the more educated and privileged Indians settling abroad. And yet, the country does not seem to care!

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program has launched the 2008 scholarship and nomination process and the Fiji Embassy in DC has been asked to assist in identifying outstanding students who are former Fiji nationals but now US citizen or permanent residents with demonstrated leadership abilities and significant financial need to apply for the GMS scholarship.

The Gates Millennium Scholars program, established in 1999, was initially funded by a 1 billion dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential by:
• Reducing financial barriers for African-American, Hispanic American, American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian Pacific Islander American students with high academic and leadership promise who have a significant financial need
• Increasing the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented
• Developing a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees
• Providing seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs, for students selected as Gates Scholars entering target disciplines.

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the administrator of the GMS program. To reach, coordinate, and support Asian Pacific Islander Americans, UNCF has partnered with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund to assist in implementing the program.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the primary national effort to provide scholarships for deserving Asian & Pacific Islander American students. APIASF currently offers two scholarships for students that will be enrolled for the first-time at colleges or universities. APIASF mission is to forge partnerships building a national Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship organization that supports and encourages all Asian and Pacific Islander American students to pursue higher education, thereby developing future leaders who will contribute back to their communities, and ultimately, strengthening.

Writing recently to the Fiji Embassy in Washington Mr Ryan Edgar Outreach Coordinator, Gates Millennium Scholars Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund – APIASF wrote, “We welcome your help in identifying outstanding students with demonstrated leadership abilities and significant financial need to apply for the GMS scholarship.”

Students are eligible to be considered for a GMS scholarship if they:
• Are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American
• Are a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States
• Have attained a cumulative high school GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED
• Will be enrolling for the first time at a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student in fall 2008
• Have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities
• Meet the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
• Have completed and submitted all three required forms (Nominee Personal Information Form, Nominator Form, and Recommender Form) by the deadline

Former Fiji nationals who are now US citizens or permanent residents and who meet the above criteria may apply for the scholarships. The deadline for online submissions is January 11, 2008 at 11:59 pm EST; Paper submissions must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2007.   You can visit and select the “Apply Online” tab to start the online nomination process. Further information on the Scholarships may be obtained from the following:

Gates Millennium Scholars
P.O. Box 10500
Fairfax, VA 22031-8044
Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-690-4677

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
1900 L Street, NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036-5002
Phone. (202) 986-6892
Fax. (202) 530-0643

PL gives $50000 to establish scholarship fund for undocumented

Wealthy entrepeneur has given $50000 to support the Dream of students who are victims of circumstances beyond their control.


DREAM Act should become a reality for kids

Our view: Illegal-immigrant students should not pay for parents’ transgressions

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.21.2007

Congress may soon have the opportunity to stop the systematic punishment of illegal-immigrant children for the sins of their parents.

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is planning to reintroduce the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act as an amendment to a Pentagon spending bill that is being debated in Congress this week.

The DREAM Act, which was part of the comprehensive immigration-reform bill that failed this summer, would give the children of illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship if they attend college for at least two years or serve honorably in the military for at least two years.

The measure would be good for the United States, as it would boost student ranks in states like Arizona, where young illegal immigrants who want to attend college often cannot afford to because of state laws. The act would also encourage young illegal immigrants to pursue higher education or careers in the military.

The measure would be especially significant in Arizona because state voters last year approved Proposition 300, which requires illegal-immigrant students to pay out-of-state tuition rather than the more affordable in-state rate.

University tuition for students classified as in-state residents costs roughly $5,000 a year, while out-of-state tuition is more than three times higher at about $16,000 per year.

As we have stated on these pages previously, Proposition 300 created a mean-spirited law that unfairly punishes young adults who entered the country illegally but involuntarily.

The United States is a nation of laws, but children should not be punished for the actions of their parents.

Many illegal-immigrant students who are of college age came to this country as toddlers or grade-schoolers. The United States is the only country they know. For them, Mexico, to give one example, would be the foreign country, even though they might be Mexican citizens.

Proposition 300 viciously makes it harder for these students to become well-educated, taxpaying adults.

Some individuals and groups have stepped up to help illegal-immigrant students pursue college degrees.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow, for one, has earmarked funds from private donors to help about 200 illegal-immigrant students meet the higher tuition costs, the Arizona Republic reported.

However, state Treasurer Dean Martin, who as a legislator was the main proponent of Proposition 300, is asking for the Board of Regents to investigate whether Crow is following state law in assisting the students.

University of Arizona spokesman Johnny Cruz said six students affected by Proposition 300 are receiving more aid so that they can remain in school. UA President Robert Shelton said the money is coming from private donations.

Meanwhile, Tucson businessman Paul Lindsey has donated $50,000 to establish a scholarship fund that will help illegal-immigrant students attend Pima Community College.

A full, 15-credit-hour course load at Pima College costs about $700 for in-state students and about $3,500 for out-of-state students.

We applaud the efforts to help illegal-immigrant students who might otherwise not be able to earn college degrees and we are hopeful those private efforts expand.

However, Proposition 300 could be effectively negated if the DREAM Act is approved by Congress. We encourage Arizona’s senators and representatives to support Sen. Durbin’s amendment.

The United Negro College Fund has a slogan, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” That slogan should apply to young people of all races.

And so, national security is diametrically opposed to human security

Lets see. Critical Security Studies has been a prime interest since I was 16 years old and running the Terror Talk/Threat Construction Kritik at policy debate tournaments. I won rounds solely on the basis of this — I remember my debate coach once remarked that I never ever used “the threat of Islamic terrorists” or any such discourse to win any rounds no matter what. It may have cost me on several occasions but that is all in the past. I graduated and let the Threat Con file sit and gather dust for 3 years until I finally used it as a final paper for my Undergrad. This is possible Doctorate level work that I am not keen on pursuing at this point for obvious reasons. It reminds me that I am too smart and intellectual for law school. I also tend to think it is a DUH. Can you believe someone won the Nobel prize for writing that poverty and terrorism were related? Goodness, that’s just common sense and I have been writing that since I was 15! Where is my Nobel prize yo?! Actually you keep the Nobel Prize, just hand me a Green card, will you?! 🙂

Anyway, excerpts are in order. Whole paper is here

The discursive speech acts embodied in various National Security Strategy documents establish that the act of securing the American people has given way to the politicization of national security. Politicization refers to the employment of national security discourse for political ends and not specifically for meeting the actual security needs of civil society. Starting with President Truman’s NSC-68 document in 1950 and continuing up to Bush II in the present day, the discourse of national security strategy has been systematically cemented on the national policy agenda, employed for purposes other than the security of the American people. Upon a thorough examination of these documents, a central theme that emerges and dictates United States foreign policy is the pervasive construction of an enemy, an external “Other” as a threat to national security. I argue that this security discourse functions as a tool for identity construction and reification of the American state apparatus with far-reaching consequences: an increasing politicization of security, legitimization of a permanent war economy, the oppression and marginalization of minority groups, omission of key security issues from the security agenda, and paradoxically, a more insecure, unstable America and global order. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to deconstruct the totalizing and unitary narrative of the National Security Strategy documents under Truman, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, and unearth counter-narratives that challenge dominant security discourses based on ideological threat construction. I conclude that the main objectives set out in NSC-68 continue to govern US foreign policy even in the post-Cold War era, that American foreign policy today mirrors American foreign policy post-World War II: a search for identity and power, which ironically leads to more insecurity for Americans and for the entire world.”