That's right, it's the Philippines' first ever yoga competition. "Yoga competition?" you say, "How do they do that?" So glad you asked! They each have to do five specific poses and two poses of their choice. Because that's what yoga's about! Competition! And, of course, a Fil-Am man won the men's division, even though only three men competed, so all the men's division participants placed. But that's not even the best part. The best part is that the Obama of Filipino yoga's name is Aljarreau Galang! I guess we're in this love together.
A retired South Dakota National Guard Colonel is suing two of her former commanders for race and gender discrimination. Col. Nancy Wetherill, who is of Japanese American ancestry (the first woman and JA to reach her position, so she's the Obama of the South Dakota National Guard), was given permission to remain in her position until 2010, when she would be eligible for full retirement. However, when her longtime commander himself retired, his successor moved up her forced retirement. When she protested the action on the grounds that it was discriminatory, she was both denied, and given duties far below her ability or rank as punishment (she alleges.) She's now suing in a civilian court. This week the defendants requested that the case be dismissed on the grounds of the 11th Amendment, which prohibits an individual from suing a state government in federal court.
This AP story about Anna He broke my heart. She's the baby whose Chinese immigrant parents -- due to a string of bad luck incidents -- were unable to keep her shortly after her birth in the US. They put her into foster care and later, due to a series of misunderstandings in which their poor English skills may have been taken advantage of, signed away their rights to Anna when her white American foster parents wanted to adopt her. The lawsuit dragged on for years but the Hes finally won back custody and returned to China with Anna and her two younger siblings. Anna, whose Chinese is still bad and is adjusting poorly to China, is now 8 and her parents have split up. Her mother, unable to care for three children on her own, has put them into boarding school. From four parents, Anna now has none. She's not even the Obama of anything.
Last week's cover story for Time Magazine was about Michelle Rhee, the controversial new Washington DC school superintendent who is the Obama of the DC school system. She's an outsider who comes to education via nonprofit advocacy, and not by climbing up from the schoolroom through the administration. She's also a Midwestern Korean American in a 90 percent African American town. But she's connecting with students, parents, and educators on a one-to-one basis, and raising a lot of hopes and expectations. And she's on the cover of Time. But no pressure.
And, because it hasn't been said enough, here's another WaPo blog post on how Bobby Jindal is the Obama of the Republican party. That's all very well and good, but Jindal doesn't actually share anything with Obama except hue (and cry) and relative youth. Jindal, if he runs in 2012, will be coming to the election both younger, and with 100 percent more executive experience than Obama. He will also be running against an enormously popular incumbent, as opposed to Obama's situation of running against another newbie associated with an enormously unpopular lame duck. He is the monoracial child of an Asian immigrant couple, not the biracial child of a white American and African transnational couple. And he's hella conservative and from the South, not center progressive and from the North. No, Jindal is actually the Jindal of the Republican party. Let him be his own model.