Showing posts from 2008

Predictions for The Year of the Ox

LSI will rely on the ancient art of "Fortune Telling" to predict the upcoming Year of the Ox. Here are the "Top 10 Stories":

10. Microsoft, after the departure of Yang, will make an offer for Yahoo! at a discount price in the low 20s.

9. Silicon Valley unemployment rate will hit an all time high.

8. Median house price in San Jose will drop another 10% before bottoming out.

7. Unless her health fails her, Diane Feinstein will run for governor. And if she does, there will be no serious challengers from the Democratic Party.

6. Van Tran will gear up to run against Lou Correa. However, his effort will fall flat and he will end up in a political no man's land as he is termed out in 2010.

5. Nora Campos will run to replace Joe Coto unless Cindy Chavez decides to run. But chances are Cindy will not run. She has doubts about her own political ambitions.

4. If Madison Nguyen lost, a heavy weight candidate will run against Chuck Reed, literally.

3. In a city where there is only …

A Christmas Spirit

Otto Lee, former mayor and current city councilmember of Sunnyvale, is being deployed in Iraq for a year long. Lee is naval reservist with a rank of commander. He has spent 19 years as part of the Naval Reserve service. He is an intellectual lawyer by training and has two young daughters.

What made the story more special is because of his special link to the Vietnamese-American community who had supported him in the race for supervisor. It was a race that both candidates, Otto Lee and Dave Cortese, actively courted the community. Cortese won because of his deeper root in the community but Lee won their heart. To show apprecation for Lee, the same people from the Vietnamese-American community who supported Cortese will have nice going away party/fund raising for him and his family.

Cortese is invited to the party.

Otto’s Going-Away fundraising Party on:

December 27, 2008, Saturday (5:30pm – 8:00pm)Fu Lam Mum restaurant - 650-967-1688153 Castro StreetMountain View, CA 94041

December 28, 2008…

The Unaccountability of Madison Nguyen

What do Kathy Coles, Doris Allen and Madison Nguyen share in common? Well, they are some of the few women legislatures in California history being recalled by their own constituents. Both Coles and Allen were successfully recalled while Nguyen is on the verge. In 1995, Kathy Coles, San Jose District 8 councilwoman, was recalled for making insensitive remarks toward Asian Americans, specifically Indo-Americans and Chinese-Americans. In the same year, the first woman Speaker in California State Assembly history, Doris Allen, was recalled by her own Republican Party for voting along with the powerful Democratic AssemblymanWillie Brown.

But what makes Nguyen recall different is the fact that she is unaccountable for her actions in secret dealings with wealthy developers and special interest groups in a culture of behind the scene deal cutting and coverup. So far, Nguyen has refused to answers many questions raised by the community despite the fact that emails from her and her staff clearly…

Trinh, Nguyen and Their Pop Culture

Raymon Trinh or otherwise known as Bobby Trendy is made famous by the larger than life Ana Nicole Smith on her realilty show (2000- 2004). He was hired as her personal interior designer and soon everybody knew his name. Specializing in custom furniture and interior design, his business became part of the Hollywood circle and gained famous clients including Catherine Zeta Jones, Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill and Snoop Doggy Dog.

A Valencia native, he claimed the name "Bobby Trendy" was his nick name in high school when people noted the trendy clothing he always wore. He is now starring in Fox Reality's Gimme My Reality Show!

Tila Nguyen, aka Tila Tequila, is the face of Vietnamese by heritage and blond by choice, she is the most popular person on with over 2.5 million friends and counting. She has her own MTV's reality show and of course since the debut on Dec.2, her self-help book is ranked number 5,418 on This made her the most succe…

The Sentiment Against Madison Nguyen

To really understand Madison Nguyen and the sentiment of the people in District 7, one must go back to late 2006 where there was a huge banner in front of the American GI Forum headquarters on Story Road declaring " Recall Madison Nguyen. She does not represent the Mexican-American Community".

The American GI Forum has been an important instution of the Mexican-Americans in San jose for the last 45 years advocating for Mexican-American war veterans and their families. In voting against AGI's request for rezoning to allow for entertainment use their assembly hall to generate more revenue, Nguyen forced AGI almost into bankruptcy. They were forced to sell their facility in order to pay off debts. Abel Cota, the former executive diretor of AGI Forum said:"I don't know if this is a pay- back for me supporting her opponent, Linda Nguyen, or not but it was bad governance for somebody who just got elected and really did not understand the issue and basically bankrupted …

In Support of Madison Nguyen

LSI just received this invitation over email to attend an All-Star Event at a one-star night club (According to Yelp). The owner is a Vietnamese-American friend of Madison Nguyen.


Dear Friends,

Please join me, Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilmembers Pete Constant, Forrest Williams, Sam Liccardo, Pierluigi Oliverio, Judy Chirco, Nancy Pyle and Councilmembers-elect Rose Herrera and Ash Kalra for a reception to raise fund for the No Recall campaign.

Below are the details for the event:
Wednesday, December 17, 20085:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Motif Restaurant
389 South First Street
Downtown San José

Checks will be accepted at the door or you can mail them to:No Recall of Madison Nguyen CommitteePO Box 18494San Jose, CA 95158

Make check payable to: No Recall of Madison Nguyen Committeeor you can donate online at

RSVP to Melanie Jimenez (408) 674-8662 or

Please feel free to forw…

A Guide To Love, Fame, Hapiness, Success.....

It seems like everyone has a book deal nowadays!
And just in time for the holidays, Tila Tequila recently released her new self-help book : "Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party." Here she is at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Manhattan promoting her book.

How is she is doing with her first ever book? Well, it is number 9,801 on the Amazon Sales Rank. Compare to other known Vietnamese-American authors, she is considered to be quite a success on

A Sense of Duty - My Father, My American Journey - Quang X. Pham - Rank # 281,739

Stealing Buddha's Dinner - Bich Minh Nguyen - #138,311

The Book of Salt - Monique Truong - #65,216

The Gangster We Are All Looking For - Thuy Diem Thuy Le - #25,539

The Tapestries - Kien Nguyen - # 232,522 (But this number is misleading because his promotional outlet was Costco discount chain)

Anh "Joseph" Cao Becomes The First Vietnamese-American US Congressman

In a stunning upset, a relatively unknown Vietnamese-American lawyer, a conservative Republican, won a special election for Louisianna US Congressional 2nd District. He will represent a district that was specifically drawn to give African-Americans an electoral advantage and one in which two of every three voters are registered Democrats.

US Representative William Jefferson has represented the district since 1991 but is now facing corruption charge when investigators found $90,000 cash in his freezer and linked him and several relatives to a wide-ranging bribery scheme. He was the first black Democrat elected to Congress from Louisiana since Reconstruction. The Lousianna 2nd Congressional District has 65% Blacks to 30% Whites voters.

Anh "Joseph" Cao came to the US when he was 8 years old and typical of all Vietnamese-Americans in New Orleans, a devout conservative Catholic. New Orleans and vicinities have about 18,000 Vietnamese-Americans. This rerepsents less than 2% of the …

Spiral Foundation

Why Harrison Ford, Salma Hayek, Linda Hamilton, George Clooney, Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck, Kristin Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anjelica Huston, John Travolta, Sofia Milos, Kim Cattrall, Tim Robbins and Steven Spielberg find crafts from Vietnam and Nepal appealing? Well partly because of Marichia Simcik Arese, an art historian from Pacific Palisades who spent 15 years as a curator at the Getty Museum.

In 1997, Marichia went to Vietnam as tourist and was captivated by a group of young people working in a restaurant in Hanoi but using their spare time to make picture frames out of recycling soda cans. They would sell them to tourists to pay for their college education. She told the young students if they would send her the frames she would sell them in the states. Any money she made would be sent back to VN.

Four months later she received 300 hundreds picture frames. Marichia was stunned and did not know what to do with the frames. However, true to her word, she managed to sell them all to h…

Madiosn Nguyen's Fund Raising Ability?

Last Saturday, at her new campaign headquarters in a building leased by Huong Le, the younger brother of Chieu Le (Lee's Sanwiches owner) who embarassed himself with false claims against the community in front of the city council, Madison Nguyen put forth an event to release her DVD.

The DVD is about her great accomplishment for the community in the last three years in office. There were about 57 people attending the event including the press and Nguyen's staff. At one point, it was emotional as her dad made an appeal to the community asking the community to help "correct Madison" if she made any mistakes.

The community is still not forgeting how Madison referring the Little Saigon supporters as "do nothing unemployed people" and calling the many rallies for Little Saigon as "nothing but a circus act".

Back in the crowd, her paid supporters like Viet Weekly (which pulled it newspaper presence in San Jose after getting downsize by the community in it…

Human Trafficking

An Open Discussion on Human Trafficking - Dec 2008
When: Sunday, December 7th, 2008, 11am- 1 pm
Where: 2501 Richland Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125

On Sunday, December 7th, 2008, from 11am - 1pm, VA-NGO Network (Vietnamese-American Non-Govermental Organization Network) will be holding a forum on the topic of trafficking of human beings (THB) in Vietnam.

It will be an open discussion to achieve the following goals, but not limited to:

Building a shared understanding of which NGOs are operating anti-THB related projects or have intentions to start new anti-THB related projects and their operational objectives for 2009.

Encouraging NGOs to explore opportunities to collaborate with each other and with the VA-NGO network on anti-THB projects or a component of the project when possible.
Assisting VA-NGO Network to explore and define its roles in working on anti-THB and assisting different NGOs to further their anti-THB project objectives.

Forming an anti-THB working group to further define objectives a…

Joseph Cao

Received in LSI mailbox today is an article written by Richard Fausset of LA Times - "In New Orleans, Beyond Black and White Politics" - on a US congressional race this December 6 (A Saturday for that matter) where there is a Vietnamese-American running against a black incumbent.

This is the Lousiana's 2nd Congressional District where the majority is black voters (65% to 30% Whites). Representative William Jefferson has represented the district since 1991 but is now facing corruption charge when investigators found $90,000 cash in his freezer. He is the first black Democrat elected to Congress from Louisiana since Reconstruction. His challenger is Joseph Cao, 41, an immigrant lawyer and a former Jesuit seminarian. Cao is a Republican with limited political experience but with a high hope of transcending race between ethnic voters.

Joseph Cao came to the US when he was 8 years old and typical of all Vietnamese-Americans in New Orleans, a devout conservative Catholic. New …

Free DVD

LSI received an email in Vietnamese from Madison Nguyen's campaign reminding everybody to attend a special event on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at their new campaign headquarters - 1654 Burdette St, San Jose

The special occasion as emphasized in the email - "Giving Out Of A Speical DVD"

The "Free DVD" as stated in the email is all about Madison Nguyen's ahievement in the last three years in office including how she has generated thousands of job for her district, reduced crimes and built thousands of new homes for the low-income families.

For those who could not attend - The number to call to get a free DVD is 408-460-0488. The contact person is Phuoc Nguyen.

As a bonus, the email also mentioned that there will be light snack served.

One Year Anniversary and Not Even a Fair Fight

To commenmorate 1 year anniversary of Councilmember Nguyen's controversial decision to go against the wish of the majority, somebody sent LSI this posting on the Mercury News:


To avoid spend and save money, Madison Nguyen should be resigned and re-run, please read a letter of SUE HUBBARD of Cupertino :


Thank you,

Jim Romero,
Zip code 95122 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It is important to note that the recall team actually collected much much more signatures than they submitted. They just did not have the resources to verify them all. And also 50% of the signatures given ar…

"Madam Secretary" - A Tale of Two Cities (Part II)

In Orange County, a strong bastion of Republican politics, the overwhelming majority of Vietnamese-Americans are Republicans. This reflects in the success of County Supervisor Janet Nguyen, 32, and State Assemblyman Van Tran, 44, as the two top Republican elected officials in the Vietnamese-American community across the US.

However, up north in the Bay Area, the politics is purely Democrat. Even though the majority of the Vietnamese-Americans registered as Republican just like down south, they mostly voted for Democratic candidates and not surprisingly most Vietnamese-American candidates registered as Democrats. All 3 local school board members and one city council member are Democrats.

One well liked Democrat supporter in San Jose (the 10th largest city in the nation) is the lawyer Michael Luu. He once raised over $300,000 for Hillary Clinton's campaign. And he arranged so that Clinton could use part of his building as the calling headquarters for her Northern California campaign a…

A Tale of Two Cities

Steve Ngo, a civil rights lawyer, 32, , finally won his hard earned victory for a seat on the Community College Board in the San Francisco county. The graduate from Hasting School of Law raised $75,000 and had a 50 people volunteer staff. He came in 4th place with over 87,000 votes. He reached out to every ethnic enclave in San Francisco and even had a fund raising event hosted by the Santa Clara county prosecutor Ash Kalra, the newly elected city councilmember of San Jose City. His website is quite impressive with an endorsement list of who's who in the Bay Area. From the website, one can find out that his fiancee, Tina Lee, is also a school board member of Bay Mills Community College and they will soon be married. Honeymoon destination - Hawaii....

Meanwhile, on the south side of the Northern California, a young financial analyst working for Cisco, Khoa Nguyen, 24, decided to put his name in a local school board race in San Jose. The graduate from San Jose State University did n…

The Obama's Astrology

A post election survey, conducted by the Asian-Pacific American Legal Center and OCAPICA, in cooperation with National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, showed that in Orange County, about 52% Vietnamese-American voters voted for McCain while 46% for Obama. This is a surprisingly small discrepancy considering that 2 out of 3 Vietnamese-American voters in OC registered as Republican.

Now that people has obtained Obama's birth record, there are a number of astrology websites about his destiny. In the Vietnamese-American community as well as Vietnamese community in VN, the story is more compelling. There are email floating around with the Obama's astrology that foretells an unfinished presidency.

Since the birth record of Obama cannot be confirmed so the prediction of an unfinished presidency might be questionable. However, based on the empirical science of fortune telling of facial characters, many people have predicted the same consequences.

The prominent mole on h…

Down to The Wire

With about 800 ballots left (mostly provisional), Diep Truong is 23 votes from winning the Westminster city council seat.

Is this a must win for Diep Truong? Not really, he is in his mid 20s and will have a long political career in front of him. Little Saigon Inside is picking him to win the election anyway.

Is this a must win for State Assemblyman Van Tran? Well, it would have bolstered his existing political image as a "Godfather" who is in control of the Vietnamese-American voters and politics in OC and beyond. So far none of the "Trannies" won in this election. Matter of fact, if Diep lost, the "Trannies" would have lost all of their election campaigns in 2008, a 0-8 record.

Van Tran is looking into his political crystal ball and right now it is cloudy but full of opportunities

His term ends in 2010 and he is looking at different options :

- Hang up his political career temporarily and get a judgeship appointment
- Run against Lou Correa for the state senat…

Shorenstein APARC Events


12:00 to 1:30 pmMonday, 17 November 2008

Philippines Conference
RoomEncina Hall, 616 Serra St.S
Stanford University

A buffet lunch will be provided.

TALK DESCRIPTION: What does variable capital mean in and for Vietnam? Who are the different investors? How do they respond to state efforts to attract investments from overseas Vietnamese? How do global supply chains (corporate buyers, contract factories, and subcontractors) shape the changing nature and impacts of capital in Vietnam? How does a self-described socialist state use policies on investment, labor, and the privatization of state-owned factories to control the relations between workers and owners? What roles in this mix are played by journalists who can ignore neither the party line nor the workers who protest in spite of it? In addition to addressing these questions, Prof. Tran will argue that workers in Vietnam are not resigned to being sque…

And 389 ballots later

Diep Truong, the young assistant to State Assemblyman Van Tran, is 59 votes short of winning a seat in Westminster City. He garnered 9,875 votes and is currently in third place behind a relatively unknown candidate. Next step is the provisional ballots and of course recount. If he is still behind by 58 votes, his chance of overturning the result in the recount is quite slim.

He was the only Vietnamese-American in the race and was well funded by Van Tran and his groups. Westminster is a city where 1/3 of the population is Vietnamese descendants. Diep Truong is currently a member of the Westminster Ciy Traffic Commission.

According to the Red County Blog as written by Jubal:

Westminster Watch: Truong Diep Running Strong Campaign

.........He's hired a talented campaign consultant in Joe Giardiello of TCB Consulting, who ran unknown Trung Nguyen's near-victorious supervisor campaign in 2007. He has racked up an impressive list of endorsements: Republican Party of Orange County, the

Eight Days and Nights

Eight days past the election, it is finally safe to predict the outcome of these three races:

1. Andrew Do, chief of staff of County Supervisor Janet Nguyen, will win his Garden Grove city council seat. It was a tough race with three Vietnamese-American candidates in the mix. But he is pulling ahead with over 1,000 votes to spare.

2. Steve Ngo, a first time candidate in San Francisco, will win his seat in the Community College Board. At a young age of 32, he is clearly an up and coming Vietnamese-American politician. He ran a masterfully executed campaign to win over 85,000 votes.

3. Diep Truong, an assistant to State Assemblyman Van Tran, is in a tight contest. With only a few hundred ballots left, he is behind by 180 votes. The conventional wisdom is he would win by a few hundred votes. If he loses, it would be no more than a handful and there would be a recount.

Congrats to all three candidates for an exciting campaign full of drama.


(This piece is written by a San Jose litigator - Dan Do)

You all know the story. When asked to describe an elephant, the blind man who feels the animal’s leg says the elephant is like a pillar. For the one who feels the ear, it is a fan. And so on. What these blind men describe is not totally untrue. They base their descriptions on partial truths.

The blind men have a good excuse for not discerning the truth: they are blind and cannot see the true picture. In our society, however, persons with perfect vision often choose not to say the truth. Instead, they only say half-truths when asked to describe a thing or an event. Because what they say is based on the truth, their statements become highly convincing. These half-truths thus are much more dangerous than outright lies. They expose their recipients to real danger.

During the months leading to the recent presidential election, supporters of the McCain/Palin ticket actively engaged in the dissemination of half-truths. Because he grew up …

It Is Rumor As Usual

Little Saigon Inside is not saying anything but the rumor mill on the 18th floor of San Jose City Hall is shouting out to whoever wants to hear -

1. The council will opt for appointment instead of a general election if the recall is successful in March. Buu Thai is being considered the person to replace Madison Nguyen. Buu Thai, originally an appointed school board member in District 7 in a deal cut by Nguyen and Labor during her run for office in 2005. Of course, Buu Thai is a supporter of Madison Nguyen and did not support calling the area Little Saigon.

2. Madison Nguyen is very upset at the way most councilmembers are turning their back on her. The relationship between her and Reed is cool off substantially with Vic Aljouny doing more damage to her campaign than helping her.

3. And guess who is planning to run in 2010, win or lose the recall? Madison Nguyen, according to her handlers, is determined to run for the same office if she loses the recall election.

4. The vice mayor to be J…

The Report of My Demise May Be Premature

On the aftermath of the 2008 Election, the OC press and the many OC blogs reported the demise of the so called " Vietnamese-American voting power in Orange County". They pointed to how all non-incumbent candidates running for office lost their election.

Little Saigon Inside begged the differ since not all the votes had been counted and also, many candidates were running for the same seats - for example, three Vietnamese-American candidates ran for Garden Grove city council seat.

True enough, 7 days after the election, with still thousands of ballots uncounted, the well respected lawyer Andrew Do now has pulled ahead and will win the GG city council seat.
Diep Truong with only 400 votes behind will have a very good chance to squeak by with 100 votes to spare.

Good for the community! Now if only we can all be a big happy family.....

A Political Statement in Orange County

For the last two years, the on-going battle between Republican State Assemblyman Van Tran and Republican Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen has been viscious. With Van Tran throwing everything but the kitchen sink to derail Janet Nguyen's election bid for county supervisor not once but twice in 1 year, the Vietnamese-American community begins to realize that not every Vietnamese-American can be qualified for office.

With Van Tran building his political influence by throwing financial as well as his office supports for unqualified candidates to every imaginable seats and hoping that one of them would win, the 2008 election shows that the community at large in general is taking notice. The OC Register calls Van Tran's underlings as "The Trannie" and Van Tran as the "Godfather"
For those who are not familiar with Orange County, this is the home of the largest Vietnamese-American community in the US. With about 450,000 Vietnamese-Americans, OC has the highest …

An Acknowledgement

The day started out with the Little Saigon community gathered in City Hall to ensure that the council hear their argument for having one single election for both recall and replacement ballots. Under the guidance of the city attorney, all councilmembers voted to set March 3 as a recall election date and if Nguyen is recalled, the council will reserve the option of appointing or calling for a general election.

The crowd filed out disappointed and totally missed the political acknowledgement to the community by Reed as well as councilmembers who have supported Nguyen. It was one of the hardest votes for him as his senior staff would later shared.

Later in the evening, the community gathered to celebrate Dave Cortese's victory. Over at Pete Mchugh's victory party, it was a sweet confirmation that unqualified Vietnamese-American candidates would never get the votes of the community.

The community is burned badly over Madison Nguyen and they have vowed to only support qualified and pr…

Heart of Saigon

While the Recall Team was having their coming out party and celebration on 10th Street with over 1,500 people in attendance, about 700 people showed up for a fund raising event for Miss Tim on Story Road.

While 7 elected officials and candidates took the podium and spoke defending the recall process as well as why Madison Nguyen should be recalled, at the other end of District 7, Miss Tim spoke in her soft and no-accent Vietnamese about her hopes and dreams.

Miss Tim (or Miss Heart) is a Vietnamese given name for a beautiful Swiss lady, Aline Rebeaud. In 1992, as a young art major backpacking in Vietnam, she heard a whimpering cry of a 10 years old orphan lying in hunger on an empty street of Saigon. The child was too weak to walk so she carried him to a safehouse and helped fed him. It was that moment that made her decided to further investigate the poor and homeless kids in VN and ultimately made the decision to stay to make a difference. For the last 17 years, she took in homeless k…

Little Saigon Insider's Pick

According to the popular sentiment of the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose, these are the candidates of their choice. And with some of the voting districts where they are 20% of the total registered voters, the Vietnamese-Americans are the crucial swing votes all candidates are vying for.

1. Supervisor Race District 3 (Replacing the popular Pete "Co Vang" McHugh)

Dave Cortese over Otto Lee. This is a tough choice with the Little Saigon community leaders supporting Otto behind the scene. However, Cortese has been a part of the community for so long that the name recognition and goodwill will give him the edge.

2. Supervisor Race District 2

The community picks Richard Hobbs over George Shirakawa. The choice is easy for the community when Shirakawa decided to side with Madison Nguyen over the Little Saigon issue. This is a toss-up and it will be decided by voter turnout. The Vietnamese-American voters make up about 12% of the total registered voters.

3. District 8 City Coun…

A Defacto Influence

At the unfurling of Little Saigon banners last week, political pundits could see the who's who running for the election on November 4 and beyond.

There was the usual presence of Sunnyvale Councilmember Otto Lee and San Jose City Vice Mayor Dave Cortese. Of course they both are vying votes for the county supervisor race in District 3. Supervisor Pete McHugh was there with the announcement he is running for Milpitas city council. District 8 city council candidate Pat Waite was given a commendation by the Little Saigon Foundation for his monetary contribution and support of the Little Saigon cause. His opponent, Rose Herrera, wearing her Vietnamese traditional dress " Ao dai", was also given center stage. District 2 supervisor candidate Richard Hobbs was on hand to make sure that the people know his strong support of the Vietnamese-American community. His opponent George Shirakawa decided to take the stand against the community with Madison Nguyen. Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteve…

Politics as Usual In San Jose

First it was the assistant city clerk, Dennis Hawkins, who made the comment while he was being interviewed by the press. The video tape appeared on the Internet video of Vietnam Daily newspaper. Hawkins declared as matter of fact: ".... the city is considering an all mail-in ballot for the Madison Nguyen recall initiative to save money..."

Then the city clerk, Lee Price herself, appeared onVietnam Liberty TV and reinterated the same position.

The community of course was very anxious and up in arm ready to protest against such voting limitation. The term disfranchisement was throwing around in the media and a civil rights lawyer was consulted. After all, more than 7,200 recall signatures were collected even thoug the community only submitted 5,181 signatures. They surely wanted to protect their civil rights granted by the constitution.

Madison Nguyen and Mayor Chuck Reed are well known for having political tin ear but not this time. Immediately they both appeared on Que Huong Ra…

Flag Raising on Vietnam's National Day

For the first time in the history of San Francisco City Hall, the official Vietnamese flag of a yellow star on a red background was hoisted in celebration of Vietnam's National Day of September 2.

The Consulate General Le quoc Hung and representatives of SF city government was on hand for the flag raising ceremony. There were about 3 dozen people present at the ceremony. At 9:30 AM, the flag was rasied from the second floor balcony looking down the main plaza. At the ceremony, Consulate General Hung was given a certificate of recognition from Mayor Newsom declaring September 2 is " Vietnamese National Heritage Day" in San Francisco.

On Thursday 9/28/2008, the general consulate had a reception at city hall to celebrate the National Day with Vietnamese-Americans in the Bay Area.

Now on the same day the flag was raised, a group of anti-communist Vietnamese-Americans found out about it and they formally demanded the removal of the flag with a protest letter. The meeting was h…

"Punch Them in the Face"

Little Saigon Inside received this in an email chain. It is a press release by South Bay Labor Council:

On Saturday, over 250 labor and community activists gathered at the South Bay Labor Council to hit the streets, letting residents of San Jose City Council District 7 know why the recall of Madison Nguyen should be rejected.

The volunteers knocked on thousands of doors, and discovered a simple fact: overwhelmingly, local residents think recalling Madison Nguyen is a bad idea. Emphasizing Nguyen's accomplishments in office, the volunteers covered every precinct in the Council District, talking to voters in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

At the end of the day, well over 80% of respondents indicated they opposed a recall.

Labor Council Executive Officer Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins said: "To get so many volunteers out on a beautiful summer weekend demonstrates Madison's support in San Jose. And such a high percentage of opposition to the recall shows how deep her support is in th…

A Rendezvous with History

It was quite a week for politcs nationally and locally. Through their determinations, Obama and McCain have made remarkable history. Come February 2009, the country will have either a first African American president or a first woman vice president. Locally, in the same month, Madison Nguyen will either be the first elected Asian American in San Jose (if not California) to be recalled or to survive the recall.

Whatever the case may be, it is safe to say that democracy is healthy and well in the land of free and the home of the brave.

For Nguyen, it would be a bitter sweet ordeal. She is elected to serve the people and now the people have spoken demanding their lawful rights within the democratic process to ask her to step down. She has an army of high power consultants, the powerful Democratic Party, the ever vocal Labor, the mayor, city councilmembers and all the political machinery and lobbyist money to buy her case that she deserves to stay in office.

The people on the other hand are…

A Political Stunner

The Madison Nguyen Recall Team surprised everyone with their submission of 5181 signatures to the city clerk office this afternoon, two weeks before the deadline. This is 60% more than the required signatures to force a recall ballot iniative. City Clerk Lee Price officially accepted the signature packages on Friday 8/28/2008 at 1:52 PM.

The Recall Team said they actually gathered closer to 7,000 signatures. However, some of them could not be verified properly. With the team running on empty after a very long exhausting 10 weeks, they decided to have the cut off at 5181 signatures.

From her office looking down to the recall team as they were talking to the media, Madison Nguyen commented: "I don't believe these are real signatures. It is impossible for them to gather these many signatures. Many of them I bet are fake."

The County of Registrar Office will have 4 weeks to verify the signatures and if verified, city council will have to decide on when and what format to hold t…

Maggie Q

Number 17 on the list of the Top 99 Women of 2008 in the popular site, she is a Vietnamese-American actress that has garnered a bit of attention in Hollywood. Born and raised in Hawaii, Maggie Q's unique look of being half Vietnamese and half European propels her modeling career that graces the covers of major publications like Cosmopolitan, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, FHM, Maxxim and Marie Claire.

She started her acting career in Hong Kong action movies. Among her first appearances in film was the lead roles in action thrillers Gen-Y-Cops and Naked Weapon in which she played the sexy but vulnerable martial artist assassin Charlene Ching.

She also appeared in well known movies such as Rush Hour 2, Around the World in 80 Days, Mission Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard. She is rumored to have landed a role in the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

In a soon to be released epic movie, "Three Kingdoms: The Resurection of the Dragon", Maggie is starring as fictional…

The Vietnamese Women

With a long list of heroic women throughout Vietnamese history, it is not surprising to see some of the most successful people in the Vietnamese diaspora are women. The lastest heroines adding their names to history are diverse in their background and profession.

Wrestler Carol Huynh, 27, a Vietnamese refugee from tiny Hazelton, British Columbia, won Canada's first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, beating two-time reigning world champion Chibaru Icho of Japan in the final of the women's 48 kg class.

Marine pilot Captain Liz Pham, 28, an F/A -18 Hornet "Top Hook" and a member of the Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242. She is a daughter of a family doctor in Seattle and came to the US when she was 2 years old. Liz Pham is one of a very few women
F/A -18 pilots in the Marine. She is married to Captain Alexander Roloss, also a marine pilot in the same squadron.

Vic Aljouny’s Strategy and The Silent Majority

During the heated Little Saigon debate that lasted for 8 months, one of the main arguments that put forth by council members and Mayor Reed was the majority of the people in District 7 really did not want the name Little Saigon. From their “private conversations”, there is a silent large majority who opposes the name Little Saigon while supports Madison Nguyen.

With the mayor himself personally involved in the fund raising efforts along with his senior budget advisor, Nguyen raised over $103,000 with most of the money came from wealthy real estate developers like $2,500 from Mark Faulkner of Fairfield Residential in San Diego, $2,500 from Core Homes in San Jose, $1,000 from ROEM Development in Santa Clara. She also received money from business owners of far flung places like Concord (Dana Foods – $3,500) and mysterious entity like China Town LLC ($2,500). She also received over $25,000 from well known political players and lobbyists like Dustin DeRollo, Tom Saggau and Chris Neale.

This …