Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 11 April 2017

FAHAM induction commemorates landing of first Filipinos in US

By Zen S. Laluna, Las Vegas Correspondent

Las Vegas, NV ─ The Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum (FAHAM), the first ever to be established in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosts a Fundraising Gala-cum-Induction of Officers on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Dallas Ballroom, Texas Station Hotel & Casino at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner-and-dance, art exhibit, cultural and fashion show, brief Philippine History presentation and vendor booths.
The event also commemorates the ”historic landing of the first Filipinos (then known as Indios Luzones or Luzon Indians) on October 18, 1587 aboard the Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza which dropped anchor in what is now known as Morro Bay in the Central Coast of California.”*
Keynote speaker and Installation officer Congresswoman Jackie Rosen (D/NV-Dist. 3 ) will address the significant economic, political, and social contributions of Filipino-Americans in the development of Nevada.
Among the inductees include Ditta Camomot, FAHAM founder-and- Publisher/Filipino American Heritage™Magazine; Salve Vargas- Edelman, National President/Board Chairperson; Dr. Thomas Stone, Ruel Rodriguez, Estelita Paulin, Motusi Alston, Gina Bea-Tritley and Lenida Balce- Sutton, National vice-presidents; Marilyn Ante, secretary; Ed Leano, treasurer; Rosemary Stone, chief Internet officer; and Chris Genobaga, chair/Advisory Committee.
Other festivities include a cocktail reception, Meet & Greet with recently elected government officials, and a Silent Auction. Proceeds from the Silent Auction and Gala Fundraiser will all go to the FAHAM.
Entertainment features the FAHAM Cultural Dance Group, Heart of Polynesia, Gina Kim Korean Dance Group, Filipiniana Dance Company of Las Vegas, Viktoria Vysoke, and Sharon Tanyag. A Philippine Tango Dance exhibition will be performed by Ed and Cora Leano, while Sean Argham and Estelita Paulin will showcase a Latin Dance exhibition.
The FAHAM (originally known as Filipino Heritage and Arts Museum, Inc. (FHAM, Inc. and a.k.a. Institution of Filipino-American Heritage (IFAH), was founded by Manuelita “Ditta” Camomot, M.Ed., M.A., in Newark, Delaware on January 8, 1995. It was incorporated on November 20, 1995. Following the induction, FAHAM founder Camomot will present Recognition Awards to several deserving recipients.
A 501(c3) non-profit organization, the FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is dedicated to educate the next generation of Filipino Americans about their heritage by preserving Filipino American history, legacy, arts and culture through a vast collection of artworks, books, articles from writers, poets and artists; relics, artifacts and other expressions of fine arts produced over the centuries, and continued production of artworks, murals, pictures, hand-made products and dioramas, etc., that depict the different periods of Philippine history.
The FAHAM houses memoirs, narratives, biographical sketches and documentations of historic values and anthropology of living and deceased Americans of Filipino descent, clippings of Filipino Americans who made outstanding contributions in the fields of medicine, science and technology, communication, entrepreneurship, public affairs, community service, entertainment, literary, arts and culture, among others; and artifacts and objects of historical importance.
Salve Vargas Edelman, founder-president and executive director of Rising Asian Pacific Americans Coalition for Diversity (RAPACD), was appointed National President and Chairman of the Board for FAHAM. Her task? To establish the first ever Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum in Las Vegas.
“It is a monumental task but our Philippine legacy matters. So, I am up to the challenge as always,“ says Edelman. In April 2016, the first FAHAM Arts Exhibit was held at the RAPACD Cultural Center for three weeks.
The FAHAM, according to her, is an extension of what she had previously conceptualized as SoVegas Pilipinas or the Philippine Village.
FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is a staunch supporter of the RAPACD Cultural Center and the Twin Lakes Community Clinic located inside the historic Las Vegas Lorenzi Park.


I, Quantum Romantic

In 1935, Albert Einstein wrote a paper with two collegues, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, called “Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?” The spirit of the paper was to uncover the defects of quantum mechanics in the form of the wave function. I suppose Einstein had a bone to pick with quantum mechanics, a bone about probability replacing God’s will, more simply. But what the paper brought up has captivated me for the better part of two decades—the phenomenon now known as quantum entanglement.

Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen did not refer to entanglement as such. Quantum entanglement, as it is now known, postulated the existence of particle pairs (an electron and a positron, for example) that act like a system no matter how far they are apart, even if they are separated by the entirety of the universe. If the pair acts as a system with a unity of spin, then if one particle spins one way, the other particle will always be found to spin the other way. The relationship exists no matter the distance between them, even if it is light years or the width of the galaxy or the entire breadth of spacetime.

This was the subject of my first date with my husband. And the second date. People used to ask me about how our relationship began and I used to answer that it was over the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen thought experiment until I realized how pretentious that sounded. Then I came up with the story of how I met him the week after my rabbit died, which is true. I replaced the EPR paradox with a story about my late rabbit because I was worried about being pretentious. But it is not as pretentious as it seems. In fact, quantum entanglement has to be one of the most romantic ideas I’ve ever heard in science: two particles so attached that the laws of quantum mechanics don’t apply and the speed of light does not limit the strength of their unity. If ever the idea that “love is love is love is love is love” should apply outside living consciousness, this is it.

The EPR paradox paper refers to “physical reality” and “physical theory” but was in fact really three guys in Princeton just thinking. It was a thought experiment. The instruments didn’t exist to verify these ideas in a lab in 1935. Quantum entanglement was not observed until 1972 in an experiment performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Stuart Freedman and John Clauser. Today, quantum entanglement has crossed over to the pedestrian world of applied physics most notably in quantum computing and communications (availing of the superluminal transfer of information). I keep finding articles on the subject in magazines. They bring up an exciting new application or another new lab verification. But I find the lofty concept much more profound than its practical application. Particles so attached that they transcend the constraints of spacetime. How romantic is that? So romantic, it reminds me of my first date with the guy I eventually married.


US, UK, Canada citizens warned vs travel to PH

By Gilda Pasion-Balan, Manila Correspondent

MANILA -- The United Kingdomand Canadian embassies on Tuesday, April 12, issued advisories, urging theircitizens to be vigilant if they visit the Philippines due to reported terroristthreats in Central Visayas. The advisories came in the wake of the US embassyin Manila issuing an advisory on Sunday, April 9, against travel to Cebu andBohol.

The US embassy had cited “unsubstantiatedyet credible” information that terrorists were planning on kidnappingforeigners in the area outside their turf. Later events proved the embassycorrect.

Boholanos had reported to theArmed Forces of the Philippines as well as the Department of Interior and LocalGovernments that “outsiders” had landed in three pump boats on their island whospoke in what sounded like a Mindanao dialect.

Also on Tuesday, clashesbetween the military and suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists occurred in Bohol.News reports reaching Manila said five suspected militants, three soldiers anda policeman were killed in a firefight in the mountain village of Napo,Inabanga town, Bohol.

It was the first time thatadvisories had been issued against travel to Cebu and nearby Bohol, two of thecountry’s top destinations for local and foreign tourists, particularly duringthe current summer season.

The failed assault on foreigntourists would have been a repeat of the terrorists’ successful kidnapping forransom of a group of 20 foreign and local tourists in the Dos Palmas resort in Palawanin 2001.

Just as they did in Bohol lastweek, the terrorists arrived via pump boat. But unlike the Dos Palmaskidnappings done with military precision, the group that went to CentralVisayas were unable to capture a single victim.

As of presstime, a combinedmilitary and police team supported by air strikes from the Philippine Air Forcewas still engaged in a firefight with the terrorists.

By late evening Tuesday, morethan 1,000 families from the affected village had been evacuated.

This week should have been thehigh point of tourist arrivals for Cebu and Bohol, but this will no longer bethe case. The US, UK and Canadian advisories are not expected to be lifteduntil the AFP confirms that all the terrorists have either been killed orcaptured.


It’s time to ask the tough questions  

During the observance of the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March, President Donald Trump launched a missile attack on Shayrat Air Base in Syria. I started to worry and say “Not Again!” after I learned about the missile attack.
Not again was a knee-jerk reaction because I was reminded of the war on terror that President George W. Bush started in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
The war on terror did not only impact and affect the lives of many Americans but also the lives of many people and countries around the world. Accepted policies and procedures related to international and domestic travels were also affected due to national security issues and concerns that were expressed by many countries after the 9/11 attacks. In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security was established immediately as well to beef-up intelligence gathering and border control.
Not again was also a disappointed reaction to the military action related to the U.S. missile strikes which was made and decided without the consent of Congress and agreement from the United Nations.
It is still very fresh from memory when mainstream America out of and because of fear just accepted the Bush Administration’s line that there were weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq and that Saddam Hussein must be overthrown by military intervention and force because he is a threat to global peace and security not only in the Middle East but around the world. This line was then the main justification for the invasion of Iraq and U.S. intervention in the region.
For the recent missile launch against Syria, President Trump explained that the U.S. had to make the move because of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against the rebel forces and their supporters in the Syrian territory.
Some doubters state that the U.S. action might just be to divert the attention of the public from the ongoing investigation of the alleged Russian connection with the Trump campaign during the last presidential election in November 2016--- a sort of “wag the dog” propaganda by the present administration.
But just like in the past, there are lessons to be learned. I hope that the American public will ask tough questions this time around and not let fear and bias rule against their better judgment. What good did the missile attack do? Definitely, the response to this question must not be an emphatic “Nothing” because wars and missile attacks mean destruction, the loss of innocent lives, and a thousand and one tears to lost hope, dreams, and opportunities.
As we all know, President Trump has been criticized for lacking “coherent policies” and the American people have all the right to ask if the president weighed cost versus benefits, both in the long and short term before the missile attack. If not, I hope that he’ll do it the next time he considers U.S. military involvement and action for that matter in Syria and other parts of the world. Does the military action achieve a true and lasting positive purpose? Does the act make America great and more secure again?
The civil war in Syria is not very easy to understand. It is complicated and there are many foreign forces involved--- including the U.S., Russia, Iran, the Kurds, ISIS, the Syrian Armed Forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces, and many others.
The American people must be well-informed. The consequences of wrong military actions are very costly. Our history tells us this and the bitter lessons of the past must not be forgotten and erased from our memories. I believe that the members of Congress should have a say the next time (and perhaps the U.N. and the U.S. allies too).
War? For what reason? Let us start asking tough questions before getting into another costly war.

Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336.


Pacquiao to defend title against ‘The Hornet’

By Truth Esguerra, Correspondent

Filipino Boxing Legend Manny"Pacman" Pacquiao has signed on to fight undefeated No. 2 world-rated contender Jeff "The Hornet" Horn and defend his WBO welterweight title on July 1 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
"Manny has been a pioneer, bringing world title fights to Cowboys Stadium, The Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena and now Suncorp Stadium. We're boxing's version of Lewis & Clark, discovering new markets," said Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum. " Manny knows who will be the crowd favorite on July 1, but he can't wait to give Australia and the world a great performance. It's going to be unbelievable event."
Pacquiao, who has not fought since defeating World Champion Jessie Vargas last November in Las Vegas, was rumored to fight Amir Khan this April but the fight failed to come into fruition.
The 38-year-old Filipino boxing icon will be facing the 29-year-old Horn, who will be fighting Pacquiao for his first World Championship bout.
Pacquiao will remain the heavy favorite in this fight despite fighting in Horn's hometown.
The Brisbane native will be entering the bout having won his last three fights, all in 2016, against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller and Randall Bailey inside the distance. They had a combined record of 105-14-4 when he fought them.
Horn is currently on a 13 fight win-streak and is currently ranked the best Pound-for-Pound boxer in Australia.
At one point in his young career,Horn unified the WBO, WBA, and IBF regional championship belts.
The Australian boxing contender has a record of 16 wins (11 KOs), and 1 draw.
Pacquiao has a record of 59 wins (38KOs), 6 losses (3 KOs), and 2 draws.
The battle between Pacquiao and Hornwill be promoted by Top Rank and Duco Events.
"The Battle of Brisbane" is expected to attract 55,000 fans and a record pay-per-view audience inAustralia. It will also be seen streamed live in the US.


Was Trump right to bomb Syria?

It was not actually an unpopular move, given the gristly videos of Syrian civilians being gassed by their own government. What’s worse, a number of the fatalities were children, infants included.
The world watched in horror as scenes of men, women, and children dying painful deaths was shown on the news and in the internet.
It was for this very reason that President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike last week on the Syrian air base that intelligence sources said was the source of the deadly sarin gas attack of the previous week.
Even non-believers in the US president had to applaud his decision and his emotional reason for authorizing the launch of 59 missiles on the air base that resulted in a few casualties, but also an estimated 20 percent of the Syrian air force being destroyed.
In the days that followed, however, critics began to raise questions on whether Mr. Trump’s action was legal. It was, in effect, an act of war and Congressional approval is needed for the US to declare war on a foreign nation. The POTUS received no such approval.
This raises the age-old question of whether what is moral justifies action that may not be perfectly legal.
As leader of the free world, Donald Trump has a responsibility not to act as global policeman, but as defender of the oppressed, including and especially those begging for his help. And there is no question that the citizens of Syria are among the most oppressed people in the planet. To put it bluntly, their President Bashar Assad is a tyrant who would do anything to remain in power, including murdering his own people by the tens of thousands, for simply refusing to support his regime.
The only reason he has not been kicked out is the support he gets from Russia.
While it is not clear if Russia was aware of the gas attack, or worse, if Russian forces were involved, it is now in their best interest to rethink their position vis-à-vis the Assad regime. Assad may be their boy, but it is in Russia’s best interests to distance itself from such a madman. It would not be unthinkable for who ever replaces Assad to want to maintain Syria’s close relations with the former superpower, given its proximity to the nation.
Syria afterAssad may still opt to stick with Russia, but the action of the US president to hold their insane leader to account for the genocide he perpetrated against his own people will not be forgotten.
That Syria still possesses chemical weapons is beyond question. This was the type of banned weapon that Assad used on his own people. This, after the country had earlier agreed to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons.
There may have been no legal justification for Mr. Trump’s order to launch the missile salvo, but at the very least the strongest message possible has been sent toAssad and his ally Russia. The killing of innocent civilians, toddlers and infants included, cannot continue. Not in Donald Trump’s watch.

  • Published in World

Request to run Santa Clara Water Valley District- Q&A with John Varela

Q&A: What Will It Take to Prevent Another Coyote Creek Flood?

Editor’s Note: On the morning of February 21, the Rock Springs area of San Jose saw the city’s worst flooding in two decades when winter storms caused Coyote Creek to overflow. Early storms this year had saturated watersheds, and increased runoff from subsequent storms caused the creek to rise dramatically. The City of San Jose failed to warn residents, with city officials saying they’d been given inaccurate information by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Nearly 15,000 people had to be evacuated. NAM spoke with John Varela, the board director of the water district.

What is the major lesson learned for the District from last month's catastrophic Coyote Creek flood?

The water district understands the need to have a strong collaboration with the City of San Jose and other cities to reduce flood risk to residents. The district and city are developing a joint emergency action plan with specific thresholds and defined corresponding actions.

What is the likelihood that a similar flood could recur, and what steps is the District taking to ensure there will be advance warning if it does?

The type of storm we saw on President’s Day was classified as a 20- or 25-year storm event. We haven’t seen similar flows in Coyote Creek since 1997. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t see flooding for another 20 years. With any chance of storm, parts of our county are susceptible to flooding … There are about 66,000 parcels that are in the FEMA flood zone. We are working every year to reduce that number, but the flood risk will continue to exist. People should be aware that not all flooding can be predicted. Our ability to forecast stream flows is improving, but it’s not a perfect science. Strong downpours can cause streams to rise quickly, and flash flooding can happen quickly and without warning.

The district will continue working with cities and regional partners to communicate and to ensure understanding of existing flood risks and work on developing joint emergency action plans to improve inter-agency communication.

The City of San Jose has criticized the district for inaccurate data regarding channel capacity and flawed estimates of flood risk. What is the District’s response?

The water district followed the procedures and protocols and provided the necessary information and data to the City to notify residents that flooding was imminent in the President’s Day storm event. Numerous indications showed the potential for flooding at vulnerable areas along the creek. Given unpredictable variables with a natural creek like Coyote, our estimates were within a standard range … The City was aware of the forecast predicting flooding from the National Weather Service, and from a technical and professional standpoint, should have been relying on all the data that was presented, rather than basing its actions on one single piece of data [i.e., the flow rates in Coyote Creek].

The District is not responsible for calling for evacuations. However, a period of 24 to 48 hours is likely appropriate to facilitate a timely and orderly evacuation. It’s unclear what trigger the City of San Jose was using for its evacuation decisions. If it was only flow rates in Coyote Creek, that obviously would not have allowed for a timely and orderly evaluation. In fact, it would have only provided for a maximum notice of 4 to 6 hours for the impacted communities.

What is the district doing to improve its flood monitoring protocols?

Our hydrology team is working on further developing an existing flood forecasting tool to extend monitoring and forecasting to other parts of our county, including Coyote Creek. This tool is a useful resource in sharing information with partner agencies. A byproduct of the flood is that we now have a more current estimate of where flooding occurs along Coyote Creek and the estimated flow levels. Previous estimates were based on flows from 1997 storms, the last recorded high flow event in the creek, in addition to a field study that measured the shape of the channel. Over the course of 20 years, there are a variety of factors that can impact the capacity of the creek. Creeks can extend in a different direction, erosion can occur along the creek, and vegetation growth and creek blockages can also occur over time.

What steps can residents take to protect themselves from future flooding?

Disaster preparedness is key, not just for flood safety but for any naturally occurring disaster. According to FEMA, 83 percent of Americans do not consider themselves prepared for an emergency. So it is crucial for residents to be prepared with emergency supplies at home, at work, and in their car, and that they have an emergency evacuation plan with their families. Also key for flood safety is being aware of your flood risk. Residents should be aware of the location of neighborhood streams and know how to get to higher ground in the event of flooding. Another important action that residents can take is purchasing flood insurance, which can save a lot of headaches and money; most homeowners and renters insurance do not cover flood damage. The water district has flood protection resources available on our website,

What message does the District want to send about its role?

In the last four decades, the water district has invested more than a billion dollars in reducing flood risk, protecting more than 93,000 properties in previously flood-prone areas. However, flood risk still exists in our county, and with more than 60,000 parcels in the FEMA-designated floodplain, we currently have 18 projects underway to reduce this risk. Flood protection projects are large and multifaceted undertakings … Support from the community and agencies at the local, state, and even federal levels is crucial for a successful project. The water district will host a series of post-flood community meetings to analyze the event and how we can leverage community relationships, agency partnerships, and resources to reduce flood risk in the future.


Care Indeed Sponsors SF State Gerontology Program's 30th Anniversary

Care Indeed was a silver sponsor at the recent SF State Gerontology Program's 30th Anniversary. SF State, a leader and advocate for compassionate and quality senior care, is committed to educating and inspiring the workforce that we need. Photo shows Care Indeed representatives who attended the 30th Anniversary and Dinner Celebration: Vanessa Valerio, VP and COO for Patient Care; Amrita Sanyal, Senior Care Manager; Christine Cendana, Care Manager; and Dee Bustos, CEO.
Care Indeed is a leading home care provider in the Bay Area. For more information about their services, please call (650) 328-1001 or go to


The new silent killer

The silent killer of the 1970s, high blood pressure, is now replaced by Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of three or more risk factors like abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, abnormal lipids, and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes T2).

The expanding waistlines of Americans (and Filipinos also) the past several decades has been alarming, not only from the cosmetic/physical point of view but, more importantly, from their adverse impact on health, morbidity. and mortality. It is now obvious that “love handle” can be deadly.

The researchers from Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, in an article posted this year in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology ad Therapeutics, stated that “being overweight and obesity contribute to metabolic syndrome, which affects 1 in 3 adults and about 40 percent of adults aged 40 and older…that the risk factors are more than just the sum of their parts.”

Obesity is indeed surpassing tobacco as the pre-eminent preventable cause of early morbidity and premature deaths in the United States and globally.

The rule of thumb is that optimizing health requires and includes a waistline of less than 40 in men and less than 35 in women, and a healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise, abstinence from tobacco, disciplined alcohol intake, and stress management.

The authors of the study explain “that the visceral fat component of abdominal obesity leads not only to insulin resistance but also to the release of non-esterified free fatty acids from adipose tissues or body fat…the lipids then accumulate in other sites such as the liver and muscles, further predisposing individuals to insulin resistance and dyslipidemia-abnormal amounts of lipids…and adipose tissue may produce various adipokines that may separately impact insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease risk factors.”

Persons with metabolic syndrome are generally without symptoms and severely underdiagnosed and untreated, but have a 10-year risk of a first heart attack, according to the Framingham Risk score of 16 to 18 percent, which puts them in a higher risk category similar to those who already had a previous heart attack.

Various clinical studies have shown than even with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), individuals with expanding waistline from visceral fats could still have metabolic syndrome. Those who consume soft drinks of any kind, cola or uncola, diet or regular, caffeinated or not, have a higher risk for the development of metabolic syndrome, especially children. Indeed, soft drinks are toxic to our body, to our DNA

As I have highlighted in the book Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children, healthy lifestyle and disease prevention, in order to be fully effective, must start in the womb, and dieting and discipline must begin in the crib to protect the children’s DNA. This pre-emptive and proactive strategy at the cellular/molecular level will exempt them from having the so-called “expected and normal diseases of aging,” like arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes T2, heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Indeed, these are preventable.

The pandemic of obesity, which begins in childhood, is increasing the past century, and the current generation of children and adolescents (who eat more calories and unhealthy foods and who exercise less) will reach middle age with higher morbidity and mortality from metabolic, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and cancer, which may even be worse than their parents’ in spite of the great advances in medical science and technology.
While colon cancer rates have been going down among the elderly (55 and older) since the 1980s, they are increasing among those in their 20s and 30s. This was the recent alarming finding of a US cancer registry, which reviewed nearly half a million color-rectal cancers diagnosed between 1974 and 2013, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and in the March 1, 2017 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research shows that for colon cancers, a rate increase of 2.4 percent annually was noted for those in their 20s and 1.0 percent among those in their 30s. For rectal cancers, the yearly increase was even higher, 3.2 percent. In general, the study also found that there was an increase in the rate among adults in their 40s and early 50s, but not as bad.
This report revealed an alarming retrogression in our battle against colorectal cancers: “that young adults' colorectal cancer risk is now similar to that of adults born around 1890.”
The investigators pointed out that high obesity rates the past several decades “may play a role in this generation. Obesity increases the risk for all types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases, like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Our lifestyle, which includes what and how much food we eat, where we exercise or not, and all our self-indulgences/abuses, contribute a lot to our state of health. Metabolic syndrome, especially obesity, and red meat and processed meat consumption, all increase the risk for cancer. Neglecting regular medical/ dental check-up and recommended tests also increase our health risk.

The national Institutes of Health reports “approximately 2/3 of adults between 20 and older are overweight or obese with BMI greater than 25, and nearly 1/3 have BMIs greater than 30…less than 1/3 of them are at a healthy weight with BMI of 18.5 to 24.9.”

The estimated cost of obesity in the United States is around $190.2 billion a year, almost 21 percent of medical spending, not including the personal expenses of the individuals and the toll on human misery and human life.

Shedding off at least 5 pounds of our excess weight thru disciplined caloric counting and walking exercise for about 20 minutes a day will reduce our risk for metabolic syndrome and cancer by more than 33 percent. This is a practical and wise strategy we can painlessly do, for free!

Glaringly obvious are the evidence-based roles and impact of diet, exercise, tobacco, and alcohol on our individual health and longevity. They can’t be any clearer.

To a great extent, our health and our life are in our hands and what to do with them is our choice.

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Will I be deported if I lose my asylum case?

Question: I will be applying for asylum. I’m not exactly sure of the process, but if I lose, will I be deported?

Answer: Clients who have arrived in the United States and who have not been issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) will apply for asylum "affirmatively," meaning that they will be interviewed at an asylum office, and an asylum officer (AO) will decide their case. Such clients are sometimes called "applicants." The application is made by mail to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center, and includes Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. The place where the client lives determines which service center should receive the package.

The client can bring a friend or family member to the interview to act as an interpreter, if needed, as well as an attorney. If interpretation is used, the AO will use a phone monitor to ensure that the interpreter is providing accurate service. All family members who are included in the application should appear at the interview. However, the AO typically does not need to speak to anyone other than the principal applicant.

An asylum interview is non-adversarial, meaning that no government attorney is there to oppose the case. The AO is neutral. In practice, the purpose of an asylum interview is for the AO to assess the client's credibility. At the conclusion of the interview, the client's attorney may summarize key facts and legal issues for the AO to consider.

At some asylum offices, the client is notified that he or she should return to the asylum office to receive the AO's decision. In n many cases a decision is mailed instead. Note that it will take in some places 2 to 4 years to actually receive the interview.

The AO can make one of three decisions about an asylum claim. First, the AO may grant the case. The client will be mailed a letter outlining his or her rights and benefits as an asylee, a stamped I-94 card showing asylee status, and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Second, the AO may deny the case. This can only happen if the client is in lawful status, such as F-1 student. An AO can only deny the case if the client has a legal status to fall back on.

Before denying the case, the AO will usually send a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) that outlines his or her concerns, such as inconsistencies in the client's testimony. The client will have an opportunity to respond and provide additional evidence. If the AO is still unconvinced that the case has merit, he or she will deny it. As with approvals, the client will get written notice of the denial.

Question: If it is denied, what happens?

Answer: Clients who have been issued a NTA are in removal proceedings. Clients may receive an NTA because they filed affirmatively but were referred to court by an AO. Also, clients who have passed a Credible Fear Interview similarly go before an Immigration Judge. This process will take 1 to 2 years depending on the backlog of the Court.

Question: What if I lose at the Immigration Court?

Answer: You will then have 30 days in which to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. This is still an administrative body. It will take about 1-2 years to receive a decision by the BIA.

Question: What happens if I lose at the BIA?

Answer: This will be your first opportunity to appeal via what is known as a Petition for Review. This is when it will actually go to the Circuit Courts of Appeal and be heard by three Justices. This usually takes another year.

Question: What if I will lose at the Circuit Court of Appeal?

Answer: This means that you can do a Petition for Rehearing En Banc. This is when it still stays at the Circuit Court of Appeal, but is transferred to the entire panel of Justices, not just 3. This takes about another 6 months.

Question: What if I lose the Petition for Rehearing?

Answer: You would then do a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. To get to this point, many times, it will take 8 to 10 years.

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