Blogger claims illicit affair with Nikki Haley

Our tipline has been buzzing off the hook with the news Monday morning that a conservative blogger named Will Folks is claiming he had an affair with Indian American gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. Haley had a 30% lead in recent Republican primary polls and has been endorsed by Governor Mark Sanford’s ex-wife Jenny, the conservative blogosphere, and most recently, Sarah Palin. Here is what Folks claims:

In fact, on a very personal level I have become the primary target of a group that will apparently stop at nothing to destroy the one S.C. gubernatorial candidate who, in my opinion, would most consistently advance the ideals I believe in. For those of you unfamiliar with the editorial bent of this website, the candidate I am referring to is S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley.

…within the last forty-eight hours several pieces of information which purportedly document a prior physical relationship between myself and Rep. Haley have begun to be leaked slowly, piece by piece, to members of the mainstream media. I am told that at least one story based upon this information will be published this week. Watching all of this unfold, I have become convinced that the gradual release of this information is deliberately designed to advance this story in the press while simultaneously forcing either evasive answers or denials on my part or on Nikki’s part.

I refuse to play that game. I refuse to have someone hold the political equivalent of a switch-blade in front of my face and just sit there and watch as they cut me to pieces.

The truth in this case is what it is. Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki.

That’s it. [Link]

Nikki Haley flatly denies any of this is true:

News 4′s Mandy Gaither asked Haley if Will Folks said anything to her before the allegations came out on his blog.

“No,” said Haley.

“So, you had no idea? You were blind-sided?” said Gaither.

“I mean, look. This is what I will tell you. It is absolutely not true. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. We’ve been faithful to each other,” said Haley. “I will not stop pushing for good government no matter what they throw at me two weeks prior to the election.” [Link]

The thing about a situation like this that we know to be true? At least one of the two is lying. Continue reading

“Isn’t All Crime Hateful?”

Hate Crime.jpgBangladeshi-American Kamal Uddin was taking a lunch break from his construction job when he was brutally attacked by four young men.

Police are searching for whoever was behind the brutal beating of a man in broad daylight on Saturday in Brooklyn. Cops are investigating whether the man, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was the victim of a hate crime.

Family members of Kamal Uddin, 57, say that he was wearing a prayer hat when some people, possibly teenagers, jumped him from behind inside the grounds of a public housing project in East New York. [fox]

But detectives are not approaching this as a hate crime.

Detectives claim that an eyewitness did not hear any racist language during the assault, so at this point they’re not treating it as a bias crime.[abc]

Did you get that? The guys that beat Uddin up, according to the victim’s nephew, said “The mother bleeping Muslim, go back to you country.” AND the perpetrators did not take his money, wallet, cell phone or watch. Despite this, because the detectives did not have any outside witnesses that heard anything, they are not treating it as a bias crime. Mind you, the crime happened in the projects where the rules of the street prevail. Continue reading

Are you ready for some BBB (Bhullar brothers basketball)?

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If you love basketball and hope to see a desi player in the NBA, you might want to pay attention to the twin towers of Western Pennsylvania, also known as Sim and Tanveer Bhullar. Sim, 17, is 7-foot-4. His brother, 15, is the short one: only 7-foot-2.

The Indo-Canadian brothers, who play for Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pa., are not just tall, but also talented. 

Sim, who just completed his sophomore season, averaged about 16 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks. He has three-point range and is a strong passer, but he also can run the floor and finish strong with power dunks.

“You just don’t find big guys that agile,” Kiski School head coach Daryn Freedman said. “There’s nothing like him in the country right now.”

Tanveer averaged about 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks during his freshman season. He possesses a smooth 15- to 17-foot jumper and has quick feet and soft hands, key attributes to low-post success.

They both have improved immensely at Kiski School under Freedman, a longtime college and NBA assistant who arrived at the school about a month before the Bhullars did. They have since remade their bodies, regularly working out at 5 a.m. with the Kiski wrestling coach. [Link]

Working out at 5 a.m.? These guys are serious about their basketball. Sim already has a scholarship offer from West Virginia and Duke may come calling soon. The brothers are likely to be solid college players, but will they someday be dunking over LeBron James?

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Music Monday for the Mutiny

Mutineers, it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged here – I’ve been traveling and collecting stories from the motherland for a project (which I’ll catch you up on a little later). Since I’ve been back, I’ve been downloading new music with a frenzy and it seems that quite a few musical friends of The Mutiny have been busy while I’ve been gone. Chee Malabar dropped a free EP (The Burning Tire Artisan) and the ENTIRE Das Racist album Shut Up, Dude (including the infamous Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) is downloadable for free off of their Myspace. Sub Swara remixed a Balkan Beat Box song, also downloadable for free. All songs are in heavy rotation on the ipod. Riz MC is streaming his new album MICroscope in it’s entirety for a limited time and tonight Arthi Meera‘s band Fair and Kind is uStreaming a live show tonight at 6pm PST. Not to mention M.I.A.’s latest XXXO is my greatest jam, no thanks to Lady Gaga.

Since it’s “Music Monday” I thought, I’d share some finds and see what you think.

The above video comes from Koom the Ripper, a new kid outta Southern California with a first album dropping some time this year. I heard of him through the guys of Slant, (who also are the back up dancers in this video) and I gotta admit, the song sounds like it belongs at a college Asian American talent show competition. But I thought the video was cool and Koom has definite potential. You can download his entire LP American Muscle for free here.

I’ve been loving the new Das Racist album Shut Up, Dude – the hooks are catchy and Heems drops lyrical references to V.S. Naipul, Dinesh DeSouza, and John Abraham. Though sometimes the lyrics are coded in subtext atop subtext. I’m completely mesmerized by the above video to Fake Patois. Continue reading

Guest Blogger: In Which Vivek Shares Some Roti With Us

I know that you, like me, may be sad today: Lost is over, and that means no more Sayid–no more curly-haired desi smartypants!

But I’m here to tell you it’s going to be okay: here at SM we have discovered his doppelganger.

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This is Vivek.

You might recognize him: he’s been an SM comment thread regular, and he’s one of the co-founders of Pass The Roti on the Left-Hand Side. (The all-growed-up version of him does bear a resemblance to Naveen Andrews.)

He is funny and smart and incisive and an excellent writer, and even better than all those things, he is generous and kind! The blogosphere needs more of all of these things! So we thought we’d invite him into the bunker for awhile.

Vivek was born in Madras, grew up in Tucson, and resides in New York. He makes a living as an “IT dork” (his words) and also cooks a mean mutton biryani. Like me, he plays the saxophone. Bunker jam session shortly.

Welcome, Vivek. It’s gonna be fun sharing Interwebs with you. Continue reading

Arizona’s New Immigration Law Affects All of Us

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Immigrant Rights Rally, Union Square Park, New York City, May 1, 2010

“For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town in this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released” (Revisions to Arizona’s laws from SB1070 and HB2162).

Ten years ago, a Tucson police officer “lawfully stopped” me when I wasn’t doing anything.

It was the summer after I graduated from high school; college was set, classes were over, and life was goooooooood. I had started to rediscover the parts of living in Tucson, Arizona that I’d loved as a child but that just weren’t cool enough for me in my early teens: starry nights, sunsets, hikes, and the tranquility of the desert.

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Sepia Mutiny is looking for high school mutineers

The Mutiny is looking to refresh our ranks with some young blood. When I say “young,” I am talking about jail-bait really young. If you, or someone you know, meets all of the following criteria and want to take a turn as a guest blogger on Sepia Mutiny, please email me at abhi [at] sepiamutiny.com:

  1. A phenomenal writer (English class supernerd, school newspaper prodigy, master debater).
  2. Has time on their hands to write because high school (even counting all those AP classes you are taking) is a breeze.
  3. Knows their current events. We generally like generalists who can write knowledgeably about a variety of topics of interest to South Asians living in the U.S. and Canada (as opposed to someone who specializes in say, Bollywood movies from 2000-2010).
  4. Has never plagiarized in order to write a chick-lit novel.
  5. Will never admit to liking Twilight in a Sepia Mutiny post (even if he/she really does). Will also never use “lol,” “ur,” or “omg” in any form of correspondence. Ever.
  6. Based in North America, or are a North American temporarily living abroad.
  7. Has something they want to say or communicate to the South Asian masses. If you don’t have something to say then it really doesn’t matter how well you write.

Is this you?

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If You Go to Patna

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So readily recognizable, so readily wearying, are the woes of the expatriate Indian on a trip to India. But bear with me, gentle reader. My hometown is the place about which the writer Upamanyu Chatterjee, who was born in Patna, has said, “I can’t efface that from my history, it’s in my passport…” Here is my brief travelogue published today in Tehelka:

Going to Patna for a vacation sounds a little bit like going to the bus-stop for a martini. But my parents live there, and Patna is where I visit for the holidays. I find myself reciting the familiar woes of the NRI in the motherland, the endless clichés about the heat and dust, but a part of me also believes that a trip to Patna offers a glimpse of the real India. I’m not talking of “poverty tourism” here, but something quite specific. A report from the UN stated that in India it is easier to have a mobile phone than to have access to a toilet. Well, ladies and gentlemen, come to Patna–you’ll see that the rickshaw-puller has tucked into the little pocket of his torn ganji a small phone, while on both sides of the street, as you ride the rickshaw into the market or the station, arises the distinct aroma of drying urine.

[The fab painting above, of a rickshaw-puller in Patna, is by my yaar and Patna star, Anunaya Chaubey] Continue reading

Tea Party Official Apologizes To Hindus After Insulting Muslim “Monkey God”; Local Hindu Says, Take Your Apology And Shove It

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Oh, you thought there was going to be a Tea Party and nobody was going to invite The Hindus? Oh, The Hindus are INVITED. The thing is, this particular Hindu is booked with other, more rational and less racist political affiliations. I have to wash my hair that day, Tea Partiers. AND FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, WHENEVER ANYONE LIKE YOU CALLS. Because guess what, I have lots of Muslim friends and they are awesome, and I am not going anywhere where they are not ALSO invited.

The short version is that Tea Party Express chairperson Mark Williams, who is a CNN commentator, made a comment in which he slammed Muslims for (get this) worshipping “the terrorists’ monkey god.”

According to the NY Daily News’ first story on the topic:

“A National Tea Party leader protesting a proposed mosque near Ground Zero set off a firestorm of anger Wednesday by saying that Muslims worship “the terrorists’ monkey god.”

Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, blogged about the 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center planned at Park Place and Broadway, calling it a monument to the 9/11 terrorists.

“The monument would consist of a Mosque for the worship of the terrorists’ monkey-god,” Williams, a frequent guest on CNN, wrote on his Web site.”

(The article on his website is now password-protected, and to get the password, you have to buy his book, which is not on GoogleBooks as far as I can tell. Possibly because Google’s slogan is “don’t be evil.”)

BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER.

Williams APOLOGIZED. But not to, I don’t know, HUMANITY and especially Muslims, but to his “Hindu friends.” (Who ARE you, dudes? You Hindu Friends of Mark Williams? I imagine an extremely small club.) From his blog:

“I was wrong and that was offensive. I owe an apology to millions of Hindus who worship Lord Hanuman, an actual Monkey God.”

Oh, an ACTUAL Monkey God. You’re bending your opportunistic reality to accommodate an Actual Monkey God, as opposed to the one you concocted from the space in your brain where your education was supposed to go.

BUT IT CONTINUES!

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Sri Lanka: A Year After War’s End

We had some very vigorous discussions at Sepia Mutiny last year as the civil war in Sri Lanka ended, with the LTTE defeat, the death of Prabhakaran, and the placement of some 200,000 Tamils in temporary refugee camps.

I haven’t followed the week-to-week developments since then terribly closely, but several recent developments were mentioned in a thought-provoking Op-Ed by Bishop Desmond Tutu and Lakhdar Brahimi in the Guardian yesterday. There is some good news overall, as the peace has held, but Tutu and Brahimi also acknowledge that progress towards rebuilding the affected parts of northern Sri Lanka, and the broader project of healing and reintegration, has been painfully slow. Here are the specific things Tutu and Brahimi want to see the government do:

Respect for minorities, human rights and the rule of law must be centre stage in Sri Lanka’s future. The worsening conflict saw limitations imposed on civil liberties and democratic institutions. The recent relaxation of emergency laws and the promised presidential pardon for Tamil journalist JS Tissainayagam are welcome, but they are only a start. Real change must begin with repealing the state of emergency and re-establishing the constitutional council.

All displaced civilians should be helped to return home. Those suspected of being fighters must be treated humanely with full regard to international law.

[...] There is a growing body of evidence that there were repeated and intentional violations of international humanitarian law by both the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) in the last months of the war.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision earlier this month to appoint a commission on lessons learnt and reconciliation is a step in the right direction but not nearly enough. There is no indication, as yet, that the commission intends to hold anyone to account for any violations of domestic or international law. (link)

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