Friday, June 19, 2015

Another Critical Thinking Moment, Debunking the Bunk

Hi, everyone! We have another story of a ignorant gun nut doing a mass shooting. We have another group of black people targeted and murdered in a terrorist type attack by said random ignorant gun nut that happened to be White.
NO Big Deal? . Then read this:

Dylann Storm Roof walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and killed nine people with a handgun. Immediately the rightwing media started spouting ignorant deflections from the truth, talking about how this was an attack on religion. Today I am going to debunk this argument using the facts known at this time.

1) Dylann is from Eastover, SC. The historically black church he terrorized was in Charleston, SC, at least 1 hr 40 min and at least 98.1 miles away.

2) If he just wanted to attack a church, there are at least 7 Christian churches in or at least near Eastover, SC., that would have been a lot closer without to where he started out at.

3) He had all the trappings of a racist in the South. a) He had a rebel flag license plate on his car. b) He reportedly made racist jokes frequently. c) He stated he was a racist and that this was racially motivated. d) when he walked into the church, he stated that, "They are raping our women and taking over our country." e) he reportedly told some of his friends on Facebook that he was attending meetings at a white supremacist Christian hate church. f) Last and not least, the DOJ started an investigation into the mass shooting as a "hate crime".

Remember when the Colorado theater shooter was said to be a member of the Tea Party? Everything I am telling you is part of the stories that made sense and came out through different news sources, including the police in the town of Shelby, NC. As usual, the news is always struggling to get the story out first, which can lead to inaccuracy but I will keep you informed as to updates. The last information I got was these last two notes.

"...UPDATE 11:42 am: Charleston police chief Gregory Mullen and the FBI have also confirmed Roof’s arrest. Roof was arrested during a traffic stop in Shelby, NC."

"...UPDATE 11:57 am: Roof was arrested after a citizen called police to report a suspicious vehicle, according to police. Roof was “cooperative” during his arrest."

Arizona Mildman

Monday, June 15, 2015

Email I Received From The Bernie Sanders 2016 Campaign

Hi Readers,
This is the deal. Today I received this email from Bernie Sanders 2016 and I think it would be perfect to share if you haven't seen it. He talks about the main thing I and many others have complained about having to do with our president. He tried to do the mythological beast called bipartisan Republicans in Congress. They vote as a pack, travel as a pack, and pretty much repeat the same tired talking points as if they all went to a class entitled "Stupid Remarks 101" and never learned how to think past the class on how to obstruct progress.
I will let Bernie's email tell you the rest. Take Care,

Bernie Sanders for President

Steven -
One of the biggest mistakes President Obama made once he was in office was, after mobilizing millions of Americans during his brilliant 2008 campaign, to basically tell those supporters, 'Thank you, I’m going to sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and take it from here.’
I will not make that mistake.
What we’re building together as part of this campaign is not just about electing a president. No one person, not me or the best president you could imagine, can make the changes we need by him or herself.
What's necessary to make change happen is a mobilized grassroots movement. That’s especially true when a few wealthy billionaires and corporations have their sights set on buying our elections.
If we’re going to accomplish what we want for this country, it won’t happen by negotiating with Mitch McConnell — it will only happen when millions of Americans get out and make their voices heard.
We have a chance to do that today.
Last week, the House of Representatives stopped a bad trade deal that would have continued the approach that forces American workers to compete against workers in nations that have near non-existent minimum wages, where independent labor unions are banned, and where people are thrown in jail for expressing their political beliefs.
But make no mistake, Wall Street, corporate America and their representatives in Congress will try again to pass this bad trade deal … as soon as tomorrow.
This is our chance to make our voices heard. Click here to enter your information and be automatically connected to your member of Congress. Urge your member of Congress to hold fast and vote against any legislation that would allow the president to “fast track” the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA that have been supported by corporate America and that cost America millions of decent-paying jobs.
Since 2001, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants in this country have been shut down, and we have lost almost 5 million decent-paid manufacturing jobs. NAFTA alone led to the loss of almost three-quarters of a million jobs — the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China cost America four times that number: almost 3 million jobs. These agreements are not the only reason why manufacturing in the United States has declined, but they are important factors.
The TPP would also give multinational corporations the ability to challenge laws passed in the United States that could negatively impact their “expected future profits.” Take, for example, Phillip Morris, a company using this process to sue Australia and Uruguay for passing legislation designed to prevent children in those countries from smoking. Or a French waste management firm suing Egypt for over $100 million for increasing the minimum wage and improving labor laws.
Virtually every major union and environmental organization in the United States is against the deal that Congress could vote on again tomorrow. Major religious groups are as well because they know what it could mean for some of the poorest people on the planet.
Not a lot of presidential candidates would use their campaigns to influence legislation being considered in Congress. Some candidates haven’t even expressed an opinion on this critical issue, which, frankly, I don’t really understand.
But as I’ve said before, this campaign is not about Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or Jeb Bush -- it’s about the needs of the American people.
And we need a new approach to trade in this country — one that benefits working families and not just the CEOs of multinational corporations.
Make your voice heard,
Bernie Sanders

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Armed Biker Peaceful Anti-Islam Protest And Shouting Match In Phoenix, AZ

Yesterday I heard about the protest brewing at the North Phoenix Islamic Center on Black Canyon and there were supposed to be a big group at the Denny's at Dunlap and the freeway. I got to Denny's first and this is what I saw.

Yeah, five whole motorcycles, so after all the hype, I figured the thing had fizzled until I investigated further. Let me say, I am the type of person who likes to check things out, especially when someone seems pretty lame and is starting trouble for someone else. I didn't know what to expect. I got as far as Northern and side street on the frontage road was blocked with a police barricade and at least two police cars. I ended up going down to Glendale, back up 27th Avenue to Northern again and then parked in the DQ parking lot. I noticed immediately that I wasn't the only one walking up from a parked motorcycle but I was the only one I saw at first with a camera in their hand. As I got closer, I saw the helicopters buzzing in circles like mechanical vultures waiting for some violence to prey on. 

I proceeded further until I reached the Islamic Center office where I could see no one was hanging out or trying to protest, so I still didn't know what was going on or if anything serious was happening. 
Yeah, with those half moon symbols stuck up in the sky like that, it isn't hard to recognize what religion these people represent but the office wasn't the protest so I walked down to the street. Then I saw first the anti protest protesters. Some real Christians (this thing was billed as Anti-Islam as if they stood on some religious or moral high ground but the real Christians seemed to kind of take the wind out of their sales on that one) were standing along the side walk in front of the mosque with their own signs. 

While I started out relating to the real Christians even though I am a Buddhist who follows the writings/teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, the peace advocate, I wanted to get some juicy pictures of real stupidity in the protest so here you go: 

So, the police stayed between the protesters and the anti protesters and I think they deserve credit for not allowing any crap to jump off, including their own officers. The two I talked to on the walk up informed me that there is no concealed weapon law in Phoenix anymore and anything goes. It was a LONG WALK to get there for my old crippled ass: 
And some nice people even brought water to pass out so no one passed out. (You know what can happen in this heat on a summer day in Phoenix.)
 I was pleasantly surprised at the plethora of "Love Your Neighbor" signs that people were passing out. I was given one that I took home. Those are those small hand held signs several of the Christian anti-protester protesters were holding in the following picture. People held larger signs of all different colors that had scripture written on them with various quotes about love and tolerance. It was heartening to see that many non-Islamic people standing up for the Islamic people.
The media circus with cameras of all kinds were videoing or snapping constantly, a lot of people just used their phone cameras so there were hundreds of spectators like myself who just came to record the whole thing for later. 
As I started to leave, some lady with her own agenda sign (I saw quite a few of those as if they didn't care what this was about, they wanted to deliver their own message like an internet troll who can't stay on topic.)
She saw me start to take the picture and covered her face with her big sign so I just said, "Thank You", and she replied, "You're welcome", loudly, and I moved on. 
It was a long walk back but it was worth it. I started back, got to talk to some of the neighbors, including two people, one woman who lived right off the freeway and a many who was a half block down from my bike, who was Chinese but spoke pretty good English so I spent some time talking to them and continued on. 
I would like to say, "A good time was had by all", but it was pretty cut and dried and it was hot today, after we have had such a dry spell. Those of you who have a Windows or Kodak image viewer that you can preview these pictures with, I suggest you enlarge them as much as you can on your own desktop so you can see the details. 
Have fun with it and please post this all over Facebook and Twitter and other social media, if you would, PLEASE! Everyone take care!
Arizona Mildman 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The California Drought - Why should we care?

Like the song says, "All the gold in California, is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills, in somebody else's name". (I feel I must interject here that they not only bankrupted the state repeatedly using "trickle down/voodoo economics policies" instituted by Reagan and every GOP legislator that followed, then Schwarzenegger did the same. Their actual policies amount to "Spend, lie about how much we are spending, and let the rest of the population worry about it after we leave office.")
California has long been going in and out of needing federal assistance for years to run the most expensive experiment in social democracy that we have in any state - other than Vermont, which makes all their programs work, autonomously through higher taxes.
But, one of the things we have to say is their average citizens do make MORE MONEY per capita, that goes into the economy, than ANY of the red states, and almost more than all of them combined. Lots of the wealthy have at least one home there (Including the elite of the GOP, like Mitt Romney's houses with car elevators.), and it is the state that encompasses most of the movie industry and the original home of most of the original tourist traps along the roadside. That would include Santa's Villages everywhere, the Winchester Mystery House, Hearst Castle, Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo (and the entire Balboa Park Area, complete with HUGE lawns and flower gardens.) , and who can forget San Francisco, with the world's best public transit systems (San Diego MTS also features busses going from any stop every 15 minutes from lower L.A. County to the Mexican Border.)? They also have freeway systems that contain the most comprehensive infrastructure to rival most any place in the world.
But inevitably, the question always comes down to how much it costs to live there, the cost versus wages in the whole state, etc. It is an expensive place to live so wages there are about one and a half to two times the rest of the country.  While some, in other states, clammer for California wages, they don't want to live there because of the cost of California real estate seems unaffordable to anyone who doesn't live there and the driving time to commute for many people is longer, not to mention rush hour traffic.
Now, down to the real question that I 'selfishly' asked myself, while not considering global responsibility and compassion for others less fortunate (?) as a practicing Buddhist should, about California. I realize that most of California isn't just wealthy selfish out of touch morons as citizens, but should some of them start being more responsible? Let me weigh that in comparison to my own responsibility.
OKAY NOW! It occurred to me today that when we have problems in the rest of the country - that they don't seem to effect California in the same way. So, when we have problems, they (the California elite) pretty much ignore them, until/unless it effects them. This recent drought is no different. The latest joke going around Facebook and Twitter about this is that they only seemed to notice the drought when their huge lawns started to suffer. There is even an old song about rain in California, saying that it doesn't rain, it pours. Lead Republicans in that state have started ignoring the call by their wealthiest donors, the Koch Industries brothers, to ignore and even deny climate change, in light of the fact that now, THIS IS effecting them personally/directly. But still, not much action is being taken by the elite in California.
The governor, Jerry Brown, started a petition site to deal with this and here is what I think about that:
The same people who want to deny that climate change is happening, now have to explain to themselves why California is facing the worst drought they have ever had. When it happens in Arizona, they always say, "Well, it's mostly desert in Arizona, you can expect that there", and ignore it. Now, even the California governor is calling for some water resource preservation policies. There is a petition going around which is asking the legislature to quit allowing the Nestle Bottled Water plants in CA to desist hoarding all the clean water while there is a drought. I signed the petition at and left my own comments. I said, "The fact that these people want to "profitize" clean drinking water is disgusting enough. Now they want to hoard water for profit during a drought. They don't have any more right to it than the public. Water rights in most states where there are rural areas, as California also has, have laws protecting the right to access to drinking water for their livestock and crops. With the draught going on, this is twice as disgraceful. Let them find a real job and quit screwing the public over advertising and packaging a "natural resource" that everyone else needs. Between the bottled water industry and the "fracking" idiots and the other polluters (mostly Koch industries), we will no longer have any clean water soon. If this continues, our legislative system will be the next thing citizens demand to be reformed, like health care, or else you can continue with your system of everything being 'profitized', including YOUR JOBS, and then you legislators can pay to make laws and change the historical direction of things - the way the Citizens United Bill allows."
Was I being too rough on them in light of their tragedy? Is it too much to ask citizens to care about citizens' problems when the legislators that are asking for our help are just now acknowledging something that the majority of us have been saying for decades? I signed the petition because I care. Will that solve the problem? No, but it shows that someone outside of California cares about them.
I suggest you do the same, although you can go with your own conscience.
Have a nice day.
Arizona Mildman

Monday, March 30, 2015

Indiana, "The Bigot State"

The New Sexual Orientation

Discrimination and Hate Law,

Disguised As Religious Freedom

Restaurants and other businesses have something as a virtue that they call "customer service. It is defined literally as the hospitality that their business is known for extending to any customer who walks in the door. Hospitality can be defined as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “hospitality” literally means “love of strangers.” Hospitality is a virtue that is both commanded and commended throughout Scripture.

The kind of people who are CINOS (Christian In Name Only) or Cafeteria Christians (take what you want and leave the rest) and rail against gay people, always cherry pick scripture from the Old Testament which, first of all, is not their portion of the bible. Usually they quote scripture from Leviticus and choose only to quote the part that suits their argument. They leave out the rest of the book. The next part, especially.

In the Old Testament, it was specifically commanded by God: “33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34, emphasis added).

In closing, I would like to leave you with this thought, especially for those of you who think discrimination of any kind doesn't effect you, even though you aren't part of the demographic (group/type of people mentioned) that is being discriminated against right at this moment, a really pertinent quote: 

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." 

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, despite his ardent nationalism.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Email to Mayor Fischer of Louisville

Some days I read the news and just want to ask, "What the hell is going on out there?" as if I don't live in the middle of this chaos we consider and call 'society". People are selfish, greedy, dishonest, and keep wanting to hurt each other, even little kids some time and I just want to cry and be depressed as if it were my responsibility to make things right. In a way, I guess all I can do is pray and do my part. Some days I see things that literally touch my black old sick heart and make me so happy inside that tears of joy or gratitude swell inside of me. 
Yesterday was one of those days. When I was upset and depressed about some personal stuff going on in my own life, someone posted an article on Facebook that kind of touched me inside. I tried to express myself in the best way I know how, to write it. Everyone in the Southern states get kind of painted as redneck, toothless, poor white trash, racist, ignorant, angry assholes by a lot of people because of some who are. That isn't fair. I am not saying that characterization isn't alive and well in some but I wish to always give my fellow man the benefit of the doubt and take the time and see for myself. 
There was a policeman in Louisville yesterday who helped a lady who was struggling. She had weighed 475 lbs. at one time and lost 200 lbs. That wasn't enough, she decided to participate in the annual Louisville 10 K  run. at the last of the trek, she became somewhat overwhelmed but stayed determined to continue. Her name was Asia Ford. The officer wasn't anyone most of us had heard of before, but he was just a genuinely nice man. I believe that when someone does something wrong we are to speak up about it and when we see someone do something we consider admirable, then we should say something then, also. I didn't write to him personally because I didn't know how but I knew his boss, the mayor, would have some sort of contact page so I wrote to him. I almost couldn't contain myself so I felt I had to express what I was feeling. He wrote back and the section below is what was said. 

"Mayor Fischer, 
I know by now you are proud of your officer, Louisville Metro Police Lt. Aubrey Gregory, who helped Asia Ford the last four miles of her ten K run. I read the story and had to say that, with all the bad press you have had locally because of officers being broad brush painted as angry and racist white guys that don't care about and actually hate black people. Lt. Gregory should be congratulated not for proving that all white people aren't racist, not for proving that all policemen aren't angry trigger happy internally scared insecure morons, and not for proving that he could do a good thing for a photo opportunity that some might take advantage of, but because my dad was a reserve policeman locally who thrived on public service and helping others and doing the right thing was something he thrived on, which is what I admired about my dad. What he should be congratulated for is just being a good human being, showing love and compassion for other people, and being an example, not only to the rest of the officers or even public servants that he works with, but as an example of what all Americans and all human beings in the world should be. 
I am sure you are proud to be having someone like that serving under you. I heard you are going to recognise him for that. I really hope I get to see that here. I am sure you are going to be having a busy day but I just had to let you know what I felt. Have a nice day, sir, and thanks.
Steve Walker
of Phoenix, Arizona"

The mayor sent  me a thank you reply today. I hope he prints out a copy of my email and shows it to the officer involved 

"Mayor Information

5:26 AM (14 hours ago)
to me
Good Morning.

Mr. Walker,

Thank you for sending such a positive letter.  Your input is appreciated."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Reply From Senator John McCain Concerning Meals On Wheels

I am not sure who sent this, as I hear that Senator McCain doesn't do his own email, although I appreciate the response, no matter how long it took. It tells me that SOMEONE in his office actually read the content of my concern and correspondence with him and took the time to write an explanation of what was going on so far. I had sent a "contact form" email to his office when I heard that the "Meals On Wheels" program and other programs, that many seniors depend on, was being considered for budget cuts or suspension. 
So, in complete form, here is his response to me with my name and address edited out.

Senator John McCain

3:05 PM (2 hours ago)
to me
March 11, 2015
Phoenix, AZ My Zipcode
Dear Mr. My Last Name

          Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on the Older Americans Act (OAA).  I appreciate knowing your views on this issue. 
          The OAA was created in 1965 and defines a system of support that is of utmost importance to the dignity and self-sufficiency of our senior populations.  Some of the services are meals on wheels, adult day care to help people stay at home longer and out of nursing homes, transportation, employment for low income seniors, advocacy through the ombudsman, protection from abuse, research on issues significant in the field of aging, and pension/benefit counseling programs.  For Native Americans, it is the cornerstone of programs for their elderly and the only federal legislation that allows them to directly plan for the needs of their elderly based on their culture and traditions.
          Congress has reauthorized and amended the OAA numerous times since it was first enacted in 1965.  The last OAA reauthorization occurred in 2006, which funded the program through 2011.  While funding for most OAA programs, including the senior nutrition programs, expired in September 2011, Congress has continued to fund OAA services and programs through temporary bills. Most recently, OAA received $1.88 billion in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 83), which was signed into law by the President in December 2014.
          Legislation was again introduced this year that would reauthorize the OAA through 2018.   S. 192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, was introduced on January 20, 2015 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Although I do not serve on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, it is increasingly clear to me that we must take action to see that the OAA is reauthorized.  
          I strongly believe the federal government has an obligation to assist those most in need and we must not abdicate that responsibility.  The OAA is a promise to our seniors that they can enter the last years of their lives with confidence that they will have a safe place, continuing independence, and a way to live and not just survive.
          Thank you for taking the time to share your views with me regarding this very important issue.  Please feel free to contact me on this or any other matter of concern.