Upcoming events regarding WWII Internment of Japanese Americans

Although it was almost 75 years ago when on Feb. 19, 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt signed E.O. 9066, which was neutral on its face, but applied only to rounding up & interning nearly 120,000 Japanese American civilians (2/3 were U.S. Citizens) into relocation camps across America — there is still interest today in the injustice done by these camps and relocation of innocent people. My father Francis Sueo Sugiyama was one of those who fled Los Angeles for Chicago in 1942, before the camp round up. (He had just been expelled from USC’s Dental School due to his race).

Event coming up Friday at the Tucson Jewish History Museum (564 S. Stone Ave.), see flyer below: Gallery Chat with poet Brandon Shimoda. “A researcher on this subject and a direct descendant of this history’s victims, Brandon will facilitate a discussion on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans in Arizona.”


Coming up Sunday Jan. 22 at the Tucson Desert Art Museum (7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd.) is a talk entitled “Baseball Behind Barbed Wire”.

January 22, 2017 1:30 pm
Baseball was immensely important to the Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Bill Staples, author of “Kenichi Zenimura: Japanese American Baseball Pioneer”, will share how baseball helped raise the spirits of those in the camps and also helped with outside prejudice as the camps invited outside teams to play in matches. This event is free in the auditorium. Museum admission rates apply for entrance to the exhibit.”


Bill Staples – author of “Kenichi Zenimura: Japanese American Baseball Pioneer”

Kerry Yo Nakagawa – author and baseball historian, expert in Japanese American baseball

Tets Furukawa – former player/pitcher with the 1945 Gila River Eagles

Kenso Zenimura –  followed in his father’s footsteps as a talented player, coach, and mentor, as well as an ambassador for international baseball

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Money matters, maybe it’s just public education that doesn’t?

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

Maureen Downey, on her blog getschooled.blog.myajc.com writes, “I have never understood the disagreement over whether money matters in education.” After all she points out, “top private schools – the ones that cater to the children of highly educated parents – charge tuition two to three times higher than the average per pupil spending at the local public schools. And these private schools serve students with every possible learning advantage, kids nurtured to excel from the first sonogram. The elite schools charge $17,000 to $25,000 a year in tuition and hit parents up for donations on a regular basis.”

I get where she is coming from, but also think she is taking literary license in writing she doesn’t understand the disagreement. I suspect just like me, she does understand, because it really isn’t that complicated. The “disagreement” is stoked by a myriad of those who would stand to gain from continued underfunding of public education. These include state lawmakers, who would rather divert public education funding to other special interests; commercial profiteers who look to get their piece of the nation’s $700 billion K–12 education market, and the wealthy who want to keep their piece of the pie as big as possible and not have it eaten up by more taxes to pay for “those children’s” education. Continue reading

GOP Obamacare repeal will unleash a health-care calamity on the nation

ObamacareSenate Democrats asked the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare a report on what would happen if the Republican Affordable Care Act aka “ObamaCare” repeal bill was passed and implemented.

I know you are saying to yourself, “wait, the GOP doesn’t have any ACA replacement plan to score,” but the budget office relied on a 2015 bill that the House GOP actually did pass which is still the basis of repeal efforts.

The result would be to unleash a health-care calamity on the nation. 18 million would lose insurance in first year of Obamacare repeal without replacement, CBO report says:

At least 18 million people would lose health insurance in the first year if Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan, estimates a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The number of people without insurance would grow to about 32 million within the first decade if congressional Republicans follow a 2015 plan to repeal the health-care law without an alternative, the new report says. It also estimates that health insurance premiums for people buying individual non-group coverage would double within a decade, further complicating GOP promises that people will not lose coverage under their plan.

The report was an update of a previous analysis of the 2015 repeal legislation.

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Women’s March on Washington – Arizona sister-marches (updated)

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The Arizona Republic today has an updated list of the “sister-marches” in Arizona for the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday. 10 Arizona women’s marches planned for day after Trump inauguration:

The Arizona sister-march locations are Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, Jerome, Phoenix, Gold Canyon, Tucson, Green Valley, Yuma and Ajo as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Women’s March on Washington’s official website.

At least 5,000 people are expected to attend the Phoenix march, which will be the biggest in the state and recently secured liability insurance, according to Maya Asher, the statewide coordinator. Tucson is expecting about 2,000 people.

“I’ve grown up in Arizona my whole life and there’s always been a slant towards Arizona being conservative and not supportive of things like this, and this experience has changed my perception of that,” said Asher, 31.

“There’s been so much support and encouragement, especially because we aren’t taking an angle of negativity, of being an anti-Trump march.”

Details on all 10 marches


The 1-mile, family-friendly march will be accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Organizers plan to have a small stage and podium for speakers and musicians, and they expect to allow more than a dozen community groups to set up informational tables.

Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan 21. Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Click here for the Facebook event. Click here to register on Eventbrite.

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The GOP war on ethics: ‘Ethics schmethics, IOKIYAR!’

Richard Painter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School who was the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, and Norman Eisen, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who was the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2009 to 2011, and is the chair of CREW, have previously explained that Donald Trump Could Be in Violation of the Constitution His First Day in Office because he refuses to divest himself from his multiple business interests around the world.

Cartoon_40The Emoluments Clause prohibits the president from accepting anything of value from a foreign government. The clause expressly prohibits both “presents [and] emoluments…of any kind whatever.”

The Framers could not have been clearer: the president’s claim that something was not a gift, but was earned through his business or other effort still does not allow him to accept it. It would blow a giant loophole in the clause in terms of the Framer’s intent—preventing foreign sovereigns from corrupting American officials—to forbid presents but allow other things of potentially much greater value on the pretext (or actuality) that they were earned. Moreover, the Framers did not limit “emoluments” to cash or any other particular kind of thing of value.

Walter Shaub, Jr., the director of the Office of Government Ethics, recently came to the same conclusion. Remarks of Office of Government Ethics Director Walter M. Shaub Jr.:

I need to talk about ethics today because the plan the president-elect has announced doesn’t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met.

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We can’t risk creating the perception that government leaders would use their official positions for profit. That’s why I was glad in November when the president-elect tweeted that he wanted to, as he put it, “in no way have a conflict of interest” with his businesses. Unfortunately, his current plan cannot achieve that goal.

The Tea-Publican Party response was what one would expect from a political party whose credo is IOKIYAR: “Kill the messenger!

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Deference to the Founding Fathers: Need It Be Blind?

We Americans revere the founding fathers and instinctively defer to them.

Should we?

At best, the founding fathers were a group of really smart guys (literally, mind you, as no women were included). At worst, they were self-interested aristocrats who sought to create a system that would perpetuate their position (and that of their descendants) in American society.

They were not omniscient.

Their foresight was limited.

Expressions that justify half-assed legislation, such as “politics is the art of the possible” and “never let the perfect get in the way of the good,” all applied to the negotiation of the Constitution. Many, many compromises were required to reach a final product. Which means some of the Constitution’s provisions represent a least common denominator, rather than pearls of wisdom. Case in point: The three-fifths compromise.

Which means when you find yourself deferring to the wisdom of the founding fathers, you need to ask yourself if you’re just being intellectually lazy as a means of justifying the result you like, but can’t otherwise justify.

So it is with the current debate regarding the electoral college, which involves two distinct, yet often conflated, questions: Continue reading