Friday, September 7, 2012

Notes 9.7.12

Notes 9.7.12

Photos this week show our town of Niles California (a district of Fremont CA)- it is a true community of people - We are close to metropolitan areas - but in many ways we are like a small town.

1.  As we close in on the election I have been listening to a lot of  political speeches. I am ready now to offer my own personal political  platform

·      I believe that the focus of a strong America should be upon making sure that all of our people have a fair chance at getting basic necessities...medical care, education, equal opportunities, meaningful work.  Care of people should come before corporate profits.  Trickle down politics has been long since disproved.
Main street in Niles
·      I believe in an America where government functions in a bipartisan manner to shape compromise legislation to help all of our people to prosper.
·      I believe in the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”... the America where new immigrants can contribute and join in the American dream.   New waves of immigrates continue to revitalize America.

Niles has a history of historic trains and also the early film making industry
·      I believe in an America where education is within the reach of all – not only for the wealthy few. I believe that the future of our nation depends on educating all capable persons.
·      I believe in an America that values its labor unions as well as its corporations.  There is dignity in hard work, both physical and mental.  There is dignity in uniting together and speaking with one voice.

Celebrating our early history in silent films with a "look alike" contest
·      I value an America that recognizes the need for laws that restrict human greed, that protect our health and financial securities with well-formed regulations.
·      I believe in an America that recognizes the value of collecting taxes proportionally to the wealth of each - no loop holes.– So that we can develop and maintain the collective social amenities that lead to a quality life for everyone. 

Thai Cultural Night at the Niles Thai Buddhist Temple
·      I want to live in an America that maintains its public infrastructure of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, libraries, and parks.  
·      I believe in an America where decisions are made not by those who have the most money to buy influence, not by special interest lobbies, but by well selected representatives of the people coming together in a congress dedicated to working together to develop policy  - not to engage in party politics or to obstruct the process.
Alameda Creek as it leaves the hills and flows into Niles
·      I believe in an America of justice for all – for women and men, for every ethnic and religious group, for the right to marry the person you love.
·      I believe in an America that maintains a separation of church and state – where the religious beliefs of one group are not imposed on others. 

Thai Buddhist Temple at the west end of Niles

-     I believe in an America that rewards and remembers the sacrifices made my veterans - giving us years of their lives, and sometimes their future wholeness in body and mind.  I believe in an America wise enough to distinguish those times when military force is truly necessary and those times that international problems can be solved with other means.

Sunday afternoon at the Florence Bar - our "Biker bar"
·      Politicians speak of America as a land of special opportunities – It's true for many of our people , but not for all.  
·      I do not believe that corporations should have the rights of individual people, nor do I believe in gun control laws that permit ownership of assault weapons. 
·     Being a good American means to be vigilant and willing to engage in the hard work of making the blessings of America within the reach of everyone.  I don't believe in handouts for all but opportunities for all...

Alameda Creek was once used to power famous and profitable  flour mill

2.  I’m back supervising new high school science and math teacher in the schools of Oakland Ca.  Today I saw two excellent young teachers with well mannered students in a school in the midst of an impoverished inner city community.  I love to see attentive students in well taught classes learning new ideas and new skills – but my heart yearns for them to be able to break free of their environment with so many negative influences. 
looking east on Niles Alvarado Blvd. - our main street
 I want them to find a way to make use of their potential by going on to college – but how on earth will they be able to meet the costs?  This is a brain drain that is dragging America down ...  what potential doctors, research idea developers, social and political leaders are lost because of lost opportunites.  If a person is told by word and deed that he or she is inferior – over and over again – year after year... they internalize the message... that is the chief burden to be removed from many of these young people.  It doesn't work to tell this person to “try harder” . 
The 4th Sunday in August is Antique Fair sunday - all the streets are shut down - and it is a day long festival

3.  Overnight my zucchini have slowed way down  The leaves are starting to look old with spots of fungus forming.  Tomatoes still coming in – we collect them fresh and whole into gallon bags and freeze for winter use.  I started seeds in a planting tray so that I can have Kale and Lettuce (several varieties) to set out... I hate to say it – but I see signs that summer to giving way to fall.  Even the sky looks different. Nights and mornings are cooler.   Reports from NOAA (the national weather group) report that ocean conditions are shaping up to be an El Nino year... that would be good for winter rain...

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