Veterans Day Memoir: Anxiousness, Eminem and Trump’s Nuclear Holocaust

November 11

By DeeDee Garcia Blase

There are 18.5 million veterans living in the United States as of 2016, according to the Census Bureau. Of these, 1.6 million veterans are women. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I to honor all American veterans – living and/or dead. However, as a Gulf War I veteran who is still alive with an opinion, I have no choice but to believe we are nowhere close to ending wars – instead, I believe we are on the brink of nuclear war.

I know I can’t be the only vet (out of the 18.5 million) anxious about Trump’s rhetoric that seems extremely unpresidential when it comes to diplomacy in general and regarding North Korea. A piece in the LA Times shed light from one veteran regarding his Korea concern and wrote: “When you juxtapose the awesome progress of the South with the despotism and economic failures of the North, you understand that our sacrifices there had value. It would be tragic to see all of that collapse in another outbreak of war. I hope President Trump has convinced the Chinese to “persuade” the North Koreans to cease their bellicosity. American kids should not have to fight and die again on that familiar terrain.”

What does my written Veterans Day opinion have to do with one of my favorite rappers of all time?

In October Eminem created the ultimate diss of Trump that touched on those who served our military. As I waited and watched the controversy fallout, I saw a lot of reaction from black artists, athletes and even Ellen Degeneres. But what I didn’t see a whole lot of is the reaction from brown artists even though Eminem mentions the immigrant situation and the wall.

As a brown woman, the below are excerpts I want to draw attention to from Eminem’s freestyle rap on Trump and what they mean to me:

But we better give Obama props ‘Cause what we got in office now’s a kamikaze That’ll prolly cause a nuclear holocaust And while the drama pops And he waits for shit to quiet down, he’ll just gas his plane up and fly around ‘til the bombin’ stops Intensities heightened, tensions are risin’ Trump, when it comes to givin’ a shit, you’re stingy as I am

I was surprised Eminem spit out what many are feeling regarding concerns of being on the brink of nuclear war. Many are in denial about these very real concerns, but the rapper exposes how the government will make every attempt to protect the President whether by plane flying around until the fallout settles, or some kind of other nuclear-proof bunker. Meanwhile, what happens to the approximate 30,000 military members serving in South Korea and the approximate 40,000 serving nearby in Japan? Eminem also confesses Trump may be as stingy as he is, however, Trump is the one who is the elected public servant official who is supposed to do what is in the best interest of Americans.

That’s why he keeps screamin’, “Drain the swamp!” ‘Cause he’s in quicksand It’s like we take a step forwards then backwards But this is his form of distraction Plus, he gets an enormous reaction When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that in— —stead of talkin’ Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers

Eminem nails it here. He sees what we see regarding the Russian collusion and investigation of many in his administration and it keeps sinking like they are in quicksand until #45 devises a strategy to divert attention to other matters. I’m thankful Eminem exposes the smoke and mirrors game to his millions of fans. How humiliating it would be for a President to go down in history with spending more time creating bitterness and chaos than taking part in being a solution to humanitarian tragedies.

Same shit that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered Then does it more From his endorsement of Bannon Support for the Klansmen Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black And comes home from Iraq And is still told to go back to Africa Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa Who keeps ignorin’ our past historical, deplorable factors

As a Hillary supporter, I’m glad Eminem exposed Trump’s hypocrisy and his slanderous nature against Hillary. According to the New York Times: “…Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency, which is known for using “troll” accounts to post on social media and comment on news websites. The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election.”

That said, the lyrical lines that addresses “the soldier that is black and comes from Iraq and is still told to go back to Africa” hit a vein with me. The soldiers who are men and women of color have more patriotism in the pinky finger than racist ignorant people who would have known had they served the Armed Forces themselves that the military trains on comradery and the only color that should be noted is the color of our battle dress uniform. In fact the deplorables may want to note that racial and ethnic minority groups made up 40% of Defense Department active-duty military in 2015, up from 25% in 1990, according to the PEW Research Center and 44% of all Americans ages 18 to 44 were racial or ethnic minorities in 2015.

Let that soak in a minute.

Almost half of our United States military consists of people of color even though the large majority of our United States are white alone not Hispanic or Latino. According to NEWSWEEK: “the white population grew by 0.5 percent to remain the largest racial group in America, with 256 million people…”

He says, “You’re spittin’ in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards!” Unless you’re a POW who’s tortured and battered ‘Cause to him you’re zeros ‘Cause he don’t like his war heroes captured That’s not disrespectin’ the military

A good part and one where Eminem exposes Trump’s inability to say ANYTHING about veterans when he is the very one who attacks them! Trump indeed attacked a Prisoner Of War (POW) and I for one was glad Sen. John McCain, in an interview about the Vietnam War, appeared to take a swipe at President Donald Trump when he criticized people from “the highest income level” who avoided the draft by finding a doctor who “would say that they had a bone spur.”

In my view, Trump lost complete credibility with me as he tries to seem as if he cares about people who served. He already disrespected us.

And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his I’m drawing in the sand a line, you’re either for or against And if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split On who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this: F*** You

This above was the best part of the whole diss. Eminem shows he refuses to compromise with racism and I applaud him for that. People of color know the inner racism that has been revealed with this administration and I am glad to see Eminem put his head on the chopping block with angry whites by drawing that line in that sand.

Eminem gets it. He understands we must have zero tolerance for the intolerant. He empathizes with people of color and knows we were born that way and we cannot hide it.

I’ll close with this …

It feels like we are going backwards from all the progress we have made. It’s unfortunate we have such a divisive President as Commander-In-Chief when our very military leaders try to show on the battle field there is no color – just the color of our battle dress uniforms. Eminem has done more with his concert for valor thanking and boosting military morale than Trump will have done in his entire life. And as such, I want to thank all who have served as we march forward during uncertain times.


Sen. John McCain and Rep. Joaquin Castro Should Conduct Inquiry Of Racial / Ethnic Minority Groups Serving South Korea

September 29
I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid) To take a stand (to take a stand) - Eminem
While the current U.S. President Donald Trump was receiving numerous draft deferments beginning in the late 1960’s, our people were getting drafted and dying in war.
Many Mexican American Chicanos / Latinos today have had uncles or dads that were drafted in the 1960s to fight in the Vietnam War and were dying at twice the rate of their white compatriots. The Chicano community campaigned then against the conflict and we are campaigning now against Trump’s carelessness on Twitter.
Loose lips sink ships.
I am concerned with the tone the current administration is bringing to global politics and I fear we are on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. U.S. leadership plays a central role in upholding a rules based maritime order in the Asia Pacific and we believe Trump’s careless tweets are not only un-Presidential – but very disorderly. Trump has never put his life on the line, nor did it appear he had the desire to do so for this great Nation with his multiple deferments. Our troops have no choice as they see us on the brink of nuclear war in the Koreas and have no choice but to not be afraid and take all their knowledge and training into full throttle when Kim Jong Un finally loses it.
When asked about Trump’s views on Vietnam, according to the New York Times:
Trump said he had strongly opposed United States involvement in Vietnam.“I thought it was ridiculous,” he said. “I thought it was another deal where politicians got us into a war where we shouldn’t have been in. And I felt that very strongly from Day 1.”
Just the same, many of us believe it is ridiculous for Trump to take to Twitter to have a war with words with an unstable North Korean leader.
According to VOX:
Michèle Flournoy, formerly the No. 3 official at the Pentagon in the Obama administration, said Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward Pyongyang — which has included deriding North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Little Rocket Man” — created the real risk of an accidental war between the two countries. Retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis spent 37 years in the military, including four years as the supreme allied commander of NATO. Hillary Clinton vetted him as a possible running mate. President-elect Donald Trump considered naming him secretary of state. He is a serious man, and about as far from an armchair pundit as it’s possible to be. And that’s precisely what makes his assessment of the escalating standoff with North Korea so jarring. Stavridis believes there’s at least a 10 percent chance of a nuclear war between the US and North Korea, and a 20 to 30 percent chance of a conventional, but still bloody, conflict.
I know that Senator John McCain risked his life for this great Nation and I respectfully ask his office to conduct an inquiry regarding the demographics of military members currently serving in South Korea. It is hard for me to believe Trump cares about military members considering how he disrespected POW’s who put their lives on the line. To this day Trump continues to make fun of McCain’s disability like a silver spoon-fed spoiled brat.
As a Texas-born woman Gulf War I veteran who served my Nation with honorable discharge (now living in Arizona), I am also asking Congressman Joaquin Castro to request an inquiry regarding the military members who are part of racial and ethnic minority groups serving South Korea and Japan. If Trump continues to allow his ego run amok on Twitter with an unstable leader in North Korea, we would like to know more about what Trump is risking regarding the lives and the demographics serving in and near South Korea. Personally I think Twitter should shut down Trump’s account. Will Twitter be viewed as being an enabler to Nuclear War Trump is bringing us to?
I believe it is feasible for North Korea to fire a nuclear weapon into South Korea considering they have little to lose. Approximately 40% of the North Korean population is already starving and they received more sanctions. It doesn’t help when Trump continues egging North Korea to the point of pushing them over the edge where their leadership will eventually want to take down as many as they can in death. China is kicking out North Korean businesses by January, and now their civilians will suffer more poverty.
I care about military members, families and civilians and it is hella scary for me to fathom the catastrophe a nuclear weapon can bring to the Koreas and surrounding nations like Japan and China. I have nightmares of a nuclear war crisis and images cannot seem to stop. A factor for protecting oneself from radiation and fallout is distance. But how in the hell do you create distance on a peninsula? It’s clear Trump’s ego is more important to him because his loose words have been divisive within our own Nation. With Trump’s continued carelessness, I fear North Korea will fire the first missile into South Korea and a snowball effect from a catastrophic event of this magnitude could force the United States to implement another draft and this is unacceptable!
I hope Senator McCain and Rep. Joaquin Castro will initiate an inquiry because a significant portion (at approximately 40%) of our US Armed Forces now comprise of racial or ethnic minorities. Hispanic share of active-duty ranks rises this year according to the PEW. Racial and ethnic minority groups made up 40% of Defense Department active-duty military in 2015, up from 25% in 1990, according to the PEW Research Center and 44% of all Americans ages 18 to 44 were racial or ethnic minorities in 2015.
According to the PEW:
In the same year, blacks made up 17% of the DOD active-duty military – somewhat higher than their share of the U.S. population ages 18 to 44 (13%). Blacks have consistently been represented in greater shares among enlisted personnel (19% in 2015) than among the commissioned officers (9%). The share of the active-duty force that is Hispanic has risen rapidly in recent decades. In 2015, 12% of all active-duty personnel were Hispanic, three times the share in 1980.
A significant chunk of racial ethnic minorities are serving in the ARMY and the NAVY. More importantly the ARMY and NAVY presence in South Korea is significant in overseas missions. The percentage of active-duty service by branch of military are as follows:
Army 36%
Navy 24%
Air Force 23%
Marine Corps 14%
Coast Guard 3%
According to the Guardian, there are approximately 35,000 troops in South Korea and is the third largest host of US military forces. Casualties from nuclear fallout near Japan also creates angst since there are more US military personnel serving in Japan than in any other foreign country. According to Department of Defense data, 39,345 troops are stationed there across 112 bases.
If artillery rounds began to arc over the 38th parallel, ending the tense 64-year-old ceasefire on the peninsula, the Military Times has constructed a detailed picture of what war on the Korean Peninsula might look like, based on numerous interviews with current and former military officials, international experts and intelligence assessments of the North Korean military’s capabilities. However, the Military Times did not construct a detailed picture of what war might look like if North Korea fired a nuclear missile into South Korea.
If nuclear war begins under the Trump administration, the casualties and the blood will be on Trump’s hands and those of his supporters. I do not care for Trump’s carelessness considering he would not even put his own life on the line for this great Nation. If Trump brings us into nuclear war sending us into deteriorating relationships with China, I see no alternative but to see the current administration implement a draft. The Department of Defense is already having a difficult time being fully staffed as it is and if a draft is implemented – Republicans will face a fury and backlash like never before.



Mexican American National Independent Voter Group: Ending DACA A Moral Catastrophe As Americans Face Another Probable War

September 04
For Immediate Release
September 3, 2017
Mexican American National Independent Voter Group:  Ending DACA A Moral Catastrophe As Americans Face Another Probable War
Phoenix, AZ --  SOMOS INDEPENDENTS is a national organization led by Mexican American women who are independent registered voters encouraging voting in our National and local elections.  We are key swing voters and leaders who are calling for Senator John McCain to support the 2017 DREAM Act. We know McCain would prefer to support the "whole enchilada" regarding Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), however, we ask him to reconsider a piece-meal approach because desperate times call for desperate measures. We hope Senator McCain will consider supporting Senator Lindsey Graham’s and Sen. Dick Durbin's Dream Act Bill.
It doesn't help when Americans know we are on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea and the billions it will cost in another new impending war, and it makes no sense to divide this Nation more than it is now while spending billions more to end DACA.   According to the Washington Post:  "....ending DACA and moving toward deportation of approved applicants would run up a bill of over $8.5 billion. That’s enough to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (which Trump’s budget proposed eliminating) for 56 years. "
Today, Defense Secretary James Mattis  warned of a "massive military response" if North Korea threatens an attack against the United States, after the rogue nation said it completed the test of a hydrogen bomb, according to POLITICO.  The goal of the United States ought to be creating strategic allies – not showing other Nations in the globe how inhumane the current administration can be. Our priorities from the Twitter-in-Chief has taken Americans off balance and now Americans fear nuclear war and a nuke arms race.
Shirl Mora James -- co-founder of Somos Independents and a Civil Rights and Immigration Lawyer states:
"Clearly the only solution to Trump’s attack on the DACA recipients/DREAMERS must come from our Congress. We must start working hand in hand with our federal representatives and U.S. Senators to pass an immigration reform bill to provide a path forward to citizenship for the DACA recipients/DREAMERS."
Ryan Trabuco – San Diego, California organizer states:
As a first-generation American, I grew up in suburban Houston with many dreamers. So many of my friends -- who once could only dream about being successful -- have been able to earn degrees, start businesses, create jobs, run for public office, and offer help and assistance to their families. DACA has absolutely helped them achieve the American dream. Donald Trump, however, has banned Americans from our airports because of their religion, he’s banned soldiers for serving in our armed services because of their sexuality, and now he wants to end the American dream for millions because of who they are and where they come from. I absolutely support DACA, and stand with millions of dreamers who fight for the American dream every day.
Earlier this year in January, we sounded the alarm to brace the undocumented community of Trump's Mass Deportation Plan intentions, but our message to DACA / DREAMer recipients today are clear:
Stay put.  Do not ready yourselves to self deport as the anti-immigrant hardliners would want you to be. You pay taxes and are a contributor, but unfortunately you are here right now without representation.  Please wait it out.
Our message to those who have DREAMer / DACA friends or family:
Be observant to their needs. Know your local suicide hotlines as hope may fade away or weigh on the DREAMer’s minds. Be there for them.  Show them love and compassion as their futures seem uncertain and shaken.
Above: Joaquin Luna Jr. committed suicide and has become one of the poster children for the DREAM Act because he wanted to be an American Citizen. He wanted to work hard and contribute to this Nation. He wanted pay taxes and work hard. More importantly, after the United States was attacked on 9-11 -- Joaquin Luna Jr. wanted to enlist to help defend our Nation.

Immigrants Don't Pose National Security Threat - Trump Retweeting Classified Info Does

August 08
“But stay woke...” - Childish Gambino
According to CNN, “ President Donald Trump's retweet of a Fox News story claiming US satellites detected North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a patrol boat is raising eyebrows on Tuesday after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley indicated that the information in the report is classified and was leaked. “
In other words, the word hype Trump has been using is meant to distract us from the real danger. That very real and clear present danger appears to be this so-called Commander in Chief who wants Americans to fear immigrants rather than his own carelessness with classified and leaked military intel.
The purpose of me writing on political matters is to give you the “brown perspective” — a Chicana’s point of view (if you will). Too often folks make the mistake that we are not as informed as we ought to be, but considering the per capita rate Mexicans / Latinos / Chicanos are very much a part of when we put on that combat uniform, I would beg to disagree. According to the Population Reference Bureau: “ Besides the rapid increase in the U.S. Hispanic population, Latinos are likely to increase in the military because of several recent trends and activities. The Army has launched a vast recruiting campaign targeting Latino youth, placing ads in Spanish-language media, including magazines, radio, and television.”
Why do brown people care about our national security and the decisions made by the Commander-in-Chief?
Because we represent a tremendous share of military personnel.
Typically, things come full circle and it will more than likely be the case with the need for the Chicano movement to amp upward again. We still remember the Vietnam War and how detrimental the effects were on Chicanos. In a nutshell, minorities were drafted and sent to the front lines in disproportionate numbers affecting 170,000 Mexicans and their families.
Do you think the Trump administration is aware of the high minority population in our Armed Forces? You ‘betcha he does. And right now, we must sound the alarm and warn our children. This President doesn’t give a rat’s ass who dies in our future wars and he proves his carelessness with retweeting classified information.
We have two leaders — one in North Korea and one here in the United States who are more concerned with their egos rather than human lives. This memo is to inform everyone (not just my own brown community) to stay alert and be prepared because I believe we are on the brink of something catastrophic and terrible affecting several thousands of lives. Stock up on food and water unless of course you trust this administration’s zero experience in foreign policy and in dealing with our classified information.
Senator John McCain was indeed accurate to say that President Obama was better than Trump when it comes to American leadership. I second that.



Republican Vulture Kelli Ward Wants McCain to Step Down So She Can Step Up

July 21
John McCain lies in a hospital bed in Hanoi, North Vietnam, after being taken prisoner of war. (Francois Chalais)

John McCain lies in a hospital bed in Hanoi, North Vietnam, after being taken prisoner of war. (Francois Chalais)

Kelli Ward has no heart and no class.
Kelli Ward is a Tea Party darling with no class and has made herself look like one aggressive Arizona desert vulture. Perhaps it was the Kool-Aid she drank when the largest tea party Facebook Group hosted a Kelli Ward Day a couple of months ago. If she wants to beat Michele Marie Bachmann’s image — she certainly has attained that goal with her recent comments about our decorated war hero and vet Sen. John McCain.
Tea Party supporters and the alt right share similar views. According to NEWSWEEK:
“The last president for McCain will be Trump. There’s some godly justice right there,” wrote one user on the “Politically Incorrect” message board of social media network 4chan, a hothouse of right-wing memes.
“I’m pretty sure that God is punishing him,” wrote another 4chan user. “God made it pretty clear that he supports New Right now.”
Former State Sen. Kelli Ward, who's running against Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in next year's primary, says cancer-stricken Sen. John McCain should resign "as quickly as possible" and Arizona's governor should think about naming her to replace him.
Here's what Ward told an Indiana radio station Thursday:
"I hope that Senator McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they're going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible, so that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward." 
Ward, who was defeated by McCain in his Senate primary last year, made the comments the day after doctors revealed the 80-year-old McCain had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Resnik is a respected Arizona journalist who shared his story on a public Facebook post, and it appears Ward’s tasteless comments are backfiring with comments like:
Robert Warrington Reeks of desperation.
Marquis Scott Wow. No shame in her game
Lisa James One bad choice after another seems to be her motto
Sophia Tesch No heart. All hollow.
Jim Helga Benbrook She seems to typify the Republican mindset these days. As long as I've got mine, screw you!
Jan Buchholz She's all heart, ain't she? Real pro-lifer. She's ready to knock him off -- prematurely no less.
Craig Darling I was ambivalent about her before.. Now I am against her completely.. "As a Christian" she says... She's a pretender that should never hold public office again.. She's about power not people apparently.
It’s a shame (for gospel reasons) to have Tea Party Christians and the alt right Christians use a tragic illness to advance their agenda. They are quick to judge and are certainly individuals who bring darkness into this world and in my opinion, they are one of the most hypocritical types when their church pulpits claim to spread the message of love and healing. Calling oneself a Christian and rejoicing in Senator John McCain’s illness as a “godly justice” is harming the Christian brand. Christ showed his love through healing and action and we see Arizona hypocrites of the gospel with blood on their teeth.
Former President Obama has more class than hypocritical Christians claiming McCain’s cancer is godly justice when he tweeted:
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.
I second that.
In fact, if Senator John McCain can pull through being a Prisoner of War — he can pull through this!
Kelli Ward ought to be ashamed of herself. Hell, Lydia Hernandez, a former Arizona Democratic State lawmaker doesn’t want Ward to lead either and said:
Kelli Ward sounds like someone who is more interested in the position and sounds desperate to do anything to grab power now. This position warrants someone with statesman like character in our State of Arizona.
Senator McCain has managed to pull votes in Arizona from Independents and registered Democratic voters, and if Kelli Ward thinks she can fill his shoes, she is sadly mistaken.



Latina / Chicana Leaders Challenge Standards of Juan Martinez as the deputy county attorney for the "Serial Street Shooter" case

May 24
Latina / Chicana Leaders Challenge Standards of Juan Martinez as the Deputy County Attorney for the "Serial Street Shooter" Case
Phoenix, AZ --  Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation. It is our understanding that lawyer Juan Martinez is still on probation.  The Attorney Discipline Probable Cause Committee of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered prosecutor Juan Martinez placed on probation for a year last September 2016.  That said, the Hispanic public expects much more from prosecutors and Martinez’s book released shortly after his Jodi Arias murder trial significantly risks undermining those expectations.
Though police have accused Aaron Saucedo of being the "Serial Street Shooter," prosecutors have not filed charges against him.  That said, according to KJZZ, “Juan Martinez is listed as the deputy county attorney for the "Serial Street Shooter" case. Martinez prosecuted Jodi Arias in another high-profile case in the State of Arizona.” We believe standards should be set high with regard to the serial shooter case and the numerous ethical complaints against Martinez has us concerned.    For instance, why is the State choosing a lawyer who has a long list of ethical complaints filed against him from organizations such as the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice?  On another occasion and according to the AZ Central, “ …  a bar charge lodged against Martinez accused him of violating ethical rules regarding "the existence and content of certain exhibits previously sealed by court order." Essentially, a bar complaint was filed (later dismissed) due to Martinez writing a book about his most famous case, the Jodi Arias murder trial.
Our question to the State is:   Why is Juan Martinez the Deputy County Attorney for the Serial Shooter case where prosecutors wanted Court Case Records sealed from us in the public, but is that same lawyer who blabbedwhen his book made general reference to the existence of sealed testimony and exhibits, the references did not contain specific content and was, in some circumstances, publicly available despite the court order(s) sealing the testimony and exhibits"?
Lydia Hernandez, a former Arizona State Representative and resident of Maryvale states:
As a community member, I question Juan Martinez’s authority in utilizing privileged information.   I continue to feel concerned with how the Maryvale / Phoenix Serial Shooter case is moving forward. The suspect has not been charged but prosecutors have already assigned the prosecuting attorney. A prosecutor who has recently had ethics bar complaints filed against him is questionable to me.   We need an ethical professional that has the public’s trust regarding making sure he is going to be the best professional on this case. We are talking about a capital murder case which involves many deaths. Our community cannot afford any mishaps. We need to raise the bar on this one.
According to the AZ CENTRAL:
The order states that Martinez violated three Supreme Court rules governing the conduct of attorneys:
  • Engaging in unprofessional conduct.
  • Using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden any other person, or using methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person by, among other things, improperly attacking the defendant.
  • Engaging in professional misconduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
We believe the State should learn from Martinez’s past mistakes in the Jodi Arias case and not repeat them.  The Chicano / Latino population deserve more in the way of public trust.

Response to May 17, 2017 Hearing: We Demand Right To Our Enjoyment of Free Press in Maryvale / Phoenix Shooting Cas

May 18

For Immediate Release

May 18, 2017
Lydia Hernandez
Former Arizona House of Representatives
DeeDee Garcia Blase
Co-Founder Somos Independents
Response to May 17, 2017 Hearing:  Yes to transparency and No to Censorship in Maryvale / Phoenix Serial Shooting Case
Phoenix, AZ -- Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation. According to the Arizona Republic: "A Maricopa County Superior Court judge took under advisement a request by several media outlets to unseal court records regarding Aaron Juan Saucedo, who police and prosecutors believe to be the "Serial Street Shooter" who terrorized predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods in Phoenix between the summer of 2015 and July 2016.  In a hearing Wednesday, Deputy County Attorney Patricia Stevens argued that the document should remain closed to keep the media from interfering in the ongoing investigation and to protect what she called "investigatory conclusions" set forth in the document."
We want to congratulate the Phoenix Police Department for securing a person of interest.  However, we are respectfully requesting more transparency as it relates to the Maryvale and Phoenix area murders that have affected our community.  
Lydia Hernandez who is a former Arizona State Representative and resident of Maryvale states:
"As a resident of Maryvale where many shooting occurred, I am asking for due diligence. We don't want to build a false sense of security for our residents. I want the security of knowing that we got the right person beyond a reasonable doubt. Our community is depending on the information that is being shared. Announcements of having captured the Maryvale shooter is technically wrong considering that the person of interest has not been convicted, yet. There are still judicial proceedings to be had. With little information being shared, it has not been proven that the responsible person has been captured."
DeeDee Garcia Blase, co-founder of Somos Independents states:
"Here at Somos Independents, we believe in investigative journalism and the right to circulate opinions in print without censorship by the government, and we intend on supporting the enjoyment of  our freedom of press under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  We believe in transparency particularly when the public's faith in our local authorities has waned due to the handling of a high profile freeway shooting case when we learned Leslie Merritt was charged for this crime and later vindicated -- and it was in that case, too, where local authorities requested sealing  records, only to unseal records later on.  The public has a right to know why one single pawn shop in Phoenix has access to weapons involving 2 high profile shooting cases in the state of Arizona and the pawn shop is a red flag to any reasonable person in search for the truth."
We hope to have answers to these burning questions that will help the community know and be confident that the right man being accused is in jail.  Now that records have been sealed with a lack of transparency, we may not ever know the answers to these questions.  The Freeway shooting incident takes away a little bit of confidence since a man (Leslie Merritt) was falsely accused and later vindicated. Now that Leslie Merritt is filing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Arizona local authorities, the rest of the American public should not be punished with gross further lack of transparency due to local authorities botching up the freeway shooting case.  There should be no price attached to our enjoyment of freedom of press.
"I found you guilty of the crime, Of sleeping in a time when you should have been wide awake." - Chris Cornell

Written Recommendations and Follow-Up To Maryvale Area Community Recommendations In Response To Phoenix PD May 8, 2017 Press Conference

May 11

or Immediate Release

May 10, 2017
Press Conference Contact:  Lydia Hernandez
Former Arizona House of Representatives
Phone:  602.463.9900
DeeDee Garcia Blase
Co-Founder Somos Independents
(480) 200-3748
Follow-Up To  Maryvale Area Community Recommendations In Response To Phoenix PD May 8, 2017 Press Conference
Phoenix, AZ -- Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation.  We want to congratulate the Phoenix Police Department for securing a person of interest.  However, we are respectfully requesting more transparency as it relates to the Maryvale and Phoenix area murders that have affected our community.  We are not sure why Maricopa County Counselor Bill Montgomery has sealed the case since the Phoenix Police Department seem certain they have their suspect.  This reminds us of when DPS sealed records in the Freeway shooter case only for them to be unsealed later on. We believe it is reasonable to seal some information such as protecting informants and juveniles, but in this case a defendant has already been identified and the worry to tip off defendants before they are arrested shouldn’t be there.  Additionally, we believe there should be a general written summary of investigation for the public.
At the initial court appearance, the Judge told Aaron Saucedo that “more than likely” the public defender representing him in another case might be representing him in the current case which leads us to believe he has not spoken to a lawyer yet.   After enduring the Freeway Shooter debacle, Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. (a white male who was wrongly accused and later vindicated regarding the freeway shootings) was able to secure his own private lawyers.   But we don’t even know for certain if Aaron Saucedo (a Hispanic male held as a suspect for the Maryvale and Phoenix area serial killings) will have the same single public defender that is defending him in another case.  Our concern is that Saucedo won’t receive the same level of legal advice considering the bogged down system in Phoenix and we want to ensure that due process is fulfilled and a man is innocent until proven guilty in all situations.
There was a rush to judgment on the freeway shooter incident and we want to make sure that mistake does not happen again. Leslie Allen Merritt Jr (WHO WAS LATER VINDICATED FROM BEING THE FREEWAY SHOOTER) was arrested at a Walmart in a suburb of Phoenix but he told a judge  they've 'got the wrong guy'.  Merritt told the Judge he was not the shooter and he had no access to his gun because it’s been in a pawn shop for 2 months.  This same pawn shop had Aaron Saucedo’s weapon, too, and he is a Maryvale and Phoenix Area Murder person of interest who also is claiming he is innocent. 
We are having problems with this pawn shop who has had 2 weapons in 2 high profile criminal cases. 
What is this pawn shop doing with these weapons?
Why is the same pawn shop involved in both high-profile cases?
Why are both guns involved in the same pawn shop with the same individual who owns that pawn shop?
What is this pawn shop doing that other pawn shops are supposed to be doing?
Is there a word on the street that this is the pawn shop that buys weapons related to murders or crime?
There were 8 other high capacity 9 mm guns involved at this pawn shop, so did the other 8 guns get checked besides Saucedo’s? 
Were ballistics testing conducted on all the other 8 high capacity 9 mm guns?  We don’t want evidence ignored or for there to be a blatant tunnel vision from local authorities as was the case in the Freeway shootings investigation.
How long was Aaron Saucedo interrogated for?  Was he fed? Was there sleep deprivation?  What is his mental condition?   He looked out of it at the initial court appearance when he appeared in front of the Judge at his initial Court Appearance regarding the serial shootings.   We also noted he wore glasses. Does he wear contact lenses?
Was there a motive behind Saucedo killing his mother’s boyfriend?  Was it because he was protecting his mother from domestic abuse?  Was he defending her?
We hope to have answers to these burning questions that will help the community know and be confident that the right man being accused is in jail.  Now that records have been sealed with a lack of transparency, we may not ever know the answers to these questions.  The Freeway shooting incident takes away a little bit of confidence since a man (Leslie Merritt) was falsely accused and later vindicated. Now Merritt is filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Arizona local authorities … more than likely at the tax payers expense.

Instead of Aiming National Guard Against Immigrants, Trump Should Aim To Russians Responsible for the Deployment of Nuclear-tipped Ground-launched Cruise Missiles in Violation of the INF Treaty

February 17
Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Jack Gillum (Associated Press).
Trump National Guard Draft Memo

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press. I believe Donald Trump is abusing executive orders and other Presidential directives and is retaliating based on the country-wide marches such as the Women’s March (in support of immigrants) and now more recently the country-wide successful “A Day Without An Immigrant“ strikes held yesterday.   Instead of wasting military and National Guard resources against undocumented immigrants, the Trump administration should focus our military against the Russian’s who are responsible for the deployment of nuclear-tipped ground-launched cruise missiles in violation of the INF Treaty.  According to Arizona Senator John McCain, this particular act (Trump has been silent on) is a significant military threat to U.S. forces in Europe and our NATO allies. According to CNN: The US military has released several photos of what it says were SU-24 Russian fighter jets “buzzing” the deck of a US warship in the Black Sea on February 10, 2017.

Today we discovered Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has become the first House Republican to co-sponsor of a bill calling for an independent investigation of foreign interference with the 2016 elections according to The Hill, and I believe this is the time moderate Republicans throughout this Nation ought to get their Republican President (who is a walking constitutional crisis) under control and for the sake of our National Security.

During a Republican primary debate in November, Trump said: “Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower — a good president, great president, people liked him” and “He moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border.” Trump is referring to is Operation Wetback, a highly controversial military-style operation created by Eisenhower and now we see his immigration broadly laid out executive orders pointing to the same thing.  Trump has made it clear his idea to embrace Eisenhower’s Operation Wetback plan where thousands of people who were deported were American citizens.

Republicans and Americans are going to have to reckon with the fact that they are chasing immigrant people who have no access to nuclear-tipped ground-launched cruise missiles in violation of the INF Treaty. Instead of using our military and National Guard against the murderers and thugs executing the orders of Vladimir Putin that Trump seems to have cozied up to, Republicans are choosing to waste tax payer resources as this move will continue to spread out our troops too thin.   Republicans will also need to address the baby boomers who need and depend on immigrant labor to care for them since billions of undocumented immigrant taxes support their social security checks they depend on. Since this is a clear retaliatory move made by Trump and his administration, I implore women and immigrants across this great Nation ‘from Sea to shining Sea’ to continue to be part of the resistance and support the Women’s Day strike on March 8, 2017, in an effort to stand up against a President who wants to rule with an iron fist. As a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, I am ashamed of Trump as he has clearly demonstrated he has zero foreign policy experience that is putting American’s and their safety at risk.

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Arizona Immigration Activists Brace The Latino Community For Trump's Mass Deportation Plan a/k/a Eisenhower's "Operation Wetback"

January 28

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2017
Lydia Hernandez, Former AZ State Representative
(602) 463-9900
DeeDee Garcia Blase, Co-founder SOMOS INDEPENDENTS
(480) 200-3748

Arizona Immigration Activists Brace The Latino Community For Trump's Mass Deportation Plan a/k/a Eisenhower's "Operation Wetback"
Phoenix, AZ --  Arizona immigration activists are sounding the alarm and warning immigrant visa holders to NOT travel outside of our borders in light of being informed that green card holders are being handcuffed, their social media is being reviewed, and they are being asked their views on Trump. Our message to the undocumented and our community related to the undocumented will be to the tune of many  watchman warnings to include "not driving without a driver's license," using driving services like LYFT instead of Uber, not answering their doors at home, ensuring broken tail lights and headlights are fixed on their cars as we prepare for police powers to be expanded, signing guardianship documents for their American-born children to be entrusted to loving and caring families with a new program via Operation Safe Haven Kid, how to deal with children experiencing trauma in fear of their parents being deported, how to report #HateCrimes via SPLC, boycotting Trump's businesses, and more. 

We believe Trump is using the Muslim Ban as a gateway to embracing Eisenhower's Operation Wetback plan.  Unfortunately, American born citizens were accidentally deported under Eisenhower's approach.  By including permanent residents in his recent ban, Trump has basically deported lawful permanent residents without due process. We know the State Department says dual citizens with seven countries are banned from the U.S., however, we believe the executive order Trump just signed could easily be expanded later into what would effectively be a broad Muslim ban.   Legal immigrants arrested upon arrival at JFK; Trump's #MuslimBan is unlawful, unamerican and unconstitutional and we have no choice (in this impending crisis) but to host Immigration Forums on Executive Orders in both English and in Spanish. It is time to be intolerant of the intolerant. 
During a Republican primary debate in November, Trump said: ""Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower — a good president, great president, people liked him" and "He moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border." Trump is referring to is Operation Wetback, a highly controversial military-style operation created by Eisenhower and now we see his immigration broadly laid out executive orders pointing to the same thing.
Shirl Mora James -- co-founder of Somos Independents and a Civil Rights and Immigration Lawyer states:
"What Trump laid out was broadly that if an undocumented immigrant jaywalks-- they can be deported.   His executive orders have just made our communities unsafe by what he did even if they are victims of abuse or victims or witnesses of crime because they are going to be careful and will not report crimes now in fear of being deported. "
David Leopold -- immigration lawyer and former President of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) states:
"Under Trump’s Executive Order there are four basic priorities, but taken together they actually throw any notion of prioritization out the window.
Trump’s Executive Order goes after:
  • People convicted of any criminal offense, regardless of what the offense was, when it occurred, or the circumstances of the conviction;
  • People who haven’t even been convicted of a crime, but have been charged with one;
  • People who have have simply broken a law, with no charges or convictions resulting;
  • People with final administrative deportation orders, no matter how long ago they received the order and their positive ties and contributions; and
  • Anyone else Trump’s Deportation Force wants to prioritize."
Lydia Hernandez, former Arizona State Representative, is being proactive in sounding the immigration alarm to our community as she will continue to translate in Spanish the warning points David Leopold (former President of AILA) is making us aware of.  The former Arizona State Representative states:
U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders equal to massive deportations. He has put into action, the infrastructure to subtly implement his plan to deport the undocumented in our country.  He will not need to take any drastic action such as bringing in the national guard or doing it by raiding and rounding people off.  However, he is laying the framework to activate the processes already in place.  Doing away with catch and release and reviving the 287G will allow the already existing law enforcement to obey the law and pick up undocumented that are driving without a license or for any minor traffic infraction.  Per Trump’s executive order, he has stated that his administration will focus on deporting only priority undocumented criminals.  Criminals are those that have violated the law.  Any undocumented that has an encounter with a law enforcement agency will be taken into immigration proceedings.  Meaning they will be turned into ICE and then detention and removal process. 
Now more than ever, people need to be informed as to this process and their status so that they are informed and prepared.  I don’t wish anyone to be detained but our community needs to be realistic in that it could happen.  The more we understand the process the better we will be able to deal with it.  Also, I would like to invite our community to attend Immigration forums so that they can be proactive and formulate plans of actions for the wellbeing of their families.    
My intention is not to cause panic but to make us aware of what’s coming and more importantly to be prepared. Remember, just because we fall into immigration proceedings does not mean we are deportable. We can remain in the country and go to immigration court and fight the deportation.  Very often, we sign a voluntary departure due to not knowing any better.   Let us not be victims. Let us defend ourselves with existing law. Let’s remain calm and arm ourselves with knowledge of this process. We are here to stay and there are laws that protect us.  Become informed!
Arizona Immigration activists are planning seminars beginning this upcoming Thursday at 6:30 pm in light of Donald Trump's executive orders that are essentially a blue print for mass deportation.
El 25 de enero de 2017 el presidente Trump dio a conocer una Orden Ejecutiva, “Mejorando la Seguridad Pública al interior de los Estados Unidos”, que potencialmente convierte a cada inmigrante indocumentado en una prioridad de deportación. Al diezmar la política de la era Obama que priorizaba a quienes representaban el más grave peligro para nuestras comunidades, delincuentes peligrosos y riesgos para la seguridad nacional, Trump está echando por la borda toda idea de “prioridades de deportación”.
El de Trump es un plan de acción para poner en práctica su campaña de promesas de deportación masiva, y establece una Fuerza de Deportación para llevarlas a cabo. Está claro que las órdenes ejecutivas fueron elaboradas por los fanáticos antiinmigrantes más extremistas de la órbita de Trump.
Sin duda, Trump está tratando de encubrir su Orden Ejecutiva en la parafernalia superficial de una política encaminada a deportar “delincuentes”. Pero eso era lo que hacían las políticas de Obama. El lenguaje técnico de la Orden de Trump va mucho más allá de toda definición de sentido común en torno a lo que es un delincuente peligroso.
Como era de esperar, Trump está mintiendo.
El alcance de esta política no es de extrañar, dada la inclinación de Trump a sus excesivas generalizaciones y mentiras. Todos recordamos que empezó su campaña asegurando falsamente que “la mayoría” de los mexicanos son “delincuentes y violadores”. Está llenando su gobierno con algunos de los peores extremistas antiinmigrantes, como el senador Jeff Sessions, nacionalistas blancos y otros miembros en su equipo que el Southern Poverty Law Center calificó de grupos de odio.
También es ampliamente sabido que Trump no presta atención a detalles de políticas públicas y se siente completamente cómodo al mentir en público, aun cuando sus afirmaciones pueden ser claramente refutadas. Recuerden esto cada vez que Trump asegure que su nueva política se enfoca en amenazas y en delincuentes. Si esas fueran realmente sus prioridades, respetaría el memorándum de deportación de Jeh Johnson.
Para quienes quieren entender el origen de esta política, permítanme explicarles. Con base en la Orden Ejecutiva de Trump hay cuatro prioridades básicas, pero considerándolas todas juntas echan por la borda toda idea de priorización.
La Orden Ejecutiva de Trump persigue a:
La gente condenada por cualquier delito, sin importar de qué delito se trate, cuándo ocurrió o las circunstancias de la condena;
La gente que simplemente ha violado la ley, sin acusaciones ni condenas de por medio;
La gente con órdenes administrativas finales de deportación, sin importar hace cuánto tiempo haya recibido la orden ni sus resultados positivos y contribuciones:
Cualquiera que la Fuerza de Deportación de Trump quiera priorizar.
La orden ejecutiva de Trump se centra en cualquier persona condenada de cualquier delito, independientemente de lo que haya sido, de cuándo haya ocurrido o de las circunstancias de la condena.
Esto coloca a las multas por estacionamiento en la misma categoría de un asesinato. Claro está, esta lógica desafía el sentido común, pero ahí está plasmado en blanco y negro.
Este lenguaje amplio está incuestionablemente dirigido a los inmigrantes indocumentados que por su situación migratoria han manejado sin licencia o han recibido una multa por un foco fundido. Una vez más las violaciones de tránsito se convertirán en ofensas que ameriten la deportación. Consideren el caso de una esposa indocumentada, madre de un niño ciudadano, que se enfrenta a la desgarradora elección de permitir que su hijo siga sufriendo por una fiebre o ir a la farmacia con una licencia expirada para obtener una medicina recetada.
Tampoco hay límites sobre cuándo ocurrió la condena o cuáles fueron las circunstancias. Un inmigrante de 58 años de edad puede convertirse en prioridad de la Fuerza de Deportación si fue condenado por posesión de un cigarrillo de marihuana, un delito menor, hace 30 años.
La Orden Ejecutiva de Trump se centra en inmigrantes que han sido acusados pero no condenados de un delito.
Trump también le pide a su Fuerza de Deportación ir tras las personas que ni siquiera han sido condenadas por un delito y que simplemente han sido acusadas de una ofensa. Fuera de la claramente injusta práctica de penalizar a alguien basándose en alegaciones no corroboradas, esta cláusula le concede a la policía el poder de transformar a cualquier inmigrante en una prioridad de la aplicación de leyes migratorias solamente acusándolo de alguna ofensa.
“Priorizar a individuos que han sido acusados de un delito pero aun no condenados, concede a las autoridades policiales estatales y locales mayores poderes en inmigración. Un agresivo departamento de policía local podría arrestar a inmigrantes indocumentados aunque no exista suficiente evidencia para encontrarlos culpables en los tribunales. Incluso antes de que sus casos se escuchen, inmediatamente se convertirían en una prioridad de deportación”.
Esto es un regalo para abusadores en serie en materia de derechos civiles como el exalguacil Joe Arpaio, cuya notoria carrera policial se caracterizó por aterrorizar vecindarios latinos y por evidenciar un total desdén al estado de derecho. Con base en el plan migratorio de Trump, todo lo que necesita un agente policial deshonesto es encontrar a un inmigrante que no le guste, acusarlo de un delito y convertirlo en objetivo de la Fuerza de Deportación de Trump.
El plan de Trump también podría beneficiar a los abusadores domésticos. Basta con imaginar el escenario que a diario se suscita en hogares estadounidenses: una inmigrante, residente permanente o indocumentada, es víctima de abuso de parte de su esposo ciudadano estadounidense que la amenaza con la deportación si llama a la policía.
El abuso físico y emocional continúan y una noche algún vecino llama a la policía tras escuchar los gritos de la mujer. Cuando la policía llega, el esposo, aprovechándose de que su esposa no habla inglés con fluidez y de que no está familiarizada con la cultura, miente a los agentes convenciéndoles de que fue su esposa quien lo atacó. Los agentes acusan a la esposa y según el plan migratorio de Trump, instantáneamente se convierte en una prioridad de deportación independientemente de que ella sea la víctima y de que debería ser una prioridad de protección y no de deportación.
La orden ejecutiva de Trump también se centra en inmigrantes que no han sido acusados o condenados de un delito.
Más aún, un inmigrante no tiene que haber sido acusado ni condenado por un delito para ser prioridad de deportación. La jerga legal del plan incluye a inmigrantes “que hayan cometido actos que constituyan una ofensa criminal por la que puedan ser acusados”.
Las implicaciones son impresionantes. Podría otorgarle a la Fuerza de Deportación de Trump la autoridad legal de centrarse en millones de inmigrantes que nunca han sido acusados de un delito pero que ingresaron a Estados Unidos sin inspección, o trabajaron o manejaron un vehículo sin autorización. Concede al DHS y a ICE poderes ilimitados combinando al Big Brother con la Thought Police, y es un escalofriante ejemplo de control gubernamental. Quien no haya violado alguna ley, cualquier ley, que tire la primera piedra.
La priorización de deportaciones se echaría por la borda.
La política migratoria de Trump amenaza a millones de inmigrantes, incluyendo a los DREAMers, que han vivido en este país por décadas simplemente por tener una vieja orden de deportación.
Existen muchas razones por las cuales los inmigrantes pueden tener una orden de deportación en su pasado. El no haber recibido una notificación para su audiencia en tribunales, por ejemplo, fue un problema notorio hace muchos años.
La orden ejecutiva de Trump no hace excepciones ni toma en consideración las razones por las cuales a estos inmigrantes podría permitírseles permanecer aquí, ni el tiempo que lleven viviendo en Estados Unidos, ni si están casados con un ciudadano estadounidense o tienen hijos ciudadanos, ni el contenido de su carácter ni las contribuciones que estén haciendo. La orden ejecutiva tampoco considera las situaciones con base en las cuales un inmigrante tiene derecho a que su orden de deportación puede ser revocada.
Finalmente, la orden ejecutiva de Trump incluye una cláusula de “deténganlos a todos”, que concede a los agentes migratorios de menor rango la autoridad discrecional de deportar básicamente a cualquiera.
La orden ejecutiva se sustenta en la premisa de Trump de que “muchos” de los 11 millones de inmigrantes sin documentos constituyen una “amenaza real a la seguridad  nacional y la seguridad pública”. Este lenguaje, combinado con una cláusula que concede a los agentes migratorios de menor rango el poder de deportar a cualquiera basándose en su singular criterio de que esa persona representa “un riesgo para la seguridad nacional y la seguridad pública”, es una clara señal de que el presidente Trump quiere que su Fuerza de Deportación se sienta con todo el poder de enfocarse en cualquier persona.
En resumen, la orden ejecutiva de Trump no está únicamente reescribiendo las prioridades de deportación de Jeh Johnson, sino que está desechando cualquier tipo de priorización.
Es un plan de acción para la deportación masiva. Nadie debe creer lo contrario.

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An Independent American Voter Group merging Tip O'Neill Democrats and Ronald Reagan Republicans.