Friday, July 29, 2011

In Loving Memory
Sally Ann Ortiz Wilson
November 19, 1948 -  July 29, 2011

My sister Sally Ann Ortiz Wilson quietly passed away Thursday night, around 10:45 PM. Her two sisters (Julia and Anita), her three sons (Jason, Nick, Garry and his fiance Kelsey Frank), and her granddaughter Vanessa, were all by her side. She was at peace and suffered no pain.

Sally Ann is now with our Mother, Sally Nieto

Sally Ann is also reunited with sister Diane and brother Robin

Sally Ann with her boys, Jason, Garry and Nick

We called her "Cher" for obvious reasons!

Sally Ann, embracing our mother Sally Nieto's ashes at memorial

Sally Ann with her son Jason, grand kids Vanessa and Lil Jason

Sally Ann, doing what she did best: Gourmet Cook.
She fulfilled her dream and opened a Mexican restaurant 
(Peppers) in Cole Camp, MO

Sally Ann with son Nick, and sisters Julia and Anita

Sally Ann with son Nick and niece Christen

Sally Ann at her Uncle Joe's Wedding

Sally Ann with mother Sally, father Pete and her seven brothers and sisters

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tom Flores To Be Honored by National Council of La Raza On Tuesday!

     Tom Flores, the first Mexican American to play quarterback for a professional football team, will be honored on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, by the National Council of La Raza with its Roberto Clemente Sports Award.

     Flores, who has won four Super Bowl rings (as a player, assistant coach and twice as head coach of the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders), will be presented the award at ceremonies being held in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, July 26, 2011. The event, which begins at 4:30 PM (Pacific time) will be streamed live from the National Council de La Raza web site as part of the organization's four day conference.
[Tom Flores Fan Club Leadership Team includes (top, left to right, Joe Ortiz, 
Richard Ramirez; and below, left to right, Tom Flores and Lori Lara]

     "The leadership team of the Official Tom Flores Fan Club, who nominated Tom Flores for the award, is extrememly proud and excited that Tom is being honored by this prestigious Latino organization," said Joe Ortiz, President of the fan club.
    "Tom Flores is one of the greatest examples and positive role models for Mexican Americans and other Latinos for the greatness he has achieved in professional football," added Ortiz. "Not only for excelling as a professional quarterback and Super Bowl winning head coach, but for his commitment to youth throughout the nation, especially as the founder of the Tom Flores Youth Foundation based out of his hometown of Sanger, California."
     Among his many honors, the football field of Sanger High School has been named the Tom Flores Stadium. Flores has also been inducted into the American Football League's Hall of Fame, as well as the California Sports Hall of Fame, and has been honored by many other institutions including the City of Los Angeles.
     "Tom has earned every commendation he has ever received," said Ortiz. "He has also earned the right to be inducted into the National Football League's Hall of Fame. All of his fans know this; it's only the voters of the Hall of Fame who have failed to acknowledge this reality and need to give him the honor he deserves."
     "My personal opinion is that when the Oakland Raiders came up with that great slogan for their football team, "A Committment to Excellence," they had to be thinking of Tom Flores," Ortiz beamed.
Flores achievements are monumental, to say the least. He graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1958, but was unable to find a job in professional football. He was cut by the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 1958, and then by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in 1959. In 1960 Flores finally landed a position as a quarterback with the American Football League's Oakland Raiders, who began play in 1960 as a charter member of the league. Flores became the first Hispanic quarterback in American professional football. He became the Raiders' starting quarterback early in the 1960 season.

Flores had his most productive season in 1966. Although he completed only 49.3 percent of his attempts, he passed for 2,638 yards and 24 touchdowns in 14 games. Oakland traded him to the Buffalo Bills in 1967. After serving primarily as a backup, he was released by the Bills and in 1969 signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was back up to Len Dawson on the Chiefs' World Championship team, where he earned his first Super Bowl ring. He retired as a player after the 1970 season. He was one of only twenty players who were with the AFL for its entire ten-year existence. He is the fifth-leading passer, all-time, in the AFL.

After stints as an assistant coach in Buffalo and Oakland (he won his 2nd Super Bowl XI ring as an Assistant Coach under John Madden), Flores became the Raiders' head coach in 1979, following John Madden's retirement. Flores then became the NFL's first minority (and Mexican American) head coach to win a Super Bowl, winning his third and fourth Super Bowl rings for Super Bowl XV and  Super Bowl XVIII. 

After a 5-10 finish to the 1987 season, Flores moved to the Raiders' front office, but left after just one year to become the president and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks. He returned to coaching as the Seahawks head coach in 1992, but returned to the front office following three disappointing seasons. Flores resigned from the Seahawks in 1994 following Paul Allen's purchase of the Seahawks.

Flores left Pro Football with a lifetime coaching record of 97-87 (52.7%), as well as an 8-3 playoff record, and with two Super Bowl victories. Flores, Jimmy Johnson, and George Seifert are the only eligible coaches with two such victories, who have not been selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tom Flores has distinguished himself in so many ways in the pro football arena as a player, assistant coach, head coach, President and General Manager of an NFL Football team, and now as a commentator for the Oakland Raiders football team along with Greg Papa on KSFO (560 AM) during the radio broadcasts of Raiders games.

Maybe there are many other football players and coaches who have garnered more wins as a quarterback, or as an assistant coach or as a head coach, but very few professional football players and coaches (as well as fans) who have worked with Tom Flores among his many capacities in football or with numerous civic communities, can never say he isn't deserving to be inducted into the NFL's Hall of Fame!

This coming July 31, 2011, Tom Flores will also celebrate 51 years involvment as a member of professional football community in the United States (not including high school, college and a stint in the Canadian Football League), where he became the first quarterback to play for the old American Football League as the quarterback for the embryonic Oakland Raiders.
     "I'm a Raider for life," said the iconic Flores.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day Hypocrisy

Independence Day Hypocrisy!
us flag

         "All US federal holidays wreak of hypocrisy, representing notions and events other than what they commemorate. Besides Christmas, none perhaps is more celebrated than when America became independent from Britain on July 4, 1776.
      Coming in the summer, parades, outings, barbecues, other celebratory events, and baseball highlight the day for many - relaxing, not reflecting on the same independence we deny nations globally, waging imperial wars and other ways to prevent it.
     July 4 also commemorates America's history, liberation and traditions most people don't know, never learned, or forgot. Instead - in school to the highest levels and through media managed news - they've been force fed distortions, half truths and illusions to believe what, in fact, isn't true now and never was, a sanitized rewritten history, what historian Howard Zinn corrected in his "People's History of the United States."
      First published in 1980, it became an extraordinary non-fiction best seller with over two million copies sold and counting, followed (in 2004) by "Voices of a People's History of the United States," presenting words and thoughts of labor and anti-war activists, anti-racists, feminists, socialists, and others rarely heard.
     Zinn himself called his signature work "a biased account, one that leans in a certain direction. I am not troubled by that, because the mountain of history books under which we all stand leans so heavily in the other direction - so tremblingly respectful of state and statesmen and so disrespectful, by inattention, to people's movements - that we need some counterforce to avoid being crushed into submission." His exhaustive, informative, and gloriously original work includes material on America's Declaration of Independence and war waged for it not taught the way he did it.
      In the July 2009 edition of The Progressive, he headlined an article, "Untold Truths About the American Revolution," saying:
Was waging war then really worth it, taking perhaps 25,000 - 50,000 American lives, the "equivalent today to two and a half million (at the lower estimate) to get England off our backs."
      Canada ended British without war. So did Western Massachusetts farmers "driv(ing them out) without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over (and) said goodbye to the British officials" nonviolently.
     America's revolution was much different, but who "gained what?" Most Americans were poor. "(T)he Founding Fathers were rather rich" with much different interests from ordinary people. "Do you think the Indians cared about independence" or Blacks held involuntarily as slaves?
     "Slavery was there before (and) there after. Not only that, we wrote slavery into the Constitution. We legitimized it."
      "What about class divisions?" America was a racist class society then and remains one today to benefit elitist interests at the expense of working households, especially Black and Latino ones. "We try to pretend in this country that we're all one happy family. We're not."
      In fact, America's revolution wasn't "a simple affair of all of us against all of them," any more than today, sending young men and women abroad to "liberate" countries for capital, slaughtering people to save them, ruining the lives, welfare and futures of thousands of US forces at the same whose minds and bodies are irreparably harmed by the experience.
      As a result, Zinn said "(w)e've got to rethink this question of war and" decide it's unacceptable, no matter what the reasons given, or the excuse." In fact, they're no more valid now than rallying Americans against Britain's King George III, letting everything change but stay the same. The elite few always win against the ordinary many, but great pains are taken not to tell them.
      As a result, young minds are programmed to believe in America's exceptionalism, inherent goodness, and unique democratic values under governments of, by and for the people that never existed earlier or now.
In "Democracy for the Few," Michael Parenti said "the Constitution was consciously designed as a conservative document" with provisions included or omitted to "resist the pressure of popular tides" and protect "a rising bourgeoisie('s)" freedom to "invest, speculate, trade, and accumulate wealth" the way things work for capital interests today.
     In fact, it codified in law what politician, founding father, jurist and nation's first Chief Supreme Court justice, John Jay, said the way things should be - that "The people who own the country ought to run it (for their benefit alone)."
      It's hardly reason to celebrate, especially today after decades of massive wealth transferred to America's super-rich already with too much, and a nation without enemies at war simultaneously with six nonbelligerent states, spending trillions of dollars unavailable for vital homeland needs. At America's birth, only adult white male property owners could vote. Blacks were commodities, not people, and women were childbearing, homemaking appendages of their husbands.
     Until 1810, religious prerequisites existed, and all adult white males couldn't vote until property and tax requirements were dropped in 1850. Moreover, states elected senators until the 1913 17th amendment enfranchised citizens, and Native Americans had no rights until the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, in part, returning what no one had the right to take away in the first place. In addition, women's suffrage wasn't achieved until the 1920 19th Amendment after nearly a century of struggle for it.
      The 1865 13th Amendment freed Black slaves. The 1870 15th Amendment gave them what wasn't gained until passage of the landmark mid-1960s Civil and Voting Rights Acts, abolishing Southern Jim Crow laws now reappeared in new forms. Today, virtually all hard won gains are lost, hardly a reason for Blacks to celebrate, struggling in a repressive, uncaring America, wanting them mainly to fight imperial wars to enrich corporate predators globally.
      Native Americans perhaps have least to celebrate after centuries of extermination, persecution, denial, and isolation in poverty on reservations. Moreover, they're been mocked and demonized in films and society as drunks, beasts, primitives, savages, and lesser beings to be Americanized or warehoused and forgotten.
      As a result, their cultures are willfully denigrated. Their legacy includes betrayal, treaties made and broken, lands stolen, rights denied, and themselves criminally ignored to this day. For them, justice delayed was never gotten, giving them no reason to celebrate, nor America's growing impoverished millions on their own and out luck in an increasingly uncaring society, focused solely on serving privilege, not popular needs.
      So many others also are denied, persecuted, vilified, and gravely harmed in today's America, notably Latino immigrants and Muslims for their faith and ethnicity to give Washington convenient enemies to incite fear to wage wars for power, profit, and plunder at a time America's only enemies are manufactured, not real.
      Celebrants this holiday enjoying outings, picnics, barbecues, ballgames, outdoor concerts, parades, fireworks displays, visits to the shore on vacation, and other pleasures might reflect about growing millions of victimized/deprived Americans in need, besides billions more worldwide, hoping to survive another day.
      Imagine a future free from today's despair, depravation and perpetual wars. That indeed would be reason to celebrate and give thanks. It's also a goal everyone should support and dedicate themselves to achieve. It won't happen any other way for sure.
     Reflect about that on holiday Monday, as well as America's intolerable legacy of shame."
     Excuse me folks, I'm feeling a little bit hypcritical at this precise moment, and have to go to the front of my house right now ~

     For information about the author's two books, pleace click on the titles of both The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation. To access his web sites and blogs, pleasce click on Joe Ortiz.
     As an added bonus, we have attached a great radio interview by renown national radio talk show host Derek Gilbert, who intervies Joe Ortiz on a subject Derek calls The Flag or The Cross?