Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Journey for Justice: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of E.O. 9066

On February 19, 2017, I had the honor of attending the event “Journey for Justice: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of E.O. 9066”, at the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) – Arizona headquarters in Glendale, AZ. 

Sponsored by the JACL AZ and the Asian Pacific American Studies Program (APAS) at Arizona State University, the event commemorated Executive Order 9066 by addressing the significance of Executive Order 9066 then and now. The keynote speaker was John Tateishi, former Pres. of National JACL, who was instrumental in the Redress actions for the WWII Internment. 

Over 100 people were in attendance, and for those who were not able to attend, I recorded the event and posted all of the videos on YouTube. See the video playlist below. (Note: there are 6 videos total. You can either watch them sequentially, or hit the forward button to skip to the next video.) 

After the event one JACL member stated, “the recordings will be quite useful in ways we have yet to know.” I hope that is true, and I hope that you enjoy watching them. 

VIDEOS: JACL-AZ & ASU APAS | Journey for Justice: EO 9066 75th Anniversary


“On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order authorized the Secretary of War to remove all persons of “foreign enemy ancestry” from designated war zones. As the U.S. Attorney General noted at the time, Executive Order 9066 was only intended to apply to Japanese Americans. Over 110,000 Japanese Americans — two-thirds who were U.S.-born citizens– were forcibly relocated to 10 prison camps.

Seventy-five years later, we are confronted by the civil rights legacy of Executive Order 9066. Some politicians today advocate a nationwide registry of Muslim Americans; anti-immigration sentiment has flourished; and certain groups are criminalized on the basis of their racial identification or ethnic ancestry.

The commemoration will feature John Tateishi, a former prisoner at Manzanar, former JACL national president, author, and 2007 recipient of the Spendlove Prize on Social Justice for his work leading the redress movement. A Panel of Witnesses (elders) and a Panel of Stewards (youth and teachers) will follow, sharing the impact of Executive Order 9066 on their lives.

This event is held in honor of Ted Namba, former community leader and JACL president, who was determined that we not forget the lessons of the past. Attendees will also view a display of Japanese American Prison Camp Exhibit of items created and used by Japanese Americans who were held in two camps at Gila River Indian Community. This display is dedicated to the memory of Mas Inoshita, Joe Allman and Ted Namba, all of whom sought to keep this history alive.”

Sponsored by:
JACL AZ is the Japanese American Citizens League chapter for the state of Arizona. It is committed to the mission and work of the National JACL to preserve the legacy of Japanese Americans in the United States and to protect the rights of all Americans.

The Asian Pacific American Studies Program (APAS) at Arizona State University draws upon Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences in order to understand the challenges and opportunities of immigration, globalization, and race relations in the United States.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

City of Chandler Nozomi Park Kiosk Dedication

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, the City of Chandler dedicated a history kiosk in a park near the site of a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans. The dedication ceremony included city officials and former internees. 

Display panels on the kiosk (PDF, 5MB) tell the Gila River War Relocation Center's history, including how baseball provided residents "a sense of pride, hope and normalcy during their incarceration."

The kiosk project was partly funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

The entire dedication ceremony was recorded and posted on YouTube. 

Afterards, the Nozomi Park dedication ceremony and kiosk was also featured in local and international media:

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Yoga Makes the Body Beautiful - A Tribute

Note: The following is a reprint of a 1977 article titled "Yoga Makes the Body Beautiful" that features my mother, Joanne Church Staples Moore. 

I'm posting it to share with those who knew her, and as a tribute to mom in anticipation of what would have been her 70th birthday (May 12, 2017).

She was age 29 at the time of this article, a few months shy of 30th birthday. She was a "health and fitness nut" at this stage in her life, and passed this passion on to the family. We ate a lot of fruit, veggies, yogurt and wheat germ in those days.

In fact, I recall being that crazy kid who did the yoga headstand for "Show and Tell" in my first grade class.

As a competitive athlete throughout high school I used many of the yoga moves and techniques she taught us to maintain flexibility, and strengthen the mind-body-spirit connection.

Today, I still incorporate these principles into my health and fitness practices. And at age 47, can still pull off a descent yoga headstand. ;-)

So I post this as a tribute to my mother and personal yogi. Love and miss you always, Mom. 



Click to enlarge images.

Yoga Makes the Body Beautiful 

By Kathleen Dooley

The Riverside Sun, Tuesday Feb 1, 1977

Want to get rid of those midwinter blues and learn a way to deal with tensions and apprehensions at the same time?

Try a course in yoga.

A group of energetic women have enrolled at the Cohoes YWCA for the yoga course this semester. They’re finding after only two sessions that it’s an enjoyable way to relax.

The women do take on some unusual position. They can be seen sitting cross-legged, lying completely still in a prone position or perhaps standing on their heads.

It may look strange but it does wonders for the body. Their instructor Joanne Staples says it tones up the body muscles and helps relieve tensions, besides help to lose inches.

“Yoga is an Indian method of relaxation,” says Joanne. She began herself at the “Y” course less than two years ago.

“I loved it the moment I started,” says Joanne. She began by learning the positions and kept trying to find out more and more. “My teacher, June White of Troy, lent me books and articles and I kept reading a practicing. The next thing I knew, she was showing me how to be an instructor.”

According to her students, she’s doing a fantastic job. She has mastered all the positions and can maintain them.

Joanne says it makes you feel so very, very good. “It brings out the muscle tone and has both immediate and long-range effects on the body,” she comments. “It’s also just good to keep the figure the way you want it to stay,” says Joanne.

Is it difficult to learn? “I learned quickly,” says Joanne, “but it’s most important to let the body flow. You just let the body go by itself, if possible,” she adds.

Yoga, she claims, cannot be a forced exercise. This is the type so many women are used to learning.

The effects are subtle, but within four to six weeks, she says a person becomes aware of how much better the body feels from the Yoga sessions.

"It only works for those who are able to relax enough," she continues. She has noticed through her experiences that it can happen only if you allow it to and don't force the issue. Yoga has made her a much calmer person. That's one of the long-range effects.

"Most comment afterwards on how many inches they've lost and how much better they feel generally all over," Joanne says.

After she started, she had a weight loss of about 30 pounds. She also noticed a general tightening of all her muscles and had a feeling of being in good physical condition.

Relaxed breathing is an important part of the course Joanne says. The breathing allows the muscles to relax and the blood to flow smoothly throughout the entire body.

"I tell my students to concentrate and visualize such things as your lungs being empty glass and the air all around is water or vice versa," she says.

They are learning the Hatha Yoga technique. "Hatha means a union of the body and the mind," says Joanne. "The symbols for it are the sun and the moon and it requires great concentration." In Hatha, the mind does as much work as the body.

The entire body is taught to relax. One of the positions which some may find difficult to master is the headstand. "In the headstand," she says, "the blood flows down throughout the body and all systems are activated." The flow of blood and oxygen is good for the hair, skin, and many other parts of the body claims Joanne.

Joanne enjoys doing the headstand because it conditions the muscles in the body to take a lot of strength to do. She compares it to "pressing" weights equal to the weight of your body. The reverse posture helps the blood to circulate and really flow."

"Inhale deeply, always through the nose," she tells the girls, "Keep the mouth closed."

The air goes to the bottom of the lungs using this method of breathing. Then, they hold their breath and finally exhale through the nose, very slowly all the time.

The stomach muscles should tighten and each time the lungs are being emptied out completely and filled up again. All these breathing exercises require deep concentration and proper instruction.

At the beginning and end of each session in yoga, the girls go through a "relaxation" period, during which they learn to breathe and relax fully for 15 minutes. They lie in the "sponge" position, which merely means lying flat on the back on the floor.

"Yoga fits into your life," says Joanne. She finds that many of the postures can be carried on throughout the day.

"When you become aware of tension, you begin to understand what is happening and you know enough to teach your body to learn how you feel and learn the yoga position to take which is best to relieve the tension."

Joanne Staples' students are thoroughly enjoying the sessions. They feel they are learning something new and different and at the same time relaxing. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

2016 Clinton-Trump Edition: Does the World Series Winner Predict the Outcome of the Presidential Election?

2016 Clinton-Trump Edition: Does the World Series Winner Predict the Outcome of the Presidential Election?

by Bill Staples, Jr.

Author's note: Back by popular demand, this is an update to my blog post published during the 2012 election

Question: Is there a correlation between the winner of the World Series and the outcome of the Presidential Election?

Answer: It's not definitive, but more often than not, when the National League wins the World Series, a Democrat wins the Presidential Election; when the American League wins, a Republican wins the Presidential Election.

Let's look at the data:

TABLE: World Series Winners and Presidential Election Winners, 1908-2016
YearWorld Series WinnerLeaguePresidential Election WinnerPolitical PartyAL=Rep. NL=Dem. Correlation
2016 CUBS WIN!NLTrumpRepNo

2016 Results: With the Cubs and Trump winning in 2016, then the correlation percentage dropped to 57.1% (16 for 28). If the Cubs and Clinton both had won in 2016, then of the 28 elections held between 1908 and 2016, there will have been a correlation (AL = Rep.; NL = Dem.) between the World Series winner and the Presidential Election 60.7%.

BTW, the first World Series held during an election year was back in 1908, when the Cubs last won it all. Republican William Howard Taft won the election, but its worth pointing out that the Republican party of 1908 is nothing like the Republican Party of 2016. In 1908, the Republican Party platform still reflected the values set forth by of the "Party of Lincoln". Taft also ran as a continuation of popular two-term (1901-1909) President Theodore Roosevelt, who was also a "Lincoln" Republican.

In my original blog post, I stated that the World Series-Presidential Election coincidence could be explained by the simple laws of probability (and coin flipping).

Some people would like to think that National Pastime is somehow connected to the pulse of the Presidential Election. But most likely it’s not.

I would say that once we reach 70% then someone might be able to argue that the winner of the World Series IS a strong predictor of the presidential election.