Thursday, May 24, 2007

Grijalva on The Supplemental

Statement by Congressman Grijalva:


I will oppose the Iraq supplemental to be voted on in the House this week. I continue to appreciate the difficult task that leadership faced in creating this legislation and the inclusion of a number of provisions in this bill that are desperately needed and that I wholeheartedly support. These include the minimum wage increase, continued recovery for the people and communities of the Gulf Cost region, and health care needs of our veterans and our children.

I have opposed funding this war from the beginning, and I have no interest in funding it now. The previous supplemental, The Iraq Accountability Act, though flawed and at odds with many of my beliefs, represented a chance for hope. It had represented a first, all be it tentative, step in the difficult process of finally bringing this devastating war to an ultimate end through accountability standards that were tied to a withdrawal plan to bring our troops home.

But I cannot in good conscience support this new version of an Iraq war funding bill. This bill removes important elements that hold the administration acountable for its decisions in this quagmire; no more unwaivable benchmarks, no more required certification of the Iraq government's efforts to resolve ong-standing political conflicts linked to a timeframe for transition allowing our troops to begin a long overdue schedule of redeployment home. These revisions have effectively reduced this supplemental to a paper tiger that will give the administration an unfettered extension to this ill conceived occupation, and an implied sanction by this Congress of the war, at least through the end of this
fiscal year.

I cannot tell those individuals and the families of those individuals who have died or been injured in Iraq that I supported their continued participation in an unaccountable war without end.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I’m a devoted fan of David Lynch, particularly of Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, so when his three-hour-long movie INLAND EMPIRE opened at the Loft I hurried out to see it.

This film has received considerable critical acclaim and a mind-boggling amount of discussion on blogs, fanzines, and the official Lynch web site. Don’t believe me? Google “David Lynch+Inland Empire” and drop down the rabbit hole.

Why all the fan buzz? I suspect it is because we love puzzles. We are particularly attracted to puzzles that are in some way essentially flawed so that they may not
, in principle, ever be correctly solved.

I think we can expect even of an absurdist or surrealist work that it’s elements exhibit a certain coherence in virtue of which it is a work of art. It can be puzzling, it can be ambiguous, it can challenge us with a variety of interpretations… but in the end it must be a whole.

I’m not sure I can fully explain what I mean by “an artistic whole” except to say that if anything were left out it would collapse into fragments. My complaint about INLAND EMPIRE is that you could chop out random scenes here or there and it wouldn’t matter. What’s annoying about this film is that it a collection of fragments, although some of the fragments are brilliant.

I suspect the critical acclaim may, in some part, be due to the fact that there is a natural tendency on the part of critics to fight shy of suggesting that the emperor is, if not naked, at least not completely clothed.


Now how about this for absurdity? Here’s a picture of Republican Presidential candidates. All about the same size, all dressed exactly alike, all old white guys, and all sanctimoniously asserting that they are “more conservative than thou.” Aren't there any young, exciting Republicans the party would like to push? Women? Hispanics? African-Americans? Someone, say, forty years old?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Downtown Re-development

Rio Nuevo is dead. Long live the urban renaissance, renewal, re-development, what have you.

If your life has been stuck in thralldom to malldom and you haven’t been to downtown Tucson recently you might be surprised at what’s going on there. It’s not The Loop or Broadway and 42nd street, but neither is it the last scene from “On The Beach.”

I spent last Saturday At the H.O.G (Harley Owner’s Group) rally taking advantage of events and venues that were on the rally list of things to do when not playing ‘bite the weenie’ from the back of a motorcycle.

Downtown was pretty exciting. There was a folk festival, the Hog Rally, and a variety of musical events that attracted crowds. It occurs to me that the first step in re-making downtown as a center of urban energy is to make sure that there are multiple events there every weekend.

Tucson should spend money to make that happen, which in the long run might be the cheapest way to re-energize the area.

The relatively new (six months, I believe) Downtown Museum of the Arizona Historical Society is fascinating. It presents a wonderful picture of downtown Tucson as it was

“…Pay a visit to a 19th Century hotel lobby, then check out an old-time barbershop. Learn about the capture of John Dillinger and his gang…Explore the history of downtown’s police force, firefighters, schools, libraries, businesses, theaters, and more.)

The museum is located at 140 North Stone, just opposite the library.

One problem: The museum is not open on Saturday and Sunday. That’s where the city might come up with money… to keep it open on those days.
Adults, $3.00, Seniors $2.00. Free the first Friday of each month.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Rest of The Story

Daniel Scarpinato’s “Political Notebook” in this morning’s Star reports that Congresswoman Giffords is co-sponsoring a resolution to support Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

He fails to note that in addition to the gaily-painted scooter/sidecar combination that graces a living room she is also a serious BMW rider. My wife and I have taken many a Sunday ride with her. She’s an excellent rider, although I don’t imagine she has much time for it now.

Here’s her wonderful old “toaster bike” a 750 cc BMW R75/5. (Called a toaster because of the chrome side panels on the

Friday, May 04, 2007

Non-Political Poetry

Disappearing Bees

God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
He staged the Rapture, but he took the swarm.