Monday, October 19, 2009

Rosemont Mine impact statement on hold

The environmental crime proposed by a humongous greedy copper company, to be gouged into the shoulder of a 9400-foot mountain range just south of Tucson, and opposed by pretty much the entire universe except for the copper company, the people paid to spread bullshit rhetoric about the mine's fantasy benefits, and people dumb enough to believe the lies or in favor of destroying the very planet we live on, may be losing steam. Quoting from Inside Tucson Business
...Derby’s announcement comes just before a planned Oct. 24 visit from Jay Jensen, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment, which oversees Forest Service policy. Jensen is coming at the request of Southern Arizona’s U.S. Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva, both Democrats, for a tour of the proposed mine site and a public meeting.

Giffords and Grijalva have asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to have the Coronado Forest Service consider a “no action” alternative in the environmental impact statement for the proposed mine, which could then lead to a decision to deny permission to start the mine.

The Coronado National Forest has said it doesn’t believe it can take that position under federal law.

Meanwhile, Pima County officials are continuing their efforts to stop the mine...

Quoting from the AZ Daily Star
The U.S. Forest Service won’t meet its November deadline for releasing an environmental document about the proposed Rosemont Mine and officials said today that they don’t know when the report will be released.
The announcement of the delay comes after months of emotionally charged controversy on the $900 million mine, proposed for the Santa Rita Mountains, about 30 miles southeast of Tucson. It also follows a raft of critical statements from officials from various agencies reviewing alternatives for the mine, which if approved would become the third or fourth largest copper mine in the United States.

The service is taking a hard look at many of the ideas raised by the general public and a group of agencies who are cooperating with the service’s review, Roth said. The Tohono O’Odham tribe, the Pima County Administrator’s office, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Town of Sahuarita and the Arizona Department of Water Resources have all raised issues, questions or concerns about the Rosemont proposal to remove 220 million pounds of copper a year for the next 20 years from a site just west of State Highway 83 in the Santa Ritas.

See the Star's article here. After that, try your library.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

DJ Olive : Art as medicine, music as medicine

DJ Olive's Sound and Sculpture Installation at the 2008 Whitney Biennial

Monday, April 20, 2009

J.G. Ballard dies

Of all the writers I've read, this guy was the biggest influence on my own artwork. His science fiction stories always take place in the present and bring into focus a creepy side of life caused by industry, tv, psychosis, neurosis, & the machines we build.

The UK Guardian does a nice job eulogizing Ballard, his contributions, & his unique genius in these two articles:

How JG Ballard cast his shadow right across the arts : JG Ballard's influence on culture went far beyond literature. We look at his lasting impact on film, pop, architecture, TV and visual art

Crash author JG Ballard, 'a giant on the world literary scene', dies aged 78

Quoting from the second article:
The young science fiction author "wasn't interested in the far future, spaceships and all that", he explained; rather he was interested in "the evolving world, the world of hidden persuaders, of the communications landscape developing, of mass tourism, of the vast conformist suburbs dominated by television – that was a form of science fiction, and it was already here".
After reading Ballard more than 20 years ago when I was in college, I never saw things the same way again. Abandoned buildings, empty swimming pools, highway overpasses, machinery, and tv always make me think of Ballard and the creepy side of modern life.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

AZ Daily Star continues coverage of Jaguar's death

As the Arizona Daily Star continues to cover the death of Arizona Jaguar Macho B, evidence has emerged that researchers from the state Fish and Game Department intended to trap a Jaguar but told the public that Macho B's capture was unintentional.

In a tragic and cruel case of messing with Mother Nature the 12 year old cat was lured with female jaguar poop, captured and apparently injured, then captured again and euthanized by vets at the Phoenix zoo.

The Star has covered the story almost daily. Today's story has video that shows how cruel this capture was. The Star pretty much summed up my feelings about this incident:
Some environmental groups such as the Sky Island Alliance and Center for Biological Diversity have questioned or opposed capture on the grounds that its risks to the rare animal outweighed the benefits.
IMO, scientific study is important in preserving rare species and in measuring the effects of such asinine and destructive things as the giant iron wall BushCo was trying build along the Mexico border. But it's completely stupid to lie about your research and then to bungle it and kill the jaguar you're trying to study.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Death of Macho B Jaguar

The Arizona Daily Star has been following the story of Macho B, the Jaguar that was recently caught, radio-collared and released in southern Arizona.
I'll quote from a 3/28/09 update, bascially a teaser for a story being run in tomorrow's Sunday edition:
What killed Mach B, the country's last known jaguar living in the wild?
Four individual U.S. jaguars have been confirmed to exist since 1996 — two each in Southern Arizona and southwest New Mexico. With the recent death of aging Macho B, who was caught in a trap then released with a tracking device in Southern Arizona, no jaguars are known to live in this country today.
Officials have said the jaguar euthanized early this month due to kidney failure clearly had suffered from the disease before his Feb. 18 capture. A vet also said the stress of the trapping probably aggravated Macho B's problems.
New information uncovered in a Star special investigation into the death of Macho B contradicts earlier conclusions.
Way to go AZ Daily Star for following up and investigating on an important, local, environmentally-oriented story.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Arizona responds to Sunshine Week by kicking reporters out of State Capitol

Since 1960 reporters in Arizona have had a press room in the state capitol in Phoenix. Now state Senate President Bob Burns has announced legislators will take over the press room in the Capitol and prevent reporters from using any other rooms in the capitol. This announcement was made in a speech detailing what State Government will do to ensure transparency in State Government. Cocky, eh? Well this what we here in Arizona are being treated to now that Gov. Janet Napolitano has left for D.C. This is only one example of rightwing backlash & retaliation since January 09. State legislators have also moved to allow guns on school campuses, gut higher education, restrict abortion, and abolish the governing body of the State University system, the Arizona Board of Regents.

Wow they are feeling high and mighty up there but it's not the Dark Ages anymore, morons. From the Arizona Daily Star, 3/17/09:
Capitol Media Services
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.17.2009
PHOENIX — For the first time in nearly 50 years, reporters will not have work space in the state Capitol after July 1.
Senate President Bob Burns said Monday he is not interested in finding new space for reporters after Republicans take over the current press room in the Senate on that date.
Burns wants the current press room for Republicans to have caucuses, meetings of party members to discuss policy and pending legislation.
Burns also said he is not interested in providing space for reporters in any of the other rooms that will open up once the caucus room moves out of its current second-floor location.
And he's not interested in finding space for reporters who cover the House and Senate in the adjacent Old Capitol building.
"We have needs for the space," he said.
Burns' statement came at the end of a press conference where he and other Senate Republicans used "Sunshine Week" to detail what they say they are doing to make government more transparent to the public.
Sunshine Week is an unofficial effort by the American Society of Newspaper Editors designed to educate the public about the importance of open government and freedom of information.
There has been a place for reporters to work since the current House and Senate chambers were constructed in 1960, according to Rep. Jack Brown, D-St. Johns, first elected to the Legislature in 1962.
Reporters have been in the same room on the first floor of the Senate since the late 1970s.
About a decade ago, amid concerns about subsidizing private operations, the Senate began charging rent based on the equivalent cost of Class A office space. The rent this year is $77 a month per reporter.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Chernobyl in 2009 photos

See Boing boing's wonderful post full of photos of Pripyet, the town that was zapped in the Chernyobl meltdown.

And read Martin Cruz Smith's "Wolves eat dogs."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lux Interior R.i.p.

True Wildman of the dark swampy recesses of the world of R&R- The Cramp's Lux Interior has apparently passed away.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Arizona state legislator attacks public media in Tucson

Although the AZ Daily Star reported it here in the 1/23/09 op-ed section, "conservative" yah-hoo Al Melvin, the freshman Republican senator from Legislative District 26 did walk in to KUAT's offices and threaten to cut funding to public media in southern Arizona unless somebody conservative enough for M. Melvin starts to appear on KUAT's Arizona Illustrated segment "Weekend Roundtable." This segment, which already includes a conservative voice (usually somebody from the Star) has caused this fucking right-wing moron asshole Melvin to waltz in there and pretty much threaten "well I'll cut your funding unless you put a paid right wing radical mouthpiece on your program." And this guy is supposed to represent the people who supposedly elected him.

This just illustrates the right wing backlash retaliation effort in Arizona, now that Janet Napolitano has answered the higher calling and departed for Washington D.C. The clowns come out of the woodwork, and acting cocky, they immediately want to slash k-12 and higher education, arm every redneck creep in the state, and twist public media to broadcast their phony, destructive crap. What's next? Prayer meetings for State employees? Hire Blackwater to be the police force? Teach creationism in the schools? Fire State employees and University faculty members who are not right wing "christians?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blogger's Rights

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Read up on blogger's rights at the EFF.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

San Francisco bay area celebrates in a diverse and normal way

Gee why is everybody crying? Maybe they are relieved at the end of the Bush Administration and its army of publically and privately-paid spies, and its intention of stamping out every liberty we hold dear.

The Chron says it all, just read the examples. Here in Tucson there were some fireworks on election eve but up there in the City, tonight? People are really cutting loose as we say goodbye to an 8-year USA Nightmare on Elm St.

We got a ways to go, people. There is whining, yes, we are now all commies, lots of other bad names that have been around since the beginning of time. The local CBS affiliate, KOLD TV, or somebody upstream, quickly cut off the sound in Katie Couric's interview w/ Rev. Jessie Jackson, and then dumped the video all together. The sound and vid was miraculously restored as soon as it was time for the next commercial break.

As a "Unicorn chaser," continue reading the San Francisco Chronicle's on-the-ground coverage of the tangible spirit of elation and relief in a city where diversity is the norm, and where the politics of the Bush administration were obvious poison from the very start.

Watching history

Good thing they did not use a Chrysler limo, it would have probably broken down halfway there

(From an email)


When it looks cold on tv back there, it really is. I fucking been
there. Jr. High, outside for fire drills, or waiting on the schoolbus
stands out to this day. Good thing the [Maryland] fall and spring were so nice. ...I
totally went to school with a whole ton of black folk back there and got to
know the dirt-poor and the proto-yuppies both. I heard a lot of ugly things said and race riots were common a year or two ahead of me at my highschool. Somehow I got perspective and hope and now I am honestly not surprised to see a black man be president. We used to smoke the weed with kids whose big brothers had fought just a couple years ago. I am honestly blown away to see MLK day and Obama's inauguration on consecutive days. All the talk about Lincoln, [and] Illinois. Interesting. People treat history like a joke, like it does not matter unless it's pop entertainment, but now you can see [the subject of] history's not something add to the "useless liberal arts" category. All of us folks who [spoke up] and [said] "hey this is wrong, it needs to stop," ... maybe we really can stop some of the really wrong things going on.
And not get tortured, shot, jailed, spied on, slandered, libeled, harassed, poisoned, intimidated, attacked, badmouthed, pushed around, bullied, or psi-opsed.

2. The network anchors are kind of morons, not very good speakers at all,
although what they say is not as stupid you might think. They just string
it all together in one sentence so there's no discreet units of meaning.
The commentary is like junk blowing by in the wind. They just said 3
year-olds love to say "Obama." It's easy to say for them. Michelle Obama
is 5'11" and the 10 year girl is already very tall. They had a whole long
interview about Michelle Obama, and selecting clothing. Relevant, clothing
discussions? You bet. Relevant to at least half the population. [The point being the network "reporters" are not that short on subtance but still weak in style and obviously, for people who are supposed to be journalists, are not that skilled w/ language, meaning these folks are used to being cute and saying what they're told to say.]

My old friend from [Xxxx] posted to "Now I know how you all felt the past 8 years. I'm moving out of the country." [He] is no longer [on my section of that website]. Fuck him, I don't need that shit. I can remember him saying "I like Reagan, he put money in my pocket." Sure he did, and you were [working hard, earning low wages and drinking too much] and living in a hovel and driving a beater car and when you needed treatment you didn't have insurance cuz the employer didn't give a fuck about you. And now you managed to escape those days and still be alive you still you are believing whatever crap [Rush Limbaugh et al] feed you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Arizona governor tired of "betting on the come"

WTF?? Brewer adds herself to a long line of whacky Arizona governors. From today's AZ Daily Star:
Brewer has been vague on her own plans for dealing with the budget. But without naming Napolitano, Brewer said in an interview Friday that there has been "irresponsible management" of the state budget.
"There has got to be spending cuts," she said. "We have gone down the path of using gimmicks and rollovers and 'betting on the come' that revenues are going to come in higher than they were projected."
Brewer said many legislators, and even the general public, are not fully aware of the magnitude of the problem facing the state.
"I believe the people of Arizona are in denial and they've got to step up and face reality," she said. "We've got a huge historical crisis in the state of Arizona."

...According to this article in the 1/17/09 AZ Daily Star.

Our outgoing governor Janet Napolitano has a budget remedy sized up thusly in the same article, which article's title was so wisely chosen by the Star to be "Napolitano releases budget plan, but it's likely to be ignored
By Daniel Scarpinato"
Outgoing Gov. Janet Napolitano released a state budget proposal Friday that seeks to get Arizona through shortfalls this year and next by relying on borrowing to salvage government.
But incoming Gov. Jan Brewer, the secretary of state who is set to replace Napolitano within days, warns there will be cuts. The state, Brewer said, can't continue to rely on what she called "gimmicks and rollovers."
With her resignation likely to come next week, Napolitano wants lawmakers to borrow at record levels, delay paying bills, withdraw nearly all the money out of the state's savings account and make targeted cuts to state agencies.
And Napolitano wants to do it all without laying off any state employees or eliminating governmental agencies
Gee Whiz, ya mean she doesn't want to take people's jobs away or eliminate services our tax dollars pay for? Well, we can't have that now, can we?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Arizona Rebpublicans immediately begin to gut higher education

In the budget crisis situation Arizona Republicans in the state legislature finally have their chance to strike back at the evil liberals trying to spread dangerous knowledge.

University of Arizona President Robert Shelton states the facts pretty plainly in a report from UAnews today.

Arizona's state budget is already in deep doo doo, but now that Gov. Janet Napolitano is getting ready to go to Washington D.C. the Republican dominated Arizona state legislature is pissing all over themselves because they have their long-awaited chance to gut higher education.

Knowledge is a dangerous thing to these folks, people. And the excuse they've been waiting for has arrived. They can now gleefully cut the State University system's budget by what amounts to about 30%.

This will mean thousands of jobs; staffers and faculty both. Many, many folks are employed here in Tucson by the UA. This will also mean a drastic reduction in service to other people who are trying to get a college education.

Shelton mentions something not covered in the snitty piece published in today's AZ Daily Star. Republican micro-management of the State University system. How do ya like them apples? So I guess now it's gonna be mandatory classes in fundamentalist Christianity and financial aid preference based on how you vote? I'm not kidding, that is how most of Arizona Republicans are.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Richard Grant interview on KUAZ FM Tucson

Richard Grant, author of God's Middle Finger talks about his awesome book. Interview is at 7:40 in this recent edition of KUAZ FM Tucson's Arizona Spotlight.

God's Middle Finger is a great book about a very interesting range of mountains in Mexico. You can actually see the northern reaches from Douglas, Arizona. The range goes 800 miles down into Mexico and has never been tamed. God's Middle Finger is Grant's book about his journey down there. Great reading.

I am also reading another great book by Grant called American Nomads. In this book Richard Grant writes about the road, and really takes you back into history about the subject of wanderlust in the U.S. Western states. Awesome reading.