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ALEC Week Wrap-up

      There's Governor Brewer addressing ALEC. As most of you know by now, I went up to Phoenix last week to protest ALEC. We were out front on the sidewalk so I didn't get to see Jan's speech. The picture is from the Phoenix New Times who had a reporter inside the venue. (The same guy wrote an amusing little review of Jan's new book, HERE.)

      The ALEC conference in Scottsdale has already been pretty well covered. There are three other diaries on this page, just scroll down to read them. You can go to the Abolish ALEC group page to read more on ALEC. There's also good stuff at becauseican including a 14-minute YouTube video by the dreaded "anarchists." The video is a little overblown, there were plenty of cops there but the confrontation wasn't really that dramatic.

                                                     ▼ more below ▼

The Teach-in

      The night before the protest there was an informational meeting at South Mountain College. Lisa Graves from the Center for Media and Democracy was there. Their ALEC Exposed website helped break this whole thing open when they ran the famous document drop. There's a couple of Arizona-related pieces up there right now, by the way, one on ALEC Influence in Arizona, and one entitled Arizonans Speak Out Against ALEC. There were other good speakers and a comedic interlude when some Billionaire Kochhoars marched in and gave a brief presentation. The guy who got the standing Os was Randy Parraz. Being fresh from the Pearce recall victory he was confident and fiery. If he had sounded back in 2010 the way he sounded that night, he would surely have done better in his Senate race. I can't imagine Rodney Glassman firing up a crowd like that.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

      Our trip was great. We met-up with Kossacks in Scottsdale and spent a delightful couple of hours with M/M arizonablue on the way up. This is the second time I've met out-of-town Kossacks and both times were great. I highly recommend seeking out other Kossacks when traveling. You've almost got instant friends going in and they always have good advice. No matter where you go, local Kossacks know their town better than you do. We stayed downtown at the historic Hotel San Carlos and actually had 'em singing Bear Down at Seamus McCaffrey's. But still, the trip was about protesting ALEC and in this I was disappointed.

      Two groups were no-shows in Scottsdale; Hispanics and Unions and I'm tempted to turn Republican just to spite them both. When the most infamous ALEC bill of all, SB1070, was signed, 100,000 Latinos marched in downtown Phoenix. I didn't expect that many to march in Scottsdale, but maybe 50,000, 10,000 ? Can we get 100 people out for this ? I mean, Jeez, help us out here, ayudanos.  Same with the Unions, it's not like ALEC's not trying to destroy them too. Mrs. Zello turned out to be the entire contingent from the AEA. Can we get 20 teachers, 20 electricians , 20 members from AFSCME and SEIU ? In short, we coulda' had a much bigger turn-out and it's not like nobody knew about it. We've been letting them know for months. Oh well, what can a poor boy do ?

Local Items

           Looks like Grijalva may have a primary challenger in CD-7, or CD-whatever it's gonna' be. (h/t to tedski) She's a former state legislator from Yuma County named Amanda Aguirre. Party insiders tell me that there may be another as well, from here in Tucson.

      I stopped by Occupy Tucson today and dropped off some surplus coats we have had lying around since my brother-in-law retired from the Army, good quality GI stuff, never worn. You gotta' feel for those guys as the weather gets cold. Phil Lopes from PDA Tucson sent out an email asking their members to donate something. I asked one of the occupiers what the number one thing on their wish list is, he said socks; something to consider.

Tora, Tora, Tora

      Wednesday will be the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec.7, 1941. An obsolescent battleship named the USS Arizona was sunk on that day with the loss of 1,177 lives. Meanwhile in Russia, where the war against Germany was decided, the Battle of Moscow was raging. This was the first time the Wermacht had been stopped, and though the carnage would go on for 3½ more years, the myth of German invincibility had been broken. I always like to read about the Eastern Front in the winter just to remind myself that it never really gets cold in Southern Arizona.

             

      Well that's all I got for now, talk to me ...

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