Friday, February 5, 2016

Zona Politics: How Will Climate Change Affect the Oceans?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 3:00 PM

ZonaPol2-4-16Fin_1_1 from Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel on Vimeo.

On this week's episode of Zona Politics: UA professor of geosciences Joellen Russell talks about how climate change is affecting the world's oceans. Then we talk with two writers who will be appearing at this year's Festival of Books: Kathryn Ferguson, author of The Haunting of the Mexican Border, and Margaret Regan, author of Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire. 

You can catch the show at 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on DirecTV, Dish and broadcast. You can hear it at 5 p.m. Sundays on KXCI, 91.3 FM. And you can watch it online here or at

Here's a transcript of the show:

Hello, everyone. I'm Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel and we're here to talk Zona Politics. Today, we're once again highlighting the UA College of Science spring lecture series on climate change. Joining us in the studio is Joellen Russell, a U. of A. associate professor of geosciences, who specializes in studying the impacts of climate change on the world's oceans. Dr. Russell, welcome to Zona Politics.

(Russell) Thanks for having me.

(Nintzel) So what got you interested in studying the oceans?

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Border Issues Fair in Sahuarita This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 3:06 PM


Our very own Margaret Regan, author of Detained and Deported, will be a keynote speaker at this weekend's Sahuarita Border Issues Fair at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Canada.

The fun starts tomorrow night and continues on Saturday: 
The Border Issues Fair Concert, 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, will feature Lance Canales & The Flood—a roots-blues influenced Americana trio from California’s breadbasket, where Canales lived the life that so many songs have been written about since the birth of roots music – hard labor, one room shacks and taunting ghosts whispering of a better life. Canales’ guttural vocals combine a hard-edged storytelling approach beneath a stripped down, foot-stomping, acoustic instrumentation. Opening act will be the Ambos Nogales, border singer-songwriter, Pablo Peregrina. Tickets $20.

The Border Issues Fair
 will begin with registration at 8 a.m. Saturday, January 16.. Donation $10 at the door. There will be three keynote addresses. The first, by Margaret Regan, journalist and author of “Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire” and longtime contributor to the Tucson Weekly, begins at 9 a.m. “Detained and Deported” was recently named a Top Pick in the 2015 Southwest Books of the Year competition.

Jennifer Johnson, Washington D.C, border policy advisor for the Southern Border Community Coalition, gives the second talk. Dr. Abby Wheatley, border activist and researcher, gives the third lecture, “Reframing Life and Death on the Arizona-Sonora Border."

Donations: Please bring belts and warm hat, gloves and jackets for those in the desert.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rock Gods Read? Who Knew?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 11:00 AM

  • Courtesy of
The recently late, long great David Bowie was, apparently, an avid reader. As part of a 2013 exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, he included a list of his 100 favorite books. I won't print the complete list here. You can go to the LA Times article to see it.

It's a wide-ranging book list indicating eclectic tastes, not surprising for a man like Bowie who spent his life in constant reinvention. Here are a few, in no particular order, where his tastes and mine intersect:
"A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess
"Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert
"The Iliad" by Homer
"As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner
The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov
"Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov
"Black Boy" by Richard Wright
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"The Waste Land" by T.S. Elliot
McTeague" by Frank Norris
"A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
"1984" by George Orwell
"White Noise" by Don DeLillo
"A People’s History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
"Lady Chatterly’s Lover" by D.H. Lawrence
"On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
The Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard
"The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin
And I would be remiss if I left out some of his favorites not on my reading list, like:

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Margaret Regan's 'Detained and Deported' Makes the List of Southwest Books of the Year

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 3:37 PM

Longtime Tucson Weekly contributor Margaret Regan's newest book, Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire, has made the list of the Southwest Books of the Year, compiled by Pima County Public Library. 

Regan's book, which was excerpted in the Tucson Weekly earlier this year, has won acclaim for examining the lives of undocumented immigrants who get caught up in the legal system. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said that Regan captures "intimate and heartbreaking" stories in "an authentic look at people caught between borders"; Kirkus Reviews said that "Regan's books bring into focus the fates of undocumented people fighting against the odds to make it into America and then, if they get here, struggling, and often failing, to build a life"; and Booklist noted that "with other horrifying case studies, Regan provides discomfiting statistics to document the rise of the detention-industrial complex."

If you're looking around for a gift for the book lover on your holiday list, Detained and Deported is a worthy candidate.

Here's the complete list of Southwest Books of the Year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jes Baker Brought Body Love to the Today Show (Again)

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Local badass Jes Baker (you'll know her from her blog, those Abercrombie & Fitch photos, or as the founder of the Body Love Conference) is getting some national love for her new book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls. 

We'll be printing an excerpt soon to help you decide if you want to buy her book (you do), but until then we'll let the Today Show fill you in.

Baker, who appeared on the Today Show for the first time a few years ago, will be back in Tucson next Friday (Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.) doing a reading from her book at Antigone

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Meet Author Margaret Regan Tuesday Afternoon

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Author and longtime TW arts correspondent Margaret Regan will be reading from her latest book, Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire, at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the UNICEF store in Monterrey Village, 6242 E. Speedway Blvd.

Detained and Deported tells the stories of how undocumented immigrants have seen their families torn apart here in the United States and examines the miserable conditions at the private prisons where many of them are housed.

Publishers Weekly called the book "an authentic look at people caught between borders." Library Journal found it to be "heartbreaking, thorough, and insightful." Kirkus Reviews said it was a "timely look at the inhumane effects of immigration policies in the United States… Regan's books bring into focus the fates of undocumented people fighting against the odds to make it into America and then, if they get here, struggling, and often failing, to build a life.” And me? I thought it was great. Go hear Regan read, pick up a book, and get it autographed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: The Devil's Pleasure Palace: the Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 4:11 PM

There is a way to tell if a book is a well written polemic by a conservative author. I call it “The C Clue.” If you look up a book on Amazon, you will see a horizontal bar graph. This graph depicts the relative numbers of the different star ratings. A conservative polemic will have a large number of one star ratings with somewhat fewer two star ratings. They represent the work of those from the other side of the political spectrum who wish to suppress the book. The book will have few three star ratings, but many four star, and still more five star ratings from conservatives who love a well written polemic. So, when the graph looks like a “C,” you may assume it to be arguing from a conservative political perspective.

Such a book is The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West, by Michael Walsh (as of this writing, this book is more of a capital E, but you get the idea).

To get a good perspective on this book, one should take a look at the author. Walsh graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1971. He worked as a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, then became its classical music critic. He later became a music critic for the San Francisco Examiner, then for Time Magazine. Around the turn of the century he was a Professor of Journalism and Professor of Film & Television at Boston University. He wrote for National Review, and had a weekly column at the New York Post. He helped Andrew Breitbart launch Big, and became a featured journalist at PJ Media. He has authored over a dozen books both fiction and nonfiction. In short, he is a bit of a Renaissance Man.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Complete Your Summer Reading with this Sci-Fi Classic

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM

"The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli - the probable inspiration for the cover art of certain editions of the sci-fi novel "Venus on the Half-shell" by Philip Jose' Farmer using the pen name Kilgore Trout (a character from the novels of Kurt Vonnegut).
  • "The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli - the probable inspiration for the cover art of certain editions of the sci-fi novel "Venus on the Half-shell" by Philip Jose' Farmer using the pen name Kilgore Trout (a character from the novels of Kurt Vonnegut).

My friend Ron was halfway through a Kurt Vonnegut novel when he decided to reach out via Facebook for assurance that his particular book would get better. I replied, "It doesn't." A while later he replied saying that I was right. The subject of Vonnegut reminded me of one of his recurring characters, Kilgore Trout. Trout was himself a science fiction writer who could only achieve publication as filler for pornographic books and magazines (no internet in the 70's). Kilgore Trout, in turn, reminded me of a hilarious, wildly imaginative, and sometimes disturbing 1975 novel Venus on the Half-shell, by Phillip Jose' Farmer, originally published under the pen name "Kilgore Trout".

If you have yet to read it, Venus on the Half-shell makes for an absorbing, fast paced, escape from our crazy times. I told Ron as much.

Most authors will start a novel by painting a picture of the setting, then begin the introduction of the characters. Farmer starts Venus with the protagonist, Simon Wagstaff, having sex atop the Great Pyramid of Giza. Next came the great flood, literally. An alien race called the Hoonhor traveled from planet to planet checking out the state of evolution. If the state was not well, they cleansed it. Earth was one of these. The Hoonhor caused all the water vapor in the atmosphere to precipitate at once, washing the planet, and giving evolution another shot. 

Our hero, Simon Wagstaff, managed to float around long enough to float by an abandoned Chinese spacecraft which he boarded shortly before running aground on, where else, Mount Ararat. After learning how to fly the craft, Simon left Earth and traveled the galaxy far and wide to find the answers to unanswerable questions, like, "Why are we created only to suffer and die?"

The novel starts out with a bang, but that is only the first in a number of sexual adventures. There was, for example, the planet Dokal where all the people were identical to humans with the exception of possessing a five to six foot long prehensile tail, naked, save for a tuft of fur at the end. The Dokals insisted on fixing his lack of tail problem, and after the installation, he found it to be quite useful. Useful, he found, in ways he had not imagined, like when the King's young daughter named Tunc (an anagram) seduced him and... well, I'll leave it there.

Occasionally the humor could be a bit disturbing. As it turned out, faster-than-light travel was made possible by sucking energy from a parallel universe to feed the engine. Unfortunately, the globs of energy were actually living beings. They died in the process. The engine, in fact, transmitted the sound of their wailing death cries - the faster he went, the louder they became. Simon found it terribly unnerving.

Farmer was a great admirer of Vonnegut, and through the persona of Kilgore Trout he was able to take the Vonnegut style to far higher level of humor and creativity. Writing Venus was a joy for Farmer, and it shows in the writing. He speaks of laughing out loud while typing it, and concluded, "What a blast it was!"

Venus is a great escape novel for the science fiction buff, and the joy of the author in its creation touches you. Finish your summer reading with this!

Oh yeah, Ron's book that did not get better was Slaughterhouse Five.

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