Tulsa: April 2011 Archives

Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny, a documentary on the life and legacy of the greatest man of the 20th Century, continues its run at Circle Cinema in Tulsa's Whittier Square through April 21, 2011.

Churchill_portrait_NYP_45063_235px.jpgThe newest production from the Moriah Films Division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, focuses on the years 1940 and 1941, when the Swastika flew over continental Europe. Only England with her back to the wall, under Winston Churchill, remained defiant.

Walking With Destiny highlights Churchill's years in the political wilderness, his early opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, and his support for Jews under threat by the Nazi regime. As historian John Lukacs explains, Churchill may not have won the War in 1940, but without him, the War most certainly would have been lost.

Sir Martin Gilbert, historical consultant for the film and Churchill's official biographer, adds that had Churchill's warnings about Nazi Germany's racial policies towards Jews been heeded in the early 1930's, the Holocaust may never have occurred.

The film examines why Winston Churchill's legacy continues to be relevant in the 21st Century and explores why his leadership remains inspirational to current day political leaders and diplomats.


Fri, 4/15/2011, 1:30 pm
Sat, 4/16/2011, 9:30 am & 3:30 pm
Sun, 4/17/2011, 4:00 pm
Mon, 4/18/2011, 1:30 pm
Tues, 4/19/2011, 4:00 pm
Wed, 4/20/2011, 2:00 pm
Thurs, 4/21/2011, 11:30 am & 8:00 pm

The H2O Film Festival begins Sunday, April 17, 2011, at the Circle Cinema and runs through Saturday, a series of eight films dealing with the water we drink. Of special note:

GASLAND (Sunday, 4/17/2011, 6 pm): An Oscar-nominated documentary feature on the effects of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). During my time in San Antonio last fall, there was much talk and concern about the impact of fracking on the Edwards Aquifer, the natural underground reservoir that sustains Austin, San Antonio, and the Texas Hill Country.

RIVER OF WASTE: The Hazardous Truth about Factory Farms (Monday, 4/18/2011, 6 pm): Shortly after his unsuccessful 2006 mayoral campaign, former Tulsa State Rep. Don McCorkell took some film courses and set out to make this film on the impact of factory farming on Oklahoma rivers and lakes, an issue that affects Tulsans every time we turn a tap.

OwensVly1924-226.px.jpgCHINATOWN (Saturday, 4/23/2011, 9:30 pm): 1974's Best Picture, Chinatown is a fictional account of the controversy, corruption, and violence involved in bringing water from the Owens Valley in the Sierra Nevada to Los Angeles to facilitate the development of the San Fernando Valley and to set LA on course to become one of the nation's largest cities. City infrastructure sounds boring, but there are fortunes at stake and plenty of incentive for corruption when planners decide where the next waterline, expressway exit, or transit stop will go.

(For a great non-fiction account of the Owens Valley Aqueduct, the collapse of the St. Francis Dam, and the development of the San Fernando Valley, read Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles. A film based on this book is reportedly under development by Phoenix Films with director Frank Darabont.)

(Churchill portrait by British Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

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So many people have a blog nowadays that you may stumble across a friend's blog before they let you know that they have one. Here are a few blogs of friends and associates that I've come across recently. They're worth reading, and I'm adding to the blogroll, so you'll see their latest posts show up over on the BatesLine blogroll headlines page and (as appropriate) the BatesLine Oklahoma headlines and BatesLine Tulsa headlines pages.

I've gotten to know Tulsa visionary and restaurateur Blake Ewing through his involvement in organizations like TulsaNow. He doesn't post on his blog often, but when he does post it's usually a blockbuster essay on our city's challenges and possible futures. There's been a lot of talk about his latest: "Grow up, Tulsa." (I disagree with him on a few points and may elaborate in coming days.)

English with Rae is a blog aimed at helping those learning English as a second language go beyond "This is a pen," providing examples of conversational English and American culture in context and presented in a way that makes them interesting even if English is your first language. Rae, a college friend of my wife's, spent many years in Japan and writes from her experience as a second-language learner of Japanese and with Japanese learners of English. A news item about a Honolulu restaurant adding a tip to the bills of non-English speaking guests is the starting point for her most visited article, Tipping Cows and Everyone Else, which covers three different kinds of tipping (restaurant, cow, and advice), introduces customary tipping practices, and provides examples of the Present Real Conditional form, all neatly interwoven.

Gina Conroy is an author based here in Tulsa. We know her through school, and she was my daughter's creative writing teacher. Her blog, Defying Gravity, is devoted to striking the balance in life as a wife and mom and in pursuit of her dream of novel writing. She is under contract to contribute a novella to an anthology, and a recent entry is devoted to the process and pain of cutting a 50,000-word work in progress down to 20,000. She often interviews other writing moms and dads. Many recent entries have been devoted to dreams and ambitions -- rekindling them, thwarting dream-killers, and balancing your dreams.

Urban Garden Goddess is a Philadelphia-based blogger just getting into home organic gardening. As a rookie gardener last year, Tania (a friend through blogging circles) won third prize in the individual vegetable garden category in the Philadelphia Horticultural Society's City Gardens Contest. She's also a runner, and a recent entry is about "solid eating for a solid race performance."

San Francisco architect Christine Boles and I were both active in Campus Crusade for Christ at MIT back when. Her blog illustrates some of the creative solutions she and her husband, partners in Beausoleil Architects, have devised to meet the needs of clients while respecting history and the environment. Her latest entry shows how they turned a ground floor room into a garage while preserving the bay window that makes up the historic facade. In an earlier post, she advocates for "deconstruction" and recycling of building materials over demolition and landfill. This was interesting, too: The importance of the oft-overlooked V in HVAC -- ventilation.

Texas State Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) is married to a high school classmate of mine. Last year he defeated an incumbent Republican in the primary and went on to election in November. His blog has only a few entries, but they provide some insight into the 2011 Texas legislative session and the budding conflict between fair-dealer and wheeler-dealer Republicans. He is an author of HB 1937, which would prohibit TSA groping in the absence of probable cause. His article -- Dividing the Apple -- about the tough budget decisions facing the legislature, is worth reading. An excerpt:

Civil government has nothing except that which it takes from We the People. Unlike God, the government cannot create value or substance out of nothing.

When the Federal Reserve with Congress' approval "prints more money," it simply increases the number of federal reserve notes ("dollars") that are being exchanged in our economy for goods and services. The increase in the number of federal reserve notes in circulation does not represent more wealth. It merely divides the same value of goods and services in the economy into smaller parts. If you divide an apple into 4 parts or 8 parts, it is still just one apple.

The Texas legislature cannot create wealth either. It has no money except that which it takes from We the People. It can divide the apple of wealth we enjoy and redistribute it, but it cannot create more apples.

Even so, we are running out of apple. Even after adjusting for inflation and population growth, the portion of the apple that our state government consumes has grown by 45% over the last decade (that number is 87% without any adjustments). As the state's portion has grown, Texas families and businesses have had to settle for a smaller portion to feed themselves.

As first steps to budget cutting, Simpson has called for cutting all corporate welfare from the budget and reducing administrative overhead in the common and higher educational systems. His name popped up in a recent AP story:

Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, put together an odd-couple coalition of Democrats and Republicans to approve an amendment zeroing out funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts and redirecting it to services for the elderly and disabled.

Channeling tea-party-like, populist anger right back at his own leaders, Simpson also has railed against hundreds of millions of dollars in what he calls "corporate welfare." It happens to include Perry's job-luring initiatives, the Texas Enterprise Fund and Emerging Technology Fund.

"These parts of the budget are more protected than schools and the weak among us," Simpson said. He failed to redirect the money, but not before raising a stink among Republicans.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from April 2011.

Tulsa: March 2011 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: May 2011 is the next archive.

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