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January 27, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona ArtBeat

  |   Video
  • Artist Ludvic talks about his “Steel Jam Session,” an exhibition of sculpture at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
  • Ludvic - artist
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: art,

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Ted Simons: A colorful collection of scrap metal sculpture bite artist Ludvik is on display at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix from now until the end of May. Ludvik joins us now to tell us more about this project that he calls his "Steel Jam Session." Good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.

Ludvik: Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons: This business of sculpture with scrap metal, how did you get started with this?

Ludvik: I usually say that I use the debris of civilization, and the leftover of industry, and I use steel instead of the traditional material that the noble sculptor used to use in the past -- granite, marble, techniques like carving and casting. I use something totally different. I recycle whatever I find in junk yards and construction sites.

Ted Simons: That's where you find your material?

Ludvik: I find my material anywhere I can find it. And I try to make art out of it.

Ted Simons: Let's take us -- we're seeing some beautiful sculptures. Takes us through the creative process. When you find a piece of metal that curves left and curves to the right, is that what you base your design on? Or do you base it on something that's a blank slate?

Ludvik: If you heard about a program called before in the past called "Sanford and Son," I'm the second son that they never mentioned. My back yard looks like a junkyard. I collect whatever I find. And I collect it, I know one day it's going to be useful to me. And I keep piling them up, and one day I look at the material and I say, oh, that's good for a sculpture. I pile up whatever suitable for the moment, and I start without any preconceived idea or any notion of making a sculpture. I drink coffee, I put music, and I go.

Ted Simons: Is it different -- I know you do painting as well and you do other forms of art as well. It is different than painting?

Ludvik: It's totally different process, but they both symbiotic. I drive from both energy.

Ted Simons: This is titled "Steel Jam Session." Why that title?

Ludvik: It's like jazz musicians when they have a jam session. Everyone throws a note, but it's a one-man jam session. I do all the notes myself, and I compile the art myself.

Ted Simons: So basically you find a bunch of stuff, you see how it works together and sometimes it works, sometimes you find a different piece --

Ludvik: I start all over again. And it's -- part of my work is intellectual, part is -- a great part is physical, but the most part is the intuitive part. And I rely on my intuition of creating art. I cannot -- sometimes I cannot define what I'm doing, I cannot explain what I'm doing, once I read that Stravinsky, when he played the rite of spring for the first time, somebody in the audience asked him, what that it means? He turned his back to the orchestra and started playing the piece again. Sometimes the work itself is only explanation.

Ted Simons: Sometimes it surprises you.

Ludvik: Yeah. So the process of making art is not a clocklike precision. It's all the turns, and curves, and unpredictabilities and the conjecture-- at the end creates a magical formula.

Ted Simons: I gotta ask you, how did you wind up working with the Desert Botanical Garden?

Ludvik: Desert Botanical Garden is the best perfect place to really showcase great art. And I was very impressed with anything in the desert. I'm from Egypt originally, so the minute I was -- landed here in Arizona, I felt I'm halfway between heaven and earth. The shape of the cactus, the mountains, the desert, the stones, the sunsets. It's all -- I feel like dancing all night long, and -- in the moonlight, and all of this. Arizona is very conducive to making great art. And especially the desert garden. Where are you going to see such a succulent collection of plants, and butterflies and strange flowers, and --

Ted Simons: It's a succulent collection of succulents, too.

Ludvik: Yeah.

Ted Simons: You met Picasso. Correct?

Ludvik: Yes. That's one in my early teens. And I showed him some of my sketches, and he was very impressed. Amazingly he was very into Egyptian art somehow, and he told me, if you look at your description heritage, you will learn a lot. You don't need to look at anything else besides -- he said, he had one of the feet of a statue, Egyptian statue and he looks at it all the time and he could see all history of art in that piece of sculpture. I love Picasso, he's my idol, one of my idols.

Ted Simons: You mentioned the fact that he said stay true to that Egyptian heritage. You're in Arizona and you felt a kinship here with the desert.

Ludvik: Absolutely.

Ted Simons: Do you, again, consciously look for maybe things in your background, things in your history, things in your culture and heritage?

Ludvik: Multiculturalism to me is a very tight woven rope. If it's not all come together, I mitigate history from a distance. I don't look at history as this my jumping point or any of that. Art is art, if you create a good art, there is potential, if there is no good creativity forget about art.

Ted Simons: Last question here, obviously the exhibit is out there for everyone to see, Desert Botanical Garden, when they go to see it, what do you want them to take from that exhibit?

Ludvik: I want them to be conscious about our environment. Our -- all the leftovers, all of this material that we really discard and don't look at it. Look at everything as a potential for art. It -- art shouldn't be an advocate of anything except art itself. But if we look at the environment -- the term of sustainability, we conjure up environmental and ethical and economic potentials. And if art just looks at green art, I don't wake up in the morning and I say I'm going to be a green artist today, or I'm going to create sustainable art today. It just -- I use what the environment is available to me. Affords me. And looking at all the steel junk around automobile parts, car parts, anything, it helps me, it stimulates my mind. So either you create a good art or you don't create a good art. It's a prerequisite for doing something. And if you look at the potential of sustainability, art is I think will create a new genre and a new potential for making great art.

Ted Simons: You do make good art, and it's great art.

Ludvik: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Ted Simons: Thank you so much for joining us.

Ludvik: Thank you, sir.

Birthright Citizenship Legislation

  |   Video
  • State lawmakers introduced legislation that they hope leads to the elimination of automatic birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. ASU law professor Andy Hessick discusses the legislation.
  • Andy Hessick - law professor, ASU
Category: Law   |   Keywords: legislation, immigration, ASU,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. State lawmakers today introduced legislation that they hope will lead to the elimination of automatic birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. The bills define an Arizona citizen as someone having at least one parent who is either a U.S. citizen or a naturalized citizen. The law would also call for different state birth certificates for those born to illegal immigrants. Here to give us his legal take on the bills is Arizona State University law professor Andy Hessick. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.

Andy Hessick: Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons: An Arizona citizen, according to this legislation, must be a U.S. citizen. A U.S. citizen would have to be born in the U.S. and have one parent either a U.S. citizen or a naturalized -- am I there?

Andy Hessick: That's correct.

Ted Simons: What's wrong with that?

Andy Hessick: Well, there are a few problems with it. The main one is that it looks like it conflicts with the 14th amendment, which defines citizenship. For United States to be -- to be a United States citizen. The 14th amendment says all people born and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens of the United States. And historically it looks like the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" meant anyone born within the jurisdiction of the United States would be a citizen of the United States in respective of the status of their parents.

Ted Simons: OK. We've had folks on the program, some of the lawmakers who have helped craft this bill saying that subject to the jurisdiction thereof, applies to those who owe sole allegiance to the United States.

Andy Hessick: Right. But first of all, I guess where they're getting that is from bits of history, from maybe some English common law and some comments during the enactment of the 14th amendment or the drafting of the 14th amendment. But there are a few points that have to be clear. First of all, the statements that were made in the drafting of the 14th amendment, talking about complete allegiance to the United States, those were made in the context of talking about whether or not Indians who were in the United States but farther west in areas not controlled by the United States, would be citizens, whether their children would become citizens because they were born technically within the borders of the United States. And there was a bit of a debate about that. And the way they phrased it was, these Indians were born within the United States, but they're not really completely bound to the United States. And so the way they phrased it is to say they're not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" means pretty much you're bound by the laws and the laws can be enforced against you. The Indians although they were bound by the laws, couldn't have the laws enforced against them because of various restrictions in the law and impracticalities. So they were deemed not to be completely within the jurisdiction. And that's a long way of -- where they got that phrase.

Ted Simons: When we have folks who say subject to the jurisdiction thereof, they're not subject, because you can't draft them in the military, they can't serve on jury duty, and these sorts of things, so there is a line they say, you say --

Andy Hessick I say you're still subject to the jurisdiction of the United States when you're in the United States. Subject to the jurisdiction means the laws can be applied against you. Anyone in the United States can have the laws applied against them if they commit a crime for example, they can be tried and convict and punished for that crime. Now, there are people who are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who are within the United States. And that's diplomats, for example they get diplomatic immunity. And traditionally those -- the children of diplomats were not deemed to be citizens when they were born because their parents were not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. So the children were deemed not to be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Ted Simmons: We've also had arguments that the 14th amendment was based on the civil rights act of 1866, and subsequent slaughterhouse cases which dealt with -- a lot with states' rights, but in discussing this case and in going through it, the Supreme Court also mentioned things regarding United States and citizenship. When people bring up the slaughterhouse cases, is that something that the Supreme Court or any federal court might want to look back on and say, hmm, maybe we need to reconsider this?

Andy Hessick: Yeah. So the slaughterhouse cases was decided in the late 1800s. And in that -- that case was about states' rights as you said. But in the course of deciding that case, the Supreme Court did make a statement that could be support for the argument that for child born in the United States to be a citizen, their parents, at least one of the parents has to owe allegiance to the United States. But that statement was made just -- what we call dicta. It wasn't part of the real ruling of the case. It was about states' rights. This was a throw-away line in the middle. Subsequently the United States Supreme Court has ruled on this issue. About 10, 20 years later it did. And in that case, it took a position different from what was in the slaughterhouse cases, and it said that the status of the parents doesn't really matter aside from diplomats.

Ted Simons: And that was the case involving Chinese immigrants correct?

Andy Hessick: That's right.

Ted Simons: Everything preceding that, it sounds like you're saying folks who bring up Jacob Howard and his jurisdiction phrases, you know, he came up with the jurisdiction thereof for the 14th Amendment, and he was saying this doesn't include people born in the United States, foreigners, aliens, then you jump up a little bit to the slaughterhouse cases, you're saying something maybe taken a little out of context was mentioned as well. Is this cherry picking, to try to find something that said somewhere along the line -- is that what you think these folks are doing?

Andy Hessick: I do, to some extent. This method of constitutional argument that they're engaging in is what they call originalism. The way that works is you look back historically at history to see if there's any evidence to support your position. And when this provision was written, people did disagree a little bit. But if you're going to use this method of history, you have to sort of look to see what the stronger side was. What the stronger evidence supports. And there is some evidence to be sure, maybe Howard's statements, maybe statements in the slaughterhouse case, that support the position that’s articulated in the bills. But there's much more evidence that goes the other way.

Ted Simons: Including that case in what, 1898?

Andy Hessick: I think it's 1898.

Ted Simons: And since then has there been much in the way of challenge to this?

Andy Hessick: I don't think so. There's been some talking about it, there's been some occasionally you'll hear some academics will raise something, and I guess some people raised something in the 1980s, but nothing major in the courts.

Ted Simons: Let's get to this birth certificate situation. Interstate Birth Certificate Compact. Again, it sounds as though states are OK with birth certificates, but when it comes to citizenship, where do states stand?

Andy Hessick: Well, states have the power to issue birth certificates. That's not controlled by federal law. But I guess this compact, this law that was -- that was introduced, it says that different birth certificates shall be issued that those will be citizen and those that will be noncitizens. But it's funny, because birth certificates may be controlled by state law, that I to say that states get to say who gets a birth certificate. But the states don't define who is a citizen. That's much more -- that's in the 14th Amendment. It's not really the state's prerogative.

Ted Simosn: So if states, a bunch of states want to get together, have an interstate compact and they decide who's a citizen and who's not, you're saying nowhere near constitutional.

Andy Hessick: I think there are mugs presidential problems. One is that, I can list a few. One is that we already have the 14th Amendment and Supreme Court rulings are that suggest their definition is not on point. The second is that if anyone gets to say what the 14th Amendment means, it's the courts. The Supreme Court ruled that just maybe 15 years ago. And they've said it in other cases. The third thing is that even if a legislature could define what the 14th Amendment meant, it wouldn't be the place of the states to do it, it would much more likely be Congress's place because the 14th Amendment has a specific provision that says, it's Congress's job to enforce the 14th Amendment. And the fourth thing is, this interstate compact, this doesn't render it unconstitutional really, but interstate compacts, agreements among the states, they need to be approved by Congress. I think they do. I should double-check that but I think they do.

Ted Simons: OK. So in other words, a variety of problems here. So if this is passed by the legislature, and if the governor goes ahead and signs this, and this moves, and it's going to be challenged, how far does it go in the courts? Obviously the backers want to see a Supreme Court challenge. Will it get there?

Andy Hessick: So it depends on how the lower courts rule. I suspect -- I think there's a decent chance that it would get there, because if the lower courts strike down the law, then that results in a state law being struck down and the Supreme Court is generally pretty receptive to taking cases that strike down state laws. On the other hand if the state law is upheld, then that's going to result in a conflict with the older Supreme Court case. So again, that's a good reason for the Supreme Court to take the case. So there's no guarantee, but this seems well teed up to make it before the Supreme Court.

Ted Simons: Interesting. Good stuff. Andy, thanks for joining us.

Andy Hessick: Thank you.

Mental Health Assistance

  |   Video
  • In light of the recent shootings in Tucson, the state's division of behavioral health has developed a mental health checklist that provides assistance and information to those that believe someone they know needs help. Dr. Laura Nelson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health, Arizona Department of Health Services, discusses.
  • Dr. Laura Nelson - director, Division of Behavioral Health, Arizona Department of Health Services
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: health, mental,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: In light of the recent shootings in Tuscon, the state's division of behavioral health has developed a mental health checklist that provides assistance and information to those who believe someone they know needs help. Here to tell us more about the checklist is Dr. Laura Nelson, director of the division of behavioral health for the Arizona department of health services. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us. Let's talk about this thing. What is this specifically designed to do, this checklist?

Dr. Laura Nelson: The idea is to make it as easy as possible for anyone who visits our website to understand how to navigate through the system, depending on the severity of the symptoms that they're seeing.

Ted Simons: So how -- How is it developed? How do you know which direction to take people, this way, that way? It's kind of a flow chart isn’t it.

Dr. Laura Nelson: It is. It's more of a flow chart than a checklist. But the idea, I think where most people intuitively understand the most is at the top, if you feel that you are immediately in danger of being harmed or that someone else is at risk for being harmed, call 9-1-1. You always should do that. If you come upon a bad automobile accident, you call 9-1-1. Or if someone is trying to break into your house, call 9-1-1. So in any situation in which you feel unsafe, that's always an option. Where I think folks have perhaps not necessarily had the information at their fingertips that we feel would be most hopeful is really when you're not going to call 9-1-1 and get the police involved. But there are crisis numbers available in any region of the state, and we have those easily accessible here on this website. If I'm in Umatilla County, what crisis number do I call? Through calling a crisis line, you're accessing behavioral health professionals who may be able to successfully intervene right over the phone, they may decide that they need to send out a mobile crisis team to come to you and talk with you further, or they may say, in this situation, I don't think you really need us, but let me help you figure out what might be more appropriate, because it may not be at that level where you actually need a crisis intervention. And that's where we get to, I think, the most exciting part of this flow chart. Really helping family members, neighbors, colleagues from work, classmates, or teachers really understand what they can do to intervene earlier rather than later.

Ted Simons: We're looking at flow chart right now. It really is very easy to figure out, and basically if you can answer one question, you either go down a level or to the side on a level, and these sorts of things. It's really something. It's very well done. But you kind of wonder, once you're there, you can figure it out pretty well, because it's very well done. How do you know to get there?

Dr. Laura Nelson: That's where you come in. We want you to get word out in terms of our website, and we've been trying to advertise this through all of the networks that we have. Now, we are most typically involved with the public behavioral health system, and we have networks where we can get this information out. But we want this website to also reach out to anybody that is in Arizona, regardless of if they're part of the Medicaid system, there are people that have private commercial insurance or veterans that could benefit from knowing about this information. So we're really trying to reach out to the media and to the public to let them know that this resource is available, and if they have thoughts on how we can improve it to please let us know there. There are probably gaps in here that we would like to be able to fill in.

Ted Simons: Talk to us about real quickly the facts and the myths of mental illness. I know that's part of the website as well. Things more common than perhaps people might imagine, mental illness is, and what involuntary treatment means.

Dr. Laura Nelson: Exactly. Well, you hit on a very good point. One in four adults in a given year is experiencing a mental illness. So it is very alive and well in our country. And internationally. In fact, most people that do struggle with a mental illness are experiencing symptoms gradually over time, and you would be surprised how if you're looking for it, as somebody who knows that person well, your best equipped to recognize when something seems to be changing and how do you then engage that person in conversation? But some of the myths really have -- and we've seen them a lot since this tragedy in Tuscon, we continue to hear this myth about how people with mental illness are violent. And that's absolutely not true. And one of the biggest concerns Ted that I've had as a result of what has happened has been what is the impact that this kind of attention is having on people who are receiving treatment in our system, and are hearing kind of this reaction and it's just further stigmatizing and discriminating against them, and they’re the ones that have actually sought treatment and are on their way to recovery.

Ted Simons: It's almost a double-edged sword raising awareness, it's good that people are out there learning more and finding out more, but it's also a little bit of a concern because now all sorts of ideas are floating and you got to get to a website like this to get the real deal.

Dr. Laura Nelson: And part of the myths that need to be debunked are that people with mental illness actually can recover with the right support and treatment, they really can do very, very well. They can get jobs, they can contribute to their community. And so one of the other double-edged swords as you talk about and mentioned a minute ago, has to do with the involuntary commitment process. And the idea here is how do you encourage someone to seek treatment voluntarily and realize that they could benefit from treatment? If you -- and there are times when you may need to, but the more you push for the involuntary forceful entry into treatment, the more you just reinforce why somebody doesn't want to be there.

Ted Simons: Last question before we let you go, obviously the Tuscon shootings, major, major story. What kind of calls are you getting, the volume of calls? Has it just been as much as we anticipated?

Dr. Laura Nelson: Yes. I think it has been. We've set up a support line both in Tuscon, to specifically help that community, and then we set up another 1-800 number for the rest of the state. The two lines the last count I received was about 550 to 560 calls from people around the state who either wanted to talk about trying to process this, offer help, one of the other kind of scary things that we heard from some individuals is that the trauma in Tuscon was bringing up painful traumatic experiences and memories for them, from previous traumatic events.

Ted Simons: Well, all right. Good work, we'll talk more about this in a little bit down the road. But at least it's up there and people know what it's about, and it's good to have you on to talk about it.

Dr. Laura Nelson: Thanks for helping us get the message out.