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Just put right man in charge

Just put right man in charge


As the nation draws closer to election day, it’s nice to see a man who has faced many hardships on the ballot.

Donald Trump used a small loan from his father to start his own business, which is now worth $3.9 billion. His reality TV show raked in 6.4 million viewers on average.

A man of his stature surely represents the best-case scenario of a well educated and highly respected presidential nominee.

In a world of sink-or-swim, the man swam to Australia and back with one hand tied behind his back.

When Trump takes his rightful seat in office, this country will be the best it has ever been. Go ahead and measure any time period. The Jackson era and his battle with the banks? Trump putting up the wall to regulate Mexicans coming into the United States will be more heroic.

The wall he’s going to put up won’t even be expensive. At first, yes, it could cost from $10 to $25 billion. But we’re looking at an investment here, folks. What’s $10 billion to saving lives in America? How much are we worth to our government?

The future won’t even ponder that question after the wall goes up faster than you can say, “Make America great again.”

Money doesn’t talk in America. Important decisions talk. Decisions like keeping out the people who want to kill and rape others because they’re “bad hombres.”

You know who else talks? Celebrities. Give them a hot mic and anything they say turns to gold.

But enough about talking. It’s the “doing” that really matters. We’re do-ers with or without consent.

Do-ers like the 1 percent.

Actually, more like the top 20 percent. They provide 87 percent of the income tax collected in America. So who’s really holding up this country?

The bottom half of taxpayers end up getting money from the government, like welfare to help them out of poverty, but it rarely works.

It’s like communism in China. The concept works on paper but it’s actually an inefficient idea.

This is what we’ve let America become. It can be so much better if we just put the right man in charge.

Trujillo rarely take sides, prefering to look at the pros and cons of each candidate.

Want change? Generate noise

Want change? Generate noise


In the United States, one can receive a million-dollar loan from one’s father, star in a crappy reality show, sexually harass women and then gain credibility for a presidential campaign.

Now that isn’t the typical American experience but, best-case scenario, you can be a real asshole and people will love you for it.

The more knives you strategically place in the back of anyone unwitting enough to turn, the better. If that means tax evasion, DO IT. More power to you.

This is the country of winners or losers, sink or swim, rich or poor. If you don’t like it, get out. America is the country where the top 20 percent get the pie. It’s too tasty to share because the other 80 percent are complainers who wouldn’t adapt and overcome.

We have a capitalistic society. Being a good person doesn’t pay the bills. Andrew Jackson on the 20 does.

Execute the rape, murder and eviction of native peoples and you could be glorified for 200 years. That’s reality.

Money talks in the USA. We love our millionaires more than our bleeding-heart activists and protestors, and no one apologizes for it.

The possibilities are endless. We have more potential and opportunities than anywhere else in the world. We’re bigger, faster and stronger, and we don’t stop.

Security is top priority. Our drones keep a constant lookout, making sure the people stay in line.

The working class holds the country together. If it wasn’t for their back-breaking work, we would be lost. Of course, that doesn’t mean we value them accordingly. That’s the beauty of it: have the largest, most skilled labor force and keep them at each other’s throats for the scraps the upper class leaves behind.

Accept our country for all its glory: the giant mansions on the sides of beautiful mountain ranges, the skyscrapers rising to the clouds, the breast implants, the gold jewelry and fancy cars.

This is what we’ve let America become. If you don’t care, just keep doing your thing. If you love this country enough to want change, speak up. The ones who make the most noise (good or bad) gain the most following.

Williams has 10 years until he’s eligible to run for presidential. Don’t hold your breath.

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL Hillary Clinton earns our endorsement

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL Hillary Clinton earns our endorsement


In a field that includes a conspiracy theorist, a know-nothing and a sexual predator, the editorial board of the Aztec Press unanimously endorses Hillary Rodham Clinton for the office of U.S. president.

As a public figure on the national scene for the last three decades, Clinton has established a name for herself apart from her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton was twice elected senator in New York and held the highest appointed position by a woman when President Obama appointed her secretary of state in 2008.

She has the resume and the high-level government experience.

Unlike her closest rival, Clinton has composed herself well in the face of scandals (both real and imagined) that have threatened to derail her campaign.

She is the only candidate with the temperament to be president. Though far from perfect, she is the best choice to lead America through these dangerous times.

Clinton may not possess the oratorical skills or likability of her predecessor but she is the only safe choice for the nation’s highest office.

Consider her rivals:

Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, while principled in her liberal ideology, is little more experienced in government than a layman.

Her inexperience in high-level politics, coupled with her propensity to latch onto far-left, half-thought-out conspiracies, disqualify her from consideration.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is not libertarian and not a student of geography.

Johnson’s position on marijuana may seduce some millennials, but his penchant for foreign policy blunders makes even The Donald look like a worldly scholar.

Then there is the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

In the last year, Donald Trump has gone from reality TV host to the de-facto head of the Republican Party. His ascent has been the most spectacular train wreck in modern American political history.

From his first press conference, where he referred to undocumented Mexican migrants as “rapists,” Trump has had little time for coalition-building with any group not lead by David Duke or Ann Coulter.

He has threatened immigrants, mocked a disabled reporter, disparaged prisoners of war and bragged of being able to maul women.

Trump has mobilized his most “deplorable” followers in ways that his predecessors, Pat Buchanan and George Wallace, would envy.

Instead of quelling the growing mob he created, Trump has doubled down. His most recent assault seems to be on democracy itself.

In the final debate, Trump refused to answer whether he would accept the election results if he lost. His response: “I’ll keep you in suspense.”

The only suspense is whether Trump will dawn a Brown or Black shirt when the inevitable loss comes.

It would be naive to think that electing Clinton is a panacea to all of the nation’s problems.

However, a Trump presidency would threaten not only the fragile and improving U.S. economy but throw a monkey wrench into the even more complex global economy. With Trump, the juice is not worth the squeeze.

Clinton is the only candidate who can effectively navigate the federal bureaucracy while making tough decisions to cut and expand programs when needed.

In addition, she more closely represents the positions of a diverse, vibrant nation.

Times are hard. Yet the country readies itself to show the world its greatest export. Voting. Democracy in action, on a grand scale.

This election, we encourage you to do something great. Keep America great, again. Vote.

This editorial was written on behalf of the Aztec Press editorial board by Editor-in-chief Eddie Celaya.




In 1975, the Campus News newspaper and Pima's athletic department held a logo contest.


Limit marijuana to medical uses

The “medical marijuana” of today is NOT like the marijuana used in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Through artificial selection experiments, strains of marijuana have been developed by the marijuana drug industry that substantially increase the potency of the drug. As such, its use poses serious potential consequences.

This drug is effective in treating some medical conditions: muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, nausea from cancer chemotherapy, poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic illness such as HIV or nerve pain, seizure disorders (childhood epilepsy) and Crohn’s disease.

Purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors.

Research in mice showed treatment with purified extracts of THC and CBD, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.

The combination of cannabidiol and 9-tetrahydrocannabinol enhances the anti-cancer effects of radiation in an orthotopic murine glioma model.

Scientists are also conducting pre-clinical and clinical trials with marijuana and its extracts to treat numerous diseases and conditions, such as the following:

  • Autoimmune diseases (diseases that weaken the immune system): HIV/AIDS; multiple sclerosis, which causes gradual loss of muscle control
  • Alzheimer’s disease, which causes loss of brain function, affecting memory, thinking and behavior
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Substance use disorders
  • Mental disorders

The FDA has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine.

Marijuana use for medical purpose should be supported by scientific evidence, including clinical trials, and regulated by the FDA; closely monitored by the tending physician and state department of health.

“Medical marijuana” should be available by prescription only (in a pharmacy) issued by a licensed physician.

Congress should amend the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, making marijuana available for medical treatment.

The major consumers of this drug, if legalized for so-called recreational purposes, will be the younger generation, destroying the very fabric/future of our democracy.

This drug should NOT be legalized for recreational purposes.

The PCC community, particularly students, should be aware of the dangers in using this now very potent drug for so-called recreational use.

Francis P. Saitta, Ph.D.

Governing board candidate


Expand self-love to all humanity

Re the Issue 2 opinion page essay on patriotism: Kudos.

One of the highest goals of most religions and philosophies is to extend the natural love of self to ever widening circles: one’s family, one’s own tribe or culture, then to neighbors, other peoples, even to one’s enemies.

Eventually one can take in all of humanity as worthy of love, respect and consideration, and from there go on to love and respect all sentient beings.

This has been the achievement of all great souls since the beginning of humanity, whether one speaks of Jesus, Buddha, various teachers from indigenous peoples, etc.

Now humanity is at a crisis. There are more of us than ever before, with powerful technology to bring massive life or death beyond our ancestor’s wildest dreams.

If we as a species are to survive this crisis, the rare achievement of great souls — to generalize self-love to love of all — must become the everyday achievement of all.

One may ask, “but what about survival?” The fact is, none of us gets off this planet alive and we cannot take anything with us except the love and wisdom we’ve achieved in our lives.

Joni Pinkney

West Campus Learning Center

From the Eddie-tor: Let ideology guide you, not blind you

From the Eddie-tor: Let ideology guide you, not blind you



It’s time folks. Time to vote. Here at the Aztec Press, we’re gearing up for the election (and depending on the result, the end of the world) with a few endorsements and an election-day theme.

I wanted to write something inspiring about what it means to be an American. As of writing, it looks like Hillary Clinton is somewhat comfortably in the lead. However in the waning days of this heroine-fantasy of an election, I need to address my tribe.

For those liberals who have abandoned all sense and are throwing their lot in with the Donald, this isn’t directed at you. You are lost, my children, but you’re shepherd is not I.

I want to address the few dissatisfied, restless liberal constituencies.

Stop. Think.

If you’re of the mind to vote third party in this presidential election, reconsider. Now is not the time to let the ideal of the perfect become the enemy of the realistic good.

Let’s start with the Green Party and Dr. Jill Stein. The good doctor’s main claim to fame (other than not being Ralph Nader) is her spray-painting of construction equipment in North Dakota during the recent Standing Rock protests.

Forget for a second the image of a potential president of the United States spray-painting fences with a hippie-bandana on her head.

Also forget that “doctor” Stein plays footsie with a proudly ignorant, thoroughly debunked theory proposing a link between autism and vaccinations.

Instead consider that Stein is wholly uninformed on international relations and naive in her understanding of current events

Take the recent, disastrous Brexit for example. Though widely (and rightfully) viewed both domestically in Britain and internationally as an upset victory for neo-conservatism in Europe, Stein would have none of it.

She called the result “a victory.”

For who? For nationalists and racists?

“For those who believe in the right of self-determination and who reject the pro-corporate, austerity policies of the political elites in the EU, a rejection of the European political elite and their contempt for ordinary people.”

Actually, no. Brexit was a reaction to mounting fears on immigration and a ginned up financial crisis that neo-conservatives used to convince just over 50 percent of Britons that it was a good idea to isolate themselves from Europe.

Stein either can’t see this, or tried to spin a near total rejection of her party’s platform into a win. Either way, it was not Stein’s “victory.”

Which is why Stein, after receiving immediate blowback for the statement, ended up jumping online to scrub the “victory” language, then offered-up an explanation that she was actually against Brexit before she was for it.

This is you’re replacement for feel the burn? I’m supposed to go Jill, not Hill? Sorry, not buying it.

Still, ever since Saint Bernie Sanders ascended to political heaven with the sparrow that landed on his mic, Stein has been slowly rising in the polls. This is due, in part, to her unabashed courting of the “Bernie Bros.”

It’s also due to Americans’ overall willingness to consider a vote for a third party this election cycle. A recent Gallup poll found that 57 percent of Americans want a third-party option.

It’s just that, as a RealClearPolitics average of polls shows, they don’t want these third options. Stein and her fellow third-party-pooper Libertarian Gary Johnson (he of “what is Aleppo?” fame) are currently polling at just under 10 percent support combined.

While it is a large increase in the share of the vote third-party candidates received in the last election, it ignores such recent history as the pre-millennial ‘90s.

That would be 1992, kids. An eccentric, “outsider” billionaire who spoke his mind and did his own thing got nearly 19 percent of the popular vote. In ’96, he ran again and got about 12 percent.

His name was Ross Perot, but it was the ‘90s, so ignore that. Just listen to Stein, because the revolution Bernie promised is now being led by her (or if you’re a big fan of Ayn Rand, led by Johnson) and it’s coming.

“We’re going to continue the amazing work that that campaign did and ensure that we will be at it until we prevail,” Stein said on MSNBC. “Peace in our lifetime.”

If only. According to the same RealClearPolitics average of polls, Stein is currently polling at just about 3 percent support nationally as of Oct. 19.

The point of this isn’t just to cast shame on voters who vote Stein or Johnson by telling them a vote for either is a vote for Trump. It’s not just to remind them of 2000 when Ralph Nader swayed the election for George W. Bush.

The point is to show how spectacularly unqualified and underprepared these third party candidates are. Surely Hillary Clinton is not perfect, and does not share some of the core liberal beliefs on hot button issues like Wall Street and foreign policy. Still…

When I look at the alternatives, though they may claim to align perfectly with a certain ideology, it’s apparent the ideologies don’t comport very well with what is happening in the real world.

Plus, the “perfect” candidate has already held office for the last eight years. And his wife won’t be running for at least another eight.
So, until then, I’m with her.

FROM THE EDDIE-TOR Aztec Press continues winning ways

FROM THE EDDIE-TOR Aztec Press continues winning ways


Now that you’ve had two months to adjust to our new look and your new school schedule, it’s time to get down to business and crack the whip. We here at the Aztec Press are doing the same and getting competitive about it.

Numerous journalistic associations, both statewide and regional, hold contests in which they judge everything from stories to photos to layout.

I’ve been on staff since spring semester. If there is one thing I’ve learned (other than not to leave my Facebook account open in the newsroom), it’s that we take awards seriously.

This approach suits me well as editor. Why? Consider this little story from my past.

When I was about 7, my youth baseball team lost the coach-pitch championship. I was so incensed at my own team that, after the obligatory parent tunnel run-through, I let them have it.

Never mind that my father was the coach.

“I carried you all season for nothing,” my dad recalls me saying. When one child dared to speak up and tell me that I didn’t know it all, I let him know otherwise. I believe I said, “Actually, I pretty much do, you idiot.”

From that age, it was obvious: I love to win. That, and team sports probably weren’t for me.

Last semester, the Aztec Press won something even bigger than a coach-pitch age group championship. In our student publication category, the Society of Professional Journalists named us the All-Around Best Non-Daily Newspaper in Region 11.

That’s a pretty big deal folks. It means our paper, from our little corner of the Old Pueblo, is a regionally recognized publication. It feels pretty good.

But it doesn’t end there.

We recently received a manila envelope containing a few plaques. Winners’ plaques, baby. Plaques we didn’t even know were coming.

Another of those associations, this time the Arizona Newspapers Association, also decided the Aztec Press is a pretty decent rag.

We claimed a first-place award and a third-place prize in the Better Newspapers Contest, competing statewide against newspapers in the “non-daily, circulation 3,500-10,000” category.

Photographers Larry Gaurano and Alex Fruechtenicht shared first place for Best Feature Photo Layout. The award honored their work on last fall’s “All Soul’s Procession” page design.

Larry has moved on and sold out to corporate America, but Alex is still in the newsroom as a class assistant. We are proud of both of them, and know that we must live up to their accomplishments and hard work each issue.

Reporter Danyelle Khmara, who now attends the University of Arizona, and the Aztec Press won third place for “enterprise reporting.” Despite sounding like a starship, the award honors Khmara’s coverage of the Rosemont and Oak Flat mine proposals.

Keep those awards in mind when you’re thumbing through or surfing around this issue of the Aztec Press. You may just have a prize-winning photog or writer clueing you into what’s going on, what matters and, of course, who’s winning.

Happy reading.

A living wage for real, living people

A living wage for real, living people


In November, Arizonans will have an opportunity to vote on the first minimum wage initiative since 2006.

Proposition 206 will increase the wage from $8.05 to $10 starting on New Year’s Day, to $10.50 a year after that, to $11 a year after that and to $12 in 2020.

Minimum wage initiatives in Seattle, San Francisco and New York have graciously provided a Petri dish to examine the effects of minimum wage increases on what many call a “living wage.”

The verdict? Not much has changed.

That’s right, fire didn’t fall from the sky and land on every mom n’ pop shop trying to put kids through college. Thousands didn’t lose their jobs, resulting in unprecedented unemployment. Prices didn’t skyrocket, driving poor people out of the market for basic goods.

In Seattle’s case, the rate of employment tripled that of the national average after the city voted to raise the minimum wage in 2014.

A recent study from the University of Washington failed to “find compelling evidence that the minimum wage has caused significant increases in business failure rates.” It explicitly states that any closures were far dominated by business openings.

New York only voted to raise its minimum wage earlier this year, but economic analysts are already chomping at the chance to predict how it will affect the nation’s largest city.

A recent study out of UC-Berkeley speculates the boost in wages will only raise payroll costs by 3.2 percent across the entire city over the next six years. Businesses can absorb this cost by increasing prices .14 percent per year.

It also estimates a .04 percent increase in employment, which would amount to 3,200 jobs by 2021.

The same group concluded a Santa Clara County initiative would increase payroll costs by 1 percent and could account for the cost with a .2 percent increase in prices by 2019.

We’re talking about pennies, here. Pennies to the consumer and thousands in annual earnings to minimum-wage workers. Somehow, the doomsday scenario just isn’t adding up.

But enough of the data.

When it comes down to it, responsibility lies with business owners. When we envision our perfect economy, do we enjoy seeing mega chains and international brands take over our consumption? Not usually.

We like the idea of going to Sally’s hardware shop and Bill’s flower stand, chatting about the latest ball game, asking about the kids and giving our hard-earned cash to people we don’t mind sharing it with.

Aztec Press cartoon by Coral Yankey

Aztec Press cartoon by Coral Yankey

These small businesses are indeed the backbone of a healthy economy and it isn’t the fault of their employees that they struggle.

It’s the mega chains that offer prices too low to compete with and use cost-benefit analyses that tell them how little they can get away with paying their employees.

The medicine for this sickness is boosting those at the very bottom of our economic ladder. Help them reinvest in their immediate markets.

The goal is to get a majority of Americans to a place where they can start saving money. They’ll put it in a bank, where Sally and Bill can apply for a business loan and become providers in our community.

This isn’t an argument won in Economics 101. The real-world examples speak for themselves and the important thing about the real-world examples is they involve real people with real lives.

 Nick Meyers is a former Aztec Press editor who now attends the University of Arizona, where he studies Journalism and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, or PPEL. He actually thinks the minimum wage is a silly argument because robots will end up taking your job.

Online hyperlinks:

UW Study:

Berkeley, NY:

Berkeley, SF:

Increase could hurt workers

Increase could hurt workers



No one works at minimum wage in my family except me. I’m the youngest. A proposal on the November ballot would not provide a whole lot of improvement.

Proposition 206 would increase the minimum wage from its dormant state at $8.05 an hour to $10 in 2017, then slowly creep to a ceiling of $12 an hour in 2020.

At first it looks good because that means more money in your pockets if you work at minimum wage. You get to circulate more money into the economy. Go you!

You can now become a contributing member of society to our free market in the US of A.

It’ll start potential job growth in all fields, as shown by the Economic Policy Institute in 2006. The Institute said a wage increase would create 85,000 jobs, and they weren’t wrong.

The unemployment rate for Arizona went from about 4.2 percent to 3.7 percent in 2006-07, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Take a look at what happened next, however. After it dropped, unemployment quickly spiked back up to even higher than it was in 2006, to a little over 11 percent.

Of course this was before the 2008 recession, and I’m not saying that increasing the minimum wage will definitely increase unemployment in 2017.

I am saying the Bureau, and many minimum-wage working Americans, didn’t factor in long-term effects. Those effects include inflation for products they normally buy, and a shortage of popular items.

While the rise in minimum wage may have motivated people to search harder for jobs, it didn’t necessarily mean employers were looking to hire more people.

Of roughly 1,200 business and human resource professionals surveyed by the Congressional Budget Office, 38 percent said they would lay off some employees. Another 54 percent said they would reduce hiring levels in 2006.

So much for the .5 percent decrease in unemployment.

Why don’t we talk about relativity? It is true the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. It was $6.75 in the new millennium, when rich people were making money faster and the poor were losing it faster. As always, though, there’s a but.

A pay raise won’t make everything else static. We’ll see price jumps in just about everything we buy.

Beef ribeye steak currently costs $5.99 per pound at Frys. After the 67 percent increase in wages, how do we know Frys won’t raise its prices by that much? Prices might get raised even more, because grocery stores have a plethora of employees.

Inflation is very real and it happens very quickly.

And will businesses even provide raises? The other option is to just fire employees

Yes, the minimum wage will have great impact on the economy and on the consumers in the economy. However, the little people will only reap benefits for a short time before prices increase.

In a perfect world, a wage increase means people spend money on items beyond essentials, without causing inflation.

But let’s face it, America isn’t perfect and neither are we. An increase in the minimum wage will only hurt us unless people make big and, more importantly, right decisions.

Nicholas Trujillo believes in both sides for minimum wage but doesn’t trust Americans to make the right decisions with the pay increase.

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work


The theory behind trickle-down economics is that tax breaks for the wealthy will in turn benefit the middle class because the extra monetary gain “trickles” down.

The idea is that all members of society benefit from this growth, which comes from those with the resources and skills to increase productive output.

In reality, trickle-down economics is politically influenced and has no scientific backing.

The closest thing to trickle-down is supply-side economics, which argues for creating economic growth by investing in capital and lowering barriers on production of goods and services. The theory says tax cuts support economic growth, whether for business or for employees.

The biggest example of trickle-down economics in action came during the Reagan era in the 1980s. Arthur Laffer, known as “the father of supply-side economics,” was the founding member of the Reagan Executive Advisory Committee in 1980.

He’s the creator of the Laffer Curve, a chart that seeks to explain the benefits of lowering taxes to create monetary output.

At zero, the chart shows that no taxes equal no government income. As taxes increase, so does income. When taxes become too high, however, they don’t create any economic growth.

The problem? Laffer neglected to number the curve, so there really is no way to see the actual increase of revenue based on tax rates.

Now, some would say that innovation spurs progress and creates economic growth in the middle class.

The middle class prospered from the late 1800s to the 1920s with new industries emerging such as electricity and telephones. Henry Ford’s Model T assembly line increased productivity 10 times and he doubled his workers’ wages.

Trickle-down economics seems to work in this scenario, right? The major business prospers, and so then do middle-class workers. Unfortunately, modern businesses haven’t shared the wealth.

Tax breaks were prevalent for the top 10 percent in both the Reagan and Bush administrations. All we have to show for it is a tripling of the national debt and a gap increase between wealthy Americans and the middle class.

It’s a reverse Robin Hood ideology where the rich are supposed to use their money to give to the poor. Instead they keep it for themselves like a regular Prince John.

 Brittney Young will graduate from PCC this fall. She hopes to transfer to the University of Arizona to study English and Law.

FROM THE EDDIE-TOR: Welcome to our new-look Aztec Press

FROM THE EDDIE-TOR: Welcome to our new-look Aztec Press


By now, I’m sure (I hope) you’ve recognized the new change.

No, not the addition of Michael Strahan to the “Good Morning America” cast. Our new front-page masthead and layout. We think it looks great, and we think you’ll like it.

We decided last semester to totally change the look of our front page, but the change-over’s true mother is co-photo editor Kate Roberts.

Other than being named after Tucson’s best breakfast diner, Kate happens to be a hell of a photog, writer and InDesign layout whiz.

We greatly appreciate her contributions, along with fellow co-photo editor Ashley Munoz. Their work will be on display throughout the rest of the semester (at least).

Keen readers will notice our retooling didn’t stop with the new front-page layout and aesthetics. It continues all the way through to the back page.

The Aztec Press will emphasize storytelling photography that involves you, the reader, with the each of the college’s six campuses and the larger Tucson community.

Our news coverage, under the editorship of Micheal Romero, aims to provide you the most up-to-date and comprehensive coverage of issues affecting Pima.

We strive to bring the perspective of the student as well as faculty and administration into all of our stories.

The Aztec Press will also bring a harder edge with opinions and editorials, as evidenced by our appointing of newsroom legend and jack-of-all-trades S. Paul Bryan to editorship of the opinion and insight pages.

Speaking of Bryan, we hope you’ll write in with questions to his new love, sex and relationships advice column, “Pretty Tied Up.” If not, you’ll be treated to all the looney, debased questions the editorial staff can come up with. Save yourselves.

D.R. Williams will oversee the spotlight section, which showcases a variety of topics. For arts and entertainment, Travis Braasch will make sure your bi-weekly cultural interests are satiated.

Under the editorship of Casey Muse Jr., we’ve repackaged sports stories in user-friendly ways. Our coverage of the college’s sports teams is more comprehensive than any other publication.

Then there’s social media. While we’ve had a presence on the internet, we’re increasing that footprint exponentially.

With new Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, an improved Facebook page and more emphasis on our website, the Aztec Press is now all-in thanks to the efforts of Melina Casillas, social media maven.

None of this is possible without our reporters, photographers and copy editors struggling through school and work schedules to meet deadline. And of course nothing would get done without our matriarch, faculty adviser Cynthia Lancaster.

Like us on our many millennial-friendly online platforms. Visit our website and leave a comment. Heck, write us a letter and send it by USPS. Just make sure you pick up a copy and read the new, improved Aztec Press.

Patriotism a dangerous concept

Patriotism a dangerous concept


The crying children of our race should own the patriotic, nationalistic and tribal thoughts, and keep them there because it becomes an impediment to the evolutionary process when dragged into adulthood.

Patriotism is especially ugly, childish and ridiculously dangerous when displayed by a superpower.

Nationalism has done more to pile high the dead bodies of millions of human beings in the last few hundred years than anything else. Yes, even more than the colossal killer, religion.

The prey of colonialism, from the Congo to the Philippines and elsewhere in between, all fell to their knees while looking down nationalism’s barrel.

World War I and II saw mass graves filled with many a man, woman and child thanks to witless nationalism.

Hitler and Mussolini and Imperial Japan brought nationalism to rock-bottom (or to the top, depending on whom you ask).

When mentioning the names of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, of course you’re thinking communism. But don’t forget the other, more evil, “ism” these rulers and their countrymen lived by: nationalism.

The entire planet was damn-near annihilated during the Cuban Missile Crisis … because of nationalism.

Over the last 15 years in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and many other countries, hundreds of thousands of people have died because of superpower United States of America and its policies regarding, ultimately, patriotism and nationalism.

We Americans thought it appropriate to impose ourselves, without just cause, on several other countries.

We used the excuse of patriotism, cloaked in George W’s, and then Obama’s, brand of enthusiastic militarism.

When my fellow Americans respond to what they typically call my “lack of patriotism” (or the often angry, “if you don’t love it, leave it” declaration) by stating that this is still the greatest country in the world, I feel the strong need to ask why.

Patriotic American: We are the greatest country because we have tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

Me: No, my friend, that just makes us dangerously powerful, with the ability to destroy the Earth. Yeah, Earth, where all of us humans live.

Patriotic American: Well, we’re the greatest country because we have soldiers stationed in more than 120 countries. We make the world a safer place.

Me: No sir, that just makes us an empire. You know, like the other empires throughout history, only worse.

You can imagine how long that pointless conversation can drone on. It usually, but not always, ends with Mr./Mrs. Patriotic leaving the conversation in a frustrated huff.

Look, love of country isn’t natural. It’s not something you’re born with.

It’s a forced, implanted type of false love, imposed by coercion throughout your entire life at home, at school, on TV, at church and, of course, during your “my team must win for God and country or else” sporting events.

The greatest books I’ve read, the most entertaining and thought-provoking artistic, athletic and educational experiences of my life, were not all American (nor all-American). Some were, some were not.

Countless significant influences in my life, and my fellow Americans’ lives, have come from both inside and outside of our borders.

This knowledge, this simple understanding, convinces me that internationalism and humanism are the highest and most quintessential forms of patriotism.

S. Paul Bryan says, “Take your patriotism and shove it.”

Illustration by Coral Yankey

Illustration by Coral Yankey

PCC students will explore election fears

PCC students will explore election fears


Descriptors for this year’s election season include unbelievable, amusing, terrifying, entertaining, unreal, bizarre, insane and the ultimate whaaat?

It’s an in-your-face time that forces us to reflect on what is really happening as we pick the president of the United States of America.

Amanda Taub, an adjunct professor of International Law and Human Rights at Fordham University in New York City, offers one way to view the chaos of this election season.

In “The rise of American authoritarianism” on, she says the ideology attracts many people during times of great change. People who are fearful flock to its sanctuary.

Authoritarianism offers a solution to the perceived chaos around them: gay marriage, transgender people, same-sex bathrooms, immigrants, ISIS, terrorism in general … the list is long and varied.

Their alarm is palpable and each conspiracy theory adds to the anger and fear.

To reorganize society back to the perceived nirvana of a former status quo, they seek a leader who is strong and determined and who promises that order will be restored by any means necessary, including force.

Force, whether it be verbally threatening or physically real, is a plausible solution that takes people back to the days when America was great and therefore can be again.

It seemed to me that exploring this ideology presented a worthy field of study.

I wondered what our first-year college students would think of the ideas Taub presents.

I wondered what they, as first time voters, might see that would help explain the endless discussions on all forms of social media.

I wondered if her ideas are credible, so I am asking my students.

All five of my WRT 101 classes are involved in this project. We are exploring three major sections of Taub’s article:

  • What is American authoritarianism?
  • Donald Trump, authoritarians and fear.
  • How authoritarians will change the Republican Party and American politics.

This is not in any way an attempt to suggest for whom students should vote. That choice is theirs alone.

However, the dynamics of this election provide fertile ground to explore American authoritarianism through the process of argumentation, which is the foundation of WRT 101.

Once the students’ ideas are in clear written form, I will compile their papers for a presentation on authoritarianism at the Ninth Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, to be held Nov. 14-16 in Seville, Spain.

We will also share the ideas with any of our PCC community; just ask.

And vote. Please.

Mic Denfeld happily teaches WRT 101 and honors WRT 101 at West Campus.

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL: Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 205

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL: Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 205

The editorial board of the Aztec Press highly recommends a “yes” vote on Proposition 205, the Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative.

The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8. Register to vote by Oct. 10 if you want a say in the outcome.

Arizona and four other states can join Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia in legalizing the sale, distribution and regulation of marijuana.

It’s about time.

A yes vote would allow persons age 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants in their residence. It would also create a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the industry.

Proceeds from a 15 percent sales tax would go into a Marijuana Fund controlled by the DMLC. Funds would be distributed to school districts, charter schools and the Arizona Department of Health.

A fiscal analysis by Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimated Prop. 205 would generate an additional $53.4 million in government revenue in fiscal 2019 and $82 million in fiscal 2020.

The JLBC study also found that 6.2 percent of all 2014 Arizona arrests were marijuana related. In the prison population, 4.5 percent of inmates are locked up due to a marijuana-related offense.

Therefore, legalization could help relieve taxpayer burdens by decreasing arrests and incarcerations.

Just don’t tell that to opponents.

The usual suspects make up Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the main organization opposing Prop. 205.

You have a law enforcement representative in Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, a social conservative in radio host Seth Leibsohn and a grieving parent in Sally Schindel.

The group has received endorsements from big guns in Arizona Republican circles, including Gov. Doug Ducey and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, and from police unions.

Their main argument? It’s basically a repackaging of “Reefer Madness,” i.e. the “gateway” drug theory.

The only new argument is a connection to the current opiate epidemic.

At a recent press conference, Ducey let fly this gem in reference to legal marijuana: “If we want to expand this universe of people that are addicted and abusing drugs, well you’ll have that chance in November.’’

During the same speech he touted his (weak) executive orders targeting opiate addiction by requiring doctors to more heavily regulate opioid prescriptions.

One might wonder if Ducey believes vanilla ice cream is a “gateway cream.”

While it may be tempting to laugh at ridiculous arguments from the “no” side, it’s worth remembering the message may resonate with a demographic that votes.
That’s why we think voting yes on Prop. 205 is vitally import to personal liberty. Whether or not you enjoy an occasional jazz cigarette, let’s end this nasty experiment with marijuana prohibition.


Written on behalf of the Aztec Press editorial board by Editor in Chief Eddie Celaya.

FROM THE EDDIE-TOR: Dive right in to lifelong learning

FROM THE EDDIE-TOR: Dive right in to lifelong learning


If you saw me around Tucson this summer, congratulations! You probably learned how to float on your back and swim enough to keep you and your family off the evening news.

See, I work as a swim teacher/instructor/coach/guru during the summer.

Since I’m pretty good at it, I’ve moved up the swimming food chain from working in city pools, to working in community pools, all the way to working in rich Republican’s backyard pools. It’s a great gig.

Now, as much as I love imparting lifelong skills to kids from 1 to 92, I couldn’t be happier to get back to the daily grind of school.

Sure, it’s annoying having to wake myself at the crack of noon to attend some class about how life came to be, but it beats the hell out of the alternative: teaching swimming to pissed-off 4-year-olds.

And that’s a best-case scenario. My pissed-off 4-year-old could very easily be laying tile, landscaping or painting houses in African safari-like heat. After all, hell is personalized.

That’s not to say that being a swim teacher, painter or landscaper is a bad job or something to look down on. On the contrary, society should look with admiration at those who carry out such tasks.


If you’re like me, (god, I hope not) being in one of the above-listed professions can definitely pay your bills and get you through life. But it probably can’t satisfy an intellectual itch to learn and do more.

That’s where Pima Community College comes in.

A year ago, I was just (re)enrolling here at PCC, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life other than not live in a pool for eight hours a day. That and one other thing: I had an insatiable urge to say something.

An English class here, a few journalism classes there, a little encouragement from instructors and what do you know? That insatiable urge to say something has been weaponized and put to good use.

None of that would be possible without PCC and the amazing instructors I’ve had. Had a semester of classes been more cost prohibitive, or the staff not as welcoming, I’d probably be teaching backstroke right now.

As a matter of fact, I know I would.

That scenario played out at another, more Maricopa-y community college. At age 25, I thought for sure I would be teaching crying children my whole life. Not a death sentence surely, but it felt like a life sentence.

However, here at PCC, I’ve got a new lease. My instructors have guided and directed me down a path where I utilize my talents and skills not just to teach others, but to reach others.

Those talents and skills were always within me. They just needed to be nurtured through (here’s the theme) education.

So wake up for that 8 a.m. class. Take that extra course. Make yourself a little uncomfortable.

Education isn’t just 2+2=4 or subject-verb agreements. More practically, education is learning about yourself and what life you want to make out of the skills you have.

Simply put, education is where your innate talents and skills go to be stretched, tested and (hopefully) strengthened.

Good luck getting stronger this semester.

Logo - Aztec Press

Guns not the answer to campus violence

Guns not the answer to campus violence



There might be a noticeable change among students attending the University of Texas at Austin this fall. Many will be carrying concealed firearms.


The Campus Carry law, which narrowly passed the Texas legislature, allows students attending state universities to carry handguns to classes and around campus. The only exceptions are designated sensitive areas such as mental health clinics.


UT has a bloody history with guns. In 1966, engineering student Charles Whitman blockaded himself in a clock tower with a sniper rifle. He killed 16 classmates while wounding 32 more.


In 2010, Colton Tooley unloaded an AK47 assault rifle before turning the gun on himself.


Some Texas students feel the new Open Carry law will provide a sense of comfort but many feel that having more guns on campus is not the answer.


On the first day of the new semester, thousands of students protested the law by brandishing large sex toys to point out the absurdity of being allowed to carry handguns at school while sex toys are banned.


Allowing students to freely carry firearms may add to the already growing anxiety caused by the thought of a violent event, due to the rapidly growing number of shootings on school campuses.


A large number of UT students have spoken out, saying they would feel even less safe in class knowing any student may be carrying a gun. They also argue it would limit their ability to speak freely about heated or divided topics.


Minority groups such as LGBT students already face hate and discrimination from fellow classmates. Having guns on campus would make them feel that speaking out against certain topics could result in more than just a verbal assault.


Having a small sense of security for those who wish to carry guns should not come before students feeling safe to be themselves on campus.


Another issue facing those in favor of the Open Carry law is being prepared to fire a gun in the heat of the moment if something does happen.


It takes both physical and mental training to fire a gun. I would not want to risk being shot by a classmate who has inadequate training.


Instead of relying on a fellow student to protect me in the case of an emergency, I would rather rely on the campus police force we have at our disposal.

Travis Braasch

Travis Braasch