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Yes, please


Love can suck, but only if you don’t play it smart.

Many young people are starting to grow stagnate in their love lives, according to a 2014 report from the Pew Research Center.

Specifically, young people aren’t getting married and may never. The Pew report predicted 25 percent of millennials will never get married.

The top three reasons why young people said they weren’t likely to settle down:finances, feeling too young and not finding what they wanted in prospective partners.

In a world full of flashy pictures and instant messages, a genuine human connection can sometimes be hard to come by.

I myself have been tempted to call it quits on the dating scene. I haven’t dated since I was a young teenager. To be frank, my experience with relationships left me jaded.

Just when I thought I knew a person, the person changed and became someone to whom I could ever be seriously attracted. After an uninteresting face-to-face conversation with a person who had been chatty in text messages, I wanted to toss in the towel.

Both of these situations could have been avoided if I had met with the person in different settings, gotten to know their families or extended a phone conversation so they wouldn’t have time to plan or edit their response like they could in a text.

Effective communication in a relationship isn’t always easy to establish. Sometimes, building trust takes time and serious effort.

“You have to learn about the other person’s communication style and how it works with your own or how it conflicts with your own,” social worker Ashley Knox wrote.

Any couple in it for the long haul must be ready to talk about even the touchiest of subjects. Don’t avoid anything that could damage your ability to connect with your partner.

“In adult relationships, this behavior only avoided the hard issues that people have to work through for the relationship to be healthy and to grow,” writer Daniel Evans said of his own experiences.

He realized that communication, even if it meant writing things down because they couldn’t be articulated, was critical to a lasting commitment.

When that first rush of butterflies settles in your stomach, remember that it takes more than a pretty face to make a relationship last.

Love should never feel like a hit and run. It should be built on mutual interests, memories and a selfless desire to be there for one another. Without strong foundations, love stories never withstand the hard test of time.

When planning to pursue a romance, remember the few golden rules of relationships: Learn to communicate with a partner, don’t insist on always having your own way and work to build something that is based on mutual respect.

A relationship should be a give-take, not a push-pull exchange.

Ford makes a bad cynic because she cries every time she watches “The Notebook.”

Web-ready opinion

No, thanks


Romantic love and prize fights are truly, undeniably, one and the same. You want unbridled excitement and thrills? You’re guaranteed these heightened levels of stimulation in both.

Are you desirous for a front row seat to a theater of passion, courage, strength and hope? You’ll surely (and sorely) get it at these two venues.

How about pain, heartache, fear and tragedy? Get yourself involved in either romantic love or a prize fight and the inevitability of feeling these truths is unavoidable.

In the ‘honeymoon” stage of a relationship, both parties are winners. The new lovebirds look healthy, talk a big game and are full of pride, optimism and confidence — not unlike boxers attending the pre-fight weigh-in/press conference.

Both the lovers and the prize fighters truly believe victory, wealth and happiness are in their immediate future … but slow down that boastful confidence, here comes the sound of the bell.

Ding. Ding. The fight, and the relationship, have begun.

The first few rounds of a fight are for feeling your opponent out and settling in to your style, your game plan. A romantic relationship is no different.

Your lover makes eyes at another but immediately squeezes your hand tight to reassure you. You get an unexpected offer from another suitor, but (reluctantly?) turn it down.

Maybe a sharp jab lands, some light bruising and fatigue, but a seemingly smooth “dance” has commenced. Keep your guard up, though, because the middle rounds are quickly upon you.

Your “better half” starts to show true colors. Who knew she was racist? No one warned me about his laziness. A stinging left hook to the liver lands flush, taking the fighter’s breath away.

When did she start dressing so slutty? Was he always into weird porn? Pop, broken nose, blood starts pouring. Matters have taken a turn for the worse, for both the lovers and the gloved combatants. The difference begins to blur.

The final rounds come and the situation is desperate. He slept with your best friend. A powerful right hook crushes the left temple. She secretly went to dinner with her ex-boyfriend. A a jaw-breaking right uppercut follows a beautifully timed jab.

Were you ready for this, either of you? Two capable scrappers, for reasons unknown even to themselves, continue their assault.

The fight, the relationship, is now over.

In as grueling a contest as had ever been witnessed, both the lovers and the boxers are done. Motions are slower, wearier, more those of a badly beaten human than a prideful pugilist or once (over)confident lover.

Friends, I’ve been in far too many romantic relationships and more fisticuffs than I’m comfortable saying.

When people close to me ask, “Why don’t you try settling down again?” or when a perfectly fine young lady shows interest, I always respond confidently with absolutely no hesitation … I’ve hung up my gloves.

Bryan is a father, writer, contrarian, et al… and, believe it or not, a hopeless romantic.

From The Editor: Varied generations help enrich Pima

From The Editor: Varied generations help enrich Pima


Pg06-Opinion-Jamie Verwys


Each era is forever marked by the people, places and things that come to define it. When we think about the ‘50s, we probably see something like ladies swing dancing in poodle skirts. If it’s the ‘80s, the hair and shoulder pads get bigger and the music has synth.

Every period is influenced by current affairs and has a set of traits developed hugely by the social, economic, political and entertainment environment in which we live. Generations become like people at some point, with personality traits, strengths and human weaknesses.

So where does that leave those of us who are helping to build that profile of the current generation? What are we millennials really up to?

There is no one official timeline for millennials, but most sources seem to consider they are people born from 1980 to 2000. If you look around the campuses, you are sure to see people who fall right into that category, myself included.

We have been called a lot of things, from optimistic to Generation Me. There were definitely moments that defined our time, like the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the World Trade Center attack and the creation of Google.

Currently, millennials are out there working, innovating and stepping into a more significant role in their communities.

I have seen my peers in this age group do some incredible things and a pretty fair number of embarrassing ones, too.

It’s funny, because whenever I hear or read millennials, I have always imagined what must be the next generation down. I associated it with young people essentially born with the Internet.

With YouTube and our current culture of sharing, chances are your infancy was shared with hundreds on Facebook.

At Pima, I’m really thankful to see people from all kinds of different times and places. The varied experiences enrich a learning environment, and the college experience allows you different lenses to see those defining moments as they happen.

Whenever you were born, I hope you can see the proof that there is no generational or age limit when it comes to making an impact in our time on this earth.

There are many different ways to do it. Diversity plays a huge part in our resilience when tragedies occur.

As journalists, we don’t just chronicle our generation’s journey. The news is made up of stories about all sorts of different people. Each generation or era was born out of the ones before it and hopefully builds upon it.

It’s an honor to tell the stories of Pima, a place that has the personality and defining moments that would almost qualify it as its own mini era for all of us.

What’s inside this issue is another snapshot of this interesting time in our lives. Enjoy.

Don’t be a zodiac snob

Don’t be a zodiac snob


David Pujol


Many people rely heavily on astrology in their romantic pursuits. Astrology should guide you and let you decide for yourself. Astrology shouldn’t make you classist simply based on your signs.

We should take the insight astrology has to offer and use that knowledge in the search for someone, but we can’t put so much pressure on it to find the “one.” Don’t let the fact that your sign doesn’t align with his or her sign stop you from even attempting to see if it’s a match.

I’m a big believer in astrology and I personally relate very well to my zodiac sign. However, the thing about astrology is it has a lot of insight and detail and is very carefully thought out. But it can also just be comedic or entertaining, such as the zodiac signs as 2000s pop songs.

Take everything with a grain of salt because a Cancer can be a non-nurturing figure, an Aries can be unmotivated, a Pisces can be cold and stoic and a Taurus can be an unloyal person.

These descriptions of the signs can be wrong on occasion. It’s completely possible to not relate to your zodiac sign.

Although astrology has its logic and sound findings, it’s completely OK to continue to be skeptical and curious about what it has to say. Sometimes astrology can say that you won’t work with a certain sign but by all means be skeptical about it.

Don’t rely so heavily on the fact that a Gemini and Libra’s relationship is a great match. You need to determine if this relationship is going to work or not, because maybe you know a Leo and Capricorn couple who are the spitting image of love.

Astrology can sometimes say that what should be a match isn’t, or what shouldn’t work in fact does. Take astrology into consideration when going into a romantic pursuit, if you want.

You can date whoever the hell you want. Whether or not you let the stars decide that for you is up to you.

Pujol is a Cancer, aka an emotional wreck, who has his eye on a Taurus, not because astrology says so but because he cares for him, against the astrological advice.

From The Editor: We Are The Bold Voices Of Pima

From The Editor: We Are The Bold Voices Of Pima


Pg06-Opinion-Jamie Verwys


It feels like we have been back to the hard work, new challenges and old friends of the spring semester for weeks already. Maybe it’s because the news doesn’t rest, so the senior members of the Aztec Press have already conducted interviews, found new leads and gotten comfortable back in the newsroom.

The familiar setting of Pima Community College just doesn’t take much easing in for me anymore. I always feel at home right away.

Hello again fellow students, faculty, staff and guests. Here we go into another busy semester and my “journo-senses” are already tingling in the hallways. Even in this first issue, which happened before I hardly knew what day it was, we take a look at financial aid eligibility, Pima’s enrollment numbers and an upcoming PCC art exhibit. We offer up plenty of community news and entertainment, as well as some of our writers’ own thoughtful opinions.

Pima is a college rich in stories, some of them more complicated than others. From the actual campuses and improvements, like the newly installed solar panels, to students to doing incredible things, all the little pieces of the college make for a fascinating place to be.

Of course, the ever evolving story of the Higher Learning Commission’s findings, new administers and policy continues to need accurate coverage. We are already throwing ourselves into the work and have our ears open to what is next.

For some of the news team this semester, it is their first real experience working for a fully operational news publication. I congratulate and welcome them into what has been the most important opportunity in my own life.  Readers, we are going to train them well so they do can a great job keeping you informed about your college.

When it comes to me, journalism has become first nature and I have been with some of the team for a long time. This, my final semester, is my fifth one at the Aztec Press. That’s over two years. There is a part of me that has been terrified of the end of my time at Pima drawing closer. But, I’m mostly excited for what’s next.

I’m well prepared for the next leg of my journey from this experience and I am excited to give you all one more dedicated semester of reporting. I can’t wait to see what our reporters do and work with our professor Cynthia Lancaster again, who returned from sabbatical this semester.

Walk on by the news room sometime at West Campus and take a little peak inside. You will see a group of students and great mentors writing away, checking facts and determine what important issues at Pima are. You will probably catch us laughing too, or sounding off on the latest national news or Pima policy change.

What we do is incredibly fun and rewarding, but it’s some the hardest work these students on the team will do in their higher education. I’m really happy they chose this.

Tell us your stories. Reach out to us if you need your voice heard. Help us decide what that important news is. That’s why we’re here.

I hope to hear from some of you soon. Enjoy the issue.

Ignorance is bliss

Ignorance is bliss



Pg05-Opinion-Ford, Audrie

In 2014 Rasmussen Reports, a public polling company, found that 83 percent of

possible voters thought Americans were not informed voters. However, I believe

that voters in the United States can be trusted to make the right decisions as long as

they have the right information. Palatable information should be the focus of

political activists.

The concern of voter ignorance was reflected in a Forbes article written by Ilya

Somin, a professor of law at George Mason University.

“Thanks to the internet, information is easier to find than ever,” Somin said.

“Yet studies show that today’s voters are about as ignorant as those of the pre-

internet era.”

Diana Thomas, an associate professor of economics at Creighton University, wrote

that one of the biggest reasons why voters are uninformed is because they see very

little pay off. They see no reason to become entrenched in politics when a single vote can’t turn the tides.

“For this reason,” Thomas wrote, “Many economists will say it is completely rational

to be ignorant about politics.”

But hope is not lost. Matt Corley, a political scientist from George Washington

University, explained that political scientists have found that average voters keep up

with their interest groups and have been found to vote the same way as voters that

would be considered informed.

Rather than focus on educating the masses about the inner workings of America’s

political system, political organizations should focus on getting the truth out about

candidates. The more digestible the information, the better the average voter will be

able to absorb it.

This election season is drawing heavy interest from the American people. They are

hungry for change.

“Time passes,” said Bloomberg’s columnist Megan McArdle. “These voters notice

that these things have not been done. Obviously, they have elected the wrong

superhero. It is time to stop messing around with Squirrel Girl and Jack of Hearts

and elect Superman, already.”

Rather than painting doomsday pictures of American’s ignorance, we should trust

that they’ll vote for the candidate they believe will solve their problems.

Not everyone can be a political scientist, and life would be pretty boring if that were

the case.

FORD is the head coach for a local speech and debate club and live tweets political debates more than any other televised program.

Wash your damned hands

Wash your damned hands



Pg05-Opinion-Bryan, Paul

PCC, you’re nasty. Not only that, you’re dangerous. The amount of germs, bugs, diseases and other disgusting menaces that the everyday student carelessly spreads on a daily basis is almost criminal. One cannot walk upon the beautiful grounds of any of our fine campuses without seeing another person sneeze, cough, spit, wipe, drool, etc.

One must stay clean in order to protect their personal health, as well as mass campus health. The simplest ways come down to hygiene like, wash your hands with soap, use hand sanitizer, wear clean clothes, take showers and handle food appropriately.

If you have a fever, stay home. Not feeling too well? Try out public healthcare. It’s there, take advantage of it. If you’ve got private insurance, good for you, use it. PCC, at the very least, you’ve got to wash you’re damned hands.

Here is a simple six point plan provided by, in order to prove my point and save us all some pain. Hell, it may even save some lives.

  1. Avoid close contact.
  2. Stay home when you are sick.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose.
  4. Clean your hands.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  6. Practice other good health habits.

Some sobering information has come across my path recently that I’d like to share with you. Are you sitting down? What am I saying, you’re probably laying down…you’re sick!

The next time you’re sitting next to someone who sneezes or coughs into the open air of our classrooms, spits on the grounds of our campuses, or passes up on those free germ killing wash stations we call sinks; take these into consideration: Avian Flu, Hantavirus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis C, Influenza Virus type A, B and C also Novel influenza A virus H2, H5, H7, and H9, Haemophilus, Mumps Virus, Norovirus, and Rhinoviruses and Coronaviruses. All here in southern Arizona, all communicable, and all dangerous.

If you’re sick, please stay home. You can rest, get better and come back healthy. The moral of the story, PCC, is you’ve got to clean up your act. Stop getting each other sick. Stop getting me sick. And most importantly, wash your damned hands!


S. Paul Bryan is a father, writer, contrarian, et al…oh, and evidently a germaphobe.

Find your own way

Find your own way



Pg05-Opinion-Romero, Michael

It seems all too often that people don’t know their calling in life.

Whether they find no purpose in their work or their free-time, sometimes you meet a person that just seems lost.

They find that one thing is either missing from their situation or obstructing their view.

That’s why you should always find something you’re good at and then find something that makes you happy.

Or you should find something that makes you happy and then find out what you’re good at.

A job is a job and it doesn’t have to be the single source of your satisfaction with life.

In a 2013 Gallup Poll of the American Workplace about 20 percent of those surveyed were unhappy with their situation.

Around 50 percent of those surveyed were less than content and only the remaining population were considered happy.

But that doesn’t mean these people were unhappy with life.

Work is stressful because it’s supposed to be.

You shouldn’t boggle your mind with “what if’s” because you feel like some sort of a drone.

You work and then you play.

Join a club, or a fantasy football league, or volunteer somewhere for something or someone.

The difference you make in the lives of others doesn’t have to benefit them financially. And if you want to keep to yourself that is fine too.

Every life contributes in this country down to voting, taxpaying, spending money, eating, sleeping, and sightseeing.

Even if what makes you happy is doing something illegal, you’re giving law enforcement a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Everybody contributes in the United States. So contribute as much as you can and take as much back.

You’re already one step ahead by coming to this wonderful community college.

You don’t have to care about the degree you are getting. Just give everything you have to it because someone else already did the same.

Benefit from others and be beneficial to those around you.


Romero doesn’t consider himself an optimist or a pessimist. He’d like to believe he is a realist. He believes that there is as much good in the world as there is bad. But he knows that focusing too much on either will drive a person mad.

Positive thinking drives away fear

Positive thinking drives away fear


By Kit B. Fassler

The world dictates how we live.  Horrible news reports of war, bomb explosions and shootings are constantly seen in the media that distract our minds and make us fearful.   We can’t allow fear to dominate our minds.  The remedy is quiet, centered thoughts to obtain hope and get rid of the fear.

Let’s turn to the history of mankind and evaluate the causes of war.   It is obvious that inequality, oppression and even corruption are the causes of conflict, struggles and migration.

Exodus, a book in the Bible, tells the  story of the Israelites fleeing from Egypt to seek freedom, is an ancient example of man’s struggles.  It is a never-ending cycle.

During Thanksgiving at the White House, President Obama spoke about the plight of the Plymouth pilgrims in the New World.  He made a point that this is the same struggle that refugees in the Middle East experienced.

There was also a time between 1880 and 1920 that two million Russian Jews escaped from oppression. They left Russia and most of them migrated to the United States.

When the Wall of Berlin was torn down, the world thought that was the end of the Cold War.  But then, the results of the war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria caused more upheaval and unrest.

The rampage in Paris shocked the world again.   There is a feeling of fear.  We struggle to calm our agitated minds, but I do believe that there is still good in every human being.  That good will always triumph.

Government leaders and the United Nations are trying to find a solution to slow down the flow of refugees. Terrorist groups are also a serious threat.

As ordinary citizens we also play a role in making this world a better place to live.   We have the capacity to give hope and improve the lives of our fellow citizens in our community.

Let’s start with the basics and remind ourselves that we can be a part of the solution.  We don’t want war anymore.  We choose peace.  It’s really up to us.

Why not give opportunities to poor people to move up to the middle class?   Upward mobility gives opportunity to realize the American dream.  Providing education is one remedy, and an education gives dignity to a human being.

We jeopardize our future because of the monopoly of the few rich, and leaving the rest of humanity behind.  Complacency, greed and power won’t work because even the rich and famous are affected by the unrest.  Every pain and struggle affects each one of us somehow because we are part of the human family.

Another important role every citizen can take is in civic engagement.   We are political forces as voters.  We mobilize our youth to get out and get political power.  We put our politicians to work on prioritizing quality education that opens up a better job.

Former President Abraham Lincoln understood the importance of equality and balance in a society.  Thus, the Emancipation of Slavery was approved by Congress during his term.  At this point in time it’s up to us, the living, to carry on the mission to pursue justice and peace in order for humanity to thrive.

Fassler is a social advocate and will always be.


Black Friday is a shopper nightmare

Black Friday is a shopper nightmare


by Steven Fowler

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the holiday season and it’s gotten to the point where it disrupts the real November holiday. Thanksgiving is a time where family and friends come to visit one another and give thanks for their blessings and good health.

Every year, it seems as though businesses open their doors earlier, forcing family members to leave their loved ones to work. Everyone should have the option to stay with their loved ones and spend their hard-earned money.

Celebrating a delicious early dinner with family on Thanksgiving is a joyful time. No one should leave that for shopping.

This past Black Friday was shocking. At 6 p.m., the Walmart on Speedway and Kolb must’ve had 300 cars in their parking lot and an endless line of anxious customers standing in chilly weather.  What was so special to buy when they could be enjoying time with their family?

Most people feel that fighting for a spot in line while attempting to buy a $1,000 television at a deep discount is no way to spend Thanksgiving.  While some families are sitting comfortably in their home cutting into the turkey and scooping out the mouth-watering mashed potatoes and gravy, others brave the weather and mobs for their discount.

It’s not just Walmarts that open prior to Black Friday. According to a Nov. 26 report by CNBC’s Krystina Gustafson, JC Penney opened their doors at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving while three other stores including Kmart, Target and Macy’s opened their doors at 4 p.m. that same day.

It seems that executives of these corporations are trying to tear families apart by forcing their employees to work during such a time. Spending money, at times, is a good feeling. So is working to help secure your family’s future. But, there comes at least one day when everyone just needs to be with family.

I am in favor of businesses making money, don’t get me wrong. I believe we all have the constitutional right to go out and buy what we please but for me, sitting down at the dinner table with family comes first.

I admit that I went out with a few of my friends and spent money on Thanksgiving. We went out at 10 p.m., a few hours after dinner while most were at their houses. It was a great opportunity to go out and spend time with friends.

There should be a certain cutoff for Thanksgiving that corresponds with Black Friday, such as starting the sales at midnight, the day after the holiday. This gives people more quality time to be with family that one typically may not see. This permits for a chaotic 24-hour window to buy gifts at a cheap price.

It’s a long shot but we need to write to or call the executives of companies asking them to push back their stores hours.

Fowler is a journalism student attending Pima Community College who aspires to be the next great influence in the world of sports reporting. He believes that families should be together during the holidays.


A generation without words

A generation without words


by Travis Braasch

It may be hard to believe that there was a time without cellphones; a time where children would walk to a friend’s house to see if they wanted to hang out, rather than send a text message. Times have changed with the evolution of technology, but the outcome isn’t what some may have expected.

According to the National Consumers League, 56 percent of children between the ages of 8 to 12 own cellphones and use them regularly. Not only do many young children have unlimited access to cellphones, but 21 percent of children age 8 or younger own smartphones.

With the waves of violence in schools the past decade, it isn’t unusual for parents to want to be in contact with their children in case some horrific event unfolds. Cellphones allow parents immediacy to contact their child without going through the complicated school channels.

However, despite the obvious logical benefits, cellphones have caused just as much harm to younger generations than most may realize. From cyber-bullying to sexual harassment, cellphones opened the doors to different worries for parents.

Teenagers seem to rely on their cellphones to do everything for them, from help with schoolwork to networking with friends. It is now easier than ever. The problem is that cellphones  have somehow enabled teenagers to become lost when trying to do anything for themselves. An example would be a simple problem of addition or subtraction that can’t be executed without the dependency of a smartphone.

This may stem from the fact that parents have given their children phones at younger ages than ever before, thus becoming reliant on phones earlier. This doesn’t give them the chance to grow up and learn how to process information for themselves. Like all technology, cellphones break and it’s amazing to see how lost some become when they cannot Google an answer for their homework assignment.

The most damage cellphones have created for the younger generation is their inability to verbally communicate in-person with their peers, affecting their confidence in social situations. Many teenagers strictly communicate through text messages, about 60 per day according to the PEW Research Center, and over a two year period the rate rises to over 100 per day.  Although the quick messages are handy, it seems that almost all conversation has been compacted to little words on a screen. The art of communication has digressed to a text.

There are no more conversations between human beings in that generation. This fact became obvious during a session of job interviews conducted with people that averaged the age of 18. They couldn’t seem to hold a schmoozy conversation. Many young teens out of high school avoided eye contact with their interviewer and played with their hands because they were not used to communicating with their voice. Some wouldn’t even look up when asked a simple question about their work skills, and mumbled responses at the table.

It became all too clear during a session of job interviews conducted by yours truly with people that averaged the age of 18.

As a manager of a local pizza place, it was clear in their awkwardness that they couldn’t even hold a simple conversation for a position in customer service. Most avoided eye contact, mumbled and played with their hands. No confidence. No communications. It is like talking to an empty shell of a human.

This shows how cellphone addiction has crippled our youths’ skill to communicate, which can harm their future.While cellphone use has allowed for communication, at some point even created a sense of safety, they’ve taken away from human interaction. It’s made our future leaders completely reliant on this piece of plastic and metal to function in almost any capacity.

Instead of buying an 8-year-old the latest smartphone for Christmas, perhaps the parents could enthusiastically settle for a bike, tell their kid to play outside and be creative. This technology has the power to rob them of their function to think and socially communicate.

Braasch is a reporter and is concerned about the progression of technology dependence.

Pg06-Opinion Travis

Still fighting for LGBT equality

Still fighting for LGBT equality



In this decade, the gay rights movement has accomplished more than anyone could’ve thought possible during time of the senseless assassination of Harvey Milk in 1978 or during the start of the Stonewall riots in 1969.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex marriage can no longer be prohibited by a state, marking one of the largest accomplishments of the LGBT movement.

However, like the Civil Rights Movement, the LGBT movement hasn’t reached the end of its journey and some of the hardest battles may still be ahead.

Much like the enacted Civil Rights Act of 1968, the gay marriage law is not being accepted by everyone just yet. Many still face the same type of discrimination that was around before the bill was passed. There have been many cases of gay couples being refused a marriage license despite the ruling.

For some reason, certain Americans are not willing to accept that two people of the same sex would want to have the same rights as straight couples do. In fact, it seems as time passes more and more social conservatives are fixated about the apparent scourge of homosexuality sweeping across the U.S. They sound like an anti-gay propaganda film from the 1960s.

Rather than focusing on newer, pressing issues such as the wave of murders committed by police officers or skyrocketing occurrences of school shootings, it seems that conservatives simply cannot get their minds off of strangers going to bed together in the privacy of their own homes.

This may be in part due to how the media can obsess over something and blow it completely out of proportion, whether it be liberal or conservative outlets. As soon as the ruling was handed down, FOX news began to declare the downfall of the United States.

As the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh stated on the day the bill passed, “That’s exactly what this day is about. The Constitution has been made to be everything about this. It has been corrupted.”

Yup, giving Americans the right to marry whoever they choose has “corrupted” the Constitution in the eyes of some conservatives.

This is ever more noticeable in Houston, Texas with the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance bill that would have protected LGBT members from discrimination at work and in public, as well as discrimination based on age, race, gender and many other areas where discrimination is still present.

The LGBT community simply wants the right to feel safe and protected equally, the same way as straight Americans. However, for some reason citizens seemed to have their heads in the toilet, focused on the fact that this bill would have allowed transgender individuals to use whichever bathroom they most identify. This would mean that women who have transitioned to men would be allowed to use the men’s bathrooms, and vice versa.

Immediate outcry was heard in the conservative state of Texas, and a successful fear driven campaign against the bill led to it being voted down by the voters. Many around the country wondered how this could happen in a liberal town like Houston.

The campaign against this bill used the same tactics that were used to keep gay Americans from adopting children and getting married in the 1970s. The opposition of the bill portrayed LGBT Americans as pedophile monsters who are out to hurt women and children.

Sadly, the LGBT community actually faces a higher number of sexual assaults than the straight community. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that 44 percent of lesbians are victims of sexual assault, rape, or stalking as opposed to 35 percent of heterosexual women. Additionally, 37 percent of bisexual men experience this compared to the 29 percent of heterosexual men.

However, other states that have passed bills to protect these rights have not experienced any higher rates of sex crimes or instances of sexual acts from its LGBT citizens. The only difference is that the LGBT community feels safer and can live happier lives.

Violence against those who identify as LGBT has been on the rise in 2015, up 13 percent from 2014, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. It is un-American to be treated poorly because of your sexual orientation, and there are some being murdered for it.

In the media, some LGBT individuals are being portrayed as child-hurting monsters which people should fear. When in reality, the LGBT community faces hate and violence everyday and is in need of protection in order to live safe lives.

Americans are obsessed with what their neighbors are doing and cannot simply mind their own business. Maybe, instead of trying to create a problem out of nothing, we can start to worry about the real problems our country seems to be ignoring.

The human race faces new troubles everyday, whether it’s a terrorist attack that kills Americans or that another teenager murdering his fellow classmates. It seems like now, more than ever, people should be coming together as a community instead of letting small differences tear us apart.

Braasch is an Aztec Press reporter and an activist for equal rights. He believes in a community that minds its own business. 

Tarantino and police affairs

Tarantino and police affairs



Quentin Tarantino stood with protesters at a RiseUpOctober rally on October 24. The remarks he made at the event about police actions have not been taken lightly by unions in Los Angeles and New York.

In his speech, he referred to police officers who used deadly force in confrontations as “murderers,” saying, “When I see murders, I do not stand by. I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”

The response from the unions was to boycott his upcoming film, “The Hateful Eight.”

Any police response is completely unnecessary and the proposed boycott would be a waste of time.

We live in the United States and the First Amendment to our glorious Constitution entitles Tarantino to say whatever he wants in public. It allows the police to do the same, but they didn’t have to say anything.

Although many people love Tarantino’s films, he’s not in a seat of power. He’s just a concerned citizen. He’s no threat to police, because he asked for nothing other than justice. He didn’t ask for the “murder of the murderers.”

Tarantino isn’t black and he isn’t viewed as any kind of black hero. He’s not going to convince someone to do something they weren’t already going to do. He wasn’t gathering troops, he was lending his voice.

He isn’t New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made comments that showed a lack of support for police actions and received turned backs from officers during the funeral for Officer Wenjian Liu, who was shot on Dec. 20, 2014.

Tarantino’s comments should have just gone by.

The boycott for the film stems from a perceived lack of respect from Tarantino due to the sensitive timing of his speech, which was delivered four days after New York police officer Randolph Holder was fatally shot by a suspect he was pursuing.

The march in New York was planned weeks in advance, so it would have been impossible for anyone to anticipate that a police officer’s life would be taken the same week.

It’s understandable that the unions would be on edge for the heat they’ve been getting because of standout events that have claimed the lives of unarmed black citizens.

Not all officers would make the same decisions that were carried out in the contested “murder” cases.

People joining the police academy know the risks involved, and it’s hard to believe that candidates would go through training just to get the chance to shoot unarmed citizens. Police officers become police officers to uphold the law where it is challenged. They give their time to protect the community and serve the public trust.

It’s understandable that black Americans would be enraged by what seems to be a constant flow of incidents involving unarmed, black Americans that end in them seeing the coroner and not the courthouse.

At the end of the day, police still have to do their jobs. Tarantino’s stand with the protestors did nothing to infringe upon that. He wasn’t asking for more death, he was asking for justice.

He asked for the same justice men and women all across the U.S. have to dish out every day as uniformed officers.

There shouldn’t have been any response to his impassioned words other than self-reflection from police and citizens alike.

Romero isn’t a social justice advocate of any kind. He believes black lives matter just as much as blue lives. He realizes that judgement calls made in heat of the moment have no planning but can have major repercussions. In situations where the infraction is minor, being black shouldn’t magnify the judgment call’s likelihood of having fatal consequences.

Concerning capitalism confusion

Concerning capitalism confusion



Ever since its inception, capitalism, an economic system based off of private ownership of the basic means of production and free trade, has received both lots of love and seemingly more hate from millions of thinking humans.

In the United States, people on the political right wing are more accepting of capitalism. Those on the left tend to be highly critical of the system. However, it seems that those who criticize capitalism do so on the basis of basic misconceptions of the economic system.

The first of these misconceptions is that capitalism is fundamentally exploitative of the lower social classes. It seems one doesn’t have to go far in any direction to encounter this narrative. What critics fail to realize about capitalism is that it’s based off of free trade and interaction. This means that both employees as well as employers freely consented to associate with each other. Hence, the outcome is mutually beneficial.

This is in contrast to the anti-capitalist narrative that the poor suffer exploitation from the rich.

Another popular misconception of the economic system of capitalism is that it mainly benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. Of course, this also is ultimately false since, as I noted earlier, economic interactions within capitalism are voluntary, thus we know that they are mutually beneficial. BOTH parties will benefit from the trade. Otherwise the trade wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

When one buys a hamburger from McDonald’s, the customer obviously wants the burger more than he wants the money, and the worker wants the money more than he wants the burger. In which case, both people involved are better off than they were before because of the trade. It’s also good to note that both the rich and the poor in the U.S. have gotten richer over decades, according to an article by Abigail R. Hall of The Independent Institute.

In a truly capitalistic society, people can really only become rich if they supply others what they want. We can know this to be the case, once again, because all human interactions under capitalism are voluntary and thus mutually beneficial.

In other words, those who wish to benefit themselves and become rich can really only do so by benefiting from those whom they interact with in the economy.

Ask yourself why, for example, Wal-Mart is so profitable. It’s because millions of people do business at Wal-Mart, and we can reasonably assume they do business there because it makes them economically better off. Therefore, Wal-Mart’s economic success is due to benefiting millions of people, not exploiting them.

Capitalism is obviously not a perfect system, but it sure does seem better than the capitalism we have now, that is corrupted by a big, bureaucratic system that forcefully exploits taxpayers for the interests of powerful entities.

Kezer is interested in politics and hope to cover important political issues.

Guest commentary: Rethink approach to learning

Guest commentary: Rethink approach to learning



I am writing this piece to express my deep disappointment with the current efforts on both the local and national levels to equate the educational process with quantification and uniformity. In my view, education should be about student engagement, interaction and growth, not organized numerical cataloging. The results of learning will show up in the way students think and behave in life.

Let me begin by saying that education is really about exercising our mental capacities, much the way we would exercise our bodily muscles, or practice certain techniques in a studio class. The main point is not the course material itself, since students will soon forget this and can always look it up when needed. What we are really about is helping students learn to think creatively and analytically. This requires active participation and discussion rather than simply listening, memorizing and forgetting. The skills acquired here are not really quantifiable “outcomes” that can be cataloged and systematized.

To better explain what I mean, let me share briefly the way I structure my own classes here at Pima Community College. To be sure, my way of teaching in Humanities courses does not fit all subject matters, but I think that in principal it does get to the heart of what real education is all about. First off, I think it is important to give attention to the way a classroom is arranged. I try to arrange the seating so that it comes close to a semi-circle, with some students sitting up front on one side of the room and myself on the other. This arrangement greatly facilitates discussion because we can all see and hear each other better. Sad to say, it is not usually possible to rearrange the remaining students’ desks.

I divide the class into rotating “sparker” groups of roughly 6 students each, and in each class period a different group is up front with me. Each group gets up front four times in a semester. The students in the “up front” group write and share a short paper in which they focus on something important in that day’s reading assignment, which then becomes the topic of discussion for that day’s textbook assignment.

I read, write criticisms and suggestions and evaluate these papers and give them back at the next meeting of the class. It is vital that the students get feedback on their work as soon as possible. At the end of each section of the course, every student writes a longer paper on a take-home, open-book assignment integrating the material of that section. I name these papers “Integrative Educational Experiences” and they count as double. I find tests to be counter-productive to real learning in the sorts of courses I teach because they create undue psychological pressure. Time factors have little to do with developing critical thought and insight.

In each class we discuss the students’ papers, while I serve as moderator and “secretary,” briefly summarizing what students are saying on the whiteboard, asking questions and sharing my own thoughts from time to time. As the discussion progresses, other students in the class are encouraged to participate. I find this format highly conducive to strong student engagement, both with the key ideas in the course and with one another. Many students “find their own voice” and learn to listen seriously to others. True dialogue takes place, as opposed to the one-way communication of information.

It is important to emphasize that that these classroom discussion sessions are neither mere glorified bull-sessions nor debates, but rather they are serious exchanges among young people who are desirous of getting a better grip on some big issues. I teach the Philosophy of Religion, New Testament and Intercultural Perspectives, and each of these courses raises and pursues important questions and openness to new ideas, critical thinking and diverse values. It is exciting to engage together in exploring significant issues of the past, the present and the future from different perspectives and angles.

Over the years, many of my students have expressed pleasure and shown growth in relation to this quality based approach to their educational experience. I try to be both thorough and concrete, as well as honest, when remarking on their written work and their classroom participation always factors in as well. Through this process students “learn to learn” rather than simply producing certain prearranged “outcomes.” Quality outweighs quantity ever time.

Another way to express what I am getting at is focused in the contrast between process and product.

One must trust that the value of real educational growth will reveal itself in the process.      

Gill is an instructor of humanities at Pima Community College.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor


Disappointed by content

As a Pima student, I am disappointed in the content of your paper. The articles always seem to be left leaning. I have spoken with several students on my own and we have realized that it seems you are trying to push a certain agenda on the students by not including opposing views in the paper. We understand all media outlets tend to be biased and this one seems no different then expected. But as adults we would like to see this paper take a hard look at its content and try to include all thoughts and ideas representative of both sides of the population.

-Jason Khalaf, PCC student


Violence awareness display

On behalf of the Old Pueblo chapter of Zonta International, we wish to thank the administration and students of Pima Community College West Campus for their involvement in our display of shoes, from Oct. 28-30, to focus on victims of domestic violence.

We know that many on campus took the time to read the information and to acknowledge the victims whose names were attached to the shoes on display.

Some even took the extra time to write responses in the notebook we had next to the display.

Many wrote something like the following:

“Very powerful way to bring awareness to this sad fact.  A grim sense of the scale, the children’s shoes especially.”

Several survivors of domestic violence also responded.  One or them wrote:

“I am a survivor of domestic violence and can’t believe how many people actually lost their life to this.  I am grateful that my children and I are alive… I pray for the ones that are currently in these situations… that they may be seen… and find the support they need.”

That awareness of the need for support was echoed by others.  The last quote in the notebook poses some important questions that we all need to consider:

“It’s now early morning.  Not many people here.  I’m reading the info on these shoes for the first time.  Real people—dying at all different ages due to violent relations?!  Ages 3 days, 2 years, 61 years, etc.  Unrelentingly sad!”

“What types of activities can people get involved in so they learn how to become non-violent, or to move away from violence? What therapy can a bad person receive?  How can a victim learn how to become healthy enough to leave?  How can they heal?”

We at Zonta appreciate the time everyone took to look at and respond to the display.  We share the concerns expressed and hope that all will consider how to address the questions posed.

One place to start is Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, or 795-8001.

Again, we give our sincere thanks to the PCC West community for your interest and response.

-Katherine Conover, on behalf of the members of  Old Pueblo Chapter of Zonta International