Future leaders discuss cross-border trade issues
EDITORS’ NOTE: Because this story is international in scope, Aztec Press is offering it in Spanish as well as English.
By KATTA MAPES
For more than 50 years, the Arizona Town Hall group has reached out to its members across the state to involve them in civil discourse on a variety of issues that affect Arizona.
Their website at aztownhall.org states: “Arizona Town Hall’s five decades of work has guided our state’s civic, political, business and community leadership in identifying and implementing policies that have helped to shape, grow and improve. Arizona has been successful because of our members.”
Pima Community College hosted a once-a-semester teleconference for Future Leaders from local high schools, colleges and universities on March 29. The live feed was sent to groups throughout the state.
The focus of this semester’s conference was cross-border economic development between Arizona and Mexico.
Presenter Juan Ciscomani, director of the Southern Arizona and Sonora offices of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, said Mexico is the primary trade partner for Arizona, with an average of $17 billion in revenue.
Ducey is dedicated to further expanding trade opportunities with Mexico, Ciscomani said. The governor traveled to Mexico City last summer to discuss increasing trade in the public and private sectors.
A group discussion began when the teleconference ended. The discussion leader was Celeste Nunez, a science major in PCC’s Community Campus online program.
She will gather ideas from the local group discussion and send them to Arizona Town Hall President Tara Anderson. Nunez, the only student member of the board of directors for the Arizona Town Hall, was invited to join last year by Anderson after Nunez advocated for a student member.
She attended a similar event for future leaders, and was persistent in requesting student participation.
“I suggested that the board have a student member,” she said. “Because there were none, I offered myself for this.”
She is the first student board member in the 50 years that Arizona Town Hall has existed.
Futuros líderes discuten temasde comercio transfronterizo
Por KATTA MAPES
Durante más de 50 años, el grupo de Arizona Town Hall ha puesto en contacto con sus miembros en todo el estado para que participen en la discusión civilizada sobre una variedad de temas que afectan a Arizona.
Su sitio web en http://aztownhall.org declara “de Arizona Town Hall de cinco décadas de trabajo ha guiado cívica, política, los negocios de nuestro estado y líderes de la comunidad en la identificación y aplicación de las políticas que han ayudado a dar forma, crecer y mejorar Arizona ha tenido éxito porque de nuestros miembros.”
Pima Community College organizó una teleconferencia una vez al semestre para los futuros líderes locales altas escuelas, colegios y universidades el 29 de marzo La transmisión en vivo fue enviado a grupos de todo el estado.
El enfoque de la conferencia de este semestre fue el desarrollo económico transfronterizo entre Arizona y México. Un presentador, Juan Ciscomani, director de las oficinas de Arizona y Sonora meridional de la gobernadora de Arizona, Doug Ducey, dijo que México es el principal socio comercial de Arizona con un promedio de $ 17 mil millones en ingresos.
Ducey se dedica a ampliar aún más las oportunidades comerciales con México, dijo Ciscomani. El gobernador viajó a la Ciudad de México el verano pasado para discutir el aumento del comercio en los sectores públicos y privados.
Una discusión comenzó cuando el grupo terminó teleconferencia. El líder de la discusión fue Celeste Núñez, un comandante de la ciencia en el programa en línea Comunidad Campus del PCC.
Se reunirá a las ideas de la discusión del grupo local y enviarlos al presidente de Arizona Town Hall Tara Anderson. Núñez es el único miembro del estudiante de la junta directiva para el Arizona Town Hall. Ella fue invitado a unirse el año pasado por Anderson después de Núñez abogó por un miembro del estudiante.
Había asistido a un evento similar para los futuros líderes, y fue persistente en el que solicita la participación del estudiante.
“Me sugirió que la Junta tiene un miembro de estudiante,” dijo. “Debido a que no había ninguno, me ofrecí para esto.”
Ella es el primer miembro de la junta de los estudiantes en los 50 años que Arizona Town Hall ha existido.
By AUDRIE FORD
One in five Americans will be affected by a mental condition during their lifetime, according to research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental-health organization.
Sixty-seven years ago, the nonprofit Mental Health America set May aside as Mental Health Month. While much has changed in the past six decades regarding mental health treatment in America, there is still work to be done. The group said that last year its educational materials were seen and used by 19 million people.
In Southern Arizona, organizations participating in Mental Health Month include the local chapter of NAMI and Interfaith Community Services.
NAMI Southern Arizona has been around since 1983, and offers services to both Spanish and English speakers. It devotes its efforts to educating, advocating and providing support to all those affected by mental illness.
Interfaith Community Services has helped Pima County residents of many different faiths since 1985. According to ICS, the organization provides more than 73,000 services to over 36,500 people every year.
With the organizations working in Southern Arizona, there are many ways to get involved in Mental Health Month.
NAMI offers pre-made, easy-to-use resources that emphasize community involvement and openness among friends, families and those with a mental health condition.
Its stigma-free pledge is perhaps one of the simplest ways to start a conversation about mental health. The pledge involves three steps that anyone from any walk of life can take to help a cause that impacts millions of Americans.
Step 1. Educate yourself and others.
Mental health advocates emphasize that stigmatization is still a serious issue for the community. Learning that mental health conditions are not derived from weakness, poor character or bad upbringing is an important step for everyone to take.
Tearing down harmful stereotypes about those with mental health conditions is also critical to bringing mental health care into the modern era.
Step 2. See the person, not the illness.
The Mental Illness Research Association estimated that 22 percent of the population has a mental health condition.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that this statistic has millions of unique faces with unique stories. Their life story does not end with a diagnosis.
Step 3. Take action on mental health issues.
According to NAMI, 70 to 90 percent of those with a mental health challenge who sought treatment saw improvement in their quality of life.
It is important to remember that mental health crosses party lines, religious affiliations and economic status.
In order to truly make a difference, everyone must do their part to better the lives of those with a mental health condition in the most compassionate way they can.
Get involved in Mental Health Month, but don’t let the work stop at the end of May.Turn Southern Arizona into an opportunity hotspot for help, healing and profound respect for fellow human beings.
By S. PAUL BRYAN
Mike Tyson is undoubtedly the most famous boxer alive, but I think a lot of people have forgotten about the things that made him famous, respected and feared.
The youth of today know Iron Mike Tyson as the guy with a dumb face tattoo from the “Hangover” movies.
They might know him from the one-man show he’s been doing for a couple of years now, titled “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Maybe they follow him on Twitter or Facebook and know his inspirational, grateful and mostly uplifting posts.
Tyson is my favorite boxer and one of my favorite athletes of all time, but it’s not at all for the things that he is now. It’s for what he used to be: a literal monster.
I’m a fan of Mike Tyson the psychopath, the convicted rapist, the cannibal, the unhinged lunatic and the super-villain of the sweet science.
I like Tyson for the simple reason that he is extremely dangerous.
Now, I’m not condoning rape, biting a man’s ear off or any of Tyson’s criminal behavior, but if I had a time machine and could go back to 1990, I wouldn’t be in a room alone with that man—especially if I were a woman.
Remember, he told a female reporter that he only speaks to females who fornicate with him and that she should probably shut up.
I wouldn’t go into a room alone with Tyson for the same reason I wouldn’t get into a cage with a grizzly bear or into a tank with a crocodile—because it’s dangerous and stupid.
One of his best (or worst) tirades was against freelance reporter Mark “Scoop” Malinowski during a press conference promoting Tyson’s fight against Lennox Lewis.
When Malinowski called for Tyson to be put in a strait jacket, the boxer threatened to rape him and repeatedly used homophobic slurs.
Please, watch the video here: youtube.com/watch?v=Kqny6e_YSrA.
What gets me about the altercation is the raw emotion and intensity in Tyson’s voice.
I believe in my heart of hearts if that reporter had stepped up, Tyson really would have raped him in front of everyone, on camera. No one would have been able to stop it, short of using lethal force.
Then again, Tyson is a lethal force all by himself.
His internal pain is audibly and visually real when you hear his voice crack, and look into that wounded animal’s eyes.
This is more than just prison talk and empty threats. This is a lion snarling at you. This is a 400-pound gorilla beating his chest before he rips you limb from limb. This is the last time you hear the rattle before the snake strikes.
Tyson is so sure of himself, he doesn’t stutter or slip up once.
This is his house, and he wants you to know that you are sitting at his table. He’s the alpha, and he will eat first. His are the words of a man who at any given moment can become someone with nothing to lose.
The kind of danger that Tyson is just doesn’t go away.
Sure, it might have been awhile since he’s raped a woman or ripped another man’s body part off with his own teeth, but the capacity within a man to do such a thing is ingrained. It doesn’t simply disappear.
Most people don’t have that capacity in the first place. It’s a primal instinct, not something learned. It’s part of Tyson’s DNA—a part of his reptilian brain, if you will. I like Mike Tyson because of his capacity to just snap, and I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen him do it for the last time.
Bryan fears, loathes, feels empathy for and loves Iron Mike Tyson.
By Bryan Orozco
With 37 Marvel comic book movies since 2000 and 13 more to come in the next four years, it is easy to say that the superhero genre has taken over the film industry.
The debate of how much the films stay true to the source material is always being uttered somewhere, and in my eyes, they don’t.
I recently began reading and collecting comic books. In one week, I bought 122 comic books, both single issues and graphic novels.
Once I started reading comics, I saw clear differences from the versions on screen.
The comics can do no wrong. What is printed, whether in the ‘60s or last month, was worked on meticulously by the writers and artists. The story arcs are curated with the reader’s happiness, not the reader’s money, in mind.
Superhero films are often cash cows for the studios producing them. The profit margin is high, even at the expense of the product and the lack of quality. In this case, the expense is the story.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” received an average rating of 5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and has been criticized severely for not sticking to the source material. Yet, the film has made about $630 million worldwide since it premiered.
The films go at a ridiculously fast pace. For example, “Captain America: Civil War” is based on a comic book crossover story.
The actual story arc is composed from over 150 comics ranging from the actual Civil War series to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
This allows the reader to invest time and effort to the story and deteriorates those who jump on the bandwagon of the films.
The same thing happens when you read a comic book as when you read a novel; you become a part of it. You’re narrating a story that you begin to relate to. It begins to intrigue you, and that allows you to continue with issues and/or story arcs, a happy and positive cycle.
Films give you timed happiness. You’re excited about the film, you go see the film, you talk about the film after watching the film and then you forget the film.
Don’t get me wrong. I see the films. I, like everyone else, have acquired a taste for the action and destruction porn of these films. But I want to advise all that the comic books are much better for the stories and the hobby.
In that one week of reading and collecting comic books I talked with many comic book collectors, young and old. We got to talk about the stories that bring us joy.
In all honesty, these stories mean nothing in our real lives but they mean everything in our fantasy lives.
Bryan Orozco is a journalism major. He asks that if you see him, to not beat him up and take his lunch money.
Mind your space
By Melina Casillas
There’s an unspoken common courtesy when riding the elevator: you stay on your side and I stay on mine. I’ll push the button for your designated level if you ask.
Elevators aren’t fun. You just want to get from the floor you’re on to your next destination, but there’s always something that goes amuck when riding an elevator.
The wait time for the actual elevator cab is horrible and the ventilation in there is awful. Then there’s always someone who wants some form of small talk, long jagged stops at each level and dizzy spells if the ride was too long. The actual worst,
though, is when your personal space is invaded. Don’t corner me and leave me with absolutely zero room to move in any direction.
I’m trying to get away from your rank 2 p.m. coffee breath and your rancid B.O., not get closer to it.
In middle school we learned, or at least I did, about the “volley ball space” rule, designed to keep us crazy hormonal preteens from bumping and grinding at our middle school dances.
At the time, I thought that rule was ridiculous. That all changed when I encountered the aforementioned cornering incident recently in a PCC West Campus elevator.
I just want to get from the ground level to the library to do work before my next class, dude. I don’t need anyone coming up trying to schmooze me by standing close, and I don’t like feeling your beady little eyes staring down at me.
This incident isn’t the only elevator encounter with a strange person that got a little too up-close and personal. It happens almost on a daily basis.
Personal space should not be hard to comprehend. We’re taught as young children to keep our hands and bodies to our-selves. Maybe we should also start teaching that a certain distance must be added, because some people just don’t understand how close is too close.
Since riding in the elevators at West Campus for almost a year now, the “volleyball space” rule has become golden. Push your button and drink your coffee, creepy dude. I’m not interested in you or your life.
You stay on your side of the elevator, I’ll stay on mine and it’ll be a smooth ride.
Casillas should start taking
But mind your manners
By S. Paul Bryan
It might be difficult, but imagine hopping on one of the elevators here at Pima Community College and finding it wasn’t occupied by some snotty, rude little shit who clearly has no concept of manners, politeness or common courtesy.
What’s the problem with sharing simple pleasantries between each other in the elevator? We’re all human beings and, just like elevators, we are dealing with the same ups and downs in life.
Checking in with your fellow man or woman with a pleasant, “Hey, how are you doing?” just out of kindness, is the right thing to do. Or may-be try a friendly joke to lift someone’s spirits. That alone could make someone’s day.
We should be able to empathize with each other. We’re all in college and can all wrap our heads around the fact that life can be tough.
Sometimes a simple “hello” or even a nod of the head along with a smile is all it takes to help turn a bad day around.
Talking with other people is vital to our existence. Where would we be as a people if no one cared about others?
If we think that the best way through life is shunning other human beings and keeping to ourselves, human existence will end miserably. Communication is key.
Engage another person with common courtesies and be polite to your fellow schoolmates. That’s the way to ride an elevator.
You’ve been taught manners. You know what it feels like to struggle through a day only to have a person lift your spirits with a simple gesture. Return the favor. Take yourself out of your own selfish head and share some love, warmth or care.
There’s always the chance that your decision to continue your ill-mannered ways and your eye-rolling attitude might just irritate the wrong person. Maybe a fellow student (not unlike myself) might take offense to your unmannerly attitude.
Perhaps, while you were acting classless and discourteous, you didn’t read the obvious signs that said your elevator-riding classmate has been to prison. Do you know what dirty looks get you in prison? Probably not. You don’t want to know, I promise.
It’s possible this other person, who you’re being rather rude to, has been getting kicked out of gym class since he or she was in grade school because he or she doesn’t play. That person (again, not unlike me on occasion) doesn’t put up with anything rude or disrespectful.
What do you do then? Now that you’re stuck in the elevator with someone who doesn’t take any impolite nonsense? You’ve just found yourself in a tight spot,
I believe David Allan Coe said it best when he said, “Once the shit goes down, you can’t shake hands with a fist.”
Bryan tries to walk the line … tries really hard.
By NICK MEYERS
It’s a go-to argument for the right wing. “Poor people are lazy,” “I don’t want my taxes going to drug addicts,” and “If you can’t afford a kid, don’t have one.”
Before we get into the numbers, let’s take a look at how this argument falls apart from a psychological and economic perspective.
In the 1940’s psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a psychological model of human needs still adhered to today.
Maslow’s hierarchy begins with the most basic needs such as food, air, water and sex, and graduates to more existential needs like acceptance and self-actualization.
Based on Maslow’s model, no one would be content simply living off government welfare. There is an inherent human need to be a part of society. Granted, this explanation does include those who want to live off welfare.
The fact that these people exist (however few they are) is not an indication of poor people being lazy, but a symptom of an imperfect economic system. More often than not, those who complain about the poor are not poor themselves, nor do they have many poor friends on welfare.
The unfortunate truth is that it is very expensive to be poor in today’s economy. Those who live paycheck to paycheck don’t have the luxury of being lazy—as their lives are consumed with work, school, raising a family and the financial requirements to sustain such a livelihood.
If one were to be lazy under such circumstances, fewer hours at work or something as mundane as a parking ticket, court fees or a boost in tuition would deteriorate their lives to the point where stability without assistance becomes increasingly unattainable.
That said, I have met a fair number of peers who spend their days collecting unemployment and playing World of Warcraft in lieu of work. Looking at them with tunnel vision is a strong argument against welfare. But we call that cherry picking.
The vast majority of benefactors of such programs are some of the hardest, most discouraged workers in our economy. For an example, let’s look at drug users.
In states that drug test applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, roughly 10 percent of those tested returned positive for narcotics, according to snopes.com.
Keeping in mind that not all applicants were screened, that figure drops significantly when looking at the total number of recipients.
It would be unreasonable to suspect that not a single person would take advantage of welfare, but that doesn’t mean we can deny the social and economic benefit that welfare programs provide to the majority of recipients.
When it comes down to it, our nation is our community. None of us live a life isolated from each other. Maslow’s final tier of his hierarchy is self-transcendence. Simply put, when people fulfill the highest level of their own needs, they contribute to the needs of others.
If we as a population come to understand such a perspective, we will all benefit from the higher standard of living available to our least fortunate.
Meyers studies politics and economics and believes that no man is an island.
By TRAVIS BRAASCH
Drug addiction, specifically opioid addiction, has skyrocketed in America since the early ’90s. Opiates have been prescribed for various ailments for hundreds of years.
In the early 1990s, a number of women became addicted to opium derivatives given to combat the effects of menstruation.
The recent surge of opiate addiction comes from legislative decisions about control of these powerful drugs.
Painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet were heavily prescribed to people who suffered from chronic pain or those recovering from a surgical procedure.
While painkillers are necessary for unbearable pain, carelessness on the part of doctors led them to over-prescribe drugs to unknowing patients.
There were several legal rulings between the late ’90s and early 2000s that held doctors accountable for knowingly selling opiates to make massive profits.
The businesses these doctors operated became known as “pain clinics” because it was widely known among drug users on the street that they could go in, pay a doctor’s fee and walk out a few minutes later with a bottle of opiates.
More than 5 million people abused prescription painkillers in the United States in 2010 alone, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The government responded by shutting down pain clinics and sending some of the illegitimate doctors to jail.
The feds also required a doctor’s signature every time a patient needed a refill, making it harder for those addicted to continue obtaining pills. While a good idea in theory, this has actually caused a tremendous backlash by pushing addicts to other drugs, namely heroin.
Heroin and other opiates cause similar reactions, but heroin is a gamble for the user because it is very concentrated and the strength is unregulated.
In addition, heroin is cheaper than pills and leads to a higher number of deaths from overdoses. Because heroin requires intravenous injection, a staggering number of users contract HIV.
The stigma of addiction comes from the earliest stereotypes of drug addicts who were often depicted as black males and grouped with rapists and murderers.
It still seems we have the idea that drug users are degenerates that no one needs to care about. Recently, however, people have begun noticing the problem.
While there are clinics and programs available in the United States, we fall short of European countries’ treatment of addiction. It is ironic that we as a nation tend to turn the other way when people develop a drug problem and are in true need of help. Drug addiction harms not only users but also their families and our healthcare system as a whole.
Earlier this year, Democratic and Republican senators worked to craft a bill that would have added $600 million in funding for treatment centers. It also would have provided grants for preventive education programs, more needle-exchange clinics and wider production of naloxone, a drug used as an antidote for overdoses.
However, Senate Republicans blocked the bill’s passage in March.
In response, President Barack Obama announced his administration will give top priority to addressing the opioid epidemic.
He proposed a $1.1 billion bill to help fund preventative education, treatment for addicts and fighting the war against heroin being smuggled into the United States.
Ignoring the problem for the past 100 years has not made the problem go away. Drug use continues to rise in the United States and there are simply not enough resources available to help with the problem.
The Affordable Care Act has given many people new opportunities to seek medical help for drug addiction through health insurance. But we have a long way to go to fix the drug crisis in America.
Politicians are beginning to notice the problem, but let’s hope that awareness will spur more government action that can help put a stop to the epidemic.
Braasch is a reporter concerned with the growing number of deaths and diseases spread from intravenous drug use.
By D.R. WILLIAMS
If you’re spending the night in nature, leave your obnoxious city life at home; be aware of the people around you.
On the last weekend of spring break, I took the opportunity to get away and went camping with my girlfriend at Parker Canyon Lake.
We arrived early Saturday to find a spot. We found the campgrounds were all full, so went down to the lake shore to blow time until someone checked out.
When we got back to the campsites, a group was leaving so we moved in. It was the perfect spot with a shade tree for the tent and its own path to the shore.
But it was too good to be true. As soon as we sat down, they showed up: three truckloads of them.
The kids’ ages were from about 5-13 and they were supervised by a few adults who presented a fine example of how to be inconsiderate and annoy everyone.
When they started setting up 15 feet from us with four different tents, we knew we needed to move.
All the while, we had to listen to their favorite Top 40 hits bumping on their sound system.
Luckily, another spot opened up farther away, but we could not escape the sounds of their obnoxious club music and yelling kids.
Moving made us a bigger target for the kids to spy on. They kept running around, throwing sticks and messing with our dogs.
Unfortunately, my dog is better behaved than those little ones, so nobody was bitten.
Nighttime brought a short respite, but we didn’t know what was coming next.We were slowly starting to wake up when we heard the alarm clock: our neighbors, at 6:30, bumping their music with truck doors open.
Trumpets, accordions and loud serenades provoked me to get up early on the last morning of my vacation.
After scarfing our breakfast and quickly packing up camp, we hiked around the lake, mostly to escape the invaders.
The hike went perfectly, saving the trip from being a waste of time. Nevertheless, the fact remained: We had driven more than an hour just to encounter the people we were trying to get away from.
They’re present in everyday life, not thinking of how their actions affect others. Show a little respect towards others and don’t let “that guy” be you.
Williams is still a happy camper.
NO: He’s right, but too naïve
By JERRY GILL
Since I, too, have long been a democratic socialist, I agree with almost every plank in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ platform.
He is right about our country’s needs. However, he is very naïve about being able to deliver on his promises.
There are at least four reasons why he should not become our president.
First, he has no administrative experience. He has never had to deal with the intricacies of governing a large political body, let alone something the size of the United States. Being a senator is nothing like being a governor, to say nothing of a president.
Second, he has no significant international experience. Until this campaign, none of the leaders of foreign countries had ever heard of him. He has never had to deal with the complexities of world politics, let alone the interconnectedness of our contemporary geopolitical reality. This sort of experience is absolutely crucial to the job of being president of the most powerful nation in the world.
Third, his goals for our country, while honorable, will take many years to implement even with a supportive Congress. It is clear that our current congressional body run by the obstructionist Tea Party is anything but cooperative. Bernie’s “revolution” must wait for a new set of representatives.
Fourth, his goals require a complete overhauling of the Constitution, which is built on the check and balance system from top to bottom. It was set up this way in order to guard against radical, disruptive change on the part of any one agenda. So far, this system has served us very well through the many challenges we have faced.
On the basis of these factors, it is clear that Sen. Sanders, right-headed though he may be, is not equipped to be president of the United States.
Jerry H. Gill, Ph.D, is an adjunct instructor of philosophy.
YES: He’s the best choice
By D.R. WILLIAMS
As a long-time independent, Bernie Sanders doesn’t rely on a political party to provide a stance. He has many years of experience governing in the best interests of the people and he has the moral fiber we need.
There are at least four reasons why he should become president.
First, Sanders would have no less experience than president-elect Barack Obama had in staffing his cabinet and department heads.
Being mayor of Burlington in Vermont gave Sanders some experience. Plus, as the past shows, governing Texas could only prepare George W. Bush for so much.
Second, Sanders plans on making the county stronger at home, changing our trade policies to improve manufacturing in the United States. His presidency wouldn’t focus on intervening around the world when our own affairs are not in order. He would rather improve the rights and standard of living for citizens here than force-feed our values on people thousands of miles away.
Third, the world is run by those who show up. Changing course will be harder the longer we wait. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Finally, the new president will likely provide the next Supreme Court nomination. Sanders has already said his nominee must support removal of corporate funds from politics. If his nominee were approved, money and greed would no longer play a role in elections. That would give more power back to the people.
We need Sanders’ moral compass in the White House. His influence on the Supreme Court could be present for decades.
He’s a man of the people and the only candidate who cannot be bought.
D. R. Williams is a full-time student and a disgruntled voter.
By MOE IRISH
‘Merica is one of the few countries in the world that provides freedom to govern ourselves, yet modern Americans have grown to take this renowned privilege for granted. The right to vote is among the most neglected of these privileges.
This plague of political dispassion has no preference for ethnicity or gender, but age is an increasing factor. Millennials seem particularly susceptible.
When the subject is celebrity gossip or materialistic insight, modern Americans are all-knowing. When it comes to the people running our country, hardly any young people have a clue what is going on, even during an election year.
It’s like they are making a choice to be willfully ignorant, focusing on trivial matters instead. Their awareness is limited to memes on social media and following trends set by celebrities rather than forming opinions of their own.
It doesn’t help that the United States has a tendency to make stupid people famous.
Depthless narcissists evolve into public figures, profoundly influencing the mentalities of the already all too impressionable youth.
Speaking of narcissistic brutes, am I the only person concerned that Donald Trump is currently a viable candidate? How is it possible that he may actually be elected to lead our country?
Among his appalling list of agendas, Trump plans to approve libel laws that would prohibit journalists from writing unfavorable things about people in power.
That would essentially eliminate the fourth branch of government (watchdog journalists who keep political figures in check).
We are failing to recognize that people in power do affect us directly, and we might not realize it until it is too late.
It is not unreasonable to feel as if individuals have a limited influence, but this generation cannot continue the same mentality of passivity and indifference.
The consequences could affect our future catastrophically and will if things don’t change soon.
It is not too late to register to vote. You have a voice. Use it.
Political commentator Bill Moyer, a former White House press secretary, has said, “What’s right and good doesn’t come naturally. You have to stand up and fight for it as if the cause depends on you, because it does.”
Apathy isn’t solely applicable to politics but its abundance, especially during an election year, is very concerning.
Being an American, you enjoy a right that people are dying for in other countries. Now’s the time to take advantage of it.
Pick a cause, people, and give your existence some meaning. Jeeze.
Irish is a journalism major dually enrolled at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. She is plagued with passion and aims to spend her future addressing problems in the political scene and with issues pertaining to the environment, animal rights and social justice.
By BRYAN OROZCO
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, here are 10 women who fought for the rights of gender, people and/or their country.
Their political thoughts and actions revolutionized their own era and set a precedent for today.
Angela Davis (1944- )
Angela Davis was a political activist, a scholar and at one time a most-wanted fugitive from the FBI in the 1960s.
She held membership in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and the American Communist Party. That involvement cost her a position as an assistant professor at the University of California-Los Angeles in 1970. Then Gov. Ronald Reagan attempted to have her barred from teaching in California.
Davis was accused in 1970 of supplying the guns in the death of federal judge Harold J. Haley. She fled, which created a national manhunt. She was caught in New York but later acquitted in 1972.
Davis retired as a professor in the History of Consciousness and the Feminist Studies departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Vilma Lucila Espín (1930-2007)
Considered “The First Lady of the Cuban Revolution,” Vilma Lucila Espín fought alongside the Castro brothers and later married Raul Castro, Cuba’s current president.
She was born into a wealthy family in Cuba. Her father was a lawyer for the rum company Bacardi. The revolution viewed Bacardi’s business exploits as treating Cuba like a “Yankee playground.”
After becoming one the first chemical engineers from the island, Espín joined the opposition against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
She died on June 18, 2007 at the age of 77.
Janet Jagan (1920-2009)
Born in Chicago, Janet Jagen became the first female president of Guyana and fought for labor rights in the United States and abroad.
After receiving a college degree, she and her husband moved to Guyana in 1923. They founded the People’s Progressive Party, which promoted Marxist ideals
Their campaign to decolonize Guyana from the United Kingdom earned them jail time under the order of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
There were many attempts to remove her from leadership roles, some supported and funded by the U.S. government. However, Jagan became president of Guyana in 1997. By then, the country had gained its independence from the UK.
Jagan died on March 28, 2009 at the age of 88.
Phoolan Devi (1963-2001)
Phoolan Devi was a modern Robin Hood: loved by the poor, despised by the rich. She began a streak of violent robberies across northern and central India in the 1970s, targeting the rich and sharing her bounties with the poor.
In February 1983, Devi surrendered to authorities. She negotiated her sentence with the Indian government and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Within two years of her release in 1994, she was elected to India’s Parliament. She continued advocating for the poor, but this time through political action and mobilization of the people.
Three masked gunmen assassinated Devi in her home on July 25, 2001. She was 37.
Petra Herrera (Unknown)
The most well known soldaderas of Mexico’s second revolution, Herrera went into combat with the men by disguising her gender. Her role in the revolution was to blow up bridges, which hindered the oppositions from gaining ground on the revolutionaries. She participated in the second battle of Torreón on May 30, 1914 along with 400 other women. Although she showed great leadership and comradery, Pancho Villa refused to promote her to general.
She left Villa’s battalion to form her own all-woman battalion.
Blanca Canales (1906-1996)
In 1948, a bill known as the Gag Bill, or Law 53, was introduced in Puerto Rico. The bill made it a crime to own or display a Puerto Rican flag, sing a patriotic tune, speak or write of independence, or meet with anyone or hold any assembly in favor of Puerto Rican independence.
Blanca Canales was a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. On Oct. 30, 1950, the nationalist took up arms that were stored in her home and marched into the small town of Jayuya. They took over the police station and raised the Puerto Rican flag in defiance of the law.
The actions prompted the United States to declare martial law. Officials ordered the U.S. Army and Air Force to engage the revolutionaries.
The Nationalists held on against the Americans for three days, but were later arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
After 17 years in prison, Canales was granted a full pardon and released in 1967. She died on July 25, 1996 at the age of 90.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)
During the campaign season, it is sometimes hard to remember that U.S. women were not allowed to vote for almost 180 years after the country gained its independence.
Susan B. Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851 and the two toured the country arguing the case for women’s suffrage, the right to vote.
Many attempted to stop her efforts. In 1872, she was arrested for voting illegally in the presidential election and a judge later fined her $100. She refused to pay and never did.
Her efforts pressured Congress to pass the 19th Amendment, which prohibits any U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote based on gender.
Anthony died on March 13, 1906 at the age of 86.
Rasmea Odeh (1948- )
Rasmea Odeh is a Palestinian women who was convicted in 1969 for her membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and for her alleged involvement in a grocery store bombing in Jerusalem. She was sentenced to life in prison and was tortured while incarcerated in Israeli prison.
She was released after 10 years and migrated in 1995 to the United States from Jordan. She became a naturalized citizen and works as associate director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago.
Odeh was convicted of immigration fraud on Nov. 10, 2014. She was sentenced in March 2015 to 18 months in federal prison and stripped of her U.S. citizenship. She will be deported to Jordan once she finishes serving her time.
Malala Yousafzai (1997-)
Age is but a number, even for a revolutionary. Malala Yousafzai began advocaying at age 12 for women’s rights, particularly the right to an education in Pakistan.
Her advocacy resulted in the Taliban sporadically closing schools by force and in death threats against her.
A gunman shot Yousafzai in the head on Oct. 9, 2012 while she was traveling home from school. She survived despite the serious injury.
In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person to receive it. She continues to speak out on the importance of education for all.
Comandante Ramona (1959-2006)
Using a nom de guerre, Comandante Ramona was a Tzotzil guerilla and activist who led the rebels of the Zapatista National Liberation Army into the Mexican town of San Cristobal de las Casas on New Year’s Day 1994.
The activists sought land, jobs, housing, food, healthcare, justice and democracy. In addition to protesting the North American Free Trade Agreement, Ramona demanded an end to hundreds of years of exploitation and marginalization of indigenous peoples of Mexico.
She died on Jan.6, 2006 from kidney cancer.
Her real name and details of her pre-revolutionary life remain unknown.
By MICHEAL ROMERO
If you’ve been to a movie theater in the past decade, you’ve seen a flurry of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings and 3D revisions of popular source material.
Some have been good, but most have been awful.
Despite this alliterative trend, one R-word has seen less attention when churning out those adaptations and that word is “restricted.”
The Motion Picture Association of America gives “restricted” or “R” ratings to movies deemed unsuitable for viewers under 17 without parental accompaniment.
Accessibility is the short answer for this trend.
Younger moviegoers tend to flock to superhero films and teen novel adaptations, so it makes sense for producers to make sure the content is suitable for this target audience.
The success of the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, the Hunger Games series and any Marvel film is the reason for the PG-13 pattern.
Unfortunately, the accessability trend has spread it’s reach to include remakes and sequels of some of the most graphic hard “R” films of the past.
Movies like “Die Hard,” “Terminator,” “Robocop” and “Red Dawn” fell victim to the family-friendly lean by having their original content shoehorned into the style of the modern day action fare to ensure a PG-13 rating.
These attempts proved moderately successful but not nearly as successful as their predecessors. One could argue that any money made came soley from brand recognition which is why any of these remakes and sequels came to fruition in the first place.
Studios wanted to milk what they could from beloved franchises in an effort to replicate the numbers of the past.
However, when they chose to forego the content audiences loved in favor of reachability, the films proved to be duds.
But what’s done is done and our favorite film series’s of the past may now only exist in the decade that made them big.
Maybe the success of recent R-rated flicks “Straight Outta Compton” and “Deadpool”, will turn things around for the better due to their high box office grosses.
The “Compton” biopic took a pioneer hip-hop group’s story and pulled no punches showing the exploits of a band whose music and antics were far from family friendly.
Even though it was a super hero adaptation, the “Deadpool” flick stripped the violence and vulgarity straight from the comic book and pasted it onto film with no reservations and no intention of selling kids action figures.
Hopefully these two hits will indicate to the big studio heads that what audiences want is a little more graphic and foul mouthed than what has been made with the adaptation formula followed in past years.
Romero grew up watching VHS tapes with staple ‘80s action films recorded on them. He longs for the return to nasty violence and language in film from that era.
By KATTA MAPES
As a world traveler, I have used public and private bathrooms in more than 20 countries.
In too many, searching for and using these bathrooms is not for those with weak bladders.
In India, for example, the common public bathroom is a shack with three or four holes in the ground.
Still, this is better than defecating on the side of the street.
Japan also has “squat toilets,” which are clean but still hard to use for anyone who cannot easily squat. They also have toilets with the bowls we are familiar with.
Besides the common availability of public bathrooms in America, I also applaud the current trend of installing the toilet paper dispenser halfway up the wall so that you don’t have to nearly do a head stand to simply get a few sheets off of the roll.
The next trend I would like to see in public bathroom design is to have the disability stall with its taller toilet be placed in the first stalls available when one walks into the bathroom.
This would be a welcome accommodation for those who are not in a wheelchair but find it difficult to walk to the end of the stall line.
The toilets in the disability stalls are typically 2 inches taller than those in regular stalls, which can make a critical difference for people with knee problems or difficulties sitting down.
After this improvement, I would ask the bathroom fairy to add a urinal in all unisex bathrooms. I know that I cannot expect the toilet seat to be down when I walk in.
I am not a germaphobe, but I don’t like having to put the dirty seat down when it is left up.
A urinal would give easy access to men without them having to lift up the toilet seat.
A cheaper alternative would be for public restrooms to install a toilet seat that closes itself.
Such seats are conveniently available on Amazon.
To anyone who ends up in a position of authority to design the public bathrooms of the future, hear my call and heed my rant.
Mapes has been a patron of public bathrooms all over the world.
By S. PAUL BRYAN
Unquestionably, religion has done more harm than good in this world. Possibly the saddest and most appalling reality is that children are the people on this planet taking the brunt of this abuse, these evil deeds.
It’s impossible to know how many children have had their physical and psychological lives irrevocably mangled by the insidious indoctrination of religion and faith.
It’s more than we would ever want to know.
One thing we know for sure is that religion has been and will forever be enforced upon the unformed and vulnerable minds of the smaller and younger participants of life on this earth.
This fixation with children, and the need to control every part of their upbringing, has been part of every form of absolute authority throughout world history.
Religious groups, for obvious reasons, prefer to prey on the young more than most. Religion likes to lead by example when it comes to early indoctrination.
In fact, religion has been most cruel and dangerous in regard to using these cowardly tactics.
For example, what happens if a child born into his or her parents’ faith should choose to stray to another cult or faith? This could be a small child, or even a child already in the stage of adolescence.
No matter the specific circumstance, the parents will, like clockwork, claim their child has been taken advantage of because the child is too innocent to make those decisions.
If the religious authoritarians (or the adults who give them their power) were forced to wait until children reached an age of reason, we’d be living in a much different and better world.
We all know how religious zealots love to force upon us their beliefs of moral and immoral behavior. But is there anything more creepy, horrible or lacking in morality than the mutilation of infant genitalia?
Religious ritual has laid claim to children since the dawn of time.
Several different religions have insisted upon taking children from the cradle and using knives, stones or other dastardly instruments to “fix” their most private of parts.
It seems as though the “all-mighty creator,” whichever form of this imaginary friend people choose (or have been brainwashed) to follow, would have paid attention to the reproductive organs of his (its) creatures and done it the right way from the start.
Religion also has a big issue with self-gratification. We all know this plays a big part in adolescent youth lives. Could it be that those in power through religious means want to be the ones getting “gratified” or doing the “gratification”?
The actions of the Catholic Church, although it is far from alone in this category of offense, have forced us toward the conclusion that the answer is yes.
In recent years, billions of dollars have been awarded to children and adults who have been victims of the all-powerful religious leaders in all the world’s communities.
But that simply means that we live in a world that puts a price on the pain that generations of children have had to deal with in the name of religion.
What do you think was happening in centuries past, when religion was above criticism? None of us (non-religious or religious) “sinners” could begin to comprehend that horror.
“Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man—living in the sky—who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these 10 things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘til the end of time! But He loves you. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy shit!”—George Carlin
Bryan is a parent who has no patience for the man-made stupidities and cruelties of the religious.
By BRYAN OROZCO
The topic of immigration is most evident within the American cultural pool. When put against the backdrop of the current presidential campaign, it is clear that it is a useful topic for gaining political support and, in a broader sense, political power.
Yet when it comes to immigration, the tone from the candidates is brash and adverse, particularly from the right.
It is safe to say that the mainstream media has beaten a dead horse over the comments Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made about legal and undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. and on his plans to combat this “threat” to the United States.
There is a more stringent initiative on immigration that has been supported by 13 of the 17 initial Republican candidates: the political position of ending birthright citizenship and, in essence, striking the 14th Amendment from the Constitution. That position came into play in August 2015.
The Library of Congress defines the 14th Amendment as having “granted citizenship to ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States,’” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” 1
The amendment’s main focus in recent months has shifted from the 3.9 million Afro-American slaves that were freed by 1860 2 to the 55 million Latinos living in the U.S, with American citizenship in 2015. 3
Some Republican presidential candidates have been lukewarm when it comes to the 14th Amendment. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said we should re-examine the amendment. 4
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was quoted saying that he doesn’t “think the 14th Amendment was meant to apply to illegal aliens. It was meant to apply to the children of slaves.” 5
Other candidates are hotter when it comes to the 14th Amendment. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tweeted on Aug. 17, 2015 that “we need to end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants.” 6 Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said there needs be a change in the amendment because undocumented immigrants will simply “drop and leave” their kids. 7
The right has picked their side on this issue. Their stance is that the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship is long due for a re-examination or, in an effort to stop the increase of undocumented immigrants coming into the country, the amendment must be abolished so that those granted citizenship and those seeking out citizenship are deterred.
However, an agreement between two countries that granted citizenship to a mass of people, 20 years before the 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution.
Feb. 2 marked the 168-year anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States and Mexico, better known as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War.
The biggest takeaway from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was the cession of Mexican land to the United States. Almost 55 percent of Mexico’s land, including Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, was given to the United States.
There are some caveats in the treaty that are not discussed as openly today. Article 9 of the treaty states that “The Mexicans who … shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic … shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and be admitted at the proper time to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States..” 8
Mexican people had a choice to make. We either go back to what is left of Mexico or we stay on the land that we’ve been on for hundreds of years. The collective choice was clear, as more than 90 percent of Mexicans chose American citizenship.
Article 10 of the treaty would honor and validate all land grants made to Mexicans either by the Mexican government or Spain in the new territories that belong to the United States. This granted the newfound citizens land to live on and work on as U.S. citizens free of harassment.
However this was not honored as the United States Senate eliminated Article 10 from the treaty without consulting Mexico and, most importantly, its new citizens. 9
There is a difference between this treaty and the talks on the 14th Amendment. That difference, however, revolves on one issue: the right to citizenship for a mass of Latin Americans.
The talk and behavior from the Republican Party, in wanting to get rid of the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship, has never taken the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo into consideration.
It is lost context because it contradicts the whole political point they are trying to make.
They cannot take away the citizenship of almost 64 percent of the population by eliminating an amendment, because there’s a treaty to back up the citizenship of those people. 10
Put aside the politics of it all. The Southwest is historically, culturally and geographically indigenous and mestizo—a fusion of indigenous and European.
Mexican-Americans of the Chicano Movement have used this land seceded by the United States and have reclaimed it for themselves as Aztlán, the ancestral home of the Aztec people.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo works as the constitution of the Chicano people, granting them right to this land and all the civil rights that come with it.
Context is everything. Without it, many phrases or situations can become awkward or false.
In discussing the 14th Amendment and the elimination of birthright citizenship, the lost context of this treaty between Mexico and the United States is important, because without that context it is what Mexicans like to call “Una pendejada!” which translates into someone saying or doing something real stupid.