Opinion

Column: Fortitude for the season
Opinion

Column: Fortitude for the season

Photo by Gabby Orcutt By Kevin Hartung Seems like there is extraordinarily little to be thankful for this year. COVID is still with us. The election has sparked more contentious actions. Unemployment has left families with few resources to sweeten the Christmas season. Businesses are attempting to recoup losses after a devastating lockdown and a population left in short supply of expendable capital. Even Hollywood is generating entertainment in a restrictive environment despite theater chains closing their doors. One might claim that there is little rationale for celebration. Yet, the holiday season is just around the corner, and Americans are not defined by their politics. We are not shaped by our sufferings. We find the reserves to survive and to commemorate the season. As always when ...
Opinion

Column: Mandate on toxic politics

By Kevin Hartung Taking the White House is a victory, holding the Senate and adding to the House number is also a win. Neither side generated a landslide victory indicating that a state of contention continues to exist in our country. We the people have found our voice. What played out in this election was ridding the government of venomous politicians and divisive actions. Voters are done with the antagonistic poison that exists in Washington, D.C. Clearly, the win was not a mandate for repealing legislation, but a directive to replace the antagonistic, revengeful discord among our elected officials. This may have been the highest turnout for an election since 1900, but it was not the repudiation hoped for or predicted. Past landslide elections have signaled shifts that carried America ...
Column: Blending opposing forces in humanity
Opinion

Column: Blending opposing forces in humanity

By Kevin Hartung Although not the only one, John F. Kennedy once said, “We recognize that what unites us is greater than what divides us…”  This was true of both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Both held individual visions for the United States and the nation needed both men. Theirs was not a close friendship but was a viable working relationship. We must stay motivated by our collective loyalties to begin the task of cohesive unification of opposing forces. An exceptional article on April 21, 2020, in the Saturday Evening Post by Nicholas Christakis on our connections is summarized in the following observation. There is evidence that we all carry in the genes of our brains a blueprint, a history of evolution, that shaped us as social beings. As social animals, we are equipped w...
Review: Cobra Kai kicks to Netflix
Arts & Entertainment, Opinion

Review: Cobra Kai kicks to Netflix

By Dalton Grijalva Cobra Kai is the sequel to the Karate Kid movies set thirty years in the future featuring the original actors, as well as some fresh new faces. The show was originally released as a Youtube Red as an exclusive in 2018. Just like its main character Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), it finds new life on Netflix. Johnny has been down on his luck and also frankly a piece of hot garbage ever since he got Crane Kicked in the face by Daniel Larousso (Ralph Machio) and almost choked out by his Sensei, Kreese (Martin Kove). He’s become a handyman alcoholic, a deadbeat dad, and is quickly turning from riches to rags. While we’re led to believe in the original Karate Kid films that Johnny and his Cobra Kai gang are the bullies, when we look through Johnny’s eyes, we see Danny as s...
Column: Preaching from the congressional pulpit
Opinion

Column: Preaching from the congressional pulpit

By Kevin Hartung A moralistic government is appealing but may not be plausible, unless you can conceive of a government without incongruities. Governments need to gauge what is fundamental to support wellbeing and what is an altruistic desire to support success. Some believe that a government ‘by the people and for the people’ should provide equal outcomes for all its citizens. Their ambitions are the result of research that establishes the downtrodden are victims of injustices; the poor result from unfair labor practices and unequal educational systems that exist in our nation. These believers desire improvement in the circumstances of the disadvantaged. Conversely, others believe that the blame for disadvantaged people lies on their own doorstep. The circumstances of indigents, they sa...
Opinion

Vote ‘YES’ on Prop 208: It won’t cost you a penny

By Noor Haghighi The great state of Arizona is notorious for its failure to meet national education standards.  As of this year, we sit at 49th place for overall education based on data determining quality and safety. In 2018, Arizonans took to the streets to protest in favor of Red for Ed, a movement that pushed for an increase in state government spending on public education. Since the outcome of Red for Ed was unfortunately of little help,  the state still has a long way to go. And now that the elections are coming up in November, Proposition 208 has come into play.  A stripped down, digestible version of what the proposition introduces in regards to educational funding in Arizona is as follows: A vote “yes” on the ballot will support increasing the income tax from 4.5% to 8% on incom...
Arts & Entertainment, Opinion

Four horror flicks for an indoor Halloween

By Nate Martinez It's that time of year again: cooler air and pumpkin spice flavored everything signals the coming of fall and all the aesthetics that come with it. Yellow leaves litter the sidewalks, there’s a slightly darker tinge to the sky and that certain smell of the autumn afternoons all seem to make us Arizonans happier. All of these things are miniscule compared to the big day that headlines fall: Halloween. This holiday holds a special place in my heart, from the feelings of nostalgia to simply carving pumpkins with friends.  This Halloween may feel a little bit different, due to the spread of COVID 19. However, do not consider Halloween cancelled just yet. October 31 is the perfect date to sit inside with your friends and/or family and enjoy a scary movie or two; no need to ri...
Opinion

Funerals in the age of COVID

Photo by Ashim D'Silva By Troy Hutchison In the last eight months, the world has gone through drastic changes to keep itself safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Events have been canceled, celebrations have been put on hold, classes gone from in-person to virtual classrooms, and these are just some examples of how society has had to adapt to the new COVID-19 world.   No matter how much society adapts to the situation we currently live in, nothing can prepare a person for a COVID-style funeral experience. When talking about this, I am not speaking just about COVID-19 related deaths; I’m talking about any death that comes during this time and the changes a family has to make to keep the funeral safe. That is something I recently went through, and it was an experience that I thought ...
Opinion

Column: Serious Thinking

By Kevin Hartung How do you solve societal problems with people who are not seriously thinking them through and coming to rational and workable solutions? Partisanship has mobilized the masses. The ‘us vs. them’ mentality of the populace is escalating. Volatile debates between political opponents have intensified stronger hostilities between the constituencies. Our Founding Fathers were leery of identity politics and warned against it. James Madison addressed the destructive behavior of ‘factions.’ He states in The Federalist Papers No. 10, “Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.” Meaning the inherent nature of ‘faction’ is violence and the union mus...
Opinion

Opinion: The American people are being fed misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies

By Kevin Hartung Today’s political polarization has stolen the knowledge base that eventually leads to our wisdom and without which we cannot make definitive and relevant decisions. We are facing a division in our country that recalls the contentious arguments between the North and South just before the Civil War. It is certainly demoralizing that today’s politicians lack even one courageous voice for saving the union.  As Henry Clay, keenly aware of the controversial nature of his proposals, urged his colleagues “to beware, to pause, to reflect before they lend themselves to any purposes which shall destroy that Union.” Or as Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts declared: “I wish to speak today, not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man, but as an American . . . I speak today...