Massages With Happy Endings

The Dallas Observer  is a good weekly newspaper that informs us about certain events or things going on around the Dallas area. It has ads, stories and many many more ads throughout the whole paper. It is hard not to pay attention to these ads because 90% of them are a little on the floozy side. Advertising night clubs, many “hotline bling” numbers and even offer services like massages.

Massages don’t sound too bad until you see the way The Dallas Observer advertises them. At least half of the ones on there use the same exact strategy to pull customers in. They use women.

They show woman barely dressed who look over the top sexy in pictures almost bigger than the ad. Most of them are pictures of young Asian girls but there were a few of other ethnicities being shown.

It seems as though showing off their own bodies helps their business more than just advertising the different types of massages they can provide. Many stating to having no plastic surgery done to their bodies in hopes of getting more clients.

I decided to call to ask a few questions in hopes that at least one would agree to answer a couple. Out of ten businesses that I called no one agreed to participate.

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The first place that was contacted was Doll House. It is advertised by a non-Asian woman on the ad. Surprisingly a woman with a thick Asian accent answered the phone and said the owner was not there to answer the questions at that time.

One place strictly asked for your name before the phone ever rung and they would decide on whether or not to answer. Of course after hearing my voice and fake name provided they did not answer.

Other places just gave out a number where you would call and it would give you pricing. Massages by Ashley was one of those places offering a 30 min. massage for $80 and a full hour for $100. If you wanted to book an appointment she provided a different number to call.

Spectacular Asian Massage answered the phone speaking English but as soon as I told them who I was and what I needed the woman suddenly didn’t speak or understand English and immediately hung up. Making it seem like they were hiding more than just spectacular massages.

After several voicemails left and many calls no one wanted to provide any sort of information. It is certain that not only real woman advertise for this type of business but also transexuals have their fair share of ads in The Dallas Observer.

Please, no.

What is your biggest fear in our country right now? “I do not want to see Trump elected as President of our country. His stance on politics should be feared, and I have no idea how people can even support him. His stance on foreign policy is scary, as he wants to divide our country. If he is elected President, our country will be moving backwards, socially, by a few decades. Please, just not Trump.”

 

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Cuba came along way.

 

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Picture is courtesy of Laura Vargas, by Laura Vargas.

The taboo has been broken. The Cuban boarders are open for Americans to travel there. Although, this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people. Although,this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people.

Similar to the United States, Cuba has had its share of racism/caste system within its borders. Now that Americans can visit, they will notice that the majority of the population is Afro-Cuban. According to native Cuban Laura Vargas the percentage of Afro-Cuban is between 33 percent to 62 percent. Of course this depends on who you ask.

 

 

Blanqueamiento is a political, social, and economical practice that is literally means whitening. This is whitening was meant to “improve the race.” Improving the race involved marrying a pale person and producing lighter-skinned children. In that time period it was obviously beneficial to have lighter-skin. Throughout the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro saw the inequality of life that racism/prejudice had produced. After he cemented his rule, Fidel Castro made racial inequality a crime. Mrs. Vargas gives a brief statement on how the social caste system affected her and her family.

“Personally, it didn’t affect us since my family is not racist and, we treat everyone equally,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Now with years of reforms that has taken place, things have improved in the society. There is no discrimination in Cuba. According to Mrs.Vargas , in 1891 Cuban independence fighter Jose Marti wrote an essay titled “Nuestras America.” Mr. Marti said there is not  races in Cuba therefore, there is no racism. The unity of Cuba depended on the people seeing themselves as Cuban, instead of using ones racial identity. So in this era Cubans identify themselves as Cubans instead of using their racial identities .

“None discriminates against your color anymore. Inter-racial marriages are extremely common in Cuba. In fact, the most famous sports athletes are black,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Although, Mrs. Vargas said that prejudice no longer exist, a survey was taken at North Lake College and not everyone agrees that racism/discrimination is extinct in Cuba. Along with this survey two others were taken as well.

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Few of us know what it is like to visit or live in Cuba. The only way to observe if racism still exist there is to travel, and view the country for yourself.

 

 

Who do you look up to?

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“That would definitely be my dad, he’s a self-made philosopher, he’s read so many good books, Plato, Aristotle, The republic and he loves thinking about the world. I was home schooled so while my mom taught me all the basics my dad taught me all the amazing things that came to his mind. He is so smart and he really changed my life. I look up to him he is the person I really want to be and that ability of his to see the world so clearly and be able to explain the tough books he read to me is really amazing.”

Were you ever bullied?

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Logan LeDane

“During my sophomore year at Tom Bean High School I was labeled as a wanna be black person. I was on the basketball team and had multiple black friends from different summer teams I had played on. I would hang around them and I guess that got people thinking I was trying to be something that I’m not. I remember being the only white guy at school who would listen to rap music and because of that everyone started calling me a wigger. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it definitely got annoying. It lasted for the rest of my sophomore year then started to die down a bit.”

Ezekiel Elliott, bust or star?

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Instagram user ezekielelliot

On Thursday April 28. the Dallas Cowboys selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Many fans and experts wondered why the Cowboys made such a pick when they had 3 running backs on their roster including two-thousand yard rushers in Darren McFadden and newly acquired Alfred Morris. The Cowboys defense was also horrendous last year finishing last in the league with 11 takeaways. Since their defense struggled so much last year many people expected and wanted the Cowboys to pick standout Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Fans and experts believed that Ramsey would help bolster the Cowboys weak secondary to help them get more takeaways and said that Ezekiel Elliott would be a bust and would not be able to help the Cowboys as much as Ramsey could.

However, given Elliott’s college performance and the weapons the Cowboys have around him we feel Elliott will be the next big NFL star. Coming off back to back 1800-yard seasons at Ohio State and a National Championship in 2014 Ezekiel Elliot will have a field day behind the Cowboys spectacular offensive line that includes three pro-bowlers. Even though the Cowboys finished the season with the fourth worst record in the NFL, Darren McFadden still finished the seasons with the fourth most rushing yards (1,089) while only starting 10 out of 16 games. Since starting quarterback Tony Romo and starting wide receiver Dez Bryant were injured most of the season it hindered the Cowboys offense and put a lot of the load on the running game. With back-up quarterbacks Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore unable to move the ball down the field effectively through the air it allowed opposing defenses to gameplan against the run. Considering this it’s quite impressive what McFadden was able to accomplish last season and when you look at how McFadden is nowhere near his 4.3-speed and run you over power he had coming into the league when he was drafted fourth overall by the Raiders in 2008, just imagining what Elliott can do behind this offense when everyone is healthy is mind-blowing.

We decided to ask fans what they thought of the situation by doing a twitter poll. However, our sample size was not very large and most of the people were from the DFW area making the data a little skewed since the majority of them were Cowboys fans.

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Twitter user Jeremycrane32

Therefore the majority of the voters predicted that Elliott will be a star, while the rest of the votes were split between bust and average. Only time will tell what Elliott actually turns out to be but with the weapons around him and the system in place we believe he will be the next big NFL star.

 

Muslims on Campus

 

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The star and crescent symbol of Islam.

North Lake is a diverse multicultural community college. NLC is inclusive and helpful to make every student feel at home. But, what happened when Islamphobia hit the country?After 9-11 many people stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists. The nation started labeling Islam as a hate-based religion, this lack of knowledge or misinformation created an intolerant behavior among Americans.

Even recently some presidential candidates drag the attention of voters pointing out that ISIS is the representation of Islam and the root of evil. However, NLC’s inclusive atmosphere hasn’t been poisoned with hatred.

During the Fall 2015 semester NLC held the panel: “Islam: Myths and Facts.” The panel was a success getting student and faculty attention. After the panelists answered questions from the audience, Dr. Imam Zia, the author of Islam: Silencing the Critics said, “I would urge everyone in the future, if you really and truly want information about Islam, then interact and get involved with Muslims.”

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Also, NLC has a Muslim Student Association where Muslims and non-Muslims can interact and learn about Islam.

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Sadiya Patel is the President of the Muslim Students Association, and an officer of Alpha Zeta Eta the North Lake College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Also, she is part of various clubs and organizations on campus. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

The president of MSA, Sadiya Patel, is an example of dedication and hard work.

“My liberal side made me into an ambitious, goal-oriented feminist which combated many of the stereotypes.”

Patel is easily to recognize on campus as one of the only Muslim students that wears a Burka. Stills, a lot of people probably will think that wearing a Burka or a Hijab means oppression to women.

However, wearing a Burka or Hijab represents of modesty in her religion.

“I just grew closer to God on a spiritual level and felt like I could do more to maintain my modesty,” Patel said. “I felt that my beauty wasn’t meant for everyone’s eyes and that I could choose to be in control of my image and body.”

 

ISIS has claimed so many terrorist attacks in Europe, and with the civil war in Syria, people misassociated Islam with ISIS.

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Saida Elshantaf studying for finals at NLC library. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

“Islam means peace, therefore we’re a religion that promotes peace. Just because a minority, which I would rather not call them Muslims, are promoting terror doesn’t mean that this idea applies to all Muslims,” said Saida Elshantaf, NLC student. “I respect all other religions, and I love to be in a place where I feel respected.”

Islam is a religion that actively encourage peace and tolerance, yet like in every other religion some people are extremist and have given bad reputation to the faith.

“Islam was never a religion of terror and hatred,” said Burhan Lokhandwala, NLC student. “We do not mean harm and all terrorists are not Muslims and they do not understand the real message of Islam anyways. We love everyone and we are a peaceful community.”