Why the greatest gap won’t close

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Photo by Annika Galloway

Across the United States women on average make only 82.1 percent of men’s yearly earnings. In Colorado, the gap becomes vastly larger at 78.3 percent and is on trend to continue to grow wider, painting a bleak picture for women looking to enter the workforce in the near future.

Accounting for differences in education, qualifications, and across all fields of work, women are paid less.

Equal Opportunities International defines discrimination as, “the provision of unequal benefits to people of different ascriptive statuses despite identical qualifications and merit.”

In 2009 President Barack Obama attempted to combat gender discrimination by adding the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. This act, in addition to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, was supposed to eliminate any gaps by “restoring the bedrock of American law”, through equal rights for all. However, the gap did not change.

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Immunizations and the herd

Winfo-graphic-2ith the chances of giving birth to a child with autism at a ten-year high, many parents feel forced to make decisions for their new families regarding their baby’s vaccinations. Although there is no scientific link that associates vaccinations with the development of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a roper poll reveals that 36 percent of the U.S. population believes there could be a link. This leads to the question, if there is even a slight chance that vaccinations can lead to autism, should families be legally forced to vaccinate their children in order to be admitted into public schools?


85 percent of families in the U.S. support mandatory vaccinations, the other 15 percent have been vocal about their opposition. With popular faces, like Jim Kerry and Jenny McCarthy, leading the protests against legally mandated vaccinations, it is hard to ignore either side of the argument. 
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The Internet Has No Identity

Stop. Breathe. Relax and get ready for an explanation about cyber security in the least scary and simplest way. Ever since birth the internet has changed tremendously. January of 1983 is when a group of researches formed the network of networks but in 1990 is when the Internet, as we know it, was created by computer scientist Tim Berners. Since then communication between technological devices has slowly started to take over our lives from web browsing and instant messaging to online banking.

 

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Infographic by: Matthew Stallone

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Profiting off of America’s pain

Of the estimated 21.5 million Americans 12 and older with a substance abuse disorder in 2014, 1.9 million, have a disorder specific to opiate pain pills, and another 586,000 had a use problem involving heroin.  As a gross parody of old reefer madness scare tactics, opiate pills have become a  true “gateway” drug, as 80% of heroin users report that they started on prescription painkillers. Because of these staggering numbers, drug overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in America, causing 47,055 deaths in 2014 of which 40.2% were related to opiates. In Kentucky, since the introduction of OxyContin in 1995 to 2001, there was a 500% increase in the number of patients entering methadone treatment, three-fourths of which were specifically OxyContin dependant. As the sales of opiates go up, so do the deaths, the overunnameddose death rate in 2008 was four times that of the rate in 1999, paralleling the four times increase of opiate sales from 1999 to 2010, painting an inexorable link between the sale of these drugs, and a rash of tragic overdose deaths across America. Continue reading

Homelessness in Denver

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Photo by Rachel Ledon

Imagine that everything you own could fit in a Wal-Mart shopping cart.  You spend your nights sleeping in a tent on the side of a street. You have an old, rugged jacket that you keep in a trash bag that hangs over your shopping cart. Sometimes it’s enough to keep warm. Sometimes, it isn’t.

You don’t have a job. You don’t have a house. You don’t have much.

You walk to the nearest gas station to buy a bag of pretzels with the spare change that you have collected from the day. Returning to your corner you find that your small collection of possessions has been taken. It hasn’t been stolen by thieves but rather was seized by city officials.

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Campus Police and their role at DU

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(photo courtesy of du.edu/campussafety/)

Campus Security is an important presence to have on any college campus. Here at the University of Denver, our Department of Campus Safety states their mission to be: To advance the quality of life on campus using community-focused safety and access solutions.” However, the relationship between the student body and campus officers can sometimes become strained under the pressure of the strict rules that are enforced here at DU. 

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Final WordPress

This week in assorted news many exciting and depressing events have happened. Starting out on a happier note, Joe Bidden memes have taken over the internet. There might be a Game of Thrones prequel, which has fans shivering with excitement. On a not so happy note, Antartica is predicted to be ice-less by 2050 and students are signing petitions to make their campuses sanctuaries.

Joe Biden is the Internet’s new favorite person

After a long and unpleasant presidential election we are seeing a bit of humor well deserved. Most of America knows Joe Biden for being Vice President for Obama, but he is getting a new reason for fame. This video shows the relationship between Biden and Obama. They seem like brothers throughout the video and even ending in a quote by Biden saying “We’re lie family now”(Joe Biden).

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This post election the two have become an iconic duo thanks to the internet. Biden’s internet personality seems to be that of a loving friend willing to do anything for Obama. While Obama has an internet personality of a father or older brother keeping his younger brother in check. Biden memes are a good comic relief after this election, putting tensions between a partisan divided country at ease.

 

Nerd Alert!

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Good news for all of the Game of Thrones fans. After much let down, season 7 only having eight episodes and releasing much later than it’s typical air-date in June. Also, with the news that the final season, season 8 will only have six episodes, it has been a long time without any good news for fans. But, today it has been revealed that producers are discussing possible spin off for the hit series. One of the more prominent ideas for a spin-off is a prequel. George R.R. Martin has not only written books that have been made into a hit series but he has also created a world. With rich lore from geography, characters, storylines to timelines it it not so far fetched for a prequel to Game of Thrones to be put into production.

 

Ice-less Earth by 2050

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Due to human Carbon Dioxide emissions scientists are predicting our Arctic zones to be ice-less by the year 2050, if we survive that long. As of today we are loosing 50 square meters of ice each year and that number is only increasing as CO2 emissions increase. It is mind-boggling that some of the most powerful people in our government still deny science. Our new president even thinks global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese government and earlier today appointed a climate-change skeptic as the new head of Environmental Protection Agency. Global warming is a very imminent threat to humanity, needed to be recognized and acknowledged by every single person. By ignoring it and focusing on economics our president is dooming the fate of our species.

 

 

 

 

Sanctuaries in the U.S are popping up in every State

 

Post-election Trump has indicated that he will uphold when he said that he plans to deport illegal immigrants. In reaction to this many students have signed petitions which Universities have agreed to, creating safe-zones on private University campuses. These campuses are pledging to keep Trump from deporting these people. The theory is that policy officers are not allowed to go onto private campuses and deport someone without a warrant, making it harder for Trump to impose his will.

 

 

Highlights!

I have learned a lot throughout this quarter. I never thought that I would be able to hard code my own website but here we are. I have also come to learn a lot about Twitter and the connectivity it provides. Also, learning the business side of Twitter will be a good tool to know in the future as many people looking to hire expect millennial’s to be proficient in social media. Creating the WebApp was the most fun of the quarter, having to come up with the idea and fully flesh out what we wanted t I swearHowo do was awesome.

 

 

 

Why is pedophilia condemned in American Society?

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Picture credit: Chelsea Hernandez

It is interesting how we portray child predators to be peculiar human beings. One thing we cannot deny is that they’re human, just like the rest of us. What sets them aside is their attraction to children. We have accepted in American society that this kind of sexual attraction is abnormal and for many, it is evil. However, is the sexual attraction to children a social construct? Why do many of us want these so-called predators locked away, but few others understand them and empathize with them?

Before in society, although still condemned by some, homosexuals would be portrayed the same way as child predators are today. They were known to be vile and for many religious groups, they were “sinners.” However, it could be noted that homosexuality has become more acceptable in society. In 2015, same-sex marriage even became legal in the United States. So again, what is so wrong about being attracted to a child?

Japan is getting backlash for creating an actual child sex-doll. The company claims that it prevents pedophiles from actually offending.

“We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes. I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically. It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire,” says creator Shin Takagi.

The company was under fire because many people believed this was ethically wrong. Although the desires of an adult are being met, it is still wrong to think of an innocent child in any sexual way. However, many others believe this is a smart and helpful way for pedophiles to fulfill their fantasies without actually seeking out a child. It’s a good thing for both the adult and any potential victims.

According to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, there is available help for convicted pedophiles but there is no help for help-seeking pedophiles who have not yet committed a crime. Perhaps this is the reason why the United States has a high number of incarcerated sex offenders. 20% of child molesters still go back to prison after being released. There wouldn’t be a problem if the problem was stopped before it happened. Therefore many believe that these sex dolls are a good way for sex offenders to get their fix instead of actually exploiting a child.

When a child predator molests a child, they face consequences if found guilty. They aren’t given a warning, nobody says, “cut them a break, it’s just a sexual preference.” Instead, they are thrown in jail and given the title “sex offender” for the rest of their life. The Archives of Sexual Behavior also says in the 70s and 80s, Dutch and European pedophile groups were tolerated. The act itself was not ideal, however, society did not condemn the molesters.

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Infographic credit: Chelsea Hernandez

“Love between two adults is typically consensual,” says Sociology and sexuality expert, Amie Levesque from the University of Denver. The Archives of Sexual Behavior would agree with professor Levesque that pedophilia will probably never be accepted in American society because it is usually linked to exploitation. This means that the sexual act is forced upon the child and it is not consensual. Professor Levesque also notes, “Children don’t necessarily have the ability to consent, especially, the younger they are.”

Where is the line drawn? In 2016, a controversial story broke out about a high school teacher who had sex with a student and got pregnant. Nonetheless, the student did step forward and say that he wanted the relationship to happen. He was 16 at the time. He was less than 2 years away from legally making his own decisions. But because he was not yet 18, the court of law declared the teacher as a sex offender.

In American society, to be able to consent is not defined by your maturity. It is defined by your age.

“It does get tricky when a minor claims that they wanted it,” says Professor Levesque, “but I do believe that when sex is forced on a child, the predator should be punished.”

Professor Levesque agrees with the majority of the United States that pedophiles should face time in jail. Many extremists believe that a more severe punishment should follow. One example of this is Castration.  This is the surgical processes of removing the sexual organs of a person. Chemical castration is reducing the sex drive by taking a set of drugs.

For years, it has been an ongoing battle in deciding if castration is morally ethical or not. An article that can be found in the CQ Researcher database, takes in consideration the pros and cons of chemically castrating sex offenders.

“This is nonsense,” says Andrew Vachss, “the motivation for sexual assault will not disappear with the severed genitalia or altered hormones.” He is a juvenile justice advocate and novelist.

In May of 2016, Indonesia passed a law that allows castration for convicted child sex offenders.

“These crimes have undermined the development of children, and these crimes have disturbed our sense of peace, security and public order,” said Indonesian President Joko Widodo, “so, we will handle it in an extraordinary way.”

The CQ Article about castration also says that although people see castration as a violation of reproductive freedom, there are those that look at it as an equivalent to anti-depressants and tranquilizers, much like those that are used to treat mental illness.

Two college-leveled students were asked, “Imagine you were an adult who found yourself sexually fantasizing about children. You don’t want these thoughts in your head but somehow they keep coming back, do you believe you’d be scared to seek help?”

“I would definitely feel scared. Not only because people would judge me, but because I know I won’t get the help I want and thus, I might do something stupid.” said Psychology major Hannah Parry. “I never gave this some thought. It’s interesting.”

“If I was having thoughts about being sexually active with a child I would probably go ahead and commit suicide,” said Marketing major Morgan Bolomo, “I would feel like something is very wrong with me.”

Pedophilia in America is not treated like other crime that can be derived from mental illness. For example,  we provide drug users and dealers with help that can lead to sobriety. Also, when a murderer is diagnosed with a mental illness, they do not face prison time, they go to mental facilities. However, the same can not be said about child predators.

All child predators are deemed as bad people, we hardly ever give them justifications for their actions. Some predators do take advantage of the innocence and weakness of a child. But there are others who are locked behind bars because they watched child pornography, or because they were given “consent” from a minor.

“If not all murderers are the same, why should all sexual predators be the same too?”

 

Investigation and storytelling – a conversation with investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola

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Investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola shows off the 9News newsroom. Photo by Lars Brady.

“There’s always something happening  in Denver,” says investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola.

Whether it’s wasted tax dollars, questionable business practices, or governmental abuse of power, Jojola makes it his responsibility as an investigative journalist to uncover and disseminate the truth.

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