Trigger Warning

On the road that I live on someone has written the words “OBAMA FU*@” in some type of permanent chalk. Shocking? Yes. Vandalism? Yes. Horrible? As I took time to reflect on this last question, I realized that no, it’s not horrible. We live in a country where you won’t die, be arrested, or tortured for voicing opinions; where being critical of leadership is allowed, even encouraged, for it is part of the roots this country was founded in. Thomas Jefferson helped to write the list of grievances we had with King George III in the Declaration of Independence, and our freedom to speak freely is a right protected underneath the very first amendment.

Yet we live in a society where the ability to speak freely and exchange ideas is ever dwindling. Why is it that students cannot listen to a set of well-respected conservative speakers without calling out nasty and irrelevant slurs? Watch if you dare. Why are people protesting and shutting down Donald Trump rallies and denying a candidate his political platform to speak? Why are comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock refusing to speak at universities because of intense scrutiny and censorship of humor?

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Universities are quickly becoming not a place where one goes to learn new ways of life and diversity of thought, but instead a place where young people are sent to be censured, to become not bold, but timid and singular in thinking. It is why political nominees like Ben Carson noted for his anti-politically correct speech at the National Prayer Breakfast and Donald J. Trump who obviously speaks anti-pc run with momentum and support.

It is because no one wants to be constantly censured and corrected at every turn. What is the definition of political correctness? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary it is, “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”

But why such the fuss about offending people? Offense is not the worst crime in the world. We have all offended someone, that does not make one a bad person and every person who has walked the earth has been offended, yet we still somehow manage to survive. So the idea of offending someone does not seem like a strong enough catalyst to create such a radical change in thought.

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The only recourse then is to look at the word politically correct for our answer. The question that raises first is, “If my speech is not political and I am not a politician then why must I worry about being politically correct?”  The answer being: Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is the politicization of everything to achieve a political agenda. We are beginning to develop into a Totalitarian society by enabling the power of government over all aspects of life both public and private enforced by censorship and terrorism. Political Correctness is the censorship by which an increasingly corrupt, authoritarian, and large government seeks to control society and the individual.

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Look around. What political groups are promoting programs that give government more control over personal aspects of life like healthcare and education and cause government to grow larger? What parties have corrupt officials and candidates? What groups promote political correctness and who do they associate with and what are their agendas?

If we are not careful, and if we do not question authoritarianism and censorship we are sure to lose our rights. Political correctness has indeed gone too far if we want to continue to live in a society that upholds the basic right to freedom of speech.

Zeta Beta Tau’s Get On The Ball Rolls All Across Campus

Andy Hsu | Contributing Writer

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Featured from left to right: Brothers Daniel Cummings, Andy Hsu, Ryan Manion, Jason Petraitis, Christian Rosendahl, and Ray Wolfram. Photo courtesy of Clarence Pacete

Many students are intrigued by the sight of the 5-foot giant ball that is rolling across the Midtown campus this week, surrounded by the brothers of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity.

Perhaps you’ve been stopped on your way to class, on the way to the shuttle, or about to enter the student center as a brother of ZBT calls out asking for you to sign the ball, and to kindly donate towards the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

 

Get On The Ball is an event, which originated from the Beta Zeta Epsilon chapter of ZBT at the University of Maryland.  Funds are raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by businesses to sponsor the event, or by individual donations.

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Featured from left to right are Ray Wolfram, Jason Petraitis, Jeff Moffat, and Ciara Lubus. Photo courtesy of Andy Hsu

In a recent interview with the Humans of WestConn Founder, Clarence Pacete, brothers Ryan Manion and Daniel Cummings had valuable input regarding the importance of the Get On The Ball event and Greek Life in general:

“Being part of ZBT and in Greek life in general has given opportunities to us and a purpose for being here on campus,” the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau of the Zeta Tau chapter say.

“We advocate Greek life and how valuable it is to be a member of it. One of our responsibilities is to spread the word about our events and our fellow Greek life organizations’ events. People want interaction; so when we talk to people on campus, you’ll be seen as a friend not an associate. Also, talking to the students helps with leadership. Being a part of greek life looks good on a resumé. We know about the stereotypes that go along with Greek life; but we are a non-pledging and non-hazing fraternity. They were the standard when our organization was created. You shouldn’t be afraid of being ostracized if you decide that going greek isn’t for you. One takeaway from this organization is being able to wear these letters with pride, even when you aren’t actually wearing the letters on a shirt. We encourage any to try going greek, we are happy to talk to you more about it.”

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Brothers Daniel Cummings and Jason Petraitis roll the ball to patrons of our sponsors, Soho’s Pizza. Photo courtesy of Andy Hsu

An important aspect of the event is raising funds from local businesses to sponsor our event.  Currently, Soho’s pizzas restaurant; Double Twister’s Ice Cream shop, Kitchen Traditions, and Chamomile Natural Foods are all proud sponsors of ZBT’s Get On The Ball at Western Connecticut State University.

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Brother Nico Dee. Photo courtesy of Matthew Mendillo

More information can be found about the Get On The Ball event by going to www.zbtgetontheball.com and information on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals can be found by going to give.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org where spokeswoman Jennifer Lopez advocates the benefits and importance of the foundation.

 

Rock Out with Local Singer-Songwriter Chuck DelRossi

Looking to blow off some steam in midst of studying for finals? Need something fun to do on a Friday night? Look no further! Come check out local experienced folk-rock singer Chuck DelRossi whose music carries 60’s and 70’s rock vibes.

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Chuck Del Rossi writes from the soul with music influenced by his life experiences. He will be performing on April 29 8:30 pm at the Filet Bar & Grill on 43 S Main Street, in Newtown.

For More Information go to http://www.tatemusicgroup.com/epk/artist/34390

 

 

 

 

Bees and Lemonade

In a generation where one can purchase contraptions like the Smart Mattress to catch a cheating partner, no one should have been surprised when one of our favorite celebrities Beyoncé came out with her visual album Lemonade dishing the details on Jay-Z’s infidelity. Yet, shocked we remain. Beyoncé always manages to create a buzz in the bey-hive, first with her hit-single Formation dropping right before the Super Bowl, and then with built-up anticipation for her the album, Lemonade, which is by far one of her best masterpieces yet.

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The album is an hour-long combination of poetry, music, and visual eye-candy. Beyoncé takes us on an emotional journey through denial, anger, emptiness, accountability, forgiveness, redemption, hope. As we know, Beyoncé is not shy to celebrate black culture demonstrated in her video Formation which highlights the after affects of Hurricane Katrina on the black community and discourses about racially-charged police brutality. In her album Lemonade, Beyoncé again does not shy away from commentary on the “black woman as the most disrespected person” and black men’s roles in their families’ lives. Honest, breathtaking shots of black neighborhoods that bespeaks pride of her roots are a welcome sight after the death iconic African-American figure Prince. Lemonade is not just a one-watch album, filled with complex layers of multimedia, it is a truly transcendental experience that breaks the internet and artistic barriers.

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Bernie makes his way into Connecticut

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Photo courtesy of Jordan A. Sprogis

Bernie Sanders made his way into New Haven two days before Connecticut’s primary on April 26.

Gathered on the New Haven Green, a park in the center of downtown, people smushed together like sardines in a can as they gravitated towards Michael Stipe, the former lead singer of R.E.M., who introduced Sanders.

“As the only son of a three-time combat veteran, I know firsthand the cost of war,” Stipe said shortly after entering the stage. “I want a candidate who said no to the Iraq war. That candidate is Bernie Sanders.”

The crowd cheered, and Stipe introduced Sanders to the stage.

Sanders spoke for about an hour, discussing the hot topics that his supporters love to hear, such as healthcare, the environment, minimum wage, criminal justice system, mental health, his campaign finance system and breaking up the big banks.

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Photo courtesy of Jordan A. Sprogis

“What this campaign is really about is for all of us together to take on the status quo,” Sanders began. “And to understand that in the richest country in the history of the world, we can be much, much more than we are today.”

He wasted no time to tackle those in power, like Walmart.

“There’s a lot of talk about welfare. Well, let me tell you something about welfare. The major family who receives welfare in this country is not some poor family in Connecticut or Vermont – it is the Walton family. I say to the Walton family get off of welfare and pay your workers a living wage.”

This was the perfect segue to tie poverty and higher education together.

“We should be proud of this great university but a few miles away from here in this same city, we have children who are getting totally inadequate education. In this city alone, 36% children alone are living in poverty,” he said.

He continued, “Why are we punishing millions of people for getting an education? We should be rewarding, we should be encouraging people to get an education – not punishing them.”

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My view was less than ideal, as it was blocked by tall people, children on shoulders, cell phones, and posters – but still worth it. Photo courtesy of Dakota Sarantos

“We need a revolution in mental health treatment in this country. We need to make certain that when people need mental health treatment they get it today, not six months from now.”

Sanders isn’t afraid to speak the truth and potentially make new enemies. “I’m not sure why your governor has cut mental health treatment in the state of Connecticut. We need to expand that treatment,” he said.

He then turned the focus onto Native Americans: how we could never repay them for what we learned from them, such as unity with nature.

“Climate change is caused by human activity. Climate change is already doing devastating harm to this country and all over the world,” Sanders said. “We have a moral responsibility to our children and grandchildren to leave them a planet that is healthy and habitable.”

Towards the end, a part of the crowd began shouting for Sanders’ attention. And just like that, dozens of hands flew up, shouting and pointing, waving for help. Somebody had fainted.

A few seconds later, Sanders saw the commotion and stopped speaking mid-sentence. “Can we get a doctor over there? We got a medical issue. Secret Service, can we get a doctor over there? OK, somebody’s on the way.”

In the silence that followed as the crowd looked on, a single voice shouted, “We love you, Bernie!”

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Photo courtesy of Jordan A. Sprogis

To watch the entire event on YouTube, click here.

Pinwheels for Prevention raises awareness about child abuse and neglect

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Sparkling blue oases of hope are scattered throughout Downtown Danbury to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Families Network of Western CT sponsored the event, along with an up and coming luncheon at the Matrix Conference and Banquet Center on April 28 to further delve into the successes and challenges of ending child abuse and maltreatment.

pinwheelsAccording to Susan Giglio, Executive Director of Families Network, Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign created by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) as seen on Good Morning America.

The goal of the campaign is to engage people in taking ordinary actions, “extraordinary actions” as PCA calls it, to help reduce stress for families and increase resilience for kids. Such actions include things like calling or writing legislators or community leaders to support parenting programs or offering to babysit for a stressed parent or neighbor.

“The pinwheel represents the carefree, healthy and safe childhood that every child deserves.  There’s so many ways for individuals to get involved,” said Giglio.

“If we work together to make a small difference, not just throughout the month of April but everyday, we can create the kind of world where all children have the great childhood that they deserve and abuse and neglect never happens,” she added.

pinwheels2According to a press release from Families Network, the primary prevention focus is to educate and engage families before a crisis occurs. Through a number of multi-faceted and collaborative strategies, the network ensures safe, healthy environments for children. Families Network works to create positive, lasting changes through public awareness activities, direct services to families, volunteer training, and commitment to partnering with community and business leaders, social service agencies, and health and education providers.

“Parenting is difficult.  Programs like our home visiting and parent education groups, mutual self-help support, community health & mental health services, support services for new mothers, sexual abuse prevention programs, substance abuse treatment, and expanding affordable and safe childcare all play a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect,” said Giglio.

20160419_175505To help raise awareness for their work to prevent child abuse, Families Network is holding its annual Dr. Robert C. and Nancy Joy Luncheon on April 28th from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Matrix Conference and Banquet Center. As part of “Pinwheels for Prevention” and Volunteer Appreciation Month, Families Network will be recognizing its exceptional volunteers.

Tickets to the banquet are $35. Those who don’t have the money can request to be sponsored so they can attend the event for free. For a ticket, sponsorship or in-line donation contact Families Network at (203) 791-8773 or visit the website www.fnwc.org.

According to Giglio, Western sponsored a Pinwheel Garden a few years ago through a sorority focusing on child abuse prevention. WXCI has also shown support through Public Services Announcements and radio interview spots.

“We’re looking for any way at all to continue to partner with the student body at WestConn,” said Giglio, “We have internship opportunities, and we’re always looking for volunteers for special projects.”

Why the new noise ordinance bill is scaring citizens

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If you are at all involved with Mayor Mark Boughton’s Twitter or the Danbury news, then you know that Boughton is under full blast from citizens of Danbury for passing a new noise ordinance bill that allows police officers to fine vehicles and private residences for playing music too loudly.

The noise ordinance isn’t new news — it’s been in place since 2006. But this current ordinance leaves it up to the Danbury Police Department’s discretion whether or not the music is too loud, as opposed to using a sound level meter, therefore allowing officers to give citations for claims without evidence.

The rules aren’t bogus. The rules for the sound levels haven’t even changed. If you look at the noise ordinance bill from 2006 and compare it to the one Boughton signed this year, the levels are the same.

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It makes sense that you should be warned — and if necessary, fined — if you are blasting music from your vehicle when there’s a Little League game going on at Rogers Park and players can’t hear the umpire. It makes sense to be warned or fined if you are blasting music so loudly in your home that your neighbors are losing sleep. It makes sense to be warned or fined if you are playing music so loudly while cruising down the street, that other drivers cannot hear an emergency vehicle’s sirens coming from behind them.

In both the ’06 and ’16 bills, they go on to explain (d) General prohibitions, followed by Specific prohibitions. In the updated version, is this neatly tucked-in paragraph:

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What “plainly audible” standards? Let’s refer to the definitions list. Both bills have a definition list, so you could refer to certain words while reading the bill if you have any queries. However, in the updated version, this definition was added:

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It seems that the only update to the bill was to explicitly explain that officers have the right to claim that music “sounded too loud” without using an instrument to test the idea.

Many news articles have pointed out that millennials seem to be getting the most upset over this because they just want to hear their music without repercussion. (Oh, how us millennials love our music!) And Boughton has made it clear in several quotes and Tweets that people can listen to what they want, but at a reasonable volume to respect their neighbors and surroundings.

However this isn’t just a whiney outcry from the 20-somethings who claim that their rights are being stripped. I think many of the protestors are looking at what’s going on in the rest of the country, and how officers are given complete freedom to call ’em how they see ’em, without proof — just based under suspicion.

This law allows officers to give citations without proof of any law breaking. Though it may not have been the intention, the law lets officers target specific people, like minorities.

In The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, writer Michelle home_book_cvr.jpgAlexander writes how mainly minorities and poor people in the U.S. are targeted subjects of the law, resulting in the mass incarceration in this country that we all know too well.

Here, Alexander talks about how a police department in Oakland, Calif., received a federal grant for drug busting, and were under “tremendous pressure” to meet certain quotas and expectations:

“The task force commander emphasized that they would need statistics to show that the grant money was well spent and send the task force out to begin a shift with comments like, ‘Let’s go out and kick some ass,’ and ‘Everybody goes to jail tonight for everything, right?'”

Now, not to accuse the DPD of saying things like this, but if this bill is standard across the U.S., then who’s to say that comments like this would never come up? Or that this isn’t somebody’s motivation to get up in the morning and put on their uniform?

Alexander explains the dangers of giving officers too much free will, and how they take advantage of their unlimited power by using a little something called “pretext stops.”

“A classic pretext stop is a traffic stop motivated not by any desire to enforce traffic laws, but instead motivated by a desire to hunt for drugs in the absence of any evidence of illegal drug activity,” Alexander writes. “In other words, police officers use minor traffic violations as an excuse — a pretext — to search for drugs, even though there is not a shred of evidence suggesting the motorist is violating drug laws.”

People can refuse to let an officer search their belongings. Many people don’t know that though, and those who do just want to obey and stay out of trouble. But those who do refuse to be randomly searched are often questioned by the officer, thus causing suspicion.

And suspicion is all an officer needs to go forth with the search anyway. This is called the stop-and-frisk rule, where as long as an officer has “reasonable articulable suspicion” that someone is engaged in criminal activity and dangerous, it is “constitutionally permissible to stop, question, and frisk him or her — even in the absence of probable cause.”

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Neither side is completely right or completely wrong. The only argument that the citizens of Danbury should try to make is the fact that officers are allowed to make their own judgements based on no evidence.

The City of Danbury and Boughton should reconsider the small addition they made to the bill and require that officers test sound levels using a sound meter instrument.

Pretext stops and stop-and-frisks happen every single day in this country, and the majority of them involve minorities and poor people. Laws like this scare citizens because it can be used as an excuse to wrongfully investigate somebody based on a preconceived stereotype.

Ask yourself this: Does the law side with who it hired, or with the citizen?

Westconn Baseball Player Involved in Deadly Car Accident

 

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Michael DeAngelo

By: Thomas Guardado

Early Tuesday morning Western Connecticut State University freshman and baseball player Michael DeAngelo, otherwise known as “Diesel,” was involved in a fatal car accident on I-95 near exit 70.

According to police, the car DeAngelo was driving went off road and hit a wooden sound barrier.

DeAngelo, 19, of East Haven was pronounced dead at the scene. No other cars were involved in the accident and no one else was in the car with him police said.

Further details have yet to be provided by police.

DeAngelo was a friend to many and always described as fun to be around and genuine.

“He was a great kid, teammate and friend,” fellow teammate Kyle Cole said, “he lit up the room with just his smile. He will be missed by many.”

“He was a nice kid, everyone liked him,” Western freshman Joe LaFlam said. “He seemed like a genuinely happy person who was always smiling.”

The Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Betts commented, “whenever there is a death of a student, it’s the saddest days in the life of the university,” describing how the death of DeAngelo will affect the Western community.

Vice President Betts also went on to mention how the Western staff is there to support the students through this hard time. Counselors are available for students to reach out to.

According to Western spokesman Paul Steinmetz, a vigil will be held for DeAngelo tonight(4/20/16) at 7 p.m. in front of Newbury Hall at the midtown campus.

The Colonials Baseball Head Coach Johnny Susi will honor Michael’s life prior to a game this week when they play either John Jay College on Thursday or University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Saturday.

DeAngelo, a native of East Haven, CT, was a standout first baseman for the Yellow Jackets.  He was a three-sport captain, an All-SCC selection and recipient of the Levi Jackson Award while at EHHS.

At Western, he most recently registered the game-winning RBI single in the Colonials’ 7-6 come-from-behind victory over Purchase College on April 13.

 

 

Over 28,000 people welcome Bernie back to Brooklyn

On April 17, Bernie Sanders was welcomed back to his home turf in the borough of Brooklyn by over 28,000 people on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Supporters from all over the world, including Australia and China, came to support the Vermont Senator in this momentous rally held in Prospect Park. The first of this crowd arrived at around 8:30 in the morning, a few of which were students from Western Connecticut State University.

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Noah O’Connor, Joseph Carangui, and Marissa Theriault felt the sun-“bern” during the 78 degree weather.

The doors opened at noon but arriving about 3 hours beforehand proved to be worthy to these determined students because not only did they stand front row at the rally, but also met Senator Sanders himself. Marissa Theriault, Joseph Carangui, and Noah O’Connor had the opportunity to shake his hand and take selfies with him.

The line for the event wrapped around the perimeter of the park and was composed of people of all generations and ethnic backgrounds. One die-hard Bernie Sanders supporter, Ernest Dawson,  was selling buttons 1 for $2 and 3 for $5 on a umbrella. His selling point, however, had little to do with his variety of buttons but instead the fact that he has given over thousands of dollars of contributions to Sanders in increments of $27. He even gave out buttons to those without cash who promised to donate $2 to the campaign.

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News Stations like C-Span and CNN interviewed people before and after the rally.

Prior to Senator Sanders speaking, a reggae artist from Jamaica, a local hip hop group, and a rock band pumped up the crowd. Justin Long and Danny DeVito were also special speakers at the event. Other speakers included CNN’s Sally Kohn, Hawaii’s Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and New York councilman Jumaane Williams.

The Congresswoman introduced Senator Sanders by speaking about an issue people believe he has little interest or experience in, which she proved to be wrong. Being a veteran, she was able to relate on a firsthand level to war and describe why Senator Sanders was her choice in President.

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii introduces Senator Sanders.

“These are decisions that have costs trillions of dollars and countless of lives. These are decisions that have undermined our national security, strengthening groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda whose terrorist actions continue around the world. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, he has made it clear that he will end these unnecessary interventionist wars and instead use our resources to rebuild our own country, our own community, right here at home,” preached Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Finally, Danny DeVito called his “Obi-Wan” on stage. The crowd burst into a cheer, welcoming their preferred candidate back to Brooklyn. Senator Sanders’ speech was quite similar to that of the Albany rally, addressing mainly social issues while elaborating on his belief of free healthcare and college education. Characteristically, he began by talking about equal representation in politics for all.

“We want a government that represents all of us, not just the 1%… We’re going to win this thing without being dependent on Wall Street.”

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On the topic of Wall Street, he brought attention to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speeches; Senator Sanders emphasized that if a speech costs this much money to give, everyone deserves to hear what it says, making sure quid pro quos are not occurring.

Senator Sanders brought up the Iraq War to remind the audience that he voted against the war even though Clinton had voted yes.

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“Hellory is 4 her-self.”

“In 2002, Secretary Clinton, who was in the Senate, and I, who was in the House, we heard the same evidence from George Bush and Dick Cheney about whether or not we should go to war in Iraq. I listened very very carefully, I didn’t believe what they were saying, I voted against that war.”

Shifting gears back to the big business in America, he called out big businesses and insisted that during his administration, corporations will have to invest in our country. This appealed to the people because one of the main concerns of the American people is the fall of the economy and lack of jobs.

“If elected president, we are going to transform out trade policy; Corporate America will start investing in this country, not just in China.”

Staying on the topic of jobs and the economy, Senator Sanders talked about the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, calling it a “starvation wage.” Another topic brought up was the need to preserve clean water. The self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist firmly believes in the right to clean, accessible drinking water for all, and made no hesitation in discussing its importance. That said, he said that this could not be done with fracking.

“We’ve got to get rid of fracking… The people of our country and the people of this world need to know that there will be clean drinking water for them and their kids in the years to come. We need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry…Leaving this planet healthy and habitable for our children and grandchildren is a moral issue.”

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He then transitioned to the topic he is best known for, Wall Street and big banks.

“What I find amazing is that some kid today in Brooklyn is gonna get arrested for possession of marijuana and that kid will have a criminal record for the rest of his life, but you can be an executive on Wall Street and your illegal actions can impact the lives of millions of people but you get no criminal record, not you, you get an increase in your compensation.”

He then talked about expanding social security. He wants to “create an economy that works for working people, that works for the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor, all people, not just the 1%.” The next issue was youth employment. He brought up statistics where youth employment among all races ranges from roughly 30% to over 50%, with African American children being affected the most.

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Danny DeVito listens intently.

Going into the problems that affect the minority communities, especially African Americans, the issue of police brutality was brought up.

“I am tired, and you are tired of seeing unarmed people being shot and killed by the police…The truth is that just like any other public official, if a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. We need to demilitarize police departments all over this country. We need to make local police departments reflect the diversity of the communities they represent.”

He wrapped up his speech by reminding the public that minorities are still struggling everyday after the repercussions of being segregated and held back throughout history. Latinos, African Americans, and the Natives all over the country were used as examples. He addressed women’s rights too, including equal pay and their rights over their own bodies.

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Senator Sanders has the support from his wife and family as he runs for the Democratic nomination.

“We owe the Native American people more than we can ever repay, but from day one, before we became a country. they were lied to and cheated in treaties that hadn’t been negotiated or broken. If I become President, there will be a new relationship with the Native Americans…This campaign is listening to women. And women are telling me they are sick and tired of earning 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. They want the whole damn dollar.”

Closing his speech, he spoke of love and the unity that lies within the morals of all major religions.

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“At the end of the day, love trumps hatred.”

Today, New York will hold its primary, offering up 247 delegates to either Sanders or Clinton. If Sanders wins New York, he may have a chance to outnumber Clinton in delegates, not counting her lead in superdelegates.

 

WCSU alumnus publishes new novel, “The Code Silencer”

A few years into the elusive and exciting career of bounty hunting, Edwin Rivera decided to turn to the books and attend Western Connecticut State University to major in JLA from 1996 to 2001.

142096ac-f3b7-4bc5-94de-61b426986128.jpgAnd while challenging his creative side, Rivera ended up publishing several poems and eight novels over the next fifteen years.

“Dr. Harold Schramm was a mentor to me at WCSU,” Rivera recalls. “He was always giving me good advice and encouragement. I am grateful deeply to WCSU.”

Most recently, Rivera published The Code Silencer, a novel about a futuristic bounty hunter who must save humanity from an evil one-world government.

“It’s a very misunderstood line of work that provides more benefits to society than one may think,” Rivera says of The Code Silencer. “We’re a group of mavericks not afraid to break the rules and endure personal sacrifices in order to get the job done. This story will open people’s eyes to the work we do.”

This year, Rivera retired from 26 years of bounty hunting.

“My body could not take it anymore,” Rivera says. “I got older, a little worn out, so I stopped. [And] although I still have my state credentials, I don’t take any jobs or assignments.”

Rivera grew up in the Bronx and moved to Danbury when he was 12 years old and always had a knack for reading and writing. It was an English Composition course at Western that turned him onto storytelling.

“It was then that I felt someday to write a novel,” Rivera says.

Unfortunately, life isn’t fair and sometimes throws the hardest curveballs. For Rivera, it was when his sister got sick and writing for fun suddenly came to a halt.

When his sister, Mayda, fell ill in 2007, Rivera promised her that he would finish his book and get it published as soon as possible. And luckily, she was able to read it. 12966229_809194005852742_1887442784_n.jpg

“I was writing for fun, but not serious enough,” Rivera recalls. “I made the promise to her to finish A Writer of Time and to donate money from every book sale I made to fight against lymphoma.”

But by January 2008, his sister had passed. And though Rivera grieved for her, his promise only motivated him to keep writing.

“During her stay in the hospital, I went to her room and gave her a copy of the book. That woman cried – but not for feeling sorry or sad, but of celebration, as she said to me, ‘You did it, bro.’ I never in my wildest dreams knew how impactful writing could be to anyone reading it in the world.”

“I loved her and I dedicated the next upcoming novel, The Realm of Writers, to her. Since then, I’ve been writing to get published,” he continues.

Rivera is also the author of The Hills of Galbothia, Unforgiving to Forgiven, and Dreams Desires.

Most recently, Rivera was inducted into the Poetryfest Hall of Fame. And as for what’s next?

“I have used this gift to get away from the moment of sadness and to bring something  to people around the world,” says Rivera. “My goal is to have my novels on the big screen.”

Visit Edwin Rivera on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.