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    Solar power creates sunny outlook for everyone

    Solar energy is earning its place in the sun. Harnessing energy from the sun rather than limited, harmful fossil fuels, solar power is produced without releasing damaging emissions detrimental to the environment. It is environmentally friendly, renewable, abundant, sustainable, low maintenance, and ever-improving. For as long as the sun is alive, solar energy will be obtainable, and therefore, should be utilized. Many major companies, including Amazon and Google, have taken an initiative to increase their usage of renewable solar energy, and these businesses’ suppliers have gone down the same path. According to USA Today, Apple reported last month that due to its 100% commitment to renewable energy, nearly two dozen suppliers—“manufacturers…

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    Iowa City should put its best image forth for RAGBRAI

    The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, more commonly referred to as RAGBRAI, will be stopping overnight in Iowa City this summer for the first time in four decades. Though exciting news for the city, it has recently been announced that construction on the city’s beloved Ped Mall will begin April 30, and will overlap with the riders’ arrival. Allowing construction to take place on one of Iowa City’s highlight features amidst the event is a terrible mistake. RAGBRAI was started by two Des Moines Register columnists in 1973 and is a seven-day long trek across the state of Iowa, its route length averaging at roughly 468 miles. According…

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    Everything’s a carcinogen, so stop worrying about it

    After losing a loved one to breast cancer, my family was left wondering what had triggered it in the first place. Each doctor we spoke with seemed to have a different idea of what the cause might have been: childhood x-rays, extended use of oral contraceptives, extra weight above the waist—the list goes on. With endless possibilities and hardly any answers, my family was overwhelmed with an unshakable health anxiety. First went the microwave. Doctors thought it was possible that standing in front of a microwave while in use could potentially cause cancer, so we kicked ours to the curb. Next went the processed foods, many of which contain multitudes…

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    America’s voting system desperately needs a makeover

    Of the 245.5 million Americans ages 18 and older in November 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that only 157.6 million registered to vote — and only 55.7 percent of that number actually cast their votes in the 2016 presidential election. The Pew Research Center noted that the voter “turnout in last year’s election puts the U.S. behind most of its peers in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, most of whose members are highly developed, democratic states. Looking at the most recent national election in each of the 35 OECD member nations, the U.S. placed 28th.” Those numbers, America, are pathetic. As a country that boasts about democracy,…

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    Democratic and Republican parties do not act by their platforms

    America is divided. Although the disunion between the Republican and Democratic parties is clear and was significantly exacerbated during the 2016 election season, our country has been split for years, and not just by party lines. A lack of consistency in both parties platforms has led to confusion among voters, leaving Americans unsure of where they fit in and whether or not they truly align with the party with which they identify. Uncertainty in my own alignment first beset me after publishing my high school paper’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. We received scads of commentary on the article, some of my favorites being “The York-hi is Fascist!” and…

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    If Congress won’t act, America must

    The Parkland shooting has undoubtedly sparked a revolution. On Wednesday, President Trump proclaimed on live television that he would be in favor of resurrecting gun control legislation opposed by his party and the NRA, stating, “It would be so beautiful to have one bill that everyone could support. It’s time that a president stepped up.” The president also called for “comprehensive gun control legislation that would expand background checks to weapons purchased at gun shows and on the internet, keeping guns from mentally ill people, securing schools and restricting gun sales for some young adults, and a starting conversation on an assault weapons ban.” Our government is not solely composed…

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    America’s school shooting epidemic requires action

    Disaster Strikes…Again. In 2012, America was shaken to its core when a gunman attacked Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing six adults and twenty children. Today, America mourns again, six years later, the loss of 17 students and teachers—victims of Wednesday’s mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Sadly, such an attack is not so surprising. A Health Affairs study titled Child Mortality In The US And 19 OECD Comparator reported that the gun homicide rate in America is 49 times higher than in countries which hold our same financial standing and that during this decade, children ages 15-19 were eighty-two times more likely to die…

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    Passive activism cannot thrive alone

    On Wednesday, 77-year-old House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi walked onto the House floor in 4-inch heels to deliver what would become the longest-recorded speech to have been delivered in the House of Representatives. She spoke on behalf of the Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who are protected under the DACA program. Reading personal letters from them and proving that she will fight for their rights until the very end, she easily made headlines. But Pelosi didn’t speak for eight hours straight, standing unwaveringly in undeniably painful conditions without a break, to make the news. No — she and other activists go out of their way to…

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    Bipartisanship cannot be achieved without respect

    There is no doubt that bipartisanship has been on the decline for many years, but the 2016 election created a dramatic rift in our country’s ability to listen to and respect those with dissenting opinions. According to a study done by Pew Research Center in 2017, “The shares of Democrats and Republicans who have very unfavorable opinions of the other party are much higher today than in the 1990s. In the yearly average for 2017, 44 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners said they had a very unfavorable view of the GOP, while 45 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners said the same thing about the Democratic Party.” This estrangement…