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Technological advancement, we must remember, is about more than
just coming up with efficient ways to access and share Internet
memes. There are more practical applications, and some of these
applications have downsides. Case in point: The Supreme Court is
hearing a case regarding an incident in which police officers
attached a global positioning system device to a suspect’s car
without the suspect’s knowledge or a warrant.
A new trend has cropped up in law enforcement — giving police
officers small body cameras to wear on their shirts. These
lightweight video cameras are designed to record everything that
happens to an officer in the course of his duties to keep a log of
potential evidence in criminal investigations, as well as monitor
police behavior. Currently, officers in Cincinnati, Ohio and
Oakland, Calif. are wearing the cameras, and Seattle City
Councilman Bruce Harrell wants to see them come to Seattle,
Back in June, the Food and Drug Administration announced a plan
that would force tobacco companies to place large graphic warnings
on each carton of cigarettes. These warnings would include
depictions of disturbing images such as a tracheotomy patient
smoking through the hole in his neck and cancerous lungs, and they
would bluntly let smokers know that “Cigarettes are addictive,”
“Cigarettes cause cancer” and “Smoking can kill you.”
Your job should never make you do something you feel morally
uncomfortable with. Such an employment ideal is the motivation
behind the lawsuit filed by a group of nurses against the
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The nurses
claim that despite the fact that they object to abortion on
religious or moral grounds, UMDNJ subjected them to training
procedures that made them aid in the process anyway.
As it stands today, betting on sports teams in New Jersey is
illegal — along with marijuana, passing on the right and pumping
our own gas. The Garden State, though largely tolerant of other
forms of gambling in places like Atlantic City in South Jersey, is
just one out of 46 states that prohibit individuals from betting on
sports under the 1992 federal Professional and Amateur Sports
Protection Act — unfortunate, maybe, for all the avid sport fans
out there looking to wager their last dollar on the next Giants
Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-SC, is not a big fan of undocumented
immigrants. In fact, according to a rather creative metaphor of
his, they are akin to animals. At a question and answer with
students at Furman University on Monday, Duncan said that securing
the nation’s borders was “kind of like having a house.” Following
this logic, according to Duncan, if the borders are not secure
enough, that is like “taking the door off the hinges and allowing
any kind of vagrant, or animal … to come in.”
Admit it: No matter how much of a music elitist you may be,
you’ve found yourself dancing un-ironically to a Lady Gaga song at
least once in your life, but probably even more. But, regardless of
how you feel about her pop tunes, you will find it pretty difficult
to hate on her latest venture. Gaga teamed up with two unlikely
partners — the MacArthur Foundation and Harvard University — to
create the Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization that
aims to instill the youth with a healthy self-confidence, as well
as combat bullying and similar issues.
Often, when a state finds itself in a budget crisis, some of the
first things hit hard by the cuts are state parks. Like art
programs in public schools, parks are seen by many as things that
are really nice but, ultimately, completely unnecessary. As soon as
money starts to run out, all the benefits of public parks are swept
under the rug, and the parks themselves are left to rot.
As if it weren’t already difficult enough to maintain some
semblance of privacy on the Internet, Google is now indexing
Facebook comments left on non-Facebook sites. For example, if you
sign into a news website using your Facebook account and leave a
particularly scathing message for the author in the comments
section, people will now be able to search for and find that
comment using Google.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2010, in the case of Citizens United
v. Federal Election Commission, that it would be unconstitutional
for the government to regulate the money corporations donate to
political campaigns. According to the Supreme Court, spending money
to influence elections is a form of free speech, and since the
corporations are considered people, their free speech must be
In the war on undocumented immigrants, the Department of
Homeland Security is, perhaps surprisingly, not an omnipotent
authority. In fact, according to documents which have recently come
to light thanks to the efforts of a coalition in opposition to the
Secure Communities program — which allows federal authorities to
examine the fingerprints of people arrested by local police
officers in order to detect undocumented immigrants — local police
officers are not required to comply with detainers issued by the
Ever since Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law in 1966, the
Freedom of Information Act has been giving United States citizens
avenues through which to access important government information
that may otherwise have been kept from the public. But, as with all
good laws, someone has come along to tamper with it. The U.S.
Department of Justice has proposed a change to FOIA which would
allow the department to deny the existence of requested records if
the records are considered part of an ongoing investigation and,
therefore, too sensitive to release.
To borrow and partially corrupt the words of Jane Austen, it is
a truth universally acknowledged that smoking is bad for you. For
years, doctors, public service announcements and your parents
warned you against picking up the habit. Now, even your boss may be
on your case about your cigarette habit. Some companies are looking
to make employees who live unhealthy lifestyles — like smokers and
the obese — pay higher for health care.
From day one of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Obama
has made it publicly clear that he does not and will not accept
donations from lobbyists. On the surface, it looks like he has kept
that promise. Obama makes his records of top campaign financiers
available to the public, and none of the names appearing in those
records belong to registered lobbyists.
Bobby Montoya is a transgender child who, like most little
girls, wanted to join the Girl Scouts. When Montoya’s mother took
her to see a troop leader about signing up, though, the leader
denied her, citing the fact that Montoya had “boy parts” and was
therefore not a girl. Luckily, though, the Girl Scouts of Colorado
have since decided that denying Montoya was a mistake, and the
organization has extended membership to her.
Voters in Mississippi will be faced with amendment 26 come Nov.
8. If passed, the amendment would grant legal personhood to a
fertilized human egg. This would effectively make abortion in any
case, including rape and incest, into murder. Some forms of birth
control, like the Plan B pill, would also become murder under the
amendment. This sort of pro-life reform has a wider scope than
anything else that Americans have seen to date, and that is exactly
The relationship between the New Brunswick Police Department and
the residents of the city is tense these days, in the wake of last
month’s highly contested shooting of Barry Deloatch. In order to
repair that strained relationship, University alumnus and New
Brunswick community organizer Charlie Kratovil has suggested an
amendment to the city’s ordinances, which would place a residency
requirement on all city police officers.
In elections, there are winners and losers. That’s just a fact
of democracy. Some of those losers, however, turn out to be sore
losers. Perhaps the sorest of all is former Rep. Steve Driehaus,
D-Ohio. After serving one term in Congress, Driehaus lost his bid
at re-election. Rather than accepting his fate, Driehaus decided to
take the matter to court. Driehaus is suing the Susan B. Anthony
List, a pro-life group that publicly identified him as a traitor to
the pro-life cause during the 2010 election on the grounds that he
voted in favor of President Barack Obama’s health care reform.
It’s rather common for a politician to pen a memoir or two at
some point in his career. Less common, though, is the federal
government spending tens of thousands of dollars on those memoirs.
The U.S. Department of State spent more than $70,000 on copies of
President Barack Obama’s books, mostly on “Dreams from My Father.”
An analysis of the department’s financial records shows that this
is not something the State Department does for every president.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Barack Obama’s 2008
presidential campaign was the way his team utilized the Internet to
garner supporters, specifically through Facebook. It was truly the
first time that social media had such a massive impact on America.
Now, Obama’s 2012 campaign is set to advance the state of social
media in politics yet again with the introduction of the official
Obama 2012 Tumblr page.