Do Juveniles have Rights?

An 8th grade student was suspended and later arrested for wearing a T-shirt with an NRA logo, a picture of a hunting rifle, and stating “PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS” in bold letters. He now faces charges of obstruction and disturbing the education process. This is despite the school dress policy containing no explicit prohibitions on having images of guns on clothing. The school does have a rule against clothes that “display violence.” Continue reading “Do Juveniles have Rights?”

Is Affirmative Action on the Way Out?

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deliberating on a case which will have vast implications for years to come, Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin. The case involves a white woman who is alleging that the University’s acceptance process discriminated against her based on her race, in violation of the 14th Amendment, by giving preferential treatment to minority races. Continue reading “Is Affirmative Action on the Way Out?”

Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill Seeks Bipartisan Solution

The bill introduced by the bipartisan Gang of Eight, called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, has been met with mixed and muted responses in the shadow of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Some senators, including immigration reform supporter Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), have urged the Senate to tap the breaks and re-evaluate immigration channels before moving forward with the bill. In any case, the many provisions of the 844 page law will be debated during the upcoming weeks. Continue reading “Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill Seeks Bipartisan Solution”

Government Spending and the FAA

Due to the sequestration cuts, the FAA has decided to cut its air traffic controller staff by 10%. They are doing this by furloughing workers one out of every 10 work days. As a result, as much as 40% of flights are seeing some sort of delay. Meanwhile, the government is spending $890,000 per year on nothing: service fees for empty bank accounts. Continue reading “Government Spending and the FAA”

A Changing Climate

Every time you exhale, you are pumping out what the EPA has determined to be a pollutant “reasonably anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” Carbon dioxide (CO2) has an impact on global temperature and weather patterns and, along with water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons, is considered a “greenhouse” gas. CO2 comes from a variety of sources, ranging from animals to cars, factories, and other sources of carbon combustion. The concentration of CO2 currently in the atmosphere is higher than it has been in the last 650,000 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Continue reading “A Changing Climate”

Global Warming U.N. Report

The U.N. has just released a new report on global warming which claims with 95% confidence that humans have caused over half global warming. This assertion comes at the same time that warming estimates have been revised down from the 2007 report. The report said that the hiatus in warming that has been observed in the past 15 years is the result of a natural variation and will not last. This study, like all studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was directed at policymakers around the globe. Continue reading “Global Warming U.N. Report”

Federal Police Power

As James Comey answers questions before Congress during his confirmation hearings, a renewed focus has come on the changing role of the FBI, especially since 9/11. As the role has expanded from federal law enforcement to counterterrorism, surveillance, and domestic intelligence gathering, many questions have arisen. Should the FBI use unmanned drones for surveillance, and to what extent? Can the FBI collect metadata on U.S. citizens without probable cause? Can the FBI read the content of emails after they “mature” to the 180 day rule? All of these questions were asked at the hearing. Continue reading “Federal Police Power”

Edward Snowden

When Edward Snowden made the decision to leak classified information about the NSA’s global surveillance system, he took a step that few others would. He gave up a comfortable lifestyle making good money in order to do what he saw as the right thing to do. A debate has been raging about what the proper balance should be between security and privacy. Another question comes to mind after Snowden admitted to being the leaker: should we choose comfort or freedom? Continue reading “Edward Snowden”

DOMA Struck Down By Supreme Cout

In a 5-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. It has ruled that failing to recognize gay marriage rights granted by States who allow gay marriage violates States rights. The majority opinion, penned by Justice Kennedy, states “regulation of domestic relations is an area that has long been regarded as virtually exclusive province of the States.” Continue reading “DOMA Struck Down By Supreme Cout”

Deficit Day

This year September 25, is the day that the government starts living off its credit card. Today the U.S. Federal government spent the last of its $2.7 trillion in 2013 revenue and will be borrowing for the rest of the year. The debt ceiling, the limit of the total debt, is about to be reached. At this point the total U.S. debt will total $16.4 trillion, 607% of this year’s tax revenue. Continue reading “Deficit Day”