Enemy lists, computer surveillance and government cover-ups seem like the elements of any fictional spy-thriller blockbuster. However, these are all very real elements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its ploy to spy on whistleblowers within the agency has been recently uncovered. When scientists within the agency argued with FDA heads over the accuracy of reports, the FDA conducted surveillance of the scientists, secretly checking personal email accounts and documents. On July 16, congressional investigators revealed that surveillance of a group of FDA scientists had been approved by the FDA chief counsel's office.
On May 2, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed legislation making Maryland the first state to ban employers from requiring employees to give them their Facebook passwords. The bill will protect personal privacy and ensure that an employee isn't forced to hand over access to his or her account. Other states should follow suit in protecting personal privacy and ensuring that social media and work remain separate.
President Barack Obama made a bold move while the U.S. Supreme Court analyzed the constitutionality of one of his laws: he took another shot at the high court. Although the PPACA, including the insurance mandate, is far from perfect (it notably has stirred other controversies), it breaches neither the Commerce Clause of the Constitution nor infringes on our civil liberties.
Election years bring controversial issues to the forefront of national debate and this year gay marriage is fueling much of the discussion. However, there seems to be a pattern: as more people oppose gay rights, more people fight back.
It is hypocritical that student athletes do everything they can to succeed in their sport, but UMD administrators are not doing everything they can to honor this hard work. By cutting eight of its varsity sports, UMD is turning away a minimum of eight years worth of students who may have brought something special to the university, both athletically and intellectually.
When fliers for Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (P. Fox) were passed out during advisory last week, the outrage was immediate and widespread. What we should take away most from this is the discussion, and the importance of it.
It is important to remember justice for the sake of closure is not actually justice. Taking the life of a potentially innocent man isn't justice. As long as there is a shadow of doubt, there was reasonable cause to assume that the justice system could have sentenced the wrong man to death.
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