The contraception mandate makes financial sense
The Supreme Court case Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. vs. Sibelius, currently underway has been positioned by its plaintiffs as a clarion call against religious tyranny; the plaintiffs, you see, are upset about the provision within the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide health insurance that covers, among other things, birth control measures for women. As devout Christians, the owners of the Hobby Lobby feel that they should not be compelled to offer birth control in violation of their belief that contraception is immoral.
Birth control should be left to the free market
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is heading to the Supreme Court for the second, but probably not the last, time. That battle is now raging over the controversial contraception mandate that requires employer sponsored insurance to cover the birth control pill. Some employers believe that this mandate infringes on religious liberty by forcing them to pay for something deemed immoral, and that is certainly an argument I am sympathetic to. However, I oppose this mandate for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, because it defies the definition of the word insurance, and represents a back door tax and spend policy.
The 10 most fascinating people of 2013
Who were the most fascinating people of this year? Here are my selections, in alphabetical order.
Editorial: Colleges should take on EPA challenge to combat hunger
A group of students at the University of Connecticut is taking on a social dilemma faced by one of America’s richest states. Challenged by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Community Outreach program SOS Food Recovery group works in collaboration with dining services to collect left over food to feed the hungry.
No, the president is not above the law
Being unable to accomplish policy goals via normal legislative channels in Congress has left President Barack Obama with an almost “never mind” Congress mentality. He said so himself, on multiple occasions, that “we’re not going to wait for Congress.” To Obama, it matters not what powers the Constitution confers upon him, but what he can do that is most politically expedient, regardless if he steps outside the bounds delegated by Article II.
The strange new world of publishing
Over the last decade, the publishing industry and print media in general, have been portrayed as noble, long-suffering victims of digital media that are slowly but surely dying. Publishing is making less and less money every year as digital media floods our culture and readers turn away from books.
Editorial: Reading day on Thursday of finals week could be better placed
With the upcoming finals week, the UConn student population will likely be feeling more stressed than usual, rushing to find a spot in the Homer Babbidge library in preparation to study a semester’s worth of material. To help alleviate this stress, many colleges and universities implement a reading day, a day either during or prior to the week of final exams in which there are no exams or classes and instead allows students to study for upcoming exams. UConn has such a day on the Thursday of finals week, but one has to wonder if this really is the best place for it.
MSNBC’s disparate treatment of Baldwin and Bashir
In recent weeks, Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir, both hosts of shows on MSNBC, were embroiled in scandals after making comments that many found deeply offensive. Though the comments themselves are troubling, perhaps more alarming is MSNBC’s disparate treatment of the two situations. Alec Baldwin yelled at a photographer outside his apartment, using anti-gay slurs. In response, MSNBC fired him and canceled his show. Martin Bashir, on the other hand, responded to comments Sarah Palin had made relating the burden of the national debt to slavery.
The little deal that could
Over Thanksgiving break, in addition to the plentiful amounts of food, family and football, there was a significant development in the international community. Iran reached a deal with the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China with regards to their nuclear weapons program. I am Iranian so take that as bias if you want, but I honestly believe this deal is an important and effective step for all parties involved.
Editorial: One World Trade Center is the new tallest building in America
Since the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) was created in November 2001, they have worked to restore the complex and memorialize the victims. The crown jewel of that effort, One World Trade Center, will be America’s tallest building and the world’s third-tallest overall after it is completed in early 2014.
Tensions in East Asia provide a test to US commitment to peace
Tensions among the regional powers of East Asia have exponentially increased in severity over the last two weeks. On November 23rd the People’s Republic of China unilaterally announced the establishment of a new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea. This announcement has - unsurprisingly - sent Japan and South Korea, as well the U.S., into a bit of a panic, but China’s assertion that the ADIZ was necessary for defensive purposes is not completely devoid of validity.
Why anything I write matters
A discussion of minority representation in film
How much TV do you watch a day? You’ll watch an episode of “Friends” here and there, and binge watch “Orange is the New Black.” According to Huffington Post, every week you spend nearly 35 hours on the Internet and 31.5 hours watching TV. In the last year 225 individual million people in the U.S. and Canada (68 percent of the population over the age of two) went the theaters at least once with the average moviegoer seeing six movies. (And that’s just the movies in theaters, not to mention later viewings at home.) Why is this important? For the same reason why articles on feminism, race and media: representation matters.
Editorial: Pentagon must be held responsible for keeping clean financial records
Wasteful military spending is more than a rumor. A recent Reuters report investigated the accounting practices (or lack thereof) at the Pentagon and found that financial reports are systematically fabricated and supplies and money frequently go missing.
Kennedy assassination rocked UConn campus 50 years ago today
“There was a system of bells on this Associated Press machine that would tell us when news was coming in,” remembers Steven Primack, who was once the manager for UConn radio station WHUS. “Depending on how important the story was, a certain number of bells would ring. The maximum was five. I was downstairs and other people were up in the station just doing their normal thing, and all of a sudden the machine went crazy. It was ringing constantly, ringing right off the wire. Somebody said ‘Steve, you better get upstairs. The president has just been shot.’”
Adjunct professors are an exploited class
A few months ago an old woman died, destitute and alone. Battling cancer, with a mountain of medical bills, no income and with her house falling in around her, she succumbed to heart failure. Her name was Margaret Mary Vojtko and prior to her death at 83, she had been a professor for one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
But then again, not really.
When human rights violations go unanswered
Just imagine having to wade through your own feces every morning on your way to Laurel Hall. Better yet, during lunch you have to wait knee deep in urine to get a slice of pizza. Oh I forgot to mention, you do not have access to boots; instead you tie plastic bags around your legs to prevent the putrid waste from seeping into your already spoiled clothes. This nightmare is a stark reality in one region of the world: Gaza City, Palestine.
Editorial: Lab safety is a critical part of science education and research at UConn
Two weeks ago two students at the University of Connecticut were transported to Windham Hospital after spilling ammonia and sulfuric acid in an engineering lab at the Engineering II building. Both students were not injured and taken to the hospital as a precaution, as reported by The Daily Campus.
J.P. Morgan and Citibank pay, but for different reasons
Here we are in the penultimate month of 2013, over five years removed from the disastrous “Great Recession” of 2008 that nearly destroyed the global economy.
Obamacare ‘fix’ appears unlikely to fix anything
President Obama’s repeated claim that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” has come back to haunt him in recent weeks as millions of Americans received cancellation notices stating their plans did not provide sufficient coverage under the Affordable Care Act. While some are lambasting the president as a “liar,” this particular untruth was blatantly false even when he uttered it.
Editorial: Jackson Labs poised to expand into new fields
This week, the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX) formally announced its latest hire. George M. Weinstock, associate director of the Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and professor of genetics and of molecular microbiology, will be joining the “dream team” at JAX.
Instant Daily for 11.21
Sorry professor I am already in break mode and could care less what you have to say.
Days without a campus blackout: 1
It’s cold out.
Could they build another Storrs Center near Charter Oak by any chance?
I could start studying for finals over Thanksgiving break...
All I want for Christmas is you, babe ;)
If the UConn football teams wins this weekend and nobody turns on the TV or radio, does it really happen?
THE GAME is on Saturday!
Major props to the kid running the UConn instagram account yesterday.
Get well soon KML.
Editorial: New gym in 2016 is necessary for students
After years of students voicing their desires and months of planning and budgeting, it’s now official. Last Wednesday, the university’s Board of Trustees officially approved construction of a new gymnasium for students. The time had come.
Professors should be able to speak out against UConn
University of Connecticut professor Heather M. Turcotte was recommended for dismissal after she publicly criticized the poor response the University had in protecting student Carolyn Luby in a letter to the Feminist Wire.
Included in the Title IX lawsuit against UConn is a small section stating that the university never responded to this letter. However, Turcotte and two other professors who also wrote the letter were informed shortly after writing it that their contracts would not be renewed upon their expiration. That action though, is still a response. The university has not explicitly replied and President Susan Herbst never even commented on it, but the fact that their contracts were not renewed a short time after calling out the university says a lot more than words could.
Public schools need better funding
The US Department of Education released their yearly report on the achievement gap in public schools this month, and once again Connecticut topped the list. We had one of the highest achievement gaps in the nation between white and minority students.
Poor handling of cases by Office of Community Standards
Recently, the Huffington Post ran a story about a witness to an assault who feared retaliation if she testified against the individual who committed the crime. She was told, “If you feel unsafe, then you shouldn’t testify at all.” If you have not seen this quote yet, you might think I am referring to the trial of Whitey Bulger, the organized crime leader from Boston who was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.