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Commentary

  • Your right to sue General Mills equals a coupon for Lucky Charms

    Yesterday, food conglomerate General Mills made a peculiar update to its policies with regards to legal disputes. Effectively, as part of the agreement, consumers cannot bring class action lawsuits against General Mills. Instead, the two parties settle any dispute they may have in an informal one-on-one session before an independent arbitrator, rather than the U.S. legal system. From a corporate perspective, this makes perfect sense, as these arbitrations generally cost less than going to court. 

  • Editorial: Proposed Conn. bill poised to help college sexual assault victims

    In an optimistic turn of events, the state House of Representatives unanimously (144-0) voted to pass new legislation that will offer further support and prevention for sexual assault victims on Connecticut college and university campuses. Every woman in the general assembly had co-sponsored the bill, which was created as a response to the Title IX complaint.

  • The Homeless GoPro project is weak initiative for helping the homeless

    With a group of plucky, young volunteers, Kevin Adler, a 29-year old sociologist and entrepreneur, has created a project called “Homeless GoPro,” which involves strapping a GoPro – a diminutive, hands-free camera typically used among intrepid athletes like skiers and mountain bikers – to homeless people in San Francisco. 

  • A look ahead: Factions complicate GOP field for 2016

    Jeb Bush, the former two-term governor of Florida, is starting to emerge as the favorite of Republican establishment types after Chris Christie appears to have created for himself much baggage ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The former made national headlines recently after comments he made during an interview, in which he stated that when individuals cross the border to enter the U.S., it is not a felonious act, but an “act of love” and “commitment to your family.” 

  • Justice Stevens got the Second Amendment wrong

    John Paul Stevens, former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court has written a new book titled “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” An excerpt from his book recently appeared on The Washington Post, in which he outlined a planned amendment that would, in his view, clarify the original intent of the Framers. The amendment currently reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Stevens argues that the prefatory clause concerning militias restricts the clear and unambiguous guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms in the operative clause. He would amend the Second Amendment to read, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” This interpretation, far from clarifying the Framer’s intent, serves only to pervert and distort it to something utterly unrecognizable from what was passed by Congress and ratified by the States.

  • Pulitzer Prize winners draw controversy

    On Monday afternoon, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, honoring the best works of journalism and other writing in the year 2013. The most notable winners came in the Public Service journalism category, where The Guardian and the Washington Post were jointly honored for publishing leaked documents about the secret NSA surveillance program. The Guardian was also cited for “helping … to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.”
     

  • Editorial: New engery bill would be a big step for renewable energy in Connecticut

    A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would be a major step forward for renewable energy in Connecticut if passed. The bill would set up two pilot solar energy programs that would allow people who aren’t able to put solar panels on their own homes enjoy the benefits of solar energy. 

  • The curious story of Eric Harroun

    Last week, Erica Harroun, an American who fought alongside Syrian rebels, died suddenly at his parents’ house in Arizona. His death went largely unnoticed by the media, unlike his arrest last year, which ignited a small media frenzy. Many in the United States viewed Harroun as a jihadist or Muslim extremist, similar to those that make up Al-Qaeda. In actuality, Harroun’s belief that the people of Syria deserved freedom drove him to fight in Syria; his religious beliefs were not the motivating factor. 

  • Blurred Lines: Sponsored content in 2014

    If 2013 was the year sponsored content went mainstream, then 2014 appears to be the year it will take over the web. Numerous venerable news agencies have jumped on the band wagon, including the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Atlantic and BBC, to name a few. The past few weeks in particular have seen a host of companies “going native.”

  • Editorial: Connecticut General Assembly should ban GMO grass seed

    On April 10, 2014 a legislative ban on genetically modified grass seed was defeated in the Connecticut General Assembly by the House in a 103-37 vote, which is unusual given the bill had been resoundingly passed by the State Senate on Wednesday evening. House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) said that the bill, which was primarily sponsored by fellow Democrat and President Pro Temp of the Senate Donald E. Williams Jr., would have merely been a distraction if left on the schedule for further deliberation so the vote was expedited–even though Sharkey admitted to never having been informed of the bill’s purpose or contents.

  • Is the US military’s new plane worth the high cost?

    Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos once asked, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon’s costliest program has cost the United States $392 billion to date. For years, media commentators, former and current military personnel and politicians have all criticized the program for its high costs and slow progress. Yet despite the hundreds of news articles published on the F-35, not one of them tells the whole story. 

  • Top ten signs that late-night comedy is all about the straight white men

    10) The Announcement: Earlier this month, David Letterman, host of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” announced his retirement. Swiftly following this, Stephen Colbert announced his official replacement, closing the conversation on hiring a person who differed in any way from the heterosexual able-bodied white male (HeABWM) model that Late Night TV currently offers. 

  • Editorial: Rules for firearms on military bases deserve reconsideration

    Earlier this month a gunman open fired at the Fort Hood Army base, killing three people and wounding 16 others before taking his own life. This is the second time such a tragedy has occurred at Fort Hood, and it brings up the question of what should be done to prevent future instances from occurring. The approach should be two-fold, looking at mental health and at allowing guns to be on military bases.

  • Editorial: Allowing athletes to unionize is a good first step towards fair treatment

    Last month, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University football players can unionize and collectively bargain with the school for working rights. In order to do so, they will first need to vote for unionization, but according to “Sports Illustrated” legal analyst Michael McCann, the football team almost certainly has the necessary threshold of support. 

  • Hate-crime laws are not the solution

    Last week, a 28-year-old Michigan woman was brutally assaulted by three men. The woman had recently married her girlfriend following a federal court ruling that Michigan’s Constitutional Amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. When the three men saw the woman, they recognized her from local news reports and attacked her while shouting anti-gay epithets. This horrible event has brought attention to Michigan’s hate crime statute. 

  • Israel should not have a state religion

    Israel’s designation as the Jewish state and the resultant consequences of such a domestic policy not only diminishes its prospects for security, but also undermines its very legitimacy.

  • General Motors’ liability conondrum

    While it’s been a great week to be a Husky, it has been an equally terrible week to be a member of General Motors. The company has issued a massive recall on over 2 million vehicles including car models from 2005 to 2011 like the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion, Pontiac G5 and others. 

  • Fur trading, still legal in Connecticut, needs careful oversight

    A recent article in the Hartford Courant brought to light an interesting part of Connecticut’s economy: fur trading. Despite the fact that fur trading is Connecticut’s oldest business, many people are unaware that the state still has any kind of fur trade. 

  • Practices of CIA doctors are contrary to medical profession

    A physician’s sworn duty to “first, do no harm” becomes overshadowed by the duty one has towards their country by crossing both medical and ethical guidelines. 

  • CIA continues deception of people and government on torture

    Recently, the Senate Intelligence Committee discovered that the CIA was disguising brutal interrogation techniques in reports that they had to submit. They also discovered that there were several “black sites” or hidden detainment centers for government detainees. The most blatant example of this deception is when the CIA rephrased torture as being “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The CIA simply softened the word of torture, while maintaining the same basic meaning. 

  • Experts unsure of effects of high-frequency trading

    Last week, William O’Brien, CEO of BATS, and Brad Katsuyama, CEO of IEX, an alternative market, argued live on the air about the impact of high-frequency trading on the markets. Reports say that traders on the floor of the NYSE stopped trading and were temporarily distracted by the energetic debate, which was broadcast live on CNBC to televisions on the NYSE trading floor. 

  • Some celebrations went too far

    As any student here who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last few days knows, the UConn Huskies just won two national championships, one in men’s basketball and the other in women’s basketball. With those titles came riotous celebrations and lots of arrests. According to figures released by the UConn Police Department, 26 people were arrested Saturday night when UConn won its Final Four matchup against Florida, while 35 were arrested Monday night after the Huskies won the championship. The crowd after the women won the title Tuesday was tamer, relatively speaking, with “only” two arrests. However, this rioting is disrespectful and is a highly inappropriate way to celebrate your school.

  • Supreme Court rightfully upholds campaign finance freedom

    One week ago, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the case McCutcheon v. FEC. In a decision that will be equally lauded and reviled, the Court struck down aggregate campaign contribution limits as a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Many have expressed concern that the ruling will strengthen ties between representatives and a small wealthy elite, to the detriment of the vast majority of constituents. With regard to this ruling, those concerns are greatly exaggerated. In fact, this case is evidence of a far more troubling and deep-rooted problem than the corrupting influence of money in politics.
     

  • News shouldn’t have propaganda

    A couple of weeks ago, I was flipping through The New York Times and came across a special section labeled “Russia Beyond the Headlines.” In the upper left-hand corner of the page, in very small print, read something to the effect of “this content was sponsored and produced by Rossiyskaya Gazeta”.
     

  • Hartford Colt factory should become historic national park

    An initiative to turn the historic Colt Factory into a national park is finally picking up steam, and rightfully so. The Colt factory and Coltsville industrial village deserve to be preserved as a monument to Hartford’s history as an integral place in the industrial revolution.