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  • Should Japan amend Article 9 of its constitution?

    In the aftermath of the World War II, the Allied authorities and Japanese legislators created a new constitution for a post-war Japan. Part of the Constitution was Article 9, a section renouncing Japan’s right to wage war and barring Japan from maintaining a military. Regardless, Japan still maintained a self-defense force post-WWII that was, for legal reasons, technically part of the national police. This force was equipped with tanks and warplanes like in any nation’s military. Today the Japanese Self Defense Force is trying to modernize in order to face potential threats from nations such as North Korea and China, but Article 9 makes it difficult for the JSDF to create a formidable force. 

  • A $60,000 ‘education’

    Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced a groundbreaking plan to offer college courses to prison inmates in the state. There was immediate uproar from both sides of the aisle and in a rare move, Cuomo retreated and announced he would not proceed with the bold new program. Except it wasn’t a new plan at all – up until 20 years ago, the U.S. had a robust system of college and vocational courses available to prisoners. The system helped inmates get back on their feet after they were released and reduced recidivism. 

  • Editorial: Bill to prevent Conn. from taking fracking waste should be passed

    This month, the Connecticut legislature judiciary committee approved a bill that would prevent waste from hydraulic fracturing–commonly known as “fracking”–from entering Connecticut. The waste from fracking consists of thousands of gallons of water pumped through shale deposits underground in order to push oil and natural gas to the surface to be mined. The wastewater is highly toxic, containing heavy metals and other dangerous chemicals and is possibly radioactive, according to one state senator. Fracking waste is currently unregulated by the federal government. 

  • Sex education is severely lacking across the United States

    A recent study by the Guttmacher Institute found that only 22 states require sex education to be taught in schools, which is a strangely low number considering America has a higher teen pregnancy rate than any other developed country in the world.

  • Abusive re-homing system unmasks cracks in broken adoption system

    Last September, Reuters, in its multi-series piece, “The Child Exchange,” exposed the dangers of privately re-homing legally adopted children to online solicitors. From 1999 to 2013, 249,694 children were adopted from foreign countries; Reuters estimates that at least 24,000 (about 10 percent) have failed if it is in line with the low end of domestic adoption failures. After adopting, many parents have discovered additional special needs or behavioral issues that were not previously disclosed. Reaching the end of their rope, with little to no support from adoption agencies or the government, many have turned to online forums to “disrupt” their adoptions and re-home their children with strangers.

  • Editorial: UConn partnership with Comcast will increase research opportunities

    Comcast will be investing millions of dollars into UConn in order to create a cybersecurity research program called the Center of Excellence for Security Innovation. It will be located in the Information Technologies Engineering building on UConn’s main campus and will be staffed by six professors and seven doctoral candidates. The venture will research how software, hardware and computer networking affect cybersecurity. Additionally, it will work with an existing university center that is also researching hardware security.

  • Critics of Rand Paul’s Iran statements should think twice

    This week, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky made statements on our policy concerning Iran’s nuclear program that drew severe backlash from critics on all sides of the aisle. In an interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Paul criticized politicians that claim they will never accept a world in which Iran has nuclear weapons. “The people who say, ‘by golly, we will never stand for that,’ they are voting for war,” he said. When pressed on whether he would ever support a nuclear containment policy toward Iran, Senator Paul declined to reveal any potential future positions. 

  • Growth in China and India is misunderstood

    From 2000 to 2010, China and India experienced some of the most rapid economic growth in history. India’s real GDP growth rate doubled from 5 to 10 percent whereas China fluctuated between 8 and nearly 12 percent. Adulation has transmuted into disappointment, however, now that both developing economies are entering relatively slower growth periods, but largely missing from the cacophony of the presses is the fact that this economic growth has ignored the rural masses almost entirely, and thus has done little to increase the standard of living within China or India.

  • Editorial: AAC rewards UConn, and its fans, with opportunity to host next year’s tourney

    Last week, the American Athletic Conference awarded the city of Hartford the hosting rights to the 2015 Men’s Basketball Tournament, which will be played at the XL Center. UConn will be considered the host school for this tournament. This is good recognition for UConn as well as for Hartford in general.

  • 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.