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In 2016, only 58% of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot in the presidential election. Young Americans, especially poor, young Americans of color, are much less likely to vote. Many other countries have higher voter turnout than the U.S., and our comparatively low election participation rate has long been a topic of discussion. Traditionally, those who don’t vote are blamed for their inaction. Shifting responsibility from a system designed to fail to the victims of that system is a very American thing to do; blaming individuals for societal issues is perhaps the greatest American pastime.

The apolitical behavior of the…

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How much freedom do you have? That may seem like a strange question, but we all have a certain degree of autonomy to live as we choose. Our personal freedom has bounds, of course; if your choices infringe upon the rights of others, your actions, and freedom, may be restricted. For example, you may be required to wear a mask to protect the health of others, even if you don’t want to.

Freedom begets happiness

We are happier when we have freedom to choose how to lead our lives. The true tragedy of poverty is not a lack of resources, but a loss…

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We are all currently witnessing an unprecedented global race for a coronavirus vaccine. There are over 135 vaccines that have not yet been tested on humans, and 28 vaccines in human trials. Of those currently in human trials, seven are being developed either partially or completely by American companies (two of these vaccines, one by Arcturus Therapeutics and one by Kentucky BioProcessing, have been approved for human trials but those trials have not yet started). …

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It’s starting to look like Amazon might not be the most ethical company in the world. A recent Wall Street Journal investigation found that Amazon often uses the investment and deal-making process with startups to steal confidential information and develop their own competing products.

Amazon is a gigantic company, and their bottomless pockets can be too attractive for entrepreneurs to ignore. An investment from Amazon could make or break young companies. Described as a “wolf in wolf’s clothing” by a partner at a venture capital firm, Amazon essentially uses the DENNIS system on unsuspecting young startups.

D — Demonstrate Value

Amazon first demonstrates value…

In the news this week

The Trump administration is sending federal agents into Seattle, against the wishes of the city’s mayor. Jenny Durkan, the mayor, said that any deployment of federal agents would “undermine public safety.” A similar federal presence has remained in Portland throughout most of July, tear-gassing and snatching protestors off the street. Oregon officials believe the forces have overstepped their bounds, but a judge in Portland rejected the state’s bid to restrict the federal agents. …

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The Supreme Court ruled in a 1970 decision that property tax exemptions for churches did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, since the purpose of the exemptions were to “neither advance nor inhibit religion.” No one particular church receives special benefit, and the tax exempt status is available to all churches. The Court has ruled that restricting the fiscal relationship between church and state is required to maintain proper separation of the two entities. The Supreme Court has maintained that “restricting the financial relationship” means that churches are generally exempt from taxation.

Has the “Lemon Test” gone sour?

In Establishment Clause cases, such…

In the news this week

John Lewis, civil rights icon and congressman from Georgia, died at 80 on Friday. Lewis fought against racism and injustice most of his life. He helped organize the March on Washington in 1963, and led the “Bloody Sunday” march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, where his skull was cracked by a trooper with a billy club. Lewis often faced abuse from white mobs and law enforcement while fighting for civil rights, and was arrested 40 times from 1960 to 1966. He had been a congressman since 1987, and announced late last year that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

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Is the popular video-sharing social network actually dangerous? India seems to think so. The Indian government said a few weeks ago that it will ban TikTok, along with other well-known Chinese apps, such as WeChat and UC Browser, because they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.” TikTok was downloaded over 190 million times in India last year alone, so being banned from the country is a major blow.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced the U.S. would look into banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, and said Americans should only download the app “if you want your…

In the news this week

Coronavirus cases continue to grow in many states across the country, especially in the south and west. On Friday, the country recorded more than 68,000 cases, making that seven out of the last 11 days in which a new daily case record has been set. The governor of Texas admitted they may have to lock down again to slow the spread, and Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, announced that a convention center in Atlanta would be again transformed into a makeshift hospital. …

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As children, we see the world as black and white. People are either good or bad, as are our experiences. It’s not until we grow older that we realize the entire world is a shade of gray. Those deemed the worst of society, such as child abusers and killers, often experience traumatic events during their formative years that shape their perception of the world and make them who they are. It’s easy to deem them “evil,” but would you or I have turned out any differently if placed in their shoes?

There is a mix of good and bad in…

Daniel May

The only known cure for misinformation is the truth. []

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