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Academics and Researchers Against Mass Surveillance

Academics and Researchers Against Mass Surveillance | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Academics have joined the fight against mass surveillance. Two open letters were published last month from the academic and research communities. One is signed by U.S. information security and cryptography researchers, and the other is signed by over one thousand scholars from a wide range of disciplines who work in universities all over the world.

Via Randy L. Dixon Rivera
Madison Blazing's insight:

The focus of this article is the balance between safety and maintaining the rights of free speech. One example from the article is that virtually all media records are able to be recorded and kept, which some view as an invasion of privacy. However, in regards to terrorism and threats to the nation's safety, some level of security is necessary. At what point are citizens' rights violated when some of this media information is able to be examined by an outside source without a person's knowledge? This article discusses the role the government places in the safety of the nation, as well as the laws that ensure privacy and equal rights for all Americans.

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Manda Pahl's comment, February 16, 2014 11:06 PM
I realize that terrorism has caused a great deal of security measures to be taken, and for good reason. But I do think there is a line that the NSA may be crossing. I think that they may be crossing the privacy boundary by keeping records. I agree that security needs to be there, but it should not violate our privacy.
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Worries Turn to Disease as Waters Recede in Balkans

Worries Turn to Disease as Waters Recede in Balkans | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Contaminated water has covered homes, towns and fields, leading to fears of intestinal ailments, respiratory infections, skin diseases, hepatitis and perhaps worse.
Madison Blazing's insight:

The recent and extreme flooding has provoked much concern in Serbia. Particularly, as flooding has begun to recede the concern for disease is raising. Due to increasingly high temperatures and contamination spreading, the government of Serbia is fearing and preparing for the worst. Precautions are attempting to be taken to prevent the spread of an epidemic, but unfortunately control is very limited due to the severity of the conditions. The aftermath of this flooding will definitely be a struggle, hopefully help and support can be provided to Serbia and the spread of disease can be contained as much as possible. 

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Manda Pahl's comment, May 23, 2014 2:24 PM
This seems like an awful situation. Hopefully other countries will step in and help this country and prevent the spread of an epidemic.
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Law Schools That Produced The Most Supreme Court Justices

Law Schools That Produced The Most Supreme Court Justices | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Which law schools count the most alumni as members of the U.S. Supreme Court?

No surprise Harvard University is the top school, followed by Yale and Columbia, according to FindTheBest. Trailing those Ivy League schools are Samford University in Al...
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article provided some interesting data about the justices serving on the Supreme Court. Because this court has the most power of any other court in the judicial branch of the United States government, it was relatively predictable that the majority come from any Ivy League education. However, I was surprised that almost half of the Supreme Court justices did not attend or finish law school. I think this article did a particularly good job placing emphasis on the level of high achievement these justices must hold, and how revered their position is in the judicial system.

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Manda Pahl's comment, May 22, 2014 11:33 AM
It was surprising that the justices that didn't graduate college was close to the number of justices that did graduate. It wasn't surprising to see that they graduated or attended Ivy League schools. It was interesting to see that there were a few justices that never even went to college.
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Raising minimum wage would ease poverty but cost some jobs

Raising minimum wage would ease poverty but cost some jobs | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that gradually raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, and lift 900,000 above the poverty line.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article mentions some of the drawbacks of raising the minimum wage rates. While many people with minimum wage jobs fibd it difficult to afford necessities and often find themselves working long hours,  simply raising the hourly wage may still cause complications. Many people may be raised above the poverty line If the rate increases to the proposed ten dollars an hour, but some employers will unfortunately let others employees go to balance the difference. While some members of the government  are hesitant to raise the rate as it will result in a large loss of jobs,  it still seems like a good idea as the number of people who will noticeably benefit from it is almost twice the amount as those who will lose their jobs. 

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Michael Watts's curator insight, May 19, 2014 6:01 AM

I didn't really think much about how the effect of raising minimum wage could cost some jobs. There really needs to be a balance between the raising and the cutting of jobs So the economy can be balanced and the government doesn't have to step in too much 

Michael Watts's comment, May 19, 2014 6:10 AM
I didn't really think much about how the effect of raising minimum wage could cost some jobs. There really needs to be a balance between the raising and the cutting of jobs So the economy can be balanced and the government doesn't have to step in too much
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Phone robotics used to develop compact missile

Phone robotics used to develop compact missile | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
A miniature missile that features a brain built with off-the-shelf commercial cellphone parts is poised to shake up the munitions industry.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discusses the capabilities of the government to create  a compact missile using various parts of different cellphones. Advancements in technology have contributed to the progression of many weapons such as the one described in this article. While I find it amazing that it is possible to create this using parts from a common object like a cellphone, I also find it a little scary. Hopefully the information for building these missiles is not used for the wrong reasons and is kept confidential to avoid additional problems.

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All Parents Need Access to Education Data Now

All Parents Need Access to Education Data Now | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it

This aThe most useful information comes when parents, educators, and others with a stake in education have access to data that help them understand how well our kids are doing and empower them to make better decisions that improve student achievement....

Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discusses the benefits of providing parents additional access to educational information. Involving the government in this process could create many positive outcomes and improve the overall quality of education many children receive through increased parental involvement. There likely could be much controversy over who could access the information and which data would be shared with adults, but legalities aside it seems like a good opportunity. Personally, I agree that encouraging parents to support their children in education, especially young kids, could see a positive turn in grades and achievement levels. 

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Veterans Are Dying While They’re Waiting Months To Get Health Care From The Government

Veterans Are Dying While They’re Waiting Months To Get Health Care From The Government | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
At one VA hospital system in Arizona, at least 40 veterans have needlessly died while waiting to see a doctor.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discusses the lack of adequate health care that is promptly available for veterans. The author mentioned that the reason these veterans are forced to wait so long is because they are placed on a "secret list" in some cases that is not explicitly shared with the government. If this is true, I think the government needs to intervene immediately and ensure that none of these veterans are being denied the proper health care they require.

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Benton Blank's comment, May 2, 2014 1:35 PM
I agree with Haley, this article reveals something unbelievable. The fact that veterans are being placed on waiting lists for months to years for basic medical procedures is outrageous. I cannot believe that of all groups, the VA, has had so little value for these care-needing veterans. Something serious has to be done about this and quickly.
Ann Marie Rydberg's comment, May 2, 2014 8:28 PM
I completely agree with Haley and Benton that what is being described by this article is completely unacceptable. It is hard to believe that brave men and women who risked their lives for our country are now dying due to lack of access to health care. Clearly this is a major problem that needs immediate attention.
Nick Sigrist's comment, May 2, 2014 8:59 PM
This article is very hard to believe, that we would leave these heroes hanging out to dry while we deny them any of the help we could give them. Veterans gave up their lives to serve us and we bathe in the comfortability of our homes, that they protected, while they suffer on the streets and in their beds with the lack of healthcare. I believe this is truly disgraceful and immoral, how we can treat these people so poorly.
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Bolivian government threatens to fire soldiers protesting over dead-end careers

Bolivian government threatens to fire soldiers protesting over dead-end careers | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Despite a government threat to fire them, some 500 soldiers marched in Bolivia's capital Wednesday for a second consecutive day to demand greater upward mobility within the armed forces.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discussed how soldiers of the government in Bolivia protested against discrimination and the unfair benefits they were receiving. Many of the soldiers protesting who were caught face serious consequences and the possible loss of their job. Reading an article like this reminds me how fortunate I am to live in the United States where resources are provided and benefits are given to specific people who serve in the military. Hopefully these soldiers are able to obtain partially what they are protesting and do not suffer too dramatically for speaking their minds.

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Lessons Learned From a Year Without Showering

Lessons Learned From a Year Without Showering | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
So how does a regular showering guy end up going 365 days and counting without taking a shower? It started with a long bike ride across America to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living....
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article is about a man who went a full calendar year without taking a shower. Although he does not use typical soaps or cleansing products and does not shower in the typical fashion, he has still managed to find ecofriendly ways to keep himself somewhat clean. He buys biodegradable soap and bathes in ponds and lakes, and the publicity he has received has helped the government promote environmental awareness. This guy must be very dedicated to last a whole year without showering and it is cool that he found a way to promote a cause he believes in. However, I still find it kind of disgusting that he didn't shower for an entire year.\

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Gov. Steve Beshear signs snow days bill into law

Gov. Steve Beshear signs snow days bill into law | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Governor Steve Beshear signed the snow days bill into law on March 31.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This video clip discusses a Kentucky bill, recently passed to become a law, regarding how many snow days are allowed for the district schools per calendar year. The law redefines policies that require a certain number of in-class school days, now instead setting a minimum number of school hours for the children as a part of the snow day make up policy. It seems pretty crazy that some of the schools in the Jefferson County area have had up to thirty snow related days off, and it seems logical that the government needed to revise the requirements for the schools after considering how many days the school would have to make up otherwise.

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Manda Pahl's comment, April 19, 2014 10:56 PM
It doesn't surprise me the amount of snow days that Jefferson County has had. I believe this bill is a good alternative to making up so many school days. I also think that a minimum school hours is makes more sense than minimum school "days."
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The federal government moved some cows and Nevada’s governor isn’t happy about it

The federal government moved some cows and Nevada’s governor isn’t happy about it | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
A more than 20-year fight boiled over this weekend.
Madison Blazing's insight:

I found this article relatively entertaining to read. There is so many government issues currently in the news dealing with controversial and high profile topics that an article about the government wanting to move cows seems almost like a joke. According to the article, there has been an ongoing feud for the past twenty years over where a herd of cattle could freely graze in Nevada. The federal government insists Bundy cannot allow his cows to graze on the land that he is in violation of the law, but the farmer claims he owns rights to the land and he refuses to pay for his cows. This issues seems pretty miniscule to me compared to other current issues, and it seems ridiculous that the argument has lasted for such a long amount of time.

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Manda Pahl's comment, April 12, 2014 11:11 PM
This does seem like a really silly issue to worry about compared to the issues we should be worrying about. It's ridiculous that the federal government has been feuding over this for so long when there are much bigger things to focus on. I feel like cows should be the least of their worries at this point.
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Can Jeb Bush change the conversation on immigration in the 2016 GOP presidential primary?

Can Jeb Bush change the conversation on immigration in the 2016 GOP presidential primary? | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Maybe. But probably not.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discusses the 2016 presidential candidates, in particular Jeb Bush and his policies on immigration. He is taking a softer approach than the typical republican party views and states that although immigration is an issue for the United States, it is unfair for the government to punish illegal immigrants who have crossed the border because they desire better opportunities and freedoms for themselves and their families. Typically the conservative party is much stricter about immigration policies, and because of the approach that Jeb Bush takes, he is attracting a lot of publicity . Personally, I think that is refreshing to see a politician taking a personal stance on immigration issues rather than just embracing the traditional party beliefs.

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Generation gap distorts public policy: column

The 'Generation Gap' has a faintly musty odor about it, reminiscent of long-haired teens in bell-bottoms battling with seniors in double-knits over rock music and the Vietnam War.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article primarily discussed some of the current oppositon towards specific public policies, and some background behind these issues. In particular, it discussed the generation being a very influential factor in many government matters. While up until recently, the generaton gap has not caused a significant problem in political standing, it is currently effecting many decisions made at high levels of governement. Some examples in the article that stood out to me were the oftentimes drastically different opinions between the younger and older generation on matters such as racial differences and homosexuality. This article helped me understand where some of the differences come from and how this ends up impacting public policies within the government in a way I hadn't really considered beforehand.

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California’s drought is extreme, but the government is making it worse

California’s drought is extreme, but the government is making it worse | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Farmers in California right now are trying to figure out how to respond to an extreme drought, culling their herds and tearing out their almond orchards. This year might prove even drier than 1580, which scientists believe is the driest year of any in the last 500 or so. The state isn’t really ready for […]
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article addressed the issue of a drought in California, and how farmers are coping with the lack of adequate water. Government officials believe that this could be one of the driest years in the last five hundred, which seemed pretty astonishing to me. One of the key points this article discusses is the rations of water necessary to grow every individual crop, which was also a lot higher for some crops like walnuts, than what I had expected. While there is not a lot that can be done to ease this drought in the meantime, hopefully the residents and farmers are able to cope with what is being referred to as a severe drought as a result of the current climate change.

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7 Things You Might Not Know About the U.S. Supreme Court — HISTORY Lists

7 Things You Might Not Know About the U.S. Supreme Court — HISTORY Lists | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Find out seven surprising facts about how the nation’s highest court works and how it’s changed over the years.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article touched on seven facts about the Supreme Court that are considered interesting and less publicly known. The Supreme Court may receive around ten thousand requests for hearings, but accepts around eighty every year. The extremity of this difference was a little surprising, but considering the size of the United States judicial system it makes relative sense. The lack of actual rigid requirements to become a Supreme Court justice stuck out to me, and the fact that Harvard has produced more justices than any other institution seemed predictable. Considering the strict regulations government employees must follow, it is safe to say the Supreme Court is no exception considering the long list of numerous requirements the justices mus t meet to even be eligible for the court.

 

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Michael Watts's comment, May 25, 2014 2:45 AM
These are some weird new facts that I didn't think the Supreme Court could keep secret, I believe there needs to be some certain qualifications to become a justice because it is just all based on the Presidents choosing
Manda Pahl's comment, May 25, 2014 11:10 AM
The biggest thing about this article that shocked me the most is that there are no requirements to become a Supreme Court.
Manda Pahl's comment, May 25, 2014 11:13 AM
Supreme Court Justice* In another article, I read that almost half of the Supreme Court Justices never finished college. You would think that they would have to have some kind of higher education in a law school to be qualified.
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In Washington, Walk on the Grass, but Step Gently

In Washington, Walk on the Grass, but Step Gently | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
The National Mall’s installation of expensive new turf and its imposition of new rules have created an identity crisis: Should the mall remain a utilitarian gathering place? Or should it become a more pristine landscape?
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article talks about the how the grass on the National Mall in Washington is becoming barren due to the many people who frequently gather on it. As it is a well known monument, the government wishes to allow people to continually utilize it but wants to tell people to "tread lightly' to minimize damage. The new turf will  be very costly but I am glad the government is replacing the grass as it is such a well recognized attraction in Washington. 

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Majority in U.S. want minimum wage to be increased

Majority in U.S. want minimum wage to be increased | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Fifty-seven percent say lawmakers should work toward balancing economic system, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll reveals.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discusses the large percentage of Americans who support raising the country's minimum wage. The author mentions that many people who work minimum wage jobs live at or below the poverty line and find it difficult to provide for themselves and their families.  President  Obama is in favor of raising the minimum wage to around ten dollars per hour while Republicans in support of raising the hourly rate want it to be a little over eight dollars per hour. I found this article particularly interesting because it relates to how the  government recently passed a bill in Minnesota to raise the statewide minimum wage. 

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No Longer the Stepchild of U.S. Education, Community Colleges Fill a Vital Need for Skilled Workers

No Longer the Stepchild of U.S. Education, Community Colleges Fill a Vital Need for Skilled Workers | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
More two-year colleges are offering degrees in subjects that align with local business needs
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article talks about how community colleges are gaining popularity among recent high school graduates. Many local businesses are finding it convenient to be hire college attendees at nearby technical schools. Because the cost of these is usually lower than a traditional four year universities, these schools were previously less recognized by the government. However, the article mentioned that recently many two-year colleges have developed programs not offered at other, larger universities. This is therefore resulting in an increase in value of the degrees from these schools and more job opportunities at nearby businesses. I think that the majority of employers value a higher degree of education, and it is good that these college graduates have access to these nearby job possibilities.

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Nick Sigrist's comment, May 12, 2014 9:41 AM
I also agree that it is more convenient, as less expensive, for a high school graduate to go straight to a local, community college that has their specialization. Although it is not as high in quality as a 4-year degree is, it will still cover the minor jobs that our economy needs from people right after high school to begin earning money on the job.
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Fast-moving wildfire in Southern California grows, driven by wind

Fast-moving wildfire in Southern California grows, driven by wind | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday for nearly 1,700 homes in the path of a California wildfire.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This news article talks about the dangerous wildfires that have caused several evacuations in California. The government has sent over 700 firefighters to fight the fire and has ordered the evacuation of several schools and homes for safety reasons. It is really scary how intense these fires can get and the amount of destruction they are able to incur. Hopefully these fires can be controlled in the near future and everyone is able to stay safe and unharmed.

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Nick Sigrist's comment, May 2, 2014 8:57 PM
That is really sad to see, especially because it have an effect on more than just the Southwest and California. It expands to global warming, the ozone, everything surrounding it even to the poles. Even with our current technology, wildfires at this magnitude are not controllable, and that also amazes me. We can only hope the people in that proximity can stay safe from the flames.
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Health care officials recognize National Infant Immunization Week

Health care officials recognize National Infant Immunization Week | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Recognizing this week as National Infant Immunization Week, community members and professionals gathered for a news conference at Sacred Heart Early Learning Center on April 28.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article basically discusses how government employees are encouraging immunizations as an important aspect of health care. Many infants under the age of two years are not vaccinated, and with the intent of lowering this number the organization "Vaccines for Children" are providing free immunizations to qualifying children. This program is currently being promoted in states like West Virginia where a lack of public transportation makes it difficult to bring vaccines to the more rural areas, resulting in less immunizations for younger children.

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LA Times -- Iran nuclear talks: Congress is the elephant at the negotiating table | House Committee on Foreign Affairs - Ed Royce, Chairman

LA Times -- Iran nuclear talks: Congress is the elephant at the negotiating table | House Committee on Foreign Affairs - Ed Royce, Chairman | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article talks about the current  foreign affair between the United States government and Iran. The issue is essentially that Iran has been working on the development of nuclear weapons, and this has caused much concern from other countries. According to statements, neither President Obama or President Rouhani of Iran desire a conflict that results in a war, so compromises have been attempted to settle the matter without a large dispute. After reading this, I agree that the threat of nuclear warfare is alarming and hopefully this matter can be agreed upon peacefully.

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The U.S. Government Wants 6,000 New 'Cyber Warriors' by 2016

The U.S. Government Wants 6,000 New 'Cyber Warriors' by 2016 | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Salaries for that kind of talent are much higher in the private sector
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article talks about how the United States government will likely hire around 6,000 people who specialize in high profile cybersecurity in the upcoming years. In order to minimize the obstacles associated with some technicalities, scholarships may be offered as incentives to encourage more candidates to consider this type of job. The government also recognizes potential issues with proper funding, as salaries will be lower due to less funding than the cybersecurity salaries offered by private sectors. The need for this type of security is growing rapidly to keep up with the fast paced expansions of technology and the increasingly available data through more mobile sources in recent years.

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Priced Out of Citizenship

Priced Out of Citizenship | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
The $680 fee to apply for naturalization — which has nearly tripled since 1999 — effectively denies many legal permanent residents a chance to become citizens.
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article discusses how the current price of applying for naturalization has steeply risen to a cost that many green card holders are unable to afford. The fee has become an obstacle for many immigrants seeking to obtain United States citizenship, and as of recent years only a very slim percentage of those eligible were able to apply for naturalization. Congress has recently been debating the legalities of immigrants becoming United States citizens, and quite a few proposals have been made to the government regarding the best method to revise the affordability issue of the naturalization process. Members of Congress have been discussing how to remedy the problems associated with the fee, and hopefully a feasible solution is agreed upon in a timely manner.

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Miss. Gov. Signs 'License to Discriminate' Into Law

Miss. Gov. Signs 'License to Discriminate' Into Law | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Opponents warn that the new law will allow widespread discrimination against LGBT people and others by those claiming serving such people or groups violates their 'religious freedom.'
Madison Blazing's insight:

The primary focus of this article is the controversy surrounding a new addition to a law in the state of Mississippi. Essentially, many people are upset with the government allowing the bill to pass and have requested that the governor veto the bill. Particularly the LGBT community is very upset by the law as they are afraid it will be easier to discriminate against people based on personal dislike. I agree that the regulations surrounding this law seems very unclear, and this seems like a mess of a situation. Hopefully this law does not encourage or allow for more discrimination and people who are typically in a minority group, such as the LGBT community, will not face additional discrimination from this law.

 

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Manda Pahl's comment, April 12, 2014 11:27 PM
The fact that another state besides Arizona is trying to pass a discrimination bill is scary. Just because of someone's personal beliefs, businesses shouldn't be able to deny services to that person. I believe that the governor should veto the bill.
Nick Sigrist's comment, April 13, 2014 1:22 PM
Discrimination in itself is wrong, but when searching for a job, personal dislike shouldn
Nick Sigrist's comment, April 13, 2014 1:23 PM
't be a factor in concluding whether or not a person fits the job well. It should be a matter of putting personal opinion aside and looking forward to the possible success of the company. I can't believe they would pass such a law.
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Gov. Snyder: Same-sex marriages legal but won't be recognized because of stay

Gov. Snyder: Same-sex marriages legal but won't be recognized because of stay | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
Gov. Rick Snyder said the nearly 300 same-sex marriages performed on Saturday are legal but won't be recognized by the state because of a stay put on a judicial decision that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
Madison Blazing's insight:

Recently, the state of MIchigan approved the recognition of same-sex marriage. However, because of a stay their governement implemented that does not allow homosexual marriages to be recognized as a partner union besides the legality of the marriage. Due to this, gay couples are unable to receive the benefits normally entitled under marriage. While many people are happy that same-sex marriage is allowed, the majority of people are still upset because of the restrictions that still remain. Personally, I believe that these homosexual couples should be able to recieve the same benefits that is entitled under marriage. I think that although it is a step forward, merely recognizing the marriage does not give these couples all the benefits they should be able to receive and hopefully Michigan reforms their stay to allow this to happen.

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New Laws: Is it Really Up to the Government to Protect Your Kid Online? - Parenting Today's Kids

New Laws: Is it Really Up to the Government to Protect Your Kid Online? - Parenting Today's Kids | Gov & Law Madison | Scoop.it
A focus on child safety is among the top state laws taking effect at the start of 2013. In many states, new laws take effect on Jan. 1
Madison Blazing's insight:

This article primarily focused on the many new laws that have been or are being implemented regarding internet safety among children. While specific states have created specialized rules that are specific only within these states, propositions of new laws at the national level have also been discussed. The main one discussed in this article is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. This policy is intended to protect children's personal information and privacy. Younger adolescents are specifically at risk because their personal information is often easily obtained when they participate in online gaming websites and social networks. I think it is good that the government is creating new programs to protect the safety of kids, and hopefully parents are able to educate their children about these issues in addition to this new law.

 

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