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In recent weeks, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against sexual minorities based on the business owner’s religious beliefs. Ostensibly designed to protect an individual’s religious beliefs, the law would protect a bakery, for example, that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. While Arizona’s governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed the bill, a similar measure has been proposed in Missouri and other states. As quoted in USA Today, the sponsor of the Missouri bill, State Senator Wayne Wallingford, said, “There’s discrimination kind of on both sides. I certainly don’t want any discrimination in the workforce….But I’m also concerned about discrimination going the other direction.”
Wallingford expressed concern about “discrimination kind of on both sides,” but in fact, neither Missouri nor Arizona protects the rights of their LGBT citizens—lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. Right now, in those states, as well as 27 others, LGBT citizens have no protections against discrimination. An employer in these 29 states, including Arizona and Missouri, can fire an individual simply because she is a lesbian. A restaurant or bar in these states already can refuse to serve a customer because he is gay, and as of now, a baker need not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. So why the perceived need for these laws?
Perhaps these legislators are making a statement, indicating that in their states, religious beliefs trump the rights of LGBT citizens. Perhaps the legislators are pandering to the antigay sentiments of their constituents. Regardless of motive, while these laws will have no practical effect in these states, they will send out a powerful message, namely, that discriminating against LGBT citizens, if religiously motivated, is protected by state law.
In fact, religious beliefs have formed the basis for much of the antigay sentiment in the United States and elsewhere. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) was the largest backer of Proposition 8 in California, the referendum that (temporarily) banned same-sex marriage. More ominously, evangelical groups are behind the antigay legislation just signed into law by Uganda’s president. The Uganda law punishes certain homosexual acts with life in prison.
Those who rely on religious beliefs to argue against equal rights for LGBT citizens are the latest in a long line of folks who have relied on religion to justify discrimination. The Southern Baptist Church found biblical support for slavery and segregation. Based on its own reading of the Bible, the Mormon Church did not grant its black members the right to fully participate in the church until 1978. The Dutch Reformed Church did not renounce its biblically based support for apartheid until 1998. The lesson here is that religious support for discrimination does not justify the discrimination nor immunize it from attack.
Today, in the United States, a business owner who refused to serve an African American customer based on religious beliefs would receive little public support. Likewise, no public outcry would arise in favor of the baker who refused to bake a cake for an interracial wedding. That sort of discrimination is universally condemned, yet discrimination against LGBT Americans is justified by relying on religion.
Supporters of the bills in Arizona and Missouri worry about the religious rights of their constituents, yet no antidiscrimination law could force a Catholic priest to perform a same-sex marriage or require a Southern Baptist church to accept a lesbian minister. The First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion would protect these organizations from compromising their religious beliefs. Moreover, those states that have passed laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation have included exemptions for religious organizations. The situations targeted by the Arizona law and the Missouri bill are different, however. These laws seek to countenance discrimination by a business that is already subject to numerous state and federal laws that restrict the business’ ability to discriminate in other contexts.
Then why pass these laws, laws that will have no practical effect? In many parts of the country, equal rights for LGBT Americans is not yet a majority viewpoint. I say “not yet” because, as with discrimination against African Americans, discrimination against LGBT Americans will, in time, be universally condemned. Those who propose laws that protect the right to discriminate will be relegated to the by-now overflowing dustbin of history. They will fall on the wrong side of a battle for equal rights that has been fought in America since its founding.Explore Related Topics:
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POV: Reelect Donald Trump President
Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Voices & OpinionPOV: Reelect Donald Trump President He “trusts Americans to act in their best interests when it comes to the pandemic”
Four years ago, one of the most astounding political movements in American history culminated in an election night victory for Donald Trump. By electing him president, the American people said no to Washington, bucking the establishment that had forgotten about them for so long. This time around, President Trump is running against the epitome of the establishment: former Vice President Joe Biden, a man who has spent 44 years in government with few notable accomplishments.
Since taking office in 2023, President Trump’s energy has matched the American spirit—a sharp contrast from his opponent, whose public appearances continue to be limited and uninspiring during his fear-driven campaign. Trump never needed this job, and the day-to-day effort he continues to put in for the American people at age 74 is remarkable. While questions persist regarding whether Joe Biden profited off the vice presidency, President Trump has undeniably lost money since he began working for the people four years ago, the mark of a selfless leader.
Americans, on the other hand, have made money since President Trump took office—at least until COVID-19 arrived in the United States following months of cover-ups from the Chinese government. Prior to the pandemic, our nation’s unemployment rate had reached a 50-year low, and wage growth was consistent after volatile years under the Obama administration. Fortunately, the United States has gained back more than half of the jobs lost when the pandemic hit this spring, and the stock market has rebounded significantly. That recovery will only accelerate once a vaccine becomes available in the near future.
Vice President Mike Pence was correct when he said during the vice presidential debate on October 8 that Biden’s plan to address COVID-19 largely mirrors the Trump administration’s actions right now. America is routinely testing more than one million people each day, personal protective equipment is widely available, and the administration has implemented strict requirements to protect nursing home residents following the fatal failures of Democratic governors early in the pandemic.Related
Voices & OpinionPOV: Elect Joe Biden President
There are a few differences, however, between Trump’s actions and Biden’s plan. Trump’s Operation Warp Speed already has America on track for a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine; the New York Times, citing health experts, says the FDA is likely to begin approving vaccines within the next three months.
Biden has touted a national mask mandate as the centerpiece of his plan, but both he and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have admitted that they would not enforce such a mandate.
President Trump has made it clear that he trusts Americans to act in their best interests when it comes to the pandemic, coming out strongly against government-imposed restrictions that only temporarily halt the inevitable spread of the virus, as we’re seeing across Europe at the moment. Biden, on the other hand, has said that he would shut down the country if “recommended,” despite the crippling impact another lockdown would have on businesses that managed to survive the initial surge in the spring.
This election is about freedom, but it’s also about safety. If Biden is elected, the keys will be handed over to the party that too often turns a blind eye to chaos in the streets, demonizes law enforcement, and allows criminals back onto the streets under the guise of “bail reform.” These are not policies that keep people safe, and they are not policies you will ever see under President Trump.
Foreign policy is rarely mentioned as a key issue in this election, and that is not a coincidence. The Trump administration has vanquished ISIS, taken out terrorist leaders, and refused to get involved in more endless wars. Biden, meanwhile, voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2002 and “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” according to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served under President Obama.
Under President Trump, gone are the days of the Washington establishment’s hawkish policies. Reviving that worldview by electing Biden would be a grave mistake.
Domestically, Joe Biden has cast himself as a moderate, but he’s evaded questions on ideas proposed by the far left, such as packing the US Supreme Court and eliminating the filibuster. His running mate has held so many different positions on key issues that it’s tough to tell exactly where she stands on anything.
Never has there been so much uncertainty surrounding what the presidential ticket for a major party actually believes. With Donald Trump, you’re getting Donald Trump. With Joe Biden, you’re getting whatever the unappeasable far-left wing of the Democratic Party wants on a given day. At a time when Americans deserve stability, the greatest danger of a Biden-Harris administration is the unknown.
Much like 2023, this is a unique year in our history. This is a moment in time that requires bold leadership, decisive action, and a president who is visible on the national stage. Donald Trump is the man for the moment.
Dan Treacy (COM’22), media director of Young Americans for Freedom at BU, can be reached at [email protected]. This column represents the author’s view and does not represent the views of YAF at BU.
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POV: When Fleeing Police Isn’t Necessarily Incriminating Massachusetts high court breaks ground in racial profiling ruling
Photo by Getty Images/Viviane Moos
What constitutes reasonable suspicion to stop a crime suspect? When is it reasonable for a black man to run from the police? Should the man’s flight from police have no bearing on courts’ assuming the man’s consciousness of guilt?
This past September, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed down an important, and unanimous, decision that sometimes African American men’s flight shouldn’t incriminate them.
The facts in Commonwealth v. Jimmy Warren are both straightforward, and unfortunately, routine. The Boston police received a call about a breaking and entering at night. Responding officers interviewed the eyewitness, the apartment resident, who told them that his backpack, computer, and baseball hat were missing. The witness described the suspects: a black male wearing a “red hoodie,” a black male wearing a “black hoodie,” and another black male in “dark clothing.” About 25 minutes later and one mile away, police saw two black males wearing dark clothing and walking near a park. What happened next is not unusual.
The police had a hunch that these two men were involved in the breaking and entering. After all, the men were black, wearing dark clothing, and out at 9:40 p.m. on a cold December night. The officers, according to testimony, decided “to figure out who they were and where they were coming from and possibly do [a field interrogation observation (FIO)].” When the officers yelled, “Wait a minute,” to the two, they turned around and jogged away.
After the two men fled, the officers put out a radio call, noting that men fitting the eyewitness’ description were traveling in a certain direction. A second set of officers approached the two men and called out. One man stopped; Jimmy Warren didn’t. He ran away, was chased by the police, and arrested. No contraband was found on his person—no backpack, no computer, no baseball hat. A gun was found in a nearby yard, and Warren was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
That the two men ran from the police is salient. Why? Because the presence of flight is considered in a court’s calculus when deciding whether or not the police had a reasonable suspicion to believe an individual committed a crime. In this case, the court decided that Warren’s flight from police could not be viewed as incriminating: when an officer seeks to conduct an FIO, that event constitutes, in the court’s words, “a consensual encounter because the individual approached remains free to terminate the conversation at will.” Because it is a consensual encounter, Warren was free to leave the scene, and no guilt can be presumed by his actions.
Against the backdrop of racial profiling documented by the Boston Police Department’s own survey, it was easy to see that a person in Warren’s position “might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity,” according to the SJC. The court noted that field interrogation observation data between 2007 and 2010 demonstrated that those stopped by Boston police were disproportionately male, young, and black. The SJC declared that “[g]iven this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus.”
The court’s opinion marks the first instance where the SJC cited data to support the idea that racial profiling exists and is a valid reason for suspects to flee police. This is a groundbreaking and long-overdue acknowledgement. It doesn’t mean that every time a suspect flees police, there will be an appropriate application of this principle. But for Jimmy Warren’s case, without additional factors to substantiate the reasonable suspicion standard, the court reversed his conviction.
In a time when police-citizen encounters have raised serious questions about methods of policing, it is an important recognition that race plays a factor in many of these encounters.
Wendy Kaplan, a School of Law clinical associate professor of law, can be reached at [email protected].Explore Related Topics:
FIX: Windows cannot install the kernel-mode print driver
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While installing a third-party PDF reading software like PhantomPDF you may encounter the Windows cannot install the kernel-mode print driver error.
Windows can’t install the (Softwarename) printer driver kernel-mode print driver. To obtain a driver that is compatible with the version of Windows you are running, contact the manufacturer.
In this article, we take a look at a few troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the Windows cannot install the kernel-mode print driver error in Windows 10.How do I fix the Windows kernel-mode print driver error? 1. Disable the blocking policy for installation of drivers
If that did not work, enter gpupdate/force command.
Close the Command Prompt and try to install the program.
Note: Depending on the version of Windows installed, the Group Policy Editor may or may not be available on your computer.
Those that run Windows 10 Home Edition do not have the Group Policy Editor Installed. For more details on how to install it, check out this in-depth guide.
You can also use an automatic tool that scans your PC and installs the most suitable drivers for you, stabilizing your Windows OS and PC’s performance.
Often, your computer system might not be able to update the generic drivers for your hardware and peripherals correctly. There are vital differences between a generic driver and a manufacturer’s driver. Finding the correct driver versions for every hardware component can become tiresome.
That’s why a dependable updater can help you find and update your drivers automatically. We strongly suggest the Outbyte Driver Updater, and here’s how to do it:
Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.
Launch the software and wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.
Now, it will show you a list of all outdated drivers to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.
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Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.3. Configure point and printer restriction
3.1 Rename W32x86 / X64 folders
Open the File Explorer and navigate to the following location:
In the Drivers folder, rename the following folders:
You can rename the folder anything.
Renaming these folders will remove incomplete or corrupt printer driver installation.
It will also remove your printer settings. So if you have a working printer, you may have to reinstall the printer drivers again to make your printer work.
3.2 Configure point and printer restriction
Users can only point and print to these servers
Users can only point and print to machines in their forest
Close the command prompt and check if the error is resolved.
The Windows cannot install the kernel-mode print driver error occurs if the Windows Group Policy blocking the installation.
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POV: Will Bringing Back “Happy Hours” Make Us Happy?
Photo by Louis Hansel/Unsplash
Voices & OpinionPOV: Will Bringing Back “Happy Hours” Make Us Happy? The answer, based on public health research, is a likely and emphatic “no”
Massachusetts has alcohol problems. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that alcohol causes 140,000 deaths per year. In Massachusetts, their estimate is 2,760 alcohol-attributable deaths per year, with the leading causes being poisoning, cancers, alcoholic liver disease, and liver cirrhosis.
These problems primarily affect drinkers themselves, but they also affect the people around the drinker: nearly a third of the state’s fatal motor vehicle crashes involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Alcohol use also has a close relationship with violence, including rape and other assaults. The CDC estimates that there are on average 70 homicides attributable to alcohol in Massachusetts each year.
The Bay State is above the national median for binge drinking, with close to one in six adults reporting binging in the past month. Since 2009, as a risk factor for death and disability in Massachusetts, alcohol has risen by 13.8 percent—faster than lung cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, dietary risks, and tobacco use.
Things may have gotten even worse during the pandemic. Nationally, based on death certificates that listed alcohol use as an underlying or contributing cause of death, alcohol-related deaths increased by 25 percent from 2023 to 2023. Anyone on our state’s roadways during the pandemic could witness the deterioration in driver behavior. A 2023 survey of Massachusetts adults found that 1.2 percent—more than 66,000 people—drove after drinking at least once in the past month.
Amidst all this evidence that alcohol problems in our state are substantial and not going away anytime soon, there is a serious proposal in the state legislature to rescind the state’s ban on the alcoholic drink promotions known as “happy hours.” Buried in the economic development bill that died at the end of the state legislative session, this proposal and the bill that carries it may yet become law before the end of this year.
What do we know about “happy hours” and their consequences? A 2005 research review from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found strong evidence that happy hours and other drink specials would lead to negative health outcomes. More recent research has found all-you-can-drink promotions significantly associated with patrons becoming intoxicated, and that college students, including women and those under 21, are more likely to drink more in response to happy hour and other bar-based drink promotions.
In 2023, Massachusetts had 161,000 undergraduate college students. What does this group drinking more mean for them, and for the rest of the state? Students who drink more in the wake of happy hours are also more likely to get into fights while intoxicated. And some of them will drive.
In 2023, I served on a National Academy of Sciences panel tasked with looking into the nation’s stalled progress in preventing drunk-driving deaths. At the time, there were close to 10,000 deaths annually from drunk driving. In 2023, that number jumped to 11,564 deaths—an increase of 14 percent from 2023 to 2023.
Speakers from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft addressed our panel to argue that they were helping prevent drunk driving by offering a readily available alternative. Yet research published since then has found that the presence of ride-sharing services actually increases the likelihood that people will binge drink, while having no effect on drunk driving.
So, why is the Massachusetts legislature considering bringing back happy hours nearly 40 years after the practice was banned? The leading argument seems to be that it will help bars and nightclubs recover from their losses during the pandemic.
Everyone in Massachusetts deserves to live safe and healthy lives. Alcohol already costs our state far more than the taxes on it bring in: a 2010 estimate (the last year for which figures are available) put that cost at $5.6 billion a year, or $861 per person, or $1.93 per drink consumed; of this, $.77 per drink was paid for directly by government. In contrast, the state’s alcohol taxes amount to less than a nickel per drink.
There have to be ways to help out our state’s hospitality sector (the bars and restaurants that supporters of rolling back the happy hour ban say are in need of assistance) without making a bad situation—Massachusetts’ relationship with alcohol—worse.
It is worth noting that the CDC also estimates that 159 suicides per year in Massachusetts are attributable to alcohol use. So, will bringing back happy hours make us happier? For most of us, whether drinkers or not, the answer, based on public health research rather than anecdote or opinion, is a likely and emphatic “no.”
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POV: Unionizing BU Grad Students Would Be a Mistake There are better ways to secure our rights
Following the National Labor Relations Board ruling this past August that graduate students at private universities who work as teaching or research assistants are employees who have the right to unionize, Graduate Workers Forward (GWF), a movement of faculty and graduate student workers spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), has started to organize at BU, seeking to represent the graduate student employees who make up some of the University’s 14,150 graduate students. While laudable, this effort is misguided. Unions are a powerful option for change, but there may be better, more tried methods for graduate student employees to realize their goals. The choice for organizing needs careful consideration lest its costs outweigh its benefits. BU is such a case.
To evaluate unionization at BU, we must ask whether its current treatment of graduate employees is fair, and if not, whether change is possible. While unions address these concerns, so can other organizations, including the Graduate and Professional Leadership Council (GPLC) at BU. There are differences between a union and the GPLC. GWF claimed in a publication (sent by e-mail to the graduate student community in October) that a union can negotiate a contract while the GPLC cannot, presumably making the union superior. This is a half-truth, betraying ignorance of the GPLC’s structure. While nothing forbids the GPLC from negotiating a contract, it has no need of one. The GPLC, being integrated into the University, can serve graduate demands without one.
To make this position clearer, let’s examine what the aims of a union are and what the GPLC has accomplished. The GWF claims in the same document that it will provide pay raises, increased benefits, and employment stability, but these have already been achieved without it. In the past four years, unfunded PhD positions have been eliminated. We experienced an increase of funding packages from four to five years, with one year free of teaching and the option for a second for research. Travel grant money has increased. BU established a dissertation writing fellowship and moved to increase pay for graduate students to achieve interdepartmental parity. The student health fee has been eliminated and concerns of pregnant grad students have been addressed. Among others. Aren’t these achievements the same things the union is promising?
More concerning, given the opacity hostility creates, graduate students risk demanding money that other students, perhaps minority or poor students, require. BU’s pot is limited, and without cooperation, the administration will withhold information allowing a representative organization to understand how its demands deprive others. In the current representative structure, there is access to a holistic picture, allowing an understanding of how arrangements impact the entire community, restraining personal avarice.
It is not an insignificant fact that the administration at Boston University concurs with these arguments. In its official notice regarding its position on unionization, sent on December 18, the University provost signaled both her willingness to work with the GPLC and her opinion that a union represents a material and negative change to the relationship between the University and its graduate population. While this should not in and of itself be enough to argue against unionization, it is significant considering the goodwill and success we have had through exploring other options for engagement with the University administration, such as the GPLC. It is just another sign of what we have to lose.
There is a lot of rhetoric surrounding unionization. Much of it is emotionally powerful, particularly as it relates to the idea of strength. The GWF claims that as a union, it will negotiate as “equals.” That it will extract agreements from our University. That graduate students will have power. Given what they have already accomplished, are they not already equals? Or better yet, partners? Are they not already negotiating? Have they not already received results free from the costs of money and animosity? What, then, will the union provide that graduate students do not already have? There is certainly romanticism behind organizing labor and a union appeals to emotions in ways the GPLC cannot. This has its own value, but is sentiment worth what graduate students stand to lose? Do they really gain, either materially or emotionally, by giving up the comity they already have? These are the questions that must be answered and in answering them, it cannot but be seen that a union loses.
Jeffrey Bristol (GRS’18), a doctoral student in anthropology, can be reached at [email protected].Explore Related Topics:
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