The United States’ effort to end ISIS is just the latest in a series of Middle Eastern Wars, starting with Iran in 1980, and also involving Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo, Yemen, Pakistan, and now Syria. Unfortunately, U.S. insistence on regime change through force has tended to promote chaos rather than stability in the Middle East, creating an environment that fosters movements such as ISIS.
Quarantines in times of medical emergency exemplify the tension between individual liberty and public necessity. The states’ authority to quarantine derives from the Tenth Amendment police power and is supposedly limited by Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process. In Texas, where Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian citizen with Ebola, has been quarantined, the only due process required is a form from a health official. Moreover, there are no protections such as job security for those who are quarantined.
As the Hong Kong occupy movement continues to protest Beijing’s decision to remove democratic politics from the island, other minority groups are watching carefully. This includes ethnic minorities such as Tibetans and Uighurs in China’s outer regions, where its authoritarian rule is at its zenith, and Taiwan, which has been concerned about its increasing dependence on China. China’s reluctance to brave the reputational storm that would arise if it put an end to the protests with violence, its typical tool of choice, is creating hope for a sea change in its approach to autonomy and democracy.
Recent cases seem to be trending away from full Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Courts have found reading suspects their rights is not required immediately after arrest and can be delayed until interrogation. Silence is also being used as evidence of guilt at trial unless defendants explicitly invoked their Fifth Amendment rights in regards to the silence.
After pressure from drag queens and allies, Facebook recently rescinded its rule dictating that profiles must be linked to legal names and issued an apology for its handling of the situation. However, Facebook still maintains that use of legal names helps the company police abuse. It also likely ensures that Facebook has access to valuable consumer data. One possible solution to the conundrum is to allow users to create multiple profiles all linked to one legal name that only Facebook can access.