News Roundup – NSA Surveillance, gene patents, climate change

I am happy to admit that I really do not know whether the NSA surveillance program is a good thing or a bad thing. We’ve all heard the pros and cons. On the good side, domestic surveillance (domestic spying) is supposed to keep us safe. It is supposed to be a way in which the powers that be figure out who is naughty and who is nice. They monitor the naughty ones and, in theory, they should be able to nab the bad guys before they blow something up. On the bad side, domestic spying can be a great way in which the government can use or misuse your personal information, information from your personal phone calls and emails, in order to control your behavior. One can easily imagine a scenario in which someone was arrested for something they wrote in which they stated “I hate the president so much I could simply strangle him.” On one hand, this sentence is a death threat. On the other hand, the sentence could simply be someone who has absolutely no intention of harming the president blowing off steam. I guess this really depends on how the government uses the information. If you like the terrorist surveillance program, this NSA surveillance system, you’re required to have trust in the government and to believe that the government is going to act in your best interest. In my opinion, that’s a leap of faith.

In this clip, we see what we already know. Sean Hannity and the rest the guys over at Fox News love Big Brother and big government when they are wielded by Republicans. They hate Big Brother and the government when they are wielded by Democrats.

No gene patents – The Supreme Court today unanimously struck down patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2, two genes linked to hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer, when the genes occur in the body. Myriad did not create or alter any of the genetic information of the BCRA1 and BRCA2 genes, and thus does not satisfy patenting requirements, according to the decision. “Myriad discovered the precise location and sequence of what are now known as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court. (more…)