DO NOT write your name on bluebook. Pencil is not acceptable.
Choose one of the following statements. AGREE or DISAGREE with it.
Develop your position on the statement in an essay at least 5 bluebook pages long. (If you double-space, your essay needs to be 10 pages long.) Make sure that your essay has a thesis statement and clearly organized paragraphs. Use relevant, specific information to develop your argument, and give sufficient evidence to support your assertions. Make sure that your arguments are logical. Proofread your essay carefully, paying particular attention to completeness of sentence structure, agreement between subjects and verbs, and correct punctuation.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently told the manufacturers of seven caffeinated alcoholic beverages, the best-known of which is Four Loko, that their drinks cannot stay on the market in their current form. The drinks, which contain as much caffeine as three cups of coffee and as much alcohol as a six-pack of beer, are marketed to young people, and the FDA is concerned that the effects of the caffeine will mask those of the alcohol, making consumers unaware of how drunk they're becoming. The FDA's decision is yet another example of government unwisely interfering with the free market. If the drinks are really dangerous, the market for them will drop; no regulations are necessary.
- Last spring, Albion's Board of Trustees decided to discontinue the minor in journalism. Some faculty members lament this decision in part because it means the probable end of the student-run newspaper. However, Albion's communications office could put out a good newspaper, just as they produce the alumni magazine.
- Albion College Theater Department's recent production of The Heidi Chronicles was well-staged, well-performed, and entertaining.
- Senator-elect Rand Paul has criticized President Obama for giving "credibility and credence" to dictators like Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe when he supported global action to curb greenhouse emissions by attending the climate talks in Copenhagen. Paul is correct: if these dictators support such action, the US should not.
- Sarah Palin's reality television show debuted recently to mixed reviews. But many commentators agreed that the show seems intended as a platform from which Palin could launch the 2012 presidential bid she says she is considering. Professor Kathleen Hill Jamieson, a specialist in political rhetoric, said that Palin is "crafting her lifestyle and her biography as typifying a person who's independent, rugged, resilient, . . . and has learned life lessons that she can bring into governance." If a reality T.V. show can win someone the US presidency, our democracy is in serious trouble.
- Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell was fired recently for "conduct unbecoming a state employee, especially that of an assistant attorney general." Attorney General Mike Cox said he supported Shirvell's right to free speech but that Shirvell "engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources" in his campaign against Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan's first openly gay student-assembly president. Philip Thomas, Shirvell's lawyer, claimed that Shirvell "is a victim of the liberal media piling on." Thomas is right: Cox is bowing to the liberal media's bias against people who oppose the homosexual agenda.
- A middle-school coach in Corpus Christi, Texas, and his eighth-grade quarterback made news recently by pulling off what one news source called "one of the best trick plays you'll ever see." In the play, quarterback Jason Garza made a snap from center appear to be a casual hand-off so that the defensive team didn't realize that the ball was actually live.NPR sports commentator Frank Deford condemned the coach for teaching his team to use dirty tricks. Deford is correct: such tricks are unsportsmanlike and set a bad example for the young.
- Marc Rotenberg, who is president of Electronic Privacy Information Center and teaches privacy law at Georgetown University Law Center, says that the new electronic body scanners and pat-down procedures that went into effect recently at US airports are an invasion of privacy. He claims, "In response to our objections, the government says 'terrorism' and '9/11.' But neither word grants the government a 'blank check,' as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor once wrote, to ignore the Constitution or to violate federal law." Rotenberg is correct: these new procedures just go too far.