Will the rise of student activism after the Parkland, Florida school shooting help reduce mass shootings?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Ah, the idealism of youth! I sometimes long for the days when I truly believed that walking out of class, painting signs and marching while singing protest songs could actually bring about change.  Sadly, I have lived a half-century now and realize that our government has been completely bought and paid for by special interests, chief among them the gun lobby.  Even the merest suggestion that private citizens might not need to defend themselves or go hunting with weapons designed to kill humans by the score is met with Constitution-shaking outrage and the threat of dried-up donations. Continue reading

Will the new relationship between The US and North Korea lead to real peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-President Trump’s summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was historic and significant only in that it was a first of many small steps toward creating a better relationship between the two nations. Most experts have said nothing substantial came out of the summit in terms of tangible policy like North Korea following through on its promise to denuclearize. Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Boxe Releases Transcript of Q&A Session from Independence Day 2018 Champagne Summit

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL and Washington, D.C. July 31, 2018—Thinking Outside the Boxe has released the transcripts of the question and answer session from its Independence Day Champagne Summit held in Orlando on July 4, 2018.  Participants in the annual Champagne Summit question and answer session included Thinking Outside the Boxe’s correspondents from Gastonia, North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Owatonna, Minnesota.  Digger Cartwright, internationally acclaimed award-winning mystery novelist, also participated in the question and answer session.

Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Champagne Summit provides an opportunity for business leaders, economists, political commentators, and individuals interested in nonpartisan examination of current events to gather for an afternoon of debate and roundtable discussions on a variety of topics.  This year’s event featured topics such as pollution and the environment, geopolitics such as the US/North Korea summit, gun control, tariffs, taxes and economic policy, the US Supreme Court, privacy concerns and Big Data, technology, and more.

The transcript is available at www.ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe.com.  Transcripts of Mr. Cartwright’s responses have not been released by his office as yet.

About Thinking Outside the Boxe—Thinking Outside the Boxe is a private, nonpartisan think tank that is dedicated to providing a wide variety of perspectives on issues that are of interest to the general public.  The views that are expressed in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentaries and research are often times uncommon, provocative, and controversial.  Thinking Outside the Boxe’s mission is to formulate and promote positions and to provide research, independently, that would otherwise be deprived of an outlet in the mainstream media.  Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentators and researchers seek to broaden the parameters of public knowledge by addressing issues in such a fashion as to provoke thought and debate on some of the most pressing issues of our day.

Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Champagne Summit series began as a side event to the annual symposium held in December each year.  Increased interest in these events by participants and guests led Thinking Outside the Boxe to include an Independence Day Champagne Summit and an Election Day Champagne Summit (every two years) in addition to the annual symposium.


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Website: www.ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe.com

Twitter:  @ThinkOutOfBoxe

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe

Blog:  www.ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe.us

Daily News Briefing: www.thinkingoutsidetheboxe.org



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What can be done about reducing the amount of plastic trash from numerous sources that are seriously threatening the oceans?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Plastic is ubiquitous in modern daily life because of its light weight, malleability, and versatility in making hundreds of different products from straws to containers to automobile parts to siding for houses. It’s generally accepted plastic has been positive for the world in many ways. But the downside of this wonder material is its slow decomposition rate due to the fact that plastic is composed of large molecules. Continue reading

Is it time for legislators to adopt an Animal Bill of Rights in the United States?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Taken at face value, an animal bill of rights sounds like a good, humane, decent idea. Most of us like animals of one kind or another. Most American households have a pet. And if a bill of rights is good for people, shouldn’t it be good for animals too?

My primary reservation about implementing an animal bill of rights is whether all animals found in this country would be included. An animal is defined in simple terms as any living organism that is not a plant. Will this bill of rights include dust mites? Mosquitos? Protozoans? Jellyfish? Earthworms? Probably not, but where do we draw the line? Will society waste time and money with endless debates, lobbying, and lawsuits about which animals will be included in the bill of rights? Continue reading

Recent sexual misconduct scandals involving members of the Congress have revealed that taxpayer dollars were used to settle sexual harassment lawsuits. Should those members of the Congress who used taxpayer funds to settle these lawsuits be forced to resign, pay the money back and potentially be prosecuted?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The idea of members of Congress using taxpayer dollars to defend themselves from or settle sexual harassment claims makes my blood boil, but when I look at it a bit more closely I see there’s one avenue wherein the expense is justified. If it hasn’t already happened, I’m sure there will soon be baseless allegations leveled at a member of Congress for political gain. I would hate for an innocent man or woman to have to pay the cost of defending charges that came simply because of the office they hold. Continue reading

President Trump has called on the Congress to send him a bill that fixes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Should this involve amnesty, a path to citizenship, or some other solution to immigration?

Myrtle Beach, SC Correspondent-The ONLY thing it should include is a path to citizenship. There is absolutely no reason to offer amnesty. I don’t want to sound heartless, but it’s not fair to grant amnesty for the sheer fact that their parents brought them over illegally. It’s NOT difficult to become an American citizen. There isn’t much else to say on the subject…become a citizen or leave like everyone else. I have a friend who wanted to come to America at a young age from Germany. So, she joined the American Army as a translator in Germany and went through the legal process to become an American citizen. I don’t know why all of the sudden it’s ok to allow “illegals” to stay. Did they change the definition of illegal without me knowing? Continue reading

Is the increasing number of civil and criminal trials at local and state levels placing undue burdens on private citizens being called for jury duty? Is it really possible to get a jury of your peers due to differences in socio-economic background, educational background, etc.?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent– I was recently called for jury duty, and saw up close that the entire concept of “a jury of your peers” is a complete farce in today’s society. At age 48, I was the youngest person seated for the jury in the trail of a young man in his early 20s accused of a drug offense. Most of those on the jury were white and at least middle class, while the defendant obviously came from meager circumstances. Thanks to having lived very close to the bone in my youth, I felt I had a bit of an understanding of his life, but surely not enough to be a truly good juror. Continue reading

Should the US work to stop or at least reduce urban sprawl in its major cities? Why or why not?

Cartwright- I’m not sure that is feasible. How are we going to stop urban sprawl? Tell people they can’t move to this city or that city? Tell the people in those cities that you can’t move to the suburbs? We can’t stop development and progress. That’s not productive or logical. Urban sprawl is going to happen, and there’s little we can or should do to stop it. Continue reading

Do large wind farms with huge turbines have a net positive or net negative impact on the environment?

Cartwright-I haven’t done any type of research into wind farms to be able to say whether there’s a net positive or net negative impact. As long as the economics work, I think wind farms have tremendous potential and merit. I have long thought that we should have windmills along the coasts and offshore where you seem to always have a breeze. In addition, I would love to see smaller windmills placed on the roofs of buildings on somewhere on the property to help generate power for the facility. Wind is a great renewable energy source and has been used throughout history. Continue reading