Symposium 2011: Should English be made the official language of the United States?

Sydney:  I thought English was the official language of the United States. I think it would make sense because it is the main language spoken here, even if so many other languages are spoken as well. I think it would encourage immigrants to learn English which would make it easier for them to integrate into the wider community. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: Is China a strategic partner, a strategic competitor, or an enemy of the United States? Are they an economic threat or a military threat?

Michigan:  China is too busy building factories and infrastructure to worry about such things as world peace keeping, nuclear weapons, or a world class military.  We need China and they need us.  I think that China may have the best economy in the world today.  So yes, they are an economic threat.  As far as a military threat, they can have anything they want, but they are content to set back and watch us spend our money. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: Should the U.S. continue pursuing the six-party talks with North Korea? If not, what policy would be more effective?

Cartwright:  Unlike Iran whose leaders are religious fanatics, I think North Korea is engaging in economic extortion.  It doesn’t hurt to keep talking to them and giving a little of what they want each time if it keeps them contained and keeps their programme in check.  However, if Kim Jong-un is going to be aggressive with the nuclear arms or take a different approach than his father, I think we would have to reassess the benefits of the talks.  Continue reading

Symposium 2011: What’s your assessment of the United Nations. Should we cut off funding? Is the creation of a Palestinian state in the best interests of U.S. security concerns?

RMC:  I think the United Nations started out as a good organization conceptually, but it has failed the world at every turn.  They haven’t really accomplished very much of anything on the world stage in the way of stopping genocide, abuses of people by dictators and despots, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, etc.  And now that the U.S. has left Iraq, where are the peacekeepers in their little blue helmets?  And when Iran ultimately obtains nuclear weapons capabilities, it will just be another vast failure of the United Nations.  Continue reading

Symposium 2011: Should the U.S. have policies pursuing democracy in the Middle East?

RMC:  The spread of democracy is a noble ambition.  Peoples have a right to live in freedom, without oppression, and with certain basic rights.  There are a lot of places in the Middle East that have never known democracy in recorded history.  To suddenly thrust democracy upon these peoples is a little presumptuous and dangerous.  They don’t know how to suddenly handle their freedoms.  The new democracy is fragile and susceptible to infiltration by hostile or subversive forces.  Continue reading

Symposium 2011: How do we prevent Iran from infiltrating the new Iraqi government now that U.S. troops have left the country and prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons?

RMC:  Without a continued military presence in Iraq there’s no way to ensure that Iran doesn’t meddle in Iraq’s affairs.  The troop presence in Iraq was a powerful counterbalance to Iran and its desire to dominate the Middle East.  While we effectively trained the Iraqi military and police, we don’t know their ability to fend off Iranian influence.  And honestly, if Iran wanted to march into Iraq and take over, they probably could.  Continue reading

Symposium 2011: There have been dozens of attempted terror attacks since 9/11. Most of them originated from Middle Eastern countries. Should we be profiling passengers on commercial jetliners?

Michigan:  Yes, of course.  If you are not a citizen, a ticket should not be able to be obtained to enter the U.S. until you’re cleared.  In the case of some countries, no incoming air travel should be allowed at all. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: What reforms, if any, should the United States institute to its legal immigration system?

Cartwright:  I think we should make it more difficult to get here, but the downside to that as some would argue is that it then encourages illegal immigration.  Here’s where I have a problem with both legal and illegal immigration.  We’ve got immigrants coming here to go to school and take jobs that American citizens should have.  But the worst part is that the immigrants usually aren’t paying their burden of taxes.  It would be nice if we had a national sales tax to capture something from those who don’t pay any tax.  Oh, but wait a minute, usually foreigners who come here can get all their sales tax expenditure back by filling out some forms and jumping through hoops.  Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it? Continue reading

Symposium 2011: Most everyone, Democrat and Republican alike, agrees that we must control the border. How do we achieve a secure border? Was the intent of the 14th amendment to grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants? Should illegals receive welfare benefits or tax credits?

RMC:  Thinking Outside the Boxe has long thought that a real border fence is impractical.  We’ve supported both a virtual fence using cameras and drone technology as well as an increased presence of military personnel on the border.  Now that we’ve got a lot of troops coming home from Iraq, let’s reposition them on the border with Mexico.  If we need more manpower, let’s recruit more people into the military so that we can secure and protect our border.  These Mexican drug cartels aren’t going to take on the whole U.S. military.  There won’t be much competition there. Continue reading