Symposium 2016: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is set to undergo repeal or possible major changes in the near future. Will those changes be of benefit to those in need of coverage, or should the plan be abandoned altogether?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent- The Congress is soon to be at work on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA-Obamacare), and the changes, which have been proposed through Dr. Tom Price’s Empowering Patients First Act and other House Republican alternatives to Obamacare will most likely provide partial to full replacement of the Affordable  Care Act. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: Minimum wage laws were passed in a number of states during the last election to raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, and a national campaign has been initiated to institute a $15 an hour minimum. Will these increases be detrimental to jobs and job security?

Myrtle Beach, SC Correspondent- Will it hurt job security? I would say probably. Here is the issue here, rather than paying their workers a higher dollar amount some companies will probably just automate their process more. Companies who can’t afford to automate will either pay the going rate, slim down their company, put more people on salary and work them harder, or close. There are too many scenarios here. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: In looking at climate change, or the “global warming” phenomenon that as evolved over the years, what if anything has changed with the real scientific evidence of its existence or non-existence? Is it all a hoax to simply take more tax dollars and distribute them to green industries and others involved in climate change rhetoric?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent- The climate change phenomenon has had its ups and downs concerning its existence and it will continue to be a controversial subject as long as there is money to be made from a climate agenda and the regulations governing it.  It will continue to dominate the scientific world and will remain a controversial issue as long as it serves the greater cause of saving the planet from global warming and fills the pockets of its supporters. Continue reading

The election of Donald Trump has the Iranian regime and the mullahs there in panic mode with mounting fears of losing their current Obama appeasement policy. Should this policy be allowed to continue under a Trump administration or will Iran finally have to relinquish its power in the region?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent- Donald Trump is going to do what Donald Trump wants to do, so the qualifier “should” regarding the US policy toward Iran is a moot point. The bigger question is ‘What’s the best policy for the US to promote regarding Iran and the Middle East in general?” Continue reading

Symposium 2016: Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman cautions that the Democratic Party needs to find a leader who will keep it from being completely overtaken by the far left wing of the party. Should tried and true Democrats prevent this kind of takeover, or should they simply let the party further deteriorate into something far more left wing?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent- As we’ve seen with the Republican party in recent years, change in party philosophy begins more at the grassroots level than with party leadership. The core Republican is now much more conservative than he or she was a few decades ago. And we shouldn’t forget that back in the first half of the 20th Century, Republicans were the more dovish of the two major parties, reluctant to go to war during both World Wars. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is experiencing as many problems as the Veteran’s Administration, particularly in the areas of super bugs and other diseases that have appeared and are being transmitted within the United States. Inadequate cleaning within hospitals has also become a serious issue. What if anything is being done by the CDC to face these problems and should they be made to intensify serious overhauls to stop contagious diseases and hospital filth within America?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent- The CDC is actually one of the few departments within the federal government that gives more than it gets in terms of dollars spent.  The current epidemiological landscape is a truly terrifying one, with an increasingly mobile populace, mining and deforestation opening up potential caches of viruses and bacteria to which we have no immunity, overuse of antibiotics creating superbugs and “anti-vaxxers” waging the world’s stupidest war on herd immunity.  Rather than “making” the agency do anything, I’d say we should “let” it do its job with less hand-wringing and nit-picking over measures that are vitally necessary to save not just America, but the planet from a pandemic that will make smallpox look like a heat rash.  Part of that should absolutely involve hospital and clinic sanitation.  The fact that hospitals are choosing to release semi-healed patients to protect them from getting hospital-borne infections should be laughable, but instead it’s downright terrifying.  Civil and criminal penalties should be levied against health care workers and institutions that place the public in danger by failing to maintain basic sanitation. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: America’s original values and its culture have been undermined for at least 50 years or more with a resulting deconstruction of what the term America or American means. Is there true deterioration? If so, how can it be remedied?

Owatonna, NC Correspondent- To say that America’s values and culture have been undermined implies deliberate action by a person or group who is (are) intentionally working to “destroy” what once was in terms of culture and values. I’m not sure it’s quite as simple as wanton destruction. As more and different subgroups of Americans claim a direct stake in our society, these groups will work to change our culture in ways that will either right past wrongs or give them a greater say in the important decisions we make as a nation. They will also have more input into what we accept as normal in our daily lives.

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Symposium 2016: The cereal giant Kellogg’s has launched a boycott against the online news organization Brietbart.com. Are Kellogg’s complaints against Breitbart legitimate? Is Breitbart within its rights to challenge “king” Kellogg’s?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent- In Stephen King’s epic “The Stand,” there was a minor character called the “monster shouter,” who roamed the streets shouting that the monsters were coming.  He was a paranoiac degenerate, and thus reminds me very much of the Breitbart organization.  It exists to spread rumor and falsehood, propagate fake news, stoke the fires of racial hatred and cloud the real issues we face by setting up pariahs and heroes on a whim.  Kellogg’s was right to do what it did, and the other advertisers who’ve fled the site in response can see the writing on the wall. With Trump as our president, who will be Breitbart’s bete noire now?  In the absence of the Obama crew, who will populate its enemies list?  I’m looking forward to not paying attention. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: Two classic books, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird are no longer permitted reading for students in a county in Virginia. These classics and others have had a history of being banned in schools and libraries across the country. Should these books and others be banned, and who should have the say-so in such decisions?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent- Three issues are at play here: free speech, the rights of individual school districts to teach children the way they think is best, and political correctness. It has always been my belief that freedom of expression is the most important Constitutional right in America. Everything else stems from that core right. I also believe that local government should be the most important level of government. Each locality should have the freedom to govern in the best interest of their constituents. Political correctness is the 800-pound gorilla in the room that casts a cloud over race relations because far too many people are trying to legislate morality by controlling what words can, can’t, should, or shouldn’t be spoken in public. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: The North Dakota Pipeline has caused controversy on a number of fronts. Those in opposition to the pipeline are protesting the plans to route the pipeline under a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation. Is this protest legitimate? Should construction of the pipeline be shut down or permitted to continue?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent- The protests surrounding the North Dakota Pipeline were legitimate in the sense of the support of the Standing Rock tribe’s efforts to suspend the pipeline project, as the Army Corps of Engineers has now successfully blocked a final piece of the 1,200 mile pipeline, but in the true sense of legitimacy, the tribe had no real reasons for protesting. Continue reading