Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I don’t think we’re at risk of becoming a Big Brother society, I think we’re already there. Big Data has infiltrated every part of our lives, and the ability of hackers to take over smart devices in our homes, listen in our baby monitors and even turn on the cameras in our computers and cellphones remotely has made an illusion of privacy. It’s the price of being part of the digital world. Unless you want to live in a yurt and burn cow dung for heat, you’re going to have to surrender some of your privacy in exchange for entrée into the modern world. Continue reading
Canada recently legalized recreational marijuana. Will this increase the chances that recreational marijuana is legalized in the US?
Owatonna, MN Correspondent-The world is finally waking up to the fact that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and shouldn’t be outlawed. Canada is the latest in the growing trend of countries and states who are legalizing pot for recreational use. Although Canada’s decision to legalize sends a clear message to other nations that the trend is growing, it won’t necessarily push the US government to legalize marijuana nationwide. Continue reading
Is cutting taxes without cutting spending—as happened with the passage of the 2018 federal tax bill—a viable long-term economic strategy?
Owatonna, MN Correspondent-The feds passed another massive tax cut bill in 2018 that will push the annual deficits up toward the $1 trillion per year level yet again. We are the largest debtor nation in the history of the world and will probably never be challenged for that honor by any other country. Continue reading
The Supreme Court recently upheld President Trump’s travel ban on people from primarily Muslim countries. Will this encourage Trump and future presidents to become more autocratic?
Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Until recent decades, the Supreme Court upholding an executive order (EO) issued by the President wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy. Challenging EOs is a normal, healthy component of this country’s system of checks and balances used to ensure none of the three branches of government acquires too much power. But now that politics has become the overriding factor in choosing Supreme Court justices, this decision is troublesome for several reasons. 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
According to experts, the US faces a massive infrastructure crisis that will require significant repairs and upgrades to our current infrastructure. How can this be achieved without crippling the economy with severe tax increases?
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Remember the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis a few years back? An interstate bridge, something most of us drive over every day, simply…went away. The dead and injured were numerous, and it took months for traffic flow to be restored. Similar disasters are coming, and will become almost a commonplace occurrence if we don’t do something NOW about our crumbling infrastructure. Our rail system is a complete joke, our roads are crumbling and our water, sewer and electric systems are pitifully vulnerable to not only natural disasters but terrorist attack. Continue reading
President Trump has decided to pull the US out of the Paris Climate accord, the treaty designed to combat “climate change.” Will those who want to work toward solving the problems associated with global warming be more effective or less effective without the participation of the US government?
Myrtle Beach Correspondent-Even though Trump has pulled out it seems as though many US based businesses have not. I’m not convinced on Global Warming one way or another. I do believe it is important to start finding alternative solutions for energy. We do need to work on emissions as well, but why can’t we just plant more trees? This is a whole different argument so I digress. Will the accord be as effective without the US? Yes, I believe it will. I’m not really well educated on this accord; but I think every other country has agreed to participate, and I believe the US still will if some specific changes are made. Continue reading
The Republican tax bill passed and was signed into law by President Trump, which means the US debt may grow by another 1.5 trillion dollars. Can we avoid having this skyrocketing debt load cripple our economy? If so, how?
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The current Republican tax bill is the biggest batch of big-business sops, sham “benefits” for the middle class that will end up costing them and social engineering camouflaged as financial policy ever put forth. The GOP is trying to foster its spurious “business-first” agenda by giving gigantic tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, while stripping the middle class of things like the state and local income tax deductions. Yes, there’s a short-term tax cut for the middle class, but that will expire…and the loss of the deductions won’t. Continue reading