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

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

As concussions in pro sports rise (especially in football), attendance seems to be falling across the board. Will football lose its rank as America’s favorite spectator sport because of the increasing violence and subsequent injuries?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Even though declining attendance at football games isn’t currently caused by fans not caring to watch an increasingly violent sport which causes too many severe injuries, fan interest may eventually decrease faster because of the injury issue. Because football athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever, it’s a given that injuries will become more frequent and more severe. There is also a growing trend in sports toward more awareness about injuries, especially head injuries like concussions. In the forefront of that awareness is the discovery that many retired footballers from past generations are reporting severe brain issues such as Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 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

With political parties seemingly less productive and more gridlocked, and business executives focused primarily on amassing wealth, are there any real and effective leaders anymore? If so, who?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I have all but given up on finding leaders from among the ranks of politicos in Washington or in our state houses across the country. Self-dealing, blind party loyalty and rampant self-aggrandizement rule the day, and the few moderates left find themselves buried under partisan shouting and pushed to the periphery. There are a few in the House, like a New Jersey Republican congressman voting against the tax bill because it will hurt New Jerseyans who will no longer be able to deduct their state income taxes, but he’s by far in the minority. Continue reading

The wave of sexual harassment charges against well-known or powerful men seems to get worse by the day. Is this the tip of the iceberg? Or, are these men being used as scapegoats or to further politically motivated schemes?

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-Everyone thought Bill Cosby was the only monster lurking behind a name and a feign smile. Maybe because he was black? Eh, that’s not important.

I don’t believe these occurrences are being unfurled to further political schemes nor are these men being used as mere scapegoats. What was done in secrecy was bound to come to light. Continue reading

How can the US (or any other country for that matter) stop North Korea from inciting a nuclear war?

Cartwright-I really think we only have two options. We either launch pre-emptive strikes to take out their nuclear facilities, their political leadership, their military, and their infrastructure or we completely disengage from North Korea, ignore them, allow the regime to obtain nuclear weapons, and live with the consequences. Continue reading

Will digital currencies eventually become the reserve currencies of the world, and why?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-When you think about all the forms currency has taken in the world since humans began to trade goods and services with each other, it is certainly a possibility that some type of digital currency may become the reserve currency of the world. After all, currencies have taken the form of gold, silver, copper, salt, shells, even cigarettes (in prison and prisoner of war camps). Why not add electrons to that list? Continue reading

Does the Declaration of Independence no longer have the significance that it once had?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– Most Americans today view Independence Day as another holiday with fireworks and barbequing in the backyard or local park, or waterskiing at the lake or perhaps participating in a hometown parade. The actual document or proclamation of the Declaration of Independence is not likely to be reading material in celebrations today, even though it is readily available online as well as in pamphlets, booklets and other sources. Continue reading