Symposium 2016: Should we cut our territories and possessions loose and let them be independent nations?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent- Let’s look at Puerto Rico as an example for the purposes of this question.  Not only do the vast majority of people there not want to be independent, support for statehood is nearing all-time highs.  Rather than cutting them loose, I say we make PR a state and stop letting the country degenerate into a third-world sinkhole.  Bad investments, poor civil planning and insanely inept governance has turned what should be a tropical paradise into a poor cousin to the U.S.  Bringing the country into the fold would help all those problems, and in the end we would bear an economic boon as a result.  Our other territories are by and large small locales that likely wouldn’t survive on their own, and I don’t really see the benefit in cutting them loose. 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

Many countries in the Middle East are in political turmoil and even civil war since the Arab Spring revolution that began in 2010. Was the Arab Spring a big political mistake?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The Arab Spring was a major political mistake because of its ripple effect on the many countries in the region and the reluctance of America and its allies to thwart the resulting disasters. The inability of the Obama administration to respond in the appropriate manner to the Arab Spring uprising was a huge challenge that was not dealt with appropriately. The ramifications of those continued uprisings, protests and terrorist activities will be passed on to President-elect Donald Trump to sort out and some day resolve.   Continue reading

With the Obama administration’s plan to yield control of the technical management of the internet to those in the global community, should Congress prevent the turnover of the internet to foreign interests and the United Nations?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent- The major technology companies, which include Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon and others are now calling for Congress to support the plan for transfer of the technical aspect of the internet to those in the global community. Many in the public, private individuals and internet based companies are wary of this plan because of numerous restrictive and invasive aspects, which likely entail the full run of the internet by rogue and authoritarian regimes that already want ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to become part of the United Nations. Continue reading

Should Ryan Lochte be stripped of his medals and banned from future competitions for his behavior at the Rio Olympics? Why or why not?

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-“With whom much is given, much is expected”. When you’re in a position as Ryan Lochte, with a great deal to lose, you have to be careful.

Be mindful, those athletes involved are all humans, and imperfect ones at that, but that does not exclude their juvenile and irresponsible behavior. Continue reading

In light of the myriad problems and risks present in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, should the Olympic summer games permanently move to Athens, Greece, the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-While there were a few problems in Rio (not nearly as many as Ryan Lochte would have us believe), the Games overall went off pretty smoothly.  Its lingering effects on the Brazilian economy remain to be seen, with estimates ranging from a huge bonanza to the financial analog of a gas truck plowing into a fireworks factory. Continue reading

Norway recently became the first country to “ban” deforestation. Deforestation is clearly a global issue that has many ramifications for the environment. What, if anything, can we do to slow the rate of deforestation in the US and throughout the world?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-Deforestation has been a practice in developing countries and the United States for some time, and it has impacted the environment in both positive and negative ways. Most of the ill effects of deforestation are caused by corporations, companies, and individuals wanting to extract as many valuable resources and other byproducts as they can from heavily forested areas. They quickly move on to other spaces while using unsafe and illegal practices, which not only perpetuate greed, unchecked deforestation, and inefficient agricultural procedures, but government neglect. Continue reading

Have the Olympics outlived their purpose and usefulness? Host countries spend billions of dollars, and in the case of Brazil, have better uses for the money. For sponsors, is the investment in elite athletes a good use of money on hopes they will get their picture on a box of Wheaties?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I am a hardcore supporter of the Olympics, and I still believe that the Games allow us to showcase what is best in us and lets countries that might be nearly in states of active war compete on a level playing field. (Much more level now that the Russians have been busted for their doping ways.) Continue reading