With improvements in sports officiating such as allowing challenges, appeals, and/or reviews of calls on the field, will any major sport do away with human officiating?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Instant replay has become ubiquitous in all refereed sports. Coaches and managers can challenge calls by referees and umpires, and the number of calls subject to challenge is expanding. Technology can show us the outline of a baseball strike zone, allowing viewers to judge for themselves if the umpire called a pitch correctly. Football passes can be ruled a catch or a no-catch based on reviewing numerous videotaped camera shots. Sensors in tennis are used on the court lines to prove if a shot was in or out. Because of the money involved in winning or losing games, tournaments, and championships, it’s logical to want biased or inconsistent officiating to have as small an impact as possible on the outcome of the game. Continue reading

Will self-driving cars ever be 100% safe, as most manufacturers claim them to be?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Self-driving cars (SDC) seem to be an inevitable development in automobile technology. I hope the technology improves to the point where driving in a car is even safer than airline travel, which is currently the safest form of mechanical transportation. But I don’t believe SDCs will ever become 100% safe and remain practical and affordable. 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

Is there a better way to deal with illegal immigrant families than arresting the parents and taking their children?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The tremendous idiocy and cruelty of separating parents and children at the border has got to stop permanently. The statement that “the law” required the separation was an outright lie, and the outrage didn’t stop until public opinion created a tidal wave of protest and outrage, even among the president’s own party. Continue reading

Will Californians succeed in dividing the current state into three separate states?

Owatonna, NC Correspondent-A ballot referendum in California this fall will decide if Californians will be able to petition the Federal government to split the state into three separate states: (new) California, Northern California, and Southern California. Polls show that a large majority of California voters oppose the referendum (an April 2018 poll by SurveyUSA.com showed that 72% are opposed). Even if the referendum miraculously passes, I strongly doubt the Feds will allow California to split itself into three smaller states.

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How can we solve the growing labor shortages and get foreign workers into US jobs where they are needed?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-There are tens of thousands of businesses across the U.S. hanging out help wanted signs for technical and professional jobs that are going unfilled. We simply don’t have the talent base in our native workforce to fill them all, and it will be decades before we’ve got enough workers trained to meet the need…by which time the opportunity will be gone. 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

Will President Trump’s “tariff wars” be a net positive or negative for the US economy?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I’d love to say I’ve got President Trump figured out, but he continues to confound me. He made more progress in Korea than the last several presidents with basically one meeting, but then took to Twitter and managed to alienate half the leaders in Europe with his Insane President Cheeto routine in the wee hours. Continue reading

Will the rise of student activism after the Parkland, Florida school shooting help reduce mass shootings?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Ah, the idealism of youth! I sometimes long for the days when I truly believed that walking out of class, painting signs and marching while singing protest songs could actually bring about change.  Sadly, I have lived a half-century now and realize that our government has been completely bought and paid for by special interests, chief among them the gun lobby.  Even the merest suggestion that private citizens might not need to defend themselves or go hunting with weapons designed to kill humans by the score is met with Constitution-shaking outrage and the threat of dried-up donations. Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Boxe Releases Transcript of Q&A Session from Independence Day 2018 Champagne Summit

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL and Washington, D.C. July 31, 2018—Thinking Outside the Boxe has released the transcripts of the question and answer session from its Independence Day Champagne Summit held in Orlando on July 4, 2018.  Participants in the annual Champagne Summit question and answer session included Thinking Outside the Boxe’s correspondents from Gastonia, North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Owatonna, Minnesota.  Digger Cartwright, internationally acclaimed award-winning mystery novelist, also participated in the question and answer session.

Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Champagne Summit provides an opportunity for business leaders, economists, political commentators, and individuals interested in nonpartisan examination of current events to gather for an afternoon of debate and roundtable discussions on a variety of topics.  This year’s event featured topics such as pollution and the environment, geopolitics such as the US/North Korea summit, gun control, tariffs, taxes and economic policy, the US Supreme Court, privacy concerns and Big Data, technology, and more.

The transcript is available at www.ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe.com.  Transcripts of Mr. Cartwright’s responses have not been released by his office as yet.

About Thinking Outside the Boxe—Thinking Outside the Boxe is a private, nonpartisan think tank that is dedicated to providing a wide variety of perspectives on issues that are of interest to the general public.  The views that are expressed in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentaries and research are often times uncommon, provocative, and controversial.  Thinking Outside the Boxe’s mission is to formulate and promote positions and to provide research, independently, that would otherwise be deprived of an outlet in the mainstream media.  Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentators and researchers seek to broaden the parameters of public knowledge by addressing issues in such a fashion as to provoke thought and debate on some of the most pressing issues of our day.

Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Champagne Summit series began as a side event to the annual symposium held in December each year.  Increased interest in these events by participants and guests led Thinking Outside the Boxe to include an Independence Day Champagne Summit and an Election Day Champagne Summit (every two years) in addition to the annual symposium.


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