Category Archives: National

The Zimmerman Trial and Racism in America

This topic was discussed on July 15, 2013

  • To what degree did race play a role in the Zimmerman trial?
  • Would/should the outcome have been different if the roles were reversed?
  • Was the prosecution case effective or defective?
  • To what degree was the outcome defined by which side “put on a better show” for the jury?  What might that say about the concept of a jury of peers vs. a decision by a judge (who might be less swayed by a “show”)?

Local Food Ordinances: Fair to all?

  • What should the role of the Federal, state and local governments be in regulating food safety?
  • Should local jurisdictions be able to supercede Federal or state regulation?
  • To what degree does relaxing the rules for small farmers’ local sales put food safety at risk?
  • How will the general population “know” whether less-regulated local products are safe until there is an issue?
  • Assuming support for local farmers is a key objective, are such ordinances fair to those farmers who follow the rules?
  • Does this issue cut across traditional ideological lines, aligning “conservative libertarians” with “organic liberals?”

Education: Is it successfully preparing the next generation?

This topic was discussed on August 5, 2013

  • Who needs to be better educated?
  • What does “better educated” mean…college, vocational skills, critical thinking, practical “life skills?”
  • How do we emphasize more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, which seem to be in high demand from employers?
  • What is the role of, and outlook for, social studies, foreign language, English?
  • Is this an issue that should be dealt with via Federal policy (regulation, mandates, etc.) or at the state and local levels?
    • How should Federal, state and local input be coordinated?