Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues



Infectious Diseases

  • Have we become complacent as a result of relatively few massive US epidemics?
  • How should the risk of epidemic be managed?  Global (WHO), national (CDC), local?
  • Are we doing what we need to do to manage the risks?
    • Annual flu vaccines?
    • Stockpiling other vaccines and treatments for the epidemic risks?
  • Do we need to do more to curtail the risk, or is the current system sufficient?
  • Who should pay for enhanced “epidemic prevention/management?

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?”

North Korea: Should we worry?

  • As a relatively small, distant and weak economy, what are the “vital U.S. interests” in North Korea?
  • To what degree is this a “U.S.” issue; shouldn’t other nations in closer proximity (China, South Korea, Japan) take the lead?
  • How do we feel about the U.S. military presence in South Korea?
  • What about the threat to stability of North Korea’s export of weapons and, potentially, nuclear know-how?
  • How strong–and likely to last–is the Kim leadership dynasty in the face of the hardships faced by the “common man”…shortages of food, power, etc.?
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