Thursday, August 26, 2010

Think About It

      At all times Americans seem to need some controversial topic on which to disagree - Heaven knows, there are certainly enough of them at the present time. I have selected three of them to discuss briefly – two of them have been around for several years, and one is current. I offer no solutions, but I have tried to boil the discussions down to questions to ask ourselves, or in one case, a metaphorical description of the topic.     
Scientists have been making us aware of global warming for several years. Most people believe it is happening, but the mechanism behind it is controversial: is it caused by manmade greenhouse gases, or is it a naturally occurring phenomenon? In either case there are some things we can do to alleviate the problems. Washington politicians have elected to argue about the cost of safety measures, as a result they do nothing. Bloggers and pundits have been asking variations of the following question: Don’t these politicians have grandchildren?
A Muslim imam wants to build Park51, a community center, including a prayer room, a couple of blocks from the spot where the World Trade Center was toppled by Muslim conservatives in 2001. There seems to be no question that such an undertaking at that site is constitutional; the controversy arises because many Americans feel that it should not be built so close to the scene of that awful tragedy. An astute reader has written a letter to the editor of the Lancaster, Pa. Intelligencer asking the following question: Because of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, should we prohibit the building of Christian churches near the site because the bombing was perpetrated by Christians?
"Trickle-down economics", “Reaganomics” and "supply-side economics" are terms of political rhetoric that refer to the policy of providing across the board tax cuts or benefits to businesses, such as tax breaks, in the belief that this will indirectly benefit the broad population. Proponents of these policies claim that if the top income earners invest more into the business infrastructure and equity markets, it will in turn lead to more goods at lower prices, and create more jobs for middle and lower class individuals. Here is a simplified explanation: Picture a horse as representative of the rich upper class. The horse is fed oats, which pass through undigested and are left on the ground for the sparrows (lower class) to eat. The more the horse is fed, the more oats the sparrows will have to eat. (It is important that no one asks why some of the oats couldn’t be fed directly to the sparrows.)
      There you have it – three controversial topics of conversation. Whichever side of the issues you land on, I hope you will do so after serious consideration. Please decide with your reasoning, not your emotions.
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      Now for the hard part: The atom is 99.9…9% (13 nines after the decimal point) empty space! If you were to remove all the empty space in the atoms that make up a human being, he or she would be a lot smaller than a grain of salt!
      Matter Matters – The Spirit Runs Through It.

      The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.

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