Marine Dead Zones Nov. 27

Dead zones are so named because they are areas in the ocean without any oxygen. Any animals that cannot swim or move out of the area quickly enough will die. There are about 550 dead zones in the oceans today, including several off the Oregon coast. Some of these dead zones stretch for a hundred miles. Some scientists think that once a die off happened because of a dead zone, that it could take many years, perhaps hundreds before a healthy marine ecosystem can be re-established. Continue reading

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Torture – is it ever justified? Nov. 16th

This is a very unpleasant thing to discuss and hopefully we will never have to make a decision about that, but if our elected representatives are going to make decisions about torture in our behalf, shouldn’t we at least talk about it?  Continue reading

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The Jobs of the Future Nov. 13th

Many people are concerned about jobs. Most of the good paying manufacturing jobs have been moved to other countries which have cheaper labor and fewer regulations. Many other manufacturing jobs have been lost to automation. So does that mean that everyone in the future will be relegated to service jobs like flipping burgers and waiting tables?  Continue reading

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Preventing Cancer Nov. 1

There are about 54 million chemicals that are registered. About  84,000 chemicals are in our food or air and water. 78% of these have had no tests for even basic toxicity. Only about 900 have been tested for carcinogenic properties. Continue reading

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End of Life Issues Oct. 23rd


This is probably one of the most important and relevant issue we will be talking about. Most of us are in our “Golden” years, have experienced the deaths of loved ones, and our own mortality is looming large. What is the best way to interact with people we love who are dying, or the people around them that will suffer their loss? What is the best way to prepare for our own departure, and to prepare our loved ones for that inevitability? Continue reading

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Can Conservatism/Liberalism be cured? Oct.19

Conservatives no doubt think that liberalism is a serious malady and liberals probably think the same of conservatism. We now know that there are physiological and psychological differences between Liberals and Conservatives. That does not mean however that either classification can be considered an illness.

For one thing we all have some of the characteristics of both. It is not black and white. There is a broad philosophical spectrum with most of us fitting somewhere in the middle. Another fact is that neither classification is defined in clear and unchanging terms. We may be social liberals and fiscal conservatives or visa-versa. What is considered liberal here in America is probably considered conservative in Europe. 

When we discuss the differences between Liberals and Conservatives we have to speak in general terms that probably only apply to the outliers of a bell curve. Continue reading

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Restorative Justice, Retribution, and Rehabilitation Oct. 9

Our current criminal justice system is counterproductive, expensive and damaging to the country. Minimum sentencing laws, and three strike laws, are designed to come down hard on criminals. As a result we have more prisoners than any other country in the world. We incarcerate people at 5 times the rate of other civilized countries.

Only 7 percent of inmates are women, according to the budget office report. They are also more likely to be minorities: 57 percent are black, 33 percent Hispanic, 7 percent white and 1 percent Asian. The cost per prisoner averages $ 47,000 a year with costs going up to $60,000 in New York. Although Marijuana use is now legal in 29 states and the majority of people support legalization, arrests for marijuana have actually gone up. About half of all prisoners are there for drug busts and more than forty percent of those are marijuana busts. Continue reading

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