Monthly Archives: June 2009

Abolish Government-Recognized Marriage

The gay marriage debate has evolved from a whisper of discontent to a roaring, mud-slinging brawl. With courts and legislatures making and reversing decisions like a toddler flicks a light switch, it’s time to think outside the box and tear down the fence: abolish marriage altogether. (6/25/09 The Battalion, Texas A & M, Kaitlyn Drinkwater) … Read Article

1. Discuss your opinion of the author’s claim that “Marriage, as a religious institution, has no place in the government…”

2. “…it’s time to think outside the box and tear down the fence…” Discuss what the author means by “the fence.”


Help Is on the Way For Student Loans

On July 1, a new federal program aimed at easing the monthly burden on college graduates making hefty loan payments on modest salaries will take effect. (6/23/09 ABC News, David McPherson) … Read Article

1. Discuss the eligibility for the Income Based Repaymant program.

2. Discuss the student loans that are exempted from the program.

Did President Obama Make His Case on Health Care?

Obama made a push Wednesday for evidence-based medicine and a reduction in health care costs in the United States, but skeptics and many Republicans remain unconvinced his plans will work. (6/25/09  ABC News, Jake Tapper and Karen Travers) … Read Article

1. Discuss the biggest criticisms of Obama’s proposed health care plan. 

2. “One option being considered on Capitol Hill is taxing health care benefits, which are currently tax exempt.” Discuss the implications of the proposal to tax health care benefits.

Uninsured In America

For the millions of Americans without heath insurance, every day presents a danger. What if you get sick? This is one American’s story… (5/7/09 Current)

1. Discuss Dr. Keller’s view of our health care system and his proposed solution.

2. Discuss how the U.S. health care system compares with other industrialized countries. 






Young Iranians and The Strict Laws

Yasmin Vossoughian looks at how young people are pushing the limits in one of the most socially repressive societies. (3/3/09 Current)

1. According to the video “being young in Iran is to defy its rules.” Discuss the implication of this statement.

2. Discuss the opinion of young Iranians on homosexuality in Iran.

Madoff Due To Be Sentenced

On Monday, Bernard Madoff, architect of the world’s biggest financial fraud, a $65bn “Ponzi” scheme that ruined thousands of investors, will learn his fate. (6/28/09 Financial Times, Joanna Chung) … Read Article 

1. Madoff’s lawyer argues that 12 years in prison would be sufficient punishment for his client. What do you think?

2. What lesson can ordinary citizens learn from the Madoff incident?

U. Iowa Student Sees History Unfold in Iran

The UI student, who has dual citizenship, was visiting his family, excited to vote in his first Iranian election. But the results did not turnout as he expected. The government declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner, which almost immediately sparked cries of outrage and large protests. (6/19/09 Daily Iowan, U. Iowa, Michael Dale-Stein) … Read Article

1. Discuss the role of the media and technology in the Iranian election protest.

2. Even though the streets of Iran are very dangerous, the U. Iowa student said “I don’t think I am ready to leave quite yet.” Do you think this student is engaging in unnecessary risk?