Category Archives: Controversial Issue #1

EQ: Should performance enhancing drugs (such as steroids) be accepted in sports? (Reginaldnae)

EQ: Should performance enhancing drugs (such as steroids) be accepted in sports?
Background: A sport argument because of PEDs which cause health effects. Steroids caused the athletic to have higher improvement, then if they were not using steroids. The PEDs is overzealous, unproductive, and very unfairly administered. A player who is using drugs is sending a depraved message to children. Athletics are buying the drugs from a person name Victor Conte.The athletics are using the drugs while in the locker room stalls.

Claim: Performance enhancing drugs should not be accepted in sports because they lead to health issue, make sport worse, and are a bad influence on children. The health issues cause you to get very emotional influence. The sport will become worse, because the team is falling apart cause of the use of drugs. Children will have a negative impact because they look up to that athletic.
Support: “Performance enhancers, like steroids and other forms of doping, have a negative effect on long-term health. For then users of these enhancers are hurting themselves in the long run without on the average improving their short-term rewards from athletic competition, as long as competitors also use harmful enhancers. This is the main rationale for trying to ban steroids and other forms of doping from athletic competitions.” (Gary Becker, PhD) Steroids are very strong drugs to be using during sports. Drugs in general cause a lot of pain to athletic sportsmen, because the body is just reflecting on drugs instead the liquids needed. During drugs in sports can cause violence and attitude toward people. The fans are getting a negative impact; because they see an athletic person using drugs they think it okay.

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EQ: Should the use of marijuana be legalized? (Anthony)

EQ: Should the use of marijuana be legalized?

Background: Marijuana is the third most recreational drug before alcohol and tobacco, and is healthier than the other too, but is illegal. Enforcing marijuana prohibition laws cost the American government $10 million dollars a year, and results in the arrest of over 750,000 a year; which is almost three times the amount of people arrested for rape, murder, robbery, and other violent acts.
Claim: I believe that marijuana use should be legalized, but given laws and guidelines of use similar to that of alcohol. Marijuana has no long term health detriments. Legalization of marijuana will contribute to a decrease in the amount of illegal drug crime in the case of marijuana. If marijuana is legalized then America can save money from the trials and convictions of marijuana users, and use that time and money to focus on worse crimes.
Support: The only potential problems Marijuana has to a person’s health occurs while a person is under the influence of marijuana. 50,000 people die a year of alcohol relations; while 40,000 people die a year of tobacco, and people don’t die from the actual use of marijuana. If marijuana is legalized then many people who had done it illegally and costly would be able to buy it in stores for cheaper, which will cause an increase in income to the economy, for people would be continuously purchasing marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would also attract tourists from other places where marijuana is still illegal will come to the US in order to smoke it; which would benefit the economy as well.

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EQ (at least ONE Essential Question): Is illegal immigration an economic burden to America? (Christian)

EQ (at least ONE Essential Question): Is illegal immigration an economic burden to America?
BACKGROUND: Illegal immigration has had both positive and negative impacts on the American economy. Due to the fact that illegal immigrants tend to be low-skilled workers, the American economy generally pays them less money, saving the economy a few bucks in the long run as well as allowing for Americans to pay less for certain luxuries. This, however, can pose a dramatic negative impact to the economy in the sense that these undocumented individuals do not pay income taxes and many of these individuals have families that take advantage of a variety of services provided to American citizens, costing America more money than needed.
CLAIM: Illegal immigration is not an economic burden to America because of the fact that these undocumented individuals provide labor in unwanted positions, allow small businesses to potentially create new jobs due to lower working wages and an increased availability of money, and, through the use of services such as education, work to acquire the qualifications necessary to take on higher-skilled positions, improving the work force in the country as a result.
SUPPORT: “[M]any economists say the effect of an estimated 11 million undocumented workers is minimal. While illegal immigrants have a negative impact on unskilled workers — many of whom lack technical training or a high school diploma — economists believe that overall, the American economy benefits a small amount from illegal immigration — a little bit less than 1 percent… That finding… suggests that neither side of the immigration issue has a strong economic argument to make…” “The economic impact of illegal immigration is far smaller than other trends in the economy, such as the increasing use of automation in manufacturing or the growth in global trade. Those two factors have a much bigger impact on wages, prices and the health of the U.S. economy.” (“Q&A: Illegal Immigrants and the U.S. Economy” By Adam Davidson (www.npr.org))

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EQ- Are social networking sites good for our society? (Kenneth)

EQ- Are social networking sites good for our society?
BACKGROUND: Many people believe that social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter have a lot to contribute to society in various ways such as providing easier communication for people around the world to communicate with one another, or that they provide companies with an outlet to help get the word out about their product thus helping the economy. While others think that the benefits that the addition of social media to society are outweighed by the dangers of the online world with sexual predators looking for naïve children, criminals recruiting members and hacking peoples accounts to steal somebody’s identity, even some terrorist groups watch their newsfeeds for any hint of movements of troops or cargo and plan an attack.
CLAIM: Although social networking sites provide an easier medium to use when trying to communicate with friends and family, they pose a serious threat to society by exposing children to online predators, they give criminals a chance to increase their numbers, and even in some cases expose those who fight for our freedoms to terrorist threats that may result in death making said sites more detrimental than beneficial to our society.
SUPPORT: “Everything Soldiers and family members share, including birth dates, vacation photos and even their exact geographical location, can be logged by Facebook applications and then accessed by hackers, identity thieves, and advertisers. For Soldiers, government employees, and civilian contractors, the information shared on Facebook can not only endanger personal privacy, it can put operations security at risk and endanger the lives of service members at home and abroad.”(“Facebook: Please use responsibly” By Ashley Fowler ( http://www.army.mil/article/72387/ )

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EQ Is the use of standardized tests improving education in America? (Toris)

EQ Is the use of standardized tests improving education in America?

BACKGROUND: Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800s. After 2002’s no child left behind act there has been annual testing in all fifty states. US students have dropped 18th place in math to 31st place between the years 2000 and 2009, and there was a similar decline in science and no change in reading. Due to the failures of the education system it has been blamed for the increase in poverty levels, teacher quality, tenure policies, and increasingly on the pervasive use of standardized tests. Proponents for standardized tests say that the tests are fair and objective. They also say that students and parents approve testing. Opponents of testing say that the tests are neither fair nor objective. They also say that testing undermines Americans’ ability to develop innovators and critical thinkers.

CLAIM: Standardized tests show student improvement so we should not get rid of them, but they also should not do tests annually because it undermines students. I think we should have standardized tests every few years because testing every year undermines students.

Support: Having standardized tests causes teachers to try and teach everything on the test because they want to their students do good. Teaching to the test is a bad method of teaching because the students are just learning what their teachers think will be on the test and not the more important things. Teaching to the test also causes teachers to rush through all the material and explain the material more discretely. This causes students to misunderstand some information and not learn the stuff they need to learn. 

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EQ: Can solar energy effectively replace the use of fossil fuels? (Ben)

EQ: Can solar energy effectively replace the use of fossil fuels?

Background: Pro: The technology to make solar energy effective is either already developed, or requires only a few more years of research development. Con: The cost of producing solar farms in sufficient size makes them not cost effective. Also, the space required for solar farms to be a main stay in energy production would be wasteful, not environmentally friendly, and could be used for other uses.

Claim: Solar energy, with the current methodology, can serve to alleviate the need of fossil fuels, but cannot replace fossil fuels, not without help. The total effectiveness of solar energy can be vastly improved if we rethink how to position the solar farms and accept larger investment costs for greater return
Support: Our industry, economy, and society are based firmly on the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels will continue to serve as the foundation of our world for many more years, but we will find ourselves without fossil fuels eventually. When that happens, we need to be prepared and ready to continue providing energy not just for the continuation of current energy usage, but for development and industrial expansion. Renewable sources of energy are going to be needed; but if we wait until their needed to develop them, it will be too late. Wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass sources can either only be placed in certain, limited locations, or require an inordinate amount of space and resources. Solar farms, while requiring large areas of space, can be placed anywhere that has access to the sun. Maintenance from dust and the dilution of solar energy from the atmosphere reduce effectiveness and increase costs; however, there are two locations where dust is nonexistent and atmosphere is removed from the equation, the Moon and space.

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EQ: Is sexual orientation determined at birth? (Judy)

EQ: Is sexual orientation determined at birth?
Background: Many people believe that you may be born gay at birth. Some people don’t believe that sexuality and gender identity aren’t choices but is biological. Other’s believe that being gay is a choice and isn’t genetic. It’s a claim that people continue to say and eventually many people begin to believe. Scientific studies have not found a gay gene.
Claim: Being homosexual is not something that is determined at birth. There isn’t a gay gene, because if there was it would have eventually died out since they cannot produce a child of their own together. Those people who were once gay just shows that being homosexual is not always permanent.
Support: “We [Family Research Council] don’t believe that there’s any biological basis for homosexuality. We feel the causes are complex but are deeply rooted in early childhood development. If it is indeed genetically based it is difficult to see how it could have survived in the gene pool over a period of time.” There is no scientific support that shows there is a gay gene. Based on many years of research, there is a large amount of evidence that shows homosexuality is a ‘developed disorder’. If being gay was genetic it would not be able to be passed down, and the gay gene would have eventually died out because of the fact that having a child with someone of the same sex is impossible.

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