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|Gun Control, abortion, education spending - the issues are volatile, polarized, and couched in emotional buzzwords - perfect fodder for meaningless media sound bites and self-righteous campaign promises. All parties approach the battlefield armed with eloquent arguments and irrefutable statistics that prove their conflicting arguments beyond the shadow of a doubt... Who's right? Who's wrong? What are we supposed to think?
Well, for starters, we could try thinking for ourselves.
There are no rights or wrongs to the issues - only the opinions of those who think they know what's best for the rest of us. The issues are complex matters whose infinite shades of grey are filtered through the personal beliefs, morality, ethics, and, of course, the personal agendas and economic interests of those who try to convince us that there's only black and white.
But what about those statistics? Statistics don't lie, do they?
Well. no, they don't actually come right out and lie, but they're slippery, stretchy little things that any two-bit wordsmith can manipulate to suit the occasion. If you'd like to see just how silly statistics can be, check out this dire warning on The Dangers of Bread.
You'll never look at statistics quite the same again.
The issues in this section were researched and analyzed by Joy Schulenberg, a writer with the rare ability to turn murky matters and emotional mumbo-jumbo into clear thoughts and simple words. We've asked her to let us reprint her look on the issues, so that we may attain an unbiased look at the pros, the cons, and the consequences.
Study them and you'll be able to say with honesty and conviction, "I think..."