Rosenkranz Remarks

The Blog of Robert Rosenkranz

Debate: The Trump Phenomenon

by robertrosenkranz on January 7, 2017

When Donald Trump first stepped into the political arena, many saw his entry as little more than yet another way to raise his public profile profile and get his face in front of more cameras. As time went on, however, and other Republican presidential candidates began to drop out of the presidential race left and right, those who may not have initially considered Trump a serious contender for the highest office in the land were forced to reconsider. 

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robertrosenkranzDebate: The Trump Phenomenon

teamLab: Pioneering the Future of Art

by robertrosenkranz on January 4, 2017

In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single interwoven continuum. As the digital domain rapidly expands the human relationship to both space and reality, not to mention dimensions of time, the idea of achieving a unified consciousness is hardly abstract. teamLab, a digital art collective based in Japan, is pioneering the intersection of space, time, reality and consciousness through immersive, interactive digital artworks.

teamLab is a collective of young Japanese creatives, drawn from fields as diverse as computer science, mathematics, graphics design, art history, and philosophy. Working collaboratively in a scruffy Tokyo office building, the vibe is of a tech start-up, with dozens of twenty some-things working at screens in cramped quarters. There are no private offices, and no indications of a hierarchy of any sort. All share equally in the profits. Large scale commercial projects for shopping malls and corporate promotions pay the rent, but clearly people are there because of their commitment to art and to the creative process. While artists have for centuries past employed armies of studio assistants, the collective, cross-disciplinary, tech-savvy approach TeamLab is pioneering might well represent the future. Founded by Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab is breaking new ground in the art world to reveal new dimensions of art making and interactivity.

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robertrosenkranzteamLab: Pioneering the Future of Art

Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship

by robertrosenkranz on December 9, 2016

More than 11 million immigrants are currently residing in the United States illegally, and

the question of what to do with this growing population remains a hot-button issue, thanks in part to the considerable attention it has received in recent months from Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump.

At the crux of the issue is whether these millions of immigrants should be granted an opportunity to pursue citizenship so they can become contributing members of American society, or whether they should be punished for entering the country without following proper protocols and sent back to their countries of origin as a result. While there are obvious economic and social implications involved with deporting this population or establishing a path to citizenship, moral and ethical considerations also come into play.

The Debaters

The IQ2US panelists debating for the motion were Angela Kelley, executive director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. Debating against the motion were Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, and Rich Lowry, editor of the National Law Review.

The Research

Proponents for the motion argued that many undocumented immigrants would gladly have pursued a legal path to citizenship if additional factors hadn’t barred them from doing so. For example, it was noted that the U.S. immigration system has not undergone any significant overhaul since 1990, and that the current system allows exactly 5,000 visas to be granted. The number of immigrants seeking work visas far exceeds this number, creating a massive backlog and further complicating one’s ability to work in this country legally. Furthermore, current laws dictate that anyone in the country illegally for six months or more will be penalized by being denied a chance to pursue legal citizenship for 10 years. Given that many of these immigrants have family members and children born in the United States, few are willing to take such a risk.

Proponents also referenced logistics, noting that the nation does not currently have the resources necessary to deport 11 million immigrants, and statistics, referencing the fact that between 72 and 88 percent of U.S. citizens support some type of path to citizenship as opposed to the alternative, deportation.

Opponents of the motion countered the argument that there is no logistical way to deport 11 million people by noting that there also is no logistical way to appropriately process and vet a group of this size seeking citizenship. They also noted that letting illegal immigrants pursue a path to citizenship is essentially rewarding this population for its bad behavior, and in doing so, setting a poor precedent that may lead others to take similar actions.

Additionally, opponents referenced the fact that many less-educated Americans are having to compete with immigrants for jobs, and they also noted that most immigrants receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. They argued that more attention must be given to protecting U.S. borders and enforcing existing immigration laws, as opposed to using already-limited resources on helping those who came here illegally obtain citizenship.

Pre-Debate Poll Results

Prior to the debate, 66 percent of audience members were for the motion, 10 percent were against it and 24 percent were undecided.

Post-Debate Poll Results

After the debate, 55 percent of audience members were for the motion, 37 percent were against it and 8 percent were undecided.

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robertrosenkranzGive Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship

Climate Change: Has The EPA Gone Overboard?

by robertrosenkranz on December 9, 2016

The Climate Change Debate Continues

The “Clean Power Plan” was devised by President Barack Obama to help fight the effects of climate change, and it involved having each U.S. state reduce its carbon-dioxide output by 30 percent by the year 2030. The Environmental Protection Agency is the governing body tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, but increasing controversy surrounding the measure has led many to take a closer look at its tenets and whether the EPA may, in this case, be overstepping.

To reduce emissions as required by the plan, American businesses must comply with specific EPA regulations. Some believe that doing so will hinder the nation’s stance as a pillar of industry by limiting output and forcing companies to rely on technologies that have not yet been thoroughly tested for safety or efficacy. Others believe that the United States has a duty to lead the rest of the world in terms of working to prevent climate change, and that, rather than prove a hindrance, forced compliance with the Clean Power plan will encourage innovation.

Intelligence Squared U.S. recently united both sides of the aisle on climate change with the proposition “Climate Change: The EPA Has Gone Overboard.

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robertrosenkranzClimate Change: Has The EPA Gone Overboard?

Recommended Reading: Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin

by robertrosenkranz on November 4, 2016

Given the near-constant wave of controversy, name-calling and finger-pointing surrounding the upcoming presidential election, the polarization of the nation’s two primary political parties has perhaps never been more evident. Yuval Levin’s “Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism” looks to examine the root causes of the nation’s notable division, and it does so by discussing, at length, one of those root causes he believes is especially significant: nostalgia.

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robertrosenkranzRecommended Reading: Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin