February 20, 2017

Washington Supreme Court Says Christians Can Be Forced to Participate in Gay Weddings

Olympia, Washington—The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that Christians can be compelled to participate in gay weddings. Baronelle Stutzman, a florist who declined to participate in a wedding involving long-time homosexual clients, has lost in Washington and will now take her case to the nation’s Supreme Court.

After being forced to pay all attorney’s fees as well as penalties, Stutzman’s life savings are jeopardy.

In a joint statement, the homosexual couple said the ruling affirmed that they were “on the right side of the law and the right side of history,” adding they were glad they stood up for their rights.

Mutterings: What rights, exactly? The right to force others to approve of your actions and legitimate them? And why do people think it’s a court’s job to determine who is “on the right side of history”?

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2015 U.S. Strikes in Syria Used Depleted Uranium

Syria—A U.S. Central Command spokesman has confirmed that the military used depleted uranium weapons in strikes against ISIS in Syria in 2015, despite earlier vows not to use the ammunition. Although studies on depleted uranium are not complete, it is thought to cause cancer and an array of health and environmental problems, and is considered officially by the EPA as a radiation health hazard inside the body. It is not, however, banned by U.N. conventions. Its density helps ammunition to penetrate armored vehicles such as tanks, but the 2015 instances are puzzling because they primarily targeted unarmored oil tankers.

Flynn Out Over Russia Talks, Deception

Washington—Upon the request of President Donald Trump, national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday. The essential dismissal comes in the wake of revelations that he allegedly discussed economic sanctions with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, prior to confirmation to his post. The White House Trump lost trust in Flynn because he denied to Vice President Mike Pence that sanctions or policy matters had been discussed with the ambassador.

Trump Travel Ban Stays Suspended

San Francisco/Washington—The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Washington judge’s suspension of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban. The administration’s options include appealing to the entire 9th Circuit, or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The appeals court acknowledged the weight of national security, but ruled that the U.S. government had not demonstrated national security concerns which would justify the ban, adding that no evidence had been given that anyone from the seven affected nations had committed any terrorist activity within the United States.

Mutterings: Trump’s ban may in fact be a terrible idea, but the courts are arguing on the wrong premise. The real question is who has constitutional authority to make foreign policy decisions of this nature. Weighing the pros and cons of Trump’s policies does not belong within the purview of the courts.



Life & Culture

Patriots Win Super Bowl in Improbable Comeback

Houston, TX—For two and a half quarters of football, the Atlanta Falcons looked unstoppable and the New England Patriots looked dispirited. But with the Falcons up 28–3, the Patriots began to chip away, ultimately piecing together far and away the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, winning 34–28 in overtime.

In what will go down as one of the most memorable games in NFL history, there were a number of historic firsts. Among them:

  • First Super Bowl to be decided in overtime
  • Quarterback Tom Brady became first four-time Super Bowl MVP
  • Coach Bill Belicheck became first five-time Super Bowl winner
  • First time any team has been down by more than 10 points and won
  • Most passing yards by one quarterback: 466
  • Most pass attempts by one quarterback: 62
  • Most completions by one quarterback: 43
  • Most points by a player: James White had 20 on three touchdowns and a two point conversion.

It was a particularly remarkable turnaround for Brady, who looked increasingly frustrated as the game wore on as the speedy Falcons were shredding his offensive line, leading to rushed plays and ultimately, the quarterback’s first ever pick-6 in postseason play. But when the tide turned it turned decisively; in the fourth quarter alone Brady amassed 196 yards through the air, ending with a total of 466.

While New England’s running game faltered for most of the game, running back James White emerged as Brady’s key aerial target late, amassing a Super Bowl record 14 receptions, and finishing with three touchdowns (two on the ground and one through the air).