Gorsuch confirmed; Senate filibuster removed

Gorsuch

Gorsuch at his confirmation hearings image taken from CNN.com

Following a months long battle in the Senate, and possibly years if you count former president Obama’s attempt to nominate Merrick Garland, Mr. Gorsuch was finally confirmed as the 9th justice on the Supreme Court. The final vote count was 54-45 (Johnny Isakson (R-GA) abstained), making the vote substantially more narrow than previous votes.

The process was perhaps most notable for the so called “nuclear option” – removing the ability to filibuster the cloture vote on a Supreme Court Justice. Cloture is distinct from the actual vote in that it is a vote to stop debate – had the democrats been able to filibuster at that point, debate would never technically end, and it would thus be impossible to fill the seat.

This has huge implications for the Senate, especially concerning future Supreme Court nominations. Unless the Senate is tied 50-50 (it hasn’t been since 2000), no bipartisanship is required to confirm a justice.

The problem here is bipartisanship has historically been a necessary part of operation in the Senate. This has certainly taken a backseat in recent years, due to extremism and partisanship on both sides, but even ObamaCare need some GOP votes, if only to avoid filibuster.

Confirming a justice without the opportunity for the opposition to filibuster sets a bad precedent, one that could have potentially devastating consequences on bipartisanship in the Senate.

“Th1rteen R3asons Why” Series Review

 

Jay Asher’s book: Thirteen Reasons Why, is about a girl named Hannah Baker who committed suicide and had made a set of 13 tapes containing reasons as to why she killed herself. The main character: Clay Jensen, receives these tapes and listens to each one because he is one of the reasons, along with many other people who made an impact on Hanna’s life.

This book was turned into a Netflix series just last month, and I was anxious to watch it because I had read the book in my health class and wanted to see how they would portray the book. Each episode was like listening to one of the tapes, only with action and drama to be seen.

The characters were spot on, the stories were made well, and the whole series really kept me engaged on what would happen next

The difference between the book and the series is we follow more of Clay’s life and what he goes through while listening to these tapes in the series; where as in the book we listen mostly to Hannah and the tapes while following Clay’s actions from time to time. They also changed an important point in the book, and that is Hannah’s death, but just like with movies, they need to change a few things in order to really draw the crowd and make it seem interesting.

An important topic to learn from either the book or the series is the seriousness of suicide, or depression, or anxiety, etc. According to Medical News Today – Suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes of death, and most of those deaths are teens and young adults. Thirteen Reasons Why shows you all about the warning signs of suicide and how it could be prevented.

If you would like to know more about these signs and/or depression, visit your school guidance counselor for more information.

 

WW3?

If you remember, back before the break, I had published an article trying to give hope during these bleak days. At the time, the news cycle was all about the Trump/Russia investigations. It was pretty boring compared to now.

But then everything changed when the United States attacked.

Or, more precisely, the United States attacked the Syrian Government in response to the chemical attack against the Syrian people. Donald Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at an Airbase in Syria. The airbase was also used by Russia. Perhaps Trump did this to try to convince people that he “totally didn’t work with Russia?” While Russia-United States relations had been warm, Russia then condemned the attack. However, most of the world agreed with Trump, and soon, people panicked.

I remember the day it happened. It was Thursday of spring break. My dad was out playing poker with his friends, and my sister was at an Anime Convention. My brother and I were home alone; I was working on an entry for a contest and my Brother was probably having a rave in his room. It was about 7:30 pm when my mom got home, and she suggested we go out to eat. We decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants.

Right when we walked in, before we were seated, I looked at the TV to see something about Trump. I thought, “What has that idiot done now…” until I looked closer. It showed the missiles flying through the air, one after another, lighting up the dark sky. I must have only looked at it for 6 seconds before we were seated.

While I ate my burgers and fries, I looked at Twitter. People were making jokes about WW3. Someone even said something along the lines of, “While we’re at it, can we wipe out that ****** Kim Jong-Un? Who wants to grab literal and metaphorical shotgun?” #WW3 was the top trending topic.

And now, they might get their wish. In addition to the Syrian situation, the U.S. and North Korea are getting more aggressive towards each other. Mike Pence says that the U.S. will no longer be “strategically patient.” Even China, who Donald Trump hates, is working on trying to contain the North Korean conflict. Japan and South Korea have been discussing evacuation plans. If WW3 does break out, it will probably be NATO, Turkey, China, South Korea, and Japan vs Russia, North Korea, and Syria.

All in all, pretty scary.

Nerf wars

Nerf wars is an annual event for Highland Park students taking place after spring break. Students who wished to participate had to create a team of 5 and each team member was required to pay a fee of $5 to play.

The competition, this year,  began with 21 teams, and now is in the second round with 16 remaining. Any student was able to participate as long as they paid the fee and had a team of members. The teams were then seeded by grade, number of drivers on the team, previous experience, and if they played any sports.

A team with multiple drivers, and previous experience, is at a much higher advantage than the other teams, but this year’s Nerf wars, in the community, has changed a little. Most parents are not allowing their sons or daughters participate due to the serious risks that come along with the game.

On December 4th, 2015, two Lakeville South students, who were participating in a Nerf wars game, were killed in a car accident. Jacob Flynn, 17, and John Price, 18, were the two students who were killed. Mason Kohlbeck, 18, and Alexander Hughes, 17, were among the ones injured in the car accident. Hughes was driving the pickup truck when it crossed over the center line and flipped multiple times before it stopped.

Due to this tragic event, regarding the Lakeville South students, Ramsey County Attorney, John Choi, sent out an email to many administrators and parents of students participating in Nerf wars this spring. The email brought to attention the potential dangers of the game for the students who chose to play. Choi met, and talked, with parents of different schools, “I learned a lot about what is happening and am concerned that some of these activities are not only dangerous, but also illegal, and could result in serious injuries and/or prosecution.”

In his email, he stated what parents have said about how many different students that have partaken in the game “Have used cars to block other teens; jumped on top of moving vehicles; slashed tires; gotten into car accidents; crawled into homes, garages and/or on roofs without the homeowner’s permission, often in the dark and in violation of curfew laws.” With that being said many of the schools’ administrations are encouraging students not to play.

School administrations aren’t the only ones who are concerned; many parents won’t let their sons or daughters play, which has lowered the number of teams playing. In the past there have been around 34 teams and this year their was only 21 teams.

Sports schedule for: Apr 24-29

For  a full calendar of events please refer to: http://www.sports.spps.org

Spring Sports: Baseball, Softball, Boys Golf, Girls  Golf, Adapted Bowling, Adapted Softball, Boys Tennis, Badminton, Track & Field

Activities the Week of April 24-29

Monday Apr. 24:

Varsity Boys Tennis vs. Eagan @ HP 4pm  JV @ Eagan Northview Athletic Complex 4pm (Bus 2:15/5:15pm)

Boys JV Golf @ Thompson Oaks GC 2:45pm

Varsity @ JV Badminton vs. Harding @ HP 3:15pm

Varsity Softball vs. Johnson @ Phalen Fields 4pm (Bus 2:40/5:45pm)

JV Baseball vs. St. Croix Prep Academy @ HP 4:30pm

Tuesday Apr. 25:

Varsity Baseball vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ Hamel Legion Park 4:30pm  (Bus 2:45/6:30pm)

JV Baseball vs. Mpls. Washburn @ HP 4:30pm

Wednesday Apr. 26:

Varsity Boys Golf @ Highland National for 9 Hole Duals 1:30pm

Girls Varsity Golf 9 Hole Tournament @ Cedarholm GC 2pm

Varsity & JV Badminton vs. Washington Tech . Magnet @ HP 3:45pm

Varsity & C-Squad  Softball vs. Mpls. Southwest @ HP 4pm

JV Boys Tennis vs. Johnson @ Phalen Courts 4pm  Varsity @ HP 4pm

Varsity Baseball vs. Harding @ HP 4:30pm   JV vs. St. Croix Prep @ Barker’s Alps Park 4:30pm (Bus 2:30/5:45pm)

Thursday Apr. 27:

JV Boys Tennis vs. Mpls. Southwest @ HP 3:15pm Varsity @ Mpls. Southwest 3:15pm (Bus 2:30/5:15pm)

Co-Ed Track & Field @ Harding 3:15pm (Bus 1:45/5:45pm)

JV Baseball @ Legacy Christian Academy 4:30pm

Friday Apr. 28:

Varsity & JV Badminton @ Humboldt 3:15pm (Bus 2:30/4:15pm)

Boys Varsity Tennis @ Rosemount   3:15pm  JV @ HP  3:15pm  (Bus 2:15/5:15pm)

Varsity Softball @ Como 4pm   C-Squad @ North Dale Rec. 4pm (Bus 2:40/5:45pm)

Boys Lacrosse “Bobcats” @ Central HS 5:30pm  Girls Lacrosse @ Woodbury HS 7pm

Varsity Baseball vs. Central @ CHS Field 7pm (Bus 5:15/9pm)

Saturday Apr. 29:

Varsity Softball Tournament vs. Central @ Dunning Field 2:15pm

Varsity & JV Baseball @ SPA 12pm