By Robert A. Vella
Here’s some interesting news briefs for this last Friday of 2017:
Bill Neely of NBC News assesses Donald Trump’s geopolitical record over the first 11 months of his presidency. It is a record dominated by diplomatic faux pas and incoherent foreign policies driven by the political whims and nationalistic impulses of a man whom Neely refers to as the “disruptor in chief.’ Although Trump appears to have garnered one notable victory (i.e. the downfall of ISIS), the U.S. has become increasingly isolated and has lost significant influence and standing on the world stage. His administration is perceived so comically by the international community that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was recently pranked by two Russian comedians (see: Russian comedians appear to prank Nikki Haley into commenting on fictional country).
Trump’s decision to publicly release the JFK assassination files (not all of them, mind you), which he earlier predicted would “put any and all conspiracies to rest,” appears to be backfiring. Instead of solidifying the Warren Commission’s lone-gunman theory, the documents are fueling renewed investigations into various conspiracies as specific details become clearer. One line of research is centering on Earle Cabell who was mayor of Dallas during the shooting. His brother Charles was Deputy Director of the CIA under Allen Dulles. Both Charles Cabell and Dulles were fired by President Kennedy following the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion.
The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled against a bakery who had refused to provide service for a same-sex wedding because of the bakery owner’s religious views. The decision comes while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a similar case appealed from the state of Colorado. The constitutional issues involved center on the definition of free speech and the concept of “religious freedom.”