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Who to blame for the Planned Parenthood tragedy?

Korbyn Fair and his mother, Nasya, say a prayer at the memorial for the victims of a deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic, Colorado Springs, Colorado, November, 29, 2015 (Credit: AP Images/Daniel Owen)Acclaimed writer Ernest Hemingway believed that the key to writing a memorable story is starting with one true sentence, "the truest sentence that you know." Instead of elaborating with evocative detail, or being bogged down in particular nuances, Hemingway knew that truth begets truth, which inevitably leads to memorable beauty in the form of a story.

Over the holiday weekend, Robert Dear changed the story of his life and the lives of many others due to his horrific acts. The 57 year old was arrested Friday after a five-hour standoff at the Planned Parenthood facility. Two civilians and one police officer were killed during the incident. The motivations for his actions are still unclear, but news reports cite unnamed law-enforcement sources as saying Dear opposed Planned Parenthood's activities. NBC News reported that Dear made a comment about "no more baby parts" in an apparent reference to Planned Parenthood. The officials stressed that Dear's comments came amidst a number of "rantings" that also included statements about politics and President Barack Obama.

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Syrian refugee crisis: open or close borders?

Syrian refugee child sleeps in his father's arms while waiting at a resting point to board a bus, after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. Bold ideas for helping Syrian refugees and their overburdened Middle Eastern host countries are gaining traction among international donors who were shocked into action by this year's migration of hundreds of thousands of desperate Syrians to Europe. (Credit: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)On the surface, comedian Bill Engvall and 14th century Franciscan friar William of Ockham share little in common. One has particular appeal to Southern audiences, poking fun at their eccentricities. Another was an antagonistic opponent of Thomas of Aquinas, disagreeing with Aquinas's synthesis of faith and reason. But though they have their differences, these two individuals do share at least one commonality: their proclivity for the simplistic. William is known for Ockham's Razor, which finds that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily, or in layman's terms: simpler is better. Engvall is known for his refrain "Here's your sign," in which, when someone asks an asinine question, the other person answers sarcastically, followed by "Here's your sign."

Proponents of simplicity, these two men cognitively wrestle with questions in such a way that moves towards the straightforward, simple answer. But are simple answers always at the end of complex problems?

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Missouri and Yale: The power of today's students

Jonathan Butler, front left, who ended his hunger strike, addresses a crowd following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign at the university in Columbia, Missouri, November 9, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson).We live in precarious times. I grew up in a day when AOL sent you free trial CDs, reality television was limited to CSPAN, and MTV actually played music. In the classroom, we read Huckleberry Finn without the trigger warning, we did our math homework on our solar powered calculators, and passed non-electronic notes discreetly because you didn't want to get paddled by Mrs. Hall. All this in an effort to get a chance to play Oregon Trail or Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. Times have changed.

Consider the University of Missouri. The president, Tim Wolfe, has resigned and the chancellor, former A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, will step down from that position at the end of the year. Why? Alleged systemic racism. A group of athletes refused to play in next week's football game due to both the action and inaction of the administration, which they felt was fostering such a detrimental atmosphere. The athletic boycott was in response to both individual acts and systemic failures relative to racism. A swastika was allegedly smeared onto a building with fecal matter. A student went on hunger strike, though it was an initially a strike on the increasing tuition prices. Regardless of the fact that the student is the son of man who made 7 million dollars last year and who has been at the school for going on 8 years now, enough was enough.

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Starbucks hates Jesus? The latest Christian bogeyman

The First Look at Starbucks Red Holiday Cups for 2015 (Credit: Starbucks)He goes by many names, but his presence echoes throughout history, striking fear into the hearts of children. Unlike the unicorn, the bogeyman is a mythical creature that haunts the imaginations of children around the world. While the unicorn is sought after and admired, the bogeyman is avoided at all costs. For years, parents have used the bogeyman to scare children into right behavior. His imaginary presence unites individuals around a common goal. He may be in the closet, but if your room is clean, the closet functions as a prison. Thus, a clean room keeps the bogeyman from harming you. His presence may be imaginary, but his results are tangible and real.

Last week, Joshua Feuerstein created a Facebook video that has since gone viral with over 11 million views. In his video, the evangelist Feuerstein posited that Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus. He stated that we live in a world that has become so politically correct and open-minded "our brains have literally fallen out of our head."

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Local elections make national news in Ohio and Texas

Buddie, the mascot for the pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio, holds a sign during a promotional tour stop at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, October 23, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo)While the national elections are still a year away, local elections occurred throughout the country on Tuesday. While most were of little consequence beyond their respective cities and states, a few of the issues drew national attention. In Ohio, for example, voters were asked to decide whether or not their state would join the growing number that have legalized marijuana. In a move that surprised many, 65% of residents chose not to support the proposition. That is surprising in large part because surveys showed that roughly 54% of voters supported legalizing the drug in the weeks leading up to the vote.

However, the primary reason that the bill did not pass has little to do with the moral or social implications of legalized pot. Rather, the bill stipulated that only ten pre-determined farms, mostly owned or financed by those that helped craft the bill, would be allowed to grow and sell the marijuana. As the law would have represented a constitutional amendment, it essentially threated to create an oligopoly (a monopoly where a few dominate the market rather than just one) for an industry that many expect could generate upwards of $1 billion annually.

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