[VIDEO] Should a Creative Professional Have the Freedom to Decline Work that Conflicts with their Conscience or Beliefs?Posted: March 13, 2017
Everyone agreed that a creative professional should have the foundational freedom to decline work that conflicts with their conscience or beliefs. But, when faced with a situation that goes against current cultural expectations, like a Christian photographer declining to promote a same-sex wedding, the gears start grinding. If a law that forces someone to promote something against their beliefs is so laughable, so unimaginable…then why is it so difficult to extend the same freedom to a Christian creative professional?
Mike Fabey and Kris Osborn report: The U.S. Navy is moving at warp speed to develop lasers with more lethality, precision and power sources as a way to destroy attacking missiles, drones aircraft and other threats.
“We’re doing a lot more with lasers,” Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, director, Surface Warfare Division, said earlier this month at the annual Surface Naval Association national symposium.
The Navy plans to fire a 150-kw weapon off a test ship within a year, he said. “Then a year later, we’ll have that on a carrier or a destroyer or both.”
And the kind of power needed to power such a weapon won’t come with a simple flip of a switch.
“The Navy will be looking at ships’ servers to provide three times that much power,” says Donald Klick, director of business development, for DRS Power and Control Technologies. “To be putting out 150 kws, they (the laser systems) will be consuming 450 kws.”
That is more than most currently operational ships are designed to accommodate, at least when they are conducting other tasks. “Few power systems onboard ships can support sustained usage of a high-powered laser without additional energy storage,” noted a recent Naval Postgraduate School paper titled “Power Systems and Energy Storage Modeling for Directed Energy Weapons”.
The paper said, “The new DDG-1000 may have enough electrical energy, but other platforms … may require some type of ‘energy magazine.’ This magazine stores energy for on-demand usage by the laser. It can be made up of batteries, capacitors, or flywheels, and would recharge between laser pulses. The energy magazine should allow for sustained usage against a swarm of targets in an engagement lasting up to twenty minutes.
The DDG 1000 is built with what’s called a total ship computing environment, meaning software and blade servers manage not just the weapons systems on the ship but also handle the radar and fire control software and various logistical items such as water, fuel, oil and power for the ship, industry officials said.
The ship’s integrated power system, which includes its electric propulsion, helps generate up to 78 megawatts of on-board electrical power, something seen as key to the future when it comes to ship technologies and the application of anticipated future weapons systems such as laser weapons and rail guns. The ship’s electric drive uses two main turbine generations with two auxiliary turbine generators which power up two 35-megawatt advanced induction motors, developers explained.
Ideally, it would charge up as fast as it discharges, allowing for indefinite use (as long as there is ship’s fuel to expend). Low maintenance, high safety, and long lifespan are other desirable characteristics.
DRS Power and Control Technologies is one of the companies which is developing a specialized energy source. “We have enough for well over 100 shots before we go to recharge,” DRS’s Klick said during a break at SNA, pointing out there’s even a mode for continuous recharge. “If you’ve got power this kind of power, you don’t go Winchester.” Read the rest of this entry »
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. KOMO Staff & Associated Press report: A man suspected of shooting a police officer in the back of the head was ordered held on $1 million bail Friday.
The suspect, identified in court documents as Ernesto Lee Rivas, 44, appeared in Skagit County Superior Court the day after the cold-blooded shooting.
Rivas, who has a lengthy criminal history, was arrested earlier Friday morning after a seven-hour standoff in Mount Vernon that began after a police officer was shot and critically wounded, the Washington State Patrol said.
The online roster for the Skagit County Jail shows Rivas was booked at 1:55 a.m. Friday following his arrest.
Court and State Patrol records show that Rivas has eight felonies on his record, including unlawful possession of a firearm in 2011 and unlawful imprisonment in 1998. He was subject to a domestic violence protection order last year after the mother of his child accused him of stalking her at work.
At Friday’s court hearing, prosecutors said the suspect is being held for investigation of attempted first-degree murder. It was not immediately clear if Rivas has obtained an attorney. Read the rest of this entry »
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The suspect who shot a Mount Vernon police officer Thursday night is now in custody, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Police and other law enforcement officers converged at the scene of the shooting, which has become a standoff with hostages. The suspect continued to fire shots at least as late as 10:00 p.m.
Mount Vernon Police officers initially responded to a domestic disturbance where a man was shot around 5:30 p.m. near Laventure Road and Fir Street, according to the State Patrol.
When they arrived they made contact with the suspected shooter, who then barricaded himself inside a home and began shooting at officers, said Sgt. Keith Leary.
A Mount Vernon police officer, 61, was shot in the head and taken to Skagit Valley Hospital. Sgt. Leary said the officer was conscious and alert . He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The officer underwent surgery and was said to be in serious, but stable condition early Friday morning. Officials said he is a 30-year veteran of the force.
Police and other law enforcement officers converged at the scene of the shooting, which has become a standoff with hostages. The suspect continued to fire shots at least as late as 10:00 p.m.
“There was bang ban bang. I had the kids go in the floor and don’t really see much,” said Maria Zendejas, who lives nearby. “I’m just shaken up with everything that’s going on. Poor officer is down. You wouldn’t think there’s something going on especially just three, four houses down from mine.”
Sgt. Leary said they believed there were several hostages being held by the gunman inside the home.
The first man who was shot went to a neighbor’s house for help and was taken to a hospital.
Police arrived, and the officer was shot. The officer was described as being conscious and alert at the scene before being taken to a hospital.
Hostage negotiators have made some kind of contact with the home. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.
Natalie Brand reports: Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.
“Our hands are kind of tied, but make no mistake, we want to make sure that everybody has confidence that people casting ballots are eligible. This is certainly going to be a topic at next legislation.”
— Secretary of State Kim Wyman
Cetin, who immigrated to the United States from Turkey as a child, is considered a permanent resident or green card holder. While a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, sources tell KING his status had not changed from green card holder to U.S. citizen.
While voters must attest to citizenship upon registering online or registering to vote at the Department of Licensing Office, Washington state doesn’t require proof of citizenship. Therefore elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system. Read the rest of this entry »
Arcan ‘The Turk’ Cetin: The suspect in the shooting deaths of five people in a mall in Washington state has been named.
Online records show that Cetin was arrested in July 2015 on charges of assault in the fourth degree. KIRO reports that as a result of the charges, Cetin was ordered to undergo mental health counselling that he completed in March 2016.
During which time, he was ordered not to take drugs or drink alcohol. As of August 25, 2016, Cetin was found in compliance with the court order.
Cetin describes his nickname as “The Turk.” Read the rest of this entry »
DEVELOPING: A suspect in Friday night’s shooting that killed five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash. has been arrested, authorities said Saturday night. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE 8:32 a.m. (PT): Authorities say they have recovered a rifle at the scene of the Cascade Mall shooting. The suspect is still at large, and a manhunt is underway. At this time, police do not have a name or positive identification on the suspect. Early descriptions based on witness accounts described the suspect as “Hispanic”; however, the race of the suspected gunman has not been confirmed by authorities.
Police say the suspect appeared to enter the mall without a weapon, and walked into a Macy’s approximately ten minutes later with a rifle. There, the suspect fired multiple times and killed four women at the scene (one man died of his injuries at Harborview Medical Center). Read the rest of this entry »
A man armed with a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, fatally shot five people and vanished into the night.
A man carrying a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, shot dead four women and a man, and vanished into the night, police said.
Authorities believe only one person fired the shots at Cascade Mall in Burlington on Friday night.
A search is underway for an armed man who headed toward Interstate 5 after the attack, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a spokesman for the state patrol.
— Gil Aegerter (@GilAegerter) September 24, 2016
Francis released a blurry surveillance picture of a man described as the suspect. His motive or relationship to the victims, if any, are unclear, he said.
The names of the victims were not immediately released.
Witnesses described chaotic scenes and confusion when the shooting started about 7 p.m. local time
Brandi Montreuil told CNN she was watching a movie at the mall when attendants suddenly told them to leave.
“I didn’t know anything,” she said. “The theater attendant came in and apologized for stopping the movie and said they were asked to have everyone leave immediately.”
At first, she thought it was a drill.
When they got outside, they saw numerous police vehicles, but no officers in sight, Montreuil said.
“We didn’t know if it was a fire so we were looking for smoke of some kind. Then a few officers started canvassing through the crowds asking if anybody saw anything.”
Law enforcement looking for single shooter. Please remain inside. Stay alert. Call 911 if you see anything suspicious. #CascadeMallShooting
— Skagit County DEM (@SkagitDEM) September 24, 2016
An officer “with a large gun started yelling for people to leave, and fast,” she said.
Armando Patino said he was working at a T-Mobile store near Macy’s when he heard the commotion.
“I hear one shot and and then stand kinda still and like two three other people start running out saying, ‘gun.’ ”
Some of the people dashed out of the Macy’s store, unsure of where to go. Read the rest of this entry »
Political commentator and actor Steven Crowder decided to set up an experiment to see just how well people that want “common sense” gun control knew about firearms.
He set up a tent for “Citizens Coalition for Common Sense Gun Reform” to ask people that do not own or are interested in guns to see how much they knew about firearms and which ones should be banned based on “common sense.”
Crowder quickly finds out that the people who are in favor or “common sense” gun control know very little about guns in the first place and what they are capable of. The people justdecided which guns should be banned based on how it makes them feel.
For example, many people wanted more “tactical looking” firearms banned, but yet other kinds of rifles displayed on the table were fine, such as hunting rifles. Crowder does point out on the side that the AR-15 is actually a popular small game hunting rifle but because it looks tactical, it should be banned.
People were also not well informed on what types of guns were used in crimes and thought that the AR-15 is used in many cases, but as Crowder points out, from 2007 to 2015, 70% of shooting murders are from handguns.
Source: American Military News
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.
— H. L. Mencken
Democracy? In Moderation, Please.
Buried somewhere in the above Daily Beast article is probably a perfectly decent, arguable case for a certain kind of small-ball, incremental legislation. Unfortunately, but predictably, its case is comically undermined by hateful, shallow, silly, dishonest writing.
Ohh! Those evil Republicans! They should be taken out and horsewhipped! Here, hold my drink. I’ll do it. Get outta my way. I’ve got some GOP ass to beat. Oh, never mind.
Never mind that this advocacy item masquerading as journalism doesn’t even attempt to demonstrate how the measures will have any impact whatsoever, to “avert mass shootings”. Which is understandable. One; averting mass shootings is not, and never was, the goal of activist gun-control legislation. And two; There’s no evidence that “averting mass shootings” can be accomplished by legislation in the first place.
Think the gun debate isn’t polluted with toxic stupidity from the Left? Read on:
“…But with the substantial distortion of our democracy around guns, they are the issue with which this particular method most adheres to the original intentions of the progressives who created it a century ago, at a time when large interests such as timber and railroads blocked popular reforms in legislative bodies around the country.”
The progressives who created it a century ago. Right. Wait, you mean the puritan, racist, anti-constitutional Wilsonian reformers of that era, the progressive activists who gave us segregation, prohibition, and Jim Crow laws, those guys?
The early 20th-century progressives’ “original intentions” are in stark contrast to the intentions of our founders. Cautious, deliberative men, keenly aware of the historically destructive effects of “direct democracy“.
Ever notice how our most sacred and treasured rights are intentionally safeguarded, hardwired in the Bill of Rights? Completely out of reach of voters?
The founders were no fans of democracy.
“When two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for dinner.”
Benjamin Franklin definition of democracy is as clear now as it was over two centuries ago. Read the rest of this entry »
NARRATIVE, INTERRUPTED: U.S. Becoming Safer Compared to Europe in Both Fatalities and Frequency of Mass Public ShootingsPosted: January 8, 2016
US Now Ranks 11th in Fatalities and 12th in Frequency.
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.”
– President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016
This claim is simply not true. Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.
Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199. In terms of injuries from these attacks the gap was even much greater, with EU countries facing 680 versus just 197 for the US. However, given the EU’s larger population, the per million people fatality rate for the US and the EU as a whole are virtually identical (0.62 for the US and 0.60 for the EU). By contrast, the injury rate in the EU is much higher (0.61 for the US and 1.34 for the EU).
This past year was a particularly bad one for Europe, with 8 Mass Public Shootings versus only 4 for the United States. Indeed, these 8 Mass Public Shootings for Europe in 2015 count for one-third of all their attacks over the entire seven year period of time…(read more)
Even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries.
Click on tables to enlarge them.
‘Unforgivable Error’: Washington State Head of State Prisons Apologizes for Early Release of Potentially Violent CriminalsPosted: December 23, 2015
DOC Secretary Dan Pacholke apologized for the error, and said those released early likely include violent criminals.
OLYMPIA – Brandi Kruse reports: The head of Washington’s prison system offered no excuses Wednesday for an error that allowed thousands of inmates to be released early over a 13-year period.
“It’s an unforgivable error. I certainly appreciate their feelings and understanding that, I would certainly offer an apology…We’re going to fix it, and it will never happen again.”
The state claims a computer glitch is to blame for 3,200 offenders serving shortened sentences between 2002 and 2015….(read more)
Source: Q13 FOX News
WA Department Of Social And Health Services Served With $27,000,000.00 Tort Claim For Fiendish Child Neglect CasePosted: December 16, 2015
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor It was nearly two years ago that I featured strong showing of just how uncaring and incompetent DSHS/CPS in Washington can aspire to with a terrible case of child abuse mentioned HERE. In my previous article I wrote how in March of 2013 the children’s parents Sandra and Jeff Weller […]
Jeremy Page reports: The head of the secretive bodyguard unit that protects Chinese President Xi Jinping made a rare foray into the public spotlight on Friday, being put on the guest list for the state dinner at the White House.
The official guest list for the event names “His Excellency Wang Shaojun,” identifying him as “Chief, Central Security Bureau” among the invited attendees for the dinner, which followed Mr. Xi’s summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama earlier in the day.
Maj. Gen. Wang’s appointment to the bodyguard post has never been announced publicly by Chinese authorities, although Hong Kong media reported it in March, citing anonymous sources. The White House list confirms Maj. Gen. Wang’s position within an inner circle of trusted aides and advisers to Mr. Xi who see him almost every day and play an increasingly important role in Chinese politics.
The Central Security Bureau, also known as the Central Guard Bureau, is thought to command several thousand elite troops who protect top leaders and their families, according to experts on the Chinese military.
Its commander has always occupied a politically sensitive and influential position, given the bureau’s access to the top leadership. The post is considered to have become more so since Mr. Xi launched an anticorruption campaign that has led to the detention of more than 30 generals and several senior civilian Communist Party figures. Read the rest of this entry »
reports: A Seattle-area school district has banned kids from playing tag on the playground in order “to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.”
“This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves.”
Mercer Island School District communications director Mary Grady explained the district’s decision to revisit “expectations for student behavior” and student safety.
“This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves,” she told a local Fox affiliate. “The rationale
behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.
“School staffs are working with students in the classroom to ensure that there are many alternative games available at recess and during unsupervised play, so that our kids can still have fun, be with their friends, move their bodies and give their brains a break,” Ms. Grady said.
But some parents are angry that they weren’t made part of the decision-making process to ban the popular childhood game.
“Good grief, our kids need some unstructured playtime,” mom Kelsey Joyce told Fox.
“I totally survived tag,” she said. “I even survived red rover, believe it or not.”
“I played tag,” said mom Melissa Neher. “I survived.”
“…Once again we have an age-old childhood tradition that is suddenly too dangerous for this generation of kids. How can it be that for 450+ years (and possibly since the beginning of time), kids played this very same game, but today’s youngsters are just too fragile to handle it?
Because, as psychologist and author Peter Gray so often reminds us: No other era that has ever underestimated children to this extent.
What’s more, our rule-makers do this with a condescending smile that says it is for the sweet children’s sake that we treat them like bonsai trees—delicate, beloved, in need of constant attention, and stunted.…(read more)
“This decision needs to be reevaluated with input from the kids and from the community,” said Ms. Neher. She created a Facebook page to help spread the word to other parents about the ban. In less than 24 hours, hundreds of parents joined to voice their concerns, Fox reported. Read the rest of this entry »
Chinese President Xi Jinping lands in the U.S. on Tuesday and will embark on a whirlwind of meetings. Here’s a quick guide to Xi’s itinerary.
Presidents and Popes
Pope Benedict XVI in the Popemobile outside the White House. 4/16/08
Pope John Paul II with George Bush in the papal apartment, Vatican City. 11/8/91.
Poverty is a serious obstacle to human potential. Free enterprise can help fight it.
Michael R. Strain writes: Washington, D.C., where I live and work, is abuzz with talk of Pope Francis’s upcoming visit, commencing Tuesday. But what matters much more for the universal church will take place seven days after the pope departs the United States for the Vatican, when the Synod of Bishops on the Family begins.
Free enterprise dramatically reduces extreme poverty. In 1970, over one-quarter of the world lived on less than one dollar per day. By 2006, about one in 20 people lived in extreme poverty — an 80 percent reduction. We have the adoption of free markets across the developing world to thank for this massive reduction. That it happened in less than four decades is all the more impressive.
Due to a recent move by the pope, the upcoming synod may include a discussion of broader issues than did last year’s. I sure hope so. Hot-button issues related to divorce and homosexuality are obviously important and need to be discussed, but so do many other issues. The synod bishops and critics of the Church alike should spend more time on those issues. And I hope one such issue will be the relationship between economics and the family, the topic of a great panel I sat on at Georgetown University earlier this month. The Church’s understanding of this relationship — or, more accurately, this Catholic’s understanding of the Church’s understanding — may be instructive and edifying to our national conversation.
“Poverty is obviously a serious obstacle to the flourishing life – it is hard to reach your full potential if you don’t have enough to eat, and it is hard to meet your obligations to your family, as well. By reducing poverty in the developing world, free markets help to strengthen families.”
We must begin with the human person — that is always the starting point. And we must begin with the understanding that each of us is called to love God and to love others. I do not refer here to sentimentality, but rather to a deep, abiding commitment, rooted in duty — to live for others, our families not the least. This is the central human calling, and the benchmark against which to judge the efficacy of social and economic systems.
“If I’m reading him correctly, the Holy Father’s view is a shame, because dramatically rolling back free markets would weaken the greatest anti-poverty tool in human history. It would, of course, extract a large toll from families.”
The free enterprise system, then, is good insofar as it enables individuals to fulfill this central human vocation. It does this quite well.
First, free enterprise dramatically reduces extreme poverty. In 1970, over one-quarter of the world lived on less than one dollar per day. By 2006, about one in 20 people lived in extreme poverty — an 80 percent reduction. We have the adoption of free markets across the developing world to thank for this massive reduction. That it happened in less than four decades is all the more impressive.
Poverty is obviously a serious obstacle to the flourishing life – it is hard to reach your full potential if you don’t have enough to eat, and it is hard to meet your obligations to your family, as well. By reducing poverty in the developing world, free markets help to strengthen families.
The effect of liberalizing markets on extreme poverty and the good this does for families is a fact I wish the Holy Father discussed more often, and that I hope will be part of the upcoming synod. Reading His Holiness’s encyclical on the environment, I was left with the impression that the pope’s primary socio-environmental concern is not pollution per se, but rather mankind’s ability to generate pollution — an ability which is the consequence of industrialization and market economies. If I’m reading him correctly, the Holy Father’s view is a shame, because dramatically rolling back free markets would weaken the greatest anti-poverty tool in human history. It would, of course, extract a large toll from families. Hopefully the Holy Father sees that markets generate solutions to intractable problems, in addition to causing problems of their own. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeremy Page and Esther Fung The slopes of Mount Rainier, an active volcano overlooking Seattle, will witness an unusual China-U.S. joint venture this week, just before President Xi Jinping begins a state visit to the U.S. in the West Coast city.
Wang Shi, one of China’s most successful property tycoons, will lead a group of Chinese chief executives on an expedition up the mountain with Jim Whittaker, who became the first American to summit Mount Everest in 1963.
The event on Monday is to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Peace Climb in which Mr. Whittaker climbed Everest again with Soviet and Chinese mountaineers in a bid to promote world peace.
Participants on Monday are hoping to send a similar message of peace at a time of mounting China-U.S. tensions, and to promote awareness of climate change — one area where Beijing and Washington are trying to cooperate.
“Today the same message still bears significance,” said 64-year-old Mr. Wang, Chairman of China Vanke Co., the world’s largest residential property developer by revenue. “Getting to the summit is not the main purpose of the climb.”
The event also demonstrates the growing interest in outdoor pursuits, especially among
wealthier Chinese, who are now venturing well beyond traditional tourist destinations.
Mr. Wang is one of China’s highest profile examples.
“In the past two years I have been making trips between China and Seattle and other U.S. cities,” said Mr. Wang. “I’ve also become quite familiar with the mountaineering scene in Seattle.”
Mt. Rainier, whose summit is at 14,410 feet (4392 meters) above sea level, is an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., according to the U.S. National Park Service.
Among the Chinese participants on Monday are members of the “Deep Dive” initiative which is run by Mr. Wang and aims to teach Chinese executives about foreign culture and business etiquette.
Mr. Whittaker said he was introduced to Mr. Wang through Washington State Governor Jay Inslee about three months ago.
Mr. Wang and the other Chinese participants were providing most of the funding of around $60,000 for the event, Mr. Whittaker said. Read the rest of this entry »
Police in Olympia, Washington, are looking for two men who assaulted an Air Force officer during a supposedly peaceful protest Sept. 5.
The officer, described as a pilot at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was stopped in traffic due to the protest when he was singled out by a “local hate group,” which calls itself the “anarchists,” according to a police news release.
“The protesters saw two confederate flags attached to the back of the victim’s motorcycle and surrounded him, rocking the bike in an attempt to knock it over,” the news release said. “They sprayed the victim in the face with mace, and struck him in the back with a baseball bat and a glass bottle filled with red paint.”
Police did not identify the Air Force officer, who suffered “severe eye irritation,” as well as a bruised shoulder and back in the attack, the news release said. A witness who tried to help the officer also was sprayed in the face with mace. Read the rest of this entry »
This week, the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), firearms retailers, and private gun owners filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, alleging that its new firearms and ammunition sales tax ordinance is illegal and unenforceable.
“Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for ‘injuries due to accidents’ had a rate almost seventy-five times greater. With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents.”
Earlier this month, Seattle passed the Firearm Tax and Ammunition Tax ordinance which imposes a new $25 sales tax on the retail sales of firearms, plus a per-round sales tax of two to five cents on ammunition. The ordinance is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2016. A failure to pay the tax is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to 364 days, or both.
A city report describes this as a “gun violence tax” that is estimated to generate revenues of $300,000 to $500,000 per year. The report adds, “[e]very effort funded by the revenues of this tax that reduces the probability of gun violence from taking place will save lives and money… Efforts funded by the gun violence tax that mitigate the public health, welfare, and safety impacts of gun violence will benefit this population.”
“In 2011, the Court of Appeals of Washington looked no further than the ‘plain language’ of the preemption statute before concluding that Seattle’s attempt to regulate the possession of firearms was unlawful. The complaint in the new lawsuit refers to this decision and states the City of Seattle is ‘not permitted to pass laws that target the sale of firearms and ammunition through any means.’”
The report fails to disclose any clear relationship between expected new tax receipts and a reduction in violence of any kind. The report asserts only that efforts funded by the tax which “reduce the probability of gun violence from taking place” will benefit Seattle residents, without identifying the nature of the “research, prevention and youth education and employment programs” or how these programs will work to reduce the “probability” of gun violence. (The report does confirm, though, that the City will be able “to track how much revenue is raised each year and analyze the programs to which that revenue is dedicated.”)
“Citizens testifying before the City Council meeting on the new tax included a recent victim of a violent felony who was ‘appalled’ that the City was enacting an illegal tax that would force law-abiding citizens to pay for the impact of gun violence committed by criminals.”
The ordinance itself cites a 2014 study funded by the City of Seattle which reported, among other things, King County hospitalization rates due to a firearm-related injury (“of any intent,” presumably including self-inflicted and accidental injuries in addition to persons who were injured as victims of crime), and hospitalizations for other reasons.
Hospitalizations due to overdoses, non-gun suicides, and non-gun assaults were far more prevalent than gun-related hospitalizations. Overdose and non-gun suicide hospitalizations each occurred at a rate more than five times that of those involving a gun; hospitalizations for “injuries due to accidents” had a rate almost seventy-five times greater. With stats like these, it’s clear that anti-gun sentiment is the only thing driving the new taxes, not any real desire to address public health concerns of city residents. Read the rest of this entry »
The recipe for drought is simple: mix extended hot weather with a corresponding lack of precipitation and, voilà. Add in a carelessly tossed cigarette or a flash of lightning and drought conditions beget wildfires. Both have wrought damage and pain on North America’s West Coast during the summer of 2015.
Source: National Post
PORTLAND (KPTV) — A 6-year-old Portland boy is donating his allowance money to support firefighters and the families of the three Washington firefighters who were killed in a wildfire near Twisp, Wash., last week.
“This little boy walked up with his mother and he had a little box with him. He said he had a gift to give us, because he had heard about the firefighters who passed away.”
— Portland firefighter Kevin Dolphin
According to KPTV in Portland, the boy, Abay Milner, said that when he noticed a thick smoky haze settling in over Portland, he wanted to know what was going on.
“I thought, where is the smoke coming from? That’s the first thing I thought,” said Abay. “Then I thought, why is the smoke all the way here in Portland? And then I heard there was a wildfire, and then I heard it was far away, so I thought that’s good, because there was no ashes in the smoke.”
But, then he learned more. Read the rest of this entry »
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Officials in Washington state want a former city employee to pay back nearly $800 in taxpayer money she spent on cupcakes for her own office farewell party.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that when former Yakima human resources director Cheryl Ann Mattia resigned in December, she ordered $757.40 worth of gourmet cupcakes from a local cafe.
City Manager Tony O’Rourke says the spending was a “gross misuse” of taxpayer money….(read more)
It’s another bad-news story for the US newspaper industry: newsroom jobs slumped another 10.4 percent to the lowest level since tracking began in 1978.
The annual survey by the American Society of News Editors released Tuesday found newsroom employment dropped to 32,900 in 2014 from 36,700 a year earlier.
“If we project the recent decline forward, we’ll have one-half the number of daily journalists working in 2016 or 2017 as we did 16 years ago.”
The survey highlighted the ongoing hemorrhaging at traditional news organizations as readers turn to online sources of information.
But the results also showed some gains in large-circulation newspapers and some very small ones.
“And this year’s loss happened in the best US economy in close than a decade. Daily newspapers have bled people in good times and bad.”
— Ken Doctor, a media analyst at the research firm Outsell
ASNE found the number of employees at newspapers with daily circulations between 250,000 and 500,000 increased by 13.98 percent.
Those with circulations under 5,000 had a 15.9 percent increase in the number of employees.
But the drop was a whopping 21.58 percent among newspapers with circulations between 100,000 and 250,000. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Maryland’ Crabs: ‘They’re All Born in Virginia’, Says Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
“You know, Maryland talks about their crabs. And if anyone from Maryland is listening, I’m going to be very clear: All the crabs are born here in Virginia and they end up, because of the current, being taken there. So really they should be Virginia crabs.”
— Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
His statement is not entirely false, though saying the current is the only reason some crabs migrate into the upper bay is questionable.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, male crabs tend to prefer fresher waters in Maryland and the bay’s upper tributaries, while females, especially spawning females, like the saltier waters of Virginia, near the mouth of the bay….(read more)
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — An anonymous donor has offered a $1 million reward for credible information leading to the pair of Judy Garland‘s sequined, ruby red slippers stolen from a museum in her Minnesota hometown.
John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, says the donor is from Arizona and is a huge fan of Garland and the 1939 movie.
The reward offer requires the exact location of the slippers and the perpetrator’s name.
The 10-year anniversary of the theft is in August. The slippers were insured for $1 million. Kelsch says they could be worth $2 million to $3 million now.
HAVANA (AP) — A U.S. foundation will ship nearly $900,000 in supplies to build a state-of-the-art facility to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s books, letters and photos – the first major export of construction materials to Cuba since President Barack Obama loosened the trade embargo on the island.
The Boston-based Finca Vigia Foundation has been trying for years to help Cuba stop thousands of pages of documents from slowly disintegrating in the baking heat and dripping humidity of the sprawling homewhere the American writer lived and worked outside Havana from 1939 to 1960. Officials with Cuba’s National Cultural Heritage Council, which runs the Finca Vigia, have been enthusiastic about building a conservation laboratory but said they didn’t have the funds or supplies to do it.
High-quality building materials are virtually impossible to find throughout much of Cuba, with homeowners forced to buy paint and water pumps stolen from government agencies and pay overseas travelers to bring items as large as sinks and kitchen cabinets in their checked luggage. In state-run hardware stores, a request for an item as mundane as a box of screws can provoke peals of laughter from salesclerks.
The foundation’s proposal to send four shipping containers with as much as $862,000 of materials ranging from nuts and bolts to tools and roofing was approved by the U.S. government in May, after Obama created a series of exemptions to the embargo. The exceptions include permission for Americans to export supplies donated for the purpose of supporting the Cuban people in fields such as science, archaeology and historical preservation. Read the rest of this entry »