Indiana Jones Was Banned From Washington Territory

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Indiana Jones must have caused a great uproar against the peace and decency of the Pacific Northwest.

On February 27, 1854 the first Legislative Assembly in the newly organized Washington Territory ratified the Statutes of the Territory of Washington. While the criminal code is rather ordinary for the mid-nineteenth century, one has to wonder what kind of menace was to be found in the territorial capital of Olympia. It seems the likes of Indiana Jones was one of those menaces.

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Ninth Circuit Rules H1B Visa Program Violates 13Th Amendment

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In a surprise reversal of a District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in what is likely to be a landmark decision ruled that the H1B Visa Program, a temporary worker policy of the United States Government, enacted to allow relaxed work permits of needed high-tech foreign workers, violated the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The act disparaged workers by forcing tech-workers to labor exceedingly long hours for below-market wages under legal coercion. The Court further held that employers held undue influence and subjected foreign workers to be bound to a particular employer or else face cancellation of their Visa after termination.

The software industry likely will be one of the largest segments to undergo sudden changes to their hiring practices. Yet, the decision likely will be a boon for the Trump Administration in that the hiring of lower-cost foreign workers will reduce and recent citizen graduates of technical colleges and universities could have greater job opportunities.

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City Pays $62,000.00 For A New Logo Then Tosses It Out The Window

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Rejected city logo

Adding another example to the list of government debacles, the City of Federal Way, Washington spent over a year and sixty-two thousand dollars for a new logo design that the city council promptly sent to the bit bucket.

The mayor in an interview says he still believes the money was well spent.

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Washington State Governor Sued For Removal Of Leonard Peltier Art Display

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Leonard Peltier

I featured three articles in November, 2015 (HERE, HERE, and HERE) depicting a controversy caused by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ promotion of artwork made by Leonard Peltier, who was convicted for the June, 1975 murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. The display furthered the controversy in that it marked the 40thanniversary year of the agents’ murder. After considerable outcry on both sides of the issue, the dispay was taken down two weeks prior to its scheduled conclusion date.

Now, a lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court by Leonard Peltier and his son Chauncey against the state naming L&I Director Joel Sacks, Governor Jay Inslee, the L&I spokesman, retired FBI Special Agents, and two hundred John Does as defendants, claiming that the Peltiers were denied their First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by the state’s removal of the artwork.

The lawsuit indicates strongly how controversies such as these can be avoided and that allowing state employees to promote controversial issues often leads to disaster.

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$5,000 Hamburger: One Claims It Was ‘Absolutely Worth It’. No, It Was Not.

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

(Hamburger Stock Photo)

While I consider myself to be more of libertarian and believe individuals should be able to spend their money as they please, no matter how foolishly, there are times where conspicuous consumption is so insulting and demeaning to those who have little it can only be described as a bit immoral.

I read a review by Robert Frank of CNBC of a restaurant that serves a Five Thousand Dollar Hamburger created by Chef Hubert Keller’s “Fleur” restaurant at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The articles author claims the burger was “absolutely worth it.”

Obviously, I don’t doubt the quality or the hype–reportedly twenty-eight of these burgers have been reportedly sold so far–congratulations to them for being such a good business model and their windfall but what is the social cost to this level of arrogant consumption given that ordinary people must work to pay for basics.

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WA Supreme Court Rules Against Florist In Gay Marriage Discrimination Case

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Baronelle Stutzman
Baronelle Stutzman

What so far has proven to be a long ordeal for two men originally wanting only to be provided with a floral arrangement for this upcoming wedding, and also for florist Barronelle Stutzman who asserts her right to religious freedom by denying this service, has now come to another milestone in Washington.

A unanimous ruling by the Washington Supreme Court, the court denied Stutzman and her business, Arlene’s Flowers, INC’s assertions, ruling:

“…Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” and therefore held that “the conduct for which Stutzman was cited and fined in this case-refusing her commercially marketed wedding floral services to Ingersoll and Freed because theirs would be a same-sex wedding-constitutes sexual orientation discrimination under the WLAD.” (Washington Law Against Discrimination)

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“Now, After” A Short Story Of PTSD

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

now-afterYesterday I discovered a touching and effective video bringing light to the many struggles and hauntings those afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder struggle with daily. It is not often the personal toils of these challenges are presented to the public in a manner other than academic or disaffected medical analyses but I found this video to be very engaging and while certainly difficult at times for most to watch, due to some very graphic imagery inherent with combat, I believe these depictions of violence and hardship are necessary to provide you with a sense of how gripping this injury can be on those so encumbered.

While the video presents PTSD as experienced through the thoughts and trepidation of an Iraq war veteran, it can in most ways be insightful to the same traumas causal to other manifests of the injury.

SSG Kyle Hausmann-Stokes, the video’s author, is due much credit for a presentation into the manner and effect of a PTSD injury. I invite you to share in his experiences…

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