$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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Cleric: Killing Kurds Who Convert To Zoroastrianism Is “Legitimate”

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Mulla Hassib
Mulla Hassib

In another example of attempts to legitimize murder for apostasy, an Islamist Cleric of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) declared in an interview with the BBC that Kurds who leave Islam to convert to Zoroastrianism are to be murdered; or in his words “Killed and Executed.”

The cleric extended his hand of mercy by allowing those converts three days to regret their decision but thereafter are to be executed.

In an almost brutal irony, Mulla Hassib from Sulaimani said that Islamic religious tenets permit such executions, but ISIS’ practice of killing apostates is partially correct but he criticizes the terrorist organization for spreading the religion by means of “violence”.

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Pacemaker Data Used To Charge Alleged Arsonist

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

placemaker-implant-heartWe have now another novel example concerning the use of seemingly private data being used against criminal defendants and potentially in the future other members of the public.

A Middletown, Ohio homeowner is accused in the arson of his own home, reportedly causing four hundred thousand dollars in damage and the loss of a personal pet. Arson investigators became suspicious about the cause of the fire from inconsistent statements made along with finding multiple origins of the fire. Police retrieved the recording of the 9-1-1 call the defendant made reporting the conflagration. During this he made mention of having an “artificial heart.” But what probably seemed ordinary for the defendant led to a trove of information used as incriminating data.

His pacemaker telemetry data became a source of incriminating evidence.

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Hugh Mungus Social Justice Warrior Fail Nets Man $140,000

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

Rudy Pantoja Jr. aka Hugh Mungus
Rudy Pantoja Jr.
aka Hugh Mungus

After thanking police at a September, 2016 Seattle City Council meeting for helping his addicted daughter find social services, and confronted by a frenzied social justice warrior who screamed out that she was sexually harassed by his providing a joke name, Rudy Pantoja Jr. has so far received over $140,000.00 in donations in a truly bizarre story of how sometimes being confronted by Precious Snowflakes can be not only immensely annoying, it has a potential for immense earnings.
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Turkish Government Raids Judiciary, Arrests 189 Judges And Prosecutors

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

220px-Erdogan_croppedYesterday, police in Turkey served arrest warrants on one hundred, eighty nine appeals court judges and prosecutors in the latest post-coup attempt purges. Since the July, 15th military coup, seeking the ouster of dictator Recep Erdogan, thirty-two thousand individuals are currently in jail and over one hundred thousand were sacked from their jobs under the questionable accusation of aiding dissident Fethullah Gulen.

Ankara’s chief prosecutor attacked the judiciary, members of the justice ministry, the Court of Cassation (Turkey’s top appellate court), and the Council of State (the highest administrative court).

The purges are part of seemingly never ending act of paranoia by a dictator bent on returning Turkey to authoritarianism.
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