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Cigarette smuggling makes WA tax revenue go up in smoke
State News
By Shelby Sebens  | Northwest Watchdog Washington has a smuggling problem, exacerbated by a large tax gap with its neighbors. The state’s tax on cigarettes is $3.02 a pack, compared t...
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Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment
Religion
A Christian chaplain in the military is being officially censored for engaging in free speech, and anti-Christian activists are demanding he be punished.   Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Chris...
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Religious freedom – a Secondary Right?
Religion
Opinion by J. Randy Forbes The First Amendment is a promise that we are free to live holistically,according to the dictates of our conscience. Last month, however, the FirstAmendment was subjected to...
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Pierce Transit won't likely be cutting service by 28% this fall
State News
Despite the "sky is falling" predictions, better than expected sales in Pierce County will likely mean good news for bus riders. Pierce Transit was planning on cutting service by 28 percent this Sept...
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Seatac City Council sends $15 Minimum Wage Initiative to November Ballot; a Local Measure of National Significance
State Politics
SeaTac's job-killing initiative... hot off the press. "It appears this small city of 27,000 has become the nation’s most important battleground this year in a fight by labor interests for a $15-an-ho...
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Posted by on in State News

By Shelby Sebens  | Northwest Watchdog

Washington has a smuggling problem, exacerbated by a large tax gap with its neighbors.

The state’s tax on cigarettes is $3.02 a pack, compared to $1.18 in Oregon and 57 cents in Idaho. In the border cities of Washington, the ease of hopping the state line for cheaper smokes is just too tempting for some.

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Posted by on in Religion

A Christian chaplain in the military is being officially censored for engaging in free speech, and anti-Christian activists are demanding he be punished.  

Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Christian chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. He is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. As an ordained clergyman whose duties are to provide religious instruction and spiritual counseling, he has a page on the base’s website called “Chaplain’s Corner.”

Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: "I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes."

As reported by Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when Reyes referenced this famous line in his essay, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contacted the base commander, Col. Brian Duffy, demanding he take action on Reyes’s “anti-secular diatribe.”

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Posted by on in Religion

Opinion by J. Randy Forbes

The First Amendment is a promise that we are free to live holistically,
according to the dictates of our conscience. Last month, however, the First
Amendment was subjected to assaults seeking to force the fully free exercise of
faith into the most private of places: our homes and houses of worship.

The intent is simple and fatal: redefine the meaning of religious freedom,
making it a secondary right when exercised in the public square or marketplace.

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Posted by on in State News

Despite the "sky is falling" predictions, better than expected sales in Pierce County will likely mean good news for bus riders.

Pierce Transit was planning on cutting service by 28 percent this September, but strong sales tax revenues from earlier this year will likely eliminate the need for the cuts. Every single bus line was going to be impacted.

Voters rejected a sales tax increase last fall to off-set the proposed cuts. The organizer of the campaign against the increase say he feels vindicated.

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Posted by on in State Politics

SeaTac's job-killing initiative... hot off the press.

"It appears this small city of 27,000 has become the nation’s most important battleground this year in a fight by labor interests for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, paid sick leave and other rules." writes Erik Smith who attended the meeting and just published this article.

http://washingtonstatewire.com/blog/seatac-city-council-sends-15-minimum-wage-initiative-to-november-ballot-a-local-measure-of-national-significance/

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Posted by on in Enviroment

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is still trying to take our wood stoves.  They currently have a wood stove buy back program that ends this year, based on the evil PM 2.5 that will kill us all if it allowed to float freely in the air.  PM 2.5 stands for Particulate Matter that is 2.5 Microns in size.  According to the EPA, these tiny particles cause early deaths, and must be regulated to protect us from this major health hazard.

The only problem with this is that there is little evidence that this threat really exists.  Despite millions in grants being given out by the EPA for research to prove the health hazard of fine particulate polution, the only evidence so far proves that no such threat exists.  The Washington Times reported that the latest air polution crisis in China this January did not produce the massive mortality rates the EPA believes would happen. 

According to the EPA, PM 2.5 levels above 30 micrograms per cubic meter will lead to a 1% increase in the death rate, higher for at-risk populations.  This January, the particulate levels in China measured 886 micrograms per cubic meter, yet the only deaths associated with this smog were from traffic accidents due to poor visibility.  Yes, some people were admitted to hospitals with respiratory problems, but they recovered as soon as they had access to clean air.  Most of the population managed to muddle through with face masks or just limiting their activity on the worst days.

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Posted by on in State News

Wash. Supreme Court: Legal status can't be used in civil cases SEATTLE (AP) - A person's legal status in the country can't be used in civil cases by attorneys to intimidate or coerce under a new rule approved by the Washington Supreme Court last week.

Since 2007, advocates have been working to make the change to the Rules of Professional conduct that attorneys licensed in the state must adhere to following. The lobbying began after members of the Latino/a Bar Association of Washington had seen attorneys and, in some cases, judges discuss a person's legal status in the country openly in court to intimidate.

"We thought it was unethical to do," said Lorena Gonzalez, who was president of the attorney association at the time. "We looked at the rules there was silence on the issue."

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Posted by on in Common Core

Dr. Everett Piper is the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.   His speech at a Common Core forum in Edmond, Oklahoma makes the case that Common Core State Standards are indeed “common” and that a true liberal arts education has no place for anything ‘”common”. Ideas have consequences.  Ideas matter.  Every human and every human institution is blessed or cursed by their guiding principals – by the importance they place on their ideas.  In many ways, we inevitably do practice what we preach.  (What we teach in school today becomes our future)

Dr. Piper states:

    "I am against common core because I believe there are ideas that are tested by time, defended by reason and validated by experience, and many of these ideas, especially in our day and time are anything BUT common.

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Posted by on in 2nd Amendment

Republished from the Sno-Isle 9/12 website:

This week saw the beginning of a new media blitz campaign by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to bully lawmakers into passing stronger gun control laws. Of course, anyone following the news is familiar with the ways that Mayor Bloomberg tries to infringe on individual liberty to promote his view of how we should live, but did you know that this new media campaign is backed by his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group? This group claims to have more than 300 mayors from cities across America that support the anti-2nd Amendment positions of Mayor Bloomberg.

The first TV ad features a man we are supposed to believe is a hunter somewhere in rural America, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup truck, and holding a shotgun. The NRA has been quick to point out, as have many others, that this alleged gun proponent in the ad violates at least two of the three fundamental rules of safe gun handling: he is pointing the shotgun toward children (or at least in their general direction, we don't really know who is off-screen, but we see his kids) and he has his finger on the trigger. Of course, with the bolt closed we can't tell if the shotgun is loaded, but anyone who has gone through safety training knows, there is no such thing as an unloaded firearm. There is a lot of speculation that this alleged mid-American hunter is nothing more than a New York actor who has most likely never held a gun before and yet professes to speak for the many millions of Americans who legally own and safely use guns.

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©Sno-Isle 9/12 Project - Todd Phillips - 2013
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