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Creationist blames dreadful attendance at Ark theme park on tax-starved city not supplying ‘tourist services’

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The creationist behind Kentucky’s failing “Ark Encounter’ theme park is at it again.

Ken Ham, the president and CEO of “Christian apologist ministry” Answers in Genesis, penned an op-ed that once again deflects the blame for the failure of his Noah’s Ark replica theme park. This time, Ham argued that the culprit is Williamstown which footed the $92 million bill for the park that now graces their city for not providing enough infrastructure to accommodate visitors to their new “attraction.”

“Williamstown, where the Ark is located, doesn’t have the tourist-related services that Dry Ridge [a neighboring tourist trap] has, so it needs more businesses like hotels and restaurants if it hopes to experience the growth that Dry Ridge is now enjoying,” Ham wrote.

There are a slew of problems with Ham’s reasoning. As Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist points out, Williamstown has received no financial incentives to stoke growth in the area because Ham negotiated a “ridiculously low” 30-year property tax rate for the taxpayer-funded park. Ham is also garnishing his employees’ paychecks to help repay the loans taken out to complete the park.

According to a Patheos article published while the park was still under construction, employees are subject to a two percent “job assessment fee on gross wages.”

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“In other words,” the article continued, “$2 out of every pre-tax $100 dollars you make will go directly to paying off the for-profit Noah’s Ark attraction.”

Additionally, Answers in Genesis and the Ark have yet to pay the town’s “safety fee” that contributes to a fund to upgrade emergency response equipment, a fund that “would help make it even more of a tourist destination.”

Williamstown has plenty of reasons to not want to spend more money on the for-profit Christian theme park, especially because the Ark won’t even hire members of the town’s community unless they ascribe to the same fundamentalist beliefs of Ham.

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This isn’t the first time Ham has tried to pin the blame on his expensive and ambitious project away from himself. A few weeks ago, Ham complained to a local news outlet that atheists protesting the park were the reason it hadn’t lived up to his expectations.

 

 


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Conservative suggests Trump’s racist rhetoric will incite worse than ‘send her home’ chants: ‘One shudders to wonder’:

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In a column for the Washington Post, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Kathleen Parker said the refusal by Republican lawmakers and the evangelical community to condemn Donald Trump's racist rhetoric is paving the way for something far worse than mere "send her home" chants.

Under a headline that bluntly states, "Those who don’t condemn Trump’s racism are complicit in his bigotry," Parker gets right to her opinion of the president, writing, "Going out on a limb here: President Trump is a racist. And a sexist. And a xenophobic nationalist. Among other things. Not to name call or anything."

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BUSTED: Leaked drug exec emails showed them encouraging opioid abuse to the point people would eat them ‘like Doritos’

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On Friday, the Washington Post published excerpts from a damning series of emails released in a landmark case in Cleveland around the irresponsibility of drug manufacturers and suppliers in contributing to the opioid crisis.

In one email exchange, Victor Borelli, an account manager for pharmaceuticals corporation Mallinckrodt, told KeySource Medical vice president Steve Cochrane that 1,200 bottles of 30mg Oxycodone tablets had been shipped, to which Cochrane replied, "Keep 'em comin'! Flyin' out of there. It's like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are..." and Borelli responded, "Just like Doritos keep eating. We'll make more."

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Here’s the ugly racist history behind tipping — and how it still persists today

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On Saturday, writing for Politico, minister and civil rights activist Rev. Dr. William Barber applauded House Democrats' plans to not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, but eliminate the much lower "tipped wage" of $2.13 an hour and require tipped workers to also be paid at least the minimum.

This is important, wrote Barber, because the roots of businesses forcing their workers to rely on tips for a proper wage is deeply rooted in America's history of racial tension.

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