Author: Darren Smith

Washington State Senator Introduces Bill To Deregulate Lemonade Stands

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the lemonade of Andria & Zoey.

In a welcome departure from Washington State’s penchant to overbearingly tax, regulate, and control every aspect of human existence possible, a state senator recently introduced Senate Bill 6320 titled “AN ACT Relating to the ability of a minor to operate a lemonade business on an occasional basis” as a prophylaxis against the state shutting down another fledgling business and cultural icon: the childhood lemonade stand.

It is, however, a rather sad commentary that such a bill becomes necessary, but given the unholy alliance between the neighborhood busy-bodies who shake their canes at all things enjoyed by children and mindless automatons of local government who put rules above reason, it seems we now have to legislate discretion to protect young entrepreneurs from being thwarted by the ridiculousness sometimes displayed by adults having more power than sense.

Do we have to make laws to protect lemonade stands from government? Unfortunately it seems in today’s society we must.

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Tax Avoidance: A Moral Duty

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

While it is a truism that in many respects some form of taxation is needed to provide necessities to a society, in practice many government and social detriments arise as either a consequence to or are derivative of tax policy. I’ve found for myself that fostering a personal goal of avoiding specific taxation or in many cases excessive taxation generally comports with a greater advocacy of morality in several beneficial forms.

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Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir Sentenced to Prison. Will Extradition to The ICC Eventually Follow?

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (ICC Photo)

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A Sudanese court sentenced former Sudan President and accused genocidist Omar al-Bashir to two years imprisonment following his recent conviction for corruption. Additionally, the Court ordered forfeiture of millions in Euros and Sudanese Pounds discovered at his residence after being deposed by a military coup. He faces the likelihood of additional charges levied against him in the near future.

From a foreign perspective, there still remains the unresolved matter of Mr. al-Bashir’s two arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague stemming from accusations of genocide and other crimes against humanity.

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Indian Rape Victim Dies After Horrific Revenge Attack

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Another horrific attack in Uttar Pradesh led to the death of a twenty-three year old woman rape victim while traveling to attend a court hearing. Police accuse five men, two identified by the victim as her previous rapists, of stalking her as she prepared to board a commuter train. They doused her with kerosene then set her alight.

She then suffered having to walk nearly a kilometer afterward to summon police via telephone. She was medivaced to New Delhi having received burns to ninety-five percent of her body before suffering cardiac arrest and succumbing to her injuries.

The attack not only highlights a combative approach by some members of society toward the rights of women, but also conveys the shortcomings of a burdened legal system that in some ways facilitates retribution against victims and vigilantism against the accused. It is another, probably less recognized cost of the lack of speedy trial protections in Uttar Pradesh.

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Measles Outbreak in Samoa Challenges Free Speech Rights

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Following a doubly-fatal administration of tainted measles vaccination doses to two children and the consequent loss in confidence of much of the public in vaccines generally, a costly outbreak of measles in The Independent State of Samoa led to a return to early 20th century style public health mandates and a crackdown in free-speech liberties on those who advocate abstention from vaccination.

From October until the present, public health officials listed over four thousand new cases of measles among a population of two hundred thousand. This includes the death of sixty persons of which fifty-two were under four years in age. A leading “anti-vaxx” proponent, a self-styled traditional healer of sorts has been remanded to custody, and faces up to two years imprisonment, for reportedly denouncing vaccination efficacy and accusing the government of causing death among the Samoan People.

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A Few Pictures Of The Coast

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In response to this week’s unnecessary contentions on a personal and national scale I thought I would offer to the reader a bit of a respite and distraction. Here follow a few pictures of a journey I made to the coast, featuring the woods, lighthouses and a sunset.

Feel free to click on each image for a larger version. Enjoy…

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White House Honors K-9 Serving In al-Baghdadi Raid

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Earlier this week, a special four-legged hero named Conan was honored at the White House.

The military K-9 was injured in the October raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria. Fortunately, the commando dog has since made a full recovery.

This is not the first time that this breed of dog was used in a special operation. Back in 2011, a Belgian Malinois named Cairo accompanied Seal Team Six to track down Osama Bin Laden.

As predicted, some Americans are cashing in on Conan’s legacy as the war dog already has multiple Facebook pages, ‘Zero Bark Thirty’ t-shirts, and even held a press conference on SNL.

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Utah Woman Charged With Lewdness For Being Nude In Her Own Home

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

There are some cases that are so unbelievably asinine, I must remind the reader this is not April Fool’s Day.

A woman in Utah presently faces the possibility of a ten year sex offender registration mandate if a Utah judge convicts her of Misdemeanor Lewdness Involving A Child for walking inside her own home topless.

Yes, apparently one can be arrested for being nude in their own home if a child witnesses the horrorshow of a woman’s exposed breast. God help us if nursing women feed their babies.

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Spokane Police Find Suspect Hiding In Clothes Dryer, Along With Missing Sock

A tumble-dry low

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A Spokane man is in hot air after allegedly attempting to evade arrest on a protection order violation by cloistering himself within a clothing dryer. No, it was not a big “Canyon-aire-o” sized dryer but it was a stackable apartment version.

Police claim that it was the work of a K-9 who found our hapless crook, but I have it on good authority it might have been the Snuggles Dryer Sheet bear who ratted him out.

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How To Open A Jar: Like A Boss

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In giving you the reader something you could actually find useful, here is a technique I developed that makes opening overly-tight fitting jars rather easy. The method takes advantage of leverage and large muscle groups of your arms to twist off the jar lid rather than relying on comparatively weaker muscles serving the wrists and fingers. It works well for those having weak or arthritic hands.  One only needs to have a secure grip in order to open most jars.

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From Atoms to Mothballs: Photos of an Abandoned Nuke Plant

I am become mothballed, the destroyer of fortunes

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

My wife and I went for a drive and happened along an abandoned nuclear power plant along the side of the road. As this was a bit out of the ordinary, I took a few pictures.

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