Author: Darren Smith

WA Parents File Lawsuit Against Gov. Inslee Alleging Emergency School Closures Are Unconstitutional

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee

Last week several parents on behalf of themselves and their minor children filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Washington seeking injunctive relief and for the Court to declare the closures unconstitutional as the governor’s proclamations violate the “paramount duty on the part of the state to make ‘ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.”

The underlying information alleged within the lawsuit presents facts that Plaintiffs assert demonstrate that the current state of the COVID-19 virus’ threat no longer credibly constitutes an actual emergency and that the governor’s Proclamations as a result lack a foundational basis to remove children from schools. The suit further states the governor applied a wide brush to declare all Washingtonians as being at risk when the epidemiological evidence shows that the COVID-19 infection and death rate mirrors that of Influenza and Pneumonia infection rates of past years yet no public emergency was declared then. Furthermore, the illness and death rate for those less than twenty years in age is non-existent in the state and nearly everywhere else sampled. Plaintiffs proffer that the failing of the governor to limit the scope of application of the Proclamations to those actually vulnerable to the virus, the elderly and sick, infringed upon the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and other children who have physiologically shown no significant vulnerability to the virus yet suffered the violation of their right to education resulting from an overly-broad inclusion under the declarations of state of emergency.

The complaint also mentions the sub-par nature of the education provided the minor Plaintiffs by the state, equating in one example only an hour of education and that much of what is expected is for grade school children to self-initiate and self direct their own education. One child, resides at times with a parent who has no Internet service at his residence and thus cannot facilitate an ample accomodation to meet the child’s special educational needs.

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Weekend Photos: The Tide is Low But I’m Holdin’ On

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Though the state ordered us to Stay at Home and cower, it was of great necessary for me to drive to the Washington State Coast on “essential business travel related to maintaining critical infrastructure”. Yet, I did manage somehow to find a few moments during this noble duty to brave hazardous viral shoals, and pandemically mutated Coho-vid Salmon to bring you a few photographs of the infested outdoors. Please, do not worry for me–I had my cloth facemask somewhere in the glovebox and Geiger counter on a shelf in the garage, so I was protected.

Click on each to enlarge.

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Citing Privacy Concerns, Israel Ends Cellphone Location Tracking For Enforcement of Quarantine

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The government of Israel suspended a program enacted last month at the behest of the prime minister’s government granting the police the authority to track roaming and location data of those under quarantine order. A parliamentary oversight committee held that the loss of privacy was a greater cost to society than the proffered benefit of tracking those suspected of carrying or transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The underlying technology used to track civilian COVID patients stems from that developed for Shin Bet (The Israeli General Security Service) for counter-terrorist tracking of cell phones carried by security risks to the state.  In this case the technology was co-opted for use against medical patients health officials suspected might violate quarantine orders.

While the reversal of policy is welcomed, it does provide a proof that any technology or power crafted under the promise of addressing a great and manifest danger to the people or the state usually finds a way to be used against ordinary citizens when politicians or government become tempted to broaden its application under “emergency” conditions.

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Some Washington State Sheriffs Begin Refusing To Enforce Gov. Inslee’s Lockdown Orders

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

To date, three county sheriffs in Washington State broke ranks and announced they will not enforce some of Governor Inslee’s executive orders relating to his several, and increasingly frequent lockdown orders–proclaimed under the auspices of state of emergency declarations to the COVID-19 situation. The dominant subject of dissent among these law enforcement officials centers around what are regarded as unconstitutional intrusions by the governor enacted against the citizens of their respective counties and the inconsistency of regulations applied unequally by the state.

It is my belief that unless a strong reversal of Governor Inslee’s resolve to remain steadfast in his prosecution of ordinary Washingtonians is not fielded soon, the “insubordination” as he claims will only grow and serve to weaken his position, adding spark to a movement against him and his office if it continues in its present form for months.

The time has come for the governor to put his ego aside. For if he chooses to adversarily engage these sheriffs and others who will come to join them he will lose in the courts of public opinion of these various counties.

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Painted Ladies: A Few Photographs of Victorian Style Homes

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A Painted Lady describes a coloring schema of Victorian and Eduardian style houses common of the era between the middle 19th century to the 1910s yet repainted starting in the 1960s to accentuate the architecture through the use of many differing colors, often to a great level of precision (Some attaining not quite a Jan Van Eyck granularity but certainly above that of McMansions blighting many neighborhoods.

Here are a few for your enjoyment. Click each to enlarge.

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Some People Take Enormous Exception To The 5G Cell Service Roll-out.

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

For many of us who hold on to old technology until the bitter end, issues such as the obligatory upgrade to a newer generation of cell phone technology brings irritation. But for a few in The Netherlands, it seems burning down cell towers is the retort of choice.

De Telegraaf reports that antenna systems in Liessel, Beesd, Rotterdam and Nuenen had their cabling set alight in what is believed nearly certainly to be arson. One of the control boxes at a cell site had “F*** 5G” spray painted, not the usual result of an arc-flash I would venture to say.

Some of the motivation for the dissent leading to these types of arson stems from the belief that the 5G system as utilized by telecoms curtails privacy and that the propagation of electromagnetic radiation transmissions could have health consequences. There are legitimate arguments to these positions, but there is wide variation in the perceived scope and danger they might actually present. Despite this, there remain always a few who so self-righteously bind themselves to causes célèbres they think very little of the actual damage such acts cause others.

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WA Governor Inslee’s Order Cancelling Remaining School Year Possibly Unconstitutional

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

It is my analysis and view that Washington Governor Inslee’s declaration cancelling the entirety of the remaining school year under the rubric of the COVID-19 situation possibly violates the Washington State Constitution.

The state’s Supreme Court held in McCleary v. Washington that “The word “ample” in article IX, section 1 provides a broad constitutional guideline meaning fully, sufficient, and considerably more than just adequate.

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If every citizen had N95 Masks, Would Government Be Justified in Locking Down The Population Next Time?

By Darren Smith, Weekend contributor

I have to wonder if our state government’s lockdown of the population, curtailment of civil liberties, destruction of job opportunities, and denial of basic medical, education, and cultural needs would have been necessary and legally justified had each of us been equipped with our own supply of masks.

At the beginning of the self-declared State of Emergency, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared, among many other restrictions, that access to basic medical services, such as routine doctor visits, dental procedures, diagnostic services were to be prohibited, ostensibly on the fact that masks should be diverted from these services and conserved to supply hospitals and critical care centers that were lacking in preparedness and woefully out of stock. He further reiterated that because the public will spread corona virus, we were ordered to self-quaranteen, resulting in tens of thousands of job losses, an upset in daily life and the general loss of liberty.

Before the next virus crises hits, I propose we adopt a new symbol of American Freedom and Liberty–The N95 Mask–and shield ourselves from the next outbreak of panic legislation and overreach by executive and administrative power

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Washington State: Hunting Bear and Turkey Spreads Corona Virus

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has once again submitted to absurdity, this time by declaring that the hunting of bear and turkey presents a threat to public safety.

No, it is not that bears and their natural allies–the gobblers of Washington–have formed an alliance and threatened retaliation against suburbia if hunters invaded their lands. It is more insidious. Hunting outdoors spreads COVID-19 among the human population.

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Nancy Pelosi and Artist “Banksy” Cause Stir with Latest Art Project

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently collaborated with the reclusive European artist known as “Banksy” to create “Kinetic Art with a Shred of Decency” in their latest project promising to combine political intrigue with a slap in the face to the billion dollar art auction industry.

Matthew Ruhrapentay, a NYC based critic, praised the “inherent irony that these two artists could achieve such synchronicity” in composing their latest contribution, saying: “A Speaker who shreds the President’s Speech at the closing gavel of the House of Representatives, who better than to partner with a reclusive artist who shredded a million dollar painting just as the gavel dropped at an auction house? Magnifico!”

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Linguists Successfully Decipher Ancient Minoan Language “Linear A”

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In what might surely be viewed as one of the potentially great breakthroughs in linguistics in recent years, scientists have finally deciphered the ancient Minoan Language known as “Linear A“, a previously untranslated ancient writing system used from 1800 to 1450 BCE. A new technique using, of all things, a vast collection of commerce related email of today provided a template for the discovery.

Partially due to this lack of translation, the Minoan culture remained obscured and cloaked in mystery. But linguists found much more than expected when they concurrently discovered the proximate cause of the abandonment of Linear A by the Minoans and its replacement with Linear B, the language of Mycenaean Greece.

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Washington State Prohibits Citizens From Fishing, Cites Corona Virus Outbreak

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The restrictions enforced against Washingtonians are approaching absurdity. Somehow Washington State believes that fishing alone in the middle of Banks Lake will lead to worsening the COVID19 outbreak, so it banned recreational fishing. Yet going into a crowded big box store to panic-buy toilet paper and bags of flour is legal and safe.

Is there a threat that we the public are not aware. Is it that Corona Viruses from China can waft into the jet stream and drop like paratroops onto fisherman at Westport? Might it be frightfully possible that we may be swallowed whole by mutant razor clams lurking beneath the sand. What, if we may ask, is this horrorshow?

I suspect it is one of the worst kind of threat…a government agency given too much authority.

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COVID-19 Situation Demonstrates The Potential For Harm To Society Caused By Politicians

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Putting aside the discussion of whether or not actions taken by various elected officials were reasonable, the hurried effects suffered by the public during the COVID-19 virus pandemic at the behest of politicians should if anything prove the potential for damage caused by unscrupulousness or incompetence in government.

Today’s events should be by now a self-evident reminder of the great importance of putting the right people in office and the folly of settling for very fallable politicians. The next coming weeks will make that point likely more for you, with less consideration to your rights or interests.

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Saturday Photos: A Great Northern Railroad F7

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A couple years ago we were driving up the coast and a chance glance to my left brought me something I have not seen for many decades, a locomotive having Great Northern Railroad livery. I had to stop and take pictures then, but having only a anemic flip-phone camera, it was nothing to write home about.

I unexpectedly found myself presently having no meetings, paperwork was deferrable, the car had a tank of gas, and the camera was beckoning. This could mean only one thing…ROAD TRIP. So, I thought I’d return to that small town from years ago and snap a few frames.

Click each image to enlarge

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