Category: Texas

BREAKING NEWS: A Sad Day

Today is a sad day in America, in Texas.

Just yesterday, I interviewed Salon á la Mode owner Shelly Luther for this evening’s virtual event. I was just informed that a Dallas County judge has sentenced Ms. Luther to seven days in jail and fined her simply because she reopened her business.

What is happening in our country?

We have judges releasing violent criminals, but sentencing a woman to jail, and calling her “selfish?” If we have now entered into a phase in our country where elected officials and black-robed jurists can decide who and what is essential in America, under penalty of fine and incarceration, we are in a state of decline.

Shelley gave her consent and shut down her business, but she refused — as is her right — to have the government decide the future of her business, as the arbitrary extensions continue. She committed no crime.

In the press conference following today’s proceedings, Ms. Luther’s attorney stated, in remarks addressed to Governor Greg Abbott, “We are six weeks into this shutdown. Call a special session, do your job or get out.”

We will broadcast her interview tonight, as scheduled **. We need to hear her and not let her voice be squandered. Shelley Luther is our modern-day Rosa Parks, and she has sparked a movement. She is an authentic “Come and Take It Texan.” Are you?

** The interview will air at 7p CT on Facebook and YouTube.

China’s Tentacles Reach Deep into the Heart of Texas

Earlier this year, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, delivered a keynote address to the National Governors Association. You can watch the 20-minute video here, and I recommend that you do so. SecState Pompeo’s address focused squarely on China and its growing influence here in the United States. One of the telling moments in Pompeo’s address was when he mentioned that China keeps a list of governors who are friendly and accommodating to the Communist Chinese (ChiComs). I can imagine that there were a few squirming in their seats when Pompeo asked the governors if their name was on that list.

As I have stated previously, and often, going back to my time as a member of Congress, China is our geopolitical foe. We, as a nation, have compromised, acquiesced, and sought to appease the ChiComs, but to no avail. Their obtuse behavior and belligerence only grows, along with their holdings in the United States. Just recently, there was a monumental revelation about ChiCom relations in the United States that happened right here in the Lone Star State.

As reported by Daily Wire:

“The Department of Education is probing the University of Texas System’s dealings with an infectious diseases laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The Wuhan lab is a suspected source of the coronavirus that has infected millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands. The virus has also prompted large-scale shutdowns of the world’s economy and initiated a global recession.

Federal investigators have requested the UT System hand over all documents related to contracts with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and researcher Shi Zhengli, who specializes in bats, according to The Wall Street Journal. The investigation is part of a broader effort to examine UT’s potential links to Beijing and about two-dozen Chinese state-owned companies, as well as with Zoom Communications’ CEO Eric Yuan.

UT is working on a reply to the Education Department’s request. Yuan has denied ever working personally with UT. A growing body of evidence suggests that the coronavirus pandemic began in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The federal government’s investigation into UT Systems is part of a wider probe to see how deep foreign influence has crept into the U.S. university system. Universities have disclosed more than $6.5 billion in funding from foreign entities, some of which has come from countries, such as China, that are hostile to the United States’ goals.

China has campaigned aggressively to expand its global influence in recent decades. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, a plan to construct a massive network of infrastructure spreading out from China across Asia and into Europe. The project would imbed [sic] China at the center of much of the global economy and give Beijing more leverage to influence international agreements, norms, and institutions…”

Last month, we discussed the issue of the Wuhan Virology Lab and Shi Zhenghli who is known as China’s “bat woman” and has been studying horseshoe bats, carriers of the coronavirus, for 16 years. During our Facebook Live event — also posted to YouTube — we discussed Harvard University Professor Charles Lieber, a biologist and chemist, who was arrested in January of this year for his collaboration with China. Two Chinese nationals were also arrested, one posed as a university student, but was actually a soldier in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. One of those Chinese nationals, Zaosong Zheng, was arrested at Boston’s Logan International Airport, with 21 vials of biological research. Yep, WTF?

But now, to have an investigation into the University of Texas education system, well, that is something which should shock us all, or should it? There can be no doubt as to what SecState Pompeo addressed, is happening in our America. The tentacles of the Leviathan known as Communist China are far-reaching, and sadly, there are those in America — Texas — for whom money is more important than loyalty to country.

Always remember that it was a Greek traitor who told the Persians about the secret pass that led to the encirclement of the Spartans and Thespians at Thermopylae in 490BC. We all know the story of Benedict Arnold, well, that is if you are attending a school that actually taught American history.

When I think about those who would place personal interest above that of their nation it reminds me of the quote attributed to Roman Statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero:

“A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

I live here in North Texas, Garland to be exact, and we all know that North Texas, along with Austin, are becoming tech hubs. In fact, it was rather perplexing for me to find out there are Huawei and ZTE offices right here in Plano and Richardson, two expanding corporate tech, cities.

So, why is it that here, in North Texas, we have two ChiCom state-owned communications companies? I mean we already know that Google was more accommodating to the ChiComs People’s Liberation Army than our own military. It was just a year ago that then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford stated, “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefitting the Chinese military. We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit. Frankly, ‘indirect’ maybe not be a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.” General Dunford was addressing Google’s artificial intelligence support to the ChiComs, something that Google employees refused to do with our own military.

We all know that US taxpayer dollars have gone to the Wuhan Virology lab, to the tune of some $7.4 million. We have seen a Harvard University professor arrested, along with Chinese nationals. Now, we have an investigation launched into the University of Texas system. There can be no doubt that China has an interest in Texas, the world’s tenth-largest economy. The ChiComs have a Consulate General’s office in Houston, Texas, the center of our oil and gas industry.

Civil Disobedience

Rosa Parks’ simple act of civil disobedience on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked the civil rights movement. Today, in Dallas, Texas, Shelley Luther has said she will not shut down her business any longer and has torn up the “cease and desist” order sent to her by local elected officials. She has stated her willingness to go to jail, but she will not close her salon.

Ladies and gents, that is our America, that is the essence of who we are. We take our individual rights, freedoms, and liberty very seriously. Well, not all of us do. At this time of onerous, intrusive government, we need men and women of impeccable courage, conviction, and character to stand, rather than kneel in submission.

Today, I will be speaking in Tyler, Texas, as part of an “Open Texas” rally. It is not up to elected officials to make the decision as to who and what is essential in America. The most essential aspect of being an American is our individual liberty. That means this utter nonsense about “house arrest” and mandated closure of businesses has to “cease and desist.”

As reported by Townhall:

“Although some state leaders are slowly rolling back stay-at-home orders and bans on “non-essential” activity, some business owners have chosen to open their doors without government approval and take their chances with the long arm of the law. 

One restaurant in Houston, Texas could no longer watch their business dissolve due to a halted economy that’s costing their employees’ livelihoods. Speaking to CNN on Monday, Matt Brice, owner of Federal American Grill, said he could no longer stomach watching his worker’s lives destroyed as the doors to his business remained closed. But asked whether he felt his action was an expression of ‘defiance,’ Brice said it was simply what needed to be done. 

“This is not to defy. Everybody’s using this word ‘defy,'” he said. “I’m a businessperson, and I have a lot of employees that are hurting at the moment, a lot. You can see the economy just absolutely crashed. The first two weeks when we were told to basically ‘hunker down,’ as we say here, everybody did and we have all the way through six weeks.” Brice said he followed the Texas orders for shut down as long as he could and abided by all the criteria elected officials outlined as most important.  

“We wanted to make sure that the medical employees weren’t inundated with hospital beds and whatnot, so we were doing our part there to make sure that they were all safe until we felt that it was safe to open and when I say our employees are in bad shape, you know, I could tell you story after story. It was my duty to get us open.” Of the threat of six months of jail time for ignoring the order, Brice said he had his priorities straight, considering the number of people under his watch that was ravaged by the collapsed economy. 

“We’ve complied 100 percent until now,” Brice told the Houston Chronicle. “What I don’t like is that the government is picking and choosing which businesses win or lose. They are sinking the economy. We have to stand our ground and get people back to work.” “it wasn’t to be rebellious or anything, it was really because people don’t have an out,” Brice continued. “These guys have to get a paycheck. Paychecks stopped. There’s a lot of nice programs out there with a stimulus check, that helped, but for how long? … You know, so at some point, we have to get back to work.”

Ya know who the real “stuck on stupid” folks are? The elected officials who were more concerned about fomenting fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria in order to advance their power and control. These “stuck on stupid” elected leaders are the useful idiots and fools who have taken the strongest economy in the world, in the history of these United States, and crushed it. In doing so, they crushed and destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans. They reacted, and fear is a reaction, to the erroneous computer models and estimates that millions of Americans would lose their lives. Sadly, we have lost some 60,000 Americans. However, we have some 30 million Americans who are now unemployed. Here in Texas, the population is 29 million. There have been just over 800 COVID-19 “related” deaths, but there are 2 million Texans unemployed.

Folks, the business owners are the ones who can make this all happen, not politicians. Politicians overreacted to a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate.

Per the above-referenced article, here is what this restaurant owner is doing to mitigate any risks to customers:

“Brice also instituted several new restaurant policies to assure the safety of his staff and customers. Calling his weekend opening a “pilot program” of sorts for other local restaurants, Brice said many changes allowed them to be open with the safety of patrons and workers at the forefront of his mind. 

Disposable menus, masks, and gloves for all employees, and a bathroom attendant ensuring proper social distancing were all measures taken by Brice and his team to get the restaurant open safely. He also removed chairs from the bar to make sure six feet were observed between patrons and used a color-coded linen system to make sure no guests were sat at tables within six feet of each other. Most importantly, Brice said, hands-free payment options were introduced to diners, including the option to use Venmo or PayPal to settle tabs without ever touching a check. This system, he said, was already being used by customers taking food-to-go and was an easy transition for dine-in guests.

Governor Abbott — or any other elected official — does not have the enumerated power to forced closure of businesses, nor force innocent citizens into a state of house arrest. We are free people. Truth be told, COVID-19 is not a national emergency. If one does a demographic breakdown of the most vulnerable, their exposure can be contained. This “lockdown” scenario should not have lasted more than ten days, if at all. The fact that we are heading into week seven, with some states seeking to continue through the entire month of May is not just ludicrous, it is a special kind of stupid.

It will require more civil disobedience, and when I hear that there will be protests in Los Angeles, well, perhaps, there is hope after all for our America.

The Story That Broke My Heart

I am a pretty tough fella, but there are some times when I get misty-eyed. Movies like the original “Spartacus,” “Glory,” “Braveheart,” “Gladiator,” “The Last Samurai,” “Saving Private Ryan,” always bring a welling up of tears in my eyes. However, I read something this morning that absolutely had tears running down my cheeks. Then, my tears turned to anger.

I want you all to read this commentary from a Dallas (Little Elm) small business owner, Alisha Mahboob. If you do not shed tears, then you are not a Texan, an American.

As reported by the Texas Scorecard:

“I would like to share our tragic story of how we lost everything we worked so hard for in our entire life in a matter of a month and a half due to COVID-19.

We got married in December of 2018. After that, we decided as a couple to put our entire life savings into a business where we can make a difference, not only in our community but in the lives of others through our passion and love for animals.

We have three dogs of our own, so we opened a doggy daycare called Texas Pups in Little Elm—a daycare where dogs can come and play in a free-roaming facility.

We worked day and night to start up the business and build a steady clientele who became our family. We work with local shelters to volunteer and try to give back as much as we can to our community.

Starting mid-March is where things started slowing down for us. As people were not traveling, they were not coming in for daycare or boarding services. Then April came around and, due to COVID-19 and per the governor’s executive order, we were not considered essential business, so we had to close our doors.

We notified our landlord, whom we lease our commercial location from, and informed him that we are trying to take advantage of any and every assistance that’s being given by the city, state, and country. We applied for the Small Business Administration loan but have yet to hear back from anyone regarding our current status. As soon as we can open, once the stay-at-home order is lifted, we will be able to take care of the rent, etc.

We let him know our entire life investment went into this, and the last thing we want to do is lose our business due to something that’s beyond our control. This is our livelihood! And we will comply and want to work together to come out of this together. We have a relationship, as we have been his tenants for the past year.

But one night this week, my world came to a halt when another tenant from the same strip mall called and asked us if we were moving our location since she saw construction going on in our daycare. We were confused, so we took a trip to our location, and that’s when we noticed everything was gone.

Our landlord did not call, email, or send us any further communication—instead, he went into our location and took everything we had. Over $40,000 worth of materials and equipment for our daycare was just gone. Some items were thrown out, and the rest is nowhere to be found. We reached out to him to see what was going on and received no response. Come to find out he just took everything from us—demolished the location so he can rent the space out to someone else. There was no communication, no letter to evacuate the premises, no court-ordered eviction. Everything we owned was simply taken without our knowledge.

Now here we are, already frustrated as to how we were going to come back slowly but surely to be able to do what we love in a community we love during a global crisis. We now will come out of this with lawyer costs and loans, and we are trying to figure out if we will ever be able to start back up again.

I want my story to be a voice for other small-business owners who are or will soon be going through the same thing as we all come out of this and try to come back strong as individuals and as a community. I want to be the voice to request justice for people like myself and other small-business owners from landlords who can take everything away during this time without following the proper protocols.

Where do we go when we have followed the rules, have taken the proper steps we were directed to take, and yet we are left without any help to come out of this? We would like proper justice to come into play to protect the ones that have followed the rules and have played their part in trying to survive.

I have actively given to my city and state as a taxpayer—both for my home as well as my business. It’s time my community, my city, and my state officials stand up for justice and assist individuals like me to get justice.

Otherwise, we will lose everything we have worked our entire lives for.”

Yes, I am angry because of jackasses like Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins were part of ruining this woman’s life, and livelihood. I am upset with Gov. Greg Abbott for believing he has the power to decide who and what is “essential.” I am pissed off that the small business PPP funds somehow ended up in the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers — they did return the funds — yet, there was no real prioritization in disbursement, just a damn free for all.

See, this is why another Dallas small business owner, Shelley Luther has taken a defiant stand against the unconstitutional and incompetent dictates of inept politicians. Ms. Luther does not want to see her life crushed like that of Ms. Mahboob. What politician, paid by Ms. Mahboob’s tax dollars, is going to come forward and restore her small business? After all, the guilt is firmly on their heads for the insidious decision to shut down our economy over a virus with a 99.5 percent recovery rate.

I wrote a piece earlier this week about those who should deliver an apology. Who will take responsibility? Today is May 1st, and Gov. Abbott has decreed that businesses can reopen at 25 percent capacity. Who is he to make such an absurd decision? Instantaneously we shut down our Texas economy, the 10th largest in the world. I do not buy into this incremental restoration process.

I am quite sure that Alisha Mahboob’s story is playing out in other places in Texas. Heck, in Laredo, women are being arrested for operating businesses in their own homes. If there was any place in America where you would believe this would not be happening, it would be in Texas. Heck, Arkansas did not even shut down and enforce a “house arrest.”

Yes, my heart was broken over this story. Now, I am mad as hell that politicians did this to a woman who was living the American, the Texan, dream.

Deciding What Makes a Protest ‘Illegal’

There is an incredible ideological gap widening here in America. Just yesterday, a dear friend sent me his new motto: “you’re either an American or a Democrat.” If anything has tended to exacerbate this philosophical divide, it has been this COVID-19 issue. It would appear that some in America have read the Constitution and understand the Bill of Rights, while others apparently have not. There can be no debate that what we are witnessing is the exploitation of a bad case of the flu to suspend individual rights, freedoms, and liberties. In some cases, what we are witnessing is an illegal implementation of martial law under the guise of the public good.

Elected officials have taken it upon themselves to determine who and what is essential. You will notice they did not ask We the People that question. Forcing people to stay in their homes, ad nauseum is a tool of tyrants and enabled by a police state.

We shared with y’all the story of the City of Laredo and their police department who ran a sting operation just to arrest two Hispanic women doing nails and eyebrows in their own home. Imagine that, elected officials are forcing the closure of small businesses and then arresting people for operating their business in their own home…oh yeah, all for the public good.

Now, if you speak out against such draconian measures, you are assailed. I have been invited to speak at an “Open Texas Back Up” rally this coming Saturday (see below). However, there are some in America who have determined such rallies, protests are illegal. Hmm, if I remember correctly, one of our First Amendment rights is the “right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Oh yeah, and there are some other First Amendment rights that we possess, like the right to free speech, freedom of expression, and peaceable assembly. Nope, I did not forget the freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. Never again shall we have government force the closures of our places of worship!

So, who decides what an illegal protest is?

Daniel Greenfield looks at that question and glaring hypocrisy at Sultan Knish:

“On Monday, April 21st, members of National Nurses United (NNU), a radical union that advocates for socialized medicine, gathered outside the White House to protest against President Trump. And the media celebrated the protesters.

“Nurses protest unsafe conditions in front of White House,” CBS News headlined its coverage. “We’re Beyond Angered,” the Washington Post blared.

“We’re feeling like martyrs,” MSNBC shrilled.

There wasn’t even a hint of a suggestion that a protest was inappropriate under lockdown. Especially by a group that is at far more risk of spreading the virus than any of the shuttered small businesses.

The White House protest was one of multiple NNU protests around the country, some thinly disguised as ‘vigils’ or concerns over PPE, but ultimately a larger push for a socialized medicine takeover. But it wasn’t just protests by health care workers that benefited from a political double standard.

In the same weeks as the ‘Reopen’ protests against state lockdowns and for reopening businesses were taking place, a parallel series of protests against President Trump were also happening across America.

Police cracked down on the ‘reopen’ protests, arresting an organizer in New Jersey, while the media condemned them, spun conspiracy theories trying to tie them to members of the Trump administration, and falsely accused protesters of causing an increase in coronavirus in Kentucky.

Facebook deleted protest groups in coordination with state governments, labeling the protests, illegal. Blue state governments, dot com overlords, and the media all warned that protesting in the age of the coronavirus was dangerous and illegal. Even if the protesters were in cars or maintaining social distance.

But meanwhile Refuse Fascism, a radical leftist organization created by members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, was holding its own anti-Trump protests with no interference from the authorities.

And no negative coverage from the media.

While New Jersey State cops had arrested the organizer of the ‘Reopen’ protest in Trenton, the Philadelphia Inquirer described members of Refuse Fascism Philly, at least one of them outfitted in ‘Handmaid’ garb, driving to dump fake body bags at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey while “police officers wearing respirators monitored the peaceful demonstration” and made no arrests.”

Hmm, let me summarize this simply: if you’re a radical leftist organization holding a protest, you’re great and lauded by the liberal progressive media. But, if you’re an organization speaking out for your constitutional rights, well, you’re illegal? That is some stuck on stupid mess, but it is indicative of the ideological chasm in our America.

Think about it: the “Open Up America” protests are being denigrated as racist, run by white supremacists. Now, that is funny, so “racists” are gonna ask me, an American black man, to speak about individual rights, freedoms, and liberty? Oops, I forgot, to those progressive socialist leftists, I ain’t really “black,” you know…I think for myself.

The conclusion is simple: if you are protesting in accordance with the ideological agenda of the left, you are great…a martyr. However, if you are not, and taking the opposing stance, based upon our founding, you are illegal. Doggone, ain’t that just a hoot? The left decides that Americans protesting for their rights is illegal, but folks who come into America illegally are just fine. Now that is what you call Bizarro World, which is the world in which the progressive socialist leftists reside.

There is no reason for a “lockdown” of Americans. And that simple term, “lockdown”, should have never been deemed as an appropriate course of action to deal with this COVID-19 issue. I remember reading early on about how China had “locked down” the entire city of Wuhan. I said to myself, that would never happen here in our America. Damn, was I ever wrong. But what is even more disturbing, disconcerting, is not just the fact that it was done, it is the fact that so many accepted it and still embrace it…and demonize those who don’t.

If you want to stay locked down in your home, that is your decision. But, America is not some collective beehive where drones must obey and serve the queen bee. If in America now, dissent from the progressive socialist left’s ideological agenda is deemed illegal, then we are right back to where we were 245 years ago.

I will not live under the yoke of tyranny. My constitutional rights are not illegal. I shall not surrender them to an intrusive, onerous government, and its acolytes of servitude, who prefer economic enslavement for the American people. That dog don’t hunt.

Rally information:

Poster that says, "Open Texas Back Up - Peaceful Protest" Tyler City Hall, 212 N Bonner, Tyler, TX 75703, 2-5pm

Science Says End the Lockdown

It is always quite comical when the left leverages “science.” They find comfort with “science” when it fits their ideological agenda. When it does not, well, you are a member of the flat-earth society, or some other imbecilic denigrating reference.

Now, I know that there are some who are still concerned, okay, scared, when it comes to COVID-19. I have tried to present empirical data, facts, not emotional hyperbole based upon erroneous computer models, overblown assessments, or fear. With that being said, I wanted to share a very good article done by Scott W. Atlas, MD, the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford Medical Center.

I will leave it up to you to make your own decisions, after all, that is what being an American is all about. That is why this whole COVID-19 issue has violated that very fundamental premise. That must end.

For those of you who wish to know what I think about Gov. Abbott’s decree to open by 25 percent, I would have taken a different approach. If I were governor of the Lone Star State of Texas, I would have said, Texans can make their own decisions, and would recommend a 70 percent threshold in reopening businesses, meaning all businesses. If all is well in two weeks, then Texas would be open 100 percent.

Here is a short snippet from Dr. Atlas’ oped piece, posted at the NY Post:

“The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been enormous, and New York has suffered more than anywhere else in the world. Compared as a separate country, the New York area would rank, by far, as No. 1 for deaths per capita.
The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area accounts for approximately 60 percent of all US deaths. Theories abound, but the New York area itself is different: New York is the top port of entry for the hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to the US every month from China; Gotham has a uniquely high density of living that swells daily by millions from workers and tourists; and Manhattan sees some 1.6 million commuters daily, mostly on crowded public transit, including 320,000 from Jersey alone.

Yet the pandemic toll is falling, dramatically so in New York, ­including both hospitalizations and deaths per day. Few doubt that the unprecedented isolation policies had a significant ­impact on “flattening the curves.”

Now, we face another, even greater problem: how to sensibly re-enter normal life. This must be based on what we now know, not on worst-case projections, using facts and fundamental medical knowledge, not fear or single-vision policies.

First, we know the risk of ­dying from COVID-19 is far lower than initially thought, and not significant for the overwhelming majority of those infected.

Multiple recent studies from Iceland, Germany, USC, Stanford, and New York City all suggest that the fatality rate if infected is likely far lower than early estimates, perhaps under 0.1 to 0.4 percent, i.e., 10 to 40 times lower than estimates that motivated extreme isolation.

In the Big Apple, with almost one-third of all US deaths, the rate of death for all people ages 18 to 45 is 0.01 percent, or 13 per 100,000 in the population, one-eightieth of the rate for people age 75 and over. For people under 18, the rate of death is zero per 100,000. Of Empire State fatalities, almost two-thirds were over 70 years of age. And regardless of age, if you don’t already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small. Of 7,959 NYC COVID-19 deaths fully investigated for underlying conditions, 99.2 percent had an underlying illness.”

Please read the full op-ed, and then, you decide. Stop allowing elected officials and ideologues from running your lives. Actually, destroying your livelihood, I suspect our unemployment number to hit 30 million Americans this week. We are at 1.8 million in Texas.

[VIDEO] Latinos for Trump 2020: Interview with LTC Allen West

LTC Allen West joined the Latinos for Trump 2020 podcast with hosts Bianca Gracia and Mayra Gutierrez. They discussed the Texas political scene in light of the coronavirus situation, and how Texas can reopen and get down to the business of the state convention and other pressing matters for the Lone Star State.

Republicans in Texas Sucking up to the Left?

We have a Republican legislator, who is in a “leadership” position here in Texas, in dire need of our dubious “Stuck on Stupid” recognition. His name is Dennis Bonnen. What he has just done is most egregious in nature, and is the reason for the question posed as the title to this missive.

As reported by Texas Scorecard:

“In a surprise switch-up this week, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen removed Republican State Rep. Drew Darby (San Angelo) from the Legislative Budget Board and replaced him with Democrat State Rep. Mary González (Clint).
 
A 10-member body, the LBB consists of Bonnen, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and four additional members, each from the Texas House and Senate. The board is tasked with the development of recommended legislative appropriations for all agencies of state government.

Though Bonnen has not commented on why he made the sudden change, many have speculated it comes as a form of retribution against Darby. The West Texas Republican lawmaker was one of the first to call for Bonnen’s resignation after an audio recording was released, revealing the speaker offering Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan a quid pro quo offer of media credentials in exchange for the targeting of certain Republican members.

Bonnen was also accused of using similar retributory tactics when he removed State Rep. Chris Paddie (R–Marshall) from the Sunset Commission in December. Darby was also among the list of Republicans Bonnen sought to have targeted in the 2020 primary elections, and is now widely rumored to be setting up a campaign to replace Bonnen as Speaker of the House. Bonnen is not seeking re-election.

Who is Mary González?

First elected in 2012, González is one of the most liberal members of the Texas House, earning a 21 on the most recent Fiscal Responsibility Index. During the last session, she voted to kill a ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying, voted against legislation to limit the growth of local property taxes, and voted against a bill banning sweetheart deals for abortion providers and their affiliates. She even opposed a state ban on an income tax. [Emphasis mine]

A self-described “pansexual,” González is also the inaugural chair of the LGBTQ legislative caucus, which was created to advance bills that are “transformative” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans across the state at the expense of religious freedoms.

The LBB, and the budget, will almost certainly be at the forefront of the next legislative session in 2021, as the state is projected to face a major shortfall in revenue brought on by the economic effects of the Chinese coronavirus shutdowns.”

This goes beyond being stuck on stupid, it is a special kind of stupid, and dangerous at that. Let me pose a question, does anyone believe that in California, their State Assembly Speaker would appoint a solid conservative to a major committee, such as Budget? Does anyone believe that in any blue controlled state legislative body, let’s say Virginia, that they would appoint a conservative to a key committee?

So, why is it here, in Texas, the preeminent constitutional conservative red state in America, that we have a Texas House Speaker taking this action? It cannot be argued that this is an act of retribution coming from one who is not even running for reelection. Which begs the question: why is Dennis Bonnen still in position as the Speaker of the Texas State House? It is amazing to me that there are those in other leadership positions here in the State of Texas who have no issue with him remaining in that position, an offensive and an utter disgrace.

Yes, I called for Dennis Bonnen to resign, and have proudly done so openly.

Those of us here in Texas know who has not done so, and who has completely avoided addressing the issue. That, ladies and gents, is how you lose a great state — the Lone Star State of Texas — because there are those who foolishly are emboldening these progressive socialist leftists. I bolded the description of Rep. Gonzalez for a reason because it reinforces the question posed as the title of this missive.

The actions of Dennis Bonnen continue to evidence the highest levels of dishonor and a lack of character and integrity. This decision that he just made places the future of Texas in fiscal jeopardy.

Texas does not need Republicans who suck up to and appoint progressive socialists to key positions in its legislative body. I reiterate my position that Dennis Bonnen immediately be removed from the position of Speaker of the Texas State House. I cannot comprehend anyone referring to themselves as being in a position of leadership in the Republican Party in the State of Texas not concurring.

Driving Business Underground

Here in America, we have been through this before, where government declares, by mandate, what is an authorized business, and the business goes underground. We witnessed this during prohibition, and as Yogi Berra would say, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” When you have these self-proclaimed little feudal lords who believe that we are serfs, not citizens, imposing their will upon the people under the guise of doing the public good, it always ends badly. Yesterday, for the first time in US history, oil traded for a negative price. That means producers are in a position where they are paying people to take their oil…Uh, that ain’t how it is supposed to work.

Here in Texas, we have an estimated population of almost 29 million. We have over 1 million Texans now unemployed. As of this writing, Texas has lost less than 500 to the COVID-19 virus, and we are saddened by the loss of any life. We see Texans going to food lines, worried about paying their rent, mortgage, and recently being told to stock up on food items…Why? Through it all, while elected officials are basically putting people out of work, and shuttering businesses, some of which may never return… all while still drawing paychecks.

Funny, folks in government are telling folks outside of government, in the private sector, that they are “non-essential.” Am I the only one who sees the utter hypocrisy of that? If the folks in the private sector ever sought to do likewise, the folks in the government would go apoplectic. You know, curtail spending, reduce the size and scope of government, create more efficiencies and be better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars. I remember being on the Texas Sunset Advisory Committee. We made recommendations on streamlining Texas government agencies after analysis and hearings, seemingly to no avail.

Even when there is a so-called “government shutdown,” when the employees return, they are given back pay. I wonder if the elected officials will give the tens of millions all across America who have been furloughed, lost their jobs, back pay…or perhaps a tax holiday for the time period they suffered under the yoke of stupidity.

No, I do not buy into the false binary choice of if we allow people to go back to work, you are killing people…that is pure fear-mongering. So what shall we do? Condemn people to a different type of death? The slow death of breaking their will and determination to work, provide for themselves. The death of individual liberty, freedom, and rights?

I read a story that came out of Laredo Texas, yes, the same city in the Lone Star state where the City Council mandated wearing a mask, or else a $1000 fine. Another brilliant idea from the halls of buffoonery, put people out of work, mandate that they buy something, and fine them for not having it.

As reported by LMT Online:

“Two women allegedly violated the emergency management plan when they offered their beauty, cosmetic services from home. Their arrests were initiated for violations imposed by the COVID-19 Emergency Management Plan on [last] Wednesday. Laredo police said they launched investigations on the cases after receiving anonymous tips via the LPD app.

“Both of the violators independently solicited customers via social media. On [sic] both cases, an undercover officer working on the COVID-19 task force enforcement detail made contact with each solicitor to set up an appointment for a cosmetic, beauty service that is prohibited under the emergency ordinance,” police said in a statement.

In one case, Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia, 31, was arrested in the 1200 block of Harding Street after she agreed to and met with an undercover officer who posed as a customer needing a nail service.

“Castro-Garcia admitted to running a nail salon inside her residence and promoting the business on social media, going against the mayoral decree currently in place,” police stated.

In the second case, Brenda Stephanie Mata, 20, was arrested in the 1100 block Hubner Street. She allegedly agreed to perform an eyelash service inside her residence for an undercover officer posing as a customer.

Castro-Garcia and Mata were each charged with violation of an emergency management plan, a Class B misdemeanor that carries a punishment of up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine or both.

“We remind the community that there is an emergency management plan in place in order to control the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. Laredo police officers continue to address violations of the order with enforcement,” the department said.”

Folks, YGTBSM!

What angers me the most is that this began with “anonymous tips.” It appears that the admonishment of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for neighbors to “snitch” on fellow Americans was taken to heart in Laredo, Texas. Who knows, perhaps this anonymous tip came from a competitor who is also running an underground nail salon. But, what incenses me even more is that the City of Laredo Police Department wasted resources to send officers undercover to entrap two women doing nails and eyebrows…Now that is just stuck on stupid! These lords of lunacy are going to fine these women, and sentence them to six months in jail? Hmm, didn’t we just pass legislation into law for criminal justice reform for non-violent criminals? In Tampa Florida, some idiot came up with the brilliant idea to release a violent criminal to protect him from COVID-19. In less than 24 hours, that same violent criminal shot and killed a person.

These two ladies, and I did not see anywhere that stated they were illegal immigrants, were arrested for doing nails and eyebrows in their own residence? Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?

This happened in Texas?

Charged with violation of an emergency management plan, that is what they call it now? Understand, when there are orders to evacuate during a massive hurricane or tornado, if you can, I get it, but weeks after the hurricane, or any storm, we do not punish people for going out or near their own homes. Back in the day, when I was young and played street hoops, we had a rule, “no blood, no foul.” I would like for the Chief of Police and Mayor of Laredo to explain what makes these two women so dangerous that they must pay a $2,000 fine and spend, potentially, six months in jail.

This is the tyranny of progressive socialism when government deems itself superior to the individual. This is why people are taking to the streets. Instead of these two women, Ms. Castro-Garcia and Ms. Mata, being treated as criminals, why not give them guidelines and prescribe how they can safely accommodate the business of nails and eyebrows? If the clients felt comfortable with them providing their services, then why all of this commotion?

C’mon Laredo, really, you are going to go through with this? Drop these damn insidious charges and wipe the record clean for these two women. Imagine the example being set for kids. It is better to allow yourself to be a victim, than to try and be a victor and provide for yourself…in America…in Texas.

Today is April 21st, 184 years ago there was a little fight that lasted 18 minutes at a place called San Jacinto, near Houston. That victory solidified the Independence of Texas from the tyranny of Santa Anna, and Mexico. If there is one place where this tomfoolery makes no sense, it is right here in Texas.

I have one way to describe this situation with the Police Chief, City Council, and Mayor of Laredo, Texas: FUBAR.

A Reflection on Texas from a Tennessee Volunteer

They have a saying here in Texas, the Lone Star State, for those who were not born here. It goes, “I was not born here, but I got here as fast as I could,”

My last duty assignment in the US Army was right here at Ft. Hood, Texas. However, I was born and raised in the state of Georgia, and I graduated from the University of Tennessee. I am a “Volunteer for Life,” or VFL, as we say back on ol’ Rocky Top.

There are some things happening here in Texas that have caused me to do some reflection.

See, Texas is not about whether you were born here or not. The real essence of Texas is its character, that aura of rugged individualism, strength, resilience, toughness, resolve, and yes, defiance. All of that inspired men from here, and so many other places, like Georgia and Tennessee, to come here to make a stand. What did they stand against? It was tyranny. They stood against the belief that some tyrant, a dictator far away, could decide their lives. They stood for individual liberty and self-determination, simple ingredients that make Texas — and America — unlike any other place the world has ever known.

It is said that there is only one flag that can fly at the same height as the American flag, and that is the Lone Star flag of Texas. There is only one state that has its own Pledge of Allegiance, “Honor the Texas flag, I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one State under God, one and indivisible.” That is the uniqueness of Texas, a state in the American union that was once its very own country, a Republic.

Texas is not about being born here, it is about what beats in your heart. It is about embracing a history that is revered all over the world, trust me. Texas is about a certain swagger and sense that courses through your veins.

Texas, in America, leads, it does not follow. Those entrusted to hold positions as elected representatives are supposed to embody that aura, character, and resolve, to lead, not follow.

If there is one thing my 22 years of active duty service in our Army taught me, it is that leaders seek what can be done, they do not cower and submit to accept what cannot be achieved. There is no better place than Texas where that mantra is embedded in its history.

True leaders recognize risks, but they also present solutions that mitigate the risk. Young military leaders are taught, when engaged in an ambush, the worst thing you can do is nothing. You fight out of it, not sit and hope. As former Chief of Staff of the Army, and my former Division Commander, General Gordon R. Sullivan taught us, “hope is not a method.” Sir Winston Churchill, the only foreign leader to have American citizenship bestowed upon him — and a US Naval vessel christened in his name — asserted, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

In Texas, we do not need elected officials who are hoping for a remedy. In Texas, we do not need elected officials who operate under the principle of “paralysis by analysis.” No, I am not talking about throwing chance to the wind, that is what fools do. I am talking about leadership. I am talking about that which is the essence of Texas.

A 26-year-old young man from South Carolina commanded a garrison of 185 that was surrounded by thousands. I am sure he weighed the risks. Even when he realized that there would be no reinforcements, he and fellas from Georgia and Tennessee, made a stand. I suppose y’all know that Jim Bowie was born in Georgia, and ol’ Davy Crockett, well, he was also a former member of the US House of Representatives. None of them was a born and raised Texian, or Texan, but that Texas character, spirit, burned within them.

In Texas, we do not wait for someone else to find a cure, we figure it out. In Texas, we do not allow local tyrants to impose their ideological agenda and will upon the people by restricting and limiting freedom and liberty. As we say back in Georgia, “that dog don’t hunt.” If there is one place that all of America looks to for leadership, it is Texas. When that beacon which is the Lone Star shines just a little less brighter, then the other 49 stars of the American flag will be cast into a grim darkness.

There is never a time when character, resolve, strength, freedom, and liberty do not matter. If anything, this is the time when our fundamental principles and core being matter the most. Click To Tweet

There are those who say these are different times. That we have never faced anything like COVID-19.  I do not accept that excuse. There is never a time when character, resolve, strength, freedom, and liberty do not matter. If anything, this is the time when our fundamental principles and core being matter the most. This is not the time to be driven into the dangerous peril of fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria. It is not the time to be paralyzed in the ambush zone, refusing to take any action. Now is the time for bold, courageous leadership, and that must come from Texas.

Here, Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world. Do we want to see more economic suffering cast upon our citizens due to a fear to act? Do we want ideologues deciding who and what is essential and non-essential? Are we to believe that together we cannot “cowboy (and cowgirl) up” and forge our way through this pandemic? No, I will not sit in the ambush zone and be told to cower, wear a mask, and wait it out. You fight through an ambush. And, here in Texas, if we know our history, we don’t give a damn about odds and being surrounded.

In Texas, we fight progressive socialism or COVID-19 . . . it does not matter, we fight!