Category: US Constitution

Texas’ New Stasi Surveillance Force

During my first Army duty assignment in Vicenza, Italy, I had the opportunity, twice, to go through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin. Imagine being a young 24-year-old from the inner city of Atlanta, and the lasting impression left by walking the same streets with Soviet officers. But, the thing that I remember most, even to this day, was the look of abject despair, despondency, dejection, and depression on the faces of the East Berliners, completely opposite of the joy found in West Berlin. I remember going into stores and finding them not well stocked, and the fear in the eyes of the people. They did not want to speak, or even make eye contact, because wherever we were, the East German secret police, the Stasi was there.

I learned what it was like to live in a surveillance state, where the penalty was imprisonment, or worse, your life. Construction on the Berlin wall started on August 13th, the same year of my birth, 1961. The demolishing of the Berlin Wall came on November 9, 1989. At that time I was a captain in the First Infantry Division, commanding an artillery unit. Upon hearing the news, I reflected on the two times I traveled through that narrow passage, Checkpoint Charlie, and just imagined the faces of despair that now could rejoice.

Now, I am a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, my last duty assignment was Ft. Hood, Texas, and now I reside in Garland, Texas. And, something is happening, here, in the Lone Star State that is of grave concern to me. I never thought I would see a potential creation of the Stasi, secret police, coming to fruition in Texas…in America.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle:

“Texas health officials have awarded up to $295 million to a private technology company to quickly grow and manage a large fleet of contact tracers as the state braces for up to two years without a coronavirus vaccine. The 27-month contract, signed late this week with MTX Group, comes as more businesses begin to open and the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in much of Texas continues to grow. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said new outbreaks may be inevitable as restrictions loosen, and has vowed to bring on at least 4,000 tracers by the end of the month to help contain them.”

For those of you who were not aware, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was awarded billions of dollars in the first stimulus package dedicated to the creation of a “surveillance” system.

I have a simple question: why are we creating a surveillance system and contact tracers for a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate? If someone has been tested for COVID-19 I am sure that they provide their contact information in order to receive results. We recently reported the despotic, and absurd edict of Austin Texas Mayor, Steve Adler, ordering businesses to collect the personal information of patrons to be collected by health officials. Why?

Why is the corporation MTX being granted $295 million of Texas taxpayer dollars, for a 27-month contract to “trace” citizens?

We were told that it was necessary to “flatten the curve” in order to not overburden our healthcare system. Well, here in Texas, we had only a 2 percent hospital utilization rate. Texas spent $60 million on a Harris County tent hospital structure at the NRG stadium that did not see one patient. We have seen several states revise their “numbers” on COVID-19 related deaths, Pennsylvania and Colorado most recently.

I am befuddled as to why we need to have “contact tracers” for a virus that can be contained to the most vulnerable demographic. I suffer from a heart ailment called “sick sinus syndrome” and had to have a heart pacemaker implanted. Hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their lives yearly to heart disease, yet we do not need tracers for them? We have been searching for a cure for cancer for ages, we do not have tracers for that?

Okay, I can hear the intellectually challenged screeching that this is different. Well, do we have contact tracers for each flu season? Yes, COVID-19 and influenza are coronavirus-related illnesses, yet we have never had any contact tracers for any previous contagious virus, Avian (Bird flu), H1N1 (Swine flu), Ebola…Heck, imagine if we tried to institute a system of “contact tracers” to combat the virus of Islamic jihadism?

None of this is making sense. For those who believe this is a good idea, well, remember that thing called the Patriot Act? Yep, that gave us the unconstitutional FISA courts, and look at what that has morphed into. I have stated this before, and I will reiterate, I do not like the combination of these words, “government authorized surveillance,” and I don’t give a doggone if you give it a cutesy, nuanced name like “contact tracers.”

What should anger us all is that not a single elected official — those making the determination of who and what is “essential”– has stopped receiving a paycheck. Their compensation comes from the very people they have put out of work, to the tune of over 2.2 million in Texas. Now, the same individual who unilaterally instituted unconstitutional orders is now using taxpayer dollars for the purpose of having us traced.

I will not be told that I must undergo a test, or submit to a mandatory vaccine. So, there will be no need to “contact trace” me. My health is my responsibility, and if I get sick, I will take the necessary precautions. I will not succumb to health kommissars lurking about, tracing me, or any other fee individual, in order to put us on a list. To this date, I have not worn a mask, but I have awakened every day to complete my exercise routine, take my vitamins and medications, and eat well, okay, I do have a burger every other week.

Governor Abbott, this is completely wrong, and a violation of everything Texas, and America, stands for. Going into Memorial Day, this is not what many made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend: the Constitution of the United States of America…individual rights, freedom, and liberty.

I recommend that you rescind this insidious, dangerous, and absurd concept of using $295 million of Texas taxpayer dollars to hire a 4,000 member Texas Stasi.

Voter Fraud and COVID-19

“Coronavirus gives us an opportunity to revamp our electoral system so that it permanently becomes more inclusive and becomes easier for the American people to access.”
-– Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, Time, April 14, 2020

If there is one thing you can count on the progressive socialist left to do, it is loudly broadcasting their nefarious intent. Just a mere two weeks before the aforementioned quote from Eric Holder, who is now the Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Democrat Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), stated on April 2nd, “this pandemic gives Democrats a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

What was the title of the article in Time magazine by Eric Holder? “Here’s How Coronavirus Should Change US Elections – For Good.”

I want y’all to stop reading for a moment. Take and digest what Clyburn and Holder have asserted. It goes to the core of that maxim of Rahm Emanuel, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” I want America to recognize the abjectly deranged and devious intent of the progressive socialist left in America, the Democrat Party, to leverage a virus for their own electoral gain and advantage. The Democrat (Socialist) Party wants the continued fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria that their media accomplices have created. They do not want the American people to get back to work, be released from the illegal martial law and house arrest that has subjugated our constitutional rights.

The left wants a COVID-19 boogeyman, just like the child who fears the monster in the closet at night and cannot get to sleep. COVID-19 has a 99.6 percent recovery rate, and just like there is no boogeyman in the closet, instead of respecting our rights, the left wants to fear-monger in order to restructure our rights for their electoral gain. The new rallying cry of the left is “mail-in ballots.”

In Texas, the second-largest electoral state in our Republic, we are not immune from the left’s COVID-19 boogeyman.

Just recently, the Dallas County Commission voted 4-1 to allow something so absurd that, if it were not so serious, you would die laughing. They voted on and passed a resolution to establish fear of COVID-19 as an accepted disability. Therefore, one can use that “disability” to apply for a mail-in ballot in Dallas County. Yep, if you fear the COVID-19 boogeyman in the closet, and fear going out to vote, you can get a mail-in ballot. I told you it was absurd. The proliferation of COVID-19 fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria is exactly what the left wants. That is why this whole illegal martial law, shutdown, lockdown insanity must end.

The proliferation of COVID-19 fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria is exactly what the left wants. That is why this whole illegal martial law, shutdown, lockdown insanity must end. Click To Tweet

The same resolution that the Dallas County commission approved, 4-1, the El Paso County commission is taking up. As well, in Harris County (Houston), led by far-left County Judge, Lina Hidalgo, they are allocating $11-$12 million for mail-in ballots.

Yesterday, in San Antonio, Federal Judge Fred Biery — a Bill Clinton appointee — issued a decision, based upon a lawsuit from the Texas Democratic Party, stating that Texas must allow expanded mail-in balloting. Yes, based on the COVID-19 boogeyman.

There is no debate about what the Democrat (Socialist) Party wants in 2020. There is no debate as to how they are seeking to attain that objective: voter fraud. They want electoral victories, and they especially want them nationally, particularly to gain the White House. But they also want them in very targeted state elections, State House and Senate, that is how they will gain control of the upcoming redistricting which will come after the 2020 elections and have an immediate impact. Texas is gaining three new US Congressional districts due to the mass exodus of population from economically failing leftist states like California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. These new districts will certainly be in the areas of greatest population growth, the major population centers: Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, Houston, and Austin.

We can ill afford to allow the COVID-19 boogeyman in the closet to instill a fear that results in the loss of our Constitutional Republic, which is exactly what the left seeks. Click To Tweet

Those of us who live in Texas know exactly which political party has power in those areas.

The left needs a boogeyman, and COVID-19 fits the bill. They are going to milk this to restructure things to fit their vision. The Democrats do not want our economy to reopen, for Americans to get back to work. We now know they want to use COVID-19 to change our electoral system – for good.

Nationwide, statewide, mail-in ballots are not necessary.

We can ill afford to allow the COVID-19 boogeyman in the closet to instill a fear that results in the loss of our Constitutional Republic, which is exactly what the left seeks.

Open Letter to Dallas Mayor, Eric Johnson

The phrase “the Arrogance of officialdom” is said to come from the sage words of Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero. I am quite sure neither the mayor of Dallas, Eric Johnson, nor the Dallas County judge, Clay Jenkins have read Cicero, but they are surely examples of what Cicero was warning us about.

Yesterday I was honored to be a part of a rally in Dealey Plaza, downtown Dallas, advocating for the complete reopening of the Texas economy. I was honored to be a part of the event which featured Shelley Luther, the recently jailed and released salon owner who stood for her right to earn a living wage.

Today, I read the disgusting, cowardly opinion commentary of the Dallas Mayor, Eric Johnson, in the abysmal Dallas Morning News.

“I don’t know Shelley Luther, the owner of Salon à la Mode. I don’t know her life or her character beyond what I have read in court documents and in countless news stories. And because our city attorney has pursued litigation, I have avoided commenting on the details of the case.

But I will say that I have been troubled by the reaction to this spectacle. The intense reaction we have seen is endemic of the larger devolution into partisanship during this COVID-19 response.

I ran for mayor in part because I wanted to leave behind partisanship and focus on solving problems. Partisanship offers a reprieve from nuance by providing for the tantalizing convenience of a simple us-versus-them narrative featuring white hats rather than shades of gray.

In this made-for-TV conflict, state District Judge Eric Moyé is either the honorable hero or a sinister villain for sentencing Luther to jail time for contempt. Some may have made heroes or heavies of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton or me.

We’re all characters in this story to varying degrees, but it’s not really about any of us. It’s about all of us, and it’s about fear. We’re all afraid right now. We’re afraid for ourselves and for our loved ones and neighbors.

That’s why I see no value in all the hubbub over a hair salon. We can’t afford to make martyrs out of those who flout the rule of law. And we can’t send the mixed message that public health guidelines are critical unless it’s unprofitable for you to follow them. That is an affront to those who follow the rules and act responsibly in these incredibly challenging times.

We are going to have to continue living in uncertainty, and we will have to learn to make our peace with it, even as we look for treatments and cures and push for increased testing, contact tracing and public health measures.

Bravado, haircut photo ops and partisan antics are not cures in this fight of our lives. Put down your arms. Only love and empathy will see us through.”

I find this a most offensive and condescending letter.

I find this a most offensive and condescending letter, @DallasMayor Johnson. Its arrogance produces a grand stench in my nostrils. #ShelleyLuther Click To Tweet

Mayor Johnson, it is the epitome of cowardice for you to write this letter after the rally held on Saturday. If you had any understanding of what leadership is, you would have been there yourself. Let me educate you a little on civics: laws are passed by a duly elected legislative body of representatives of the people. Edicts, mandates, decrees, and orders are not the way we operate in a Constitutional Republic.

Shelley Luther did not break any law and neither Governor Abbott, Clay Jenkins, nor you have the enumerated right to dictate to us and suspend our unalienable constitutional rights, especially over a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate.

The arrogance of your letter produces a grand stench in my nostrils. The fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria have all been produced by a lack of leadership resulting in an unnecessary burden upon law-abiding citizens of Texas. You, nor any other elected official, have the enumerated power to determine who or what is “essential.” You are not responsible for protecting our health, your charge is to protect our rights, freedoms, and liberty. While you are at it, fix the doggone roads and reduce crime.

@DallasMayor, you are not responsible for protecting our health, your charge is to protect our rights, freedoms, and liberty. While you are at it, fix the doggone roads and reduce crime. Click To Tweet

Public health guidelines? That is correct, give us guidelines, and we can adjust our lives to accommodate, but idiots such as yourself have taken the state with the 10th largest economy in the world and turned it into a massive jumble with unemployment claims of over 10 percent. There are some 2.1 million Dallasites, and if my research serves me correctly, there have been less than 200 COVID-19 related deaths. Any death is tragic, but consider the number of citizens in Dallas who are now unemployed, businesses that may never recover, and the long-term effect that has upon the quality of life, not to mention the uptick in suicides.

Again, all of this over a virus with a 99.6 percent recovery rate.

Standing up for the indomitable individual entrepreneurial spirit of Texans — Americans — is not bravado. Standing up for our individual unalienable rights, freedoms, and liberty should not be partisan. Since April 19, 1775, and October 2, 1835, Americans and Texans have understood that we are not subjects, we are free people.

Perhaps, Mayor Johnson, you should read Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet “The Crisis.” I will leave you with his immortal words:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

The spirit of Texas is the spirit of sacrifice, not subjugation to illegal martial law and house arrest. As a young 26-year-old wrote from The Alamo, “Victory or Death.” Mayor Eric Johnson, choose on which side of the line in the sand you will stand. If your letter is any indication, we all know which side you have chosen…that of cowardice.

Gun Grabbers

In full disclosure, I am a Patriot Life Member (Benefactor) and Board Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). I am also a Life Member (Benefactor) of the Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA), a Life Member of the Gun Owners of America (GoA), and the Dallas Safari Club (DSC). Those who know me are well aware that I enjoy nothing better than a nice time at the shooting range to hone and maintain my shooting skills. For me, it is all about discipline: calm hand and eye coordination, and precision. With that being said, I am seriously dedicated to that incredible right that we have in America, conceived on April 19, 1775, at Lexington Green: our right to keep and bear arms, that shall not be infringed.

The Second Amendment is enshrined in our rule of law, our Constitution, part of those first ten amendments referred to as our Bill of Rights. This right has been clarified, not once, but twice in the US Supreme Court in the 2008 Heller v. DC case and later in the 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago. As I have always stated, nothing is a right to the progressive socialist left if it is not in agreement with their ideological agenda. An agenda that is in full display in some states in America — yes, Democrat-controlled — where gun stores and ranges were deemed “non-essential” by these tyrannical leftists.

In 2019, we saw a very deliberate movement supported by Michael “Mini-Mike” Bloomberg, whom I refer to as “Mayor Big Gulp,” to flip the state of Virginia. Bloomberg dumped $2 million into the Commonwealth of Virginia via his groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action to push for gun control candidates…and we know the rest of that story.

So, fresh off that success, what does the Napoleonic despot seek now? Yes, Texas. We recall that it was former VP Joe Biden, now the Democrat 2020 presidential nominee, who embraced Robert Francis O’Rourke here in Dallas, back in March, commenting that he would put Bob Frank in charge of his gun problem. Yes, that is what Joe Biden thinks of law-abiding, legal gun owners, we are a problem.

It was also Biden, who criticized Texas Gov. Abbott for allowing congregants in churches to be armed in the aftermath of the 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting where the government failed to upload the felony offenses of the shooter. We all know about one law-abiding Texan, Stephen Willeford, armed with a semi-automatic rifle who stopped the shooting at his church.

Then, there was Jack Wilson, who recently stopped what would have been a mass shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. Yes, one shot to the head from his semi-automatic .45 cal auto.

But, the left is not to be deterred from their ideological objective, a major part being the disarming of law-abiding citizens.

Michael Bloomberg and his minions have declared that they will spend $8-$10 million in Texas to replicate what they did in Virginia in the 2020 election cycle. And, it has begun.

As reported by Bearing Arms:

“Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has launched a $250,000 digital ad campaign targeting several members of Texas’ congressional delegation, in its first salvo of campaign spending designed to keep Democrats in control of the U.S. House and flip the Texas State Senate [actually the Texas State House, the left is 9 seats away from doing that] as well.

The new ads are focused on five congressional districts in the state, all of them currently held by Republicans. The gun control group’s ads will run in districts held by Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, John Carter and Chip Roy, as well as the state’s 24th Congressional District, where Beth Van Duyne is running for Congress. The Cook Political Report rates the 24th District a “toss-up,” while McCaul’s and Roy’s seats are rated “lean Republican.” Crenshaw’s and Carter’s seats are classified as “likely Republican.”

The ads, titled “Ignore Our Safety”, start out by proclaiming that the coronavirus isn’t the only threat to the lives of Texans [I agree, the real threats to the lives of Texans are these little tyrant leftists ruling in Dallas, Houston, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and even Laredo], pointing to the attack at an El Paso WalMart last August and accusing the Republicans of “siding with the gun lobby over us.” By “us,” Everytown is referring to Texas voters, but it’s actually more accurate to say that Crenshaw and the rest of the Republicans sided with the Constitution over the gun control movement.

The only policy that the ad specifically mentions is universal background checks, which is the policy that polls best for gun control advocates, and claims that “we” can’t afford the risk of re-electing pro-Second Amendment candidates this November.” (Emphases mine).

You can view the 30-second video ad that is being targeted against Texas Congressional Representative Dan Crenshaw, here.

I always love the language of “common sense” gun laws. Do you mean the Second Amendment? What the left fails to grasp is that only law-abiding citizens abide by laws. Look at the utter failure of the left’s bail reform laws, and how criminals are being released back onto our streets. Isn’t it about our safety?

Instead of throwing out a number, why does the left not focus on what type of shootings are occurring? Take out the gang violence, suicides, and other criminal related assaults and tell me, how many law-abiding, legal gun owners are out there committing shooting incidents? Of course, the left will never articulate the instances where a law-abiding gun owner takes action to save lives, such as Stephen Willeford and Jack Wilson. Nor does the left bring to light those instances where the government failed, and put lives at risk, such as in Sutherland Springs.

We know that the assailant in the El Paso shooting had been reported to law enforcement by his own mother. Kinda reminds ya of the Nicolas Cruz fiasco in Broward County, where the number of dropped balls by the Sheriff’s office and the School Superintendent were too numerous to count. No commercial ads run against them by Mayor Big Gulp and his flying monkeys.

Nor, does the left inform you that the majority of these “shootings” in Texas occur in Democrat-controlled urban centers where crime runs rampant. Of course, these are the same progressive socialists who want open borders and rampant illegal immigrant populations, but they want to disarm Texans? Let me remind Everytown for Gun Safety that Texas is the number one state in America for human and sex trafficking. Dallas and Houston are the top two cities, and both cities and counties are run by Democrats.

Nothing would satisfy the left, these tyrants and despots, more than to steal away the Second Amendment in the state of Texas via gun-control backing candidates.

The only way to fight back against this is not to have leadership in Texas that hides their heads in the sand, believing that this is just a leftist “talking point.” One must be aggressive and counter these incursions with the truth, as I have just asserted. As well, it will take someone who embodies the Second Amendment, not some whiteboard carrying wonk, or weak individuals. Virginia was lost to Bloomberg because no one took him on head-to-head. No one called him out from the Republican Party and openly challenged him.

Well, that dog don’t hunt here in Texas where “Come and Take It” is not just a bumper sticker slogan, it is a way of life. The storm clouds are gathering and the fight’s a-comin’.

Unconstitutionally Calling Businesses Illegal

If you have not noticed, things are crazy here in Texas. Yes, I am really pissed off about the situation with salon owner Shelley Luther. Then I read this headline from the Texas Tribune, a media outlet funded by George Soros, “GOP Lawmakers get illegal haircuts before Texas announces salons to reopen.”

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“On Tuesday, state Reps. Steve Toth and Briscoe Cain sat wearing barbers’ gowns in a Houston-area salon, ready for their haircuts. Both Republicans were breaking state law by doing so, but to them, it mattered no less — one was there to send a message to Gov. Greg Abbott, and the other was there as an act of civil disobedience.

“A little less on the sides,” Toth, from The Woodlands, told the hairstylist while on the phone with a Texas Tribune reporter, noting that “there’s absolutely no reason” why such businesses couldn’t reopen their doors under proper health guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think these businesses need to be open,” Cain, from Deer Park, told Fox 26 while getting his haircut. Hours later, their wish was granted: Abbott announced that hair salons and barbershops were among the businesses that could begin to reopen Friday — several days earlier than he had previously signaled.

The news, made during a press conference at the Texas Capitol, added on to an announcement the governor made last week that allowed businesses such as movie theaters and malls to reopen under certain restrictions. And it alleviated pressure that Abbott had been fielding in recent days from mainly Republicans, who argued their constituents needed the businesses they either worked at or owned to reopen because their livelihoods depended on it.

“When you’re Greg Abbott and you have people screaming in your ear, you have to find a creative way to communicate with him; he’s going 24/7 right now,” Toth told the Tribune on Tuesday evening. “We wanted to get a message to the governor — everyone has to take a different tack trying to make sure the governor knows what our constituents are thinking.”

Hailey Lankford, a stylist at Tune Up: The Manly Salon in Montgomery County, where Toth and Cain got haircuts, said before Abbott’s announcement Tuesday that it’s “essential” for her to go back to work. “If I do not go back to work, my car will be [repossessed], I will be evicted, I have no choice,” Lankford told the Tribune. “I’m not getting the money from the government along with a lot of other hairdressers I know.” 

Now here is something for ya to ponder. State Reps. Toth and Cain are part of the Texas legislature. The legislature is where laws are made. As far as we know, the Texas legislature did not pass a law to shut down businesses in the Lone Star State. So why does this partisan leftist media outlet refer to getting a haircut as an “illegal” act? I mean c’mon, these are the same progressive socialists who back sanctuary states and cities harboring individuals who are in the United States “illegally.” Oops, I forgot, if something aligns with the leftist ideological agenda it is perfectly fine, acceptable, and right.

As I stated yesterday, we live in a Constitutional Republic, based upon the rule of law, and individual rights, freedoms, and liberties. Government is established and operates under the consent of the governed. Sure, business owners consented to closing their privately owned businesses, but not to the extent of their own ruin. It is not the place of government to deem who or what is “essential” in our America, certainly not in our Texas. What’s next? It is deemed “essential” for me to own a freaking Prius? All other vehicles are deemed non-essential, and ergo, illegal?

I send a special hat tip to Texas State Reps. Toth and Cain for reminding us that in a Republic, which is what Texas first was, laws are made by duly elected representatives of the people. We call them legislators. Governors are part of the executive branch and their enumerated duty is to enforce the laws passed by the legislature, not rule by decree, order, mandate, or edict. The judicial branch is to interpret the laws, not edicts, orders, mandates, and decrees. As to this idiot Judge Moye in Dallas County, he should be removed from the bench for his gross and heinous violation of the civil liberties of Shelley Luther.

The real bottom line, folks?

This is what happens when we do not study, understand, or comprehend American civics, or our US or state constitutions.

Ain’t nothing illegal about getting a haircut, however, it’s doggone is illegal to enter our country without our consent.

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.

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