Tag: Business

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.

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.

5 Ideas to Reopen America Now

There are those who continue to push back on opening our economy. Here are some common sense points:

  1. Protect the most vulnerable and maintain their sequestration for the moment, seniors and those with underlying medical conditions. We know that obesity, high blood pressure, and other conditions are factors in COVID-19 fatalities.
  2. Allow businesses to determine a workplace rotation schedule or layout in their offices to maintain social distancing. We have proven that some can work from home.
  3. We should allow small businesses to form a consortium or collaborate in providing their own COVID-19 testing. Any businesses taking on that responsibility should receive a tax break on the cost. After all, they are doing the job of our government for the public good.
  4. Sports venues should consider reduced seating for events, and as we progress in rectifying the situation, increase seating capacity.
  5. But most importantly, stop the insidious policy of fining and arresting Americans for those imbecilic mandates and edicts handed down from high.