Tag: Laredo

The Feudal Lords of Texas

Over this past weekend, I penned an open letter to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson in response to his condescending and offensive letter in reference to the insidious jailing of salon owner, Shelley Luther. I mentioned the characterization quote attributed to Roman Statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero the “arrogance of officialdom.”

It appears that there are elected officials, local city and county ideologues, who see themselves as feudal lords, and the people, well, we are just serfs.

What I see happening in America, and in Texas, is something that I would have never believed would happen in our Constitutional Republic, all over a virus with a 99.6 percent recovery rate. When one turns over to CNN or MSNBC you do not hear reports about the necessity to reopen our nation, or about the indomitable entrepreneurial spirit that defines our country. No, you get more fear-mongering and commentary inducing panic, paranoia, and hysteria.

I landed in Laredo yesterday afternoon and had reservations at La Posada Hotel which sits right there on the Rio Grande in old downtown Laredo. Just over the way is Mexico, but I was shocked as we drove up. A sign told us we must have masks to enter, and as we exited our vehicle, we were met by an employee to take our temperatures. Needless to say, the reservation was canceled and we are staying at the Embassy Suites. I will not be subjugated to petty despotism. As we were driving to the Embassy Suites, I saw a billboard with Webb County Sheriff Cuellar, brother of the Democrat US Congressman Henry Cuellar, with a masked face, stating, “Stay at Home.”

I learned that the entire city of Laredo, some 260,000, are under a 10 pm curfew. Laredo has sadly lost 17 citizens to COVID-19 related deaths. I am quite sure there are more deaths in Laredo attributed to drug violence and crime. Yes, they do issue citations, and remember, Laredo is the city where a sting operation was conducted and two young Hispanic women were arrested for doing nails and eyebrows in their own houses.

This is not the doggone America that four generations in my family fought to protect and defend!

Dallas, Laredo, and yes, the capital of Texas, Austin, is also home to these feudal lords.

As reported by Texas Scorecard:

“As Texans across the state suffer and struggle to provide food for their families under prolonged government-ordered shutdowns (even with the governor’s trickled reopening of businesses), one Central Texas county is continuing their lockdown into the summer.

On Friday, Democrats Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt extended their stay-at-home orders on citizens; Austin’s order will last until May 30, but the county’s order will drag on until June 15.

The order is an updated version of the officials’ original decree from March. It states, “All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Services and Essential Activities.”

The order prohibits all public and private gatherings, tells “non-essential” businesses to cease operating, and says all citizens over the age of six “shall wear some form of face covering” when going out in public.

Violating the order “may be punishable through criminal enforcement,” with citizens potentially being fined up to $1,000 or even thrown in jail for six months.

It is questionable what effect the order will have because it largely conflicts with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recently updated statewide order that allows for limited reopening. According to Abbott, local officials like Adler and Eckhardt cannot impose more burdensome guidelines than his statewide executive order.

Despite including criminal punishments in the order, the officials admitted their limitation, stating in the order numerous times that “no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed for failure to wear a face covering,” and that their punishments could be “limited by state order.”

Still, the extension of the local order could be used to impose penalties for activities not expressly permitted by Gov. Abbott. Moreover, the order will continue to limit citizens’ behavior as they are unsure of what activities are authorized and what activities are prohibited.

“The governor’s order didn’t say we couldn’t make it mandatory. It said we couldn’t have a criminal or civil penalty,” Mayor Adler said on Monday.

The officials have vocally disagreed with the governor allowing some Texans to begin providing for their families again, with Adler saying he’d prefer to stay closed for another month and Eckhardt recently warning that over 10,000 Travis County citizens could die if businesses reopened too soon.

In Travis County, which has a population of 1.27 million people, there are currently 2,002 confirmed cases of coronavirus—a little over 0.1 percent of the population. Tragically, 59 have died.

From 2017 to 2018, 49 Travis County citizens died from the flu. Of the state’s 29 million Texans, there have currently been 973 coronavirus deaths. This flu season, 6,737 Texans died from influenza and pneumonia. Meanwhile, because of the government  shutdowns, 261,000 Austinites could lose their jobs, and over 30 million Americans are now unemployed, potentially facing a new crisis in struggling to feed their family and provide a place to live.”

Meet the Texas feudal lords of Central Texas, Adler and Eckhardt, who have taken it upon themselves to disregard the Governor of Texas and have declared their own edicts, orders, mandates, and decrees. Just who is this County Judge Eckhardt to say that Travis County will have 10,000 Texans die if businesses are reopened? This is not leadership, it is fear-mongering in order to advance an ideological agenda…and we discussed that with the desire to force universal mail-in balloting. This is no longer about addressing the welfare of the citizens of Texas. We were told that a shutdown needed to occur in order to “flatten the curve,” to ensure we did not overload the hospital system and capacity.

At last review, Texas only had a 2 percent hospital utilization because of COVID-19. If anything, we are seeing hospitals lay off medical professionals because some idiots came up with the stupid idea to cancel “non-essential” medical procedures. Who are these feudal lords who believe that it is their right, or that they have an enumerated power to decide, declare, who or what is essential? If you remember, here in Texas we had those, progressive socialists, who advocated that murdering pre-born babies was an “essential” medical procedure. They took the determination of the Attorney General to court, found a local leftist activist judge who issued a stay, but the Circuit Court overruled.

Yes, in California, we have the feudal lord Gavin Newsom making his unilateral declarations about statewide mail-in ballots and other officials extending this illegal martial law, house arrest, until July.

Yes, what is happening here in our Texas is illegal martial law. Curfews in Laredo? For what? It is all because someone feels empowered to do so. It is not just these despotic actions of lords Adler and Eckhardt. et a load of this, also via Texas Scorecard:

“Austin’s mayor [feudal lord] has a new order for businesses: collect contact information to track every customer that comes in your doors, or potentially face public punishment.

Last Friday, Mayor Steve Adler announced his extended, questionably legal stay-at-home order, in which he “encourages” restaurants and businesses of 75 capacity or less to record an “activity log” of all customers that come in. That means collecting “contact information for all inside or sit-down customers and employees including the dates and times they were present in the business and the location where they sat or were served [in] a restaurant or reopened service with seating.”

Though keeping a log isn’t mandatory, a business could potentially pay a devastating price if they don’t obey. “In the absence of [such] a log, Austin Public Health may need to publicly release, without limitation and in its discretion, the location where people with confirmed infections have been, with relevant dates and timeframes, so as to otherwise trace contacts,” the order reads.

In other words, for the businesses who don’t follow the order, the city government can determine if they were exposed to the coronavirus and has unlimited power to publish their names to the public. “This just isn’t going to work,” said Skeeter Miller, owner of the County Line and president of the Greater Austin Restaurant Association. He said not only will many restaurants not be able to do that kind of tracking, but many customers will refuse to provide that personal information.”

Yes, I am going to say it, these are more like East German tactics, and all we need now is the Stasi, secret police, since we already have feudal lords, like the Mayor of El Paso, encouraging Texans to report on Texans.

Ladies and gents, the feudal system is not who we are in America. Let me remind you of the April 2nd quote of Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), “This pandemic gives Democrats a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

Even when we have our honorable and principled law enforcement agents, such as Officer Anderson of Port of Seattle, Washington, who draw a line…the feudal lord of Washington state, Jay Inslee, uses his tyranny to have the officer placed on leave.

Governor Abbott, my simple question to you is: are you going to allow these tyrants in Texas to run amok and terrorize the citizens of the Lone Star State? A day of reckoning is coming, and it is coming rather soon, unless you, sir, get a handle on these arrogant officials. Texas is not about subjugating its citizens by way of fear-mongering and dictatorial tactics and policies.

I am in Laredo now. My next stop will be Austin. I will not be enslaved by these progressive socialists, and will not allow my fellow Texans to be treated like serfs by the feudal lords of Texas.

Faulty COVID-19 Tests in the Lone Star State

Greetings, everyone! Wishing y’all a terrific Tuesday!

Today, I am heading to Laredo, Texas. It will be my first time in the nation’s largest inland port, and largest border crossing in America. It is where I-35 begins and, once upon a time, it was the capital of the short-lived Republic of the Rio Grande. Why am I heading to Laredo? I have written about this recently:  it was the case of two young Hispanic women who were the victims of a law enforcement sting operation. They were arrested and faced six months in prison as well as a fine of $2,000 each. Their crime? It was not drug-related, or violation of our immigration laws. Nope, they were arrested back on April 20th because they dared to do nail and eyebrow services in their home. Let me repeat, the Laredo Police Department allocated resources to conduct a sting operation in order to entrap and arrest two young Hispanic women, ages 31 and 20.

I find it alarming that in this time of illegal martial law and house arrest you can be arrested for what you are doing inside your home. Even in El Paso, there is a citizen report number, a snitch number, to tell law enforcement if people are having gatherings in their own homes. I wonder how that worked out on Mother’s Day?

Laredo, a city of 260,000, where citizens, perhaps more so “subjects” were being fined for not wearing masks, fined even for leaving the city. Yes, it seems that Laredo Mayor “Pete” Saenz Jr. has become a feudal lord and issued a decree shutting off, not just down, the city. I have stated before, and will reiterate, the government is not endowed with the enumerated power to “protect our health,” they are supposed to protect our rights and security. When confronted by a virus with a 99.6 percent recovery rate, it is not necessary to instill fear, and advance panic, paranoia, and hysteria.

As of the writing of this missive, Texas, a state of some 29 million residents, has had 35,390 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 18,440 Texans who have recovered and sadly, 1,088 deaths. As of this writing, the city of Laredo has had 444 confirmed cases, 223 have recovered, and there have unfortunately been 17 deaths…in a city of 260,000.

Right now, we have over 2.1million Texans now unemployed and an unemployment rate that is above 10 percent. America is now at an unemployment rate that we have not seen since the Great Depression. The last thing we want is for temporary unemployment to become permanent. But, that is very possible when one considers the very fact that some small businesses will never return.

What is very disturbing is when I read comments from those who chastise those who want to reopen our economic activity. The accusations of being selfish and not caring for others is quite disconcerting, bordering on delusion. We now know the vulnerable demographics for COVID-19. I believe that we can protect the vulnerable, and not create a new vulnerability, reflected in unemployment, the rise of suicides, and domestic abuse cases.

Leaders seek out solutions, not cower in fear, admitting to being afraid, such as Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson did in an op-ed piece Sunday. Who the heck wants to follow a person who admits being fearful? Sir Winston Churchill stated, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”. What happens when elected officials react out of fear?

As reported by the Texas Tribune (financially supported by George Soros):

“When thousands of rapid COVID-19 tests were delivered to the South Texas city of Laredo late last month, it looked as if a visiting dignitary had arrived. With lights flashing and sirens blaring, Webb County sheriff’s deputies escorted a red tractor-trailer carrying the tests to a local emergency room, whose owner had purchased them from a Chinese manufacturer.

Longtime U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who helped facilitate the arrival of the tests, smiled broadly as he carried boxes of them inside the clinic. Believing the tests would detect an active infection, Laredo leaders hustled to set up a drive-thru testing site to welcome anxious residents the following morning.

But the promise of the 20,000 tests would soon become a bitter example of what can go wrong when local governments and private medical firms try to buy supplies on the open market from unknown manufacturers, as policies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shift and anxiety increases over a lack of test kits from official sources.

 As they tried to validate the tests to ensure their accuracy, city health workers in Laredo quickly determined that they were unreliable and unusable. And even if they had passed the city’s testing, it’s unclear how helpful they would have been for the city at that early point in its battle against the coronavirus. They were antibody tests, which seek evidence that someone’s immune response has encountered the virus, not diagnostic tests that detect active infection.

Within a week, investigators from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would seize the 20,000 tests, as Laredo police and federal authorities tried to determine the validity of the tests’ FDA status.

“We’re very disappointed, because we thought we had secured a supply,” Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said. “It set us back, but we can’t give up. Plan B is acquiring [tests] wherever we can find them.” Laredo’s attempt to secure the testing kits highlights what is happening not only in Texas but across the country, as a stubborn shortage of tests for the new coronavirus has led private-sector and government leaders to take risks that they normally would not.

Laredo health administrators are not the first to complain about unreliable testing kits from China. European nations have complained for weeks about receiving substandard tests from that country.

Disputed purchases include 1.2 million faulty antibody tests in Slovakia, a batch of 300,000 quick tests in the Czech Republic that local authorities said were about one-third defective, and tests sent to Turkey that officials said were just 35% accurate. Spain returned about 9,000 faulty rapid tests that it purchased from an unauthorized Chinese firm last month.”

Half a million dollars were spent on these defective tests. In Houston (Harris County), County Judge Lina Hidalgo spent some $60M dollars for a temporary hospital facility at the NRG stadium, that never saw a patient.

Reactions, rooted in fear, over a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate, most dangerous for those 65 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions such as COPD, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity. Let’s focus on the targeted demographic of the virus, not those who are healthy.

Illegal martial law, house arrest, fines, incarcerations, all of these are reactions, unconstitutional violations of individual rights, freedoms, and liberties. Again, an emergency does not constitute a suspension of our Bill of Rights. If that is the case, beware of more decrees, edits, mandates, and declarations.

Something tells me that in Laredo, the virus of illicit drug trafficking and illegal immigration are more deadly. I cannot tell you how many have warned me about going to Laredo, not because of COVID-19, but other dangers. I fully admit, I have not donned a face mask during this entire episode, and do not plan on doing so.

Why am I going to Laredo? Simple, to remind the people that they are Texans, American citizens, and not subjects., and to remind them that fear makes victims…courage makes victors.

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.

Forced Isolation, Forced Masking . . . Texas Style

Good TGIF, y’all!

Here in Texas, our “forced isolation” or shelter-in-place order imposed unilaterally by Dallas County Judge, Clay Jenkins has been extended. As of yesterday noon, the Lone Star State, a state of 28.9 million people, had lost 70 Texans to the Wuhan Chinese COVID-19 virus. Yes, I am sure folks will comment that is because we are not doing enough testing. It is always very difficult to prove or disprove a negative.

But, it appears that some in Texas may be going just a tad too far.

As reported by KGNS in Laredo, Texas,

“[Laredo City] Council came together to discuss and pass motions that will affect just about everyone in the city when it comes to the coronavirus. The stay at home measures continue to change.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, society is having to change how they live.

Tuesday evening, council members came together, while keeping their distance. Some in different rooms, others joined in through their computer in their home.

But something was new: everyone present was wearing a protective face mask.

A motion was passed making it a punishable offense for all ages to be out in public between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with the exception of “essential workers” or emergency situations.

You will need to provide I.D. and a letter from work if you are out between the hours of the new curfew.

The City says police will use discretion and you could face a fine between $50 to $1,000, and it’s an arrestable offense.

This new measure goes into effect on Thursday at 12:01 midnight.

A second motion was passed that included the mandate for all Laredoans to begin wearing protective face masks, or “nose to mouth” covers. That includes any type of fabric, scarf, or bandana.

This measure also takes effect Thursday at 12:01 midnight, and it can be punishable of up to $1,000, but a judge could determine the final fine.

If you are exercising in your yard or garage, you do not have to wear a mask.

The executive order was extended, putting all these mandates into effect until April 30th.”

So let me get this right: in Laredo, Texas, the City Council, government, has mandated everyone to wear a face-covering, or else face a fine? I suppose the folks of Laredo should be thankful they aren’t in the Philippines:

“President Rodrigo Duterte is allowing the use of deadly force against those found violating lockdown standards implemented in an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.” — NY Daily News

So, I guess a $1,000 fine is better than being shot.

I have never been a fan of collective punishment as a means to adjust individual behavior, but that is a socialist, communist, ideal. It is always done under the guise of 'the public good.' Click To Tweet

Regardless, think about this precedent being established by the City Council of Laredo. They have just decreed that you will do something, under the premise of the public good, or else face a fine. Oh, by the way, is the City Council of Laredo going to provide some type of face covering? What is the difference between this, in principle, and the individual mandate of Obamacare? Remember, you must purchase health insurance, for the better good, or else you will be fined? What happens when government decides that you must purchase an electric vehicle, for the better good of climate change, or else you will be fined? Or, how about you must buy plant-based “meat” products, for the better good, and government will raise taxes on real meat products in order to modify your behavior?

I have never been a fan of collective punishment as a means to adjust individual behavior, but that is a socialist, communist, ideal. It is always done under the guise of “the public good.” Some municipal governments have implemented a Sugar Tax, basically unlawful fines, placed on certain beverage products. Again, all because a group of elected officials has determined what is our “better good.”

No, I do not like this mandated decree to wear a mask, under penalty of a fine. One thing is for certain: I do not want anyone mandating I wear a protective mask that was “made in China!” Thanks, but I will just pay the fine.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

How true.