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Shelley Luther, the Dallas hair salon owner who reopened her salon despite a shutdown order from Democratic county judge Clay Jenkins, was fined $7000 and sentenced to a week in jail for ripping up a cease-and-desist order and defying a temporary restraining order. (I’ll just make note in passing that across America, Democrat officials are letting real criminals out of jail because they might catch the virus there, and putting citizens who just want to work into jail where they might catch the virus because they didn’t do enough to keep from catching the virus. This is liberal logic in a nutshell, with the emphasis, as always, on “nut.”)

Luther argued that her salon was on the verge of bankruptcy, she had to make money to feed her kids and keep her home, and she was about to have to fire all her stylists. She also pointed out that she was following stricter safety guidelines than stores like Walmart that were allowed to stay open, and that hair salons are experts in maintaining sanitary conditions.

Judge Eric Moye, who wrote the restraining order, told her that if she apologized and shut down her salon, he might consider only fining her “in lieu of the incarceration which you’ve demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.” But she refused, replying, “Feeding my kids is not selfish. If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

The fine will cost her $500 a day until the salon is legally allowed to reopen, which under the new guidelines from Gov. Greg Abbott is this Friday. Ironically, Luther will be much more likely to contract the virus in jail, where 248 cases have been identified, than at her salon.

Judge Moye told Luther that the “rule of law cannot and does not operate when individuals take it upon themselves to decide” what they can and cannot do. I would remind the judge that the “rule of law” requires laws to be passed by elected representatives of the people, not conjured up by judges in defiance of citizens' constitutional rights.

Ms Luther may end up going to jail, but if so, it could be a Nelson Mandela-style Pyrrhic victory for the state. This case has received nationwide attention, with Luther becoming a symbol of the “Get back to work” movement. A GoFundMe account to pay her fine, bills and legal fees has racked up nearly $170,000 in donations as of this morning.

The judges who think they can intimidate Texans with threats of fines and jail don’t know much about their own state, or the Constitution. They could actually learn a thing or two from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Tuesday, that court heard arguments in a challenge by the Wisconsin legislature to state officials’ authority to impose a lockdown. This is what Justice Rebecca Bradley asked:

“Where in the Constitution did the people of Wisconsin confer authority on a single, unelected cabinet secretary to compel almost 6 million people to stay at home, close their businesses and face imprisonment if they don’t comply… Isn’t it the very definition of tyranny?”

Memo to President Trump: I think we’ve just found your next Supreme Court nominee.

True to his word

May 6, 2020

True to his word to police any violations of constitutional rights in the name of coronavirus policy, Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice are siding with Kevin Wilson, pastor of Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

On April 5, police entered the church and informed the pastor that they were violating Gov. Ralph “Blackface” Northam’s ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. Pastor Wilson is being threatened with jail time or a fine of up to $2500. But the DOJ issued a legal filing defending the church, arguing that the church is likely to win its case, that its rights have been violated and that Virginia discriminated against churches in its lockdown order. It points out that the church was following social distancing guidelines (it holds 293 people, and there were only 16 present) and that Virginia cannot ban church services while allowing exceptions for secular organizations, such as non-retail businesses.

There are full details of the case at that link, along with the important point by the DOJ that this case has national significance because “the United States has a substantial interest in the preservation of its citizens’ fundamental right to the free exercise of religion, expressly protected by the First Amendment.” It explained that states may have the power to ban gatherings during a health emergency, but they don’t have the power to impose a higher standard on churches than they do on other organizations.

The legal filing also includes the admonition that “there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.” Please let me know if anyone starts a GoFundMe to have that put on plaques and delivered to Democratic Governors and Mayors around the country, and I’ll happily kick in a few bucks.

Calling out fake news

May 6, 2020

Video Link: Monday, I was on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. We discussed the laughable editorial by the New York Times, calling on the DNC to investigate Joe Biden, which is sort of like asking an alcoholic to guard your wine cellar. We also discussed an issue I wrote about here recently, that the protesters of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s insane coronavirus policies harmed their own cause by showing up carrying firearms. It took the focus off of Whitmer and gave Democrats an opening to depict them as a threat to the Governor, when the point should have been that the Governor is a threat to the Constitution. To put it in language I know we all understand, don’t give ammo to the enemy.

That segment starts at around the 27 minute mark.

And here’s more from earlier in the show about the controversy over the Michigan protesters.

Although, to be fair, when it comes to our biased media and “fake news” culture, even if you don’t give the left any ammo to attack you with, they’ll just make some up. Like the former New York Times “fact-checker” (who, ironically, resigned after tweeting a story that falsely implied that an ICE agent had a Nazi tattoo) who tweeted a photo of a small business owner at a reopen-Pennsylvania protest whose sign was altered into a white supremacist slogan.

Come to think of it, were the Michigan protesters really carrying weapons, or was that an elaborate Photoshop job, too?... (Note to leftist media hysterics: that’s a joke, not a conspiracy theory. I know you have a hard time telling the difference between reality and jokes, so I’ll make it easier for you.)

Hold on! So you mean there’s a downside to being a government snitch? Who knew?!

After ordering “non-essential” businesses to shut down, St. Louis County created an online form that encouraged people to rat on any businesses they saw that dared to open. More than 900 people filed complaints, but the county didn’t publicize the fact that the form was an official county record, which means it’s public information.

A man named Jared Totsch got a copy and posted it on Facebook, exposing the names of all the snitches, who are now worried about retaliation. To which he replied, "I'd call it poetic justice, instant Karma, a dose of their own medicine. What goes around, comes around. They are now experiencing the same pain that they themselves helped to inflict on those they filed complaints against."

One of the people was interviewed by a local TV station, and she complained that she and two other people in her home have auto-immune issues and were frustrated by seeing lines outside stores that should have been closed. Understandable, but if you’re in a high-risk category, you would have to take more precautions anyway, like not standing in those lines. And the people who ran the businesses, as well as the people who obviously needed their services enough to stand in those lines, were probably more than frustrated by being told to just shut up and go bankrupt.

At this point, nobody should be taking unnecessary risks, but that doesn’t mean that every business must shut down indefinitely while we all hide inside plastic bubbles like the young John Travolta. As Issac Newton pointed out long ago, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If the government doesn’t want radical, aggressive, irresponsible reactions to its policies, then it needs to stop imposing radical, aggressive, irresponsible policies.

Continuing in its grand tradition of handing out journalism prizes to the New York Times for whitewashing the horrors of communism in the 1930s and to the Times and the Washington Post for their in-depth coverage of the “Russian collusion” scandal that turned out to be a combination hoax/attempted coup, the Pulitzer Prize Committee has once again disgraced itself. The Pulitzer Prize for an Essay was given to the author of a New York Times piece that falsely claimed that the main impetus for the American Revolution and the birth of America was preserving slavery, which helped birth the Times’ repugnant “1619 Project” to replace history with anti-American propaganda in schools.

It was a lie so slanderous to the Founders that it sparked the creation of “1776,” a project to refute it founded by prominent African-Americans historians, scholars and writers.

No offense to some of the other Pulitzer winners, whom I’m sure did good work, but when it comes to anything political, it’s obvious that the prize is, to steal a line from former Vice President John Nance Garner, “not worth a bucket of warm spit” (and that’s more actual American history than you’ll learn from the 1619 Project.)

In fact, if you’d like to win a Pulitzer Prize of your own, I have a suggestion for where you can probably find one.

If you can’t get out to the gym, here’s something to get your blood pumping and your heart rate up. A federal judge in California, acting on the verdict of a California jury, has ordered the Center for Medical Progress to pay $1.2 million in damages to Planned Parenthood for exposing their reprehensible baby part-selling practices on undercover video.

This blatant assault on freedom of the press has been largely ignored by the mainstream media (or if it’s covered at all, negatively toward the defendants), even though it’s an unconstitutional move to criminalize the same kind of hidden camera exposes that all of them do. They’d just never think of doing it to America’s leading abortion mill.

As we’ve recently learned from all the MeToo activists dropping everything they said a year ago to defend Joe Biden, the left’s much-vaunted “principles” are all secondary to their #1 principle: empowering the left at all costs. So you probably won’t see even “60 Minutes” defending hidden camera reporting if it might damage a leftist icon like Planned Parenthood.

Fortunately, this is not the end of this story. The outrageous, politically-motivated charges never should have been brought, and it’s now been dragging through the California Kangaroo Court system for too long. It will be appealed, and unless it’s slapped down before then, it should eventually arrive at the Supreme Court. One hopes that the SCOTUS will be more concerned with protecting the First Amendment than protecting the right to secretly profit off of slaughtering children in the womb.