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We spent months now assessing the coronavirus pandemic, mostly from a medical standpoint.
We now know a lot more about the virus than we did back in March and February and we're grateful for that, Facts are always better than speculation. But it's possible that in doing that, we've spent maybe too little time considering the rest of the country, the many millions of Americans who will never face serious health risks from this virus.
So, the question is -- and we should be asking this a lot -- how are they doing?
Well, more than 30 million of them are now unemployed. 30 million. That is so many people that it's hard to digest what it means, or what it is going to mean five years from now. For some context, that is double the job loss from the Great Recession of 2009. That took us 10 years to recover from; many never did recover. In fact, the entire middle class never recovered.
So, how long will 30 million take? That's a terrifying question. In fact, it's too scary for many of our leaders to consider. It implicates their judgments, their policies. So, they're determined to ignore that question, and they're even more determined that you ignore it, too.
You are absolutely not allowed to think about that, much less talk about it. How many times in the last week have you clicked on a video a friend sent, only to discover it has been deleted by YouTube, Google, because it criticized the people in charge?
We've never seen anything like this in the history of our country. It used to be a free place. We bragged about it. But it's happening and not just online.
How many times in the last week have you clicked on a video a friend sent, only to discover it has been deleted by YouTube, Google, because it criticized the people in charge? We've never seen anything like this in the history of our country. It used to be a free place.
The police commissioner of New York announced this week that political protests have been banned in America's biggest city. How long have they been banned? Well, for as long as his boss, Bill de Blasio, says they're banned. So, it could be a while. It's nice when voters aren't allowed to criticize you.
As the commissioner explained, that's the law now: "These are laws that have been passed down through executive order."
Yeah, got that? "Passed through executive order."
But wait, by definition, executive orders aren't "passed." No legislature signs off on them. They're ordered. That's why they are orders. Whatever -- details. Shut up.
You'd think some civil libertarian judge somewhere would do something about all of this. They're always inventing new rights for illegal aliens, usually the right to free stuff at your expense. There are a lot of those. Maybe we could get some of those rights, too. But no, you're just an American. Do what you're told.
Shelley Luther just learned that lesson in the hardest way. Luther owns a salon in the City of Dallas. In March, she closed her business; the government told her to.
Shelley Luther, to her enormous credit, was not intimidated. Instead of groveling, apologizing and begging forgiveness, which is what he wanted, she told the judge what was so obviously true. For people who don't have salaries that are guaranteed by taxpayers, this lockdown, as it continues, has been a catastrophe.
She lost all of her income when she shut it down because that's what our leaders demanded. And then she waited. And she waited and she waited. And a month later, her business was still closed, and she was out of money.
Finally, she decided she had no choice. Her back was against the wall. So on April 24, she reopened her salon. The government warned her not to do that. They sent her a citation. She did it anyway.
Reporter (narrating): Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther vowed to remain open in defiance of state orders, tearing up a citation she received.
Shelley Luther, salon owner: I could be used as an example, or they'll go away, or I don't know. I'm not going to shut down.
"I can be used as an example," Luther said. She was assuming that other business owners in Dallas might follow her lead.
But the government took notice. They wanted her to be an example, too, but in a very different way. Police arrested Luther. They dragged her before a Dallas County judge called Eric Moy.
That was Luther's bad luck. Moy is a deeply irresponsible person. He is a political hack. He's a self-described Democratic Party activist. He once circulated a chain letter denouncing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a race traitor.
Eric Moy lectured Shelley Luther about how she was a bad person.
Dallas County Judge Eric Moy Your actions were selfish, putting your own interests ahead of those of the community in which you live. They disrespected the executive orders of the state, the orders of the county and this city.
What a pompous fool. But he's got a lot of power. He's a judge and Shelley Luther was sitting before him.
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Luther, to her enormous credit, was not intimidated. Instead of groveling, apologizing and begging forgiveness, which is what he wanted, she told the judge what was so obviously true. For people who don't have salaries that are guaranteed by taxpayers, this lockdown, as it continues, has been a catastrophe.
Luther: I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I'm selfish. Because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they'd rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then, please go ahead with your decision. But I'm not going to shut the salon.
"Feeding my kids is not selfish." Moy was unmoved by this. He is not worried about feeding his kids. He went to Harvard Law School. A 2007 article in The Washington Post describes this man as someone "with a weakness for Cuban cigars and the finest steaks." What a poser.
As a judge, Moy has continued to collect a salary of about $150,000 throughout the shutdown. He can take that forever. He can afford all the finest steaks he wants, at least until meat supplies run out. Moy sentenced Luther to a week behind bars.
So, that's what's going on in Dallas. Small business owners who are going under -- these are people with employees who are struggling to buy food -- are being punished for the crime of earning a living by authoritarian buffoons, goons who are living off their tax dollars. How's that for an arrangement?
Meanwhile -- and this is the best part -- actual criminals are going free. Three weeks ago, the City of Dallas began releasing more than 1,000 inmates from the county jail. Some are in for serious felonies.
Authorities said they had no choice. They had to save the inmates from the virus, the very same virus that Shelley Luther will likely be exposed to in jail where she is now for trying to earn an honest living.
It's hard to believe any of this is real. Unfortunately, it is real. It's happening right now.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on May 6, 2020.