Getting clipped

Most have by now heard of Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther who reopened her shop against Governor Greg Abbott’s directions in order to provide income for her and her employees so they could feed their children. She was arrested and the judge fined her $7,000 and sentenced her to a week in jail. The judge offered her a chance to make things right if she would admit that her actions were selfish and wrong. She disagreed, stating it was not selfish for her to work to feed her children.

There is a point that has been missed in all discussions thus far. The salon owner pays sales tax and property tax from funds that she and her employees make. These taxes help pay the salaries of local and state employees, including the judge, the police, right up to the governor. So while the judge goes home with full salary, paid by the salon taxes, to feed his family, he takes funds from the owner, sentences her to a week in jail and denies her and her employees the ability to feed their children.

Our Constitution and laws are built on the Judeo-Christian ethic. Those who deny others the ability to earn a living and do not offer them assistance, while living on the taxes they pay, are the selfish ones and do not understand the basis of our laws. So I propose the following to give equal treatment: The current unemployment rate is 15%. Each individual who is paid with tax dollars will have his or her salary cut by 15%; these funds will go to assist the unemployed. That is equal treatment under the law.

Don Hardcastle, Waco

* * *

Announcing the Anti-Shelley Luther GoFundMe Page. Ms. Luther violated an ordinance and tore up a judge’s order in a publicity stunt to get money and she has now raised almost $500,000. Unbelievable. Who does she think she is?

Want further irritation? Before the quarantine, there were pictures of this “poor, impoverished woman” on a Caribbean cruise, but, oh, she just had to open her salon to make money to support her family. If she can raise almost a half-million dollars by endangering other citizens, I figure I should try to raise money for sitting home, horribly bored and being a good citizen and protecting you. It makes no sense to me how she has raised almost a half-million dollars in a few days. Let’s see if this social experiment works. She should not raise more money than a responsible citizen!

Clint Broden, Dallas

Advice for Democrats

Re: “Democrats Need to Rein in President” (Wednesday May 6), the Trib editorial calls for Democrats to require constitutional behavior by the president. Surely all members of Congress, of any party affiliation, should fulfill their oath to assure that outcome. Democrats did investigate the Russian ties. They did investigate his actions with Ukraine. They did call for impeachment. And from what I read, they continue working to demand constitutional behavior from this president.

It would be a gift to this president if Democrats accepted your advice to refuse to consider federal crisis relief till the presidential branch complies in full with constitutional norms. Such action would paint Democrats as enemies of those hurt worst by the pandemic and portray the president as the defender of the people.

The Trib editorial notes how Republicans are “lots better at playing hardball politics,” and encourages Democrats to respond in kind. If the Republican Party is supporting or at least allowing unconstitutional behavior as the editorial implies, I hope that Democrats will not respond in kind and thereby further weaken our system of checks and balances.

President Lincoln famously emphasized that “… public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.”

With polls showing almost half of Americans supportive of the Trump presidency, public sentiment is not where it needs to be to “rein in this…president.” I hope more Americans read the Constitution (a short read!), revisit Christian teachings about qualifications for leaders and personal behavior and thereby achieve a generally agreed sentiment for making the right decisions regarding this and any president.

Ottis C. Foster, McGregor

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