A License to Kill—America’s Small Businesses

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee is the furthest thing from James Bond. However, he does have something in common with the British Secret Service agent. Inslee and 007 both have a license to kill.

While Bond’s license to kill grants him special government authority to dispatch villains, Inslee has granted himself a license to kill small businesses in the state. He’s not the only politician in America to do this, but he is the governor of my state. And he’s trying his damnedest to kill another small business belonging to someone I know.

The Maltby Café is one of those iconic small-town treasures found around America. Tana Baumler has operated it for 33 years. How much of a treasure can be seen in the throngs of loyal customers waiting for tables especially for brunch on weekends. We know the owners from when our daughters played soccer together as teens. The décor gives the place a homey feel, the service is always friendly and efficient, and the food is amazing. Huge omelets, thick-cut French toast, and homemade jam for the sourdough toast I prefer are all delicious. 

This successful small business has managed to hold on during Emperor Inslee’s first lockdown decrees, but the owner said she thought this latest lockdown, in the form of yet another unsupported-by-science banning of indoor dining, was a death blow. But, while Inslee could not care less, The Maltby Café’s devoted customers came to the rescue. They participated in what Baumler called, Miracle on Maltby Street.

Other customers and strangers from across the country have also answered the call, big time. Customer Jim Barger set up a GoFundMe page for the restaurant, raising $123,673.00 to date. Baumler said with these funds she can pay her employees’ health care and retirement funds for the next several months—and maybe get some sleep. She’s hoping the infusion of cash will help her survive the restrictions with her beloved restaurant intact.   

There is absolutely no scientific reason for these new restrictions, only political ones. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence, peer-reviewed studies, showing the lockdowns are killing Americans and showing masks are virtually useless. Inslee and other governors have lied from the start and are getting worse.

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It’s not only happening in Washington State. Other state emperors and municipal feudal lords like, Newsom (CA), Whitmer (MI), Brown (OR), Cuomo (NY), Lightfoot (Chicago), and Garcetti (L.A.) are issuing similar and even worse restrictions. This is an all-out assault on small businesses, while giant corporations like Amazon’s profits continue to soar into the stratosphere.

The thing is, no matter how many times I read the U.S. Constitution, I find no asterisks or footnotes that grant any exceptions to our unalienable rights. The authority governors and mayors are exploiting come from court decisions that allow politicians to limit certain constitutional rights temporarily during times of declared emergencies. But what do we consider temporary? In three months, it’ll be a year since some governors decreed the first “temporary” lockdowns on Americans.

Now, their majesties have locked into true tyrant mode, locking people down during the holiday season. They tried to ban Thanksgiving but fortunately, Americans would have none of that nonsense. Still, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti no longer even pretends to be nudging people into compliance. Now, he’s banning bike riding and walking.

But it’s Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, TX who takes the prize for chutzpah. While vacationing in Mexico, he filmed a PSA, ordering his city’s residents to lock down and stay home. The self-unawareness of these folks is astounding.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown decreed that neighbor rat on neighbor and report “misbehavior” to the police (yeah, that’ll help police-public relations). Mayor Garcetti also endorsed this kind of betrayal of trust when he infamously made his “snitches get stitches/rewards” comment.

This all makes me wonder, with “Build Back Better” and the “Great Reset” proliferating, if the Left isn’t cataloging and researching the people’s responses to the lockdowns, mandates, and restrictions. Perhaps, they’re testing just how far they can push free people before they push back.

By exploiting a “health emergency” they can accuse people of not caring for other people if they don’t comply with government diktats. This exploitation of false “virtue” garners more cooperation than they would otherwise get. Is the Left comparing business owners who comply with edicts, even to the point they are forced to close their businesses, with owners who resist the restrictions, even after they’ve been tossed in the pokey? Speaking of…. 

Take, for example, the owners of Mac’s Public House in Staten Island, N.Y. They took the latter, and I think patriotic, path and refuse to shut down. While Emperor Cuomo and Feudal Lord de Blasio allowed and even encouraged violent and destructive lawlessness from leftist radicals, they closed down and arrested one of the co-owners, who had been entirely peaceful. Authorities even fined and issued summonses to the owner’s lawyer. 

As for the politicians’ leverage, here’s how they apply their license to kill small businesses. Owners must have liquor, health, and other occupational licenses to operate legally. So, what was the first thing Cuomo and de Blasio did to the owners of Mac’s? They revoked their liquor and health department licenses. That is an immense power when the government wants to get people to do something they don’t want to do.

This type of punitive license revocation also happened to Rick Savage owner of Sunday River Brewing Co. in Bethel, Maine. Governor Janet Mills has made a virtual political prisoner of Savage. Revoking his licenses, five times since March, and fining him tens of thousands of dollars despite his restaurant not having one reported case of CCP virus transmission.

In California, Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill owner Angela Marsden, went to extraordinary lengths and expense to construct an outdoor dining area at her café. So, how did Emperor Newsom reward her? He, once again, has banned outdoor (and indoor) dining across the state. Then, he added proverbial insult to injury. A production company making a movie was allowed to set up an outdoor dining facility only 50 feet from her closed outdoor dining facility. I guess movies are essential and Ms. Marsden, her employees, and her restaurant are not.  

All these small business owners need to continue to fight back. They also need the help of fellow business owners, small and large, and from patriots across the country. Americans who are sick, not from the CCP virus, but of government tyranny. It’s way past time that the American people revoke these governors and mayors’ license to kill small businesses.

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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