The Battle of Tinhorn Flats

Nowhere is the dictatorial idiocy of government on display better than in Burbank, California. It's bad enough that state, county, and city restrictions regarding businesses during the so-called "pandemic" often contradict each other.  It's far worse when a county or city engages in restrictions that are tighter than those the state, or are just simply being stupid because anyone who's been paying attention knows this isn't really a "pandemic."

Just to review, 8.5 percent of Burbank’s population has tested positive, and 0.2 percent of the population has died, and the death rate for those who have the virus is 2.8 percent.  All of these numbers are in line; L.A.  County as a whole (12 percent, 0.2 percent, and 2.2 percent, respectively), and the U.S. as a whole (8.9 percent, 0.16 percent, and 1.8 percent).  Some 80 percent of deaths are of those over age 65 who have an average of 3 co-morbidities.

The Burbank city Council of Ninnies, like most other municipal governments in Democrat-controlled states, ordered all restaurants to be shut on December 6, during the most recent "surge." This included outdoor dining, even after restaurants had invested tens of thousands of dollars each into proper safety measures and taking other steps necessary to actually serve food outside.

Need we mention the absurdity of banning outdoor dining at all?

Tinhorn Flats is a family-owned and operated bar and restaurant that has been operating in Burbank for many years.  The owners decided on December 10 to stay open regardless of any government order to shut, and has been serving outdoors since then.  Their health permit was revoked December 12.

And they stayed open!  Huzzah!

And why not?  If it’s a choice between bankruptcy and operating in defiance of a stupid and unnecessary government order, the choice should be clear.  Sadly, outside of five other restaurants in nearby Ventura County, no other operators openly defied these ludicrous orders.

Apparently, neither the Burbank City Council of Ninnies nor the County of Los Angeles knows what happens when you back into a corner. Now they are finding out exactly what does happen, and they have the scratches and blood to show for it.

From December 13 to February 9, the L.A. County Department of Health cited the restaurant for 36 separate days operating on a "suspended public health permit."

Tinhorn Flats stayed open.  Patriots like myself visited, ate food, and had beers.

On January 12, the LA County Attorney issued a cease-and-desist letter.

Tinhorn Flats stayed open. Patriots like myself visited, ate food, and had beers.

Two weeks later, the county filed a lawsuit for violating the "emergency health orders" and "abatement of public nuisance." Apparently not satisfied with simply suspending the public health permit, the county also took the extra step of actually revoking the permit.

Tinhorn Flats stayed open. Patriots like myself visited, ate food, and had beers.

Then the Burbank City Council of Ninnies revoked the conditional use permit that allowed Tinhorn Flats to operate on February 22.

Tinhorn Flats stayed open, etc, etc.

A week later the Burbank City Council of Ninnies filed a lawsuit for violating the municipal code, and the week after that the L.A. County Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order against the restaurant.

Tinhorn Flats stayed open, etc, etc.

Here's the best part: a few days ago, the Burbank City Council of Ninnies told a kangaroo-court hearing, in which it was obvious they had already made up their minds, demanding that the restaurant stop serving. A few days later, they cut power to the restaurant.

So what happened? Patriots and patrons donated generators and other gear so that the restaurant could continue to operate. And customers are still coming to the restaurant.

We’re not done yet. The Burbank City Council of Ninnies ordered the doors of the restaurant to be locked. It just so happens that Tinhorn Flats is famous for its swinging doors, like the saloons of the Old West.  They cover those over at night with two large doors – which they REMOVED to prevent them from being padlocked!

Somehow, the next day, the doors reappeared and were padlocked, and so was the side entrance. Tinhorn Flats then posted picture on their Facebook page showing the side door was open, that they were open for business, and that anyone could come. As I write this article, on the evening of St. Patrick's Day, the place is hopping and packed both indoors and outdoors. I had a wonderful burger and fries there today.

By the way, all of this followed an order by another L.A. County judge requiring the county to show evidence that the ban was necessary.  This the county failed to do,  but the judge sadly didn’t overturn the ban.  Yet it was this ruling that bolstered Tinhorn Flats’ position that every step being taken against the restaurant was illegal.

As the owner of Tinhorn Flats has publicly said, this has nothing to do with safety, but fear and control. Their mantra is "we will not comply." These four words should stir the hearts and souls of every freedom – loving American.

There is nothing special about the five petty tyrants on the City Council.  As we've learned over the past year, politicians have no special knowledge of, and absolutely no clue about, epidemiology or how to have properly managed this "pandemic." This is about fear and control, and a group of five power-mad individuals who want to assert their authority over others.

Their names are: Mayor Bob Frutos, Vice Mayer Jess Talamantes, Konstantine Anthony, Nick Schultz, and Sharon Springer.  Frutos’ bio says, “During his 28 years of public service in Law Enforcement, he learned the value of working with residents, businesses and neighborhoods in a collaborative effort to find solutions to complex community issues.”  What nonsense.

Also notable is that Anthony claims once been homeless, so his extraordinary lack of compassion for people who are simply trying to keep their business open amidst an unjustified panic places him in a particularly shameful position.

These petty tyrants don't seem to realize that they have awakened a sleeping tiger. People from all over the city are patronizing the restaurant. Support is pouring in from all over the country.

Nor do they realize that nothing will stop me or anyone else from patronizing this business.  We are the ocean of freedom and we will flow around any obstacles in our way.  The Burbank City Council will look like the idiots they are in trying to shut down this place.

Oh yeah, my sources tell me that the Burbank Police Department supports Tinhorn Flats.

A legal defense fund has been set up at this GoFundMe page and I urge you to donate. Meanwhile, this just in:

Like a desperado who is riddled with bullets but just won't stop, Tinhorn Flats remains open. The latest chapter in this saga finds the Burbank Fire Department showing up at Tinhorn Flats on Wednesday night to remove a padlock... one that city officials had placed there earlier that morning.

Why? Because as soon as officials left, Lucas Lepejian cut off a lock on a side entrance and reopened the Old West-themed restaurant and bar, reports FOX 11.

After cutting off the padlock, Lepejian let customers in and continued serving them food and drink although the front door remain padlocked, creating what Burbank officials call a "life-safety hazard."

Standing up to bullies is the only way to defeat them.

'Climate Change' and Covid Policies Both Crush Minorities

If you've ever wondered why Democrat policies always make things worse, you have to understand it's that they have their priorities in reverse order. Conservative priorities place God first, followed by Americans, then non-Americans, and then the earth. So it stands to reason that any policy that relegates humans to second-class behind the earth will always harm those it purports to help.

The Democrats therefore cannot help but be hypocrites.  They say that they want to improve the lives of minorities while endorsing policies that result in exactly the opposite.

It is regrettably axiomatic that imposing environmental restrictions on any form of allegedly "unclean" energy results in job loss across multiple sectors.  Even the left-leaning Energy Futures Initiative admits to 1.15 million jobs existing in the fuels sector in 2020.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 17 percent of these jobs belong to Hispanics, with another 4.5 percent each have gone to blacks and Asians.  In sum, nearly seven million Americans are employed across all energy sectors.

Move to Texas!

We already know that the Obama administration killed thousands of jobs by decimating the coal industry. There is no reason to expect that the Biden administration will be any different, although targeting the fossil-fuel industry is more likely, the battle to demonize coal having largely been won.

Yet that's just the beginning of the story.  After all, we expect job loss in this sector.  However, it is critical to understand that the irrational and intentional fear-mongering that drives climate change also occurs with Covid-19, in order to whip small-minded people into terror to push bad policies on them.  They are much more compliant that way.  These policies result in far greater and more widespread damage to minorities.

Needlessly forcing people out of work to “protect” people from a virus with a 99.85 percent recovery rate, and which only kills the elderly and those with an average of three co-morbidities, has already disproportionately harmed minority businesses in America.

The Census Bureau reported there were one million minority-owned businesses on May 19 of 2020. Even the leftist media admits that 40-50 percent of these firms will never reopen versus 17 percent for white-owned firms.  The Federal Reserve in New York  reported that, “Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41 percent drop. Latinx [sic] business owners fell by 32 percent and Asian business owners dropped by 26 percent.”

The foolish Covid-19 policies also affected minority workers more than whites.

In March of 2020, the unemployment rate among Hispanic women was 6 percent.  It hit 20 percent in April. The Hispanic male unemployment rate more than tripled from 5.1 percent to 16.7 percent. For labck men, who had enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in modern history at 7 percent, the number more than doubled. Black women saw the rate rise from 5.2 percent to 16.4 percent.  White worker unemployment went from 3.4 percent to 12.4 percent.Those horrible numbers have since come down, but the imbalance remains.

It's for your own good!

Democrats can only see what is immediately in front of their face without considering the ramifications of their idiotic policies. So what did they think all these people would do when thrown out of work? Having a job is critical to personal identity and dignity.  It also creates social structure. Ripping all of those things away from people forces them into isolation. Extended periods of isolation leads to anxiety, depression, and a host of other types of collateral damage. Rational people have been warning since the beginning that the chickens would come home to roost on vast portions of the human population.

Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research reported increases in domestic violence and potential harm to fetuses, although we all know that the Left doesn't care about unborn children anyway. This didn't occur just in America, but all around the world where ethnicities considered minorities in this country are the majority in many others.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that lockdowns not only cause anxiety and depression, but the desire to escape from these disorders. The result is an increase in drug and alcohol abuse.  The United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada all saw increases of 20 percent to 25 percent of the number of people drinking more alcohol. Alcohol consumption increased to 60 percent among binge drinkers in the United States.  Drug and alcohol abuse causes individuals (mostly men, and a higher proportional number of minorities) to engage in domestic violence.  Substance abuse also results in longer-term health problems, further burdening the healthcare system that Democrats want increased access to.

We can also talk about the sharp increase in suicides, which was already the second leading cause of death among black men ages 15 to 24 before the lockdowns.  Suicides among blacks have doubled during the lockdowns, while it was cut in half for whites.

This is just the collateral damage from throwing people out of work due to nothing other than fear, and robbing individuals of the right to make personal choices based on their own risk assessment. When one is robbed of everything that matters, individuals begin to take greater risks because they have nothing left to lose. That includes getting together in groups of people who are experiencing the same life struggles. So it should come as no further surprised that both the infection and death rate from the Wuhan virus amongst minorities vastly outstrips that of any other population.

Take Los Angeles County.  Some 12 percent of the Hispanic population has tested positive vs. 5 percent of blacks and just 2 percent of whites.  The age-adjusted death rate for Hispanics is three times that of whites. The nlack death rate is 50 percent higher than whites. The numbers are similar in other states.

Policy does not exist in a vacuum.  Everything is interconnected.  Democrats, in their zeal to create a non-existent utopia by addressing individual “problems," never think beyond the issue itself.  Even worse, when an insidious plan is put forth to deliberately scare citizens into agreeing with them, they fail to see the cascade of disaster that results from their policies.

This is why climate-change alarmism and policy must be crushed with all due haste.  It has big money behind it.  It utilizes fear to push its agenda.  That agenda results in lost jobs, which leads to despair, which leads to disorders and disease and human suffering.  All of that is harmful enough, yet Covid-19 creates additional risk for minorities where it otherwise wouldn’t.  If people had jobs, instead of being sidelined by the fear driven by both climate and Covid nonsense, minorities would be infinitely better off.

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Media

As the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. There’s also a corollary: properly used, statistics don’t lie. But when selectively abused, statistics are meaningless.  The kerfuffle that followed President Trump’s interview with Jonathan Swan which aired on HBO earlier this week is yet another example of the phenomenon.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss was among those who weighed in on the interview. Dutifully following the “orange-man bad” narrative, a Dreyfuss Tweet seemed to imply a belief that Swan had a masterful command of meaningful pandemic statistics, while President Trump was basically clueless:

What made the president a fool and Swan a genius? Trump highlighted the statistical fact that the United States has been more effective in curing, aka reducing the death rate, among Americans who are diagnosed with COVID-19 than most of the rest of the world. This is clearly a testament to the effectiveness of our overall health care system in treating infectious and potentially fatal diseases.

Swan highlighted the statistical fact that more Americans have died of COVID-19 exposure per capita than have died as a percentage of population when compared to nations like Germany and South Korea. Though he didn’t directly say so, Swan clearly implied that this statistic was far more important than the statistic President Trump had mentioned.

Trump disagreed with Swan’s analysis: “You can’t do that,” he said.

“Why can’t I do that?” Swan responded, rudely.

At this point, neither party to this discussion displayed any sort of expertise about how to properly interpret statistics. Trump was stumbling, but so would every other President at this level of detail, going back to at least Eisenhower. American presidents are not masters of detail. Moreover, can anyone honestly believe that Joe Biden could get to that part of so nuanced of a discussion without his head exploding or threatening to punch somebody?

I believe the point Trump was attempting to make was that it is unsound scientifically to use the per capita death rate as the metric with which to judge the effectiveness of the administration’s response to the pandemic. If that is indeed the correct interpretation of “you can’t do that,” then the President’s point is valid.

If the death rate per person infected is relatively low, but the death rate per capita is higher, then the infection rate is the driver. Consider an example: Both Group A and Group B consist of one million individuals each, each demographically similar to the other. In Group A 100,000 get infected, while 20,000 of the infected sub-group die. The mortality rate per capita is 2%, while the mortality rate per infection is 20%. In Group B 50,000 people get infected, while 15,000 of the infected die. The mortality rate per capita is 1.5% and the mortality rate per infection is 30%. Infections are more prevalent in Group A, but treatment of the infection is much better in Group A than in Group B.

Or, let’s look at the following real-world analogy. In many developing countries the motor vehicle fatality rate per capita is far lower than it is in the United States. Does that mean it’s safer to drive in those nations? No, it means they have fewer cars. When you look at a meaningful statistic – deaths per motor vehicle – the fatality rate in most of the very same developing countries far exceeds that of the United States. As anyone who's ever driven in the Third World knows.

Per capita statistics are thus rarely useful analytical tools when considered in a vacuum. One must understand the underlying causes and how those causes may or may not be influenced before citing a per capita stat. In the case of COVID-19 there are at least two important underlying variables that should factor into any analysis: infection rate and treatment effectiveness.

Clearly, infection rates vary by state because the individual states have been driving different isolation and protection policies at varying speeds and implementing different “get back to normal” recovery programs as well. If Swan believes that the Administration could have and should have done something to implement a national isolation policy and national recovery policy, he should have said so.

Could the Trump administration have done something like that? I don’t see how. The states would scream bloody murder if he tried to interfere with them. The President can’t even get blue states to disperse riotous mobs occupying the streets of major American cities. Any attempt by this administration to impose rigid standards involving public gatherings and personal interactions would have been denounced as a violation of federalism and widely ignored.

It’s clear that stemming the spread of COVID-19 is about isolation and protective gear. The highest rate of new infections is now among the 20-29 year old demographic, many of whom ignore such restrictions. That’s understandable. They are at relatively low risk of dying even if they do catch it, and most of us who remember our twenties will recall that following rules – even rules meant to protect you – are not a high priority at that time of life. But this development emphasizes the simple fact that the infection rate part of the per capita mortality rate equation is about personal behavior, not national policy.

Among the parts of the equation that the administration could and did address was providing care for the sick and protection for health care workers. From getting Ford to produce ventilators, to ensuring there was an equitable distribution of face masks among the states in the early days of the pandemic, the Trump administration focused on those things it could do to facilitate research, to ensure that health care facilities were not overwhelmed, and to save as many lives of the infected as possible. Certainly the states and numerous organizations both public and private played a huge role in the success of that effort, but it’s petty partisanship at its worst to pretend that the president’s actions were unimportant or somehow misguided.

Sadly, Jonathan Swan’s abuse of statistics is business as usual for the legacy media these days. He focused on a statistic over which the Trump had no practical control, presumably because it made the president look bad, while ignoring the stat that demonstrated how effective the administration has been in helping to address those parts of the pandemic it actually could influence.