OWOSSU, MI – A 77-year old Michigan barber celebrated Friday as the Michigan Supreme Court cast a sweeping vote in his favor against Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The outspoken small business owner has captured the attention of many Americans who have hailed him as a small town hero willing to stand up to government overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karl Manke opened his barber shop in 1961 in the small town of Owossu, Michigan.
With less than 15,000 residents, Manke’s shop was a Main Street staple.
When the coronavirus pandemic spread to Michigan, Manke’s business was rocked under the Governor’s orders to close suddenly. However, Manke was not willing to simply comply with Governor Whitmer’s orders to close the business he build more than half a century ago.
Despite executive orders, Manke opened his shop and continued to cut his patron’s hair. He said to Fox and Friends:
“And as far as I’m concerned, I’m opening up… I have a livelihood. I have a business that I have to protect. I have clients [who] rely on me. And I’m going to continue on. I’m not going to stand down.”
Manke was ordered to shut down or face revocation of his license. His battle began in the courtroom as he continued to cut hair. According to Michigan Live, the state sought for the courts to impose a fine on Manke of $7,500 for “the unlawful operation of his barber shop on June 1, 2020” and requested an additional $7,500 to be imposed for every day the shop remained open.
Further, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services pursued an additional $5,000 in damages from the small business owner.
However, Manke appealed lower court decisions until the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear his case. On Friday, victory was delivered and the Supreme Court vacated lower courts findings sending the case back down for more thorough consideration.
Manke has made national headlines not only for his defiance but for his humor and quick wit in interviews. Aside from lighter comments such as that the shop would remain open “until Jesus comes”, Manke has garnered much attention for profound statements that resonate with many Americans.
Time magazine’s Ed White quoted Manke succinctly saying:
“The government is not my mother, never has been… ‘I’ve been in business longer than they’ve been alive.”
Governor Gretchan Whitmer has been in the spotlight as she implemented some of the most extreme measures during the COVID shutdown.
As early as March, the Governor mandated which types of items could be purchased in the big box stores that were permitted to remain open, preventing the sale of sections of items like fruit and vegetable seeds which many argued were essential.
The Governor was further caught in several embarrassing moments during the pandemic shutdown. A Michigan marina owner took to social media relaying a request from the Governor’s husband Mark Mallory to put the couple’s boat in the water in time for Memorial Day, skipping the queue of other Michigan residents already waiting.
Mallory allegedly advised the marina owner that his wife was the Governor seeking to pressure the small business owner into making a special exception for the First Family.
Governor Whitmer brushed off her husband’s behavior calling it a “failed attempt at humor”, the National Review’s Tobias Hoonhout reports.
The Governor has also been making headlines this week as she claimed that the state’s lockdown measures would likely be extended claiming that protesters were spreading coronavirus.
However, according to Detroit News’ Craig Mauger and James David Dickson, the Governor herself attended a protest maintaining a distance of less than 6 feet from others.
Spokesperson for the Governor’s office responded to cries of hypocrisy stating that it did not violate the mandates as the executive orders included a statement that “Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution.”
However, many Michigan residents feel that their own protected rights have been violated by the same orders for nearly three months. Michigan Live reports Manke’s own views on the constitutionality of Whitmer’s orders. The spunky septuagenarian said:
“I don’t have any intentions of being bullied… I really don’t mind her being governor, but when (Whitmer) starts this ruling stuff, then I take exception to that… It’s not part of our Constitution. It shows her immaturity as a leader, not being able to govern, instead having to rely on police state tactics in order to get her agenda taken care of.”
Even prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Manke did not hold back on his feelings towards the Governor’s orders. According to Breitbart, he had said “This is an oppressive move on this governor’s part,” and further commented that it “reflects almost a police state.”
So, what was the response from local police to Manke’s adamant refusal to comply? Manke recalled to WLNS an interaction he had with an area officer saying:
“I had a police man stop by this morning… I thought okay here it is…it’s done. He said I love you and walked out.”
Whitmer admits husband ‘name dropped’ to get his boat in the water before others, said was ‘failed attempt at humor’
This editorial below is brought to you by a United States veteran and staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
KEWADIN, MI – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is certainly no stranger to controversy during this pandemic. Now it seems that the governor’s family gets to play by a different set of rules.
Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory, seems to think that because he is married to the governor, he is entitled to a few things.
Just last week, Whitmer introduced a plan to lift some restrictions on northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in advance of the Memorial Day weekend.
The area, which is vital to the travel and tourism industry in Michigan, is one of the least impacted areas of the COVID crisis.
According to the Detroit News, starting on the 22nd, the governor’s plan reopened retail businesses and offices in those regions, including bars and restaurants, which are only allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
Those businesses would also be required to train employees on health and safety protocols, maintain the “social distancing” six feet of separation and require workers to wear face coverings.
In a press briefing on Monday, Whitmer said:
“This is a big step, and it’s right before the holiday weekend. I want to encourage everyone to stay smart and stay safe. Keep your wits about you. Let’s not all go rushing out and force a closure.
“If you don’t live in these regions … think long and hard before you take a trip into them. A small spike could put the hospital system in dire straits pretty quickly. That’s precisely why we’re asking everyone to continue doing their part. Don’t descend on Traverse City from all regions of the state.”
The order signed by Whitmer still allows the local officials to take more restrictive measures as they see fit.
As it turns out, Whitmer and Mallory own a property in Elk River, which is in that region. Last Thursday, Mallory allegedly called the company that installed their dock and handles their winterizing.
The owner , Tad Dowker, said:
“This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend. Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen.
“Our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, ‘I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'”
Gov. Whitmer's Husband Allegedly Tried To Move To Front Of Boat Launch Line While She Told People To Stay Homehttps://t.co/voMzW2IrlU
— WWJ 950 (@WWJ950) May 26, 2020
It absolutely makes a difference in that he should know better. As the husband of the governor, you cannot name drop and use your wife’s position to gain favor for yourself.
The Detroit News says that NorthShore Dock, LLC posted:
“After a long day of keeping crews running, adhering to the additional safety regulations that need to be in place to operate our small business and fielding calls from customers frustrated with our lagging installation schedule I was told the governor’s husband called asking for install availability. Up until this point we, as a company, had no idea we installed their dock or boat.”
To be fair, the post also mentioned that Mallory was respectful and understanding when they explained that they could not work him in to the pre-weekend schedule.
As of this writing, the company’s Facebook page was offline.
So, what exactly did Mallory do wrong? Technically, nothing he did was illegal.
When asked about the allegations, Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown didn’t specifically confirm or deny the company’s assertion.
“Our practice is not to discuss the governor’s or her family’s personal calendar/schedules. And we’re not going to make it a practice of addressing every rumor that is spread online. There’s been a lot of wild misinformation spreading online attacking the governor and her family, and the threats of violence against her personally are downright dangerous.”
For the record, we agree that making threats of physical violence against anyone for political reasons is a no-go.
Tuesday, the Governor addressed the “rumors” herself. She said that her husband made the comments as a ” failed attempt at humor.”
In the briefing, she said:
“He thought it might get a laugh. It didn’t, and to be honest I wasn’t laughing either when it was relayed to me because I knew how it would be perceived.”
She also indicated that Mallory regretted the comments.
State Republican lawmakers took notice of the situation.
Tom Barrett criticized the request from Mallory. But his Facebook post was removed. Why did he take it down?
Barrett claims that the governor’s office contacted the staff for the Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and asked that the post be removed, claiming that the statements made were false.
Barrett pointed out that Whitmer had asked people not to descend on the area:
“Yet, what did her family try and do?” Barrett said.
“In the Army, we have a tradition that the leaders get in line for chow last behind everyone else in the unit,” he continued. “Here is the leader of our state. … Her family is trying to cut people in line.”
We only need to rewind 10 days to see other instances of elected officials playing by a different standard than those they try to enact on their constituents.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker was recently asked about the whereabouts of his wife, Mary Kathryn Muenster, during the “stay at home” order that he imposed on his residents.
During an April press conference, the governor was asked about it:
“Where’s the first lady? Is she accompanied by a state security detail? Has she engaged in nonessential travel? What is your response to people who say the state home order and nonessential travel bans aren’t being abided by your family?”
“The governor initially refused to address the rumors of his wife’s whereabouts, contending that it was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘reprehensible’ that a reporter for the Patch covered the story.”
So, why would the governor be so opposed to answering the questions? Could it be that he would be exposed for allowing his family to circumvent the very orders he was forcing on the other 12.67 million residents of the state?
Turns out his wife and daughter went to Florida and Wisconsin to visit an estate and a farm that the billionaire owns.
The Pritzker’s should be leading by example on the Governor’s stay-at-home order. By fleeing the state, in violation of the executive order, the first lady is showing that she is not “All In” for Illinois but “All In” for…Florida. #twill https://t.co/DcsNkXOeeR
— Illinois Rising Action (@ILRisingAction) April 29, 2020
“My wife and daughter were down in Florida in early March and, in fact even a little before that, and you know, they sheltered in place when the stay-at-home order came up,” he said.
“And they stayed there until very recently, so you know we’ll say, you know, we have a working farm. They’re there now. There are animals on that farm. That is an essential function to take care of animals at a farm.”
WATCH: @govpritzker asked where his family has been during stay at home order.
— Illinois Rising Action (@ILRisingAction) May 15, 2020
So, two questions for the governor.
First, what is early March? The Illinois order was issued on March 20th. If they were already in Florida when the lock-downs started, then they get a pass on that one.
Question number two, can you define a working farm?
The dictionary defines it as “a farm whose agricultural land and buildings are in active use for crop production and/or the raising of livestock.”
So, to clarify for the governor, if his farm is a working one as he claims, there are people there working that farm, most likely full-time. Their jobs would include the welfare of the animals and livestock, which Pritzker’s order deemed essential activity.
Driving to the farm from another state to supervise the people working there would not be considered an essential activity.
And let’s not forget the governor’s feigned disgust at being asked about his wife.
“Well, first of all, I want to say that in politics, it used to be that we kept our families out of it,” Pritzker said. “You know, my official duties have nothing to do with my family, so I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s inappropriate, and I find it reprehensible, honestly, that that reporter wrote a story about it.”
Some believe that the translation for that is: “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Ordinarily, most people might agree that families should be off-limits. But this time in our lives is anything but ordinary.
Also, the Illinois Executive Order mandates local, county and state police to enforce the order saying:
“This Executive Order may be enforced by State and local law enforcement pursuant to, inter alia, Section 7, Section 18, and Section 19 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305.”
For the record, Section 7 actually allows for the imposing of property and asset seizure by the state. It also allows for the state to do the following:
“Control, restrict, and regulate by rationing, freezing, use of quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price fixing, allocation or other means, the use, sale or distribution of food, feed, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods, or services; and perform and exercise any other functions, powers, and duties as may be necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population.
“During the continuance of any disaster the Governor is commander-in-chief of the organized and unorganized militia and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the Governor shall delegate or assign command authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster.”
Long story short, violation of the order is punishable by fines and possible arrest.
“Chicago’s interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said that Warnings may not qualify as a penalty, but there is the possibility for arrest. Beck noted that people can also be fined up to $500 for failing to obey an officer who is enforcing a health order.
“Additionally, he said if there is continued noncompliance, the police department could begin treating violations of the governor’s order like traffic citations, in which the offender doesn’t get a warning and is instead cited upon being observed.
“‘I don’t want to go there,’ he said. ‘I want to do the warnings, but I would need people not to put us in that position in the first place.'”
It almost sounds like he is saying that it would be a citizen’s fault that police would violate their Constitutional rights.
“Beck said there is ‘very specific language’ in the city’s Municipal Code that allows his department to enforce the governor’s order.
“‘If a police officer is enforcing a health order and the person refuses,’ he said, ‘that is absolutely cause for citation and/or arrest and fine up to $500.’
“And rest assured, people in Chicago have been arrested for violating the stay at home order.
“‘Follow the law,’ Beck said. ‘Don’t make us enforce the law through citation and arrest. Follow the law voluntarily and we wont even have to get to this point.’”
Now, back to Pritzker’s refusal to answer the questions about his family.
As the reporter mentioned, did she travel with a security detail? Did her staffer join them on any of these trips?
If the answer is affirmative to either of these, it is no longer about an off-limits family member. It is now about accountability and transparency for tax-payer funded positions being mandated to violate the same order. And let us also not forget that the First Lady isn’t solely a wife, she is a public figure.
Kayleen Carlson, the executive director of Illinois Rising Action, told Breitbart News:
“What’s inappropriate is the Pritzker family’s track record of abiding by the rules only when it suits them. The first lady has a taxpayer-funded staffer and two taxpayer-funded offices – so her whereabouts are not off limits.”
Meanwhile, also in Illinois, about two weeks ago Law Enforcement Today brought you the following story about Chicago’s mayor.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there are two sets of rules—one for the ruling class and one for the peons.
A couple of weeks ago, we had New York City mayor Bill de Blasio issuing a stay at home order for the serfs in New York, while he decided he was going to go work out at the YMCA.
Now, we have Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot deciding that she needed to get her haircut, stay at home order be damned. After all, she’s “important.”
Mayor Lightfoot defended getting a haircut amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying she’s the face of the city and the woman who cut her hair wore a mask. https://t.co/Tfhk959N8F
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 6, 2020
“I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye,” Lightfoot told a reporter. “I take my personal hygiene very seriously. As I said, I felt like I needed to have a haircut. I’m not able to do that myself, so I got a haircut. You want to talk more about that?”
You see, she just makes the rules, she doesn’t have to live by them.
Lightfoot probably didn’t realize her little soiree was going to be posted to Facebook. On Sunday afternoon, a woman posted photos on Facebook in which she stated she “had the pleasure of giving Mayor Lightfoot a hair trim.”
So, the mayor “take[s] her personal hygiene very seriously.” Does she not think that the other 1.49 million other women who live in Chicago might also take their “personal hygiene very seriously?”
But you see, that is not important. Because Lightfoot is “important.”
“I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.”
Lightfoot defended her actions by saying she is “practicing what I’m preaching,” since the hair stylist who did her haircut wore a mask and gloves.
So, the thousands of other barbers and hair stylists who are out of jobs in Chicago because their jobs are considered “non-essential” cannot have the same opportunity to earn a living by wearing PPE while giving haircuts? Talk about hypocritical.
Of course, like a good politician Lightfoot tried to deflect her own hypocritical choice by switching the narrative.
“I think what really people want to talk about is, we’re talking about people dying here. We’re talking about significant health disparities. I think that’s what people care most about,” Lightfoot continued.
Ironically, Lightfoot had made PSA’s in which she advised residents to “stay home, save lives” where she told said to someone off-screen, “Getting your roots done is not essential.”
Maybe only for the little people but not for an “important” big-city mayor apparently.
Chicago mayor larry lightfoot's very own psa lecturing people not to get their hair donehttps://t.co/XJ3Z7hwZ7t
— SnorkyJr (@SnorkyJr) April 7, 2020
— Elizabeth Allon (@elizabeth_allon) April 7, 2020
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot made the videos after she shut down the Lakefront Trail and rebuked residents who were not obeying the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Congregating on our lakefront, to be blunt, is going to create a risk that is unacceptable and could lead to death. That is why we are taking these actions and going back and saying again: dear God, stay home, save lives,” she said.
That is, unless you need to get a haircut and you’re the mayor.
Lightfoot is the consummate hypocrite. Her PSA’s are a mix of serious and not-so-serious scenarios.
She also told a Tribune reporter that she’s a fan in particular of a video that has gone viral, of Italian mayors yelling at citizens for not obeying public health orders, which included one who threatens to send police to crash graduation parties with a flamethrower.
This compilation of Italian mayors yelling at citizens who are breaking their quarantine will brighten your day. pic.twitter.com/CCJSe1e439
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 23, 2020
Carlos-Ramirez-Rosa, a fellow Democrat, wasn’t buying Lightfoot’s explanation.
“She is under no obligation to look good on national TV. She is under no obligation to book national interviews. But she is under an obligation to follow and promote social distancing in order to save lives,” he wrote in a tweet. “This is a bad example for our city.”
We're struggling to get people to follow Stay At Home. Mayor Lightfoot violating the order and making excuses for herself makes that harder. I'm highly disappointed in @chicagosmayor and I hope she will make it clear that no one is above the order. https://t.co/m3nQmLf26E
— Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa🌹 (@CDRosa) April 6, 2020
When asked about Lightfoot violating his order, the governor said that he couldn’t address the mayor’s situation, but he himself had not had a trim since his order.
“I’m going to turn into a hippie at some point,” Pritzker said.
So, we can all sleep well at night knowing that while people such as Lightfoot and others have put millions of people out of work, destroying our economy, in many cases without rhyme or reason, they can still get their hair done because after all, they are special.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!