I never expected to use the following words together: “illegal” and “haircut.” Yet I got one (I’ll never divulge where this heinous crime occurred).

A perceived public “emergency” spawns petty tyrants. You’ll remember those bullies from childhood; they loved to boss others around, and “rat” on others for any perceived infraction. A bully would even manufacture reasons to tell something to the nearest parent, teacher or crossing guard.

The coronavirus gave these bullies, now in positions of power, a reason to abuse their power or push the boundaries to get more. The petty tyrants are typified by West Coast Govs. Jay Inslee, Kate Brown and Gavin Newsom, reveling in new-found opportunities to manipulate and terrify people.

Washington’s Gov. Inslee appears to awake each morning, saying, “Today, Trudy, I’ll tell 7 million Washingtonians to do something, and, by golly, most of them will actually do it, no matter how stupid it seems. I’m really something, huh?” Trudy is Inslee’s long-suffering wife, recently coerced into an embarrassing photo-op, showing how she cuts hubby’s hair (while holding the scissors backwards).

This jaded political skeptic was shocked to see even Idaho Gov. Brad Little trying to outdo this troika of governors trampling constituents’ First Amendment rights. Little is now among the bullies, including not just Inslee, but the Napoleonic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose only remaining logical step would seem to be imprisoning dissenters.

Little’s state police first threatened to pull licensing from a 10-table Kendrick brewpub. The owners had the audacity to choose between following the governor’s closure order or seeing their life’s savings go up in smoke.

Note: The coronavirus hadn’t yet been seen in Kendrick.

A true leader would have traveled to Kendrick’s Hardware Brewery, ordered a beer and burger and left a big tip, while wagging his finger at the owners for speeding in the governor’s lane.

But true leaders are damned scarce in these coronavirus days.

Little found a flimsy allegation to justify revenge. On May 21, he sent an Idaho State Police SWAT team platoon, (in tactical gear, like raiding a Mexican drug cartel) bursting into the small business, frightening everyone present. Based on a warrant for specific information for May 9, they unlawfully detained owners and staff, confiscated much more than the warrant specified, including video of customers and point-of-sale information.

Why is the ISP acting like Gestapo? See the Lewiston Tribune’s May 23 report by William L. Spence for a first-person account of the raid by a child of the owners.

The petty ruse of a liquor-license violation allegation fools no one. The truth is these folks pissed off the governor, and he wanted some childish schoolyard revenge. So he said, “Shut ’em down.”

It was left to lower levels of petty tyrants in government and the ISP to carry out the order however they saw fit. These pettier tyrants chose to put on a show for the local peasants, treating these 60-year-old small business owners like they were the Mafia.

These folks would be among the first patriots to fight for our constitutional rights. Yet Little sent an armed SWAT team to treat these American citizens like criminals. Can you say “jack-booted thugs”?

It’s likely there will be newly manufactured allegations against the small business to give the officials more “cover” for their outrageous violations of the Constitution.

This scenario is repeating nationwide, the bullies in full-throated cry: “Obey.”

Despite substantial (and credible) medical opinion that masks on everyone are probably ineffective (possibly even harmful), governors are requiring masks (and browbeating businesses into requiring masks on customers). The mask activity has become a virtue signal, effectively saying, “I care more about you than you do.”

That’s B.S.

There is zero empirical evidence that wearing masks has prevented a single death. No? Then show me actual measurable evidence. But don’t spout platitudes about what an unfeeling bastard I am about the sick and dying. Your ridiculous virtue signaling has done exactly nothing to save a single person.

You may guessed: I don’t have a lot of respect for virtue signaling.

The mayor of Glendale, Calif. issued an order that even a person walking his dog alone wear a mask. A person who responds by donning a mask is a fool.

The blood-collection clinic will happily take my donated blood to give to sick people, but not without me wearing a mask. Seriously?

A hardware chain will only let limited people at a time into their huge store. Not 99. Not 101. But a nice round 100.

What medical genius arrived at that number?

Elected officials are being allowed to ask unelected officials for permission to apply to re-open their economies.

Anyone who hasn’t read George Orwell’s “1984” should do so. Orwell predicted where a free country can be taken. Incredibly, we’re almost there.

In a department store recently, the unmistakable voice of Big Brother from “1984” blared detailed instructions for standing, walking and personal hygiene. My God.

The petty tyrants are abusing the power we unthinkingly gave them to destroy our freedom.

Americans have the right to travel anywhere, engage in commerce, and associate with anyone who doesn’t object. Americans have the right, as I do here, to say anything whenever and wherever it seems necessary. Governors are not kings or lords. The police are not the king’s army, bullying their way into your home or business to decree obedience. America’s founding documents call these “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Our ancestors fought and died for these sacrosanct rights. You could at least stand up for them.

Petty tyrants such as Inslee and Little need reminding that the people are not subservient to officials who violate our constitutional rights for any reason, particularly when the emergency is almost exclusively in nursing homes.

The speed at which many Americans have turned into sheep astounds me.

The genes of the Founding Fathers have indeed been watered down to be almost unrecognizable in 244 years.

I didn’t see that coming, but you don’t see the bullet that kills you.

Rogers of Clarkston is a retired manager at CCI-Speer (now Vista Outdoor). His email address is rrogerr76@gmail.com.

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