Vision, Mission, and Strategy


Hillbilly Politics

Not a disaster: President Donald Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and at least 26 fellow GOP senators (a majority of the Republican senate caucus required to make him their leader) just back from a vacation, after 6 months of not doing their sole job to make laws, announced their priorities thusly: Disaster relief, raising the debt ceiling, funding government and barring states frombanning self-driving for cars.

No, disaster relief does not refer to the biggest life-destroying disasters of Obamacare, open borders, free trade absolutism, eliminating the department of education nor
repealing the Endangered Species Act. You know, the things they won votes promising.

Apparently Republicans only recognize acts of God with sad pictures as
disasters.

The property lost and lives wrecked by mostly ObamaDemocrat Party policies via
Obamacare; wars on coal, the poor, middle class and small business; open borders;
and aid to terror nation states like Iran dwarf the losses from hurricanes. It’s not close.
And one could take pictures of those losses too but Fox News is as lazy as elected
Republicans in D.C.

What gets lost in hurricane aftermaths, are the efforts of nongovernmental rescue and
other efforts. But private citizens can’t repeal and replace Obamacare. We hired
politicians to do that, specifically. But sometime between November 2016 and January
20, 2017, many redefined their job description as joining the Beltway media and
Democrat mob in nitpicking President Trump 24/7/365.

Private individuals and organizations, mostly churches, already did and are doing the
heavy lifting after hurricanes. But by all mean Congress, pass some special money for
the victims so you can pretend you solved a problem.

But, what congress needed to do yesterday and now is pass the laws they promised in
order to get elected which laws address the Bigger-than-Harvey disasters of obamacare
and Obama Democrats policies which have occurred under the Doppler radar.

Instead, they spent much of their first day back from vacation in committee about
self-driving cars which can’t respond to emergencies and are the next step in trying to
turn America into a Europe-like people they can control even if they can’t persuade us to
ditch our cars and ride MARTA everywhere.

Vice President Mike Pence asked what will be the hardest part of rebuilding Texas. Let
a certain Carolina gamecock now roosted atop Stone Mountain of Georgia answer that
question as per Texas and all other parts of the US except for the DC Beltway and
NYC-donor east side:

Getting elected Republicans to repeal Obamacare and other Democrat laws that limit
economic liberty.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

[A.D. 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the tacking of 95 theses upon the Wittenberg Church door by Martin Luther, thus launching the Protestant Reformation. To launch the celebration of this seminal world-changing event, HillbillyPolitics re-publishes our 2009 column marking of the 500th anniversary of fellow reformer, John Calvin’s birth.]

John Calvin’s Birth 500 Years Ago Predestined American Exceptionalism

America was born 233 years ago last week with a Declaration of Independence signed in the City of Brotherly Love. Five Hundred years ago Friday a man was born to love God who helped define much of what embodies the independence that has defined the Shining City on a Hill and greatest hope of man on Earth.

John Calvin must be ranked as one of the greatest men of the Second Millennium after the birth of Jesus Christ, and not just for his role in the Protestant Reformation of the Christian Church, though that role alone was monumental.

Clearly, absent the reforms set in motion by Martin Luther’s 95 theses in Germany and Calvin’s Institutes in France, western civilization and its American jewel would likely not have achieved their paramount position in world history.

Contrary to revisionist historians hostile to the Christian Church, the Reformation enabled the Enlightenment from the Dark Ages and Judeo-Christian principles essential to a New World of tolerance and reason. The Church, not secularists, built the university.

Man, not the King, is entitled to the fruits of his labor*

Did Calvin want us to abstain from all material pleasures? He wrote that God “meant not only to provide for necessity but also for delight and good cheer. . . . Has the Lord clothed the flowers with the great beauty that greets our eyes, the sweetness of smell that is wafted upon our nostrils, and yet will it be unlawful for our eyes to be affected by that beauty, or our sense of smell by the sweetness of that odor?” He opposed any doctrine that “deprives us of the lawful fruit of God’s beneficence.”

Liberty under God trumps Church and State

Calvin also opposed doctrines that deprive us of political liberty. His understandings—that God-given laws are superior to those of the state, the king, and any other institution, and that individuals have direct access to the Bible, without dependence on pope or priest—are common now, but compare them to the political and theological theories fashionable before his time. In ancient times, pagan states revered leaders as semi-divine. Those who argued with such bosses were seen as deserving death. In medieval times, the interpretations of church officials often trumped the words of the Bible itself (which few people could read). They identified God’s kingdom on earth with a church monopoly, and hanged, burned, or decapitated some with other ideas.

Separation of Church and State and the Protestant Work Ethic

Calvin and other Reformation leaders, though, separated church and state while emphasizing the importance of believers working to lead the state. Calvin contended that, since God reigns everywhere, His followers should be entrepreneurs in every strategic institution, including government, civil society, commerce, media, law, education, the church, and the arts. This emphasis led directly to what has become known as the “Protestant ethic,” with its unleashing of individual initiative and its emphasis on hard work in purportedly secular areas. Many kinds of labor are equally worthy, Calvin argued, and those in charge of one activity should not dictate to others.

Anti-Statism

Calvin’s writings also had an implicit anti-statism. Since fundamental law comes from God, obeying the law means obeying God, not necessarily the state. Rebellion against an unlawful state act, led by “lesser magistrates” such as local leaders, is really a justifiable maintenance of true law. One Calvin disciple in 1579 wrote Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (“Vindication Against Tyrants”), which emphasized the limits of power.

It is a shame that the revolution in Calvin’s France nearly 300 years after his birth threw off respect for Creator endowed rights and that Europe in general has relegated God to equivalence with Zeus.

It is part of the Miracle at Philadelphia that America’s Founding Mothers and Fathers understood that only a moral and religious people could handle the freedom they set in motion that allowed for Independence not only from a King in England, but from the world history of tyranny itself, as TMR’s Pilgrim exclaims:

The Founders knew that ninety-nine percent of the human race had had to live out their lives under tyranny.

My prayer today is that We the People not succumb to the Siren Song of alluring Big Government which would deform Calvin’s reforms reflected in the Statue of Liberty his France gave to the New World.

*All quotes but final quote are from Marvin Olasky

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte ObserverExaminer.com and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published at Redstate.com

Big States, Small States, Senate (King Cloture) Filibusters, Political Parties and Separation of Powers

The United States Senate, per se, was not created by the Founding Fathers to be THE bulwark against arbitrary executive action nor to prevent rash majoritarian action, i.e. to be Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “saucer to cool the coffee”. And the filibuster is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. In fact, had there not been a hue and cry from small states concerned with retaining sovereignty not granted to the federal government they were creating, America would have a unicameral rather than bicameral legislature.

The Senate came into existence to protect states rights, not to make Ciceros and/or Caesars of individual senators; and even before the Seventeenth Amendment rendered senators little more than representatives of larger districts through popular election, political parties had replaced congressional institutions as the bulwark against irresponsible radical change.

Want to stop radical change in America like good conservatives should? Then win either the White House, the lower People’s House of Representatives or the upper House of Lords, …er ah Senate. Want to enact conservative legislation or repeal liberal legislation? Elect a conservative as Chief Executive and conservative majorities to both houses of the legislative branch; EXCEPT that one must also elect a SUPER majority to the Senate, which hasn’t occurred for the GOP since most of the South was under post-Civil War reconstruction.

The history of the filibuster is not best defined by Strom Thurmond or Rand Paul. Rather, its main contribution to history is to make permanent, liberal legislation enacted by too-frequently-occurring Democrat control of all legislation-enacting branches in Washington, D.C.

President Obama and the Democrats have all the laws they need to turn this country into the dying economic and cultural basket case that is their European model and, quite frankly, probably had all they needed even before Obamacare. For instance, just since Presidents Richard Nixon’s EPA was created and Jimmy Carter’s post-Three Mile Island energy exploration restrictions were promulgated, the Democratic Party has been able (when they didn’t have the House or the Oval Office), thru Senate filibuster rules, to wreak more havoc and economic damage on this country than the Soviet Union or Usama bin Laden could have ever dreamed of. Not to mention the New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society.

Have Republicans spent too much money over the past 40+ years when they have had anything to say about it? Yes, but had entitlement increases not been protected by the filibuster, America would have slouched many fewer miles toward Gomorrah. The filibuster is no friend of any conservative whose goal is to actually reverse the path to destruction that America is on. Yes, it might occasionally prevent the enactment of make-weight puny additions to the welfare/regulatory state or enable individual Republican senate prima dons and donnas to delay the filling of executive positions. And? America’s descent is hardly slowed and will never be reversed if conservatives must always get 60 votes for what it usually only took 51 to enact.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

It is fitting that if we are to celebrate just one President that it be the Father of our Country, without whose leadership and character there would be no Shining City on a Hill.

And yes, today’s federal holiday is still, and always has been, declared in federal law, as Washington’s Birthday, not any so-called amorphous “President’s Day” requiring celebrations of 44 Presidential oath takers:

The following are legal public holidays under federal statute 5 USC 6103:
New Year’s Day, January 1.
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the third Monday in January.
Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February.
Memorial Day, the last Monday in May.
Independence Day, July 4.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
Columbus Day, the second Monday in October.
Veterans Day, November 11.
Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November.
Christmas Day, December 25.

This is the law.

So why do most calendars and so many people refer to this day as “Presidents Day“?

In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act, which moved the official observance of Washington’s birthday from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February. Some Democrats had wanted to change the name of the holiday as well, to Presidents’ Day, in honor of both Lincoln and Washington, but that proposal was rejected by Congress, and the holiday remained officially Washington’s Birthday.

Nevertheless, there was a popular misconception (perpetuated by Democrats, calendar companies and used car dealers) that the day had been officially renamed.

Liberal Democrats have been trashing American history as a tragedy and the Founding Fathers as mere slave owners for the past 40 years.

General George Washington watched thousands fall on the battlefield so that we could ordain and establish self government based on the rule of law as opposed to the tyrannies of the rule of men, whether they be Kings, Despots or Judicial Oligarchs. He nearly lost his life many times leading Revolutionary War battles. As our first President he astounded the world by peacefully giving up power to his successor.

Yet, all the “reformers” care to recall is that he was a slaveowner. Yes, he was a slaveowner, but he fathered a nation that put slavery on the path to destruction and which has freed more of humanity from tyranny than in all of human history. Ironically, many of the so-called reformers that would have us celebrate James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, also conveniently looked the other way when evaluating the greatest enslavers and murderers of humanity in the Soviet Union and Red China.

The true reformer was the man whose birth we celebrate today. The man who admitted chopping down a cherry tree and went on to chop down the barriers to Liberty so that men could be truly free.

Happy Birthday President Washington!

[Originally published at Redstate.com in 2009.]

dietrich-bonhoeffer[Our guest essayist, Dr. Mark DeVine, is associate professor of history and doctrine at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at All Costs.]

Wayne Grudem’s defense of a vote for Trump evoked an avalanche of repudiation, a veritable beat down by an array of theologically likeminded, #NeverTrump “friends.” A vote for Trump would be “wicked,” they said. It would violate Christian conscience and stain one’s reputation. We’ll come back to Grudem and his critics, but first let’s revisit a few chapters from the extraordinary life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, theologian, and conspirator to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

A few days before his departure from New York City Bonhoeffer wrote to Reinhold Niebuhr:

“. . . I have had time to think and to pray about my situation and that of my nation and to have God’s will for me clarified. I have come to the conclusion that I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people. . . .  Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose; but I cannot make that choice in security . . .”[1]

Key features of Bonhoeffer’s thinking would survive all the way to the gallows of Flossenburg concentration camp: that the will of God is discerned for a Christian, particularly in what he called “boundary situations,” only through intense, sustained prayer and reflection upon the word of God; that obedience in such situations more often leads disciples into, not away from, suffering—“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”[2] His realization that, however global one’s human and Christian identity, one’s national identity also counts and must impinge upon pursuit of the will of God and discernment of “true patriotism.”

But Bonhoeffer’s stated motive for the return to Germany weakened with time, namely the quest to salvage his moral standing in the eyes of others for the sake of future usefulness. The path from pacifist to conspirator to double agent to encourager and even volunteer to commit tyranticide forced Bonhoeffer to let go of such motives and hopes. Obedience to the will of God required decision after decision Bonhoeffer expected to so stain his reputation, so compromise his character in the eyes of others, as to disqualify him from the sort of future constructive role he once thought his return might make possible.

In a 1942 Christmas letter prepared for fellow conspirators Hans von Dohnanyi, Hans Oster, and Eberhard Bethge, Bonhoeffer wrote:

“We have been the silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretense; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use?”[3]

Should he survive, Bonhoeffer expected his ordination as a minister of the word of God would be stripped from him. He had, in a thousand ways, knowingly dirtied his hands in the conspiracy—even to the point of volunteering to carry a bomb to Hitler.

Not that Bonhoeffer came to despise his own moral “reputation” as worthless or indifferent (adiaphora). His immersion in the Psalms taught him the crucial importance of reputation, both to God and to his children. The same Psalms where “putting to shame,” and “being put to shame” figure repeatedly and prominently as central preoccupations, also teach that the one committed to doing God’s will cannot secure and must not attempt to secure his own reputation himself. The obedient servant looks to his master alone for vindication:

Then I shall not be put to shame, having fixed my eyes on all your commandments (Psalm 119:6)

Being put to shame is the opposite of being blessed. My life is put to shame when that which I relied upon breaks apart. For then I have nothing left that could give my life meaning and due, nothing to which I could appeal. My life becomes a mockery and shames me. I relied upon my own strength, and I became weak and sick. I counted on my property, and it was taken from me overnight. I trusted in reputation and power, and fell deep. I took pleasure in my honesty, and was overcome by sin. In the same way anyone’s life can be put to shame if they consider “mere flesh their strength” (Jer. 17:5). But if my gaze seeks not people, honors, and riches in the world but God’s commandments alone, then I will not be put to shame. For God’s commandments cannot break apart because God himself holds on to them and with them everyone who looks to them. I will never have to be ashamed of heeding God’s commandments.  . . . Even if the world’s judgment is against me, God’s judgment speaks for me. I look at God’s commandments when I base my decisions neither on other people nor even my own thoughts or experiences, but rather when I ask ever anew, even if contrary to my pious thoughts and experiences, for what God commands me. I can be put to shame even by my most pious decisions and ways but never by God’s commandment. God alone, not my piety, will preserve me from shame and dishonor.[4]

And how does the Christian discern this commandment of God?

“. . . only the entire richness of God’s commandments can guide me safely through life. Thus I can be certain that there is no situation in my life for which God’s word would not give me the necessary advice. But serious attention, tireless asking, and learning are necessary to recognize the right commandment and to recognize the inexhaustible kindness of God in all his commandments. The harder the world confronts and judges me, the more dire and miserable my way becomes, the firmer my gaze must stay directed toward God’s commandments . . . .”[5]

We know what came to “trump!” other considerations as Bonhoeffer tirelessly asked of God’s word for the right commandment of God for him. Amid rising demands for an Aryan Clause in the church, this urgent and overriding concern emerges perhaps most vividly in an address delivered to a group of pastors in 1933. Here the 27-year-old Bonhoeffer identified “three possible ways in which the church can act toward the state.” The third way “is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself.”[6]

The overriding concern? Not one’s reputation, not making some sort of statement about one’s own integrity, but doing what one could to help others, to serve others, to reduce or prevent the suffering of others. In Jesus Christ, for the Lutheran Bonhoeffer, God shows himself as the God who is for us (pro nobis), making his Son “the man for others,” and his followers servants of those same “others” in his name.

Bonhoeffer bemoaned as scandalous the spectacle of church leaders who, though poised to pop the Champagne corks to celebrate Hitler’s arrest or assassination from a safe distance, were unwilling to soil their own consciences or their own hands to see the deeds done themselves. They wanted the spoke hurled, just not by them:

“The man with a conscience fights a lonely battle against the overwhelming forces of inescapable situations which demand decisions. . . . Some who seek to escape from taking a stand publicly find a place of refuge in private virtuousness. Such a man does not steal. He does not commit murder. He does not commit adultery. Within the limits of his powers he does good. He must be blind and deaf to the wrongs which surround him. It is only at the price of an act of self-deception that he can safeguard his private blamelessness against contamination through responsible action in the world. Whatever he may do, that which he omits to do will give him no peace. Either this disquiet will destroy him or he will become the most hypocritical of Pharisees.”[7]

Between the 1933 address and one of the last letters penned at Tegel prison 11 years later, Bonhoeffer’s prizing of righteous action over clean conscience-fixated recoil into an ostensibly reputation-preserving and character-protecting safe space deepened.

I thought I could acquire faith by trying to live a holy life, or something like it. I suppose I wrote The Cost of Discipleship as the end of that path. Today I can see the dangers of that book . . . . .

“I discovered later, and am still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman . . ., a righteous man or an unrighteous one, . . . By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In doing so we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world . . . .”[8]

For Bonhoeffer, when the suffering of others is at stake, virtue acts to stop, prevent, or mitigate the suffering. It acts not for itself but in service to others, even if such service threatens to soil ones ostensibly “clean hands,” or jeopardizes one’s present or potential future reputation, or even one’s life. It does not understand sanctification as a cooperative effort between believers and God to make one clean. “Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). It understands sanctification as a divine setting apart of justified sinners for holy use—to serve others. Sanctifying of oneself means yielding to the prior and fundamental divine sanctification of oneself for such use.

For Bonhoeffer, Christian virtue does not turn opportunities for such service into occasions for self-display, self-expression, or self-protection. It does not shrink back from the moral cesspool that is this world and settle for some lesser and less urgent cause fixated on oneself rather than others.

Could such virtue in 2016 treat as less urgent the potential harm a sitting president of the United States might unleash upon hundreds of millions around the globe than some chance to display the purity of its conservative or liberal credentials or to teach a political party a lesson by staying home on election day or to cast a protest vote for a candidate who cannot win? No.

I see, and Grudem too seems to see, two wheels rolling towards hundreds of millions of actual people, each bound to discharge its own unique mix of help and harm. He has one spoke to jam into one wheel and perhaps prevent deliverance of one package of potential hurt to others. Retreat from that binary choice offers no platform of superior sanctity on which to preen, no pulpit from which to educate others, no paddle with which to spank a political party, and certainly no ostensibly “spiritual” refuge within which to pursue personal or private virtuousness.  Others’ lives are in the path of two wheels, one of which shall roll over them. The names of these wheels are Trump and Hillary. No other names and no other options enter in. Surely Election Day 2016 beckons each voting age American follower of Jesus Christ to jam his or her one spoke into one of those two wheels.

Mark DeVine is associate professor of history and doctrine at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at All Costs.

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Works, Volume 15 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012), p. 210

[2] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.

[3] Ten Years After, employed as the Prologue to Letters & Papers From Prison: New Greatly Enlarged Edition, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (New York, Macmillan, 1971), p. 16

[4] Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 15 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012), pp. 507-508.

[5] Ibid, p. 508.

[6]  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Geoffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson eds. (San Francisco: HarperSanfrancisco, 1995),p. 132

[7] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics (New York: Touchstone, 1995), pp. 68-69.

[8] Bonhoeffer, Letters & Papers, pp. 369-370.

twin-towers280_436781aPresident of the United States and self-appointed lawyer for the Orlando Islamic Terrorist (I refuse to name him and I used Islamic instead of Islamist intentionally. Let’s quit pretending the Koran and Hadith don’t say what they say)  today mocked the notion that identifying radical Islamist terrorists as such makes any difference. Lawyer Obama said labeling the terrorists as such won’t stop them from hating us because we wrongfully hate them. El Rushbo mentioned how Democrats seem to revert to lawyer mode after every terrorist attack to offer excuses for the terrorists. DeVine Law has since 9/11/2001 asked how paid agents of terrorists would act any differently than Democrats do for free?

Of course, Obama refuses to accurately name the enemy because then when he doesn’t do what he can to defeat them and protect us, he would be exposed as weak, cowardly or worse, not of a mind to protect the country he serves and is sworn to defend. He would rather blame guns, bitter Christian clingers to same etc. He lives to fundamentally transform the greatest nation in history, by far, all he can before he leaves office. Waging war against a named enemy conflicts with the notion that the US is the main evil on earth. The Democrats’ notion.

This reminds of 1998 when I, still a Democrat two years before my conversion, was thrilled when President Bill Clinton promised to wage war against Al Qaeda after they felled two of our embassies in Africa. Usama bin Laden later said that when the US didn’t invade Afghanistan after that he finally concluded that he would attack the US homeland of the “weak horse”. Having left Saddam Hussein in power and allowing him to taunt us and the U.N. had inspired his terrorists attacks on us prior to 9/11.

Meanwhile, after 9/11 Citizen Bill asked, before the rubble of the Towers had cooled:

Why do they hate us?

Democrats refuse to believe what the terrorists say and what the Koran and Hadith command them to do. Kill the infidel. But we are “Islamophobic”? Question: Were there ever people identified as “Nazi-phobic”? We think not, but sadly the Democrats not naked John F. Kennedy did similarly mock fear of an Evil Empire ten times more murderous than Hitler’s, with there appeasement of the worldwide Communism in the USSR, Red China and Cuba.

This while the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation was accepting millions from Sharia Law nations where gays are pushed off buildings for being illegally gay.

Obama and the Democrats blame Orlando, 9/11 and everything in between of Christians (we “punish” gays by treating them in our hospitals) and America. We actually might agree with Obama that “America” shares responsibility for radicalizing the Orlando Islamic Terrorist with his radical Muslim father, radical Muslim mosque, ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups. But not by anti-gay, Southern White-male Christians. No. The radicalization in this country is done by Obama’s Democrat Party academia, press and media arms which teach children in grammar school through college to hate America, much as Obama’ mother, dreams from his father, grandparents, Choom Gang, Communist Frank Marshall Davis, the (always said in hushed reverential tones) “Reverend” Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jeremiah “G-Damn America Wright, and other radical, liberal Democrat mentors taught him.

Obama says that the most beautiful sound on earth is the (creepy to us) call to morning prayer in Islam. Reminds eerily of the love of smell of napalm in the morning to me or the modern version, i.e. what Pulse smelled like last Sunday morning. Meanwhile the anodyne War on Extremism has produced: Obama surrendered Iraq to ISIS and gave Iran $150B. Attorney General Lynch warned that informants after the San Bernadino Islamic terrorist attack that they could be charged with a hate crime for bigotry against Muslims. I’m sure that helped get intel to prevent future Orlandos…..not.

Fellow Americans, this is who Democrats nominate and elect. You are not required to participate. Their appeasement can be Trumped.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Iowa Republican presidential caucuses winner Ted Cruz was born in Canada. His mother was an American, having been born in the United States, who had never renounced her American citizenship. His father was born in Cuba.

Donald Trump, loser in Iowa (but winner in New Hampshire and leading the polls in South Carolina prior to Saturday’s pivotal  primary), began trumpeting his latest justification for his election before he lost in Iowa: Ted Cruz was born in Canada. Democrats will take Cruz to court, so vote for The Donald.

The evidence that Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii was always clear to most given the birth announcement in a Honolulu newspaper, but even had the 44th president been born in Kenya, he would still have likely been deemed eligible for the Chief Executive’s office.

Article 3, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution provides that:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never been ruled upon the meaning of the phrase “natural born” (which occurs no where else in the founding document) and in most conceivable lawsuit-challenge contexts would likely deem the issue a “political question” and defer the issue to the Electoral College and/or the Congress when they approve or disapprove electoral votes after receipt from the states.

But, what if a state executive official empowered to approve or disapprove candidates for inclusion on primary, caucus or general election ballots were to rule Ted Cruz as not natural born and thus ineligible to serve as President of the United States? In that instance, the nation’s highest court may have to interject itself, much as in the 2000 Florida recount.

Constitutional attorney Andrew McCarthy provides needed insight including from a 2015 Harvard Law Review article, “On the Meaning of ‘Natural Born Citizen,” [by] Neal Katyal and Paul Clement (former Solicitors-General in, respectively, the Obama and George W. Bush admininistrations), [in which they] explain that:

British law explicitly used the term “natural born” to describe children born outside the British empire to parents who were subjects of the Crown. Such children were deemed British by birth, “Subjects … to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes whatsoever.” The Constitution’s invocation of “natural born citizen” incorporates this principle of citizenship derived from parentage. That this is the original meaning is obvious from the Naturalization Act of 1790. It was enacted by the first Congress, which included several of the framers, and signed into law by President George Washington, who had presided over the constitutional convention. The Act provided that children born outside the United States to American citizens were “natural born” U.S. citizens at birth, “Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.”

It is likely, given 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause jurisprudence that residency would be applied to either parent, but in the case of Ted Cruz, his father has resided in the United States for many years.

Birthers also mistakenly cite Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to restrict the definition of “natural born” and “citizenship” even though the clause never mention the former and doesn’t purport to restrict the latter:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

There was no question at the time of the ratification of the Constitution nor of any of the amendments that the children of Americans born abroad were also American citizens at birth. What the post-Civil War 14th Amendment sought to make clear was that former slaves born in United States were citizens equal to non-slave citizens.

So maybe Donald Trump would do better to return to the issues of building of a border security wall that would save us so much in money now spent to house, educate and medicate illegal aliens that Mexico would in effect “pay for it” and ending the cheap labor/Chamber of Commerce Free trade absolutism policy? We think so.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

A new city was born after last year’s referendum in the Peach State and it will elect its first mayor and city council this coming March. Since before the War Between the States, the area roughly 15 miles east of Atlanta has been known as Tucker. It was developed by a Scottish entrepreneur who settled there after fighting in the Indian wars in the West.

Now, 200 years later comes an entrepreneur from the West, Kansas to be specific, to Tucker with that same entrepreneurial spirit, who is running for a seat on the first city council for the new City of Tucker, Georgia.

Susan Wood, after starring in high school sports, matriculating at Kansas State University including serving on the Student Senate, and working in the real estate industry in Atlanta, found her way to Tucker during the depths of the post-2008 Housing Bust to manage and later become a partner/owner of the Comeback Bar & Grill. First named Barlows, it took over where even a Taco Mac (the famously successful Atlanta chain) had failed. Flanigans and other Tucker staples failed.

But thanks to Wood’s meticulous attention to product and the needs and wants of her customers and employees, Comeback weathered the economic storms. Now she wants to bring that same frugality and attention to service to the first city government in her adopted home of Tucker, specifically, District 2, Post 2.

Her platform is to first do no harm to the existing business environment in Tucker by raising taxes or other costs of doing business via regulation and fees. Her vision is for Tucker to be the best environment for business in DeKalb County, Atlanta Metro and the state of Georgia.

We think her lack of prior political experience, especially in this political year, should be an asset as she brings a fresh approach from the private sector where she and others struggled to make ends meet while creating jobs. She has succeeded with her conservative approach to business and we think her enthusiasm and history of success could convince voters to elect her to look after their interests in the new city government.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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