Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Texas Republican Congressman Kevin Brady asked during the IRS hearings last week: "Is this still America?"
Good Question. It is a question we have asked with great frequency for a number of years now.
As much as I despise having to say it, we are witnessing an America in decline today. We can sugar-coat it, we can parse it, we can ignore it, all at our peril.
To fix it, we must face it. And it is a painful thing to look, objectively, at our country today.
For so many of you who have been born and have attained maturity in America since the 1950's, I can understand your wondering what I'm prattling on about.
See, you have never experienced a free America. You have never experienced that "shining city on a hill" as Ronald Reagan so loved to describe America. Reagan knew THAT America. He had experienced that America. Many of America's so-called senior citizens living today also remember that America. I do.
Looking back at the America I was born into before the Second World War -- I grew up in a land with unlimited horizons. It was a "can do" country. It was a land where citizens were not afraid -- nor ashamed -- to love their country and to defend her. It was a land where declaring oneself a patriot did not make one an enemy of the state.
Unlike today's America, my America was a land unafraid -- period.
Why was America unafraid? It was not arrogance. It was, in fact, a solid belief that America was under the protection of God.
Agnostics will no doubt, question this. Atheists will, also no doubt, get a chuckle at my quaint belief in "magic." But it is a "truism." Therefore, it is a fact and stands as such.
From time to time, this old Pharisee is wont to turn his collar around and climb into his scribe's pulpit and sanctimoniously deliver a, uh, sermon.
Fair warning: I'm about to do it again ... only ... this time I will deliver the sermon of someone else. It is a sermon that, I believe, all Americans should hear.
Where did Reagan's "shining city on a hill' reference come from, anyway?
Well we have to go a long way back to before the country was actually founded. John Winthrop is credited with introducing the phrase into the American lexicon in the year 1630.
John Winthrop (12 January 1587/8 – 26 March 1649) was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of migrants from England in 1630, and served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years of existence. His writings and vision of the colony as a Puritan "city upon a hill" dominated New England colonial development, influencing the government and religion of neighboring colonies.
In 1630, Winthrop delivered a sermon entitled: "A Model of Christian Charity." The
It is noted in the same article referenced above that Winthrop's sermon gave rise to the widespread belief in American folklore that the United States of America is God's country because metaphorically it is a Shining City upon a Hill, an early example of American exceptionalism.
Understand that Winthrop drew inspiration for his description of America from the teachings of Jesus Christ. To be specific, Matthew chapter 5, verse 14: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."
Even before Reagan, John F. Kennedy in 1961 (then President-elect), speaking to the General Court of Massachusetts said the following: "...I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arbella three hundred and thirty-one years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. "We must always consider", he said, "that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us". Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us—and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill — constructed and inhabited by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities." SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_upon_a_Hill
So. What DID John Winthrop declare on the windswept decks of the Arbella way back then? As we said above -- every American ought to take the time to read Winthrop's words. They are relatively short but clearly define the mission of the new country.
Here are Winthrop's words as written and delivered by John Winthrop in 1630:
John Winthrop's City upon a Hill, 1630
Now the onely way to avoyde this shipwracke and to provide for our posterity is to followe the Counsell of Micah, to doe Justly, to love mercy, to walke humbly with our God, for this end, wee must be knitt together in this worke as one man, wee must entertaine each other in brotherly Affeccion, wee must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities, for the supply of others necessities, wee must uphold a familiar Commerce together in all meekenes, gentlenes, patience and liberallity, wee must delight in eache other, make others Condicions our owne rejoyce together, mourne together, labour, and suffer together, allwayes haveing before our eyes our Commission and Community in the worke, our Community as members of the same body, soe shall wee keepe the unitie of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as his owne people and will commaund a blessing upon us in all our wayes, soe that wee shall see much more of his wisdome power goodnes and truthe then formerly wee have beene acquainted with, wee shall finde that the God of Israell is among us, when tenn of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when hee shall make us a prayse and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantacions: the lord make it like that of New England: for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us; soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our god in this worke wee have undertaken and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a byword through the world, wee shall open the mouthes of enemies to speake evill of the wayes of god and all professours for Gods sake; wee shall shame the faces of many of gods worthy servants, and cause theire prayers to be turned into Cursses upon us till wee be consumed out of the good land whether wee are going: And to shutt upp this discourse with that exhortacion of Moses that faithfull servant of the Lord in his last farewell to Israell Deut. 30. Beloved there is now sett before us life, and good, deathe and evill in that wee are Commaunded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another to walke in his wayes and to keepe his Commaundements and his Ordinance, and his lawes, and the Articles of our Covenant with him that wee may live and be multiplyed, and that the Lord our God may blesse us in the land whether wee goe to possesse it: But if our heartes shall turne away soe that wee will not obey, but shall be seduced and worshipp other Gods our pleasures, and proffitts, and serve them, it is propounded unto us this day, wee shall surely perishe out of the good Land whether wee passe over this vast Sea to possesse it;
Therefore lett us choose life, that wee, and our Seede, may live; by obeyeing his voyce, and cleaveing to him, for hee is our life, and our prosperity. SOURCE: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/winthrop.htm
Three hundred and eighty-three years ago America was warned that we would become what we have, indeed, become should be disavow our mission, as a nation, and turn away from Divine Providence.
We, as a nation have done that -- and more. And we have only just begun to experience the consequences.
© J. D. Longstreet
Monday, May 20, 2013
Monkey in the Middle
Or How Common Citizens Removed A Corrupt Government From Their County.
The Battle of Athens (sometimes called the McMinn County War) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946. The citizens, including some World War II veterans, accused the local officials of political corruption and voter intimidation.
Here is what happened:
Following World War II in 1946, violence erupted when returning American soldiers discovered their Tennessee county had been taken over by political corruption. Their plan to take it back involved bullets—lots of bullets—and dynamite.
Why Athens in McMinn County, Tennessee became a battleground was due to Paul Cantrell, a Democrat running for sheriff in the 1936 election. He won over his Republican opponent, although the victory was tainted by rumors of fraud. Cantrell was a corrupt sheriff—for example, since state law allowed his office to collect fees for each person booked, jailed, and released, deputies boarded buses passing through the city and arrested passengers on bogus charges of drunkenness, forcing them to pay fines. Prostitution, gambling, and kickbacks from illegal drinking establishments were commonplace.
The tide began to turn in 1945 when GIs returning to Athens were subjected to arrest on the flimsiest excuses and heavily fined. When the fed up soldiers attempted to support their choice for sheriff against Pat Mansfield (by then, Cantrell had been elected to the state Senate and backed Mansfield’s bid), matters boiled over into direct conflict on Election Day 1946.
Mansfield hired several hundred armed “deputies” to patrol the voting precincts in Athens—and no doubt to assist in the typical ballot stuffing and voter intimidation. The volatile situation escalated when Walter Ellis, an ex-GI and volunteer poll watcher, was arrested by Mansfield’s deputies and held without charge. A black resident, Tom Gillespie, was refused the right to vote, beaten, and shot. More GIs were arrested and threatened with violence. By the end of the day, the former soldiers had enough.
They broke into the town armory for weapons and besieged the jail, where Mansfield and his deputies had taken the ballet boxes. Battle continued sporadically throughout the night, resulting in wounded on both sides. When the GIs ran out of bullets around dawn, they began throwing dynamite. The deputies inside the jail surrendered.
The highly publicized Battle of Athens not only ousted corruption from one county in Tennessee, the lesson learned would ultimately lead to great reforms in Southern politics.
This is a part of American history that all elected official should learn and remember. When the government forgets whom they serve and dictates to the American People what to think, do, say, read, and how to vote, it is incumbent upon the citizens of that town, city, county, state or nation to rise up and remove (By force if necessary.) the dictator.
What happened in Athens, Tennessee was the most extreme example of citizen action. The last resort of a desperate people.
In such desperation the American people will do anything to return their rights to them. Something every politician in this nation should remember.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
From ABC News we learn the following: "The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today." SOURCE: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/irs-official-in-charge-during-tea-party-targeting-now-runs-health-care-office/
That bit of news ought to scare you to death!
I find it incomprehensible that anyone, I mean ANYONE, is surprised by the antics at the IRS.
Conservative commentators, conservative groups, conservative political groups have been complaining for years that the IRS was really leaning on them. Now there is irrefutable proof. Heck, the IRS even admitted it!
Now we have the added horror of knowing that this same government agency will be administering our healthcare.
THIS is a NIGHTMARE!
I sincerely hope that all the folks who have joked and made fun of those of us on the right side of the political spectrum as a result of our distrust of big government will finally see exactly what we are afraid of from a strong central government.
All last week, I asked myself this question: If the government is willing to admit THIS overreach, just how deep IS their overreach and what will we find if we continue to dig especially into the depths of the agencies under the direct control of the executive branch of the government. I shudder just thinking about it.
In the same article from ABC News we also learned: "Sen. John Cornyn even introduced a bill, the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate, including the IRS, from enforcing the Affordable Care Act.
“Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans’ health care,” Cornyn, R-Texas, stated. “I do not support Obamacare, and after the events of last week, I cannot support giving the IRS any more responsibility or taxpayer dollars to implement a broken law.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also reacted to the revelation late Thursday, stating the news was “stunning, just stunning.” SOURCE: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/irs-official-in-charge-during-tea-party-targeting-now-runs-health-care-office/
Look. We can thank God that the AP scandal became public at the same time as the IRS scandal. Had it not, I feel certain we would not have the participation of the leftist Mainstream Media in coverage of the IRS mess. They are heart broken and outraged to learn that their messiah, Obama, could do such a thing to them -- especially them -- as they have worked so diligently to whitewash the Obama administration. Their lapdog-like adoration of Obama either blinded them to his feet of clay, or they have deliberately chosen to drop their facade of unbiased reporting of the news and throw their considerable resources toward advancing Obama's Leftist/Progressive/Marxist agenda for America.
The past four and a half years American consumers of news have been subjected to a gusher of leftist propaganda unlike anything the country has ever known.
Now, however, the low-blow by Obama may, and I say that reservedly, MAY have knocked some sense into them. But it will take some time for the MsM to regain the confidence of their consumers ... if ever they do.
The investigations in Congress will continue and will intensify. This is only the beginning. Whether the end result will be the deconstruction of the Obama presidency, or not, remains to be seen. But investigations of this type have a way of snowballing touching off other investigations by other congressional committees until someone -- somewhere -- breaks and spills the beans.
We have warned of the overreach of Obamacare. Many of you are not going to believe just how deep into your personal affairs the government is going to delve under cover of that monstrous law we call Obamacare.
Hopefully, the hearings on the IRS will bring Americans to their senses enough to bring pressure to bear on the Congress to repeal that godawful law.
This is why the election of 2014 is so important. To repeal Obamacare we will need a Senate AND a House of Representatives to even have a CHANCE of repealing Obamacare. And then, to seal the deal, we must win the Oval Office.
So -- please pay attention to these hearings and learn just what the Obama administration thinks of the American electorate.
This is important, dear reader. America is on the cusp of a constitutional crisis. It could be the crisis that brings America down.
It is imperative that Americans reclaim their country -- before it is too late.
© J. D. Longstreet
Saturday, May 18, 2013
This article will be updated as more proposed legislation surfaces. What appears to be clear, however, is that the Democrats are not quite as concerned about IRS overreach as the Republicans seem to be. But then again, when most of your constituents don’t pay income tax, why even bother, right???
Demand Congress Investigate the IRS Scandal!! And keep demanding until the IRS understands who they really work for!
Write to your elected officials every day until they have memorized your name just from their nightmares. Let Your Voice be Heard
Here’s the proposed legislation so far:
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Price, M.D (R-GA) issued the following statement after introducing the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013 (H.R. 2009) – legislation that would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from implementing or enforcing any provisions of the president’s health care law.
According to Dana Loesch on Red State “This is the action we need to see, and need to see quickly. We can’t trust them to regulate tax exemptions without prejudice, so how can we entrust them to do the same with out health care?”
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he is introducing legislation that would prohibit a massive expansion of the Internal Revenue Service at a time when many Americans are calling into question the integrity of what should be a non-partisan, non-political government agency. The Prevent IRS Overreach Act would prohibit the IRS from hiring any personnel for the purpose of implementing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The bill introduction comes on the heels of confirmation that the IRS has purposely targeted applicants for tax-exempt status for having “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names — demanding confidential donor lists and delaying applications in many cases for years.
Legislation introduced by GA Rep. Tom Price would block the IRS from implementing or enforcing any part of the ObamaCare law. ”When it comes to an individual’s personal health care decisions, no American should be required to answer to the IRS — an agency that just forfeited its claim to a reputation of impartiality,” Price told The Hill. “It has always been an untenable and unacceptable scenario, and we ought to take this common sense step to take the IRS out of healthcare.
Separate legislation filed by VA Rep. Randy Forbes would prevent the IRS from hiring the estimated 18,000 new agents it needs to enforce the health care law. ”The IRS would be better to police its own than to police the millions of Americans who believe this healthcare law to be bad for their families and bad for our businesses,” Forbes said. NV Sen. Dean Heller is working on similar legislation in the Senate.
Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) introduced the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013 on Tuesday that would amend Title 18 of the U.S. code, making it a crime for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to discriminate against anyone (individual or group) based on their constitutionally protected rights of political speech and expression. . .
IRS employees are already prohibited from discriminating against individuals and groups based on protected speech, but this bill would increase the penalty IRS employees could receive. If signed into law, employees, would face a fine of up to $5,000, five years in prison.
Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013, a bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that would add criminal penalties for IRS employees who target political organizations, and the Project Against Ideology-Based Targeting Act, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), that would prohibit the IRS from targeting organizations based on ideology.both.
According to this article,
Not surprisingly, many House Republicans are enthusiastically backing Price's bill and the congressman said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, intends to introduce the bill on the Senate side. Democrats are not lining up behind the legislation yet, but Price believes some of them might.