Writer Offers ‘Final Word’ on Obama’s Eligibility to Serve as President of the United States

By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Writer

Paul R. Hollrah

Paul R. Hollrah

In recent days, I have been drawn into yet another debate over presidential eligibility, as specified in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.  Given that Barack Obama has occupied the Oval Office illegally for more than five years without so much as a whimper of protest from most American voters or the mainstream media, some may feel that any further discussion of this matter may be akin to “beating a dead horse.”  Nevertheless, if we insist on referring to ourselves as a constitutional republic, and if we continue to insist that we honor constitutional principles and the rule of law, then we have no choice but to understand precisely what the Founders intended when they drafted our governing document in 1787.

What generated my recent exchange on the subject of presidential eligibility was an article in the January 31, 2014 edition of pegAlert, the newsletter of the Pennsylvania Business Council.  The article in question was titled, “SANTORUM PREPPING FOR ANOTHER RUN IN 2016.”

pegAlert 1-31-14 pg 3

In response, I asked the question, “Who keeps propping up Santorum’s ambitions… other than Rick Santorum?  Unless I’m wrong, his father was still an Italian citizen when he was born.  That makes him ineligible for the presidency.”  To which a representative of the Business Council replied, “That might be so, but Santorum was born in the USA so that makes him a citizen.”

To that nonsensical assertion, I replied, “… If Santorum was born in the U.S., which I assume he was, that does make him a ‘citizen.’  But that’s not what is at issue.  What is at issue is his status as a ‘natural born’ citizen, which he must be if he wants to run for president.  In order for him to be a ‘natural born’ citizen, both of his parents must have been US citizens.  If Santorum’s father was still an Italian citizen when he was born, then he is not a ‘natural born’ citizen…”

The final response from the Pennsylvania Business Council brought us straight to the nub of the issue.  The reply read, “Under (that) definition, none of our initial 6 or 7 presidents, would have qualified.”  Bingo!!  Without even trying, he inadvertently proved my point.

U.S. ConstitutionOnce again, I found myself confronted face-to-face with the harebrained notion that the terms “citizen” and “natural born Citizen” are synonymous… that to be a “citizen” equates to being a “natural born” citizen.  That simply is not true.  One would think that simple intellectual curiosity would lead those who share that mistaken belief to question why the Founders found it necessary to modify the phrase, No person except a natural born Citizen,” with the phrase, “… or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…”

Even the most unthinking and uneducated among us must agree that the use of the word “or” requires an implicit understanding that those who would seek the presidency had to be either “natural born citizens,” or citizens of the United States” on the day that the Constitution became the law of the land.

On the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, every citizen of the 13 original colonies became citizens of a new nation, the United States of America.  And the very first child born to newly-minted U.S. citizens on July 4, 1776, before the ink was dry on John Hancock’s signature, became the nation’s very first “natural born” citizen.

JohnHancock

The Constitution required that, in addition to being a resident of the United States for at least 14 years, those who would seek the presidency must be at least 35 years of age.  There were a great many men who met those two criteria, but the country needed a president and the only “natural born” citizens available on June 21, 1788, the day the Constitution was ratified, were children under 12 years of age.  To solve that problem, the Framers added a grandfather clause, making it possible for newly-minted U.S. citizens, none of them “natural born,” to serve as president.  This was necessary until such time as a body of individuals, born to U.S. citizen parents after the Declaration of Independence, reached age 35.

George Washington, our first president, was born at Wakefield, Va., Feb. 22, 1732, 44 years before the Declaration of Independence.  He was a “citizen,” but not a “natural born” citizen because both of his parents were British subjects at the time of his birth.

John Adams, our second president, was born at Braintree, Mass., Oct. 30, 1735, 41 years before the Declaration of Independence.  He was a “citizen,” because he was born in Massachusetts, but he was not a “natural born” citizen because both of his parents were British subjects at the time of his birth and owed their allegiance to the British crown.

Thomas Jefferson, our third president, was born at Shadwell, Va., April 13, 1743, 33 years before the Declaration of Independence.  He was a “citizen,” because he was born in Virginia, but he was not a “natural born” citizen because both of his parents were British subjects at the time of his birth.

James Madison, our fourth president, born in Virginia March 16, 1751, 25 years before the Declaration of Independence; James Monroe, our fifth president, born in Virginia April 28, 1758, 18 years before the Declaration of Independence; John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, born in Massachusetts July 11, 1767, nine years before the Declaration of Independence; and Andrew Jackson, our seventh president, born in South Carolina March 15, 1767, nine years before the Declaration of Independence; were all “citizens,” because they were born in what came to be the United States of America, but they were not “natural born” citizens because their parents were not US citizens at the time of their birth.

However, Martin Van Buren, our eighth president, was born at Kinderhook, N.Y., Dec. 5, 1782, six years and five months after the Declaration of Independence.  Unlike his seven predecessors, he was not just a “citizen,” he was a “natural born” citizen… the first president, at least 35 years of age, who was born to US citizen parents after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What a great many patriotic, but ill-informed, Americas refuse to accept is the fact that, while the Founders intended that only “natural born” citizens should ever serve as president, there were no 35-year-old “natural born” citizens available during the first 35 years of our nation’s history. Accordingly, it became necessary to provide an exemption of limited duration covering those citizens born prior to July 4, 1776.  All were “grandfathered” and made eligible under the phrase, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…”

This web archive image of an article published in the June 27, 2004, edition of the Sunday Standard, Kenya’s oldest newspaper includes the headline, Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate.

This web archive image shows an article published in the June 27, 2004, edition of the Sunday Standard, Kenya’s oldest newspaper.

Every U.S. president since Van Buren… with the exception of Chester A. Arthur, whose Irish father was a British subject at the time of his birth, and Barack Obama, whose Kenyan father was also a British subject at the time of his birth… has been a “natural born” U.S. citizen, as required by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

Barack Obama was born with dual U.S.-British citizenship “by descent” from his Kenyan father and his American mother.  However, under Chapter VI, Sec. 97(1) of the Kenyan Constitution of Dec. 12, 1963, Kenyan Independence Day, Obama lost his British citizenship on Aug. 4, 1984, his 23rd birthday.  However, his eligibility status is now complicated by the fact that, under Chapter 3, Section 14 of a revised Kenyan Constitution, adopted on Aug. 4, 2010, he became a citizen of Kenya “by birth” and is required to obey the laws of Kenya, should he ever set foot in that country during or after his stay in the White House.

The Framers found it inconceivable that a president of the United States, commander in chief of the Army and the Navy, should ever be required to obey the laws of a foreign nation.  Barack Obama provides, if nothing else, a definitive example of why the Founders insisted that the president must be a “natural born” citizen, untainted by any hint of foreign allegiances.

Doctored Certificate of Live Birth?Although Democrats have successfully defended Obama’s illegal presidency, based largely on the fact that he is a black man, insulated from the rule of law by the color of his skin, we must insist that constitutional mandates apply equally to presidents of both parties, Democrats and Republicans.  This means, of course, that conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Gov. Nicki Haley (R-SC), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)… all born to one or more non-U.S. citizen parents… are not natural born citizens and must be eliminated from consideration for the 2016 GOP nomination.

In the days of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, a man of Barack Obama’s background and qualifications would have received zero consideration for the presidency.  Without question, he would have been declared ineligible.  Yet, in spite of the fact that the Constitutional criteria for the presidency have not changed one iota since 1787, millions of Americans today insist that he is eligible for the office.  By what tortured reasoning, what conceivable standard, they won’t say.

Liberals and Democrats being what they are, we can always count on them to expect to have things both ways.  But conservatives and Republicans believe in constitutional principles and the rule of law, and we simply cannot allow the bandwagon-riders in our party to circumvent the Constitution.  So, sorry, Ted, Nicki, Bobby, Marco, and Rick… we love you all and you’re a great credit to our country, but you just can’t play in our presidential sandbox.

Paul R. Hollrah is a two-time member of the Electoral College and a contributing editor for the National Writers Syndicate and the New Media JournalHis blog is found at OrderOfEphors.comHe resides in the lakes region of northeast Oklahoma.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Though Hollrah did not mention Mitt Romney in the piece above, he has raised questions about Romney’s eligibility.  And he’s discussed other hot-button topics, including Obama’s true identity.  To read more of his columns, click here.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

SANDY HOOK: Report Not Expected to be Objective

Officials at the Danbury (Conn.) State’s Attorney’s office are set to release a summary of their official investigation report about the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, according to a local source.  Will the report be accurate, objective and thorough?  I hope so, but expect it will not.

Remington Model 1148 .410 ShotgunExpected to contain thousands of pages, according to another source, the report will likely be constructed so as to serve as a clarion call for more-strict gun control measures.

At the same time, it will probably ignore the fact that Adam Lanza, the person responsible for the deaths of 26 people plus himself, had serious mental health issues and was not a legal owner or firearms.

Perhaps most damning, I expect the report will not include the release of audio recordings of 911 calls made on the day of the shootings.  As a result, conspiracy theories will continue to flourish.

Again, I certainly hope things turn out differently, but won’t be surprised if my predictions prove accurate.  After all, Connecticut state officials are, no doubt, under pressure from Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff to produce a report that aligns with the Obama Administration‘s anti-gun agenda.  And flawed reports are nothing new to this Administration.

They’ve withheld information and/or whitewashed details related to the attack on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, the gun-running scandal known as “Fast and Furious” and the Oklahoma City Bombing, to name a few.  [FYI:  May 5, 2014, has been set as the date for another Oklahoma City Bombing trial that will take place in Salt Lake City and, if justice prevails, forces the FBI to release copies of videotapes, the contents of which could further erode Americans' trust in their government.]

Stay tuned to see how this develops.

UPDATE 11/25/2013 at 4:28 pm. Central:  The investigation report was released, but featured only 48 pages.  As many predicted, however, audio from the 911 calls is remaining sealed for now.

UPDATE 11/25/2013 at 10:50 a.m. Central:  Published today, a Washington Times headline seems to confirm my suspicions:  Sandy Hook investigators under fire for keeping some findings secret.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article has been updated and will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Barack Obama’s Issues Are America’s Issues

Because Americans need to know more about the many scandals to which President Barack Obama and members of his administration are connected, I decided to share this slightly-modified version of a believable conversation that’s been floating around the web.  Please read and share!

Barack Obama Caricature by Political GraffitiBob: “Hey Jim, did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?”
Jim: “You Mean the Mexican gun running?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama saying ObamaCare would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing business owners to violate their religious beliefs by making them pay for drugs that abort the unborn?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Violating the rights and sanctity of our churches?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Spending $634 million on the ObamaCare website that doesn’t work?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama calling for an increase in the debt ceiling after he lambasted President Bush for the very same thing?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama having NSA spy on 124 billion phone calls in one month?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Saddling our kids with $17 trillion in debt which they can never get out of?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Bailing out Detroit after decades of corrupt Democratic management?”

Justice for ChristopherBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the State Department lying about Benghazi?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean voter fraud?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Intentionally trying to hurt Americans during the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Blocking veterans who secured our freedoms from their monuments but giving the ‘green light’ for illegals to use National Mall?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying school kids the ability to tour the White House but still spending lavishly on his parties?”

"Healthscare" by Political GraffitiBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama saying we can keep our doctors and insurance if we want to?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring foreign diplomats?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the use of drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving A123 Systems $300 million right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”

Bob: “No the other one.”
Jim: “The IRS targeting conservatives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The DOJ spying on the press?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama spending $3.7 trillion on welfare during the past five years?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving Solyndra $500 million dollars three months before they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought the company?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Millions of Americans losing their health care coverage?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing Americans to include coverage in their insurance policies of items they do not want?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying Arizona the right to protect its borders?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Providing weapons to Syrian rebels, many of whom apparently are al-Queda”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The President using nearly $1 trillion dollars of stimulus money to fund his cronies?”

Judge Fast and Furious Holder 9-30-13Bob: “No, the other one”
Jim: “You mean ‘Fast & Furious?’”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?”

Bob: “THAT’S THE ONE!”

Hat tip:  2 Million Bikers to DC on Facebook

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Barack Obama Advocates ‘Mob Rule’ During Statement on Syria

“Disappointed” doesn’t begin to describe my feelings about statements President Barack Obama made Saturday afternoon during a session with reporters.  My disappointment has nothing to do with his stance on Syria; instead, it has everything to do with him describing the United States as a “democracy” — a concept Thomas Jefferson equated to “mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49″ — instead of a “republic.”

Four times, as shown in the video (above) of the session in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama used the wrong word to describe the Constitutional framework upon which our nation was founded:

“I’m also mindful that I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.” (2:47)

“I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” (2:51)

“This morning, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our Democracy.” (4:53)

“Our democracy is stronger when the president and the people’s representatives stand together.” (9:38)

Why did he do it?  I think it’s wishful thinking to believe he never learned the differences between the two, outlined in another video (below).  More likely, he used the wrong word, because it lines up with his political ideology as a Democrat who believes heartily in the concept of mob rule.

Sadly, none of the mainstream news media outlets — including, most recently, NBC News, USA TODAY and The New York Times — ever call out the democrats on this particular leaning. You, however, can call them out!

Please share this post with your fellow Americans — especially Democrats — so that all might understand the critical differences between a democracy and a republic like the one mentioned in the pledge of allegiance:

I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Thanks in advance!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Retired Navy SEAL Fears Loss of Liberty, Subjugation to Socialists

On May 13, a “Final Rule” on “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies,” according to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, took effect.  I became aware of it today after a retired U.S. Navy SEAL friend sent me a note containing this link to a Government Printing Office web page on which the rule was published online April 12.  His note appears below:

Fed Register Entry 4-12-13“I had to contact my lawyer to translate this,” he wrote, “but in a nutshell, our liberty is shrinking faster than most folks think and this regime is setting itself up to subjugate us all…  Please read and forward to anyone who you think gives a shit about losing this country to socialists.”

Anytime someone like this, a guy who’s “been there and done that,” uses this kind of pointed language to describe something he finds troubling, I tend to pay attention and take his advice.

The main portions of the published language of this Final Rule appear below, modified only slightly in format and accompanied by the language of two published comments as well as DoD’s responses to those comments:

Executive Summary

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

a. The purpose of this rule is to implement the statutory requirements for the Department of Defense support of civilian law enforcement agencies. This rule provides specific policy direction and assigns responsibilities to Department of Defense key individuals providing support to Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies, including response to civil disturbances within the United States, including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any territory or possession of the United States or any other political subdivision thereof.

b. The legal authority for this rule is 10 U.S.C. 375, “Restriction on participation by Military Personnel.”

II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Rule

a. Support in Accordance With the Posse Comitatus Act — The primary restriction on DoD participation in civilian law enforcement activities is the Posse Comitatus Act. It provides that whoever willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute U.S. laws, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, shall be fined under title 18, U.S.C., or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Section 182.6 (a) describes in detail the assistance that the Department of Defense may and may not provide civilian law enforcement agencies.

b. Support During Civil Disturbances — The President is authorized by the Constitution and laws of the United States to employ the Armed Forces of the United States to suppress insurrections, rebellions, and domestic violence under various conditions and circumstances. Planning and preparedness by the Federal Government, including the Department of Defense, for civil disturbances is important due to the potential severity of the consequences of such events for the Nation and the population. The employment of Federal military forces to control civil disturbances shall only occur in a specified civil jurisdiction under specific circumstances as authorized by the President, normally through issuance of an Executive order or other Presidential directive authorizing and directing the Secretary of Defense to provide for the restoration of law and order in a specific State or locality.

III. Costs and Benefits

This rule does not have a significant effect on the economy.  However, the Department of Defense may provide support to civilian law enforcement entities on either a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis depending on the authority under which the support is provided. The benefit to the elements of the Department of Defense providing such support may include a benefit that is substantially equivalent to that derived from military operations or training. Additionally, the recipient civilian law enforcement agencies benefit from the Department of Defense’s substantial capabilities when those capabilities are not needed for Department of Defense missions.

Public Comments

On Tuesday, December 28, 2010, the Department of Defense published a proposed rule (75 FR 81547) requesting public comment. Two comments were received. Below are the comments and responses.

Comment #1. Comment on Proposed Rule: 32 CFR Part 182 DOD-2009-OS-0038. The definition given in Sec.  182.3 of “civil disturbance” is overly broad and encompasses any number of situations that the Legislature and DOD entities might not have in mind at the time of drafting this rule. It is my recommendation that specific reference be made to DOD Directive 3025.12 within Sec.  182.3 to allay any possible misreading of 32 CFR part 182. If Posse Comitatus is going to be suspended in times other than those specifically authorized by the Constitution, Congress must act to make the language clear and unambiguous. In addition, the definition of “Emergency Authority” in Sec. 182.3 and DOD 3025.12 is unclear. In what sort of a civil emergency can prior Presidential authorization be “impossible” to obtain. These two definitions read together give an extraordinary degree of latitude to DOD entities within the borders of the United States. Finally, I question whether a rule is the appropriate venue for an expansion of this nature. Perhaps this is a task best left to congress for full public scrutiny and debate. Should this really be a task left to the DOD to make a rule essentially gutting 10 U.S.C.A. 331-4? Despite the fact that this rule has received certification by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), I seriously question whether there are not significant implications for its enactment under Executive Order 13132 (Federalism). If it is left to the DOD to determine when force is necessary, absent a Presidential order and absent the cooperation of local authorities, Posse Comitatus is for all intents and purposes at an end.

DoD Response: No action required. This instruction cancels DoD Directive 3025.12. “Civil disturbance” is an approved definition in the DoD Dictionary and makes no reference to the Posse Comitatus Act being “suspended.” Also this rule does not make reference to the suspension of Posse Comitatus Act. It lists those actions that are permissible and restricted under the Act. The author also recommends that Congress, rather than DoD, make the language “clear and unambiguous.”

Comment #2. The Posse Comitatus Act, 18 U.S.C. 1385, clearly applies to National Guard troops which have been federalized and are deployed under Title 10 authority within the United States. However, the courts have not definitively ruled on whether the Act applies to troops deployed under Title 32, and generally it is assumed that the act does not apply under those circumstances. If Sec.  182.4(b) of this rule is meant to clearly state that the National Guard is, in fact, to act in compliance with the restrictions of the Posse Comitatus Act while in support of civilian law enforcement officials while deployed under Title 32 authority as well as Title 10, then this is a welcome clarification of DoD policy.

DoD Response:  No action required. National Guard forces operating under Title 32 are under State control, and the Posse Comitatus Act would not apply. State law governs what actions State officials and State National Guard forces may take.

Do you think it’s worth sharing?  I’d love to know.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Americans Must Improvise, Adapt and Overcome to Defeat Obama

By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Writer

In almost every field of endeavor, we find those who display an indomitable spirit laboring side by side with those who are only too anxious to throw in the towel when the going gets tough or when the odds appear too long.

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

As a case in point, I remember being summoned to the Chicago home of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld July 7, 1986.  Those in attendance, some 21 individuals, included political operatives from all regions of the country, as well as corporate executives and former top government officials.  We were there to help the former defense secretary think through the question of whether it was still possible to defeat George H.W. Bush for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination… in spite of the fact that Bush already had a large and experienced campaign organization in place, left over from his 1980 campaign against Ronald Reagan, and in spite of the fact that he had served as Reagan’s vice president for five and one-half years and had staffed every agency of the federal government with loyal campaign aides.

And, although we all came from widely varying backgrounds, with but one or two exceptions we all shared one thing in common: we were all military veterans.  The consensus we reached was that, in spite of the odds against us, we could still defeat George H.W. Bush and Sen. Bob Dole for the 1988 GOP nomination.  There was no trepidation.  We were confident that, if we followed the advice of the U.S. Marines… improvise, adapt, overcome… we could be successful.

A week after that initial meeting, I went to work full time on the campaign as principal deputy to the campaign manager, and in the days and weeks that followed I saw some of the most notable and accomplished men and women in the country drop whatever they were doing to devote themselves to our cause.  And, in spite of the fact that some were people that George H. W. Bush was counting upon to take responsibility for major portions of his campaign, no one asked for a guarantee that we would ultimately be successful in our quest.

When I was the last to leave the campaign in August 1987, I sent a letter to the Rumsfelds in which I attempted to put into words exactly what it was that had made so many men and women of accomplishment drop whatever else they were doing to enlist in our “dark horse” campaign for the presidency, a campaign that was not even a “blip” in the presidential preference polls.

Describing the Rumsfeld campaign as a three-legged stool, I used Barbara Tuschman’s definition of the word “quality” as the first leg of the stool.  She said it is “… achieving or reaching for the highest standard as against being satisfied with the sloppy or fraudulent.  It is honesty of purpose as against catering to cheap or sensational sentiment.  It does not allow compromise with the second rate.”

As the second leg of the stool, I quoted Sidney Hook’s proposition to William F. Buckley regarding the essence of true leadership.  As Hook described it, the essence of true leader ship is “great intelligence… in combination with great moral courage.”

And finally, and most importantly, as the third leg of the stool, I quoted the guiding philosophy of Edwin Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera, who advised, “Don’t do anything that someone else can do.  Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.  If it is manifestly important, then you don’t have to worry about its significance.  Since it’s nearly impossible, you know that no one else is likely to be doing it.”

That is precisely what we in the Rumsfeld organization were trying to do, and although we were not able to elect a “dark horse” candidate as president of the United States, in spite of the fact that he was arguably the best qualified and best prepared candidate ever to seek the presidency in all of American history, it was not for the lack of trying; we simply ran out of time and money.  However, the experience contributed much to my understanding of the people who are the “movers and shakers” of the world.  It was then I began to understand that those who have served in the military, both men and women, have an extra dimension to them that non-veterans simply do not have.

That difference in “dimension,” although I have never before been able to put it into words, has never been more evident than in the attitude of many pundits and commentators who consider the question of what impact a series of major scandals will have on Barack Obama and his ability to lead the nation.

Doctored Certificate of Live Birth?At this very instant, we have a man sitting in the Oval Office who has no right to be there.  It is indisputable that he was born with dual US-British citizenship and that he is currently, by reason of his own claim of parentage, a citizen of Kenya “by birth.”  It is entirely possible that he holds Indonesian citizenship, as well, and is not even an American citizen.  Beyond that, the document he has presented as his long-form birth certificate is, in fact, a rather poorly-crafted forgery; his draft registration card was created for him in 2008, at age 47, after he launched a campaign for the presidency; he currently uses a stolen Social Security number that was originally issued to a man named Harrison J. Bounel in 1940; and a simple Social Security Administration E-verify test, using Obama’s name and Social Security number, produces a “no match” response.

And now, having usurped the most powerful political office on Earth through the most audacious political crime in recorded history, this man finds himself embroiled in a multiplicity of scandals that would have landed any other chief executive, not only out on the street, but in prison.

Nevertheless, respected commentators such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and others, none of them military veterans, throw up their hands in surrender, declaring that the full weight of crimes in the Obama Administration will never find their way to his doorstep.

They reason that the number and seriousness of his crimes are of little importance because the mainstream media will throw a blanket of protection over him such that he will not be blamed for any of the crimes committed in his name.  They argue that fighting to blame Obama is a waste of time and energy.

On the other hand, an even larger number of political pundits and commentators, all military veterans, are of a far different opinion.  Those of us in the “never say die” category understand that, in order to defeat a sitting president, no matter how powerful the phalanx of apologists around him, we must follow the advice of the U.S. Marines: we must improvise, adapt, and overcome.

Twenty-six years ago we were unsuccessful in our attempt to elect a supremely-qualified man to the presidency.  Now, in 2013, we find ourselves up against a man who is not only ineligible for the office he holds, but who is profoundly ill-equipped for any sort of leadership role.

It would be helpful to have the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world with us, using their substantial influence to support our effort, but if need be we will march on without them and we will be victorious.  As believers in Constitutional principles and the rule of law, we are superior to Barack Obama.  We will improvise as necessary, we will adapt to whatever roadblocks he throws in our path, and we will overcome.  The house of cards is beginning to fall.  Don’t bet against us.

Paul R. Hollrah is a contributing editor for the National Writers Syndicate and the New Media JournalHis blog is found at OrderOfEphors.comHe resides in the lakes region of northeast Oklahoma.  Click here to read more of Paul’s columns.

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Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Missouri Appeals Court Rules Against Floating Horse Teeth

Almost 18 months ago, I shared the news:   Floating Horse Teeth Goes on Trial in Missouri.  Admittedly one of the strangest headlines I’ve ever written, the story had to do with Brooke Gray’s desire to continue practicing her profession of caring for horse teeth (i.e., “floating horse teeth”) in the state of Missouri.  Yesterday, I learned from the folks at the Freedom Center of Missouri that Gray appears to have lost her right to practice her profession in the Show-Me State.

In early January 2012, the Clinton County Circuit Court in Plattsburg, Mo., ruled that it can and will enforce a state law that forbids any non-veterinarian to accept payment for providing basic animal husbandry services.  The judgment allowed Gray, a young woman with eight years’ training and experience at removing sharp enamel points from horses’ teeth, to continue assisting Missouri’s animal owners—but if she gets paid for her efforts, she will be fined and possibly sent to jail.  The Freedom Center of Missouri, which represents Gray, had argued that the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions protect a citizen’s right to earn a living providing basic animal husbandry services.

Now, fast forward to present.  According to the Center‘s Dave Roland, the Missouri’s Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the state can make it a criminal offense for non-veterinarians to provide basic animal husbandry services to Missouri’s livestock owners.

Noting that the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board had threatened criminal prosecution against a wide range of animal husbandry workers, including those engaged in such common, basic tasks as castrating or dehorning cattle, Roland explained, the court ruled the government may impose criminal penalties if these non-veterinarian workers are paid for their labor, despite long-recognized constitutional rights to earn a living in a common occupation and to enjoy the gains of one’s industry.

The decision came despite the fact that non-veterinarians have performed this task for hundreds of years in order to improve horses’ comfort and ability to perform for their owners.

“The court’s ruling effectively strips the right to enjoy the gains of your own industry clean out of the Missouri Constitution,” Roland said.  “What good is a constitutional right if the government can simply declare that it no longer applies?”

Gray was baffled by the court’s decision.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” she said.  “I’m helping horses and horse owners, not hurting them.  The court seemed to confirm that literally anyone is lawfully permitted to do this kind of work and that it is the sort of ‘industry’ addressed in the Missouri Constitution.  So why is it a criminal offense if a grateful horse owner pays me for doing that work?  It just doesn’t make sense.”

The appellate opinion also stated that while the work itself might be legal, it would be illegal for Gray to tell anyone else about her skills – despite the fact that this issue was not raised as part of the appeal.  The trial court had concluded that the government was not seeking to prevent Gray from sharing any information about her knowledge and ability, and the trial court expressly declined to include any such prohibition in its injunction.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the government has no power to prevent citizens from sharing truthful information,” Roland explained.  “Brooke is very good at what she does and she has every right to tell other people about it, especially when the work that she’s talking about is perfectly legal.”

The Freedom Center of Missouri intends to seek further judicial review of Gray’s case.

“Missouri is home to thousands of workers who have for decades safely and affordably helped farmers and ranchers manage their livestock,” Roland said.  “Their services are essential to this state’s animal agriculture industry and both our state and federal constitutions guarantee these folks the right to get paid for their work.  We’re going to keep fighting to make sure that those constitutional guarantees have real meaning.”

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Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.