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Open Public meetings
 on the  Second and Fourth Tuesdays every month at 6:30pm


Village Inn
900 N Ponce De Leon Ave

St. Augustine, FL

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It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
–Samuel Adams

Town Crier Committee Report

July 21, 2014

Derek Hankerson State Senate Candidate
Opens Putnam County Headquarters

Melrose, Florida — July 21, 2014 Derek Hankerson, Republican State Senate candidate for District 6 announced today the public grand opening of his Western Putnam County operations headquarters.  The headquarters will be open to supporters from Noon – 9:00pm on Friday, July 25th.

The address to the headquarters is 854 North State Road 21, Suite C, Melrose, Florida 32666.  The office is across the street from the Melrose United States Post Office on State Road 21.  Caribbean Food will be available from a food truck by Ram Nandlal and other restaurants are in the area.

Hankerson is the two term serving chairman of the Putnam County Tea Party, and he also served as the Field Representative for Americans for Prosperity (AFP) during the 2012 Presidential Election where he represented all of Putnam, Clay, St. Johns, and Duval County.  He did assist the AFP Representatives in Flagler and Volusia County.

When asked why he was opening a headquarters in rural western Putnam County Hankerson commented “my family is very rural and in fact my parents are from farming families in Tennessee and Florida and so I am not that far removed from rural America.”  He went on to say “I remember where I am from and it is very rural.  More importantly rural folks are kind and genuine and can read you like a book.”

July 20, 2014

SATP attends Local Gun Show                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Saint Augustine Tea Party reported that it  attended the St. Augustine Gun Show. The two day event was held on July 19 and 20th at the St. Augustine National Guard Armory. The Tea Party maintained a booth at the show, so it could engage local residents as to what they think regarding the current political issues. The Tea Party, through its Town Crier Committee, engages visitors in the historic district on a regular basis. [See http://www.examiner.com/review/a-look-at-town-crier-s-history] Large numbers of local residents expressed contempt for the Obama administration, demanding impeachment. They were equally contemptuous with the Congress for failure to take action. Tea Party members on duty report that they frequently heard, “We must take the Senate back in November.” But when questioned further, this did not necessarily translate into Republican victories. In fact, it translated into “We the People” must take the Senate. The progressive leadership of both parties continues to fail to recognize that the Tea Party movement is alive in the people. The people distrust State government and expressed concern about the corruption in local government. When asked about First Amendment attacks by the County Commissioners, they were deeply concerned. The number one issue on their minds, however, is the crisis at the southern border. Time and again, the public demanded that the border be secured. Is anyone in Washington listening?

July 19, 2014

Guest Editorial

It’s Not About Hobby Lobby and Contraception

By Jerry Cameron

The Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court proved to be a flash point for many with a left leaning viewpoint, it was painfully obvious, from letters to the editor and internet comments, there was a much larger issue than whether or not Hobby Lobby’s employees were able to obtain the full range of contraceptives available on the market today under their company benefit plan.

For the most part, the discussion was being held on a very surficial level. The real issue at hand was the fundamental principles of Americanism. What do I mean by “fundamental principles?” I mean the philosophical principles on which the foundations of this nation were laid, the bedrock upon which everything that followed rested. America was the first country to be founded on the idea that individuals, by the act of being created, were entitled to certain basic rights. The operative word here is “basic.” These rights did not come from any government, king, or any other human being. In other words, every human being is created equal in the sense they have the same basic rights, and cannot be legitimately deprived of them (except by forfeit) by any other person or group of persons.

This was not a new concept. For centuries the idea had its roots deeply planted in philosophical and religious discussions arising from “The Great Conversation of Western Civilization.” The immediate antecedent to the American ideal is to be found in the works of the “Enlightenment” by such authors as John Lock, David Hume, and Algernon Sidney. The exploration of “natural rights” and limited government by these great scholars provided the mold in which the very idea of America was cast. The polemic of the Enlightenment was built on the foundations of Greek and Roman philosophers and religious scholars out of the Judo Christian tradition, who are too numerous to mention in the space allotted.

What exactly are these “basic” rights and where are they to be found in our founding documents? Many would say our Constitution, but they would be wrong. While the Constitution provides the framework of our Federal Government and provides protections against tyranny, it does not provide the philosophical principles, which support the foundations of our country. One must go back to the Declaration of Independence to see these sacred rights laid out in plain language.  In the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration this phrase can be found;”- - - are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  That is it in a nutshell, the foundation of America. Let’s take a quick look at what these three enumerated rights represent. A basic right is like a contract against the world, which if you don’t violate its terms, must legitimately be respected by every other person in the world. You cannot legitimately be separated from these rights by any other person or group of people; only you can forfeit them. Your life is your exclusive property.  You may live it and do what is necessary to sustain it, so long as you do not, by force or fraud, interfere with anyone else’s right to do the same. Your liberty is your guarantee of freedom to do as you wish, so long as you do not, by force or fraud, interfere with anyone else’s right to do the same. Your pursuit of happiness is the guarantee of freedom to engage in those activities that add meaning and richness to your existence. This would include, but not be limited to; freedom to engage in religious activity of your choosing, freedom to engage in the vocation or profession of your choice and to reap the benefits of your labor, freedom to engage in the arts and to create, the freedom to speak you mind without fear of reprisal, and the right to acquire and quietly enjoy property, so long as you do so by peaceful means and respect the rights and property of others. Basic rights inherently attach to every individual, not to select groups of individuals. When a man made (read government) right conflicts with a basic right, then the man made right can only be exercised by using government force against another individual or class of individuals. This violates the very concept of basic rights.

These core rights are the essential foundation of all that has come since our founding. And what has been the result? Consider this: When Thomas Jefferson penned those immortal words in the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, we essentially obtained our food, heated and lighted our homes, traveled by land and sea, practiced medicine, and clothed ourselves the same way we had for the preceding 5,000 years. The steam engine had yet to make its appearance, there were no electric lights or motors, the internal combustion engine had not been invented, immunization would be a century away, and antibiotics nearly two centuries. There were no telephones, radios, or televisions, and communications took days, weeks, and sometimes months to reach their destinations. 

In the 238 years since the Declaration of Independence, all of those things have come to pass. We have gone to the moon, have medical miracles extending life and enhancing its quality, we travel at near the speed of sound, there are cell phones and iPods, and we enjoy leisure and quality of life as never imagined in the 18th century. A government designed to insure the liberty of its citizens and to protect their basic rights unleashed a torrent of human creativity! When men and women were free to engage in their own pursuits and to reap the rewards of their hard work and creativity, they produced and exploited the frontiers of science and ingenuity as never before. They weren’t working for a king, a warlord, or a dictator; they were working for themselves! Freedom, individual freedom, catapulted America from an agrarian society to the moon in two centuries, a 5,000 year leap.

In the 18th century we drew the blueprint for a society that would become the marvel of the modern world. In the 20th century we began to chip away at the foundations that marvel. Through convoluted interpretations by our courts, and usurpations of authority not granted to our elected officials, we slowly began to undermine the very principle that made us great. We talked a lot about rights granted to us by our government, but failed to recognize how those “government granted” rights were in contradiction to the basic rights granted by our creator. A famous philosophical scholar once said, “When you encounter a contradiction, check your premise.” Do we resolve these contradictions in favor of rights granted by other men (the government), or do we resolve them in favor of the inherent basic rights granted by our creator? The pages of history are littered with the ruins of societies built on trust in men.

The calamity facing our nation is heightened by the fact that we now have several generations who have not been schooled in the founding principles of our nation. They no longer possess the intellectual tools to recognize when some faddish movement collides with bedrock foundational principles in a way that jeopardizes the very freedom they enjoy. If you are not even aware of a clash in values, how can you be expected to resolve an issue in favor of a time-tested principle?

Enter the Hobby Lobby debate. The US Supreme Court ruled, in a close decision, that Hobby Lobby had a right to refuse to provide their employees certain contraceptives as a benefit under the company’s health insurance policy due to religious conviction. This evoked an outcry from a broad section of society (most of who were not employed by Hobby Lobby) against the company’s policy and the decision. The general flow of the debate was that these female employees had a right to all contraceptives at no cost to themselves. The opposing views were generally of a nature of, did these contraceptives terminate a pregnancy, or should all policies cover contraceptives? Even the Supreme Court did not get to the fundamental issue; they argued on the basis of religious conviction.

This is a case that should easily have been resolved on the basis of fundamental American Principle, “Man is, and of right ought to be free.” If Hobby Lobby or anyone else starts a business and offers products or services to customers, and jobs to employees, they should not be interfered with so long as customers willingly buy their product, and employees willingly accept the jobs on the terms agreed to by both parties; Hobby Lobby should be free to act as it chooses so long as it does not initiate force or fraud against any other party. Potential customers are free to refuse to purchase from anyone who does not conduct their business in the way the potential customer would like. Potential employees are free to refuse to work for anyone who does not provide wages, benefits, and working conditions suitable to them.  Under this scenario everyone’s basic rights are protected. You can express your disapproval of any company’s policies by refusing to work or shop there, but it is not the government’s place to enforce certain segment’s preferences at the expense of another.

In the case in question, Hobby Lobby is still being required to provide health insurance or incur substantial penalties. This cannot be reconciled with basic American foundational principles. Remember, under our founding principles, Hobby Lobby is entitled to pursue happiness (start and operate a business) so long as they do not initiate violence or fraud against anyone else, and leave others to pursue their happiness. When the government that is charged with protecting those rights uses its power to force Hobby Lobby to give to another party that which it does not wish to give, then the government has forfeited its legitimacy. The key point to understand is that if you support government or anyone else using illegitimate force against another party, you have just empowered it to take like actions against you in ways you probably have not thought about. So you see, it is not about Hobby Lobby and contraceptives; it is about the fundamental principles of American freedom.

The well thought out principles of 1776 have made the citizens of this country the most fortunate in the entire world. I fear we are about to trade our birthright for a bowl of porridge.


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