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J. ROSS MACBETH ATTORNEY AT LAW LAKEVIEW PROFESSIONAL Bldg. 2543 U.S. Highway 27 South . Sebring, Florida 33870-2125 Bus: (863) 385-7600 . Fax: (863) 385-7911 ross@macbethlaw.com

Christmas Greetings from the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee

December 25th, 2016


From the Daily Signal – Christmas With the Presidents

December 21st, 2016

The first White House Christmas Tree was erected under President Benjamin Harrison in 1889. (Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP/Polaris/Newscom)

Christmas is a time of celebration and coming together, of letting go of old—and not so old—hurts and looking forward to a new day and a new year.

It is a time to remember the ancient proverb, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” And this year, it is a prime opportunity to give thanks for a “tree of candles”—the White House Christmas Tree—and what it has meant to Americans through the years.

George Washington set the standard in most things as our first president, but he was not the first chief executive to celebrate Christmas in the White House for a simple reason: Construction of the White House was not finished until after he left office in March 1797. Nevertheless, he and Mrs. Washington entertained family, friends, and colleagues at Christmas time during the eight seasons he was our president.

Washington’s most unusual Christmas came in December 1776, when he was the commander-in-chief of the continental army and not yet president. In the dead of night and with a heavy snow falling, he crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Day with a small force and marched on Trenton, New Jersey, where he surprised and captured some 1,000 Hessian troops and commandeered badly needed supplies. The surprise attack at Trenton was a turning point of the war and let the British know that the Americans had just begun to fight.

Succeeding presidents were able to celebrate Christmas in a less militant manner. President John Adams and Mrs. Abigail Adams held the first White House Christmas party in December 1800, inviting the children of official Washington to a party for their four-year-old granddaughter, Suzannah.  Ever the populist, President Andrew Jackson, hosted an elaborate “frolic” in 1834 for the children of his household, complete with games, dancing, a multi-course dinner, and an indoor snowball fight with cotton balls.

President Benjamin Harrison erected the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1889, while President Grover Cleveland added electric lights five years later. Reflecting his ebullient personality, President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 hosted a “carnival” for 500 children, which included dinner, dancing, entertainment, souvenirs, and an ice cream dessert in the shape of Santa Claus.

President Calvin Coolidge was the first chief executive in 1923 to preside over the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse behind the White House. In the 1927 ceremony, Coolidge—a more eloquent president than he is generally given credit for—remarked that Christmas was not a time or a season but “a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Sometimes that spirit has been sorely tested. In 1944 when Allied forces were engaged in a two-front war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that “the Christmas spirit lives tonight in the bitter cold of the front lines in Europe and in the heat of the jungles and swamps of Burma and the Pacific islands. Even the roar of our bomber fighters in the air and the guns of our ships at sea will not drown out the messages of Christmas which come to the hearts of our fighting men.”

In December 1962, barely a month after the Cuban missile crisis and the possibility of a nuclear conflict had been peacefully resolved, President John F. Kennedy spoke of a “perilous” year in which reason had finally prevailed. “As a result,” he said, “we may talk at this Christmas, just a little bit more confidently of peace on earth, good will to men.”

In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the custom of selecting a theme for the White House Christmas Tree by decorating with a Nutcracker motif. In 2008, First Lady Laura Bush chose “A Red, White and Blue Christmas” while First Lady Michelle Obama announced in 2010 a White House Christmas theme of “Simple Gifts,” explaining that “the greatest blessings are the ones that don’t cost a thing: the time that we spend with our loved ones, the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and the joy we feel from reaching out to those in need.”

We turn for a last word to President Ronald Reagan, who said in 1981 that “Christmas means so much because of one special child. But Christmas reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy.” Echoing Coolidge, Reagan said that Christmas was “a state of mind… found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate.”

With a little catch in his voice, the president ended his Christmas message from the Oval Office by quoting Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol”: “God bless us, every one.”


Happy Chanuk – Monday December 26, 2016 – Rotary Park behind Sebring Library – 5:30 – 6:30 PM

December 12th, 2016


Highlands Republican December Meeting Highlights

December 10th, 2016


What a great way to end an incredible year!  Our Highlands County Republican Party had a tremendous victory celebration in November to celebrate the Trump/Pence and Marco Rubio wins and the Highlands County Republican candidates clean-sweep victories. Our December meeting featured an excellent speech by our dynamic and charismatic RPOF Regional and Faith Director Nilsa Alvarez. Nilsa played a key role in helping to achieve the Trump/Pence win.  She had a remarkable success record in voter registration and in the get-out-the-vote efforts to help the Trump/Pence team win Florida.  Nilsa provided a summary of her background of achievements in many areas and gave considerable credit to her mentor Lourdes Aguirre who she described as a Cuban-American Trump who cannot tolerate injustice!  (See Nilsa’s outstanding record in her bio: nilsa-alvarez-biography-copy)

Nilsa remarked that “we were inches away from globalism!”    Other comments included “the Iran Nuclear deal is financing the persecution of missionaries in the mid-east” and the statistic “that 81% of evangelicals voted for the Trump/Pence ticket.”

In response to a question as to how we could reach more young people, Nilsa said “have a night with the family to watch Hillary’s America!” In response to another question, “You send your kids to college and they come back socialists.”  We need more conservatives involved in education. Follow-up comments included mentioning that “former Florida Congressman Albert Herlong, Jr. read into the Congressional Record back in 1963 a detailed account of Communist goals and discussed how many goals were already being accomplished in the United States.”  ilsa received a standing ovation from appreciative REC members and guests.


Additional highlights of the December meeting included election of officers for the next two years.  Kathy Rapp was re-elected Chairman,  Susan Beder was elected as Vice Chairman replacing Virgil Beato who did not seek re-election, Penny Kocarek was re-elected as Treasurer, and Kathy Hill was elected as Secretary replacing Ida Jackson who also did not seek re-election.


Sally Claire, who was unopposed for the position of State Committeewoman for Highlands County in the recent election, officially started her four year term of office December 1st. Sally replaced Joan Hartt who had provided very faithful and dedicated service to Highlands County Republicans and the Republican Party of Florida for nearly 20 years. Joan retired and did not seek re-election.




State Committeeman Earl Claire provided congratulations to each of the new and newly re-elected officers and sincere thanks to those who had faithfully served and did not seek re-election!  “Your service was appreciated and you will be missed!”  SCM Vision and goals looking forward included the following:

  1. Voter registration – Further increasing our Republican voter majority in Highlands and assisting efforts to flip Florida to majority Republican.
  2. HCREC Membership – We have multiple unfilled positions for Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen in Highlands County
  3. Committee memberships – We need working committees with sufficient numbers of active members.  Grass-roots involvement wins elections and we need to start now to rebuild and to prepare to help win the Governor and US Senate races in 2018 and all our local Highlands County races.
  4. The next generation – Recruitment and training of young Republicans

Chairman Kathy Rapp announced that because of the schedule for the RPOF Annual Meeting January 12-14, 2017 in Orlando, our Highlands County Republican Monthly Meeting would be moved from January 12th to Monday January 16th, Martin Luther King Day. All REC members are encouraged to consider attending the RPOF Annual Meeting to be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. To book your hotel room, please go to the following link: https://bookings.ihotelier.com/Rosen-Centre/bookings.jsp?themeId=19340&groupID=1683160&hotelID=2018 or call 800-204-7234 and ask for the RPOF group rate.  Rooms are $139+tax a night.   The group rate is only available until December 13th.

Reminder – Highlands County Republican monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 PM at Sebring Elks Lodge – Guest speaker Nilsa Alvarez

December 8th, 2016

Make plans now to attend tonight!  Guests are always welcome!  (Optional dinner with service from 5-6:30 PM precedes the meeting)

Following our guest speaker, we will have our very important organizational meeting with the election of officers for the coming two years.


Biography – Nilsa Alvarez

Born in Orlando, Florida on September 5th, 1984, Nilsa Alvarez was raised in a Christian household with her family from Puerto Rico. At an early age, she was proactive in evangelism, youth leadership, ministry training, worship leading, and missions to over 7 countries. At the age of 17, she became the producer and radio host of “Genex”, the first Hispanic Christian Youth Radio Show in South Florida on La Nueva 88.3 FM. She then married Pastor Gerardo Alvarez at 19 and entered the full-time ministry work in both Worship & the Young Adults’ Network of “Comunidad Cristiana Pembroke Pines” and became a licensed minister with ICCM in November of 2007 and continues to serve as such to this day.

As songwriters, Gerardo & Nilsa, who wrote for their congregation, as well as for other local Christian artists, finally launched their own worship album “Todo a Cristo” and “All For King Jesus” (in English) in October of 2012 which is currently streaming in 45 countries. Nilsa is also a volunteer coordinator for Premier Productions every time they come down to South Florida with events such as: Winter Jam, Hillsong Tours, & the Extreme Worship Conferences. While serving the Miami area, she was moved to expand what is called the “Backpack Program” so that children facing hunger over the weekend in South Florida can receive meals and be served by local organizations adopting Title One Schools in their area. This movement is now an organization called My City Alive in which Nilsa is presently the General Manager and Board Member working towards getting this program running in Broward County. She has recently become the Advisory Board member of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition – Youth (HILC Youth) and has united Christian youth from several churches in alliance with Jewish Youth to stand united against antisemitism on college campus. Nilsa has been a guest conference speaker for several Women’s Conferences, Youth Conferences, and recently at the Int’l Summit for Israel with key Ambassadors from Israel, all the leaders of the Jewish Federations in Florida, and Congressmen from both aisles.

In September of 2015, Nilsa came on board as Regional & Faith Director for the Republican Party of Florida in preparation for the Presidential, Senate, & local races for the 2016 Elections. Putting almost everything in ministry and business on hold for a year and 3 months, she set out with politically active pastors of the SFMA as their spokesperson for the #StandWithGod Movement that engaged over 100 churches across the State in voter registration drives, registering 1,700 people within her first 7 months. Her team trained over 300 volunteers and she was the first staffer in the RPOF to assist churches in creating political actions that engaged in canvassing, door-knocking, and voter contact for Republicans down the ballot. The faith team, as they were called by the RNC, hit 107,046 doors in Broward & Miami-Dade County; and had the highest party conversion rate in the nation; switching non-partisan members and Democrats to Republican at doors and events. #StandWithGod went national through her team’s alliance with unitedcry.org & GCM; engaging 13 churches in other battle ground states in voter registration drives right before the registration deadline. Her national alliance team went on to sending “voice drops” to over 200,000 pastors nationwide encouraging them to join the movement and later on to vote with their churches in order to protect the White House, Senate, & Supreme Court. Towards the last 2 months of the Presidential Campaign Trail, Nilsa was assigned to run the RNC Headquarters in Hialeah, FL along with the local Trump Campaign & volunteer team. Their office engaged and impacted the community in such a way that President Elect Donald Trump sent “America’s Mayor”, Rudy Giuliani to thank her office team and encourage volunteers. Congressman Connie Mac also paid a visit along with media from France, Sweden, and Japan, among others to catch a glimpse of the enthusiasm. She now continues to serve the party as liaison to RECs in 8 different counties and continues to serve the different pastors’ associations & networks she had previously worked with throughout the campaign.

Additional background info on Nilsa Alvarez:




From The Daily Signal – The Seventh of December

December 7th, 2016

The Seventh of December

The battleship USS Arizona sinks after being hit by a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Photo: Handout/Reuters/Newscom)

The following is an excerpt from historian Craig Shirley’s best-selling book “December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World.” Shirley chronicled the events of the infamous day when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and plunged the United States into World War II. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the attack.

Sunday in America was a day for relaxing, whether you followed the fourth commandment or not. It was a day for church, for fam­ily meals, for reading the newspapers, listening to the radio, going for long walks, for afternoon naps, for working in the yard, and visiting with neighbors.

Sunday, Dec. 7, was different. Ten days earlier, on Nov. 27, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. George C. Marshall authored a two-page memo stamped for their commander in chief “Secret.”

It read: “Subject: Far Eastern Situation.” “If the current negotiations end without agreement,” they wrote, “Japan may attack: the Burma Road; Thailand; Malaya; the Netherlands East Indies; the Philippines; the Russian Maritime Provinces.” Significantly, no mention was made by Stark or Marshall of any other American military installation in the Pacific region, including Hawaii.

 An extraordinary Sunday meeting was requested by the Japanese Embassy in Washington with Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The meeting was set for 1 p.m. (EST). It would be 7:30 a.m. in Honolulu.

Tokyo had already reassigned some of its Washington envoys back to Japan. Just one day before, Hull had told reporters that he anticipated no fur­ther meetings with his Japanese counterparts.

On Saturday evening, Dec. 6, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a message directly to Emperor Hirohito, “an unprecedented action—as disturbing reports reached the State Department that two large and heavily escorted convoys were seen yester­day morning steaming into the Gulf of Siam, which washes the shores of Thailand.”

The contents of the president’s message to the emperor were not revealed at the time. Later it became known—it was utterly respectful and solicitous of the emperor. Words such as “friendship” and “virtue” and “wis­dom” littered the missive, but also words like “fear” and “concern.”

While coverage might have otherwise been slight, every radio and news­paper in America covered in detail Roosevelt’s olive branch to Japan the morning of Dec. 8, though not all reported on the “two large and heavily escorted Japanese convoys … steaming toward the Gulf of Siam (Thailand) this morning.”

Another large convoy featuring six aircraft carriers heading southeast from Japan and briefly reported on six days earlier had not been seen or heard from since. Adm. Husband Kimmel had received a notice on Dec. 2 that this Japanese task force, moving at flank speed, around 24 knots, had been lost to American trackers.

On the other side of the world, Great Britain declared war against Finland, which had become an “ally” of the Third Reich. In concert with the British declaration of war, FDR put Finnish ships in American ports in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore under “protective custody.”

Navy Secretary Frank Knox released a report he’d prepared for FDR that stated America’s fleet was “superior to any” in the world and that it had recently been “placed on a war footing with full personnel manning the ships of three fleets,” including the Pacific fleet in Hawaii.

“I am proud to report that the American people may feel fully confident in their Navy.” It is, he said, “without superior. On any comparable basis, the United States Navy is second to none.” Knox concluded, “In the Pacific, the strategic impor­tance … with development of the islands guarding the approach to the Navy’s defense in the Hawaiian area with the resultant safety of the Pacific Coast, are obvious.”

The cover of Craig Shirley's "December 1941."

At 3:42 a.m., the Condor, on patrol outside the entrance to Pearl Harbor, spot­ted an unidentified and unauthorized midget submarine. Later that morn­ing, at 6:45 a.m., the Ward fired on and hit yet another mysterious midget submersible.

The young captain with the perfectly nautical name of William Outerbridge ordered his No. 3 deck gun to fire on the unknown sub­marine. A report was made to naval authorities at Pearl Harbor, but no action was taken.

Scout planes from the Enterprise, some 200 miles out and heading back to Pearl Harbor after making her delivery, spotted Japanese bombers and escort planes over the Pacific at 6:15 a.m., heading southeast. Radio confusion between a scout plane and the “Big E” prevented it from taking any action.

At Opana Point Radar Station, set on the highest point on the island of Oahu, two young army privates, Joseph L. Lockard and George Elliot, noticed what looked to be a huge grouping of planes headed for the island.

A call was placed around 7 a.m. to Lt. Kermit Tyler. Tyler, thinking the two were seeing a squadron of American B-17s due in that morning, told them to forget about it. They turned off the radar and went to breakfast.

A private pilot was up for a quiet and leisurely flight over Honolulu early that morning. Ray Buduick, a lawyer, expected to have the airspace all to himself and his 17-year-old son, Martin. Shortly after takeoff, he realized that his expectations were wrong. All of a sudden, the skies over the island were filled with hundreds of airplanes.

A female flight instructor, Cornelia Fort, was also aloft, giving a lesson, when she was overwhelmed with hundreds of planes bearing a red flaming ball. A squadron of Japanese fighter planes, being faster than the bombers, arrived at Oahu at 7:30 and orbited the island for 25 minutes while they waited for the slower planes to catch up.

On a beach in Santa Monica, a group of sun worshipers was out early play­ing volleyball when one of them heard something over the radio and tried to catch the attention of the others. But they were disinterested at the moment in anything other than the outcome of their morning match.

The first wave of 183 planes continued unmolested and basically undetected. They’d been transported in secret since Nov. 26, at 0900, having departed their home waters of Tankan Bay.

The six carriers could deploy hundreds of war planes. They were under the orders of the fleet commander, Isoroku Yamamoto, and the com­mand of Chuichi Nagumo.

The massive fleet halted in mid-ocean to refuel on Dec. 3. The standing order was radio silence and, if not recalled by Tokyo, to attack.

Realizing they had suc­ceeded in their audacious sneak attack on the American fleet, the code indi­cating their achievement was transmitted: “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” “Tora! Tora! Tora!”

Initial reports out of Hawaii were light. The first bulletin went out over the local airwaves, garbled, not from a military source or official government spokesman, but from a broadcast personality, Webley Edwards, who hosted the popular radio show “Hawaii Calls” on CBS, which was heard all over the mainland.

“Attention. This is no exercise. The Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor. All Army, Navy, and Marine personnel are to report to duty.”

Shortly thereafter, a government-ordered blackout was secured on Hawaii, but long-distance phone calls, telegrams, or messages from ham radio operators continued. The phone lines eventually became jammed as the Navy was frantically using them.

The battleship USS Arizona sinks after being hit by a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Photo: Handout/Reuters/Newscom)

But this didn’t stop anybody from hearing about the attack all across the mainland. It went out over the airwaves, repeatedly, with regular program­ming interrupted, on every radio station in America. News spread by word of mouth, from neighbor to neighbor, parents to kids.

In the living rooms of America, people huddled around Philco or General Electric radios, listening to war news that for the first time directly involved the American people. On the sidewalks, people huddled around car radios, listening to the flash bulletins.

At the meaningless football game at Griffith Stadium in Washington between the Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles, 27,000 attendees—including many military personnel and journalists—“were the last to know anything about the world-stirring events.”

Throughout the game, there was no announcement whatsoever through the loudspeakers, although radio broadcasters in the booths continually were breaking into their accounts of the game with war bulletins. In the interval after the first half, it became evident to the football fans that something extraordinary was in progress.

Sailors attempt to save a burning amphibious aircraft at during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Photo: Handout/Reuters/Newscom)

As the rumor of war spread, the seats emptied. One enterprising wife sent her husband, who was attending the game, a telegram. “Deliver to Section P, Top Row, Seat 27, opposite 25-yard line, East side, Griffith Stadium: War with Japan Get to office.”

The Redskins ownership later said using the PA to announce the war news was against its management’s policy.

In all, some 353 Japanese fighters and bombers descended on Oahu. Civilian locations were also bombed and strafed. One of the first to die in the attack may have been a 10-year-old Portuguese girl.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2016/12/06/the-seventh-of-december/

Commissioner Don Elwell to host 1st Town Hall as Commission Chair this Wednesday Dec 7th

December 5th, 2016

Don Elwell – Highlands County Commissioner, District #2



CONTACT:        Don Elwell       Cell      (863) 381-5622        Email delwell@hcbcc.org                                                                

                        District #2 (includes areas of  Avon Park, Sebring, Lake Placid, Lorida & the Spring Lake special district) 




commissioner-don-elwell  SEBRING – County Commissioner Don Elwell will moderate a special Town Hall meeting at 6pm this coming Wednesday evening, December 7th in the University Center Auditorium at South Florida State College in Avon Park. This Town Hall meeting marks Elwell’s twelfth such meeting since taking office as county commissioner in November, 2010, and his first-ever since being appointed chairman by the commission last month.

The meeting will include a short presentation on recent issues and developments on the commission, as well as discussion on upcoming county issues. The 2nd half of the meeting will feature a panel question and answer session with key members of county administrative staff, who will be available to answer specific questions and give updates and information to citizens on some of the current county issues and programs.

“This meeting will be special for me, as I anticipate a very busy year for the commission with many challenges directly ahead”, Elwell stated. “Our Recycling program will be starting soon, we’ve got new EMS buildings coming, some important road-paving decisions to make, and much more coming in just the next few months alone”.

Elwell commented, “I’ve tried to host one of these meetings about every six months or so, and thought now might be the best time, since everyone is in-between holidays, and looking forward to an exciting 2017.” Commissioner Elwell also stressed the importance of getting participation from all political parties and ideologies at these meetings. “Everyone is invited. I’ve found that I get a much better, well-rounded understanding for how the citizens’ feel and what their concerns are when there’s a diverse mix of citizens in attendance”, Elwell added.

As is now tradition for the commissioner’s Town Hall meetings, complimentary pizza will be provided for the attendees in the University Center Auditorium’s lobby area starting at 5:30pm. Sodas and waters will also be provided in the lobby area.

For more information on the event, please contact Don Elwell @ (863) 381 – 5622



Reminder – Highlands County Republican Monthly Meeting – Dec 8th – Guest Speaker Nilsa Alvarez, RPOF Regional & Faith Director

December 3rd, 2016


Highlands County Republican Party


Reminder – Save Thursday Dec 8th! Highlands County Republican Party Monthly Meeting! – Our special Guest Speaker will be Nilsa Alvarez, RPOF Regional & Faith Director. This will also be our very important Organizational Meeting with the election of officers for the coming two years. Make plans now to attend. Guests are always welcome!


Highlands County Republican Party Monthly Meeting – Dec 8th

The Victory Party continues!  Our special Guest Speaker will be Nilsa Alvarez, RPOF Regional & Faith Director.  This will also be our very…






Please share with family and friends who might be interested in attending this meeting!

Thanksgiving Through the Years

November 23rd, 2016
 From The Daily Signal – Thanksgiving Through the Years

From its earliest days, Thanksgiving was recognized as a day for Americans to express gratitude to God. (Photo: iStock Photo)

George Washington was first in war, first in peace, and in November 1789 the first president to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving, openly acknowledging God as the source of all “the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.”

Among the “favors” were a Declaration of Independence that inspires us to the present day, a remarkable military victory over the most powerful nation in the world, and an ingenious Constitution of checks and balances that places “we the people” at the center of our government.

For the next fourscore and seven years, most states honored a November date as a day of prayer and fasting, but there was no national celebration. Of the early presidents, only James Madison, in 1814 and 1815, issued proclamations.

Then in November 1863, with the Civil War still raging, President Abraham Lincoln officially declared the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving. Echoing Washington, President Lincoln asked Americans to “implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full employment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.”

 God heard the people’s prayers for an end to war and the preservation of the Union, but He had yet to vouchsafe a “full” employment of harmony and tranquility.

Succeeding presidents issued proclamations in the same providential spirit of Lincoln and Washington, freely thanking God for His favors and benefits. In 1904 for example, President Theodore Roosevelt said that “the time has come [again] when a special day shall be set apart in which to thank Him, who holds all nations in the hollow of His hand, for the mercies thus vouchsafed to us.” In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge said that Americans should “devoutly give thanks to the Almighty for the many and great blessings they have received, to seek His guidance that they may receive a continuance of His favor.”

However, with the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the coming of secular progressivism, God was given an increasingly secondary role while the “civic spirit” of America was extolled.  “May we on Thanksgiving Day and on every day,” said FDR in the middle of World War II, careful not to use the “G” word, “express our gratitude and zealously devote ourselves to our duties as individuals and as a nation.”

President John F. Kennedy also skirted the word “God,” calling on Americans to “renew that spirit [of thanksgiving] by offering our thanks for uncovenanted mercies, beyond our desert or merit, and by resolving to meet the responsibilities placed upon us.” Faithful to his progressive roots, President Barack Obama declared in his 2012 Thanksgiving Proclamation that “we are a people who draw our deepest strength not from might or wealth but from our bonds to each other” (but not, apparently, to a transcendent Being).

As he did in so many ways, President Ronald Reagan broke sharply with the progressives, taking inspiration from Washington and Lincoln and reemphasizing the religious character of Thanksgiving. Quoting the 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, Reagan said that “no human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” Reagan went on: “God has blessed America and her people, and it is appropriate we recognize this bounty.”

Thanksgiving has always been rooted in the notion, wrote commentator Daniel Horowitz, “that as a nation, our entire prosperity, security, and liberty is completely dependent upon God’s providence.” So on this Thanksgiving Day in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, let us give thanks and thanks and ever thanks to Him who gives us life, liberty and happiness.

For the rest of this article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/23/thanksgiving-through-the-years/

Highlands County Republican Victory Party Thursday Nov 10th – How Sweet it Was!

November 11th, 2016

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Wow! Incredible victory Tuesday! Republicans won every race in Highlands County and by very substantial margins!  Highlands County Republicans gathered Thursday evening to honor their very successful Highlands County Republican candidates and to thank all of the many volunteers who made such extraordinary efforts to ensure victory!


As everyone knows, Florida was an absolute must-win state in order to have any chance of electing Donald Trump and Mike Pence as our next President and Vice President.  And thanks to the leadership and tireless dedication of Highlands County Republican Chairman Kathy Rapp and Highlands County Trump/Pence Chair Steve DiSano and a small but extremely dedicated team of volunteers, victory in Highlands County was achieved.  As a result of the collective efforts, Highlands County provided a much-needed margin of victory of over 14,527 votes for the Trump/Pence team.  This number was over 12% of the very narrow 119,770  statewide vote margin  of victory out of nearly 10 million votes cast. The absolutely critical 29 Florida electoral votes went into the Trump/Pence list, and the nation was saved.  Fox News Sean Hannity said “This is a modern-day political miracle”!  Many acknowledged the results as an answer to fervent prayers for our nation!



    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Susan Beder
    Kathy Hill
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    Earl Claire

State Committeewoman
    Sally Claire