Kevin Rex Heine

Behold the Bared Arm of God!

The LORD laid bare his arm, in plain view of the nations, to ensure our salvation.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of a herald,
who announces peace and preaches good news.
He announces salvation and says to Zion, “Your God is king!”
The voice of your watchmen – they lift up their voices.
Together they shout for joy,
because with both eyes they will see it
when the LORD returns to Zion.
Break out, shout for joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem,
because the LORD is comforting his people.
He is redeeming Jerusalem.
The LORD lays bare his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation from our God.

Isaiah 52:7-10 (EHV)

(In advance, I’ll credit my good friend Aaron Frey, who originally preached this sermon on Christmas Day 2006, as the source of much of what is written following the break, and as the inspiration for the rest of it.)

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Legally Enabling Theft

Multiple vulnerabilities and loopholes leave Michigan voters exposed to election fraud.

“I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this – who will count the votes, and how,” (Joseph Stalin, circa 1923). Often this quote is loosely interpreted as, “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

Donald Trump has made clear in multiple speeches that he is under no illusion about being up against a rigged system, and that we cannot expect to correct such a system by relying on the trustworthiness of those who rigged the system in the first place. No, in order to reform a corrupted system, a critical mass of known trustworthy people must be placed inside the system, which often requires overwhelming the system at the ballot box. The problem with doing so is that we are required to rely upon a process where, in spite of clearly demonstrated key weaknesses and vulnerabilities, those charged with protecting the integrity of the process insist upon blaming the messenger rather than correcting the problems.

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Not Her Brightest Day

Michigan republicans have a bad habit of making national news for all the wrong reasons.

According to Article IV, Section G, Paragraph 1 of the Bylaws of the Michigan Republican State Committee, “The Chairman shall have the power to declare vacant the seat of any officer who refuses to support the Republican nominee for any office within the State of Michigan.” That’s the language, and it’s straightforward. If you’re one of the officers specified in Article IV, Section A of those same bylaws, then you support the republican nominees, up and down the ticket, or else risk immediate termination . . . end of discussion.

That paragraph is something that a certain lady, whom I still consider a friend, should have considered before shooting her mouth off, knowing the cameras were rolling, last Friday.

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I Remember And I Haven’t Forgotten

Today is the quindecennial of a morning I cannot ever forget.

I originally posted this first-hand account five years ago on the original version of this site, and today seemed an appropriate time to publish a revised version of the original here.

My late father, who was old enough to fly P-51D Mustangs for the USAAF during World War 2, once told me that he could remember exactly where he was and what he was doing when he heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Likewise, my elder brother (the only one of my siblings who is legitimately a baby boomer) can recall exactly where he was and what he was doing when he heard about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

In the exact same vein, a certain September day a decade and a half ago is irremovably burned into my memory.

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Neither Austerity Nor Rebuilding Are Guaranteed

How do the current crisis period and the current presidential election impact each other?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (attributed to Margaret Mead)

Insofar as I have been able to research, historical consensus is that the American Revolution began with the Stamp Act Congress (October 1765), and ended with the ratification of the Bill of Rights (December 1791). This twenty-six year effort to secure independence from the British Crown, and establish a free and independent republic (America’s original “crisis period”), was unique in the entirety of human history. By this I mean that, rather than simply swapping one set of rules for another, or one set of political leaders for another, the patriots of America’s founding generations created, from scratch, a nation dedicated to and based upon the proposition that every man and woman stands equal before the law, and has a God-given and inalienable right to a life of Liberty and Justice. Yet, the sum total of soldiers, sailors, statesmen, sages, and shopkeepers who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause that established the freest and most prosperous nation ever known – made most of the sacrifices, did most of the work, and made nearly all of the major decisions – amounted to merely three percent of the total American population of the time . . . evidence for the credibility of what historians refer to as “The Law of The Vital Few.”

In contemporary America, every economic, social, and political trend seems to indicate that the United States are already in the fourth crisis period of our national history. Given this, the question seems fair to ask: Where now are the sages, statesmen, investors, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs . . . and even leaders . . . who will guide us through not only this crisis, but also the austerity and rebuilding that will surely be needed once the crisis has passed? More importantly, would we know how to recognize such producers and leaders when they arrive?

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The Winner of “Survivor: Cuyahoga” is . . .

Donald Trump isn’t the republican nominee, and Ted Cruz hasn’t been mathematically eliminated . . . yet.

At roughly noon on May 4th, after running fourth in a three-man race for seven consecutive weeks, John Kasich finally suspended his presidential nomination campaign (raising the obvious question of, “What the hell took so long?”), leaving Donald Trump as the “sole survivor” of what was originally an eighteen-candidate republican field. And, go figure, before Cinco de Mayo was in the books, various talking heads and keyboard pundits were acknowledging, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, that The Donald was now the presumptive republican nominee. However, to channel L. P. Berra, this campaign ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and despite a certain well-circulated AP report, a certain critical milestone hasn’t yet been tallied into Trump’s column, and so June 7th is still going to matter . . . very much.

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Proportional Backfill

Did the Michigan Republican Party pull another fast one with RNC delegate allocation?

Those of us who’ve been hanging around RightMichigan since prior to 2014 likely remember well the Michigan Dele-Gate Fiasco of 2012. As a quick refresher, on Tuesday, February 28th of that year, Mitt Romney defeated Rick Santorum in the statewide popular vote, 41.10% to 37.87%. However, because 28 of Michigan’s 30 post-penalty delegates were awarded on a district-by-district basis (Romney and Santorum splitting the state at 7 districts each), and because the statewide vote totals were so close (requiring the two at-large delegates to be split one each), the resulting 15-15 delegate tie didn’t exactly square with the RNC/GOPe’s preferred media narrative that Romney won his native state. Thus, in the telephonic equivalent of a late-night, backroom deal, the MIGOP Credentials Committee (then consisting of Bobby Schostak, Sharon Wise, Saul Anuzis, Holly Hughes, Bill Runco, Mike Cox, and Eric Doster) voted 4-2 – Hughes was not present at the meeting – to creatively interpret State Party Rule 19C, and award both at-large delegates to Romney. The resulting backlash fueled an eleven-week effort that culminated in a two-day Showdown in Motown, with the end result being the ballot box blowout ouster of the national committeeman regarded as the chief engineer of the ex post facto railroad job.

It’s probably not going to draw much attention (likely because damn near no one noticed), but the potential for a Grand Theft Delegate con job similar to the Michigan Dele-Gate Fiasco of 2012 was averted, largely due to one person explaining a key state party rule in a way that eliminated the possibility of applying that rule by political discretion, and instead imposed a resolution rubric according to plain mathematics.

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Ross’ Revenge

To understand the Butterfly Effect, one must understand whence the butterfly came.

To say that the 2016 Republican Presidential Campaign has become interesting since June of last year is a bit of an understatement, to say the least. An out-of-the-blue “chaos injection” on June 16th (that FOX News polling saw coming as early as March 31st, but no one else picked up on until late May) became the nationally-recognized front runner not five weeks later, completely leapfrogging the “heir apparent” (who promptly went into a freefall, and has now exited the campaign). Because of this chaos injection, one candidate, who was until that point considered to be irrelevant, leapfrogged to become the national runner-up about five and a half weeks later (and was the national front-runner for three days in November), and two young guns are now openly tussling for second place nationally, neither of whom were supposed to have a realistic chance to begin with.

As should have been expected, the thorough derailing of the coronation train for the republican heir apparent makes the professional political establishment very unhappy, and, of course, they’re hell-bent on doing something about that. But the reason that all of their scrambling is increasingly ineffective is that they don’t seem to really understand the causa provocare of the outsider’s challenge, perhaps because they really don’t understand the degree to which the typical voter is disgusted with the political status quo in America, or why. Thus, predictably, the flailing increasingly exposes them for who they are and what they intend, which conversely makes the outsider’s job that much easier.

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Time to Light These Clowns Up

Someone needs to impress upon the MRP legislative and executive leadership that “NO” means “NO” . . . period.

Roughly nine months ago, We the People of Michigan, by a record-breaking 4-to-1 statewide margin, told our elected nobility in Lansing “HELL NO” on a proposed tax increase, which they’d tried to sell as a road proposal, but which the voting public saw clearly as a political sausage job that produced a cronyist’s grab bag of goodies. Thus, every single county in this state, without exception and in no uncertain terms, clearly delivered a mandate-level message that we are no longer interested in extending the legislature a taxpayer-funded line of credit, until such time as they get their spending priorities in order. You would think that a statewide vox populi shellacking, with a turnout rate typical of the biennial congressional primaries, would clue in the GoverNerd, and the rest of the MRP/MIGOPe professional political establishment, that We the People are done being their ATM.

You would think that . . . but you would be wrong. Six months after that ballot box rejection, while most of us were tucking our children into bed (or monitoring local election results), the lords and barons in the Michigan Legislature essentially told we the proletariat that our opinion is irrelevant, and that “no” really means “don’t ask again” – which, of course, they didn’t – by passing a “road funding” tax package that was nearly identical to the core of Proposal 15-1, less the elements required to force it onto the ballot. In doing this, they flatly rejected the clear will of the people, imposed through legislative fiat that which they couldn’t persuade the electorate to publicly ratify, and took yet another step toward government by aristocracy.

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Act 7 Epilogue, Or Act 1 of the Sequel?

New Poll: Peabody Up, Courser Tied For Third in Historic Special Election

You may remember that, a few days ago, I had made reference to the Courser-Gamrat saga – at least from the perspective of Todd A. Courser – playing out very much like a classic six-act Shakespearean-style tragedy, in which the catastrophic resolution for TAC was the modern “ritual suicide” of a Nixonian-style resignation, right as it became obvious that republican leadership in the State House had finally brokered a deal with democrat leadership to tally the votes necessary to expel him from their membership. I also mentioned that, unlike the theatre, real life doesn’t end with the final curtain, as we saw play out a mere week later. To quote Brian Began from an Inside Michigan Politics press release from last Friday:

“Much like the residents of Elm Street and the campers at Crystal Lake, the Lapeer County Courser monster just won’t go away. It’s the sequel nobody wanted, and it’s coming to a ballot box near you this November,” said Brian Began, Elections & Research Director of Grassroots Midwest. “This is not a conventional primary, but a 30-day sprint. Courser has a steep climb, but should he convince enough of his allies to support him in November, Republicans could again be dealing with a nightmare scenario.”

So, instead of Romeus Montague, Began believes that we may rather be dealing with Freddy Krueger . . . yikes. Popcorn, anyone?

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