Archive for the ‘Debate’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The Ferguson Paradox

Like most Americans, I get a daily dose of updates from the front lines in Ferguson, MO. Being me, I can’t help but offer a few comments of my own…

To begin with, let me clearly say that I have no idea what actually transpired between the dead youth and the police officer – and, I suspect we will never know for sure because most of the “witnesses” seem to have viewed the incident through lens distorted by their own personal prejudices, these slanting in all directions.

Next, I highly suspect that officer Wilson will see his reputation, if not his freedom, sacrificed in the name of Political Correctness and “community relations”, just as happened several years ago in the Rodney King case. I cite the King case based on my personal opinion that the opinion of the public (and the original jury that refused to convict the police) was very different based on whether they viewed the entire video tape of the incident or the carefully edited version shown by the major media. The point being that “evidence” can be manipulated to cause differing responses from those considering said evidence.

My next point concerns the notion that an “unarmed youth” was shot multiple times by an armed police officer. I contend that a 300+ pound 18 year-old human body, used in anger, can be a quite formidable weapon, particularly when launched against an older human of about ½ the body mass of the perpetrator.

Then there is the major paradox in the case: This involves the claim, probably often true, that many police are very prone to be especially suspicious of the criminal tenancies of young black males. Now, one can reasonably respond that crime statistics support this apparent attitude on the part of the police. One can also reasonably counter that, if police apprehend young black males in excess, that in itself will tend to generate those very statistics. But that is not the paradox. Instead it is this – in far too many cases like Ferguson, too many members of the black community “protest” their alleged over-criminalization by committing repeated criminal acts – looting, rioting, attacking police and innocent civilians – usually in public and often on camera. Can they not realize that such open and obvious behavior is seen by many fair-minded people as justifying the attitudes and actions of the police?

A second paradox is the climate of fear, caused by black outrage, encouraged by “professional racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, discourage the open and honest exchange of thoughts and feelings necessary to sort through and, hopefully, resolve this continuing national tragedy. This is (to me at least) especially distressing at a time when a number of the most powerful political offices, most distinguished scholastic positions, and most lucrative entertainment positions are held by members of the black community.

As I have opined multiple times in this space, the genetic differences between the ethnic groups in this nation are superficial to the degree of being meaningless, consisting almost entirely of environmental adaptations that will one day disappear. The meaningful differences are all cultural. While it may well be slowly changing (for the worse), the most successful cultural model in this nation is derived from that of Western Europe. That culture embodies such notions as education, ambition, perseverance, supportive/protective family units, honesty, integrity. Historically, members of all ethnic groups who embrace this culture succeed, to the extent that they usually achieve whatever they desire in their lives. Sadly, far too many members of the black community, especially in our inner cities, embrace an artificial, dysfunctional culture that knowingly rejects those cultural attributes that reliably lead to success. Sadder still, this phenomenon is encouraged by various political groups who profit from a downtrodden, dependent black community. Saddest of all, the worst offenders in this viscous process are themselves members of the black community. The power to change this lies totally in the hands of the blacks themselves – if they would only realize it.

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Helping The Poor

I am having blog-withdrawal problems and must contribute something – however, continuing to point out the myriad wrongdoings of the Obamanation and his administration is boring and repetitive. Add to that the fact that I have lost nearly all passion for things political and I am left with the nearly overwhelming need to say something despite having nothing very inteeresting to say.

Then, voila, last evening I found a subject – although nothing really earth shaking. Congressman Paul Ryan was commenting that after several decades and trillions of dollars spent, US government programs to help those in poverty had not worked. (Imagine that!)

Finally, something to dispute, and from a conservative mouth to boot!
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PostHeaderIcon Introducing Objectivism

In political discussions, I generally identify myself as a small (el) libertarian, since it is too time consuming to explain what I mean, when I say I am an objectivist. There are, however, profound differences between some of the various schools of libertarianism, and the specific philosophy of Ayn Rand, which she named objectivism. This will serve as a succinct introduction to the subject, to which I can link in future discussions here and elsewhere.

The Ayn Rand Institute has some superb interactive online courses. They just added a short 15 minute introductory course on objectivism, narrated by Ayn Rand herself. It is very well done, and I highly recommend it. However, although it is free of charge, one must enroll in their online university to watch it. While safe and painless, few would probably bother to do so. Thus, the following is the transcript of Ayn Rand’s voice-over, without the visuals:

At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did, as follows:

1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism

If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:
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PostHeaderIcon Defund the NPS

I am well aware that we are rapidly approaching the demise of America. If the last five years have not inspired the ruling class to do something to prevent the coming total crash of our economy and bankruptcy of the Federal government, nothing will. It is only a matter of (a short) time before we devolve into civil war/revolution (same thing) and the chances of holding it together until the mid-term election in ’14, much less the chance for a reset in ’16, are almost nil. Thus, wasting any time on anything other than preparing for the inevitable martial law looming on the horizon, is precisely that – a waste of time.

However, I am as prepared as I need to be at my age, so permit me to waste some time (as if we had a viable future), on a rather insignificant issue. On the other hand, if pondering it causes others, who may not be as psychologically prepared for what is coming as I am, to grasp the implications of Obama’s promised ‘civilian security force,’ then perhaps it is not such a waste of time, or so insignificant. I would like to suggest that we start a movement to totally defund and eliminate the National Park Service (NPS).

I am by no means the only one who has been outraged at these wanabe petty tyrants. The obvious relish with which they have been executing their egregious orders, to ‘make it hurt’ the taxpaying citizens, during the quasi-shutdown of the Federal government for the past couple of weeks, is truly disgusting. Somehow, they have lost sight of the fact that our national parks belong to the people, who are only paying them as caretakers and janitors to keep them tidy.
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PostHeaderIcon Natural Rights Rebutted

After some fruitful discussion on my “Natural Rights Explained” essay, posted here and elsewhere, my blogging partner, Troy, posted his “Natural Rights Refuted” post, neatly dismissing the whole concept. This is my rebuttal to that.

We may be twisting ourselves into semantic knots here, Troy. Suggesting there is no “such thing,” comports with the understanding we had already developed, which suggested that natural rights are ideas, akin to opportunities, rather than things. Yet, as Chris pointed out, ideas are ‘things’ too.

I had been working on the notion that it was sovereignty itself, which was the primary, and the concept of natural rights were mere corollaries of that proposition. Then, the Enlightenment era treatise by Quesnay, suggested that it was the right to pursue one’s own pleasure, which was fundamental and gave rise to the notion of sovereignty, and the other so-called natural rights.

In any case, I entirely agree with your assessment of the intention of Jefferson, et al. That was precisely the point I was making in my original “Sovereign Rights” essay back in ’07, when I interpreted and restated his most famous line about self-evident truths, in the Declaration of Independence, thusly:

“We freeborn Americans are sovereign individuals, each on par with King George III himself, with the inalienable right to live our lives as freemen, pursuing our own happiness, subservient to no one.”

Do natural rights exist? As ideas, they most certainly do. The meaning, validity, and/or effect of those ideas can certainly be fairly challenged; but their existence cannot, and more importantly, probably should not. I think we need to back up and look at the big picture, to assess the whole point of this discussion.
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PostHeaderIcon Natural Rights Refuted

I have a confession to make – one inspired by friend Dave’s recent articles regarding natural rights. The fact is, I do not believe there is any such thing as a natural right.

Yes, I truly support Mr. Jefferson’s sentiments, expressed in the Declaration Of Independence, that “all men are created equal”. However, I interpret that statement differently than most of my fellow citizens. I believe that what Mr. Jefferson meant, taken in the context of the document in which he said it, is that there is no “divine right of kings”. That there are no special humans, designated and recognized by some deity as having a special, deity-granted right to rule (or tyrannize) other people. One obvious reason this must be true is that there is no evidence of any deity with the authority or the power to grant such a right (actually, this would more correctly be defined as a privilege).

I also support Mr. Jefferson’s contention that all humans have an equal “right” to their lives, to the extent that they can defend their lives; to their liberty, to the extent that they can effectively demand and maintain their liberty; and, to whatever property they can morally and ethically accumulate, defend and maintain.
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PostHeaderIcon Natural Rights Explained

A typical comment directed at me elsewhere, inspired some cogitation resulting in the following explanation of ‘natural rights’:

“What is the point of the constitutional phrase right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness if you can murder babies in the womb? We only have a right to life if we are already born? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

That phrase is found in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, and it was part of the sentence declaring the equality and natural rights of all ‘men,’ not babies, or children, and certainly not fetuses. In our Founder’s time, it probably did not even include women, and for an embarrassingly significant percentage of them, it excluded the entire negro race. Allow me to offer another way to look at this business of natural rights, which may help you make some sense of them.

When Enlightenment thinkers developed the philosophical concept of natural rights, it was in the context of individual sovereignty. The extant paradigm for Western civilization at that time, was that one was necessarily born into servitude, to the sovereign potentate claiming dominion over the territory in which one was born. There were different classes in society, enjoying differing levels of privileges; but all were born subjects of their king, whether serf or gentry. Supported by the clergy, the king had the divine right to rule over his subjects. He could order a subject’s head detached on a whim, and a serf was not permitted to relocate or change occupations without permission.
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PostHeaderIcon The Defensive Culture War

I am involved in an interesting discussion on a conservative site frequented by Christian fundamentalists. This morning, a fellow named Rich made a comment suggesting that the Left is waging a “war against Christians,” and that political activism by the religious Right, is “most always” to counter that. It inspired me to share a unique perspective I have, as a non-combatant in the culture war raging across our land, who has communicated extensively with participants in both camps. I think it is worth sharing with a wider audience, so it follows:

————–

The tragedy, Rich, is that most of those on the Left think they too, are playing defense. I spent a couple of years back in ’07 and ’08, frequenting freethinker forums, which were mostly populated with insufferable ACLU type atheist activists. There, I essentially played the opposite role that I have here. I referred to myself as a godless redneck heathen, and defended the traditional American culture extant in flyover country. I was as much an enigma there as I am here.

Here, my patriotism and more or less conservative political views, generally resonate; but my lack of faith, and unabashed willingness to challenge Christian dogma, is confusing and consternating to most. There, I passed their godless test; but my unabashed willingness to defend Judeo-Christian culture, and challenge their equally dogmatic Politically Correct ideology, drove them nuts. Thus, I can report with some authority, that they are irrationally afraid of the Piously Correct agenda.

While flawed in their support of government coercion, for the purposes of redistributing wealth for ‘social justice,’ they are fulsome in their support for civil rights for all mankind, and adamant in their insistence that government stay the hell out of their personal lives. In this, I was in full agreement, although I took pains to point out their inconsistencies, and insist that I wanted government to also stay out of my personal pocketbook.
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PostHeaderIcon WMD versus WID – Death By The Penny Or Death By The Pound

In the ridiculous “debate” now going on between various factions in what passes for a government in this sad Republic (if I may be so bold as to still name it such), regarding our potential intervention in the civil war currently raging in Syria, much seems to hinge on the method by which the victims of that war are wounded or killed.

Indeed, and for some years now, it has been United States policy to cause all manner of international uproar over the fact that nations, other than our own, might have and –shudder– actually use a WMD – otherwise known as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

In the first place, there is one thing has never been defined to my understanding or satisfaction; that is, how large must a singular act of destruction be in order to qualify as “mass”?

In the second place, by what logic is it somehow worse for destruction to be caused by a singular act that meets the mysterious criteria of “mass” versus the same net amount of destruction being caused by repeated application of WID (Weapons of Incremental Destruction)? After all, did not our very Republic introduce the use of such WMD to end WWII in Asia under the theory that a couple of massive acts of destruction would, in the long run, result in less total damage than the continued application of WID? (Please note that I use the word destruction to describe the destruction of both people and objects.)
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PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #9

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 25th Amendment

The 25th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 25th amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 25th amendment was implemented to allow appointment of a Vice President, when such office shall become vacant, rather than rely on the order of succession originally established by our Constitution. The main impetus for the 25th Amendment was that the then Speaker of the House (Carl Albert) was totally unwilling to succeed to the Presidency.

The 25th Amendment has already given us an “appointed President” (Gerald Ford). It also gave us an “appointed Vice President” in the form of Nelson Rockefeller, a person who had repeatedly been rejected by the people in his own attempts to win his party’s nomination for President. Given the assassination attempt on President Ford, the Republic was very nearly subjected to a situation where a person repeatedly rejected by the people would, nevertheless, have gained the Presidency.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #8

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Honest Currency Amendment

Immediately following ratification of this amendment, the unconstitutional banking enterprise known as The Federal Reserve System will be eliminated and no such future enterprise will be allowed under this Constitution.

The issuance of paper currency and coinage will be controlled solely by the Congress of the United States using a formula, of their own creation, which will limit increases in the total amount of paper currency and coinage to such amount as is indicated by the growth of the Gross National Product (GNP) of the United States. All such paper currency and coinage shall be backed by, and redeemable in, precious metals, and the total amount of paper currency and coinage in circulation at any given time will not exceed the value of the precious metals held in reserve by the Government of the United States.

Within one year following ratification of this amendment, the Congress of the United States shall commission a full public accounting of the activities of the late The Federal Reserve System and shall demand a refund of any and all treasure wrongfully taken and/or disbursed from the treasury of the United States for any private or personal gain by those attached to the late The Federal Reserve System. All participants in the wrongful taking or disbursement of the treasure of the United States, who are still living, will then be processed through the criminal justice system as appropriate.

The rates of interest charged on debt in the United States shall be determined by the free marketplace.

Since its inception in 1913, the The Federal Reserve System (FED) has operated for the profit of foreign and domestic bankers and other members of what amounts to a “financial cartel” and to the detriment of the people of the United States and to its government. During this time, the value of the United States dollar and been decreased by something between 95 and 97% of its value at the inception of the FED. In other words, between 95 and 97% of the private wealth of the people of the United States has been, for all intents and purposes, stolen. The FED has been a criminal enterprise by any means by which such can be judged. Elimination of the FED and its machinations will hasten the return of a true free-market system in the United States for the benefit of all of its citizens.

Returning the nation to a precious metals based currency will end the evil system by which fiat money is created, based on ever increasing debt, and of benefit only to the banking system which, by this very process, has become evil in nature and practice.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #7

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Congressional Constraint Amendment

Starting the year following ratification of this amendment, no member of the United States Congress may serve more than 12 years in office. This total will include time served in either the House of Representatives, the Senate, or both.

Starting the year following ratification of this amendment, the existing congressional pension plan will be discontinued. In its place, each member of Congress shall be awarded credits under the Civil Service Retirement Act for each year served. Such credits will be aggregated with similar credits earned through other federal employment, per the terms and conditions of the Civil Service Retirement Act . Any such other benefits provided to members of Congress will also be in accordance with the Civil Service Retirement Act . Likewise, any medical and/or health-care benefits provided to members of Congress will be the same as those provided to other federal employee.

I think this amendment hardly needs explanation or justification. Note that this is similar to, but not exactly the same, as that proposed by Mark Levin in The Liberty Amendments

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #6

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Spending Constraint Amendment

Starting the year following ratification of this amendment, the Federal Government of the United States of America must operate by an established budget in which total budgeted spending does not exceed the total revenues collected by that government in the previous year.

Said annual budget must also contain a line item amounting to 10% of the total budget which will be used exclusively for retiring a portion of the public debt.

At the end of any budget year, should there remain any surplus revenue beyond that required to satisfy that year’s budget, such surplus will be used exclusively for retiring a portion of the public debt.

Under no circumstance is the public debt to be increased excepting for defending the Republic against a direct attack by a foreign power and in consequence of a Declaration of War, by the Congress of the United States of America, in accordance with Article I. of the United States Constitution.

I think this amendment hardly needs explanation or justification.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #5

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 26th Amendment

The 26th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 26th amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 26th amendment was implemented to give extend the voting franchise to people 18 years of age on the apparent assumption that people of such age have accrued a maturity level consistent with electing people to public office in the United States. All experience suggests just the opposite – that, in fact, the age of maturity and adult responsibility is generally being delayed into later years.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #4

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 23rd Amendment

The 23rd amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 23rd amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 23rd amendment was implemented to give residents of the District of Columbia, the seat of our Federal Government, much of the level of participation in the Federal Government that is given to citizens of the several States.

The District of Columbia is, in obvious fact, NOT a sovereign State and attempts to treat it as such work to the detriment of the legitimate States. For the purposes intended by the original amendment, after ratification of this amendment, the District of Columbia will be considered to be part of the sovereign State of Maryland, as was originally the case.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #3

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 14th Amendment

The 14th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. All legislation and regulation implemented under the authority of the 14th amendment is likewise rendered null and void.

The 14th amendment was implemented to address the treatment of newly freed slaves and well as those persons held to have been engaged in insurrection against the United States (that is, those who fought on the side of the late Confederacy).

The conditions intended to be addressed by the 14th amendment have long ceased to exist yet some of its provisions are used to this day to the disadvantage of the Republic and contrary to its original intent.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

Repeal of the 17th Amendment

The 17th amendment the the United States Constitution is hereby repealed. Future election of Senators will be made by the Legislatures of the several States as prescribed by the original Constitution. Senators serving at the time this amendment is ratified may complete the current terms to which they were elected.

Any Senate seats vacated by resignation, recall, death or other means will be filled by an election of the applicable State Legislature, or, by the Chief Executive of the applicable State should the State Legislature not be in session.

The Framers intended the Senate to be representative of the governments of the several States. This amendment reinstates that original intent.

This is also one of the amendments suggested by Mark Levin in The Liberty Amendments

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Proposed Constitutional Amendment #1

(As promised (threatened?) in a previous article, I intend to submit a number of proposed amendments to our Constitution that, in my own judgment, would help restore a Constitutional Republic in our nation. Some of these are my own, some are based on Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments and some have been suggested by others).

The Equal Protection Amendment

All Laws, Rules or Regulations promulgated by the Federal Government of the United States of America, or by any agency or branch thereof, shall apply equally to all Citizens of the United States of America, including all members of government whether elected, appointed or employed to whatever position they may occupy.

I sincerely believe that this is the most important amendment needed to our Constitution. While apparently simple at first reading, it would serve to stop much of the misuse and misapplication of power that currently plagues our Republic. Not only would it block government intrusion into may areas where the federal government has no business intruding, it would also stop any and all use of laws and regulations to pander, cater or otherwise favor one person or group of persons over another.

Please offer constructive comments as you see fit.

Troy L Robinson

PostHeaderIcon Full Liberty is Anarchy

I may be missing something by never watching TV for entertainment. A truly profound observation:

“Anarchism . . . stands for liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from shackles and restraint of government. It stands for social order based on the free grouping of individuals.” The father’s voice returns: “The concept was pure, simple, true. It inspired me, lit a rebellious fire. But ultimately I learned the lesson that Goldman, Proudhon, and the others learned: that true freedom requires sacrifice and pain. Most human beings only think they want freedom. In truth, they yearn for the bondage of social order, rigid laws, materialism. The only freedom man really wants is the freedom to become comfortable.”

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PostHeaderIcon Natural Born Citizen

Note that I would have submitted this as a comment to Dave’s article on Tspeak.us but, for reasons that are beyond my understanding, that site does not seem to accept comments from me (perhaps this is a case of technological wisdom in action?).

Our Constitution uses the term Natural Born Citizen in regard to presidential qualifications but neglects to clearly define the term – one of the few cases where that nearly perfect document falls short. A bit of research on the Web did turn up some guidance though.

At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_born_citizen_of_the_United_States I find this:

The Constitution does not define the phrase natural-born citizen, and various opinions have been offered over time regarding its precise meaning. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report stated that:
The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. Citizen.

This definition would seem to grant presidential qualification to all but naturalized citizens.
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