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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Fiery and Fatal Horror in Oakland

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The rave turned deadly when a raging blaze surged through the warehouse the event was being held, killing at least 24 people, with police expecting the death toll to rise.  A dozen people remain missing.

How the fire was ignited is currently unknown.  Officials indicate the building was licensed as a warehouse, not a venue for concerts or public gatherings.  The city had also received reports, prior to the fire, of people illegally living in the the warehouse, and of illegal construction being performed inside the facility.  The 4,000 square foot structure, known as the Ghost Ship, while a warehouse, had internally been transformed into a number of spaces, making it a "labyrinth of little areas."  Because of the maze-like interior, escape during the fire was made even more difficult.

Currently, the site “is not deemed a crime scene,” but police personnel were on hand in case the investigation takes a turn.

City Councilman Noel Gallo, who represents the Fruitvale district and lives a block from where the fire occurred, said the building “has been an issue for a number of years.”

“People have been living inside, and the neighbors have complained about it,” he said. “Some of these young people that were in there were underage. They frequently had parties there.”

Firefighters said some of the victims of the Friday night blaze were apparently trapped when they couldn’t escape down the makeshift staircase. There was no evidence that the building had a sprinkler system and there were only two exits.

The fire swept through the building with such ferocity that the roof and part of the second floor collapsed, filling the rooms with an avalanche of burning debris. The fire is among the deadliest in California's history, and it is the most destructive in the Oakland side of the San Francisco Bay since the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which killed 25 people and injured more than 100 others.  The fire was so intense that one survivor said it felt like their skin was peeling.  Another escaped victim likened it as being cooked in a concrete kiln.

The deadliest nightclub fire in the United States in recent decades occurred in 2003, when pyrotechnic effects by the rock band Great White set off an inferno at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island, killing about 100 people.

Images of the alleged victims reveals that the warehouse was filled with a young crowd, likely of the hipster or liberal snowflake leaning.  Our prayers go out to each and every one of the victims, their families, and the loved ones who lost someone in their life as a result of this tragedy.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Religious Freedoms Under Assault in the Legal System: Constitution Association Monthly Meeting

Constitution Radio: Trump Team Taking Shape

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs KMET 1490-AM,

Saturdays, 1:00 pm ... if you miss the program, listen to the archived podcast HERE.

Host Douglas V. Gibbs (Author,Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host) will be in Los Angeles giving a speech, so guest hosts Jan Reed and Curt Nordal will be hosting the program, joined by co-host Alex Ferguson (

AllStar Collision Big Stories of the Week. . .

🌠 Democrats Perfect Hypocrisy: Love, Tolerance, and Peace?

🌠 Be Careful Trump, Our Rights Go Both Ways

🌠 Sharia Law in the United States, and Europe

🌠 Trump's Cabinet So Far

Douglas V. Gibbs in Los Angeles: Southern California Republican Women and Men Club

Douglas V. Gibbs speaks in Los Angeles TODAY, December 3, 2016:

11:30 am: Southern California Republican Women and Men Club, 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant, 16320 Raymer Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91406; Guest Speaker - Douglas V. Gibbs

Conservative Voice Radio: Death of Tyranny, Rise of the Anti-Establishment

Host Douglas V. Gibbs is joined by members of the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party (Glenn, Jan and Diane) to discuss national and local issues on the Conservative Voice Radio program.  Listen on KMET 1490-AM Saturdays at 8:00 am, or catch the podcasted episodes anytime on Conservative Voice Radio's KMET page.
Today's Topics:

  • Death of Fidel Castro
  • Alt-Right
  • Calexit
  • Riverside County Rejects Cherry Valley Zone Change Plan
  • Election Recount
  • Judge Jeanine for Supreme Court Justice?
  • Ohio State Islamic Terrorism
  • Israel in Flames

Ohio State Students Refuse to Call Attack "Terrorism"

Posted By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

One student called it a "misunderstanding".

Another, "It's kinda dangerous to bring up his religion [Islam]."

"There are radical Christians. . ."

Unwilling to admit Islamic Terrorists have targeted Ohio State University.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday Schedule: Constitution Association, Events, and Radio

Douglas V. Gibbs presents the following Saturday Schedule for December 3, 2016:

8:00 am: Conservative Voice Radio, KMET 1490-AM, Hosted by Douglas V. Gibbs and the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party (listen online at

9:00 am: Corona/Norco/Eastvale Tea Party, Marie Calendars, 160 E. Rincon St., Corona, CA; Guest Speaker - Wiley Drake Show

11:30 am: Southern California Republican Women and Men Club, 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant, 16320 Raymer Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91406; Guest Speaker - Douglas V. Gibbs

1:00 pm: Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs, KMET 1490-AM; Guest Hosted today by Jan Reed of the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party and Curt Nordal, author of "What Pisses Me Off About the Good Ol' USA." (book written under pen-name Brian Curtis) Doug will return next Saturday with guest "Chad Prather."

5:00 pm: Constitution Association Monthly Dinner Meeting, Merna's Cafe, 26850 Cherry Hills Blvd., Menifee, CA; Guest Speaker - William "Bill" Becker of Freedom X.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Mad Dog James Mattis Announced as Secretary of Defense

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The liberal left Democrats are upset that President Elect Donald Trump has tapped retired United States Marine Corps General James Mattis as his choice to be Secretary of Defense.  The position traditionally goes to a civilian, and the Democrats fear the position being held by a military man (despite the fact that Mattis retired from the Armed Services in May of 2013).  Personally, I love the choice, and I think Mattis would be a terrific Secretary of Defense.

“He’s the best,” Trump said. “They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have and it’s about time.”

The Democrats, however, say that Mattis is not only a bad choice, but he cannot legally be the Secretary of Defense because, after two world wars and fears that a military man may try to seize control of the United States, in 1947 Congress created 10 U.S.C. § 113(a). Section 113(a).  The position of Secretary of War had been discontinued, and was replaced by Secretary of Defense, and in that statute that created the post of Secretary of Defense, the statute prohibits the appointment of a Defense Secretary who was an active-duty commissioned officer of “a regular component of an armed force” within the prior seven years.  Mattis has been retired from military duty about half that time.

Congress' passing of the original National Security Act in 1947 accompanied fears that we were entering an age of standing armies and military-industrial complexes very different from the eras of our Founding Fathers, or the nineteenth century.  It was passed in the shadow of the passage of the Twenty-Second Amendment, which imposes a term limit on the President after Franklin Roosevelt’s long, nearly four term, presidency.  That Congress had seen a world where military regimes had rapidly subverted civilian governments over the prior two decades, and they were concerned American voters may be willing, if effectively deceived, into turning to military men to run the country.  The Act brought the military under the arm of civilian agencies, combining the armed services into a single Department of Defense with a National Security Council and the CIA as a part of the union.  Congress wanted to make sure the military remained under civilian control, though they did not impose similar restrictions on other key positions.

Interestingly enough, that was a Republican Congress who concocted the National Security Act of 1947, and now, suddenly, the Democrats are strict constitutionalists, and are in full agreement with past Republicans.  The Democrats are now screaming that it is unconstitutional for General Mattis to be appointed as Secretary of Defense, based on the provisions of the National Security Act of 1947.

In reality, the statute is a piece of legislation.  The current Republican Congress has full authority to alter the piece of legislation, let Trump sign it, and therefore make Mattis eligible essentially with a stroke of the pen.

Congress passed the law, and Congress can change it.  They can shorten the seven years to three, if they want.  Oh, and if the Democrats complain about Congress taking such an action, let us remember that the original minimum was ten years.  The Democrats, while in control of Congress in 2008, amended the statute to the current seven year requirement.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Los Angeles: Douglas V. Gibbs presentation regarding the United States Constitution

Hope to see you out there on Saturday, December 3 for my speech to the Southern California Republican Women and Men Club in Los Angeles. . . Here's the details:
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 11:30 AM at the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant, 16320 Raymer Avenue, Van Nuys CA 91406.  Featuring: Douglas V. Gibbs, President of The Constitution Association

Howard Hyde is the President of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.

For those of you in the Inland Empire, on the evening on December 3rd,  The Constitution Association will be hosting a monthly dinner meeting, exploring the topic: Religious Liberties Under Assault in the Legal System.

Religious Liberties Under Assault: Bill Becker of Freedom X Explains

Each month the Constitution Association meets.  This upcoming meeting is Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Merna's Cafe, 26850 Cherry Hills Blvd., in Menifee, California.  The guest speaker is William Becker of Freedom X.  His organization is a non-profit law firm that handles cases regard religious liberties.  Our religious liberties are under assault, and one of the places they are attacked is through the court system - - - and Mr. Becker has had his share.  Hear the tales of his cases, and what we can do to support causes like his.  The meeting is sponsored by Douglas V. Gibbs and the Constitution Association.

Chad Prather: Protesters Don't Know Why They're Mad - They just don't "Feel" right about it

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Conservatism is the ideology of individuality, facts and historical research.  Liberal progressivism is the ideology of collectivism, deception, and feelings.  All the protesters know is that they have been trained by the cultural leftists that they should be offended and hurt by anything that does not 100% buy into the leftist message - and if you are hurt and offended, you are then, according to the current narrative, encouraged to whine, cry and be violent and destructive if your feelings take you in that direction.  The protesters, or at least the ones that weren't hired and shipped in by the Democrats to act as agitators, don't have the ability to process failure, loss, or what to do when things don't go their way.

Chad Prather in this video points out the ridiculousness of the snowflake tear-soaked temper tantrum protest revolution.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Temecula Constitution Class: Civil War Amendments

Temecula Constitution Class
Thursdays at 6:30 pm
Faith Armory
41669 Winchester Road
Temecula, CA  92590

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 18
The Civil War Amendments 13, 14, and 15
The End of Slavery

Prior to the Civil War, any federal legislation related to slavery dealt with the importation of slaves.  Aspects of slavery inside State lines were considered a State issue.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 abolished the Atlantic slave trade, and the United States Government intervened militarily to ensure the law prohibiting the importation of slaves was enforced.  The Framers of the Constitution believed that in order to ensure the southern States did their part in ratifying the Constitution, while remaining consistent with the concept of the federal government only having authority over external issues, and disputes between the States, they could not abolish slavery nationally through the articles presented by the Constitution.  A large number of delegates at the federal convention in 1787 desired the immediate abolition of slavery, but the fear was that the southern States would not only refuse to ratify the Constitution, but that they would refuse to remain a part of the union, eventually succumbing to attacks from Florida and absorbed into the Spanish Empire.
A proposed amendment to abolish slavery during the American Civil War finally passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6, but the House did not approve it.
When the proposed amendment was reintroduced by Representative Ashley, President Lincoln took an active role in working for its passage through the House by ensuring the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential elections.  Lincoln's efforts, combined with the result of the War Between the States, ensured the House passed the bill on January 31, 1865, by a vote of 119 to 56.
The 13th Amendment was ratified into law on December 6, 1865.


Atlantic Slave Trade - Started by the Portuguese, but soon dominated by the English, the Atlantic Slave Trade was the sale and exploitation of African slaves by Europeans that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th century to the 19th century.
War Between the States - The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 after Seven Southern slave States seceded from the United States, forming the Confederate States of America.  The "Confederacy" grew to include eleven States.  The war was fought between the States that did not declare secession, known as the "Union" or the "North", and the Confederate States.  The war found its origin in the concept of State's Rights, but became largely regarding the issue of slavery after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation.  Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, and much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed.  After the War, Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were proposed and ratified to abolish slavery in the United States, and to begin the process of protecting the civil rights of the freed slaves.
Questions for Discussion:
1.  Why wasn't slavery abolished at the founding of this nation?
2.  Why did the House of Representatives not originally approve this amendment?
3.  How has the abolition of slavery affected this nation since the ratification of the 13th Amendment?
Congressional Proposals and Senate Passage Harper Weekly. The
Creation of the 13th Amendment. Retrieved Feb. 15, 2007
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Citizenship, Civil Rights, and Apportionment
            Citizenship Clause
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution failed in 1866 after the southern States rejected the proposed amendment.  After a second attempt to ratify the amendment, it was adopted on July 9, 1868.  The ratification of the 14th Amendment occurred after the federal government began to govern the South through a system of military districts.  Some historians question the validity of the ratification of the 14th Amendment because it is believed by these historians that the southern States ratified the amendment under duress, and pressure applied by the northern governorships in each of the southern States during the early part of the Reconstruction Period.
The first clause of the 14th Amendment is known as "The Citizenship Clause."  The clause was intended to ensure the children of the emancipated slaves, as well as the newly freed slaves, would be considered citizens without any room for argument.  The clause reads:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
This clause has been misinterpreted to mean all persons born in the United States are automatically citizens, which is not the case.  The defining term in this clause that enables the reader to recognize that citizenship needs more than just being born on American soil reads: "subject to the jurisdiction, thereof."
To understand the term jurisdiction, one may go to the debates on the congressional record of the 14th Amendment.  In those debates, and in articles of that time period written to explain the intent of the language of the amendment, one finds that "full jurisdiction" was meant to mean "full allegiance to America."  The intention was to protect the nation against persons with divided loyalties.
The writers of the 14th Amendment wished to follow the importance of "full loyalty" as portrayed by the Founding Fathers.  As far as the founders were concerned, there could be no divided allegiances.  They expected citizens to be fully American.
Despite the defeat of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, the emancipated slaves were not receiving the rights and privileges of American citizens as they should have been.  The former slaves were present in the United States legally, and because they were here legally they were "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," but they were still not receiving any assurance of equal protection under the law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was created in the hopes of correcting the problem.  Some of the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 states, "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. ... All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."
The definition of "persons within the jurisdiction of the United States" in that act was all persons at the time of its passage, born in the United States, including all slaves and their offspring, but not having any allegiances to any foreign government.
Michigan Senator Jacob Howard, one of two principal authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
Senator Howard's responses to questions regarding the language he used in the Citizenship Clause were recorded in The Congressional Globe, which are the recorded transcripts of the debates over the 14th Amendment by the 139th Congress:
Mr. HOWARD:  "I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127."
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
"The 1st Amendment is to section one, declaring that all persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.  I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion.  This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.  This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.  It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States.  This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."
Senator Howard even went out of his way to indicate that children born on American soil of foreign citizens are not included.
Clearly, the framers of the 14th Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil.
The second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, added that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else."
The full quote by Senator Trumbull:
"The provision is, that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.'  That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.'  What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction thereof?'  Not owing allegiance to anybody else.  That is what it means."
Trumbull continues, "Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court?  Are they in any sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States?  By no means.  We make treaties with them, and therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction.  If they were, we wouldn't make treaties with them...It is only those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction, who are subject to our laws, that we think of making citizens; and there can be no objection to the proposition that such persons should be citizens."
Senator Howard concurred with what Mr. Trumbull had to say:
"I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now."
Based on these explanations by the writers of the clause, then, it is understood that the intention was for those who are not born to American citizens to have no birthright to citizenship just because they simply were born inside the borders of this country.
The courts have interpreted the Citizenship Clause to mean other things, but we must remember that the Constitution cannot be changed by the courts.  Changes to the Constitution can only be made by amendment (Article V.).
It was through the progressive actions of the Lincoln administration in the American Civil War, and the actions of the courts to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, that America ceased to be "The United States Are," and became a more nationalistic "The United States Is."
            Privileges and Immunities Clause
The next clause, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," was expected to protect the newly emancipated slaves from local legislation that may treat them differently.  This clause was a direct response to the Black Codes, laws passed in the States that were designed to limit the former slaves from obtaining all of the freedoms they thought they had been guaranteed.
The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of the proper due process of law.  The right to a fair trial was to be extended to all persons, including the emancipated slaves.
            Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause
The Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection clause, have been the subject of debate since the language written by Congressman John Bingham, the principal author of the later part of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, was first penned.  Bingham believed the federal government should use all national tools available to ensure the southern States behaved as instructed.  Bingham repeatedly stated his belief that the Fourteenth Amendment would enforce the Bill of Rights against the States, but the majority of the members of Congress present did not concur with his muddled and inconsistent argument.
Author Raoul Berger, in his book Government by Judiciary, discussed whether the 14th Amendment should be construed to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States.  Relying on the analysis of Professor Charles Fairman in his published article, Does the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporate the Bill of Rights?, Berger concluded that Bingham was a "muddled" thinker whose views should be discounted.  Berger agreed with Fairman that the framers of the 14th Amendment did not intend it to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States.  Berger rejected even selective incorporation, arguing that the Amendment's framers did not intend that any of the first eight amendments should be made applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment
Antislavery activists largely supported Bingham's conclusion that that Bill of Rights must be applied to the States, and such application must be enforced by the federal government.  Though the Bill of Rights was originally intended by the Founding Fathers not to apply to the States, and with less than a centuryt since the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution behind them, Bingham's supporters contended that local jurisdiction over cases regarding an individual's rights could no longer be allowed because the southern States could not be trusted to be fair to the newly emancipated slaves.
Bingham's call for an incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States established the concept that all people's rights are supposed to be protected by the federal government.  The Founding Fathers did not apply the Bill of Rights to the States from the beginning because giving that kind of power to a potentially tyrannical federal government carries with it many pitfalls.  As the quote by Gerald Ford goes, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."  Nonetheless, despite the dangers of a central government dictating to the States regarding their laws regarding individual rights, because of the mistreatment of the former slaves by the Southern States, the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, have been commonly interpreted to mean that the Bill of Rights is applicable to the States.
Since the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights did not take hold as a result of the 14th Amendment, as the statists that supported Bingham's position had desired, the federal courts stepped in and took pursuit.  Pursuing a nationalist agenda, the courts disregarded the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution, as well as the conclusions of the Congress regarding the 14th Amendment, and began to selectively incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, beginning with the Slaughterhouse Cases just five years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868.  A five to four vote by the high court interpreted the Privileges and Immunities Clause as the authority to enforce The Bill of Rights against the States.  Subsequent cases also used the 14th Amendment as an authority for incorporation.
The courts, through this process of incorporating The Bill of Rights to the States, have changed the Constitution through unconstitutional means, and against original intent.  As originally intended, all provisions in the U.S. Constitution apply to the federal government, unless otherwise noted.  The Bill of Rights was originally intended to apply only to the federal government, and if we are to remain in line with the original intent of the Founding Fathers, State sovereignty must remain protected by that original intent.
The attitude of the southern States, and their refusal to treat the former slaves fairly led to a perceived need for clarification and enforcement by the federal government, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and eventually to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
A separate but equal doctrine existed for more than fifty years, despite numerous attempts to ensure blacks enjoyed full rights and privileges of citizenship.
In modern politics, laws continue to test the limits of the Equal Protection Clause.  While the clause was intended to make sure that everyone is treated equally under the law, politicians supporting the Affordable Care Act have handed out exemptions to members of Congress, and some individuals or corporations, allowing those that receive the exemptions to be treated differently under the law.
Section 2 of the 14th Amendment altered the rules for the apportioning of Representatives in the Congress to the States.  The enumeration was changed to include all residents, while also calling for a reduction of a State's apportionment if it wrongfully denies any adult male's right to vote.
For fear that the former slaves would support the Republicans, southern Democrats worked feverishly to dissuade blacks from voting.  Section 2 addressed this problem by offering to the southern States the opportunity to enfranchise black voters, or lose congressional representation.
            Consequences of Insurrection
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion or treason.  A two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress could override this limitation.  The interest was to ban the service of any members of the Confederacy that refused to renounce their participation in the Confederacy.
            Public Debt as a Result of the War
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt appropriated by Congress.  The clause also indicated that neither the United States nor any State would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy.  This clause was to ensure that all States recognized the validity of the debt appropriated by Congress as a result of the war, while bonds secured by the Confederacy in order to help finance the South's part of the war "went beyond congressional power."
Political battles over the debt ceiling in 2011 and 2013 encouraged some politicians to argue that the "validity of the public debt" clause outlawed a debt ceiling, because placing a limit on federal spending interferes with the duty of the government to pay interest on outstanding bonds and to make payments owed to pensioners (such as Social Security).  The clause in the 14th Amendment addressing the validity of the public debt, however, was never intended to be a general clause to be used by future administrations, but a specific clause only addressing the debt accrued as a result of the American Civil War.
The final clause of the 14th Amendment authorizes Congress to "enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."  Federal intrusion upon the States, however, has been a long-time fear by those that support the concept of State Sovereignty.  The question regarding enforcement was addressed in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, where the opinion of the Supreme Court interpreted Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to mean that "the legislation which Congress is authorized to adopt in this behalf is not general legislation upon the rights of the citizen, but corrective legislation".
In a more recent case, City of Boerne v. Flores, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress's enforcement power according to the last clause of the 14th Amendment is limited to only enacting legislation as a response to a "congruence and proportionality" between the injury to a person's 14th Amendment rights and the means Congress adopted to prevent or remedy that injury.
Court interpretation of the Constitution can be a dangerous practice, and we must remember that any interpretation of the Constitution offered by the courts in a ruling are merely opinions.  The final authority regarding the definitions of Constitutional law resides with the people, through their States.  Any allowance of the courts to fully define the Constitution at the whims of the judges opens up the opportunity for the courts to change definitions for ideological purposes, resulting in a judicial oligarchy, rather than a constitutional republic driven by the consent of the governed, and the self-evident standards of Natural Law.

Black Codes - Laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.
Constitutional Republic - Government that adheres to the rule or authority of the principles of a constitution.  A representative government that operates under the rule of law.
Equal Protection Under the Law - Laws must treat an individual resident or citizen in the same manner.
Incorporation of the Bill of Rights - The process through court rulings based on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the States.
Jurisdiction - Full loyalty, a condition in which all foreign allegiances have been released; not owing allegiance to anybody else.
Military Districts - Districts created in the seceded states (not including Tennessee, which had ratified the 14th Amendment and was readmitted to the Union), headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials.
Nationalist - An advocate of Nationalism.
Natural Law - Unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct; observable law relating to natural existence; birthright law.
Original Intent - Original meaning of the United States Constitution as intended by the framers during the Federal Convention of 1787, and the subsequent State Ratification Conventions.
Public Debt - National debt; the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.
Reconstruction Period - Period following the American Civil War during which the United States government began to rebuild the States that had seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy, lasting from 1865-1877.  During Reconstruction, the federal government proposed a number of plans and committed large amount of resources, to the readmittance to the union, and the rebuilding, of the defeated Confederate States.
Separate But Equal - Various laws designed to undermine the 14th Amendment requirement that former slaves be treated equally under the law, contending that the requirement of equality could be met in a manner that kept the races separate.  The result of these laws was a generally accepted doctrine of segregation throughout The South.
State Sovereignty - The individual autonomy of the several states; strong local government was considered the key to freedom; a limited government is the essence of liberty.
United States are - These States that are united; a group of sovereign member States in America voluntarily united into a republic.
United States is - Nation of the United States containing a number of States similar to provinces ruled over by a centralized federal government.
Questions for Discussion:
1.  How might have the governors of the military districts influenced the ratification of the 14th Amendment?
2.  Does the Citizenship Clause have anything to do with Natural Born Citizenship? Why?
3.  Why was Congress concerned with the threat of divided allegiance?
4.  Did the 14th Amendment eliminate laws like the Black Codes, as intended?
5.  How is it that despite the original intent of those that voted for the 14th Amendment that the Bill of Rights not be applied to the States most of the first ten amendments have been applied to the States anyway?
6.  What pieces of legislation since the ratification of this amendment have been passed in order to ensure that the Equal Protection Clause is properly enforced?

Congressional Globe, 39th Congress (1866) pg. 2890: Senator Jacob
Howard States the Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment Published in the Congressional Record, May 30, 1866.
Civil Rights Act, The - April 9, 1866,
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of
Abraham Lincoln; New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks (2005)
Frank J. Williams, Judging Lincoln; Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press (2002)
John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order; New York:
Vintage Civil War Library (1993)
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham
Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War; Roseville, California: Prima Publishing, a division of Random House (2002)
William S. NcFeely, Grant; New York: W.W. Norton & Company
Voting Rights

The 15th Amendment was designed to protect the voting rights of all citizens, regardless of race, color, or if the voter had previously been a slave or indentured servant.  As stated in the amendment, this article applies to both the federal government, and the States. 
As the third reconstruction amendment, the 15th Amendment faced another challenge that was unexpected.  In some States the requirements were that all voters and candidates must be Christians.  As originally written, the amendment would require these States to change their rules regarding the manner of elections.  Realizing the ratification of the amendment may depend on the support of the States with Christianity requirements regarding elections, the amendment was revised in a conference committee to remove any reference to holding office or religion and only prohibited discrimination based on race, color or previous condition of servitude.
Democrat Party created militias, like the Ku Klux Klan, continued to try and intimidate black voters and white Republicans.  The federal government promised support, assuring that black and Republican voters could both vote, and serve, in confidence.  When an all-white mob in the Battle of Liberty Place attempted to take over the interracial government of New Orleans, President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops to restore the elected mayor.
President Rutherford B. Hayes narrowly won the election in 1876.  To appease the South after his close election, in the hopes of gaining their support and soothing angry Democrats, President Hayes agreed to withdraw the federal troops who had been occupying the South since the end of the Civil War.  The hope was that the southern States were ready to handle their own affairs without a need for any interference from the North.
In the process, President Hayes also overlooked rampant fraud and electoral violence in the Deep South, despite several attempts by Republicans to pass laws protecting the rights of black voters and to punish intimidation.  Without the restrictions, voting place violence against blacks and Republicans increased, including instances of murder.
By the 1890s many of the southern States had enacted voter eligibility laws that included literacy tests and poll taxes.  Since the black population was normally steeped in poverty, the inability to afford the poll tax kept them from voting in elections.
It took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to finally take hold.  The ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964, which eliminated poll taxes, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, served to ensure that blacks in the South were able to freely register to vote, and vote without any obstacles.
Poll Tax - A tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for            voting.
Questions for Discussion:
1.  Why was the wording of the Fifteenth Amendment changed to not include discrimination based on religion?
2.  Why do you think the Democrat Party played a part in forming the Ku Klux Klan?
3.  Why did President Hayes withdraw federal protections against racial discrimination in the South?
4.  How did poll taxes enable the Southern Democrats from keeping Blacks from being able to vote without violating the Constitution?
5.  Why do you think it took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to be realized?
Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 3d Sess (1869) pg. 1318
Foner, Eric, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished
Revolution, 1863-1877; New York: Harper Perennial Modern
Classics (2002)
Gillette, William, The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage of the
Fifteenth Amendment; Baltimore: John Hopkins Press (1969)
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs

The Blended Weave of Individual Liberty and the Disparaging Ghost of Democracy

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

"Don't forget that pure democracy is a form of collectivism -- it readily sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes. Since it involves no constitutional bill of rights, or at least, no working and effective one, the majority-of-the-moment can and does vote away the rights of the minority-of-the-moment, even of a single individual. This has been called 'mob rule,' the 'tyranny of the majority' and many other pejorative names. It is one of the greatest threats to liberty, the reason why America's founding fathers wrote so much so disparagingly of pure democracy." -- Bert Rand

Pure democracy is a destructive ghost that only appears momentarily between the rise of republics founded in liberty and the last gasp of freedom as it alters into an oligarchy ruled over by despots and authoritarians who claim they only have the interest of the common good and the collective on their dark hearts.

When speaking about the original intent of the United States Constitution, the concept of Natural Rights, or the true meaning of what limited government truly is to folks who have bought into the collectivist philosophies of the Democrat Party's progressivism (a.k.a. collectivism, socialism, statism, utopianism, liberalism, communism), you might as well be speaking a different language.  They have been convinced that individualism is the problem with society.  They call it greed, and selfishness when in reality the motivations that accompany individualism are monetary incentive and personal enrichment that, in the long run, benefits the society as a result of the accomplishments of the successful individual.
While I appreciate my community, and I am definitely a part of it, as an individual it is my personal contributions that enrich it, or not; not some pre-planned agenda concocted by twisted minds who swirl around in some kind of hive mentality.  One size does not fit all, and some bureaucrat in Washington D.C. does not know what is best for our States, counties, cities or neighborhoods.  Localism is the key to liberty, and individualism is the engine that fuels prosperity.  It is the sum of contributions, the sum of the different, unique, and individual aspirations that make life magical, and worth living.  Government has no place to interfere.  The collective, if we are all about the collective, is drab, bland, and gray.  But, with our uniqueness blended in, and our personal and individual contributions weaved into the whole of society, it becomes colorful, innovative, and it blossoms with liberty.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Progressives Cheer Burning Houses of Trump Supporters in Smoky Mountains

By Anita in Canada

This is all so sick.  Seems it was mostly started by Soros, fueled by 
Obama and Hitlery.  So much hatred for the Republicans.  Time to bring 
out the guns I guess.

People are actually out there laughing about Trump supporters’ houses 
burning down in the Tennessee fires, and even star Michael Ian Black is 
making glib, dickish jokes about it.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

For Patriots To Succeed. . .

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

I am an optimist.  I don't believe my glass is half full or half empty.  I simply have to figure out a way to stuff it full of all the things I wish to cram into it.

For patriots to succeed in restoring the republic, our passion must be more than incredible.  It must be personal.

We must never give up on liberty.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Be Careful, Trump, Free Speech Goes Both Ways

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The fact that there are those around the world who are willing to light the American Flag on fire is despicable.  The fact that there are Americans who are willing to burn the American Flag is beyond despicable.  I hate that kind of disrespect portrayed towards our republic, which is the very system of liberty that gave those people the right to burn the flag as a manner of freedom of speech in the first place.

President-elect Donald Trump, apparently, hates the fact that people disrespects our flag in such a way just as much as I do.  However, he has made an grave constitutional error.  In a Tweet he wrote:
"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
While I appreciate the fact that the President Elect is Donald Trump, and not Hillary Clinton, that does not, and cannot, put me in a position to not speak out when Mr. Trump is in violation of the United States Constitution.

Dylan Stableford of Yahoo! News wrote that the Supreme Court disagrees with Trump's assertion that there should be some kind of federal law against the burning of the American Flag.  Stableford, and the U.S. Supreme Court, are correct on this, but not necessarily for the right reason.

Stableford used as a source for his article the 1989 Supreme Court ruling in the Texas v. Johnson case that declared that flag burning is protected as free speech under the First Amendment.  The following year, the Supreme Court again voted in favor to protect flag burning when it ruled that the Flag Protection Act of 1989 — passed by Congress in response to the Texas v. Johnson decision — was unconstitutional.

Following those decisions, in 2006 Congress decided to pursue a constitutional amendment.  The Democrat Controlled Senate (it was actually a 49-49 tie between the GOP and the Democrats, but the two independents, Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders caucused with the Democrats) failed to reach the 2/3 vote needed to send the proposal to the States for ratification by one vote.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky voted against the proposal, stating that though flag burning is "disgusting," freedom of speech must still be protected by the First Amendment.

College campuses in today's society, which seems to be Orwellingly shepherded by political correctness and the fear of offending anyone, are removing the American flag from their school grounds, stating the flag represents oppressive and hateful ideals on par with the confederate flag.  Football players are refusing to stand for the National Anthem.  Students are told not to wear Old Glory on their shirts on Cinco de Mayo because it is considered offensive to those who hate the flag, but adore the flag of another country like Mexico - and the federal court system agrees.

The liberal left's deconstruction of the philosophies and principles that made this country great is indeed in the process of fundamentally changing the United States of America as Barack Obama intended, and the attack on those ideals, which includes flag burning and a refusal to have any respect for anything "patriotic", are examples of the diabolical deed.  But, if we go back to the original intent of the United States Constitution, the federal government outlawing a form of free speech, even despicable examples of free speech, makes us no better than the leftists, and to do such a thing at the federal level is not only wrong, but unconstitutional.

That, however, does not mean that the journey towards outlawing the burning of the American Flag is an impossible endeavor.

The Texas v. Johnson ruling by the Supreme Court in 1989 was an unconstitutional ruling, and Congress has the authority to make it null and void with their exceptions clause authority, as expressed in Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.  While the federal government has no constitutional authority to make any law abridging the freedom of speech, nor outlawing the burning of the American Flag, the States do.

Federal authorities are based on whether or not the power is expressly enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.  State authorities, however, are all retained by the States unless the authority is granted to the federal government, or prohibited to the States - as per the Tenth Amendment.  In the case of flag burning, the authority to ban such activity is neither delegated to the federal government, nor prohibited to the States.  Therefore, the Texas v. Johnson ruling by the United States Supreme Court overturned a State law on a State issue that the federal government has no authority being involved in.

For the sake of clearing up any potential arguments the collectivists reading this article may come up with at this point, let's remind ourselves of the realities surrounding the arguments that would be applied by anti-originalism arguments at this juncture.  Those articles, I anticipate, will be regarding judicial review, and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause which is used to give credence to the concept of the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States.

Judicial Review is the statist idea that the federal court system has the authority to determine the constitutionality of any law, and that their decision on that constitutionality is final.  In other words, that the black robed judges of the court system are the final arbiters of the United States Constitution.

The push for establishing judicial review emerged early, and in fact was discussed during the Constitutional Convention of 1787.   About a decade and a half later, in 1803 as a part of the opinion written by Chief Justice John Marshall in the Marbury v. Madison case, judicial review emerged as an accepted concept in the American System.  Mr. Marbury won his case, but the court admitted it had no power to enforce the decision.  However, Marshall slipped into his opinion of the ruling regarding Marbury v. Madison that the federal court system had the authority of judicial review, and then used eight more rulings during his 36 year reign as Chief Justice to solidify the concept of federal supremacy.

In short, the judges granted the power of judicial review to themselves.  The authority does not exist anywhere on the pages of the U.S. Constitution.  During the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 the concept of a federal review of State laws by any part of the federal government, in fact, was rejected because the intent of the U.S. Constitution was for the creation of a federal government to handle external issues, without that same federal government having any say regarding the internal operations of the States.  What occurs inside the States is the business of the States.  They are allowed to be different, unique, and to handle their own affairs.

The 14th Amendment's clauses following the citizenship clause were written by an Ohio member of the House of Representatives, John Bingham.  It was his intent to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, which would make the federal government the enforcer of our rights to the point where the federal government could mandate State compliance.  Congress, however, disagreed with Mr. Bingham, and approved the proposal for the 14th Amendment with the understanding that the incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States would not be included.  The ratification process followed the same intent, with the State legislatures ratifying the 14th Amendment with the understanding that the Bill of Rights was not to be incorporated to the States.

Having failed in establishing ultimate federal supremacy over the States through political means, the statists turned to the court system to make it happen.  The incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States has occurred, but not by constitutional means, but through the complex web of case law.  In other words, the federal courts, as with judicial review, gave themselves the power to force the States to comply with any federal demand regarding our rights.

A recent example of the courts applying the Bill of Rights to the States is the McDonald v. Chicago case of 2010.  The ruling disallowed Chicago from banning handguns, using the argument that it was a violation of the 2nd Amendment to do so.  I received calls and emails, after the decision, proclaiming how the Supreme Court's final conclusion was a win for gun rights.  My response?  Don't be so sure.  Think about what just happened as the federal court system incorporated the 2nd Amendment to Chicago's local laws - the federal government, through the judicial branch, had just dictated to a city, and ultimately to the State of Illinois, and any other State in the Union, what they could or could not do regarding gun rights.  A dangerous proposition, if the legal winds were to change direction.  If the United States Supreme Court decided to turn against gun ownership, and wished to tell the States what they could or could not do regarding gun rights, McDonald v. Chicago would serve as their precedent, and authority, to do so.

Ultimately, while it might be a nice thing on the surface for the Trump White House to want to outlaw something as disgusting as flag burning, the federal government has no authority to do such. . . but the States technically can.  The problem is that the States have already tried to do so.  The intrusion of the federal court system, based on false constitutional beliefs that exist because of big government statists, into the issue through Texas v. Johnson has answered the question of where a State's attempt to ban flag burning will go if they try again.  Precedent has been created, even though it is bad precedent, and ultimately unconstitutional precedent, as far as the current legal system is concerned, the issue has been settled.  Therefore, the way to proceed would be to have a Supreme Court that is willing to overturn Texas v. Johnson, and then recognize that the federal government, be it through legislation, executive action or order, or through the federal judiciary, has no authority to dictate to a State regarding any local laws made regarding the attempt to protect the sanctity of the symbols of liberty and our republic, such as the American Flag.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary