Monday, November 12, 2018

Crossroads of America after the Mid-Term Elections

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The time has come.

We are at a crossroads.

Do we return to the path of turning the United States into a socialistic failed state, or continue our journey along the road back to the U.S. Constitution, American Exceptionalism, and our system of liberty and a free market?

The Democrat Party has removed their veil.  They are not the party of the people, they are the Communist Worker's Party (or at least that is what they ought to change their name to).  They have revealed who they are, and it's definitely not something the Founding Father's intended.

Every single play in their game-book is communist.

From progressive taxation to making threats against the opposition (the latest is Kamala Harris calling for the death of the President and Vice President of the United States - a treasonous statement at the very least) with the goal of silencing anyone who opposes them, they are openly contemplating an overthrow of the United States Government if the leadership doesn't conform to their Marxist desires.  They support non-citizens voting in our elections if it will gain them power.  They are willing to bully the public, and even politicians who dare to disagree with their communist views, in the media - and then lie about what happened, even if it is caught on video tape.

We have to ask ourselves, as California prepares to be governed by a radical (Gavin Newsom) in the governor's mansion, and a super-majority of authoritarian leftists in both houses of the Golden State's legislature, do we really wish to chase this kind of madness in Washington D.C. as well?

Do we really wish to not only follow the party that supports killing children in the womb, but even has members who think that killing babies after birth is not murder?

They tell us that sexual deviancy is normal, calling people a boy or a girl is hateful, and that American patriotism is discriminatory.  While their policies do the opposite of what they claim (in other words, the Democrats are not the party for the poor, but the party that keeps the poor in the throes of poverty), a large segment somehow believes their propaganda, falling for their rhetoric that they are for the little guy.  Meanwhile, the Democrats' policies where they are in control (such as California) are killing the middle class, killing small businesses, and is creating an "either you're really rich or really poor" scenario.

They want government dependency, which is bondage in the chains of government bureaucracy and programs.  Slavery.  The same kind of policies that the Soviets used.  The same kind of policies the Democrats supported during the era of slavery.  The same kind of policies the Venezuelans have been using.  The kind of policies that collapses societies and kills people.

President Donald J. Trump has proven, with his results, to be the most conservative, and constitutional, President of the United States since Calvin Coolidge.  His firm hand has strengthened our position, and our role, on the world stage.  Our economy is booming, and our future has suddenly brightened after the foreboding era under Obama.  And how do we thank him?  In the 2018 mid-term elections we gave the House of Representatives back to the Democrats.

Granted, there is a silver lining.  The Republicans who lost their seats were largely moderates who refused to support our President.  In short, what we saw was some house-cleaning.  The election was not a referendum against the President, but a referendum against the Republicans who refused to support President Trump.  Now, the question is, will we, as Americans, come to our President's aid in 2020 and not only re-elect him, but give him two Houses of Congress again?  Or, will we continue to left the liberal left gnaw away at our liberty.

Will we learn from what the radical left has shown us and seek to remain on a path to liberty, or will we place America back on the dangerous path to socialism, again?

We are at a crossroads, and I pray the patriots who love liberty, and revere the Constitution, activate over the next two years so that we can keep America on a firm path back to her founding.

Otherwise, we lose her forever.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Video: Benjamin Franklin and the Power of Prayer

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

2018 Veteran's Day, Service of the Few

My first sea-going command was the
USS Chandler, DDG-996
By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Welcome Home.  Never Forget.  Thank you for your service.

The average person does not understand the commitment our service members make when they take the oath to protect and defend the United States Constitution, and the United States of America.  I don't know about today's generation, but my generation took it very seriously.  While in the service I worked harder than I ever have since, and got the least amount of sleep per night than I have ever experienced.  I was young.  I went into the U.S. Navy at eighteen, and worked my way up to Petty Officer Third Class (E-4) before being discharged just a few months before my EAOS (End of Active Obligated Service) with service-connected injuries.  I earned two Battle Efficiency (Battle E) ribbons.  Most people who know me only know about 5 months of my service, because I don't really talk about the rest.  Most of my military discussions are around my visit to intensive care less than a year into my service.  I was hospitalized for months.  Then, I worked my way back.

I will say this, it's amazing how many things we do as service members.  The military pushes an individual to limits he never thought he could achieve.  It was very hard, to say the least.  But, as a member of your unit, you don't even hesitate when it comes to accomplishing those tasks.  I just did it, because it was the right thing to do, and because that's a part of what you signed up for.

My second sea-going command,
USS Peoria, LST-1183
In my case, after I was injured, I was told I would never go back to full duty, much less walk normally again, or be able to mentally comprehend the rigors of my duties.  After I was released from the hospital, I was placed on limited duty.  I then spent about four months determined to prove everyone wrong.  I worked doubly hard during my physical rehabilitation undertaking, eventually not only getting close to the height of my physical prowess I was prior to my injuries, but exceeding all of the doctors' expectations.  I was doing more than they asked, adding the same kinds of exercises I did before I experienced by injuries.  I was pumping out push-ups every morning, I was beginning to jog (It took a year or so before I began running again), and I was performing at a level none of the doctors ever thought I would be able to achieve again in my life.  After six months of hospitalization, and physical therapy, I reported to my next duty station, the USS Peoria, LST-1183, fully recovered and ready to roll (or at least that is what I thought).  After a year or so, one of my injuries began to haunt me again, and then I was placed on limited duty status, again, but this time as a path to an administrative medical discharge.

My wife asked me the other day, "What is the definition of a veteran."

A veteran, I explained, is anyone who took the oath to serve, and spent any amount of time on active duty.  There are different kinds of veterans.  We have Veterans of Foreign Wars, we have peacetime veterans, and veterans who fill all kinds of slots in between.  While, in my case, we had a few entanglements with the Soviet Union, and in the Persian Gulf, because there was no official military operation going on, I am officially a peacetime veteran.  I served during the mid-eighties, falling short of my four years by just a few months.  I also explained to my wife that the percentage of those who serve is very low.  According to the Veteran's Affairs Office, only 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives.  That's approximately one in every thirteen people.

Today is Veteran's Day. . . an opportunity for us to thank those few who were willing to take that oath.

The birth of Veteran's Day goes back to the end of World War I in 1918. The Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France on Nov. 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close.

Between the two world wars, Nov. 11 was commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain, and France. After World War II ended, the holiday was recognized as a day of tribute to the veterans of both world wars.

Beginning in 1954, the United States designated Nov. 11 as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars.

Veterans have a special understanding of sacrifice, challenges, and gaining opportunity out of situations that seem otherwise to be a dire circumstance.

During my term of military service, and after, I have seen my share of hardships, and difficulties. While I was in the military my injuries should have made me dead, but thanks to some very hard working medical personnel, I was given the opportunity to live again.  As I stated, I worked my way back to full duty, and served on a second sea-going command.  I, then, worked even harder to reestablish myself, to restore my dignity, and prove to everyone that I was fine.  My evaluations rose to 4.0.  On the USS Peoria I won the May 1987 Sailor of the Month Award, and later was runner-up for the Command Advancement Program.  I not only worked in my rate, but also on the fire team, the security team, flight operations, amphibious operations, and I moved from Damage Control to The Bridge during General Quarters.

Now, so many years later, no matter how much I try to make it look like those injuries from when I was in the service do not affect me, they do.  I try not to grumble. I try to remember that these are simply the storms of life.  Each of my scars have a story.  I earned them.  But I am also a believer that it's not right to beat one's chest.  People who accomplish should not spend their lives pointing at themselves for what they've done.  Without God, none of it would have been possible.  I believe most veterans are the same as I in the way they think about their time in military service.  In my eyes they are heroes, but they will shrug and simply say, "I was just doing my job."

Our service taught us that life is full of storms, and through them we learn, we strengthen, and sometimes opportunity arises out of these difficult storms. In all things there is potential for opportunity.

As a patient in the Veteran's Administration system, the VA has been little influence in my life.  After Reagan, they dealt with me as little as they had to.  What has been amazing to me is that suddenly, since the beginning of the presidency of Donald J. Trump, dealing with VA has, well, become a pleasure.  It used to be that I had to go through three administrators to get to a doctor.  It used to be that unless what was ailing me had a direct connection to my injuries, they were not interested in seeing me.  Now, the VA, under the current President of the United States, has become more in tune with the needs of our veterans, and they are even bending over backwards to make sure we receive the care we need.

I have always tried not to grumble too much, but it's nice to be heard when I must.

In fact, one doctor lately truly understood me in ways I could not even describe.  He recognized the signs, and had a bedside manner that eased me into not only discussing what I experienced when I was in the military, but how those things influence me in these later years of my life.

I am not sure if the VA has gotten better because we have a President who truly loves the military, or if because he's shown the willingness to start firing people if they aren't treating our veterans with the utmost respect.  It's interesting to experience, to say the least.  They thank me for my service, and treat me with dignity.  Under the the prior president, I was just a number, and an apparent irritation to them.

Just a few months ago, in one conversation I was having with VA personnel on the phone the woman says, "and for identification purposes, what was your branch of service?"  I responded, "U.S. Navy," and she piped in "Best Navy in the World!"  I immediately exclaimed, "You betcha!"

With their willingness to be reasonable with me, I no longer feel like I have to suffer in silence.

Veterans Day has become something very special, since our new president has taken office.  I feel like the whole country has gotten to the point where they are happy to salute those of us who have served.  As I stated earlier, I am not one to beat my chest, or demand a thank you, but it's nice when that thank you is received.

Among my military brethren we have a brotherhood the civilians don't understand.  We all took the same oath.  We were, and are, committed to this country, and the service we were voluntarily willing to partake in.  We have unwavering loyalty to our country that was founded on the firm foundation of divine Providence.  While in the military, thanks to that service, as a young man I learned to understand the true meaning of honor, and what it was like to have an entire command of brothers.  The training was fierce, and the hours would never have been acceptable in the world outside the military.  It was grueling.  It took everything I had to accomplish what I did.

It was more than I expected when I originally took that oath, and I was more than happy to partake in the rigorous duties.

As members of the American military we fought for every American's freedom, and in the latest years, I have been very happy to see the emergence of groups like the Tea Party, and Trump Supporters, who have become a very loud voice for America. A voice for liberty. A voice for freedom.  In short, it's nice to be thanked, and know that the folks thanking me truly mean it.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Paradise Lost

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Wildfires have suddenly engulfed the southern California coast and a northern California inland region not too far from where the Redding fire torched the area earlier this year.  While the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire just north of Los Angeles are burning through areas all the way to the beach in places like Malibu, the Camp Fire in the north, the largest of the three, is literally wiping out entire towns.

Thousands of structures have burned statewide, the death toll is currently at eleven (UPDATE: Death Toll at 31), and in the town of Paradise due north of Sacramento, 90% of the homes have burned down, and the town has been leveled.  This may be the end of Paradise's 150 year run.

Prior to the fire, the population of Paradise was over 26,000 people.  The Sierra Nevada foothills community didn't even have time to flee, many residents had to drive along flame engulfed roadways to get away from the devastation.

The rapidity of the advancement of the fires into, and through, various towns have been primarily fueled by high winds, and in the case of northern California, a thick underbrush.

For conservatives, the underbrush is believed to be out of control because of environmental policies.

So far this year in the State of Oregon, for example, the cost of fighting wildfires has reached an all-time high $514.6 million.

Oregon’s 2018 cost skyrocketed past last year’s record-setting total of $447 million.

According to a person I spoke to in Gold Beach, Oregon, the fires have emerged in force since legislators have imposed limits on logging that has kept loggers out of certain "protected" areas.  Those same regions have been burning over the last two years.

“When the loggers go into an area, contrary to popular environmentalist opinion, they don't clear-cut, the selectively log, taking one out of three trees.  They, then, plant two in place of the cut down tree.  After all, they want a thriving forest as well.  More trees means more work, more lumber, and more profit.  Anyway, when they log, to get to those trees, they clear the underbrush.  Now that logging has been prohibited in certain areas, the undergrowth is thicker than ever, making the areas more susceptible to the threat of wildfires."

If my source is correct, the environmentalists are causing a shortage of lumber (which hurts the local, and countrywide, economy), and they are costing the State of Oregon hundreds of millions of dollars  each year to fight the consequential fires.

"What made it so expensive," said Carol Connolly, information officer for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC), "was having so many large wildfires that lasted not just weeks but months.”

With the added fuel in the form of underbrush in play, it's not surprising that the fires lasted longer.

Oregon has had 1,880 fires that burned 846,411 acres or 1,322 square miles — an area larger than Rhode Island.

President Trump agrees that environmentalist polices, which have led to forestry mismanagement, is largely the cause of the increase in wildfires in The West.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to blame "gross mismanagement of the forest" for the catastrophe and threatened to withhold federal funds if the issue is not remedied. 
It was his first tweet on the wildfires, now among the deadliest and most destructive in California history, although he earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds for Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. 
At least nine people have been killed and the entire town of Paradise, in northern California has been destroyed. 
"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor," Trump tweeted. "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests.  Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"
This is not the first time President Trump has blamed the wildfire problem on the Left Coast on environmentalist influences on lawmakers.  Last August President Trump pointed out that the wildfire problem in California is largely due to "bad environmental laws."  He also voiced his disapproval of Sacramento's Democrat Party policy of depriving southern California of water because it's "foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean."

On Saturday, Trump also said on Twitter that California wildfires "are being magnified; made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized."

Here in California a large amount of water is being diverted into the ocean in an effort to protect the Delta Smelt fish, which isn't even native to the Golden State.  Meanwhile, irrigation for farming has been shut down, turning the Central Valley from what was once the bread basked of the world into a dust bowl.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

In Recognition of the US Marine Corps Birthday on Nov 10th, and Veterans Day on Nov 11th

By Capt Joseph R. John, November 9, 2018, Op Ed # 411

US Marine Corp Birthday
We honor all US Marines not only on this November 10th, the US Marine Corps’ 243rdBirthday, but on every day.  Over the last 9+ years, 35 of the 121 endorsed Combat Veterans For Congress were elected to Congress.  In addition, 36 of the 121 endorsed Combat Veterans For Congress, were US Marines; they are listed on the Endorsements and Alumni pages of our Web site. 

Eight of the 36 US Marines that were endorsed as Combat Veterans For Congress were elected to Congress.  Those US Marines who have served their country in combat as US Marines, and subsequently continued their service to the Republic as members of US House of Representatives are Cong John P. Kline (Col-USMC/Ret), Cong Paul Cook (Col-USMC/Ret), Cong Duncan D. Hunter (Maj-USMCR), Cong Michael Coleman (Maj-USMC), Cong Michael J. Gallagher (Capt-USMC), Cong Steve T. Kuykendall (Capt-USMC), Cong Michael Gallagher (Capt-USMC), and Cong Michael Grimm (Sgt-USMC).

Veterans Day
On November 11th , Veterans Day, and every day we recognize and respect Veterans and active duty personnel who have served their country in the US Armed Forces in US History.  We especially “Honor” members of the US Armed Forces who gave their last full measure of devotion in defense of the Republic.  Veterans and active duty personnel can click on the below listed link to learn of the many deals and discounts that restaurants extend to thank them for their service on Veterans Day, and in some cases discounts are good on the Monday following Veterans Day. 

Daily many Veterans, including US Marines, are still feeling the negative effects on their health from volunteering to defend the Republic.  An average of 22 Veterans commit suicide every day, many of them are suffering from PTSD and disabling wounds , as a result of their duty on foreign fields in combat, and some have not been able to obtain timely or adequate medical treatment for their wounds or PTSD. 

However, many millions of Veterans, including US Marines, continue to quietly go about their business to provide for and raise their families.  They also to serve their country and their fellow countrymen in Law Enforcement, as First Responders, in Government service, as members of the clergy, in the Medical field, in Education, in the US Airlines, and in many other civilian endeavors.  All Veterans, at one point in their lives, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount “up to and including their lives.”

By clicking on the below listed link, you will be able to listen to a powerful message delivered by President Ronald W. Reagan about “A Soldier and His Pledge.”

If you know or recognize a Veteran who served in the defense of the Republic, and have an opportunity to communicate with that Veteran, you can show your appreciation, by thanking them for their sacrifice and service.

Copyright by Capt Joseph R. John.  All Rights Reserved.  The material can only be posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author.  It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the permission from the author.  

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt  USNR(Ret)/Former FBI
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184
San Diego, CA 92108

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Conservative Voice Radio: LIVE

Today's episode is like none of our other ones.  In other words, we are not pre-recording.  This one will be LIVE.
With the election still an overwhelming image in our rear-view mirror, Jan from the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party and your's truly, will be discussing the election, and the issues that have you asking questions.
Constitution Radio is not going to be on the air today due to exciting University of Redlands Football, so if you want your weekend dose of truth from Douglas V. Gibbs, today's Conservative Voice Radio is the program you need to be tuned into.
Join us at 8:00 am Pacific at KMET 1490-AM. If you somehow found a way to miss the program, no worries, listen to the archived version on our podcast page.

Friday, November 09, 2018

The Progressive Era, Excerpt, American Liberty

The following is an excerpt from Douglas V. Gibbs' next book, soon to be on bookshelves, A Promise of American Liberty.

Before the War Between the States, it was The United States Are.  Afterward, it became The United States Is.  Federal Supremacy began to be applied at every level.  A national system was emerging, and the autonomous sovereignty of the States was being choked out of existence.  To punish the Confederate States for seceding, the federal government used the power of centralization to force them into compliance.

It was during the period shortly after the War Between the States, the Reconstruction Period, that the incorporation doctrine truly began to take shape.  If the federal government could “guarantee” one’s rights through judicial activism, the sovereignty of the States would finally become compromised so that they would be reduced to nothing more than provinces who were subservient to the all-powerful federal system.

As socialism continued to spread through Europe, the United States was not able to escape Marx’s global reach.  Influenced by the socialists of Europe, the progressive era began to take shape in the United States during the late 1800s.  By the turn of the century, the progressive movement was in full swing.

The rise of progressivism after the beginning of the new century was accompanied by concerns about the large national debt that remained with the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War, and the growing social inequality between the rich and the poor.  The idea that there should be a tax that “soaks the rich” began to take root among progressives of both major parties.  The Democrats took to progressivism more than the Republican Party, and the progressives of the Democrat Party were looking for a way to embarrass the conservative arm of the GOP so that they could gain some traction in the next election.

With social unrest rising among the population, a Democrat proposed the Bailey Bill with the express hope the Republicans would reject it.  The theory was that after the Republicans rejected the bill, the Democrats could then point a finger at the Republicans, claiming for political purposes that the Republicans were in cahoots with the corrupt wealthy corporate types.  A Republican rejection of the Bailey Bill, which would have imposed an income tax on the rich, would serve as proof of such an alignment between the Republicans and the wealthy.  The slogan used by proponents of the Bailey Bill was “soak the rich,” a direct call to tax people they considered to be profiteers, a class of plutocrats they claimed were in collusion with the Republicans.

The conservative Republicans knew what the progressives of the Democrat Party were up to, and launched a counter move.  They proposed a constitutional amendment that would impose an income tax on the rich, and when the States refused to ratify the amendment, the Republicans would use that failure to ratify the amendment as proof that the people, through their State legislatures, were against the idea of a new income tax.  In turn, that would defeat the Bailey Bill.  After all, how could Congress approve an income tax against the rich through the Bailey Bill after the people and States rejected a constitutional amendment that would have done the very same thing?

The proponents of the 16th Amendment promised that if it was ratified the income tax would only be imposed on the top 5% wage earners, it would be voluntary, and it would be temporary.

The progressives of the Republican Party rallied behind the proposed amendment, and the Secretary of State announced the amendment was ratified on February 12, 1913.

In the beginning, only 5% of the people were required to submit tax returns.  Many of the rich, however, avoided the tax with charitable deductions, and other creative strategies.

During the Great Depression Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw the income tax as a way to vastly increase revenue, and initiated a policy of withholding from “all” wages and salaries, not just the highest incomes enjoyed by the rich.   Rather than the rich paying the tax at the end of the year, the tax was collected at the payroll window before it was even due to be paid by the taxpayer.  This style of collection shifted the tax from its original design as a tax on the wealthy to a tax on the masses, mostly on the middle class.

In addition to violating the original intent of Article I, Section 9 prohibiting direct taxation, the income tax also opposes the 4th Amendment which requires that a citizen’s privacy be protected.  An income tax enforced by the Internal Revenue Service violates the privacy of the home, business, personal papers and personal affairs of the private citizen.  Since the tax is based on wages, as well as income, the IRS has the task of making sure everyone pays his fair share.  This task is physically impossible without prying into the private papers, private business and personal affairs of individual citizens.

Since the ratification of the 16th Amendment, there have been questions about whether the proper number of State ratification votes were ever achieved.  Despite the argument by some researchers that the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified by the requisite three-fourths of the States, and that politicians of the day were aware of the discrepancy, Secretary of State Philander Knox fraudulently declared ratification.  Some may suggest that he did so under the urgings of wealthy bankers like J.P. Morgan.

The same year the 16th Amendment created the income tax, the Federal Reserve was also created.  The Federal Reserve is not a federal agency, and is actually a privately owned corporation owned by a secret group of international bankers.  The Federal Reserve holds a monopoly on the creation of money in the United States.  Whenever the U.S. Government needs money it borrows the money from the Federal Reserve.  The Federal Reserve gladly loans that money because doing so results in a good profit for the bankers.

The Federal Reserve is not the first central bank, but it is the longest lasting.  The First Bank of the United States in 1791, created by Alexander Hamilton, became a system of control over the American economy shortly after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and was, as described at the time by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, “an engine for speculation, financial manipulation, and corruption.”

In order to properly function, a central bank needs a collection of large sums of money from the people to pay off the interest on the money the government borrows.  The creation of the income tax provided that opportunity.

The Federal Reserve Act surrendered control of the monetary system to the international banking cartel and guaranteed the eventual abandonment of the gold standard.  The Federal Reserve's debt-based money guaranteed the enslavement of every American under a crushing debt burden.  The Federal Reserve guaranteed the ability of the international banking cartel to confiscate wealth through artificially created boom-bust cycles.

The result is that the U.S. Government, and the bankers in charge of the Federal Reserve, can manipulate the economy simply by the amount of money they decide to pump into the system.  The more debt-based money that is pumped into the system, the greater the rise of inflation rates.  A reduction of the printing of money then results in a recovering economy.  Government spending, in relation to the national debt, has a direct impact on the economic cycles we experience.  The more the government borrows, the more fiat money is pumped into the system.  The result is increased inflation, and a stalled economy.  Cutting spending results in less money being borrowed, which then returns value to the dollar, and in turn reduces the level of inflation while encouraging capitalism to thrive.

The welfare system was created to compensate for the damage to the American Economy caused by the Federal Reserve and the income tax.

The 16th Amendment allows for the taxation on income from whatever source derived, which gives Congress, for the most part, carte blanche to tax at will, while giving the IRS the power to do all of the things the founders specifically disallowed the federal government from doing.  This invasion of privacy, without due process, will continue as long as the 16th Amendment remains in force.

The income tax is in line with the Marxist philosophy of destroying a capitalist society by steeply graduating taxes on income and applying heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.

The same year the 16th Amendment was ratified, and the Federal Reserve Act was signed, the States also ratified the 17th Amendment.

The Founding Fathers originally established a number of checks and balances during the creation of the federal government in the hopes of providing enough safeguards to protect the people from an ever expansive, tyrannical, consolidated central government.  The separation of powers between the three branches of government, and between the federal government and the States, was an integral part of these protections against tyranny.  However, not all of the checks and balances put in place were obvious, nor are all of the checks and balances taught to us during our school years.

Historically, legislatures established as bicameral contained two houses that were different from each other.  In Rome, the assembly was by and for the people, and the senate was populated with representatives for the wealthy and powerful.  In Britain their parliament also has two different and unique houses.  The House of Commons was established to represent the common citizen, and the House of Lords is the legislative voice of the nobles.

In the United States, however, the republican form of government based on a system of We the People and autonomous sovereign states was not designed to give power to nobility or the rich and powerful.  In the U.S. the first House of Congress, as with other systems, is a voice of the people.  For that reason, the members of the House of Representatives have always been democratically elected into office.  The second House of Congress, however, was originally established as being the voice of the States.  To achieve this dynamic, the State legislatures were tasked with appointing the Senators to their six year terms, rather than the people democratically electing them.

The dynamics of the American bicameral congress were established in a manner similar to the rest of the federal government; with the intent of preventing any part of government from having access to too much power.  Too much power in any one part of the system could be dangerous, and this includes too much power in the hands of the people.

The general population, just like the government, cannot be fully trusted with absolute power.  To prevent the danger of too much power residing in any part of government, power needed to be divided as much as possible so as to keep it under control.  Too much power in the hands of anybody has the potential of being a dangerous proposition.

The United States is not a democracy.  All of the voting power was not given directly to the people.  The voting power was divided to ensure the Republic was protected from the mob-rule mentality of democracy.

The people were represented indirectly by the States in the U.S. Senate, and by the States appointing the Senators, the method of appointment allowed State’s interests to be represented in the U.S. Congress.

Since they were appointed by the State legislatures, the Senators looked at the political atmosphere in a different manner than the members of the House of Representatives.  Members of the House of Representatives, as persons directly voted into office by the people, focus their concerns on what they believe the people’s concerns are.

The Senate, prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, functioned in a very different manner than it does today.  When the Senators were appointed by the State legislatures they were expected to abide by the wishes of the State legislators.  The Senators were expected to be a representative for what was best for their States; State’s Rights, State Sovereignty, and protecting the States not only from a foreign enemy, but from a domestic enemy, should the federal government become the potential tyranny that the Founding Fathers, and especially the Anti-federalists, feared a central government could become.

The States having representation in the federal government through the U.S. Senate was also another way that checks and balances were applied to the system.  The House of Representatives represented the people, and the Senate represented the States.  Through this arrangement, it gave the people the ability to check the States, and the States the ability to check the people, and together they checked the Executive.

The States could not get too far without the people through the House of Representatives approving a senatorial proposal.  The people could not get much done without The States through the U.S. Senate agreeing with a proposal that originated in the House of Representatives.  The executive branch could get little done without both the people and the States approving of it.  However, if the President did not like what the people and the States were trying to accomplish, he could veto the bill.  If the people and the States felt the legislation was important enough, they could override that veto with two-thirds of a vote in both Houses.

Looking at it in another way, a bill would be approved by both the people and the States before it went to the President to become law.  This gave the Executive and both parts of the legislative branch the opportunity to approve or disapprove potential laws.

In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment changed the originally intended dynamics of the American form of government.  The amendment removed the States’ representation from U.S. Government proceedings.  The Seventeenth Amendment changed the appointment of the Senators from that of the State legislatures to that of the direct vote of the people.  As a result, the protection of State Sovereignty was removed, and in its place was inserted ideology, and the willingness of Senators to buy the votes of individual voters through gifts from the treasury in a manner that was already emerging from the House of Representatives.

 The Seventeenth Amendment also changed how a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate would be resolved.  The governors of the States, should the legislatures allow such, may make temporary appointments until a special election takes place.  The State legislatures may change these rules as they deem necessary, such as requiring an immediate special election instead of allowing the governor to temporarily appoint a replacement.  This leaves most of the power regarding filling vacancies in the hands of the State legislatures.

Massachusetts, during the reign of Democrat governors, used the rule that if there was a vacancy in the U.S. Senate, the governor could appoint the new Senator to complete that term of office.  When Mitt Romney, who was a Republican, was governor, the Democrat dominated legislature feared a Republican appointment should one of the Massachusetts Senators die, so they changed the rule to require an immediate special election, fully confident the people would put another Democrat into office should one of the seats be vacated.  The Massachusetts legislature even overrode a veto by Governor Mitt Romney to accomplish their rule change.

Romney did not run for reelection in 2006, and his gubernatorial term in Massachusetts ended January 4, 2007.

he new governor of Massachusetts in 2007 was Deval Patrick, a Democrat.  When Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy passed away August 25, 2009, since the State of Massachusetts had a Democrat governor, the Democrat-led legislature hurriedly changed the rule to enable the governor to appoint the new Senator as had been allowed before Mitt Romney was governor, just in case the people could not be trusted.

The appointed Democrat Party senator held the seat until a special election in January of 2010 that pitted Republican Scott Brown against Democrat Martha Coakley.  To the surprise of the entire nation, Scott Brown won the election, sending tremors through the political establishment, which included the Democrats losing a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.  Brown was defeated in 2012 by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, returning the Senate Seat back to the Democrats when she took office on January 3, 2013.

The real damage caused by the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment was that State representation in the Congress was removed.  Senators, after the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, would be voted into office by the vote of the people, making the U.S. Senate more like the House of Representatives, eliminating a very important check and balance, and making the United States more like a democracy and less like the Republic the Founders originally intended.

The people, fooled by a relenting rallying cry of “The will of the people,” and a common belief that the leaders of the States could not be trusted to appoint a worthy individual, and were instead being bought off by wealthy special interests, demanded that the federal government be changed into something more like a democracy.  As the progressives desired, and planned, the American form of government moved closer to a democracy with the Seventeenth Amendment.

The Progressive Era ended with the end of the Woodrow Wilson presidency.  President Warren Harding, and then his successor, Calvin Coolidge, used constitutionally based principles to pull America away from a recession, and begin prospering again despite the recent end of the first World War.  When Coolidge took office, he reduced taxes and federal regulations, and what followed was one of the most prosperous decades in American History, the Roaring Twenties.  In 1928, running on the popularity of Coolidge, Republican Herbert Hoover won the presidency, keeping the Grand Ol' Party (GOP) in office.  Hoover, however, was not as conservative as his predecessors, and a year into office was slammed by the Great Depression - an economic collapse caused by the overprinting of currency by the Federal Reserve, and worsened by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.  Hoover's dismal presidency opened the door for the progressives to get back into the White House in 1932, launching the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that would span over a decade.  FDR introduced the New Deal (which extended the Great Depression in the United States by seven years).  During his presidency, FDR also sent United States Troops into a second World War.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary