Saturday, January 25, 2020

The State of Virginia's Guns

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

The Democrats desperately want you to believe that gun-owning, gun-toting conservatives are dangerous, violent, and only want their gun rights protected because they are racists who wish to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them.  In 2009 a smattering of lefty commentators and politicians portrayed the Tea Party rallies as gatherings of violent protestors driven by racist rage against President Barack Obama.

It didn’t work.

Now, the same tactics are in play in Virginia.  The mainstream media’s coverage of pro-Second Amendment protests that took place in Richmond, Virginia reminded me of their coverage of the Tea Party protests and rallies.

The Virginia rally was a response to the gun control policies of Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia’s lately bright blue legislature.  Northam, participating in the hysteria, called for a “state of emergency” in response to the protest, and numerous media outlets predicted it would be marked by “hate” and violence, and overall would be a menacing and sordid affair.

But, no violence took place, and it appears that only one person was arrested for violating an anti-mask prohibition put in place by the governor.  There were no lawbreakers, no white supremacists, and the grounds were cleaned up by the rally-goers, leaving the site cleaner than before they had arrived.

Pretty impressive, given that the crowd reached an estimated size of over 20,000 on a very cold day.

The media spent days calling it a white supremacist rally, since three white supremacists, one of whom is an illegal alien from Canada, threatened to crash the party.  The media predicted violence at the rally because, you know, how could there not be with all of those dangerous guns all over the place.  Yet, the media was quick not to report that the rally was peaceful, and that the white supremacists were nowhere to be seen.

Good going, Virginia, you once again showed the liberal left the class and level of responsibility gun owners are really all about.

On a side note, thanks to the leftist attack on Virginia, I predict in 2020 the State will not only vote for Trump, but will swing their legislature way back over to the Republican column.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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  • The Democrat Party's 7 Impeachment Managers
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Constitution Class: Reconstruction from the Constitution to Oligarchy

We are still in the 14th Amendment, but today we discuss the turning point of the country from a Constitutional Republic to a Big Government Democracy with an allurement towards socialism...and how the Reconstruction Period and the Lincoln Presidency set the table for our path towards destruction.

Temecula Constitution Class
Wednesdays 6:00 pm
28120 Jefferson Ave.
Temecula, CA  

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

NBA Punk Thugs in Training at Kansas, Kansas State Game

By Douglas V. Gibbs
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-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Constitution Study TV: War Powers

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

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Doug joins Next News Network to discuss Trump Impeachment

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

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Corona Constitution class, Article 5, amendments and convention

Join us tonight in Corona at Carstar All-Star Collision at 522 Main Street in Corona California. The class begins at 6 p.m. in the upper class room. Our topic tonight is Article 5, amendments and conventions.

Corona Constitution Class
Tuesdays, 6:00 pm
522 Railroad Street
Corona, CA

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 10
Amendments and Conventions
Article V is the section in the Constitution that provides the people and the States the opportunity to change the law of the land if needed by establishing the amendment process. Originally, only the States were going to be able to propose amendments. On the second to the last day of the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers added as an afterthought to allow the Congress to propose amendments as well. The amendment process is the only process through which the Constitution may be altered.
Amendments, according to Article V, may be proposed by either two-thirds of both Houses of the United States Congress, or by a national convention of States. Amendments must then be ratified by approval of three-fourths of the States either through their legislatures, or through ratifying conventions.
Amendments proposed by a national convention is a process known as an Article V. Convention.
Current opinion regarding an Article V. Convention varies. Some people and groups have warned against such a convention, fearing a runaway convention that could be used to re-write the Constitution. The Constitution does not allow for a runaway convention. In an Article V. Convention, only amendments may be proposed.
The call for an Article V. Convention is nothing new. Forty-Nine States have called for it, many of those calls beginning longer than over a 100 years ago. Over 700 applications have been made. The convention has never taken place because the Congress will not set a time and place (the only federal duty in an Article V. Convention), for fear of the people proposing amendments, and the States ratifying them, that would limit the powers of the federal government. Centralized systems do not like it when the individual mind gets involved, and demands change.
There are three kinds of conventions. A con-con, which is a Constitutional Convention, and there was only one, held back in 1787, and there should only be one in our history. In addition to the con-con, and the Article V. Convention, is a kind of convention called Republic Review. A Republic Review may be used to audit the federal government, determine what is unconstitutional, and then form a plan of action to alter the federal government so that it falls in line with the principles of the United States Constitution. An Article V. Convention, or the States working together through nullification, could be the result of a Republic Review. The strategy to convene a Republic Review convention lies primarily with We the People.
Amendments, no matter how they are proposed, require three-quarters approval from the States. This approval process is called "ratification." Ratification is the failsafe, according to Alexander Hamilton in his Federalist 85, against conventions that may be used to rewrite the Constitution. Any change to the Constitution is possible, as prescribed by Article V, as long as the amendment is capable of receiving three-quarters of the States' ratification votes.
The only exception to any amendment being possible is addressed at the end of Article V. According to the Constitution, no amendment, without the consent of the State in question, may deprive a State of equal suffrage in the Senate. This testifies to the importance, in the minds of the framers, to the need for the United States Senate to remain unchanged, with the Senators being appointed by the State legislatures.
Since the Constitution is a document that contains express powers for the federal government, granted by the States, the only way to change or add authorities is through the amendment process, with State approval. When it is understood that the original authorities granted to the federal government were granted to the central government by the States, it is appropriate that it takes three-quarters of the States to ratify an amendment. When Congress proposes an amendment, it is literally a case of the federal government asking for permission of the States to have a new authority, and approval by the States requires three-quarters agreement.
Article V. Convention - A convention for the proposal of constitutional amendments applied for by the States and called by Congress.
Express Powers - Powers granted to the federal government by enumerated authorities expressly granted in the United States Constitution.
Republic Review - A convention of delegates representing the several States in order to audit the laws, actions, and composure of the United States federal government; a review of unconstitutional characteristics of the federal government based on the amendment ratification concept that if it takes three-quarters of the States to ratify an amendment, a quarter (plus one) of the States determining a law, action or department of the federal government to be unconstitutional allows the States to nullify the item.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What two sources may propose amendments?
2. Why does it require the States to ratify proposed amendments?
3. How is an Article V. Convention an important part of restraining the federal government?
Friends of the Article V. Convention:
G. R. Mobley, We the People: Whose Constitution is it Anyway?;
Hobart, Washington: Mobius Strip Press (2013)
G. R. Mobley, We the People: The Strategy to Convene a Convention for
Republic Review; Hobart, Washington: Mobius Strip Press
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).
Madison's Notes Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale
Mark R. Levin, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American
Republic; New York: Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster (2013)
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Four - Article I I, Section 8, Clause 5 to Article VII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987)
Copyright: Douglas V. Gibbs, 2015

Impeachment Trial 2020: Elements of Due Process

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

The impeachment of Donald J. Trump, when it comes to evidence and due process, reminds me of a scene from the Old West.  "Yes, Sir, there is no evidence that you stole any horses, but we intend to prosecute you for resisting being hung for it."

Our country's founding was based on the idea of judicial fairness, and the self-evident truth that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

In order to ensure that we have a fair justice system, in the early courts, and the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the concept of due process was instilled.  From the Framers' point of view, the essential elements of due process of law are notice, an opportunity to be heard, the right to defend in an orderly proceed, and an impartial judge.  It is founded upon the basic principle that every man shall have his day in court, and the benefit of the general law which proceeds only upon notice and which hears and considers before judgment is rendered.  In short, due process means fundamental fairness and substantial justice.

As the centuries have passed, through judicial experience, the elements have evolved into five essential elements recognized as the sine qua non of “due process.”

Equality. The system must not discriminate procedurally between parties.  In the 6th Amendment, for example, it states that the accused has a right to have the assistance of counsel for defense.  This means that if one party is entitled to counsel, then all are entitled.  The call for Equality means that there must be a “level playing field" for all who are involved, including the disputants.  Discrimination in appearance or fact is objectionable to the Equality required to satisfy due process.

Economy. The cost of access to justice must not be a barrier, either in use, or operation, within the system.  Having one's day in court must not be difficult to obtain by any of the parties.

Expedition. “Justice delayed is frequently justice denied.”  The obligation of the system is to ensure that the proceedings are expeditious.  This does not mean that shortcuts should be made, impairing the opportunity for an orderly procedure with adequate time to ensure notice, time to prepare, opportunity to identify and gather witnesses, and otherwise develop facts and arguments. It does, however, discourage dilatory tactics, unreasonable extension of time, and protraction of hearings.

Evidence. The system must be designed to elicit evidence, not assumptions; proof, not presumptions. While strict rules of evidence in the judicial sense may not apply to an impeachment hearing, the evidence admitted still needs to be relevant, and there must be an understanding that mere speculation and hearsay designed to prejudice rather than inform should not be acceptable.

Equity. The system must produce decisions that reflect a sense and substance of “rightness” and “reasonableness.”

This whole impeachment has been anything but a shining case of what judicial fairness, and due process, is all about.

During the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, the Trump team was denied the opportunity to be heard, shut out of each session and meeting, and disallowed to present its own witnesses.  Therefore, there was no orderly proceed, and with liar Adam Schiff at the helm, the proceed did not enjoy the right to an impartial judge.

There has been no equality in the case.  The impeachment has been tilted heavily in the favor of the Democrats so that they may discriminate procedurally against the President, disallowing the President, during the House of Representatives phase of the process, the right to any counsel for defense.  The Democrats have not provided a “level playing field".

In the 6th Amendment it indicates the right to a speedy trial.  “Justice delayed is frequently justice denied.”  The Democrats drew out the procedure in the House, and regarding the transmission of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate specifically for the purpose of allowing them the time to manipulate and carefully play the system with their dilatory tactics, unreasonable extension of time, and protraction of hearings.

There is no evidence.  Instead, what the Democrats have offered has been presumptions based on a twisting of circumstantial evidence.  The whole impeachment proceeding has been based on speculation and hearsay based on presumptuous conversations in the dark corner of bars and conference rooms, designed to prejudice rather than inform.

In the end, however, with the Republican Senate now at the helm, I do believe we will reach Equity. Constitutionally, the House has no influence regarding the Senatorial proceedings.  They can object all they want, but ultimately, now the rules and procedures are the call of GOP leaders in the Senate, and there's nothing more the Democrats can do to poison the procedures.

The timeline set forth by Senator McConnell is quick, and calls for a vote before the start of the Primary Season.  In short, the whole thing is about to blow up in the face of the Democrats, and they know it, which is why they keep complaining about how the Senate is handling the hearing.

The Democrats still remain smug, however.  The polls, after all, are showing that most Americans favor the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.  You know, polls by the same pollsters who predicted Hillary Clinton would win in 2016 by a landslide.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Monday, January 20, 2020

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday/Holiday

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not march so that Black Nationalists (under the misleading name "Black Lives Matter") could demand black power and further divide this country along racial lines.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not march so that blacks in America could vote Barack Obama into office because of the color of his skin, rather than the content of his character.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not march so that blacks in America could lead the country in abortions to the point where more black babies are aborted in New York City than born live, each year.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not march so that the black community could go on welfare and throw dad out of the house for the promise of increased government benefits, leading the black community to suffer in poverty as a result of abandoning the traditional family unit (poverty rate for single mother households in the black community is 37%, for households with both parents 8%, for households where both parents work 5%).

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not march so that under liberal policies that are legalizing drugs (i.e. marijuana) blacks could get high.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did march for the hope that people would be judged individually; not based on the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  He marched so that Americans could come together and work together against the leftist forces determined to tear down the American System of liberty and free association.  He marched because he believed, "We have an opportunity to make America a better nation…to make America what it ought to be."  He marched so that all Americans would realize that we all have a God-given right to live our lives free from the oppression of tyranny.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.  He fought for the individual liberty of all American citizens because Dr. King believed that all lives matter, and all lives should have the opportunity to enjoy the liberty available in America ... if only one were willing to pursue it.

He understood that without God, we are not capable of freedom, that without God we live under the rule of man rather than the rule of law, and that without God the liberty and prosperity we so desperately seek is but an illusion.

"Only a virtuous society is capable of freedom."  -- Benjamin Franklin

-- Political Pistachio' Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Constitution Radio: The Failure Shuffle

Constitution Radio      
with Douglas V. Gibbs 

Get the phone app ... make your smart phone smarter!

1-3 pm Pacific Time on Saturday Afternoon ... or if you miss the show, listen later to the archived podcast at 

Last Saturday we had two callers, one from Canyon Lake, California, and one from South Central Los Angeles.  We want to hear from you during this next episode.  Call in at

  • Second Amendment Showdown in Virginia
  • U.K.'s Boris Johnson Wants U.S. Trade Deal Before Negotiating with E.U.
  • Investigations: Rep. Ilhan Omar and James Comey
  • Ninth Circuit Denies "Climate Teens" Who Sued Trump Over Climate Change
  • Trump's popularity rises after delivery of Impeachment Articles
  • Republicans Amash and Romney losing donor money over Anti-Trump Stance
  • Iranian Regime Facing Increasing Internal Protests
  • Unemployment Rate Under Trump Lower than before, some rates at historic lows, as Trump states more tax cuts on the way
  • Pelosi: Trump is impeached forever
  • Warren to Bernie: You called me a liar on National TV

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Why Elizabeth Warren is Calling Bernie Sanders a Sexist

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

I didn't have to watch the final Democrat Party Debate to determine it was going to be a joke.  As expected, the Democrats, desperate for a champion who can beat Trump, are attacking each other.  At one point, during a sort-of off-mic moment, Elizabeth Warren approached Bernie Sanders and accused him of calling her a liar.

Warren: I think you called me a liar on National TV.
Sanders: What?
Warren: I think you called me a liar on National TV.
Sanders: Let's not do it right now.  You want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion. 
Warren: Anytime.
Sanders: You called me a liar, you told me -- Alright, let's not do it now. 
Where did that come from?

To fully understand, we have to go back a little bit in time.  Earlier, before the debate, Warren, on CNN said that Bernie told her that he did not believe a woman could win.
Bernie denied the charge, saying, "It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win," Sanders said. "It's sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren't in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016."
In 2016, Bernie Sanders was the radical, but because he might pose a danger, the chosen one (Hillary Clinton), and the Democrat Party establishment, used a rigged primary to make sure the self-proclaimed socialist could not beat Hillary Clinton for the nod.  This time, Bernie is surrounded by radicals, and so there is nothing political that can be used to separate him from the rest of the pack.  And, as this election season progresses, Bernie may actually have a shot at securing the nomination.  This concerns the establishment, and his opponents ... chiefly, Elizabeth Warren.  So, the knives are out.

A question regarding the sexism allegation then emerged during the debate:
Abby Phillip: CNN reported yesterday that, and Senator Sanders, uh, Senator Warren confirmed in a statement, that in 2018 you told her that you do not believe that a woman could win the election.  Why did you say that?
Bernie Sanders (Grinning): Well, as a matter of fact, I didn't say it.  Uh, and I don't wanna waste a lot of time on this, because this is what Donald Trump, and maybe some of the media, wants.  Anybody who knows me know that it is incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be President of the United States...Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes.  How could anybody in a million years not believe a woman could become President of the United States?  
Abby Phillip: So, Senator Sanders, Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here.  You're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election.
Bernie Sanders: That is correct.
Abby Phillip: Senator Warren?  What did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
Elizabeth Warren: I disagreed.  But, this question about whether or not a woman can become President has been raised, and it is time to attack it head on.  Um, and I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at peoples' winning record.  So, can a woman beat Donald Trump?  Look at the men on this stage.  Collectively they have lost ten elections.  The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women.
The crowd roared.

Is this really about if women can win the election, or is it about the fact that Bernie is no longer a stand-out?  The Democrat Party has joined Bernie on the far left socialist fringe, and only Joe Biden remains as a voice of what was once a more moderate mainstream agenda of the Democrat Party (or, at least that's what they wanted you to see, back then).

The Democrat Party now regards Bernie Sanders as a clear and present danger, even though the base of the party has chased him over to the far left fringe.  Like in 2016, the ruling establishment has decided that Bernie must not be the candidate.  Elizabeth Warren agrees, and her campaign is not pulling forward as she'd hoped.  So, to boost her numbers, her knives are out for Bernie, as well.

The base of the Democrat Party wants radical change, so Biden won't do, and Bernie (like Biden) is an old white guy who may have help jump-start the radical direction the Democrat Party is going, but he's a part of the old guard that is seen as being antiquated and not hip enough for the new socialist revolution.

Besides, even if Bernie had said what Warren claims he said, would it have been a sexist statement by a sexist, or was it an honest observation about the reality of the state of elections in America at this point in history?  As Mark Steyn pointed out on Tucker Carlson Tonight, "If I say to some gay guy I don't think Iran's ready to elect a gay president, it doesn't mean I'm homophobic, it's just an assessment of the state of the race, as it were."

So, what, then, is this all really about?  I think it is that the Democrat Party desperately wishes to beat Donald Trump, and they are fast realizing that they may not have that candidate; and if they do, it's not Bernie Sanders.

Following Mark Steyn's comments as a guest on Tucker Carlson's Fox News program, the truth was ferociously illuminated by guest Ian Samuel, a progressive, leftwing, former Supreme Court Clerk who self-proclaims himself as being an American Socialist.
Tucker Carlson: Is this working?  Elizabeth Warren is basically leveling an identity politics attack against her chief rival on the left, Bernie Sanders.  Is it effective?
Ian Samuel: No, it's not.  And, the reason they're doing it is because there's nothing else they can do...This was very predictable.  About a week or two ago you started to see this sort of coordinated release of analysis and articles and things like that saying, 'Hey, has anybody noticed that Bernie Sanders might actually be in an incredible position to win this primary?'  The same sort of pundits on CNN, The New York Times, people like this, who would basically ignore his candidacy for a long time, suddenly realized, 'Wait, this guy's not a joke.  He has the most money.  He's first, or close to first, in all the early States.  He's got real strength in the Super Tuesday States.  Is it possible he might actually win?'  And, there was about a week of that, and they were all feeling like, 'mm-hmm,' now they get it.  Of course the thing that was going to come next was, 'What are we going to do about it?'  And, there's not time to out-organize him, there's not time to out-fundraise him, and there's certainly not time to explain to people why his agenda, which is very popular among voters, is not something to believe in.  So, what do you reach for?  The last refuge of scoundrels.  You lie, and call him a sexist.  And, I have to believe that even the Elizabeth Warren campaign knew that this was going to be tough for people to believe.  Bernie Sanders in 1988, as a surrogate, by the way, for Jesse Jackson, right, in his presidential campaign...said, he thought a woman could be elected President.  It's a tough argument to make.  But, what else are you going to do?"
Tucker Carlson: Well, I don't know.  You could critique his policies, which are radical, and I think deserve a debate.  And, one of the things that enrages me is that the rest of us are bereft to that debate.  We would be enriched by it.  We'd be terrified by it, we might learn something, that's the whole point of this whole stupid process is to inform us, and all we're hearing is sexism, racism.  It's like, childish."
Ian Samuel: Yes, it is, but here's the problem; they tried that.  So, what, err, where did things go wrong for the Elizabeth Warren campaign?  Easy.  They had a good Summer.  Really good Summer.  I was actually a little afraid of they had such a good Summer.  And then, they got into the details of the debate.  Healthcare policy.  Medicare for all.  How are going to pay for it?
 Tucker Carlson: She had not thought it through.
Ian Samuel: She had not thought it through.  And, she thought she could sort of pull a trick.  We are going to be able to do this without raising taxes.  We're going to be able to do this in year three.  And, then we'll have a sort of option at the beginning.  And she tried to pull a fast one.  And, they lost that argument, decisively.  So badly that it tanked their campaign, all the way from the heights that I thought they were going to just roll all the way to the nomination, down to where they are, which is third or fourth place, and they started bleeding everything to Pete Buttigieg, of all people.  Talk about getting humiliated.  You're losing to the boy-mayor from South Bend.  So, they tried a policy argument.  The problem is, their arguments were bad.  And, they couldn't win that argument.  And, so, now they're looking around and thinking, 'Well, Hillary Clinton didn't have good policy arguments, either, but, she had this.  Why don't we try that.'  And, it's just not going to work.
I have always argued that the Democrats fail when they try to argue in the arena of ideas and policy.  You know it's real bad when they fail even when they try to argue against each other.  In the end, what's going on tells us in a very loud and clear voice one thing.  They have nobody capable of beating Donald J. Trump in 2020, and the desperation has them turning on each other.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary