Monday, January 21, 2019

Buzzfeed Reveals Fake News

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

Dan Rather made up a false document to try and get you to question President Bush's integrity and character in 2004.

Last year Katie Couric edited an interview in such a way that it deceptively misrepresented and falsely portrayed supporters of the Second Amendment as being stupid, and not having an answer to her questions.

The mainstream media actively attempts to deceive its audience constantly, yet we continue to watch, listen, and read the garbage they put out.

The media's allies, leftist online outlets, do the same.

BuzzFeed, which got its start with cat videos, revealed how deceptively dishonest the liberal left progressives truly are with their own recent fake news endeavor.

The Washington Post gave us the following headline:
BuzzFeed’s stumble is highest-profile misstep at a time when press is under greatest scrutiny
BuzzFeed News’s erroneous claim that Michael Cohen was instructed by President Trump to lie to Congress was picked up by much of the leftist media as fact until reality slammed them in the face, and it turned out to be a false claim (that, interestingly enough, BuzzFeed refuses to admit).  Because so many outlets bought into it, likely because they are grasping at anything they think they can use to discredit and remove President Trump from the White House, the fake news by BuzzFeed has become one of the highest-profile missteps for a news organization in a long time (or at least since Couric and Rather).  The timing is interesting, as well, since President Trump's battles with the media has them feeling like they are under intense scrutiny not only by the Trump administration, but by the public in general.

The BuzzFeed story has been rebuked by special counsel Robert Mueller, the liberal leftist conducting the investigation searching for a crime regarding Trump's alleged ties to Russia.

Leftist news outlets like the usual suspects, CNN, New York Times, the alphabet networks, Bloomberg, McClatchy News, and the players overseas, like the Guardian and BBC (to name a few), have been publishing fake news continuously since Donald Trump has been elected, but they have been able to duck and dodge the fake news bullet quite well.  President Trump has been ringing the bell, accusing the purveyors of leftist dribble of being biased and irresponsible, but they've always dodged the accusations by throwing crap back at the President, and then stirring up new false claims.  This time, however, the egg hit them squarely in the face.

The liberal left media, politicians, and a good number of the voters, don't care about truth.  All they want is to create believable conclusions about President Trump's alleged criminality, even if they must make up out of thin air each and every allegation.

BuzzFeed took the gambit a little farther.  The outlet's writers, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, claimed that prosecutors had detailed evidence that Trump had directed Cohen to lie to Congress about Trump’s proposed office tower project in Moscow in 2016 — a direct accusation of presidential criminality, and arguably an impeachable offense (according to Democrat Party political leaders), if proven to be true.

"Finally," was the likely thought of the leftist mainstream biased media minions.  "We finally have something that is true, rather than a figment of our own imagination."

Except, BuzzFeed's claim turned out to be what all of the other anti-Trump news spouted by the libstream media has been.  False, a fantasy, and professionally dishonest to cap it all off.

Worst of all, it was one of their own that blew the whistle, and called out BuzzFeed.
The Washington Post reported: Mueller’s office cast doubt on BuzzFeed’s report.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” the statement said, challenging the central thrust of BuzzFeed’s explosive story — that Mueller’s team had detailed evidence of felonious acts by the president.

Mueller's office doesn't say much, as it is.  For them to make sure they shot this one down was stunning to the liberal progressives, and had the effect of the Hindenburg explosion.

The impact was catastrophic, to say the least.

The Washington Post reported “the special counsel’s office seemed to be disputing every aspect of the story that addressed comments or evidence given to its investigators.”

BuzzFeed was slammed, and the mainstream media has been reporting it.  Unlike most fake news stories exposed to be false, this one was getting front and center attention that even the liberal left voters were paying attention to it.  Could it be planting seeds in the minds of the mindless automatons out there who have been voting democrat?  Could it be that the news media is dishonest after all?

BuzzFeed's rise from cat videos to a respected news source with writers who are serious investigative and political reporters came when they did a series on assassinations of people opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, the upstart internet outlet was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize last year over that series.

One wonders how in a world run amok of fake news (like the Guardian’s story in late November about a secret meeting between Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Julian Assange, who heads WikiLeaks; or how McClatchy reported that unidentified intelligence agencies had picked up cellphone signals indicating Cohen had traveled to Prague at the height of the presidential campaign in 2016, lending credence to claims in the disputed “Steele dossier” that Cohen had met secretly there with Russian officials to coordinate with Trump’s campaign. Cohen has denied the story, which also hasn’t been confirmed by another news organization; and how CNN has published at least two disputed stories on the Russia probe) why it is that the big boys don't get frickasied with a blazing fire of inquiries and fact checkers, but BuzzFeed somehow aimlessly wandered onto the grill, and hit the heat themselves.

This is not the first time BuzzFeed has faced criticism from non-liberals.  After all, they also published the fake Russian dossier, the collection of unconfirmed reports alleging that Russian officials held compromising information about Trump that was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer. Trump has repeatedly denounced it as “bogus” and “a pile of garbage.”

We just never expected the person to expose fake news for what it is, in this case BuzzFeed's story, to be Mueller.

President Trump called the BuzzFeed story “phony” and said the media has lost its credibility.

“I think that the Buzzfeed piece was a disgrace to our country. It was a disgrace to journalism, and I think also that the coverage by the mainstream media was disgraceful, and I think it’s going to take a long time for the mainstream media to recover its credibility,” he said.
The bad news for the liberal left progressive commie lamestream media is that BuzzFeed has alerted the snoopers, and now the leftist press will be under more scrutiny than ever before.

I'm thinking we are going to learn real soon that the BuzzFeed's version of fake news is just the tip of the iceberg.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

America: Last Home of Free Speech . . . For Now

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

Pat Condell delivers a very well thought out defense of America's First Amendment, and Free Speech, warning that free speech no longer exists in Europe, and if we continue down the current progressive path of insanity, it will die in America, as well.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Pat Condell's Message to Muslim Migrants

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

He nails it . . .

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Constitution Radio: A War for the Prize

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs: Guest Host, Alan Myers ... Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific, KMET 1490-AM

 First Hour: Doug, Alex, and Dennis discuss issues through the lens of the U.S. Constitution

 Second Hour: Doug, Glenn, Jan, and Diane discuss the issues from a Tea Party perspective

KMET 1490-AM

1-3 pm on Saturday Afternoon

archived podcast at


◉ First Hour: Constitution Radio CARSTAR/AllStar Collision Big Stories of the Week:

🚩 Government Shutdown Continues, and Trump is Winning

🚩 Buzzfeed's Cohen Lies Fake News

🚩 The Youth Creating Democrat Party Civil War

🚩 Women's March

🚩 Alan Myers: PG&E Files Chapter 11

🚩 Alan Myers with Douglas V. Gibbs: Dougtopia and the creation of Dougmarks.

◉ Second Hour: Conservative Voice Radio

🚩 Trump addresses Border Security Issue

🚩 Pastor Fired for Relaying the Truth . . . Are we losing our religion?

🚩 The Changing Democratic Party

🚩 Shutdown Paychecks

🚩 Pelosi Says No to State of the Union Speech

-------- and if there is still time . . .

Shocker Reveals phony Steele Dossier was known to be HRC's paid-for start of the Trump Witch Hunt in Summer of 2016 Even Before the election!

Judicial Tyranny: So what do we do about it?

Tech Tyranny: What is Congress doing about it? Answer: Nothing!
Google Targets our Kids in the Classroom -

California Madness Continues - Ban Paper Receipts!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Economics and the Constitution

By Douglas V. Gibbs

For the Framers of the U.S. Constitution economics and property rights were intimately intertwined.  In today’s society, however, property rights have been relegated away from its original place as a fundamental right, and now are considered to be a minor right.

At the center of the Framers’ foundational economic principles were two beliefs: Laissez-faire (allow the economy to follow its own free market course without governmental interference) and hard currency (using coined money composed of precious metals so that the material itself held the value of the denomination).  The Founders also preferred to avoid mercantilism (governmental protectionist policies), discourage monopolies (the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service), disallow governmental interference regarding one’s use of individual property, encourage the freedom of individuals to contract, restrict regulation to the protection of health, safety, and morals, and to encourage the free market to be as democratic and dynamic as possible. 

During the era of America’s founding there were bitter disputes regarding the paying of the national debt, whether or not the United States should create a national bank, and whether government subsidization was beneficial to domestic manufacturing and other industries.  Founders such as Alexander Hamilton argued that a perpetual national debt was beneficial for credit purposes and holding together the union, he was the primary proponent for the eventual creation of the Bank of the United States (national bank) believing that our banking system required a connection to Europe’s, and he encouraged the practice of government subsidizing various sectors of the national economy.  James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other proponents of a more limited role of the government opposed Hamilton on these issues.  Jefferson, in fact, argued against any national debt existing long enough that its repayment becomes the responsibility of the next generation.  While George Washington did sign the act that established the Bank of the United States, he did so reluctantly, and against the advice of Jefferson, and his republican allies.

One thing they all agreed upon goes back to the connection between economics and the free ownership of property, which was that all Americans have the right to sell or give property to others on terms of one’s own choosing (market freedom).

Socialists reject the Founders’ approach to economics, arguing that a free market system based on profit and free choice encourages selfishness and leads to an unjust distribution of wealth.  To ensure that the socialist order properly combats a capitalist economy, socialists believe there must be a constant establishment of new laws and new bureaucratic initiatives in order to properly and equally redistribute among the masses the wealth produced by the capitalist system.

Modern opponents to the Founders’ view of economics also argue that while their plan to protect property rights and utilize free markets occurred in a simpler time with vast tracts of available land, in modern times these policies are incapable of addressing the difficulties we encounter in today’s complex industrial society.  According to today’s proponent of increased governmental intrusion into economics, economic oppression during the early years of the United States could simply be dealt with by moving hundreds of miles westward.  Today, there are no such places to run to.  Therefore, today’s economy is doomed to fail because it is unable to provide a fair and equitable allocation of goods and services, nor an escape route so that the person may start all over again.

These criticisms are based on failed socialist principles that claim the Founders’ approach to economics was unfair, and too primitive to be applied today.  The socialist view considers the free market system as immoral because it allows selfish profiteers to dominate the system, which undermines morality and encourages greed.

In reality, the free market system established by the Framers is the primary reason behind the prosperity and economic dominance in the world that the United States has enjoyed.

The Founders recognized property as being a fundamental right, and as with all other natural rights, it was considered to be morally wrong to infringe upon anyone’s property rights.  Even if government, or the proponents of government infringing on a citizen’s property rights, claimed such an infringement was useful, or for the common good, such intrusion into the natural right of property was considered despotic, and unconstitutional.

The Continental Congress declared in 1774 that “by the immutable laws of nature,” the people “are entitled to…property.”  In the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776), property was labeled as being an “inherent” right.  Massachusetts (1780) called it a right “natural, essential, and unalienable.”  Other States used similar language.

Deprivation of one’s property rights by the government was seen by the Founding Fathers as an injustice, and an act of tyranny (let alone, the fact that infringement of one’s property rights was detrimental to the proper functioning of a free market economy).

Through the incessant urgings of the utopianists and communitarians of the Founding Era to the constant propaganda and indoctrinational teachings of Marxists and socialists of the modern world, the argument in favor of capitalism is becoming less prominent.  

The Founders’ argument for a free market economy stems from their belief that all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights,” one of which is “the means of acquiring and possessing property, and having the right to freely possess, trade, sell or buy that property as they see fit.  Their definition of property did not rest solely on real estate, either.  When referring to property the Founders were referring to all possessions, be they tangible instruments of ownership (guns, food, vehicles, one’s home, jewelry, etc.)

As a free people, then, we all may freely use our talents to acquire property and to keep or use the property as we see fit.  For individuals or government to forcibly prevent someone from acquiring property, or to use coercion to transfer property from one person to another, deprives that person of the fruits of his labor, and is a violation of individual liberty.  From the point of view of justice, then, governmental interference with property rights is immoral, and unjust.

Property rights and a free market economy were seen by the people of the Founding Era as being an assurance of a prosperous society.  Without property rights, they believed only the tyrants would be able to enrich themselves, as they force the general population into bondage.  Property rights and a free market economy, therefore, were viewed as being essential for liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Everyone needs food, clothing, and shelter, and therefore has a right to acquire and possess these goods, for the sake of mere life and for the sake of the good life.  The role of government is to restrain itself from interfering with those needs, and to provide an orderly society so that one may continue to encounter opportunities to satisfy those necessary needs of life and happiness.

To maintain liberty, and a free economy, the protection of property rights and economic liberty is paramount.  Wealth, after all, is not finite, where one person’s ownership is another’s deprivation.  Wealth is created, and the opportunity to possess property is indefinite in a free economy.  The Founders believed the right to own, possess, and transact property included more than merely the possession of what one has, but also the acquisition of what one needs or wants in the future. 

In Federalist Paper #10, James Madison wrote, “diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate…. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.”

From Madison’s point of view, an individual owns himself (mind, body, and talents) first, therefore, no one has a natural right to own anyone else.  There are no natural masters or natural slaves, and the first object of government is not to secure the physical property acquired by the employment of our faculties, but to protect the faculties themselves.  Our individual minds, bodies, and talents, after all, are the things that are necessary in our quest to acquire property.  Madison offered, “From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession…of property immediately results.”

If all members of the society have a right to acquire and possess property, competition is a natural outcropping.  Some properties may be more scarce than others, and in such a condition of scarcity an opportunity to buy and sell, and accumulate wealth, emerges.  Non-owners possess a right to acquire, and the owners of scarce items have a right to defend their possessions, or provide a price of their own choosing for the item in question.  We must then ask ourselves, “at what point must government legislate rules to ensure an orderly flow of commerce, especially when it comes to scarce items?”

In many ways, this is where the rubber meets the road.  Economics is intertwined with the application of natural law and natural rights, and while we possess a natural right to property and the pursuit of happiness, we must ask, “Does government have a duty to establish legislation to ensure a proper set of rules so that we may exercise our right to acquire property effectively, and trade or sell that property as we may wish?”

First and foremost, from the Founders’ point of view, it is essential that government restrain itself as much as possible when it comes to private ownership.  Property should be used as each owner deems best, and through local government policies government should encourage widespread ownership among citizens.

The Framers viewed government as a necessary evil.  While a potential of tyranny always exists when a governmental entity is present, it is through government that law enforcement and emergency services are provided, which in turn promotes freedom.  Instead of awaiting the inevitable theft of one’s property, and feeling the need to spend all of one’s time protecting one’s property, with government in place a justice system and a law enforcement agency exists to ensure the protection of one’s property against infringements by others, including unjust infringement by government itself.

Market freedom then leads to the ability of all free members of the society to sell anything to anyone at any time or place at any mutually agreeable price.  While it may be necessary to ensure, through a justice system, that government defines and enforces contracts, all other government policies must revolve around the concept of ensuring that the market place remains free from as much outside intrusion as possible.

Without a reliable method of exchange, however, all of the principles of the free market system fall flat.  To facilitate market transactions, there must be a medium of exchange whose value is reasonably constant and certain.  If there is no stable method of exchange, then there can be no accurate measure of market value, which would create a situation where the prices of goods and services fluctuate greatly.  A rapid and extreme fluctuation in prices would cause an elimination of debts and investments through inflation, and property would be able to be taken by simply manipulating the supply of money.

The issuance of “Bills of Credit” nearly doomed the fledgling United States before the Revolutionary War was even complete.  The “Continental” turned out to be a fiat paper currency that drove inflation to unforeseen levels, and by the end of the whole ordeal the economic turmoil caused by the manipulation of paper money by both State, and the government under the Articles of Confederacy, led to a strong demand for an end to government-issued paper money.  In Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution a return to hard currency (coined money made of precious metals) is established, and in Article I, Section 10 the States are forbidden from emitting bills of credit or coining their own money.  It also calls for only gold and silver coin to be used as a tender in payment of debts.

The issuance of fiat paper money, however, was not staved off for very long, and over the last one hundred years the issuance of paper money has become the norm not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

James Madison explained the fears regarding fiat paper money in Federalist Paper #44.  He wrote, “The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen in proportion to his love of justice, and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity…. [S]ince the peace, [America has suffered] from the pestilent effects of paper money, on the necessary confidence between man and man; on the necessary confidence in the public councils; on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of Republican Government.”

Madison’s explanation states that the trouble with fiat paper money was both moral and economic.  In addition to creating an economic crisis, the Framers believed paper money to be unjust, and immoral, due to the negative influence these instruments of exchange had on economic efficiency, prosperity, and the ability of the average citizen to fairly buy and sell.

That said, the Founders also understood that in such a system the utopian schemes of equity would not apply.  In Federalist Paper #10 Madison noted, “From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results.”  In other words, people with more talent and ambition will generally acquire greater wealth.  Such is the reality of a free market system, and a political system based on liberty.

However, differences in wealth create another dynamic that does not exist in a collective system based on social equality.  As one emerges with greater prosperity, to maintain that prosperity one must continue to encourage the growth and success of one’s endeavors.  Normally, these things are accomplished by expanding one’s entrepreneurial aspirations, which in the end benefits other members of society through the increase of employment opportunities, and increased security to protect one’s properties and money.

James Wilson wrote, “The right of private property seems to be founded in the nature of men and of things…. Exclusive property multiplies the productions of the earth, and the means of subsistence. Who would cultivate the soil, and sow the grain, if he had no peculiar interests in the harvest?”  In short, an economic order in which some acquire more than others is the condition of greater prosperity for all.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Constitution-class, Temecula

6 p.m. at the Republican Party headquarters in Temecula California,

 Constitution Class Handout Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs

Lesson 16 Rights and State Sovereignty A Protection of Rights Not Enumerated, 9th Amendment The Bill of Rights was created to appease the Anti-Federalists, but many of the Framers envisioned possible dangers in its creation. In fact, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper #84 suggested that there existed the possibility of misinterpretations that may place the rights of the people in danger from an overpowering federal government. In Federalist #84 Hamilton suggested that government may create exceptions to powers not granted, and argue the power exists because it is not denied by the Bill of Rights. In other words, because the Constitution was designed to grant authorities, and those not listed are not granted, the Bill of Rights muddies the waters because those amendments tell the federal government what it can’t do. Furthermore, many of the delegates in the Federal Convention of 1787 argued that the Bill of Rights is unnecessary, because prior to the creation of the Bill of Rights, the federal government was not given the authorities by the first seven articles over any of the issues listed in those first ten amendments in the first place. Regardless, the Anti-Federalists demanded the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, or they would not ratify the document. Needing the support of the Anti-Federalists in order for the Constitution to be made law, the Founding Fathers that were at odds with the creation of the Bill of Rights compromised, and James Madison was given the task to write out the Bill of Rights based on proposals received from the several States. Hundreds of proposed amendments were offered by the States. Only twelve were considered. Ten were ratified by the States during that time period. Answering concerns of the Founding Fathers that the federal government may interfere with rights not enumerated by the Bill of Rights, the 9th Amendment was included as one of those ten. The Founders expected the people to protect their own rights through self-government. With freedom comes responsibility, therefore the people, when it came to their rights, should be governed by their conscience, not government. This concept tasked the people, with their individual judgment, to be civil, and to not encroach on one another’s freedoms. If citizens were guilty of violating someone else’s rights, the civil court system in each State would address the issue. Local courts were controlled by juries, and left all issues regarding rights at the local level. The very notion of the federal government putting itself into a position of encroaching on the rights of the people was seen as tyrannical, and dangerous. After all, how could a centralized, far removed, governmental power that is unfamiliar with local customs and laws properly administer private rights issues? The problem presented by the Bill of Rights, however, is that by listing specific rights that the government shall not infringe upon, many of the founders believed that would open up the opportunity for the federal government to “interpret” the Constitution to mean that all other rights not listed are fair game. Therefore, the wording of the 9th Amendment was carefully fashioned to enable the reader to recognize its intent. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. In other words, the government cannot “deny or disparage” any rights, even the ones not listed in the Bill of Rights, because our rights are given to us by God. This does not give the federal government the authority to guarantee our rights, however. To allow a central government to force lower governments to abide by the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights is to open the door for government to later dictate to the lower governments other actions they would have to take regarding rights. Since rights, as the Declaration of Independence reveals, are “self-evident,” as well as individual possessions, the authority to resolve disputes regarding rights remains at the local level. Terms: Anti-Federalists - Opposed to formation of a federal government, particularly by adoption of the Constitution of the United States. Bill of Rights - The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution; a formal summary of those rights and liberties considered essential to a people or group of people. Federal Government - System of government in which power is distributed between central authority and constituent territorial units. Federalist Papers - Series of essays written by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton defending, and explaining the principles of, the Constitution in order to encourage the New York Ratifying Convention to decide to ratify the Constitution. Questions for Discussion: 1. Why were the Anti-Federalists so worried about the creation of the federal government through the Constitution? 2. Who gives us our rights? Why is this significant? 3. What are the dangers of enabling the federal government to “interpret” the Constitution? Resources: Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper #84, Avalon Project, Yale University: 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). Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder’s Constitution – Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987). State Sovereignty “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The 10th Amendment was designed to restrict federal powers from encroaching on State authorities. The article states that any powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution, and any powers not prohibited to the States, belongs to the States. We must remember that originally all powers belonged to the States, a concept known as Original Authority. In order to create a central government, the States granted some of their powers to the federal government so that it may function in the manner necessary to protect, preserve, and promote the union. The States, in Article I, Section 10, are denied powers that would be in conflict with the federal powers granted. However, since the States originally maintained all powers, any authorities not granted to the federal government, nor denied to the States for the purpose of enabling the federal government to do its job, were retained by the States. The 10th Amendment was also designed to correct the problems that arose through the creation of the Bill of Rights. By the Bill of Rights being composed in such a manner that the first ten amendments tell the federal government what it cannot do, the worry was that the argument in support of unconstitutional activity by the federal government would entail the argument, “Where in the Constitution does it say the federal government can’t do that?” Such an argument by the central government may open up opportunities for the federal government to compromise Americanism, and fundamentally transform into a big government tyranny. The Constitution was designed to grant authorities to the federal government so that it may function in the manner originally intended. The powers granted to the federal government are the only authorities the federal government has. If the powers are not enumerated, the federal government does not have those authorities. The 10th Amendment was written to remind us that even though the first eight amendments tell the federal government it “shall not infringe,” the rule of the Constitution is that all federal powers are enumerated in the Constitution, and if the power is not granted to the federal government, nor denied to the States, the authority remains with the States. This article was written to support State Sovereignty. It is the Tenth Amendment to which one must first go when debating States’ Rights. The amendment clearly states that all federal powers are enumerated, and the remaining unlisted powers, if not prohibited, belongs to the States. James Madison makes a clear argument in support of the concept of State Sovereignty in Federalist #45: “. . . each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments. . . The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. . . The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments in times of peace and security. . .” The States serve in a manner similar to that of parents. The people, through their States are the parents of the federal government, but the petulant child is not only acting in ways never authorized, but the parents, through representation, and other means, have determined for themselves that they have no ability to rein in the out of control creation. The 10th Amendment reveals the reality that the States are sovereign, and that the federal government has only limited powers. When breaking down the language of the Tenth Amendment, the previous articles of the Constitution become clear. It is in the Tenth Amendment that the principles of a limited government are most clearly articulated. The concept that the Constitution was designed not to tell the federal government what it cannot do, but to tell it what it can do, is presented clearly in the first portion of this amendment. Powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are not authorities granted, meaning that the federal government is limited to only the powers enumerated by the Constitution. Some powers, despite the fact that original authority of all powers belongs to the States, are prohibited to the States. The authorities prohibited to the States are those that, if the States had those powers, may interfere with the federal government’s task of protecting, preserving, and promoting the union. The list of powers prohibited to the States, any amendments doing the same notwithstanding, are located in Article I, Section 10. The word reserved was chosen carefully for this amendment. “Reserved” is used rather than the word “granted,” because the States are not granted any powers by any source. All of the powers already belonged to the States from the beginning. Any powers the States did not grant to the federal government, nor decide to prohibit to themselves through the Constitution, remain with the States. The presence of the word “reserved” reveals that fact. Reserved, in the context of this article, also means “To hold for their own use.” Terms: Americanism - A philosophy of freedom that actively seeks less government and more personal responsibility. Original Authority - Principal agent holding legal authority; initial power to make or enforce laws; the root authority in government. Reserved - Kept for another or future use; retained. 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. States’ Rights - The authorities of the States over local issues, and other issues, that are not directly related to the preservation of the union or are considered as federal issues. Questions for Discussion: 1. Why was it important to ensure the federal government did not encroach on State authorities? 2. What did Madison mean when he wrote, “the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments.” 3. Why is it important that the enumerated powers limit the authorities of the federal government? 4. How does the fact that the States have original authority in regards to all powers bring into perspective the relationship between the States and the federal government? 5. Why was the word “reserved” used in the Tenth Amendment, rather than granted? Resources: About the Tenth Amendment, Tenth Amendment Center: Definition of Enumerated, 1828 Webster’s Dictionary:,enumerate Definition of Reserved, 1828 Webster’s Dictionary:,reserved James Madison, The Federalist Papers #45, Avalon Project, Yale University: 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). Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder’s Constitution – Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987). Thirty Enumerated Powers, Tenth Amendment Center: Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Corona Constitution Class: Second Amendment

Due to inclement weather, I am canceling tonight's class.

Tuesdays, 6:00 pm
CARSTAR/AllStar Collision
522 Railroad St.
Corona, CA

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs

Lesson 14

Militias and Standing Armies

2nd Amendment: Keep and Bear Arms
The 2nd Amendment does not give you the right to keep and bear arms.  The 2nd Amendment does not protect you against the government from taking away your guns.  Your rights are given to you by God, and protecting your rights is your responsibility.  Like anything else you own, if you give away your rights, or allow someone to take them, they may still belong to you as an unalienable, God-given right, but you have given up all access to them, and can no longer exercise those rights.

In the Washington, D.C. v. Heller case in 2008 the Supreme Court of the United States determined that the right to bear arms is an individual right, as opposed to a collective right which would only allow the bearing of arms for the purpose of participating in government approved groups, such as law enforcement agencies.

During the early years of the United States under the United States Constitution, the Anti-Federalists feared the creation of a central government because they feared the federal government would become tyrannical, and take away people’s rights.  Therefore, even though the Constitution in the first seven articles did not grant to the federal government any authority over gun rights, along with the rest of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, those skeptical over the creation of a central government wanted an amendment that clarified the federal government had no authority to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

The States have Original Authority, meaning that all powers belonged to the States prior to the writing of the Constitution.  The first seven articles of the document did not give to the federal government the authority to regulate firearms, therefore, any legislative power over gun rights is a State power.  The 2nd Amendment simply confirms that.  The argument then becomes about the potential tyranny of the States.  If the 2nd Amendment does not apply to the States, what keeps the States from infringing on gun rights?
The State constitutions, and the people, hold the responsibility of restraining the States from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.  The Founding Fathers were not concerned with a tyranny of the States because the State governments are closer to the people, and therefore the people have fewer legal and political obstacles when acting to ensure the State governments do not infringe on individual rights.

Complacency, then, becomes our greatest enemy.

With freedom comes responsibility.

Understanding that the Framers expected their posterity to be informed problem-solvers, while recognizing that basic human nature would invite complacency and the rise of a tyrannical government, it becomes clear why the Founding Fathers put so much importance on gun rights.

In early American society the need to be armed was necessary for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, protecting one’s property, facilitating a natural right of self-defense, participating in law enforcement, enabling people to participate in an organized militia system, deterring a tyrannical government, repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, and hunting.

The right to keep and bear arms is not merely about protecting your home, or hunting, though those are important, too.  The whole point of the 2nd Amendment is to protect us against all enemies, foreign and domestic, which could include a potentially oppressive central government.

Noah Webster in his “An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution,” in 1787 articulated the necessity for keeping and bearing arms clearly: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe.  The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."

Some will argue the 2nd Amendment does not apply to our current society because the militia is a thing of the past.

The National Guard now serves as the organized militia envisioned by the Founding Fathers, but an unorganized militia also exists.

Title 10 of the United States Code provides for both "organized" and "unorganized" civilian militias. While the organized militia is made up of members of the National Guard and Naval Militia, the unorganized militia is composed entirely of private individuals.

United States Code: Title 10 – Armed Forces, Subtitle A – General Military Law
Chapter 13 – The Militia:

Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are -

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Other than age, health, gender, or citizenship, there are no additional provisions for exemption from membership in the unorganized militia.  While it is doubtful that it will ever be called to duty, the United States civilian militia does legally exist.  The Founding Fathers would have likely included in the definition of unorganized militia, “All able-bodied citizens capable of fighting.”

McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) challenged the City of Chicago’s ban on hand guns, bringing to the surface the debate over whether or not the 2nd Amendment only applies to the federal government.

The 5-4 Decision of the McDonald v. City of Chicago case by the U.S. Supreme Court holds the 2nd Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms in all cities and States.  The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that originally the 2nd Amendment applied only to the federal government, but it is in the opinion of the court that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Bill of Rights, therefore applying those amendments, and more specifically the 2nd Amendment, to the States.

The decision by the Supreme Court, in this case, makes all State laws on fire arms null and void.  Applying the 2nd Amendment to the States means the 2nd Amendment is supreme over any and all State laws on firearms, and according to the 2nd Amendment, “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  If “shall not be infringed” applies to both the federal government and the States governments, then all persons are allowed to possess a firearm.  The words, “shall not be infringed” carries no exceptions.

The reason the 2nd Amendment is absolute in its language is because it was intended to only apply to the federal government.  The federal government shall not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms in any way, but the States retain the authority to regulate guns as necessary based on the needs and allowances of the local electorate.

The U.S. Constitution applies to the federal government except where specifically noted otherwise.

In reference to McDonald v. Chicago, I am uneasy anytime the federal government tells a city or state what they have to do, even if on the surface it is for a good cause.

If we give the federal government the right to tell cities they have to allow gun ownership, what stops them from doing the opposite later?  This case created a precedent of allowing the federal government to dictate to the States and cities what they have to do, and that kind of federal intrusion constitutes great danger to State Sovereignty.

Breaking down the language used in the 2nd Amendment assists in clarifying what the original intent was.

The 2nd Amendment begins, “A well regulated Militia.”  The immediate understanding of that phrase by the average American in today’s culture recognizes it as meaning, “A militia under the control of the government,” or “regulated by government agencies,” or “managed by federal law.”

All of the above definitions are wrong.

As discussed regarding the Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8, the word “regulated” does not mean “controlled or restricted by government.”  The definition used by the Framers, and the one that fits best with the context of the period, and the principles of the Constitution, can be found in the 1828 Webster Dictionary.  Webster defined regulated as: “To put in good order.”  Some historians state that the word “regulate” in the 18th Century meant “To make regular.”  The word “restrict” was not used in the 1828 definition until the third and final definition of “regulated,” revealing that today’s most common definition was the “least used” definition during the time of the writing of the United States Constitution.

Since “regulate” did not mean “to control and restrict,” but instead meant “to put in good order,” that means a well regulated militia is one that is in good order.

The need to have a militia in good order makes sense when one considers that during the Revolutionary War the militia was not in good order.  The muskets were all different sizes, often the clothing of some members of the militia was tattered, and many didn’t even have shoes.

To put the militia in good order, Congress was required to create standards for the militia to follow.  The authority to Congress regarding this power is revealed in Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, where the Constitution says, “The Congress shall have Power. . . To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

The next part of the 2nd Amendment reveals that a well regulated militia is “necessary to the security of a free State.”

The word State, in that instance, means “individual, autonomous, sovereign State.”  In other words, a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free Massachusetts, a free Pennsylvania, a free Virginia, a free New York, a free Ohio, a free California, and so on.

Necessary to the security of a free State.”  A militia is necessary, not just recommended, to the security of a free State.  Security against whom?  A foreign invader?  Isn’t that what the standing army was supposed to be for?  Why would States need militias, capable of being called up by the governor of the State, for their “security,” and to ensure that security is for them to remain a “free State?”

Foreign enemies were a concern, but not as much of a concern as a tyrannical central government.  Thomas Jefferson so distrusted a central government that he suggested there would be a bloody revolution every twenty years.

… can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted?  I say nothing of it's motives.  They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness.  God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.  The people can not be all, and always, well informed.  The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.  If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.  We have had 13 states independant 11 years.  There has been one rebellion.  That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state.  What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?  And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms.  The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.  What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?  The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it's natural manure.” -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787

The Declaration of Independence also states that the people have the right to stand up against their government should it become tyrannical.  In the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence it reads:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The right to alter or abolish a tyrannical government walks hand in hand with the right to keep and bear arms.  How could it ever be logical that the right to keep and bear arms could ever be influenced or restricted by the very government that that right exists to protect the people against in the first place?

Arms - Weapons, firearms; a gun that may be used for protection of property or as part of a militia.

Collective Right - Rights held by a group, rather than its members separately.

Declaration of Independence - The unanimous formal Declaration of the thirteen united States of America declaring their freedom from Great Britain, dated July 4, 1776.

Individual Right - Rights held by individuals within a particular group.

Organized Militia - A well trained militia that is in good order that operates under the authority of Congress, able to be called into actual service by the executive authority of a State, or by the Congress of the United States; National Guard, Naval Militia, State Militias.

Original Authority - Principal agent holding legal authority; initial power to make or enforce laws; the root authority in government.

Regulated - To make regular; to put in good order.

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.

Unorganized Militia - Able-bodied citizens of the United States, or those who have made a declaration of intention to become citizens of the United States, who are members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  In your opinion, what are the most important reasons for the right to bear arms?

2.  If the courts, or the federal government, were to redefine gun rights as being a collective right, how would that affect our individual right to keep and bear arms?

3.  Is a militia necessary in today’s society?  Why?

4.  Why did the Founding Fathers see it as necessary to prohibit the federal government from any authority to prohibit the right to keep and bear arms, but felt it necessary to allow the States full authority over gun regulations?

5.  In McDonald v. Chicago the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment applies to cities and States.  How does that open up the opportunity for the federal government to further regulate firearms?


10 USC § 311 - Militia: Composition and Classes, Cornell University
Law School:

McDonald v. City of Chicago, United States Supreme Court:

Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal
Constitution (Philadelphia 1787), The Federalist Papers:

The Tree of Liberty Quotation, Monticello - TH: Jefferson Encyclopedia:

Washington, D.C. v. Heller, Supreme Court of the United States Blog:

3rd Amendment: Quartering

The Founding Fathers feared a centralized government with a powerful military.  One of the final straws that began the road to the American Revolution was the Quartering Act of 1765 where the colonists became required to house and feed the British troops they despised.  The Quartering Act enabled the British Empire to exercise greater control over the populace.  It was also known as one of the Intolerable Acts.

The Quartering Act served as a major reason for the writing of the 3rd Amendment, which reads: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Tyrannical governmental systems use unwarranted influence through military means.  To guard against the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power, the Framer’s concerns about standing armies became evident in the 3rd Amendment.

To help the populace protect themselves, and be able to enforce the 3rd Amendment, in case the federal government violated the clause, the Founding Fathers also gave us the 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The concept of a Militia that is not a federal army is the realization that the United States will not be one where there is a standing army that can be used against its citizens.  Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 gives the Congress the power to raise and support armies, but limits them to no more than two years funding.

When a military arm of a tyrannical government can compel the citizenry to house the military machinery of defense, a police state is present and liberty is at risk.  Such was the reasoning behind the 3rd Amendment.

Until the Revolutionary War, the American States had no military, and the militias were populated by the colonists.  The Constitution gave the U.S. Government the authority to build a military for the defense of the union.  A military establishment, in the minds of the Founders, was a potentially dangerous thing.  The Founding Fathers desired to protect the union, but did not desire that the American military become an authoritarian tool of a potentially tyrannical federal government.

Intolerable Acts - A series of laws passed by the British Parliament against the American Colonies in March of 1774.  The British Parliament referred to these laws as the Coercive Acts.  The acts were primarily designed to punish the colony of Massachusetts for defying British policies, and more specifically, for the Boston Tea Party.  The Intolerable Acts caused outrage among the Americans, which led to the calling of the First Continental Congress in September of 1774.  Among the actions taken by this united Congress was a boycott of British goods.  The Intolerable Acts were called “impolitic, unjust, and cruel,” and included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Quartering Act, the Quebec Act, and the Administration of Justice Act.

Police State - A system where the government exercises rigid and repressive controls through strong law enforcement or military control.

Quartering Act of 1765 - Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765 that stated that British troops in America would be housed in barracks and in public houses unless and until the number of troops overwhelmed the facilities, at which time, the troops could be housed in private commercial property, such as inns and stable, and in uninhabited homes and barns.  The quartering would be without compensation and, in fact, owners would be required to provide soldiers with certain necessities such as food, liquor, salt, and bedding, also without compensation.

Standing Army - A professional permanent army composed of full-time career soldiers who are not disbanded during times of peace.

Questions for Discussion:

1.  Why did the British pass the Quartering Act of 1765?

2.  How did the Americans respond to the Intolerable Acts?

3.  Why did the Founding Fathers have concerns regarding standing armies?

4.  How does militias protect against the formation of a police state?

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

Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder’s Constitution –
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).

Quartering Act, U.S. Constitution Online:

The Declaration of Rights and Grievances, U.S. Constitution Online:

Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs