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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sacramento's Opinion of Military Veterans

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Melissa Melendez again gives us a view through the window to her leftist colleagues in Sacramento:

She posted this yesterday on Facebook:

Tomorrow we will have a Veteran of the Year luncheon. Unlike other recognition ceremonies that we have where those being recognized are invited onto the assembly floor for a ceremony, tomorrow's Veteran of the Year ceremony, once again, is being held off site at another building. It saddens me deeply that the California democrats have so little respect for our military they will not allow even allow them onto the assembly floor.

By the way, Assemblywoman Melendez is a military veteran.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Democrat Hysteria Loses Elections, Now 0-for-4

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Tom Price's spot in Congress, of which he departed from when Trump nominated him for Health and Human Services Secretary (a position Price currently holds), and you could also say Newt Gingrich's former seat, of which he took from the Democrats in 1979 after generations of Democrat control, in the United States House of Representatives representing Georgia's 6th Congressional District, was won narrowly by Republican Karen Handel.  This is the fourth seat the Democrats have failed to steal through special election since the arrival of President Donald J. Trump in the White House.  Democrats wanted to declare a victory so that it may support their "referendum against President Trump" narrative, but instead it revealed that the Democrats don't know how to beat the GOP in Republican dominated regions, and they don't know how to beat Trump.

Jon Ossoff, the democrat who ran against Handel in the run-off election in Georgia threw everything he could into the game in the hopes of winning, which included an awful lot of money.  He raised more than $23 million, and pumped into the race a total of a whopping $30 million.  If you add Handel's expenditures, the race cost over $56 million (a record, by the way).  

While Ossoff ran as the candidate seething with vicious opposition to Trump, Handel's campaign embraced the President, showing support for the President, and she won as a result.

Handel is the first Republican woman to represent Georgia in Congress.

So much for the Democrat Party being the party to shatter barriers, and break glass ceilings.

Prior to Handel's win, the GOP has also pulled off House victories in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina.  The message?  2018 will be all about Trump, and if Trump continues to refuse to be the evil racist sexist bigoted President the Democrats say he is, and on top of that his presidency continues to reel in successes, it could be a very disappointing 2018 mid-term election for the Democrats.

"Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

Now, with 2018 on its way, Democrats have their eye on 24 GOP-held seats in the hopes of regaining a House majority next November.  The Democrats say their polls and studies of the trends point towards an encouraging outcome next year.

You know, like the polls and trends told them encouraging news regarding Hillary Clinton's inevitable win last November.

Democrats will likely double-down on what has been defeating them.  I don't believe they understand that it is their progressivism, and baseless obstructionism, that is defeating them.  They believe the country has made a sharp left turn, and Trump is some kind of unexpected anomaly that can be bullied out of office with name-calling, and just a little more money.  In fact, I am willing to bet that the Democrat brass is saying right now in some back office where the leftist strategy-makers convene, "If we had just spent a little more money on the Ossoff campaign, and ran just a few more attack ads, we would have won."

That's always their answer, isn't it?  More attacks, get more vicious, throw more money at the problem, resist, resist, resist..

The Party of the Donkey truly does not understand why Trump won the presidency, or why the Republicans have been doing well of late.

Now, the Democrat Party is like a cornered animal, reacting to everything, bearing its fangs, and extending its claws.  In the coming elections the Democrats will be more vicious, more insane, more leftist, and more pro-Muslim and pro-gay and pro-socialism and anti-Constitution and anti-God because they truly believe that is what it will take to win.

Which is exactly why they lost in the first place.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Corona Constitution Class: 14th Amendment and the Jeffersonian Definition of Equality

Tuesday Night, 6:00 pm
AllStar Collision
522 Railroad St.
Corona, CA  92882
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.
Terms:
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?
 
Resources:
 
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.
 
            Apportionment
 
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.
 
            Enforcement
 
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.
 
Terms:
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?
 
Resources:
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,
http://www.tedhayes.us/CVR_civil_rights_act_of_1866.htm
 
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
(1981)
 
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.
Terms:
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?
 
Resources:
 
Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 3d Sess (1869) pg. 1318
 
Foner, Eric, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished
Revolution, 1863-1877; New York: Harper Perennial Modern
Classics (2002)
 
Gillette, William, The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage of the
Fifteenth Amendment; Baltimore: John Hopkins Press (1969)
 
 
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs

The Mueller Enigma and the Age of Vengeance

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The information pile of false B.S. regarding the false case against the Trump Administration regarding Russia is so massive, I am tempted to call the distraction seeking a crime a whole new name, "The Mueller Chronicles."  The lawyers and personnel surrounding Mueller reminds me more of a hit squad than a legal team.  Maybe it will make a great new Marvel Movie, "Guardians of the Left-Wing: The Age of Vengeance."

Mueller is a prosecutor and investigator trying to find a crime where one does not exist.  That said, despite the fact that Mueller's background is filled with cooperation with the Clintons and their minions (including Comey), firing Mueller would be a disaster for Trump because it would look like he's trying to kill the investigation.  For some, that would be seen as an indirect admittance of guilt, and confirmation of Comey's accusation.  Never mind the fact that collusion as alleged is not technically a crime.  As for the obstruction of justice charge, that's a massive "he said she said" situation that has no evidence, and is based on the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey who has given false testimony before, and therefore, cannot be trusted to be honest.

Mueller is getting an assist from the media, to boot, with false stories with false narratives in the hopes of making the court of public opinion believe the tall pile of manure, and remember the crap long enough that it will affect the next few elections.

In short, it is all a great big cover-up, designed to distract America and the GOP from discovering the truth as evidence is destroyed by the liberal left regarding the true crimes committed by people like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Podesta. . . and so on and so on; and the hope is to remain a threat against the pesky Republicans that the Democrats sincerely hope will be gone by next election, allowing the Democrats to continue their socialist overthrow of the Constitution of the United States uninterrupted, as was the case during the Obama regime.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Melissa Melendez, LGBT, and the true nature of Democrats

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host






So today the assembly had an LGBT ceremony. They placed a goody bag on each of our desks. When I came back to the assembly floor, I noticed my bag was gone. A democrat member who sits behind me came up and said "oh, I took your bag, my guest wanted one. I didn't think you were here". And that ladies and gentlemen is a perfect example of the liberal mindset: he could have given his guest his bag. Instead, in order to appear generous, he didn't sacrifice anything of his own, he took something that was rightfully someone else's, and gave it to a person he felt should have it. You know, to be fair.

https://www.facebook.com/melissa.melendez.94?fref=nf

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Finsbury Mosque Attack by Radical Right-Wing Terrorist

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host



-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

The Puzzle of Equality, Liberty, Happiness, and Fairness

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

A society cannot practice liberty and equality simultaneously.  Equity is a Marxist construct, and to even claim that civil rights are "rights for equality" is denying the reality of the system of liberty established in the United States, and following the existence of a Marxist drive to extinguish that liberty we seek to revitalize.  The drive for equality should not be about forcing the culture to be color-blind, but to remove government from the culture so that we may strive to be self-reliant, personally responsible, and successful without governmental regulations forcing upon the citizenry their idea of collectivism, and without allowing the politicians to use social engineering through laws that promote preferential treatment, quotas, or limit our opportunities to reach for the incentives offered  by a free market economy, regardless of who we are.

In other words, the greatest threat to our liberty to be who we are is a government that believes it is its job to guarantee equality.

The political opposition of the U.S. Constitution uses terms like "fairness" and "justice" to promote their call for a collective, homogeneous society.  They reference the Declaration of Independence's language calling for the idea that "all men are created equal" without understanding what the phrase truly means.  On the surface the call for "fairness" and "equality" sounds wonderful, but the reality is that these concepts actually propose a society that is the opposite of what our American system of government was designed to promote.

Biblical concepts of individualism and free-will are intertwined with the principles of liberty we find in the founding documents of the United States.  Our natural rights are God-given, and the concept of having an individual right to own property so that we may be fruitful as a result of our labors is biblical.  A free society requires that we have private ownership, and that our possessions are to be obtained as a result of our individual labors.  The Bible states, "Thou shalt not covet" and "Thou shalt not steal," confirming the concept of ownership.  Ownership requires individual assertiveness and innovation to be able to obtain the property.  A society that refuses to adhere to the commandments of Heaven, which includes liberty and the pursuit of happiness, becomes chaos. A society that eliminates the right of private property ownership becomes a tyranny.

When governments call for "fairness" they are calling for equity.  God, however, made each of us different from each other.  We are not the same, nor were we ever intended to be so.  The reality is that in a free system where our own individual skills and drive fuel our journey towards success or failure, there will be winners and losers.  There will be those who become wealthy, and those who don't.  For those who lose, however, in a truly free society those people will still have the opportunity to try again, without government interference, without government control, without government regulation.

As the old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."  It is not supposed to be, "If at first you don't succeed, head for the welfare line."

In a collective system of fairness and equality, everyone gets a trophy for participating, whether it is earned, or not.  Everyone, according to the government in those systems, must be equal no matter what, even if it means eliminating innovation, competition, and the recognition of individual achievement.

The Declaration of Independence declares that "all men are created equal."  We must ask, in what way are we all equal?

Should we all be equal at the finish line despite our lack of effort during the race?  Are we all truly equal at the starting line, even though some have the gifts needed for the race, while others may have God-given skills for a completely different journey?  Or are we all equal in the eyes of God when it comes to His Love, Forgiveness, and desire to have us join Him in his Kingdom after our short time here on Earth is completed?

Among our rights we have the right to pursue Happiness.  Is happiness the same for all people?  Is there truly equality in the pursuit of happiness?  Or, did Thomas Jefferson pen those words because it was a proclamation that we are all created equal despite government, and in the eyes of God without government interference?

If the latter is true, then we must ask, "Should it be government's job to seek social justice or equality among its citizens based on government's definition of equality?"

A central government was created by the U.S. Constitution not to regulate our lives, but to protect, preserve and promote the union. A central government like our federal government, like any other central system throughout the world and throughout history, is capable of becoming tyrannical. Knowing the danger of an ever-expanding government determined to interfere with our liberty, the authors wrote the Constitution in a manner so that it is equipped with limitations on the powers of government.  The federal government's authorities are only those that have been expressly granted by the States, and nothing more.

Governmental spending was only supposed to be in relation to those limited authorities.  If the federal government was to determine for itself its own powers, and if the federal government was to be given its own discretion on how to spend as it wished base on its own definitions, then they will (and have) interpret their authorities to be way beyond Constitutional limitations, and inevitably a tyranny will follow.

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, addressed the issue of unlimited spending.  He said, "It has been [said], that the power 'to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defence or general welfare. . . If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one."

Madison intended for us to understand that our own liberties belong to us, and must not be a part of the federal government's purview, and therefore not a part of federal spending.  Equality is not supposed to be equity in results, but equity in the fact that government does not interfere with our personal lives or natural rights, regardless of who we are as Americans.

When the Progressive Era slammed into the United States during the late 1800s, and gained full steam during Woodrow Wilson's presidency, the democratic socialism and strategy of class warfare under Karl Marx's guidance through the Communist Manifesto took on a theme of redistribution.

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." -- Karl Marx

Using the Marxist platform, the progressive income tax rate took hold.  Direct taxation with a progressive rate gave rise to class warfare, and ultimately the opportunity for the progressives to buy their power with entitlement programs. Personal ambition was targeted for termination, and the platform of modern day liberalism began its journey to destroy the liberty fought for by the Founding Fathers.

The utopian concepts of collectivism, and communitarianism, through a socialist agenda, has birthed our modern era where we believe that equality is not supposed to be in the eyes of God, but in the eyes of government, through rules of equity.  Our dynamic economic system of financial freedom through a vibrant marketplace free from interference from government meddling has been compromised by increased taxation, governmental debt, and government regulations intruding upon the means of production.

The opposition to constitutional principles argue that a free market is contrary to fairness, and equity.  Some people become rich, while others remain poor.  In order to eliminate the unfairness, the statists seek to increase government intrusion in the private sector, create laws that encroach on our freedoms in the name of protecting us from ourselves (because it is somehow good for the collective good), and eventually gain control of the means of production so that profit and incentive is eliminated for the sake of social and economic justice.

True equality, however, always devolves into equal misery.

Government intrusion into our personal lives, in a system that stands against liberty in the name of equality, does not stop there.  Energy, transportation, banking, and even how we eat begins to fall under governmental scrutiny.  Anti-constitutional forces and their minions demonize success, penalize wealth, and say that "fairness" can only be reached by taxing the rich, and targeting anyone or anything that has reached a level of success that makes it look like they have been blessed unfairly. Corporations have been proclaimed the enemy, and class warfare has become the preferred mode of warfare on the political battlefield.

The basics of economics teaches us that if production is penalized through regulations or taxation, or both, there will be less of it.  This concept is true with anything.  If you tax more heavily a particular product or service, consumers will seek that product or service less.  Therefore, by taxing or regulating against individual production, there will be less production, and the market will suffer, regardless of how eager the consumerism may seem.

To cover-up the damage caused by policies of governmental intrusion into the private sector, and to shore up the concept of equality for all, supporters of statism have established "entitlement" programs.  Dependency upon government, as hoped for by anti-liberty forces, has proven to be an addiction with greater potency than any addiction to any natural or synthesized illegal substance (drug).  As more people join up with the ranks of the dependent, the statists must seek more taxes from the producers of society to pay off the recipients.  The more government seeks such a redistribution of wealth, the more they encourage less production, and as a result, more people become dependent upon the government in order to survive.

At what point does the loss of production become too severe to continue to afford the transfer of wealth from the producers to those dependent upon welfare programs?

Samuel Adams, an American Revolutionary that supported the principles of limited government as prescribed by the United States Constitution, recognized the dangers of collectivism. Though socialism was not technically a concept unleashed upon the world, it did exist under different names, such as "Utopianism." Schemes of Utopianism were present during the dawn of the New World, and the founding of America. The notion of the redistribution of wealth, a socialist tactic used to diminish the standing of the wealthy in a society by taking riches away from the producers by way of heavy taxation, or inflation, and distributing those funds by way of entitlement and welfare programs, or price controls, to the "less fortunate," was not a strategy unknown to the Founding Fathers. In a quote, Samuel Adams spoke of the action, calling it Schemes of Leveling. He said, "The Utopian schemes of leveling, and a community of goods (what we now call "Socialism"), are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional."
Among the reasons the battle for political supremacy is being lost by the forces of liberty is because supporters of constitutional literacy have been losing the culture war.  Equality as a concept from the point of view of the Declaration of Independence has been hijacked and redefined, and the average person does not understand that the modern definition is not compatible with the true concept of liberty.  The argument for "equality for all" has hooked racial minorities (black and Hispanic), single women, millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) and secular voters, who, together, form roughly half of the U.S. voting age population, and is a group destined to dominate politically in the coming years.

How can the proponents of constitutional literacy and the promise of liberty combat against an ideology that seeks to soothe the emotions of people who feel they've been treated unequally, and stroke humanity's desire to be fair?

The equality argument is being used across the board, and is being promoted through a massive campaign through technology.  The maladministration of the term "equality" is being applied to immigration, family, gender roles and religion.  The revolution is being called a blending of immigrant, multinational, multicultural and multilingual diversity that goes way beyond the idea of a melting pot.  How can anyone argue against such a unified-sounding idea?

The utopianist's package is covered with colorful wrappings and sparkling bows.  It winks at you kindly, and holds out its arms with the promise of a reassuring hug.  We can all work together and be equal, the collectivists proclaim.  If we put the community before individualism, in the long run we can all coexist in peace and harmony.

Unfortunately, no matter how beautifully decorated, beneath the colorful wrappings and sparkling bows is a utopian poison preaching collectivism, proclaiming in as loving of a voice as possible that its "for the common good."  The collectivists believe their definition of a social community is more important than God's definition of individuality.

There is no question from a Jeffersonian point of view that we all are created equal, and under the law we should all be treated equally.  Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed that he had a dream that someday people would be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.  In a virtuous society where the rule of law reigns, that doctrine does not mean, however, that we should also be equal in our skills, and talents.  Life is always unequal.  Life is what we make of it.

While we are all created equal by our Creator, the truth is, reality dictates that complete and unadulterated equality ends at birth

During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, not a single delegate argued that equality extends beyond birth.  In fact, Alexander Hamilton on June 26, 1787, made a statement to the contrary.  He said, "Inequality will exist as long as lib­erty exists. It unavoidably results from that very liberty itself."

Madison's Notes reflect no dissent regarding Hamilton's remark.

During the ratification conventions no comment demanding verbiage proclaiming equality was uttered, either.  Nor, in the proposals or during the conventions regarding the Bill of Rights.

Government was never given the authority to impose equality because in a system of liberty where we as free citizens can strive for the American Dream, true equality is not only not possible, but it would work against what is being achieved through liberty.

George Mason, a delegate during the Constitutional Convention, but a man who refused to sign the document because he feared the federal government may have too many authorities as it was written, and because he did not wish to promote it without an accompanying Bill of Rights attached, said of equality, "That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain in­herent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and de­fending life and liberty, and of ac­quiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and of pur­suing their own happiness."

After generations of slavery, however, Abraham Lincoln needed to use the "equality" argument to unite a nation.  He began his Gettysburg Address citing the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming, "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Slavery was the antipathy of equality, and in order to stir imagination and emotions, Lincoln pursued the "equality" label.  He succeeded.  Lincoln aroused emotions of sympathy.

His speech, however, was a contradiction of what he had said only a year before.  On August 14, 1862, speaking to a large group of black delegates in Washington, he said, "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races."

Thomas Jefferson warned that the abolition of slavery would bring with it a new set of challenges.  Jefferson believed that slavery must be abolished, but feared a blanket abolition of slavery would cause problems.  The newly emancipated slaves would be steeped in poverty, and there would be trouble between the races.  Besides, the Constitution reserved to the States their sovereignty, so it was not the job of the federal government to tell the States what to do on the matter.  The States had to come to the conclusion to abolish slavery themselves, individually, bit by bit.  A sudden blanket emancipation, Jefferson suggested, may lead to an American race war similar to the revolts in Haiti, and cause a resentment between the races that may exist for many generations.

In truth, different cultures and races have differences between each other, and within those groups there are differences between the various individuals.  There is no equality, not meaning that any one group is better than any other group, but that because we are individuals we all have our own unique way about ourselves.  God created each of us to be unique, and to have our own wonderful and different footprint upon history.

Thomas Jefferson's remark about all men being created equal means that we are not only equally loved by God, cared for by God, and God seeks us equally to come to Him through the Gift of Salvation, but also that he envisioned a country where the government equally did not intrude upon the lives of people, regardless of who they are.  The idea of liberty is that we all possess the same liberty to pursue happiness as we uniquely and individually may decide.  We are equal in the eyes of God, and must be in the eyes of the law.

In a communist system the concept of equality is front and center.  On the surface they proclaim it to mean that all men should be an equal king, but the reality is it means that all men should equally be peasants and slaves, save for a few who are politically powerful and wealthy and must rule with an iron fist so as to stamp out any momentary emergence of individuality, or independent thoughts of having hopes and dreams.

The goal of those calling for equality is to make irrelevant all remnants of individuality, be it the individual sovereignty of the States, to the ability of the individual to influence their system through a representative government.  If the individual can be convinced that their individuality is a danger to their very happiness, they will be willing to relinquish their individualism, and hand over the keys to their pursuit of happiness to the government where a life of mediocrity is preferred. After all, being an individual can be a lot of hard work. As individuals, we work at a thankless job, pay payments on a massive mortgage, and balance the checkbook with not enough money in the coffers. These distractions, we are convinced by the statists, interferes with life.  The life of mediocrity is taught to be real freedom, when it is founded upon a desire for equity.  Anyone who desires more than a life of mediocrity orchestrated by a government that encourages dependency is then considered greedy, and must be brought down to the level of everyone else.

Freedom, after all, is actually selfish, according to the Marxists.  Saul Alinsky, a Marxist radical, wrote, “The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself... People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people.”

2016 Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton championed many of these themes.

As Senator, Mrs. Clinton said while talking to a group of wealthy Democrats, “Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you.  We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you.  We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

Another time during an economic policy speech in May of 2007 she said, “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few.  Time to reject the idea of an 'on your own' society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.  I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society.”

On July 13, 1813, John Adams wrote, "Inequalities of mind and body are so established by God Almighty in his constitution of human nature that no art or policy can ever plane them down to a level. I have never read reasoning more absurd, sophistry more gross, in proof of the Athana­sian creed, or transubstantiation, than the subtle labors of Helvetius and Rousseau to demonstrate the nat­ural equality of mankind. Jus cuique, the golden rule, do as you would be done by, is all the equality that can be supported or defended by reason or common sense."

Helvetius and Rousseau were utopianists who were important cogs in the launch of the brutal and godless French Revolution that sought a "we're all in it together" kind of society that Mrs. Clinton called for, but instead wound up with a bloody totalitarian system that still haunts France to this day.

On April 15, 1814, John Adams wrote to John Taylor of Virginia, "Inequalities are a part of the natural history of man. I believe that none but Helvetius will affirm, that all children are born with equal genius."

We are all born equal in the eyes of God, therefore we are equal in our possession of Natural Rights.  We all have an equal right to pursue happiness, and to follow a moral path.  We, however, do not have equal powers and faculties.  We do not have an equal influence on society.  As a result of our labors we do not end up with an equal ownership of property and possessions.  If we were equal in each of those things, we would not have liberty, because government would be in place to make sure each of those things are equal.

While the French decided to try and fashion their own revolution after the American Revolution, their cry for liberty failed because it refused to integrate important ingredients that were a part of the American Revolution.  France rejected God, and inserted the theory of equality.  France, as a result, quenched liberty in blood.

The American Revolution was kept under control by documents limiting the power of government, and because the Americans fought their revolution "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence."  The concept of liberty and a limited government were followed by all of the new thirteen States.

In France, however, the leadership subordinated the liberties of men to the power of a government, following a more democratic government immediately responsive to equalitarian mobs.

Equality leaves no choice, no uniqueness, and no incentive.  If all men are equal by nature, there can be no differences and no distinctions, and therefore, no liberty and no prosperity of any individual for any reason.

Inequality creates freedom, the opportunity to pursue one's own religion, to learn according to one's own talents and capabilities, to work as hard as one desires and to seek the rewards that accompany those labors, to be virtuous or not, and to be as wealthy as one desires if their talents and hard work makes available such an opportunity.

Equality of wealth makes all men poor. Equality of religion destroys all religion.  Equality of labor and reward renders all incentives moot and unavailable.  Equality homogenizes so that there is no innovation or the opportunity to rise up in wealth.  Government imposed equality is full dependency upon government, which is bondage. . . which is slavery.

Equality through government exists only in systems based on collectivism and despotism, both which are unconstitutional and contrary to the concept of liberty.  Equality in the eyes of God is hope, and the ability to seek one's own individuality in a system based on liberty.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary