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Friday, October 09, 2015

Northern Arizona University Shooting Kills One, Wounds Three

by JASmius

You know what I think?  I don't think there has been a huge surge in active shooting incidents around the country over the past few years.  Indeed, documented statistics have shown a steady decline in gun violence in this country over the past generation (outside of cities with strict gun control statutes, anyway).  I think that there's been a huge surge in media coverage of every active shooting incident the press can find and get their cameras and microphones around in order to advance the Left's anti-Second Amendment/gun-confiscation Narrative.

Which makes my amplifying of it by writing about the latest example wittingly ironic, but I figure I'm like the firemen who tries to help put out the fire after the arsonists have done their dirty work:

A student armed with a handgun killed a fellow student in a "confrontation" at an Arizona university early Friday that also left three others with multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

The deadly incident at Northern Arizona University (NAU) came hours before Barack Obama was to meet families of victims of the October 1st shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that left nine people dead before the gunman killed himself.

Despite the fact that neither he nor his tiresomely caustic anti-gun message is wanted in Roseberg, Oregon, which happens to be an honest-to-goodness conservative enclave in the otherwise lunatic Beaver State.

The first emergency calls came through to police at 1:20AM Friday, when most NAU students would have been in bed at the sprawling university campus in the city of Flagstaff.

"Two of our student groups got into a confrontation. The confrontation turned physical and one of our students shot the other students. Four of our students were shot," said Gregory Fowler, chief of NAU police.

"We have one student deceased and three others being treated at the Flagstaff medical center."

The alleged shooter, named by police as freshman Steven Jones, eighteen, was taken into custody and did not attempt to escape arrest. All the victims were male students.

It was not immediately clear what the confrontation was about but Jones was cooperating with police, Fowler said.

From what I can find so far, it appears to have been some personal matter between a couple of fraternities, FWIW.

In case you were waiting for the inevitable punchline, here it is:

NAU spokeswoman Cindy Brown told CNN that the incident occurred in a parking lot next to a residence hall on campus, which is a designated "gun-free" zone with twenty thousand students. [emphasis added]

You'd think that the connection between gun violence and "gun-free zones" would begin to sink into the public's collective consciousness after a while, at least to the extent of triggering uncontrollable laughter, ridicule, and sardonic public derision whenever leftwingnuts troll us with their ancient, asinine gun-grabbing bromides.  But then I imagine you'd think a lot of things, given the right circumstances.  Problem is, these particular circumstances couldn't be more right, and yet there's Red Barry, apparently finally moving ahead with making good on his series of imperial gun-confiscation decrees:

Barack Obama is considering using an executive order to impose new background-check requirements on people buying guns from high-volume dealers, the Washington Post reports.

The change would require dealers who go over a certain number of sales per year to have a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and do background checks people attempting to buy guns from them....

Federal law already requires dealers who are "engaged in the business" to perform background checks, but the new executive action would add anyone who sells a significant number of guns per year, according to the Post. [emphasis added]

As with ObamaCare and taxes and immigration, this is an open, brazen, flagrant, tyrannical violation of Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

This royal edict doesn't even have the sheer, flimsy cover of abuse of "prosecutorial discretion" to pump any fog onto the extraconstitutional battlefield.  This is flat-out presidential legislating, adding to a federal statute (that is also unconstitutional under Amendment II, but leave that aside for now) utterly and completely without any legal authority to do so.

Although, as I always say, he does have the power to do so - and it's not as if Congress is going to dare get in his way:

"I do not believe an executive order's going to solve any problems here," Louisiana-4 Representative John Fleming told Sinclair Broadcasting.

"The president going beyond his powers to do things that should go through legislation is a bad idea."

And....that's it.  "It's a bad idea".  No "You will NOT do this," no "This will not stand!", no constitutional crisis lines in the sand, no threats of impeachment.  But then the time for such things was years ago, and certainly in 2012 by throwing O's scrawny ass out of power for good.  By now his dictatorship is so entrenched and has so much precedent behind it that "the president going beyond his powers to do things that should go through legislation" is simply "the way of things" and, as I called it six years ago, "the New Normal".

And when he orders federal marshals, FBI, ATF, and federal troops to begin the process of confiscating all four hundred million or so firearms in this country by force, the resulting avalanche of "anti-government violence" will not redound to the White House's PR detriment, not by a long shot.

But in the meantime, this background check expansion will do precisely nothing to prevent active shooting incidents, few though they actually are in reality.  And that, too, is part of the Master Plan, because it will lead to calls for gun control escalation, leading to those poundings on the door in the dead of night.

But not to be a complete buzzkill to your Friday morning, here's Dr. Ben Carson with his quiet, cerebral brand of rationality and common sense on this topic, which is like a tall, frosty glass of ice water after a crawl across the entire northern arc of the African continent.

Mr. Constitution and the Farmer's Market in Menifee

Douglas V. Gibbs will be at the Farmer's Market on Bradley near McCall in Menifee this morning from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Join us for discussion, and feel free to purchase my books, or the other patriotic materials we have available.

Books by Douglas V. Gibbs

-- 25 Myths of the United States Constitution: If the United States Constitution is the Owner's Manual for America, 25 Myths is its Repair Manual.  A hostility against the United States Constitution exists in America.  Myths have emerged to desconstruct the original intent of the Document.  25 Myths of the United States Constitution exposes these myths by presenting a defense based on the original intent of the Founding Fathers as revealed by the debates during the Constitutional Convention, and the writings of the men of that era.

-- The Basic Constitution: An Examination of the Principles and Philosophies of the United States Constitution: The Basic Constitution takes a detailed journey through the text of the document that created the American System of Government, revealing that the United States Constitution is the context of conservatism. During the Summer of 1787, a brilliant assembly of American Patriots created the Constitution of the United States. After a tumultuous start, the elder statesman, Benjamin Franklin, reminded the delegates in attendance of the need to seek a firm reliance on divine Providence. The stormy convention birthed dramatic debate, unexpected compromises, and incredible changes of minds. Ideas clashed, and tempers flared. And during it all, James Madison took painstaking notes as the conciliatory Benjamin Franklin added his wisdom here and there, and George Washington often sat silent while James Wilson argued that liberty can only survive if the government of the United States is limited in its scope and power. Despite the heat and the political clashes, what emerged was a masterpiece - the greatest document ever conceived in history, save for the Holy Bible. They created a working government that would be a powerful lion to external issues, yet caged and restrained regarding the internal issues... creating a federal government given the task of promoting, preserving, and protecting the union of States, and the autonomous sovereignty of the individual States.

The Basic Constitution is written like a textbook, but in a manner that is comprehensible to every person who journeys through its pages. The book includes a glossary of terms, index, bibliography listing the resources used, The Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution of the United States.

-- Silenced Screams: Abortion in a Virtuous SocietyIn 1967 a young woman, alone in a small motel room, clung to life because of the sweet baby boy in her life.

In a rocky relationship, a woman turned her back on her husband so that she could abort their child. . . losing him forever.

Lying in a clinic, watching an ultrasound of her unborn baby, a young woman decided to change her mind about aborting her baby.

An old man, haunted by the roar of a train barreling down the tracks, remembers the horror of genocide.

Our rights are natural, God-given; so is it possible for abortion to be a right?

George Washington sat in silence as the framers of the United States Constitution debated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - concepts that could only survive if the government of the United States was limited in its scope and power.

Douglas V. Gibbs, Constitutionalist, Christian, and Political Advocate, provides arguments in "Silenced Screams" that reveal the truth behind the numbers, the lies behind the veil, and the reality of the culture of death that will make even the most ardent supporter of abortion stop for a moment, and seriously reconsider their position on the issue.

The book, "Silenced Screams: Abortion in a Virtuous Society," is a Pro-Life examination of the issue of abortion, seeking understanding of the age old issue by examining history, the United States Constitution, Christianity, and our sacred humanity.

Satan's greatest trick has been to convince an entire civilization that he doesn't exist.  His second greatest trick has been to convince civilization that killing their own children is not evil.

Douglas V. Gibbs
Director, Center for the Study of the U.S. Constitution
President, Constitution Association
Radio Host, KMET AM1490
Publisher, Table Top News

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Murrieta Elites Thwart Mayor, Lane Calls Himself Mayor before the Meeting

By Douglas V. Gibbs

City Manager Rick Dudley, likely at the behest of Murrieta City Councilman Rick Gibbs, has been collecting data on Harry Ramos for two years.  Harry does not think like the rest of the council.  He dares to be different.  He dares to vote against the other four.  He dares to disregard recommendations by the staff.  He dares to be a dissenting voice.

Today, Harry Ramos was stripped of being Mayor of Murrieta because of hearsay.  The political elite in Murrieta gathered enough people together to say unsubstantiated things about Harry Ramos, and his performance as a city councilmember, that an investigation was put into action, a report was made, and based on the opinions of people, and verbal accusations with no hard evidence, Mr. Ramos was found guilty, and was stripped not only of being mayor, but of all of his committees and assignments.

So goes a kangaroo court.

The thwarting of Mayor Ramos occurred today, during a special meeting at the City of Murrieta City Council Chambers.  On October 8, 2015, the City of Murrieta disregarded common sense, and became just another city seeking to be run by an oligarchy that chooses to run the city at its own will, not the will of the people.

I was present during the special meeting regarding Mayor Harry Ramos.  In fact, during the public comments portion of the meeting, I had my say for a couple minutes.  I was the only one that spoke in favor of Mr. Ramos.  When I finished, a lone person in the back of the room clapped for a moment, softly, so as not to attract the attention of the gestapo being the dais, or the three armed police officers in the room.

Before I tell you about the meeting, let me give you what I had to say.

"My name is Douglas V. Gibbs.  I've been a resident of Murrieta since 1989, longer than Murrieta has been a city.  I've seen this city's history, good and bad.  I've seen the politicians make bad decisions, and good ones.  I've known Mr. Ramos longer than he's been a council member.  I know his character, and who he really is, and these ridiculous accusations do not reflect who he is.  What amazes me is how swift the council is trying to move on unsubstantiated claims against Mr. Ramos, yet things are moving slowly on, and getting delayed, regarding the hearings of the felony injury accident while intoxicated for Mr. Alan Long.  Are we seeing preferential treatment?  Could it be there is an agenda to fulfill?  Perhaps this is some preferential treatment for Randon Lane so he can say he's mayor during his Riverside County Supervisor Campaign?  Or is it to eliminate Mr. Ramos for daring to vote against high density housing, perhaps to make room for someone like Ruth-Anne Taylor-Berger so that those votes can be unanimous?  Granted, what I am saying is speculative, and unsubstantiated, but so are the charges against Mr. Ramos."

Now for the rest of the meeting. . .

As I walked into the council chambers for the special meeting at precisely 1:00 pm, when the meeting was supposed to begin, Mayor Pro-Tem Randon Lane was still a few minutes away from arriving, but most of the news crews, both television and radio, were already staged and ready to go. About 45 people were in the seats, not counting city officials and the media.  I realized later that the supporters of Harry Ramos were outnumbered in the room.

Mayor Ramos entered the chambers with City Attorney Leslie Devaney at about ten minutes after the hour.  Mr. Ramos approached the dais sporting a subtle grin, and a look of calm professionalism.  Once he took his seat, and pulled his microphone down to his mouth, the meeting began.

The special meeting was called to order by Mayor Ramos, and the roll call recognized that all council members were present. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the discussion regarding the investigation's findings regarding Mayor Harry Ramos moved along with Mr. Ramos saying, “Finally.”

It was on June 24th that the investigation was authorized.

Before removing himself from the chambers regarding today's decision regarding the findings of that investigation, Mr. Ramos said, “I want to take a moment to thank the city attorney, I believe that her and her firm really made an attempt to put together a fair process. My statements are no means an attack against the efforts put forward. When I first heard the allegations the last two were a concern of mine… It was a surprise we took this route. Even though I didn’t sign a code of conduct I didn’t put up much of an objection. Going through the process, it was pretty unfair. When I read the report, not one statement from me, no witness for me… Reading through it, after the initial kick in the gut, I did make the right decision with my attorneys. I was characterized as being uncooperative. Witnesses spoke on second hand knowledge, and I have not yet had the chance to face my accusers… I am not really putting up a defense. I am grateful we have so many people in the audience engaging in the process… The Code of Conduct has no teeth. My objection is that it can only be a weapon. There is no other way this document could have not been a weapon… We have all been accused of something every meeting... Nobody else has been investigated. Lastly, I want to apologize to the staff for being put into such an uncomfortable position [through this investigation] … regardless of what is decided today, tomorrow I will still be a council member, we will still be a city, we will still have work to do. The only focus then is the sexual harassment element, and I feel having staff in the position regarding this allegation was not appropriate. I am not going to hold any grudges, and will work with the city as we move forward to work on city business. We are who we are, and we rise up to our nature. This laser guided weapon can be refocused on any one of us. A good city manager may have favorite people to work this, but no person on the council should know who his favorites are. A city manager should not get involved in the political side of it. Our city manager was engaged throughout this process. It should be disconcerting to my colleagues [he was so involved]. I wish I could debunk these things, but my council has pleaded with me to participate as little as possible with this process. There is a law suit pending. As a city we are involved in litigation."

Then he left the room.

The members of the media left as public comments began, chasing Harry into lobby.

The Public Comments began with Faye Wons saying that Mayor Ramos has not done a good job at running the council meetings. She wanted him removed immediately from the mayorship, and from the council. She urged him to resign, though he was not there to hear her plea.

Barbara Nugent said that Ramos did in fact sign the code of conduct.  She felt he was uncooperative by choosing not to answer questions by the investigator (his attorneys spoke with the investigator).  She recommended his removal from mayorship, and further actions until he is willing to step down completely. She added that Mr. Ramos was never prepared for his job. She said if any other member made sexual overtone comments like he did, they would be gone fast.

The news crews returned during Nugent’s speech, apparently finished with Mayor Harry Ramos.

Once the media was back in the room, Nugent continued, accusing him of using the race card. “Remove him from office, take away all of his assignments, and do not let him be a part of official interactions with the public, they need to feel safe.”

Really? She believes he is "dangerous?"

NAACP Local Chapter President Darryl Smith said that it is a "tragedy to be here on this kind of occasion. We need to get past this obstacle and work together for the betterment of the city."  He then pledged that the local NAACP chapter hoped the city would welcome opportunity for them to work with city, and move forward.

Edward Faunce said that he read the entire report.  He said it took him several hours. He said he was curious listening to Mr. Ramos in his opening remarks.  Mr. Ramos "seems to believe this is a criminal proceeding, and that he can have remarks. He apologized to staff, but he’s the one that put the staff into the position they’re in. His apology rings hollow. Did he not know lying and sexual harassment is not appropriate?  I don’t think he understands how badly he has injured himself and the city. Take all five actions listed. Get him out."

Then I addressed the dais with the speech at the beginning of this article.

One person clapped lightly as I finished. A couple raised their hands in appreciation. The room, it seemed, was primarily full of folks that want Mr. Ramos removed.  Supporters of Mr. Ramos were in the minority.

After my statement, Councilman Rick Gibbs immediately tore into Ramos, criticizing him for not having his bio up. Criticized him for not responding to emails quickly, or responding to staff quickly. Said he needs to show up to meetings with staff. Needs to show up to events. “Mr. Ramos, I do not dislike you. . . You need to earn respect through solid performance. I hope you succeed. Your success helps the city succeed.” He believes this report by a “solid investigator” is accurate.  "I am prepared to make a motion, but I will wait for the other council members to say something.”

Randon Lane said that "As a council we’ve received unkind emails. The race card has been thrown out there. This council has never shown race issues. This community has no issue of the council going after members doing a poor job, regardless of race. As far as the investigation goes, a lot of information is hearsay. I do not take those into consideration. There were things I did look at that caused me great concern. We set the tone for the community, meetings. There were things I looked at, accusations by Mr. Ramos that his colleagues are corrupt…I wanted him to be successful in his role as mayor, but in my opinion he has created a pattern that is not a good representation of the city of Murrieta. I have to look at the people that went forward that spoke to the investigator."

Rick Gibbs spoke again.  "Code of Conduct was signed by Mr. Ramos, and it is in this report. I Motion that Ramos is removed as mayor, removed from all committees and assignments... and he has no official business outside the city."

After the motion, there was no immediate second.  I was expecting there to be no motion.  With no second, at first. Randon Lane said that if there was going to be no second, then there needed to be a new motion.

Mr. Gibbs' Lap Dog, Alan Long, suddenly leaped into action, and seconded Mr. Gibbs motion.

All four members voted to remove Ramos from his mayoral position. Lane, who was Mayor Pro-Tem, will reside until new mayor chosen.

Then the meeting adjourned.

In a discussion with someone later that night, a person from Hemet told me that in the morning Randon Lane was at a meet and greet in Hemet, and introduced himself as the mayor of Murrieta. . . before the special meeting took place, and the decision had been made.  He was already sure that Ramos would be removed before it happened, and was already calling himself mayor before the title belonged to him.

Is that in line with the Code of Conduct?  Is he allowed to call himself mayor before it is so?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Iran Nuclear Deal Violates A Different Federal Law

by JASmius

Not that it matters, or that any scandal will come from it, or that it will derail Obama's Iran nuclear sellout.  None of those things will happen.  But in a just and sane world, this could have created a proverbial "sticky wicket" for The One.

Of course, in a just and sane world, O would still be a Chicago street hustler organizing race riots, too:

At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that [whether or not there's] Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall…license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”

In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by Barack Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole.

Indeed, ITRA also stipulated, in Section 218, that when it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.

What’s more, ITRA contains language, in Section 605, requiring that the terms spelled out in Section 218 shall remain in effect until the president of the United States certifies two things to Congress: first, that Iran has been removed from the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and second, that Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of weapons of mass destruction.

The first item was carried out, as hyperlinked above, back in April.  Clearly that gesture wasn't just a carrot to get Ali Khamenie's signature on the dotted line.  And the second WAS Khamenie's signature on the dotted line, the dotted line itself, and all the nationally suicidal, Armageddon-hastening words that preceded it, because Barack Obama will certify nothing else forevermore, no matter how many nuclear warheads roll off of the mullahs' assembly line.

So you see, the Obama Regime isn't violating the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act after all, and they never will, because they'll just continue to lie about Tehran's actions on terrorism and WMDs and global aggression and hegemony, and that comes more naturally to this White House than breathing itself.

And remember: they don't have to "sell" any of this to anybody anymore, if indeed Corker-Menendez didn't render it unnecessary from the beginning.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Iran's drive towards global Islamic domination warps merrily along:

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC Aerospace Force stated in November that “The IRGC and Hezbollah are a single apparatus jointed together,” and Lebanese Hizballah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem boasted that Iran had provided his organization with missiles that had “pinpoint accuracy” in separate November public remarks. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters have used these skills in direct support of the Asad regime in Syria and, to a lesser extent, in support of operations against ISIS in Iraq. They have also continued to carry out attacks along the Lebanese border with Israel.

The Islamic Empire is also busily rearming Hamas in Gaza as well as arming their West Bank counterparts to the teeth as well.  All of which is proof of the mullahs' "peaceful intentions" and their scrupulous compliance with all their agreements with us.

Don't believe it?  Then you're a racist.

But then, you already knew that.

Two Thirds Of Republicans Support Amnesty?

by JASmius

If even Ted Cruz is effectively throwing in the towel on even "deferred deportation," then, "pro-amnesty forces can now declare victory: Even a majority of the GOP is on-board with legalization, and once legalization happens, citizenship will inexorably follow. Game over." Or, as I wrote a month ago, public opposition to Obamnesty is gone.

But as I also said then:

[I]t seems pretty clear that the American people across the board are resigning themselves....[to] the extinction of citizenship and the loss of what used to be our country to the "Old World" from which our (legal) immigrant ancestors originally fled.

Not a change of mind, but a bowing to the perceived inevitable....


Higher percentages of Republicans object to rewarding illegals' lawbreaking with amnesty and unearned citizenship and recognize the economic, cultural, and civic damage that illegal immigration inflicts upon the country than do support amnesty itself. But not by much. How are these contradictory numbers reconcilable?

Only one way: Republicans have given up. Surrendered. Capitulated. Run up the white flag. Seen and come to terms with the cold, hard fact that by the time there's a Republican president in office to shut the Obamnesty window - if there ever is one - the damage it was meant to inflict will be long since irreversibly done.

Just as Barack Obama knew would be the case.

- Me, four months ago

And the resignation has continued its depressingly steady increase:

"Certain requirements" typically mean learning English and paying taxes, but in practice denote "still breathing" and "reproducing like randy rabbits".  But the same curiously contradictory dynamic is still in place on the Republican side: 53% want (unconstitutional) "birthright citizenship" terminated, 73% want a border wall complete with machine gun emplacements, barbed wire, minefields, and digging a mote to connect the Rio Grande to the Pacific, but two thirds are still amenable to a "path to citizenship" that they have to know will become an expressway.  Which tells me the same thing as Pew's results back in June did: Most on the Right don't believe we'll ever get an end to "birthright citizenship," a border wall, the repeal of Obamnesty, or anything else Trumpmaniacs are ragingly demanding, and have been reduced to trying to make the "pathway to citizenship as legitimate and earn-worthy as still possible.

Of course, there's considerable non-overlap as well.  Some of that two-thirds are simply pro-amnesty, although they remain a small minority of the GOP overall.  But in other ways the numbers do add up, as Trump's poll numbers at their height topped out in the low to mid thirties, which fits this Pew two-thirds amnesty support (whatever the motivations) quite nicely.  It also illustrates how a single-issue faction can gain a disproportionate upper hand in a party nominating process under the right circumstances.  Trumpmaniacs' problem in this regard is....Trump, whose novice status, self-combusting flamboyant bombast, Romneyesque flip-flopping, and all-around idiocy has done the cause of combating illegal immigration no favors, as Trump's eroding support is beginning to illustrate.  They'd be better served to dump Trump and line up behind Ted Cruz if they want to have a "true conservative" still in the top tier now that Scott Walker has bowed out, as well as a sympathetic but serious ear on their single-issue.  Which, of course, is another reason why Cruz has been playing footsie with Trump since back in July.

Although I have to wonder if, with Walk's departure, whether any rightie believes that a Cruz presidency is even possible.  Get a load of this YouGov question on the ideological direction of the country over the next quarter-century:

Dems believe America will continue to move to the left by a 44%-10% margin.  Not surprising; leftwingnuts have and do never lack for confidence.  But "independents" believe it as well by 39%-12%, and Republicans by better than two to one (47%-21%).  And who, frankly, can blame them?  Look what Barack Obama has accomplished over the past near-decade.  Look at the fact that Barack Obama got re-elected after what was, in historical context, one of if not the worst first terms in American presidential history.  I know my confidence in my fellow voting Americans was shattered by the 2012 result; I've been saying we crossed the proverbial Rubicon ever since then, even as the proprietor of this site has doggedly and indefatigueably maintained a brave front of "United we stand, combined we kick butt" optimism.  And, to square the circle, look at how elected Republicans have been so unable and/or unwilling to even attempt to do anything to seriously combat the irreversible damage being done to the Old American Republic.

That's why I think this latest Pew result on de facto GOP amnesty support is primarily demoralization and resigned defeatism.  It may not be inspiring, but it is rational.  After a certain point, you have to begin coming to grips with the reality of the situation: We've lost.  We're licked.  America has been "fundamentally transformed," and there's no turning back.  No amount of standing united and butt-kicking will change that.  And so we've simply got to make the best of where we're at and what we've got.  Because a constant, perpetual state of misdirected rage simply is not healthy, physically, mentally, or otherwise.

You could say that Trumpmania has been Dylan Thomas's "raging against the dying of the light".

But that light is dying anyway.

Only a third of Republicans are still cursing the darkness.

But that, too, shall fade.

NFL Week 5 Kickoff

by JASmius

With the addition of several mid-level free agent signings to improve quarterback Andrew Luck's supporting cast, and based upon his taking Indy a round deeper into the playoffs each of his first three seasons, the Colts were considered pre-season favorites to represent the AFC in Super Bowl L.  Then the regular season started, and that illusion got blown up like the guy in every bootleg Paris Hilton internet video.

But you could rationalize their 27-14 opening week loss at Buffalo, as the Bills are definitely on the rise, with a great defense (they kind of remind me of the Seahawks three years ago) and opportunistic offense.

Not the Colts' outings since.  That 20-7 home stinker to the Jets was unbearable to listen to, much less watch.  And barely scraping by the Titans and Jags (the latter in overtime) in what is supposed to be the easiest division in football was hugely eye-opening, even if Luck was out with a shoulder injury last week.

Now that the weirdly beared one is out for tonight's matchup in Houston, the oddsmakers are going heavily with The Team That Should Be Called The Oilers.  And they're probably right.

But I'm going with the Colts and the points anyway.

Indianapolis* (+5)

Just so long as backup Matt Hasselbeck doesn't tell the ref what he did twelve seasons ago....

Temecula Constitution Class: 17th Amendment

Douglas V. Gibbs is the instructor tonight in Temecula, 6:30 pm.

Topic: 17th Amendment

Faith Armory
41669 Winchester Road
Temecula, CA  92590

17th Amendment: State Representation in the Senate

To comprehend the 17th Amendment, we need to go back in history to understand how our political system was originally established.  The Founding Fathers included a number of checks and balances during the creation of the federal government in the hopes of providing enough safeguards to protect the people from an ever expansive, tyrannical, consolidated central government.  The separation of powers between the three branches of government, and between the federal government and the States, were an integral part of these protections against tyranny.  However, not all of the checks and balances put in place were obvious, nor are all of the checks and balances taught to us during our school years.

The dynamics of the federal government were set up to prevent any part of government from having access to too much power.  Too much power in any one part of the system could be dangerous, and this includes too much power in the hands of the people.

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

The United States is not a democracy.  All of the voting power was not given directly to the people.  The voting power was divided to ensure the Republic was protected from the mob-rule mentality of democracy.
The vote of the people, or the people's full and unquestioned voice in government, was, and still is, manifested in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Then, as now, the representatives were voted into office directly by the people.  Each Representative represents a district.  The members of the United States Senate were not voted in directly by the people during the time period immediately following the ratification of the United States Constitution.  U.S. Senators were voted in by an indirect vote of the people.

The Senators were appointed by their State legislatures.  The State legislators are voted into office by the people of the State.  Therefore, during the early years of this nation, the Senators attained office by an indirect vote of the people through their State legislatures.

The people are represented indirectly by the States in the U.S. Senate, and by the States appointing the Senators, the method of appointment allowed State's interests to be represented in the U.S. Congress.
Since they were appointed by the State legislatures, the Senators looked at the political atmosphere in a different manner than the members of the House of Representatives.  Members of the House of Representatives are directly voted into office by the people, so their concerns are more in line with the immediate concerns of the people, no matter how whimsical those concerns may be.

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

The federal government exists because the States allow it to.  The powers derived by the federal government were granted to it by the States, so in a way the States birthed the federal government, making the States the parents of the government in Washington, D.C.  The federal government is not supposed to be able to do much of anything without the permission of the several States.  The Senate was the representation of the States so that the States could ensure the federal government remained within its authorities.

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

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

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

In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment changed the originally intended dynamics of the American form of government.  The amendment removed the States' representation from U.S. Government proceedings.  The Seventeenth Amendment changed the appointment of the Senators from that of the State legislatures to that of the direct vote of the people.  As a result, the protection of State Sovereignty was removed, and in its place was inserted ideology, and the willingness of Senators to buy the votes of individual voters through gifts from the treasury in a manner that was already emerging from the House of Representatives.
            Vacancies in the Senate
The Seventeenth Amendment also provides for appointments should a seat in the U.S. Senate be left vacant for any reason.  The governors of the States, should the legislatures allow such, may make temporary appointments until a special election takes place.  The State legislatures may change these rules as they deem necessary, such as requiring an immediate special election instead of allowing the governor to temporarily appoint a replacement.  This leaves most of the power regarding filling vacancies in the hands of the State legislatures.
Massachusetts, during the reign of Democrat governors, used the rule that if there was a vacancy in the U.S. Senate, the governor could appoint the new Senator to complete that term of office.  When Mitt Romney, who was a Republican, was governor, the Democrat dominated legislature feared a Republican appointment should one of the Massachusetts Senators die, so they changed the rule to require an immediate special election, fully confident the people would put another Democrat into office should one of the seats be vacated.  The Massachusetts legislature even overrode a veto by Governor Mitt Romney to accomplish their rule change.

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

The new governor of Massachusetts in 2007 was Deval Patrick, a Democrat.  When Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy passed away August 25, 2009, since the State of Massachusetts had a Democrat governor, the Democrat-led legislature hurriedly changed the rule to enable the governor to appoint the new Senator as had been allowed before Mitt Romney was governor, just in case the people could not be trusted. 
The appointed Democrat Party senator held the seat until a special election in January of 2010 that pitted Republican Scott Brown against Democrat Martha Coakley.  To the surprise of the entire nation, Scott Brown won the election, sending tremors through the political establishment, which included the Democrats losing a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.  Brown was defeated in 2012 by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, returning the Senate Seat back to the Democrats when she took office on January 3, 2013. 
            More like a Democracy
In the end, the real damage caused by the ratification of the 17th Amendment was that State representation in the Congress was removed.  Senators, after the ratification of the 17th Amendment, would be voted into office by the vote of the people, making the U.S. Senate more like the House of Representatives, eliminating a very important check and balance, and making the United States more like a democracy and less like the Republic the Founders originally intended.
The people, fooled by a relenting rallying cry of "The will of the people," and a common belief that the leaders of the States could not be trusted, demanded that the federal government be changed into something more like a democracy.  As the progressives desired, and planned, the American form of government moved closer to a democracy with the 17th Amendment.

Karl Marx once stated that "Democracy is the road to socialism."

Progressivism was on the rise in the United States during those early years of the 20th Century, and the statists knew that one of their main obstacles to consolidating government power into the grasp of the central authority in Washington was the independent and sovereign voice of the States.  The 17th Amendment was one of the vehicles the statists used to begin the process of silencing the States, with the ultimate goal of making them irrelevant in regards to the running of the federal government.

The statists did not reveal their true intentions.  If they had proclaimed that they desired the ratification of the 17th Amendment so that they could proceed in their quest to change the United States into a socialist system, the people would have rejected it.  Instead, they used a populist argument.  "It is for the will of the people.  You deserve a Senate voted into office by the democratic will of the people.  If you directly vote for the Senators, they will be more apt to act in line with the will of the people.  After all, the States are corrupt, and they can't be trusted.  You, the voting public, in the interest of democracy, deserve to be able to directly vote for the Senators yourselves."
As a result, the whole American political system has been turned on its head.  The entire dynamic of our government system as it was originally intended to function has changed.

The damage to the American form of government reached deeper into the dynamics of our Constitutional Republic than immediately meets the eye.

The Founding Fathers made the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate different from each other for a reason.  

If a President of the United States signs a treaty, before that treaty goes into force, it must be ratified by the U.S. Senate, which back then was the voice of the States.  It was the Framer's way of making sure the States could act as a protective mechanism against a President who might make treaties that were dangerous to State Sovereignty.  However, now the Senate no longer represents the States, so that important safeguard is no longer in place.  Senators more apt to defend an ideology, rather than the best interest of their State, are in office now.  The ratification of treaties has totally changed in a way that could place State Sovereignty in jeopardy.  The States no longer have a voice in that part of the governing process anymore, and as a result it has become easier for the federal government to enter into treaties that compromise State interests, or local issues over which the federal government would normally not have any authority.

Another point to examine in regards to the Senate ratification of treaties, is since the people, through their States, are the final arbiters of the Constitution, the Founders felt no worry about unconstitutional treaties being ratified.  After all, the final arbiters of the Constitution, the States, were the ones in charge of the ratification of all treaties.  Now, since ideology now takes precedence over States' Rights in the Senate, we are faced by a number of draconian treaties . . . and there is nothing the States can do about it.

The appointment of judges, such as Supreme Court Justices, has also been altered by the passage of the 17th Amendment.  Imagine how different the hearings regarding the appointment of Supreme Court Justices would be if the Senators were appointed by the State legislatures?

Do you think it would be as easy for an activist judge to be appointed?

Do you think the nominees would be asked questions geared towards the Constitution, and protecting State Sovereignty?

The people were told that the States could no longer be trusted in their appointment of the Senators, and the States got lazy and didn't wish to participate in that manner anymore.  As a result, the 17th Amendment was ratified, and look at the mess it has caused.

Let's return to the concept of "dividing power" for a moment.  The Founding Fathers divided the voting power.  By the States appointing the Senators, it divided the people's voting power.

During the early years of this nation the State legislatures also appointed the Electors for president.

The people only directly voted into office the Representatives of the U.S. House of Representatives.

This division of voting power was put into place because the Founding Fathers knew that should the people be fooled while they completely controlled the vote, a tyranny could ensure that it was voted into the three primary parts of government: the Executive, the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate.  Once tyranny had control of those three parts of government, the judicial branch would be sure to follow, if not already in collusion with the other two branches.

The Founders knew that should the uninformed electorate vote in a tyranny, while caught up in some kind of cult of personality, it would spell the beginning of the end of the United States as we know it.
The Founding Fathers knew that democracy of that kind would destroy the system, so they divided the power of the vote.  The voting power was divided so as to protect us from the excesses of democracy. 

Looking back on 2006, 2008, and 2012 we see an example of exactly what the Founding Fathers warned us about.  A single ideology, one that is hostile towards the U.S. Constitution, and hostile to the American System, fooled the people, and took control of some of the most vital parts of government.  The destructive reasoning by the statists of the Progressive Era for the passage of the 17th Amendment was fulfilled.
The 17th Amendment, combined with the creation of the Federal Reserve, and the implementation of an income tax, was all a part of a scheme to change the American System into a model of socialism through the guise of democracy.

We are not a democracy, and we were never meant to be a democracy.  The 17th Amendment moved us in that direction.  The Founding Fathers continuously spoke out against the dangers of democracy.  They knew that democracies lead to mob-rule.  As much as the government couldn't be trusted with too much power, neither could the voting public. 

The Constitution is filled with checks and balances.  Yet, the people of that time period were fooled so easily by the statists.  James Madison five times in his Federalist Papers writings wrote, "We are a Republic, by which I mean. . ." and then he would explain what a republic is.  He felt the need to do so because those who opposed the Constitution because they believed the political system should be one of nationalism argued that democracy and republicanism were the same.

Thomas Jefferson said, "Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those that are willing to work and give to those who would not."

John Adams said, "While it lasts, Democracy becomes more bloody than either an aristocracy or a monarchy.  Democracy never lasts long; it soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.  There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

Thomas Jefferson said, "A democracy is nothing more than mob-rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."
James Bovard said, "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

A friend of mine, the late Tim "Loki" Kerlin, added that a republic is "two wolves, and a well-armed sheep contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin, after asked what the Founders created in the Constitutional Convention, replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."
With freedom comes responsibility.  It is up to us to repeal the 17th Amendment.
Activist Judge - A public officer charged with applying the law in order to administer justice, but also interprets the law, and modifies the law according to his opinion; a judge who legislates from the bench.
Checks and Balances - An internal system in government where each part of government can counter the actions or decisions of the other parts.  This arrangement ensures transparency, and prevents domination of the government by any part.
Collusion - Conspire together.
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.
Democracy - A form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.  Such a system includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law.
Direct Vote - Citizens vote themselves; popular vote.
Ideology - A set of political or economic ideas that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.
Indirect Vote - Representatives of Electors vote instead of the citizens.  The indirect vote may be based on criteria that includes the will, or portions of the will, of the citizens; before the 17th Amendment, United States Senators were chosen by an indirect vote of the people, in which State representatives who attained their office by a direct vote of the people appointed U.S. Senators to represent their State in Congress; the President is elected by an indirect vote of the people through electors who traditionally follow the popular vote of their State, but have the choice to change that vote if believed to be necessary, and a President may be elected based on an Electoral majority that does not reflect the national popular vote.
Mob-Rule - A government ruled by a mob or a mass of people; the intimidation of legitimate authorities; the tyranny of the majority; pure democracy without due process.
Nationalism - Political ideology which involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms.  There are various strands of nationalism.  The ideology may dictate that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural or identity group.  Nationalism may also include the belief that the state is of primary importance, which becomes the unhealthy love of one's government, accompanied by the aggressive desire to build that governmental system to a point that it is above all else, and becomes the ultimate provider for the public good.
Republic - Form of government that uses the rule of law through a government system led by representatives and officials voted in by a democratic process.  The United States enjoys a Constitutional Republic.
Republicanism - Rule by law through a government system led by representatives and officials voted in by a democratic process.  The United States enjoys a Constitutional Republic.
Separation of Powers - A division of governmental authority into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial; division of powers between the States and federal government.
Statists - Individuals that hold that government should control the economic and social policies of the system it serves.
Questions for Discussion:
1.  Why are the originally intended checks and balances so important to safeguarding freedom?
2.  What was the concept of the separation of powers designed to protect against?
3.  How does the Seventeenth Amendment add to the withering away of State Sovereignty?
4.  How is socialism and democracy related?
5.  Why would dividing powers include dividing the voting power of the people?
Allison, Maxfield, Cook, Skousen, The Real Thomas Jefferson; New
York: National Center for Constitutional Studies (1983).

David McCullough, John Adams; New York: Simon and Schuster

Devvy, 36 States Did Not Ratify The 17th Amendment: What Will States

Earl Taylor, Jr., The Seventeenth Amendment and the Destruction of
Federalism; National Center for Constitutional Studies,

James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 45,

Jon Wolverton, II, J.D., 17th Amendment Mudslinging; The New

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)

Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, A Patriot's History of the United
States ; New York: Sentinel (2004).

Richard Aynes, On Misreading John Bingham and the Fourteenth
Amendment; Yale Law Journal (October, 1993)