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Friday, September 30, 2016

Political Crossroads: 2016 Election

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

I am a Reagan Baby, meaning that the first election I was old enough to vote in was during the eight years Ronald Reagan was President of the United States.  I was born and raised in California, so Reagan's legacy in California was still alive and well when I first voted in 1984.  Aside from voting Democrat during World War II to keep Franklin Roosevelt in office, and going with Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 during an election in which even God couldn't beat the incumbent because he was getting the sympathy vote, California had a long and illustrious history of voting Republican.  That changed in 1992, thanks to the State being flipped by amnesty during Reagan's second term.

California has gone blue every presidential election since.

We have had some critical elections in history.  Jefferson's narrow victory in 1800 ended the big government reign of the Federalist Party, a political party that faded into obscurity by the 1820s.  Lincoln's victory in 1860 led to the secession of the Southern States, and set the stage for the War Between the States.  In 1904 the onslaught of socialism over the prior two decades finally began to reveal itself in the major parties.  The Democrats were on their way towards progressivism, and the Republican Candidate, Theodore Roosevelt, considered himself to be a progressive, though not as extreme as the Democrats, as well.  The election resulted in Roosevelt's win, and launched what would become known as the Progressive Era.  The 1912 Election placed progressive reform at the forefront.  To stop Taft's more conservative economic policies, and to get the man, Woodrow Wilson, in office who promised he would sign the Federal Reserve Act, Roosevelt ran on the Progressive Party (Bull Moose party) ticket to split the Republican vote.  Under Wilson the progressive amendments regarding income tax (16th) and stripping the States of their equal suffrage in the Senate (17th), along with the Federal Reserve Act, went into law in 1913.  During Wilson's second term we also saw the eruption of a world war - a war that during the 1916 Election Wilson had run on keeping the U.S. out of.  Progressivism was thrown out of the Republican Party in the election of 1920, leaving the socialist policies to the Democrats.  Harding, a staunch conservative, along with this running mate Calvin Coolidge, won decisively, revealing that the American People, at least for a moment, had rejected progressive policies.  Calvin Coolidge won easily in 1924, keeping conservative policies in place, and continuing the very prosperous Roaring Twenties.  In 1928, running on the popularity of Coolidge, Republican Herbert Hoover won the presidency, keeping the Grand Ol' Party (GOP) in office.  Hoover, however, was not as conservative, and a year into office was slammed by the Great Depression - an economic collapse caused by the overprinting of currency by the Federal Reserve, and worsened by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.  Hoover's dismal presidency opened the door for the progressives to get back into the White House in 1932, launching the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that would span over a decade, and introduce the New Deal (which extended the Great Depression in the United States by seven years) and send United States Troops into a second World War.  The Election of 1960 saw flair and celebrity enter the equation, and the start of the short presidency of John F. Kennedy.  After Kennedy's assassination, Johnson, who took the office of President after Kennedy's death, won easily in 1964.  The Republicans, however, held on to Congress, and were instrumental in ensuring the passage of Civil Rights legislation, despite Johnson's early opposition to it.  Once Johnson reluctantly signed the Civil Rights Act that had been called for by Kennedy, and written by Congressional Republicans (a bill that had also been filibustered against by the Democrats, and weakened in committee by the Democrats in order to make it more palatable for the racists of the Democrat Party), Johnson realized the importance of giving gifts from the treasury to blacks in order to get their votes, and launched his "Great Society" programs.  Weary of the Vietnam War, and Johnson's progressivism, the American People narrowly elected Richard Nixon in 1968.  Nixon ran on "law and order," in the midst of the civil rights and anti-war protests, and on ending the Vietnam War.  He won by a landslide in 1972, bringing home the troops in 1973, and ending the war in 1975.  The Republican Party, marred by the Watergate Scandal in 1972 and the Resignation of Nixon in August of 1974, the Democrats won in 1976 with their candidate, hard left progressive Jimmy Carter.  After a disastrous Carter Presidency that included economic chaos and an Iran Hostage Crisis, conservative Republican Ronald Reagan won in 1980.  Despite worries that a conservative could not win, he not only won in 1980 quite easily, but nearly won every State in 1984.  Ronald Reagan's conservative policies resulted in prosperity, and sent a signal to progressives that progressive policies are a failure, and that conservatism can win elections.  In order to win in 1992 and 1996, progressive Bill Clinton had to moderate his campaign promises so as to not seem so far to the left.  Daddy Bush in 1988, and his son George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 returned the Republican Party to less conservative domestic policies.  The Democrat Party used their opposition to the War on Terror in Iraq, and an untruthful accusation against Bush's tax policies being the cause of the 2008 economic crash to put Barack Obama into the White House after the 2008 Election.  The first black president was reelected in 2012, despite heavy opposition from the right of center Republicans who have labeled Obama's reign a failed presidency.  In fact, Obama has turned out to be the most progressive Democrat in the White House in history.  His administration has repeatedly circumvented the United States Constitution with executive orders (letters, memos and actions) and international agreements (labeled as such, rather than treaties, in order to unconstitutionally avoid oversight by the U.S. Senate) and has placed the United States in a very vulnerable position both economically, and in terms of national security.  The untruths put out by the mainstream media about his administration being successful has been believed by the less informed members of the voting public, and now America is at a crossroads in 2016.  Do we head in an even more progressive direction with Hillary Clinton with an all important Supreme Court Justice nomination that could set back conservatism a hundred years if Clinton nominates a fifth progressive to the bench (to replace the now deceased Scalia), or do we elect billionaire businessman Donald Trump who may not be a conservative or constitutional champion, but his presidency would hold off the Democrat's effort to silence all opposition, and dominate to the point of turning the United States into a one party system (for now)?

As I have shown in the above brief history of critical presidential elections, this is not the first time an election has been very critical. . . but it is the first time we, as a nation, are faced with the danger of losing the American System, losing our republic as originally intended by the Founding Fathers for decades (if not a century), to an ultra-left progressive presidency.  A Hillary Clinton presidency would, after she got her fifth Supreme Court Justice in place, have carte blanche because the federal court system (already dominated by liberals at about 70% in the inferior courts) would deem everything she did as being constitutional. . . despite the truth being to the contrary.  I believe we would see the third rise of a Sedition Act, in which one could be arrested for speaking out against the government.  Her Keynesian economic policies would finish off our already unsteady economy, and her globalist positions would deconstruct America's position in the world as a superpower.  A massive open border and amnesty policy would wipe out any chance for Republicans to win in the future, and I wouldn't be surprised if her administration eventually just outlawed the Republican Party and labeled it as a hate group. Religious freedoms would be devastated at the hands of the homosexual agenda, gun rights would be abolished through massive unconstitutional federal gun control legislation, and the last of our rights enumerated in the legal amendments (4-7) would be in grave jeopardy.

While we have seen some very critical elections in our short history as a country, it is my belief that 2016 is the most pivotal of all of them.  A Clinton win may very well mean an end to the American System as we know it, and may take a hundred years to recover from.  Are we prepared to let that happen?  Are we prepared to tell our children and grandchildren in the future what America once was like when it was still free?

As Reagan told us, we are only one generation from losing our liberty.  Each election is critical, but 2016 may be the most critical, yet.

As for you Republicans who call yourselves "Never Trump", a vote for no candidate because you have a problem with Trump's less than perfection as a conservative (and his lack of political knowledge, although he is showing that he is a quick study) is a vote for Hillary Clinton - and a vote for one hundred years of political darkness, chaos, and collectivism.

For those of you in the Inland Empire area of Southern California we will be meeting to discuss this election on Saturday Night in Menifee, 5:00 pm, and we (Constitution Association) will be handing out voter guides.  http://constitutionassociation.yolasite.com/ca-monthly-meeting-flier.php



-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

If you can't beat them, assimilate them

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Immigration.  It has become a very divisive issue, and a social issue the big government statists are beating us over the head with.  If you have a problem with securing the border, or you desire that any member of the illegal alien. . . uh, I mean undocumented immigrant. . . group of folks should be deported, you are a racist, a bigot, a xenophobe, and a hateful, angry evil little person.

The offer to build a wall by Donald Trump is what launched the businessman into political prominence in the 2016 Race for the White House.  Apparently, Americans are pretty conservative on the illegal alien... uh, immigration... issue.  However, while securing the border is of the utmost importance, what about those already here?  What about the children of those who are here illegally?  Along with the cry that "it's impossible to deport millions of people" comes the cries about splitting up families, or the sin of sending the Dreamers (persons born on American soil to illegal alien parents) to Mexico when their crime of being in the United States illegally is not of their own, but of their parents.

From the Democrat Party's point of view, "How cold must we be to give the ultimatum of either splitting up families with the deportation of illegal parents, or forcing their children who only know America to be deported with them?"

My entire political life I have been a staunch conservative on the immigration issue.  Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution allows Congress to pass legislation to prohibit certain persons from immigrating into the United States if necessary, and to establish immigration protocols to ensure we are receiving people who have been screened regarding disease, criminal history, or any affiliation with enemy groups or countries.  Article IV. instructs the federal government to protect the States from invasion.  Immigration laws are there for a reason, and they should be followed.

My wife is an immigrant from Mexico, and her parents did it the right way.  Rewarding the bad behavior of illegal aliens who have crossed the border in defiance of American law is nothing less than a vicious slap in the face of legal immigrants like my lovely wife.

But, is the "deport them all" position a political argument that can be won in the arena of ideas, and legislatively?  Is it possible that there is another alternative to deporting everyone who has crossed the border illegally?

Otto von Bismarck once said, "Politics is the art of the possible."

What if some form of amnesty, or pathway to citizenship, for some of the illegal aliens is something we cannot avoid?  What if a large number of those folks, if not all, are destined to become legalized legislatively because the "deport them all" concept just can't win on the floor of Congress?  Do we, then, just drop our heads and accept the fact that a vast majority of those folks, because they think it was the Democrats that gave them the opportunity to be Americans, will be legal and will be voting blue?  Are we so foolish that we will then hide in the corner as the Democrats, armed with this army of new voters, seize upon the opportunity to make the United States a one party system where no member of the GOP will every have a chance at the White House, and where the Republicans have no chance of ever achieving a majority in Congress, again?

There's an old saying.  "If you can't beat 'em, then join 'em."

Well, I'm not ready to throw down my arms and become a Democrat, nor will I ever be, but that doesn't mean we are done for.  If all of these illegals and dreamers are destined to become legal, then why not take advantage of the opportunity, and teach them the true history of the American System?  Why not educate them on what it really means to be American?  Why not help them to properly assimilate into American Society, since, in the end, that was all we really wanted them to do in the first place?

Let's turn defeat into victory.

Gosh.  If amnesty, or legalizing the Dreamers, is inevitable, then let's make sure the pathway to citizenship runs head on through the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and educators on American principles and philosophies like yours truly.

Dreamers can still continue to dream about being American, but let's make sure those dreams are patriotic ones about assimilation, and limited government.  Then, we can take the grand scheme of the Democrat Party to kill the GOP with an overwhelming Hispanic vote, and shove it right back in their faces with an army of Constitution admiring Hispanics who understand that liberal policies kill societies, and would make America no different than the failed socialist systems south of the border.

The way to protect our rights to life, liberty and property is to teach everyone that we all have natural rights to life, liberty and property.

Now, that's what I call the pursuit of happiness - and the ultimate dream.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gun Rights and Protecting Against A Police State: Temecula Constitution Class

Second Amendment/Third Amendment
Temecula Constitution Class

Thursdays (except 2nd Thursday) at 6:30 pm
Faith Armory
41669 Winchester Road
Temecula, CA  92590

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
douglasvgibbs@reagan.com
 
 
 
Lesson 14
 
Militias and Standing Armies
 
2nd Amendment: Keep and Bear Arms
The 2nd Amendment does not give you the right to keep and bear arms.  The 2nd Amendment does not protect you against the government from taking away your guns.  Your rights are given to you by God, and protecting your rights is your responsibility.  Like anything else you own, if you give away your rights, or allow someone to take them, they may still belong to you as an unalienable, God-given right, but you have given up all access to them, and can no longer exercise those rights.
 
In the Washington, D.C. v. Heller case in 2008 the Supreme Court of the United States determined that the right to bear arms is an individual right, as opposed to a collective right which would only allow the bearing of arms for the purpose of participating in government approved groups, such as law enforcement agencies.
 
During the early years of the United States under the United States Constitution, the Anti-Federalists feared the creation of a central government because they feared the federal government would become tyrannical, and take away people's rights.  Therefore, even though the Constitution in the first seven articles did not grant to the federal government any authority over gun rights, along with the rest of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, those skeptical over the creation of a central government wanted an amendment that clarified the federal government had no authority to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
 
The States have Original Authority, meaning that all powers belonged to the States prior to the writing of the Constitution.  The first seven articles of the document did not give to the federal government the authority to regulate firearms, therefore, any legislative power over gun rights is a State power.  The 2nd Amendment simply confirms that.  The argument then becomes about the potential tyranny of the States.  If the 2nd Amendment does not apply to the States, what keeps the States from infringing on gun rights?
The State constitutions, and the people, hold the responsibility of restraining the States from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.  The Founding Fathers were not concerned with a tyranny of the States because the State governments are closer to the people, and therefore the people have fewer legal and political obstacles when acting to ensure the State governments do not infringe on individual rights.
 
Complacency, then, becomes our greatest enemy.
 
With freedom comes responsibility.
 
Understanding that the Framers expected their posterity to be informed problem-solvers, while recognizing that basic human nature would invite complacency and the rise of a tyrannical government, it becomes clear why the Founding Fathers put so much importance on gun rights.
 
In early American society the need to be armed was necessary for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, protecting one's property, facilitating a natural right of self-defense, participating in law enforcement, enabling people to participate in an organized militia system, deterring a tyrannical government, repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, and hunting.
 
The right to keep and bear arms is not merely about protecting your home, or hunting, though those are important, too.  The whole point of the 2nd Amendment is to protect us against all enemies, foreign and domestic, which could include a potentially oppressive central government.
 
Noah Webster in his "An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," in 1787 articulated the necessity for keeping and bearing arms clearly: "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe.  The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."
 
Some will argue the 2nd Amendment does not apply to our current society because the militia is a thing of the past.
 
The National Guard now serves as the organized militia envisioned by the Founding Fathers, but an unorganized militia also exists.
 
Title 10 of the United States Code provides for both "organized" and "unorganized" civilian militias. While the organized militia is made up of members of the National Guard and Naval Militia, the unorganized militia is composed entirely of private individuals.
 
United States Code: Title 10 - Armed Forces, Subtitle A - General Military Law
Chapter 13 - The Militia:
 
Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes
 
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
 
(b) The classes of the militia are -
 
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
 
Other than age, health, gender, or citizenship, there are no additional provisions for exemption from membership in the unorganized militia.  While it is doubtful that it will ever be called to duty, the United States civilian militia does legally exist.  The Founding Fathers would have likely included in the definition of unorganized militia, "All able-bodied citizens capable of fighting."
 
McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) challenged the City of Chicago's ban on hand guns, bringing to the surface the debate over whether or not the 2nd Amendment only applies to the federal government.
 
The 5-4 Decision of the McDonald v. City of Chicago case by the U.S. Supreme Court holds the 2nd Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms in all cities and States.  The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that originally the 2nd Amendment applied only to the federal government, but it is in the opinion of the court that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Bill of Rights, therefore applying those amendments, and more specifically the 2nd Amendment, to the States.
 
The decision by the Supreme Court, in this case, makes all State laws on fire arms null and void.  Applying the 2nd Amendment to the States means the 2nd Amendment is supreme over any and all State laws on firearms, and according to the 2nd Amendment, "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."  If "shall not be infringed" applies to both the federal government and the States governments, then all persons are allowed to possess a firearm.  The words, "shall not be infringed" carries no exceptions.
 
The reason the 2nd Amendment is absolute in its language is because it was intended to only apply to the federal government.  The federal government shall not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms in any way, but the States retain the authority to regulate guns as necessary based on the needs and allowances of the local electorate.
 
The U.S. Constitution applies to the federal government except where specifically noted otherwise.
 
In reference to McDonald v. Chicago, I am uneasy anytime the federal government tells a city or state what they have to do, even if on the surface it is for a good cause.
 
If we give the federal government the right to tell cities they have to allow gun ownership, what stops them from doing the opposite later?  This case created a precedent of allowing the federal government to dictate to the States and cities what they have to do, and that kind of federal intrusion constitutes great danger to State Sovereignty.
 
Breaking down the language used in the 2nd Amendment assists in clarifying what the original intent was.
 
The 2nd Amendment begins, "A well regulated Militia."  The immediate understanding of that phrase by the average American in today's culture recognizes it as meaning, "A militia under the control of the government," or "regulated by government agencies," or "managed by federal law."
 
All of the above definitions are wrong.
 
As discussed regarding the Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8, the word "regulated" does not mean "controlled or restricted by government."  The definition used by the Framers, and the one that fits best with the context of the period, and the principles of the Constitution, can be found in the 1828 Webster Dictionary.  Webster defined regulated as: "To put in good order."  Some historians state that the word "regulate" in the 18th Century meant "To make regular."  The word "restrict" was not used in the 1828 definition until the third and final definition of "regulated," revealing that today's most common definition was the "least used" definition during the time of the writing of the United States Constitution.
 
Since "regulate" did not mean "to control and restrict," but instead meant "to put in good order," that means a well regulated militia is one that is in good order.
 
The need to have a militia in good order makes sense when one considers that during the Revolutionary War the militia was not in good order.  The muskets were all different sizes, often the clothing of some members of the militia was tattered, and many didn't even have shoes.
 
To put the militia in good order, Congress was required to create standards for the militia to follow.  The authority to Congress regarding this power is revealed in Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, where the Constitution says, "The Congress shall have Power. . . To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."
 
The next part of the 2nd Amendment reveals that a well regulated militia is "necessary to the security of a free State."
 
The word State, in that instance, means "individual, autonomous, sovereign State."  In other words, a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free Massachusetts, a free Pennsylvania, a free Virginia, a free New York, a free Ohio, a free California, and so on.
 
"Necessary to the security of a free State."  A militia is necessary, not just recommended, to the security of a free State.  Security against whom?  A foreign invader?  Isn't that what the standing army was supposed to be for?  Why would States need militias, capable of being called up by the governor of the State, for their "security," and to ensure that security is for them to remain a "free State?"
 
Foreign enemies were a concern, but not as much of a concern as a tyrannical central government.  Thomas Jefferson so distrusted a central government that he suggested there would be a bloody revolution every twenty years.
 
"... can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted?  I say nothing of it's motives.  They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness.  God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.  The people can not be all, and always, well informed.  The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.  If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.  We have had 13 states independant 11 years.  There has been one rebellion.  That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state.  What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?  And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms.  The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.  What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?  The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it's natural manure." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787
 
The Declaration of Independence also states that the people have the right to stand up against their government should it become tyrannical.  In the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence it reads:
 
"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
 
The right to alter or abolish a tyrannical government walks hand in hand with the right to keep and bear arms.  How could it ever be logical that the right to keep and bear arms could ever be influenced or restricted by the very government that that right exists to protect the people against in the first place?
 
Terms:
Arms - Weapons, firearms; a gun that may be used for protection of property or as part of a militia.
 
Collective Right - Rights held by a group, rather than its members separately.
 
Declaration of Independence - The unanimous formal Declaration of the thirteen united States of America declaring their freedom from Great Britain, dated July 4, 1776.
 
Individual Right - Rights held by individuals within a particular group.
 
Organized Militia - A well trained militia that is in good order that operates under the authority of Congress, able to be called into actual service by the executive authority of a State, or by the Congress of the United States; National Guard, Naval Militia, State Militias.
 
Original Authority - Principal agent holding legal authority; initial power to make or enforce laws; the root authority in government.
 
Regulated - To make regular; to put in good order.
 
State Sovereignty - The individual autonomy of the several states; strong local government was considered the key to freedom; a limited government is the essence of liberty.
 
Unorganized Militia - Able-bodied citizens of the United States, or those who have made a declaration of intention to become citizens of the United States, who are members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
 
 
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1.  In your opinion, what are the most important reasons for the right to bear arms?
 
2.  If the courts, or the federal government, were to redefine gun rights as being a collective right, how would that affect our individual right to keep and bear arms?
 
3.  Is a militia necessary in today's society?  Why?
 
4.  Why did the Founding Fathers see it as necessary to prohibit the federal government from any authority to prohibit the right to keep and bear arms, but felt it necessary to allow the States full authority over gun regulations?
 
5.  In McDonald v. Chicago the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment applies to cities and States.  How does that open up the opportunity for the federal government to further regulate firearms?
 
 
Resources:
 
10 USC § 311 - Militia: Composition and Classes, Cornell University
Law School: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311
 
McDonald v. City of Chicago, United States Supreme Court:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf
 
Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal
Constitution (Philadelphia 1787), The Federalist Papers: http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/founders/noah-webster/noah-webster-an-examination-of-the-leading-principles-of-the-federal-constitution-philadelphia-1787
 
The Tree of Liberty Quotation, Monticello - TH: Jefferson Encyclopedia:
http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/The_tree_of_liberty...(Quotation)
 
Washington, D.C. v. Heller, Supreme Court of the United States Blog:
http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/dc-v-heller/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3rd Amendment: Quartering
 
The Founding Fathers feared a centralized government with a powerful military.  One of the final straws that began the road to the American Revolution was the Quartering Act of 1765 where the colonists became required to house and feed the British troops they despised.  The Quartering Act enabled the British Empire to exercise greater control over the populace.  It was also known as one of the Intolerable Acts.
 
The Quartering Act served as a major reason for the writing of the 3rd Amendment, which reads: "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
 
Tyrannical governmental systems use unwarranted influence through military means.  To guard against the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power, the Framer's concerns about standing armies became evident in the 3rd Amendment.
 
To help the populace protect themselves, and be able to enforce the 3rd Amendment, in case the federal government violated the clause, the Founding Fathers also gave us the 2nd Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
 
The concept of a Militia that is not a federal army is the realization that the United States will not be one where there is a standing army that can be used against its citizens.  Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 gives the Congress the power to raise and support armies, but limits them to no more than two years funding.
 
When a military arm of a tyrannical government can compel the citizenry to house the military machinery of defense, a police state is present and liberty is at risk.  Such was the reasoning behind the 3rd Amendment.
 
Until the Revolutionary War, the American States had no military, and the militias were populated by the colonists.  The Constitution gave the U.S. Government the authority to build a military for the defense of the union.  A military establishment, in the minds of the Founders, was a potentially dangerous thing.  The Founding Fathers desired to protect the union, but did not desire that the American military become an authoritarian tool of a potentially tyrannical federal government.
 
Terms:
Intolerable Acts - A series of laws passed by the British Parliament against the American Colonies in March of 1774.  The British Parliament referred to these laws as the Coercive Acts.  The acts were primarily designed to punish the colony of Massachusetts for defying British policies, and more specifically, for the Boston Tea Party.  The Intolerable Acts caused outrage among the Americans, which led to the calling of the First Continental Congress in September of 1774.  Among the actions taken by this united Congress was a boycott of British goods.  The Intolerable Acts were called "impolitic, unjust, and cruel," and included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Quartering Act, the Quebec Act, and the Administration of Justice Act.
 
Police State - A system where the government exercises rigid and repressive controls through strong law enforcement or military control.
 
Quartering Act of 1765 - Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765 that stated that British troops in America would be housed in barracks and in public houses unless and until the number of troops overwhelmed the facilities, at which time, the troops could be housed in private commercial property, such as inns and stable, and in uninhabited homes and barns.  The quartering would be without compensation and, in fact, owners would be required to provide soldiers with certain necessities such as food, liquor, salt, and bedding, also without compensation.
 
Standing Army - A professional permanent army composed of full-time career soldiers who are not disbanded during times of peace.
 
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1.  Why did the British pass the Quartering Act of 1765?
 
2.  How did the Americans respond to the Intolerable Acts?
 
3.  Why did the Founding Fathers have concerns regarding standing armies?
 
4.  How does militias protect against the formation of a police state?
 
 
Resources:
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
 
Madison's Notes Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale
University: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp
 
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
 
Quartering Act, U.S. Constitution Online:
http://www.usconstitution.net/quarteringact.html
 
The Declaration of Rights and Grievances, U.S. Constitution Online:
http://www.usconstitution.net/intol.html
 
 
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs

Flash Flooding in Virginia

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

From the National Weather Service:

Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Friday morning.

The Flash Flood Watch continues for:

  • Portions of Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia, including the following areas, in Maryland. Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Central and Eastern Allegany, central and southeast Howard, central and southeast Montgomery, Charles, extreme western Allegany. Frederick MD, northern Baltimore, Northwest Harford. Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince Georges. Southeast Harford, Southern Baltimore, St. Marys and Washington. The District of Columbia. In Virginia. Albemarle, Arlington/falls Church/alexandria, Augusta. Central Virginia Blue Ridge, Clarke, Culpeper, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax, Frederick VA, Greene, King George. Madison, Nelson, northern Fauquier, Northern Virginia Blue Ridge, orange, page, Prince William/manassas/manassas Park, Rappahannock, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Southern Fauquier, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Western Loudoun. In West Virginia, Berkeley, Eastern Grant, Eastern mineral, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Morgan, Western Grant and Western mineral.
  • Through Friday morning.
  • A powerful low pressure system over the Kentucky will bring periods of heavy rain to our area into Friday morning.
  • Widespread rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches are expected. Localized amounts up to a foot of rain are possible. Including along the eastern slopes of the Northern Virginia Blue Ridge and Catoctin Mountain in Maryland.
Recommended actions:

These Next few days will be a dangerous time, requiring more than the usual awareness, planning and preparations.

If you are near streams or drainage ditches, keep an eye on them and be ready to quickly seek higher ground. Water may rise rapidly.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Overriding Obama Veto: It can be done, and has been done

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Article I, Section 7 of the United States Constitution grants the authority to Congress the ability to override a presidential veto, should the Congress muster a 2/3 vote from both Houses to do so.  The first time it actually happened was during the presidency of Democrat President Andrew Johnson, who vetoed bills during the reconstruction period he believed to be too harsh against the former Confederate States.  Once again, a Democrat President's veto has been overridden by Congress.  Congress overwhelmingly rejected President Obama’s veto of The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, bill letting families of September 11 victims sue the Saudi Arabian government.  The legislation gives victims' families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks. Fifteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

The bill garnered both Republican and Democrat Party support in both Houses of Congress.

The vote was lopsided, to say the least.  The House of Representatives during the veto override vote approved it 348-77, following a 97-1 vote hours earlier in the U.S. Senate.

The Obama administration, in an attempt to coddle his Muslim buddies in Saudi Arabia, warned that the legislation could hurt national security, calling it “badly misguided.”  Obama vetoed the measure last week.  President Obama stated that he believed the bill would make the U.S. vulnerable to retaliatory litigation in foreign courts that could put U.S. troops in legal jeopardy.  I am sure his Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist advisers helped the White House is crafting the response.  In a letter to Senate leaders, Obama warned the bill could cause chaos in U.S. foreign affairs, as other countries would use the measure to justify the creation of ways to target "U.S. policies and activities that they oppose."

"As a result, our nation and its armed forces, State Department, intelligence officials and others may find themselves subject to lawsuits in foreign courts." Obama wrote in a letter delivered a day prior to Wednesday's vote to override his veto.

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas called Obama's concerns "unpersuasive."  "This bill is about respecting the voices and rights of American victims," he said.  JASTA is narrowly tailored and applies only to acts of terrorism that occur on U.S. soil.

The lone "no" vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate was by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada.

The Democrats who supported the override may have been considering the popularity of the bill with the American People, and the fact that the elections are just over a month away, when deciding whether to support or oppose the measure.

The Act enables U.S. Courts to waive a claim of foreign sovereign immunity when an act of terrorism occurs inside U.S. borders.  

For anyone who may want to use the 11th Amendment as an excuse to call the piece of legislation unconstitutional, the amendment in question prohibits the federal courts from taking cases "commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State."  In other words, the constitutional prohibition is from the other direction.  U.S. Courts could not hear, for example, a case in which a country like Saudi Arabia sued one of the States. . . like, say, New York.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Israel's Shimon Peres Dead at 93

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Shimon Peres was prime minister of Israel three times, and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  He died at 93 while in the hospital.  Peres was attempting to recover from a massive stroke two weeks ago that led to bleeding in his brain.  He lost the fight while sedated on a respirator.

His funeral is set for Friday at Mount Herzl, the country's national cemetery in Jerusalem.

Peres' political career spanned seven decades.  He filled almost every position in Israeli public life.

Shimon Perski was born on Aug. 2, 1923, in Vishneva, then part of Poland. He moved to the area that would become Israel in 1934.  His grandfather and other relatives stayed behind and perished in the Holocaust. Rising quickly through the ranks, he became a top aide to Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Congress to Override Obama Veto?

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for the kingdom’s alleged backing of the terrorists who carried out the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Read More at Breitbart

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Michael Savage Shut Down for Questioning Hillary's Health

Posted by Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The broadcaster began discussing Hillary Clinton’s mysterious health condition that Savage believes might be Parkinsons.
Almost immediately, and without any notification, New York (tri-state area) radio station WABC-Radio TV cut Savage off the air and replaced him with the lesser rated  Curtis And Cooby Show.
Shortly thereafter, as Michael Savage discovered the issue and began discussing what was going on in/around the New York broadcast area, all Savage affiliates nationwide cut off the broadcast and replaced the live transmission with a recording of a previous show.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Did Trump Get a Bounce from Debate?

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Who won the first 2016 Presidential Debate.  An L.A. Times Video says Clinton won hands down. Newt Gingrich says Trump won, and for folks not to believe the "Intellectual Yet Idiot class." According to Huffington Post's State by State poll before the debate, Trump would actually win in November. . .Note, Colorado and Arizona are not on the list so we left Colorado undecided based on CNN saying it is too close to call, and Arizona for Trump since it historically votes Republican.



Recent Polls


The Los Angeles Times shows a jump after the debate for Trump. . .

Is that a big enough bounce?  Will he gain more?  Or will Trump self-destruct?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary