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Friday, December 15, 2017

Sportscasters Discuss Declining NFL Numbers

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
Bob Ley, leading the Friday Four on ESPN's Outside the Lines, mentioned on a recent episode that the NFL's Thursday Night Football game on television lost 27% of its audience, compared to last year's numbers from the game during the same time of the year. That's more than a quarter of its viewers!  Faced with such a stunning revelation of reality in 2017, he asked if the violence of the game was turning off viewers.

In a conversation with an anti-Trump friend of mine who is an avid football fan in the Pacific Northwest, he said to me that the empty stadiums and declining numbers in television viewership was a direct result of the public's recent awareness and anger over the NFL's inability to deal with the rising numbers of "concussions" and "head injuries" in the game.

Are these people that stupid?

Three and a half years ago Reuters called the NFL the "last bastion of white, male conservatives."

If professional football's audience is largely conservative as Reuters says, with an NFL fan base that is 83% white, 64% male, 51% aged 45 years or older, only 32% made less than $60,000 a year, and registered Republicans are 21% more likely to be NFL fans than registered Democrats"; and that prior to the kneeling of the players during the National Anthem the sport was surviving despite "widely reported homophobia or the growing awareness of the dangers of head injuries or the accusations leveled in a lawsuit filed by 500 former players that they were pumped up with painkillers and sent back onto the field after being injured" (in 2014; how is it that suddenly the NFL is in trouble despite surviving all of that?

Bob Ley said the violence.  Others say the head injuries.

Those things have emerged as a concern in recent years, but three years ago they weren't damaging the product. How is it that the violent nature of the game and the threat of head injuries, now, suddenly are?

When it comes to the NFL, when comparing the game to what it was when Reuters was touting its appeal to conservative America, to today's league that finds itself facing declining number, the only thing different between now and then is the fact that many of the players have been disrespecting the flag and country by kneeling during the national anthem, and the fans have said, "Enough is enough."

But, the liberal left media is unwilling to admit the obvious.

Meanwhile, college football numbers are doing really well.  That said, college viewership numbers are down for the alphabet networks, but for FOX the numbers went up.
⬝ABC: 4.203 million, down 18% from 5.097 million
⬝CBS: 4.951 million viewers, down 10% from 5.489 million
⬝ESPN: 2.155 million, down 6% from 2.3 million
⬝NBC (Notre Dame): 2.742, down 3% from 2.814 million
⬝Fox: 3.625 million, up 23% from 2.951 million
⬝FS1: 819,000, up 4% from 743,000
If it was the violence of the game that was the cause of the sudden disinterest in the NFL, wouldn't the college numbers also be down around 25% or more, as well?

Immediately, after scrutinizing the college numbers dropping when it comes to the traditional networks, while rising on Fox and FS1, I am thinking that from a conservative's point of view, we see the big networks as the evil liberal stations, and FOX and FS1 (because we have FOX News in the back of our mind) are the more conservative friendly networks.

Could it be that it's not the violence that is influencing viewership, but the fact that conservatives are walking away from the NFL, and changing their college viewership away from sports productions by the mainstream liberal left media to something they believe to be more politically friendly to what they believe?

ESPN's leftist garbage hasn't exactly been catering to any audience other than the far left, anyway - and in fact has gone to such a level of stupidity - which includes the stupidity of them releasing Robert Lee (an Asian reporter) because his name so closely resembles the name of the famed Confederate General - that they are losing viewers hand over fist.

But, Bob Ley blames it all on the violence of the game on the field.  The leftist narrative being defended, or promoted, through the misplaced practice of kneeling during the National Anthem to support a false narrative, has become too much for the conservative viewers.  Sure, I get why the leftist media thinks its the violence in the sport that is hurting its viewership numbers.  Violence of any kind upsets the Peace-Love-Dope minds of the liberal left sheep.  Bob Ley, like his fellow lemmings, can't see beyond the narrative.  He is not willing to recognize that factors including kneeling for the National Anthem might be to blame.

Maybe he was worried that if he doesn't defend the narrative, he'd be targeted for injury like the Oakland Raiders' quarterback Derek Carr was [@12:38 on the linked video] (Carr stands for the Star Spangled Banner, hand on heart, and prays) by the thugs who believe that change is accomplished by brute force and thuggery.  The Oakland Raiders has the only all-black offensive line, and after going 12-3 last year with Carr behind center, this year the Silver and Black can't even break .500 after upgrading parts of their offensive attack.  Carr has been running for his life after each snap, and his back injury (the one Mika Grimes referred to in the above linked video as being purposely allowed as punishment for Carr's refusal to kneel) knocked him out of a significant number of games.

It seems, when it comes to the NFL, good guys are beginning to finish last for daring to refuse to comply with the thugs of the liberal left - and the fans are noticing . . . and migrating away from the NFL faster than we are seeing the middle class migrate out of California.  But, the religion of cultural Marxism is so strong that the NFL will literally let themselves dwindle into nothing, rather than admit that their leftist narrative is what is damaging their product.

Perhaps WWE billionaire Vince McMahon ought to bring back his XFL . . . but this time do what the USFL did, and have Trump get involved, too.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


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

Will Fox change Disney, or will Disney change Fox?

The deal has Disney buying $52.4 billion worth of Twenty-First Century Fox.  Disney will gain all of Fox's movie studios, their cable networks National Geographic and FX, Asian pay-TV operator Star TV, and stakes in Sky, Endemol Shine Group and Hulu, as well as regional sports networks.

FOX TV and ABC, half of the four alphabet networks, will be owned by the same company.

While there has been no language stating that Bob Iger, Disney's chairman and CEO, is going anywhere anytime soon, it is being reported that Bob Iger will remain Disney's chairman and CEO through the end of 2021.

The merger enables Disney to dig a little deeper into the world of streaming, with plans to become a dominant streaming service platform.

Disney announced plans in August to start stand-alone streaming services and pull its movies off Netflix starting in 2019, with plans to undercut Netflix's price. Disney also will create a stand-alone ESPN digital service with access to 10,000 additional live sporting events.  The new streaming service would include all of Disney's products, including its "Marvel" and "Star Wars" films - and Fox's "X-Men," "Alien" and "Predator" franchises in addition to shows like "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "The X-Files".

Iger said the new company doesn't expect to reach the "scale of Netflix quickly," but aims to be a major competitor.

Netflix will not only need to deal with a new player in town, but will lose much of its content.  Netflix has already taken steps, working to create its own content.

The Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, its national sports channels FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network are not a part of the deal, and are being separated from Fox, and formed into a newly listed company that it will spin off to its shareholders.

So, Disney will influence Fox when it comes to movies and shows, but not when it comes to news and sports.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Final Constitution Class 2017: Temecula, 2nd Amendment

Join us Thursday Night at 6:30 pm, Faith Armory, 41669 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA

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

FCC Net Neutrality Fight

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
The Net Neutrality argument is an old one that has been around much longer than the internet.  Long before today's technology was even a nugget of thought in science fiction novels the concept of statism existed.  In today's America, the Marxist idea of collectivism and utopia goes a little something like, if the federal government doesn't maintain some kind of control over something the big bad corporations will take away our freedom regarding that something - whatever it may be.

Think about that, for a moment.  The liberal left believes that freedom is maintained by big government control.

It sounds like an oxymoron because it is.

Those who support Net Neutrality, which is the policy that went into place during the Obama administration, which basically establishes government control over the activities of internet providers because of the fear they may (in the name of profit) tier their services so that people have to pay more for certain access, do so because they believe that the corporations and the individual incentive for profit cannot be trusted.  So, to control the untrustworthy corporations so that they "keep the internet free," government must block the free market from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you may want to use.  The problem is, such control also prohibits them from innovating. 

The federal government's intrusion into any industry does not create freedom within that industry as the liberal left wants you to believe.  The incentive of profit, and the desire for the growth of one's industry or business, creates innovation.  The federal government's intrusion through Net Neutrality is literally blocking the next great technology boom.

For over a hundred years the technology surrounding the telephone remained minimal.  About the biggest leap we experienced was when they went from rotary dial to touch-tone.  Then, the government withdrew many of its regulations, and what followed was a revolution that ultimately led to what we have today - smart phones.

Do these kinds of incredible innovations for the internet linger on the horizon, as well?  Can we truly ask, when it comes to innovation in technology, "What's next for the internet?"

We will only find out if today the unconstitutional regulation of Net Neutrality is lifted.

Even if the Federal Communications Commission decides to dismantle its net neutrality regulations, the liberal left is determined to run to the courts (as they always do) to block such a move.

The advocacy group Free Press plans to challenge the FCC’s decision. The most likely argument: that the commission’s decision violates federal laws barring agencies from crafting “arbitrary and capricious” regulations. After all, the FCC’s net neutrality rules were just passed in 2015, and they are convinced the move is totally guided by political partisanship.

Despite the argument of "capriciousness", in truth, from a federal legal standpoint, federal agencies are allowed to change their minds about previous regulations, so long as they adequately explain their reasoning.

From a constitutional point of view, since the Constitution has never been amended to grant the federal government authority over communications, the policy move regarding Net Neutrality, and even the existence of the FCC in the first place, are unconstitutional.  It doesn't matter if the new FCC's decision regarding Net Neutrality was based on politics, what they think is best for the industry, that they believe it was unconstitutional in the first place, or because they realize it chokes the innovation possible in the industry, they have a duty to eliminate the Net Neutrality regulations.

The FCC's main argument for revoking the Net Neutrality rules established in 2015 is that the regulations hurt investment in broadband infrastructure.  Advocates supporting Net Neutrality argue that the FCC's argument doesn't hold water, because according to their research many broadband providers actually increased their investments, while those that cut back on spending told shareholders that the net neutrality rules didn't affect their plans.

Personally, I think the Net Neutrality argument that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same without varying costs per user, or regarding the content, website, platform, or application, was a straw man argument in the first place.  Internet providers never stated they planned to block or throttle content, and have indicated since the issue came up that they don't plan to do such a thing in the future.  That said, if the industry did do such a thing, it would actually create opportunity for innovation, not only because of the room it would give providers to offer various packages, but it would encourage smaller upstarts to increase their level of competition by offering plans that undermine what the big boys are trying to do.

In the long run, we could see the eventual death of data limits across the board, and changes in broadband limits (if not, also, an elimination of them).  Streaming service could also continue to get better, and in the long run explode into a whole new way of viewing television.  Fiber optics innovations, or something even better, may also emerge.

It does surprise me that the liberal left is so concerned about the threat of prioritizing in the industry, by the way.  Here in California, the liberal left Democrats are all about prioritizing (though, they deny that is what they are up to).  The new toll roads and toll lanes give those who can afford them priority on the freeways.  The emissions controls placed on the trucking industry gives priority to the larger corporations who can afford compliance, while pushing smaller companies and owner/operators either out of business, or out of State.  The new gas tax gives priority to the class of people able to afford to maintain a large amount of travel, while limiting those of a smaller income bracket to remain in their home's vicinity since the increase of fuel costs will make it harder for them to afford long trips.  The increase in the gas tax also gives priority to citizens able to afford the increase of the cost of living in this State, since a higher cost of fuel will also influence the prices of all goods and services - those who are in underserved communities will have to reduce their living standard to accommodate the increase in cost.

In the end, the advocates supporting Net Neutrality, if the courts don't give them what they want, will likely appeal to Congress, where by legislation Congress can overturn the FCC's decision, or alter the path of how the FCC regulates the industry.

Again, as a strict orginalist regarding the United States Constitution, I cringe every time any part of the federal government comes up with the big idea of meddling with the free market, and especially with the internet.  There is simply no expressly enumerated authority for such federal actions in the Constitution.  All of this is illegal in the first place.

That all said, while the courts are 70% liberal left, the Supreme Court would likely sway in the direction of the current FCC's decision of doing away with Net Neutrality.  If it went to Congress, overturning it with a piece of legislation would require approval by both Houses, and for President to sign it.  Currently, both the House and the Senate are under Republican control (albeit the Senate could easily change after the 2018 mid-term election if the Democrats are able to pull off what they did in Alabama's recent special election in a number of other States).

Never mind the fact that President Trump would never sign such a resolution or bill.

That said, many of the establishment Republicans support the idea of Net Neutrality, so the battle is not as slam-dunk as we may hope.

And, we know how the liberal left Democrats operate.  They don't let go, easily.  They keep slamming their fists into issues over and over, until they either get their way, or they realize they will just have to wait to resurrect it at a later date.

Leftism is always about increasing government intrusion into our lives.  Like a river current under a boat, they never pause, they never rest, and they never ever show mercy.

Net neutrality advocacy groups will not give up.  Failure in the courts and failure through legislation will only be a temporary setback to them.  They are not interested in compromise.  They want full government control because they believe that corporations and individual interests cannot be trusted.  Freedom, somehow, goes hand in hand with government imposed equity.

To be honest, if they would simply search history to find examples that matches their demands, it would be a short trip that lands them on the doorstep of Karl Marx.

Stronger rules and regulations against the internet industry for the purpose of making sure everything remains equitable is just another piece of the socialist puzzle, where government hands out misery equally, and true innovation is choked out before it can get off the ground.  In the end, it is not freedom as they claim, but bondage under government rule.  Net Neutrality is just another piece in that overreaching socialist puzzle they are trying to put together.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama Senate Special Election Aftermath

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

During the election in Alabama, I was teaching a Constitution Class in Southern California.  I switched on my computer, hooked up a projector, and had the returns showing on the screen as I taught the class.  By the end of the class the race was nearly even, with all of the red areas 100% in, and a few blue districts awaiting final numbers.  It was obvious that in the Red State of Alabama, Democrat Doug Jones would be the winner to take Jeff Session's former seat in the United States Senate.

The immediate answer to the question regarding what happened is simply that the allegations of sexual impropriety against Roy Moore worked.

The Democrat Voters have been all over this.  While visiting leftist websites, the memes and writings told me that the Democrats are fully convinced that Roy Moore is some kind of horrible child molester or pedophile.  I suppose that makes sense, because the media's portrayal has included placing the pictures of the women when they were young next to recent images of 70 year old Moore.

Never mind that even if the accusations were true, at the time Roy was only 32, 16 is the age of consent in Alabama, and Mr. Moore was neither a Republican, nor a Christian, at the time.  He was a registered Democrat.

People grow.  People change.

There is not a Christian I know who can say they are anything like the person they were before they accepted Christ.

That all said, I don't believe that this was just an election that had the Democrats lashing out against Roy Moore because he's not a Democrat.  I think it goes deeper than that.

Moore's alleged sexual impropriety, when it comes to Democrats in politics, isn't really that big of a deal, to be honest.

In California an assemblyman just resigned after being accused of forcing a female lobbyist to watch him as he pleasured himself.

Democrat Corrine Brown, former member of the House of Representatives, will be doing jail time for stealing from a bogus children's charity.

In Virginia a leftist pro-abortion adult punched a 15-year-old girl in the face for her pro-life position.

Near San Diego a Leftist College Professor sucker-punched 17 year-old-boy at an immigration rally.

But, we are told never mind all of that stuff.  Instead, we are to believe that 39 years ago Roy Moore, who was an entirely different person back then, did some horrible things and he is today somehow some kind of sexual predator as a result.

The allegations of his sexual improprieties changed this election to favor a Democrat (barely), but the reasoning behind it actually had nothing to do with this election, and everything to do with creating a new leftist narrative.  I am a firm believer the accusations are all false, made up for the purpose of the left's usual game of dirty politics.  Don't get me wrong, they hate Roy Moore, but not because they believe him to be some kind of child molester.  He's guilty of something much worse, something they hate more than pedophiles.  He's a conservative Christian.

The Democrat Party is being guided by cultural Marxism.  Faith, from their point of view, is the opiate of the masses.  They hate Christians.  Senator Feinstein revealed contempt for Christianity during her questioning of Trump's judicial nominees.  Remember, the Democrat Party is the party that removed God from their platform, and then reluctantly added him back during boos after criticism for their decision.

The attack against Judge Roy Moore was all about the fact that he's a conservative Christian.  Trump's statement that we are a nation that worships God, not government, was enough to send the Democrats over the edge.

This was supposed to be their revolution, not ours.  Hillary Clinton was their final nail in the coffin of Christian America, but somehow, the revolution was put on hold.  The swamp wasn't supposed to be drained.  It was supposed to gain more control.

The Democrats have made deals with the devil.  They've allied with Islam and the homosexual agenda.  In California "gender neutral" bathrooms are now the law.  They are fighting for no borders and a global system of governance.

2018 may be their last chance for a generation, and they know it.  If conservatives lose either House of Congress in the 2018 election, the drain of the swamp will come to a stop, and then a new nail for Christian America's coffin will be pulled out.  The death of the Judge Moore candidacy was all about that, creating the narrative of "Republicans are Pedophiles", and also how the GOP is dead because of Trump.

It's a play in a plan.  Simple as that.  And many voters have bought into it.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Final Corona Constitution Class of the Year: Executive Branch

6:00 PM
Tuesday Night
AllStar Collision
522 Railroad St.
Corona, CA

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 5: Establishing the Executive Branch
Article II, Section 1, Executive Power Established
Article II establishes the Executive Branch.  The Founding Fathers were anxious regarding the creation of the office of the executive because they feared that a leader with too much power had the potential of being tyrannical.  Many of the founders even argued that there should not be one executive, but many, so that they may serve as checks against each other.  Their concerns were well placed, if one considers that their frame of reference was the authoritarian king of the British Empire.
Despite their fears, they knew that the authorities of the president under the Articles of Confederation were too few, leaving the office of the president much too weak to adequately serve the union.  The founders were looking for a strong leader that also recognized the limitations on the authorities of the federal government as granted by the States through the articles of the Constitution.  The best model for the presidency was a simple choice.  Article II was written, some believe, with George Washington in mind.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 states that the powers of the executive are "vested."  This word, as we learned when we went over Article I, Section 1, carries a meaning similar to that of the word "granted."  Vested means "legally transferred."  The President's authorities are powers given to him through a legal transfer of authorities.   The powers vested to the Executive Branch were granted by the States.
The founders understood that whenever there is a "leader," there is a struggle for power.  America has been no different.  The office of the president has increased its powers over the years, mostly through unconstitutional means.  The Founding Fathers sought to limit the powers to the executive.  Among those limitations of powers is also a term-limit.  The executive is limited to a term of four years, as is the Vice President.
The election of the President and Vice President is not accomplished by direct election.  Appointed electors vote for the President and Vice President.  The electors were originally appointed by the States during the early elections of American History.  The formula for determining the number of electors is determined by taking the number of Representatives and Senators the State is entitled in Congress, and combining those two numbers.  This method of indirect election is also known as The Electoral College, which was designed in this manner specifically to protect the United States against the excesses of democracy.
After the 2000 election, where the winner of the popular vote was denied the presidency because he did not win the fight for electors, questions regarding the Electoral College arose.  It was only the fourth time in history such an event occurred.  To find precedents resembling the 2000 election one has to go back to the 19th century, to the elections of 1888, 1876, and 1824.  Those were the only elections in American history prior to the election in 2000 where a winner in the popular vote was denied the presidency through the Electoral College system.
Recently, there has been a number of officials promising to introduce legislation to abolish the Electoral College, claiming that it no longer serves a good purpose in modern politics.  The reasoning of these folks that oppose the Electoral College suggests that the United States should simply allow the popular vote of the American people be followed every four years when we elect our president.
A number of Americans have voiced their agreement with this opinion, arguing that the individual running for President receiving the most votes should win.  An indirect election such as the Electoral College, argue these folks, is simply unfair and undemocratic.  In other words, they believe the American political system should operate as a direct democracy.
The Founding Fathers purposely did not make this country a democracy.  The United States is a Republic, equipped with checks and balances at all levels of government, including the voting process.  Democracies were proven, according to the founders, to be failures.
John Adams was quoted to say, "Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
Thomas Jefferson said, "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
The founders are not the only historical figures to recognize that a democracy opposes liberty.
Karl Marx once said, "Democracy is the road to socialism."
Karl Marx, the father of communism, understood that the implementation of a democracy is a necessary step in the process of destroying our Constitutional Republic. Once the people are fooled to believe that they can receive gifts from the treasury rather than achieve for their livelihood, they will continually vote in the people who ensure the entitlements continue to flow. Eventually, this mindset becomes the majority. This group then changes over time from an involved and informed electorate to a populace that lacks the understanding of the principles of liberty and can easily be manipulated into believing that sacrificing individual liberty in exchange for social justice and security is a price that we must be willing to pay.  A group that is dependent upon the government in such a manner, then, is prime to vote into power a tyranny.  Eliminating the Electoral College would make it easier for these members of our society to vote into office those that promise more entitlements.
Once the majority of the voters in a Democracy become the recipients of benefits from the Federal Government, the government achieves unchecked power, and may then violate the property rights of the productive members of society in order to provide benefits to the non-productive members of society. This is best characterized in the "tax the rich," or "redistribution of wealth," scheme we are now seeing emerge as the rally cry by the current administration.  The founders called this method a "scheme of leveling."
The founders were aware of this danger, which is why they established our system of government, and the electoral college, in the manner they did.  A true democracy becomes "mob rule," and the principles of liberty become a target for elimination.
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." -- Thomas Jefferson
In order to preserve our Constitutional Republic it was imperative for the vote of the people to be indirect, except when it came to voting for their representatives in the House of Representatives.  The Founding Fathers divided power as much as possible, including the power of the vote.
Originally, the State Legislatures appointed the electors that cast their votes in the Presidential Election. That changed in 1824 when all but six states decided the electors should to vote in line with the popular vote.
U.S. Senators were initially appointed by the State Legislatures, which ensured the voice of the States was present in the federal government. That changed in 1913 with the 17th Amendment, which transferred the vote for the U.S. Senators to the popular vote.  The 17th Amendment took away from the States their representation in the federal government.
The Founding Fathers divided the voting power as they did partially because if the power to vote for president, the House, and the Senate all fell to the people, and if the people were fooled by some political ideology that wished to destroy the republic by fundamentally changing the American System, a tyranny could be easily voted into control of all parts of the government without any checks present whatsoever. When the majority of voters are uninformed in such a manner, and are given the full voting power, tyranny is inevitable.
Winston Churchill understood the dangers of trusting an uninformed electorate with the capacity to govern. He was quoted as saying, "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."
The elimination of the Electoral College would take away the voice of the smaller states, give the election of the President to the seven largest metropolitan centers in the United States, and lead America even closer to becoming a democracy.
Democracy is a transitional governmental system that ultimately leads to tyranny. This was true in the days of the French Revolution no less than it is true today.
While democracy lasts it becomes more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy...Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide. -- John Adams
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner" -- James Bovard
Our country is not a democracy. Our nation was founded as a constitutionally limited republic.  The indirect election of the President through the Electoral College reflects that truth, and the Electoral College is one of the last vestiges of the system of checks and balances as they apply to the voters.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 indicates that the Congress may determine the time and day the electors are chosen, and give their votes.  The day they vote for President and Vice President, according to this clause, will be the same day nationally.  The rules for the popular election, if you will remember from Article I, are to be established by the State legislatures.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 states that the eligibility for President includes the requirement that the individual be a natural born Citizen.
Notice that the Constitution says a natural born citizen, "or" a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.  This was to ensure that anyone alive at the time of the adoption of the Constitution who was a citizen was eligible, and anyone born after the adoption of the Constitution had to be a natural born citizen to be eligible.  The word "or" gives us a clue that there is a difference between "natural born citizen," and "citizen."
Some people will use the Fourteenth Amendment as an argument regarding the definition of natural born citizen.  The Fourteenth Amendment says, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
The Fourteenth Amendment, in this clause, as it states, only addresses "citizenship" - not the concept of being a natural born citizen.  Therefore, it does not apply when discussing the concept of natural born citizenship.  The clause was written as it was to protect the citizenship of the children of the emancipated slaves.  The word "jurisdiction" was placed in that clause to mean "full allegiance."  There was a fear during that time, as there had been during the founding of this nation, of divided allegiance, or divided loyalties.
Natural Born Citizen is not defined in the Constitution primarily because it was common knowledge.  People understood what the term "Natural Born Citizen" meant.
Today we have a number of terms that are understood without needing to be defined.  One of those terms is "fast food."  Without needing a definition provided, most people know what "fast food" is.  That does not mean the term will be readily understood by some historian of the future.  He may ask himself, when he comes across that term in our literature, "Why is it their food was fast?  Did it run quickly away from them?"  To understand what "fast food" meant to us, he may have to refer to a number of writings before he finally comes across the definition.
One of the sources the Founding Fathers used when it came to establishing the definition of "Natural Born Citizen" was Vatell's "Law of Nations."
Vatell's Law of Nations is mentioned once in the Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 10, and it is capitalized - which suggests the mention of the Law of Nations to be a proper noun, thus supporting the argument that it is a direct reference to Vatell's writings.
Recently, it was discovered that George Washington failed to return a couple library books to the New York City Public Library.  One of those books was Vatell's Law of Nations.  Washington checked the book out in 1789, shortly after the Constitutional Convention, probably because of the heavy influence the definitions in Vatell's Law of Nations played on the writing of the U.S. Constitution.
Benjamin Franklin owned three copies of the Law of Nations - two for the convention, and one for his personal use.  He received those copies from the editor, Dumas, in 1775.
Vatell's Law of Nations Section 212 indicates that to be a Natural Born Citizen both parents must be citizens at the time of the birth of the child.  As with the Fourteenth Amendment, there was a fear of divided allegiance.
Vetell's Law of Nations required also that the child be born on American Soil, but if you read further down the section addresses other possibilities. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1790 confirmed the definition not requiring the child to be born on American soil, but still requiring that both parents be American citizens at the time of the child's birth.  The section in the Naturalization Act of 1790 I am referring to specifically reads: "And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."
Note that the fifth word, citizens, is in the plural, which means it requires both parents to be citizens at the time of the birth of the child in order for the child to be a "Natural Born Citizen."
Article II also establishes that in order to be eligible for the presidency the candidate must be at least the age of 35.  This requirement, reasoned the founders, would ensure that the immaturities of youth had passed away.  Along with a relatively mature age, the Constitution indicates that the president must also have been a resident of the United States for the last fourteen years.  This, once again, was a guard against divided loyalties.
The Vice President must also meet all eligibility requirements.  In the 18th century the Vice President was the second place winner in the election, and therefore had to be eligible because he was originally running for President.  Now, the Vice President is elected as a part of the presidential ticket.  However, to ensure it was clear that the Vice President also had to be eligible for the presidency, especially since he was next in line for the presidency should the Office of President be vacated, the 12th Amendment ends with a sentence that demands the Vice President is eligible for the presidency.
In Case of Death
Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 was changed by the Twelfth Amendment.  This clause established the rules in case of the death of the President while in office.  The clause gave the Office of the President to the Vice President in the case of death.  The ambiguity of the clause, however, created confusion.  In the case of President Benjamin Harrison who died after only 30 days in office, it created a constitutional crisis.  The officials of that time did not know what to do.  When old Tippecanoe died, he was succeeded by his Vice-President John Tyler, but since no President had died in office before, no one was quite sure how Presidential succession worked. The Constitution stipulated that the Vice-President should become the new President, but it was not clear if the Vice-President should be considered a "real" President, or if he only "acted" as President. The Tyler administration made it clear that Vice-Presidents who became President after the death of the elected President should be treated as legitimate Presidents.
The Twelfth Amendment later addressed the problem with more specified rules.  Later, succession was resolved once and for all with the ratification of the 25th Amendment in 1967.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 allows for the President to be compensated for his service as President of the United States.  This salary is not to be increased or diminished while the President serves.  The President, according to this clause, is also not allowed to receive any other governmental salary from the federal government during his term as President.  In George Washington's First Inaugural Address, he announced that he would accept no salary as President.
Oath or Affirmation
In the final Clause of Article II, Section 1, the Oath or Affirmation for the Office of President was established.
The reason for the clause indicating Oath "or" Affirmation was because an Oath is to God, and an Affirmation is not.  The founders understood that not all Americans believe in God, therefore an option needed to be available for non-believers.  Affirmation was also included as an option because there were some Christians that believed swearing to God to be a sin. Offering the opportunity to "affirm" gave these Christians an opportunity to take the affirmation of office without compromising their religious beliefs.
Note that the President is expected, according to the text of the oath or affirmation, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
You will also note that placing one's hand on a Bible is not in this Article.  The placement of a hand on a Bible while reciting the Oath or Affirmation was something that George Washington chose to do, and it has been a tradition ever since.
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.
Electoral College: A body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the President and Vice President of the U.S.
Executive Branch:  The branch of government responsible for executing, or carrying out, the laws.  An executive in government can be a president, or a governor.
Leveling: Moving money from one group of people to another by raising and lower taxes accordingly in an effort to achieve economic equity in society.
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.
Questions for Discussion:
1.  Why didn't the Founding Fathers make the President a king?
2.  How does the Electoral College ensure fairness for the minority States?
3.  What is the difference between a democracy and a republic?
4.  Why did the Founding Fathers divide the voting power?
5.  How is "citizen," and "natural born citizen," different?
6.  Why were the Founding Fathers concerned about divided loyalty?
7.  How does the eligibility requirements ensure that the President, especially as Commander in Chief, holds full allegiance for the United States?
8.  How was the way the Vice President was chosen in the 18th century different from how the Vice President is chosen today?
Alexander Hamilton, The Law of Nations and the U.S. Constitution,
Associated Press, "Hillary Clinton Calls for End to Electoral College," CBS News (2009)
George Washington, The First Inaugural Address of George Washington, The Avalon Project - Yale University (1789/2008)
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:
Marjorie Kehe, "How George Washington racked up a $300,000 fine for overdue library books," Christian Science Monitor,
Mountain Publius Goat, "Law of Nations, 1758 law book defines Natural Born Citizen," Kerchner (2008)
Ron Paul, "Hands Off The Electoral College," Lew Rockwell (2004)
Ron Paul, "The Electoral College vs. Mob Rule," Lew Rockwell (2004)
Sean Rooney, "The Death of President William Henry Harrison," Associated Content (2008)
Copyright Douglas V. Gibbs 2015