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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief Charities

Dear Fellow Constitutionalists and Friends,

Hurricane Harvey slammed the Gulf Coast, and devastated Houston.  At one point, the storm reached Category 4.  The flooding has been deadly, and destructive.  The high winds have destroyed entire buildings, and homes.  Please keep these folks in your prayers, and if you can, send funds to help with the efforts in the aftermath.

A friend of mine from the Mountain View Republican Club sent the following list to me of a number of charities you can donate to in order to help with relief efforts. 


Team Rubicon: Vets helping Vets 

 https://teamrubiconusa.org
Lutheran Disaster Response:
Texas Lutheran Church Assistance:  100% of $$$ goes directly







MusiCares (Select Hurricane Relief in drop down menu)


Also you can donate locally to:


855-999-GIVE

Text:  HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10.00 donation.

Thank you all for caring.

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


Regionalism and Sustainable Development: Marxism Hand in Hand

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

Over a hundred years ago Meridel Le Sueur wrote about creating a "New Regionalism" so as to encourage the rise of socialism in the United States.  An early member of the Socialist Party, Le Sueur was heavily involved in political activism, organizing for the "worker's movement," and writing for "progressive" causes - an activity that led to her being blacklisted as a writer by a number of publications due to her radical views.  In the thirties she was a leader of the "Literary Left", seeking new ways to develop "proletarian" literature while exploring the relationship of art to politics.  Art, she believed, was not to be for "art's sake," but rather to define social norms, and portray an ideological perspective. She believed art, especially literature, had a valuable role in a revolutionary culture.  Ultimately, she developed a new form of literature characterized as a "dialectical realism."  We must make note that Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's "Hegelian Dialectic" was a primary influence on Karl Marx as he developed his ideas about socialism and the communist utopia.

To Meridel, Marxism meant that art must guide consciousness in a new direction, not merely reflect the external reality.

She believed in the full significance of Hegel's dialectic, seeing change as not being linear, but that revolutions could occur across a wide range of human experience.  The role of the artist is to illuminate those changes.  As for the most effective way to establish those changes?  Regionalism.  A harmless looking way to insert socialism in the name of cooperation and the common good.

The spirit of the United States Constitution revolves around the ideas of individualism, localism, and a virtuous society based on biblical principles.  Regionalism seeks to pull local control away from local government, a strategy that also challenges individualism, calling for a more collective approach to local issues.  Regionalism claims that local life, whether it is willing to admit it, or not, is dependent upon other local regions, and regional cooperation is necessary for civilization to survive.  
While constitutionalists and conservatives support the idea of community cooperation, and working with other groups when necessary, they believe that is to be decided not only locally, but with the option of individuals or individual governments, to opt out as they desire.  Instead, through governmental cooperatives we are seeing regional organizations of unelected persons who seek political regionalism for the sake of creating a socialist regional environment emerging, which in the end is a very dangerous path to navigate because it is Marxist in nature.

Meridel's worldview was through the eyes of oneness with nature, and bringing all forces together in communion.  A global consciousness of all-inclusiveness that bridges all religion and peoples so as to complete the circle of life.

Le Sueur was not the first to dream of using regionalism as a way of revolutionizing America so that the people would lean towards a socialist system.  However, the dreams of socialists like Le Sueur are in full swing in the Twenty-First Century's political environment.  The problem is, most Americans do not even realize it (or they are not willing the accept the reality of it).  Concepts of "Sustainable Development" (also called Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030) seek to usher humanity into population centers so as to give nature back to nature.  The stack-'em-and-pack-'em mentality of herding humanity into specific regions and central locations of control, and keeping them there through mandatory volunteerism (digest that one, for just a moment - sounds like Jean Jacques Rousseau's statement about how man must be forced to be free) is being orchestrated through regional organizations like various councils of government and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) schemes.  The CCA seeks to regionalize energy by taking it out of the hands of local government and the private sector and placing it under the control of regional organizations (regionalism).

Regarding CCAs, see the following:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E912_fUTXlM--
Hermosa Beach councilwoman  Carolyn Petty-
The I-10 and I-15 Corridor Project seeks to establish Sustainable Development corridors, and offer a plan that will ultimately require drivers to pay a toll to use currently freely accessible Interstate Freeways.  In short, through the Sustainable Development plan, the idea is to punish drivers monetarily for trying to leave their region, and encouraging people to seek employment within their regional population centers.

Humans, after all, are much easier to control when they stay in one place and don't have the means of traveling wherever they want - hence, the attempt to get us out of our cars with outrageous emissions mandates.

Unlike communist countries where you needed your papers to travel, through Sustainable Development the communists in America are seeking to convince you to not desire to go outside your region, to voluntarily accept communism under a different name. . . for the common good, to save the planet, as a part of regionalism.

In the end, it is still all Marxism and the Hegelian Dialectic.  And if you don't like it, no problem, the brown shirts (Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other leftist groups) will gladly put you in your place by calling you a bigot and racist for daring to stand in opposition. 

Resistance is futile.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Temecula Constitution Class: Text of Article III, Judicial Branch

Join us tonight at 6:30 pm as we continue to examine the Judicial Branch, Article III of the U.S. Constitution, this time line by line through the actual text of the U.S. Constitution.
Faith Armory, 41669 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA
 
Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
 
 
 
Lesson 08
 
Judicial Branch
 
Establish Justice
 
The United States Constitution was written to establish a federal government for the United States of America. Article III establishes the federal court system.  Article I, Section 8 gives the Congress the power to "constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme Court."  Given the power to establish these courts, Congress also has the authority to do away with any of these inferior courts.  This power of Congress is repeated in Article III, Section 1 during the first sentence.
 
When reading Article III, one must keep in mind the fact that the article was specifically written to affect the federal court system, not the state courts. The authorities contained within this article, and the restrictions thereof, are to be applied to the federal courts, not the state courts. One must also bear in mind, as one reads this article, the additional limits placed on the federal courts by the 11th Amendment. No case against a state by citizens of another state, or by the citizens or subjects of a foreign state, shall be heard by a federal court.
 
In other words if citizens of a State sues a State, or foreign government sues a State, the case can't go to the federal courts.  The highest that case can go is the State Supreme Court.  These limitations placed upon the court system by the 11th Amendment were proposed by the people (House of Representatives) and the States (Senate), and finally ratified by the States, in order to better control a federal court system that was attempting to compromise State Sovereignty.  Judges, the lesson of the 11th Amendment shows us, are not the wielders of the rule of law.  They are not the powerful men of honor when it comes to the law.  The guardians of the rule of law are the people, and the States.  The courts had proven that they can become an enemy of the law, proclaiming that their rulings are the rule of law, but as the 11th Amendment reminds us, the judges are merely men, and their system is the rule of man attempting to manipulate the law through their rulings.  For their bad behavior, the people and the States judged them, and further limited them with a new constitutional amendment.
 
 
Good Behavior
 
The conventional understanding of the terms of federal judges is that they receive lifetime appointments because no time restriction is placed upon them in the Constitution.  The only limitation on term placed upon the judges can be found in Article III, Section 1 where the Constitution states that judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, "shall hold their offices during good behavior."  Conventional wisdom dictates that bad behavior is defined as unlawful activities.
 
The definition of bad behavior is not limited to only illegal activities.  Judges take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the United States Constitution, which is the Law of the Land.  Bad behavior, then, from the point of view of the Founding Fathers, may also include unconstitutional actions, or failure to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
 
Impeachment by Congress may be used if a judge acts in bad behavior.  If a judge refuses to attend the hearing at the behest of the United States Senate, the federal marshall may be used to retrieve the judge, and compel them to stand before Congress to answer for their bad behavior.  Congress is the check and balance against the courts, not the other way around.
 
 
 
 
 
Limits
 
The powers of the federal courts "shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority."
 
The federal courts, in other words, may hear all cases that fall within their authority.  These cases are regarding those in which the federal government has authority, be it by laws passed within the authorities granted to the federal government by the Constitution, or regarding issues related to treaties made that have been signed by the President and ratified by the U.S. Senate.  The courts may not hear cases that are regarding issues not within the authorities of the federal government.
 
A recent example would be the flurry of federal court rulings against State laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman.  In California, the State's attempt to protect the government definition of marriage was with Proposition 8.  The proposition changed the State Constitution to read that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Marriage is not an issue that falls under the authorities of the federal government as expressly granted by the Constitution, nor is the issue of marriage prohibited to the States.  Therefore, as per the authorities granted, and not granted, in line with the 10th Amendment, the government authority over marriage is reserved to the States.  Since the issue of marriage is a State issue, the case should not have gone beyond the State Supreme Court.  The federal courts hearing the case regarding Proposition 8, or any of the State laws regarding marriage, are acting unconstitutionally.  The governors of these States, whose marriage laws were overturned by an activist federal court system, have the right to disregard all rulings by the federal courts on this issue.  The action of ignoring the rulings is a type of nullification, and States have the right to nullify unconstitutional laws or actions by the federal government..
 
Other limitations have been placed upon the federal courts as well.  The 11th Amendment changed the intent of Article III.  As limited as the courts were supposed to be, the Founding Fathers realized the courts weren't limited enough, and as a result, the 11th Amendment wound up being ratified in 1795.  The 11th Amendment was encouraged by a federal case called Chisolm v. Georgia (1793).
 
 
Chisolm v. Georgia (1793)
 
An increasing problem with federal intrusion on the States via the federal court system culminated in the case of Chisholm v. Georgia in 1793, which eventually led to the proposal, and ratification, of the 11th Amendment.  A citizen of South Carolina sued the State of Georgia for the value of clothing supplied by a merchant during the Revolutionary War. After Georgia refused to appear, claiming immunity as a sovereign state, as per the Constitution (Article III, Section 2) the federal courts took the case.  The judges in the court system tended to embrace a nationalist view of the federal government, and their nationalist point of view encouraged the judges to deem that in the Chisolm v. Georgia case, Georgia was not a sovereign state, therefore the Supreme Court entered a default judgment against Georgia.  What ensued was a conflict between federal jurisdiction and state sovereignty that reminded the anti-federalists of their fears of a centralized federal government consolidating the states, and destroying their right to individual sovereignty.
 
Realizing that the clause in Article III gave the federal courts too much power over state sovereignty, Congress immediately proposed the 11th Amendment in order to take away federal court jurisdiction in suits commenced against a State by citizens of another State or of a foreign state. This is the first instance in which a Supreme Court decision was superseded by a constitutional amendment, and evidence that the founders saw the legislative branch, and the States, as being a more powerful part of government over the federal judiciary.
Authorities
 
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  The federal courts are included in that, as being a part of the United States federal government.  As a result of the nature of how federal authorities are granted, the federal court system can only hear cases that fall within the constitutional authorities for the federal government.
 
When one understands the importance of protecting state sovereignty, and that the courts are supposed to be very limited in their scope and power, Article III becomes much simpler to understand.
 
As stated earlier in this section, the first sentence of Article III, Section 2, reads: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States (which are only supposed to be passed if they are within the authorities granted by the Constitution), and Treaties made . . .
 
Notice the phrase, "arising under this Constitution."  If the case is not involving the federal government as one of the parties, or is not regarding an issue that falls under the authorities of the U.S. Constitution, the federal courts can simply not take the case. The State Supreme Court, in those cases, is the highest court the case can go to.
 
 
Judicial Review
 
Federal judges maintain that the federal courts have the power of judicial review, or the power to determine the constitutionality of laws.  In response to the judicial urgings for the powers to judge the extent of the federal government's powers, in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison warned us that giving the federal government through its courts the power of judicial review would be a power that would continue to grow, regardless of elections, putting at risk the all important concept of the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on power.  The final arbiters of the Constitution are not the courts, argued the Founding Fathers who supported the foundation of limiting principles of the U.S. Constitution.  The power of the federal government must be checked by State governments, and the people. The States and the People are the enforcers and protectors of the U.S. Constitution.
 
In today's society it is commonly accepted that one of the roles of the federal court system is to interpret the Constitution, and issue rulings determining the constitutionality of laws.  The Constitution does not grant this authority.  The power of Judicial Review was given to the courts by themselves.
 
The first attempt to establish "Judicial Review" as an authority to the federal court system was through the Judiciary act of 1789, but the authority allowing the United States federal courts to hear a civil case because the plaintiff has alleged a violation of the United States Constitution, federal law, or a treaty to which the United States is a party, was limited to only the United States Supreme Court.  The lower federal courts, at this point, were not allowed hear cases questioning the federal government's "federal question jurisdiction."  Anti-federalists, and Jefferson Republicans immediately railed against the legislation, arguing that legislation cannot determine authorities granted.
 
The Federalists, in an attempt to allow the lower courts to wield the power of judicial review, briefly created such jurisdiction in the Judiciary Act of 1801, but it was repealed the following year.  Unable to establish the federal court system as the final arbiters of the United States Constitution through legislative means, the Federalists turned to the courts themselves to drive into place the controversial authority.
 
During John Adams' final moments in the presidency, he appointed a whole host of "midnight judges" (appointing 16 Federalist circuit judges and 42 Federalist justices of the peace to offices created by the Judiciary Act of 1801) in the hopes of retaining federalist control of the courts as Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans gained control of the Congress, and Jefferson himself accepted the presidency.
 
Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans were appalled by the appointment of the Midnight Judges, recognizing the stacking of the courts as a desperate attempt by the Federalists to try and continue Federalist influence despite their election loss.  In Jefferson's view, the Federalists "retired into the judiciary as a stronghold . . . and from that battery all the works of Republicanism are to be beaten down and destroyed."
 
While Adams was still in office, most of the commissions for these newly appointed judges were delivered.  However, unable to deliver all of them before Adams' term expired, some of them were left to be delivered by the incoming Secretary of State, James Madison.  Jefferson ordered them not to be delivered, and without the commissions delivered, the remaining new appointees were unable to assume the offices and duties to which they had been appointed to by Adams.  In Jefferson's opinion, the undelivered commissions were void.
 
One of those appointed judges was a man named William Marbury.  He sued, and the case worked its way up to the Supreme Court.  After all of the dust settled, on February 24, 1803, the Court rendered a unanimous (4-0) decision that Marbury had the right to his commission, but the court did not have the power to force Madison to deliver the commission.  Chief Justice Marshall wrote the opinion of the court, and in that opinion he wrote that the federal court system has the power of judicial review.  Rather than simply applying the law to the cases, Marshall decided, based on case law and precedent, that the courts have the authority to determine the validity of the law as well.  This opinion, however, went against all of the limitations placed on the courts by the Constitution.
 
One of the most obvious fundamental principles of the Constitution is the limitations it places on the federal government.  The Constitution is designed not to tell the federal government what it can't do, but to offer enumerated powers to which the authorities of the federal government are limited to.  The powers are granted by the States, and any additional authorities must also be approved by the States through the ratification of any proposed amendments.  It takes 3/4 of the States to ratify an amendment.  The congressional proposal of an amendment, with the ratification of that amendment, in the simplest terms, is the federal government asking the States for permission to a particular authority.
 
The power of Judicial Review, or the authority to determine if laws are constitutional, was not granted to the courts by the States in the Constitution.  The courts took that power upon themselves through Justice Marshall's opinion of Marbury v. Madison.
 
The federal courts are a part of the federal government.  The Constitution was designed to limit the authorities of the federal government by granting only a limited number of powers.  Judicial Review enables the federal government, through the courts, to determine if the laws that the federal government made are constitutional.  In other words, the federal government, through Judicial Review, can determine for itself what its own authorities are.
 
The idea that the federal court system has the authority to interpret the Constitution, and can decide if a law is constitutional or not, is unconstitutional, and is simply an attempt by those that believe in big government to gain power, and work towards a more centralized big federal governmental system.
 
 
Original Jurisdiction
 
In Article III, Section 2, Clause 2 the Constitution reads: "In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction."
 
What this means is that in all of those above listed cases, the federal appellate courts cannot take the case.  Such cases must bypass the federal appellate system, and go straight to the Supreme Court.  Since one of those stipulations is in regards to cases "in which a State shall be a Party," that means that the case "U.S. v. Arizona" where the federal government sued Arizona to block the State's immigration law, was unconstitutional.  It was unconstitutional for the inferior federal courts to hear the case.  The Supreme Court had original jurisdiction.  Therefore, when the district court ruled in July of 2010 on the case, and struck down parts of the Arizona immigration law, not only did that court not have jurisdiction to hear the case in the first place, but the very act of striking down portions of the law was unconstitutional. After all, Article I, Section 1 grants the legislative branch all legislative powers, and those powers would include the ability to strike down law.  The courts were not vested with any legislative powers, and therefore cannot strike down laws, or portions of laws.
 
 
Trial by Jury
 
Article III, Section II, Clause 3 sets up the right to a trial by jury, except in the cases of impeachment.
 
This clause also requires that a trial must be held in the state where the crime was committed. If the crime was not committed in any particular state, then the trial is held in such a place as set forth by the Congress.
 
 
 
Treason
 
Article III, Section 3 defines treason, as well as the granting of the power by the Congress to declare the punishment.  When the Constitution says that "no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attained," it means that the punishment cannot be inherited or passed down (corruption of blood), nor shall the person be denied due process (attainder).
 
Corruption of blood also means that all inheritable qualities are destroyed, and the Founding Fathers did not believe this English practice should be an American one.
 
No forfeiture meant that despite treason, the properties of the person could not be forfeited to the government.  The property would remain as property of the individual, or remain with family.  Even when it came to the despicable act of treason, the founders believed that the individual should be able to retain certain rights.
 
 
Terms:
 
Corruption of Blood: Punishment inherited or passed down, all inheritable qualities are destroyed.
 
Judicial Review: The unconstitutional authority of the federal courts to review law, interpret the Constitution regarding laws, and then determine the constitutionality of laws.
 
Original Jurisdiction: In the Constitution the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction on some cases, which means the case must proceed directly to the Supreme Court, and the high court must make a determination on whether or not to accept the case.
 
Treason:Levying war against the States, or adhering to the enemies of the States, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1.  How would life in the United States be different if there was no federal court system?
 
2.  Why did the Founding Fathers limit the authorities of the federal courts?
 
3.  How has Judicial Review changed our system of government?
 
4.  Why do you think the Supreme Court has Original Jurisdiction over some cases?
 
5.  In what ways is the presence of a Judicial Branch important?
 
Resources:
 
Draft of the Kentucky Resolutions (Jefferson's Draft), Avalon Project, Yale University: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/jeffken.asp
 
Madison's Notes Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale University: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp
 
Virginia Resolution - Alien and Sedition Acts, Avalon Project, Yale University:
Copyright: Douglas V. Gibbs, 2015

Houston: As the Hurricane Waters Drain

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host


Hurricane Harvey got all the way up to Category 4 by landfall, and thanks to two fronts squeezing it in place, the hurricane slammed into the Texas Coast twice, and then it lingered over the fourth largest city in the United States.  Houston was devastated, flooded with more than 50 inches of rain, and has suffered largely from the flooding more than three dozen deaths, so far.  The images are incredible, and the stories are amazing.  My prayers have been going out to those on the Gulf Coast, from Corpus Christi, to Houston, and to all points east along the coast slammed by this horrific hurricane.

I have friends in Tyler, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, Texas.  Each have their own stories, with Corpus Christi being the most amazing.  San Antonio got heavy rains, high winds, and Hurricane Harvey was just an irritant.  In Tyler, a swollen river and the threat of a dam being compromised put them on the edge of evacuation, but now the town of a little over one hundred thousand residents due north of Houston with about two hundred miles between them is serving as a center for receiving evacuees, and giving aid as needed.  Corpus Christi was hit pretty hard, but with Houston's story in the news (and for some strange reason, some idiotic story about Melania's shoes. . . really?  The media can't attack Trump about his handling of the disaster so they go after what shoes Melania was wearing when she got on the plane to go there?), Corpus Christi (and Galveston) has not really been talked about much.

Corpus Christi bore the brunt of Hurricane Harvey when the storm made its first landfall with 130 miles per hour winds.  All of Corpus Christi lost power, but the crews got 95% of the customers back with electricity fairly quickly.  Arial photos reveal the damage in the coastal Texas City, but Corpus Christi was spared much of the flooding because the hurricane moved out and headed up the coast, rather than remaining in place over Corpus Christi like it did to Houston.  The flooding is where the death toll rises, with 9 out of 10 deaths in these kinds of storms coming from the flooding.

Here's the latest according to Drudge:

Houston Dry Out Begins...
'Worst not yet over'...
Largest refinery may be shut 2 WEEKS...
OUT OF GAS BY LABOR DAY?
All students to be given 3 free meals a day...
Owner Of Abandoned Dog Shamed on Video...
Hero saves 50 people...
Blasts, 'chemical reactions' rock plant...
More fires expected...
GOV. VS MAYOR: Harvey tests political opposites...
Curfew Follows Many Big Cities Facing Unrest...
Storm refocuses national media...
KHOU LIVE...

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Politics of Class Warfare and Revolution . . . Where Will It End?

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The politics of class warfare is a Marxist construct.  It is a way to create division so as to destroy the culture, and then reform it into a collectivist model.  Divide and conquer.

“An orderly society cannot exist if every man may decide which laws he will obey.” ― Lewis F. Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court, 1972-1987

“We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth… We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.” — Vladimir Lenin, Russian Communist Revolutionary

During the presidency of Barack Obama violent unrest began to reveal itself as the tool of the liberal left.  Mob-violence was encouraged by his administration, exhausting the country under the constant litany of rioting, looting, protests, and violence against police. In 2008, President Obama called for a civilian security force just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well-funded as the United States Military. By the end of his second term, his army of social justice bullies had emerged full throttle. There were Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, and the vast army of protesters who were often shipped in and paid to create unrest at Republican rallies and events.

Chicago-based Organizing for Action (OfA) trained thousands of community organizers, and a couple million youths, to carry the torch long after the end of Barack Obama’s second term. These Obama allies were trained in Saul Alinsky street tactics. Civil unrest is a tool statists use to create chaos, and then demand that government insert itself so that it may be the savior of the day, and restore order.

Hoover Institution's Paul Sperry wrote, "Obama is leaving behind a generation of militant jerks — collectively known as his 'family' — to continue to proliferate protests and militate against everything and nothing. These irritating, self-absorbed, belligerent brats will 'hands-up, don’t shoot' themselves into every cobwebbed corner of society, and the liberal media will give them the national bullhorn to amplify their hatred every time.

"Chronic social irritation can do lasting damage to the fabric of a nation. By falsely accusing people of racism ... or sexism ... or homophobia ... or Islamophobia — or whatever other 'ism' or phobia they come up with next — these agitators are creating angst and hatred in people’s hearts that wasn’t there previously." http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260841/obamas-permanent-protest-matthew-vadum

“The first step in community organization is community disorganization,” wrote Saul Alinsky. “The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization…The organizer dedicated to changing the life of a particular community must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community…When those prominent in the status quo turn and label you an ‘agitator’ they are completely correct, for that is, on one word, your function — to agitate to the point of conflict.”

Alinsky believed that the ends justifies the means, therefore, no tactic was too harsh. Those who are squeamish will not survive the revolution, he believed. “If your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.”

“In a fight almost anything goes,” he wrote. “It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.” Alinsky openly belittled the notions of ethics and morality. All that mattered, he said, was whether your side is losing or winning. Only afterwards do you try to find an excuse for your illicit behavior: “The tenth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that you do what you can with what you have and [then] clothe it with moral garments.”

If what you have is a turd, cover it with sugar sprinkles until nobody is willing to admit it is a turd.

Darkness never reveals itself as darkness. It always first appears as an angel of light.

In Chicago, during the 2016 presidential race, at a Trump rally where Donald Trump had to cancel his appearance due to the severity of the protests, conservative pundits made mention that the protesters, when interviewed, refused to define the reasons behind their protest. They could only say that Trump was a racist, or a narcissist, or whatever ad hominem attack they could come up with. In truth, their reaction to questions pointed at them fell right into Alinsky’s playbook. The organizer, he wrote, “should search for and use the wrong reasons to achieve the right goals. He should be able, with skill and calculation, to use irrationality in his attempts to progress to a rational world. For a variety of reasons the organizer must develop multiple issues…. Multiple issues mean constant action and life.”

Disruption of an orderly society lends to the narrative that something must be wrong, therefore a large government agency must fix it. The world, to the organizer, is full of bogeymen, be they the corporate wealthy, or right-wing politicians. Alinsky wrote: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

The Democrat Party, particularly during the Obama administration, has done exactly that. There was always someone to blame, be it George W. Bush, greedy corporations, the wealthy, right-wing politicians, Tea Party racists, or the bitter clingers of guns and religion.

There are no rules when the tactic is civil unrest. Rules for Radicals is, in Alinsky’s own words, officially dedicated to “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

The message seems to be, “Obey, or there will be civil unrest. Accept the statist agenda, or there will be riots. The disruption of the present system is the first step towards fulfilling the Marxist revolution the Democrat Party is presently orchestrating. After all, was not Barack Obama’s primary platform based on “change”?

Change requires that present conditions must be disrupted, and reworked into new patterns and a new way of doing things.

Or, as Alinsky wrote, “An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent.”

Or, as Karl Marx wrote, “Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains…Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”

The battle must be won up front, before the chaos can ensue, for they are convinced they have nothing to lose “but their chains.”

The protesters have been convinced they have nothing to lose.

The Black Lives Matter movement tried to convince Americans it rose spontaneously, and that it was just an extension of the continued fight for equality that blacks have been waging since the Reconstruction Era. Racism is at an all-time high, and the police are a party to it, has been the narrative since the launching of the Black Lives Matter mob. First, understand that “White” does not mean white. “White” in radical thinking of the Black Lives Matter movement means anyone of any race, creed, nationality, color, sex, or sexual preference who embraces capitalism, free markets, limited government and American traditional culture and values. Therefore, these “white” beliefs are irredeemably evil and anyone who aligns with them is “white” in spirit and thus equally guilty of “white crimes.”

Since the founding of Black Lives Matter, then, is to stand against what is “White,” and “White” actually means anything that is associated with the founding principles contained within the pages of the United States Constitution, then that means Black Lives Matter is just another face of the many that have emerged in the statist’s portfolio of communist strategies.

A visit to the Black Lives Matter website (visited 8-11-2016 http://blacklivesmatter.com) reveals a dozen principles the movement claims to be at the foundation of their cause. All of them find their roots in Marxism. In other words, the Black Lives Matter movement is just another well-funded communist organization that has been designed to act as an agitator against the American System. The agitation created by Black Lives Matter has provoked police killings, rioting, lawlessness, and civil unrest in minority communities. The goal is revolution. Agitation that could eventually spawn anarchy, and ultimately race war. . . a civil war between the classes.

On the Black Lives Matter website, one of the guiding principles listed is “Black Villages.” (visited 8-11-2016 http://blacklivesmatter.com/guiding-principles/) The paragraph contained under that principle is as follows: “We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, and especially ‘our’ children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.”

Sound anything like Hillary Clinton’s claim that “It takes a village?”

Sound anything like Saul Alinsky’s collectivistic infiltration policy?

It also sounds like the recipe that also gave way to the rise of antifa.

"True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism,” Alinsky taught. “They cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within.” Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties. Some leftists view a number of their politicians as being a sell-out because they claim to hold moderate views on some issues. However, those folks are also following Alinsky’s counsel to do and say whatever it takes to gain power.

In 2015 a Black Lives Matter conference spent its time specifically teaching Alinsky tactics. The conference during the Summer of 2015 was held in Cleveland, and offered a host of classes on “Community Organizing” for those in attendance. One of the courses was called “There’s a Method to the Movement: Examining Community Organizing Methods and Methodologies.” The description included Alinsky: “The workshop will provide a brief overview of community organizing methodologies and methods including Saul Alinsky style organizing, Narrative Based organizing and communal styles of organizing i.e. Ella Baker and other grassroots models.”

Notice the word “communal”? You know, a word closely associated with communism?

The Black Lives Matter admittedly is teaching their members “Saul Alinsky style organizing.”

As for the other name, Ella Baker, while she was an important component in the Civil Rights Movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., it must also be recognized that she had ties to socialism that sometimes led her to clash with Dr. King.

Baker lived in Harlem beginning in 1927, and during the 1930s she called Harlem “a hotbed of radical thinking.” Baker was open to socialist ideas and supported the Communist Party campaigns in the 1930s.  http://socialistworker.org/2003-2/474/474_09_EllaBaker.shtml viewed 8-11-2016

Black Lives Matter is the rebirth of 1960s era Black Panther and Black Liberation Army style Marxism. Now, however, they have an added weapon, the social media.

The inclusion of a course on Alinsky at a Black Lives Matter conference confirms the connection of the movement to Marxist agitation tactics, and how the Democrat Party power structure is using Black Lives Matter to help foment its Marxist revolution.

The Black Lives Movement exercises considerable leverage over the Democrat Party, pressuring candidates to embrace their cause. The movement also assisted in President Obama’s narrative that the United States suffers from severe racial division. Communist groups, however, are the puppeteers of Black Lives Matter, which is funded quite well by liberal and socialist foundations.

The launch of Black Lives Matter in 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, was claimed by a number of radical left activists. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi all claim credit for the slogan, and the #BlackLivesMatter Twitter hashtag’s emergence. All three of those people work for front groups of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), one of the four largest radical left organizations in the country. Only the Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism are larger.

Black Lives Matter is allied with FRSO/OSCL (Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organizaci?n Socialista del Camino para la Libertad). The organization is the larger of two groups that separated in 1999 from the “New Communist Movement,” which was inspired by Mao in the 1960s and 1970s. For the FRSO/OSCL, and Black Lives Matter, the enemy is “the system.” They believe the “capitalist system we have today” must be changed. “It’s not working for any of us.”

Of the many projects undertaken by the FRSO/OSCL, Black Lives Matter is one of them. 

Technically, Black Lives Matter is a movement, not an organization. In fact, the website, blacklivesmatter.com, acknowledges this, and considers itself no more than “an online forum intended to build connections between Black people and our allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialogue among Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.”

As for the three who claim to be the founders of Black Lives Matter; Alicia Garza is a “queer” black veteran activist, Cullors describes herself as a “working class, queer, black woman,” and Opal Tometi states that her faith is in “Liberation Theology” (a Marxist construct). In addition to those three women, Yusra Khogali also claims to be a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She is proudly “Black, and Muslim.”

Wealthy foundations support the FRSO/OSCL (and in turn, Black Lives Matter) through generous gifts that reaches into the millions of dollars.

The narrative is the same as the narrative provided by the communist leaders of today, and of the past. No matter what the issue, no matter what the facts, the United States is irredeemably evil and must be destroyed as it was founded in any way possible, and as soon as possible. Language and psychology is only a part of the battle, but civil unrest speeds up the hope for change, and fuels the armies of revolution. Agitate. Provoke. The hatred and conflict being propagated by the liberal left statists is tactical, and closely follows the teachings of radical Marxist agitators.

Harvard professor Derrick Bell devised Critical Race Theory, writing: “Critical race theory contends that America is permanently racist to its core, and that consequently the nation’s legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid … members of ‘oppressed’ racial groups are entitled—in fact obligated—to determine for themselves which laws and traditions have merit and are worth observing…”

Bell’s theory is in turn an innovation of Critical Theory—developed by philosophers of the communist Frankfurt School. The school was founded in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923. Its Jewish communist scholars fled Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, relocating to Columbia Teachers College in New York. Critical Theory—which discredits all aspects of Western society—rapidly infected the minds of newly-minted college professors, who then spread its poison throughout the university system. We know it today as political correctness. (http://www.aim.org/special-report/reds-exploiting-blacks-the-roots-of-black-lives-matter/ visited 8-11-2016)

So, the Hispanics have La Raza, and the blacks have Black Lives Matter; but, what about the white Marxists who also want to get in on the revolution?

Problem solved.  Antifa.

Antifa is nothing new, finding its roots in the socialist Jacobin Movement of the 1800s, and the communist movement in Germany during the Third Reich.  Antifa was a socialist movement that stood against fascism, using decentralized militant street activism to try to achieve its goals.  When the Nazi grip on power faltered, and finally died, in 1945, the socialists took full advantage, living on in East Germany, and parts of West Germany (by infiltrating industry).

"...the labor movement’s failure to defeat Hitler and the fact that Germany had required liberation from without drove antifascists to a largely reactive policy, vigorously pursuing former Nazi officials and purging society of collaborators, but neglecting to build a plausible vision for a 'new Germany' beyond both fascism and Cold War machinations." https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/05/antifascist-movements-hitler-nazis-kpd-spd-germany-cold-war viewed 8-31-2017

As the antifa movement in Germany worked to reunite Germany under a socialist model in the 1990s, the definition of fascism was being reworked.  By 2009, nearly all English Dictionaries had changed their definition from "A system of government marked by a totalitarian dictator, socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition, and usually a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." (The American Heritage College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston - New York, 2004) to "British Dictionary definitions for fascism /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ noun (sometimes capital)
1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism.

2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc."  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fascism

First, we are a republic, and the Democrats and Marxists are fighting for democracy (Democracy is the road to socialism. -- Karl Marx), so the end of definition "1" places anyone who claims the United States is a republic, and not a democracy, into the fascist camp.  The latter part exclaims that anyone who opposes liberalism, is also automatically a fascist.

Interesting, and convenient, change in the lexicon.

America's antifa, based on the new Obama-era inspired definition of fascism, have decided that anything that opposes liberal-left policy is fascism, and racist.  Therefore, it is a noble thing to place a black bandanna over one's face, and commit violence, because it is an attempt to (in their minds) stop the next fascist movement. . . a defeat that the original antifa in Germany were unable to ensure.

Even key Democrats like Chuck Schumer are using the tactics of Marxism to divide and conquer by calling their opposition "racist" if they refuse to comply with Democrat policy (or as the dictionary says regarding fascism: "suppression of the opposition"). Schumer thinks that President Donald Trump should allow illegal aliens to vote in order to prove that he is not a white supremacist.  http://eaglerising.com/46712/schumer-to-trump-allow-illegals-to-vote-to-prove-youre-not-a-white-supremacist/

In Chicago, a local "pastor has asked the [Rahm] Emanuel administration to remove the names of two presidents who owned slaves from parks on the South Side, saying the city should not honor slave owners in black communities.  A bronze statue of George Washington on horseback stands at the corner of 51st and King Drive, at the northwest entrance to Washington Park."  http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/08/16/jackson-washington-park-protest-presidents-slave-owners/

Remember, Alinsky and Karl Marx both called for the erasure of history, to erase the culture, to erase the memory of anything other than the new system of socialism, and so as to cause civil unrest.

The push to remove anything linked to the confederacy and slavery in America is an attempt to erase history, cause social discord, and is a great opportunity for the Democrat Party to erase its fingerprints from its racist, pro-slavery, past.

And yes, the "tear down confederate monuments" movement is largely backed by the communists, as well.  Of the four arrests in Durham, North Carolina regarding the vandalism of a confederate statue, three of the arrested suspects are members of the communist Workers World Party.  https://politicalpistachio.blogspot.com/2017/08/anti-confederacy-movement-driven-by.html

Even the press is getting in on the "Republicans are all racist" ruse.  Former Senator Russ Feingold titled his piece for The Guardian, "How the Republican Party quietly does the bidding of white supremacists."   The article has no merit, and most of the accusations are actually time-worn practices of the Democrat Party, but political projection seems to also be a a solid skill of the liberal left.

So, to answer the question, "Where will it end?"  The liberal left Democrats, socialists, communists, Muslims, and various other allies have made it perfectly clear: They won't end their madness until the country is in complete chaos and headed for a socialist revolution, or when their movement is totally dismantled.  One, or the other.

Which is why they hate President Donald Trump so much.  He's a disrupter.  An agitator.  A dismantler of their tactics.  He's outside the carefully constructed establishment of politics, academia, entertainment and the media, and they don't know what to do with him.  They've been forcing everything through their Marxist meat-grinder, and Trump is an old piece of shoe leather. . . which is screwing up their meat-grinder.

It has left the ground beef quite angry.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Duncan Hunter: Trump's Our A**hole

Duncan Hunter third from left
By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Last Friday I had the opportunity to spend the evening listening to three Republican politicians in a "question and answer" style forum put on by the Young Republican club.  The meeting was held in Murrieta, at the Tap House Bar and Grill near Los Alamos and the 215 Freeway.  The meeting was informative, and it was the fourth time my path has crossed gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen's over the last few weeks.  So far, Allen has impressed, and I hear he has put a pretty good ground game together, but the reports on how much money he's been raising have not been promising as of yet.

Ken Calvert is my congressman, and while he's a good Republican, he's not always a good conservative.  I even considered running against him in 2012.  But, after an exploratory committee gathered the facts for me, the realization was that we were not going to be able to raise enough funds to mount a successful enough campaign.  That said, I have clashed with Calvert a number of times, and was critical of him in 2014 during the Murrieta immigration protests because his support waited until after we had the whole country behind us (I accused him of testing the political winds before making a decision, making him a typical politician who was more worried about how he'd look, as opposed to standing on his political principles - and the article got picked up by Drudge, and when it got to Calvert's office, his staff quit meeting with me and three other people).

The third politician at the Young Republican meeting last Friday was someone I had heard a lot about, but I had never met, nor seen speak.  My Temecula friends told me that Duncan Hunter is one of the good guys, and is especially strong when it comes to taking a strong stance regarding the federal fugitives who broke federal law when they illegal entered the United States (illegal aliens. . . for those leftist readers who have trouble with language).

Hunter, the son of a Congressman, and a military veteran who served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, has one of those harsh personalities I absolutely love to see in politics.  From what I gathered during last Friday's forum, he pulls no punches, and says it like it is, regardless of whether or not delicate ears can handle it.

So, when asked about President Donald J. Trump, after Calvert quipped that Hunter knows the President better, Hunter (who was an early supporter of Trump during the campaign) said "the stories you hear about him, they're true.  Except the fake news.  He's just like he is on TV.  He's an a**hole, but he's our a**hole."

The comment found its roots in Duncan Hunter's military background.  When I served back during the eighties we used to say the same thing about horrible dictators who were at least willing to work with the United States.  "He may be an a$$hole, but he's our a$$hole."

Note: I am not afraid to print profanity if it is a necessary part of the story, but some of the outlets who repost my articles will not repost them if profanity is in them. . . hence the reason for asterisks and dollar signs.

While, as a public speaker, I know it is important to know your audience, Hunter is actually kind of refreshing.  But, it turned out a few delicate ears were offended.

The offended parties were not conservatives, or at least in my opinion, they're not.  If they think they are conservatives, they need to check their equipment again, just to make sure.  As a conservative, it must be a rule that we can't be offended.  Being offended is a pansy, sissy, politically correct, B.S. way to run your life.  Why would you give that kind of control over your emotions to other people, and give them the ability to get you all riled up by mere words?

I was raised by a man who served in the United States Marine Corps, and trust me, while the profanity wasn't there (usually), the potentially "offensive" things (not offensive to me, but could be considered so by the snowflakes of today's world) were.  Reality is, the truth is a b!tch.  It sucks, sometimes, when people are brutally honest.  I served in the United States Navy, the construction industry, and I was a truck driver.  Offensive language and offensive situations were the norm.  Brutal honesty that sometimes slapped around my personal feelings emerged often.  It's a part of life.  Grow up, Hunter was simply using a slightly harsh way to say something that is actually pretty profound.

Politics is not for babies.  Toughen up, or get out of the game.  Duncan Hunter was fine in what he said, and he was correct in what he said.

Deal with it.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Corona Constitution Class: Legislative Powers

Tuesday, 6:00 pm, AllStar Collision, 522 Railroad Street, Corona, CA
Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
 
 
 
Lesson 02
 
Legislative Powers
 
Establishing the Legislative Branch
 
 
 
Legislative Powers

Article I, Section 1: All Legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
 
Article I establishes the Legislative Branch of the federal government.  Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution establishes the two parts of Congress, and grants all legislative powers to the two Houses of the Congress of the United States.  When studying the language used in Article I, Section 1, the original intent by the Founding Fathers becomes clear.
 
The first word in the first section of Article I is the word "all."  The definition of all is "the whole of a particular thing."
 
The next words in Article I, Section 1 are legislative powers.  Legislative powers are the ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do with affecting law.
 
The next word in the clause is "herein."  The primary definition of herein is "here in this document."
 
After herein is the word granted.  Granted is defined as "to give," "to allow," or more specifically "to legally transfer."  If powers are granted, then there must be a "grantor," as well as a grantee.  As we learned in our discussion regarding The Preamble, the "grantor" of the authorities enumerated in the Constitution is the States.
 
"Shall be" is definitive.  The Constitution in its first clause reads, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be. . .," shall be meaning "it is," or "it will be."
 
"Vested" is much like "granted."  Vested is a legal transfer of something, or in this case, an allowance to have legislative powers at the federal level granted to Congress.
 
The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government, and this clause indicates that not only will the Congress be granted all legislative powers given to the federal government, but that the branch of government consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives.
 
All legislative powers, according to this clause, are granted to the Congress by the States for the purpose of making law, modifying law, or repealing law.  The powers are herein granted, which means that the laws must fall within the authorities granted by the text of the U.S. Constitution.  In other words, laws made must remain consistent with the "powers herein granted."
 
Based on language used in the first clause of the United States Constitution, when members of the judiciary legislates from the bench, or the President issues an executive order to modify a law, such action is unconstitutional.  After all, "all legislative powers" were granted to the Congress, not to the judicial branch, or the executive branch.
 
Since all legislative powers belong to the Congress, that means any regulations by federal departments that are not in line with laws made by the Congress that are in line with the authorities granted by the Constitution are unconstitutional as well.  All legislative powers belong to the Congress, therefore any "legislative actions" by regulatory agencies, which are a part of the executive branch, are not in line with the original intent of the Constitution.
 
Powers the federal government has were "granted" by the States.  "We The People of the United States" granted those powers to the federal government through the Constitution.  Therefore, if the federal government acts in a manner that is not consistent with the contract between the States and the U.S. Government, the States have the option to ignore those unconstitutional actions by the federal government.  This action of ignoring unconstitutional law is the States' way of being the final arbiters of the Constitution.  The term for this kind of action by a State is nullification.  Thomas Jefferson, in his draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, explained that any unconstitutional law is null and void, and as an illegal law, the States have the right to nullify it.
 
The concept that only Congress has legislative powers, only the executive branch has executive powers, and the judicial branch only has judicial powers, as described in the first sentence of each of the first three articles of the Constitution, is called Separation of Powers.  The purpose of this philosophy is to disallow different branches from abusing the powers not granted to that branch, as well as to protect against collusion.
 
The Separation of Powers also exists between the States, and the federal government.  Most authorities granted to the federal government are powers the States did not reserve to themselves.  Most authorities retained by the States are not authorized to be administered to by the federal government.  There are a few authorities that are concurrent, meaning that both the federal government, and the States, have some authority over the issue.  One issue that is concurrent is immigration, which will be addressed later in this book.  Sole authority over a particular power is called Exclusive Powers.
 
House of Representatives

Article I, Section 2 establishes, and defines, the House of Representatives.  The members of the House of Representatives are divided among the States proportionally.  As it is today, the House of Representatives was the voice of the people in the federal government.  Each Representative is chosen to serve for two years, which means every two years every Representative is up for re-election, if they choose to run.
 
The eligibility of a Representative as explained by Article I, Section 2 requires that the candidate must be at least twenty-five years of age, and been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years.  The age is lower than for Senators.  Representatives were not expected to be as politically savvy as the Senators, and tended to have less experience.  The age requirement simply reflected that.  Political knowledge and experience tends to come with age.
 
Divided allegiance was a serious concern to the Founding Fathers.  The requirement that Representatives have been citizens of the United States for at least seven years reflects that concern.  Seven years, for a Representative of the people, was assumed to have been long enough for the Representative to have thrown off any allegiances to other nations.
 
The third clause of Article I, Section 2, includes the 3/5s clause, which was changed by the 14th Amendment following the American Civil War. 
 
The Southern States used slaves for their agricultural economies.  The southern states were needed to ratify the new constitution.  As a condition for ratifying the Constitution, the southern states demanded that the slaves be counted as one whole person each.  The idea was that if the slaves were counted as whole persons, the apportionment would tip the scales in their favor through increased representation in the new United States House of Representatives. White populations in the southern states were lower in number when compared to the northern states, due to the rural nature of the Slave States to the south.
 
The Northern States, under the heavy influence of merchants, political elitists, and a group of abolitionists, wanted the slaves counted as "zero" in order to reduce the number of representatives the southern states would receive, which would give the majority to the northern states, thus giving the north more legislative power.  With this additional voting power in the House of Representatives, the northern states sought to have greater influence on the federal government through legislation.  The plan was to use their legislative power to tyrannically force the southern states into submission, and to eventually abandon slavery.
 
In the interest of compromise, to convince the southern states to ratify the constitution, while giving the northern states the satisfaction that the southern states did not get exactly what they wanted, the decision was made that slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a whole person for the sake of apportionment.  In other words, it was not a declaration that they believed blacks to be less than a person, but simply to affect the census in such a way that too much power through apportionment would not be given to either The North or The South, while also ensuring that the Constitution got ratified.
 
G.R. Mobley, author of We the People, Whose Constitution Is It Anyway?, believes the Founding Fathers missed a great opportunity to abolish slavery.  He supports the idea that the 3/5s Clause was an error in judgment by the Founders, and that the authors of the Constitution should have only allowed those States that rejected slavery to be members of the union under the Constitution.  By failing to ratify the Constitution the southern slave states would then have been on their own as a separate union.  Pressure from the Spanish in Florida, and the threat of invasion by Spanish forces, would have then encouraged the slave states to abolish slavery, so that they may rejoin the union, and enjoy the strength of the union of all thirteen States.
 
Historically, it is impossible to know if that is exactly how it would have played out.  Regardless of the opportunity, the Founders largely believed they had to compromise to ensure every State remained a member of the union, and ensure that they would receive the required nine ratifications of States in order to put the new federal government into motion.
 
Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, in addition to containing the 3/5s Clause, also establishes the census.  The census is a required a head count to be taken once every ten years in order to determine the enumeration for establishing the number of Representatives each State shall receive.  The clause also indicates that the number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand.  This means there cannot be more than one Representative for a district of thirty thousand.  However, it does not indicate there must be one Representative per thirty thousand.  If that was the case, we would have thousands of Representatives.
 
Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 states that whenever vacancies happen in the House of Representatives, it is the duty of the Executive Authority to issue Writs of Election to fill such vacancies.  What this means is that the Governors of the States have the duty to ensure there is a special election to fill any vacancies that may happen in the House of Representatives.
 
The House of Representatives chooses for itself its own Speaker of the House, and other officers.
 
According to Article I, Section 2, Clause 5, the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment.  To impeach is to charge with misconduct.  The formal process of impeachment may lead to removal of an official accused of unlawful activity or other offenses deemed to be impeachable offenses.  Impeachment is not defined as removal from office, though removal from office is often the result of impeachment proceedings.  In history, two presidents have been impeached, but neither were removed from office.  The presidents who faced impeachment were Andrew Johnson (serving as President of the United States from 1865 to 1869), and William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001).  President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before impeachment proceedings began.
 
The United States Senate

Article I, Section 3 established, and defines, the United States Senate.  The representation of the States in the U.S. Senate is equal, two per State.  The Senators serve for six years, which means every two years an election is held for one-third of the Senate seats.  The required minimum age of a Senator is thirty years, five years older than that of a Representative.  The increased age requirement for Senators reveals the importance of longer life and political experience, as considered by the Founding Fathers.  Allegiance to the United States also remained important to the framers in the U.S. Senate, requiring that Senators need to be nine years a citizen of the United States, rather than the seven years as required of Representatives.
 
Article I, Section 3 originally required that Senators were chosen by the legislatures of the States, rather than voted into office directly by the voters.  The appointment of Senators by their State legislatures changed to the vote of the people in 1913 with the ratification of the 17th Amendment.  By the State legislatures appointing the Senators, it made the Senate the voice of the States, while the House of Representatives was the voice of the people.  By the Houses of Congress being different, it created a natural check and balance, which did not allow the representation of the people to accomplish anything without approval of the voice of the States, and vice versa.
 
Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 establishes the Vice President as the President of the Senate.  The Vice President, though a member of the executive branch, is also connected to the legislative branch.  The Vice President may preside over the sessions of the U.S. Senate, and even participate in the debates, but in the end, the Vice President has no vote in the U.S. Senate, except as the tie-breaking vote.
 
During the early days of our nation the Vice President attended a large number of sessions of the Senate.  He served as the voice of the executive branch in the Senate, ensuring the States' representation in Congress had the opportunity to be exposed to the executive branch's opinions regarding the issues that concerned the States, and the union as a whole.
 
As with the House of Representatives, the Senate chooses its own officers.  One of those officers is the President pro tempore, which is the President of the Senate when the Vice President is not present.
 
The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment.  Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 gives the U.S. Senate the authority to try all impeachments.  No conviction can be reached unless two-thirds of the U.S. Senate membership is present.  Impeachment cannot extend further than the removal of the impeached from office, and the disqualification to hold any office in the future.  However, a legal case can still be brought against the convicted from other sources, according to the law.  Since the U.S. Senators were originally appointed by the legislatures of the individual States, this means that impeachment charges could be brought by the people (House of Representatives), but it took the States (Senate) to hear the case, and make the final determination after all evidence was provided.  During impeachment hearings, the Chief Justice presides over the hearing, as provided by Article I, Section 3.
 
The 17th Amendment changed the dynamics of our governmental system.  Note that many functions by the executive branch are subject to the advise and consent of the Senate.  The Senate ratifies treaties, holds hearings for any appointments the executive branch nominates, and the Senate holds the sole power for holding hearings on impeachments.  This is because actions by the federal government are subject to approval by the States.  The States granted the federal government its powers in the first place.
 
The House of Representatives, as the voice of the people, and the Senate, as the voice of the States, and the natural check and balance that is the result of that relationship between those two Houses of Congress, also enables both Houses together to be a valuable check against the executive branch.  One of the emanations of that correlation is the ability of Congress to override a veto with a 2/3 vote.  The authority to override vetoes was established to enable the People, and the States, when they are in full agreement regarding a proposed bill, to be able to ensure a law is put into place, and to constrain the executive together through the power of combined vote.
 
Elections and Assembly of Congress

Article I, Section 4 begins, "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof."  This clause establishes that each State may have its own methods for electing members of the Congress.  The same applies, as determined in Article II, to presidential elections.  If there is a discrepancy, or a question regarding the acceptance of ballots, it is not the job of the courts to make final determination.  Article I, Section 4 gives that authority to the State legislatures.
 
The same clause adds, after giving the State legislatures authority over federal elections, that "Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators."
 
Congress, as discussed earlier, is bicameral.  The two Houses of Congress are the House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.  The House of Representatives, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, was designed to be as it is now, the voice of the people.  Representatives have always been elected by a direct vote.  The United States Senate was the voice of the States, appointed by the State legislatures.  The appointment of the Senators by representatives of the people is an example of an indirect vote.
 
As the representation of the people, and the States, Congress was not seen as the greatest potential danger in the federal government.  Congress was the voice of the people and the States in the federal government; the eyes of the parents to ensure the central government did not grow beyond the authorities granted to it.  With Congress representing the oversight by the people, and the States, the oversight powers given to the federal legislature often led to other authorities that allowed Congress to act as a check and balance against potentially dangerous government activity.  Giving Congress oversight authorities was a way to ensure that Congress participated in the concept of a government "by the consent of the governed."
 
Though elections were established with the State legislatures prescribing the times, places and manner of holding elections, as a check and balance against that authority, Congress may pass laws to "make or alter such regulations."
 
At the end of the clause giving Congress the authority to act as an oversight regarding the manner in which elections are held, a qualifier is present, expressing, "except as to the Places of chusing Senators."
 
A majority of delegates at the Federal Convention in 1787, by the conclusion of the assembly, were strong supporters of the sovereignty of the States, and the parental nature of the States in relation to the newly formed federal government, and the duty of the States as the final arbiters of the United States Constitution to ensure the new government functioned within the limitations granted to it.  A part of that function by the States included the very important fact that the States had a voice in Congress with appointed U.S. Senators.  The framers did not want that authority to be tinkered with, so they remind future generations at the end of this clause that though Congress has lawmaking authorities, and oversight authorities, manipulating the dynamics of government where the people, and the States, have a voice in the United States Congress is something not to be fiddled with.  A similar advisement also appears at the end of Article V., "and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."
 
Oversight powers by the States were seen by the framers as being a right of the States, and as with natural rights of the people, a right is not something that should be able to be taken, but if the holder of the right wishes to give it away, no law can prevent such a foolish action.
 
The second paragraph of Article I, Section 4 reads, "The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year."  The first thought regarding this clause by the typical reader may be, "Of course.  How can they get anything done if Congress isn't assembling?"
 
Another question may be, "Why did the framers feel it to be necessary to insert this clause into the Constitution?"
 
During the convention in 1787, there were some who felt this clause was "overburdensome."  Government was not supposed to dominate their everyday lives.  The members of Congress were not professional politicians, nor did they care to be.  They had businesses to run, and lives to live.  Surely, the attitude of many of the Founding Fathers was, there is not enough business to compel Congress to meet every single year!
 
Those who supported the concept of an annual meeting reminded the others that Congress was the check the people and the States had available to them in the federal government.  It was the duty of Congress to serve as a check against the President, and the federal judiciary.  To be an effective check, Congress must meet at least once per year.  The clause, it was argued, was for the benefit of the people.
 
In present day politics, the opposite seems to be the norm.  Government is viewed as being broken if they do not act on an endless and constant flow of issues, committees, and crises.  Politicians view their position as their job, rather than a service they are providing.
 
Originally, the required meeting day was the first Monday in December.  That was later changed to noon on the third day of January by the 20th Amendment.
 
Congressional Procedure

Article I, Section 5 requires Congress to have a minimum number of members present in order to do business.  That majority constitutes a quorum, and if the Congress deems it necessary, the present members may set fines for members who do not show up. The Houses of Congress may remain in session, during which no formal business is conducted because the House does not have a quorum, so as to prevent executive actions that may be carried out during recess.  This kind of session is called a pro forma session.
 
In Article II, Section 2, the President is given the authority to make recess appointments, when Congress is not in session.  Normally, the United States Senate has advise and consent authority over appointments, which means that appointments of personnel to fill vacancies are possible for the President to grant, but such appointments requires the approval of the United States Senate (voice of the States).  If the Senate is not in session, and an appointment is necessary, the President may make appointments, but the terms of those appointments only last to the end of the Senate's next session.  If the Senate is in a pro-forma session, the President may not make any appointments.  With Congress only in session when there is work to be done, and the Founders believing that would likely only be once a year, the ability of the President to make appointments when Congress is not in session was a valuable, and necessary, tool.  In today's political environment, it seems like Congress is always in session, so recess appointments are not as common.
 
In early January of 2012, President Barack Obama used a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray the new Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The CFPB is a powerful bureaucracy created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation.  However, even though most of the members of Congress were on vacation, the United States Senate was still in session.  President Obama's definition of recess, it turned out, was broader than the Constitution's definition.  In reality, the U.S. Senate was in pro-forma session.  John Berlau, Director of CEI's Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs, called the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray "very troubling," criticizing both Obama's controversial use of a recess appointment, and the selection of Cordray itself.  Berlau later asked, "What's next, appointing nominees when the Senate takes a bathroom break?"
 
Article I, Section 5 also allows each House of Congress to determine its own rules, keep a journal to record proceedings and votes, and that neither house may adjourn without the permission of the other.  Section 5 also establishes that if a member of a house does not follow the established rules, the house may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and by a two thirds vote may actually expel a member from Congress.
 
The establishment of rules, holding a hearing in regards to the breaking of those rules, and punishing a member for his behavior, as set forth by Article I, Section 5, was used when Charles Rangel broke the rules of the House of Representatives.  He faced a panel for his actions, and was punished by censure in December of 2010.  He later sued, spending about a third of his 2014 campaign cash on legal bills in a failed bid to overturn his fall from congressional grace.  On December 11, 2013, a federal judge in Washington dismissed the lawsuit, filed by Rangel in the previous April, to get the censure overturned.
 
The mandate to keep a journal to record proceedings and votes was included in this section because the Founders wanted government to be transparent, accessible, and accountable to the people.  Deals behind closed doors were not supposed to be a part of our political system.

Congressional Compensation, Privileges, Restrictions

When President George Washington took office, he refused to accept the constitutionally allowed compensation for holding the office.  He viewed his office as being a privilege, and an opportunity to once again serve the country he loved.  During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be paid for their service.  By the end of the debate, it was decided that government representatives should receive fixed stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public service.  It was also determined, however, that the compensation should not be so high that it would become the motive for seeking office.
 
Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution addresses compensation, and the rules regarding such.  Section 6 also establishes that members of Congress may not be detained while traveling to and from Congress, and that they cannot hold any other office in government while in Congress.
 
Protection from arrest while traveling to and from Congress was not only a privilege based on those enjoyed by their counterparts in the British Parliament, but also a protection from political enemies who may wish to keep certain members of Congress from voting.
 
This section also indicates that no member of Congress shall be appointed to a later office if while in Congress the office was created, or a raise in pay was enacted for that office.
 
To explain this clause, let's visit a recent violation of it during the Obama administration.
 
After Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election, he announced that Hillary Clinton would be his new Secretary of State.  The position of Secretary of State received a pay raise while Hillary Clinton was a member of the United States Senate.  Article I, Section 6 states that "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall be been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time."  Since Clinton was a Senator at the time the position of Secretary of State was given a raise, technically she was not eligible for the position to which she was appointed.  To resolve this problem, and still allow Mrs. Clinton to accept the position, the Democrats applied the Saxbe Fix, meaning they undid the raise, and Hillary Clinton received the compensation that was in place before the vote she participated in while in the Senate. The Saxbe Fix, or a Salary rollback, is an unconstitutional action.  The clause in the Constitution is clear: "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time."
 
The Saxbe Fix, or the rollback of the salary, does not change the fact that the emoluments increased during the time Hillary Clinton was in the U.S. Senate.
 
As a tool, the Saxbe fix was nothing new.  The salary rollback in the case of a violation of Article I, Section 6, a mechanism by which the President of the United States can avoid restrictions by the United States Constitution which prohibits the President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a position that was created, or to an office position for which the pay and/or benefits were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired, was first used in 1909.  The "Saxbe" name was applied to the political maneuver later in history.  The Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe, a Senator appointed Attorney General by President Richard Nixon in 1973.

Terms:
 
Adjourn: Suspend proceedings to a later time and/or place.
 
Censure: Procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate behavior. There are normally no legal consequences. Censure is not mentioned in the Constitution, but is a procedure devised by the legislature as a tool for formal condemnation of a member of the congressional body.
 
Congress of the United States: The legislative branch of the federal government which consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives.  The Congress is the only part of the federal government granted the authority of legislative powers.
 
Granted: To confer, give, or bestow. A gift of legal rights or privileges, or a recognition of asserted rights, as in treaty.  To legally transfer.
 
Impeachment: To charge with misconduct.  Formal process that may lead to removal of an official accused of unlawful activity; impeachment does not mean the removal from office, though removal from office is often the result of impeachment proceedings.
 
Legislative Powers: The ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do with affecting law.
 
Nullification: State power to ignore unconstitutional federal law.
 
President pro tempore:  Second highest ranking official of the United States Senate. Vice President is President of the Senate and the highest-ranking official of the Senate despite not being a member of the body. During the Vice President's absence, the president pro tempore presides over its sessions or appoints another senator to do so. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate and is customarily the most senior senator in the majority party.
 
Pro Forma Session: A session in either house of the United States Congress at which no formal business is expected to be conducted, so as to fulfill the obligation "that neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other."  Pro forma sessions are also used to prevent the President from pocket-vetoing bills, calling the Congress into a special session, and to prevent the President from making recess appointments.
 
Quorum: Minimum number of members of an assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group.
 
Saxby Fix: Salary rollback. A mechanism by which the President of the United States can avoid restrictions by the United States Constitution which prohibits the President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a position that was created, or to an office position for which the pay and/or benefits were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired. First used in 1909, the Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe, a Senator appointed to Attorney General by Nixon in 1973.
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1.  If only Congress can make law, then why do some politicians believe that Executive Orders can modify law, or that regulatory agencies can create new regulations to enforce laws that were never passed by Congress?
 
2.  The word "granted" reminds us that all powers once belonged to the States, and some of those authorities were "granted" to the federal government for the purpose of carrying out the tasks necessary for the protection, preservation, and promotion of the union.  If the federal government was created by the States, then how can statists justify their belief that all federal laws trump all State laws?
 
3.  Why do you think the Congress has two legislative houses?
 
4.  Why do you think representatives are only elected for two years?
 
5.  Why is it significant that only the House can originate bills for raising revenue?
 
6.  Why is the power of impeachment belonging to the House so important?
 
7.  As President of the Senate, what kind of role should the Vice President play in the day to day activities of the United States Senate?
 
8.  Why do you think the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment, but the Senate has the task of hearing the case?
 
9.  How are the dynamics of our governmental system different in relation to how the Senators are appointed, or voted for?
 
10.  How was the Senate expected to check the House of Representatives, and work together with the House to check the Executive and Judiciary?
 
11.  Why do you think the authority for prescribing the times, places, and manner of holding elections was given to the State Legislatures?
 
12.  Why was Congress given the allowance to pass laws that may make or alter such regulations?
 
13.  Why was the federal government prohibited from influencing the places for choosing Senators?
 
14.  To conduct business, the houses of Congress need a quorum.  If they do not have a majority, they may remain in session through a rule established by Congress called pro forma.  What advantages does pro forma give the houses of Congress when it comes as serving as a check against the executive branch?
 
15.  Why do you think neither house can adjourn without the permission of the other?
 
16.  The houses of Congress establish their own rules of procedure.  If a member breaks any of these rules, Congress also has the authority to punish the rule breaker.  One type of punishment is called censure.  How is censure an adequate punishment?
 
17.  How has the concept of transparency changed over the last two hundred years?
 
Resources:
 
Edwin Mora, "Top Democrat Dodges Question on Constitutionality of Obama Appointments, Says Pro Forma Sessions Are 'Games Being Played'," CNSnews.com (January 6, 2012): http://cnsnews.com/news/article/top-democrat-dodges-question-constitutionality-obama-appointments-says-pro-forma
 
 
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
 
Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, A Patriot's History of the United States; New York: Sentinel (2004).
 
Madison's Notes on the 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 Two - Preamble through Article I, Section 8, Clause 4; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
 
Saxbe, William B. I've Seen the Elephant: An Autobiography. Kent State University Press (2000).
 
 
 
Copyright: Douglas V. Gibbs, 2014