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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Corona Constitution Class . . . In the Beginning

Corona Constitution Class, Tuesday Night, 6:00 pm
AllStar Collision/CARSTAR, 522 Railroad St., Corona, CA

I will arrive early to administer a test for anyone who wishes to see what they know about the Constitution.  However, once we are finished testing, we will be beginning with Lesson 1 ...


Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
douglasvgibbs@reagan.com
 
www.politicalpistachio.com
www.douglasvgibbs.com
www.constitutionassociation.com
 
 
 
Lesson 01
 
We the People of the United States
 
An Introduction to the Preamble
 
 
 
We the People
 
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 
            History
 
The formal version of the Magna Carta in England was issued on June 19, 1215. There was a minor change in the new document, when the final provision was drafted, replacing the term "any baron" with "any freeman" in stipulating to whom the provisions applied. The term would eventually include all Englishmen. The final version's applicability to all members of the English Society served as a starting point for the Constitution's Preamble, where "any freeman" was changed once again, but this time to the first three words of the American document: "We the People."
 
The English Colonists developed legal codes largely incorporating liberties guaranteed by the Magna Carta and the 1689 English Bill of Rights. Though the education levels of the colonists varied, and few could afford legal training in England, they were familiar with English common law. During one parliamentary debate in the late 18th century, Edmund Burke observed, "In no country, perhaps in the world, is law so general a study."
 
James Madison and Thomas Jefferson drew inspiration from the doctrines of the British constitution, or in what were called English liberties.
 
Unlike the Spanish Colonies, which were conquered land ruled over by the Spanish Conquistadors, and authoritarian governors, the English Colonies were granted by charter. Rather than bear the burden of empire, which, as Spain discovered, could be expensive, and taxing on a nation's armed forces, the English Crown offered the lands along the Atlantic Coast to investors, entrepreneurs, and families seeking a new start. In the northern colonies, the colonists sought religious freedom. The Pilgrims did not want to keep their membership in the Church of England. As separatists, the Pilgrims organized their worship independently, colonizing north of the Puritans at Plymouth Rock.
 
The English Colonies enjoyed autonomy that the Spanish Colonies did not. To survive in the Spanish Colonies, the colonist exhibited a warrior spirit, conquering the lands and the people who stood in the way, forcing the captured natives into slave labor and marriage for the purpose of accomplishing the tasks necessary for survival, while also being heavily dependent upon supplies from the homeland. The English Colonies were expected to survive by living off the land. They were families, indentured servants, and seekers of fortune. They were forced to be self-reliant, personally responsible, and hard working, in order to survive. The English Colonists did not attempt to conquer the natives as the Spanish did, but worked with them, making treaties with the Native Americans, because they needed the native population's help in order to survive. In the English Colonies, freedom was a necessary component of survival, and after failing under communitarianism, the colonists found that a free market system, where colonists kept more of what they worked for, and had the option to trade goods in an open market, worked best for the burgeoning society.
 
In English America, freemen adopted the best of the English system, while adapting it as necessary to the new circumstances in the colonies. The English Colonies was a place where a person could rise by merit, not by birth. The thirteen colonies was a place where men could voice their opinions and actively share in self-government. When the British Crown challenged these beliefs, turning to the colonies as a source of revenue to help alleviate the Crown's substantial debts, and the growing expense of keeping troops on American soil, the colonists questioned the government in Britain, challenging the actions of Parliament, arguing that without consent or direct representation in Parliament, the acts by the motherland were "taxation without representation," and an act of tyranny against the free Englishmen of the colonies.
 
The influence of the Magna Carta, and the demand for liberty, existed along the Atlantic Coast long before the War of Independence. As John Adams later wrote to Thomas Jefferson, "The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected, from 1760 to 1775, in the course of 15 years before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington."
 
The Americans knew their rights, and they were willing to fight for them. The seal adopted by Massachusetts on the eve of the Revolution summed up the mood. The image was of a militiaman with sword in one hand, and the Magna Carta in the other.
 
When it was time to form a new government, embodied in a written social contract we now know as the Constitution of the United States, the founders determined that like England under the Magna Carta, the government must be limited by subjecting it to the rule of law. The Constitution, once ratified by the States, became the law of the land. The document serves as a written standard where the authority emanates from the people, not from any governmental body. Pursuant to the Constitution, no man, not even the country's leader, was considered to be above the law. The rule of law based on the philosophy of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God was the basis of constitutional thought in the United States in 1787.
 
"A government of laws, and not of men." - John Adams
 
Elder statesman Benjamin Franklin strolled across a grassy lawn from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, after the conclusion of the Federal Convention of 1787, when a woman in a bonnet approached him, asking, "Sir, what have you given us?"
 
"A republic," Dr. Franklin replied. "If you can keep it."
 
The new government in the fledgling United States was considered to be one that was doomed to fail. Europeans scoffed at the American experiment in self-government. The Old World argued that without the hand of a divinely appointed, wise, ruling monarch in place to guide society, a culture could not succeed. The Grand Experiment was a waste of time, and it would not be long before the rebellious, starving, treasonous, and petulant, English colonists came crawling back to the British Crown, begging to be readmitted to the empire.
 
In a society with no government, people have no freedom. In a society with too much government, people have no freedom.
 
Without government there is no law, and without law there are no enforcers of the law. This kind of system is called an anarchy, which is a transitional form of government. In an anarchy, there is no freedom because the citizens must constantly protect their property, and their lives.
 
With government in place, there are laws in place. When there are laws in place, it is necessary to hire enforcers of the law, such as a police force. A society with a government in place can create an environment of freedom that allows citizens the ability to leave their property and engage in activities away from their homes.
 
Tyranny through a unitary state dominates the pages of history. Tyrannical governments obtain their power through violence, and bloodshed in a complete disregard for authorities granted, justice, or the rule of law. To maintain their power, tyrants use violence and bloodshed. When tyrannies are finally toppled, the path to dislodging tyrannies normally includes violence and bloodshed.
 
Violence and death are the common results of powerful central governments with dominant rulers.
 
Dictators do not normally reveal their plans of tyranny during their rise to power, for the people would never have allowed them to become their leaders if they knew this kind of violence was in their future. Tyrannical leaders render legislative bodies irrelevant, demoting them to nothing more than a consultative assembly.
 
In history, tyranny is the rule, and liberty is the exception. Governments that protect the freedoms of the people, and respect the rights of their citizens, are a rare occurrence. Freedom requires the citizens to be informed and involved. With freedom comes responsibility.
 
An educated society begins by teaching the younger generations the principles of liberty, and to encourage them to be involved in civic activities, and local government. The founders understood we need government, but a limited government was required to protect the rights and property of the citizens. However, because of human nature, the founders realized that without making sure the people remained educated about the system they had established, a downward spiral into despotism and tyranny was inevitable.
 
The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and outlined the reasons why the colonies were seeking independence from Great Britain. The founding document declares that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish their government should it become destructive. It also states these truths are self-evident, and that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
 
The document penned by Thomas Jefferson includes a list of grievances, most of which are also iterated in the U.S. Constitution. The Declaration calls for fair representation, encourages immigration, calls for a judiciary that is separated from the will of the central leadership, calls for a stop to the presence of a standing army, demands that Great Britain stop the quartering of troops in the houses of the citizens, demands fair trials, and calls for due process, free trade, fair taxation, a protection of rights, and for the Crown to hear the redress of grievances by the colonists.
 
A key aspect of the Declaration of Independence reveals itself in the final sentence of the document. The call for independence ends with the incredible statement, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
 
Political Spectrum
 
In the battle of Left versus Right, it is important to understand what it all means in the first place. Like-minded individuals naturally tend to gather together when a theater of opinion erupts. Congregating in such a manner, creating political parties, is a part of our human nature. Houses, or chambers, of government are no different. Members of the political assembly who support similar agendas sit together, much in the way social allies tend to hang out together at a dinner party. The classification of "left" and "right" grew out of the tendency of people to group together on one side, or the other.
 
The early definition of "left" and "right" was different than in today's American Society. Among the most commonly known split between the left and the right in a political assembly occurred in France before the French Revolution. Members of the National Assembly sat on the right or the left of the hall depending on their level of political support in regards to the ruling monarchy. Those in support of the monarchy, and the religious elements that came with the reigning government, would sit on the right. The people on the right were defined as being those holding traditional interests in line with the Church and the monarchy, believing the king ruled by divine right, and that Catholicism must continue to be the state religion, and therefore continue to be a strong influence on governance. The people who sat on the right side of the assembly believed that the Church had a vested interest in the political system, and sought to preserve that system.
 
Those who sat on the left side of the hall in France during the period preceding the French Revolution did so in support of "enlightenment," which was considered to be in the interests of rationalism and secularism. The left used secular elements to challenge the Church's long-held influence over government, fostering nationalism among its allies, and promoting hope in constructing and shaping the political community. The left desired to change government by overthrowing the Church and the aristocracy by promoting secularism and nationalism. The planners of this glorious new "Enlightened" government became the leaders of France after the French Revolution, orchestrating a Reign of Terror, which was a period of chaos during which thousands were guillotined for being politically incorrect.
 
The radicals within this new government saw the Catholic Church as the enemy while promoting its Cult of Reason. Like with the monarchy before them, however, it became clear that to control the political and social upheaval, the government in place must also become tyrannical in their own right. Under the rule of statism, France remained a nation unable to cultivate liberty, and one that remained under the iron fist of a dictatorial government. For many, this was no surprise. Some of the planners of the change of the form of government in France knew that in order to keep order they would need to "treat the people as cattle."
 
The French National Assembly established a constitutional monarchy and adopted a new constitution in 1791 that created a Legislative Assembly. The political assembly, as with any other political body, rapidly divided into factions opposing each other. The three factions that formed in the new French Legislative Assembly were the radicals (liberals), moderates (centrists) and conservatives. The radicals (liberals) sat in the left section of the assembly hall, the conservatives sat on the right, and the moderates sat in the center section. Their political identities have some similarities to political movements today in the United States, and had little in common with the pre-revolution arrangement that emphasized itself more on monarchy and religion.
 
America is much younger than the European nations, and never had a landlord class of titled nobles. In fact, the Constitution specifically prohibits such a system. The Founding Fathers desired to break away from European traditions as much as possible, even abandoning much of British Common Law when defining citizenship. To be a British Subject the rules were weak, and divided loyalties ran rampant throughout the British Empire. The United States as a nation could not tolerate divided loyalties, and placed a stronger standard of natural born citizenship upon the President in order to eliminate the opportunity for the executor of the American Form of Government to harbor divided loyalties between the United States of America, and any other nation. That way, the new American government could break completely free of any European influence, and forge itself into a Republic independent from British influence, and in fact, the authoritarian nature of Europe as a whole.
 
The political landscape of the United States of America, since there never was a class of nobles, was simple in the young nation. Either you were a Federalist, an anti-Federalist, or somewhere in between. In other words, you believed in a stronger centralized federal government, you believed that the federal role in government should be limited greatly, or you found yourself somewhere between the two political beliefs.
 
Unlike the Europeans, royalty and religion played no role in determining the nature of American political philosophies. Nearly all of the early American Politicians were deeply religious men, but the political spectrum did not separate factions along religious lines. God played a major role in the principle foundation of the nation, but the founding fathers also determined that no religion could ever take an official role in government. In other words, the establishment of any religion as the official religion of the United States was forbidden. However, the freedom to practice one's religion was not to be infringed upon. Almost all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were either clergy, or highly involved in their church. 27 of the 56 signers had Christian seminary degrees. The founding fathers fervently prayed in Congress.
 
Benjamin Franklin is widely regarded to be among the least religious of the founding fathers. However, his speech given to Congress on June 28, 1787 asking that Congress have a prayer every morning before conducting business was overtly religious in nature. Despite modern assumptions, there was not a political battle between The Church and the secularists during the founding of the United States of America.
 
From the newer models of government in France, and America, the definition of the Political Spectrum changed, becoming more about the level of control of government over a society, rather than the presence of a monarchy, or established church. Zero percent of government intrusion on the lives of the people inhabits the far right of the current political spectrum, which is a condition known as anarchy. 100% governmental control inhabits the far left extremity of the Political Spectrum, or a totalitarian government. The American form of government, or a Constitutional Republic that operates under the rule of law, is at the center of the political spectrum.
 
Most of the current forms of government present in today's international political arena reside on the left side of the Political Spectrum, drawing their foundations from socialist principles. Socialism is authoritarian. Socialism claims to seek to overthrow the Church and aristocracy by promoting atheism and nationalism, much like the enlightened planners of the French Revolution, only replacing the government they thought to be a tyranny with a tyranny of their own. In Russia, the rise of socialism held the basic tenet of replacing the individual's commitment to God with a commitment to love and serve a collective society ruled by an elite few.
 
When one examines the communist society, which resides on the left side of the Political Spectrum, one finds that if society was ruled over by an equally powerful religious theocracy, the basic governmental elements of the ruling doctrine are the same, and just as tyrannical. Therefore, a controlling government based on religion is no different than an atheistic system of communism. Either way, the form of governance is based on a centralized control over the people, and limits on personal individualism, and freedoms.
 
Economically, leftism encourages increased government involvement with the instruments that regulate the economy. Under a leftist economic system, such as in the communist model, the government seizes control of the industries, eliminating private ownership. In the fascist model, however, the authoritarian political entity engages in corporatism, allowing the private enterprises to remain private, yet bundled together in a uniting strength under authoritarian government rule. Because fascism (from Italian fascismo, Benito Mussolini's authoritarian political movement in Italy 1922 to 1943) was created to be an adverse reaction to the apparent economic failure of Marxism, and labeled itself as the opposite of communism, fascism is often referred to as being right-wing, and ultra-conservative. If you break down the political structure of fascism, however, it becomes apparent that defining fascism as being on the right side of the political spectrum is problematic. Like socialism, fascism exalts the group above the individual (in fascist states often the nation or race is exalted above the identity of the individual). Like other leftist systems, fascism also calls for a separation of church and state, a national civilian army, and progressive taxation. One element of fascism some may argue as being right-wing is the fact that fascism seeks to eliminate labor unions for co-ops. But the co-operatives, in a fascist state, are controlled by the government, and therefore become more leftist than the system before. Though fascism, during the early twentieth century, claimed to be anti-communist, the National Socialism aspect of the ideology places fascism on the left side of the Political Spectrum.
 
Ultimately, the true definition of the Political Spectrum is dependent upon how government interacts with society. Increased government intrusion moves needle on the spectrum to the left. Increasing limitations on government intrusion moves the needle to the right. In both cases, the extreme of totalitarianism, or anarchy, are equally dangerous. Ultimately, most forms of government, despite the promise of fairness, are often only precursors to another form of government. The Founding Fathers realized this, recognizing that the only form of government that both limits the powers of the federal government, while still giving it adequate authority to protect and preserve State Sovereignty, is a Constitutional Republic. They knew that if you pursue leftism too far, an authoritarian government would rise from the movement. If government was limited too much, and the government did not have enough power to enforce law, an authoritarian government would also rise to fill the void.
 
            The Preamble
 
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 
The Preamble is the introduction of the U.S. Constitution. The opening paragraph of the founding document holds no legal authority. The Preamble serves to establish who is granting the authority to create a new federal government, and the reasons for the decision. We The People of the United States are the grantors. In other words, the States, which were the embodiment of the people, were creating the federal government, and granting authorities to it so that it may function in a manner necessary to protect, promote, and preserve the union of States. The concept became known as federalism.
 
The Preamble is designed much like a permission form the doctor's office may present to you to sign, giving the doctor the authority to perform necessary procedures on your body in order to make you well. The form begins with your name (I, patient's name), and then limits the doctor to only the procedures necessary to make you well. The doctor, if he or she believes additional procedures may be necessary, must ask for your permission before performing the additional procedures that are not granted by your original agreement with them.
 
Like the form in the doctor's office, the Preamble begins with who is granting the authorities. "We the People of the United States" are the grantors of the authorities given to the new federal government. The people, through their States, allow the federal government to exist, and to perform the procedures expressly granted in the United States Constitution.
 
If a homeowner hires a contractor to add a room to their house, a contract is created between the homeowner, and the company hired to do the work. The contract establishes the granted authorities to the construction company regarding the room addition, listing the materials and labor necessary and proper to carry out that task. If, later, after the work begins, the homeowner observes the workers tending to the garden, and mowing the lawn, the homeowner would be angry because lawn maintenance was not among the authorities granted to the contractor hired to provide the service of adding a room to the house. In the same way, through the Constitution, the federal government has been granted a list of authorities that are necessary and proper for it to carry out the tasks vested in it. The tasks directly relate to protecting and preserving the union, while also respecting and promoting State Sovereignty. The federal government's authorities encompass only the external issues necessary to protect the union, and the sovereignty of the States. Internal issues are not granted to the federal government. Local issues are reserved to the local governments, such as the States, counties, and cities.
 
The first three words of the Preamble, "We the People," often lead people to believe that we are a democracy. Taken in context, the first part of the Preamble is not only "We the People," but "We the People of the United States." In the context of original intent, "the people of these States that are united have come together to establish this contract for the following reasons."
 
The words "United States" appear often in the U.S. Constitution. When those words appear in the text of the Constitution, they mean one of two things. Either, "United States" is a reference to the new federal government, or United States means "these states that are united." In the case of the Preamble, both definitions are used. As we notice the first time united States appears in the Declaration of Independence, "united" is not capitalized. Failing to capitalize "united" in the Declaration of Independence was a reflection of the common opinion of the people of that era. America was not a nationalistic country dominated by a powerful government, but a union of States that are sovereign, autonomous, and individual - like the people. We the People are the individual parts of their States, and the States are individual parts of the union.
Early Americans saw the United States in the plural, rather than as a singular nationalistic entity. The people were citizens of their States first, but realized that the States must be united to survive. The individual States would only be safe if they all worked together as a united country. To ensure the union was protected they proposed forming a central government through a social contract called the United States Constitution. This contract to grant limited authorities to a federal government was designed to ensure that the federal government remained limited so as to not infringe on the individual rights of the sovereign States, and the people who resided in those States.
 
A limited government is the essence of liberty.
 
The reasons listed in the Preamble for forming a new government were "In Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." In line with classical writing standards, these reasons were listed in order of importance.
 
The most important reason for the formation of the federal government, the main purpose for the creation of the U.S. Constitution, was "in Order to form a more perfect Union." A union already existed under the Articles of Confederation. A confederation, however, is a weak form of government where nearly all of the power remains with the individual members. A confederation is an association of sovereign member states that, by treaty, or other agreement, have delegated some of their powers to a common institution in order to coordinate policies, without constituting a new state on top of the member states. The government under the Articles of Confederation was formed hastily during the Revolutionary War, and as revealed by Shays' Rebellion, proved to be too weak to protect the union not only from threats beyond our shores, but insurrection from within the country. The founders realized that they needed to form a more perfect union, one with more authorities, while still remaining fairly limited in its power and scope. The realization that the Articles of Confederation were too weak, and either needed to be fixed, or replaced, was first discussed in delegation during the Annapolis Convention in 1786. During that meeting, the attending State delegates decided to meet again in May of 1787 in a convention of all States, which became the Federal Convention of 1787.
 
Under the Articles of Confederation, the central government was as weak as a lamb. What America needed was a central government with the strength of a lion. The problem with lions, however, is that they can kill you if not restrained. So, the Founding Fathers had to figure out a way to create a lion strong enough to deal with the external issues, and conflict between the States, while restraining that lion in such a way that the people living under it were safe from its potential tyranny. The lion is the federal government, and the chains and restraints of a set standard that protects We the People from that lion is the United States Constitution.
 
In the Constitution, the authorities granted to the federal government are limited to protecting, preserving, or promoting the union. The federal government, through the express powers granted in the Constitution, was granted authorities including, but not limited to, maintaining an army and navy in order to protect the union, to collect taxes in order to pay for that military and the other necessary functions created for the purpose of preserving the union, to regulate commerce by acting as a mediator between the States so that the flow of commerce flows regularly and in good order so as to encourage a growing economy for the union, establish a uniform rule of naturalization for the purpose of ensuring the union grows through legal immigration, and to establish post offices so that the many parts of the union may remain in contact with each other. The federal government was created for the sake of the issues related to the union. The federal government was not created to manage local issues that have nothing to do with the union, and everything to do with the unique cultures and societal needs of the local communities.
 
The second reason listed in The Preamble for the creation of the federal government through the ratification of the U.S. Constitution were to "establish Justice." Note that the word "establish" is normally used in situations where whatever is being established never previously existed. The word "establish" being used in the Preamble, then, leads us to believe that there was no justice prior to the writing of the founding document. However, justice systems already existed in each of the States, through State court systems. Therefore, the U.S. Constitution was not written to establish justice in the States, but to establish justice at the federal level where a judicial system had not previously existed. The language used in the Constitution, in this case, provides us with a clue that the original intent of the Founding Fathers was for the Constitution to apply only to the federal government, unless it specifically states otherwise.
 
Though "establish Justice" is listed second in the list of reasons for creating the federal government, we must not confuse "importance" with "power." To establish justice was a very important reason for creating a federal government, but the federal court system, for fear of it becoming a powerful judicial oligarchy, was also greatly limited. During the debates of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, there was actually a consideration to not establish a federal court system. The delegates realized that tyranny easily flows through an activist judiciary. The rule of law could be easily compromised by a judicial branch not willing to abide by the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, or poisoned by political ideology. For this reason, the powers of the judicial branch are greatly limited by the Constitution. We will go into more detail regarding those limitations when we get to Article III, and the 11th Amendment.
 
The first two reasons for the writing of the U.S. Constitution, according to the Preamble, were to form a more perfect union through the formation of a federal government, and to establish justice by creating a federal judicial system. Those primary goals reveal to us that the Constitution was not written to grant powers to the States, but for the purpose of creating, yet limiting, a newly formed federal government, which was designed to serve the States by protecting them, and preserving the union they enjoyed. Before the States delegated some of their own powers to the federal government through the Constitution, all of those powers belonged to the States - a political condition known as Original Authority. The States, however, only granted "some" of their powers to the federal government, retaining most of the powers for themselves.
 
The U.S. Constitution, and all language within the document, is directed to the federal government, not to the States, unless specifically indicated otherwise. This is because the States essentially "hired" the federal government to protect and preserve the union. The contract that authorizes the federal government to exist and receive the authorities from the States is the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, it would not be reasonable to assume that the provisions of the Constitution are to be applied to the States as much as it would not be logical to believe that an agreement between you and your doctor tells you what you can and can't do regarding the procedures that are about to be performed on you. The agreement with the doctor is specifically designed to tell the doctor what procedures are allowed, just as the Constitution is specifically designed to tell the federal government what authorities it is allowed to have in order to protect, preserve, and promote the union. In that contract with the doctor there may be instructions that tell you what not to do so as to not undermine healing, such as submersing oneself in water before a wound is fully healed. The same is true in the Constitution. There is a section, Article I, Section 10, that tells the States what they are prohibited from doing. These prohibitions were necessary to ensure the States did not interfere with federal functions.
 
Since it is We The People of the United States who granted the federal government its powers, that means it is the people's responsibility, through the States, responsibility to ensure the federal government acts in a constitutional manner. The Constitution is nothing more than ink and paper if we don't fight for it.
 
The union, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, was fragile. The States, as colonies, or as individual states shortly after the American Revolution, did not always coexist in a mutually beneficial manner. The States enjoyed their own unique cultures, religions, and laws. The States clashed over territory, commerce, and a variety of other issues that often included disputed legal issues and definitions. The States were much like siblings, fighting over everything under the sun; but when it came down to brass tacks, they were united when it came to defending each other.
 
The bickering between the States created an atmosphere that placed the cohesion of the union at risk. Therefore, when it came to creating a more perfect union, it was understood by the framers that the federal government would have to "insure domestic Tranquility" and to "promote the general Welfare."
 
The federal government was expected to ensure there was tranquility between the States by acting as a mediator in disputes. Part of that task by the federal government was to also promote the general welfare of the republic. In other words, the federal government was tasked with making sure the squabbles were properly resolved, while also protecting the union, so that the welfare of the union would not be in jeopardy.
 
The term general Welfare, as it is presented in the Preamble, is capitalized in a curious manner. Welfare is capitalized, but the word "general" is not. Capitalization in the Constitution was often used for the purpose of emphasis. With that tendency as our guide, we recognize that "Welfare" was the key component when these two words were presented in the Preamble. The Founding Fathers were seeking "Welfare" with a capital "W." The founders tasked the federal government with the duty of ensuring there was Welfare in the nation in a general manner. Or, you could say that they wanted the atmosphere in general to be one of "Welfare," or "all's well," hence, the reason general is not capitalized, and Welfare is, in the Preamble.
 
Tucked between "insure domestic Tranquility" and "promote the general Welfare" is the phrase: "provide for the common defence." The placement of this phrase in The Preamble reveals that providing for the common defense was almost as important as ensuring peaceful cooperation between the States, and slightly more important than promoting the general Welfare of the republic (and a necessary part of ensuring the general Welfare).
 
The need to provide for the common defense, one may note, was not listed first in The Preamble as one of the reasons for the creation of the federal government. The Founding Fathers, though they recognized the importance of the federal government to field a military force, as realized from the failure of the government to put down insurrection during Shays' Rebellion under the Articles of Confederation, did not list the need to provide for the common defense at the beginning of the Preamble because a country that places too much importance on a military is doomed to become a police state. Defending this nation was not placed at the bottom of the list of reasons for the writing of the Constitution, either, because a nation that refuses to defend itself ultimately becomes a conquered entity that is subject to the authority of a foreign government. Despite the fear of a powerful military that could be used against the people and the States, providing for the common defense was still indeed one of the primary reasons for creating the federal government in the first place. That is why "provide for the common defence" is listed in the Preamble within the central depths of the body of the paragraph.
 
The final reason for the writing of the Constitution was to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." The presence of the word "Blessings" reminds us that the Founding Father's grateful spirit recognized that the result of the American Revolution, and the inspiration for the new federal government, could have only come from the favors of Divine Providence. Liberty, remember, is one of the unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence that has been given to us by The Creator. In fact, that is one of the foundational beliefs of the original intent behind the creation of the federal government. Our rights are granted to us by God, not by government, for if our rights are granted to us by government, government would then be able to take those rights away. This idea of God-granted rights is based on a concept called Natural Law penned by John Locke during the 1600s. In the Declaration of Independence, it is referred to as, "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Natural Law is the unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct, which is observable law we participate in as related to our natural existence.
 
The U.S. Constitution was not solely written only to protect our natural rights, liberty, and property. Protecting our rights, liberty, and property are among the chief reasons the Constitution was written in the manner that it was, and protecting those natural rights are predictable byproducts when the Constitution is being followed by the government, but those are not the only reasons for the perceived need to compose the founding document, or for the creation of the federal government.
 
As indicated in the Preamble, the primary reason for the Constitution was "in Order to form a more perfect Union." However, the very formation of that union, and devising a governmental system to protect, preserve and promote that union, was not exclusively for the sake of the union, either. The ultimately desire was to protect the sovereignty of each component of that union - The States. The framers understood that by creating a federal government, the potential for the governmental system to become a tyranny was unleashed. Therefore, in order to protect the rights, liberty and property of the people (more specifically to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"), the federal government needed to be limited in its authorities by the rule of law. The law of the land in which the governmental system is limited to, in the case of the United States, is the U.S. Constitution, for the sake of protecting the individuality of the States, and We the People.
 
Terms:
 
Confederation: A confederation is an association of sovereign member states that, by treaty or other agreement, have delegated some of their powers to a common institution in order to coordinate policies, without constituting a new state on top of the member states.
 
English Bill of Rights: The Declaration of Rights in 1689, following the relatively bloodless "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, reasserting Protestant influence in England, and establishing a written declaration based on the belief that rights are granted by God, limiting the power of the king, and guaranteeing individual rights in writing. At its core, the system of government based on the English Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta, holds as its philosophy that government is to serve the people, not the other way around.
 
Federalism: Government in which the central government's power and authority is limited by local government units, and where each unit is delegated a sphere of power and authority only it can exercise, while other powers must be shared. The term federalism comes from the Latin root foedus, which means "formal agreement or covenant." It includes the interrelationships between the states as well as between the states and the federal government.
 
Magna Carta: The "Great Charter" of English Liberties, forced from King John by the English barons at Runnymede, June 15, 1215. A fundamental constitution, or law guaranteeing rights.
 
Unalienable Rights: Incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred. You can not surrender, sell or transfer unalienable rights, they are a gift from the Creator to the individual and can not under any circumstances be surrendered or taken. All individual's have unalienable rights.
 
 
 
Questions for Discussion:
 
1. How might the United States be different if the Magna Carta, or the Glorious Revolution, had never taken place?
 
2. Many of us were taught to memorize the Preamble in school, others remember it because of the School House Rock cartoon on Saturday mornings, but growing up how many times were we taught what it means?
 
3. Federalism, or the belief in a central government limited by the authorities granted to it in the Constitution, began as a wonderful idea. The members of the "Federalist Party," however, were not satisfied, and desired the federal government to have more authorities than it was granted. Why do you think this is true?
 
4. Why did the Founding Fathers only desire the federal government to be granted powers that regarded the union, and not authorities in regards to other issues?
 
4. The judicial branch was supposed to be the weakest of the three branches. Why do you think the Founding Fathers wanted to limit the judiciary to such an extent?
 
5. One of the founding principles is that our unalienable rights are given to us by the Creator. Is it a coincidence that historically most authoritarian governments that sought to take away the rights of the individual did it either by taking control of the church, or by rejecting religion/the existence of God?
 
6. At what point does a government take "provide for the common defense" too far?
 
Resources:
 
James L. Roark, Michael P. Johnson, Patricia Cline Cohen, Sarah Stage, Alan Lawson, and Susan M. Hartmann, The American Promise: A History of the United States; Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's (2009).
 
James Madison, Federalist No. 41: General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution, http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa41.htm
 
John L. Hancock, Liberty Inherited: The Untold Story of America's Exceptionalism; Charleston: Liberty Lane Media (2011)
 
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).
 
 
Copyright 2014 Douglas V. Gibbs

Mark Meuser to Join Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party for Breakfast


California Secretary of State candidate Mark Meuser, while on a 5,000 mile bike ride, will be joining the Tea Party group in Banning for their Tuesday Morning Breakfast Meeting.  I (Douglas V. Gibbs) am there every Tuesday Morning.  Would love to see you there, too.

Tuesday Mornings
Meeting start: Between 8:00 and 8:30 am
Farms' House Restaurant
6261 Joshua Palmer Way
Banning, CA
(Behind the Denny's just off of the Highland Springs offramp off the 10 Freeway)
Look for the big red barn!

Is Sharia Compatible with the U.S. Constitution?

We explore the question of if Islamic Law can co-exist with the United States Constitution when speaker Steve Klein joins our meeting on Saturday to discuss this very question.  See flyer:


Monday, July 30, 2018

Constitution Test and Lesson 1: Corona Constitution Class

Do you want to know where you stand when it comes to your knowledge regarding the U.S. Constitution?  The first ever test based on the Douglas V. Gibbs Constitution Lesson Plans will be administered Tuesday Night at the Corona Constitution Class.  Testing begins at 5:30 pm.  After the testing is over, we will begin from the beginning again, with Lesson 1, Introduction to the Constitution, and the Preamble.

See you there.

AllStar Collision
522 Railroad St.
Corona, CA

5:30 pm - Test
Around 6:00 pm - Commencement of Lesson One


Trump Kicked CNN's Obnoxious Reporter Out. . . Who's Next?

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

The mainstream media has been angry about the White House's decision to "ban" a CNN Reporter for her disruptive behavior at the next rose garden event the administration holds.  The Trump administration says she wasn't banned permanently, and the network was not banned, but she was not going to be allowed to continue her behavior at that event and she was not going to be invited to the next one.  The reporter from CNN, Kaitlan Collins, says she was targeted and removed because she was asking embarrassing questions about Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, secretly taping him, and the President didn't like it.  The briefing was over, and the President wasn't answering any more questions.  She was out of line, and she knew it.  I say it's about dang time a GOP politician of any kind tells the biased media to can it, or be canned.  Besides, who cares about whether or not Trump was an altar boy in his past when his current policies as President has the United States in the midst of an economic boom, and in a position of growing respect worldwide as our peace and prosperity president continues to weave his multiple successes into the American Story?

Kaitlan Collins was booted from a rose garden event after her continued screams of hard left loaded questions about Cohen and Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and for refusing to leave as she shouted those questions when she had been informed that the press briefing was over.  The White House responded that her removal had nothing to do with her political stance or line of questioning.  It had everything to do with "process, procedure, and protocol."



The problem is, the leftist reporters think that their behavior can go anywhere they want.  Hating Trump is apparently, to them, license enough to act unprofessionally without consequences.  But, if they are called out by anybody on their unprofessionalism and lack of decorum, then they freak out and start making baseless accusations and claims of victimhood.  Some people may have fallen for it, but as Trump's approval rating just keeps steadily ticking upward, the reality is, most people are either realizing the truth, or they just don't care because with the rising economy they have a job they couldn't find before, therefore, they have more money in their pockets.  What's that Clinton era saying?
_________________________  "It's the economy, stupid." _
The argument from the liberal left side is that this is somehow a freedom of the press issue.  Really?  The government under Donald Trump is not telling you how to report on it.  You are free to report the way you want, even if it is nothing but lies, or failing to report on the issue that the press briefing was about, in the first place.  The White House calling out someone for lying or being rude and disruptive is not an attack on their free speech, it is simply an acknowledgment that your reporting is full of crap and their behavior is not acceptable.  Telling them they can't attend a rose garden event in this day and age is also not an interference in one's freedom of the press or freedom of speech.  You don't even have to be in the room.  You can report on it based on the video you watch of the event provided by your colleagues ... and more specifically ... recorded by people who aren't rude and disruptive.  The White House, if you are willing to be disruptive and out of line, does not have to tolerate your B.S., so, buh-bye.

Historically, this is not the first time the behavior of a journalist, or in Kaitlan Collins's case, a person pretending to be a journalist but is really nothing more than an opinion hack and disruptive jackass (jackass, noun, 1. a stupid person, 2. a male ass or donkey, 3. a member of the Democrat Party), has been reprehensible and unacceptable in their behavior.  The Founding Fathers used to complain about the ridiculous tactics of the press way back when the country was being founded.

After the whole thing with Kaitlan Collins was over, she was taken aside and informed that she could not attend the next rose garden event with the European Union president.  CNN was not kicked out for the next event ... only Ms. Collins was.

In other words, this is not an issue about free access by the press.  The press has access.  Their access is not being impeded by the White House.  Access by a reporter who acted in a manner that is unacceptable is being rejected.  Find another reporter who can behave, and with that person, have full access.

My curiosity is about why it took so long for such an action to have taken place.  CNN specifically has had reporter after reporter cross the line time and time again.  Press briefings have been a free for all with loaded questions and unacceptable behavior that nobody would have tolerated during a Barack Obama event during his presidency.  Remember Jim Acosta's behavior? Why wasn't that the donkey that broke the elephant's back?  I was thinking back then that if CNN had any integrity whatsoever, they would have fired him.  Instead, they played the same game they are playing regarding Collins.  No matter how disgustingly rude a reporter's behavior, from the media's point of view it's all Trump's fault, and he is some kind of tyrant trying to kill the Bill of Rights enumerated right of the freedom of the press.

Acosta and Collins are not the only offenders, either.  April Ryan's unprofessional tendencies (who is also a contributor to CNN) at press briefings are well documented. Brian Karem, executive editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel and White House correspondent for Playboy magazine, and yes, a CNN contributor, has a habit of also being disruptive with a unique style of aggressive grandstanding at these briefings.  The list goes on and on and on.

These people are rude, disrespectful, aggressive, unprofessional, constantly speaking out of turn, talking over anyone who dares to disagree with them through uncalled for interruptions, out of line, and their only questions are loaded questions that are designed to be character attacks instead of the kind of questions that would be asked by a reporter if that reporter was actually performing a journalist's job of reporting the news.  What they have is a pointed radical intolerant agenda trying to protect a failing Democrat Party narrative that the American people, I believe, is truly beginning to see through.  An individual not being allowed to participate because of uncivil behavior has nothing to do with freedom of the press, and everything to do with bad behavior. CNN has been trying to make this about their alleged victimhood at the hands of a Trump administration that they hate with an unbridled passion, and freedom of the press, and the reality is, if any reporter acted as their reporters do at Trump's briefings during the Obama presidency, CNN would have been at the head of the line calling for the removal of the disruptive individual, and would have fired that reporter if they had been one of their own.

The news, by the way, that Collins was unwilling to report as a White House pool reporter was that the tariffs by Trump have not created a trade war, and Europe has responded to our President's firm handling of their unfair trade practices with a deescalation of their trade war threats.  He has won, once again, but rather than report on that, the media is still seeking to create anything negative they can about him because the reality is, President Trump has disrupted the socialist trail of madness the Democrats had us on, and he has not only interrupted their socialist plans, he has vowed to dismantle the machine that has been fueling their treasonous, unAmerican coup against our Constitution.

President Trump's success, from their point of view, has to be hidden and buried, so they are making a stink about an alleged attempt to disrupt freedom of the press, when the reality is, they are stinking up the room to hide the fact that the winning ways of President Trump are not only continuing, but are escalating and becoming so loud that only freaking out and creating new diversions can, in their minds, suppress the truth.

In short, CNN's victimhood claim in relation of Kaitlan Collins is a manufactured diversion created by the hard left media corps in the hopes that doing so will hide the reality that President Trump is succeeding, again, and again, and again ... and people are starting to notice.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

We Didn't Expect Trump to be an Altar Boy

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

I saw a meme not too long ago from a liberal left Democrat that read the following.  "Right-wingers can tolerate Trump's affairs with porn stars, 19 sexual misconduct claims, endless slander and vulgarity, bullying disabled people, bottomless greed, non-stop lying, and accusations of treason by colluding with Russia during the 2016 Election ... but the couldn't stomach a well-spoken, honorable constitutional scholar, just because he was black.  The right-wing disgusts me."

First of all, the context is way off on all that.  But, here's the thing.  I don't vote for someone because they are nice, well-spoken, or make me feel good.  I vote for people based on their positions on the issues, and the policies I believe they are going to put forth.  I knew we weren't getting an altar boy with Trump, and that's fine.  As a Christian I am not offended by his not-so-Christian life.  I didn't vote for him because I thought he was some kind of angel.  I voted for Trump because of his stated positions on the issues.

That all said, let's take apart the meme's argument a little just so that we can reveal the fantasy world of lies and ridiculousness the liberal left lives in.

1.  Trump's affairs with porn stars.  He's a rich guy who, when he was younger, was probably a typical guy (meaning, a horn-dog).  Therefore, he made some decisions that weren't exactly the kind I would make at this point in my life.  But, none of us were angels when we were younger.  What's fascinating is how absorbed the Democrats are with Trump's past sexual affairs, yet they don't seem to have a problem with Bill Clinton's history that is much more packed with women, and could possibly (maybe I am being too nice, there, by using the word "possibly") include rapes and pedophilia.

2.  19 sexual misconduct claims.  How many have been proven?  Besides, in just the last two years, how many Democrats, and liberals in the entertainment and media industries (and sure, a handful of members of the GOP) have gone down with accusations of sexual misconduct?  Even NBC has been willing to report on the scandals.  California's Democrats lost their super-majority in the State legislature because of the various accusations of sexual misconduct against a number of the Democrats.  Sexual misconduct is a disease that largely swarms the ranks of the liberal leftists, yet somehow they are shocked that a rich playboy, long before he considered himself a Republican or remotely close to being a conservative, may or may not have had less than reasonable situations on the sexual front?  That said, once again, the Democrats operate by accusations, not evidence.  I am sure of those 19 accusations the number is either zero, or very close to it.  Then again, who cares?  It was during a part of his life that was long before this one.  People can grow.  People can change.  Remember, at one point in his life Ronald Reagan was a Democrat.

3.  Endless slander and vulgarity.  Slander?  Against whom?  Are you whining because Trump's willing to say it like it is regarding Democrats?  As for the vulgarity, except for moments in his younger life, he has not, in my opinion, been "vulgar."  And, even if he has been, is that a reason to vote or not vote for someone?  I don't care about Trump's mouth as much as I do his policies, and the reality is, he promised in the campaign what I would want as a constitutionalist, and so far he's been delivering.  Who cares if he's been vulgar in his past.  The economy is booming.  The Supreme Court has constitutional originalists on it.  By the way, when I was young, my language was pretty rough, too.  It's amazing how much we move away from such behavior as we get older.

4.  Bullying disabled people.  This is a false accusation manufactured by the Democrat establishment, and the writer of this meme is simply so stupid he fell for it.  The video and imagery was taken out of context, Trump was not even aware of the person in question's disabilities, and the flailing of the hands was simply Trump's way of gesticulating a mock of stupid leftist morons.

5.  Bottomless greed.  Again, a false accusation.  The guy is rich, left his rich life to serve the country, and is refusing to take the salary, and instead donated his salary as President to charity.  Is that the sign of a greedy person?  The problem with the leftists, however, is that they think any increase of economic benefit is greed.  Remember, they are actually socialists who don't believe anyone should have a chance to do well, or earn profit.  They believe only equality in misery is acceptable.

6.  Non-stop lying.  Lying?  About what?  Do they accuse Trump of lying because he's not agreeing to false accusations?  That doesn't make him a liar, that makes him someone willing to receive the slings and arrows of the liberal left, and not give in to their non-stop attacks.  Of course, the non-stop deceptions and lies by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (and the rest of the Democrats around them) doesn't seem to phase people like the writer of the meme in the least.

7.  Accusations of treason by colluding with Russia during the 2016 Election.  False accusations.  No evidence has ever surfaced.  Yes, the Russians try to meddle in our elections.  They've been doing so since the Russian Revolution a hundred years ago.  But, the history of collusion over the last hundred years belongs to the Democrats, not the Republicans.  As for the accusations against Trump, it's just another manufactured argument in an attempt to reverse what the Democrats never thought would happen ... the election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Okay, now let's address the list of things the meme says about Barack Obama.

1.  Well-spoken.  I am supposed to support a candidate just because they read a teleprompter real well, and delivers their message in a coherent manner?  That's ridiculous.  What about policies?  Stances on the issues?  I did not agree with Barack Obama on any stance, and his ability to be well-spoken was not reason enough to change my vote.

2.  Honorable constitutional scholar.  That's a false statement.  He lectured on the Constitution at the University of Chicago, but Obama was hardly a constitutional scholar, and he has proven to us over the last ten years he is anything but honorable.  As for his constitutional lectures, I did the research.  He lectured on how to use the 14th Amendment to create racial division.  He's not a constitutional scholar.  Barack Obama is a constitutional liar.

3.  Just because he was black.  I didn't vote against Obama just because he's black.  I voted against Obama because I did not agree with a single idea he had for our country.  I do not believe that socialism is a preferred platform for our country.  The thing is, while the writer of the meme accuses the "right-wing" of rejecting Obama just because he was black, he fails to recognize the racism behind the reality that most Democrats voted for Obama just because he was black.  Besides, did the writer of the meme take into account the popularity of the black Republican candidate, Ben Carson?  If GOP voters hated Barack Obama because he was black, how is it that Ben Carson was so popular?


-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Free Weekly Constitution Classes Return to Temecula

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

Free Constitution Classes are offered in Corona and Temecula.  The classes in Corona are held each Tuesday Night at 6:00 pm for one hour in a casual class atmosphere at CARSTAR/AllStar Collision at 522 Railroad Street in Corona.  On July 31, 2018 we will be starting again at the beginning.  In Temecula the classes, beginning August 1, 2018, will be held at the Republican Party Headquarters at 28120 Jefferson Ave.  The classes, depending upon your preference, will be held on Wednesday Nights for an hour and a half beginning at 6:00 pm, or on the 2nd and 4th Monday Nights of each month for one hour also beginning at 6:00 pm.  The Wednesday Night Classes will have the goal of completion in ten sessions, with an opportunity to earn a certificate at the end of the term. 

Originally formed in 2008 at Faith Armory, the Temecula class is the first manifestation of Doug's efforts to educate the public of the original intent of the United States Constitution.  The class moved from Faith Armory to the Riverside County GOP Headquarters in August of 2018.  Attendance, the pizza, and the pocket constitutions are free, but a monetary contribution may be provided at the end of the class to help with expenses.  The class handouts have been put together in a book form.  Purchase of The Basic Constitution is available at the class, or online

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Authoritarian Straw Ban Amidst Plastic Hysteria

https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/12/
starbucks-straw-ban-will-see-the-company
By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The problem with the liberal left is that when something becomes a problem, they don't seek solutions, they instead seek authoritarian ways of forcing the population to comply with their big-government version of dealing with the problem.  For example, in California, water is constantly an issue, especially during a drought cycle.  Rather than work on a solution like building more water retention facilities (which the voters voted on a bond to do so, but then the money went to pensions and a high speed rail project), looking into projects like geo-water, or taking into consideration building desalination plants, the liberal left solution in California has been to begin taxing water (which failed to get out of committee, but I am sure the attempt will emerge again), chase environmentalist pipe dreams that actually steals water for unnecessary environmental schemes, and using legislation to force the population into limiting their use of water with a law that will limit each Californian to an unreasonable goal of 55 gallons of water per day beginning in 2022, followed by a reduction to an impossible to accomplish for the average person 50 gallons per day in 2030.

In other words, rather than figure out a way to make sure we have enough water, they wish to force individuals to reduce their use of water by threat of the penalty of law while stealing water for environmental lies and while stealing the money for water storage to pay their other failed programs and rising pensions costs.  However, the reduction in water use will also reduce the revenue for water companies, so water rates will rise so that, while each of us by law will be forced to use less water, we will not be paying any less in dollars in return.

The schemes are nothing new, and they go way back, and way beyond, merely water.  One of the other totalitarian schemes involves plastic.

I remember when I was a kid in the seventies, the leftists decided that paper products were a great sin.  We were killing trees, so the solution was to begin banning certain paper products.  Then, the free market grabbed a hold of the problem, and began to offer plastic alternatives, of which, once the liberals realized they could find a way to claim the solution as being their own, they embraced plastic products with caution.

Plastic grocery bags became the norm, and it turned out they were better in many ways.  They were stronger, and had handles, so we could carry more groceries at once.  And, as it turned out, they fit nicely into our little trashcans in our bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, or under the sink, so we used them for that, too.

However, they didn't necessarily ban paper bags, back then, they just encouraged us to use the plastic kind.  Personally, I used the paper bags as book covers for my text books (and I would then draw designs on them with made up logos for "History", "Algebra," or whatever other subject the book was about).  I also would unhinge the seams and lay them out flat so that I could use them for drawing various things like maps, and so forth.  I used the maps for my own personalized RISK game war scenarios, including the American Revolution, the War Between the States, the World Wars, and so forth.

Life was good.  The grocer would simply ask, "paper or plastic?"

Now, the liberal left has decided that plastic is bad.  But, rather than seek an alternative, they have gone into "ban" mode.  Here in California, when they decided to ban plastic grocery bags, they realized after it was pointed out that they were being hypocritical if they went back to paper.  They considered the cloth reusable bags, but they pose a health hazard, and were more expensive to produce and purchase.  So, they opted for thicker "reusable" plastic bags, and then attached a ten cents tax to them.  The new "reusable" thicker plastic bags take 26 times the energy to produce, and take 26 times the time to decay in landfills (data based on a verbal conversation I had with someone in the plastic bag production industry), but that doesn't matter to the liberal leftists.  The liberal left Democrats really don't care about the environment.  They only wish to appear they are doing a good thing.  In politics, perception is everything.  The fact that the liberal left option is actually not a better solution in terms of the environment does not matter, and they are figuring most people won't be astute enough to notice.  The truth is, they think we are too stupid to know what they are up to.  All that matters to them is that their base thinks they have the good intention of saving the world with their hair-brained idea.

Since California has passed their law that has outlawed single-use plastic bags statewide (which was voted in by the people through an elaborate scheme of smoke and mirrors, misdirection, and deceptive wording of the title and summary of the proposal of the proposition on the ballot), the use of plastic bags has not changed much.  While the use of plastic bags has dropped, in order for the law to have a significant impact, either the use of bags would need to drop to 1/26th of the previous usage (which it has not) or people would need to reuse their bags at least 26 times (and they aren't).  However, California is getting a ten cents tax for every bag purchased, and that was what the whole thing was about, anyway.  The environment was never truly the real reason for the plastic bag scheme, it was simply just another way to squeeze money out of us, while simultaneously adding a new level of control over the population.  For the Democrats, it was a win-win.

There has been an unintended consequence, however.

The homeless used the single-use plastic bags to take a crap in.  They would use the bag, tie the top, and then drop the plastic encased excrement into a nearby public trash can.  They used to dispose of their drug needles the same way.  Now, the bags cost a dime apiece, a fee the homeless cannot afford to pay.  So, without having no-cost bags to use, and if no public facility is available, they simply crap where they stand.  Now, in the cities where the homeless number the highest, and along the Golden State's highways, human feces and needles litter the public right of way, largely because of California's plastic bag ban.

Now that the Democrats have targeted plastic bags, and have successfully spread their campaign across the country like a disease to phase them out, straws are next. The goal is to eventually end the use of all single-use plastic products.

The consequences for getting rid of drinking straws may be even more fatal than that of plastic grocery bags.  In the case of Starbucks' ban of straws, like the plastic bag problem in California, the alternative uses more plastic than the straws do.  But, once again, we know that deep down this isn't about plastic, it's about squeezing money out of us, and creating new ways to control society.

For some people, drinking out of a straw is not a choice, it is a necessity.  Some people are simply unable to lift a glass and drink out of it in ways that other people can.  According to TIME Magazine, "some disabled people can take a longer time to drink, leading paper straws to get soggy or even disintegrate, potentially increasing the risk of choking. . . metal straws are usually inflexible, making them more difficult to use for people who have a mobility-related impairment."

In my case, I have a rare health issue regarding swallowing. My esophagus does not operate properly. When I eat solid foods, I must wash the food down with big gulps of liquid, which is made much easier and more possible by the use of a straw. Without straws, I experience difficulty eating solid foods.   Sometimes, I drink so much liquid so that I may be able to swallow that I often eat slower than most people, and I tend to consume in one setting less than half the volume of food as my companions.  Due to my slowness in eating, and consumption of large quantities of liquid during my meals, I have experienced that paper straws tend to get too soggy to use when I use them.  Also, I have this weird thing about paper and wood products, and some metal, when it comes to eating.  If an ice cream, for example, is on a wooden stick, once the wood is exposed to my mouth I have serious trouble eating the item.  For that reason I tend to try and find the products that use a plastic stick, rather than a wooden one.  I can only use certain metal eating utensils, otherwise the metallic taste becomes too strong for me to be able to handle my food.  Therefore, for the most part, paper and metal straws are out of question for me.  The medical world has yet to figure out why I have trouble with some metal, most wood, and most paper with my food.

Outlawing plastic straws places me in a very precarious situation.  The ban would force me into a position where I would experience greater difficulty eating, and would possibly cause me to have to give up eating solid foods since I would not be able to use plastic straws to generate the force of liquid needed to swallow.

I have been informed that in Seattle, the liberals did attach to the plastic straw ban a medical exemption.  Great, thanks for the consideration.  But, then that means I will be required to carry papers or some kind of special identification card (or code on my license) in order to obtain the use of a plastic straw in public.  I would also need the identification if I wanted to purchase plastic straws at my store (if they would even continue to carry them as a result of the new law).

Wait, that can't be right.  I thought, from the liberal left's point of view, forcing people to carry proof of identification is racist, oppressive, or creates a suppression of the vote.

So, it is wrong to ask someone to have an ID to vote, but it's okay to force someone to have a special ID to show that they are exempt from the straw-ban ... am I understanding that correctly?

And, I thought, from the liberal left Democrat Party's point of view, it is wrong to ban marijuana, it is wrong to not allow illegal aliens to vote in our elections even though four times in the U.S. Constitution it states one must be a citizen to vote in American elections, but it's okay to ban straws even though it might cause hardship for some people with disabilities, and possibly even kill people.

The logic reminds me of last year's California S.B. 349, which was a proposal by the Democrats in Sacramento for State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics. It would limit charges for patient care at kidney dialysis clinics, which would ultimately result in the shutdown of dialysis centers, which would result in the death of those who require those services.  The idea was that it would force these centers to unionize, a scheme they were willing to kill dialysis patients to pursue.  The Democrats don't care if they kill people, as long as their agenda moves forward.
But, let's just say that somehow I do get the exemption for my plastic straws.  Must I prove to them that the ban would cause me undue hardship in order to achieve the exemption?  How long must I go without straws before the red tape gives me my approval?  Will the department I must deal with regarding the straws be a new one?  How can the Democrats justify the increase of the size of bureaucracy, and the increase of government spending so that the new agency may exist, for the sake of making sure people can receive an exemption to a law the forces a ban of straws down the throats of citizens?  Would the potential of my death by choking because I can't swallow without drinking from a straw be considered a great enough hardship in order to receive the exemption? Or would they deny my request?  Why should my ability to swallow be in their hands?

The interesting side note of it all is that I have had four surgeries regarding my condition regarding my ability to swallow.  However, the procedures stopped when Obamacare went into place. We could no longer afford insurance due to the increase of insurance premiums as a result of the mandates in place by Obamacare, but we made too much money for any subsidy so we have had to exist without health insurance since 2010.  A friend told me the bronze plan wouldn't have covered my continuance of surgeries, anyway.

My condition is at its worse point of my life right now as a result of me being unable to afford further procedures thanks to Obamacare.  I am also, now, unemployed.  I was injured on the job in 2014, but Worker's Compensation denied my case.  My injuries are too severe to enable me to hold a daily job, but was not severe enough to ensure that I received any kind of compensation for those injuries.

My wife said that if I had taken her Spanish maiden name as my last name, I would have been a shoe-in when it came to approval.

My conditions, both the injuries from over four years ago that took my job from me, and my ability to swallow, have worsened.  In both cases, the policies of the Democrats have made my life much worse, and our ability to survive a severe challenge.  Now, they want to take away my plastic straws that I must use to swallow, after they took away my opportunity to be able to swallow without them through continued medical procedures paid for by my old insurance plan.

It turned out that after Obamacare I couldn't keep my doctor, as Obama had promised, after all.

One wonders about it all.  Are they trying to kill off those who they do not believe fits into their master race?  Did I lose my Worker's Compensation case because I am white?  Do they now wish to phase out certain people who have medical difficulties?  The truth is, they are already targeting the handicapped while they are still in the womb, so why not try to take out the rest of us who are still walking the Earth through various bans of the things we need in order to survive - be they dialysis centers, or plastic straws?

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary