Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Department of Justice Corruption: Explosive Interview!

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

Mark Levine sat down with Sydney Powell, author of "Licensed to Lie", her insider tale about what really goes on behind close doors in the justice system, and how bad the corruption truly is.

Never mind what's behind the curtain.  What's beneath the robe is even more frightening.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Middle Eastern Women's Coalition

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
The MEWC stands against sharia law, and stand with President Donald J. Trump.

We plan to have representatives from this group as guests on Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs (Saturdays, 1:00 pm, Pacific, KMET-1490-AM) very soon.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Corona Constitution Class: Legal Amendments

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

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 15
The Legal Amendments
Amendment IV
Warrants, Searches, and Seizures
The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution was added as part of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. It was written with the purpose of protecting people from the government searching their homes and private property without properly executed search warrants.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
What this means is that the federal government, in order to search a person's home, business, papers, bank accounts, computer or other personal items, in most cases, must obtain a search warrant signed by the proper authority, which usually means by a judge.
The issuance of a warrant must accompany reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that by searching the premises of a particular location, evidence will be found that will verify the crime. The government officer does not have to be correct in his assumption, he just has to have a reasonable belief that searching someone's private property will yield evidence of the crime. The task of determining whether or not the officer's assumptions are a reasonable belief falls on the judge who is considering issuing the search warrant.
The concept that citizens must be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures goes back into English history. The British Crown was known for performing searches and seizures that were unlawfully conducted. Often, these searches were conducted by the king's representatives.
The British government saw the American Colonies as a source of revenue. As a result, taxation against the American colonies was a continuous practice, in the hopes of generating as much money from the colonists as possible. The colonists resented this and engaged in substantial smuggling operations in order to get around the customs taxes imposed by the British government.
The King responded to the Colonist's smuggling activities by using writs of assistance, which were search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope. British agents, once obtaining these writs, could search any property they believed might contain contraband goods. They could enter someone's property with no notice and without any reason given. Tax collectors could interrogate anyone about their use of goods and require the cooperation of any citizen. Searches and seizures of private property based on very general warrants became an epidemic in colonial America.
In 1756, the Massachusetts legislature passed search and seizure laws outlawing the use of general warrants. The friction created between the Royal Governor and the people of Massachusetts grew with each passing moment.
In 1760 James Otis, a Boston lawyer, strongly objected to these arbitrary searches and seizures of private property and consequently resigned his position with the government, and then became the lawyer for a group of over 50 merchants who sued the government claiming that the writs of assistance were unjust.
James Otis represented these merchants for free. His speech condemning British policies, including writs of assistance and general search warrants, was so powerful and eloquent, that it was heard of throughout the colonies and catapulted him to a place of leadership in the swelling tide of disillusionment toward Great Britain.
Twenty-five year old John Adams, who would become the second president of the United States some time later, was sitting in the courtroom and heard Otis' famous speech that served as a spark that led to igniting the American Revolution.
The 4th Amendment, a part of The Bill of Rights, became law on December 15, 1791.
The 4th Amendment applies only to the federal government. State constitutions are written similarly, and States also have laws that are consistent with the intention of the 4th Amendment. The 4th Amendment provides protection from illegal search and seizure by federal government officials, but not by private citizens. So, if an employer unreasonably searched your possessions at work, the 4th Amendment would not have been violated, but local laws may have been.
In recent history The PATRIOT Act was seen as a breach of the 4th Amendment because it allowed the federal government to pursue a number of strategies in their search for terrorists that includes warrantless phone taps, access to phone logs, and monitoring of online communications such as email. The debate still goes on regarding the constitutionality of The PATRIOT Act, with both sides presenting reasonable arguments, ranging from the constitutional necessity of the law for the purpose of "providing for the common defense," to the argument that the authorities offered by the law allows the federal government to unconstitutionally intrude on the right to privacy of all Americans.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014 builds on the powers seized by the federal government through the PATRIOT Act, allowing unrestricted analysis and research of captured records pertaining to any organization or individual "now or once hostile to the United States." The definition of "hostile to the United States" is broad, and can include political opposition. Under NDAA 2014 Sec. 1061(g)(1), an overly vague definition of captured records enhances government power and guarantees indefinite surveillance.
The Internal Revenue Service is another arm of the federal government that routinely violates the 4th Amendment, doing so under the auspice of ensuring all taxes are paid.
Search Warrant - The Search Warrant specifically requires that the government demonstrate to a judge the existence of probable cause of criminal activity on the part of the person whose property the government wishes to search. The Fourth Amendment commands that only a judge can authorize a search warrant.
Writs of Assistance - British search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope. British agents, once obtaining these writs, could search any property they believed might contain contraband goods.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What actions by the British prior to the American Revolutionary War inspired the Founding Fathers to include this amendment in the Bill of Rights?
2. How would our legal system act if Search Warrants were not considered necessary?
3. How does the Fourth Amendment influence today's thinking regarding government actions, such as with The PATRIOT Act?
How Congress Has Assaulted Our Freedoms in the Patriot Act by
Andrew P. Napolitano, Lew
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).
Paul A. Ibbetson, Living Under the PATRIOT Act: Educating a Society;
Bloomington, IN: Author House (2007)
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
Amendment V
Due Process and Eminent Domain
            Due Process
The majority of the Fifth Amendment provides additional reinforcement to the concept of due process. The language of this Amendment was designed to assure those who feared the potential tyranny of a new centralized government created by the United States Constitution that the federal government would be restrained in such a way as to ensure that the government did not perpetrate bloodshed against its citizens.
The first part of the 5th Amendment reads: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital crime, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury. . ."
The 5th Amendment attests to the Founding Father's understanding that this is a nation of property owners. As a republic of property owners, when in jeopardy of legal trouble, our rights and properties must be safeguarded. Therefore, an American Citizen in the American legal system has a right to a jury, as well as a right to the presentation of evidence. Conviction is not reached with a majority vote, either. Conviction requires a unanimous agreement among all of the members of the jury. These concepts reinforce the concept that one is innocent until proven guilty (A concept found in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 19, Verse 15), and that the United States of America is a Republic. Mob rule is not allowed, for as the amendment provides, a person cannot be held until given the opportunity of due process.
Not all persons, however, are awarded this opportunity. The next part of the amendment reads: ". . . except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger. . ."
The military does not fall under the U.S. Constitution. Personnel serving in the armed forces are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Instead of a civilian trial, a military service member is normally afforded a court martial. If a civilian trial is deemed appropriate by the U.S. Military, a service member can still stand trial in a civilian court, but the military has the authority to decide whether or not the member shall stand such a trial.
Having a sense of independence, individuals must be protected, then, from the tyrannical trappings of a governmental system that may try to use the judiciary against them (as the King of England had done often). The protective mechanism, or the rule of law, would be the U.S. Constitution and clauses like the 5th Amendment, which were designed to provide protection to the populace from unfair legal practices.
One such protection is provided in the next part of this amendment: ". . . nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb. . ."
Protection against Double Jeopardy enables us not to be continuously tried for the same offense, which was a technique often used in some parts of Europe during the eighteenth century. The idea was that if a person was prosecuted enough, either they would weary of the process and break down, or the defendant would become unable to financially continue, hence unable to defend themselves.
The next part of the amendment serves as a large influence on today's Miranda Rights. The section reads: ". . . nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property."
Miranda Rights are named after the U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Miranda Rights are a warning given advising the accused of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and the right to an appointed attorney if they are unable to afford counsel - prior to conducting a custodial interrogation. From the 5th Amendment: ". . .nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Miranda Rights exist to secure the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, and to make the individual in custody aware not only of the privilege, but also of the consequences of forgoing it. The judicial opinion from the Miranda v. Arizona case also indicated that in order to protect the person's life, liberty or property with the due process of law, the individual must have the right to an attorney. With a lawyer present the likelihood that the police will practice coercion is reduced, and if coercion is nevertheless exercised the lawyer can testify to it in court. The presence of a lawyer can also help to guarantee that the accused gives a fully accurate statement to the police and that the statement is rightly reported by the prosecution at trial.
The words of the Founders continues to resonate today as the majority of the American people seem to firmly agree with the Founding Father's insistence that no one should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. We can take satisfaction that most of our fellow citizens in our republic still hold these truths to be self-evident.
            Eminent Domain
The provisions of the 5th Amendment are there to keep our courts honest, and the powers of the government constrained. The last phrase of the 5th Amendment, however, is considered too general by many, and it has been used in a manner by the federal government that is extremely troublesome, because it gives the government the right to take property if there is just compensation.
How is just compensation determined? Is it based on the market value of the property? How does the government officials involved in eminent domain calculate the non-intrinsic value? How do they compensate for the value on which nobody can put a price?
Just compensation was intended to be based on what the property owner deemed to be just. If the property owner did not deem the offer to be just compensation, then the government, from a constitutional viewpoint, is out of luck.
Capital Crime - A crime for which the punishment is death. Punishment for a Capital Crime is called Capital Punishment.
Double Jeopardy - The act of putting a person through a second trial for an offense for which he or she has already been prosecuted or convicted.
Due Process - The essential elements of due process of law are notice, an opportunity to be heard, the right to defend in an orderly proceed, and an impartial judge. It is founded upon the basic principle that every man shall have his day in court, and the benefit of the general law which proceeds only upon notice and which hears and considers before judgment is rendered. In short, due process means fundamental fairness and substantial justice.
Eminent Domain - The power to take private property for public use by a State, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.
Grand Jury - A group of citizens convened in a criminal case to consider the prosecutor's evidence and determine whether probable cause exists to prosecute a suspect for a felony. At common law, a group of persons consisting of not less than twelve nor more than twenty-four who listen to evidence and determine whether or not they should charge the accused with the commission of a crime by returning an indictment. The number of members on a grand jury varies in different States.
Infamous Crime - A crime which works infamy in the person who commits it. Infamous crimes tend to be classified as treason, felonies, and any crime involving the element of deceit.
Just Compensation - The value of a property deemed to be just by the property owner.
Miranda Rights - A warning given advising the accused of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and the right to an appointed attorney if they are unable to afford counsel - prior to conducting a custodial interrogation.
Mob-Rule - A government ruled by a mob or a mass of people; the intimidation of legitimate authorities; the tyranny of the majority; pure democracy without due process.
Republic - Form of government that uses the rule of law through a government system led by representatives and officials voted in by a democratic process. The United States enjoys a Constitutional Republic.
Rule of Law - The restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws; Laws of Nature and of Nature's God; self-evident standard of conduct and law.
Questions for Discussion:
1. How is property rights affected by Due Process?
2. Why do military members not fall under the protections of the U.S. Constitution?
3. Why is protection against Double Jeopardy important?
4. What was the inspiration for our Miranda Rights?
5. Who determines if compensation for one's property is just?
6. How is Eminent Domain being used for environmental reasons?
7. Is Eminent Domain constitutionally in force if a property is rezoned for environmental conservation, forcing the value of the property to be reduced due to the fact that it can no longer be developed?
8. Is it constitutional for government to use Eminent Domain for the use of the land by private development projects?
Definition of Due Process, Family Rights Association:
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).
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966)
Amendment VI
Personal Legal Liberties
The 6th Amendment affords criminal defendants seven discrete personal liberties. "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
Rights afforded in all criminal prosecutions are set forth in this amendment. The word "all" at the beginning of this amendment establishes a special characteristic regarding this article of the Constitution. The Constitution applies only to the federal government, unless it states otherwise. The 6th Amendment, by providing the word "all" in the regard to cases, establishes that this amendment is not only to be applied to the federal courts, but to the State, and lower, courts as well.
As for the rights afforded to the accused:
            Speedy Trial
The concept of a speedy trial was an English concept of justice. A speedy trial allows for conditions that disallow the powerful from abusing the court system, forcing defendants to languish in jail for an indefinite period while awaiting their trial. Ensuring a speedy trial minimizes the time in which a defendant's life is disrupted and burdened by a criminal proceeding, and reduces the likelihood of a prolonged delay impairing the ability of the accused to prepare a defense.
Historically, when trials are postponed or drag out for long periods of time, witnesses disappear, and evidence is often lost or destroyed. Memories of the incident in question are also not as reliable as time passes.
A person's right to a speedy trial arises after the arrest, indictment, or otherwise formal accusation of a crime.
            Public Trial
The right to a public trial was inherited by the Americans from Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. Public criminal proceedings would operate as a natural check against malevolent prosecutions, corrupt judges, and perjurious witnesses. A trial that is out in the open also aids the fact-finding mission of the judiciary by encouraging citizens to come forward with relevant information.
The right to a public trial is not absolute. Persons who may disrupt proceedings may be banned from attending the trial because they present a substantial risk of hindering a trial. A disallowance of the media attending falls under the concept of "potential disruptions," but otherwise, under normal circumstances, both the public and media have a qualified First Amendment right to attend criminal proceedings. The right to a public trial does not require the presence of media, and because courtrooms have limited seating, judges may attempt to maintain decorum. For media, with today's technology, the media does not have to be in the courtroom to see or hear the proceedings of the case.
            Right to Trial by an Impartial Jury
A part of the effort in achieving an impartial jury is the process of determining who will serve on the jury through a series of questions and observations, in an effort to eliminate biased jurors. The concept of protecting the defendant from a biased jury can be traced back to the Magna Carta in 1215. In the United States, the requirement for a trial by an impartial jury does not apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings, or to petty criminal offenses, which consist of crimes punishable by imprisonment of six months or less. In Great Britain, and Canada, a jury is not required for cases with potential penalties of two years or less, and the concept of an impartial jury is not entertained in the same way as in the United States. Canada and Britain choose jurors randomly, and then in an open court the jurors for a specific case are selected from the jury panel by ballot. A juror may be challenged once in the box for bias, but an extensive process to eliminate possible biased jurors before selection through a series of questions and observations is not normal practice.
The Sixth Amendment entitles defendants to a jury that represents "a jury of the defendant's peers," which means the jury should be a fair cross section of the community. From the jury pool, the presiding judge, the prosecution, and attorneys for the defense are allowed to ask members of the jury pool a variety of questions intended to reveal any latent biases, prejudices, or other influences that might affect their impartiality. The presence of even one biased juror is not permitted under the Sixth Amendment.
It is possible that the potential bias of a juror may be affected by sources outside the courtroom, so jurors are instructed to not consider newspaper, television, and radio coverage before or during trial, and are instructed not to discuss the trial with even family members, when evaluating the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
Jurors are not permitted to begin deliberations until all of the evidence has been offered. Deliberations do not begin until after the attorneys have made their closing arguments, and the judge has read the instructions. Premature deliberations have shown the potential, historically, to create early biases, or a juror may form a preconceived notion that they will then compare all evidence to, which they may have entertained as a result of premature deliberations.
            Notice of Pending Criminal Charges
The 6th Amendment guarantees defendants the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against them. Defendants must receive notice of any criminal accusations that the government has lodged against them through an indictment, information, complaint, or other formal charge. Defendants may not be tried, convicted, or sentenced for a crime that materially varies from the crime set forth in the formal charge.
The requirement by the 6th Amendment to inform a defendant of the nature and cause of the accusation is an attempt by the Founding Fathers to create fundamental fairness that was not necessarily present in civil and criminal proceedings in England and the American colonies under English common law. Receiving notice of pending criminal charges in advance of trial permits defendants to prepare a defense in accordance with the specific nature of the accusation. In tyrannies, defendants are all too often incarcerated without being apprised of pending charges until the trial begins. Requiring notice of the nature and cause of the accusation against a defendant eliminates confusion regarding the basis of a particular verdict, which in turn decreases the chances that a defendant will be tried later for the same offense.
            Confrontation of Witnesses Against Him
The 6th Amendment requires that defendants have the right to be confronted by witnesses who offer testimony or evidence against them, as well as the opportunity to subject them to cross-examination.
Today's courts have established rules that are enforced at the discretion of the judge who forbids questioning that pursues areas that are irrelevant, collateral, confusing, repetitive, or prejudicial. Defendants are also forbidden to pursue a line of questioning solely for the purpose of harassment.
            Compulsory Process for Obtaining Witnesses In His Favor
The 6th Amendment recognizes a defendant's right to use the compulsory process of the judiciary to subpoena witnesses that may be favorable to the defense. Courts may not take actions to undermine the testimony of a witness who has been subpoenaed by the defense. Any law that attempts to establish particular persons as being incompetent to testify on behalf of a defendant is not allowed.
Defendants can also testify on their own behalf, a right not afforded in the American Colonies, or Great Britain, prior to the United States dissolving the political bands connecting them to the Crown. Common law presumed all defendants to be incompetent to give reliable or credible testimony on their own behalf. The vested interest in the outcome of the trial, it was believed, would taint the testimony of the defendant. The 6th Amendment does not require, a defendant to testify on his own behalf, but does not prohibit it, either.
            Right to Counsel
The 6th Amendment states that criminal defendants have a Right to Counsel. A defendant's right to counsel does not become an issue until the government files formal charges. However, in the 5th Amendment a person has the right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself, allowing him to remain silent until he has counsel present.
In many instances, defendants have the inability to obtain counsel be it because of financial or other reasons. The 6th Amendment, by listing that assistance of counsel for his defense is a right, has compelled the government to institute a program where counsel can be assigned to a defendant if the person is unable to afford counsel, or obtain counsel for any other reason. In the occurrence of a defendant unable to afford counsel, the trial judge appoints one on his behalf. If it turns out that the defendant has financial resources previously unknown to the court, he may be required to reimburse the government for a portion of the fees paid to the court-appointed lawyer.
Defendants are not required to have counsel. Defendants have a right to counsel. Defendants also have the right to decline the representation of counsel and proceed on their own behalf. Defendants who represent themselves must present a waiver of the 6th Amendment right to counsel before a court will allow them to do so. The waiver must reveal that the defendant is knowingly making the decision, and understands the potential consequences.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why is having a speedy trial so important in a free society?
2. How does a public trial better enable the fact-finding mission of the trial?
3. How is the concept of an impartial jury different in the United States than it is in other countries?
4. Why is it important for a defendant to be able to confront the witnesses against him?
5. How is a defendant's right to counsel enabled in today's court system?
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).
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
Amendment VII
Right of Trial by Jury in Civil Suits
"In suits at Common Law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."
The 7th Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in most civil suits heard in federal court. Remember, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, apply only to the federal government unless the document states otherwise. The 7th Amendment serves to preserve the historic line separating the province of the jury from that of the judge in civil cases by separating cases that should have a jury in federal court, from those that are smaller cases, and may not require a jury. During the time the amendment was ratified, a case requiring a jury was one where "the value in controversy" exceeded twenty dollars. The cutoff in the court system today is $75,000. Any disputes that involve amounts less than $75,000, in fact, will not even be handled in a federal court.
State courts don't have to honor this provision in the 7th Amendment, and often don't. People bringing a suit do not have to have a jury trial. Individuals can waive their right to a jury trial if they so choose.
The 7th Amendment also expressly forbids federal judges to re-examine any "fact tried by a jury" except as allowed by the common law. This means that no court, trial or appellate, may overturn a jury verdict that is reasonably supported by the evidence.
Prior to the Declaration of Rights in 1689, English judges served the King of England. These judges showed bias towards the King, resulting in unfair rulings. Judges in the American colonies were also biased towards the king, and when King George III got rid of trials by juries in the Colonies, the colonists viewed the decision as more kindling for the fire of independence that had been blazing in the pubs, churches and meeting halls of the Colonies. The Bill of Rights applied what the Framers learned under the rule of Britain to the American System. In the American courts the Framers believed it was important to have a fair court system, so the right to have a trial by jury is mentioned a number of times, and is a fundamental part of the United States legal system.
Together with the due process clause of the 5th Amendment and the right to an impartial jury enumerated in the 6th Amendment, the 7th Amendment guarantees civil litigants the right to not just a jury, but to a jury who is not biased for any reason.
Bill of Rights - The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution; a formal summary of those rights and liberties considered essential to a people or group of people.
Declaration of Rights - Enacted in 1689, the English Bill of Rights is one of the fundamental documents of English constitutional law, marking a fundamental milestone in the progression of English society from a nation of subjects to a nation of free citizens with God-given rights. The evolution began with the Magna Carta in 1215.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What historic line does the 7th Amendment preserve?
2. Must the States abide by the 7th Amendment?
3. Can a person bringing suit waive the right to a jury trial?
Amendment VIII
Excessive Bail, Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The 8th Amendment reads, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
As a nation founded on honorable Judeo-Christian principles, the United States legal system is expected to be fair and just. This means that Americans should insist upon a due process that protects individuals from excesses and abuses by the judicial system. Such expectations include that no individual should be singled out, or treated differently, in the eyes of the courts. A fair and equitable judicial system includes no excessive bails or fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, for one person while others guilty of similar crimes do not receive similar treatment.
Today's definitions attempt to set a limit on where "excessive" or "unusual" lies. When a harsh penalty is applied for a crime, even when it is similar to the punishment received by others for the same crime, challenges are launched regarding if the penalty matches the crime. These challenges are fine, and an important part of the American judicial system seeking to adjust itself in regards to its fairness, but the debates during the Federal Convention and State ratification conventions did not focus so much on where the line between excessive and not excessive, or unusual as opposed to usual, exists as much as are the bails, fines and punishment consistent with the bails, fines and punishment consistent with others guilty of the same.
Questions for Discussion:
1. In the context of the time period during which the 8th Amendment was written, what was meant by "cruel and unusual punishment?"
2. How has the original definition of "cruel and unusual punishment" changed since the founding of the United States?
3. How does the 8th Amendment apply the concept of uniformity to cases?
4. Why would the Founding Fathers see the need to enumerate the right of an individual to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment?
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).
Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder's Constitution -
Volume Five - Amendments I-XII; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs

Progressive elite and crony capitalism

By Allan McNew

Progressive true believers should be putting their redistributive efforts where their ideological vocal chords are. They should be insisting that their elected governmental representatives stand in the faces of rich, Robber Baron Capitalists like Jeff Bezos; Mark Zuckerburg; Bill Gates; Al Gore; Tom Steyre; and George Soros as well as the rich capitalist husbands of House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Feinstein and clearly and unmistakably declare “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need: we are taking at least 80% of your wealth.” Fat cat corporate attorneys like the husband of Senator and declared presidential candidate Kamala Harris need to understand that from now on, in the interest of social and economic equality, their after tax income and other compensation will not exceed that of the janitors who clean their office buildings.

But reality is a different thing altogether. For example, the subordinate relationship of Sacramento “progressive” politicians with Silicone Valley capitalists as well as the rest of filthy rich coastal corporate capitalists from San Diego to Seattle is best described by the jail house definition of “punk.”

It’s like the part of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” where the tenet that “All animals [people] are equal” is edited to “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” At the end of the book, the enslaved animals can’t tell the difference between the pigs (who organized the animals and assumed power on the farm) and the group of exploitative farmers exactly like the one from which the animals rebelled and with whom the pigs are partying at the end of the book. The capitalist farmers admired the pigs for their methods, not the least for their control over the animals.

The problem as well as the colossal hypocrisy is that progressive-socialist elites lust for power and upper crust lifestyle and have no problem accommodating their new technology corporate masters who in turn finance their means to power and lifestyle by financing their political career path and the activist organizations progressive-socialist politicians depend on with direct and hidden donation: you don’t see a single wealthy person shaking in his boots due to all the ubiquitous yet remarkably vague rhetoric of “making the rich pay their fair share.”

Rich hypocrites like Warren Buffet (and Barack Obama, who discovered personal capitalism after he ceased being a political activist and became an activist politician) often lament the fact that they pay less effective percentage of taxes than their personal secretaries, but balk at voluntarily forwarding more of their own wealth to state and federal charities beyond taxes due after exploiting all the loopholes not available to the middle class which progressive-socialist politicians refuse to close.

But if the rich aren’t going to be coerced into financing the larger progressive-socialist social agenda beyond promoting it, who is? It will be accomplished by soaking the middle class beyond its means, through crushing hidden and direct taxation, overwhelming fees and strangling regulation for just about everything that can possibly be done by human beings. They might even resort to taxing doors and windows. Part of the progressive-socialist taking of power is to destroy the middle class while babbling incessantly about saving it and make everyone not part of the “more equal” progressive-socialist elite and their crony capitalist partners in crime equally dependent on government.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Monday, January 28, 2019

Prince of Deception

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

Whose side is who on?

Follow the lies to discover who sides with the Prince of Lies.  The hypocrisy, and the underhanded deception is breath taking, and monumentally dangerous to our Blessed Liberty.

Global Warming:

Man-made?  Not quite.  History reveals that the rise and fall of global temperatures are normal and naturally triggered.  The primary influence upon our planet's temperature is the sun (sunspot activity).  In the image to the right is an example nearly 100 years ago of a warming scare.  During the era of the founding of America there was a miniature ice age going on.  The world has its cycles, and those cycles include rises and falls in temperature.  Fortunately, the world is currently in revolt against Climate Change policies.  Are we supposed to so easily believe that humanity is capable of so easily destroying God's Creation?

We have evolved politically, and are now dominantly a Left-wing Society:

The Democrats want us to believe that the election of Donald Trump was simply an anomaly.  A temporary aberration.  America has taken a left turn, and once the Democrats correct the error of 2016, we'll be back on our left-wing trajectory.  Except, that's not quite true.  Americans continue to show their rejection of the Democrat Party's love affair with leftism.  They've rejected the entertainment industry's left-wing tendencies by shutting off the tube.  New Year's broadcast ratings were weak, for example.  The question is simply, will the younger generation wake up before the Democrats use them to gain complete power?  Their hero, 28 year old socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is putting their life-long indoctrination into words and action.  Will they see the error of her ways once it is in front of them, and threatening to destroy our system of liberty and prosperity?  She is, after all, calling for a massive 70% tax rate to pay for all of her utopian Marxist dreams.

Homosexuals do not target children:

When the gay rights thing began to take full control of their tyrannical plans by using the legal system to force Americans into compliance, I stated that indoctrination of the children was next.  I was accused of being a bigot, and homophobic.  Now, the assault against our children through the education system by the homosexual radicals (and their transgender allies) is in full swing.  In California, for example, children get the full treatment as early as the third grade (with introductions sprinkled in as young as in pre-school and kindergarten).  Next, they will demand that pedophilia is only a lifestyle, and that it also should be fully accepted.  The rapidity of that movement will be stunning, and likely faster than the spread of the poison behind the normalization of homosexual behavior.  Shield your children, the sexual appetite of Sodom and Gomorrah is far from quenched.

White Supremacy is out of Control, and the death of a young black girl is proof:

Except, it was fake news, like most of the left's claims. The story took an interesting turn when the investigation into the shooting of a 7-year-old girl in Houston, Texas that civil rights activists and left-wing media sites asserted was a white supremacist hate crime took an unexpected turn when it was revealed that the gunman was a 24-year-old black man.

Islam is the religion of peace, and Muslims mean no harm:

If Islam means no harm, and the radicals are a small minority who do not represent true Islam, then why is the liberal left so quick to do what they can to sanitize or cover-up the truth regarding any news related to Muslims that may not be complimentary?  The U.K. media recently covered up the Muslim motive behind a terror attack in Manchester.  Right here in the United States a Muslim doctor in Ohio admitted to deliberately giving Jewish people the wrong medications.  Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries, currently, and have been for a long time, are contributing to the poisoning of the textbooks we have been using in our education industry with massive amounts of money, and misinformation.  In Europe, problems with Muslim migrants has reached emergency levels, with Paris experiencing violence and an epidemic of car fires during the New Year.  The only places in the world that are not experiencing a rise in terrorist activity are the same countries who refuse to allow Muslims into their jurisdiction.

Toxic Masculinity is a real danger, and women must be heard when it comes to sexual crimes:

The Brett Kavanaugh hearing brought this one to light in a big way.  While I don't believe all women are lying about sexual assault, I do believe some women do lie about it.  A large portion of the sex crime epidemic has been manufactured, and the reality is, some women are taking full and unapologetic advantage of it.  Again, I am not making light about sexual crimes or assault, but at the same time, we must not creep to another extreme that may include lies and deception. For example, On December 16, 2018, Nikole P. Tucker reported that she had been forcibly raped by a man while in her dorm at the State University of New York (SUNY) Adirondack. Police responded and began investigating her claims. During the investigation, police discovered text messages between the 20-year-old Tucker and the man she accused, which proved the sexual encounter had been entirely consensual.

Democrats don't want to confiscate our guns, they simply wish for common sense gun reform:

Yet, they do everything they can to make our guns illegal, and if they can't get to our guns, they are doing all they can to go for the ammo.  In the end, they truly do wish to confiscate our firearms.  And, historically, when the public is not armed, and the government is, no good ever comes out of it ... only death.  In California, new governor Gavin Newsom and his legislative minions are proposing a whole slew of new anti-gun laws that were even too radical for the previous governor Jerry Brown (who vetoed most of them).  Oregon, not to be out-gunned by California has been proposing laws that are even worse than what California has been pushing for.  In the 2nd Amendment the clause states that we have a right to "keep and bear" our arms.  If you look up the word "bear" in the 1828 Webster's Dictionary so as to reveal the original intent of the language, one of the examples for the word "bear" in that dictionary is "to bear arms in a coat"  Therefore, even the necessity of a permit to conceal carry is unconstitutional . . . a reality that lawyers in Illinois, fortunately, have realized.

There is no voter fraud:

Interestingly, in all cases of voter fraud that have been found out, almost all of the cases resulted in a benefit for Democrat Party candidates.  In California, the liberal left progressive commie Democrats made ballot harvesting legal to help the Democrat effort to steal more seats, a practice illegal in nearly all of the other States.  California was sued by judicial watch regarding their voter rolls, where registration exceeds the number of voters eligible to vote.  As a result, California has been ordered by the courts to clean up its voter rolls.  California's level of compliance is yet to be seen.  Democrats, angry that some States refuse to conform to their demands are trying to unconstitutionally use federal law to strip the States of controlling the manner and procedures of elections, and automatically register people who would traditionally (based on their demographics) vote Democrat.  In other words, since the whistle is being blown on voter fraud, the Democrats are seeking ways to legalize their unethical, corrupt and criminal election shinanigans.

Planned Parenthood and Reproductive Rights are not about abortion:

Have you ever noticed that the Democrats never use the word "abortion"?  They don't wish you to realize that they are actually the party of death, and yes, they support the barbaric belief that killing babies while they are still in the womb is somehow not evil.  Planned Parenthood, which unconstitutionally receives federal funding, has always claimed their primary purpose was women's care, or as the latest buzz-term calls it, "reproductive health."  They are such a powerful and well-connected faction that when James O'Keefe exposed them for selling baby body parts, the courts turned against the whistle-blowers and sent those who exposed the sickening crimes of Planned Parenthood to jail.  The whole thing was so ridiculous that even the left-wing Los Angeles Times agreed that the charges and legal attack against the undercover journalists was uncalled for, and politically motivated.  I think that's why New York just legalized abortion anytime during a pregnancy . . . for the body parts (and therefore, for the money that's involved with such illegal practices).

Illegal Immigrants are all families seeking a better life, and open border policies are not dangerous:

What catapulted Donald J. Trump to the lead of the GOP ticket in 2016 was his stance on illegal aliens, and his call for building a "glorious" wall along the border.  In response to the Republican Party's stance on immigration, the liberal left went all out in opposition.  Hundreds of cities and municipalities across the country have declared themselves "sanctuary cities," and States like California declared themselves a "sanctuary State".  The term "sanctuary" is meant, by the leftists, to mean that the governmental entity claiming such a distinction will not allow their local officials to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in any way.  Not only is the move unconstitutional (legislation prohibiting persons from migrating into the United States is a federal authority (Article I, Section 9) and any law contrary by State or lower agencies are in direct violation of Article VI. of the U.S. Constitution (Supremacy Clause), but it also encourages disrespect for American law, and encourages those more likely to defy the law to come to our country.

It's an interesting twist since usually Democrats are on the other side of the Supremacy Clause argument, claiming that the federal government also has supremacy over issues that are not authorized to the federal government, and, therefore, have been reserved to the States.

The problem is, sanctuary status creates a whole new slew of problems, not limited to allowing criminal aliens to walk our streets freely.  One of the claims is that if local agencies are cooperating with immigration officials, the illegal aliens see them as “immigration agents,” and when illegal aliens are victims of crime, or witnesses to crime, they will not come forward to aid police.  In other words, good immigration enforcement interferes with the ability of state and local law enforcement agencies to stop child predators, drug dealers, rapists or robbers.  The claim is false.

First of all, there is absolutely no proof to substantiate the liberal left's claims.  There is simply no documented evidence indicating that any illegal alien has ever been deported solely as a result of reporting a crime or volunteering information to the police.  When police are offered information about a crime, they do not inquire about the immigration status of the person volunteering it, anyways.  Doing so may interfere with the investigation at hand.  Immigration is a separate matter, and if it comes up, then it is addressed.  But, for the most part, law enforcement, and prosecutors, have no interest in removing the witnesses they need to successfully obtain convictions against criminals.

Sanctuary policies also do not provide illegal aliens with any permanent form of immigration relief.  At the end of the day they are still guilty of being in the country illegally, and they are technically federal fugitives who are simply avoiding apprehension by federal officials.  State and local authorities cannot legally provide illegal aliens with any type of immigration status.  What they are doing with their sanctuary policies are harboring illegal aliens and helping them evade U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  If an individual were to do the same, the crime carries with it severe penalties for violating federal law.

Most illegal aliens don't cooperate with police, even in sanctuary cities. The vast majority of illegal aliens come from countries where law enforcement authorities are either corrupt or serve as a tool of state oppression.  They don’t suddenly begin trusting American police officers because of sanctuary policies.  Besides, a large number of illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities or are members of gangs, which are also the types of people who aren't exactly going to seek a good relationship with local law enforcement.

In the long run, sanctuary policies actually diminish trust in the integrity of law enforcement and may actually inhibit information-sharing.  Promoting illegal immigration, especially when it is for political gain, erodes civic trust in law enforcement, sending a clear message that law enforcement agencies in sanctuary jurisdictions are willing to tolerate a certain level of lawlessness.

Worse, sanctuary policies actually result in the increase of criminal activity by illegal aliens. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 68 percent of released prisoners wind up being arrested for another criminal offense within three years and 76.6 percent end up being re-arrested within five years.  Sanctuary policies shield illegal alien criminals from arrest and removal by ICE when they are released from local jails and state prisons. As a result, illegal alien criminals return to American communities, where they regularly commit new crimes.  Many criminal illegal aliens seek out sanctuary jurisdictions because they know living in one significantly reduces the chance that they will be deported if arrested by local police. 

According to ICE estimates, roughly 2.1 million criminal aliens are currently living in the United States, over 1.9 million of whom are subject to deportation.

In addition to the crime, immigration policies that lean towards an open border also increase the flow of drugs coming across the border (90 percent of illegal drugs entering our country come across the southern border), criminal organizations derive $2.5 billion in profits every year from smuggling migrants into the U.S., and mixed into the population are a lot of very bad people.  During the last fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection agents stopped 17,000 adults at the southern border who had criminal records, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents apprehended 6,000 known or suspected gang members at the border.  

We also have to realize the flip-flopping the Democrats are guilty of, on the issue.  Many Democrats who now oppose building a wall once supported the concept. In 2006, 26 Democratic senators—including Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden—voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act, which empowered the Department of Homeland Security to build “physical infrastructure enhancements” along the border. Congress, however, has never appropriated the funds for this purpose.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Why Politics is Important

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

I spend time with many political groups, some as a member, and many as a speaker.  I have visited Tea Party groups and Republican clubs throughout California (Hire me if you need a speaker on the Constitution) and a few groups in other States, and I am always one of the youngest folks in the room (and I've got seven grandchildren, so that says something).  The 55 and older crowd is very involved in politics, the younger folks not so much.  However, many of the gray hairs I talk to say they weren't really into the political thing until the last decade, or so.

Why is it that as we get older we finally start to "get it" when it comes to politics?

There's an old saying.  If you're under thirty and not a Democrat, you have no heart.  If you're older than thirty and not a Republican, you have no brain.

I am thinking that age has moved to 40, of late.

Why do we care?  Why should we care?  Why are the youngsters so easily taken in by left-wing socialist pukes with promises of rainbows, unicorns, and free health care when in reality what they offer is authoritarian equality in misery that can't be paid for, nor sustained?

What amazes me most is that politicians run their mouths an awful lot, most of them lie most of the time (especially the lefties), yet we believe the crap that flows out of their pie holes.

They talk deceptively, they mainly do things for their own self-interests, and they pander to those they think will most likely vote for their false promises and jaded gifts from the treasury.

So, why do we listen?  Why do we believe them?  Why do we keep reelecting them?

That said, we are all actually political animals.  Yes, even the young idiots who haven't even figured out how to stop being immature children, yet scream when we don't give them the adult treatment they think they deserve.  Our politics change, however, depending upon who we are, where we are, and what we are.  In our early years our politics are confined to our interactions with our immediate family, and beyond that we don't know anything from a hole in the ground.  Then our schools, friends, enemies, and a bunch of people we don't know, slowly ooze into our political world.  We work to recognize corruption and fairness, often missing the mark badly.  We learn from our mistakes, we grow from our idiocies, and some of us grow up and become conservatives.  The rest of the sorry dummies remain trapped in the emotion-ridden party of feelings and stupidity.

When did it all begin?

It all began with a serpent.

Decisions, choices, and whether or not we should give in to our human nature and think we are gods, began in a garden somewhere, and from there we've been in a downward spiral.

No wonder we no longer live as long as people like Methuselah.  That much political stupidity (and political sin) rotting our bodies makes it so that we can't survive the assault of a rotting political society.  It's an awful lot of stress, and an early death is likely a desired to escape before the next generation of idiots makes it worse.

The thing is, we've been down this road before.  What's that old saying?  Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  So, why don't we learn from history?

Often it's because the tyrants erase history, cover up history, or rewrite history.  It begins with pulling down statues, and tweeking textbooks.  It ends with Orwellian New Speak (a.k.a. political correctness).

The truth is obvious, but somehow nobody seems to be able to recognize it.

Unarmed citizens are subjects, more government leads to bondage, and liberty requires a virtuous society and radical individualism to operate properly.  Liberty only prospers in a system where things are left to take their own course with as little governmental engineering as possible.  It works every time.  And while we're at it, we can throw some localism (let local issues be taken care of by local characters only) into the bubbling pot of stew, too.

What has worked is what the early Americans pulled off.  A republic (not a pure democracy, like today's morons try to convince you of) that requires constant maintenance, an armed public, two constituencies who naturally check each other (in our case, We the People, and the States), and a firm grip on a good moral compass (Christianity has worked wonders for the descendants of those who came to the New World seeking religious freedom on the eastern shores of North America).

Why would we even listen to the morons who are calling for change?  All we need to do is conserve (and in many cases, return to) the foundational principles set forth in the United States Constitution (and those principles that were screamed for through the Declaration of Independence).

If we don't, we die.

Politics is life or death.  Venezuela can definitely serve as a shining example of what happens when a society embraces communalism (utopianism, socialism, communism, progressivism, etc. etc.).  So can Cuba.  China.  Cambodia.  Vietnam.  The Soviet Union.  Detroit.  Chicago.  New York.  California.

If we don't remain involved in politics, and we let the politicians follow the time proven path to failure and authoritarianism, we will wind up in bondage, and many of us will die along the way.

More people have died from leftist politicians than anything else in history.  The Black Book of Communism has documented those cases, and the numbers, and the methods of killing people who dared to stand against the tyrants, is mind-numbing.

They (those who oppose the U.S. Constitution and conservatism) are doing everything they can to destroy liberty, and lead us to the same place that always raises its evil head in history.

Is that a good enough reason to consider politics important?  Is life and death a good enough reason?

I think so.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Constitution Radio: On the Fences

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs: Guest Host, Alan Myers ... Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific, KMET 1490-AM
○ First Hour: Doug, Alex, and Dennis discuss issues through the lens of the U.S. Constitution

○ Second Hour: Doug, Glenn, Jan, and Diane discuss the issues from a Tea Party perspective

KMET 1490-AM

1-3 pm on Saturday Afternoon

archived podcast at


◉ First Hour: Constitution Radio CARSTAR/AllStar Collision Big Stories of the Week:

🚩 Government Shutdown Temporary Cease-Fire

🚩 Trump's Bricks

🚩 The Kids from the Covington Catholic School

◉ Second Hour: Conservative Voice Radio

Roger Stone Indicted: Another Process Crime by Mueller!

Was CNN Tipped Off by FBI to film this arrest?
The BORDER - Here are the numbers of Crossings that the Media will not report on!

The Truth About this Invasion at the Border:

Three Executive Powers that Trump should use to break the Border Impasse:

White House Drafting Emergency Powers & Fund?

Senate Says No to Both Bills to End Shutdown!

"Trump Style" Wall built in France for security:
Venezuela Civil War - Government Overthrow - Chaos in Socialist Venezuela. U.S. Has to Decide:

What you need to know about the Civil Crisis in Venezuela:

Here's What Happened in Venezuela and why we got involved:

Kentucky Bishop Blasts Covington High School Boys:

Kentucky Prosecutor Fights Back:

NYT writes sympathetic article about Hate Group that taunted the High School Boys:

Kalifornia Kraziness:Berkeley, what else?

Democrats first Bill  - HR1 - Deny Free Speech!

The Coup Continues - Obama Regime Still Making Deals and Meeting with World Leaders!