Monday, December 30, 2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Constitution Radio: Open War on the Rule of Law

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs

1-3 pm on Saturday Afternoon
archived podcast at 

  • Russel Brand's Constitutionalism
  • Colleges go China Communism on its students
  • Buttigieg: Reinstate Obamacare Individual Mandate
  • Judge Halts North Carolina Voter ID Law
  • California's Economic Death During Countrywide Prosperity
  • Pelosi uses Constitution to defend her impeachment actions
    • Mitch McConnell accused of favoring loyalty to Trump over U.S. Constitution
    • Trump's Impeachment Letter
  • Constitution protected against foreign influence

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Interfering with local elections.

Opinion by Allan McNew

Whenever a city goes from at large to district elections, my first thought that is that an activist organization agitated for the change in order to set up "ringers," who have move into town and establish residency for the specific reason to run for elected office in less affluent neighborhoods which rarely vote in order to take over a city government and promote and agitate for their outside agenda. Sometimes it's the case, others not.

A recent development is for big money to come in for the election of District Attornies around the country to further an agenda that somehow benefits by not prosecuting criminals.

I have mixed feelings concerning the office of District Attorney. On one hand we need enforcement and and the type of justice that is something more than a prostituted buzzword. On the other I have had dealings with the office of a former District Attorney who's motto was "anyone can convict the guilty, but it takes a great prosecutor to convict the innocent." The man wouldn't let anything unwinnable go until he either forced a plea bargain or forced the defense to prepare for trial then withdraw the case on the first day of trial. He managed to subornidate civil cases and other legal proceedings to his agenda of wielding the prosecutorial hammer without reasonable regard. He clogged up the court system with his Les Miserables approach to prosecution.

"Tough on crime" rhetoric politically sells. The District Attorney's office is an elected office and an incumbent is unfortunately is in part re-elected by an inflated conviction count dangled in front of the voters rather than what a "reasonable" yard stick of "justice" may be. This can turn prosecution and conviction from a dispensation of justice to an institutional form of human trafficking.

When the sheriff's department does a sweep which nets several dozen individuals and the crime rate is zero until they bail out or are otherwise released we should have a pretty good idea where the majority of our criminal problems lie. But when equal allegations should provide for equal scrutiny and equal treatment, it sometime seems that those who have a job and a mortgage are reserved for prosecution or other legal process while bottom rung dirtbags are turned loose. This suggests two things: there is either money to be milked out of those who have it while it costs money to deal with those who don't work or there is some sort of "social justice" agenda at work here. Maybe both.

The first assumption goes hand in hand with the sure fact that if everyone fought their traffic tickets the court system would collapse, the latter is the case for outside funds to elect District Attorneys who won't apply the law - that everyone in the lower class or (name your choice of identity politics) is an oppressed victim to middle and upper class privilige (or insert any identity politics boogy man).

 When anyone running for political office of any sort accepts outside campaign donations it should be publicly and frequently disclosed and readily visible in the large print of the candidate's campaign literature, advertisements and campaign rallies as to where it came from and how much they collected.

No more pimping out justice to agendas, personal or otherwise.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Constitution Radio: Killing Liberty and the Rule of Law

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs

1-3 pm on Saturday Afternoon
archived podcast at 

  • Merry Christmas
  • New Year, New Contract
  • Constitution Study by Douglas V. Gibbs coming to television
  • Impeachment 
    • Constitution Does not give Pelosi authority to change impeachment rules
    • Founding Principles: The Importance of Due Process
    • Congresswoman Val Demings: Trump should be impeached regardless of Quid Pro Quo
    • Pelosi: Impeachment necessary to stop voters from "dangerous" action of reelecting Trump
  • Martin v. City of Boise: Illegal to criminalize homeless behaviors
    • Cruel and Unusual Punishment, 8th Amendment
    • U.S. Supreme Court rejects the case
  • Iowa man sentenced to 15 years in prison for burning LGBTQ flag
    • Is Justice truly blind?
    • In drive for equality, why are differing political views being criminalized?
    • What would have been the penalty for burning an American Flag?  How about burning a Confederate Flag?
  • Louisiana Purchase Anniversary
  • How California aided in Virginia's flip to blue
    • Virginia another example of the dangers of democracy, and the reality that we are losing the republic
    • Virginia willing to use National Guard to enforce new gun laws
      • Why are gun laws not being challenged on the basis of constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws?

Constitution Television Program Negotiated

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

For those of you who follow my journey as a constitutionalist, I have been a force for Constitution Education on the West Coast for many years.  This blog launched in 2006.  Political Pistachio Radio on BlogTalkRadio began in 2007.  The Constitution Classes emerged in Temecula in 2008, and in Corona in 2014.  The radio program moved to AM Radio in 2011, and it has been over the last few years that I began making constitution-centric videos on YouTube.

Teaching the U.S. Constitution has long been a ministry to me.  Even as a child, I was interested in history, and the founding of this country.  In 2007, however, it was my mentor, Tim "Loki" Kerlin, who really brought me out of my shell and into the community of constitutionalists full throttle.  As a result I have the endeavors listed above, plus I have written seven books (working on the eighth right now), and I have become a popular force on the public speaking front.  The ultimate, however, along this journey would be television.

I have appeared on television a number of times.  I have graced the airwaves on Fox News five times, One America News twice, and various other networks and local channels a number of times during intense news cycles in which I found myself in the middle of as an activist.  But, those were all simply instances where Doug was protesting in the right place at the right time.

A few years ago a friend of mine toyed with the idea of purchasing a local television station, and using me as one of the centerpieces of the new channel.  But, he never pulled the trigger, and to this point, the station remains available to any buyer willing to take a chance.

During these last few years I have also expanded my network of people I know.  I do a lot of shaking hands, and handing out business cards, and one of those people I've gotten to know is Dr. Chanh Huu "Tony" Nguyen.  He's a hero of the "Government of Free Vietnam" Vietnamese people who fought against the communists in both Vietnam and Cambodia.  He has been captured by the enemy, and escaped.  

In California, Tony has become an important part of the Vietnamese community, and he has built an interesting media empire that includes a non-profit organization, television, and other Vietnamese media and community outlets.

The television show I will be hosting on VietNews will launch some time in January.  We are in the preliminary planning stages, and have come to an agreement that it will be a one hour program, once per week.  I will receive a stipend for my efforts.  Sponsorships are available if you would like to be involved.  Contact me at constitutionspeaker at yahoo dot com if you are interested.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

When Drugs Ruled the World

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

In American History, allegations of the CIA using drug trafficking to help fund some of its operations have emerged often.  One wonders if the Democrats moved the War on Terror from Iraq to Afghanistan to protect their own opium trade.  Donald Trump's border wall would do more than help with curbing the flow of illegal aliens.  It will also reduce the flow of drugs across the border.  One wonders if that could be one of the reasons the Democrats are so against it.

But, what about looking at this thing about drugs on the other hand.  Could drug warfare be something that is being committed against the United States by a foreign power?

The latest drug epidemic in America is the opioid epidemic.  The production and trafficking of fentanyl has been at the forefront of this problem, killing more than 32,000 Americans in 2018, alone.

An interesting note is that China is the largest source of illicit fentanyl in the United States according to a November 2018 report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The source also notes that since its 2017 report, they have found no “substantive curtailment” of fentanyl flows from China to the United States.

While the U.S. Government has recognized the problem, and has put into place an increase in its crackdown on fentanyl, the reality is that the problem remains and is increasing.  Since the primary source is China, one wonders if the flood of fentanyl into the United States may also accompany a political aim built on a Chinese strategy to undermine and sicken the U.S. population?

For China, it serves as a money-maker, a way to launder money, a way to have something on anybody who helps them (blackmail?), and of course a way to corrupt and even sicken the American public.  It's the perfect chemical warfare.

It also allows the Chinese to influence political operations, encouraging the U.S. Government to pour federal money on the problem while creating an issue that places the political parties at odds with each other.

That all said, China denies that most of the illicit fentanyl entering the United States originates in China.

While fentanyl is nothing new, the recent surge in usage and overdose deaths is.  According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of deaths have increased by the thousands.  Many of the recent cases are linked to “illegally made fentanyl,” the CDC has said.  One thing is for sure, its potency is amazingly high.  Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention legislation was signed in 2018 by President Trump, and it is designed to curb the flow of opioids sent through the mail while increasing coordination between the USPS and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP Enforcement Statistics reveal that fiscal year seizures of illicit fentanyl spiked from about one kilogram (2.2 pounds) in 2013 to nearly 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) in 2018. The number of law enforcement fentanyl seizures in the United States also vaulted from about 1,000 in 2013 to more than 59,000 in 2017.

In August, the Mexican navy found 52,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in a container from a Danish ship that was coming from Shanghai.

“There is clear evidence that fentanyl or fentanyl precursors, chemicals used to make fentanyl, is coming from China,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, told The Epoch Times.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

What the Deconstructionists Miss

Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
History has become what the hard left deconstructionists wish you to believe it is/was.  Post-modernism aims at destroying what is (by telling you that it depends on what the definition of is is) so that the leftist establishment may inject its own culture and society.  The goals are hardly unknown, and have been around for all of history.

As we approach Christmas, the story of Scrooge comes to mind.  Charles Dickens' tale of a horrible man who works his employees to the bones of their fingers, and of a man who rejects charity, hope, or the joy of giving associated with Christmas, is a timeless classic.  Ultimately, its about a man who learns how to "share the wealth", or as today's progressive would put it, "pay his fair share."

While I am not at all opposed to persons being charitable, and in fact conservatives are the most charitable persons on the planet, the goodness of such a thing has been poisoned and misrepresented by those who seek government intrusion into our lives with various programs of entitlement and beyond (and then somehow compares such government interference into our lives with charity).  Everything, in their vision of bigger government, becomes a Marxist utopia where we all just share and share alike, nobody becomes better off than anyone else, and if you are rich you are expected to give and give and give until your wealth has dwindled away.  I guess it's a part of their "peace, love, dope" agenda.

Would it be reasonable to argue against Scrooge's transformation into a giving person who simply wishes to "share the wealth"?

Sometimes the thing that we see on the surface is not the problem.  Sometimes the intentions are not the sin.  But, sometimes the well hidden and deep down motives of communalism make it nearly impossible to recognize what is truly meant to be simply an act of charity, and what is intended to be a factor in the leftward nudge of America toward socialism.

Moving America towards a false-utopia based on equity is not enough, however.  As Cloward and Piven explained, to replace a successful system that the people may not be eager to part with, it may be necessary to overload it, and destroy it, so that a new system can be produced in its place.  A part of that destruction requires that the population loses faith in the native culture.  It is expected that the people must desire revolution of the sort that not only dismantles the current societal structure, but does so in such a way that no remnants of it remains.  Any memory of the dying system, after all, may entice the foolish populace to yearn for it again, and that just can't be allowed.

To deconstruct a system it must be taught to the people that the system is flawed, and must be detested; that everything wrong in the world is due to what America has been, and if we eliminate what America is, in the future these horrible things will not happen again.  And, once all that America was is detested, and ultimately forgotten, the people will not only fail to yearn for it, they will be happy to dismantle every part of the system, themselves.  They will see their hate for it as being a good thing, and their religiosity of hating the old system can then become so intense that they will honestly believe that anyone defending the old system hates them right back, and in the new society of "peace, love, dope", such hatred for the new progressive America on the horizon cannot be tolerated.

We have been taught that the Mexican-American War was a war of expansionism, rather than a war of liberation from the blood-thirsty dictator, Santa Anna.  Therefore, we are told, white people hate Mexicans, and we stole the American Southwest by swindling them out of their land.  Never mind that at that time there were only three Mexican settlements north of today's border between Mexico and the United States; Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

We have been convinced, also, that since slavery was a part of the American landscape at one point, all white people are racist, and yearn for a return to the days of slavery.  When Republican candidates emerge on the scene, and they are too conservative for the taste of the Progressive Democrats, statements along the line of "they want to put blacks back into shackles" are made.  Recently, for example, Democrat U.S. House of Representatives member Al Green said the impeachment of Donald Trump is needed “to deal with slavery.”

The implication is that anything that calls for America first, or champions any of the country's founding principles or values, is racist and that the very foundation of this country was for the purpose of slavery, and perpetuating slavery as brutally as possible.  Of course all of this is silliness, but a large number of people believe it.

The Marxist cultural revolution has been effective and thorough.

And from their point of view, the fundamental transformation of America into something the Framers of the U.S. Constitution never intended is almost complete.

The infiltration has permeated nearly every avenue of American life.  Education, media, entertainment, and even the churches.  We are bombarded with the Marxist agenda so much that sometimes we don't even realize it.  Some of it has become accepted truths, and we simply obey without questioning why.  We believe in the power of the courts.  We have been convinced it is rude to talk about religion and politics.  Our pastors have adopted the strategy of avoiding politics, claiming that it interferes with their ability to evangelize.  We have become sedated, rocked by the rigors of daily life, too busy to care about our liberty, or the laws of nature and of Nature's God.  Medicated by their drugs, informed by their minions, and wooed by their pleasures, we have become less American because they have convinced us to be.

The thing is, they miss a huge piece of the puzzle, and don't even realize it. 

America's history is much like the Old Testament of the Bible, and much like the journeys that each of us take through our lifetimes.  Character is not established when we exit the womb.  Mistakes are made, and that is how anyone learns.  Triumphs are reached, and that also is how we learn.  We obey what's right, and sometimes we don't, and through it all our character is shaped, molded, and led to the place it will someday rest upon.

The growth curve is best when the opportunity to grow through good and bad choices is best left to take its own course.  In the end, we learn, we take lessons from our walk in our own shoes, and in the case of America, our greatness is largely because of our liberty, and the fact that America took the paths it took.  We triumphed, and sometimes we were a country that walked down not-so-good paths.  We grew, we learned, and as a result, America became the greatest country in the world ... partly because of our history, and largely because of our system of liberty.

The problem is not just that the deconstructionists wish to erase our history, our culture, and our American identity, but that they are working to erase our liberty.  And once liberty is gone, growth ceases, greatness vanishes, and incentive dies.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Constitution Radio: Fighting Communism

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs

1-3 pm on Saturday Afternoon
archived podcast at 

  • Impeachment Circus
    • High Crimes and Misdemeanors
    • Bill O'Reilly: Soros Group Behind FBI Collusion Against Trump...
    • When Tyler was threatened by impeachment
  • Britain Rejects Commie Labour Party
  • Liberal Cities Failing
  • China agrees to new trade deal, Wall Street responds with upward climb
  • Virginia may use National Guard to enforce new gun laws

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Corona Constitution Class: Judicial Branch

Last Class of the Year!!!!!  See you tonight.

Corona Constitution Class
Tuesdays, 6:00 pm
522 Railroad Street
Corona, CA

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs

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

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Should Conservatives Watch the NFL

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

A couple weeks ago I was at my folks house talking to them as they prepared to move out of their house.  Like many Californians, they are leaving the Golden State for good.  They are building a house in Arkansas and will be staying with my sister in Arizona until it is done.  So, when I was visiting them during those final days in the house I spent my teenage years in, I realized that it would likely be the last time I'd see them for a while as well.  My wife and I stayed for a couple hours, and we talked about just about everything under the sun.

Knowing that my dad (step-dad, actually, but he's been my dad since I was three, though, so, he's dad) could never understand my choice in National Football League teams, I decided to poke a joke.  "How about those Raiders."

I have been a Raiders' fan since the mid-seventies.  Ken Stabler was a scrapper.  Through the blood and grit he always found a way to win.  I absolutely love the game of football, or at least the game it once was.  The touchy-feely, overly protective of the quarterback, make impossible tackles without the head getting involved, league I watch now is entertaining, but not like it used to be.  Back during the days of blood and grit, Dad was a Kansas City Chiefs' fan, and my biological father rooted for the San Francisco 49ers.  As a rebellious young man, it seemed appropriate to pick a team that would tick them both off, so the Raiders was the natural choice.

Dad would usually say something like, "I don't know why you like that team," whenever I ask, "How about those Raiders."  But, it had been many years since we'd talked football, so I wasn't sure what the response would be, this time.  Looking back, I can honestly say I was shocked by the answer I got.

"Why are you still watching the NFL.  Screw the NFL.  They don't deserve my time."

My knee-jerk reaction was, "because of the kneeling during the National Anthem?"

"No," he said, "the NFL lost my viewership long before that.

He explained that in 2014, when the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture by protesters in reference to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, which led to riots in that part of The Show-Me State, emerged, he was watching a game and the St. Louis Rams came out of the tunnel with their hands up, mimicking the gesture.  The NFL did nothing, and the players were celebrated for dragging their politics onto the field.  He turned off the television that instant, and has not watched an NFL game since.

He, like many of my conservative friends, questioned me as to why I still give professional football any of my time.

Just about everyone I know has abandoned watching the game and buying any official NFL merchandise.  In the case of those folks other than Dad, however, it was the Kaepernick kneel during the National Anthem that did it for them.  So why, they ask me, should any conservative be willing to watch the NFL?

The abandonment of the NFL by Conservative America is based on a boycott mentality.  Football is a product, and if you wish to alter the behavior of the industry, starving it of money and attention should do the job.  I get it, and I agree.  But, that said, we must ask another question.  Should we abandon those who stood up for the flag during the National Anthem, and those players, coaches and other personnel who had a problem with some players playing the "hands up don't shoot" game?

My favorite player in the league is Derek Carr, the quarterback for the Oakland, soon to be Las Vegas, Raiders.  I think he's a talented quarterback that is getting ready to reach elite status under the guiding hand of Head Coach Jon Gruden.  Many Raiders' fans don't agree with me, because after nearly half a dozen years in the league Carr has not been "great."

A few years back in the second to last game of the regular season he broke his leg.  Without Carr at the helm the Raiders went on to lose the last game of the season, and their first playoff game in a very long while.  I believe his offensive line let the defenders through to show him a lesson because he refused to kneel during the National Anthem, and for his verbal support for our country.  Rather than kneel during the song, Carr kneels during prayer, and he was praying for his teammates and fellow NFL personnel while all of that junk was going on.  He had led the Raiders to a 12-3 record that year, and the Super Bowl was a serious topic in conversations about the Raiders that year.  Since then, Carr has been trigger-shy.  A broken leg will do that to you.  I think Gruden has gotten Carr out of that funk, and this year Carr has been much better than he has been in the past.

Carr is a Christian, and wears his faith on his sleeve (and literally on his wrist with a tattoo).  He holds prayer before and after each game with a few players and coaches.  When a microphone is thrust into his face he will at one point or another say, "God Bless."  I talked to a linebacker who played against Carr in high school, and after the young quarterback was sacked, Carr popped up, congratulated the defensive player on his "great hit," and he said "God Bless You," before he trotted back to his side of the line of scrimmage.

"How do you talk trash in a situation like that?" said the young man I was talking to.

Derek Carr is a class act, and he always has been.  He's a shining light in an otherwise secular, left-leaning NFL.  Why would I abandon someone like that because a bunch of players made a spectacle of themselves with the kneeling thing?  I have only bought Derek Carr NFL gear, and I have remained a fan of football, largely because I enjoy the game, but also largely because I don't wish to abandon the one player who stood firm with his hand over his heart when it was the unpopular thing to do.  I don't wish to abandon the player that, when the verbal attacks were flying, was in prayer.

No thanks, I will remain a fan.

So, to answer the question, "Should conservatives watch the NFL?"  That is up to you.  If the "hands up don't shoot" silliness, and the deconstructionist "kneeling to the National Anthem" antics, has you fed up, then I agree.  Don't watch the NFL and don't purchase anything affiliated with professional football.  But, if like me, you wish to support those players who had it right, and stood firm on their convictions, and only kneeled to pray, you might consider doing as I do.  Remain a fan, and only buy merchandise affiliated with the players who are class acts.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Constitution Radio: Improbable America

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs

1-3 pm on Saturday Afternoon

archived podcast at 

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Temecula Constitution Class: Amendment 12, Presidential Election and Conspiracy

Class is back tonight!  

Temecula Constitution Class
Wednesdays 6:00 pm
28120 Jefferson Ave.
Temecula, CA  

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 17
Amendments 11 and 12
Further Limiting the Courts, Amendment 11

The Judicial Branch was added almost as an afterthought. The judiciary was originally designed to be the weakest of the three branches of government. The Anti-Federalists feared the judicial branch becoming a judicial oligarchy, and therefore the judicial branch was constructed to only apply the law to cases they hear. All opinions the judges may have of the law after reviewing the law was considered to be only opinion. Any changes to law, regardless of what the courts felt about the law, could only be made legislatively. However, soon after the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, fears of a tyrannical court arose, and so additional limits were placed on the federal courts by the 11th Amendment. No case against a State by citizens of another State, or by the citizens or subjects of a foreign state, shall be heard by a federal court.
The 11th Amendment changes the intent of Article III. As limited as the courts were supposed to be, the Founding Fathers realized the courts weren't limited enough, and as a result, the 11th Amendment wound up being ratified in 1795.
Federal judges maintained that the federal courts should have the power of judicial review, or the power to determine the constitutionality of laws. In response to the judicial urgings for the powers to judge the extent of the federal government's powers, in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison warned us that giving the federal government through its courts the power of judicial review would be a power that would continue to grow, regardless of elections, putting at risk the all important separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on power. The final arbiters of the Constitution are not supposed to be the courts, argued these Founding Fathers who were believers in the limiting principles of the U.S. Constitution. The power of the federal government must be checked by State governments, and the people. The States and the People are the enforcers and protectors of the U.S. Constitution.
As you may recall, John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, resigned his position in 1795, disappointed in how few powers the federal courts had. When approached later by President John Adams to return to the United States Supreme Court as the high court's Chief Justice, Jay turned Adams down. He said the Court lacked "the energy, weight, and dignity which are essential to its affording due support to the national government." He also did not wish to serve under Thomas Jefferson, the victor in the 1800 Presidential Election, who was an advocate of limited government, and a judicial branch that existed as the weakest of the three branches of government.
While John Jay was Chief Justice, among the influences of his decision that the court was too weak to promote a strong, centralized national government, was the case of Chisholm v. Georgia in 1793, which eventually led to the proposal, and ratification, of the 11th Amendment. A citizen of South Carolina sued Georgia for the value of clothing supplied by a merchant during the Revolutionary War. After Georgia refused to appear, claiming immunity as a sovereign state, as per the Constitution (Article III, Section 2) the federal courts took the case. The nationalist view by the justices deemed that in this case Georgia was not a sovereign State; therefore, the Supreme Court entered a default judgment against Georgia. What ensued was a conflict between federal jurisdiction and state sovereignty that reminded the anti-federalists of their fears of a centralized federal government consolidating the States, and destroying their right to individual sovereignty.
Realizing that the clause in Article III gave the federal courts too much power over State Sovereignty, Congress immediately proposed the 11th Amendment in order to take away federal court jurisdiction in suits commenced against a State by citizens of another State, or of a foreign state. This is the first instance in which a Supreme Court decision was superseded by a constitutional amendment, and evidence that the Founders saw the legislative branch and the States as being more powerful parts of government than the judiciary.


Constitutional Amendment - Changes made to an existing constitution.
Judicial Branch - The branch of the United States Government responsible for the administration of justice; a central judiciary that is limited to federal authorities, and separated from the will of the central leadership.
Judicial Review - The unconstitutional authority of the federal courts to review law, interpret the Constitution regarding laws, and then determine the constitutionality of laws.
National Government - Any political organization that is put in place to maintain control of a nation; a strong central government that does not recognize the individualism or local authorities of the smaller parts, such as states, of the nation.
Separation of Powers - A division of governmental authority into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial; division of powers between the States and federal government.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why did the Founding Fathers design our governmental system with the Judicial Branch being the weakest of the three branches of government?
2. Why is judicial review only supposed to be an opinion?
3. How did Chisholm v. Georgia change the authorities granted to the federal judiciary?
4. How does the 11th Amendment protect State Sovereignty?
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 419 (1793), Cornell College - Politics:

Jefferson's Draft of the Kentucky Resolutions - October 1798, Avalon
Project, Yale University:

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).

Virginia Resolution of 1798,
Electoral Procedures for Electing President Changed, Amendment 12
"Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."
The 12th Amendment changes the procedure for electing the President and Vice President originally provided for in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. The procedure has remained the same since its ratification, save for the States changing their procedures from appointing the electors by the choice of the State legislatures, thus following the instructions of the State legislatures, to the citizens voting for who the electors are expected to vote for. Though the electors are free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, in practice they usually vote for the candidates chosen by the voters in their State. 1824 is the last election in which electors were primarily appointed by their State legislature. In that election, six states followed that procedure. South Carolina was the final State to follow the practice, ceasing the appointment of their electors by the State legislature upon the approach of the American Civil War.
Each State is constitutionally allowed to choose how to appoint or elect their electors, and the methods vary from State to State. Generally, electors are nominated by their State political parties in the months prior to Election Day. In some States, the electors are nominated in primaries, the same way that other candidates are nominated. Other States nominate their electors in party conventions.
The need for the 12th Amendment became apparent after the problems that arose in the elections of 1796 and 1800. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by the Congress on December 9, 1803, and was ratified by the requisite number of state legislatures on June 15, 1804.
Before the 12th Amendment, electors could vote for two candidates, though at least one had to be from a State different from that of the elector (as a protection against a larger State dominating the federal government). A majority of the vote needed to be received in order to win the presidency. If no candidate received a majority vote, then the House of Representatives chose the President.
In 1800, after a tie in the Electoral College, the House tied 36 times. That particular election was marked by a battle between the Federalists, and Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans. Even though Burr was Jefferson's running mate, Aaron Burr wound up Jefferson's adversary when the vote went to the House. The lame-duck House controlled by the Federalists threw their support behind Burr, because they did not trust Jefferson's philosophy of a limited government.
The term Electoral College did not appear until the early 1800s, and did not appear in legislation until 1845. The concept was designed to act in a manner similar to Congress, where a portion of the election was connected to the population-based premise that was also used by the House of Representatives, and another portion of the Electoral College would be based on the State appointment premise used by the U.S. Senate.
In Federalist No. 39, James Madison explained that the Constitution was designed to be a mixture of State-based and population-based government.
In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued against "an interested and overbearing majority" and the "mischiefs of faction" in an electoral system. His definition of "faction" in relation to elections was "a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." In a republic it was necessary, according to Madison, to vary the distribution of powers, including those powers held by the members of the populace. Only a thorough division of power throughout the American System would protect the United States from the excesses of democracy, and countervail against factions. Madison further explained that the greater the population and expanse of the Republic, the more difficulty factions would face in organizing due to such issues as sectionalism.
Prior to the 12th Amendment, the choice of the Vice President went to the second place winner of the presidential election. The Vice President, unlike the President, did not require the votes of a majority of electors. If a tie arose, the Vice President was chosen by the Senate, with each Senator casting one vote. Though it was not specified in the Constitution whether the sitting Vice President could cast a tie-breaking vote for Vice President, because the sitting Vice President is President of the Senate and casts the tie-breaking vote, it is assumed that if that situation had arisen, the sitting Vice President would indeed be the deciding vote for his successor. Because the second place winner became Vice President, it was very possible for the President and the Vice President to be from different parties. In fact, that is what happened in the 1796 election. John Adams won that election as the Federalist Party candidate, and Jefferson became the Vice President as a Democratic-Republican candidate. The fear was that by the two men being of different parties, the Vice President may do what he could to impede the ability of the President, or could even launch an effort to remove the President from office so that the Vice President could succeed to the office of the President.
The 12th Amendment eliminated the possibility of problems arising between the President and Vice President due to them being from different parties by having the President and Vice President elected as a ticket, thus lessening the Vice President's motivation for staging a coup.
The 12th Amendment also eliminated the "two votes for presidential candidates" method, changing it instead to the electors casting distinct votes for President and Vice President.
The 12th Amendment indicates that no elector may vote for both candidates of a presidential ticket if both candidates inhabit the same State as that elector, a provision consistent with the Framer's original language against collusion.
The 12th Amendment also clarified language to not allow those constitutionally ineligible to be President from being Vice President.
A majority of Electoral Votes is still required for one to be elected President or Vice President. As in the case before the 12th Amendment, when nobody has a majority, the House of Representatives, voting by States and with the same quorum requirements as under the original procedure, chooses a President. The 12th Amendment requires the House of Representatives to choose from the three highest receivers of Electoral Votes, rather than the top five as was the process under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3.
The Senate chooses the Vice President if no candidate receives a majority of Electoral Votes. The 12th Amendment requires a quorum of two-thirds for balloting.
Collusion - Conspire together.
Electoral College - A body of electors chosen by the voters in each State to elect the President and Vice President of the United States.
Limited Government - A government that acts within the limitations granted to it; a governmental system that is restrained by an enumerated list of authorities; a limited government is the essence of liberty.
Quorum - Minimum number of members of an assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group.
Sectionalism - Loyalty to the interests of one's own region or section of the country, rather than to the country as a whole; loyalty to a political agenda or ideology rather than to the country as a whole.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why did the States originally appoint electors, rather than the electors being elected directly by the popular vote by the public?
2. What lessons did the Election of 1800 provide?
3. Now that the presidential election is determined by party tickets, which ensures
David McCollough, John Adams; New York: Simon and Schuster.

Edward J. Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election
of 1800; New York: Free Press (2007)

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