Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rights Against Government Tyranny - Amendments II through IV


Lesson 8 - Rights Against Government Tyranny.

Lesson 8.1 - Amendment II, Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Second Amendment does not give you the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment does not protect you against the government from taking away your guns. Your rights are given to you by God, and protecting your rights are your responsibility.

With freedom comes responsibility. . .


Join us tonight at 6pm in Temecula for an hour of Constitution Study with Douglas V. Gibbs

Faith Armory, 27498 Enterprise Cir. W #2, Temecula, CA 92562; 951-699-7500,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Constitution Study in Temecula: Bill of Rights, 1st Amendment


The debates over the adoption of the Constitution found the Anti-Federalists fearful that as drafted, the Constitution created a central government that may have the opportunity to become a tyranny. These fears were based on the memory of the British violation of basic civil rights before and during the American Revolution. With past British tyranny as a frame of reference, the Anti-Federalists demanded that a "bill of rights" be written that would clarify without question the immunities of individual citizens. Though the amendments of the Bill of Rights were not proposed until 1789, several state conventions during their ratification conventions ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.

One of the fears regarding the proposal of the Bill of Rights was that by trying to protect specific rights, it might imply that any unmentioned rights would not be protected. It was believed by many that as a result, the Bill of Rights was actually unnecessary, for in the British system of common law natural rights were not defined nor quantified. Adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution may actually limit the rights of the people to those listed in the Constitution. As a result of this argument, included in the Bill of Rights is the Ninth Amendment. . .

. . . The Bill of Rights was originally not meant to be a guarantee of individual freedoms at all, but a limitation of federal authority against our God given rights. In other words, the Bill of Rights was not written for the people, but for the federal government as a means of telling the federal government what it cannot do in regards to our unalienable rights. . .

. . . The Bill of Rights was understood, at its ratification, to be a bar on the actions of the federal government. Prior to the incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States by the courts as based on their interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states.

The argument used, despite original intent, that the Bill of Rights must also apply to the States is based more on philosophy, than historical evidence. One of the philosophical standpoints used is that if the specific rights given in the Bill of Rights are based on the more general rights to life, liberty, and happiness which in turn are considered to be God-given and unalienable, then state governments do not have the authority to infringe on those rights no more than can the Federal government.

The argument, however, simply suggests that the Bill of Rights ought to apply at the state level, not that it originally did.

So, if the Bill of Rights originally only applied to the Federal Government, and over time has changed to be something that was applicable on the state level through court decisions, the reality is that the Constitution itself has never allowed the Bill of Rights to be applied to the States. The change was done by judicial means, meaning that the Constitution has been changed by judicial activism. The problem, however, is that according to the Constitution, the only way to change the Constitution is through an amendment process. Therefore, the incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States occurred unconstitutionally. . .

Join us at 6pm in Temecula at Faith Armory, 27498 Enterprise Cir. W. next to Birth Choice. Class is free. Pocket Constitutions are handed out to all attendees.

U.S. Constitution: Federal Spending, The Founding Fathers, and Andrew Jackson

"No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable. ... Cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible: avoiding occasions of expence [and] avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." --George Washington, December 3, 1793

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution grants all legislative powers to the U.S. Congress. Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution authorizes only the Congress to originate any bills that raise revenue. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 grants to the U.S. Congress the power to collect taxes. Article I, Section 8, Clause 2 gives the Congress the sole authority to borrow money on the credit of the United States.

The idea of a perpetual debt in the United States was originally conjured up by statist Alexander Hamilton, who was also the country's first Secretary of the Treasury. He believed that the government should be able to manipulate the economy at will, and that debt was good for bringing in additional funding so as to be able to afford big government programs, while also forcing the States to remain a part of the union - after all, if the States are obligated to the repayment of a national debt, they will not secede from the union. In other words, he saw a national debt as a means of holding together the union.

The other founders, people like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison, believed that an excessive national deficit was a dangerous thing. Any debt accrued, they believed, should be repaid by the administration that incurred the debt, or at very worst, by that generation. Also, the United States, they believed, should only borrow when necessary, which in most cases would be to fund a war, since military operations are an expensive endeavor.

In the early decades of this nation, the U.S. made it a deliberate policy to pay off the national debt entirely. The seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, used as the platform for his campaign that he would pay off the debt entirely. During his campaign in 1824, Jackson called the debt a "national curse."

Once elected, Andrew Jackson succeeded in paying off the national debt. We were debt free as a nation for over two years. That time period to this day is the only time in history the United States, or any other major country for that matter, has been debt free.

Though a Democrat, and often considered the father of the modern Democrat Party, Jackson was a Jeffersonian through and through. He believed in a laissez faire approach to politics - in other words, the smaller the federal government, the better.

Like Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson was not a big fan of the banks, speculators, and the "money interest." He saw the banks, and a federal bank that issues the currency, to be more dangerous than a standing army, so he campaigned to put an end to the Second Bank of the United States, as well. Born poor, Jackson had enough encounters with banks and debt to understand the dangers of both.

Jackson considered a national debt to be a "monied aristocracy," and saw the growing debt as a means for federal tyranny to ultimately destroy the liberty of our country.

Andrew Jackson took residence in the White House with a national debt that began at $125 million at the end of the War of 1812, and had so far been reduced to $48 million. To get the debt down to zero he decided to not go along with federal funding for "internal improvements" (now known as infrastructure projects), saying that it was the States that should be responsible for any improvements within their own borders. This very same attempt by Congress to create federal spending for internal improvements had also been vetoed by James Madison in 1817, but Madison's reasoning was simply that federal involvement in roadways and boatways was simply unconstitutional. The federal government had no authority to use federal funds for such projects.

By the end of 1834, Jackson reported in his State of the Union message that the country would be debt free as of Jan. 1, 1835, with a Treasury balance of $440,000. Government revenues that year would be twice expenses.

A debt free America did not last long. The politicians, using changing economic events as an excuse, resumed their heavy government spending ways. An economic slowdown later ensued, and revenues dropped by half. The national debt returned, but this time it would never go away again.

Now, under Barack Obama, we have a national debt in the trillions. Obama has spent more in the last two and a half years than all past presidents, combined. Though there is no hope of completely paying off the debt, as Jackson had accomplished, in the near future, a reduction of the debt has become a necessary need. Current levels of spending, which includes an atrocious array of entitlement programs, foreign aid packages to countries that even profess themselves to be our enemies, and ridiculous projects like a neon light museum in Las Vegas, are unsustainable. We are reaching a point where we just don't have the money to continue these spending levels. If we don't cut spending now, the fate of Greece may be in our future.

The founders saw a national debt that is transferred to the next generation as immoral. They viewed unconstitutional federal spending as illegal. The founders would not approve of today's level of spending, or the size of our national debt.

We should not approve of it either. This is why we must continue to vote in people committed to reducing the national debt, not liberal statists determined to continue to increase the debt until this nation faces complete economic collapse as a result.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, August 11, 2011

U.S. Constitution: Why the Liberal Judges and Liberal Media are so Dangerous

"No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity." --James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Reading Madison's quote, it becomes apparent that judicial review, and the liberal activist judge's political agenda that comes into play when they hear a case, are such dangerous propositions. In the case of judicial review, in fact, the concept goes against everything the U.S. Constitution was supposed to be about.

Before the Constitutional Convention of 1787, all of the powers belonged to the States. The States decided for themselves how to regulate commerce, immigration, the right to bear arms, and every other issue one can think of. After a number of events, including Shays' Rebellion in 1786, the founders realized that the confederation in place under the Articles of Confederation (America's first Constitution) would not be able to protect the fragile union. There needed to be a new government, a federal government, a central government strong enough to form a better union, establish a federal judicial system to oversee cases affecting federal issues, serve as a mediator between the States to resolve the issues that divided them, protect the union with a military, and make sure that an overall general welfare envelope the States that were united under this new government by providing for the aforementioned issues, which in turn would secure the liberty fought for in the American Revolution for themselves, and all future generations (See PREAMBLE: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America).

Creating a central government, however, also posed a great risk, for it was central governments that were the culprits when it came to the rise of tyranny. The new Americans needed a lion strong enough to serve the union, and protect the union, yet a cage strong enough to restrain that lion so that it didn't eat the people.

The Constitution, with its limiting principles, would serve as that restraint on the new federal government.

The States, in order to allow the federal government to perform the tasks necessary to protect, preserve and promote the union, transferred some of their authorities to the federal government. The powers vested in the new system were limited, and those were the only authorities given. The States created the federal government, and wanted to make sure it remained limited to the authorities it was given, and if the federal government needed more power, it could only be the States that could give the government any new authorities. The Tenth Amendment explains it nicely, basically saying that any powers not given to the federal government, nor prohibited to the States, remained a State authority (10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people).

To put it in a nut shell, the Constitution (that includes all amendments) tells the federal government what it is allowed to do. If the authority is not given to the federal government by the States, the federal government is not supposed to have that authority. If the federal government desires a new authority, the Congress can propose a new amendment, and the States then can decide through ratification whether or not to give the federal government permission to have that authority. The States, likewise, can give, or take away, powers to or from the federal government through the amendment process (Article V. Convention).

Like all centralized governments in history, the United States Government yearns for more power. The people that govern think they should have access to more authority than what is provided by the U.S. Constitution. And this is not a recent development. The drive for more federal authorities, regardless of whether or not the Constitution provides for those authorities, became an issue early on. Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall were a couple of the early statists that pushed the envelope, working to circumvent the Constitution in their quest for big government, and a federal leviathan that granted itself power at will.

Alexander Hamilton, during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, argued for bigger government. He proclaimed that the President should be an American King, the United States should be an empire, and through mercantilism the government should be able to manipulate the economy, and gain political and financial favors and fortunes by playing favorites with the corporations. The rest of the delegates had other ideas that were contrary to Hamilton's suggestions, and in fact Hamilton's fellow New Yorkers, who held an extreme opposite opinion to his (they were Anti-Federalists) actually walked out of the convention, leaving Hamilton alone to represent New York - alone, and with no vote since one man could not represent their State through a voting power.

Having failed to make America a new empire with a strong centralized government at the helm, Hamilton turned to economic manipulation, and the courts. Alexander Hamilton created the Bank of the United States (the first of two) that worked much like today's Federal Reserve so as to guide the economic policy, and manipulate the markets. During the process of creating the national bank, Hamilton also conjured up the concept of Implied Power, which also has served as a means of circumventing the Constitution so that the federal government may do as it pleases.

Through his buddy, Chief Justice John Marshall, Hamilton's statist goals also made headway in 1803. The statists wanted the courts to be able to interpret the Constitution so that they could bend and twist it at will. In the case Marbury v. Madison, Marshall wrote in his opinion that the federal courts have the power of Judicial Review. What this means is that he decided the federal courts have the authority to decide if laws passed by Congress, and signed by the President, were Constitutional. By giving the courts this power to interpret the Constitution, the States were cut out of the constitutional process, and if the right people were put into Congress and the White House, they could use the courts to verify that their tyrannical actions were Constitutional, even if the opposite were true (the 17th Amendment in 1913 completed the process of cutting the States out of the picture, taking away State representation from the Congress).

Understand that first, the courts gave themselves this power (some may even say "seized" this power, or "stole" this power). The States never authorized the federal courts to be the final arbiters of the U.S. Constitution. Second, one must realize that the federal courts are a part of the federal government, and to determine if something is constitutional is to determine if the federal government may possess the power being discussed. So, when the Supreme Court decides that a federal law is constitutional, as we have all been conditioned to believe is the way things are supposed to go, the federal government is literally deciding for itself what its own authorities are.

Is that what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution, and filled it with limiting principles?

Today's judges take that ill-gotten power to the hilt, and the liberal media cheers them on, as if they think it is a good thing that government intrudes more and more in the lives of the citizens. Because of the media, and the indoctrination we receive through a liberal-infiltrated education system, we have been conditioned that the courts have the powers they say they have, and there's nothing we can do about it since that's the way it has always been.

Fact is, there is something we can do about it. It may take a couple generations, but we have to start the process, and we have to teach the next generation how to continue the process - otherwise, there may not be a free America for our children and grandchildren in the future.

The Founding Fathers gave us four tools for taking back our country. One of those methods is a last resort, and the tool the founder's used - violent revolution. The other three tools for taking back America are what we are working to use now.

A peaceful revolution is used through voting, being active in your local area, and taking active steps to change the government from the ground up by putting patriots into local offices while also working to put statesmen (as opposed to politicians) in Washington. The peaceful revolution is achieved by speaking out at townhall meetings, being active in organizations like your local Tea Party, and being in constant contact with your representatives.

Nullification requires your involvement at the State level. It is up to you to be a voice for the Constitution, reminding your State representatives that it is the States and the People that are the final arbiters of the U.S. Constitution, not the U.S. Supreme Court. Vote in people who understand this at your State level of government. Call them. Email them. Write them. When the federal government tries to force a State to abide by an unconstitutional federal law, urge your State to nullify that law by ignoring it, and to ignore the federal court orders that demand the State comply. If the law is unconstitutional, the States do not have to abide by them. The Constitution is the Law of the Land, a contract that is breached every time the federal government passes unconstitutional laws. California, for example, should ignore the federal courts when they tell the State that Proposition 8 (California State Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman) is unconstitutional, because marriage is not a federal government issue. It is up to the States to decide how that issue is approached.

Finally, the founders gave us as a way to change the Constitution, and the federal government, the amendment process. We are taught that the only way to amend the U.S. Constitution is by the U.S. Congress proposing amendments, and that is not true. In fact, originally the Founding Fathers were not going to give Congress that authority. The decision to give Congress the authority to propose amendments was granted during the final days of the Constitutional Convention of 1785. Originally, on the States were going to be allowed to propose amendments. In fact, The Bill of Rights were proposed by the States.

Article V. of the U.S. Constitution keeps in place the power of the States to propose amendments. This process is called an "Article V. Convention." Whenever two-thirds of the States apply for a convention, the U.S. Congress is tasked with the responsibility to set up a place and date for said convention. The States can then send delegates, chosen in a manner as each State deems fit, to propose amendments. On voting to determine if the proposed amendments should go to the State Legislatures for ratification, each State gets one vote. This is a way to change the Constitution without federal government influence. Through the Article V. Convention we can add amendments to the Constitution requiring the federal government balance the budget, require bills pass constitutional muster before going to the President for signature, and clarifying the limited powers of the courts (like taking away the unconstitutional power of Judicial Review for good).

All 50 States have applied for a convention (nearly 750 applications since 1791), and the federal government has refused to call one. The federal government fears an Article V. Convention, and will do anything it can to avoid allowing such an event to take place. This is why we must make noise, and educate people about this very important tool given to us by the Founding Fathers. If we work and work and work at this, eventually the noise will get so loud that we will come to a tipping point, and the federal government will have no choice but to call a convention.

These tools mean nothing, however, if the people do not get involved and demand their use.

We have been afraid of the courts, and the cesspool of Washington, for too long. Get active, get involved, and let's take back America. . . together!

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary