Friday, April 28, 2017

I did not know the U.S. had so many Scientists

I did not realize the United States had so many scientists. They are flooding our streets in protest over climate change legislation or lack of legislation. I am willing to bet most of these “experts” have never seen a climate change model no less understand one. In fact, I am willing to bet over 90% of these scientific experts on our streets cannot do simple arithmetic without a calculator. No true scientist would take time off work to protest, they are busy and do not have time for this kind of nonsense. I will outline a few of the major issues with climate science.

Science is not factual, but theories and hypothesis that have yet to be proven. Once something is true it becomes a reality (or as Liberals call it: “settled science”), but until that point it is all theories. Of course climate change believers would say this is a reality and is “settled science”. Maybe, maybe not, but all of the many catastrophic prognostications that have been predicted over the past half century have never come to fruition. This tells me that climate science is still a theory and not at all factual or “settled science”.

Science hypothesis and theories are hardly accurate and rarely come to fruition. A scientist may go through hundreds if not more iterations of experiments before realizing their hypothesis is wrong before starting over with a new theory. Let me give a few simplistic science failures that we can all understand. Science said that women and blacks were inferior to white men. This is obviously incorrect. Science said that the offspring of intellectually challenged persons will have the same issues (100% of the time). This was wrong. In fact, scientific testimony in landmark cases led to discriminatory Supreme Court rulings in Dred Scott, Plessy, Bradwell, Mueller, and Buck that women, blacks, and the intellectually challenged were inferior persons. These were false scientific realisms that a majority of the country held as factual based on scientific theories that have long been found 100% inaccurate and false.

Present day science depends on who is doing the experiment. Ever wonder why we have seen scientific experiments with vastly different outcomes on the same subject? Coffee is good for you. Then coffee is bad for you. Fatty foods are bad for you. Fatty foods are not entirely bad for you. This happens every day when a new conflicting study surfaces. If the study is sponsored by a coffee company, well the result will be skewed to favor coffee. The initial fatty foods studies were paid for by sugar companies to blame fatty foods for the obesity problem. Now we are learning the truth and the real culprit is sugar. The same goes for climate change studies, there are not any independent ones to be found. This is a problem.

Results in many scientific studies are wrong because they do not use a correct sample size to ensure their results will be accurate up to a certain percentage such as a 95% confidence level.

Models are great, but even the best ones have an accuracy associated with it. They are only so good. Case in point, weather models. They have gotten much better, but very rarely will a weather model correctly predict the temperature, wind speed, and moisture in a specific location a mere 24 hours in advance. Models are made by humans and therefore only take so many variables into account, but in scientific studies such as weather and climate the number of variables are infinite.

Consider if climate change is man-made, what do people propose we do about it? Are we that dumb to think that moving to renewable energies will solve the problem? I have yet to hear a viable solution other than taxing citizens more and having citizens pay more for energy. If money is the solution, there is not enough money in universe to stop climate change (man-made or otherwise). Climate change is a global issue, it is not localized to the U.S. It does not matter what the U.S. does without every single country on board with a viable solution (not this renewable energy nonsense).

What we need is one of these hypocritical scientists protesting on the street to shut up and find a solution. If you are incapable of finding a solution, go home and stop talking about something you cannot do anything about. I have always told people you have the right to complain, but only if you pose viable solutions. Go home and invent a smaller battery that can store more energy. Do something other than showing off your ignorance. Obviously if you think climate science is real, settled, factual, precise, and 100% correct, you know nothing about science. I feel sorry for these people, they do not realize they are an embarrassment to the human race. If these folks are our future, we have more serious issues than climate change.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Can Trump Withhold Federal Funding from Sanctuary Cities?

Can President Trump withhold federal funding from sanctuary states and cities? I believe the answer to this question is not clear cut, so I will say the answer is yes and no. Let me try to explain my hedging. There is not a great deal of precedent by the Supreme Court under Spending Power (there is no doubt Congress has a great deal of authority under the Spending Clause), but a good case to investigate is the 1987 decision for South Dakota v. Dole. This was a bipartisan decision by the Court with conservative and liberal justices on both sides of the 7-2 decision. Chief Justice Rehnquist delivered the majority opinion and Justices O’Connor and Brennan delivered dissenting opinions. The case involved Congress withholding highway transportation funds to the state of South Dakota unless they increased their drinking age to 21. At the time, 18 to 20 year olds could drink “near beer” (3.2% alcohol) in South Dakota. The Court held that Congress had the Constitutional authority to apply these types of coercive / encouragement spending regulations on states. Let’s evaluate the details the case.

Rehnquist says “Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds” and Congress has the power “to further broad policy objectives by conditioning receipt of federal moneys upon compliance by the recipient with federal statutory and administrative directives.” In United States v. Butler (1936) the Court held Congress has the power “to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution.” In other words, the spending power of Congress can encompass powers not enumerated in the Constitution. Spending power is not unlimited however, there are four restrictions: first the legislation must pursue “the general welfare”; second the legislation must pursue its objectives unambiguously; third “the statute must be reasonably related to the purpose of the expenditure”; and finally “the legislation may not violate any independent Constitutional prohibition”. The federal condition for South Dakota was seen to meet the “general welfare” because it tries to prevent drunk driving fatalities on federal highways. The condition in the legislation was not ambiguous because it was clearly defined. The federal grants are legitimate because they relate to one purpose – “safe interstate travel”. Since the amount of federal funds being withheld was only about 5%, the law was not seen as coercive, but instead as encouragement for states to raise the drinking age: “encouragement to state action found in this statute is a valid use of spending power.” In Massachusetts v. United States (1978): “The federal interest in particular national projects or programs” can have spending requirements attached to the funding.

Justice O’Connor was not convinced that point three is met: the legislation must be related to the federal funding. She does not feel “safe interstate travel” and the drinking age condition are “reasonably” related. As O’Connor says: “Rather than a condition determining how federal highway money shall be expended, it is a regulation determining who shall be able to drink liquor.” United State v. Butler (1936) was the “last time this Court struck down an Act of Congress as beyond the authority granted by the Spending Clause.” The Court held that the FDR Agriculture Adjustment Act was “an exercise of regulatory (Commerce Clause), not spending power.” The Butler Court held the Spending Clause does not give “power to Congress to tear down the barriers, to invade states’ jurisdiction, and to become a parliament of the whole people, subject to no restriction save such as are self-imposed.”

The Trump administration would have to be careful in how it words a law restricting money to a sanctuary city. I do not believe Trump can simply strip all funding going to cities because it depends on what the money is being used for. For instance, if federal money is going to education and that money is being used to support the education of illegal aliens then part of that money be withheld, but they need to word everything carefully and do their due diligence in gathering data on much illegal aliens use federally funded money given to cities. What makes this process complicated is that each sanctuary state and city may use federal funding differently. I noticed a lot of federal funding goes to “head start” educational programs. If illegal aliens use these head start programs then I believe it is okay to limit funding by the amount that illegal aliens use the program. I do not know if a court would grant Trump the right to withhold all monies for programs even if they are partially used by illegal immigrants. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

3. Chicago Bears: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams): Jamal Adams, S. LSU

6. New York Jets: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

7. San Diego Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

10. Buffalo Bills: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

11. New Orleans Saints: Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama

12. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles): Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

13. Arizona Cardinals: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

17. Washington Redskins: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

18. Tennessee Titans: Jonathon Allen, DT, Alabama

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Ross, WR, Washington

20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

21. Detroit Lions: TJ Watt, LB, Wisconsin

22. Miami Dolphins: Forest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky

23. New York Giants: David Njoku, TE, Miami

24. Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

25. Houston Texans: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

26. Seattle Seahawks: Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

29. Green Bay Packers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

31. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

32. New Orleans (From New England): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to get faster on a bike: Suffer (Part II)

My neurological condition does not enable me to train very long for endurance, about 2.5 hours maximum before pain and cramping become unbearable. Hence, I tend to train in shorter time intervals, but more intensely than others. Most days when I ride, I ride hard and try to put some stress or suffering on the body for at least some portion of the ride. My weekly rides consist of a 38 mile ride up and back from Cottonwood Pass (12,126 feet from 8,000) feet in 2:05:00 to 2:25:00; or I do two or three hill repeats up a 2.4 mile 850 foot climb as hard as I can do them; or I will do a time trial over a variety of terrain (flat 5K sprints, 10.7 mile 700 feet, or 22 mile 1,200 feet); or I do some sort of interval training on a low incline (30 second to 10 minute intervals). I also try to schedule a Time Trial race (or some other race: road race, criterium, or hill climb) each week. I try to do a personal best most days training and all days racing. I generally have 1 to 2 easy rides and at least 1 day off each week. When I race, I make sure that I am so tired I cannot sprint for the finish. People that have enough energy to do an all-out sprint the final 250 meters or so had enough energy that could have been used to sustain higher speeds during the race. They did not suffer enough. I do not plan out a strategy for a race, I go as fast as I can which varies depending on the distance of the race. I have an average speed I try to attain for each race. I usually try to keep a steady pace but will attack going up hills a bit harder and pull back a bit on the downhill. My neurological condition makes it difficult for me to change speeds (my quick or fast muscle twitch in my quads is non-existent) and hence, I excel at getting up to speed and trying to maintain that pace. There have been many workouts and races where I have been in so much pain that I never thought I would finish, but that is part of the fun: to work through that adversity and suffering. To endure pain psychologically and or mentally I remind myself that there are so many people around the globe that are suffering much more than myself and I push on.

In many regards I believe my neurological condition helps me endure more pain while I cycle. It is odd, but sometimes the pain I feel from my disorder masks the pain I should be feeling while I ride. On most rides my hands and feet are in lots of pain. I suffer from paresthesia in my hands and feet 24/7. And of course that condition worsens when I am on the bike. Usually my hands and feet will stay cold, but from time to time they will get hot and I suffer some neuropathy symptoms where my brain is actually telling my body that my feet are burning. It is so real that when I am done riding my feet are covered in blisters. The pain is so intense I cannot even remember struggling to get oxygen in my lungs during these rides, but I was going very fast.

Pain is relative and we can never understand how much pain others are going through. I was abused as child and suffered many broken bones that were never treated; I wrestled in high school; and suffer from a painful neurological disorder whose primary symptom is exercise intolerance. Yet, some of the suffering I go through on a bike is worse than I have ever experienced. For this reason, I know my training is putting me through some extreme suffering. Some say you cannot put yourself through so much pain and not rest. However, my neurological condition never rests, I am going to be in pain one way or the other. I may as well feel “good” pain from exercising than the “bad” pain from my disorder. Sure, my cycling career may be short lived from the intensity of my workouts, but I am probably already on borrowed time with the neurological disorder.

I was never a great athlete. In high school I was an average runner, below average wrestler, and average baseball and football player. I probably overachieved because I did not have any gifted athletic talent. Now, I am a well above average masters cyclists (time trial). How can that happen? I cannot explain it but I have some theories. It is not technology or equipment because everyone else has the best that money can buy. It is not my natural doping living at 8000 feet because everyone in Colorado has natural doping. Masters competition is a war of attrition and chance. First, you must survive that long. Second, you must remain relatively healthy and free from serious injury. Third, you must still have the desire to compete – most top competitors give up and retire from sports altogether when they are young. There is no question I meet all three of these requirements with the exception of the neurological disorder. The disorder has made it practically impossible to do any sports, including hiking (too much pain and cramping making recovery times several days to weeks), except to ride a bike or to walk at a moderate pace. The only explanation for my success is my ability to train my body to deal with pain and suffering for races. A few labs at UC Irvine conducted tests on me to better understand my physical makeup that makes me an anomaly. They discovered nothing to shed any light on the situation: why an average high school athlete can become a better masters’ athlete despite a debilitating neurological disorder? My only explanation is my desire to suffer when I train and race.

Monday, April 17, 2017

How to get faster on a bike: Suffer (Part I)

Most people, nowadays, rely on technology and data to improve their cycling performance. There is an electronic gadget for everything: Speed, RPMs (cadence), heart rate, and power. They even have indoor simulators which make boring rides more exciting. Of all these parameters, most people rely on power training data to improve performance. However, I am getting better and I do not rely on any of these things in my training. The one place I rely on technology is for equipment. Since the key to time trial racing is to be aerodynamic, it is important to have a good time trial bike, aero helmet, and low drag skin suit and shoe covers. Time trial racers look silly in what my wife calls our costumes, but the equipment does matter. Due to cost, I added one item at a time and saw significant time savings. The other place technology is important is to get professionally fitted on your bike every season. In time trials positioning on the bike is the most important aspect. However, some believe that being in the most aerodynamic position will improve race times, but that is not necessarily true. The most aerodynamic position will be very uncomfortable and it can make it harder to breathe and to maximize power and therefore, most riders slowly work their way into more aero positions each season as their body adjusts biomechanically.

I am new to the sport so I have a great opportunity to improve whereas other riders who have been competitive for decades do not have as much room to grow (especially with age). But I have found training using a heart rate monitor, power meter, or cadence monitor does not really work for me, it tends to be analysis paralysis (I am an engineer, and have always found too much data can be detrimental). Knowledgeable people have said a high cadence is needed to go fast (the body saves energy by pushing an easier gear at a higher cadence than a harder gear at a lower cadence). My cadence is 5 RPM’s slower than last year (about 75), and I am going faster. Experts say riders should have a minimum cadence of 90. Experts also say older riders need more rest days to recover. However, I sleep worse on days off and my morning heart rate the day after a day off is much higher than if I exercised hard the day before. I take time off, but not as much as experts suggest. Experts claim a power meter and HR monitor are essential for training. I understand my heart very well and use average speed to understand how hard I am working instead of power meter. When I go to a race I do not have a threshold power to maintain, I have an average speed to maintain. After all, speed and placement are the two most important factors. Yes, I use technology, but only average speed as a training mechanism. Despite what experts say, my methods have worked for me. I find the most important thing to do to get better is to train hard by preparing the body through suffering to endure massive amounts of pain for races. I am in competition with myself each day of training or racing. If I can improve my times, I will get better. Yes, this is an old school training philosophy – it is as simple as that.

Every study on pain indicates that highly competitive runners and cyclists can endure massive amounts of pain when compared to noncompetitive athletes. In fact, studies indicate athletes taking pain medication can improve their performance. Many Tour de France riders take pain medication. I do not recommend this for amateur cyclists riding much shorter distances. I take Ibuprofen most nights, but that is to deal with pain for a neurological disorder. I do not take it during the day because it has bad side effects such as making the user drowsy and tired and it can therefore, have a negative effect on your riding. The bottom line is these studies prove that dealing with pain is the key to performance. People may have a low metabolic age or a very high VO2 max, but that does not mean they will be top performers. If you cannot endure pain and suffering while training, you cannot succeed especially in time trials. In a time trial racers start in 30 second intervals and therefore, riders do not know how fast other riders are going. This means there is no time to relax. A time trial is a maximum effort of speed and or power which riders can endure for the entire distance of the race. Time trials are short (5K to 40K or about 6:30 to 55:00 minutes depending on conditions), but riding for nearly an hour at maximum power and a heart rate at 95+% of its maximum is pure torture. One reason I do not need technology when I race is because I automatically get my heart rate up to 95% of maximum. Several years of data proved this fact, and hence I do not rely on my heart rate monitor anymore.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Greatest Founding Mother: Mercy Otis Warren (Part III)

5. Warren did not ask for term limits but said “A Senate chosen for six years will, in most instances, be an appointment for life”. She was right on this point even after the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment which placed the election of Senators in the hands of the people and out of State Legislatures. Presently, there are 14 Senators who have been in office for at least 36 years and there have been 109 Senators in U.S. history to serve that long (Remember a Senator must be at least 30 years old to hold office and life expectancies did not go above 70 until the 1940s). Warren suggests that all serving Congressmen (House and Senate) serve 1 year terms. She writes “There is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of office in the same hands for life; which by a little well timed bribery, will probably be done”. Shorter terms “keeps the mind of man in equilibrium, and teaches him the feelings of the governed, and better qualifies him to govern in his turn”. She writes further “and that annual election is the basis of responsibility, - Man is not immediately corrupted, but power with limitation, or amenability, may endanger the brightest virtue”. It is interesting how Warren already understands how money and power in government corrupts politicians. She also takes issue with “As the new Congress are empowered to determine their own salaries”. Furthermore, Warren notes “Passion, prejudice, and error, are characteristics of human nature …” hence there will be those “who betray the rights of the people, under the specious, and popular pretense of justice, consolidation, and dignity”. Therefore, she contends “vesting discretionary power in the hands of man, which he may, or may not abuse” is a huge risk because she notes Hamilton writes in the Federalist papers “that no form of government is perfect” but “we had nothing to fear”. Warren could not have predicted the abuses of present day corruption and lobbying in Washington, but once again, Warren’s concerns were much closer to reality than Hamilton’s.

6. Warren was against a standing army. “It is hoped this country may yet be governed by milder methods than are displayed beneath the banners of military law”. She fears armies “may be sent into foreign countries for the fulfilment of treaties”. Once again Warren is correct. America has intervened throughout history time and time again in foreign wars with the hope of obtaining a “peace”. Sometimes it has worked while other times it has failed. I disagree with Warren’s view (we do need a strong military), but she is correct in the fact that the U.S. has meddled in many conflicts that we should have avoided.

7. Warren’s most passionate argument against the Constitution is that a Federal government would infringe on state rights. Warren writes “annihilating the individual governments, and drawing blood from every pore by taxes, and imposing illegal restrictions”. She makes similar statements throughout the document: “annihilated the sovereignty and independence of the individual governments” or “the annihilation of the independence of the thirteen distinct states” or “ultimately to destroy the state governments, and offer a consolidate system …” Warren disputes the fact Americans need a federal government at all: “that we are incapable of enjoying our liberties – and that we must have a master.” This may have been Warren’s greatest fear and it certainly came to fruition. Even with the Tenth Amendment added to the Bill of Rights to protect the sovereignty of state rights, it is easy to argue that once the Constitution was ratified the states lost their sovereignty. In the 1920 tenth amendment case, Missouri v. Holland Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes brought forth the idea of a “living constitution”. This means the constitution can change as the justices see fit. The idea of a “living constitution” has yielded more federal power at the expense of the states. Besides, it is easy to trump the tenth amendment through congressional legislation on the basis of the “Supremacy Clause”. The sovereignty of states has been dwindling with each passing day. There is no Constitutional power for the federal government to control education, the environment, health, agriculture or energy but they have encroached on State power or sovereignty to dominate these issues.

8. Warren concludes that “One Representative to thirty thousand inhabitants is very inadequate representation…” She also states “It will be allowed by everyone that the fundamental principle of a free government is the equal representation of a free people.” Today, there is about 1 Representative in Congress for every 800,000 people and that number is growing rapidly each year (almost 30 times greater than back in 1800). That is a valid point: Do wealthy lawyers (over 75% of Congress) represent the needs of the people today? I should say not: Politicians are truly out of touch with reality.

9. Warren further contends that requiring only 9 of 13 states for ratification of the Constitution is wrong (it should be unanimous). She also has an issue with how fast the ratifying process was moving: “And the hurry with which it has been urged to the acceptance of the people, without giving time, by adjournment, for better information, and more unanimity has been deceptive in appearance”. This point is analogous to the passage of ObamaCare. It was not only done fast and in a partisan way, but no one even read the law. Just as ObamaCare was unpopular, Warren contends “the voice of the people appears at present strong against the adoption of the Constitution.” Despite this sentiment, state officials in 11 states ratified the Constitution. Warren contends that “Self-defense is a primary law of nature” and it is the right of every American to “resist the first approaches of tyranny” – just like the ObamaCare fight which has been going on for nearly 8 years.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Greatest Founding Mothers: Mercy Otis Warren (Part II)

Warren made the following suggestions for Amendments to be added to the Constitution that make up our Bill of Rights: The rights of conscience (freedom of speech and freedom of religion) and the liberty of the Press (the First Amendment); the right to trial by jury for civil cases (a clause in our Sixth Amendment); and for warrants to avoid illegal search and seizures (these two ideas are the basis for the Fourth Amendment). Warren suggest that “The rights of individuals ought to be the primary object of all government …” She also said: “that man is born free and possessed or certain unalienable rights – that government is instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people, and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any man, family, or class of men – That the origin of all power is in the people….” However, government officials routinely neglect our Bill of Rights. Instead, as Warren rightly points out “to betray the people of the United States, into an acceptance of a most complicated system of government; marked on the one side with the dark, secret and profound intrigues, of the statesman, long practiced in the purlieus of despotism; and on the other, with the ideal projects of young ambition, with its wings just expanded to soar to the summit, which imagination has painted in such gaudy colors as to intoxicate the inexperienced votary, and to send him rambling from State to State, to collect materials to construct the ladder of preferment.” Warren is basically saying that politicians will do what is best for them and their careers and they care little for the people they represent.

Warren was truly a prognosticator over potential issues she found within the writings of the Constitution:

1. She discussed how the Judiciary powers have “no well-defined limits”. This is contrary to Hamilton’s view in the federalist papers which declared the Supreme Court has very little power. Over time Warren has been proven to be right, the Supreme Court has become the most powerful branch of our government because they have given themselves the power to legislate. The Court does not just make decisions as to whether or not legislation is Constitutional, they write new rights into the Constitution without properly amending the document. Warren declared “in short the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Federal Court, includes unwarrantable stretch of power over the liberty, life, and property of the subject, through the wide Continent of America.” She is right, in many cases the Court refuses to make decisions based on the law but over socioeconomic issues they have no business being involved over. The Court has endless power with Substantive due process to incorporate anything into the Constitution their imagination desires.

2. Warren was right when she wrote “from the extent of country from north to south, the scheme of one government is impractical.” In 1788, she was right and the Civil War proved it. The United States was one of the biggest countries in the world and without technology or mass transportation methods Warren was correct to say that just one government to control everything would be difficult, especially in our infancy. This explains why in the first 70 years of American Independence several states threatened to succeed from the Union including Massachusetts and South Carolina.

3. Warren wrote “The Executive and the Legislative are so dangerously blended …” and this so true when one party controls both branches and there are no checks and balances. Take Obama’s first two years in office that included the partisan passing of the stimulus and ObamaCare. We’ll see how Trump does in his first two years with a Republican Congress.

4. On taxes Warren wrote “The exigencies of government require that the collectors of the revenue should transmit it to the Federal City”. She further noted that “Every source of revenue is in the monopoly of Congress”. In other words, Warren could foresee high Federal taxes at the expense of the states. This became a reality since the Supreme Court ruling in McCulloch v. Maryland case in 1819 to the present time.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Greatest Founding Mother: Mercy Otis Warren (Part I)

To some, the criteria to be a founding mother is to be a spouse of a founding father. If that is the case, strong arguments for the greatest founding mother can be made for Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Deborah Franklin. All three were strong women who ran the family farms or businesses as their husbands ventured overseas. Deborah Franklin even did Ben’s job: Postmaster General of the United States. Of these three women, to me, the clear choice as the greatest founding mother would be Abigail Adams. Abigail was John’s best and probably only advisor when he was President. One of John’s biggest mistakes was keeping most of Washington’s cabinet choices in his administration. No chemistry formed with any of these cabinet members and he therefore consulted his wife for all his tough decisions. Abigail supported many of John’s best decisions such as working out a peace treaty with France to avoid war (something many of his cabinet members disagreed with) and of course she was active in some of his worst decisions such as the passing of the Aliens and Seditions Act (of course Congress passed it so it was not just a bad decision by John and Abigail). In many regards, our second president was not John, but Abigail Adams.

That being said, it seems ridiculous to limit our founding mothers options to spouses of founding fathers. Independent women also made a huge impact during the Revolutionary War and Constitutional era. For this reason, the woman that made the biggest impact on the Revolutionary War and the drafting of our Constitution is without doubt Mercy Otis Warren. Like Abigail, Mercy was born and bred in Massachusetts. She was a correspondent and advisor to many key political figures including Sam Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and of course Abigail Adams. Before 1790 most of her work was published under surnames to hide her identity since women mingling in politics was mostly considered taboo. She published many poems and plays that were propaganda used to promote the anti-British and anti-Loyalist agenda during the Revolutionary War. She was regarded as among the most influential writers of the Revolutionary War. In 1772 she published a satire play called The Adulateur; in 1775: The Group; in 1776: The Blockheads; and 1779: The Motley Assembly. After the War she published several more plays in 1790: The Sack of Rome and The Ladies of Castille. Also in 1790 she published a book of poems called “Poems, Dramatic, and Miscellaneous”. In 1805, she published one of the first histories of the American Revolution in three volumes entitled: History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution. Interestingly, Warren did not portray John Adams very favorably in these books and that led to a temporary falling out between her and the Adams family. Of course Adams was a Federalist and Mercy Otis Warren was an anti-Federalist.

Mercy Otis Warren’s biggest contribution to history was her anti-Federalist writing entitled: “Observations on the New Constitution, and on the Federal and State Conventions” in 1788. It was written under the surname “a Columbian Patriot” and it included her reasons as to why the recently drafted Constitution was bad for America. She hoped her writings and those of several other patriots would lead to the failure of ratifying the Constitution by at least 9 of the original 13 colonies. Some would argue, why would I chose as the greatest founding mother a women who was against our Constitution? The reason is simple. First, since the Constitution is vague at best, her writings forced Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to write the 85 Federalist Papers (500 pages of new information explaining the intent of the Constitution and its framers) to counter those points made by anti-Federalist such as Warren. Secondly, anti-federalist writings led to the Bill of Rights and the first ten Amendments to the Constitution. And finally, many of the fears that Warren discusses about the Constitution and the newly proposed federal government have come to fruition and can be observed through our present day government.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Liberal Evolution of Due Process (Part VI)

Some will argue that the Frankfurter “fair trial” approach was also flawed. First, his holding of “nonsuperfluousness” (due process meanings in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments were identical) no longer held since the Court had already applied the First Amendment to the states. The Second argument against Frankfurter theories about protecting state federalism is that in Gideon 23 states wrote briefs to apply the Sixth Amendment to the states and only two states asked for it to be denied. This would seem to show that states wanted the Bill of the Rights applied to the states. The final argument was that the fair trial approach had no guidelines to follow. So was Frankfurter’s thinking flawed? First, Frankfurter’s theories were not nearly as flawed as Black’s. By 1947 the First Amendment was applicable to the states but the Court never applied any theory or explanation how that conclusion was reached. How could Frankfurter offer an exception to the “nonsuperfluousness” theory when no one could give him a reason for it? In 1937 Justice Cardozo stated in the majority decision for Palko that criminal procedure provisions of the Bill of Rights were not “of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty”. This may suggest that Cardozo on the other hand felt that the First Amendment was of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty. Or how James Madison wanted to hold three things to the states in an amendment: Right of conscience, press, and trial jury (2 out 3 suggest First Amendment freedoms over criminal procedure). This may be Frankfurter’s argument: The rights of the First Amendment were necessary to be applied to the states for liberty. Secondly, The federalism argument is an easy one to explain away. States were more advanced than the federal government criminal procedures. In fact, Supreme Court Bill of Rights nationalization decisions, in many cases, completely wiped off the books more stringent state laws and statutes. Finally, the “Fair Trial” system set boundaries such as “shocks the conscience” in Rachin. This is not much different than the liberal substantive due process decision held by the Court in Schenck v. United States when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes denied free speech in the case citing “clear and present danger”. The Frankfurter method did not legislate from the bench; it did not free dangerous criminals; it did not have unlimited boundaries using substantive due process; it did make social rulings based on no evidence; it did not have an agenda; and it was supported by some clear theories (nonsuperfluousness) as opposed to none for the selective nationalization of the Bill of Rights.

To further understand how the liberal agenda works consider the Second Amendment case D.C. v. Heller decided in 2010. Liberals created all this precedent under the Warren Court that the Bill of Rights applies to the states. However, in Heller, the liberals of the Court voted against applying the Second Amendment rights to the states. Why? Because they do not like guns and want states to enforce gun control. Heller won by a narrow 5-4 decision to apply the Second Amendment to the states. Of course, maybe liberals are confused. In a presidential debate, Hillary Clinton, stated rejecting Heller was about keeping guns out of the hands of children. Heller was not about that, it was about whether gun rights in the Second Amendment applied to the states. Liberals have a way of introducing imaginary information into a case such as substantive due process. Liberals have no issue freeing guilty violent criminals with their decisions, but all the sudden they grow a conscience for gun rights. That is not how it works. The Citizens United case is another classic example of liberal hypocrisy. In this First Amendment case the court ruled that corporations, individuals, organizations, and groups can donate as much money to elections as they want based on the freedom of speech. In the past there was a cap or limit to campaign contributions. Liberals argue that corporations are not people and that money is not free speech. However, liberals helped push the precedent that corporations are people and applying the Bill of Rights not only to the states, but to show that the right of free speech includes freedom of expression starting with Stromberg and to further include cases such as flag burning. And money is used to express a person’s free speech more than anything on the planet to buy gifts and things people like.

The most damning evidence against incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states is the history of the Bill of Rights. First, Frankfurter is right, if the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment wanted the Bill of Rights to apply to the states, they had a really bad way of saying it. In Federalist 84 Hamilton argues against a Bill of Rights: A bill of rights is not needed for the Constitution since many individual and state rights are built into the Constitution such as not allowing a suspension of a writ of habeas corpus. Besides, Hamilton argues that by adding a bill of rights “they would contain various exceptions to powers not granted”. “Why declare that things shall not be done which is no power to do?” Hamilton further argues in Federalist 83 that many individual rights are already included in state constitutions and law such as trial by jury. He claims there is no trial by jury in the Constitution since each state has varying and unique interpretations on the subject such as some states allow trial by jury for criminal cases but not for civil ones and vice versa. State individual rights and laws were fair because they did not want what England did to them to ever occur again. In most cases, state rights were more stringent than the federal Bill of Rights.

I am not completely opposed to applying the Bill of Rights to the states, however it is never enough when it comes to liberal interpretations and they do not stop there. Once the Bill of Rights applied to the states they continued with new personal interpretations of the law using what is called substantive due process to make up new rights. That is what I disagree with.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Liberal Evolution of Due Process (Part V)

The Pointer v. Texas case in 1965 was over a Sixth Amendment “confrontational” clause issue. Although the decision was unanimous to overturn the decision against Pointer, not everyone agreed that that confrontational clause should apply to the states via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. With Frankfurter off the court, Justice Harlan agreed with the decision but not the methodology. Harlan agreed with the majority because he felt that Pointer did not receive a “fair trial” based on due process of the law. He disagreed with the incorporation or nationalization of the Bill of Rights to the states. The Washington v. Texas case in 1967 the Court applied the Sixth Amendment “compulsory process” clause to the states via the due process clause. Once again the decision was unanimous but once again Harlan vastly disagreed with the methodology and overall outcome to apply the compulsory process clause to the states.

The following cases closed out the Warren Court’s assault on state rights and made just about every clause in the Bill of Rights applicable to the states (by 1969 only the Second, Third, Seventh, Grand Jury Clause of the Fifth, and the Excessive Fines and Bail clause of the Eighth had not been applied to the states): Klopfer v. North Carolina in 1967 (Sixth Amendment Right to a speedy trial – unanimous decision), Duncan v. Louisiana in 1968 (Sixth Amendment “jury trial” clause allowed for all “serious” crimes). The case did not apply to the Seventh Amendment or twelve person juries requiring a unanimous decision. Parker v. Gladden in 1966 (Sixth Amendment “impartial jury” clause – a Bailiff made prejudicial remarks to a jury). Benton v. Maryland in 1969 (Fifth Amendment “double jeopardy” clause). This case overturned Palko v. Connecticut.

So how did the Warren Court accomplish nationalizing the Bill of Rights in just 8 years when not a single criminal procedure clause applied to the states the first 92 years after the passing of the Fourteenth Amendment? The selective incorporation process used by the Warren Court provided no theory or justification for their decisions. Justice Harlan said “they compromised on the ease of Black’s incorporation position without any internal logic”. The Court made decisions on arguments not even mentioned in the briefs or oral arguments. The Court overturned cases that followed federal precedent to the T. The Court directed defense counsel in Gideon, Washington, and Benton what clauses of the Bill of Rights to focus their case upon. In the Benton case reversal of the larceny conviction did not affect his concurrent sentence – hence, double jeopardy did not matter. In Miranda the Court overturned the conviction of a rapist whose arrest followed the law and his confession was not coerced. Those adhering to the nationalization of the Bill of Rights on the court clearly had a vision, goal, and agenda.

Justice Black said that the “fair trial” approach undermined federalism since “A case by case basis and striking down laws they do not like”. He argued further that “Personal views of mortality and ethics into the concepts of due process rather than defining by the fixed boundaries of the written words of the constitution” was wrong. In fact, Black also said that following the Bill of Rights would diminish judicial abuse. Black clearly favored making a selective incorporation of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states. But it was Black who was wrong. First, the “fair trial” justices did not play politics. There were several cases (Gideon, Pointer, and Washington) where they coalesced with the Bill of Rights nationalists on the court because it was the right thing to do to grant a fair trial to an individual. Secondly, the fixed boundaries of the Bill of Rights never materialized. Due process has also been found to mean: if the defendant is convicted without evidence; perjury of testimony; or suppression of favorable evidence. Miranda v. Arizona, Reynolds v. Simms, and Griswold v. Connecticut provide substantive due process rights beyond the Bill of Rights and therefore, these cases contradicted Black’s incorporation theory of fixed boundaries. Thirdly, a vast majority of the cases in this writing the defendants were truly guilty. Thousands of guilty people were released from prison because the Warren Court overturned precedent in such short periods of time. And it is no surprise that crime rose sharply during the selective incorporation process of the Bill of Rights. The Warren Court protected the rights of criminals and not those of the innocent. He put the rights of the innocent at risk. In fact, the Griswold decision on “privacy” led to one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history: Roe v. Wade. Privacy may protect the rights of women, but it does not protect the rights of the unborn. Reynolds v. Simms used the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect the rights of urban citizens at the expense of rural citizens. In fact, the Court ruled that provisions of the Constitution used by the federal government are unconstitutional for the states such as the Senate and the Electoral College in its controversial “One person, one vote” decision in Reynolds v. Simms. Fourthly, the Warren Court was guilty of legislating from the bench passing not only criminal procedure laws, but social reform including substantive due process rulings that did not even have any deep roots in American history. The Warren Court was passing laws that Congress could not constitutionally pass.

One state legislator said “that the Tenth Amendment has been rapped twice a day for 10 years” by the Warren Court. Yearly conferences of the “State Chief Justices” usually resulted in overwhelming admonishment of the Supreme Court’s federal power grab under Warren.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Liberal Evolution of Due Process (Part IV)

By the 1950’s the Fourth Amendment was put on trial through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court denied the “illegal seizure” clause case in 1949 for Wolf v. Colorado. It was an illegal abortion case where the police seized Dr. Wolf’s records (but they were in plain sight) without a warrant. The 1952 case Rachin v. California the Court granted the “illegal search” clause claim but it was done on the basis of a “fair trial” being denied and not on the basis of the Fourth Amendment. The Court set a standard called “shocks the conscience” in this case when police broke into Rachin’s home and then pumped his stomach to obtain pills he swallowed without a warrant. However, in the 1954 case Irvine v. California and the 1957 case Breithaupt v. Alabama the court denied “illegal search” claims saying the cases did not “shock the conscience”. In Irvine the police broke into his home and wire tapped his conversations without a warrant and in Breithaupt the police drew a blood sample from his unconscious body without a warrant at the scene of an accident. This led Justice Black to claim that the “fair trial” approach was not working because there were no standard’s in place such as the Bill of Rights to guide the Justices to fair decisions. Frankfurter argued that applying the Bill of Rights would prevent state Federalism and deny them to experiment in economic and criminal procedures as advancements in technology are made.

The dynamics of the Court change dramatically in the 1960’s (more liberal) and finally the (Chief Justice Earl) Warren Court was able to achieve its agenda. President Dwight Eisenhower said the biggest mistake he made in his life was appointing Earl Warren Chief Justice and he was right. The Mapp v. Ohio case in 1961 was argued by incompetent attorneys wanting to reverse the Mapp decision on confiscated pornography from her home based on the “freedom of speech” clause of the First Amendment. The oral arguments and the briefs barely mentioned the seizure methods of the pornography. Yet, the Court overruled the Mapp decision based on the Fourth Amendment’s “search and seizure” clause. For the first time the Court applied a criminal procedure clause of the Bill of Rights to the states via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In just 12 years, the Court overturned is ruling in the Wolfe case.

The Warren Court was on a roll. The Robinson v. California case in 1962 where the oral arguments and briefs did not focus on the Eighth Amendment’s “cruel and unusual punishment” clause, but that was the decision to overturn the Robinson conviction via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court ruled that it was cruel and unusual punishment by placing a drug addict in jail because they go through withdrawal symptoms when drying out. Robinson died when he was out on bail from an overdose. In fact, the best thing that could have happened to Robinson was to dry out in jail – the Warren Court started to rule on social issues more so than on the law. Did they best understand how to deal with drug addicts in prison even when that issue was not even argued in the case?

The case Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963 was a Sixth Amendment “right to counsel” case via the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause. Gideon was forced to defend himself since lawyers in Florida are only appointed for capital cases based on the Supreme Court 1942 decision for Betts v. Brady. The Court overturned Betts and Brady in just 20 years which resulted in thousands being released from state prisons. The case Malloy v. Hogan in 1964 involved applying the Fifth Amendment’s “self-incrimination” clause to the states via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Connecticut court system followed all the federal standards in the Malloy case but not only was the decision overturned, but the Twining decision was also overturned. Gideon and Malloy were important cases because they were the basis for the Supreme Court’s substantive due process decision in Miranda v. Arizona in 1968 (Miranda Rights). The Court was no longer involved in criminal procedure, but police procedure. The Court expanded past applying the Bill of Rights to the states when they issued the Miranda rights decision.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Liberal Evolution of Due Process (Part III)

The case Near v. Minnesota in 1931, the Bill of Rights incorporation advocates got their first major win. Near wrote offensive claims in his Minneapolis newspaper and the state shut it down under a gag order. The Court sided with Near but more importantly, they said that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to the First Amendment “freedom of the press” clause of the Bill of Rights. Also in 1931, the case Stromberg v. California was another big win for the First Amendment being applied to the states. The case involved a young girl who worked at a communist camp and part of their daily ritual was to raise the Russian Flag. The Court declared that Stromberg’s decision be reversed because she had the right of “freedom of speech (expression)” which was granted through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to the First Amendment. Finally, in DeJonge v. Oregon decided in 1937, the Court overturned DeJonge’s conviction for having an illegal communist assembly. The Court declared that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to the First Amendment’s “freedom of assembly clause”. Therefore, the Near-Stromberg-DeJonge line of cases decided that all three freedom of speech clauses of the First Amendment applied to all the states via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

With the success of freedom of speech cases, Bill of Rights incorporation advocates then attacked the freedom of religion clauses of the First Amendment. In the 1940 Cantwell v. Connecticut case the Court reversed the conviction of Cantwell (a Jehovah Witness) citing the freedom of religion clause. Interestingly, the Jehovah Witnesses won most of the 40 cases they held before the Supreme Court. In Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 the Court upheld a New Jersey busing law that allowed tax monies to be used to bus students to and from all schools (private, parochial, or public). The Court cited the First Amendment “establishment” clause in its decision. The Court was adhering to the federal government’s responsibility in separation of church and state. Following the Everson decision the Court applied all clauses of the First Amendment to the states via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Other than Powell v. Alabama in 1932, the Court between 1930 and 1950 denied all Fourteenth Amendments due process claims applying to the criminal procedure amendments of the Bill of Rights. During this era and for a good portion of the 1950s, the Court applied Justice Felix Frankfurter’s definition of due process meaning did the individual get a “fair trial” and this was decided on a case by case basis. In Powell, the Court reversed the rape convictions of nine African-Americans citing the Sixth Amendment’s “right to counsel” clause. In Palko v. Connecticut in 1937 the Court denied Palko’s defense of the Fifth Amendment’s “double jeopardy” clause claiming he received a fair trial under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Court case Adamson v. California in 1947 shed more light on where the court stood on the incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states. The case was a Fifth Amendment “self-incrimination” clause case and by a 5-4 decision the Court upheld the Twining decision. Justice Hugo Black wrote the dissent and said the Bill of Rights (amendments 1 through 8) should be applied through the due process clause to the states. Black wrongly asserts that it is was the intention of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the states. Justice Rutledge concurred but went even further saying the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause should cover much more than just the Bill of Rights. Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion again stressing the need for “fair trials” on a case by case basis. He also rejects Black’s assertions by stating if it were the intend of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment to incorporate the Bill of the Rights to the states then they not only had a bad way of stating it, there had been 80 years of precedent telling a different story (with the exception of the First Amendment). The case involving Oliver v. Michigan in 1948 was a Sixth Amendment “public trial” clause case denied by the Court. However, by the 1960’s the outcome of the Oliver case applied the Sixth Amendment through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment based on Justice Black’s majority opinion notes saying all people have the right to examine their witnesses, offer testimony, and the right to be represented by counsel in a public trial.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Liberal Evolution of Due Process (Part II)

In the 1890s the Court began to use the Fourteenth Amendment to uphold individual and corporate rights for property and contracts. This began with the 1897 case between Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company v. Chicago. This was an eminent domain case where the city of Chicago refused to justly compensate the railroads for confiscated properties. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause and the Fifth Amendment’s “just compensation” clause to uphold the ruling. However, both the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments declare that “no person shall be deprived the right of property without due process of the law”. This means that the Court could have simply applied the Fourteenth Amendment for its ruling and not hold the Bill of Rights applied to the states (but it did not). Another interesting aspect of this case is the Court ruled that corporations are people and are afforded the same rights – including having to pay taxes.

In 1900, the Maxwell v. Dow case tried to use the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause to apply the Sixth Amendment’s “trial by jury” clause to the states. The Court upheld the ruling that Utah could use eight man juries instead of twelve. Some believe this made the Courts ruling in the Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company an aberration (I do not believe so, since the Fourteenth Amendment mentions “property” and it did not have to apply the Fifth Amendment in the Burlington case). The 1905 decision between Lochner v. New York was more puzzling to many since the Court held that the state of New York could not legislate a 10 hour workday for bakeries. The reason the court reversed the New York decision was because granting New York that power would break a “contract” between an employee and his company. Contract is not mentioned in the Bill of Rights nor the Fourteenth Amendment. So how did the Court come to this conclusion? The contracts clause is found in Article I of the United States Constitution. Generally speaking, this clause was added to the Constitution in order to prohibit states from interfering with private contracts. The clause states that, 'No State shall...pass any...Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts... However, many argued that the Court applied the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause using what is known as “substantive due process” to reach its decision in Lochner since “contracts” have deep roots in American history. I do not believe that to be true, since the contracts clause covers the ruling. This case had other particulars such as big Bakery companies and unions trying to nudge out small bakeries and the fact the law only applied to bakers (could have used the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause?).

The Bill of Rights incorporation battle continued in the 1907 case: Twining v. New Jersey. The defense wanted to apply the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause to the Fifth Amendment’s “self-incrimination” clause to the states. The Court rejected the argument and sided with the State of New Jersey. However, the case opened the door for future cases involving the Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights because they cited the Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company decision in its majority ruling.

In the 1920’s the ACLU and many other advocates of the Fourteenth Amendment and Bill of Rights state incorporation theory changed course and began to apply the First Amendment instead of criminal procedure amendments. The Schneck v. United States ruling in 1919 set an early standard regarding the First Amendment. Schneck was charged and convicted for violating the “Espionage Act of 1917”. Schneck wrote anti-World War I pamphlets and the court upheld his conviction saying there was a “clear and present danger” and did not protect his freedom of speech or press. The Gitlow v. New York case in 1925 had a similar outcome. Gitlow was a communist and the manifesto they handed out suggested the use of violence to overthrow the government. Gitlow’s defense tried to say it was free speech defended by the First Amendment through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. Gitlow was denied because the Court felt Gitlow presented a “clear and present danger”. However, in Fiske v. Kansas a case involving the manifesto of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Court said there was no “clear and present danger” and overturned the conviction against Fiske. Interestingly, the case simply said that Fiske was denied “due process of the law” and did not tie the decision to the First Amendment.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Liberal Evolution of Due Process (Part I)

Liberals have a way of changing the definition of words to fit their needs. A good example of this behavior is how the meaning of the phrase “Due Process” in the Constitution changed. The meaning gradually changed over the century following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 following the Civil War.

During the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, James Madison wanted to include an amendment as part of the Bill of Rights that applied to the states. Madison wanted to prevent states from infringing on the rights of the conscience, freedom of the press, and trial by jury. The amendment was denied. Also during the ratification process of the Constitution Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers 78 and 81: That the judiciary branch of government (Supreme Court) is by far the weakest branch of the government since they can only hand down rulings and they do not have the power to enforce those decisions. In other words, the judiciary needs the executive branch to carry out their rulings. Hamilton explains the main purpose of the Supreme Court is to prevent the legislative branch from exceeding its power (not the states from exceeding their power). The court would declare Congressional laws in violation to the Constitution null and void (unconstitutional). Unfortunately, it was never discussed in these papers as to what happens when the Supreme Court says laws are Constitutional which obviously fail to protect the liberties of the people. In other words, the Supreme Court does not have unlimited power to carry out laws as they see fit.

In 1933 in the case Barron v. Baltimore, the Supreme Court decided the Bill of Rights of the Constitution applied only to the Federal government and not the states. This ruling held until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1968. To show the evolution of the meaning of “due process”, first we must show the two amendments the term “due process” appears in the Constitution (5th and 14th Amendments):

The Fifth Amendment states: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, 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; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; 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; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

The first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In 1873, for the Slaughter House cases, the Supreme Court essentially wrote out the “privileges and immunities” clause of this amendment and that precedent has held up through the present time. With the privileges and immunities clause written out of the Constitution, liberals had to focus all their energies on the “due process” clause of the amendment.

Many thought the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause was to apply the Constitutions Bill of Rights to the states. In the 1884 case Hurtado v. California the argument before the Supreme Court was to use the Fourteenth Amendment “due process” clause to guarantee the Fifth Amendment’s “right to grand jury indictment” clause to the states. When the Court rejected this argument it became apparent that the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause was not going to be allowed to apply the Constitution’s Bill of Rights to the states. The Court held that the due process clause of both the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments had the same meaning. They further decided that the clauses throughout the Fifth Amendment were not repetitive or redundant. Hence, “due process” could not mean the same thing as a right to a grand jury indictment. This was known as the “nonsuperfluousness” theory.

Monday, March 13, 2017

What is Ailing Americans: Technology?

I worked in the technology field as an engineer for a long time. I worked in the field of analog to digital data conversion which made the whole digital revolution possible. I believed what we were working on was not only revolutionary but important because it would make our lives easier. After leaving the technology field, I believe I was wrong. I believe technology is a curse and is not only causing societal issues, but it is crippling our health. I remember being in a meeting many year back and asked what was the application for the data converter we were working on? The application specialist said it is to put a digital camera on a phone. I said “that is crazy and no one will ever need that!” Man, was I wrong. But I do not think I am wrong about the evils of technology. Technology leads to increased criminal activity in the forms of cybercrimes (identity theft) and hacking as well as being used to recruit terrorists and to report “fake news”.

Sure, technology does lots of good, but it has not made our lives easier. Since people are connected 24/7/365, they never get away from the stress of work. There is no such thing as a vacation. Hence, stress and anxiety in current and future generations is getting worse. Anxiety wreaks havoc on the body. With computers, iPhones, and electronic games Americans are sitting more than ever before and exercising less. The result of this coupled with bad eating habits has led to a massive increase in the rate of diabetes in America and around the world.

Electronic devices create electromagnetic radiation and create large power densities. Human contact with high levels of radiation or large power densities for prolonged periods of time will cause everything from headaches, sleep loss, and concentration problems, to behavioral changes, weakened immune systems, learning disabilities, and a doubled increased chance of getting leukemia in adults. We are all exposed to these harmful electromagnetic fields, they are running rapid in our homes and in our skies. The issue has even shown up in TV programs using the subject matter as a comedy routine (AMC’s – Better Call Saul). But, I do not think this is a joking matter.

I also believe the future will see an increased number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Why? Technology takes away from humans using our brains to think. Calculators stop us from doing simple math and there is no need to memorize anything anymore since we can find information about anything at our fingertips. However, I think GPS units in cars may pose the biggest risk to human health. We no longer have to read maps or understand directions. That does not sound like a big deal, but Alzheimer’s disease starts in the area of the brain where map reading would prevail. Will weakening this portion of our brains cause an increase in Alzheimer’s disease? I do not know, but my hypothesis is yes it will. I have heard horror stories of people putting in the wrong address in a GPS unit and then travelling thousands of miles out of their way and had no commonsense to realize something is wrong and then how to correct the problem. Sure, this is rare, but it is getting worse. We are definitely a directionally challenged society.

Social media has made us less social. Remember social media was developed by socially challenged engineers. Less physical experiences makes us less healthy according to most health reports on the subject. Some studies suggest that the home environment has contributed to the development of antisocial behavior. Parents of these children have been shown to display antisocial behavior, which could be adopted by their children. Antisocial personality disorder is seen in 30% of psychiatric outpatients. A 2002 literature review of studies on mental disorders in prisoners cites that 47% of male prisoners and 21% of female prisoners had antisocial personality disorder. The occurrences of antisocial personality disorder is higher among patients in alcohol and other drug abuse treatment programs than in the general population. What is in store for individuals developing anti-social behavior from technology? I do not know, but the possibilities do not sound good.

This year, the U.S. Life Expectancy rate decreased for the first time in nearly 40 years. Part of the blame was placed on the high rate of youth deaths due to the growing drug addiction problem. That is definitely part of it. Traffic fatalities are back on the rise mostly due to people not concentrating when they drive. They are too busy playing with their electronic devices. Ironically, technology has probably saved thousands of lives from car fatalities with new innovations, but despite these gains fatal accidents are rising again. Why? People are distracted and relying heavily on technology to drive our vehicles. Technology has expanded our life expectancies with advancements in medicine. However, I predict technology will lead to the demise of the human race and that of course means a lowering of the life expectancy rate. Increased rates of anxiety, exposure to electromagnetic radiation, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and social disorders spell doom.

Friday, March 10, 2017

What is the Primary Cause of BFS/CFS

The following information has come from Juan Peralta. Juan has been studying BFS/CFS since being inflicted with the syndrome / disorder. Juan believes he has found the primary cause for BFS/CFS. I am not sure if that is true or not (it does not explain my cause and it is impossible to prove this without an extensive study), but it is certainly worth displaying what Juan discovered (of course with Juan’s consent) because it may help someone inflicted with BFS/CFS. What Juan suggests as being the primary cause for BFS/CFS appears to be a logical and reasonable conclusion. Below is what Juan has discovered:




Symptoms can include, but are not limited to, speech difficulty, fatigue, pyramidal and/or extra-pyramidal manifestations, brisk reflexes, seizures and movement disorders, such as essential tremors, cramps and/or spasms and fasciculations.


Hyperinsulinemia, compounded with hyperglycemic glycation (and/or damage) of the fragile renal tubules, results in overall fluid retention, manifesting as edema.


Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD) and Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase (GAMT) Deficiency are part of the Creatine Deficiency Syndrome (CDS) spectrum. The biochemical test for Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD) is the urine Creatine (CR): Creatinine (CRN) ratio. A value greater than 1.5 is 100% specific for a diagnosis in males. Impaired function of SLC6A8 in renal tubular cells and subsequent reduced tubular re-uptake of creatine is the likely causative factor. Plasma creatinine concentrations, in particular urinary creatinine excretion, are low in patients with Creatine Deficiency Syndrome (CDS). The diagnosis of Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase (GAMT) Deficiency is made by finding an accumulation of Guanidinoacetate (GAA) greater than 760 nmol/mL in body fluids. Mutations in the GAMT gene cause Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase (GAMT) deficiency.


● Coenzyme B-Complex Advanced Vitamins (Brand: Country Life)

● Amino Acids (L-Glycine, L-Arginine, L-Methinone, L-Orthinine, Creatine Monohydrate)


● Creatine 24-Hour, Urine

● Creatine Guanidinoacetate, Plasma


● Association for Creatine Deficiencies

● Movement Disorders in Childhood

● Mayo Medical Laboratories

● Inborn Metabolic Diseases: Diagnosis and Treatment

● Journal of Insulin Resistance

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Power of Money (Part II)

What can we learn from these statics? Over half of all cases are frivolous. Furthermore, the frivolous lawsuit rate is backed up by the fact that nearly 80% of the lawyers in the world reside in the U.S. (they have to create cases to make money). Less than 15% of the cost of all tort cases is awarded to the litigant. Over 75% of the American population believes the legal system makes it easy to make invalid claims and therefore believe the entire system needs to be overhauled. Too many people view suing as a “get rich quick scheme”. Unfortunately, justice is never served in civil cases because payments made for damages are more than likely made through insurance companies. This means everyone is footing the bill, not just the guilty, through higher insurance premiums.

It is odd that people can sue because they believe their character has been defamed or deceived. Everyone’s character is defamed at some point or another in their lives. Some people who have been defamed will ask for astronomical compensation for damages they claim to have caused them a “great deal of mental anguish”. The bar is too low to meet a “great deal of mental anguish”. How can someone determine or measure the extent of the mental anguish someone is suffering? If a person can prove that their anguish or suffering meets those of a combat veteran, then they have a case. If not, they have no case. A veteran is guaranteed nothing after service: no job and not even decent healthcare. Can someone top that metal anguish or suffering? We are turning into a society of wimps who have absolutely no idea what it means to be in pain, to suffer, or to have mental anguish. Unfortunately, a great many of Americans are so narcissistic that they cannot place themselves in the shoes of another person who is really suffering.

If someone’s character has been unlawfully defamed or deceived but does not meet the “great deal of mental anguish” criteria then the guilty party should still be held accountable. They should be fined and or suspended from their organization, group, or company without pay. They should have a permanent record making further employment or participation in an organization, group, or company doing a similar task difficult. Justice should be served on the guilty party, not on the institution they are associated and their large liability insurance potential. Also, the law offices in losing cases representing plaintiffs should be responsible for court costs to prevent frivolous lawsuits.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Power of Money (Part I)

Federal and state governments do not answer to their constituents, instead they answer to money. Those with the most money and hence, the most lawyers and lobbying power win. This is a sad fact of life. Obama pledge to have a cabinet free of lobbyist and soon found that was a promise that was impossible to keep. Trump has had his cabinet members sign a pledge they will not lobby after leaving the administration for 5 years. That is not perfect, but it is a good place to start.

Liberals are not happy with the Citizens United decision that allows individuals and companies to pour an unlimited amount of cash into elections. The decision says money is a way to express ourselves and hence it falls under free speech. This is true. If people can express themselves legally by burning the American flag they can surely express themselves by buying gifts for others including contributions to campaigns. Interestingly, liberals have benefited more from this decision than conservatives. The Clinton campaign received over four times as much cash then Trump (not including the 85 million Trump donated to his own campaign) and a big chunk of that came from Wall Street. But despite being outspent nearly 3 to 1, Trump won, diminishing the power of money in elections for the first time. That is a good sign because it shows it is not necessarily the amount of money you receive, but how well you spend it. Trump managed his campaign money better than Clinton because he also had to overcome obstacles from established Republicans and the biased media.

Despite seeing some encouraging signs to diminish the power of money in politics, the same cannot be said of money in public life. I am solicited for money dozens of times daily by charities through emails, adds, commercials, phone calls, and so forth. Charities, for the most part, are good. But even the best ones only have about 60% of its contributions reach its intended goal. On average, less than 50% goes to the intended goal. That is not good. For this reason, I do not like charities, but instead like to donate directly to local causes when they happen.

Another alarming aspect of money is how much it is used in civil cases (cases where people, groups, companies, or organizations are suing another group, company, organization or person for damages -which often means for money) or tort cases which involve those where someone has suffered harm or loss. Here are some alarming statics:

Civil Lawsuit Statistics Data

Annual cost to the US economy for civil lawsuits $239,000,000,000

Estimate annual cost to each U.S. citizen for civil lawsuits $812

Percent of people who believe advertising by personal-injury lawyers encourages people to sue, even if they have not been injured 79 %

Average compensation payout for injury lawsuits $60,000

Percent of punitive damages suits won by plaintiff 6 %

Average awarded in a punitive damage lawsuit $50,000

Tort Lawsuit Statistics

Tort law deals with situations where a person's behavior has unfairly caused someone else to suffer loss or harm.

Average annual number of Federal court tort cases 512,000

Percent of tort cases that went to trial 2 %

Percent of cases won by the plaintiff 48 %

Percent of successful plaintiffs that received monetary damages 84 %

Percent of cases won in bench trials 54 %

Percent of cases won in jury trials 46 %

Average length of a civil trial 3.7 days

Federal Trials by Damages Claim

Motor vehicle collision 20 %

Products liability 13 %

Medical malpractice 10 %

Monday, February 27, 2017

US Terrorism Fight: 19th versus 21st Centuries (Part II)

5. Before Jefferson, the United States piracy policy consisted of paying ransoms to free sailors in bondage and paying bribes for the passage of American merchant ships. This policy also failed to work because Tripoli would not hold up its end of the bargain. Tripoli pirates would respect bribes and treaties for only a short period of time before moving back to their criminal ways. Why? Because they knew America was being weak (diplomatically and militarily) and would pay more money. The same was true with most European nations during the reign of Barbary pirates – they did not want to fight them. Today, has Iran held up its end of the bargain in the new treaty they have with the US? We have paid them ransoms and relaxed sanctions but Iran may be more confrontational than ever. They are violating terms in the treaty with regards to their nuclear buildup and they continue to harass our ships in neutral waters. Why? Because we have shown ourselves to be too weak in both diplomacy (giving in to Iran demands) and warfare (we have taken military action off the table).

6. Both Muslim terrorists and pirates want/wanted to put enemies in bondage and or convert them to fight their battles. This is of course is a huge problem in the modern fight on terrorism. Terrorists use technology to reach out to people around the globe in an effort to convert them to join their cause. Extreme Muslims take every provision in the Koran literally – to hate other religions and their followers. Nothing has changed over the centuries.

7. The Barbary and present day fight against Islamic extremism is happening in the same area. In fact, one ISIS strong hold is in the old Barbary nation of Tripoli or present day Libya (thanks to a failed Obama and Clinton policy). Barbary countries (except Morocco) where part of the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey) which is in the heart of the Middle East.

8. Both Jefferson and Madison understood that Tripoli would only respond to military force both by land and sea after the blockade did not work. They were right, one show of American might and Tripoli and other Barbary nations were ready to surrender (after Americans and allied forces won a battle at Derna). This is something that Obama has failed to grasp. Obama has scaled back our nuclear arsenal in a time when Iran is trying to garner nuclear weapons. Obama never wants to commit enough troops on the ground to be successful to fight Muslim extremism in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Obama’s only strategy is to control the air space and to make strategic strikes using drones. That has proved to be ineffective as terrorism has expanded dramatically under his watch.

What can learn from the present day fight on terrorism and the Barbary Wars? The chief thing is that Muslim extremism has been going on for a long time and will persist to go on for a long time. Those people who tell us that the American presence on Muslim soil is the reason they are fighting us are wrong. This was not the case in the Barbary Wars and it is not the case today. Muslim extremists do not like anyone and do not need to be provoked to dislike Americans (that hatred has and always will exist). The Koran tells Muslims that American (Western) values and everything we stand for are not just wrong, but they are evil. Those people who tell us that Trump immigration rhetoric is a great recruiting tool and a reason to fight the United States are also wrong. Muslims want to fight all Americans, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and even moderate Muslims. Muslim attacks occur all around the globe. They do not discriminate and it has nothing to do with Trump statements. They have been attacking people long before Trump became a politician. Islam intolerance has to do with a truly profound hate of people regardless of ethnicity, gender, or nationality. Those who tell us that America mistreats enemy combatants are wrong. It is Muslim extremist’s persistence to want to put Christians and Jews into slavery and to keep women and minorities oppressed who are the civil rights violators. The only reason any terrorist is incarcerated at the Gitmo Hotel and Suites is because they chose to be war criminals.

History does not lie, unfortunately, we never learn our lessons from history and are repeating the same mistakes for one of two reasons: we do not care about history or we are just plain ignorant.

Friday, February 24, 2017

US Terrorism Fight: 19th versus 21st Century (Part I)

The United States has been fighting Islamic extremists for centuries (Since the United States won its independence from England) and little has changed and that is not good news. At the turn of the 19th century the US was fighting Muslim pirates in the Barbary Wars. The Barbary countries consisted of the African Mediterranean nations Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli (present day Libya). Thomas Jefferson went to war primarily against the Barbary nation Tripoli once he became President. Tripoli pirates had been capturing American merchant ships including its goods and sailors for decades. Captured sailors would be given a choice of slavery or to convert to Islam. Most became slaves while a few converted. Many that became slaves died in bondage. The first Barbary War ended with an American victory, but the British convinced the Barbary nations to restart their piracy efforts against America during the War of 1812. The Barbary Wars officially ended in 1815 under President James Madison with a convincing victory for the Americans. So how were the Barbary wars similar to the fight against Islamic extremism today?

1. Muslim extremism is at war with the World. Muslim pirates did not discriminate and would attack ships from any country from around the globe and today Islamic extremist do not discriminate against anyone either. Muslims will attack everyone including Muslims who have different beliefs (i.e. in Syria and Iraq). And like the Barbary Wars, the chief leader in the fight against extreme terrorists (piracy) is (was) the United States. Other nations would prefer to pay the Barbary nations a bribe to allow for the safe passage of their merchant ships than fight the pirates. Today, much has not changed. Other nations expect and rely on the United States to lead the effort to fight radical Muslim extremists through intelligence, cyberwarfare, and warfare. Unfortunately, Obama has not been leading the effort and that is why under his presidency terrorism has grown in numbers, attacks, victims, and area. The Barbary pirates also grew in size, victims, and attacks under complacent presidents with weak military policies: Washington and Adams.

2. Money is power. Pirates garnered money through bribes, ransoms, and the selling of stolen goods. Modern terrorists garner money through stolen oil fields. However, the Barbary nations and present day countries controlled by terrorists are some of the poorest nations in the world and are some of the most religiously intolerant nations. The riches only go to a few of the most powerful people while the general populous is neglected. However, it is that neglect which is leveraged by powerful terrorist (pirate) leaders to convince the populace to join their cause – blaming their troubles on Western theology.

3. Muslims are masters of unconventional and unpredictable warfare techniques which makes their attacks hard to defend – whether it be by piracy; or by hijacking planes; or by bombing soft targets; or by suicide bombers; or by driving a car over innocent civilians, or by “lone wolf’s” hacking up coworkers in their workplace. When it comes to Muslim terrorism, expect the unexpected. Barbary pirates would surrender only to attack again once Americans would put down their guard. Conventional warfare is a thing of the past as Barbary and present day terrorists both proved their cowardice by hiding behind innocent civilians.

4. Originally, America’s military plan to defeat Tripoli was to blockade the port of Tripoli. This strategy went on for years and failed to work. This is similar to our present day strategy to deal with rogue Muslim states such as Iran – Sanctions. Blockades and sanctions are strategies targeted to cripple the economies of terrorist (pirate) nations. However, these techniques have had limited success because only the poor and general populous feel the effects of these strategies, not the few rich and powerful leaders.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Alexander Hamilton: Traitor to the Constitution (Part V)

There are lots of Hamilton writings in the federalist papers that have been violated because of his and John Marshall’s interpretation of the “necessary and proper” clause. Federalist 69 and 70 are perfect examples of how our Federal government expanded to include departments for agriculture, education, energy, health, housing, labor, and so forth. There is no power enumerated in the constitution for the federal government to handle these items, so they should be issues handled by the states. If there was such a strong need for these departments, then why did it take so long to add them? If they are so important and necessary than surely two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the States would be willing to add an amendment to the constitution to include them in the list of enumerated powers of the federal government? Besides, the functions of these departments are convoluted and confusing at best. For example, the agriculture department is in charge of things such as food stamps. There are fifteen different groups among the cluster of all these departments chartered with helping teen pregnancies. This type of disorganization and redundancy of operations leads to waste and fraud. The education department is a good example of how government interference works to make things worse. Education in the United States was one of the best in world when the federal government took over in 1953. Now, the United States is one of the worst educated nations in the world in terms of reading, writing, math, and science (this is why we need to expand H1 B Visas to import engineers, mathematicians, and scientists). So why do we persist to have education controlled nationally instead of it being a local issue?

Federalist 83 is a classic example of how our government worked originally, and how it is the antithesis of that today. In the essay Hamilton discuses why “trial by jury” is not included in the constitution. He explains how laws for trial by jury are vastly different in the many states. For instance, some states allow for trial by jury for all crimes while others only allow trial by jury for criminal cases and not civil cases and some states do not allow it at all. The only way to truly add trial by jury to the constitution would be to have the states compromise and add it by amendment to the bill of rights – which was done. At the constitutional convention Hamilton and others did not want to do away with hundreds of state laws and statutes dealing with trial by jury. Today, because of the increased power of the Supreme Court to legislate, the court rules on things that should require an amendment: abortion, gay marriage, Miranda rights, one person one vote, privacy, healthcare, and so forth and so on. The Supreme Court has wiped out thousands of state laws and statutes by expanding enumerated powers in the constitution to allow the federal government to make these intrusions. Abortion and gay marriage are civil rights issues. Consider the fact that landmark civil rights issues in the past had been handled by amendment: women’s suffrage, abolish slavery, etc. So why aren’t amendments used anymore? Because the Supreme Court has the power to legislate from the bench. This is far cry from what Hamilton said in federalist papers 78 and 81. The reason for this is because the Supreme Court is no longer a panel of neutral justices wanting to interpret the law, but instead the justices are politicians with political agendas.

In 1832, South Carolina wanted to succeed from the union. They felt tariffs on imports affected its citizens unequally especially compared to northern states. President Jackson (born in South Carolina) issued a proclamation saying that South Carolina had no legal right to succeed. The legal question was whether South Carolina was/is a sovereign state equal to the sovereignty possessed by the United States. This question would be brought up again by Lincoln during the Civil War. Lincoln like Jackson argued that the Southern States had no legal right to succeed. In both cases Jackson and Lincoln argued that states were not a sovereign equal to the union. States, for instance, could not do the things sovereign countries could: create treaties, regulate foreign commerce, coin money, and create an army or navy, and other powers enumerated to the federal government in the constitution. Southern states would use statements made in the Declaration of Independence, England’s Revolutionary War surrender statement, and the Articles of Confederation to make their case they had a right to be a sovereign nation. There was and is nothing in the constitution that says the state governments are equal to the federal government in terms of sovereignty. In 1869, in Texas v. White the Supreme Court ruled that state succession from the union was illegal. Hamilton was a smart man and it would not surprise me if he understood this when the constitution was drafted. But this does not sound like the intent of Hamilton or other framers as written in federalist papers 28 or 45 or the tenth amendment. Of course Hamilton did not draft those federalist papers and by the sound of federalist paper 84 he did not want that amendment added to the constitution. In any event, Hamilton and his Federalist views have won out in America history. He paved the way for the progressive movement that has a strangle hold on the modern political landscape of America. Hamilton may be the one founding father who would not be disappointed as to how our country has evolved.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Alexander Hamilton: Traitor to the Constitution (Part IV)

Hamilton would also argue that the “general welfare” clause in the constitution’s preamble also gives the federal government the power to erect a national bank – citing the bank was necessary for the “general welfare” of the citizens of the United States. Hamilton says as long as the national bank is “general” and not “local” in that it will help every citizen equally, it is constitutional under the “general welfare” clause. Jefferson argued that a national bank is good for the “general welfare” of the federal government, but not good for the United States citizens as a whole (except for those businessmen holding stock in the bank – federalist paper 62). See federalist paper 40 for Madison’s view of the “general welfare” clause and how it has expanded in Hamilton’s view.

Hamilton argues that a national bank will help regulate interstate commerce. Jefferson refutes that argument by claiming the creation of the national bank would create the interstate commerce it was designed to regulate. Jefferson also says the national commerce created by the national bank would be void because it would create as much interstate commerce as intrastate commerce. Hamilton would of course refute these points as well as contend that a national bank would also protect the “property” of United States citizens. By helping to collect taxes, those monies can be used to provide for the general defense of the United States. Jefferson says that the United States has been collecting taxes for centuries without a national bank.

In 1819, the Supreme Court case between Maryland v. McCulloch, the Court ruled unanimously that the national bank was constitutional and that States could not levy a tax against the national bank. The court ruled that the federal government had “implied” powers not outlined or expressed in the constitution citing both the “necessary and proper” and “supremacy” clauses. Hamilton and his arguments were vindicated, but at what cost? This ruling set the stage for using the “necessary and proper” clause by the federal government for everything it sees fit. This has led to the main problem we see today: the federal government is too big because of the never ending expansion of the federal government (see federalist papers 69 and 70 as examples). For instance, Maryland v. McCulloch has been cited over 50 times in cases involving issues such as legal tender. This ruling obliterated the views held in federalist papers 32, 36, 47, 48, 78, and 81.

Hamilton’s whiskey tax stirred up a whiskey rebellion in western Pennsylvania. President George Washington himself led an army to squash the rebellion. Federalist papers 9 and 10 support this type of view (suppressing what Hamilton perceives are “radical” factions), but it violates everything that is written in the bill of rights such freedom of speech. Maybe this is why Hamilton was opposed to a bill of rights in federalist paper 84. After all, Washington’s actions would be less controversial if there was no bill of rights.

In 1798 then President, John Adams, passed through Congress the “Aliens and Seditions” act. The law enabled the federal government to convict anyone who had opposing views to the President. The laws also allowed the government to deport immigrants and made it harder for immigrants to vote. Hundreds upon thousands were deported (no due process) or put in prison including those working for newspapers (a violation of most amendments in the bill of rights). Hamilton, who was no longer working in the government, had sent letters to friends indicating that he felt these laws were constitutional probably based on his anti-France / pro-England views as well as his opinion held in federalist paper 9 allowing the suppression of what he perceives are “radical” factions (it is obvious what Hamilton views as “radical” is very much different than what Jefferson would consider “radical” based on his war monger beliefs). Of course Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions condemning these laws as well as citing all amendments and provisions of the constitution that the law violates. Jefferson would rightly denounce how liberally the “necessary and proper” clause (federalist paper 33 and 44) is being applied making the power of the federal government infinite. Again, this may explain why Hamilton did not want a bill of rights (federalist paper 84) but probably insisted upon a “necessary and proper” and “supremacy” clause.

In 1832, then President Andrew Jackson started a war on the 2nd National Bank created in 1816 (established after Hamilton’s 1st National Bank charter expired after 20 years). Jackson distrusted banks and worried about the influence of money in politics. He moved all deposits from the national bank to “pet banks” and vetoed the bill to charter the 3rd National Bank and its charter expired in 1936. Jackson won the battle. During the battle, President of the National Bank, Nicolas Biddle, showed the dangers of the national bank by disrupting the economy in an attempt to prove the necessity of the bank. Jefferson was vindicated: Jackson’s victory proved that a national bank was powerful and could disrupt the economy, but at the same time it was not necessary to carry out any of the enumerated powers of the constitution. However, the damage had been done: Hamilton and the Supreme Court changed the meaning of the constitution’s “necessary and proper” clause and the interpretation of the federalist papers to mean anything a corrupt politician wants. The constitution was moved from a rigid document to one that is elastic in meaning. Hamilton deceived the people of New York and the people at the constitutional convention.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Alexander Hamilton: Traitor to the Constitution (Part III)

Can the federal government erect corporations (a national bank)? That was the big constitutional question in the Washington administration. Hamilton says yes and Thomas Jefferson says no. Jefferson argues there is no expressed or written power in the constitution for the government to erect a corporation. Hamilton concurs but argues that building a federal corporation is not forbidden by the constitution and it does not abate state rights. Hamilton argues further that any act is constitutional if it is a “means to attain the ends”. Powers enumerated in the constitution for the federal government include laying and collecting taxes, coining money, and borrowing money. And a national bank is the means to attain those ends. Hamilton even uses the “supremacy” clause to justify that a sovereign nation has the right to create laws that are the supreme laws of the land (federalist papers 33 and 44 illustrate how the interpretation of the “supremacy” clause has changed – especially Hamilton’s view).

Hamilton would also argue for the national bank using the “necessary and proper” clause of the constitution. He said this clause provides the federal government the right to build a national bank of the United States. He argues that it is “necessary and proper” to have a national bank so the federal government could sufficiently do its job to lay and collect taxes, coin money, and borrow money (that the means justify the ends). Jefferson would again argue that the power to erect companies is not expressed in the constitution. Hamilton would rebut by saying that the States do not have the expressed powers in their constitutions to build state banks, yet all states have them. Hamilton also gave an example that the constitution does not have the expressed power to build lighthouses, piers, or beacons, but it is “necessary and proper” for the federal government to do so in order to conduct trade. Many federalists, those wanting a stronger national government, felt the constitution as drafted was weak. The constitution in their view was rigid and too specific. In other words it was not “elastic” enough. Hamilton’s arguments and the 1819 Supreme Court decision in Maryland v. McCulloch would turn the “necessary and proper” clause into the “elastic” clause. This was especially true in times of war (federalist papers 33 and 44 to illustrate how the interpretation of the “necessary and proper” clause has changed in Hamilton’s view). James Madison was always a state rights advocate who saw the need for a stronger federal government. At the constitutional convention Madison lobbied hard for the federal power to nullify any bad state laws. It was widely opposed, but the 14th amendment following the civil war would essentially create this power further strengthening the federal government’s hold over state governments. Madison was wrong that the constitution did not have enough power after the “elastic” clause was created by the Supreme Court contrary to federalist papers 78 and 81.

Jefferson also cites the tenth amendment as to why the national bank is unconstitutional. The tenth amendment says (paraphrase): those rights (powers) not given to the federal government in the constitution belong to the states. Hence, the act of creating banks solely rests with the states. Hamilton argues that there are implied or resulting powers from the powers vested in the national government. For instance, the federal government has a right to tax, so a tax on rum would be an implied or a resultant power. Federalist papers 28, 45 and 62 show how Hamilton’s view has changed.

One proposed amendment for the constitution bill of rights that was submitted by several states reads: “That Congress erect no company of merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce.” This one became part of the argument against the national bank proposed by Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson opposed the national bank using that statement by contending it would create a monopoly or that with its special powers and privileges, the national bank would hinder the development of state banks. Jefferson also argued that the national bank would be far more helpful to wealthy businessmen in cities than farmers in rural areas. The national bank would be run by wealthy stockholders and would help this privileged class become more rich and powerful (See federalist paper 62). Hamilton argued that the national bank is not a monopoly because the law does not stop states and localities from creating new banks. However, Hamilton admits that Congress has the right to alter state laws if it is deemed necessary for the federal government to conduct its business. Hamilton also argues that many of the same states that wrote the proposed amendment did not have any issue with the federal government erecting trade companies. Hamilton would also suggest that the federal government created new governments (companies) in the northwest and southwest territories. Hamilton therefore insists that the federal government has the right and power to erect governments as well as corporations on government lands such as the District of Columbia or western territories.