Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Another Watergate?

                Will the IRS scandal be Barack Obama’s Watergate?  It could be! The Watergate scandal caused Richard Nixon to resign from the office of President of the United States in August 1974.  It was a major political scandal that resulted from a burglary at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters on June 17, 1972, and the cover-up from the Nixon administration.

                “When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, the Nixon administration’s resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis.  The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration.  Those activities included such `dirty tricks’ as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious.  Nixon and his close aides ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration, articles of impeachment, and the resignation of Richard Nixon, the President of the United States.  The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty and incarcerated, many of whom were Nixon’s top administration officials.
                “The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972.  The FBI connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon’s campaign.  In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the President’s staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.  After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes to government investigators; he eventually complied.  Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up the questionable goings-on that had taken place after the break-in.
Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974.  On September 8, 1974, his successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him.”  President Ford tried to heal the nation by pardoning Nixon.  His attempt backfired and cost President Ford his own re-election.

                Wayne Root claims he “was the victim of a widespread politically-motivated criminal attack by the IRS.”  He also claims that he has evidence tying the IRS scandal to the Obama White House.  Judicial Watch, a government watch dog, took Root’s case.

                Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, stated:  “The Obama IRS obstructed the release of Wayne Root’s tax documents.  The abuse of process Judicial Watch and Wayne suffered through to get these documents is scandalous.  Now we know why the Obama IRS was hesitant to give Wayne his own IRS files.  These documents show the Obama IRS scandal was more than just suppressing the Tea Party, it was also about auditing critics of President Obama.  Richard Nixon had to resign from office for less….” 

                Documents obtained by Judicial Watch clearly show that Root was targeted by IRS.  He believes the attack on him was meant to destroy, bankrupt, or silence him.  Root’s report of the experience is very interesting.  I encourage you to read it.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Savior of the Nation

                One hundred and fifty years ago on May 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was buried.  Tens of thousands of people paid their respects to the late President in the Illinois State Capitol and read the words “Washington the Father, Lincoln the Savior.”

                “Millions more encountered similar sentiment in the nation’s papers, pews, and parlors.  To a distant and more secular generation, eulogizing Lincoln as a national savior might seem like embellished hero worship, but understanding the context of such praise reveals profound and seldom-told meaning in the Civil War.”

                Thus Michael K. Erickson began his article entitled “The Providence of God and the Civil War.”  Erickson’s article explains how President Lincoln’s understanding of the purpose for the Civil War evolved “from saving the Union, to freeing the slaves, and finally to redeeming the nation.”  “For many Bible-believing Americans, the assassination of the venerable commander-in-chief became a last sacrifice to redeem the nation for its original sin of slavery…..”


                The article is very interesting and sheds much light on those who are far removed from the Civil War.  I personally believe the “offense” of the nation includes more than the sin of slavery; I believe it includes the persecutions of the Mormons who escaped from the horrors of the Civil War by moving to the Rocky Mountains.  At any rate, the price of slavery was paid by the blood of 620,000 Americans, mostly white men.  Ironic, isn’t it?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Death of President-Elect

                The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:  “If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President.  If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified….”  This provision in the Constitution insures there will be a President of the United States in spite of whatever may happen.

                W. Cleon Skousen explained, “The office of President of the United States is the most powerful political assignment in the world.  The demands of living in an atomic age make it mandatory that this office remain functional at all times.  The authors of this amendment recognized that there was a weakness in the transitional procedure as power is transferred from the incumbent President to the President-elect.  A variety of mishaps might occur to prevent the new President from taking over – including the discovery of some disability.  This provision was designed to fill this void.”  (See The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 752.)

                John Copeland Nagle of The Heritage Foundation further explained, “Sections 3 and 4 [of this amendment] address an issue unrelated to the concern about lame-duck Congresses, namely, the circumstances in which the President or the President-elect dies.  In the words of Senator [George W.] Norris, Sections 3 and 4 ensure that `there can never arise a contingency where the country will be without a chief magistrate or without the method of selecting a chief magistrate.’  The nation has never had the occasion to put Senator Norris’s confidence to the test….”

(See The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, p. 420.)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Repentance

                The Lord told Adam to “teach [repentance] unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence” (Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:57).

                One of the reasons we came to earth was to get experience, grow, and progress.  As we get experience, we sometimes make mistakes or even sin.  In order to grow and progress, we must recognize our sins and repent of them.  This is a daily experience, not simply something we do on our death bed. 

                There are three basic reasons why we sin:  (1) ignorance, (2) weaknesses, and (3) willful disobedience.  No matter the reason for the sin, we are guilty of committing the sin; therefore, we need to repent in order to grow and progress.  Jesus Christ is the only person who ever lived on the earth that was without sin, and He is the only person who does not need to repent.

                Heavenly Father loves all of His children, but He knew we would sin.  He provided a way for us to overcome our sins and become clean once again.  He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to provide a way for all of His children to return to His presence.  He provided the principle of repentance.  The privilege of repenting is possible only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ; the Atonement makes it possible for all mankind to repent and to become clean and worthy to enter the Kingdom of God.

                When we sin, our progress slows or even stops.  When we repent, we remove the obstacle standing in our way, and we can begin to move forward once again.  Repentance is not easy and often requires great courage, strength, tears, sincere prayer, and obedience to God’s commandments.

                President Spencer W. Kimball declared:  “There is no royal road to repentance, no privileged path to forgiveness.  Every man must follow the same course whether he be rich or poor, educated or untrained, tall or short, prince of pauper, king or commoner….  There is only one way.  It is a long road spiked with thorns and briars and pitfalls and problems” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 149).

                Repentance includes several very important steps.  The first step is to recognize that we sinned.  We have to admit to ourselves that we goofed up.  We cannot repent until we complete this very important step.

                The second step is to feel sorrow for our sins.  We must feel sorrow for the sin, not simply for being caught in the sin.  We must feel sincere sorrow as well as to feel the sins are disgusting and loathsome.  We must want to overcome the sin.

                The third step is to forsake the sin or to stop committing the sin.  When we truly repent of sins, we will commit the sins no more.  The Lord told Joseph Smith, “By this ye may know if a man repents of his sins – behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:43).

                The fourth step is to confess our sins.  This is a very important step because the Lord has commanded us to confess our sins.  Confession removes a heavy burden from the sinner.  We must confess all of our sins to God – even though He already knows about them.  Any sins that affect our standing in the Church – such as adultery, fornication, robbery, etc. – must be confessed to the proper priesthood authority.  In addition, if we sin against another person, we must confess our sin to the person we have hurt.

                The fifth step is to make restitution.  Restitution means to do everything possible to make all wrong right again.  Examples: a thief returns the stolen items, a liar makes the truth known, and a gossip monger works to restore the character and good name of anyone he has hurt.

                The sixth step is to forgive those who have sinned against us.  We cannot be forgiven by God unless we forgive other people.  We must cleanse our hearts of all hate, bitterness, and bad feelings toward other people.

                The seventh step is to keep the commandments of God.  President Kimball taught, “Repentance means not only to convict yourselves of the horror of the sin, but to confess it, abandon it, and restore to all who have been damaged to the total extent possible; then spend the balance of your lives trying to live the commandments of the Lord so he can eventually pardon you and cleanse you” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 200).

                When we repent, we activate the atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives and receive forgiveness for our sins.  We are then able to put down the burden of carrying the sins and move forward to happiness and joy.

                Repentance should be a day to day process.  We should review our lives each morning to determine if the Holy Ghost is with us.  If not, we should determine why.  At night we should review our acts of the day and ask God to help us see any sins we committed.  When we start the repentance process early, we can catch our sins when they are still small ones.  By repenting daily, we can experience the cleansing effect daily.


                Alma, an ancient American prophet, taught, “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma 34:32).

Friday, May 1, 2015

Family Time

                We can strengthen the rising generation by assuring they have adequate time with their family, particularly mothers.  Family time is critical to helping our children and youth to avoid delinquent behavior.  When we give the rising generation enough of our quality time, we strengthen them and thus strengthen our communities and nations.

                Researchers at the University of Toronto and Bowling Green State University recently released a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.  The research “provides empirical support for the idea that a mother’s time is irreplaceable to her child’s development” according to the authors.  They used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement to evaluate “the time mothers specifically spent with children in the 3-year-old to 11-year-old age bracket and the 12-year-old to 18-year-old age bracket.  They analyzed how that time related to the child’s behavioral, emotional and academic performance.
                “`In childhood and adolescence, the amount of maternal time did not matter for offspring behaviors, emotions or academics, whereas social status factors were important.’ The study authors wrote.  `For adolescents, more engaged maternal time was related to fewer delinquent behaviors, and engaged time with parents together was related to better outcomes.  Overall, the amount of mothers’ time mattered in nuanced ways, and, unexpectedly, only in adolescence.’”

                So, how much time with family is needed?  Children and teens need at least six hours per week or a little less than an hour per day.  Co-author Melissa Milkie with the Toronto University spoke with the Washington Post and said that “this study emphasizes quality time over the quantity of time.  `In an ideal world, this study would alleviate parents’ guilt about the amount of time they spend and show instead what’s really important for kids,’ she said.  The amount of time doesn’t matter, but these little pieces of time do,’ Milkie said, according to the Post.”

                I am very interested in the minimum amount of family time needed by the rising generation – approximately an hour every day.  How can we involve our families in one hour of quality time every day?  One of the most important ways to do this is to eat dinner together every day!

                Cody C. Delistraty had personal experience with the importance of eating dinner with family.  His mother passed away, and his older brother left home; Delistraty and his father stopped eating dinner together – eating with friends, eating in front of the television, etc.  Just before Delistraty left home for college, his father suggested they start eating dinner together again.

                “It wasn’t ideal, of course – the meals we made weren’t particularly amazing and we missed the presence of Mom and my brother – but there was something special about setting aside time to be with my father.  It was therapeutic:  an excuse to talk, to reflect on the day, and on recent events.  Our chats about the banal – of baseball and television – often led to discussions of the serious – of politics and death, of memories and loss.  Eating together was a small act, and it required very little of us – 45 minutes away from our usual, quotidian distractions – and yet it was invariably one of the happiest parts of my day.”

                Delistraty did some research where he found that not eating dinner together resulted in more truancy and more obesity in the rising generation.  “There are two big reasons for these negative effects associated with not eating meals together:  the first is simply that when we eat out – especially at the inexpensive fast food and take-out places that most children go to when not eating with their family – we tend not to eat very healthy things.  As Michael Pollan wrote in his most recent book Cooked, meals eaten outside of the home are almost uniformly less healthy than homemade foods, generally having higher fat, salt, and caloric content.
                “The other reason is that eating alone can be alienating.  The dinner table can act as a unifier, a place of community.  Sharing a meal is an excuse to catch up and talk, one of the few times where people are happy to put aside their work and take time out of their day. … “

                So it seems that eating dinner together at home as a family can strengthen our children and youth in two different ways – physically with better health and psychologically with better mental health.

                This site lists eight reasons why eating dinner together as families is good for the rising generation.  All of the reasons are good, and this one is particularly applicable to this discussion.  “Eating family dinners at least five times a week drastically lowers a teen’s chance of smoking, drinking, and using drugs.  Teens who have fewer than three family dinners a week are 3.5 times more likely to have abused prescription drugs and to have used illegal drugs other than marijuana, three times more likely to have used marijuana, more than 2.5 times more likely to have smoked cigarettes, and 1.5 times more likely to have tried alcohol, according to the CASA report.  `While substance abuse can strike any family, regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age, or gender, the parental engagement fostered at the dinner table can be a simple, effective tool to help prevent [it],’ says Elizabeth Planet, one of the report’s researchers, and the center’s vice president and director of special projects.

                I like this reason also:  “Of teens who eat with their family fewer than three times a week, 20% get C’s or lower on their report cards, according to the CASA report.  Only 9% of teens who eat frequently with their families do this poorly in school.  Family meals give children an opportunity to have conversations with adults, as well as to pick up on how adults are using words with each other, which may explain why family dinnertime is also thought to build a child’s vocabulary.”


                We can strengthen our communities and nations by spending an hour a day together as families.  Since we all need to eat, we can have quality and quantity time together as families if we choose to eat dinner together.  Some families lengthen their time together by working together to fix the meal and clean up the kitchen.  We can strengthen the rising generation, our families, our communities, our and nations by eating dinner together as a family!   

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Religious Liberty

                Freedom of Religion is being attacked on several sides.  Hilary Clinton, Democrat presidential candidate, gave the keynote address at the 2015 Women in the World Summit in New York City last week.  She stated that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” in order for women to have access to “reproductive health care.” 

                “Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe child birth.  All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced.  Rights have to exist in practice not just paper.” 

                Clinton added, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.  And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

                Glenn Beck said that Clinton “has gone further than any politician I’ve ever heard in my lifetime.  And as usual, there is so little coverage of it except here.  I’m actually not sure how many people know of it.  And if the American people know about it, I don’t ever know if they care anymore.”

                Another attack on Freedom of Religion could come if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.  Religious schools that teach marriage is the union of one man and one woman could lose their non-profit tax-exempt status if the Court changes the definition of marriage.

                During oral arguments at the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015, Justice Samuel Alito asked the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli whether religious schools would lose their non-profit tax status if they stood for traditional marriage.  Verrilli answered, “It’s certainly going to be an issue.  I don’t deny that.  I don’t deny that, Justice Alito.  It is going to be an issue.”

                Ryan T. Anderson of The Heritage Foundation stated that there should be no issue with it.  “Citizens and organizations that continue to believe the truth about marriage should not be penalized by the government.  

                “Even if the Court says that all 50 states have to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage, there is no reason why the government should coerce or penalize institutions of civil society that simply ask to be free – without penalty – to continue to operate in accordance with the belief that marriage is a union of husband and wife.”

                Anderson explained that Justice Alito asked his question after Justice Antonin Scalia “asked about the religious liberty concerns if the Supreme Court creates a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.  When the lawyer replied that we hadn’t seen many religious liberty violations in the states that have democratically redefined marriage, Scalia pounced:  that’s his point.  Here’s how he explained it: `They are laws. They are not constitutional requirements.  That was the whole point of my question.  If you let the states do it, you can make an exception.  … You can’t do that once it is a constitutional proscription.’”


                Anderson concluded, “This highlights another reason why it would be wise for the Supreme Court to not disregard the constitutional authority of states to make marriage policy.  Not only is there nothing in the Constitution that requires the redefinition of marriage, but a ruling saying that there was could create unimaginable religious liberty violations.  These situations are best handled democratically.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Betrayal Papers

                I reviewed the first five installments of The Betrayal Papers about a month ago.  This post will review the sixth and final installment.  The Betrayal Papers names people and organizations that its authors believe to be part of secret combinations intent on destroying the government of the United States. 

                The Betrayal Papers were collaborative by the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, which includes:  Andrea Shea King, Dr. Ashrf Ramelah, Benjamin Smith, Brent Parrish, Charles Ortel, Denise Simon, Dick Manasseri, Gary Kubiak, Gates of Vienna, IQ al Rassooli, Jeff Bayard, Leslie Burt, Marcus Kohan, General Paul E. Vallely, Regina Thomason, Scott Smith, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Colonel Thomas Snodgrass, Trever Loudon, Wallace Bruschweiler, and William Palumbo.

                The authors apparently believe that traitors have taken over our government and compared the state of our nation to the Roman Empire:  “Rome’s greatest statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero, witnessed the end of the Roman Republic.  Before paying with his life, he spoke to the Roman Senate:

                “`A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.  But it cannot survive treason from within.  An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.  But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.  For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.  He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.  A murderer is less to fear.”

                “When a country is captured by traitors who write its laws and punish dissenters, it can rightly be regarded as a colony.  The people can likewise be regarded not as citizens, but as subjects, or slaves.
                “In 1776, the Colonists fatefully decided to `dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.’
                “The situation we face today is imminently dangerous.  We are threatened with the loss of our God-given freedoms.  Though the cost may be high, the American people can still secure the blessings of liberty.  We must.  We owe it to posterity.”

                The sixth installment connects Barack Obama, Ralm Emanuel. Eric Holder, David Axlerod, and Maurice Strong with the global Left, Islamic “civilization jihad,” and the Communist mafia.  Their motives:  deception, greed, and power.

                Ralm Emanuel was Chief-of-Staff for Barack Obama but returned to Chicago after clashing with Valerie Jarrett.  Emanuel worked for Bill Clinton as well as Obama and kept the “lid on a number of Chicago-centric scandals.”  He was part of Hillarycare, the predecessor to Obamacare.  He was on the Freddie Mac board of directors during the housing scandal.  He has two influential  brothers:  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (main architect of the Obamacare legislation and the effort to get it passed and most associated with “death panels”) and Ari Emanual (a Hollywood “super-agent” representing liberal actors such as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon).  Ralm Emanuel was supported by the Obama administration in both his campaigns for mayor of Chicago.

                Eric Holder served as Attorney General in the Obama administration; as head of the Department of Justice, he “elevated racial agitation to a high art, political correctness to an Orwellian contact sport, and gun control into a religion.  His fingerprints are all over the administration’s various scandals, from Fast and Furious to Ferguson.  Like other administration officials, Holder’s history and actions portray a man dedicated to the overthrowing Constitutional government.”

                David Axelrod is the “son of two Communists” or “leftist Democrats.”  “Every tyrant as his propagandist.  The propagandist spins lies form half-truths, and the bigger the lies, the better.  For candidate Obama to get elected to political office, indeed for Obama to rise to the Presidency so quickly and without any qualifying credentials, he needed the expert public relations advice of a seasoned spin-doctor and manipulator of public opinion.  This was Axelrod.”

                Maurice Strong is the Canadian billionaire at the center of the United Nation’s plan for `sustainable development.’  He was a leading proponent of Agenda 21.   He is also an oil tycoon with connections to governments, George Soros, and the United Nations and uses these connections to “advance an international regulatory regime that would practically end human freedom as we know it.”  One of his partners in Agenda 21 is George Soros “who has donated millions to implement the agenda on local and municipal levels.”

                All the “players” are part of the “Chicago Connection”.  Organizations involved in the connection are (1) ACORN (a progressive community organizing group – players involved:  Obamas, Clintons, Valerie Jarrett, Tony Rezko); (2) Chicago Red City (Communist central – players involved:  Barack Obama, Frank Marshall Davis, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, David Axelrod); (3) The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) (a carbon credit exchange – players involved:  Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Al Gore, George Soros, John Podesta, John Ayers [brother of Bill], Maurice Strong, Nadhmi Auchi, Henry Paulson, ShoreBank [major shareholder], Franklin Raines [disgraced former Fannie Mae head], Goldman Sachs); (4) The Cult of Subud (problems in Middle East – players:  Barack Obama, Stanley Ann Dunham, George Soros, Maurice Strong, Loretta Fuddy; Fuddy was killed in December 2013 when her plane went down off the coast of Hawaii, the only fatality).

                The authors concluded that the government of the United States is corrupt and used an ancient proverb to illustrate their conclusion:  “The fish rots from the head.”  “The people, organizations, and schemes mentioned above and throughout this series of articles are not important.  They have been named here only to establish their culpability in the attempted and (thus far) successful destruction of the country.

                “Obama is the head of this rotten fish.  He is, as Winston Churchill put it, `a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.’  With each investigation into his personal history, only more questions are unearthed.  He appears to be a cutout character rather than a man with a true life history.  The only consistency in his story is offered by his associates, all of whom are subversives, many whom are evil.”

                On one side of Obama is the Muslim Brotherhood:  “the Obama administration has enabled these terrorists to overthrow friendly governments and form jihadi armies,” making the Middle East “more volatile than it has been in a century.”  Today we have a crisis in diplomacy with neither our enemies or our allies believing Obama.

                A “powerful financial cartel led by George Soros” stands on the other side of Obama.  “The cartel’s operations are thoroughly intertwined with the Muslim Brotherhood to such an extent that they support and fund global Islamic jihad….  These self-appointed masters of the universe purchase and then use sovereign countries for their own gain; the United States is their latest and crowning acquisition.

                “These two sides have prevented any meaningful economic recovery.  A nation’s government is supposed to strengthen the country, but Obama has intentionally done the opposite.  We are historically weak right now, while our enemies grow stronger.

                “A fifth column is operating the government through regulation of the (formerly) private sector, and deep penetration of the intelligence and security services.  Even the venerable, powerful, and highly-respected U.S. military has been hobbled by these criminals.”