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 11, 2021

Are You Enjoying Biden’s “Long Dark Winter” Yet?

             Joe Biden said that America was heading into a “long dark winter” unless Donald Trump was voted out of office. The mainstream media spent four years lying about Trump and all the good policies that were put in place by the Trump administration. Therefore, Americans did not know that Trump’s “America First” made America better and safer. Biden has been in office for less than four months, and the United States is heading back into the cold, dark days of the Jimmy Carter administration.

            Trump put America and America’s allies first. Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East, and Trump made it plain that America stood with Israel. Trump cut funding to terrorist organizations, while making peace deals with several Arab nations. The Biden administration replaced the funding, and Hamas restarted war with Israel, sending more than 700 missiles into Israel is less than forty-eight hours. Trump brought peace to the Middle East, and Biden sent it up in flames.

            Trump promised to build a wall on the southern border of the United States, and his administration was able to build approximately 500 miles of strong fence despite Democrats fighting every step. The wall stops illegal immigration, but migrants are crossing the border in the places where there is no fence. More than 200,000 illegal aliens entered the United States in one month. There are estimates that more than two million migrants will enter America illegally during 2021. Trump had the southern border under control, and Biden opened the border and said everyone was welcome to come.

            Under the Trump administration, the United States became energy independent. In fact, we were not only independent, but we were also dominant in the field. We did not have to depend on our enemies for energy. Biden signed executive orders within the first week after inauguration to shut down the oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas coast and stopped expansion of drilling. America is no longer energy independent. Now we are back to the cold, dark days of the Carter administration with shortages of gasolines. Why? Because an enemy hacked into one of the main oil pipelines and shut it down. Gasoline prices have risen all over the nation and will continue to rise without plenty of oil. Trump gave us energy independence, but Biden is setting us back fifty years.

            Trump cut regulations and cut taxes. By making the cuts, he set the economy to soaring. The virus from China set us back, but Trump had a strong enough economy that it was coming back strongly. Then Biden came into office, and the economy is tanking. The federal government and state governments are paying people more for not working than they could make working full time. Therefore, businesses cannot hire the people that they need to open and be successful. Plus, Biden is raising taxes to pay for all the freebies that he is promising to America.

            Trump’s theme was “America First,” but Biden’s theme seems to be “America Last.” Trump worked hard for long hours every day for four years to make America better, and America was a much better place. The election of Biden was a huge mistake for the nation because he has brought great destruction to America in less than four months. I wonder if we will even recognize America at the end of the Biden administration.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Who Is Ron DeSantis?

             My VIP for this week is Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida. His state is joining Georgia and other states in enacting election reforms. DeSantis signed the reform law live while on “Fox & Friends” last Thursday morning. The Florida law “applies the same ID requirements to absentee voting as to in-person voting.” This law stops the practice of ballot harvesting by allowing only immediate family members collect absentee ballots. In addition, it provides better security for the ballot drop boxes. 

            The Georgia voter integrity law is getting all the attention, but other states – such as Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa, and Montana -- are strengthening their own laws. Critics say that the new laws are suppressing votes, but proponents claim other reasons.

            DeSantis is protecting Floridians in other ways. He has opened his state completely and freeing Floridians to live normally. Schools have been opened since last Fall as well as businesses. He has warned Antifa to not go to Florida because there will be consequences for burning, looting, and murdering. DeSantis puts the Floridians first and stands up for what is best for his state. He is at the list of possible presidential candidates for 2024.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

What Should We Know about the Latest Guns Rights Case?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the Second Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms. It has been more than ten years since District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) answered important questions about the Second Amendment. The reluctance of the Supreme Court to hear cases during the last decade have caused an undermining of the two decisions referred to above and thus bringing more cases against the Second Amendment.

            According to Amy Swearer at The Heritage Foundation, the Supreme Court has been “treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right” and deeming it “unworthy of consistent legal review.” Her example was New York State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York where anticipation was dashed by the Supreme Court declared the case moot after a move by New York. However, the Supreme Court agreed last week to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol v. Corlett, and this case “could have much broader implications for the future of strict gun control than its mooted predecessor.” Swearer stated that there are three important things for us to know about the latter case. 

1. This case is about the right to carry firearms in public.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett provides the Supreme Court with the opportunity to address a very important question it so far has declined to answer: When the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, does it mean a right to bear a handgun in public for purposes of self-defense? …

2. “Good cause” and “may issue” requirements have racist roots.

For the first 70 or so years after the Constitution was ratified, Americans undeniably maintained a general right to bear arms in public, with perhaps some state authority to regulate the mode of carry….

The reality is that today’s “good cause” requirements may not be overtly racist, but in practice they serve to disproportionately exclude people of color from the ability to protect themselves in public with firearms. Constitutional implications aside, this makes discretionary licensing poor public policy.

Who ends up getting concealed carry permits in the most restrictive “good cause” jurisdictions? Overwhelmingly, the permits go to wealthy white men – especially those who are well connected to whatever public official happens to have sole discretion over granting permit applications….

3. Public carry will not turn us into the “Wild West.”

Many gun control advocates insist that if the Supreme Court strikes down “good cause” requirements then the nation will be turned into a “Wild West” of gun violence.

In other words, the Second Amendment shouldn’t protect a right of ordinary citizens to bear arms in their own defense, because ordinary citizens largely are incapable of acting in a reasonable manner when armed in public.

Decades of plain data show just the opposite….

It turns out that ordinary, law-abiding citizens absolutely can be trusted to “bear” arms in public, just like the plain text of the Constitution envisions.

Swearer and I hope that the Supreme Court will decide in favor of full constitutional rights to tens of millions of Americans.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Why Is Mother’s Day a Time to Celebrate All Women?

             Mother’s Day is the day that we honor our mother and other mother-figures in our lives, such as mother-in-law, stepmother, and grandmother. It is also a day when we honor motherhood, maternity, and the influence of mothers in our society. Mother’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world on various days, most commonly in March or May.

            Mother’s Day is a modern holiday was first celebrated in 1907 in the United States when Anna Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church. Jarvis started her campaign to create a day to honor mothers in 1905, the year that her mother died. She wanted a day set apart to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”

            In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday. However, all U.S. states observed the holiday by 1911 with some states declaring it a local holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation stating that Mother’s Day would be the second Sunday in May and that it was a national holiday to honor mothers.

            Mother’s Day is a day that brings many different feelings to women. It is a day of rejoicing for most mothers, but it is a day of heart break for women who desire to have children but have none, for mothers who have lost children – either before birth or after, and for mothers who feel that they have failed as mothers.

            Religious and other leaders have discussed mothers and Mother’s Day. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often speaks about mothering. This is one such statement: “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle – and all will – I say, ‘Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.” 

            Then-Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke of the mothers in his family. He spoke of learning to appreciate the mothering struggles of his wife and of watching with awe as his daughters and granddaughters teach and guide their children. Then he made this statement: 

 There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.

            I, too, watch with awe as my daughters by blood and marriage teach and guide their children through the busyness and stresses of this world. They are much better mothers than I was, which proves a favorite saying of my father. He said that each generation should be better people than the previous generation because we should learn from our parents what works and what does not work. Nevertheless, I cannot say that I was a better mother than my own mother; I can just say that I was a different type of mother.

Sister Sheri Dew, former counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, taught that motherhood is a doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that this is the reason why the Brethren speak about it so often and so powerfully. In speaking of mothers and motherhood, Sister Dew made the following powerful statement. 

When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman’s most sacred role. While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve “the mother of all living” [Moses 4:26] —and they did so before she ever bore a child.

Like Eve, our motherhood began before we were born. Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality [Alma 13:2-4, 7-8], righteous women were endowed premortally with the privilege of motherhood. [See Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102.] Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.

According to Sister Dew, all women and girls are mothers and have been from our premortal lives. As women, we mother all sorts of people who are not our children biologically or by adoption. We mother students, we mother the friends of our children and our friends’ children, and we mother the children of the neighborhood. I am grateful for all the women who mothered my children and helped them to develop into the men and women they are.

            Like most mothers, I have negative feelings about my abilities as a mother, but mostly I feel great gratitude. I am grateful for my own mother and for my husband’s mother. I feel unspeakable gratitude for the blessing of being a mother. My husband and I were unable to have children for several years before a doctor discovered my problem. Once the problem was fixed, we had no further difficulties and were blessed with six children – the first three within three years. I am grateful that those children were born with healthy bodies, bright minds, and sweet spirits. I am grateful that they grew up to be responsible members of society and good parents of their own children. I have learned much from my children.

            In my studies about marriage and parenting, I came across a statement that should be of value to all parents. I could not find the statement to quote it exactly, but it was by an expert in the field and went something like this: Parents drive themselves crazy trying to parent perfectly. It is impossible to be perfect parents. Parents just need to be good-enough parents. The words “good enough parents” gave me great comfort. The Brethren tell us that we have not failed as long as we continue to love and to teach our children.

            Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers – those with children and those without children. As women, let us use our natural mothering skills and feeling to make the world a better place for all people, but particularly for those who desperately need our mothering influence[DD1] .  



Friday, May 7, 2021

Why Are We Damaging the Future for the Rising Generation?

            Adults have the duty to prepare the rising generation to be responsible adults, but they also have the responsibility to leave a strong society for them to inherit. Liberals are intent on caring for the environment, but Americans are endangering the future of our children.

            Gary Shapiro says that our elected representatives “are imperiling our children’s future,” and he discusses four ways that they are endangering the future for the rising generation. 

1) Our Growing, Choking Debt

In 2022, the federal government will owe close to $30 trillion. Each Congress and president since Bill Clinton – the last president to balance a budget – has added trillions to our debt….

2) The Decline of Responsibility, Work Ethic

We have shifted from a national spirit and culture of self-reliance, with religious institutions and neighbors helping neighbors and backstopping communities, to federal policies that reward and encourage some of the very actions that break down the firmest foundations of America; namely, hard work and strong families.

[Employers are having a difficult time running their businesses because they have no one applying for their jobs. Yet, the unemployment rate remains high. People do not want to work because the federal government and some states are paying them more than they would make by working. Why should they work?]

3) The Loss of Civility and the Push Toward Extremes

Some political leaders are poor models for our children. They talk about bipartisanship and reducing spending, but care only about complete party domination. They ignore the other side.

Some of our national political leaders view their jobs as being to breed hatred of the other party. We effectively enable them as we choose our team or tribe, and many of us have become haters of the other side….

4) The Decline of Trust and Common Beliefs

Americans increasingly distrust each other and/or the government. Many Americans simply don’t believe the 2020 national election was conducted fairly.

Some believe the pandemic is a hoax, and many refuse to get the vaccine because they think it’s unnecessary or dangerous….

            Shapiro has the right to be sad and concerned about the conditions in our nation. There is violence nationwide, but the bad actors do not face the same justice system. Black Lives Matter (BLM) members have raged through our nation for nearly a year – burning, looting, and murdering. Very few of them were indicted and brought to justice. In fact, then-Senator Kamala Harris urged people to donate to BLM to get rioters released from jail.

Yet, the far-right Trump supporters -- who breached the Capitol but did not destroy the building or kill anyone – have sat in jail for the past four months. President Donald Trump was impeached and banished from Twitter and Facebook for “inciting violence.” However, nothing is said or done about Maxine Waters and other Democrats repeatedly call for violence.

Adults in America must do better to bring peace and unity to the nation. The answer is more than civility and tolerance. We must learn to love the people who oppose us politically. By doing so, we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations – and leave a better world for the rising generation.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

How Can Parents Fight Against Critical Race Theory?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the importance of teaching patriotism. We cannot assume that the rising generation will love America, especially if schools are allowed to teach our children that America is evil. Critical race theory is currently being taught in school districts across the United States – except in one district in Texas.

            Last week, voters in a suburb of Dallas rejected critical race theory in a lopsided vote, but this is not the story being told by NBC News. NBC News reported the following.

On one side, progressives argued that curriculum and disciplinary changes were needed to make all children feel safe and welcome in Carroll, a mostly white but quickly diversifying school district…. On the other, conservatives in Southlake rejected the school diversity plan as an effort to indoctrinate students with a far-left ideology that, according to some, would institutionalize discrimination against white children and those with conservative Christian values.

            Even though the news reported the election to be “bitterly divided,” their statement is only partially correct at best. The election may have been bitter, but it was far from being divided. Jarrett Stepman described the results as follows. 

About 70% of the vote went against a whole slate of candidates – from the mayor’s race to school board and City Council – who supported a “diversity plan” that pushed critical theory on students and faculty, and turnout for the election was high. That’s not a “divided” election; it’s a landslide.

            Critical race theory is promoted as a way to make America less racist. Corporate America, government agencies, colleges and universities, and K-12 school districts all promote critical race theory. So, what is critical race theory? Why is it bad?

            Jonathan Butcher and Mike Gonzalez at The Heritage Foundation published an excellent paper on critical race theory. 

Critical Race Theory (CRT) makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life – and do so with a degree of persistence that has helped CRT impact all of American life.

CRT underpins identity politics, an ongoing effort to reimagine the United States as a nation riven by groups, each with specific claims on victimization.

In entertainment, as well as the education and workforce sectors of society, CRT is well-established, driving decision-making according to skin color – not individual value and talent.

            According to Stepman, President Joe Biden sought to portray CRT as “sensitivity training” during his campaign for president. Stepman explained that CRT teaches “Americans to hate each other, to see fellow citizens as the ‘other,’ and to give license to discrimination in the name of racial justice. The core of critical race theory is the 1619 Project and “a critical element of the ‘great awakening.’”

            Critical race theory is bad for any society that upholds it because it divides the population according to race. This is why the conservatives in the Texas school district fought against it. Even though their “victory” is important, it is a minor one. It is important because it gives a blueprint for other school districts to follow in fighting critical race theory. One of the new members of Texas school district explained how they fought the battle.

            Hannah Smith explained that they started last August and “paired up with like-minded parents around the country.” “I was on conference calls with parents all over America who are fighting the same thing, so it’s important for people to know that they can band together and that they can make change.” In addition, they “worked to educate voters about what critical race theory is and how destructive it would be.” They also used Freedom of Information Act requests to determine “how extensively those ideas were being propagated behind closed doors.”

            The doctrine of critical race theory is unpopular because it is wrong. It divides instead of unifies. The Texas parents did the right thing when they organized to stop it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

What Should Happen to Big Tech for Their Treatment of Trump?

            Twitter and Facebook banned President Donald Trump after the assault by bad actors on the far right on January 6, 2021. Twitter’s ban was permanent, but Facebook’s ban was not. Facebook agreed to look at the situation within six months, and the oversight board made their decision today. The ban on Facebook and Instagram posts by Trump would continue – for now. However, the board put the problem back into the hands of Zuckerberg, saying that the ban was vague and standardless.

            Kay C. James, President of The Heritage Foundation said that the decision was “the wrong one, and one that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, should be concerned about.” According to James, 

Big Tech companies should not be allowed to play by a set of rules that give them undue influence over American society while also avoiding any accountability for how they use that influence. It is time for Congress to act and reform Section 230 – which protects publishing platforms from being held liable for content posted by users – in a way that respects the rights of those engaged in private enterprise.

True reform must also ensure that companies like Facebook and Instagram take responsibility for the choices they make – especially when it comes to censoring individuals and opinions they don’t like.

Letting politically motivated companies police themselves as they manipulate civic discourse is not a long-term solution consistent with America’s values.

Whether it’s the president of the United States or an average American citizen in Des Moines, Big Tech should not have the ability to suppress viewpoints it finds objectionable – and it certainly shouldn’t have the ability to hide behind outdated laws in justifying such behavior.

            Woke corporations, such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook, censored the sitting President of the United States. By doing so, they became a threat to every American as well as the America. They should not be allowed to do so. If they are allowed to “get away” with censoring Trump, they will be emboldened, and they may use their power to silence all conservatives or people who think differently than they do.

The ironic thing about the whole censuring of Trump is that the companies allowed regimes, such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, to use their platforms to spread their propaganda. They allowed Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other terrorist groups to use their platforms to plan riots and violence. It is obvious that Big Tech is not against evil in itself. Big Tech is against conservatives and will take any action possible to stop conservative ideas.

It is time for Congress to reform Section 230. It is also time for Big Tech to treat all users with “consistency and transparency.” Maybe it is time for Big Tech to be regulated in the same ways as utilities. They have abused the protections that were given to them, so they should suffer the consequences.