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.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Who Is Ron DeSantis?

            My VIP for this week is Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida. DeSantis may be the most popular Republican politician in America – second only to Donald Trump. There are approximately 22 million people living in Florida, and people are moving to Florida because they see the good government of Governor DeSantis.

            When the coronavirus from China came to the United States, DeSantis and his administration looked at the data. They quickly recognized that the elderly residents were the most vulnerable. They shut down nursing homes and isolated the elderly and their caretakers. The number of elderly people in Florida are nearly the same as those in New York. Yet, the death rates are hugely different.

            Governor DeSantis kept Florida open, even though residents began to shut their businesses. DeSantis encouraged them to stay open, and he encouraged the schools to stay open. The schools have been open for the past year, while schools in other states have been closed most of the time.

The state departments recognized that revenue would be down and cut as many expenses as possible. Florida came through the pandemic/economic disaster with excess funds.

When other states were condoning riots, DeSantis called the National Guard and told them to be prepared to step in. Word went out that rioters would be arrested, and Florida stayed peaceful.

Florida was prepared for the 2020 presidential election. The state had rules in place that would keep the election fair and free. The election results for Florida were available by 11:00 on election night – unlike states that have fewer residents.

DeSantis is a leader, and the environment in Florida is prospering under his leadership. The Leftists are always criticizing DeSantis and Florida, but their criticism falls on deaf ears. People are flocking to Florida from Democrat-led states because they are tired of the tyranny and leadership disasters.

DeSantis’s name has been mentioned repeatedly as a potential candidate for President of the United States. He has a different type of personality than Trump, but he is a fighter too. I watched one of his press meetings. He told the reporters, “You can whiz on my leg, but do not try to tell me that it is raining.” He is smart, conservative, hardworking, and good-looking.

I would not be surprised to see him on the 2024 Republican presidential ticket – either as vice president to Trump or as the President. This is probably the reason why Democrats and leftists are already trying to destroy him.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Does Election Fraud Happen?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the right to vote. Every citizen of the United States age 18 years and older have the right to vote unless they have forfeited that right by becoming a felon. However, the right to vote is threatened by voter fraud. For every fraudulent vote, one legal vote is forfeited.

            The 2020 presidential election left millions of Americans with concerns over the integrity of the election. The Heritage Foundation maintains an Election Fraud Database with proven instances of voter fraud added on a regular basis, which catalogs 1,311 cases of voter fraud. The most recent entry came from the 2020 election. Kaitlynn Samalis-Aldrich and Hans von Spakovsky gave some details about this case as well as others. 

[First] … Michigan resident Paul Parana pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating someone else to vote in an election. Authorities said Parana filled out and signed an absentee ballot on behalf of his daughter. He was sentenced to 90 days of probation and ordered to pay $1,100 in fines and court cases.

[Second] Another case arose out of the May special election in Paterson, New Jersey, for the Ward 3 seat on the City Council. A superior court judge overturned the election results due to serious questions about the validity of “mail-in votes.”

The special election had been conducted completely by mail, and allegations of an absentee ballot trafficking scheme and fraud began to surface shortly after the results were tabulated.

Judge Ernest Caposela concluded that the election was “not the fair, free, and full expression of the intent of the voters.”

Shockingly, officials rejected 24.3% of all ballots, compared with the county’s average rejection rate of around 9% in past elections.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has been investigating the origins of the voter fraud in Paterson. Police have made four arrests in connection with the alleged scheme….

            These are only two of the cases discussed by the authors. Other cases came from New Jersey, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Texas. They involved voting by a noncitizen, a convicted felon, candidate for city council forging signatures to get on the ballot, widespread fraud that eliminated 600 ballots, and a group of voters giving a hotel address to register to vote in a district where they did not live.

            The problems with the election process should be addressed as quickly as possible.  Americans have the right to free and fair elections, and this right should be protected to maintain the right to self-government. Under the Constitution, state legislatures are responsible for election integrity. There should be no interference with the voters’ right to vote for the candidates of their choice, and state legislatures should ensure that every legal vote will count, and every illegal vote will not count. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

What Is the Worth of a Human Soul?

             My Come, Follow Me lesson for this week comes from Doctrine and Covenants 18-19. Joseph Smith knew that Jesus Christ would reestablish His Church on the earth again. The Lord might have revealed this information as early as 1828 (see Doctrine and Covenants 10:53-55.) However, the time had not yet come.

            Meanwhile in June 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had moved to the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. in Fayette, New York, and there they continued to translate the Book of Mormon. Peter, James, and John had conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood on Joseph and Oliver previous to their move. At this time, they were seeking knowledge about how to exercise the keys of that priesthood.

            One day Joseph and Oliver were praying in the room they used in the Whitmer home, and the word of the Lord came to them. They were directed to use the priesthood to ordain elders, administer the sacrament, and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. However, Joseph and Oliver were to wait until a group of believers could assemble to perform the ordinances.

            Joseph and Oliver waited for the Lord’s command to organize the Church. At the same time, they were near the completion of the translation of the Book of Mormon. They learned as they translated the books of 3 Nephi and Moroni that these books contained information about the priesthood ordinances as well as the procedures of the Church of Jesus Christ. This information inspired and guided them as they awaited the time to organize the Savior’s Church.

            Those were the circumstances of Joseph and Oliver when the Lord revealed the information now known as Doctrine and Covenants 18. The revelation came through Joseph Smith and was addressed to Joseph, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer. It gave directions for building up the Church and contained instructions for the men that would be called as the Twelve Apostles. Much of Sections 18 and 19 are about repentance, and Doctrine and Covenants 18 contains these powerful verses (10-11, 15-16):

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of the God.

11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him….

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

            The Lord said that the worth of a soul is great in His sight. What does the word “great” mean to the Lord? What is the worth of a human soul? This is a question that was asked by Paul C. Child in the following experience related by President Thomas S. Monson.

In March 1967, early in my service as a member of the Council of the Twelve, I was attending a conference of the Monument Park West Stake in Salt Lake City. My companion for the conference was a member of the General Church Welfare Committee, Paul C. Child. …

When it was his opportunity to participate, President Child took in hand the Doctrine and Covenants and left the pulpit to stand among the priesthood brethren to whom he was directing his message. He turned to section 18 and began to read [verses 10 and 15]. …

President Child then raised his eyes from the scriptures and asked the brethren: “What is the worth of a human soul?” He avoided calling on a bishop, a stake president, or a high councilor for a response. Instead, he selected the president of an elders quorum – a brother who had been a bit drowsy and had missed the significance of the question.

The startled man responded, “Brother Child, could you please repeat the question?”

The question was repeated: “What is the worth of a human soul?”

… I prayed fervently for that quorum president. He remained silent for what seemed like an eternity and then declared, “Brother Child, the worth of a human soul is its capacity to become as God.”

All present pondered that reply. Brother Child returned to the stand, leaned over to me, and said, “A profound reply; a profound reply!” He proceeded with his message, but I continued to reflect on that inspired response” (“May Brother’s Keeper,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 43).

[President Monson later declared:] We have the responsibility to see individuals not as they are but rather as they can become. I would plead with you to think of them in this way” (“See Others as They May Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 70).

            The Lord wants us to cry repentance to the people of the world because He desires that they all return to His presence. He knows that they cannot enter the presence of God without being cleansed by repentance. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that “crying repentance simply means helping people return to God” (“Preparing for Your Spiritual Destiny” [Brigham Young University fireside address, Jan. 10, 2010], 7

            Doctrine and Covenants 19 was a revelation given through Joseph Smith to Martin Harris. As the completion of the translation of the Book of Mormon neared in June 1829, Joseph Smith and Martin Harris hired the printer Egbert B. Grandin to do the printing. The price for printing 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon was $3,000. Grandin refused to start printing the book without a guaranteed payment for the job.

            The farm of Martin and Lucy Harris was one of the finest farms in Palmyra, New York. They worked for years to acquire and establish the farm, and the farm had provided for their family as well as given them good standing in the community. Martin made a verbal agreement to pay for the printing of the 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon by mortgaging some of his farm. Later, he became concerned about the mortgage. In Doctrine and Covenants 19, the Lord commanded Martin to mortgage his farm and then revealed some important truths about His own atoning sacrifice. In Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-20, the Lord said the following.

15 Therefore I command you to repent – repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore – how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all that they might not suffer if they would repent;

17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit – and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink –

19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

20 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

            Jesus Christ knew that the worth of a soul was great because He paid the price for each and every soul when He made His atoning sacrifice. Then-Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified why Jesus Christ was willing to suffer for our sins.

In some incredible way that none of us can fully comprehend, the Savior took upon Himself the sins of the world. Even though His life was pure and free of sin, He paid the ultimate penalty for sin – yours, mine, and everyone who has ever lived. His mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish were so great they caused Him to bleed from every poor (see Luke 22:44; D&C 19:18). And yet Jesus suffered willingly so that we might all have the opportunity to be washed clean – through having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized by proper priesthood authority, receiving the purifying gift of the Holy Ghost by confirmation, and accepting all other essential ordinances. Without the Atonement of the Lord, none of these blessings would be available to us, and we could not become worthy and prepared to return to dwell in the presence of God” (“The Atonement and the Value of One Soul,” Ensign, May 2004, 85).

            What is the worth of a human soul? It is worth the suffering of a God! The Savior made the atoning sacrifice, but Heavenly Father also made a sacrifice. “For God loved us, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The worth of every human soul is great because it is the price paid by the Father and the Son that we may all repent and return to their presence.

Friday, February 26, 2021

What Is the Connection between the Equality Act and Transgender Ideology?

             Families, communities, and nations are stronger when kids are allowed to be kids without being confused by adult topics. They should be allowed to maintain their innocence for as long as possible. Yet, there are people who use and abuse children for their own pleasure and agenda. One such agenda is in the spotlight at the current time. The left is pushing a destructive gender ideology on our nation, and they are doing it with the blessings of the elected leaders and representatives.

            President Joe Biden said in his inaugural address that he would unite the nation and bring healing to America. Then he went to the White House where he signed an executive order that mandates the radical transgender agenda. The order has two statements that sound innocent: (1) “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.” (2) “People should be able to access health care and secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination.”

            No honest person could disagree with either of the two statements. Americans want children to be able to learn in a friendly environment, and everyone should have access to health care and housing without being discriminated against. Ryan T. Anderson at The Heritage Foundation explained what the statements actually mean. 

Boys who identify as girls must be allowed to compete in the girls’ athletic competitions, men who identify as women must be allowed in women-only spaces, health care plans must pay for gender transition procedures, and doctors and hospitals must perform them….

In reality, it spells the end of girls and women’s sports as we know them. And, of course, no child should be told the lie that they’re “trapped in the wrong body,” and adults should not pump them full of puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones.

With this executive order, the so-called transgender moment has arrived at the White House….

            Anderson wrote a book that could help Americans to effectively respond to such actions. The book is titled, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.” Amazon must continue this book to be dangerous to society because the company quietly stopped selling it!

            The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the Equality Act yesterday. The goal for bill is to put the strength of the federal government behind the transgender ideology. Unless Democrat Senators cross the line and vote against the bill, it will become the law of the land. However, this bill will not become law without a fight from conservatives.

            Biden’s nominee for U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary is the current Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine. If appointed to the new post, Levine plans to advance the ideology even further. However, Levine’s qualifications have been questioned. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), a licensed ophthalmologist, exposed Levine’s lack of qualifications on Thursday.

            Rand noted that “Genital mutilation has been nearly universally condemned … by the WHO [World Health Organization], the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund.” 

According to the WHO, genital mutilation is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. Genital mutilation is considered particularly egregious because, as the WHO notes, it is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.

Most genital mutilation is not typically performed by force, but as WHO notes, … [but] by social convention, social norm, the social pressure to conform, to do what others do and have been doing, as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community.

American culture is now normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics.

Dr. Levine, you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty as well as surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia.

Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics.

Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?

            Dr. Levine danced around the question, and Senator Rand said: “Let it go into the record that the witness refused to answer the question. The question is a very specific one: Should minors be making these momentous decisions?”

            In writing about the interview, Jared Eckert at The Heritage Foundation said, “Paul is right to make the comparison between genital mutilation and ‘transgender care’ for minors. In any other case, the physical destruction of a minor’s genitalia as a result of social pressures to conform and be accepted by others would be condemned as genital mutilation.” Eckert added, “Indeed, this is the description of genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organization. Inflicting such irreversible harm to children’s bodies should be condemned for what it is.” Eckert continued with the following: 

The standards of care Levine recommends are highly controversial and disputed.

The science shows that among children who struggle with gender dysphoria, 80% of girls and 95% of boys will reconcile with their biological sex if they are allowed to go through puberty. Moreover, those who undergo sex-change interventions do not experience lasting benefits with regards to mental health. In fact, they are 19 times more likely to commit suicide.

Additionally, besides sterilization, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones have been shown to damage cardiovascular health, bone density, and reproductive functions. Paul was right to point out the left’s double standard when it comes to approved medicine.

            The transgender ideology has a firm hold in some adult sections of America. However, children and teens should be protected from pressure to conform to it. The facts listed above show that the vast majority of both girls and boys reconcile with their biological sex when they go through puberty. This shows the great danger found in pushing this ideology on children and teens in our society. When we protect children and teens from radical ideologies, we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Why Should Americans Be Concerned about the Equality Act?

             The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns a bill making its way through Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, a bill known as the Equality Act. This bill if made into law will weaken civil rights laws by equating biological sex with sexual orientation and gender identity, according to Rep. Robert Good (Virginia). 

This legislation at its core would take civil rights laws designed to protect classes of people based upon immutable and objective characteristics and would instead base it upon subject ideas about gender and political viewpoints about sexual orientation.

For example, if a biological boy or man identifies himself as a girl or woman, he would be considered just as female under the Equality Act – which opens the doors to allowing biological men to compete with girls and women in sports or use female restrooms across the country.

By equating the immutable with the subjective, those in power seek a moral mandate to silence any dissenting viewpoint.

The Equality Act will be extremely detrimental to the rights of women and girls in sports, churches and synagogues, private schools, and other faith-based organizations.

            The Equality Act is the latest move by Leftists to silence dissent. The movement started ten or twenty years ago with “politically-correct speech” and has only gotten worse. Good wrote that the legislation “reveals how the left has no tolerance in the public square for dissenting viewpoints.” It does not matter to Leftists that the great majority of Americans believe in traditional values, the same values that have kept America strong for more than 200 years. Good argued that it is time for Americans to “stop pretending” that opposition to traditional American values comes from moderates.

The Equality Act is a deliberate attempt to force people of faith to embrace behaviors that conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs, which will limit their freedom to love their neighbors.

The Equality Act would make wholesale and damaging changes to our nation’s civil rights laws, with little to no debate in Congress regarding how this legislation will affect the daily lives of Americans and the institutions they hold dear.

While the Equality Act purports to be an “inclusive” piece of legislation, it actually excludes those with different viewpoints. It would ultimately put civil rights law at odds with long-standing religious beliefs pertaining to sex, sexuality, and other moral issues.

This means that faith-based nonprofits – such as a Christian homeless shelter for battered women, an adoption or foster care agency, or another religiously affiliated provider of social services – could not serve in good conscience or operate consistently with their principles without the risk of suffering consequences under federal law.

            Good concludes his article by stating that making the Equality Act federal law will put all Americans in line to being persecuted and tried in federal court. Conservative Americans should be concerned about the Equality Act and should be contacting their representatives in Washington, D.C., and making their thoughts and feelings known.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What Problems Would Be Caused by Passage of the Equality Act?

             The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives created H.R.5, generally known as the Equality Act. This bill has the potential to damage various areas of life in America. According to Jarrett Stepman, this bill, if it became law, would “add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes into the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” If passed, this bill would mandate the radical gender ideology through federal law. 

“[The Equality Act] would create a destructive gender ideology in education, and it would establish a government-favored viewpoint on marriage that would stigmatize children and their parents,” said Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

            At the webinar held yesterday, participants spoke of numerous ways that the Equality Act would hurt girls, women, and families. This potential law would put children on an uneven playing field, and it would move the rights of women and girls backwards. It “would adversely affect parents, adoption agencies, religious organizations, and many other Americans” according to Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).

            The potential law would destroy the success for women and girls made possible by Title IX because it would cause school and sports programs to allow biological males to compete against girls and women if they “identify” as female.

“What is very concerning to me is the impact of the Equality Act on women’s sports,” [Hartzler] said. “And it will set back women, and ruin all the gains they have made to get a level playing field in sports, by allowing those who have different gender identities – that is, biological males who identify as females – to participate in female sports.”

            Hartzler recognized what many people apparently do not: there are differences between men and women. These differences create unfairness when biological men who identify as women are allowed to play female sports. In most situations where a man competes against a woman, the male wins. If biological men are allowed to compete in women’s sports, it becomes almost impossible for females to get collegiate athletic scholarships.

            Connecticut is one state that allows transgender women – biological males – to compete in female sports and have done so for seven years. “Biological males participating in female sports ‘have won over 15 different championships’ that would have gone to girls,” according to Hartzler. If the Equality Act becomes law, it will create the same situation nationwide and destroy women’s sports programs.

            As bad as it would treat women’s sports, this is unimportant to what it does to children and teenagers who are confused about the biological sex. Dr. Michelle Cretella is the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians. According to Stepman, she explained that “gender dysphoria in minors should be treated carefully and with a ‘thorough psychological assessment’ of the child. “As long as the children do not have this confusion reinforced, the majority of children who are confused about their biological sex will outgrow it by the time they are young adults,” Cretella said.

            Cretella said that the number of children with the gender-identity confusion is increasing. “We are essentially gaslighting children into the lie that they could be born in the wrong body,” Cretella said. “This then will put them on a medical pathway … in which we stop their normal puberty, we arrest it, we give them a disease, the absence of normal puberty.” She called the situation “institutionalized child abuse.”

            The “most troubling part of the new gender-identity agenda” for Maria Keffler, a co-founder of Partners for Ethical Care, is that children are being told things that are not true. The agenda introduces things that are “not factual, that are not scientifically underpinned, that have no basis in reality,” and that “we are teaching this to our kids en masse.”

            Another part of the problem is that professional therapists “will not address other underlying problems in children with gender dysphoria. Teachers, administrators, and counselors are compelled to affirm gender confusion and medicalize it.” All of these problems would be reinforced by the Equality Act and reach into many areas of American life. The passage of this bill would open a Pandora’s Box of many problems.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What Was Learned in the Senate Hearing Today about Assault on the Capitol?

             A mob assaulted the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rushed an impeachment action against President Donald Trump on January 13, accusing him of “inciting insurrection.” A casual reading of Trump’s words shows that he did not incite anything. The Senate began the impeachment trial on February 9, and the Senators acquitted Trump before the week was over.

            Today two Senate committees began oversight hearings about the mob’s actions to question former and current officials about how the rioters breached the building. Fred Lucas at The Heritage Foundation found six highlights from the hearings.

            Highlight #1: The attack on the Capital was a “Coordinated Attack” that was “clearly” “planned in advance.” The assault on the Capitol began while Trump was speaking – 20 minutes before the event ended -- at the rally located on the Ellipse, which is south of the White House.

“These people came specifically with equipment. You’re bringing climbing gear to a demonstration, explosives, chemical spray – you’re coming prepared,” former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned under pressure after the riot, told senators during the hearing.

In his testimony to senators, acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said of the attack, “I certainly believe it was coordinated.”

Contee pointed to the “placement of pipe bombs in the area,” among other evidence “adding to what we know in hindsight now as a result of the ongoing investigation of the FBI.

            Highlight #2: There was a “Lack of Intelligence Sharing” among agencies. According to Contee, “The District did not have intelligence pointing to a coordinated assault on the Capitol.” Other officials also testified that they were unaware of any intelligence on an attack.

Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., said lawmakers would conduct a broad investigation, beyond this initial hearing, into what he called the “colossal breakdown” in security that allowed the Capitol to be breached.

“… The attack on Jan. 6 was an extraordinary event that requires exhaustive consideration. The American people deserve answers on why their Capitol was breached.”

            Highlight #3: Law Enforcement Officials Are “Rejecting ‘Complicit’ Charge.” Pelosi appointed retired Army lieutenant general Russel HonorĂ© to lead an investigation into the assault. He said in an MSNBC interview: “I think once this all gets uncovered, it was complicit actions by Capitol Police.” This statement was challenged in the meetings.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., asked: “Were you complicit in this attack on Jan. 6?”

Sund answered first, saying, “Absolutely not, and I think it is disrespectful to myself and members of the Capitol Police Department.” …

“Of course none of you were,” Hawley said. “There is absolutely no evidence to that effect. Mr. Sund, I think your comments are appropriately taken. To allege that any of you were complicit in this violent mob attack on this building is not only extremely disrespectful, it’s really quite shocking. And this person has really no business leading any security review related to the events of Jan. 6.”

            Highlight #4: What Was Said about the “National Guard and ‘Optics’”? Senator Hawley questioned the security officials about “why they determined the National Guard would not be needed.” There was disagreement between Sund and Irving about whether Sund had requested the National Guard. Sund said that he requested them, and Irving saying that he did not. Sund accused Irving of denying the National Guard’s help because of “optics.” One thing became clear, however. It was Irving, along with then-Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, who called in the National Guard. Irving said that he did not wait to concur with Senate and House leaders.

            Highlight #5: There Was “Lack of Training” for Such a Situation. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) was puzzled about the statement of “lack of training to deal with such a situation.” Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, responded:

We do train for people trying to get into the building. We don’t train for an insurrection of thousands of people. Our officers do have less-than-lethal capability that they do carry with them. With hindsight being what it is, I think there needs to be additional training, additional equipment to consider [for] this type of attack in the future.

            Highlight #6: “Questions About ‘Provocateurs’.” “Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) read aloud from, and entered into the Senate record, an article by J. Michael Waller, a senior analyst at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank.”

In it, Walker writes that “provocateurs” infiltrated a pro-Trump march with peaceful protesters and whipped up a normally law-abiding crowd to turn against law enforcement. Walker was an eyewitness to the Trump rally Jan. 6 before it turned into a riot.

“I would really recommend everyone on the committee read this account,” Johnson said. …

“The House [impeachment] managers made a big deal that this was predictable, this was foreseeable, which I don’t believe. Do you believe the breach of the Capitol, do you believe that was foreseeable and predictable?” Johnson asked the former Capitol Police chief.

Sund said neither he nor leaders of other federal agencies were aware of such a threat, and referred to the D.C. police chief’s earlier comment.