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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Go Forward with Faith

            Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of His gospel. When we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ, we are actively living his gospel. The strength of our faith in Him will determine how we live His other principles.

            Then-Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke on the topic of “Face the Future with Faith” in the April 2011 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here are a few quotes that I found when I recently studied his talk.

It is true. We live to die, and we die to live again. From an eternal perspective, the only death that is truly premature is the death of one who is not prepared to meet God.

… All that the future holds in store for each sacred child of God will be shaped by his or her parents, family, friends, and teachers. Thus, our faith now becomes part of our posterity’s faith later.

Each individual will make his or her way in a constantly changing world – a world of competing ideologies. The forces of evil will ever be in opposition to the forces of good. Satan constantly strives to influence us to follow his ways and make us miserable, even as he is. And the normal risks of life, such as illness, injury, accident, will ever be present.

We live in a time of turmoil. Earth quakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displease our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith.
Start with your children. You parents bear the primary responsibility to strengthen their faith. Let them feel your faith, even when sore trials come upon you. Let your faith be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach that faith with deep conviction. Teach each precious boy or girl that he or she is a child of God, created in His image, with a sacred purpose and potential. Each is born with challenges to overcome and faith to be developed.

            Elder Nelson speaks of numerous areas where parents must help their children to develop faith. They include: faith in God’s plan of salvation for His children, faith in keeping all of God’s commandments in order to receive many blessings as well as physical and spiritual protection, the importance of prayer in developing faith, and how being a committed tithe payer strengthens faith. He then adds this reason for the need to strengthen our faith.

Why do we need such resilient faith? Because difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.

How you deal with life’s trials is part of the development of your faith. Strength comes when you remember that you have a divine nature, an inheritance of infinite worth. The Lord has reminded you, your children, and your grandchildren that you are lawful heirs, that you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people. As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto his people.

            Elder Nelson explains that difficult days are coming that will test our faith. He closed his remarks by quoting some remarks by President Thomas S. Monson given in a talk titled “Be of Good Cheer” at the April 2009 General Conference. I have learned that when one prophet quotes another prophet, the information is very important. Therefore, I consider the following statement to be of utmost value to me and to you.

I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.

My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.

            Two prophets of God tell us that our safety lies in developing our faith in Jesus Christ. Even though there will be tough times ahead for all of us, God will bless us. We must not allow fear to overcome because we can step confidently forward in the knowledge that God is with us.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Teach Patriotism

            We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by teaching patriotism to the rising generation. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and other adults have the responsibility to teach children and youth by word and example the importance of loving and serving their nation.

            I began this blog more than nine years ago for the purpose of teaching my children and grandchildren about the great nation of the United States. They all know – even the youngest of my grandchildren – know that I love America. One of my young grandsons saw a patriotic sun catcher and insisted that his mother purchase it for me.

            A good way to teach children patriotism is to provide and/or read books to them. I have several books that are suitable for children and youth.

1. I Pledge Allegiance by D. K. Webb explains the words of the pledge.

2. The Star-Spangled Banner is a paperback book with the words of the national anthem by Francis Scott Key and some helpful explanations.

3. We the People by Lynne Cheney is the story of the U.S. Constitution.

4. Rush Limbaugh wrote a series of five books for children about American history. “Rush Revere” and his magical horse “Liberty” go back in history and bring the stories to life.  He published the first book in 2013 and then one annually. The book titles are: Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, Rush Revere and the First Patriots, Rush Revere and the American Revolution, Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner, and Rush Revere and the Presidency. I found the books interesting and gave the first book of the series to my children and their families, and they loved them.

            There are other books available that can help the rising generation to love the United States. This site suggests six books that sound interesting. When the rising generation is taught to love and honor the nation where they live, they are blessed with stronger family, community, and nation.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Public Employee Unions and Free Speech

            For this Freedom Friday, I will discuss an important liberty principle that was taught in a decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The conservative majority on the court ruled this week that public employees could not be compelled to pay union dues. The decision supports the following statement made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.

            The high court made their ruling on the basis of freedom of speech. They declared that public unions could not force employees to pay dues. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the following statement for the court’s majority.

Free speech serves many ends. It is essential to our democratic form of government, and it furthers the search for truth. Whenever the federal government or a state prevents individuals from saying what they think on important matters or compels them to voice ideas with which they disagree, it undermines these ends.

            In other words, freedom of speech protects Americans’ right to say something or to remain silent. Forcing public servants to pay union dues betrays their convictions, according to Alito, and thus forces them to support causes with which they do not agree.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Who Will It Be?

            The long-circulating rumor about Justice Anthony Kennedy is true. He announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court today after the final decisions for the current court term were handed down. His retirement is sure to cause a great political fight over his replacement.

            Kennedy was a moderate voice whose vote was never taken for granted. He was known as the “swing vote” and was the deciding vote on several liberal causes, such as abortion, gay rights, and same-sex marriage. Liberals considered him to be on their side much of the time. However, he swung to the right in recent decisions.

            The retirement of Kennedy gives a second opportunity to President Donald Trump to nominate a justice to the high court and to make the court more conservative. The President has a list of possible candidates that contains the names of 24 lower court judges and a U.S. Senator. One of the judges, Thomas Lee, is a brother to the senator, and both are on the President’s list.

            Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has also been suggested by several conservator sources, and the senator has said that he would not say no to the nomination. He is a strict constitutionalist who will sustain and support the Constitution. He would be a good choice.

            Conservatives must pray that all Republican senators will vote for the President’s nominee. We never know how the RINOs, such as Liza Murkowski and Susan Collins, will vote. I wish we could replace both of them with conservative senators!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Stopping Illegal Immigration

            The Trump administration is doing its best to enforce the laws that Congress has passed. They currently have a zero-tolerance policy on any person who crosses into the United States illegally. When they say “zero-tolerance,” they mean that they will prosecute every person who crosses the border illegally. They detain each person until they have a court hearing.

            This is a different policy than the “catch and release” policy of the Obama administration. They would release the illegal aliens into the United States and ask them to come back to plead their case. The majority of the undocumented immigrants never returned to court.

            Anderson Cooper of CNN recently interviewed Jeh Johnson about the Trump policy. Cooper was undoubtedly surprised by the remarks made by former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration. According to Amber Athey of The Daily Caller, Johnson made the following statement about “why catch and release is not a realistic immigration policy.”

Without a doubt this is a problem, migrants not returning to court when they are released. A number of deportation orders are issued in absentia…. Which is why one of the things we tried to do when we had the families coming in was to expand family detention.

This is a real issue and we cannot have a system of catch and release. We are a sovereign nation. We have to secure our borders, and so we just simply cannot have a situation where people are apprehended, they’re released, they don’t return to court, and they know they’re able to do that. That’s effectively undermining your own border security efforts.

            The above statement could have been made by President Donald Trump, but it was not. It was made by a high-ranking official of the Obama administration. He obviously could see the real problem – as does President Trump who sent out a couple of tweets about a way to stop illegal immigration. 

We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents.

Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years! Immigration must be based on merit – we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!

            This idea really got liberals upset! How could Trump even suggest that the U.S. would deny the “due process” of people invading our nation? They call Trump and his supporters “racist.” They claim that he does not have the authority to follow through on this idea. The liberals are wrong according to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

            According to Paul Mirengoff,President Trump does have this authority under 8 U.S.C. §1182(f). This is the same U.S. Code that was upheld today by the Supreme Court in the case of Trump’s hotly contested travel ban. Mirengoff says that this Code “confers on the president the power to turn away immigrants at the border” and quotes the Code as follows: 

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

            So, it appears that the President does in fact have the authority to stop any “alien” from entering the United States. However, facts do not seem to matter to liberals. They only care about feelings and getting re-elected. They want the power to rule rather than what is good for the United States. They are just fine with calling “racist” to anyone who wants to secure the border and live in a nation that is run on law and order. Hopefully, U.S. voters will recognize what the liberals are doing and vote them out of office as soon as possible!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Nikki Haley

            My VIP for this week is Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I chose her because she is not afraid to stand up and face the evil in the world. She recently slammed the U.N. resolution that blames Israel for the recent violence at the Gaza border. She told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, June 13, 2018: 

The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. Such one-sided resolutions at the U.N. do nothing to advance peace between Israel and Palestinians.

            The United States presented an amendment that condemns Hamas, an Islamist group the controls the Gaza Strip along the border with Israel. The amendment received the majority of votes but failed because it did not get the necessary two-thirds vote. However, the U.N. General Assembly passed an amendment that failed to even mention Hamas, when that particular group was responsible for firing over 100 rockets into Israel. In other words, Hamas started the fight, but Israel was blamed because it defended itself.

            With the support of President Donald Trump, Haley seems to be determined to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council. It seems to be a matter of when the US withdraws rather than if they will withdraw. Haley believes that the organization made up of 47-members has a “chronic anti-Israel bias” and has been accusing them of it since last year. The condemnation of Israel for responding to the recent Palestinian attack has only fed her belief. 

            I do not understand how withdrawing would help the United States to withdraw from the Human Rights Council. Maybe the US withdrawal would shine a light on bias toward Israel. Maybe the US withdrawal would also mean a withdrawal of funds for the council. I do not know what it would mean, but I can plainly see that our withdrawal would leave Israel without support.

            Haley is the first woman that I have seen, conservative or liberal, who I could support as a candidate for President of the United States. She is one tough lady – and she does not back down when facing bullies!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Faith and Religious Freedom

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the freedom to live our lives in accordance to our faith. Freedom of Religion is under attack because more and more people are disregarding the commandments of God. People of religious persuasion are being pushed to the side as different groups strive for more rights of freedom, and the loss of this freedom is damaging the integrity of the United States of America.

            President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered some remarks at a gala hosted on June 2, 2018, by the BYU Management Society at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. He spoke about the way that voices from the religious sector of our nation are being pushed out of the public debate. 

Preserved religious liberty, shared values, and a strong civil society are essential to providing a countervailing force and nudging people toward charity, compassion, cooperation, civility, duty, and ultimately toward God.

Without religious freedom and without an ability to express faith in the public square, our ability to influence the world to be better is diminished; it limits our opportunities to strengthen and nudge one another toward kindness, goodness, duty, and civility.

            Continuing his remarks President Ballard said that “perhaps the best way to preserve our first freedom is to live our faith – let others know what we believe and be examples of that belief in word and deed.” Saying that a leader’s integrity must be without question, President Ballard continued with these instructions.

This means adhering to a higher standard than society requires. In his famous 1978 Harvard commencement address given before the fall of the Soviet Union, the distinguished Russian intellectual and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, “I’ve lived my life in a society where there was no rule of law, and that’s a terrible existence. But a society where the rule of law is the only standard of ethical behavior is equally bad.”

We have an obligation to demonstrate our faith beyond the four walls of our homes and churches. We have a responsibility to set an example and to inspire others beyond our faith traditions. This is the mark of great leadership.

If we act ethically in our homes with our families, in our church and business dealings, those we associate with will likely be more inclined to do the same. We live in an age in which too much of the popular culture and too much of corporate culture nudge us away from genuine spirituality.

            According to President Ballard, the way we live our faith is critical to maintaining our freedom to do so. We must live the principles of our religion to the best of our ability. Then we must make our voices heard – both vocally and by example – in order to influence those around us to live their lives on a higher level.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


            My eight-year-old grandson recently made the decision to be baptized and confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His birthday is in May, but he postponed his baptism in order for me to attend. He invited me to give a talk on baptism on his special day, and I am honored to accept his invitation. This is basically what I will say at his baptism tomorrow.

            Many years ago when your mother was a small girl, I arranged for my children to receive piano lessons. My friend located a teacher who was giving group piano lessons. We enrolled our children in one of her groups, and we alternated weeks in taking the children to lessons. The children entertained themselves by singing Primary sons while we made the ten-mile drive to and from lessons.

            One of their favorite songs to sing was “Baptism,” a song about the baptism of Jesus Christ. I do not know why I remember the children singing this song because I do not remember any of the other songs. This memory came back to me as I was pondering what I would say at this baptism.

             The words to this song were written by Mabel Jones Gabbott (1910-2004) with music by Crawford Gates (1921). The words and music are copyrighted, so I will not include them. However, you can find them here. 

            This children’s song tells us that Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River. Jesus was immersed in the water in order to be obedient to God’s law and to enter into the kingdom of God. When we are baptized we do so in order to show obedience to Heavenly Father and to become a member of His Church. Jesus went to John to be baptized because John held the priesthood of Aaron and had the authority to perform the ordinance. Your father holds this same priesthood authority and will perform the ordinance in the same manner as did John the Baptist with Jesus.

            I know that your parents and your Primary teachers have taught you the importance of baptism. I know that they have spoken about this important decision and the covenant that you are about to make. However, I want to remind you of some of the requirements for becoming a member of the Lord’s Church.

            The first requirement is that we must reach the age of accountability. Latter-day revelation says that we must be at least eight years old in order to be baptized. This means that we are capable of knowing good from evil and in choosing the right.

            Another important requirement is a visit with the bishop to receive a recommendation for baptism and confirmation. The bishop asks some questions to determine if you are worthy of baptism and if you understand your decision and the consequences of it. He may even ask you to recite one or more of the Articles of Faith.

            Just as there are requirements to meet before being baptized, there are certain responsibilities after baptism. Hundreds of years ago there was a prophet by the name of Abinadi who went to see wicked King Noah and his priests. His job was to call the king to repentance. Abinadi had the opportunity to teach the Ten Commandments and other gospel principles to the king and the priests. The priests did not like what Abinadi was saying, and they eventually convinced King Noah to burn Abinadi at the stake.

            However, there was a young man named Alma among the priests, and he recognized that Abinadi was teaching the truth. He tried to save Abinadi by speaking up for him, but Alma was forced to flee in order to save his own life. He hid himself and started to write the words of Abinadi. We have those words in the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ because Alma wrote them.

            When Alma was finished writing, he started to teach the people even though he had to stay hidden from the king’s soldiers.  Alma was hiding near “a fountain of pure water” in a “thicket of small trees” near the boundary of the kingdom. The people who wanted to be taught came to him there. Here are some of the words that Alma taught to the people before he would baptize them. (See Alma 18:8-10.)

8 … Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

            Now those words may be a little difficult for an eight-year-old child to understand, so let’s define them. Any person who desires to join the Church needs to be willing to do the following:

1. Help other people carry their burdens: This may be as simple as helping a sibling with chores.

2. Mourn with others: This means to be sad when something bad happens to others. It may mean attending funerals, such as the funerals of Uncle Lynn and Larry.

3. Comfort those who need comforting: This means to be friendly to those who are lonely, to give a hug to someone who is sad, or to cheer someone up.

4. Stand as a witness of God all the time, wherever you go, until you die: This means that you are willing to let people know that you are a member of the Lord’s Church and that you will share the gospel with others.

            From this we know that baptism means more than being immersed in water. It means that we will keep God’s commandments, share His gospel, and do the things that He would do. In other words, we will follow the Savior and become like Him. These are some of the promises that we make when we are baptized.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Paradigm Shift

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when individuals understand that there are two separate forces in the world – good and evil. The good comes from our loving Father in Heaven while the evil comes from Satan, who is also known as Lucifer, the devil, or the adversary. Satan knows that he cannot sell his ideas by expressing them in the open; therefore, he hides his ultimate purposes by redefining words: “evil as good and good as evil, darkness as light and light as darkness, bitter as sweet and sweet as bitter.” (See Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 2 Nephi 15:20.)

            Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on the topic “A Banquet of Consequences: The Cumulative Result of All Choicesat Brigham Young University on February 7, 2017. In his remarks he says that this redefining of words is “sometimes called a paradigm shift,” meaning that there is a change in “the usual way of thinking about or doing something.” He uses The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis as an example of this shift.

            Elder Cook tells of a “meeting with an internationally recognized advertising expert” where they discussed “the influence of evil and the consequences of bad choices.” This expert envisioned a hypothetical meeting between Lucifer and an advertising agency where the adversary explained his problem:

[H]e and his followers had rebelled and rejected the Father’s plan and had come to understand that they could not prevail against God. Lucifer understood that while the Father’s plan was about joy and happiness, his own plan resulted in grief and misery. The problem, Lucifer explained to the ad executive, was how to attract followers.
It was determined that Lucifer’s only hope of success was to achieve a paradigm shift or values inversion – in other words, to characterize the Father’s plan as resulting in grief and misery and Lucifer’s plan as resulting in joy and happiness.

This hypothetical meeting serves a useful purpose. The truth is, not only do the enemies of the Father’s plan attempt to undermine the doctrine and principles of the plan, but they also attempt to mischaracterize the blessings that flow from the plan. Their basic effort is to make that which is good, righteous, and joyful seem miserable.

            Elder Cook then shared several examples of how the adversary attempts to “mischaracterize and undermine the blessings of living according to the Father’s plan.” His first example is the Word of Wisdom as found in Doctrine and Covenant 89.

3 Given for a principle with promise….
4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation –
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good….
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man….
9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.

            The Lord’s law of health as found in Section 89 has instructions on keeping our bodies healthy by eating wholesome grains, fruits, and vegetables. It also includes promises to those who obey this law. Those promises say that the obedient “shall receive health … and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-19).

            The Lord gives a law that will bring health and other blessings to the obedient, but the world makes the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea seem attractive. Science and health professionals are now proving that these substances are bad for our bodies, but the Lord revealed this truth in 1833.

            Elder Cook cites many statistics about health problems caused by alcohol and tobacco and admits that he does not include all the problems caused by them.

In reciting primarily personal health issues, I have not attempted to categorize other serious consequences of alcohol use such as accidents while driving under the influence, men trying to excuse physical and sexual assaults because of alcohol impairment, and the effects on fetal brains from alcohol use by women during pregnancy.

As if cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and an opiate epidemic were not harmful enough to society, we now see the forces of evil pushing legalization of recreational marijuana.

            It is easy to see the devious ways that the adversary attempts to fool us into breaking the God’s health law given for our good. We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by helping the rising generation to understand that there is good and evil in the world and by helping them to recognize and accept the good.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Common Ground and Shared Freedom

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the necessity of finding common ground in order to share the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. As each group in our society seeks special protection, there becomes less freedom for other groups.

            The US Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack Philips and that the State of Colorado did not respect Philips’ right to exercise his religion. Colorado had allowed other bakeries to refuse service to causes that they could not support, but they did not give Philips the same freedom to object. The Court says that governments must treat religious beliefs with tolerance and respect as well as without religious hostility.

            The case of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was about whether a baker could be forced to use his talents to make a cake to celebrate same-sex marriage when it is against his beliefs. The ruling did not address the “question of whether religious objectors to same-sex marriage should be exempted from LGBT nondiscrimination laws and allowed to refuse service to gay or lesbian customers.” 

            The above ruling is considered to be “narrow” because it did not address the broader issue. However, it is bringing other results. One such result is an editorial written about an investigative report by Kelsey Dallas, faith writer for Deseret News. Released last week, the report “identifies and analyzes 139 state bills across the country pertaining to the place of faith in the public square.”

            The editorial claims that the number of state bills is not as important as the fact “states are engaging in the arduous process of carving out spaces for multiple groups to live according to their conscience.”

As Wednesday’s report indicates, protecting the liberty of all citizens extends far beyond the LGBT community and the religious community. And the two are not mutually exclusive. Only eight of the 139 bills identified deal with service refusals similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop situation. And 37 bills focus on protecting LGBT rights. The remaining 94 bills cover topics ranging from faith’s role in public speech to adoption services and the intersection of religion and health care.
The sad truth, however, is partisanship has taken its toll on the idea of shared freedom, with mostly Republicans signing on to legislation protecting religious belief while mainly Democrats have championed protections for LGBT rights.

            It seems that everything in our nation is politicized and pits one segments of our society against another. No one appreciates being called a racist, bigot, fanatic, or a snowflake. We are all human beings and children of the same Father in Heaven. We should be showing forth love and civility to each other. If we cannot get to “love” yet, we should at least treat each other with respect and tolerance.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Inspector General Report

            The highly anticipated Inspector General (IG) Report was finally made available to the public. The 500-page report of misconduct makes clear that there are deep negative feelings in the FBI and DOJ toward Donald Trump and his supporters, particularly among the higher levels of leadership. Some of the leaders at the FBI showed great contempt for Trump and his supporters in their texts and instant messages to each other. The communications show bias toward Hillary Clinton and against Trump.

            According to J. Christian Adams at PJ Media, “One FBI agent on the Hillary investigation wrote in an FBI text: `Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS.’ `POS’ is the agent’s acronym for `Pieces Of S***.’” FBI Agent Peter Strzok wrote in another communication that he “could SMELL the Trump supporters.” In a text on August 8, 2016, Lisa Page stated, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” and Strzok responded, “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Various other communications between FBI agents show that there was bias among the elite leadership with suggested actions to stop Donald Trump from being elected.

            The IG Report makes one thing very clear: Americans “dodged a bullet” by electing Donald Trump to be the President instead of Hillary Clinton. If Clinton had been elected, none of this misconduct would have come to light but would have most likely continued to grow. If the Department of Justice and the FBI – and who knows what other agencies - were actively working to get Clinton elected, imagine what they would have done to cover up their wrong doing!

            Remember the problem with the IRS targeting Tea Party groups under Barack Obama? The groups were trying to organize and operate in support of conservative candidates and causes, but their applications for permits were pigeon-holed and slow-walked by the IRS. With Clinton in the White House and the Justice Department not doing their jobs, Americans would have surely lost more freedoms.

            God truly did bless America when Trump was elected President. He was instrumental in stopping the quickly-escalating slide of America into socialism and possibly communism. The US may have become a Third World country similar to the way that Venezuela has, and it may have done so just as quickly! We should all be thanking God that Donald Trump is the President of the United States!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Balancing the Federal Budget

            With the annual federal deficit projected to be over $ trillion by 2020, there is great need to find a solution. The experts at The Heritage Foundation share their answer to the problem in their proposed congressional budget, “Blueprint for Balance.” 

            Justin Bogie and Romina Boccia say that Heritage’s proposal “would reshape the functions of the federal government, focusing spending on its constitutional obligations and nixing programs that fall outside that scope or favor special interests.” They say that “there is a solution that Congress can implement this year and sharply reverse the projected course.” The Heritage blueprint contains these five key elements:

1. It would bring spending under control by reducing the growth rate from 5.5 percent each year to 3.1 percent.

2. It would reform the big three entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – that “are simply unsustainable in their current form.”

3. It would prioritize essential discretionary spending and cutting wasteful programs – such as those that “benefit special-interest groups at the expense of taxpayers;” those that can be “more effectively run by the private sector or state and local governments; and those that “don’t fall under the federal government’s core constitutional responsibilities.”

4. It would permanently extend the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

5. It would fix the broken budget process.

            In a government that has continually kicked budget problems down the road, it would be nice to end the dysfunction that has existed for far too long. Bogie and Boccia claim that Heritage’s “Blueprint for Balance” “would put the budget back on a path toward balance, and our nation on a path toward fiscal health.”

            The Heritage plan sounds like common sense to me. However, I am doubtful that there will be enough people in Congress that are brave enough to adopt it. Cutting the entitlement programs is a sure loss of office – unless than adequate explanation is given to the people.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Donald Trump

            Donald Trump is my VIP for this week due to his latest “winning” experience in North Korea. He did what no US president has been able to do in 60-70 years, and that is to sit down face-to-face with the leader of North Korea. The results of the meeting are yet to be seen, but they hold a great promise. The two leaders made the following commitments: 

1. The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

            Trump has been slammed by leftists for meeting with Kim and putting North Korea on the same level as the United States. Who cares how Trump smoothed Kim’s feathers if peace comes to the world? Japan and South Korea seem pleased with the results of the summit meeting, and Trump has been officiated nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

            A second reason for naming Trump as my VIP is for the effect that he is having on elections in several states. Trump-backed candidates won primaries in Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, and North Dakota. If they win in November, maybe Trump will have five more supporters in Congress.

            A third reason is for the way that he is changing minds. I found an interesting article written by Mark Alexander at The Patriot Post. Alexander is an unrelenting patriot who stands for the military and the Constitution. His articles are always interesting and enlightening. In this article he mentioned that he has noticed “an interesting trend in recent months.” It seems that some of his moderate friends have become Trump supporters. One of his friends used the following explanation for his change of feelings towards Trump.

[Trump] dropped a bomb on Washington. He dropped a bomb on the status quo in Congress and its special interests. He dropped a bomb on the regulatory behemoths and their bureaucratic bottlenecks. He dropped a bomb on the trade and national security institutions and alliances that have failed miserably over the last eight years.

            I like this analogy about dropping bombs because it totally describes the effect that Trump has on the elites in Washington. They do not know what hit them, and they do not know what to do about it. Now he is doing the same thing with the international community. The Group of Seven (G7) thought they could convince Trump to play by their rules and pick up their bills. Instead, he told them that the US piggybank is locked.

            Another analogy that has been used with Trump is that he plays chess while his opponents play checkers. Being okay at checkers but totally lost with chess, I can see how this analogy is good. It is fairly easy to get past an opponent in checkers, but it takes real thinking as well as planning ahead to win at chess. Trump has his opponents going in circles while he continues to move ahead with his campaign promises.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Voter Registration Rolls

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is an important decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court last week concerning voter registration rolls. The verdict affirms Ohio’s right to keep their records up to date. The decision is a strike for freedom.

            One would think that all Americans would want voter registration rolls to be accurate, but this would apparently be a wrong assumption. Thomas Lifson shares some liberal reactions to the court’s decision. One of the reactions comes from Andrew Chung of Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived Ohio's contentious policy of purging infrequent voters from registration rolls in a ruling powered by the five conservative justices and denounced by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an endorsement of the disenfranchisement of minority and low-income Americans.

            For whatever reason liberals such as Sonia Sotomayor believe that keeping the voter registration rolls current will be harmful to some groups of Americans. Registrars do not automatically remove a name of an infrequent voter from voting registers. The Ohio policy is to send registration confirmation notices to any registered voter who has not voted in two years. If the voter does not respond, their names are purged IF they do not vote during the next four years.

            The notices are to determine if the person on the record actually lives at the address on the registration. If they are not living in the precinct, they should not be voting in the precinct. If the person responds to the notice or votes, their name remains on the list. If there is no response at all, the name is purged from the voter registration roll.

            The process seems to be responsible, and it was approved by the Supreme Court. However, liberals are upset. The most hysterical response came from Senator Chuck Schumer in several tweets. His first tweet says that the “ongoing push to disenfranchise Americans” comes from the Trump administration. “This is why elections matter.” In other words, VOTE!

            The next tweet reminds Schumer’s followers that the “right to vote is the most sacred right we have as citizens. Aggressive voter purge systems like Ohio’s essentially make voting a `use it or lose it’ privilege.” The right to vote is not a “use it or lose it” situation, but having one’s name on the voter registration rolls is. If a person has not voted in six years, there is no need to keep their name on the rolls.

            Schumer’s third tweet says, “Democracy suffers when laws make it harder for U.S. Citizens to vote. This decision is dangerous and damaging and is NOT why we passed the National Voter Registration Act in `93. In fact, this goes completely against the spirit of the law.” Democracy really does suffer when there are fraudulent votes!

            Lifson reminds his readers that fraudulent votes disenfranchise the genuine American voters. He also says that the “Failure to purge the rolls of those who have moved or died or given up on voting is an open invitation to fraud.” He then quotes Dan McLaughlin of NRO to give some perspective on matter:

The Court was not asked to decide if states are allowed to purge names from the voter rolls. Federal law requires them to do so. That law, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 [referred to by Schumer], was written by congressional Democrats, passed with the votes of every single Democratic senator and 238 of the 252 Democrats in the House at the time (including Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The NVRA, also known as the “motor voter” law, expanded voter registration in a number of ways, but it also formally recognized the legitimate interests of states in periodically updating their lists of voters so they are limited to people actually still residing in a place where they are eligible to vote, and commanded them to do something about it:

            NVRA requires States to “conduct a general program that makes a
            reasonable effort to remove the names” of voters who are ineligible “by                         reason of” death or change in residence. §20507(a)(4).

            It seems that the Democrats in office at that time the law was passed were so anxious to make voter registration easy that they did not consider the updating aspect of this law. They thought that they could continue adding potential voters without any consequences. If the names of dead people or former residents are no longer on the voter registration rolls, it will be harder for a fraudulent vote to be made for them.