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.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

What Do You Think about the Democrat Tricks?

            It is Halloween today, but the Democrats have been celebrating for over a month. They are not providing any treats, but they are serving lots of tricks. Their latest trick was to “formalize” their impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump today. This is the first step leading to the House of Representatives voting on articles of impeachment and then sending them to the Senate to consider.

            As expected, the votes in the House fell along party lines with no Republicans voting to for the resolution and two Democrats voting against it. As I have said all along, the House may impeach the President, but the Senate will not remove him from office. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) lined up fifty Republican Senators who are against the House resolution.

            McConnell said that the Senate will hold a trial if the House sends over articles of impeachment even though some conservatives are calling for dismissal. The Senate must work under the laws of the Constitution and the rules of the Senate, but Senate leaders have some discretion as to procedures, length of trial, calling of witnesses, etc. I think that a trial in the Senate may be a good thing because President Trump and his advocates could call anyone to be witnesses. They could call Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or any number of other members of the Deep State. A Senate trial may be the only way to hold such people accountable for corruption in the former administration.

            Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal posted an article titled “4 Keys to Understanding a Trump Impeachment Trial in the Senate.” According to Lucas, President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for violating the Tenure of Office Act. His trial in the Senate lasted two months with witnesses testifying on the Senate floor much like a regular criminal trial. The Senate did not remove him from office. President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1999 by a Republican-led House. It has been called a “sham trial” because the Republican-led Senate did not intend to remove him from office. They believed that removing Clinton from office would cause them to lose the majority in the Senate.

            Lucas continues his article by describing the process for a Senate trial with President Trump being issued a “writ of summons” to appear, or at least to send his counsel to appear for the trial. He expects the Senate to rely on precedent, something that the House has not done. The Senate will act as a judge and jury with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding over the trial as directed by the Constitution. His job will be to keep order.

            Some conservatives are calling for the Senate to dismiss the case. Others are saying that it should be a short trial. They all agree that the Senate should not fall to the level of being a plaything for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House. Even though the Senate may have the authority to dismiss the case, they most likely will go through the motion of trying the President. They do not want Americans to accuse them of ignoring their constitutional duties. At any rate, they should make the trial long enough to do their duties but short enough to stop the Democrat tricks.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

How Ugly Will It Get?

            The Democrat impeachment circus continues, and it shows just how ugly the Washington establishment is. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) holds secret hearings in the basement of the Capitol Building but denies Republicans the right to question the witnesses or tells the witness that they do not have to answer the Republican questions.

            Cal Thomas compared the impeachment scenario in Washington to scary monster movies at Halloween. He reminded his readers that the killer is not revealed until later in the movie. This fact frightens the viewers just as it terrorizes the killer’s targets.

This analogy perfectly fits the impeachment scenario now playing out in Washington. The nation is beginning to see the ugliness of the establishment, people who believe they have a divine right … to run the federal government.

If that right is ever challenged, that’s when the long knives come out.

Secret testimonies, barring Republicans from calling their own witnesses or cross-examining the ones Democrats have subpoenaed, and now a federal judge’s ruling that secret grand jury records from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation must be turned over to House Democrats – this is how the establishment fights back.  

            Thomas continued by explaining that the impeachment proceeding is the political damage control by Democrats who know past dirty deeds are about to be exposed by the criminal probe that is headed by U.S. Attorney John Durham. The Democrat goal seems to be to have Donald Trump impeached before the Durham report comes out.

            After denying for weeks that the impeachment process is unfair, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the full House will vote tomorrow to begin the public phase of the inquiry. This means that rules will be established about the due process rights for Trump. To prove his point, Thomas included a quote from Rush Limbaugh and said that it goes right to the heart of the matter.

I think what [Rep. Adam] Schiff and Pelosi and this entire so-called impeachment inquiry is really all about is derailing the Barr investigation. And I think that’s why they’re in such a hurry… they’re trying to convince the American people that Trump is guilty and should not be president before Barr and Durham and [Justice Department Inspector General Michael] Horowitz have time to reveal anything.

And there’s one downside to what happened here. We now have an official criminal investigation. That means that Durham and Barr can impanel a grand jury. And this is why the McCabes and the Brennans and the James Clappers are running around today in a near panic.

            The polls are all over the place. The latest one that I saw shows that more than 60 percent of Americans do not want the President to leave office. Americans are not dumb, but many are not paying close attention to what is happening in our nation. Those who are watching can see the unfairness of the impeachment process. Many Americans believe that the decision about Donald Trump having a second term should rest with the citizens. 

I believe that the impeachment hearings should be cancelled, and the election make the determination. However, this would give Barr, Durham, and Horowitz the opportunity to expose all the corruption that does on in Washington. The establishment will never allow the exposure to happen if they can stop it. That is the reason for all the ugliness over the past three years. If Trump remains in office, the ugly corruption will be exposed for all the world to see. There are too many members of the establishment with fingers in the pot to allow the exposure to take place without an all-out battle. America will truly be free when the truth finally emerges.   

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Is Any Type of Marriage Acceptable Today?

            Just over ten years ago numerous states passed laws declaring that marriage is between one man and one woman. There was a great debate in the land. Those on the right were worried that legalizing same-sex marriage would open the flood gates to all kinds of “marriages.” Those on the left declared that no such thing was happening. Today we can see that those barring same-sex marriage were correct in their fears.

            Same-sex relationship advocates began their fight for legal recognition in the early 1970s. They insisted that they just wanted legal rights and benefits afforded to married couples, and some states passed such laws. They were not satisfied with the rights given to them, and they declared that they wanted the right to marry.

As their cries became louder, some states made same-sex marriage legal, and other states passed laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. In September 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that was signed by President Bill Clinton. The law defined marriage in the eyes of the federal government as the union between one man and one woman, and it allowed states the right to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states. This created a difficult situation, making same-sex couples married if they were in one state and not married if they were in a different state. In June 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA, and on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state laws banning same-sex marriage. This made same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states.

Less than five years after same-sex marriage became legal nationwide, we see advocates for other types of “marriages” demanding their rights. Peter Hasson at The Heritage Foundation reports that “major media outlets” are in the process of “normalizing non-monogamous relationships. These relationships are known as “consensual non-monogamy.”

One such media outlet interviewed a researcher and a lawyer who are both pro-polyamory. One on-line dictionary defined polyamory as “the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved.” This means that several couples could form a work where the husbands would swap wives for sexual purposes. These types of relationships are sometimes called “open marriages.” 

Polygamy is another kind of relationship being advocated but not quite so openly. I find it interesting that my great-grandparents were persecuted and forced to leave the United States in order to practice polygamy in the mid-1800s. There were no legal laws against polygamy at the time, but Americans were appalled at the thought that men would have more than one wife. They were so upset that laws were passed and signed declaring polygamy to be illegal. One or more of my great-grandfathers went to prison for practicing polygamy.

Now the laws are changing again, and the Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage has opened the floodgates to all kinds of marriages. As these different kinds of relationships become accepted and/or legal, the morals of our nation slide further down the slippery slope of immorality. 

Marriage between one man and one woman has been the norm since the time of Adam and Eve. Societies that encouraged or accepted other types of sexual relationships destroyed themselves or were destroyed. Once mankind chooses to go against the laws of God, they no longer receive His blessings. Even though the courts of the land decree that other types of relationships are “marriages,” the Lord’s law of marriage between one man and one woman has not changed. The new types of “marriages” are simply a continuation of the old acts of fornication and adultery.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Are You Willing to Take a Stand for Your Values?

            I chose to make Taylor University freshman David Muselman my VIP for this week because he stood tall when confronted with opposition. The Christian college in Upland, Indiana, invited Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the May 2019 commencement address at the school. A few progressive students were not pleased, and they tried to cancel the invitation.

            Muselman countered the progressives with his “I Like Mike” campaign. When he was asked why he decided to support the vice president, Muselman explained as follows. 

… That’s a great question. But first and foremost, the day our president of the university announced Vice President Pence would be speaking at commencement, everybody was thrilled. I got text messages, I got phone calls, and everybody could not believe that the vice president would be coming to speak at our university in the middle of corn fields. It’s in Upland, Indiana, it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it’s an honor to have the vice president. So that was first and foremost, everybody was thrilled.

A day or two later, the very loud, outspoken minority on the campus freaked out a little bit. There was a girl who said she was actually shaking in fear, and there was another girl who said she was terrified at the fact that Mike Pence was coming to speak on our campus.

Then after those two instances, the … fake media took ahold of the story….

So that’s from the outside looking in, that’s what everybody thought. Everybody thought Taylor was a place that did not want the vice president to come. From the inside looking out, that wasn’t the case at all. It was a loud, loud, loud minority of students who were not in favor, and in fact, a tone of people on campus really, really were excited for it.

So then that launched me into the idea of making these T-shirts. I made these T-shirts, they’re called “I Like Mike T-shirts.”

They had the vice president’s face in the middle of them, and it was so cool….

            The idea for the T-shirts came from a friend, but Muselman designed them and went door to door selling the shirts. The sales were slow at first until a small group of people purchased the shirts and started to wear them around campus. Then lots of other people wanted to buy them – maintenance man, technicians, faculty, and alumni as well as students.

            Pence rewarded Muselman and his group for their support when he met with them personally. What does one say to the Vice President of the United States? 

We talked a lot, we talked about a lot of stuff. He mainly talked about how thankful he was for the support and for us backing him, and we just told him how thankful we were because, really, a lot of us listening to the show even, we believe in those basic, biblically sound conservative values. But sometimes we’re not willing to stand up for those values, and Vice President Pence is an unbelievable example for standing up for those values. But then as well, is not just standing up, being willing to take the heat. Obviously, he’s taken a lot of heat in the past few years, but that’s just the man he is. He’s an unbelievable man.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Did Trump Have Authority for Attack on ISIS Compound?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns when the President, acting as Commander-in-Chief, must notify Congress of military action and when he does not. President Donald Trump authorized a military attack on ISIS about a week ago, and the attack took place yesterday. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a surprise attack on his compound, and Trump did not notify congressional leaders until the attack was over and done. He said that he did not inform Pelosi because he “wanted to make sure this secret was kept.” This is an insult to the Speaker of the House, but I can understand Trump’s reasoning with the political scene as it is.

            Trump notified Russia of the death of al-Baghdadi before he notified Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and she is a little bent out of shape about it. “The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top congressional leadership were notified of in advance, and on the administration’s overall strategy in the region…. Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.” 

            The military attack was a success, and the ISIS leader was killed. Yet, Democrats cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that it is a good thing that happened. My question is, will Democrats use this military attack as another reason to attempt to impeach Trump? What does the Constitution have to say about military actions?

            The U.S Constitution divides the responsibilities of war between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch. Even though Congress has sole authority to declare war (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11), the President has some authority to direct military matters without consulting Congress. John Yoo, Professor of Law at University of California-Berkley, wrote the following in a chapter about the Commander-in-Chief for The Heritage Guide for the Constitution.

Few constitutional issues have been so consistently and heatedly debated by legal scholars                   and politicians in recent years as the distribution of war powers between Congress and the                   President. As a matter of history and policy, it is generally accepted that the executive takes                 the lead in the actual conduct of war…. At the same time, the Founders plainly intended to                   establish congressional checks on the executive’s war power. Between these guideposts is a                 question of considerable importance: Does the Constitution require the President to obtain                   specific authorization from Congress before initiating hostilities?

Article II, Section 1, Clause 1, vests the entirety of the “executive Power” in a single person, the President of the United States. By contrast, under Article I Congress enjoys only those legislative powers “herein granted.” Scholars generally agree that this vesting of executive power confers upon the President broad authority to engage in foreign relations, including war, except in those areas in which the Constitution places authority in Congress. The debate, then, is over the extent of Congress’s constitutional authority to check the President in matters of war.

The presumption of presidential initiative in war established by these two provisions of Article II appears to be bolstered by other constitutional provisions. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, expressly prohibits states from “engag[ing] in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay” unless they have obtained the “Consent of Congress.” By contrast, no such limitation on engagement in war by the President can be found in Article II, Although Article II expressly authorizes the President to engage in other foreign relations powers (such as the making of treaties and the appointment of ambassadors) only with the consent of Congress, it imposes no such check with respect to the use of military force.

            It appears that the President has authority to initiate military attacks -- such as the one that took place over the weekend in Syria -- and can use the funding available to the executive branch, which includes the military. However, Congress controls the purse strings of the nation and would control whether the Commander-in-Chief could wage a longer military offensive. The President has authority to repel any invasion, but Congress has authority to declare war.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

            In my “Come, Follow Me” studies this week, I studied 1 Thessalonians 3 where the Apostle Paul told the Thessalonian Saints that he had received a good report from Timothy saying that there was “faith and charity” among the Thessalonian members of the Church (verse 6). However, Paul reminded them that discipleship requires constant growth and improvement. In other words, a true disciple of Jesus Christ cannot allow themselves to become stagnant in knowledge or testimony. Paul encouraged them to “increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men” 
(verse 12).

            Modern-day Apostles counsel today’s members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to do the same. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that “discipleship is to be lived in crescendo” or steadily and continually increasing (“Premortality, a Glorious Reality,” Ensign, Nov 1985, 15). 

            President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency also spoke of the increased need for continuous spiritual growth for disciples of the latter days: “As the forces around us increase in intensity, whatever spiritual strength was once sufficient will not be enough. And whatever growth in spiritual strength we once thought was possible, greater growth will be made available to us. Both the need for spiritual strength and the opportunity to acquire it will increase at rates which we under-estimate at our peril” (“Always,” Ensign, Oct. 1999, 9).

            These three Apostles bring the Lord’s law of witnesses into effect. The Savior taught that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all truth be known. When three Apostles are saying basically the same thing, we can know that it is truth. This means that we must continually increase in our ability to follow the Savior and to do the things that He commands us to do. In fact, He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we truly love Him, we will keep His commandments and follow Him wherever He leads us.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Why Did God Ordain Marriage between Man and Woman?

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened by individuals who understand that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe strongly that marriage and family can be eternal. Such a marriage and family does not come automatically or without intention.

            In September 1995 President Gordon B. Hinckley presented a new document to the sisters of the Church of Jesus Christ and to the world. It is titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World. This document proclaims in its first paragraph “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” 

Lest anyone think that the Prophets and Apostles who authorized this document do not know what they are doing, another organization published another document that supports the proclamation on the family. The document published by the Ruth Institute lists ten reasons why God would ordain marriage between a man and a woman. 

1. Your marriage protects the rights of children to know their parents. Children need to experience the love of a mother and father. Children are entitled to a relationship with both parents – to know and be known by both parents….

2. Your marriage directs sexual activity into healthy channels. Marriage creates an expectation that the husband and wife will not be making babies outside of the home with other partners who cannot commit to the child….

3. Your marriage teaches children about the permanence of true love. Children of divorce consistently say that they are unsure whether they can make love last. Children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves….

4. Your marriage prevents fatherlessness. Marriage is society’s most reliable way of attaching fathers to their children during the many years it takes for them to reach adulthood. Large numbers of scientific studies over decades have consistently shown that father absence presents problems for children….

5. Your marriage helps your children trust and be trustworthy. The family is a child’s first link to the rest of the human race. Parents spend a lot of time wiping noses and tying shoes, which might seem to be menial chores anyone can do. But as a by-product of fulfilling these mundane tasks, parents convey to the child that he or she matters to them…

6. Your marriage saves taxpayers money. When the family breaks down, the taxpayers often step in: government programs for poverty relief, health, education, and, all too often, juvenile delinquency and criminal justice. One study announces its estimate of the taxpayer costs of father absence in its title: “The One Hundred Billion Dollar Man.” This figure is their estimate of the taxpayer cost of fatherlessness nationwide….

7. Your marriage sets the standard for your children’s future. “Fathers who treat the mothers of their children with respect and deal with conflict within the relationship in an adult and appropriate manner are more likely to have boys who understand how they are to treat women and who are less likely to act in an aggressive fashion toward females. Girls with involved respectful fathers see how they should expect men to treat them and are less likely to become involved in violent or unhealthy relationships.” …

8. Your marriage reduces violence in the community. The most important predictor of criminal behavior is not race, income, or religious affiliation. It’s father-absence. Neighborhoods without fathers are neighborhoods without men able and willing to confront errant youth, chase threatening gangs, and reproach delinquent fathers. The absence of fathers deprives the community of those little platoons that informally but effectively control the boys on the street….

9. Your marriage reduces poverty. In the past, children were largely assured an intact home, and poverty often depended on what a father did for a living. But fatherlessness and other forms of family breakdown now affect about half of American children. Child poverty is more likely to depend on whether children live with their fathers….

10. Your marriage makes marriage available to the next generation. Each of us has a marriage “imprint” based upon the marriage of our parents. Can you imagine entire communities without any marriage modeling at all? For instance, in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore in which the killing of Freddie Gray and subsequent riots took place, only 13% of children experience a two-parent home. Children have a harder time understanding what marriage is, how it functions, or how to behave in marriage, since they see permanent relationships so rarely. Such a weak marriage culture also makes it harder for young adults to find a dating pool of qualified partners to choose form. Their acquaintances have most likely not seen or experienced the benefits of a functional marriage either.

            These are ten solid reasons why our loving Heavenly Father would ordain marriage between a man and a woman. He wants to protect His sons and His daughters and to create an environment where all of them can thrive.

            In my studies I learned of a marriage counselor who was working with men who were not married to the mother of their children. Some of the men had children with several women and were not married to any of them. The counselor was working with one man who wanted to make his current relationship permanent. However, the man did not know anyone who was in a long- term marriage. He had no examples to follow. This did not mean that he would fail in his quest, but it does mean that he would have a more difficult time of doing it.

            Heavenly Father had numerous good reasons for ordaining marriage between a man and a woman. One of His many reasons was to create an environment where all His children could grow, develop, and become like Him. Those individuals who understand the important of marriage between a man and a woman can and do strengthen their families, communities, and nations.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Why Is Religious Freedom and Public Morality Important?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the relationship between religious freedom and public morality. Freedom of religion is the first freedom listed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …” The Founders of our nation and the Framers of the Constitution obviously had strong feelings about freedom of religion.

            The encroachments on this freedom continues to increase and exert increasing pressures on the freedom to worship as one chooses. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the keynote speaker at a recent gathering of scholars and opinion formers at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, England. Here are some of his remarks. 

I am particularly concerned that religious freedom and religious conscience are protected, and that public morality based on religious beliefs can be advocated in the public square….

We live in an age where significant portions of our moral heritage are not only not appreciated, but in many cases, misunderstood or even dismissed, almost with disdain. [I am concerned that] some of the protections contained in various constitutions which emanate from historical moral values have been eroded or undermined….

I am deeply concerned that faith, accountability to God, and the religious impulse are so often seen as antithetical to serious academic pursuits…. I believe some institutions have abandoned the basic moral high ground that gives meaning to this life and has guided civilizations for centuries….

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports the religious freedom of all faiths as well as those with no faith….

Those who feel accountable to God have a responsibility to live upright lives of service to God and our fellowmen, to obey the law, and to be good citizens, neighbors, and friends in all we do. As we do so, ordinary citizens and governmental officials alike will be more inclined to see the value of religion and to respect the basic principles that allow us to freely live it.

            It is the responsibility of every American to support and sustain the U.S. Constitution, which includes all ratified amendments. Anyone who does not protect and preserve the right of all Americans to worship or not worship as they choose must understand that other freedoms are also under assault. We must protect all the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, or we stand in danger of losing all of them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

What Is Happening in Immigration?

            There is much controversy about how to stop illegal immigration as well as how to reform America’s immigration system. President Donald Trump was elected because he promised to the secure the borders and build a wall. He has tried to secure the border, limit illegal immigration, and build a wall, but he has been opposed on every side by liberals in Congress and activist judges.

            Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was a recent guest in a special edition of The Daily Signal Podcast. He says that Trump is winning despite the congressional liberals and rogue judges.

            Kate Trinko asked Cuccinelli how the courts are affecting the Trump immigration policy and what can be done about them. Cuccinelli reminded Trinko and the listeners that judges are supposed to be “neutral umpire[s]” and simply call “balls and strikes.” However, there are too many rogue judges who want to make the rules rather than define and explain the law.

The example I used today in talking to the President’s Club here was a judge in New York last week who imposed a national injunction on what’s called the public charge regulation, which is a rule that requires legal immigrants seeking to stay here permanently to be self-sufficient – [it] doesn’t count humanitarian categories like asylees and refugees, just regular legal immigrants have to be self-sufficient.

Well, the judge went on what amounts to a rant against the policy, which, by the way, is about 140 years old in American immigration law, and it goes all the way back to the 1600s. He’s complaining that this somehow undermines American traditions and, in fact, it’s completely consistent with American traditions. That’s just one example.

            Trinko wanted to know “how much of an impact” the activist judges are “having on the immigration policy” of the Trump administration. Cuccinelli replied that they are “having a significant impact and yet we’re still succeeding because we just keep pressing ahead.” He indicated that the regulations and rules being put in place are what “the law provides for.” He said, “The problem is that as these judges impose more and more and more injunctions, they complicate the system terribly. He blamed Congress for not providing the needed resources to “fully implement the immigration system we’ve got, much less enforce the law properly.” Even though the activist judges gum up the works, they will not win in the long run. “We’re going to win these cases, but they’re essentially trying to buy time hoping this president doesn’t get reelected and that these policies will be done away with by a different administration.”

Trinko asked about “interior enforcement regarding illegal immigration” and changes made to E-Verify. Cuccinelli replied that the system is different. “It’s been modernized substantially. And the data checks involved in it now are much more accurate and thorough.” He said that there are ways to pre-certify oneself before going for a job interview to make sure that everything is as it should be. “There are a lot of changes we’ve made that have made it more efficient, more user-friendly, and frankly, less employer-dependent…. They just want to know they have a legal employee in front of them.”

Trinko asked about eradicating loopholes in the asylum rules. Again, Cuccinelli referred to the do-nothing Congress. He said that there is an overlap between the Obama and Trump administrations. There are two loopholes that need to be closed. The first one is the Flores loophole – caused by a lawsuit that affects families. Do they separate the children from the parents, or do they release the entire family into the interior of the United States? The second loophole concerns the trafficking of children from Central and South American and even other nations. “We see children used as tickets at the southern border to kind of break through our system.” When the activist judges let them break through the system, it overwhelms the system – just as the illegals and drug cartels are trying to do.

Trinko asked Cuccinelli what he thought about the new law in New York City where people can “be fined up to $250,000 for using the term ‘illegal alien’ maliciously.” Cuccinelli said that the law will never hold up. He signed an internal document changing terms such as “foreign national” to “alien” because “that’s actually in the federal code…. I have great confidence that they will not succeed in doing that.” However, he admitted that people could be charged and must pay huge sums for lawyers to defend them. He also emphasized that the law infringes on “the First Amendment and its protections for free speech.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Can the "Democratic Socialist" Movement Be Stopped?

            Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) is running his second campaign for President of the United States. He has been in politics since being elected Mayor of Burlington in 1981. He also served Vermont as a US Representative before being elected as the state’s junior Senator. His main campaign message is the economic inequality caused by the free market system in the United States. He is a millionaire that rails against millionaires!

            Sanders is not the only person in the United States to think that socialism in America would be a good thing. Kay Cole James, President of The Heritage Foundation, said that the “rising tide of socialism in America is reaching a critical point.” A Gallup poll reported that “43% of Americans say socialism would be a good thing for the country.” Gallup is not the only poll reporting this finding. The people who would suffer the most under socialism – women, minorities, and young people – are the very people who want socialism. 

            There are far too many people in America who do not understand the dangers of socialism. The promises of Medicare for all and free college tuition as well as promises of other free stuff is luring the people who struggle the most. They want the promises of big government, but they do not understand the costs of big government.

            Conservatives, liberals, and progressives all see the same problems, but they have different solutions. With the promises of all the free stuff, it is difficult for the conservative message to be heard. James said that there are “several factors” on the side of conservatives.

First, we have the truth. Socialism has failed in every country, every time it’s been tried. Additionally, here in the United States and in countries that have softer “democratic socialism,” decades of data show that big-government policies continue to fail over and over again. More often than not, they end up hurting the very people they were supposed to help. Welfare in the United States is just one example.

Second, some of the polls showing Americans warming up to socialism also show that, when pressed, respondents didn’t understand what socialism actually involved. [They loved the ideas of “free college tuition, free health care, and the Green New Deal” until they heard a few of the details.]

Third, new polling by The Heritage Foundation shows that the groups that seem the warmest to bigger government – women, minorities, and young people – actually agree with conservatives on many of our principles as long as we don’t call them “conservative.” Reaching out to these groups and others is where we can turn the tide and find the numbers needed to stand against the statist agenda.

When we asked a mix of conservative, moderate, and liberal young people if they could find something to like about the conservative philosophy, only 39% respond positively. But when we left off the conservative label and just asked about principles like smaller government and giving more power to individuals and communities versus creating more government programs, we saw agreement with those principles increase to 63%.

When we tested the same thing with the Hispanic community, agreement shot up from 38% to 61%. For African Americans, it rose from 24% to 57%.

This tells us that conservatives have the right principles and the right solutions – but we need to do a better job of communicating them.

            The truth is that conservative principles are the only principles that can save America. There is nothing about socialism that is good for America. It will be conservative principles that help us find solutions to end poverty, provide clean air and clean water, create better paying jobs, deliver more affordable health care, and preserve our freedoms.

            Americans living today have inherited the responsibility to preserve our constitutional government and to keep Americans free. Conservatives have the correct principles to use, but we need to recruit others to help us. Will you join the cause of conservatism today and fulfill your true destiny as an American?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Moving from the Wrong Side of History

            Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the rare politicians who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes is right. He did this when he took a stand against President Donald Trump for pulling the US military out of the border zone between Kurdish areas of Syria and the Turkish border. The fact that he jumped to condemn the President’s decision before he talked with the POTUS is one thing. The fact that he was willing to try something new after talking with President Trump is another. “I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have alluded us for years, if we play our cards right.”

            It is obvious that Senator Graham does not yet understand that President Trump is not a politician. Trump is a businessman who sees a problem and seeks a solution. Trump recognized that what the US has been doing in the Middle East for many years does not work. Why should we be sending our men and women to the area to referee battles that have been fought for years between some countries? 

            Instead of keeping our military forces on the Syria/Turkey border, the Trump administration is working to create a demilitarized zone that will be occupied by international forces with American air support. The President wants to work with Kurds in eastern Syria to prevent a return of ISIS, but he also wants to honor Turkey, our NATO ally. Turkey believes that the Syrian Kurds are terrorists and wants to protect its citizens from them. The demilitarized zone will protect both sides. 

            The fact that Graham realized that he was fighting against a solution to a problem rather than a problem says a lot for the man. I am happy to know that he is back to supporting President Trump as he tries to solve the many problems left by the Obama administration.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Will Sheriffs Confiscate Guns?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the Second Amendment. In case there is anyone who does not know what the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, here it is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

The wording of the Second Amendment seems clear to me, but liberals have for years said that it does not say what it says. They have also said that they do not intend to confiscate guns, but Democratic presidential contender Robert “Beto” O’Rourke exposed their real intent at the Democratic debate in September. He said that if he is elected to be President of the United States that he will enact a “mandatory buyback” of all AR-15 and AK-47 rifles. “H___ yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

While being interviewed by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough last Wednesday, O’Rourke gave more details. He supposedly expects Americans to just hand over their guns if a law is passed. 

There have to be consequences…. In that case, I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back, so that it cannot potentially be used against somebody else.

            It is apparent that numerous sheriffs and other law enforcement officers are aware of the terrible crimes that take place against unarmed individuals. They also know the Constitution and their responsibilities under it. 

            Townhall interviewed sheriffs in New Mexico and Colorado about O’Rourke’s plan to take firearms from American citizens. San Juan County, New Mexico, Sheriff Shane Ferrari said, “Mr. O’Rourke is delusional in regards to his gun control ideas.” He said that law enforcement protects the rights of Americans, not take them away. He continued, “The biggest fear of any free society is the government at your door wanting to take away your rights by force. I do not see the men and women of law enforcement sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution doing this.”

            Another sheriff in New Mexico, Sheriff Mark Cage of Eddy County, agreed with Ferrari when he said that O’Rourke was wrong to think that local police would follow his rules.

I’m not sure whether his statements are naïve or just plain ignorant and arrogant. Maybe it’s all three….

The thought of anyone utilizing my sheriff’s office or any other law enforcement agency in this country as their personal Gestapo to go door to door violating citizen’s rights is disgusting, unrealistic and downright un-American.

I believe that O’Rourke is dreaming if he thinks Americans will give up their guns so easily. Americans are not dummies. Most of us know how gun confiscation works out for people who surrender their guns either voluntarily or by force. We have an example in our own nation of people giving up their guns and then being killed. 

On December 29, 1890, federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry entered the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. They went there to confiscate their guns “for their own safety and protection.” After most of the Sioux peacefully surrendered their firearms, the Cavalry began shooting. They murdered 297 Sioux with 200 of the 297 victims being women and children. The massacre supposedly started when a deaf Sioux did not understand what was happening and struggled with the officers, and his gun went off accidentally. The soldiers opened fired and kept shooting. This is still a sore spot for many people because it was not handled properly. 

            There are numerous examples of other governments taking guns from their citizens “for their own safety” and then killing them. The following information comes from this site

Turkey established gun control in 1911 and then murdered 1.5 million Christian Armenians (1915-1917).

The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929 and then murdered 20 million dissidents (1929-1953).

China established gun control in 1935 and then murdered 20 million political dissidents (1948-1952).

Germany established gun control in 1938 and then murdered 13million Jews, gypsies, and members of other groups (1939-1945). 

Cambodia established gun control in 1956 and then murdered 1 million educated people (1975-1977).

Guatemala established gun control in 1964 and then murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians (1971-1979).

Uganda established gun control in 1970 and then murdered 300,000 Christians (1971-1979).

These figures mean that 53 million people were killed during the 20th Century because their countries established gun control.

            Anyone who believes that Americans will give up their guns easily or voluntarily are not of sound mind. In addition, they do not understand the American love of freedom and independence. I believe that Americans would rather die than give up their guns. I am grateful to know of law enforcement officers who will not go against the Constitution and take Second Amendment rights away from Americans.           

Saturday, October 19, 2019

What Does the Atonement of Jesus Christ Mean to You?

            The more I learn about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the more I realize that I do not know. I believe that the Son of God took upon himself the sins of every person who will repent, but I do not understand how He did it. This week during my Come, Follow Me studies I learned a little bit more about His sacrifice.

            The Apostle Paul seemed to use a lot of imagery in his writing, making it difficult for us to understand his meaning unless we understand the imagery. In Colossians Paul explained that we are “Buried with him in baptism” (Colossians 2:12). When we understand that baptism by immersion means that we are “buried” in the water, it is easier to understand what Paul meant.

            In the same verse Paul wrote, “ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” This seems to mean that we can rise from the dead because Jesus Christ overcame death and was resurrected.

            In verse 13 Paul wrote that we were “dead in [our] sins,” but we are “quickened together with him” because He has “forgiven [us] all [of our] trespasses.” In other words, Christ forgives us of our sins and makes it possible to return to the presence of Heavenly Father.

            I found verse 14 quite interesting. Paul wrote, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us … nailing it to his cross.” What handwriting? How is this handwriting nailed to Christ’s cross?

            The New Testament Student Manual – Religion 211-212 (2014, 441) tells us that this verse has to do with an ancient Roman practice. In the time of Paul, the Romans had a certain practice that they performed when a criminal was crucified. They would write the crimes that were committed by the condemned person on a placard – meaning a sign or poster but most likely made of wood – and hang it on the cross for everyone who passed by to see. 

            I found this information interesting because there was a sign written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew and hung on the cross with Jesus Christ. This placard was written by Pilate, but the writers of the four Gospels report that it said different things. Matthew 27:37 says, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Mark 15:26 says, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Luke 23:38 says, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Luke 23:38). John 19:19 says, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” No matter what the actual sign said, it is obvious that Pilate considered Jesus Christ to be King of the Jews. Pilate recognized that Christ’s only “crime” was being the King of the Jews.

            The Colossians were familiar with the Roman practice of writing sins on placards, so they would understand what Paul meant. Since most of us are not familiar with ancient Roman practices, I am grateful that the New Testament Student Manual gives us more understanding. 

Paul used this imagery in verses 13-15 to teach the Colossians that they had been forgiven. It was as though a list of all the spiritual charges and accusations against the Colossian Saints, including their sins and infractions against the ordinances of the law of Moses, were placed on a placard and nailed to the cross. Through the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, these were erased or blotted out.

Through His Atonement and Resurrection, Jesus Christ triumphed over all earthly powers and authorities (see Colossians 2;15).

            We must remember that we are using imagery, but I want you to think about how you would feel if all your sins were written on a sign and hung in a public place for all to see. This could be terribly embarrassing for most of us. However, we do not have to suffer this embarrassment because Jesus Christ atoned for our sins on the condition that we repent of them.

            In Colossians 1:23 Paul wrote that we will be saved, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” Since we all make mistakes and sin, we all have need for repentance. We must send the roots of the gospel of Jesus Christ deep into our hearts and intertwine them with the hearts of other followers of Christ. 

The winds of life are terribly strong, and we must be strong to withstand them. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave the following warning.

[The] world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming of the Savior. The scriptures declare that “all things shall be in commotion” …

More concerning than the prophesied earthquakes and wars are the spiritual whirlwinds that can uproot you from your spiritual foundations and land your spirit in places you never imagined possible, sometimes with your barely noticing that you have been moved.

The worst whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary. Sin has always been part of the world, but it has never been so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable. There is, of course, a powerful force that will subdue the whirlwinds of sin. It is called repentance.

Elder Andersen continues his talk titled “Spiritual Whirlwinds” (Ensign, May 2014, 18-21) by describing how trees grow stronger roots and branches to withstand the winds that blow around them and telling us how we can withstand the spiritual whirlwinds around us. As we live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can grow strong enough to withstand the spiritual whirlwinds that blow around us. The link above also contains a cute video illustrating the words of Elder Andersen.

            The Atonement of Jesus Christ means many things to me, but it particularly means that I am given the opportunity to repent. I can stop committing the various sins to which I succumb, repent, and become clean because the Atonement of Jesus Christ erases my sins from my placard. This makes it possible for me to return to the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to live with them forever. I am truly grateful for the gift of repentance given to all of us by Jesus Christ through His atoning sacrifice.