Declaration of Independence

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

What Are the Costs of the Fighting in Afghanistan?

            The last member of the United States military left Afghanistan before midnight on August 30, 2021 – about 19 years and 47 weeks after they entered Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Approximately 800,000 Americans have served in Afghanistan over the past nearly 20 years.

            The Joe Biden administration botched the final exit from Afghanistan – much like they have done in every other single thing that they have done in the past seven months. The presence of Americans in Afghanistan has kept America safe from terrorist attacks for 20 years. The military has been successful in this mission. After all the successes of the military, the civilians in the Biden administration surrendered to the Taliban, the terrorist group that now controls Afghanistan.

            There have been many complaints about the cost of the equipment that Biden left in Afghanistan. The failure to bring out the equipment will damage America for many years. However, the costs of being in Afghanistan has been many times greater. According to Emily Crane the costs of Americans being in Afghanistan are as follow: 

·         Deaths of U.S. service members from the Afghanistan war: approximately 2,400.

·         Wounded Americans from the Afghanistan war: 20,000.

·         Number of other allied troops killed in the Afghanistan war: about 1,144.

·         Number of Afghan troops killed: 66,000.

·         Number of Afghan civilians killed: 48,000.

·         Number of Afghans injured in the Afghanistan war: 75,000.

·         Number of U.S. service members killed last week: 13.

·         Number of Afghans killed by the ISIS suicide bomber last week: 170.

·         Number of journalists killed in Afghanistan between 2001 and April 2021: 77.

·         Number of humanitarian aid workers killed in Afghanistan between 2001 and April 2021: 444.

·         Total estimated financial cost for fighting the Afghanistan war: $2.313 trillion – or $300 million per day.

·         Financial costs for the fighting alone: $837 billion.

·         Financial costs for rebuilding things such as Afghanistan’s security forces, government institutions, and the economy: $145 billion.

·         Financial costs for buildings and vehicles since 2008: $7.8 billion.

(About $2 billion “was essentially wasted” because those buildings and vehicles “fell into disrepair or were no longer being used as intended.”

·         The exact value of the weapons and equipment left in Afghanistan was not available, but it is most “likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars.”

·         Number of people evacuated by the United States and its allies over the past two months: more than 122,000.

·         Number of civilians flown out of Kabul on U.S military aircraft since August 14: 79,000.

·         Number of American civilians flown out on U.S. military aircraft since August 14: 6,000.

·         Number of Afghans and other-country citizens flown out on U.S. military aircraft since August 14: 73,500.

·         Number of Americans left behind: somewhere between 100 and 200 who wanted to leave Afghanistan but were unable to catch a flight.

If the Biden administration had followed the plan presented to them by the Trump administration, all the civilians would have been taken out first, then the equipment, and then the military. However, Biden could not follow a plan made by Trump because of his “Trump = bad” attitude, but he erred badly. Trump’s plan would have gotten Americans out by May 1, 2021, before the “fighting season” in Afghanistan that takes place in the summer months.

However, Biden wanted a big photo op for the twentieth anniversary of September 11, so he changed the date for leaving Afghanistan to August 31, 2021. He chose the date, and the Taliban held him to it. He took out the military first and essentially gave the territory and the equipment to the Taliban before he took out the civilians. He made a huge mistake, and he should be forced to leave office. Biden is casting in concrete his status as the WORST President of the United States in history – much worse than Jimmy Carter or even Barack Obama! 

Monday, August 30, 2021

What Are Retired Officers Saying about Biden’s Blunders in Afghanistan?

            My VIP for this week is Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller and other retired military officers who are trying to protect America and Americans from the traitors currently in the Biden administration. Scheller was “relieved of duty” – meaning fired – on Friday after he posted a video on social media on Thursday. When he posted the video, he recognized that he would most likely be fired. On Friday, he made a Facebook post stating that he had “been relieved for cause based on lack of trust and confidence as of 14:30 today.” 

My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do… if I were in their shoes. I appreciate the opportunities AITB command provided….

America has many issues … but it’s my home … it’s where my three sons will become men. America is still the light shining in a fog of chaos. When my Marine Corps career comes to an end, I look forward to a new beginning. My life’s purpose is to make America the most lethal and effective foreign diplomacy instrument. While my days of hand to hand violence may be ending … I see new light on the horizon.

            What did Scheller say in his five-minute video posted on Thursday? He put the military brass in the spotlight over the way that America withdrew from Afghanistan. He called for them to take accountability for their incompetence.

Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, “Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone”? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, “We completely messed this up”? …

            Scheller said that the senior military leaders must be held to account, or “potentially all those people did die in vain.” He continued, “Without that, the … higher military ranks are not holding up their end of the bargain. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, ‘I demand accountability.’”

            Scheller is not the only military officers calling for accountability from the senior leaders. Nearly 90 retired generals and admirals released a letter today that called for the resignation of the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. The reason? The disaster and chaos in the United States troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

            In their letter, the retired generals and admirals accused Defense Secretary Gen. Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley of being culpable in the disastrous withdrawal that caused the loss of 13 U.S. military members. 

The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades beginning with the safety of Americans and Afghans who are unable to move safely to evacuation points; therefore, being de facto hostages of the Taliban at this time. The death and torture of Afghans has already begun and will result in a human tragedy of major proportions. The loss of billions of dollars in advanced military equipment and supplies falling into the hands of our enemies is catastrophic. The damage to the reputation of the United States is indescribable. We are now seen, and will be seen for many years, as an unreliable partner in any multinational agreement or operation. Trust in the United States is irreparably damaged.

            The retired generals and admirals were not finished. The letter continued by saying that the Taliban and other terrorists became bolder because Biden and the military leaders showed weakness and ineffectuality in Afghanistan. They criticized Milley for being “woke” and pushing critical race theory on the military. “Our military exists to fight and win our Nation’s wars and that must be the sole focus of our top military leaders.”

            I agree that “heads need to roll,” but those heads should not be those of Scheller and other military members who are calling for accountability from their leaders. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Gen. Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, as well as other members of the administration, should resign or forced from office if they had any part in making the decisions that caused the Afghanistan disaster. They should either resign, or Congress should remove them from office.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Were Enough Votes Flipped in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin for Biden Win?

             The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is election integrity. Democrats claim that Joe Biden received millions more votes in the 2020 presidential election than any other President of the United States – more than 81,000,000. However, nothing in the past ten months – or even two years – shows that he is popular. He did not draw crowds as a presidential candidate, and he does not draw crowds as a President – unless you count the supporters of Donald Trump.

            In addition to not seeing any evidence that Biden is popular enough to win the election with more votes than any other Presidents, there is growing evidence that many of the “votes” that he received did not actually exist or were fraudulent. Some of this evidence is shown in an article by Fred Lucas about the ballots in Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin lost track of more than 82,000 mail-in ballots cast in the state in the November 2020 elections – more than four times the margin of difference separating the two presidential candidates in the state, according to a report by the nonprofit Public Interest Legal Foundation.

The legal foundation, an election integrity watchdog group, released a research brief Friday looking at one of the most closely contested states in the 2020 presidential election….

Joe Biden defeated than-President Donald Trump by 20,682 votes in Wisconsin in the November presidential election. However, according to the legal foundation’s report, 82,766 mail-in ballots in the state were either undeliverable or suffered an unknown fate.

A further breakdown by the legal group shows that 1.4 million ballots were sent by mail. Of those, 6,458 were undeliverable. An additional 2,981 mail-in ballots were rejected. The vast majority, 76,308, met an “unknown” fate.

“The federal data show the 2020 election had more mail ballots that were never counted than the margin of victory in the presidential election in Wisconsin,” J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said in a statement. “This isn’t the way to run an election,” said Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer in the Voting Section. “Mail ballots invite error, disenfranchisement of voters, and puts the inept U.S. post office determining the outcome of elections.”

Wisconsin was among the three most closely contested states in the country, along with Georgia and Arizona, each of which Biden won by 0.6% or less. A Washington Post analysis in February found that flipping about 43,000 votes across those three states could have changed the Electoral College outcome.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation previously determined 14.7 million mail-in ballots were unaccounted for nationally. The group bases the numbers on data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. In the nationwide popular vote, Biden received 81,268,924 votes to Trump’s 74,216,154 – a victory margin of 7,052,770.

            The difference between the 14.7 million mail-in ballots that were not accounted for nationally and the victory margin of 7,052,770 shows that Trump could actually be the winner of the election by more than 7 million votes. Of course, the 14.7 million unaccounted for votes do not say for certain that Trump won the election, but it does call into question a Biden win. This brings a definite question of integrity to our elections. I hope that all fifty states perform forensic audits so all Americans will know what actually happened in the election.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

What Is the Best Way to “Put in Order [Our] Own House”?

             For my Come, Follow Me lesson this week, I studied Doctrine and Covenants 93. The revelation that is now Doctrine and Covenants 93 was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith on May 6, 1833, at Kirtland, Ohio. In this revelation, the Lord taught that “truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (verse 24).

            The Prophet Joseph Smith had an interesting way to teach the way to gain exaltation: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel – you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 268).

            The steps on the ladder of exaltation are the same for everyone. The first step is marked Faith in Jesus Christ, and the second one is marked Repentance. A ladder would not do anyone any good if the first step was way above where an individual can reach, and the same is true of the ladder to exaltation. Faith in Jesus Christ is within the reach of every person, and it prepares serious believers to take the next step, Repentance. Just as Jesus Christ “continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness,” He made it possible for each mortal to receive grace for grace (Doctrine and Covenants 93:13, 20).

            There are numerous principles taught in this revelation, but the principle for this post is contained in Doctrine and Covenants 93:43: “if you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there re many things that are not right in your house.” This message was given to the First Presidency (Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G.. Williams.

            The command to “set in order your own house” does not mean to organize our closets and cabinets. The Lord was telling the leading Brethren to learn about light and truth and to teach it to others. As I studied this principle, I learned that God expects me to seek additional light and truth, and then I am to teach my new knowledge to my children. By learning all that I can learn about light, truth, and glory and then living according to that knowledge, I will be better prepared to share that knowledge with other people.

            Elder David A. Bednar took a phrase out of Doctrine and Covenants 93:50 for the topic of a General Conference talk – “More Diligent and Concerned at Home” – when he discussed three ways to “set in order your own house” (Ensign, Nov. 2009, 17-20). Here are some notes I took from his talk.

1. Express Love – and Show It.

We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love….

Each of us already knows we should tell the people we love that we love them. But what we know is not always reflected in what we do. We may feel unsure, awkward, or even perhaps a bit embarrassed.

As disciples of the Savior, we are not merely striving to know more; rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is right and become better….

2. Bear Testimony – and Live It.

We also can become more diligent and concerned at home by bearing testimony to those whom we love about the things we know to be true by the witness of the Holy Ghost. The bearing of testimony need not be lengthy or eloquent. And we do not need to wait until the first Sunday of the month to declare our witness of things that are true. Within the walls of our own homes, we can and should bear pure testimony of the divinity and reality of the Father and the Son, of the great plan of happiness, and of the Restoration….

As disciples of the Savior, we are not merely striving to know more; rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is right and become better.

We should remember that bearing a heartfelt testimony is only a beginning. We need to bear testimony, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to live it. We need to both declare and live our testimonies….

3. Be Consistent.

As our sons were growing up, our family did what you have done and what you now do. We had regular family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening….

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece [painting of a field of wheat], so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.

Being consistent in our homes is important for another reason. Many of the Savior’s harshest rebukes were directed to hypocrites. Jesus warned His disciples concerning the scribes and Pharisees: “Do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3). This strong admonition is sobering given the counsel to “express love – and show it,” to “bear testimony – and live it,” and to “be consistent.”

The hypocrisy in our lives is most readily discerned and causes the greatest destruction within our own homes. And children often are the most alert and sensitive when it comes to recognizing hypocrisy….

As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ….

            According to President Henry B. Eyring, the key for spiritually strengthening oneself and one’s family is to “help them grow in faith that Jesus Christ is their loving Redeemer” (“A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells,” Ensign, May 2019, 22-25). He said that when our children have faith in Jesus Christ,

… they will feel a desire to repent. As they do, humility will begin to replace pride. As they begin to feel what the Lord has given them, they will want to share more generously. Rivalry for prominence or recognition will diminish. Hate will be drive out by love. And finally, like it did for the people converted by King Benjamin, the desire to do good will fortify them against temptation to sin. King Benjamin’s people testified that they had “no more disposition to do evil.”

So building faith in Jesus Christ is the beginning of reversing spiritual decline in your family and in your home. That faith is more likely to bring repentance than your preaching against each symptom of spiritual decline.

You will best lead by example. Family members and others must see you growing in your own faith in Jesus Christ and in His gospel….

            Elder Bednar taught us three ways that we can become more diligent and concerned at home: “express love – and show it,” “bear testimony – and live it,” and “be consistent.” As we follow the counsel of Elder Bednar in our homes, our home will become a place where the Holy Ghost will dwell. There, our children can grow in faith, repent, develop humility, and have no more desire to do evil. I feel certain that this is what the Lord meant when He said, “put in order your own house” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:43).

Friday, August 27, 2021

How Can We Improve Communication in Our Families?

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents practice good communication in their homes. Communication includes every thought, feeling, act, or desire that between parents and children whether it is done verbally or non-verbally. Our words and our actions communicate who we are, how we feel about the people around us, and the person that we have become. Even when we refuse to talk, we are sending a message. However, our message may or may not be understood accurately. President Spencer W. Kimball taught, “Our expressions, our voice tones, our movements, our thoughts betray us.”

            Poor communication is not only a symptom of family problems, but it is also a cause of problems in a family. When parents and/or children are angry and frustrated, they are less willing to listen but more inclined to say hurtful things. Most of us have experienced someone saying something hurtful to us, and most people respond to hurtful words with more hurtful words and/or behaviors. Sometimes there is difficulty developing good communication because there is often a need to change our attitude about life, self, and others.

            The good thing about life is that it is always possible to change if we have a strong enough desire to do so. We can break communication cycles that are destructive by changing the way that we listen and respond to other people. It is possible for one person with a better attitude to change the attitudes of other people.

            Jesus Christ taught about the dangers of destructive communication when He said, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). He also taught, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). Our thoughts, attitudes, and desires determine how we communicate with members of our families.

            Jesus Christ is our example in all things, and this includes communication. The Savior said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). He provided the supreme example in how we should act and how we should communicate with each other. When we communicate in a Christlike manner, we can become better parents, and our children will be more willing to listen to us and communicate with us. The following scriptures indicate the thoughts, attitudes, and desires of Jesus Christ because He was:

·         Slow to condemn, as with the woman taken in adultery (see John 8:3-11).

·         Forgiving, as when He sought the Father’s forgiveness for the crucifiers (see Luke 23:33-34).

·         Compassionate, as when He wept with Mary and Martha over Lazarus’s death (see John 11:33-36).

·         Considerate of His family, as when He made provisions for His mother while He was on the cross (see John 19:25-27).

·         Willing to return good for evil, as when He healed the ear of one of His captors (see Luke 22:50-51).

·         Loving of children, as shown by His blessing them (see Matthew 19:14-15; 3 Nephi 17:21-24).

·         Appreciation, as when He praised the woman who anointed Him with oil (see Luke 7:44-48).

·         Eager to serve, as when He washed His disciples’ feet, teaching them to serve others (see John 13:4-17).

·         Willing to sacrifice, as shown by His atoning for the sins of the world (see Matthew 26:35-45).

Effective communication is a natural outcome as men and women develop Christlike attributes of faith, hope, charity, love, an eye single to the glory of God, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, humility, and diligence (see D&C 4:5-6). President David O. McKay taught, “No man can sincerely resolve to apply to his daily life the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth without sensing a change in his own nature. The phrase, ‘born again,’ has a deeper significance than many people attach to it.”

             As parents draw closer to Christ and become more like Him, we can overcome ineffective and harmful communication practices. We can respond better to unruly and disrespectful behavior as we clear out the negative communication practices. By improving our communication habits, we can strengthen our families as w

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Can America Survive the Cannibalization of the Woke Experiment?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the effects of the woke experiment taking place in America over the past several years. The woke ideology has governed governmental policies and caused Americans to cannibalize themselves.

There are too many people living in the United States who hate America. They condemn America because it has faults. They refuse to give America credit for the good that it does, but they condemn America for its problems.

America grew from the newest nation on earth to the most powerful nation on earth because it was founded on sound principles. Americans are the most generous people on earth. Allies knew that they could depend on Americans to help them in times of trouble, and enemies understood what would happen if they pushed America too far. Of course, those were the conditions prior to the woke experiment in America.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article about how Americans are cannibalizing themselves. In fact, our nation “has invested massive labor, capital, and time in an effort to constantly flagellate itself for not being perfect.” He explained that America has resilience and resources, but they are not infinite. There is a limit to our resilience and our vast resources. This is shown by the circumstances in Afghanistan where “premodern tribalism absorbs Americans.” 

There are repercussions when ideology governs policy or when we take for granted the basics of life to pursue its trappings.

Who cares whether the blow-dried media is woke if it cannot report the truth and keep politicians honest? Once journalists became progressive poodles rather than the watchdogs of government, the Biden administration had no fear of audit. It took for granted that its disasters, from the southern border to the chaos in Afghanistan, would be excused by toady reporters.

Government-engineered “equity” has replaced the goal of equal opportunity. But such utopianism births popular anger when personal initiative, excellence, and performance do not count as much as virtue-signaling groupthink.

The United States just suffered a terrible and shameful defeat in Afghanistan. The catastrophe reminds us that the Biden administration had its politicized military and bureaucracy mostly fixate on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to root out supposed internal enemies.

So, our top brass and functionaries talked of redirecting the military to every possible woke agenda – except ensuring military superiority and the safety of the United States.

The result is the horrific mess of a premodern Taliban army routing the most sophisticated military in the history of civilization. We shudder when America begs premodern tribes not to murder our citizens whom we abandoned in full retreat.

            There are many ways that the woke experiment has wreaked havoc on America. The woke Biden administration stopped work on the border wall and opened the southern border to more than one million people entering America illegally over the past six months. Democrats are defunding the police and then wondering crime is increasing.

The Biden administration sent out massive amounts of money to help people through the pandemic, so much that people received more from the federal government than they could make at a job. Therefore, they are living on government money and not seeking employment. This causes businesses to close their doors because they do not have enough employees.

Democrats in Congress are trying to pass a law that would eliminate requirements for voters to show identification before voting. They claim that requiring identification will keep people from voting. It does not matter that all Americans need personal ID to board airplanes, open bank accounts, enter a federal building, get medical help.

First, we had to learn to speak with political correctness. Now, people lose jobs because they said something ten years ago that the cancel culture does not like. The woke culture is dividing Americans by race by claiming racism where none exists. Universities are indoctrinating our young adults, and now the woke culture wants to indoctrinate our children and teens.

America is a mess because of the woke culture, and our military is weaker because of it. Americans and its allies and friends are rushing to get out of Afghanistan before they are killed by Taliban or one of the other terrorist groups there. Our weakness against the Taliban is seen by our allies and enemies alike. Our allies do not trust America to keeps its word, and our enemies no longer fear us. It is only a matter of time before we experience another attack similar to 9/11.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Biden’s Afghan Failures?

             Most people in the world know about the disaster in Afghanistan caused by the Biden administration when they surrendered to the Taliban. The imminent problem is getting all Americans, allies, and supportive Afghans to the Kabul airport and out of Afghanistan. However, there will be long-lasting, world-wide effects coming from this catastrophe.

            Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, author, and broadcaster, framed the lasting effects as follows: “What has happened in Afghanistan will not stay in Afghanistan, but will have a ripple effect throughout the region and beyond.” 

            American forces went into Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attack on American soil. Taliban-supported terrorists from Saudi Arabia flew four commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a fourth aircraft taken down in a Pennsylvania field by passengers on it. This airplane is thought to have been heading to the U.S. Capitol Building or the White House.

            Osama bin Laden was determined to be the mastermind of the attack. American authorities requested his extradition from Afghanistan, but the Taliban rejected the request. Thus, American as well as allied forces went into Afghanistan to find him. They did not find bin Laden, but they did decimate the Taliban.

The presence of NATO forces brought a semblance of normal life for Afghan women and girls. Females were encouraged to go to school, and many of them dreamed of becoming doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. Many of them became judges, and at least one of them became a mayor of a city. Life was good for girls and women over the past twenty years – plus, there were no more attacks on the American homeland.

Now, America and Americans – under the direction of senile President Joe Biden – are disrespected worldwide and embarrassed at home. Even the Taliban, the once vanquished terrorist group, are mocking the United States as they parade around in uniforms and equipment that once belonged to the United States military. Biden, the supposed leader of the Free World, does not seem to know what is happening, according to Cal Thomas.

In remarks Friday at the White House, President Joe Biden again proved he is out of touch with reality. Responding to criticism that America’s credibility has been damaged due to his precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops, Biden said, “I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.”

Several allies have been critical, among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met with Biden at the White House last month. She called the withdrawal “an extremely bitter development.” We were not in this alone, after all. It is right for our allies who fought valiantly with us to feel betrayed.

Perhaps the most powerful and emotional criticism came from Tom Tugendhat, a member of the British House of Commons. Tugendhat, who served in Afghanistan, called Biden “shameful” for disparaging the Afghan military. He said he had lost friends there and accused Biden of having “torn open” old wounds with a withdrawal that appeared to be a “defeat.”

            According to Thomas, Biden has stated that he was not informed that disaster awaited a rapid pullout by his intelligence agencies. However, sources from the intelligence agencies are leaking disagreeing comments to the media as well as stating outright that they disagree.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin contradicted the president when he said Taliban fighters have been harassing and beating Americans trying to flee Afghanistan. Biden said he had “no indication” Americans are being prevented from reaching the Kabul airport. Reaching the airport and getting on a plane are not the same, as the Taliban has it encircled with checkpoints.

            The Americans who are not evacuated are endangered. The Taliban may outright kill them, or they might use them as hostages – much like Iran did in 1979. The long-term consequences of Biden’s blunders will affect America for years to come. Thomas quoted the following statement from former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger that he wrote in his newsletter:

In 2021, the 14-century-old vision and strategic goal of Islamic terrorism is not limited to the territory of Afghanistan. It is driven by fanatic imperialism, striving to subordinate the “infidel” West – and especially “the Great U.S. Satan” – which is perceived to be the key obstacle on the way to Islamic global domination.

Islamic terrorism is determined to establish a global Islamic society, ruled by the Quran and Sharia (“divine law”), which is inconsistent with peaceful coexistence with the “infidel” U.S., irrespective of its involvement in Afghanistan.

In fact, it requires a decisive war against the U.S., including terrorism on the U.S. mainland.

            America is not the only nation that is endangered by radical Islamist terrorists. Thomas explained that “terrorists don’t have to initially ‘take over’ a country. They only have to sow fear and chaos, wreck economies, and erode freedoms.”

Thomas emphasized that the patience of the terrorists is shown by their willingness to wait for the past twenty years for the United States to leave Afghanistan. Thomas said that Islamists will take over nations “Through immigration, a higher birth rate, and achieving positions in Western governments.” There is at least one member of Congress who has achieved this goal.

Biden should never have even announced his intent to run for the office of the President of the United States. I agree that Jill Biden is at least partially to blame for the current mess because she allowed him to do so. Although many American voters could not see the weakness of Biden, the enemies of our nation could see it, and they are currently using our weak President to their advantage. The weakness and failures of Biden are endangering the national security of America and Americans.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Why Is the “Stay in Mexico” a Good Policy?

             There is hope for America! The United States Supreme Court ruled today that the Biden administration must reinstate former President Donald Trump’s immigration measure known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, or the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). As usual, the vote fell along ideological lines.

            The case began when the attorney generals from Texas and Missouri filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement of the policy. According to Dom Calicchio at Fox News, the attorney generals argued that the move by the Biden administration to end the policy violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). On August 13, a federal judge in Texas sided with the attorney generals. 

            John Kruzel at The Hill reported that “Texas-based U.S. District Judge Matthew KacsmaryK, a Trump appointee, ruled that the Biden administration had failed to provide a legally adequate rationale for its rescission and ordered that the policy would have to remain in place until the administration undergoes a lengthy administrative procedure to overturn it.” 

            The case then went to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court where a three-judge panel let the ruling stand. Last Friday, the Biden administration made an emergency request for the justices at the Supreme Court to review the lawsuit. Justice Samuel Alito handles any emergency requests from Texas, and he issued a temporary block on the lower court’s order to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy. The stay was to remain in effect until Tuesday night (tonight) to give the Supreme Court justices an opportunity to review the case.

            The Supreme Court ruled this evening on a 6-3 vote to reject the request for a stay on the order by the Biden administration. According to Kruzel, “Alito wrote that the administration had failed to show it was likely to ultimately prevail in defending the lawfulness of its decision to rescind” the Trump policy. This means that the Biden administration must reinstate “Stay in Mexico.”

            “Stay in Mexico” is a policy implemented by the Trump administration in 2019, “blocked migrants at the Mexican border from entering the U.S. to apply for asylum.” The Biden administration estimates that there are currently 25,000 people waiting in Mexico to know if they can enter the United States. There were more than 60,000 asylum-seekers who were sent back to Mexico. This policy ended the “catch-and-release” policy put in place by previous presidents.

            Biden sought to end the “Stay in Mexico” policy by signing an executive order during his first week in office. Since that time more than one million people have entered the United States illegally and allowed to move into the interior of the nation. There are no records about who the one million undocumented migrants are or where they went, and they were put on their honor to report to immigration officials in their new area.

            If the “Stay in Mexico” policy had remained in effect, fewer people would have come to the border because no one wants to sit in Mexico. They came only because they knew that they would be allowed into the United States. We know this because that was the result when the policy was put in place.

The Biden administration opened the border to whoever wanted to come to the United States. They sought to change the demographics of America. In doing so, they might have overwhelmed the system. It is good that the “Stay in Mexico” policy will be reinstated because it will stop the hordes of people coming to our border. It will decrease the streams of illegal immigrants to numbers that Border Patrol can manage.

Monday, August 23, 2021

What Will Happen to the Women and Girls in Afghanistan?

            My VIPs for this week are the women and girls of Afghanistan. I chose them because they are the ones who will suffer the most because of President Joe Biden’s disastrous surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Biden’s decision to withdraw the U.S. military before American civilians and Afghan supporters put the women and girls of Afghanistan back under the control of the Taliban.

            Penny Young Nance is the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America. She is also the author of “Feisty & Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women.” In her article titled “Afghan Women and Girls Were Left Behind. They Need Our Prayers” and published at The Daily Signal, Nance wrote the following: 

The current humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan goes beyond the loss of American lives and treasure. It now also means the targeting of Americans, allies that worked with us, and the rape and torture of Afghan women ad girls at the hand of the Taliban.

News reports of Taliban abuse are almost more than one can process. Parents are told to mark an “X” on their home if they have a daughter 12 or over to make it easier for the Taliban to collect and distribute these young girls to Taliban terrorists.

Due to its view of Shariah law, the Taliban treats females as objects, available to the service of men. They are not allowed to attend school, to work outside the home, or even be outside showing their faces. They risk becoming sex slaves, being whipped, stoned, or otherwise publicly executed.

            Nance emphasized that none of the leftist women’s groups have marched for the freedom of the Afghan women and girls or even attempted to defend their rights. These feminist groups included Planned Parenthood, National Organization, and Ultra Violet, all of whom have been silent. It appears that such feminist groups are only interested in protecting women from conservatives.

The older women in Afghanistan can remember how the Taliban treated females, but the women and girls born in the past twenty years have never lived under such treatment. They went to school and “dreamed of becoming doctors, engineers, and architects.” Now, they see “their dreams falling apart, living in fear for their future and their lives.” They need our concern and prayers, and they need protection from the Taliban. Biden obviously did not consider their plight when he surrendered to the Taliban.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

What Is the Best Way to Remove Biden from Office?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the need to remove President Joe Biden from the office of President of the United States of America. He is mentally incompetent to serve in the office, OR he is intentionally destroying America. The latest evidence is the disaster in Afghanistan where he surrendered the United States to the Taliban.

            There are several options on how Biden could leave office. He can resign, be impeached, be removed from office using Amendment 25, or be court martialed. There are some people who are questioning if he is being told the truth because his statements are not consistent with what is being said by his secretaries and generals. Biden stands in front of the media and tells lies that are corrected by subordinates. He does not appear to know what is happening in Afghanistan. It is possible that he is being “thrown under the bus.”

            Biden could be impeached, but impeachment is not likely as long as Democrats control both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. With Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House, it is not likely that an impeachment motion will even come to the floor of the House for a vote.

           Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” This site gives the following explanation

The Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach and remove the President, Vice President, and all federal civil officers for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This tool was inherited from English practice, in which Parliament impeached and convicted ministers and favorites of the Crown in a struggle to rein in the Crown’s power. Congress’s power of impeachment is an important check on the executive and judicial branches, recognized by the Framers as a crucial tool for holding government officers accountable for violations of the law and abuses of power. Congress has most notably employed the impeachment tool against the President and federal judges, but all federal civil officers are subject to removal by impeachment. The practice of impeachment makes clear, however, that Members of Congress are not civil officers subject to impeachment and removal.

            Articles of impeachment are brought forward and voted on in the House of Representatives. If the House votes to impeach, the articles are taken to the Senate where the Senators vote to remove from office or not. Three presidents have been impeached, but none have been removed from office. The Democrats will not take this route for at least one reason: Once the Vice President assumes the office of President, there will not be a Vice President to be a tie breaker. This could be especially problematic on the choice of a new Vice President. A vote in the Senate could end with a 50-50 tie.

            A different route could be taken by Congress – use Amendment 25. Again, this option would be led by Democrats who were willing to remove the President. Amendment 25 is titled “Presidential Disability and Succession." This site explained that the amendment was passed by Congress on July 6, 1965, and ratified on February 10, 1967. It changed a portion of Article II, Section 1. Section 1 of the amendment states: “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.” The new President would then “nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress” (Section 2). 

            Section 3 outlines how a President can temporarily transmit the powers and duties of President to the Vice President. Section 4 tells how to remove a President incapable of performing his duties.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President….[This is most likely the section that was used when President Ronald Reagan was shot in an attempted assassination and was headed to surgery. When he came out of surgery and became aware of what he was doing, he took back the powers and duties.]

            The fourth option – court martial -- is one that I had not considered previously but now realize that it is possible. Mark Levin recently interviewed Col. Richard Kemp, CBE, on “Life, Liberty & Levin.” During the interview, Kemp said the fall of Afghanistan has devastating effects on NATO and made the following statement. 

President Biden has completely destroyed his credibility single-handedly… Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are strong in Afghanistan. They will operate freely. And they can operate more freely than before 9-11.

Jihadists from around the world will train, flock to Afghanistan… There is no one more who is cheering this than Russia and China. They will now see they have pretty much an open field… In my opinion. I don’t say this often, and I don’t say this lightly. And I’ve never said this about anybody else. Any other leader in this position. People are talking about impeaching President Biden.

I don’t think President Biden should be impeached. He’s the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces who has just essentially surrendered to the Taliban. He shouldn’t be impeached. He should be court-martialed for betraying the United States of America and the United States Armed Forces.

            I believe that Biden must leave office, and his Vice President Kamala Harris should go with him. She admitted that she agreed with his plan for Afghanistan, so she is guilty of the same offence of surrendering to the Taliban. The secretary of defense and secretary of state should also resign or be removed from their offices, and the generals should resign – all because they have failed to protect America.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

What Are the “Keys of the Kingdom” and Who Has Them?

            My Come, Follow Me lesson for this week took me to Doctrine and Covenants 89-93. Last week we learned about the School of the Prophets and how it was organized. This week we learn about what happened after the meetings began. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the elders of Israel about building God’s kingdom on earth, and they discussed spiritual truths, prayed together, fasted, and prepared to teach the gospel. However, something else took place that had lasting effect upon The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            During the meetings, the elders smoked and chewed tobacco, common behavior for the time. However, the juice from the tobacco stained the hardwood floors black and caused a strong odor to linger in the air. In 1868, President Brigham Young gave the following description of the setting in the School of the Prophets.

The brethren came to that place for hundreds of miles to attend school in a little room probably no larger than eleven by fourteen [feet, or three by four meters]. When they assembled together in this room after breakfast, the first they did was to light their pipes, and, while smoking, talk about the great things of the kingdom, and spit all over the room; and as soon as the pipe was out of their mouths, a large chew of tobacco would then be taken. Often when the prophet entered the room to give the school instructions he would find himself in a cloud of tobacco smoke. This, and the complaints of his wife at having to clean so filthy a floor, made the prophet think upon the matter, and he inquired of the Lord relating to the conduct of the elders in using tobacco, and the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom weas the result of his inquiry (“Remarks,” Deseret News, Feb. 26, 1868, 18) (as quoted in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual – Religion 324-325 [2018]).

            Zebedee Coltrin, one of the participants in the School of the Prophets, reported that after the Prophet read this revelation to the brethren, they “immediately threw their tobacco and pipes into the fire” (in The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 3: February 1833-March 1834, 15, note 73) (as quoted in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual – Religion 324-325 [2018]).

            Doctrine and Covenants 89:2 tells us that the revelation did not come “by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom.” Immediately after the revelation was received, Church leaders invited the Saints to live the World of Wisdom more fully. Eighteen years later, President Brigham Young proposed during the fall general conference of 1851 that all Saints formally covenant to abstain from tea, coffee, tobacco, and whiskey.

            Thirty years had passed after President Young’s proposal, and the Lord revealed to President John Taylor that the Word of Wisdom was to be considered to be a commandment (October 13, 1882). The Lord gave the Saints nearly fifty years to live the Word of Wisdom before He commanded them to live it.

            Another thirty-seven years passed (1919) the First Presidency, under the direction of President Heber J. Grant, made the observance of the Word of Wisdom a requirement for receiving a temple recommend. Obedience to the Word of Wisdom remains a requirement for attending the temple. The gradual manner in which the Lord required the Saints to live the Word of Wisdom is an example of His mercy and love for us. If the Saints had been commanded to obey it as soon as it was received, most of them would have come under condemnation. Instead, He gave them an opportunity to overcome the habits before they were commanded to do so.

            So, the Word of Wisdom – a principle with a promise – is the first principle in this lesson. The promise for living the Word of Wisdom is physical, spiritual, and mental health and safety.

The second principle for this lesson is found in Doctrine and Covenants 90: “The First Presidency holds the ‘keys of the kingdom’ (verses 2-6). When the Savior was on earth, He gave the keys of the kingdom to His ancient apostles Peter, James, and John. Many hundreds of years later, Peter, James, and John, as heavenly messengers, bestowed those same priesthood keys upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. These keys are “the right of presidency” (D&C 107:8), the directing power by which the priesthood is governed (see D&C 42:69; 65:2; 90:2-3).

            In the revelation recorded as Doctrine and Covenants 90, the Lord reminded the Prophet Joseph Smith that he held the keys of the kingdom and would continue to hold them in the next life. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) explained how the priesthood keys have continued from Joseph Smith to the current living prophet in this dispensation:

That same authority which Joseph held, those same keys and powers which were the very essence of his divinely given right to preside, were by him conferred upon the Twelve Apostles with Brigham Young at their head. Every president of the Church since then has come to that most high and sacred office out of the Council of the Twelve. Each of these men has been blessed with the spirit and power of revelation from on high. There has been an unbroken chain from Joseph Smith, Jr., to [the current prophet]. Of that I bear solemn witness and testimony before you this day (quoted in Teachings of the Living Prophets [Church Education System manual, 2016], 14) (as quoted in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual – Religion 324-325 [2018].

            From my studies this week, I received confirmation that Heavenly Father feels great love and mercy for His children. The gradual implementation of the Word of Wisdom is just one example of how much we mean to Him. He gave the Saints more than eighty years from when He taught the Word of Wisdom as a word of wisdom that even the weakest of Saints could receive and the time when He commanded the Saints to live it as a law.

            I also received confirmation that the First Presidency hold “the keys of the kingdom.” The Lord will direct His Church through the administration of the First Presidency with assistance from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As I follow the Prophet and stay in the mainstream of the Church, I will be led in safety.