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.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Why Is the Equal Rights Amendment Still in the News?

            Families, communities, and the United States are stronger without the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In March 1972, Congress sent the Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification. The proposed amendment had a seven-year deadline for ratification. The deadline was extended, but only 35 of the required states approved the ERA – and five of those states rescinded their support for it.

Most Americans considered the ERA to be dead as of June 30, 1982. However, two states are trying to bring it back to life after 40 years of being dead. Illinois and Nevada sued the archivist of the United States, claiming that the ERA is already part of the Constitution. The case was argued this week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Thomas Jipping at The Heritage Foundation explained what is happening.

Constitutional amendments proposed by Congress begin as resolutions introduced in the House or Senate. Of the thousands of resolutions, on a host of subjects, introduced since America’s founding, only 33 had the two-thirds support of Congress to be proposed, and 27 of those were approved by three-fourths of the states.

Four of the unratified amendments are still pending before the states because Congress did not set a ratification deadline, though no states have ratified any of them for nearly a century. One amendment, proposed in 1978 to give the District of Columbia congressional representation, expired when only 16 states ratified it by its seven-year ratification deadline.

That leaves the ERA.

The last state to ratify the ERA before its expiration date was Indiana in 1977. Then, Illinois passed a resolution purporting to ratify in 2017, Nevada did so in 2018, and Virginia followed in 2020.

Advocates claim that these “ratifications” were valid even decades after the deadline, while ratification rescissions by five states before the deadline were invalid.

Do the math, they say, 38 total states mean the ERA is officially part of the Constitution.

On advice of the Justice Department, however, the archivist of the United States concluded that those approvals were not legally sufficient, and the three latecomers originally sued in 2020 to force the archivist to officially publish in the Federal Register that the ERA is part of the Constitution.

            Virginia has since elected “more sensible political” leaders and obtained wiser legal leadership. However, Illinois and Nevada are still pushing the issue. The two states based their case on where Congress put the ratification deadline for 1972 ERA. Congress put the date in the introductory clause rather than in the proposed amendment itself. They claim, therefore, that the date was not part of the amendment that the states ratified. Jipping continued his explanation with the following information.

Everything rests on that distinction making an enormous constitutional difference. That’s the issue that the appeals court explored on Wednesday.

Where the deadline appears on the page, however, is irrelevant to whether the ERA remains open for ratification 40 years after everyone agreed it had died.

When Congress proposes a constitutional amendment, it votes on the proposing resolution, not simply on the amendment text. Testimony in 1978 during hearings on the ERA’s ratification extension established that 25 states passed an ERA ratification resolution that quoted Congress’ resolution in its entirety, including the ratification deadline.

In five other states, the record shows that the deadline was an explicit consideration during the ratification process.

… Reviving the ERA, which – to again quote the Congressional Research Service – “formally died” 40 years ago is their only hope of ever getting something like this in the Constitution.

            The ERA was not ratified during the extended ratification because states recognized that it would damage women and families. They recognized that the amendment claiming to bring equal rights to women would actually be detrimental to them. Families, communities, and the nation are all stronger because the ERA was not ratified 40 years ago and why it should not be revived now.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

How Can U.S. Remain Free Without Fair Treatment?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns equal justice for all citizens. The United States has a two-tier justice system. The FBI recently arrested a man for protesting a Planned Parenthood location, while ignoring about a dozen attacks by Ruth’s Revenge at pregnancy centers. This does not show equal justice.

            Another sign of inequality is difference in how Democrats claimed that Donald Trump was an “illegitimate president” in 2016, while denying Republicans the right to question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. The Democrats have condemned Republicans for the “assault” on the Capitol Building for nearly two years, but they never noticed the riots in the streets after Trump was inaugurated.

            Still another piece of evidence of inequality is how the mainstream media all claimed that Trump was an illegitimate president. According to Chris Pandolfo, YouTube recently demonetized a video that highlights Democrat politicians repeatedly claiming that Trump’s presidency was illegitimate. 

Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing for his Substack newsletter “TK News,” shared that YouTube said a new video by TK News contributor Matt Orfalea “isn’t suitable for all advertisers” and “as a result, it will continue to run limited or no ads.”

The video shows various news clips, tweets, and headlines in which Democratic Party politicians and media personalities call the Trump presidency illegitimate or question the results of the 2016 presidential election. It features former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and many other prominent Democrats….

            Pandolfo reported that the video is nearly five minutes long and shows Democrats claiming falsely that “Russia ‘hacked’ the election, advancing the evidence-free claim that Russia interfered with voter rolls, threatening to challenge or overturn the election results, and asserting that Trump must have cheated to win.”

            YouTube demonetized the video before it was even published, according to Pandolfo. In return, he thanked YouTube “for making our point.” He continued, “The material in this video does not promote the idea that any election was stolen or illegitimate. On the contrary, it shows a great mass of comments from Democratic partisans and pundits who themselves make that claim, about the 2016 election.” None of the comments by the Democrats were censored, but a video with their statements is censored. That is not fair! You can watch the video for yourself at this site. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Will Biden’s Student Loan Fiasco Buy Him Any Votes?

            President Joe Biden signed an executive order to transfer billions of dollars from student loans to American taxpayers. Millions of Americans claimed that the “forgiveness” of $10,000 per graduate was unfair because they either paid off their student loans, or they did not take students loans. Why should they have the burden of paying the loans for other people?

            Lots of people wanted to sue to stop the transfer, but the challenge was to find a plaintiff who suffered a legally recognized injury. According to Adam Kissel, the Pacific Legal Foundation now has a whole group of plaintiffs. 

The organization’s client, Frank Garrison, has been paying down his education debt using Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a program that will forgive his remaining debt after he makes 120 qualifying payments. He’s about halfway through. He also is using the Income-Drive Repayment program, which caps his monthly payment based on his discretionary income.

Various problems with such federal programs and loan forgiveness in general have been described elsewhere, but here these programs mean that Garrison would have had his loan balance zeroed out after about 60 more months, with modest payments along the way. Now, the loan bailout would automatically cancel $20,000 of Garrison’s debt instead, subjecting him to Indiana’s income tax, while doing nothing to improve his monthly payment due to his Income-Driven Repayment participation. He will owe about $1,000 to Indiana simply because the U.S. Department of Education is changing the rules.

Since several states treat loan forgiveness the same way, there are people across all of those states in the same boat. There are probably a lot of borrowers, among the 8 million qualifying Public Service Loan Forgiveness borrowers nationwide, who also are using the Income-Driven Repayment program in these states.

That’s enough for Garrison and the others to get into court. The key point of the HEROES Act is that borrowers “are not placed in a worse position financially” in relation to their student loans because of a war or other national emergency, but the Department of Education is causing, not remedying, economic harm to people like Garrison.

            The bottom line is that neither the Department of Education nor President Joe Biden have the legal authority to do such an act. There is a reason why the Founders separated the powers between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Congress seems cannot give its power to legislate to the president. Biden was simply trying to buy the votes of that particular category of Americans.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

What Is the Commitment to America?

            House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other House Republican leaders recently rolled out a plan that they are calling a “Commitment to America.” As with all other issues, Democrats are spreading lies about the new plan. With this plan, Democrats are claiming that the Republicans are going to end Social Security and Medicare as well as harm children.

            The “Commitment to America” is a sequel to the “Contract With America” of 1994 put forth by then-Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Dick Armey (R-Texas). The new plan carries some of the same ideas as the old one that created the first House majority for Republicans in forty years. Cal Thomas had the following to say in comparing the two plans. 

The 1994 contract had many things going for it, but chief among them was that everyone could understand it. The contract contained 10 promises and was reduced to the size of a full-page ad in the then widely distributed TV Guide magazine. Voters could also carry copies in their wallets and purses.

Not all of the contract’s objectives were achieved after Republicans’ victory, including congressional term limits and a constitutional amendment to force balanced budgets, but those that did were astoundingly successful.

While Democrats screamed like scalded dogs and promoted doomsday scenarios, President Bill Clinton correctly gauged the mood of the country, declaring that “the era of big government is over.” If only.

The Clinton-Gingrich welfare reform bill was a major achievement of the contract. The Left claimed that poor people would starve. They didn’t. Most of the able-bodied among them found jobs, which benefited them and the country.

Taxes were cut and in 1998 the federal budget was balanced and stayed balanced through 2001. Hard as it is to believe with today’s $30 trillion debt, the country experienced a surplus of $236 billion in 2000.

Economic growth was 4% or higher from 1997 through 2000 and unemployment rates, which had been above 7% at the beginning of the decade, fell to less than 5% in 1997. By the end of 2000, unemployment was under 4%.

For three straight years—from 1997 through 1999—the economy produced more than 3 million jobs, a record.

It is undeniable that the Contract With America worked.

If the “Commitment to America” is as successful as the “Contract With America,” it will fulfill every nightmare of the Democrats may have. Thomas claims that the new plan will work if all the goals “are rooted in the history of what has worked before – lower taxes, less spending, personal responsibility and accountability, empowering parents, not teachers’ unions.”

Newt Gingrich worked well with President Bill Clinton, and the United States had a balanced budget for four years. No one expect President Joe Biden to work with the Republicans because he is controlled by the hard Left who will not compromise on anything. One way to give the new plan more chances for success is for voters to vote RED in 2022 and 2024.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Who Is Ron DeSantis?

            My VIP for this week is Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, because he has a great sense of which battles to pick. America’s southern border has seen recording-breaking hordes of migrants crossing it. In this fiscal year alone, more than two million immigrants have crossed the border illegally to enter the United States. This number does not include hundreds of thousands got-aways that no one knows who they are, why they are here, or where they went.

            Border agents have been overwhelmed for nearly two years and have been calling for help, but the Biden administration has no answer for the call. Neither Biden nor his Vice President Kamala Harris has been to the border, and they have both been guilty of claiming that the border “is secure.”

            Without Biden or Harris going to the border, most media outlets have not gone near the border either. Only Fox News has a reporter on the border, and he has been documenting the chaos. Now Biden is pointing the finger at the reporter for doing what a reporter is supposed to do. Even though Fox News has been reporting on the hordes of immigrants crossing the border, many Americans did not know about it because the rest of the media has been in cahoots with the administration.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona have been busing migrants to New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., but only Fox News was covering the events. However, the Biden administration, Congress, and the media were forced to notice when Governor DeSantis flew forty-eight illegal immigrants into Martha’s Vineyard

Suddenly, everyone in the United States and the world became aware that illegal aliens were crossing the border. The elites on Martha’s Vineyard arranged for a bus out of Martha’s Vineyard within forty-eight hours, but Arizona, Florida, and Texas – plus all the states – have to deal with more illegal immigrants who are coming steadily.

I have read articles estimating that more than five million people have invaded the United States since Biden took office. If you believe that Americans deserve secure borders and protection from invasion, vote RED in November.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Do Conservative Americans Have Free Speech?

            The topic of discussion for the Constitution Monday concerns the type of government in the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was signed near the beginning of an eight-year war to win independence from Great Britain. The U.S. Constitution begins “We The People” and created a government described by President Abraham Lincoln as being a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” For more than 235 years, Americans have enjoyed greater liberties and freedoms than people in any other nation in the world. However, things have been changing.

            The changes began under the administration of President Barack Obama, but they were set back by the administration of President Donald Trump. Then Joe Biden was elected as POTUS, and the changes picked up speed again. According to Deroy Murdock, Biden acts like Erich Honecker, and the U.S. government looks more like the government of East Germany as time passes. 

Much like East Germany’s final dictator, Biden brooks no dissent. He vilifies over 74 million Americans who voted for Trump as “ultra-MAGA Republicans,” “extremists,” and “semi-fascists.” 

Even worse, Comrade Joe Honecker has unleashed the FBI—America’s Stasi, or secret police—to terrorize dissenters. 

 • The unprecedented raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, in a dispute over classified or (per Trump) declassified documents, should have been settled in court, at worst, not at gunpoint. These “classified” materials included Trump’s privileged legal documents, tax papers, medical records, passports, other nongermane materials, as well as former first lady Melania Trump’s garments and even items in teenage son Barron’s bedroom. 

• The FBI has seized the cell phones of at least nine Trump allies including former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa.; Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald; campaign strategist Mike Roman; election security expert Douglas Frank; and My Pillow founder Mike Lindell. 

•The Honecker-Harris regime’s radical War on Attorney-Client Privilege has capsized that ancient legal norm. The FBI has invaded the offices of, and snatched phones from Trump’s legal advisers. These include John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Victoria Toensing. 

•These Americans were among the 35 to 40 Trump supporters who have endured FBI raids, federal subpoenas, or both. My Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson quoted relevant subpoenas. They’re probing Americans who made “Any claim that the Vice President and/or the President of the Senate had the authority to reject or choose not to count presidential electors.” 

            Murdock reminded his readers that there is nothing illegal about claiming that there was election fraud. Democrats in Congress raised loud doubts about the fairness of the 1968, 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections. At those times, Democrats claimed that “certain states’ electoral votes should be replaced with others.” However, Democrats are using this denial of the results of an election to beat back America First supporters. They are also the basis for unconstitutional acts by the FBI and Department of Justice.

Right or wrong, under the U.S. Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887, Democrats had every right to inquire whether Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Trump won the White House, fair and square. Democrats were in the clear even when they outlandishly claimed that Trump stole Alabama and Wyoming, despite winning 62% and 68% of the vote in those states. 

Republicans, in and out of Congress, also had and have every legal right to object to the 2020 election for all the reasons and in all the ways that Democrats did in previous years.  

When Democrats claim that Republicans cheated, they win applause for their political courage. 

When Republicans claim that Democrats cheated, they get stopped by the FBI, confronted in public, deprived of their cellphones, subjected house raids, arrested in front of their families and friends, and tossed in jail. 

            Such speech is supposed to be free for both Democrats and Republicans because it is protected by the First Amendment. However, only Democrats have the right to free speech because Republicans are raided by the FBI. America is not East Germany, and such tactics should not be taking place in the United States.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

How Powerful Is God?

            My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Isaiah 40-49. The title of the lesson was “Comfort Ye My People,” and the lesson began with this introduction

“Comfort” is the first word of Isaiah chapter 40. It marks the beginning of a different tone, a different emphasis in the prophet’s message. Where Isaiah’s earlier writings warned Israel and Judah about destruction and captivity that would come because of their sins, these later prophecies were meant to comfort the Jews over 150 years in the future—after Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple was desecrated, and the people were taken captive by Babylon. But these prophecies reach even further into the future than to the defeated, disheartened Israelites. They speak to us, who also sometimes feel defeated, disheartened, and even lost.

Isaiah’s message to them and to us is simple: “Fear not” (Isaiah 43:1). All is not lost. The Lord has not forgotten you, and He has power over situations that seem out of your control. Isn’t the Lord “he that created the heavens, and … he that spread forth the earth, and … he that giveth breath unto the people upon it”? (Isaiah 42:5). Isn’t He more powerful than Babylon, than sin, than whatever is holding you captive? “Return unto me,” He pleads, “for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 44:22). He can heal, restore, strengthen, forgive, and comfort—whatever is needed for you, in your case, to be redeemed.

            As usual, this lesson contains numerous gospel principles, and the one that I want to share is “God’s power is greater than worldly power.” Isaiah repeatedly reminded the Israelites of God’s matchless power. He even compared God’s power to the oppressive worldly power that surrounded them. Isaiah 40:3-8 is one example.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

            Isaiah is difficult to understand for several reasons. One reason is that he often used symbolic language. Another reason is that he jumps around in his writing. He may be writing of events in his time, then jumps to the latter days or the time of Christ before going back to his own time.

Isiah wrote about valleys being raised up, and mountains and hills being lowered. He wrote about things that were crooked that would become straight and rough places that would become smooth. This sounds like what can happen in huge earthquakes. The Old Testament Student Manual – Kings through Malachi has the following information.

President Joseph Fielding Smith declared that before the Second Coming of the Lord, there will be an earthquake that will be so destructive that mountains will be made low, valleys will be elevated, and rough places made as a plain. It will be so violent that the sun will be darkened and the moon will be turned to blood. The waters will be driven back into the north countries and the lands joined as they were before the days of Peleg. (see Doctrines of Salvation, 1:85; 2:317; Doctrine and Covenants 49:23; 88:87; 109:74; 133:17-25, 44; Isaiah 54:10; Ezekiel 38:20; Revelation 16:15-20.) (As quoted in the Old Testament Student Manual – Kings through Malachi [2003]). 

            The Institute Manual explains that Isaiah’s statement that “the people are grass.” It explains that the grass grows tall during the spring rains of April and May. Then the hot days of summer come, and the grass quickly turns brown. The statement continued, “The withered, lifeless grass was the metaphor Isaiah chose to describe the wicked whose ways seem to be so attractive to the world but cannot endure long. Only those sanctified of the Lord will withstand the glory of His coming, for the wicked will be as the dried grass before a blazing fire. (Compare Doctrine and Covenants 101:24-25.)

The Lord has the power to change the landscape of the earth through earthquakes and other natural means. He also has the power to destroy the wicked and to save His people even if He must use fire.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Did Christianity Influence the Founding of America?

            Parents can strengthen their families, communities, and nation by teaching correct history to their children. Once the children know the true history of America, they will not be so apt to fall for the false history being peddled in the nation today. The United States of America was founded in the late seventeenth century after fighting an eight-year war with Great Britain. The American colonists fought for independence from their mother country.

            Yet, there are people living in America today that do not believe that the colonists fought for independence. Scott Hogenson wrote about these people who teach through their 1619 Project, critical race theory, and other ways that the war was fought to protect slavery. This group of people are not only attacking America. They are also attacking Christianity by denying its influence on the founding of America. 

            Hogenson reminded his readers that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States assert that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and entitled to the liberties of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Even the birth of Jesus Christ is subtly acknowledged in Article VII of the Constitution. In addition, forty-six states mention God in their state constitutions. All these official documents show that Christianity was central in the founding of America and continues to be central in the lives of Americans.

            So why are liberal Americans attacking Christianity? Evil people have attacked Christianity since the meridian of time when Jesus Christ walked the earth. Now those assaults on Christianity are part of the political discussion in the United States. Hogenson urged Americans of all faiths to fight back against “the whitewashing of our history and the continued erosion of the liberties articulated in biblical Christianity.”

            Christian parents can help this effort by teaching correct and true history to their children. When Americans know the correct history of America, families, communities, and the nation are stronger.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Why Do Politicians Tell Such Bald-Face Lies?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the necessity of honesty and respect in democracies. Voters deserve to know the truth, so they can make informed choices. When candidates tell lies, uninformed voters may accept the lies as truth – even bald-faced lies like the one that Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams told at a student forum in Atlanta this week.

            Abrams is not a doctor, and she made extraordinary claims when she responded to a question about how she would protect abortion rights if she were elected governor. This is her response according to Chris Pandolfo at The Blaze

There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks….

It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have a right to take control of a woman’s body. [She called fetal heart beats “medically false” and “biologically a lie.”] ….

We ought to get rid of the bill [Georgia’s six-week abortion ban that restricts abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected]. The bill is asinine, it is biologically inappropriate. It is morally wrong, and it should be confined to the dustbin of history….

We have to stop whispering about abortion rights in the shadows and talk about it openly…. It is about how we move our bodies. It is about how we live our lives. This is not a cultural issue. This is a medical issue, it is an economic issue, it is a moral issue, and it is our decision.

… If they can take our vote, our right to control our bodies, they can take our right to decide who to love, they can take all of our civil liberties from us. And every time they chip away at a civil liberty, if you think you’re safe, just wait, they’re coming for you next.

            Pandolfo wrote that Abrams’ “claims are not medically accurate.” According to a review of cardiac development published by Karger (a fetal medicine journal), “The initiation of the first heartbeat via the primitive heart tube begins at gestational day 22, followed by active fetal blood circulation by the end of week 4.” In other words, the heart is one of the first organs to form after conception. Pandolfo continued his explanation:

While it is true that an embryo does not have a fully formed heart at day 22, by the sixth week of gestation in pregnancy an unborn baby’s primitive heartbeat can be detected by an ultrasound. Doctors refer to this as a “manufactured” sound because it is an electrical pulse picked up and translated into sound by the ultrasound machine. But that does not mean the heartbeat is not present and is fabricated by doctors, as Abrams falsely claimed.

            Abrams has stated that she supports abortion even “until the time of birth” in some circumstances and said that it should be a “medical decision” instead of a “political decision.” Abrams must have heard about the primitive heartbeat being called a “manufactured” and assumed that doctors were manufacturing it. She obviously did not understand that it was the ultrasound machine translating an electrical impulse into a sound.

            Abrams was wrong about numerous things in her statement, but she was absolutely correct about abortion being a moral issue. Every human being has the right to choose how to live their lives. However, they are not free from the consequences of those choices. Conception of a baby is the result of the choice to have sexual relations. Once a woman has made the decision to have sex, her opportunity to choose is over because there is another human being involved. No one has the right to kill another human being, not even the mother of an unborn baby. As for babies that are conceived by rape or incest, most abortion bans have waivers to care for those women and girls.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Should Americans Pay Reparations to Descendants of Slaves?

            Leftists push for “reparations” to the descendants of African American slaves. Most likely, they have numerous reasons for do so. However, one of the reasons is that they do not understand history. They came through school systems that did not teach correct history, so they look like fools when their demands for reparations are met with historical facts.

            Recently, Hilary Fordwich, an expert on British royals, was entered by CNN host Don Lemon. He asked her if the British monarchy should pay reparations for colonialism and slavery. That could have been an innocent question, but Lemon got hit in the face with facts.

            Lemon followed his question about reparations with this statement: "'[You] have those who are asking for reparations for colonialism, and they’re wondering, you know, ‘$100 billion, $24 billion here and there, $500 million there.’” 

            Fordwich was prepared with facts and fired with “both barrels.” She first agreed that there are people who are requesting reparations. However, the British monarchy is the wrong place to go for reparations.

            In defense of Britain, Fordwich told Lemon that those people looking for reparations should go first to “the beginning of the supply chain” – meaning that they should go to the African kingdoms who were enslaving and selling Africans. She said that slavers in Africa rounded up other African people and held them in cages on the beach until people came in ships to purchase them. If the slavers had not been catching and selling slaves, the people on the slaves would not have been purchasing them.

            Fordwich then taught more history to Lemon. Most people know that Great Britain was the first nation to abolish slavery. She added that there were two thousand naval men who died on the high seas in an attempt to abolish slavery. Why was there a battle on the seas? Because the African kings rounded up their own people and “had them [in] cages, waiting in the beaches.”

            In her concluding statement, Fordwich added this zinger: “I think you’re totally right. If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘Who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages?’ Absolutely, that’s where they should start.”

            Lemon was the host of the show, but he was too stunned to say anything. He had never faced the true history about slavery. The African kings accumulated wealth by selling slaves, and they fought back when Britain and other nations stopped buying slaves and fought to end the practice.

            It is my opinion that the descendants of slaves in America do not have any claim to reparations. The slaves themselves were the ones who suffered from slavery. There is no one living in America today who was a slave or a slave owner. There is no reason why any American alive today should pay another American for something that they did not do and received no benefits.

            The descendants of slaves should be counting their blessings. Their ancestors did in deed suffer because they were enslaved, but they live freely in the greatest nation in the world. The slave owners actually did them a favor by bringing their ancestors to America where they have the power to live the American dream.  Here in America, every citizen has the power to become anything that they want to become IF they are willing to work for it.

If anyone continues to demand reparations for slavery, payment should come in the form of one-way tickets back to the nation of origin for their ancestor and forfeiture of citizenship in the United States. They can go to their ancestral nation to seek reparations from the people who were amassing wealth from slavery. If not, they should stop their demands and start being real Americans – not hyphenated ones -- and wok toward success just like other Americans do.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

What Was Graham Thinking?

            Abortion has been in the news for the past year or so after the Supreme Court said that they would hear oral arguments on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. However, the news was quiet until the Supreme Court leak about the probable decision in the case. Protesters marched at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house and at the home, church, and school of Amy Coney Barrett and her family. A man even traveled across state lines to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh but gave himself up to law officers before doing the deed.

            Although the mainstream media fails to mention all the attacks on pregnancy centers and churches, they have jumped on the news that would further their agenda. There was recent news that a decision on the leaker would be forthcoming, but the news erupted again when Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C) came out with his brainy idea.

            Graham made the stupid decision to introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate “that would prohibit elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with few exceptions.” Somehow, Graham did not get the message that the Supreme Court sent the abortion decision back to the STATES. His bill added fuel to the anger of Democrats about Roe v. Wade being overturned.

            In addition to feeding the Democrat anger, Graham’s bill divided Republicans and complicated Republican efforts to take control of the House and the Senate. What a dumb thing to do? Was he trying to sabotage his own party? NBC News reported, “From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail, Republicans attacked the bill as a distraction that divides the GOP and reminds voters that most of them see the party as too extreme on abortion.”

            Graham’s bill also refocused Kelsey Dallas’s “attention on the faith-related fallout from the Supreme Court’s ruling. In her article at the Deseret News, Dallas highlighted “three recent developments at the intersection of religious freedom and abortion rights.” 

            Dallas’s first highlight is that “Faith groups are divided over Graham’s bill” just as they were split over the Supreme Court’s ruling in June. Some groups that are more liberal are now claiming religious freedom demands. “Religious freedom demands the right to an abortion so people can make their own reproductive decisions according to their own beliefs and principles.” Conservative groups are, of course, applauding Graham’s bill just as they did the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

            The second highlight is a “new lawsuit [that] challenges abortion restrictions in Indiana.” A group of religious leaders filed a lawsuit in Indiana against a new abortion ban in the state the “interferes with religious practice.” The lawsuit “contends that the new abortion ban would violate Jewish teaching…. It also cites theological teachings allowing abortion in at least some circumstances by Islamic, Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist and Pagan faiths.”

            The third highlight is a question, “Will religious freedom claims succeed?” No one knows the answer to the question, but “some religious freedom scholars are skeptical” of their success.

            The bottom line is that Graham’s ridiculous law could cause Republicans to lose a few seats in Congress. Will the loss of those seats cause the Republicans to fail to take control of the House and Senate? Democrat control of both Houses of Congress and the White House has been a disaster for America. If you want to save America from communism, VOTE RED!!!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Who Was Queen Elizabeth II?

            My VIP for this week is Queen Elizabeth II, the late Queen of Great Britain. Her funeral was held today, and she was later interred next to her husband. Here is a link to a tribute given by Music and the Spoken Word. It is titled “Grace and Goodness: A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.” Elizabeth lived a good life and will be missed by many people besides those of her family, nation, and commonwealth.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Why Is Knowledge of the Constitution Important?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the need for Americans to know the content of the United States Constitution. Yesterday, we celebrated Constitution Day. Did you consider the Constitution yesterday? Did you take the time to study the Constitution? Did you even know that it was Constitution Day?

            According to The Hill, the Annenberg Public Policy Center took its annual Constitution Day Civics Survey. The results are interesting as well as discouraging. 

About a quarter of Americans surveyed could not name a single branch of government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial).

Fewer than half of the respondents could name all three branches of government.

Around 26 percent of respondents could not name any First Amendment freedoms (religion, speech, press, peaceably assemble, and petition the government).

            The understanding of Americans of “basic facts about the U.S. government declined for the first time in six years.” The percentage of Americans who could name all three branches of government dropped by 9 percentage points from last year. There was also “a decline in the number of respondents who could name any of the five freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment.”

Freedom of religion was named by 24 percent of those surveyed, falling from 56 percent from the previous survey [drop of 32 percent]. Those who named freedom of the press also declined sharply down by 30 percentage points from 50 percent in 2021.

Around 26 percent of respondents could not name any First Amendment freedoms. And the percentage of respondents who listed the right to bear arms – a right protected under the Second Amendment – as a First Amendment protection tripled from 2021 rising to 9 percent.

But respondents did exhibit significant knowledge in several areas, including some aspects of firearm ownership and search and seizure laws. More than 80 percent knew the Supreme Court upheld citizens’ rights to own a gun, while around 78 percent know that the Bill of Rights protects Americans from illegal searches and seizures.

Moreover, nearly three-quarters of respondents know the Constitution prevents the federal government from establishing an official religion – a percentage statistically similar to the previous year’s survey.

            Why is it important for each American to know what the Constitution says? According to Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, “When it comes to civics, knowledge is power.” She continued, “It’s troubling that so few know what rights we’re guaranteed by the First Amendment. We are unlikely to cherish, protect, and exercise rights if we don’t know that we have them.”

            In an article posted to American Thinker, Eric Utter compared the knowledge of Americans about the Constitution to their knowledge in other areas. 

Nearly all Americans can name three or more genders, one or more of which don’t even exist. I am nearly certain that the vast majority of Americans can name three HBO shows, three characters from Game of Thrones, three adult movie stars, three rap musicians, and three brands of candy bars. But can even half of us name all 50 states? 30…?

            I could add a few other categories of knowledge that Americans can recite at a moment’s notice: football teams – both professional and college, basketball teams – both professional and college, superheroes, dinosaurs, and many others. There is not much knowledge in this world that is more important for us to know than what is in the Constitution – with the only exception being the information needed to achieve salvation.

The results of the above referenced survey show the consequences of taking civics out of our schools. We now have several generations of Americans who do not know their rights, or what they should expect from government. In addition, they do not know their personal responsibilities in keeping America free. There is little wonder that there is so much crime in liberal cities, or so many idiots being elected to Congress. God help America if we do not start teaching essential information to the rising generations!

Saturday, September 17, 2022

What Is the Answer to Avoid Apostasy?

            My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Isaiah 13-35 with a lesson title of “A Marvellous Work and a Wonder.” This lesson was introduced by this statement from President Bonnie H. Cordon: “Scriptures enlighten our minds, nourish our spirits, answer our questions, increase our trust in the Lord, and help us center our lives on Him” (“Trust in the Lord and Lean Not,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 7). The lesson was further introduced by the following introduction

One of the things the Lord asks prophets to do is to warn about the consequences of sin. In the case of Old Testament prophets, this often meant telling the powerful rulers of mighty kingdoms that they must repent or be destroyed. It was a dangerous task, but Isaiah was fearless, and his warnings to the kingdoms of his day – including Israel, Judah, and surrounding nations – were bold (see Isaiah 13-23).

However, Isaiah also had a message of hope. Even though the prophesied destructions eventually did come upon these kingdoms, Isaiah foresaw a chance for restoration and renewal. The Lord would invite His people to return to Him. He would make “the parched ground … become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isaiah 35:7). He would perform “a marvellous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:14), restoring to Israel the blessings He had promised them. Neither Isaiah nor anyone else alive at that time lived to see this marvelous work. But we are seeing its ultimate fulfillment today. In fact, we are part of it!

            As with all scripture blocks, Israel 13-35 teaches numerous principles. This essay will focus on the following principle: “Apostasy means turning away from the Lord and His prophets.” The information will come from several chapters in Isaiah. Isaiah used a variety of metaphors to warn about the consequences of turning away from the Lord and rejecting His prophets. Some of the metaphors used in this scripture block are an empty earth (Isaiah 24:1-12), drunkenness (Isaiah 28:7-8), hunger and thirst (Isaiah 29:7-10), and a broken wall or vessel (Isaiah 30:8-14).

Isaiah 24:1

1 Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

Isaiah 28:7-8

7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of win, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

Isaiah 29:7-10

7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

Isaiah 30:8-14

8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:

10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

            The above verses show the importance of keeping the covenants made with God. God sets the conditions for the covenants, and His children decide whether or not to make and keep the covenants. When His children keep the covenants that they make with Him, Heavenly Father sends blessings to them. However, when His children rebel, He can no longer bless them, and they are left to the consequences of their decisions. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave the following counsel to help us stay faithful to the Lord and His Church.

We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives – not just once but regularly [see Alma 5:26]….

… The words of the Lord are found in the scriptures and the teachings of the apostles and prophets. They provide us counsel and direction that, when followed, will act like a spiritual life jacket, and will help us know how to hold on with both hands….

In addition to developing the habit of personal scripture reading, we need to be like the sons of Mosiah and give ourselves “to much prayer, and fasting” [Alma 17:3] (“Stay in the Boat and Hold On!Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 90-91). 

            President Ballard gave us counsel on hold to avoid apostasy. He said that we need to continuously be renewing our faith in Jesus Christ by “much prayer and fasting” and by developing a habit of studying the scriptures. I know that President Ballard’s counsel works because I practice it. We can maintain and strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and in the words of His prophets by doing the simple things, such as prayer, scripture study, and fasting.