Declaration of Independence

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

Monday, October 31, 2022

Who Else Will Go to Jail?

            My VIPs for this week are Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips of True the Vote. They have been in the forefront of the fight to prove fraud in the 2020 presidential election and to help secure future elections. They were instrumental in the effort to show that “mules” were used to drop illegal ballots into ballot boxes and throw the election to Joe Biden.

            Now Engelbrecht and Phillips have been sent to jail for contempt by Federal Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt in Houston, Texas. The action was taken because the two people would not give up the name of one of their sources, someone that they say is a confidential FBI informant. Joseph MacKinnon at The Blaze posted the following information. 

According to the duo, the unnamed informant helped provide them with proof that the scandal-plagued election software company Konnech had compromised and stored American data in China.

The overarching case in which the duo is embroiled concerns their alleged defamation of Konnech.

True the Vote accused Konnech of colluding with the Chinese communist regime, of storing confidential American data on servers in China, and of other wrongdoing.

            An interesting item of interest in this whole matter is that Eugene Yu, the founder and CEO of Konnech, was arrested on October 4 and charged on suspicion of data theft. The reason given is that he had allegedly stored “critical information that [US election] workers provided on servers in China.” He was also hit with additional charges for grand theft by embezzlement of funds exceeding $2.6 million. In other words, he was arrested and charged for committing some of the crimes that Engelbrecht and Phillips accused him of doing. I think that the judge should have recognized this fact.

            Konnech filed the defamation lawsuit against True the Vote on September 12, approximately three weeks prior to the arrest of Yu. True the Vote accused Konnech of being “owned by the Chinese Communist Party” as well as being involved in “subversion of our elections.” There appears to be a problem for Konnech because the company has contracts to “provide election logistics software for voting districts across the country” in the 2022 midterm elections. Who wants to hire a company that is owned by Communist China?

            Engelbrecht and Phillips were sent to jail on Monday and will remain there until they are willing to give up the name of their informant. They do not seem willing to do so. Therefore, it looks like a standoff. They are of the same patriotic caliber as Nathan Hale who was captured and sentenced to death for spying against Great Britain. His last words were, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Who Should Be Counted in the Census?

             The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the U.S. Census. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that the population of the United States be counted every ten years. However, a recent report by the Census Bureau showed that the bureau made some serious errors in the census count taken in 2020.

            The population of eight states was overcounted, while the population of six states was undercounted. The states, like Florida, which were undercounted did not receive all the representatives to which they are entitled. At the same time, states, like Minnesota and Rhode Island, have too many representatives in Congress.

            In addition to under-representation and over-representation in Congress, the Electoral College votes for those same states will be wrong. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution sets the number of electors for each state to be the same as its representatives in Congress – two U.S. Senators plus the number of its representatives.

            There are 435 members in the U.S. House of Representatives. Article I, Section 2 states that “each state shall have at least one representative.” That means that 50 members represent the 50 states, and the other 385 members are divided among the states according to their population. Hans von Spakovsky wrote the following about the effects of the 2020 Census. 

 As our nation has grown and added more states to the Union, the House has added more members. In 1929, however, Congress passed the Permanent Apportionment Act, which limits the size of the House to 435 members. After the 2020 census numbers were determined, those 435 members were divided among the states based on the total population of the country (a bit more than 331 million people).

That reapportionment gave six states additional seats and reduced the number of seats held by seven states. Texas gained two representatives, while California and New York each lost a congressional seat. As noted earlier, however, the Census Bureau made significant mistakes and deprived citizens in eight states of appropriate representation in Congress.

Another pathology associated with apportionment is that it is based on population totals that include noncitizens, including illegal aliens. In a nation where the population of both legal and illegal aliens now numbers in the millions, the sheer volume distorts congressional representation.

How bad is this distortion? In 2015, the Congressional Research Service issued a report on how apportionment would have changed after the 2010 census if the 2013 estimated citizen population had been used, excluding aliens here both legally and illegally.

According to the report, using citizen population only would have shifted seven congressional seats among 11 states. California, for example, would have lost four seats, while states such as Louisiana and Missouri would have each picked up a new seat.

Including the alien population in apportionment unfairly and unjustly alters political representation in the House and devalues the votes of citizens.

Some argue that the language in Section 2 that apportionment is based on the “number of persons in each state” means that aliens must be included in the apportionment calculation. However, the term “person” has historically been interpreted in this context to mean an individual who not only has a physical presence, but also some element of allegiance to a particular place.

That is why the Census Bureau, for example, does not include noncitizens who visit the U.S. for a vacation or a business trip in the population count, since they have no political or legal allegiance to any state or the federal government.          

            Since the Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of a case about apportionment including aliens. Maybe Florida or another – or maybe all – of the states missing representation will take the matter to court. The Supreme Court should weigh in on the question about whether illegal aliens/undocumented immigrants will affect the apportionment of representation in our nation.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

What Did You Learn When You Studied Ezekiel?

            My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to the book of Ezekiel, and I learned lots of interesting stories, allegories, and parables. The title of this lesson is “A New Spirit Will I Put within You.” The lesson was introduced with the following information. 


Ezekiel was a prophet in exile. Along with other Israelites, he had been captured and sent to Babylon several years before Jerusalem was finally destroyed. In Jerusalem, Ezekiel would have been a priest serving in the temple. In Babylon, he was among “them of the captivity,” and he “sat where they sat” (Ezekiel 3:15), hundreds of miles from the temple and with little hope of returning to the beloved house of God. Then one day Ezekiel had a vision. He saw “the glory of the Lord” (Ezekiel 1:28)—not back in the temple at Jerusalem but there in Babylon among the exiles. The wickedness in Jerusalem, he learned, had become so severe that God’s presence was no longer there (see Ezekiel 8–1133:21).


One of Ezekiel’s tasks was to warn the Israelites about the consequences of their rebellion—a warning that largely went unheeded. But there was more to Ezekiel’s message: he prophesied that, despite how bad things became, there was a way back. If God’s people would accept the invitation to “hear the word of the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:4), what was once dead could be revived. A “stony heart” could be replaced with “a new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26). “[I] shall put my spirit in you,” the Lord told them, “and ye shall live” (Ezekiel 37:14). And in the last days, the Lord would establish a new temple and a new Jerusalem, “and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).


            As with most scripture blocks, this one had numerous principles. The principle that I would like to discuss tonight is found in Ezekiel 37: “The Lord is gathering His people and giving them new life." The prophet uses two symbols in this chapter to portray the gathering of Israel. The first symbol involves bones, and the second symbol entails sticks. In Ezekiel 37:1-14, the prophet told of dead bones being restored to life. These are the words of the prophet Ezekiel.


The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

11 ¶ Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.


            The symbolic meaning of this prophecy is apparent, according to the Institute Manual. “The bones represent Israel in its lost and scattered state; the graves indicate where Israel is as well as its condition of spiritual death. The spirit, or ruach in Hebrew (see Ezekiel 37:9), means the new spirit of righteousness the people will have when they have been resurrected, that is, restored from their fallen state. The source of this new life will be the Holy Ghost.” 

             The Institute Manual explained that this account of the Resurrection is literal as well as being symbolic of the future gathering of Israel. Elder Bruce R. McConkie testified of the Resurrection as witnessed by Ezekiel.


 There is nothing more real, more literal, more personal than the resurrection, as Ezekiel then beheld in vision. He saw the dead live again, live literally and personally, each one becoming in physical makeup as he had been in mortality. It was with each of them as it would be with their Lord, when he, having also come forth from his valley of dry bones, stood in the upper room with his disciples, ate before them, and permitted them to handle his physical body. To his people the Lord’s voice came: ‘I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.’ (Ezek. 37:1–14.) He who shall do all this, as we are now acutely aware, is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the God of Israel. (The Promised Messiah, pp. 270–71.)


            Ezekiel’s second symbol was sticks, and the story of the two sticks is found in Ezekiel 37:15-28. Ezekiel explained that one stick was for Judah, and one stick was for Ephraim.


15 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

18 ¶ And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

20 ¶ And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and cone king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and

their children’s children for bever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.


            According to the Institute Manual, “many scholars interpret [the two sticks] as wooden writing boards joined by a hinge.” Ezekiel tells us that one stick is the stick of Judah, and the other stick is the stick of Ephraim (Joseph). Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that the stick of Judah is the Bible because most of the Bible was written by the descendants of Judah. We believe that the stick of Ephraim or Joseph is the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ because Lehi’s family were descendants of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

            In verse 17, Ezekiel was instructed to take the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph and to join them into one stick that they could “become one in thine hand.” Members of the Church of Jesus Christ use both the Bible and the Book of Mormon in the work of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil. Both books are used for study in Church classes, and missionaries use both books when they share the gospel with other people. The knowledge of both books is used in the family history program where families search out their dead ancestors and vicariously perform temple work for them.

            In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ said that the coming of the Book of Mormon would be a sign that the work of the gathering had started. (See 3 Nephi 21:7.) According to President Russell M. Nelson, the gathering of Israel could not take place without the Book of Mormon. You can hear his words at this site.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Can Marriage Bring Happiness and Satisfaction with Life?

             Individuals can strengthen their family as well as their community and nation by getting married – preferably before the birth of any children. When I speak of marriage, I mean a union between one man and one woman. In 1995 the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” The first paragraph of the document defined “marriage [as being] between a man and a woman” and declared such a marriage to be “ordained of God.”

            According to Jim Daly, such a marriage brings myriad benefits to the spouses, to their children, and to society. (See his book titled “Marriage Done Right: One Man, One Woman.”) In an article published by The Daily Signal, Timothy Goeglein quoted the statement from Daly, who is the president of Focus on the Family. 

            Quoting a recent essay by W. Bradford Wilcox, Goeglein said that one of the key benefits from marriage is happiness. He also noted, “It’s perhaps no coincidence that some of the most dissatisfied voices in our toxic public discourse come from those who are not married.” 

Wilcox wrote that in 1970, there were 77 marriages per 100 women. Forty-five years later, that number had decreased to 32 marriages per hundred, and it has continued to decrease to the point where, according to the 2022 American Family Survey, the share of American men and women who are currently married is only 45%.

The decreasing marriage rate has led to a spike in the number of people living alone – more than 37 million adults as of 2021. While not all adults living alone are lonely, many are, and those individuals are more likely to lack significant social connections, which can be deadly…..

But the problem goes beyond just the individual. It affects our society as well. Many of our current cultural divides can be traced to social isolation and the lack of connections individuals have with a wide swath of people. Thus, loneliness, and the bitterness it ferments, has not occurred in a vacuum.

Nevertheless, despite evidence that documents how marriage provides many of the social connections needed to not just survive, but to thrive in life, our culture continues to send messages that women do not need a husband to be happy; that men should focus on their careers instead of family; and “the kids will be all right” even when they lack a mother or a father.

            Goeglein again looked at Wilcox’s essay in which Wilcox looks at research from the American Community Survey on the happiness of married vs. single women – and declared the contrast to be “stark.” “Married mothers between the ages of 18 and 55 have mean household income of $133,000, compared with $79,000 for those in the same age range that re single and childless.” However, finances do not paint the whole picture of contentment and happiness.

In the American Family Survey, 33% of those same married mothers reported they were “completely satisfied” with their lives. In contrast, only 15% of single and childless women felt the same way.

In addition, about 60% of those single and childless women were more likely to report feelings of loneliness compared with married mothers. That suggests that the bonds created through family and friends are perhaps the most important factor in life satisfaction. Given the trend that married women tend to be deeply concerned about cultural issues that affect their families, and as a result often lean more conservative in their worldview, it logically follows that the happiest women are conservative women.

Conservatives also have ties to organizations, such as churches, that provide connections with others. The survey reports a 15-percentage point gap between conservative women saying they are completely satisfied with their lives, compared with liberal women (31% vs. 16%).

            Goeglein continued by saying that it was not just the women because another study demonstrated “the positive changes men experience once they become fathers, such as becoming less self-absorbed and more empathetic to others.” He then declared that “The key to a happy life is a connected life – and marriage and families are a common denominator in making those connections.”

            The surveys showed that married women and married men are happier and more satisfied with their lives than are their single counterparts. Happy couples lead to happy and strong families, and happy and strong families strengthen their communities and nations.