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, February 28, 2023

Should the Government Forgive Education Loans for Post-Graduate Students?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan. The plan came out of the Department of Education to use the HEROES Act of 2003 to forgive billions of dollars in student loans.

The HEROES Act (an acronym for Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act) was passed to help military troops who went to fight in the Middle East. In particular, it allowed the troops to delay their student debt obligations during national emergencies.

The Biden administration wants to use this same law to forgive student loans for people who are not in the military. It is a plot to gain votes and to transfer the cost of the loans to people who have already paid off their student loans or who did not take out loans. If the Supreme Court rules for the Biden administration, people who did not even go to college will be required to pay off the student loans.

The lead plaintiff in the case is the Job Creators Network Foundation. The organization argues that the law applies to military personnel and not the general public. According to Karen Harned, chief legal officer for Job Creators Network Foundation, “This really is reminiscent of what we saw with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] eviction program, the [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] vaccine mandate program, where the government really acted outside the authority of what it was given on a question of significant economic and political importance that really needed Congress to say this out loud, and the administration can’t do this behind closed doors.”

According to Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal, if the Supreme Court strikes down this mandate, it will be the third one shot down. The first one was the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium that was administered through the CDC. The second one was the COVID-19 vaccine mandate of private employers via OSHA. 

Lucas said that there are two important questions that the Supreme Court should consider. The first one is whether the plaintiffs have standing. The second one is whether the government illegally shut the public out of the rule-making process under both the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs how regulations are implemented, and the Higher Education Act, which governs the student loan program.

The Biden administration and the Department of Education declare that the education act is constitutional. I do not understand how it could be constitutional for the government to take debt from one group of people and put it upon the shoulders of the American citizens. In addition, the education act goes much further than it went for the military. The obligations for the military were merely postponed as they served their country in the Middle East, whereas the education department wants to end permanently the loan responsibility for a group of people who have post-graduate degrees.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Why Tucker Carlson?

My VIP for this week is Tucker Carlson because he has been given the opportunity and the responsibility to go through the massive amount of video evidence taken at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. He has been charged with ferreting out the truth and sharing it with the world. The Democrats have used the assault on the U.S. Capitol Building as a club to beat Republicans for more than two years. Yet, they would never release the videos to prove their charges. They just kept the evidence hidden and tried to lock it away for a long time.

In early January 2023, Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit claimed that “Nancy Pelosi, Liz Cheney and Democrats locked up important videos and documents … for 30 to 50 years after they shut down their sham investigation.” Hoft continued: 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) already named the House Committee on House Administration the custodian of the records. Under current House rules, the committee is obligated to hand over the official records to the House clerk, who transmits them to the National Archives. The rules also prevent the National Archives from releasing committee records for at least 30 years. Sensitive records, such as those from a major investigation, can be held up to 50 years before being made public.

Although the House Committee investigating the insurrection has released a trove of transcripts and underlying information backing up its report, the vast majority of raw information the panel collected is slated to be sent to the National Archives, where it could be locked away for up to 50 years. [Emphasis in original.]

But the proposed rules package the new Congress will vote on Tuesday orders that any record created by the panel must instead be sent to the House Committee on House Administration by Jan. 17 and orders the National Archives to return any material it has already received.

Whether or not Hoft reported the information correctly, current Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-California) recently released “all the official security tapes and other video evidence” to Tucker Carlson. Democrats and many media outlets are livid at McCarthy’s action. Many Democrats are most likely concerned that Tucker will broadcast the truth about the “insurrection” on January 21. However, both conservative and liberal media outlets want their own opportunity to look at the tapes.

Amid the panicked reactions by Democrats, McCarthy’s decision to release the evidence to Carlson has been likened to that of Elon Musk who released the “Twitter Files” to a few credible reporters. Carlson, as well as the reporters chosen by Musk, understand the significance of the tasks given to them. They need to find the truth and present it to the American public in accurate and well-organized reports. 

Americans must know the truth about the attack on the Capitol Building – whatever it is. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear could understand that getting to the truth was not part of the plan of those investigating the riot.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

What Do the Numbers at the Southern Border Say?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the House Judiciary Committee hearing held Thursday at the southern border. The second hearing of the committee focused on the effects that the border crisis has on a local Arizona community. The site of the hearing was Yuma County, Arizona, about 150 miles southwest of Phoenix. Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (R-N.J.) gave the following explanation. 

It’s about time we told the truth. It’s about time we fix this problem.

And here’s the bottom line, it is fixable. We don’t have to have this happen. This was self-created by President [Joe] Biden, by Secretary [of Homeland Security] Alejandro Mayorkas, and this administration.

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) opened the hearing. “It’s a shame that not one Democrat member of Congress would join us on this trip despite having weeks of advance notice.” The reason given by Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for no Democrats attending the hearing at the border was that they considered the hearing to be a “stunt.” He also claimed that Republicans had not consulted with the Democrats on the committee.

The Republicans on the committee listened, took notes, and asked questions as the three witnesses discussed the surge of illegal aliens crossing the border and how they affect their community. The witnesses were Jonathan Lines (a Yuma County district supervisor), Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, and Dr. Robert Trenschel (president and CEO of the Yuma Regional Medical Center). The following numbers were discussed in the hearing.

·         “The numbers of encounters this January last month was more than a third higher than the last two Januaries of the Trump administration combined.” (Jordan)

·         There were 156,274 encounters of illegal migrants at the border in January. That number was 35,905 in January 2018 and 58,317 in January 2019. (CBP)

·         There were 2.3 million land encounters with migrants at the southern border in fiscal year 2022 (ending September 30). (CBP)

·         There were 870,000 total encounters between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31 (the first four months of fiscal year 2023). (CBP)

·         There were 14,000 pounds of fentanyl that were seized by CBP in fiscal year 2022, and more than 12,000 pounds seized between October and the end of January. (CBP)

·         Yuma Regional Medical Center is owed $26 million by the federal government for medical services provided to illegal immigrants. (Trenschel)

·         Migrant maternity patients are the most common type of patient at the Medical Center causing planned deliveries for members of the community to be rescheduled. (Trenschel)

There is a growing crisis at the southern border that was caused by Joe Biden when he ended successful border policies put in place by Donald Trump. There are somewhere between five million and seven million illegal immigrants who have entered the United States in the past two years.

Those numbers do not include the “got-aways” – illegal migrants who were seen by border agents but not processed. The numbers also do not include the numbers of unseen illegal immigrants who have crossed into the United States. The problem will continue to grow until the federal government decides to do its job to protect the sovereignty of the United States.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Do You Look for the Fruits When Trying to Discern Sources of Truth?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to the Sermon on the Mount once again in Matthew 6-7. The lesson was titled “He Taught Them as One Having Authority” and was introduced with this information. 

When we read the scriptures with a question in mind and with a sincere desire to understand what Heavenly Father wants us to know, we invite the Holy Ghost to inspire us. As you read Matthew 6-7, pay attention to these impressions.

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the best-known discourses in Christianity. The Savior taught with rich images, such as a city set on a hill, lilies of the field, and wolves disguised as sheep. But the Sermon on the Mount is far more than a beautiful speech.

The power of the Savior’s teachings to His disciples can change our lives, especially when we live by them. Then His words become more than words; they become a sure foundation for life that, like the wise man’s house, can withstand the world’s winds and floods (see Matthew 7:24-25).

The Sermon on the Mount contains many principles that deserve to be discussed. However, I feel prompted to discuss one from the Sunday School lesson manual. The principle is found in Matthew 7:15-20 “We can identify true and false prophets by their fruits.”

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

In the above verses, the Lord gave His test for discerning true prophets from false prophets. It is interesting that this teaching came at a time when the Savior Himself was being called a false prophet who was performing miracles and healing people by the power of the devil.

The Savior acknowledged that there would be imposters who would claim to be His authorized representatives. He said that false prophets would come in sheep’s clothing with their own agenda to fulfill. He told His followers to look for the “fruits” from anyone who claims to represent Christ because corrupt trees cannot bring forth good fruit.

The Savior taught that “good trees” bring forth “good fruits,” but “corrupt trees” bring forth “evil fruit” (Mathew 7:17-19). We know that Jesus Christ was a true prophet because we know the “fruits” that He brought forth. He went about doing good, casting out devils, healing people, and teaching good principles.

We also know that Heavenly Father testified of Jesus’ divine nature and calling. At the baptism of Jesus Christ, those present heard the Father’s voice declare from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John heard the Father proclaim, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5).

In a similar manner, Jesus Christ testified of the divine calling of Joseph Smith. “Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:17).

At another time, the Lord said, “I, the Lord, am God, and have given these things unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and have commanded you that you should stand as a witness of these things; … For hereafter you shall be ordained and go forth and deliver my words unto the children of men…. But this generation shall have my word through you” (Doctrine and Covenants 5:2, 6, 10).

Joseph Smith declared that he was God’s prophet and was doing the work of the Lord. Elder Dean L. Larsen, then a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy declared that the “fruits of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are the real test of Joseph and his work.” “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them” (

Among these fruits which are easily available for assessment today are the scriptures that came from his efforts. These, of course, include the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They are tangible fruits that cannot be displaced by all of the commentary of those who have an interest in reconstructing history. They contain the revelations of God. The value of the eternal principles which they propound can be tested by daily application….

Those who receive the gospel are expected to manifest its fruits in their lives, not only for their own benefit and blessing, but for the purpose of drawing others to the truth.

This does not suggest that all who are obedient to the principles of truth will be free of all earthly cares and concerns, for all are tested. But those who are compliant with the Lord’s plan of life will be able to meet the tests and not be overcome. They will endure. I significant ways their lives will manifest the fruits of the gospel and set them apart as a beacon to all who are seeking for light and truth.

I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He was an instrument in the hands of the Lord to reestablish the true Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. His church teaches His plan for bringing eternal happiness and exaltation to as many of the children of Heavenly Father who will accept and live His gospel.

I also testify that those who succeeded Joseph Smith as prophets of Jesus Christ have been men who were chosen and given power and authority to accomplish the work of the Lord. I testify that today President Russell M. Nelson is the Lord’s prophet on the earth today.

Friday, February 24, 2023

What Can Be Done to Protect the Lives of Pregnant Women?

Families, communities, and nations are stronger when pregnant women receive appropriate care. Women should get medical help as soon as they realize that they are pregnant. However, medical help depends on the financial conditions of the individual women.

Emma Pitts published an article at The Daily News about the “alarmingly high” material mortality rate. “According to a report by the World Health Organization, in 2020, 287,000 women died worldwide form pregnancy complications – and most deaths could have been prevented.” The article continued: 

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women die in childbirth or pregnancy each year. A woman dies every two minutes – most often a preventable death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 700 women die every year of pregnancy complications in the United States alone.

Although there has been a steady decrease in pregnancy-related deaths from 2000 to 2020, some regions are not seeing improvements, while other lower-income regions are now seeing an increase in deaths.

The number of maternal deaths has a strong correlation with the income of the pregnant woman’s country. Lower-income countries have a significantly higher maternal mortality ratio than upper-income countries. This is because many countries cannot afford proper health care or medicine if something were to go wrong during the pregnancy.

The World Health Organization reported that, “The (maternal mortality ratio) in low-income countries in 2020 was 430 per 100,000 live births versus 12 per 100,000 live births in high-income countries.”

The report said the deaths that fall under the category of the maternal mortality ratio are women during pregnancy, childbirth or up to six weeks after giving birth. It also includes unsafe and illegal abortions.

Pitts’ article includes much more material, but the above information shows that pregnancy may be a normal but dangerous condition. I waltzed through my six pregnancies without much fear, but I worried about my daughters by birth and marriage from the time that they announced their pregnancies. Each little baby was prayed over hundreds of times in the months before and after birth, but their mothers also received hundreds of prayers for their health and safety.

I am studying comparative politics this semester and have learned much about different situations in the world. So, I read Pitts’ article as a comparison. Here is one such comparison: “Data collected by The Commonwealth Fund found that the United States has the highest number of death rates for pregnant women of any developed country.” Why are women in America dying from pregnancy-related causes? The cost of medical caused women to skip or delay their medical care! They either lacked health insurance, or they had to deal with high copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

American women may have the highest death rates among developed nations, but “the majority of maternal deaths occur in lower-income countries.” In fact, “Women of reproductive age in Sub-Saharan Africa account for 70% of the global maternal deaths.” However, “Afghanistan has 620 fatalities per 100,000 live births, the highest maternal mortality ratio of deaths reported in Asia.” It seems that some of the rights that women are losing due to Taliban control of the country include “proper health care for themselves and their children.” Mothers are so malnourished there that “they are feeding their newborns tea because they can no longer produce milk.”

According to the “experts,” there are “three main causes for maternal mortality.” They include “infection, severe bleeding and pre-eclampsia.” The experts claim that women need skilled health care at “all stages of the pregnancy” to “prevent these problems from happening.”

Americans probably cannot do much about the deaths of pregnant women in foreign nations. However, the lives of American women should be protected. The problems with insurance were supposed to be solved with Obama Care, but they obviously were not. If we truly want to strengthen families, communities, and nations, we must decrease the number of maternal deaths.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

What Is the Price of Freedom?

 The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that freedom is not free. It comes at a cost. Americans are free because members of the Greatest Generation stood up and fought Germany and Japan to maintain liberty for themselves and their country.

The world has watched for a year as the people of Ukraine have fought for their freedom. When Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military to invade Ukraine, most of the world that that the war would be short. Yet, Ukraine is still fighting after a year, and Putin is caught between a war that he has not been able to win and the disgrace of conceding that he cannot win.

On the other side of the war, Ukraine has earned the respect of the world for its resistance to Putin’s invasion. The fighters in Ukraine know that their freedom rests on their continuing push to persuade Putin to pull his troops.

In an opinion piece, the Editorial Board of the Deseret News shared some of the lessons learned from the war in Ukraine. They stated in their article that the main lesson of the war is that “freedom … isn’t free.” They continued: 

Regimes that concentrate power in the hands of one person, or even one party, tend to seek power and territory for survival. They care less, if at all, about the ability of their citizens to pursue dreams, much less govern themselves.

The old Cold War struggle between free and oppressive regimes was just a latter-day extension of struggles that had occupied the world since the concept of freedom and democracy first emerged. It hasn’t gone away.

America’s constitutional system of government rests on the radical notion, boldly declared in the Declaration of Independence, of the “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”

By definition, man cannot revoke a God-given right. This notion interrupted millennia of assumptions that humans were subjects to a king or queen, or to a dictator, a political party or any other earthly source.

One of those unalienable rights is religious freedom – something many nations try hard to repress. Others include the freedom of speech, the right to assemble and many others enumerated in the Bill of Rights. More succinctly, the Declaration describes them as the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As the war in Ukraine shows clearly, freedom is not free. Often, the price of freedom is misery. Sometimes the price of freedom is blood, the blood of human beings who deserve to enjoy their rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” War is evil, and those who use it to gain fame or power are evil!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

What Is In Ohio’s New Election Reform Law?

There has been much in the news about the train derailment and chemical burn in East Palestine, Ohio. Most of the news is condemnation of the Biden administration for not offering more help and support for the people who were nuked. Today, Donald Trump and his son Don Junior went to East Palestine to visit with the people, provide meals for the all the first responders, and to take lots of bottled water into the city.

Many people suspect that Joe Biden has not been to Ohio because the people in East Palestine voted for Trump. There may or may not be any truth in the statement, but legislation in the Ohio General Assembly shows that the members there are serious about election security. Jack Fitzhenry at The Daily Signal reported the following: 

Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly closed out 2022 by passing an election reform bill covering photo ID requirements, ballot drop boxes, and mail-in ballots.

In January, Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, signed the bill into law. The result is a substantial improvement to the reliability of the state’s elections as measured by The Heritage Foundation’s Election Integrity Scorecard….

The new law improved Ohio’s score by 10 points over its 2022 total, equaling the single largest improvement by any state during the 2022 legislative cycle. Ohio now earns a total score of 76 out of 100, vaulting the state upward in the rankings from 17th to a tie for ninth with Texas.

Fitzhenry continued his article with an explanation of the particulars of the new law. The central focus of the reform was on photo IDs. “All Ohio voters casting their ballots in person must now provide a government-issued photo ID at their polling place.” This is an excellent first step because it allows poll workers to identify every potential voter and to give ballots only to eligible voters.

Those voters who prefer to vote by mail will now “be subject to the same voter-verification standards as in-person voting. “Applicants for an absentee ballot must include a copy of their government-issued photo identification with their application to receive a mail-in ballot, along with other unique identifying information, such as the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number.”

The government-issued photo ID requirement is a higher standard than previous laws that allowed “several forms of non-photo IDS when applying to vote by mail, including utility bills and bank statements, which can be fabricated by anyone with a computer.”

I congratulate Ohio on requiring government-issued photo ID for the opportunity to vote. We live in a day where photo IDs are required in almost everything that we do: apply for Social Security, receive medical help, travel on airplanes, open a bank account. Anyone who suggests that requiring a photo ID to vote is voter suppression is grasping at straws. Recent changes in voter laws in Georgia show that the numbers of voters increased once election integrity was improved.

Government-issued photo ID requirements to vote will cause few problems in Ohio. “As Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose explained, ‘About 98% of Ohioans were already using either their driver license or state-issued photo ID care to vote in the 2022 election.”

Ohio’s election reform law was to ensure that the remaining 2% did not swing a close election. To make it easier for residents to obtain the photo IDs, the law provides for anyone age 17 years or older to receive a free government-issued photo ID. For noncitizens, the ID has a separate notation.

To balance election security with ample voting opportunities, the new law in Ohio codifies the use of ballot drop boxes.

Ohio’s law demonstrates the practical measures states can adopt to minimize the risk of drop boxes becoming a weak link in the chain of ballot custody.

The law dictates that drop boxes must be limited to one per county, placed on county board of elections property, and kept under constant video surveillance. The law further provides that ballots shall be collected form the box at least once  day, but only by a bipartisan team of election officials, who must report the number of ballots collected each business day.

Fitzhenry noted that Ohio’s new law has a weak link. It enables “the secretary of state to mail unsolicited absentee-ballot applications.”

Mail-in ballots remain more vulnerable to fraud and manipulation than in-person voting at a designated polling place since they are the only type of ballot that is voted outside the supervision of election officials and outside the observation of poll watchers.

While they should be made available to voters who will be unable to vote in person on Election Day or during any early-voting period because they are disabled or for other valid reasons, Ohio should not be pushing even more voters toward mail-in voting.

Despite his cautions about mail-in voting, Fitzhenry gave credit to Ohio’s Legislature, governor, and secretary of state. “They knew that even modest reforms would prompt unfair criticism of their motives. But their achievement, a more secure election process, will long outlast the criticism.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Who Supports the “Great Awokening” in Science and Medicine?

There is a “great awokening” that is spreading from the higher education system and into institutions across America. According to Jarrett Stepman, all Americans should be concerned because it is “transforming science and medicine.” 

A video of medical students at Columbia University reciting an updated version of the Hippocratic oath that injected elements of critical race theory made the rounds on social media recently. As many have noted, this “student-led initiative” sounds cult-like.

Fox News reported that “the August 2021 ceremony was the first time in the medical school’s 255-year history that the incoming medical students recited their personalized class oath, a spin on the Hippocratic Oath to ‘better reflect the values [students] wish to uphold as they enter their medical training.’” …

“We enter the profession of medicine with appreciation for the opportunity to build on the scientific and humanistic achievements of the past,” the oath begins. “We also recognize the acts and systems of oppression effected in the name of medicine. We take this oath of service to begin building a future grounded in truth, restoration, and equity to fulfill medicine’s capacity to liberate.”

Stepman’s suggestion for anyone having serious health problems: Look “for an older doctor.” He reported that the woke’s attempt to make temples of wokeness from the institutions of science and medicine. He said that the effort has become systemic as shown by a “recent report by the national Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.”

“Calls for the National Academies to pursue such a report had been building for years, the authors write, but took off after the murder of George Floyd and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests in 2020,” Star News reported. “The authors note that they first started with a literature review ‘to illuminate how historical policies, practices, and laws can have lasting effects’ and note that they use the term racism ‘because it is scientifically accurate … even if it makes readers uncomfortable.’”

The National Academies report doesn’t specifically cite critical race theory or the works of Ibram X. Kendi – the leading public proponent of “anti-racism” – but it clearly relies on a similar network of ideas.

The central premise of this ideology is that the United States and Western societies in general were founded in racism, that their basic institutions inculcate white supremacy, and that racial disparities in nearly any profession or societal outcome proves that structural racism exists. Therefore, it dodges the need to prove individual or literal acts of racism and instead pins the discrepancy of outcomes on “unconscious bias” and other structural barriers.

The report from the National Academies claims that “Racism is embedded in our society” and uses as evidence the racial disparities in careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. According to Kendi and others, the only way to correct the problem is to use anti-racism, which is another way of saying “racial discrimination against whites and Asians in the name of equity.”

The number of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs are taking over higher education. If there is any hope of saving America, we must act now to reverse the takeover of higher education. Otherwise, we will have so-called professionals who earned their degrees on the color of their skin rather than their skills and knowledge. If you want a preview of what it will look like, just take a look at our current Vice President and her communication and leadership skills. Politicians have long been chosen for the color of their skin and/or their sex. Do we really want our doctors to be chosen on that basis?

Monday, February 20, 2023

Who Is James O’Keefe?

My VIP for this week is James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas. Neil McCabe of One America News reported today that O’Keefe read a resignation letter to his staff and board members at the company’s headquarters, packed his stuff, and walked out the door. However,

R. C. Maxwell claims that O’Keefe was “removed” from Project Veritas by the Board of Directors. Some employees complained about the way that O’Keefe treated them. 

I do not know what the truth is or what really happened. I do wonder how Project Veritas will continue with James O’Keefe because he is Project Veritas. Rumors are that he was forced out of the company that he founded because he exposed corruption in drug companies. I expect that O’Keefe will pop up in another place and continue exposing corruption. I wish him good luck and God’s blessings as he fights to defend America from the secret combinations that are trying to destroy the Constitution and our American way of life.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

What Was George Washington’s Warning for America?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is George Washington, the man who oversaw the Constitutional Convention and brought legitimacy for the new Constitution. Washington was in a unique position among politicians because the people trusted him completely. He had proven beyond doubt that he was more interested in freedom and liberty than exalting himself to the position of all-powerful leader.

As you may remember, Washington led the military during the eight-year-long Revolutionary War. His soldiers loved him and supported him completely. He could have taken over the newly liberated nation by a military coup, but he did not. He voluntarily appeared before Congress to hand over his military power to civilian leaders and then attempted to return to civilian life.

Washington reluctantly agreed to attend the Constitutional Conventional, but he was quickly put in the position of leader – because the people trusted him. After the Constitution was written, signed, amended, and ratified, Washington was elected to be the first President of the United States unanimously – the only POTUS to receive every vote.  

Everyone wanted Washington to be the first POTUS because they knew that they could trust him to do the right thing for the country. After two terms as POTUS, he voluntarily stepped down and set the precedent of Presidents serving for two terms. As he was leaving office, Washington gave his famous “Farewell Address,” which he called “the disinterested warnings of a parting friend.” 

Verlan Lewis discussed Washington’s address in his article in the Deseret News because he believes the address holds an important message for Americans today. According to Lewis, Washington’s address was a plea for national unity. Remember, Washington had spent eight years during the Revolutionary War fighting for liberty, numerous months at the Constitutional Convention spiritually creating the United States of America, and another eight years as POTUS making the United States of America into reality. He was very mindful with each decision and action that he was setting precedents for future presidents. 

Lewis wrote, Washington was “worried that unfounded partisan animosities would unnecessarily divide Americans against each other, tempt them to overturn the Constitution and lead to demagoguery.” Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that we live in a nation where Washington’s worst nightmare has become reality.

We live in a time of rising partisan hostility, increasing anger among those who identify with a political party and a frightening willingness among partisans to use violence to get their way – or secede from the Union. How can Washington’s words help us in this day and age of partisan animosity?

First of all, we should remember Washington’s point that, as Americans, we have far more in common than the leaders of our political parties would like us to believe. Washington warned his fellow citizens against “designing men” who “endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.” …

The truth is that most Democrats and Republicans want the same things: Washington referred to these desires as “tranquility at home,” “peace abroad,” “safety,” “prosperity,” and “that very liberty which you so highly prize.” We should follow Washington’s counsel and turn off the hate-mongers on cable news and social media that misrepresent the views of those in the other party. Instead of insulting each other on Twitter or in the comments sections of online newspapers, we should have face-to-face conversations with people who identify with a different party and recognize their humanity.

Second, we should remember Washington’s exhortation to follow the political principles of the United States Constitution and the political outcomes produced by its mechanisms. Washington wrote that the Constitution “has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty.”

These constitutional principles of freedom include popular sovereignty, federalism, the separation of powers, individual rights and the rule of law….

Third, and finally, we should remember Washington’s insight that, while parties are inevitable, the kind of malicious partisanship described above is not. Washington encouraged Americans to restrain the harmful aspects of partisanship that, if left unchecked, can lead to populism, demagoguery, authoritarianism and tyranny.

Lewis’s article continues and has many other ideas. His bottom line is that our nation today is the exact case that Washington warned us to avoid. Our nation is “closely divided between two major parties,” who “transfer control of government back and forth.” The problem comes when politicians and individuals on each side seek to destroy their opponents rather than improve the nation with better government. The problem is not the two-party system, but the negative way that we treat each other.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Can Any of Us Become Perfect?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Matthew 5 and Luke 6 and a lesson titled “Blessed Are Ye.” The lesson was introduced with the following paragraph: 

By this point in His ministry, it was clear that Jesus’s teachings would be unlike what the people of His time were used to hearing. The poor will receive the kingdom of God? The meek will inherit the earth? Blessed are the persecuted? The scribes and Pharisees were not teaching such things. And yet those who truly understood God’s law recognized truth in the Savior’s words. “An eye for an eye” and “hate thine enemy” were lesser laws (Matthew 5:38, 43). But Jesus Christ had come to teach a higher law (see 3 Nephi 15:2-10), designed to help us one day become “perfect, even as [our] Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).  

As with most scripture blocks, there are several principles found in scriptures for this week. In fact, these chapters contain a famous presentation known as “The Sermon on the Mount,” which has a multitude of lessons in it. The principle that I wish to discuss tonight is found in the last verse of Matthew: “Does Heavenly Father really expect me to be perfect?” (Matthew 5:48).

Many of us, myself included, drive ourselves crazy trying to be perfect – the perfect spouse, the perfect parent, the perfect friend, or the perfect employee. It is impossible for us to become perfect in this life! However, we can become perfect in some ways. I am perfect at flossing my teeth every single day. I am perfect at paying a full tithing. I am perfect at living the law of chastity. However, there are many areas where I am not perfect and will not be perfect until a long time after I pass from this earth.

I studied the talk from which the following quote was taken and found it to be helpful to me to be less demanding of myself and of others. President Russell M. Nelson taught the following about the term perfect.

“The term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios, which means ‘complete.’ … The infinitive form of the verb is teleiono, which means ‘to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.’ Please note that the word does not imply ‘freedom from error’; it implies ‘achieving a distant objective.’ …

“… The Lord taught, ‘Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now … ; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected’ [Doctrine and Covenants 67:13].

“We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless. Perfection is pending. It can come in full only after the Resurrection and only through the Lord. It awaits all who love him and keep his commandments” (“Perfection Pending,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 86, 88).

Friday, February 17, 2023

Why Are Able-Bodied, Childless Adults Not Working for Benefits?

Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents teach the importance of work and self-reliance to their children. Work is not only the foundation for self-reliance, but it also builds self-esteem and self-worth. There is absolutely no reason why taxpayers should be taking care of healthy, able-bodied adults without children. However, such people are on the welfare rolls, according to Kevin Corinth. 

In an article published at the Deseret News, Corinth reported that the unemployment rate in the United States stands at 3.4%, the lowest rate in fifty years. Even though millions of employers are looking for employees, the Biden administration eliminated the work requirements for food stamp recipients, thus encouraging non-working adults to not look for work. Corinth encourages Congress to look at restoring work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as they seek ways to curb governmental spending.

Federal law requires that nondisabled recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 – who do not have children – must work or volunteer at least 80 hours per month in order to maintain SNAP benefits. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress justifiably suspended these work requirements as economic activity was shut down and unemployment soared to 14.7%.

The Biden administration has failed to end the public health emergency even though three years have passed since the pandemic began. Therefore, work requirements are not enforced even though workers are needed.

However, ending the public health emergency will not fully solve the problem. That’s because 18 states and territories containing 44% of the food stamp caseload have waivers in place that would prevent work requirements from taking effect even if the public health emergency ended today. These waivers are intended to protect beneficiaries when jobs are hard to find in a particular area, but their implementation suffers from major loopholes.

States qualify for waivers if their unemployment rates are just modestly higher than the national average – which has now reached a 54-year low – and they are calculated using out-of-date employment data. As a result, states with very low unemployment rates are currently covered by waivers, such as New Jersey (3.4%), Pennsylvania (3.9%), California (4.1%) and New York (4.3%). Among all states with work requirements waivers, Nevada is the only one with an unemployment rate above 5%.

The fact that work requirements are not being enforced when the national unemployment rate is the lowest in over a half a century defies economic logic. Economists frequently highlight the importance of tying the generosity of government assistance programs to the state of the economy. But that doesn’t just mean expanding generosity when jobs are hard to find. It also means restricting generosity when jobs are easier to come by.

According to Corinth, there are two big reasons why work requirements should be restored immediately. The first reason is the cost: “Working-age adults without disabilities or children drew $5.6 billion annually in food stamp benefits prior to the pandemic.” The cost is most likely higher now because “food stamp caseloads have risen and benefit amounts are higher.” Restoring work requirements would save money to use for more important purposes.

The second reason is that suspended work requirements interfere with “the Fed’s goal of stemming inflation without spurring a painful recession.” There is a worker shortage, which is made worse because the government fails to require able-bodied adults without children to work. The overall economy is harmed as well as the individuals who miss the benefits of work. There is no reason why working taxpayers should pay for benefits for healthy adults without children who are not working to provide for themselves.

Parents will prepare their children for adulthood if they teach them the value of work and how to work. Individuals who know how to work and who are willing to work bring strength to their families, communities, and nations.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Will the Southern Border Ever Be Secure Again?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the open southern border. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised the American people that he would hold hearing on the border at the border if Republicans gained the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, he made good on his promise when he took several freshman House Republicans to the border.

Those traveling with McCarthy to the Tucson sector were Juan Ciscomani (R-Arizona), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Oregon), Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia), and Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisconsin). The Tucson sector stretches across most of Arizona. This was McCarthy’s fourth trip in two years, according to Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal.

Customs and Border Protection agents briefed the congressional group about the border crisis and also gave them an aerial view of the border. One of the problems discussed during the briefing was the fentanyl crossing the border and killing Americans. 

Chavez-DeRemer said that people in Oregon are suffering from the fentanyl crisis even though Oregon is a long way from the border. “We had our largest drug bust in Oregon’s history … this past year.” She added that the seized drugs could “have killed 4.5 million people.” The delegates visiting the border all ran on securing the border, and they got to see how open the border is.

The delegation’s trip to the border comes just a couple [of] weeks after Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., filed new articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, saying in a press release that Mayorkas “is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border,” a sentiment which some lawmakers echoed at the border Thursday.

“It’s the policies of the Biden administration that have led to this crisis,” Van Orden said during the press conference at the border Thursday.

According to Customs and Border Protection reported that in fiscal year 2022 (end Sept. 30) a record 2.3 million land encounters with migrants at the southern border.” During the first four months of fiscal year 2023, there were more than “870,000 total encounters between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31.” The encounters with illegal aliens are on track to be more than in the previous year.

In addition to migrants crossing the border illegally, CBP seized “over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal year 2022 and more than 12,000 pounds between October and the end of January.”

Although the Biden White House called the congressional visits to the border “partisan publicity stunts,” McCarthy kept his promise to the voters. He wanted “to force Biden & the Dems to pay attention to the crisis they created.”

McCarthy’s plan worked because House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries plans to visit the border in Laredo, Texas, tomorrow with Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). The two leaders and other congressional members were in Midland, Texas, on Wednesday for a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

What Is Illegal Immigration Costing You?

I have written many posts about how illegal immigration is bad for America and Americans. As long-time readers know, I am a staunch proponent for secure borders complete with a wall or fence, electronic surveillance, and aerial surveillance. All of those tools would have helped Border Patrol deal with the five million illegal immigrants who have entered the United States over the past two years.

In an article published by The Daily Signal, Erin Dwinell outlined the costs of illegal immigration for every American. Here is a sample of the costs for the Biden administration making every state a border state. 

Annually, illegal immigration now costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year. For instance, in states far away from the southern border like Illinois, that cost was $4.59 billion in 2022. That’s $930 per household. Every year….

Border communities have long been overwhelmed under these policies. The crisis now costs California $21.76 billion and Texas $8.88 billion annually in education, health care, law enforcement and criminal justice system costs, welfare expenditures, and more….

At a rate of $65,116 per alien, New York City Mayor Eric Adams estimates his city will need to spend $2.8 billion in the next fiscal year to deal with the rapid influx.

In 2023, New Jersey will spend $15 million just to provide health care benefits to illegal alien children.

As of September 2022, Operation Lone Star – a statewide effort by Texas to decrease illegal crossings and crack down on human and drug trafficking – had cost Texas over $4 billion. That averages about $2.5 million per week.

As of July 2022, Colorado was on track to spend $12 million per year in state and local government benefits, professional licenses, and business permits for illegal aliens.

In March 2022, Oregon passed legislation establishing the Universal Representation Fund, providing $15 million in “free” legal services and representation for illegal aliens, primarily those facing deportation.

The above figures are just the economic costs. With the increasing crime levels, “there are sobering human costs.” For example, “crimes committed by illegal aliens have skyrocketed over the past two years in virtually every category, including homicide and manslaughter, robbery and theft, sexual offenses, and weapons and drug trafficking.”

It is impossible to put a price tag on the devastation to families and communities that crimes perpetrated by illegal aliens bring. In 2022 alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested 1,142 illegal aliens who were convicted of assault, battery, or domestic violence; 1,614 who were convicted of driving under the influence; and 2,239 who were convicted of drug possession and trafficking. Additionally, CBP arrested 62 illegal aliens convicted of homicide or manslaughter and 365 convicted of sexual offenses. In total in 2022, CBP arrested 12,028 illegal aliens who had been convicted for various crimes.

In addition to the economic and crime costs, Biden’s open border policies have allowed Mexican drug cartels to have a free pass at the border where terrorists cross unimpeded. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71,000 people lost their lives to fentanyl overdoses in 2021. All the fentanyl enters America at the southern border.

The United States cannot continue to suffer the economic, crime, and health costs caused by Biden’s open border policies. The Biden administration are, obviously, not going to do anything about the flood of migrants crossing into the United States. Our only hope is for Congress to defund the “radical, open-border operations” and “restore known, successful policies to secure our border and our country.” Hopefully, Americans will be wiser when we elect our next President!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Why Has China Become More Aggressive Against the United States?

Over the past three weeks, four aircraft were shot down over the United States. The first aircraft was a spy balloon from China, which was allowed to spend two days in the airspace over Alaska and a week traversing the continental United States before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4. A week after the spy balloon was shot down, three different aircraft were shot down – one over Alaska, one over the Yukon Territory in Canada, and one over Michigan – over the period of three days.

Most of the debris from the spy balloon was recovered, but nothing from the last three “objects” has been recovered. In fact, it is not known what the last three objects were or who sent them afloat. However, we do know that China is flexing its muscles towards America. In her article published at The Daily Signal, Samantha Aschieris gave the following quote: 

“China is brazenly pushing the limits, to see how far they can go. President [Joe] Biden’s administration has consistently demonstrated weakness, showing a willingness to act against adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party only after the public outcry was so deafening that they could not ignore it,” Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement.

“This situation is still developing, and the House Committee on Homeland Security will continue monitoring this incident as more information comes out and demand full transparency for the American people,” said Green, also a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

In addition to invading our sovereign airspace, Chinese nationals are invading our southern border and doing so in “exploding numbers.” According to an article by Virginia Allen published at The Daly Signal, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that 89 illegal aliens from China were encountered in January 2022. Last month, the number grew to 1,084. They also reported that the number of immigrants from Russia are also exploding with 1,030 in January 2022 and 4,509 in January 2023. 

People around the world obviously understand that the southern border of the United States is open. “Since fiscal year 2023 began Oct. 1, Customs and Border Protection says it has encountered 2,999 Chinese nationals on the southern border, outpacing the combined total of 2,626 for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.”

A third problem concerning national security and China is taking place at ground level. People and companies associated with the Chinese government are acquiring American land. “The Department of Agriculture is supposed to oversee foreign ownership of U.S. farmland and all such purchases are required by law to be reported to the USDA. It is unclear how much reporting has been done because the USDA’s Farm Service Agency mostly relies on volunteer reporting.”

Several members of Congress want more monitoring to be done about farmland being sold to foreigners. In his article published at The Daily Signal, Cal Thomas quoted the following from constitutional attorney John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute: 

As of 2021, foreign persons and entities owned 40.8 million acres of U.S. agricultural land, 47% of which was forestland, 29% in cropland, and 22% in pastureland. Foreign landholdings have increased by an average of 2.2 million acres per year since 2015.

Foreign countries also own over $7.4 trillion worth of U.S. debt, with Japan and China ranked as [the] two largest foreign holders of our debt.

I do not believe that it is wise to have foreigners buying our agricultural land, and I believe that it is stupid to be in dept to foreign nations, particularly foreign nations that are not friendly, such as China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea. Thomas explained, “A simple web search shows China owns and controls almost 192,000 acres of farmland in the United States.” Although they do not own a large percentage of the total farmland, the amount grows steadily.

A major problem as I see it is that fact that China is purchasing land near U.S. military bases. Americans are starting to wake up to the national security problem that faces us. The City Council in Grand Forks, North Dakota, recently voted – unanimously – to stop a Chinese company from purchasing a corn mill near a military base because the U.S. Air Force had security concerns about the purchase.

With the number of Chinese nationals crossing our southern border with increasing numbers each month, laws are being proposed to ban Chinese citizens from “purchasing land, homes, and other buildings in the United States,” according to Thomas. He concluded:

If balloons traversing the U.S. and Canada are not enough for us to get serious about China’s worldwide effort to replace the United States as a world power, conducting espionage at many levels and what looks like preparations to invade Taiwan as Beijing tests U.S. resolve, then what will get our attention to take stronger countermeasures?

The Chinese Communist Party oppresses its people, controls the press, discriminates against religious believers whose primary faith is not in the regime, refuses to hold fair elections, and jails and kills opponents. In this, they are not unlike Soviet Russia. They are today’s “evil empire.”

Beijing’s aggressive agenda must be opposed, or the threat will spread to the point we might not be able to deter them. Backing measures to keep China from buying up American land is a good place to start, even while monitoring the skies for more balloons.

China is our enemy, not just a competitor as the Biden administration states. More and more evidence is being uncovered to show that Joe Biden is a compromised president. Through the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, the Biden family has received millions of dollars from China. Are the business ties affecting the decisions that Biden makes as POTUS? Has he sold us down the river to China?