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, March 31, 2023

Is There An Education Revolution Taking Place in America?

Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents are appropriately involved in the lives of their children. One of the many ways that parents should be involved is in the education of their children. Yet, there are people in the United States who do not want parents to know what their children are learning in school. Obviously, the schools want to teach the children something for which the parents would not give their permission!

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 5 The Parents Bill of Rights Act last week. The Democrat-led U.S. Senate will not pass the bill, so it will never become law. However, it is good for Americans to know that Republicans want to remind school boards that parents are in charge of the education of their children.

Representative Rich McCormick (R-Georgia) is a Marine veteran and emergency room physician, and he recently wrote about the bill that he helped to pass. 

Last week, I had the honor of helping pass HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act, in Congress. Parents have a right to guide their child’s education and to know what’s being taught in the classroom, as moms and dads are reminding school boards across the country.

Our legislation puts parents in the driver’s seat, where they belong.

It’s hard to imagine who would fight against the tidal wave of support for parental rights and school choice these days. But earlier this month, Democratic state legislators in my home state of Georgia were trying to stop several successful bills that would expand education options for families. Shockingly, their reasoning was that disadvantaged families are too uneducated to have a say over their children’s schooling.

There is an educational revolution in the United States, and it is picking up speed. Parents are demanding that they have school choice and parental rights. No one has the right to stand between parents and their children. You can strengthen your family, community, and nation by standing up for parental rights in the education of their children and for school choice.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

What Is Happening to America?

Today the United States officially dropped to the level of a banana republic when a grand jury in Manhattan indicted former President Donald Trump. America is now a police state because the party in power is indicting the leader of the opposition party. Nations that have free and fair elections do not persecute and prosecute their political enemies – they do their best to win the most votes.

Since the Democrats in New York brought this indictment, it shows just how afraid they are that Trump will become POTUS again. However, they have almost guaranteed that Trump will become the Republican candidate with their ill-conceived idea to charge him with alleged crimes that exceed the statute of limitation. The Manhattan district attorney will most likely regret his attempt to “get Trump.” Glenn Beck explained what the indictment means to many Americans. 

He is a symbol of the average, everyday guy that keeps getting screwed every single time. Watches other people screw up big banks, screw up their companies, and get away with it…. They see people all the time doing stuff that they know if they did they’d be in prison for 20 years.

Donald Trump has taken arrow after arrow. And that’s why … this is the way the average American feels tonight [as he put on a MAGA cap] ….

This country is in shambles. And there’s gonna be a hundred million people that will walk on broken glass and through fire to vote for someone other than this corrupt banana republic administration.

What this is all about, I believe, is trying to inflame this country…. [Beck urged his listeners to] turn to God, repent, pray for our country, pray for peace, put on the full armor of God.

Seeing the path that America is taking, Beck predicted bad things in its future: war, currency collapse, new currency, and “a virtual police state” by 2025. Today is a sad day in American history. It is evidence that America is being destroyed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

What Do We Do About the Killers?

Most Americans have heard about the school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday. A 28-year-old woman took two rifles and a handgun to the school – chosen because it was less secure – and shot the glass out of the locked doors to gain entrance into the school. Once in the school she looked for victims on the ground floor and then went to the second floor to commence shooting. She killed three children (aged nine years) and three adults) before the police arrived and took out the shooter. 

I refuse to name the shooter, but I will name the victims: Evelyn Dieckhaus (9), Hallie Scruggs (9), William Kinney (9), Cynthia Peak (61), Katherine Koonce (60), and Mike Hill (61). I also send a shout-out to the police officers who answered the call of duty. The police department first received the 911 call at 10:13 a.m., and dozens of police officers responded. Two of the officers were Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, and they are credited with neutralizing the shooter.

As the nation struggles with the knowledge of another school shooting, liberal media outlets are showing their true colors. After the police chief noted that the shooter recently came out as transgender, the media outlets pivoted in their coverage of the event. Suddenly, news anchors began defending and advocating for the LGBTQ community and condemning Christians for their belief that homosexuality is wrong.

The Daily Mail reported that there were tensions between the shooter and her “devout Christian parents” because they had difficulty accepting that she was gay and transgender. The loner hit the fact that she had guns in her parents’ home. Since her parents refused to allow her to dress as a man in their home, she would wait until she left the house to change into men’s clothes. 

There are reports that several recent shooters were also transgender. Snopes investigated the matter and posted an article about it. The following is taken from their article. 

… In some cases, there’s no real way to know if some of the shooters identified as transgender or nonbinary – two were killed during their shootings, making it difficult to know how they identified at the time. In the Denver shooting, two shooters committed the crime, but only one has said he is transgender. And there’s no evidence that any of the shooters were activists, radical or otherwise….

The Colorado Springs nightclub shooting in November 2022 left five people dead and at least 19 other people injured. During the initial trial proceedings for the shooting in February 2023, the lead detective testified in court that the suspect had told her they were nonbinary….

In 2019, Denver shooter … killed one teenager and injured eight others in a school shooting. He partnered with another person … who was a current student at the school at the time. [The partner] described himself as transgender in court documents, and said that his targets for the shooting were classmates who mocked him for being that way….

[In the Aberdeen shootings in 2018] a shooter killed three people and injured three others. According to The Baltimore Sun, the shooter did identify as a transgender man who said in messages to friends that he wanted to begin “hormone treatment” soon.

At the time of this publication, no hard evidence existed proving or disproving that the Nashville Covenant School shooter, who killed six people, was transgender (police fatally shot the suspect). While the Nashville police chief had said authorities believed the shooter was transgender, the shooting was still being investigated, as of this writing.

Snopes also addressed the claim that “being transgender is a mental illness” that could turn a person into a mass shooter. Snopes then listed several sources for the claim.

Being transgender is not a mental illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and various medical centers, including the Cleveland Clinic. In terms of more recent mass shootings in 2023, such s the Michigan State University shooting in February 2023 that killed four people and left five people injured, or the Half Moon Bay shooting in January 2023 that left seven people killed and one person injured, there’s no evidence shooters were transgender.

WHO introduced a new category, “gender incongruence,” in 2019. It was defined by the organization at the time as “a condition relating to sexual health rather than a mental and behavioral disorder.”

Even though all killers may not be transgender, it appears that a large percentage of them are. Less than two percent (2%) than American adults are transgender, but it appears that more than 2% of the shooters are transgender.

I do not know what causes people to become transgender, but I do not know what causes people to become killers. There are some suggestions that the cross sex hormones may cause people to become violent. Other suggestions are that societal disapproval may drive them to become violent. We may never know what causes the violent behavior.

We do, however, know that shooters choose unprotected areas. Some of the most unprotected places are schools. In fact, many of them have signs proclaims that they are “gun free zones.” Instead of protecting the schools from deranged killers, too many politicians and regular Americans believe that guns are the problem. Well, guns do not kill people. Deranged killers kill people. I have lived around guns for my entire life, and not one of them has killed a person. It is past time to protect innocent children and other vulnerable people! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Are We in A Cold War with China?

Relationships between nations can be strange. During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies fighting together against the Axis powers. However, there was tension in the relationship because Americans were wary of communism and Russians resented the U.S. for its delay in entering the war. About 1946 or 1947 -- soon after the end of World War II -- the grievances between the United States and Russia ripened into mutual distrust and enmity.

The Cold War between the United States and Russia lasted for more than half of my life. There were periods when the Cold War would heat up but then would cool down. There were lots of threats of a hot war – such as the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Kennedy administration, but the war stayed cold enough to protect the peace of the world.

Soviet influence grew in Eastern Europe and then waned. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and issued a challenge: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” “In 1989, every other communist state in the region replaced its government with a noncommunist one.” By November 1989, the Berlin Wall was destroyed. “By 1991, the Soviet Union itself had fallen apart. The Cold War was over.” 

Many Americans are now concerned about a war with China as that nation flexes its muscles in the world. The political class does not recognize China’s relationship with the United States as anything besides competition. However, Former deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger believes differently.

Pottinger testified at a recent congressional hearing on China that things are not as the politicians would like us to believe. Even though America seeks peace and cooperation with China, “it does us little good to repeat again and again that we aren’t seeking a new Cold War with the [Chinese Communist Party] has been stealthily waging one against us for years.”

Andrew J. Harding, a research assistant in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, recently published an article in The Daily Signal about America’s relationship with China. He agreed with Pottinger assessment that China has been at war with America for years. 

It is time to acknowledge a simple reality: The Chinese Communist Party, both through its words and actions, has made it clear that it intends to overtake the United States and restructure the global order in its image.

The People’s Republic of China has viewed the U.S. as a strategic rival and long ago deployed cold war tactics against us, even as America opened its economy and its borders in a misguided engagement strategy.

The Heritage Foundation recently published a special report, “Winning the New Cold War: A Plan for Countering China.” The report “recognizes that China is an adversary and that the U.S. has entered a new cold war, though it will differ in important ways from the last one. China is, in some ways, a more capable adversary than the USSR ever was.” Harding continued with the following:

A cold war is defined as a “condition of rivalry, mistrust, and often open hostility short of violence,” generally applying to two global powers locked in an escalating rivalry across multiple domains – economics, technology, diplomacy, geopolitics – but absent direct military conflict.

“Winning the New Cold War” assesses the current situation between the U.S. and China and offers specific policy recommendations to deal with China’s increasing threat. The report consists of three parts.

Part I examines the state of the China-U.S. rivalry and the respective strengths and weaknesses of both countries….

In Part II, the report examines 48 fault lines within U.S.-China relations and offers over 100 specific policy recommendations meant to protect the homeland, secure and advance U.S. prosperity, reorient America’s defense posture, diminish the Chinese Communist Party’s influence and hold it accountable for its actions, and help the United States exercise global leadership….

In Part III, the special report examines steps necessary to implement the plan. It emphasizes cooperation and coordination between the executive and legislative branches, federal agencies and law enforcement, state and local governments, U.S. allies and partners, and the private sector.

Harding closes his article by reminding his readers that the “Chinese Communist Party has made it clear that it intends to restructure the global order in its image and its does not intend to let the United States stand in its way.” He explained, “Avoiding this fate will require a comprehensive plan of action, including going on the offensive to hold the People’s Republic of China accountable, diminish its capacity to harm the U.S., and win the New Cold War.” According to Harding, “America’s very future depends on” succeeding at the task as presented.

As I see it, America is already at a disadvantage because we have the Biden family who have been doing business with people in China connected to the communist party. We are in the beginning stages of discovering if President Joe Biden is compromised, and if he has sold America to China. The fact that hundreds of Chinese nationals are now crossing into the United States through our unsecured border does not bode well for us.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Who Are the People Who Believe in Traditional American Values?

My VIPs for this week are the American patriots who maintain the traditional American values, such as patriotism, religious faith, having children, and belonging to a community. The results of a recent Wall Street Journal survey were recently released, and they show a decline in Americans who consider such values important.

The poll was conducted with NORC at the University of Chicago, and pollsters surveyed 1,019 people between March 1 and 13, 2023. The results show nearly a third – 38% of Americans consider “patriotism” to be “very important” to them as compared to 70% in 1998. The results also show that about the same percentage – 39% consider “religion” to be “very important,” as compared to 62% in 1998. A smaller percentage—30% -- consider “raising children” to be “very important” compared to 59% in 1998 – 25 years ago.

However, we can tell that the values of participants are in the right place because 58% of those surveyed consider “tolerance” to be “very important,” this percentage is down from 80% in 2019. The only value that increased in importance to Americans –38% - was “money,” which was only 31% in 1998. In her article about the poll, Candace Hathaway shared the following.

The poll found that those under 30 were less likely than those 65 and older to hold traditional American values.

For example, only 23% of younger people stated that patriotism is “very important” while 59% of older people stated the same. Additionally, only 31% of those under 30 placed the same importance on faith, while 55% of those 65 and older agreed. Just 23% of young respondents valued having children as “very important,” while 32% of seniors stated the same.

The polling gaps largely fell along political party lines, with more Republicans than Democrats deeming traditional American values as important.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff attributed the “dramatic” shift in values to the recent contentious political climate. He stated that the recent poll “paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America.”

“Perhaps the toll of our political division, COVID and the lowest economic confidence in decades is having a startling effect on our core values,” McInturff told the WSJ.

The survey found that 63% of Americans do not want companies to take a stand on social and political issues. It also revealed that 43% of respondents feel that the country has “gone too far” with transgender issues, compared to 33% who feel society has not gone far enough. Additionally, half of Americans stated they do not like being asked to refer to someone by gender-neutral pronouns, such as “they” and “them.”

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Does Appropriate Discipline Stop Bad Behavior?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns safety and security. Governments are instituted by God for the benefit of the people. However, the people hold the power and cede to government power to do those things that the people cannot do for themselves.

One of those things is safety and security. The federal has the responsibility and authority to provide national security from domestic and foreign enemies. Local government has authority and authority to protect individuals with their police and fire departments. However, strange ideas have crept into public safety organizations.

Zack Smith, John G Malcolm, and Paul J. Larkin are legal scholars at The Heritage Foundation and recently published an article about public safety in The Daily Signal. They indicated that there are “twin myths” in the criminal justice system that they oppose. The two myths are “the criminal justice system is systematically racist” and “America has a mass incarceration problem.” They declare that the system is not systemically racist and that America does not have a mass incarceration problem. 

Heritage Foundation legal scholars have made clear that we oppose these positions in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings….

Because Heritage’s legal scholars possess a wide array of expertise – particularly in the area of criminal justice – we frequently are asked to give speeches and to participate in debates, which we gladly do.

We occasionally are asked to serve on committees by legal organizations such as the American Law Institute, The Florida Bar, and the Council on Criminal Justice, which we also gladly do. (The three of us, in fact, have served as advisers to these and other legal organizations.)

Such activity is a service to the bar and contributes to the lively intellectual debates that lawyers frequently engage in – and that ultimately serve the public good by leading to better policy outcomes.

These legal organizations solicit input from a variety of individuals across the ideological spectrum on different topics related to criminal justice. They also frequently issue reports containing data, observations, and recommendations while listing individuals who provided input.

The authors explained that their services on law-related committees are given as individuals and in their compacity as legal scholars. “The final work product is often, if not most often, the result of compromise.” The authors indicated that they rarely agree with all the final recommendations and sometimes do not agree with any of them. They stated that the committees “typically make this internal disagreement clear,” but news articles are often – sometimes deliberately -- misleading about who agrees with the recommendations. They gave the following example to educate their readers. (Emphasis added.)

For instance, the headline of a recent article in Law 360 blares: “Bipartisan Report Recommends Axing Mandatory Minimums.” It then notes all of those who participated, including “a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.” That fellow was one of us.

The article, intentionally or not, gives the impression that all committee members and/or The Heritage Foundation endorsed all of the recommendations. This despite the fact that the report in question clearly states that task force members “participate … in their individual, not institutional capacities, and professional affiliations included in Task Force Reports do not imply institutional endorsement.” The report also states that task force members do “not necessarily [agree with] every finding and recommendation.”

Nothing could be further from the truth than the article’s impression of unanimity.

The authors explained that the article in Law 360 does not include “the fact that several committee members, although not required to do so, wrote separately to highlight their own issues with the report’s recommendations.

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) was one of the committee members who wrote a separate statement. He explicitly stated that he continues “to believe mandatory minimum prison sentences are appropriate in crimes of violence.” Gowdy was a prosecutor before being elected to Congress, and he made clear that there “are other recommendations upon which my views differ from the consensus of the larger Task Force.” (Emphasis added.)

Despite inaccurate news articles about the results of such committee, the authors stated that legal scholars from The Heritage Foundation will continue to serve on them. However, they wish to make clear that their participation “should not be misconstrued as tacit support for all recommendations coming out of those committees or task forces.” When they agree, they will say so. When they disagree, they will say so.

They concluded with this statement: “Heritage’s writing and scholarship on the importance of holding violent offenders accountable with appropriately lengthy sentences speaks for itself. And that’s indisputable.” (Emphasis added.)

There is a true fact that applies to public safety and rearing children: Any behavior that is rewarded will be repeated. If we want good behavior, then we must reward good behavior. If we allow children or criminals to get away with bad behavior, they will repeat it. If bad behavior results in appropriate discipline, then the bad behavior stops. The bottom line is that most children who are disciplined appropriately grow up to be law-abiding citizens. The bottom line is that most children who are disciplined appropriately grow up to be law-abiding citizens.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Who Are the Certain Women of Our Day?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Matthew 13 and Luke 8; 13 for a lesson titled “Who Hath Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear.” The lesson was preceded by the following counsel: “As you read Matthew 13 and Luke 8; 13, think about how you will prepare yourself to ‘hear’ and appreciate the Savior’s teachings in these parables. What will you do to apply these teachings in your life?”

There are two powerful questions in the above paragraph. How do we prepare to be taught spiritual things and how will we apply them. I encourage all of us to prepare to be taught by the Spirit and to have spiritual experiences because I know that they come from preparation for them. Also, we must consider how we will apply such teachings because we will be held accountable for what we know and do. Where “much is given, much is required” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:3).

The lesson block contains many parables and other teachings of the Savior. The lesson was introduced with the following information. 

Some of the Savior’s most memorable teachings were in the form of simple stories called parables. These were more than just interesting anecdotes about ordinary objects or events. They contained profound truths about the kingdom of God for those who were spiritually prepared. One of the first parables recorded in the New Testament – the parable of the sower (see Matthew 13:3-23) – invites us to examine our readiness to receive God’s word. “For whosoever receiveth,” Jesus declared, “to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:10 [in Matthew 13:12, footnote a]). So as we prepare to study the Savior’s parables – or any of His teachings – a good place to start is to examine our hearts and determine whether we are giving the word of God “good ground” (Matthew 13:8) in which to grow, blossom, flourish, and produce fruit that will bless us and our families in abundance.

There are many interesting topics in the scripture block that we could discuss, but I feel prompted to discuss information found in Luke 8:1-3. I will first share the information in the scriptures and then discuss it.

1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, [emphasis added]

3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

The scripture tells us who some of those “certain women” were and then tells us that they “ministered to him of their substance.” So, in what ways did “certain women” minister to the Savior? The following statement comes from Daughters in My Kingdom:

Female disciples traveled with Jesus and the Twelve, learning from [Jesus] spiritually and serving Him temporally…. In addition to receiving Jesus’s ministering – the glad tidings of His gospel and the blessings of His healing power – these women ministered to Him, imparting their substance and devotion (2017, 4).

Sister Linda K. Burton, then-Relief Society General President, spoke to the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the April 2017 General Conference. She titled her talk “Certain Women,” and she spoke of many of the women who ministered to Jesus Christ during His mortality and at His death. She reminded her listeners that certain women were with the Savior in His travels, but they were also there at the foot of His cross and at His tomb early in the morning on the first Easter.

I have read and passed over the seemingly unremarkable expression “certain women” numerous times before, but recently as I pondered more carefully, those words seemed to jump off the page. Consider these synonyms of one meaning of the word certain as connected to faithful, certain women: “convinced,” “positive,” “confident,” “firm,” “definite,” “assured,” and “dependable.”

As I pondered those powerful descriptors, I remembered two of those New Testament certain women who bore positive, confident, firm, assured testimonies of the Savior. Though they, like us, were imperfect women, their witness is inspiring.

Remember the unnamed woman at the well who invited others to come and see what she had learned of the Savior? She bore her certain witness in the form of a question: “Is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29). Her testimony and invitation were so compelling that “many … believed on him” (John 4:39).

Following the death of her brother, Lazarus, Martha, the beloved disciple and friend of the Lord, declared with what must have been great emotion, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Consider her certainty as she continued, “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” She further testified, “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:21-22, 27).

We learn from these sisters that certain women are disciples centered in the Savior Jesus Christ and have hope through the promise of His atoning sacrifice (“Certain Women,” April 2017). Certain Women (

We now know some of the certain women who followed and administered to Jesus Christ. Who are the certain women of our day? In the October 1992 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Howard W. Hunter spoke to the women of the Church and shared ways that certain women would act in our day.

It must be comforting to you beloved sisters of his Church to remember that this same Jesus, our Savior through the Atonement, demonstrated his love and concern for the women of his time. He enjoyed the company of women and had close friends among them. One of his great parables was about ten virgins….

Is there any reason to think that he cares any less about women today? ...

As special witnesses of our Savior, we have been given the awesome assignment to administer the affairs of his church and kingdom and to minister to his daughters and his sons wherever they are on the face of the earth. By reason of our call to testify, govern, and minister, it is required of us that despite age, infirmity, exhaustion, and feelings of inadequacy, we do the work he has given us to do, to the last breath of our lives.

As our Lord and Savior needed the women of his time for a comforting hand, a listening ear, a believing heart, a kind look, an encouraging word, loyalty – even in his hour of humiliation, agony, and death – so we, his servants all across the Church, need you, the women of the Church, to stand with us and for us in stemming the tide of evil that threatens to engulf us. Together we must stand faithful and firm in the faith against superior numbers of other-minded people. It seems to me that there is a great need to rally the women of the Church to stand with and for the Brethren in stemming the tide of evil that surrounds us and in moving forward the work of our Savior. Nephi said, “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men, [women, and children]” (2 Nephi 31:20). Obedient to him we are a majority. But only together can we accomplish the work he has given us to do and be prepared for the day when we shall see him. [Emphasis added.]

As we labor with our might to minister to needs in the same caring way that our Lord met those of the women of his day, so we entreat you to minister with your powerful influence for good in strengthening our families, our church, and our communities. (“To the Women of the Church,” November 1992) To the Women of the Church (

Most of us know some of the certain women of our day. How do we become one of them? President Hunter told us how we can become certain women. He said that the Brethren need certain women of our day to support and sustain the Brethren. We can do this by listening to their counsel and drawing closer to the Savior. We can strengthen our families, the Church, and our communities. We can minister to the people that are in our sphere of influence. We can strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and stand firm in our testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to be one of the certain women of our day. Will you join me?

Friday, March 24, 2023

Do Parents Have the Right to Know What Their Children Are Being Taught?

Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents are involved in the education of their children. However, many school districts seek to keep parents unaware of the school curriculum, budgets, and other materials used in teaching the children.

The U.S. House of Representatives is attempting to give more rights to parents. On Friday, the House passed the Parents Bill of Rights Act. The bill will most likely go no where in the Senate or being signed by President Joe Biden. However, it does show that Republicans want to help parents and children. The bill was approved in the House by a vote of 213 to 208 after several amendment votes and floor debate from both Democrats and Republicans.

Before the November 2022 mid-term election, current Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and other House members made the commitment to support the rights of parents in education, and the House vote showed that they were serious. Joshua Lee explained why the Republicans passed the bill and what would happen if the bill became law. 

Republicans engaged on the issue of parental involvement in schools after controversies erupted over the past few years across the country over what children are taught in school. Democrats have criticized the GOP over the issue, saying that they are turning classrooms into political battlefields.

If the Parents Bill of Rights Act becomes law, it would require schools to publicly post their curriculum, and would also require a list of all books and other supplementary reading material in school libraries to be made public.

School boards would be required to listen to parents’ concerns and schools would need to facilitate a minimum of two parent-teacher meetings a year. Additionally, schools would need to disclose their expenses and revenues as well as alert parents to any violence at school events, among other mandates.

A few Republicans did not vote for the bill, claiming that they supported the goal of the bill but not the means of bringing it about. They support giving parents more control over the education of their children, but they support the constitutional principle of separation of powers between the federal government and state governments.

Even though parents have a “God-given right to be involved in their children’s education” as Representative Burgess Owens (R-Utah) said, giving more power to the federal government is not according to the Constitution. In fact, anyone who knows the Constitution knows that education is not mentioned in it. They also know that the Constitution gives a limited list of powers to the federal government and leaves everything else to the states or to the people themselves.

Education decisions should be made in the local school districts rather than by the federal government. It is in the local area that parents can have the most influence in the debate about education. If the local school boards are not listening to the parents, then parents should band together to elect someone who will listen to them. Parents should be involved in the education of their children, and they can strengthen their family, community, and nation by doing so.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Why Are Asian-Americans and Oregon Counties Leaving Democrats?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns a movement away from leftist policies. Rumors are that even former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi bought a home in Florida.

San Francisco has been a home of progressive politics for many years, but Asian-Americans are being alienated by radical, far-left politics. This is a bad thing for San Francisco because Asian-Americans make up one-third of the residents of the city. The growing “discontent” among the Asian-American community is shaking up the politics of San Francisco, according to Kyung Lah, a CNN national correspondent. Chris Enloe published the following in an article at 

Community organizer Forrest Liu recently spoke with Lah about the sentiment within his community. He explained that Asian-Americans awoke to the reality of their city when the COVID-19 pandemic hit three years ago. That’s when his community learned they were not as safe as they though, that city leaders did not listen to them, and progressive politics had ruined the education system.

Allene Jue, a mother who supported the ouster of three far-left school board members, explained in no uncertain terms why Asian-Americans are abandoning the Democratic Party.

“I think they have gone too extreme to the left,” she told Lah of Democrats. “I think we need to get back to the basics and focus on making sure that the cities are safe, making sure we have high-quality education.”

Jue explained, “I know of folks that have traditionally voted Democrat that are now voting Republican because they do not feel that the Democratic Party is representing them.”

Enroe wrote that civil rights attorney Charles Zhang agreed that Democrats have problem with the Asian-American community, calling the San Francisco phenomenon as a bellwether for Democrats nationally. “You saw a substantial double-digit erosion of support from Asian-Americans from this midterm election to 2018, and, incidentally, it’s not just Asian-Americans. You saw the same something among Hispanic voters,” Zhang told Lah.

In addition to the Asian-Americans in San Francisco and Hispanics across the nation leaving the Democrat Party, the leftist policies of Oregon are pushing eleven rural counties in Oregon to seek secession into “Greater Idaho.” They recently voted to support ballot measures to begin discussions about the possibility of secession. The more conservative residents of the Eastern counties “are frustrated with Portland’s politics and no longer feel that the state is unified,” according to Candace Hathaway in her discussion of this problem in another article published at “Oregon has not elected a Republican governor in 40 years.” 

Corey Cook, an eastern Oregon resident, told a reporter for [the New York Times], “To say that I’m an Oregonian is a geographic truth, but it doesn’t really have meaning to me the way that it did before I lived in eastern Oregon.”

“Oregon is not a unified state to me any more,” Cook stated.

James Nash, a Marine Corps veteran and eastern Oregon resident, told the Times, “Eastern Oregon largely gets treated as western Oregon’s playground.”

The “Greater Idaho” movement has gained traction with residents fed up with the west’s radical, left-leaning policies. The movement seeks to incorporate 13 Oregon counties within Idaho’s borders.

If the secession measure were to pass, Idaho would gain 63% of Oregon’s landmass and 9% of its population.

Will Joe Biden and the Democrats continue to appease the Progressives and Democratic Socialist who are pushing him left and lose more blocks of voters? Or will Democrats see “the writing on the wall” and make changes in their policies? One thing is sure: they will continue to lie on everything that they can. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Should Social Security Be Reformed?

Most Americans have known for numerous years that Social Security and Medicare are in financial trouble. However, politicians avoid reforming them due to political pressure to keep them as they are. Things may be changing, but first some history, which I have taken from this site

The Social Security Act of 1935 legislated the collection of payroll tax to be credited to an “account” known as Social Security. The law included instructions for the Secretary of Treasury to invest any funds collected that were not needed for “current withdrawals.” The law became effective in January 1937, and monthly benefits began in January 1940. “Payroll taxes were just credits in the Social Security account on the Treasury’s ledger under the initial law.”

The Social Security Act was amended in 1939 to establish a formal trust fund and to require “annual reports on the actuarial status of the fund.” Credits that were already on the federal records would be transferred to the new trust fund along with future revenues. The investments of the trust fund are a mix of marketable and non-marketable Treasury securities.

Since the assets in the Social Security trust funds consists of Treasury securities, this means that the taxes collected under the Social Security payroll tax are in effect being lent to the federal government to be expended for whatever present purposes the government requires. In this indirect sense, one could say that the Social Security trust funds are being spent for non-Social Security purposes. However, all this really means is that the trust funds hold their assets in the form of Treasury securities.

These financing procedures have not changed in any fundamental way since payroll taxes were first collected in 1937. What has changed, however, is the accounting procedures used in federal budgeting when it comes to the Social Security Trust Funds.

When the Social Security program was first set up, “its transactions were reported by the administration as a separate function in the budget” – known as being “off-budget.” In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson changed the budget presentation to include “Social Security and all other trust funds in a ‘unified budget’” – known as being “on-budget.”

I learned something from reading the above history. I had previously heard that the government was using Social Security taxes to run the government, which it is doing indirectly but not directly as I thought.

We can now discuss the willingness of politicians to consider reforming Social Security and Medicare. Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke recently to college students at Washington and Lee University and discussed why “commonsense” reforms should be made to Social Security and Medicare. 

If we act in this moment with the support of this generation, we can introduce commonsense reforms that will never touch anyone who is in retirement, or anyone who will retire in the next 25 years….

President [Joe] Biden won’t even discuss commonsense reforms of Social Security and Medicare, and too many leaders in my political party take the same position…. If that frustrates you, good – it should, because it’ll be your generation that’s robbed of your dreams and opportunities.

Prior to the event, Pence spoke about the topic with reporters and added other thoughts that had to do with making commonsense changes to a law that was legislated in 1935 – nearly 90 years ago.

I cannot endorse voices in our party today that simply want to walk past the problem of national debt by pledging to never touch Social Security and Medicare. The truth is we’ve got candidates for president today that are saying the very same thing that Joe Biden is saying. And that’s just unacceptable. And so I am going to continue to be a voice in my party for saying that there is a way for us to advance commonsense and compassionate reforms to Social Security and Medicare that will put our nation back on a path towards fiscal solvency.

Pence may be preparing to announce his candidacy for president in the 2024 election. However, his idea that Social Security and Medicare can be reformed in a commonsense type of way to take care of the people today, in the next 25 years, and beyond. Most of all, we should all be willing to discuss ways to bring fiscal solvency to our nation. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

What Do Trump’s Legal Problems Have to Do with All Americans?

Former President Donald Trump apparently was not arrested today. At least, I have not seen it on the internet or heard it on the news. However, I have heard many people exclaim that all Americans are in danger if Trump is elected. If the Left can arrest Trump, they can come for any of us.

Whether one likes it or not, Trump is absolutely correct when he says, “They are not coming for me. They are coming for you, and I am standing in the way.” If Trump was suddenly out of the picture, the Left would come stronger at all Americans. We all should be grateful that Trump is at least slowing them down!

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, understands that all Americans should be concerned about the potential arrest and indictment of Donald Trump. In an article published at The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Troutman reported on a recent interview that Roberts had with Charlie Kirk on “The Charlie Kirk Show.” During the interview, Roberts said, “If I encounter someone who isn’t as grateful for [Trump] as you and I and your audience are, I say it doesn’t matter because if this can happen to him, it can happen to all of us.” 

Trump announced over the weekend that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday – today. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has led a grand jury investigation into something that happened during the 2016 presidential election – alleged hush money paid on Trump’s behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Roberts, and many other people, believe that the time is now to evaluate the FBI and overhaul the left-wing system of justice. He declared that the people on the Right needs to understand that the people on the Left hates them and their beliefs. “What we’re calling for is for sober-minded, conservative Americans, centrists who don’t care who their political candidate is, to go take action in fixing this problem rather than just sitting around stroking our beards and writing op-eds about it.”

Kirk co-founded Turning Point USA and directs the training of young conservative leaders. He agreed with Roberts that America is standing at a crossroads. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear what is happening in America understand the same thing. We can either move forward to another civil war, or we can learn to work together for the good of America.

Of course, working for the good of America assumes that people love America and its Constitution and want to make the nation stronger. Anyone who has no bias can see that America is much worse off now than we were two years ago.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Why Do Democrats Hate Trump Like They Do?

My VIP for this week is Donald J. Trump, former President of the United States and candidate in the 2024 presidential election. I chose Trump for my VIP because he announced on Saturday that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday (tomorrow). Manhattan’s district attorney may single-handedly propel Trump to a landslide victory. On the other hand, he may end his own career for allowing his hatred for Trump to override his better judgment.

The basis for Trump’s arrest took place in 2016. X-rated actress Stormy Daniels threatened to go public about an affair that she had with Trump. He denies any such affair, but he did pay $130,000 to Daniels as hush money.

According to Chris Enloe at The Blaze, Jonathan Turley, a professor at the George Washington School of Law, called the case “pathetic” in a piece about the case. 

Bragg is struggling to twist state laws to effectively prosecute a federal case long ago rejected by the Justice Department…. In 2018 (yes, that is how long this theory has been around), I wrote how difficult such a federal case would be under existing election laws. Now, six years later, the same theory may be shoehorned into a state claim.

After quoting the above paragraph, Enloe proceeded to explain why he agreed with Turley that the case is pathetic. He explained that there are several reasons for Turley calling the case pathetic.

First, so-called “hush money” payments are not necessarily illegal, and the federal government has a poor track record of prosecuting similar cases.

Second, former Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. dismissed the viability of the legal course that Bragg is now charting.

Third, and most important, “Bragg himself previously expressed doubts about the case, effectively shutting it down soon after he took office,” Turley wrote.

Turley considers the case to be “patently political prosecution,” and he is not alone. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy agrees.

“Bragg is engaged in bare-naked politics. The case is not merely unworthy as a prosecution of Trump (which is why federal prosecutors walked away from it years ago, as did Bragg before he was pressured by progressive Democrats into reviving it); it is also a case that everyone knows Bragg would never bring against another other than Trump,” McCarthy wrote.

Donald Trump was friends with all the Democrats until he announced his intention to run for President of the United States in 2016. Since that time, Democrats and progressives are united in their attempt to “get Trump” in any way possible. First, there was the “Russia collusion case. Then there were the two attempts to remove Trump from office. Then there was the FBI raid on Trump’s home. Now AG Bragg is attempting to combine a state law with a federal law to put Trump in jail.

All the efforts of the Democrats and progressive beg the question: Why are they so afraid for Trump to be President of the United States? What are they hiding from Americans? All their efforts to keep Trump out of the Oval Office propel me to support him.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Has the U.S.A. Become A Banana Republic?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is equal justice under the law. The basic principle is that all individuals should be treated in exactly the same manner by the law. At the same time, all individuals should be subject to the same laws. All people are equal before the law, and all people are entitled to equal protection of the law without any discrimination.

Equal justice before the law is a bedrock principle of the United States and has been in force since the founding days of our nation. However, a two-tier justice system has come into being with Donald Trump and his supporters being treated differently than Democrats and their supports. Some obvious examples are: (1) Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was raided to obtain classified materials, while Joe Biden was allowed to have his attorneys search for classified materials. Black Lives Matter rioters were bailed out of jail with funds raised by then-Senator Kamala Harris, while January 6 protesters were arrested and kept in prison with no bail available. Congress has bank statements showing that Biden’s family received money from China – and Trump faces indictment for a six-year old misdemeanor.

Trump shared a leaked message that he was due to be arrested on Tuesday. Mary Margaret Olohan wrote the following in her article published by The Daily Signal. 

The post refers to charges from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office reportedly related to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed that she had an affair with Trump in 2016 and that she received $130,000 in hush money payments form the former president.

Trump has denied that he had an affair with Daniels, who was formerly represented by disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti. The former president sued Daniels for defamation and a judge ultimately ordered that she pay him almost $300,000.

Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations regarding a $130,000 payment to Daniels, which Trump reimbursed, toward the end of the 2016 campaign. Attorney Craig Engle wrote for The Daily Signal that Cohen actually did not violate campaign finance laws.

I am not defending or justifying Trump in any of his behavior. I am simply pointing out that there is a two-tier justice system in the United States, one system applies to Trump and his supporters and the other applies to other people. This fact can no longer be denied. The fact that we have two tiers in our justice system means that we have fallen to the level of banana republics.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

How Can We Avoid Being Hypocrites?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Matthew 11-12 and Luke 11 and a lesson titled “I Will Give You Rest.” The lesson was receded with the following counsel from President Dallin H. Oaks: “The scriptures, which are the revelations of the past, cannot be understood without the openness to the revelations of the present…. A study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations” (“Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 7). The lesson was then introduced with the following information:

In many ways, the Pharisees and scribes had made worshipping Jehovah burdensome. They often emphasized strict rules over eternal truths. Rules about the Sabbath day, which was meant to be a day of rest, were themselves a heavy burden.

And then, Jehovah Himself came among His people. He taught them that the true purpose of religion is not to create burdens but to relieve them. He taught that God gives us commandments, including the one to honor the Sabbath, not to oppress us but to bless us. Yes, the way to God is strait and narrow, but the Lord came to announce that we need not walk it alone. “Come unto me,” He pleaded. His invitation, to all who feel “heavy laden” for any reason, is to stand beside Him, to bind ourselves to Him, and to let Him share our burdens. His promise is “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Compared to the alternatives – trying to carry on alone or relying on mortal solutions – His “yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30.)

As the scripture blocks for the lessons contain too many principles to discuss in one blog post, I feel prompted to write on a principle found in Matthew 12:34-37 and Luke 11:33-44: “My words and actions reflect what is in my heart.” The Savior often criticized the Pharisees as trying to appear righteous while having impure intentions. First, we will look at what the scriptures say, with the account given in Mathew 12:34-37 first.

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

In Luke 11:33-44, Jesus Christ charges the Pharisees of acting with great hypocrisy in several ways.

37 And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner.

39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

We can understand from the two scripture blocks that Jesus Christ does not approve of people who pretend to be righteous but are not righteous in their hearts. The Savior’s words in Matthew 12:34 are “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” The most important place for us to be our real selves is in our homes. Our children hear our words and see our behaviors. If we speak and behave differently at home than we do in the community, our children will know the difference. We must learn to communicate with honesty and integrity.

When we practice effective communication, we are more able to enjoy the company of other people, share our own thoughts and feelings, and strengthen relationships with love and commitment. Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the following about family relationships:

To be effective, family communication must be an exchange of feelings and information. Doors of communication will swing open in the home if members will realize time and participation on the part of all are necessary ingredients. In family discussions, differences should not be ignored, but should be weighed and evaluated calmly. One’s point or opinion usually is not as important as a healthy, continuing relationship. Courtesy and respect in listening and responding during discussions are basic in proper dialogue. As we learn to participate together in meaningful associations, we are able to convey our thoughts of love, dependence, and interest. When we are inclined to give up in despair in our efforts to communicate because other family members have failed to respond, perhaps we would do well not to give up, but rather to give and take in our conversations. How important it is to know how to disagree with another’s point of view without being disagreeable. How important it is to have discussion periods ahead of decisions. Jones Stephens wrote, “I have learned that the head does not hear anything until the heart has listened, and that what the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.” (“Family Communication,” Ensign, May 1976). 

Later in the talk, Elder Ashton taught: “If we would know true love and understanding one for another, we must realize that communication is more than a sharing of words. It is the wise sharing of emotions, feelings, and concerns. It is the sharing of oneself totally. It is the sharing of oneself totally” (Ensign, May 1976, 52).