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, April 23, 2024

When Is Surrogacy An Evil Act?

There are many couples who long for a family but learn that one or both of them are infertile. A large number of infertile couples attempt other means to have a family, such as invitro treatment, adoptions, or surrogacy. When the action is blessed and a healthy child is the result, the happy couple and all their family and friends rejoice.

In most cases, the child is also blessed to be in a loving family. However, there are some cases where the child is abused, and some where the abuse is planned long before the child is born. Emma Waters reported on such a case in her article published in The Daily Signal

In a recent sting operation, the FBI arrested and charged a Chicago man for knowingly distributing material on child sexual assault and boasting about sexually abusing his young nieces and nephews.

The man’s arrest came less than a week before he and another man identified as his husband were set to collect their newborn son from a commercial surrogate in California.

Commercial surrogacy is a contractual agreement where someone pays a woman to gestate and birth an unrelated child for a fee. In the United States, it’s an underregulated and unaccountable practice. Unlike adoption, the intended parents are not required to undergo a background check or home visit.

Male same-sex couples or single men, who lack a womb in their fruitless arrangements, make up a large percentage of this industry’s clients. Morally, the inclusion of a third person in the package deal of marriage, sex, and procreation violates God’s “one flesh” vision.

Proponents tend to frame surrogacy as a beautiful experience in which a woman helps someone complete a chosen family. This overlooks serious concerns. Critics point out that surrogacy is effectively a form of baby-selling that exploits women who need financial assistance. Moreover, the practice flourishes when loose laws allow bad actors to create children.

Unfortunately, as the recent FBI arrest shows, these aren’t hypothetical concerns. Here are the all-too real details:

Adam Stafford King, a well-known Chicago veterinarian and dog breeder, was intercepted by the FBI when agents seized another pedophile’s phone and gained access to his messaging accounts on Telegram and Scruff.

King openly discussed how he preferred boys in the “single digits” and planned to sexually abuse his surrogate-born son. King sent photos of his son’s sonogram and newborn outfit in anticipation of the sexual abuse.

King’s husband and extended family claim they had no knowledge of this. The surrogate-born son, who may not be related to either man, was born around March 29. Unless a court intervened, King’s husband planned to collect the newborn child and raise him at his parents’ house for the time being.

If King and his husband were a one-time experience, it would be bad enough. However, there are other times that “men with a history of sexual abuse or pedophilic behavior” gained control of a child through surrogacy. Waters told of another couple:

A few months ago, the well-known You Tuber Shane Dawson and his partner created twin boys through a surrogacy contract. Dawson has admitted to masturbating to pictures of minors and googling child pornography. Such behavior made it unlikely that Dawson and his partner could pass an adoption screening, yet a surrogacy contract was no problem.

As children’s rights activist Katy Faust details, there is a growing list of men who have a history of child sexual abuse or intend to abuse their own child gained through surrogacy. And these are just the ones we know about.

Waters shared “one final, haunting question: What about the children?” No one seems to care about “what is best for the child?” Some problems include the following: 

1) The child is likely to never know his biological mother as such cases involve “an anonymous egg donor selected from a catalog.” The baby recognizes his gestational mother’s voice, disposition, and body but is handed to someone that is unrelated. 

2) Children who are reared by male partners are “at least 11 times more likely to suffer sexual or physical abuse as unrelated men frequent the home.” 

3) The child will eventually understand that he came from the process of in vitro fertilization, where parents can “eugenically select the kind of child they want,” including the sex of the embryo. 

4) The child will be forced with realization that “he was not conceived in a loving union but purchased through a highly lucrative contract” – not much different than purchasing a child after birth.

Michigan and Minnesota are two states that have made commercial surrogacy easier. Instead of legalizing “the buying and selling of children,” state and national laws “should encourage, whenever possible, married mothers and fathers to raise their children.” The laws should not legalize ways to abuse children.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Who Is Liz Truss?

My VIP for this week is Liz Truss, former British Prime Minister. She spoke today at The Heritage Foundation about challenges faced by both the United States and the United Kingdom from the Global Left, their extremist activists, and the power they hold. In her speech, she “warned that conservatives must create a stronger infrastructure to take on the Left – which is well-funded, activist, and has many friends in high places – by recruiting more conservative activists and candidates who can fight in the trenches in the ideological war that we now face.” Some of the excerpts from her remarks are as follows as published in The Daily Signal

Why am I launching “Ten Years to Save the West” in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom? Well, I like to think of the United States of America as Britain’s greatest invention, albeit a slightly inadvertent invention. And if you look at our history, from Magna Carta to the Bill of Rights to the American Constitution, we have developed and perfected representative democracy.

And if you look at what is going on in our societies, first of all, the Brexit vote back in 2016 and then the election of President Donald Trump later that year, you can see the same desires of our people for change and the same desires for those conservative values and that sovereignty.

And if you look at the battle for conservatism now and the frequency with which we get new prime ministers in the United Kingdom and the frequency with which you get new speakers of the House here in the United States, we can see again that there is a battle for the heart and soul of conservatism on both sides of the Atlantic. And I think that battle is very important. Because, let’s be honest, we have not been winning against the global Left.

If you look at the history since the turn of the millennium, the Left have had the upper hand. And it’s not the old-fashioned Left who used to argue about the means of production and economic inequality. It’s the new Left who have insidious ideas that challenge our very way of life.

Whether it’s about climate extremism that doesn’t believe in economic growth, whether it’s about challenging the very idea of a man and a woman and biological sex, whether it’s about the human rights culture that’s been bedded into so much of our society that makes us unable to deal with illegal immigration – those new ideas have been promulgated by the global Left and they have been successful in infiltrating quite a large proportion of society and a large part of our institutions.

Truss then discussed the state of economics, the immigration and human rights culture, wokery, the fluidity of gender, the non-reality of biological sex, and biological boys in girls dressing rooms. She discussed the stopping of coal-fired power stations in the U.S., discouragement of [liquefied natural gas] terminals being built, and the stopping of fracking in the United Kingdom. She continued with the imposition of electric vehicles, air-source heat pumps, extra taxes on the public, and coal-fired power stations being built in China.

Truss spoke about other reasons why the West is in trouble and why conservatives should learn better ways of defending the Constitution and the American way of life. She concluded with the following message.

But my final message is that winning in 2025 or winning in 2024 and going into government in 2025 is not enough. It’s not enough just to win. It’s not enough just to have those conservative policies. That there will be huge resistance from the administrative state and from a Left in politics that has never been more extremist or more virulent.

And that is why it will need all the resources of the American conservative movement, think tanks like Heritage, and hopefully your allies in the United Kingdom to succeed. But you must succeed because the free world needs you.


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Why Should America Come First for U.S. Congress?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the concept that Americans politicians should put America first. According to Simon Hankinson in an article published in The Daily Signal, a recent poll shows that 11 percent of swing-state voters believe that the funding Ukraine is more important than securing the American borders. Congress approved a bill last week to send more money to Ukraine even though we have already spent up to $113 billion.

The United States is experiencing “an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration” – more than 11 million migrants have crossed illegally into the United States during the Biden administration. Yet, the current administration continues to spend more money on Ukraine than on securing our own border.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas asked for fewer Border Patrol agents, fentanyl-detecting equipment, and detention beds than he previously argued were needed. To make matters worse, he wants a $4.7 billion “Southwest Border Contingency” slush fund that experience tells us he will spend in as many more illegal aliens as possible while he still can.

At the same time of the Mayorkas’ requests, Congress was passing a “huge supplemental foreign-aid package comprising individual funding bills for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine, plus a fourth bill with sanctions against Iran and Russia.”

Congressional leaders continue to promise legislation to close the border, but the borders are still open. The promises are empty promises. Congress and President Biden are failing America and American citizens while they are giving away the country to foreigners.

Unlike the empty promises of Congress and Biden, Donald Trump promises to put “America First.” We can believe Trump because he put America first for four years, and we had peace and prosperity – unlike the wars and rumors of war, economic damage, and foreign policy embarrassment of the Biden administration.

The Trump administration and the Biden administration show us two types of leadership. One leader put America first, and one put everyone else first. If you can see the truthfulness in this statement, I hope that you will have the fortitude to vote for Trump.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Does God Prepare the Way Before You?

 My Come Follow Me studies for this week took me to an interesting section of the Book of Mormon. The section is only eight pages long, but those eight pages cover one-third of the Book of Mormon time period, 476 years out of 1,021 years. This lesson is titled “He Worketh in Me to Do According to His Will” (Enos through Words of Mormon). It was introduced with the following information.

Although Enos went to the forest to hunt beasts to satisfy physical hunger, he ended up staying there all day and into the night because his “soul hungered.” This hunger led Enos to “raise [his] voice high that it reached the heavens.” He described this experience as a wrestle before God (see Enos 1:2-4). From Enos we learn that prayer is a sincere effort to draw near to God and seek to know His will. When you pray with this intent, you are more likely to discover, as Enos did, that God hears you and truly cares about you, your loved ones, and even your enemies (see Enos 1:4-17). When you know His will, you are better able to do His will. Like Mormon, you may “not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things …; wherefore, he worketh in [you] to do according to his will” (Words of Mormon 1:7).

Enos is the first of numerous writers for this portion of the Book of Mormon, and Mormon is the final writer of it. The principle that I feel prompted to discuss comes from Words of Mormon 1:1-8: “God will work through me as I follow His guidance.”

Mormon was in the process of abridging hundreds of years of ancient history when he came upon a few pages now known as the Small Plates of Nephi. These plates contain the material found in the current Book of Mormon books of First Nephi, Second Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, and Words of Mormon.

Mormon took the Small Plates of Nephi and placed them behind his abridgment from the Large Plates of Nephi of the same period of time. Here is the story in Mormon’s own words (Words of Mormon 1:3-7:

3 And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.

4 And the things which are upon these plates pleasing me, because of the prophecies of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have bene fulfilled; yea, and I also know that as many things as have been prophesied concerning us down to this day have been fulfilled, and as many as go beyond this day must surely come to pass—

5 Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.

6 But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.

7 And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

One reason the Lord inspired Mormon to include the small plates of Nephi in the Book of Mormon was because He knew that the first 116 translated pages would be lost (see Doctrine and Covenants 10; Saints, volume 1, chapter 5). Without Mormon’s obedience to the prompting to include the Small Plates, the Book of Mormon would be missing its first 144 pages.

Heavenly Father knows what happened in the past, what happens in the present day, and what will happen in the future. He prepared the way for us to have the rich lessons of Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob as well as strong testimonies of other writers. God knew that we would need those lessons and acted to protect them.

God has the power to use either good people or evil people to bring about His will. In this case, He worked through His prophet. Have you seen the hand of God working through you or someone that you know?



Friday, April 19, 2024

Does Identity Change Between Premortal, Mortal, and Eternal Worlds?

Families, communities, and nations are stronger when boys are allowed to be boys and girls are allowed to be girls without compulsion or influence to feel that they are the opposite sex. Gender issues are much in the news and have been for a few years. That could be one of the reasons why the prophets and apostles of God made a clear statement about gender in 1995. The first two paragraphs of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” are as follows: 

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings – male and female – are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

According to modern-day prophets and apostles, the word of the Lord states that our gender was essential in our premortal identity, is essential to our mortal identity, and will be essential to our eternal identity. It does not make sense that our identity changes from premortal to mortal and will change from mortal to eternal. It does make sense that a female in the premortal life will be born a female into the mortal life and pass through the veil to eternity as a female.

I suppose that a “quirk of nature” could happen once in a million or a billion cases. However, we now have hundreds, thousands of people believing that they were born with the wrong gender. I do not believe that there is room for that many “quirks of nature.”

According to Katelynn Richardson, there is a recent report published with the results of a four-year review about prescribing puberty blockers to children with gender dysphoria. The National Health Service England commissioned the review, and the review undermined the recommendations of major medical associations about the matter. 

The report is known as The Cass Report and was conducted by Dr. Hilary Cass, a pediatrician and former president of the U.K.’s Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health. Dr. Cass’s review “found only ‘weak evidence’ for offering puberty blockers to children.”

Cass concluded that her findings, released April 10, “raise questions about the quality of currently available guidelines” offered by associations such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and Endocrine Society, yet neither organization has committed to reviewing their guidelines.

The review recommends against treating children with puberty blockers outside of a research setting. It also urged “extreme caution” for providing cross-sex hormones to minors under 18 and stressed the need for a “clear clinical rationale.”

The review further suggested a “full programme of research be established” to “look at the characteristics, interventions, and outcomes of every young person presenting to the NHS [National Health Service] gender services.”

Although a diagnosis of gender dysphoria has been seen as necessary for initiating medical treatment, it is not reliably predictive of whether that young person will have longstanding gender incongruence in the future, or whether medical intervention will be the best option for them,” The Cass Report noted.

The American Medical Association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Endocrine Society did not respond to multiple inquiries over the past week from the Daily Caller News Foundation asking whether they had concerns with the report’s findings or intended to conduct their own review.

Aside from WPATH, these organizations largely have failed to address the report publicly. In a written statement, the transgender health organization said it “supports policies that increase access to high-quality ethical care for transgender youth” and claimed that the report is rooted in a “false premise.”

Because American health and medical associations have not made public statement, pressure should be put on them to do their own reviews to determine the truth about the gender situation.

Meanwhile, American parents and children should be wise enough to pay some attention to the information in The Cass Report. Since gender is essential to our mortal and eternal identities, families, communities, and nations are stronger when adults and children know their own identities.


Should Haitians Be Allowed to Immigrate into America?

The Biden administration is not content to destroy the United States by allowing illegal immigrants to invade our nation. It is also pushing President Luis Abinader of the tiny nation of Dominican Republic “to accept 3 million Haitians.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) wrote that foreign officials tell him that their perception of the Biden administration is that “It’s better to be the United States’ enemy than its friend.” He wrote in his article published in The Daily Signal the “bad foreign policy” of the Biden administration encourages “chaos in our own region of the world.” He continued: 

Just look at what’s happening in the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean nation is facing extraordinary migratory pressure from neighboring Haiti, which has all but collapsed into anarchy. President Luis Abinader has made it clear he will protect Dominican sovereignty by enforcing deportations.

Yet the Biden administration, influenced by radical left-wing groups like Amnesty International, is pushing Abinader to accept 3 million Haitians at any moment. This is unfair to the Dominican Republic, a developing nation with limited resources that is already bearing significant burdens on Haiti’s behalf. Anyone who doubts this should consider the fact that more than a third of all births in the Dominican Republic are currently to Haitian citizens.

But encouraging illegal mass migration is also unfair to our country. The Biden administration seems unaware that many Haitians view the Dominican Republic as a steppingstone to Puerto Rico – and that a well-established smuggling ring to facilitate that journey already exists. Because our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico have their own fiscal constraints, illegal migrants who reach the U.S. territory would likely move on to the continental United States.

Like most Americans, I recognize that what is happening in Haiti is horrible and tragic. The breakdown of law and order, the displacement of more than 300,000 people, and the need of roughly 5 million for some form of aid – all of these are matters of grave concern.

Rubio showed his concern in several ways: (1) supported “the international peacekeeping mission that Kenya proposes to lead once Haiti has established a provisional government.

(2) “reintroduced legislation to preserve U.S. trade benefits for Haitian manufacturers, which could prove a lifeline to legitimate Haitian businesses in this time of crisis.” He then continued with his article.

But, like most Americans, I also recognize that no country should experience illegal mass migration – not the Dominican Republic, and not the United States. Illegal mass migration does no good for the nation people are migrating from.

When all able-bodied, law-abiding citizens leave their homeland, there is no one left to defend it from criminals and tyrants – and no one left to provide for the vulnerable who remain there. On a more fundamental level, though, I cannot support illegal mass migration because the job of elected officials is to protect their citizens first, not anyone else’s.

This is why I have asked the State Department to prioritize U.S. citizens trapped in Haiti, as well as their adopted Haitian children. Moreover, it’s why we cannot allow Haitian citizens to surge across our borders….

The tragedy in Haiti is great, but it’s no excuse for letting these threats increase.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What Is the Reason for the Senate Dismissal of a Trial for Mayorkas?

A historical precedent was set today when the United States Senate dismissed the House of Representatives’ impeachment case against Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary. According to Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal, the result was 51-48 on a party-line vote.

The interesting point to me is that my senior senator voted “present.” Then the Senate voted 51-49 to reject the second charge against Mayorkas. Since the Democrats hold a majority in the Senate because three independents vote with them, the only slight surprise is Murkowski, the fake Republican, a real RINO.

In dismissing the case, the Senate ended a year-long attempt by the House to hold Mayorkas accountable for the illegal immigration invasion at America’s southern border. According to Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal, Republicans had something to say about the situation.

·         Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas): “Democrats concluded that Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas’ defying federal law, ignoring the text of the [immigration] statute, deliberately releasing criminal illegal aliens over and over and over again, that’s just hunky-dory.” He warned that the dismissal “sends a message to other members of the Cabinet.

·         Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) declared the trial of Mayorkas to be unnecessary because it represents “the least legitimate, least substantive, and most politicized impeachment trial ever in the history of the United States.” He declared that the charges made by the House “fail to meet the high standards of high crimes and misdemeanors” and a “dangerous precedent” would be made for the future if the Senate validated the “gross abuse by the House.”

·         Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) did not agree with Schumer. He told his colleagues from the Senate floor after the vote that “it does not make any difference whether our friends on the other side thought [Mayorkas] should have been impeached or not.

“He was [impeached]. And by doing what we just did, we have in effect ignored the directions of the House, which were to have a trial…. This is a day that’s not a proud day in the history of the Senate.

·         Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) lamented on the Senate floor after the vote that “nothing like this has ever occurred.

“We’ve been given a duty, we’ve been given the sole, exclusive power to try all impeachments. Try all impeachments…. Not some of them, not just those with which we happen to agree, not just those that we are happy that the House of Representatives undertook to prosecute, but all.”

·         Representative Mark Green (R-Tennessee), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the following in a written statement after the Senate dismissed the case:

“However, just as Secretary Mayorkas has grievously failed in his constitutional duty, now so has the Senate…. Instead of addressing the serious charges against Secretary Mayorkas, the upper chamber has chosen to neglect its responsibility. This is an unprecedented failure by the Senate to do its duty, which, for the first time in our history, has outright refused to conduct an impeachment trial when given the opportunity to do so.”

Once again, Democrats showed that they are not interested in protecting Democracy. They are willing to break any law or precedence if it furthers their agenda.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How Should the Supreme Court Read 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2)?

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today in the case of Joseph Fischer, who is challenging a criminal prosecution for being in the Capitol on January 6, 2021. According to Seth Lucas at The Heritage Foundation, it is possible that the results from the Fischer case will “affect the pending federal indictment against former President Donald Trump in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.” Lucas reported the following: 

Although the case that the court heard Tuesday is about what happened on Jan. 6, the court isn’t going to decide whether Jan. 6 was a peaceful protest or an insurrection. Instead, the court agreed to hear Fischer’s case to decide a different question; namely, whether Fischer can be prosecuted under a federal law that forbids corruptly obstructing an official proceeding.

Rules about how to interpret a statute – think textualism – will therefore play a far greater role in the court’s decision than the justices’ views on whether an insurrection occurred.

In a discussion about 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), one of the laws that Fischer is charged with violating – “whoever corruptly … or otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.” The charge was dismissed by the U.S. District Court, but it was reinstated by a “divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Fischer asked the Supreme Court to take his case and to rule on the meaning of Section 1512(c). His attorney, Jeffrey Green with the Northwestern Supreme Court Practicum, “urged the court to read Section 1512(c)(2) narrowly.” He then explained the reason for his request.

Congress passed Section 1512(c) … in the wake of the Enron financial scandal to prohibit tampering with evidence to be used in an official proceeding. Congress later added subsection (c)(2) to cover the gaps in the original statute and ban other forms of impairment.

By using “otherwise,” he argued, subsection (c)(2) was limited to similar kinds of obstructions as those that Section 1512(c)(1) – which covers tampering with documents or other objects with the intent to impair their integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding – sought to prohibit.

The solicitor general countered that subsection (c)(2) defined a different crime than subsection (c)(1), arguing that Section 1512 covers both tampering with evidence and obstructing an official proceeding. Under the government’s interpretation, Section 1512(c)(2) covers not only destroying documents that might be used in an investigation, but also attempting to impede Congress’ certification of election results.

With the above information as a foundation, the justices sought to “understand the relationship between the two subsections.”

·         Justice Sonia Sotomayor wondered “why the statute was not like a movie theater sign that read, “[Y]ou will be kicked out of the theater if you photograph or record the actions or otherwise disrupt the performance.” She noted that yelling was different from recording a performance, but both acts would result in being kicked out of the theater.

·         Justice Amy Coney Barrett wondered if the government could use the statute to prove that “Fischer did try to obstruct the delivery of Electoral College certificates.” Green said no because there is a difference between changing or altering a document and trying to stop a vote count.

·         Justice Samuel Alito observed that the statute could be read broadly or narrowly, but a broad reading might be “more straightforward.”

The justices asked Green lots of questions, but “they appeared more skeptical of the government’s broad reading of Section 1512(c)(2). There were enough justices who seemed willing to look at Section 1512(c)(2) narrowly. However, Lucas emphasized that even a decisive win would not mean freedom for Fischer and other Jan. 6 defendants. They still have other charges to face. Lucas noted that a win for Fischer “could affect special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump.” He reasoned further:

Smith has charged Trump with obstructing and impeding the electoral vote certification in violation of Section 1512(c)(2). A ruling that Section 1512(c)(2) is limited to obstructions of investigations, for instance, could make Smith’s efforts to convict the former president under that statute much harder, if not impossible. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Who Is Robert Greenway?

My VIP for this week is Robert Greenway, a former member of the National Security Council and current director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation. As most Americans know, Iran sent more than 300 drones and missiles toward Israel Saturday night/Sunday morning Israeli time.

Together, the Iron Dome, David’s sling, and fighter planes from the United States, Great Britain, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia shot down 95 percent of the drones and missiles. The only injury reported is a 10-year-old girl who was hit by shrapnel.

Leaders in Israel say the nation will respond to Iran’s attack but will do so in its own time and in its chosen way. As the world waits to see what Israel does, Greenway offered his ideas.

I can see a number of scenarios in which this does escalate to a regional and potentially even a global conflict…. I can see fewer ay in which we prevent that from occurring….

[If a larger conflict is to be avoided in the Middle East, the U.S. will need] to radically alter its policy and approach toward Iran and Israel….

[U.S. policy changes toward Iran should include] to deny it the resources necessary, and to restore deterrence, with the support of Israel and our partners and allies.

In a podcast with Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal, Greenway explained the options that Israel has as it considers its response to Iran’s attack over the weekend. He included how U.S. Middle East foreign policy is affecting the conflict. When asked the response that he expects from the White House, Greenway replied:

Well, I don’t know that this administration has a long range of options to consider against Iran. It’s this sort of policy that it’s pursued remarkably consistently and unfortunately, ill-advised, is to appease Iran and attempt to encourage them toward better behavior. The “don’t, don’t, don’t” which again and again, as we’re watching them do, do, do.

And so, in this case, I don’t think the administration is going to take action other than to constrain Israel, unfortunately, who has now been attacked in an unprecedented way for the first time from Iran and has to respond publicly because the attack was public. What that looks like, I think we’ll find out in the coming days, perhaps weeks, before the full range and decision is made on their end.

But I think the U.S. decision and the announcement to say so publicly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I think at this point we ought to be preserving our communications for our enemies and providing support and assistance to our friends. In this case, we’re warning Israel not to act any further as opposed to Iran that just launched an unprecedented number of missiles, drones at our closest ally in the region.

And so I think what we can expect is Israel’s response will come. I think it may take the other side of Passover for that to happen, but there’s no question that they have to respond because this was done on an international stage. And their response has to be equally visible to all in order to restore deterrence so that you don’t have a new red line, which is that any time Iran feels like it’s been slighted or it’s been attacked, then it has the right to launch hundreds of projectiles across several countries into a sovereign state without risking a response.

And I think the U.S. role here is ill-advised, it ought to be to discourage Iran and to encourage Israel to restore deterrence. We ought to be supporting them in that effort.

Allen asked several other questions about what Israel’s response might be and how it would affect the United States. You can find the rest of the podcast here. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Should Non-Citizens Vote in Elections?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is an announced legislation to require proof of citizenship to vote. According to Fred Lucas, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) was standing next to former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last Friday when he announced legislation to protect the voting right of citizens. Lucas reported the following about the meeting.

Johnson said that polling showed 78% of Americans supported requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to vote. He suggested he would put the bill straight to the full House for a vote, bypassing the committee process.

“When we put this bill on the floor, you’re going to see a recorded vote by Republicans and Democrats. You’ll see that Republicans stand for election integrity,” Johnson said. “We’ll be able to ask this very important question of the Democrats. They are going to have to go on record. Do you believe that Americans and Americans alone should be the ones who vote in American elections? We are about to find out.”

According to Lucas, 7.2 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States since Biden was inaugurated. That makes a lot of people who could make a difference in the results of our elections. Lucas noted that Trump addressed both issues when he spoke.

“We have a border that’s open. We have a lot of problems in our country. We have an election problem and that’s really what we’re here to talk about today,” Trump said. “I would like to demand that our border be closed because we have millions of people coming into our country, millions and millions of people at levels that nobody is reporting, nobody is going to talk about.”

Johnson indicated that the new legislation would require state to clean up their voter rolls to remove noncitizens from their databases, which come from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. He also stated that the border crisis today results from many actions taken by Biden. In answer to constant questions about why, Johnson said the following.

“Because they want to turn these people into voters. Right now the administration is encouraging illegals to go to their local welfare office to sign up for benefits. Guess what? When you go to a welfare office, they also ask if you would like to register to vote. Many people, we think, are going to do that.”

Biden’s direction to every agency of the federal government, including social service offices, was meant to boost voter registration. That direction was made in early 2021, so several million illegal immigrants may already be registered to vote in American elections.

Lucas noted that the House is acting on other legislation to try to control the damage of having too many people in the nation illegally. The House is also working on legislation to require a question about citizenship on the Census form. This legislation would also stop the counting of noncitizens when making congressional maps.

Lucas wrote that he has written a book “The Myth of Voter Suppression” that “details how several watchdog groups found voter registration rolls filled with ineligible foreign citizens, dead people, and people who have long moved out of a state.” These unlawful voter names are still on the rolls “despite the National Voter Registration requirement to update voting lists.”

Saturday, April 13, 2024

What Can We Learn from Jacob 5?

My Come Follow Me studies for this week took me to Jacob 5-7 in a lesson titled “The Lord Labors with Us.” The lesson was introduced with the following information. 

There are many, many people who haven’t yet heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the task of gathering them into the Lord’s Church, what Jacob said about olive trees in Jacob 5 has a reassuring reminder: the vineyard belongs to the Lord. He has given each of us a small area to assist in His work – our family, our circle of friends, our sphere of influence. And sometimes the first person we help gather is ourselves. But we are never alone in this work, for the Lord of the vineyard labors alongside His servants (see Jacob 5:72). God knows and loves His children, and He will prepare a way for each of them to hear His gospel, even those who have rejected Him in the past (see Jacob 4:15-18). And then, when the work is done, all those who have been “diligent in laboring with [Him] … shall have joy with [Him] because of the fruit of [His] vineyard” (Jacob 5:75).

The principle I have chosen to discuss tonight is “Jesus Christ is the Lord of the vineyard” (Jacob 5). This chapter is a story with symbolic meaning. It describes trees, fruit, and laborers. However, it is actually teaching about how God interacts with His people throughout history. Some of the symbols in the story are as follow: Lord of the vineyard (Jesus Christ), vineyard (the world), the time olive tree (Israel or those who have made covenants with God; see Jacob 5:3). There are other symbols. As you read Jacob 5, look for what the wild olive trees, good and bad fruit, and other symbols represent. It may be helpful to understand that Jacob 5 is all about gathering the children of Israel.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced a short video titled “Jacob Teaches the Allegory of the Olive Trees” (Gospel Library). It is about six minutes long and teaches how to care for olive trees. 

President Russell M. Nelson taught, “Anytime you do anything that helps anyone – on either side of the veil – take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel. It is a s simple as that” (“Hope of Israel” [worldwide youth devotional, Juen 3, 2018],

What can you do to help gather Israel? What do you feel the Lord would have you do today in His vineyard? There is work enough for all of us. The Lord will reward us for service in His vineyard (Jacob 5:75). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught that the Lord loves effort. We will be blessed for our efforts no matter whether we succeed in our efforts or not. The first person that we should gather to Jesus Christ is ourselves. Once we become valiant workers in His vineyard, we will be helping to gather His children. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Is the Federal Government Spying on You?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the fact that Americans should be free from the government spying on us. We learned through the “Russia, Russia” investigation of Trump that the FBI and the federal intelligence agencies had been working secretly to keep Donald Trump from being elected President of the United States in 2016. Then they continued to sabotage his presidency. They did this under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Now, a two-year extension of FISA is up for a vote in the House of Representatives. Tucker Carlson, founder of Tucker Carlson Network, authored an article that was later edited for length and published at The Daily Signal

Tucker described how we learned that the federal government and intelligence agencies were spying on Trump without a warrant. First, he “whispered about this, then shouted about it, was roundly denounced as a conspiracy nut, a lunatic. But in the end, he was vindicated. It was true.” Tucker continued:

These agencies spied on Trump, and they leaked some of what they learned to the media, which used it against Trump. Then these agencies concocted false stories about Trump. They tried to crush Trump completely in 2016 and then for the entire course of his presidency. Then they did the same thing in 2020 during the presidential election.

And they’re doing it still. They’re trying to put him in prison for the rest of his life. So if we take three steps back, what you have here is what we’re seeing now.

For the third time in three consecutive cycles, secretive federal agencies are trying to rig our presidential election. This is what the Democrats refer to as democracy, and they’re trying to defend it. But of course, it’s the opposite of democracy. It’s, in fact, the end of democracy in any semblance of a constitutional republic we ever had. 

If you have a secret police force threatening people, spying on them, and working secretly the levers of political power, then you don’t have a democracy. You have no control over really anything as a voter.

Tucker explained that the House vote on FISA is to be made tomorrow, and members of the FBI and the intelligence agencies have been lobbying members of the House of Representatives. He likened this activity to an FBI agent coming to your house on election day and forcing you to vote for their favored candidate.

Tucker blamed what is happening in our nation on liars in Congress. He said that the House intel committee is a pawn of the intelligence agencies. Tucker said that he knows the intelligence agencies are spying on Americans because they spied on him for daring to text with a foreigner. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Will He or Won’t He?

Warning: Do not hold your breath because you might die – but President Joe Biden is considering executive action to secure the border. Yes, the same southern border that he opened on his first day in office. The same border that he had insisted was secure for three years – until the border crisis hit him in the face. 

In an interview, Biden said that “he is considering taking executive action to secure the southern border. When asked if he had made a final decision about what to do at the border, Biden said that his administration is still “examining whether or not I have that power.” He had the power to open the border. What makes him think that he might lack the authority to close it?

Biden thinks that he needs Congress to pass legislation to give him power to close the border. “There’s no guarantee that I have that power all by myself without legislation,” Biden said. He must not remember that Donald Trump closed the border without legislation. However, Biden is fearful that the Supreme Court will shut him down, but he does not worry about being shut down when canceling student loans illegally.

So, no one should get too excited about what Biden might do. He has not closed the board in more than three years when he had the same exact power – the same power that Trump used to secure the border.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Why Should I Pay for My Tuition and for Your Tuition?

We have a President who does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than a year ago in June 2023, the Supreme Court struck down Joe Biden’s previous initiative to cancel student loans. Now Biden is trying it again.

On Monday, Biden announced that he had a plan to cancel at least $5,000 for over 10 million Americans with student loans. Seven Republican attorneys general said “not so fast” by filing a lawsuit today against the new student loan forgiveness plan. Kate Anderson wrote about the situation in an article published in The Daily Signal. 

… Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey of Missouri filed a lawsuit alongside Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma, arguing that the president’s plan was unconstitutional and “illegal.”

“With the stroke of his pen, Joe Biden is attempting to saddle working Missourians with a half trillion dollars in college debt. The United States Constitution makes clear that the President lacks the authority to unilaterally ‘cancel’ student loan debt for millions of Americans without express permission from Congress,” Bailey said in a press release.

“The President does not get to thwart the Constitution when it suits is political agenda. I’m filing suit to halt his brazen attempt to curry favor with some citizens by forcing others to shoulder their debts. The Constitution will continue to mean something as long as I’m Attorney General.”

The president’s new plan focuses on low-and-middle income Americans and those who attended a “low-financial-value” institution, who will now be able to enroll in an “income-driven repayment plan.” The plan has been criticized for ignoring the Supreme Court’s 2023 decision that struck down the president’s unilateral forgiveness of student debt through the Department of Education’s emergency authority.

The lawsuit, citing the Supreme Court ruling, argues that Biden and his administration are attempting “to sidestep the Constitution” and “impose drastic, costly policy changes on the American people without their consent.”

“Yet again, the President is unilaterally trying to impose an extraordinarily expensive and controversial policy that he could not get through Congress,” the lawsuit reads.

The president announced in March that he was canceling almost $6 billion in student loan debt for teachers, nurses and firefighters, among others through Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The administration has canceled student debt for roughly four million Americans to the tune of $146 billion through executive actions.

Bidon’s plan to cancel student loans for select groups of students is unfair to the millions of other students who paid their own college expenses. It is unfair to the millions of people who did not go to college but will be forced to pay the student loans for those who did go to college. It is unfair for the students who have their loans cancelled because they will never learn the lesson: If you take out a loan, YOU are responsible to repay the money.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Who Is Mike McDonnell?

My VIP for this week is Mike McDonnell, Nebraska state senator. McDonnell is transitioning from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party after being a Democrat for 40 years. S. A. McCarthy at The Daily Signal reported the following: 

In a written statement explaining his decision, McDonnell wrote: “I have asked the Democratic Party to respect my religious based pro-life position. Instead over the last year they have decided to punish me for being pro-life.”

Last month, the Nebraska Democratic Party voted to censure McDonnell, a Catholic, over his pro-life record, contending that his stance “adversely affected the reproductive rights of Nebraskans and the rights of transgender individuals in the state.”

Douglas County Democrats also voted in January to deny party funding to McDonnell due to his votes against abortion measures and against gender-transitioning procedures for minors.

“The state Democratic Party voted to censure me because I am pro-life,” McDonnell wrote.

“Being a Christian, a member of the Roman Catholic Church and pro-life is more important to me than being a registered Democrat. Today I am changing my party affiliation to Republican.”

Sunday, April 7, 2024

How Do States Overcome Woke Agenda?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday s school choice. In Oklahoma, the state superintendent is currently battling with the teachers unions over the woke agenda. According to Noah Slayter at The Daily Signal, Ryan Walters told Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, “Listen, we’re going to have school choice. We’re going to bring back parents’ rights. We’re going to focus on the basics.” 

Walters was interviewed on the “The Kevin Roberts Show” podcast where Roberts and Walters “discussed how Walters has taken on the teachers unions in the schools, fought against woke curricula, and brought parents back into the classroom.”

The superintendent said he focused his campaign on fighting for “the will of parents” and focusing on student excellence through school choice and returning to the use of test scores in schools.

Walters stated that his department’s focus is not allowing “wokeism to dominate another day.” He said, “We [the Department of Education] don’t want the teachers unions in our schools. We want the power to be shifted back to the parents.”

You can watch the full interview at this site to “learn how Oklahoma is fighting to take education back from the Left.” 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

What Do You Do with Your Riches?

My Come Follow Me studies for this week took me to Jacob 1-4 in a lesson titled “Be Reconciled unto God through the Atonement of Christ.” The lesson was introduced with the following information: 

The Nephites considered Nephi their “great protector” (see Jacob 1:10). He had also protected them against spiritual dangers, warning them against sin and urging them to come unto Christ. Now that task fell to Jacob, whom Nephi had consecrated to be a priest and teacher (see Jacob 1:18). Jacob felt a responsibility to boldly warn those who were “beginning to labor in sin” while also comforting “the wounded soul” of those who had been hurt by the sins of others (see Jacob 2:5-9). How would he do both? He would point them to Jesus Christ—because both groups needed the Savior’s healing (see Jacob 4). Like the message of Nephi before him, Jacob’s testimony was a call to “be reconciled unto [God] through the atonement of Christ” (Jacob 4:11).

The principle that I feel prompted to discuss is “Let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!” as taught in Jacob 2:12-21. As you can see from the principle and the scripture block, the Nephites had a pride problem and were focused on riches (see Jacob 2:13). Since people today deal with pride and getting rich, this is an excellent scripture block to study.

12 And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.

13 And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.

14 And now, my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you.

15 O that he would show you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his eve he can smite you to the dust!

16 O that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!

17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you, what say ye of it?

21 Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being rich if the riches have come honestly and legally. What we do with our riches does matter. In verses 18-19 tells us that we should seek to serve God first and then look for riches to help build the kingdom of God. We need money to be able to help others. We cannot give people food from an empty pantry. We cannot provide clothing without clothes in our closet. We cannot build the kingdom of God without something to give.