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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

How Many Children Are Being Socially Transitioned by Schools?

The topic of discussion for tonight is social transition of children and youth without parental consent. In the news today is a case in New York and another case in New Jersey. Mary Margaret Olohan wrote about the case in New York here. 

A New York school district socially transitioned a girl without her mother’s consent, repeatedly lying to the mother about the child’s mental health and social struggles, according to a new lawsuit.

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, Jennifer Vitsaxaki of New York filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Skaneateles Central School District and Board of Education, accusing them of violating her constitutional rights through their deception and their social transitioning of her 12-year-old daughter, Jane….

Though Michael Vitsaxaki and Jennifer Vitsaxaki are both U.S. citizens, the Vitsaxaki family had spent almost a decade in Greece, where the Vitsaxaki parents were from, and Jane’s primary language was Greek. The family decided to leave Greece when its economy collapsed and they realized that they could not continue raising their children there, but the transition from their closely knit community in Greece to the U.S. was disruptive to the entire family’s lives.

Young Jane Vitsaxaki had to adapt to a “new culture, including learning to go through each day speaking primarily English instead of Greek,” and her father’s job required him to frequently travel out of the country.

The complaint states that Jennifer Vitsaxaki began to be increasingly concerned as her daughter was exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression and occasionally refusing to leave home. The mother repeatedly asked school district employees about whether they had noticed anything troubling her daughter, but was met with denials and assurances that her daughter was fine.

“Those repeated reassurances concealed the truth,” the complaint states. “While school officials kept telling Mrs. Vitsaxaki that there was nothing to report, a school counselor was regularly meeting with her daughter and her peers to address ongoing bullying suffered by … Jane, and other girls in the group.”

Worse than that, the complaint said, the district began treating Jane as though she were a boy – “just as it had done with several other girls in her grade.”

“The same counselor instructed school staff to treat Mrs. Vitsaxaki’s daughter as though she were a boy by referring to her with a boy’s name and the third-person plural pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’ – part of a controversial psychosocial intervention often called ‘social transition,’” the complaint states. “Then, a school psychologist, who told school staff to keep their actions secret from Mrs. Vitsaxaki, began meeting with Jane regularly without Mrs. Vitsaxaki’s knowledge….

Meanwhile, a father in New Jersey is suing a “school district after his daughter’s gender transition was allegedly kept a secret from him, according to S. A. McCarthy

The father, who is remaining anonymous to protect his daughter’s identity, found that New Jersey’s Delaware Valley Regional High School had been calling his daughter by a male name and male pronouns for at least two months, after a pro-LGBT student club’s staff adviser – who is not licensed to practice either medicine or psychology, according to the lawsuit – asked teachers and other school staff, faculty, and administration to refer to the girl by a male name and male pronouns and not to tell her father….

He said that his wife died when his daughter was only 4 years old, and his daughter has been in treatment for depression and anxiety since 2022. She has also been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and borderline personality disorder, prompting her doctors to agree to a ‘cautious approach” regarding her gender-identity confusion.

The father says he only learned of his daughter’s social transition when a neighbor and fellow parent accidentally told him. The neighbor referred to the girl by her male name, and the father asked, “What the hell are you talking about?”

The father removed his daughter from DVRHS and began homeschooling her. He said that LGBT activists in the school system showed her a “fantasyland” version of transgenderism, and once he showed his daughter photos and videos of the reality of gender-transition surgeries, she began crying…. The girl’s therapist and doctor both approved of removing her from DVRHS.

If these two children were the only ones being socially transitioned, it would be one thing. The fact that they are not the ones is quite another one. McCarthy reported that Meg Kilgannon, Family, Research Council’s senior fellow for education studies, made the following comments to The Washington Stand:

These cases are becoming more and more common. And while some of the details are the same, the overall situation is still shocking.

Children who have their names changed at school by teachers and are treated as the opposite sex or an imagined gender are not able to consent to these therapies. Social transition is made to seem harmless and reversible by school counselors and gender activists, but it’s neither of those things.”


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Will Mayorkas Be Impeached and Removed from Office?

The U.S. House of Representatives began the process of removing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Today, at the beginning of the markup of two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, Rep. Mark Green said that Mayorkas cannot “remain in office any longer.”

The markup session lasted all day as representatives discussed, debated, and offered amendments to the article of impeachment. According to Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal

The first article of impeachment asserts that Mayorkas has failed to enforce America’s borders and immigration laws, and has instead executed policies that incentivize illegal immigration.

The DHS secretary “has willfully and systemically refused to comply with federal immigration laws,” the article reads. Specifically, the article contends that Mayorkas has “repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security,” which is at least partly responsible for why “millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States.”

Under Mayorkas’ leadership within the Biden administration, Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 8.5 million illegal aliens at America’s borders. The exact number of those illegal aliens who have been released into the U.S. is not publicly reported, but during a closed-door meeting with Border Patrol agents in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Jan. 8. Mayorkas reportedly said that more than 85% of the illegal migrants encountered at the border are released into the country.

The second article of impeachment contends that Mayorkas is in breach of public trust and has made false statements to Congress and to the American people.

“Mayorkas knowingly made false statements to Congress that the border is ‘secure,’ that the border is ‘no less secure than it was previously,’ that the border is ‘closed,’ and that DHS has ‘operational control’ of the border,’” according to the article text.

When 8 to 10 million immigrants cross the border illegally in a three-year period, the border is neither closed nor secure. While America has been invaded, the problem is with Joe Biden and his administration and not with one person, namely Mayorkas. With Democrats controlling the Senate, Mayorkas will most likely not be removed from office even if the House impeaches him.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Will Canadians Listen to Tucker Carlson?

My VIP for this week is Tucker Carlson, former Fox New host. The man known as Tucker to millions of people is a man who believes in telling the truth. He says that telling the truth will make you free – and sounds scriptural: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

He recently made a trip to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to speak at the first of two sold-out appearances – Calgary (4,000) and Edmonton (8,000). His speech was dubbed “Liberating Canada: The Calgary Speech,” according to Jarrett Stepman

Pointing out that your enemies are both evil and ludicrous “saps their power,” the former Fox News host said, citing the example of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Let’s say you had some sort of weird prime minister who liked to dress up in fussy costumes, it would be super important to point that out, like, a lot – like, relentlessly,” Carlson said.

He followed up by saying that because many young Canadians take Trudeau seriously, it’s important to point out “what an absurd poseur this guy is.”

“He’s a ridiculous figure,” he said.

Carlson said that Canadians should resist Trudeau to the maximum extent of their ability, but before they do that, they should laugh at him until they “can’t breathe.”

Trudeau is like a person who shows up for a costume party, but it’s not a costume party, and speaks as though he has some moral authority, he said.

The second piece of advice Carlson had for Canadians is that they need to recognize what’s happening to them.

“This is not a political debate in which you’ve been invited to participate. This is a destruction of you, and your culture, and your beliefs, and your children, and your future as a country,” he said.

That isn’t hyperbole, Carlson stressed.

“If you have a government giving fentanyl to your children as they are in [British Columbia] … what’s the message of that …  ‘safe’ recreational fentanyl to be distributed to adults and minors….

He then turned his attention to Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying program, or MAiD. “If you are killing 50,000 of your citizens – the government is doing that through the MAiD program and a lot of them are not terminally ill; they are just sad – and the government is encouraging them to submit to being killed by the government, and then won’t release the recent statistics, what is that?” Carlson asked rhetorically.

Carlson called that a “genocide” and said that it’s hard to know who is actually being killed.

Carlson also spoke about the erosion of civil liberties in Canada. He said he’s not talking about liberties granted by the “crown,” but about the most basic civil liberties granted by God, including “the freedom of speech, which is inalienable. It cannot be taken from you, no matter who is in Ottawa,” the nation’s capital.

“It doesn’t matter who is in the prime minister’s office. Your rights remain the same. You were born with the, because you are not a slave, you are a human being, and you have inherent dignity because God made you,” he said.

If the government is trying to take those rights away in the “name of safety,” he said, and then they take away your right to bear arms and defend yourself, then saying that you don’t have a right to complain about it….

Carlson said that Canada has the highest level of immigration per capita in the world. No matter where that population is coming from, “if you change the population of the country, you change the country, and you dilute the voting power of the people who invested in that country, the people who were born there and lived there long term….

Finally, he pointed out what Canada is doing to its Christians.

If 90 churches are burned to the ground, and the prime minister and his associates are “endorsing that,” Carlson said, and pastors are put in jail for preaching the Gospel, “you’re serving someone other than the people of Canada.”

“That’s really scary, and if you dress it up in the passive-aggressive, self-help language of the modern Left,” that’s just another form of authoritarian fascism, Carlson said.

Politics and politicians won’t save the country from these problems, he concluded. Instead, he said, Canadians who wish to resist need an “attitude change.”

Timidity needs to be replaced with bravery, he said, and muddled thinking must be replaced with clarity to understand that all the terrible policies are aimed at “you.”

The stakes in this conflict are “existential,” he said.


Can Biden Federalize the Texas National Guard?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the sovereignty of States. Currently, there is a standoff at the southern border. The federal government opened the border and allowed 8.5 million migrants to enter the United States.

The State of Texas said, “no more” and acted to close part of the border between Texas and Mexico. The Texas National Guard is at the border, supported by the National Guard from other states. They are stringing razor wire to make it impossible for anyone to enter through the area.

Some people are urging President Joe Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard. Since Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated the National Guard to stop the hoard of illegal immigrants from flooding the border, Biden could have real trouble if he acts to stop the Texan action. Hans von Spakovsky published an article about the situation in The Daily Signal

A number of federal statutes govern the National Guard, which is the modern equivalent of state militias and a reserve component of our military. Under

10 U.S.C. § 12301(a), the secretary of defense (and thus the president) is given the authority in “time of war or of national emergency declared by Congress, or when otherwise authorized by law” to order National Guard units to active duty.

But they cannot be called to active duty by the president “without the consent of the governor of the State.” If the governor consents, the unit called into federal service under Title 10 reports to the president as the commander in chief while in federal service.

State governors, however, like Abbott, remain the commanders in chief of their state National Guard units, such as the Texas National Guard, unless they have consented to the president’s call for those units to be in active federal service.

The only exception to the consent requirement is contained in subsection (f) and it only applies if National Guard units are needed for active duty for overseas service – such as when we were in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Thus, under this statute, without the consent of Abbott, Biden has no power to simply seize control of the Texas National Guard as he is being urged to do and order them to stand down, since we are not in a war and the Guard is not needed for service abroad.

Von Spakovsky continued his explanation that “Biden could go to the extreme by trying to use the Insurrection Act of 1807 to take over the Texas National Guard.” However, the Insurrection Act has certain narrow and exceptional requirements. Under 10 U.S.C. § 252, the president could call up the Texas National Guard only when “unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any state by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.” Then von Spakovsky added: “Clearly, there is no insurrection going on in Texas as defined in that law. Nor is Texas violating any court order issued….”

Saturday, January 27, 2024

What Does It Mean to Be Armed with Righteousness and Power?

My Come Follow Me studies for this week took me to 1 Nephi 11-15 in a lesson titled “Armed with Righteousness and with the Power of God.” The lesson was introduced in the following paragraphs. 

When God has monumental work for His prophet to do, He often gives that prophet a monumental vision. Moses, John, Lehi, and Joseph Smith all had visions like that—visions that expanded their minds and helped them see just how grand and awe-inspiring God’s work really is.

Nephi also had one of these life-changing visions. He saw the ministry of the Savior, the future of Lehi’s posterity in the promised land, and the latter-day destiny of God’s work. After this vision, Nephi was better prepared for the work that lay ahead. And reading about this vision can help prepare you too—for God also has work for you to do in His kingdom. You are among “the saints of the church of the Lamb” seen by Nephi, “who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).

I chose the following principle to discuss today: “Holding fast to the word of God helps me resist Satan’s influence” (1 Nephi 15:23-25). Even though Nephi was the youngest of four brothers, God chose him to be His prophet. Nephi often answered the questions of his brothers. In the following verses, we read of one question with Nephi’s answer.

23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?

24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the above referenced verses in the April 2022 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But We Heeded Them Not (

Our covenant connection with God and Jesus Christ is the channel through which we can receive the capacity and strength to “heed not.” And this bond is strengthened as we continually hold fast to the rod of iron. But as Nephi’s brethren asked, “What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw…?

“And [Nephi] said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”

Please note that the ability to resist the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary is promised to those individuals who “hold fast to” rather than merely “cling to” the word of God….

Let me suggest that holding fast to the word of God entails (1) remembering, honoring, and strengthening the personal connection we have with the Savior and His Father through the covenants and ordinances of the restored gospel and (2) prayerfully, earnestly, and consistently using the holy scriptures and the teachings of living prophets and apostles as sure sources of revealed truth. As we are bound and “hold fast” to the Lord and are transformed by living His doctrine, I promise that individually and collectively we will be blessed to “stand in holy places, and shall not be moved.” If we abide in Christ, then He will abide in and walk with us. Surely, “in the days of trial his Saints he will cheer, and prosper the cause of truth.”



Friday, January 26, 2024

Why Is Civics Knowledge Important?

Strong families have parents who both teach and learn from their children. Parents have profound influence on children, but children also influence parents by sharing their thoughts and feelings.

Lisa R. Halverson wrote of the bi-lateral effects on families. She wrote that “Civic education and engagement … have both trickle-down and trickle-up effects.” 

Trickle-down effects include the important role that families – and particularly mothers – play in shaping a child’s political behavior. When parents have strong civic habits – following the news, voting and talking about politics at home – their children are also likely to prioritize civic engagement. Children whose mothers voted in the previous presidential election were 20.3% more likely to vote in their own first election (a 64% increase). Children whose mothers vote are 24% more likely to register to vote (the first step in this important civic responsibility). This trickle-down political socialization is most pronounced for white, economically advantaged students.

Interestingly, there is a trickle-up effect as well. And it is particularly weighty for non-white students and those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. For example, having an adult child who votes in their first age-eligible election is associated with a 5.3% increase in the probability that the mother votes in the next presidential election.

One exciting program that illustrates this trickle-up effect is Kids Voting USA, a nonpartisan, grassroots-driven, voter-education program “committed to creating lifelong voting habits in children, increasing family communication about citizenship and encouraging greater adult-voter turnout.” The curriculum combines family exercises with a Kids Voting day in which children participate in a mock election. Communities involved in Kids Voting have experienced increases in adult turnout at elections by as much as 5%. The positive influence trickles up!

But voter turnout is not the only way this program affects civic engagement. Surveys indicate that 60-70% of students in the program go home and talk to their parents about the upcoming election and about politics in general. Even more report watching political news broadcasts, or reading political articles in magazines and newspapers, stimulating family conversations and increased levels of political participation. These activities energize democracy and bond families and schools in a mutual civic mission.

Anecdotally, we at the Center for Constitutional Studies often hear from parents whose children participate in another simulation, the We the People program, that they feel inspired to engage civically in their communities.

Halverson encourages parents to use the 2024 presidential election year to model good civic behaviors for our children AND to look for ways to learn from our children. She suggested “family and school activities that expand civic understanding and engagement, including civic knowledge, skills, dispositions and virtues. She explained further as shown below.

Civic knowledge is necessary for being civically well-informed, having an understanding of our history, government, institutions and current affairs from multiple media sources and diverse perspectives. Do we educate ourselves on issues, news and candidates, reading laterally to understand different viewpoints?

Civic skills are needed to participate as active and responsible citizens in democracy. These include speaking, listening, collaborating, community organizing, public advocacy and the ability to think critically about information…. Can we use our skills in helping others – perhaps a new, first-time voter – to participate as well?

Civic dispositions help us maintain our compound constitutional republic in which we follow democratic procedures to make decisions and manage conflict. Do we put constitutional protections and the rule of law above partisan aims?

Civic virtues, as the Bill of Rights Institute explains, “promote self-government and help guarantee that communities orient themselves towards advancing the spirit of common purpose.” They include public spiritedness, civic charity, civility, courage, integrity, prudence and justice, and are vital to the health of our civic society.

Focusing on civics reminds us that democracy isn’t just about isolated individuals governing themselves. Researchers have noted: “Democracy is about people interacting together to collectively shape the communities in which they aspire to live in the future.”

Parents and children learn from each other – whether for good or ill, and it is important for both parents and children to be civically minded. When the government is determined by the people, then the people should be informed about how the government works. People should also know how to have a good relationship with individuals who think differently from them.

Liberals can learn from conservatives, and conservatives can learn from liberals. In fact, a balanced government needs both liberals and conservatives working together. We do not need to agree with them, but we should be able to communicate intelligently and respectfully with them. Parents and children can help each other to learn civics and strengthen their family, community, and nation.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Do States Have the Right to Stop the Invasion?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns federalism. The Founding Fathers created a government with the Constitution that assigned certain duties to the federal government and all other duties to the States and the people. The States are sovereign governments.

When the Biden administration refused to secure the border, Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided to protect the residents of his state. One of the steps taken by Texas to secure the border between Texas and Mexico was to install razor wire along the border. The federal government sued Texas, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday that the Border Patrol and other federal authorities could cut and remove the razor wire. Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal wrote the following in her article on this problem.

An appeals court had temporarily blocked the federal government from removing the razor wire while the state’s lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security moved forward. But the high court ordered that Texas must allow federal border authorities to remove the wire used to block illegal aliens while the case advances through lower courts.

Although the Supreme Court gave no reasons for its order, it noted that four conservative justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh – opposed President Joe Biden’s position.

Two others, Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts, joined the high court’s three liberal justices – Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ketanji Brown Jackson – in siding with the Biden administration in the dispute.

Former President Donal Trump and current presidential candidate called on “state governors to help Texas ‘repel the invasion’ of illegal immigrants along America’s southern border.” This article states that at least 16 Republican governors have “signaled their support for Texas Gov. Abbott in the standoff.” I have heard reports that about 24 States are standing with Texas.

The following state governors have sided with Texas: Virginia, Florida, South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Georgia, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, and West Virgina,

The States are acting to stop – or at least to slow – the invasion of illegal immigrants, and the federal government is working to stop the States. The federal government is fighting for more illegal immigrants to enter the United States.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

How Bad Is Antisemitism on College Campuses?

Most Americans are well aware that there is a climate of hate on the college campuses of America. However, most of us are not aware of how bad it is. According to Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal, a report was recently released documenting antisemitism on college campuses.

The report was released on Monday by the Combat Antisemitism Movement in partnership with the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Stepman reported that “antisemitism has exploded in U.S. higher education” and the “numbers are shocking but not surprising.” Stepman reported the following. 

The report found that in the fourth quarter of 2023, from October through December, there was a 1,753% increase in far-left incidents of antisemitism and a 268% increase of Islamist antisemitic incidents on college campuses since the previous quarter.

That obviously stems in no small part from the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

A news release from the Combat Antisemitism Movement said that nearly all the antisemitic incidents were “tied to anti-Zionist forms of antisemitism and the conflation of worldwide Jewry with the state of Israel.

The report confirms what many already assume, but there are a few things worth noting here.

First, it’s absurd to contend that this increase in antisemitism is a general societal problem, as witnesses at the now infamous congressional hearing on antisemitism in higher education suggested.

Polls show overwhelming U.S. support for Israel. The older the American, the more likely they are to support Israel….

Second, it’s also incorrect to suggest that antisemitism stems from mere ignorance. Sure, plenty of the Hamas-supporting activists in so-called higher education are uninformed lunkheads. However, their hate doesn’t stem from a simple misunderstanding. Instead it comes from ideology….

Higher education in America has been rotting from within for a long time. After Oct. 7, that became impossible for all but dedicated leftists to ignore.


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

What Does the New Hampshire Primary Mean for Trump?

New Hampshire held its Primary today. Fred Lucas reported that 89 percent of precincts had reported, and Donald Trump had 54.8% of the vote with Nikki Haley with 43.7% (162,664 votes to 129,693). Joe Biden won the Primary for the Democrats even though his name was not on the ballot and had to be written in. 

Trump not only becomes the first candidate to win three presidential primaries in New Hampshire but the first to win both Iowa and New Hampshire since 1976, when President Gerald Ford, a fellow Republican, did it.

Yet Haley surpassed expectations in New Hampshire, as the most recent polls showed Trump with a lead of 58% to Haley’s 36% in the Real Clear Politics average. About 4,000 Democrats switched party affiliation to Republican or undeclared by an October deadline in order to vote in the GOP primary, NPR reported.

About those Democrats who switched party affiliation to vote for Nikki: 4,000 is 3.1% of 129,693. If we took that 3.1 percent from Nikki and added it to Trump’s total, Nikki’s percentage would be 40.6 percent and Trump would increase to 57.9. Right now, it looks that there will be another Trump-Biden match up. Do you expect Biden to receive another 81,000,000 votes?

Monday, January 22, 2024

Why Do Candidates Drop Out of the Presidential Race?

My VIPs for this week are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina. They all fought good fights and worked hard to win the people’s support for their campaign. They all thought that they could win the presidential nomination. However, they are realists.

The three candidates suspended their campaigns and threw their support to former President Donald Trump. They saw the results in the Iowa Caucus and knew that they would never have enough votes to become the nominee. They understood that the majority of Republicans want Trump back in the White House. Why? Because he has good policies that can make America great again.

The New Hampshire Primary will be held tomorrow. None of us know what the results will be. Trump may win with a large margin or just a small one. It is possible that Nikki can get enough votes from Democrats who registered as Republicans. No matter how well she does in New Hampshire, she is doomed when she goes to her home state of South Carolina. The Republicans do not want Nikki, but Democrats are trying to choose the Republican nominee.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Should Congress Give Biden Administration More Money for Immigration?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the two Houses of Congress and how they pass bills. The representatives in the House prepare their own bill, pass the bill in the House, and send it to the Senate. The senators in the Senate write a bill that has everything that they want and pass it in the Senate. Then a committee takes the House bill and the Senate bill and turns the two bills into one. The senators review, and the Senate votes on the combined bill. The representatives review, and the House votes on the combined. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill, it is sent to the President to be signed. If one or the other houses fail to pass the bill, it is reworked and sent through the process again.

Simon Hankinson published an article about the White House’s supplemental budget request. In his article, Hankinson quoted future president Cavin Coolidge as telling his father in 1910 that “it is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” Hankinson said that the recently “reported outlines of a compromise border security del being brokered in the U.S. Senate indicate that Coolidge was correct” and compares them to tiny bones thrown into a large bowl of dog food. 

Hankinson discussed the additional “$1.3 billion” given to the “State Department to continue attracting the worldwide flow of illegal aliens to the Western Hemisphere and up to the U.S. border through its ‘Safe Mobility Offices.’” According to the supplemental budget request from the White House, the offices are to “assist and guide migrants and refugees toward authorized channels of lawful migration” – which are not lawful.

Hankinson reported that the administration also wants “another $4.5 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue ‘processing’ more illegal aliens into the United States rather than deporting them … and to continue funding Federal Emergency Management Agency grants for nongovernmental organizations to transport and shelter illegal aliens throughout the U.S.”

According to Hankinson, the administration wants another $481 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to spend through 2025, thereby committing the next administration to continue NGO grants for ‘wraparound services’ for ‘refugees’ and unaccompanied minors.”

Congress should reject these border insecurity requests rather than continue to fund the demise of our nation’s sovereignty.

To add insult to injury, some of the proposals being floated in the Senate would codify Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ open border tools and bind his successors to abide by them.

Congress should reject these border insecurity requests rather than continue to fund the demise of our nation’s sovereignty.

First, the bill would give illegal aliens work permits immediately when they are released at the border – as 85% or more have been recently, according to Mayorkas himself. Illegal aliens want to be allowed to enter the U.S., stay here under any pretense, and work. Few of them are qualified for asylum, but they know the system will take years to process their cases and prove that they aren’t qualified, and when it does, the chances of their being deported are low….

Second, the proposal would reportedly stop the Department of Homeland Security from giving parole to aliens who cross into the United States between ports of entry. Sounds good, but that’s like enforcing vehicle speed limits only where there are no paved roads – because Biden’s bogus programs actually allow inadmissible aliens to fly to U.S. airports and then apply for parole.

There is much more to Hankinson’s article, which you can find here. Whether or not you choose to link to the article and read it, you should be aware that America is in trouble over its illegal immigration problem and the Senate does not want to fix the problem. They have had the House version of a bill for six or eight months and have done nothing. Hankinson concluded his article with these paragraphs. 

            In the end, the White House’s supplemental request for $13.6 billion to continue funding NGOs              and mass migration should be a nonstarter. The Senate shouldn’t further compound the border                crisis by also codifying Biden’s and Mayorkas’ egregious open border tactics.

If the Senate doesn’t agree to the House-passed Secure the Border Act of 2023, then Congress should follow Coolidge’s guidance and kill whatever legislation comes out of this reported Senate proposal. Then things will remain as they are, which means hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens trying – and mostly succeeding – to enter every month.

The American people will have another 10 months to see the real consequences of unlimited and unvetted immigration. Then, they can decide for themselves in November whether to continue the open borders experiment or return to historical norms where laws, not executive discretion, decide who enters and who stays.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

How Does Lehi’s Dream Apply to You and I?

My Come Follow Me studies for this week took me to 1 Nephi 6-10 in a lesson titled “Lehi’s Dream.” The lesson was introduced with the following information. 

Lehi’s dream—with its iron rod, mists of darkness, spacious building, and tree with “most sweet” fruit—is an inspiring invitation to receive the blessings of the Savior’s love and atoning sacrifice. For Lehi, however, this vision was also about his family: “Because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam. … But behold, Laman and Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you” (1 Nephi 8:3-4). When Lehi finished describing his vision, he pleaded with Laman and Lemuel to “hearken to his words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them” (1 Nephi 8:37). Even if you have studied Lehi’s vision many times, this time think about it the way Lehi did—think of someone you love. As you do, the security of the iron rod, the dangers of the spacious building, and the sweetness of the fruit will take on new meaning. And you will understand more deeply “all the feeling of [the] tender parent” who received this remarkable vision.

The principle that I feel prompted to discuss is: “Holding fast to the word of God leads me to the Savior and helps me feel His love” (1 Nephi 8). In 1 Nephi chapter 8, Nephi writes the experience of Lehi’s dream or vision of the tree of life. In the vision, Lehi saw several distinct items: a magnificent tree with fruit (1 Nephi 8:10-12), a river (1 Nephi 8:13), rod of iron

(1 Nephi 8:19-20, 30), mist of darkness (1 Nephi 8:23), and great and spacious building (1 Nephi 8:26-27, 33). Nephi later learns the meaning of each item, but that is the lesson for next week. Here is Lehi’s description of the tree of life.

10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.

11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

Lehi’s vision offers each of us an invitation to examine our individual lives. Where are you (and I) in your (my) personal journey to become like Christ? Elder Boyd K. Packer, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught the following about Lehi’s vision:

You may think that Lehi’s dream or vision has no special meaning for you, but it does.

You are in it; all of us are in it (see 1 Nephi 19:23). Lehi’s dream or vision of the iron rod has in it everything a … Latter-day Saint needs to understand the test of life….

Read it carefully; then read it again.

If you hold to the rod, you can feel your way forward with the gift of the Holy Ghost, conferred upon you at the time you were confirmed a member of the Church. The Holy Ghost will comfort you. You will be able to feel the influence of the angels, as Nephi did, and feel your way through life.

 (“Lehi’s Dream and You,” New Era, Jan. 2015, 2). 

Friday, January 19, 2024

Do You Believe in Life?

Parents are responsible to teach their children about sex and how babies are conceived, and they can strengthen their families, communities, states, and nations by doing so. They are also responsible to instruct their children about the sacredness of life both before and after death. They should teach their children that human life starts at conception (there is life where growth takes place) and should end with natural death.

The annual rally for the March for Life was held today in Washington, D.C., for the 51st year anniversary of the event, and the fight for life continues. On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional right to abortion. That is correct: the Constitution does not mention abortion at all, so it cannot legally guarantee abortions. Since that decision, voters in several states have voted to protect abortion in their states, while the legislatures of several other states have acted to bring total bans to their residents.

People on the far left believe that abortions should be legal up until the time of birth, with some people believing that babies born alive should be left to die. People on the far right believe that there should be no abortions at all. I believe that the magic spot for unity is somewhere in the middle. I also believe that a consensus on abortion could be made if people would participate in discussions of the pros and cons of abortion and when one should occur. As long as people on one side will not listen to the ideas and beliefs of the other side and even ban them or protest against them, an agreement can never take place.

I believe that life from conception to natural death is precious and should be protected. However, there should be room in our laws to make exceptions for uncommon situations in life, such as babies conceived by rape or incest, or the health of the mother is endangered. I also believe that pregnant girls and women should be given the truth about their babies. They should have sonograms taken to show them that they are carrying a human baby and not just a clump of cells. Knowing the value of life can strengthen families, communities, states, and nations.