Utah Senate Votes to Repeal the 17th Amendment

by Robert John Stevens, February 25, 2016

This is VERY exciting!—The 17th Amendment was established by the illegal Federal Reserve banksters to destroy our nation’s checks and balances in government, so they can remain in power and plunder. Their deceptive ploy then was, “The people should elect the senators.” As good as that may sound, that’s not how the Founding Fathers established our nation.

Before 1913, Senators were elected by their respective state senates to represent their state. Since the 17th Amendment was passed, senators neither represent their states nor the people—just the special interests who elect them.

The people elect members of the U.S. House of Representatives but they were hi-jacked too by the Federal Reserve banksters by limiting the number of congressman despite population growth, which made it much easier for them to control.

I spoke of the history behind this and the need to repeal the 17th amendment at the 2014 Utah Republican Convention. Just maybe I planted a few seeds:

See Utah Senate Votes to Repeal the 17th Amendment.

Why are children rarely seen playing in American neighborhoods?

by Robert John Stevens, February 19, 2016

I’m writing this in part because my entrepreneurial instincts whisper to me that there is a big opportunity here. Please read it through.

Most Americans are not old enough today to know that before the 1980s most children played outside with each other.

I grew up in Potomac, Maryland. In 1970 we moved to a new home on a cul-de-sac of just nine homes contained in a much larger neighborhood. Sometimes twenty to thirty children would gather together and play kickball around that cul-de-sac or kick the can when the street lamps turned on. Kids were daily seen riding their banana seat, high-rise handlebar bicycles, especially around and around cul-de-sacs.

By the early 1980s, betamax (aka beta) video machines became popular, video stores opened and playing outdoors quickly declined.

As the cost of living increased, summer camps became a convenient way for affluent working parents to send their kids away to experience social interaction similar to their own childhood.

Enjoyment at those camps varied significantly for a variety of reasons, but were rarely substitutes for staying at home and playing outside with friends.

Some of our children’s happiest memories are playing outside when visiting cousins.

Any elderly person raised in Brooklyn, New York in the 1930s and 1940s will tell you how happy they were growing up, even during the Great Depression.

Fire hydrants were opened during hot summer days. Low income families could afford summer beach homes at the rural outskirts of Long Island. Families walked to stores. Merchants, including one of my grandfathers, sold fruit at their own corner stands. Children played ball in the streets. Today those streets are so tightly lined with vehicles that it is difficult to park.

Before automobiles, many extended families lived close enough for their children to play together. Neighbor William E. Berrett, a well-known LDS historian and pioneer in seminary, told me in 1993 just before his death how he looked forward to seeing his uncles in heaven because of the fond memories he had growing up living so close to them.

Today because of social media, video games, porn, videos, cell phones, ubiquitous sports and news, gambling, the ridiculous cost of living, and the burdens placed upon parents by the regulatory and tax state engineered by the Powers that Be, I cannot see society returning to the 1970s where kids play outside.

Cell phones and social media compounded social problems: Studies show Facebook friends are almost entirely fake and dropping Facebook actually makes people happier.

Last year I sat on a rear pew at an LDS chapel, turned and was shocked to see four elderly men next to me texting during the meeting. Most men today use hand-held devices to access scriptures and religious manuals.

Young people text so frequently that they could be labeled as addicts, serial or chain texters (like chain smokers). Few know how to smile and formally greet strangers—a formality that was vigorously taught to America’s youth in the 1700s.

Will America ever return to the time where children happily spend most of their free time playing outside?

Master-planned developments are modern attempts at restoring old-fashion family and neighborhood life but are only partially successful. Go visit Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah. You will see children walk to and from school because the schools are within walking distance. Centrally planned social events increase neighborhood satisfaction. You may see some children outside playing but you will notice the parks and streets are usually void of children, and the streets are lined with vehicles on one side.

Master-planned developments require heavily funded developers. Much effort is required to work with local governments.

Can small entrepreneurs succeed in creating family friendly neighborhoods or restore face-to-face social interaction? How is that possible in today’s digital age?

I have a hunch there are solutions and one will become a huge success.

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Brigham Young on Young Men and Small Homes

by Robert John Stevens, February 18, 2016

Brigham Young founded 350 to 400 settlements in Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming, and established a system of land distribution later ratified by Congress.

He taught that young men should build a 10×10 home and beautify its exterior with flowers and shade trees1, and that a one-and-one-quarter-acre city lot was large enough to sustain a small family.2

Considering how difficult the U.S. Government has made it for young families to form independent households, and for innovators to start and succeed, consider how much more relevant Brigham Young’s wisdom is today.

I have a solution for U.S. public lands: Let entrepreneurs and their families homestead it so they can live and work together inexpensively, and if their efforts result in entrepreneurial success that benefits the human family then let them have it.

Here is an example of a modern 160 Sq Ft Home.

1 Discourses of Brigham Young by John A. Widtsoe. I’ll post the specifics later.

“I will give each of the young men in Israel, who have arrived at an age to marry, a mission to go straightway and get married to a good sister, fence a city lot, lay out a garden and orchard and make a home, and especially do not forget to plant a proper proportion of mulberry trees. This is the mission that I give to all the young men in Israel. And I say to you, sisters, if you do not know how to milk a cow, you can soon learn. If you do not know how to feed the cows, you can learn. If you do not know how to feed the chickens, get them and learn how, and if your husband takes you to live in ever so small and humble a cottage, make it neat and nice and clean, and set out flowers around the doors, and let the husband plant fruit trees and shade trees, and let wives help their husbands that they may be encouraged to take hold of more important business that will create an income sufficient to sustain their wives, and by economy and care become wealthy in a short time, and have your carriage to ride in. What a satisfaction it will be to you to know that what you possess is the result of your industry and economy.” — Journal of Discourses Vol 12, p. 200

2 “A central public problem was finding places to accommodate the incoming Saints. Salt Lake City was divided into ten-acre blocks, and each family head was allotted by community drawing a one-and-one-fourth-acre lot on one of the blocks in the city. There people would keep their livestock, gardens, and other “home” properties. — Leonard Arrington on Brigham Young