Open Border Costs Angela Merkel

Open Border Costs Angela Merkel
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Over the past year, more than one million refugees have descended on Germany. Many German citizens have expressed sharp discontent over their government’s open border policy. One result is a serious slippage of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has done next to nothing to reverse the policy that has permitted so many refugees to descend on the German nation. (image from Wikipedia)

Chancellor Angela Merkel has done next to nothing to reverse the policy that has permitted so many refugees to descend on the German nation (image from Wikipedia).

The holder of the nation’s highest office for the past 11 years, Merkel now knows of the stinging rebukes dealt to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in recent local elections. Asked about the CDU’s losses and the loss of her personal political clout, she accepted blame for the influx of foreigners, but her message features only regret that the people disagree with what she has allowed. She has done next to nothing to reverse the policy that has permitted so many refugees to descend on the German nation.

In remarks after meeting with CDU leaders in the wake of two significant political party setbacks, she stated, “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years to better prepare myself and the whole German government for the situation that reached us unprepared in late summer 2015. Nobody, including myself, wants a repeat of this situation.” How far back she would like to turn wasn’t made clear. But before the collapse of Communism in Europe 25 years ago, she held a post in the East German Communist government. Is a return to communist-style rule what she wants? When the Iron Curtain came down, she and many other Communist functionaries throughout Eastern Europe abandoned the “communist” label and, overnight, announced they were now “socialists.”

The sudden presence of one million refugees resulted in a crime wave that Germans aren’t forgetting.  After a New Year’s Eve rampage in Cologne eight months ago, women who were attacked filed more than 650 criminal complaints. Almost all were aimed at newly arrived refugees. Hamburg saw 150 similar complaints. Attempts to cover up the attacks in Cologne led to the resignation of the police chief. Nearly half of the city’s refugees from northern Africa have engaged in criminal acts – mostly theft. Many threw away their passports so that their home country wouldn’t be known.

Here in the U.S., President Obama delivered his final speech before the UN General Assembly on September 20th. In it, he called for acceptance of more refugees. Paralleling the president’s urging aimed at the leaders of other nations, the White House announced a week earlier to accept 110,000 refugees in the coming year, especially those from war-torn countries of the Middle East. He also pledged to spend $3 billion for resettlement programs to use the funds for jobs and education for the new arrivals. Tugging at heartstrings customarily accompanies announcements about the need to accept more refugees. But no mention is made of the stern warning given by FBI Director Comey only a few months ago that his agency is completely unable to vet Middle Eastern refugees who come here.

Barack Obama will leave office in January 2017. Will his successor carry on his lax refugee policies, or will there be a change in the attitude of the next occupant of the White House? What has been happening in Germany ought to be on the minds of America’s voters this November. To help persuade U.S. voters when they go to the polling places, Mr. Obama stated: “I’ll see it as a personal insult to my legacy and the work we’ve done together if we fail to step up and make sure that Hillary takes my place in January.” That statement alone will likely sway many U.S. voters. Are you one of them?

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Kaepernick Needs to Learn How to Support Local Police

Kaepernick Needs to Learn How to Support Local Police
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

NFL player Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers decided to draw attention to himself at a recent football game. He refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem, explaining that he wanted to draw attention to “the oppression of blacks and other minorities.” Hardly oppressed himself, he somehow thinks his big bucks contract to play football authorizes him to be a spokesman for others.

Kaepernick's distasteful performance worsened when he decided to wear socks with pictures of pigs wearing police hats.

Kaepernick’s distasteful performance worsened when he decided to wear socks with pictures of pigs wearing police hats.

It’s easy to see that Kaepernick was really calling attention to himself. He could have stayed in the locker room but he wanted personal attention. Many commentators haven’t mentioned the fact that his team seems to have given up on him.

As distasteful as the Kaepernick performance was, he managed to worsen it during another appearance on the field. He wore socks containing pictures of pigs wearing police hats. Was he disciplined for this huge insult? Not at all. In fact, many media commentators saluted him for courage. At least some police have protested. The police union in the Bay Area has threatened to boycott future games.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he recognizes the quarterback’s right to protest but “doesn’t necessarily agree” with him. Earlier, when the Dallas Cowboys players wanted to put decals on their helmets to commemorate five recently slain Dallas police officers, Goodell’s office refused permission. Shame on Goodell and the NFL!

Refusing to stand for the national anthem is small potatoes next to disparaging the work of all police officers. Kaepernick’s ugly performance brought to mind something I wrote more than 40 years ago for The John Birch Society’s Support Your Local Police Committee program. Paying well-earned honor to the men and women in blue, the widely distributed small pamphlet stated:

A policeman is many things. He’s a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, a sister, and sometimes even a grandparent. He’s a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow. His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration. He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from unfounded charges. Too often, his acts of heroism go unnoticed and truth is buried under all the criticism. The fact is that less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform. That’s a better average than you’ll find among clergymen.

A policeman stands between the law abider and the law breaker. He’s the prime reason your home hasn’t been burned, your family abused, your business looted. Try to imagine what might happen if there were no policemen around. And then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding.

We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys and girls who said they wanted to be police officers, and who kept their promise.

Colin Kaepernick’s insult to police is a disgrace. Any others who follow his lead aren’t heroes; they’re misguided self-promoters. And the NFL officials that don’t discipline them are politically correct cowards.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Gay Gene Doesn’t Exist

Gay Gene Doesn’t Exist
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Not always but frequently, history refers to a nation or a people by its prevailing culture. And by culture, we mean the dominant behavior and beliefs present in that nation or those people.

America’s culture has always centered on the importance of the family, the moral codes of history, and the praiseworthy behavior of its people. The fundamentally important place given the family, along with a peoples’ willingness to work, and a moral code springing from the “shalls” and “shall nots” of Holy Scripture formed the culture of America.

Past history of other lands and other peoples shows far different kinds of culture. Human sacrifice, glorification of sexuality, rampant crime, and the giving over to pleasure for its own sake (Hedonism) have indeed been known to exist in the past. Sad to say, America’s cultural foundation is currently under attack. But there remain many who are repulsed by departures from the old norms and attitudes. Some prestigious individuals have even weighed in with a restating of fundamental truths and morals.

Over the past few decades, the practice of homosexuality has burst out of its closet when in the past only a very few could be found succumbing to its questionable lures. Homosexual activists have taken to claiming they are “born that way.” The result has seen many more in America than one would have imagined a generation ago proclaiming themselves to be homosexual.  And government has contributed to the rise of such a departure from the fundamental attitudes about sex and gender by sanctioning gay marriage.  Fifty years ago, few would have speculated that such relationships might be accorded any inkling of legitimacy in the United States.

Anyone anxious to maintain our nation’s culture, however, will be pleased to know that two distinguished scholars at Johns Hopkins University have concluded that the homosexual claim of being “born that way,” and the insistence of many that they possess a “gay gene” cannot be supported. The work of Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D. and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, M.D. entitled Sexuality and Gender has been published in the Fall 2016 edition of the journal The New Atlantis.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality has summarized the 143-page report issued by these two scholars: “Homosexual activists have been desperate to try to say they’re ‘born that way’ believing that this absolves them of the moral responsibility for their sexual behavior.” LaBarbera explains that if the public believes some people are “born gay,” there will be widespread “accepting of homosexual activism.” There could hardly be a more devastating attack on the culture of a nation and a people.

Our own point of view is very simple. It is that a person’s gender (or sex if that term is preferred) exists from the moment of conception in the mother’s womb. Each of us is either male or female from that moment. Trying to change what nature has established, or seeking to excuse deviations from nature’s decision via processes leading to transgender status is more than absurd. It’s destructive of a very important ingredient in our nation’s culture.

We’re happy to acknowledge the work of Drs. Mayer and McHugh. And we look forward to their study helping to expose the dishonesty of claims that some people are “born that way” and have a “gay gene.” Such nonsense has already negatively impacted our nation’s culture and it needs to be countered and labeled a gross absurdity.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Executive Orders, Subject to the People

Executive Orders, Subject to the People 
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In a nation where people enjoy freedom, laws are made by a parliament, a congress, or some similar assemblage of elected officials. These lawmakers owe their posts to voters and are, in the main, subject to the people. But, as history has repeatedly shown, the laws in many nations are made by the decrees of a king or dictator who relies on virtually almighty power to rule.

The signing of an executive order on the Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government.

The signing of an executive order on the Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government.

America’s Founders knew well the excesses of that kind of power. So they declared themselves independent, fought a war to get out from under a king’s dictates, and won the struggle to be free. The very first clause in the 1787 Constitution they created left all law-making power in the hands of Congress. Under the rules established by the U.S. Constitution, the president is charged with the responsibility, not to make law, but to see that all laws properly enacted would be faithfully executed.

In the performance of his duties, a president can issue executive orders that have the force of law – but only among those who serve under him. A presidential executive order is proper when directed at government employees. While he serves, a president is much like the CEO of a company who certainly has a right to issue orders binding his employees.

In 1793, during his first term in office, George Washington issued an executive order declaring America’s neutrality in the war between France and England. Our first president soon realized that the protests of Madison and Jefferson against his executive mandate were correct. He then asked Congress to issue a law declaring the sought-after neutrality and Congress complied. There were no more presidential misuses of the executive order power for approximately 70 years.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln overstepped his authority and issued executive orders that suspended habeas corpus, blockaded southern ports, and emancipated southern slaves. He cited his role as “commander in chief” of the military to do so. Later, following the pattern set by Washington, he asked Congress to amend the Constitution to prohibit all slavery. Which was done. A measure of respect for the limitations on presidential power still existed during that period of history. Then in 1866, the Supreme Court in Ex Parte Milligan explained those limitations as follows:

The power to make necessary laws is in Congress; the power to execute in the President…. But neither can the President, in war more than in peace, intrude upon the proper authority of Congress, nor Congress upon the proper authority of the President.

Fast forward to today. In its first seven years, the Obama administration issued 560 major regulations via executive orders. Each had significant economic or social consequences for the entire nation. His wrongful reliance on the power to issue improper executive orders followed President George W. Bush’s issuance of half the number created by President Obama. As reported by Binyamin Applebaum and Michael D. Shear in the August 28, 2016 issue of the New York Times, the Obama orders aimed, among other targets, to “restructure the nation’s health care and financial industries, limit pollution, bolster workplace protections, and extend equal rights to minorities.” The Times reporters added that Obama’s reliance on executive orders “has imposed billions of dollars in new costs on businesses and consumers.”

Barack Obama has even stated his intention to use “my pen” if Congress doesn’t enact laws he wants. Too often, Congress has caved in and tolerated such completely illicit contempt for the Constitution. This docility of the legislative branch has to stop. No king or all-powerful ruler should be making laws for our nation.

Congress should declare any executive order aimed at the entire population completely null. All presidents should follow the lesson George Washington learned while he served as President. All Americans should become familiar with Article I, Section 1, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution where Congress is named as the sole possessor of “All legislative powers.”

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Let the States Decide! Say Yes to ID for Voters

Let the States Decide! Say Yes to ID for Voters
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Elections are important. Will the elected individual perform according to the oath of office? Or will he or she avoid constitutional restraints and hope voters won’t realize the betrayal?

Our nation’s founders strongly believed that voting in any election for a federal post should be limited. Not everyone should vote, and limitations about who will cast a ballot should be set, not by the national government but by each state. With a few exceptions, states would decide not only who would vote but also when voting day would occur. For many years, Maine’s voters cast their ballots in September, a practice later changed to conform with the rest of the country. Over the years, several amendments to the Constitution removed many other original restrictions.

Amendment XV (1913) banned denying the privilege of voting because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Amendment XIX (1920) gave women the right to vote. Amendment XXIV (1964) said no eligible voter could be denied a ballot for not paying a poll tax. And Amendment XXVI (1971) lowered the voting age to 18.

These changes were properly enacted via amendments to the Constitution, not by any law or presidential executive order. In recent years, however, the federal government has broadened its dominance over the setting of voter qualifications without relying on the amendment process. Judicial power has also been used to set new rules, even cancelling voter requirements that are logical and, in this writer’s view, very much needed.

Some require would-be voters to produce photo identification before being given a ballot. Objections arose over this rather simple and sensible test because, it has been claimed, requiring a photo ID is costly for some and an inconvenience for others. As in many other instances, the charge of racism was used to foster change. It helped to convince a Texas judge and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Texas requirement for a photo ID must be abolished because it violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Texas law and similar laws in other states seeking to protect the voting process from fraud were erased. Yet, a person has to show a photo ID to board an airplane or cash a check. Shouldn’t there be that kind of requirement for voting?

Is there any recourse to reverse this decision? The Constitution contains the answer in Article III, Section 2, Clause 2. It says Congress can limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court whenever it decides that the high court or lesser federal courts have gone too far. Such a little used and little known provision of the Constitution could be employed to rein in federal judges, even up to the Supreme Court level. This constitutional power possessed by Congress is an obvious extension of the desire of the Founders to create a system possessed of “checks and balances.”

Shortly after the 1787 Constitution had been written and was being considered by the states for ratification, John Marshall (who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835) addressed the potential for judicial abuse during the Virginia’s ratifying discussions. He explained, “Congress is empowered to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction, as to law and fact, of the Supreme Court. These exceptions certainly go as far as the legislature may think proper for the interest and liberty of the people.” Marshall obviously believed that Congress would, when necessary, use its constitutionally authorized power to keep the Supreme Court and any lower federal courts from overreaching.

Congress should use its Article III power to stop judicial meddling. Let the states decide via the Tenth Amendment what a would-be voter must provide before being given a ballot.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Do Words Have Consequences?

Do Words Have Consequences?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In the closing days of the 2008 race for the Democratic Party nomination, then Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) refused to concede when the primary season had already shown to have lost the race to Barack Obama. Undaunted by the will of the voters, she hung on – at least for a while. Asked on May 23, 2008, why she wouldn’t concede her loss to the upstart young senator from Illinois, she told an interviewer: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

That she would use the word “assassinated” in the context in which she delivered it remains an amazing bit of political history. We bring it up because it has largely been deposited in a memory hole. In 2008, was she suggesting that someone might (or should?) attack candidate Obama? Was she hoping that her use of that word might stimulate some crazy to duplicate what had happened to Senator Kennedy sixteen years earlier? Mere mentioning the possibility of an assassination during a political campaign constitutes a dramatic departure from legitimate political discourse. And the reporters who heard her comment, or heard about it later, should have emblazoned it on the minds of all. But most didn’t.

Hoping that no one remembers her 2008 use of such an inflammatory word, Mrs. Clinton has chosen to imply that Donald Trump’s recent comment about her selection of possible candidates for the Supreme Court invited violence, the very tactic she had employed in 2008.

What did Trump say that Clinton seized upon? He stated during a rally: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.” Asked later what he meant, Trump explained, “The media is desperate to distract [voters] from Clinton’s Second Amendment stance. I said that pro-Second Amendment citizens must organize and get out the vote to save our Constitution.”

But Mrs. Clinton speedily accused Trump of what she should have been accused of in 2008. She pontificated, “Words matter, my friends. And if you are running to be president, or you are president of the United States, words can have tremendous consequences.” Correct! Which is precisely why the media should have excoriated her in 2008, and why her recent attack on Trump for something that had no mention of the kind of possibly deadly suggestion contained in the word “assassinated” is mountainous hypocrisy. In 2008, she not only wasn’t held accountable for possibly inciting a monstrous crime, she repeated her remarks a few weeks later.

Only days after her first use of the word “assassinated,” Richard Stengel, the managing editor of TIME, interviewed Hillary. Having had no repercussions from her first use of the explosive word, she repeated it: “I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in Los Angeles.” Was that another attempt to plant the idea of assassination in the minds of some potential killer? It certainly seems so. Did the main stream media hold her accountable? With rare exceptions, its supposedly hard-nosed reporters and commentators ignored her second outrageous use of the term.

All during their rise to prominence, the two Clintons have benefited from a standard that few have ever enjoyed. Others have to submit to strict rules and temperate conduct while Hillary and Bill are given a pass. Hillary obviously knows that explosive words can lead to explosive actions, which is why she attacked Trump’s statement. If she were held to the standard she has set for Donald Trump, she would long ago have become a political has-been.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Who Are Trump Supporters?

Who Are Trump Supporters?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

New Yorker Magazine is hardly a bastion of right-wing politics. Instead, it can usually be found promoting causes championed by liberals, left-wingers, and elitists. Its veteran political writer went to several Trump rallies to find out for himself what motivates anyone to support the New York City mogul.

Donald Trump supporters: Do they agree with Trump on issues such as political correctness, illegal immigration, welfare waste and fraud, ObamaCare, Federal Reserve, etc? (Image from flickr)

Before reading the New Yorker article, I received a report claiming that it provided more than two dozen reasons why some people like Donald Trump and want him for president. But then I read the article and found it to be anything but a pro-Trump piece. It does mention a few reasons why some Americans stand firmly in the Trump camp. But a politically on-the-fence American who reads it would likely be driven away from supporting Trump. He might end up voting for Trump’s opponent or decide not to vote at all.

The report I received – not the article itself– stated that Trump supporters “have had it with” an array of anti-Establishment politicians and policies. There’s nothing sensationally new about that. Its list of reasons is impressive, and they smack of accuracy. It says “Trumpies” are rebelling against anyone named Bush or Clinton, and against political correctness, illegal immigration, welfare waste and fraud, ObamaCare, Federal Reserve money-printing schemes, Barack Obama’s golf, Holiday – not Christmas – trees, global warming nonsense, gun confiscation threats, cop killers, stagnant wages, boys in the girls bathrooms, and more. My own survey assures me that all of that is a correct reading of any Trump supporter.

However, George Saunders who wrote the lengthy piece in New Yorker can hardly be described as an admirer of either Trump or the many Trump supporters he encountered and interviewed as he traveled across the country. On the other hand, the writer of the report (no name was provided) went far overboard in attributing any sort of pro-Trumpism to what Saunders provided.

With more than two months still remaining before Americans vote for the next president, plenty can happen to sway the yet undecided, maybe even move some from one camp to the other. We hope all will base their decision on facts, not on hit pieces or wild characterizations of any candidate.

The two articles mentioned above did agree in one main point. It is that most Americans are tired of promises not being kept by Democrats or Republicans, of changes in the nation’s culture and moral standards, of being given half-truths and lies when honesty remains the best policy, and of sensing that the country is being changed – not for the better but for the betterment of an arrogant well-entrenched few.

But another lesson reinforced from reading the magazine article and the ensuing report convinces me that checking the original is far and away the wiser course. Relying on someone’s view of something may take you far from what it really said.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.