The Flimsy Stance of FBI Director Comey

The Flimsy Stance of FBI Director Comey
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private servers for transmitting official State Department business came to light in May 2015. Since then, much has been said and written about her “carelessness,” even to the point of claims being raised that her loose handling of sensitive information endangered the lives and well-being of U.S. military personnel and members of the diplomatic corps.

FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges be issued against the Democrat candidate for President, Hillary Clinton (Image from flickr.com).

FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges be issued against the Democrat candidate for President, Hillary Clinton (Image from flickr.com).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spent a year investigating Clinton’s email activity and made several damning conclusions. But on July 5, 2016, FBI Director James Comey recommended that no criminal charges be issued against the Democrat candidate for President. In his remarks announcing the decision reached by his bureau, Comey said Mrs. Clinton was “extremely careless.”

Other comments made by Comey, during that highly anticipated press conference, included his finding that her judgment was questionable; she had contradicted statements previously made about her use of email; the possibility existed that hostile foreign governments had gained access to her transmissions; and had she still been a government employee, she could have faced disciplinary action. His recommendation that no charges be filed also included a similar refusal to issue charges against Clinton’s top aides who had been granted immunity.

Comey then explained his controversial recommendation saying that there needed to be evidence that Mrs. Clinton’s cavalier use of unsecured computers was intentional, or that she had willfully broken State Department rules. A drunk driver who causes injuries to others doesn’t intend the harm that he causes. But his carelessness still earns him prosecution. Former Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus was charged and punished for his misuse of classified material that was far less serious an offense than the former Secretary of State admitted to.

In his July 5, 2016 press conference, the FBI Director agreed that more than 100 emails containing classified markings had been sent via non-secure methods; that Mrs. Clinton had not turned over all of the requested emails; that potentially hostile foreign governments had possibly gained access to her transmissions; and that she had used several private servers at her home in addition to those she used while travelling on official business.

Prior to the FBI Director’s announcement of an unwillingness to recommend charges, Mrs. Clinton faced questioning from a congressional panel examining the Benghazi debacle that cost the lives of four Americans. She survived grueling questioning, but skepticism about her casual use of unsecured computers has remained.

On September 28, 2016, the House Judiciary Committee listened to Director Comey as he continued to defend his decision not to recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton. Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) insisted that his unwillingness to recommend charges “defies [both] logic and the law that she faces no consequences for jeopardizing national security.” Committee members also questioned the grant of immunity to five Clinton aides. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) claimed a fix to exonerate Mrs. Clinton was in from the start.

But Comey remained adamant while continuing to defend his recommendation of no charges being made against the Democrat nominee. For his stand, members of the congressional panel called him and his underlings “weasels.” Defending himself and his FBI subordinates, he responded with: “You can call us wrong. You can call me a fool. You cannot call us weasels.” The congressmen before him wondered, “Why not?”

Mrs. Clinton casually admits to having made a “mistake,” something she pledged she would never do again. The drunk driver who injured several innocent people with his recklessness would love to plead that he, too, made a mistake and wouldn’t drive drunk again. He went to prison. Why is that not the case with Hillary Clinton?

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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.


From Normal to Abnormal

From Normal to Abnormal
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Early in 2016, President Obama appointed a transgender individual to serve on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships (ACFBNP). The Council traces its origin to an executive order issued in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The annual recipient of millions of taxpayer dollars, the group’s stated purpose is to combat discrimination and intolerance based on religious and cultural views.

This relatively new federal agency serves as an attack on both religion and virtuous living. If you happen to hold traditional religious views or express yourself in favor of the cultural values that have always shaped our nation’s foundation, be prepared for an attack. Several of the ACFBNP appointees (each appointed for a year) are open homosexuals, promoters of abortion and same-sex marriage, and activists promoting the transgender subculture. The overall effect of such a group as ACFBNP is to force acceptance of what has always rightly been considered abnormal. In the name of tolerance, virtue is being made over into a forbidden, even reprehensible, oddity.

One organization decidedly opposed to all this is Project 21, a conservative policy group that identifies itself as “The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives.” Critical of our nation’s “civil rights establishment,” group spokesman Emery McClendon insists that so-call “LGBT rights” are a misnomer and should never be included in the category of civil rights. Project 21 backs “entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to family, and commitment to individual responsibility.” McClendon properly counters President Obama’s pro-LGBT agenda, especially the president’s contention that children have a so-called “right” to choose which gender they prefer. McClendon claims that such an unnatural choice won’t “elevate them … it will degrade them.”

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office released a directive from the city’s Commission on Human Rights announcing that it will henceforth be illegal to discriminate against anyone whose gender is male, female, “or something else entirely.” The document listed 31 genders that henceforth must be recognized. In our nation where everyone has been known as either male or female, this Human Rights outfit lists new genders including “drag queen,” “drag king,” “butch,” “gender fluid,” “gender blender,” “gender gifted,” and “femme person of transgender experience.”

The New York directive cautions business owners against making “assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation.” It adds: “If you don’t know what pronouns to use, ask. Be polite and respectful; if you use the wrong pronoun, apologize and move on.” Should someone in business refuse to address a transgender individual with a preferred pronoun, fines as high as $250,000 can be assessed.

This craziness should not be ignored. Unless sanity continues to prevail outside of New York, directives such as the one sent throughout New York City – completely consistent with policies promoted by the federal ACFBNP – will soon impact private organizations, public places, schools, churches, and more.

A few months ago, President Obama used the occasion of his annual White House gathering of Muslim-Americans to single out “LGBT Muslims” here in America. He ignored the fact that half of the nations where LGBT behavior is completely illegal are Islamic states. One can only conclude that our nation’s current leader favors what has always been rightly considered an abomination that should never be encouraged.

Acceptance of the transgender lifestyle amounts to challenging the fact that a person’s gender exists from the moment of conception in the womb. There is no choice involved, either at conception or at any other point in one’s life. Dignifying those who claim otherwise is a gross absurdity even if Barack Obama claims otherwise.

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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.


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?

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.