Nebraska Education Department Committing Suicide

Nebraska Education Department Committing Suicide
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Living in extremely liberal Massachusetts, this writer expects (hopes?) that fellow Americans in our nation’s midsection still possess enough good sense to reject leftist policies and trends. Looking over the region not close to either east or west coast lunacies, the perception is that traditional political, economic, and cultural standards haven’t been jettisoned. States like Nebraska, for one, seem far enough away from the coasts to resist joining the mob and plunging off a cliff into political correctness and its ideological offshoots.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

But on September 8th by a vote of 6 to 1, Nebraska’s Board of Education approved new science standards that have conservatives outraged. In 2012, the education watchdog Thomas B. Fordham Foundation said of the Cornhusker state’s rules for primary and secondary schooling:

The Nebraska science standards are inadequate in nearly every way. They lack sufficient depth and breadth at every grade span, and critically important areas receive woefully inadequate attention – or are completely absent…. Taken as a whole, Nebraska’s science standards do not articulate nearly enough of what students need to know and be able to do.

Local civil engineer Henry W. Burke found that the 2017 Nebraska Science Standards standards are based on the failed Nebraska 2010 Science Standards. He fought unsuccessfully to alert DoE members about the deficiencies of these newly conceived standards. With bachelor and masters degrees and 45 years of experience in his field, he felt sufficiently qualified to register an opinion about the matter. He concluded that the state’s Department of Education was being asked to approve standards that are “more interested in promoting global warming and climate change than providing an academic understanding of science.”

After studying what was being considered by his state’s education board, Burke added a further opinion: “Global warming is presented as if it was proven science, rather than political narrative. This global warming agenda permeates the Science Standards from kindergarten through high school.” “These standards,” stated Burke, “do not present an objective, academically-based and scientifically-based approach to the topics.”

The veteran civil engineer recommended looking at his Internet posting as he addressed the matter of carbon dioxide being a significant culprit:

When it comes to global warming, raw subjectivity has replaced scientific method. Many scientists and researchers began with preconceived notions and theories and then proceeded to find ways to support them. Ideology is controlling the conclusions instead of true science. No authentic scientific data proves that there is a correlation between man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming.

Backed by numerous representatives of the state’s colleges and universities Omaha World-Herald reporter Joe Dejka wrote approvingly of the decision adopting the new standards. He correctly noted that, in addition to worries about global warming, students would also be exposed to insistence that evolution is a fact, rather than what many believe it to be a widely discredited theory.

The new standards for Nebraska schools will not be reviewed for another seven years. The conclusion: Nebraska has joined the left wing in the world of education. Watch for some parents to opt out and consider homeschooling.

A great home schooling alternative is our affiliate FreedomProject Academy. Learn more about the online school today!

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.


Solar Panel Fraud

Solar Panel Fraud
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Al Gore’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel, is a bit of a bust drawing fewer paying customers than expected. He’ll have to get friends to force showings of the film in schools. Captive audiences will be force-fed a viewing of out-and-out falsities in living color. They will have no choice but to sit there and take in a collection of misinformation.

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Mark Buckawicki, CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

One of Gore’s solutions to the non-problems his film describes is capturing energy through the use of solar panels. It sounds good until the costs and a variety of problems are considered. Career electrical engineer Art Crino claims government subsidies for different types of energy collection place solar power in the stratosphere. The handouts provided to obtain one megawatt-hour of electrical energy by burning coal, oil, or natural gas total $0.64. Gaining the same amount of electrical energy using solar panels starts off with subsidies totaling $775.64.

Taxpayer-supplied subsidies aren’t the only hidden cost faced by those seeking to capture energy from sunlight. There’s no sun shining during nighttime or when clouds and storms arrive leading to little or no gathering of energy. Partisans for solar power generation have even admitted that constantly redirecting the angle that solar collectors should be stationed is needed if peak efficiency is to be gained, a costly procedure needing constant maintenance. And the solar power promoters don’t like to be reminded that clearing away the snow after a winter storm might be necessary. Then there are costs associated with storage and transfer of energy acquired during peak hours of sunshine. And don’t forget that manufacturing and installing solar panels plus connecting them electrically and cleaning them regularly isn’t inexpensive.

The nation is being inundated with telephone salesmen seeking commitments to acquire solar power capability for single homes. It’s marvelously inexpensive they tell you while not mentioning the huge subsidies being the reason – which means you and your neighbors are really paying for it via taxation. If you aren’t bothered by unwanted telephone pleas, maybe you’ve been reading advertisements in newspapers or seeing ads on television about the wonder of solar power and its minimal cost to you.

Beyond all of this solar power promotion, you may have been victimized by the propaganda about the harm being done to the planet because “burning fossil fuels pollutes the atmosphere.” The culprit, say the propagandists, is carbon dioxide that causes global warming (or its new label, climate change). But carbon dioxide is food for plants. It isn’t bad; it’s hugely beneficial. As for it affecting the atmosphere, climate scientist Dr. Willie Soon says the amount of carbon dioxide produced nationally by burning fossil fuels is equivalent to adding two more attendees to the 100,000 fans packed into a football stadium. In other words, carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil, or natural gas is of little consequence – good or bad.

The United States is sitting on enough oil, natural gas, and coal to take care of our needs for generations – even while exporting to others. A few decades ago, U.S. engineers figured out how to generate electricity by splitting the atom in a nuclear reactor. But bogus scientists and political skullduggery have combined to demonize nuclear power. If France can generate electricity via nuclear plants for 70-plus percent of its electricity needs, why does the U.S. stay mired in less than 20 percent?

And, by the way, a megawatt-hour of electrical energy generated via a nuclear power plant receives a paltry $3.14 in subsidies. Recall the figure given above where the subsidy for the same one megawatt-hour generated by solar power is a whopping $775.64.

America should continue burning fossil fuels and using nuclear power to generate electricity. Those who want solar power should certainly be free to employ it – but without the enormous subsidy it currently relies on.

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.


The Boston Globe Attacks JBS with Falsities

The Boston Globe Attacks JBS with Falsities
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Mr. Ted Widmer from The Boston Globe wrote a nasty August 24th article about Robert Welch. Starting with insult-laden labeling of Welch’s followers as a “troll army,” the piece was filled with errors, misrepresentations, and downright falsehoods. Anyone who finds a need for some verifiable history about Massachusetts would be wise to look somewhere other than the Massachusetts Historical Society where Widmer is advertised as a “trustee.”

A great deal of the piece is simply dead wrong. Other parts are shaded to make Welch and the Society he formed seem like unreliable, even libelous, miscreants. For the record, here are some corrections and comments about his screed.

No one in the John Birch Society ever warned that the UN was “going to invade Texas.” For all the years of my association with the Society (I joined in 1964, accepted a staff position in 1966, and stepped aside as a full-time employee in 2016), I either saw other staff personnel put down such rumors or I initiated the put down myself. Same about Obama being born in Kenya and 9/11 being an inside job. Same about numerous other rumors that the Society helped to squelch.

Welch was indeed a “boy genius” but, contrary to the assertion, he never claimed that label for himself. Others who took the time to get to know him, his history, and his prodigious intellect found that indeed, he was a prodigy at an early age.

While a student at Harvard Law School, Welch sought to correct Harvard Professor Felix Frankfurter who insisted that labor and management were “enemies” whose distaste for each other would always be a key to U.S. economic woes. Welch defended the traditional stance that labor and management were partners in productivity, not enemies – an attitude that counters the kind of Marxist divisiveness that Frankfurter spent his life promoting.

The “loss” of China to Mao Tse-tung’s murderous forces wasn’t merely a “so-called” historical event. The government under Mao took the lives of so many innocent millions that he won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as history’s greatest mass murderer. Yet Mr. Widmer  termed Welch’s seeking to alert the American people about such an enormous tragedy as an example of “extremist views.” Incredible!

Welch’s letters in the 1950s weren’t photocopied because photocopying hadn’t yet been invented. (Small point but evidence of sloppy journalism.)

The Welch-led Society opposed fluoridation of water, not because of its supposed health benefits, but because it amounted to government forced mass medication, something advocated by the likes of Adolph Hitler. Shortly after the Society found itself victimized by charges that its stand, absent the reason for its position being given, was worthy of your type of ridicule, a professor at Tufts University suggested that the then-rising U.S. population could be countered by adding birth control substances to the water supply.  And he pointed to fluoridation of the water supplies as a precedent that could be followed. Even the Boston Globe published this man’s totalitarian suggestion.

About Welch’s 1963 book presenting the career of Dwight Eisenhower, no facts in its 300 pages have ever been shown to be false. Even today, readers find the revelations collected and published by Welch to be important history. All of it should be worthy of the time of a “trustee” of any state’s Historical Society.

Earl Warren was never “hated” by any member of the Welch-led Society.  What he did to advance the cause of Communism within the U.S. caused domestic Communists to hold a huge rally in New York City to salute the Supreme Court leader and the help he was providing to further communism’s subversion.  Pointing this out, and showing fellow Americans the harm created by the Warren-led court, wasn’t “hate.” It amounted to supplying facts and perspective needed by Americans.

The Society recommended letter writing. It formed a speakers bureau. It gathered people into rallies. And, yes, it either employed tactics or made recommendations that even Communists were using – each of which was morally based, legal and sensible. But Communists use moral and legal tactics along with immoral and illegal means to carry out their work. Communists have always published a newspaper. The Boston Globe’s owners publish a newspaper. But the Society never accused the Boston Globe’s owners of adopting a Communist practice in publishing their newspaper.

The Society is frequently pilloried for not publishing its membership lists, thereby earning the charge made by Mr. Widmer and others that it is a “secret” organization. But the Boy Scouts, the League of Women Voters, and many other organizations also don’t publish their membership lists. Mr. Widmer seems to have no appreciation for easily understood practices followed by many. Publishing a membership list would violate a trust accorded to members, which is why so many organizations refuse to do so.

The Society never, I repeat never, labeled Martin Luther King a Communist. Its publications did show that he hired communists, accepted funding from communists, attended communist training sessions, and frequently started demonstrations that turned into communist-led rioting and destructiveness. It was these associations that led former Attorney General Robert Kennedy to wiretap King’s phone and take other steps to thwart what King was doing. When J. Edgar Hoover labeled King the “most notorious liar” in America, he had plenty of reason to do so.

Mr. Widmer also claims that some of “the beliefs that Birchers held were racist.” That charge is odious, something our black and Jewish members would eagerly resist.

It goes on to describe members of the John Birch Society as a “merry band of radicals.” Shame on him for denigrating some of the finest people in our nation with that slur.

He and many other opponents of our Society rely on the claims of William Buckley to buttress his attacks. But Buckley betrayed his own beliefs when he announced support for abortion, when he suggested that colleague Joseph Sobran and ally Patrick Buchanan were tainted with anti-Semitism, when he accepted membership in the world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, and more. As the “Pied Piper” for the Establishment he once opposed, he became the favorite of numerous liberals who despised constitutional conservatism.

Enough! Mr. Widmer has discredited himself enormously. That the Boston Globe would publish his rantings discredits the Globe.

An apology is due. If one comes, I will gladly have it reprinted here.

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.