Time to Audit the Fed

Time to Audit the Fed
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The Federal Reserve isn’t a government agency. Nor is it a bank in the normal sense of the term. It is a secretly run privately-owned institution that has, for slightly more than 100 years, built enormous power to decide the value of the dollar, set interest rates on borrowing, and create booms and busts affecting virtually all of us.

Ron Paul -End the Fed. Image from flicker by DonkeyHotey, some rights reserved, CC BY-SA 2.0.

A move to audit the Fed, even to find out who owns it, has been gathering steam in Congress over recent years. In 2014, the House voted 338-92 to conduct an audit of the Fed. In 2016, senators voted 53-44 to perform an audit – not enough to get by the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster. As expected in each tally, almost all Republicans cast Yea votes; virtually all Democrats voted Nay. The campaign to force an audit continues.

In April 2017, former Treasury Secretary and prominent Council on Foreign Relations member Robert Rubin signaled his unsurprising opposition to an audit in an Op-Ed piece published by The New York Times. He urged keeping the Fed’s operations secret, away from what he insisted would be political pressures. Fed Chairman Janet Yellen surprised no one when she expressed a similar objection.

The current congressional leaders seeking Fed openness are Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).  Massie has stated: “It is time to force the Federal Reserve to operate by the same standards of transparency and accountability to the taxpayers” that should be demanded of all government and semi-government agencies. Rand Paul, following the lead set by his father, a retired member of the House, agrees.

However, President Trump has just signaled a possible opposing view by naming former judge and Wall Street favorite Jerome Powell to succeed Yellen as Fed Chairman early next year. No quiet opponent of any audit, Powell devoted an entire February 9, 2015 speech to attacking any call for an audit. A partisan for Fed-issued money, he has championed federal debt ceiling increases and his pro-Fed stance won President Obama’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2011.

Were he alive today, one emphatic supporter of the Fed would be Karl Marx. In his 1848 Communist Manifesto, the father of modern socialism and communism called for “Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” In 1913, when the creation of the Fed won congressional approval, its creators went one step deeper into building what Marx urged by making the Fed secret and privately owned. It’s even worse than the state-owned institution Marx called for.

Currently, there is a bill in each house of Congress to have the Fed audited. H.R. 24 introduced by Rep. Massie is gathering co-sponsors in the House. And S.16 is doing likewise in the Senate. All who support openness and honesty in government should be contacting their elected officials to urge support for these measures.

During a Senate recess while he was innocently mowing the lawn in front of his Kentucky home on November 5th, Senator Rand Paul was physically and viciously attacked by his next-door neighbor. Rene Voucher, a known liberal socialist who is a medical doctor, has in the past verbally jousted with Paul, a hard-right conservative. This time, the confrontation wasn’t verbal but physical. Paul’s injuries in the completely unexpected attack included five broken ribs and bruised lungs. He will be sidelined for several months. Boucher was arrested and allowed to go free when he posted a $7,500 bond. He will likely face further punishment.

The pummeling of Rand Paul may have nothing to do with the senator’s call for auditing the Fed. But Boucher has loudly made known his preference for socialized medicine, something Senator Paul vibrantly opposes. What happened in the Bowling Green, Kentucky, neighborhood where the two men reside (Boucher lives alone; Paul lives with his wife and children) may include differing attitudes about the Fed. We don’t know. But we certainly wish Senator Paul a speedy recovery from his injuries. And we look forward to knowing that his S. 16 and Thomas Massie’s H.R. 24 gain passage in the Congress so that the Fed’s unmonitored operations will be finished.

The Fed’s secrecy should certainly be cancelled. It is known, for instance, that the Fed bailed out Greece during that nation’s recent economic crisis. How many similar transactions has the Fed conducted with other countries? The American people have a right to know who owns the Fed, who are all of its beneficiaries, and plenty more about the operations of this Marxist organization.

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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.


Withdraw Completely from UNESCO

Withdraw Completely from UNESCO
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The birth of the United Nations took place in mid-1945. Before the year ended, its leaders created the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization known as UNESCO. With their huge headquarters in Paris, this single branch of the UN has grown to fill 56 regional offices throughout the world, including an enormous presence in Washington. To put it mildly, UNESCO has become a powerful force for spreading UN propaganda and undermining political, religious, and educational standards virtually everywhere.

UNESCO logo. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

One can get an inkling of UNESCO’s overall goals through awareness of the thinking of its first leader, Britain’s Julian Huxley. A proud signer of The Humanist Manifesto, he never sought to hide his denial of God’s existence or any afterlife, or to cover up his endorsement of situational ethics, abortion, sexual license, highly questionable education programs, and world government. UNESCO promotes all of this.

Since 2009, Bulgarian Communist Irina Bokova has served as UNESCO’s top official. It is, therefore, no surprise that she has favored the same goals promoted by Huxley. She has recently been forced to spend a good deal of effort trying to diffuse charges that she has used her prominent UNESCO perch to purchase several luxury properties around the globe and to direct some of the organization’s funds to promote her own candidacy for the post of UN Secretary General. She failed in the attempt to become Ban ki-Moon’s successor when the post was given to Portugal’s Antonio Guterres, a like-minded socialist whose leadership of the subversive Socialist International indicates his antipathy to national sovereignty and personal freedom. Bokova will soon leave her UNESCO post and undoubtedly be replaced by another like-advocate of the Humanism’s goals.

The UNESCO education agenda has long drawn objections from defenders of responsible freedom, religious-based ethics, common sense, and national sovereignty. The organization produces or recommends textbooks aimed at the world’s youth that promote globalism, LGBT propaganda, highly questionable environmental claims, and more. Its program for teaching sex education to children as young as four is downright abominable. Here in America, UNESCO’s hand can be found in creating such educational disasters as Race To The Top, No Child Left Behind, and Common Core.

Another of UNESCO’s goals seeks to reduce the world’s population to protect the planet. From approximately 7 billion these world planners would prefer only 1 billion. Famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau stated this goal in an article he penned for the Paris-based UNESCO Courier in November 1991. He called for the elimination of “350,000 people per day.” Admitting this to be a “horrible thing to say,” he nevertheless said it and UNESCO approved the grisly notion by publishing it.

No leader of our nation should tolerate membership in UNESCO. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan temporarily suspended membership and refused to have the U.S. fund it. But America’s tie to UNESCO wasn’t severed completely, and President George W. Bush put the U.S. back in the organization in 2002.

President Trump has followed the lead set by President Reagan and suspended U.S. membership while cutting off some funding. He did so, he said, because of UNESCO’s mounting financial difficulties, a need for reform of the organization, and its anti-Israel attitude. Mr. Trump’s break with this UN monster is welcome but not complete. A repeat of the Bush restoration is likely. What is urgently needed is complete withdrawal not only from UNESCO but from the UN itself.

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) has introduced H.R. 193 calling for complete withdrawal of the United States from the world body. His measure deserves the support of all who love freedom and want our nation completely untangled from the UN. Patriotic Americans should urge their member of Congress to support this much-needed bill.

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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.


Will the Afghan War Ever End?

Will the Afghan War Ever End?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

From the mid-14th century until the middle of the 15th century, British and French forces fought what has always been termed the “Hundred Years War.” That struggle actually lasted 116 years. Which means that the U.S.-led coalition fighting in Afghanistan must continue fighting for one hundred more years to exceed the duration of the famous British-French encounter. It almost seems like the two sides are trying.

U.S. 10th Mountain Division soldiers in Afghanistan. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Already the scene of over 2,400 American dead, the on-going war in Afghanistan began shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks carried out by four hijacked airplanes. Initially, the goal sought to take on Al Qaeda for its role in the enormous 9/11 murder and destruction. This meant breaking up the Taliban, the militant Islamic forces that had seized control of portions of the country and were suspected of sheltering Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden. But the Taliban proved to be a tougher foe than expected and defeating it has been unachievable to date. Instead, this supposedly weaker brand of Islamic militancy has grown stronger. And finding bin Laden turned out to be impossible. (He was later discovered in Pakistan where daring American raiders killed him.)

Taliban forces have been using weapons given to them to oppose Russian invaders who stormed into their country in 1979. After ten years, the Russians gave up and went home. The guns and ammunition still in Taliban hands have then been employed to fight Americans.

Military leaders soon adopted a new and completely different strategy involving an effort to rebuild the war-torn country. Other nearby nations – Russia, Pakistan, India, even Iran – had their own designs which were not always similar to what the U.S. forces were told was their mission. When those conflicting goals were added to ethnic domestic combativeness, the turf-protecting warlords, and the ineffectiveness of the nation’s political leaders, the effort began to appear unsolvable. And that was only a few years after the first U.S. forces arrived in the land-locked nation.

U.S. forces then found themselves assigned to destroy the country’s lucrative opium production along with training local forces, all the while combating crooks and incompetents posing as Afghan leaders. Many of the trainees turned out to be enemies within their ranks. An American soldier would spend days, maybe weeks, teaching an Afghani how to be a good soldier only to have the newly trained individual turn his gun on the man who taught him how to use it.

Along the way, NATO assumed supreme command of the operation. Without doubt, many of the coalition forces have no idea that NATO, a UN subsidiary led by a European politician, is calling the shots. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has recently aired a new strategy that will take aim at Taliban sanctuaries. Doesn’t this mean that Taliban bases were previously untouchable? Is that any way to wage a war? A retired Marine Corps general, Mattis also seems to be violating a cardinal principle of warfare: Don’t let an enemy know your plans. Doing so destroys the element of surprise, always a key feature of warfare. But no more will the U.S. forces fight Taliban only after being attacked. And more forces will be added to those already in Afghanistan.

Will this new strategy lead to victory? Or will more years be added to the agonizingly victoryless campaign of the past 16 years? A hundred year war isn’t likely, but with the UN ultimately in charge and knowing that limited war serves the overall drive to create a world government, we should hardly be surprised if – new strategy or not – this war will continue for many more years.

Be a part of the driving force to Get US Out! of the United Nations! Learn more at The John Birch Society’s Get US Out! of the UN action project page.

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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.