Let’s Continue to Celebrate Columbus

Let’s Continue to Celebrate Columbus
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

More than 50 of our nation’s local governments cancelled Columbus Day celebrations. This is obviously part of the ongoing war against our nation’s culture, an insult directed at the memory of Christopher Columbus that strongly indicates which side is winning this war. It isn’t the side that brought Christian values and practices to the Western Hemisphere.

Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus. Image from Wikimedia Commons, Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain (PD-US).

In place of celebrating – or at least acknowledging Columbus and his contribution to the Americas – the cultural iconoclasts have convinced some authorities to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” Therefore, we should take a hard look at what Columbus and his men found when they landed in the new world. The courageous Italian sailor and navigator never set foot on what became the United States. In each of his four voyages to the West, he landed in areas south of what became our nation, mostly in what is now known as the West Indies.

Throughout the area populated by the “indigenous people” in the late 15th century could be found headhunting, torture, cannibalism, human sacrifice to false gods, barbarous treatment accorded to war prisoners, mutilation of fellow man, sacrificing infants, and more. Is all or even some of this what today’s culture warriors seek to celebrate?

Columbus wasn’t a perfect individual and he never claimed perfection for himself. One of his goals in making four dangerous voyages across the Atlantic sought to bring Christian civilization to whomever he encountered. He succeeded in that pursuit though only partially. Other like-minded explorers, emboldened by his findings, piled up numerous successes as they spread Christianity throughout the West. Yes, there were instances of criminal activity perpetrated on natives, but these were not the norm. Further, some common practices in the Columbian era such as slavery were practiced by Columbus.

Today, there is the state capital of Columbus, Ohio. The state of Georgia has a city named after Columbus. South Carolina’s capital Columbia is named after the Genoese sailor. There is a Columbia University in New York City. And there are numerous other places and institutions whose names can be traced to the man whose voyages proved there was a whole new world west of Europe. Do the culture warriors intend to change or remove them?

Columbus persuaded Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain to finance his voyages. It was they who encouraged him to spread Catholicism in the lands he discovered. Being militant Catholics, Isabella and Ferdinand would never tolerate the practices commonly found among the indigenous peoples encountered by Columbus. That the two Spanish leaders would provide the ambitious navigator with funding for his several voyages meant that they found him to be neither a scoundrel nor a hopeless dreamer.

It was never a mistake for our country to honor Columbus. Tearing into his name and reputation causes this writer to ask what will come next. What Columbus and successor explorers generally found was customarily condemnable. It deserved to be replaced. Darkness began to give way to light. Reverting back to the darkness practiced by many of the indigenous peoples would certainly be a terrible mistake. Americans of today should keep such a travesty from occurring, or even from being celebrated.

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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.


Leftist Labor Unions Losing Clout

Leftist Labor Unions Losing Clout
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

During August 4-5, voting for or against unionization was heavy at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi. After lengthy campaigns waged by both sides that attracted national attention, the verdict rendered by Nissan’s 3,500 employees showed that more than 60 percent wanted nothing to do with the bid of the United Auto Workers (UAW) to be their bargaining agent. As expected, UAW president Dennis Williams accused the company of “intense scare tactics, misinformation and intimidation.” Company officials promptly denied each charge. Union organizers don’t like to lose. But losing has become their frequent fate, most prominently in the southeastern portion of the United States.

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Ralph Chaplin, public domain.

Earlier this year in a 3-to-1 vote, workers at a Boeing plant in South Carolina rejected a bid by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to unionize that facility. In 2014, the UAW narrowly lost out in its drive to represent workers at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant. Unionization did triumph in a few smaller plants but, generally, it has failed to capture the lucrative larger prizes.

Only days before the recent Nissan vote, opponents of unionization publicized the case of a Fiat-Chrysler official who was accused of pocketing millions taken from a union training facility for himself and a past UAW colleague. That bombshell has been credited with swaying some Nissan fence sitters to vote against the union.

However, most of the Nissan workers had already sung the praises of the company. Paint technician Marvin Cooke previously held a position at a restaurant where he wasn’t able to “have a 401(k) and only have one week of vacation.” Hired by Nissan 14 years ago, he said, “Now I have four weeks of vacation. I’m off on every holiday. Nissan has provided a great living for me.” Working at the Nissan plant has been a joy for many other area residents.

Nationally, the UAW and labor unions in general have seen membership decline precipitously over the past 50 years – down from one-third of workers in the manufacturing sector to 10 percent of workers in all fields. Many automobile and heavy manufacturing companies have chosen to build plants in Southern states where “right to work” legislation has been enacted. These laws bar compulsory union membership in any facility where a majority of workers may have already chosen unionization.

Where labor unions originally won acceptance at manufacturing plants, today’s union membership includes government employees (e.g. postal workers) and many employed in service industries (e.g. hotel and restaurant workers). But gains for the unions in those fields haven’t been enough to overcome losses in manufacturing, the former citadel of labor power.

One consequence of declining labor union membership is the loss of financial and voting power for the Democrat Party. Big Labor, not just the UAW, could always be counted on to swing leftward presidential and congressional elections and even state races. The days of UAW Founder Walter Reuther’s prominence as a Democratic Party kingpin using UAW to push hard for admittedly socialist goals are over. In 1958, Senator Barry Goldwater publicly characterized Reuther as a “more dangerous menace than anything Soviet Russia might do to America.”

Reuther died in a plane crash in 1970, and the parade of his successors as UAW leader and Democratic Party mogul has been just as leftist leaning. So the declining membership and waning political clout of unions is good for America.

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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.


Self-Exclusion Not a Good Answer

Self-Exclusion Not a Good Answer
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

You don’t have to be a doddering senior citizen to remember the explosive period known as the Civil Rights Movement. If you’ve not yet reached six decades of age, you should be able to recall the not-unreasonable demands for equal treatment among America’s blacks. They wanted to be included; they wanted to be looked upon as full citizens; they wanted to be judged by themselves, not by the color of their skin.

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Image by Rowland Scherman from Wikimedia Commons by the National Archives and Records Administration, public domain).

In many cases, their reasonable desires were taken over by militants seeking to tear the nation apart. Cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many more were torched. The victims were almost always the very people supposedly being helped. Subversive planning behind much of the chaos wasn’t supposed to be shown, even suggested. But it was the correctly identified spark leading to those fiery and frequently bloody days.

Some said the destruction and death were necessary. There had to be an end to treating one class of people differently. “Integration” was one leading cry of protesters. But radical bomb throwers who wanted more turmoil, not less, seemed to be almost everywhere. “Burn baby burn” was heard from coast to coast.

Then, the politicians and educators took some of these issues to the legislative halls and the courts. One result was forced busing where grade and high school kids were being put on buses and transported all over the area to satisfy some arbitrary quota based on race. At this point, black mothers joined with white mothers to protest the use of their children as pawns in an increasingly dangerous game. Did busing bring the various ethnic groups together? Not at all. In most instances, it made matters much worse. Some of the scars, mostly mental, still exist.

Race relations that were improving 50 years ago are still improving. But now, a new and upgraded form of race consciousness has set in. Recently, one of the more prominent places to find it was at Harvard University during graduation week. There, black graduate students – obviously with university permission – staged a graduation ceremony for themselves. They didn’t get their diplomas at this event – they would be passed out later with all the graduates – but they sought to make a point and it wasn’t built around cries for diversity. No whites, yellows, or Hispanics were invited to participate. And none of these highly educated and high IQ possessors carried a placard calling for an end to judging fellow man by skin color.

Ward Connerly is the President of the America Civil Rights Institute. As a former University of California Regent, he campaigned against racial preference in admissions to college. A man of mixed racial ethnicity, his skin is black, and he is considered to be  “black” by others. About separate black commencement ceremonies, he told the New York Times that showed a photo of the black Harvard grads parading in caps and gowns in their separate and unequal ceremony:

College is the place where we should be teaching and preaching the view that you’re an individual, and [you should] choose your associates based on other factors rather than skin color. Think about it. These kids went to Harvard and they less than anyone in our society should worry about feeling unwelcome and finding comfort zones. They don’t need that.

In other words, Connerly doesn’t like the idea of separating people by color. Nor, as shown by his years of crusading against affirmative action, does he have a good word for judging people by gender. So it’s safe to say that he’s an opponent of this whole idea of alternative graduation ceremonies with their unofficial diplomas and awards. The Times didn’t ask him, but it’s likely he opposes similar alternative ceremonies for LGBT grads springing up throughout the nation.

America became a better place when race consciousness and separating people started fading. Let’s keep it fading, not finding new ways to perpetuate all of it.

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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.


Saudi Arabia on UN’s Status of Women Panel

Saudi Arabia on UN’s Status of Women Panel
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Guess who won a seat on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women? This is the Commission dedicated exclusively “to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” Does the answer leap out at you when you find that the new appointee ranks 141st of the 144 nations rated by the World Economic Forum in its 2016 Global Gender Gap report? OK, quiz over. The answer is Saudi Arabia.).

A Saudi woman wearing a traditional niqab (photo from Wikimedia Commons by Walter Callens CC BY 2.0).

The Saudi Kingdom is so dismissive of the rights of women that it’s the only country worldwide where woman can’t drive an automobile. In addition, every woman must have a male guardian who alone can approve her schooling, career, and travel, even to obtain health care. Her guardian is typically her father or her husband, but it could even be her underage son.

Only last month, a 24-year-old Saudi woman sought to flee a forced marriage by going to the Philippines in hopes of getting to Australia. She was held and then turned over to two male relatives for the trip back to Saudi Arabia where she will be dealt with. In the recent past, a Saudi princess won asylum in England when a British court granted her immigration status because she had produced a child with a man outside the reach of Saudi detectives. She was very fortunate.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer commented, “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist the town fire chief.” He called the election “a black day for women’s rights and for all human rights.” Add to all of this the fact that the vote to welcome the Saudi Kingdom for a seat on this UN panel was done in secrecy. Few know who approved such an appointment. Saudi Arabia will begin its four-year membership on the Commission in 2018.

One has to wonder what’s going on here. Has the UN lost its collective sanity? Why choose a country so obviously at odds with the stated purpose of the Commission?

We don’t know the answers to these questions. But consider the UN’s steady growth in power over all nations and all humans. None of this buildup toward world government is affected by the appointment. It may even cause many to dismiss the UN as a major global power that is not to be taken seriously. Critics of the world body’s powerful commissions, departments, offices, and missions will easily be led to believe that this appointment of an obvious abuser of women’s rights shows how inept the entire UN truly is.

If that’s why Saudi Arabia will get a place on this UN Commission, the UN has won by painting itself as a bumbling entity that threatens no one. Meanwhile, UN progress toward its goal of unchallenged rule over all of mankind continues.

Sensible lovers of freedom in America and elsewhere must continue to call for breaking the UN’s tightening grip on the planet. Americans who want the U.S. out of the UN are encouraged to continue spreading the whole truth about the world body. Let the cry to Get US out! grow louder and reach many more. Let an abuser of women’s rights proceed to have a seat on the Women’s Rights Commission. But don’t anyone forget what else must become more widely known about the United Nations itself. Educational tools telling the whole truth about the UN are available at shopjbs.org or call 1-800-342-6491.

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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.


Rep. John Lewis Under a Microscope

Rep. John Lewis Under a Microscope
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On January 13, 2017, Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) answered questions on NBC Television’s Meet the Press. When asked if he would attend the inauguration of Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, Lewis stated:

I don’t see the president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in having this man get elected, and they helped to destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the Inauguration. I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others that helped him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not the open democratic process.

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) boycotted the Trump inauguration (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) boycotted the Trump inauguration and others (Image from Wikimedia Commons. Author is U.S. Congress: public domain).

Lewis has supplied no evidence to back up his claim about Russians arranging for Trump’s victory. Without such evidence, his claim should have been deemed outrageous and ignored. But, because he also said he would boycott the Trump inauguration, he received nationwide media coverage.

The Georgia congressman obviously knows how to gain publicity. And he doesn’t stick to the truth to get it. He stated that boycotting the Trump inauguration would be the first time in his 30 years in Congress that he wouldn’t be present at such an event. The truth is that he stayed away from the 2001 inauguration of President George W. Bush, saying he didn’t believe Mr. Bush to be the real victor. Then he attacked the candidacy of John McCain/Sarah Palin accusing them of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Had they won in 2008, it seems likely that he would have boycotted that inauguration as well.

John Lewis was born in Alabama in 1940. One of ten children, he was educated at a Nashville, Tennessee theological seminary and at that city’s Fisk University. He first met Martin Luther King in 1958. During the 1960s, as the leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis was the youngest of the six men who were considered leaders in the King-led Civil Rights Movement. He came to national attention during the 1965 protest march across the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama when his skull was fractured by state troopers.

A diligent student of the King non-violence ruse, Lewis and others were responsible for riots and increased levels of hatred in demonstrations all over the South. Their plan included creating situations where violence would occur. King spelled out this strategy in the April 3, 1965, issue of Saturday Review where he explained that demonstrations would lead to violence and then to subsequent legislation building government power over the entire nation. Without the violence needed by King-led or King-promoted demonstrations, they claimed their cause would achieve little or nothing.

After the Selma riot, John Lewis rose to greater prominence in the Civil Rights Movement. He eventually shifted his efforts toward gaining elected office, losing a 1977 bid for a Georgia congressional seat. By 1981, he had won a place on the Atlanta City Council. Then, in 1986, he became the U.S. Congressman representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional district. He has been reelected ever since.

Lewis is one of the most liberal members of the entire House and unquestionably one of most consistently Democratic congressmen in the Deep South. In recent years, he has used his congressional vote to support costly and unnecessary environmental mandates, continue tax-payer funding of abortion, maintain immigration outrages, block an attempt to rein in presidential legislating by Executive Order, and continue federal control of education. The district he represents is notable for the heavy amount of government funding of its citizens.

Like so many Civil Rights promoters, Lewis frequently blames others for “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” He pontificates, “We shouldn’t divide people; we shouldn’t separate people.” But he is a leader of a Black Caucus in the Congress (no whites allowed), and he crusaded for 15 years to have the federal government establish an African American museum in the nation’s capital (no whites depicted as heroes). Each of those institutions will perpetuate racial division.

Like too many of his colleagues, John Lewis regularly swears an oath to support the U.S. Constitution. But he then puts it in the bottom drawer where it never gets in the way of his support of the liberal agenda that is harming America.

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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.


Beauty Queen Speaks Out

Beauty Queen Speaks Out
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Anastasia Lin is a Canadian by choice though Chinese by birth. After relocating to Canada as a teen, she has been the entrant for her adopted country in the annual Miss World contest during recent years. Her outspoken criticism of China’s human rights abuses has drawn sharp criticism from Chinese sponsors of the pageant and from the Chinese government, both of whom have sought to silence her. But the campaign to keep her quiet has made her more famous for being silenced than for being pretty.

Anastasia Lin speaks at the National Press Club (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

Anastasia Lin speaks at the National Press Club (photo by Lisa Fan (Email) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

As Canada’s entrant to the pageant in 2015, she was prevented from attending the event held in the Chinese city of Sanya. But she continued to speak out about abuses, especially the harvesting of vital organs taken from Chinese critics of the Beijing regime. Noting that China doesn’t have a voluntary transplant program, she rightly concludes that “someone has to die. It’s not like the organs grow on plants.” She considers the Chinese process an exercise in Barbarism.

An actress and classical pianist, she also starred in a movie that dramatizes the grizzly transplant practice. Also a member of China’s semi-religious Falun Gong movement, she knows Chinese officials consider it “an evil cult” and has banned it. So her backing of that sect has additionally angered the Communist government. In 2015, Miss Lin sought to travel to Sanya to take her place in the competition, but she got as far as Hong Kong and was denied entry into the mainland.

The Miss World pageant has often been held in China. Though owned and managed by a British company, it receives financial backing from several Chinese companies. The 2016 event was held in a Washington D.C. suburb over this last weekend. Originally informed that she must keep quiet about her concerns, even within the United States, she has evidently been given a green light to speak to reporters and to publicize the film in which she stars.

But Miss Lin’s father, who is still living in China where he owns a medical supply company, is a new target of the Chinese authorities. Harassed by the government, he has lost numerous customers and faces bankruptcy. The Chinese government also refused him permission to travel to Washington to witness the 2016 pageant.

Miss Lin has asked, “Why is a powerful country like China so afraid of a beauty queen?“ Now able to speak freely to reporters, she comments: “Despite 60 years of censorship, [the Chinese] people don’t believe everything they hear on the news.” After appearing in the pageant, she told the Toronto Star, “My one goal was not the tiara. I just wanted to be on Chinese television … If they can see me on stage, they will know (I have not given up), so neither should they.”

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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.


The Downside of White Privilege

The Downside of White Privilege
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In Michael Scheuer’s “Why I’m eager to see the end of my ‘white privilege’ post, he lists why he is sick and tired of being told he was a beneficiary of “white privilege.” So, knowing full well that there are many exceptions to the scenarios he experienced, he listed what the so-called privilege has often meant to him.

“White Privilege” vandalism at the Jefferson Davis monument in Mid-City, (Photo by Bart Everson Flickr, some rights reserved).

Many Americans can identify with what he has stated. But those who do so face being charged with selfishness, racism, xenophobia, and more. The truth is that government-enforced policies have made people far more race-conscious than they might ever have been if government wasn’t forcing its ill-conceived and dangerous policies on everyone.

To the various complaints listed can be added similar favorable treatment accorded to illegal immigrants. And the seething outrage felt by many Americans isn’t waning; it grows and festers. If not addressed properly, destruction of the American dream will continue until the dream turns into a full-fledged nightmare.

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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.