Ending Funding of Planned Parenthood

Ending Funding of Planned Parenthood
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

At a posh dinner gathering on May 16th, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights presented its annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award to Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards. In the numerous flattering comments extolling Richards’ accomplishments, Leadership Conference bigwigs said the PP mogul was “a nationally respected leader in women’s health and reproductive rights.” That’s a bit like designating Mao Tse-tung, history’s greatest mass murderer, as a premier guardian of life and liberty. PP terminates the life of many thousands each year.

Image from flickr by Fibonacci Blue CC BY 2.0.

What was the Leadership Conference praising? In its annual report for fiscal 2016, Planned Parenthood indicated it had performed 321,384 abortions in the United States. For this achievement, claimed the conference leaders, PP deserves thanks and congratulations for creating “a healthier and safer world for women….” Of course, half of the infants slaughtered in the womb by the Cecile Richards-led “health care providers” were females. PP didn’t create a “healthier and safer world” for them. The horrifying truth is that roughly 160,000 live female fetuses needed only to be left alone for a matter of weeks in order to become citizens of our free country.

The criminal act of terminating life in the womb costs money. Much of PP’s funding to continue its grisly practice comes from the federal government. During fiscal 2016 ending on June 30, 2017, PP’s annual report noted receiving $543,700,000 from federal “reimbursements and grants.” Which means that a singularly important financier of killing American human beings in the womb is the U.S. government. And all taxpayers, including a large number of anti-abortion citizens, are compelled to finance slaughtering unborn babes. There is no greater outrage being forced on the American people.

The Leadership Conference that chose to honor Cecile Richards is a coalition of liberal and left wing groups born in 1950 with 30 organizations as initial members. Its current list of 200 groups includes the following generally known organizations: AARP, ACLU, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, B’nai B’rith International, United Auto Workers, League of Woman Voters, NAACP, National Education Association, National Organization for Women, People For the American Way, and YWCA. The complete list of its 200 member organizations appears on the conference’s web site. Undoubtedly, there are opponents of slaughtering in the womb within many of the 200 Leadership Conference groups. Letting these people know that an organization to which they belong is heaping praise on PP’s leader and its featured despicable practice is recommended.

Insisting that abortion is a highly condemnable practice soiling the image of our nation ought to be “shouted from the housetops.” And compelling America’s taxpayers to finance the practice through taxation deserves to be labeled a “criminal act.” A realistic assessment of abortion should unabashedly term it “murder.” And compelling people to finance what they truly abhor is a cardinal practice of tyrannical governing.

During her acceptance speech at the Leadership Conference ceremony, Cecile Richards sought confirmation for what she has been doing by pointing to herself and PP and stating, “Nobody’s free until everyone’s free.” She and all Americans need to understand that babes in the womb slain by Planned Parenthood aren’t free to remain alive until they are born. Therefore, according to her own assessment, nobody else is free. At very least, or until legalized abortion is again deemed a high crime, the federal government should cease funding the murderous organization known as Planned Parenthood.

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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 Weapon Called Nerve Gas

The Weapon Called Nerve Gas
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence specialist Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with nerve gas while in the midst of normal activity in the English city of Salisbury. Both were rushed to a hospital where they were found to be gravely ill. The incident led to widespread condemnations of Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Both victims of the attack eventually recovered after weeks of care in a British hospital.

US Navy gas mask exercise. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Two weeks after the attack, England’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson concluded that Putin himself had ordered the attempted murder. He relied on knowledge of past acts of retribution delivered to former Russian officials who had become critics of Russian policies and leaders. In rather blunt terms, Johnson stated: “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin and with his decision – and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision – to direct the use of nerve gas on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov immediately countered Johnson’s condemnation of Russia and its president as “a shocking, unforgivable breach of diplomatic proprieties.”

At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley joined in the condemnations of Russia with a statement delivered to the Security Council: “If we don’t take concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used. They could be used here in New York, or in cities of any country that sits on this Council. This is a defining moment.”

Britain expelled numerous Russian diplomats and so did the United States. Russia responded by expelling American and British officials. The incident clearly interrupted a recent trend marked by peaceful, even friendly, exchanges between Russia and the West. But it also brought back memories of the 2006 assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in Britain. A former Russian intelligence expert, he had defected to the West and was living in Great Britain when he became ill and died soon after ingesting tea laden with radioactive polonium. Other defectors from Russia have suffered and died as a result of similarly suspicious events.

Skripal had served Russia for years as a military intelligence colonel. Convicted in 2006 of selling secret information to British authorities, he spent several years in a Russian prison but was then sent to Britain in 2010 as part of an exchange of spies. He chose to live in Salisbury where he seemed to have steered clear of any further government intrigue.

In Russia, commentator Kirill Kleimenov issued a blunt warning over government-controlled Channel One television. He calmly stated: “Being a traitor is one of the dangerous professions in the world. Alcoholism, drugs, stress, nervous breakdowns, and depression are inevitable illnesses of a traitor. As a consequence, heart attacks, strokes, traffic accidents, or suicide ultimately follow.” Statements such as his issued by Russia’s prominent media figures have the undeniable aura of government policy.

While no hard proof of Russia’s attack on the Skripals has emerged, the likelihood that President Putin or his close underlings are responsible is widely believed. Putin, it should be recalled, was the head of the dreaded KGB before succeeding in becoming his nation’s leader. He would know how to respond to critics who are deemed traitors.

Western leaders, certainly including U.S. President Donald Trump, should keep the Russian leader’s past, as well as his present, in mind when dealing with him. Leopards don’t change their spots and expecting former KGB bosses to become honorable is likely expecting what can’t be reality.

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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.


Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

It started during the George W. Bush administration. Back then it was termed “Operation Wide Receiver.” The program later became known as “Gunwalking” and ended up being labeled “Fast and Furious.” An ill-conceived scheme from its outset, it eventually cost the lives of an unknown number of Mexican citizens and one U.S. Border Patrol agent.

US-Mexico border fence. Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

The ill-conceived gun distribution project employed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) allowed, even encouraged, licensed firearms dealers in the U.S. to sell large quantities of weapons to straw buyers. These individuals were known to be conduits for weapons that would end up in the hands of Mexican drug dealers. The scheme had as its ostensible goal the eventual arrests of Mexican drug lords and the collapse of their cartels.

Fast and Furious was supposed to make detection, arrest, and prosecution of drug lords easier. It relied in part on cooperation of law enforcement agencies in Mexico even though their rampant unreliability was no secret. At one point in the program’s life, a monitoring of its results showed that approximately 700 weapons had been recovered out of over 2,000 that had been allowed to be purchased and quickly transferred to Mexico. And no interruption in drug trafficking occurred.

Criticism of the operation rose rapidly among ATF agents and the legal U.S. gun dealers who cooperated with U.S. authorities. The guns sold in the program were used in crimes committed on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. In 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed and weapons that were made available to criminal gangsters via Fast and Furious were found at the scene of his death.

Spurred to take action after the death of Agent Terry, the U.S. Congress and the Department of Justice began investigating this growing fiasco. When Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder refused to cooperate with a legitimate inquiry in 2012, he became the first sitting member of a presidential Cabinet to be formally cited for criminal contempt of Congress. Simultaneously asked about this incredible program, President Obama invoked “executive privilege” and refused to cooperate with the congressional probers. These high U.S. officials were obviously hiding something.

The entire scheme seems now to have been created to have many guns in the hands of killers, drug lords, et al. and to become a stimulus for Congress to enact stricter gun laws for all Americans. The current Department of Justice is planning to reopen an investigation of Fast and Furious and its predecessors. This is long overdue.

The early years of the Obama administration featured Rahm Emanuel as the president’s Chief of Staff. He’s the man who famously stated, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” To that revealing assessment should be added what seems to have been the Obama/Holder policy, “If no crisis exists, create one.”

The U.S. government’s war on the ability of Americans to defend themselves must cease. Anti-Second Amendment partisans seem willing to stop at nothing to overcome the people’s right to defend themselves. The conduct of Obama administration officials including the president must fully become known. Agent Brian Terry’s death and the deaths of hundreds in Mexico should not be forgotten. And scheming to abolish the American peoples’ right to keep and bear arms must cease.

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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 Job of Police

The Job of Police
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The horrific shooting spree in a Florida school has led to widespread discussion about what local police officers did and did not do to impede the killer. Much of the commentary about this incident has revolved around the notion that police officers have a duty to protect the citizens in their community from harm. In numerous cities and towns throughout the U.S., decals appear on the sides of police vehicles announcing that the police exist “To Protect and Serve” the local people. This is an erroneous concept.

Erroneous? Yes. Consider that no police force or any of its members are ever held responsible if someone is killed or harmed within their jurisdiction. You or I can’t sue the local police if some criminal attacks us and causes us harm. If I follow an attack that harmed me with a suit aimed at the police (and the jurisdiction that hires them), it would get me nowhere. Why? Because the job of police is not to protect me or anyone else. The police can’t be held accountable if harm comes to me or to you. Police are never sued for negligence if a criminal harms someone. That fact ought to be drummed into every American’s consciousness.

If the police aren’t responsible for protecting the people, who does bear that responsibility? The answer, very simply, is each person. And how do ordinary persons protect themselves from criminal activity? The quick answer is he or she has to be armed and must know how to use whatever weapon is chosen to fill that need. Another answer, though impractical for most, would have citizens hire bodyguards who would be armed.

John W. Whitehead of the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute has regularly pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has more than once ruled (such as in 2005 with the Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez decision) that police have no responsibility to protect members of the public from harm. The men and women who serve as police officers frequently do seek to stop an individual committing criminal activity but they are not required to do so. The responsibility to stop a criminal from attacking you lies with yourself.

Which brings us to the absolute right of a citizen to be armed. If it’s not the job of police officers to see to it that no criminal attacks you, that responsibility is yours. And any impediment to you having the means to protect yourself is absolutely wrong. The Founders of our nation knew this and their awareness that led them to add the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, wrongly considered by many to apply only to citizens who serve in a militia, applies to virtually everyone.

Should the right to be armed be denied to someone who has already used a weapon for a criminal purpose? Yes. How about the mentally disturbed and those taking medication for suspected mental problems? Yes again. How about children who don’t know how to use a weapon or aren’t aware of the dangers posed by weapons? Parents should be held responsible for their children. And a suitable age must be established for youthful weapon possession.

In the wake of the Florida shooting, clamor for doing away with private ownership of weapons is again being raised. Such demands are incredibly wrong and will, if enacted, lead to more crime, even the governmental crime known as tyranny.

In no way is this author promoting any move toward abolishing local police forces. They have an important role to play in keeping society orderly. But, as must be made abundantly clear, it is not their job to “protect” citizenry from harm. If they do so without cancelling the rights of law-abiding citizens, fine. The most certain way to insure that police do not present a problem is keep jurisdiction over them and their activity in the hands of local authorities.

Should teachers be free to have a weapon while in a school? Of course. Should schools and other places be deemed “gun-free zones”? Absolutely not! Such a labeling of schools as gun-free will invite criminally minded and mentally deranged to go to schools where there are no guns to stop them from creating mayhem.

There should be no restrictions on the ordinary citizen who wishes to protect himself and his family from a criminal. And there should be a reversal of the attitude that has people relying on police for such protection.

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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.


Explaining the School Shooting

Explaining the School Shooting
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Opinions about why the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School occurred have come in a flood. Even more suggestions and demands have been offered about what needs to be done to keep such a tragedy from ever happening again. Practically all have missed a telling point that appeared in an obscure political cartoon.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Formulanone, public domain.

The poignant message arrived in what really wasn’t a cartoon. To merit that designation, there would likely be a caricature of the targeted subject, maybe even a photo of the person featured with a wry or compromising smile followed by appropriate commentary. No, what I’m referring to is a very few words published in an obviously solemn type style. Its words follow:

Dear God: Why do you allow so much violence in our schools?  – Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student: I’m not allowed in your schools.  – God

Whether a daily mention of God in school would have kept Nikolas Cruz from killing 17 people can’t be known. But there are numerous other cultural changes over the past 50 years that should be factored into whether there will be more tragedies like the one just headlined in Florida. These, too, should not be ignored.

I think of broken families, the widespread abandonment of instruction about moral absolutes, violence featured in movies and video games, drugs administered to the young that lead to distorting their reality, and intense focus on the mass shooters that can easily result in copycat crimes. With the general breakdown of moral principles, I sometimes wonder why there aren’t even more splurges of violence.

Of course, there are many who blame the gun used in such a crime. But no gun ever jumped up from a table or escaped from a gun rack to perform by itself. Someone put it to use. The late Bob Lee, my deceased good friend, once wrote, “Blaming guns for crimes is as senseless as blaming pencils for misspelled words.” He was correct.

I’m a great admirer of the Constitution of the United States. Among its Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments that are considered by many as a portion of the original Constitution itself) there is the very sensible and needed Second Amendment. In part, it states, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Proper authorities and due process should take that right from someone who has abused it. Take it from someone who is mentally sick – yes. Keep it from young people who don’t know how to use it – yes again. But taking guns from law-abiding, sensible people isn’t the answer. Criminals will always find ways to obtain a gun in our free country. And, as the erosion of moral standards continues, there will be more, not fewer, mass shootings.

John Adams served as our nation’s second president. The Bill of Rights had already been added to the Constitution when he held the office. He had no difficulty accepting the full Constitution as the supreme law of our land. But he knew it wasn’t enough, that even it didn’t guarantee the freedom and tranquility decent people desire. He believed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Because so many Americans are not “moral and religious people,” shootings such the recent tragic event in Florida occur.

No matter how admirable it may be, a Constitution won’t prevent a repeat of the horror just witnessed. It won’t erect a barrier between ordinary citizens and those who are sick, criminally bent, or depraved. John Adams was correct. A return to exposing young people to the need for religion and morality would surely diminish – maybe even terminate – the type of horror just visited on the children and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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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.


Terrorism Still a Threat

Terrorism Still a Threat
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

New York City subway riders will hardly forget what happened on the morning of December 11, 2017. A bomb carried by an immigrant from Bangladesh prematurely exploded in a busy underground corridor linking two portions of the city’s subway system. It was a stroke of luck that only a small portion of the man’s bomb detonated, wounding him, and hurting three unlucky subway patrons walking alongside.

Inside a NYC subway car. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Devin Smith, CC BY 2.0.

Akayed Ullah intended to join the ranks of suicide bombers who have created havoc across the globe. He strapped his makeshift bomb to himself under his clothing and evidently didn’t follow all the instructions about how to build such a weapon. Where he obtained the bomb-making information could have come from a computerized messaging system known as Telegram that routinely disseminates propaganda for would-be jihadists. A few years ago, two brothers used pressure cooker bombs triggered by cell phones to create deadly mayhem at the Boston Marathon. The two learned how to construct their death-dealing devices from a magazine article detailing how to use a pressure cooker, electronic detonators, etc. If it’s that easy to become a terrorist bomber, we should expect more, not less terrorism.

Ullah entered the U.S. from Bangladesh in 2011 using an F-4 visa, the kind available only to those who have family members who are U.S. citizens. His status under existing immigration policy places him as a permanent U.S. resident. Questioned at his hospital bed soon after his terrorist attack failed to kill innocent subway patrons, Ullah admitted being inspired by ISIS. He sought to protest the U.S. attacks on ISIS targets in Syria and elsewhere with his grisly attack on innocent civilians. He regularly attended prayer sessions at a mosque near his residence in Brooklyn. The imam at that mosque credibly claimed to be opposed to any sort of jihadist activity.

Many reminders of Christmas throughout New York seemed also to have irritated the Muslim Bangladeshi immigrant. His determination to harm New Yorkers reminded city officials that, since the horror of 2001 when thousands died at the World Trade Center, more than two dozen similar plots had been identified and stopped before death-dealing jihadists had carried out their plans. Only weeks previously, a jihadist used a truck as his weapon to kill eight on a bicycle path in lower Manhattan.

The incident in the subway tunnel was not without its heroes. After Ullah’s bomb exploded, he was lying in pain on the floor with wires sticking out from his clothing. As he reached for his cell phone, three city policemen who had just rushed to the scene, saw what he was doing, and dove at him to successfully grab the phone. Heroism like that may be comforting, but it won’t stop similar attacks as potential jihadists respond to the defeated ISIS leaders who are urging such attacks on the West.

President Trump has widely been criticized for banning immigration from several Middle East and African countries. Included are Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as well as recent additions Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. (The Supreme Court approved this move as recently as December 4, 2017.) As sensible as such bans may be, they would never have stopped Akayed Ullah from traveling in and out of the U.S. There are surely many more who possess F-4 visas, and other permissive documents, and could become the next terrorist bombers. Both federal and local authorities know that real potential exists for previously docile immigrants to create their own homemade bombs, especially after being urged to do so by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other militantly determined foes of Western civilization.

More needs to be done to slow down and eventually terminate these terrorist attacks. Nibbling at the edges of a growing problem isn’t enough.

Want to learn more? Watch our video Exposing Terrorism.

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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.