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.


Liberals In Control of Academia Is Dangerous

Liberals In Control of Academia Is Dangerous
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Boston Magazine’s senior editor Chris Sweeney found hard evidence to back up what some discerning individuals have groaned about for a good while. His online article “How Liberal Professors Are Ruining College,” posted January 2017, carries a subtitle “In New England, they outnumber conservatives 28 to 1.” And he concludes: “That’s bad for all of us.” He’s correct.

(Image from www.pexels.com)

Are conservative professors being pushed to the edge of extinction? (Image from www.pexels.com)

Sweeney’s article mentions Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Smith, Brown, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, Hampshire College, and some other New England schools that would happily accept being described as liberal. But the percentages of left-leaners in the faculties of the northeast are somewhat astounding.

Relying on 25 years of research compiled by Sarah Lawrence College Professor Samuel Abrams, Sweeney noted that liberal professors held a 3 to 1 edge over conservatives in the South and Great Plains. Out West, liberal domination came in at 6 to 1. Those figures are bad enough. But within the six states comprising New England, the ratio was an astounding 28 to 1. That includes even some Catholic institutions. His conclusion about the Northeast: “… conservative professors weren’t just rare; they were being pushed to the edge of extinction.” In greater Boston, as one wag regularly concluded, “There are more than 60 institutions of higher leaning.”

The problem stems from the dominance of political correctness about nearly everything, something the proverbial herd is very adept at enforcing once it gains ascendancy. Leftist mentality grew dramatically more than a century ago when socialists from Europe gained teaching roles in the Northeast. But it really took off when Barry Goldwater got swamped in the 1964 presidential contest. Championing a conservative view (meaning smaller government, more freedom) came under increasing attack. Aided by the liberal media (New York Times, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, and most national news providers), young people found it fashionable to turn leftward. Many never got out of school; they went from one to another institution and became professors. Invariably they tilted leftward, frequently hard left.

Example: A Brandeis professor told students after learning of the death of Phyllis Schlafly, “There’s a special place in hell for people like her.” And that same purveyor of intolerance previously and exuberantly lauded deceased founder Tom Hayden of the Students for a Democratic Society, one of the more raucous leftist groups of the past 50 years.

During the past year, it would have been close to suicidal for a student to let his professor know he or she was unwilling to support Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders – even worse if that stand included an open preference for Donald Trump.

These same individuals will demand “tolerance” for outrageous conduct – as long as it’s left leaning. When some student believers, in their warped idea of tolerance, expressed their intolerance about the Trump victory by burning an American flag at Hampshire College, school administrators reacted by stopping any flying of the flag. The students won – at least for a time. Where tolerance reigns, it’s not just patriotism that suffers; it’s anything resembling virtue.

Professor Abrams himself wrote about the research he compiled. His concluding advice to young people and their parents is: “… if you are looking for an ideologically balanced education, don’t put New England at the top of your list.” Chris Sweeney certainly doesn’t disagree.

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 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.

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.


Restrooms By Choice?

Restrooms By Choice?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

As the assault on our nation’s cultural underpinnings continues, the latest attack against morality and sanity involves a choice of restrooms. If you’re a man, you can claim to be a woman and use the one where such use would in the past likely lead to your arrest. The same holds true for a woman who claims to be a man and prefers to use the men’s room. Many individuals who claim to have discovered that they have been wrongly assigned their gender identity have even submitted to medical procedures. They can deny who they are but they can’t deny nature.

The JBS action project supporting morality is a must if America is to return to its freedom-loving roots.

It will surely upset advocates of the so-called transgender craze to hear an opposing view – one that says each person’s gender results from action completely outside of any human being’s decision. Gender arrives at conception and it marks an individual for life. No tinkering, medical procedure, personal desire, or government edict can legitimately change that.

In the first chapter of Genesis verse 17, one can learn of the Almighty’s launching of the human race. The holy book tells us in clear terms, “… male and female He created them.” From then until now and beyond, a new human being is either male or female from conception. Even before birth, the newly conceived human’s chromosomes have determined its gender. In our country, as in most others, a newborn infant’s gender will also be recorded on a birth certificate that will forever indicate that person as either male or female.

The culture destroyers in the Obama administration decided that federal action was needed to protect the so-called rights of the transgender minority. The president sent a letter to every public school district in America telling the nation’s educators to allow students claiming a change in their gender to use whichever bathroom and locker room they choose.

The letter admitted that it “does not have the force of law.” It even employs the word “guidance” in place of the usual “must” or “shall.” Hence, it carries no obvious threat of federal punishments for those who don’t comply. But the possibility of withholding federal aid for balky school districts is real. And social pressures generated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender minority (LGBT is their acronym) and their culture destroying allies can be, and have already been, employed to force reluctant officials in various states and communities to change or simply ignore their local laws and standards.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act bans discrimination based on sex. So the culture-destroying commandoes referred not to sex but to “gender identity.” And the individuals who desire to alter their gender identification are taking advantage of loopholes in the laws in some states where changes can be made in one’s birth certificate. They are, in effect, rewriting a legal document.

What would have been termed “madness” only several decades ago is now sweeping the country. It follows a Supreme Court ruling elevating same-sex marriage to legitimacy. Other attacks on our national culture include assigning women to combat roles in the military, killing an unborn child in the womb, and condoning entertainment that subverts morality. All of these assaults on our nation’s culture harm the collective sense of what has always been identifiably “American.” Our nation continues a descent into a new form of barbarism.

Regaining our cultural underpinnings can be accomplished. After all, slavery was once considered legal, even proper. But it was abolished. Allowing and even encouraging individuals to change their undeniable sex to their own choice of “gender identity” is dangerously absurd. It even amounts to shaking a fist at the heavens and saying, “Not Thy will but mine be done.”

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.


Compulsory Union Funding Threatened

Compulsory Union Funding Threatened
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In 26 states, individuals employed in what are termed “public sector” jobs (teachers, firefighters, etc.) are compelled to pay the equivalent of union membership fees even if they decline to join the union. This arrangement is now being challenged in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The Supreme Court has accepted the case and is expected to deliver a ruling before its mid-2016 break.

12525208_1097141016976422_3967670622231450949_o

Plantiff Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran teacher in a California public school, speaks at a supporting rally. Image from Center for Individual Rights Facebook page.

The plaintiff in this case is Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran teacher in a California public school. She is joined in the suit by nine others who also believe they are being treated unjustly when forced to pay for something they don’t want. Ms. Friedrichs argues, “I never asked the union to represent me.” Speaking for herself and the other plaintiffs who resent the taking by their union of approximately $1,000 per year, she adds, “We’re asking that teachers be able to decide for ourselves, without fear or coercion, whether or not to join a union. It’s that simple.” The amounts obtained by a union from these non-union workers totals hundreds of millions in revenue.

Union representatives claim that their negotiation skills for salary, benefits, and working conditions help all workers (union member or not) and, therefore, all should pay for such a service. Terming the non-union workers “free riders,” they point to a check-off box on the union membership form given to all employees where each can indicate an unwillingness to join the union. Doing so, however, lowers the amount of salary taken by the union each year by a mere $20, the amount the union says is devoted to its political agenda. Estimates place the number of so-called “free riding” teachers who decline to join the union at 34 percent.

Part of the complaint claimed by Ms. Friedrichs and others points to union political activity that favors candidates and issues with which they disagree. The power possessed by well-funded labor unions in the political arena is no secret. It enables unions to flex their muscles with the war chests they obtain from members and non-members alike. In this particular case, the union is even using funds taken in member dues to fund their court battle. Ms. Friedrichs and her fellow plaintiffs are receiving help from the Center for Individual Rights, a private libertarian-minded group that obtains funding from non-government sources.

The very matter in question came before the high court nearly four decades ago. In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that states could indeed require employees to pay dues to a public-sector union even if the employee doesn’t join. Should the Friedrichs challenge prevail, the Abood decision would be overturned.

Approximately two centuries ago, Thomas Jefferson offered his opinion about a similar matter. He stated: “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Substitute the word “dues” for taxes in his statement and the decision the Supreme Court should reach seems obvious.

One of our nation’s highly touted fundamental freedoms, guaranteed to all, is being tested in this case. The verdict should favor Ms. Friedrichs and her colleagues.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Keep up with our latest news by signing up at our Facebook page.


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.


Is Education Truly Dangerous?

Is Education Truly Dangerous?
by JBS President John F. McManus

It isn’t necessary to explain that Hitler’s Nazi regime amounted to extreme totalitarianism. The leaders of the so-called “Master Race” considered huge numbers of human beings unworthy, even unworthy of life itself. But not all were to be exterminated. Some were needed as workers to produce goods and some were forced to become servants for the Nazi leaders.

In 1959, journalist William Shirer authored “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” a monumental 1,200-page study detailing much about Europe’s experience with the Third Reich. Shirer laid out the attitude of Hitler and his chiefs about virtually everything in his remarkable work. He, of course, pointed to several varieties of horror practiced by the regime, and what he reported about education is especially revealing.

Hitler’s right-hand man, Martin Bormann, explained the Nazi thinking with regard to the already conquered Slavs in a 1942 letter sent to a fellow Party member. In part, it stated: “Education is dangerous. It is enough if they can count up to 100 …. Every educated person is a future enemy.” Heinrich Himmler, the dreaded leader of the secret police wrote that half of the conquered Czechs would be forced to become “workers.” Those from the educated class were “intellectuals” and they were to be “eliminated.”

As for the conquered Poles, Hitler himself stated that they were “born for low labor…. There can be no question of improvement for them. It is necessary to keep the standard of life low in Poland and it must not be permitted to rise.” Addressing the potential problem of Polish priests, Hitler stated, “… they will preach what we want them to preach. If any priest reacts differently, we shall make short work of him. The task of the priest is to keep the Poles quiet, stupid and dull-witted.”

Why bring this up in 2015? Simply because the education being supplied to America’s youth parallels what was given to the people conquered by Nazi Germany, even what many living in Germany were provided.

In December 2013, statistics compiled by the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranked America’s teenagers as follows: 31st in math; 24th in science; and 21st in reading. Each of these rankings was worse than it had been over the preceding three years. Each continues to sink.

So what have the nation’s educrats done to address the continuing slide? They gave America’s students Race to the Top, Outcome Based Education, Goals 2000, and No Child Left Behind. None of those programs helped to reverse the downward trend. Now they have produced Common Core, which is being resisted by many because it, too, will not bring improvement. It will lead even more surely to the kind of uneducated worker bees sought in years past by the Nazi regime.

“Crimes of the Educators” reveals how the architects of America’s public school disaster implemented a plan to socialize the United States by knowingly and willingly dumbing down the population, a mission closer to success than ever before as the Obama administration works relentlessly to nationalize K-12 schooling with Common Core (Image from ShopJBS.org).

To learn more about how America’s education system became such a failure, we recommend reading “Crimes of The Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.” Veteran educator Samuel Blumenfeld teamed up with journalist Alex Newman to warn all Americans, especially American parents, about the need for radical change in teaching the young. Without radical change, including removing federal involvement from education (where it has no constitutional authorization), the ratings will sink further and the students coming out of the system will be ill-prepared to revitalize what was once the finest educational system in the entire world.

Education actually is dangerous for utopians or tyrants. An educated individual is a “future enemy” to a would-be totalitarian. On the other hand, he or she poses no threat to free people living in a free country.

If you want your children or grandchildren to receive a classical education similar to our Founding Fathers, we highly recommend FreedomProject Education (FPE). An affiliate of The John Birch Society, FPE provides a full Kindergarten to 12th Grade curriculum from top teachers via the Internet. The best part? It’s 100% free of Common Core!

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Keep up with our latest news and sign up at JBS.org or on our Facebook page.


Mr. 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 now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.