The NFL’s Disregard and Disrespect of the Flag

The NFL’s Disregard and Disrespect of the Flag
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Even though many National Football League players, plus some coaches and owners, have championed Colin Kaepernick’s insult to the nation’s flag, he is no hero. As of this writing, he’s also no longer an NFL player.

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Crash Underride, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Kaepernick is the self-serving individual whose refusal last year to stand during the playing of the National Anthem and the simultaneous honoring of the American flag has spawned similar demonstrations throughout the NFL. Kaepernick sought to draw attention to himself by claiming his action constituted a response to cops killing black Americans. He offered himself as a symbol for what he contends is a form of deadly racism. He has become a hero to the Black Lives Matter movement.

We know of no complaint this man has ever registered about black babies being slaughtered via abortion. Approximately 15 million have been butchered since the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for murder in the womb in 1973. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a supporter of such carnage, noted in 2017 that pregnant black women are five times more likely to kill their unborn child than white women. BlackGenocide.org has pointed to an older Howard University study noting that black women over 50 who have had an abortion are five times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who have never submitted to the grisly practice. If Kaepernick is completely unaware of such facts, he has been victimized by the news media that now supplies him with inordinate amounts of attention.

Kaepernick is the son of a white woman and a black man. His biological father took off immediately after finding out that he had fathered a child. Kaepernick’s mother, realizing her inability to care for her baby, carried him to term, and immediately placed him up for adoption. A white couple answered the call, raised him, gave him the Kaepernick name, and provided care for close to 20 years. Kaepernick is surely not a victim of racism.

Having attracted huge amounts of attention through his initial refusal to honor the flag and the anthem, Kaepernick upped the ante by later wearing socks carrying a portrayal of policemen characterized as pigs. He never mentioned the five Dallas policemen who were deliberately sought out and murdered by a black sniper. Nor did he speak out about the black murders of scores of fellow blacks that have become routine in Chicago.

To date, the NFL’s officials have refused to condemn the actions of players, coaches, and owners who have chosen to follow the Kaepernick lead. The league has stiff rules against wearing ads on their uniforms or demonstrating “excessive” joy after scoring a touchdown. There are even penalties for not having one’s shirt properly tucked in. Should not loyalty to country be expected of millionaire players, owners, and coaches?

Claiming that the entire matter should be judged, not by a racial test but by the answer to a single question, columnist Pat Buchanan asks: “Do players, before games, have a right, as a form of protest, to dishonor and disrespect the flag of the United States and the republic for which it stands?” If so, he and others contend, then the NFL should start preparing for plenty of fans who will find something else to do with their dollars and their time when the NFL takes the field.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against former high school football coach Joe Kennedy who made it a practice to gather the players for silent prayer before a game. Kennedy was fired, appealed to get his job back, but was rebuffed by the federal court. Still, Kaepernick is a hero to many.

Patriotic and religious expressions are under attack. Ultimately, the values that made our nation the envy of the world are the targets. Resistance to such a campaign is needed. It is Kaepernick and those who honor him who should be shunned, not the flag and the national anthem.

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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 Supreme Court and Cake

The Supreme Court and Cake
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Five years have passed since a Colorado baker of cakes refused to create one of his masterpieces for two men who wanted it to celebrate their  “marriage.”  It’s hard to believe that this incident is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. But it is, and the fact that it has reached such heights indicates how far our nation has descended toward destruction of common sense and the commonly held values that formerly undergirded our nation.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons by Michael Prudhomme, CakesMadeEasy.com under the terms GNU Free Documentation License.

Cake maker Jack Phillips says he has a right to refuse the business of a particular customer whose fundamental intention is not to purchase a decorated cake but to use the transaction to force acceptance of homosexual “marriage.” On religious grounds, he doesn’t approve of “gay marriage” and his refusal to build a fancy cake for a homosexual duo supposedly violates a portion of the U.S. Constitution banning discrimination. I searched but I couldn’t find the particular part of the Constitution on which this case is built. Legal beagles claim it’s discrimination, and that’s something terribly bad. Half a century ago, discrimination was so highly regarded that the Herbert-Tareyton cigarette company advertised its product as “the cigarette for discriminating people.” And a common assessment of the esteem accorded discrimination back then insisted that the only people who don’t discriminate “are prostitutes and fools.”

Sadly, commonly held attitudes of 50 years ago have been pushed aside in the rush to overturn cultural, religious, and even economic mores. Some would claim this development to be “progress.” But that’s another word whose meaning has been turned upside down.

Shouldn’t Jack Phillips have a right to refuse the business of someone who walks into his store and intends, not so much to buy a cake, but to have the planned transaction force acceptance of something abhorred by Phillips and many others? Why does Phillips have to provide an approved reason for saying “No” to a potential customer he knows has an agenda that far exceeds buying a cake? Isn’t his business his property, his “castle,” a place where his right to refuse entry to someone is supposed to be sacrosanct?

A deeper look into this matter shows that the homosexual couple seeking a cake from Phillips planned to have it at their ceremony in New York, not in Colorado. They obviously chose to challenge the Lakewood, Colorado, baker’s distaste for gay marriage. So, the issue isn’t really one of mere refusal to do business with someone. It’s about forcing acceptance of homosexual marriage. By definition, marriage has always been the union of one man and one woman. Homosexual marriage is no more a “marriage” than labeling something water when it isn’t a combination of hydrogen and oxygen.

It’s no surprise to find a spokesman for the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) division taking the side of the supposedly aggrieved cake customers. James Essex of the ACLU claims: “You have freedom to believe and to preach your faith until your actions harm other people.” Does refusal to cooperate with the demands of homosexuals amount to harm? If so, what about possible harm done to a baker who refuses to participate, even in a slight way, in a practice he considers reprehensible, even sinful? Also, what about harming the moral character of this nation?

The Supreme Court will hear Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in the fall. The case progressed from rulings at lower levels favoring the claims of the two men who insist that they are victims of unjust discrimination. Phillips’s attorney David Cortman rightly states, “Every American should be free to choose which art they will create and which art they won’t create without fear of being unjustly punished by the government.”

That makes sense, of course. But good sense doesn’t always prevail, especially when so much more than discrimination is at stake. The high court’s willingness to rule in this case about cake signals that there are far more important matters at stake.

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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


Indonesia’s Strange Kind of Justice

Indonesia’s Strange Kind of Justice
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

He was the Governor of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city. In an election held in April, however, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama lost his prestigious and powerful post. Was it because he was incompetent? Was he guilty of some form of corruption, a common finding in some other Asian nations? Was he afflicted with ill health or advancing age? No, none of those reasons led to his defeat.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was Governor of Jakarta (photo from Wikimedia Commons by Cyrilobrien CC BY-SA 4.0).

Mr. Basuki’s downfall resulted from a statement he made about the Koran in the nation, which has the largest Muslim population on earth. What happened is that Basuki’s opponents claimed that the Koran, the Muslim holy book, forbids Muslims to vote for a non-Muslim. Basuki is a Christian and his response to that attack included a claim that the Koran issued no such directive. Immediately, he was charged with blasphemy for insulting the Koran, a serious crime in this predominantly Muslim nation.

Whether the Koran does or doesn’t forbid Muslims from choosing a non-Muslim in a political race isn’t this writer’s place to determine. What is of interest is that Basuki had been leading in the polls and was expected to win over Anies Baswedan, a former minister of education who is a Muslim.

One month after being defeated, an Indonesian court found Basuki guilty of blasphemy for his claim. Quickly sentenced to two years in prison in a unanimous decision by the court’s five judges, the former governor of Jakarta now languishes in a prison housing drug dealers, rapists, and other convicts. Indonesian law allows for him to appeal, but not to remain free while his plea is considered. Prosecutors in the case had recommended probation but even they were overruled.

The incident provides a good reminder of the way any similar slur or contrary interpretation aimed at religion is handled in America. Insulting or misinterpreting someone’s religious view is fairly common here, even growing more common. Doing so may properly lead to voter rejection of a candidate seeking office. But immediate prison is impossible thanks to the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Human Rights Watch’s Andreas Harsono, an Indonesian researcher, called the verdict and sentence given Basuki “a sad day, even a frightening day.” He added: “If the governor of Indonesia’s largest and most complex city, who is an ally of the Indonesian president, can be brought down and humiliated in this way, what will happen to ordinary Indonesian citizens?” Good question.

The incident in Indonesia should help all Americans appreciate what they have in the U.S. Constitution. Here, slurring or misinterpreting another’s religious views (deliberately or mistakenly) may hurt or boost a candidacy. But it won’t result in being sent to prison.

To help ensure the Constitution is being followed, join the John Birch Society today!

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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.


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.

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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.


Nothing New about Fake News

Nothing New about Fake News
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Would anyone deliberately plant and then spread false information on the Internet and elsewhere?  The answer is so obvious that it’s akin to asking if tomorrow’s sun will rise in the East. Of course it will happen. And, of course, deliberate issuance of what is known to be false has lately become a relatively common occurrence.

(Photo by Public Domain Pictures, CC0 Public Domain).

Hillary Clinton recently broke the silence that has been her fate since losing the recent election. She spoke at a farewell party for retiring Nevada Senator Harry Reid. Intoning solemnly about an “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda,” she obviously hoped that her own use of the tactic wouldn’t be recalled. But she is an expert at issuing falsehoods.

In 1996, she visited Bosnia as America’s First Lady to salute U.S. forces in the region. More than ten years later, she claimed that her plane had landed amidst “sniper fire,” even adding that there “was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Several news sources eventually debunked the story, some citing Major General William Nash, the U.S. commander in Bosnia who said there was no such “sniper fire.” The fake news she issued was surely delivered to advance her desire to be known as courageous.

Mrs. Clinton would later tell news sources that her daughter Chelsea narrowly managed to flee the vicinity of the Twin Towers in 2001 as those buildings crashed to the earth. Supposedly, Chelsea was fortunate to run away from all of the destructiveness. But Chelsea was nowhere near the site of the 9/11 destruction on that fateful day.

As Secretary of State in 2012, Mrs. Clinton blamed  an inconsequential anti-Islam video made in in Los Angeles for the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The U.S. ambassador and three others died in that skirmish. But the privately made video wasn’t the reason for the attack at all. Her planting of that bit of fake news went so far as to tell the mother of one of the deceased Americans that the video alone led to the four deaths. She sought to cover up her own inadequacies with that bit of false news.

Fake news has sometimes spawned enormous consequences. In August 1964, President Lyndon Johnson pointed to an attack on U.S. warships by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. The supposed attack spawned congressional passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that led to a huge escalation of the war in Vietnam. But there was no such attack by enemy torpedo boats according to U.S. pilots flying over the area at the time. The mythical Tonkin incident was fake news used by those anxious to expand the war in Vietnam.

In 1963, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren placed blame for the assassination of President Kennedy on the right wing. There was no evidence to back up that assertion but it did result in a few bricks being thrown through the windows of The John Birch Society headquarters in Massachusetts. Fake news does lead to real action.

Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or with the brick throwing. But her use of fake news for her own purposes makes her a leader in the fake news field. In her speech honoring Harry Reid, she called for congressional hearings and eventual legislation to deal with the “epidemic” of fake news that places “lives of ordinary people at risk.” She places herself as a leader in efforts to cancel the right to – rightly or wrongly – discuss political issues.

She knows what can happen when falsehoods are spread, especially when spread by people who are supposed to be reliable. Her newly outspoken concern about falsehoods may indicate her desire for government control of the Internet where false news has found a home.

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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.