Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA

Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been bedeviling Americans since 1970. Many have felt the sting of its steep fines, heavy costs to comply with questionable edicts, and occasional shutdowns of factories whose owners simply throw in the towel. “It’s all worth it,” say most environmentalists. “We’ve got to have clean air and clean water, and if there are casualties along the way, so be it.”

H.R. 861 has been introduced to abolish the EPA (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

Perhaps the most common attitude expressed by determined environmentalists is that, like it or not, EPA’s laws have to be obeyed. Add to that the oft-repeated claim “once a law is on the books, everyone must comply.”

But there’s a fundamental problem underlying this thinking. It is that the EPA didn’t result from a properly enacted law passed by Congress, a route required by the very first sentence in the U.S. Constitution. This regularly ignored dictum states, “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” If you understand the meaning of “all,” you can readily see that the constitutional intent left no openings for other ways to make law. The EPA’s birth didn’t arise through use of congressional law-making power. It resulted from a December 2, 1970, Executive Order penned by President Richard Nixon.

Congress had already passed legislation known as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Then came the EPA. Once in the books via the Nixon executive order, the EPA (a swiftly growing federal bureaucracy) took over enforcement of those measures. The agency’s reach has grown exponentially over the years. In the mid-1970s, a U.S. Steel plant in Indiana faced enormous EPA-promulgated fines and chose to close down with the loss of 500 jobs. Kennecott and Consolidated Copper also closed down for similar reasons. Numerous other firms did likewise. Where fines had to be paid to call off the dogs of the EPA, some companies raised their prices and passed along those additional expenses to the general population.

The EPA then targeted the automobile industry. EPA lover Al Gore (who almost became President via the 2000 election) chimed with his astounding 1992 book Earth in the Balance. Among other excesses, it called for “completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25-year period.” That means automobiles and trucks. Gore still uses both.

In 1989, Stanford University Professor Stephen Schneider, an EPA cheerleader, spoke of the “ethical” problem surrounding any defense of environmental claims. He addressed the need to get some “broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination.” How to do that? He stated:

So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

The EPA started its crusade with arbitrary dictates regarding air and water. It then spread into issuing rules regarding land use, endangered species, waste disposal, radiation, and supposed global warming (now termed “climate change”). By 2016, the EPA had 15,376 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion. It continues to grow.

To counter all of this, freshman Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has introduced H.R. 861, a measure seeking total abolition of the EPA. His entire bill, a single sentence, reads: “The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” A former veteran state legislator, he claims to have had “a front row seat to the failures of the federal government in protecting the environment.” Noting that “the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats,” he proposes that there’s no need whatsoever for the EPA and sensible environmental protection should be handled at state and local levels.

H.R. 861 deserves support in Congress and among the American people, especially those who believe in a government limited by the U.S. Constitution.

Take action by calling your representative (202-225-3121) and senators (202-224-3121) to cosponsor this bill to abolish the unconstitutional Environmental Protection Agency. 

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Will Neil Gorsuch Become a Supreme Court Justice?

Will Neil Gorsuch Become a Supreme Court Justice?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On January 31st, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. If he wins Senate approval, he would fill the seat formerly held by Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February 2016.

President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

A full year ago, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to succeed Scalia. But Senate Republicans, led by current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), refused to hold hearings on that nomination. Republican senators concurred, saying they were only following a precedent set by Democrat Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). He indicated a determination to block Senate approval of any new nominees while a president’s term was winding down. Although he added a qualifying “except in extraordinary circumstances” to his intention, he made clear that he and Democrat colleagues would block adding anyone appointed by President George W. Bush.

When the New York Democrat stated that position, Mr. Bush had approximately 18 months to go before he would have to leave the White House. When the Republicans decided to block consideration of Merrick Garland, Obama had slightly less than a year before his term in office would end. Pointing to Schumer’s 2007 stance, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) stated, “We’re embracing the precedent Senator Schumer advocated in 2007. If it’s good enough for [Democrats] when they’re in the majority, it’s good enough for us when we are.”

Merrick Garland’s chance to become a Supreme Court justice died when Donald Trump triumphed over Hillary Clinton last November. He continues to serve as the Chief Justice of the Washington D.C. Federal Appeals Court.

Regarding Neil Gorsuch, we have learned that he never issued a ruling on the contentious issue of abortion. But, in his book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, he wrote that if the Supreme Court had defined a fetus as a “person,” it never would have approved abortion as it did in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision. Other stands he has taken indicate that he is an opponent of intentional killing, including euthanasia. Karen Middleton, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, insists that Judge Gorsuch should be considered a pronounced enemy of abortion.

On other matters of interest to conservative Americans, Gorsuch sided with the Hobby Lobby Stores in their plea for an exemption to Obamacare’s requirement that they pay for employee contraception practices. He also agreed with Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s failed effort to avoid being forced to fund Planned Parenthood.

In general, Gorsuch has been dubbed an “originalist,” a believer that the words and meaning of the Constitution should be honored as they were understood at the time they were written. In other words, new meanings should not be created for them. That alone means he is very much in sync with the late Justice Scalia who strongly advocated such an attitude. After a career that most recently had him serving on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Gorsuch considers such matters as abortion, euthanasia, and contraception should not be judged in courtrooms, a practice that he feels is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary.

Concerns have been raised by some about Gorsuch’s five-year membership in the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. The fact that his affiliation with the CFR lasted only five years is possibly significant. The world government promoters at the CFR regularly look for bright and ambitious young people to whom they give five-year term memberships in hopes that they will adopt the CFR thinking. Gorsuch’s name appears as a CFR “term” member in 2004 and that membership is noted until 2008. He may have formally resigned or just walked away. Or the CFR moguls may have decided he was not what they had hoped for. Others have similarly decided the CFR was not for them. Not completing the five-year term with the CFR may mean that he didn’t like what he learned of this key Establishment organization. To date, he has never commented about this matter.

If Neil Gorsuch follows the lead set by Antonin Scalia, the man whose place on the court he will fill if approved by the Senate, chances are that he will follow in the footsteps of the late jurist. And that would be 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.


John McCain, the Anti-Conservative

John McCain, the Anti-Conservative
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

He’s always available for the news programs. Arizona Senator John McCain receives friendly airtime and is relied upon for his perspective because of his willingness to stand apart from true conservatism – which is based on the U.S. Constitution’s limitation of the federal government. The media love him, not because he’s a traditional conservative, but because he’s a neoconservative.

The media love him, not because he’s a traditional conservative but because he’s a neoconservative (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

The media love John McCain, not because he’s a traditional conservative but because he’s a neoconservative (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

A neoconservative is a partisan for socialism, big government, and war to force the movement’s view on others. Neoconservatism had its birth in the 1970s when a group of Democrats abandoned that political party and declared themselves newly minted Republicans. Led by Irving Kristol, the self-proclaimed “godfather” of the movement, neocons have followed his lead in calling for “a conservative welfare state.“ They also roundly condemn “isolationism,” preferring military action almost anywhere. Kristol frequently and proudly expressed his affection for Leon Trotsky, who partnered with Josef Stalin in the takeover of Russia in 1917.

On February 19, 2017, Jon Karl interviewed Senator Rand Paul on ABC’s “This Week” program. Asked to explain John McCain’s frequent criticisms of President Donald Trump, Paul stated:

I think Senator McCain’s perspective is colored by his disagreements with President Trump on foreign policy. If I were to look at foreign policy, I would say that John McCain has been wrong on just about everything over the last four decades.

He advocated for the Iraq War, which I think destabilized the Middle East. If you look at a map, there are probably at least six different countries where John McCain has advocated having U.S. boots on the ground.

John McCain’s complaint is we’re either not at war somewhere, or if we’re at war, we leave too soon. So we’re not there soon enough, and he wants us to stay forever wherever we send troops.

McCain’s affection for war as can be found in some of his recent Senate votes. Last September, the Arizona senator supported a measure calling for sending tanks to Saudi Arabia that could be put to use in the Yemen struggle. Had his intention not been blocked, the U.S. would have been more heavily involved in yet another Middle East conflict.

Then in December 2016, McCain supported the huge $611.2 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which supplies funding for military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. This enormously expensive measure also called for the creation of a “Global Engagement Center” that will finance U.S. activity in countering foreign state propaganda efforts. In other words, the U.S. will be meddling in other nations and calling it part of needed defense of our own. Critics say this new center will drag our nation into more conflicts.

John McCain spent several years as a prisoner of the Communist North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. He rode that credential into gaining a place in Congress as a conservative Republican, a reputation he never deserved. His performance has never seen him siding with traditional conservatism and determined non-interventionism. That’s why the liberal media goes to him for his comments about President Trump and anything that even hints at rolling back big government and having America’s military less involved in skirmishes all over the globe.

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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.


Do We Live In A Land of Laws?

Do We Live In A Land of Laws?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When a federal judge blocked President Trump’s ban on entry to America from seven majority-Muslim nations, his decree won praise from the liberals and left-wingers. One of these, the Boston Globe newspaper, defiantly cheered its print issue, “We Are Still A Nation Of Laws.” Read the online version here. The target of that remark was President Trump who was thereby accused of not obeying a law and relying on his will in its place.

The Constitution states that all powers “not delegated” to the federal government by the Constitution shall remain with the states or with the people (Image from Public Domain Pictures).

The particular “law” joyously pointed to by the Globe was the mandate issued by Federal District Judge James Robart. But, if our nation is indeed a land of laws, the primary law should be the U.S. Constitution, not a mandate issued by President Trump or a counter mandate issue by the judge. This is law-making by several methods never envisioned by the Founding Fathers and decidedly not authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution, sworn to be obeyed by all federal officials, states in Article I, Section 1, Clause 1, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” That means there is no law-making power in the Executive or Judicial branches. But laws are constantly being made by presidential executive order and by judicial decree. The Boston Globe isn’t alone in ignoring this clearly stated constitutional process.

The Constitution grants to Congress alone the power “To declare war.” Sending our forces into combat without a congressional declaration of war is, therefore, unconstitutional. The absence of declarations of war has led to either stalemate or defeat in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Lives have been lost, treasure has been squandered, and good will toward our nation has evaporated. Refusal to obey the war-making clause of the Constitution can be blamed for all of that.

The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power “To coin money.” It does not grant power to issue money. And, following on the absence of power to issue money, there is no authorization for Congress to delegate non-existent power to issue money to the Federal Reserve.

The Constitution tells us that it shall be the task of “the United States” (meaning the federal government), “to protect each of them against invasion.” The reference to “them” is to the states. It doesn’t specify military invasion. If upwards of 20 million have crossed into our states illegally, is that not an invasion? And isn’t the failure of the federal government to meet its assigned responsibility to protect the states from invasion a gross disregarding of the law?

The Constitution states that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It does not state that there shall be “separation of church and state.” Nor does it bar religious expressions at public functions. Misuse of the First Amendment has converted our nation from its refusal to elevate any particular faith to a position of dominance and an attitude that can be summed up as “separation of God and state.”

The Constitution states that all powers “not delegated” to the federal government by the Constitution shall remain with the states or with the people. But federal power has grown enormously into areas where no authorization for such intrusions can be found.

The points made above aren’t issued by the Boston Globe, by its leftist readers, nor by like-minded liberals across the nation. America became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution. America will regain its greatness when government at all levels adheres to the Constitution. There’s no other way.

How well do you know the Constitution? Download it 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.


Kerry Must Move On

Kerry Must Move On
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

John Kerry is about to step away from the Secretary of State perch he so longed to have. He might have been kept on in this singularly important cabinet position if his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, had won in November. But she turned out to be the loser. And the victor on November 8th, Donald Trump, has already named his choice to be the nation’s next top foreign policy official.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is about to step away from the position (Image from Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International).

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is about to step away from the position (Image from Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International).

Losing Kerry means the “Liberal Eastern Establishment” has lost one of its carefully groomed members. Kerry entered this elitist group when he won a place in the secretive Skull & Bones society during his senior year at Yale. Elevated to membership in the sovereignty-despising Council on Foreign Relations in 1992, he has held membership in this semi-secret organization ever since. Any search of the CFR’s desires would show Kerry to be one of the group’s most eager champions.

As a U.S. senator, he was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 2004. Opposed by George W. Bush, another member of Yale’s Skull & Bones, the two were asked, while being interviewed by Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert, about the Skull & Bones secrets. They both deftly refused to discuss the topic. By ducking it and successfully moving on to some other topic, they effectively admitted something’s amiss. That alone should have disqualified each to be President. But it didn’t.

With the departure of Kerry from State, the Establishment loses one very determined ball carrier for its agenda. CFR members and their admirers advocate some of the most dangerous proposals put up for consideration in recent years. These include the Paris climate change pact, the nuclear deal with Iran, and the NAFTA-like trade agreement with eleven Pacific nations. John Kerry had a strong hand in creating each of these, even while he played a key role in steering the U.S. into restoring ties with the Castro-led tyranny in Cuba. He and Barack Obama got what they wanted regarding Iran and Cuba, both arrangements amounting to all give and no take for the United States. But their urgings that our nation formally commit to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate accord have failed.

What will Kerry do next? Will he hook on with one of the numerous globalism-promoting think tanks? Is there a university that might want him as an instructor? Will some corporation take him on because he has contacts with government officials both in America and elsewhere? So far, he isn’t saying. But while speaking in Washington to a liberal woman’s group interested in foreign affairs, he referred to the incoming Trump administration when he said,“ We’re going to have one hell of a debate over the course of the next few years. I promise you this – I am not going to go quietly into the night.”

In other words, John Kerry isn’t giving up advocacy of liberalism and internationalism. That he’ll have to continue as a private citizen, not a government official, is good news 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.


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 (Image from 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.

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.