First Agenda 21, Now Common Core: Another Manifesto Plank Pursued
by JBS President John F. McManus
“Agenda 21” arose from the enormous 1992 United Nations conference about the environment held in Rio de Janeiro. A thousand-page book, it outlines ways to take over local governments throughout the world, all done in the name of “sustainability.” But none who are being enticed into accepting funds and accompanying controls were told that they were accepting a United Nations program designed to move the world into the New World Order.
More recently, educationists within the United States have been busy inserting new educational standards for America’s schools. Called “Common Core,” these standards come with the usual federal funding that should be labeled bribery. Many local school departments have signed on and now see their goals being set by educational bureaucrats led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He even admitted when speaking to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 of his commitment to a “cradle-to-career education agenda … that starts with early childhood learning and extends all the way to college and careers.”
In the field of literature, Common Core will replace student exposure to the classics with reading technical documents. In mathematics, a Common Core instructor of other teachers has defended a student’s wrong answer to a simple multiplication question with, “It’s OK as long as he can explain the process” by which he arrived at the incorrect answer. Common Core expects to set the standards for all subjects. They will surely bring down the already abysmal performance of our nation’s educational system.
There’s much more to be said about Common Core, but let’s sum it up by asserting that the purpose isn’t to educate in the traditional sense. It is to create human drones for the looming New World Order. The goal is a world government run by a powerful few with the rest of mankind required to keep their place in menial work for the elite.
Where is all this coming from? We urge taking a look at “The Communist Manifesto” given to the world by Marx and Engels in 1848. After boldly proclaiming their intent to bring about “abolition of private property” (clearly the goal of Agenda 21), the Manifesto proceeds to attack a free people’s culture by aiming at the family, morality, independent countries, and more. The tenth of its famous Ten Planks calls for “Free education for all children in public schools.” The world “public,” of course, means government. Then this very same passage mentions the goal of combining “education with industrial production,” Which is precisely what we mean when we say that Common Core’s purpose is “to create human drones for the New World Order.”
Many Americans have become disturbed when made aware of Agenda 21 and Common Core. Resistance to both is building. But tearing down programs that have been built by the federal government that has power of virtually unlimited funding to bribe people into destroying their own freedom isn’t an easy task. Readers of this short piece who value freedom and all that goes with it are needed to swell the resistance and get America back on track once again.
JBS-affiliate FreedomProject Education has been leading the push to expose Common Core.
Leaving Afghanistan – Why Wait Until the End of the Year?
by JBS President John F. McManus
American troops went into Afghanistan in 2001 after the destruction of New York’s Twin Towers. Then, in 2003, U.S. forces reinvaded Iraq while the struggle in Afghanistan continued at a slower and more agonizing pace. The latest Afghanistan casualty figures note that, in more than 12 years, 4,410 have perished and close to 20,000 have been wounded. President Obama has decided to renege on his frequently uttered pledge to remove U.S. forces by the end of 2014. He is now seeking permission from Afghan leaders to keep 3,000 American military personnel in this faraway land.There is probably nothing more self-defeating for a military force than announcing the date of an intention to withdraw. Won’t the enemy simply wait until you’re gone and then ramp up its activity? No military man would sanction such a plan. This one was decided upon by politicians.
Even so, casualties continue and the men and women assigned to this war-torn country increasingly wonder why they are there. Their mission’s goal has been changed so often – from capturing Bin Laden, to destroying opium production, to pacifying villages, to opposing the Taliban, to resisting counterinsurgency, and more – that their heads must be spinning. Recent publication by angry veterans of this war discusses the incredible Rules of Engagement under which they were forced to operate. No more could they expect air support when attacked. No more could they shoot when threatened. The rules seem almost designed to get them killed.
Frequently, U.S. casualties occur at the hands of the nation’s military and police who have been trained by U.S. personnel. After arming and trusting these locals, some turn their guns on those who taught them how to use the very weapons given them. Also, only a week ago, Taliban forces killed 21 Afghan soldiers, their newest favorite targets who are accused of unwillingness to submit to strict Islamic rule. Meanwhile President Karzai, a frequent and sharp critic of the U.S. effort, now finds himself looked upon by ordinary Afghan citizens as a friend of the murderous Taliban. After all, say Afghans of their country’s president, he maintains an apologetic tolerance of the Taliban and even refers to them as his “brothers.”
American forces should be brought home, the sooner the better. There’s no other way. Let the Afghans fight each other without the U.S. acting as a referee, or as a target. No more dead and no more wounded. It is not the job of the U.S. to police the world. The policing that has been done hasn’t solved anything, either in Iraq where sectarian violence is almost worse than ever, or in Afghanistan.
Learn more about the positions of The John Birch Society at its Issues Pages.
Open Border Now Attracting Syrian Refugees
by JBS President John F. McManus
A report in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal notes that refugees from the three-year-old conflict in Syria are now arriving in the United States. While we can surely sympathize with them, we do not sympathize with the way they are gaining entry. Tourist visas to Mexico start their procedure enabling them to cross into the U.S. and present themselves as asylum seekers. All they need do when turning themselves in to a customs official is claim “credible fear” of reappearing in their homeland.
The Journal article noted that, during 2013, more than 36,000 individuals from a variety of countries have credibly claimed such fear and 84 percent (not all Syrians) have been awarded entry. The number is expected to increase. From his San Diego office, immigration attorney Alan Anzarouth has been helping Syrian refugees and expects that “many more Syrians” will enter the U.S. through our southern border.
The obvious reason a Syrian refugee will travel to Mexico when his ultimate goal is to get to the United States is his knowledge that millions have already entered the U.S. illegally through the porous border. The U.S. government has never met its responsibility to stop the huge, almost totally illegal, migration. That responsibility appears in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which grants power to Congress to “repel invasions.” Also, in Article IV, Section 4 there is mentioned the duty of the federal government that it “protect each of them [the states] from invasion.” This doesn’t specify “military” invasion. Somewhere between 11 and 20 million have entered our nation illegally in recent years. The costs to individual states for welfare, medical care, criminal activity, and even threats of revolution have been enormous. Though not in the numbers previously seen, border crossers are still coming. America has indeed been invaded and federal responsibility to stop it has been sorely lacking.
Since 2011, more than two million Syrians have left their home country and fled elsewhere. Some restrictions have made it more difficult to obtain a U.S. visa, hence starting the trek by entering Mexico where “tourist” visas are far more easily obtained. These displaced people obviously don’t want to stay in Mexico and they regularly head for the U.S. border.
Failure to deal with any responsibility usually leads to greater problems. Such is the case with the failure of the federal government to meet its constitutional obligations regarding illegal immigration. How many more Syrians will take advantage of such laxity remains to be seen. But we can be sure the number will grow. Our federal government does a lot that it shouldn’t do while frequently failing to do what it is supposed to do.
Al Gore Reemerges To Promote a Fright-Peddling Book
by JBS President John F. McManus
The New York Times “Book Review” section for February 16th featured Al Gore’s lengthy review of Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.” A writer for The New Yorker, Kolbert has issued her scary views about ecological disasters for many years. She now promotes a belief that man-made climate change will bring about mass extinction of 20 to 50 percent of all living species on earth in the 21st century. This book is right up Gore’s alley.
The former Vice President hasn’t been heard from lately. For sure, he didn’t comment when 21 researchers and tourists got a scare in Antarctica a few weeks ago. After these scientists and environmental cheerleaders found their vessel stuck in unexpected ice, then saw two vessels sent to fetch them similarly trapped, and finally had to be rescued by helicopter, the claims that the earth was warming weren’t heard. This time of year, of course, is summer in Antarctica when there’s supposed to be some melting. But it was colder than expected and it almost cost 21 lives. Not even a hint of revising his claims has come from Mr. Gore, the man whose insistence about global warming has become such ample fodder for comedians that he and others no longer use the term and offer “climate change” as a substitute.
In his review, the founder and chairman of the pompously named Climate Reality Project lustily cheered the Kolbert book because “we continue to use the world’s atmosphere as an open sewer for the daily dumping of more than 90 million tons of gaseous waste.” Most of that supposed problem, of course, is carbon dioxide without which plant life would indeed become extinct. Then, while never mentioning that some of climatologist James Hansen extreme claims have been shown to be absurd, Gore points to Hansen’s insistence that man-made pollution “traps enough heat every 24 hours as would be released by the detonation of 400,000 Hiroshima-style nuclear bombs.” It’s amazing how far some so-called experts will go in issuing wild theories.
The Kolbert book dwells on one apocalyptic scenario after another. The earth’s water cycle is being disturbed; oceans are being warmed; coral reefs will be the first to disappear ; crops are threatened; droughts will surely occur; and on and on she goes to the obvious delight of Mr. Gore. How significant that the man who popularized the global warming term now refers only to “climate change.”
In his 1992 book “Earth In the Balance,” then-Senator Al Gore actually proposed “eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a twenty-five-year period.” That means automobiles, a convenience he has never ceased to use. If his extreme attitude prevailed, all of us would be only a few years away from trying to get along without cars, trucks, and other vital machinery.
In short, “The Sixth Extinction” mirrors Al Gore’s extremism and its claims and conclusion should be discounted. The book is merely a reflection of the dangerous nonsense Gore has been issuing for several decades. That The New York Times, long a consistent propagandist for discredited environmental theorizing, would ask him to promote the Kolbert book via a prominent review is hardly surprising.
North American Leaders Meeting Today to Discuss Job-Killing Trade Agreement
by JBS President John F. McManus
President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Harper, and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto met in Toluca, Mexico, on February 20. The most they could agree upon was the need to protect Monarch butterflies whose winter habitat happens to be losing its milkweed food source. But each of the three “amigos” (they enjoy using the term) wants to sink the three countries into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement involving twelve Pacific-rim nations – all the way from North America to Chile, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere.
Hoping to build on the 20-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the three leaders continued to claim that NAFTA was a huge success. Mr. Obama could have pointed instead to the loss of thousands of jobs, the creation of legal tribunals whose decisions trump U.S. law, even a more widely open border for illegal immigrants to stream into the U.S. But these consequences of NAFTA were never mentioned. One can only conclude that similar results will impact America if the TPP negotiations are completed and approved by Congress.
Right now, President Obama is seeking “fast track authority” that allows him to bypass congressional intervention on the way to an up or down TPP vote by Congress with no amendments. He told reporters at the meeting in Mexico, “We’ll get this passed if it’s a good agreement,” and he has already indicated that, for him, it is good. If Congress concurs, they will have ceded more of their constitutional authority to the ever-growing power of the Executive Branch.
Asked by his fellow amigos about progress toward enactment of TPP, Obama acknowledged twin difficulties, first with gaining fast-track authority and then with hammering out details that include immigration legislation, labor rules, and environmental regulations. He thereby confirmed that this newly desired trade pact deals with far more than just trade.
Customarily reliable congressional Democrats including Senate leader Harry Reid have expressed reluctance to approve the president’s fast-track request. But trusting Harry Reid to do what’s right for America is a risky proposition. Other members of Congress are voicing objections to the pact because of the results of NAFTA. They seem likely to turn thumbs down not only on TPP but also on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union scheduled for consideration in 2015.
America doesn’t need more “free trade” agreements that are never free and have lots more than trade in their hundreds of pages. Members of Congress can stop plans to plunge our country into such pacts and thereby avoid more job losses, more dilution of sovereignty, and more unneeded illegal immigration. History shows that supposed “free trade” agreements means economic union. And economic union is regularly followed by political union – as the 28 nations now caught in the European Union have discovered. They were told that they were joining a mere trade group that would enhance commerce. But they have discovered that they no longer control their own destiny.
Congress can stop these entanglements. It’s an election year when members listen more intently to constituents. Stopping TPP and TTIP should be the goal.
Learn more about how you can help by visiting Choose Freedom–Stop the Free Trade Agenda.
Making Law Through Executive Orders Is Unconstitutional
by JBS President John F. McManus
In his 2014 State of the Union Speech, President Barack Obama asserted that he would “take steps without legislation” to accomplish his goals. He had earlier mentioned using his “pen” to force his will on the American people. He referred, of course, to the practice of making law by decree in the form of presidential executive orders.
Obama would hardly be the first to force his will on our nation. George Washington thought he could do so when, in 1793, he proclaimed neutrality in the war between France and England. In doing so, he usurped authority belonging to Congress. Madison and Jefferson vehemently protested because the president’s order bound every American, not just government workers. They knew that it would be proper for a president, acting much the same as a corporation leader would act, to issue an order binding workers under his command. But he could not legally bind the hands of all Americans with an executive order.
When a citizen violated Washington’s neutrality executive order, he was arrested and tried for his action. But a federal court acquitted him on the grounds that a presidential decree aimed at all Americans was an invalid exercise of authority. (Would that we had federal justices who would similarly view presidential wrong-doing!) A chastened Washington then asked Congress to replace his order with its own legislation accomplishing the goal in a constitutional manner, and Congress did as requested. Washington issued no further executive orders aimed at the people.
But many future presidents have employed executive orders – all with no constitutional authority. Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued more than a thousand. Yet, Article I, Section 1, Sentence 1 of the Constitution states that “All legislative power” resides in Congress. Law-making by the Executive Branch violates that very clear mandate.
During the Clinton presidency, aide Paul Begala praised his boss’s reliance on the practice. He actually stated, “Stroke of the pen; law of the land, kinda cool.” But Democrats are not alone in employing this violation of the Constitution. In 1970, President Nixon used his pen to issue an executive order creating the Environmental Protection Agency. Every president during the 20th century engaged in the practice.
It can’t be stated too often that law-making is the sole prerogative of the Legislative Branch. But when that branch allows the executive-order practice to continue, it even escalates. As long as congressional failure to assert its sole authorized power is allowed to continue, executive orders will continue to saddle the American people with rules and regulations that might never have arisen had the Constitution’s very first sentence (after the Preamble) been obeyed.
Next time you meet with your congressman or senator, ask why he or she allows this clear violation of the Constitution.
Balanced Budget Amendment a Bad Idea
by JBS President John F. McManus
Having the federal government operate with a budget that does not increase the national debt is a good idea. But several balanced budget proposals have deep flaws in them.
First of all, as we explain later in this blog, there’s no need to amend the Constitution to require the budget to be in balance. Especially is there no need to force creation of a Constitutional Convention to add a requirement for a Balanced Budget. But, unfortunately, this is being proposed by many.
But some Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) proposals allow 60 percent in Congress to override and bring on more indebtedness. That’s no insurmountable hurdle.
Some BBAs call for increasing taxes, even steering the taxing authority away from Congress to the Executive Branch. Dangerous proposal!
Other BBAs say the budget doesn’t have to be in balance if the nation is at war (even an undeclared war) or if the nation faces an undefined “national security threat.”
Practically all BBAs ignore the enormous indebtedness already on the books. Interest on the $17 trillion our country owes is already the third largest item in the federal budget.
What then should be done? The answer starts with forcing the House of Representatives to use its “power of the purse” to put an end to unconstitutional federal programs. Article I, Section 7 states: “All bills for raising revenues shall originate in the House of Representatives.” If the House won’t “originate” bills for foreign aid, education, housing, medical care, and more, that’s it! A majority in the House (218) could not only stop the reckless spending; it could begin to pay off the national debt.
A Constitutional Convention (con-con) to add a BBA with all or many of its flaws would open up the Constitution for massive change, even cancellation. And a con-con would require 2/3s in the House (290) and 2/3s in the Senate (67) plus ratification by 3/4s of the states (38). But only 218 in the House can start the way back to fiscal sanity.
Forget the BBA! Don’t endanger the Constitution! Instead, let’s force members of the House to use their power to stop our nation’s plunge into insolvency and looming loss of sovereignty.
Understanding the agenda behind “free trade” is the first step in learning why this type of trade needs to be avoided. In response to the current negotiations of “free trade” through the President Obama administration, Arthur Thompson, CEO of The John Birch Society, has written and published a book exposing the agenda of “free trade.”
“International Merger by Foreign Entanglements” details historic events that helped shape the European Union through trade agreements and how the same could happen to the U.S. Below is an excerpt from Chapter 1: “Nation is Forming Permanent Alliances.”
Nation Is Forming Permanent Alliances
In various pacts the U. S. government has entered into since the end of World War II, we have been witnessing entanglements that deliver power to international organizations through regional institutions, such as NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), and worldwide institutions, such as the United Nations. This is the consistent pattern that runs throughout all of our foreign dealings.
The titles on these pacts promote an idea that is very different from the actual contents of the packages, although there are hints of their contents from time to time even within the titles. And, all too often, negotiations are kept secret not only from the American people but from Congress as well. Repeatedly, elected officials see the agreements only a short time before they are asked to vote on them. Sometimes, they never see the documents. Rarely do they have enough time to thoroughly read and understand them.
Lack of Transparency
Over the last two or three decades, increasing reliance on secrecy has come to dominate the federal administration and the congressional leadership. This can be readily seen in proposed groundbreaking laws and treaties. Once enacted, secrecy remains a presence in the implementation of the various pacts.
In addition to secrecy, there exists a tactic that has been used on occasion to gain approval of controversial treaties. It involves moves by the Senate leadership, based on the ratification provision of Article II, Section 2 — “provided two thirds of the Senators present concur” (emphasis added), that the majority of the Senate would reject. We will give an example in Chapter Nine.
Let us state up front that we believe that a large majority of Americans would support genuine free trade between the businessmen of one country and those of another. But, the results of trade pacts are something far different from the promises given to the American people and Congress as reasons to support the agreements.
If trade between countries were truly free, there would be no need for hundreds or thousands of pages to spell out what it shall or shall not entail. Ask yourself if the following is the kind of agreement you could support: A single piece of paper signed by leaders of two or more countries stating that there will be no interference by the respective governments with the transactions between their businessmen. Except for cases where fraud or national security considerations exist, the government will have nothing to offer. It’s all very simple.
Some individuals will claim that the trade issue is so complex and so important that there is a need to spell out every minute detail. This is a smokescreen designed to discourage anyone from questioning what the mountains of paper say and mean. The agreement should not be complex and neither should the powers of a properly created government.
Keep in mind that our nation’s Constitution as the “supreme law of the land” governs the entire “complex” United States by spelling out what the federal government may do. And it was originally written on four sheets of paper!
Why then do negotiations for free trade agreements take years to complete? Studies made about these negotiations even take a great deal of time and money. And finally, why are the finalized agreements as thick as municipal telephone books?
Ask yourself some further questions: Have trade agreements negotiated in the past few decades actually added to America’s economic vitality? How many jobs and factories moved out of our country as a result of these pacts? Have any of these agreements benefited small and medium-sized businesses, the heart of the American economy? Or, have they mainly helped the multinational corporations whose leaders boast of their international loyalties and their lack of concern about the value of our nation’s independence?
If the answers to these questions are negative regarding our economy, then why do we continue to seek a remedy that has proven to fail? Is there a different motivation behind so-called free trade agreements? One of the reasons these negotiations take so long is that the people who represent the multinationals need a pact that helps them win in a competitive market. In short, they don’t want a level playing field. They have the ears of the leaders of various countries who also like the idea of government involvement and interference. In addition, they have an army of highly paid lobbyists who are in constant contact with negotiators and others connected with the process.