States Show Signs of Recognizing Their Sovereignty
by JBS President John F. McManus
A largely forgotten or ignored feature of the political construction of the United States consists of the undeniable fact that the states created the federal government, not the other way around. The states, of course, existed before the Constitution was even written. The Constitution wouldn’t even exist if it hadn’t been ratified by the required 3/4s of the states. The purpose of this state-created Constitution is very clear: There shall be a national government with strictly limited powers and all other powers shall remain with the states or the people (10th Amendment).
If the states are sovereign and the federal (national) government oversteps its constitutionally limited role, what is a state (or all of the states) to do? One answer is nullification, a little-used procedure that shows signs of becoming strongly prominent.
On March 19th, the state of Idaho demonstrated its understanding that the federal government isn’t all-powerful. A measure known as SB 1332 won passage without any “No” votes in both houses of the state’s legislature. It was then signed into law by the governor. SB 1332 says that there shall be no confiscation of firearms by Idaho law enforcement officers when directed to do so by the federal government. The measure was prompted by the enactment of various measures by the federal government that do indeed threaten a citizen’s right to be armed.
In Georgia, the state legislature came within a whisker of nullifying ObamaCare when the state senate declined to follow the Georgia house’s approval of a measure to nullify that widely unpopular federal measure. Proponents say they will try again. Other states, looking at what has happened in these two states (and others where nullification measures are being considered), are beginning to realize that they are not mere subordinate jurisdictions required to accept robotically and carry out all federal mandates.
Opponents of nullification will cite a portion of the Constitution’s Article VI: “This Constitution and the laws of the United States … shall be the law of the land.” Sounds good but they leave out something. Proponents point to the part of Article VI omitted by the above ellipsis which states “which shall be made in pursuance thereof.” In other words, the federal government cannot create any law whose legitimacy does not follow the provisions of the Constitution itself.
Perhaps some states will begin to take a hard look at such federal mandates regarding education, housing, medical care, energy, and more. There is clearly no authority given in the Constitution for meddling in these and numerous other areas.
State recognition of the power to nullify when the federal government exceeds its constitutionally authorized power could become the nation’s way out of virtually uncontrolled federal domination. To join the movement in your area to do just this, join The John Birch Society today.
Fed Creates Money; Food Prices Rise
by JBS President John F. McManus
The government claims prices are up only 6.4 percent since 2011. But a shopper trying to feed a family sees chicken up 18.4 percent, ground beef up 16.8 percent, bacon up 22.8 percent, and the price of fuel steadily rising. “The things that are going up in prices are the things I absolutely need to buy,” laments homemaker Jen Singer in a report published by CBS News.
What causes these increases? Sadly and mistakenly, Ms. Singer refers to her problem only as a rise in prices of the goods she needs. She seems unaware that the real problem is the eroding value of her dollars. With precious few exceptions, the staples she buys for herself and two teenage sons haven’t risen in price; the changes she bemoans are due to theft of the value of her dollars. The thieving culprit is a partnership between the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government that manages a slick form of thievery.
In July 2011, the Government Accounting Office (GOA) issued a report doggedly pried out of hiding by Bloomberg News. It showed that the Federal Reserve had created at least $16.1 trillion to shore up the mega-banks after the 2008 banking crisis. Recipients of the bailouts, in round figures, included Citigroup $2.5 trillion, Morgan Stanley $2.04 billion, Merrill Lynch $1.9 billion, and Bank of America $1.3 billion. Slightly lesser amounts in the hundreds of billions were supplied to Barclays, Bear Stearns, and Goldman Sachs. Foreign banks, benefitting from the Fed’s money creation, were Arab Banking Corp., Bank of China, France’s Societe Generale, Japan’s Norinchukin Bank, Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG, Dublin’s Depfa Bank Plc, and Dexia SA in Brussels.
All of this was money that didn’t exist previously. It acquired value by stealing a portion of all existing dollars. The process has long been correctly described by Soviet dictator Lenin, British socialist John Maynard, and others. Both Keynes and Lenin could be classified as champions of honest money.
While this thievery was occurring, an awakening House of Representatives approved H.R. 1207 by a vote of 223-202 in December 2009. It called for an audit of the Federal Reserve, something that has never been done in the Fed’s 100 years of existence. The House bill, however, was gutted by the Senate in a 62-37 vote led by Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders, the proud and admitted socialist who regularly votes with the Democrats. His major helpers in continuing the gigantic cover-up were Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Not only food but just about everything else, certainly including the fuel needed to heat homes and run businesses, costs more of everyone’s less-valuable dollars.
Government personnel, Federal Reserve officials, and their allies in the main stream media steadfastly refuse to tell the American people two very simple truths: 1) rising prices are the effect of inflation, and 2) what is being inflated is the amount of dollars created by overworked printing presses and computer entries. If Americans understood these truths, the process would stop.
Either it stops or America will grind to a halt. It won’t take an invading foreign army to destroy this “land of the free and the home of the brave.” All that’s needed is a few more years of the kind of economic treachery we have just described. After that, America will beg for mercy from others because it will have ceded what remains of its independence and freedom.
Learn more at our “Restore Constitutional Money” page, as well as watching Dollars & $ense, featuring the author of this post:
The Inconsequential G-7 Snub of Russia: Some History of the Ukrainians
by JBS President John F. McManus
Over many centuries, the country now known as Ukraine has for a time been considered part of Lithuania, Poland, Russia, or even Austria. Modern Ukraine became independent during a war that lasted from 1917 to 1921. No sooner had independence been won than communist Russia took control and Ukraine became the first of the many totally dominated nations in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Soviet-induced famine of 1932-33 then killed somewhere between six and eight million persons and certainly resulted in hatred of Russian dominance among many.During World War II, Nazi forces were greeted as liberators by Ukranians, especially in the country’s west. But there was always a desire on the part of many to reject both German and Russian dominance. Nevertheless, by the end of WWII, the Soviet Union acquired total dominance and Ukraine, along with nearby Belarus, was awarded a seat in the United Nations where both unfailingly followed USSR dictates.
When the USSR dissolved in 1991, Ukraine once again began to function as an independent nation. More than 90 percent of the people voted for complete autonomy in a 1991 referendum, but, in Crimea, the desire to separate from Russia won support from only 56 percent. That number in Crimea has eroded because a large proportion of those living in the peninsula are ethnically Russia and speak the Russian language. From then until now, Ukranians have been split over whether to look westward toward the European Union, or look to the east to Russia for their commerce and friendship. Only recently, as is well-known, Vladimir Putin’s Russia decided to retake the Crimean peninsula and Russian military forces backed up the move with a show of force. Many Crimeans seem happy about the development while those in other parts of Ukraine are not. A recent plebiscite in Crimea resulted in the residents choosing to be part of Russia, but the plebiscite’s result has been deemed rigged and a violation of the nation’s constitution.
To register their disapproval of Russia’s move into Ukraine, leaders of the economically powerful G-7 nations (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States) disinvited Russia to their latest gathering, which, in reality, had become the G-8 group that has more recently included Russia. Meeting in The Hague on March 24th, the G-7 leaders canceled their scheduled plan to meet with Russia for a June G-8 session in Sochi, Russia. This step, along with sanctions imposed by several nations to protest Russia’s Crimean takeover, was supposed to influence Putin. But expecting Russia to withdraw from Crimea seems improbable even though UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon condemned Russia’s action.
Now, the G-20 group consisting of the G-8 plus a dozen more emerging economic powers has entered the fray. Representatives of these 20 nations are scheduled to meet in Australia next November. When the possibility of excluding Russia from the G-20 summit was announced by an Australian official, G-20 members Brazil, China, India and South Africa immediately denounced the idea. They claimed that “hostile language, sanctions, and counter-sanctions” won’t lead to a peaceful resolution to the incident. Peace, it seems, will exist if the Putin takeover isn’t reversed. That is unlikely.
Incidents like what has occurred in Ukraine have the potential for starting world conflagrations. But chances that this will be an outcome are remote. Other nations might not like Putin’s retaking of Crimea, but it’s possible that the people who live there like what he has just done. If so, the rest of the world, especially the already overstretched United States, should mind its own business. We should hearken to the wise words of President George Washington given during his farewell address in 1796:
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible …. It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
Ukraine-related articles at The New American:
Environmentalism: A Hurdle to Energy Independence
by JBS President John F. McManus
When generating electricity from nuclear power became available half a century ago, environmentalists were among its greatest champions. It didn’t send any soot into the atmosphere. It didn’t pollute nearby rivers, streams, and other waterways. As for safety, all of those concerns had been properly addressed. In short, the new invention was safer, cleaner, and even less costly.
But no sooner had the potential of freeing our nation from importing oil to generate power and heat homes and businesses become achievable than scary environmental concerns about producing electricity from the atom arose a new cause. Almost overnight, obtaining a license to build a new nuclear plant became impossible. Government agencies, predominantly filled with scare-producing leftists, succumbed and the United States stopped its march toward energy independence.
No amount of evidence showing the worth of what are termed “nukes” satisfied environmental crusaders. From being champions of the new technology, they had overnight become its greatest enemies. They sued, they led demonstrations, and they succeeded in halting further use of a marvelous new invention. Meanwhile, countries like France turned to nuclear power and, while the U.S. nuclear power industry still supplies approximately 20 percent of needed electric power, more than 75 percent of France’s electricity is produced by its newly built nuclear power stations.
Here in America, recent headlines reported that after a decades-long shut-down, a single permit to build a new nuclear power generating facility has been granted. It still faces opposition, not only from wrongly propagandized and mostly young anti-nuke partisans, but from their behind-the-scenes sponsors whose goal can only be stifling America’s productive might. Also, plentiful supplies of coal that can be burned to produce more electricity face new threats to their suppliers because of environmental extremists who claim the process results in questionable global warming or climate change.
Fast forward now to a more recent development in the field of capturing energy sources. Phenomenally large deposits of oil and natural gas have been discovered in Canada’s tar sands and the Bakken reservation centered in North Dakota. These relatively new resources present our nation with the opportunity to become free of dependence on questionable foreign providers.
But a different hurdle toward energy independence has emerged – the blocking of a proposed pipeline to carry oil from Canada and the Bakken to refineries within our borders. Forces similar to those that became opponents of nuclear power have been energized to block construction of the Keystone pipeline. At the same time, opposition to extracting natural gas from newly found deposits in several eastern states has developed.
The opportunity to replace long years of dependency on energy from the volatile Middle East, unfriendly Venezuela, and other unreliable suppliers now exists. The hurdle isn’t a scarcity of precious oil and gas; it’s environmentalism.
A recent report from The New American shows that the U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. Will the environmental lobby allow that to happen?
Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel
by JBS President John F. McManus
In 1974, a U.S. Senate panel issued a document entitled “Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and Its Impact on United States Security.” In 1979, New York University and the American Council on Marijuana sponsored a Conference entitled “Marijuana: Biomedical Effects and Social Implications.” Conclusions published in each of these reports strongly warn about the use of marijuana and should have been enough to keep anyone in America away from it.
Expert testimony given in these studies came from an array of highly qualified and widely dispersed scientists including Dr. Gabriel Nahas (Columbia University), W.D.M. Paton (Oxford University), Dr. Robert Heath (Tulane University), Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Julius Axelrod (National Institute of Mental Health), Dr. Alexander Jacubovic (University of British Columbia), Dr. Reese T. Jones (California Medical School), and several others who have studied what marijuana use does to human beings.
What they found includes the following:
1. Cell production harmed.
2. Damage to the brain.
3. Reproductive system impaired.
4. Diseases of throat and lungs prevalent.
5. Builds up in the body.
6. Impaired mental function.
7. Leads to use of even stronger drugs.
All of this has been confirmed in a report available on an undated Harvard University web site entitled “The Medical Uses of Marijuana.” It cites the work of Dr. Donald P. Taskin and discusses marijuana’s use causing various respiratory illnesses, mental impairment, learning deficiencies, and more. Regarding the medical use of marijuana, the report states that, while easing pain for some who are already ill, it “can and does have a very serious effect on patients with pre-existing immune deficits resulting from AIDS” and “can accelerate the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS.” In addition, a 2012 statement issued by the American Lung Association claims: “Marijuana use is not only associated with adverse physical effects, but also mental, emotional and behavioral changes.”
Should we be nervous if the mechanic who services an airplane in which we are about to travel is a marijuana smoker? Or the pilot? How about a doctor who is about to operate on you? Or a school bus driver who picks up the children day after day? How many auto accidents can be traced to marijuana use? How many marijuana users have graduated to stronger and even more dangerous drugs and are finding themselves in a life of addiction and crime to support the more expensive habit?
A common argument favoring marijuana use is that it is no more dangerous than drinking alcoholic beverages. In a recent interview, President Obama made such a claim: “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” That’s hogwash – dangerous hogwash. Without appearing to make a case for drinking, we believe the differences between imbibing booze and smoking pot are quite different. A heavy drinker will be incapacitated for a matter of hours while smoking “pot” stays with a user who will still be subject to its effects long after the telltale “high” is no longer noticeable. Sadly, many users of marijuana combine smoking it with drinking and become doubly dangerous behind the wheel.
Yet, we know that laws against marijuana use have never been very effective. The penalty for possession of marijuana has even become the equivalent of being given a parking ticket. And availability of the substance has been spurred by new laws that have legalized the sale and distribution of the substance in the states of Washington and Colorado. Users aren’t being told what they are doing to themselves – and potentially others. It isn’t very smart to go along with the trend. In fact, it’s not only stupid; it’s self- destructing.
Anyone indulging in marijuana needs to know what many doctors have concluded. Laws haven’t stopped the spread and probably never will. Self-preservation should stop and even reverse the trend.
Borrowing Paves the Way Toward Servitude
by JBS President John F. McManus
Chapter 22, Verse 7, of Holy Scripture’s Book of Proverbs tells us what our nation can expect because of heavy indebtedness and consequent borrowing. It says very bluntly, “… the borrower is servant to him that lendeth.”
We can’t be sure that any Russian official has read Holy Scripture. But it is certain that some Russians didn’t need the Good Book to figure out that a borrower puts himself in a subservient position.
In the wake of the Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, officials in Washington issued stern warnings to the Russian government. One key threat stated by President Barack Obama informed Moscow that assets held by Russians in U.S. banks could be frozen if the takeover continued. His warning was supposed to scare Vladimir Putin and various Russian plutocrats into canceling the takeover. But Mr. Obama’s not only didn’t frighten any Russian official, it made some of them angry. The blustering out of Washington had a reverse effect that could imperil the U.S. far more than anything waved in front of Putin and his team. On March 17th, the U.S. President made good on his threat and ordered the freezing of some Russian assets. Russian officials reacted with laughter. Putin is placing his own sanctions on U.S. Senators.
Sergei Glazyev is a top advisor to Putin. On March 4th, according to a report published by the Russian news agency Novosti – and reported in the U.S. by Barron’s – Glazyev showed very clearly his belief that considerable leverage in this confrontation is held by his country, not by the United States. With the blessing of Vladimir Putin, he thundered:
We hold a decent amount of Treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner. We will encourage everybody to dump U.S. Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency, and leave the U.S. market.
Japan and China each hold far more U.S. Treasury bonds than does Russia. Looking at the amounts realistically, Russia’s $200 billion is almost pocket change compared to what these two Asian governments possess. Should the U.S. offend either of them, or should they follow the course laid out by Glazyev, or should either or both simply decide to pull the plug on the dollar, one or the other could dump their holdings and cause the dollar to resemble the worthless Zimbabwean currency of only a few years ago. According to Glazyev, Japan and China may indeed be prodded by Russia to do so.
Right now, the admitted U.S. national debt stands at approximately $17.5 trillion dollars. Much of it has been “serviced” by foreign purchases of U.S. bonds. Another large portion has resulted from the Federal Reserve creation of dollars out of thin air, new dollars to cover domestic deficits and to bail out shaky banks both here and overseas. Yet, deficit spending continues and the sacrosanct “independence” of the Fed remains unaudited and uncontrolled.
U.S. leaders have placed our country’s neck in a noose. Instead of working to extricate America from its predicament, a merry march toward insolvency and loss of sovereignty continues as if there will always be a lender. Congress recently passed legislation to allow the national debt to rise and, while at it, members didn’t even place a ceiling on how high it could go. Blame for this outrage should be directed at Republican leaders and most Democrats who arranged also to keep government debt much less of an issue during the 2014 election cycle.
Will American awaken in time to keep our country free of servitude to its lenders? Only God Himself knows for sure, but we can all be certain that what was stated in His Book of Proverbs can’t be denied.
Hillary’s Abortion Promotion at International Women’s Day
by JBS President John F. McManus
As everyone knows – or certainly should know by now – Hillary Clinton expects to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 2016. Repeatedly questioned about her future plans, she has avoided declaring her intentions while enjoying the attention being paid her.
Never unwilling to accept a speaking engagement, she recently addressed a gathering at United Nations headquarters in New York. The event was International Women’s Day and the former Secretary of State used her opportunity at the podium to champion “women’s reproductive rights.” That, of course, means abortion.
Support for terminating life in the womb is nothing new for Mrs. Clinton. She worked with her husband while he was President (1993-2001) to persuade numerous countries to legalize the practice. She also backed abortion during her term as a U.S. Senator from New York and then as Secretary of State, the post she voluntarily left in 2012.
According to a Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) report about her appearance at the UN, the heavy favorite to carry the Democratic banner in the 2016 election claimed: “You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development without safeguarding” the right to terminate a pregnancy. C-FAM noted that she received thunderous applause when insisting that equality for women continues to be “the great unfinished business of the 21st century.” Of course, her notion of “equality” for women includes snuffing out the lives of a million pre-born babies each year, half of whom are females needing only to be left alone in the womb until natural birth.
Abortion remains a horrible blight on humanity, something in which our own nation participates. In 2012, for instance, Planned Parenthood in the U.S. claimed performing 329,445 “abortion procedures.” As television commentator Brit Hume wryly noted, this organization has a bizarre way of employing the word “parenthood.”
Mrs. Clinton’s enthusiasm for abortion will not be challenged within the Democratic Party during her run to become the nation’s first female president. She will never acknowledge her own mother’s unwillingness to terminate her life before birth. We can only hope that more Americans begin to understand that snuffing out life in the womb is wrong, and that it will be followed inevitably by the taking of life that is too old, or too unproductive, or too something else.
Life remains sacred even if it isn’t considered so by many political figures. It deserves government protection, not destruction while government looks the other way. Because Mrs. Clinton is one of the loudest cheerleaders for killing babes in utero, she should be considered dangerous and shunned, not applauded as though she were a champion of just causes.
This is merely one in a long list of reasons why the United States needs to get out of the United Nations. Learn more at our “Get US Out! of the United Nations” action project page.