Oil, Ukraine, and a Sweet Deal for Putin

Oil, Ukraine, and a Sweet Deal for Putin
by JBS President John F. McManus

The Bakken energy field amounts to the largest domestic oil discovery since the one at Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. Stretching over North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana (also into Canada’s Saskatchewan province), the amount of recoverable oil in this region could do away with any need to import the precious commodity. Small cities in western North Dakota have been overrun with eager job seekers who are benefitting greatly from the need for more and more workers. But there’s a need for a pipeline to transport this oil to refineries in states to the south.

Not only is the Bakken capable of releasing OPEC’s hold on our nation, additional discoveries now known to exist under the Rocky Mountain states hold an estimated three to four times what is being tapped in North Dakota and its neighbors. Shortly after beginning his second term in 2005, President George W. Bush gave the order for extracting this treasure. But nothing has been done.

The Keystone pipeline project proposes to ship crude oil from the Bakken and from Canadian oil sands projects to refineries in our nation’s southern states. But hurdles are still blocking its construction. If the Keystone pipeline were constructed, there would be no need for imports from unfriendly Venezuela and unpredictable Russia.. Yes, our nation does import oil from these two countries while also continuing to receive imports from the Middle East.

Environmental groups continue to block development of known resources and needed pipelines. Is it possible that nations who benefit financially and diplomatically from impediments placed in the way of energy independence are financing some of these environmental organizations? Also, why does our own government continue to be a hindrance rather than helping America to become independent?

On the other side of the globe, we see that energy starved Ukraine is highly dependent on Russia for natural gas. But Ukraine is also in dire financial straits, owing many billions for energy already received from its eastern neighbor. American foreign aid, supplied to Ukraine in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, ends up in the coffers of Russia’s Vladimir Putin for natural gas payments. Is this why he ordered the occupation of Crimea? Should the American people fill Putin’s pockets?

The need for oil and natural gas is obvious. But, if our nation acts in proper self-interest, America can gain release from dependence on foreign energy suppliers. Will the Obama administration continue to drag its feet on energy matters? Will the environmentalists be told to get out of the way of progress toward energy independence? Time will tell. Energy independence can be had if U.S. leaders do what good sense calls upon them to do.


New Taxes in ObamaCare

New Taxes in ObamaCare
by JBS President John F. McManus

There are plenty of sound reasons why Congress and the Supreme Court should never have saddled the American people with ObamaCare. Beyond the simple fact that the federal government has no authorization to meddle in the fields of health and medicine, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) has provided several more reasons to detest the law.

He deliberately chose the widely dreaded Tax Day of April 15 to send a letter to his constituents about new taxes contained within President Obama’s invasion into the field of medical care. The Louisiana senator stated his awareness that April 15th “is always one of the most painful days of the year.” But he wanted to let fellow Louisianans know that ObamaCare has “20 new taxes.”

Pointing to what he termed “the more egregious” levies contained in ObamaCare,” Vitter listed only four of the twenty. These are:

  1. The Medicine Cabinet Tax. ObamaCare does away with a citizen’s use of pre-tax dollars in a health savings account, a flexible spending account, or a health reimbursement account to purchase over-the-counter medicines.
  2. The “Special Needs Kids” Tax. Many parents of special needs children have relied on allowable flexible spending accounts to pay for special needs education. The amount a family can use for this purpose has been cut significantly.
  3. The Employee Mandate Tax. Employers who do not offer health care coverage must now pay $2,000 or more for each full-time employee.
  4. The Individual Mandate Tax. Any person who does not have health insurance and doesn’t participate in ObamaCare will be taxed.

As painful as it may be to learn of these new taxes, Vitter then pointed to the outrageous arrangement whereby members of Congress have exempted themselves and their staffs from participating in the new healthcare program. Instead, as he noted, each of these federal employees receives a “lucrative health care subsidy” with which to purchase his own healthcare program. Obviously, these privileged government personnel don’t have to live under the provisions of ObamaCare. Vitter notes in his message that he has personally refused the subsidy.

The Vitter letter contains his no-holds-barred assertion that there’s a need to “repeal” ObamaCare. It’s comforting to know that a U.S. senator holds such a view because that’s precisely what is needed. But expecting the current Congress to take such a step is unrealistic. Perhaps membership of the new Congress scheduled for election in November will contain enough Vitter-like individuals who will, indeed, cancel one of the most dangerous, costly, and unconstitutional programs ever created.

Go to our “Choose Freedom — STOP ObamaCare” action project page to learn more about stopping ObamaCare and how your state legislature can nullify the ObamaCare law in your state.


The Fight for Our Country

Previously having discussed the fundamental properties which different systems of government are based on, today’s topic will primarily be concerned with the potential of The John Birch Society for preserving our republic.

 The John Birch Society (JBS) is dedicated to restoring and preserving freedom in The United States of America by inspiring Americans to work for less government, more responsibility, and – with God’s help – a better world.  This nationally recognized organization was founded during a two-day meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.  During that meeting in December of 1958, Robert Welch proposed a plan to counteract the rising attempts of economic and political control over our country.  The organization’s foundation can be thoroughly studied by reading The Blue Book of the JBS. Throughout this book, Robert Welch formulates a brilliant course of action, breaking it down step by step, in order to protect our nation.

Within The Blue Book, you will find ten steps proposing the procedure of exposing the truth through extending the message.  These steps vary in activity.

One step consists of publishing a magazine with the idea to help keep conservative periodicals in circulation and offering the people an actual source of news articles; while another is promoting the JBS through the radio and extending our message with the use of technology.  In an attempt to widen the audience, The John Birch Society would not only offer its staff to be guests on radio shows, but also provide speaking tours throughout the country, focusing predominately on current affairs and educating audiences on constitutional solutions. 

The John Birch Society would also have numerous campaigns and action alerts offering activists an energizing way of exposing the truth.  Robert Welch saw the successes other groups had with front groups.  As a result, he set up ad hoc committees in order to be more effective in spreading the message.  Letter –writing campaigns were seen as a resourceful way to contact legislators and would become an important tool.  With field staff inspiring volunteers to be constantly contacting legislators and opinion molders, the officials would constantly be reminded of the problem at hand.  Other steps would include developing connections internationally to not only expose the corruption within the U.S., but to also see that the corruption does not expand globally.  This would include exposing corrupt politicians in the U.S., thus awakening the American people as well as insuring their various civil responsibilities.

While the information written above does not even begin to reveal the depths of our organization, those ten steps written in The Blue Book are without a doubt the foundation from which we proudly function.  For over 50 years, The John Birch Society has steadily upheld its mission and philosophies.  Without any patience for corruption, our organization has remained true to its intentions. 

The headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin stands as a wonderful think tank for the many publications and ideas the organization continues to produce.  Whether meetings are held for developing campaigns, legislative action alerts are being researched and written, the many news articles for The New American magazine are being edited and posted, or support materials are being developed for field staff and membership, the passion each staff member has for the cause of freedom is evident from the high quality of the work being produced, as we work for less government, more responsibility, and – with God’s help- a better world.  

Image

Art Thompson holding a campaign meeting with Gary Benoit, editor of The New American magazine (left) and Larry Greenley, Director of Missions (right)

Image

Research assistant Christian Gomez reviewing one of Art Thompson’s weekly videos.

Image

Larry Greenley, Director of Missions, on the phone discussing an action alert.

If you’re concerned about the future of America and preserving what our founders gave to us, can we count on your help?                 


When the Argument of a Republic Versus a Democracy is in Play

When bickering as to whether The United States of America is a republic or a democracy, we are discussing nothing more than liberty versus tyranny.  However, stressing the difference between a republic and a democracy does not portray the motivations behind the conversion of our republic into a democracy.  It is no coincidence that our system of government, initially founded as a republic, is now transforming into the depths of a democratic abyss.

Essentially, our republic is able to maintain itself as a rule of law and not of men by means of a system of checks and balances.  Separated into three branches, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, our government is arranged according to the U.S. Constitution so that each branch has its own assigned powers.  Examples of these powers are: to make laws (Legislative); to carry out the laws (Executive); and to interpret the laws (Judicial).  The Constitution also provides each branch of the government with several checks over the other two.  For example, the president can veto a law passed by Congress; however, Congress can override a veto with a two-thirds vote.  As another example, the president is given the power to appoint Supreme Court and other federal judges; however, the Supreme Court can judge presidential actions to be unconstitutional.  While our republic has built-in checks on government power, a democracy is based on majority rule with no such built-in checks.  This defect of democracies is often referred to as “the tyranny of the majority,” because the rights of minorities and individual citizens are not protected in a democracy.

Democracy, as the average citizen believes it to be, is a form of government by which all eligible citizens may have an equal say by vote to elect those who pass the laws that affect them.  This is a reassuring definition from which a person could wrongfully believe that their individual rights will be protected in a democracy.  However, democracy is far more than as defined above.

“…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.”-James Madison, father of the Constitution.

Furthermore, Karl Marx stated in The Communist Manifesto:

“We have seen … that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.”

While democracy may seem to give people more say in their individual lives, it actually gives the government more control over the people.  When a government may confer rights at any time, they can also take those rights away at any time.  It is extraordinarily difficult to decipher exactly which rights we take for granted in our everyday lives that have an alternative intention.  In alliance with the greater agenda of the elites as well as the shift towards a democracy, many beneficial laws and ideologies are being abandoned.  The destruction of morality, banishment of private property, and abolishment of family are just a few of the major alterations.

The destruction of morality should be viewed as being a great threat to our republic.  Whether discussing homosexuality, abortion, or marriage, each and every campaign for equality rights, gay rights, and even women’s rights is cleverly disguised.  The true intention of these campaigns is not to grant personal freedom or rights, it is to completely destroy man’s consciousness.

Again, as Karl Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto:

“But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

Furthering our destruction of society, the banishment of private property is another mandatory aspect of doing away with freedom.

As Karl Marx says in The Communist Manifesto:

“In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property.  Precisely so; that  is just what we intend to do.  From the moment when labor can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolized i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say, individuality vanishes.  You must, therefore, confess that by ‘individual’ you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property.  This person must, indeed be swept out of the way, and made impossible.”

Finally, the abolishment of family is along the same lines as destruction of morality.  It is of the utmost importance to those who intend to rule us to control the household and the education of children in today’s society.  By restricting homeschooling or allowing a child to have two mothers or fathers rather than a mother and father respectively, the traditional family is being deemphasized.  Rather than our educational system teaching kids how to think critically, our children are now attending school and being taught what to think.  Programming our children in inappropriate ways, our educational system has gone astray.

It may appear that we have gone astray from the given subject; however, in a republic like our nation was founded to be, the government cannot take rights away from the people that only God can give. In other words, if our nation is converted to a democracy, then all rights will be subject to the whims of the government, and the people will have no basis for preserving their rights.  That is to say, if our rights are something the government is able to grant, then they can be taken away at any point in time.  So when the argument of a republic versus a democracy is in play, it would be in your best interests to realize what the fundamental principles are of each form of government as well as their consequences.  In Robert Welch’s “Republics and Democracies” he quoted a speech Benjamin Disraeli made to the British House of Commons in 1859 in which he said:

If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy.  You will in due season have great impatience of public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of public expenditure.  You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence.  You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.Image

One of the greatest assets of The John Birch Society is the archive housed at headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Rows and rows of file cabinets and shelves filled with books, magazines, literature, and much more span many hundreds of square feet in the lower level of both buildings.  JBS Founder Robert Welch was a prolific writer, and much of his work can be found in the archives.

In October 1961, he wrote what is arguably the best description ever of the fundamental differences between a government based upon law and one based upon men.  Published in American Opinion, his classic ‘Republics and Democracies,’ was first delivered as a speech on September 17 (Constitution Day), 1961.” The next month he published it in American Opinion.

His conclusion was that “America was founded as a Republic, not a democracy.  Let’s keep it that way.

 


Arthur Thompson

               Image

When chatting with Arthur Thompson last week, some questions were asked concerning his choice of The John Birch Society as a place of employment as well as his hopes for the company.  We thought sharing his answers with you would help to provide a little inside perspective on who he is and possibly some inspiration about the future of our country and becoming active!

When asked why he chose The John Birch Society and why exactly he became a member, Mr. Thompson answered, “I found in it the only practical means by which we can save our constitution and the independence of the American people.  Initially, I was anti-communist; I understood the dangers of communism but not necessarily the dangers of collectivism in all of its forms.  It wasn’t until I became a member of The John Birch Society and learned of the dangers of collectivism from the wisdom of Robert Welch.  I remained a member and wanted to become a member of the staff of the Society to be able to more effectively fight what was happening to our country.  I realized only The John Birch Society due to its mission, structure, and dedication, could save this country.  After looking at a broad cross-section of other organizations that ostensibly had the same solution in mind, all fell short of understanding both the depth and breadth of the problem and solution.”

 By virtue of his membership in the society since May of 1964, Mr. Thompson has seen many victories as well as faced many obstacles.  When asked what his goals were for the company in the future he answered, “To grow to a size capable of defeating the forces that endanger the liberty of not only the American people, but the world.”  Finally, when asked in a joking manner any plans for retirement he said “That’s up to God…and the board of directors.” 

Becoming a member in 1964 and now the Chief Executive Officer of the Society, Mr. Thompson serves as an inspiration to aspiring activists.  We are at the cutting edge of liberty and tyranny and now would be the most prominent time to get active.  View his weekly videos for education you will not find anywhere else.  His videos can be found at The John Birch Society’s website or The John Birch Society’s channel on YouTube.

 


Altering Our Constitution Unconstitutionally

Working at The John Birch Society headquarters in Appleton Wisconsin, each staff member arrives at work every morning knowing they are fulfilling their responsibility to uphold the Constitution. When chatting with Larry Greenley, director of missions here at headquarters, he explained his reasoning for working here relevant to the Constitution; “Pretty much all of my work here at JBS revolves around the Constitution. We fully support the Constitution as originally intended by the Founders. One of our major goals is to create sufficient understanding among the voters to enable the election of a constitutionalist majority to both houses of Congress, and ultimately the election of a constitutionalist to the presidency.”

To secure our unalienable rights, the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787 by our founding fathers. Otherwise known as the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution originally consisted of seven Articles. Once recognized as the quintessence of liberty, today it is viewed as a hindrance to the greater agenda of the establishment elites.

In order to gain control over mankind, it is essential to destroy freedom.  The members of each successive generation have been losing their individual rights, yet the widespread indoctrination is so clever, that the average person is completely unaware. Starting with the act of abortion and finishing with discrimination against elders, at each stage of our lives we are incrementally being stripped of our liberties.

In the last two weeks, the first, second, and fourth Amendments have been put at great risk by the government.  Whether focusing on freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, or requirements for search warrants, it cannot be denied that we have to wage a constant battle to uphold our Constitution.

When presenting a problem such as this, it is fashionable to provide a solution.  How important it is to know your Constitution and your individual rights cannot be stressed enough.  The only way to defend yourself is to know exactly what you are defending.

Take some time to review and understand The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.  Coming soon, a more in-depth reading will be provided looking directly at the topic of republics versus democracies as well as how our Constitution established a republic and not a democracy.

Image

The Declaration of Independence located in the front hall here at JBS headquarters.

Image

Howard Chandler Christy’s Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States located in the front entrance here at headquarters.


Sharpening Your Sword

The preeminent gift one can give to oneself is knowledge.  Recognized as the theoretical comprehension of a subject, knowledge can be characterized as the accumulation of information and enhancement of skills obtained through discipline.

Knowledge is not currently seen as a dominant form of power; it is viewed as being insubstantial.  Power is generally seen as having money, dominance, or influence on society. Not only has this false conception on the part of the American public enabled drastic advances in power by the establishment elites, but the thought that knowledge is insubstantial has also enabled the dumbing down of America by the education elites.  Granted, with our current and past administration, knowledge of how the establishment elites are transforming our nation does leave those people who understand what’s happening more vulnerable.  However, that does not justify settling for ignorance.

Today, the progressives’ agenda for transforming this country is of high concern.  While some are unaware of the agenda, most are unknowingly indoctrinated in it.  In general, some are working to resist the agenda while others are trying to advance it.  Throughout these chaotic times, each individual has not only the opportunity, but the right to enhance their self-worth through knowledge.

It is necessary to sharpen your sword in order to win the battle; the more knowledge obtained, the more successful each individual will be in exposing the truth and fixing the current problems the establishment elites present us with.  In the coming days, you will find blogs posted here pertaining to the founding and history of the United States.  The information provided will discuss both history and the more current affairs in our country.

Without further ado, below you will find the Overview of America, a video produced by The John Birch Society, focusing on the freedom and prosperity of America.  Throughout the video, different forms of government are discussed and explained in a simple fashion.  The economic principles underlying the different forms of government are also explained.  The video will show how our country is unique and how the founding fathers designed the country to give each individual the most freedom possible.

The Overview of America video presentation is derived from The Overview of the World, a filmstrip presentation that John McManus produced for The John Birch Society in 1972.  This filmstrip dealt with political systems, economic systems and fighting the conspiracy.  While The Overview of The World was quite detailed and lengthy, the much shorter Overview of America is being widely used as an educational tool offering a more broad understanding of the various governmental systems and their corresponding economies.  Viewed by over 8 million people, Overview of America has been one of the most successful learning tools The John Birch Society has.  Cathy Spoehr, the director of media at The John Birch Society, played a huge role in the production of the Overview of America video.  Very excited about the finished product, Cathy mentioned her department will be working on part 2 in the near future!  When discussing the production of the next part, Cathy said “I think it will be a very good educational piece.”  The second part will be a “direct look at America’s history and how far we have strayed from the principles of our founding fathers.”