Friday, March 20, 2015

March Madness at UC Irvine

March Madness at UC Irvine
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 20, 2015

For the first time in school history, UC Irvine went dancing. On Friday, March 20 the Anteaters took on the favored Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. UC Irvine earned their dancing shoes on the heels of knocking off Hawaii to win the Big West Conference tournament – and raise the flag in the Bren Events Center.

Ironically, just two weeks earlier, there was a move spearheaded by some campus radicals to have, of all things, the American flag taken down and removed from the state school’s campus.

Matthew Guevara, a UC Irvine student penned a resolution stating, “The American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” and that flags themselves “construct paradigms of conformity and sets homogenized standards.”

This anti-American screed, dripping in a complete lack of knowledge of American history, actually passed the UC Irvine student legislative council by a vote of six to four, with two abstentions, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, some semblance of common sense presented itself on campus as the university released a statement calling the vote by the student government “misguided.” “The views of a handful of students passing a resolution do not represent the opinions of nearly 30,000 students on this campus… The American flag is still proudly flying throughout our campus and will continue to do so,” according to the Times.

While the flag may still be flying on campus, the fact that there are students seeking to eliminate the symbol of this country, the country that gives them freedom of speech, is demonstrative of their ignorance and lack of knowledge of American history. That flag represents more than just the freedom of speech and expression. It represents freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and petition the government.

The American flag is the symbol that allows a malcontent like Mr. Guevara to denigrate the country where he lives and is garnering his so-called education. Perhaps he never learned that the symbol of this country flying high at Fort McHenry, Maryland illustrated that the United States had withstood the attack by the British in the War of 1812 – “…that our flag was still there…,” write Francis Scott Key in what would become the Star Spangled Banner a.k.a. the National Anthem of the United States.

The United States won that war and remained free from the yoke of Great Britain, from whom the US gained independence and fought for the aforementioned freedoms. Perhaps Mr. Guevara missed that class in history, if he has even taken an American history class. Or worse yet, he has taken American history classes and the far left university professors have taught on a slant – teaching the evils of the United States and not the reality of the United States.

Warts and all, the United States is still the greatest country in the world. Why are millions of people invading this country for a chance to live here – even illegally? When war, strife, famine, and acts of G-d occur globally, how happy are the people of those countries to see the American flag accompanied by supplies, doctors, and dollars to help through their struggles. Perhaps Mr. Guevara and his supporters seeking the lowering of the American flag on campus at UC Irvine would like to live elsewhere – Cuba, Russia, Angola, or China, to see what a lack of freedom is like. Such subversive behavior would probably get him locked up in one of those countries – or worse.

Mr. Guevara and his ilk need a refresher about how the raising of the American flag was a welcome relief in the American south during the War Between the States for slaves yearning to breathe free.

A symbol of colonialism, accuses Mr. Guevara? How about after the American victory in the Spanish-American War the United States gave the Philippines and Cuba their independence. Hawaii would ultimately become the 50th state of the Union – enjoying a better economic position than if left to its own devices. Puerto Rico became an American commonwealth, also with a better economic standard than if independent, a question presented to the people of that island in a plebiscite on several occasions, which netted in the people retaining commonwealth status. These are not cases of either colonialism or imperialism.

Was it colonialism or imperialism when American troops sacrificed thousands of lives to free France on and after D-Day in 1944? Or when Nazi concentration camps were liberated, did the few remaining European Jewish survivors reject American soldiers because the American flag adorned their uniforms?

How about when the American flag was raised at Iwo Jima, 70 years ago, this past February 23, 1945? That represented a pivotal battle for the United States during WWII enabling them to establish an important base of operations in the Pacific Theater. Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph, symbolizing patriotism, still reminds people of the fight for freedom against a cruel Japanese enemy which had started the war by bombing Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Not only was that not an act of colonialism or imperialism, the United States, under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, returned Iwo Jima and several other Pacific islands to Japan upon the visit of Premier Eisaku Sato to the United States. Winning that battle enabled the United States to end the war in the Pacific sooner, rather than later.

Some had suggested feeling intimidated by the American flag. If that is true, seek educational opportunities elsewhere. This is the United States of America. If you don’t like it here, feel free to move to a locale making you feel less intimidated. Good luck finding better opportunities elsewhere than in the United States.

Fortunately for the rest of the student body at UC Irvine this incredulous idea failed. Had it succeeded, perhaps the school, a state school, receiving millions in government funding should have lost all federal money. If the students supporting this idea had called for the removal of the flag of the State of California, the doors to UC Irvine could have been shuttered and all students dispersed to private educational institutions where they could pay double or even triple the costs they pay at a subsidized establishment.

The American flag should fly high on all campuses, private and public in these United States as a symbol of patriotism, freedom, and the greatness that is not just America, but the concept of America that so many other countries attempt to emulate. Students from the time they enter school should be taught the history of the United States in order to both understand its foibles as well as appreciate its greatness so that they see the flag as a source of pride, not a symbol of something sinister.

By the way, UC Irvine lost their first ever NCAA tournament game to Louisville 57-55 in a most valiant effort.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bibi Brings Down the House - and the Senate

Bibi Brings Down the House – and the Senate
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 3, 2015

In a powerful and passionate speech before a joint meeting of Congress Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday clearly outlined why the Islamic Nation of Iran must never possess nuclear capabilities or weaponry at the risk of not just the future of Israel, but that of the United States and possibly civilization as a whole.

Netanyahu’s appearance before the joint meeting of Congress marked his third, tying him with the great British Prime  Minister Sir Winston Churchill, for the most by a foreign leader. Netanyahu was also presented with a bust of Churchill  by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Iran “plays a pretty good game of hide and cheat,” said Netanyahu, referring to the operation of secret nuclear facilities while keeping teams of international inspectors at arm’s length from discovering anything suspect.

Netanyahu bluntly and appropriately stated that the deal currently under consideration between the United States and Iran to scale down the degree to which the Islamic nation could create nuclear energy is a bad deal. Any deal allowing Iran nuclear capabilities at any time is dangerous and must be rejected. However, in spite of this notion of common sense, Barack Obama is so desperate for a legacy-saving deal on which to hang his hat, he does not have Israel’s best interests at heart; and quite frankly is not doing what is best for his own country either.

“This is a bad deal – a very bad deal. We’re better off without it. Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal,” Netanyahu said, noting that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Iran’s desires are very well known. Their quest for nuclear capability is for the purpose of destroying the Jewish people and their homeland. “Israel must be annihilated. Israel must be destroyed,” are being tweeted in English by Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khamenei, said Netanyahu. This current crop of educated and upwardly mobile terrorist belies the notion put forth by Obama that if they had more noble pursuits there would be less terror activity.

Netanyahu noted that Iran was once a great civilization that was hijacked in 1979 by “religious zealots” lead by Ayatollah Khomeini pushing to “export the revolution throughout the world,” whose founding document calls for “death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad,” while America’s founding document calls for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

“If all the Jews gather in Israel it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world,” said Netanyahu, crediting that quote to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Iran, of course, supports Hezbollah and is part of the continuing battle of Iran or ISIS “competing for the crown of militant Islam,” said the Prime Minister.

“Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend. In this deadly game of thrones, there is no place for America or for Israel; no peace for Christians, Jews, or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone. So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy,” stated Netanyahu so eloquently.

Radical Islamists are patient people – see also the first assault on the World Trade Center, February 26, 1993, followed eight years later by the horrific attacks that ultimately brought those buildings down on September 11, 2001. There is no reason to believe that Iran won’t temporarily change its behavior, let the clock run out on the ban in 10 years before attacking Israel and eventually the United States. During this time Iran could follow Hitler’s lead in illegally stockpiling munitions and rebuilding the army Germany was prohibited from having as per the punishment following WWI.

Such a deal “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb,” said Netanyahu. Iran with sanctions already controls four capitals – Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and Sanna. Without sanctions, they will only continue to “devour” more countries. Iran will not become a better nation; Iran will be a more aggressive sponsor of terror. “This deal will not be a farewell to arms, but a farewell to arms control,” continued Netanyahu.

Knowing the desires of Iran and ISIS, as have been on display for the entire world to see, it is not hyperbole coming from Netanyahu. He is speaking of the utter survival of the lone Jewish state on the planet and doing so with urgency – an urgency that does not appear to engulf the Obama administration. Obama, behaving like a petulant three year old, announced weeks ago he would not attend Netanyahu's address before the Congress. He did so because of a perceived slight as the invitation to Netanyahu came from Speaker of House Boehner and was not cleared through the White House. Seems that if Netanyahu was invited to speak before Congress, the invitation should have come from Boehner and Obama should not have been offended. Yet, the thin skinned Obama takes offense at most everything when it does not put him on the pedestal he thinks upon which he belongs.

Then Obama attempted to turn Netanyahu’s visit into a politically motivated trip as Israel is holding elections for which Netanyahu is up for reelection in two weeks. Obama and the Democratic critics of Netanyahu’s visit needed only consult a calendar of events. The fact of the matter is, Netanyahu’s visit coincided with his speech before AIPAC just the day before, also in Washington, DC. AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is the largest pro-Israel lobby organization in the United States, is dedicated to the security of both nations, and is non-partisan.

There was no slight, to which Netanyahu attested during both his AIPAC and Capitol Hill speeches. In fact, Netanyahu praised Obama for his support of Israel on several occasions during both presentations. Yet not only did Obama shun the Congressional speech, as did Vice President Joe Biden, Obama sent nary a single representative from his administration to The Hill, and that includes the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro. Such an embarrassment.

Further, it was the Senate Democrats who offered to meet privately with Netanyahu after his speech that turned his visit into a political venture. Netanyahu did the smart thing and rejected the invitation. If the Democrats wanted to hear from him, they could walk over to the House Chamber. Additionally, those Democratic lawmakers who boycotted Netanyahu’s appearance on Capitol Hill then took to microphones following the speech to deride it and disrespect Netanyahu. Their collective attitude was visceral.

At least eight Democrats chided Netanyahu for his timing, suggesting he would be more than welcome to speak after Israel’s election. Again, for those without a calendar of events, the Capitol Hill speech coincided with speech presented to AIPAC the day before. No more should be made of the timing.

Rep. David Price (D-NC) said this was a “one party invitation.” John Boehner is Speaker of the whole House, not just the GOP side.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) accused Netanyahu of being “arrogant, hostile, disrespectful,” and of fear mongering, adding, “He can go home!” If anyone was disrespectful, it was Yarmuth comparing Netanyahu’s desire to extract a better deal to a child wanting nothing more than to go to Disney, eat junk food, and drink soda every day. If anyone was disrespectful, it was Yarmuth and his Democrat cohorts who opted to boycott the leader of a foreign nation, and an ally at that, in an effort to curry favor with Obama.

As for arrogant and hostile, from one who listened to the entire speech – twice – Netanyahu was neither. He did not make demands, he was complimentary to Obama – even when it was less than necessary, he was personable, and presented his speech in an even-keeled tenor.

“Indeed it was political theater worthy of an Oscar®,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). “The president has Israel’s best interests at heart… negotiations are the only way to go – sanctions will not work,” Cohen added.

Cohen couldn’t be more wrong and needs to be reminded of how Obama demanded Israel’s borders revert to their pre-1967 War state, which would have endangered them with an eight mile width at its most narrow. Obama’s sense of history is clouded at best. As for negotiations, how does one negotiate with an entity calling for the destruction, the eradication, the elimination, the evisceration of their enemies? There is no gray area there.

Sanctions must be employed to the most stringent extreme possible – economic, materials, freezing accounts, denying student visas, whatever it takes to send the message. If necessary, Israel must do to Iran what it did to Iraq in the 1980s.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did himself and the people of Israel proud on this day speaking before a packed House chamber. He reminded the global audience that before any restrictions against Iran are removed, “the world should demand that Iran do three things.”

“First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.” Notice the plural of neighbor; Netanyahu is looking out for all of the Middle East.

“Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.” Again, the concern for the global community.

“And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.”

“…I can guarantee you this – the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies… are over,” said Netanyahu to one of more than 40 rounds of applause.

“For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.”

“…as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. But I know Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel. You stand with Israel because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history’s horrors,” said Netanyahu, to a roar of approval. Those in attendance were witness to a dynamic speech and fervent display of true leadership – a lesson Obama could learn.

Never again is the perpetual battle cry that there never again is another Holocaust – that includes Iran – no matter what.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Now They're Coming for the Christians

Now They’re Coming for the Christians
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 27, 2015

            “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
            Because I was not a Socialist.
            Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
            Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
            Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
            Because I was not a Jew.
            Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemoller

With all the comparisons of ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State to the Nazis it is more than appropriate to quote the German Protestant pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), who as an openly anti-Hitler individual, “spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.” (  This quote can be seen vividly on a wall in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a museum of which I am proud to be a charter member.

Western Civilization burns and Barack Obama fiddles a la Nero, unwilling to call the enemy what they are, Muslim extremists and/or radical Islam, when they themselves are praising Allah’s name while committing their heinous acts of barbarism and butchery. Fox News analyst Col. Ralph Peters traversed one step further in calling Obama “the reincarnation of Pontius Pilate washing his hands, but the blood’s not coming off.”

“He does nothing,” said Peters of Obama. But Obama is not the only one sitting idly by. Where is the Italian army? After all, the ISIS terrorists announced they are heading toward Rome. As the ISIS bid for a global caliphate continues to spread with little resistance it is further incumbent upon the United States to step up. It’s a small menu – either fight ISIS over there, or fight them here on American soil.

Make no mistake, according to James Comey, Director of the FBI, there are already ISIS or ISIS-linked terror animals in each of the 50 states of the union. ( This is the same James Comey, Director of the FBI that was inexplicably and foolishly excluded from Obama’s invitation list for the summit countering violent extremism held earlier this month. (

Where is the global outcry, and more importantly, the physical response as the slaughter of Christians, Jews, journalists, even other Muslims is ratcheted up by the barbaric animals killing in the name of their bastardized version of a so-called religion of peace? More like a religion of pieces as the beheadings of Coptic Christians, the immolations of Christians and Muslims who refuse to cow-tow to these degenerate beasts continue on a grand scale. And let’s not forget the butchering of the Christian children watching a soccer match simply because they would not disavow themselves of their belief in Christ.

And even after the identification of one of the worst of these murderous animals, this Jihadi John, a.k.a. Mohammed Emwazi, an upper middle class, educated Kuwaiti-Brit; do State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf and Obama still want to offer jobs to these degenerates? What about the 10 year old girl who detonated a suicide bomb in Nigeria? Does she need a job? Perhaps an afterschool paper route. What about the rapes of nine year old girls who are sold into sex slavery? How about the selling of organs of their victims as another way to fund their murderous activities? Is this a religion of peace? Recruits as young as five years old are videotaped in uniforms with firearms bigger than they are as they are indoctrinated into a world of hate, slaughter, and death that they couldn’t possibly understand.

Even NBC, a network that has been carrying Obama’s water since he announced for the White House in 2007, has taken to calling ISIS “evil.” (It’s about time.) Yet Obama remains paralyzed.

Threats have been made against some of the shopping malls in the United States including the Mall of America in the Minneapolis area, home of the largest Somali-American community. The war is being brought to our front doorsteps. Additionally, thousands of people from France, Jordan, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia are leaving their home countries to join ISIS.

Earlier this week three residents of Brooklyn were arrested in New York City for plotting to go to Syria and join ISIS – one of whom offered to kill Obama if asked to do so. For planning to wage war against the United States, they should have their passports invalidated and be tried as enemies of the state.

They are coming for the Christians because Christians are people of the cross, as the Muslim murderers have declared. They are coming for the Christians because there are almost no Jews left in the territories upon which these Muslim extremists are preying – after all they are not doing any real praying. They are coming for the Christians simply because they are Christians.

In addition to the rampant slaughter of women, children, and Christians of any sect, these barbarian Muslim extremists are destroying churches, museums, and the antiquities of a faith and civilization that spans more than two millennia.

There is only one answer to end the siege of Muslim extremism and the global caliphate sought by ISIS/ISIL – death. Not negotiation, not sitting around singing kum-by-ya, but death – evisceration, eradication – death by any other name will be just as effective – and now. Now – before ISIS/ISIL is marching down Main Street, USA.

Countries with ISIS or affiliate activity: Afghanistan, Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Philippines, and Syria (

Jewish population by country:

Afghanistan – one
Algeria – 50-75 (as of 2013)
Indonesia – “Today, only about 20 Jews live in Indonesia.” (2014 – Population 252 million)
Iraq – “Today the Jewish community in Iraq is non-existent.”
Lebanon – “Today there are few if any Jews remaining in Lebanon.”
Libya – zero (as of 2013)
Pakistan – “Today there is no recognizable Jewish community left in the country.”
Philippines – about 100 (as of 2014)
Syria – fewer than 100 (as of 2014)

Christian population by country:

Afghanistan – 30,000 – 0.1 percent of the national population as of 2010
Algeria – 60,000 – 0.2 percent
Indonesia – 21.2 million – 8.8 percent
Iraq – 270,000 – 0.9 percent
Lebanon – 1.6 million – 38.3 percent
Libya – 170,000 – 2.7 percent
Pakistan – 2.76 million – 1.6 percent
Philippines – 86.8 million – 93 percent
Syria – 1.06 million – 5.2 percent

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fund Homeland Security, Not Illegals

Fund Homeland Security, Not Illegals
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 26, 2015

As the clock heads toward the zero hour to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded, the Republicans in the House and Senate have yet to learn how to lead by actually leading.

Senate Republicans have an excuse as they just took over the mantle of leadership less than 60 days ago. The House GOP does not enjoy that same luxury as they have been running the show, with little exception, for the better part of two decades.

The GOP must also remember that while in the minority of the Senate, rarely, if ever, did then Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) utter the word compromise. Acting as a pugnacious bulldog missing his bone, Reid was at best contentious toward his GOP opponents, at times downright rude and uncivil.

The Republicans in the House added a rider to the DHS funding bill that would disallow federal funding of Barack Obama’s executive orders pertaining to illegal aliens. Effectively this would quash the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents which had the purpose of protecting more than four million illegals from deportation. This new program was effective as of spring this year.

Another rider has the purpose of ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – an act providing relief for illegals brought to the United States when they were still children. In the case of both amendments, illegals would be granted permission to remain in the United States and apply for social security cards and work permits.

This is egregious on so many levels. Those persons in this country illegally have already broken the law and should have no rights to anything except a one way ticket back to their country of origin – after being photographed and finger printed – with the information stored in a data base. Should illegals return and get caught again, they should be incarcerated.

Additionally, illegals do not have the authority to work in the United States – something Obama seeks to change. Those hiring illegals should be fined the amount of a fulltime minimum wage worker’s salary times five. That should dissuade employers from hiring illegals and instead hire Americans – so many of whom are desperately seeking gainful employment.

Not only does the GOP possess a majority in both houses of Congress, they recently earned some support via the judiciary. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered a temporary halt to Obama’s executive orders pertaining to illegal immigration as outlined above. Hanen issued his order on Monday, February 16 which should have given the GOP some flexibility.

House Republicans could have removed the amendments pertaining to the illegals, sent a single-issue bill to the Senate, and that body would have passed the funding bill to keep DHS funded through September. But they did not because it was the smart  move to put the Democrats on the hook for either passing the bill to continue funding DHS and kill Obama’s immigration catastrophe, or vice versa, where the Democrats could keep Obama’s pet immigration programs at the cost of a partial shutdown of DHS.

The problem, however, is that the mainstream media is typically in cahoots with the liberals and the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Before long, the GOP was made to look like the demons for not wanting to fund Homeland Security in favor of ending Obama’s amnesty for more than four million illegals in this country. And because the GOP is running scared from the front, the Senate Republicans caved by removing the language pertaining to the elimination of Obama’s amnesty.

Two bright lights burn for the Republicans. On a single issue vote, DHS will receive its funding in time to prevent a partial shutdown. Let the record show that even in the case of a partial shutdown, all essential personnel remain on the job – this includes the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, FEMA, the Secret Service, and the Transportation Security Administration.

The other bright light comes from Maine Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican, who proposed a bill to defund Obama’s executive orders pertaining to amnesty for illegals.

While Judge Hanen’s order ceasing Obama’s immigration amnesty for illegals is temporary and Obama plans to seek a stay allowing his executive orders to be implemented, it is once again up to the American people to put pressure on the elected officials to thwart all efforts granting legal status to people in this country illegally. If this fails, a move to impeach Obama for unilaterally making law when it is not his job to do so will become necessary. A judge has said Obama has gone too far. If Obama ignores one branch of the government, it is up to the other branch of the government to rein him in – legally.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Summing Up the Summit: Three Days Wasted

Summing Up the Summit: Three Days Wasted
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 20, 2015

Barack Obama hosted a three day summit on countering violent extremism which seemed more like a student government meeting at a local high school. The cost was in the millions of dollars, was three days the attendees will never get back and an exercise in fecklessness.

Representatives from more than 60 nations participated in this summit which, from all prior description, was to be a study of both domestic and global terrorism. Sixty nations, yet James Comey, Director of the FBI was not invited. However, Comey’s Russian counterpart was in attendance. How a discussion pertaining to fighting domestic terrorism did not include the director of the FBI is nonsensical and shortsighted.

Who the summit also included was Salam Al-Malayati from the Muslim Public Affairs Council. It was Al-Malayati who said “Israel should be a suspect in the 9-11 attacks.” This is another example of with whom Obama associates. After all, one is the compendium of those with whom one associates.

This was yet another failed waste of time by Obama that achieved nothing – after all, he still has yet to address the enemy in the war on terror by its proper titles – Islamic extremism, Muslim extremism, radical Islam, and radical Muslims. It’s hard to fight an enemy when one cannot even identify the enemy. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld described the administration’s lack of a positive accomplishment as a “leadership vacuum.”

It was not a random attack in Paris when Jews in a kosher delicatessen were murdered. Forgive the stereotype, but who did Obama think would be shopping in a kosher deli mere hours prior to Shabbat? Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, and Francois-Michel Saada were Jewish, may their memories always be for a Blessing.

For nearly a week Obama did not recognize that the 21 Egyptians beheaded by ISIS were Coptic Christians, simply calling them Egyptian citizens. They were slaughtered not because they were Egyptian, but because they were Christian. May their memories always be for a Blessing. The leader who spoke in the video called their prey “The people of the cross… the followers of the hostile Egyptian Church…,” and “we will conquer Rome,” he continued in perfect English. The Muslim terrorist added that the slayings are “A message signed in blood to the nation of the cross.”

And while Obama remains intentionally obtuse about who the enemy is – actually Obama knows who the enemy is, he simply refuses to acknowledge what they are – this when the enemy calls themselves holy warriors and declaring itself THE Islamic State.

Obama did acknowledge that “We have to address the grievances these people express.” What grievances? The Muslim extremists who are carrying out the slaughter of innocent Christians, Jews, and other Muslims only seem to be hell bent on the destruction of Western Civilization and the creation of a global caliphate of loyal drones and minions. Do their grievances include not having enough money to carry out their barbaric deeds? Do their grievances include not being able to kill more people at a faster rate?

Or are we to believe words of Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson at the State Department who unfathomably said “We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war.” Harf called for, and Obama agreed, getting to the root causes of the terror; that these animals simply are from poor families with disjointed upbringings, lacking education that simply need job opportunities. In reality, most of this terror class is educated and from middle class families who simply have bombastic and extreme views of their Muslim religion – a religion for which they commit their heinous acts of barbarism – according to their own claims.

Western Civilization is at war with Muslim extremists who are not seeking a sit-down, a conference call, or a negotiation. There is no kum-by-ya moment to be had here. This is an enemy that simply needs to be eradicated – eviscerated – destroyed – killed. If the United States does not take the lead on this all important operation, the dearth of leadership that will be felt globally will be vacuous.

While Jordan has gotten involved in a small way since the unfortunate incineration of one of its pilots at the hands of ISIS, that small country can’t do the heavy lifting. All countries where Islamo-terrorism has been a factor, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, not to mention virtually the entirety of the Middle East, should be participating in this war against a global caliphate.

But it is also time for the so-called moderate Muslims to step up to the plate. Recalling an emotional scene in the 1989 film Glory, featuring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, Freeman’s character Rawlins says to Washington's Trip, “Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN!”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi understands this and delivered a brilliant speech before Al-Azhar University in Cairo on December 28, 2014.

“I am addressing the religious scholars and clerics… We must take a long, hard look at the situation we are in… I am referring not to ‘religion,’ but to ‘ideology’… It has reached the point that this [ideology] is hostile to the entire world… You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion…       Honorable Imam, you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.”

Bold, brave, necessary words spoken by President Al Sisi. Words from which Obama can, should, and must learn and act upon.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Culture of Cheating and Lying

The Culture of Cheating and Lying
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 12, 2015

First there was the New England Patriots NFL team, which earned the wrath of both sports fans and non-sports fans alike because of the message their issue with improperly deflated footballs sent, especially to impressionable children. Win at all costs and cheating does actually pay off.

Read “Pats Pigskin Peccadillo Simply Not Kosher,” here: and as noted, this was not the Patriots first rodeo where allegations of cheating are concerned.

Then there is the egregious spate of lying committed by soon to be former NBC Nightly News anchorman and managing editor Brian Williams. Having lied about being under enemy fire and shot at while part of a convoy of helicopters while on assignment in Iraq in 2003, Williams perpetuated his lies during an interview with David Letterman. Williams regaled his tall tale on social media as well, until a soldier assigned to Williams’ guard detail denied events occurred as Williams said. He then stumbled through an awkward attempt at an apology before announcing he was taking himself off the air – temporarily – until the matter could be cleared up.

Making matters worse for both Williams and NBC are the reports that he lied about seeing a dead body float past his French Quarter hotel while covering Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in August 2005. Confirmation that the French Quarter was not under water and in fact was predominantly dry once again lends credence to the notion that Williams’ words are suspect at best, damaging at worst.

By damaging, it is not just a distraction that Williams lied – not misspoke, not misremembered – after all he is not a member of the Obama administration, or Congress, or a candidate for president. As a member of the Fourth Estate Williams has a responsibility to provide credible, truthful news reports to the people and neither lie nor inject himself into the story. (As politicians were mentioned, one should wonder if Hillary Clinton’s lies about coming under sniper fire in 1996 while the then first lady visited Bosnia will come back to haunt her in a potential 2016 run for the White House.)

When the rank and file of the American populous are unable to trust the source of the news they receive, the floodgates open for all sorts of chicanery to occur at so many levels. It also sends a message that not only is the news source unreliable, in this case, NBC, but they are not the only guilty party in the history of broadcasting, or in the news business as a whole. As a result of the severity of this scandal, Williams has been suspended for six months without pay by NBC, although quite frankly it will be hard for him to rebuild a shattered reputation in absentia with the ability to return to the news desk as a credible news reader.

Muckraking scandals at the early part of the last century where sensationalized news was all the rage in print did much damage to the industry. And ever since Watergate captivated the nation (1972-74) every cub journalist wants to be the next Woodward and Bernstein. Too often so-called journalists inject themselves into stories or shape a story to fit some cause celeb they have – such as the recent Rolling Stone University of Virginia rape story. This kind of salacious lying only hurts the profession as a whole. Couple that with the Jayson Blairs of the world – he a former New York Times scribe who not only plagiarized stories, but fabricated his undergraduate degree credentials by falsifying his resume to say he graduated from the University of Maryland – a genuine embarrassment to those of us who actually did earn a degree from Maryland.

Add to the mix another case of cheating – cheating by adults meant to benefit children, yet ultimately that hurt children. A report surfaced just days following the resolution of the Williams’ lying scandal, that the winner of the Little League International United States championship game employed ineligible players.

The Jackie Robinson West team from Chicago disgraced the team’s namesake by amending the boundaries demarcating from where the players must reside. In winning its game against Mountain Ridge Little League, Jackie Robinson West “earned” the right to play in the international championship game versus South Korea, which it ultimately lost. However, as part of the penalty for cheating, Jackie Robinson West’s victories have been vacated, thus giving the American title to the Mountain Ridge team it defeated from Las Vegas.

This was an unfortunate situation for the boys who played for the Jackie Robinson West team, as it is unlikely they knowingly participated in the chicanery that gave the team an ill-gotten advantage, yet by having their victories stripped from them, they are the ones who suffer.

While it was adults who conspired to stack the deck for the Jackie Robinson West team, the team must suffer the consequences as not only a teachable moment for the boys to understand that cheaters don’t win and winners don’t cheat, but it is the right thing to do – vacating the national title and giving it to the Las Vegas runner up who played by the rules.

It is sad that the adults in the Chicago boys’ lives believed they had to falsify boundaries, records, and cheat in order to win. It is sadder still that this episode may discourage these boys or other inner city youths from participating in something as wholesome and confidence building as little league baseball, when according to a number of the parents, these boys could have been roaming the streets committing acts of thuggery or worse.

“What would you have us do, Little League, for them to be killed on the streets of Chicago,” asked Venisa Green, mother of son Brandon, a player on the Jackie Robinson West team.

In light of this cheating scandal, wholesale suspensions were meted out by Little League International, including the team manager Darold Butler and a district official involved with the gerrymandering of the boundaries. Even Jesse Jackson felt compelled to offer his two cents, asking “Is this about boundaries or race,” with absolutely no proof to make such an allegation. But that is Jackson simply being Jackson.

While nobody wants to see these boys killed because they live in less than desirable neighborhoods, that is not an excuse for cheating – akin to suggesting a means to an ends is acceptable when considering the potential alternative. It is the adults in these boys’ lives who cheated their sons, and while the sons are suffering for the sins of the fathers, there should be a lifelong take away for the boys – that cheating is not the answer, it doesn’t pay, and they should remember this pain when raising their own sons or daughters who will hopefully take to the field of play some day.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Friday, February 6, 2015

No Vax - No Pax (of Mind)

No Vax – No Pax (of Mind)
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 6, 2015

When should the public good take precedence over personal freedom? Some would suggest never, that once the public good begins to outrank personal freedom, it snowballs down the slippery slope to the disintegration of all personal freedoms melting into complete government control of the lives of the citizenry.

My paranoia may run pretty deep, but there are actually times where the public good is just that – good for all the public. The ongoing debate on vaccinations is a prime example. While it is the right of parents to not vaccinate their children, they do so at great risk to the health of their children. This is especially true with a greater and greater influx of illegal aliens into the United States – many, if not most, are not inoculated against some of the more basic diseases that seem to be spreading more freely in recent months and years.

Apparently Disneyland is not the happiest place on earth. Since a measles outbreak, safe to say Disneyland is the scratchiest place on earth. Many of those affected have not been vaccinated and are in greater danger of the disease worsening. Further, should a non-vaccinated child enter school there is an increasing chance of that child getting and spreading a disease.

The irresponsibility of parents opting not to inoculate their children due either to ignorance or simple willful stupidity should not come at a cost to the general population of a school community. And that includes students, teachers, staff, and parents. Ignorance based upon the incorrect assumption that vaccinations cause autism. That fallacy has been oft refuted by numerous respected members of the medical community.

A non-vaccinated child in the public schools could prove to be costly. As litigious a society as this is, should disease claim victims around the school, the parents could be sued, but more importantly, so could the school, the city, county, and/or state where the school is located.

But like so many parts of American society we the people have options. If parents wish to send their children to a public school, get them vaccinated. Simple enough. If there is a religious restriction, those children should attend a school geared to that religious belief. If a child is allergic to certain vaccinations, a doctor’s note should be presented, a waiver signed barring the school and its jurisdictions from being held legally liable.

After all, if an entire school is barred from bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch because one child has a peanut allergy, a pound of prevention for barely an ounce of cure, then vaccinations should be required.

This is the same principle I have adopted pertaining to drug testing all welfare applicants. If workers are required by potential employers to take and pass a drug test for gainful employment, then welfare applicants should have to take and pass the same drug test to sit on their collective tuchuses and collect our hard earned tax dollars.

For those who complain such a requirement is an invasion of their privacy, remember, they are not required to accept government money, i.e. welfare.

Simple common sense solutions to not so complex problems when the political correctness and stupidity are removed from the equations.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.