Sunday, April 12, 2015

Rolling Stone Gives Journalism a Black Eye

Rolling Stone Gives Journalism a Black Eye
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 12, 2015

Rape, by its definition is a violent act – a crime committed by a person or persons against a victim – defiling the victim against his/her will to such an extent the victim suffers physically and mentally for an undetermined period of time. This includes the potential trauma of reliving it over and over in his/her mind and possibly in a courtroom – if the victim is lucky enough to have his/her attacker caught and identified.

The only act possibly worse than the crime itself it when someone lies about a rape. It cheapens the legitimacy of actual victims who need medical attention and legal assistance to bring their attackers to justice. It also forever damages the reputation and life of the falsely accused.

These scenarios have been far too frequent over the past several years thanks to social media and a 24 hour news cycle.

In the most recent notorious case, irresponsible journalism is as much, if not more, to blame than the lying accuser. This, of course, is the fictitious story written by Rolling Stone magazine’s Sabrina Rubin Erdely for their November 2014 issue entitled “A Rape on Campus.” This fabricated 9,000 word story detailed the alleged victim, “Jackie” and a gang rape she accused seven members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia of committing.

Rolling Stone magazine, founded by Jann Wenner, is not nearly the edgy periodical it once was dating back to its initial issue, November 9, 1967. It has become an irresponsible publication damaging the reputation of its profession, the accuser, as well as the accused.

While not as egregious as the Duke University rape case against three members of its men’s lacrosse team in 2006 insofar as the legal implications for the accused, there are still victims and perpetrators in the UVA case.

With the Duke case, a publication was not the responsible party for levying charges against the accused, the specific person who lied was. The names of the three athletes were dragged through the mud interminably and their lives became a waking nightmare until it was determined they were falsely accused. Nevertheless, their reputations in tatters, rebuilding them is a near impossibility – much akin to the strength of a newspaper’s retraction story buried on page 50 after a front page exposé already destroyed the accused.

In the case of Erdely’s overwhelmingly irresponsible work of fiction, she merely damaged her reputation, that of her employer, as well as that of the so-called accuser “Jackie.” Fortunately, the names of the accused never appeared in print as the accuser opted not to cooperate with police in Charlottesville. It begs the question as to why not. Wouldn’t any crime victim want justice? Wouldn’t any crime victim do whatever possible to assist law enforcement in the apprehension of the culprits? As that did not occur, the first red flag should have been raised by Rolling Stone or at least by Erdely.

Erdely must have had an agenda when concocting this story; an ax to grind; a desire to expose the rape culture that may or may not exist on college campuses. While there is no doubt most colleges and universities do all they can to sweep these crimes and others under the rug in an effort to keep the student population from fleeing the campus and keep new students matriculating, social media and legitimate news sources do what they can to prevent that from happening, and that’s a good thing.

Sadly, it took years to unearth the disgraceful sex crimes and molestations committed by former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Fortunately he was stopped, but not before dozens of boys were victimized by this filthy pervert.

Make no mistake, this story by Erdely will give real rape victims pause to consider whether or not to report the crime committed against them for fear it will become the next UVA case. More victims will wonder if they will be taken seriously by police both on and off campus.

At the same time, more males on campus will fear they could be the next victimized, falsely accused patsy of an angry co-ed with issues, and this will only create a more tension-filled atmosphere on more and more campuses.

Because of Erdely’s apparent agenda, her’s was a single-sourced screed, confirming nothing with anyone else, getting no alleged accusers names – which turned out to be a good thing – see the Duke case, nor did Erdely ever confirm “Jackie’s” true identity. Little by little Erdely’s story unraveled until ultimately there was nothing left but a handful of thread – and egg on the faces of Erdely, her editor Sean Woods, who also did a woeful job in ensuring Erdely’s accuracy and bona fide sourcing, as well as Rolling Stone itself.

Sadly, both Erdely and Woods remain on the payroll at the magazine, when in reality they should be on the unemployment line. As a professional journalist and writer nothing less should be expected were the same unprofessional actions taken by this scribe. Not only is Erdely still employed at Rolling Stone, she has yet to offer an apology to the UVA Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

Phi Kappa Psi intends to sue Rolling Stone and they should go after the irresponsible tome for all they can get, and then donate the proceeds to rape victims’ charities. Bankrupt the magazine to send a message to the rest of the journalistic community that this kind of irresponsible behavior is unacceptable.

Additionally, reverting back to referring to the lack of fraternity members’ names being published as a good thing, the names of accused rapists should not appear in print or on the air until a guilty verdict is rendered. Once the rapist label is hung on someone, guilty or not, that label will hang around the neck like an albatross in perpetuity, thus ruining a person’s life interminably.

Make no mistake, this call for protecting the identity of the accused should not be mistaken as a sign of being soft on rapists. In fact, I support the death penalty for rapists, as the crime they commit alters a person’s life irrevocably in ways unimaginable.

Rolling Stone should be ashamed for printing an unverified story that could have had farther reaching implications. It should also be ashamed for keeping Erdely and Woods on the payroll for their egregious irresponsibility of masquerading as journalists.

The continuing existence of a free press is one of the cornerstones of the foundation of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson said it best: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

It is vital that responsible journalists, writers, scribes, and bloggers shine the light of day on the irresponsible of this profession and drive them from the industry. The readers – those who spend their hard earned money to freely choose which publications will earn their trust – must send a message to the irresponsible that their services are no longer required.

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

Thursday, April 2, 2015

RFRA V. Liberal Intolerance

RFRA V. Liberal Intolerance
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 2, 2015

As a responsible columnist and journalist (yes, there is a distinct difference between the two), before penning this column I took the time to actually read the text of Indiana Senate Bill 101 – the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – the bill that is causing shpilkes in the hearts and minds of far too many people.

This bill, signed into law by Governor Mike Pence (R) to take effect on July 1 of this year, is designed to protect the religious liberty of people of faith and conscience, not discriminate against any group or individuals. That Pence addressed the media and the nation in a clumsy manner defending the legislation is irrelevant. What is relevant is that people of faith for far too long have been harangued by the intolerant left for being people of faith; mocked for having religious convictions – mostly Christians, but also Orthodox Jews, Catholics, and others who stand by religious principles, even at the cost of their businesses.

As an American, as a Jew, as a constitutional conservative, as a capitalist, as a Hoosier, as a human being, I support the right of free people in a society of free market capitalism to conduct business with whomever they choose. Government should not dictate with whom someone does business. There are already laws in place concerning public accommodations and more importantly, the free market will win out. After all, for better or worse, when there is an injustice, real or perceived, the public, or parts of the public will rally around the victim – again, real or perceived.

As an American, as a Jew, as a constitutional conservative, as a capitalist, as a Hoosier, as a human being, I do not support discrimination. I do, however, support the right of people of faith and conscience to conduct their business how they see fit, and with whom, and SB 101 protects the rights of people of faith. It does not endorse discrimination because the burden of proof is on the potential accused, as opposed to the traditional system of American jurisprudence where that onus is on the accuser or prosecution. A person or business denying service to another person or business must prove that providing that service is a substantial burden upon the provider’s religious beliefs and/or practices.

This legislation, in large part, has been viewed as depriving the homosexual community some sort of rights or accommodations under the guise of religious freedom, when it is really protecting the rights of people of faith.

Consider: a person is adamant that he/she should be served a ham and cheese sandwich in a kosher delicatessen and is summarily denied service as such an item could never appear on the menu in that establishment. Should the person denied that sandwich be allowed to sue the deli for denial of services? Of course not, it would put an undue burden on the religious practices of the owners of the kosher deli. And, the patron could be accommodated elsewhere without any undue burden on him/herself.

The crux of the argument surrounding SB 101 involves the right of service providing businesses to be forced to provide services to same sex couples when the business owner’s religious beliefs forbid homosexual marriage. Some would argue that the business is not required to attend the same sex ceremony, but simply provide for the couple, be it flowers, food, cakes, etc. Yet, a multitude of Christians have expressed concern that, based upon the Biblical definition of marriage – one man and one woman – they would be unable to provide services to the same sex couple.

And let the record show, Christians are not the only people of faith who believe in the Biblical definition of marriage. I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, would not want to be forced to provide services to a couple seeking to have a same sex “wedding.” The same sex couple could seek services elsewhere without any undue burden on their ability to achieve their goal without forcing me to abandon my belief system. Should the same sex couple request services for a non-nuptial event – celebrating a religious holiday, an everyday order for whatever such a business sells, accommodating them does not require the owner to compromise his/her principles.

Pence said this is the most important piece of legislation since the First Amendment, yet due to the pressure of the Gay Mafia, Pence feels compelled to walk back some of the language in the bill, which in turn would only weaken its effects.

This is where the free market should take over. A business chooses to deny services to a potential patron, the forces of the market will be employed. Take the Chick-fil-A dining establishment that came under fire because the owner said he does not support same sex marriage. The call for boycotts was instantaneous. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said he would never allow the chain to open a restaurant in his city. By the way, Mr. Emanuel, the state of Illinois has a RFRA law of its own, as do 19 other states in the nation. And then State Senator Barack Obama voted in favor of the Illinois RFRA.

Those 20 states are: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

In response to the called boycott, the forces in league with Chick-fil-A swarmed to the restaurants nationwide in epic numbers to support their local franchises.

In light of the Indiana legislation, establishments across the state have taken to putting up signs welcoming all comers – an obvious business ploy, and good for them – that’s why a person opens a business – to make money. Should a business choose to deny services for religious reasons, they run the risk of losing money from whoever is negatively affected by that decision. There may be a boycott, there may be signs, billboards, letters decrying that business as bigoted and could suffer financially. And that should be the choice of that business, not government.

Yet, in addition to the 20 states that have RFRA laws, former President Bill Clinton signed into law a federal version of RFRA in 1993, backed by a 97-3 vote in the Senate.

We all have a shared desire here to protect perhaps the most precious of all American liberties, religious freedom.

This act will help… honor the principle that our laws and institutions should not impede or hinder but rather should protect and preserve fundamental religious liberties….

The free exercise of religion has been called the first freedom, that which originally sparked the development of the full range of the Bill of Rights. Our Founders cared a lot about religion. And one of the reasons they worked so hard to get the first amendment into the Bill of Rights at the head of the class is that they well understood what could happen to this country, how both religion and Government could be perverted if there were not some space created and some protection provided. They knew that religion helps to give our people the character without which a democracy cannot survive. They knew that there needed to be a space of freedom between Government and people of faith that otherwise Government might usurp….

What this law basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that we can never be too vigilant in this work,” concluded Clinton on November 16, 1993.

Because of an overwrought hyperbolic hysteria amongst the gay community, it has not only blown out of proportion the effects of SB 101, but has proven itself both intolerant of people of faith as well as amazingly hypocritical in its visceral response to the Indiana legislation where it hardly uttered a word upon the passage of the federal law and/or the other 19 states where RFRA is in effect.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said, “Indiana is a horrible place,” yet he is conducting business in Saudi Arabia where a man received 450 lashes simply for being gay.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has placed a ban on non-essential travel for New York state employees to Indiana, yet he will venture to Cuba, where gay marriage is illegal.

The governors of Washington and Connecticut, Jay Inslee (D) and Dan Malloy (D), respectively, have issued similar travel bans.

In support of the ban, Kevin Ollie, men’s basketball coach at the University of Connecticut announced he will not travel to Indianapolis for the Final Four this weekend. This is really a non-story as the Huskies didn’t even make the tournament this year after winning it all last year.

My question is, will the Connecticut women’s basketball team, which is in the Final Four, boycott that championship in Tampa, because Florida has an RFRA law similar to Indiana. (UConn is slated to play my alma mater, the University of Maryland, Sunday night for a spot in the Tuesday night championship game.) Let’s see what is more important, their principles or winning another championship. What say you, coach Geno Auriemma?

A rock band by the name of Wilco cancelled its May 7 concert in Indianapolis on the heels of SB 101. Do they plan to cancel their dates in Scottsdale, AZ, Bridgeport, CT, Orlando, St. Augustine, Tallahassee, and West Palm Beach, FL, Chicago, IL, Louisville, KY, New Orleans, LA, Kansas City and St. Louis, MO, and Dallas and Houston, Texas in deference to those states’ RFRA laws? That would be 14 concerts out of 21 on their calendar a potential loss of two-thirds of their potential revenue – but they have their principles, yes?

And closer to home, in Walkerton, Indiana, 20 miles south of South Bend, Memories Pizza, owned by Kevin O’ Connor shuttered its doors within the past 24 hours due to the overwhelmingly violent (verbal and physical threats) in response to an interview given by O’ Connor’s daughter, Crystal. She said it would violate the family’s religious convictions to cater a gay wedding. This was a hypothetical question asked by the reporter from ABC-57 as the pizzeria has never been asked to cater a wedding of any kind. Crystal emphasized that all people are welcome to patronize Memories Pizza regardless of sexual orientation, but that did not fend off the firestorm to come.

The social media review site Yelp was inundated with vicious attacks on the O’ Connors and their establishment, located in Walkerton more than a decade. They stopped answering the telephone at the restaurant because they could not discern which orders were real and which were fake. The O’ Connors even received several death threats. And for what? Because this family of faith expressed their faith publicly and fervently held to their religious beliefs.

In response to all the negative bashing endured by the O’ Connors, they closed Memories Pizza, which hopefully will not become a distant memory in Walkerton. However, radio host and author, Dana Loesch created a “Go Fund Me” page called “Support Memories Pizza” in hopes of raising $35,000, and it raked in over $314,000 in less than one day from over 11,200 contributors. Just as with the Chick-fil-A situation, the people have spoken and rallied around decency to save a business that if some people wish not to patronize, they are free to go elsewhere for a slice.

Governor Pence should not cave in to the gay mafia’s caterwauling and threats. “This legislation was designed to ensure the vitality of religious liberty in the Hoosier state. This law does not give anyone a license to discriminate.” That said, there should be no reason to amend the law just days after its enactment.

“Gay liberals have turned into bullies,” said Tammy Bruce, a gay conservative, in an interview on April 2 on Fox and Friends. “It is the antithesis of what every civil rights movement was about,” said Bruce, host of her own radio program and author of three books. Bruce is right and the attempt by the gay mafia to blackmail, threaten boycotts or to move businesses should be met with resistance. If a business wishes to move from Indiana because of SB 101, it has but 30 states from which to choose should they attempt to stay true to their principles. They will then endure the cost of moving and restructuring its labor force.

Bottom line, SB 101 is designed to protect religious liberty as afforded by the first amendment of the United States Constitution and not discriminate against anyone. Let all who observe have a happy and meaningful Pesach or Easter.

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

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.