Saturday, December 13, 2014

No Apologies Necessary - CIA Doing its Job

No Apologies Necessary – CIA Doing its Job
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 12, 2014

America’s enemies have long memories and are patient people. Radical Islam did not introduce itself to the United States on September 11, 2001. While that may be the date by which all else is measured and thus galvanizing the American people, with damn good reason, if history has taught us anything, it is that a strong defense is the best offense. Ronald Reagan said it best when he said “peace through strength.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s recently released report on CIA enhanced interrogation tactics is an abysmal disgrace. Not because of the contents therein, but that it was issued at all. The sanctimonious Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) used the waning days of the Democrat’s time as the Senate majority to unleash this ultra-partisan report giving the United States a wallop of a black eye and worse yet, endangering the brave men and women wearing the uniform of their country.

"This is the most dangerous report to ever come out of Congress," declared Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney.

Since the days of the wars against the Barbary pirates, during the administration of Thomas Jefferson (1801-05) and again under the presidency of James Madison in 1815, radical Islam has been a thorn in the side of the United States. Jefferson declined to pay tribute money to the pirates setting in motion a course that could be traced to today. Jefferson was correct then, and the CIA is correct now.

Covert operations are covert for a reason. This is how the men and women entrusted to run and win our wars are able to do so successfully. Wars should be won, and won decisively, not played out to a draw where thousands of lives are wasted; where the blood and treasure of the United States are lost for some indefinable, indiscernible reason. The American people do not need to know everything.

CIA Director John Brennan did the right thing be defending the men and women working for The Agency. Were mistakes made, to be sure there were, as people are fallible. Should that preclude the intelligence resources of the United States from making their best efforts to combat foreign and domestic terrorism? Absolutely not.

Former Senator and Governor of Nebraska Bob Kerrey (D), and more importantly a Vietnam veteran, condemned the Senate Intelligence report as being too partisan and a danger to the men and women in uniform and handling the day to day field operations of the CIA. The one-sided report by the Senate Intelligence investigators did not include a single word from CIA leadership as none were consulted or interviewed, according to a December 10 Wall Street Journal editorial “CIA Interrogations Saved Lives,” written by former CIA directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and three other non-directors.

One cannot fight evil without getting dirty. The nature of the continuing war on terror being fought by the United States includes enemy combatants who have no moral code, fight for no country, under no particular flag, and do not abide by the Geneva Convention. The United States won the Revolutionary War by fighting as guerilla warriors against a more superior, better trained military machine – the British red coats. The American rebels fought an unconventional war leading to victory and freedom from the British Empire of King George III.

By the time of the war in Vietnam, the United States was the better trained military machine fighting against guerilla warriors and the end result was less than satisfactory. But those wars and the wars during the interim period were fought nations versus nations with rules of combat – Hitler’s methodical slaughter of six million Jews the glaring exception. And anyone who has opened a history book knows of the vicious cruelty the Japanese and Vietnamese inflicted upon their POWs. Any apologies from them? Hearing crickets.

The United States does live by a higher code and moral standard.

Yet, that did not prevent this country from interning 127,000 Japanese Issei (those born in Japan and immigrated to the US) and Nisei (those born in the US and were citizens) – mostly Nisei, in 10 camps in seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. President Franklin Roosevelt (D) issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 on the heels of the Japanese Empire’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” said Roosevelt. On that horrific date 2,403 innocents were murdered. In 1998, the United States, via Congress, attempted to apologize for the internment of American citizens.

However, September 11, 2001 as well as preceding and subsequent terror attempts and attacks by radical Muslims on American soil both at home and overseas at embassies are an entirely different story.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) simply has no concept of history. When asked if the United States and specifically the CIA should apologize for using enhanced methods of interrogation against the enemies of this country, her response – “absolutely!”

What would Speier prefer the interrogators do? Whisper sweet nothings into the ears of the terrorists? Say “pretty please,” or threaten to take away their dessert? Let’s not forget the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the 1998 attacks on US embassies, as well as the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. This is not an enemy destined to go quietly into that good night. If enhanced interrogation techniques are what will get the job done and enable our troops to move more swiftly and survive their tours of duty, so be it. And if that includes waterboarding while thousands of our countrymen were murdered on September 11, 2001, well then, cry me a river.

“These people are evil,” said Congressman-elect Ryan Zinke (R-MT), a Navy Seal. This report “puts military lives at risk,” he said, condemning it and its supporters, adding, they “have no concept of 9/11.”

There is a sad irony to Speier’s desire to apologize to the enemies of the United States. This Senate Intelligence Committee report was issued just days prior to the slaughter of children. ISIS reported that it beheaded four Iraqi children each under the age of 15 for refusing to reject Jesus and Christianity and convert to Islam. And the US/CIA should apologize for what? Speier, Feinstein, and their ilk should be the ones apologizing for endangering the lives of not just American men and women in uniform, but the total of the American population.

The United States should never apologize for doing its level best to win any conflict, destroy any enemy, and continue to protect the borders and citizens of the United States. For without safe and secure borders, the people living within those borders are no longer safe and the Constitution along with all it entails and represents is meaningless when under the thumb of a narcissistic dictator.


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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Illegal Still Means Breaking the Law

Illegal Still Means Breaking the Law
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 10, 2014

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, here we go again, regarding this most divisive issue of illegal immigration. What part of illegal do people not understand?

Within a three day span, from December 7-9, one column and several letters to the editor of such myopic shortsightedness appeared in The Indianapolis Star it has become painfully obvious people do not understand the concept of the rule of law.

One does not need a law degree to understand that when a person who is not legally entitled to take up residency in the United States of America crosses the border without permission, that person has committed a crime – period. Whether such people are called illegal immigrants, undocumented aliens, illegal aliens, what they cannot be called is American.

It is completely disingenuous to read Matthew Tully’s December 7 column “Immigration has made Indy a more vibrant city,” for the reader could assume the text will be about those upstanding folks who legally became residents and citizens of Indianapolis. But we all know what happens when one assumes.

Legal immigration, yes; illegal immigration, no way Jose. Why are lawbreakers rewarded, when those still standing in line to do the right thing are falling farther and farther behind?

Tully quoted Terri Morris Downs, head of the nonprofit Immigrant Welcome Center, as saying, “Let’s pretend there’s an imaginary line… Would you as a parent be willing to cross that line to make sure your kids were being fed and that your family was being cared for? Would you break that law and cross that line, that imaginary line, to make sure your kids would be safe and have a chance at a decent life? I think most people would.”

While Downs naturally is tugging at the heartstrings to make her point, she forgets that borders are not imaginary lines. Granted they are lines that may not be terribly visible, but geo-political lines are legitimately organized. Then, she admits the crossing of that line is an illegal act – “would you break that law…”

Tully then correctly observes that the “current immigration system is a politically charged mess…,” but fails to note this is because of the unwillingness to differentiate between legal and illegal, as well as both major political parties using this broken system to its own advantage.  Liberals and Democrats support amnesty and a path to citizenship in an effort to induce support of Hispanic voters, yet not realizing that Hispanics are not a monolithic community. Republicans and conservatives turn a blind eye to this crisis because they seek support of businesses who hire illegals for cheap labor.

As for amnesty itself, one Indy Star letter writer, Robert W. Hammerle of Indianapolis, opined that “illegal immigrants deserve amnesty.” No, they don’t – they have broken the law. Not only do they not deserve amnesty, they do not deserve any of the trappings that come with actual citizenship or even legal residency. Hammerle went so far as to compare today’s illegals with the “Southern rebels and their leaders like Gen. Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet [who] were given amnesty by the U.S. government. Even though they tried to destroy the U.S. Constitution while killing hundreds of thousands of fellow American citizens, they were forgiven and allowed to move on with their lives.”

Not so fast, Mr. Hammerle. Certain amnesties were offered but with stipulations attached, and those amnesties were presented in stages.

The Confiscation Act of 1862 authorized the president of the United States to pardon anyone involved in the rebellion. The Amnesty Proclamation of December 8, 1863, offered pardons to those who had not held a Confederate civil office, had not mistreated Union prisoners, and would sign an oath of allegiance.

On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson provided for amnesty and the return of property to those who would take an oath of allegiance. However, former Confederate government officials, officers with the rank of colonel and above from the Confederate army or lieutenant and above from the Confederate navy, and people owning more than $20,000 worth of property had to apply for individual pardons.

On Christmas Day 1868, Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all Civil War participants except high-ranking military and civil officials.”

Finally, “in May 1872 the Congressional Amnesty Act gave the right to hold office again to almost all Southern leaders who had been excluded from public office by the 14th Amendment.” (http://www.wtv-zone.com/civilwar/amnesty.html)

But Section 3 of the 14th Amendment did take seriously the acts committed by the rebel confederates. “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as a executive or judicial office of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or give aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House remove such disability.”

Clearly the behavior of the southerners was looked upon with a dim view by the federal government of the Union and amnesty was not awarded lightly or with a cavalier attitude – requiring an oath of allegiance – something not expected of the illegal aliens in the US today. In fact illegals in this country are not legally required to learn or speak English, let alone take any kind of oath of allegiance. And quite frankly, Mr. Hammerle, two wrongs do not a right make.

It is this paucity of expectations that remands this issue back to Tully’s column where he suggests bringing the illegals out of the shadows will move them to become “more civically engaged.” Being civically engaged starts with being law-abiding, something that has eluded the illegals from their first step on to American soil. Tully also recommends treating illegals not “as unwanted outsiders,” but with compassion. That begs the question: Would a rational person have compassion for someone breaking into their home? Should that miscreant be given food stamps, medical attention, public schooling for the children, and in-state tuition rates at the local state school at the cost to the homeowner? No, because breaking the law is still breaking the law.

Even Barack Obama should understand the above concept, yet he announced an executive order to protect nearly five million illegal aliens from potential deportation. As a result of that misguided and illegal decision, 14 states, including Indiana have enjoined in a lawsuit against the federal government fighting the Obama edict.

Geoffrey Heeren, the director of the Immigration Clinic with Valparaiso University Law School checked in on December 9 with his Indy Star letter noting the state of Indiana was wrong to participate in this lawsuit. Heeren said the suit was “misguided” to suggest Obama “usurped Congress’ power to write immigration law.” That is exactly what Obama did and it is wrong, as writing legislation is in fact the job of the Congress, as per the US Constitution.

Heeren suggested that Obama has not violated his constitutional duty as chief executive to enforce the laws pertaining to immigration simply because the amount of money provided by Congress has been exhausted. Obama has a responsibility to enforce the laws passed by Congress and enacted by the president. If the there is a dearth of funding, he must prioritize, which Heeren claims Obama is doing by not deporting certain illegals, yet he is still complicit in violating the law by allowing for an extension of their illegal acts simply by allowing them to remain in the United States.

Such funding priorities must commence at the borders – both southern and northern – stop people from crossing into the United States illegally before they become a fiscal and legal problem. This should be a nondiscriminatory policy instead of the one unofficially adopted by so-called lawmakers and Obama to allow for “more sympathetic” groups – families, people who heretofore have committed no crimes until invading the United States, and those seeking honest work instead of the thugs, drug dealers, killers, rapists, and other miscreants whose presence in this country would have a deleterious effect on society. The easy answer is, to use a Western-themed movie concept, to “head them off at the pass.”

But Heeren also seems to miss the point when he supports Obama’s executive order calling the beneficiaries “law-abiding,” when the first act they committed in this country was to break the law simply by crossing the border.

And it would seem to run contrary to the United States Constitution for Obama to make law and to attempt to supersede the 10th Amendment. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nowhere does it say such rights can be obfuscated and absconded with by Obama or any other occupant of the White House.

Those who are in the United States illegally are still breaking the law and they continue to have an adverse effect on the economy, as well as on the potential prosperity in their own lives living under the radar or in the shadows. The United States is a proud nation of immigrants – legal immigrants. It is important to discern legal from illegal, act in a less emotional tenor, and save this nation from itself before there is no nation left to save.



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

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hands Down, Rams & US Reps - Dead Wrong

Hands Down, Rams & US Reps – Dead Wrong
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 4, 2014

Hands down, five St. Louis Rams football players and four members of the United States House of Representatives are dead wrong for their “hands up – don’t shoot” gesture of support of the protesters, miscreants, thugs, and criminals who took the law into their owns hands following a disappointing grand jury decision.

It was bad enough to see people flouting the law in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO – pillaging, plundering, looting, committing arson, overturning police cars – all in the supposed name of justice, but the Rams players and the Congressmen simply added insult to injury. Insulting to the men and women in the law enforcement community against whom the illicit behavior was directed.

Let’s remember, Michael Brown, Jr. robbed a convenience store and struck the store clerk before fleeing the scene. Had Brown not committed those crimes, he might still be alive today. Had Brown not resisted arrest, he might still be alive today. Had Brown not lurched toward Officer Darren Wilson, Brown might still be alive today. It was Brown who chose wrong in each case, start to finish and the grand jury – a composite of black and white panelists – that determined Wilson did his job without an excessive use of force in defending himself as well.

From this came the now ubiquitous “hands up – don’t shoot” mantra, which is illogical as Brown did not raise his hands in surrender. Those who peacefully protested were well within their rights. Those who behaved in an illegal manner as opportunists should be sought out, arrested, and charged with all due severity. The video footage from stores should be used to identify, capture, and charge the guilty. Restitution must be made, but government should not foot the bill for the rebuilding of the community destroyed by those who live within it.

One videotape showed a criminal stealing rolls of what appeared to be instant, scratch off lottery tickets. Those tickets can be identified by number. First all those tickets should be invalidated, and anyone attempting to cash them in should be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law.

As for the Rams football players, tight end Jared Cook, and wide receivers Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, and Chris Givens should have been punished by both the team and the National Football League for entering the field prior to the Sunday, November 30 game versus the Oakland Raiders with their hands up. Neither organization plans to discipline the players. This is wrong. For a league that penalizes a player for what it considers excessive celebration, wearing the wrong attire, the use of a cell phone, and the exuberant chastisement of officials, the NFL certainly is within its purview to excoriate the five Rams for a poor representation of members of the league and likewise the team for the same reason.

What these players did, and they are role models whether they want to be or not, is demonstrate their fervent support of the lawbreakers and stick thumbs in the eyes of law enforcement. By doing so, the message the players send to their fans is that it is okay to break the law if they think the cause is just – even when it is not. That it is okay to express disappointment when things don’t go their way by committing crimes.

Britt had the name of Michael Brown written on his arm during the game. When asked about it, Britt said he wasn’t taking sides, but instead supporting Ferguson. Instead, he demonstrated the exact opposite.

Four members of the United States House of Representatives added their own fuel to the fire by bringing this same nonsense to the House floor. Democrats all, Yvette Clarke (NY), Al Green (TX), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), and Hakeem Jeffries (NY), disgraced the historical tenor of the institution with their antics, strode to the well of the House floor with hands up then repeated the “hands up – don’t shoot” mantra, to once again perpetuate the falseness of what Michael Brown, Jr. represents. This is the antithesis of support for the people of Ferguson, and, once again, demonstrates support for law breaking by those entrusted with making the laws of this land.

For the Rams players and the members of Congress who support incendiary behavior, they are doing their professions a disservice as well as those they represent. Col. Allen West (R-FL) a former member of the House said the evidence demonstrates it was not “hands up – don’t shoot,” from Michael Brown and that his former colleagues are merely politicizing the issue.

Proving West correct, Green announced he will raise a flag above the Capitol Building in honor of the five Rams players.

These players should be fined the equivalent of four games’ salary to be donated to help rebuild the looted and destroyed businesses of Ferguson and then physically help rebuild during the off-season. That is how they can show their support for Ferguson. In fact, any player could contribute a game’s salary to the effort to demonstrate support for rebuilding Ferguson – it won’t affect the players’ bottom line too much.

The Congressmen should, at the very least, be censured. They too can kick in to the effort by holding a fundraiser in their district with all proceeds going to the rebuilding effort, matched by the members themselves.

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson said “Brown died because of Brown.”

Even famed liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz said there are no grounds for civil rights action to be taken against Wilson.

Ironically, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, never at a loss to be outspoken, but also claiming he never wanted to be a role model, made perhaps two of the strongest statements regarding Ferguson and its aftermath.

“Those [people] who are looting, those aren’t real black people, those are scumbags. Real black people, they’re not out there looting… There’s a perception amongst some black people that if you’re not a thug or a hood rat, you don’t wear your pants down by your ass you’re not black enough. And they’re always holding us back, plain and simple.

If it wasn’t for the cops, we’d be living in the wild wild west in our neighborhoods. We can’t pick out certain incidents that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad. I hate when we do that. Think about it. Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?

For those St. Louis Rams fans objecting to the behavior of the five players, contact the Rams at 314-982-7267. Let them know, politely, that you take issue with the inappropriateness of the five players’ behavior. If you are a season ticket holder, consider cancelling your tickets – hit them where it seems to count – the wallet. Football fan or not, anyone should feel free to contact the Rams regarding the inappropriateness of the players’ behavior. The NFL already has a big enough black eye for ignoring bad behavior. Remaining silent when players disrespect law enforcement and support lawlessness continues to sink the reputation of the league.


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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama to Announce Immigration Reform

Obama to Announce Immigration Reform
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 20, 2014

“I’m president of the United States, not emperor of the United States.” – Barack Hussein Obama, February 14, 2013

Who is he trying to convince – we the people or himself?

“I cannot ignore the laws… I can’t suspend deportations,” – still the words of Obama, oft repeated to the toll of at least 25 times on national television, regarding the sweeping immigration reform he is presumably going to announce tonight.

Obama is going to ignore the will of the people, the overwhelming majority of whom oppose any form of amnesty for illegal aliens, and legalize upwards of five million illegals in the United States. This is the same will of the people who have ousted nearly 70 Democratic members of Congress during Obama’s tenure in the White House, most recently on the November 4th midterm elections with the issues of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare, and illegal immigration at the forefront of the voter’s minds.

This is a Constitutional crisis of epic proportions. So said both Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a solid conservative, and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, an avowed liberal. Obama is “defying the law and he is defying the Constitution,” said Cruz on Fox News Wednesday night.

Obama has no legal authority to grant legal status to people in the United States illegally, said Texas governor-elect Greg Abbott (R), currently the state’s attorney general. Abbott further cited two sections of the United States Constitution prohibiting Obama’s desires – Article I, Section 8 and Article II, Section 3.

I can see two parts of Article I, Section 8 that would apply to both barring illegals from entering this country and prohibiting any president from legalizing them. “The Congress shall have Power to…establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization…,” not the president.

“The Congress shall have Power to… provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions…” In this part, the insurrection is actually coming from Obama himself, demonstrative of his violations of the Constitution, and the invaders are the illegals, who have no legal right to be present in the United States.

Article II, Section 3, referring to the executive, avers that “…he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed…”

Clearly, it is the job of the United States Congress to pass the laws and for the president, all presidents, to enforce those laws, not unilaterally defy those laws for which he does not particularly care. This is precisely why the Founding Fathers employed a co-equal, three branch system of government with no branch outranking the others. This was clear when we learned it in grade school, it should certainly be clear to Obama, who supposedly taught Constitutional Law.
Therein lies the double-edged sword. If the separation of powers as designed by the Founders is not clear to Obama, he is too stupid to be president, although that has not stopped others who preceded him. If it is clear, then Obama is willfully guilty of violating the Constitution in both theory and practice, for which there is a remedy – impeachment, as outlined in Article II, Section 4. “The President… shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

“It is illegal for Obama to make illegals legal,” said Fox News fixture Judge Andrew Napolitano, also citing the impeachment power of Congress as part of the system of checks and balances designed by the Founders to ensure no one branch exerts more power than is prescribed by the Constitution. The document is in place for a reason – actually numerous reasons.

Obama has no legal authority to grant illegals any rights. It is the tyrannical despot who oversteps the boundaries of the law as outlined by the governing document, in this case the United States Constitution, in place long before Obama assumed the mantle of leadership, and G-d willing, long after he departs the office he currently occupies.

It is up to the Congress to deny the Chief Executive overreaching authority, in this case, granting legal status to illegals. Congress must rein in this Chief Executive and demonstrate the validity of the co-equal branches of government as outlined in the Constitution. Should Obama be allowed to succeed in overreaching, an irreversible precedent could be established forever altering the balance of powers between the three branches and set the United States down a path from which it separated itself from Great Britain in the first place in 1776. (See also the Declaration of Independence.)

This is not an attack on Obama the man, but on Obama the duly elected Chief Executive with the responsibility to act as such as outlined in the Constitution.

It is high time those people in this country illegally be denied the perks and incentives that more often than not, brought them here in the first place. The billions of dollars’ worth of so-called entitlements must be cut off to the point of discouraging illegals from remaining in the United States and future miscreants from arriving here sans legal permission. This also includes amending the 14th Amendment to the Constitution – the part granting citizenship to any and all persons born on American soil. This was designed to bestow citizenship on freed slaves. The anchor baby system of allowing the children of illegals to be automatic citizens should be halted. Those who are in the United States illegally should not be rewarded for their unlawful behavior.

This is not an emotional case, but one of the rule of law. There are laws in place that are not being followed by the illegal aliens, and they need to be penalized for their behavior – behavior they chose willingly. By the same design, Obama also needs to be held accountable for his actions – legal and illegal. If he chooses the course of action many Americans are expecting, the Congress must do its job – media be damned. The fourth estate has carried Obama’s water since he emerged on the national scene in 2004, and there will be shrieks of racism should impeachment hearings be conducted, but once again, this is about the rule of law, and not emotion.

The Congress must have the spine needed to do its job should Obama behave as expected.  Do not allow a trench to be dug too deeply it sets a precedent that permanently shifts power to one person in a manner that lead to the American Revolution, for a second one could render the United States indistinguishable from itself. The state of the world is ill-prepared and too fragile to swallow such a turn of events.


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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Obamacare Architect Built House of Cards

Obamacare Architect Built House of Cards
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 14, 2014

Democrats are running away from Jonathan Gruber faster than they ran away from Barack Obama during the midterm election campaigns. The MIT economist and architect of Obamacare is so toxic, he may as well have Ebola and Leprosy.

Gruber, who disingenuously claimed he was speaking off the cuff and not thinking about his words, has not only lied about that, but lied to the American people about the credibility of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. At least four videotapes have surfaced, as of this writing, where Gruber so arrogantly called the American voters stupid and that said stupidity is what is needed to shove Obamacare down the people’s throats. These videos defy Gruber’s claim he was speaking extemporaneously.

While most of the American citizens opposed and still oppose Obamacare, demonstrating their intelligence, as opposed to stupidity, it must be the Congressional Democrats who supported Obamacare that are the stupid ones. But then again, this is the same monstrosity House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said had to be passed before they could find out what was in that 2,000-plus page behemoth of a bill.

The only way this, the Affordable Care Act, will succeed is by preying on the stupidity of the American voters, said Gruber in 2009. He doubled down by later saying the “stupidity of the American voter is critical” in getting this passed. Additionally, Gruber said the “exploitation of a lack of knowledge of the American voter” is necessary. Reports have been produced proving Gruber actually told Obama it is necessary to hoodwink and lie to the American people in an effort to get them to swallow the bitter and expensive pill that has become Obamacare. While Obama has denied that Gruber was a part of his administration, there is a record of the rogue economist having visited the White House 19 times.

Former Montana Senator Max Baucus (D) called Gruber “an outside expert,” while soon to be Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called him “one of the most respected economists in the world.”

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called this display “liberal arrogance.”

And in a moment of lucidity, Howard Dean, a doctor and former DNC chairman said, “Obamacare was written by elitists who don’t fundamentally understand the American people.” Yet Dean was an early supporter of Obamacare, attending a number of town hall meetings during those early days to help explain it to people. (I attended one such meeting in Reston, VA, hosted by US Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) where Dean did most of the talking.)

Dean is not the only one to put distance between himself and Gruber. Pelosi, just three days ago, claimed not to know who Gruber is in an episode of selective amnesia, when there is video evidence she not only knows who he is, but praising him for his work in November 2009.

Even the media has balked at reporting this story – the major networks and newspapers such as The Washington Post and New York Times. Fox News has been on top of this story. Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News contributor, said, “This is a cancer,” about Obamacare. Siegel went on to remind people that in 2015 the individual mandate will more than triple, from $95 to $325, or two percent of their income, whichever is higher.

For his lies and insults, Gruber was paid about $400,000 in 2009 by the Obama administration – Health and Human Services, which has been eerily silent on this matter. On the other hand, Obama’s silence, tantamount to support of Gruber, should come as no surprise. This cloak of opaqueness and belief in the stupidity of the American people is an indictment of the Obama administration and how they really feel about the American people. Gruber should be required to return this money – plus interest – call it a stupid tax.

This fraud perpetrated on the American people should be cause enough to invalidate Obamacare, or the Supreme Court decision making it the law of the land. As said several years ago when Obamacare was thrust upon the nation, the American people should not be forced to purchase a product they may not want. Freedom of choice seems to be a Democrat Party mantra, but only on abortion. On all other decisions, Democrats and Obama believe government is best to make them for the people – because like Gruber, they think we the people are stupid.

Call, write, and/or e-mail your member of Congress and demand Obamacare either be invalidated, defunded, or returned to the Supreme Court now that the light of day has been shone upon it. It’s up to the people to take action and have our voices be heard. Act now!

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

Friday, November 7, 2014

GOP Aced Midterms; Now Must Govern

GOP Aced Midterms; Now Must Govern
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 7, 2014

How good of a good night was election night for the Republican Party? As midterms go, the GOP aced theirs.

Republican governors were elected in dark blue Illinois (Bruce Rauner), Maryland (Larry Hogan), and Massachusetts (Charlie Baker); re-elected in blue Michigan (Rick Snyder), New Mexico (Susana Martinez), Wisconsin (Scott Walker), and purple Florida (Rick Scott). The GOP has taken the Senate by storm and added more than a dozen House seats to their lead – their largest majority since before WWII. In addition to Martinez, a Hispanic, South Carolina and Oklahoma reelected Nikki Haley and Mary Fallin respectively – all Republican women. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, the first Hispanic elected statewide – a Republican, won reelection.

In the Senate, the GOP successfully defended 15 seats – two of which will complete terms due to a retirement and an appointment, as well as flipping seven Democrat seats. In Oklahoma, James Lankford won election to replace retiring Senator Tom Coburn, and in South Carolina, Tim Scott won the seat to which he was appointed in 2013 following the retirement of Jim DeMint, currently president of The Heritage Foundation. Scott became the first black candidate to win statewide office since Reconstruction – again, a Republican.

Other new Republican faces include Tom Cotton from Arkansas, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Cory Gardner from Colorado, who moves over from the House, David Perdue from Georgia, the former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, Joni Ernst from Iowa, a veteran of the war in Iraq and the first woman from the Hawkeye State to win election to either house – again, a Republican. Montana voters are sending Steve Daines to the Senate, and Nebraskans voted in Ben Sasse. In North Carolina, state house speaker Thom Tillis won election, as did former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds. In West Virginia, US Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will move across the Capitol to become the first female Senator to represent the Mountaineer State – again, a Republican.

Back on the House side of the Capitol, the GOP can boast the youngest member-elect in Elise Stefanik (NY-21) at age 30. Also, member-elect Mia Love (UT-4) will become the first black, female Republican to serve in the House as well as the first Haitian-American.

The Republican Party, thanks to a maligning so-called mainstream media, finds itself on the defensive regarding the nature of its candidates, which is unfortunate because this is not the America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned – that people should be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. As more and more Americans come to truly understand and embrace that notion it will become unnecessary to cubbyhole people.

All that said, it is time for the GOP to lead and govern or 2016 will be a repudiation which could start at the top of the ticket with the election of another Democrat president and a loss of the Congressional majorities. While “no” is sometimes the right answer, the GOP must put forth as aggressive an agenda possible to not only right the wrongs of the Obama administration and the Democratic led Senate, but also to return the United States to a position as global leader.

With appreciation to John McLaughlin, “Issue One:” Repeal Obamacare. If there are salvageable aspects of the law, keep them – such as pre-existing conditions will not be penalized. Eliminate the tax on medical devices and allow for health insurance to be procured across state lines, just as other insurances can be accessed. If repeal is not possible, and it is; at the very least, Congress must unfund as much as possible to weaken the program. It should no longer be law of the land – a purchase not all people want, mandated by government. Back to the Supreme Court it must go. For those who want to remain on Obamacare, to paraphrase Obama, if you like your Obamacare, you may keep your Obamacare.

Repealing Obamacare will have a positive effect on the economy. No more limiting employees to 29 hours per week in order to not be required to provide them the evils of Obamacare. No more capping employment totals at 49, again, to avoid providing workers with Obamacare. Eliminate any policy covering birth control or abortions. An employer’s religious freedoms are sacrosanct and should be respected. With these amendments, employers will have more freedom to hire more workers for a greater number of hours. This will boost confidence in the economy spurring greater demand for goods and services as well increasing production, thus putting more people back to work, and removing them from government rolls.

Issue Two: Immigration Reform. Obama continues to threaten executive action to ensure immigration reform actually becomes a massive amnesty, just like the one seen in 1986 that failed so miserably. As long as foreigners have incentives to sneak across the borders into the United States with few if any actual ramifications, they will continue to do so. Foreigners must be disincentivized to first, keep them in their countries of origin, and second, to encourage as many who are here illegally, to repatriate themselves to their native lands.

What needs to stop is the issuance of drivers’ licenses under the guise of safety. Supporters of this ridiculous notion are convinced that if illegals secure drivers’ licenses, they will be required to purchase auto insurance. This leap does not pass muster. Illegals already broke the law by entering the United States sans permission. What makes people think that illegals will suddenly decide to follow the law and pony up for insurance? Already criminals, the illegals will have a valid form of identification which will permit them to break more laws, such as register and actually vote – thus committing voter fraud, apply for and receive government assistance such as welfare, food stamps, and Medicare/Medicaid.

In order to stem the tide of illegal immigration, all incentives must be removed. In addition to the above, illegals must not be permitted to attend public, private, parochial schools, or colleges and universities. No admittance to hospitals or medical treatment for non-citizens or illegal immigrants.

Amend the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that in essence allows for anchor babies to become automatic citizens. As with the concept of fruit from the poisonous tree preventing evidence from a bad/illegal search being admitted into a legal proceeding, so too should children born to illegals not be granted citizenship. That was not the purpose of the amendment when it was ratified in 1868. (Amendments 13-15 pertained to ending slavery, granting citizenship to former slaves, as well as voting rights to male former slaves.)

Stricter background checks must be conducted prior to approving any application for legal admittance into the United States or before granting citizenship to legal immigrants. On the other hand, with technology as advanced as it is, speed up the process to grant admittance or citizenship quicker in an effort to encourage more legal immigration. Return to the days of health exams and quarantine or return to ones country of origin.

Preventing any amnesty is vital. Obama’s first obligation is to the American people – period. If necessary, a writ of mandamus was suggested by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also a former federal attorney. “A writ of mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.” (www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mandamus) Short of that, the Congress must have the temerity to impeach Obama.

Issue Three: Prevent Iran from EVER obtaining nuclear capabilities – for any purpose – under any circumstance. The United States should conduct no business with Iran, impose economic sanctions against this parasite until it chooses to comport itself as an appropriate member of the community of nations.

Former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said Iran will not just go after Israel, but also the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, the Sunnis, and are a threat to civilization as a whole. Iran repeatedly refers to Israel as the “Little Satan,” and the United States as the “Great Satan,” and has demonstrated its repeated lack of trustworthiness. Iran has denied the Holocaust, while simultaneously aiming for a second one.

Issue Four: Keystone Pipeline. This should have been a no-brainer in the first place. More than 20,000 immediate jobs would be created, with more further down the road. This pipeline would reduce American dependency on Arab oil; reduce the prices of fuel in the United States, opening up more purchasing power for consumers and ultimately more jobs for Americans outside of the pipeline business. People will drive more, take more local and domestic vacations, be able to afford more larger purchases again, such as automobiles, additions on homes, as well as be able to contribute more to charity.

Obama, in his typical stubbornness, rejected the pipeline out of hand because he fell prey to the green, environmental, and ecology lobbies. Yet, unions, one of Obama’s strongest groups of supporters, endorsed and still endorse the Keystone project and were summarily rebuffed by Obama.

Issue Five: Fix the VA. Calling it scandalous and disgraceful that even one military veteran should be shunned, treated with disregard and disrespect while his or her health – mental and/or physical, deteriorates awaiting treatment while illegals receive red carpet treatment at any hospital is beyond offensive and objectionable.

Dozens of veterans have died awaiting proper treatment that the American people have become aware of, while how many countless others are still unbeknownst to Veterans Administration officials. The men and women who wear and have worn the uniform of the United States military deserve better, and for each person complaining the money is not there, see Issue Two above.

Issue Six: Grow the Military. Return the military to its former level of heightened awareness and preparedness. Grow its size to numbers amenable to requirements as outlined by the generals, commanders, and leaders of the various branches – they know best, Obama and Congress should listen to them. The military must be prepared to fight ISIS and any other terrorist operations impacting the American way of life. President Ronald Reagan knew what he was talking about when he called for “peace through strength.”

Issue Seven: Lower Corporate Taxes. The United States needs to be more business friendly in order to keep corporations headquartered in this country, paying more taxes because of higher incomes, not because of higher tax rates. When tax rates are reduced, more money stays with the business, and in turn, that business can hire more people, make greater investments in materials, construction, research, and development. As the businesses grow, they will pay more money in taxes, not because of higher tax rates which limit growth, but because the lower rates encourage growth.

There’s plenty to keep the GOP busy once the new members are inaugurated. In the interim they need to prepare for the 114th Congress in order to hit the ground running January 5th. During the lame duck session, the Republicans, while still in the minority in the Senate, should do their level best to ensure the Democratic majority does not instill further damage upon the American people on their way out the door.

Get busy. No time to rest on the laurels. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. And get to work does not mean capitulating or surrendering to the Democrats or Obama. Saying “no” is not obstructionist as Obama would have people believe, but instead, protecting the people as the legislative branch is forcing the executive branch to adhere to the Constitution. We the people are watching.


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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Joy in Happy Valley - for the Terps

Joy in Happy Valley – for the Terps
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 3, 2014

To paraphrase former President Gerald Ford after taking office on August 9, 1974, our long gridiron nightmare is over. (Seems appropriate as Ford played center at the University of Michigan.)

For the first time in my lifetime our University of Maryland Terrapins defeated Penn State University in football – vanquishing the Nittany Lions 20-19 on the strength of Brad Craddock’s 43-yard field goal with but 51 seconds remaining in the game Saturday – and they did it on the road in Happy Valley.

Fifty-three years. Not since 1961, when the Terps earned their heretofore only other victory versus Penn State, could they muster another win.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the first, and to date, only, Roman Catholic president – 48 years removed from the inauguration of the nation’s first black president – Barack Obama, born that very year – 1961. This was three years prior to the Civil Rights Act being signed and four years before the Voting Rights Act would be signed.

Vietnam was, for the most part, and unheard of far off Asian locale, not a hot spot for a Cold War era conflagration. The Peace Corps was established in 1961 and the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution was ratified that year, allowing the District of Columbia the right to choose electors for president and vice president. The Bay of Pigs invasion was an abject failure in 1961, and the Berlin Wall was erected that year. On April 12 the Soviets put the first man in space.

In 1961 Roger Maris of the New York Yankees set the standard for his 61 home runs that season, breaking the record of 60 held by Babe Ruth since 1927, on the way to winning the World Series in five games against the Cincinnati Reds. Cost of a ticket to the series was between $10 and $11.

Zip codes did not yet exist in 1961 and cost of a postage stamp was a mere four cents. Eggs cost 30 cents a dozen and a gallon of gasoline cost 27 cents. The average automobile cost $2,850, but that was a hefty price considering the average income that year was $5,315.

Our University of Maryland, still one year from integrating the football team, was a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which included Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

Other football information from 1961 included two leagues – the NFL and the AFL, and a sport six years removed from the first Super Bowl, sans Roman Numerals – which expected such poor ratings it was televised on two networks! The NFL was composed of 14 teams and did not yet include the Boston Patriots (now New England), Buffalo Bills, Dallas Texans (now Kansas City Chiefs), Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans), Los Angeles Chargers (now San Diego), New York Titans (now NY Jets), and the Oakland Raiders – all born in 1960.

While this was a very good victory for the University of Maryland, and made the team bowl eligible in the first season in the Big Ten, the team marred the effort with its pre-game unsportsmanlike antics. Nobody dislikes Penn State as much as my generation of Terps. During my four years in College Park, Maryland lost those four games by a combined 10 points.

This victory was, to say the least, satisfying; accomplishing something Randy White, Boomer Esiason, Frank Reich, EJ and Erin Henderson, Lamont Jordan, Bruce Perry, Vernon Davis, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and hundreds of others did not. But to shun the pre-game handshake is inexcusable. These are fellow collegiate athletes – not Nazis or ISIS. The penalty received was a penalty deserved.

Actions speak louder than words. Shake hands, then go out and defeat them on the field. Be the bigger players. More importantly, be the bigger men. Learn the lesson, move on, and best wishes for the remainder of the season.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He is a Class of 1988 graduate of the University of Maryland, a member of the Alumni Association, the Terrapin Club, and the Rebounders.