July 11, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Obama’s “Show Me the Money” MomentCommentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 11, 2014
Republican presidential candidate Dwight David Eisenhower made the bold pronouncement in his October 25, 1952 speech, that, “I shall go to Korea!” This, of course, was two-plus years into the Korean Conflict that history seems to have lost between WWII and the Cold War.
Eisenhower, one of America’s greatest generals, went on to defeat Adlai Stevenson just 10 days later, on November 4th, in an Electoral College landslide, 442-89, losing only nine southern states. Less than a month later, on December 2, 1952, Eisenhower, maintaining the courage of his convictions, kept his campaign pledge and visited the war-ravaged Korean Peninsula.
On his desk, President Harry Truman, a Democrat, kept a sign reading, “The buck stops here.” Another man who lead by the core of his convictions and followed his principles despite their lack of popularity. Two examples – Truman desegregated the United States armed forces and was the first to recognize the creation of the new nation of Israel. Truman acted in accordance with his beliefs, did the right thing in spite of the high level advice he received to do just the opposite.
On the flip side of these two men behaving both presidentially and responsibly – one a Republican, one a Democrat, is Barack Hussein Obama. This has been his “Show me the money” moment. When asked by Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, to visit the border and assess first-hand the catastrophe created by Obama, in essence, he said “no way, Jose.” When begged by Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, to do likewise, Obama could not be bothered to travel the couple hours from the fundraisers he attended. Filling the coffers of so-called party faithful is more important to Obama, claiming he does not do photo ops, than addressing a crisis he created head on. This from the man who never met a camera he didn’t like.
Cuellar, again, a Democrat, was told by the White House to back off and not make any more public pronouncements about the crisis on the southern border of the United States. In an interview with Fox News, Cuellar said he received a phone call from the White House, but added, “I’m more concerned not about who gets angry at me at the White House; I’m more concerned about my constituents.” When queried as to the effect of the White House demands, Cuellar responded, “I’m still talking about it,” adding that if Obama could visit Texas for fundraising purposes, he should do his job and see what his unilateral border policy has wrought.
Adding insult to injury, Obama has time to go drinking and shoot billiards in Colorado, while, once again, fundraising for at least three candidates who deem Obama so toxic, they won’t be seen publicly with him. But he still can’t drag his tuchus to the border.
And while flitting around the country raising money for candidates who don’t deserve to be elected/reelected, Obama is demanding $3.7 billion for his “save the illegals” fund. The breakdown is as follows:
$1.8 billion – Department of Health and Human Services
$1.1 billion – Department of Homeland Security
$433 million – Border Protection
$300 million – State Department
$64 million – Justice Department
Obama can demand this money all day long, yet it is the Congress, the House of Representatives that must approve this finding request. From where are the offsets coming to turn this into a zero sum gain? Throwing money at this crisis does not solve the problem of securing the southern border – it only further exacerbates the situation.
Most Americans are advocates for LEGAL immigration – provided it is done properly, and there too, changes are necessary. Returning to the immigration policies from the turn of the last century would be ideal. You may apply for entry if you have promise of sponsorship and employment. You may apply for entry if you will take no government funding – such programs didn’t even exist during the great influx of the 1880s to WWI period. You may apply for entry if you are medically cleared by a qualified physician. You may apply for entry if you clear a criminal background check. All who are denied entry are to be photographed and fingerprinted for a national data base. (When the time comes for them to apply for US citizenship, passing a test about US History, the Constitution, and English language literacy should be a must. Three strikes and out –three failing attempts is a ticket back to their country of origin.)
As for the swarm of children teeming our southern border by the thousands, while many may empathize with their plight, they were not required to come here; no one asked them to come to the United States, and the legal taxpayers should not be expected to foot the bill to absorb those who arrive here illegally.
This problem, growing on a daily basis, should have been dealt with head on at the border, not after the illegal entry into this country by thousands and thousands of people. The National Guard should have been mobilized to cover the border from San Diego to Brownsville and deny entry to any and all who have no legal authority to be in the United States. Seems Mexico has an air tight southern border of their own, but their northern border with the US is a veritable sieve.
As for those already here, they need to be returned to their country of origin, and the cost absorbed by those countries. All costs incurred by the United States should be deducted from aid this country already provides that nation. In fact, as long as illegals are continuing to arrive, all business with those countries of origin should be suspended indefinitely. A price tag of $252 per day, per child, is the estimate cost to the United States.
The illegals are a genuine security risk. Because they are here illegally, it is difficult to determine their real identity, ages, level of education, and motivation for coming to the United States. It has been determined that roughly 80 percent of the 16-17 year old males entering the United States illegally of this current throng are of questionable background – lacking English skills, education, having gang tattoos, potentially connected to MS-13, one of the most mercenary and violent gangs in the world. Their presence here is deleterious to the safety of American citizens and legal residents of all ages. This is painfully reminiscent of the 1980 release of thousands of Cuban prisoners who flooded the shores of Florida during the Mariel boatlift, depicted in the opening scenes of 1983 film Scarface.
Also painfully reminiscent of another historical tragedy is the manner in which elected officials and news media are being treated regarding the visitation of these, for lack of a better term, refugee camps. Yes, right here in these United States, refugee camps. Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) was denied access to one such location where illegals are being warehoused in his own state. He was told to make an appointment for three weeks hence while other members of Congress were similarly denied the same access prompting Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to demand access as should be the right of governmental officials.
The aspect of these denials that is reminiscent of history pertains to the Obama administration cherry-picking the Fort Sill, OK location of illegals housed in a refugee-type circumstance. The media has been told this is the one location to which they would have access, but would not be permitted to interact with the illegals, the staff in charge of the facility, members of the border patrol who are serving as intake scribes, or any other personnel involved with this site. On a small scale it reminds one of the so-called model concentration camp Theresienstadt near Prague. This camp had been designed by the Nazis to allow visits by the Red Cross and other international requests for inspection to demonstrate to the world that the Jews were being treated humanely, which of course was a complete fabrication. The Red Cross and others saw what they wanted to see, blindly and blithely turning away from the reality that was the methodical extermination of Jews and their defenders simply for being Jewish.
Make no mistake, this is not to suggest that the illegals housed on American military bases or anywhere else are being treated like the Jewish victims of Nazi slaughter, but the limited access concept is chilling.
Also beyond damning in this entire illegals invading the southern border of the United States, is the call for nearly $2 billion of the $3.7 billion to come from HHS to, among other things, provide medical care for these children here illegally. Not only is it beyond damning, but an outright slap in the face of each and every single member of the United States military waiting for an appointment through the VA system. American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen, and reservists are literally dying before getting the medical treatment they deserve. They should be at the front of the line while the illegals should not only not be in line, but they should not even be in this country. Those veterans are being treated so disrespectfully when they have sacrificed both mind and body. Allow them the medical treatment being given to illegals, and return the illegals to their countries of origin where they belong.
The Obama administration may not be guilty of creating the VA crisis; it is most definitely complicit in its perpetuation and worsening, instead of attempting to solve the problem. The same is true of the 2008 legislation signed into law during the George W. Bush administration pertaining to the deportation of unaccompanied minors. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 was designed “to prevent victims of child trafficking from being automatically sent back to those who had effectively enslaved them, with the court appearance designed to allow the judge to evaluate their particular situation.” (http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/18650-obama-admin-blames-bush-era-law-for-failure-to-deport-illegals)
Clearly the enormous influx of illegals across the southern border is an attempt to exploit the 2008 legislation, which was a bi-partisan measure, partially written by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and introduced by then Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). But the more important issue is allowing these illegals on to American soil, thus giving them the opportunity to lay claim to Wilberforce. If they are turned away at the border before entering the US, Wilberforce does not apply.
Once again, it comes down to Obama’s poor decision making skills or worse yet, his desire to flood the system with those to which he can one day grant amnesty, put on a path to citizenship, and fortify the Democrat’s voter rolls. For Obama to only now, weeks after the fact, consider commissioning the National Guard, is akin to locking the barn door after the horses escaped to Mexico.
This is also yet another sterling example of Obama’s tyranny against the American people, such as thrusting thousands and thousands of illegals onto communities, who were never asked if they could, or would, absorb them at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars. In his continuing attempt to be the executive branch as well as the legislative branch, employing his pen and phone overtime – he is not doing either job well at all and the American people are suffering because of his whims and desires to work unilaterally often times against the will of the people.
Tyranny is to be met with swift opposition, and as noted in “Needing Independence Day More Than Ever,” (http://sanfordspeaksout.blogspot.com/2014/07/needing-independence-day-more-than-ever.html) a second American Revolution may be on the horizon. Be among the brave new leadership to right the wrongs of this soon to be sinking ship. We the people must save it from itself.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Needing Independence Day More Than EverCommentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 4, 2014 – Independence Day
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s G-d entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Thomas Jefferson, who would eventually serve as the first Secretary of State (1789-94), second Vice President (1797-1801), and third president of the United States (1801-09), would pen the words of The Declaration of Independence at the age of 33 in 1776 in 17 days. (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html)
Jefferson, at the behest of his rival and friend John Adams – first vice president (1789-97) and second president (1797-1801), was selected to write the document that would separate the future United States of America from the tyranny that was Great Britain and King George III. This document would outline the “abuses and usurpations,” committed by the king, despotically ruling from across an ocean, unilaterally making decisions typically not in the best interest of the rank and file – the people, but in the best interest of King George III and his desires to shore up his place in history as a so-called leader. (Amazingly, Adams and Jefferson died on the same day and date – July 4, 1826 – 50 years to the day of the issuing of The Declaration of Independence.)
Knowing the result of such a declaration would lead to conflagration with England; Jefferson ended the Declaration of Independence thusly: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Jefferson understood the seriousness of this separation from Great Britain and the importance of rights divined from G-d, not from man. Jefferson continued to outline the grievances of the American people in The Declaration of Independence:
“He had made Judges dependent on his Will alone…“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance….
“For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world…
“For imposing Taxes upon us without our Consent…
“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury…
“…abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Government…
“For suspending our own legislatures…
With every protestation by the American colonists to King George III came more malignant rebukes leading the Continental Congress to issue The Declaration of Independence. Ultimately the Revolutionary War (1775-83) would lead to independence, but not without the loss and sacrifice of 25,000 Americans, as freedom is not free.
Jefferson’s wisdom was prophetic as he knew and understood the pitfalls of a growing debt and expanding government. Much to the chagrin of the United States of America in 2014 that has not been as good a student of history as it should.
"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
“I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared.”
As a nation mired in a $17 trillion-plus debt, the United States is enslaved to those to whom we owe that massive liability. The interest alone is crippling in more ways than that of a physical war. Government grows larger, thus the need for more money from the people. Remember, there is no such thing as government money – only that which it steals from the people who willingly pay for more services handled worse and worse by government agencies. See also the current scandals under the IRS and Veterans Administration.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
This speaks volumes as Jefferson understood the value of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility which is being eroded more and more with each passing generation. Demands of a growing entitlement society only propagate the massive debt growing by leaps and bounds as a legislative branch fears their own defeat at the ballot boxes for reelection instead of saying no to the people and really representing their best interests by cutting off the spigot drowning the nation in the debt that enslaves us to our enemies.
More than 200 years later another great American leader, Ronald Reagan said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Reagan knew that the more government intervenes in the people’s lives, the more dependent upon government the people become and the more enslaved they become, losing their rights and freedoms.
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Jefferson knew that without a personal stake in the experiment called the democratic republic success would be fleeting and the entitlement crowd would prefer to have government take care of them cradle to grave. What they failed to remember was another Jefferson gem: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.”
While Jefferson wrote about “altering fundamentally the forms of our government,” as one of the reasons for Americans’ discontent with King George III, 232 years later, on October 30, 2008, a candidate for president, Barack Hussein Obama announced his goal of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” This statement was the harbinger of some of the most deleterious actions taken by any president in the history of the republic.
Both Obama and the Congress that serves as his rubber stamp, save for the few willing to stand up to him, must recall and understand that the first American Revolution was fought against a distant tyrannical King willing to unilaterally change the rules in the middle of the game. After all America and England are separated by an ocean and pre-dated technology.
Today, the United States is on the precipice of a second American Revolution ready to reclaim and recapture the rights eroded and stolen by a government also separated by distance – that between the rank and file and those sitting in their lofty Houses of Congress who don’t even abide by the same laws they enact and expect the people to obey. We are prepared to strike back against a tyrannical so-called leader who threatens to unconstitutionally make Congress irrelevant via the use of his phone and his pen, his reputation hanging in the balance and the will of the people be damned.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the rule of law still reigns supreme in these United States and our rights are made manifest by G-d, not man. A happy and meaningful Independence Day to the citizenry of the United States of America.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Friday, June 13, 2014
What Southern Border?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 13, 2014
The confluence of just some of Barack Obama’s failings – Obamacare, the Veterans Administration scandal, and now the tens of thousands of children teeming across the southern border of this country, illegally, now held in refugee-like conditions are actually related as part of Obama’s pledge during his 2008 campaign to fundamentally change the United States of America.
This administration is pledging $2 billion to help the thousands and thousands of children who have no legal right to be in the United States – including legal aid to help what many in the so-called mainstream media are calling “young immigrants,” as if they were somehow forced by this country to come here.
Being held in deplorable conditions in places like Nogales, AZ and McAllen, TX where border agents are now being used as intake human resource administrators instead of doing their job, which, as it is, is damn near impossible as the resources they need have been sliced and diced as if by a Ginsu Knife ®, the children are both economic and political pawns in a dangerous chess game that can only be lost by all involved.
Illegal aliens, because the term undocumented immigrants suggests they have a right to be in the United States, but simply forgot to fill out some form, do not have legal standing in this country, yet Attorney General Eric Holder is undertaking a precedent-setting course of action to treat these people as welcome residents.
“We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” said Holder. Holder seems to have forgotten a little something called the rule of law. One would think the highest ranking attorney in this country would understand and uphold the laws of the land – this land – the United States; not Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, or any other country whose children have come here for purposes unknown.
Giving rights to the illegals does not strengthen the American justice system. It weakens it by delivering the message that those who can sneak into the United States can make their way through the legal system with the hopes of remaining in this country, claiming sanctuary in some form or another. And what rights are we protecting? Holder said we are protecting the rights of these children here illegally.
This current flood of unaccompanied children in the United States illegally has reached nearly 50,000, with predictions of another 50,000 before year end. This is a product of Obama’s open borders belief. While not saying he supports open borders, his actions have certainly spoken more loudly by the cuts made in border patrol agents.
Such an influx of unaccompanied minors will only lead to parents and other relatives clamoring for entrance into the United States to be with and claims to support their children. But in reality, they are coming here for the entitlements they know they can steal from the taxpayers of this country – both citizen and legal resident alike. Free education, but they won’t learn English – they’ll demand to be taught in their native language; food stamps they did not earn; welfare which they also did not earn; and of course medical care.
Doctors are being sent to the border, when instead they should be sent to every VA hospital in these United States to provide the long overdue medical care and attention the brave men and women who don the uniform of this country putting their lives on the line every day deserve – immediately. The disastrous way our veterans are being treated, or mistreated, is simply a microcosm of the abomination that is Obamacare.
Instead, what Obama should be sending to the border is the National Guard to rein in the chaos and havoc being wreaked by those who have no legal right to be here – a concept that can’t be stressed enough. These children, who somehow got to the United States, can certainly go back.
This is an issue that should not be emotional, but logical and pertaining to the rule of law. Those who cross the border without permission are here illegally, have broken the law, and must be returned to their country of origin. Yet, by nature of the fact that these are unaccompanied children, it becomes an emotional issue as painted by the far left media. The American people are seeing pictures of what look like Third World refugee camps in the Middle East, but are actually in the American Southwest, and yes, they not only tug, but yank at the heartstrings. How could they not?
But the United States cannot, should not, absorb any or all of these children. Yes, it is a sad story, but there is still the rule of law. Allowing the children will ultimately set a poor precedent for permitting their parents or other relatives to add to the welfare rolls, compete for jobs when unemployment continues to remain over 10 percent when considering those who have removed themselves from the job hunt.
The economic ramifications will be severe as greater job loss will be incurred, demands for entitlements will soar, further crowding will occur in hospitals, and schools as demands for free breakfast and lunch becomes even more costly than it already is. There will also be the health risks. We don’t know what infestations these children are bring across the border and how that will affect the children with whom they interact in the schools and elsewhere.
This administration will never deport these children; for they are the political pawns alluded to earlier. They will eventually be absorbed with their families, as Obama’s lawlessness will become a unilateral and illegal granting of amnesty for this current crop of invaders along with the other 12 to 20 million already in the United States. Those granted amnesty will eventually become voters pledging their allegiance to the Democrats, who would loyally vote for candidates who forever keep them as a permanent underclass with the promises of entitlement and cradle to grave government care.
The emotionality of this issue must be removed and the rule of law enforced. Those here illegally must be fingerprinted, photographed, and sent home – yes, deported. There it is – the dirty magic word – deportation. This is not the 1930s and 1940s Nazi-era-style deportation. Under the Nazis, millions of legal Jewish citizens were deported to concentrations camps leading to certain slaughter. They had not invaded any country seeking entitlements and unearned benefits, as this crop of illegals is doing.
We, the law abiding citizens and legal residents of the United States welcome legal immigrants who come to the United States through the front door the way our own ancestors did via Ellis Island and other legal ports of call.
They came with a dream of a better life through education and hard work. They did not demand that the rest of America learn Italian, Greek, Russian, Polish, Magyar, or Yiddish. They struggled to learn English and did so with pride. Today it is just the opposite with demands for government documents to be printed in myriad languages. The legal immigrants of the late 1800s through early 1900s came with the promise of a job and a sponsor or they were sent back. Today it is just the opposite with demands for welfare. The legal immigrants of the late 19th-early 20th centuries were required to submit to a medical examination. If they failed, they were either sent back to their country of origin or quarantined until able to join their family and/or sponsor. Today it is just the opposite as we are told we can’t discriminate against those with disease or illness. They come demanding free health care, only ratcheting up the costs to the taxpayers – costs which Obama claims would be reduced under a single-payer, European-style system that is failing on the other side of the Atlantic.
But make no mistake, the issue of illegal aliens and amnesty was not born under the Obama administration, he simply waved the white flag of surrender. President Ronald Reagan, one of my three political heroes, unfortunately granted what was supposed to be the amnesty to end all amnesties in 1986. That clearly failed and the floodgates remained open. Liberals take great joy in citing the Reagan amnesty, but in their ignorance simply perpetuate the reasons as to why amnesty is terribly wrong.
All presidents since John Adams inherited the problems of their predecessors. How they handle them is part of what defines them and their legacy. Reagan handled Carter’s failings, and there were many, by not complaining, but instead by rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on day one fixing the economy, restoring pride and dignity to the United States, and returning us to the status of global leader and world power.
While Reagan lifted the United States out of the malaise that was the Carter administration, Obama is doing all he can to diminish the United States in the eyes of the world, and sadly, he is succeeding. This is not his failing, but instead, his goal as per the Rules for Radicals written by his mentor Saul Alinsky.
Obama continues to be on the wrong side of the most important issues facing the American people, and at costs too great for the United States to sustain. He must be held accountable – even via impeachment for the laws he has broken – the cover up pertaining to Benghazi (addressed in a previous column), the cover up pertaining to the VA hospitals (to be addressed in an upcoming column), as well as the failure to give the Congress the appropriate 30 day notice regarding the trade of GITMO detainees in the unconscionable Bowe Bergdahl deal with the Taliban (also to be addressed in a future column).
Obama’s continued threat to use his telephone and pen to enact the executive orders in place of legislation he knows would never pass the House of Representatives must be silenced. The House must have the temerity to do what is right, and not what may be expedient or popular simply because the media declares it to be so.
Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) just lost his seat in an overwhelming primary defeat at the hands of Dave Brat because Cantor was too in bed with Obama on amnesty for illegals as well as losing touch with his constituents back home, a mere two and one half hour drive from the Capitol Building. It is not racist to follow the rule of law.
The establishment had better be paying attention or they will also find themselves unemployed, but if that means electing new members possessing a backbone, bring them on, and send the illegals home. With the drive and determination that they used to get to the United States, they should strive to make their home countries places to stay, work, play, and prosper.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Cantor Loss Sings VolumesCommentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 11, 2014
I like Eric Cantor. I’ve talked with him numerous times and he’s a good guy – a genuine mensch. However, to quote the cantankerous and irascible baseball manager Leo “the Lip” Durocher, “nice guys finish last.”
Nearing the end of his seventh term in Congress representing Virginia’s seventh district, Eric Cantor was defeated in a Republican primary – the first House Majority Leader so vanquished since the advent of that post in 1899.
Cantor’s defeat can be attributed to both the amnesty for illegals issue as well as his losing touch with his constituents in the Richmond suburbs. And sadly, he is on the wrong side of both, as political newcomer Dave Brat proved in his stunning 55.45 percent to 45.55 percent trouncing of the second highest ranking Republican in Congress.
Considering Cantor’s district is but a couple hours drive south of DC, and not half a day by plane in places like California or Montana, he had no excuse, especially since Cantor returned home each week. But the voters felt Cantor lost sight of the fact that “all politics is local,” as the late Speaker of the House, Thomas P. “Tip” O ‘Neill (D-MA) oft-quipped.
Eric Cantor is a “world class legislator of great integrity,” said fellow GOP House member Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Cantor’s loss sends shockwaves, not just through Virginia or the GOP, but the entire body politic that should put the establishment on notice.
While many in the media will paint Brat as a far right TEA Party loon, all one need do is hear Brat’s words; read his positions as they are everyday issues about which the average American cares.
“I ran on free markets, the rule of law, immigration, property rights, and free market constitutional issues. I don’t think those are left or right issues. I don’t think many people in DC know what free markets are,” said Brat, in a post-primary interview with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel.
“We have to take free markets seriously; simplify the tax code,” which is pro-growth and will restore jobs, said Brat, 49, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland since 1996, when he moved to Virginia.
Originally from Alma, MI, Brat, a Roman Catholic, is married to wife Laura and the couple have two children, Jonathan and Sophia. Brat earned his Bachelors in Business Administration from Hope College, a Masters in Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Economics from American University. Brat has never held public office, yet made an unsuccessful attempt at a Virginia House of Delegates seat in 2011. In this race he earned vigorous support from conservative radio hosts Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham, which along with his solid door to door grassroots effort proved indefatigable against Cantor’s huge financial advantage. Cantor spent more than $5 million to Brat’s roughly $200,000, proving, as Brat said, “money doesn’t vote, people vote.”
Perhaps an economics professor is just what the House needs. Brat correctly campaigned on issues such as the bloated budget and deficit, noting that the nation is $17 trillion in debt with $127 trillion in unfunded liabilities. “No leader on either side [of the aisle] is mentioning this [and] I have based my campaign on this issue,” said Brat, who will face off against Jack Trammell, another Randolph-Macon professor, this November.
Most every federal program is insolvent, suggested Brat, reminding people that the central government in Washington, DC is designed to be limited. “The 10th Amendment is the big one; the Constitution has enumerated powers belonging to the federal government. All the rest of the powers belong to the states and the people,” said Brat at his victory celebration Tuesday night.
In addition to debt, simplifying the tax code, and free markets, Brat noted the economics of Obamacare as a problem. He said it is important to separate health care from insurance; that the people need to understand the price system and see the true bottom line. He cited, for example, that a person shows up at the doctor with the sniffles and pays a $20 co-pay, when the reality of that office visit costs $200.
But Brat singled out immigration as a vital issue needing serious attention. “Closing the border is very important,” said Brat, adding that it is necessary to get our own house in order. “We’re out of control there,” said Brat.
Hopefully, the defeat of Cantor will make comprehensive immigration reform DOA should it reach a vote on the House floor. This should send a message, that the rank and file – the voters, are tired of Executive Orders and Obama’s threats to use his phone and pen to achieve his goals whether inside or outside his purview as president or the rule of law.
“No other House Republican will want to end up like Cantor,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Cantor will step down as Majority Leader effective July 31.
“He won because people don’t want illegal immigration,” said Midlothian, VA resident and Brat volunteer Laurie Kalata. Clearly this is the spring of the voters discontent.
Sadly Cantor took too much of an amnesty view on the issue of illegal immigration – too willing to compromise with Obama. This is an issue where there should be no compromise. It should not be emotional, but instead logical and within the rule of law. Those who cross the border without permission are in the United States illegally, have broken the law, have no legal right to be here, and should be returned to their country of origin. (Yes, there is the emotional aspect of this issue clearly on display thanks to the media, particularly in recent weeks with the overrun of the southern border by unaccompanied children. More to follow on that issue in a separate column.)
“I will make Washington, DC as irrelevant to your everyday life as possible,” said Brat.
Was the defeat of Cantor an anomaly? Time will tell as the November midterm elections are but five months away.
Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige said “don’t look back, something may be gaining on you.” Perhaps it is high time the establishment in Washington take a little peek.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. Prior to Indiana, Horn lived in Virginia and was politically active there.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
D-Day at 70; Missing Reagan for 10Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 5, 2014
“We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.”
Former President Ronald Reagan spoke those words on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1984, at the site of the US Ranger Monument, Pointe du Hoc, on the northern coast of France. In addition to his riveting speech, Reagan unveiled plaques to memorialize the 2nd and 5th US Army Ranger Battalions, then, he and his wife, Nancy, personally greeted each of the veterans.
“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war,” continued Reagan.
Thirty years later, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, there are precious few of those heroes still with us. They must and will be remembered for their actions that saved a continent from falling into the hands of a certain few deviant slaughterers hell bent on sterilizing the planet in their own warped images. These heroes are part of the much vaunted “Greatest Generation” – dedicated to a cause greater than themselves.
The landing at Omaha Beach and four other locales over a 50 mile span was the beginning of the end of the European segment of World War II. On this date 156,000-plus American, British, and Canadian troops hit hard the shores of those five beaches – initially suffering unprecedented casualties prior to wresting control from Nazi Germany.
Over 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft participated in the invasion where more than 4,000 Allied soldiers were killed and another 5,000 were wounded within the immediacy of the landings. This was a heavy price to pay, but was the turning point in defeating Hitler, Nazism, and Fascism.
From the time of the D-Day landing through late August 1944, the Allied troops liberated northern France, including Paris. By May 1945, the Allies defeated Nazi Germany and the Axis powers of Europe.
“You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you,” said Reagan in the 1984 speech.
Drafted into the Army shortly after the United States entered the war in December 1941, Reagan was not permitted to the front lines due to his near-sightedness. Instead, Reagan worked for the Motion Picture Army Unit producing training and propaganda films. For my impressions of Ronald Reagan: http://sanfordspeaksout.blogspot.com/2004/06/mourning-in-america.html
“Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died,” concluded Reagan who died, ironically, June 5, 2004, one day prior to the 60th anniversary of D-Day.
May we and future generations never forget the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and may the losses of those who made the ultimate sacrifice not have been in vain.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
NBA Commits Foul on Capitalism, Free SpeechCommentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 30, 2014
The NBA and its new commissioner, Adam Silver, have dealt capitalism and free speech a black eye with the lifetime ban imposed upon Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
In addition to the lifetime ban, Sterling was also saddled with a fine of $2.5 million, the maximum allowable as per the NBA Constitution, and Silver indicated he would push to force the sale of the Clippers. The fine is negligible – roughly equivalent to $50 for Sterling, worth over $1.9 billion. The lifetime ban means Sterling can have no contact with players, or anyone else affiliated with the team, he may not attend games, play any role in transactions or drafting rookies, or anything else the NBA deems “contact.”
The harshness for which Sterling is being penalized comes on the heels of audio tape released just several days prior to Silver’s declaration with Sterling carrying on in a racist screed – telling his girlfriend/mistress not to attend “his” games with blacks and not to post photographs of herself with blacks on social media. Sterling further verbally eviscerated blacks in ways that might make a Klansman blush right through his hood.
But knowledge of Sterling’s unsavory opinions has been common knowledge for years, which begs the question, why now? Why has the world exploded in outrage now? Has Sterling changed his stripes since his 2009 housing discrimination case that cost him $2.7 million? (Yet another drop in the bucket to Sterling.) This is demonstrative of the NBA’s hypocrisy for not attempting to rid itself of Sterling, the league’s longest tenured owner, years ago.
Just as big a piece of hypocrisy is the NAACP, set to honor Sterling for the second time, with a lifetime achievement award but has since rescinded the honor. Yet, the civil rights organization continues marching forward with its plans to honor Al Sharpton, a racist in his own right, originally on the same dance card with Sterling.
The brash owner of the Clippers may be despicable for his views and opinions, but the First Amendment to the United States Constitution gives Sterling the right to be such a rapscallion. (http://sanfordspeaksout.blogspot.com/2014/04/donald-sterling-tarnishing-only-himself.html)
What is really daunting and quite frankly more than just a bit frightening, is that Sterling’s words were uttered within the confines and supposed privacy of his own home. Is the sanctity of a person’s home as his castle a faded memory for the dustbin of history? Is a person not free to say as he wishes behind closed doors?
There has been some debate regarding the procurement of the recordings. Did Sterling ask his girlfriend/mistress to record him because he claimed he was becoming forgetful? Did she do so under her own volition, thus, in California, making those recordings illegal? That may seem to be less than a minor point to those seeking Sterling’s head on a stick, as well as to those wanting to separate Sterling from his personal property – the Clippers basketball team.
Therein lies just part of the problem. Does anyone with any public standing now need to couch every utterance in a politically correct manner for fear of loss of livelihood? And what will be next, after racist rants? Will the ethnic jokes told at home cause people to lose jobs, income, and future employment? What about remarks about a person’s sexuality or gender? Are people only permitted to have opinions approved by the so-called tolerance cabal in the United States?
Why is acceptable for NBA players to use language worse than that of Sterling without castigation or forced retribution? After all, black ballplayers toss around the word “nigger,” akin to the word hello. NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took exception to these pronouncements. “I think black Americans should avoid using that word,” said Jabbar. He also said the current generation of players needs to be reminded what things were like during the Civil Rights Movement and challenges blacks endured.
And as for the potential loss of his team, Sterling should fight this as far as he can take it – he certainly has the resources, and he should do so if for no other reason, than principle. For while the NBA owners, according to its constitution, can force Sterling to sell the Clippers, with a three-fourths vote, the United States Constitution supersedes an NBA or corporate constitution.
How is it that Sterling can be stripped of his legally owned property simply for having privately uttered his opinion? Granted it is a distasteful and unacceptable opinion, but having distasteful and unacceptable opinions is not against the law.
With Sterling’s Clippers in the playoffs, an anomaly for this team, their value is sure to continue to rise. Currently worth an estimated more than $550 million, Sterling could reap a huge profit, considering he has owned the team since 1981. But money is not the issue with Sterling at this point; after all, the octogenarian has just become a pariah in his own league – persona non grata and if he chooses, he can make life difficult for the other owners and the image of the league as a whole just by dragging the NBA through the court system.
Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban, while supporting the decision by Silver and the NBA, also expressed concern for a potential slippery slope. He questioned the length to which the league could go under any circumstance, and not just meting out the punishment for Sterling’s assumed offenses, but denying people their rights or attempts to commandeer their property.
This situation could have been self-correcting by letting the free market speak for itself, and not some imposed mandate. With Sterling still atop the Clippers’ corporate chart, advertisers would continue to abandon ship, as has been the case over the past four days. Fans would boycott the team, nary a ticket would be sold, and revenue would evaporate where food, beverage, and merchandise would have filled the coffers. Current players would demand trades, but who would want to play for the Clippers? How many rookies could be lured to Los Angeles and how productive could an all-rookie team be?
All or any combination of those variables would probably cause Sterling to sell the team under his own volition, and not because it is demanded of him. The vox populi would have spoken loud and clear, and short of driving the value of the team below the San Andreas Fault, Sterling would sell the remaining pieces for scrap.
Until the free market weighs in, Sterling is a victim, albeit one for whom one should not feel sorry, but one entitled to the same rights as every other American citizen. If Sterling’s livelihood be taken away for offering up his private thoughts at home, how far away from the thought police can this so-called civilization be?
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Ignorance Should Be Kerry’s OusterCommentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 29, 2014
“A unitary state either winds up being an apartheid state with second class citizens or it winds up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.” – US Secretary of State John F. Kerry
There’s that magic word, that lightening rod, much akin to calling someone a racist – apartheid. That Kerry would suggest Israel could become such a state is demonstrative of his sheer ignorance; his abject lack of knowledge of history of both apartheid and the Middle East.
For all the clamor for Kerry to resign, make no mistake, he will not be asked to step down by Barack Obama because Kerry speaks for Obama, represents the administration, and this has long been the belief of Obama, who has also proven to be obtuse pertaining to Israel and Middle East affairs. Remember this is the same Obama suggesting Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, an absolutely moronic notion. And the same Obama who appointed Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense and Samantha Power US Ambassador to the United Nations – both virulently anti-Israel. And the same Obama who rudely disrespected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent visit to the United States.
The outrage against Kerry’s words has been bi-partisan – from Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on the left to House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the right.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous,” said Boxer.
Begich’s statement nailed it spot on, saying Kerry’s remark “implies Israel should ignore the pact between [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas and the Hamas. Last time I checked, the U.S. didn’t negotiate with terrorist organizations and we shouldn’t expect the Israeli government to either.”
Kerry’s pronouncement that Israel needs to come to some sort of an agreement with the Palestinians completely exhibits his complete obliviousness to the continuing fact that, call them whatever you prefer, Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Authority, or any other group, their main goal – it’s the several charters – is to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people. To wipe them from the face of the earth.
There is no negotiating with people whose end goal is total annihilation. There is no two-state solution with a people who first and foremost want the total eradication of a specific people and nation. Would the United States partner with an enemy that is a known terrorist group? Of course not. Neither should Israel.
As for the notion that Israel is in any way, shape, or form inching toward an apartheid state, that is ludicrous. Israel affords more rights – civil and legal to Arabs than any Arab nation. Women and gays have more rights and freedoms than in any Arab nation. Literacy and graduation rates, income, as well as medical availability and coverage are higher in Israel than in any Arab nation. There are even Arabs in the Israeli government and Supreme Court. Apartheid? Not even close.
“The use of the word ‘apartheid’ has routinely been dismissed as both offensive and inaccurate, and Secretary Kerry’s use of it makes peace even harder to achieve,” said Cantor, then calling on Kerry to “apologize to the Israeli government and people.”
Senator Cruz not only took Kerry to task but went a step further. “I fear with these most-recent ill-chosen remarks, Secretary Kerry has proven those concerns well founded. Secretary Kerry has thus proven himself unsuitable for his position and that before any further harm is done to our alliance with Israel, he should offer President Obama his resignation and the President should accept it.”
For all his attempted back-tracking, Kerry offered nothing productive toward the peace process that, as long as annihilation is on the table, will never come to fruition. A two state solution is not the answer. Those who wish to live peacefully in Israel, under Israeli laws should be able to continue to do so. As for the so-called Palestinian peoples/Arab refugees, they should have been absorbed by the dozens of Arab countries decades and generations ago when they chose to flee Israel upon its founding in May 1948.
But for political purposes, they were not. Claims have been made that the land of Israel is “Palestine,” when in fact were the Palestinians to have a homeland it should be what is present day Jordan.
Yes, Kerry should resign because of his ignorance and inability to be the kind of Secretary of State the United States needs in dealing with friend and foe alike. As continues to be typical of the Obama administration, friends are too often admonished and foes bowed down to. Kerry’s suggestion of apartheid is deleterious to US-Israel relations as well as how other nations see and treat Israel. Even the hint is too much and Kerry must pay the price for the sake of diplomatic relations and the future of the Middle East peace process.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.