Monday, January 4, 2016
“It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame – let’s play two!” – Ernie Banks
“Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical” – “Yogi” Berra
Griffey, Jr., Hoffman Should Lead Hall Induction
Sanford D. Horn
January 4, 2016
The year 2016 promises excitement from presidential politics to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but with the Iowa Caucuses nearly a month away and bitter temperatures reminding us that the Olympics are more than half a year away, all eyes naturally turn toward – you guessed it – baseball! While pitchers and catchers don’t report for duty for about six weeks, there is some important baseball business needing immediate attention – the upcoming vote on who will earn entry into the Hall of Fame.
“Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” (http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/rules-election/bbwaa) This is the standard by which the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is to do their jobs.
The crux is character and integrity – neither of which was exhibited by Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, or Sammy Sosa, each accused of using steroids during their playing careers. These players’ bad behavior should not be rewarded. They only way they should be allowed into Cooperstown is with a paid ticket for admission. For as many years as these miscreants have been on the ballot, I remain steadfastly opposed to their entry, and will continue to be so in the future until their eligibility is exhausted and beyond.
Candidates are required to earn five percent of the vote in order to remain on the ballot for the next year. Should a few more voters shun Sosa, his 6.6 percent from 2015 could drop enough to bounce him from future consideration. More suckers would be needed to withhold votes from Clemens – 37.5 percent, Bonds – 36.8 percent, and McGwire – 10 percent to remove them from the ballot, if not from our collective memories.
Were I privileged with casting votes to determine the Class of 2016 into the Baseball Hall of Fame, five retired players would appear on my ballot – two freshman candidates, and three holdovers from last year.
Moving from the malevolent to the magnificent, Ken Griffey, Jr. spent 22 years patrolling major league outfields for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox doing it right and avoiding the scent of scandal. Griffey should be a first ballot entrant in Cooperstown having slammed 630 home runs, currently sixth all time, and driving in 1,836 runs, placing him 15th in that category. In a fascinating piece of, not just Mariners’ history, but baseball history, Griffey and his father, Ken Griffey, Sr., not only played on the same team, but on September 14, 1990 hit back-to-back home runs. This was the first father-son duo to accomplish this feat. And unlike the dopers cited above, Griffey played clean with popularity as an affable major leaguer.
Trevor Hoffman pitched his 18 years in the major leagues with the then Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, and Milwaukee Brewers racking up 601 saves while hurling mostly for mediocre teams where save opportunities were not as prevalent as for sure-fire Hall of Famer to be in 2019 Mariano Rivera. Known as a Padre the majority of his career, Hoffman represented the team as a six-time All Star, and one additional selection as a Brewer. The first pitcher to reach both the 500 and 600 save threshold, Hoffman was four times in the top 10 voting for the Cy Young award and five times received votes for MVP. In 1998 Hoffman converted 41 consecutive save opportunities – a record at the time.
Checking in with 270 career wins is three-time ballot occupant Mike Mussina, who spent 10 years with the Baltimore Orioles and eight with the New York Yankees. A big fan of “Moose,” an economics graduate from Stanford University as an Oriole, it hurt my eyes to see him donning the pinstripes. Mussina was selected to five All Star teams and won seven Gold Gloves. While he was overshadowed by Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz in 2015, Mussina garnered more victories than Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal – with whom Mussina was compared, and Whitey Ford. Mussina ended his career at age 39, the oldest to record his lone 20-win season, going 20-9 with a 3.37 ERA. While a jump from his 24.6 percent to the necessary 75 seems more than unlikely, Mussina remains on my ballot.
Because Mike Piazza played nearly eight of his 16-year career with the New York Mets, naturally he is a favorite. However, the 12-time all-star cracked 427 home runs, batted .308 and earned 10 Silver Slugger awards all while catching 1629 games – top flight numbers regardless of what team he played for. Piazza, the 1993 Rookie of the Year, spent the first six-plus years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a year each with the San Diego Padres and Oakland A’s as well as five minutes with the then Florida Marlins. Piazza’s place in Cooperstown is all but bronzed – is what I erroneously predicted the last three years, but I still believe he will be enshrined. Having mustered up 69.9 percent, the highest of the non-inductees from 2015, Piazza should earn his rightful place in Cooperstown in 2016.
Curt Schilling, bloody sock and all, is on my ballot. The six-time all-star pitched 20 seasons in the big leagues – three with the Orioles, one with the Astros, eight-plus with the Philadelphia Phillies, three-plus with the Arizona Diamondbacks, then calling it a career with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling tossed 83 complete games, appeared in three World Series, and had three 20-plus win seasons within a four year span at ages 36, 38, and 39. Schilling should have his ticket stamped this summer – was my mistaken prediction the last three years, and perhaps he may not be able to leap to 75 percent from his 39.2 percent from 2015, Schilling still belongs among those who will enter the Hall before him.
While it is important to not sully the Baseball Hall of Fame with the likes of Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and Sosa, the focus must be on the greats who will be enshrined this July and how they will continue to be the true ambassadors to the community as so many before them have been. Ambassadors and class acts such as Ernie Banks and Yogi Berra, who sadly left us in 2015 – Banks at age 83, on January 23, 2015 and Berra at age 90, on September 22, 2015. May their memories always be for a Blessing.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He has been a Patron-level member of the Baseball Hall of Fame since 2007.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Political Correctness Murders 14 in CA
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 04, 2015
Thanks to a pusillanimous weasel fearing to be labeled a “racial profiler,” 14 innocent American men and women are dead in San Bernardino, CA – slaughtered by two Muslim extremists committing jihad in the worst terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.
The deceased, lest they be forgotten in the din of media coverage of the two Muslim extremist terrorists, are the following:
Robert Adams, age 40, survived by wife Summer and a 20 month old daughter;
Isaac Amanios, 60, survived by wife Hiwet and three children; he fled his native Eritrea to escape the violence and give his family a better life;
Benneta Bethadal, 46, survived by husband Arlen Verdehyou and three children; she escaped Islamic extremism of Iran at age 18;
Harry Bowman, 46, survived by two daughters;
Sierra Clayborn, 27;
Juan Espinoza, 50, survived by wife Sandra and two children;
Aurora Godoy, 26 – the youngest victim, survived by husband James and a 22 month old son;
Shannon Johnson, 45, shielded co-worker Denise Peraza – wounded, but survived;
Daniel Kaufman, 42;
Damian Meins, 58, survived by two children;
Tin Nguyen, 31, survived by her mother, who, with Tin, fled Vietnam when Tin was eight years old;
Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, survived by wife Jennifer;
Yvette Velasco, 27, survived by her parents and three sisters;
Michael Wetzel, 37, survived by wife Renee and six children.
While this is the 215th mass shooting of the year and 59th since October, make no mistake this is not an issue of gun control, but an issue of terrorism and the invasion into the United States by Muslim extremist terrorists. The cache of weapons found in the home of Sayed Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27, was akin to an arsenal large enough to take down numerous installations around San Bernardino and beyond. The attack on his workplace holiday party may have simply been the appetizer for a more sinister entrée where greater carnage would have been the result.
The four guns owned by Farook – two long guns and two handguns, were acquired legally. It is the dozen pipe bombs found in the Redlands residence that should be of concern. Pipe bombs the likes of which were found in an al-Qaeda magazine – a publication easily accessible in the public domain.
It is the fact that Malik, born in Pakistan, and had pledged allegiance to ISIS on social media that went untracked and unchallenged that should be of concern. Yet, in typical Barack Obama fashion of fecklessness, he couldn’t see the forest for the trees as he immediately called for increased gun control laws while the shooting was still a fluid situation. His head continually buried in the sand, Obama equates San Bernardino with gun control, an issue he relishes, instead of the more hand wringing issue of terrorism rendering Obama more than just a little uncomfortable.
Once again it is imperative to remind Mr. Obama that an increase in gun legislation will only impact the lives of honest, law-abiding gun owners. Criminals, whether terrorists or the garden variety gangs and thugs, have not, do not, and will not abide by gun laws – that’s what makes them criminals in the first place. And more and more gun laws restricting law-abiding gun owners are simply restricting their Second Amendment rights.
The same is true for these so-called gun-free zones. Whether public schools, college campuses, work places, or any other locale announcing itself as a gun-free zone is an open invitation to criminal behavior, and also a restriction of the Second Amendment. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a gun-free zone that saw the slaughter of 20 children and six adults could have been prevented had there been an armed officer on campus.
Democrat frontrunner for President Hillary Clinton issued the outlandish statement that gun manufacturers be held responsible for such mass shootings. Using that feeble attempt at logic, car manufacturers should be held responsible for fatalities in a multi-car pile-up. Sound absurd? Of course it is.
What needs to be limited is not accessibility to guns, but the political correctness that played a role in the murder of the 14 innocents in San Bernardino. Political correctness has run so far amuck that people are afraid of appearances – afraid to say something after seeing something – the very see something, say something mantra even preached by Obama himself – unless Muslim extremists are involved. Political correctness is literally scaring people to death – people are frightened to the core to speak up, say what needs to be said, for fear of being labeled a bigot, a racist, a racial profiler or worse – perhaps at the cost of their job or position within a community.
It is political correctness that had liberals, left-wing media, and anti-Christians blame an entire religion on one lunatic’s shooting rampage at a Colorado Planned Parenthood. Yet, those same people and institutions won’t even utter the words Muslim extremist or Islamic extremist or jihad or jihadists even when the evidence is as plain as vanilla ice cream.
Evidence such as the aforementioned pledge made by Malik to ISIS. This is the same Malik who had a Pakistani passport, met Farook on-line, married him in Saudi Arabia, and by all reports was the impetus in the radicalization of her husband, who heretofore had no criminal record. Malik garnered entry into the United States via a visa issued to those to be betrothed to an American. Farook then traveled to Pakistan and Mecca during the summer of 2014. Coupled with the cache of weaponry found in the couple’s residence and all roads lead to the Muslim couple being terrorists.
Yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, Obama still blinded by his own wishful thinking, said “it’s possible it’s terrorism; it’s possible it’s work place violence.” This is the same Obama who said ISIS was contained the day prior to the Muslim extremist terror assault in Paris. Clearly one cannot contain ISIS/ISIL, al-Qaeda, or any other name one wishes to assign these terror operations. It is this level of obtuseness from the White House that encourages Obama’s minions to perpetuate this notion of blame America first; don’t say anything negative about Islam because that foments the violent behavior from the terrorists. The longer this behavior continues, the less shocking it is when these attacks occur, whether overseas, or now and in the future, at home. These savages must be ended, eliminated, eradicated – killed – yes, killed. We are at war with radical Islam and they want to kill us. In war you kill your enemy and the enemy is radical Islam.
The enemy is no longer knocking at the gates. The enemy has breached our perimeter and they must be stopped. Stopped by curtailing immigration from countries voting against the United States more than 50 percent of the time. Stopped by curtailing visa for students, guests, and tourists from those same countries. Profile if necessary, and apparently it is. Priority one of this government should be to keep America and Americans safe. Without a safe homeland America can no longer be the beacon of hope and freedom for those “yearning to breathe free.”
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Paris Precursor Portends Profiling
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 16, 2015
Still think ISIS is a “JV team” Mr. Obama? That “JV team” is kicking ass and taking names. Still think we’re not dealing with enemies that are Muslim extremists? What do the words “Islamic State” mean to you, Mr. Obama?
While you and your administration are taking a victory lap, slapping each other on the tuchus over the death of “Jihad John” on Thursday, November 12, and saying “ISIS had been contained” in an ABC interview on that same day, dastardly deeds were in the works across the Atlantic Ocean. One cannot contain ISIS; ISIS must be irrevocably destroyed. The United States is at war, Mr. Obama, against an enemy you refuse to identify. You, Mr. Obama, are a weak and feckless so-called leader
Those deeds were the terrorist attacks perpetrated by the ISIS animals at several locations in Paris, France the very next day, Friday, November 13. ISIS savages slaughtered 130 innocents, to date, along with injuring more than 350 innocents. And yet, while civilization as a whole is being assaulted, you, Mr. Obama, are doubling down on your desire to import 65,000-100,000 Syrian refugees to the United States, endangering an entire nation – completely counter to your Constitutional responsibilities as Commander in Chief and Head of State. Lest he forget the ISIS bombing of a Russian airliner on October 31 killing all 224 people on board.
Each of the three major Democratic candidates for president, Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Governor Martin O’ Malley, and Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) still insist on accepting Syrian refugees, as they stated as recently as Saturday night during their CBS debate. What they refused to say are the words Muslim extremists or radical Islamists due to their enslavement to the culture of political correctness. Obama added to the Democratic candidates’ shortsightedness saying “not accepting Syrian refugees would be a betrayal of our values.”
Is Obama obtuse, irresponsible, or both? Witness the open borders of Europe. How’s that working out? The Muslim invasion of Europe mostly by men ages 18-40 has been a failure. Muslim extremists demanding Sharia Law in the countries they have invaded, while segregating themselves from mainstream society, in largely unemployed pockets of thugs attacking Christians and Jews.
The assault on Paris is merely a precursor of what is to come in the United States because of this administration’s unwillingness to seal the borders – yes, borders – plural – north and south, because the northern border with Canada is just as porous if not more so than the border with Mexico due to the friendly relationship the United States has with Canada. France shut down their borders within hours of these terror strikes – make a note, Mr. Obama, it can be done if the desire is there.
By accepting 65,000 to 100,000 Syrian refugees, Obama would be betraying the people of the United States, putting them in harm’s way because it will be virtually impossible to vet said refugees. The Obama administration said it would employ “vigorous screening checks” to determine the eligibility of these Syrian refugees. However, considering the condition of the Syrian government, it would be foolish to trust any information coming out of Damascus. Whether 65,000 or just 65, the answer must be no, for the safety of the American people is imperative and paramount.
And just what is vetting, if not profiling? Profiling is what is vital regarding the application of any foreign national to gain entrance legally into the United States. It’s high time the strictest of security is engaged. No visas from any Arab/Muslim countries should be processed. No visas from anyone with an Arabic/Muslim surname should be processed. A moratorium on such immigration should be installed for at least a decade.
The United States may be a country of immigrants, but it need not be a suicidal nation surrendering to the basest levels of those wishing to kill us. And if history has taught us anything, they are a patient people. Heed the writing on the walls, people. These are not the immigrants of the late 19th-early 20th Century – those Italian, Greek, Russian, Jewish, Polish, and Hungarian immigrants “yearning to breathe free,” and become contributing members of society – earning an education, learning English, opening a business.
As of Monday, November 16, 23 states’ governors have announced their rejection of future Syrian refugees: from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
"The Governor has always made clear that we must ensure robust refugee screening to protect American citizens, and the Governor believes that the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugees, including those from Syria, is as strong as possible to ensure the safety of the American people," William Hinkle, a spokesman for Governor Maggie Hassan (D-NH), said in a statement. (www.washingtonpost.com)
“I just signed an Executive Order instructing state agencies to take all available steps to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to Louisiana,” tweeted that state’s Governor Bobby Jindal (R).
"Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees — any one of whom could be connected to terrorism — being resettled in Texas," Governor Greg Abbott (R) said in a letter to Obama. (www.washingtonpost.com)
Obama condemned all opposing the influx of Syrian refugees as “shameful…. It’s not American, it’s not who we are.”
Not who we are, Mr. Obama? It sure as hell was who we were months prior to the outbreak of World War II when the Franklin Roosevelt administration denied safe harbor to more than 900 Jews seeking refuge, first in Cuba, then the United States, sailing on the St. Louis from Hamburg, Germany in May 1939. Rejected, first by Cuban President Federico Laredo Bru, followed by Roosevelt, the St. Louis was forced to return to Europe where the passengers would face a then uncertain fate. Roosevelt, considering seeking an unprecedented third term in the White House, allowed the high rate of xenophobia, particularly anti-Semitism to influence his decision to sentence hundreds of Jews to their eventual deaths at the hands of the Nazis.
What’s shameful, Mr. Obama, is that you can unilaterally import refugees, foist them upon unsuspecting Americans in their neighborhoods and states without permission and call that part of our democratic republic. Those calling for the rejection of refugees from our shores due to an inability to properly screen them are doing so in an effort to protect their families, their neighborhoods, their states, and ultimately their country – they would like to remain American.
What’s also shameful is that Obama seems absorbed, almost obsessed with bringing increased numbers of Muslims into the United States instead of furiously working to rid the globe of the scourge of ISIS/ISIL, Muslim extremism, and/or jihad as a whole. Where is Obama’s effort to save the tens of thousands of Christians on the run with no place to home any longer, thanks to the ISIS savagery?
“I’m calling on Barack Obama to temporarily suspend admission of all Syrian refugees into the U.S. immediately,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10th) Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security.
Congress should be able to thwart Obama from acting unilaterally. He should not be able to run the country into the ground via one executive order after another in attempts to circumvent Congress. This is yet another example of Obama overreaching in his constitutionally delegated authority. Congress, via Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution has plenary power over immigration and naturalization. Congress also wields power of the purse and should deny funding any attempt to import these refugees. Quite frankly, those males 18-50 should be returned home to fight for the survival of their country, not the destruction of ours.
Please contact Congressman McCaul and declare your support for protecting the safety of the United States and all who legally reside within her borders. Politely express your opposition to bringing Syrian refugees to the United States during these troubling times. Call his Washington, DC office at 202-225-2401.
Also, call your own representative to politely express your concern about this issue. The number for the main House switchboard is 202-224-3121.
The future of our great nation is at stake, currently in grave peril. It is up to we the people to speak out for the salvation of the nation and for the last great hope for world civilization.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
First Amendment under Fire on Campus
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 12, 2015
The cost of college is so expensive even speech is no longer free. More and more students on college campuses across the United States are actually willingly seeking a limitation or even a curtailment of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Let’s take a look at what the clearly uneducated masses are willing to surrender under the guise of eliminating not just hate speech, but hurt speech.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (United States Constitution)
Students from the East Coast bastion of Ivy League liberalism at Yale University to the Left Coast bastion of California liberalism at Claremont McKenna College to the heartland and the University of Missouri and points in between are making ludicrous demands of their so-called institutions of higher learning and the alleged adults in the room are folding like a bad poker hand.
Discourse on campus used to be welcomed. Students were free to speak their minds, debate, argue, even shout a little without fear of retribution, censorship, or even expulsion or the risk of being fired if a campus employee.
One of my fond experiences at the liberal University of Maryland was to sit outside my dorm room and discuss history, politics, the issues of the day, as well as the upcoming presidential election until the wee hours with my next door neighbor. Me – white, he – black; me – Jewish, he – a Christian; me – conservative, he – not so much. We agreed on little, but we respected one another because we could have an intelligent conversation, and yes even argue, but come away shaking hands and even have lunch the next day. Disagreement does not equal disrespect.
But my experience on the College Park, MD campus was not all wine and roses. I encountered first hand anti-Semitism, but I did not demand the firing of the university president. It was certainly unpleasant to be sure, and even a bit traumatic, but it didn’t destroy me like a newspaper in the rain.
Today’s college students, by and large, and most certainly the liberal, progressive, socialist, secular students are incapable of tolerance. To them, if you do not kow-tow to their far left beliefs, you should be sent to reeducation camp, banished from the campus, and be labeled an intolerant hater. It is perfectly alright for them to be the hater because they have right on their side, he writes dripping with sarcasm. Today’s students demand safe zones, whatever the hell those are. To me a safe zone should be the entirety of the campus – safe for all to reside, study, work, play, and yes, debate and argue about issues knowing that some feelings may get hurt.
There is no constitutional protection against hurt feelings – that’s called the freedom of speech. The answer to bad or hate speech is not squelching speech, but inviting more speech. This generation of crybabies on campus wants no speech contrary to their own. Anything of a hurtful or disagreeable nature calls for protests and petitions for firing university presidents. Just wait until they are expectorated from that cocoon they call home on campus and enter the cold, hard reality of the ugly world.
Make no mistake; I am not calling for the end of protests and petitions. I live for a good protest and have written more than my fair share of petitions from junior high through graduate school. While peaceful protests are protected by the First Amendment, so too is stupidity. Stupid speech or disagreeable speech or even hurtful speech is also protected by the First Amendment. The notion of free speech zones on a campus that should be a wealth of ideas and discussion smacks of Orwell’s 1984. The entirety of the campus should be a free speech zone.
The idea that a so-called instructor of journalism at the University of Missouri would attempt to deny a student photographer his First Amendment right to conduct his duties is reprehensible. But that is exactly what Melissa Click, Ph. D. (U-Mass.) did to Tim Tai in her attempt to suppress the press. Tai behaved professionally in his constitutionally protected attempts to complete his photo-journalism assignment, while Click behaved like a rabid dog screaming for Tai to leave the site of a protest on the Columbia, MO campus. At one point, Click called for “muscle” to eliminate the problem.
According to the New York Times Click has stepped down from her post as an assistant professor at the School of Journalism. This marks the third resignation this week from Missouri. University President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin have already tendered their resignations under pressure by a mob of students citing insufficient response to alleged racism on campus. Those resignations will solve little and if there is a spate of racism on campus, which must be addressed, it is the hearts and minds of the perpetrators that require changing, not the heads of the university.
The possible racism is the impetus of the protests, a hunger strike by graduate student Jonathan Butler, as well as a potential strike by roughly 30 football players of this weekend’s game against BYU.
Wolfe and Loftin folded like a pair of cheap suits. They should have called the bluff of those football players. Not all the players were part of this plan and the team could have suited up enough players to field a team. If Missouri had to forfeit, costing the university one million dollars, that money should come from the striking players’ scholarships. Those players should be suspended for the duration of the season and tryouts should be held for walk-ons for the remaining three games. Shame on Wolfe and Loftin for caving to mob demands. If anyone should be out of job it should be head football coach Gary Pinkel for not reining in his players. The inmates are now running the asylum.
Missouri is not the only campus where chaos is reigning supreme. In California at Claremont McKenna College Dean of Students Mary Spellman resigned following student protests demanding more programming for black, gay, disabled, and low-income students. No explanation as to why Spellman felt she had to fall on some imaginary sword, when meeting with students could have solved their problems. Yet another sign of weakness, which actually solves nothing. Spellman is out of a job and the students’ demands have not been met or even heard. Now a new dean of students must be named, given time to settle in, adjust to the culture of the campus or to the job if not new to the campus before even tackling the concerns of the students, which could be long into the spring 2016 semester.
Additionally, on the CMC campus junior class President Kris Brackmann unnecessarily resigned having appeared in a photo with others who were clad in Mexican-themed Halloween costumes – replete with sombreros, ponchos, and moustaches. Is Brackmann, who did not don the so-called offensive costume, responsible for the choices of her friends? In her resignation, Brackmann wrote that she hopes to foster a “safe environment for everyone.” Who was made unsafe by those costumes? Who was threatened? Are people so innately weak and thin-skinned that the mere sight of a cultural Halloween costume is the cause of consternation? If so, those students have bigger problems. The real world will chew them up and spit them out like rubbery calamari.
Halloween costumes are also the source of animus and over-emphasized hysteria at Yale. The university produced costume guidelines for the students on campus. Since when does a university enforce a costume dress code? Are the campus denizens not adults?
Enter Nicholas and Erika Christakis. The couple lives on the New Haven campus presiding over an undergraduate college via resident life. Erika is also a lecturer in early childhood education, which is ironic, as she composed an e-mail that students are adults, should have the freedom of costume choice and the university’s guidelines were unnecessary.
Students were apoplectic, calling for the resignations of the Christakises because of the e-mail Erika dispatched. Have students surrendered their ability to think for themselves? Apparently they actually want the university to thrust a costume dress code upon them for fear of possibly offending someone with a potentially insensitive costume choice for the evening. And for this perceived slight, Nicholas and Erika Christakis should stand in the unemployment line?
Not only should Yale students not have the power to choose their own Halloween costumes, but the concept of free speech on campus is too much for them to handle as well. A conference to be held on the subject of free speech was disrupted by liberals or fascists – either way, students opposed to the First Amendment. Not only did those rambunctious students stop the free speech event, their unruliness included spitting on the participants and attendees.
Also under fire is Carol Swain, Ph. D. (U-North Carolina) a professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University and a conservative Christian. A petition, composed by a student never having studied under Swain, and signed by more than 1,500 people, has at its core, a virtual non-issue. Swain posts materials to “Christian Conservatives” on-line. The petition, in part, says “…it is generally unprofessional to attach your job title to a channel promoting your personally held beliefs.”
This, clearly, is much ado about nothing, as professionals appearing on public programming have their name and title posted. Apparently the petitioners seeking, initially Swain’s dismissal, now “merely” her suspension, have an axe to grind because she is a conservative and a Christian. Swain, who is black, is also accused of hating minorities. Those seeking Swain’s ouster have an agenda that in no way supports diversity of speech or thought. Nor do they support diversity in terms of gender or race as the pecking order apparently does not include Swain being black and female when Christian and conservative trump the former. Hypocrisy coupled with political correctness is a dangerous combination.
So politically correct have the university campuses become, that any speech can be designated hurt speech – the new nonsense. G-d forbid nothing objectionable should pass through ears and into the empty heads of the precious flowers marching through campus in lockstep demanding the firing of anyone who dare utter something with which they disagree.
In 1783 George Washington wrote, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” The knives are sharpening, America.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Feds Give Bio-Boy Access to Girls’ Showers
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 4, 2015
Friends, if ever there was a time for collective, universal moral outrage at the federal government and the Obama administration, the time is most definitely now.
Under the guise of equal rights, the federal government – the Obama administration – has declared war on school girls in every public school in these United States. The Obama administration has stripped female public school attendees of their privacy, of their rights, of their dignity, and of their safety.
The federal government has once again overreached in its authoritarian and zealous decision to grant one singular transgender student in Illinois the right to use all female facilities – bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers simply because he, yes, he – this student is a biological male – G-d gave him a penis – felt singled out when given more than adequate accommodations by his school. Accommodations also allow the bio-boy to participate on girls’ sports teams.
There is no Constitutional right to not be uncomfortable. Yet the ACLU, suing on behalf of the bio-boy, and the Obama administration determined that a separate and private set of facilities provided to him was unacceptable. To force the entire female student body to accept this decision is not just lunacy, but a form of child abuse.
This decision, handed down by the Federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and specifically by Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, obviously had Obama’s blessing. It affects, for now, Township High School District 211 in Palatine, IL, a village in Cook County, northwest of Chicago with a population of roughly 70,000.
The unprecedented calamitous decision affects not only this particular school district because it flings open a Pandora’s Box that will render female students unsafe and unprotected. With such a decision, what is to prevent hundreds or thousands of public school male students to suddenly decide they “identify” as female, for the sole purpose of invading the privacy of girls’ locker rooms and showers gawking where they do not belong? Further, what protection does this one student have off campus should the boyfriends of his female classmates take out their anger in a physically brutal manner?
This is the further degradation of the public school system in the United States; the continued breakdown of the federal government’s lack of knowledge and understanding of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment; as well as the complete destruction of the moral fiber established by those who adhere to Judeo-Christian values.
In the ever coarsening of American society, Nero is fiddling and the nation as a whole is most certainly burning. In Washington, a football coach is relieved of his duties for praying at midfield following games. In California, motor-voter legislation, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, now endows illegals with the right to vote. These illegals already have the right to obtain drivers’ licenses; now the linkage to voter registration grants them access to the ballot box. Additionally there are hundreds of sanctuary cities across the national landscape flaunting their protections of millions of illegals without penalty from the federal government.
This is the same federal government threatening to revoke federal funding from Township High School 211 should it not comply with its decision within 30 days. Call the fed’s bluff Superintendent Daniel Cates. It’s time Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) steps up, calls for emergency funding for the Township High School 211 school district covering the remainder of the 2015-16 school year. Will the federal government effectively shut down an entire public school district due to the demands of one student who was already given ample accommodations? But we all know this was not about accommodations. The student creating this firestorm simply sought to make a political statement. That statement should be squelched, not honored or placated. The school district bent over backwards to accommodate the student; he should have accepted yes for an answer.
Between now and the inauguration of the 2016-17 school year, move to turn the school into a charter school and seek private/corporate funding. (If I had the money I would sponsor it myself, move to Illinois and run the school in a manner that respects majority rule and minority rights. Why does the comfort of one student supersede that of the majority?)
There is no end in sight as the federal government continues to raze the moral foundation upon which this once great nation was built. But what’s equally disturbing is the lessening outrage amongst the rank and file. Far too many Americans throw their hands in the air conceding defeat and surrendering because “there’s nothing we can do.” As government grows larger and tightens the noose around the necks of we the people, it is time for a moral revolution in America.
Every parent in this school district should pull their children from this school immediately. It’s time the disaffected students and parents speak back – en masse. I challenge one parent or female student from this school to contact me that supports this deleterious decision by the Obama administration. Just one parent who will say he or she is OK with a biological male sharing a shower with his or her daughter; just one female student who is OK showering with a bio-boy.
It’s time to stop the madness and take back our country. Get off the sidelines and into the game – a game we the people can ill afford to lose. The future of our civilization hangs in the balance. May G-d Bless and save the Union.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Principal Whitewashes School Election
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 22, 2015
For the students at Everett Middle School in San Francisco dictatorship and political correctness is a first-hand experience and a way of life thanks to their principal Lena Van Haren.
The dictatorial Van Haren unilaterally withheld the student government election results because, according to her, not enough minority students were elected. “It’s not okay for a school that is really, really diverse to have the student representatives majority white,” said Van Haren.
Incredulously, Van Haren actually acknowledges this politically correct nonsense is acceptable and appropriate to inculcate unsuspecting children and brainwash them into believing that their own thought processes and free will decisions are unacceptable.
Certainly the parents do not agree with Van Haren as they have expressed their outrage at the principal’s withholding the election results for more than a week. “The easy thing would have been to announce the results and move on. I intentionally did not choose the easy way because this is so important,” said Van Haren.
What is so important, Ms. Van Haren? Shunning the voices of the students who voted on their own without scandal or fraud? Dismissing the free will decisions made by thinking students neither under duress or intimidation? Why is it wrong for black and Latino students to vote for white students, Ms. Van Haren? What is your agenda? To keep students divided among racial and ethnic lines? This is typical of the liberal and progressive agenda to foster further use of hyphenated names – African-American, Asian-American, Latino-American, etc.
What this exercise should teach the students is that the hard work implemented by the candidates for the student government was ignored by the principal – one person – simply because she – one person – did not approve of the results. The students are learning the evils of political correctness and the lack of rule of law as their student government elections can be compared to that of elections in Cuba, Iran, and Russia – not the United States.
Van Haren wrote a letter to the parents outlining how to have a more representative government – in other words, how to skew results to elect more minorities that the principal approves of because she does not believe in the republican democracy upon which this country was founded. Van Haren clearly believes in diversity instead of the free will of the student body – the voice of one over the voices of the many.
“I feel it is disrespectful to all the people who were running. The whole school voted for these people, so it is not like people rigged the game, but in a way – now it is kind of being rigged,” said Sebastian Kaplan, a seventh-grade student who spoke with KRON-TV. Even a middle school student understands what his principal did was unprincipled.
Apparently the color of the skin is more important to Van Haren than the content of the character of her students. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. would be more than just a little disappointed.
It is ironic that the Everett school district called this electoral debacle a “learning opportunity.” Ironic because it is the principal Lena Van Haren who needs the education in the American electoral system. The fact that she diminished this example of political correctness by noting this was a middle school election and not one for president is demonstrative of her ignorance of the importance of teaching the children what is right, not what is right in her progressive world of election fixing at any level. Van Haren owes her students and their parents both an apology and a return to classical education, something American public schools have seem to have long since abandoned.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Friday, October 9, 2015
Dr. Carson Takes a Shot at Gun Control
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 9, 2015
Playing the Holocaust card is always risky – even more so when coupled with an issue as overly divisive as guns and gun control – precisely what Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Benjamin Carson did with recent comments.
Proving the liberal media’s double standard, Carson’s comments following the slaughter on the campus of Umpqua Community College near Roseburg, OR on October 1 was lambasted, while those of Barack Obama were applauded. Obama, on the day of the Oregon tragedy, before the deceased were even identified, called, as per his usual, for increased gun control legislation and vowed to visit the campus. When one criticism was actually offered, that Obama was politicizing the catastrophe, he definitively said that he was and would continue to do so.
Main stream liberal media supported Obama, yet castigated Carson who said if he had been on the Oregon campus he would have rushed the shooter, noting that the shooter would not be able to kill everybody and that many lives could have been saved. The fact that the Umpqua campus along with so many others are considered “Gun Free Zones,” makes all people attending, working, and visiting these colleges sitting ducks, opined Carson, an opinion supported by many. Apparently the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is superseded by university rules – and public schools at that, for the most part.
But perhaps what others have considered more incendiary remarks from Carson concern the Holocaust of European Jewry that saw six million Jews systematically murdered by the dictatorial Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler during World War II.
Carson’s comments were not the result of the shooting on the Umpqua campus, but long before, in print in his latest book, A More Perfect Union. In his tome Carson writes that “through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”
In a recent interview with CNN, Carson was asked to clarify his thoughts on equating gun control laws with the slaughter of six million Jews.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you, there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first,” said Carson.
Carson’s invocation of the Holocaust was not meant to be salacious, but to make a point about gun control – a correct point, that gun control is about government control of the people.
Carson’s view on the history is somewhat simplistic – it was not as black and white a picture as he attempts to paint. The Weimar Republic that preceded Hitler had instituted gun registration laws, upon which Hitler, when taking office, capitalized on that legislation to strip Jews and other so-called enemies of the state of their firearms. Additionally, the age in which people lived in the pre-World War II era – the reparations following World War I which influenced Hitler’s thought process, as well as the abject poverty due to the economic depression that followed, gave birth to a climate making Hitler’s rise to power possible, and to some, necessary.
But just as important was the ability to capture the hearts and minds of the German population – 60 million strong. “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach,” wrote Hitler. (Of course had 21st Century technology and 24-hour news cycles existed in the 1930s, Hitler would have unlikely approached the genocide for which he was responsible.)
Hitler appealed to the low hanging fruit, understanding that to rile up the mostly anti-Semitic, or at the very least ambivalent masses, would garner him support to sign the Gun Control Act in 1938 prohibiting Jews from working in the firearms industry as well as surrendering what firearms they initially owned. Thanks to the gun registration laws of the Weimar days, the police/Gestapo had records of Jewish gun owners. Jews had heretofore already been banned from receiving gun permits.
There is support that Carson’s suggestion regarding gun control making it easier for Hitler to follow through on his heinous machinations has merit.
Yet, Carson was criticized by Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. Greenblatt called Carson’s suggestion “that Hitler’s gun control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate…. The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”
I think that last statement by Greenblatt actually supports Carson’s assertion about gun control affecting the ability of the small Jewish population of Germany to defend itself and at least diminish the effects of the Nazi regime.
Consider the evidence of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Here, a couple of small bands of Jews staved off the Nazis from liquidating the Warsaw Ghetto, not for the three days the Nazis expected the task to take, but for a month. From April 19, the eve of Passover, until May 16, 1943, these rag-tag undermanned and certainly under armed Jews fought the Nazis until they simply could not fight any longer as building after building was razed. And while the Warsaw Ghetto was reduced to ash and rubble and its inhabitants ultimately deported to death camps or murdered on the spot, firearms kept the Jews alive for as long as they did. Gun control would have seen the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto sooner rather than later.
In the United States the Second Amendment to the Constitution is to protect the people from the government, not the converse. “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” So wrote Thomas Jefferson.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.