Sunday, July 5, 2020

"From Every Community"?

“From Every Community”?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 5, 2020

On Independence Day President Donald Trump announced the creation of the national Garden of American Heroes during his speech from the White House. This announcement was met with applause which grew as Trump read the list of the first 30 men and women to be bestowed with such an honor.

“I signed an executive order to create... the national Garden of American Heroes... a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans who have ever lived. We will honor extraordinary citizens from every community, and from every place and from every part of our nation. Great men and great women, people that we can look up to forever. Families will be able to walk among the statues of titans, and we have already selected the first 30 legacies and 30 legends.”

John Adams Douglas MacArthur
Susan B. Anthony Dolley Madison
Clara Barton James Madison
Daniel Boone                                      Christa McAuliffe
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Audie Murphy
Henry Clay George S. Patton, Jr.
Davy Crockett                                     Ronald Reagan
Frederick Douglass Jackie Robinson
Amelia Earhart Betsy Ross
Benjamin Franklin Antonin Scalia
Billy Graham Harriet Beecher Stowe
Alexander Hamilton                             Harriet Tubman
Thomas Jefferson Booker T. Washington
Martin Luther King, Jr. George Washington
Abraham Lincoln Orville and Wilbur Wright

While all of the above 31 men and women are worthy (apparently the Wright Brothers are an entity and not individuals to the president), President Trump did say “...from EVERY community…” As such, here are 18 candidates from the Jewish community for the president to consider.

LOUIS BRANDEIS (11/13/1856 - 10/05/1941)
Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson, Brandeis was the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice (1916-39); the namesake of Brandeis University (1948); known as the “people’s lawyer,” for defending such issues as a maximum number of hours a person could work and a minimum wage; also an ardent Zionist from 1912 forward

ALBERT EINSTEIN (03/14/1879 - 04/18/1955)
Earned the Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect (1921); considered the most influential physicist of the 20th Century; developed the Theory of Relativity; introduced the science of Cosmology; gained US citizenship in 1940; encouraged President Franklin Roosevelt to pursue a nuclear bomb; declined offer to serve as President of Israel (1952) although he supported Zionism

FELIX FRANKFURTER (11/15/1882 - 02/22/1965)
Only naturalized American citizen (born in Vienna) to serve on the Supreme Court (1939-62); leading jurist supporting the doctrine of judicial self-restraint - adhering closely to precedent; helped found the American Civil Liberties Union (1920); awarded the Medal of Freedom (1963); considered himself a Zionist

MILTON FRIEDMAN (07/31/1912 - 11/16/2006)
Earned Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (1976) for his research on income and consumption as well as his developments in monetary theory; his theory of Monetarism focused on the importance of money supply affecting price levels; strong believer in free-market capitalism, free trade, smaller government; strong supporter of US entry into World War II; most influential economist in the second half of the 20th Century

RABBI ALEXANDER D. GOODE (05/10/1911 - 02/03/1943)
Chaplain/Lieutenant in the United States Army during World War II; one of four military chaplains to give their lives to save American troops during the sinking of the troop transport Dorchester; PhD. from Johns Hopkins (1940); served from July 21, 1942 until the sinking of the Dorchester by a German U-boat; posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross

HENRY BENJAMIN “HANK” GREENBERG (01/01/1911 - 09/04/1986)
Major League Baseball’s first Jewish superstar - nicknamed the “Hebrew Hammer;” American League MVP 1935, 1940; Hall of Fame inductee 1956; often dealt with anti-Semitism in Detroit playing for the Tigers and on the road, but earned respect the league over for his decision not to play on Yom Kippur in 1934 - the holiest day on the Jewish calendar; served two tours of duty in the Army during World War II - the first ending two days before the December 7, 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor - two days later he reenlisted, serving in the Army Air Corps through June 1945 - 47 months, the longest tenure of any player - returning to baseball and hitting a home run on July 1

EMMA LAZARUS (07/22/1849 - 11/19/1887)
Poet of the famed The New Colossus (1883) - adorned to the Statue of Liberty (1903) “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…;” mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson; published more than 50 poems, a book of poetry, and a novel; critiqued contemporary literature; spoke out in favor of a Jewish homeland, and against European anti-Semitism

LEWIS CHARLES LEVIN (11/10/1808 - 03/14/1860)
First Jewish member elected to the House of Representatives - served three terms (1845-51) representing Pennsylvania’s First District; earned law degree from South Carolina College, now University of South Carolina (1828); founded the American Republic Party (1842); called for the election of only native born Americans to all public offices; editor of the Philadelphia Daily Sun

URIAH P. LEVY (04/22/1792 - 03/26/1862)
Veteran of the War of 1812; first Jewish Commodore of the United States Navy; third owner of Monticello following Thomas Jefferson’s death and funded the repairs so desperately needed; advocated ending corporal punishment in the Navy - ultimately abolished by Congress in 1850; namesake of the USS Levy (1943); Jewish chapels at Norfolk, VA Naval Station and United States Naval Academy in Annapolis named for Levy; a statue of Jefferson in the Capitol Rotunda was commissioned by Levy

J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER (04/22/1904 - 02/18/1967)
Theoretical physicist known as the “father of the atomic bomb;” director of the Los Alamos Laboratory researching and developing the first nuclear weapon - the Manhattan Project (1942-45); he and Einstein were concerned the Nazis would develop a nuclear weapon first; after seeing the results of the bomb’s use, Oppenheimer resigned from his position; chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission; won the Enrico Fermi Award (1963); opposed development of the hydrogen bomb - the work of Edward Teller - also Jewish; professor at UC-Berkeley and Cal-Tech

DANIEL PEARL (10/10/1963 - 02/01/2002)
Wall Street Journal journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief; kidnapped and beheaded in Karachi, Pakistan by al-Qaeda terrorists; kidnapped while conducting journalistic investigations into relationship between British terrorist Richard Reid and al-Qaeda; BA communications from Stanford; At Home in the World, a collection of Pearl’s writings was published posthumously in 2002; his last words included “my father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel.”

AYN RAND - born ALISSA ZINOVIEVNA ROSENBAUM  (02/02/1905 - 03/06/1982)
Author of novels promoting the theories of individualism and laissez-faire capitalism - popular among conservative and libertarian readers - The Fountainhead (1943), Atlas Shrugged (1957); early influence - seeing her father’s pharmacy business confiscated by the communists following the Russian Revolution of 1917; her personal philosophy was objectivism - man as a heroic being, his own happiness the moral purpose of his life, productive achievement his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute

JUDITH RESNIK (04/05/1949 - 01/28/1986)
First Jewish woman in space (second overall - Sally Ride); electrical engineering at Carnegie- Mellon, MS in engineering at the University of Maryland; biomedical engineer in the neurophysics lab with the National Institutes of Health; PhD in electrical engineering at Maryland (1977); accepted into NASA program (1978) - one of only six women; among the seven who died aboard the space shuttle Challenger (1986)

HYMAN RICKOVER - born CHAIM GODALIA RICKOVER (01/27/1900 - 07/08/1986)
Admiral United States Navy served 1918-82; United States Naval Academy (1922); considered the father of and directed the development of Naval Nuclear Propulsion a.k.a. The Nuclear Navy, first nuclear powered submarine - The Nautilus (1951); MS in electrical engineering at Columbia University; chief of the Naval Reactor Branch, Reactor Development Division of the Atomic Energy Commission (1949); longest service in the Navy of any officer; first person to garner two Congressional Gold Medals; USS Hyman G. Rickover commissioned in 1984

JONAS SALK (10/28/1914 - 06/23/1995)
Creator of the first polio vaccine; one of the leading scientists of the 20th Century; MD from New York University (1939); testing began in 1952 and 1.8 million children received the vaccination during the test period - Salk administered the vaccine to himself and his family in 1953; approved for general use in 1955 and President Dwight D. Eisenhower honored Salk in the Rose Garden at the White House; launched Salk Center for Biological Studies (1963); studied AIDS and HIV later in his career

HAYM SALOMON - born CHAIM SALOMON  (04/07/1740 - 01/06/1785)
Played a major role in financing the American Revolution having immigrated from Poland; arrested twice and accused of being a spy by the British in 1776 and 1778 - the second time sentenced to death but managed to escape; helped overturn Pennsylvania law barring non-Christians from holding elected office; made numerous interest free loans and funded a portion of government debt, ultimately dying penniless

FRANCIS SALVADOR (1747 - 08/01/1776)
London-born Sephardic Jew; elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in 1773, less than a year after arriving in the colonies, even though it was illegal for Jews to vote, let alone serve in elected office; responsible for writing the South Carolina state constitution; chosen to serve in South Carolina’s provincial congress in 1774 and helped right the state’s bill of rights; endorsed independence from England and that Continental soldiers be paid; first Jewish soldier to die fighting in the Revolutionary War

OSCAR S. STRAUS (12/23/1850 - 05/03/1926)
First Jewish cabinet member - Secretary of Commerce and Labor (1906-09) appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt; three-time Emissary to Ottoman Turkey; advisor to President Woodrow Wilson - aiding in the plans for the League of Nations (the United States declined to join); a voice in America for European Jews and their protection from continued pogroms; Columbia Law School (1873)

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

Friday, July 3, 2020

A More Perfect Independence Day

A More Perfect Independence Day
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 3, 2020

In the United States we the people celebrate Independence Day, not the fourth of July. Are you going to wish people a “happy sixth” when returning to work on Monday? On that date 244 years ago the British colonies of America declared its independence from the tyranny of King George III (1738-1820). No more taxation without representation. No more trials without juries.

For all our faults and foibles as a nation constructed of, by, and for mortal human beings, for all our missteps and sins, there are myriad reasons to salute Old Glory, sing the Star Spangled Banner, and rejoice in the greatness that is the United States of America. Such as being the most generous nation on earth. Such as opening our doors, legally, to more people than any other country. Such as the inventions and discoveries made by Americans. Such as the rights afforded people of all races, creeds, colors, and sexual orientation. Such as the freedoms granted by G-d, found in the United States Constitution. Freedoms such as “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” - not the guarantee of happiness - the pursuit of happiness.

We the people should not, must not, pay for the sins of our forefathers. After all, as the giant melting pot that we are, how many millions of Americans jumped into that pot after 1865? No amount of money can ever right that wrong, nor should it be attempted. Who should be paid? By whom? How much? For how long? The resentment will only deepen the already deepening chasm between the races.

Instead, a payment must be made in the guaranteed equal opportunity, not equal outcome, but equal opportunity. Dismantle, and rebuild, from the ground up, the concept of public education that it not be dominated by teachers’ unions and tenure protecting bad teachers. School choice must be permitted for all children, not just those rich enough to afford religious or parochial schools - schools with up to date books, materials, technology, and qualified teachers with proper training able to pass a subject exam every three or five years. More support from school administration, greater parental involvement, and stronger discipline. 

If this sounds like I am asking for the moon, as an experienced educator, I know this is necessary. As citizens across this great nation, we know what the alternative looks like. It always starts with education, and not from the first day of preschool or kindergarten, but in the home. If those at home can’t provide some semblance of education during those all important pre-K years, that is where social services should play a role. These programs should be funded by eliminating the pork-laden overspending by the legislatures designed to kiss the collective tuchuses of the voters. This is where less is more. 

This is the reparation due to the socio-economically disadvantaged. Education is always the key. It leads to greater competition. It leads to better, higher paying jobs, which leads to greater freedom and independence. Free from government dependence on welfare, failing schools, and/or a failing prison system which is far from rehabilitating. 

Independence Day is more than fireworks, bar-b-cues, and yes, even baseball, which sadly this year will not be played on Independence Day 2020. On April 15, 1947 Major League Baseball righted a wrong when Jackie Robinson (1919-72) stepped onto Ebbets Field as part of the home team Brooklyn Dodgers. Read the Declaration of Independence - as a family, if possible. Celebrate the men and women in uniform, who gave us, and continue to give us, the freedoms we cherish. In 1948 President Harry Truman (1884-1972) righted a wrong by desegregating the branches of the military. Truman should be celebrated for that, as well as, in the same year, being the first world leader to recognize the State of Israel as a new member of the world of nations. Some would say Truman should be shunned by 2020 standards because he uttered racial epithets about blacks and Jews, yet those people would be wrong for not understanding the context of the period of history these events occurred. History does not exist in a vacuum - it evolves over time and the progress thereof should, must, be recognized and celebrated.

A more perfect union. Amendments 13, 14, and 15 certainly righted some wrongs - ending slavery, naturalizing former slaves as American citizens, and granting those new citizens - male, age 21 and older, the right to vote in 1865, 1868, and 1870 respectively. And the 19th Amendment righted a wrong in 1920, finally granting women the right to vote during the Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) administration - just in time for that November’s presidential election.

There are those who are calling for the vilification of Wilson because the native Virginian was a racist. Princeton University, where Wilson served as president from 1902-10, and his alma mater (1879), officially decided last week to remove his name from the School of Public and International affairs as well as one of its residential colleges. Yet Wilson should be remembered for leading the United States to victory in World War I. He should also be remembered for appointing the first Jewish justice to the United States Supreme Court - Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), in 1916.

No one is perfect. No place is perfect - that’s Utopia, and that never existed, save for the fertile mind of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) whose book was published in 1516. Not even the Garden of Eden. Should statues of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1919-68) be torn down and streets in his honor renamed because he was a philanderer and a plagiarist? Should the monument to Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) be removed from its secluded location in Washington, DC because he interned 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II? More than 60 percent were American citizens. (OK, I think it should. The only good thing to come from FDR was FDIC.)

“He that is without sin... let him cast the first stone…” (John 8:7).

We don’t have a purity test in the United States - if so, the failure rate would be 100 percent. We no more take down the statues, monuments, or memorials of a Dr. King or an FDR than we do of a George Washington (1732-99; General winning the Revolutionary War and First President), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826; Declaration of Independence and Louisiana Purchase), Andrew Jackson (1767-1845; winning the Battle of New Orleans capping the War of 1812 to preserve the Union), or Abraham Lincoln (1809-65; credited with freeing the slaves). We remember them for their body of work - their entire body of work. We honor them for the good they did for society, civilization, and/or humanity.

Happy Independence Day to all freedom loving Americans.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Monumental Criminal Stupidity

Monumental Criminal Stupidity
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 24, 2020

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” - attributed to George Santayana (1863-1952)

The United States of America is devolving and degenerating into an us versus them society losing sight of what civilized society used to be. The politically correct are no longer progressive enough. The cancel culture does not seem progressive enough anymore either. Humanity is teetering on the brink.

It is not hyperbole to say that we the people are on the precipice of the end of days of decent, moral, respectable, honorable, and peaceful existence and coexistence. While America is burning all around us, what’s left of the conservative structure is fiddling at best, cowering in a corner at worst. They refuse to speak out against the atrocities being perpetrated by the progressive, anarchistic mob - the unholy alliance of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Sadly, decent society is counting on the conservatives to be the adults in the room.

Indoctrinated since kindergarten and indelibly rooted in socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-democracy, anti-law and order, and anti-American radical beliefs, civilization is staggering toward the great egress of reality.

I recently had a conversation with the college-age child of friends. Raised in a conservative, upper-middle class home and attending a large state university in the Midwest, this collegian defends the destruction of government, public, and even private property in the name of so-called justice. This 20-year-old calls these acts of perversion part of a revolution. 

The destruction of American monuments and statues, the assault on our houses of worship, via graffiti and other vandalism are crimes being committed by the uneducated mobs continuing on an increasingly brazen level. Anyone involved with these actions is now a criminal, should be arrested, charged with vandalism, destruction of public or private property, be made to make financial restitution, pay a fine on top of the restitution, and have a permanent criminal record following them from college applications to job applications. These criminals should also be part of the physical restoration of these structures. These domestic terrorists are following in the footsteps of ISIS with the destruction of our American antiquities. They simply hate the United States and are seeking its destruction, “by any means necessary.”

These criminal revolutionaries believe that the United States is inherently evil with no room for redemption and needs to be destroyed from within.

In a speech given in Springfield, IL, on January 27, 1838, Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) said “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

That which Lincoln said is the direction of these United States - the downward spiral of a civilization that has lasted nearly 250 years - the average length of a civilization.

There is no legitimate reason for the statues of American patriots to be vandalized, defaced, or torn down. They built this country giving us a foundation from which to build - to form “a more perfect union.” Warts and all, the good, the bad, and the ugly, what present day so-called American revolutionaries are trying to destroy, millions of people the world over are desperately trying to acquire. People living in 2020 cannot judge those who lived in 1920, 1865, or 1776 by the present day morees. 

Women were finally granted the right to vote in August of 1920. How many statues did the Suffragettes deface or tear down? How many businesses did they loot? Abolitionists worked day and night to help free slaves. How much property did abolitionists destroy? In fact, they knew that slaves should not be considered as property and some even died in the attempts to liberate such “property.”

Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution ruled that slaves counted for three-fifths of a person for representation purposes, even though slaves could neither vote, nor were even considered people. A more perfect union. Amendments 13, 14, and 15 resolved that disgrace following the War Between the States. 

The 13th Amendment abolished slavery. The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to freed slaves. The 15th Amendment granted that voting rights would not be denied based upon race.

Peaceful protests, sans mob violence, should be supported by all - yes all, regardless of message. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” said Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1866-1956), a British writer. That is the beauty of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Protesters would garner more support from people heretofore opposed to the message because of the violence attached to it.

The child of my friends said the violence and destruction of property is designed to get people to listen. This young person said the crimes of vandalism, graffiti, and arson should go unpunished because they should not even be considered crimes in the first place. These monuments and statues are marked for destruction because they offend those who are willfully destroying public property. Should everyone have free reign to destroy what offends them? 

As a lifelong New York Mets fan, should I have the right to desecrate the statue of  Baltimore native George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1895-1948) standing outside of Oriole Park at Camden Yards simply because he played for the hated New York Yankees? Perhaps the revolutionaries would endorse such a crime because Ruth played Major League Baseball at a time when black players were still barred from playing in the majors. On the other hand, would it be permissible to destroy the statue of Henry “Hank” Aaron (1934- ) in Atlanta by a Yankees fan as Aaron broke Ruth’s then all-time home run record? Where does it end? When no more statues are left standing? And when there are no more statues remaining to be attacked, what will be the next target of the ochlocracy? The artworks in galleries and museums? The books in bookstores and libraries? Buildings on college campuses because the schools admissions’ committees denied people entry into those schools?

The now no longer shocking scenes of violence and depravity are a stronger visual than the audible words of protesters. From the journalistic mantra, “if it bleeds, it leads,” videos run viral before the first words are heard. Violence will only beget more of the same while the message will get lost in the shuffle. If any listening is being done, it is being done out of fear. The houses of worship and businesses with signs of Black Lives Matter seem to be akin to the lambs' blood upon the doorposts of the ancient Hebrews before the liberation in Egypt - the Passover. They believe those signs will protect them from attacks from Black Lives Matter. Time will tell if that will work.

If there is any listening to be done, it must be done by these radicals who will only succeed in creating a deeper chasm between the revolutionaries and supporters of the rule of law. Clearly their knowledge of history is absent real facts and details. More American history must be required for graduation from every American high school as well as college and university. I have a number of years of classroom instruction from grade six through the college level so I know what history curriculum looks like. It’s disgraceful. History can’t be whitewashed. They may have their own opinions, but they cannot have their own facts.

A group of students is demanding, among other things, that the statue of William Marsh Rice (1816-1900) be removed from, of all places, Rice University - the school he founded in 1891. Rice owned 15 slaves and founded the school for white students of Houston. Rice University opened its doors in 1912. The first black students were admitted in 1965, and 55 years later roughly 10 percent of the student body consists of black students. That is progress, considering the black population in the United States is about 13 percent according to the last census. This is an insane request. Even the child of my friends recognized that. The same demand has also come from students at Yale in New Haven, CT regarding a statue of its founder. Elihu Yale (1649-1721) was involved in the slave trade. The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal writer of the Declaration of Independence, first Secretary of State, second Vice President, third President of the United States, and yes, a slave holder. Students on the Charlottesville campus are also calling for the removal of his statue. How many of its students are transferring in order to stay consistent with their principles?

Do your homework before you choose a school. If you don’t like the background of the founder, pick another school. It would seem those students objecting to Rice, Yale, and Virginia on racial principles should have no trouble gaining admission to virtually any other school with a founder of pristine background. How about George Washington University, founded in 1821? Oh, no - Washington (1732-99), the general responsible for leading the American Colonies to victory in the Revolutionary War over England, and served as the first President of the new United States, owned slaves. Yet he ordered the slaves freed upon the death of his wife Martha (1731-1802). Such the conundrum. Should the name of the capital city of the United States be changed? What about the 42nd state of the nation, entering the union in 1889? Apparently a group of criminal vandals in Portland, OR think so, as they wrapped a statue of Washington in an American flag and set it ablaze. In his myopic obtuseness, Democrat Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo (1957- ) called these various criminal activities “a healthy expression.” How healthy would that expression be if the miscreants vandalized the governor’s mansion in Albany?

These principled students will certainly want to avoid James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, founded in 1908. Although Madison (1751-1836) was a co-author of The Federalist Papers, wrote the Bill of Rights,  served as the fifth Secretary of State, and fourth President, he too owned slaves. Then there’s the prestigious Georgetown University, founded in 1789 by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore (1735-1815). That’s out, as he too owned slaves. If everything founded, built, or created more than 10 minutes ago were to be destroyed, what would be left of the nation after the scorched earth cools?

History cannot, should not, must not be erased. 

Brown University became the first university to confront its link to slavery in a major way. In 2003, Brown president Ruth Simmons appointed a commission to investigate. “What better way to teach our students about ethical conduct than to show ourselves to be open to the truth, and to tell the full story?” she said.

Are the progressive anarchists in Seattle and the newly formed, soon to be dismantled CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, 2020-2020), going to move out of the State of Washington in an effort to remain true to their so-called principles? Sadly, a 19-year-old was shot and killed on Saturday, June 20 within the confines of CHOP, and two more shootings - one each on June 22 and 23, prompting the feckless Democrat Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan (1958- ) to call for the axing of CHOP. This is just about two weeks after singing its praises, suggesting it might be another “summer of love.” The love sure waned quickly. After that announcement came another, that Durkan cut $20 million (five percent) of the Seattle police budget - most of which to come from its training division. Isn’t that the part of the police the anarchists are willing to live with? Training new police in their own progressive image? But don’t look for that information on CNN or MSNBC, as that news does not fit its progressive narrative - their networks only run selective facts.

One area where I agree with the protesters concerns Confederate statues, flags, and named military bases. They all should come down and/or be renamed. Why, in the United States of America are bastions of the Confederacy being honored? They were the enemy! Put the statues and flags in  museums - do not relegate them to the dustbin of history. The more than 640,000 who died in the War Between the States must not have died in vain. Otherwise, how will students learn from the past, learn not repeat the ugly parts of the past, and also how will they see the evidence of the progress that has been made in the United States. In order to know where the country is headed, it is vital to understand where the country stood in the past and where it is standing now. 

While these changes are purely cosmetic, and for those who want them it is certainly understandable, they will not better educate anyone, won’t feed anyone, won’t employ anyone, won’t even end bigotry or racism. The United States should no more honor Jefferson Davis (1808-89) than Israel should honor Hitler (1889-1945) as they were the enemies of the United States and the Jewish people respectively. And although part of Reconstruction called for the repatriation of the former confederates, and the grave sites of their dead should not be disturbed, they were still enemies of the United States.

Any Confederate statues in the Capitol building should be replaced by the states they are honoring. Put a vote before the citizens of those states to determine with whom the current statues should be replaced. Do likewise with the names of the 10 military bases named for Confederate leaders.

The 10 military bases named for Confederate generals are:

Camp Beauregard (LA) - Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard (1818-93)
Fort Benning (GA) - Henry Benning (1814-75)
Fort Bragg (NC) - Braxton Bragg (1817-76)
Fort Gordon (GA) - John  Brown Gordon (1832-1904)
Fort A. P. Hill (VA) - Ambrose Powell Hill, Jr. (1825-65)
Fort Hood (TX) - John Bell Hood (1831-79)
Fort Lee (VA) - Robert E. Lee (1807-70)
Fort Pickett (VA) - George Pickett (1825-75)
Fort Polk (LA) - Leonidas Polk (1806-64)
Fort Rucker (AL) - Edmund Rucker (1835-1924)

They should be replaced by:

General Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981) 
Served in WWI and WWII; first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General of the Army
“...the ablest field general the U.S. ever had,” said President Harry Truman (1884-1972)
Should replace Fort Benning (GA)
Stars *****

Major General John Buford, Jr. (1826-63)
Served in the War Between the States; promoted to Major General for “distinguished and meritorious service at the Battle Gettysburg,” by President Abraham Lincoln

President/General Dwight D.  Eisenhower (1890-1969)
Served in WWII - Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, leading Allied invasion/liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe; first Supreme Commander NATO; president of Columbia University; 34th President - signed civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960
Should replace Fort Polk (LA)
Stars *****

President/General H. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-85)
Served in the Mexican-American War and the War Between the States; General in Chief of the Armies; soundly defeated the Confederacy; 18th president - pushed 15th Amendment through to ratification; established the National Park Service
Should replace Fort Lee (VA)
Stars **** (first to earn four, the highest allowed until 1944)

General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964)
Served in WWI, WWII, and Korea; field marshal of the Philippines; commanded Southwest Asia in WWII and Allied occupation of Japan following WWII; Chief of Staff of the US Army; earned Medal of Honor
Should replace Fort Bragg (NC)
Stars *****

General George S. Patton (1885-1945)
Served in WWI and WWII; led a fictitious force elsewhere, enabling the landing at Omaha Beach to succeed; played a key role in winning the Battle of the Bulge; captured 10,000 miles of territory in liberating Germany from the Nazis; represented the US in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympiad in the pentathlon;
Should replace Fort Pickett (VA)
Stars ****

General John J. Pershing (1860-1948)
Served in the Spanish-American War and WWI; senior US Army officer; General of the Armies; opposed armistice of WWI - wanted unconditional surrender of Germany; mentor to Bradley, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton, and George Marshall (1880-1959)
Should replace Fort Gordon (GA)
Stars ****

General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. (1928-93)
Served in Korea and Vietnam conflicts; first black soldier to earn the rank of four star general; earned Distinguished Graduate Award; Exemplar Combat Arms Officer; infantry officer rising to four star status; West Point Class of 1951
Should replace Fort A.P. Hill (VA)
Stars ****

General H. Norman Schwartzkopf, Jr. (1934-2012)
Served in Vietnam, led forces in Grenada, and led all coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War - leading Operation Desert Storm; commander of US Central Command; West Point Class of 1956; earned three Silver Stars, one Bronze star, and a Purple Heart in Vietnam; earned a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II
Should replace Camp Beauregard
Stars ****

Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919)
Only woman to earn a Medal of Honor for Meritorious Service - 1865; worked as an Army field surgeon, yet denied a commission due to her gender; abolitionist; prohibitionist; Prisoner of War during the War Between the States; outspoken women’s rights activist; supported the Suffrage Movement until her death in 1919 - but not the amendment that would be enacted a year after her death, citing the right to vote was already in the Constitution
Should replace Fort Hood (TX)

Tuskegee
A conglomerate representation of the famed airmen, the tragic experiment, and the institute, now university in Alabama. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black soldiers to successfully complete training and enter the Army Air Corps. Almost 1,000 aviators served as the first black military pilots during WWII as the highly decorated 99th Pursuit Squadron. The 992 pilots flew 1,578 missions and 15,533 sorties, earning 850 medals.

The Tuskegee syphilis study (Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male) was the disgraceful use of black males as human guinea pigs by the United States Public Health Service from 1932-72. The “subjects” were neither told they had syphilis nor were given the medication that would lead to a potential cure. They were not even told they could transmit the disease via sexual intercourse. 

The Tuskegee Institute, now University, was founded in 1881, by Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) for the initial purpose of training black school teachers, adding the teaching of agricultural skills, later becoming a degree granting institute in 1937, offering graduate studies in 1943, before finally moving to University status in 1985. The school’s third president, Frederick Douglass Patterson (1901-88) founded the United Negro College Fund in 1944. In 1987 President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) awarded Patterson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.
Should replace Fort Rucker (AL)

(USA Today floated just the names of Dr. Mary Walker and Tuskegee, not the biographical information.)

After 111 monuments and/or statues removed or requested to be removed, there seems to be no end in sight, thus the importance of cracking down with the use of video footage to catch as many of these criminals as possible, and hope some turn on others not identified by authorities. So dangerously out of control are these anarchists that they are planning to destroy the monument of Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in Washington, DC. A monument funded by freed slaves with a keynote speaker at the dedication of Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave.

In spite of all the insidiousness, violence, arson, anarchy, and abject stupidity in the name of G-d knows what, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) reflected that “in America all things are possible. Progress has been made. Progress needs to be made.”

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

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Evil From Within

The Evil From Within
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 22, 2020

It has become painfully obvious and with increasing numbers that the current crop of the 18-30 generation have lost their collective moral compasses as they support the violence, looting, pillaging, plundering, vandalism, graffiti, arson, and even murder that has besot many of this country’s cities, while rejecting the Constitution and the 10 Commandments.

Mob violence will only beget increasing violence ultimately leading to the next civil war in these United States. This is becoming an increasingly dangerous time not just in America, but across the globe as ochlocracy seems to be rearing its very ugly face. As hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of college age and young adults continue to take to the streets committing acts of domestic terrorism destroying other people’s property believing it will solve the growing racial unrest in this country, the reality is, it will only serve to enflame their opponents.

Most recently, sparked by outrage over the killing, possibly murder, of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis on May 25, by now former police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, peaceful protests were the correct response. That is until the likes of Antifa and the more extreme branches of Black Lives Matter decided violence would be the answer. Once the looting, vandalism, and arson began, virtually all credibility was lost.

Two wrongs do not a right make must have been drilled into all of us as children and it is still correct today. The absolutely abhorrent behavior by Chauvin as well as his three cohorts, complicit in the death of Floyd, is never acceptable, and he should be found guilty of murder, while the three bystander officers should be found guilty of accessory to murder. Floyd was being arrested for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, Chauvin drained the life out of Floyd by forcing his knee into Floyd’s neck, rendering Floyd unresponsive for the last two minutes and 53 seconds, after crying out for his deceased mother.

While that scene will remain vivid in people’s minds for a long time to come, the response of destruction, theft, and arson remains wholly unacceptable. Peaceful protests are acceptable all day long.

A much different scene presented itself in Atlanta about three weeks later, as on June 12 Rayshard Brooks, 27, ended up dead - shot twice in the back by now former police officer Garrett Rolfe, 27. With just the above information, one would suspect another gratuitous killing of an alleged black suspect by a white police officer. However, if one watches the full, available video, one should come away with a different conclusion in this particular case. For at least 20 minutes Rolfe engaged in conversation with Brooks, who was under suspicion for over the limit alcohol consumption. The exchange was cordial, polite, and professional between the two men. Only at the time Rolfe attempted to place Brooks in handcuffs, did Brooks wrestle Rolfe and one other officer to the ground, eventually steal Rolfe’s taser gun, and begin to flee. After Brooks fired Rolfe’s taser gun at Rolfe, did he return fire with the two shots that hit and killed Brooks.

With no investigation Rolfe was immediately fired, brought up on charges, and could actually face the death penalty. Rolfe should not only have not been fired, but he should not be facing a possible death sentence. Quite frankly, I am not the biggest fan of the police, although I was raised to respect law enforcement. That said, and understanding that in Georgia, among other states, the taser is considered a deadly weapon, Rolfe had legitimate reason to return fire in order to defend himself. Brooks’ actions lead to his own demise. His death could very well have been avoided. Watch the video and judge for yourself. 

Far too many people, with their knee-jerk progressive liberal reaction, agreed with the charges against Rolfe. In fact, quite a few people have literally said a black suspect should not be fired upon by a white officer in any circumstance. That is patently absurd.

While there clearly is an issue between alleged black suspects and the police - not always white officers, by the way, the violence, destruction of property and businesses, looting, and arson remain unacceptable. These actions solve nothing. Yet more and more of the 18-30 crowd, becoming increasingly agitated, have become agitators themselves defending their actions as appropriate and legitimate because they garner attention and lead to reform. What they will lead to is increased resentment that extortion is not the answer. Give us what we demand or we’ll torch the city. This is the evil from within.

In between those two incidents, on June 2, David Dorn, 77, a retired police captain in St. Louis, was fatally shot by a looter during the Floyd protests. The 38 year police veteran was responding to a pawn shop break-in. Where was the outrage over the slaying of a black police officer? Selective outrage as the murder of Dorn does not fit the narrative of the liberal progressive socialists. Some of those progressive socialists justified the killing of Dorn because his uniform was blue, while disregarding that his skin was black.

There is enough video footage to identify at least some of the perpetrators in each instance who should be charged to fullest extent of the law. A message must be sent that the acts of thugary should no more be accepted than that of the police brutality being witnessed.

As more and more police officers are fired for inappropriate behavior, and as fewer and fewer police departments have the support of their mayors, the level of police officers to take their places will become increasingly deleterious. The bar will eventually need to be lowered, which sounds like a frightening proposition. Also a frightening proposition is the thought of there being no law enforcement available when truly needed. More and more cities, towns, and individuals are demanding city councils defund their police forces and in some cases, put them out of business altogether. That is not the answer.

Better vetting of officer candidates, longer training, and an increase in community policing are a good start. If police officers are in the same neighborhoods on a regular basis they should get to know the communities in an effort to win back even a modicum of good will. Overzealous officers are not the answer either, nor are complicit officers. The “thin blue line” that thousands of police departments swear by only serves to convince the general population that the fix is in and that officers will stand by their fellow officers no matter what. That does not increase good will.

The calls for anarchy, chaos, and abject lawlessness solves nothing either, and only makes a bad situation infinitely worse. When I hear people attempt to justify, defend, and support their criminal behavior or that of others in the name of civil rights or justice, that simply frightens me to the core. Those people are more than just slightly misguided. Assaulting police officers with bricks, bottles, human excrement also solves nothing other than to convince police officers it isn’t safe for them out in the communities. Shouting obscenities, calling officers pigs, and that all police are bastards does not lessen the tensions between police and community residents.

More cop-cams will help. Make them lighter weight and less obtrusive for officers to wear as they do their jobs, make their rounds, and respond to calls. While the level of police brutality seems to be on the rise, and perhaps it is, these are the cases that make the news. What does not make the news is that “today, 99 percent of police officers did their jobs without incident.” Boring. The media lives for the salacious - it sells papers and television advertising.

The issue of profiling, and again, overzealousness, will probably not go away any time soon. It should, at the very least, wane more and more over time. I don’t have the solution for driving while black or walking while black. These cases and situations are, obviously, unfortunate and undignified. When a Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) is stopped on numerous occasions by Capitol Hill police, who should know him and see his identification that all members of Congress are required to have on their person, it’s no wonder these stops continue to occur - it’s wrong, but I don’t have the solution.

It is also important to remember one cannot avenge the past. No one is either a slave nor a slave owner in the United States in 2020. The War Between the States ended in 1865. The millions and millions of families who have migrated to the United States since that time, such as my family, are not, nor should be held responsible for what occurred before their collective arrival.

There must be more education. More history must be required for graduation in both high school and college. And not that watered down, fake news, indoctrination that passes for history. I have a number of years of classroom instruction from grade six through the college level so I know what history curriculum looks like. It’s disgraceful. History can’t be whitewashed. Warts and all, the good, the bad, and the ugly must be taught. People can’t see the progress that has been made without the study of history. From there, people can use those lessons to continue down a positive path. Books authored by Mark Twain should not be censored simply because the name of one of Twain’s characters is unacceptable in 2020 - it’s demonstrative of progress. Stand in the face of adversity and mock it.

Who was taught about the following in high school history and can confidently discuss:

Black Wall Street
Brandeis, Louis
Bleeding Kansas
Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
Doby, Larry
Manhattan Project
Manzanar
Missouri Compromise (1820)
Rankin, Jeannette
Tulsa Race Massacre (1921)

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” - attributed to George Santayana (1863-1952)

May G-d save and preserve the Union.

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

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Mighty MLB Has Struck Out

Mighty MLB Has Struck Out
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 15, 2020

While America is literally burning, Major League Baseball is fiddling as billionaires and millionaires engage in a pissing match that is leaving baseball fans feeling all wet as the 2020 season is on the verge of being rained out.

Yet the myopic Commissioner Rob Manfred, mustering all the power of hitting the forkball with a wet noodle, guaranteed Major League Baseball will be played in 2020. While never having met Manfred, he’s no “Broadway” Joe Namath. The major leagues will play “baseball in 2020 - 100 percent - even if it has to be under the March 26 agreement. If we get to that point in the calendar, so be it. But, one way or the other, we’re playing major league baseball,” said the pusillanimous and feckless Manfred.

In March, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball agreed to allow the league to implement a schedule, and with no agreement in place, could impose a 50 game regular season, paying players “full prorated salaries worth a total of around $1.25 billion.”

Bear in mind a proposed 89 game regular season with full prorated salaries, down from 114 games, had already been deemed a non-starter by the MLBPA. This was a deal to include expanded playoffs to 16 teams - eight from the National League and eight from the American League - for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Another non-starter had a 76 game MLB regular season run July 10-October 11. With the expanded playoffs, the World Series would wrap up sometime between Chanukah and Christmas.

The MLBPA also rejected a proposed 72 game regular season at 70 percent prorated pay. Do the math, 72 games out of a traditional regular season of 162 games is but 44.4 percent of the season, yet the players would see more of their salaries than they actually should. The MLBPA called on the league to out forth a schedule for 2020 instead of countering the latest rejected proposal. “Further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where,”said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Saturday, June 13.


ESPN released part of a letter it acquired sent by MLBPA negotiator Bruce Meyer to Dan Halem, deputy commissioner of MLB that said, “We demand that you inform us of your plans by close of business on Monday, June 15.” Yet as of the close of business, Wednesday, June 17 and a multi-hour meeting in Phoenix, the 2020 baseball season still hangs in the balance. 


Saturday night, June 13 MLB released a statement, part of which said “We are disappointed that the MLBPA has chose not to negotiate in good faith over resumption of play after MLB has made three successive proposals that would provide players, Clubs, and our fans with an amicable resolution to a very difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

If COVID-19 is genuinely the sticking point, and players are genuinely concerned for their health, then the responsible course of action is to not play baseball in 2020. After all, a potential 50 game regular season with an extended postseason more than half as long, is ridiculously stupid. When did Major League Baseball become the NBA and the NHL - 82 and 80 games respectively with half the leagues making the playoffs? No thank you. Everyone go home and come back fighting in 2021 with a full complement of games.

Team owners wishing to pay players a portion of their salaries should do so under no obligation that it be mandated. On the other hand, players choosing to sit out the 2020 season, should do so. There are hundreds of minor leaguers at the Double-A and Triple-A levels who are playing for $350 and $502 per week respectively and would gladly suit up in a major league ballpark for the MLB minimum salary of $563, 500, or even 70 percent of that ($394,450). Promote those minor leaguers to fill out the 40 man roster. They are barely seeing enough money to pay for their per diem/meal money, while the owners and players are bitching over the millions, revenue sharing, and television revenue.

Regardless of the number of games to be played and the start date, (July 3-September 27 for 87 games), MLB still desires a regular season that concludes on Sunday, September 27 in order to avoid the postseason spilling over into November competing with football and the November 3 presidential election. While the suggested postseason plans call for 16 teams, the following plan is limited to 12 teams, six per league - division winners and the next best three records regardless of division. The division winners with the two best records will earn a bye in a first round, best of five series. The remaining division winner will play the lowest ranked of the three non-division winners, while the other two non-division winners will face off. With no days off, the series would start Tuesday, September 29 with a possible game five on Saturday, October 3. No Sunday game to compete with the NFL.

The divisional series would match the two bye teams against the winners of the first round in another best of five series. These series would begin on Monday, October 5, with a possible game five on Saturday, October 10, with yet another Sunday free to watch the NFL. The league championship series, seven gamers, would start on Monday, October 12 with possible game sevens on Tuesday, October 20. And as October winds down, the World Series would commence on Friday, October 23, with a thrilling conclusion game seven on Saturday, October 31 - yes, Halloween, but MLB will have its season ender prior to November 1, and no Sunday games throughout.

If COVID-19 is not the chief concern, the major leaguers can suck it up, suit up, and take the field to play a game most of us would play for free. They have rejected deals that would pay them more than they ought to be paid based upon the prorated statistics. If the schedule calls for 114 games, the payers should get paid for 114 games. If 50, likewise. It’s called a contract, and if the players don’t honor it, they should be fired for breach of contract.

Apparently both the owners and the players association have channeled their inner Gordon Gekko, adhering to the mantra, “Greed is good.”

There’s a tone-deafness even Beethoven would recognize. The fans really don’t give a rat’s tuchus about the prorated salaries, revenue sharing, or television revenue bickering back and forth. There are roughly 40 million Americans out of work who desperately need a respite from COVID reality and race riots. They just want to see the American pastime in action on the field of play not the boardroom of some ivory tower. No one in Major League Baseball should be crying poverty.

The minors, as has been demonstrated above, has 42 more legitimate reasons to cry poverty. Even before COVID-19 hit the fan, MLB had put a plan in place to contract 42 minor league teams from Rookie ball to Double-A. Although salary bumps are in the offing for the 2021 season, it is MLB, ironically, that is doing most of the crying. 

League From/Week To/Week
Rookie/Short Season $290 $400
Single-A $290 $500
Double-A $350 $600
Triple-A         $502 $700

Minor league players are only paid during the five months of their season - or less. They are not compensated for spring training or postseason. Some have argued that such low salaries violate minimum wage laws. The poverty line for a single person in 2019 was $12,490 and for a family of four, $25,750 according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Minor Leagues, Major Slayings:

Appalachian League (Advance Rookie): Bluefield Blue Jays, Bristol Pirates, Burlington Royals, Danville Braves, Elizabethton Twins, Greeneville Reds, Johnson City Cardinals, Kingsport Mets, Princeton Rays

California League (Advanced-A): Lancaster Jethawks

Carolina League (Advanced-A): Frederick Keys

Eastern League (Double-A): Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Erie Seawolves

Florida State League (Advanced-A): Daytona Tortugas, Florida Fire Frogs

Midwest League (Full Season-A): Burlington Bees, Clinton Lumber Kings, Quad Cities River Bandits

New York-Penn League (Short Season-A): Auburn Doubledays, Batavia Muckdogs, Connecticut Tigers, Lowell Spinners, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, State College Spikes, Staten Island Yankees, Vermont Lake Monsters, Williamsport Crosscutters

Northwest League (Short Season-A): Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Tri-City Dust Devils

Pioneer League (Advanced Rookie): Billings Mustangs, Grand Junction Rockies, Great Falls Voyagers, Idaho Falls Chukars, Missoula PaddleHeads, Ogden Raptors, Orem Owlz, Rocky Mountain Vibes

Southern League (Double-A): Chattanooga Lookouts, Jackson Generals

South Atlantic League (Full Season-A): Hagerstown Suns, Lexington Legends, West Virginia Power

Yet, while the average value of a major league team is $1.78 billion, according to Forbes, and MLB revenue in 2018 was $10.3 billion, MLB claims it is purging 42 teams to cut costs and save money. Minor league teams are valued between $5 million and $45 million. According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the savings emerging from the elimination of these 42 teams is about $60 million for MLB as a whole - or $1,428,571 per team killed off. What is also being killed off are thousands of jobs in the host cities - both team and non-team related, local economies will suffer - stadium jobs, restaurant jobs, lodging - hotels and homes, small businesses will suffer, other tourist attractions will also experience losses, and, a culture of a team’s history will be destroyed. 

Olney also pointed out that New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole will earn about $1 million per start in 2020. Put to the test, Cole is the second highest paid player behind only Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels centerfielder. Assuming Cole takes the mound once every five days, he would start 32 games. At a salary of $36 million for the season, every start is valued at $1.125 million, or $125,000 per inning pitched were he to complete every start. In two starts, Cole could save one of these forlorn teams with enough left over to buy that team’s fans a hot dog and a Coke ® . 

It would take the aforementioned Trout just under six games to save a team. His $37 million 2020 salary comes to $232, 716 per game, assuming he plays all 162 games in a season, or $25, 857 per inning played, were he to play every inning of the season.

Max Scherzer, Nationals pitcher $35.9 million $1.122 million per start
Zack Greinke, Astros pitcher $35 million $1.094 million per start
Stephen Strasburg, Nats pitcher $35 million $1.094 million per start
Nolan Arenado, Rockies 3rd baseman   $35 million $216,049 per game
Justin Verlander, Astros pitcher $33 million $1.031 million per start
David Price, Dodgers pitcher $32 million $1 million per start
Manny Machado, Padres 3rd baseman  $32 million $197,530 per game
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers pitcher $31 million $969,000 per start

And that’s just the top 10. The big boys of MLB could very easily help their younger brethren and save some small towns and cities along the way. And, I’ll just bet such largess might be tax deductible. Save a team, save a town.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. Please visit https://www.change.org/Save-a-Team-Save-a-Town to Save a Team, Save a Town.