Thursday, November 8, 2018

Acosta Not the Hill Press Should Die On

Acosta Not the Hill Press Should Die On
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 8, 2018

As a working newspaper reporter, I was, and am still, an American first and a member of the Fourth Estate second. I am of the belief that news reporters should do just that - report the news and not inject themselves into the news. When a source says something is off the record, it stays off the record. Issues of national security should be protected and not reported, especially where troop movements and people’s lives are at stake.

Being a member of the White House Press Corps is a privilege, not a right. In modern times, never has a president been so disrespected as President Donald Trump is right now. A president is not required to meet with the press, field press questions, or even acknowledge the media. It is, however, the right thing to do.

Certainly previous presidents have had challenging relationships with the media. Ronald Reagan and Sam Donaldson would verbally spar from time to time. 

Richard Nixon told the media after losing the California governor’s race in 1962 “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore…” 

And Harry Truman wrote a scathing letter to Paul Hume, taking issue with Hume’s poor review of Truman’s daughter Margaret’s singing. In the 1950 letter, Truman wrote, “Some day [sic] I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

Jim Acosta, Chief White House correspondent for CNN, on more than one occasion has been brazenly disrespectful to President Trump and more than just a little truculent in his behavior. After asking several questions during Trump’s press briefing on Wednesday, November 7, following the midterm election, Acosta was told to surrender the microphone in order for the next reporter to ask his or her question. In refusing to do so, the intern attempted to take the mic and Acosta again refused to yield. Later that day, Acosta’s White House press credentials were stripped and his hard pass revoked for an indefinite period.

Acosta is a pedantic, miserable, self-aggrandizing, blowhole. He frequently attempts to insert himself into his reporting with his impolite manner and is often scolded either by Trump or White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and rightfully so.

There are times when the press briefings sound like the Wild West because of the lack of decorum and respect, either to Trump or to Sanders. Pulling Acosta’s credentials should be a message to the press corps that disrespectful behavior is not going to be tolerated. To be fair, I am not suggesting the press behave like the fawning obsequious weasels they were during the Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy administrations. There is most definitely a happy medium.

For the press community and the White House Correspondents’ Association to react apoplectically to the Acosta suspension is, while not surprising, more than just a little over the top. CNN’s response was particularly melodramatic. “This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.”

“Threat to our democracy?” The White House press room will not go dark due to Acosta’s absence. Not only is he not the only member of the White House press corps, he is not even the only reporter at CNN. Jim Acosta is not the hill on which the press should go to die. CNN, as an active member of the  White House press pool will not leave Acosta’s seat unfilled in some memorial cloak of martyrdom. Instead, while they will moan and groan, they will also insert another reporter to no doubt do a better job as both a reporter and a human being.

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Predictions 2018 - Pure and Simple

Predictions 2018 - Pure and Simple
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 5, 2018

Predictions - that’s it; not who I am rooting for; not why someone will win - just predictions. Now, if you have not already done so, go vote! NOW! (Or at the very least, after reviewing the following.) I intend to vote substance over style - not a straight ticket.

Governor Races:

Alabama: Governor Kay Ivey (R) over Walter Maddox (D)

Alaska: (open seat) Mike Dunleavy (R) over Mark Begich (D)

Arizona: Governor Doug Ducey (R) over David Garcia (D) and Angel Torres (G)

Arkansas: Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) over Jared Henderson (D)

California: (open seat) Gavin Newsom (D) over John Cox (R) 

Colorado: (open seat) Jared Polis (D) over Walker Stapleton (R) 

Connecticut: (open seat) Bob Stefanowski (R) over Ned Lamont (D)

Florida: (open seat) Ron DeSantis (R) over Andrew Gillum (D)

Georgia (open seat) Brian Kemp (R) over Stacey Abrams (D)

Hawaii: Governor David Ige (D) over Andria Tupola (R) 

Idaho: (open seat) Brad Little (R) over Paulette Jordan (D) 

Illinois: J.B. Pritzker (D) over Governor Bruce Rauner (R) 

Iowa: Governor Kim Reynolds (R) over Fred Hubbell (D)

Kansas: (open seat) Kris Kobach (R) over Laura Kelly (D) and Greg Orman (I)

Maine (open seat) Janet Mills (D) over Shawn Moody (R) 

Maryland: Governor Larry Hogan (R) over Ben Jealous (D)

Massachusetts: Governor Charlie Baker (R) over Jay Gonzalez (D)

Michigan: (open seat) Gretchen Whitmer (D) over Bill Schuette (R) 

Minnesota: (open seat) Tim Walz (D) over Jeff Johnson (R) 

Nebraska: Governor Pete Ricketts (R) over Bob Krist (D)

Nevada: (open seat) Adam Laxalt (R) over Steve Sisolak (D) and Jared Lord (L)

New Hampshire: Governor Chris Sununu (R) over Molly Kelly (D)

New Mexico: (open seat) Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) over Steve Pearce (R) 

New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) over Marc Molinaro (R) 

Ohio: (open seat) Richard Cordray (D) over Mike DeWine (R) 

Oklahoma: (open seat) Kevin Stitt (R) over Drew Edmondson (D)

Oregon: Governor Kate Brown (D) over Knute Buehler (R) 

Pennsylvania: Governor Tom Wolf (D) over Scott Wagner (R) 

Rhode Island: Governor Gina Raimondo (D) over Allan Fung (R) 

South Carolina: Governor Henry McMaster (R) over James Smith (D)

South Dakota: (open seat) Kristi Noem (R) over Billie Sutton (D) and Kurt Evans (L)

Tennessee: (open seat) Bill Lee (R) over Karl Dean (D)

Texas: Governor Greg Abbott (R) over Lupe Valdez (D)

Vermont: Governor Phil Scott (R) over Christine Hallquist (D)

Wisconsin: Governor Scott Walker (R) over Tony Evers (D)

Wyoming: (open seat) Mark Gordon (R) over Mary Throne (D)

IF, and that's a big if, my predictions are rock solid, there will be 30 GOP governors and 20 Democrat governors when we wake up Wednesday morning.

Senate Races:

Arizona: (open seat) Martha McSally (R) over Kyrsten Sinema (D) 

California: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) over Kevin de Leon (D)

Connecticut: Senator Chris Murphy (D) over Mathew Corey (R) 

Delaware: Senator Thomas Carper (D) over Rob Arlett (R) 

Florida: Senator Bill Nelson (D) over Rick Scott (R) 

Hawaii: Senator Mazie Hirono (D) over Ron Curtis (R) 

Indiana: Senator Joe Donnelly (D) over Mike Braun (R) 

Maine: Senator Angus King (I) over Eric Brakey (R) 

Maryland: Senator Ben Cardin (D) over Tony Campbell (R) 

Massachusetts: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) over Geoff Diehl (R) 

Michigan: Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) over John James (R) 

Minnesota: Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) over Jim Newberger (R) 

Minnesota: (special election) Senator Tina Smith (D) over Karin Housley (R) 

Missouri: Josh Hawley (R) over Senator Claire McCaskill (D)

Mississippi: Senator Roger Wicker (R) over David Baria (D)

Mississippi: (special election) Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) & Mike Espy (D) will go to a run-off, eliminating Chris McDaniel (R) 

Montana: Senator Jon Tester (D) over Matt Rosendale (R) 

Nebraska: Senator Deb Fischer (R) over Jane Raybould (D)

Nevada: Senator Dean Heller (R) over Jacky Rosen (D)

New Jersey: Senator Bob Menendez (D) over Bob Hugin (R) 

New Mexico: Senator Martin Heinrich (D) over Mick RIch (R) and Gary Johnson (L)

New York: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) over Chele Farley (R) 

North Dakota: Kevin Cramer (R) over Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D)

Ohio: Senator Sherrod Brown (D) over Jim Renacci (R) 

Pennsylvania: Senator Bob Casey (D) over Lou Barletta (R) 

Rhode Island: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) over Bob Flanders (R) 

Tennessee: (open seat) Marsha Blackburn (R) over Phil Bredesen (D)

Texas: Senator Ted Cruz (R) over “Beto” O’ Rourke (D)

Utah: (open seat) Mitt Romney (R) over Jenny Wilson (D)

Vermont: Senator Bernie Sanders (I) over Lawrence Zupan (R) 

Virginia: Senator Tim Kaine (D) over Corey Stewart (R) 

Washington: Senator Maria Cantwell (D) over Susan Hutchison (R) 

West Virginia: Senator Joe Manchin (D) over Patrick Morrisey (R) 

Wisconsin: Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) over Leah Vukmir (R) 

Wyoming: Senator John Barrasso (R) over Gary Trauner (D) and Joseph Porambo (L)

IF, and that's a big if, my predictions are spot on, there will be 53 Republicans in the Senate and 46 Democrats with one seat up for grabs in a run-off come Wednesday morning.

Select House Races:

CA-10: Rep. Jeff Denham (R) over Josh Harder (D)

CA-22: Rep. Devin Nunes (R) over Andrew Janz (D)

CA-39: (open seat) Young Kim (R) over Gil Cisneros (D)

CA-45: Rep. Mimi Walters (R) over Katie Porter (D)

CA-48: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) over Harley Rouda (D)

CA-50: Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) over Ammar Campa-Najjar (D)

CO-6: Jason Crow (D) over Rep. Mike Coffman (R) 

FL-18: Rep. Brian Mast (R) over Lauren Baer (D)

FL-25: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) over Mary Barzee Flores (D)

FL-26: Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) over Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D)

FL-27: (open seat) Maria Salazar (R) over Donna Shalala (D)

GA-6: Rep. Karen Handel (R) over Lucy McBath (D)

IL-6: Rep. Peter Roskam (R) over Sean Casten (D)

IA-1: Abby Finkenauer (D) over Rep. Rod Blum (R) 

IA-4: Rep. Steve King (R) over J.D. Scholten (D)

KY-6: Rep. Andy Barr (R) over Amy McGrath (D)

ME-2: Jared Golden (D) over Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R)

MD-1: Rep. Andy Harris (R) over Jesse Colvin (D)

MI-11: (open seat) Lena Epstein (R) over Haley Stevens (D)

NV-3: (open seat) Susie Lee (D) over Danny Tarkanian (R) 

NV-4: (open seat) Cresent Hardy (R) over Steven Horsford (D)

NJ-3: Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) over Andrew Kim (D)

NJ-7: Rep. Leonard Lance (R) over Tom Malinowski (D)

NJ-11: (open seat) Mikie Sherrill (D) over Jay Webber (R) 

NM-2: (open seat) Yvette Herrell (R) over Xochitl Torres Small (D)

NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) over Perry Gershon (D)

NY-22: Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) over Anthony Brindisi (D)

NY-27: Nate McMurray (D) over Rep. Chris Collins (R) 

OH-1: Rep. Steve Chabot (R) over Aftab Pureval (D)

OH-12: Rep. Troy Balderson (R) over Danny O’ Connor (D)

PA-1: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) over Scott Wallace (D)

PA-16: Rep. Mike Kelly (R) over Ronald Di Nicola (D)

PA-17: Conor Lamb (D) over Rep. Keith Rothfus (R) 

TX-23: Rep. Will Hurd (R) over Gina Ortiz Jones (D)

TX-32: Rep. Pete Sessions (R) over Colin Allred (D)

UT-4: Rep. Mia Love (R) over Ben McAdams (D)

VA-7: Rep. Dave Brat (R) over Abigail Spanberger (D)

VA-10: Jennifer Wexton (D) over Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) 

WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) over Carolyn Long (D)

WA-5: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) over Lisa Brown (D)

WA-8 (open seat) Kim Schrier (D) over Dino Rossi (R) 

WV-3 (open seat) Carol Miller (R) over Richard Ojeda (D)

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

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Pogrom in Pittsburgh

Pogrom in Pittsburgh
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 28, 2018

Shouting “all Jews must die,” a deranged 46-year old male, with nothing but evil in the chest cavity where a heart should be located, and armed with four guns, began firing upon the Tree of Life-Or L’simcha synagogue congregation in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, observing Shabbat and celebrating the naming of a newborn baby.

The end result of the carnage left 11 dead and six wounded - four of whom are heroic police officers confronting the worst attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. The  murdered ranged in ages from 54 to 97, including a pair of brothers, and a married couple who received their nuptials at that very shul.

Coming off a week that seemed to conclude with the capture of an alleged sender of more than a dozen pipe-bombs and other suspicious packages to prominent and elected people, Shabbat, the day of rest in the Jewish community should have provided a much needed respite. Not linking these activities or perpetrators other than by the nature of their incivility and dastardly deeds, we are at a tipping point in this country where discourse and the value and sanctity of life are concerned.

For millennia the Jewish people have been the canary in the coal mine - there’s never an off-season where anti-Semitism is concerned. From centuries of enslavement in Egypt and the Spanish Inquisition, to pogroms in Russia and Poland and the Holocaust of European Jewry which witnessed the slaughter of six million innocents, the Jews, simply by worshipping differently, sometimes dining differently, even dressing differently, have chosen to live life as G-d has commanded.

In the United States, where freedoms reign, and the Jewish people have assimilated, anti-Semitic acts still account for the greatest number of bias crimes against any minority group; and while few consider the Jewish people a minority group, the Jewish population in the United States is roughly 1.5 percent. In that, it’s a conundrum - a wealth of freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to protect oneself with a firearm - yet those freedoms are used against us as a free people. One’s freedom of speech ends when it becomes a clear and present danger to others’ safety and lives. One’s right to use a firearm ends when it is used in the commission of a crime. It is incumbent upon the speaker and user to know where that line is and to not cross it.

This is why the United States is a nation of laws, including the use of the death penalty, which I support, and President Donald Trump has called for in this case, even calling for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which has an execution moratorium, to reinstate it. In the eyes of a wicked act of pure evil, the ultimate punishment should be assessed. 

“This is an assault on all of us; an assault on humanity,” said Trump. “Monstrous killing of Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us - it will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world - this scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored; cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue,” he added, calling for the perpetrator to pay the ultimate price.

“What happened in Pittsburgh today was not just criminal - it was evil - an attack on innocent Americans and an assault on our freedom of religion,” said Vice President Mike Pence. “There’s no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism, and this evil must end,” he added.

The perpetrator is being charged with hate crimes versus domestic terrorism, although it won’t matter to the families of the victims. Clearly, acts of domestic terror were carried out as the captured suspect carried an AR-15 semi-automatic gun along with three Glock handguns into the synagogue. He will face 11 counts of homicide and 11 counts of obstruction of religious worship - state charges, as well as 29 federal charges which absolutely put the death penalty on the table.

Trump also called for increased security, such as armed guards, to ward off potential domestic terrorists. Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto (D) disagreed, suggesting that removing firearms from potential murderers would be the better option. Unless someone telegraphs their future actions, mere words of hatred, which are legal, are not enough to deny someone their Second Amendment rights. Armed security guards are already employed at many of the mega-churches for Sundays and holidays, as well as synagogues during the High Holiday period of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There is nothing wrong with employing piece of mind allowing people to worship freely. 

Let not the actions of an evil individual keep us from our houses of worship. Be resolved to attend them more often and more regularly to pray to the One G-d who created us to live on this planet in peace and harmony. Maintain the fervent G-d given wisdom to be ever vigilant of our enemies who have not learned that our churches and synagogues will never turn into killing fields, and remain steadfast in the safety and comfort of the L-rd and His Blessings.

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

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sovereignty is Not Racism

Sovereignty is Not Racism
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 21, 2018

A sovereign nation, being just that, has the right, nay, the responsibility to protect its citizenry, its borders, its language, its culture, its history, and most assuredly, its future.

President Donald Trump understands this. “As you know, I am willing to send our military to defend our southern border; all because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought on by the Democrats because they refuse to change the laws,” said Trump in these words and similar statements for days since the caravan-army of people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has begun its march to the United States.

Now, before all the liberal progressives get all weepy-eyed over the prospect of mothers and children separated from one another, consider the following. No one is forcing these people to take such a life-threatening trek through Central America. They, for the most part, are admitting taking this trek for economic opportunities and not the religious persecution that beset the Jews of Europe during World War II, who were summarily refused entry during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt. (They were sent back to Europe to be slaughtered in the concentration camps by the Nazis.) Also, look carefully - the  majority of these invaders - and that’s what they are - people attempting to gain access to the United States without permission - are able bodied males ages 18-30. These are the people who should be at home attempting to make their native land a better place for their own people.

Are there problems in the aforementioned Central American countries? Yes, there are, and it is the responsibility of their people to fix those problems, just as Americans attempt to fix the problems faced at home in the United States. It’s one thing to be empathetic and even have compassion for these folks, but the United States simply cannot house seven-plus billion people from around the globe.

Should the United States admit the millions of suffering Venezuelans? (By the way, all you supporters of socialism, live in that country before declaring your support for such a way of life.) How about the North Koreans? Angolans? Cubans? Chinese? Sudanese? Iranians? Saudis? How about we fix the plight of the AMERICAN Indians first. I’m an American patriot, but face facts, this country sure did a number on the First Americans.

If life is so horrible for the people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, why are so many of this invading caravan carrying flags of their native countries? If they have Guatemalan pride, great - stay there and make Guatemala a nation of which to be proud. People so desperate to sneak into the United States at the cost of being sent back, contained in a holding cell, denied companionship with their children, must really want to become Americans. But do they? Consider the wide range of demands these criminal invaders make upon slithering across the border - free medical coverage, free education, food stamps, demands of Americans to speak their language - mostly Spanish, even driver’s licences. Also consider that among the invaders no doubt include members of the vicious gang of animals, MS-13. Yet another reason ICE must remain the vital agency it is.

This invasion is nothing new - there are more than 20 million illegal aliens in the United States - don’t believe the government that is willing to admit there are around 12 million. The amnesty granted during the Reagan administration was a colossal failure - three million during the 1980s, and that did not stem the tide as the carrot was granted but the stick never came. It seems the United States has still, three decades and millions of illegals later, not learned its lesson.

The illegals today are so brazen as to announce they are here illegally, knowing there is little punishment that will befall them. They take seats in American public schools, beds in American hospitals, jobs in American restaurants, food stamps meant for struggling American citizens, with little desire to learn English, or follow the rule of law. Where is the demand for proof of legal residency or citizenship when applying for benefits or jobs? President Trump is mostly correct when blaming the Democrats. The Democrats want instant citizenship and voting rights bestowed upon these illegals as if that is some right they have. No, they have no rights - they are criminals simply by stepping on to American soil. The Republicans are complicit as well as they see illegals as a source of cheap labor benefiting businesses in the United States.

As for complicity, that large independent sovereign nation sandwiched between the United States and Central America is most definitely complicit - yes, Mexico. Just dealing with this current caravan of invaders, why Mexico isn’t forcing them back south of their own border is disconcerting. Perhaps the weaker the United States becomes, will make it even easier for Mexico to complete their own invasion of this country, and this is not hyperbole. Does anyone think that the illegals swarming the southern border are the best and brightest Mexico has to offer? 

Consider the Mariel Boatlift invasion of Cubans in 1980 - many incarcerated until Fidel Castro opened prison gates - thousands of whom willing to risk their lives traversing the 90-some miles from Cuba to Florida. In less than half a year roughly 125,000 Cubans managed to reach shore. If they could reach land, they could seek asylum, if not, they could be sent back. Once again, were these the best and brightest Castro willingly released?

A merit-based system must be employed, just as is done in Canada. That’s right - Canada - that nation the Hollywood progressives vow to move to after every election, but never actually do. Perhaps they attempted to do so, but Canada is smart enough to realize those Holly-weird-os don’t merit the approval.

As a sovereign nation, the United States has the right to determine who gains access to American soil and the American way of life. Those who have something to contribute to American culture and society and make America better today than it was yesterday. This migrant caravan has no right to gain entry into the United States - they are literally attempting to invade the United States. If they wish to become American so badly, there is a right and legal manner in which to do so. My maternal great-grandparents did so from Austria-Hungary. My paternal grandparents did so from Austria and Russia. My mother-in-law did so from Peru - and I was witness to her swearing-in ceremony at the courthouse in Indianapolis when she was given a special American flag - a flag she displays with pride. She couldn’t wait to vote - she was for Trump before I was for Trump. (By the way, Hillary, this man did not tell his wife and mother-in-law how to vote!)

Yes, the military most assuredly must be deployed to the border post haste. Closer investigations must be made as to the children crossing the border - human trafficking and sex trafficking is increasing as many people are crossing claiming the children to be theirs when, sadly, they are pawns to gain access to the United States then trafficked for a price. This criminal enterprise must be stopped, and denying access into the United States is one way to accomplish this. Disincentivizing these people is a start - ensure they are allowed nothing for being in the United States illegally. It may sound callous and heartless, but as a sovereign nation, it is the right of the United States to determine who is and who is not allowed entrance. 

Deny financial aid to the countries complicit in this and future invasions. Congress must be called into emergency session to amend laws that require allowing so-called refugees into the country and granted a hearing in the courts. The courts are so backlogged with these cases it will be years before they are adjudicated. In the meanwhile, what is the policy? The failed catch and release. More than 90 percent of those with court dates fail to show up for their hearings. If that doesn’t indicate a failed system, then clearly math is not their strong subject, but that’s an issue for another column.

The immigration laws in the United States are so antiquated, their failings date back to the ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868. Section 1 avers “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The purpose of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was to confirm citizenship on freed blacks having suffered and endured the degradation of slavery. Today, that section of that amendment has been bastardized to suggest that lawbreakers have rights. The children of illegals are being granted citizenship by the very nature of having been born on American soil. Like fruit of the poisonous tree, when ill-gotten evidence is denied entry into a court trial, so too should the acts of illegals be denied when considering the citizenship of their children. The 14th Amendment must itself be amended.

Additionally, the military - all branches, should be deployed to the southern border to repel those seeking illegal entry into the United States. For those who believe such people have a legal right to invade our borders, how many would you like to house, employ, and financially support on your own - and not on the backs of the taxpayers?

An interesting irony comes to mind - The Ugly American - a novel published in 1958 by William Lederer (1912-2009), a US Naval Academy graduate. Spoiler alert: the book details failed American diplomacy in Southeast Asia. (Still worth the read.) In The Ugly American the Asians wanted to be left alone and not told how to live by the so-called all-knowing Americans who thought they knew what was best for these folks they deemed inferior because they lacked the desire to live as Americans. The irony is that in 2018, for the most part, the people fleeing from their downtrodden nations, to use a word Trump could have used instead of his chosen verbiage, want the American way of life and if they adopted it at home, their nations could improve. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.

However, the despotic nature of these Central American and quite a few South American nations, precludes improvement save for violent overthrow of these so-called governments. While the United States cannot provide for the world, nor should it, if asked by people seeking to improve their lots in life in their own countries, there are enough people in the United States willing to see progress made overseas and lift those boats. 

The Peace Corps, established in 1961 under the John F. Kennedy administration had three goals: “to help the peoples of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” Perhaps the Peace Corps with some extended muscle could help provide the wanting nations of the world their American dream at home - their El Salvadorian dream, Guatemalan dream, their Honduran dream, their Mexican dream - instead of invading the United States giving everyone a graven nightmare.

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

ROE-ing Against the Tide

ROE-ing Against the Tide
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 4, 2018

As I wrote in my most recent column, “Sexism v. Rule of Law,”, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are attempting to protect the accusers of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, while the Republicans on that same committee are protecting the process.

In reality, both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh have been treated miserably. She, a useful tool of the liberals and progressives, he the punching bag by the same groups. The bottom line during this mishegas is no one will emerge the winner. It’s akin to attempting to pick a turd by its clean end.

Make no mistake, I am not equating Ford, et al with Kavanaugh. I truly believe something happened to Ford and possibly to Deborah Ramirez, but I also believe not at the hands of Kavanaugh. The Democrats have handled the Kavanaugh hearings with a search and destroy mission, taking no prisoners to the deleterious effects on the wife and young daughters of Kavanaugh. Even some miserable political cartoonist took potshots at one of Kavanaugh’s daughters.

The be all, end all, for the Democrats and their minions is the preservation of the much vaunted Roe v. Wade (1973) - despite the fact it should have been a states’ rights issue from jump. Nothing is more important than ensuring women have the legal right to murder their unborn child, and the sanctimony by which the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have attacked Kavanaugh is demonstrative of how the Roe crowd owns these lemmings.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who fortunately does not sit on the Judiciary Committee, announced he would do whatever it takes to keep President Donald Trump’s nominee from being seated on the Supreme Court. This pronouncement came before the nomination of Kavanaugh. Is this how the non-partisan process of Supreme Court nominations works?

From within the committee, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a potential candidate for president in 2020, hypocritically vigorously chastised Kavanaugh for actions that have yet to be proven, even after seven FBI investigations. Hypocritically, because Booker is an admitted gropper and assaulter of women.

Then there is the equally smarmy Senator Dick Blumenthal (D-CT). Trump should give him the nickname of “Stolen Valor Dick,” because for years he lied about serving his country in the military overseas in Vietnam. Liar, liar, pantalones en fuego, Dick!

When the accusations of Ford, et al could not be corroborated by witnesses, the Democrats demanded an additional FBI investigation - the seventh. In the interim, the Democrats shifted gears and attacked Kavanaugh for his drinking and his temperament. Is Kavanaugh the only Supreme Court nominee to enjoy a few adult beverages? Hardly. Don’t tell me Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t knocking back some Manischewitz from time to time. Yes, Kavanaugh enjoys his beer. Should that disqualify him from the Supreme Court? As for Kavanaugh’s temperament, the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee goaded him into speaking with strength and vigor in his voice. Accuse me of unspeakable behavior and rest assured the response would not be some weak-kneed, mealy-mouthed, mousey, undertoned denial. No, the vehement denial would be heard from the mountaintops, and rightfully so. Rightful indignation, if not righteous.

Now that the FBI conducted their most recent investigation, and finding nothing new, the Democrats are flummoxed and attempting to find yet another manner in which to move the goalposts as the clock keeps ticking toward the November 6 midterm elections. Believing chicanery has occurred, the same Democrats who demanded this FBI inquiry - Booker, Blumenthal, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are leading the disingenuous parade suggesting collusion between the FBI and the Trump administration. Apparently the FBI, because it could not prove what the Democrats wanted, is now organization non grata to them.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said “this is a sham. Don’t take the FBI’s word.” So the umpire rules against Kaine’s team, he decides to take his ball and go home like a petulant three year old.

Trump also needs to be chastised for mocking Ford while speaking at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night. Granted, her memory has been fuzzy at best regarding virtually any detail other than it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her, but Trump, as is his wont, went overboard during the rally, a setting he takes to as a duck does to water.

To be fair, the additional FBI probe was the right course of action, as was holding the hearing to learn what Ford had to say in the first place. Let there be no doubt, or as little doubt as possible considering the decades-old allegations are virtually impossible to prove sans legitimate witnesses. However, in spite of the FBI’s latest report, Kavanaugh’s reputation will forever remain sullied, unable to be restored in the court of public opinion.

Even the ACLU, an organization famously known for supporting the free speech rights of neo-Nazis, has sold out - hypocritically presuming the guilt of Kavanaugh before his innocence is proven. Isn’t that backwards as far as the United States Constitution is concerned? It is, except where white males are concerned. It is, except where the preservation of the almighty abortion is concerned - after all the progressive left is ROE-ing against the tide, especially at a time where medical science proves the viability of the fetus at earlier and earlier ages, and more and more people are opposing abortion - thank G-d. Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood continues waging its war against Kavanaugh; and make no mistake, this is a bloodbath in its continuation.

“With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born,” said Ronald Reagan.

Yet, there is the ACLU preaching integrity while linking Kavanaugh to the convicted and disgraced actor Bill Cosby - a clear case of guilt by - lack of association? I say guilt by genitalia - men’s only. In fact, Faiz Shakir, the national Political DIrector with the ACLU said Kavanaugh is not entitled to the presumption of innocence just Thursday evening on the Fox News program Tucker Carlson Tonight. This is a matter of guilt via vilification and equal justice under the law is a thing of the past.

This is a dangerous path this nation is traversing; or should I say goose-stepping. A dangerous precedent is hovering overhead like a black cloud and its talons have already reached college campuses.

At the University of Southern California, Professor James Moore had the audacity to defend the centuries old innocent until proven guilty. More than 100 students called for Moore’s dismissal. Making matters infinitely worse, Dean Jack Knott defended the students against Moore. 

“Accusers sometimes lie,” Moore wrote responding to an email calling for all victims to be believed, thus incurring the wrath of students clearly having no knowledge of the Constitution regarding both the presumption of innocence as well as Moore’s First Amendment right of free speech, calling for his firing for such an insensitive email. (As for lying accusers, see my “Sexism…” column for examples.)

Dean Knott’s brainstem apparently is tied in knots as he offered a full-throated rebuke against Moore and support of the students. “What [Moore] sent was extremely inappropriate, hurtful, insensitive,” [Knotts] said. “We are going to try to do everything we can to try to create a better school, to educate the faculty. This is going to be a multi-pronged effort. We are going to have a faculty meeting later this week around implicit bias, sensitivity towards survivors.”

But here’s the rub regarding this ROE-ing against the tide. There is a growing support for Kavanaugh amongst women, and the suggested Blue Wave presumed to be heading this way for the November 6 midterm may either be nothing more than a trickle or the growing anger of conservatives will stem that tide altogether.

More and more women are infuriated not only by the treatment of Kavanaugh, but how the long term implications may affect their sons. A mere accusation will mar a male’s reputation for life, impact their ability to secure gainful employment, engage in meaningful relationships, or simply interact with women in any setting for fear of an allegation for any action real or imagined. This will ultimately lead to the greater straining of relations between the genders - of which there are still but two, by the way.

“Like the 2016 Trump silent majority laying beneath the polls which oversampled Democrats, women just might be ready to lash out against Democrats this November,” wrote Emma Green with The Atlantic. “These women are infuriated with the way the sexual-assault allegations against… Kavanaugh have been handled. They are not convinced by Ford or any other woman who has come forward. They resent the implication that all women should support the accusers. And they believe that this scandal will ultimately hurt the cause of women who have been sexually assaulted."

These mistaken notions that all accusers must be believed all the time and that each of the accused are now required to prove their innocence under the presumption of guilt run completely antithetical to the founding of this great nation. Once that foundation crumbles, so to will the entirety of the republic, and ultimately civilization as it is known. Make no mistake, this not hyperbole as the eyes of the world are typically upon the United States. Our freedoms; our rights; our sons and daughters futures are at stake.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free,” said Reagan.

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

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sexism v. Rule of Law

Sexism v. Rule of Law
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 23, 2018

In the United States of America we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights - including the presumption and preponderance of innocence until proven guilty. This applies to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. Believe it or not, this even applies to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“Justice, though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also… We are to keep the balance true.” Those are the words of Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo from 1934.

They key word here is balance - something Democrats, both currently and formerly in the Senate, Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, and her attorney Debra Katz seem to have conveniently forgotten.

“This woman is to be believed. This was attempted rape,” said former Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

“I believe her,” said Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA). “Coming forward to testify takes an extraordinary amount of courage,” she added.

“During every step of this process, I’ve found every single piece of information from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford eminently credible, sincere, and believable,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

“Not only do these women need to be heard, they need to be believed,” said Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). “There’s not even a modicum of fairness extended to her through an appropriate FBI investigation so there can be at least some attempt at corroboration.” 

“She must be believed,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), adding that Ford should not participate in the hearing, calling it “a sham.”

“I believe Dr. Ford, the survivor. There’s every reason to believe her,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

To this collective group of fawning, obsequious sycophants who have forgotten about the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven, where is the proof? An accusation has been levied, and Ford, 51, a professor at Palo Alto University in California and research psychologist, should most assuredly be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Heard? Absolutely. But the tough questions must be asked. Believed? Not so fast. The women quoted above are sexist in their expectation that the mere accusation be taken at face value. Courtroom or not, Kavanaugh is still innocent until proof of guilt is produced. Four so-called witnesses named by Ford have each denied any knowledge of these accusations - either they were not present, did not know Kavanaugh, or simply do not recall any such incident. Of the four people who refuted Ford’s assertion, one, a woman, and lifelong friend of Ford’s, Leland Ingham Keyser, said she does not know Kavanaugh nor has any recollection of the event in question.

(As Ford’s allegations pertain to an alleged incident dating back more than three decades, the statute of limitations has expired. Three decades-plus ago, both Kavanaugh and Ford were teenaged high schoolers. Kavanaugh attended the upper-crust Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, MD while Ford attended the equally hoity-toity Holton-Arms School minutes away in Bethesda. While Ford and her supporters have described the all male school as white, privileged, rich, and elitist, little has been said of Holton-Arms. Having lived and worked in the Capitol region for years, Holton-Arms is a female version of Georgetown Prep, and the schools have earned their reputation as more than its fair share of immoral behavior - sex, drugs, alcohol - has been executed by both males and females.)

To Boxer, it must be asked, how do you know it was attempted rape? Because Ford said so? And no woman has ever lied about rape or sexual assault before. Oh wait…

In March 2006 Crystal Gail Mangum, a student attending North Carolina Central University falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape. This reduced the reputations of the three innocent Blue Devils to cinder, virtually unable to show their faces publicly.

In September 2012 Jackie Coakley lied about being gang rapped at the University of Virginia fraternity house Phi Kappa Psi. This story appeared in Rolling Stone magazine before ultimately being fully discredited. No retraction can return the reputations to the accused.

Sadly, false accusations and lies only hurt legitimate victims who must get justice, not a slap on the wrist, as was meted out to Brock Turner, the scumbag at Stanford University, thanks to an ineffective judge. That judge, Aaron Persky, this year, became the first California jurist recalled in 86 years - long overdue. 

This is not a war on women, but instead, a war by an insidious group of political hacks hellbent on keeping the last shred of power they are able to hang onto regardless of who gets destroyed in the interim - be it a Supreme Court nominee, his marriage, or his young daughters, forced to endure the smarmy and the salacious. With no evidence, justice clearly will not be served for Brett Kavanaugh.

To Feinstein, it must be asked, what are all these pieces of information to which you referenced? Where are they? Have you been sitting on them since the receipt of the July 31 letter about these accusations in the first place? Why did you not come forward sooner? It should be noted that Feinstein later admitted that she’s not sure “everything’s truthful” from Ford. Speaks volumes, but barely registered above a whisper from the mainstream media who is working in concert with the Democrats in their complicit efforts to derail the Kavanaugh appointment to the High Court.

To Hirono and Gillibrand, it must be asked, are you aware that the FBI does not conduct the type of investigation you are demanding? That this would be a state matter were the statute of limitations not expired?

To Senator Blumenthal, it must be asked, what are the specific reasons to believe Ford? Do you know something the rest of us don’t know, including, apparently, Ford herself, who said she neither remembers the when or where of the alleged attack?

As for coming forward to testify, Ford won’t take yes for an answer. Virtually all her demands have been acquiesced to by the Republicans serving on the Judiciary Committee. Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said, “we’re doing everything we can to make her comfortable,” including, but not limited to, having the hearing open or closed, public or private, next Monday, next Thursday, could be next Shavuot for all anyone knows at this point.

Once certain demands had been agreed to, Ford and her attorney moved the goal line with increasing demands such as only committee members could question Ford - no outside attorneys, that Kavanaugh cannot be in the room, and that Kavanaugh should be questioned first. That last one is ridiculous, because as George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley said, “you swing, then we pitch.”

Crafty demands - make Kavanaugh testify first. To what? “I didn’t do whatever it is my accuser will accuse me of later?” Not allowing him in the same room with Ford. Whatever happened to the right to face one’s accuser? Has the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution been eviscerated? I realize this witch hunt is an attempt to destroy the reputation of a potential Supreme Court nominee, but to deny him the standard rights afforded to any accused as found in the Constitution?

Another crafty demand of not permitting outside attorneys to question Ford, just the stodgy, old, white men sitting on the Judiciary Committee. Think of the optics. Apparently Gillibrand already has when she called the potential hearing “a sham” while recommending Ford not sit for the hearings. Gillibrand also said the mere attempt to have Ford testify in the first place is “bullying,” assuming Ford is some waif or wallflower who is unable to face the committee without falling apart.

Then the goal line was moved yet again, when Ford said she is afraid to fly and the testimony would have to be delayed until she could drive to Washington from California. Anyone ever hear of Skype? Even a technologically stunted individual such as myself is still able to manage Facetime (thanks to my daughters, of course).

This is an obvious political ploy by the Democrats to prevent an otherwise qualified jurist from being seated on the Supreme Court, in hopes the clock will run out until the midterm election this November, not that that should stunt the proceedings. During the Bill Clinton administration it famously was “deny, deny, deny,” while now the mantra is “delay, delay, delay.”

“Sexual assault allegations should not be deployed strategically for political gain,” wrote Grassley in a letter to Feinstein. He is right, of course, and even liberal pundit Jessica Tarlov, a frequent guest on Fox News agreed as much, saying, “this is absolutely political.”

The Democrats are defending Ford while the Republicans are defending the process.

Additionally, Kavanaugh said this is a case of mistaken identity. Ford’s lawyer, Katz, said “zero chance,” yet ignoring that Ford herself cannot recall the when and where.

“People can have false memories and still pass a polygraph,” said Turley.

Further, for Kavanaugh to suggest a case of mistaken identity, is to consider that something did happen to Ford, sadly, but that Kavanaugh was not the perpetrator. My words, not Kavanaugh’s.

Now, at the 11th hour, with Ford’s assertions lacking credibility, and with Kavanaugh publicly supported by a cadre of women who have known him personally and professionally for decades, another accuser has come forward. Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale claimed Kavanaugh flashed her at a party. Statements from named people close to both Ramirez and Kavanaugh during their time at Yale have categorically refuted her claim, attesting to his character, including Ramirez’s best friend from college.

“This is a woman I was was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening,” said the friend, as reported by the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group supporting Kavanaugh.

To be fair, there are numerous sexual assault/rape victims who do not talk about their assault, do not report the assault, block out the assault for years, for myriad reasons. There is no procedural timetable by which victims must adhere. They should all be heard, as averred above, but the level of credibility by which they should or should not be believed, should be on a case by case basis. Further, The New York Times, hardly a conservative bastion by any stretch of the imagination, reported it could not corroborate the allegations from the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez.

What’s actually more disturbing than the accusations themselves, is the absolute rush to judgement sans evidence. This is a mockery of the system of jurisprudence under which we the people of the United States have lived for the last 231 years.

Worse than that, is the possibility that should Kavanaugh’s nomination fail, he will not only appear guilty, but the nomination process will be destroyed in perpetuity with only a mere baseless accusation enough to implode the nomination of anyone for any reason, or worse yet, no reason other than politics. 

The Supreme Court is to be devoid of politics, and not too long ago that was evidenced by the near unanimous support for two polar opposite justices - the late Justice Antonin Scalia and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In 1986 Scalia secured his place on the High Court with a 98-0 vote of approval, including yea votes from such liberal luminaries as senators Joe Biden (DE), Al Gore (TN), Ted Kennedy (MA), and Pat Leahy (VT). On the flip side, in 1993, Ginsburg earned her seat on the Court by virtue of a 96-3 favorable vote, including yea votes from such conservative senators as the aforementioned Grassley, Orrin Hatch (UT), Mitch McConnell (KY), and Strom Thurmond (SC). If Kennedy could vote for Scalia and Thurmond could vote for Ginsburg, the political shenanigans should, and must cease. The continued polarization and politicization of the Senate process and the Supreme Court itself is damaging the Republic.

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

Sunday, September 9, 2018

September 11 - What Real Sacrifice Looks Like

September 11 - What Real Sacrifice Looks Like
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 9, 2018

September 11 falls, yet again, on a Tuesday, just as it had in 2001. The day started out as a picture-perfect peaceful, bucolic day - bright sunshine, puffy, innocent white clouds - only to be permeated by death, destruction, devastation, and terrorism.

While the pre-ordained intent of the 19 Islamic extremist terrorists became clear upon impact, and the loss of human life intentional - male and female, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, the nearly 3,000 slaughtered became the first casualties of the current war on terrorism.

A brief timeline of the harrowing events of September 11, 2001:

Between 7:59 AM and 8:42 AM four flights take off from Boston’s Logan, Washington’s Dulles, and Newark airports, each headed for Los Angeles except the Newark flight, headed to San Francisco.

8:46 AM: American Airlines flight #11 is flown into #1 World Trade Center - the North Tower - by five Muslim extremist hijackers murdering the 11 crew, 76 passengers and hundreds inside the tower instantly. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

9:03 AM: United Airlines flight #175 is flown into #2 World Trade Center - the South Tower - by five Muslim extremist hijackers murdering the nine crew, 51 passengers, and hundreds inside the tower instantly. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

9:05 AM: President George W. Bush is alerted to what is now believed to be terrorist attacks. “Terrorism against our nation will not stand,” said Bush.

9:37 AM: American Airlines flight #77 is flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, VA by five Muslim extremist hijackers murdering the six crew, 53 passengers, as well as 125 military and civilian personnel on the ground. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

9:59 AM: The South Tower collapses in 10 seconds after burning 56 minutes. More than 800 civilians and first responders are murdered. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

10:03 AM: United Airlines flight #93 crashes into a field in Shanksville, PA when passengers and crew storm the cockpit. There are no survivors of the seven crew and 33 passengers due to the murderous plot by the four Muslim extremist hijackers. Flight #93 was 20 minutes from Washington, DC where the White House and/or the Capitol Building were the presumed targets. This is an example of intended sacrifice - heroism, in fact, knowingly sacrificing their lives in an effort to prevent thousands more from perishing should that plane had reached its intended target.

10:15 AM: The damaged section of the Pentagon E-Ring collapses.

10:28 AM: The North Tower collapses after burning 102 minutes. More than 1,600 civilians and first responders are murdered. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

5:20 PM: World Trade Center #7 collapses. The 47 story building had already been evacuated and no fatalities are reported.

8:30 PM: President George W. Bush addresses the nation.

The sacrifices made by the nearly 3,000 victims, intended or unintended, are supreme - they are lost to us forever except in our memories and the memorials in New York City, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA. Having grown up in the shadows of the original World Trade Center, it had been more than a decade since visiting, until this summer when my wife, daughter, and I finally made it to One World Trade Center to see the new tower and the memorials where we could pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice - family friends like Lee Adler.

While thousands of people were naturally fleeing the scenes of the terrorist attacks in efforts to save themselves, there were hundreds of first responders moving just as deftly toward the falling towers, toward the burning Pentagon attempting to rescue total strangers from all walks of life without asking about their backgrounds, religious beliefs, ethnic origins, or sexual orientation. These men and women also made the supreme sacrifice - many of whom never made it home to their families.

Additionally, there are multitudes of first responders who, 17 years later, are suffering from myriad cancers related to toxic dust from the terror sites in New York City and Arlington. For those still in these dire circumstances, they should visit the Victims Compensation Fund website: 

When the stories of the suffering endured by the people who made genuine sacrifice are recalled, I find it more than just insulting that a football player should be made the face of a sneaker company with the tagline: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” 

This ballplayer has sacrificed nothing. He made a decision to grandstand by refusing to stand for the National Anthem of the United States in an effort to bring attention to an issue of concern to him. Most people remember him taking a knee, but not the reason for doing so, thus defeating the purpose. Had this player requested space in any newspaper in the country for the purposes of an editorial, it would have been granted.

I am a fervent supporter of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and that free speech is the bellwether of the success of this country. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” credited to Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1868-1956), speaks volumes and I agree with it strongly. I think players who take a knee are wrong for doing it, and I don’t have to buy the products they endorse, but it is still their right, however misguided, to do so. However, let the consequences fall where they may. 

Opine before the media - give interviews, write editorials - attention will be paid, and agree or disagree, your rights will most certainly be defended. Taking a knee is a publicity stunt that is offensive to those who served and continue to serve - some of whom are unable to stand or take a knee because of the genuine sacrifices they have made.

Now, apparently, this particular player is suing his former league for collusion. Bottom line, if he were a quality player, he would be in uniform today. There are many players, unfortunately, who have committed felonies and are still playing pro ball. No, he has sacrificed nothing, and now he is being rewarded for his petulance.

In addition to remembering the sacrifices made by those who died on September 11, and in the subsequent battles, we must also maintain our faith. I offer a selection from Jewish liturgy as this year, September 11, is also the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

“Save us because of Your mercy. Shield us from enemies and pestilence, from starvation, sword, and sorrow. Remove the evil forces that surround us, shelter us in the shadow of Your wings. You O G-d, guard us and deliver us. You are a gracious and merciful King. Guard our coming and our going, grant us life and peace, now and always.”

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He grew up in northern New Jersey in the shadow of the Twin Towers. On September 11, 2001, he was writing for a newspaper in northern Virginia, 10 minutes from the Pentagon.