Thursday, October 12, 2017
Hollywood Hypocrites Harbor Handsy Harvey
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 11, 2017
Normally this is not my bailiwick - Hollywood and its machinations, because, quite frankly, I don’t give a rat’s tuchus what happens in the Gomorrah of the 21 Century.
What attracted me to this story, being labeled a scandal across the press, is the hubris with which Hollywood behaves in protecting its own, and in the case of Harvey Weinstein, the feigned outrage over what clearly has been the worst keep secret since Bill Clinton’s marital peccadilloes.
The feigned outrage comes from, for starters, both the Clintons and the Obamas who count Weinstein as dear friend, an individual who contributed many tens thousands of dollars to all of their collective campaigns over the years. It took them more than five days to condemn Weinstein, a financial donor, yet called for increased gun control about five hours following the horrific Las Vegas slaughter of October 1 that claimed the lives of 58 innocents. This is the same Hillary Clinton claiming to be “shocked and appalled” by Weinstein’s actions, yet threatened to destroy the cadre of women her own husband harassed, or worse, for decades.
The entertainment industry, as a whole, has harbored Weinstein, a known serial sexual predator accused of misconduct, molesting, fondling, harassing, and even raping numerous women from within and even outside the vaunted walls of Central Casting.
Only now that the plethora of his dirty deeds has become overtly public, as opposed to the decades-long covertly public with a wink-wink offered at every turn when so-called comedians would reference Weinstein in their award show monologues, are those who became famous under his label speaking up and out. By the way, these comedic lemmings, men, should not be given a pass - implicit by clearly knowing what they knew and for as long as they knew it. When, in ultra-liberal Hollywood did rape jokes, or at the very least, sexual harassment jokes become acceptable? Oh, right, when protecting one of their liberal own - it’s all so incestuous in La La Land - makes my skin crawl.
Apparently it did not make the skin of the Obamas crawl, as their daughter Malia enjoyed an internship under Harvey the Harasser. “Harvey Weinstein is a wonderful human being and a good friend,” said Michelle Obama, only proud of her country since 2008.
Many in the Fourth Estate are calling Weinstein’s victims brave and heroic for coming forward and speaking out. My question is, what took them so long? Make no mistake, not one of these women should have been victimized, and they are victims, yet they remained silent for years, and even decades for the benefit of lavish Hollywood lifestyles and the roles of a lifetime. More than three dozen women, actresses mostly, have announced their victimhood in recent days, including, but not limited to Rosanna Arquette, Dawn Dunning, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mira Sorvino.
Some of these women did attempt to come forward and were either silenced or not believed, such as Rose McGowan, for example, declaring Weinstein raped her years ago. Twitter even suspended her account for roughly 12 hours after McGowan posted her accusations. British actress Lysette Anthony also levied the same accusation. Some, like television reporter Lauren Sivan, then a local reporter in New York City, were not even in the industry, and subject to Weinstein’s perversions in ways that decorum prohibits mentioning here.
Yet others covered up Weinstein’s criminal behavior while publicly lauding him, much akin to the accolades heaped upon film director Roman Polanski, accused for years of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Meryl Streep called Weinstein her “god” while pontificating about Hollywood virtues, while condemning President Donald Trump vehemently with vim and vigor. “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, knowing of Weinstein’s criminal history, said she was “ashamed I didn’t say anything.” By the way, where was Fonda’s shame over her traitorous actions toward our troops in Vietnam? At least she is consistently terrible.
Still others prostituted themselves in defense of Weinstein - and in one particular case, literal defense of Weinstein. While in accordance with American jurisprudence, everyone is entitled to a defense, yet taking up for Weinstein has been Lisa Bloom. Bloom, daughter of famed feminist attorney Gloria Allred, is herself a feminist jurist, defending accusers of actor Bill Cosby and former Fox News commentator Bill O’ Reilly. It seems counterintuitive for Bloom to defend Weinstein and his actions, which are damned indefensible, but she herself has been accused of offering hush money to several of Weinstein’s victims. Hypocrisy at its level worst.
Bloom is not the only one to receive a payday from Weinstein. As indicated before, he contributed heavily to both Clintons’ campaigns over the years, including $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton had the audacity to say she contributes 10 percent of her income every year to charity, and that ill-gotten money would be part of it. First of all, money contributed to the Clinton Foundation is neither earned, nor is it part of her income. Additionally, she said the money was spent, so it could neither be returned nor contributed elsewhere. Clinton should keep her word, for once, chisel open her wallet, and after the moths fly out, actually make the charitable donation on her own, and not from the pockets of donors.
Harvey Weinstein is a loathsome, obsequious weasel who preys on underlings who believe they are powerless. We have given Hollywood the power of preening self-importance by putting billions of dollars into the pockets of those living immoral lives preaching one set of values, and then selling yet another set of values on screen. This is not, or it should not just be about Weinstein. He is simply an amalgamation of the pandemic of the unholy culture that is Hollywood hypocrisy.
Another example of that hypocrisy is the preaching of anti-Second Amendment rhetoric, yet surrounding themselves with armed guards and security teams. They have the right to have such security, but should not call for the rest of society to abandon their Second Amendment rights, while simultaneously producing the most gun-laden, violence-themed films possible.
Additionally, Hollywood’s hypocrites are busy condemning President Trump, while knowing all along what kind of predator lurks amongst them in plain sight - see the self-congratulatory award shows and Saturday Night Live skits mocking Weinstein and his blatantly less than secret criminal behavior. Let’s not forget a casting couch so stained with tears and other bodily fluids, if it could talk, would scream volumes. Weinstein claims he needs rehabilitation. What Weinstein needs is a prison cell with other reprobates. If rehab is available behind bars, fine.
Those days are over. Hopefully victims of other abusers and rapists will come forward without fear of retribution, whether Hollywood hopefuls, students, men and women from all walks of life - our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters who don’t have a public forum from which to seek solace or legal recourse. No one should be forced to live in fear, and no bully should be permitted to impose that fear upon anyone, anywhere.
Sanford D.. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Keeping His Enemies Closer
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 17, 2017
Frustrated by Congressional Republicans inability to coalesce and actually accomplish the goals they set forth during the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump has been dining with Democrats in the White House. He has become the Don Corleone of the presidency - keeping his friends close and his enemies closer - especially pertaining to the issue of DACA.
Make no mistake, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are enemies of President Trump as they speak of him with nothing less than venomous verbiage. Regarding Trump’s decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Schumer said, “was heartless and brainless.” Pelosi chimed in calling Trump’s decision “a despicable act of political cowardice.”
Even I am conflicted - somewhat - concerning DACA. Long a supporter of deporting all illegal aliens, knowing how improbable a task that would be to undertake, I stand on the principles of law and order - that those in the United States illegally have broken the law, and lawbreakers should not be rewarded for their illegal acts. Yet, for generations now, illegal aliens continue to garner access to healthcare, welfare, food stamps, public education, free and reduced meals in public schools, in-state tuition at many state colleges and universities - all at the expense to the American taxpayer.
Here’s the conflicting aspect of DACA - the overwhelming majority of the roughly 800,000 “dreamers” in this unconstitutional program were brought to the United States at ages too young to understand, and beyond their control. Many of them are living positive lives having procured education and employment making them otherwise trouble-free and contributing members of society. Yet, they are still living in this country illegally, due to the illegal actions of their parents, relatives, or whomever transported them across international lines into the United States.
Many of the DACA residents know only life in the United States, speak only English, have broken no laws (save for being here illegally), and are simply seeking to remain in the only country they know. Make no mistake, I have not softened my stance on illegal immigration - those here illegally should have absolutely no access to the aforementioned rights bestowed upon citizens and legal residents. By stripping those so-called entitlements away from those here illegally, many may self-deport, while others simply will go deeper underground finding their lives even more difficult and complicated in these United States. If that sounds harsh, so be it - these people were neither invited to the United States, nor do they have a right to be here, illegally. This is still about the rule of law - American law.
Parents of DACA participants should have applied for entrance legally, waited in line as millions before them, such as my own mother-in-law, who took such pride in becoming an American citizen and casting her first vote for president - I know, I witnessed her swearing in ceremony as well as took her to the polling station on Election Day. There is a right way and a wrong way to conduct business, and those who choose the wrong path should not be rewarded. This also includes denying amnesty to those within DACA.
In spite of standing fervently with my principles, reality dictates there is a more than fair chance the dreamers will be legalized by Congress. President Trump took the proper course of action putting DACA in the laps of Congress. Trump understands what clearly Barack Obama did not - the executive branch does not make law, that is the job of Congress - the legislative branch. Even Obama’s own lawyer advised him that DACA, unilaterally enacted with no legal authority to shield these lawbreakers from deportation, would fail if argued in court. Simple concept - Constitution 101 - Article I, Section 8 - “The Congress shall have Power... To establish an [sic] uniform Rule of Naturalization.”
Unfortunately, in the hands of Congress, the right thing cannot be counted upon to be accomplished. The Democrats want the dreamers granted citizenship and voting rights in the blink of an eye - that is wholly unacceptable. The Republicans lack the intestinal fortitude to demand the following - if legalization is a fait accomplis, it should never include citizenship or the right to vote - the price to pay for illegal immigration. Any violation of the laws of the land are subject to deportation. No chain migration whatsoever - the DACA residents are young adults now and should be able to provide for themselves. Their parents or whoever brought them to the United States must be deported, move to the back of the line to qualify for legal immigration with concomitant penalties and fines.
The GOP must demand that any move toward legalization of the dreamers need first include funding for the wall on the southern border of the United States, and increased national security. Secure the funding first - no carrot and stick shtick that sunk the amnesty of 1986 because there were a plethora of carrots, but nary a stick. Additionally, and this need be new legislation pertaining to anyone entering the United States for any purpose - student visas, vacationers, business people, new immigrants - legal residents and new citizens - all must be photographed and fingerprinted. This information should be stored on a national database accessible in all 50 states.
As much of a small government American that I am, it should still be able to keep track of anyone in this country who are neither citizens nor permanent residents. While the overwhelming majority of the so-called mainstream media will react apoplectically, Congress must not kow-tow to this group of unelected, partisan hacks who, more often than not, are attempting to inject themselves into their own stories instead of reporting the news in an unbiased fashion. Do your job Congress - do what is best for American citizens.
Every effort must be made to keep DACA participants from acquiring citizenship and voting rights, thus encouraging more and more illegal behavior from people who have no right to be in the United States. This country cannot house the entire populace of Earth, and people who are granted admittance, must follow the laws if they wish to become part of American society.
Signs carried by protesters demanding equal rights for immigrants are disingenuous. Legal immigrants already have equal rights. Illegal immigrants have no right to anything other than a one way ticket back to their countries of origin. Illegals burning American flags clearly have no allegiance to the country they supposedly wish to join so badly they snuck in. Be American. Take pride in your new country - carry the American flag, not the flag of another nation. Help make America great again.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Not a Sweet 16
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 8, 2017
Sixteen years later and the world as we know it still reeks of terror - and in most cases it is calamitously and pandemically worse as airplanes murderously flown into buildings by Muslim extremists are passe, while the employment of women, children, blades, and automobiles as deadly weapons have become the new normal.
On the eve of yet another September 11 our increasingly fractious civilization is on the precipice of imploding due to a lack of unity against a common enemy, rampant political correctness, and a lack of a sense and knowledge of history.
As we become further distanced from the realities of September 11, 2001, it becomes easier to shrug our shoulders at the war in front of us, and more ambivalent toward the reality that a greater number of people are denying. First and foremost, never forget the dastardly deeds perpetrated not just against the United States, but against humanity as a whole. Never forget that the perpetrators are continuing their mission to bring down the United States, Israel, Western Civilization, and perhaps annihilate all of G-d’s humanity in a suicidal attempt to reach their so-called 72 virgins.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana (1863-1952)
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.
8:50 AM: President George W. Bush is alerted to what was initially presumed to be a horrible accident while visiting a Sarasota, FL elementary school.
8:55 AM: South Tower declared secure.
8:59 AM: Towers ordered evacuated.
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.
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.
9:59 AM: The South Tower collapses in 10 seconds after burning 56 minutes. More than 800 civilians and first responders are murdered.
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.
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.
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.
While this is not an indictment of the entirety of Islam, a faith claiming to be the religion of peace, roughly 10 percent of its believers are considered radicalized and or extremist. And when dealing with over a billion people, 10 percent is 100 million people willing to murder and/or die for their zealous cause, thus making it the religion of pieces.
The ever growing litany of terror attacks across the globe since September 11, 2001 have been overwhelmingly committed by Muslim extremists in places like England, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, and of course the United States with both homegrown and imported terrorists. Whether the perpetrators identify as al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Taliban, just to name a few - they all have certain indelible truths in common - their adherence to Muslim extremism, desire to eliminate Israel, the United States, Western Civilization as a whole and anyone they deem an infidel.
The enemy is also the Islamic Republic of Iran - a nation that cannot be trusted to keep a lid on its nuclear designs, yet Barack Obama abandoned reality in surrendering $150 billion to a maniacal despot hellbent on the destruction of both the United States and Israel. The enemy is also Syria. The enemy is also Russia, sadly vindicating former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Russia is as much an Iranian proxy as China is to North Korea, the other two parts of the current Axis of Evil. North Korea, with its own nuclear designs, threats, and testing is also run by a fat, little, maniacal despot.
The enemy is not President Donald Trump - he is the legally elected leader of the United States, and for those who have animus toward him, there will be another election in 2020. He is not a dictator, he is not trying to kill anyone, regardless of what wingnut members of Congress Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claim in their hysterical attempts to overthrow this administration.
The enemy is not global warming, despite what mega-hypocrite Al Gore says. If people are being slaughtered by terrorists, they will be dead forever. Global warming, if real, which is debatable, could be combatted with the cooperation of the world’s biggest polluter - China.
The enemy is not the white, male Christian, despite what is being inculcated on high school and college campuses. Through indoctrination, the overwhelming majority of teachers, instructors, and professors as early as elementary school through the highest levels of university life offer a pervasive opinion that a reason for anyone’s failings is due to white privilege, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and any other -ism and phobia foolishly ignored by this white male. Anti-semitism on campus continues to rise as the BDS movement is considered an acceptable form of bigotry.
The enemy is not Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and consistent reliable ally to the United States. Muslims and Arabs live more freely in Israel than they do in majority Muslim and Arab countries. Israel offers equal rights to women, the likes of which are not seen in Muslim majority countries where they are virtual prisoners, while Israel has even elected a female Prime Minister, Golda Meir, of Blessed memory. Gays in Israel have more freedom than in Muslim majority countries where many have been beheaded or simply pitched off the roofs of buildings like garbage to their deaths.
The enemy is not Wall Street or wealth. There is no sin in accumulating wealth honestly. Wealthy people hire other people. Wealthy people endow universities, hospitals, and create charitable organizations - all of which benefit many in need.
On this September 11, and every day, we the free people of the world must remain forever vigilant; know who our allies are, and know who our enemies are (not going to quote The Godfather). We must also maintain our faith, as I offer a selection from Jewish liturgy.
“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.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
NFL’s Priorities Stand for Hypocrisy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 7, 2017
While the Cleveland Browns are the most recent National Football League franchise to make a mockery of the Star Spangled Banner, they are actually doing so with the blessing of the league itself. Another NFL season kicks off this weekend, as flags will be raised and unfurled throughout 16 stadiums, yet there will be a lack of uniformity as the league remains silent on those players demonstrating disdain and disrespect toward the American flag and all it represents.
The NFL, in its current spate of political correctness, is quick to fine players for excessive celebration for anything from a sack to a dance in the endzone following a touchdown. And although it seems perfectly acceptable to blaspheme the National Anthem under the guise of free expression, different socks and/or messages on their shoes are flagged for punishment.
The NFL is demonstrating sheer hypocrisy by not demanding all players stand for the National Anthem. After all, fans in the stands are required to do so, hearing this or a similar announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise, and gentlemen please remove your caps as so-and-so performs/sings our National Anthem.” If it is mandatory for paying customers to stand, why are the players treated any differently? Who are they to receive a special dispensation from standing for the National Anthem.
About a dozen Cleveland Browns players took a knee during their home preseason game on Monday, August 21 versus the New York Giants. Additionally, Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett sat during the National Anthem on Sunday, August 13. And while head coach Pete Carroll said “we should all stand for the anthem,” there were no repercussions against Bennett.
It was just as wrong for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to take a knee last season, as Hall of Famer Jim Brown said he thought it disrespectful and that players like Kaepernick are desecrating the flag. Now, as opening day approaches, and Kaepernick is still unemployed, there are players and a so-called sports writer Skip Bayless who are attempting to bully the league into hiring Kaepernick on racial discrimination grounds. That suggestion is a load of crap. Regardless of his race, Kaepernick has been a distraction and for those in the overwhelming majority, fans simply don’t wish to support a team with a malcontent on its roster.
Taken one step farther, the unions representing the Cleveland police officers and paramedics have announced they will defer from holding a large, roughly field-sized American flag during the pregame ceremonies prior to the Browns season-opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 10.
“I am not going to participate, or work with management, that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the National Anthem,” said Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association, and a veteran of the United States Navy. Loomis expressed shock upon learning that Browns management knew there would be players refusing to stand for the anthem, but did nothing to prevent their actions.
The Browns issued a contradictory statement at halftime of the their game versus the Giants. The Browns organization has a “profound respect for the National Anthem, the U.S. flag and those who serve in the military. We feel it’s important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression.” Pure hypocrisy.
So the NFL endorses personal expression when it pertains to something as important as respecting the American flag and the National Anthem, yet rigidly enforces uniform rules regarding socks and shoes. The entire issue is a uniform issue, as in uni = one, one form, as in everyone wearing or doing the same thing - standing for the anthem. Once again, pure hypocrisy.
The NFL and its 32 franchises can enforce a rule requiring its employees, the players, to stand during the National Anthem. If a player wishes to offer personal expression, he should feel welcome to do so on his personal time. Once that player punches the clock, similar to an employee of any other business, they are required to follow the rules as established by their employer, provided they do not require lawbreaking or putting themselves in harm's way. A restaurant employee should not offer personal opinions on issues of the day while serving food to patrons, but once the shift has ended, he or she should be able to express his or her opinion at will. To do so on the clock could prove deleterious to the employer - losing patrons and ultimately income because of a wrong place, wrong time situation. Teams could suffer similar losses when jersey and other merchandise sales slump due to fans speaking with their wallets - refusing to purchase such items representing teams with players disrespecting the flag and ultimately the nation.
Players disobeying the rules should be fined up to the amount of one game’s salary. If players do not like the rules, they are free to find employment elsewhere. The NFL would no doubt disapprove of such enforcement for fear of being called racist when this is not a race issue, but instead, an issue of respect and uniformity. As a business, the NFL is gutless - lacking the intestinal fortitude to do what is right in the eyes of the millions of patriotic Americans, those who wore and continue to wear the uniform, as well as those men and women in blue on the front lines in the cities, towns, villages, and hamlets across this great nation.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He is a longtime fan of the New York Giants and New York Jets.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Following Robert E. Lee’s Prophecy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 18, 2017
Virginia Nazis. I hate Virginia Nazis!
With appreciation to Dan Ackroyd and the late John Belushi, the reprehensible activities of Saturday August 12 at Emancipation Park were vividly reminiscent of the scene in The Blues Brothers where the pair drove their car through a crowd of marching neo-Nazis sending them flying into a creek to the cheers of the protesting crowd.
With apologies to the memory of Heather Heyer, 32, of Virginia, there was nothing remotely amusing about the horrific events of Saturday August 12 in Charlottesville, VA leading to the death of this innocent American woman. Heyer worked as a paralegal for the Miller Law Group in Charlottesville. May her memory be for a Blessing.
The events of August 12, indelibly seared into the consciousness of the nation, have spawned thoughts heading in different, if not divergent, directions. What led to the breakdown of civilized behavior in Charlottesville? How did President Trump respond? How the media unnecessarily turned Trump’s words into the story. The follow up behavior in Durham, NC and Washington, DC that have opened up centuries old wounds that demand addressing. That the United States is still a nation of law and order.
Amazingly, and according to FOX News, the latest cover photo on Heyer’s Facebook page read, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Victim and perpetrator could not be more different according to those who knew and know them. Often brought to tears over the suffering of others - including strangers, according to those who worked with Heyer, she would take to social media to express her outrage. Learning about the protest organized by white supremacists regarding the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, Heyer, a longtime Charlottesville resident, joined the counter-protest.
On the other hand, there is James Alex Fields, Jr, 20, accused of intentionally slamming his car through the throng, killing Heyer and injuring nearly an additional two dozen counter-protesters. According to former high school teachers, Fields was obsessed with Hitler and the Nazis. “Once you talked to James for a while, you would start to see that sympathy toward Nazism, that idolization of Hitler, that belief in white supremacy,” said Derek Weimer, Fields’ high school history teacher, according to the Associated Press. Two years ago, Fields flunked out of basic training in the United States Army and has even been accused of beating his own mother on more than one occasion.
Held sans bail, Fields faces one count of second degree murder and numerous counts of malicious wounding on what should have been a day of peaceful assemblage and non-violent protesting.
The day’s activity, a “Unite the Right” rally centered around the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee (January 19, 1807 - October 12, 1870), a lifelong Virginian, who graduated second in his class in 1829 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. It was during the Mexican-American War (April 1846 - February 1848) that Lee met and worked with Ulysses S. Grant, the future Commanding General of the Union forces. For three years, 1852-1854, Lee served as Superintendent of West Point. On the eve of the War Between the States, although offered a high ranking commission with the Union Army, Lee remained loyal to his home Commonwealth of Virginia and joined the Confederacy.
The removal of the statue (still standing as of August 18) of Lee brought out roughly 1,000 protesters, with permits to march and assemble, encompassing white supremacists, KKK members, neo-Nazis, and a plethora of garden variety racists. If only they knew their American history. While these imbeciles had every right to march and protest the removal of the Lee statue, they lacked the knowledge of how Lee himself felt about such ostentatious showings.
In fact, based upon his own writings, Lee “was not a fan of statues honoring Civil War generals, fearing they might ‘keep open the sores of war,’” according to CNN.
“It’s often forgotten that Lee himself, after the Civil War, opposed monuments, specifically Confederate war monuments,” said a Lee biographer Jonathan Horn (no relation, as far as I know).
While Fields is currently the only suspect in custody, a wide net is being cast in determining who else participated in the violence that left one dead and nearly two dozen injured.
Outnumbering the white supremacists, et al, was a group of counter-protesters, lacking a permit to march, but doing so peacefully - for the most part. On the other hand, a third group calling themselves the Antifa - a far left, so-called anti-fascist organization using radical, violent, and militant tactics, engaged with the neo-Nazis, et al, leading to the outbreak of a scene befitting downtown Beirut or a European house of parliament.
“The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American. Anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable,” said President Donald Trump. The investigation includes potential charges of domestic terrorism - which should be a no-brainer.
“What we saw when that young man drove the car in a crowd of people - that was domestic terrorism. That was grotesque. I’m glad the Department of Justice answered my call and the calls of many others to investigate that, and I believe to prosecute it as domestic terrorism because nobody has a right to inflict their hateful views through violence and murder on us,” said Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“This was an act of evil that will not be tolerated in the United States,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“What happened in Charlottesville was a tragedy. It did not represent that community, and it didn’t represent the United States. Dangerous fringe groups have no place in America, and we condemn them,” said Vice President Mike Pence. “We will not tolerate hatred and violence of groups like white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis. These extremist groups have no place in the American debate,” Pence added.
Practically overshadowing the heinous actions in Charlottesville has been the focus on the words of President Trump. Not always the most crafty of wordsmiths, Trump’s words were all over the political landscape, although this most certainly is not a political issue, but in fact, a human issue. After all, politics and humanity don’t often mesh.
Misguided as they might have been on the surface, Trump preferred to be the anti-Obama regarding making snap statements, parts or all of which would later need be detracted. And Trump even had one of those such comments when he said, “there were people who were very fine on both sides.” Clearly there was no such animal on the side of the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK, and Trump erred vociferously in saying as much. Especially when such thugs were seen carrying tiki torches. What - no pitchforks?
However, while there is no moral equivalence, Trump was correct when he said “I think there’s blame on both sides.” People showing up to a supposedly peaceful march, protest, or rally clad in armor or military regalia are clearly not there to abide by the First Amendment, but instead looking for a physical confrontation. Both the white supremacists and their ilk as well as the Antifa prepared for battle - and that is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, caught in the middle were those counter-protesters whose purpose was peaceful objection to the march of the white supremacists, and the even more unfortunate Heather Heyer.
“I wanted to make sure that what I said was correct,” said Trump regarding his initial remarks. “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are animals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. In times such as these America has always shown its true character responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice,” said Trump in a strong, presidential speech on Monday, August 14.
Not to be forgotten, are the two Virginia police officers whose chopper crashed near the Charlottesville rally site as they were monitoring the violent demonstration from above. Killed were Lt. H. Jay Cullen, Jr., 48, leaving a wife and two sons; and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, one day shy of his 41st birthday, leaving a wife and one daughter.
“Deepest condolences to the families and fellow officers of the Virginia State Police who died today. You’re all among the best this nation produces,” tweeted Trump.
However, Trump then swung the verbal pendulum from the presidential to the hyperbolic, when addressing the removal of the statue of General Lee. “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump asked hyperbolically, surely knowing the difference between the Founding Fathers who lived within the context of their time versus the Confederate generals and soldiers fighting for a cause that divided a nation.
Regardless of Trump’s words, they would either not be strong enough, or they would be too strong, for those who oppose him - he has, as has been the case since his inauguration, been in a no-win situation with both his opposition as well as the media, who, once again, attempted to inject themselves in the story.
As has oft been the case in increasing fashion since Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, the so-called mainstream media, in its zeal to become the next Woodward or Bernstein ingratiates itself into a supposed hard news story offering personal commentary where it is professionally unwelcome. If a news reporter wishes to opine, become an editorial writer. This attitude displayed itself following the destruction of a confederate soldier statue in Durham, NC.
Takiya Thompson, 22, a student at North Carolina Central University, scaled a statue of a Confederate soldier via a ladder, wrapped a strap around and felled the monument to the delight and cheers of an approving crowd, ultimately finding herself arrested - and rightfully so.
That members of the media applauded the lawbreaking, vandalism, and desecration demonstrates their inability to objectively perform their duties or reporting the news in as unbiased a fashion as possible. The same is true when covering President Trump - it is not their place to either criticize or capitulate with Trump, or any political figure they may be covering for their news outlet.
But insofar as Thompson goes, her arrest is exactly what needed to happen. The destruction of property, public or private is unacceptable in a society of law and order. There is an appropriate manner in which to express displeasure and disgust with a statue or monument one finds offensive. Petition the state government, get press coverage, and force the issue in the public forum.
“That statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people live in, and it had to go,” said Thompson of her vigilante actions. From a legal standpoint, Thompson, and any others who are identified by the ample video footage, should be charged, convicted, and made to serve jail time and make financial restitution for their actions - the law is still the law, in spite of a comment made by a member of Durham’s law enforcement community.
“Ground rules need to be set,” said Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews following the destruction of the Durham statue. Ground rules? Hey, sheriff, how about obeying the law! How about informing the miscreants who destroy public property that there are other ways to accomplish the goal of statue removal. Remember, this is not a race issue, this is a law and order issue.
While I absolutely disagree with Thompson’s methods (criminal) and message (the statue cannot oppress anyone), the use of the word glorify is poignant. Since when does the United States glorify the losing side of a war, i.e. the Confederacy? While the Confederate troops were repatriated and granted veteran status, there are many who view them as traitors against the Stars and Stripes and should not be honored. Forgotten? No; but not honored. See below on education.
As of Wednesday, August 16, three additional people, as well as Thompson, face charges “of two felonies relating to inciting and participating in a riot that damaged property,” according to FOX News. The three are Peter Gilbert, 39, Dante Strobino, 35, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24. All four should receive as stringent a penalty as possible. A message must be sent that wanton and malicious destruction of property is still illegal - whether a Confederate statue, the Lincoln Memorial, or any monument not belonging to the criminal destroying it.
Graffiti, in the form of the words “f*ck law” in red paint were emblazoned onto the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday. These actions are simply unacceptable in decent, civilized society, unless ours going the way of the Nazis, Taliban, and ISIS - first the statues, then the burning of books, then the destruction of schools and houses of worship, finalized by the slaughter of those with whom we disagree. They can tear down statues, but they can not erase or whitewash the history - a history that must be taught in order to learn from the egregious mistakes of the past, and celebrate the victories that make the United States the greatest country on G-d’s earth - in spite of her occasional failings.
On the other hand, from an emotional standpoint, I understand the salt in the wounds created by such a statue. I would no more want to see an SS/Nazi soldier glorified in stone or bronze in a public square or courthouse grounds than those emotionally affected by the Confederate statue.
There is a right way and a wrong way in handling these matters. Clearly the wrong way has been evidenced for far too long. If only the perpetrators of such acts knew their United States Constitution. Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, violence and the incitement thereof is not protected. This is true for those who brought down the Confederate soldier in Durham, as well as the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Antifa in Charlottesville.
Charlottesville may take down the statue of Robert E. Lee. Since the uprising in the home of Jefferson’s University of Virginia, Gainesville and Jacksonville, FL, Lexington and Louisville, KY, Nashville, TN, and Baltimore, MD are also taking similar steps to remove Confederate statues. In fact, as per a city council edict, a city council that is 100 percent Democrat, and has been since 1939, Baltimore removed four statues in the dead of night earlier in the week, supported by Republican Governor Larry Hogan. (Baltimore is a master of overnight removals - just ask Colts football fans.) This is not a political issue.
Gather the statues, the monuments, the memorials and relocate them to museums throughout the South. This includes removing the statues of Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808 - December 6, 1889) and the 10 other Confederates from the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Capitol Building. Each state of the former Confederacy should enlist its Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy to raise the funds for such museums, thus no government money would be expended and only those wishing to contribute would do so. Far left censorship is not the answer. Violence from anyone is also not the answer.
History is just that - the story of man, and it must be told. Never eviscerate history from the records - the good, the bad, and the ugly must never be swept into the dustbin of anonymity. To suggest otherwise would dub me a hypocrite as a longtime teacher of American history and government.
Ironically, Robert E. Lee even supported the removal of the Confederate flag in the post-war era - even from flying over Washington College in Lexington, VA where he was president from 1865 until his death in 1870. Shortly after his death, the trustees added Lee’s name to the school, which today is Washington and Lee University. Lee did not want divisive symbols following him to the grave, nor was he buried in his uniform. Lee was worried that “keeping those symbols alive, would keep the divisions alive,” wrote Horn in his Lee biography.
Today, 152 years following the Civil War’s bloody conclusion, sadly, Lee’s prophecy continues to ring true. Time to heed and honor the vanquished general’s wishes.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He lived in Virginia for a dozen years.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Illegals Continue Reign of Terror
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 10, 2017
As far as legal residents and citizens are concerned, sanctuary cities are absolutely no safe haven. Protection for illegal aliens - and that is what those people who enter the United States without permission are - continues to take precedence over the safety and security of those taxpayers for whom law enforcement is expected to protect and defend.
Shocking proof of the egregious and callous manner in which legal residents and citizens are being treated by those whom were elected to serve those taxpayers is on full display in, but not limited to, Chicago, San Francisco, Multnomah County, OR, and Burien, WA.
In the Windy City, appropriately nicknamed for the blustery bloviations spewing out of the gaping hole in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s mouth, while black on black gun homicides continue to escalate to epic proportions rendering an entire city unsafe, Emanuel promises safety for the illegals amongst them.
Calling for the local police force to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to federal laws, thus ensuring a safe haven for illegals in Chicago, Emanuel is risking the forfeiture of federal grant funding. President Donald Trump has made it part of his administration’s goals, in attempting to curb illegal immigration, to remind localities that federal law supersedes that of state and local law. Failure to abide by such should cost those towns and cities their federal dollars.
If this is the battle Emanuel wants to ride up the mountain to fight, the voters should, and must, hold him responsible, which will never happen in such a Democratic stronghold. He knows his job is reasonably secure, and is putting principle above protecting those who deserve if first and foremost - the legal residents and citizens of Second City. But Emanuel stubbornly avers that his city won’t be blackmailed.
“We will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city,” Emanuel said, clearly meaning sanctuary city.
In fact, Emanuel won’t even require Chicago law enforcement to notify ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) 48 hours prior to releasing an illegal alien from custody, telling them it is not their job to do the bidding of that federal agency.
Perhaps Emanuel might change his tune if instead of the federal grant money Chicago would normally receive, federal uniformed and armed agents march through Chicago doing their job, sans Chicago cooperation - rounding up illegal aliens and those suspected as illegal aliens. In the meantime, Chicago law enforcement can continue to do an oh, so excellent job of curtailing the epidemic homicide rates.
While Emanuel continues his Don Quixote impersonation, the City of San Francisco is in the process of stealing taxpayer dollars to give to an undeserving miscreant for violating its own policy toward illegal aliens. Hoisted by its own petard, San Francisco fell prey to a lawsuit from Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, 33, an illegal alien from El Salvador, who was turned over to ICE agents by San Francisco police in violation of city policy. In an unconscionable decision, a settlement agreement reached by the City Attorney’s Office, forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for approval with a blessing and dollar amount from the Government Audit and Oversight Committee, agreed to dole out $190,000 to Figueroa-Zarceno.
Taxpayers ought to be outraged. This after all, is the same city where Kate Steinle was murdered in 2015 by a repeat offender illegal alien at Pier 14, and the city continues its heinous policy of protecting illegal aliens at the risk of the safety of legal residents and citizens. “This is a shameful waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Jason Clark, Chairman of the San Francisco GOP.
Further up the coast in Multnomah County, OR, Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, an illegal alien from Mexico, has been harbored in Portland. The habitual recidivist, who belongs in a Mexican prison, has been deported and has returned 20 times, most recently last November, only to return again to continue his reign of terror. In addition to his crimes of illegally entering the United States 20 times, his lengthy criminal record includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault at knifepoint, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, and sodomy. Martinez also admitted to drug use - specifically heroin and meth.
Local authorities released Martinez from their custody sans ICE notification offering up the following weak explanation. “Oregon law prohibits public agencies from spending money, using equipment, or enlisting personnel to enforce federal immigration law,” thus making Oregon a de facto sanctuary state.
Contradicting that statement, Lt. Chad Gaidos of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office wrote, “MCSO is committed to ensuring we comply with all federal and state laws that govern local public safety agencies with regard to enforcement of immigration policies.” Seems the county can’t get their act together, much to the detriment of the citizens of Multnomah County and probably beyond.
Martinez appeared in court again, on July 26, where he pleaded not guilty to assaulting two more women. These women would not have been prey for Martinez had local law enforcement cooperated with federal agents. But Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said, we are “not responsible for enforcing federal immigration. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office does not hold persons in jail based upon their immigration status.”
This brand of impudence should cost Portland and Multnomah County federal grant money for their lack of cooperation with the federal agencies attempting to keep illegal aliens from their continued invasion of the United States.
Perhaps there might be a ray of sunshine in Burien, WA, a suburban community in King County south of Seattle. However, this ray of sunshine has come too late for the victim of Salvador Diaz-Garcia, a 23-year-old illegal alien, in the United States since 2013 as a “dreamer,” under DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals). An 18-year-old should not be considered a “child” under DACA. On the other hand, DACA should not even exist in the first place. This so-called “dreamer” has caused nothing but nightmares for his victims, their families, and their communities.
Surveillance tape and witnesses caught Diaz-Garcia spying on his future victim, on June 25, through a window in the workout facility of her residential community. Shortly thereafter he followed the 19-year-old home, attacking her, leaving her with a bloody head, missing teeth, a torn and dangling ear, numerous cuts to the head, a cut upper lip, broken orbital bone, broken jaw, broken nose, and rendering her unable to speak. A rape kit discovered male DNA.
Although a sanctuary city law passed muster via the city council in January, a growing citizens group has garnered enough signatures for a ballot referendum in November against the sanctuary city status. Such a referendum would be the first of its kind in the United States. Sadly it took a brutal, life-altering rape and attack to open the eyes of people who thought it acceptable to continue harboring illegal aliens. And to those who would defend illegals as a group by suggesting not all illegals are criminals, think again. The very act of entering the United States without proper authority is in itself a crime. Impeding all illegal aliens from entering this country, or at the very least, remanding those who do cross the border to their country of origin would prevent their crimes from having been committed from the outset.
Yet, in spite of the heinousness of the attack this victim endured, at least three members of the seven member Burien City Council desire the ordinance to remain in effect. One such councilor, Austin Bell, demonstrated how obtuse he is by suggesting illegal aliens are akin to citizens. It is “important for every citizen to be able to come forward and feel safe here; that is in all of our interests and is the morally right thing to do,” said Bell.
By saying “every citizen,” while defending rights illegal aliens do not, nor should not, have, Bell is equating illegal aliens with legal residents and citizens. And while not all illegal aliens are Hispanic, and not all Hispanics are illegal aliens, the Hispanic population of Burien is 24 percent and growing rapidly. Burien’s population surpassed 50,000 following an annexation occurring after the 2010 census. (http://www.burienwa.gov)
An increasing number of Burien citizens say the sanctuary city policy sends the wrong message making people actually feel less safe, including Debi Wagner, a member of the Burien City Council. “We want everyone here to be happy and safe. How can we guarantee that if we don’t know anything about people living in our midst,” said Wagner.
And in fact, there is more to know about Diaz-Garcia. In January of this year, his dreamer status was renewed. It has since been revoked as he is being held with bail set at $350,000. Additionally, Diaz-Garcia faces child molestation charges for the assault on a 14-year-old girl the same day of his supposed brutal attack on the 19-year-old.
Let these real life stories be the cautionary tales that are necessary to wake people up to the dangers of the illegal alien epidemic that goes largely ignored until it is too late. Enforcing the laws currently in existence, and stronger border security - both north and south, should be a minimum starting point. Denying any benefits to illegal aliens such as medical care, hospitalization, drivers licences, food stamps, jobs - including punishing the employers who hire them, placement in schools - from elementary through college, and welfare should make life more difficult for those who have no legal right to be in the United States and should lead to some measure of self-deportation.
America is for Americans and those seeking to make America a better place. It is a beacon of freedom, strength, refuge, and salvation for those willing to play by the rules, become part of the fabric of what America has meant and stood for lo these past two and a half centuries and hopefully for millennia to come.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.