Thursday, August 10, 2017

Illegals Continue Reign of Terror

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. (

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.

Monday, July 3, 2017

UK Sentences Baby to Death

UK Sentences Baby to Death
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 3, 2017

Beware living under the auspices of government-controlled healthcare and medical care. Let the following cautionary tale be your guide, and may the United States government never follow in their linguistic ancestors’ footsteps.

The case in question involves 11-month-old infant Charlie Gard, born in August 2016 and saddled with infantile-onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome - a rare genetic disorder, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While debates over so-called death panels have mostly been hypothetical or theoretical here in the United States as a part of the failed Obamacare, for British subjects they are all too real, as baby Charlie’s parents are experiencing. Connie Yates, 31, and Chris Gard, 32, Charlie’s parents, are fighting the government’s decision to ultimately cease life support.

Although parents are charged with making medical treatment decisions for their children in Great Britain, so long as “choices don’t contravene a child’s best interests,” the British Supreme Court ruled in favor of the doctors seeking permission to terminate treatment. What happened to the Hippocratic Oath? First do no harm?

The British Supreme Court said in their June ruling that “prolonging Charlie’s life would be not in his best interests.” Charlie has brain damage; he is not brain dead. Adding insult to injury, the parents have been denied the right to bring Charlie to the United States for an experimental therapy - a therapy, that heretofore, has been tested on neither people nor animals in Charlie’s circumstance, according to The Journal. If doctors are willing to let Charlie die, attempting this therapy costs the child nothing.

Remember, it is the parents fighting to keep their child alive, not the government. Why should the government have the power of life and death when parents have the right to make such decisions? Additionally, why should the government sign Charlie’s death warrant when his parents have managed to raise $1.7 million as of last Friday, June 30 via social media. Both President Donald Trump and Pope Francis have weighed in supporting Charlie and his parents’ right to keep him alive and receive the potentially life saving treatment in the United States.

“If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” tweeted President Trump.

G-d forbid Trump should offer legitimate assistance to a child in need - where he has nothing to gain - but yet is chided by NBC reporter Matt Bradly for attempting to garner political points out of the suffering of that child.

The British government, in its infinite cruelty, even thwarted Connie Yates and Chris Gard’s right to take Charlie home to die with dignity. They asked the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the British Supreme Court’s ruling, but it denied the request, in spite of the “sensitive moral and ethical issues,” this case is raising. The British Supreme Court is no better than the abortionists’ savage butchery of the unborn at Planned Parenthood.

Charlie Gard, and others like him, are precisely the reasons the United States should not move toward government-run healthcare, as Obamacare dictated - dictating that the American people should be forced to purchase a product it may not want; dictating the places where the American people could actually receive medical care, and how its failings are hurting the American people. We the people should not have the government imposing its will on the populous. Medical decisions must be determined between doctor and patient, not some nameless, faceless death panel, as has been feared.

Far be it for the United States, in spite of Trump’s support of Charlie and his parents, to intervene with the sovereignty of another nation, but where is the humanity? There is a complete loss of humanity in this case and no doubt countless others lacking the notoriety of Charlie Gard. This is not North Korea.

This is Great Britain - a presumably civilized nation seeking to euthanize an 11-month-old infant when a potentially life saving treatment could be available. This smacks of Nazism - to simply sentence this child to death unemotionally and seemingly with no care for the parents and their suffering. Remember, Germany in the 1930s also relished its place amongst civilized society, and yet it perpetrated one of the greatest crimes against humanity. This is not, nor should it be made into, a political issue; it is bigger than that, as it is about the life of not just one little boy, but all future patients who may be denied life, liberty, and happiness by the non-medical, political apparatchik. Something to keep in mind as we the American people celebrate the 241st birthday of the United States on our independence from Great Britain.

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Censorship 101 - Crimson Style

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” -- Evelyn Beatrice Hall, British writer (1868-1956)

Censorship 101 - Crimson Style
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 19, 2017

Hate speech, provided it does not incite violence, is still free speech, except at Harvard University. At Harvard, free speech and expression is costly - to the tune of about a dozen rising freshmen being told their First Amendment rights end at the front gates of the ivory towers of the Cambridge, MA campus, as their acceptances were rescinded.

Apparently the First Amendment does not include social media postings that were determined to be offensive by a faceless, nameless committee that Harvard won’t divulge. On what has been called a “private Facebook page,” according to the Wall Street Journal, this particular group of students, posted sexually explicit messages, along with others mocking the Holocaust, joking about pedaphilia, and child abuse.

There is no question that the posts were vile, distasteful, unsavory, and repugnant; yet, no laws were violated. These students, heretofore previously on their way to matriculate at Harvard this fall, find themselves on the outside looking in, whose potential notoriety could prevent them from landing at any campus, should fight the rescinding of their acceptances.

This is a classic example of the slippery slope so bone chilling, it makes George Orwell’s 1984, look like Dr. Seuss. This is precisely why the United States has a First Amendment - protecting the right to speak one’s mind. It’s still not against the law to say/post offensive comments, and while Harvard also has the right to deny admission to any applicant it chooses, to do so because of opinions with which a committee does not agree, is disturbing.

Brilliant jurist Alan Dershowitz, who has a 53 year relationship with Harvard, and said as a private institution, Harvard is not “technically bound by the First Amendment.” He then quickly added that the rescinding of acceptances is “over-punishment and Draconian…. Harvard has committed itself to following the First Amendment and I think this violates the spirit, if not the letter of the First Amendment.”

How many students on campus, be it Harvard or anywhere else, think the same thoughts that were posted on this private Facebook page? (Although how a Facebook page is private in and of itself is flummoxing.) Perhaps the admissions committee did not vet these applicants carefully enough; but that’s on Harvard, not the students.

What will be the next set of opinions to keep people from the hallowed ivy of Harvard? Perhaps the committee will deny admission to those making disparaging remarks about Boston or the Kennedy family. And, this isn’t even about denying admission, it’s about rescinding admission from students already deemed “acceptable” for Harvard.

One cannot shield oneself from hurtful, offensive, or even viscerally disturbing images and words unless shuttered within their homes sans print, audio, visual media and even music lyrics. Nor does one have the right not to be offended.

The school claims it denies admission based upon honesty, maturity, and moral character. Wow - talk about a broad based set of criteria; and criteria decided upon by whom? The students in question were certainly honest in their despicable postings.

As for maturity, who defines maturity? Is maturity based upon whether or not the young students agree with the opinions of the older admissions committee? Does age alone define maturity? Is a 60-year-old automatically more mature than an 18-year-old simply based upon the numbers?

With regard to moral character, who is the arbiter of that definition? What if the admissions committee does not support gay marriage. Should students who do, be denied admission? Or should students who are married to a same-sex partner be denied admission? Is it morally acceptable to be anti-gay, but not anti-Semitic? Is it morally acceptable to oppose pedaphilia but not beastiality? By whose morals is Harvard basing their subjectivity?

In the Supreme Court case Matal v. Tam decided on Monday, June 19, the justices ruled unanimously, 8-0, that trademarks cannot be  banned simply because they are offensive. (Rookie Justice Neil Gorsuch, not on the court when the case was heard, did not participate.)

Banning an offensive trademark “offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

Alito also wrote that restricting “speech expressing ideas that offend… strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate.”

“A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy.

If the likes of Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg can agree on anything, let alone a pivotal First Amendment case, Harvard University can see its way clear to readmit those students with whom they disagree and open a dialogue where speech is encouraged and treasured, not thwarted and silenced.

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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Baseball is America; not a Miracle Worker

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.” - Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) in Field of Dreams (1989)

Baseball is America; not a Miracle Worker
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 17, 2017

Baseball is emblematic of what the United States of America should be. A manager, who earned the right to his position puts the nine best players on the field each day, regardless of background, religion, or ethnicity.

Prior to April 15, 1947 that was certainly not the case, until Jackie Robinson stepped on the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier that plagued our national pastime for decades. But baseball righted its own wrong. It was not ordered by the commissioner; nor was it ordered by the federal government.

In fact baseball desegregated itself a year before President Harry Truman ordered the Armed Forces desegregated in 1948.

Baseball is what America should be because it does not acquiesce to a government mandated quota system. Fans don’t care, or at least they shouldn’t care, if a Japanese hurler is pitching to a Dominican catcher, backed up by a Puerto Rican shortstop, a white second baseman, a black first baseman, and throw in a Jewish right fielder for good measure. As long as those are the best players the team has to offer that day. That is what the American workforce should look like - folks legally immigrating to the United States to make it a better country, just as players make a team better and stronger - better able to compete. Competition, after all, is the bellwether of America.

Baseball, however, is not a miracle worker.

Following the tragic shooting during the Republican’s baseball practice on Flag Day, Wednesday, June 14, at Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, VA, members of Congress, led by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), came together for their ubiquitous kumbaya moments.

This was the last practice prior to the annual Congressional Baseball Game, played on Thursday, June 15 at Nationals Park. During the practice, a deranged shooter fired more than 50 shots hitting GOP Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Capitol Hill police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner, as well as Congressional aide Zach Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika. Fortunately the would-be assassin was killed as police returned fire saving dozens of lives.

The Democrat’s team, practicing at a different field, upon hearing of this vicious attack, were seen huddled in prayer on the steps of one of the dugouts. Hours later, in the House chamber Speaker Ryan said “An attack on one of us, is an attack on all of us,” a sentiment Pelosi echoed in bi-partisan support. Yet, back in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), never missing an opportunity to be an opportunist, bemoaned the need for more strict gun control.

The next night, the pregame and post-game activities took center stage at Nationals Park. Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer brought a special guest out to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Crutches and all, wounded Capitol Hill police officer David Bailey hobbled to the mound amid a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd. Tossing one crutch aside, Bailey managed to will his pitch reasonably close to home plate where it was received by Roberto Clemente, Jr.

The teams were introduced and lined up across the infield. Also prior to the first pitch the teams met at second base, Scalise’s position, to join in prayer. A video message from President Donald Trump was then played in the stadium. He spoke of the importance of playing the game that night - both in support of our national pastime as well as the charities benefitting from the proceeds of the game. Trump thanked the Capitol police and the Alexandria police for their efforts. “By playing tonight’s game we will not be intimidated by threats or acts of violence and assault… I offer these unifying words - let’s play ball!”

The game itself was anticlimactic as the Democrats took the GOP to the woodshed by a final score of 11-2 in the seven inning affair. Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA), an across the aisle friend of fellow Pelican Stater Scalise, tossed a complete game gem - surrendering two runs in the first inning and yielding nothing the rest of the way. In his MVP performance, Richmond also laced three hits, including a triple, and scored three runs.

Following the game, the teams’ two managers met for the presentation of the trophy, where Democrat skipper Mike Doyle (PA) gave it to GOP manager Joe Barton (TX) to be presented to Scalise’s office.

While it would be nice to see the on field gestures carry over to the House and Senate chambers, let’s not hold our breath. Certainly there is room to reduce the rhetoric and attempt to work for the people who sent them there, but then that would put a lot of political consultants and ad copywriters out of work. Hmm - perhaps there is some good that could come out of this horrific event.

While not played every year, the tradition of the Congressional Baseball game dates back to 1909 and the Democrats currently hold a 40-39 lead, with one tie. A record crowd of 24,959 attended the game (outpacing the attendance of half of the 10 MLB games played that same night) where more than $1 million was raised for the following charities: the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Literacy Center, the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

To contribute to any of the charities visit the following sites:

While the people are generously supporting these charities, let’s hope the elected officials will remember why they were sent to Washington in the first place and work generously to ensure a better America.

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

Grounding Greg Gianforte

Grounding Greg Gianforte
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 9, 2017

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants people freedom of the press. However, body slamming a reporter is in no way an acceptable rewrite of the definition of a free press.

Yet, on Wednesday, May 24, that is precisely what Greg Gianforte, then Republican candidate for the At-Large seat in Congress from Montana, did to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, knocking him to the ground. The full-on assault occurred in Gianforte’s Bozeman campaign headquarters one day prior to the special election being held to fill the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke upon his Cabinet appointment to become Secretary of the Interior.

The following day, on Thursday, May 25, Gianforte emerged victorious, yet not necessarily unscathed, in winning the special election with 50 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Rob Quist, who garnered 44 percent of the vote, and Libertarian Mark Wicks with six percent. For his actions, Gianforte is charged with misdemeanor assault.

Gianforte has admitted his guilt via three apologies to Jacobs, who not only accepted, but indicated he has no plans to sue the Representative-elect. Gianforte plans to plead guilty when appearing in a Bozeman court on Monday, June 12. Jacobs has certainly taken the high road; he should have sued Gianforte.

Prior to the assault, Jacobs had been questioning Gianforte about the GOP healthcare plan. Perhaps in lieu of a true plan to repeal and replace Obamacare a physical assault would draw attention away from the GOP’s shortsightedness on this all-important issue. The Republican Party, after all, had seven years to cobble together a brilliant plan to replace the deleterious and destructive Obamacare.

In the weeks following the assault Gianforte has issued several apologies, one in part saying, "My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful. As both a candidate for Office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard. …I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness," wrote Gianforte.

In addition to his apologies, Gianforte pledged $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization that promotes freedom of the press.

Despite his many mea culpas and monetary contribution Gianforte should be denied his seat in the House of Representatives on the grounds of moral turpitude. Not only is there precedence to not seat a member-elect of Congress or eject a sitting member, such actions are supported by the Constitution.

Article I Section 5 of the United States Constitution states: "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.”

In spite of the Constitution, Gianforte has the Supreme Court case Powell v. McCormack (1969) on his side. The crux of that case determined neither house of Congress has the "power to exclude a member-elect who meets the Constitution's membership requirements," of age and residency. Thus remains the expulsion option which the House should exercise.

In the state of Montana, misdemeanor assault convictions carry a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $500 fine. Clearly a $500 fine is meaningless considering the $50,000 Gianforte is contributing to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Seating Gianforte based upon Powell, and then expelling him would have a greater impact, not just on Gianforte, but hopefully the body politic as a whole, that actions have repercussions and severe ones at that.

Members of the press, regardless of in how low esteem they are held by the public, especially politicians, should never be put in an intimidating position where they are unable to properly perform their jobs.

From personal experience as a member of the Fourth Estate, not everybody reports biased or fake news. Those who do should be admonished or dismissed from their positions. The American people, hell, all people deserve to know the truth. Make no mistake, the people do not have the right to know everything – state secrets potentially putting national security at risk should neither be leaked nor revealed. I’m an American first and a reporter/commentator second. Information on deep background or expressed off the record should stay there. I’ve managed to eke out a living keeping my word. We need an honest press, but we also need a press free to do its job without the threat of physical violence or intimidation.

Thomas Jefferson said it best: "The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." (Sadly, the purity of those waters has long passed us by.)

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Opposite Day at UN: Saudis on Women's Rights Commission

Opposite Day at UN: Saudis on Women’s Rights Commission
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 27, 2017

Proving itself once again to be irrelevant and pedantic, the United Nations, in its infinite superciliousness, voted to appoint the open minded and tolerant Saudi Arabia to the UN Women’s Rights Commission.

Go ahead, go back and read that again – yes, Saudi Arabia elected to sit on the UN Women’s Rights Commission. (This is the same United Nations that, in 2014, appointed those great bastions of liberal democracy, China, Cuba, and Iran, to serve on a committee overseeing global human rights.)

How is that possible? Has the Klan been charged with running the NAACP? Has ham suddenly been declared kosher? Reminds one of the Seinfeld episode where perennial loser George Costanza became a winner by doing the opposite of his instinctual thoughts.

Saudi Arabia is a country affording women practically no rights short of breathing. Women in Saudi Arabia are neither permitted to obtain a driver’s license or drive a motor vehicle. According to Sharia Law, women in Saudi Arabia must don head coverings in public, and while out in public are required to be chaperoned my a male family member, even one who is younger than the female.

This is the same Saudi Arabia inflicting forced marriages upon girls – children as young as 10 years old. Saudi women require permission from a male to marry, work, travel, garner health care, or gain release from prison. Additionally, Saudi women do not possess the right to file legal claims or even rent an apartment.

In fact, in 2006, a victim of a horrific gang rape was sentenced to 200 lashes for being out in public without a male guardian. So, naturally, Saudi Arabia is qualified to serve on the UN’s Women’s Rights Commission.

Then again, this is the same United Nations that perpetually charges Israel with human rights violations while countries like Angola, China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Syria commit atrocities against their own populations sans condemnation.

At the very least, the United States should stop paying the freight and bearing the brunt of the UN’s expenses while absorbing the traffic tickets on which foreigners with diplomatic immunity are permitted to skate. The United States is on the hook for 22 percent of United Nations’ budgeted expenses – the most of any country. The 192 visiting countries can pack their crap, get out of the United States and head to Paris or The Hague.

For the sake of global progress, the United Nations should be disbanded. Any organization that would condemn the only democracy in the Middle East that provides more rights to Palestinians and Arabs than Arab nations, while permitting a despotic nation to sit on a women’s rights commission, clearly serves no purpose.

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Free Speech Not Free for All

Free Speech Not Free for All
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 25, 2017

Thank G-d former Vermont Governor Howard Dean did not win the presidential election of 2004 – you know, the candidate made infamous by his blood curdling scream upon his third place finish in the Iowa Caucuses.

It seems the former governor and chair of the DNC is in need of remedial classes on the United States Constitution, particularly the First Amendment. Dean recently condemned the upcoming speech by conservative writer and commentator Ann Coulter saying the University of California-Berkeley had every right to cancel her engagement because “hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.”

First, Mr. Dean, who defines hate speech? What is hateful to you may not be hateful to me and vice versa. Are you the arbiter of what hate speech is? On the other hand, I am no more the arbiter of what hate speech is any more than Mr. Dean. We are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, and I would ascertain that were our opinions of what hate speech is, the end of free speech would be upon us as a so-called civilization.

But Dean is merely a symptom of a greater problem – that free speech for all on college campuses creates a free-for-all amongst apoplectic liberal anarchists who believe it is their right to prevent conservatives from speaking on their sacred campuses, by any means necessary. Simply see the violence perpetrated by lefty-loons upon the visit of conservative political scientist Charles Murray to Middlebury College in Dean’s home state of Vermont.

See also the violence at Berkeley in February, to the tune of $100,000 in damages when conservative Milo Yiannapolis was slated to speak. Now, with Coulter scheduled for April 27, UC Chancellor Nicholas Dirks took it upon himself to cancel her speaking engagement fearing for her safety. This at the “home of the free speech movement,” said Dirks when suggesting Ms. Coulter would not be safe on campus.

Dirks and his security team have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all who visit the UC-Berkeley campus. By disallowing Coulter, Dirks is surrendering his campus (as if it had not already been) to the far-left, who ironically lead the “be tolerant of everybody and everything unless it is conservative” movement. They are truly hypocritical. Even senators Bernie Sanders (S-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) support Coulter’s right to speak at Berkeley.

Free speech is for all Americans and should be protected. It’s easy to support speech with which we agree, but the real challenge is to support that which we disagree. And boy, are those campus cupcakes challenged. These anarchists will stop at nothing to shut down any conservative voice, again, by any means necessary. Of what are they really afraid? The real hate speech is derived by the anarchists with their threats and acts of violence.

Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick ruffled a lot of feathers during the 2016 NFL season by opting not to stand during the National Anthem. This spurred many a debate. I thought it was wrong, disrespectful, and offensive of Kaepernick to take a knee, but was his right to do so. The now unemployed football player was recently named one of the 100 most influential people by Time. Does anybody still read that magazine?

After some mild outrage and threats of law suits, Dirks wanted to move Coulter’s speech to May 2, but Coulter rejected that notion. She said that date is unacceptable; the reasons are unimportant, and said she still plans on keeping her original speaking date. I hope she does, and that a huge throng turns out to hear her speech – from both sides of the aisle. Let them agree to disagree and then debate the issues in a civilized, non-violent manner. After all, the answer to objectionable speech is not silence and violence, but more speech. The right must inspire thinking on every campus across the fruited plain by inviting as many conservatives to speak as possible. The intolerant anarchists will continue to out themselves for what they are.

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