Monday, August 30, 2021

9-11: 20 Years Later - Are We Any Safer?

9-11: 20 Years Later - Are We Any Safer?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 30, 2021

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That the longest war in United States history should come to a shocking conclusion in abject failure on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack perpetrated on American soil is beyond disappointing to the men and women who wear and have worn the uniform of the American military. In fact, it should be disappointing to all Americans.

The good intentions to which I refer are the hopes I had in writing a different column regarding the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but it is impossible to ignore the two-ton elephant in the room - the crumbling failure in Afghanistan as after 20 years of keeping the Taliban at bay, the terror group captured the Islamic nation in less than two weeks. Afghanistan fell like a hot knife through butter. Does that make the United States any safer?

Joe Biden, in less than eight months in the White House, has become Jimmy Carter Redux, giving an entire nation a serious case of acid reflux, while all else is faltering around him - inflation on the rise, a southern border masquerading as a sieve, severe indoctrination in our public schools, creeping socialism, and a nation more divided than at any time since the War Between the States (1861-65). Biden’s absolute failure in Afghanistan is the disaster at the Bay of Pigs (Cuba 1961), the optics and the fall of Saigon (Vietnam 1975), the potentiality of a worse hostage crisis than that of Iran (1979-81), and a greater slaughter than Benghazi, all rolled into one - on steroids. Does that make the United States any safer?

Under feckless leadership, the United States is no safer, no smarter, and certainly no stronger than it was on September 10, 2001. While four presidents failed to learn from history - how the Soviets could not defeat the Afghan-Mujahideen from 1979-89, it was the ineffectiveness of Biden to extract Americans and their allies from Afghanistan in an appropriate, safe, secure manner. The incompetence of Biden, his Defense Department under General Lloyd Allen, his State Department under Antony Blinken, and his Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley has created the quagmire that is the back-asswards retreat and surrender in Afghanistan. Does that make the United States any safer?

That heads have not rolled in the form of firings and resignations, especially after the suicide bombings leaving 13 US servicemen and women slaughtered at the hands of ISIS-K is unconscionable. Biden and his minions have the blood of those brave, honorable men and women on their hands. As left wing progressives are fond of saying when wishing to honor some slain criminal, “say their names,” do just that here. Say their names:

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, Rio Bravo, TX

Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, Sacramento, CA

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, Salt Lake City, UT

Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, Corryton, TN

Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, Indio, CA

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, Jackson, WY

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, Norco, CA

Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, Omaha, NE

Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario-Pichardo, 25, Lawrence, MA

Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, Logansport, IN

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, St. Charles, MO

Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, Berlin Heights, OH

May their memories always be for a blessing, and may their service to a great and grateful nation not have been in vain, nor ever forgotten. 

While these 13 heroes are laid to rest back home on American soil, we recall the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children murdered on September 11, 2001. The failure of August 2021 is an insult to the memories of all those murdered on 9/11 in Manhattan, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA, as well as every man and woman who has worn an American military uniform fighting the never ending war on terror.

We did not learn from history. The savage, G-dless enemy - Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, ISIS-K, as well as every Muslim extremist, and every Islamic terrorist has the patience of Job, but the demonic will of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, - whether 20 years or 20 decades, they will wait us out, as has been evidenced in Afghanistan. Does that make the United States any safer?

The currently weak-kneed United States doesn’t have the stomach for a long drawn out military engagement - even overseas. Secretary Allen and Chairman Milley have committed their all too valuable time to testifying before Congress about white rage and racism in the US military and attempting social engineering with said military while not returning to the days when our allies could depend upon the United States and our enemies feared the United States. Does that make the United States any safer?

Today, and this will be Biden’s legacy, the United States is an undependable laughingstock overseas, and more reviled at home than ever before - including during the turbulent 1960s and the entirety of our involvement in Vietnam. Indoctrination, and now the full court press for Critical Race Theory in the classrooms, running rampant in American public schools, is at an all time high, but this did not commence yesterday. No, this has been ongoing for more than a generation - anti-American Americans who obviously never learned the history of the United States, anti-American Americans not understanding context and the tremendous progress achieved in the United States. Does that make the United States any safer?

I would trade all the US-born malcontents for the Cubans and Hong Kongers waving American flags at great personal peril to life and limb for the freedoms they so richly deserve in their homelands. The United States women’s soccer team, other Olympians who turned their backs on the American flag, who behave disrespectfully during the playing and singing of the Star Spangled Banner, and the leader of these classless snowflakes - Colin Kaepernick should try pulling that crap and living in Angola, China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, or Venezuela. See how that works out for them. They can thank the veterans in wheelchairs who fought for those malcontents’ right to be malcontents and take a knee.

Those soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen - volunteers - who signed a blank check for up to and including the ultimate sacrifice, made their sacrifices to enable those unappreciative, ungrateful, anti-American Americans to live lives of unbridled hedonism while spitting on the memories of those who gave their all and left it all on the battlefield. Does that make the United States any safer?

The hundreds of police and firefighters who were murdered on September 11, 2001 did not stop their rescue attempts to check out the skin color of those they were rescuing. Those first responders did not ask about the race, religion, ethnic background, or sexual orientation of those rescued either. No; they plunged headfirst into danger and the face of death in efforts to serve and rescue as many people as possible.

For the 20th year we will pay homage and respect to the fallen who were murdered by Muslim extremist terrorists on that clear, crisp, Tuesday morning when the screaming airplanes permeated the sunshine, penetrated their steel and glass targets, plunging the world into darkness and chaos. 

A brief timeline of the harrowing and disturbing 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. 

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. This is an example of heroism, knowingly sacrificing their lives in an effort to prevent thousands more from perishing had that plane reached its intended target.

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

10:28 AM: The North Tower collapses after burning 102 minutes. More than 1,600 civilians and first responders are murdered. 

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.

May the memories of the 2,977 murdered on September 11, 2001 always be for a blessing.

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL), a Green Beret and Afghan War veteran, said “America is less safe and in a worse position than in 2001.” The US has no bases in the region, now that Biden surrendered Bagram Air Base to the Taliban. Does that make the United States any safer? 

There is not one single country surrounding Afghanistan that will allow the United States to base there or conduct intel ops. Afghanistan, population about 38 million, is surrounded by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, Pakistan to the east and south, and Iran to the west, is roughly the size of Texas. 

Biden, and his foreign policy team of Keystone Cops, who should all be standing in the unemployment line, conducted his entire evacuation backwards. Biden was pulling troops out of Afghanistan before all Americans and SIV (Special Immigrant Visas) holders could be extracted. Biden left more than $80 billion worth of American military and technological equipment behind, abandoned the base at Agram, and surrendered the country to the Taliban - an unmitigated embarrassment. Does that make the United States any safer?

The strategy that should have been implemented, and what President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) declared they would have enacted, and what makes the most sense, was to extract all Americans and qualified allies first, demilitarize or destroy equipment unable to be removed, bomb your own bases, THEN the military turns out the lights and gets the hell out of Dodge.

As that order was not followed, when the last five American military planes took off from the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul on August 30, on orders from Washington, DC, some Americans and Afghan allied translators holding SIV were left behind. No additional Americans were on board any of those last five planes. Those left behind are in grave danger, as the Taliban possesses American biometric scanners, able to identify people via eyescans. Taliban terrorists are going door to door looking for Americans and their Afghan allies, and not because they are looking to take up a game of cricket. A young Afghan girl not wearing a head covering was shot and a popular Afghan folk singer was murdered for playing music. More senseless death. Pray for the women, children, teachers, and journalists that remain in Afghanistan. Does that make the United States any safer?

Ultimately, the government of the United States handed Afghanistan back to the same terror group that controlled the country on September 11, 2001 - the Taliban. It will once again become a breeding ground for al-Qaeda, ISIS-K, and Taliban terrorists. While the war in Afghanistan may be over, the war on terror most assuredly is not. The sleeper cells are awakening. With the porous southern border of the United States, not expecting terror activity in the United States would be naive. That said, our American troops fought valiantly and served honorably; it was the United States government that did not leave Afghanistan with honor. It is shameful that anyone has been left behind. Does that make the United States any safer?

The United States should take a long break from nation building and worry about fixing the myriad problems that have beset this country over the last several generations. Quite frankly, the U.S. should have left Afghanistan in 2011 following the long overdue killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Genuine infrastructure problems need solving - crumbling roads, bridges, dams, airports, getting internet access for all Americans. Many of these projects can and should be public-private partnerships. Breaking the grip by teachers unions over American public education must be a priority, as well as keeping CRT out of the classrooms. More charter, parochial, and private schools should be created to foster a system of competition forcing schools to improve or close. Competition - the spirit of American capitalism; capitalism - the spirit of American invention, freedom, growth, and progress.

On the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 the United States is at a crossroads, a tipping point. This is, as Ronald Reagan said in a great speech he gave in 1964, “A Time for Choosing.” Will we allow the woke anti-American Americans to turn the United States into a socialist country with a loss of the freedoms found in the Constitution - speech, religion, assembly, the right to defend oneself and one’s property? Will we continue to bow to the woke tech-corporate-media triumvirate of evil, or will we finally stand up, speak up, take back our rights, take back our country and retain our G-d given freedoms and tell the woke that they don’t speak for real Americans. Am I the only one wishing for the return to the civility that was September 12, 2001 (minus the death and destruction)? This is a time for choosing, and I choose freedom. There is a growing band of Cubans and Hong Kongers who have that spirit that once reigned in the United States. It’s time we choose to recapture that spirit and those freedoms. May G-d continue to bless these United States of America.

One of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotes is aptly appropriate here. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it to them with the well fought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

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.

A 9/11 Compendium: 2001-2020

A 9/11 Compendium: 2001-2020
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 30, 2021

September 11-12, 2001 America at War
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/1376003781830077428

September 5, 2002 One Year Later
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/3400231616882251322

September 7, 2007 9/11 Six Years Later
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/4096331614366856295

September 7, 2009 Remember the Fallen, Forget the Politics
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/7881998122050008192

August 16, 2010 Zero Mosque: Legal: Yes; Moral: Never
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/4473286323620093425

September 1, 2011 Reflections on September 11, 2001
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/5377223110677195235

September 2, 2011 Whitewashing 9-11
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/1835794043925201135

September 3, 2012 Eleven Years Ago
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/163164185553538875

September 6, 2013 One Date, Two Tragedies
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/1668016745439715483

September 11, 2014 9-11: Looking Back; Looking Ahead
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/9053459989818885779

September 9. 2015 Another 9-11: Vigilance or Venality?
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/347974593638085036

September 8, 2016 9-11’s Kindergartners Vote for President
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/6134530341432004534

September 8, 2017 Not a Sweet 16
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/2521301323072068210

September 9, 2018 September 11 - What Real Sacrifice Looks Like
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/7867626707400850871

September 8, 2019 9/11 Ancient History to Millennials 
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/3537121818366787702

September 4, 2020 9-11 In the Age of Covid
https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/4560465072711180606/4643914489296163581

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. Growing up in the shadows of the World Trade Center in northern New Jersey, on September 11, 2001 he worked for a northern Virginia newspaper a mere 10 minutes from the Pentagon.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Cry Me a River, Texas Democrats

Cry Me a River, Texas Democrats
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 26, 2021

Choosing to flee their state, their jobs, and their constituents, Texas legislative Democrats, holed up in Washington, DC, are crying poverty and asking constituents, or anyone who gives a damn, to send these aging summer campers care packages.

These insubordinate privileged Texas Democrats, in a Tweet from @DallasDemocrats, wrote “Our Dems in DC said they’d appreciate care packages from home. Before 5 PM Tuesday, we’re collecting Dr. Pepper, salsa, hard candy, hair spray, travel toiletries, hand sanitizers, sewing kits, first aid and/or money to pay shipping. TY.” A mailing address followed, but these people do not need any further encouragement. It was bad enough that the runaway Texans were referred to as “freedom fighters.” What an affront to true freedom fighters like protesters in Cuba and Hong Kong.

Such unmitigated gaul to beg their friends, relatives, and constituents to finance their unapproved road trip to DC. They lacked the basic manners to even spell out “thank you.” They need more than a timeout, but they certainly don’t need other people to shell out their hard earned money to support these peevish, hypocritical malcontents.

Hypocritical because while they ran away (or flew away) from their jobs in Austin, demonstrating a real filibuster, once in Washington, they lobbied for the federal filibuster to be eliminated. They ran away like petulant three year olds in an effort to protest bills that support election integrity laws. And let the record show that 75 percent of voters, Democrat, Republican, and Independent support voter photo identification. US Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) has said that Democrats are not opposed to voter ID, although he and many others in his party have called the requirement racist and disenfranchising. For more on the specifics: https://sanfordspeaksout.blogspot.com/2021/07/tx-dems-need-lesson-in-real-sacrifice.html

After repeated requests, even Joe Biden has not met with these wayward Texas Democrats. And it has ruffled the feathers of one specific State Representative - Richard Pena Raymond, who expressed his aggravation to Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett via the Austin Statesman. “He won’t meet with us on Zoom like this, and I’m trying to be tactful, but I don’t know how else to say it, man. I’m just pissed off at this point. He doesn’t give us the respect the way you have,” Raymond said to Doggett. Perhaps these Texas Democrats have not earned any respect for their churlish behavior.

Proving the adage attributed to American showman P.T. Barnum, “there’s a sucker born every minute,” Robert Francis “Beto” O’ Rourke has given his fellow Democrats $600,000 and blames Biden for not doing what is “required,” knowing the “threat they are under in Texas.” That, plus the obdurate Democrats are still being remunerated their $221 per diem and $600 monthly salary, so they have nothing about which to complain.

Having lived in Alexandria, VA for a number of years, I can attest that Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter, WalMart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and various dollar stores carry all of the above requested items for the defiant Democrats’ care packages. So the Texas Democrats can buy their own crap, cut the crap, get back to Texas and actually do their jobs - jobs they wanted by running for office.

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



Sunday, July 18, 2021

TX Dems Need Lesson in Real Sacrifice
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 19, 2021

I recently penned a column denouncing the calling of the wayward Texas Democrats “brave, courageous and making sacrifices.” They are and have done none of those things in abandoning their sworn duties as well as the constituents they are duty bound to represent.

These indolent Texas Democrats have made unconscionable claims that the bill to protect the rights of voters is racist, an attack on democracy, and even a return to the days of Jim Crow prior to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Those claims, many made  by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris should be viewed as an affront to all those men, women, and children who endured true struggle, made enormous sacrifices, some even the ultimate sacrifice of life and limb. Texas SB-7 pertaining to election integrity and security makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat by streamlining several aspects of the state’s voting laws. 

In order to ensure election integrity, voters are required to provide photo identification, exhibit signature verification, a chain of custody and a paper receipt will be provided to voters, voter rolls will be updated prior to every election, and partisan witnesses from the several parties will observe the vote count. There is nothing racist, discriminatory, or disenfranchising about SB-7. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made it perfectly clear that any Texas citizen of voting age would be given an ID - gratis - if unable to afford one.

No polling places are permitted in a tent or parking garage; drive-through voting is not curbside voting, which is allowed for those unable to enter their polling station. While curbside voting is limited ostensibly to the disabled, drive-through voting would require many more poll workers and poll watchers.

When requesting a ballot by mail, it must contain the voter’s signature and identification number. If the voter does not have a driver’s licence, the last four digits of the Social Security number will be just as acceptable. Mass mailing of ballots to entire populations is out - voters must request their own ballot. This absolutely will diminish fraudulent votes from being cast. Ballot harvesting is also not permitted and its ban will have similar results as individual ballot requests. It is also a felony to pay for votes.

Voting hours are expanded in the two week lead up to Election Day - mandated for 12 hours per day in counties with populations greater than 30,000 citizens, an improvement from those with more than 100,000 citizens. Polls can be open for any 12 consecutive hour period between 6 AM and 9 PM, and companies are required to allow workers early dismissal on Election Day. (Quite frankly, a uniform 6 AM to 8 PM for all polling locations should be the rule.)

Poll watchers cannot be kicked out of polling stations and poll workers must be able to see the actual vote counting. Cities with populations greater than 100,000 must provide live streaming of the vote counting in polling stations. Additionally, all votes must have a paper trail and an online tracker for mail-in ballots and applications. New machines with this capability will be installed by 2026.

Polling locales are based upon the numbers of registered voters in a given county. The counties set the locations, which are supposed to be convenient for the voters - such as on public transit routes and accessibility for the disabled. The Democrats complained about this particular item because they claim there are fewer polling stations in poor and minority communities. They should work harder to register more voters.

No legal voter is being denied their right to vote. No legal voter is being disenfranchised.

Did any of the runaway Democrats from Texas get their heads bashed in the way the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis was attacked? Or any other of the other hundreds of marchers on that “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965 who were attacked, beaten, and imprisoned? They were marching and fighting for real, genuine voting rights, a bill that would be enacted later that year upon the signature of President Lyndon Johnson.

And how obtuse is Biden, making outlandish claims that voter ID laws in places like Texas and Georgia are “literally like the Civil War.” Really? The bloodiest war ever fought on American soil, seeing the deaths of greater than 600,000 Americans - that is not as bad as asking legally registered voters to show identification proving they are who they say they are? In fact, the most recent claims of voter intimidation were during the 2016 presidential election in Philadelphia when the New Black Panther Party attempted to frighten white voters away from their polling stations.

Andersonville, Antietam, Fort Sumter, Gettysburg, Vicksburg. Were those bloodiest of battles less destructive, less painful in terms of loss, than the content of the voter integrity bill in Texas? How about the sacrifice made by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry - an all Black regiment? Led by white commanders who lost their lives alongside their own troops, the 54th lost 281 of its 600 men in battle at Fort Wagner, SC. This spurred more than 100,000 Black men to volunteer with the Union Army. Was their sacrifice of lesser significance than the voting rights bills in Texas and Georgia? 

“We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole,” Biden said during a speech on July 13 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Has Biden forgotten about the assassinations of presidents Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John Kennedy? How about the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 or the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001? Does he even know the definition of hyperbole?

How Biden can have the unmitigated audacity to call the newly amended and improved voting laws in Texas and Georgia, “Jim Crow 2.0,” and “Jim Crow on steroids,” is the antithesis of sanity. He also said “The 21st Century Jim Crow assault is real,” at the same July 13 speech. Perhaps Biden, in his advancing senility, forgot what really occurred during the evil era of Jim Crow. Such as no Blacks voting in entire counties of the Deep South, or Blacks being given virtually impossible literacy tests - interpreting parts of a state’s constitution to the satisfaction of the county clerk or other official who denied those citizens their 15th Amendment right to vote on a racist whim; or being given the ridiculous task of counting the bubbles in a bar of soap or leaves on a tree. Not to mention the egregious poll taxes preventing Blacks from voting, which came to an end upon the ratification of the 24th Amendment on January 23, 1964. 

Some who don’t understand the history of the United States consider this country to be evil because change was not revolutionary, but instead evolutionary, and label the United States as perpetually and systemically racist. A systemically racist country does not elect and reelect a Black president, elect a woman of color vice president, have many Black men and women appointed to high governmental positions by white presidents both Democrat and Republican, and have Black athletes and entertainers revered by millions of white fans.

If anyone is attempting to dismantle the voting processes and system it is Biden, Harris, and their ilk in attempting to federalize all elections - a clear violation of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

By tightening some of the previously loose policies, less voter fraud should occur, it should be easier to vote, and harder to cheat. The Democrat legislators fleeing Texas and their elected responsibilities are not brave in the least. They are afraid they will lose power with better, more streamlined voting policies. This is not a GOP power grab as they are already in the majority in Texas. The Democrats are hypocrites for wanting to end the filibuster on the federal level, but on the state level they want to avoid their responsibilities while still being remunerated as they hide out in Washington, DC.

According to the Dallas Morning News of July 14, Texas legislators are paid $7,200 per year ($600 per month) as well as a per diem of $221 for each of the 140 days of the legislative session, held every other year, for a total of $38,140. The runaway Democrats should be required to return their salary and per diem for every day they remain absent from the ongoing legislative session. This most assuredly is not sacrifice. Genuine sacrifice was made by Black soldiers fighting one war overseas, then returning to fight another war at home. Real sacrifice was made by Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Clarence Thomas. As for the Texas Democrats, theirs is the act of spoiled obsequious weasels, cowards, and malcontents. The voters of Texas best remember this come next Election Day and send those Democrats packing for a permanent vacation away from Austin.

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

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Bona Fide Bravery
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 15, 2021

While Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and especially Kamala Harris are engaging in a drool-fest over the “bravery” of the Texas Democrats who fled both their state and their responsibilities, devaluing the meaning of that word, real bravery is being exhibited from Havana to Hong Kong and parts in between.

Bravery is thousands upon thousands of Cuban nationals taking to the streets to protest the totalitarian Marxist-Communist government that has been torturing and murdering its own citizens for 62 years. These brave men and women are under threat of arrest, imprisonment, or worse, but their quest for real, genuine freedom, dignity, and human rights heretofore not experienced in more than three generations has superseded the potential punitive actions the Miguel Diaz-Canal regime could mete out against its own people.

While far too many so-called Americans are busy disrespecting,  spitting on, turning their backs on, trampling on, and even burning the American flag, thousands of Cubans can be seen marching with American flags. The same is true in Hong Kong, where their rights and freedoms are being subjugated by the Chinese Communist Party, and thousands of Hong Kongers are also witnessed marching with American flags. Brave men like entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, 72, founder of Apple Daily, a popular newspaper forced into closure by the CCP, have been imprisoned along with members of the paper’s staff simply for attempting to communicate the truth to the people. 

These brave men and women are fighting for the right to communicate freely and openly, being denied in both Hong Kong and Cuba. The governments of both locales dictate the when and how often access to the outside world via the internet is granted while Americans take these inherent freedoms for granted. Havana and Beijing can flip a switch putting their own people in a technological black hole. Worse still, is the growing amount of censorship, at first creeping into our own American society, now blatantly being thrust upon us, being accepted by a press and media who should be fighting for every word to be printed, spoken, or recorded, whether or not they agree with those words.

“I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This quote has been incorrectly attributed to Voltaire for more than a century, but actually came from Evelyn Beatrice Hall in her 1906 biography about Voltaire, in her summary of his thoughts on free speech. 

Free speech, sadly, is at a premium in the United States - the last best beacon of hope for freedom on this planet. Between the political correctness, cancel culture, and wokeness denying free speech and calling anyone who dares to speak freely a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, and anti-Asian, most Americans fear for their basic employment and/or place in American society. People supporting capitalism are also being lambasted for denying equity in today’s America where equality is now ancient history, and skin color is the rule of the day. We are surrendering rights brave men and women outside of these United States are willing to die to acquire. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Consider Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad. Under a constant threat of death, a recent plot to kidnap her from her Brooklyn home, send her to Venezuela en route to Iran, was thwarted. At-large and wanted by the FBI are Iranians Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani, Mahmoud Khazein, Omid Noori, and Kiya Sadeghi. Alinejad is an outspoken journalist who wrote The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran. This is a tale of a brave woman fighting the antiquated system in her native Iran calling for girls and women to unburden themselves of their veils and hijabs as is the law in the Muslim nation. She is currently leading this online movement in exile, while her own brother is serving eight years in an Iranian prison. Iran denies all of this.

Not far from Iran, there are a large number of Afghani interpreters who bravely risked their lives aiding Americans against the very powerful Taliban. That is the epitome of bravery, which is actually being rewarded by the Biden administration via Operation Allies Refuge. Beginning the end of July, under special immigrant visas, many of these interpreters will be airlifted out of Afghanistan to the United States. Also brave, are the girls and women of Afghanistan who, in the past, and no doubt in the future once American troops are evacuated and the Taliban terrorists retake the country, will be subjected to unspeakable acts against them.

These brave people are fighting for true, bona fide freedom, at the risk of their own lives, while many Americans are taking their own freedom for granted unnecessarily worrying about their ridiculous pronouns.

But, for all the bravery exhibited by these Afghanis, Cubans, Hong Kongers, and a specific lone Irani-American, it is these cowardly Texas Democrat state legislators who are being praised for their so-called bravery. Harris, since the Texas Democrats ran away from Texas, has commended their pusillanimous behavior as “bold, courageous action,” and acts of “bravery and patriotism,” making “great sacrifices” akin to the Civil Rights era. Harris compared the Texas Democrats to those who marched, in great peril for their lives, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL in 1965 in what was known as “Bloody Sunday.” No blood has been shed from a single Texas Democrat legislator.

Harris continued praising these Texas Democrats comparing their quest with that of the women suffragettes who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913 in Washington, DC fighting for voting rights for women. Harris should be ashamed of herself for tarnishing those most significant historic events while politically posturing over a voting rights bill that is not the least bit racist or controversial.
Texas SB-7 pertaining to election integrity and security makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat in streamlining several aspects of the state’s voting laws. 

No polling places are permitted in a tent or parking garage. When requesting a ballot by mail, it must contain the voter’s signature and identification number. If the voter does not have a driver’s licence, the last four digits of the Social Security number will be just as acceptable. Mass mailing of ballots to entire populations is out - voters must request their own ballot. 

Voting hours are expanded in the two week lead up to Election Day. Poll watchers cannot be kicked out of polling stations and poll workers must be able to see the actual vote counting. All votes must have a paper trail and an online tracker for mail in ballots and applications. New machines with this capability will be installed by 2026. Polling locales are based upon the numbers of registered voters in a given county. 

No legal voter is denied their right to vote. No legal voter is disenfranchised. By tightening some of the previously loose policies, less voter fraud should occur, it should be easier to vote, and harder to cheat. The Democrat legislators fleeing Texas and their elected responsibilities are not brave in the least. The Democrats are hypocrites for wanting to end the filibuster on the federal level, but on the state level they want to avoid their responsibilities while still being remunerated as they hide out in Washington, DC.

This is not bravery; this is the act of spoiled obsequious weasels and the voters of Texas best remember this come next Election Day. Bravery, unfortunately, is being defined in the current climate as those Americans willing to speak out against the Marxist BLM and racist Critical Race Theory. Unfortunate, because to speak ill of those entities finds one on the short end of American society, when to be critical of BLM and CRT makes the most logical sense as any American or any clear thinking, freedom loving individual. True bravery is defined by the bona fide champions of freedom described above. May their examples teach us all the serious lessons we must learn before the grand American Experiment in plunged into perpetual darkness.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

DC Statehood - Simply Unconstitutional

DC Statehood - Simply Unconstitutional
Commentary  by Sanford D. Horn
April 29, 2021 

The relevant portion of Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution states the “Congress shall have Power to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dockYards, and other needful Buildings;” [sic]

It is there where the Founding Fathers of these United States of America designated, with neutrality, and no power over nor beneath, the District that would serve as the seat of the Federal government of this nation. As a separate and independent district, it would not be a state, it would not be part of a state, and it would not participate in the affairs of the nation as a state.

This decision, made by the Founding Fathers, was neither based upon political gains for one party or another nor any racial advantage or animus at the time of the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. For the United States Congress, regardless of the party in the majority, to vote granting statehood status upon the District of Columbia is illegal and unconstitutional. 

The District was built on a swamp, ostensibly, and upon arrival in the new capitol city late November 1800, First Lady Abigail Adams’ assessment reflected such. “I arrived… at this place… a new country with Houses scattered over a space of ten miles, and trees & stumps in plenty.” (1) Too few of the houses had been completed to provide for the increasing numbers of administration officials arriving for the waning months of John Adams’ single term in office. Most people resided in the longer established Alexandria, VA and Georgetown.

There is no mention of voting rights for the residents of the District in Article I, Section 8 because the District was not designed to be a permanent residential District. First of all, the Founding Fathers did not envision politicians and government workers becoming career fixtures in Washington. The Founding Fathers expected people to serve their country as representatives of the people for a term or two and then return to their farms, businesses, law practices, medical practices, or other vocations. Likewise with their staffs as well as the staffs of the presidents’ administrations. And as such, in maintaining their heretofore permanent residences in their home states, would vote via absentee ballot there, as opposed to in Washington, which as of yet, had no government of its own - as was the design of the Founding Fathers. It was their desire that the Congress would oversee the Federal Capitol District.

As for the state of the White House, then simply called the President’s House, arriving in its incomplete state, Abigail Adams described it as “a castle of a House,” overlooking the Potomac and a view of Alexandria, which was preferable to Adams, considering the alternative of Georgetown was not to her liking. Georgetown was “the very dirtyest Hole I ever saw for a place of any trade… it is only one mile from me but a quagmire after every rain,” in her assessment. (2)

President John Adams called the condition of the President’s House “habitable.” So drafty, “Abigail had to keep thirteen fires going all day to make it livable…. Someday it would be finished, properly furnished, and adequately staffed. At the moment the Adamses could not afford to hire enough servants to run such a house, and the enormous public rooms had no plaster, paint, or furniture. Abigail used the great east room to hang her laundry. In its present condition it was good for little else.” (3) 

Now, in 2021, in a Washington, DC the Founding Fathers would hardly recognize, the government is an unwieldy behemoth with two million employees spread around Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and of course DC itself. But those who live willingly in DC, knew what they were getting into, insofar as choosing to reside in the District and not a state. No one was forced to live in the District. As the Federal Capitol District, Washington is governed by a mayor and a city council. Although it has a population larger than that of Vermont and Wyoming, it is just smaller than 1/18 the size of Rhode Island, the current smallest state in the Union.

The current push for DC statehood is an overt power grab by the Democrats. Since being granted the right to vote for president in 1961 via the 23rd Amendment, there have been 15 presidential elections between 1964 and 2020, with the Democrat candidate winning DC in all 15 by overwhelming margins.

Washington, DC is a city that voted 92 percent for Joe Biden and 5.4 percent for Donald Trump in 2020; a city that last voted for a Republican candidate with more than 10 percent of the vote in 1988 when George Herbert Walker Bush earned 14.3 percent of the vote; a city that gave its highest percentage of the vote to a Republican in 1972 for Richard M. Nixon with 21.56 percent. As of March 31, 2021 the DC Board of Elections statistics indicate only 5.66 percent of the voters are registered Republican. 

Admitting DC to the Union as the 51st state is a guaranteed two additional Democrat senators and one additional Democrat representative in perpetuity. With a 52-50 Democrat advantage in the Senate they could ram through the entirety of the most progressive, most expensive, most anti-American, most anti-Capitalist, most damaging, most debt increasing agenda in the history of the United States, driving the nation into socialism, and on the verge of bankruptcy. 

In the current climate of severe political correctness, the era of so-called cancel culture there’s an overwhelming hysteria to define everything as racist or racially motivated. This is particularly of concern regarding DC statehood which, at 47.75 percent, has the largest percentage of Black residents in the nation. According to US Rep. Ayana Pressley (D-MA), not supporting DC “statehood is racist and racism kills.”

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), introduced S. 51, “A bill to provide for the admission of the State of  Washington, DC into the Union,” along with 38 co-sponsors on January 26. Through April 13, six additional senators have joined as co-sponsors, bringing the total to 45 senators - all Democrats, named below, endorsing DC statehood. This bill is the companion to HR 51 Washington, DC Admission Act, introduced by DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-D) on January 4, already passed in the House, 216-208, on April 22, in a straight party line vote. Norton called the imperative of DC statehood a “moral obligation.” 

Tammy Baldwin (WI)         Michael Bennet (CO) Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Cory Booker (NJ)         Sherrod Brown (OH) Maria Cantwell (WA)
Ben Cardin (MD)         Bob Casey (PA) Chris Coons (DE)
Catherine Cortez-Masto (NV) Tammy Duckworth (IL) Dick Durbin (IL)
Dianne Feinstein (CA)         Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) Margaret Hassan (NH)
Martin Heinrich (NM)         John Hickenlooper (CO) Mazie Hirono (HI) 
Tim Kaine (VA)         Amy Klobuchar (MN) Patrick Leahy (VT)
Ben Ray Lujan (NM)         Edward Markey (MA) Bob Menendez (NJ)
Jeff Merkley (OR)         Chris Murphy (CT)         Patty Murray (WA)
Jon Ossoff (GA)         Alex Padilla (CA) Gary Peters (MI)
Jack Reed (RI)         Jacky Rosen (NV) Bernie Sanders (VT)
Brian Schatz (HI)         Chuck Schumer (NY) Tina Smith (MN)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)         Jon Tester (MT) Mark Warner (VA)
Raphael Warnock (GA)         Elizabeth Warren (MA) Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Ron Wyden (OR)         Chris Van Hollen (MD)

Since the major point of consternation is eradicating the long running “taxation without representation,” as is advertised on DC licence plates, a solution that should, but won’t, satisfy people on both sides of the issue, is to retrocede the residential land back to the State of Maryland. This would not be the first time for such an occurrence. The western half of the District was returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1847. According to The Wall Street Journal, “local leaders have opposed such a move.” (04/23/21)

Of course local leaders have rejected this very valid solution, because, while it enfranchises the voting citizens of the District - which supposedly was the goal of the statehood movement, the real motive is the addition, in perpetuity, of two Democrat senators and one Democrat representative. Because this exceptional solution fails to expand the power of the Democrat Party, it is rejected out of hand. This is the same brand of power grab by the Democrats that is pushing a court packing scheme, not to equalize the power structure on the Supreme Court, but to reverse it with a four justice demand that would give the liberals a supposed seven to six majority over the conservatives. (Supposedly, because Chief Justice John Roberts does not act like a true conservative.) This same power grab backfired royally when attempted by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937.

Voters of all stripes must fight back against this blatant power grab which ultimately leads to one party rule in the United States for an unlimited amount of time. Reasonable people, if there still are any on the far left, must understand that the DC claim of “taxation without representation” is both valid and solvable without disrupting the current structure of the body politic. Retrocede the residential and other non-Federal government buildings land back to Maryland as Douglass County. (The proposed name for the 51st state is the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.) In adding the new Douglass County to Maryland, the Free State would be granted an additional Congressional representative (probably Norton), to be taken from New York, due to lose at least one seat after the 2020 Census reapportionment.

I defy anyone to name a single Democrat in either house of Congress that would fight this hard, in violation of the Constitution, for DC statehood were the aforementioned numbers reversed to the GOP advantage. Hearing crickets, we move on.

In Federalist 43, written by James Madison under the pseudonym Publius, as part of the Federalist Papers, Madison outlines in Section Two how maintaining the independence or neutrality of the Federal District would prevent jealousies amongst the several states. 

This is necessary to prevent “a dependence of the members of the general government on the State comprehending the seat of the government, for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence, equally dishonorable to the government and dissatisfactory to the other members of the Confederacy. This consideration has the more weight, as the gradual accumulation of public improvements at the stationary residence of the government would be both too great a public pledge to be left in the hands of a single State, and would create so many obstacles to a removal of the government, as still further to abridge its necessary independence.” So wrote Madison in the document published January 23, 1788. 

For the entirety of Federalist 43: https://www.teaparty911.com/federalist-papers/federalist-43/ 

In order to repeal the 23rd Amendment, three-quarters of the 50 state legislatures would have to vote to repeal - a virtual impossibility. Additionally, 22 Republican state Attorneys General sent a letter to Joe Biden opposing DC statehood as unconstitutional. Those AGs represent the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they composed the Constitution. There is a necessity in keeping the Federal Capitol District neutral and separate from the 50 states. There is a greater imperative to maintaining the separation of powers between the three branches of the government. Give the full time DC residents their right of taxation with representation and retrocede that land back to Maryland. Retain the Federal Capitol District that would continue to include the Capitol Building, White House, Supreme Court, National Mall, cabinet department buildings, and the other Federal buildings.

To grant Washington, DC statehood (and unbalance the American flag with a 51st star) is an unconstitutional power grab designed to ultimately turn this country from a republic into a socialist tyrannical nation. This would not be a single term that could be undone with the election of the next Republican president. The damage that would be inflicted upon the American people would be in perpetuity, where this generation would be required to teach future generations what a free nation was like. Fighting DC statehood is right, moral, and constitutional. The silent majority must remain silent no longer.

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

Notes

(1) Withey, Lynne Dearest Friend A Life of Abigail Adams, Simon & Schuster 1981, P. 274

(2) Ibid., P. 275

(3) Ibid.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Passover Teaches About American Freedoms

Passover Teaches About American Freedoms
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 26, 2021

Jewish communities the world over commence the eight night, eight day celebration and observance of Pesach (Passover) this weekend. While rich with symbolism, this is more than an exercise in symbolism, but a lesson in history, freedom, and perseverance.

The Israelites, having been slaves in Egypt for greater than 400 years, after wandering the wilderness for an elongated period of time, took their freedom for granted and wanted to turn back to the land they knew and the provisions they were guaranteed. But thanks to the guidance and leadership gifted to Moshe (Moses) by G-d, the Israelites persevered, reaching the Promised Land after a 40 year sojourn in that wilderness.

In spite of attempted mutiny, in spite of the Golden Calf, in spite of Moshe losing his temper and smashing the tablets of the Ten Commandments upon seeing that idol, the Israelites persevered.

Always the underdog, almost always outgunned, the Jewish people persevered. David slew Goliath with but a slingshot; the Maccabees, a group of between 800 and 1,000, defeated the Assyrians, 40,000 strong, in 174 BCE (3586).

In 1938, the National Socialists of Germany - the Nazis, enacted the “Weapons Law” imposing gun restrictions against the Jews and other “non-citizens.” Note the use of the word “other,” as naturalized German-Jews were stripped of their citizenship in July 1933, and in September 1935, the remainder of the German Jewish community was denied its last vestiges of its citizenship. In November 1941, the last few rights of those remaining Jews in Germany were stripped from them, as well as declaring all German Jews living abroad no longer citizens of the Reich. 

Unarmed and unable to fight back made the Jewish population easy prey for the Nazis to, at first, destroy property, businesses, homes, and synagogues; arrest Jewish citizens for any or no reason; beat them in the streets; and ultimately deport them by tens and hundreds of thousands forcing them to abandon virtually all their possessions, not to mention the already absconded with dignity that placed them in such precarious circumstances in the first place.

The vast majority of German Jews were secular, blending into German society. The approximate Jewish population in Germany in the 1930s ranged between 505,000 and 850,000 out of an overall German population of between 62 and 67 million - hardly recognizable - 0.013 percent of the population at most. Yet, the continued scapegoats throughout history, the Jews not just of Germany, but the world, were the bane of the existence of Hitler.

With regard to the “Weapons Law,” Hitler wrote, “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.”

When we think about Pesach and freedom it is vital to recall the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that occurred from April 19 to May 16, 1943. April 19, 1943 was the eve of Pesach. This was the Nazi’s final efforts to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto, that heretofore saw more than a quarter million Jews of that ghetto transported to Treblinka and their ultimate slaughter. The ragtag band of several hundred resistance fighters, armed with a pittance of weapons garnered from a precious few anti-Nazi Poles, held off the SS forces fortified with tanks and artillary for nearly a month. More than 50,000 Jews were captured during this uprising and either murdered on the spot or sent to Treblinka to be gassed upon arrival.

Today the State of Israel, founded in 1948, is a reminder of both the failures and the successes of the Jewish people throughout history. How it learned not to live in victimhood, but, as former President Ronald Reagan said, with “Peace through strength.”

Ah, the lessons of history. Fast forward to 2021 and the United States. The leftist progressives are attempting the same coup - disarming the American people in an effort to rule with an iron fist in an authoritarian manner as the so-called cancel culture continues running roughshod over the Constitutional rights of the American people.

How did a couple hundred Jewish freedom fighters keep Hitler’s tanks, artillery, and well trained soldiers at bay for nearly a month? Perseverance, a healthy dose of prayer, and of course, weapons. This is a major reason the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution exists - to protect the citizenry from an overzealous, authoritarian government. The Bill of Rights tells the government what it can’t do, not what the people can do.

Jewish Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter reminded this to the American people, as he wrote in 1946, “We are in danger of forgetting that the Bill of Rights reflects experience with police excesses. It is not only under Nazi rule that police excesses are inimical to freedom. ...History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end.”

Consider the brazenness of the current administration in their frightening zealousness to deny the American people the right by which to protect ourselves, thus ultimately turning us into subjects, and no longer a free people. We the people must no longer be complacent toward, and complicit with, a government big enough to give us everything we want, and also powerful enough to deprive us of everything we have - including, but not limited to the First and Second amendments.

We must furtively protect ourselves from this administration and its so-called woke supporters who favor the coming ghettoization of this country on two fronts. On the US-Mexico border where thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens continue invading this country, including thousands of unaccompanied minors putting themselves at risk of rape, slavery, trafficking, and even murder.

On the domestic front, places such as Columbia University are intentionally ghettoizing themselves with at least six segregated graduation ceremonies. By their own choosing, they are reinstituting the same “separate, but equal” that was legalized in the 1896 Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, then overturned in 1954 by Topeka v. Board of Education. Setting themselves back 125 years, Columbia will have graduation ceremonies labeled Native American, Lavender (LGBTQIA+), African-American, Latinx, Asian, and Lower Income. It is this brand of self-imposed Balkinization that will continue to weaken and destroy the fabric of America.

On this, and every Pesach, as we read in the Haggadah, “All who are hungry, let them come and eat; all who are needy, let them come and celebrate Passover.” As we unite to celebrate Pesach, even if, sadly, via Zoom, we celebrate the spring, a renewal, a rebirth, a renaissance, and even the coming Opening Day of baseball season, in the hopes of maintaining our precious freedoms.

As Ronald Reagan so aptly stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Wishing one and all a happy, healthy, and meaningful Pesach.

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