Friday, November 22, 2002

Illegally Moving to the Head of the Class

Illegally Moving to the Head of the Class
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 22, 2002

While the INS continues to demonstrate its incompetence, it is also being aided and abetted by members of academia. A report last week has provoked added frustration already being felt with regard to the illegal immigration epidemic plaguing this great nation heading down the slippery slope toward third-worldism.

Academia, historically marching in lock step with liberalism, has become a virtual safe haven for illegals to hide behind, as many plot to wreak havoc on the same country protecting their ability to garner an education – and at discounted rates to boot.

But before tackling that issue, let’s not forget the growing numbers of foreigners in the U.S. legally, possessing student visas under the guise of getting an education, only to disappear – never setting foot one on a college campus – in order to commit heinous acts against the country that granted them legal entry in the first place.

The spigot allowing for the free flow of student visa applications to be approved must be turned off. Not permanently, but at least until the authorities have a secure handle on who is coming, from where and a system to ensure that these students are actually attending classes. There should be government representatives who travel from campus to campus to meet with these students on a periodic basis, say, twice a semester. There should also be an absolute moratorium regarding the approval of any student visa application from any nation on the “axis of evil” or potential terrorist list as determined by the federal government. There should also be a moratorium denying admission to student applicants from countries supporting the enemies of the United States. There has to be a price to pay.

Returning to the issue at hand, how academia’s protection of illegal immigrants is harmful to the United States. First and foremost, any person on U.S. soil illegally, has broken the law. Period. It’s as simple as that. That point established, if a college or university is able to determine that certain applicants or students are illegal immigrants, by granting admission to said students or allowing such students to register for classes is an act of aiding and abetting the illegal immigrant. These people need to be returned to their country of origin. If they wish to study in an American college or university, they can apply, through legal channels.

The Washington Post, however, indicated that “there is no specific federal prohibition against colleges and universities enrolling illegal immigrants.” That is mind boggling. As mind boggling as professional sports leagues having drug policies that merely punish its athletes for the possession or use of illegal substances when non athletes are subject to prosecution and potential jail time. (Don’t misunderstand – the sports leagues are wrong and the drug laws in this country are not strict enough.)

Obviously there needs to be a federal prohibition denying entrance to illegal immigrants to the nation’s colleges and universities. And for that matter, to all schools at all levels. After all, these people are here illegally. They do not deserve the rewards of occupying a chair in a classroom that could be used by an American citizen or legal non-citizen. Nor do they deserve the rewards of free or reduced-priced breakfast or lunch provided at taxpayers’ expense – taxes paid by those people in this country legally.

Amazingly, there is a growing number of lawmakers who oppose denying illegal immigrants the benefits of health care and higher education, suggesting that to deny those benefits would threaten the “safety and economic well being of the communities in which they live.” Again, and this can’t be said strenuously enough, these people immigrated to the United States illegally. They have broken the law. Why are they being rewarded?

These people need to be returned to their home countries. In anticipation of the response expected from many liberals and even some conservatives, this is in no way comparable to Nazi Germany’s mass deportations of Jewish citizens. That’s the key – they were citizens. And those Jewish citizens of Germany subsequently faced firing squads and gas chambers at the hands of Germans (Nazis), not the hands of the nationals from the countries the Jews were deported to. Granted, there were myriad conspirators from the receiving countries as well. Clear thinking Americans do not support the vanquishing of illegal immigrants, just that they are returned to their home countries. And there’s the rub – not the anticipation of the expected response from liberals, but that coming from some conservatives.

Such an example comes from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), typically a good conservative. He is not only not pushing to deny admission and registration to illegal immigrant students, but he is encouraging – via bill introduction – states to make it possible for these illegals to get a tuition discount and pay in-state rates. Within the past two years, California, New York and Texas have made that suggestion a reality; and it is being considered in Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina and Utah. Understandable in such liberal bastions as California, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Minnesota, but the more conservative North Carolina and Utah – it makes no sense.

The whole concept in the first place makes no sense. By granting approval to such an outlandish suggestion in-state citizens will lose seats at colleges and universities. After all, state colleges and universities make more money granting admission to out of state students who must pay higher tuition. Parents of students should not vote for legislators who support such ill-conceived legislation. Such legislation only encourages continued illegal immigration – already out of control, with roughly 13 million illegals in the United States.

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) suffered sharp criticism at the hands of Republicans and Democrats alike for recently attempting to deport an illegal immigrant family after a college-age son announced that the family is in the United States illegally, but wanted reduced in-state tuition rates. He announced that he and his family are lawbreakers and then wants to be rewarded for the effort. Tancredo did the absolute right thing.

For those disagreeing, where does one draw the line? The whole world can not live in the United States. Some people need to stay in their home countries and attempt to right the wrongs there. This is not the second half of the 19th Century. Back then, people immigrated, for the most part, legally, with hopes of financial betterment and religious freedom. They learned English and didn’t have social programs to rely upon. They pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps or by the bootstraps of family members who typically helped them first, by providing a place to live and oftentimes help in finding work.

The world has changed dramatically – mostly for the better. The world has also gotten smaller via technology – partly for the better, such as communications; partly for the worse, such as the ability to destroy the world faster. (Again, don’t misunderstand – a strong defense is vital to this nation’s security and prosperity.)

Aside from Tancredo, another voice of sanity is that of Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. He has called for the colleges and universities within the Commonwealth of Virginia to report to federal authorities illegal immigrants attending those schools. Removal of these illegal students would create spots for U.S. citizens or those non-citizen students here legally.

Apart from Tancredo and Kilgore, it could be that political leaders are too concerned with garnering the votes from ethnic groups. Or perhaps they are out of touch with the desires of the voters. Look at the states considering in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and look at who the citizens voted for on November 5. Maryland elected Bob Ehrlich governor – the state’s first GOP governor since Spiro Agnew in the ‘60s. Voters in Massachusetts elected Mitt Romney governor, a Republican in a state that has no Republican Congressmen. Minnesota and North Carolina citizens elected Republicans Norm Coleman and Elizabeth Dole respectively to the United States Senate. Perhaps the voters are sending a message that they want more conservative leadership.

Voters around the nation should contact their state legislators and federally elected officials and tell them how they feel about allowing illegal immigrants to sponge off the American taxpayers. Do not reward their lawbreaking with healthcare, free or reduced breakfast and lunch and seats in American classrooms that should be reserved for American citizens and those legal immigrants who stood in line, waited their turn and followed the law.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Alexandria, VA.

Thursday, November 7, 2002

GOP Victory, GOP Responsibility

GOP Victory, GOP Responsibility

Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 7, 2002

My fellow Americans:

Tuesday, November 5 proved to be an historic night for the Republican Party. While the party in control of the White House typically loses seats in a mid-term election, the GOP managed to dodge that bullet and actually gain seats in both houses.

Michael Steele made history in Maryland by becoming the first black to win statewide office as the Republican won the Lieutenant Governor’s position. Linda Lingle made history in Hawaii as the first woman elected Governor of the Aloha State – and as a Jewish Republican to boot. Republicans are entitled to celebrate, but not gloat.

Democrats Walter Mondale of Minnesota and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend of Maryland, for example gave gracious concession speeches. Victorious Republicans Norm Coleman and Robert Ehrlich from those same two states respectively were classy in claiming victory.

(I will take just a moment to gloat – not as a Republican relishing the moment, but for correctly picking GOP candidates to emerge victorious in the Minnesota senate race, as well as in the Hawaii and Maryland gubernatorial races. I picked 25 winners out of 31 competitive races around the nation – an 81 percent success rate – better than most of the so-called experts. Those numbers will jump to 26 and 84 percent if Bob Riley is declared the winner over incumbent Donald Siegelman in the Alabama gubernatorial race. Riley leads by just under 3,200 votes in an election where over 1.3 million votes have been cast and a winner has not been declared.)

Deer In the Headlights


The Democrats did not appear organized as a national party. They did not look forward, but instead, looked behind by calling upon candidates from the party’s past to lead – losing elections with the likes of Mondale and in North Carolina with former Clinton aide Erskine Bowles. (Mondale lost partly because of that disgraceful display at the memorial service turned political rally for the late Senator Paul Wellstone.) The Democratic Party made it its goal, albeit an unsuccessful one, to not only defeat Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida, but also embarrass his brother the President in the process. That failed by a wide margin. Clinton’s HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo couldn’t even get out of the starting blocks (read primary) in his effort to unseat George Pataki as Governor of New York. Where the Clintons and Al Gore campaigned typically translated into defeat for Democratic candidates. This is not gloating, just truthful.

A truth recognized by Missouri Congressman, and House Minority Leader Richard “Dick” Gephardt, who announced he would relinquish his leadership post. He will more than likely be succeeded by California liberal Democrat and Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi, proving that the Democratic Party is moving in the wrong direction. She will be challenged, no doubt unsuccessfully, by moderate Democrat Martin Frost from Texas. (Personally, I hope Pelosi wins and Frost switches parties. A Pelosi win will clearly demonstrate how out of touch that party’s leadership truly is.)

Only retreads Frank Lautenberg in New Jersey and former Clinton Energy Secretary Bill Richardson in New Mexico won, and won handily. Lautenberg, thanks to the timely efforts of Robert Torricelli’s dropping out of the race and the NJ State Supreme Court deciding to rewrite the law, will return to the Senate – a body he repudiated upon leaving it several years ago. Richardson will become the Land of Enchantment’s first Latino governor.

Republicans had more success trotting out their retreads as former cabinet members Elizabeth Dole and Lamar Alexander will replace retiring GOP Senators Jesse Helms and Fred Thompson from North Carolina and Tennessee respectively. The other retiring Senate Republican, Phil Gramm of Texas, will also be replaced by a Republican, John Cornyn.

Responsibility On GOP Shoulders


With victory in hand, it is now time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Be careful what you wish for, says the adage, you just may get it. The GOP, thanks to a combination of principles, forward-looking candidates and the support of a popular president, will now control both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Responsibility lies squarely upon Republican shoulders.

There can be no finger pointing. There can be no assigning of blame. The ball is fully in the court of the GOP to actually get something done. Now is the time for the Republican Party to responsibly advance its agenda. The nation has spoken. It has not given the GOP an overwhelming mandate – after all, the Senate is 51 percent Republican and the House is 52 percent Republican. What the American people have done is call for an end to gridlock. It has given the Republican Party two years to put forth a solid effort and demonstrate that it is looking toward the future.

Welfare reform should be expected. Permanent tax cuts should be passed that will no doubt help stimulate economic growth. Keeping more money in the hands of the people who work to earn it promotes investing and spending – putting the money to work instead of in the hands of the government. A permanent repeal of the estate tax will be pushed for. There will be support for raising the ceiling on retirement savings accounts such as IRAs.

The confirmation of judges appointed by President Bush should be expected. A ban on partial birth abortion will be more vigorously pursued with the coming reconfigured Congress. Expect to see the creation of the Homeland Security Department and a bolstered military force as the nation faces potential war against Iraq.

Keeping Eyes Open


A Homeland Security Department should call for stricter requirements for foreigners applying for any kind of visa – education, travel or work. The Justice Department announced that as of Nov. 15 males ages 16 and older from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria would be photographed and fingerprinted. The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee denounced the plan. I agree with the AAADC. All foreigners entering the United States should be photographed and fingerprinted. None of the Sept. 11 hijackers came from any of those five countries. What is to prevent people from one nation from securing identification saying they are from a country aside from the five listed. A criminal history, if any, should also be known to American authorities prior to being granted admission to this country, for any reason. After all, several members of the al Qaeda hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 Americans and foreign nationals were actually in this country legally.

I’ve made this assertion often before now and I will make it again – this not the second half of the 19th Century. During that time immigrants came from central, eastern and southern Europe, but needed sponsors and promise of employment when they arrived on American shores. They were subject to medical exams and in jeopardy of being turned away for any number of maladies. There were no social programs for new immigrants to latch on to – they had to work. And they learned to speak English. Many of those requirements no longer exist. And it has become politically incorrect to expect foreigners to learn English. This nation is experiencing a balkanization in the classroom and in American society in general.

More and more Americans object to that balkanization. So much so, that a ballot initiative was approved with over 70 percent support to replace bilingual education with English immersion for immigrant school children. Just where did that vote take place? Utah? No. South Carolina? No. Anyone guess ultra-liberal Massachusetts? Gold star if you did. Arizona and California have previously passed similar measures, much to the chagrin of immigrant groups.

Continuing Agenda and Reality


While it is the goal to see smaller government and more money staying in the pockets of its earners, the government will also recognize its responsibility to help those who need it most with the expansion of federally funded community health centers to serve the uninsured. But make no mistake, this should not become an outlet for illegal aliens to steal free healthcare.

This government must crackdown on the flow of illegal aliens storming across our borders. There are 13 million illegals roaming the country unchecked. The INS – the Incompetent Naturalization Safe-haven is so understaffed the borders are like sieves. Sadly, too much of the staff is so corrupt that the likes of accused associate sniper John Lee Malvo found his way across the border illegally, should have been sent back to his country of origin, but was allowed to roam free due to the closing of a blind eye by the border patrol.

To be fair, the blame is to be shared by Democrats and Republican alike who refuse to support assigning US troops to man the borders. Even since the sniper attacks in the Washington, DC metropolitan area liberals like Ted Kennedy and conservatives like Jack Kemp oppose placing federal troops on the borders. Too many political leaders are afraid to lead and are too concerned with political correctness for fear of losing, predominantly Hispanic votes, but ethnic votes in general.

In spite of politicians fear or unwillingness to do what’s right, a recent Fox News Channel survey indicated over 75 percent of those asked support putting the military on the borders. Additionally, high praise goes to soon to be Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) for publicly declaring his support for having troops on the borders. Tell Sen. Lott he does not stand alone. Call his Capitol Hill office at 202-224-6253 while it is still his office, or e-mail him at senatorlott@lott.senate.gov. Call or e-mail your own Senators or Congressmen and ask them to support putting troops on the borders.

Clearly the task at hand is challenging, but not daunting. The Republicans have two years to accomplish their lofty goals and the Democrats will be fighting every step of the way, just as they did in 1994 when the GOP gained control of the House after being in the minority for 40 years. During the campaign of 1996 the Democrats wanted to know why the Republicans had not revolutionized the country – quite the unreasonable expectation after only two years in power after a 40-year hiatus. Fortunately the Senate has not been out of Republican hands for that long. As the 1980 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign slogan said, “the time is now.” We’ll be watching.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Alexandria, VA.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Minnesota Missing a Mensch

Minnesota Missing a Mensch
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 25, 2002

It was an eerily chilling coincidence that I should be reading the Oct. 24 Washington Jewish Week article “Jew vs. Jew in Minnesota race,” when the FOX News Channel broke the story about the tragic death of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone. (The article focused upon the race between the two Jewish senate candidates incumbent Democrat Wellstone and Republican challenger Norm Coleman.)
Wellstone, 58, a true liberal’s liberal in virtually every sense of the word, died in a plane crash this afternoon several miles from the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport, about 175 miles northeast of Minneapolis, oddly enough while on his way to a funeral. Adding to this tragic event was the fact that Wellstone died while traveling with his wife of 39 years, Sheila, and the couple’s daughter Marcia. Also killed in the twin-engine plane were the pilot, co-pilot and three campaign workers. Wellstone family survivors include sons David and Mark along with six grandchildren.
With the Nov. 5 election looming just 12 days away, the Wellstone Senate re-election campaign against former St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman has ended suddenly leaving the Wellstone team, the state of Minnesota and indeed the nation in a state of shock.
While it is typical of people to memorialize the dead with platitudes and not speak ill of the dead, sincerity or lack thereof can easily be discerned. With the death of Senator Wellstone, those remembering him, on both sides of the aisle, such as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) and former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro (D) as well on no side of the aisle such as the state’s Gov. Jesse Ventura (I), recalled the fallen Senator with genuine honesty and candor.
Senator Wellstone, a college wrestler at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. for 21 years, won his Senate seat in 1990 and again in 1996. An outspoken member of the Upper House, Wellstone rarely wrestled with the idea of compromising his principles. He voted his conscience – something that all who remembered him agreed upon.
Short in stature, but tall in energy and integrity, Wellstone would debate fiercely in the Senate chamber for what he believed in, but never made it personal. “Senator Wellstone was a man of deep convictions,” said President George W. Bush from Texas this afternoon while hosting the leader of China.
In spite of vast political differences, those who disagreed with Senator Wellstone professionally, found him to be affable, likable, possessing a good sense of humor and a degree of charm. I count myself among the people with those opinions – this from an out of state Coleman supporter.
During a visit to Capitol Hill several years prior to making Virginia my home, my friend Troy and I ventured in to Senator Wellstone’s office for some reason I cannot recall. This liberal’s liberal emerged from an ongoing meeting to chat briefly with two ardent Republicans not from Minnesota and also had a picture taken with the two of us. (The Senator had more hair and I had fewer pounds than I’m sure either of us would have admitted.)
Senator Wellstone made a bid in 2000 for the Democratic nominee for president, for all of about five minutes. He also authored the book Conscience of a Liberal much akin, but diametrically politically opposite of the 1960s effort, Conscience of a Conservative, written by one of my political heroes, the late Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who I had met and interviewed in 1995.
“Senator Wellstone was dedicated to serving the state with great passion,” said GOP challenger Norm Coleman as he announced the suspension of his campaign for an appropriate period of mourning. As both candidates are Jewish, that period of suspension by the Coleman campaign should be through the period of Shiva, the Jewish period of mourning for a week following the funeral, excluding the Sabbath.
Agree or disagree with his politics, Senator Wellstone was a mensch, standing by his principles and voting his conscience like Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Alexandria, VA.

Wednesday, October 2, 2002

The Torch is Out, But Should Stay on the Ballot

The Torch is Out, But Should Stay On the Ballot
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 2, 2002

In what has to be the worst case of playing politics since the 2000 presidential election, my home state, New Jersey, the Garden State, now resembles Florida – and it is entirely the fault of the Democrats.

Lame duck, as of Monday, Sept. 30, Democratic Senator Robert “Bob” Torricelli (a.k.a. “The Torch”) withdrew from his race as a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate, claiming, among other things, that the campaign was no longer about issues and “I can’t be heard.”

The voters of New Jersey have heard Torricelli loud and clear – in his whiney, pedantic tone making excuse after excuse for his repeated lapses in ethical behavior – behavior that has landed businessman David Chang in prison due to his association with Torricelli. Bribes, kickbacks, illegal acceptance of gifts, according to the rules of the august body he serves, have gotten Torricelli in hot water a la the currently incarcerated Jim Traficant (D-OH). In July of this year, the Senate officially “severely admonished” the New Jersey Democrat for his conduct. Perhaps a cell lies in Torricelli’s future.

Yet while Torricelli made his own bed, he continues to attempt to hide under the blankets. In his emotional meandering down memory lane during his Monday afternoon press conference Torricelli had the gall to ask, “when did we become such an unforgiving people?”
Torricelli further inquired, “when did we stop believing and trusting in one another?” That ought to be a rhetorical question, but for those who need to be whacked over the head, when? When Torricelli behaved unethically. When Torricelli lied to the public. When Torricelli betrayed the public trust.

Torricelli is the victim of his own greed and megalomania. So much so that after claiming he did nothing illegal, he offered an apology then said that Doug Forrester, his Republican challenger, “does not belong in the Senate.”

That, Senator, is up to the voters. And apparently the voters in New Jersey had misgivings about sending him back to Washington for a second six-year term in the Senate, trailing by as many as 13 points with just five weeks until Election Day.

Let’s look at the timing of the announcement made by Torricelli. With 35 days remaining until the Nov. 5 election, the Senator withdraws from his Senate reelection campaign claiming, “I can’t be heard,” and wanting to prevent the Democrats from losing its majority in the Upper House. That’s the key motivation – politics – not that should surprise anyone. Torricelli drops out of the race, Jim McGreevey, the Democrat governor of New Jersey appoints a popular Democrat (former Senator Frank Lautenberg) to pick up the baton and cross the finish line ahead of Forrester, thus retaining the seat for the Democrats.

The wrench in that plan is that according to New Jersey state statute, 19:13-20, a candidate cannot be replaced on the ballot, save for death, inside of 51 days prior to Election Day. Oops. Somebody forgot to do the math for Torricelli. Had he resigned his senate seat, McGreevey could have filled it with an instant incumbent to run against Forrester.

Now, the national Democrats are weighing in publicly, having no doubt led Torricelli to make his decision to drop out of the race in the first place. The Democrats should know better than to abandon its horse mid-race just because it has come up lame. The horse should be ridden across the finish, and then sent to the glue factory.

Nevertheless, the Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (SD) are calling for “competitive elections.” The Democrats argument is disingenuous – the Republicans did not push Torricelli off the ledge – he jumped off. He did this to himself. The Democrats are calling for the rights of the voters to be defended and upheld. They should have thought about that prior to the 51-day deadline passed.

At this writing, there is a battle underway in Trenton before the New Jersey State Supreme Court and the Democrats are using those claims as its key defense in being allowed to exchange party representatives on the ballot.

If the New Jersey Supreme Court should agree with Democrats’ assertions, and putting the United States Supreme Court on hold for a moment, a frightening precedent could be established. It is conceivable that in future races any time a candidate is in jeopardy of losing an election he or she could drop out and be replaced on the ballot by a more popular potential winner. That would damage the principle of representative democracy. The New Jersey Supreme Court is a panel of seven justices, four Democrats (two of whom, Albin and Zazzali, each contributed $1,000 to Torricelli campaigns prior to their appointments) and three Republicans.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has curtailed the distribution of ballots – 1,692 of which, of the absentee variety, have been mailed out to New Jerseyans in the military among others. Many voting booths have also been prepared and thousands of sample ballots have also been distributed.

As a financial aside, should the Democrats be allowed to replace Torricelli, he should be made to pay for any necessary amendments required to correct the ballots.

Should the New Jersey Supreme Court decide in favor of the Democrats’ ploy and against the rule of law, the Republican Party will no doubt appeal to the US Supreme Court. Monday, Oct. 7 is the opening day of the new Supreme Court session, also one of its busiest days. It would first have to agree to hear the case, then, render a decision prior to the Nov. 5 general election.
It should, by the nature of its makeup, rule, by a five to four vote, that the Democrats have no case and that an eleventh hour replacement is illegal. Expect Chief Justice William Rehnquist to be joined by Associate Justices William Kennedy, Sandra Day O’ Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in voting to overturn the New Jersey Supreme Court. Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens will probably vote to uphold the state court decision.

Senator Torricelli’s name should remain on the ballot and he should face the voters. Otherwise, this is a clear case of election affirmative action – “my guy is disadvantaged [forget about the reasons why], so let’s change the rules just before the game ends so he stands a chance of winning.” That would be much akin to saying that the New York Jets are playing so terribly after the first four games of the season [and they are], that in order to provide them a fighting chance, the Jets would get five plays instead of four to make a first down.

Torricelli was nominated by his Democratic Party. That no one challenged him in the primary was the fault of the Democratic Party. On principle, voters should elect Doug Forrester to the United States Senate and deliver a message to the Democrats that these kinds of shenanigans don’t play in New Jersey.

As a postscript the New Jersey Supreme Court rendered its decision late in the day on Wednesday, Oct. 2, siding unanimously with the Democrats, saying, “It is in the public interest and the general intent of the election laws to preserve the two-party system and to submit to the electorate a ballot bearing the names of candidates of both major political parties.”
"It is sad. It is embarrassing. It is an outrageous precedent we are setting for the future," said Republican State Committee Chairman Joe Kyrillos.

The Democratic State Committee will pay $800,000 toward the funding of printing new ballots, while Forrester is expected to call upon the United States Supreme Court to overturn the decision made in Trenton.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Alexandria, VA.

Thursday, September 5, 2002

One Year Later

One Year Later
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 5, 2002

One year removed from September 11, 2001 and what have we got to show for it? We’re a year older – save for the over 3,000 men and women killed by 19 terrorists, 15 of whom were of Saudi origin. We’re a year more frustrated, a year angrier, but we are not a year wiser.

Clown College Graduates


Are we safer today as compared to Sept. 10, 2001 regarding airport security? A rhetorical question because obviously we are not, and several staff members of the New York Daily News have risked imprisonment to demonstrate this point over Labor Day weekend.

Better than the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles combined, the Daily News staffers batted1,000 – succeeding 14 times in 14 attempts to surpass what is passing for security at 11 airports and were able to board airplanes with box cutters, razors, knives and pepper spray in their possession. Four of the airports were the very same airports where the Sept. 11 terrorists boarded – Dulles International, Newark International, Logan International in Boston and Portland International Jetport in Maine. The other airports include Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York as well as hubs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas as well as the smaller markets of Fort Lauderdale, FL and Santa Barbara, CA.

Also, what should have sent up the proverbial red flag was the fact that the plane tickets purchased by the Daily News team were all designated one-way fares.
These Keystone Kops, no doubt graduates of Clown College, are a disgrace. They are ill-equipped to handle the tasks they were hired to do, which should make all who board airplanes about as nervous as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. All the waiting in lines, the searches of both bag and body is purely a fa├žade as the ineptitude of airport security at checkpoints reassures few.

Let’s keep strip-searching retired 85-year-old Congressmen and 70-year-old nuns in full habit. Let’s continue to be afraid to target those who should be targeted because someone’s feelings might be hurt. Members of an Israeli security team said the US does not have a security system, just a system of bothering people.

Getting its priorities in order, members of the Transportations Security Administration, seemed more concerned with the law breaking staff members of the Daily News and what potential terrorists might now be able to do. Now? They have done it already. And if nothing else, the Daily News demonstrated that improvements are desperately needed.

Let’s start with hiring qualified personnel such as retired law officers who have spoken out about this situation clamoring for the opportunity to serve. The airlines themselves should be taking a greater role in the security process. They cut corners on security allowing for terrorist infiltration in the first place. The FAA should be setting stricter standards with senior members conducting surprise inspections and imposing fines upon the airlines.

The government should not be bailing out the airlines when they cry poverty. If they wish to earn profits, they need to make their airline as inviting as possible to the flying public and not penalize them for improving the safety inequities caused by cutting corners.

Friends or Foes


While on the subject of safety, how safe is society with the release of 55 Taliban prisoners from Afghanistan earlier this week, with an additional 55 on their way out to follow.

Deemed “dangerous,” by the Afghan government, its new leader Hamid Karzai did not prevent the release of these Taliban fighters, many of who are on their way back to rejoin al Qaeda. This is the same al Qaeda that has access to between an estimated $30 million and $300 million.

Karzai: Foe

Saudi Arabia was the country of origin of 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists. It has talked out of both sides of its mouth by condemning terrorism, but still remaining aloof at best with regard to assisting the United States in the capture and prosecution of future terrorists. The Saudis maintained good relations with the US under President Bush I and the current President Bush feels a certain loyalty toward that relationship, but that loyalty clearly has not been returned.

Saudi Arabia: Foe

It’s good to finally see British Prime Minister Tony Blair on board with the United States regarding potential plans against Iraq. Much to the displeasure of many members of his own Labour Party, Blair obviously came to the realization as to which side his bread is buttered on.

Blair: Friend

On the other hand, many of America’s traditional western European allies during the last half of the last century namely France, Germany and Italy have declared their intentions to not get involved, claiming a lack of proof that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction in his arsenal. With France, no surprise – the US has been cleaning up after them for years predating World War II, and that anti-American, anti-Semitic country denied the US air space in the not to distant past.

Another fear many of the so-called European allies have, and so too do too many Americans – the potential loss of oil. The Europeans are too dependent upon Arab oil. That is their business. The United States on the other hand, that’s our business. We are also too dependent upon Arab oil, but we have choices.

First, the US should produce more of its own oil by drilling in the Gulf of Mexico or in the Alaskan/Arctic reserves. The US can drill responsibly with a watchful eye on the environment.

As the environment is a concern, the US has the technology to pursue alternative energy sources such as nuclear, solar, water and wind. If the US must procure oil from foreign sources, stepping up business with Mexico is the way to go. That nation is part of the Americas in the Western Hemisphere where the US has a warmer relationship with Presidente Vicente Fox of Mexico. The US should not succumb to hostage status to Arab oil interests.

Mother May I


Much akin to the children’s game of asking permission to take one or two steps forward, President Bush is seeking Congressional approval to attack Iraq.

First, it should not be called an attack, but a pre-emptive strike, and secondly, Bush does not need to seek the approval of Congress. Congress gave the president the authority to fight the war on terrorism as of Sept. 14 of last year and Saddam’s Iraq is on the list of terrorist states for the past 20 years said House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Taking military action without Congressional approval is not unheard of either. That has been done over 200 times throughout the history of the United States pointed out Ed Meese, former Attorney General under former President Ronald Reagan. Meese further said he believes that President Bush is in possession of information outlining the dangers the United States, its European allies and Israel are in, allowing for Bush to make a pre-emptive strike.

However, having Congressional “approval” would go a long way in “selling” the American people on the concept of striking first. Some would say the first strike came on Sept. 11 of last year, including this writer, so why wait for strike two. Many Americans believe removing Saddam Hussein from power is in the best interest of the United States and are already supportive of military action.

What is important to keep in mind is that the United States will be depicted as a giant ogre attacking a defenseless and smaller nation by the court of world opinion. The United States should not be the least bit concerned with world opinion. Hussein, who has already killed thousands of his own people will not hesitate to move his armies, such as they are, to the cities surrounded by civilians forcing American troops to fight amongst them. Hussein is counting on a soft American public to be duped by the far-left American press, save for Fox News, depicting the war as American soldiers killing “innocent Iraqi women and children.”

This depiction would reduce support for continued military action, all the while losing site of the bigger picture – that over 3,000 innocent men and women were slaughtered on Sept. 11, 2001. Public opinion in the United States is important to ensure support for the men and women who wear the uniforms of the armed forces – so that there are No More Vietnams, as the late former President Richard M. Nixon wrote in 1985.

If military action against Hussein and Iraq is eminent, the American people should be supportive of the president and the troops he commands. The media should do its job and report the news, not attempt to make the news. It is not the job of the media to give out troop movements before they occur, although if the spokespersons for the armed forces do their jobs properly, the media will not gain access to such information.

As the United States approaches Sept. 11 one year later, may G-d Bless its uniformed personnel and all freedom loving Americans.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Alexandria, VA.

Sunday, September 1, 2002

A Brief History of Israel

A Brief History of Israel
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 1, 2002

When one considers the Jewish calendar reads 5762 in 2002 C.E. (Common Era – as opposed to A.D. for the Latin Ano Domini {year of our Lord to Christians}), and the Islamic calendar is less than 1,500 years in existence, that should be one’s first line of defense regarding property rights in the Middle East and specifically Israel, formerly known as Palestine under British rule.

One could rightfully research further back in time to Biblical days when G-d said unto Abraham, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great.” (Genesis [chapter] 12, [verse] 2).

Great does not necessarily refer to numbers, but to strength. Consider the size of the Jewish population in the region in question and how vastly outnumbered they are now and have always been. It has been their strength – mental and physical that has allowed them to survive.

Israel has always fought its wars from the defensive posture, meaning, their Arab neighbors have always attacked them. The day Israel loses a war is the day that tiny Jewish state, roughly the size of New Jersey, ceases to exist. For losing Arab nations to cry over lost land in war is their own fault. They attacked and were beaten back.

Continuing with the Biblical, G-d promised the land of Canaan (Israel) first to Abraham then two generations later to his grandson Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. “Thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel…be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins, and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it.” (Genesis 35, 11-12)

The time frame of the travels of Abraham from Ur, through Babylon – north and west of the Persian Gulf (today’s name) and following the path of the Euphrates River through Mesopotamia, through modern Syria and into Canaan was about 2000 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era – as opposed to B.C. for Before Christ).
Abraham settled in Canaan and eventually died in Hebron, an Israeli city south of Jerusalem. That was at least 3,400 years prior to Islam’s existence.

Follow the Biblical story from the famines that moved Jacob’s family, found his second youngest son Joseph sold into slavery by his older brothers where he went to work for Pharaoh in Egypt and was eventually reunited with his brothers. Ultimately Moses led the People Israel out of Egypt to freedom where they wandered the Sinai Desert among others [Shur, Etham, Sin prior to Sinai, and Paran and Zin after Sinai] on their return to Canaan. Moses, of course, was denied entry into the Promised Land for he disobeyed G-d during an act of frustration. Joshua actually led the People Israel into Canaan.

Fast forward to the times of King David and King Solomon, between 1000 and 925 B.C.E. A group called the Philistines (today’s Palestinians?) occupied what is today the Gaza Strip – not controlled by Israel. The Kingdom of David, then Solomon covered a landmass much larger than modern Israel. The 12 Tribes of Israel lost much of their land at the hands of the conquering Assyrians between 850 and 722 B.C.E. and Babylonians in 587-586 B.C.E. The Babylonians also destroyed the Temple during this period. The Jewish stronghold on the region ceased and its peoples dispersed to places like Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia and Syria. They lived under other regimes, exiled from their homeland. Jews were defeated in their attempts to regain their freedom and homeland. They were defeated in Rome by Trajan in 70 C.E. Also under Roman rule in 132-135 C.E. Bar Kochba was defeated by Hadrian in Jerusalem.

By 300 C.E. Jews had settled in every part of the Roman Empire except Britain – in places like Spain, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Northern Africa and of course the Middle East. They were guaranteed freedom of religion and were allowed to practice Jewish law in disputes between Jews. There were about three million Jews in 300 C.E., a million of whom lived west of Macedonia.

After 750 C.E. most of the Roman Empire was under Islamic control, and thus so to were its Jewish residents. (Notice the time spread between Jewish existence and Islamic existence.)

“Despite many decades of prosperity, influence, trade and toleration, the Jews living in the Arab and Muslim world faced the continual danger of anti-Jewish discrimination, violence and persecution, sometimes over brief, but sometimes over long periods. From Spain to Saudi Arabia this took the form of confinement in ghettoes, punitive taxation, enforced wearing of special clothes and other humiliations as well as repeated looting and killing.” (P. 21)

Examples:
1033 – More than 6,000 Jews massacred (Fez)
1066 – More than 5,000 Jews murdered during Arab riots (Granada)
1145 – Jews forced to convert or leave (Tunis)
1232 – The Jews of Marakesh were massacred (Morocco)
1250 – Jews forced to wear distinguishing marks on clothing (Tunis)
1588 – Forcible conversion of many Jews to Islam (Libya)
1785 – Hundreds of Jews murdered (Libya)
1864 – Arabs bands pillage Jewish communities, burn and loot synagogues, rape women (Jerba)
1864-1880 – More than 500 Jews murdered, often in broad daylight on main streets (Morocco)

Bear in mind Jews lived in most parts of Europe and Asia with varying degrees of success and prosecution, but the focal point naturally, remains the Middle East.

Muslim Arabs conquered Jerusalem in 637 C.E. Through 1099 Arabs and Jews had a rocky relationship. From 1099 to 1291 Christian Crusaders slaughtered the Jews of Palestine. Muslims ousted the Christians in 1291 and ruled again until 1516, at times encouraging Jewish settlement. Jews did so to escape Christian persecution in Europe. Jerusalem was reestablished as the center of Jewish learning in the late 1200s.

Palestine remained under Turkish rule from 1516 to 1918. The British conquered Palestine 1917-18, occupying Jerusalem in December 1917. One month prior, on November 2, 1917 the Balfour Declaration was issued by the British government supporting the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine – in essence a homecoming. The proposed borders look much as they do today.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” (P. 88)

“If, as may well happen, there should be created in our own lifetime by the banks of the Jordan [River] a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event will have occurred in the history of the world which would from every point of view be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.” So said Winston Churchill in February 1920. (P. 88)

In 1922, Britain received a League of Nations (precursor to the United Nations) Mandate over Palestine. During the 26-year British rule over Palestine until 1948 when it became the independent State of Israel, Arabs opposed immigration of Jews and attacked Jews repeatedly – a situation that continues to this day.

Population      Arabs              Jews

1922               590,000            84,000
1931               760,000          174,000
1939               900,000          450,000
1948               980,000          650,000

Pre-independence examples of Arab terror against Jews in Palestine:

1929 – Arabs kill 60 Jewish civilians in Hebron
1929 – Arabs kill 133 Jewish civilians in Safed
23 February 1948 – Arab terrorist bomb kills 55 Jews near Jerusalem
4 March 1948 – Arabs ambush and kill 16 Jews
13 April 1948 – Arabs kill 40 Jewish doctors and nurses on their way to the Hadassah Hospital
12 May 1948 – Arabs kill 100 Jews, 15 of whom were machine gunned to death after they had surrendered at Kfar Etzion

The State of Israel was established in 1948. United States president Harry Truman became the first world leader to recognize the small state just minutes after independence occurred. Israel was attacked by its Arab neighbors in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Israel was at war with Egypt in 1956-57.

In 1978 Egyptian president Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel. Extremists would later assassinate him. No other Arab leader would follow Sadat’s example. There have been continued terrorist attacks against Israel by people from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, Israel’s bordering neighbors. In each case after Israel has defended itself in a war and has emerged victorious having captured land, it oftentimes returned land to the attacking nation.

Brooklyn rabbi Meir Kahane who immigrated to Israel condemned these returns of land. Seen as an extremist, even by other Israeli and American Jews, Kahane said of the Arabs in Israel, because they could not be loyal to their homeland, they should be “driven to the sea.” Kahane was ultimately assassinated in New York City in 1990 while giving a speech.

Think about the historic significance behind the concept of a victor in a war returning land to the defeated. If the United States did that, there would be no United States. The 13 original colonies would have to go back to Britain – others would say that land should go back to the Indians, but that’s another historical debate. All of California, Nevada and Utah as well as parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming would be returned to Mexico as a result of the 1845-48 war between the US its southern neighbor.

Land for peace has always been touted as the cure-all by liberals to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. History dictates that the land that is Israel belongs to the Jewish people and the land that is Jordan should be the Palestinian homeland. Yet, while every Arab nation has rejected the Palestinians as immigrants to its land, it is Israel that gets condemned by the world for its efforts in self-preservation. Palestinians hold firmly to the historically inaccurate belief that the land that is Israel is their homeland. However, as long as they hold those beliefs, there will never be peace in that region of the world. To the Palestinians the only solution is the elimination of the Jews from the region and the ceding of the land that is Israel to the Palestinians.

Israel must remain steadfast, supported by the United States as its strongest ally. The United States has much to gain by the survival of Israel as well. It is the only democracy in that region of the world and continues to grow in areas of medicine, science, technology and remains a protectorate of American interests in that region.

Israel must never surrender one square inch of its land.

Bibliography

The Bible

Gilbert, Martin. The Atlas of Jewish History, 1993.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Alexandria, VA.