Friday, November 11, 2005

San Fran Secedes From the Union

San Fran Secedes From the Union
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 11, 2005

To clarify, in case nobody noticed, on Election Day this past Tuesday, November 8, the City and County of San Francisco effectively voted to secede from the union.

Overstated? Hardly, as the voters decided to abandon the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution in their ban on guns. In one of the most liberal bastions in the western world, nearly 58 percent of the voters have decided that honest, law-abiding gun owners should now be labeled criminals. Handguns, hunting rifles, collectables, even guns on display in museums that are of usable quality have been deemed illegal by the People’s Republic of San Francisco. So have gun shops and shooting ranges.

Just to set the record straight, I am not a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). I am not a gun owner, have never hunted nor do I live in San Francisco. But, I support the rights of those who do. The entire litany of my experience with firearms dates back to learning from a Marine friend the proper way to hold, carry, load and discharge a firearm. After weeks of lessons we took my newfound knowledge to the desert straddling west Texas and New Mexico to shoot at cans and bottles before cleaning up the refuse.

Globally, we are fighting a war on terror, yet in San Francisco, the people have surrendered to the criminal element by not allowing the law-abiding gun owners the Constitutionally-granted right to defend themselves, their families or their property that they worked hard to earn.

Passage of Proposition H, or should that be Preparation H because it is a real pain in the tuchus, will only hurt law-abiding gun owners. Criminals with guns are not about to surrender their illegally gained weapons. Instead, they will wield their weapons with greater bravado and confidence knowing that only police and those who require a gun for their jobs will have them. Home invasions, sadly, will rise. Robberies and street stick-ups will also increase as thugs and criminals instill greater fear in those lemmings who believe the surrender of guns and Constitutional rights are the answer.

Until Proposition H is reversed, gun owners, gun shop owners, firing range owners, NRA members and all those who support the Second Amendment should have their voices heard via an economic boycott of San Francisco. As beautiful as parts of San Francisco are, the city and county should be shunned. Vacation elsewhere. Hold conventions elsewhere. Send a message that you will not allow your rights to be trampled upon by one of the most extreme, radical elements of American society.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Chabad Sukkah Closer to the Action

Chabad Sukkah Closer to the Action
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 1, 2005

With all of the positive publicity regarding the University of Maryland Hillel and its sukkah in parking Lot 1, the rest of the story remained untold.

Directly outside of Byrd Stadium, the home of Terrapin football, on the press box side of the stadium, stood the Chabad Sukkah Mobile run by students and members of the Chabad Jewish Student Center. Those entering the Sukkah Mobile pronounced a couple of holiday-appropriate brachot and enjoyed honey/pound cake and took home a colorful and informative calendar.

No solicitations for donations, no sermons, just the Reader’s Digest version of Sukkot in a tiny oasis amid the chaos of 54,000 Terrapin and Hokie fans jamming their way into Byrd Stadium – myself and two friends included. As a season ticket holder, member of the Alumni Association and Terrapin Club, I am not, however, a contributor to Hillel, for personal reasons.

I do plan to contribute to the Chabad at the University of Maryland and would encourage others to do so as well. This organization provides many needed services to students, but do not garner the publicity and ultimately the dollars of that of Hillel. Some of Chabad’s activities include, but are not limited to free Shabbat dinners, fairs, social events and holiday observances.

Bais Menachem Chabad Jewish Student Center is located at
7403 Hopkins Avenue, College Park, MD 20740
. The phone number is 301-277-2994 and the website is

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

[This column appeared in the Washington Jewish Week.]

Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito Deserves the Ginsburg Treatment

Alito Deserves the Ginsburg Treatment
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 31, 2005

President Bush should be applauded for not bowing to pressure groups either from the left or the right in opting instead to listen to his conscience by selecting Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to replace retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as the next justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.

The New Jersey native and resident is eminently qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court. An undergraduate at Princeton and law student at Yale who also served as its law journal editor, Alito argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court between 1981 and 1985 on behalf of the US government as Assistant to the Solicitor General.

Among other appointments during his career, Alito earned unanimous confirmation twice by the U. S. Senate, first to serve as U. S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, then for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Yet, in spite of these unanimous appointments, liberal Democratic Senators such as Chuck Schumer (NY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) quickly weighed in with rhetoric indicative that they have already determined to vote against Alito.

It is painfully obvious that most Democrats have a litmus test regarding high court appointments based upon abortion and Roe v. Wade. Alito is to be praised for his lone dissenting vote in 1991 as a judge on the Third U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals attempting to uphold a Pennsylvania law mandating that a wife consult with her husband prior to an abortion (Planned Parenthood v. Casey). Yet, Alito proved to be no ideologue by voting in 2000 that a New Jersey law banning late-term abortions was unconstitutional.

In attempting to return sanity to the holiday season, Alito voted, as part of the majority in the 1999 case ACLU v. Schundler. The court determined that a display in Jersey City, NJ did not violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause because it contained not only a menorah representing Chanukah and a crèche representing Christmas, but a Frosty the Snowman and a banner praising diversity.

On the virtue of these two cases, Samuel A. Alito, Jr. should be confirmed by the U. S. Senate and take his place on the Supreme Court. How close the vote will be, remains to be seen based upon the intellectual honesty and integrity of the Democrats in the Upper House. The question that needs to be addressed is whether or not Judge Alito is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The answer, as was the case with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, formerly with the ACLU, is yes.

Justice Ginsburg secured her seat on the Supreme Court in 1993 with a 97-3 vote in the affirmative. Obviously ideological conservatives voted in favor of a committed liberal. Some of those conservative votes came from Robert Bennett (UT), Christopher “Kit” Bond (MO), Conrad Burns (MT), Larry Craig (ID), Orrin Hatch (UT), Trent Lott (MS) and Richard Lugar (IN), all of whom continue their tenure in the US Senate. These conservative senators along with former members Phil Gramm (TX), Alan Simpson (WY) and the late Strom Thurmond (SC) among others, put partisanship behind them and determined that Justice Ginsburg possessed the necessary qualifications to sit on the Supreme Court.

Will Judge Alito be given the same honest consideration from the Democrats? Early indication from the likes of Senators Schumer and Reid is that Alito will go through a knock down-drag out confirmation process. Does any political junkie with an ounce of intelligence expect Alito to receive favorable votes from Senators Joseph Biden (DE), Barbara Boxer (CA), Hillary Clinton (NY), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Ted Kennedy (MA), John Kerry (MA), Barbara Mikulski (MD), or Barack Obama (IL)? The answer to that obviously rhetorical question is resoundingly “no.”

Yet, despite the hardcore ideological left, Judge Alito can expect to become Justice Alito by a 65-35 margin with a margin of error of three.

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

[This column appeared in the Alexandria Times.]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Tired Parks Stood for Sitting

A Tired Parks Stood for Sitting
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 26, 2005

Some actions tend to have unintended consequences. Rosa Parks did not set out to start an evolution, yet her simple act of sitting became the catalyst of a race rising up.

Yes, evolution, not revolution as a span of 90 years passed from 1865 to 1955 when Ms. Parks, an Alabama seamstress, educated at Alabama State College, decided she was simply too tired to stand. After all, she occupied a seat in the “colored” section of the bus – the fifth row of the bus, and first of the “colored” section.

Apparently the law stated that blacks and whites could not occupy the same seat on a bus and when a white person boarded the bus, he was “entitled” to a seat – even in the “colored” section, prior to seating a black rider.

Ultimately Rosa Parks’ December 1, 1955 arrest led to the Montgomery bus boycott that would last until December 21, 1956. This boycott cost Montgomery businesses revenue and even lives. However, it sparked a movement – initially one of non-violence led by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Boycotts with economic ramifications are powerful tools. Some might say more powerful than violence. When rioters took to the streets in Newark, Oakland and Watts during the 1960s, they destroyed their own neighborhoods. Critics watched with disbelief not understanding why people would destroy what little they had in their own neighborhoods.

On the other hand, economic boycotts are far more reaching, as demonstrated in Montgomery as white-owned businesses suffered egregiously. Cash, after all, is green, and neither black nor white.

Schools – public, private, religious and charter, would do well to teach this lesson and about the unintended heroic Rosa Parks. Sadly, too few students, black, white or otherwise know about Rosa Parks. She undoubtedly will soon adorn a US postage stamp – and rightfully so.

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

[This column appeared in the Alexandria Times.]

Monday, September 19, 2005

Blueprint for New Orleans' Future - A Public-Private Project

Blueprint for New Orleans’ Future – A Public-Private Project
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 19, 2005

The sounds of Louis Armstrong and Pete Fountain may remain faint whispers in the recesses of our memories for quite some time to come – translation: several years before it is truly safe to reinhabit the Crescent City. The same is true of the Green Wave welcoming fans back to the Tulane campus or the Saints kicking off in the Superdome any time soon.

For Mayor Ray Nagin to begin a “reentry” process based upon zip codes representing land areas not as severely affected by Hurricane Katrina is tremendously shortsighted. He had to retract that invitation to his city’s residents in light of the pending onslaught of Hurricane Rita. Rita or no Rita, Nagin had no business suggesting that people return to New Orleans just based upon EPA and FEMA reports.

The rebuilding process will not be completed overnight – nor should it be – if it is to be done properly. The old adage “haste makes waste,” is quite apt in this circumstance. A deliberate step-by-step plan must be implemented in order to not only salvage this once vibrant city, but improve both the city and its surrounding suburbs for a better future and a longer lasting levee system. Parenthetically, when it comes to blame, which will be levied, no pun intended, later, let’s start with the fact that the levees, for the past half century, have been substandard – only prepared to handle a Category Three hurricane and not the monstrous storm that ravaged the Gulf Coast.

Before a rebuilding effort can commence a solid foundation must be created – a challenge in itself noting the city was built below sea level. This foundation must not be built atop sludge, feces and other life-threatening contaminants. All debris and disease-inducing agents must be eradicated beyond the standards of FEMA, the EPA and the CDC. Experts should be on the scene to determine how many layers need to be exfoliated from the land to make it appropriate for building.

However, even before one brick is laid, even before one wheelbarrow of cement is mixed, engineers and city planners must be imported to evaluate where rebuilding makes the most sense. Some portions of the Greater New Orleans area may require razing before rebuilding can occur. That is for the experts to decide – preferably non-governmental experts. This may mean building in a smaller portion of the previous incarnation of New Orleans. Better safe than stupid. Infrastructure such as roads, bridges and levees need to be rebuilt, reinforced and strengthened to specifications that will withstand a Category Five hurricane. Call it an investment.

Where there’s any decent investment, there is a return. In this case, this would be a more than decent investment that will no doubt yield more than just a decent return. And this investment includes schools. Schools should be the center of new communities along with hospitals and houses of worship. These buildings should be rebuilt or reinforced so that they may serve as beacons to communities that will only grow stronger.

Donald Trump, Habitat for Humanity and other home building organizations along with businesses such as The Home Depot, Pulte Homes, Lowes and DR Horton, to name a few, should work together to begin rebuilding New Orleans. Of course this will have to wait until after Hurricane Rita is done dancing through the Crescent City. Tax incentives should be offered to corporations who step up to the plate and pitch in, to mix a metaphor.

Federal involvement should not be in the form of hand outs. It took guts for 11 Republican Congressmen to vote against the latest financial aid package. These are not scrooge-like people who do not understand the plight of the Gulf Coast residents. No, instead they are fiscally responsible elected officials who do not believe in issuing a pseudo blank check. While the legislation that passed overwhelmingly in the House did have a dollar amount on the bottom line, none of the other lines on the bill specified how that money would be spent. What is the breakdown of the funding? With the history of corruption that has plagued Louisiana for more than a century, turning over these finances unwatched and unsupervised is much akin to offering free chocolate chip cookies at a Weight Watchers meeting. President Bush needs to do more than send a handful of paper-pushing bureaucrats to oversee this operation.

The federal government, in addition to offering tax incentives to corporate rebuilders, should be offering low interest mortgages to citizens who will return to New Orleans and its surrounding suburbs. Enterprise zones should be forged, a la Jack Kemp, former HUD Secretary under President Reagan. This lends itself well to the concept of home ownership and personal responsibility, a la the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

With homes being built around schools and houses of worship, a business atmosphere will be forged. Supermarkets and other businesses will be built in these newly created enterprise zones.

Thanks to LBJ, the War on Poverty has been lost. His continual priming of the pump aided and abetted the enemy in this war that, thanks to Katrina, became as evident as the high rising flood waters. Handouts clearly failed. It’s time to try a hand up via the enterprise zone concept.

Houston, We Have A Hero

Praise and thanks must be showered upon Houston, TX and every other city, town and hamlet that has offered housing and schools to the thousands of displaced citizens. Not enough can be said for those who opened their hearts, homes, wallets, churches, synagogues and schools to help out in this time of need.

However, extreme circumstances do tend to not only bring out the best in people, but also the very worst. There are opportunists out there wearing clean suits and ties as well as dirty t-shirts who must be exorcized in the worst way, for they have behaved in the worst way.

Hurricanes and flooding are not invitations for looting, rape and murder. When government officials advised people to flee New Orleans, many of those who stubbornly stayed behind did so to commit heinous acts. With no electricity, what was the purpose of stealing a television? Many innocent people who were unable to escape the storm faced another storm while seeking refuge in the convention center and the Superdome. That storm took the form of crime. These were people of the least common denominator who took it upon themselves to commit illegal acts.

People do not commit crime because they are poor. There are far too many people who are poor in this the richest nation in the world. But they are not using their poverty as an excuse to loot, rob, rape and murder. Ignorance and lack of education are the primary reasons people commit crimes. Katrina has shed a light on the impoverishment of our educational system in the United States – not just in the big cities, but nationwide.

This is not about an endorsement of or indictment against No Child Left Behind. That is for another day and another column. No, this is about the necessity for a strengthened educational system with greater support offered by school administrations, stronger discipline, an end to social promotion and personal responsibility by students and parents alike.

As for those wearing clean suits claiming to represent fictitious charities, they are no better than those who loot, rob, rape and murder. In some cases they are worse as they erode the faith of good people who are trying to make a difference, but instead have fallen prey to such charlatans. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law alongside those in the dirty t-shirts who have committed their acts of violence and mayhem.

The Blame Game

As the blame game continues, where are America’s so-called black leaders? Did either Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton take to the airwaves to call for calm in New Orleans or to reassure the stranded in the Crescent City that help was forthcoming? Did either Jackson or Sharpton preach non-violence while snipers attempted to kill helicopter pilots and medical workers from bringing aid and assistance to the suffering throngs in New Orleans? Did either Jackson or Sharpton appear on talk radio or the television news channels to demand that people not loot, rob, rape or murder? Rhetorically, no, to all of the above questions.

Instead, Jackson, Sharpton and others took to the bully pulpit to blame President Bush for not reacting fast enough and in some cases accused him of racism and leaving black citizens to suffer almost certain deaths. Tell both of the President’s Secretaries of State – General Colin Powell in the first term and the current SOS Condoleezza Rice as well as the current HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson that this commander in chief is racist. Remind people that black homeownership is up during the Bush administration as compared to his predecessor, Bill Clinton who was revered in the black community.

Those facts are not newsworthy because they do not fit the mold of the blame game. Blame should start with those administrators who more than a half century ago decided that levees with the strength to combat a Category Three hurricane would suffice. Then fast forward to 2005.

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, LA, Biloxi, MS and other surrounding areas. This was not an attack or assault by an armed enemy, but instead a natural disaster. And those who suggested that the money spent on the current conflict in Iraq is the reason New Orleans relief did not occur fast enough are simply misinformed.

Mayor Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco had the responsibility to ask for federal assistance. It is not the job of the federal government to impose itself upon the states. Their lack of leadership could be felt immediately, they were not held as accountable for their local problem as the president who is obligated to all Americans in 50 states.

Once the federal government began to play a role in this natural disaster, the National Guard should have been dispatched 10-fold by comparison to those actually deployed. Food and water, meanwhile, could only be provided as fast as people could get it where it was needed while fighting disease-filled, feces-filled rising flood waters.

New Orleans should be rebuilt, albeit a smaller, safer version. Those who have sought shelter elsewhere who have nothing to return to should consider rebuilding their lives in those new safer havens. Those who do return should do so with the attitude that their hard work will be the bellwether for a stronger, safer future in a stronger, safer city, not with a handout, but with a hand up.

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

Friday, August 26, 2005

Rewarding Bad Behavior

Rewarding Bad Behavior
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 26, 2005

With the surrender of the Gaza Strip by Israel, no worse message could have been conveyed – bad behavior, heinous behavior, murderous, terrorist behavior has been rewarded.

The land, inhabited by some 8,500 Israelis, did not fall into Palestinian hands due to armed conflict. The land, won in war 38 years ago, was not offered up as some bargaining chip for a promise of peace or any other promises for that matter. No, this land, land on which Jewish blood was spilled; land on which Jewish lives were lost in battle, was simple ceded – given away with the hope that maybe, perhaps, something good will come of it.

Are those who surrendered this land delusional?

Let’s revisit the philosophy of the martyred Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932-1990) who repeatedly reminded people – supporters and opponents – that when one wins a war, the land captured is not supposed to be given back. “When you win, you win,” I heard him say around 1987-88 when he spoke at my alma mater, the University of Maryland.

Consider the great history of the United States. Did any administration since the Polk administration return land to Mexico following the war against that nation (1845-48)? No. And neither did Polk, one of our most underappreciated presidents. (Granted, that land is being lost little by little, but that’s a debate for another day.)

Nothing good can come of this secession. The message has been sent – terror works. The Palestinian people are a patient people. They only had to wait 38 years for Gaza to be delivered into their bloody hands. What will be next when terrorist attacks are stepped up? Tel Aviv? Jerusalem?

There is but one Jewish state in the world surrounded by over a dozen Arab nations seeking to increase their own odds. Israel should not help them. Let’s remember Rabbi Kahane’s battle cry, “NEVER AGAIN!”

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

Friday, August 19, 2005

Build it and They Will Keep Coming

Build it and They Will Keep Coming
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 19, 2005

The oft-used phrase “build it and they will come,” co-opted from the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams, could not ring truer regarding the approved day labor site to be erected on the Town of Herndon-Loudoun County border. This “field of dreams” will soon turn portions of Northern Virginia into a field of nightmares as property values, due to fears both realized and imagined, will begin to plummet.

The five to two decision by the Herndon Town Council on Wednesday evening creates a bad precedent that could spread to Annandale, Woodbridge and countless other locales where residents legal and illegal will flock in even greater numbers.

Such a site only validates the presence of workers who may not have a legal leg on which to stand in the US. The concept of providing a site – at taxpayer expense – for workers who may be in this country illegally simply enables more undocumented workers to rush to the site. The government – at any level – from town to county, state and/or federal – supporting this site is criminal in aiding and abetting lawbreaking.

A site where documentation is verified would be a good first step in an honest attempt to begin solving the pandemic of illegal immigration. Those here legally would be welcome to gather, learn English, and secure legal, gainful employment, thus joining the tax rolls and ultimately becoming less of a burden on society.

As legal residents working, they will add to the economy. Verifying immigration status at such a day labor site will help stem the rising tide of illegal behavior. That those who are here illegally have broken the law must not be overlooked.

Build it and they most assuredly will come. Just make sure those who come are entitled to the fruits of the labor creating this site.

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

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Heads in the Sand

Heads in the Sand
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 9, 2005

Proponents of a tax-dollar funded day laborer site in the Town of Herndon continue sticking their collective heads in the sand when criticizing Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore for publicly commenting on their attempt to behave illegally.

This day laborer problem is not a “local issue” as supporters of the site claim. Instead, it is a microcosm of a nationwide epidemic. For Herndon Mayor Michael O’ Reilly to say “We’re trying to deal with too many people standing on a street corner,” is both disingenuous and absurd.

Turning a blind eye to this situation only opens a bigger Pandora’s Box regarding health, education, welfare and other benefits illegals might steal from or sponge off our tax-paying citizenry.

Former Virginia Attorney General Kilgore has guts taking a public stand on this issue that even the head of his party – President Bush – refuses to take for fear of losing Hispanic votes. There are many Hispanic voters – legal US citizens who stood in line and “did it the right way,” who strongly oppose the genesis of such sites.

I have written about this issue frequently, yet no editor has exhibited the bravery to print these words. I will continue to write such commentaries in hope that those tax dollars go where they are most sorely needed – toward improved school systems and transportation systems.

This issue is neither political nor moral – it is legal. Lawbreakers should be arrested and detained. If police had the authority to handle this situation on a local level it would become less of a national pandemic.

Support of such illegality by O’ Reilly or any other elected official should be cause for recall or impeachment.

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

With No Argument, Shout Racism

With No Argument, Shout Racism
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 13, 2005

When losing an argument or debate, fall back on the old standard: cry racism to goad one's opponent into sheepishly backing off and accepting the "politically correct" stance. This tried and true tactic is actually tired and false where the Town of Herndon is concerned regarding the Planning Commission meeting it held Monday evening, July 11, attended by greater than 250 people to voice opinions about a potential day laborer site – a site supporters expect to be funded by citizen tax dollars.

To suggest racism is a wholly disingenuous argument. It is not racist to want safe streets, particularly when some of those streets are clogged with day laborers making passersby uncomfortable or even afraid for their safety. This is specifically so in front of the Alabama Drive 7-Eleven where day laborers congregate day after day. This less than kosher scenario has been playing out for more than four years. Parenthetically, some of these same day laborers live in neighborhoods where their residences are teeming with an abundance of people violating numerous zoning laws – but that’s another subject for another column.

It is not racist to want new immigrants to the United States to learn English – the language spoken by the majority of citizens. Knowledge of English will improve relations between cultural, ethnic and racial groups. Knowledge of English will help immigrants learn the laws of the United States and thus reduce conflicts with law enforcement – most of whom have greater challenges on the job when dealing with people for who English is not their first language.

In many cases public drunkenness has been an all too frequent problem for many from countries whose cultures do not object to drinking alcohol in public. This is a prime example of a lack of English creating deeper problems for the people not familiar with the laws in this country.

Local law enforcement is handcuffed as they are not permitted to arrest loiterers on private property without permission from the owner. Local law enforcement is unable to arrest those loitering on public property unless they are blocking the streets or sidewalks or inciting others to violence.

Worse yet, local law enforcement has their hands tied by the Federal Government and are not permitted to enforce Federal Immigration Law. Local law enforcement should be able to serve as agents of the federal authorities in order to reduce the numbers of illegal aliens from filtering over our borders, settling into communities across this nation, living lives under the radar screen in constant fear all the while milking and bilking the system for all its worth.

Most of all, it is neither racist nor xenophobic to expect that people immigrating to the United States would do so legally. That is the crux of this entire debate. Were all immigrants here legally, there would be little reason for a day laborer site. Greater than 50 percent of the laborers are in the United States illegally. Most day laborers do backbreaking work for little financial reward, but to whom can they complain, as many are in this country illegally. Sure they are exploited in some cases, as their supporters aver, but by being here illegally, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Whenever I am confronted by supporters of open borders, the ”blame America first” crowd, or my liberal co-religionists reminding me that we were immigrants once, it is painfully clear to me that they do not get it. They do not see the bigger picture and the dangers we currently face in this era of Islamo-fascist-terrorism. This is not the 1890s, nor any time through the 1920s when quotas were imposed upon immigrants from particular countries. During the period circa 1890-1920 when foreigners wished to emigrate to the United States – as millions of Jews and Catholics from Greece, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Russia did – they did so legally – standing in line – literally so, at Ellis Island.

If potential émigrés failed a health exam for TB or any myriad diseases, they were put on boats and sent back to their country of origin. Newcomers to the United States oftentimes were required to show proof of sponsorship and promise of employment, otherwise, they too could be returned to their country of origin. Were there shouts of racism and xenophobia? Hardly.

Truth be told, what shouts there were, could barely be understood as they were in Yiddish, Greek, Italian, Russian, Polish or some other Slavic or southern or eastern European language. The difference between the 1890s and the 1990s was the desire of new immigrants to learn English, get jobs and become American citizens – many volunteering for military service before the ink dried on their citizenship papers. No welfare could be applied for. No English as a Second Language existed in the classrooms.

Today illegal immigrants are receiving welfare benefits they are not entitled to; health care they are not entitled to; placements in schools for their children they are not entitled to and should anyone object or tell these people they are breaking the law, the objectors are shouted down and called racists and xenophobes. Tax dollars are being spent at the expense of citizen and legal immigrant benefits and rights.

Not one dime of public money – the tax dollars of those of us here as citizens or legal immigrants – should be spent encouraging illegal behavior to not only continue but to flourish. Those residents of Herndon, Sterling and other nearby communities are neither racist nor xenophobic. These are hardworking people who want smaller government, strong national defense, safe schools for their children, safe streets, and good, law abiding neighbors.
This is a simple matter of common sense, which assuredly is far from common these days. Anyone who has snuck into the United States illegally is a lawbreaker. To defend their being here or to encourage more people to break the laws of the United States by proposing the use of tax dollars to help those people who have arrived here illegally is a case of aiding and abetting.

This is simple enough that even the mayor of Herndon, Michael O’ Reilly, a practicing attorney, should not be confused. He was recently quoted saying “There’s probably no other issue facing local governments that is more complicated than day laborer sites. It’s very complex and it brings out a lot of emotion in people.”

This issue should be neither “complicated” nor “complex,” as O’ Reilly stated. First weed out the people here illegally and return them to their country of origin – never to be permitted reentry as they are lawbreakers. Then, and only then, can the proposal of a day laborer site, one that includes English classes and citizenship classes, be considered. Until that time, the proposed $170,000 to be utilized for such a project should be used to hire more teachers and reduce the already burgeoning class sizes in our schools.

Mayor O’ Reilly further stated “I know this issue gives people a platform to scream and shout and show a lot of hatred, and that’s unfortunate.”

What is truly unfortunate is that people feel the need to scream and shout – not at those here illegally – but at their elected officials. Officials sworn to uphold the law, which by caving into fear of being labeled a racist or xenophobe, have caused them to behave in an unlawful manner by aiding and abetting those who have already committed criminal acts by their mere presence in this country.

As for the “hatred” the mayor speaks of, that is just another label put upon those people who expect the law to be obeyed by everyone – not just those who arrived at Plymouth Rock or Ellis Island, but even by the new wave of immigrants. They are not hated, but their lawbreaking ways are. There are plenty of people from South Korea, Peru, Ghana and myriad other nations who have stood in the proverbial line, waited their turn and are hard working legal immigrants.

Having lived in Sterling and worked in Herndon for several years and having many friends there, Herndon is not the place to hang the racist and xenophobia labels. They, as most Americans simply want all residents to play by the rules. Herndon is simply a microcosm of the larger illegal alien issue plaguing this great nation as a whole. It is an issue that must be dealt with honestly and not by calling people racist and xenophobic for wanting those who wish to make the United States their home do so by following the law of the land – this land.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If Soros Buys, I Say Good-Bye

If Soros Buys, I Say Good-Bye
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 29, 2005

I, like my fellow-Republican acquaintances Tom Davis of Virginia and John Sweeney of New York, cringe at the thought of left-wing extremist George Soros coming within a country mile of the ownership of the Washington Nationals.

However, I am not as disingenuous as Davis as to suggest that “I don’t think I’ll be getting good season tickets if he gets the team,” Davis was quoted as saying in Sally Jenkins’ Wednesday, June 29 commentary “Taking Aim At Soros Is Hardly Politic.” This is because I would put my money where my mouth is – and not give Soros one dime of my money for him to spend on his extremist causes. Davis, however, would still support Soros, and thus by extension, Soros’ left-wing projects.

While I don’t approve of a Soros-owned Nationals – or anything else for that matter – I don’t begrudge him the right to own the team or anything else, for that matter, thus agreeing with Jenkins. I disagree with Jenkins when she said “I don’t much care about Soros, and I don’t care at all which rich guy gets the privilege of spending $400 million… on the Nats.”

Well I do care about Soros and about who may own the Nationals. Soros is too liberal and he does advocate for legalized/decriminalized marijuana, a needle exchange program for drug users/addicts, open borders and a whole host of other beliefs I do not subscribe to.

As a lifelong New York Mets fan, much to Yankee fan Sweeney’s chagrin, I eagerly awaited baseball’s return to our nation’s capital – especially since the Nationals are a rival National League East team who will battle the Mets throughout the season. I have already been out to RFK to see the Nationals take on the Mets as well as other teams and have tickets to continue doing likewise during the summer.

But my financial support of the Nationals will cease under the ownership of Soros and would recommend to others who share my principals to do likewise. Such a threat, which would become a promise should Major League Baseball decide to “award” the team to Soros, could cost the team more in the long run. Soros has the right to own the team, as much as I and other current patrons have a right to withhold financial support.

As for Jenkins’ accusation of Davis’ xenophobia, it is somewhat over the top. Davis is no more xenophobic for not wanting Soros as owner of the Nationals than he is anti-Semitic for supporting a Fred Malek ownership. I, for one would just as soon boycott a Malek-owned team as I would a Soros-owned team. I am an active Jewish Republican and have had a number of one-on-one conversations with Davis and don’t believe him to be xenophobic or anti-Semitic.

Major League Baseball will make the decision regarding ownership of the Nationals. Hopefully it will be a decision its fans can live with. See you at the ballpark – maybe.

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