Monday, June 29, 2009

No Dark Path Here

No Dark Path Here
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 29, 2009

Cutting through Nancy Parker’s flowery language and bloviation (Who’s Out of Touch, June 18-24), this nation has most certainly not traversed down a dark path. In fact, this nation has risen above the dark and disturbing behavior of our enemies.

Those imprisoned at Guantanamo are captured enemy combatants. They have been afforded greater human rights than the allegedly free women in their home cultures. They are provided with religious materials, have their dietary laws adhered to and actually live.

The flipside of this dark path to which Ms. Parker refers is the numerous beheadings at the hands of those professing to be people of an allegedly peaceful faith.

It is not, as Ms. Parker asserts, a known fact that those held at Gitmo are neither criminals nor terrorists. Unless she has inside information to which the rest of the public is not privy, the detainees are enemy combatants, thus earning their one-way ticket to a cell. And, as they are not being held on American soil, they are not entitled to that which prisoners on American soil are entitled. Nor do they have a right of due process in American courts.

Ms. Parker would do well to take any BBC production with more than just a grain of salt. This propaganda machine of the left is both anti-American and anti-Semitic. And where are those so-called lawsuits being won against the US government? In an American court? The
World Court
– which has no jurisdiction here?

One needs not be singularly linked to 9/11 in order to be held as an enemy combatant. And I must question Ms. Parker’s sense of logic and reasoning regarding any alleged war crimes supposedly committed by the US where she claims this country has a responsibility to right so-called wrongs. Even if that assertion is true, and I believe it to be based upon faulty logic, righting wrongs does not entitle enemy combatants to the rights granted American citizens and certainly not a free pass.

I will agree with one cogent point put forth by Ms. Parker: “If our government’s priority is the safety and financial well being of the American citizens, we would be much more discreet about who is allowed in and who is not.” That’s true, because clearly, based upon no real immigration policy, our government has not been discreet regarding who is allowed entry upon our shores, nor has it done anything of any valid attempt to curtail the overrunning of our borders by those with no right to be here. That was a major failing of the previous administration only to be compounded by the blind eye of this administration.

(By the way, “their own country has failed them… and they want to make money,” that’s two reasons people are coming to this country, not “one reason, and one reason only,” as stated by Ms. Parker.)

Ms. Parker suggests the detainees “have none of the technical know how to try to escape.” I’m curious how she knows the intimate details of the detainees skill sets. Ms. Parker also said Rep. Moran is asking us, the inconvenienced citizens, “to allow those prisoners… to be housed under maximum security.” Hello, Ms. Parker? Are you not paying attention? Have any of the Gitmo prisoners escaped? Are they not under maximum security? We the people of these United States are safer and more secure with the prisoners at Gitmo where water and 90 miles separates them from us instead of on our mainland – in what most prison guards who have visited Gitmo attest to, better conditions there, than here.

Ms. Parker wants to know why such trials should take place here instead of in New York where the event of 9/11 took place. Here’s a history and geography lesson for you, Ms. Parker – 9/11 events also occurred at the Pentagon – ensconced within Jim Moran’s congressional district as well as in a field in Shanksville, PA. One more piece of historical context – take a look at some photos of Auschwitz before calling your backyard an American Auschwitz – that does nothing but demean the memory of all those who were murdered there.

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

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Keep Local Elections In May

Keep Local Elections In May
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 7, 2009

Run, don’t walk to City Hall this Saturday, June 13 for the City Council Public Hearing. The most important docket item is a resolution requesting a referendum to appear on the November ballot moving City Council and School Board elections from May to November.

As a former candidate for the School Board, I strongly support the retention of May local elections, for although I was on record disparaging the pathetically paltry – 19 percent – turnout, at least the candidates found themselves center stage.

Let’s dispel the notion that moving local elections to November would increase turnout. Sure, more citizens may cast votes in November, but by adding the City Council and School Board races to a ballot that may include presidential, senate, congressional candidates one year, and governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state senate and house of delegate candidates another year, local candidates will simply receive less attention than they deserve.

Most voters are already under the misguided impression that the higher ranking office the more influential it is in our lives. Quite the contrary. The president represents over 300 million Americans before the global community. Members of the House of Representatives represent approximately 650,000 citizens. When someone’s Social Security check has been inexplicably delayed, they don’t call the White House, they call their Congressman.

On the state level, the governor in Richmond is not called to report a pothole, instead City Hall is contacted. Retaining May for local elections is vital for voters to become familiar with the candidates and the candidates to spend time hearing the concerns of their potential constituents.

Governance at the most local level is the most effective. Elected leaders are closer to their constituents, live in the same neighborhoods and are affected by the same issues. Moving local elections to November where the candidates and the issues can be lost within the shuffle of the seemingly more “important” offices will allow the majority party to become complacent, and responsibility and accountability to the voters would, in essence, disappear.

This is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. Instead this is a non-partisan issue that should give the voters a serious level of consternation. Even the League of Women Voters and local NAACP have expressed concern with the potential date amendment.

Those unable to attend the June 13 hearing due to religious observance, contact the City Council at 703-746-4500 or via the City website at As the great radio talk show host Bob Grant says, ending his program, “your influence counts – use it!”

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