Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Democrat-ization of Hungary

Democrat-ization of Hungary
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 28, 2010

The headline and subheading of December 27’s editorial could easily have read “The Obamaization of America? A power-hungry president is about to embarrass the United States.”

Be careful casting aspersions, as what the Post accuses Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of doing can be said of Mr. Obama – elected from populist cloth, demonstrating himself to be power-hungry in myriad attempts to nationalize health care, the banks, the auto industry and communications in the United States as recent FCC discussions regarding the internet are proving. As with Orban, Obama, eerily similar names, took power with a large legislative majority.

Although Obama has not approached Orban’s Fidesz party in seizing control over “state television channels and all other public media outlets,” he is hypercritical of any news outlet that dares criticize him. Obama has proven to have as thin a skin as any president in history, demonstrating his petulant child-like behavior challenging his critics in public displays of “am not.”

While Fidesz is right of center, the behavior in Hungary should be labeled the Democrat-ization of Hungary – big “D” Democrat as opposed to little “d.”

Further, the editorial suggestion to boycott the May European Union summit meeting convening in Budapest, smacks of the economic boycotts demanded by American Democrats regarding issues as flying the Confederate flag atop the South Carolina capitol building and forcing Arizona to acquiesce in adopting the Dr. King holiday.

While I agree with the editorial that Orban has gone too far, I see clearly the comparison to Obama the Post won’t make.

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas - My Jewish Perspective

Merry Christmas – My Jewish Perspective
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all who observe this Christian religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

I say “my Jewish perspective,” because as a conservative, sadly, I do not speak for all Jewish people. I believe in wishing people a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah when I know what holiday they observe. I send out Chanukah cards to my Jewish friends and Christmas cards to my Christian friends.

When strangers wish me a merry Christmas, I thank them and offer them the same pleasantries. After all, there’s probably an 85 to 90 percent chance that wishing a stranger a Merry Christmas is correct, so I am certainly not going to get offended when the odds are stacked that way. And why should anyone get offended when being wished a pleasantry by a stranger?

Every year during the holiday season – and it is a holiday season as Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are celebrated – there seems to be a growing battle over what to say to people, how to behave in group settings, schools, town halls and stores. During this season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men, there seems to be a war on words – that in a nation that prides itself on a First Amendment right of free speech, the ACLU and other word-police groups want to ensure anything but peace on earth or goodwill toward mankind. (No doubt someone will criticize the use of men and mankind in this paragraph.)

This is an important time of the year for Christians and it should be so recognized. Granted it has been co-opted by department stores and turned into a commercialized gift-demanding extravaganza, but sadly, so too has Chanukah over recent years. Just for the record, Chanukah is not the Jewish Christmas, or more accurately, Christmas is not the Christian Chanukah, as Chanukah predates Christmas by more than two centuries.

Chanukah, while important historically, is a minor festival commemorating the Maccabee’s victory over the Assyrian-Greek rulers in a three-year war fought for religious freedom from 168-165 BCE. More religious observances for Jews occur with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover, for example.

The reason for this ever so brief history lesson is to respond to the politically correct who insist on lumping all the winter holidays into a giant seasons greetings card that acknowledges nothing specific. They do this to prevent people from feeling excluded. Here’s a little clue for the PC crowd: religion IS exclusionary and that does not make it bad or wrong or damaging to anyone’s self-esteem or psyche.

That religion is exclusionary is not akin to joining a country club that refuses membership to a particular race or religion. Anyone can become a member of any religion – provided they abide by its precepts and laws. Most people simply choose to remain connected to the faith unto which they were born. People of faith do not feel excluded as they have a spiritual belief system by which to adhere. And as there are myriad religions, the holidays that fall under their related auspices should be recognized individually, and without backlash from the ACLU, atheists or any other ill-informed PC loons. It is those people who plant the seeds of strife and divisiveness.

There’s a fine line between insanity and the abyss and these examples that follow, are demonstrative of people who clearly have pole vaulted over that line with room to spare.

Protests erupted in Pennsylvania over a years-long tradition in a place called Christmas Village, simply because of the name of the town. A Christmas parade in some town in Oklahoma was renamed a holiday parade so as not to make non-Christians feel excluded. The name of the town escapes me, but since is wasn’t Oklahoma City or Tulsa, it makes one wonder how many non-Christians were affected by this?

At Virgin Valley High School – no joke – in Mesquite, NV, saying “merry Christmas” has been “forbidden” to school district employees and “strongly discouraged” for students.

But the lulu of them all came from right here in our own backyard at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Prince William County earlier this week. A group calling itself the Christmas Sweater Club for the crazy sweaters they wear this time of the year was given detention for singing and tossing tiny candy canes to the student body – those that were at the school at , before the school day officially began.

The club members were charged with attempting to “maliciously maim students with the intent to injure.” Furthermore, Battlefield principal Amy Etheridge-Conti said the candy canes are weapons because they can be sharpened by the consumer’s mouth and used to stab people. Clearly this is a woman who is not getting enough oxygen to the brain. Amazingly, pencils have yet to be banned at Battlefield High.

A report came out that Christmas trees were making people feel excluded, nervous and uncomfortable in Canada. It’s a tree, people, not a soul snatcher. What the hell is wrong with people?

Make no mistake, Christmas is not my holiday and I do not celebrate it – nor should I – but I certainly enjoy the beauty of the Christmas tree in all its decorated splendor. And as much as I hate winter and the cold weather, one of my fond childhood memories was to be bundled up, piled into the car with my sister and parents, both Blessed memories, and we would drive around to look at the Christmas lights, followed by mugs of steaming hot chocolate.

I do not feel excluded from Christmas any more than my Christian friends feel excluded from Chanukah. I no more feel excluded from Easter than they do from Passover.

On this day of Christmas Eve, I say Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Salivating Over a TCU-Rutgers Rivalry?

Salivating Over a TCU-Rutgers Rivalry?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 30, 2010

For years I complained that the Atlanta Braves had no business being in the National League West while the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals existed in the NL East. As a lifelong New York Mets fan, I quickly learned how true the adage “be careful what you wish for” is as the hated Braves reeled off 14 consecutive division titles in the realigned East.

And for years, the National Football League also continued to twist American geography with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East and the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in the NFC West. It’s no wonder American students have no sense of geographic knowledge of their own country.

 “The Dallas Cowboys play in the NFC East; TCU and their fans will be right at home in the Big East,” said former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, in support of TCU accepting an invitation to join the Big East effective July 1, 2012.

Comparing Texas Christian University being the Big East with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in the same NFL division is terribly disingenuous. Professional teams are designed to travel and can afford the time and cost of such. TCU is a university whose players are supposedly students first, and the extended travel time is even more time out of the classroom.

The NFC rivalries are about as old as the NFL itself. Who’s showing up for that vaunted TCU-Rutgers game – in either football or basketball? Ooh – there’s a snore-fest that will garner a .001 on the ratings scale.

I am not so naïve as to not understand the financial, recruiting and television contractual advantages to see the Big East expand to Fort Worth, TX. But then again, it hasn’t really been the Big East in years, more like the Big American Behemoth Conference, stretching as far west as Indiana – hundreds of miles from the Eastern Seaboard. These mega-conferences are too unwieldy and dilute the importance of the traditional conference rivalries.

The Big East is not a football conference and TCU is not a basketball school, the Big East's bread and butter. A 17-team conference is outrageous, not that 16 is any better.
TCU should compete in an all Texas conference with Texas, Texas A & M, Texas Tech, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Southern Methodist University (SMU), Houston, Rice, Baylor and North Texas University.

There is no doubt the Texas Conference would be a more than competitive conference and would produce quality bowl representatives on an annual basis. Two five-team divisions would produce a conference title game with an automatic BCS bid and four additional bowl teams would lend much credence to a new conference. With nine games against the conference teams, traditional storied rivalries can be upheld on an annual basis – Texas/Oklahoma for example.

Villanova in the Big East for football is a good idea, as they are already a strong hoops competitor in that conference. Adding Richmond and Temple in both sports makes sense as well, but the Big East has got to lose Cincinnati, De Paul, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame and West Virginia. With Temple and Richmond in hoops, the Big East would have 14 teams. If the Big East feels compelled to have 16 schools, add George Washington and Rhode Island, who would already have natural rivals in the conference.

With the notion of Temple leaving the Mid-American Conference, they would have an even dozen teams; and leaving the Atlantic-10 would put the Owls in one conference, as it should be for all schools. There should not be split conference allegiances for different sports.

Dropping the six aforementioned schools would allow the NCAA to drop the Big LEAST from the automatic BCS bid, which is B.S. to begin with, but that’s a column for another day. The Big East would still have four or five quality bowl competitors every season, such as Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Temple.

The Big East would have a 12-team football conference that can be divided into two six-team divisions, featuring a championship game, and a 16-team basketball conference divided into two eight-team divisions. (G.W., Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall would not participate in the football portion of the Big East.)

Conferences should remain true to their geography. The ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) should no more have Boston College among its ranks then the Big East should have South Florida. But at least USF is ON the East Coast or in eastern seaboard states. Trade the two – BC would renew their rivalries with Connecticut and Providence, while USF would have intrastate rivalries with Florida State and Miami, shoring up the ACC’s Florida link.

The six schools recommended for being dropped from the Big East – Cincinnati, De Paul, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame and West Virginia could form a New Conference USA with Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida, Dayton, East Carolina, Jacksonville, Marshall, Memphis and St. Louis. Tulsa could move to the depleted Big 12 while Southern Mississippi and Tulane could join the Southeastern Conference.

The invitation of TCU to the Big East is not the impetus of this tome – it has been a long time in coming since the Big Ten added Penn State and did not change its name; since Conference USA stretched from East Carolina to UTEP two time zones away in El Paso where frequent flyer miles are more important than grade point averages.

The University of Utah has no business joining the Pacific-10 Conference either, but again, it’s all about the expansion of television rights. If the Pac-10 wants to expand, seek out hoops powerhouse Gonzaga, eventually they could put a competitive team on the gridiron.

Were the Utes to remain in the Mountain West conference with state rival BYU (leaving to become an independent – also a mistake), along with the addition of Boise State in 2011 as well as Fresno State and Nevada in 2012, this could be a powerful conference, especially if TCU were to stay put. This would be a geographically cohesive 12-school conference with solid competitors in both football and basketball. A football title game would put the winner in the BCS, where either Boise State, Nevada or TCU belong this year, as well as two or three other bowl eligible schools on an annual basis.

This is an expensive game of athletic and geographic dominos the conference CEOs are playing and one which the fans, and more importantly, the student athletes could lose – badly.

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Adopt Israeli Air Strategy

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

Adopt Israeli Air Strategy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 18, 2010

In baseball, good pitching beats good hitting, or so goes the adage. In sports in general, good defense thwarts a solid offense and quickly leaves the field giving momentum to the offense.

War is much the same – a solid defense of one country usually prevents the offensive of another country from taking effect. Certainly former President Ronald Reagan understood that as the United States won the Cold War leaving the Soviet Union a crumbling figment of its former self having broken down into myriad smaller nations of little consequence.

However, that the once great Soviet army could not defeat a rag-tag band of Afghanis in the 1980s was clearly a harbinger of things to come. The war on terror, and make no mistake, it is a war – declared by Congress or not, war has most certainly been declared on the United States by terror cells and groups throughout the Muslim world.

Yes, the Muslim world – we’re big boys and girls – at least outside of the current administration with its collective heads still deep in the sand – that we can affirmatively identify what we have known since before September 11, 2001 where our enemies have originated – in extreme Muslim ideology – straight from the Koran. All one need do is read it for proof.

And like a defense left on the field of play for an overextended period of time that eventually becomes weak and porous, so does that of a military which is short of ideas on how to combat the offensive. That is the current state in which the United States finds itself while attempting to combat a terror offensive that seems to know no bounds.

When one brand of defense falters, it is time to go back to the locker room at halftime and draw up a new plan. For the United States, it is time to adopt the Israeli defense strategy in dealing with air travel. A system privatized, not run by the government or union shops as has been proposed in the United States, as if delays in air travel aren’t bad enough now, imagine what will happen when unions run things.

In Israel psychological profiling rules the day where potential trouble is caught before it even reaches check-in and El Al does not have hijackings or terror attempts – at least none that reach the point of passenger awareness – and that is an important comfort. These are professionally trained men and women who interview passengers prior to reaching security to determine their flight-worthiness.

And while the naysayers are quick to point out how many flights leave Israel on a daily basis versus those that leave American airports, the airlines had better consider their own bottom lines – the profit and soon to be large loss statements.

How long will people continue to put up with what has turned from an inconvenience of removing shoes and belts to what is now, by all legal definitions, sexual assault by government flunkies. Remember, airline CEOs, the government has little vested interest in whether or not profits are made – see Amtrak and its stellar profit margins.

Adding insult to potential injury is the statement made by the virulently anti-American Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) calling for Muslim women to arrive at airports in full Muslim dress demanding that the TSA only pat down their head and neck areas in deference to their religion. (Have Orthodox Jewish groups made the same unconscionable demands regarding their women who also dress modestly – covering from neck to wrists to ankles and wearing wigs? Certainly not.)

Remember, flying is not a right. It is a privilege and there are rules which are printed on the backs of airline tickets as well as on airlines’ websites. That said, touching of genitalia – never. Allowing CAIR and Muslim women to dictate the terms of their pat downs – never.

The United States is back on its heels playing catch up to the terrorists. Only after Muslim terrorists hijacked and crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon did this nation began to investigate where flight students originated and their status in this country. Only after the “shoe bomber” did airlines have passengers remove shoes and forbid carrying lighters or liquids of greater than three ounces. Only after the “underwear bomber” attempted to go “fruit of ka-boom” in Detroit, did airlines institute more strict searches. It’s a miracle they didn’t start inspecting passenger’s undies then.

In each case, the key word is “after.” Now, there is the most invasive scanning and groping to see if that’s a weapon being packed in the shorts or under the nun’s habit or in the infant’s stroller. However, until the United States adopts the Israeli strategy, it is actually necessary to conduct these searches, due to the short-sightedness of the government, specifically the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

These strict searches have become incumbent upon the airline industry because of the Muslim terrorist lifestyle. Why are infants’ strollers searched? Why are nuns searched? Why are men in wheelchairs searched? Because the Muslim terrorist has no regard for life. They are willing to sacrifice their women and children, for which they have no respect, and themselves as well, for the hopes of reaching heaven via some Koran edict about killing so-called infidels.

Further proof of this is how weapons are stockaded in elementary schools and milk factories. That no sacrifice is too insignificant and that the terrorists know Western sensibilities and emotions run high at the loss of innocent life. Thus a major difference between them and us.

The Israeli strategy must be adopted and pro-active measures must be employed in an effort to once again make the once friendly skies more tolerable. Yes, that means profiling, but at the same time remembering that converts to any religion are typically more zealous than those born into that faith, thus making everyone a suspect worthy of profiling, thus the need for the Israeli system.

Inculcating the Israeli system upon American should be relatively simple and easily accepted when considering the current hands-on approach that is turning frequent flyers into drivers and stay at home former travelers because the inconvenience has far outweighed the former allure of travel to exotic lands and family events.

Interestingly, that civilization began on the banks of rivers and seas in a part of the world that today is bereft of civilization. People lived close to their birthplaces out of necessity and civilizations grew around water for sea travel was the mode of the day. Terrorism may very well force people back to living close to their birthplaces once again in order to remain close to family and avoid what may or may not await them in the skies.

An important lesson must be culled from the words of the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (1898-1978). “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Sadly, that day is nowhere in sight.

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Send Moran Packing - Military Style

Send Moran Packing – Military Style
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 25, 2010

While there are myriad reasons not to send Jim Moran back to Congress, his recent disparaging remarks against every member of the military past, present and future top the list.

To suggest, nay, in Moran’s case to say outright, that military service is not community or public service is as a big an affront to anyone who ever wore, wears or will wear the uniform – regardless of political affiliation. When those brave men and women don the uniform it says United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard – not Democrat or Republican.

Moran should be ashamed of himself and remind all the voters in Virginia Eighth Congressional District when they cast their ballots next Tuesday, November 2 that the Pentagon and the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery is in their district.

While on the subject of the military and Election Day, there have been stories around the country regarding delays in getting ballots to our servicemen and women overseas. This is an absolute disgrace. If there is any group whose ballots should be counted it is those folks There is no excuse for this to happen.

And although I am not a conspiracy theorist, the largest amount of delayed ballots have come from New York, Illinois, Arkansas and New Mexico. You do the electoral math. Every military ballot should be counted. If that means delaying the certification of elections in some districts, so be it. That’s partly why there is a lame duck session – votes need to be verified and recounts need to occur where necessary.

There has been a move for a number of years, coming almost exclusively from the left, to enfranchise non-citizens simply because they are living in the United States – legally – working, paying taxes, etc. This has gained more and more traction, which should never be allowed. When so little concern is offered to our overseas troops’ potential disenfranchisement, why is there a push to give voting rights to non-citizens?

That then leads to my last Election Day and voter concern – voter fraud. No one without a voter registration card and a photo ID should be allowed to vote – period. There is no excuse for a voter to not carry his or her card in their wallet. Arguments have been made that to expect people to show up at the polls with identification is somehow a violation of their rights is specious at best, moronic and insane is more like it.

Eventually voter registration cards should actually have a photo on them. Whatever the cost to produce it is worth it to protect and guarantee the sanctity of elections in this Republic. Remember, on Election Day next Tuesday, your vote counts – use it!

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

[This column appeared in the Alexandria Times.]

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juan Gone From NPR - Call to Strip Taxpayer Funding

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire (1694-1778)

Juan Gone From NPR – Call to Strip Taxpayer Funding
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 21, 2010

The vigorous and immediate support of former NPR (National Public Radio) commentator Juan Williams, in the wake of his unceremonious dismissal via cell phone, from both sides of the aisle both politically and in the media speaks volumes – especially when Williams has been silenced, albeit only by NPR.

For a simple expression of his true feelings, that should he encounter Muslims in full Muslim garb aboard an airplane he would feel nervous, Williams was fired by National Progressive Radio. And the fateful words were not even uttered on NPR’s vaunted airwaves, but instead on the Fox News Channel as a guest on the O’ Reilly Factor, Monday, October 18. (Williams said he would have repeated those same feelings on NPR.)

The outrage by the public over the Wednesday, October 20 firing comes, coincidentally, during their semi-annual beg-a-thon, or pledge week as National Pompous Radio calls it. The subsequent aftermath should, and will, affect NPR’s bottom line. This math will be seen in the form of subtraction of public donations, a multiplication of the ire by the rank and file as many listeners have called and e-mailed protesting Williams’ firing. These listeners are decidedly left of center as NPR is a liberal operation.

A liberal operation that claims it only receives one to three percent of its finding via the federal government, yet at the mere mention of Congressional defunding, it cries poverty. Let’s look at that one to three percent. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives about $425 million annually from Congress, of which $90 is absorbed by public radio – certainly nothing to sneeze at, even when dealing with trillions in debt and deficits. This is money that comes from the taxpayers’ pockets and can surely be used more efficiently. Public Broadcasting is for ALL the public, yet it is far from balanced and most definitely advocacy programming supporting left of center causes.

Sorry, NPR, you can’t have it both ways. Congress should defund CPB and NPR immediately. Let them compete in the free market where they can sink or swim – they are not too big to fail and should no longer be funded by tax dollars. They can continue to receive the corporate grants and viewer/listener support that has come their way for years, but they will never receive another dime from me.

Yes, I have contributed to public broadcasting, particularly to my local radio station, WETA in Washington, DC for the sole purpose of supporting the classical music programming. But no longer. Actions have consequences, and National Propaganda Radio’s actions were careless, irresponsible and an affront to what a free and open press is all about in the first place.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, a document with which NPR may or may not be familiar, guarantees freedom of speech and press – a double whammy, yet NPR is guilty of violating Juan Williams’ rights on both counts.

National Pinko Radio not only crassly fired a revered commentator in their employ for more than a decade via cell phone, but added insult to injury when Vivian Schiller, NPR CEO mocked Williams in a public speech. Schiller said the firing was not a passing of judgment on what Williams’ said, which by the way, it most certainly was just that. Schiller then said Williams should have kept his comments between himself and his psychiatrist or publicist. In watching Schiller make those comments, one could clearly see the sneer on her face, which should be wiped off with her own dismissal.

Schiller said Williams’ violation of NPR’s journalistic standards caused his termination. National Putrid Radio must have the most obsequious of standards and demonstrated its adherence of clinging to the leftist orthodoxy that allowed other commentators to remain on the air for uttering infinitely more damning statements than Williams’.

Longtime NPR commentator Nina Totenberg said in 1995 the now late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms or even his grandchildren should contact AIDS. So-called NPR humorist Andrei Codrescu said in 2005 that the evaporation of four million Christians who believe in the Rapture would leave the world a better place. In June of this year, National Palestinian Radio hosted a “balanced” forum following the Gaza flotilla incident in which none of the five panelists defended Israel. Such standards of excellence in journalism.

Williams’ dismissal brought immediate support from members of his own profession on both sides of the aisle. Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg, both of The View, as well as commentators from MSNBC and other left of center media operations came to Williams’ defense. Clearly even they saw the potential writing on the wall regarding the erosion and stifling of First Amendment rights with the firing of a man of the character and caliber of work as a Juan Williams.

In addition to his radio and television work, Williams is also a noted author of numerous books, including Enough The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America – and What We Can Do About It, which I highly recommend.

Fox News, for whom Williams also works, stood by their man and put its money where its mouth and slogan are by extending his contract – defending the Constitution and demonstrating they clearly are fair and balanced.

With a recent infusion of $1.8 million from far left, anti-American, anti-free speech financier George Soros to NPR, it is obvious who is now pulling the strings. Juan Williams may just as well have been fired for his association with Fox News. Who’s next on Soros’ hit list? Mara Liasson? Either dance the NPR dance or dance alone.

The American public demonstrated that Juan Williams is not alone. Flooding the switchboard and crashing the website at NPR demonstrated support for Williams to the tune of roughly 8,000 to 60. The 60 coming from extremist CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and its supporters calling for retribution against Williams for what? Having the nerve to express his feelings.

It is amazing that as the American lexicon grows via politically correct euphemisms, the English language continues to shrink in terms of what words people can and cannot say. Every word is parsed beyond recognition. This is political correctness taken to the worst degree that it is actually a repudiation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. It is disturbing to the point of Orwellian. This is the epitome of censorship and as a publicly funded organization, it should not go unpunished.

Call NPR at 202-513-3232 (10-5 EST) or visit their website at www.npr.org. Inform them how much money you would have pledged, but won’t, due to the cowardly firing of Juan Williams. Then inform them your next call will be to your member of Congress to demand that NPR be stripped of its federal funding. We will speak with out wallets and our votes.

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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Devil Vs. Daniel Webster

The Devil Vs. Daniel Webster
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 29, 2010

As an American, as a Jew, and as a Republican I cannot express my offense at Congressman Alan Grayson vociferously enough with the recent campaign advertisement impugning the reputation of his opponent Daniel Webster.

I am embarrassed for the Eighth Congressional District of Florida as a whole and just as embarrassed to call myself a co-religionist with Mr. Grayson. He has embarrassed himself as a person, member of Congress, a Jew, and as an American for his antics on the House floor this session making light of the Holocaust, suggesting Republicans want senior Americans to die as a form of cost-cutting and now with his disgraceful advertisement taking Daniel Webster’s words completely out of context.

While mudslinging and dirty politics are as old as campaigning itself, there is absolutely no room for outright lies. Even CNN has condemned the Grayson hit piece. The Grayson campaign took the words “submit to me,” from a speech given by Mr. Webster and inserted them into an advertisement labeling the Republican candidate “Taliban Dan,” suggesting that Mr. Webster opposed women, women’s rights and myriad other freedoms.

This could not be further from the truth, and all anyone need do is simply listen to the words of Daniel Webster himself. This can be done by visiting his website: www.electwebster.com. Mr. Webster referenced blessing the wives and women in a man’s life – just as is done by Jewish worshipers on Shabbat with the Blessing over daughters as well as the Woman of Valor love poem as found in Proverbs.

Alan Grayson may be a Jewish member of Congress and his opponent, Daniel Webster, may be a Christian, but we should elect our members of Congress based upon the content of their character and Congressman Grayson has demonstrated himself to be a character of the most embarrassing kind. He is most definitely not worthy of anyone’s vote for reelection.

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

Friday, September 17, 2010

DREAM Act a Nightmare

DREAM Act a Nightmare 
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 17, 2010

Leave it to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and his cohorts to politicize a Defense Department budget bill by linking it to his back door, de facto amnesty DREAM Act.

At a time when support for illegal aliens can not be found beyond the borders of Capitol Hill, save for such far-left sanctuary cities as San Francisco, El Paso, TX and even closer to home in Alexandria, VA, Senate Democrats are pushing this DREAM Act nightmare on the American people, all the while forgetting what the word “illegal” means.

In an attempt to curry favor with Hispanic voters, which should be an insult to them, the DREAM Act would put illegal aliens on a path toward citizenship by serving two years in the United States military or for being enrolled in an American college or university for two years – at in-state tuition rates.

This is wrong on so many levels, starting with the rewarding, for bad behavior, of criminal acts committed by people with no legal right to be in the United States, let alone taking the seats in a college classroom from deserving, legal students. The DREAM Act plows through the wickets creating a clear path for illegal aliens to garner citizenship as a reward for their criminal behavior.

As for allowing these illegal aliens the opportunity to gain their green cards via a two-year stint in the United States military, what guarantee is there that some of these illegal aliens won’t turn their military-issued firearms on their own platoon?

Attaching the DREAM Act to a defense bill is a purely political move the Democrats can use to levy a claim the Republicans don’t support the troops when they vote against the bill due to this rider. This is dangerous as the Democratic majority is playing with national security.

It’s no wonder TEA Party-endorsed candidates such as Sharron Angle (R-NV), Ken Buck (R-CO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Joe Miller (R-AK), Christine O’ Donnell (R-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), have all managed to speak to voters in a language the rank and file understand. They, along with many other candidates both Republican and even a few Democrats have come to realize that passage of the DREAM Act would be a nightmare.

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

Monday, August 23, 2010

Validating Old Town's Parking Crisis

Validating Old Town’s Parking Crisis
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 23, 2010

In her August 12 column, “Parking problems have us in a tight spot,” Alexandria Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tina Leone mentioned that we the people are creatures of habit for seeking out free or cheap parking locales when heading to Old Town. She is right.

Why would anyone in their right mind willingly pay more money to park their car for the “privilege” of dining or shopping in Old Town when they can do so for free in so many other places. Sure, Old Town is a greater draw than many other places, but when meter parking rates rose from $1 to $1.75 per hour with a two-hour maximum, so too did people’s blood pressure rise.

As is typical of government – the City of Alexandria was extremely short-sighted with the continued gouging of consumers willing to spend money in the city that already adds a city tax to restaurant bills. This is no longer nickel and diming people when a meter fee is $3.50 for two hours, particularly when people spend more than two hours at a time in Old Town.

If the increased meter rates are designed to move traffic in and out of Old Town businesses faster, be careful what you wish for City of Alexandria. Business and restaurant owners can attest to the fact that foot traffic in their establishments has waned, and not just due to the economy, but the inconvenience of having to schlep more quarters around than Rich Uncle Pennybags in the Monopoly® game.

Of the myriad complaints and discussions that have appeared in this paper, one that hasn’t been explored is that of validating parking. Ms. Leone wrote about the parking garages remaining nearly empty while people scavenge the city streets in search of free or cheap parking. Again, she is right; so let’s take it one step further, Ms. Leone.

Offer the incentive of free garage parking, sponsored by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and its participating Old Town members. When someone parks in an Old Town garage and returns with a receipt, for, let’s say a minimum of $5, from an Old Town restaurant or store, stamped by that business, the parking should be free.

This is a win-win proposition. More vehicles will find their way into garages – which, by the way, will keep the vehicle cooler during the stifling summer months, and more short term parkers will use the street spaces, feed the meters and get out of Dodge in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, more businesses will be patronized by shoppers who realize they don’t have to rush back to their cars to feed the meter and simply decide to leave Old Town.

One doesn’t need to pay thousands of dollars for a study to see the wisdom behind this idea. After all, Ms. Leone, you asked the question, “What will persuade visitors to use garage parking instead of street parking or – worse yet – resident parking?” Your words, my solution.

Nordstrom in The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City validates parking for anyone with a Nordstrom credit card or a receipt from that store. Up the street from that mall, the Costco and other shops on
South Fern Street
in Arlington offers a time sensitive validation for parking. There is no doubt I am not the only consumer who would shop elsewhere were parking not validated.

If restaurants and shops want our business, we the people should not have to pay for the “privilege.” What say you, Ms. Leone?

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

Sunday, August 22, 2010

College Griders Already Paid

College Griders Already Paid
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 22, 2010

After reading Donald H. Yee’s “Show Them the Money,” in Sunday’s The Washington Post (B-1, 4) in which he supports paying college football players and laying out a 10 step plan, it is painfully obvious he is in dire need of a 12 step program of his own.

Yee, a lawyer and partner in a Los Angeles sports-management firm, rightfully indicates that there is a corrupt system in place mingling agents with collegiate coaches and so-called student athletes. However, instead of suggesting ways to clean up the system and end the culture of corruption that has infested not just college football, but other high-ticket college sports such as basketball, Yee calls for a further perversion of college athletics by turning over the football programs to outside institutions and corporations and paying the so-called student athletes.

Such a transition would forever damage the concept of college athletics as well as the psyche of the so-called student athletes who are already treated as demi-gods on numerous campuses across the nation.

The worst of Yee’s 10 points, and the most offensive to the concept of the student athlete is to remove the word student from the mix altogether.
                        “Academically gifted players could take regular university courses, if they could have gained admission on their own merit. Others may be more interested          in vocational training or other specialty classes. Either way, average students            would no longer lose a chance at admission because the university made an   exception for an academically less qualified athlete. And athletes would have a            broader array of course offerings. Some may even choose not to attend classes   and simply focus on honing their football skills.”

This is a disgusting and disgraceful notion. As it stands today, the NCAA is already a de-facto minor league for the NFL and the NBA. Yee couldn’t be more wrong about this particular point as to allow what would then be a non-student-athlete to roam a college campus without being a registered, class-attending student on some supposed degree track would be even more detrimental to the current status of the so-called student athlete. They would be strutting around campuses with bigger britches than they have on now with their over-inflated sense of entitlement.

College athletes, most notably football and basketball players, as they represent the big revenue generating sports, already get paid. Their pay is the scholarship that covers their tuition, books, tutors, room and board that often leads to players leaving school early for the NFL (or NBA) or not earning a degree prior to their eligibility expiring. There is no policy in place to demand players not staying in school four years to repay the scholarship in full.

Make no mistake, this is not a case of sour grapes, as I play and pay into this system as a season ticket holder to University of Maryland football, my alma mater, as well as being a member of the Terrapin Club, “the scholarship fund for Maryland athletics that helps offset scholarship costs of over $10.2 million in annual scholarship support for many of the 700+ student athletes who compete on 27 varsity teams representing the University of Maryland. …we receive no state financial support for our scholarship programs.” (www.terrapinclub.com/about/membership-information)

Yee calls for the elimination of university involvement with the football programs and turning them over to corporate entities to run. This would only further corrupt the system by removing the university, the organization responsible for bringing such student athletes to the campus in the first place.

Additionally, Yee suggests eliminating football programs that are perennial money-losers. Such black holes are no good for the university, Yee suggests. This defeats the lessons team sports teaches and would take away the vehicle for which genuine student athletes have for continuing to play football at the collegiate level even if they never enjoy a winning season or a trip to one of the myriad bowl games that only requires a six-win season (another issue for another column).

Team sports participants tend to make strong leaders in the corporate world as well as in government and politics, just as the Boy and Girl Scouts.

Yet, the bona fide suggestion of eliminating the unqualified so-called student athlete from the university system in the first place is never addressed by Yee. His answer, as stated earlier, is to allow the lesser qualified “students” to play football without attending any classes whatsoever. That is detrimental to both the university that would condone such a perpetual underclass and more so to the athletes who will never see the inside of an NFL (or NBA, since ultimately this would be the next sport to be drawn into such a myopic system) locker room.

Under Yee’s system, the non-student athlete would play football for four or five years then leave the university with nothing to show for the efforts, except perhaps a paycheck, most of which would have already been squandered by the 18-22 year old who had no skills in money management. Couple that with a less than two percent chance of playing in the NFL or even the CFL, what does Yee expect that former college athlete to do with no marketable skills?

Yee refers to the “coveted” high school athlete as being allowed to enjoy the “fruits of American capitalism.” Those fruits are offered in the form of scholarships, and are also one of the reasons student athletes are given more than four years to complete a degree program. With all the time allotted for practice and travel during the football season, as well as spring practice, football players should be afforded a lighter academic load during the fall semester, but conversely make up the load during the spring and summer sessions.

Those so-called student athletes unable to qualify for admission on their academic merits should be denied admission. If these athletes are so coveted, there should be a minor league system for them to hone their skills paid for by the various NFL or CFL teams interested in developing these players into professional athletes. For those who would argue that such a system would dilute the NCAA football programs across the country’s campuses, it would no doubt be felt on a relatively equal scale. This way universities would no longer have to turn an already blind eye to the academically unqualified under the guise of calling them “student athletes,” who will merely take the place of an academically qualified student who may major in engineering or political science while bringing no revenue to the school.

Yes, I recognize the student athlete generates revenue that he or she does not pocket in the form of a paycheck. But these same athletes are demonstrating their wares and skills on the gridiron or hardwood floor in the hopes they will be drafted by the NFL, CFL or NBA.

There is already a corrupt system of coaches in cahoots with boosters and agents on the sly with a knowing wink and a nod providing players with the various unspoken perks of being a coveted student athlete. This is done all in the quest of winning national championships, conference titles and bowl games.

Make no mistake, those of us who support our alma maters or local universities enjoy the winning seasons and post season play and are equally disappointed when the former does not occur on a regular basis. But we also know the importance of seeing those same student athletes who march down the field in victory, march across the stage in a cap and gown in the victory of earning a degree.

Clearly Mr. Yee’s column does not support the notion of educating our student athletes and that will only have long term deleterious effects on them for which we as a society will ultimately pay.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA. He is a Maryland football season ticket holder and member of the Terrapin Club.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque: Legal: Yes; Moral: Never

Ground Zero Mosque: Legal: Yes; Moral: Never
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 16, 2010

The Jewish synagogue, the Christian/Catholic church, the Shinto and Confucian shrines, the Buddhist and Hindu temples, and yes, even the Islamic mosque are all houses of worship to be respected, revered and prayed in by people of faith seeking answers, guidance, truth, atonement and presumably a path to goodness, peace, righteousness and betterment.

Yet, as anyone with a pulse knows, more wars have been waged in the name of all that is holy, from Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms, holocausts and in more recent history terrorist attacks.

Catholic priests are not calling for the destruction of any peoples for not accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jewish rabbis are not condemning non-Jews for eating a ham and cheese sandwich, yet Muslim imams around the globe are demanding that all other faiths bow to Sharia law. There are also regular calls for the slaughter of “infidels,” even among Muslims themselves, not to mention the shouts from the mountaintops for the destruction of Israel, the United States, Western Civilization, Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.

The United States of America is presumably the most religiously tolerant nation in the world – starting with the Puritans who sought religious freedom in the 1600s before there was even a United States. Catholics found a religious haven in the Maryland Colony, Jewish refugees found homes in the United States and assimilated, some would say far too deeply for our own good.

It is the irony of this deep-rooted tolerance that will one day befall the grandeur and religious freedoms of the United States. Nine years after the devastating terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the failed assaults on the White House or Capitol Building in Washington, DC, 3,000 people of numerous faiths lay murdered by Muslim extremists in New York City, Arlington, VA and a field in Shanksville, PA – scores of whom were never identified or found.

Nine years after Muslim extremists issued a clarion call to the global community that they will not play by the rules of civilized society, and adding insult to injury, literally so, there is a mosque planned for construction in the shadows of the September 11, 2001 attacks and murders.

We, as Americans, are being told by one of the most intolerant faiths, to be the tolerant nation we have been to other faiths. Political figures with absolutely no spines have weighed in on this issue is a most cowardly fashion. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for “mutual respect and tolerance,” in his support of this mosque at this location. Just how many synagogues and churches are being built in Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim country? We can expect groundbreaking ceremonies about the time bacon is declared kosher.

There is tolerance and then there is myopic stupidity. This nation bends over backwards to be tolerant – even in the face of all the wrongs committed in the United States. No nation is perfect and the US is certainly no exception with a history of slavery and internments, but this is not an issue of payback or overcompensation. This is an issue of common sense. Ultimately, we are killing ourselves from within by giving in to people who want us dead. There is no gray area here.

In addition to the weak-kneed Bloomberg, there are the politically correct New York Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Anthony Weiner as well as New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who in their abject liberalism have given their blessing to this insidious project. All four are embarrassments as Jews. Where is the backbone of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he is needed?

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the chairman of the Cordoba Institute, the sponsoring organization of the Ground Zero mosque, said 19 days following the 9-11 attacks and murders that the United States was an accessory in those attacks, that Osama bin Laden was “made in the US,” and demands that the United States become more Sharia compliant. There is certainly nothing tolerant coming from Imam Rauf.

Imam Rauf still has yet to condemn Hezbollah or Hamas as terror organizations and has called for jihad against Jews, Christians, the United States, Israel and other Westerners. Rauf calls the United States repressive as a political statement, yet in his demands of a more Sharia compliant America, is calling for the deaths of homosexuals, the stoning of women who might be adulterous, and is categorically anti-Jewish and anti-Christian. Where is the tolerance, Imam Rauf?

Then there is the insipid weasel-ness of the White House. Let’s start with that deer in the headlights White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who little more than a week ago said, “We’re not at war with a religion, but an idea.”

How naïve. Just where did this idea originate?

What next? A mosque planned at the Pentagon and in the field at Shanksville?

Then of course, Barack Obama feels compelled to weigh in with his obtuse two cents after declaring this a “local issue.” Although it most certainly is not a local issue, he would have been better off leaving it at that then demonstrating his tacit short sightedness.

“Let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” said Obama, Friday, August 13 while hosting an iftar, the daily breaking of the fast during the month-long observance of Ramadan.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable,” said Obama in supporting the Ground Zero mosque and showing his true colors.

Is the erection of such a structure legal? Yes, it is legal, but it most certainly is not moral. Obama had a golden opportunity to do the right thing, but instead, as usual, bowed to political correctness by taking the easy way out. The right thing would be to defend the right of people to worship and defend people’s religious freedoms, but then to strongly encourage that Imam Rauf relocate the mosque from the shadow of the site of the greatest and most horrific attack perpetrated on American soil.

And although this mosque is slated for construction on private property, where is the funding, to the tune of $100 million, coming from? There should be absolute transparency as to the origins of every last nickel going into such a structure, assuming a construction crew in New York City can even be found to work on such a project.

Such transparency has been called for by New York Congressman Peter King and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, both of whom oppose the building of the Ground Zero mosque, while Lazio’s opponent, New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo supports the mosque. (Hopefully the voters in New York will remember that on November 2.)

Most Americans agree that the building of this mosque is legal. At the same time they also believe it to be a slap in the face of those who died there as well as their families who will have to see that structure in perpetuity while remembering their loved ones died at the hands of Muslim extremists – a term the Obama administration refuses to utter, again in the interest of political correctness.

Opposition is so strong that 68 percent of those asked, oppose the mosque being built at Ground Zero – and this was a CNN poll – certainly no right wing media outlet. And those who approve because the cultural center has board inclusive of people of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, don’t forget, the Nazis had Jews laboring as kapos during the Holocaust. Even the left of center Anti-Defamation League called for the mosque to be relocated, calling it “insensitive,” said ADL Chairman Abraham Foxman.

Mr. Obama need be reminded that slavery was, at one time, also legal, but it too was never moral or right.

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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stone's Sense of History is Rocky

Stone’s Sense of History is Rocky
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 26, 2010

Film director Oliver Stone is right. Now before all who know me wonder if I am not suffering from heat stroke, let me clarify the statement.

“We can’t judge people as only bad or good,” said Stone in his defense of both Stalin and Hitler in recent comments castigating the United States for its disproportionate focus on the Holocaust.

Stone was right in that apparently Hitler liked dogs.

Other than that, Stone couldn’t be more wrong that there are redeeming qualities in Stalin, Hitler, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Chavez has been pointedly anti-American and anti-Semitic and Ahmadinejad has long called for the eradication of Israel from the map both figuratively and literally. Stone defended all four monsters in an interview with the Sunday Times of Britain.

Stone’s sense of history is about as fictional as the garbage he writes and passes off as fine cinema as he said “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people – 25 or 30 million killed.” Stalin was responsible for more deaths of his fellow countrymen than any outside forces. And is Stone suggesting that six million murdered Jewish men, women and children is acceptable because more Russians were slaughtered? Do the math Ollie, no group was marked for evisceration or suffered per capita losses like the Jewish people. Is Stone being a provocateur or is he simply a pernicious insolent anti-Semite and Hitler apologist who clearly hasn’t read a history book? I believe the latter.

Of course Stone makes such delusional remarks to an overseas reporter which will be widely ignored by the mainstream media. Yet, paradoxically, if Stone’s next statement were actually valid, the so-called mainstream media would be all over this interview like cream cheese on a bagel. Stone was asked why there is such a fervent focus upon the Holocaust in the US, to which he said, “the Jewish domination of the media.”

Were the media dominated by Jews as Stone suggests, I should have a nationally syndicated column by now. Clearly Stone is drinking Kool Aid served up by fellow readers of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a popular screed bandied about when anti-Semites need a scapegoat for their own inadequacies.

Stone further demonstrated his faulty knowledge of history saying that Stalin “fought the German war machine more than any person.” Once again, Ollie, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and in your case, very little knowledge is very dangerous, especially since you have a public forum from which to rant and rave.

In an effort to avoid a two-front war, Hitler had learned from the failures of World War I, and forged an agreement with Stalin’s Soviets in August of 1939 – the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. This was weeks before the Nazi invasion of Poland and more than a year after Hitler had already swallowed up the Sudetenland. First came an economic agreement, followed by the Non-Aggression Pact itself. Stalin gave Hitler carte blanche to cut through Poland and Western Europe like a hot knife through butter. The 10-year deal lasted only until June 22, 1941 when Germany launched a surprise attack on the Soviet Union, thus forcing Stalin’s armies to fight the Nazis.

While the United States did not enter the war until the day after the dastardly and craven attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and President Franklin Roosevelt was certainly no friend of the Jewish people, American fighting forces took on the Nazis and the Japanese in a fever pitch two-front war. Although the war for the Allies did not start off well, in time they vanquished all enemies and attempted to restore some semblance of order in the ruins of Europe.

Oliver Stone is certainly entitled to his opinion – this is the difference between conservatives and liberals. Liberals don’t like someone’s opinion, they seek to have it quashed, while conservatives offer a differing opinion and remind people that their words, thoughts and ideas have consequences. For Stone, those consequences should be failure at the box office. Perhaps eh should cast Mel Gibson in his next film. I have not, for years, put dime one in Stone’s pockets due to his lugubrious sentiments both anti-American and anti-Semitic. I will continue my personal boycott of Stone films. What you do, is up to your conscience to decide.

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