Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oakland Ought Oust Occupiers

Oakland Ought Oust Occupiers
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 31, 2012

Once again the Occupy Movement is demonstrating its base instincts for violence, mayhem and hypocrisy as it has taken Oakland by storm for a second time wreaking havoc and destruction in its wake.

The miscreants and denizens, behaving like Nazis tearing through a synagogue, broke into Oakland City Hall ransacking the property, destroyed a historic model of the city hall building, destroyed valuable antiques, destroyed elementary school children’s art displays, burning American flags as well as hurling bottles, bricks and rocks at Oakland law enforcement.

During the rioting and melee over 400 so-called protesters were arrested. They are so-called protesters because they beg the question of what the hell were they protesting? Seems their actions were nothing more than wanton destruction of property that does not belong to them for the sake of nothing more than pettiness. Every one of those arrested should be made to share in the restitution to the city to the tune of more than $5 million. The names of the guilty should be printed in the newspapers with their mug shots for all to see and jeer.

The dollar amount had been levied by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, having toured the destruction, and who is just as irresponsible as the petty thugs who invaded and vandalized her city. Ironically, she made the absurd statement that “people in the community and people in the Occupy movement have to stop making excuses for this behavior.” In her television press conference Quan seemed surprised by the actions of those who committed such violent destruction.

Quan’s statement is both ironic and absurd as she defended the Occupy movement when they last invaded Oakland in November for the purposes of shutting down the Port of Oakland, occupying the airport and attempting to take over city hall. Quan supported the actions of the Occupiers while throwing her own police force under the bus.

Following the insolent and violent behavior by the petulant criminals invading Oakland, at least three police officers were injured, including one by a thrown bicycle. Now, the police may be on the wrong end of a lawsuit as many of the so-called protesters are thinking of filing a lawsuit against the Oakland police for unlawful arrest as well as denying protesters their First Amendment right of free speech and expression.

When asked in his daily press conference on Tuesday, January 31 about Obama’s response to the Oakland mayhem, spokesman Jim Carney said this is an issue of “local law enforcement,” and an issue of a line between the First Amendment and violence. Certainly this is the coward’s way out, especially when Obama did not even have the guts to condemn the burning of the American flag.

Looking at the Constitution, there is nothing in there calling violence and vandalism free speech and free expression. Any such lawsuit should be dismissed as frivolous and the filers made to pay court costs. The so-called protesters were given ample opportunity to disperse and no one forced them to commit the criminal acts of breaking and entering, arson or vandalism. Some even made the ridiculous claim that they were not told how to depart the scene. Leave. Just leave. How challenging is that?

Some of the so-called protesters suggested that the use of tear gas in the presence of children should be actionable in suit and cost the police officers who used it their jobs. The tactic of bringing children to such an “event” by the so-called protesters is akin to Arab/Muslim terrorists hiding their armaments in elementary school basements and milk factories as well as strapping bombs to infants. The parents of those children should be charged with child endangerment.

Whatever message the so-called protesters are attempting to deliver is falling painfully flat, unless their message is that those unhappy with their lot in life, take to the streets to disrupt civil society because the government hasn’t given you enough of a living.

The government does not owe you a living. The government owes you streets safe from the likes of you and your violent, disruptive actions, a strong national defense from foreign and domestic invaders, again, such as yourselves and that’s it. The government does not owe you jobs, housing, health care or even an education. The sooner this is understood, the better. (Yes, government has a moral obligation to take care of those physically and mentally unable to care for themselves.)

The purpose of people working is not to support those who refuse to do so. The job of government is not to steal from the haves and give to the have nots. People make choices in their lives and those decisions impact their futures. The thugs who invaded Oakland should have their choices on a police record for all potential employers to see and decide if those decisions are the kind of responsible actions requisite for gainful employment.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Romney the Capitalist is the American Way

Romney the Capitalist is the American Way
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 11, 2012

In order to make a tasty omelet, you’ve got to crack some eggs.

Full disclosure: I have supported Herman Cain before he withdrew from the GOP nominating process; I have supported Michele Bachmann prior to her departure from the GOP cavalcade of candidates; and currently I support Newt Gingrich to be the GOP standard bearer this year in the most important fight for the White House this nation has seen perhaps since 1860.

One name not on my list has been Mitt Romney. Twice, once in 2007 and again in 2011, I have written columns defending Romney the Mormon when he was attacked for not being a Christian and when Mormonism was called a cult by a supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Full disclosure II: I am not a Christian, but as a religious minority, such attacks could easily be levied upon me and my fellow religionists.

But I am a capitalist and a patriot who, once again, feels compelled to support the former Massachusetts governor against the slings and arrows of both Perry and former House Speaker Gingrich.

While I still hope Gingrich will be the GOP nominee for president, and have the utmost confidence in his ability to dismantle Obama in a debate leaving the apologizer in chief whimpering in a corner wondering from where the stains in his pants emerged, he and Perry are violating Ronald Reagan’s vaunted 11th Commandment – thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.

Truth, yes; but soiling a reputation in a scorched earth scenario that will leave the potential nominee too battered and bloodied to take on the real opponent, Obama, serves no one’s interest save for Obama’s himself.

With the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in the rear view mirror and in Romney’s pocket, South Carolina’s January 21 primary looms large for Gingrich and Perry if either candidate is to cling to any hope of resurrecting their floundering campaigns. (Finishing third after practically becoming a Live Free or Die state resident, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is finished; Ron Paul will NEVER get the GOP nod and Rick Santorum, while mostly above the fray, does not have the organization to sustain a Super Tuesday campaign.)

Eventually, there will need to be a coalescing around the GOP nominee, whoever it is. Yet, before that, the continued advertising that look like they could have come from the Obama machine will only weaken the party as a whole, if Romney is the nominee.

Romney was a businessman prior to entering the political arena, and a darned successful one at that. As CEO of Bain Capital, he had the arduous responsibility of answering to shareholders and board members pertaining to the company’s bottom line. Part of Bain and Romney’s job was to determine the feasibility of salvaging some companies versus letting others meet their inevitable demise.

These are business decisions, not personal decisions. Yes, the decisions are made by a person, and yes, they affect many people, but that is the nature of business. Decisions are necessitated based upon the greater good, and in order to make a good omelet, some eggs have to be cracked.

Business is about risks. Perhaps the companies that Romney had to let die would have died under someone else’s auspices. Perhaps the businesses that Romney was able to rescue would also have died under someone else’s control. That too, is the nature of business.

As capitalist and free market supporters, both Gingrich and Perry should not only understand this, but embrace it, for to do otherwise is akin to joining the “Occupy” movement full of people who want government to control everything and make everything fair and right according to their own socialist beliefs – much like Obama said to Joe the Plumber in 2008 about the importance of spreading the wealth around.

That is neither capitalist nor American – and Gingrich and Perry know this. They just need to be reminded of it before it is too late.

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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Beyond Brinksmanship with Iran

Beyond Brinksmanship with Iran
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 6, 2012

“Bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb, Iran,” famously chanted Arizona Republican Senator John McCain during his fateful 2008 presidential campaign to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”

Nearly four years later we can look back on that infamous flub and realize that was one of the few correct notions made by McCain during his lackluster run for the White House. Now, in 2012, we are on the precipice of an armed conflict with Iran, either directly or via surrogates such as Israel, who has as much, if not more, at stake in preventing a nuclear Iran from coming to fruition.

In fact, based upon the timidity of this administration to deal with Iran appropriately, it may very well fall upon the narrow shores, but strong shoulders, of the only true ally the United States has in the Middle East. Israel may need to step up to the plate and do to Iran what it did in 1982 to Iraq and eradicate its nuclear capabilities sooner, rather than later.

Iran, under the despotic Ahmadinejad regime, has already declared its intentions when, not if, it attains a nuclear weapon: wipe Israel off the map. This is a task at which the Iranians are feverishly working to accomplish every single day. Should Israel fall, civilization as a whole will begin to tumble like a series of impotent dominos.

“An Iranian nuclear weapon is a mortal threat to the US,” said GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. “Anyone who says to you they won’t use it is out of touch with reality. I think we have a huge interest in not allowing them to get a nuclear weapon,” continued the former House Speaker.

Iran has already threatened a blockade at the Strait of Hormuz as a response to potential sanctions against the Islamic nation. Sadly, sanctions have not worked in the past as Iran has thumbed its nose at the US as well as shunned the United Nations, proving its uselessness as an international body.

The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Sea through which 15.5 million barrels of oil flow daily or 17 percent of the world’s oil. This is deemed the most important oil supply check point in the world.

Iran’s threats and posturing is yet another reason for oil independence. Projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Reserve), as well as fracking in the shale in Pennsylvania and the Rocky Mountains would render Iran’s bullying or even an actual blockade moot. It would cost Iran billions of dollars.

An economically crippled Iran could very well lead to the necessary regime change, perhaps without firing a single shot. A destabilized Iran would lead to civil unrest and ultimate ouster of Ahmadinejad. As it stands, most Iranians under 40 years of age are against the current oppressive regime.

The move toward oil/energy independence is clearly win-win for both the United States and Canada. Additionally, conducting more business with our neighbor to the north, Canada, is also positive – as the Keystone XL Pipeline would originate in Hardisty, Alberta.

Furthermore, another move to make Iran irrelevant would be to cultivate a stronger oil relationship with our neighbor to the south, Mexico. A couple of important goals could be accomplished here. The US agrees to purchase more oil from Mexico while the aforementioned projects are underway in the United States. But hinging on that deal with Mexico would be the requirement that the increased jobs in Mexico go to Mexicans illegally in the United States. So many illegal immigrants from Mexico claim they snuck into the US by necessity for work. So again, a win-win for both the United States and Mexico.

There is no time to waste either on becoming energy independent in the United States or in curtailing Iran’s efforts to alter the state of civilization and humanity as we know it. As Ronald Reagan said in his successful 1980 presidential campaign, “the time is now.”

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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do Your Job, Or Lose Your Job

Do Your Job, Or Lose Your Job
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 5, 2012

A sad and pathetic irony hovers over the capitol building in Indianapolis just days into what should have been the opening session of the 2012 legislative season.

That irony is the renewed threat of the overwhelming majority of Democratic legislators to once again flee Indiana to the Land of Lincoln shunning their jobs while thousands upon thousands of Hoosiers remain unemployed.

The bigger irony is the reason for the Democratic feckless abandonment of their sworn duties on behalf of those voters who sent them to Indianapolis in the first place – their objection to the passage of right-to-work legislation that could see thousands of the jobless return to the rolls of the employed and off the government dole.

The majority of the Democrats, led by House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer (South Bend), are attempting to filibuster by not allowing the House to even be gaveled into session in the first place. Bauer said the Democrats would only return to their elected jobs if the Republicans would agree to hold statewide hearings on the right-to-work issue first.

The behavior of the Democrats last year was demonstrative of their unwillingness to be honest brokers and play by the rules. “If you meet one request, they suddenly have 11 more,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) of the minority party which is preventing legislative business from being conducted.

Under right-to-work legislation, supported vigorously by Governor Mitch Daniels (R), the rights of workers who opt not to join a union will be protected. Opponents to such legislation, like union leaders, say this bill would give representation to workers who did not pay for the privilege. Ultimately, passage of the bill will create jobs and promote economic growth, which should be goals of all House members, Democrat and Republican alike.

While the Republicans outnumber the Democrats 60-40 in the House, it is still the responsibility of all members to show up to work, pitch their “A” game, take their lumps if they are on the short side of a vote and forge ahead to the next battle. So, the Democrats can either show up and do their jobs, or they can sheepishly skulk out of state and eventually lose their jobs – that choice is theirs, just as it should be for workers to join or not join a union.

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