Thursday, August 30, 2012

'Johnny Jihad' Hasn't a Prayer

‘Johnny Jihad’ Hasn’t a Prayer
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 30, 2012

In the case of federal prisoner John Walker Lindh demanding his rights to pray five times daily in a group setting, as per his claim of Muslim law, there is a simple solution: do not take up arms against your American brothers and sisters as a terrorist and traitor.

Lindh, a.k.a. the American Taliban, 31, converted to Islam at age 16 while still living with his Catholic parents in California as a result of his seeing the film Malcolm X. Ultimately, Lindh joined the Taliban in Afghanistan, met Osama Bin Laden, and was captured by American troops, charged with supporting terrorists and conspiring to kill Americans. (The Indianapolis Star, August 28)

Lindh is serving a 20-year sentence on lesser charges in the Corrections Management Unit in Terre Haute, IN, when quite frankly, no negotiation should have been granted and for committing treason, Lindh should have been sentenced to life in front of a firing squad. Period – end of story.

On the one hand he calls the prison rules prohibiting group prayer “unjust,” yet on the other hand, testified that “I don’t recognize any law but the Sharia of Islam.” This demonstrates his extremist attitude in support of the radical views taken by Islam that calls for the deaths of infidels (Jews and Christians), the deaths of homosexuals, as well as the deaths of women who commit adultery.

While claiming it is an Islamic requirement to pray in groups, five times a day, Lindh conveniently omitted the words “if possible.”

The words “if possible” are paramount when discussing Islamic prayer, said Imam Ammar Amonette from the Islamic Center of Virginia. Islam merely encourages prayer in group settings, he said, adding that “it is perfectly acceptable to G-d if they pray alone when gatherings are not possible.” (The Indianapolis Star, August 29)

Additionally, Lindh violated Bureau of Prison rules in February by delivering a radical Islamic sermon in Arabic. Inmates are required to speak English, with the exception of ritual prayers. This is for safety and security reasons that the prison guards be able to understand the convicts.

Clearly, Lindh is neither remorseful nor willing to comport himself according to the rules of the prison system and should never have been given any deal reducing his sentence. Nor has his freedom of religion been subjugated, regardless of what Kenneth Falk, legal director of the Indiana ACLU and Lindh’s attorney says. Falk averred that during non-prayer times inmates are allowed to associate in groups without security concerns.

Prayer is a deeply, fervently spiritual experience which drives a person’s thought processes in ways other activities do not. A group prayer setting gives people an inner strength and inspiration to perhaps act in ways not normally considered when either alone or doing non-religiously driven activities.

Another Lindh complaint is that when praying in his cell he must kneel to close to the toilet. Hey, listen up, Johnny Jihad, you are in prison, not the Ritz Carlton. You maintain the Constitutional right you sought and still seek to deprive your own countrymen.

Not happy with your accommodations? You should have thought about that before taking up arms against the country of your birth, the country that gave you freedoms to make better choices, and the country that treats you better incarcerated than the countries you support treat their own “free” people.

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

ICE Agents Sue DHS to Follow the Law

ICE Agents Sue DHS to Follow the Law
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 24, 2012

Anarchy from within leads to chaos on the outside and that is what is happening under the Obama administration’s DREAM-lite – and forcing 10 federal immigration agents to sue their own bosses, their own government, and the Department of Homeland Security.

DREAM-lite is Obama’s self-imposed dictatorial decision that forces federal immigration and customs (ICE) agents to release upon capture illegal immigrants who claim, whether true or not, they were brought to the United Stated prior to age 16 by their parents. This is Obama’s backdoor DREAM Act and amnesty for the millions of illegals whom he is attempting to protect, allow to remain in the United States, and garner legal work permits.

Not only is this a slap in the face of every legal immigrant, but is flaunting the breaking of the law. Unless Obama channels his inner Richard Nixon, (“When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Interview with David Frost, May 20, 1977) breaking the law should be a one way ticket out of the White House, and we the people should not have to wait until January 20, 2013.

Obama told the country, “If Congress does not act, I will,” regarding his executive order to grant illegals amnesty simply because they claim they were brought to the US before age 16 and not actually provide proof. But this is hardly unbelievable considering this is the same Obama administration whose Justice Department, under Eric Holder, finds requiring voters to identify themselves at the polling places abhorrent and racist.

There is a reason the colonists broke from King George III of Great Britain and formed “a more perfect union.” (US Constitution, preamble) King Barack is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution that has effectively governed the United States since its ratification in 1789. There is a reason for the system of checks and balances and that a president is not allowed to rule by constant executive order or fiat. This is fifth grade civics, but far too many elected officials have forgotten those lessons and far fewer are learning them in schools today.

There are law abiding federal immigration officers and agents being thwarted in their attempts to do the job for which they were hired and uphold the laws for which they were sworn to uphold. They, by doing their jobs, are violating the executive order put in place by Obama and carried out by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at the risk of losing those jobs.

Meanwhile, the illegals the ICE agents are forced to release without proof of status continue to violate the laws of the United States and are given work permits as a reward. As if unemployment isn’t high enough in this country.

As has been asked so often before, and no doubt will be asked again in the future, what part of illegal does not Obama, Napolitano and all others who are complicit in breaking the laws of the United States not understand? When will this constant flaunting of illegal behavior stop?

This is not a political issue as both major parties are complicit in this tragedy. The Democrats are whoring themselves out to the Hispanic community which the administration mistakenly takes for a monolithic group. The Republicans are prostituting themselves to the businesses who hire the illegals in an effort to pay lower wages under the table.

The illegals should be fingerprinted, photographed, and deported to their country of origin with the caveat that should they return to the United States they will be jailed with the cost of such imprisonment deducted from the foreign aid given to that home country. The business owners should be fined the equivalent cost of paying an American worker minimum wage plus benefits.

The ICE agents should not lose their jobs, nor should they worry about losing their jobs. The rule of law must be enforced otherwise there will be continued chaos and future anarchy. Their lawsuit should be decided in their favor and we the people must speak our loudest on Tuesday, November 6.

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

Gipsy Kings Rule

Gipsy Kings Rule
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 24, 2012

In any language, the Gipsy Kings reign supreme!

For the fourth time attending their live performance this seemed the best of the bunch. Having seen the band, composed of two sets of brothers, formed in 1987, perform in Bethedsa, MD and at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA in both the late 1990s and mid-2000s, the Gipsy Kings have not lost a step.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Nicolas Reyes is certainly grayer than when seen last, but he along with the other 10 members of the band were full of vim, vigor, energy and excitement playing before an equally energetic audience at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, on Thursday, August 23.

From the first note the crowd of more than 900 cheered, applauded, clapped, and tapped to the spirited sounds emanating from the guitars, bongos, traditional percussion and keyboard – highlighted by the guitars and bongos, as is their tradition, playing old favorites and new favorites.

The Gipsy Kings style “rumba Gitano – the sound of South America’s rumba rhythm married to flamenco guitars,” has been wowing audiences globally since before they became known as the Gipsy Kings, dating back to the 1970s. (Applause, Palladium program July-September, 2012)

The energy and enthusiasm of the band played to that of the audience, wowing the crowd with their Portuguese “Samba.” Old favorites “Un Amor” and “Djobi Djoba” were solid, but is was “A Mi Manera” (My Way) that was particularly moving. While Sinatra will always be the best, the Gipsy Kings’ version is top flight and concluded with a spirited flourish that brought the already charged up audience to its feet.

The Gipsy Kings earned several standing ovations, in addition to the songs where the enthralled audience simply stood from start to finish, at times, taking to the aisles for some bailando (dancing) – especially during “Volare,” which concluded the concert.

But wait; there was no “Bambolero.” How could that be? With little encouragement required, but plenty on hand, the Gipsy Kings returned to the stage for a roaring version of their signature song that put them en la mapa, complete with a singing crowd and a light show.


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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mist-AKIN' Decision to Remain in Race

Mist-AKIN’ Decision to Remain in Race
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 22, 2012

My mother, of Blessed memory, used to say, “when two people tell you you’re drunk, lie down.”

Congressman Akin, Mitt Romney and Karl Rove have spoken.

Congressman Akin, your friend and colleague Paul Ryan has spoken – and to you personally.

Congressman Akin, Sarah Palin has quoted Kenny Rogers when she said you’ve “got to know when to hold ‘em [and] know when to fold ‘em.”

Congressman Akin, your fellow Show Me Staters John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, Roy Blunt, John Danforth and Jim Talent, senators past and present have spoken.

Congressman Akin, Senators Scott Brown (MA), John Cornyn (TX) and Ron Johnson (WI) have spoken.

Congressman Akin, conservative commentators and writers Charles Krauthammer, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity have spoken.

Congressman Akin, the people with the big money have spoken.

Only, you’re not listening to the message, Congressman Akin: GET OUT NOW! Drop out of the race for the United States Senate or you may very well cost the Republican Party the opportunity it needs to regain a majority in that body that can end Obamacare; that can actually pass a budget, something that has not been done on over 1,100 days; and that can restore the dignity needed that has been missing under the so-called leadership of the pugilistic Harry Reid (D-NV).

Congressman Akin, sadly, your message has been heard loud and clear and is resonating nationwide like Bobby Thompson’s 1951 shot heard ‘round the world.

Congressman Akin, you did not misspeak, flub a word or two, or as you said, “get a word in the wrong place.” You got your whole statement about rape in the wrong place – from your head, to your mouth, to the ears of millions of voters.

On Sunday, August 19, six-term Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), a staunchly pro-life House member opposing all abortions even in cases of rape, said pregnancies from rape are “really rare.”

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child,” said Akin in an interview on KTVI-TV.

There are so many things wrong with Akin’s statement, it’s a wonder the television interviewer’s head didn’t explode trying to keep the incredulous laughter that should have burst out, on the inside. But this is not a funny matter at all.

Rape is rape – the forcing of unwanted sex upon someone, male or female. The legitimacy of rape is left to the courts to decide as per a he/she said, he/she said argument.

“Some punishment?” I have fervently held the view of the death penalty being the appropriate punishment for a rapist, a subhuman piece of filth who has inexorably altered a person’s life in perpetuity.

I am also pro-life; but who am I to tell a traumatized woman who has been impregnated, not by choice, to carry to term a child that will be the constant reminder of the violence besot upon her? Yes, the child could be put up for adoption, but for nine months, that violated woman still has the reminder of the ordeal to carry around furthering her pain.

I am not going to use this space to argue the merits of overturning Roe v. Wade, or whether or not a person approving of an abortion for a rape victim is truly pro-life.

The issue here is whether or not a sitting Congressman, who fully understands the implications of his bid for the United States Senate, should remain in a race that could have the ultimate impact on the direction the Senate goes in the 2012 elections.

Congressman Akin, you have made some outlandishly obtuse and unintelligent statements that are offensive and hurtful to many people. You understand the implications of remaining in a race necessary for the GOP to recapture the Senate and the risk at which you put that potential victory.

You have heard the words and messages of so many from your party. Now it is time to appreciate those words and heed those messages. Make the honorable decision, Congressman Akin; remove your name from consideration for the United States Senate as your party leaders have asked. Be the team player that will help your team win this fall.

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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lawsuit v. Kroger Should be Bagged

Lawsuit v. Kroger Should be Bagged
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 16, 2012

In a world where the guilty blame anyone but themselves, this is the frivolous lawsuit of all frivolity, and perhaps a strong case as to why the United States ought to consider adopting the British system of jurisprudence, known as the English Rule, where the loser pays the court costs, legal fees and other expenses.*

In a money-grubbing lawsuit, the mother of a man who was killed during the commission of a robbery is suing the store her son was attempting to rob for failure to enforce its own gun policy. This should be a no-brainer; case dismissed, and stop wasting the court’s time.

On December 26, 2011 Jeremy Atkinson attempted to rob the Kroger supermarket on W. 71st Street in Indianapolis by forcing a store security guard into the office while pressing a hard object against the guard’s back. The Kroger store manager Elijah Elliott bravely shot and killed Atkinson, hitting the convict in the face.
This was not Atkinson’s first foray into the world of crime. In 2009 Atkinson was convicted of armed robbery of a Subway sandwich shop on North Keystone Avenue. Demonstrative of the poverty of the criminal justice system, Atkinson violated his work release amidst a four-year sentence. Clearly, prison was not a rehabilitative experience for Atkinson. Additionally, Atkinson faced an outstanding warrant for robbery and criminal confinement from 2011 that predated the Kroger robbery attempt.

While Atkinson’s criminal record could not possible be known to Elliott, he handled the situation with aplomb, acting in the best interest of the innocent customers and employees in the Kroger – their lives spared while that of a thug’s was dispatched.

A robbery thwarted, a criminal prevented from taking any innocent lives, and yet, Toni Atkinson, Jeremy’s mother, is suing Kroger claiming “negligence by not enforcing its gun policy.” (Indianapolis Star, July 20)

Further adding to the ludicrousness of the claim by Atkinson, her lawsuit’s complaint says “Kroger owed Atkinson a duty to exercise reasonable care for his safety, refrain from wantonly or willfully harming Atkinson, and/or acting in a way that would increase the peril to Atkinson as a result of being on the premises.” (Indianapolis Star, July 20)

If anyone reading this is not completely apoplectic, then nothing will ever make them apoplectic – EVER. Did Kroger invite Atkinson to arrive at the store with the intent of committing armed robbery? No. This was fully the responsibility of Atkinson and an exercise of his free will.

If anything, Elliott is a hero for protecting the shoppers and store employees – all of whom were legitimately in the supermarket with no plans of malice. Kroger owed nothing to Atkinson and everything to their clientele and workers – providing a safe place in which to shop and work.

But for a moment, let’s explore Atkinson’s mother’s lawsuit calling for Kroger to have protected the felon’s safety. Should Elliott have done nothing, potentially allowing for the security guard to be murdered by Atkinson? Should Atkinson have been given free rein to rob the Kroger, take hostages, or commit multiple homicides? Is anyone buying this malarkey?

Why should Atkinson’s safety take precedence over that of innocent shoppers and employees? It should not – ever. Elliott’s act of self-defense should be protected without any deleterious effects on his legal or employment status.

There is, in fact, a self-defense statute in Indiana, cited Zionsville attorney Guy Relford, specializing in gun-related issues. “No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary,” reads the statute. (Indianapolis Star, July 20)

Jeremy Atkinson brought this incident on himself and no one should lose minute one of sleep except his mother. In turn, Toni Atkinson deserves not one penny of the $75,000 she is attempting to extract from Kroger, and ought to sue her own attorney for suggesting she should profit from her son’s criminal activities which ultimately caused his death.

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

*The English Rule: “the principle that fees and costs of litigation should be shifted to the loser--known as the English rule….

The theory of the English rule is uncomplicated: Whichever side prevails in a legal action is entitled to recover its reasonable litigation expense--court costs, legal fees and other expenses, such as expert witness fees--from the losing side.

In England, the loser pays the winner's legal costs even in settlements, regardless of whether a formal action was filed; the typical settlement agreement includes a statement as to what costs will be paid.” (Kritzer, Herbert M. “The English Rule,” ABA Journal, Nov. 1992, p. 55)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

From the Starting Block to H & R Block

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan

From the Starting Block to H & R Block
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 14, 2012

Certainly the United States’ Olympic athletes move – and some do so faster than anyone else in the world has ever moved at any time in history – whether on the track, in the pool, on the ice; or if not faster, than more gracefully or with more strength or more agility.

But should these athletes be taxed for the privilege of representing the Stars and Stripes in places like London, Beijing, Vancouver, and Sochi?

To be clear, the Olympians are being taxed if they come home with the hardware – gold, silver or bronze – and are rewarded by the United States Olympic Committee to the tune of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 respectively. The USOC is not an arm of the United States government, but an independent organization which raises money from corporate donors and private citizens who wish to support the training and travel of the athletes.

But while the likes of Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and Sanya Richards-Ross have or will strike it rich via endorsements, the overwhelming majority of Olympians toil in obscurity shelling out thousands upon thousands of dollars for coaching, training, travel and private education – in some cases reaching six-figures. Men’s and women’s basketball as well as men’s ice hockey notwithstanding, as they have professional leagues, are not crying poverty, but poverty is a real issue for some of the athletes – see the stories of Douglas and Lo Lo Jones as well known examples.

The overwhelming majority of the athletes return home empty-handed save for the fond memories and photographs they will enjoy for a lifetime. The United States sent 539 athletes to London to compete in sports as well-known as gymnastics, basketball, and soccer, and lesser recognized events as handball and modern pentathlon. American athletes brought home 147 individual gold medals, 59 silvers, and 49 bronze – taking into account team sports count as one medal, but all participants receive one. (

Granted, no one is forced to train for the Olympics, but when one is discovered at such a young age with a particular talent, skill, or otherworldly ability, it should be encouraged, nurtured, capitalized upon, and pushed to the limits of human capacity.

It then begs the question, should amateur athletes be subjected to a visit from the IRS upon receipt of the gold, silver or bronze medals? There are those who would say yes, it is income earned for a successful job, such as a commission-earning employee – paid upon making a sale. Like any other employee subject to income tax, they should be taxed. But, by whom are these Olympians employed? Are they contract employees? Sole proprietors of their own business? At what rate should they be taxed? Of course, only the medal winners are subject to the tax, based upon on 35 percent rate.

But there is relief. “Anything used for the production of income is deductible,” said Brad Bell, partner with BGBC Partners, LLP of Indianapolis, specializing in accounting for athletes. (

And then there is the absurdity of taxing the actual medals brought home by the Olympians. According to CBS News, the value of a gold medal is $644; silver is valued at $330 and bronze at $4.70. The medal values are based upon July 11 metal prices used by Lear Capital, a precious metals firm. ( These physical medals should not be taxed.

As it is, the United States is the only country to tax worldwide income earned overseas.

In an effort to eliminate the tax on Olympians’ medal earnings, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced, on August 1st, the “Olympic Tax Exemption Act.” In doing so, Rubio said “We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it…. Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success.” (

Senator Rubio is absolutely right about not taxing the labors and sweat equity of the Olympians Herculean efforts. That said, why should anyone’s labors be taxed? Why should anyone’s earnings be taxed? Why should anyone’s success be punished?

Are the man hours of a local drycleaners who opened his own business less important than the soccer skills of Hoosier Lauren Cheney? Why should the drycleaner be taxed on his successes? Why should military veterans benefits taxed? They have made the greatest of sacrifices and are often on the short end of the economic stick.

There is a bigger picture at hand here. Instead of taxing income, earnings, and success, tax spending. This would certainly be a progressive tax where the rich, who already pay more than their fair share, would continue to do so. A sales tax would collect more from the buyer of a Cadillac than it would extract from the buyer of, say, a Ford Escort. The big spender buying a yacht would put more into the tax coffers than would a lower earner spending his or her disposable income on a new television.

The Olympics medals experience should be the launching pad for a new and improved system of taxation. Stop punishing success – and this includes dividends and capital gains. Encourage growth by having people keep more of their own money. They can best decide how to appropriate their earnings – reinvest in their businesses, invest in other people’s business – small or corporations – who will create jobs and boost the economy, save for the future so they are not a drain on government, or even contribute to much needed charities.

All Americans need to be able to go for the gold without being punished by a repressive government.

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

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Crying Fowl over Free Speech

Crying Fowl over Free Speech
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 4, 2012

It’s not about Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A is merely the conduit to a larger dust-up – that of the First Amendment right of free speech and the denial by fascist mayors of legal institutions to conduct business in “their” cities.

The backstory is about Chick-fil-A and its president, Dan Cathy, expressing an opinion early in July that marriage is a Biblically-based institution and his commitment to marriage being a man-woman union sanctified by G-d.

“We are very much supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit,” said Cathy in an interview with the Baptist Press, according to commentator Cal Thomas in his July 29 editorial “Chickening out on free speech.”

That quote was widely unnoticed for several weeks until it was “discovered” that Cathy and Chick-fil-A contributes financially to conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council. As if Chick-fil-A’s conservative credentials were ever in question. After all, the 1,615-plus-restaurant chain, headquartered in Atlanta, and spread liberally throughout the Bible Belt has been closed on Sundays since its inception in 1967.

However, once the homosexual lobby and liberal media determined that Cathy shouldn’t contribute money his company earned to organizations of his choosing, the culture war entered yet another front.

The liberal mayors of liberal cities Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC – yes, that’s two liberals in the same sentence, three if you count this one, but those mayors and cities are just that far to the left, have vowed to keep Chick-fil-A out of “their” cities.

“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in support of a city alderman who declared he will block any proposed Chick-fil-A in his district.

Yes, Chicago values include murders on an almost daily basis, illegal drugs as available as aspirin, out of wedlock birth reaching epidemic proportions and a public school system on the verge of imploding.

“There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it,” wrote Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to Cathy.

Chick-fil-A is not discriminating against any group. All paying customers are welcome – gay, straight, black, white, yellow, brown.

Additionally, in what could be viewed as a threatening tweet, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wrote that “the closest Chick-fil-A to San Francisco is 40 miles away, and I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

The words of those mayors smacks of fascism. Yes, fascism, because they are single-handedly attempting to thwart potential efforts of a legal enterprise to conduct business in cities where all they need do is apply for the proper permits through the city departments that handle such applications. As in most typical American cities, mayors serve alongside a city council and all members have but a single vote.

In the case of Emanuel, his brand of hypocrisy goes pretty deep. As chief of staff under the Barack Obama administration that was opposed to gay marriage, Emanuel did not stand on principles and resign his position.

Now that Emanuel has come out of the closet in favor of gay marriage, is it only restaurants he opposes? Why has he not spoken out against the virulently anti-Semitic and anti-gay Louis Farrakhan who is negotiating with the city to help reduce the out of control homicide rate? Farrakhan is OK, but Cathy is not?

Reverend William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors declared his own and his organization’s fervent support of the Biblical definition of marriage a la Dan Cathy and there has not been a single word of protest against the Pastors group. They have as much right to opine on this or any other issue as does Cathy without recrimination, threats of boycotts or threats of being barred from an entire city.

Are the economies in the cities of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC thriving to such an extent that their mayors can afford to turn away business? And steady, stable, popular business at that. In fact, franchisees are local owners, not a corporate executive. Chick-fil-A hires thousands and thousands of people, serves thousands and thousands of people regardless of race, creed, or religious affiliation.

This is not about chicken, but about standing up for one’s rights as people of faith. Recently, Catholics came under fire over the issue of free contraceptives being mandated by Obamacare. Now Christians are being harassed and bullied by so-called tolerant liberals – tolerant, of course only to their own opinions. And this is not just a Christian issue. Observant Jews also subscribe to the Biblical view and definition of marriage.

This is an issue of freedom of speech, something guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Cathy has the right to opine on his belief of the definition of marriage. The mayors of the aforementioned cities have their rights of free speech as well, but they do not have the right to deny commerce opportunities to businesses with whose owners they disagree politically and religiously.

There is a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives. When liberals don’t agree with a business or television or radio program, they call for it to be shut down or cancelled so no one has access to it. When conservatives do not like a business or media program, they simply patronize another business or change the channel. They believe in the rights of businesses to conduct business and for people to enjoy their First Amendment rights.

No one seems to be calling for the elimination of Starbucks, Apple, or Amazon – all of whose owners contribute substantially to gay causes. If someone finds Howard Schultz’s contributions to gay causes offensive, they are welcome to not patronize Starbucks.

Don’t agree with Cathy, don’t go to Chick-fil-A – it’s that simple, but you have no right to demand the business cease to exist. Go patronize a business with whom you do agree and contribute to their causes, or those of your own beliefs. Build up your causes, don’t tear down others’ causes.

But, if a statement is to be made to the mayors seeking to bar Chick-fil-A from their cities, how would they feel if conventions suddenly shifted from Chicago to Indianapolis, from Boston to Providence, and from San Francisco to Sacramento? What if people from all across the United States who shared Chick-fil-A values suddenly decided to take their vacation dollars away from the cities whose mayors said Chick-fil-A values are not Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC values? Surely those cities would feel the bite and all the mayors would be left holding is an empty bag and ousting on Election Day.

As Chick-fil-A goes, so goes the nation. The company had its best single day in history on Wednesday, August 1, thanks to former Arkansas Governor and current Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee, who called for that day to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Restaurants were filled with patrons lined up around blocks, corners, stores, waiting to support a business with which they share values or simply support the right of free speech, even when they may disagree with the values.

As a response, a “kiss-in” was held two days later. This was a plan for members of the homosexual community to arrive en masse at Chick-fil-As and demonstrate their objections to Cathy and his beliefs by kissing at the restaurants. Thousands were expected, yet mere dozens showed up, turning the kiss-in into a kiss-off.

Noting the huge turnout at Chick-fil-A, perhaps to ensure victory in November, Chick-fil-A should begin applying for permits to sell sandwiches at the polling places – of course provided they are the requisite distance from the entrance so as not to be accused of influencing voters. They make money and the voters have a snack while waiting to oust Obama. It's a brilliant combination of democracy and capitalism in action. Oh, and have an iced tea as well.

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

Friday, August 3, 2012

It Ain't Easy Being Green (Party)

It Ain’t Easy Being Green (Party)
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 3, 2012

It should come as no surprise that I am a partisan, active conservative to anyone who knows and reads me.

That said, as a conservative, I support the rights of all candidates to assume their rightful place on the ballot for all the voters to consider – provided the presumptive candidate has met all the requirements to achieve such a privilege.

Enter Andrew Straw of Goshen, IN. In his August 2nd letter to the editor of The Indianapolis Star, Straw presented himself as the potential Green Party candidate in the Second Congressional District of Indiana.

Straw correctly outlined the requisite qualifications for serving in Congress: attaining the age of 25-years by Election Day, having been a United States citizen for seven years as well as a resident of the state of which he shall represent.

Straw also collected the requisite number of valid signatures, a state requirement to attain a place on the ballot. Having done that, Straw still found himself on the outside looking in, apparently the victim of minor-party-itis – the still incurable disease of representing a minor political party, and not the major parties – Republican, Democrat and Libertarian, who, according to Straw “are given automatic ballot access because they received the required minimum number of votes in the 2008 election. This is a blatant violation of our federal and state bills of rights, which protect political thought and opinion.” (

Using Straw’s assertion that his party was denied ballot access for not garnering the “required minimum number of votes in the 2008 election,” the GOP would never appear on a ballot as they would have been told in 1856 what Straw was told this year. Why? Because the GOP did not exist in 1852, thus they could not have earned any votes, thus disqualifying them every election cycle thereafter.

Were I a second district resident, I would have signed Straw’s petition to gain ballot access because the voters have a right to choose from all the valid candidates, and not just the major candidates. What if either the Democrats or Republicans were not fielding a candidate, which has certainly happened?

Should the other major party simply win by default? No candidate should go unchallenged. It cheapens the electoral process and the rights of the voters to have choices on Election Day. We live in a republic, not a monolithic dictatorship. This is the United States of America, not Cuba – not yet, anyway, November’s elections notwithstanding.

Sadly, Straw indicated he would not challenge the decision of the Election Commission as he noted the nearness of the time ballots would be printed. Straw should get an injunction freezing the ballot printing process until his case can be heard properly and he should have his name placed on the ballot.

It’s the right thing for Straw, the voters, and the process by which the United States has been governed since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789.

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flag Flap Finishes Flawlessly

You're a Grand Old Flag

By George M. Cohan
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Flag Flap Finishes Flawlessly
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 1, 2012

Spoiler alert: this story has a happy ending.

And yet, it needs telling to avoid being repeated through the part where the story had not yet turned happy.

The Clackamas Town Center, a mall in Clackamas, OR earned the kind of attention no business desires – negative attention of the patriotic stripe. During the last week of July, Thomas Phelps, a children’s train ride manager, was threatened with the loss of his job for the parading of what mall management called “an approved visual.”

The dastardly, villainous visual? The American flag. Yes, the American flag garnered negative attention in an American shopping mall – a place where Americans spend their hard earned money.

The flag “is dedicated to veterans and military, police, firefighters, EMTs – all those people that daily put their lives on the line for us,” said Phelps, himself a veteran. “I may be fired, I may be thrown out of the mall, but I am not taking it down,” he continued. (

Upon hearing of the potentiality for Phelps to lose his job over defending the displaying of the American flag, numerous mall patrons came to his defense demanding the flag be allowed to remain in place. Even the mall admitted there had been no complaints from shoppers.

Bottom line: the flag stays and Phelps remains on the job.

The Clackamas Town Center issued the following statement:

"We honor, support and respect what the United States flag represents. The actions and letter that were communicated certainly did not convey that. And for this, we apologize. We can see how many were offended. It was never the intent to offend or show any disrespect. The U.S. flag will remain displayed at the kiddie train and in other locations within the mall. We wholeheartedly support those who fight to allow us and everyone else to display the flag. Clackamas Town Center hosts and sponsors events every year that recognize and honor these and other heroes and will continue to do so." (

While this story has a happy ending, it should never have been a story in the first place. Why are more and more businesses afraid to hang the American flag? Why are more people giving in to the wishes of foreigners who say the American flag offends them while they are on American soil? Why are more and more immigrants to the United States – legal and illegal alike, still clinging to the flag of their country of origin?

If immigrants to the United States are not prepared to drape the American flag around their shoulders, they should not be here. Being an immigrant to the United States is a privilege, which is a major reason so much is made over illegal immigration.

If a business in this country is unwilling to display the American flag or allow its employees to wear a flag pin on their lapel or hang one in their office/cubicle that may be a company with which I do not wish to conduct business.

It IS a grand old flag, and not merely hyperbole. A flag under which hundreds of thousands of Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice. For them it proudly waves.

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