Thursday, December 19, 2013

A&E Ducks Free Speech


“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – attributed to Voltaire

A&E Ducks Free Speech
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 19, 2013

Until the recent kerfuffle regarding a magazine interview, I have not seen a single episode of Duck Dynasty and in fact, had never heard of Phil Robertson, patriarch of his TV family. Now his right of free speech has been stifled.

While I still have no interest in watching an episode of this program, I am however, supportive of Mr. Robertson’s First Amendment right of free speech and expression.

Robertson was suspended from the A&E television phenomena for what the gay and lesbian community claims were offensive and derisive remarks about homosexuals in an interview with GQ magazine – not even remarks made on the television network itself.

Robertson said homosexuality is a sin in accordance with his Christian beliefs. Robertson went on to say "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won't inherit the kingdom of G-d. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right," as written in GQ.

Agree or disagree with Robertson, that isn’t the issue. The issue is his fundamental, Constitutional right to say what he wishes. He did not call for the stoning or death of homosexuals. He didn’t even say they should be deprived of their rights or citizenship. Robertson simply expressed what millions of people feel regarding the appropriateness of the homosexual lifestyle. Even more volatile speech is and should be protected so long as it does not incite criminal behavior.

The homosexual community, much like a well-heeled lobbying group, is a strong minority, but that’s what needs to remembered – they are a small minority, numbering less than 10 percent of the population. Yet, the homosexual community commands such fear and intimidation that they forced A&E to suspend Robertson from the program because they did not like or approve of his comments made in an entirely different media venue.

The homosexual community threatens and cajoles media and corporate leaders to cave in to their demands for fear of boycotts. The supporters of Robertson and Duck Dynasty should do likewise – threaten a counter boycott if Robertson is not returned to his place on the program.

Free speech is just that and while we may not always agree with what people say, we still fight for their right to say it, to paraphrase Voltaire. If the homosexual community gets its way and silence Robertson and others who share his religious and cultural beliefs, who will be threatened next? Who next will be denied their rights? If members of the homosexual community, or anyone else for that matter, do not like or agree with Robertson’s words, don’t watch his program. Change the channel. I don’t like the theme of a program such as Modern Family, I don’t demand ABC remove it from its roster, I change the channel.

There is power in numbers and popular television programs generate revenue for the network on which they appear. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is still on the books and is valid – protecting Americans, not putting them on the unemployment line.

A&E exhibited a double standard by denying Robertson his right of free speech in accordance with the Constitution. Where is the tolerance and diversity supported by A&E – or is that only reserved for those with whom they agree? Apparently Christians, conservatives, and/or religious people are excluded from this support.

Contact A&E to express your outrage at feedbackaetv@aenetworks.com, 235 E. 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, 212-210-1400.

I fully agree with Sarah Palin’s Facebook comment: “Free speech is an endangered species.” The answer to speech people find objectionable is not less, but more speech.

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Affluenza" Saves Killer Teen, Cripples Judge


“Affluenza” Saves Killer Teen, Cripples Judge
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 18, 2013

Texans like bragging about how things are always bigger in the Lone Star State. Well in the category of jurisprudence, none has been bigger than the crime committed by Ethan Couch coupled with the gigantic miscue by Juvenile Judge Jean Hudson Boyd.

In what has to be the obscenity of the year, Couch, 16, went joyriding in Burleson, TX on June 15 – drunk as a skunk, and slaughtered four innocent people. What is even more outrageous is that the judge declined to sentence this miscreant to 20 years in jail, but instead sentenced him to 10 years’ probation while allowing him to enter rehab.

Couch, of Keller, TX, received a defense that labeled him the product of “affluenza,” a term defined as “a sense of wealthy entitlement the boy could not discern right from wrong,” which sadly, Boyd swallowed, hook, line, and stinker.

Couch, who has been living alone in a mansion provided by his parents, Fred, 48, and Tonya, 46, divorced, had a prior run in with the law at age 14, while his parents have had numerous brushes with the law, none ending with any terms behind bars. The parents apparently do not discipline this child who lives his life of privilege sans supervision, morality, or a conscience.

Couch, drinking underage, blew a .24 on the breathalyzer, three times the legal limit, as well as under the influence of Valium, was driving his Ford F-350 pickup truck with passengers Sergio Molina and Soliman Mohmund, both 16.

Couch was clocked speeding at 70 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone when he plowed into, and slaughtered Pastor Brian Jennings, 41, Hollie Boyles, 52, Shelby Boyles, 21, and Breanna Mitchell, 24. Four innocent lives snuffed out by an irresponsible teenager who should have known better, and should be rotting in a prison cell with none of the privileges his family wealth will afford him at a virtual country club rehab center.

Make no mistake, Couch should receive rehabilitation, but it should be while serving a concomitant prison sentence, and paid for by his parents. After all, they will be shelling out $450,000 a year for their son to vacation at the Newport Academy in Newport Beach, CA.

In fact, if Couch is deemed a non-violent offender, he should work with the homeless, the less fortunate, and in poor schools, a la work release with him returning to prison at night. He needs to experience the reality of life lived by those not of privilege. He needs sobering exposure to life’s daily trials and tribulations, many of which neither have happy endings nor are resolved because of poverty.

Why Judge Boyd did not include this in the sentencing of Couch to his cushy-tushy rehab facility is incomprehensible. Also, the notion of probation requiring Couch to be on the straight and narrow or he could face future prison time is disingenuous without the above suggested conditions as well as allowing him residence in a Club Med-style rehab facility.

As an elected member of the judicial branch in Texas, Boyd would unlikely face firing from Governor Rick Perry (R), but there is an on-line petition for removal which can be found at www.change.org. I have signed this petition for removal. Boyd, also a Republican, is heading into the final year of her current four-year term, and is considered likely for retirement. Nevertheless, she should face recall from the voters in Tarrant County where she has served as a juvenile judge in the 323rd Judicial District since 1995.

Boyd won election in 1994 with 62.5 percent of the vote, followed by reelection in 1998 with 61.7 percent of the vote. In the elections of 2002, 2006, and most recently 2010, Boyd ran uncontested in the heavily GOP county. Boyd earned her undergraduate degree at Texas Tech, followed by her JD at South Texas College of Law.

Boyd should be ashamed of her sentence handed down to Couch and will long be remembered for it instead of any decisions made of a more appropriate nature. Additionally, civil suits should be filed by the families of the four victims against Couch and his parents who should bear more than just a small amount of responsibility for their son’s recalcitrant behavior. Suits should also be launched by Couch’s passengers Mohmund and Molina, who is currently paralyzed.

Sign the on-line petition to relieve Boyd of her judicial duties. Contact her at her office – politely, to express your outrage at this weak-kneed sentence. Her office phone number is 817-838-4600. The address is Scott D. Moore Juvenile Justice Center, 2701 Kimbo Road, Fort Worth, TX 76111.

To contact the Newport Academy, call 866-382-6651. They will not release the address until after receiving initial intake information pertaining to a potential patient.

Both Boyd and Couch should be flooded with calls, letters, etc. from as many people as possible expressing consternation about the horrific crime committed by a soulless reprobate and an equally careless sentence issued by a judge who clearly has seen her best days on the bench pass her by.

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mandela a Man, not a G-d


Mandela a Man, not a G-d
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 10, 2013
While one should not libel the dead, the truth may indeed hurt – and that includes Nelson Mandela, who died last week and deified by Howard Witt in his December 8 column “Mandela was one icon without feet of clay,” in The Indianapolis Star.
Witt regaled his readers with tales of personal experiences with Mandela, who should get the credit he deserves for helping to end the horrible system of apartheid that riddled his native South Africa.
That said, Witt offered a saccharine-laden editorial about some cartoon superhero deified for his suffering when the unvarnished truth remained ignored, and not just by Witt but by news outlets of all stripes.
Warts and all, Mandela was a communist and virulent anti-Zionist calling Israel an apartheid state. This is an insult of the highest level because it came from Mandela who suffered under bona fide apartheid and thus he should have known better. Israel has afforded Muslims, Christians, women, homosexuals, and other minorities more rights and safety than any of the Muslim/Arab states surrounding the Jewish state.
Additionally, Mandela endorsed the terrorist group Hamas and supported the likes of career-terrorist Yasser Arafat (1929-2004), Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi (1942-2011) – with the numerous photos to boot. Mandela also opened South Africa to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and his ANC (African National Congress) was a solidly communist operation.
Mourn the man Mr. Witt; but mourn the whole man and all for which he stood.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. This column was submitted to The Indianapolis Star, but was not printed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dems Go Nuclear in Senate

Dems Go Nuclear in Senate
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 21, 2013

Majority rule, minority rights is a thing of the past in the United States Senate as the Democrats voted to eliminate the filibuster as a right and protective tool of the minority. Ironically, the Democrats weren't too keen on this notion when they were in the minority. Now they have usurped total control of the Senate to continue Obama's biding in a dictatorial and tyrannical manner.

The “nuclear option” trigger was pulled by Senate Majority Leader and hypocrite Harry Reid (D-NV) on Thursday, November 21 and a mushroom cloud enveloped the chamber when Senate Democrats unilaterally ended Republican minority ability to filibuster some of Obama’s judicial and executive appointments by a 52-48 vote. Democrats Carl Levin (MI), Joe Manchin (WV), and Mark Pryor (AR) had the good sense to vote with the GOP.

The filibuster is an important instrument provided the Senate alone, not the House of Representatives, where all speeches and debates are parsed by the minute. In the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart portrays the naïve, but good hearted senator who convenes a filibuster of epic proportion, the likes of which could only have been challenged in real life by South Carolina Senator J. Strom Thurmond, whose record filibuster of 24 hours and 18 minutes on August 28-29, 1957 still stands.

Reid is aptly called a hypocrite for evoking the nuclear option in 2013, when he vehemently argued against it in 2005.

“The filibuster is far from a procedural gimmick. It’s part of the fabric of this institution… Senators have used the filibuster… even… to stall executive nominees… Some in this chamber want to throw out 214 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power… They think they’re wiser than our Founding Fathers. I doubt that that’s true,” said Reid on May 18, 2005.

Eight and a half years later, almost to the day, Reid accomplished just what he and his Democratic cohorts railed against so vigorously.

Under the old rules a minimum of 60 votes were required to break a filibuster on presidential nominees. Under the new rules, a mere simple majority of 51 votes ends a filibuster – easy for the democrats of this Congress as they rule with a 55-45 majority, taking into account the two independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Such an unheard of power grab will forever alter the fabric and landscape of the United States Senate, a legislative body which prided itself on debate since the Founding Fathers established it so the rights of the minority would not be trampled upon – words with which then Senator Barack Obama agreed in 2005.

“In the long run, it is not a good result for either party. One day Democrats will be in the majority again and this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority that it is to a Democratic minority,” said Obama in 2005.

“A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal,” said Obama vociferously applauding the rule change on November 21, 2013.

As usual, Obama is whining about the fact that his nominees are not getting rubber stamped, when they obviously leave something to be desired. Perhaps he needs to take the advice doled out by then Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) when she opposed this very power grab attempted by the GOP, although it never came to fruition.

“If you cannot get 60 votes for a nominee, maybe you should think about who you are sending to us to be confirmed,” said Clinton on May 23, 2005. “Remember our Founders, and maintain the integrity of the Senate,” continued Clinton in opposition.

A month prior, on April 13, 2005, Obama chided the GOP, saying “I urge all of us to think not just about winning every debate, but about protecting free and democratic debate…. It certainly [is] not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind.”

Former Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) also opposed then what he approves now. “This is the single most significant vote any one of us will cast in my 32 years in the Senate… This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power… designed to change the reading of the Constitution. Has any party been so bold as to fundamentally attempt to change the structure of this body,” Biden asked on May 23, 2005.

Biden’s choice of words was prophetically ironic as presidential candidate Obama campaigned in 2008 on his desire to fundamentally change the entirety of the United States – not just one half of its legislative branch.

This vote on the rule change pertaining to filibusters will most assuredly create an even deeper fissure between Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans. It will not solve problems.

“They [Democrats] succeeded and they will pay a very, very, heavy price for it,” said Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

“You’ll regret this and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“It is another partisan political maneuver to permit the Democratic majority to whatever it wants to do, and in this case it is to advance the President’s regulatory agenda and the only cure for it that I know is an election,” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
The following Democratic senators are hypocrites having opposed in 2005 what they voted to enact in 2013:

Max Baucus (MT)*                                        Bob Menendez (NJ)
Barbara Boxer (CA)                                     Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Maria Cantwell (WA)                                    Patty Murray (WA)
Tom Carper (DE)                                          Bill Nelson (FL)
Dick Durbin (IL)*                                            Jack Reed (RI)*
Dianne Feinstein (CA)                                 Harry Reid (NV)
Tom Harkin (IA)*                                            Jay Rockefeller (WV)*
Tim Johnson (SD)*                                       Chuck Schumer (NY)
Mary Landrieu (LA)*                                     Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Pat Leahy (VT)                                              Ron Wyden (OR)

* Term expires January 2015

These Democratic senators are also up for reelection in 2014:

Mark Begich (AK)                                         Jeff Merkley (OR)                             
Cory Booker (NJ)                                          Mark Pryor (AR)
Chris Coons (DE)                                         Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
Al Franken (MN)                                            Mark Udall (CO)
Kay Hagan (NC)                                            Tom Udall (NM)
Carl Levin (MI)                                               Mark Warner (VA)
Edward Markey (MA)

Each of these senators, save for Levin and Pryor, voted to deny minority rights to the Republicans, and they should pay the price in next November’s midterm election.

It is up to we the people to deny the Democrats any further destruction of American political and historical precedent dating back to 1789 by making them the minority party following the 2014 midterm elections. This nuclear option has gone too far and no party should be without recourse, even in the case of just filibustering presidential nominees.

Do not sit idly by as one by one rights continue to fall by the wayside. Fight to defeat those who have cavalierly moved toward tyranny, by commandeering the right of the minority party to filibuster against those nominees they deem unworthy of filling the post for which they have been nominated. Send a message that their votes have consequences.

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Twice as Thankful This Chanukah

Twice as Thankful This Chanukah
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 20, 2013

For the first time in our lifetimes Chanukah commences on erev Thanksgiving, to note it as we in the Jewish community would say. While this intersection is indeed rare, it is worth noting the similarities between these two holidays that have become so over-commercialized as to have virtually lost all original meaning – giving thanks to G-d.

Giving thanks to G-d, albeit for different reasons, is what grateful colonists in a new land did and what the People of Israel did as well. Colonists who traversed an ocean to seek new freedoms, among them, religious, and Israelites who fought a war to retain their religious freedom gave thanks for the gifts bestowed upon them by G-d.

In Judaism, we actually celebrate a thanksgiving in late summer-early fall, with the observance of Sukkot – giving thanks for the gathering of crops as well as the thankfulness for G-d’s protection during the 40 years in the desert/wilderness.

Our American Thanksgiving celebrates the long journey escaping religious persecution in search of religious freedom; thanking G-d for the miracles of surviving the harsh winter of 1620-21 and the eventual prosperity. The premier celebratory feast, organized by Governor William Bradford, lasted three days, included 53 colonists and 90 Wampanoag Indians. They enjoyed swan, duck, goose, venison, turkey, shellfish, lobster, stuffing, corn, and pumpkin.

Chanukah, meaning dedication, observes the victory in war by the Israelites led by Mattathias, father of the Maccabees, in the second century BCE, around 139 BCE. The Maccabees defeated the Antiochus-led Syrian-Greeks who also failed to Hellenize the Israelites. The Maccabees-led Israelites fought for, and won their religious freedom.

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, is a minor festival on the scale of Jewish observances, lasting eight nights and eight days due to the other miracle – that of the oil lasting eight nights when it was expected to barely survive one. The two miracles of the victory over a people with presumed greater military might and the longevity of the oil are praised in prayers of thanksgiving to G-d.

The menorah (candelabra) is lit each of the eight nights by adding a new candle, thus brightening, not dimming the light, as the lives of the Israelites became brighter with the rededication of the Temple.

Today, Jewish people around the world light the menorah in celebration and thanksgiving for the “great miracles that happened there,” to quote the letters and their representations on the dreidl enjoyed by children and even adults alike.

And while gift giving is a modern Americanized addition to the celebration of Chanukah, (an unfortunate secularization of Chanukah) it is important to tell the story every year so that it is never forgotten, as well as enjoying the traditional treats of potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) – fried in today’s representation of the miraculous oil.

This year, on the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln declaring the Thanksgiving holiday during the height of the Civil War in 1863, incorporate American Thanksgiving with Chanukah and enjoy pumpkin-cream sufganiyot along with potato latkes adorned with cranberry applesauce, or even butternut squash-sweet potato latkes.

I am thankful to be an American and just as thankful to be Jewish. Let us give thanks to G-d for the gifts He has given us, and let us say, Amen.

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obama Should be in Gettysburg; Could Have Saved JFK

Obama Should be in Gettysburg; Could Have Saved JFK
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 19, 2013

Barack Obama should be ashamed of himself for not taking a few hours out of a lackluster schedule and go to Gettysburg, on this, the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's famous Address.

I don't want to hear from people about how President John F. Kennedy wasn't in attendance for the 100th anniversary and that other presidents from both sides of the aisle have not attended either. Not since William Howard Taft has a sitting president appeared at a Gettysburg ceremony, and that is a shame. It is not political – at least on every tenth anniversary the president should have visited Gettysburg. Distance is not an issue either.

Obama has referenced Lincoln, attempted to emulate Lincoln (to a colossal failure), kicked off his presidential campaign in Springfield, IL, and took the oath of office on the Lincoln Bible.
 
Obama should be in Gettysburg today.
 
Now for an interesting what if of history. What if President Kennedy attended the ceremony on November 19, 1963? Perhaps he may not have been in Dallas, TX three days later. That is not to say Kennedy would not have ever been assassinated, no one knows that, obviously, but a trip to Gettysburg may have saved his life.

Such a trip may not have secured Kennedy’s reelection the following year, however. Could Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater have defeated JFK in 1964? That too remains to be seen, but he would have fared better than he did against President Lyndon Johnson.

The nation was not prepared to have three presidents with a 14 month span. A grieving nation, so enamored by the young Kennedy and the mystique of his family and White House, elected Johnson as a continuation of the Kennedy administration a year after the assassination.

Interestingly enough, the wide swath of Civil Rights legislation passed easily under Johnson’s watch in memory of Kennedy, as so many believed, may not have passed so easily had Kennedy been president. Kennedy was no liberal on civil rights (or the economy, for that matter) and passage would have been a harder path to endure.

Had Goldwater been elected, the conservative revolution may have started nearly two decades prior to its actuality upon the election of President Ronald Reagan. Goldwater would no doubt have seen Vietnam end sooner and with a more positive conclusion.

A Goldwater presidency might have precluded one of Richard M. Nixon, and thus avoided the scandal of Watergate. Without a Watergate scandal there would not have been a President Gerald Ford, or Jimmy Carter. Carter, and quite frankly, any Democrat would have enjoyed electoral success in 1976 following the Nixon fall from grace.

On the other hand, without Carter and his miserable failure of an administration, Reagan might not emerged as the leader he became that the United States needed following the Iranian hostage crisis, out of control inflation, and unemployment.

Just a supposition on history.

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Obama Lied - It's Just That Simple

“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor – period.” – Barack Obama

“You f*cked up – you trusted us.” – Otter to Flounder (Animal House, 1978)

Obama Lied – It’s Just That Simple
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 5, 2013

“If you like your private health care plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” – Barack Obama; said loud and clear in dozens of speeches, pre and post-Election Day 2012

"No one will take it away – period.” – Obama, again

Liar, liar, pantalones en fuego!

Apparently "period," is never the end with Obama, as now he has introduced a caveat. “If you like your policy, you can keep it – if it hasn’t changed since the law passed – period,” is the new Obama mantra.

Obama can spin this like a dreidl at Chanukah all day long, but the fact is, he outright lied to the American people continuously. Let’s not sugarcoat it. He didn’t misspeak, he wasn’t confused, as left of center media outlets would claim in Obama’s feeble defense. He simply lied – period.

We the people don’t like your health plan, Mr. Obama – you keep it. In fact, if you think it’s so great why weren’t you the first to log on to your failed website and sign up for your proposed plan?

More like a scheme, not a plan, when the younger and healthier are being sacked with greater and greater costs to make up for the lower costs paid by older, less healthy folks. A failed website is the least of the problem, but it is indicative of the inability of the government to deliver a healthcare system remotely comparable to what the majority of the American people are receiving in their current plans.

But as the website is under current indictment, let’s kick it around before getting to the impoverished plan and Obama’s potential impeachment. A government that can’t successfully launch a website after a three year head start is demanding that we the people surrender our health, and by extension, our lives, to them.

Our health is not just the physical, but the mental, and if the Obama administration believes any clear thinking American is going to willingly, blithely forfeit its health care options to an incompetent government racing toward socialism, then they are simply nuts.

To listen to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius bloviate and tap dance around questions asked by the committee, dripping with arrogance is yet another sterling example of government’s overreaching into the lives of the American people. She claimed the system never crashed – define crash however you like, but several times during her testimony committee members showed how it was inoperable at that moment.

Both Obama and Sebelius have encouraged frustrated Americans unable to access the website to apply via telephone or paper formats, yet all roads still lead back to the not yet ready for prime time website.

A line of questioning regarding CGI, the Canadian company responsible for the website, unearthed the disconcerting fact that the same company will be tagged with fixing the problems for additional pay. Why should we the people pay this company for not doing the job correctly in the first place? The amount contracted for should be all they get and they should stay on the job until they complete it correctly.  And why couldn’t the Obama administration hire an American firm to do this job? Obama has outsourced jobs and is leading by example once again.

And further demonstrative of the paucity of leadership in this administration came when Sebelius used the childish response of “whatever” when she became flustered over a question of who is really in charge – Sebelius herself, or Obama – of this debacle.

“I’m as frustrated as anyone,” Sebelius said. Yeah, not so much, Madam Secretary – you are not using this system to sign up for Obamacare. The frustration exhibited by the American people comes in the form of those not able to sign up, which is few people in the first place who actually want to sign up, to those who are being unceremoniously dumped by their current insurers, which is numbering in the millions. As of November 4, 3.5 million Americans have already been dropped from their policies with no end in sight.

Obamacare will continue to have a deleterious effect on the economy as businesses large and small keep trimming staff and schedules turning America’s workforce into a part-time labor force. Additionally, the economy will suffer as people are now forced to spend more money for a lesser-quality insurance policy, as has been the testimony from far too many already. People from all walks of life and both sides of the aisle have testified that policy rates are increasing by hundreds of dollars per month and co-pays are doubling all with the promise of fewer options and higher deductibles.

Those who have received “Dear John/Jane” letters from their current insurance carriers are stunned, yet Obama and his cronies knew these letters were forthcoming as far back as 2010, as a recent “smoking gun” has been produced from inside the Obama White House detailing how millions of Americans would be cancelled. Obama has said to blame the insurers, yet why would they want to see their rolls diminished at a cost of millions of dollars?

That Obama knew, and as far back as 2010 – clearly in advance of the 2012 presidential election, smacks of a case of defrauding the American people. Such a fraud perpetrated against we the people should certainly be grounds for impeachment.

To be forced to purchase a product people may or may not want is tyrannical. For an administration so ardently supportive of a woman’s right to choose (i.e.: murder her unborn child), they’re rather restrictive about how we the people procure our health care.

Obama cavalierly and dispassionately expects people to just switch carriers or more importantly doctors as if swapping one brand of shampoo for another. Selecting a doctor is not an easy task and a very personal one at that. And after a many year relationship with a doctor to find it suddenly over can be unnerving and disconcerting, especially for older citizens. Do we the people really want government dictating how and where we procure our healthcare and doctors? Or from government’s chosen list?

It is not up to government to dictate to we the people. It is up to we the people to dictate to the government – a little thing called “consent of the governed,” as found in the Declaration of Independence. The time is now for we the people to stop offering tacit consent, and stand up to be heard.

The solution is not a government-controlled, mediocre health care plan with fewer choices, but an open market system where health insurers and providers compete across state lines for our business.

Less government, not more, is the answer. That also includes not providing “free” health care for illegal aliens. “Free,” of course, is never free, when once again, we the people are on the hook for the bills of the indigents. That spigot must be shut off and order restored.

We the people are speaking – while we still are able.

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

Friday, November 1, 2013

Voter ID a Must in Civilized Society

Voter ID a Must in Civilized Society
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 30, 2013

Common sense, gone the way of the Oldsmobile, clearly not so common any longer, when the Democrats consistently suggest, en masse, that photo ID at the ballot box is simply a tool by the GOP to “rig election rules to their advantage,” according to William R. Groth’s October 29 LTTE.

As a society we are required to produce photo ID before boarding an airplane, obtaining a driver’s license, purchasing alcohol, renting/buying a home, cashing/writing a check, opening a bank account, enrolling in college, picking up tickets at a will call window, securing a library card, using a credit card in some places, checking into a hotel or hospital, entering many government buildings, entering a military base, and procuring a firearm – just to name several.

Yet, when in the defense and protection of one of our most sacred rights, to ensure the sanctity of our precious vote, the Democrats take a laissez faire attitude suggesting that the demand for photo ID is somehow racist or designed to disenfranchise potential voters. Or worse when suggesting voter fraud is minimal. One instance of voter fraud is too many in a civilized society.

To allow anyone who is not a United States citizen, properly registered to vote using a government issued form of photo identification is to degrade the value of the vote.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. This item appeared in The Indianapolis Star on November 1, 2013.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shut Down Obama - Simply Vindictive

Shut Down Obama – Simply Vindictive
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 6, 2013

Barack Obama brings out such visceral feelings in not just me, but so many Americans, more so than any other person to occupy the White House since the day John and Abigail Adams moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Obama is the most malicious, vindictive, and petty individual to occupy the office of president with more scandals than Richard Nixon, Warren Harding, and Andrew Johnson combined; thinner skin than Nixon, and overall even worse than Jimmy Carter as an effective leader.

It is not hyperbole to say with the utmost clarity that the narcissist-in-chief is not a leader, but a petty, vindictive despot working his damndest to offend, hurt, and punish as many real Americans whom he is charged to serve. Obama is personally inflicting as much pain, suffering, and inconvenience upon veterans, children, and vacationers as possible, not just in these United States, but overseas as well.

There are more than 9,300 American World War II troops turning over in their graves in the Normandy American Cemetery in France while Obama has ordered it off limits to visitors – people who have traveled at pronounced expense to pay homage to real heroes of the Greatest Generation. Obama is simply spitting on their memories.

Personally inflicting, as the barricades and roadblocks preventing people from visiting open-air monuments such as the World War II, Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others have been put in place upon the orders of Obama. He can take to the microphone and use his bully pulpit – key word being bully – to blame the GOP day after day for shutting down the federal government, but in reality, Obama himself could have prevented such a shutdown.

This shutdown was predicated upon funding of the so-called Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, to which more and more Americans have objected on so many levels – retaining one’s personal physician, not true in most cases, the cost of coverage rising instead of falling as promised, additional taxes, and the overall mandating of an expense upon the American people in dictatorial fashion as the country myopically marches toward socialized medicine.

The Supreme Court may have declared Obamacare the law of the land, but the House of Representatives still retains power of the purse, and in this system of checks and balances, has the right to deny funding for any bill, act, or program it deems a violation of the rights of the people. Sometimes “no” is the right answer.

Obama’s abuse of power knows no bounds and he must be shut down. Obama is a stellar student having learned at the proverbial knee of Saul Alinksy (1909-72) and his Rules for Radicals. Obama has orchestrated the façade of the government in turmoil with his ordering of places such as the Grand Canyon closed. And yet, according to Byron York of The Washington Examiner, 83 percent of the federal government is still being funded – including all those folks putting up the barricades, who clearly are not volunteering their time.

Just Friday, October 4, a park ranger told The Washington Times “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” This is what passes for leadership? Instead, this is the petulant temper tantrum of a three-year-old will to hold his breath until he gets what he wants.

While it is Obama who announced he would not negotiate with the GOP, he seemed more than ready and willing to sit down with new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. And yet, Obama finds time to weigh in on whether or not to change the name of the Washington Redskins were he that football team’s owner.

Americans are losing money in their businesses and their vacations, while Camp David and Obama’s golf course remain open for business. Obama even tried to force Mt. Vernon to cease operations, but he could not, as the home of Founding Father and first president George Washington is not a federally controlled entity. Mt. Vernon is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, receiving no government dollars. Congratulations to Mt. Vernon for standing up to Obama – I will once again renew my membership to that vaunted place of Americana. I am happy to provide the link for membership to Mt. Vernon: http://www.mountvernon.org/membership I have enjoyed numerous visits there and learn something new every time.

Continuing to add insult to injury as only Obama knows how, military chaplains are also under fire. Catholic priests have been ordered not to conduct baptisms, weddings, give last rites, hold mass, or even administer the sacraments. Even if such priests volunteer their time and services, they are still threatened with arrest and will be charged with a crime.

In what country do we live where men of the cloth, doing the work of G-d are under threat of arrest for ministering to their flock? What happened to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution? For rabbis, priests, ministers, pastors, and other religious leaders to be threatened by Obama is simply unconscionable, and yet part of his plan to secularize America while Socializing it simultaneously.

To understand Obamacare is to object to Obamacare. The government shutdown won’t last beyond October 17 and the next hurdle it needs to reach – raising the debt ceiling, to which I object. As a matter of principle, stand with those members who object to Obamacare in word and vote. Those who cave should be replaced in November 2014.

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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Kill Obamacare or Shut Down DC

Kill Obamacare or Shut Down DC
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 30, 2013

A week ago, hypocrite in chief Barack Obama led the Democrats in the use of incendiary language, accusing the Republicans in Congress of “holding the whole country hostage” by having the gall to vote against his health care program, which is the real hostage taker.

Obamacare, even prior to installation, has begun its stranglehold over the American people and the entirety of the American economy which will have far reaching affects beyond our borders.

More and more companies, great and small are making executive decisions affecting the lives of their employees by cutting back hours, turning these United States into a part time working nation with more and more people becoming increasingly dependent upon government largesse.

The problem is that with more and more people dependent upon the government, it requires a greater amount of funding – funding that comes from the people – people who work and pay taxes to fund the government. The fewer hours people work, the less they have to “contribute” to the government coffers to pay for those people no longer working, thus overburdening those who are left working to pick up a larger and larger tab.

The majority of the American people have rejected Obamacare as they understand it will ultimately cost more to provide health insurance, make demands upon companies’ hiring practices, as well as their moral discretion pertaining to what they are providing for their employees. The government seems to have this notion it can force private industry to dance to the administration’s tune – thus Obama is the hostage taker.

Small businesses are opting to pay penalties rather than cover their employees at higher rates than the penalties themselves. Obamacare is also responsible for the stunting of economic growth as businesses are not hiring in an effort to keep their employment rolls below the threshold required to provide for their employees.

The Republicans in Congress are doing the right thing by attempting to defund Obamacare. They are taking a principled stance on the possibility that the government may shut down should Obama reject a budget minus Obamacare funding. Understand that a government shutdown does not prevent the mail from being delivered. It does not prevent retirees from receiving their Social Security checks. It does not mean the United States armed forces are no longer on the job either.

If Obamacare, hyped by this administration and its lackeys in Congress as the savior of American healthcare, why have so many industries, businesses, and even Congress itself been allowed to opt out? Why has Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) called Obamacare a “train wreck,” repeatedly? Why has the teamsters’ union president James P. Hoffa, a strong Obama supporter, come out virulently against Obama’s signature legislation, calling it “a nightmare?”

Sen. Ted Cruz spoke passionately for more than 21 hours last week. Part of his oration simply stated that the Obama administration and Congress itself should set the example and play by the rules it is attempting to inflict upon the rest of America. Yes, inflict, based upon the reasons to refute Obamacare as stated above.

Yet just because the GOP wishes to defund a legislative program designed to push the United States toward socialized medicine, that is already having a negative impact on the economy, that is forcing more than a handful of doctors to close their practices and retire, the Democrats are continuing to use provocative language toward the Republicans.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), she of the famous, “we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it,” called the GOP “legislative arsonists.” To this day, Pelosi still has yet to read the entirety of the Obamacare bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), never one to back down from a fight, as a former pugilist, called the GOP “Tea Party anarchists.” Anarchy, Sen. Reid, is an absence of government, a state of lawlessness or political disorder. No one, from either party, is calling for anarchy. But Reid, like Pelosi, is no stranger to bombastic rhetoric.

A government shutdown is not the worst thing that could occur come midnight. If it does, the blame falls squarely on the narrow shoulders of Obama, who will no doubt veto a budget sans Obamacare. A shutdown will not prevent essential services from continuing, despite Obama’s scare tactics. The bigger picture, however, is to eradicate Obamacare before it ensures any further damage. If the people think it is bad now, wait until it is actually enforced.

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Obama Politicizes Navy Yard Memorial

Obama Politicizes Navy Yard Memorial
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 23, 2013

On what should have been an occasion of solemnity and the reminder of the fragility of life, Barack Obama, never being one to miss an opportunity, turned a memorial into a political speech and talking points for future anti-gun candidates.

While none of the military and administration speakers preceding Obama called for gun control during their eulogies, Obama connected the names of the victims with the demand for more gun laws at the Navy Yard memorial following the slaughter of a dozen innocent people Monday, September 16.

“If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work and go to school and walk our streets free from senseless violence without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we’re going to have to change,” said Obama, Sunday afternoon.

What Obama and the rest of the knee-jerk reactionary gun control crowd either fails to realize or is simply intentionally obtuse for political purposes, is that honest, law-abiding Americans are the ones affected by gun control laws. The United States does not need additional laws pertaining to the ownership and carrying of firearms. It needs to start by enforcing the laws already enacted.

Criminals, by their nature of being criminals, will continue to find ways to procure firearms and criminals are not impacted by potential restrictions to the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

In the case of this particular murderer, Aaron Alexis, 34, a former Navy Reservist and information technology contractor apparently wrestled with mental illness. Yet, he supposedly garnered his firearms legally. Where was the mental health system to stop Alexis from acquiring guns in the first place? Why didn’t his discharge record indicate a status that denied him the right to own a gun?

And if any law should be changed, it should be the repeal of a law signed by former President Bill Clinton denying employees on military bases or buildings like Fort Hood or the Navy Yard from carrying a firearm. In each case, where a dozen or more were slain, anyone with a firearm could have thwarted the murderer/terrorist from carrying out the heinous crimes perpetrated.

If history has taught us anything, it is that a well-armed citizenry has the ability to ward off the tyranny of a government swelled with unearned power. Those who would prefer to live in a world where guns are not accepted are free to do so – no doubt the local Starbucks will welcome you. For the rest of us who prefer to take personal responsibility for the protection of our families, homes, businesses, and property, the Second Amendment is still part of the Constitution.

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

Emmys Overlooked Klugman and Hagman

Emmys Overlooked Klugman and Hagman
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 23, 2013

Not a fan of the numerous televised awards programs put on by the entertainment industry to validate themselves with their self-congratulatory faux humility, I actually had a reason to check in on the Emmy Awards Sunday night September 22.

A pre-awards newspaper brief indicated that five of the deceased from the past year would be honored with individual acknowledgments throughout the program, as opposed to the traditional roll call photo montage. The five included actress Jean Stapleton, actors James Gandolfini and Cory Montieth, comedian Jonathan Winters, and producer Gary David Goldberg.

Who didn’t love Stapleton and her alter ego, Edith Bunker? And the comic genius of Winters? Goldberg’s Family Ties was a favorite of mine in the ‘80s – complete with the comparisons to Alex P. Keaton.

Conspicuously omitted without explanation were actors Larry Hagman and jack Klugman. Would four more minutes made a difference in a three-hour-plus awards program rife with bloviating speeches and witless banter?

Actually it should have been a two minute addition as Montieth should not have been singled out in the first place. The actor, 31, known for his role on Glee, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, and had previous bouts of substance abuse. While his co-star Jane Lynch did not omit or excuse Montieth’s substance issues, honoring his memory as it was done, glorifies his lifestyle and omits the more deserving Klugman and Hagman.

In fact, during the roll call of photos, Klugman and Hagman received the most applause. Hagman, following his role of Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, was forever known as oilman villain J. R. Ewing on Dallas. Klugman, a three-time Emmy winner, was most memorably known for portraying perpetually sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple. Both actors distinguished themselves on stage as well as the big screen, and deserved the honors given the other five.

Forty years after the fact, Edith Bunker and Oscar Madison are still warmly recalled, as is J.R. Ewing 30 years hence. Will the same be said of Finn Hudson?

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stay Out of Syria

Stay Out of Syria
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 10, 2013

For more than two years the Obama administration seemed content to take a laissez-faire stance on Syria while its president, Bashar al-Assad has slaughtered more than 100,000 of his own people using conventional weapons. Now, because Assad has upped the ante to dispatching chemical weapons against his people, killing 1,429, of which 426 were children, Obama feels the need to express outrage threatening to attack Syria – even unilaterally.

The political hacks on the left, like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, as well as a few misguided RINOs, such as senators Lindsay Graham (SC) and John McCain (AZ), support military involvement in Syria.

Military experts, such as Col. David Hunt, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, and Navy Capt. Chuck Nash, and others with years of experience in the field, oppose involvement in Syria. No good comes of it for the United States. Obama seems to want to support our enemies and terror groups because of some misguided sense of no one knows what. The internal strife in Syria will either keep Assad in power or turn power over to al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, or other terror organizations.

Many see this potential attack as a purely political move, which is poor reason to engage in a military conflict. The question must be asked, how does the situation in Syria, however horrible, and it is, for the Syrian people, adversely affect the United States and its own national security?

And, unless the national security of the United States is at risk, any attack without Congressional approval violates the Constitution. This is something that Obama knows all too well.

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an attack or imminent threat to the nation,” said then Senator Obama on December 20, 2007.
Additionally, Biden, while also in the Senate, called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush for the same thing. Now, it seems perfectly OK for this administration to act unilaterally.
Ironically, while Obama sat wringing his hands not calling Congress back to Washington during one of their numerous vacation periods, Great Britain, where America’s political and linguistic roots are, under Prime Minister David Cameron, called for Parliament to return to work and make this decision legally. Cameron respects the will of the people – even when dissatisfied. Supporting Obama and an attack on Syria, Cameron expressed disappointment when the House of Commons voted 285-272 against such an attack.

Germany said no, as did Canada, and France, initially on board, seems to be begging off. And yet, even with the embarrassment of the UK rebuke, Obama is willing to fly solo. Obama clearly is not a man of his word. “American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone,” said Obama on March 28, 2011 regarding Libya.

Kerry wasn’t even concerned about Congressional approval, but instead that of the United Nations. And while he made an impassioned, emotional speech on Friday, August 30 decrying the urgency of attacking Syria, Kerry lacked the Constitutional imperative necessary to strike a foreign nation without compelling evidence of eminent danger to the United States.

On the other hand, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) could also have called his legislative body back to work and vote to shut Obama down. As late as Saturday, August 31, Obama seems to have resigned himself to await a Congressional vote on September 9, when hopefully the balance of power as provided by the Founding Fathers, will reemerge and put an end to a situation that, on the surface, lacks strategy. Plus this would give Obama a somewhat graceful exit from an unconstitutional quest and he could then blame the GOP, currently holding a majority in Congress.

What is the end goal and desired outcome? Punishing a foreign leader is not a reason to attack a nation. Terms such as “limited strike” (John Kerry) and dropping a few missiles are neither encouraging nor decisive. Obama actually said the US should “fire a shot across the bow.” Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, who opposes force against Syria, explained that “a shot across the bow by definition, doesn’t hit anything,” and does not serve as a deterrent against people who only understand genuine force.

“He [Obama] will attack ineffectually and he will fail,” said Col. Peters, adding that “we cannot do everything. I feel for these people,” he said referring to the plight of the innocent Syrian civilians, but standing firm against American involvement.

The schizophrenia of Obama’s turn on a dime, let’s go in today unilaterally, to let’s wait for Congressional approval demonstrates there is no plan. Of course if there is one, we the people do not need to know until after the fact because to announce any military plans is akin to telegraphing them to the enemies of the United States, which in a sense is what Obama did by announcing his willingness to await Congress’ return to work on September 9. Now Assad has another week to hide munitions, kill more of his people, and prepare to defend against the United States, should there something against which to defend.

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, reminded viewers on Fox News of former President Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote, “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” Gillerman said “We’re not seeing the big stick,” which he defined as a sign of weakness and that the US has been lenient regarding the massacres in Syria.

Yet, we return full circle to the beginning and the nature of the urgency expressed initially by the Obama administration – very little, and the hypocrisy of cherry-picking why to pick a battle.

I prefer to return to Col. Peters comment, “We cannot do everything.” There lacks a compelling Constitutional reason pertaining to the national security of the United States. This is a civil war, not unlike that of Spain in the 1930s, where the United States also did not risk its American military treasure.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) had the unmitigated gall to compare the current situation in Syria with the Holocaust. See the above comment about the Spanish Civil War. Also, Germany was not engaged in a civil war, starting with the annexation of the Sudetenland, Hitler steamrolled through Europe with tepid opposition at best. Even then the United States remained on the sidelines until attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. At that point, the United States officially entered World War II.

Kerry also said there would not be American boots on the ground in Syria. I seem to recall a time when all the United States had in Vietnam were “advisors,” but then Kerry himself could testify to the alternative.

Like Kerry, Obama, on September 10 painted an emotional picture that tugs at our heartstrings as he described the August 21 gassing to death of nearly 1,500 Syrians, the “images are sickening.” Obama, like Reid, incorrectly likened Syria to the Holocaust simply due to the use of gas. This is not the Holocaust – and thank G-d.

When 100,000-plus had been murdered by bullets, where was the moral outrage? Why is the US left to fight this battle alone? Even after the “sense of common humanity [was] violated,” as said Obama, with the execution of Sarin gas against nearly 1,500 Syrians, there still lacks a Constitutional imperative according to Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News.

The question still remains, why now? How does the United States stand to benefit by merely sending al-Assad a message? If he is deposed and replaced, by whom will he be supplanted? The rebels have behaved in some of the most deviant, unconscionable manners. There is a video of a rebel killing a Syrian soldier, cutting out that soldier’s liver and heart, then taking a bite out of the heart.

Obama has been far too indecisive and has also telegraphed his plans which simply put any US military personnel at greater risk than should be allowed. Obama himself said that the United States is not the policeman to the world. If one set of horrific Syrians want to keep killing another set of horrific Syrians, so be it. Yes, the loss of innocent civilians is always unfortunate, but there are no guarantees that will end should the United States gets involved. Syria must take care of Syria. Should other nations wish to pony up manpower and materials they are free to do so.

Pray for peace. Not just in Syria, but worldwide. But always remember Ronald Reagan’s mantra of “peace through strength.”

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

Friday, September 6, 2013

One Date, Two Tragedies

One Date, Two Tragedies
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 6, 2013

This year September 11 has more significance than in previous years and for several reasons. Of course this is the 12th year we commemorate and memorialize the terrorist attacks on American soil in New York City, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA where 2,996 Americans were slaughtered by Muslim extremists who hijacked airplanes and used them as murder weapons.

This is also the first anniversary of the murders in Benghazi, Libya of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, US Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, as well as Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, also by Muslim extremists.

Having grown up in the shadows of the Twin Towers, as well as living and working minutes from the Pentagon on that once beautifully sunny Tuesday morning turned fateful and tragic, the events of that day are indelibly seared into my memory and psyche.

While listening to the roll call of the names of the victims read each year at the site of the World Trade Center, remember also, those four men on the job in Benghazi murdered by Islamo-terrorists. The men, women, and children slaughtered 12 years ago and just last year were murdered by Muslim extremist terrorists in the name of a supposed religion of peace, yet proven to be anything but by the perpetrators.

This year, as Syria is boiling over, while Iran continues striving toward nuclear capabilities, while Muslim extremism continues its perpetual reign of terror both in and out of the Middle East, peace is still the goal. Peace cannot be achieved via acquiescence or weak-kneed threats lacking backbone and follow through.

On this September 11, there is a juxtaposition between war and peace as this year’s observance falls during the Days of Awe, between the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). While we pray for peace, there is also an understanding that war, however unpleasant, is sometimes necessary.

In the prayer book for the High Holy Days there is “A Prayer for Our Country” in which we recite “May this country forever be the land of the free, where all may dwell in security and peace.”

There is also “A Prayer for Peace.” In it we recite, “I will bring peace to the land, and you shall lie down and no one shall terrify you. I will rid the land of vicious beasts and it shall not be ravaged by war.”

Pray for peace, but remember that G-d helps those who help themselves. Meaning, we must, at times, fight to retain our way of life and to live in peace.

America is viewed as weak on the global stage today, as it was in 1979-80 when 52 Americans languished in an Iranian hellhole for 444 days. It was no coincidence those hostages were released the day Ronald Reagan took the oath of office, becoming the 40th president of the United States on January 20, 1981. Iran feared the United States. Both Reagan and Obama, in their own ways, proved it is better to be feared than loved.

There has not been peace under Obama. With Reagan there was “peace through strength.” Pray for peace. Remember the fallen – both from 12 years ago, as well as last year. Work and strive to keep the United States of America “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. On September 11, 2001 he was writing for a newspaper in Northern Virginia.