Monday, August 26, 2013

Cyrus: From Wholesome to Whoresome

Cyrus: From Wholesome to Whoresome
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 26, 2013

MTV and Miley Cyrus are perhaps two of the last subjects I would deign to address, but such obscenity bordering on an X-Rated display demand the cries of ENOUGH, this is inappropriate for public viewing.

The 20-year-old Cyrus, in attempt to resuscitate a fledgling pop-acting career literally put it all out there for the entire world to see at the MTV Video Music Awards program Sunday, August 25.

In a depraved spectacle, Cyrus, formerly the popular teen portraying the fictional Hannah Montana, attempting to separate herself from that character, succeeded by stripping down to a nude bikini and writhing around the stage as though suffering from some sort of seizure, complete with tongue hanging out. Short of giving an actual lap dance, and missing just the pole, Cyrus looked and acted like a low-rent stripper.

Now before those who support the right of strippers to perform in clubs as a legal manner in which to earn a living call for my flogging, I do not begrudge them their right of free trade and labor, although I do not approve of their career choice, nor do I think demonstrations of their trade is appropriate prime time television viewing for children.

Part two of the Cyrus sleaze-fest involved props, both human and inanimate. Cyrus donned a giant foam finger – the kind found at sporting events, and continued her gyrations this time with said foam finger sliding back and forth between her legs in some carnal erotica.

As if that scene were not bad enough, what occurred next should have been enough for any censor with the FCC to pull the plug, go to commercial, or show an old fashioned test pattern. Robin Thicke took to the stage singing as Cyrus backed up to him then bent over grinding on him – her tuchus to his crotch, followed by Cyrus rubbing the foam finger up and down on Thicke’s genitalia.

Thicke’s mother, singer-actress Gloria Loring said “I was not expecting her to be putting her butt that close to my son. The problem is now I can never unsee it.”

This was the scene as presented Monday morning by virtually any news station or morning talk show – something that could be seen by parents and children alike as they were getting ready for work and school, had they had the good fortune to miss the debauchery on MTV the night before.

This is what passes for entertainment these days – no moral filter, no sense of shame or embarrassment. Coupled with the rampant amount of video games depicting heinous violence and slaughter, these images desensitize children who think them alright to watch or partake. It is incumbent upon parents to supervise their children and guide them toward making age appropriate and content appropriate choices regarding television, movies, radio, music, books and other literature, as well as social media.

For those who laugh Cyrus’ antics off and dismiss them as no big deal, it is a big deal. While this is not Obamacare, the economy, unemployment, illegal immigration, or the failing educational system, Miley Cyrus has a following of young people who idolize and wish to emulate her. Cyrus’ behavior is an anathema and demonstrative of what is wrong with society. Ignoring it is akin to tacit acceptance. It is analogous to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s borrowed broken windows theory.

“James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling’s ‘Broken Windows’ theory of crime-fighting convinced me that paying attention to ‘minor’ infractions like aggressive panhandling, graffiti, and turnstile-jumping would greatly reduce all crime, including major felonies.” (Giuliani, Rudolph W. Leadership, xiii, 2002)

In order to cure the systemic ills of society, it is vital to rid the airwaves of pervasive smut like Cyrus’ exposition as well as videos of a similar ilk, as well as music with offensive language. Teachers and school administrators must play their parts by not allowing such materials to be disseminated in their midst and not permitting the coarse language ubiquitous in teens’ vocabulary to be accepted as commonplace.

Parents must parent their children and not try to befriend their children. Monitor their choices and restrict them if necessary, in spite of protestations that their friends’ parents allow this or that. Be the parents. Do not expect government to do it for you. Government is already too permissive by allowing welfare checks to replace fathers in far too many homes, thanks to Lyndon Johnson’s so called Great Society, which clearly failed, leaving too many broken homes, and too many unsupervised children, who in many cases have gone on to terrorize decent society. Just read the news headlines of recent weeks for proof of the carnage scattered across the American landscape.

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Thrill Kill" Strikes Out Baseball Player

“Thrill Kill” Strikes Out Baseball Player
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 22, 2013

The depravity of American society continues sinking to a new low with what is being labeled a “thrill kill” perpetrated by three teenage males in Oklahoma on Friday, August 16 against an Australian national in the US attending school and playing collegiate baseball.

Chancey Allen Luna, 16, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, all of Duncan, OK, are responsible for the murder of Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne and rightfully will be tried as adults as per Oklahoma law. These miscreant murderers deserve nothing less than the death penalty for randomly selecting Lane and shooting him in the back while he was on a training run. They claimed they were “bored” and murdered Lane “for the fun of it.”

A deeper look into the potential motive behind this unconscionable crime links these three murderers to gang activities and a future gang initiation. Apparently there was a list of future victims to be slaughtered. The motive matters not. An innocent life was taken and no explanation will return Christopher Lane to his family, friends, and teammates.

Lane had been visiting his girlfriend in Duncan when he was murdered. He was attending East Central University in Ada, OK on a baseball scholarship – he was a catcher, and had planned to marry Sarah Harper, his girlfriend and a collegiate golfer attending Oklahoma Christian University.

Senseless waste – of four lives – Lane, the murder victim, as well as the three responsible for the slaying, Edwards, Jones, and Luna who could have chosen an alternative path other than murder at random for the sake of curing one’s boredom. It matters not that the three sociopaths are teenagers. They committed an adult crime with no regard for human life – in fact one of these thugs, Edwards, was laughing and dancing while being arrested.

This depravity stems from a lack of parental involvement in their lives. Currently, Edwards, whose mother is in jail, has had prior brushes with the law. Did these vicious thugs even attend high school? Apparently there was an abundance of violence-themed video games in their lives, not that that is an excuse. There is a dearth of time consuming activities in these three boys’ lives – no jobs, no community activities, no religious-based activities. They have no moral compass. One of the defendants showed up to a court hearing with his pregnant girlfriend – another example of the spiraling down of society.

Additionally, Edwards boasted of the crime and had Tweeted “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATETHEM” begging the question as to whether the murder of Lane should be considered a hate crime. All crime is a form of hatred and thus singling out certain crimes as worse than others degrades those not labeled as such.

Yet, as this horrific slaughter was committed by two black males and one white male, there is a racial component, once again. Where are the outraged voices of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Barack Obama? Does everyone hear the crickets chirping? Of course, because this crime does not fit the political agenda of these race hustlers. Just as the deafening silence following the life-threatening beating of a white child on a school bus in Florida by three of his black schoolmates because the white child informed to authorities that the black children were pushing drugs.

Although, to be fair, Jackson did comment on the Lane murder, but only by adding severe insult to injury. “Praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail,” texted Jackson. Frowned upon? This is not a debate about whether or not it is okay to snitch a grape at the supermarket. This is not a question of whether or not one should wear white after Labor Day. This is the taking of a human life, you pinhead.

Jackson later expounded upon his weak-kneed text, but still nothing from Sharpton, who, if the races were reversed, would have organized a march and protest before the victim’s body was cold.

As for Obama, if he can say the Cambridge police “acted stupidly” before having all the facts and information; if he can say if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin, why hasn’t he spoken out against this heinous crime?

In fact, Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry asked on Wednesday of White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest why Obama has remained silent five days after the perpetration of such a crime. Earnest said there was a lack of familiarity with the case, as if that prevented Obama’s Cambridge police remarks.

Proving the hypocrisy of the Obama administration, Earnest continued that he “wouldn’t want to get ahead of the legal process,” which Obama clearly did in both the Cambridge and Martin cases. Although Obama should not opine on local cases, once he traverses that road, he needs to maintain a level of consistency and speak out on the complete spectrum of noteworthy issues.

Obama is pretty quick to speak out on the civil war in Syria that has now reached a new level of its own depravity with the killing of its own children via chemical weapons. Yet Obama remains woefully ignorant and silent regarding pressing matters at home.

And before the liberals start their usual handwringing over the need for additional gun control and laws that duplicate those already on the books, remember, gun control only works to control law abiding gun owners, and criminals will invariably find ways to procure firearms.

The bottom line is a lack of a moral invective coming from Obama, his spokespersons, and the usual suspects where race is always a factor leading them to the microphone. For while Trayvon Martin is this generation’s Emmett Till to an erroneous Oprah Winfrey, the wanton thrill killing slaughter of an innocent college baseball player is merely “frowned upon” by one of the supposed leaders of the black community.

There is little doubt this country is on a collision course with oblivion. America is burning while Obama, the race hustlers, and all those who think more government is the answer fiddle. The United States as given to the American people is on borrowed time and only an epic turnaround, a backbone, moral values, and a relationship with G-d can be its salvation.

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

As a postscript, and certainly not to diminish its significance as it is a developing story, but World War II veteran Delbert Belton, 88, was beaten to death by two black teen males still at large. The beating occurred Wednesday, August 21 as Belton was about to enter the Eagles Lodge in Spokane. He died the following morning. Belton, who was wounded in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, served in the US Army. He later worked for Kaiser Aluminum for more than 30 years.

This story is two days old as of this writing and nary a word has been uttered by Jackson or Sharpton, which is no surprise. While Obama’s silence is also to be expected, as Commander in Chief he should decry the murder of a veteran as the unmitigated outrage that it is.

This growing pandemic slaughter of innocents at the hands of the underclass thug-society must be stopped before the advent of another, perhaps bloodier, civil war.

Monday, August 19, 2013

NAACP the Real Clowns

NAACP the Real Clowns
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 19, 2013

Live, from New York, it’s Chevy Chase making a career out of mocking President Gerald Ford!

Ford stumbled and fell once or twice and the former All American University of Michigan football center becomes the subject of perpetual ridicule that people forget he was a talented athlete, and not just on the gridiron, but also on the golf course.

The Saturday Night Live alumnus was merely one in a class of presidential mockers, the champion of which had to be Dana Carvey’s President George H. W. Bush – “wouldn’t be prudent – at this juncture!” Such humor actually netted Carvey an invitation to the White House.

And don’t forget the masks of just about every president since JFK, especially the lampooning of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush – especially masks promoting Dick Nixon’s prominent proboscis.

So what of a rodeo clown performing at the Missouri State Fair last week having donned an Obama mask as part of his routine? That resulted not just in the firing of the rodeo clown, but a lifetime ban from working at the Missouri State Fair.

Adding insult to injury, the Missouri chapter of the NAACP has demanded an investigation in to the rodeo clown. In a statement it released, the NAACP said “The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our president are serious and warrant a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Dept.”

For what? For doing his job of entertaining the crowd at the rodeo? For mocking the president? Should all late night TV talk show hosts be investigated by the Justice Department and the Secret Service? What a waste of time and fiscal resources that should be used on genuine menaces in this country.

What was so provocative as to garner such intense scrutiny by the Missouri NAACP?

Here are the clown’s words “inciting violence” as suggested by the Missouri NAACP: “President Obama. Hey, I know I’m a clown, he’s just running around acting like one, doesn’t know he is one.”

Disrespectful? Sure; no more than any late night comic or SNL actor. Inciting violence? No chance, Lance.

Then, as the bull was readying to charge the clown, the next set of words were: “We’re going to smoke Obama man. You ready, Obama, they’re coming for you! I’m ready. This bull’s going to get you Obama; he’s going to get you!”

Inciting violence? Still no way, Jose. Exchange the Obama mask for one of President George W. Bush and nary a peep would come from the NAACP or any organization for that matter.

Even liberal Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene laughed as she said, “It’s ridiculous! The NAACP is out of their dang mind to think that should be investigated by the Department of Justice – it’s way overkill.” Greene went on to defend the hard work of rodeo clowns with the knowledge of one who has attended more than one rodeo.

Erik Rush, author, columnist and another FNC contributor called this incident “The biggest example of race baiting… the NAACP struggling to stay relevant promoting hypersensitivity.”

This is yet another example of how liberals (NAACP, et al) wish to limit the free speech of those with whom they disagree. It is a pervasive, over-sensitive, censoring of First Amendment rights in the United States. Sadly, a recent survey demonstrated that 36 percent of those asked could not name even one of the freedoms granted by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

This is not just sad, but frighteningly dangerous as more and more people, particularly younger and younger Americans, believe the First Amendment grants too many freedoms to the American people.

What the United States needs is more speech. We don’t fight hate speech with censorship, but with the implementation of more speech. Yet, the Missouri state fair commission also said it will force clowns to undergo sensitivity training – yet another example of overkill.

Following the firing of the rodeo clown, Texas Congressman Steve Stockman invited him to perform in the Lone Star State. ”A rodeo clown is really a nominal thing and it hurt no one,” said Stockman, who noted that when Bush 43 was portrayed as a murderer the NAACP was patently silent.

And where was the NAACP and such race hustlers as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton when three black teens were videotaped beating the daylights out of a white teenager on a school bus? The crickets are chirping loud and clear.

Were Obama not as thin-skinned as he is known to be, he would take the lead, request the rodeo clown be reinstated, and invite him to the White House to perform for children unable to afford to attend a rodeo or circus. After all, if he can host a beer summit, he can host a rodeo clown at his own big top.

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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oprah Keeping Me From "The Butler"

Oprah Keeping Me From The Butler
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 15, 2013

Not being a big fan of visiting movie theaters to pay $10 apiece for a film that once it hits Redbox can be seen for a buck a day, The Butler, grabbed my attention.

This is a film chronicling a White House butler serving eight presidents over three decades and the experiences throughout the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, among other landmark periods of American history.

The Butler stars some top flight actors in Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, and Forest Whitaker – each of whom I have enjoyed in one film/television program or another, along with Oprah Winfrey.

Never having seen an entire episode of her former afternoon chat show, my feelings toward Winfrey have been largely ambivalent. I applauded her decision to build a school in South Africa versus one in the United States upon learning the “needs” of the students of the potential communities to be served. Apparently the students in the US, when asked, told Winfrey they wanted fancy gym shoes, computers, cell phones, and other non-academic materials, while the students in Africa asked for books, paper, pencils, and many of the academic needs people take for granted here. Winfrey was largely criticized by people who thought they should have a say in how Winfrey spends her money. She was and still is free to spend her hard earned resources as she wishes.

Fast forward to this newly released film, and my decision not to spend my hard earned money on it – in spite of my interest in the story and liking many of the major stars. It is due solely to Winfrey and her recent comments likening Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till.

Winfrey said the two cases were the “same thing.” And although she continued by invoking context, and how society has advanced so far since the Till slaughter, Winfrey patently stoked the flames of racial division in the United States.

Martin’s death was not race-induced, even his own parents agreed their son was not slain out of racial animus. For more details:

Till, born in Chicago, in 1941, was a black 14-year-old boy murdered in cold blood in 1955 in Tallahatchie River, Mississippi following and encounter where he allegedly flirted with a white woman. While Till disrupted the apple cart of the Southern “sensibilities” of the ‘50s, he did not commit a crime or deserve to be murdered. Martin, was not murdered, but instead killed within the confines of a fight he presumably started.

While Winfrey is certainly entitled to her opinion, her clear distortion of history will not be rewarded. I will not put money in her pocket because her ignorance will create a ripple effect amongst her large fandom that will perpetuate her racially divisive and irresponsible belief.

Need another reason to wait for The Butler to appear in your local Redbox? Hanoi Jane Fonda has a minor role playing, of all people, Nancy Reagan.

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Obamacare Cruz-ing for a Bruising

Obamacare Cruz-ing for a Bruising
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 7, 2013

While I rarely disagree with conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, I will tread carefully while I respectfully suggest he has it backward in his August 2 editorial “GOP’s suicide mission” – at least in his section about Obamacare.

Krauthammer suggests that conservative stalwart Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) “are threatening to shut down the government on October 1 if the stopgap funding bill contains money for Obamacare.”

Cruz and Lee can threaten all they wish, but as Krauthammer correctly points out, the Democrats control the Senate, not Cruz and Lee’s minority Republican Party, and thus the GOP is likely to go down to defeat in appropriately attempting to defund this albatross around the necks of all Americans who work for a living or meet a payroll keeping said workers employed.

Even Democratic Senator Max Baucus (MT) has called Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, a “train wreck.”

Where Krauthammer and I part company is in my not thinking a GOP effort to defund Obamacare will be a suicide mission. With the shrinking popularity of the imposition of socialized medicine, fewer options, higher prices and premiums, and still no cross country competition, more Americans will appreciate the efforts of the GOP standing up for the folks who sent them to Washington in the first place.

The defunding bill will surely pass the GOP-controlled House, and even if it manages to pass in the Senate, the power to keep the government running like the incompetent machine it is, is in the hands of Obama himself. The issue is whether Obama wants a government shutdown on his watch that he can prevent by admitting defeat on his precious socialized medicine roadshow whose level of popularity continues to wane, or retain his arrogance, veto the bill, and blame the Republicans for not giving him what he wants simply because he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Cruz, who introduced a bill in the Senate to defund Obamacare, said he will never support even one dime of funding for what is both Obama’s signature piece of legislation and the potential downfall of the American economy.

"The Administration's recent announcement to delay the onerous and unpopular employer mandate until after the 2014 election, coupled with its announcement to delay income and health status eligibility requirements in favor of an honor system for the most expensive entitlement for our generation, confirms what has been obvious from the start – this law is a colossal mistake," Cruz said in a press release.

Cruz must be doing something right as he caught the attention of Obama lapdog Chris Matthews, also a supposed “newsman” for MSNBC. Matthews, while shilling for Obama, said that Cruz’s legislation to defund Obamacare is “an act of terrorism.” Terrorism? That’s extreme even for the ratings starved, virtually irrelevant Matthews.

Is it an act of terrorism to follow the rule of law as established by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution? Is it an act of terrorism to put the responsibility of an individual’s choice pertaining to healthcare in the hands of, um, the individual? Is it an act of terrorism to prevent government from forcing its citizenry to purchase a product it may or may not want? Matthews is an absolute imbecile for making such an outlandish statement, which is not only an embarrassment to him, but offensive to victims of true terrorism. Matthews owes Cruz and terror victims an apology.

Obama has forced businesses to reduce its workforce to ensure it does not cross the 50 employee threshold making it responsible for providing Obamacare to its employees. Additionally, workers are already feeling the pre-enacted sting of Obamacare as hours are being sliced down below a 40 and even below a 36-hour work week, thus turning the United States into a part time economy.

Congress must have finally taken Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) advice to read the bill and discovered what was in it was enough to grant themselves a waiver from Obamacare while inflicting it upon the rest of the American rank and file.

Even three of the largest unions in the country, spearheaded by the Teamsters, some of Obama’s most loyal supporters, object to enactment of Obamacare. In an open letter to Democratic Congressional leadership, the unions said enactment of Obamacare will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

At least Senator Cruz is keeping his word in attempting to defund the dangerous Obamacare. A government shutdown is avoidable if Obama wakes up from his stupor and socialist haze in time to realize the opposition is mounting against his potentially economy-crippling legislation that will ultimately make the American people even more dependent upon Washington, something hard working Americans are loathe to experience.

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

For the Love of the Game

For the Love of the Game
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 5, 2013

While Alex Rodriguez was neither the first, nor unfortunately will he be the last Major League Baseball player linked to the PED scandal, his is the biggest bat in the latest line up of suspensions handed down by the league since late July. The 211 game suspension will run through the remainder of this season and all of the 2014 season.

This scandal stems from the Miami clinic, Biogenesis, now closed, supposedly having provided nearly two dozen professional baseball players with performance enhancing drugs (PED). Rodriguez, according to Biogenesis, utilized PEDs during the years 2010-12. There have been allegations he used PEDs since 2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers. His nickname should be changed from A-Rod to A-Roid.

The combination of the performance enhancing drug/steroid scandal has given MLB a rather enlarged black eye and a potentially permanent stain on the game of baseball if the statistics racked up by players such as Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, et al are permitted to stand – even with an asterisk.

All statistics and records should be expunged, all awards such as, but not limited to the Cy Young and MVP should be rescinded and awarded to the next qualifying player, and none of the tainted players should ever be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose should earn his rightful place in the Hall before any of these cheaters is allowed to set foot into Cooperstown without first having purchased a ticket for admission.

“Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” ( This is the standard by which the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is to do their jobs when considering membership to the vaunted Hall, as they are the arbiters of admission.

The recalcitrant Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers finally sucked it up and took his 65-game suspension, costing him approximately $3.5 million. Well, boo hoo, cry me a river. MLB called Braun’s behavior “violations of the collective bargaining agreement and joint drug agreement.” If Braun feels any contrition, and after two years of denials, I suspect he does not, he would have the decency to return his 2011 National League award.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig needs to conjure up the stones to hand down a lifetime ban to Rodriguez and set an example and precedent that this kind of cheating and any kind of cheating will not be tolerated or permitted. A first time offender should be handcuffed with a one year suspension sans pay, of course. A two-time loser should earn a lifetime ban and a loss of pension. This should also pertain to those laboring in the Minor League system – with no chance of seeing life in the MLB.

A lifetime ban of Rodriguez would have been appropriate based upon invoking Article XII (B) of the MLB collective bargaining agreement, stating: “Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball, including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.”

Contracts of the miscreant players should be considered null and void and all future contracts going forward from this MLB decision, if they do not already, should contain a morals/substance clause. However, MLB teams should not be allowed to benefit from the dissolved players’ contract. Those dollars should remain on the books used to calculate the league’s luxury tax threshold, therefore not allowing such teams to load up on available free agents or attempt to raid other teams who may not be able to afford to keep certain players. Teams should not be entitled to benefit from a player’s bad behavior. In the case of Rodriguez, he stands to forfeit roughly $31 million. Boo hoo, cry me another river.

For the love of the game, restoring integrity to America’s national pastime should be priority one for Selig, the sport as a whole, the teams, the players, as well as the fans who expect to watch a clean game.

For the love of the game, these overpriced primadonnas, and make no mistake, I am a huge fan – dumb enough to come back after the strikes of 1981 and 1994, should have more respect for the game, themselves, and the fans. While I do not begrudge the players their salaries, and I must not as I still attend the occasional game, this is a capitalist society, and those who don’t want to put money in the players’ pockets, can stay home, a strong financial impediment should also be attached to the game suspensions.

So many players say they play for the love of the game and that they are privileged to be allowed to play at such a high level. Let them put their money where their mouths are. For returning players following their 50-game suspensions, they should play for minimum wage. Not the current MLB minimum salary of $490,000, but the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Additionally all professional baseball players should be subjected to five random drug tests per season, at their own expense, of course.

And for the love of the game, keep the players’ union out of this mess, as they will only make it worse, further tarnishing the game many of us love so dearly. Yes, baseball is a business, and the players’ union has a job to zealously defend their clients, but some things should be above the business of the game.

Aside from Rodriguez and Braun, three other players have already served their suspensions: Melky Cabrera, OF, of the Toronto Blue Jays, Bartolo Colon, P, of the Oakland Athletics, and Yasmani Grandal, C, of the San Diego Padres.

Seven additional major leaguers and five minor leaguers have also been sentenced to, and accepted, their 50 game suspensions. From the bigs are Antonio Bastardo, R-P, of the Philadelphia Phillies, Everth Cabrera, SS, of the San Diego Padres, Francisco Cervelli, C, of the New York Yankees, Nelson Cruz, OF, of the Texas Rangers, Jesus Montero, C, of the Seattle Mariners, Jhonny Peralta, SS, of the Detroit Tigers, and Jordany Valdespin, OF, of the New York Mets, along with minor leauguers Fautino de los Santos, Sergio Escalona, Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, and Cesar Puello. The MLB players are eligible for post-season play should their teams make the playoffs, which is another mistake, as they should not be given such a reward for their deleterious behavior.

Rodriguez should be banned for life, a punishment with which former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent agrees. “I hope he does it,” Vincent said of Selig and punishment to be meted out before Monday, August 5. “It’s right for baseball.”

While that was not the ultimate decision handed down by MLB, Selig must garner an iron fist regarding substance use if he is ever to salvage his legacy as commissioner. And while this issue is certainly not about the salvation of Selig’s legacy, cleaning up the game of baseball, which is what gave the MLB its initial commissioner following the Black Sox scandal of 1919 in the first place, should be paramount.

A message must be sent not just to major and minor leaguers but to all those who play baseball and softball at any level of the game from little league through college. PEDs and steroids are body altering substances whose effects can be long term and far reaching, and most definitely injurious to the body.

Alex Rodriguez is merely a symptom of a greater problem in baseball. For the love of the game, Rodriguez must go and go now. His fellow PED users and any future ballplayer considering their use had better take heed to the ramifications of such actions. For the love of the game, let’s get the dopes and doping out, and get back to our old ball game.

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

Friday, August 2, 2013

Phony Scandals, Phony Leadership

Phony Scandals, Phony Leadership
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 2, 2013

With Bill Clinton, it was a steady stream of deny, deny, deny. Barack Obama has learned at the knee of his predecessor mastering to a new art form of divide, divide, divide – the country; distort, distort, distort – the truth; and deflect, deflect, deflect – the blame.

“An endless parade of distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals,” has been Obama’s oft-repeated mantra of late. The distractions have been the machinations of Obama and his minions themselves to take the American people away from the still failing economy, the embarrassing manner in which America behaves on the global stage, the “train wreck” (Sen. Max Baucus [D-MT]) that is Obamacare, and the all too real scandals.

Are the slaughter of four patriotic Americans and the subsequent cover up a phony scandal? Try selling that pile of steaming detritus to the families of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, along with information officer Sean Smith, massacred in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Let Benghazi be your moral compass when considering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

For nearly a year the Obama administration has done more to cover up this terrorist attack on American soil – the embassy, than Nixon and Watergate. And while not defending Nixon or the Watergate cover up, at least no one was murdered. No, no, Benghazi is a real scandal for which Obama and Clinton must answer – perhaps the same way Carlo had to answer for Santino.

Is it a phony scandal for a now former National Security Agency (NSA) to leak government information while the Obama administration loses, first track, then control of the traitor? Now Edward Snowden has been granted asylum in Russia, further embarrassing Obama. This is a genuine national security scandal.

Is it a phony scandal when the IRS specifically targets, snoops on, and violates the privacy and Fourth Amendment rights of conservative and pro-Israel groups and organizations? Is it a phony scandal to do likewise to members of the Associated Press and Fox News Channel as well as their families? Not only are these scandals, but a breach of faith between government and the fourth estate.

“Without a free press there can be no free society.” – Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1954

Is it a phony scandal for the United States to put weapons in the hands of Mexican drug lords in an attempt to track and capture them later? Try explaining that to the parents of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry who was murdered under the auspices of the Fast and Furious gun trafficking scandal.

Is it a phony scandal that Obama’s Justice Department, under the tepid leadership of Eric Holder, allowed members of the New Black Panther Party to intimidate potential voters in Philadelphia without penalty? Try telling that to the voters who left the polling places having not cast their precious votes and received no support from the so-called color blind Justice Department.

Obama can divide, distort, deflect, and even throw members of his own administration under the bus, or in his case, Air Force One, denying the adage of former President Harry Truman whose desk sign read “The buck stops here” all he wants.

Obama can posture all he wishes, denying the reality of these very real scandals, but he would do well to remember President Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Whopper of a Price for a Big Mac

A Whopper of a Price for a Big Mac
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
August 1, 2013

The union driven surge for fast food employees’ recent demands of a raise from a $7.25 an hour minimum wage to an unconscionable $15 an hour is demonstrative not of their ignorance, but of their desperation to keep alive a class warfare battle, that is really a product of poor education.

SEIU (Service Employees International Union), a huge supporter of Barack Obama throughout his political life, is the driving force behind this irresponsible demand of a $15 an hour wage for entry level workers, for whom a career should not be stunted, but launched.

Fast food employees of Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s in seven cities, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, Detroit, and Flint, MI are taking to the streets thinking they are indispensable in their minimum wage jobs. All managers should be on alert and have full staffs ready to step in the moment the current staffs walk off their jobs. Walking out is tantamount to job abandonment and currently unemployed folks will gladly take a $7.25 an hour job.

Make no mistake, I am not diminishing the workers, but the reality is, this is not brain surgery. No one mistakes fast food counter/kitchen jobs as anything more than what they are – either a temporary job for young people or a means to an end for someone wishing to have a career in the food service industry. No one gets rich in these jobs. They are an opportunity to garner experience in the work world, put some money in the pockets of the workers, and with hard work and diligence, could lead to promotions that will earn more money.

SEIU, as are most unions, is desperate to retain membership (translation, dues) and public relevance, thus their involvement, if not impetus, of the fast food workers’ arbitrary demands. The union knows this demand is unreasonable, because they understand the ramifications of what this demand would do to the fast food industry and the far reaching effects on the economy as a whole – they simply don’t care.

Were the fast food businesses foolish enough to more than double the pay of their workers, they would also need to raise the prices of their entire menu. Gone would be the dollar menus, budget menus, affordable children’s meals, snacks, and other treats. Fast food workers already complain they can’t afford the food they prepare and serve. Imagine the prices when paying workers $15 an hour.

Continuing to assume the stupidity of the fast food businesses, once they raise their prices, they will see a concomitant shrinking of their customer base, thus leading to the eventual laying off of those very workers making $15 an hour, who will then be earning zero dollars an hour. Those unemployed workers will then want to collect unemployment from the government, thus making more people dependent upon government, something with which unions have no problem.

Unions do not serve the purposes with which they were intended more than 100 years ago – fighting for workers’ rights, preventing children from being injured or killed in mines or jobs with small spaces and gears where only a child could fit, purporting the importance of insurance for workers, as well as calling for race and gender fairness. The government has taken over those purposes with child labor laws, as well as the advent of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Safety Administration).

Today, unions, by and large, are ubiquitous, unscrupulous, greed heads, lining their own pockets at the cost to society’s detriment – be it SEIU, any teachers’ union, or any union protecting bad workers and unnecessary jobs causing jobs to be lost overseas. An American worker employed at $7.25 an hour is better than an unemployed American worker whose job has been outsourced.

And as alluded to above, unions rely upon the uneducated and undereducated to pad their rolls. Educated people understand minimum wage jobs are dead ends should they treat them as such, instead of the potential stepping stone within a company or industry should a worker be ambitious, industrious, and possess a strong work ethic. This type of worker is a product of a good education and even good examples set at home by parents.

Once again, the structured family unit, a good work ethic, and a good education are the keys to success, not the weak demands of a union seeking to create a deeper divide amongst the classes. Without corporations, such jobs don’t exist, raising unemployment and making people more dependent on government. Without workers making unreasonable demands, such jobs will keep people employed and on a road to success, if they follow the above model.

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