Friday, June 13, 2014

What Southern Border?

What Southern Border?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 13, 2014

The confluence of just some of Barack Obama’s failings – Obamacare, the Veterans Administration scandal, and now the tens of thousands of children teeming across the southern border of this country, illegally, now held in refugee-like conditions are actually related as part of Obama’s pledge during his 2008 campaign to fundamentally change the United States of America.

This administration is pledging $2 billion to help the thousands and thousands of children who have no legal right to be in the United States – including legal aid to help what many in the so-called mainstream media are calling “young immigrants,” as if they were somehow forced by this country to come here.

Being held in deplorable conditions in places like Nogales, AZ and McAllen, TX where border agents are now being used as intake human resource administrators instead of doing their job, which, as it is, is damn near impossible as the resources they need have been sliced and diced as if by a Ginsu Knife ®, the children are both economic and political pawns in a dangerous chess game that can only be lost by all involved.

Illegal aliens, because the term undocumented immigrants suggests they have a right to be in the United States, but simply forgot to fill out some form, do not have legal standing in this country, yet Attorney General Eric Holder is undertaking a precedent-setting course of action to treat these people as welcome residents.

“We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” said Holder. Holder seems to have forgotten a little something called the rule of law. One would think the highest ranking attorney in this country would understand and uphold the laws of the land – this land – the United States; not Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, or any other country whose children have come here for purposes unknown.

Giving rights to the illegals does not strengthen the American justice system. It weakens it by delivering the message that those who can sneak into the United States can make their way through the legal system with the hopes of remaining in this country, claiming sanctuary in some form or another. And what rights are we protecting? Holder said we are protecting the rights of these children here illegally.

This current flood of unaccompanied children in the United States illegally has reached nearly 50,000, with predictions of another 50,000 before year end. This is a product of Obama’s open borders belief. While not saying he supports open borders, his actions have certainly spoken more loudly by the cuts made in border patrol agents.

Such an influx of unaccompanied minors will only lead to parents and other relatives clamoring for entrance into the United States to be with and claims to support their children. But in reality, they are coming here for the entitlements they know they can steal from the taxpayers of this country – both citizen and legal resident alike. Free education, but they won’t learn English – they’ll demand to be taught in their native language; food stamps they did not earn; welfare which they also did not earn; and of course medical care.

Doctors are being sent to the border, when instead they should be sent to every VA hospital in these United States to provide the long overdue medical care and attention the brave men and women who don the uniform of this country putting their lives on the line every day deserve – immediately. The disastrous way our veterans are being treated, or mistreated, is simply a microcosm of the abomination that is Obamacare.

Instead, what Obama should be sending to the border is the National Guard to rein in the chaos and havoc being wreaked by those who have no legal right to be here – a concept that can’t be stressed enough. These children, who somehow got to the United States, can certainly go back.

This is an issue that should not be emotional, but logical and pertaining to the rule of law. Those who cross the border without permission are here illegally, have broken the law, and must be returned to their country of origin. Yet, by nature of the fact that these are unaccompanied children, it becomes an emotional issue as painted by the far left media. The American people are seeing pictures of what look like Third World refugee camps in the Middle East, but are actually in the American Southwest, and yes, they not only tug, but yank at the heartstrings. How could they not?

But the United States cannot, should not, absorb any or all of these children. Yes, it is a sad story, but there is still the rule of law. Allowing the children will ultimately set a poor precedent for permitting their parents or other relatives to add to the welfare rolls, compete for jobs when unemployment continues to remain over 10 percent when considering those who have removed themselves from the job hunt.

The economic ramifications will be severe as greater job loss will be incurred, demands for entitlements will soar, further crowding will occur in hospitals, and schools as demands for free breakfast and lunch becomes even more costly than it already is. There will also be the health risks. We don’t know what infestations these children are bring across the border and how that will affect the children with whom they interact in the schools and elsewhere.

This administration will never deport these children; for they are the political pawns alluded to earlier. They will eventually be absorbed with their families, as Obama’s lawlessness will become a unilateral and illegal granting of amnesty for this current crop of invaders along with the other 12 to 20 million already in the United States. Those granted amnesty will eventually become voters pledging their allegiance to the Democrats, who would loyally vote for candidates who forever keep them as a permanent underclass with the promises of entitlement and cradle to grave government care.

The emotionality of this issue must be removed and the rule of law enforced. Those here illegally must be fingerprinted, photographed, and sent home – yes, deported. There it is – the dirty magic word – deportation. This is not the 1930s and 1940s Nazi-era-style deportation. Under the Nazis, millions of legal Jewish citizens were deported to concentrations camps leading to certain slaughter. They had not invaded any country seeking entitlements and unearned benefits, as this crop of illegals is doing.

We, the law abiding citizens and legal residents of the United States welcome legal immigrants who come to the United States through the front door the way our own ancestors did via Ellis Island and other legal ports of call.

They came with a dream of a better life through education and hard work. They did not demand that the rest of America learn Italian, Greek, Russian, Polish, Magyar, or Yiddish. They struggled to learn English and did so with pride. Today it is just the opposite with demands for government documents to be printed in myriad languages. The legal immigrants of the late 1800s through early 1900s came with the promise of a job and a sponsor or they were sent back. Today it is just the opposite with demands for welfare. The legal immigrants of the late 19th-early 20th centuries were required to submit to a medical examination. If they failed, they were either sent back to their country of origin or quarantined until able to join their family and/or sponsor. Today it is just the opposite as we are told we can’t discriminate against those with disease or illness. They come demanding free health care, only ratcheting up the costs to the taxpayers – costs which Obama claims would be reduced under a single-payer, European-style system that is failing on the other side of the Atlantic.

But make no mistake, the issue of illegal aliens and amnesty was not born under the Obama administration, he simply waved the white flag of surrender. President Ronald Reagan, one of my three political heroes, unfortunately granted what was supposed to be the amnesty to end all amnesties in 1986. That clearly failed and the floodgates remained open. Liberals take great joy in citing the Reagan amnesty, but in their ignorance simply perpetuate the reasons as to why amnesty is terribly wrong.

All presidents since John Adams inherited the problems of their predecessors. How they handle them is part of what defines them and their legacy. Reagan handled Carter’s failings, and there were many, by not complaining, but instead by rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on day one fixing the economy, restoring pride and dignity to the United States, and returning us to the status of global leader and world power.

While Reagan lifted the United States out of the malaise that was the Carter administration, Obama is doing all he can to diminish the United States in the eyes of the world, and sadly, he is succeeding. This is not his failing, but instead, his goal as per the Rules for Radicals written by his mentor Saul Alinsky.

Obama continues to be on the wrong side of the most important issues facing the American people, and at costs too great for the United States to sustain. He must be held accountable – even via impeachment for the laws he has broken – the cover up pertaining to Benghazi (addressed in a previous column), the cover up pertaining to the VA hospitals (to be addressed in an upcoming column), as well as the failure to give the Congress the appropriate 30 day notice regarding the trade of GITMO detainees in the unconscionable Bowe Bergdahl deal with the Taliban (also to be addressed in a future column).

Obama’s continued threat to use his telephone and pen to enact the executive orders in place of legislation he knows would never pass the House of Representatives must be silenced. The House must have the temerity to do what is right, and not what may be expedient or popular simply because the media declares it to be so.

Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) just lost his seat in an overwhelming primary defeat at the hands of Dave Brat because Cantor was too in bed with Obama on amnesty for illegals as well as losing touch with his constituents back home, a mere two and one half hour drive from the Capitol Building. It is not racist to follow the rule of law.

The establishment had better be paying attention or they will also find themselves unemployed, but if that means electing new members possessing a backbone, bring them on, and send the illegals home. With the drive and determination that they used to get to the United States, they should strive to make their home countries places to stay, work, play, and prosper.

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cantor Loss Sings Volumes

Cantor Loss Sings Volumes
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 11, 2014

I like Eric Cantor. I’ve talked with him numerous times and he’s a good guy – a genuine mensch. However, to quote the cantankerous and irascible baseball manager Leo “the Lip” Durocher, “nice guys finish last.”

Nearing the end of his seventh term in Congress representing Virginia’s seventh district, Eric Cantor was defeated in a Republican primary – the first House Majority Leader so vanquished since the advent of that post in 1899.

Cantor’s defeat can be attributed to both the amnesty for illegals issue as well as his losing touch with his constituents in the Richmond suburbs. And sadly, he is on the wrong side of both, as political newcomer Dave Brat proved in his stunning 55.45 percent to 45.55 percent trouncing of the second highest ranking Republican in Congress.

Considering Cantor’s district is but a couple hours drive south of DC, and not half a day by plane in  places like California or Montana, he had no excuse, especially since Cantor returned home each week. But the voters felt Cantor lost sight of the fact that “all politics is local,” as the late Speaker of the House, Thomas P. “Tip” O ‘Neill (D-MA) oft-quipped.

Eric Cantor is a “world class legislator of great integrity,” said fellow GOP House member Chris Smith of New Jersey.

Cantor’s loss sends shockwaves, not just through Virginia or the GOP, but the entire body politic that should put the establishment on notice.

While many in the media will paint Brat as a far right TEA Party loon, all one need do is hear Brat’s words; read his positions as they are everyday issues about which the average American cares.

“I ran on free markets, the rule of law, immigration, property rights, and free market constitutional issues. I don’t think those are left or right issues. I don’t think many people in DC know what free markets are,” said Brat, in a post-primary interview with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel.

“We have to take free markets seriously; simplify the tax code,” which is pro-growth and will restore jobs, said Brat, 49, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland since 1996, when he moved to Virginia.

Originally from Alma, MI, Brat, a Roman Catholic, is married to wife Laura and the couple have two children, Jonathan and Sophia. Brat earned his Bachelors in Business Administration from Hope College, a Masters in Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Economics from American University. Brat has never held public office, yet made an unsuccessful attempt at a Virginia House of Delegates seat in 2011. In this race he earned vigorous support from conservative radio hosts Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham, which along with his solid door to door grassroots effort proved indefatigable against Cantor’s huge financial advantage. Cantor spent more than $5 million to Brat’s roughly $200,000, proving, as Brat said, “money doesn’t vote, people vote.”

Perhaps an economics professor is just what the House needs. Brat correctly campaigned on issues such as the bloated budget and deficit, noting that the nation is $17 trillion in debt with $127 trillion in unfunded liabilities. “No leader on either side [of the aisle] is mentioning this [and] I have based my campaign on this issue,” said Brat, who will face off against Jack Trammell, another Randolph-Macon professor, this November.

Most every federal program is insolvent, suggested Brat, reminding people that the central government in Washington, DC is designed to be limited. “The 10th Amendment is the big one; the Constitution has enumerated powers belonging to the federal government. All the rest of the powers belong to the states and the people,” said Brat at his victory celebration Tuesday night.

In addition to debt, simplifying the tax code, and free markets, Brat noted the economics of Obamacare as a problem. He said it is important to separate  health care from insurance; that the people need to understand the price system and see the true bottom line. He cited, for example, that a person shows up at the doctor with the sniffles and pays a $20 co-pay, when the reality of that office visit costs $200.

But Brat singled out immigration as a vital issue needing serious attention. “Closing the border is very important,” said Brat, adding that it is necessary to get our own house in order. “We’re out of control there,” said Brat.

Hopefully, the defeat of Cantor will make comprehensive immigration reform DOA should it reach a vote on the House floor. This should send a message, that the rank and file – the voters, are tired of Executive Orders and Obama’s threats to use his phone and pen to achieve his goals whether inside or outside his purview as president or the rule of law.

“No other House Republican will want to end up like Cantor,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Cantor will step down as Majority Leader effective July 31.

“He won because people don’t want illegal immigration,” said Midlothian, VA resident and Brat volunteer Laurie Kalata. Clearly this is the spring of the voters discontent.

Sadly Cantor took too much of an amnesty view on the issue of illegal immigration – too willing to compromise with Obama. This is an issue where there should be no compromise. It should not be emotional, but instead logical and within the rule of law. Those who cross the border without permission are in the United States illegally, have broken the law, have no legal right to be here, and should be returned to their country of origin. (Yes, there is the emotional aspect of this issue clearly on display thanks to the media, particularly in recent weeks with the overrun of the southern border by unaccompanied children. More to follow on that issue in a separate column.)

“I will make Washington, DC as irrelevant to your everyday life as possible,” said Brat.

Was the defeat of Cantor an anomaly? Time will tell as the November midterm elections are but five months away.

Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige said “don’t look back, something  may be gaining on you.” Perhaps it is high time the establishment in Washington take a little peek.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. Prior to Indiana, Horn lived in Virginia and was politically active there.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

D-Day at 70; Missing Reagan for 10

D-Day at 70; Missing Reagan for 10
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 5, 2014

“We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.”

Former President Ronald Reagan spoke those words on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1984, at the site of the US Ranger Monument, Pointe du Hoc, on the northern coast of France. In addition to his riveting speech, Reagan unveiled plaques to memorialize the 2nd and 5th US Army Ranger Battalions, then, he and his wife, Nancy, personally greeted each of the veterans.

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war,” continued Reagan.

Thirty years later, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, there are precious few of those heroes still with us. They must and will be remembered for their actions that saved a continent from falling into the hands of a certain few deviant slaughterers hell bent on sterilizing the planet in their own warped images. These heroes are part of the much vaunted “Greatest Generation” – dedicated to a cause greater than themselves.

The landing at Omaha Beach and four other locales over a 50 mile span was the beginning of the end of the European segment of World War II. On this date 156,000-plus American, British, and Canadian troops hit hard the shores of those five beaches – initially suffering unprecedented casualties prior to wresting control from Nazi Germany.

Over 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft participated in the invasion where more than 4,000 Allied soldiers were killed and another 5,000 were wounded within the immediacy of the landings. This was a heavy price to pay, but was the turning point in defeating Hitler, Nazism, and Fascism.

From the time of the D-Day landing through late August 1944, the Allied troops liberated northern France, including Paris. By May 1945, the Allies defeated Nazi Germany and the Axis powers of Europe.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you,” said Reagan in the 1984 speech.

Drafted into the Army shortly after the United States entered the war in December 1941, Reagan was not permitted to the front lines due to his near-sightedness. Instead, Reagan worked for the Motion Picture Army Unit producing training and propaganda films. For my impressions of Ronald Reagan: 

“Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died,” concluded Reagan who died, ironically, June 5, 2004, one day prior to the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

May we and future generations never forget the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and may the losses of those who made the ultimate sacrifice not have been in vain.

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