Sunday, October 28, 2018

Pogrom in Pittsburgh

Pogrom in Pittsburgh
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 28, 2018

Shouting “all Jews must die,” a deranged 46-year old male, with nothing but evil in the chest cavity where a heart should be located, and armed with four guns, began firing upon the Tree of Life-Or L’simcha synagogue congregation in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, observing Shabbat and celebrating the naming of a newborn baby.

The end result of the carnage left 11 dead and six wounded - four of whom are heroic police officers confronting the worst attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. The  murdered ranged in ages from 54 to 97, including a pair of brothers, and a married couple who received their nuptials at that very shul.

Coming off a week that seemed to conclude with the capture of an alleged sender of more than a dozen pipe-bombs and other suspicious packages to prominent and elected people, Shabbat, the day of rest in the Jewish community should have provided a much needed respite. Not linking these activities or perpetrators other than by the nature of their incivility and dastardly deeds, we are at a tipping point in this country where discourse and the value and sanctity of life are concerned.

For millennia the Jewish people have been the canary in the coal mine - there’s never an off-season where anti-Semitism is concerned. From centuries of enslavement in Egypt and the Spanish Inquisition, to pogroms in Russia and Poland and the Holocaust of European Jewry which witnessed the slaughter of six million innocents, the Jews, simply by worshipping differently, sometimes dining differently, even dressing differently, have chosen to live life as G-d has commanded.

In the United States, where freedoms reign, and the Jewish people have assimilated, anti-Semitic acts still account for the greatest number of bias crimes against any minority group; and while few consider the Jewish people a minority group, the Jewish population in the United States is roughly 1.5 percent. In that, it’s a conundrum - a wealth of freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to protect oneself with a firearm - yet those freedoms are used against us as a free people. One’s freedom of speech ends when it becomes a clear and present danger to others’ safety and lives. One’s right to use a firearm ends when it is used in the commission of a crime. It is incumbent upon the speaker and user to know where that line is and to not cross it.

This is why the United States is a nation of laws, including the use of the death penalty, which I support, and President Donald Trump has called for in this case, even calling for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which has an execution moratorium, to reinstate it. In the eyes of a wicked act of pure evil, the ultimate punishment should be assessed. 

“This is an assault on all of us; an assault on humanity,” said Trump. “Monstrous killing of Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us - it will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world - this scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored; cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue,” he added, calling for the perpetrator to pay the ultimate price.

“What happened in Pittsburgh today was not just criminal - it was evil - an attack on innocent Americans and an assault on our freedom of religion,” said Vice President Mike Pence. “There’s no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism, and this evil must end,” he added.

The perpetrator is being charged with hate crimes versus domestic terrorism, although it won’t matter to the families of the victims. Clearly, acts of domestic terror were carried out as the captured suspect carried an AR-15 semi-automatic gun along with three Glock handguns into the synagogue. He will face 11 counts of homicide and 11 counts of obstruction of religious worship - state charges, as well as 29 federal charges which absolutely put the death penalty on the table.

Trump also called for increased security, such as armed guards, to ward off potential domestic terrorists. Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto (D) disagreed, suggesting that removing firearms from potential murderers would be the better option. Unless someone telegraphs their future actions, mere words of hatred, which are legal, are not enough to deny someone their Second Amendment rights. Armed security guards are already employed at many of the mega-churches for Sundays and holidays, as well as synagogues during the High Holiday period of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There is nothing wrong with employing piece of mind allowing people to worship freely. 

Let not the actions of an evil individual keep us from our houses of worship. Be resolved to attend them more often and more regularly to pray to the One G-d who created us to live on this planet in peace and harmony. Maintain the fervent G-d given wisdom to be ever vigilant of our enemies who have not learned that our churches and synagogues will never turn into killing fields, and remain steadfast in the safety and comfort of the L-rd and His Blessings.

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

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sovereignty is Not Racism

Sovereignty is Not Racism
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 21, 2018

A sovereign nation, being just that, has the right, nay, the responsibility to protect its citizenry, its borders, its language, its culture, its history, and most assuredly, its future.

President Donald Trump understands this. “As you know, I am willing to send our military to defend our southern border; all because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought on by the Democrats because they refuse to change the laws,” said Trump in these words and similar statements for days since the caravan-army of people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has begun its march to the United States.

Now, before all the liberal progressives get all weepy-eyed over the prospect of mothers and children separated from one another, consider the following. No one is forcing these people to take such a life-threatening trek through Central America. They, for the most part, are admitting taking this trek for economic opportunities and not the religious persecution that beset the Jews of Europe during World War II, who were summarily refused entry during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt. (They were sent back to Europe to be slaughtered in the concentration camps by the Nazis.) Also, look carefully - the  majority of these invaders - and that’s what they are - people attempting to gain access to the United States without permission - are able bodied males ages 18-30. These are the people who should be at home attempting to make their native land a better place for their own people.

Are there problems in the aforementioned Central American countries? Yes, there are, and it is the responsibility of their people to fix those problems, just as Americans attempt to fix the problems faced at home in the United States. It’s one thing to be empathetic and even have compassion for these folks, but the United States simply cannot house seven-plus billion people from around the globe.

Should the United States admit the millions of suffering Venezuelans? (By the way, all you supporters of socialism, live in that country before declaring your support for such a way of life.) How about the North Koreans? Angolans? Cubans? Chinese? Sudanese? Iranians? Saudis? How about we fix the plight of the AMERICAN Indians first. I’m an American patriot, but face facts, this country sure did a number on the First Americans.

If life is so horrible for the people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, why are so many of this invading caravan carrying flags of their native countries? If they have Guatemalan pride, great - stay there and make Guatemala a nation of which to be proud. People so desperate to sneak into the United States at the cost of being sent back, contained in a holding cell, denied companionship with their children, must really want to become Americans. But do they? Consider the wide range of demands these criminal invaders make upon slithering across the border - free medical coverage, free education, food stamps, demands of Americans to speak their language - mostly Spanish, even driver’s licences. Also consider that among the invaders no doubt include members of the vicious gang of animals, MS-13. Yet another reason ICE must remain the vital agency it is.

This invasion is nothing new - there are more than 20 million illegal aliens in the United States - don’t believe the government that is willing to admit there are around 12 million. The amnesty granted during the Reagan administration was a colossal failure - three million during the 1980s, and that did not stem the tide as the carrot was granted but the stick never came. It seems the United States has still, three decades and millions of illegals later, not learned its lesson.

The illegals today are so brazen as to announce they are here illegally, knowing there is little punishment that will befall them. They take seats in American public schools, beds in American hospitals, jobs in American restaurants, food stamps meant for struggling American citizens, with little desire to learn English, or follow the rule of law. Where is the demand for proof of legal residency or citizenship when applying for benefits or jobs? President Trump is mostly correct when blaming the Democrats. The Democrats want instant citizenship and voting rights bestowed upon these illegals as if that is some right they have. No, they have no rights - they are criminals simply by stepping on to American soil. The Republicans are complicit as well as they see illegals as a source of cheap labor benefiting businesses in the United States.

As for complicity, that large independent sovereign nation sandwiched between the United States and Central America is most definitely complicit - yes, Mexico. Just dealing with this current caravan of invaders, why Mexico isn’t forcing them back south of their own border is disconcerting. Perhaps the weaker the United States becomes, will make it even easier for Mexico to complete their own invasion of this country, and this is not hyperbole. Does anyone think that the illegals swarming the southern border are the best and brightest Mexico has to offer? 

Consider the Mariel Boatlift invasion of Cubans in 1980 - many incarcerated until Fidel Castro opened prison gates - thousands of whom willing to risk their lives traversing the 90-some miles from Cuba to Florida. In less than half a year roughly 125,000 Cubans managed to reach shore. If they could reach land, they could seek asylum, if not, they could be sent back. Once again, were these the best and brightest Castro willingly released?

A merit-based system must be employed, just as is done in Canada. That’s right - Canada - that nation the Hollywood progressives vow to move to after every election, but never actually do. Perhaps they attempted to do so, but Canada is smart enough to realize those Holly-weird-os don’t merit the approval.

As a sovereign nation, the United States has the right to determine who gains access to American soil and the American way of life. Those who have something to contribute to American culture and society and make America better today than it was yesterday. This migrant caravan has no right to gain entry into the United States - they are literally attempting to invade the United States. If they wish to become American so badly, there is a right and legal manner in which to do so. My maternal great-grandparents did so from Austria-Hungary. My paternal grandparents did so from Austria and Russia. My mother-in-law did so from Peru - and I was witness to her swearing-in ceremony at the courthouse in Indianapolis when she was given a special American flag - a flag she displays with pride. She couldn’t wait to vote - she was for Trump before I was for Trump. (By the way, Hillary, this man did not tell his wife and mother-in-law how to vote!)

Yes, the military most assuredly must be deployed to the border post haste. Closer investigations must be made as to the children crossing the border - human trafficking and sex trafficking is increasing as many people are crossing claiming the children to be theirs when, sadly, they are pawns to gain access to the United States then trafficked for a price. This criminal enterprise must be stopped, and denying access into the United States is one way to accomplish this. Disincentivizing these people is a start - ensure they are allowed nothing for being in the United States illegally. It may sound callous and heartless, but as a sovereign nation, it is the right of the United States to determine who is and who is not allowed entrance. 

Deny financial aid to the countries complicit in this and future invasions. Congress must be called into emergency session to amend laws that require allowing so-called refugees into the country and granted a hearing in the courts. The courts are so backlogged with these cases it will be years before they are adjudicated. In the meanwhile, what is the policy? The failed catch and release. More than 90 percent of those with court dates fail to show up for their hearings. If that doesn’t indicate a failed system, then clearly math is not their strong subject, but that’s an issue for another column.

The immigration laws in the United States are so antiquated, their failings date back to the ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868. Section 1 avers “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The purpose of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was to confirm citizenship on freed blacks having suffered and endured the degradation of slavery. Today, that section of that amendment has been bastardized to suggest that lawbreakers have rights. The children of illegals are being granted citizenship by the very nature of having been born on American soil. Like fruit of the poisonous tree, when ill-gotten evidence is denied entry into a court trial, so too should the acts of illegals be denied when considering the citizenship of their children. The 14th Amendment must itself be amended.

Additionally, the military - all branches, should be deployed to the southern border to repel those seeking illegal entry into the United States. For those who believe such people have a legal right to invade our borders, how many would you like to house, employ, and financially support on your own - and not on the backs of the taxpayers?

An interesting irony comes to mind - The Ugly American - a novel published in 1958 by William Lederer (1912-2009), a US Naval Academy graduate. Spoiler alert: the book details failed American diplomacy in Southeast Asia. (Still worth the read.) In The Ugly American the Asians wanted to be left alone and not told how to live by the so-called all-knowing Americans who thought they knew what was best for these folks they deemed inferior because they lacked the desire to live as Americans. The irony is that in 2018, for the most part, the people fleeing from their downtrodden nations, to use a word Trump could have used instead of his chosen verbiage, want the American way of life and if they adopted it at home, their nations could improve. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.

However, the despotic nature of these Central American and quite a few South American nations, precludes improvement save for violent overthrow of these so-called governments. While the United States cannot provide for the world, nor should it, if asked by people seeking to improve their lots in life in their own countries, there are enough people in the United States willing to see progress made overseas and lift those boats. 

The Peace Corps, established in 1961 under the John F. Kennedy administration had three goals: “to help the peoples of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” Perhaps the Peace Corps with some extended muscle could help provide the wanting nations of the world their American dream at home - their El Salvadorian dream, Guatemalan dream, their Honduran dream, their Mexican dream - instead of invading the United States giving everyone a graven nightmare.

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

ROE-ing Against the Tide

ROE-ing Against the Tide
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 4, 2018

As I wrote in my most recent column, “Sexism v. Rule of Law,”, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are attempting to protect the accusers of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, while the Republicans on that same committee are protecting the process.

In reality, both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh have been treated miserably. She, a useful tool of the liberals and progressives, he the punching bag by the same groups. The bottom line during this mishegas is no one will emerge the winner. It’s akin to attempting to pick a turd by its clean end.

Make no mistake, I am not equating Ford, et al with Kavanaugh. I truly believe something happened to Ford and possibly to Deborah Ramirez, but I also believe not at the hands of Kavanaugh. The Democrats have handled the Kavanaugh hearings with a search and destroy mission, taking no prisoners to the deleterious effects on the wife and young daughters of Kavanaugh. Even some miserable political cartoonist took potshots at one of Kavanaugh’s daughters.

The be all, end all, for the Democrats and their minions is the preservation of the much vaunted Roe v. Wade (1973) - despite the fact it should have been a states’ rights issue from jump. Nothing is more important than ensuring women have the legal right to murder their unborn child, and the sanctimony by which the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have attacked Kavanaugh is demonstrative of how the Roe crowd owns these lemmings.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who fortunately does not sit on the Judiciary Committee, announced he would do whatever it takes to keep President Donald Trump’s nominee from being seated on the Supreme Court. This pronouncement came before the nomination of Kavanaugh. Is this how the non-partisan process of Supreme Court nominations works?

From within the committee, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a potential candidate for president in 2020, hypocritically vigorously chastised Kavanaugh for actions that have yet to be proven, even after seven FBI investigations. Hypocritically, because Booker is an admitted gropper and assaulter of women.

Then there is the equally smarmy Senator Dick Blumenthal (D-CT). Trump should give him the nickname of “Stolen Valor Dick,” because for years he lied about serving his country in the military overseas in Vietnam. Liar, liar, pantalones en fuego, Dick!

When the accusations of Ford, et al could not be corroborated by witnesses, the Democrats demanded an additional FBI investigation - the seventh. In the interim, the Democrats shifted gears and attacked Kavanaugh for his drinking and his temperament. Is Kavanaugh the only Supreme Court nominee to enjoy a few adult beverages? Hardly. Don’t tell me Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t knocking back some Manischewitz from time to time. Yes, Kavanaugh enjoys his beer. Should that disqualify him from the Supreme Court? As for Kavanaugh’s temperament, the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee goaded him into speaking with strength and vigor in his voice. Accuse me of unspeakable behavior and rest assured the response would not be some weak-kneed, mealy-mouthed, mousey, undertoned denial. No, the vehement denial would be heard from the mountaintops, and rightfully so. Rightful indignation, if not righteous.

Now that the FBI conducted their most recent investigation, and finding nothing new, the Democrats are flummoxed and attempting to find yet another manner in which to move the goalposts as the clock keeps ticking toward the November 6 midterm elections. Believing chicanery has occurred, the same Democrats who demanded this FBI inquiry - Booker, Blumenthal, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are leading the disingenuous parade suggesting collusion between the FBI and the Trump administration. Apparently the FBI, because it could not prove what the Democrats wanted, is now organization non grata to them.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said “this is a sham. Don’t take the FBI’s word.” So the umpire rules against Kaine’s team, he decides to take his ball and go home like a petulant three year old.

Trump also needs to be chastised for mocking Ford while speaking at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night. Granted, her memory has been fuzzy at best regarding virtually any detail other than it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her, but Trump, as is his wont, went overboard during the rally, a setting he takes to as a duck does to water.

To be fair, the additional FBI probe was the right course of action, as was holding the hearing to learn what Ford had to say in the first place. Let there be no doubt, or as little doubt as possible considering the decades-old allegations are virtually impossible to prove sans legitimate witnesses. However, in spite of the FBI’s latest report, Kavanaugh’s reputation will forever remain sullied, unable to be restored in the court of public opinion.

Even the ACLU, an organization famously known for supporting the free speech rights of neo-Nazis, has sold out - hypocritically presuming the guilt of Kavanaugh before his innocence is proven. Isn’t that backwards as far as the United States Constitution is concerned? It is, except where white males are concerned. It is, except where the preservation of the almighty abortion is concerned - after all the progressive left is ROE-ing against the tide, especially at a time where medical science proves the viability of the fetus at earlier and earlier ages, and more and more people are opposing abortion - thank G-d. Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood continues waging its war against Kavanaugh; and make no mistake, this is a bloodbath in its continuation.

“With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born,” said Ronald Reagan.

Yet, there is the ACLU preaching integrity while linking Kavanaugh to the convicted and disgraced actor Bill Cosby - a clear case of guilt by - lack of association? I say guilt by genitalia - men’s only. In fact, Faiz Shakir, the national Political DIrector with the ACLU said Kavanaugh is not entitled to the presumption of innocence just Thursday evening on the Fox News program Tucker Carlson Tonight. This is a matter of guilt via vilification and equal justice under the law is a thing of the past.

This is a dangerous path this nation is traversing; or should I say goose-stepping. A dangerous precedent is hovering overhead like a black cloud and its talons have already reached college campuses.

At the University of Southern California, Professor James Moore had the audacity to defend the centuries old innocent until proven guilty. More than 100 students called for Moore’s dismissal. Making matters infinitely worse, Dean Jack Knott defended the students against Moore. 

“Accusers sometimes lie,” Moore wrote responding to an email calling for all victims to be believed, thus incurring the wrath of students clearly having no knowledge of the Constitution regarding both the presumption of innocence as well as Moore’s First Amendment right of free speech, calling for his firing for such an insensitive email. (As for lying accusers, see my “Sexism…” column for examples.)

Dean Knott’s brainstem apparently is tied in knots as he offered a full-throated rebuke against Moore and support of the students. “What [Moore] sent was extremely inappropriate, hurtful, insensitive,” [Knotts] said. “We are going to try to do everything we can to try to create a better school, to educate the faculty. This is going to be a multi-pronged effort. We are going to have a faculty meeting later this week around implicit bias, sensitivity towards survivors.”

But here’s the rub regarding this ROE-ing against the tide. There is a growing support for Kavanaugh amongst women, and the suggested Blue Wave presumed to be heading this way for the November 6 midterm may either be nothing more than a trickle or the growing anger of conservatives will stem that tide altogether.

More and more women are infuriated not only by the treatment of Kavanaugh, but how the long term implications may affect their sons. A mere accusation will mar a male’s reputation for life, impact their ability to secure gainful employment, engage in meaningful relationships, or simply interact with women in any setting for fear of an allegation for any action real or imagined. This will ultimately lead to the greater straining of relations between the genders - of which there are still but two, by the way.

“Like the 2016 Trump silent majority laying beneath the polls which oversampled Democrats, women just might be ready to lash out against Democrats this November,” wrote Emma Green with The Atlantic. “These women are infuriated with the way the sexual-assault allegations against… Kavanaugh have been handled. They are not convinced by Ford or any other woman who has come forward. They resent the implication that all women should support the accusers. And they believe that this scandal will ultimately hurt the cause of women who have been sexually assaulted."

These mistaken notions that all accusers must be believed all the time and that each of the accused are now required to prove their innocence under the presumption of guilt run completely antithetical to the founding of this great nation. Once that foundation crumbles, so to will the entirety of the republic, and ultimately civilization as it is known. Make no mistake, this not hyperbole as the eyes of the world are typically upon the United States. Our freedoms; our rights; our sons and daughters futures are at stake.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free,” said Reagan.

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