Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Trump Continues Fighting Anti-Semitism

Trump Continues Fighting Anti-Semitism
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 11, 2019

On the heels of yet another act of anti-Semitic violence, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on Wednesday, December 11 before a group of bi-partisan supporters of that order, in the White House, that protects against “anti-Semitic discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.”

The Executive Order pertaining to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes potential recriminations against colleges and universities that receive federal funding. Those colleges and universities not protecting students, faculty, and staff on campus subjected to anti-Semitism risk losing that federal funding.

In recent years there has been growing support on myriad campuses for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement as well as illogically referring to Israel as an apartheid state. While this growing support for the BDS Movement is creating a toxic atmosphere on numerous campuses, Congress for the most part, opposes BDS on a bi-partisan basis.

However, 16 Democrats in Congress voted in favor of legislation supporting the BDS Movement, going so far to ignorantly, and with more than a modicum of chutzpah, compared support for Israel to support for Nazi Germany. Those Democrats are:

Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon
Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana
Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan
Rep. Jesús G. "Chuy" García of Illinois
Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona
Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington
Rep. Barbara Lee of California
Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota
Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota
Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine
Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin
Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey

“The vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears,” said Trump.

Anti-Semitism has been on a sharp incline throughout this decade, particularly on college campuses. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tracks acts of anti-Semitism on college campuses among other venues. In 2017, there were 204 reported acts of anti-Semitism on campuses, and 201 in 2018.

The Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service has facilitated 17 forums since September 2018 focused on protecting houses of worship and preventing hate crimes. One such forum was held at my synagogue, the site of an anti-Semitic crime. Fortunately, no one suffered any physical injuries, unlike the recent spate of synagogue shootings in the last 14 months. On October 27, 2018 at the Tree of Life - Or L’Simcha Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh an attack during Shabbat services saw 11 congregants murdered in the worst anti-Semitic attack in United States history. Of the six others injured, four were police officers. Six months later, to the day, on April 27, 2019, the last day of Passover, also on Shabbat, one congregant was murdered, and three others injured at the Chabad of Poway, CA, north of San Diego.

Hopefully the Executive Order which pertains to venues both on and off campus, will help stem the tide of anti-Semitic crimes. This Executive Order received praise from the ADL, American Jewish Committee, World Jewish Congress, and the Zionist Organization of America - running the gamut from left to right.

The anti-Semitic violence referenced above, occured one day prior to the already scheduled Executive Order signed by President Trump. Four people were murdered in Jersey City - three at the JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive, and near a cemetery in Jersey City, a police detective, Joseph Seals, 40, a 15 year veteran of the force, and the married father of five children.

With the winter holiday season of Chanukah and Christmas right around the corner, perhaps some good cheer, good wishes, and good will to all mankind are absolutely in order.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Daily Northwestern Apologizes for Accuracy

Daily Northwestern Apologizes for Accuracy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 13, 2019

If journalism has been dying a slow and painful death over the past couple decades, the student newspaper at Northwestern University just slammed the last nail into the coffin. Apparently the most egregious act The Daily Northwestern committed in recent days was to apologize for doing its job - and doing it well.

Former United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech on the Northwestern campus in Evanston, IL on Tuesday, November 5 at the behest of the College Republicans. Met by both students interested in hearing what Sessions had to say as well as those whose presence was only an attempt to prevent the speech from occurring, the student-run campus newspaper certainly had plenty about which to report. 

Amazingly, Northwestern University reporter Daisy Conant did just that - she reported what she saw and heard that evening. Sessions did, in fact, speak, at Lutkin Hall - “The Real Meaning of the Trump Agenda,” the title of his prepared remarks. Conant noted the content of Sessions’ speech, the vulgarities spewed at Sessions by the protesters attempting to gain access to Lutkin Hall, which had security to prevent any out of hand and illegal behavior. Conant did her job rather well in covering the event, compete with quotes from several students who attended Sessions’ speech and subsequent question and answer session.

Medill School of Journalism freshman Margaret Fleming attended the event with an open mind. “It’s hard because the people who I hold the same political views with are the ones protesting,” said Fleming. She added that a speaking event held by the College Democrats earlier in the semester did not produce the same belligerence and bellicosity. That is typically the case, as conservatives support the First Amendment, while far too many liberals and progressives are on record in a number of recent polls calling for the First Amendment to be rewritten limiting free speech - a dangerous road to travel.

After an accurate article appeared in The Daily Northwestern, complete with photographs of the event both inside and outside of Lutkin Hall, is when the snowflake brigade became apoplectic and outraged - not by any inaccuracies in the article, but because the article and photos were accurate. Apparently the truth hurts. So much so, the student newspaper actually apologized.

Apologized for what? For doing its job? For writing accurate copy? For publishing pictures depicting the events as they actually happened during the Sessions visit? This genuinely seems like the tail wagging the dog.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe… we failed to do that last week, and we could not be more sorry,” wrote the editors of the paper in their apology delivered from their knees. That is not the responsibility of a newspaper - protecting its subjects, instead the job is to reveal the actions and the words of those subjects - informing the greater public of events to which they themselves were not personally privy. The apology editorial called the Sessions visit a “traumatic event.” Who was traumatized? And how?

A myriad protesters objected to their pictures being in the newspaper; calling it an invasion of their privacy. Theirs was a public protest, where there is no expectation of privacy whatsoever. The protesters must bear responsibility for their own actions. Other protesters objected to reporters using the Northwestern student directory to contact them and interview them about the event and their role in it. That is the job of a reporter.

“Some protesters found photos posted to reporters’ Twitter accounts retraumatizing and invasive. Photos have been taken down,” continued the apology editorial. The paper continued its genuflecting apology for using the student directory “to obtain phone numbers for students, texted them to ask if they’d be willing to be interviewed. We recognize being contacted like this is an invasion of privacy, and we’ve spoken to those reporters - along with our entire staff - and about the correct way to reach out to students for stories.” 

Take the word of a veteran newspaper reporter/journalist: the way those Northwestern students tackled their task of garnering comments for their article was spot on. Nothing wrong with their methods. Not one student was forced to consent to an interview, nor are they required to do so at any time. Once again, and this must be stressed, with their contact information in the student directory, students in no way should have any level of an expectation of privacy.

The apology issued by the editors of The Daily Northwestern should never have been written or published.  If anything, the editors should have doubled-down and defended its reporters.This weak-kneed admission of guilt or some sense of seeking absolution from the student body had no place in theirs, or any other newspaper. If this is the direction of the future of “journalism,” may G-d help the United States. Readers will never again be able to trust what they read for the reporters may be protecting someone’s delicate sensibilities.

If reporters and journalists are going to be censored in what they can and cannot write and print based upon a level of hurt feelings, or whether or not their language is incendiary to even one potential reader, the profession cannot survive. Additionally, a petition signed by roughly 650 students condemning The Daily Northwestern, “for choosing to put our students in jeopardy.” How exactly did a newspaper article and photos of a public event put anyone in jeopardy?

Northwestern is not the only campus with a student body possessing a collective weak stomach for attempts at truthful reporting. Harvard’s Student Government Association took umbrage with, and condemned its own student newspaper, for simply attempting to elicit a comment from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on a story. Unbelievable, a reporter actually doing his or her due diligence. The condemnation came just for the attempt to contact. No endorsement of ICE appeared in the newspaper.

Furthermore, half of millennials believe so-called “hate speech” should be criminalized and punishable. Let’s contemplate that chilling notion. Who will determine what hate speech is? If person A decides what person B says is hateful, should person B be hauled away and jailed with the possibility of losing one’s livelihood? And what happens the next day when person C decides what person A said is hateful. Will he or she end up sharing a cell with person B? Where does it end? The answer to hate speech is not less speech, but more speech.

In a most dangerous possibility, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and one of the cast of thousands seeking the Democrat nomination for president, called “hate speech a threat to our democracy,” and has demanded that President Donald Trump be banned from Twitter and his account suspended. Regardless of who one supports for president in 2020 or any other year, that is a frightening notion coming from someone who wants to be president. People of all political persuasions must stand up and loudly shout NO to Harris. She attempted to cajole Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to join her on a recent debate stage in calling for Trump’s suspension from Twitter, but Warren refused to take the bait. Harris’ idea is the true threat to our democracy.

“The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by a despotic government.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” - Thomas Jefferson

“The philosophy of the classroom today, will be the government of tomorrow.” - Abraham Lincoln.

With the horrifying levels of indoctrination on college campuses, the safe spaces, the free speech zones, and the abject political correctness that, for one, will eventually destroy women’s sports as it is known today, a level headed individual not afraid to speak out for fear of retribution or a lost job is vital as this nation goes to the polls to elect a president in less than a year.

Couple the above and Lincoln’s genius with that of Ronald Reagan. “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Radical Public Defender Elected San Fran DA

Radical Public Defender Elected San Fran DA
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 12, 2019

That only 35 percent of the citizens of San Francisco wants to move out of the City by the Bay is either a testament to the stubbornness or the stupidity of the 65 percent willing to remain in a city thinking it will improve from the unmitigated, unsafe, disgraceful cesspool it has become in the last several decades.

Perhaps after the tenure of newly elected District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D) drives the city into a more precarious, deleterious state even more San Franciscans will flee leaving the city to the illegals protected by the powers that be that ensconced these denizens in a sanctuary city, and those too old to move.

An ultra-liberal former public defender, Boudin, 39, was born in New York City to Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, members of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground. At 14 months old, Boudin’s parents went to prison - his mother for 22 years, and his father may very well remain in prison for the rest of his life. Boudin’s parents were imprisoned for the murder of two police officers and a security guard during the Brink’s robbery in Rockland County, NY in 1981. Boudin would be raised in Chicago by his adoptive parents Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers - the leaders of the Weather Underground and unrepentant domestic terrorists to this very day. Ayers founded the communist revolutionary group in 1969 and continues to aver that he wished the Weather Underground had been more destructive.

In terms of his radicalism, Boudin comes by it honestly, considering his biological and adoptive parents. Come January 8, 2020 when Boudin is sworn in as District Attorney, he will move from one side of the judicial aisle to the other where he will be responsible for prosecuting scofflaws. Yet, he already pledged to do just the opposite.

“We will not prosecute cases involving quality of life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc. should not and will not be prosecuted,” said Boudin. Part of etcetera includes, but is not limited to public defecation, protecting illegal aliens from deportation, thus unilaterally legalizing the aforementioned crimes.

So radical is Boudin, a one-time translator for Hugo Chavez, the late dictator of Venezuela, that the establishment Democrats had endorsed interim DA Suzy Loftus. Such endorsements included Governor Gavin Newsome, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Kamala Harris. The results of the election have Boudin winning in a squeaker, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent - a margin of 2,825 votes out of more than 170,000 votes cast.

Some of the endorsements Boudin picked up include the League of Pissed Off Voters, Our Progressive Future, Our Revolution, Restorative Justice International, San Francisco Berniecrats, as well as the district attorneys from Chicago, Kim Foxx and Philadelphia, Larry Krasner both radicals in their own right. But Boudin’s biggest “get” was the endorsement from self-described Socialist candidate for president Bernie Sanders, who issued a public congratulatory message upon Boudin’s victory.

As if at all possible, San Francisco will spiral further and further into the abyss. If there was any question the inmates had been running the asylum, this election clinches it as law abiding citizens and families will be at greater risk. A once beautiful city, San Francisco will continue to be marred by anti-American illegal aliens, an anti-American Board of Supervisors, and a soon to be anti-law abiding citizen district attorney, masquerading as a “reformer.” Testing every rape kit and expanding mental health treatment are the most reasonable goals Boudin espouses. That said, Boudin’s opponent Loftus endorsed those two no-brainer issues as well.

As of January 8, the honest law abiding citizens of the city of San Francisco will be less safe and secure. The “broken windows” theory employed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani went a long way to not only restoring the image of the Big Apple, but making legitimate strides in reducing crime, thus encouraging more tourism, and more people moving to New York City having the confidence of safety and security the people in the City by the Bay will neither understand or enjoy.

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

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong

“Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong”
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 27, 2019

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” 

With that seven word Tweet, posted by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, a firestorm erupted demonstrating the hypocrisy of the NBA while shining a brighter light on the struggles of Hong Kongers and their fight for freedom.

Protests in the city that enjoys more autonomy that their mainland brethren have moved from largely peaceful to a greater level of intensity and even violence. To strengthen their most worthy cause, ongoing for more than the past six months, the protesters should behave more like the Tea Party and infinitely less than Antifa.

To not want alleged criminals extradited to the mainland is a valid concern, as it would seem the so-called leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, is a puppet of the mainland despotic regime. Lam, the first woman Chief Executive of Hong Kong, was appointed by the Central People’s Government in April 2017 and assumed her post in July of the same year.

Yes, the People’s Republic of China is run by a despotic regime, regardless of what the likes of LeBron James, Charles Barkley, and even official NBA bloviators say. Perpetrators of human rights violations for decades if not centuries, as well as current abusive treatment of their Muslim minorities, should net the Chinese government greater criticism than that which is doled out upon the United States and its government.

By siding with the Chinese efforts to squash Hong Kong capitalism and freedom, the NBA, Nike, and any players kow-towing to the despotic regime in Beijing are demonstrating sheer hypocrisy. For starters, the league, under the auspices of Commissioner Adam Silver, unceremoniously threw Morey under the bus, first by not defending his Constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech, then by calling Morey’s words and Tweet “regrettable.” The NBA should be renamed the No Backbone Association for falling all over itself to kiss the collective tuchuses of the powers that be in China. To be fair, the NBA stopped short of punishing Morey, which would have set free speech back to the Stone Age.

While I will defend a person’s First Amendment right of free speech, that in no way should be tantamount to an endorsement. The NBA sold out to China like the fawning obsequious weasels they truly are. LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, the first to criticize Morey, tweeted that he was “misinformed or not really educated on the situation.” If James is standing up for China against supporters of freedom in Hong Kong, clearly it is he who is misinformed and most certainly uneducated.

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’ Neal, most definitely a capitalist - is there a product he is not endorsing these days - took up for Morey. O’ Neal defended Morey’s First Amendment rights in no uncertain terms. “Daryl Morey was right. Whenever you see something wrong going on anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say ‘that’s not right.’ … Here, we have the right to speak… We’re going to say whatever we want to say whenever we want to say it,” pronounced O’ Neal during TNT’s pregame show prior to opening night in the NBA.

Vice President Mike Pence also spoke out in support of Morey and free speech while taking swipes at both the NBA and Nike, a company heavily invested in China. “In siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime,” said Pence.

Pence took a requisite shot at Nike, the company whose recent mantra has been “Stand for something, even if you lose everything.” Clearly Nike put greed ahead of what Americans stand for. “Nike promotes itself as a so-called social-justice champion, but when it comes to Hong Kong, it prefers checking its social conscience at the door,” said Pence who also leveled criticism at Beijing for its poor treatment of its Muslim minority population.

Responding to Pence, former NBA player Charles Barkley said, on the air, that vice president Pence “needs to shut the hell up.” Does Barkley deserve more of a First Amendment right than Pence? Of course not. While it is his right to say what he said, Barkley was wrong for saying it. On the other hand, Barkley suggested that the US should “stop all transactions with China.” That is a very good idea.

Not only should the United States support Hong Kong, its fight for freedom, and Hong Kongers themselves with trade deals, the NBA should promote itself in Hong Kong, not mainland China until China comes around in its treatment of minorities and stops stealing American technology. Hong Kongers should use 1776 as its template. Americans, enjoying free speech (for now) should speak up vociferously for Hong Kong and against the Chinese government which continues to deny its own people the right of free speech.

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

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Addressing Millennials' Parents

Addressing Millennials’ Parents
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 20, 2019

This is an open letter to the parents of our precious snowflake millennial children undergoing their four year campus indoctrination at the hands of liberals and socialists. 

And this comes in just a nick of time as these millennials will be storming our gates in about a month for Thanksgiving break, armed with dirty laundry, and sanctimonious opinions about how our generation is one step below Hitler, as they have all the answers. I’m in no way invoking the Holocaust, about which millennials know very, very, little, but if I used the name of Mao they may get offended.

I am going to offer my fellow parents some key budget savers as we go forward this school year and into the future. Trust me - you’ll thank me sooner rather than later. And quite frankly, it is vital for us to take the necessary steps to prepare ourselves for the apocalyptic onslaught of a potential Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren administration. Yes, we all just collectively shuddered while allowing that thought to sink in.

Since my own children rarely, if ever, read my columns, this will come as an enormous surprise to them upon their return home for their Thanksgiving sojourn. To be fair, I love my daughters to incomprehensible levels. That said, I’m still trying to figure out where I went wrong and failed them as a father based upon their dangerous political beliefs. On the other hand, they are excellent students and are working hard in their studies and jobs to pay their way.

While on the subject of Thanksgiving, here is money saver number one: for those millennials who have some irrational objections to this great American tradition, that’s fewer servings of all the goodies we enjoy this time of the year. Don’t believe in Thanksgiving, don’t eat. “No soup for you!” Or turkey, stuffing, yams, corn bread, sweet potato pie, etc.

For the next money savers, it’s important to remind our ungrateful millennial offspring that their fervently held beliefs reek of hypocrisy. Take their car keys. They support the banning and elimination of fossil fuels. Assuming they are not driving the electric cars they demand this country mass produce, they should not be driving the cars so many of us bought for them. Also when you take their keys, you can remove them from your auto insurance plans. At their ages, that’s a huge savings.

Cut off any tuition/room and board payments you might generously be making. After all, they have more faith in government making their student loan debt magically disappear, than they do in mom and dad who raised, nurtured, fed, clothed, and love their children. These millennials support the untenable promise that their college debt will be cancelled. Now here’s the damning aspect of this horrible plan. The one-third of the population who attend college, and will be earning bigger salaries, by far, on average, than the two-thirds of the population who do not attend college, actually expect those two-thirds to foot the bill for their student loan debt. 

Just remember, there’s no such thing as government money, therefore, when the likes of Sanders and Warren make such outlandish propositions, what they are actually saying when they tell their fawning minions their debt will be wiped out, is that we the people will be strangled with the more than $1.52 trillion in student loan debt. No one forced anyone to attend expensive private colleges and universities. No forced anyone to take five to six years to graduate, and I’m not talking about engineers and other worthwhile academic pursuits that will actually allow the graduate to earn a real living upon graduation. Our millennials don’t need our help; they can rack up all they debt they want because Big Brother is picking up the tab.

While your children are wasting your money studying The History of Lesbian American Presidents, The Science of Diversity in the NHL, and/or The Psychology of Free Speech in the NBA, remind them that their sanctimony does not exist in a vacuum.

What also does not exist in a vacuum, is your millennial’s belief in socialized medicine. So, for our next money saver, parents, since your children support the insane program of Medicare for All, that will bankrupt the United States - as determined by independent and liberal economists, as well as the liberal IRS, remove them from your insurance policies. They don’t need to remain on your policy until age 26; government will take care of them as the proposals from Sanders and Warren call for the absolute elimination of all private healthcare and insurance.

This last item won’t save you any money, but it shouldn’t cost you any more either - a zero sum game. Once again, this will be an important teaching moment for your millennial children who support open borders and granting automatic citizenship to illegal aliens. Since they feel strongly about this, give to more deserving illegal aliens your children’s bedrooms that they count upon when home from school.

And while your children are home next month celebrating whatever they celebrate as the rest of us give thanks for living in the greatest country on G-d’s planet, to ensure the quietest Thanksgiving table in history, ask your millennial children to defend their political and social choices. Wishing you and yours an early happy Thanksgiving.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He and his wife have two daughters currently in college.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

GOP Should Hold Primaries

GOP Should Hold Primaries
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 17, 2019

To very loosely paraphrase the great British Prime Minister and Statesman Winston Churchill, Donald Trump is the worst presidential candidate - except for all those others.

(“Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” - Winston Churchill, November 11, 1947)

I support President Trump, but am unhappy with two important decisions he made during the week of September 11. Firing National Security Advisor John Bolton and the notion of meeting with the Taliban at Camp David. Meeting with the Taliban in the first place is less than intelligent. Doing so during the week of 9-11 is also insensitive. And at Camp David no less. Dwight Eisenhower no doubt rolled over in his grave. 

My vote will be to reelect the president, but he is neither an imperial leader nor a king who need not face the voters. Not only will he face the voters at-large in November 2020, he should stand before the members of his own party for, at the very least, their tacit approval in state by state primaries.

If the incumbent, Trump, needs protecting from Republican voters, G-d help him when he faces the Democrat nominee. Cancelling or simply not holding primaries is an  uncommon tactic, yet both major parties have employed it in several states during the 1992 (Bush), 1996 (Clinton), 2004 (Bush), and 2012 (Obama) primary seasons. Both Trump and a number of state GOP leaders claim not holding primaries is a cost saving decision. South Carolina’s GOP said their primary would cost $1.2 million.

Yet, opinions vary. Joe Jackson, a South Carolina GOP spokesman said the party voted against holding their primary, and the Kansas GOP said it would not hold a primary because “Trump is an elected incumbent from the Republican Party.” On the other hand, Fergus Cullen, a former GOP chairman from New Hampshire said, “This is the kind of thing that happens in autocratic nations led by dictators,” in support of primaries. Other states have not made final decisions and are discussing the matter, although Arizona is leaning toward not holding a primary.

As of this writing, there are three challengers to Trump, who he has already nicknamed “the three stooges.” Former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld have tossed their sombreros in the ring. They have a right to a balloted primary or caucus as legitimate challengers to the president, regardless of Trump’s opinion or whether or not any of the three have even the slightest chance in hell of unseating Trump. Clearly these are all ego-driven candidacies. 

Even the late Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D-MA) failed in his effort to take down President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 primaries, and Carter was an unmitigated disaster on so many levels. Trump, by comparison, is virtually untouchable. Yet, that does not limit people from challenging the incumbent, and perhaps the three challengers should raise the money in each state and offer to pay for the primaries or caucuses. At least then there would be no financial excuse for the various state Republican parties to balk at holding a primary or caucus.

As for the possibility of debates, the three challengers may invite Trump to participate, but it would serve him little purpose and could only hurt him. On the other hand, it would be a ratings booster should a network opt to televise such a debate. It could also serve as a pre-season scrimmage. Without Trump, it is likely only C-SPAN would cover such an event, perhaps only if the British Parliament is dissolved by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson and their sessions are preempted.

Trump’s three challengers, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld, co-wrote an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post on Friday September 13. “Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe,” the three wrote, in an attempt to call Trump out. They need him more than he needs them. If he ignores them, while they may not go away, their influence and legitimacy will be tremendously diminished. Either way, I support both Trump and the right of his challengers to be balloted. 

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

Sunday, September 8, 2019

9/11 Ancient History to Millennials

9/11 Ancient History to Millennials
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 8, 2019

The babies born in 2001, if they have not already, will turn 18 this year, thus making them eligible to vote. The catastrophic events of September 11, 2001 are literally a lifetime ago, and the United States has changed dramatically since that horrific day.

Those who suggest making political hay of 9/11 as inappropriate, are wrong. This is not about the 2020 presidential election or any specific candidate. This is about a philosophy - a philosophy that has been a success for 243 years and hopefully into the foreseeable future. Called the American Experiment, it is an experiment that, missteps, mistakes, and pitfalls notwithstanding, has been a grand success. After all, millions upon millions of people have arrived on our shores and crossed our borders - legally - from every corner of the globe. 

“America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere,” said President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) often, as he paraphrased John Winthrop (1588-1649).

People are literally dying to get into the United States. There are not scores and scores of people leaving or being denied the right to leave the United States. Who is attempting to sneak into Angola, Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela? People are dying in their endeavor to escape those oppressive regimes.

This new crop of voters, these millennials, are knee-jerk quick to condemn and criticize their own nation, most often with precious little knowledge of the history of these United States. As an educator, it is demonstrably easy to attest to the sad notion that the teaching of American History in public schools has been watered down to sound bytes in an effort to indoctrinate this generation of students. They are taught the dark side of American History - which, make no mistake, must be taught. The teaching of any history must not be whitewashed. But for all its missteps, mistakes, and pitfalls, the United States of America has done infinitely more for the world than any other country on the planet, and continues to do so.

Slavery was an abomination. Interning more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II was reprehensible. But how many Americans of all races, creeds, colors, and faiths gave their lives so that others may enjoy the rich taste of freedom? How many Americans created and invented life saving tools, techniques, and drugs that are available around the world?

WE, all of America, all Americans were viciously attacked on September 11, 2001 because of our way of life, our history, our free and open society, our capitalism, our democratic-republic form of government giving every American - black, brown, red, white, and yellow equal opportunity to make the most out of their lives.

While the pre-ordained intent of the 19 Islamic extremist terrorists became clear upon impact, and the loss of human life intentional - male and female, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, the nearly 3,000 slaughtered became the first casualties of the current war on terrorism.

A brief timeline of the harrowing events of September 11, 2001:

Between 7:59 AM and 8:42 AM four flights take off from Boston’s Logan, Washington’s Dulles, and Newark airports, each headed for Los Angeles except the Newark flight, headed to San Francisco.

8:46 AM: American Airlines flight #11 is flown into #1 World Trade Center - the North Tower - by five Muslim extremist hijackers murdering the 11 crew, 76 passengers and hundreds inside the tower instantly. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

9:03 AM: United Airlines flight #175 is flown into #2 World Trade Center - the South Tower - by five Muslim extremist hijackers murdering the nine crew, 51 passengers, and hundreds inside the tower instantly. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

9:05 AM: President George W. Bush is alerted to what is now believed to be terrorist attacks. “Terrorism against our nation will not stand,” said Bush.

9:37 AM: American Airlines flight #77 is flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, VA by five Muslim extremist hijackers murdering the six crew, 53 passengers, as well as 125 military and civilian personnel on the ground. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

9:59 AM: The South Tower collapses in 10 seconds after burning 56 minutes. More than 800 civilians and first responders are murdered. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

10:03 AM: United Airlines flight #93 crashes into a field in Shanksville, PA when passengers and crew storm the cockpit. There are no survivors of the seven crew and 33 passengers due to the murderous plot by the four Muslim extremist hijackers. Flight #93 was 20 minutes from Washington, DC where the White House and/or the Capitol Building were the presumed targets. This is an example of intended sacrifice - heroism, in fact, knowingly sacrificing their lives in an effort to prevent thousands more from perishing should that plane had reached its intended target.

10:15 AM: The damaged section of the Pentagon E-Ring collapses.

10:28 AM: The North Tower collapses after burning 102 minutes. More than 1,600 civilians and first responders are murdered. This is an example of unintended, yet real sacrifice.

5:20 PM: World Trade Center #7 collapses. The 47 story building had already been evacuated and no fatalities are reported.

8:30 PM: President George W. Bush addresses the nation.

Clearly the Muslim-extremist terrorists did not discriminate on September 11, 2001, nor have they done so since in their various formations. All freedom loving people must be vigilant at all times. The international terrorist, the domestic terrorist, and yes, even the politicians who call for the shrinking of the American military, the ceding of borders, and the adoption of socialism must not be allowed to garner or maintain a foothold in the fabric of America or in any elected office, locally, statewide, or federally.

Socialism has never succeeded - it has a 100 percent failure rate - there can be no more damning a statistic. The inculcation of socialism will tax this nation out of existence, into bankruptcy, and with it the inability to continue to do the good the United  States does around the globe. Listen to the unrealistic plans and claims being made by the myriad candidates - in their own words - extolling the virtues of government running (and ultimately ruining) virtually every aspect of our lives. Government run health care? The government can’t even take care of the veterans, who deserve so much more from this country. Imagine government attempting to mete out health care for roughly 320 million Americans, and countless illegal aliens, to whom free health care has been promised.

Is socialism what the Founding Fathers fought, and in some cases, died for? Hell no! Read the Preamble to the United States Constitution, where it calls for the “form[ation of] a more perfect union.” The Founders, for all their intelligence, knew this new nation was not perfect upon its founding. It took a Bill of Rights and 17 additional amendments to straighten out many of the ills plaguing this still great nation. And the works continue to this day - today, tomorrow, next year, next decade, next century as we the people make this a more perfect union.

“It can be done,” was the four word phrase President Ronald Reagan kept on his desk in the Oval Office. Reagan also reminded the American people that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

However, if the nation remains divided, if indoctrination of our children continues in the public schools and on the college campuses, if sanctuary cities continue to protect criminal illegal aliens, if abortion on demand including infanticide continue to exist, if G-dlessness continues to expand while attendance in churches and synagogues continues to contract then surely we shall cause our own demise as a nation.

President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was a visionary beyond reason. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed itself,” he brilliantly said.

It is up to we the people to fight to prevent Lincoln’s prophecy from becoming reality. Heed Reagan on freedom. Read the great documents of America’s founding. Read, learn, and understand American history. If condemnation and hatred is all you have for the United States; if the American flag and the Star Spangled Banner offends you, feel free to take your leave from this great nation at any time. Ensure that the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children who became the first casualties in the war on terrorism did not die in vain. Make America for Americans - from wherever they have come.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He grew up in northern New Jersey in the shadow of the Twin Towers. On September 11, 2001, he was writing for a newspaper in northern Virginia, 10 minutes from the Pentagon.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

From Charm City to Harm City

From Charm City to Harm City
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 30, 2019

Once again, racial invective has been invoked in an effort to tarnish President Donald Trump while ignoring similar comments made by Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT).

Less than a week ago, in a reply to Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings (D), who made disparaging comments about the living conditions of asylum seekers on the Southern border, Trump told Cummings to focus his attention on his home district. “Cummings’ District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous and filthy place…. No human being would want to live there,” said Trump.

The so-called mainstream media was apoplectic falling all over themselves to call Trump and his comments racist as quickly as possible.

Let’s rewind to December 8, 2015 and a speech given by Sanders in Baltimore. “The fact of the matter is that America is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. But anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood [West Baltimore] would not think you’re in a wealthy nation. You would think that you’re in a third world country.”

The reaction from the same media? Crickets.

Facts are not racist. Trump and Sanders are correct in their assessment both in 2015 and in 2019. Sadly, the state of affairs in “Charm City” has been in a constant state of decline, deteriorating steadily for decades.

Even former mayor Catherine Pugh (2016-19), during a walking tour in September 2018, condemned parts of her own city. “What the hell? We should just take all this shit down,” she said regarding the dilapidated and boarded up buildings and row houses in East Baltimore.  “You can smell the rats. Oh my G-d, you can smell the dead animals.” While absolutely correct, nothing changed during her scandal-ridden administration ending with her resignation in May of this year due to her pushing a series of children’s books in exchange for city contracts.

Were Pugh’s comments racist? What about the myriad reports by PBS, The Baltimore Sun, and The New York Times? All racist? No. None of the comments or reports are racist.

Sanders’ visit to Baltimore came on the heels of the April 19, 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a West Baltimore resident who died from spinal cord injuries while in police custody. His death sparked a spate of violence, looting, and rioting in the city, that among other repercussions, included shutting down public schools, the playing of a Baltimore Orioles baseball game in a fan-free Camden Yards, as well as moving a home weekend series against the Rays to their home in Tampa. 

The Baltimore mayor at the time, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, against whom I had run for a City Council seat in 1999, handled the unrest in a most unprofessional manner, actually giving the thugs and miscreants open season to “destroy” their own neighborhoods. 

“We also give those who wished to destroy, space to do that,” said Rawlings-Blake. Rawlings-Blake opted not to seek reelection in 2016. She assumed the mayor’s office, as president of the city council, following the resignation of Sheila Dixon after her conviction for embezzlement. 

So, two of the last three mayors resigned due to scandals and the third surrendered the city to the animals.

Baltimore is a blue collar town - either the southern most northern city, or the northern most southern city - with character - the home of Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key penned the poem that would become the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner, during the War of 1812. Some of the pride of Baltimore include, but are certainly not limited to, Cab Calloway, Frederick Douglass, Dashiell Hammett, Billie Holiday, Johns Hopkins, Al Kaline, Eli Lilly, Thurgood Marshall, Jim McKay, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Post, Pam Shriver, and David Simon.

However, those famous folks were and are not in a position to turn around a city that has been slumping for decades and under constant Democrat control. The last Republican mayor of Baltimore was Theodore McKelden (1963-67) and the last time a Republican was elected to the city council was 1939. When one party rule goes unchecked for decades, complacency, carelessness, and corruption sets in. When President Trump makes remarks some call incendiary, while others, who make similar comments that go unnoticed, people are simply looking for a scapegoat. Trump has been in office two and a half years - he is most certainly not remotely responsible for the strife that has befallen Baltimore.

The drugs, crime, single-parent families, virtually non-existent academic success in a minority-majority run city - mayor, city council, police chief - is a state of insanity - continuing to mishandle things the same way for decades, yet expecting change and improvements.

I started visiting Charm City in the mid-1980s while in college at the University of Maryland, and moved there in the late-1990s to take a teaching position at a middle school - ranked the worst in the entire state of Maryland. There were at least three pregnancies in the one year I taught at this particular school. One rookie teacher went home to Missouri for Christmas-New Year’s break and never returned. I had 40 students in a class, and rest assured there were not 40 seats or textbooks in the classroom. The so-called history textbook only went so far as to have Jimmy Carter as the most recent president. More than 90 percent of the students received “free” lunch and there were no after school activities.

This scenario played out in most schools throughout the city, and this was nearly two decades before Freddie Gray. Gray was and is merely a symptom of the larger microcosm of drugs, murder, and no education plaguing this city for generations. I used to enjoy attending concerts at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, going to Orioles games at Camden Yards, taking in the sites at Federal Hill, Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, most of which today, just aren’t as safe as they once were. Restaurants on Charles Street, the home of Johns Hopkins University, and in Little Italy are not as attractive due to the increased level of unrest in the city, and these are the areas that used to attract tourists in droves. This is not hyperbole, nor is it racist.

The murder rate in Baltimore is 56 per 100,000. Detroit is closest behind Baltimore at 40 per 100,000. There were 344 homicides in 2015, 318 in 2016, 342 in 2017, and 309 last year with a projected greater than 300 for the fifth year in a row. Baltimore is a deadlier killing field than Chicago, in the news regularly for its slayings. Baltimore is just under 40 miles away from Washington, DC, but it may as well be 4,000 miles with the lack of attention it gets.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, who spent more than 30 years as a pediatric neuro-surgeon at Johns Hopkins, reported that 65 percent of the children in Baltimore live within single-parent families, trends that have been worsening for decades, and are statistically worse in black communities as compared to white, Hispanic, and Asian communities. Pointing this out, and what the real solutions are, only get people labeled racist.

Project Baltimore reported that in 13 of 39 city high schools there were zero students proficient in math - zero - let that sink in for a minute. In six more schools, only one percent tested proficient. In roughly half the schools, 3,804 students attempted the exam, with a mere, a tragic, 14 proficient in math. Not 14 percent, just 14 actual students. With numbers this low, it’s no wonder the poverty rate in Baltimore is 22 percent. Once again, identifying the problem and the potential solutions, gets one tagged with the Scarlet R.

Sadly, Baltimore is not an anomaly. See also Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, and St. Louis, just to mention a few. Progress begins with education and it starts at home - preferably in a two-parent home with married parents who at the very least graduated high school. Those factors will give every child a head start, said Carson, who also added that in this era of no judgments, again, gets people labeled an -ist or -phobe when pointing out what should be the obvious.

It’s long overdue for people to roll up their sleeves, put aside the partisan bickering, name calling, and face reality - the past 60 years have been a dismal failure and calling people racist for pointing out the facts helps no one, least of all the children - the most vulnerable of all. Virtually the entire public school system is corrupted by incompetent so-called leaders, teachers’ unions whose main goal is to indoctrinate students while protecting the worst of their constituencies hiding behind tenure - a system that shields bad teachers while hurting students, condemning the next generation to living life as if it were an episode of The Wire or my favorite, Homicide: Life on the Street.

Like Trump; dislike Trump. Either way he was correct with what he said about Cummings’ district - specifically Baltimore, and Cummings is too smart to disagree, but he has to play the same political game. People can stand in opposite corners calling each other racists, but it will accomplish nothing, other than getting more corrupt politicians richer while cities like Baltimore continue to fester and stink of urban rot, decay, and failing schools. 

And, yes, I did actually put my money where my mouth is and ran for the city council in Baltimore in 1999 - beyond a fool’s errand. In a city, at the time, with eight percent registered Republicans, needless to say, I did not win. Like the City of Baltimore, not every story has a happy ending.

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Sanders' Salary Hypocrisy

Sanders’ Salary Hypocrisy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 19, 2019 

“The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” - Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) British Prime Minister (1979-90)

The trouble with Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-VT) is that he is an enormous hypocrite calling for a $15 minimum wage while not paying his own staff that much. Grassroots field staffers complain they are not being afforded the minimum that Sanders demands of the rest of the country.

Quite frankly, during the ‘80s when candidates would staff their campaigns, most people were just happy to be a part of a campaign, paying their dues as grassroots field staffers barely earning enough money to fill their gas tanks and living half a dozen in a two bedroom apartment. The reward would hopefully come at the end of the campaign with a victory and an invitation to join a Congressional, Senatorial, or even White House staff - working even longer hours for barely what they earned in the field. Some of you are reading this thinking, yeah, those were the days!

Now these young grassroots workers are unionized, making demands that if fulfilled on a nationwide basis could cripple the economy. While the current minimum wage of $7.25 clearly is not enough for a person to live on independently, a sudden boost to more than double that amount will actually cost people their jobs. Based upon an eight hour day, five day week, and 50 weeks of work per year, a $7.25 an hour worker would earn $14,500 before taxes. The $15 an hour employee would earn $30,000, which in quite a few places is still a challenge on which to make ends meet. Costs of living vary from state to state and even within states - New York City versus Elmira for example; Chicago versus Pittsfield; Dallas versus El Paso.

A gradual rate increase would make sense, but it must include qualifiers. Small businesses, size to be determined by the Commerce Department, would be exempt, as should part time, temporary, and seasonal employees. The $15 an hour rate would take effect in 2025, according to the proposal by House Democrats. Incremental raises should be implemented to soften the blow and keep costs and unemployment from rising too drastically instead of a potentially sudden rate increase.

Employers required to pay workers more than double what is currently mandated will cut those costs by eliminating and downsizing their workforce, thus raising unemployment, and ultimately, the need for government to pay greater unemployment benefits to more people, perhaps for a longer period of time. The rate increase could likely see prices rise if some businesses opt not to downsize the labor force. It then begs the question, will the rate increase offset the increase in unemployment and the rise in prices? Economists are divided on that question.

People should earn a living wage, but it should also be incumbent on the job one performs. This is based upon the concept of equal opportunity, not equal outcome. Equal opportunity begins with education and it is up to the family and the students to work as hard as they are able to ensure success. There are no entitlements, and affirmative action in education has proven a failure. A fast food worker or coffeehouse barista are literally not brain surgeons and should be paid what the market demands. Athletes and entertainers will continue to make multi-million dollar salaries as long as they fill stadia and theaters with people willing to pay the ticket prices - like anything else, it’s a matter of simple economics - supply and demand. 

Simultaneously, people must live within their means - make coffee and lunch at home instead of spending $5 for Starbucks ® and another $7-10 on food. Shop for new clothes when needed and wait for sales. Let supermarket circulars be the guide for weekly grocery shopping. Maintain vehicles regularly, get as much life out of them as possible. When a car loan is paid off, pay yourself the same monthly amount in savings toward the next car. These are simple ways to economize.

Yet, none of this matters to Sanders, the original socialist from the 2016 campaign. As long as he has the indoctrinated and ignorant from the colleges campuses, he can continue to make the case for more government running and ruining our lives with higher and higher taxes convincing them to vote against their own self-interests. This multi-millionaire, multiple home owner, is a hypocrite of the highest degree. This is not to disparage Sanders’ for his wealth - accumulated out of the pockets of the American people having never held a job not paying him from the people’s coffers - as a capitalist, it is his G-d given right to earn what he can and again, what the market will allow.

How is socialism working out in Venezuela, once upon a time, one of the most successful, thriving countries in both South America and the Western Hemisphere? Or Angola? Or Cuba? Or the former East Germany? Or Vietnam? Socialism fails because it lacks consistency with human behavior. People inherently protect what is theirs - they work for a paycheck and want to keep as much of it as possible -  to spend as they wish and need. People are also generous when they see people in need - to help them as they choose - not as per government dictates. Take more money from people in taxes, the first to suffer, charitable contributions as people still have the necessities in their lives of paying mortgages/rent, electric, phone, cable, tuition, grocery bills. With more money in their pockets, people are more generous. It is government that needs to pare back and stick to what the Constitution requires.

Sanders can pay his people $15 an hour or not, but those employees knew their salary when they were offered the job. That doesn’t make Sanders any less a hypocrite who clearly does not understand economics. Pay no attention to the talking heads discussing their candidates seeking the Democrat nomination. Listen to the actual words of the actual candidates - they are far more truthful and dangerous.

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Holocaust is a Fact, Principal Obvious

The Holocaust is a Fact, Principal Obvious
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 9, 2019

After only a half year of the moronics that is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the anti-Semitism that is both Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) plaguing the United States Congress, there comes now all rolled into one, William Latson of Florida.

No, Latson is not a Congressman. He is far more dangerous - a high school principal - or at least he was until he was secretly spirited away to environs still unknown. Latson is a gutless moron, perhaps too stupid to be an anti-Semite, but until March and April of 2018, he apparently was able to fly under the radar as the principal of Spanish River a high school serving more than 2,300 students in Boca Raton. Why it took this long is incomprehensible.

A parent, the mother of a Spanish River student who wished to remain anonymous for the sake of her child, texted/e-mailed Latson asking if the Holocaust was being taught at the school. The simple answer should have been that Holocaust education is mandated in the Florida public schools, of which Spanish River is one.

Instead, Latson e-mailed the parent that Spanish River had “a variety of activities” for Holocaust education, without specifying any, adding, the “lessons are not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.”

What is G-d’s name is that supposed to mean? Are students allowed to opt out of the class if they don’t believe the Holocaust as historical fact? If a student believes the earth is flat, he or she allowed to opt out of a geography class? If a student doesn’t believe in proper spelling and punctuation, can he or she opt out of an English class? This is a level of insanity even a teacher’s union could not have dreamed up.

Apparently the mother felt likewise as she was flummoxed regarding Latson’s response and wanted further clarification. “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event. It is not a right or a belief,” she wrote back.

“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened. And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs,” came Latson’s even more incredulous response. Continuing to dig deeper, Latson wrote to the mother, that “as an educator [he] had the role to be politically neutral but support all groups in the school. I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee.” 

This is disturbing beyond words and reality. Politically neutral? Who was Latson afraid to offend? Anti-Semites? Supporting all groups in the school? To whom was Latson catering - the Holocaust deniers club? The Neo-Nazi association?

Latson’s remarks were obtained by The Palm Beach Post via a public records request.

“All students in every grade level in the district are taught a historically accurate Holocaust curriculum, one which leaves no room for erroneous revisions of fact or the scourge of anti-Semitism,” said school board chairman Frank A. Barbieri, Jr.

“It is incredibly concerning that someone charged with educating children would be unable to speak unequivocally on the realities and horrors of the Holocaust,” said Senator Rick Scott (FL-R), via Twitter.

Tell General Dwight D. Eisenhower, later president (1953-61) the Holocaust was not real as he and American and Soviet troops liberated concentration camps. Tell it to the local citizens in Germany, Poland, etc., forced to clean up what they allowed to occur.

Almost 10,000 people signed an on-line petition calling for Latson’s ousting. Latson has been reassigned to an unspecified district position, according to BuzzFeedNews - yet, still a paid employee of the school district. Akin to reassigning a priest to a new Diocese for questionable behavior. Let them be someone else’s problem, yet they are still a problem without a solution.

The school district said Latson “made a grave error in judgement,” and demanded he “further expand the Holocaust curriculum at Spanish River.” At the time, Holocaust education was reduced to reading Elie Wiesel’s Night, while it was nebulous why the variety of activities referenced above somehow never managed to come to fruition. Additionally, Latson spent several days at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in an effort to become more educated on the subject.

So, basically, a vacation, a reassignment, no loss of job or career, and no punishment for Latson who continues drawing a paycheck from the taxpayers of Florida for being both ignorant and a moron.

While Latson later apologized for his choice of words, a person in his responsible position requires more than a modicum of education, and certainly knowing the Holocaust is a historical fact is, at a bare minimum, basic information for which there can be no denying. For this level of ignorance and insensitivity, Latson should have been relieved of his position in the school system, not simply reassigned to sweep his inactions and words under the rug.

Had a principal deigned to suggest that not everyone believes American slavery as a historical fact, no question he or she would be on the unemployment line - and rightfully so. Facts are facts and remain irrefutable. One plus one will always equal two. It’s wrong to hear people applaud others for “speaking their truth.” There is only one truth - not a liberal truth, not a conservative truth, not a black truth, not a white truth - believe it.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He is also a charter member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Who's Running Nike?

Who’s Running Nike?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 2, 2019

Independence Day is approaching in these United States, except for Nike, which apparently can not or will not break free from football has been Colin Kaepernick. 

The sneaker company’s new launch, the Air Max 1 Quick Strike, adorned with the Betsy Ross flag, has been struck down due to the opinion of one anti-American, hypocritical malcontent. The flag, featuring 13 white, five-pointed stars on a field of blue in the upper left corner, and the traditional 13 stripes - seven red and six white dates back to the Revolutionary War-era. 

Kaepernick claims the Betsy Ross flag offends him because it is used by an alleged white supremacist group. Additionally, Kaepernick said the flag offends him as it comes from a time of slavery, according to The Wall Street Journal. Based upon that “logic,” only flags dating from 1865 would be acceptable to Kaepernick? Anyone offended by the American flag should not live in the United States.

And by the way, the Betsy Ross flag was the flag of the American colonies when the British surrendered at Saratoga. Additionally, that same flag adorned both of the Obama inaugurals, so evidently he did not see it as a symbol of racism. Old Glory is a symbol of unity, under which Americans of all colors, creeds, and orientations served and fought. This includes Crispus Attucks, a patriot of African and Native American descent, believed to be the first person killed in the Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770) and thus the first person killed in the Revolutionary war.

Nike’s long-standing slogan is “Just do it.” Kaepernick says just don’t do it, and Nike falls to its knees shuddering in a most cowardly manner, deferring to Kaepernick, giving him more power than he deserves. Nike folded like a cheap tent in an effort to pander to Kaepernick and his minions.

In a statement explaining why it pulled the shoes, Nike said it did not want to “unintentionally offend and detract from the patriotic holiday,” believing Kaepernick holds sway over more people than those who would purchase the Air Max 1.

Kaepernick is certainly entitled to his First Amendment right of free speech in expressing his opinion about Nike’s use of the Betsy Ross flag. Similarly, everyone else has the same rights afforded by the First Amendment to condemn Kaepernick and/or Nike. If Nike had any guts, it would stand up to Kaepernick, praise Betsy Ross, and defend the use of an American flag. Just because a supposed white nationalist group co-opted the Betsy Ross flag does not make it permanently theirs. Nike should commandeer the flag back to the side of the good and deny the evil its appropriation.

Yet, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Mark Pitcavage, the Betsy Ross flag does not appear on its extensive list of hate symbols it tracks. “The Betsy Ross flag is not common among white supremacists,” said Pitcavage, a senior research fellow with the ADL’s Center on Extremism.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) rescinded a $1 million tax incentive for a Nike factory in the Grand Canyon State. “Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” Tweeted Ducey. Ducey’s office later confirmed the cancelation of the $1 million from the Arizona Commerce Authority Competes Fund.

“The Betsy Ross flag is now a symbol of White Nationalism and slavery? Not defiance against a distant monarchy? PC madness is accelerating just in time for 2020,” Tweeted co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Joe Scarborough opposing the Nike decision. 

If Kaepernick doesn’t like the sneakers, he should not buy them. Who the hell is he to dictate what a corporation sells or does not sell? Let the free market system decide. Both Kaepernick, an attention whore who hasn’t suited up in the NFL since 2016, and Nike have embarrassed themselves. Stop giving Kaepernick a forum and perhaps he’ll quietly slink away. 

One of the great aspects of the United States is freedom of choice. I have exercised my right to shun Nike since they made the mistake of giving Kaepernick a platform, and will continue to speak with my wallet by shopping elsewhere. Celebrate your economic freedom by exercising your right to exercise in anything but a pair of Nikes. Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans.

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