Friday, April 24, 2020

Profits Over People?

Profits Over People?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 24, 2020

Angry, with good reason, yet peaceful, protests are growing and taking place in a greater number of states as a greater number of people have come to realize their states’ governors are treating their constituents like subjects and children.

They simply want to return to work and some semblance of a life, albeit an altered life.

These people are being called selfish, inconsiderate, and greedy by people who, themselves, are selfish, inconsiderate, and greedy. My youngest daughter, a college student, which explains quite a bit, has a go to mantra, “Are you putting profits over people?”

The answer is certainly not. More than 20 million people have lost jobs during this siege, and putting them back to work is not about profit, but preservation. This is survival over suicide, and that is not hyperbole, as suicide rates are sharply on the rise. Poverty will kill more people than the Coronavirus. “To burn down the village to save it is foolish,” said Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).

Mom and pop shops, single proprietorships, small businesses with fewer than a couple hundred people have closed their doors because their government asked them to. They are without income, and unable to pay salaries and furloughed staff. They are without income, and unable to pay rents or mortgages and utilities. All of these affected people are struggling to put food on their tables, pay their own rent or mortgages, make car payments, running higher credit card debts, and are hemorrhaging money to the point of bankruptcy and the loss of their businesses, their savings, and possibly their homes and or cars.

Local restaurants, those that are able to remain open are limited to take out and delivery service, and are also losing money. Many more are closed, and perhaps permanently. Should the owners lose their life’s work, their livelihood, and not have the ability to start over? What about losing their life savings? How is anyone supposed to actually live when they literally have nothing? Will restaurants even be able to survive a “new normal,” whatever the hell that is going to be? Can a 100 seat restaurant survive with only 50 seats? Will people be able to afford to eat out? Will they even want to?

Not a fan of priming the pump to begin with, there’s only so far government can go in what it is doing to help people and businesses. And as is becoming more evident, the government plans are running awry. When a Harvard University or a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse are benefiting from government largesse, that is wrong. Harvard has an endowment of more than $41 billion, and Ruth’s Chris is a chain of more than 100 restaurants. The country can’t keep printing money, for it will eventually be worthless and people will have to carry boxes of paper with numbers printed on them to buy a simple loaf of bread. Inflation will double and triple every other month, then week, then day, as the economy becomes worse than the Great Depression in the United States and Germany during that same time. Look at how inflation destroyed the economy of Venezuela.

It is not selfish, inconsiderate, or greedy for people to want to get back to work and save their family, save their family business, save the health - mental and physical of their loved ones. Eventually the protests will turn ugly - it’s human nature. Profits? No; preservation. As of Friday, April 24, the overwhelming majority of those reporting back to work are lower income workers, not the “swells” who can afford to sit on the sidelines and point fingers. “The economy has been waterboarded,” said Sen. Kennedy, adding, “lives and livelihoods are important.”

What is selfish and inconsiderate? Think about all the people risking their lives to keep you alive - truckers bring you your food, supermarket workers, restaurant workers, food delivery people, trash collectors, mailmen, bank tellers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses, our troops - many of whom are working for low wages, while so many are hunkering down feeling entitled.

Why else do people need to return to work? Because $1,200 doesn’t go very far, and the government cannot take care of the American people like they are children. The longer people are not working, the longer they are not producing revenue for the government - taxes that are deducted from people’s pay. No pay, no tax revenue. Remember, there is no such thing as government money. And in this case, socialism isn’t about running out of other people’s money, it’s about running out of our own money - first that which is in our bank accounts, and second, that which the government uses.

This virus, courtesy of the Communist Chinese Party, has demonstrated the fragility of the economy, not just that of the United States, but the rest of the world. For as the US falls, so too does the rest of the globe. As anyone who has taken Economics 101 knows, additional printing of money will ultimately do much more harm than good. Money should be reappropriated from every department and from that which is designated for foreign aid. After all, if the government can require what they consider “non-essential” employees to stay at home and lose thousands upon thousands of dollars, certainly the government can use money more wisely, for essential expenses only.

Stop borrowing from the Chinese. Stop doing business with the Chinese. The Chinese, for their lies and deceptions must be made to pay. The state of Missouri is already filing a lawsuit against China. Perhaps the remaining 49 states will do likewise. The federal government should withhold payment to China of any debt owed to that tyrannical regime, as should all other nations in debt to China. Remember, the goal of the Communist Chinese Party is to protect the top first and to protect the collective. This is just one reason the Chinese lied about the severity of the virus that came from the Wuhan Province. There is little question the Chinese also lied about the enormous number of fatalities to their own people. Additionally, the World Health Organization is complicit in this crime against humanity - for defending China, for believing China blindly, and for harming Taiwan.

Support local businesses. If it doesn’t have to be bought right now, hold off until neighborhood shops are reopened. Avoid chain stores and if at all possible, do not purchase Chinese made goods. If ordering something online and are not sure of its origin, ask before buying. All businesses are essential to those who own them and rely upon them for their livelihood as well as the livelihoods of those they employ.

One of the most important things the United States absolutely must do as soon as humanly possible - bring our antibiotics home. About 97 percent of American antibiotics are made in China. That is an obscenity. No one foreign power should have that much control over another. The United States has the capability to produce its own drugs and it is imperative to do so. Contact your member of Congress and demand they stop doing business with China and that antibiotics being produced in the United States is a top priority. More drug production at home, more jobs created.

And on the subject of drugs, the Coronavirus has demonstrated yet another reason why a single payer system and mandatory medicare for all as healthcare in the United States would be a dismal failure. Government alone is not able to fight this virus. Corporate America has been enlisted in this important battle. Consider the myriad companies that have repurposed themselves to provide ventilators and other necessary materials as deemed essential.

Congress must behave responsibly - an enormous expectation, so don’t hold your breath. Bills designed for relief or stimulus should be limited to just those proponents and nothing more. No special projects the House Democrats are trying to sneak in the back door; no election reform, no “larding” up the bill as the expression goes. After all, lard isn’t kosher. They sit up there in their ivory towers playing politics with people’s lives and livelihoods.

So while many of the entitled masses are sitting home so superiorly and smugly, and others are risking their lives to give those at home a life, the suffering is more than the Coronavirus. It’s the jobless millions who simply want to go back to work and support their families before there is nothing left with which to support them. Profits over people? No. More like cutting loses; maybe breaking even, but probably not for a while still. Survival over suicide - economically or physically.

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

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Constitution as Toilet Paper

The Constitution as Toilet Paper
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 20, 2020

The advent of the Coronavirus has only heightened the awareness of the crime of indoctrination of our young people in the classroom. I’m not just angry, I am frightened; and anybody who loves freedom and liberty had damn well better be angry and frightened as well.

Children, kindergarten through college, are no longer mandated to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; are no longer mandated to study American history; are no longer mandated to learn the vital documents that made the United States the greatest nation on earth - the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For every American shunning those documents and subjects, and they are the first to stand up and condemn this nation, there are millions trying to get here any way they can.

Make no mistake, I do not approve of those who arrive here illegally seeking government-supported lives and livings. In fact, I have long supported, and now more than ever, the deportation of illegal aliens. Now more than ever? Yes, absolutely, as more than 20 million Americans are out of work - because the government ordered this shutdown. Yet, why is the same government attempting to allow more guest workers to steal even more jobs away from Americans, most of whom are one paycheck away from being completely broke?

Congress, if it would grow a backbone and spine, could put the billions upon billions of dollars given to illegals in the form of welfare, food stamps, medical care, scholarships, and other so-called benefits, in the hands of those bona fide American citizens entitled to that money - more now than ever before. Every illegal in this country is a law breaker with no entitlement to anything other than a return trip to their country of origin. Congress would be upholding the Constitution - part of its oath of office. Any member - Democrat or Republican violating their oath should be removed from office and barred from seeking elected office again.

The indoctrination teaches American students to support open borders, citizenship and voting rights for illegals, government run healthcare, the notion that the United States is guilty of just about all that is wrong in the world, and that it should be ashamed of its past - a past not properly taught. These are the same people clamoring for free college tuition and that the government should absorb their college debt - in other words, passing personal responsibility to others - namely those who never set foot on a college campus, who, by the way, far outnumber those who have. They have been taught that asking voters for identification is racist; that there is racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and any other -ism and -phobia one can conjure up to maintain a level of victimhood. Makes sense why so many of that generation could easily support Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT), and why so few from older generations fell for his socialist nonsense. For more on how asking for identification is not the least bit racist,

One of my favorite quotes, from former President Ronald Reagan, is most apropos here. “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, 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.”

My oldest daughter, soon to be a college graduate, actually said she supports total equality above liberty. Those words sent a shiver down my spine. Aside from being a veritable impossibility, to want to limit one’s own liberty in favor of an idea that couldn’t even qualify for the pages of Thomas More’s Utopia, is so frightening and dangerous. This is certainly not something learned at home. To willingly surrender one’s liberty, is but one step away from slavery. Slavery to a system that will determine your life’s course, take your destination away from you, and take your choices away from you.

She and her fellow travelers of progressive liberal socialists are always shouting about keeping the government out of their bedrooms and uteruses - the abortion on demand crowd. Yet they are the same people to oppose any other kind of choice in people’s lives. They oppose school choice and charter schools, mostly because of the indoctrination pushed by the teachers’ unions. In the current pandemic, they are perfectly amenable to the shuttering of churches and synagogues calling them non-essential, yet cheer because abortion clinics remain open, labeled essential.

The United States Constitution does not become null and void simply because of a crisis. In fact, a crisis is exactly why and when the Constitution is at its most important and necessary. Yet, far too many governors, mayors, attorneys general, and even police chiefs, are treating the Constitution as de facto toilet paper. Some are calling their executive orders an “overreach.” I call it totalitarianism.

Governors Andy Beshear (KY), Andrew Cuomo (NY), Jay Inslee (WA), Phil Murphy (NJ), Gavin Newsom (CA), Ralph Northam (VA), Jared Polis (CO), Gina Raimondo (RI), Gretchen Whitmer (MI), and Tom Wolf (PA) - not coincidentally all Democrats, in one way or another have unilaterally imposed measures in their states that are not only unconstitutional, but make little to no sense. People’s right to worship, assemble, and even their free speech has been commandeered. People are also being punished simply for offering a dissenting opinion.

During this past Holy Week for Christians, Beshear ordered police to cite and fine churchgoers - not for entering the churches, but for remaining in their cars for a service on Easter.

A protest at the statehouse in Raleigh, North Carolina was broken up by police telling the peaceful assemblage that protests are deemed non-essential, and not permitted. Again, another thwarting of Constitutional rights.

In Brighton, Colorado, police handcuffed and put in a squad car, Matt Mooney, 33, himself a former police officer, for the unimaginable crime of playing catch at a local field with his wife and six year old daughter. Mooney noted that while he was being cited for alleged health code violations, none of the three officers involved wore gloves or masks. Being outdoors is encouraged by doctors, and most activities can be accomplished while observing social distancing.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) have instructed residents to call police to report anyone not practicing social distancing or any other health code violation. These are most definitely Gestapo tactics, and I do not use that word lightly or as hyperbole.

In New Jersey, 15 Orthodox Jews were cited for attending the funeral of one of their rabbis in the heavily Orthodox Lakewood community. Even those who remained in their cars were asked for their drivers’ licenses. Seven Orthodox rabbis from Lakewood have died from the Coronavirus. When asked about his ability to nullify the First Amendment, Governor Murphy said that “is above my pay grade.” If Murphy can’t keep his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, he should not hold the office.

Another New Jersey case has Kim Pagan from Toms River facing up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail for organizing a protest at the statehouse in Trenton. They could put a woman in jail for exercising her First Amendment right of assembly and free speech in protesting the government. At the same time, convicted sex offenders and child molesters are among the growing list of felons being released prematurely because they may have diabetes and are at risk of contracting the Coronavirus or actually already have the disease. So, while these animals are roaming freely among decent society, an honest citizen could be imprisoned for exercising her Constitutional rights.

My younger daughter, also a collegian, agreed with the authorities in New Jersey, regarding Pagan, calling it a matter of life and death. Again, another young person willing to surrender some liberty. I don’t know where I went wrong with my daughters.

But the winner of the most Draconian elected official award can only be Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Her dictatorial edicts include banning the purchase of seeds. Seeds. Yes, those things you put into the ground with hopes of growing a vegetable garden. A vegetable garden that could produce produce - yeah, I did that -for people who then won’t need to buy it at the supermarket after countless others have touched it. Weed - essential in Michigan; seeds non-essential in Michigan. But tobacco shops and the like are ordered closed. Furniture, carpeting, flooring, paint, and  gardening equipment are off limits - in stores of greater than 50,000 square feet, where other items are available for purchase. Even in vehicles, people are barred from religious services on church or synagogue property. As if banning public worship isn’t bad enough, Whitmer has fishing and hunting on her list of non-essentials. Fishing and hunting are typically done either alone or in very small groups who can easily separate themselves by more than six feet. Adding to the confusion, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing are permitted, however, motor boating and jet skiing are out. She also banned traveling to one’s second home in the state. And while attending a church or synagogue is off limits, abortion clinics are considered essential, as Whitmer said, “abortions are life-sustaining,” in what has to be one of the most tragic oxymorons ever spoken.

What is also terribly disturbing is how the liberal media, obsequious weasels that they are, are applauding these measures, criticizing people for exercising their rights, and not actually examining and parsing whether or not there is overreach by these elected officials. One of the whiners on The View, Joy Behar, said that anyone carrying a firearm at a protest is a domestic terrorist. These are the same media people supporting the closing of gun shops as non-essential. If ever a firearm is essential, it is now, more than ever. The Second Amendment is in the Bill of Rights for the people’s right to protect themselves against a tyrannical government.

Another frightening example of overreach and censorship comes from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Opinions supporting protests and information pertaining to actual protests themselves are being removed from his site as Zuckerberg is calling such postings “misinformation.” Any comment I might make on Facebook supporting or applauding a protest or providing the public with, say, dates and times of such gatherings will be removed, because of one person. Yet the reprehensible things people post about President Trump and Vice President Pence, remain intact on Facebook. Feeding into the demonization of protesters exercising their First Amendment right, on MSNBC some dolt referred to the protesters as “Fox News Nazis.” This column will be linked on Facebook, to be sure.

There is a dangerous loss of liberty being perpetrated by myriad elected officials, and if they are not stopped now, and they get reelected, their regimes will become even more repressive. After all, their reelections demonstrate an approval and acceptance of their behavior and decisions by lemmings willing to surrender to the unexplained, unchecked, and uncontested will of the very few. Why are people willing to surrender their civil liberties so cavalierly? Perhaps if they lived in Cuba, North Korea, the former Soviet Union, or Venezuela for even a short period, they would understand this is a most important time to defend their civil liberties, not abandon them.

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

Thursday, April 16, 2020

As Voter ID Goes, so Goes Election Integrity

As Voter ID Goes, so Goes Election Integrity
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 16, 2020

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste.’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” -- Rahm Emanuel

Ralph Northam, the Democrat governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia has signed into law the repeal of the voter identification laws and extending the early voting period to 45 days out from Election Day.

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights the citizenry of the United States has, and it must be preserved, protected, and defended by maintaining its integrity, purity, and validity so every legal vote is counted and every voter has confidence in the system. Without the protections, integrity, and confidence, we may as well stop calling ourselves a republic and a representative form of government, for it will all be a scam and a sham. Voters should demand the strictest possible measures be taken to protect the sanctity of their votes, for without that, our own votes become meaningless and valueless.

For those who continue to claim voter ID on its face is racist and economically exploitative, they could not be more wrong. States are not only making identifications free, in many cases, they are providing mobile ID units that will go to people who can’t go to them. Just imagine, a person without any form of identification doesn’t drive a car, have a credit card, a bank account, or a legal place to live. As for the racism aspect, is it racist to ask for identification in the following circumstances:

Apply for a mortgage or lease
Apply for a credit card in a store
Apply for a passport
Apply for a marriage license
Apply for a business license
Apply for a liquor license
Apply for a law/medical license
Apply for a hunting and fishing license
Adopt a child or pet
Attend college
Attend political rallies and conventions
Attend an R-rated movie
Buy/sell a house
Buy/sell a vehicle
Buy/sell alcohol
Buy tobacco
Buy travelers checks
Buy a firearm
Buy/sell real estate
Buy/contract for a cell phone
Buy lottery tickets; collect winnings
Buy/sell stock, securities, commodities, bonds
Collect signatures on a ballot petition
Collect casino winnings; enter a casino
Driver’s license
Donating blood
Donating organs
Entering government buildings
Entering the United States
Entering a bar
Entering many non government buildings
Flying an airplane; getting a pilot’s license
Flying on an airplane
Getting employment
Getting married
Go to a doctor/hospital
Make a bank deposit or withdrawal
Open a bank account - savings, checking
Open a business
Pick up a prescription
Pick up packages at the post office/UPS, etc.
Pick up tickets at will call - sports/entertainment
Pick up a child at school in person - non-parent
Purchase adult themed material
Register with Selective Services
Rent an apartment
Rent a vehicle
Rent a hotel room/Airbnb
Use a credit card
Rent a post office box
Return merchandise
Register to vote
Run for public office
Receive Social Security
Receive food stamps/welfare
Sign up for organization memberships
Sign a petition putting a candidate on a ballot
Sign up to be a designated driver for a free non-alcoholic beverage at a ball game/concert
Take the SAT/LSAT/MCAT/GRE - standardized testing
Receiving a copyright or patent
Write a check
Visit some dormitories
Visit an embassy
Visit someone in jail
Sign up for utilities
Sign up for cable
Getting a death certificate
Getting copies of most court documents

 No doubt there are others, but if identification is mandatory for the aforementioned activities, for something as sacrosanct as the precious vote, requiring ID is a no-brainer. A no-brainer is exactly what Northam and any other governor is, for thinking he or she is doing anyone a service. The only beneficiaries are liars, crooks, illegal aliens, and election thieves. Rhetorical question: has anyone heard a Republican governor endorse such a proposal?

It is Democrat governors and other Democrat elected officials supporting the secession of voter identification laws to pave a smoother path allowing illegals to vote, allowing non-citizens to vote, allowing imprisoned felons to vote, allowing people to vote multiple times in multiple jurisdictions, and even allowing for the dead to vote. There are already jurisdictions allowing legal residents, yet non-citizens, to vote in local elections. This is patently wrong. One case of voter fraud is one too many.

In a push for voting by mail, voting online, or allowing all voters to vote by absentee ballot, the potential for fraud and stolen elections will only rise exponentially, much to the detriment of honest voters from all parties. The state of Oregon already employs voting by mail as its sole form of casting a ballot. There are so many ways that can go wrong. Mail “conveniently” gets lost, mail gets stolen, there are no ID requirements, no proof the voter named is the voter casting the ballot, and there is no proof the ballot isn’t being cast under duress. If the ballot safely reaches its assigned destination, what guarantee that vote will be counted? The same can easily be said of absentee ballots which have been cast for decades around the country. Yes, a modicum of faith is required here. Such ballots would pile up for days, even weeks before Election Day. Who is overseeing the ballots? Every ballot counted by hand should be done so under zealous supervision by members of any party that has a candidate on a given ballot - district by district, county by county (boroughs in Alaska and parishes in Louisiana) or state by state.

Another problem with voting by mail - ballot or vote harvesting. This is the most dangerous practice of volunteers, or even paid campaign workers, collecting absentee and/or mail-in ballots and hopefully submitting them to the appropriate place. Think of the number of ways this can go sideways. A harvester could make assumptions about a voter and dispose of that ballot; or just as easily open them, reseal or put in another official envelope (extras should be easy enough to procure) and properly submit, while once again tossing the ones with which the harvester does not agree. Harvesting could take place in cemeteries, among names not yet purged from the voting rolls, or filed by illegals or underage people under the names of the same “voters.” Overall, not a fan of voting by mail.

Absentee voting is also suspect for the same reasons, but is necessary for the military and out of town college students, but very few others. In 2018, 8.2 percent of absentee ballots were disqualified due to the inability to properly identify the voter. Even in this day of Coronavirus, if people can go to the supermarket, they can go to the polling places. And there should be more of them. Voting for legal citizens should be made simpler, and having a form of government issued identification would actually make voting easier, not more challenging.

This is not paranoia. After all, the Democrats are the leading supporters of these plans for voting sans ID, voting by mail, ballot harvesting, ending the Electoral College in violation of the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, and even calling for lowering the voting age to 16. After all, with massive indoctrination besetting the public school system of the United States, convincing a 16 year old to vote for socialist agendas like that which Senator Bernie Sanders continues to spew even after dropping his 2020 presidential bid, is not difficult. After all, the Sanders campaign attracted the youngest of voters.

The liberal Democrat socialist progressives have been calling for the 12th Amendment to be repealed, thus ending the Electoral College, since before the 2016 race; probably in full throat since Bush-Gore in 2000. Repealing the 12th Amendment would be more than just a little deleterious to the electoral system in the United States. Eliminating it, and relying upon the popular vote only, all the Democrats would need to do is campaign in the big cities on the two coasts - New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Throw in Chicago, Detroit, maybe Houston and St. Louis, and a popular vote victory can be had for the Democrats by entering eight to twelve states.

Look at the popular vote in 2016:

National Vote

Clinton 65,853,516 48.18 percent
Trump 62,984,825 46.09 percent

Clinton wins by        2,868,691 2.09 percent

Now look at California

Clinton 8,753,788
Trump 4,483,810

Clinton wins by       4,269,978

The point of this little mathematical exercise is to demonstrate that without California, Clinton does not win the popular vote. In fact, taken one step further, Clinton’s California popular vote accounted for 13.3 percent of her total popular vote and Trump’s California popular vote represented only 7.1 percent of his national popular vote. Trump’s votes were more evenly distributed than Clinton’s, thus another reason the Democrats wish to repeal the 12th Amendment, and yet another reason to maintain and protect it.

As for voting online? That’s an even bigger joke. How many ways will elections be hacked? Consider all the corporate hackings that occur. Or the hacking of credit card information or medical records. Too many moving parts, not enough protection.

While there is little issue with early voting, again, in person and with identification, 45 days, as is  now the case in Virginia, is too far out from Election Day. Suppose an 11th hour surprise hits the papers a week before the election and a voter wants to change his or her vote? Tough luck. Or if a candidate dies or is disqualified? Again, tough luck. It is to the voter’s advantage to vote as close to, if not actually on, Election Day. That way voters can make their most informed decision before casting their ballots. An intelligent electorate is the best electorate.

Voters must have confidence in the electoral process or it is worthless and the United States becomes Haiti, Iran, or Russia. As it is, only about 50 percent of registered voters cast ballots, and that’s during a presidential election year. Midterm and off-year elections produce a much smaller participation rate, making those votes count even more. Every American citizen who is registered to vote, should vote on Election Day - with a valid, government issued form of identification. And every vote cast must include a paper trail - a receipt denoting for whom each voter cast his or her ballot. Without such protections, G-d help the Republic.

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

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Clinging to Our G-d and Guns

Clinging to Our G-d and Guns
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 12, 2020

In the new world of coronavirus we find ourselves “living” in, while it is perfectly legal to procure food from a Church’s Chicken drive through, attempting to worship at one’s church is now considered a misdemeanor - even if outdoors in one’s vehicle. Something is most assuredly wrong with that picture.

Millions of people of faith and legal gun owners were mocked by Barack Obama for “cling[ing] to their guns and religion.” Thank G-d Obama is no longer occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, because his antipathy toward both groups would prove even more damaging than it is today. Although President Donald Trump supports both groups, myriad governors and mayors continue Obama’s disdain for religion, religious people, guns and gun owners.

The list of non-essential businesses includes, but is not limited to, churches, synagogues, and gun stores. The list of essential businesses includes, but is not limited to, abortion clinics, liquor stores, and fast food establishments. So, at a time when Americans are at their most vulnerable, most defenseless, it is no wonder people are clinging to their guns and religion. Gun shops are deemed non-essential when they are at their most essential. The Second Amendment is the citizens’ protection against a tyrannical government. I don’t oppose medically necessary safety measures, but not when United States citizens are being thrown under the ambulance in favor of diabetic child molesters and sex offenders.

Shoplifting, break-ins of homes and businesses, and other so-called petty, low-level, non-violent quality of life crimes are being ignored, thanks to edicts by radical Democrat district attorneys like Larry Krasner of Philadelphia and Chesa Boudin in San Francisco. Prisons have even released convicted child molesters and sex offenders with diabetes who may be at risk of contracting the coronavirus for their protection, yet it seems perfectly acceptable to let these animals loose on decent society putting innocent Americans at risk. In fact, US Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), during an interview on MSNBC, advocated for blanket commutations of sentences to release prisoners due to the coronavirus. Where is the justice? 

If a supermarket can be open, as it should, so too should gun and ammunition shops be open allowing Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights to the Constitution. The same social-distancing and shoppers per square foot can be observed just as easily in a gun store as it can in a grocery store. If people can wait in lines outside stores like a Costco or Wal Mart, they can just as easily do likewise at a Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s.

Unilateral decisions like that made by Champaign, IL mayor Deborah Frank Feinen (D) to issue a ban on guns and the closing of gun stores via executive order are dangerous. Quite frankly, no more dangerous than the unilateral decisions made by numerous governors and mayors pertaining to the stifling of Americans’ freedom of religion. 

Greenville, MS Mayor Errick Simmons, a Democrat supporter of presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, unilaterally banned all religious services, including those of the drive-in variety. Police in that city were sent en masse to the King James Bible Baptist Church where Pastor Charles Hamilton attempted to conduct a vehicular service. “I’m a good citizen,” said Hamilton. “I ain’t breaking no law, I ain’t selling no drugs, I’m just preaching the word of G-d, and look at all the police cars here,” continued the pastor. “Our rights don’t come from authority,” added Hamilton, sort of reminiscent of the old Hebrew National hot dog commercials - “We answer to a higher authority.” Although the parishioners at King James were given a warning, at Temple Baptist Church, also in Greenville, worshipers were fined $500 per person, not per vehicle. Beyond outrageous.

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Democrat Governor Andy Beshear unilaterally called on the state’s police force to record the license plate numbers of all church-goers attempting to worship, from their vehicles. “Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here,” said Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), also a doctor.

“Churches might be empty this Easter, but so is the grave,” said Pastor Todd Lester of Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Midway, KY. Lester was referring to his, and millions others’ belief, that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, following his crucifixion on Good Friday.

But such restrictions were not limited to just Democrats as Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, a Republican, issued his own edicts ruffling the feathers of religious communities across the Hoosier State. Holcomb called for houses of worship to be closed. He also required that in the case of drive-in services, there should be no interaction with clergy or any other personnel from houses of worship. Vehicles must be at least every other parking space, with no more than members of a given household in the vehicle - which rules out taking a neighbor, friend, or other family member who has no transportation. No portable bathroom facilities are to be provided on the grounds, and preferably no giving of communion. If restrooms are not closed or restricted in places like supermarkets, where undoubtedly more people shop than presumably the number of worshipers at individual churches or synagogues, why the restriction during drive-in services? And why can’t a service he held outdoors where parishioners are more than six feet away from one another?

These Draconian restrictions are also affecting the Jewish community, as Wednesday night at sundown ushered in Passover - a religious holiday of eight days runs parallel to Holy Week for Christians. Synagogues are unable to hold traditional services for daily prayers - minyan, Shabbat observances, and now Passover Seders. Traditionally individual congregations hold community Seders during the first two nights of Passover that typically serve those who don’t have family or a Seder to attend. In addition to the inability for Christians to receive communion or give confession, without a public service attended by the requisite 10 people above bar mitzvah age, the Jewish community is prohibited from reciting certain prayers during daily worship services. And while Zoom is a useful technological tool, that does not satisfy the all important rule of having 10 people physically present for the recitation of certain specific prayers according to Jewish law - also answering to a higher authority.

Governors and presidents sign bills to become law - they don’t write them; that is the responsibility of the legislative branch - elected directly by the people. For the legislative branch to cede power is more than just a little bit troubling, as our fundamental right of religious freedom, as found in the First Amendment of the Constitution, has been suspended. Where does it end? Totalitarian dictatorship the likes of which is found in communist Cuba, communist China, and socialist Venezuela? Be fearful, for this is the life a liberal-progressive atheist seeks to make America - another G-dless, faithless, socialist regime.

It is imperative to remember the words of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (1706-90): “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

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