Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Aspirant Donald Trump and an American War Hero: Troubled Coexistence in the Republican Party of 2015?

Keywords or Terms: GOP Chairman Reince Preiebus; Aspirant Donald Trump; Senator John McCain; War Hero; USA Today/University Poll; Far-Right Wing Republicans; Tea Party; Republican Field of Aspirants; Veterans; Families of POWs; Disparaging, Slanderous, and Out of place comment; Compromise, civility, courteousness and appreciations; Vietnam Era Military Pilot; Southeast Asian War; Afghanistan and Iraq wars; Second World War; P5+1+EU countries; Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Agreement; US Congress; Israeli and Bibi Netanyahu; and, American Blood.

What establishment Republicans have promised has not yet happened. What the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party predicted about seven years ago has actually come to pass. Donald Trump, the hero of the Republican Party’s rank and file has not only bested more than fourteen Republican hopefuls for the 2016 nomination, he topped the early polls conducted by USA Today/Suffolk University this past week; and has been growing in support since his derogation of Senator John McCain’s military service on Saturday. This exactly was what the Tea Party promised, the conservative far-right wing of the Republican Party will someday hold sway in the Republican Party, and a leader worthy of their course, rise up to take the mantle of leadership in the Party. Among the long list of Republican Party hopefuls, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina, Mick Huckabee, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, George Pataki, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump stands out as an incurable political straight talker, some say politically-incorrect, others say reckless and dubious, who hardly cares whose ox is being gored; and now, the most favorable of the Republican far right, the tea party constituent, for the 2016 Presidential contest.
To be sure that things do not turn aerie or go to the dogs, GOP Chairman Reince Preiebus has been scrambling and sometimes taking a deep breath regarding what to do with or about the hero of the new Republican far-right, Donald Trump; who has not only been growing in polls, but has used his campaign message to address the issue of immigration in rather negative or non-voter friendly way for the Republican Party. To compound the GOP Chairman’s fear, this weekend, Aspirant Donald Trump advanced an argument, which even staunch Democrats will never torch or imagine. The real estate mogul and NBC-reality show host turned Republican Presidential hopeful, who most recently relegated Mexicans to rapists and what not, cast aspersion on Senator John McCain’s American war hero’s status. What many sensible and knowledgeable veterans have acknowledged of Senator McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War, including the current US Secretary of State, John Kerry, releasing a public statement affirming the heroism of his former compatriot, is now being questioned by the darling of the far right Republicans to  their applause. Aspirant Trump, embolden over the week from initial far-right applause of his derogation, doubles down on his statement, including further assertion that he is not a fan of one of America’s bests.

When Senator John McCain criticized the darling of the new Republican Party’s rank and file as “crazies” the other day, little did he know that Aspirant Donald Trump was going for the broke, he was about to hit the ball out of the park without anyone out there to catch the ball with all bases loaded. Some say Aspirant Trump’s comments crossed the line, others say, it is “douchebaggery”; however, well-meaning Americans, Democrats and Republicans, say there is no room for reckless use of language by any worthy candidate for the Office of the President of the United States. The personal grievance or recklessness which aspirant Trump’s offensive and slanderous comment could have generated was toned down by response from Senator John McCain: “Trump doesn’t owe me an apology; but, he owes one to the families of POWs.” Concurrently, other contesting Republican aspirants, including Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush have not only criticized Donald Trump’s comment as either slanderous or out of place, but rose up to defend the heroism of the Senior Senator from the state of Arizona; with Senator Lindsey Graham intoning that Mr. Trump is fired, in the manner of the latter’s reality show quips. With Governor Rick Perry admonishing aspirant Donald Trump’s remarks as reaching a new low in American Politics and calling for his immediate withdrawal from the race and Senator Lindsey Graham further Tweeting: “if there was ever any doubt that Donald Trump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt.”

Republican Aspirant Donald Trump’s exact comments on Saturday’s Ames, Iowa, Family Leadership Conference follows thus, among others: He [Senator John McCain] is a hero because he was captured…I like people who weren’t captured”, says a ton about what the Grand Old Party, Party of  Ike Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, has turned out to be in 2015. Rather than the faith and family message of this weekend’s Family Leadership Conference, Donald Trump decided to spill the milk or throw a huge wrench into what has been puzzling establishment Republicans since the rise of the far right in their party. Whether Aspirant Donald Trump will lose a good portion of his supporters for the disparaging comment against Senator McCain is left for time to tell; however, from the look of things, aspirant Trump is relishing in his vocal abuse as he doubles down on his earlier comment, with another more disparaging comment as, I am not a fan of John McCain because he has done very little for our Veterans. Whoa, and you thought the first was bad enough, wonder what additional derogation or slander is coming your way with the rise of Donald Trump’s candidacy!

Apparently, there are problems in the Republican Party. Problems concerning compromise, civility, courteousness, and respect for the military and public service. Aspirant Donald Trump’s partisans may be disappointed; however, his fervent supporters do not give a hue. These things have long been on the minds of many Americans, as the far-right dished out their very worst in behavior against President Barack Obama all the years of his administration. Republican establishment would have to deal with this now; the Ginny has been let out of the bottle! Sort of reminds me of that old adage, if you do not caution your dog from biting your neighbor, it would someday turn on you! It would be useful if Republican establishment realizes that anyone ready to throw a national war hero and prisoner of war under the bus, comes out short in the caliber of person to occupy the White House oval office. The last few years have seen enough incivility in American politics and discussions; and frankly, the current comment from the darling of the Tea Party, is just an extension of what others had considered unacceptable for very long time in American Politics. It appears right now that the chicken has come home to roast!

Intra-party feud or not, Aspirant Trump’s choice of words lacks the understanding of the job of a Vietnam Era Military Pilot, if you ask Senator McCain. Did we learn anything from the experience of the Vietnam War as a country; or, has Aspirant Trump’s reckless language opened up a cankerworm about why we went to war in Vietnam or other recent foreign wars? We easily dominated the Grenada War in 1983 and the Dominican Republic’s in 1965. In the case of Vietnam, it appears that we hardly should have involved ourselves in that war; and if we consider the public’s perception of the war in retrospect, it was a bad idea. It is probably on this basis that a draft-dodger, Donald Trump, has based part of his outrageous comments on Senator McCain. Protagonists of the Vietnam War maintain critics of the Southeast Asian War hardly understand the purpose of military engagement. For this group, the nation has the duty of looking beyond its national interest when engaging in foreign hostilities. Further, for protagonists the perceived failure of the Vietnam War, was the unwillingness of the nation to accept the responsibility of sacrifices, sufferings and causalities that mounted up over the years of the war. Compounded with this, was the nation’s apprehensiveness regarding going to a war where our vital national interest was not at stake.

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars remain in hot contentions in current discuss and appear not to prove a case either way. What is now considered the war of choice by Prescient G.W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has raised another question: whether our nation’s military might can actually do the job in addressing religious fanaticism? The concept of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on false intelligence from Israel and other European nations. The Vietnam War appears to have been based on the notion of collective security against aggression of one or more nations; however, the case of the second Iraq war suffers the tenant of misinformation from an ally who wanted us to dismantle any possible military might of a tyrant, Saddam Hussein. This last misjudgement or erroneous machination and determination is the real reason why Israelis Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has denounced the current P5+1+EU negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of action. For Netanyahu, America’s might should be used to solve any problem his nation is not good enough to address, either militarily or diplomatically.

This brings us to another lesson: If the US Congress turns down the newly negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Agreement, and the country selects to go to war with Iran unilaterally, if our capabilities are unable to succumb the religious fanaticism that is very much part of the Ayatollahs’ theocracy, we suffer a Vietnam era’s type of experience, with the potential of the likely adversary dictating the time and place of confrontation. This is a probability in offing; and this is the reality that Israelis Netanyahu knows and is incapable of addressing. Hence his denouncement of the agreement. Baring the use of another atomic bomb, we suffer the potential of the Vietnam’s era experience. America has a collective interest, with other P5+1+EU countries in ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon capability; this is why US Congress has to ratify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement. The ratification does not only solidify our position as the leader of the free world, it enhances the reasonable expectation of every member of the negotiating team and puts our nation on an untouchable pedestal of leadership. One very crucial lesson that the comment from aspirant Trump’s has inadvertently generated, in light of ongoing international relation’s issue before us today is this: We as a nation must never again go to war, where our vital national interest is not at stake; nor engage in hostilities for the sake of the wishes of an unappreciative ally. America’s blood must never be shed for cooked up lies and the blue print used for defending Europe in the Second World War and undermining Saddam Hussein in 1991, must remain a distinct strategy never to be wasted on an unappreciative partner.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Nuclear Deal with Iran and 2016 Presidential Campaign: Investing in America’s National Interest without apologies to any other nation?

Keywords or Terms: Negotiated Nuclear Deal; P5+1+EU; Multilateral versus Bilateral Agreement Deal; Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; US, Britain, Germany, France, Russian and China; President Barack Obama; Supervised Inspections of Nuclear sites and research labs; Iranian Nuclear Research; International Nuclear Status Monitoring and Sanctions; International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Generalized views of Negotiation’s Provisions; State of Israel; Interest-threat mismatch; USA; Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu; 2016 Presidential Hopefuls; Republicans; Holding brief for an imagined impending nuclear catastrophe; Making enforcement of the provisions in the deal a priority to ensure success: Preventing Iran from Obtaining Nuclear Weapons.

Investing in America’s National Interest is nothing to be apologetic about; or, criticized just to satisfy the ambitions of an ally or supposed, friendly nation. Why bother or lose some sleep over a negotiated Nuclear Deal with Iran, which the only Jewish State known to man, does not believe the United States has a right to go into accord with to resolve a long-standing menace for the whole world. In concert with five other nations, America entered an internationally negotiated nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to halt and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to ensure that Iran is not playing piker-boo or grandstanding anymore. America remains in perpetuity all sanctions and punitive restraints, allowing the negotiated partners and America to call into order Iran, in case that nation violates conditions of the agreement. Further, America and its partners can reinstate all the former and current sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at any time, after a minimum of ten and maximum of fifteen years henceforth; including stipulations in the provisions that: 1) there would be continuous and supervised inspections of Iranian nuclear centrifuges, military industrial complex and nuclear research sites; 2) the inspection and verification of Iranian’s nuclear centrifuges storage and research sites are going to be random and may be enforced with an accelerated 20-day notice in case of suspected violation of the agreement; 3) Iranian’s obligations and commitments to the negotiating partners and the world, not to proliferate, is intact, sustained and made permanent under the deal; and if there is any suspected violation, the punitive sanctions automatically sets in; 4) there are many caviars in place in the agreement to ensure that Iran continue to roll back many advances in its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons; and, 5) hypothetically, if Iran decides in the future to cheat, or openly says, it wants to pursue a nuclear weapon, it would directly and forcefully be told in no uncertain terms that it may not because of prior commitments and obligations under the current deal with the negotiating partners and by default, the world.

Considering the provisions in the current internationally negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, United States or any other partner is not in a weaker position to respond to future threats from Iran to return to its ambition or break out of its obligations under the deal. And interestingly so, Iran will hardly find itself at a break-out point, where it will want to renege on its obligations under the deal, as immediate and future nuclear research activities will be constantly and consistently monitored by the international atomic energy agency (IAEA). The safeguard provisions in the new deal, not only place America at an advantage over any future Iranian’s ambition to acquire the weapon, it places ahead of Iran, any shenanigan that may afford that nation any belated choice to pursue a nuclear program expansion beyond what is known of it as of date. Why then, would this deal put America or her future President(s) in a bind to prevent Iran from obtaining the nuclear weapon or bombs, as advanced by domestic critics of the deal? If the joint comprehensive action plan freezes Iran’s uranium enrichment over 3.67 percent and terminates expansion of its heavy-water facilities, limiting the nation only to its first-generation centrifuges for the next ten years, with a memoranda that other existing facilities be converted, but for proliferation, how come critics continue to suspect the possibility of non-compliance? Is it because of Iran’s past recalcitrance? There is already in place, a verifiable mechanism, one that the United State is much advanced in than any country of the world and which can readily detect any violation of a commitment to the deal from Iran. Even if Iran brakes away from its obligation on this deal, there is still room to hold her responsible for the provisions in the deal, by incapacitating its key nuclear facilities, the Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant; the Gachin uranium mine and Isfahan uranium-conversion plant; the Parchin military research and development complex; and, the Fordow and Natanz enrichment plant. Why then is the fuss that America is in a worse place after the consummation of the two-year long negotiated deal is signed in Vienna, Austria? To those still apprehensive, the whole world is watching Iran, not only America and IAEA; there are many countries sharing the same conviction that Iran must not acquire the nuclear bomb and there must not be room for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

For continued critics of the nuclear deal, it is essential and important to realize that: If the twenty-month arduous negotiations with the P5+1+EU and Iran had failed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran could have readily walked away a rogue nation, independent of whatever pressures or sanctions enabled by the deal, to advance its confirmed nuclear ambition; including proliferation and multiplication of its number of centrifuges and expansion of its military research and development complex. The contextual argument in national security parlance is this, it is better to curtail Iran’s ambition, while keeping a keen eye on its activities, without which, it may be impossible to verify the level of build-up and expansion of its centrifuges, which may be weaponized without us or other partners knowing for sure. To avoid a nuclear arms race, we must manage Iran’s ambition, for it’s probably too late to eradicate the advances already made by Iran on its nuclear research ambition. What the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the nuclear deal, ascertains is this: For the next ten years, Iran is bound from achieving the nuclear weapon; it is going to be closely and gawkily watched by the international community to ensure that Iran is not cheating or working behind closed doors to achieve the nuclear bomb.

Given that America’s domestic politics and presidential campaigns have a way of flowing into foreign policy arrangement of a sitting President, it is important to allay the fears in some quarters that future Presidents of the United States would be handicapped under this nuclear deal. It is safe to acknowledge that America has a right of self-determination just like any other nation of the world; to effect its territorial integrity and protect its national interests under any circumstance. Further, America would pursue a future and imminent action from the State of Iran regarding its nuclear ambition in cooperation with other world powers. Because there is some difference in the generalized views of how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was completed with Iran, hardly condones the current hoopla over the perceived inadequacy of the deal. For the records, the framework of agreement inculcated international inspections from United States and the European Union and neither Russia nor China could call for stay by individual veto power.

Although part of the recent criticisms, since the announcement of a deal, has a place in domestic politics, foreign policy, and national security narratives, there is hardly any justification to scorn at the agreement as putting America’s safety in jeopardy. Any other thing you hear from critiques of this deal, including those of Republicans holding brief for the state of Israel and those who would want us to believe in an impending nuclear catastrophe from this agreement, are mainly mischievous. Further, the discrediting of the deal by the Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, is at best subjective and would hardly bring about a crisis that cannot be averted with our national military capability. In addition, as a nation, we must never put ourselves in a situation where we will be drawn into a war to preserve solely the national interest of Israel. While recognizing the right of the State of Israel to exist and preserve its national interest, these hardly trump America’s interest to enter into negotiations with leading world’s nations to set back surreptitious ambition for nuclear weapons of another nation in the world. This is why the current and past criticisms from Bibi Netanyahu of the deal must be disregarded, including his insistent and unwarranted disregard for the Office of the President of the United States, as they appear to be subjective belligerent noncooperation with the United States on Iran, under any circumstance.

The reality is, six nations went into negotiations with Iran, a potential nuclear rogue nation, each with its own national interest at heart, and came out with a deal, where anyone of the partners, individually and collectively, has an upper hand to rein in Iranian’s nuclear ambition. The deal creates a pathway for America, just like any one of the negotiating partners, to ensure that Iran does not acquire the Nuclear weapon, now or in the future. For those critics of President Barack Obama for reaching this deal in combination with other five leading nations of the world, here is the honest and blunt truth: Israel is not America; and, America is not Israel. Neither is America’s interest completely symptomatic of Israel’s interest.  No matter how America attempts to protect Israel’s right of existence; it must not be done at the complete expense of America’s national interest; else there comes a time of reckoning, where America finds itself lost under the premise interest of Israel. The realist’s paradigm suggests that America’s military power or might, may be used to protect an ally or discourage any of its enemies, depending on the circumstance; however, it is never to be substituted for America’s national interest. The implication has been relevant since the Cold war and the beginning of interest threat mismatch between Israel and America on Iran. This also is hardly Germaine to the current White House, as Israel has been known to go its way under other US Presidency, including spying on us.

In the twenty month negotiated deal reached with Iran along with US, Britain, Germany, France, Russian and China, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reassures the International Community that Iran will not progressively continue to work towards a nuclear weapon. While the possibility of continuing with peaceful nuclear research work is part of this deference to Iran, there is the legitimacy that the use of force is still available to any of these six nations to affect their national interest if Iran defies its obligations under the agreement, beginning with the return of all former sanctions and restrictions against Iran. Interestingly, the current spate of 2016 Republican presidential candidates have rushed to condemn the agreement without reading the one-hundred and fifty page missive completely; with Senator Marco Rubio saying to the press, failure of the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States; with Governor Jeb Bush visualizing the deal as dangerous, deeply flawed and short-sighted; with Governor Scott Walker admonishing that America needs a president that will terminate the Iran deal, calling on congressional leaders and election rivals to repudiate the agreement; with Senator Ted Cruz  urging the public to campaign against the deal during congressional review period; with Governor Huckabee keeping all options on the table, probably including hostilities; with former Hewlett-Packard CEO saying that on her first day in office, she will call Iranian leaders and say, unless you are prepared to open every nuclear facility and every military facility, anytime, anywhere inspection, not 20-day notice, not all this stuff apparently we agreed to, we are going to make it as hard as possible for you to move money around the global financial system; with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina insisting the deal is a possible death sentence for Israel; and, former Texas Governor, Rick Perry boasting he will rescind the deal on his first day in office as US President, and do anything in his power to work with US Senate to oppose the deal, among others. As fanciful and probably eye-popping as these comments are, they unfortunately show a lot of naivety on the part of the 2016 Presidential aspirants. In the first place, like any foreign policy and international negotiator will tell you: rescinding an internationally collectively negotiated agreement will not only damage America’s standing and reputation in the world, it would put a dent in its future relations with other countries, especially the P5+1+EU. The power and influence of a US President have some limitations in the international arena and United Nations, no matter what these presidential aspirants may be spewing out at this moment.

As President Barack Obama reiterated, if the nation does not choose wisely on this deal, future generations would not look very kindly on our position of apprehension. In line with his campaign promise to use the bargaining table rather than the battle field to achieve the objective of solid foreign policy initiatives and or agreements, the President articulates that this deal accomplishes the ultimate national interest: Preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; knowing fully well that this is an unacceptable situation under any scenario. There is another reality that critics must consider, this deal is not a binary agreement; rather, it is a joint agreement, involving some super powers and leading European nations, who are hardly beholding to our national interest. Though some congressional lawmakers may be apprehensive of the deal and probably want the whole agreement scrapped, other countries involved in the negotiations, including two Western permanent members of the Security Council (Britain and France) and two Eastern permanent members (Russia and China) want it; and, are eager to see some of the sanctions come off as they are hardly directly benefiting from them in totality. The deal is here, we all need to make enforcement of its provisions a priority and work within the realm of an agreement to ensure the ultimate goal is accomplished. In case anyone misses the not so obvious situation before the deal, many Americans have very little tolerance for another foreign war and the unrepentant Prime Minister of Israel is not going to gamble going to war with Tehran on its own terms, because of the obvious implication and possible repercussions.  A multilateral deal of this nature guarantees that many countries may effect their will and national interest if Iran becomes an egregious offender, by violating the provisions of the deal.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG FALLS: the death of hate and the triumph of the human spirit!

Keywords or Terms: Hate, Confederate Flag; SC Representative Jenny Horne; Jefferson Davis; American Civil War; Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church; Tea Party; US Congressional Republicans; OBAMACARE; Moms Demand Action;  Gun Violence; and, Hate Groups

One of the most important questions our descendants would ask in the near future is why did it take us this long to retire a symbol of hate? Why did it take the whole nation this long to stop hating? Hate kills, it destroys, and it embowers and creates unwelcome frictions that are better left out of everyone’s life. In the days and weeks following the slaying of nine American citizens in their place of worship, debate circulated around South Carolina and the nation about the need to retire the Confederate flag from the seat of power in some southern states. Proponents and opponents staged their arguments for and against, and for a while, it seemed the opponents were going to win out, until came a fiery speech from a State Republican Representative Jenny Horne, a descendant of a Southern warrior, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, to powerfully lay to rest a false argument of denials by the proponents to stay.

South Carolina Republican Representative Jenny Horne, an embodiment of truth, said it rightfully well, when she said: “I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body [South Carolina House of Representatives] to do something meaningful such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds [State Capitol] on Friday,” That statement says it all: There comes a time in the life of a people, a nation, when it has to face the hard truth, call a spade and spade and move on. Today and forever, Ms. Horne puts to rest, after 150 years, an argument that has divided a people, citizens of the greatest nation on earth and the most peace loving human beings, if only the hate mongers will let us be, over the American Civil War.

Although the Confederate flag appears abruptly as a lightning rod after the mayhem at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church, Charleston, South Carolina, and thus seemed to be the very symbol of racism that many could lounge against, there are other items of American Civil War around us that many still feel offensive. The Confederate flag stood out as a panacea to racism and became a tolling bell over the South Carolina House of Representatives, as the whole nation watched and waited, if the legislators in that State would do what is right; just as it is expected in all southern states which still hold very dearly to that tradition of hate and bigotry; by continuing to fly the Confederate flag on their State’s Capitol.

Borrowing from Wikipedia, if racism is defined as sanctioned privileges and rights given to White America that are not available to other races, including on matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedures over periods of time, then the vote in South Carolina House of Representatives today, signifies a turning point, the re-birth of a nation. If other ethnic based non-protestants, Irish, Poles, Italians, and Jews xenophobic exclusions over a period of time have not called to question our sense of fairness and humaneness as a nation, it is relatively important to appreciate, how significant the vote in South Carolina House of Representatives mean, or move us along, on the road to being free of racism and bigotry. The vote in the South Carolina House means the beginning of a nation’s movement away from its darkest past; it means the alleviation of the weight of hatred for hatred's sake, away from the burden of living in deceit and deception to a rather peaceful, compassionate and reflective life. 

Very few people ever go on forever hating; some do, however, most, especially towards the end of their lives, often seek forgiveness. If in doubt, visit a nursing or old people’s home and ask some of the residents to reflect on their life’s journey and you would be shocked to your depth, what some of them will tell you about racism and prejudices. That’s what the burden of hatred does mean, and that is why, we must move away from this destructive behavior because it pays no one.

A culture of hate is preceded by a confusion of what is meant to be human; or a misinterpretation of what living in harmony with other people who necessarily do not physically look like us, means. Children under the age of three, hardly understand hate and rarely, if not practically, abhor the practice of hate and prejudice. Nature wants all of us to live in harmony with our surroundings and other forms of life. The choice we make to hate or not to hate depends on us; we all have the power and responsibility to make choices, choices that may determine our relationships with other human beings and our environment. Our upbringing may be prejudicial or hateful; however, we have the obligation to be re-born anew, in a world full of love and spirit of forbearance.

American Civil War ended a century and a half ago, but there is no d├ętente between the two major races in America; especially, when one part of one of the races continues to hold dearly to artifacts of the war, especially those conspicuous symbols of hatred that prevent some from living in harmony with self, others, and our environment. Without any noticeable awareness and reduction of affinity for objects of hate – such as the Confederate flag or anything relating to the triumphs or failures of one part of the nation over another in the civil war – we cannot say we have gone past hatred or its subset, racism. No one ever wins a war, people always share forever the inauspicious experience and many a times, live with the results or repercussions of hostilities to the detriment of their health and existence. Any affinity therefore for artifacts of a war, is an intensification of the reasons for the war in the first place.

In the past six years, we as a nation has witnessed how the hatred for our President by some segment of the Republican Party has practically eaten these people up. Imagine what could have been, if Tea Party Republican legislators have chosen not to hate but work with the President? Here are some examples of what hate bred: 1) Congressional Republicans spurning the hand of the President when he went to the Hill to amend fences in the contentious debate over a stimulus plan; 2) Republican legislators in Congress under the leadership of Speaker Boehner said 'No' to the $815 billion stimulus plan which the nation needed badly to recover from the recession, casting it as another run-of-the-mill, undisciplined, cumbersome and wasting spending bill; 3) When faced with epic disaster that demanded congressional cooperation, the divided and dysfunctional Republican Party members in US Congress decided to go it all alone, rejecting any effort to bring the nation from the financial brink of loan default; a default that led to Moody downgrading us, the first of its kind in history; 4) When a South Carolinian US Congressional Republican lawmaker pointed finger at the President of the United States and said in an outburst: “you lie”, that is hate in full display; 5) When a governor of a state publicly accosted the President of the United Stateson an airport tarmac pointing finger directly in his face because of dispute over immigration issues, then you know hate’s true nature; 6) When a former Republican US House Speaker referred to President Obama as the most successful food stamp president in American history, that is an epitome of hatred and microcosm of racism; 7) when a State's House Speaker, quoting the Bible, wishes the President of the United State be killed, his wife widowed and children, orphaned, what else can you say for hate? And, 8) when the attitudes of Republican leadership in Congress towards their Democrat’s counterparts is: “It doesn’t matter what the hell you do, we aren’t going to help you. We’re going to stand on the sidelines and bitch”; then, you get a dysfunctional US Congress.

Despite all these hate, it has been reported elsewhere that the President was still able to: 1) triple the stock market, cut unemployment in half, ended two foreign wars, cut the uninsured Americans in half and brought down gas to $2.75 a gallon; 2) Signed into law the historic healthcare bill affably referred to as OBAMACARE; 3) Advanced stem-cell research, equal pay for women and appointed two pro-choice female Supreme Court Justices; 4) Re-furbished the mortgage refinance law and program; 5) Signed into law Dodd-Frank affording for consumer financial protection; 6) Rescued the automobile industry from the brink of bankruptcy that could have led to losing of millions of American jobs; and 7) Exterminated America’s enemy number one, Osama bin Laden. These are what a love of a nation and a people can achieve.

The nation would have moved mountains and could have been far along in paying our national debts if the love of the nation had been in the hearts of our legislators. However, when the choice is to hate, to say No to everything the President chooses, even if innocently proposed to benefit the nation, and one group continues to hold back support, to hate for hate's sake, then very little could be accomplished in the US Congress; and by default, the whole nation. Hate has a way of eating up even the haters, that’s why the vote from South Carolina House of Representatives, is a huge triumph for human spirit and the love of a nation that truly needs love.

In the realm of encouraging love, and discouraging hatred in the populace, it is impressionistic to imagine how much has been expended by the nation’s law enforcement agencies to fight hate and home grown hate groups. It is probably impossible to quantify the number of man hours, in any meaningful way, that law enforcement agencies spend keeping an eye on local and international terrorist groups. This amount has been mounting, particularly because of the events at the EAM Episcopal Church; the Moms Demand Action documentation of eight school shooting in the first quarter of 2014 that led to deaths of children and young adults; and another twenty-eight school shootings in 2013; events that have roughly caused the nation psychological and emotional stress, particularly long after the incidents. These are the examples of what hate breeds; and why peace lovers highlight the threats to civility from all objects of hate in our society. It is not that peacemakers or non-racists or non-bigoted are more in tune with life's and environmental harmony; rather, it is because they are much more sensitive to issues that divide us rather than unite us, issues that prevent us from being in an equilibrium with ourselves, our environment, and nature.

What is required of us as anything else, henceforth, is how to improve race relations in America, how to work across the boundaries of race, breaking down barriers and stereotypes about each race categories in America; working concertedly in all of our nation to ditch old habits of racism; highlighting and encouraging conducive or appropriate behavior that facilitate racial harmony; praising and admonishing good behavior based on the philosophy of being our brother’s keeper; and holding ourselves, our communities and our lawmakers to a higher standard of behavior, that shame hate, hate groups, and propagate love. This approach is essential, if we are to break down barriers that prevent us from living in harmony with each other; and, maintain a balance that enables all of America to continue to live in peace, without regard to race, religion, national origin, physical handicap and or sexual orientation. This type or form of change is necessary to transform the world. The House of Representatives in the State of South Carolina lit up the light of hope this week, it is now our responsibility to pass on the torch. May God Bless the United States of America!



Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th, 2015: Rethinking the Primary Elections and Caucuses on the way to the 2016 Nomination Process

Keywords or Terms: America’s Independence Day; Republican and Democratic Party Aspirants; Political Speeches; British Colonialists; Old Glory, red, white and blue; Early Primary States: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida; RCP Poles’ Averages; Hillary Rodham Clinton; Jeb Bush; Scott Walker; Switching Loyalties; Authenticity and Genuineness of Interests; Bernie Sanders, Millenniums; Republican Party stewardship of the White House; America’s Economy and Recession

The cornerstone of our freedom - America’s Primary Elections and Caucuses – are on their way on this Independence Day. The custom of celebration, fireworks, parades, carnivals, family reunion, fair, picnics, alliances, neighborhood and family barbecues, and the ever so familiar political speeches from all manner of politicians are also concurrently taking place from coast to coast on this Independence Day. The fact that Presidential campaigns are going on hand in hand with the celebration of our two hundredth and thirty-ninth Independence is hardly an unexpected; rather, it has become an opportunity for reflection on the challenges of a long drawn out nomination process for the political party’s flag bearer. The usual display of fireworks on Washington Monument is a cause of celebration of liberty and freedom on this Independence Day; but the choice of who is likely to replace the current occupant of the White House Oval Office, President Barack Obama, is also as important as the celebration of our Independence. The need for the contemplation of who is likely to lead us come January 2017, is also as important as the celebration of Old Glory; because we understand and appreciate what poor or good leadership means right now, even if we didn’t a little over two and one-third centuries ago.

The race for the White House oval office in 2016 has began in earnest, with a host of Republicans and a sprinkle number of Democrats, jostling for attention from American Voters in the early primary states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. RCP Averages of Poles for Republican Party aspirants for last month (5/29/ to 6/29), give the lead in the State of Iowa to Scott Walker, among the slate of leading Republican aspirants, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Tom Cruz, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, John Perry, Carlie Fiorina; and Jeb Bush in the States of New Hampshire and South Carolina. Among the Democratic Party slate of aspirants, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and John Chafee, the RCP Averages of Poles give the edge to Hillary Rodham Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Strictly on the basis of these poles, the consensus is more to give the party flag bearers’ position to Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Scott Walker or Jeb Bush for the Republican Party.

Unfortunately, the consensus of polling emerging from early primary states, while somewhat of a predictor of the ultimate flag bearer, has been known to change as the campaign for the White House approaches the general election day in November of every four years. It is not out of place to presume with current polling that Democrats will likely put forward Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders; however, the leadership and ego tussles emerging in the Republican Party, point direction to a new thesis regarding the ultimate flag bearer for the Republicans. Constant or Dynamic changes in the number of Republican candidates vying for the 2016 contest is already becoming a draconian problem for statisticians or estimators of who is likely to carry the Party’s crown in November of next year. The genuineness and authenticity of newer entrants among the Republicans into the 2016 race have been questioned on so many grounds, including the speculation of a bandwagon effect. The growing number of new Republican aspirants entering the race may make the predictability of the ultimate flag bearer even more trying and dicey; with the potential of having newer entrants splintering support and loyalties of party’s faithful’s or rank and file. Worse more, this very august occurrence calls to question the preparedness and veracity of a winning chance for the ultimate Republican flag bearer against a Democrat. Voters’ loyalty is fluid in party primaries; and, initial support of loyalists in early primary states may change; with one misstep by one candidate, leading to loss of support for his or her candidacy; and, probably leading to initial supporters switching loyalty to other candidates in the contest.

Moreover, it is argued that the viability of current slate of fourteen Republican candidacies’ campaigns is very shaky on the basis of finances and financiers; and, the possibility of Democrats continuing in power after 2016, is fast growing if Republicans don’t get their house in order. Growing wrangling and unavailability of seasoned campaign organizers, especially those with national general elections experience, to help chart, plan  and control releases of campaign messages and instill discipline in campaign  canvassing, are sure not reasons for Republican party’s stalwarts, power brokers or die-hard, to celebrate. Neither are these good enough reasons for Democratic Party’s candidacies’ complacency; all candidates, Republican or Democrat, have to work hard for the American votes and support to end up as the party’s big prize winner.

No one knows whether there are going to be mass voters’ or supporters defections after conclusion of early primary states’ contests; however, based on historical experiences, it is not uncommon for initial supporters to junk their preferred candidates for a surrogate or a better-prepared campaign organization and candidate, after initial results of early primary states. Nor does anyone know whether an unexpected turmoil in a candidate’s campaign organization and or finances will lead to the demise of a candidacy's campaign and or, removal from the front-runner status. Current unstable entries into the Republican contest could escalate; and, hitherto unknown fractures in supporters’ loyalty become glaring or evident to the extent that it disadvantages the whole structure of party primaries.

In short, the ever changing and dynamics in the number of Republicans showing newer interests in the 2016 race, have not eliminated the mistrust of current US Congressional Republican legislator’s; nor has it made voters more comfortable with Republicans based on the last performance of the Republican President in office. Indeed, the possibility of another Republican coming to occupy the White House oval office is hardly alluring at this time to the nation for more than one reason, one of which is the renewed disfranchisement of minorities on many fronts and the castigation of slurs on some minorities by prominent Republican Party aspirants. Nevertheless, the reality of politics is that American voters get an opportunity to nominate a party’s flag bearer and elect a new President of the United States of America, every four years. The threats to the Republican Party’s chances in 2016, is not only the dexterity of the most likely Democratic Party flag bearer, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but probably the unusual missteps of likely winner of the Republican Party's primary; and maybe, the light weight of the class of 2016 Republican Party's contenders.

Interested Republicans contemplating entering the 2016 race after the fourteenth, Governor Chris Christie, introduce further upheaval into the Party’s primary election. The possibility of inflicting a different outcome to the wilting process thereby impacting the ultimate party’s flag bearer is real, as another aspirant enters the race daily or further. Republican aspirants who have already declared their candidature are themselves, wondering why the ever increasing number of Republican aspirants filing up to enter the race now, after probably a perceived muddled up exercise. Any new Republican entrants would be repudiated even by Republicans themselves; as this entry would be seen as another confusion into an already complicated primary election process. Republican voters are pleased to have options in the number of candidates in their primary election process; however, they are hardly looking forward to the current dilution of the number of already declared candidates; and, the possibility of other Republican aspirants coming on, will substantially impact affinity for the candidature, his or her message or reason for entering the race, and loyalty of party followers. The dexterity and resilience of a Republican nominee against a Democratic Party flag bearer are probably impacted negatively as a long drawn-out nomination process are known to impact a party's  flag bearer chances in the general elections. Unilaterally drawn out nomination process hardly pays well for the party as a whole. Long drawn out nomination process not only leave out the ultimate candidate carrying the Party’s flag brutalized, it harms his or her chances from mending fences with ousted competitors in the primary election process. The havoc of a long-drawn out nomination process is usually a subversion of the strength of the ultimate flag bearer, substantially reducing his or her chances in the general election.

Of course, there could be a reversal of this unwelcome fortunes if other Republicans do not enter the race after the fourteenth or so aspirants  just before America's Independence Day. Unfortunately, there is no way to convince the next Republican aspirant from showing interest in the contest, or the possibility of becoming the next President of the United States. Neither the Republican Party power brokers nor senior party executives can rain in further interest of any Republican. This is the nature of Party Primary Elections and America's Caucus-based general election.

At the opposite of the Republican Party experience is the new insurgence of Bernie Sanders, a Socialist Democrat that has been making inroad in the hearts and minds of American voters. For a while, Democrats had contemplated what looked like a coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton; however, Senator Sanders Campaign message is dramatically sitting well with many. Bernie Sander’s rally in Wisconsin and his far-left campaign messages are not only welcomed by newer and younger voters, they are calling out many preconceived notion, including an assumption that the Party nomination for the Democratic Party is a coronation process or long settled in 2016. Senator Sander’s inroad has shown that he is able to excite and mobilize younger voters, the millennials. He not only speaks the language of the millennials, he is bringing their younger siblings into the big tent as he continues to deliver campaign messages that resonate very much with the concerns of this group, the economy, lopsided corporate profits and widening gap between the rich and poor, experiences that have made it difficult for this group from reaching their heights or expecting a better tomorrow. The global assumption that the crooks on the Wall Street whose action(s) led to the severe recession of 2008 – 2012 that led to Americans losing their homes, savings and jobs, is rather appealing and also resonating with the millenniums. Senator Sander’s call for retribution for the failures or contributors of the last recession places Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign on the notice: there is a need to move more leftwards than her Campaign would have wanted or contemplated to-date. If Senator Bernie Sander’s Campaign messages continue to resonate with the younger group and their siblings, there is the likelihood that his campaign could expose possible divisions among Democrats on issues of ideology and gender difference; and this, may become a waterloo for the Democratic Party. Hopefully, this new phenomenon, Senator Bernie Sander’s achievement on the 2016 campaign trail, will not persist furthermore; however, if it does, the leaders and establishment members of the Democratic Party will have a heavy load to carry on their way to party caucuses.

On the two hundredth and thirty-ninth Independence Day celebration, American voters understand the special place of the party nomination process, including the primary elections and caucuses and what each means for electing a new President on November 8, 2016. Each contestant has the obligation of securing votes and support for their candidacy in the primary election exercises; and, ultimately in the general election. Voters like Presidential aspirants have learned one basic truth, the longer the nomination process takes, and more difficult is the chances of triumphing very easily against the other major party's candidacy in a general election. The current confusion in the Republican Party and the insurgency in the Democratic Party have the potential of putting party’s power brokers on notice that the old rules of having a coronation or a favorite candidate of the party has long lost its meaning and effectiveness in making loyalist voters to fall in line, is now whimsical.

Far more important than ever on this Independent Day celebration is the fact that the system works the way the forefathers contemplated and that all votes have to be earned by any aspirant for the White House oval office. Further, initial support of a candidate’s campaign is volatile and the participation of more candidates at the primary election stages has an increasing complex implication for the survival of any candidacy. In addition, with the current dispensation in the Republican Party, each candidate has to devise a means for self-preservation in the early states’ primary voting contest to be able to last the long haul. The general dynamic process of having newer entrants into the race not only influence the party primary elections, it makes the nomination chances even more daunting for many candidates that may have had more fellowship at the party’s grassroots. There is merit in a rapidly and quickly settled party primary election process, and merit in the argument that any aspirant still contemplating entering the Republican party primary election stand very little chance of winning and must therefore, junk the idea since the field is probably already full on this day of Independence celebration.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Diversity, Inclusiveness, Tolerance and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of the State of Indiana: Is Jim Crow still alive and well in the 21st Century?

Keywords or Terms: Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Indiana; Governor Mike Pence; LGBT Community; Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness; Asians, Blacks, Jews, and Mexicans; Pastor martin Niemoller; Civil Rights Law; Fortune 500 CEOs; US Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling; Republican Senator Rick Santorum; and, Governor Mike Pence

The resurgence of intolerance in the State of Indiana is probably commuted this week in the signing of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act by Mike Pence, 47th and second term governor of the State of Indiana. The limping triumphs of the civil rights era and endurance of remarkable achievements in race, religion, and national origin relations in the nation notwithstanding, the State Assembly of Indiana, in its infinite wisdom, saw it fit to protect the rights of some while rejecting those of others, by aligning with the right of refusal of service to anyone who necessarily, do not look like, love like, think like, or cherish mainstream values of heterosexuals, under this new Indiana Act.

In Indiana of today, there is no room for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or transgender; and, if you are probably Asians, Blacks, Jewish, Mexican, and what have you, we are coming to get you; excuse me, you might just be the next in line. Sort of remind me of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous quotation: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” Indiana Assemblymen have learned from the flaws of the Civil Rights laws of 1964 and as amended in 1972: failure of inclusiveness of all manner of minorities in the epic law. The governor of the State of Indiana like his assemblymen are hardly interested in the principles or doctrinaire of cultural diversities, tolerance and inclusiveness in the twenty-first century. 

Today, under the disguise of protecting the rights of peoples under religion, the Indiana Assemblymen and Governor have chosen to defend the rights of refusal of service to those, who do not share the ethos, principles and philosophy of heterosexual orientation. For these politicians, their religious rights and liberties thrump other’s sexual preferences or full rights, and if they had the choice, the LGBT community will be eclipsed from the face of the earth.

The passing of marriage equality right and the re-affirmation of this privilege for everyone under the constitution, and the recent US Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, notwithstanding, as a provider of services in Indiana, you may refuse to sell or deny participation to provide services of any kind to anyone, any person, who do not share your marital and or sexual orientation values. Fortunately, many opinion leaders, politicians, CEO’s of fortune 500, and others are calling out the Indiana law as retrogressive and unwelcome; placing on record and circulating their objections as follows: 1) “Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, Sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. Legislations that allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.” – Adrian Swartout, CEO Gen Con; 2) “Regardless of the original intention of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, we are deeply concerned about the impact it is having on our employees and on the reputation of our state. All of our companies seek to promote fair, diverse and inclusive workplace. Our employees must not feel unwelcome in the place where they work and live” – CEO Bill Oesterle, Angie’s list and on behalf of several other Corporations; 3) “Laws that says you can discriminate have no place in this country” – Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle, Washington; 4) “Discrimination is intolerable wherever it exists. I stand with the LGBT community on [Religious Freedom and Restoration Act]” – Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, DC; 5) “Due to the actions taken by the State of Indiana, we will join with other cities across the nation in suspending the use of city funds for official business in Indiana. This law is just wrong, plain and simple, and we will not tacitly condone discrimination through the use of taxpayer’s dollars.”– Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver, Colorado; 6) “AFSCME is pulling our Women’s Conference out of Indiana this fall as a sign of our disgust and disappointment with Governor Pence’s discriminatory law. We stand with the ever-growing number of corporations and associations who are taking similar action this week, and demanding fairness for all in the State of Indiana.” – Lee Saunders, President, AFSCME; 7) “NIKE proudly stands for inclusion for all. We believe laws should treat people equally and prevent discrimination. NIKE has led efforts alongside other businesses to defeat discriminatory laws in Oregon and opposes the new law in Indiana which is bad for our employees, bad for our consumers, bad for business and bad for society as a whole.”– Mark Parker, NIKE President and CEO; and, 9) “[Religious Freedom and Restoration Act] is an attempt to rationalize injustice by pretending to defend the very principles upon which [this] country was founded. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair… On behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new… legislation – Tim Cook, Apple CEO.

Dramatic and sometimes breathtaking, these criticisms and colliculus development since the signing of the new law in Indiana, has shown how abhorrent this law is and how unwelcome the business community interpret its provisions for their businesses, employees, communities and or leadership. The community of business leaders declines to recognize a law that is in anyway restraining or discriminatory to the freedom of choice of the backbone of their enterprises: their workers. Some politicians, even within the State of Indiana, see a conservative agenda in the passing of the law; with many of them musing, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act reflects an uncommon practical wisdom. If Indiana does not move quickly to quash this act or amend it to facilitate transparency, voters and residents of the state are very well going to receive a backlash that will cut into the state confers and probably ouster some notable political players in the state. While businesses hardly like to get into political fights, their choice to make their disgust known openly about a law, spells real bad omen for politicians and their constituencies.

Why have oppositions grown so rapidly to Indiana’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act? What effects if any, will businesses and political leaders’ oppositions to the law have for the future of businesses and contractual obligations with Indiana and Indianans?

One of the current 2016 Presidential Aspirants, Republican Senator Rick Santorum has twitted that he stands by Governor Pence in “his defense of religious liberty and real tolerance.” During the campaigning periods, politicians are always known to make very outlandish statements; however, we have also often seen them walk back their statements when the rubber meets the road. When Indiana politicians and Presidential aspirants for the 2016 White House begin to see the repercussions of the out of place law with the LGBT communities over the federation, they probably will realize that, although in tone, the substance of the law looks substantially similar to one signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the tone and spirit of Indian’s law, actually impinges the rights of many at the expense of the compelling interest of probably more liberal, inclusive and diversified society. As for morality, it is evitable that government and peoples of the State of Indiana are faced with decisions to either exclude or include a population segment in Indiana that seems till now, oblivious; however, has always been part of the State. The ruling this week by the US Supreme Court on Marriage Equality may have emboldened Indiana’s LGBT community to quickly speak out against the law. Rather than seek guidance on how to define, measure or apply the new realities from the US Supreme Court, Indiana’s State governor may have jumped the gun by signing a moralistic law that forces heterosexual moralism on a more diverse State population.

The growing opposition to the law from the business communities and leaders has the potential to change the debate from obligation to protect religious rights for one, while discriminating against another minority segment of society on the basis of sexual orientation. Further, the debate may be shifting to ostracizing business consumers and manpower; a question many businesses are hardly ready to condone because it cuts deeply into their bottom line. In addition, the growing opposition symbolizes a reality that the LGBT communities are part of the fabric of society; and, many of them are workers, consumers, neighbors, family and friends; and, no matter how anyone see them, they are all Americans and God’s children. The remarkable comments from fortune 500 business leaders, as troubling as they may be for politicians in Indiana, have the potential of having a broader implication for the State of Indiana and probably, the nation. Executives at huge American Corporations often make good on their position or conviction; especially when it has to do with their bottom line.

The oppositions to Indiana’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act have grown so rapidly because of the nationwide ramification and or implication of the law. The fear that the law may spread to other states and scuttle the ideals of inclusivity, tolerance, and diversity, nationwide, probably netted the overwhelming opposition, especially from various business communities. The business community leaders are more interested in their dollars and cents; any law or action that may impact the bottom line is often frowned upon by businesses and stockholders. The rapid opposition is to send a quick message to other states that may be contemplating such similar laws to Indiana's Religious Freedom and Restoration Act. The prominent CEO’s of fortune 500 companies that have spoken so far, want to shatter any misgiven that  the new law in Indiana has no consequence. The immediate implication of the law for nationwide LGBT communities may just be as relevant as the need and desire for many companies to remain inclusive, tolerant and diversified in all their engagements. The nationwide relevance and oppositions are captured in the released statement by NASCAR immediately after the signing of the act into law by Indiana's Governor Pence: “NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusions or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sports and, therefore, will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at events in the State of Indiana and anywhere else we race.” This not only says a million, it puts the State of Indiana Assemblymen and governor on the defensive.