Opinion: Indiana Can’t Have It Both Ways

English: "At the bus station in Durham, N...

English: “At the bus station in Durham, North Carolina.” May 1940, Jack Delano. Deutsch: “An der Bushaltestelle, Durham, North Carolina.”, Mai 1940, Jack Delano. Français : “A la gare routière, Durham, Caroline du Nord.”, Mai 1940, Jack Delano. Español: “En la estación de autobuses, Durham, Carolina del Norte.”, Mayo de 1940, Jack Delano. Italiano: “Alla fermata dell’autobus, Durham, Carolina del Nord.” Maggio del 1940, Jack Delano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the new law in Indiana, everyone should agree that anyone who pays taxes in the state, is entitled to enjoy all of the benefits which their taxes provide. For example, human beings who are gay, work, and pay taxes,  and their money supports those businesses which are choosing to discriminate against them.  That support comes in the form of their taxes and money supporting those businesses with police protection, garbage collection, electricity subsidies, fire department protection, roads, and so forth.  So, in light of this law,  those individuals targeted by the particular law be refunded their tax dollars calculated via the amount utilized by those businesses’ usage of state funded resources.

An attempt at a discrimination graphic.

An attempt at a discrimination graphic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fact is, if a business is open to the public,  the public is everyone who wants to partake in those services, without exception.

Maybe this point will help some ‘ get it‘: What sort of outcry would there be if atheist decided that they did not want to serve Christians or persons of any other religion?

For those who do not get it, this is legalized,state-sanctioned, apartheid.  When a business offering services to the public at-large can choose whom they will not serve, they are discriminating against a particular group, and the Jim Crow image above is a perfect example of the state legally marginalizing a group of people, in that case, African-Americans.  And, under this law, which is Jim Crow by another name, it affects everyone who belongs to a race, religion, or creed. Just because the stated target is the gay population of Indiana is no reason to ignore it because it may not affect you. It is morally wrong to discriminate against anyone and it is morally wrong for the state to target a group of people under the guise of religious beliefs. And just in case anyone has forgotten, the recent history of persecution of Jews commenced with discriminatory acts which singled them out from the rest of the population via being required to wear a yellow star on their clothing, and that situation devolved further with their shops having the word Jude  written on the front.  This too was the state marginalizing a group of people, based upon religion, and we know the horrific consequences of those laws.  The point is that when the state/government sanctions and implements legalized discrimination, it is a slippery slope which historically has led to other negative and/or horrific consequences. Once the government sanctions discrimination, then hate-filled individuals feel empowered to act out their hatred in ways other than providing services to individuals.

Yellow badge Star of David called "Judens...

Yellow badge Star of David called “Judenstern”. Part of the exhibition in the Jewish Museum Westphalia, Dorsten, Germany. The wording is the German word for Jew (Jude), written in mock-Hebrew script. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those united against this law consist of businesses, groups, and individuals who may not agree on anything else, other than this law is a bad one, and should be repealed… ASAP.

 

 

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Opinion:Should Netanyahu Address Congress?

Tomorrow Mr. Netanyahu is scheduled to address the United States Congress on the floor of the house, in advance of upcoming elections in Israel.  Some have voiced concern, and others feel it is much ado about nothing.  To those who fall within the latter group, perhaps there are some things you should consider.

First of all, the established protocol for foreign affairs and visits to the U.S. by heads of state, has always been via invitation of the sitting President of the United States.  In this instance, President Obama was neither consulted nor involved. It appears as if some of the more juvenile members of Congress only issued this invitation as a tool to publicly disrespect the President of the United States.  It seems that they need to feel as though they have elevated another head of state to the same level as the President, thereby, in their minds, diminishing the importance of President Obama’s State of the Union Address. It is as if they are saying to their base: “See? Anybody can do this. We are in control. Not Obama.”  However, what some see,  is a shameful disrespect for the President’s unique right to handle foreign policy. And, clearly, this is an issue of foreign policy. Netanyahu has been clear that he disagrees with President Obama’s determination to work with Iran and its nuclear policy via diplomacy, sanctions, and pressure from other countries in the region.  Whether or not President Obama’s choice is the correct one is not the issue here, but rather his role as President of the United States, to make that choice.

What should Netanyahu do? It is not too late for him to decline the invitation on grounds of respect for our president.

What is he hoping to gain via the speech? Some say that he feels that he can convince Congress to put pressure on President Obama to take a more forceful stand regarding Iran. Seriously? Has he not been watching U.S. politics? This Congress will not work with President Obama, only against him.  Foreign policy is within the purview of the President.  Others say he is only doing it to elevate himself in the eyes of those back at home. Why? So that he can win the upcoming election.  White House policy is not invite leaders of countries who are facing an immediate election bid… period.  This is to make certain that it is clear that America does not have a dog in the fight of other countries’ election process. And, in this way, if a new leader is re-elected, then there are no negative feelings or grudges between the U.S. president and that new leader. Recently, NSA Director Susan Rice publicly denounced the visit/speech which is indicative of the White House displeasure.  http://news.yahoo.com/obama-aide-calls-netanyahu-visit-destructive-relations-115835398–politics.html

What will he gain? Not much. His speech will have no impact upon how President Obama directs his cabinet to proceed.  He will lose even more access to the White House.  And, his failure to understand the disrespect which is intertwined with his speech, will diminish his own standing in the minds and hearts of many American people.  He will have cooperated with a divisive, obstructionist congress who seem to be hell-bent on disrespecting our president.  As for the invitation itself,  Congress has dedicated too much energy trying to do things to thwart the  success of the current administration instead of what they are paid to do for the American people.  They seem to still be smarting over President Obama’s stunning re-election victory, and remain in denial.

So, should Netanyahu address the U.S. Congress? No. Should the American people watch it? No. Should those opposed to him speaking attend? No.  Poetic justice would be for him to lose the upcoming election.

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