Trump Effect Or How to Throw an Election

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One thing is certain. Donald Trump knows how to fill the airwaves, social media and print.

The cagey businessman, who has filed bankruptcy more times than I can recall, is banking on his ability for brash and questionable talk to keep the spotlight clearly on him to the groans and moans of the Republican presidential field and glee of those would-be Democratic presidents.

Was the tragic shooting and killing of a young woman walking with her father in San Francisco by a Mexican national with a long criminal history and who has been deported five times a publicity stunt gone awry?

Considering the timing of this horrible murder, it is a question which has crossed many a mind and dangled on social media as The Donald has railed against Mexicans crossing illegally into the US of A. Trump has called them murderers, rapists and the worst of the Mexican people.

Trump has tapped into the frustration and anger of people in rural communities and the border states who are frightened with what they perceive as an invasion of the nation.  The validity of The Donald’s claims is not  questioned by far too many. Even when given evidence that Trump is incorrect in much of his assessment.

The man with the hair had to change venues on Saturday to accommodate the thousands who showed to hear him speak in Phoenix, Arizona along side “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio. Trump did not back down.

His fellow contenders for the GOP nod are demanding, begging The Donald to shut-up and sit down. Trump is ignoring them as if the others in the field are nothing more than the sound of distant thunder, barely audible.

While there is an anger and resentment around the country with the current Administration and the refusal of members of both chambers of Congress to actually address and fix an immigration system broken and in need of an overhaul, Trump’s mouth, for which he is best known for after his ill-conceived hairdo, is causing more harm than good for the Grand Ole Party.

The most recent polls have Trump pushing frontrunner Jeb Bush toward the back of the bus. Other candidates such as Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have run into a buzz saw keeping them in the back sections of the newspaper, far from the front page.

Mike Huckabee, still pouncing on same-gender equality, can’t find an inroad. Carly Fiorina, the major woman in the GOP field, can’t even rate a footnote. Ben Carson and Rick Santorum are not even ranking distant memory status.

The bombastic, in-your-face Chris Christie is looking for anything – maybe a scandal – to get his name back on the ticker running along the bottom of the screen of 24/7 news networks. While Scott Walker plans an official announcement on Monday, an “accidental” tweet on Saturday failed to trend on Twitter.

An “autopsy” by the Republican Party following its trouncing in 2012 revealed that the GOP must become more diverse and welcoming if it has any hopes of winning back the White House within the rest of this century. Trump has now reopened a wound that the party has tried to suture.

While closer-to-home GOP politicians may fare well in local and state elections, The Donald is throwing up speed bumps and road blocks along the road to Pennsylvania Avenue.

What is the Republican establishment to do?

Trump has more than enough money to see him through to the convention. Trump has more than enough stashed away without soliciting help to run an independent campaign which would only benefit the Democratic Party.

Yes, Trump knows how to manipulate the media and to reach out and touch the people in the pews. But it is the people standing on the outside which are the problem.

From the Cornfield, as I look through the stalks and the Desert cacti pricking me when I get too close, the Trump Effect on the 2016 presidential race will very likely be a lesson for the GOP of how to lose an election.

For The Donald it is an easy way to throw an election.

Trump, a friend of President Bill and Hillary Clinton, sitting on the front row of Chelsea’s wedding, giving to Hillary’s campaigns, for years backing Democrats, is now crowing about being a Republican.

Looking out across the Desert, it is no mirage. Trump is neither Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or even Independent. Trump is Trump.

What The Donald says, does, how he acts, are all for the benefit of only The Donald – America’s interest takes second place to Donald’s self standing.

Madame President?

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Will 2016 turn out to be the year when American voters get tired of the testosterone-laden, heavy hand of a man sitting in the big chair behind the desk of the Oval Office?

Will 2016 be the year when American voters turn to the more gentle, estrogen-laced woman to lead our military in times of peace and war?

Many across this nation are crying out that it is indeed the time for a female president. The leader of the free world is the prize and the top of the “glass ceiling” which the “gentler” and “fairer” sex has yet to break through.

The choice of a Madame President is not limited, as many seem to believe, to either a Democrat or a Republican. Most people immediately think of Her Royal Consort Hillary Rodham Clinton as the woman to make the break. Some talk of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as the right female.

But not all women are Republicans nor Democrats. There are countless independents out there who sway this way or that way depending on the issue or the candidate.

If you are ready for a woman president, but want someone other than a Democrat or Republican – read Clinton or Fiorina –  or maybe a Democrat or Republican you haven’t heard about, here are some options:

Declared Republican Candidate

Shawna Sterling – MORE

Possible Democratic Candidates

Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota Senator – MORE

Claire McCaskill – Missouri Sneator – MORE

Janet Napolitano – Former Homeland Secretary & Arizona Governor – MORE

Elizabeth Warren – Massachusetts Senator – MORE

Declared Green Party Candidate

Jean Stein – 2012 Green Party Nominee  & Physician – MORE

Potential Green Party Candidate

Cynthia McKinney – Former Georgia Congresswoman – MORE

Libertarian Party Declared Candidate

Joy Waymire – Veteran & Spiritual Visionary – MORE

Independent Declared Candidates

Lynn Sandra Kahn – Executive Consultant – MORE

Tami Stainfield – Computer Science & Political Studies – MORE

Samm Tittle – Entrepreneur – MORE

From the Cornfield, looking through the stalks and the cacti in the Desert, while at this point in the political time clock it is not possible to know how valid the claim that 2016 will be the year that estrogen beats out testosterone, there are choices to be made.

American voters are not limited to HRC or Carly. The chances of the other women running to stake a claim for Americans hearts are slim, but doable.

Official ‘Other’ Wannabes

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Recently I shared who were, at the time, declared candidates and potential runners for the Republican and Democratic Parties presidential nomination for 2016.

But those are not the only political parties in the US of A. Though most of the time it seems those are the only choices when we go to the ballot box.

There are other parties. There are other candidates vying to become the standard bearer for those other parties or running on their own – even though the election of a third party candidate or independent is highly unlikely.

The two who came in the closest in recent history to a distant upset were George Wallace, governor of Alabama and stalwart anti-segregationist, and Ross Perot, quirky billionaire and independent founder of the modern Reform Party.

Like a perennial blossom, the Libertarian Party puts forth a candidate and placement on the ballot nationwide, but gets nowhere near Wallace or Perot in electoral votes or winning a state in presidential cycles.

So who are those other “official” candidates for president in 2016?

Glad you asked!

Here they are:

Libertarian Party

Declared Candidates

Mark Feldman – Physician – MORE

Cecil Ince – Actor & Business Owner – MORE

Steve Kerbel – Author & CEO – MORE

Darryl Perry – Author, Publisher, TV/Radio Host – MORE

Derrick Michael Reid – Lawyer & Engineer – MORE

Joy Waymire – Veteran & Spiritual Visionary – MORE

Potential Candidates

Gary Johnson – 2012 Libertarian Nominee, Former New Mexico Governor – MORE

R. Lee Wrights – former Vice Chair, Libertarian Party – MORE

Constitution Party

Declared Candidates

Scott Copeland – Ordained Minister – MORE

Chad Koppie – Farmer & Retired Jet Pilot – MORE

Potential Candidate

Chuck Baldwin – Pastor, Theologian & Radio Host – MORE

Green Party

Declared Candidate

NONE

Potential Candidates

Jill Stein – 2012 Green Nominee, Physician, Environmental Activist – MORE

Cynthia McKinney – Former Georgia Congresswoman – MORE

Reform Party

Declared Candidate

Ken Cross – Management Consultant, Semi-Retired Engineer – MORE

America’s Third Party

Declared Candidate

David Jon Sponheim – Entrepreneur – MORE

Now those running as an Independent:

Ed Baker – Management & Market Research – MORE

Paul Chehade – Entrepreneur & Human Rights Activist – MORE

Mark Dutter – MORE

David Holcomb – 2012 Independent Contender & Lawyer – MORE

Lynn Sandra Kahn – Executive Consultant – MORE

Bishop Julian Lewis Jr. – Ordained Bishop – MORE

Mark Pendleton – Educator – MORE

Jeremiah Pent – Entrepreneur – MORE

Ryan Shepard – Bartender – MORE

Scott Smith – Finance Expert & Entrepreneur – MORE

Tami Stainfield – Computer Science & Political Studies – MORE

Robert Steele – Activist – MORE

Samm Tittle – Entrepreneur – MORE

None have the real potential to upset the status quo and knock the main two parties’ nominees out of the Big Chair.

However, what if one of these could get the attention to be heard?

Could one of these change the dialogue, if the media only allowed them to speak to a national audience?

From the Cornfield, there you have it. The “other” presidential wannabes.

Check them out and let us know what you think.

Do any of them have the ideas, the qualifications, the ability to change the direction we are now headed to a better port in the storms ahead?

 

Bernie – The Usurper?

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What is it about 70-somethings and the college age demographic?

I am only 60, yet whenever I see or meet someone that is 18 to 25 years old, they give me that look, if they look or speak at all, which says, “What do you want old man?”

But when it comes to the 73-year-old Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, or the 79-year-old former Texas Congressman and 2012 presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul, the younger generation seem enthralled and hanging on to every word.

Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist independent, threw his hat into the ring to battle it out for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

Sanders has caught fire and seems ready to usurp Queen Hillary Clinton and disrupt if not dethrone her before she can be coronated.

Where many other candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, are seeing a handful of people show up for campaign events, Sanders, like Paul in the 2012 contest, is seeing thousands pack in to hear him speak. Most of those in attendance, again like Paul, are the more youthful crowd.

Nationally Sanders is holding a 14.3% pick to be the nominee, according to the Real Clear Politics composite poll. Contrast that to Clinton’s commanding 62.8% lead and non-declared Vice President Joe Biden’s nipping at the heels of Sanders at 13.3%.

But when you look closer at the two first-in-the-nation voters of New Hampshire and Iowa, Sanders is closing in on Clinton. This should and is causing a bit of concern in the Hillary camp. Iowa has Sanders with 20% and in New Hampshire, he has 30.5% to Hillary’s 46%.

Where Clinton can take heart is when you go to the Deep South, Sanders does not cut the mustard. In South Carolina, Bernie polls a mere 4.7% compared to Biden’s 17.7 % and Hillary’s over and beyond 60%. More liberal states, Sanders has a shot, but in a national, he may be seen as too much a fringe candidate.

The question is whether Sanders can get those thousands showing up at his events to go to the polls and vote for him.

Is Sanders this election cycle’s Ron Paul?

Like the Paulites and Liberty Movement, who were quite loyal and vocal in their support, will Sanders’ supporters be as vociferous and ferocious?

While Bernie is getting the crowds, so far, he does not appear to be generating the same level of enthusiasm.

Can he do it?

Sanders is the most liberal candidate currently in the field. His positions have often put him so far to the left of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate that many have had to distance themselves from him at times.

Is Sanders and such outspoken liberals as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts correct in their assumption that the nation is ready to move even farther to the liberal side than the leftward movement of the past seven years?

Is Sanders the man to prevent the inevitable nomination of Clinton, though he will be 75 by election day?

Can Sanders sustain the momentum passed the fall once the debates begin?

From the Cornfield, looking through the stalks and the cacti in the Desert, for now, Sanders is one to keep an eye on as he challenges the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State.

 

Rand Who?

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Remember when last year the junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky went to the US Senate floor and made an historic filibuster?

Well, remember when this same Senator a couple of months back once more took the floor for another filibuster to jump start his flagging campaign?

You are not alone, if the recent polls are any indication.

At one time Rand Paul, son of former Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, who turned out the crowds in a bid for the presidential nomination during the 2012 race, seemed like he was the man to beat in the upcoming GOP primaries and caucuses. Rand with his libertarian ideals was tapping into the angst of Republicans, independents and even Democrats.

Somewhere along the way, Rand seems to have been detoured or, being kind, ran across more than his share of those dreadful speed bumps that plague shopping center parking lots.

The steam went out of his locomotive with his position on foreign entanglements and isolationist-slanted talk. This was all when the threat from the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and homespun jihadists were beheading, kidnapping, raping, pillaging and threatening inside the US of A borders.

Rand may be coming in 6th in the top 10 contenders on the GOP ticket, according to the Real Clear Politics composite polling at 7.3%, which is enough to get on stage at the first debate in August, but his numbers are disappointing. Rand’s headline-getting-attention is waning.

What’s the heir to the Liberty Movement to do?

I noted back in 2011 that Dr. Paul had no expectations of either winning the nomination nor of moving into the Oval Office. I stated over and over that what the doctor was doing was building a catapult to launch Rand into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

This seemed more plausible when a number of state party boards were grabbed by members of the doctor’s very loyal and very vocal followers. There was a lot of speculation what course of action the Liberty Movement would take with its new-found power.

It appears that the fate of victims of the Borg has been the outcome – Paulites, rather than reshaping the GOP, have been assimilated. This is to the detriment of Rand’s current campaign.

Rand has yet to generate the loyalty his father still commands. Rand has yet to get Paulites to blanket social media in a blitzkrieg that carpet bombs all foes.

While many younger Republicans and independents do like what Paul has to say when it comes to individual freedom and reining in government intrusions into what they believe should be none of the state’s business, others in the crowded Republican field are sidelining Rand out of serious contention – at this moment in time.

Most notably, “The Donald” Trump is sucking the oxygen out of the room for almost every other candidate with his flamboyancy and disruptive rhetoric. That rhetoric is causing a tsunami of devastation which could have major effects on Republicans ability to become a more diverse tent in 2016 and win the election.

Rand, for his part, has backed away somewhat from his more jingoistic and xenophobic approach to foreign affairs and trouble spots, which keep erupting. He has had to soften his strong disagreement with US involvement with world wars and battlegrounds as the terror and jihadist reach has been successful in penetrating crevices within the nation.

Will Rand be able to reignite the Liberty Movement and Paulites?

Will Rand be able to provide the contrast and the words at the debate in August to have the base take a serious look at his candidacy?

From the Cornfield, looking through the stalks and the cacti, Rand has to find a way to grab the attention back from the likes of Trump and Jeb Bush.

Question is: Is Rand the man to do it?

Or will people be asking, “Rand who?”

 

That Thorny Immigration Issue

cornfieldlogoImmigration – will the issue sink the Republican ship and prevent a GOP takeover of the White House in 2016?

Wannabes vying to be the party’s standard bearer next year are having a difficult time in addressing the issue and keeping the very conservative base happy. Businessman Donald Trump is soaking up all the sunshine on the issue to the dismay and disgruntlement of his fellow competitors.

But is The Donald doing more harm to the Grand Ole Party than good?

Recent polls show he has displaced former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as the frontrunner. But the party establishment is not happy with Trump’s words and methods.

Trump is now suggesting that if the party does not like his way of doing things, he may take his bat and balls and go home. Well not home, but may pull out of the Republican race and run as an independent.

Studies and information from the Census Bureau has revealed that the highest number of immigrants coming to the US of A is not from Mexico and Latin America, but rather from Asia. Hispanics are, however, still the fastest growing minority in the country.

Can the GOP come to terms with addressing immigration in a way which will not alienate the majority?

Will the conservative base, which are the ones who will turn out to select the nominee in the primaries and caucuses, allow the candidates to promote a sensible path forward and provide real solutions to an immigration system that all agree, on all sides of the political spectrum, is broken?

Legal immigration is of no issue – except:

Legal immigration is too costly and should be revamped.

Legal immigration wait times are beyond the pale to obtain legal residence/citizenship and need to be revamped.

Except for legitimate political refugees, we must find a way to both keep our borders open and secure the borders from those who refuse to play by the rules.

Xenophobia is a sickness – not an acceptable way of life. We must find the middle ground between being proud Americans and accepting neighbors.

When many people’s great-grandparents, grandparents and millions of others crossed both ponds, one of the primary goals was making sure the children (if not themselves) learned English as quickly as possible.

There was an intense desire to renounce allegiance to the Old Country and pledge firm solidarity with the Land of Promise.

Those days are gone.

In some areas raising and flying the flag of the former country takes prominence over that of the American flag. This use not to be.

In some areas parents refuse to allow their children to learn English and insist on education in the home country language rather than the predominant language of their new homeland.

This all adds to the issue and problem especially in the border states and with many rural Americans unexposed unlike their urban neighbors to immigrants – legal and illegal.

Then there is the issue of how to secure our borders and keep our borders open. We have long prided ourselves on not having troops amassed along either our border with Mexico or with Canada.

Immigration is an interesting subject matter with no one-size-fits-all or easy fix.

I don’t have the answers which will provide the cure for a broken immigration system. I do know to do nothing is the wrong move

 From the Cornfield, how do we as Americans move forward on this issue?

How does the Republican Party address the concerns of the base and be welcoming to those of Hispanic and other ethnic descent?

What is the answer?

The Courts keep knocking down President Barack Obama on his unilateral moves on immigration.

Will GOP candidates pander or do and say what is right for the nation?

Rockets Over the River

Dateline The Desert: Tonight I was privileged to view the 25th Annual Rockets Over the River along the Colorado River put on by the resorts and casinos in Laughlin, Nevada. This was the first of such celebrations since I arrived in the Desert and which I will enjoy many more.

From my position in the south parking lot of the Riverside Resort and Casino, the place that started it all, I was able to video the entire show. The video is rather long, but the show is worth it.

If you were not able to get out and view fireworks as we celebrate the 239th birthday of the US of A or because of the heat and dry conditions your locality did not set the “bombs bursting in air” this year, now is your chance to ooh, ah and clap.

Enjoy!

Though from where I was I did not see what happened after the show. There were two sizable fires. The fireworks are launched from the old Pioneer Casino parking lot, which not accessible from the Laughlin side of the river. Two firetrucks were dispatched from Bullhead City, Arizona to put out and contain the blazes.

There have now been reports of 6-7 fires. Last information around 1 a.m. was that some may still be burning.

The firefighters did their duty, but were hampered somewhat by the wind which was blowing about 10 miles per hour. Compound that with the still 100-degree temperature and humidity at 20%.

Kudos to those who made this celebration such a success and to the firefighters who made sure all was well.

From the Cornfield, Happy Birthday, America!

Before & After the Fireworks

Dateline The Desert: People began arriving Thursday for the 25th Annual Rockets Over the River, the spectacular fireworks display put on by the resorts and casinos up and down Casino Drive  in Laughlin, Nevada.

As you can see from the photos the parking lot were I was at, The Riverside Resort and Casino, was full long before the sun went down. Following the “bombs bursting in air”, people were not in that big of a rush to leave.

Traffic was like a zoo as I headed back to Canyon Terrace where the Desert Mark’s Den is located. As I neared Needles Highway traveling up Bruce Woodbury Drive, about a quarter of a mile from the intersection, there had been an accident. An ambulance was loading at least one person.

What a way to end the day’s festivities.

From the Cornfield, let freedom forever ring.

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Happy Birthday, US of A!

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Tomorrow, the US of A celebrates its 239th birthday.

It was, like with any birth, one that was born out of travail, crying, shouts of glee, bloodshed and even death. Truly the continent was in heavy labor as the push and screams of thousands were heard around the world.

That sorrow and agony gave way, however, to jubilation as the nation emerged scathed and covered with the scars and trappings of nativity. But as difficult as that birth was, the struggle was not over.

There would be growing pains, illnesses and diseases to overcome. There would be those who would attempt to reclaim and to destroy that life which was born out of a pledge to devote honor, lives and fortunes to see this epic birth come to be and last through all time.

Through the years, as with any baby maturing to toddler to child to teen to adult, this great nation of states joined to form a “more perfect union” had to go through its share of perils, tests and trials. In each instance, in the end, the US of A emerged on the other side a better nation.

The most trying time is undisputed which is what occurred during what I would call the teenage years, puberty, when literally brother was pitted against brother, sister against sister, sons and daughters against mothers and fathers. The greatest and most costly toll of lives and bloodshed threatened to tear the nation apart. Yet through the trauma of the Civil War, the War Between the States, a united and stronger country came of age.

Dark days still lay ahead, but it seemed the worst had passed.

Through more battles and more wars, we find ourselves today celebrating the nation we’ve become and feeling the pain of the mistakes we have made. We honor the lives who gave their all to keep this nation the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Now, we look forward to the days and years ahead.

We are traveling the rough and choppy sea of economic uncertainty, but which seems to be slowly recovering.

The ship of state must traverse the gulf as the skipper maneuvers the ship to avoid crashing on the rocks of lost hope, despair, keeping an eye on the course and the port of serenity which lies in the distance.

The tides of global unrest threaten to engulf us. We must stay resolute and strong. Together we can ride the waves and dock in safe harbor.

Many have lost hope.

Many no longer aspire to the American Dream.

Many wonder if the flag will still wave for much longer.

But we are Americans.

We will survive.

From the Cornfield, America, may she always be that shining city on a hill to which others seek to aspire.

Happy Independence Day!

Middle Ground – Marriage Equality & Religious Freedom

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We – humans – have a bad habit of making problems or creating issues where there are none.

Following last weeks decision by the US Supreme Court that all legal-aged couples, without regard to the gender of the parties, has a constitutional right to dignity and to apply and receive a license to have their long-term relationship recognized by the state with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that entails, to the right and to the left there were battle cries.

On the right among social conservatives, there was the call to rally the troops to protect religious liberty – even though the Supreme Court majority did not abridge religious liberty in any way.

On the left among social liberals (primarily in the GLBT community) a siren call went out to form the lines to force religious organizations to put their “sincerely held religious beliefs on the shelf or you hate me and are a bigot and violate my right to marry.” This even though the Supremes in no way gave any right or mandate to the GLBT and their supporters to demand religious bodies to abridge their freedom of free exercise guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

This whole mess is man-made ridiculousness.

There is a simple solution, one which I have advocated for years. Those who read or follow my dribble will recognize this simple solution from my Principles Which I Carry Over, which I have posted for the world to see for the past few years.

To quote:

Same-gender relationships should be afforded the benefit of state blessing just as opposite-gender relationships now are. There is no reason to complicate or not allow equality under the law with all the benefits and protections afforded opposite-gender couples over the use of a word on the state license. Best option is that all state licenses use the term civil union on all state documents. Let the couples have a “marriage” privately within the framework of their religious institutions or according to their moral view. All couples, whether same-gender or opposite-gender, should be afforded the same rights and benefits under the law when receiving a license to recognize the joining of the two individuals legally.

To put it more simply, the Justices upheld that states must recognize all legal-aged, consenting couples right to wed. The Justices did not take away the states rights to regulate marriage in several areas.

States still determine the age of majority and at what age minors must get parental consent.

States still determine how closely related by blood couples may wed.

States still determine residency requirements to obtain a license.

States still determine who may issue licenses.

States still determine who officiates marriages.

On the last issue, states deciding who can and can’t perform ceremonies – this is the solution.

For “official” state recognition in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, all exchange of vows must be conducted by a civil servant acting in a secular role as an agent of the state.

Those who wish to have a religious ceremony can plan, can spend, can be as lavish as their church allows, but after the official, civil ceremony. Same-gender couples can do the same, but would have to find a church or religious body which agrees that God blesses both gay and straight.

There would then be no assault of religious freedom. There would be no cause for some to try and make a “federal case” by entrapping some preacher in the cross hairs.

From the Cornfield, as a man, who happens to be married legally to another man (at least for the moment), there is middle ground. There is a path we can walk which gives respect for those who agree and those who disagree that all couples should be equal under the Constitution when it comes to state (which is secular) recognition of ones vow to love and to hold.