Thursday, October 6, 2011

In the News: Minnesota Marriage Debate, DOMA Defense, Occupy Wall Street

Today's posting will be a little discombobulated--probably one of those news-sweep postings I do sometimes.  Feeling considerably under the weather these days, and, in fact, I have a doctor's appointment early this morning, for which I'll have to be preparing in a moment.  Meanwhile, the following news items catch my eye this morning:

1. Alex Pareene reports at Salon that the coalition working to get Minnesota voters to amend their state constitution to outlaw marriage equality is expected to sue to challenge the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board's laws requiring disclosure of donors to political campaigns.  As he notes, this is a leaf taken from the book of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has repeatedly filed suit in state after state for NOM's "right" to skirt public disclosure laws and keep its donor base hidden.  I've written about this numerous times in postings about NOM.

It's almost as if they recognize that the cause for which they're fighting is a, well, less than noble one, isn't it?  As if they want their faces hidden while they do their dirty work under cover of darkness.  But claiming all the while that they and they alone represent the moral high road for our culture . . . .

And as I read this article, I'm also not forgetting that, when the Catholic bishops of Minnesota sent out their anti-gay marriage video right before the 2010 state elections, they, too, refused to disclose the source of the funding to produce and mail that expensive video.  Claiming all the while that they and they alone represent the moral high road for our culture . . . .

2. And talking about behavior that belies one's claims to have the moral high road in the most egregious way possible: as Abby Zimet notes at Common Dreams, Mr. Boehner and House Republican leaders have just announced that they're tripling the amount of taxpayer money they'll be spending to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The bill for this defense of the indefensible has now skyrocketed from $500 million to $1.5 million.

And as Republican leaders shell out those dollars provided by taxpayers, they claim, all the while, that everything they do is about holding government costs down, about cutting excess government expenses, etc.  And they claim as well, all the while, that they and they alone represent the moral high road for our culture . . . .

3. Finally, with reports in the news today that the numbers participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City yesterday reached 20,000, I'm struck by the sheer stupidity of the growing meme of the mainstream media and the corporate interests it serves that the movement's goals are not clear, the movement is disorganized, no one knows what these folks want.

As Robert Scheer points out at Truthdig today in rebuttal of the preceding tactics (which are all about trying to defuse the movement's energy and power), it's not hard at all to determine what the protesters want.  They want justice.  Now.

And as Jason Linkins notes at Huffington Post, there's a biblical precedent to what the protestors are demanding.  It's called the Jubilee.

It's fascinating that the mainstream media mavens who couldn't get enough of the aspirations of young people in the Middle East to liberty and justice for all in the Arab Spring uprisings are suddenly baffled when American young people express the same aspirations.  These media tools for the corporate oligarchy would have asked the Famine Irish what in they world they were demanding, as they went to soup kitchens pleading for enough soup and stirabout to keep their families alive for another day.

The corporate oligarchy is running scared, however.   As have many others, I've noted some strange things going on with the internet as I try to access online media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  And yesterday, when I tweeted about the movement, I immediately received back a message that a group called Corporations Are People is now following my tweets.

Following little old me, with 20 Twitter followers: someone must be really desperate to try to contain information and control the use of the internet to disseminate news about this protest movement.

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