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Weekly Digest: Celebrity, Voting and Gay Times at the Vatican

Basil Valentine
Guest Columnist
21st Century Wire
August 29, 2012

In a shop yesterday the unique sound of Ian Dury and the Blockheads came over the Tannoy. The inspidisation of the music scene of today however  makes it hard to imagine he would get a record deal were he to be around now. A polio sufferer as a child ( in the age before political correctness, Dury hilariously self mocked his affliction in several witty songs) Dury stood about five feet tall, walked with a pronounced limp, and was as far from the received  music business idea of what is “commercial” or “sexy” as it is possible to get. Yet he was hugely successful, selling millions of records. These days he would doubtless ply his trade in the pubs, clubs and at Festivals, something of a local hero but never achieving national recognition. Fortunately he appeared in the 1970’s, a more democratic and eclectic era, less obsessed with image and more concerned with substance.

The right to vote is the most fundamental right in any country that considers itself a democracy. Politics may be distorted by money, misinformation and a paucity of real choice, but its a fair enough assumption that the right to vote finds common cause across the political spectrum.

Not any longer. The run up to the 2012 election has seen a systematic and thorough attempt by state level Republican officials in several states to disenfranchise large swathes of the electorate. In Pennsylvania, this has been through the introduction of strict new voter ID rules that require voters to produce some form of photographic ID. Since the driver’s license is far and away the most commonly held form of photo identification, this naturally militates against those who do not drive. Non-drivers in the State of Independence are predominantly poor, either under 25  or senior citizens, and black – all categories far more like to vote for the President than his opponent.

In Florida, new voter registration requirements involving producing several forms of ID and correspondence from corporations such as banks, mean than ten times as many new Republican voters have been registered as Democrat in the last twelve months. These are just two examples among many. Now election rigging in US presidential elections is nothing new, but for the first time in this election the issue is being highlighted by liberal commentators in the mainstream media, with the MSNBC talking heads particularly vociferous in their condemnation of such blatantly undemocratic tactics. What remains to be seen is if Romney squeaks in with the help of one of these rigged states, will the liberal media cry foul and rally the disenfranchised urban populace against what is, to all intents and purposes, a coup?

Readers may be confused by the intervention by the Roman Catholic Church in the question of Gay marriage in Scotland. For those unclear about where Rome stands, lets clarify the RC position: The Roman Catholic church remains implacably opposed to loving homosexual relationships and all homosexual acts between consenting adults. It reaffirms its centuries old position that only homosexual acts between ordained Roman Catholic priests and non consenting minors have the blessing of the holy father.




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