No, nothing to do with MSL's successful launch earlier today — the rover is now en route to Mars, and I wish it well.
Rather, harking back to my 2010 blog entry explaining that we have been invaded by martians driving fiscal war machines, I ran across an op-ed by Naomi Wolf in The Guardian that nails why the US political elite are terrified of Occupy Wall Street.
The mainstream media was declaring continually "OWS has no message". Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online "What is it you want?" answers from Occupy. ... The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act — the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. ... No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.Let me unpack that for you.
The doctrine of corporate personhood combined with the Citizens United ruling establish as a baseline that corporations have constitutional rights associated with people (including the right to political speech) and no limit on their ability to spend money on political speech during elections. (This is profoundly alien to a British sensibility, where political election speech is strictly controlled.) So the outcome is that lawmakers are beholden to the corporations that pay for their electioneering. But it gets worse when you learn that Congressional representatives are immune from some insider trading regulations. And point #3 is the smoking gun. If running for election in the US Federal government requires vast expenditure, then attaining such office grants one access to a mechanism for earning vast amounts of money by means which are illegal for the rest of us.
It's no wonder that the DHS coordinated the Occupy camp clearances earlier this month: OWS had become a direct threat to the personal prosperity of the members of the House homeland security subcommittee (to whom DHS is answerable). If allowed to gather momentum and turn into an independent third party, why, OWS might actually put an end to the corruption. Certainly they're pointing at the right targets ...
In other news, Occupy Edinburgh received a vote of recognition and endorsement from the city council (except for the minority Conservative bloc). Brings a tear of pride to my civic minded eye, it does.