Monday, October 31, 2011

Out and About – October 2011

Another busy month for this out gay man, seeking to be all about embodying God’s justice and compassion in the Church and the world!

I turned 46 this October. Imagine that! I didn't host a party this year as in previous years (see, for example, here and here) but various groups of friends and colleagues orchestrated little celebrations for me. How lucky am I?

Left: About to blow out my birthday candles at a Catholics for Marriage Equality MN Video Project Committee meeting. With our first "project" well underway, we're in full swing planning future ones!

Right: Celebrating with friends Bill (right), who shares the same birthday as me, October 23, and Travis, who's birthday is the day after. We're at Fabulous Ferns in St. Paul, MN.

Friends Michael, Kate, Liana and Curtis.

Left: With my dear friend Noelle.

Friends Annslie and Phil.

Above: Curtis and Liana with Eddie and Charlie.

Above: Friends John, Bob and Brian on the shores of Lake Pepin, MN – Saturday, October 15, 2011.

Left: Dining out at the famous Hillside Fish Cafe in Wisconsin.

For more images and commentary on our adventures in Mississippi River Bluff Country, click here.

Above: With friends Liana, Curtis, Phil and Raph – October 12, 2011.

Raph, a good friend from Australia, was in the Twin Cities for a week-long visit. For more photos and commentary of Raph's visit, click here.

Above: Packing emergency "blizzard boxes" for the clients of various Twin Cities-based food support services with friends Jane and Betsy – Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

Above and below: Autumn in Minnesota!

For more images, click
here and here.

Above: My good friend Angie and her husband Bryan – Thursday, October 28, 2011.

Angie's dad Myron passed away earlier in the month and on October 27 I traveled to Montevideo, MN, for his funeral. As sad as the occasion was, I appreciated and enjoyed reconnecting with Angie and her family.

Above: Raising a toast to Myron!

Above: A Jack-o'-lantern on the front porch of my friend Phil's house. For some thoughts of mine on Halloween, click here.

Irene Monroe on Halloween as "America's Gay Holiday"

Nationally renowned African American lesbian activist, scholar and public theologian Irene Monroe has an insightful article published today at The Huffington Post, one that examines Halloween as "America's gay holiday." Following are excerpts. (Oh, and for my own thoughts on Halloween, click here!)


In the words of the lesbian poet and scholar Judy Grahn, Halloween is "the great gay holiday."

And this weekend of lavish costumed theatricality will attract everyone, but especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) revelers.

Back in the day Halloween, the night before All Hallows Day (All Saints Day), was linked to the ancient Celtic festival Samhain in the British Isles, meaning "summer's end." And because the celebration is associated with mystery, magic, superstition, witches and ghosts, the festivity, not surprisingly, was limited in colonial New England because of its Puritanical belief system.

But today it's an LGBTQ extravaganza that rivals – if not out-showcases – Pride festivals.

Long before June officially became Gay Pride Month and October became Coming Out Month for the LGBTQ community, Halloween was unofficially our yearly celebrated "holiday," dating as far back as the 1970s, when it was a massive annual street party in San Francisco's Castro district.

By the 1980s, gay enclaves like Key West, West Hollywood, and Greenwich Village were holding their annual Halloween street parties. And the parades the night of Halloween did and still do draw straights and gay spectators out to watch.

Gay cultural influence on Halloween has become such an unstoppable phenomenon here and abroad that anthropologist Jerry Kugelmass of University of Florida published a book in 1994 on the new trend, titled Masked Culture, describing Halloween as an emerging gay "high holiday."

"The 'masked culture' first developed by the gays of San Francisco has reached across the lines of orientation – and now jumped across the boundaries between nations and languages. It's not just a party. It's an ideal of personal emancipation, self-expression and self-fulfillment – an ideal that loses none of its power when it takes the form of a sexy nurse's outfit," CNN contributor David Frum wrote last year in "Halloween Craze Started in Gay Culture."

Nicholas Rogers, author of Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, points out that while Halloween is enjoyed by everyone, "it has been the Gay community that has most flamboyantly exploited Halloween's potential as a transgressive festival, as one that operates outside or on the margins of orthodox time, space, and hierarchy. Indeed, it is the Gay community that has been arguably most responsible for Halloween's adult rejuvenation."

Halloween allows many LGBTQ Americans at least one night annually, October 31, of safely being out and "unmasked" while remaining closeted. The community revels the entire night like there is no tomorrow, and for many there isn't. Like its pagan roots, Halloween provided an outlet for us cross-dressing and gender-bending LGBTQ outsiders who are ostracized by mainstream society. . . .

– Irene Monroe
"Halloween: America's Gay Holiday"
The Huffington Post
October 31, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Halloween Thoughts
A Hallowtide Reflection
All You Holy Men and Women
Halloween Hijinks
Quote of the Day – November 1, 2010
The Signalman: A Ghost Story by Charles Dickens

Image 1:
Image 2: Subject and photographer unknown.

Quote of the Day

Thank you, Katherine Kersten, for warning us of the implausible ("We Can Expect Aggression on Marriage Vote," Star Tribune, Oct. 22).

The columnist's clarion call for vigilance against "intimidation" by supporters of same-sex marriage in Minnesota is utterly baseless.

Kersten rests her admonition primarily on a few aberrational incidents in California during its legal struggle over the same-sex marriage issue. But there is no reported instance of any similar, or remotely comparable, episode in Minnesota. In fact, the type of persecution she laments has occurred, but not by same-sex marriage advocates. Rather, that type of aggression has been directed against gays and lesbians, especially in schools. Kersten should target her concerns at that type of anti-social misconduct.

This modern-day Cassandra need not worry about loutish behavior by same-sex marriage backers. Her concerns are about as prescient as fearing an insufficient supply of suntan lotion in Minnesota this winter.

– Marshall H. Tanick
Letter to the Editor
Star Tribune
October 30, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 16, 2011
Good News from the Minnesota State Fair
Senator Scott Dibble's Message of Hope and Optimism
Sharing the Good News of Marriage Equality at the Basilica Block Party
The Minneapolis (and Online) Premiere of Catholics for Marriage Equality
Progressive Perspectives on Archbishop Nienstedt's Anti-Gay Activism
"Wrong and Impractical"
"On This Issue, Archbishop Nienstedt, You Are Wrong"
Quote of the Day – October 7, 2011
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry Victim
The Political Intrigue (and Money) Behind the MN Marriage Amendment

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Visit from Raph

A definite highlight of October was the visit to the Twin Cities of my good friend Raph.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I first got to know the Raph and his family in Goulburn, N.S.W., where Raph's father was the principal of the primary school at which I taught from 1988-1993. Before relocating to the U.S. in 1994, I taught two of family's children – Jeremiah (in 1989) and Tess (in 1992).

I’ve stayed friends with all the members of the family ever since our time together in Goulburn, and I always try to catch up with as many of them as I can each time I visit Australia from the U.S. (See, for example, the previous Wild Reed posts: Travelin’ South, Return to Wagga, Travelin’ North, Newtown, Return to Ellenborough Falls, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, A Day Roving the Mid North Coast, A Bushland Wedding, Angourie, and Yaegl Country). Earlier this year, rising flood waters stranded Raph and I and members of his family in the Australian town of Maclean.

Back in 2004, Raph came and stayed with me in the Twin Cities for four months. It was a great time. We visited Minnesota’s North Shore; took a train trip to Washington, D.C; and flew out to San Francisco.

Raph most recent visit to the States saw him spend about two months cycling the Trans-America Trail with two friends. Then, after spending time with relatives in Tennessee, he journeyed to Minnesota for a week-long visit.

Above: Raph, amidst the colors of a Minnesota autumn!

Left: Raph snapped this photo of me as I was preparing for the "Welcome Back to Minnesota" soiree I hosted for him on the evening of October 12, 2011. It was a great night, as the following images attest!

Above: Liana, Curtis, me, Phil and Raph – Hare House, October 12, 2011.

Above: Jenna, Raph and Jim.

Above: Paula, Phil, Noelle, Kathleen, Brian and Bob.

Above: Joey, Kathleen, Raph and Phil.

Right: Kathleen and Brian.

Above: Phil and Raph.

Left: Paul and Michael.

On the afternoon of Thursday, October 13, Raph and I took a road trip to Red Wing, MN. We traveled to this picturesque river town via Prescott, WI (right), and scenic Highway 35, which runs south along the Mississippi River through rural areas all the way to La Crosse. Before then, however, it provides access to Red Wing, MN, via US 63.

Above: Well, hello! . . . Raph in Prescott, WI – October 13, 2011.

Left: The Hit and Run Bar in Prescott, an establishment I highly recommend as a place to stop in for lunch!

Above: "It remains a mystery"! . . . Wisconsin's "Bow and Arrow," which can be seen in the distance at the top left of this photo.

Above: At the overlook above Red Wing, MN – October 13, 2011.

For photos from a previous visit to Red Wing, see Climbing Barn Bluff and Remembering a Very Special Time.

Of course, Raph's recent visit proved to be a "very special time" too. Not surprising, really, given that he's one of the most thoughtful, inspiring, fun and generous people I'm honored to have in my life! Thanks, Raphie! And see you sometime soon, I hope, back in Australia!

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Australian Floods
Rising Waters

"Flooded In but Loving Life"
In Maclean, An End to the "Siege"
Yaegl Country
A Bushland Wedding
A Day Roving the Mid North Coast
Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast
Return to Wagga
Travelin' South (Part II)
Travelin' South (Part III)

A Hallowtide Reflection

To mark All Hallows Eve (October 31), All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2) I share the following reflection by Ed Hays, shared this morning as part of the liturgy at Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community.

Death is the greatest terrorist. So feared an enemy is death that we avoid thinking about it, unless forced to do so as when attending a funeral. We even find the word “death” unspeakable, and so replace “died” with “passed.” In prayer, we refer to the dead as the “deceased” or “departed.”

When someone dies in parts of Africa they don’t say they “have passed” or “departed,” but rather that they “have arrived!” This beautiful expression is saturated with the belief that their beloved dead have finally arrived at the destination toward which they have been traveling all their lives.

Upon hearing of someone’s death, our Muslim brothers and sisters say, “We have come from God, and we return to God, and we are on this journey each day of our lives.” Regardless of our age or health, you and I are at this very moment on a journey back to God, and none of us knows if today is the day of our arrival.

As you pass one milestone after another, live your homeward journey wisely and passionately praying words like these every day: Inspired, I squeeze the last drop of joy out of each day, not because I’ll die, but because You have made life’s joys appetizers of the delight of arriving.

– Ed Hays
Excerpted from Book of Wonders: Daily Reflections for Awakened Living
Ave Maria Press, 2009

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
All You Holy Men and Women
Halloween Thoughts
Halloween Hijinks
Quote of the Day – November 1, 2010
The Signalman: A Ghost Story by Charles Dickens

Image: Michael J. Bayly.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something to Think About . . .


Image: Photographer unknown.

Quote of the Day

It's a hopeful sign that [the Vatican's recent] Council for Justice and Peace [statement] "Reform of the International Financial System with a View Toward a General Public Authority" is getting a good amount of press. The Vatican has again added its voice to those calling (some from the streets) for a return of ethics and political oversight to the titanic power of financial institutions that have grown beyond political control after decades of deregulation and technological innovation. And yes, the Vatican does stand with the "basic sentiment" of the protesters on Wall Street and around the world.

. . . The central point of this document – the need for a global governmental structure – is nothing new. It has been taught by every pope since John XXIII. . . . The document raises fundamental moral questions – well within the proper purview of magisterial teaching. It challenges the reduction of human existence to a narrow economic logic as our current global economic order has done. It warns that such an approach banishes the moral and spiritual, ignoring "anything that cannot be explained in terms of matter alone."

The document advances Benedict's call for reform of international governmental and financial organizations "so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth." While the Vatican doesn't do revolution, the demands are revolutionary . . . and as old as the Hebrew prophets. Any just order must attend to the needs of the poor. Any just system of global governance must give the weakest a meaningful seat at the table. It does espouse a revolutionary courage that weds a call for creative thinking with Mary's Magnificat: "We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they may destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest." . . .

– Vincent Miller
"Is the Idea of a Global Government Agency Radical?"
National Catholic Reporter
October 28, 2011

Recommended Off-site Links:
New Vatican Document: Good News for Poor, Bad News for Tea Party
– Daniel C. Maguire (Religion Dispatches, October 25, 2011).
Church Teaching, Occupy Wall Street Agree, Vatican Officials Say
– Cindy Wooden (National Catholic Reporter, October 24, 2011).
Occupy Protests: A Movement Taking Root
– Katharine Ainger (The Guardian, October 28, 2011).
Occupy Wall Street and America's Democratic Tradition
– Amy Dean (Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, October 27, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 22, 2011
Quote of the Day – October 13, 2011
Rocking the Cradle of Power
Quote of the Day – October 1, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quote of the Day

When it comes to the morality of homosexuality and contraception . . . women are slightly more likely than men to say that individuals themselves should have the final say about what is right and what is wrong. Upward of six in 10 women (61 percent) say that individuals know best about the morality of homosexuality, compared with 53 percent of men. And fully seven in 10 women say individuals themselves are the best judges of the morality of contraception, compared with 63 percent of men.

. . . On most of the issues we asked about, majorities of Catholics surveyed say that the locus of moral authority resides with individuals, who should decide for themselves after taking church teachings into account. One in five Catholics or fewer says that church leaders such as the pope and bishops are the proper arbiters of right and wrong in these areas. Between one-fifth and one-third of Catholics say that moral authority is best exercised by individuals and church leaders working together.

– The Catholics in America Research Team
"Right and Wrong: Who Has Final Say?"
National Catholic Reporter
October 24, 2011

Recommended Off-site Link:
New survey offers portrait of U.S. Catholics – William V. D'Antonio (National Catholic Reporter, October 24, 2011).
A Church in Flux – Thomas P. Rausch (America via The Progressive Catholic Voice, October 19, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 25, 2011
Tips for Thinking Catholics
Reflections on the Primacy of Conscience
The Question of an "Informed" Catholic Conscience
"Conscience Is the Highest Norm"
A Catholic Understanding of Faithful Dissent (Part 1)
A Catholic Understanding of Faithful Dissent (Part 2)

Something to Think About . . .


See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Stephanie Coontz on the Changing Face of "Traditional Marriage"
Patrick Ryan on the "Defense of Traditional Marriage" Argument Against Marriage Equality
A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage
Civil Unions and Christian Tradition

Image: Photographer unknown.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Persecuted "Enemies of the State"? Or Just Sore Losers?

Some very thoughtful comments have been shared on the website of the Archdiocese of New York in response to Ed Mechmann's op-ed, "We Are Now Enemies of the State." The "we," in Mechmann's view, are the "defenders" of so-called traditional marriage, and the person who has supposedly labelled these folks "enemies of the state" is none other than New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured at right).

Here's what the pro-marriage equality, Catholic Cuomo actually said, when, at a recent gay rights event, he was asked if he found any of the anti-marriage equality arguments persuasive:

There is no answer from the opposition. There really isn’t. Ultimately, it’s, ‘I want to discriminate.’ And that’s anti-New York. It’s anti-American.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Mechmann's take on Cuomo's remarks, as the following comments attest.


Christian Francis Cooper writes: Governor Cuomo’s remarks are being misinterpreted, I fear, deliberately by some. The governor did not say holding “traditional” views on marriage is anti-American; he said that trying to force those views on others is anti-American . . . and he’s correct. (Note that the new [marriage equality] law neither forces anyone to enter into a same-sex marriage, nor denies anyone the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Opponents of same-sex marriage, by comparison, want to deny others they disagree with the right to marry.) So those with “traditional” views are still free to live their lives as they see fit. The only difference now is [that] those who believe in same-sex marriage are free to do the same.

Gregory writes: When you stop using scare quotes around terms such as “gay marriage” and “gay rights,” I may start taking your hysterical arguments a bit more seriously. Your denigration of the lives and truths of your fellow citizens is indeed anti-American. Pity you can’t see that. The fact that you would suggest that the governor is simply a “thug” . . . proves that you are indeed “pernicious” and certainly as irresponsible in your language as you accuse the governor of being.

Continuum writes: I am not understanding the victimhood of religious organizations when it comes to same sex marriage. Aren’t all religions protected from marrying two people of the opposite sex? Just like two Jewish people can’t walk into a Catholic church and expect to get married? If that is the case, then it does become anti-American because people and organizations want to force their religious views on a secular government or other religious institutions who wish to marry people of the same sex. So, which religious views are the “right” one to guide our country? I feel like the constant push by the Catholic [hierarchy] to end same sex marriage when they are protected is only going to make some members of the church seek out another faith. I have seen it happen already in my own family.

Jonesy writes: Religious freedom applies to all Americans, not just those with conservative religious beliefs. What about people who’s religious beliefs are open and welcoming of gay marriage? In my experience NOBODY who supports LGBT equality, not the governor or anyone else, considers it objectionable in any way for you to hold “a different belief or opinion.” This is a critical distinction, please try to understand: it is NOT your religious beliefs that are discriminatory, it is attempts to require OTHERS, by force of law, to abide by YOUR religious beliefs.

Stephen writes: Now you can know a little of how it feels to be gay and have the whole weight of the Catholic church vilifying and slandering you.The difference is that this so-called persecution by the governor is entirely imaginary. The very real persecution of gay people by the Catholic church, however, is a blight that affects our lives every day.

Robert Donohue writes: The Catholic church has sought to deny LGBT citizens the protections of fair housing and employment laws. The church also wants to deny us the rights and protections of civil, non-religious marriage. A certain pope has said, in effect, that anti-LGBT violence is just human nature taking its course. And yet the church feels it’s the aggrieved party?

John writes: At its core, this issue is a civil issue. It is not a religious issue. Churches are protected from having to perform sacramental rites that defy the tenets of their beliefs — but that same protection is not extended to the government. Equality under the law is the rule of the land. I am an active practicing Catholic, and agree with [Ed Mechmann] on many issues, but on this point, there is no equivocation. The battle for “marriage equality” is over and the Church has lost.

Recommended Off-site Links:
Bishops Condemn NY Marriage Law, Other Catholics Celebrate – Joshua J. McElwee and Zoe Ryan (National Catholic Reporter, July 5, 2011).
Catholic Hierarchs Lose Marriage Battle to Catholic Laity – Jamie L Manson (National Catholic Reporter, June 28, 2011).
Did The Roman Catholic Church Abandon Marriage Fight In New York? – Bridgette P. LaVictoire (, October 15, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry Victim
In New York, a "Breakthrough Victory" for Marriage Equality
Quote of the Day – July 24, 2011
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Quote of the Day – October 24, 2011
The Bishops' Reaction to Marriage Equality: "Wrong-Headed and Counterproductive

Quote of the Day

American Catholics have by and large remained loyal to the core teachings and sacraments of their faith, but increasingly tune out the hierarchy on issues of sexual morality, according to a new study released Monday (Oct. 24).

The sweeping survey shows that over the last quarter-century, U.S. Catholics have become increasingly likely to say that individuals, not church leaders, have the final say on abortion, homosexuality, and divorce and remarriage.

That trend holds true across generational and ideological divides, and even applies to weekly Mass attenders, according to the survey, which has been conducted every six years since 1987.

. . . Catholic loyalty and identity remain remarkably strong, even as 83 percent of Catholics say the clergy sexual abuse scandal has hurt the bishops’ moral and political credibility.

. . . Across the board, Catholics tend to agree on four key markers—the resurrection of Jesus (73 percent), helping the poor (67 percent), devotion to the Virgin Mary (64 percent), and the centrality of the sacraments (63 percent)—as core to their Catholicism.

Opposition to abortion (40 percent) and to same-sex marriage (35 percent), and the authority of the Vatican (30 percent) and support for a celibate, all-male clergy (21 percent) were further down the list.

The issue of homosexuality showed one of the largest gaps between the pulpit and the pews. The portion of Catholics who say church leaders have “the final say” on homosexuality has plunged by half, from 32 percent to 16 percent, over the past 25 years, while those who say individuals make the final call has shot up from 39 percent to 57 percent.

– David Gibson and Kevin Eckstrom
"Catholics See Difference in Loyalty to Faith, Hierarchy"
Religion News Service
October 24, 2011

Recommended Offsite Link:
A Church in Flux – Thomas P. Rausch (America via The Progressive Catholic Voice, October 19, 2011).
Persistence and Change; New Survey Offers Portrait of U.S. Catholics – William V. D'Antonio (National Caholic Reporter, October 24, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Catholic Attitudes on Gay and Lesbian Issues: An Overview
Tips for Thinking Catholics
Why the Bishops Are Being Ignored
The Real Crisis
To Whom the Future of the Catholic Church Belongs
Mary Hunt: "Catholicism Is a Very Complex Reality"
What It Means To Be Catholic

Monday, October 24, 2011

"On This Issue, Archbishop Nienstedt, You Are Wrong"

Kevin Winge's Open Letter
to Archbishop Nienstedt

The following open letter to John C. Nienstedt, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, was published in today's online edition of the Star Tribune. It's written by Kevin Winge, the executive director of Open Arms of Minnesota. To read responses to this letter from Star Tribune readers, click here.


Dear Archbishop Nienstedt:

I do believe, that you believe, it is your responsibility as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, to help ensure that the amendment to change our state’s Constitution to ban gay marriage is passed by voters in next year’s election. I also believe that it is critically important that we speak truth to power. You, sir, have a tremendous amount of power. And on this issue, Archbishop Nienstedt, you are wrong.

You are spearheading a statewide effort to get parish priests to organize efforts in their communities to get out the vote to change our Constitution. If you are successful, this change will harm individuals. It will harm families. It will harm our state.

I’m not a member of the clergy and I’m not a theologian, but I know you’re wrong because I know what’s in my heart; and what is in my heart is love.

I love my partner. I could no more change who I love than I could change the color of my skin. Like my straight friends, my gay and lesbian friends love their partners, too. And those who have children, love their children. None of us are a threat to the institution of marriage. How can loving people who want to be married do anything but enhance an institution like marriage?

Archbishop Nienstedt, your efforts will not only divide congregations, it will divide communities and families. You are driving a wedge between people and those divisions will not be forgotten with the passing of the election in November of 2012. You say this is about preserving the sanctity of marriage, but it’s not. It is about intentionally harming a group of people that wants nothing more than to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected.

Humans want to love and be loved, but few of us are in positions of power that can actually lead us to become more loving people. Archbishop Nienstedt, you are one of those people. Please stop the divisive and hurtful actions you are taking regarding the amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Please use your position to help us all become a more tolerant and loving community.

Kevin Winge is a native of Minnesota. He has lived in New York, Boston, and Cape Town, South Africa. He is the executive director of Open Arms of Minnesota, a non-profit organization that provides nutritious meals to people living with diseases.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Minneapolis (and Online) Premiere of Catholics for Marriage Equality
Progressive Perspectives on Archbishop Nienstedt's Anti-Gay Activism
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry Victim
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Catholic Attitudes on Gay and Lesbian Issues: An Overview
A Catholic Statement of Support for Same-Sex Marriage
Tips on Speaking as a Catholic in Support of Marriage Equality

Recommended Off-site Link:
Catholics for Marriage Equality MN

Image: Michael J. Bayly (October 2007).

Something to Think About . . .


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

. . . The right has tried everything to turn the tide of public opinion against Occupy Wall Street. They have claimed that the protests are filled with crime and drugs. They have labeled the movement anti-Semitic, and the people involved in it lazy, dirty, hippies. Despite their daily attacks this movement has continued to grow.

. . . Occupy Wall Street continues to be successful because it isn’t a movement of people, it is the people. The right does think that this is the 1960s all over again, and they can get those middle aged white suburban Americans to rally against the youth, but the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t divided by age. This isn’t old versus young, or white versus black. The Occupy movement is something different.

The economic devastation caused by the corrupt behavior of Wall Street impacted Americans across age, race, and geographic lines. The only people who profited from the great economic collapse of 2008 are those who caused it. The rich have gotten richer, and they have seized control of our political system in order to not only maintain their status, but also to take away resources from those beneath them.

What really pushed the 99% over the edge wasn’t that rich have gotten richer, but that the one percent has turned capitalism into a weapon to be used against everyone beneath them.

The right keeps assuming that there is some sort of large natural constituency out there waiting to be mobilized against these protests. They dream of finding the magic words that will stop the protesters and protect their beloved one percent, but there aren’t any magic words. There isn’t a talking point out there that can derail Occupy Wall Street.

The exploited class is rising up to seek justice . . .

– Jason Easley
"Bill Maher Explains Why Occupy Wall Street Is Going To Win"
October 22, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 13, 2011
Rocking the Cradle of Power
Quote of the Day – October 1, 2011

Recommended Off-site Links:
The Occupy Movement Has Lit a Fire for Real Change – Seumas Milne (The Guardian, October 19, 2011).
The Future of the Occupy Movement – Mark Engler (Dissent Magazine, October 21, 2011).
When Unrest Is a Blessing – Ken Trainor (, October 18, 2011).
The Arc of the Moral Universe, From Memphis to Wall Street -- Amy Goodman (, October 18, 2011).
Best Occupy Wall Street Cartoons

Images: Best Occupy Wall Street Signs.