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Opinion

President Obama said Thursday that the widespread and growing protests against Wall Street are an expression of the frustration people feel about the way the country’s financial system works.

That’s part of it, but it is much, much bigger than that.

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Anyone who relies exclusively on television/cable news hosts and political commentators for actual knowledge of the world today is making a serious mistake. Unfortunately, as Americans have devolved into non-readers with woefully short attention spans, newspapers providing even semianalytical content have found themselves struggling to stay afloat while television, which delivers little more than news sound bites sandwiched between superficial chitchat and entertainment buzz, has become the prime source of so-called “news.”

There can be little hope for objective reporting in an environment where propaganda and advertisements are delivered in the guise of entertainment and news. Yet short of tuning out altogether, there is no way to completely ignore the mass media, but the following truths may help to refocus one’s media lens in order to better view the news through the eyes of an informed citizen.

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Let me begin with a caveat: I agree with Bev Perdue.

The country probably would be better off if U.S. House members — and state legislators, for that matter —were elected to four-year terms instead of two-year terms. In such a world, congressmen and legislators might spend at least a couple of years of their elected term not thinking about every issue in the context of raising money and the next election.

Perdue didn’t express the idea in the same way.

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Comedian Groucho Marx once said “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” Apparently, the North Carolina Legislature doesn’t believe marriage is institutionalized enough. It has recently voted to place a State Constitutional Amendment, titled “The Marriage Protection Amendment” that would ban same-sex marriages, on the May 8th, 2012 ballot.

In a time when we face enormous challenges, it seems a bit odd to direct energy toward banning something that doesn’t even exist in our State. I suppose it makes for interesting political theater and public piety to shoot for a double ban and see which politicians pass the litmus test of support.

The arguments against same-sex marriage have been scooped up from the anti-interracial marriage playbook. Familiar themes, such as it’s unnatural, against God’s law, detrimental toward children and erodes the very fabric of society by circumventing the traditional nature of marriage are all being recycled.

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