Friday, December 2, 2011

Speaking of Occupy

 Unless you have been living under a rock or living in the back woods somewhere, you have undoubtedly heard of, and have seen all the news concerning the Occupy Wall Street movements. I can't begin to tell the details of what the Occupiers actually want, and I don't think very many people actually can. They seem to be loosely aligned by, and to, the growing and sometimes extreme disdain that Americans have for certain aspects of the financial industry these days. In some regards, they are fully justified. After all, was not the housing bubble, crash and subsequent economic decline due, in large part, to certain elements of this industry? The federal government included.

 To put it plainly, people are pissed off...and rightly so.

 Large coporations have folded, banks have become insolvent, banks have been bailed out, working class people have lost their jobs, houses, cars and for some, their sanity may have been lost somewhere along these lines as well. We watched as the crisis unfolded and we also watched as news came out about what the underlying cause had been. Another simple word-greed.

 Then we watched as the federal government, despite an overwhelming outcry of opposition borrowed money against the future of our children, and handed it out like a welfare check to some of these same corporations and banks that created this mess. The premise was, "Yes, even though these banks were greedy and careless. Even though we helped create this moral hazard, we have to bail them out. The future of America depends on it. The future of the world economy depends on it. So, sorry Mr. Taxpayer, you just don't understand what is happening here."

 No wonder people are pissed.

 Personally, I think the TARP was a bad idea and I can find nothing in the Constitution that authorizes it, but that's another Central Bank story.

 So yes, I can see whay people are pissed, I'm pissed too. I have already noticed the inflationary changes that stem from TARP, and not just from TARP. I lost money too, but I didn't get a check from the Fed. In fact, it was just the opposite, I got a bill for $9720.10!

 Part of what the movement is about, I think, is the fact that almost no one in our government seems to listen to their constituency anymore.  Banks were bailed out and the American people were left high and dry. We had Bush, with that smug, shit-eating-grin on his face telling us that we, the people, were not smart enough to understand what was happening and that we should leave the thinking to the smart people.

 Then we had Obama and his irritating Winnie The Pooh Gopher whistle telling us that yes, we just have to do it again. Are you serious? If the first bail-out didn't work, what makes you think the second one will?

 I digress.

 I didn't start this OP to go off on a rant about Bush, Obama or the Fed. I started it because I wanted to talk about the Ocuppy vs. the First Amendment. Including all the police interference, excessive force, brutality and utter trampling of the protected right to speak our minds. I will start with the text of the Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

 Now let's pick apart this amendment and talk about what applies to these protests.
 "...or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

 Abridging the freedom of speech; Encarta's third definition is, "to deprive someone of their rights."
 Abridge the freedom of the press; Again Encartra's definition applies and I will explain this a bit later.
 Abridge the right of the people to peacefully assemble and address their issues to the government; Encartra again applies.

 The freedom of speech is, just that. The freedom to speak your mind, to have an opinion and to share that opinion with anyone and everyone that will listen. Now, I do agree that there are some limitations as to the time and place.

 For example: Let's say you can't stand Barbara Striesand, but you just happen to recieve an invitation to one of her charity fundraisers being held at a fancy hotel or convention center. You can, at any time, start to speak your mind and otherwise disrupt the party, but the hostess and/or her security team, friends, family or Mickey Mouse has the right to remove you from the building and throw you out into the street. I think that is a good example of a situation where removing you from the site or otherwise preventing you from speaking your piece would not be a violation of your protected right. Simply because, it is a private function, paid for with private money and located on private property. This almost applies in New York.

 Now, if you just so happen to be on public property, your right is protected by the first amendment and you can speak freely. Regardless of whether your material is offensive to anyone else. However, if you are on public property and causing damage to that property or otherwise preventing anyone that wants to use the property from using the property, the protection of your right ends there. Public land is, for the public, the people, of not just the city or town, but of every person in America and you do not have the right to destroy or cause harm to any persons property.

 Sadly enough, this reason has been abused as justification for the removal of the occupy camps and the otherwise abridgement of the protesters rights. Mayors and police chiefs decided that some of these camps were posing or creating a nuisance or public saftey hazard and ordered them to be disbanded, often times with the use of, or under the threat of force and/or imprisonment.

Next is the freedom of the press and before you say something like, "there were no reporters in the camps" let me argue this. In the age of the smart phone, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and the Blogosphere; You cannot convince me that there was not at least one person in these crowds that had, or maintains a blog and was, at that time, continuing to update the site as to the situation. Oh, I'm sure there were plenty.

 You might argue that blogging or social networking is not the press. Why is it not? Do we all have to have shiny hair, perfectly white teeth, a college degree in journalism and four pounds of make-up on our faces in order to be recognized as a legitimate news reporter? If you said yes, then you are not only missing the point of journalism, but a few other things as well. A journalist records data and events in a journal, of which he or she will then later report on or about. So a guy that has a blog and reports the news on it is then, for all intents and purposes, a journalist and a news reporter. Broken down even further, every human being is a news reporter...after all, why do you think we like to gossip so much?
People Reporting Everyday Social Situations.

 Last and certainly not least, is the right for the people to peacefully assemble and address their government concerning grievances. Broken down or simplified, it means you can, at any time and public place, assemble and discuss your issues.

 The interesting thing about the last part of this sentence is, there is no mention of a permit, acceptable hours, levels of noise, amount of people or any authority for any form of government to interfere as long as your assembly is peaceful. It is pretty cut and dried on this. Say what you want and as long as you are not causing harm to anothers person or property, you must be left alone.

Stage one:

 I have heard many things said about Congressman Paul, most of them are either false or inaccurate. Crazy, kook, devil, anarchist, fool, senile, greedy, stupid, etc etc are some that come to mind. The thing is, in actuality, he is none of those things.

 You would call a man crazy because he believes in the idea of liberty, that he is the only one who can decide what is best for his self and that no one has the right to force him to do something he does not want to do.

 You call the man a kook because he believes the gov't is an institution created by men for the sole purpose of protecting life, liberty and property. That gov't cannot grant rights to anyone or anything, because gov't has no authority to grant those rights-govt did not create those rights. Men and women are born with those rights.

You call the man a fool because he would say things like, "The gov't has no authority to create a public school system. The gov't has no business being involved in the education of Americans."

 You call the man a devil because he would say things like, "Let that uninsured person die." When what he really said was, insurance is a product, just like soda, cigarettes and TV. As such it is the property of the person that created it. You do not have a right to some ones property and the gov't cannot grant you that right. If you cannot afford TV, then you don't watch CSI. If you cannot afford health insurance and you get cancer, you have no right to force some one else to pay for your treatment. If you or the gov't does, it is theft and it is wrong. If you cannot afford the treatment, then unfortunately you may die.

 You call the man an anarchist because he advocates deregulating the economy and business. You say this would create chaos and "look how well deregulation worked for the housing market". In fact, deregulation helped the housing market, at first. Then as with all faith based currency systems there was a bust to the boom. The problem was exacerbated when the fed stepped in and bailed out the banks that were about to fail. In a free market systems with little to no regulation, banks, corps and people fail all the time-that is the way it is supposed to work. One mans loss is another mans gain.

 This is how we learn-through our successes, and our failures. But, we will never learn if mommy and daddy always step in to bail us out. That is called enabling the institution and it doesn't work. Just look at California's correctional system.

  You would call a man senile because he believes that we can live within our means and we do not need three gov't agencies that have overlapping responsibilities. Do we need the Dept of Interior when we have F&W, NOAA, COMMERCE, BLM, COE, BOR and a few more that all oversee the same things?

 You call a man stupid because he believes that our soldiers should be home protecting their lands and families. Protecting Americans on American soil. That we should not occupy foreign nations. That we should not police the world and build nations. That we should not be a part of the UN or ally with any nation. That we should not kill Americans without due process and that every human life is precious and it should not be wasted. That the more enemies we make, the less safe we actually are.

 You call the man greedy because he believes that money made is the property of the person that made it. That the gov't has no right telling us how much of our money we may keep for ourselves...after we have paid them. That if we do decide to give some of our money to the gov't it should be frugal with it. That if we have to balance our budget daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, the gov't should also have to. That just because a person is rich, does not mean they should pay higher taxes. That the gov't cannot tax a nation into prosperity.

 You laugh at him because he believes that a private organization should not create money, thereby inflating the monetary base and deflating our purchasing power. Because he believes the power to coin money was granted to congress alone.

 You mock him because he says the constitution is the supreme law of the land. That we are a nation of laws, not of men. That it is the letter of the law, not the spirit in which it was intended.

 You marginalize him because he says that our founding fathers sacrificed their lives for a chance that we might be a free nation. That Jefferson, Washington and Franklin faced the same challenges we face today and have faced over the years. That the constitution can be applied to all things yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 You call him a radical because he wants limited gov't intrusion, sound money and a peaceful foreign policy. I say, why would you not?

 We have been doing the same thing since 1913 and look where it has taken us. I think it is past the time to restore our constitution of principles and liberty as the supreme law of the land. Let all things be governed and measured by it. Let all men be free in their own minds, bodies and property. The free market does a better job of regulating itself, then any gov't ever could. Life is not supposed to be easy and anyone that tells you it is, is lying to you.

 You are not granted any right except the right to live, love, earn and learn with whatever, whenever, whomever and however you choose so long as you do not cause harm to another's person or property.

Ron Paul 2012