Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Congress shall make no law... abridging... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Euro denominated bonds sold off big today and this drove the price down and interest rates up. Even in the northern European countries where the Right Wing wisdom holds that the people are hard working, tax paying, frugal and (shhh), white. The only exception was Germany which is considered the last safe haven for the Euro and there interest rates fell on high demand for bonds.

US stocks were up in late trading despite the gloom and doom in Europe and the potential risk to US banks, as the basic economic news in the US remains positive. Consumer sales were up in October and manufacturing surveys suggest significant growth which was the opposite of the conventional wisdom of surveyed economists.

It wasn’t all good news, hourly wages adjusted for inflation have fallen nearly 2% in the past 12 months. Declining wages are indicated by the continuing high weekly jobless claims as better paid workers are fired in favor of minimum wage workers. In Texas many of almost forgotten Rick Perry’s jobs are less than minimum wage.

Speaking of the forgotten Governor of Texas, Iowa’s Republican primary is only 49 days away. It has become a four clowns in a pie fight, circus. Herman Cain leads at 20% having locked in the misogynist vote, he’s followed by Ron Paul with the Libertarian fantasy vote at 19%. Then you have Mitt Romney with the “we’re okay with Mormons, if they have money, vote” at 18%. Bringing up the rear is Newt Gingrich at 17%, coasting along on the “Definitely a corrupt politician but maybe he’s not crazy”, vote.  This leaves 26% that doesn’t want to vote for any of them. (it’s called a caucus like the Democrats, but that process is too complicated for Republicans, they just vote like any other primary)

The less than bright Mayor of Oakland has let slip that there is in deed a conspiracy to evict the Occupy Movement from public spaces. The refrain from the supposed representatives of the people is that the First Amendment allows free speech but no camping. That “Right of Assembly” phrase that follows in the same sentence, is strangely absent from their talking points.

In deed, in the days of the Constitution’s founders when traveling to New York could take weeks on horseback, the decree that The People wouldn’t be allowed to camp on public land in order to Petition Their Government, wouldn’t have been considered as legitimate. That would have been the position of the Crown and the British East India Company that they rebelled against. It’s time to rebel while you still can still do so peaceably. www.prairie2.com


Dave said...

As much as I'm glad to see, once again, people on the streets in a way that confounds government, I have to admit there may be some legitimacy in not allowing people to camp in public spaces indefinitely. My reasoning,I believe falls within the bounds of the Constitution.

At some point the continued presence of one group in a piece of public space begins to oppress the rights of others to use that space for other purposes. That oppression isn't peaceable.

The problem is how to decide when the peaceable assembly is no longer so. The executive branch, as we've seen with mayors ordering police departments into action,have assumed the role of deciding when that point is. However that also problematic as the executive branch may very well be the object of protest by the assembled.

Could it be that various governments' executive branches should really go to court to get a ruling on balancing the rights of free speech and petition with the rights of others to peaceably assemble? It's worth consideration as allowing governments to say when or whether they'll be criticized would make us a garden variety dictatorship, nothing more.