Occupy the First Amendment?

So it seems the Occu­py move­ment has got­ten around to the courts. Specif­i­cal­ly, the Supreme Court and the Cit­i­zen’s Unit­ed decision.

At least some of the pro­test­ers are look­ing for a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to undo the Cit­i­zen’s Unit­ed deci­sion (I’m not sure why they would protest at the courts for that, but there it is). I doubt such an amend­ment is pos­si­ble, but I am rea­son­ably sure it is a bad idea.

I am no fan of the quan­ti­ties of mon­ey that flow into pol­i­tics. But I have to believe the answer is trans­paren­cy. When an ad is on TV, or in the mail­box or wher­ev­er, the par­ty pay­ing for the ad should be promi­nent­ly dis­played. Com­plete infor­ma­tion on where the mon­ey came from should be eas­i­ly found on line. When an indi­vid­ual is the source of mon­ey, the indi­vid­u­al’s job/​business needs to be identified.

Mon­ey does cor­rupt, but when the whole trans­ac­tion is open to scruti­ny, the vot­ers can choose what cor­rup­tion they want to vote for. Con­sumers can choose what busi­ness­es they do or do not want to patronize.

Maybe that would not work. But I would rather try it first before we start carv­ing out excep­tions to the First Amendment.

Hat tip: Ann Alt­house

The Trilateral Commission

The Tri­lat­er­al Com­mis­sion was cre­at­ed in 1973. I was eigh­teen. It could not have tak­en long for some peo­ple to be talk­ing about how the elites con­trolled the world and we, the peo­ple, were just giv­en enough to keep us com­pla­cent, and that the Tri­lat­er­al Com­mis­sion exist­ed for that pur­pose. Or some such line of thought. I feel like I have been hear­ing such talk my entire life.

In my mem­o­ry this the­o­ry was usu­al­ly put forth by a clean cut, wire rim wear­ing, pot smok­ing socialist…but maybe I’m just mak­ing that up. I don’t even know.

At any rate, I was not too inclined to accept the idea that the world was con­trolled by elites (though now I sus­pect it is…though I have no idea if the Tri­lat­er­al Com­mis­sion has any­thing to do with it) and even if it was, I looked around and thought to myself “This isn’t such a bad deal.”

Sure, there were eco­nom­ic dif­fi­cul­ties and there was no end of injus­tices going on, but life in the US for the vast major­i­ty of peo­ple was pret­ty damn good. If the elites want­ed to con­trol the world and this is how they allowed the mass­es to live so they could do that, well, I was fine with it. Maybe the alter­na­tive was how the mass­es have lived through­out his­to­ry and I was sure nobody want­ed that.

Assum­ing that those clean cut, wire rim wear­ing, pot smok­ing social­ists were cor­rect, you have to give cred­it to those elites. Run­ning the world can’t be all that easy and, on bal­ance, they did a fair job of it for quite awhile.

I’m guess­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of elites has not been up to the task. Things have gone rot­ten here in the US. Even though the reces­sion has end­ed and cor­po­ra­tions are mak­ing lots of mon­ey, noth­ing has trick­led down. Peo­ple are out of work or afraid of becom­ing out of work after ten or twen­ty years of income stagfla­tion and the val­ue of homes plum­met­ing. Which brings us to the Occu­py protests.

The most inter­est­ing thing about the Occu­py protests is watch­ing every­body try to deter­mine who is actu­al­ly protest­ing and what do they want, and what does it mean. Prob­a­bly no one answer to any of those questions.

Well, maybe to the “what does it mean” question.

It means that the nation­al econ­o­my no longer func­tions as it once did. The mass­es, who once had it pret­ty good, are now strug­gling. To lis­ten to some of what is said in Wash­ing­ton, the elites still have no idea what the prob­lem is.

It is sim­ple, return us to the good old days when the elites con­trolled the world and allowed the mass­es to live in rel­a­tive and increas­ing pros­per­i­ty. Is it too much to ask?