James Madison, rabble-rouser in chief? (Portrait from Wikipedia)
It’s now routine for police to disperse Occupy encampments, to confine demonstrators inside metal fences, corral them in plastic, and sequester them in “free speech zones” far removed from gatherings they want to influence, or denounce, or otherwise communicate with or about. Public spaces are treated as if they belong to the government, to be doled out by the spoonful, and not to the people, even though the First Amendment is quite explicit that what is forbidden is “abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In 1791 (originalists, please note), the right to assemble was considered important enough to include in the first, foundational supplement to the…
Maybe you do not keep up with the ouvre of Miley Cyrus, teeny bopper extraordinaire who ruled the minds of American youth for years with her Disney sitcom Hannah Montana. Predictably, after her time as “the perfect and All American girl,” Ms. Cyrus faced a variety of scandals. First she was caught dancing on a strip pole. When asked about it, Cyrus called the strip pole a “purity pole,” something the virginity-promoting Disney did not appreciate. Then came the sexy photos. The rumors of drugs. Just this week Twitter was aflutter with Miley Cyrus’s 19th birthday cake, an image of Bob Marley, and her statement that
You know you’re a stoner when friends make you a Bob Marley cake — you know you smoke way too much f**kin’ weed.
Of course Miley insisted she was just joking. That’s not a joint; it’s a purity-rette she was smoking.
But none of that matters now because what Miley Cyrus…
A hundred Occupy activists from New York and New Haven clustered Saturday on the lawn of GE Jeffrey Immelt’s house in New Canaan, calling him out because GE pays no taxes.
Now, obviously, it’s an article of American faith that God helps those who help themselves; that we are soaring eagles and not heaps of ants; that capitalism is irreversibly red in tooth and claw, and was meant to be. Rugged Ayn Randians are always passing out gold stars to plutocrats for “working hard”—as if janitors, nurses, coal miners, teachers, farm workers, freight handlers, cafeteria workers, electricians, welders, et al. were slackers. Elizabeth Warren has a video going around (deservedly viral) pointing out that no one makes it alone. The You’re-on-Your-Own meme that’s the common thread in post-compassionate conservatism is the most popular form of Darwinism across the land.