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Sounding pessimistic

January 4, 2013

Around the same time the original 13 states were adopting our new Constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler, professor of history at the University of Edinborough, had this to say about the......

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Jan-04-13 7:56 PM

" Budget deficit 2007 before Democrats gained control of congress $1.65 billion."

That can't be right. That's like only four Big Birds. I think it was like $500 billion.

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Jan-04-13 5:49 PM

Excellent letter, Phil.

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Jan-04-13 5:48 PM

Shammy, we do know about the past, and we don't want to repeat what we are seeing in Europe. Perhaps, it is not the conservative who forgets the past, but rather it is the liberal who thinks that if we just spend more taxpayer money, enact more taxes and punish more people for working hard we can make it (a Utopian progressive state where all are equal and everyone shares in the fruits of other labor) work this time. I would rather take my chances with those who want to explore, work hard, invent, create and employ. That is what will get things moving again.

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Jan-04-13 5:43 PM

Good post Mr. Bross. And since many of us know families who have done exactly that, I find it hard to understand why so many can't grasp that we are on a decline for exactly those reasons.

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Jan-04-13 3:45 PM

"A democracy is always temporary in nature, it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government." That's true for any form of government. The cycle of ascendency and decline certainly has been repeated throughout history. You can even see it in families where several generations achieve a great deal and then the next several generations fritter it all away.

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Jan-04-13 10:02 AM

Another conservative lie. The right has said many times that tax cuts pay for themselves, they don't. The right approves the free flow on money in campaigns.

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Jan-04-13 9:06 AM

Reeder- I think we mean Tax cuts and military operations that were voted on by both parties and approved. We don't mean "if we can't get it by Congress we'll just sign an executive order". And how about the usual ambassadorial appointments for bundlers and friends in corporations and Wall Street.

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Jan-04-13 8:42 AM

You mean like unpaid tax cuts. You mean like unpaid war on terror. You mean like tax breaks for campaign donors.

A quote from the right, we are not a democracy but a republic.

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Jan-04-13 8:36 AM

"Do you think that this cannot happen here?" - Phil Miller


"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on RETENTIVENESS. When change is ABSOLUTE there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when EXPERIENCE is NOT retained, as among SAVAGES, INFANCY IS PERPETUAL. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana


Could there possibly BE a better argument against Tea-Partydom?????

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Jan-04-13 7:27 AM

Go figure.

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Jan-04-13 7:27 AM

"Some versions of the email quote a passage attributed to Scottish history professor "Alexander Tyler" asserting that great civilizations always progress through a series of stages beginning with bondage, peaking in a state of liberty and abundance, then devolving through complacency and apathy back to to bondage again. Democracies fail when voters learn they can "vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." This was supposedly the fate of the Athenian Republic, and, by implication, will be America's.

For the record, the professor's name was actually Alexander Tytler, and though he was indeed an accomplished 18th-century author, historian, and lawyer of 19th-century Scotland, his authorship of the passage, which doesn't seem to have appeared anywhere in print prior to the 20th century, is in doubt."

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Jan-04-13 7:22 AM

Don't try to adjust your TV, you're entering the chain email zone.

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Jan-04-13 5:55 AM

are you under the impression it hasn't happened? How else can one explain the debts amassed and the care-free attitude about them and its spending?

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Jan-04-13 3:29 AM

Roman Empire- 1200~ years Ancient Greece- 1300~ yrs Ancient Egypt- 2500~ years China- 2100~ years Islamic- 1300~ years

Seems to me the greatest civilizations have lasted at least six times longer than "200 years".

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Jan-04-13 3:00 AM

That's a nice story, except this is an unverified quote attributed to Tyler but was not in any of his published works. The earliest known printing of this quote was 1951 and the 200 years was added later. The last paragraph is attributed (& also unverified) to someone else; its earliest known oration was in 1943 & stages have been added since then.

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