Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Check out the Dan Savage post-election blues column in the Portland Mercury. Damn right, Better Dead than Red. You sing it sister! The Democrats better start brining it to the city. We've been to nice to the backwards country bumpkins for too long. They just don't get/see/understand how Jr and the republicans have been screwing them over for so long. Hey if the environment goes down the crapper and all your crops die, don't come crying to us, bitches, we warned you, but noooo, you kept voting for the republicans who ease environmental controls. Losers! We've been too kind and open and accepting of various lifstyles and cultures and all you people understand are others who are exactly like you. In the city there are people from all over the world, all economics brackets, they work many different jobs and have many different lifestyles. Not everybody in America is a Christian farmworker!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

On a non-political angle, here's a tragic story about drinking deaths at American universities from CNN.com. (full story)
"(AP) -- It's a sad but recurring campus story: This autumn, students are again drinking themselves to death. Colorado State student Samantha Spady had consumed as many as 40 drinks when she was found dead at a fraternity house in September. Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr., Gordie to his friends, had been taken to the mountains near the University of Colorado with fellow Chi Psi fraternity pledges and told not to leave until several bottles of whiskey were finished."

Look, this is a great argument for LOWERING the drinking age. The legal age in the US has been 21 for as long as I remember and people are still having problems. An alcoholic will become and alcoholic no matter the drinking age. There's is nothing we can do for them, besides offer services to help them get off booze once they have decided they don't want it anymore. Only the alcoholic can heal themselves, you can't force them to quit, it doesn't work.

So, what I'm proposing is aimed at the non-alcoholic binge drinkers. If we were to lower the drinking age to, say 16, kids could learn to drink will under the custody and influence of their parents. drinking alcohol wouldn't be this big rebellious and taboo activity. Having one glass of wine or beer with dinner would be as normal as finishing a meal with dessert. Of course we'd have to have faith that parents can teach their children about responsible drinking. Its obvious that the current system of having strangers just tell (versus parents teaching) kids to not drink or to drink responsibly is not working.
Idiots!!! These people have no vision. We are all going to hell. Not that we haven't already trashed our Earth, but they still feel the need to go into untouched areas. That's right oil drilling in the Alaska Artic National Wildlife Refuge is back. From CNN.com....
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican gains in the Senate could give President Bush his best chance yet to achieve his No. 1 energy priority -- opening an oil-rich but environmentally sensitive Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling."

Once you trash an area like this, there is no going back. No 20/20 hindsight.... its gone. You better be absolutely goddamned sure that we need to do this and that there is no alternative. But hey guess what? We do have alternatives.... hydrogen powered fuel cells. We have the technology we just need a big push to make them smaller and cheaper. For a country that is supposed to be so technologically advanced, we certainly have a bizarre attachment to old technology. People, oil is a thing of the past, you see. We don't need it anymore.
ohhh, here's some more republican wisdom....

"With oil trading at nearly $50 a barrel, the case for ANWR is more compelling than ever," said Domenici. "We have the technology to develop oil without harming the environment and wildlife."
Yeah, whatever, you absolutely will harm the wildlife. All the trucks, workers, pollution, pipelines. If you've ever seen an oil drilling area, you know its not a pretty sight.
Republicans are arrogant bastards, they have no vision of the future, they can't accept alternatives and generally are stupid.

The whole republican campaign was geared toward the animal instinct of fear. They were selling fear, an emotion, and not a good one at that. They continuously steared the campaign away from real issues and towards fear of gays, fear of Muslims, fear of energy droughts. No wonder they are under-funding No Child Left Behind and other educational programs. If the American public was any smarter it would see through their thinly-veiled lies and see that THEY GOT NOTHING! That's right republicans have no substance, no character, no wisdom, no leaders.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ahhh, One last parting shot from John Asscroft. He could use some serious help from my previous post. HEY JOHNNY BOY, TRY READING THE CONSTITUTION!!!! Anyway, he's going after states rights again. Remember, the good ol'Republican party, they believe in reducing the role of the federal government and send more power to the states, UNLESS THEY DISAGREE WITH YOU!!! The hypocrites strike back, what a bunch of loosers! Once again going after Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law. A law that the good people of Oregon decided was right for them and passed. Here from KGW...
"The Bush administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to block an Oregon law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients die more quickly. It is the only law of its kind in the nation." <>04:04 PM PST on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 By kgw.com and AP Staff
1st on the lighter side of life.....
Autolux!!!! new album Future Perfect... it rocks!!! Think Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, new Fugazi and later day Beatles. Very sweet, Very Good. Erg Mooi!

This in from the NYTimes... Bush is unConstitutional!!!
Nov. 8 - A federal judge ruled Monday that President Bush had both overstepped his constitutional bounds and improperly brushed aside the Geneva Conventions in establishing military commissions to try detainees at the United States naval base here as war criminals.
Imagine that!!!??!?!?

Just in case you need a refresher here is the Constitution of the United States of America. This is actually some pretty good stuff. The cats who started this country were on to something. Its amazing how well this things holds up over 200 years later. We really should pay more attention to our Constitution! Read it a couple of times, print it out, staple it to your wall, keep a copy in your car. It might come in handy!!!

Here are some more goodies that are handy to know about.....

Monday, November 08, 2004

Found this letter to the editor in the November 4th Daily Iowan.... it's a nice one!

Bush supporters: Offer your service

To all those healthy 18- to 24-year-olds who voted for President Bush,
presumably you support both his domestic and foreign policies. So as the war
in Iraq worsens, and as your tuition goes up, why not demonstrate your
patriotic consciences and sign up for military service now? Your country
needs you!

Although I voted for John Kerry, it is unlikely that I will be hurt by
anything done by Bush or the new Republican Congress. I'm too old to be
drafted, I've already got my Ph.D., and I could get a high-paying job in
biotech or pharmacy in a heartbeat. Good luck, kids.

Mary Herndon
UI postdoctoral fellow

Ok, Its been a while since I published. I must have seen it coming. Anyway, we have at least 4 more year of fighting fascism instead of concentrating on actually moving forward. Here's a little snippet from Maureen Dowd's NYT column.....

"W.'s presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing science with religion, and facts with faith. We're entering another dark age, more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of leading America to an exciting new reality, the Bushies cocoon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches." Rove's Revenge By MAUREEN DOWD Published: November 7, 2004

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A far religious right neo-con gets a slap on the wrist....

From The Sydney Morning Herald
"A United States army general violated Pentagon rules with speeches in which he described the war on terror as a Christian battle against Satan, and he should be punished, according to an inspector-general's report revealed today." full story
and on a lighter note....

This Thursday... Puerto Rico Islanders vs. Portland Timbers A-League soccer! 7pm at PGE Park in beautiful downtown Portland.
Another person chimes in against the Iraq war and Bush Jr's failed foreign policy... this time a Republican.

A top Republican congressman has broken from his party in the final days of his House career, saying he believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified and the situation there has deteriorated into "a dangerous, costly mess." full story on cnn.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

In an effort to further expose bush jr.'s incompetence and hypocrisy here's a few more stories....

From the NYTimes.... Seems that charter schools are a big part of the failed leave no child behind initiative.... also seems that charter schools aren't doing as well as the public schools they were supposed to replace. Also, isn't it interesting that the republicans are will to make excuses and wait for results from charter schools but have no interest in giving public schools any leeway. Nation's Charter Schools Lagging Behind, U.S. Test Score Reveal

Next, from USAToday.... Looks like UST agrees with Johns Kerry & Edwards' assesment that the country is further being split in two by bush jr's devisive tax cuts. Income Gap Expands

Congratulations go out to President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for winning his referendum. Seems folks in the White House weren't too happy until they remember that Venezuela sends the US 15% of our oil. Some folks in Texas may be making money off that. hmmm, I wonder who. Also, this from AFP via Hindustan Times... even though bush jr doesn't like Chavez, a stable Venezuela means lower oil prices which generally will help the shrub in the elections. Chavez Win Annoys Washington

Monday, August 16, 2004

Wow a third post today! I got more. This time from my old homie, senator Tom Harkin from Iowa is giving it to Cheney... shweet....

"He said President Bush and Cheney are "running scared because John Kerry has a war record and they don't." He said of Cheney, "What he is doing and what he is saying is cowardly. The actions are cowardly... When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil," said Harkin. "He'll be tough, but he'll be tough with someone else's kid's blood."" from Yahoo! News

You tell 'em Tom!!! I can't believe these people (Bush jr. and Cheney) would question the loyalty or toughness of John Kerry who served in the Vietnam War. They were too chicken to go and instead spent alot of time and energy dodging the war. They ARE nothing but cowards and hypocrites!!!
Up yours Ashcroft!!! .....
"A federal appeals court is refusing to reconsider its decision to uphold Oregon's assisted-suicide law, rejecting a request from the Bush administration to set aside the only law of its kind in the nation."
full story at KGW

What was most troubling about this, is that one of the major platforms of the republican party is that they want to reduce the power of the federal government and return rights to the states. Apparently this admin only agrees with his party if he agrees with the state law in question. What a hypocrite!
Ok, Here's some scary news from the New York Times about the further 1984-izing of America. Please do not speak unless spoken to!
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York." --- What this is saying is forget about being innocent until proven guilty, you are now GUILTY BEFORE YOU COMIT A CRIME.... very scary stuff!

"...any First Amendment impact posed by the F.B.I.'s monitoring of the political protests was negligible and constitutional." --- Oh, ok, so now they admit to interrupting people's free speech rights and seeing as how they are judges of the Supreme Court of the US with a case in front of them, can determine what is constitutional and what is not.... yikes.
NYT link to full article

Our civil liberties are being trampled on. This is directly a result of the Bush jr. administration and their facist document the USA Patriot act. Bush jr. needs to be voted out. We need to vote out republicans from the Senate and House and Democrats, Libertarians and Green Party folks need to start restoring freedom to the United States!

Friday, August 13, 2004

So far a most triumphant weekend....
Thurs.... Timbers beat Calgary 2-1 to qualify for the A-League playoffs. Game winning goal came from Fadi Afash in the 89th minute.

Fri..... John Kerry rally in downtown Portland brings 30,000-50,000 people to sweat with the next President of the United States

Fri night.... 2004 Olympic games opening ceremony features a pretty groovy 90 minute set from DJ Tiesto!!!!

sweet, sweet and sweet

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

OK two more things today....
For good music and good politics go out and buy Rock Against Bush Vol. 2 from the good folks at PunkVoter and Fat Wreck Chords

here's an interesting page... Cost Of War. This site also has many good links to good info... Let's educate ourselves and fight the right-wing conservatives who are mis-representing our country.
Listen up Portland people.....
Thursday August 12th... Portland Timbers Vs. Calgary Mustangs A-League soccer at PGE park 7pm. Come join the fun... hang out with the nutters of the Timbers Army in section 107 behind the north goal post. Join up before and after the game for drinks at the Bullpen (across 18th Ave from PGE).

Friday August 13th.... John Kerry at Portland's Waterfront Park 10am, in the bowl just south of the Hawthorne Bridge. Guests include Theresa Heinz-Kerry, Jon Bon Jovi & Leonardo DiCaprio. For more info... Dems of Oregon. This rally is open to the public, come one come all!!! No tix necessary, just bring a friend and your enthusiasm.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Howdy, I'm back!!!
The Portland Timbers beat the Minnesota Thunder 3-0 last night, way to go boys. Looks like John Kerry will be in the grand state of Oregon next week. He'll be in Medford on the 12th of August and Portland on Friday the 13th. What will make Friday the 13th scary though is that Bush Jr. may be here also.

This just in... seems the number of smog action days may be on the rise for eastern cities in the future. Maybe the Repugnant party will start paying attention to our destruction of the environment once it starts affecting their voters where they live. Lets hope we all wise up before its to late for us or future generations!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

So, the republicans continue to bash John Kerry. Now they are making fun of a picture of him in a clean suit at NASA. Wow, wearing a clean suit obviously is a sign of presidential weakness. Come on is that the best you got? People wear clean suits everyday for their jobs, I'm one of them. These republicans are so far out of touch with the common person its unbelievable. Of course they wouldn't know about jobs requiring clean suits because they are happy to send them all overseas and leave Americans stranded with no jobs. But I digress. If re-posting pix of John Kerry in a clean suit is all they got then this should be an easy race. Its obvious that republicans are getting scared. They know their guy has got nothing, nothing in his record to stand on. Bush Jr. has screwed up everything he's touched, crime is up, jobs are down, the country is less secure than it used to be, he's underfunded No Child Left Behind (which is, in the way Bush enacted it, a sham anyway), he poses as a Texas ranch everyman while buying $3000 custom made bicycles (and then crashing them... probably drunk). Anyway, I could go on. Bush and his cronies are running a sad and pathetic little campaign and the DEMOCRATS WILL PREVAIL!!!! VOTE JOHN KERRY 2004!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Crap... lesson one, don't click on links in preview, cuz then you loose all your work. Ok I was ranting about how bad the Timbers-Flounders game was yesterday, but its gone so nevermind.... 5 games left, Timbers rule, Timbers Army rulez... whatever

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Wondering where to get good reliable news in these trying times??? Lets go back a year and take a look at The Nation...
"The TV anchor was taken aback. Unlike the other network news anchors or the New York Times, he considered the disclosure that the Bush Administration had granted a major contract to Halliburton for postwar construction of oil wells in Iraq to be a scandalous lead story. He noted that hearing the news "does make me feel like the government just took a [bleep] on my chest." He then turned to his "senior" senior correspondent, Stephen Colbert, and asked what he made of the Halliburton deal. "Keeping in mind that Halliburton was a major contributor to the Republican campaign and that Vice President Cheney is its former CEO, this move by the government is extremely..." and then Colbert paused. "Unpleasant?" offered the anchor, "nauseating?" Colbert said that nothing quite captured it; what came closest was a German word he translated to mean "to throw one's hands up in mute horror and in this state of paralyzing dread to realize that those you need to trust most have instead confirmed your darkest fears." But Colbert said even that "seems a little namby-pamby in this context." by Susan J. Douglas The Nation April 17, 2003

Thank You Daily Show!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Portland Timbers Vs. Seattle Flounders
Saturday July 24th @ PGE Park 7pm

We are the Timbers Army
We are mental and we are barmy
True supporters forever more!

Come join the lunatics in section 107

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

In the car this morning...
Rancid - Indestructible
listening to now....
Tricky - Blow Back

Sunday, July 18, 2004

This is a call to all Portlanders to get out a support the Timbers, our A-League soccer team. There are rumors of MLS interest in Portland!!! How exciting would it be to have top level soccer in PDX??!!!?! I know there are rumors of Major League Baseball in PDX, but I'm not optimistic about that. One major difference is that a major soccer team would not require a $400M brand spanking new stadium. So get out to the Timbers next game July 24th versus hated rivals the Seattle Sounders. In the meantime here's some links for the Timbers... and as always feel free to stop by Sec 107 to sit with the lunies of the Timbers Army, America's fiercest soccer fans!!!
Portland Timbers Official Site
Soccer City USA - have a chat on the Timbers message board, game recaps and great pix
Timberlog - Timber fan's blog
Timbers Army
Timbers Army - Drumman's site
Timbers Army Newsletter
Timbers Fan Page

Friday, July 16, 2004

Went to see Control Room, a documentary about Al Jazeera.  This movie is just as important as F 9/11, and everyone should go see it!!! VERY GOOD!  Despite what Donald Rumsfeld has to say, Al Jazeera is not a trash talking propaganda machine!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Just got back from the Portland Timbers game. They lost 3-0 to MLS's SJ Earthquakes. This was the first time in the WoodShed with the Timbers Army. What a great time, it rivalled the student section at U of Iowa Hawkeyes games (although smaller).

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I'm currently reading Why Lincoln Matters by Mario Cuomo. Great book! It's a combo of Mario's thoughts on the current state of the US and what he thinks Lincoln would think... 2004 US through Lincoln's eyes. I have to admit to not knowing a whole lot about Mario Cuomo or Abraham Lincoln before. I can now see why so many people like Mario Cuomo and think he should be our next president. He see things very clearly and seems genuinely interested in supporting every American great or small.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Currently listening to....
Air - Talkie Walkie
Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

Wednesday July 14th Portland Timbers Vs. San Jose Earthquakes in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
In town Thurs July 15th - Sonic Youth @ the Crystal Ballroom

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Here's a response to this lie that's been floating around the internet lately that my wife wrote. I think she does a pretty good job of de-bunking this puppy....
Just before I was going to send this I made an interesting discover about the validity of this quote. Check out the link at the end.

Thanks for the article. As you can imagine, I had many problems with it. In some places I question the validity of the argument on its own merits, and in other’s I question how this can be used to justify a Republican vote. Enjoy.

> > At about the time our original 13 states adopted
> > their new constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander
> > Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The
> > University of Edinburgh) had this to say about "The
> > Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years
> > prior.
> >
> > "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it
> > simply cannot exist as a permanent form of
> > government. A democracy will continue to exist up
> > until the time that voters discover that they can
> > vote themselves generous gifts from the public
> > treasury.
> >

Let me first point out that we do not live in a democracy. We specifically do not live in a Greek city-state type democracy where the citizens voted directly on each issue. We live in a republic. So the assumption that America will follow this general trend is easily disputed. Citizens of a republic never vote on budget decisions and have no authority to allocate generous gifts from the public treasury. Instead, we vote for representation, and our representatives vote...even in a presidential election.

From that moment on, the majority always
> > votes for the candidates who promise the most
> > benefits from the public treasury, with the result
> > that every democracy will finally collapse due to
> > loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a
> > dictatorship."

I suppose we could assume that the people will realize that they can vote for representatives who will choose to vote for generous gifts from the public treasury to be given to the people. Our current political climate is in sharp contrast to such an outcome, however. To be elected as a representative in our republic has become so expensive that only the wealthiest Americans being funded by the wealthiest Americans ever stand a chance of being elected to represent the common person. The inevitable outcome of this is that the interests of the wealthy few are over-represented.

Okay, so lets break Tyler's argument down and assume that it is really a loose fiscal policy that leads to the collapse of a democracy. In the US government of today I’m not too sure who this argument is for. Loose fiscal policies have been seen in virtually every White House Administration in my lifetime. There are two major ways for the government to try to smooth out the economy: monetary policy and fiscal policy. Monetary policy, the Federal Reserve's domain, attempts to stimulate growth by reducing the discount rate which increases the amount of money in the system. This is called loose monetary policy. Tight monetary policy is what was happening during the Reagan administration when rates were higher in an attempt to limit inflation. Fiscal policy, which is harder to make changes to, but affects the economy more directly is the other way for the government to try to smooth out the economy. This can either be done by increasing or decreasing direct government spending and/or with tax cuts or tax hikes. A loose fiscal policy is used to stimulate a sluggish economy either by government spending to create jobs or by making tax cuts. Tyler’s argument that a loose fiscal policy is followed by a dictatorship is on the one hand really weird because it makes no sense, but on the other hand certainly not an argument for a Republican vote.

By the way, I am in complete agreement that the economy can be stimulated with tax cuts. I think it is a little riskier than stimulating the economy through direct government intervention using job creation (ie FDR's New Deal and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society), but as you may have guessed, I'm a democrat. Both of these programs resulted in dramatic reductions of the number of Americans living in poverty. Two weeks after job's are created, paychecks are going to formally unemployed people. Money is being spent in local economies which very quickly finds its way up the the wealthiest Americans. This is an aggressive approach to reduce poverty in America without the use of government handouts. Instead it taps into American ambition and desire for success. I’ve been studying economics with one of my clients who has her PhD in economics. Check out the following website. It has a great discussion of monetary and fiscal policies: http://www.theshortrun.com/studies/policy_mix.pdf

Back to tax cuts. Tax cuts have proven success in stimulating the American economy. BUT NOT WHEN THEY ARE SPECIFICALLY TARGETED TO THE RICH!!!!!!! If Bush would have decided to make null and void the federal income and payroll taxes of say the Americans who earn 2/3 or 3/4 of the national median income, those people would have spent that extra money! It would have poured back into our struggling economy and therefore would have resulted in more income for the the people that didn't get a tax cut. The bottom 50% of Americans will be receiving less than $100 from Bush's latest tax cut. This of course, sharply contrasts Bush's assertions that the "vast majority of my tax cuts go to those at the bottom end of the spectrum." There is a great article discussing why 10 nobel laureate economists signed a statement criticizing Bush's tax cut. It is worth reading.


> > "The average age of the world's greatest
> > civilizations from the beginning of history, has
> > been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these
> > nations always progressed through the following
> > sequence:

There are so many things wrong with this paragraph, I don't even know where it start. First let's start with the word average. If you average my net worth with Bill Gates net worth, you could say that our average worth is about $30 billion. Technically true, but misleading. Second, for us to apply this great civilization thread to the downfall of democracy argument of the last paragraph we must assume that all of these great civilizations were democracies. You majored in history. You know that is not true. In fact most representative democracies started in the 1800's. And the great civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Babylon, and Rome each lasted over 1000 years. The Indus valley civilization lasted about 800 years. That is a lot of great civilizations that lasted a really long time. Perhaps they are being averaged with civilizations that really shouldn’t be called “great.”

> > From Bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual
> > faith to great courage; From courage to liberty;
> > From liberty to abundance; From abundance to
> > complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy
> > to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."

Give me something to back this up. I already don't believe a word this guy says. He lived before the birth of most democracies on this planet, and we are using this very strange timeline of the AVERAGE 200 year civilization as a cautionary tale for our country? Wow.

> >
> > Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University
> > School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some
> > interesting facts concerning the most recent
> > Presidential election:
> >
> > Population of counties won by:
> > Gore=127 million
> > Bush=143 million
> >
> > Square miles of land won by:
> > Gore=580,000
> > Bush=2,2427,000
> >
> > States Won By
> > Gore=19
> > Bush=29
> >
Actually it was Gore 20, Bush 30

> > Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won
> > by:
> > Gore=13.2
> > Bush=2.1
> >
Here are some more interesting facts:

Of the wealthiest 10 counties in the U.S. all voted for Al Gore.

Of the wealthiest 10% of counties, only 55% voted for Bush (175 of 314)

Of the poorest 10% of counties, 75% voted for Bush (238 of 314)

> > Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of
> > the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by
> > the tax-paying citizens of this great country.
> > Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens
> > living in government-owned tenements and living off
> > government welfare..."

This is the most mind-bogglingly stupid paragraph in this whole email. Professor Olson is craftily using the word encompassed to lead the reader into the following line of reasoning. More people live in cities than in rural areas. So, more poor people live in cities than in rural areas. Cities contain government-owned tenements. Therefore, if most of the people who voted for Gore lived in cities, they must be people living in the projects off welfare checks. Yes, I'm sure that the nearly 51 million votes Al Gore received were from people living off government welfare. Here’s a similar line of reasoning. “The northern hemisphere encompasses most of the communist countries in the world.” No sane person would take that to mean that all the countries in the northern hemisphere were communist or that there were no communist countries in the southern hemisphere. It’s complete nonsense...just like Olson’s paragraph.

Perhaps, one could argue that the people living in cities have not sheltered themselves from the true state of crime and poverty in America.

> > Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between
> > the "complacency and "apathy" phase of Professor
> > Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40
> > percent of the nation's population already having
> > reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

First of all, Professor Tyler did not give a definition of democracy. He seems to believe that he can predict the development of democracy, but this is certainly debatable since most of the democracies in the world developed after he wrote this. Check out this link concerning the history of democracy in the world


But I digress.

How did Olson come to his determination of the US being somewhere between complacency and apathy? Apparently he believes that 40% of Americans have reached the "governmental dependency" phase. I question his definition of governmental dependency. Who is he including in this category?

"The Health and Human Services Department said Wednesday that the number of individuals on welfare dropped more than 4 percent between March 2002 and March 2003, to about 5 million people." The Associated Press September 3, 2003

5 million people is about 1.7 percent of the American population.

Maybe he is talking about Americans over age 65 who are on Medicare:

In 2003, Medicare covers 35 million Medicare enrollees ages 65 and over, and six million enrollees under age 65 with disabilities. These 41 million Americans comprise 14% of the U.S. population. (Kaiser: Medicare at a Glance)

Of course, to assume that because you are over 65 and using your well-deserved medicare coverage (that you paid for your entire working career) you are dependent upon the government is quite a stretch. Of course, those two numbers together only add up to 15.7%. Still we are far below this mysterious 40% number. Maybe if you include all the people receiving their social security benefits you could reach 40%. I'm guessing Professor Olson won't turn down his social security benefits when he reaches age 65. After all, he has been paying for them his whole life.

I've got an argument. 100% of Americans have reached the stage of governmental dependency. We are dependent upon the government to fund our police and fire departments. We depend on the USDA to keep our food safe. We depend on the DOT to provide us with roads, highways, and bridges. We depend upon the EPA to help keep our air and water clean and we depend on the public education system to help educate our people. We depend on the armed forces to protect our country. The list goes on and on. I don't want to do all of these things for myself. I believe we all benefit by doing these things as a group. Maybe I'm just complacent and apathetic.

> >
> > Pass this along to help everyone realize just how
> > much is at stake in this Election Year and that
> > apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.
> >

Okay, so I just decided to stop because I could shoot holes in this email all weekend. Then I got to wondering, is this Alexander Tyler guy even real? I mean, if he supposedly lived in 1787, he couldn’t have really studied any democracies besides Greek city-states. And, Greek city-states didn’t have representative democracies. So what was he talking about in the first paragraph. Anyway, I did some digging. Turns out there is no Alexander Tyler from Edinburgh. There is an Alexander Fraser Tytler. There is no book in the library of Congress about the “Fall of the Athenian Republic,” or something like it. Check out the following website, which evidently contacted Professor Olson, who claims he never said any of the quotes in the email.


I thought about not sending all of my comments, since this email is totally fabricated, but decided to send them anyway. This has become real because people are passing it on and using it as a reason to not address the real issues of our country.

Tytler, Alexander Fraser (Lord Woodhouselee)
Do you have in print or electronic form something called The decline and fall of the Athenian Republic (1776) by a supposed Edinburgh University History Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler (Lord Woodhouselee)?
I've heard of a quotation by Alexander Fraser Tytler about the lifespan of democracy. Was it in The decline and fall of the Athenian Republic?
Edinburgh University Library occasionally receives enquiries, particularly from North America, about this particular work. However, this title is not in our Library holdings, nor does it appear in the stocks of the other major research libraries in the UK (according to the 'union' catalogue COPAC)...
Locally, the chapters of Tytler's General history ... (which we DO have) has been checked on the off-chance that The decline and fall might have been a chapter title... but it is not...
Clarifying a bit more, the earliest published works of Tytler that we have are:
Plan and outlines of a course of lectures on universal history, ancient and modern, delivered in the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, 1782. Note: Presentation copy from the author.
Elements of general history, ancient and modern. To which are added a table of chronology and a comparative view of ancient and modern geography. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1801. Note: Presentation copy from the author.
The two volume work is a published version of the lecture course outlined in the plan.
The publication situation is a bit complicated by later editions of the lectures, sometimes with an additional volume by different other authors bringing the coverage up to 1820 and later the 1840s and 1850s.
Additionally we hold bundles of unsorted, or comparatively unsorted manuscripts of Tytler.
Often in the enquiries we receive we are provided with a 'quote' (see below) from Tytler referring to the steps that a democracy can go thro' prior to its fall but this is not in the General history... either.
We have scanned our holdings pretty thoroughly on different occasions, going back a few years now, but we have not found the quotation or anything similar to it, but we cannot absolutely rule out the possibility that we have missed it.
With regard to the 'quote', the Library of Congess which has a substantial collection of Alexander Fraser Tytler, and has experience of working with his output, also confirms that it is not in the General history.
In Soldiers of fortune. The story of the Mamlukes by John Bagot Glubb 'Pasha' (1897–1986), published in New York by Stein and Day, 1973, Glubb gives an unattributed reference to stages in the 'life of democracy', stating p.230 that the words were written by Alexander Fraser Tytler but providing no source. By his own admission however, on p.9, Glubb was not a scholar.
[Quote]...: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government ... The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, and from dependency back into bondage.

Professor Olson teaches Business Associations, Business Planning, Contracts, Corporate Finance, and taxation courses.
DISCLAIMER: There is an e-mail floating around the internet dealing with the 2000 Bush/Gore election, remarks of a Scotish philosopher named Alexander Tyler, etc. Part of it is attributed to me. It is entirely BOGUS as to my authorship. I've been trying to kill it for 3 years. For details see: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/tyler.asp.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

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