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View Diary: The Fantasy of "Government Tyranny" (211 comments)

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  •  That idea breaks down when you have 310 Million (4+ / 0-)

    people represented by 450 men who have to get on the phone and beg for money from 400 billionaires every day.

    Or do you think the $3 BILLION spent in the election just past was spent to ensure good government for the little people?

    How many people did a Congressman represent in 1790?  How many today?

    •  Money is the problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin, JerryNA

      Are guns the solution?

      •  Well, some people argue for high explosives (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stormicats, dewley notid, JerryNA

        As I noted below, there are MANY ways to protect the Constitution and our freedom.   But the people clinging to their guns are arguing nothing more than what part of the Left was arguing in the 1960s.   In both cases because they have lost faith in the government.

        When the government ended the Vietnam war, enacted civil rights for blacks and halted the abuses (domestic spying, etc) of the FBI and the Army,  the violent left quickly dried up and disappeared.  

        I think the question  of government overreach should be publicly discussed and it should be pointed out that there are many controls that are more effective --and active --than the NRA.  I also think a number of reforms that I suggested below would give reassurance to some of the opposition.  I think it should be pointed out that the NRA did nothing to oppose Cheney.   I think the massive unemployment problem should be fixed quickly.

        Democrats have really fallen down on the job when it comes to pointing out how government can be a force for good -- whereas the billionaires so favored by the Libertarians have amply shown that they feel no obligation for their fellow countrymen.  

        If you want people to trust government then you need to have the government make noticable improvements in people's lives when you are in power.

      •  The man who started the whole Assault Rifle craze (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GDbot, Laconic Lib

        was a Stanford English  major and banker named Mel Tappan.  Back during the high inflation of the Jimmy Carter administration.  Mel Argued that the economy was going to collapse from high federal debt and entitlement obligations (Social Security, Medicare,etc.)   Argued that a person should move to a small town 400 miles from any large city and set up a self-sufficent farm to survive the ensuing chaos.

        This was during a period of much higher homicide rates in our cities.   Plus large areas of several cities  had been burned down during the civil rights riots/Martin Luther King assassination.   Plus there was that nuclear war/Cuban Missile Crisis/fallout shelter craze.

        Which, of course, led to the need for guns.   Lots of guns. To deal with the hordes of starving urban cannibal hordes
        fleeing to the countryside.
        Plus a year's supply of beans, bullets, bandaids and goats.
        Even among the hippies who fled to the same patch of Oregon to escape the Impending Nixon Dictatorship.

        Read "Tappan on Survival".  Wild craziness.  Opens with a quote from Yeats' "Second Coming":

         "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
            The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
            Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
            Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
            The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
            The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
            The best lack all conviction, while the worst
            Are full of passionate intensity."

        •  A friend's father bought into that, hook, line, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady, artmartin, JerryNA

          ... and sinker.

          One of the things he did, as a result, was to bury a number of 50 gallon drums of gasoline in the yard. This almost caused a problem a few years ago. He had a stroke that left him bed-ridden and requiring positive air pressure for breathing. His wife decided to have a first-floor addition put on the house for his bedroom, with direct outside access to make it easier on the varying visiting caregivers - the creaky old, narrow stairs to the 2nd floor weren't kind to anyone.

          Alas, he hadn't told anyone about the gasoline, and was unable to speak due to the stroke, which led to a very scary day (though, luckily, an uneventful one) for the backhoe operator who discovered them.

      •  Guns are way more of a problem than a solution. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

        by rocksout on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:06:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Now it's about 460K/district; in the past... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In 1900 population was 76M and number of districts was 357, so a bit over 210K/district.  In 1789 US population was 3.6M and 59 seats in the House, or about 60K/seat.

      Data from


      Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

      by triplepoint on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:26:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that needs to be addressed.  Off the top of my head,  in 1790, Congressmen had to represent around 25,ooo citizens, now it's much closer to a million.  How can they, as a practical matter, have adequate knowledge of their electorate to properly represent them?  

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

      by Ohkwai on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:24:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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