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“That the strength of government does not consist in any thing itself, but the attachment of a nation, and the interest which people feel in supporting it.  When this is lost, government is but a child in power; and though, it may harass individuals for a while, it but facilitates its own fall.”   
— Thomas Paine

I’ve been watching an interesting dvd on ancient Rome. In the Republic the Senate had absolute control over funding and diplomacy. They could fund wars and start wars. The people would vote through their tribe, but no one ever challenged the Senate on funding and diplomacy. The Senate was nearly all re-elected, time after time. The Senate also became wealthy over the constant wars and the corruption within the government. The second governmental entity was the Tribune. When the Tribune voted on bills of the Senate, the Senators stood over them as they voted. They noted who voted for what.
The Roman Republic started to have problems that ended in civil war, beginning in 133 B.C. and ending in 32 B.C. when the monarchy returned, or a dictatorship returned.
In 133 a man was elected to the Tribal Tribunal, similar to our House of Representatives, where bills from the Senate were voted on before they were enacted. This man’s name was Gracchus, and he couldn’t help but notice on his way to Rome the number of farmer’s homes that had been abandoned.  (Think Foreclosure)  Most of the farmers were in the army and couldn’t take care of their farms, which resulted in the loss of property. Some had been away in wars for 10 or more years. (Think Afghanistan) It was a time of consolidating farms into larger farms, worked by slaves rather than the land owner. (Think  Corporate Farms, Monsanto)  Gracchus started a bill to reform land ownership. The bill limited the amount of land that a person could own to 320 acres. Previously, there had already been a bill years earlier that limited ownership to 320 acres but it was not being funded by the Senate because the Senate owned much of the big farms. (Think corruption)

It took only one veto in the Tribune to prevent a bill from passing and another man named Octavius put in a veto. Gracchus pleaded with Octavius to remove his veto before the bill was voted on. Octavius refused. The vote proceeded anyway and Gracchus’ bill was approved. This outraged the Senate.
The Senate still refused to fund the bill enough, so it bcame insignificant. Then a king pass away from a Roman protectorate in Asia Minor and his wealth ended up funding the land reform through his Will. Slowly people were back on their farms.
Gracchus returned to the Tribune the next year and proposed a bill limiting tenure in the Senate; the main power structure. Keep in mind the situation where the Senate looked down from above on the Tribune as they voted. A riot broke out and it ended with Gracchus being stoned to death and thrown in the river. (How many times has legislation been killed on term limits?)
By 100 B.C. it became usual for the Senate and the Tribune to hire gangsters to force there way in voting, to buy votes, or pressure votes and start riots. People in the Tribune would find themselves assassinated over bills they had proposed, or the way that they voted. (Think Wellstone, Trafficant) Riots would break out during the time when the Tribune was voting. It continued going down hill in Rome until the Republic was destroyed in 32 B.C.
This wasn’t the end of the empire. It continued on until 476 A.D. They hadn’t debased their coin by the Roman Civil War, so their economy continued until the coin was debased. In the United States the currency was debased starting in 1933, with the confiscation of gold. Silver was still used in coinage until 1964. Rome had their copper clad coins, with silver on the exterior, similar to United States coinage in 1965 on the half dollar. Since 1966 United States coinage is nickel plated copper with no intrinsic value; it is basically worthless.
America, of coarse is on the same track, our government is filled with corruption from top to bottom. Term limits never get passed and so the same corruption continues after each election cycle. Most people are crowded in cities with hardly anywhere to garden.  America is in its ‘death throws’, not because I say it; history says it.



Is this a scare tactic to keep protestors away from Chicago during the NATO Summit? It very well could be. With Joliet prison re-opening, could it be the beginnings of the Re-Education Camps, I reported on in the last post?
My guess is . . . It is a scare tactic. The people have always had the power to end the government by not supporting it any longer.



In an emergency would you be able to find enough water to keep yourself alive? It can become a problem, especially in the southwest deserts.  However, cactus are like reservoirs, and most are filled with water. It may take a knife, to either skin the pads on prickly pear, or to open up a barrel cactus, but it can be done. The following youtube clips discuss quite a bit, except cactus.