Saturday, April 25, 2009

#3: The Silent are Silent No Longer

Dear Fellow Citizens:

A new breeze is blowing across this great country awakening in its path the silent majority. This silent majority believes in the spirit and letter of our Constitution. This silent majority will not sit idly by as those in Washington, D.C., squash and squander the legacy of our forefathers. This silent majority believes in the supremacy and meaning of the words "WE THE PEOPLE." It is, after all, "We The People" who first forged the documents of freedom and free market. It is "We The People" who spilt blood, lost loved ones, and sacrificed all so that others may bask in the glories of these freedoms and can prosper and can choose their own paths in life. It is "We the People" who are the backbone of this country and it is "We the People" who must secure its future.
The left now mocks the gatherings of this no longer silent majority. They dismiss the movement as naught. Others attempt to label us "terrorists." The people at these gatherings are patriots in the truest definition of the term. They desire freedom as expressed and fought for by our founders. They fear that the legacy of freedom left by people such as Jefferson, Adams, Washington, and Franklin will evaporate as quickly as the morning dew upon the grass. They do not want to see that happen and for the first time in their adult lives are fearful that this may actually happen.
We the People must protect the legacy of freedom and carry forth the flame of liberty. My advice to all is to read the writings of our forefathers and be thankful for the unlikely coincidence that these learned men were assembled at a certain time and certain place and were able to create the Great American Experiment. Do not let the flame of liberty be extinguished!
I remain,
Yours in Liberty,
Silence Dogood

Monday, April 6, 2009

#2: The Pursuit of Happiness Definition Skewed

Man’s “unalienable” right to the “pursuit of happiness” is acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence. Nowhere in our founding documents is there written the right to have one’s “happiness” supplied or subsidized by the government. Some Americans now expect and/or desire, as part of their presumed right to happiness, government entitlements in the form of paid mortgages, healthcare, and higher education. Some politicians believe that it is the right of every American to have these entitlements provided at taxpayer expense. Such was not the intent of the founders of this country. Such is not the role of the government.
Certainly, Thomas Jefferson did not contemplate government entitlements as he penned the words “pursuit of happiness.” The term “pursuit of happiness” has been interpreted as narrowly as the right to pursue economic goals and as broadly as the right to pursue a general feeling of contentment and pleasure. Regardless of how the end goal is defined, one word does not change in our analysis, i.e., “pursuit.” There is no guarantee to happiness, no entitlement to happiness, no right to happiness. The right that exists is the pursuit of happiness. Many Americans, especially elected officials, have chosen to ignore this one word.
Just this one word, pursuit, tells much. The true measure of happiness comes as the result of one’s own hard work and self-reliance. Such was the vision of our founding fathers. Such is the spirit of the American dream.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#1 A Call to Action

Complacency threatens the continuance of our freedoms as we know them. "Complacency" denotes a feeling of satisfaction, but the dangers of this state of content must not be ignored. The complacent individual does not protest the ever encroaching reach of big government. The complacent individual is easily swayed to accept change. The complacent individual is not concerned as to the type of change occurring or the inevitable ramifications.
We cannot afford to remain complacent and unquestioning in the face of the promise of a “better world” or “change” which is micro-managed by the federal government. We must ask at what cost does this promise come? The man who fails to question those who seek change will fail to notice when the very freedoms which he holds dear and takes for granted are endangered. The promises of care and happiness made today may very well guarantee the loss of freedoms tomorrow.
Americans must not lie complacent. Do not think that the freedoms exorcized from people in other countries cannot happen here. Do not be lured into a false sense of contentment by accepting unquestionably the proclamations of the elite few.
Let your voices be heard. Do not sit idle.
Yours in liberty,
Silence Dogood

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who was Silence Dogood?

n 1721, three years after Benjamin Franklin began his apprenticeship, James Franklin published the first issue of The New England Courant. This was the third newspaper in the history of Boston. After helping with the grueling and laborious process of typesetting the newspaper, Benjamin would then have to become a newsboy, and sell the paper in the streets.

After a time, Franklin was not content merely to typeset the paper — he wanted to write for it too. Many of his brother James's friends already penned pieces for the Courant but Benjamin felt that any attempt he made would meet with objection on the part of his older, at times jealous, brother. Enter Silence Dogood.

Silence Dogood was the widow of a country minister. She was "an Enemy to Vice, and a Friend to Vertue." She loved the clergy and good men but was the "mortal Enemy to arbitrary government and Unlimited Power." She was also a bit of a yenta who would "observe and reprove the Faults of others."

Silence Dogood was fictitious. She was made up by the 16-year-old Franklin who, between April and October of 1722, penned 14 letters bearing Silence's name. At night he would leave these letters, in disguised handwriting, under the printshop's door. It was the custom of the time to assume pen names.

James Franklin and his friends never caught on. They could not figure out who was writing the Dogood letters. After each arrived:

They read it, commented on it in my Hearing, and I had the exquisite Pleasure, of finding it met with their Approbation, and that in their different Guesses at the Author none were named but Men of some Character among us for Learning and Ingenuity.

Ultimately, Benjamin revealed that he was the author of the Silence Dogood letters. This led to fractious confrontations between the Franklin brothers, as James felt that the compliments paid to Benjamin made him "too vain."

As brothers are wont to do, they went to their father to settle disputes and papa Josiah generally sided with Ben.

But Benjamin grew tired with his apprenticeship and did not take kindly to regular beatings meted out by his big brother. Franklin felt that the "harsh and tyrannical Treatment" at the hands of James led to a lifelong "Aversion to arbitrary Power."

Read the complete Silence Dogood columns