In honor of the Anniversary of the Constitution, I thought a few words from John Adams would be an appropriate mark for the day: (Of course…no favoritism here. (haha)
Not many people know that John Adams wrote the FIRST and oldest Constitution in the United States. He wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, which pre-dated the United States’ Constitution, which upon, believe it or not, our three branches of government: judicial, legislative, and executive were based.
While he was overseas during the making of the Constitution, he wrote a long dissertation called “A Defense of the Constitution” and “Thoughts on Government” and sent all members of Congress copies, upon which they all had read before the convention. Like his stance on slavery, which he received very little credit, and being the only member of the founding fathers who had no slaves on principle, John Adams also got little credit for his work in the construction of our own Constitution.
If not for the great American historian, David McCullough, not many people would even know about the many things John Adams did to help found the country, and that’s including writing the pre-cursor of the original document that we all know and hail and the most perfect governmental document ever produced in the history of mankind.
Here’s a few thoughts that I picked out from …
A Defense of the Constitution: By John Adams
—where the great and rich will have the greatest influence in the public councils, they will continually make unequal laws in their own favor, unless the poorer majority unite, which they rarely do, set up an opposition to them, and run them down by making unequal laws against them. In every society where property exists, there will ever be a struggle between rich and poor. Mixed in one assembly, equal law can never be expected. They will either be made by numbers to plunder the few who are rich, or by influence to fleece the may who are poor. Both rich and poor, then, must be made independent, that equal justice may be done, and equal liberty enjoyed by all.
The passions and appetites are parts of human nature, as well as reason and the moral sense. In the institution of government, it must be remembered that, although reason ought always to govern individuals, it certainly never did since the Fall, and never will, till the Millennium: and human nature must be taken as it is, as it has been, and will be.
The passions and desired of the majority of the representatives in an assembly being in their nature insatiable and unlimited by anything within their own breast, and having nothing to control them without, will crave more and more indulgence, and, as they have the power, they will have the gratification: and Nedham’s government will have no security of continuing free, —
There is no man so blind as not to see, that to talk of founding a government upon a supposition that nations and great bodies of men, left to themselves, will practice a course of self denial, is either to babble like a new-born infant or to deceive like an unprincipled impostor.
And last but not least…a word about the “press”…and a warming from Adams: who had studied history more than perhaps any of the founders:
The press, that great barrier and bulwark of the rights of mankind, when it is protected in its freedom by law, can now no longer be free: if the authors, writers, and printers, will not accept of the hire that will be offered them, they must submit to the ruin that will be denounced against them. The presses, with much secrecy and concealment, will be made the vehicles of calumny against the minority and, of panegyric and empirical applauses of the leaders of the majority, and no remedy can possibly be obtained. In one word, the whole system of affairs, and every conceivable motive of hope and fear, will be employed to promote the private interests of a few, and their obsequious majority: and there is no remedy but in arms. Accordingly we find in all the Italian republics, the minority always were driven to arms in despair.
Compare these thoughts to the men from “Harvard” of today…and speaking of Harvard, John’s grandson, Henry Adams, tells you all you need to know about “Harvard” in his book…
“The Education of Henry Adams.”
It’s one of the reasons I don’t always abide by “Harvard” standards.
Now, let’s see what politician even mentions the Constitution today…shall we?
I’m guessing Ted Cruz. Let’s see if I win.
I remember how excited I was the day I finished reading David McCollough’s biography of John Adams. I was even more excited when Tom Hanks brought his book to life in an HBO series. So you can imagine how surprised I was to hear a different version of history about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson last night on Mark Levine’s show. This historian, Jon Meacham, gave Jefferson all the glory and made John Adams out to be the stupid one when it came to Barbary pirates.
Funny, I thought—- that’s not how David McCullough reported it.
The author, Jon Meacham, was promoting his new book called Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–An honest look at Jefferson’s life, accomplishments, and inconsistencies. Bernstein does not gloss over his subject’s flaws and the controversies that surrounded him. The contradictions between Jefferson’s beliefs and his behavior, while exposing his human side, are not used to denigrate him or to diminish his accomplishments
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Bloomberg Businessweek
(Notice it’s the liberal media that loves it.)
Mr. Meacham made it sound like, it was Jefferson that stood up to the Barbary Pirates, against the wishes of John Adams. It wasn’t that he was wrong, it was the way he was presenting Jefferson as being so much wiser than John, and leaving out the particulars that was annoying.
To sum it up, in order for America to be able to use the shipping lanes in the Mediterranean, back in the early days of our country, they had to ‘pay’ the Sultan of Tripoli for safe passage. The Sultan, Abdrahaman, wanted more than Congress was willing to give, even though both France and Britain were already paying them. Jefferson had gone to Paris to help John negotiate with them.
(This bribery has NOT changed in all these years)
From John Adams (p. 352)
From Philadelphia, John Jay sent instructions to negotiate with the Barbary States. Funds were made available by Congress up to $80,000. But Adams and Jefferson had not money at hand. When Jefferson inquired whether Adams might borrow again from the Dutch, and reported that French officers in Paris were angry over not having been paid what they were due for services in the Revolution, Adams was helpless to do anything.
Remember, John Adams got a loan from the Dutch, (and he did this all by himself without the help of any of his ‘friends’ in Congress) so that George Washington could then go on with his battles and win the Revolutionary war. Without that loan, the war might have been lost.
From John Adams (P. 366)
In an exchange of letters between London and Paris , meantime, he and Jefferson considered the question of whether to pay tribute to the Barbary pirates or wage war with them. Jefferson recommend war as more honorable and proposed that an American fleet be built. Adams agreed in principle and promised, “I will go all lengths with you in promoting a navy.” Like Jefferson, he detested any prospect of paying bribes. But given that there was no American navy at present and that it would be years most likely before Congress voted such a resolution, Adams though it sensible to pay the money. “We ought not fight them at all, unless we determine to fight them forever” he told Jefferson who willingly deferred to Adam’s judgment. Later in January 1787, they would sign a pact with Morocco, whereby the Unites States, like France and Britain agreed to pay for protection.
Then Meacham, went on to give Jefferson the credit for building the Navy, at least I thought that’s what he said. I couldn’t believe it. Did I just hear that? All throughout McCullough’s book, Jefferson is seen hiding out on Monticello throughout the revolution…it was Adams that built that Navy.
When he became President, Adams asked Congress for the funds, and a bill for a ‘provisional army’ was passed.
From John Adams (p. 501)
The rebirth of the navy the ‘wooden walls’ he wanted above all for defense of the country, and a new Department of the Navy, separate from the War Department were his pride and joy.
Add to that the fact that when Jefferson became President, he disbanded much of our military, (typical democrat) and so, when the British invaded again in the war of 1812, it was Jefferson’s own fault, the country was unprotected. Adams begged him not to.
John Meacham, was obviously, making a not so accurate picture of Jefferson…the father of the democratic party. Jon is now helping Daddy Bush polish up the history of his son with 41’s new biography.
It’s easy enough to explain: Jon Meacham has connections to all the right people…many of them ‘progressives’ and who know to twist words, and report the right propaganda to affect the nation and the voters.
David McCullough is his own man.
Jon Meacham is executive editor and executive vice president at Random House. He is a former editor-in-chief of Newsweek, a contributing editor to Time Magazine, editor-at-large of WNET, and a commentator on politics, history, and religious faith in America. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his work American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. en.wikipedia.org
It’s an election year…the democrats LOVE to bring out Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and the Kennedy’s and polish their stars.
It wasn’t too long after this that I hear ANOTHER biography on the great genius of FDR just came out. Propaganda to get the masses into voting for the RIGHT progressive, whether it be a Bush, or a Clinton.
And as my mother always said, when in life, most times it’s always wise to ‘consider the source.” When it comes to historians, it’s best to check who they are ‘associated” with.
That’s where you will usually find the truth.
Did we NEED another biography of Thomas Jefferson? No. But, it’s an election year…EVERYBODY is writing books.
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
When you have a President who says “If you LIKE your doctor, you can KEEP your doctor..period.”—- And then you find out, it was the biggest lie of his Presidency, you tend not to believe anything else he says: and when he says that Ebola will not become a pandemic in America, he could put a “period” behind that statement, and it wouldn’t matter.
Who in their right mind would believe him?
Ebola has been all over the news today…so naturally, it lead right into my Friday historical remembrances—- of another pandemic in our history, and how it affected MY favorite founder at that time:
The Smallpox pandemic of 1776.
It was the summer of 1776, and the Continental Congress had just celebrated their Declaration of Independence. John Adams was appointed chair of the Committee on War and Ordnance on July 13. John was responsible for all the large and small policy decisions governing the Continental Army. As many of you know, it was John who suggested George Washington be the commander of that army.
And what was going around America that summer? Smallpox.
John couldn’t leave his duties in Philadelphia…and he had taken the smallpox vaccination earlier, and survived, so Abigail, on her husband’s advice, took the family to Boston for inoculation against smallpox.
Most of the kids got deathly sick.
John wrote that he felt like “a savage to be here, while my whole Family is sick at Boston.”
From First Family by Joseph E. Ellis
In John’s mind’s eye he could simultaneously envision patriotic celebrations throughout the land, the largest fleet ever to cross the Atlantic gathering in Long Island Sound, and his entire family confined in quarantine amid a raging smallpox epidemic that, according to Abigail, had infected seven thousand people in and around Boston.
She wrote to John:
“Nabby (their daughter) has enough of the small pox for all the family beside. She is pretty well covered, not a spot but what is so soar that she can neither walk, stand, or lay with any comfort. She has above a thousand pussels are large as a great Green Pea. Little Charles in delirium for 48 hours. Has caught the pox in the natural way. ” She told John he should prepare for the worst.
He wrote back to her:
“The Small Pox had done Us more harm than British armies, Canadians, Indians, Negroes, Hanoverians, Hessian, and all the rest. And now it was threatening to carry off “my little babes.”
While John’s boy lay dying… The Continental Army had suffered a devastating defeat, and retreated up Manhattan.
John desperately wanted to return home, but did not feel he could leave his post with the Continental Army in such disarray. He had been working eighteen to twenty hour days for over two months, his eyes were permanently bloodshot, and his sight was strained, making it difficult to read, especially at night. The emotional l toll of witnessing a colossal blow to the American cause was high, and he knew better than most that Washington’s army had gone through a near death experience. The celebratory mood of early July was now replaced by the somber recognition that it was going to be a long war.
After his great victory, General William Howe told the Continental Congress that he would put an end to it all, and was prepared to offer a new and more acceptable reconciliation.
John informed him, ( And I LOVE this…sorry amfortas) that American had no need for pardon, because they had done nothing wrong.
Luckily little Charles survived until much later when he killed himself in a drunken stupor, but Abigail pulled the kids through the worst the summer of 1776, and John help pull the new country through its new birth.
And so, the smallpox epidemic that hit Boston, went on around the world—
During the 18th century the disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year, including five reigning monarchs, and was responsible for a third of all blindness.
Between 20 and 60% of all those infected—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease. During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year.
Let’s hope we all can find the same courage that our forefathers had. As for believing anything that Obama says about Ebola? Let me refer us all, to a more recent reminder, about what to do when politicians lie:
Since the GOP seem eternally helpless in attacking Obama for the “madman” that he is (According to Bob Woodward today), they’ve come up with a fantastic idea!
Days before the March 1 deadline, Senate Republicans are circulating a draft bill that would cancel $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts and instead turn over authority to President Barack Obama to achieve the same level of savings under a plan to be filed by March 8.
The five- page document, which has the tacit support of Senate GOP leaders, represents a remarkable shift for the party. Having railed against Senate Democrats for not passing a budget, Republicans are now proposing that Congress surrender an important piece of its Constitutional “power of the purse” for the last seven months of this fiscal year.
Wow. What “out of the box” thinking. It reminds me of the time Rush Limbaugh was rallying the nation to go and vote for Hillary Clinton. How did that work out?
In other words, the system is so broken, and our leaders in Congress so impotent, they can’t think of what they really SHOULD have done long ago.
Supreme Court or not…impeach. Do what Obama does….get out of Washington and travel to all the cities and attack, attack, attack.
But no. We have wusses. Obama has committed so many “crimes and misdemeanors” over the American people, all you would need to do is stand him up and read him the Constitution.
Perhaps John Adams had it right: Without an educated populace, the tyrants will rule, as they always did in the first half of the history of humanity.
“In the earliest ages of the world, absolute monarchy seems to have been the universal form of government. But the fact is certain: and wherever a general knowledge and sensibility have prevailed among the people arbitrary government and every kind of oppression have lessened and disappeared in proportion.
The poor people it is true have been much less successful than the great. They have seldom found either leisure or opportunity to form a union and exert their strength: ignorant as they were of arts and letters. They have seldom been able to frame and support a regular opposition.”
So even back THEN, it was known that if you keep the people stupid, you will have no problem taking control over them, and to this Nobody it seems we are going back to the ages of tyrants.
So right…go ahead and give him more power: Do you think he will EVER give it back? You not going to convince any democrat at all, of how Obama has done anything wrong.
To them, he’s a god.
It’s said, Sam Adams started the Revolution, and he did it with the mighty pen. And since he really didn’t want his name on all his ranting against the crown…he made up all kinds of names for his penname:
Philo Patriae and Paces, Vindex the Avenger, Determinatus, Decant Ara Togae, (weapons are under my cloak!) Principiis Obsta: (principle obstacle) , Valerius Poplicola, Candidus, and Populus. He was also: An American, A Tory, Alfred, A Son of Liberty, A Puritan, and A Religious Politician– among many.
And Sam wasn’t the only one who wanted to remain anonymous.
Benjamin Franklin was Silence Dogood, and Polly Baker and Richard Saunders and Anthony Afterwit, Martha Careful, Alice Addertongue, Celia Shortface, Harry Meanwell, Fanny Mournful, Obadiah Plainman, Busy Body, and Sidi Mehemt Ibrahim.
John Adams was Sui Juris, U, Davila, and Humphrey Ploughjogger…and my personal favorite: Novanglus. (which means New England.)
James Madison was Helvidius and Cato…
After Thomas Paine wrote an anonymous pamphlet criticizing President George Washington‘s policies, John Quincy Adams (John’s son) wrote a series of anonymous articles called “Publicola”, defending the president. They were so well done people assumed his father wrote them.
And I even write under a pen name…Joyanna is a combination of my first name and my grandmother’s name…and Adams is not my married name, but I picked it out of respect to the founding Adams, as I am a direct descendant of that family on my mother’s side.
I really didn’t want anyone to know my married name.
In this country, writing under a pen name, thus remaining anonymous, has been protected by the Supreme Court.
In its 1960 decision in Talley v. California, the Supreme Court ruled that a law forbidding individuals from distributing handbills without identifying their identity unconstitutionally infringed on the First Amendment’s guarantee to free speech. The Court declared:
Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all. . . . Before the Revolutionary War colonial patriots frequently had to conceal their authorship or distribution of literature that easily could have brought down on them prosecutions by English-controlled courts. . . . It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.
SO…what in the world is this new bill being proposed in the Illinois Senate all about?
A new bill proposed in the Illinois State Senate looks to completely wipe out any form of anonymity on the internet by requiring that the operators of basically any website on the entire internet take down any comment that isn’t attached to an IP, address, and real name-verified poster.
It’s called the Internet Posting Removal Act and was introduced on February 13th by Illinois General Assembly veteran Ira I. Silverstein [D]. Not wanting to leave any bases uncovered, Silverstein includes that an “Anonymous Poster” means “any individual who posts a message on a web site including social networks, blogs, forums, message boards, or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.”
If James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay were alive and publishing under the false name “Publius” today, they would be prime candidates for prosecution under Virginia’s anti-spam law, and the Internet Posting Removal Act. They would most likely be using the Internet to get their message out to as many fellow citizens as possible. They could be arrested for speaking their minds on important issues of the day.
Clearly, Obama’s government wants to know WHO is writing the essays and blogs against them. Sure, there are some bad people out there spamming, but making it a crime to not sign your real name is not how are country was founded.
It is a right, given to us by our founders. If not for them, we wouldn’t be here.
And I’m sure Alice Addertongue would agree with me 100 percent!