Trust The Progress… er, I Mean “Process”

Ben's Journal, Moderate Proposals, Politics

I have often stated that I am a Progressive. I see a problem, I solve it in a simple way. I repeat. #Progress!

You have often stated that I was an insanely successful juggernaut on the pre-American landscape (I am, of course, paraphrasing…). So, how did I become so successful a Progressive? It came down to two fundamental principles.

Firstly, walk into every room and ask yourself, “how can I make it better?”. This is the staple mentality for any successful Progressive. It implies a concern for the standards of quality in regards to all elements within your vicinity that affect the livelihood of society; both people and environment alike. It also implies a motivation to ensure that those standards are met. It’s not just concern. It’s action.

The other fundamental principle to success is to move with a confidence that borderlines on arrogance. This is the fuel which energizes you. It’s not a comparative, “I’m better than you” mentality. Rather, it’s an understanding that “I am great because I’m trying to improve the lives of all of those around me”. Walk tall because, regardless of how successful your attempt is, you are on the RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY.

“Right Side” of History

That concept, “the right side of history” is not addressed often enough in discourse. It is a nifty mindset that can help you dictate your long-term legacy in the court of public opinion. Any student of history has the ability to predict which side of a conflict will be memorialized because it follows simple guidelines:

  • It tears down an oppressive barrier to a group of people
  • It ensures positive long-term economic effects that benefit the masses, not just a certain group of people
  • It promotes equality amongst the population

Figures throughout history are revered because of their Progressive challenges to oppressive, conservative status-quos:

  • Thomas Jefferson for stating “all men are created equal” and establishing the foundation arguments for separation of church and state
  • George Washington for surrendering his office of Presidency
  • Abraham Lincoln for abolishing slavery
  • Franklin Roosevelt for supporting the working-class
  • Ghandi for fighting British imperialism
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. for challenging segregation

These men are remembered for their moves that would be considered “Progressive” in their time period. They challenged policies and institutions that had been based off of previous rationale and argument. They altered the course of history for humanity. They opened up opportunities for groups that had once been denied those “inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. They are the ones who are taught about in schools. They are regarded as heroes and are quoted and emulated from people on both sides of political ideology. They are remembered because of their PROGRESSIVISM.

Now, I hope reading this list has raised an eye-brow. That is good, because that means that you can identify the irony…

  • The first two men owned hundreds of slaves
  • The middle two men were racist
  • The last two men were misogynistic

These men were not Gods. Not even Demi-Gods. They were flawed. They had prejudices and biases that prevented them from doing more to ensure equality for all. Often, they were at the forefront of one cause, but disappeared into the mob of contemporary public opinion for other issues. As fair as we think it might be to hope for someone who could push the oppressive boundaries in all directions, this concept is, unfortunately, just not realistic. But all it took was to be on the forefront of one cause, to challenge one indoctrinated evil (and then to prevail) for them to move forward the advancement of society. Did they do something exceptional? Yes. Did they do enough? Probably not. But that’s how change in society occurs…

Societal Evolution

Society is always evolving for the better. The progress sometimes can be rapid. Sometimes it can feel like it is crawling at a snail’s pace. But it’s still progressing. It is a valuable reminder for Progressives. Because progress implies change, it is going to run into resistance each step of the way. Reactionaries, out of fear or anger, will fight back to sabotage progress, either through hindrance or outright reversal. This is the nature of humans! Depending on the conflict, the level of resistance will fluctuate, but it is always guaranteed. That is why any type of progress is still good.

Progress is not easy. It will never provide a clear path. I heard a great story from Daniel Day Lewis, as he played Abraham Lincoln, and it has always resonated with me:

A compass I learnt when I was surveying, it’ll… it’ll point you true north from where your standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps, deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp, what’s the use of knowing true north?

(Lincoln, 2012)

Compromise

I am a big supporter of COMPROMISE. Throughout negotiations, you will often have to reach compromise. It makes everyone angry. But it also provides a substantial foundation to build upon. You may not be able to fully open the door that shuts you out. However, if you have compromised to get a foot in the door, then it will become less difficult for the next person to come along and provide the effort to open it further.

For example, the Affordable Care Act. It enforces the Progressive belief that all Americans should be protected in affordable healthcare. It did a lot of good in providing accessible healthcare for approximately 20 million people who couldn’t afford it before. However, there are issues with the bill. Because of the process for a bill to become a law, the ACA was altered and changed to cater to hundreds of members of Congress. Some wanted the ACA to go farther to ensure free healthcare. Most wanted it to do waaaaaay less. The end result was a compromised bill that was complicated and inefficient in many ways. Does it need to be revised? Absolutely. However, it finally ensured that Federal government was going to ensure that poor people had access to healthcare… THAT’S PROGRESS! Down the line, it will hopefully become more efficient. But in the meantime, it is a huge accomplishment for Progressives.

This is not to say that you should settle for minimal progress. It is a constant struggle that will always leave you desiring for more to be done. Humanity will provide you with the most stubborn of opponents in your crusade… always. So you must understand that it is a process. As Progressives, you need to TRUST THE PROCESS, and keep fighting for your desired goals.

Franklin For President – Introduction and FAQs Pt. 1

Ben's Journal, Life and Times of the Philly O.G.

Introduction and F.A.Q.s

Hello!

This might feel like a very odd and abstract concept for you to understand… but you are currently having a VERY one-sided conversation with Ben Franklin…

Congratulations!

I understand that you have questions. I’ll answer them shortly. But first let me say:

HEY! I’m back! Not newly back, though. I’ve actually been back for about 5 years now… soooo surprise!

I’m not old. I am 29 years old with a full head of reddish brown hair and a RAGING deficit of attention… wait that was disordered. BUT, I’m feeling crazy healthy and energetic. I got plans. I got goals. And I’m feeling ready to conquer the 21st century the way I dismantled the 18th century… like a total and complete BO$$.

But let’s start with some FAQs:

Where have you been for the past five years???

It was 2012 when I was brought back, thanks to “science”. Science was not being adequately supported and funded so the scientists couldn’t afford to contain me. I had no time to acclimate to my new world. I was responsible for going out to make a living to support myself. They figured that, since every other 24 year old in the country was poor and in debt, I was on relatively equal footing. Their only condition was that, if I became successful and wealthy, I would turn around and use my wealth to fund and support Philadelphia education. I nodded and said, “Deal.” And then I left…

After leaving the science laboratory, I wandered into my old stomping grounds, Olde City, or, as I called it, “Philadelphia”. With no job, no identity, no passport, I needed money fast. Fortunately, I was able to quickly find a job, playing myself.

I stood at my grave, contemplating my future life. The printing trade was out of the question thanks to “computers”. I had no applicable skills or experience to any business in this age. At that somber moment, a big rotund man in a brown colonial suit walk up with bifocals and a mullet… he was portraying Ben Franklin… me. He spoke with a muddled accent which was a pretty shitty impression, honestly… but as I listened to him regurgitate every aphorism and Poor Richards quote, it occurred to me: I could do the same thing he was doing, and make instant cash.

So I began giving tours. I did all types of tours in the city. Bus tours, walking costumed tours, neighborhood walking tours. Ghost tours. Beer tours. I played both “Ben Franklin” and an alias, mild-mannered “Anthony Nonymous” (NAWN-uh-MUSS). I was young, energetic, and… well I loved to learn. I remembered every question that I was unable to answer and would find the answer in my library. I was able to catch up on a lot of history and politics and culture this way… and my notebooks are extensive… like I could make money from my Franklin Notebooks. But I was excellent at tours. Every tour review for me was basically the same: “A. Nonymous is the best tour guide I’ve ever had. Seriously, the best tours come from A. Nonymous!

After a couple years of giving tours, I had made connections with several schools whom I enjoyed working with. One school offered me a position as a substitute teacher. I said, “Of course!” Having mastered the tour industry, I was ready for a new challenge. Teaching students in Philadelphia seemed like a noble cause…

It wasn’t. At least, not substitute teaching. Substitute teaching is not noble. Substitute teaching is battle. It’s no-holds-barred. You walk in and show an ounce of fear, they know it… and they attack. I was NOT ready. I was a building substitute for a whole high school… this meant I didn’t see students enough for them to respect me. Buttttt I still saw them enough for them to remember me and every mistake I made. And I made A LOT of mistakes. To be fair, if I were their age, I would’ve messed with me, too.

I felt like I finally had a noble challenge! I would educate these monsters until they respected and learned from me. It would be foolish to stay in the role of substitute; I needed my own classroom. I applied to schools around the city and was offered a position of senior English teacher at Franklin University Charter High School in Old City Philadelphia. It was FATE. I gladly took the position and spent the last 3 years learning how to teach. Nothing has been better for me to understand the current culture of my city than teaching.

(FAQ Continued Thursday…)

Moderate Policy Proposal – Discounts for Teachers, Police, and Firefighters

Moderate Proposals, Politics

I’m Ben Franklin and I’m running for President in 2020. Below is a moderate policy proposal to retain high quality teachers, police, and firefighters in poor urban centers like Philadelphia…cropped-cropped-ffp.png.

Introduction

Here’s some COMMON SENSE: the great scourge of Philadelphia is poverty. Most other civic problems – crime, education, drugs, etc. – are a direct result of the fundamental need for food and shelter. The cause of this horrible catalyst is a lack of support from the “government for the people” via job opportunities, adequate education, and other services. The government can only operate effectively through the money that it receives from taxes. COMMON SENSE tells us that someone who is unable to put food on the table is also unable to pay taxes. Therefore, the less tax revenue coming in means that the government provides weaker services to assist the poverty-stricken… and the cycle continues.

This proposal is not dedicated to improving the decrepit infrastructure. That will be in several other proposals. Instead, this proposal is dedicated to improving the morale of those service men and women who are on the front-lines battling the negative effects of poverty: firefighters, police, and teachers. These civic heroes spend each and every day focusing their energies into improving the quality of life for the local population despite the lack of resources.

THE PROBLEM

Firefighters and police risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe. They battle the fires, both figurative and literal, that threaten to wholly destroy the neighborhoods. They are our noble service men and women and they do not get recognized for it enough.

Priority one is protecting the community, immediately followed by educating the community. Therefore the city needs to ensure that teachers feel equal support. Firefighters and policeman fight to prevent the expansion of the desolation of the landscape, while teachers fight to prevent the desolation of the soul.

A (brief) NOTE ON TEACHERS

Teachers are the creative geniuses that walk into crumbling buildings in poor, violent neighborhoods and become the impetus for positive change. They fight against the negative mind-set that threatens to pollute our children’s views of community, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

TEACHERS ARE SCIENTISTS. They take into account psychological developments of adolescents and making the appropriate modifications to proven teaching techniques implementing data-driven statistical analysis to ensure student success.

TEACHERS ARE ARTISTS. They apply a creative and an engaging presence, style, and improvisational techniques to ensure that students learn in a thoughtful, entertaining way.

However, the nobility of the work done by these wonderful service people does little to negate the psychological hardships that impact them. Day-in and day-out they receive verbal and sometimes physical abuse within the very realms they attempt to improve. While they are appreciated by many people, they are undervalued and trivialized by many more. Expectations for immediate results weigh down the ever-increasing workloads while classrooms get filled beyond capacity. The financial compensation does little to provide relief to the psychological hardships.

As a result, these front-line fighters burn out and move to the suburbs in droves. Why wouldn’t they? There are fewer behavioral concerns, more resources, healthier senses of “school community”, and improved payment due to the taxes of these lucrative areas… but there may be a heightened risk for grizzly bears. How is a poor urban city to compete?

OK, BACK TO THE PROBLEM….

So teachers are moving to greener pastures in the suburbs. Police and firefighters stick to the job until they retire. The appeal of these positions dwindle meaning less and less people are willing to join the services. This leads to a potential decrease in standards of future teachers, police, and firefighters. Less talented candidates or inexperienced rookies are going to take over. By the time they grow into veterans, they are ready to leave the plight of the city. Therefore, the most important job is to maintain these service men and women. But how?

THE SOLUTION

The answer is simple: incentivize and support. If a city such as Philadelphia is going to be able to maintain the skilled teachers, then the city must encircle itself and truly show these teachers that they are appreciated by the entire population. Standard increases in pay will not be sufficient. The funds are dried up and the state and federal governments have their own agendas for ensuring Philadelphia does not receive the money which is desperately needed. So what can Philadelphia do? What valuable variables does the city have as leverage? Why, we have our entertainments and our commodities!

Imagine for a moment, that a teacher is working 60-70 hours a week and is making approximately $50,000 a year. While the salary is satisfactory, the workload and the realities of exponentially increasing debt hinder the ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Since an increase in payment is unlikely, A DECREASE IN THE COST-OF-LIVING IS THE ANSWER.

The city of Philadelphia should pass a law that requires businesses in the city to discount prices for all commodities and necessities for teachers, police, and firefighters by 25%. This would include grocery stores, real estate, and entertainments such as bars, restaurants, sporting events, cultural events, etc. While businesses might chafe at the idea of losing extra income flow, the city would be able to incentivize the miracle workers of the city to continue with their miracles.

The philosophy behind the law is fundamentally rooted in the idea that we, as a population, must make it our moral obligation to ensure that our children and our neighbors’ children are safe and receive the best education possible. By allowing service men and women to pay reduced prices for all of their daily needs and enjoyments, they will be motivated to continue working within the city when their sense of moral righteousness fades.

The smart business-owner would be able to capitalize on such a law. While decreasing the cost for every drink every teacher consumes might sound like a financial waste to some bartenders, it will actually cause the opposite effect: an increase in sales. Lower drink prices will ensure a steady influx of grizzled, battered, and abused “miracle-workers” polishing the bar stools at 4 PM every day, a whole hour before most Happy Hours begin. Many other businesses would thrive as well since the usually poor and tired educator would feel more inclined to explore and let loose now that they know that their City-Wide Specials cost $1.50… imagine what $10 would do.

CONCLUSION

As we developed the Constitution in 1787, I remember a constant debate revolving around the idea of salary for political officials. In emphasizing the need for candidates to be motivated to serve from a sense of moral dignity, we kept the salaries minimal. It risked losing highly qualified candidates to more lucrative positions in the private sector, but we represented virtue and righteousness. However, with the positions came a sense of gravitas, which appealed to talented and ambitious wannabe leaders. If we provide discounts to these service men and women, we can let them live above their income, and might be able to create some gravitas for them to stay.

At least we’re not raising taxes…

Moderate Proposal – White Man Registry

Moderate Proposals, Politics

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“THE INVASION HAS BEGUN! We are being overrun! The immigrants are here to steal our jobs and destroy our way of life!”

White Men

(from Jessup McProfessor’s  “The First American Tradition: Hate and Distrust Immigrants”)

Introduction

It is imperative that we, as concerned Americans, protect ourselves militarily and economically. Despite our country’s economic struggles we are still looked on with disdain from other countries. We will continue to be a target for terrorists who look to destroy our image abroad. However, while we protect from external enemies, we must also continue to secure our internal protection. After all, the bark of the tree is meaningless if it’s already rotten in the core. We must do more to prevent domestic terrorism from crippling our lives. People are terrified. Society is in chaos and we continue to fray at the edges. During these times of distrust and frustrations, we must be willing to acknowledge the true heart of the problems, no matter who becomes offended. We must be unafraid to identify the element which is rotting us from the core. And we must purge ourselves of the said element, Bill of Rights be damned!

If you vote for me, Benjamin Franklin, for President in 2020, I promise you that a top priority for the country will be NATIONAL SECURITY! The first step I will take is to create REGISTRY to identify and track the most dangerous demographic in America: the WHITE CHRISTIAN MALE.

Clarification on Definition

Throughout this writing, the term, “WCM”, will be used in order to define the demographic of WHITE, CHRISTIAN, MALE.

Catholics, while historically persecuted by Protestants in the U.S., are counted because in many urban areas, they have held extensive influence for over a century and, therefore, have been actively involved in persecution and violence.

Homosexuals are not counted because there are too many Christian whites in the country who cite the Bible as a justification to harrass them, murder them, and prevent them from the pursuit of happiness.

Jewish Men are not counted because there are still too many Christian whites in the country who make comments about the Holocaust like ass holes.

Argument

Let’s be honest. WCMs have done a lot to advance the country… considering we never allowed anyone else to help. The metaphor about the tree is true of our country. As the country has become increasingly diverse, it has become clearer and clearer that our external image has maintained strength. However, the core is rotten, and that rot stems from the roots. Our very founding of this nation (by myself and my compatriots) began with rot as we watered our seed of liberty with the blood and tears of slavery.

Compassion has never been the strength of WCMs. This is what happens when one is born into a life of privilege: one begins to assume that they are more important and valuable than others. REMEMBER: WCMs successfully argued our way around the phrase “all men are created equal,” for more than a century in order to prevent equality for women and other ethnicities. We hoard our toys and privilege and we guard them very jealously. Then, like bratty children, we complain and throw tantrums when our privileges and advantages are taken away from us.

Unfortunately, our “tantrums” are more similar to the actions of cornered and injured animals. We lash out viciously. We grab our guns and we go out in a “blaze of gory” (#PUNS!). Let’s consider our responses to different movements in our national history:

  • New Immigrants (Irish):
    • Institutionalized Oppression
    • Lynchings
    • Violent Riots
    • Murder
  • Abolition of Slavery:
    • Institutionalized Oppression
    • Lynchings
    • Violent Riots
    • Murder
    • The Civil War
  • New Immigrants (Italians and Chinese)
    • Institutionalized Oppression
    • Lynchings
    • Violent Riots
    • Murder
  • Civil Rights Movement
    • Institutionalized Oppression
    • Lynchings
    • Violent Riots
    • Murder
    • Assassinations

These are only a few examples. The list of movements and events can be broken down into individual cases, but the pattern is the same. WCMs try to maintain control through institutional policies that suppress the rights of others. When that fails and these oppressed groups finally throw the chains off of themselves, we don’t applaud them for emulating the most “American” of images: the freedom fighter. Instead, we pull out our guns and open fire.

Since it is only human to expect a violent response from any group that is slowly losing power, it is our responsibility to ensure the protection of all Americans, the majority of whom are not White or Male. When our demographic screams in fear at the idea of armed People of Color (POCs) while continuing to arm ourselves at a frantic pace, we become even more dangerous. The violence is only encouraged when the punishments for this group is proportionally lessened than for other groups. FOR EXAMPLE: In January 2016, an armed militia took over a government-owned Malheur National Wildlife Reserve in Oregon and held it for 41 days because they wanted the land…. and they were acquitted.

We, as a country, need to monitor and track all members of this MOST DANGEROUS DEMOGRAPHIC in order to prevent violence against other groups from occurring. With that, I’d like to submit my initial proposal to be introduced on my First Day of Office.

Mode of Registry

  1. All WCMs will be required at the commencement of the Bill to report to their local registry locations within 48 hours.
    1. Every registry location will be at an alcoholic consumption location most closely linked to the regional demographic:
      1. Roadhouses in the Rural Regions; Irish Pubs in the Urban Centers
      2. NOTE: Marijuana dispensaries do not qualify as registration locations. Research has proven dispensaries contain a significantly larger percentage of pacified WCMs peacefully and amicably interacting with People of Color (POCs) and Jews (Js).
    2. It will be ensured that the allotted 48 hours falls on the weekend.
    3. If any White Christian Male fails to report before the deadline of the allotted 48 hours, they will be arrested on suspicions of terrorism.
      1. NOTE: Nothing is more suspicious than a WCM missing a weekend at a pub or roadhouse.
  2. Upon arrival at the designated Registry Location, the WCMs will be required to provide 5 pieces of identification including the following:
    1. Drivers License
    2. Birth Certificate
    3. Social Security Card
    4. National Rifle Association Membership Card
    5. A Family Tree with the names of every immediate and intermediate family member and their home address
  3. Once through the entrance check point, WCMs will receive a questionnaire which will be required to be filled out under surveillance.
    1. Surveillance must be security camera OR first generation American with a scrutinizing glare and/or a smug, ironic smile
  4. After completing all 1,776 questions, WCMs will be given a two-hour US History and Politics Exam to test their actual knowledge of unabridged American history.
  5. Once exam is completed, WCMs will be required to give a DNA sample.
  6. After Registry has occurred:
    1. WCMs will be required to wear a tracking bracelet at all times
    2. WCMs will be required to check-in at local registry one time a month
    3. WCMs will occasionally be brought in for questioning if any hate-speech on the internet is found to be sent/forwarded from near your location.

Sample Questions from the Questionnaire:

1) State your name (first, middle, last): _________________

15) Do you believe Affirmative Action to be unfairly bias in favor of the African-American population and other POCs who come from groups who throughout the nation’s history have been repeatedly harassed, enslaved, murdered – while at the same time denied fundamental resources and opportunities to compete – by your demographic? If yes, are your feelings hurt?

38) How often do you say the “N” word including “quoting a rap song”? Avg per week _____

189) On a scale of 1-10, how would you feel if your sister was dating:

  1. African American (10 – Embrace him like a brother, 1 – “Rage” to Eminem tracks) ____
  2. Mexican (10 – Salsa Dance; 1 – Fermente) ____
  3. Jew (10 – Yiddish for “hug”; 1 – ‘Sig Heil’ like an ass hole) _____
  4. Muslim (10 – “Salaam  Alaikum”; 1 – “It’s one of dem Got Damn A-Rabs!”) ____

323) Stand up and dance. After you have danced, answer how do you feel about it? _____________________________

784) Do you listen to rap music? (Y/N) ____

785) Do you listen to heavy metal music? (Y/N) _____

786) What are the names of country music artists that you listen to? __________________________

Final Message for WCMs

It will feel only natural for you to feel a range of negative emotions. Anger. Fear. Despair. Depression. These are to be expected. But you must remember that we, as a group, have fucked up enough. Our country was not founded based on any ethnicity, but rather as an idea. It is important that we now allow the country to reach that idea unimpeded by us….
… does that sound patronizing? Good, now you know how it feels.

Essay on Common Sense

Politics

LadiesMan

Dearest Lovers and Haters… of American Politics,

I would like to re-introduce myself. My name is Benjamin Franklin. I am writing you at the age of 310 years old, though my current version is my 28-year old form: tall, athletic, and with a full head of hair, though the hair is glows with a deep, rich red (beggars cannot be choosers…). You may have many questions such as:

  1. “How did you get here?”
  2. “Why do you look so different from your pictures?”
  3. “Which do you prefer more: being bald or being a ginger?”

Unfortunately, you must wait a little longer for answers to those questions and more. You see I have a lot to say and I have a VERY short attention span… and I’m extremely caffeinated (#dunkindonuts). I must stay focused on my task at hand because “he that pursues two hares at once, does not catch one and lets the other go,” I am already getting off topic…. Damn!

My specific task is to introduce to you the fundamental principle that is missing from the current American landscape, COMMON SENSE. The land is scourged with scathing verbal assaults between its inhabitants. We have allowed our emotions to rise to an unsustainable vitriol (#vocabulary), which leads to defensive posturing for poor ideas. You see, “a man in passion rides a mad horse,” and a mad horse causes collateral damage. We blame and fear-monger causing further hate and distrust. We break down but don’t rebuild. We argue for policies in defense of our own acknowledged biases and self-interest, but care little of the impact on others. We argue for policies due to fear of minorities and immigrants, but we like to preach a folksy legacy of our country, incorporates the phrases “inclusion” and “liberty”. We do little to combat poverty, but are disgusted with those who suffer from it. We have lost our minds! We have lost COMMON SENSE! I am sure that I have not been the only one to express this sentiment, but it resonates more when I say this, because I am Ben Franklin… and I am amazing.

You must understand, COMMON SENSE, also known as “logic”, is an essential tool for every calculated move in a person’s life. It is separate from intelligence because one can know a lot of facts but still act foolishly and “a learned fool is a greater fool than an ignorant one,” Consider COMMON SENSE to be wisdom. It focuses solely on applying several facts together in order to surmise a logical conclusion. Consider it equivalent to an algebraic equation. For example:

Equation

  1. x + y = 10
  2. x = 7
  3. Therefore, y = 3

Logic

  1. Government policies against homosexuals are based on the grounds of religious text
  2. The Constitution separates religion from government
  3. Government policies against homosexuals are not supported by the Constitution

COMMON SENSE is what the entire Enlightenment movement was based upon; it placed reason and rational thought in contrast with blind worship. COMMON SENSE is what we, the people, used to succeed in the American Revolution. COMMON SENSE defended our rebellion because it was not logical for an island to control a continent. COMMON SENSE reasoned that we should continue fighting in the face of initial defeats because the British would eventually grow tired of traveling 3,000 miles to fight to suppress us. And COMMON SENSE logically identified the perfect positioning between the British and French for an ideal peace treaty.

And no, I am not the writer of the famous pamphlet, COMMON SENSE, either. That can be attributed to one, Thomas Paine. However, I was his mentor and I assisted him in his famed publication. I was one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, so consider me an expert on COMMON SENSE. It will be an over-arching theme in much of my writing and so you must be prepared for this. My goal is for you to feel more Enlightened at the conclusion of these writings than you were previously. Cheers and Good Fortune!

Your Best Friend,

Ben Franklin