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

Moderate Proposals

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.


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.


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.


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?


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 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.


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


“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”)


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.


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.

My Promise as a Teacher: I Will Never Forget


The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind of emotions for many people in the country. Shock. Horror. Anger. Depression. Shame. You know, just your standard stages of mourning…

(It’s a terrible sign when a bunch of teachers are crying after an election, by the way…)

Now, Trump supporters will roll their eyes and say, “Oh you’re just being dramatic. It won’t be that bad. Now is the time to come together as a country and put this vicious campaign behind us,” Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sentiment. I really do. The American political tradition is built on this sense of reconciliation. After a long hard fought political battle, this gesture is what makes us unique and strong. You can see this feeling manifest in the statements made today by President-Elect Donald Trump. He went to the White House and described how “honored” he was to be meeting President Obama. His victory speech, the previous day, was humble and soft-spoken as he stated his intentions to help ALL Americans. His two minions, Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani, even stated that they would graciously reconsider bringing criminal charges to Hillary Clinton! So once again, I understand the need and desire to put all of this bad blood behind us in order to mend our wounds and “Make America Great Again”.

Here’s the problem. All of these “genuine” gestures of reconciliation are BULLSHIT. To “let bygones be bygones” is to try to throw back into the closet all of the 2-week old, festering, dirty laundry that came out in this election. This is something I will not do. I have too much integrity to reconcile.

Here is what I WILL do:

As a teacher to a population of African-American and Muslim students, I will explain to my students how Trump won. I will explain to them that most people who voted for him were concerned about losing their jobs and that he was the only one promising to make it better. I will explain to them that only a fraction of the electorate voted for him solely out of a racist agenda. I will talk them down from the cliff as they contemplate all of the ways in which Trump is going to take away their rights. I will urge them to educate themselves and others; to organize their communities and friends; to take political action and peacefully protest for their rights; and to vote. I will do everything in my power to keep them hopeful in the future of our country.

But I will NOT forget everything you said and did, Donald Trump.

I will not forget how you championed a political agenda based on racist, xenophobic rhetoric. I will not forget how you called Mexicans “rapists”. I will not forget how you called on the country to ban Muslims. I will not forget how you spent five years accusing our President of being born in Kenya in order to discredit him. I will not forget how you used these horrible, hate-filled, divisive statements to help get you elected. I do believe that you are not racist, but your white privilege makes you ignorant, nonetheless. The fact that you would knowingly use this type of rhetoric to push your cause forward makes you worse than a racist. At least someone who is racist has principles, as fucked up as they are. I will never forget that you are less principled than a bigot.

I will not forget how you banned several media outlets from covering you because they critiqued and criticized the divisive comments you make. I will never forget how you claimed you would challenge the First Amendment in order to punish our free press if you were elected. I will not forget how you loved to deliver insults but couldn’t handle any in return. I will not forget how you ranted and railed against comedians, politicians, and pundits who made fun of your or challenged you. I will not forget how you often did this on Twitter…. at 3 AM.

I will never forget the misogyny. I will never forget “grab her by the pussy” or the appalling first 30 minutes of the second debate where you shamelessly threw the different accusers of Bill Clinton into Hillary’s face just so you could deflect from your transgressions.

There are too many other things you did to list here, but here’s just a few more things I will not forget:

I will not forget how everyone – media, analysts, and people from your own party/campaign – predicted you would lose because your campaign simply could not, would not, and should not be taken seriously.

I will not forget that my wife, my mother, my sisters, my nieces, and my other female friends and family did not get to see the first woman president become elected because they lost to you.

I will not forget how angry and scared my students have been due to the constant tensions with police. I remember telling them that they needed to vote because they didn’t have a right to complain if they chose not to use their right. On Monday, I reminded them, able to vote for the first time in their lives, to vote on Tuesday.

I will never forget the looks on their faces on Wednesday. The shock. The horror. The dejectedness. This was their first time voting, and the outcome made them question every positive value they had heard about it. 

I WILL NEVER FORGET HOW YOU SCARED MY KIDS. I will never forgive you for this.

So as we move into the next four years, I will be a good citizen. I have spent my adult years worshipping Ben Franklin and trying to create a fresh look at America’s founding through a “Progressively Patriotic” lens. I will respect that you are President through America’s Electoral College, even though you lost the popular vote. I will respect the Office of the President and give you a chance to solve the many problems in the country. But I will not forget everything that you did to make me lose my faith in America’s values.

I will never forget. I cannot forget.

On Doctors and Healthcare

Ways to Success


“You can’t spell ‘medicine’ without ‘sin’…. At least phonetically” –   Young Ben Franklin

I admire the times that we currently live in. Everyone aspires to higher education, with the opportunity for well-respected professions in the legal and medical field open to more candidates! Well, maybe that is not such an ideal thing. You see, a learned blockhead is more dangerous than an ignorant blockhead. Many men and women can call themselves “Doctors” and spread more disease than prevent them. I, myself, earned the honorary title for my electrical experiments with only two years of formal education and little experience in the medical field. That should serve as a warning for patients! There are two things in this life to beware of: the young doctor and the old barber. They are prone to make mistakes and can find themselves small fortunes by supporting certain pharmaceutical companies. Oh yea, and so can Doctors. However, he’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of most medicines because God heals, and the Doctor takes the fees. Regardless, everyone needs proper medical services and therefore should be given the health insurance they need. After all, there are two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. Since health-care extends the former, it only makes sense the to increase the latter!

A Statement of Contentment

Ways to Success

“There is no greater inflation of value than the value we place upon money,”

-Young Ben Franklin

There are a great many that think that the most successful and motivated of people are those who are never satisfied. This is a poor approach for those who aspire to wealth. You see, contentment makes poor men rich while discontentment makes rich men poor. You must appreciate your life for what it is, not for what it could be. Too often do people assume that gaining riches will solve their problems; but they do not seem to understand that wealth and contentment are not always bed-fellows. No matter who they are, one that’s content hath enough while he that complains hath too much! The desire for a better position in life comes not from money because the use of money is all the advantage there is in having money. In the end, a wise man will desire no more than what he may get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.

Essay on Common Sense



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:


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


  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

Cicero – The Catalyst of the Renaissance

Ben's Journal

“To be considered truly ‘Enlightened’, one must look for deeper meaning in every writing and find the subtle messages that transcend the rhetoric” – Anonymous

Dearest Coffeehouse Collective,

There was a time in the course of human history where the Founders were not the source of all inspiration. Before our time, we were “learners” who leaned on other sources for guidance. We planted our foundations in the Classics. These philosophers taught us that a “government by the people” was only practical IF the people were virtuous. YOU see, there is nothing more beautiful than Virtue. The base principles, upon which our civilization was built, ARE conceived from these exceptional men of ENLIGHTENED thought. None of those Pillars of Wisdom stood taller than the great orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, whose rediscovered letters initiated the Renaissance. Fortunately, I have been able to REMEMBER my notes from my youth as an apprentice, spending nights reading my books and creating aphorisms to every story, like a new Aesop. Here it is in partial form:

“Marcus Tullius, of the family Cicero (Latin for “disgusting”), had learned to embrace his horrid name as motivation. After all, if you appreciate your name, then others will do so. He vowed to make his a name synonymous with honor. As early as he was capable, CICERO was SAID to have distinguish himself in the schools for having the keen understanding to be eager in every kind of learning. Cicero labored in his studies (as he would later claim, “you reap what you sow”) and diversified his intellectual specialties. Ambitious TO BE a communicator, he focused on poetry for oratorical training, because to excel at communication, one must excel at poetry; but expect little greatness from poetry alone. He studied Latin as well as other languages for there is no greater sign of intelligence than to be able to call someone “stupid” in 6 languages or more.

Cicero traveled to Athens and physically exercised to develop stamina having been told to take care of your body for it is the vessel of all your ambitions fulfilled. He continued to study and learn the “Way To Glory”. In order to achieve this “Way” you must make your own Genius be the guide of your life, not the opinion of the people for they are IGNORANT and do not make tough choices. The “Man OF Glory” must still communicate, however, and use sarcasm and witty sayings to appeal to people – in moderation. This approach, however, is WHAT makes enemies. But in the end, if he inevitably must have an enemy, he knew he should choose a loudmouth for those who speak loudly have nothing to say. As a good politician, he knew of many moments when this fact has OCCURRED. After all, a good tradesman knows his every tool, and a good politician knows his every fool, in order to use them appropriately in a given situation. BEFORE Cicero left, he learned ONE more piece of wisdom: “glory” is an infinite thing with no fixed measure or end in its pursuit. He realized he WAS unable to ever completely satisfy his quest for glory, and would need to temper his ambitious thoughts – or at least attempt to.

Cicero’s political career was BORN and he proved these early scholarly truisms to be valuable. He became a well-respected statesman (and still IS), quoted often for his fair judgments, eloquent oratory, and witty sayings. Thus he became a Consul in time TO overthrow a conspiracy to the Roman Republic by Lucius Catilina. Catilina took advantage of the fact that the common decay of societies are shows, entertainment, and ambition of higher offices (Note: this pattern continues to REMAIN since as long as men have been men, they have been debaucherous in spirit). The unequal distribution of wealth led to instability and tension amongst the population. Angry veterans and aristocrats attempted to overthrow the Republic and assassinate Cicero.

Cicero was informed of the plot. Knowing that to govern, one ALWAYS should prefer honesty above what’s popular (because justice is invincible when well-spoken), Cicero attacked Catiline in several speeches to the Senate and the people. This move threatened Catiline and emboldened the Roman people to support Cicero. Catiline and his followers fled and Cicero was able to acquire proof of the conspiracy through their letters, proving that loudmouths make the best enemies. Knowing it was better to be thought too harsh than too weak, Cicero had the conspirators executed. Thus he saved the Roman Republic for A time, being hailed as a glorious figure in the process. What would eventually lead to his downfall was a CHILD named Caesar and two lessons Cicero had yet to fully learn and understand: in politics, friendships are only friendships if they are mutually beneficial; and, never trust a Caesar.

Until Next Time!

Your B.F.,


Good Day!

Ben's Journal

To Members of the Philadelphia Coffee House Scene,

I bid you good day and “HELLO”. My NAME, I fear, is a name of relative importance and brings with it a certain level of GRAVITAS. I hesitate to introduce myself beginning with my name for it is a TITLE, which I subsequently must live up to. Certain expectations will be made for me; goals to attain, which I fear I will not be possible. It is not for a lacking sense of self-worth, but rather for a rational understanding that no one could live up to these expectations. However, I am truly CONFIDENT in my own ABILITIES. Believe me when I say that I am an IMPRESSIVE individual.

How impressive am I? Well, it would not be amiss for me to tell you that my feats of accomplishment have become the foundation for more outlandish myths to be told of my life relating to SUCCESS and INNOVATION. In my wisdom, I learned how to evade confirmation of these stories during my life, while still taking full advantage of the aura that it placed me in. This made me more successful in my different business, social, or political projects since I appeared of a higher quality to all other players. Sometimes it caused REVERENCE, but often it caused JEALOUSY amongst my contemporaries. Needless to say that, when I died, some were sad, some were relieved, and some – well they probably did not take heed.

And yes, I did, in fact, DIE. Though it was after a good long life. I enjoyed witnessing how my LEGEND flourished after my death, as many individuals in history do. I am PLEASED to see that my name and accomplishments have been imitated and improved to further ADVANCE individual and collective success throughout the years. An even greater reason for the growth of my EGO can be sighted in the area now known as OLDE CITY Philadelphia – an area that I had known simply as Philadelphia. You see, it would appear that I am the NAMESAKE of every other coffee shop, restaurant, street, bridge, and building. (Note: it is NOT ARROGANCE if it is the TRUTH…)

My name is appearing far more in the world of popular CULTURE. Music and entertainment often mention me in reference to, well…. EVERYTHING. That is what happens when my FACE is on the SYMBOL of CAPITALISM and POWER, the hundred-dollar bill. Who knew that being a JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES could propel one to such a level of prestige? This is precisely why I choose to grace you with my presence after all of these years.

I have decided that 2015 would be a good time to plunge back into the realm of the living. This world is an exciting place with various forms of communication and technology that overwhelm all who were born before 1990. Since I died in 1790, I will not, needless to say, spend too much time attempting to catch up with technology. There is far too much technological evolution for me to try to understand. (Note: it took 30 more years after I died for someone to create the bicycle… so I would really be starting from the beginning.)

Instead, I have decided to focus my thoughts and writings within the realm of SOCIETY. I have always had a keen sense of people and I do find my sharp witticisms take hold within well-focused niches of society, most specifically, yours. Yes YOU, the coffee shop dwellers; the artisans; the students; the young professionals. You are free spirits and free thinkers. I sense that we are not so different. Therefore, I consider it my DUTY to ENTERTAIN and PROVOKE THOUGHT in a light manner so that I may help you IMPROVE your outlook, even if only slightly. Topics of discussion shall vary but shall always revolve around people and SOCIETY. I do hope that you appreciate my RHETORIC for what it is, the thoughtful musings of a very, very, old soul who is always quick to alter his opinions if persuaded through LOGIC and WISDOM.

I will leave this letter with this quick description of my CHARACTER: I am COURTEOUS and AFFABLE, unless I am provoked. I am a lover of all GOOD PEOPLE and a true friend to VIRTUE. I am HANDSOME and usually quite WITTY; and therefore struggle with HUMILITY. However, I am open to acknowledgement of my flaws, whatever they be. I shall look to you, as my friends, to ensure that I do not make too much of a fool of myself, since I intend to do the same to you as a whole. With this introduction, I wish for you a good day and good coffee! Until next time….

Your Best Friend,

Ben Franklin