Samuel Adams

images I like beer. God made beer BECAUSE…..he wanted us to be happy, or so we are told in a quote by Ben Franklin. There’s a beer out there named after Samuel Adams. Whether Samuel Adams ever made beer is beyond me, I wasn’t there. Back in those days most people made their own beer. It was a convenient way to store the grains in a drinkable form and it helped purify the water. People who drank beer were generally healthy. The Irish drank stouts, the Germans drank all different kinds of beer, and if history is correct, believe it or not, beer is almost as old as civilization itself, and can be traced to the earliest Sumerian writings in Sumer, an area in the southern region of Babylonia in present-day Iraq; site of the Sumerian civilization of city-states that flowered during the third millennium BC. The oldest proven records of brewing are about 6,000 years old. Is all that true? Well I don’t know. I wasn’t there…but it could be true. But this article isn’t about beer. It’s about Sam Adams for whom a beer was named. I guess Sam Adams probably had a beer or two when they were planning the revolution. Many of the recruits who joined the Continental Army also had a beer or two as taverns were a popular recruiting place back in those days.

One of my favorite quotes of all time from Sam Adams goes like this; “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” I think Sam was a kind of “in your face sort of person” and I don’t think that King George thought that Mr. Adams was politically correct. Because I think Sam Adams had a candid way about him that was beyond reproach. Finding honest candor these days is very refreshing. Better than people who make excuses for a government who is out of control and buys votes with welfare handouts.

I like Samuel Adams, he was a pretty smart guy or at least his writings indicate. For instance, on standing armies… ”A standing army, however necessary it may be at some times, is always dangerous to the liberties of the people. Such power should be watched with a jealous eye.” Sam Adams knew that standing armies are the might of tyrants and can be a locust upon the wealth of a nation. But that was then and this is now…..we face dangerous times. Although we are a nation that is well armed. Rumor control has it that the American citizenry has more arms than the top ten militaries of the world combined.

Or people who shirk from the duties of patriotism…..”Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity’s liberty!” Seems there are a lot of folk back then who really didn’t care to be involved in the troubles America was facing when fending off unjust taxation. But there are always folks who want to take the easy way out and would cast their vote for whatever their side is right, wrong or indifferent.

Sam Adams knew the power that could be mustered by a free and unfettered body of men who love liberty “It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control … The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them.” Sam was right all along. It kept the Japanese from invading in World War II. It has also kept government in check to some degree for the last couple of hundred years. But you can tell that there is a push on to disarm America in the name of preventing violence. Odd thing is that the least armed among us in such places as Chicago and Detroit and New York are some of the most violent places on earth. People who cannot defend themselves are defenseless against those who would perpetrate a crime against them or a government who would demand total subjugation.

Samuel Adams knew the value of a proper education in protecting liberty. “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.” Seems there may be some truth in this as I watch the state of our younger generation these days. I just hope more folks decide to educate themselves on the value of education in not just in the arts of painting but in the art of statesmanship and politics which is today terrible lacking amongst the average American.

Samuel Adams knew virtue was a great item to be had among the people in the protection of liberty. A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.” That is one of the things I must ask myself….is politically correct a virtue? No, I would feel that politically correct is not a virtue for being PC distorts the actual case. But being PC probably helps folks’ conscience, because people who lie to themselves and believe it, I’m not sure if they really have any virtue what so ever. Honesty is a virtue. I don’t see political correctness as being honest. It is a way of fooling the masses to believe in whatever makes for convenient beliefs for those in power. If you don’t get this, go read the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

Sam Adam’s had this to say about diction; “How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!” Today we call it propaganda, who knows what we will call it tomorrow. Just keep believing what “they” say, it’s comfy.

Another Sam Adam’s quotes I have contemplated is “Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.” Guess he didn’t know about property taxes, oh wait they didn’t have them back then? Why, well, property tax is contrary to liberty, you never ever in a million years own your property so long as it is taxed for posterity. Don’t pay the taxes and your local friendly neighborhood government will take your property and find someone will to pay those taxes for the privilege of being allowed to use said property. I know, Lord forbid that people should hold themselves accountable and find their own way….there would be no need for government. That would totally screw up the unemployment numbers. Remember the government, local or not always knows what you need best.

So times have changed since Sam Adams’ day, but his words still ring true.

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin