Saturday, February 5, 2011

On This Day In History...strange how the mood has changed over the years

Its strange how the mood of the people of Massachusetts have changed over the years.  Stranger yet is how the news media like to brag about their historical significance in the war of independence and yet put people in office today that want to take that independence away...they embrace the idea that we the people must now depend on the government.  Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Barney Frank...who are these people that want to force their socialistic and Marxist ideology on the rest of us?  They're definetly not of the caliber of James Otis nor John Adams just two of the heros of American Independence mentioned in the story below.  The story comes to us from Cape Cod Today a huge supporter of the former senator, Ted Kennedy, and most likely the other two elected officials mentioned above.  Kennedy, Kerry, and especially Barney Frank would have been tarred and feathered...maybe even hung, if they were to attempt to impose their anti-independent philosphy on any of the people of pre-revolutionary America.  Though the James Otis' flame of fire may be still flickering in the land of the formerly free, it will be extinguished before the tricentennial anniversary of his birth, 2025.  Then the media can brag about how they destroyed this great experiment called America.  ~ Norman E. Hooben
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1725: Revolution-era 'flame of fire' is born in Barnstable

On this day in 1725, James Otis Jr., one of the most influential figures in fomenting revolution against Great Britain by the 13 colonies that formed the United States, was born in the village of West Barnstable.
The oldest of 13 children, Otis was educated at Harvard and began his law practice in Plymouth before relocating to Boston in 1750. A decade later, he was appointed to the prestigious position of Advocate General of the Admiralty Court, which oversaw maritime affairs. Otis soon resigned, however, rather than argue in favor of the Writs of Assistance, vaguely worded warrants that allow searches of colonial property and vessels without warning or probable cause.
In a dramatic five-hour speech at the old State House in February 1761, Otis represented pro bono the merchants who challenged the legality of the writs before the Superior Court, a predecessor to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
" A man's house is his castle," Otis argued, "and whilst he is quiet, he is well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Customhouse officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court may inquire. Bare suspicion without oath is sufficient."
" ... Every man prompted by revenge, ill humor, or wantonness to inspect the inside of his neighbor's house, may get a writ of assistance," Otis went on to say. "Others will ask it from self-defense; one arbitrary exertion will provoke another, until society be involved in tumult and in blood."
" A man's house is his castle, and whilst he is quiet, he is well guarded as a prince in his castle." James Otis, 1761.
Among those who heard Otis was future president John Adams, who described the Barnstable native as "a flame of fire; with a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities."
Adams would later write that "the child independence was then and there born,[for] every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance."
(illustration credit, http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/)

2 comments:

Lew Waters said...

More and more, as I look back to the history of our founding father, I am amazed at their brilliance and eloquence.

Shocking today is how fast some wish the discard what the gift they gave us.

Storm'n Norm'n said...

Thanks Lew...and you knew that a boy from Harvard would command a lot of respect (like James otis in the story)...somewhere over in my side bar to the right I think I described it best, "Harvard used to be an all boys school; today they have no balls at all."