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Burn, Baby, Burn: When the Government Licenses the News

The new Governor of New York has ordered issues of The New York Weekly Journal to be burned. Governor Crosby contends that The Journal has been undermining confidence in the government and disturbing the public peace. He offers a reward of 50 pounds (over $10,000) for anyone who will reveal the identity of this wicked and vile publisher. The Journal started publishing late last year to offset the government licensed: New York Gazette. The publisher of The Gazette, William Bradford, is not a terrible man, but he doesn't want to rock the boat. The publisher of The Journal is John Peter Zenger, one of Bradford's former apprentices. The public LOVES Zenger's satirical rants against Governor Crosby. Zenger is finally caught and held in prison without charges. He is put on trial for sedition and libel. Truth is not a defense against libel at this time but Zenger's lawyer, Andrew Hamilton, argues that it is the public that is being libeled by Governor Crosby. After 10 short minutes, the trial is over. John Zenger goes free. He will continue publishing The New York Weekly Journal until his death. His wife, Anna Catharina Zenger, will continue publishing the newspaper. She will be the first woman to publish an American newspaper. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The lawyer who won the case in 10 minutes lived in Philadelphia. From Zenger's defense we get the phrase, "It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to get him off." Americans liked seeing the aristocracy taken to the woodshed. They still do. In the modern day we see the media ignore or explain away much of the foolishness of our designated leadership. I recently heard one Presidential candidate bark like a dog on camera! It made me laugh but I wonder why I didn't hear more about it. The American people expect fair-and-balanced ridicule of our leadership. It cannot come from a single source, nor be quickly disposed of in 20 seconds of coverage by the network news. It must be raw, unsanctioned ridicule of everyone. We should never force civility at the point of a gun (which is what a law is). Convincing our fellows to be civil through reasoning is fine and if ridicule turns to violence, I'm OK with self-defense in kind. I am not OK with licensing the news, nor passing laws to enforce kind speech. [5] [6]

(Optional): My favorite source of unsanctioned ridicule is The No Agenda Show. [7]

Daniel Boone is the Common Man

Daniel Boone is born in Pennsylvania, and he will grow to become a legend in his own time... the icon of an American frontiersman. He will carry a rifle made in Pennsylvania but it will be called a "Kentucky Rifle" because he will use it while tracking his way through the wilds of Kentucky. Frankly, everything beyond the Cumberland Gap is considered "Kentucky". That includes Tennessee. During his explorations he will establish the town of Boonesborough. (Catchy name!) It will be one of the first towns to be established beyond the Appalachians. During the American Revolution, the government will be short on cash so they will offer certificates backed by land grants. Mostly, those grants will be for land west of the Appalachians. Despite Boone's efforts Kentucky will remain "a dark and bloody country" for years and years. After the war, those land grant certificates will be redeemed for pennies on the dollar and Daniel Boone will lose a lot of money on land speculation in Kentucky. [8] [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is difficult to separate the myth from the man, Daniel Boone. He led the exploration of the Cumberland Gap through the Appalachian mountains, but the path was already well known to the Indians. They traveled through the area often which is how it came to the attention of Dr. Thomas Walker. He was the one who gave it the name, Cumberland Gap to honor the Duke of Cumberland, the youngest son of King George the 2nd. Many others had traveled through Kentucky, so while we can give Daniel Boone credit for blazing the trail for new colonists, he was not the first. He was only the best remembered.
"Many heroic actions and chivalrous adventures are related of me which exist only in the regions of fancy. With me the world has taken great liberties, and yet I have been but a common man." -- Daniel Boone. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1734, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Rutherford, Livingston. John Peter Zenger: His Press, His Trial.... Holt. 
  2. The New York Weekly Journal - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 17 February 2016. “On January 15, 1734, royal governor of New York William Cosby ordered public burning of the newspaper on Wall Street, close to City Hall, and also offered fifty pounds as reward for whom revealed the names of the Journal's authors.”
  3. Measuring Worth - 50 pounds, from 1733. MeasuringWorth.com. “In 2014, the relative value of £50 0s 0d from 1733 ranges from £7,244.00 to £928,100.00.”
  4. Convert Pounds Sterling (GBP) and United States Dollars (USD): Currency Exchange Rate Conversion Calculator. coinmill.com (2016). Retrieved on 14 February 2016. “7,244.00 pounds to 10,446 US dollars”
  5. Hillary Clinton Barks Like a Dog While Condemning Republicans. ABC News (February 15, 2016). Retrieved on 18 February 2016. “The unexpected moment occurred while Clinton was telling a story about fact-checking Republicans, whom she accused of twisting the truth about the Great Recession. Clinton explained that it reminded her of an old radio ad she liked in Arkansas where a dog would bark every time a candidate said something that wasn’t true.”
  6. Hillary Clinton literally barks at Republicans. YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 18 February 2016. “At a campaign event Monday in Reno, Nevada, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton brought up an old campaign ad where a dog barks after a politician tells a lie. The former secretary of state said the barking dog would be a great way to fact-check Republicans and jokingly demonstrated how it would work.”
  7. The Show - No Agenda - With Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak (2016). Retrieved on 18 February 2016.
  8. Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Broadway Books. ISBN 0767916883. 
  9. Daniel Boone - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 February 2016. “Daniel Boone (November 2, 1734 [O.S. October 22] – September 26, 1820) was an American pioneer, explorer, woodsman, and frontiersman, whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now Kentucky, which was then part of Virginia, but on the other side of the mountains from the settled areas. As a young adult, Boone supplemented his farm income by hunting and trapping game, and selling their pelts in the fur market. Through this occupational interest, Boone first learned the easy routes to the area.”
  10. Rose, Alexander. American Rifle: A Biography. Delta. ISBN 9780553384383. “At the time any territory there was generally referred to as 'Kentucky' (today, the area making up the states of Kentucky and Tennessee), and because Boone carried a rifle made in Pennsylvania ('Pennsylvania rifle' never really caught on) out there, well, why not use 'Kentucky rifle' to describe the typical firearm carried on the frontier?” 
  11. Alvord, Clarence Walworth (April 1926). "Daniel Boone Myth, The". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984) (on behalf of the University of Illinois Press Illinois State Historical Society) 19 (1/2): 16-30. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40187220. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  12. Daniel Boone - Wikiquote. en.wikiquote.org (2016). Retrieved on 18 February 2016. “Many heroic actions and chivalrous adventures are related of me which exist only in the regions of fancy. With me the world has taken great liberties, and yet I have been but a common man. -- As quoted in Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (1993) by John Mack Faragher p. 302”

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