We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Joy is defineable, peace of mind is, contentment is, delight is. Pursuit of happiness is a fool's errand. (Is it true that Jefferson's first draft was "pursuit of property", but that was edited out?)
Key quote from her post:
Instead of asking parents and non-parents whether they are happy right now, we might ask whether they are becoming more like the people they want to be. And then we might see children not as factors that may or may not be contributing to our happiness, but as opportunities to practice what most of us -- perhaps me most of all -- need to do more often, which is to put someone else before ourselves.
No citations, just memories I have from the passing scene.
"pursuit of property" was stricken because it would reinforce the slave holding south's contention that slaves were property, not "all men" created equal. The 3/5 counting of slaves was also a compromise - the southerners wanted them counted fully, the "abolitionists" wanted them to not count at all.
The Declaration and the Constitution were compromises - necessary to gain support for the Revolution and Union. The issues were revisited in the 1860s - violently. They are with us today.
Happiness is simply self-fulfillment, in the infinite forms it may take. Not undefinable, and quite properly a gift from our Creator to pursue it throughout a life well-lived, without impediment from government.
Dr. Joy, I believe the post is actually written by Tony Woodlief, not McCardle. He does some fine writing at his blog at tonywoodlief.com and is a frequent contributor to numerous magazines and papers.