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.
The notion that happiness is actually attainable belongs to the second half of the 18th century, as Freud pointed out. Previously there had been a general consensus that no one can be called happy until he carries his happiness down to the grave in peace. Paradiso was strictly for the pages of Dante. In Greenland, for example, the Greenlanders bought into Christianity on account of its persuasive description of pain and suffering. The vale of tears was real. And then Captain James Cook, and his French counterpart, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, embarked upon their great voyages. Bougainville’s Voyage autour du monde (1771) seems to suggest that this journey had less to do with discovery or French imperialism, than the pursuit of happiness. What’s more, Bougainville suggests that happiness was actually found—in Tahiti.