Friday, January 18, 2013

The Death of Common Sense Advice

Several years ago I read a book entitled: "The Death of Common Sense." It focus on how laws are killing our county.

It was the title of the book that caught my eye and drove me to read it.

Common sense is dead.  Long live common sense!

Yesterday, Pauline Friedman Phillips passed away at age 94.  She was known to many for handing out witty, common sense advice to millions of people worldwide.

You would know her as Abigail Van Buren -- Dear Abby.

For years she wrote a syndicated newspaper advice column that often had some bite. She seemed like the kind of woman who didn't put up with non-sense.  Her advice wasn't that "make you feel all warm and fuzzy even when you're wrong" advice of today's politically correct world.

I didn't grow up reading Dear Abby. The newspapers I read carried another advice column written by Esther Friedman Lederer, more commonly known as Ann Landers.

She, too, offered pointed and sensible advice very similar to that of Abby's. Perhaps that's because Pauline and Esther -- Abby and Ann -- were twin sisters who grew up in Sioux City, Iowa.

Esther/Ann died in 2002.

Back in 1981, a reader wrote to Abby about two men had recently bought a house together in San Francisco, and the neighbors were annoyed. The men were entertaining "a very suspicious mixture of people," the neighbors wrote, asking: "How can we improve the neighborhood?"

Short and to the point, Dear Abby replied: "You could move."

Yeah, common sense advice died yesterday. But the legacy left by these two woman will last forever.

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