“We The People”

Today I believe the Founding Fathers are looking at our government with surprise and disbelief. The leaders of our nation seem to have forgotten that the Constitution starts out with these Words:

“We, the People . . .”

It’s not we the politicians. It’s not we the elected. It’s not we the smarter among us. It’s “We the People . . .”

Get about the people’s business!

As Will Rogers declared: “There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” read more

Abraham Lincoln Loved Books

Lincoln was an avid reader. He always kept a book nearby. He read the newspapers voraciously. He loved books. His favorite books included the Bible and books about his beloved George Washington, especially the biography by Reverend Mason Locke “Parson” Weems.

It was through reading books that Lincoln learned how to speak, but he understood that speaking was useless unless people would actually listen to you. That’s why most of his speeches were filled with anecdotes and stories.

Have you ever considered that Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States because of his ability to find the truth by public discussion. Abe Lincoln was not a governor of any state as were Wilson and Roosevelt. He had only served one uneventful term in Congress. But he achieved his prominence through his debates with Stephen A. Douglas. read more

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL YOU FATHERS!

It’s been a wonderful Fathers Day today. I had a great and delicious dinner at my daughter and son-in-law’s home. (I didn’t have to cook or do dishes! And the food was scrumptious.

On top of that I received some treasured gifts from my wife and from my daughters. I won’t tell you which are from which one lest the others feel slighted. But I got a See’s candy gift card, and four different good books. “First Freedom, a Fight for Religious Liberty” by Randall Balmer, Lee Groberg, and Mark Mabry (full of beautiful pictures in addition to the words). “America in the Last Days, The Constitution and the Signs of the Times” by Morris Harmor. “John Quincy Adams” by Harlow Giles Unger. And “Dreamers and Deceivers, True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Mad America”, by Best Selling Author, Glenn Beck. read more

Dolley Madison Speaks Her Mind

Dolley Madison, who was married to James Madison, was raised a Quaker. She gave up her religion when her father was banished from the Quaker religion when he filed for bankruptcy as his starch making business failed. Dolley couldn’t get over that.

She was vivacious and outgoing and made a difference, a huge difference in the life of James Madison. The problem was that she usually said anything that popped into her head. Sometimes that wasn’t ‘politically correct’, even then.

Dolley called her husband ‘Jemmy’, as a term of endearment. Jemmy, a usually serious man, used to laugh at Dolley when she would just blurt something out. James kept much to himself, and he warned Dolley “In politics, think before you speak, and if you intend to say what you really mean, then think twice!” read more

The Founding Fathers Plan

In the Constitution, the Founding Fathers set out a plan for the ruling of the new nation. That plan included procedures should the leaders be guilty of high crimes or misdemeanors. They could be impeached. Yes, even the Supreme Court Justices were (in theory) subject to this.

Do you recall how it is born out in history? Vice President to Richard Nixon, Sprio Agnew, resigned after bribery allegations were brought against him. Nixon appointed Gerald Ford to become the new Vice President, replacing Agnew. read more

Benjamin Franklin and Tranquility

One of the character traits that Benjamin Franklin wanted to pursue to perfection as described in his “Project for Moral Perfection” was Tranquility. He defined it thus: “Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

And who hasn’t experienced “accidents common or unavoidable”?

In watching the news channels on TV, I am convinced that this character trait has fallen into disrepair, or at least is being disregarded, along with politeness and consideration. Franklin went on to add this advice: read more

The U. S. Constitution

In this Easter season I’ve been posting about the Illegal Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It all began because all Hebrew authority was concentrated in their Great Sanhedrin (they were allowed to govern themselves as a ‘client state’ of Rome). There were no checks and balances. Christ was found guilty of blasphemy.

There was no death penalty allowed to be carried out by the Sanhedrin without the express approval of the Roman representative. Hence, the Chief Priests took their guilty subject to Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea as representative of Caesar. They wanted approval of their death penalty crime. It was granted. read more

Thomas Jefferson and the Crime Commission

After reviewing some things I have in common with John Adams, I had to remember why I started studying the Founding Fathers anyway. As a young lawyer I was appointed by the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, to be a member of his “Citizens Crime Commission,” a group of volunteers who met monthly and discussed methods the Mayor could use to alleviate crime in the City.

In those days, every major city in America had such a commission. There was a National Citizens Crime Commission. It was 1976, the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. The National Commission was holding its national convention in Philadelphia that year. I was elected to represent the Arizona Crime Commission at the national convention. What an honor. read more

James and Dolley Madison

You will remember that Thomas Jefferson was the U.S. President from 1801 to 1809, and he selected James Madison, a fellow Virginian, as his Secretary of State.

But do you recall that Martha Jefferson had died before Tom became President? So Jefferson was a widower in the White House. He asked if James would allow Dolley to occasionally serve as the official hostess for State Dinners and other events at the discretion of the President. James thought that would be a benefit to both of them, and gave his approval. read more

James and Dolley Madison

As I led a presentation about U.S. History to an advanced placement senior class at a local high school, I wanted to get a glimpse of what they knew about some of our Founding Fathers. So I asked a few questions. These kids were pretty good—advanced placement after all. But it seemed their general knowledge about U.S. History left something to be desired.

One of the last questions I asked was “what do you know about Dolley Madison?” One young lady raised her hand (they were on their best behavior for my visit to their class) and she said “Didn’t she have something to do with cupcakes?” (She was serious!) read more