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

George Washington and Thomas Paine

George Washington, of course, was elected unanimously to be the new General to lead the now United Colonial Army to fight the British in what was becoming the Revolutionary War.

He had some interesting help along the way. Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, General von Steuben, Nathan Hale, and even Thomas Paine. Paine was there when Washington crossed the Delaware for that famous battle of Trenton (and Princeton).

By night Paine sat by the campfire and used a drum head for a desk to write his 8 page pamphlet “The American Crisis.” Thomas Paine then walked 35 miles to Philadelphia where the editor of the Pennsylvania Journal, a newspaper, read his thesis written from his notes. The editor found it all worthy of printing. He published it immediately, printing 18,000 copies. read more

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

thomas paineWe don’t give much attention to Thomas Paine these days. He was from England and had tried to make a living alternatively as a grocer, a Methodist preacher, an excise officer, an English teacher and a writer. He wasn’t much of a businessman as you can see, and he had a difficult time relating to others. However, he was a creative and imaginative literary mastermind.

He was an unknown and moneyless unsuccessful writer who decided to migrate to America. He had met Benjamin Franklin in London, and Franklin gave him a letter of recommendation to Congress. Paine soon got a job working for The Pennsylvania Magazine. He wrote numerous articles for his new employer. read more

Patriotism and September 11

thomas paineYes, we all remember where we were on that 9-11 day in 2001. I was exercising on a treadmill at the gym and saw it on TV—over and over and over again. How can we forget?

Patriotism was at a very high level on the days and weeks after that tragedy. All Americans felt it. That brought us all together.

Since then it seems as if our feelings of patriotism have slipped, taken a back seat, or been demoted. Other things are now more important.

This reminded me of a quote from Thomas Paine, the author of “these are the times that try men’s souls . . . “ read more

Vote for George Washington!

thomas paineIn the upcoming Presidential election it would seem to be very important to consider what our first President of the United States said about one thing to look for:

“In every nomination, I have endeavored to make fitness of character my primary object.” And “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man!”–George Washington

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution said this: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” read more

America the Beautiful

thomas paineSeveral years ago, the King at the time told a friend how he had sent 14 of the brightest young men of Rumania to receive some training for future service in the government. He had sent 7 to England and another 7 to the United States of America, to study the respective political and even economic systems.

“The seven who went to England were very smart,” said the King, “and they now each have an important post in the leading councils of Bucharest.”

“What about the 7 you sent to America?” asked the friend. read more

Thomas Paine, Calvin Coolidge and Persistence

thomas paineMany years ago our former President, Calvin Coolidge, said this: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common that unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and dedication alone are all powerful.”

In addition, I believe that persistence must be accompanied by distress or discomfort of some sort. If one has experienced setbacks or trials, when you combine those tribulations with persistence then you get success. You overcome. You truly learn something about your own character. read more

Thomas Paine Joins the Conflict

thomas paineWhile George Washington was laboring away trying to convince the soldiers under his command to be vigilant and courageous, he was joined in camp by a patriotic writer named Thomas Paine. Paine had written a booklet, “Common Sense”, that gave men more insight into the blessings of freedom and liberty.

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection.” read more