Highlights Of The United States Constitution

♦ On February 21, 1787, The Congress of The Confederation, endorses a plan to revise The Articles of Confederation (The Congress of The Confederation evolved from The Second Continental Congress, and included 55 delegates representing each state)

♦ On May 25, 1787, the delegates from twelve of The thirteen states, with the exception of Rhode Island, convene in Philadelphia, in The Assembly Room of The Pennsylvania (Independence Hall) State House.

♦ On July 13, 1787, The Congress of the Confederation meet in New York City, and adopt The Northwest Ordinance, which established formal procedures for transforming territories into states.

♦ On September 17, 1787, The Federal Convention, in Philadelphia, adopt the final text of the proposed Constitution.

♦ On December 7, 1787, Delaware becomes the first state to ratify The Constitution; officially making Delaware the first state of The United States.

♦ On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire becomes the ninth state to ratify The Constitution, and two-thirds needed to officially put The Constitution into effect; establishing the new government for The United States, and making The Constitution the new (highest) law of the land.

♦ On April 30, 1789, George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of The United States, in Federal Hall, in New York City.

♦ May 29, 1790, Rhode Island becomes the thirteenth of the original thirteen colonies to ratify The Constitution; making The Constitution unanimous.

♦ On December 15, 1791, Virginia becomes the tenth state (of the now fourteen) to ratify ten proposed amendments to The Constitution; these ten amendments, known as The Bill of Rights, and some of our most treasured rights, were then added to the United States Constitution.

♦ On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president of The United States, in Washington, D.C, making him the first president to be inaugurated in the nation’s permanent capital.

♦ On April 27, 1861, Abraham Lincoln suspendes Habeas Corpus in Maryland and parts of the midwestern states.

♦ On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issues The Final Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in The United States “forever free”.

♦ On December 6, 1865, The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, outlawing slavery, forever, in The United States.

♦ On February 3, 1870, The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, which forbids discrimination in accessing the polls, based on race, color, or previous conditions of servitude. This amendment allows men of all color to vote in The United States.

♦ On February 3, 1913, The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, which grants Congress the authority to directly tax income; this amendment modified Article 1, Section 8, and Article 1, Section 9 (No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid…), which required all taxes to be levied relative to the population as determined by the census. Prior to this amendment, taxing income directly “may” have been considered unconstitutional.

♦ On April 8, 1913, The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified; transferring the selection of state Senators from the state legislation, to an election by the people of each respective state.

♦ On January 16, 1919, The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified; after one year from the ratification of this article, the manufacturing, sale, import or export of intoxicating alcohol, for the purpose of beverage, is prohibited (prohibition) in The United States.

♦ On August 18, 1920, The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, which forbids discrimination in accessing the polls, based on sex. This amendment allows women to vote in The United States.

♦ On December 5, 1933, The Twenty-First Amendment was ratified, which repeals The Eighteenth Amendment; allowing the manufacturing, sale, import and export of intoxicating alcohol, for the purpose of beverage, in The United States.

♦ On April 12, 1937, The United States Supreme Court decides The National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, which upholds the federal power to regulate labor relations.

♦ On May 17, 1954, The United States Supreme Court decides Brown v. The Board of Education, which strikes down school segregation as a violation of The Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause.

♦ On March 9, 1964, The United States Supreme Court decides New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which imposes federal constitutional standards on libel suits brought on by government officials against news media.

♦ On July 2, 1964, The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, upholding federal authority to enforce civil rights against state and local governments, and to bar discrimination.

♦ On June 7, 1965, The United States Supreme Court decides Grinswold v. Connecticut, recognizing the constitutional protection for rights of privacy in decision about giving birth and the use of contraception.

♦ On June 13, 1966, The United States Supreme Court decides Miranda v. Arizona, enforcing federal constitutional protection of rights of criminal suspects and defendants against state and local governments. This is the origin of The Miranda Rights. Police officers must read a suspect their Miranda Rights when being placed under arrest.

♦ On June 30, 1971, The United States Supreme Court decides New York Times v. The United States (“Pentagon Papers” case), striking down the idea that the federal government can prevent the publication of news stories in the name of national security.

♦ On January 22, 1973, The United States Supreme Court decides Roe v. Wade, which upholds federal constitutional protection for a woman’s right to decide whether or not to have an abortion.

♦ On July 24, 1974, The United States Supreme Court decides The United States v. Nixon, rejecting presidential claims of executive privilege, and upholding that a president must submit to a demand of evidence from a federal grand jury in an ongoing investigation.

♦ On June 29, 1992, The United States Supreme Court decides Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upholding the constitutional protection of a women’s right of choice.

There are currently 27 amendments to the United States Constitution. There have been approximately 11,372 measures proposed to amend the Constitution from 1789 through December 31, 2008.

Dissent in America And Our Constitution

Well, apparently dissent in this country has become a thing of convenience for some, but is expected to be tucked away when it no longer benefits the current administration, or people who have opposing points of view, and grievances against government policies.

Let’s start here …The United States Bill of Rights are The First Ten Amendments to The United States Constitution.

  • First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Let’s focus for a moment on the right of the people peaceably to assemble… In fact, to better state my case, I will first disclose a few personal facts…I voted in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections and did not vote for President Bush or President Obama, however, I am more then happy to commend or criticize both of them, and that is also my right, thankfully, as an American. I did not particularly agree with The War in Iraq, and I did not get out and protest against it, however, I did watch thousands of people protest in Philadelphia, and around the country.

I have listened to the far left side of the mainstream media hammer President Bush incessantly for eight years; even in light of the fact that we were attacked by terrorists on September 11th. Now, starting with The George Bush administration, and increased exponentially by the current administration, billions of tax payer dollars have been used to prop up failing companies, starting with failed government policies, such as The Community Reinvestment Act, and The Fannie and Freddie Mac housing meltdown. If that is not enough for anyone that has much faith in government managed programs, then I really can’t say too much else to convince you otherwise; nor will I attempt to.

To disagree with government policies would likely fall under our First Amendment Right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, and our First Amendment Right, not abridging the freedom of speech. As Americans, thankfully, we can bring our grievances to the government.

In the past, some of us have been called anti-American for not agreeing with some of President Bush’ s policies, and most recently, a relative told me that I should leave The United States if I am not happy; and why did they say that? Because I want to get involved in a process with other like-minded Americans who are also concerned about these billions of dollars in bailouts and trillions in proposed policies, while thousands of Americans are losing their jobs and life savings? Anti-American? Leave the country? I constantly write about my love for this country. I constantly write about our founding fathers and the great courage and sacrifices that they exhibited in the name of creating a modern day Republic, and freeing themselves from a repressive form of government.

I have the utmost respect for the men and women that bravely fight for this country and our freedom, even if I do not agree with the particular cause.

I do not own, carry or shoot guns; in fact, for better or worse, I’m not a real big advocate of civilian gun ownership, especially when carried or transported outside of the home; however, I do respect our Constitution and an American citizen’s Second Amendment Right to bare arms.

I do not like a lot of the bias media coverage that I hear, in particular from the far-left media, however, I would rather hear it then to have them silenced by the government; as Freedom of Press is another one of our First Amendment Rights. So, I will ask directly…who exactly is anti-American? Myself, or someone that does not care about our founders visions, The American Constitution; people that sympathize with hateful terrorists that fly airplanes into skyscrapers, or someone like myself, that believes in putting our National Security above all?

Now, The Department of Homeland Security, our own government officials, puts out a report called The Extremism Report: Risk Assessment, which contains these words… (U) Exploiting Economic DownturnRight wing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. The perceived loss of U.S. jobs? So concerned Americans, from all sides of the political spectrum, are now being lumped into a report on Extremism? In all fairness, I can understand them war-gaming for real threats in an economic downturn, but to marginalize average American citizens who are concerned about their lives and families… It is simply insane!

So, I will ask again…who exactly is anti-American? Is it people that care deeply about preserving our Constitution and Traditional American values, Far-Left Progressives who are willing to throw our Constitution, God and every other American tradition into The Atlantic Ocean? Or is it our government who appears to be out of touch with a great many Americans, or “some” in the media who are trying to promote their progressive vision of America? Or do we all simply have a Constitutional right to “peacefully” and “lawfully” think and discuss what and how we feel?

The people that organized and attended these nationwide tea parties are good intentioned, bi-partisan, hard working, concerned tax payers, with a grass roots, common person effort, that did nothing more then exercise their Constitutional rights as Americans. As far as I know, there was not one report of violence or civil unrest that day. As long as we have a Constitution, then we, as Americans, need to respect our Constitution; and to try to silence a fellow American for exercising their Constitutional rights, would be to also silence our own Constitutional rights.

What If There Were No United States?

As an United States citizen who loves this country, and the great sacrifices made to create and preserve our country over the last 200 and some odd years, I am also introspective enough to realize that The United States is also not a perfect country. We have certainly made our share of mistakes, and so has every other country in this world.

I do believe that history shows that The United States is a country that is able to face its mistakes, or injustices, and strives (even to our own detriment) to constantly improve any such instances that we are faced with, or made aware of.

After some recent events in our country, and after years of hearing how bad our country is from people inside and outside of our country; even from politicians who have taken an oath to preserve, protect, and defend our constitution, I can not help but wonder what the world would have been like had The United States never existed.

Allow me to share some of my insights:

1. The United States, with its tremendous amount of land, and huge population, needs a great deal of products to sustain the population of this country; therefore, The United States (via imports) is likely counted on tremendously by other country’s economies.

2. Throughout our history, The United States has been a very charitable nation; to name a few examples… The United States has given millions and millions of dollars to fight Aids worldwide; and how about disaster relief when countries are leveled by natural catastrophes, such as earthquakes and tsunamis? 3. Along with Russia, Great Britain, and the other allies, The United States had liberated most (if not all) of Europe from such evil forces as Mussolini and Hitler; effectively destroying not such friendly political systems such as Fascism and Imperialism; and the sick practice of Eugenics that was rampant in Nazi Germany.

4. The United States has welcomed thousands upon thousands of immigrants to our country, allowing those who have chosen to become United States citizens, to seek an opportunity, and freedoms that they may not have had in their country of origin. Not to mention the grants and benefits that often accompany their citizenship.

5. Numerous scientific, medical, and pharmaceutical breakthroughs.

6. With the blood and fortitude of our founding fathers, and brave men who gave their lives for a cause greater then themselves, a modern day political system was created, to which many countries would subsequently adopt and follow.

7. Some of the world’s greatest, and most innovative inventions.To name a few:

  • The Automobile (as we know it today)
  • Airplanes
  • The Railroad
  • The Personal Computer
  • The Internet
  • Cameras
  • The Phonograph (sound recording)
  • The Telephone
  • The Television
  • Radio
  • Light bulbs
  • Movies (video recording)
  • Televised and Cable Network News
  • and how about the discovery of harnessing Electricity?

8. There are worldwide services that have been adopted by many countries, due to the great ingenuity of Benjamin Franklin, such as fire departments and public libraries.

9. How about modern day manufacturing and assembly line practices?

10. Despite the race with Russia, in the sixties, The United States was the first country to take a man to the moon; and with programs such as NASA, has contributed greatly to space exploration.

11. How about The United State’s contributions to music, such as Jazz, Country, Folk, The Blues and Rock and Roll? Oh yes, and the electric guitar. Not to mention the forum The United States has provided for some of the world’s greatest bands, and acts to come to, and seek fame and fortune.

Certainly there are many great countries in this world who have made enormous contributions and sacrifices as well; and without the inception of The United States , the world likely would have went on. That being said, if anyone reading this were to say, The United States is not a perfect country, I would agree wholeheartedly; but if there is anyone that were to say, The United States is not a great country that has sacrificed, and contributed (past and present) enormously to this world, then I would have to respectfully disagree.

Is It Time For A New Political Party?

In a time when people are simply attempting to survive job losses and economic challenges, I am reminded of how our country was founded and what turn of events transpired to bring about the greatest experiment in self governance that has ever been conceived. To fully appreciate how far we have moved away from the original designs of our founding documents, we must first understand where it is that our country came from. In particular we should look at the personal aspirations of the brave souls who fought against all odds to not only come to this new land, but then to battle the tyranny of government to overcome hardships that we dare not imagine.

The history of the United States is mired with many tragic events, popular and unpopular political leaders and outspoken critics of government. Certainly there are no shortages of those types of folks today, however there is a key difference in the political leaders of history and those of today. The missing ingredient in this writers eyes is honor. Many, and dare I say most, of our political leaders lack honor. I am not just talking about honor in the classical sense, but rather an honor that is so deep that it is espoused as a permanent and integral part of their essence. This honor is of the highest magnitude, it surpases doing what is right because it is right and it holds a stronger bond than any familial blood line. This honor is about doing what is right because not doing it would grate so harshly against your inner core that you would rather suffer immeasurable harm than be dishonorable.

Too often our political leaders look at holding office as a power grab, a golden parachute or to fulfil an internal desire to be famous. Whatever the reasons may be, it is seldom that we find true statesmen. Who do we have, or have we had in our midst in the last 20 years that would begin to measure up against the bar set so high by those such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams. Certainly they exist, but unfortunately they are very rare. The political climate of today instead reflects the poor quality of self deserving politicos who would rather do what is expedient for the purposes at hand and forgo doing that which is right.

The interesting thing here is that it stems not from politicians, but rather the citizens of this once great country who vote them into office because their personal needs would be better served by a politicial buying votes as opposed to one doing what is right and honorable. Of course we must not forget those who do not vote, as an abstained vote is the same as a vote against the trailing candidate. But then this isn’t a lesson on why you should vote, but rather why it is important that we maintain the utmost respect for an institution that trancends individual desires.

In the current climate, our government does so much more than was originally intended by our founding fathers. We build roads and bridges, conduct scientific experimentation, feed those who can’t or won’t feed themselves, house the homeless, and now we run businesses that the business people obviously don’t know how to run. What seems to be lacking though, is the single most important aspect of what government is designed and required to do, and that is to provide for the common defense of the individual states. Sure we have a military, but in recent times our government leaders, all of whom have taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution and the Citizens of these United States, have abandoned perhaps the most important dictate of the Constitution. Our military has been derided, chastized, demoralized, demonized and apologized for. Our defense budgets have been cut and the safety of our country has been put into jeopardy because of this failure.

But you might be wondering where honor comes into the picture, or you might have already seen it, and it requires no further explanation. If you are among the latter group, then I applaud your sensibilities and hope that the future of our country rests in your capable hands, however, if you are still unsure as to how honor works into the bigger picture, I urge you to start reading as much as possible on how and especially why this country was founded. The Boston Tea Party has become symbolic in nature, and while we applaud and cheer those who defied the crown and under stealth of night dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor, under the political winds of today’s society, we would imprison the offenders for a dozen years or more. While the threat of imprisonment or worse must have been on the minds of those 100 or so men who protested unfair taxation through a criminal act, they took the road with a higher moral ground and did what was right. The end result was the freedom that this country enjoyed for 232 years. Unfortunately, in November 2009, the politicians finally succeeded in killing what they could not in 1775.

Our country has been pillaged for the few in power and the masses have been enslaved by the government through the enabling nature of massive treasury gifts to those who could care about neither liberty nor freedom. Perhaps it is time to stage a politician party in the vein of events as was staged so long ago on December 16, 1773, if we could find but 435 people who hold honor above all else.

The Stamp Act Of 1765 And Today

In 1765, The British enacted The Stamp Act, which would require all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other documents issued in the colonies, to use a stamp.

The British would then collect tax revenues for these stamps, and use these revenues for the defense of the colonies. Being that the tax was used for their defense, wouldn’t one conclude that this tax was well-intended?  Why then were the colonists so outraged?  So outraged that movements such as The Sons of Liberty were started; as well as the convening of Congress, in Oct. of 1765, in New York City, where The Declaration of Rights and Grievances were written.

Most of us know that the colonies were being taxed, but did not have representation in Parliament, back in England. Is it possible that the people of the colonies felt disenfranchised?

Perhaps we can get into their heads for a moment.:

“OK, the government is going to take tax revenues from us, then use it for this, or for that. However, no one has consulted us. Perhaps we have a different view; perhaps we have an alternative idea that will makes sense, and may satisfy a larger majority of people, as opposed to, this is how it is, and you will like it”!
Eventually, Parliament being faced with a loss of trade, repealed the Stamp Act in 1766. 
For anyone that is not aware of this, we do have a constitutional right in this country to petition our government; and it is with great thanks to our founders that we have this, and other first amendment rights. 

I believe it is a moral injustice to force something on people, that through a great majority, did not agree with the end result; clearly they were tired of Britain controlling their way of life, and of doing business.

The American Revolution did not take place until eleven years later; and the rest is certainly history. However, if we look back, perhaps the whole revolution could have been avoided “if” The British government would have listened to the pleas of the colonies. It is really hard to imagine it working out that way, because we would not have The United States today, and we would quite possibly still be part of England, but that is not the case, and today, we all know why.

So, here we are in modern times, saying, this is not the most prudent use of our tax dollars, and it is totally affecting our lives, our businesses etc….and we want change! If you read The Declaration of Independence, in its entirety, they listed a whole host of grievances against Britain; so surely Britain must have known that the pot was boiling over, however, they did not want to make the necessary changes, and the rest is history.

I do pray that our government will see that the people are getting very weary of the normal course of doing business in D.C., and begin to come back to the grass roots, and get down to the level of the every day person; otherwise, it is not too hard to imagine a similar outcome, as the people will eventually need a Government that will represent them again, and not the special interests of a few; and policies that will encompass the needs and concerns of the entire country, and not “just” a constituency of people.

In The Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers declared, that we have three very basic rights; and they are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I pray that we never lose these rights.

The Declaration Of Independence

Listen to The Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Further Reading:
While evils are sufferable
And they petitioned
And they appealed to their British brothers
And they mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor
While The Constitution is the supreme law of the land
We hold these truths to be self evident

We Must Never Forget

In all of my life, as a United States citizen, 911 is definitely one of the most profound, and saddest times that I can recall. As sad as it was, I can still recall the solidarity of The American people, shortly after 911.

All of a sudden, your political affiliations did not seem to matter; your career, your past and present situations also did not seem to matter; all that mattered was that we were fellow Americans and this radical terrorist group just took down two large buildings in a major United States city, in which nearly 3,000 innocent people were killed; not to mention, the many rescue personnel that came to the call, and gave their lives, as well.

Like many others, I desperately wanted time to move quickly, as the pain, grief and anger that I felt was so intense. Still, I often think back, and recall how united we (as a country) were.

I will never forget watching The President on TV, and feeling really touched by his words, and his call for Americans to stay united; he also seemed just as in shock as we were; he shared in our grief, fear and anger; undoubtedly, he was not the same man that he was prior to 911.

That day, our country could very well had been brought to its knees; however, there was a call for Americans to get back out there and live. We were directed “not” to let these hateful terrorists to cause us to live in fear, and we heard the call. I recall people coming out, and vocalizing their anger at these people, and publicly declaring that we were not going to stop living The American life because of their despicable acts.
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Over-Politicizing Our National Security

I have been thinking about this for a while and decided that it is time to try to put these thoughts into words…
If we were to be asked, “do you want to be liked”? I think that most of us would answer, “of course I do”; it is human nature to want to be liked. Then if I asked, “would you be willing to sell out your values, and/or your core beliefs, in order to be liked”?  I have a feeling that I would get a very different response.
So, where am I going with this?
For the most part, I thought that Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was very good, however, there was one line that jumped out at me, and really gave me pause; it was this line…
“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”.
First of all, we? Did he mean to say; I reject as false the choice between our safety and “my” ideals?
And this is where the over-politicization can be, and has been a detriment to our country.
Is war ugly? Dam right it is!
Do most people like war? I would have to say, no.
I for one, hate it.
Do I believe in diplomacy?
I sure do.
Have we lacked a bit of diplomacy over the last eight years?
I would answer, likely.
Were we attacked on 9-11?
Yes we sure as hell were.
Is there a good chance that others are plotting to hurt, even annihilate us?
I would think that one is a bit naive to think not.
So, what exactly is our ideals, and when does the safety of “our” country stop becoming a first priority?
Yes, I said it! It is “our” country! Liberals, conservatives, Republicans and Democrats alike; and most of us love our country.
Again, history can teach us a whole lot…
Franklin Roosevelt is thought of as one of our greatest presidents; he lead us through World War 2, a depression (arguably), and he was a Democrat.
Does everyone know about the executive order that FDR put into place after the “attack” on Pearl Harbor?
In 1942, FDR ordered the internment of nearly 110,000 Japanese Nationals and  Japanese”citizens” to so called War Relocation Camps, out in The Western United States.
Now, was this wrong? That is a subject that is likely still being debated today.
Was FDR doing that because he was a terrible, prejudice person? I doubt it, since part of what he is known for, is advancing civil rights, during his presidency.
Was FDR putting our national security first? Well, everyone can decide for themselves, however, I am going to say…Yes, of course he was.
By the way, another interesting fact is, in the 1960s, years after Roosevelt’s death, there were allocations being made that he was not pre-emptive enough in World War 2; as a result, many innocent people in Europe died. Again, I am not saying that he was right or wrong, but I am saying that history does repeat itself; and if we can not learn from history, then what can we learn from?
So, in times of war, and when American lives are on the line, I for one am glad that our president has executive powers to put the safety of the citizens of this country first; despite politics, popular opinion, so-called ideals, and concern that other countries may be upset with us.
Looking back, it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, and say, “well, may be he should not have done this and that”, however, by the end of World War 2, Hitler, Mussolini, Fascism, Imperialism and The Nazis were all defeated.
I for one, would “not” want to have to make these decisions, and that is why I never considered running for president; however, if a president is looking out for our safety, over political correctness; at least for a period, until our intelligence tells us that we are a bit safer, then that is a president that I can, and will stand by.
So, after thinking about it, and saying that I want Barack Obama to do well; I found that what I really want is for America (not one man) to do well. If he makes good, sound decisions, and puts our safety above all, then of course I want him to succeed; on the flip side, if he starts to enact a series of policies that compromises American lives, then leads to further attacks on American soil, then should I still wish him well? I think not. 
Only time will tell; and I say that we need to give “our” new president the necessary time before passing harsh judgements. That being said, one thing that I do know for sure, is we “did not” ask for Pearl Harbor, or 9-11; nor should we turn on any president that is trying to keep us safe from foreign threats.
In my opinion, as president, that is his most sacred duty to the people of this country.
Perhaps a time will come to where we can stop over-politicizing; in particular, our national security.

George W. Bush

Over the last eight years, I have not agreed with some of George Bush’s policies; prior to 2005, I totally bashed President Bush, and never voted for him once. However, over the last three years, I have come to appreciate him, (and the office) so much more then I did prior. If you were to ask me to list out several things that I really have admired about him, I am not sure of how many that I could list, however, I can list four things for sure…
1. He was a genuine president; he did not do what was popular, however, right or wrong, he did what he thought was best for America.
2. He was an absolute gentleman as far as transitioning power to Barack Obama.
Most importantly..
3. He brought us threw one of the most difficult times in American History, and that is 9-11.
4. His administration has undoubtedly kept us from any further terrorist attacks on American soil; and for these last two reasons alone, I would like to thank our former president, George W. Bush.
I do wish him and his family all the best..

David Frost Interviewing Richard Nixon

After several hours of questions, David Frost, in this historical interview, begins hammering Richard Nixon on recently discovered information:

The subsequent (unsuspected) admission, and apology, by Richard Nixon is what makes these interviews so historical; and what propelled David Frost to a new level of world fame: 

Here is another clip of Mike Wallace (on 60 minutes) interviewing David Frost, just a few weeks prior to his interview with Richard Nixon:

The Ex Presidents, Meet At The White House

This is indeed a historical moment as president-elect Obama, our current president George Bush, ex-presidents…George H. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter all meet at The White House.
From my point of view, this meeting shows some level of unity and cooperation amongst the ex-(living)presidents, with president-elect Barack Obama.
To the credit of Barack Obama, he requested this meeting and it was arranged by our current president.
Also, I would like to say that George W. Bush was very dignified with his words to Barack Obama, in the spirit of unity and love for our country.
So, going forward, let’s hope that this meeting will be the beginning of some new hope and unity for our country.

A Great Christmas Sacrifice

After a series of lost battles and retreats had left morale dangerously low among the soldiers. Many of the soldiers were inclined to leave the army once their commission expired on December 31, 1776. Several men had taken the opportunity to desert the army before their enlistments were even up. It appeared that drastic measures needed to be taken.
On December 25, 1776 (Christmas morning), after The German (mercenaries) Hessians had been drinking and celebrating on Christmas Eve; Washington, knowing that they would be hung over, off guard, and likely asleep, led his men over The Delaware River, into Trenton, for a surprise attack. In the early morning, a hail and sleet storm had broken out in the crossing, winds were strong and the river was full of ice floes. The weather conditions were treacherous. Several conditions put them behind schedule, however, around 4 a.m., General Washington gave the order to attack.
The Hessians were known to be great fighters, however, this brilliant strategy by Washington (and his generals); coupled with the army’s disillusionment; hungry, tired and frustrated, they surprised The Hessians with no mercy; on this day only three Americans were killed and six wounded, while 22 Hessians were killed with 98 wounded. The Americans were able to capture 1,000 prisoners and seize muskets, powder, and artillery.
This battle, against all odds, was a complete onslaught, and no doubt, this battle (The Battle Of Trenton) could have been the deal breaker for The American Revolution. However, it turned out to be a turning point for The Revolution, and many of these brave men continued on (with later help from The French) to an eventual victory over Great Britain.
These are sacrifices of mass proportion, for our Independence, and all of the freedoms that we often take for granted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington%27s_crossing_of_the_Delaware
So, while we can often get caught up in ruts, and things can often look gloomy; with a simple Internet search, you can find that many men and woman, prior, (and today still) have made greater sacrifices then we could ever imagine; so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have, today, in this country.
I’m sure that many of these men, including Washington, would have preferred to be home with loved ones on Christmas, however, they felt as though they were fighting a cause greater then themselves, and that was freedom from the monarchy of England.
References used from:

Ida May Fuller And Social Security

In 1935, The Social Security program was signed into law, by Franklin Roosevelt.

Ida May Fuller was the first ever recipient of Social Security.

Before retiring, and after paying only three years of payroll taxes, a total of $24.75 towards the program; by the time Ida passed away, in 1975, she had collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.

Not bad, huh? Can someone please tell me where I can make 1000% interest on my investments?

Citizenship Questions

As part of a test to become a US Citizen, people applying for citizenship must answer 100 questions.
For those who would like to test their knowledge, I am listing 10 of those questions…
Anyone care to try? : )
  1. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
  2. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
  3. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
  4. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  5. What is the highest court in the United States?
  6. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
  7. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
  8. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
  9. Why did the colonists fight the British?
  10. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence
Good luck!    

McCain In 2006 On Fannie And Freddie

I am one that feels that McCain was unfairly connected to The Fannie and Freddie meltdown, in the 2008 election. Well, on May 25, 2006, John McCain was one of the few voices that spoke up against Fannie and Freddie.  
To quote McCain, from 2006…
“These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform”
“If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”
Although the election is now over, I hope that anyone who reads the above will see that McCain was trying to prevent the mess that we are in today. I have to wonder if this material, or fact, was even put out by the mainstream media?

Bill Clinton Referring To Osama Bin Laden

The Clinton Administration was well aware of Bin Laden and “did” seek to get rid of him.
Following is a chronological compendium of all public comments made by Bill Clinton referring or relating to Osama bin Laden . . .

Obama In 2004

Aren’t politicians great? This is Barack Obama, in 2004.

Congratulations To Barack Obama

Well, I am a bit surprised; I thought that the election would be a bit closer then it was. I will now admit, publicly that I did not vote for Obama.
I am from Philadelphia, and like many others from Philadelphia, I had been a life long Democrat.
Today was the first time that I did not vote for a Democrat, and I am now registered as an Independent, with no allegiance to either party.
It is not that I am pro-Republican or anti-Democrat, it is that I do have fundamental differences from some of the (proposed) policies that Barack Obama has set forth.
Having said that, now that he is our next president elect, I will support and respect him. As a proud American, I want nothing more then for this country to reunite and make things better for all of us.
I am sorry that I can not recall who said these words, but I recently heard someone say, “we may not see eye to eye, however, we can walk arm and arm”. As Americans, this is precisely what I think that we need to do.
Also, I would like to say that I am very proud of Senator Obama for becoming the first African American president, it truly is a historical moment, in American history.
I can not promise that I will agree with him, all of the time, but I do pray for his success and for all of America, going forward.
Also, I want to say that John McCain was a true gentleman in conceding the race to Obama.

Deriving Their Just Powers From Who?

The below, profoundly wise, words, were written by our founding father, Thomas Jefferson, as part of The Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

Unalienable rights? hmmmm

The line that really strikes me is this one:

“deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

I have felt for a long time that our rights stop, the day after Election Day.

It is a great thing that we the people are able to vote our officials into office, however this does make one wonder “if” the people should maintain a larger degree of power, even after the officials are in office.

I can see the final sentence, in the below paragraph…

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”

becoming a reality “if” the government keeps misleading and deceiving the people of this country!

Is History Repeating Itself?

In the year 1763, after 7 years of war and victory over The North American Continent and the land east of Mississippi, Britain turned it’s attention to The American Colonies.   

After the huge, resulting, expenditures of war, Britain was now looking to The American Colonies as a way to help offset these expenditures.  

Let’s take a look at some past events:  

First were some restrictions put onto the colonies by Britain: 

1. The Navigation Act of September 13, 1660 which basically restricted colonial trade with other nations.

2. The Royal Proclamation – October 7, 1763 which banned the colonies from negotiating land directly with The Indians.

So, perhaps at this point (1763), the colonies are concluding that Britain is playing big brother and really trying to control their way of life. 

It gets even better:   

1. In the year 1764, Britain passed the Sugar Act, this was the first law aimed directly at raising money from the colonies, for the English Crown. It increased the duties on merchandise that were imported into the colonies and not of British origin.

2. Then came The Currency Act. This barred the colonies from printing their own currency. 

Then on March 24, 1765, the British exacerbated the colonists outrage by passing the Quartering and Stamp Acts.

3. The Quartering Act of 1765 forces the colonies to provide lodging and supplies to British soldiers.

Taxation without representation: 

The colonists, of course, objected to these acts. At town meetings (Committees of Correspondence), beginning in 1764, in Massachusetts, in opposition to The Currency Act, taxation without representation began being cried out. At one such meeting, a unified protest throughout the colonies, was suggested. The protest of choice was non-importation, or declining to accept merchandise imported from Britain.

4. The Stamp Act of 1765 was the first direct tax to be imposed onto the colonies; it required that all newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, commercial bills, advertisements, and other documents issued in the colonies, to use a stamp.

The revenue generated from the sale of the stamps was designated for the defense of the colonies.

While the intentions of raising revenue for this purpose, were good intentions, to many of the colonists, perhaps it was still Britain imposing their will onto the people of the colonies.

Of course, many of the businessmen in the colonies were very affected by, and took exception to this tax.

Associations known as The Sons of Liberty were formed to organize opposition to The Stamp Act.

To name a few, well known names… Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere

With further reading, you can learn more about the  subsequent events, such as The Boston Tea Party and The signing of The Declaration of Independence, which lead to the eventual American Revolution. 

To draw a modern day parallel:

It isn’t hard to see (in the above) how big government and raising taxes on the people that have worked very hard, with little to no say as to where the taxes are spent and utilized, can be enough to stir some real emotions from the people.

While I personally love The American Revolution History, and my country, my intention of this post was to basically present some historical facts, then to let you decide if history is in fact, repeating itself.