Thomas Jefferson is considered to be one of the leading Founding Fathers of the United States. Not one of the Framers, however — he was in France during the Philadelphia convention in which the Constitution was drafted, and other than some correspondence with James Madison had no role in its creation or ratification. At the end of his life, 40 years after the creation of the Constitution, Jefferson was asked to lend his hand in a political campaign. In this excerpt from a letter to Samuel Kercheval, Jefferson discusses his belief that the Constitution should be re-drafted “every nineteen or twenty years” in order to “keep pace with the times” and provide “progressive accommodation to progressive improvements” to society… […]
From a discussion on Citizen Tom’s blog on the forms of government, I wrote a bit on of how the US Constitution was inspired and framed: There are conceptual hints in Scripture and remarks by Jesus on what forms of government are disfavored, but the Framers took inspiration from Aristotle. Many Enlightenment thinkers tended to downplay Aristotle, though the re-discovery of his works is one of the factors leading to the Enlightenment. But many of the Framers read Aristotle directly as well as earlier writers he inspired including Locke and de Montesquieu… […]
“Life in these United States,” an old Readers Digest humor feature, had many amusing stories. Like this one:
The teacher in one of our local grade schools was showing a copy of the Declaration of Independence to her pupils. It passed from desk to desk and finally to Luigi, a first-generation American. The boy studied […]
To all my friends here, old and new: The best Thanksgiving Day to you! Perhaps you’ll join the great repast And then, recovering, will fast… […]
War is terrible; it is a sad to realize that sometimes it is necessary. Knowing which ones are necessary is a crucial art, a skill at which some national leaders have shown deficiency.
A long time ago, a strong feeling of patriotism and the honors and approbation heaped upon veterans caused many to join, thinking […]
This article in Salon yesterday was one of several that I saw filled with disdain for America, its people, and its history. But the writer (Andrew O’Hehir) did seem to have some semi-affectionate humor for Fourth of July picnic foods. Interestingly, the author describes a common error in looking at history, then proceeds to write an entire article filled to brim with it. I’ve grouped some phrases from the article into categories. They are no longer in the original order as a result (although the order within categories is preserved. I’ll start with the author’s description of his own error: […]
I hope that each and every one of you is having a happy Fourth of July. The “happy” part of that is significant, and I sincerely hope that you have the skill and the circumstances to achieve it. Skill? Yes. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote one of the most oft-quoted lines in history describing unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Someone suggested to me today that: […]
A mention of John Adams on Citizen Tom’s forum got me thinking a bit about history.
The word “flagging” has several meanings, including the calling out of something of particular interest or the identification of a problem or violation.
It can also mean growing tired. All of this applies to this story of the student government at a California college voting to ban the American flag from their space. In the […]
“Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting […]