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American history


I have finally been convinced of what I consider to be fact and that is … There is very little difference between the two major political parties.  Now before you take issue with this statement let me elaborate just a little.  First, I know the statement is not original.  Untold numbers of pundits and analysts have been saying the same thing for years.  The primary problem, I believe, is not many people really care one way or another.  Those of us who do care were highly invigorated when the Republicans took back the house in 1994.  Since 1994 the Republican led congress has gone out of their way to conceal their so called conservative viewpoints.  Those of us who voted for a Republican controlled congress did so for a reason but those we put into office put their own interest above those they chose to serve.  Now we are stuck with 535 members of American royalty sucking the lifeblood out of American taxpayers.

Let’s not forget the executive branch either.  I voted twice for “W” and given the choice of Gore and Kerry, I would do it again but “W” gives the appearance of a closet liberal.  Look at our policies on education and immigration. No Child Left Behind is nothing more than Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society with another name.  Every attempt to legislate education rather than attack the core problem further complicates everyone’s life.  Our education problems in the United States are more of a cultural issue than a political issue.  Immigration on the other hand is a huge political issue.  Nothing has been done under the current administration to stem the rising tide of Hispanic immigrants into the United States.  This is an old song but one that needs to be sung by all citizens, natural born or otherwise.

Now we are reading about the document signed between the United States and Mexico in June of 2004.  In case you have not heard the document basically gives Mexicans illegal or otherwise access to Social Security once they have accumulated 18 months of documented working time in the Estados Unidos.  If you do not know how this translates you need to get used to it.  The treaty, or document as it were, has not been sent to congress for ratification.  Why not you ask? Well because Congress only has 60 days to ratify this “treaty” or it becomes a non issue.  Due to the current political climate in the USA, there might just be a little consternation if such a deal between the U.S. and Mexico becomes too widely known. The Bush administration for some reason does not want Congress to let this issue die nor do they want the American public to gain much knowledge about the issue. For more information go to this article on the subject (“Critics say Social Security deal would give billlions to Mexicans”) at the Houston Chronicle Newspaper online.  Interesting reading!

As of this last week we are blessed with a Democrat controlled congress.  I cannot tell you how much better I sleep knowing this bunch of clowns is in charge.  I seriously doubt we will see much difference with the exception of additional taxation.  “W” has almost two years left in office and nothing to lose so I would really appreciate him using his veto powers to try and hold back the tidal wave of entitlements and tax increases we are bound to see.  Minimum wage is just the beginning.  No, I am not against the working man earning a decent wage.  Minimum wage is nothing more than another political football.  The statistics of those earning the minimum wage are very revealing considering that the majority of individuals in this category are young, work part time, are not the sole breadwinner for a family and live above the poverty line.  Why then is such a furor being created about less than 1.5 % of the working population?  The answer is simple; it makes good press and sounds good.  Will raising the minimum wage help those living in poverty?  Probably not, because they will be the first ones laid off and their goods and services will now cost more.  The price of increasing wages is not going to be absorbed by business or by any business owner.  The increase will be absorbed by you and me and any one else who purchases goods and services and this is how it should be.  Can we wipe out poverty?  Can we make someone go to school or strive to be the best they can be?  Can we make laws outlawing ignorance and poverty?  The answers are evident and the answer in all cases is NO.  We can attempt to educate and assist those in need and we can try and instill the desire to succeed in our employees, friends and family but we will never be successful 100% of the time.  Our elected officials would rather make all citizens suffer at the expense of a few.  This is not the prudent way to run a country, business or family.  There comes a time when facts must be faced and the needs of the many may exceed the needs of the few.  Will any politician have the courage to tell the truth and stand behind their belief?  Time will tell, Time will tell!

Terry

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As we go into 2007, take a minute to read the following story. Yes … it is a little long – but it is worth the read. When you stop and ponder your daily trials and tribulations, think about John Hanson and the other men and women who helped to form this great nation of ours.  

What if your name was John Hanson? And what if you were actually the first President of the United States? And what if no one remembered?

That’s exactly what happened and I’m here to set the record straight. Once I discovered him, I became a big fan of President John Hanson because of his incredible level of determination.

Let’s turn the clock back to April 3, 1715, and focus on Charles County, Maryland. That’s the day he was born and that’s where it happened. He came from a family of great traditions in the colonies.

His grandfather was one of the founders of New Sweden along the Delaware River; one of his nephews was the military secretary to George Washington; another was a signer of the Declaration; still another was a signer of the Constitution; another was Governor of Maryland during the Revolution; another was a member of the first Congress. Other ancestors served the colonies in similar positions. Hanson made major contributions to the life of the nation through his descendants.

As a boy, on his own, he was an avid reader of the classics and studied the great leaders of the Reformation. As an adult, like most colonists, he was a farmer. His Mulberry Grove farm was just across the Potomac from Mount Vernon. Hanson continued to study legal and theological concepts. This led him to become passionate about the cause of the patriots in the colonies.

In time he became one of the strongest colonial advocates of independence. From 1757 to 1773, he served in the Maryland Assembly and was active in raising troops and providing arms. In 1777 he became a member of the Continental Congress where he exemplified his brilliance as an administrator. He also helped resolve the western land issue, thus facilitating the ratification of the Articles of Confederation.

Looking back, The Articles of Confederation was a document proposed on June 11, 1776. The Continental Congress rendered official the Declaration of Independence on July 4th of that year. The United States was actually formed on March 1, 1781, with the signing of The Articles of Confederation.

At that point, a President was needed to run the country. Under those Articles of Confederation, John Hanson was elected “President of the United States in Congress Assembled” in 1781. He was chosen unanimously by Congress.

John Hanson was so popular in Congress that all the other potential candidates refused to run against him. He was a major player in the Revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress. And that Congress voted to provide the new President with a house and servants, and ruled that he “takes precedence of all and every person in the United States.”

One member of the Congress that elected Hanson, George Washington, wrote his colleague: “I congratulate your Excellency on your appointment to fill the most important seat in the United States.”

President Hanson took office just as the Revolutionary War had ended. No one had ever held the position before and there were no guidelines for the position. There were huge challenges from the very beginning. The military, having concluded a long war, demanded to be paid and there were no funds for their salaries. Some soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and place George Washington in the position of King.

Members of Congress ran for their lives and left President Hanson holding the bag. Somehow, he was able to calm the troops and he held the country together. The alternative would have been disastrous and we could have ended up living under a monarch.

President Hanson then ordered all foreign flags and foreign troops off American soil. Considering the fact that a number of European countries had had a vested interest in the United States since the time of Columbus, this was quite a feat.

Hanson established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, the first Foreign Affairs Department, Thanksgiving Day, and the Great Seal of the United States. During his administration, a post office department was started, a national bank was chartered, progress was made toward taking the first census, and a uniform system of coinage was adopted. He was also responsible for initiating a number of programs that helped America gain a world position.

The Articles of Confederation called for a President to serve only one year. Thus, John Hanson served from November 5, 1781 until November 3, 1782. Considering the fact that he was only in office for 12 months, he accomplished quite a bit in very little time.

The Articles of Confederation, giving too much power to the states, did not work well. Not much could be agreed upon on a national basis. What was needed came in the form of the Constitution.

The Constitution established not merely a league of states but a government that exercised its authority directly over all citizens. The Constitution also defined clearly the powers of the national government. In addition, it established protection for the rights of the states and of every individual. It was signed on September 17, 1787.

Six other Presidents were elected after John Hanson before the Constitution was signed and George Washington was elected to the Presidency, starting his first four-year term in 1789.

So, the next time you hear that George Washington was the father of our country, you may want to recall the name of John Hanson. He could be labeled the “grandfather of our country.” It was his incredible level of determination that helped the United States get born.

Reprinted from an article entitled The Real First President by Boaz Rauchwerger © 2003. Visit Mr. Rauchwerger’s website http://www.boazpower.com/

I hope you have a safe and wonderful New Year Holiday! Wishing you the best in 2007. Keep smiling.

Richard