Alexander Hamilton: The “Hamiltonian Attitudes”

Hamilton Truth MemeAlexander Hamilton: The “Hamiltonian Attitudes” – By Daniel W. Sheridan

Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1757, in Nevis, an island of the West Indies, to a Scotchman dad and Huguenot mom. When Alexander was 11 his father abandoned the family, a year later his mother died. That’s a rough start!

The orphaned boy went to work as a clerk where he began developing his economic skills. One day a horrible storm came through the island leaving death and destruction in its wake. Young Hamilton wrote about the event which was published to everyone’s great delight. Friends, recognizing his potential, funded sending him to New Jersey to further his education. After only one year he was admitted into King’s College, in New York City. At seventeen he was using the eloquence of his pen against British oppression. During the war Hamilton served as a captain of an artillery company where he won great distinction. The year 1777 immortalized Hamilton; that’s when he met George Washington, served on his staff, and from there his name in American History was permanently enshrined.

After the war Hamilton studied law, became a member of Congress, took part in the Constitutional Convention, and at the age of 32 served as Secretary of the Treasury.

Hamiltonian views regarding the role of Government and Central Banking have been controversial since the Washington administration. But there’s an example from Hamilton’s life that teaches us HOW honest people who disagree should engage in debate. Here’s the story:

Hamilton attended the Constitutional Convention. He believed that America should set up a British style Government with a President serving for life – like a Monarch. Hamilton gave an eloquent speech at the convention explaining his views. James Madison said the speech was applauded by all, but approved by none. “No man’s ideas,” said Madison, “were more remote from the plan than his own were known to be.”

Hamilton didn’t get his way at the Convention, but he still asked that his name be on the Constitution, and he strongly encouraged everyone else to sign it. America was in crisis being bitterly divided under the Articles of Confederation and Hamilton wanted to be a team player at a time when unity was essential preferring to support the Constitution rather than plunging the country into anarchy. Hamilton accepted the judgment of others and wanted to cooperate for the good of the country.

What’s even more remarkable is that after the convention Hamilton became the Constitution’s greatest salesman! He wrote many of the famous Federalist Papers which influenced its ratification, and after it went into effect Hamilton worked tirelessly to get the new Federal Government on its feet.

Hamilton’s actions were in keeping with what he wrote in Federalist #1. He pointed out that there are good men on both sides of essential issues, a fact which should teach us to be moderate, honest, kind, and sincere when expressing our opinions – even if convinced we are in the right. Too often we characterize those who oppose us as enemies. This should not be. Hamilton said,

“…in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution…I frankly acknowledge to you my convictions, and I will freely lay before you the reasons on which they are founded…My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth.”

Major William Pierce, delegate from Georgia, wrote this about Hamilton:

“Colo. Hamilton is deservedly celebrated for his talents…To a clear and strong judgment he unites the ornaments of fancy, and whilst he is able, convincing, and engaging in his eloquence.. the Heart and Head sympathize in approving him…Hamilton requires time to think,-he enquires into every part of his subject with the searchings of philosophy, and when he comes forward he comes highly charged with interesting matter, there is no skimming over the surface of a subject with him, he must sink to the bottom to see what foundation it rests on… His manners are sometimes with a degree of vanity that is highly disagreable.”

When we think of Hamilton, we usually think of “Hamiltonian” economic policies. I want to start a new trend. Let’s also associate the adjective “Hamiltonian” with the noun “Attitudes.”

So whether you agree with Hamiltonian policies or not, let’s all agree on and practice Hamiltonian methods when dealing with those who are on the other side of an argument: wisdom, intelligent conversation based on previous study, and graciousness.

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I Love The Smell Of Vinyl Records

Eye_of_the_Tiger_45I Love The Smell Of Vinyl Records: The Greatest School of Music, Art, and Letters Ever Devised By Man – By Daniel W. Sheridan (@DanielWSheridan)

On this day, January 10, 1949, RCA releases a new media form which helped launch the Rock ‘n’ Roll era. What was it?

In 1982, I purchased my first record, a 45 of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, the theme song to Rocky 3. The B-side contained Survivor’s song, Take You On A Saturday.

It was on this day, January 10, 1949, that RCA Records came out with the 45 one year after they released 33’s, or LP’s. An LP (ie; Long-Playing) is about 12 inches in diameter and contains around 20 to 30 playing minutes per side. Artists released their full “Album” on 33’s.

The 45, however, is seven inches in diameter and contains up to eight minutes of playing time per side. The 45’s contained hit singles from LP’s with a bonus track on side B. If you didn’t want the whole album you could always buy the hit song on a 45. The 45 had a larger hole in the middle into which you inserted a plastic adapter which allowed it to be played on the same turntables you played your LP’s on.

Prior to the 33’s and 45’s there was the 78 which could only play about five minutes per side. The way the 78’s were grooved made them a lot noisier than the 33’s or 45’s. Anyone who loves vinyl knows that wonderful sound, the needle crackle is a beautiful thing when it remains subtle, but it wasn’t so subtle on a 78.

I went through a process when I purchased a record. Each 33 was shrink-wrapped, so I’d take my thumb-nail, insert it at the top of the slot where the record came out, poke a hole in the plastic, then I’d gently run my finger-nail down the slot so as to leave the shrink wrap on the album cover for protection. Then I’d reverently tilt the album, open-slot side down, so as to let the inner sleeve containing the album gently wiggle out. Then I’d look at the credits and lyrics on that beautiful inner sleeve for a few moments, after which I’d carefully slide the album out – only touching the edges. Then, holding the album by the edges with both hands, I’d take a deep whiff of that lovely smelling vinyl – mmmmmm delicious! Then I’d gently place the record on the turn-table, grab the tube-shaped vinyl cleaner brush, place it on the record, and then let it ride the surface of the LP for a few rotations.

Proper preparations have now been made. I drop the needle, hear that “bump” sound you hear over the speakers when the needle first hits the record, then listen to the ensuing crackle of silence in anticipation of the first song. Finally, the crackle meshes with the music, the school of rock is in session! For the next 20 minutes I lay on my bed listening to great music while investigating every nook and cranny of the album cover art and reading every poetic word on the inner sleeve, only to be interrupted long enough to flip the album over to side two, after which I continue my studies for another 20 minutes. Then there were double albums! Double the music, double the art, double the inner sleeve poetry, 0h my! But I refrain because my heart can’t take so much joy in one post!

Those were the best courses of art and literature ever devised by mankind! I got an A! Now I teach my kids. They too have record players with a collection of classic vinyl! I’m a great Dad!

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The Blue-Collar Bible Study Work Ethic vs. Spiritual Socialism

Waldensians_MemeThe Virtue of being a Bible Student: The Blue-Collar Bible Study Work Ethic vs. Spiritual Socialism – By Daniel W. Sheridan (Twitter: @DanielWSheridan)
 
I have devoted my life to the study of the Scriptures and my experience has taught me a few things I would like to share with you.
 
Someone once observed that “he who has long pondered over a train of Reasoning, becomes unable to detect its weak points.” This is true in cases where students prefer to “settle” on a certain line of thinking instead of being perpetual Bible students searching for truth. Most settle because their interpretations find approval among a certain sect, still others because they are financially locked into a certain line of teaching and to change would cost them a paycheck or book sales, some are simply lazy preferring socialistic spiritually which feeds on the handouts of their spiritual masters (favorite “teachers” or “publications”), and still more because they are afraid of altering and adjusting their views for superstitious reasons based on fearful false ideas about God.
 
These settlers lost the pioneering spirit, they’ve forgotten the Biblical work-ethic. They aren’t heeding Paul’s admonition to “be diligent to present thyself approved to God — a workman irreproachable, rightly dividing the word of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, YLT). Look at that verse closely.
 
1. Bible study requires DILIGENCE.
2. You must do it YOURSELF – God hasn’t put us on a socialistic spiritual welfare program. God’s program is the wonderful system of individual liberty and personal responsibility. If you don’t do the work yourself you won’t get anything! Paul once said that a man who refuses to work won’t eat, a principle which applies to the the bread of God, the Bible – he who refuses to study won’t learn.
3. A Bible student looks for APPROVAL from God, not from a sect or a leader of a sect.
4. A blue collar Bible student will never be REPROACHED by God. Think about what that implies with regards to negligent students.
5. A Bible student RIGHTLY DIVIDES, which means he knows the Bible, in context, cover to cover, and puts things in their right places. The student doesn’t use Scripture indiscriminately or loosely.
 
Without this blue-collar ethic the settler will construe every verse of the Bible to conform to their party line. They become incapable of opening their eyes to the untrustworthiness of the fabric they’ve erected, even if it is proven, right before their very eyes, to be “like a child’s house built with playing-cards, and presents to every eye BUT THEIR OWN the appearance of a shapeless ruin.” But beloved, I am persuaded of better things concerning us.
 
I have discovered that an honest Bible student, if truly interested in pursuing truth wherever it leads, will go through a continuous three-phase cycle in this pursuit:
 
1. Discovery
2. Criticism
3. Reconstruction
 
Discovery is that “ah ha” moment when you come across a new truth. This is a dangerous time, however. Too many mistake the thrill of the moment for substance. The discovery must go through phase two, it must be proved. Criticism is the thought process that examines a discovery and looks for its beauties or defects. Many “ah ha” moments, though thrilling at first, when they are examined in the quietness of mature meditation, of rumination, in combination with consistent perusal of the Sacred Volume, are found to have been inaccurate and in need of adjustment – of reconstruction.
 
Treat new discoveries as a working theory. Subject that discovery to criticism. Most importantly, be willing to reconstruct that working theory to align with truth.
 
“Be careful for nothing,” says Paul, including your growth in the knowledge of God’s Word.
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Newgrange Ireland: A Glimpse Into Ancient People Who Actually Aren’t So Ancient After All

There’s a monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland, which makes Khufu’s pyramid in Giza and Stonehenge look like youngsters on the stage of history. Through my studies Newgrange became contemporary to me. History makes me realize that mankind isn’t so far apart. There’s not much difference between the Irish shepherds of 3200 BC, the Egyptians of 3000 BC, the ancient American Indians, and us.

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God Can Be Counted On!

God A God of His Word MemeGod Can Be Counted On! – By Daniel W. Sheridan (Twitter: @DanielWSheridan)

A man’s past record of honesty and integrity is a testimony to his character. We have confidence in a proven man of his word. A person who does what he says, and does it right, can be counted on both now and in the future.

God has proven Himself to be a God of His word!

“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45).

Throughout the Bible we read about the fulfillment of things God promised.

“And the LORD visited Sarah AS HE HAD SAID, and the LORD did unto Sarah AS HE HAD SPOKEN. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which GOD HAD SPOKEN to him.”

What did this precious fulfillment of a promise produce?

“And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”

Sarah laughed for joy and asked everyone to laugh with her! God makes us happy!

The Bible says, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (The Apostle Paul).

Notice the words “shall all be” and “shall many be made” are future promises. “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided,” said Patrick Henry, “and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” And judging by the past, I, Daniel W. Sheridan, have come to the conclusion that God is as good as His word. I have a solid foundation upon which to rest my faith. I believe and therefore I speak ascribing greatness, honesty, and integrity to my God!

We, like Sarah, can laugh today! Faith leads to joy! I am full of joy, even though my body daily causes me to wince in pain. One day we will all laugh in fullness of joy, without any pain, when all of Adam’s progeny are alive and justified finally, completely, and eternally!

Let us give praise and honor to our faithful God! My Redeemer is faithful and true!

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An Indian Observes What The White Man Learns In Church

Franklin Love God and People 2

The following narrative, written by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, is an Indian’s observation of what the white man learns in Church. Please read and adjust your life accordingly.

Conrad (says the Indian), you have lived long among the white People and know something of their Customs. I have been sometimes at Albany, and have observed that once in Seven Days they shut up their Shops, and assemble all in the great House; tell me, what is it for? what do they do there?—

They meet there, says Conrad, to hear and learn good Things.

I do not doubt says the Indian, that they tell you so: They have told me the same; But I doubt the Truth of what they say, and I will tell you my Reasons. I was lately to Albany to sell my Skins, buy Blankets, Knives, Powder, and Rum. You know I us’d generally to deal with Hans Hanson, but I was a little inclin’d this time to try some other Merchant; however, I call’d first upon Hans, and ask’d him what he would give for Beaver. He said he could not give more than four Shillings a Pound; but says he I cannot talk on Business now; this is the Day when we meet together to learn good Things, and I am going to the Meeting. So I thought to my self, since we cannot do any Business to day, I may as well go to the Meeting too; and I went with him.

There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people very angrily. I did not understand what he said; but perceiving that he look’d much at me, and at Hanson, I imagin’d he was angry at seeing me there, so I went out, sat down near the House, struck Fire and lit my Pipe, waiting till the Meeting should break up. I thought too that the Man had mention’d something of Beaver, and I suspected it might be the Subject of their Making. So when they came out, I accosted my Merchant,

Well, Hans, says I, I hope you have agreed to give more than four Shillings a Pound. No, says he, I cannot give so much; I cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence. I then spoke to several other Dealers, but they all sung the same Song. Three and sixpence, Three and sixpence. This made it clear to me that my Suspicion was right; and that whatever they pretended of meeting to learn Good Things, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians on the Price of Beaver.

Consider but a little, Conrad, and you must be of my Opinion. If they met so often to learn Good Things, they would certainly have learnt some before this time. But they are still ignorant. You know our Practice. If a white Man in travelling thro’ our Country, enters one of our Cabins, we all treat him as I treat you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, we give him Meat and Drinks that he may allay his Thirst and Hunger, and spread soft Furs for him to rest and sleep on: We demand nothing in return. But if I go into a white Man’s House at Albany, and ask for Victuals and Drink, they say, where is your Money? and if I have none; they say, Get out you Indian Dog. You see they have not yet learnt those little Good Things, that we need no Meetings to be instructed in, because our Mothers taught them to us when we were Children: And therefore, it is impossible their Meeting, Should be as they say, for any such purpose, or have any such Effect. They are only to contrive the Cheating of Indians in the Price of Beaver.

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