Thursday, June 30, 2011

60% of a Compromise

    Okay.  My brother called me yesterday and asked me about the 3/5 Compromise and what I knew about it.  I was mostly correct, but there were some things that I didn't know about it.  Here is the gist.

     The 3/5 Compromise actually came up for debate during the formation of the Articles of Confederation.  Under the Articles of Confederation, direct taxes were calculated according to land value in each state.  To cut down on the amount of tax each state would have to pay, the values of the land were undervalued.  To fix this, the proposal was for direct taxes to be calculated according to population.  Thus came into question about the slaves in the South.  Would the slaves be counted or not counted when figuring out taxes?  The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, came up with the number 3/5.  Now, Rhode Island (go figure) and New Hampshire did not vote for the compromise.  Under the Articles of Confederation, each state has 1 vote and voting had to be unanimous.  The 3/5 Compromise failed.

     Over a decade later, after the failure of the Articles, a new form of government was being created.  During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the 3/5 Compromise was brought back up for discussion and debate.  This time, the emphasis on the Compromise was not taxes, but representation in Congress, specifically the House of Representatives.  The number of delegates from each state in the House is based on population.  It was not James Madison, but James Wilson of Pennsylvania, that proposed the Compromise to gain favor with the southern states.  Over the long term, the Compromise was not very affective.  The northern states began to grow faster than the southern states, yet the Compromise managed to help elect slave-holding Presidents from 1800-1850.

source of information: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/documents/documents_p2.cfm?doc=306

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fatherhood and Theology

     I was driving back last night with my lovely wife from Dallas (we spent the week in the Bahamas) and we were scanning the radio for music to listen to.  I will admit that since we have been married, I have managed to listen to more and more country music...and enjoyed it.  The song that came on the country station we were listening to was a song that I had heard before, but I had never really sat and listened to the lyrics.  I found myself fascinated with the lyrics.  The lyrics are a mixture of a father's love and terrific theology...makes me think of the Prodigal Son parable.  Without further ado, I give you the lyrics to George Strait's, "Love Without End, Amen."

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye.
Fightin' was against the rules and it didn't matter why.
When dad got home I told that story just like I'd rehearsed.
And then stood there on those tremblin' knees and waited for the worst.

And he said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
He said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

When I became a father in the spring of '81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father's son.
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end,
I took my daddy's secret and I passed it on to him.

And I said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us."
I said, "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen."

Last night I dreamed I died and stood outside those pearly gates.
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake.
If they know half the things I've done, they'll never let me in.
And then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again.

And They said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.
You see Daddies don't just love their children every now and then.
It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen." 

source of lyrics: http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/strait-george/love-without-end-amen-2693.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Man Known as Mr. K

     It was the last day of school in 4th grade, 1991, at Candlewood Elementary School in Rockville, Maryland.  I received my report card and I really didn't have a desire to see how I did that 4th grading period.  My desire was on the back of the report card to see who I was going to have as my 5th grade teacher that next year.  There were three to choose from (like I had a choice), but there was only one who's class I wanted to be in.  He was the coolest and most awesome teacher, and he was in charge of the patrols.  I looked at the back of my report card that day in June and it said that I was going to be in Mr. Kuykendall's class for 5th grade.  I was elated!!!
     That next year in 5th grade was one of, if not, the best years of my K-12 public education career.  There were so many things about his class that made it enjoyable to learn.  I remember one time he showed us a picture of Lou Gehrig's baseball jersey that was sold at auction.  He then asked us to guess how much the jersey sold for.  I guessed $100,000.  Another classmate guessed $150,000.  The correct answer was $125,000.  We both got a Snickers bar for being the closest.
     Today, I surprised him after school.  He had absolutely no idea that I was coming.  We talked for a bit in the library, but then he had something he had to do and then an appointment to go to, but he asked if I had dinner plans.  We had dinner at the Ruby Tuesday at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, which he frequents occasionally.  We were there for a good two and a half hours, mostly reminiscing about that year in 5th grade.  He managed to find his photo album of "Candlewood 1991-1992."  Wow.  Oh the memories.  I was actually surprised I could remember most of my classmates' names.  He was a great model for me as a man and as a teacher.