I am currently bringing this report to you from my old college, which I am greatly surprised to see still stands, in a city restored to look very much like the colonial days of my youth. There is even a computer lab here, so students can use the enternet & do computations of all manner of good work of math & science. I did visit a greatly restored & furthermore developed Sir Christopher Wren building, the Brafferton Indian school, and even the old President's house, buildings that were there even back in my day. I also saw a pair of memorial cannons, clearly marked with the sign of King George, flanking the yard, memorializing the great battle of Yorktown. The great majority of the remainder of the buildings are new & marvelous, modern, and the campus is thriving. Daniel came along with me and Ludwig, as Ludwig thought we may need all the help we can get.
Ludwig: Well, perhaps your hunch was wrong herr Thomas, I see little around here that would suggest my friend's presence. In fact, the only thing of note I have seen here, was that one statue of an old president, which I swore was in your spitting image.
Me: Well, I do believe the clue Julius sent was intended to point us here. Perhaps we can find him here, and assure his safety.
Daniel: This is boring. You do realize I passed up Halo 2 and the Super Bowl to come all the way out here to Virginia?
Me: Daniel, this is important, it may help resolve the investigations against all of us.
Daniel: Tommy-boy, doesn't Ludwig here know... ?
Ludwig: Know what?
Daniel: That Tom here is...
Me: No! Nevermind, it's of no consequence.
Ludwig: No consequence, you say? This is my friend and companion we are talking about. Is his safety "no consequence"? If you know something you are still holding back, I need to know now.
Me: My concerns too are with your friend, let us find Julius and then I can explain the situation in more detail.
College Student: Excuse me, guys? This man over there wanted me to hand this note to you. He gave me $100 to make the delivery, so I guess it's important.
Ludwig: It must be from Julius, let me see this.
When we looked back to where the boy said he met the mysterious man, we found no one there. I include a copy of the note received,
I am sorry I could not see you today to ensure you of my safety, but I must flee if not only for my own safety, but for yours. This was the only place of historical significance that I believe could point you out to the right direction. Please destroy this note when you are finished reading it.
I am currently being stalked, for reasons that I do not have enough time to explain, but it is not by the FBI, this much I am sure of... there is an agenda at work that I must help stop. Yes, I did set the time machine to be used, but someone else changed it's settings to alter history in another way. How it was changed, it's hard to say, as the EMP of the machine's discharge erased all stored information about the time machine's use on resident machines. All I can tell you is that I tracked down the historical significance of whatever was changed, and it was relevant to a man known as St. George Tucker. You should be able to learn more about him here, at William & Mary, the college he went to back in 1772. Please investigate further. I will watch from afar, and send notes to you with more details as I can safely relay.
P.S. (here includes a string of characters I cannot properly do justice by typing, perhaps this is yet another clue)
The name was familiar to me, so I spoke up.
Me: I am afraid that I again have information that could be of use. I know the name of St. George Tucker.
Ludwig: Great, more information at the sole discretion of Thomas' sensibilities. What does it mean?
Me: I know of a fraternal organization, that exists at this very college, called the FHC Society. I don't know if it's still around, but I did follow it's membership, and I recognize his name from early membership roles. He was something of a man of parts. I don't understand why his name is important to what happened to the time machine, though.
Ludwig: Perhaps he plays an unknown importance to world history? Maybe this is what the time machine was set to change? Plus, this string of characters here at the end of the note... it looks like another cypher. Perhaps another clue? Let's tear off the bottom of this letter and destroy the rest, I can only decipher something like this at home, it's too complex to do here.
Daniel: I don't think this has as much to do with the actually time travelling, but...
Me: I will explain what I know more Ludwig, once we have solved this mystery. If there really is a time crisis, because of something in the past having been changed, we need to learn more about this man St. George Tucker before we can fully figure it out.
As we were still on the college campus, we overheard a gathering in protest to the President's latest State of the Union address. I did not get the opportunity to see this broadcast on the television networks, so I was interested in what the commotion was about.
Me: So excuse me, this is a protest of the President's recent State of the Union speech? What did he say that you object to?
Student: He wants to privatize Social Security, and cut benefits so his greedy corporate interests can profit at the expense of senior citizens.
Me: Well, am not too familiar with the program, please describe it to me.
Student: How can you not be familiar with the program? It's Social Security. The government pays you to retire. And these Republicans and Bush want to stop it.
Me: The government pays pensions to retire? For everyone, all American citizens, or just the regular Congressional staff?
Student: Well, everyone, of course.
Me: And how is this paid for?
Student: The payroll tax, it comes out of your paycheck. You should be able to see it on your check stub. It's weird to hear about someone who don't know how Social Security works. You have a Social Security card, right?
Me: I'm sorry, I have recently moved here, so I do not.
Student: Oh, a foreigner, sorry, my mistake. Anyways, yeah. Bush wants to take our Social Security away! He says it's a problem, because the government taxes money and gives it straight to the elderly, but I don't see a problem. The system could operate the way it does now until 2042 and not need to change.
Me: Well I do perceive at least one problem, doesn't the Constitution prevent the government from paying retirement money to the general public? It does seem like an odd scheme, definitely not one that Congress was meant to ever do.
Student: What are you, some kind of conservative? Where in the Constitution does it say the government CAN'T do it?
Me: Well, it does miss the point of the Constitution to ask such a question, but there are the ninth and tenth amendments that prevent the Federal government from doing anything outside it's specified tasks, and paying retirement aid is not one of those tasks...
Student: But it's for the greater good, that's all that matters.
Me: Perhaps, but are there not other plans to support the elders? What about their families? And what of those who have no elders? Are they asked to pay to support elders who are not their own?
Student: Are you saying you don't like old people? What would you rather have, them working minimum wage jobs in the corporate empire?
Me: I'm sure many of them have families who...
Student: What about those without families? That's no guarantee!
Me: Well surely they could save their money instead of having it taken from them...
Student: What are you, some kind of money-hoarding, greedy Republican? Get out of here!
Me: But I...
Student: You would let seniors become homeless and work in McDonalds if it'd save you a buck. I hope you grow old someday and have to support yourself without any help! You make me sick!
Having found what we had come to look for, we decided to we should go home where we can learn more about these clues. Daniel demanded to pick up some liquor and go visit the rest of the colonial Williamsburg, which I see is restored in excellent conditions, so we agreed to do this while I mulled over the mystery. I found the house of one of my law professors, George Wythe, an excellent teacher and my earliest and best friend. The man hosted the headquarters for the war with Sir Washington, until the siege of Yorktown. He was part of the state's delegation at the second Continental Congress when we drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence. I suggested we take a moment to take a break there, while we mulled over the clues that lay before us. It was daytime, and a tour guide came through with a group of tourists, namely children,
Guide: And this is the home of Sir George Wythe, lawyer and teacher of law at William & Mary. He was important during the Revolution and taught many important Americans, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall and St. George Tucker...
Guide: Continuing around this corner here, we can get to the important and fun hands-on activities, basket-making and weaving back from colonial days... and, uh, ice cream!
Child: Ice cream, yay!
Sometimes I wonder where the world's priorities lay. This computer lab is my last stop before returning home. Sincerely yours, your friend & humble servnt.,
- TH. Jefferson
Well, much of the history here I have already discussed. Why not explore colonial Williamsburg yourself? Just visit www.colonialwilliamsburg.com and click the "Tour the Town" link, to explore the old sites yourself. Find all the buildings Daniel, TeeJ and Ludwig got to see.
As for today's subtopic, Social Security, for anyone wanting to learn more about this often misunderstood, prominent government program, visit the 'NAM where I have written an article on the subject of Debunking the Myths behind Social Security.