Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty
The 4th of July 2009 – is the 233rd anniversary for our Declaration of Independence and I am privileged to launch this “WE THE PEOPLE” blog as a “community blog” with The Janesville Gazette website.
“WE THE PEOPLE” is the identity for this blog because it is the key principle for our republic. That principle was put into ALL CAPS BOLDFACE by Abraham Lincoln as he concluded his Gettysburg Address, “that government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and for the PEOPLE shall not perish from the earth.”
What have you pledged to support the “WE THE PEOPLE” principle? Have you joined the signers of our Declaration of Independence in 1776, “…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”?!
Are you an informed and involved citizen of our republic who not only talks about, but WALKS the talk, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”?!
My motivation in accepting the Gazette’s invitation to experiment with a “community blog” is based on my long-time mission for democracy/civics education. That mission included the development and maintenance of the WASHINGTON SEMINAR with the week-long field study in Washington, DC which started at Parker High School, Janesville in 1973. The goal of Seminar was to provide young citizens with an in-depth, hands-on education for informed and involved citizenship in our republic. NOTE: Every reader of this blog ought to be aware that a person becomes a citizen of the United States when born in the US. This means that our children are US citizens and have numerous rights and responsibilities as US citizens. Yes, even elementary school children. We ought to be empowering them as US citizens!
There is provision for COMMENTS on this blog online. I do hope that you will make comments with candor and civility so that this becomes a DIALOG rather than a monologue/lecture. Please. Thank you!
I have been told I need to explain my ALL CAPS style in writing. I do NOT follow or accept the usual & customary Internet protocol that ALL CAPS means one is YELLING/SCREAMING. Rather, I find that ALL CAPS are needed to provide the modulation of communication which is natural in my articulation when speaking. One must modulate one’s voice for effective oral communication. Why not for effective written communication? When I use ALL CAPS,it is for EMPHASIS. This has long been my writing style, even before the Internet when I was writing using a typewriter in the last century. HA! I have appreciated Frank Schultz’s sense of humor when he with his Gazette colleagues wrote a very funny column about quirky behaviors/situations throughout the Janesville area. I felt privileged that Frank asked, “What would happen if the shift key on John Eyster’s typewriter broke?” My students laughed! I had been immediately identified with appreciation. THANK YOU, FRANK SCHULTZ!
I shall be writing on this blog as time allows and as I have issues/topics for discussion. If you have suggestions, I welcome reading them on the comments complementing this blog online.
Best wishes to you all – each and every one – for a MEANINGFUL and enjoyable 4th of July 2009!
John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Whitewater and an advocate for Project Citizen, a model curriculum for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.