We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Potpourri - this & that...

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John Eyster
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Potpourri – this & that… Day-by-day I prize my early morning routine of reading through numerous resources online to gain awareness of what’s going on in our whole wide world.

After that, I end up with a LONG LIST of significant public policy issues on which I would like to post on my blog. Which one? Time to write? Which issue would YOU focus on TODAY?

I would note that I listen to the WORLD NEWS SERVICE of the British Broadcasting System via Wisconsin Public Radio (You can use this link to Wisconsin Public Radio streaming. You need to choose WPR's Ideas Network to hear the BBC from 11:30 PM-CT all night until 6 AM-CT.

Sometime during the morning, I go to the Norwegian Broadcasting’s daily news review “Dagsrevy.” This broadcast is in Norwegian, of course. It is the direct online program from the night before. I cannot post a link because it is a different URL for each broadcast. IF you want to check on current news posted online, you can use this link for “NRK” (Norsk Rikskringkasting = Norwegian Royal Broadcasting).

IF you want news directly from NORWAY, there is the ENGLISH source, “Norway News.”

Reading the American morning newspapers including the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin State Journal and, of course, The Janesville Gazette, provides me with a great deal of information and valuable perspectives. What do YOU read daily for news? Do YOU make it a point to read sources with different political perspectives?

Day-by-day, I usually have several issues/topics which I want to develop for discussion on my WE THE PEOPLE blog. Then comes the challenge. WHICH ONE? And, more challenging, do I have time to develop a post?

I always read through ALL of YOUR comments on my WE THE PEOPLE blog. I find it interesting when I read from time-to-time that someone thinks the blog ought to be a discussion between the blogger and those who post comments. ALL of the advice I have from experts on blogging is, “DO NOT DEBATE THE COMMENTS!” So, I take that advice seriously.

I am also amazed that some readers of my WE THE PEOPLE blog do NOT understand the difference between a BLOG and the healthy educational dynamics of a classroom. My BLOG was designed to articulate/discuss significant public policy issues with my personal political values. If you want to review the launching purpose of my WE THE PEOPLE blog, you can use this link to read the first WE THE PEOPLE blog post on July 2, 2009, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

The educational classroom is designed to be INTERACTIVE with attention to significant public policy issues with information, perspective and evaluation. I do NOT consider it my role as an educator to impose my political views on my students. I have the responsibility of healthy discussion with each student having FULL opportunity to share her/his views in a civil environment. I have prized the fact that my students through the years have again and again attested the healthy openness of my political science classes.

My philosophy of education informs all of my plans as I prepare to teach AP US Government & Politics teachers at the UW-Madison’s annual Advanced Placement Summer Institute. The APSI coming June 23-29, 2013 at UW-Madison will be my 18th annual.

My co-instructor is Dr. David Canon, Professor, Political Science, UW-Madison. He is co-author of the very popular textbook, “American Politics Today” for AP US Government & Politics courses in high schools and introductory American Government & Politics courses in universities. Dr. Canon and I both teach the introductory political science freshman course, “American Government & Politics” in the UW-system.

The UW-Madison’s AP Summer Institute offers workshops in the following AP courses: Biology, Calculus AB & AC, English Language, English Literature, French, Psychology, US Government and US History. The teachers with whom David & I have worked through the years along with other teacher participants in the UW-Madison’s AP Summer Institute attest to the valuable resources gained for their AP classrooms complemented by collegial discussions and networking.

Reflecting on my long list of recent significant public policy issues that I had FLAGGED to develop for my WE THE PEOPLE blog but did NOT have time to develop I note:

1 - Redistricting in WI – really competitive districts – let the PEOPLE choose their representatives rather than the representatives choosing their voters. Need for reform – Iowa model?

2 – Affordable Health Care Act – implementation, expansion of Medicaid in WI and throughout the states, funding.

3 – Guns in 2013 in the US and throughout the world – Right to “bear arms” (meaning of 2nd Amendment), Semi & Automatic guns, ammunition.

4 – Equality throughout our American society, including racial, gender, age, sexual orientation.

5 – WI Supreme Court – elected or appointed w/Senate confirmation? Dysfunctional WI Supreme Court?

Which significant public policy issues would YOU put on the list? I promise to be reading YOUR comments. As time allows, I look forward to writing posts for my WE THE PEOPLE blog and reading your comments.

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:24 am Monday, April 29, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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