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Second American Revolution unconscionable to Founders

Remember the poem about blind men examining an elephant? They misunderstood the elephant because each examined only one part. A similar misunderstanding of history results when people quote Thomas Jefferson to justify taking up arms against the government.

Jefferson wrote: “A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

That’s only part of the story. Now here’s the rest.

In 1786, some farmers in Massachusetts engaged in an armed uprising, known as Shays’ Rebellion, to resist paying taxes. Jefferson wrote his famous words when he heard of Shays’ Rebellion. Jefferson was in France, far removed from the events. The other Founders disagreed with him, and the French Revolution altered his views later.

James Madison believed the American Revolution was a revolution to end all revolutions. The Founders believed the Constitution they were writing should end disorder and “insure domestic tranquility” by establishing law and order and providing peaceful means for the people to redress their grievances.

Samuel Adams, leader of the Sons of Liberty (who conducted the original tea party) wrote of Shays’ Rebellion, “In monarchies the crime of treason or rebellion may admit of being pardoned, or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.”

Most Founders agreed more with Madison and Adams than Jefferson. Taking up arms or rebelling against our republic was not justifiable.


Gun law lessens feeling of safety in Georgia

At least once each year, sometimes twice, we drive from Fort Wayne to Florida and back. This has always resulted in stops in Georgia for gas, food and at times, an overnight stay. No more.

This is not an economic boycott. Our paltry tourist dollars will not make or break Georgia’s economy. The issue is our safety. We feel that it is dangerous to stop in an environment where a significant portion of the population carries guns. From now on, we will make sure that we have enough gas and food to get through Georgia without stopping.

Perhaps if enough others do the same, there will be an economic effect and the Georgia electorate will come to its collective senses.


Parents, principals best at judging teachers’ skill

I applaud Thomas E. Hosier for his online letter of May 2 (“Politicians, not educators, in charge of what our students learn”). He is 100 percent correct in his evaluation of how our education system has fallen prey to government bureaucrats and big-time testing consortia.

As a member of the recent College and Career Readiness panel (English/language arts), I was both disappointed and impressed with the other members of the panel. I was disappointed because it appeared that I was the only member who took personal time to actually evaluate the drafts before we assembled for our work. However, I was impressed with everyone’s candor and contributions during the meetings. Everyone there demonstrated a genuine desire to help make the standards both useful and meaningful for Hoosier students.

Unfortunately, our work will be in vain if our statewide school administrators adopt textbooks that are rife with Common Core principles and continue to judge our teachers solely on assessment testing outcomes. Hosier has it right: school principals need to be hands on in evaluating the success of the teachers in their classrooms. The government has no business trying to control how teachers teach or how teachers are evaluated by their employers. It is crucial that parents and principals hold their children’s teachers accountable for performance in the classroom.