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Summer Anniversary 2000

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UNSAFE AT ANY HOUR - Robert Meyerowitz & David Holthouse ANCHORAGE PRESS Editorial (click photo for enlargement)
OUR NATION BASED ON A PREMISE - David Stancliff Alaska
THE MILL IS FALLING... - Dale Luther

By David Stancliff

May 29,2000

It is easy to believe, if one watches Jay Leno, that many present day Americans do not know the difference between the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, or where the famous tea party was held. When Jay goes to the street to show how shallow today's young people are, it is more than sad, it is alarming. The audience laughs at the ignorance, but there is nothing funny about it. He asks the most basic questions to the most basic issues and is often greeted with blank faces and absurd answers. While there may be many opinions as to why we have lost touch with our country's history, there can be only one ultimate result if the disconnect continues. When history dies so do its lessons. Lincoln understood the need to keep history alive.

When honest Abe gave his famous address from Gettysburg it was greeted by most as disappointing. A press, hungry for long dissertation, chided his remarks as nearly an insult when compared to Mr. Everette who spoke unbroken for one and one half hours just before Lincoln. Later Everette would contact Lincoln and admit that the president had left a more powerful message in his few moments than Everette could ever hope to leave in his life of speaking.

In what is now considered the most gifted speeches ever delivered in the English language, historians and grammarians spend countless hours debating the various merits of the Gettysburg text. How many versions were there? Which did he read? Did he read it verbatim etc. What many including myself marvel at the miracle of understanding Lincoln so eloquently conveyed about our freedom and our nation.

We are the only nation ever conceived not on a principle or practical notion, but on a proposition; that being "that all men are created equal". Think about that for a moment. A nation founded on an idea. A true experiment in the exploration of faith in God and the understanding that all his children are equal in his sight. When Lincoln wrote his famous House Divided analogy to preserve the Union, he took the words straight from the New Testament. Lincoln understood the importance of a Union based on a Godly premise. He knew if we were to long endure we must be consistent with eternal principles. Freedom as a reason for a government had never been attempted. It was nothing more or less than a premise and ours would be the first test of such a high and noble idea in the history of the world.

It is also interesting to note that Lincoln predicated freedom upon equality. That the on-going test this nation or any nation so dedicated and so conceived will face would be to respect our equality. Slavery had mightily confirmed this to Lincoln. In that institution based on inequality, he saw no hope for freedom. Additionally he saw no chance for slaves to have what he considered a God given right in both civil and commerce opportunities. Lincoln understood the importance of a person's right to claim their personal sovereignty, and the absolute right to provide for one's self and family as thge right to life itself. In this understanding he had never wavered from a young man to his death.

We must ask ourselves as Lincoln challenged in his address if we are failing the test in upholding the proposition of freedom. We must ask ourselves, if the average young American is not taught and has yet to understand that their freedom bought with blood is literally in their hands, whether we shall much longer endure. Humans are consistent in many behaviors, not the least of which is failing to preserve what they do not understand. If we are to preserve our great experiment in the premise and promise of freedom we must turn our attention and energies to our schools. It is there we must keep eternal our efforts to make freedom live in the minds of our young. It is there we the living must continue the work Lincoln outlined in his address. We must keep the proposition alive not as a gift from men but as a gift from man's creator.

Dave Stancliff biography:
--Proud father of four Alaskans
--A legislative assistant since 1981
--27 year Alaska Resident
--9th generation American
--7 family members fought in Revolution, one with Washington at Brooklyn Heights
--4 family members fought in Civil War, one died in Andersonville
--Numerous family vets in WW I and II


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Michael O'Callaghan & Lydia Darby
May 25, 2000


(Editor's Note: Mike O'Callaghan has been active in Anchorage for almost 2 decades in giving away free food to the poor from his home as well as starting the Free Bike program (in exchange for someone's ID or driver's license as temporary rental) for commuters in downtown Anchorage and was a candidate for Mayor. His group, Earth, annually sponsors a free fish giveaway of the surplus salmon from the fish hatcheries of Prince William Sound. He had also successfully challenged the Republican Party's previous Closed Primary Ballot voting to the Alaska Supreme Court which resulted in Alaska's current Open Primary Ballot voting procedures. Mike was also instrumental in circulating petitions to stop the sale of gasoline with the additive MTBE (that increases respiratory problems as well as polluting nearby ground water from the fallout from car exhausts) in Alaska years ago also. Now the local health department closed his private sector food give-away while trespassing on his property & without a search warrant. Below is his appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court. ---Freedom Writer, Editor).


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Dale Luther

Copyright ©2000 Dale Luther; All Rights Reserved.

Dale Luther is a freelance editorial cartoonist who is published in the Alaska Journal of Commerce and has also been published in Alaska Business Monthly and the Anchorage Daily News.


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