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Friday, March 1, 2024

April Editor’s Notes


Above / The “lock” in “Lock it or Lose it” conjures up the name of English philosopher John Locke and educational outreach that helps protect freedom.

In 2016, the Naperville Police Department launched its “Lock It or Lose It” public safety campaign. The initiative reminds residents that burglary to motor vehicles is a common, preventable crime in Naperville, occurring whenever someone unlawfully enters a vehicle to commit a theft. Reminders help. Locking car doors as well as house doors protect the entire community.

Soon after, we began using the “Lock It or Lose It” graphic for PN’s online posts as well as under the monthly column, “Safer Naper.” And every time, we thought of John Locke, the influential 17th century English philosopher who lived from 1632 to 1704, known for his thoughts on protecting natural rights, later embraced by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

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We imagined, “Locke it or Lose it.”

We recalled that our daughter who’d majored in political science and history in college went on to take a course in graduate school where she wrote a paper about Locke’s work, “Two Treaties of Government.”

Our son who’d interned during college at the CATO Institute, an independent nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., often is quick to shine a light on the wisdom of John Locke.

And I go way, way back to the late 1960s when my political science professor, Dr. Lowry, performed memorable antics from his desk top during entertaining lectures, teaching the influences of Locke on the supreme laws in the United States.

Locke and other natural rights philosophers thought the purpose of government is to protect natural rights. Locke’s writings focused on such subjects as educational reform, freedom of the press and religious tolerance.

Follower Thomas Jefferson agreed and on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence argued that the protection of rights is the main purpose of government. And if you were paying attention in civics class, you may recall the Constitution was drafted by James Madison, initiated in September 1787, and officially adopted by June 21, 1788. The new government officially began on March 4, 1789.

Then in 1791, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was adopted protecting the civil rights of speech, religion, press and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to petition the government. That amendment along with nine other amendments became known as the Bill of Rights.

And as we write and look up dates, we’re reminded that nothing gets in the way of a good story more than lots of dates and numbers!

At a time when great books are on the minds of many, this forward-focused publication values freedom, world history and First Amendment rights more than ever.

When time permits, here’s hoping you’ll dedicate some time for thought as well as finding value, love and respect for John Locke’s works and his views on civilized society.

‘Silly Season’ aka Consolidated Election

This Silly Season (A type of election with references dating back to 1861) and some important family matters have been poignant reminders that friends, free time, self-improvement and walks with nature are keys to happiness and safety. By aiming to live with integrity, resilience and faith, focused on ideas of justice and empathy; peace of mind becomes a natural side effect. And perhaps PN can do a better job promoting what’s most important for our blessed community to thrive.

Last month a longtime reader reminded us of his recent discovery of economist Thomas Sowell. The reader’s enlightenment brought back memories of spending the 2016 Christmas holidays with my dad in Muncie, Ind., and the day columnist Thomas Sowell announced in the Muncie Star/Press that his syndicated column that day was his last.

My dad had been a devoted fan of Thomas Sowell with a collection of his books that are now on my bookshelf. If you’re unfamiliar with Sowell, check out www.tsowell.com and what seem like a gazillion other posts online that display Sowell’s brilliance and self-reliance.

More than ever, our community needs common sense, reason and reminders of the challenges that continually unite us.

Thanks for reading. Celebrate safely. Cheers to sunny days and springtime.

–Stephanie Penick, PN Publisher

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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