by John Hoff
JNS blog readers, who are an attentive bunch and seem to spot little technical changes, may have noticed a new "favicon" today.
The "favicon" is a little symbol which pops up next to the URL when you type in the web address (URL) of this blog. Since 2008 when I started this blog, the favicon has been a simple orange Blogspot symbol, which is the default setting.
Recently, however, I figured out how to change the favicon and I started looking around for symbols. For a couple of days around Christmas, I used a different symbol. Then I found out the symbol was already in use by a major website, so I dropped it and found a standard and available "American flag" favicon. The change doesn't happen immediately and took a couple days to "stick."
The American flag stands for all kinds of things, but as a favicon on this blog it primarily stands for...
FREEDOM OF SPEECH. And the right to live quality lives free of daily fear, a right which the decent people in my neighborhood have to fight for every day with help from our police and public officials. But it was Thomas Jefferson who said...
...the right to free speech was the most important, because by that one right all the other rights could be gained.
In my neighborhood we are using social media to talk about our issues; to publicize and organize. In fact, it seems like more of us are using more social media every day, and it's WORKING. Only the other day a participant in the North Vent Facebook forum was involved in catching a truck dumping off a load of worn out tires; photographing the incident and summoning police. Police reportedly caught the truck driver.
It was only a small victory, but it was one of many small victories piling up every day in the struggle to revitalize North Minneapolis (NoMi). Swiftly, this small victory was shared with other North Vent forum participants, who became as "fired up" as the mythical Springfield Tire Fire.
We have a long way to go in our neighborhood. Years, at least, and decades unless my calculations are incorrect. But we will fight to live like Americans in my neighborhood, not residents of a Third World country who have to fear wandering packs of armed militia in the streets, murderously angry over god-knows-what. We will use free speech to turn our neighborhood around.
THAT is why JNS blog now has an American Flag favicon.