Citizen Watchdogs of Athens, Georgia Launch New On-Line Journal to Report on Athens Local Government
By: The Watch Dawgs
The mission of the journal is to ask questions, interview experts, speak out, and Raise a Lantern over Athens-Clarke County government operations. Stories will be published on timely issues such as supporting local Police, enabling Election Integrity, and overseeing critical public School issues.
To learn what the journal is about, read the Mission of the Watch Dawgs story on the webpage: http://watchdawgs.net/
"Independent watchdogs and critics of government are absolutely crucial to any democratic nation, state or local city/town", says Dan Baker, The Watch Dawgs' editor.. "The reason is: watchdogs fill a much-needed government oversight gap", he adds.
"Oversight of businesses is constant. Businesses are forced to be highly customer-conscious because consumers vote with their dollars every day for the products and services they want. Should a business fail to serve the public's needs, it can easily go out of business, being replaced by more value-creating competitors."
"But governments are quite different because they are neither controlled by competitive forces nor consumer buying habits", says Baker. "Governments are monopolies — for a citizen can only have one local, State, and national government. Thus, only citizen open record requests, complaints, law suits, and voting in new politicians every few years can change the course of governments."
The heritage of watchdogs is rich. According to Baker: "You could argue that the first watchdog was Diogenes, the ancient Greek philosopher who lived in Corinth and Athens, the city-state considered the cradle of democratic government."
History records a meeting between Alexander the Great and Diogenes. Alexander, who would conquer half the world, asked the philosopher if there was anything he wanted. Diogenes replied defiantly, "Yes, stand a little out of my sunshine."
"Diogenes confronted people and was courageous", says Baker. "He once told King Philip he was greedy. And he called out Athens citizens for living artificial and dishonest lives. One time he walked around in broad daylight raising a lantern in his hand and telling people, "I'm looking for an honest man".
The Mission of the Watch Dawgs story goes on to supply quotes from famous watchdogs. They include Revolutionary War Patriots, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Another is the famous newspaper pundit H. L. Mencken of the Baltimore Sun.
Also profiled and quoted in the story are present day watchdogs, including investigative author Peter Schweiser; media reporter, Sharon Attkisson; Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch; Wall Street Journal columnist, Jason L. Riley; and Georgia elections auditor Garland Favorito.
The Watch Dawgs