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Thread: Reboot

  1. #26
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Clearly I'm passionate about political action. For the record, I have been since I was a teenager in the 60s (dang I hate thinking about how old I am). I'm also passionate about promoting critical thinking and an evidence based world. Lastly, I have never seen a better run forum than this one.

    I would like to be able to address the crazy that Trump looks to be implementing. But I don't see the benefit of just bitching about it. I think the framework of the reintroduction of this sub-forum looks very promising. I hope to make a positive contribution and worry I might make extra work for the mods because of my passion. I apologize in advance and think the framework for the forum is exactly what we need.

  2. #27
    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    I kind of like the idea of splitting the forum into separate sections, one for politics, one for current events. Sometimes they overlap, but there are a lot of interesting things going on in the world that have little or nothing to do with politics. We might even get a lot more folks contributing who are interested in the happenings in the world at large but not so much in the sometimes rancorous and depressing area of our national politics.

    And for some of us, national politics is of not only prime interest, but prime importance. It can, after all, affect every aspect of our lives.

    I also think it's wise to remember but not every post has to have a deep meaning and critical assessment of a situation. There are things going on both in politics and elsewhere that are simply interesting. Sometimes we come across little bits and want to share them for no other reason but to tell our friends "Hey, would you look at this? Isn't this interesting?"
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  3. #28
    please distract me mccardey's Avatar
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    More than anything I valued the old room for the effort people usually made to follow a clear framework of civil discourse. When that was working, it meant we could have time to hear a different point of view without shouting it down or taking sides - which was both enlightening and empowering. That was the factor that let people - not just me, lots of people - entertain ideas from other viewpoints, without feeling threatened by the newness of them.

    At its best it was one of the most effective learning tools I've come across in my adult life. At its worst, the waste of opportunity was infuriating.

    I'd like very much if we could keep those concepts of civil discourse alive - the cite-your-sources, no strawmen, no-goalpost-shifting, assume-good-intentions guidelines. It's going to be harder and harder to play with ideas in IRL for a while - it would be nice to be able to do it safely here.
    Last edited by mccardey; 11-14-2016 at 01:30 PM.

  4. #29
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugcat View Post
    I kind of like the idea of splitting the forum into separate sections, one for politics, one for current events. Sometimes they overlap, but there are a lot of interesting things going on in the world that have little or nothing to do with politics.
    This doesn't sound like a bad idea to me either. Not everything happening in the world has strong political, or at least not partisan political, implications.

    We might even get a lot more folks contributing who are interested in the happenings in the world at large but not so much in the sometimes rancorous and depressing area of our national politics.
    This might be true too. Some people are very intimidated by discussions that are likely to become highly emotional debates, but they still take an interest in things happening in the world.
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  5. #30
    please distract me mccardey's Avatar
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    Politics in countries other than America would also be highly valuable, I think. Both for the intersections and for the disjuncts - and also, just for information and connection.
    Last edited by mccardey; 11-14-2016 at 01:49 PM.

  6. #31
    Are you one, Herbert? Prozyan's Avatar
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    I expressed disappointment (admittedly probably fairly poorly) with the announcement this place would be closing. According to some of the rep comments I got, I guess I need a higher post count to express such an opinion and people like me were the reason the room was closing. Interesting opinions since I comment on something maybe once a month and I don't think I've ever been very incidiary in my remarks.

    But even though my post count isn't much higher than it was when I last posted (exactly one more in fact) I will express my joy that this place will remain open. I do so for the same reason I was disappointed it was closing - I feel this place has great value in the sharing of ideas, opposing views, and world events and politics. Of course things get heated, arguments occur, and as has been explained, this place is a huge pain in the ass to manage. But it still has great value.

    I wish I could say I'd be more involved, but that's just not me. I prefer to listen to what others have to say, whether their opinion aligns with mine or not. I don't speak a lot in person, so I tend not to post a lot online.

    In short, I just want to tell Mac and Lisa....Thank you.
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  7. #32
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Although I didn't post often in P&CE, I did read it fairly often and learned a lot from it. I'm glad some form of it is being trialed again. Many of the points discussed are excellent, such as discussion of solutions, international issues, and separate subfora for current events and politics. It's not likely that I'd be a regular poster in the new ACE&H room (I like how that sounds: Ace and H), but I would read it.
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  8. #33
    Here's a question: I've been in the QUILTBAG forum lately, and there have been a lot of links to concrete things you can do to help. Like charities to donate to, scripts for how to talk to people who don't agree with you, where the safe spaces are, etc. Would it be a good idea to add some of those links here, or should they stay in their existing sub-forums?
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  9. #34
    All about that action, boss. ElaineA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    Here's a question: I've been in the QUILTBAG forum lately, and there have been a lot of links to concrete things you can do to help. Like charities to donate to, scripts for how to talk to people who don't agree with you, where the safe spaces are, etc. Would it be a good idea to add some of those links here, or should they stay in their existing sub-forums?
    I thought the same. I poke my head into QUILTBAG occasionally when I'm confronted with the need to listen and learn, but it's not a regular forum for me. It would be good to have those links in more than one place so people who might not haunt one forum will see them elsewhere. It's a treasure trove in there right now.

  10. #35
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    Here's a question: I've been in the QUILTBAG forum lately, and there have been a lot of links to concrete things you can do to help. Like charities to donate to, scripts for how to talk to people who don't agree with you, where the safe spaces are, etc. Would it be a good idea to add some of those links here, or should they stay in their existing sub-forums?
    See this.

  11. #36
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    Here's a question: I've been in the QUILTBAG forum lately, and there have been a lot of links to concrete things you can do to help. Like charities to donate to, scripts for how to talk to people who don't agree with you, where the safe spaces are, etc. Would it be a good idea to add some of those links here, or should they stay in their existing sub-forums?
    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineA View Post
    I thought the same. I poke my head into QUILTBAG occasionally when I'm confronted with the need to listen and learn, but it's not a regular forum for me. It would be good to have those links in more than one place so people who might not haunt one forum will see them elsewhere. It's a treasure trove in there right now.
    Yep. Those are the resources Lisa mentioned here:

    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    People have been helping collect resources, so I'll start posting them tomorrow.
    Look, I could be talking out of my hat and, if so, Mac or Lisa will be right along to set that aright. So. So, what I'm gleaning from Mac's posts is that she wants the level of discourse to change and to elevate. It's not what we talk about here but how we talk about it. We need to talk about what is happening in our neighborhoods, cities, states, all the way up to global. But the old games of one-upmanship are right out. Bitching an moaning never solved anything and trying to prove how much smarter we are than everyone else in the room is poor useless rhetoric. We discuss the issues and what we can do and what we are doing about them. We celebrate the positive things we're seeing and we mine each other for ideas for addressing those issues in positive ways. We don't play the blame game. We roll up our sleeves and try to figure out where we can fix the broken places in our societies.

    And we help each other get through this.
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  12. #37
    New kid...seven years ago! DancingMaenid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAllister View Post
    You don't have to say you donated. You can totally just say, "hey, look at this local thing happening! Here's a link to what they're trying to do, and how they're trying to do it, and why it's happening, and how much money they need" and you cite your sources and you discuss the whole funding mess and you talk about your own passion for animals.
    One reservation I have is that focusing on activism and positive action kind of requires a focus on local events. Personally, I'm not really comfortable talking much about the specific place I'm from on here. It's not a carefully-guarded secret, and I'm sure observant people could pin down the state and general area I live in, but I'm not going to be posting links to local stories as a rule because I am cautious about being identifiable to people who might know me in real life. It's not a huge deal; I'm just kind of private.

    Also, while I get the reasoning behind wanting to discourage long circular arguments that don't go anywhere (I don't really think it's productive to spend fifteen ages arguing about gun control, either), one of the things I like about this forum is that we can just talk sometimes without there having to be a call to action. Not all topics need to inspire activism. Sometimes it's just interesting to talk about current events, or commiserate over the death of a historical figure or something.

    I'm glad this forum is open again and I hope it stays open. And I don't object to having a little more focus on action and resources. But ultimately, I come here more to have interesting conversations or offer/get support when something sad happens than to be an activist. I decided to take a little break from Facebook yesterday because I'm seeing nothing but resources and calls to activism, and while it's great and I want to be involved, I can't focus on that constantly.
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  13. #38
    I should be writing. Alpha Echo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
    One reservation I have is that focusing on activism and positive action kind of requires a focus on local events. Personally, I'm not really comfortable talking much about the specific place I'm from on here. It's not a carefully-guarded secret, and I'm sure observant people could pin down the state and general area I live in, but I'm not going to be posting links to local stories as a rule because I am cautious about being identifiable to people who might know me in real life. It's not a huge deal; I'm just kind of private.

    Also, while I get the reasoning behind wanting to discourage long circular arguments that don't go anywhere (I don't really think it's productive to spend fifteen ages arguing about gun control, either), one of the things I like about this forum is that we can just talk sometimes without there having to be a call to action. Not all topics need to inspire activism. Sometimes it's just interesting to talk about current events, or commiserate over the death of a historical figure or something.

    I'm glad this forum is open again and I hope it stays open. And I don't object to having a little more focus on action and resources. But ultimately, I come here more to have interesting conversations or offer/get support when something sad happens than to be an activist. I decided to take a little break from Facebook yesterday because I'm seeing nothing but resources and calls to activism, and while it's great and I want to be involved, I can't focus on that constantly.
    This, especially the bolded.

    I happened to stop by just in case PC&E was back, and I'm glad it is. No matter what form it takes.
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  14. #39
    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
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    Thank you for re-opening it. I feel the need to have relevant discussions, which just isn't possible anywhere else I go.

    At work, I risk alienating people I need to face daily.
    On FB, it's all personal.
    Twitter is a cesspool and I can't fully express myself in 140 characters.

    I can't be the only one who really needed this place.

    I've always tried to keep it civil, though sometimes my emotions get the best of me. I'll do my best to keep that in check and stick to the actual things I'm doing and supporting.
    -- Myrea
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  15. #40
    Back at it again. Teinz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myrealana View Post

    I can't be the only one who really needed this place.
    You are not. I felt lost, too, in these past few days. Something I did not expect, but it happened anyway.

    The previous posts made me think of a tile, my grandmother had, in her bathroom. It said:" If you have nothing to do, please do not do it here." For me, that is akin to something Williebee is fond of saying. "Add light, not heat."

    Together, those principles ought to take this room a long way.
    We dance round in a ring and suppose,
    but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

    -Robert Frost-

  16. #41
    the original blond bombshell MaryMumsy's Avatar
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    I, too, am glad this room is back. I loved being able to see interesting articles from around the US and the world.

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  17. #42
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    I know I found myself spending a lot of time reading in P&CE during the election season, even though I don't think I've posted much of anything on the election directly (I'm not American, though I care about what happens to America). I learned a lot, and found a lot of sources I wouldn't usually have come across because AW has, I suspect, a much wider base than my curated social media feeds.

    So I appreciate that, and I appreciate the moderating effort that goes into keeping it both useful and broad. I was prepared to accept it being too much trouble, but I'm also glad there's a space for discussion. The critical thinking is really important, not just the banter, some of which was funny but quite a bit of which wasn't. I don't post much because I don't map neatly onto any political spectrum and I tend to be cool on direct activism. I still think it's really important to try and be more informed, though, because the best way to understand why various ideologies exist and why events happen is to listen to the people involved in them. And if nothing else, reading here helps with the writing.

    So thanks for that, and to Mac and Lisa for sticking to the ideal of this room.

  18. #43
    Pie aren't squared, pie are round! Introversion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacAllister View Post
    And Rob, Don, Cassandra, and Haskins? If you wanna write me a "fuck you" PM? You get a freebie...
    Can "F.Y. PM" credits be bought & sold on an exchange? Solid free-market opportunities here... Let the debate about appropriate regulations of it, begin...

    Just wanted to say thanks for re-opening this part of the forums, in whatever form it must/will take. I'm honestly not sure WTF to do about the big political picture, but I'll continue to donate to local food banks, heating banks (winter is coming), Planned Parenthood, etc. It may not be "enough", but it needs doing, and I can do it.

  19. #44
    figuring it all out
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    Hello everyone!

    I'm really new here, but I just wanted to chime in to say that I'm intrigued and encouraged by the prospect of a writer's forum which includes political discussion.

    Political discussion can get very heated and emotional, even among rational people. In order to deal with this, I've seen other sites which I've been a part of create a forum dedicated to politics; political discussion was then disallowed in all other forums on the site. Overall, it worked out fairly well because everyone who entered that particular forum did so with a grain of salt and they knew what to expect (there were all kinds of warnings upon entering the forum). The only real rule was: no personal attacks.

    For me personally, the emotions behind the issues are just as important--if not more so--than the facts and figures that support each political argument. We have literally millions of differing ideas and opinions, and yet we are asked to effectively choose between two candidates when we vote (at least here in the US). The emotional and rational calculus that must occur within each and every one of us in order to make that decision is completely insane! What a ripe area of exploration for writers!

    So I personally welcome any platform for sharing our feelings and experiences on these matters, even if they get "heated". I want to hear what others believe, even when it is different from what I believe. No, especially when it is different from what I believe!

    Anyhow, I look forward to participating in some fruitful political discussion here in the future. I just wanted to add my suggestion since I've seen this problem successfully addressed before. I think the mods of this forum have good intentions, so something should work out!

    -tt

  20. #45
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    Politics in countries other than America would also be highly valuable, I think.
    Seconding this. I don't post in this room much at all but I read a lot of it, and it would be good for those of us outside the US to have somewhere to talk about more local issues.

    --

    Edit: didn't phrase that very well...
    Last edited by PeteMC; 11-15-2016 at 01:06 AM.
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  21. #46
    This change (from P&CE to ACE&H, that is) made me happy.
    Last edited by SomethingOrOther; 11-15-2016 at 01:07 AM.

  22. #47
    Keep Calm & Love a Black Woman nighttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari Meermans View Post
    Look, I could be talking out of my hat and, if so, Mac or Lisa will be right along to set that aright. So. So, what I'm gleaning from Mac's posts is that she wants the level of discourse to change and to elevate. It's not what we talk about here but how we talk about it. We need to talk about what is happening in our neighborhoods, cities, states, all the way up to global. But the old games of one-upmanship are right out. Bitching an moaning never solved anything and trying to prove how much smarter we are than everyone else in the room is poor useless rhetoric. We discuss the issues and what we can do and what we are doing about them. We celebrate the positive things we're seeing and we mine each other for ideas for addressing those issues in positive ways. We don't play the blame game. We roll up our sleeves and try to figure out where we can fix the broken places in our societies.

    And we help each other get through this.
    Quote Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
    One reservation I have is that focusing on activism and positive action kind of requires a focus on local events. Personally, I'm not really comfortable talking much about the specific place I'm from on here. It's not a carefully-guarded secret, and I'm sure observant people could pin down the state and general area I live in, but I'm not going to be posting links to local stories as a rule because I am cautious about being identifiable to people who might know me in real life. It's not a huge deal; I'm just kind of private.

    Also, while I get the reasoning behind wanting to discourage long circular arguments that don't go anywhere (I don't really think it's productive to spend fifteen ages arguing about gun control, either), one of the things I like about this forum is that we can just talk sometimes without there having to be a call to action. Not all topics need to inspire activism. Sometimes it's just interesting to talk about current events, or commiserate over the death of a historical figure or something.

    I'm glad this forum is open again and I hope it stays open. And I don't object to having a little more focus on action and resources. But ultimately, I come here more to have interesting conversations or offer/get support when something sad happens than to be an activist. I decided to take a little break from Facebook yesterday because I'm seeing nothing but resources and calls to activism, and while it's great and I want to be involved, I can't focus on that constantly.
    Nor can I, and I'm as big a politics junkie as there is. Yet even I cannot ponder this, obsess over this, focus exclusively on this, and basically marinade in this to the point of losing my happy state of mind and flipping the freak out is not an option.

    The hopes of one politician died last Tuesday and some of us aren't too thrilled about it while others absolutely are. Well then, boo-hoo and have a good ugly-cry, but finish up and let's move on.
    We are about to enter a frightening new era for vulnerable people in America. Most of them cannot take a few days off to process what has just happened. Which is why those of us who donít belong to the most vulnerable groups have a greater responsibility to start building that more ďinclusive and bigheartedĒ America right now. Iím sorry to inform you that we cannot take much time off.

    This is especially true for white people who worried about a possible Trump presidency but didnít do much to prevent it and are now devastated by the result. If you obsessively checked Facebook and FiveThirtyEight but didnít phone-bank, didnít write personal letters to Trump-leaning relatives, didnít drive people to the polls, didnít donate, didnít make sure that every single one of your friends was registered Ö I wish youíd done things differently. But we canít go back and redo the election. We can, however, start putting in some good work right now.


    You can become an abortion-clinic escort. You can show up to a Movement for Black Lives event. You can actually start paying attention to your local and state government. You can volunteer with an after-school tutoring program. You can become a consistent donor to an organization thatís been doing social-change work for a long time ó long before you despaired about these election results and decided to really get serious about improving the country. Use the buddy system and recruit three despondent friends to do one or two of these things with you. And then actually do them.


    Youíll know that you are taking meaningful action when you start feeling uncomfortable. When you are nervous and a little scared. When youíre working with people who donít look like you, or who have had very different experiences in this world. When you donít have a tangible, immediate goal like ďwinning an election.Ē Because the hard work of making change in America is very different from electing a president. Elections have endpoints. Social progress does not.
    Whether you're in grief or in celebration, whether you see blue skies or a dark tunnel immediately ahead, whether you see a bad moon rising or happy days are here again, we've all got work to do whether we're for it or against it. You get a little time off to process and heal up. Then get your ass to work once you've decided what you're working for.

    Nobody can do everything but everybody can do something.

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW View Post
    A couple of friends forwarded me this thread.

    I left AW a month ago, including the cabaret and the poetry forum, even though I love and respect a great many members here. I've been on to check PMs, and that's about it. I didn't flounce -- both because it isn't my style and because I have a deep respect and liking for a great many mods here and didn't want to let them down -- so it mostly passed unnoticed.

    But since my name has been dropped here, I may as well say -- I'm done. I've been done. I won't be back. Because flouncing is still not my style, I will not go into why.

    I wish you all well.
    I sincerely return the sentiment and I honestly wish you would consider taking a hiatus rather than a departure, but you've got to do what you've gotta do.

    Just know this: every goodbye ain't gone.

  23. #48
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    One issue people always have when discussing issues, and not only in the old P&CE, is the back and forth between emotional and more analytical takes on things. Both are important, and they usually exist simultaneously in the same individual, but they're often uneasy bedfellows.

    Some of the more rancorous, circular-with-constantly shifting goalposts threads came when some people felt threatened or put down by something at a level that was more personal, lived, or emotional and others were looking at it more as an intellectual debate about constitutional principles, with or without data.

    I have some memories of threads where I found myself getting really angry on a personallevel, because these things really touched on my lived experiences and fears as a woman, and it felt to me that some members were treating it as some kind of intellectual exercise or principle-based argument with all these hypotheticals that could maybe make the behavior the OP was decrying okay or understandable. I know we're supposed to see both sides and empathize with all views, but it sometimes felt like an entire thread devolved into a battle of the sexes (or battle of whatever groups were involved), or even a subtle form of concern trolling.

    Fortunately, the mods saw fit to close these threads before I lost it and blasted someone or other personally in a way that would get me banned (once or twice shortly before I hit "send" on such a post). People sometimes PM me and say they like how even keeled I usually stay in these conversations, but I have my hot-button issues too. I have a relatively long fuse, but when I blow, I can be pretty awful. I admit to a weakness for getting sucked into discussions that aren't always productive. I can eventually lose my temper when the political or abstract crosses into the personal.

    As I understand it, the reboot is going to try to keep these political topics on a track that is more personal or concrete and less abstract and less focused on point-counterpoint/proving one's point about something.

    So what will we do when one member's positive action feels like an assault on the real-life, non hypothetical existence of another? Can we all keep it civil and calm and avoid personal attacks while saying, "Well this is how that makes me feel as a member of the community your petition is targeting."?

    The best way to do this, imo, is to say how something makes you feel once, succinctly (not something I'm very good at), and move on. But even so, if a dozen or more people jump into a thread and do this, it can feel like swarming (or sea lioning), even if it's not intended. One issue in forums and news sources that tends to turn them into echo chambers is people in the minority leave a site over that frustration with being outnumbered in the discussion or comments, even when such are relatively civil.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 11-15-2016 at 02:06 AM.
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  24. #49
    Delerium ex Ennui Xelebes's Avatar
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    One of the problems of politics is the hottake: where someone is spouting something they have only invested themselves in lightly. Having the word "politics" seems to just invite it. People feel they need to participate but they don't know how.

    So, I like the new tack. Focus on the personal side that people handle tangibly because nobody knows you more than you.

    Or that's what my take away is. I can and have been wrong.

  25. #50
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
    One of the problems of politics is the hottake: where someone is spouting something they have only invested themselves in lightly. Having the word "politics" seems to just invite it. People feel they need to participate but they don't know how.

    So, I like the new tack. Focus on the personal side that people handle tangibly because nobody knows you more than you.

    Or that's what my take away is. I can and have been wrong.
    That's how I'm going to try and handle things, I think.
    Please excuse me, I was raised by wolves.

    My twitter - My FB - My blog

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