Let’s Talk!

It’s hard to believe it has been nearly two weeks already since I wrote the post Give-and-Take.  That post was the experiment I tried in response to a challenge by Lisa Jensen writing as The Snarky Activist, where we each tried to find one good thing to say about Donald Trump.  My goal was to try to start a conversation between right and left, conservative and liberal, republican and democrat.  A conversation where we listen … actually listen to the other side, and respond with respect, yet without sacrificing our own views.  The post was enormously successful, beyond my wildest imaginings, and the feedback (140 comments) was beyond encouraging.  Lisa and I discussed it and decided to try to turn this into a multi-post, joint effort project.

civil-discourse.jpgOne thing we decided was that the conversation would be more meaningful if we limited it to a single topic at a time, and get everyone on the same page.  I suggested, and Lisa concurred, that we would put it to my readers to choose the topic.  I initially put together a list of about 30 topics, looked at it, set it aside, and then tonight I pulled it up and looked at it again and just shook my head and started cutting.  I narrowed the field to six of the ones I think are high priorities.  You will note that there is an elephant in the room.  I have intentionally NOT put issues related to guns on the list at this time.  The Santa Fe school shooting has, I think, left us all too raw for the moment and I fear we could not calmly discuss anything related to gun regulation.  I know I couldn’t … not yet.  Soon, however, I do want to open this topic, most specifically a ban on assault-style weapons.  But not just yet.

purpose of disagreementWe have had a lull in this project, partly because Lisa was on a business trip all last week, and I have been battling a respiratory infection all week.  But I don’t want to lose the momentum, so I hope that by mid-week, we can open a new discussion on the topic you guys choose.  Please select two choices from the following topics.  If there are other topics you would like us to discuss either now or in the future, please let me know in the comments.  I am thinking one discussion every 10 days or so, and the format is still being considered.  All ideas are welcome … you guys are part of this project too!!!

I’m looking forward to hearing your suggestions, and also to engaging with everybody, doing our small part to try to narrow the gap that is tearing this country apart.  Thanks to all for your interest, enthusiasm and participation!

30 thoughts on “Let’s Talk!

  1. I understand your rationale for holding off on the gun control discussion, but that and health care are really critically important in America today. I heard this morning that increases in health insurance premiums will kick in in October and that will upset many people, I’m sure.

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    • You, David and Ellen all make an excellent point with this, and I am thinking to move forward with the gun regulation topic after all. I was being a bit of a hypocrite, for I am always the one who says, “what better time than the present”, and I was slinking away from the topic. Stay tuned!

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        • That was my initial fear too, but I think I’m going to jump on in anyway. Actually, I trust my readers more than I trust myself on this one. But it is too important to just push it to the back burner. And too timely, with yet another school shooting last Friday. Sigh.

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  2. Forgive me for saying so, but every time a gun discussion was due did not the NRA always say Too Soon, Emotions are too Raw. And didn’t we always say, better now while the event is in the public eye.?
    Cwtch

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    • You are right, David. I guess I was just afraid that if we tackled that one first thing, it would be the first and last, the discussion to end all discussions, and it would defeat what I was trying to do. But you make an excellent point. I am now reconsidering … 🤔 thanks for the perspective.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sha’Tara! Great to see you! I’m a little puzzled by your comment, though. Labour unions are still here, though not as strong as they once were. But relative to things like health care, discrimination (the religious freedom act), the environment, education, and other topics, I don’t see labour unions as one of the really high-priority topics of the day. Admittedly, they have lost much of their power … in some cases that might have been a good thing, for some had become quite authoritarian, not to mention corrupt. But they are still around.

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      • It’s always the way once an organisation develops muscle it begins to push others around. It’s called don’t be foolish I know what’s best for you and if you don’t comply I will make you tow the line. Ultimate muscle is flexed by the government and they take a lot of moving ; gun control is a case in question. Now southern Ireland has shaken off the Catholic grip a crisis looms about the North who are not in a position to blame the Pope.
        ‘ And those behind cried Forward , while those in front cried Back.’

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        • Quite so … it’s as another friend from your country reminds me, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Yes, i read about Ireland and the abortion ban being lifted. In my mind, good news, though I’m sure there are more that would disagree.

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      • Your aside about discrimination being related to the religious freedom act totally blew my mind. I see no connection at all between religion and racism, but maybe that is cultural, I don’t know. If that is the case, change my cap pun vote to religious freedom pls.

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        • Ahhhh … the ‘religious freedom act’ in this country is the one that allows businesses and organizations to discriminate. For example, it allows an establishment owned by ‘Christians’ to refuse to serve LGBT if they claim it goes against their religious beliefs. ‘Religious freedom’ laws are popping up in a number of states, and Trump signed an executive order to the same effect. The Supreme Court has yet to rule in the case where a baker refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. It opens so many doors. Most of us who are not right-wing uber-religious wee it as freedom for WASPs to discriminate against all the rest of us.

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          • One person’s freedom is another person’s hades.

            Yeah, this is definitely more relevant today than the discussion on capital punishment, but does not decrease the need to talk about it. I guess it’s a matter of timeliness.
            Meanwhile the discussion on gun ownership is timeless. The stats are all against gun ownership, and the world has changed a lot since 2nd Amendment days. So that should be top of the list, anybody’s list. But gun ownership is a religion, based on faith in guns, not on a person’s ability to use or not use them.
            I will probably have a lot to say about it when the time arises.
            For right now, I hope you are feeling better. We need you healthy and able. Good health to you.

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            • In this, the era of Disgusting Toad, there are so many serious and urgent topics to tackle that it is hard to know where to even begin. Some days I have 6-7 topics lined up, but there are not enough hours in the day to tackle them all. Some days I think it might be better to go back up the stairs, climb into bed and pull the covers over my head. But alas … one cannot bury one’s head.

              Thank you … I did manage to sleep more than 14 minutes at a time without coughing last night, so am a bit perkier today. 😉

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              • Try for 20 minutes at a time tonight, and 30 tomorrow night. Don’t try to do it all at once, unless it happens that way on its own, lol. Keep improving, Jill, one day at a time…
                And keep up on the news ways to Describe Tweetfinger. I like it. Maybe we can sell it as a new national pasttime: Disrespectful Trumptruths.

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                • Yes, I’m hoping for maybe a whole hour at a time tonight! We grilled out this evening, so I inhaled all that lovely charcoal smoke … should help a lot, eh? 😉 Of course, my 3-pack-a-day smoking habit isn’t the best medicine either, I suppose.

                  I think we should compile them all into a book! Disrespectful Trumptruths … excellent!

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                  • 3 packs a day? What brand? Back in the 70s and early 80s I was a 3 pack-a-day man myself, Export A, Canada’s strongest brand. But in 1984 I quit cold turkey, and have never smoked another cigarette again, unless you count the month-old dried up cigarette I tried to smoke 30 days after I quit. It was so bad and tasted so terrible I cannot stand being around tobacco at all, and have been physically sick walking through a closed space and ending up behind a chain smoker who has no idea how bad his or he clothes reek. 34 years now without a cigarette, and not even one relapse or desire to relapse.
                    The more I get to know you, Jill, the more I see similarities, and differences. Do you ever want to quit smoking? If you do, just email me, I bet I can help.

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                    • Well, it used to be Marlboro Menthol, until about 2 years ago when I started rolling my own, which saves me around $2,000 a year! Takes about 15 minutes a day, and I have a couple of callouses on my hands, but still … $2,000 is nothing to sneeze at! I’m proud of you — that takes remarkable willpower! But no, I’ve no desire to quit at this stage of the game … and I think I would end up homeless, for my girls would no doubt throw me out! I am a grump without my smokes! 🚬

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      • Well, the topic I was responding to was the minimum wage situation. Throughout the 20th C it was the labour unions that forced politicians and corporations to, however reluctantly, increase the minimum wage and bring about some sort of wage parity between men and women doing the same job. Sure, some LU’s are still around, but they’re window dressing and left-over bureaucracy, not really active, worker-focused organizations. I ought to know, I had been a Teamster shop steward for ten years before I retired. What I mean is people entering the work force NOW need to either create new unions as their grass roots representatives, or fire the complacent staffers of existing unions and put worker-centred people in charge. They need to become “activists” again and get serious when calling strikes. Most remaining unions today are lap dogs of business and big government. They are not actively recruiting, nor signing up non-union places, at least certainly not the way they used to.

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        • Ahhhh … thanks for the clarification … I misunderstood. Yes, labour unions have become diluted and are shells of what they once were. I think, in part, because government regulations on health & safety, minimum wage, workplace discrimination, etc., made them, to some extent, unnecessary. But with all those regulations being rolled back under the current regime, I can certainly see a need for the unions to strengthen or rebuild.

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  3. in response to Kertsen…nor will those with right-leaning tendencies. I have found over the past 60 some years that people of all political stripe vary vastly in their responses to thought provoking subjects.

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    • Quite so, Suze. There are always degrees and differences over ideologies, implementation, scope, etc. That’s what keeps life interesting, as long as those differences aren’t allowed to devolve to the point of complete inaction.

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