Then, today, over at JessieX's blog, I saw a new entrant - Choose Insanity. They have some car magnets as well, but also have some fun photos that poke fun at some of the quirkier aspects of HoCo. Welcome!
That's ok, though. I hardly earn anything for each bumper sticker sold at the Embrace Hostility store. So long as people are doing something with Hostility, then we're in business.
One of our loyal readers informed me today that someone took one ofI would imagine it would either be (a) irony or (b) the friend knew that this person was acting in an uncivilized fashion. I mean, really, why should hypocrites be allowed to keep the Choose Civility magnet on their car? If you're a jerk, you shouldn't be allowed to have the bumper magnet.
those “Choose Civility in Howard County” bumper magnets off the car of a mutual
So does someone who commits so uncivil an act as theft then apply
this thing to his own car, admonishing others to behave themselves?
Could this magnet swipe be the work of a new kind of thief, one who
steals out of a sense of irony?
Better still, how about we have the right to issue add ons to the bumper magnet? Kind of like this...
Anyway, we got confirmation in visual form from the library in Glenwood. This was passed along by a watchful reader:
I found my part of it hilarious that was the 20 seconds that she chose. Seriously, it was A Current Affair and The Daily Show at once - but on LOCAL NEWS. It reminded me of the Simpsons episode in which Homer is charged with sexual harassment, when really he just took the gummy Venus de Milo off of the butt of the babysitter. He went on "Rock Bottom" (think Hard Copy) to tell his story. The story was wildly edited to mince his words. The funniest part was that there was a clock behind Homer during the taping. So when the re-edit was done, it moved wildly against the actual time sequence of what Homer said. Too bad I said nothing even remotely "controversial." This was all they could do or they would've wasted 25 minutes of their lives. It that way, it was symbolic of Choose Civility.
And I thought it was equally entertaining that Kathleen was willing to put Choosing Civility to the test. I suggested in our interview that civility is so much more than just 25 rules. She demonstrated it in her piece, though in a way that wasn't really civility. I mean, there are kind homeless folks that wash windows. In New Jersey, people have to have their gas pumped by someone else. It was nice to see an attempt, but proved that the idea of what civility is and what is better behavior than that is easy to miss.
Anyway, if you want to watch the video, here's the link. If you came here because of the story, welcome and I hope you enjoy it. And, if you don't, then be like other people who have scratched their head about this and be civil about it.
And then there's this nugget:
The new magnets also will have a logo, a circle of people celebrating that resembles a snowflake or a star.Oh no. Did they not see the post about the OBX stickers? Now I have to redo the banner of this blog! C'mon!
Also, I was quoted in the piece as the only idiot in the County dumb enough to challenge the civility standard. The HoCo Times acknowledges my existence, but Choose Civility's website still doesn't have any of most posts under their "What People Are Saying" links. :(
I wondered, when you decide to go to the Howard County Library to pick up your Choose Civility literature and car magnet, do you also choose to drive like a complete moron once you slap that sticker on your bumper? I understand being conscious of your driving and trying to be civil to others while on the road, but does that sticker magnet make your car go only 35 miles per hour on Route 29 in the left-hand lane, or swerve to cause being cut off on Broken Land Parkway, or run the red light on Harper's Farm Road?Heather's dead on here. But it also brings up another good point. Basically, people in the county are associating Choose Civility with driving smarter. Was that really the point? Is this money well spent?
Visible to all who come to Town Center, this large lot has languished for many months as a blemish in the heart of our otherwise beautiful city. Ground moving equipment was parked there for what seemed like years. Adjacent sidewalks are still torn up, and large strips of ugly black plastic attached to the chain link fence still flap in the breeze, day after day, week after week. The scene is reminiscent of an abandoned inner-city lot.
What more do you want?
A forest? Then people would complain that their view of the mall is obstructed.
A playground? Oh no, that'd be a hazard for children.
This is one of the few cases where Dr. Forni's very obvious rules for behavior needs some reiteration.
But, then, I saw today that I got a curtain call from I'm not dead yet.
I would like to plead and beg for the writer of the Embrace Hostility In Howard County blog to start it back up again. We need some power, some force to fight all the "Choose Civility" individuals out there. Bringing back this blog would really be the Civil thing to do.I can't fight a good idea. Ok, I won't close up shop. What's it matter anyway? If you've read this blog or Columbia Now, you know who's doing the writing. So, consider Embrace Hostility in HoCo back up for business. Sorry, Columbia Talk - I've been talked out of retirement.
I only posted like twice a month anyhow. I can definitely do smartass twice per month.
Republicans and Democrats cannot seem to come together to find sensible solutions to common problems. This campaign seemed, in many ways, to represent that divide more than the elections that resulted in George W. Bush as our 43rd President for two terms.
Tonight's result of the election of Barack Obama as President-elect of the United States will hopefully lead to a mending of that division. While this country may now shift center-left, almost 50% of this country is center or right. We citizens must remember this as we move forward, and I implore our elected officials to do the same.
At the same time, Republicans centrists such as myself have to realize that this election also presented a stark contrast within our own party. We could see it in the ticket that represented our party. John McCain and Sarah Palin could not agree on how to run an election and neither could factions of opinion within the Grand Old Party.
John McCain could not decide if he was the Maverick of 2000, or the man we see now. If the man that delivered his concession speech tonight was the same guy who ran for the last 21 months, perhaps this election would have been closer and the country better off for having heard a well-articulated alternative to the eventual winner.
Centrists can enrich this two-sided discussion. We have ideas, too, that can contribute to the American political and policy debate. Perhaps now really is the time to claim some legitimacy in the American political landscape. Maybe people like me should combine our minds and our ideals, and find a place at the table. It is my hope that, one day, I would not be branded by a letter next to my name, but rather welcomed to the discussion because of the capabilities and thoughts that I have.
I wish President-elect Obama the absolute best because I do feel that he represents many of the things that this country needs and craves. I hope, too, that he has learned from the recent history of the Clinton administration and by the results of this election that progress requires compromise and earnest debate. I believe that President-elect Obama has the wisdom and judgment to know this and to govern accordingly.
The reality is that this country will face challenges way larger than the election of a single man to one office. Our nation faces a deep set of challenges, and the solutions to them will require the contributions of millions. If we can commit as a nation to facing these challenges with humble minds, pure hearts, and endless devotion to a greater cause, then we will be better off than we are today. We can do it. The United States has always been a nation that has found a way. Again, we will find a way as a country to grow and prosper and shine to the world as an example of what can be. Yes, we may disagree on the antidote, but we will cure what ails us because we have to do so.
As a nation, for our survival, we must overcome our problems. And we will. We will.
Congratulations to Senators Obama, Biden, McCain, and Governor Palin. Our country is richer for the debate that this campaign spurred. With great hope, I believe that this country will grow even stronger for the result.
Howard County police charged 10 people with soliciting prostitution in Jessup Oct. 16 following an undercover operation along Route 1, county police said this week.This totally goes against choosing civility, and several of PM Forni's 25 rules of civility.
During the operation, female officers in plain clothes stood near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Cedar Avenue -- identified as a problem area by citizens -- to determine whether they would be approached and offered money for sex, police said.
What about rule 18, "Avoid personal questions?" How about personal questions like, "Are you soliciting a prostitute, sir/madam?" Those are pretty personal to me.
Or maybe rule 15, "Respect other people's space" - space to solicit prostitutes.
Then again, the raid reminds people of rule 21 - "Think twice before asking for favors."
Here's the details from Explore Howard:
Oct. 26: Screw Cancer, fundraiser to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. 6-9 p.m. $75. Trapeze Seafood, Grille & Tavern, 8180 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton. 888-393-3863. www.ulmanfund.org/screwcancer.From the Ulman Fund site:
Join us for an evening of food, fun and discover the quality of fine screw-top wines as The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults supports those stricken with cancer. For over a decade, UCF has enhanced lives by supporting, educating; connecting young adults and their families thriving against this deadly disease.On my golf blog, Waggle Room, I have recently started a charity auction program to benefit the American Cancer Society for the products that the blog reviews. I fully stand behind this fundraiser and I'm sad that I can't make it.
Of course, often it's very young children who teach us the most powerful lessonsa bout acceptance,inclusion, and kindness. I was reminded of this at the NSPRA Seminar this past July. One of our Canadian members brought his son [Ben] to the Seminar and shared with me that his son was quite impressed with the campaign displays of our candidates for NSPRA President-elect and the Chesapeake Chapter's politically-decorated hospitality booth (complete with life-size cut outs of McCain, Obama and Hillary). So when they found themselves on an elevator with one of the NSPRA candidates, Ben whispered to his dad that "the guy on the elevator with us is famous!" He thought our candidate was running for President of the United States. After his dad explained the difference, unfazed, Ben marched right up and offered his endorsement anyway.Earlier in the piece, Karen talked about seeing a bumper sticker calling GWB a moron. But I honestly don't get the connection to this story. Am I a moron for not getting it? I mean, I think GWB has done a terrible job. And what's wrong with thinking that?
I bet Ben doesn't think our President is a moron.
The Howard County Library and 40 community partners in the "Choose Civility" initiative - an effort to make the county a national model of respect, consideration, empathy and tolerance - will sponsor a program on self-interest and societal interests, "Why Looking Out for Number One Doesn't Work."I have nothing against a good negotiation. In fact, in graduate school, I took multiple conflict resolution and negotiation classes as part of my degree program. I found them fascinating. So, I am actually going to give kudos to the Choose Civility people for doing something clever with their initiative.
The seminar, which teaches conflict-resolution techniques, will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Candace A. Olds of Howard Community College's Conflict Resolution Center will speak.
But, the title of the seminar is all wrong. Negotiation theory today really dissuades people from using the zero-sum game concept - meaning that there has to be a winner and a loser. The title is implying that looking out for yourself doesn't work. In fact, that's not true at all. Looking out for yourself does work in negotiation and dispute resolution when you also attempt to look out for the interests of others involved, where compatible.
The reality is that you should look out for you. Your interests matter. The will of the majority is not always right. Other should be respected and their experiences, opinions, etc, considered, but that doesn't mean that looking out for you should be thrown out the window. Each individual has a right to weigh in - even if incorrectly. There are absolutes sometimes.
What are people leaving in cars?
The thefts continue in part because valuables are left in cars, according to police, including such items as GPS units, laptop computers, stereos, portable music players, purses and briefcases.I know that Howard County is a nice place to live, and crime is low, but even I would at least have to consider stealing some of that stuff if it was in plain view in a car.
As Jimbo Jones said on The Simpsons, "Five finger discount!"
From the Columbia Flier:
As the presidential campaign enters the final month, local Democrats and Republicans are complaining of repeated vandalism to their campaign signs.Both parties appear to be the victims of the vandalism, er, political expression. But, nothing like using this as an opportunity to take a shot at the other side!
Howard County Republicans reported that 12 4-by-8-foot signs, valued at $125 each, had been either pulled down or vandalized in some way since the party began putting them up Sept. 13.
Howard Democrats have not yet erected larger signs, but a party leader said Oct. 6 that in the previous week alone, 38 yard signs, valued at about $1 each, have been vandalized.
Michael McPherson, chairman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee, said Democrats had not filed a complaint with the police. “Democrats don’t believe in burdening the police with this kind of activity,” he said. “I’m worried about muggings and purse snatchings and people being killed.”U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Arlington, Va.: Is there really data that says we're less civil today than we used to be or is this just another "trend" built on anecdotes that the press loves to play up? If there really is evidence, what are the causes?
P.M. Forni: There is plenty of evidence that we are dealing with plenty of rudeness. Less civil than we used to be? Difficult to say for certain. Causes: anonimity, stress, lack of time, lack of restraint.
Way to answer the first question.
Here's a good one:
spot the err, OR: Dear Dan and P.M., I am extremely polite to everyone all the time. Why is everyone else so rude? I just can't understand why others are not as polite as I.
P.M. Forni: They may have not been trained in good manners. They may have less self-control than you do. They may be reacting to stress. They may shifting the burden of their insecurity upon you in the form of rudeness.
Then the real expert - the WaPo staff writer - steps in the talk about the real point of the question:
Dan Zak: Is this a trick question? Looking at life with an "I'm better than everyone" attitude ain't a good starting point. I'm no expert, but I think civility and politeness can't be preceded by haughtiness.
And that's exactly why I'm against this whole concept. The guy who is covering the concept knows it better than the guy who wrote the book.