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coffeepartyusa: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)

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Created on 2011-02-25 21:40:52 (#700577), last updated 2014-06-09 (7 weeks ago)

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Name:Coffee Party USA on Dreamwidth
Location:United States
Website:Coffee Party USA website
Membership:Open
Posting Access:All Members, Moderated
Community description:A government accountable to the people guided by reason and civility; liberty and justice for all.
The Coffee Party is open to those who wish to participate in the democratic process but prefer to do so in a civil, reality-based, solutions-oriented way.

COFFEE PARTY MISSION STATEMENT

The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.

About Coffee Party USA

Coffee Party USA aims to reinvigorate the public sphere, drawing from diverse backgrounds and diverse perspectives, with the goal of expanding the influence of the People in America's political arena. We do not require nor adhere to any preexisting ideology. We encourage deliberation guided by reason amongst the many viewpoints held by our members. We see our diversity as a strength, not a weakness, because we believe that faithful deliberation from multiple vantage points is the best way to achieve the common good. It is in the responsible and reasonable practice of deliberation that we hope to contribute to society.

Coffee Party USA is made up of people acting independently of political parties, of corporations, and of political lobbying networks. To this point, all products created and hours logged for Coffee Party have been carried out in the spirit of volunteerism. In the coming months and years, we hope to transform our disappointment in our current political system into a force that will return our nation to a course of popular governance, of the People by the People for the People.

We are diverse — ethnically, geographically, politically, in age and in experience.

We are 100% grassroots. No lobbyists here. No pundits. And no hyper-partisan strategists calling the shots in this movement. We are a spontaneous and collective expression of our desire to forge a culture of civic engagement that is solution-oriented, not blame-oriented.

We demand a government that responds to the needs of the majority of its citizens as expressed by our votes and by our voices; NOT corporate interests as expressed by misleading advertisements and campaign contributions.

We want a society in which democracy is treated as sacrosanct and ordinary citizens participate out of a sense of civic duty, civic pride, and a desire to contribute to society. The Coffee Party is a call to action. Our Founding Fathers and Mothers gave us an enduring gift — Democracy — and we must use it to meet the challenges that we face as a nation.

Civility Pledge

As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.

To encourage and facilitate civil, meaningful discussions about the state of American politics and the issues we face together as a nation, our top priority is to create and maintain an environment in which all feel safe and welcome. Such an environment would be a place where anyone, regardless of their viewpoints, might be willing to let down their guard and patiently explain their position and why they feel that way. Toward fostering an environment in which civility reigns, here are some suggestions to bear in mind while we conduct our conversations:

Be Polite. Having your views challenged is not unfriendly or uncivil. An unwillingness to have our own assumptions or arguments questioned might be the first and best clue that we might be wrong. Treat the person to whom you’re talking as an individual – not a part of your general perception of the group you may be consciously or unconsciously lumping them in with. Likewise, avoid divisive language, emotionalism, innuendo, and other thinly veiled insults. Show respect for your fellow members by carefully considering the tenor of your language, formatting, and punctuation before posting. Angry, hyper-emotive, and otherwise provocative displays make people uneasy and unwilling to interact with those around them, eventually driving them and other members away.

Lighten Up, Francis. Refrain from lecturing. Declaiming and holding forth as though others are just not as educated, informed, or thoughtful as you are is profoundly alienating. Also, don’t over-react to perceived slights – you could be wrong. Give the benefit of the doubt and remember that subtle emotions and meanings do not come across easily in writing. Satire, sarcasm, and humor are particularly hard to transmit, often coming across as rude and contemptuous. Even if you’re certain of another member’s intent, try not to take the bait. Someone has to be the bigger person and it might as well be you. The best response to disrespectful and disruptive posters is none at all.

Invest Some Time. Do the research rather than demanding that others do it for you and verify your facts. Consistently relying on suspect information undermines credibility, causing people not to take you very seriously. Take the extra time required to make large, sprawling posts smaller and more concise. You might be surprised how many more responses you’ll get! The use of white space enhances readability and descriptive subject lines encourage people to read your posts and comments. Used sparingly, quoting the relevant portions can help clear up ambiguity. When quoting, clearly indicate where information has been cut and try to avoid misrepresenting their original intended meaning.

Give a Hoot – Don’t Pollute. Straying off-topic and engaging in banter is natural, but try to gauge whether or not it is distracting from the original topic for those members who are interested in discussing it. Publicly disclosing information about another member without their permission is rude at best and could potentially do damage to that member. Intentionally disrupting discussions, swamping the site with a large volume of new Topic Posts or comments is discourteous. While seemingly innocent, posting the same material in multiple locations at once or creating an inconsequential comment (e.g. “Bump!”) within a post solely for the purpose of elevating that Topic Post’s rank position subvert the natural function of the site. If a thread is languishing, let it die to make room for active threads.

Gain Agreement. Many discussions fail because one or both sides fail to appreciate or acknowledge errors in their logic, are blinded by preconceived notions, or are using different definitions for terms common to the discussion. Remember a thing can be true, even if the reasoning that leads to it is bad – vice versa if the premises are false. Avoid "loaded" words or phrases with baggage, and generalizing. When in doubt, try to summarize the other argument in your own words to determine whether you’ve understood what they’re trying to say. If they disagree with your summary, ask for clarification.

Critical Thinking is Critical. First, attack the argument, not the arguer. Next, brush up on common logical errors. Entering a political discussion without a grasp of basic reasoning skills is like entering the proverbial gunfight with the proverbial knife. Try to understand your own bias and how it affects your interpretation and selection tendencies. Rather than referencing another sources as evidence, explain it in your own words. If you can’t do that, you might not be as right as you think you are.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due. Acknowledge when another member makes a good point or successfully demonstrates a weakness in your own points. Remember that the praise we get for presenting good arguments can be undone by refusing to allow that we might have put up a bad one. The surest way to gain respect in a debate is by publicly admitting mistakes. If you feel like the people you’re discussing issues with have been especially patient with you, thank them and be sure to return the favor.

Keep it Legal! Illegal activity, which might include but is not limited to direct or implied threats against other people, encouraging suicide, advising a dangerous courses of action, or inciting illegal behavior, cannot be tolerated. Likewise, violations of US copyright law,* fraud, or posting illegal material such as child pornography are forbidden. Please see our Content & Language Standards below. If the situation warrants it, we may involve the authorities.
*Unless you have the permission of the original poster (the moderator of this community has blanket permission to post entire posts from the Coffee Party USA website) or the original post was published under a Creative Commons or similar license, quote no more than 40% of an article quoted in any public posting to comply with Fair Use, along with an explanation of how it applies. If you really think it's important to quote an entire article and you don't have the permission of the original poster, post it members-only along with an explanation.

Other sites

Coffee Party USA's Facebook page

Coffee Party USA's YouTube channel

Coffee Party USA's Twitter feed

Coffee Party USA's Flickr page

Coffee Party USA's Blog Talk Radio channel

Coffee Party USA community on LiveJournal

Coffee Party USA group on Daily Kos

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