Civility Linkblogging: Tom Ridge, Rick Scott, and Convicted Civility

Civility LinkbloggingCivility Linkblogging is an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This installment is largely eclectic. It features former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge’s thoughts on Vice-President Joe Biden and Senator John McCain, and Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton’s considerations of convicted civility. It also features an important insight on civility and power: Nadine Smith, writing about an incident in which Florida Governor Rick Scott was yelled at in a coffee shop, tells us that civility should never be an instrument used to silence disagreement or constrain the disempowered.

As always, if you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

When Civility Really Means Silence
Posted by Nadine Smith at The Huffington Post, April 7, 2016

I lament that we live in a world that exalts entrenched opinion over reason and facts, that rewards bullying over empathy. So I understand the discomfort expressed by a few of my friends who see her outburst as further evidence that the last threads holding our democracy together are being pulled apart from the left and the right.

But that analysis avoids any discussion of who holds power. These are not equal sides in a debate. The governor’s agenda has been uncivil and profane. His actions have cost lives.

Former Gov. Tom Ridge: Civility in Politics Matters More Than Ever
Posted by Tom Ridge at Time.com, April 8, 2016

While it is easy to lament incivility, I prefer the approach taken by Allegheny College, who this week named Biden and McCain the winners of its annual Prize for Civility in Public Life. I’m proud to be an honorary degree recipient from Allegheny and applaud college President Jim Mullen’s selection.

Ask anyone who has sat across a table from Biden or McCain, and they’ll tell you the same thing—that these are men of principle who hold strong to their beliefs and will argue passionately in defense of their positions. But they also understand that one need not demonize their opposition in order to effectively govern. Their remarkable careers speak to their ability to work collegially and effectively on both sides of the aisle and to rebuke the notion that Republicans and Democrats can’t get things done together.

A Little Civility, Please
Posted by Marianne Heimes at Savannah Now, April 11, 2016

I love my children, grandchildren, and great grandson. My hope is that they will live in a safe world, safe to walk down any street, safe to sit on their front porch at any time, safe to drive Highway 80 to the beach, safe to walk through Forsyth Park if they wish and free to vote for the candidate of their choice and know their vote counted.

Those are just a few of the many things I wish for them — and for you as well. …

My faith tells me we are going to be all right when all is said and done. I just hope that what is said and done in the future will be more civil. And if you wonder what exactly civil means, Webster describes it as politeness. Pretty simple when you think about it. Let’s all try it.

The Road to Restoring Civility
Posted by Shelby Taylor at Gainsville.com, April 12, 2016

Today’s university students will be called upon to solve some of society’s most critical issues. Whether it is through expert speakers, timely research, service learning opportunities or internships, our center provides critical programming that can help lay the groundwork for a more civil and open-minded approach to politics and policy.

The road to recovery starts with educating the next generation that indignation and insults have no place in public discourse and that we must respect and appreciate the opinions and the humanity of others.

Embrace Convicted Civility
Posted by Andrew K. Benton at The Pepperdine University Graphic, April 22, 2016

I ran across a phrase recently that I like very much: convicted civility. As soon as I saw those two words together I knew immediately and exactly what they meant. I admire strong convictions presented fairly and without elements of ad hominem attack in pursuit of truth and, even, fairness and justice. Lutheran scholar Martin Marty once said, “People these days who are civil often lack strong convictions, and people with strong religious convictions often are not very civil. What we need is convicted civility.” The time has come for convicted civility in all things.

I have held these personal thoughts for the past few weeks, uncertain if they would add much to any conversation. While I cannot precisely define the phrase convicted civility, I know what it means to me. It means that we can hear and process words with which we do not agree and that we can be unafraid to refute them with truth, courage and confidence. It means that as we encounter new thinking and information, that we are free to ask hard questions and to pursue answers to questions important to us. Questions should not be threatening, and answers should not be unassailable when given. Steel sharpens steel in the dialectic of learning and living.

Civility Linkblogging: Portland, Oshkosh, Texas, and the Internet

Civility LinkbloggingThis post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s articles can be seen, in a certain way, as Linkblogging’s New Years Resolution Edition: from Wisconsin, a discussion of the problem of gossip in small communities; from Indiana, a renewed commitment to civility on the legislative agenda; from Oregon, an examination of civility’s balance with free speech; and from Texas, a reminder to listen — really listen — to what candidates are telling us as the presidential primaries finally begin to roll around.

As always, if you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

Is Facebook Destroying Civility and Truth?
Posted at Raw Story, January 2, 2016

Could it be, as Applebaum and Manjoo suggest, that this latest phase of democratizing our communication channels has turned out to be a politically regressive force, increasing the levels of demagoguery and deceit and civic conflict?

History is undeniably on the side of Zuckerberg. Think of all the step changes in human connection over the eons — from scrolls to the printing press to the pamphleteers to the newspapers. Yes, each transition had its own particular form of tumult, and each undermined its fair share of existing authorities, but with the hindsight of centuries, they are all now considered to be fundamentally on the side of progress: democratizing the flow of information and decision-making in society, and increasing the quality of those decisions. No one is hankering to rewind the clock to, say, the media of the 16th-century: post-Gutenberg, but pre-pamphleteers.

Gossip Not a Hallmark of Civility
Posted by Kaitlyn Lockery at The Northwestern, January 2, 2016

The Oshkosh community, although growing, still has a small town feel. While having that small town feel brings many advantages, it can sometimes feel like everyone knows everyone’s business. This can lead to gossip circulating among the community between friends, coworkers and even family members. Gossip can be damaging to the individual and others who are involved when the story that is being repeated may not be fully true. Why waste your time and energy gossiping about someone or something when that energy could be better spent on something more positive? This could include finding the truth, looking at the story from the other’s point of view, or simply not allowing gossip in your daily discussions with your peers.

One goal that I encourage everyone to try to accomplish this month is, before you repeat any story ask yourself two questions: Is this the truth? Is this story damaging to the person involved? If either of these questions are answered to indicate it is gossip, ignore it.

Indiana House Leaders Commit to Civility
Posted by Dan Carden at The Northwest Indiana Times, January 9, 2016

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Democratic Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, both declared last week that debate over controversial issues likely to come before the House through March 14 will not devolve into name-calling or personal attacks.

“We will do everything in our power to be certain that no matter how difficult the discussions might get on any issue, that we’re respectful of each other, that we talk about ideas and not personalities and that we work together to do what we believe is best for the state of Indiana,” Bosma said.

He emphasized that civility is so important to the 71 House Republicans that Bosma decided to include preserving civility on the caucus legislative agenda, alongside infrastructure funding, student testing reform and cracking down on drug dealers.

‘Civility’ No Reason to Trample Portlanders’ First Amendment Rights
Posted at Oregon Live, January 12, 2016

It’s easy to agree with Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman that civility seems to have taken a nose dive. That presidential candidates openly deride competitors as “losers” is only a little less astounding than the erosion of “Portland Polite” in recent months, where protesters’ heckling has disrupted City Council meetings and caused commissioners to adjourn.

But even with that backdrop, there’s no justification for a resolution that Saltzman plans to introduce on Wednesday with the support of Mayor Charlie Hales. Saltzman is seeking Council approval to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the city may not bar people from attending future council meetings based on previous disruptive behavior, as The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Maxine Bernstein reported. Such “prospective exclusion” orders infringe on a person’s First Amendment protections, U.S. District Judge Michael Simon said in his Dec. 31 opinion, siding with a local activist who had been barred for 60 days from City Hall for previous conduct.

As Primaries Draw Near, Let’s Not Forget Civility
Posted by Ferrell Foster at Ethics Daily, January 11, 2015

No party speaks for God. There will be committed Christians, as well as others, running in both parties. Some of them will actually use language that connects deeply with those of us who seek to follow Christ.

Language is a powerful tool for good or evil, right or wrong. As a result, we Christians need to listen with all the intelligence and wisdom we can muster through the help of the Holy Spirit.

Civility Linkblogging: Classroom, Internet, and Transit

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of our ongoing effort to highlight discourse about civility around the web. Our articles for civility linkblogging come from a wide cross-section of blogs and newspapers, magazines and other websites, from the United States and abroad.

This week’s post focuses on what we might call small civilities — etiquette on trains and in parking lots, civility in online gaming communities and student evaluations. But as these articles all make clear, small civilities add up. Teaching evaluations in college classrooms may mean a venue to vent for disappointed students, but for instructors, they are a measure of continued employment. Crowded trains may seem like mere inconvenience, but as Dr. P. M. Forni says, in a close-quartered bus or train, you have in action two of the main incivility-causing factors. These are anonymity and stress. And in combination, they can escalate into violence.

If you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

Want to Save Civility in Gaming Culture? Confront the Bullies.
Posted by Lisa Granshaw at The Daily Dot, May 12, 2014

Tito thinks engaging with these commenters is important and that just ignoring them doesn’t solve anything. Giant Bomb news editor Patrick Klepek, who spoke on another panel on the topic called “Why Internet jerks aren’t going to win, and you can help,” agreed.

“I don’t really subscribe to the idea of ignoring the trolls and they’ll go away, because—pro tip—they don’t…” he said. “We need to talk about this because we need to make sure people know what’s happening.”

Klepek points out harassment isn’t exclusive to game culture. It’s more of an Internet problem. He finds that instead of a passionate debate of opinions in his comments sections, there will be a small but vocal group that shouts and bullies.

Parking Lot Civility
Posted by Annabel Monaghan at annabelmonaghan.com, May 15, 2014

In the YMCA parking lot I was wholly focused on my own interests. I’m going to miss my meeting. I’m going to miss my shower. I’m really sweating here. How could this woman do this to ME? Since I was already so involved with myself, I decided to look a little closer. Yes, I too sometimes do thoughtless things that inconvenience others. I sometimes forget to signal or don’t notice that the light has changed. I sometimes stop my car in the middle of the street to chat with a friend and fail to notice the cars lined up behind me. There’s more, but you get the idea.

It was a humbling exercise, and by the time I finished my self-examination I was feeling pretty darn civil. If I can figure out how to make this a habit, then maybe I can keep it together the next time someone parks so close to me that I have to crawl through my trunk to get into my car. Because, guess what, I sometimes park like an idiot too.

ADL Head Warns of Bullies in the Internet Age
Posted by Eve Sullivan at the Stamford Advocate, May 20, 2014

Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said he was recently asked to give a college commencement speech, but then one student protested and said he would be a disruption to the graduation.

However, Foxman went “because this was freedom of speech used to bully and intimidate,” he said.

After the speech, Foxman said he publicly embraced the student who asked him not to come. He said the student later sent him an email saying he couldn’t believe the embrace happened, and that it was a lesson in civility.

Foxman said having a true democracy in society has always been a challenge, but he said he wonders whether people are now facing something more subversive.

Commuters Get Squished, Etiquette Gets Squashed
Posted by Samantha Melamed at Philly.com, May 22, 2014

Nationwide, transit ridership is up 37.2 percent since 1995. On SEPTA Regional Rail, ridership grew by 50 percent in the last 15 years.

But it’s a recipe for rudeness, said P.M. Forni, founder of the Civility Project at Johns Hopkins University.

Incivility is an age-old problem, he said. “But in a close-quartered bus or train, you have in action two of the main incivility-causing factors. These are anonymity and stress.”

In other words, it feels OK to be a jerk on the bus, because you’re harried and no one knows you.

But, Forni warned, “Incivility often escalates into violence, and that’s one reason we need to take it seriously.”

Writing a Student Evaluation Can Be Like Trolling the Internet
Posted by Heidi Tworek at The Atlantic, May 21, 2014

Clearly, some students don’t take these assessments seriously, which is particularly problematic for non-tenure track faculty—teaching evaluations have become the singular metric for hiring adjuncts. Predictably, this has encouraged these educators to pander to students and acquiesce to grade grubbers.

But these issues aren’t unique to student evaluations. Course assessments look a lot like public discourse on the Internet, from product evaluations to discussion boards to comments sections on news sites. For some—the comment champions—this shift of power toward everyday users is emancipatory, offering spaces to share thoughts and shape how other people think and view products. For others—the comment curmudgeons—the often-derisive culture of online commenting eliminates chances for civil debate and intellectual integrity.

Civility Linkblogging: Accountability, Gemeinschaftsgefuehl, and Bush 41

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of our ongoing effort to highlight discourse about civility around the web. Our articles for civility linkblogging come from a wide cross-section of blogs and newspapers, magazines and other websites, from the United States and abroad.

This week’s post features a story about the civic consequences of uncivil words. After Frazier Glenn Cross shot and killed three people outside of two Jewish community institutions in Overland Park, KS, Marionville, Mo. mayor Dan Clevenger spoke out in the killer’s defense. And in the process, he made his own anti-Semitic views clear. But the Marionville town aldermen would have none of that. And standing up for a culture of civility and respect, they forced Clevenger to resign.

If you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

Electile Dysfunction: Campaigns need Civility
Posted by David Steury at The Bowdoin Orient on April 17, 2014

I don’t want to argue for civility as a virtue. Obviously, the defining feature of these ads is vitriolic and often rude rhetoric, but a lack of civility is a symptom, not a problem in and of itself. It’s a symptom that feeds back into and perpetuates the original problem of polarization, but politeness is not inherently a virtue in politics, a realm where remaining silent can result in disastrous consequences.

While ads such as Rosendale’s and Winteregg’s may just be pure political calculation to win votes, they legitimize an environment in which lawmakers can hate each other, engage in ad hominem attacks, and imply violent action against things with which they disagree.

Civility and community: Lovin’ Lyndhurst
Posted by Maria Shine Stewart at Cleveland.com, April 18, 2014

Alfred Adler, psychologist, used the term Gemeinschaftsgefuehl, and that means, roughly, a form of “social interest” that marks both community health and personal well being. It’s perhaps a precursor of civility, and accompanies it. I was blessed with a compassionate and German-speaking mom, probably the greatest blessing of my life, so I learned that no matter how much or how little one has materially, it is possible to give and to share something. (I also learned to pronounce some fairly tricky words.)

Acts of kindness teach our muscles to be kind; we can thus really grasp what it feels like to help. And conversely, if we ever muster the art of humility at any age, we also learn what it feels like to receive help without pushing it away. That, too, is an art.

Mayor of Marionville, Mo., Trips Over Vile Speech
Posted at the Kansas City Star, April 22, 2014

After the horrific killings on April 13, [Marionville Mayor, Dan] Clevenger had the impolitic impulse to utter a few words about his view of Jewish people in business and government. That put him in line with his anti-Semitic, white Supremacist, charged-with-murder buddy…

Clevenger, of course, has his free speech privilege to say whatever foul thing comes into his head (with widely recognized limits regarding defamation and inciting violence). No one is denying him that right. But as a public official, Clevenger has now learned that speech has its consequences. On Monday night his community stepped up on the side of civility and forced Clevenger to resign.

Bush 41 Still Displays Civility, Graciousness Along With Courage
Posted by Carl P. Leubsdorf at The Columbus Dispatch, April 25, 2014

Two weeks ago, he turned up at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to greet President Barack Obama during his Texas visit. “When the president comes to your hometown, you show up to meet him,” explained Bush, looking good and displaying a firm handshake.

His visit also sent a signal that, though he and Obama are quite different politically and ideologically, the presidency deserves the respect that many of today’s partisans pointedly ignore.

Even During a Protest, Civility Is Necessary
Posted by Sanjay Perera at Today Online, May 2, 2014

It was disconcerting to read of a way of protest developing in Singapore that has come close to burning effigies of a minister and defacing a poster of the Prime Minister.

People should vent their angst in a proper manner.

Even civil disobedience, which is far from violating images of people, has the word ‘civil’ in it.

A caricature of someone is one thing; there is always an element of humour. However, to encourage possible thoughts of violence is another.

Have people forgotten that a troubled person set alight a Member of Parliament some years ago?

Civility Linkblogging: School, Faith, and Social Media

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s linkblogging segment is anchored by two interviews — one with Ronald D. Liebowitz, President of Middlebury college, and the other with Os Guinness, founder of the Trinity Forum. Dr. Liebowitz’s comes in response to an act of incivility on Middlebury’s campus, in which a group of students removed a 9/11 memorial display for what they believed to be sound reasons. While Guinness’s interview is more broad-ranging, but pertains to the question of the role of Christianity in American politics, and its place as part of civil debate in the American public square.

If you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now on to the list:

Civility Starts with Remembering Good Manners
Posted by Jeff Kaley at the Duncan Banner, November 17, 2013

Dr. P.M. Forni, whose books Choosing Civility and The Civility Solution got me rambling on this subject in the first place, suggests we begin by changing how we treat one another on the interpersonal level.

While composing The Civility Solution, Forni surveyed people about what bothers them most, and came up with what he calls “The Terrible 10” situations that bring out anger in people

Civility, Please
Posted at Middlebury Magazine, November 19, 2013

President Ronald D. Liebowitz of Middlebury College: Civility is a must. We’re an academic institution, and so we don’t only teach facts. We also teach how to argue, how to debate, how to engage, how to learn. And being civil is a key part of doing all of these things.

12 Ways to More Civiity on Social Media
Posted by Alex Garcia at the Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2013

I was looking over a past post about the Sun-Times firings and said to myself, “Wow, I sound really angry here.” The truth is, I was. I just didn’t think that I sounded that angry. In my mind, it was pointed and strongly worded for the circumstances. At the time, a CNN blog commented that my post was “acid” and I remember thinking, “acid”? Really?

I guess that’s the case when you’re upset. You don’t realize how you sound until you read it later and realize it has all the nuance of “FLAME ON!”

Ministers Seek to Set Tone for Elections
Posted by Alva James-Johnson at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, November 21, 2013

In a press conference organized by the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Social Action Committee, the ministers denounced what they called “character assassinations,” but declined to cite any specific examples.

The Rev. Johnny Flakes III, pastor of Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church, called on people in business, politics, medicine, education, the military and the media “to stand up with us to promote and practice at the highest level human dignity, civility, respect, unity, justice and integrity.”

Civility in the Public Square
Posted at Point of View, November 21, 2013

Os Guinness, co-founder of The Trinity Forum: Misunderstandings surround the idea of civility; it’s frequently mistaken for squeamishness about cultural differences, false tolerance or dinner-party etiquette. Classically, civility is a republican virtue, with a small “r,” and a democratic necessity, with a small “d.” It’s the only way you can have a diverse society, freely but civilly, peacefully.

As Christians, we have deeper motivations still [for championing civility]. Followers of Jesus are called to be peacemakers, with truth and grace; Paul asks us to speak the truth with love. We’re called to love our enemies and do good to those who wrong us. This is our Christian motivation for championing the classical virtue of civility.

Civility Linkblogging: Hockey, High School, College, and on TV

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s segment focuses in part on educational settings: the administration and culture, and the classrooms, of high schools and colleges across the country. Here, we catch a glimpse of the fraught world of curriculum changes in New York State; we see a call for civility among students at Brigham Young University and beyond; and we see the continuing impact of what happens when bullying moves online.

But this week’s segment offers more than just the three Rs. One columnist calls for civility — in the style of the NHL. While another makes the important point that politicians cannot compromise as long as we expect our elected officials to tell us only what we want to hear.

If you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

In Support of Respect and Civility
Posted by Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers at Education Week, October 13, 2013

Classroom by classroom, school by school, district by district, state by state, we are out of time. Pure and simple…we may resent it but it is true. Our best intentions no longer count for data. It is not because a federal or state government told us so; it is because our own moral, ethical compass tells us that there are many children we are failing. It is the system’s fault. We are part of the system. We all suffer if it doesn’t change.

Commissioners have jobs to do and so do we. We will accomplish nothing without respect for each other and civility in our interactions. Remember in this, too, we are teaching the children.

Opinion-Politics Turn Civility to Mediocre Sport
Posted at The Collegian, October 14, 2013

People were quick to call the government shutdown childish, but they aren’t acknowledging the part they played in this mess. If our representatives are bratty kids, it’s our fault for encouraging bad behavior.

Politicians specialize in telling people what they want to hear. Today, however, the political climate is incredibly hostile thanks to a vicious cycle of straw-man arguments, finger-pointing and name-calling.

Let’s Lift Our Civility to That of Hockey Players
Posted by Bruce Falk at The Tri-State Neighbor, October 17, 2013

I’ve heard lots of talk lately lamenting the loss of the ability to compromise in our society, and I agree with most of it. But the problem runs deeper than that; even when events finally run their course and decisions get made without a spirit of compromise, there’s a distinct refusal to accept defeat and move on to the next thing. Instead, we throw all sense of dignity to the wind and keep returning to the decided issue, trying to make it undecided again. If this were to occur in hockey, each best-of-seven playoff series would become a best-of-nine, then 11, and so on.

But, no, after each series has been decided in the previously agreed-upon manner, our hockey heroes simply line up, shake hands, wish each other well and move on to the next series or the next season.

If only the rest of us could be so civil.

Invitation to a Dialogue: Bring Back Civility
Posted by Mitch Horowitz at The New York Times, October 22, 2013

We are not built to like everyone, but we are built to behave civilly. We need to reinforce this message in schools, homes and sports programs, and within the worlds of digital culture and commerce.

Teenagers — and adults — must be called out on excessive sarcasm, bilious remarks, soft bullying and anything that denigrates another individual.

Humiliation is not entertainment. Whether it’s a shock jock, a coarse reality-TV show, an obnoxious song or a shout-fest on political TV: turn it off.

Our Fading Civility
Posted by Mark Ogletree at The Digital Universe, October 22, 2013

One of my students recently told me that on the day BYU played Utah, he and his brother had waited in line for several hours to secure great seats in the student section. However, when the gates finally opened, mote than 50 students cut in front of those who had waited for so long to get in.

To be uncivil is to be so selfish that you are completely oblivious to other people and their needs. It is to say, “I really don’t care about anyone else but me.”

Civility Linkblogging: Judaism, Lawyers, and Centrist Strategies

Civility Linkblogging posts, as always, are part of an ongoing series meant to highlight trends and thoughtful discourse about civility around the web. We find recent articles from blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues from the United States and abroad. And we repost them here as a civility snapshot for interested readers.

This week’s links range geographically from Florida to Washington State, Colorodo to New Jersey. But in terms of topic, they focus on two recurring issues: strategies for maintaining and enforcing civility in the legal profession; and the possibility of finding civility in centrist politics at the municiple level, and in our political parties more broadly.

Do you have a link that you think would be right for this segment? Please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

A Civility Crisis
Posted by Greg Anderson at The 16%, July 17, 2013

As a former county commissioner, I realize civility is often easier discussed than practiced. Strong emotions, personal values, and competing agendas can fuel uncivil fires. Ironically, even the strongest emotions, values, and agendas can be expressed within a civil framework. In other words, I can honor you even if I strongly disagree with you.

Intentionally practice civility. Good governance cannot exist without it.

National Policy Director Urges Civil Dialogue
Posted by Rober Wiener at New Jersey Jewish News, July 17, 2013

“Don’t make a table with just your friends,” he urged. “Make a table with all the people in the community you could possibly work with. Don’t limit. Because when the table is big, we have become the solution. If someone says, ‘We are not going to deal with J Street,’ then we are not going to be successful,” he said, referring to the left-leaning Israel advocacy group.

Gutow said the JCPA is working with the UJA-Federation of New York in a young leadership project so that “people age 20 to 40 learn how to talk to each other about Israel.”

Civility Counts: The Importance of Professionalism
Posted by Ryan S. Hansen at Denver Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, July 17, 2013

As young attorneys, we must recognize that there is no place within our profession to treat opposing counsel, opposing parties, court personnel, or judicial officers with any amount of disrespect, acrimoniousness, or belligerence. Attorney incivility tarnishes our profession, frustrates the timely resolution of legal matters, hampers clients’ interests, and erodes the already tenuous trust the public has in lawyers. There is no doubt that with concerted effort and forethought, we can all zealously represent our clients’ interests without engaging in caustic, uncivil behavior.

New Court Panels Will Police Lawyer Incivility
Posted by Rafael Olmeda at The Sun Sentinel, July 21, 2013

Attorneys across the state will soon be called on the carpet in a new way whenever their incivility toward each other crosses the professional line.

Courthouse administrators in Broward and Palm Beach counties are establishing local professionalism panels to resolve disputes between attorneys before they escalate into formal complaints to the Florida Bar. The panels were ordered in each of the state’s 20 judicial circuits by the Florida Supreme Court.

A New Take on Tension, Civility in Politics
Posted by Chris Thomas at The San Juan Islander, July 22, 2013

Parker J. Palmer called democracy “a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of political institutions,” and said tension is key to the process.

“It is a system that was designed to hold tensions, problems, questions – to keep them on the table so that we can keep returning to them for better answers. The question is, can we hold those tensions creatively, in a way that doesn’t create enemies, doesn’t demonize people who think differently from us.”

Civility Linkblogging: Turkey, Canada, and The Internet

This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s links, in part, follow a thread of discourse that has been developing since the beginning of July about civility, and civil discussion, on the Internet. They include an overview of research on how we might increase civility in comment threads. And they include a debate that is currently unfolding at The Toronto Star newspaper about whether allowing anonymous commenting is appropriate, given that it may encourage poor behavior.

The week’s links also include a discussion of some of the civility lessons that can be gleaned from the civic strife in Turkey, a conservative perspective on intemperate language in the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the DOMA case, and a discussion that draws heavily on the work of sociologist and folklorist Gary Alan Fine about the causes of incivility in children and teenagers.

Do you have a link that you think would be right for this segment? Please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

Readers Ask Why the Star Allows Anonymous Online Comments
Posted by Kathy English at The Toronto Star, July 5, 2013

While the Star’s digital team has put considerable and commendable effort into creating a “Community Code of Conduct” that spells out in clear terms this news organization’s expectations that commenters who want to have their say within the Star remain civil, Ferri well understands the concerns of those who believe that anonymity contributes to the incivility we abhor.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that requiring real names would reduce trolling,” he said.

There is also little doubt that requiring real names on comments would discourage some from commenting within the Star.

How Can Communication Technology Encourage Civility?
Posted by Derek Powazek at Big Questions Online, July 9, 2013

In this essay I will focus on exploring why we behave as we do online, and suggest some solutions for increasing civility. I’ll try to use as much social science as is possible. As this is a new area of research, some of the studies I reference are from other areas, but their results are apt. My central argument is that good people can behave poorly in online situations, but civil behavior can be encouraged by design.

Civility: It’s the Glue That Holds Society Together
Posted by Chris Hannay at The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2013

What is civility on a grand scale?

Civility is that moment when two groups who have been fighting for a very long time reach a stalemate, so they decide to agree to stop trying to kill each other and live with each other. To allow a certain measurement of disagreement. More than anything, it’s the idea of toleration.

Root Out Rude Behavior by Setting Example for Children
Posted by Bill Stanczykiewicz at The Salem Leader, July 15, 2013

Instead of celebrities or civic leaders, authoritative communities depend on parents, extended family, neighbors and community members. These caring adults exemplify and set clear rules and expectations, celebrate when these standards are met and immediately offer clear, even-tempered correction when they are not.

The best communication occurs when adults model the civil behavior they want young people to emulate, and members of the authoritative community realize that child development takes a long time.

Time For Internet to Grow Up
Posted by Nina Munteanu at The Toronto Star, July 6, 2013

Now it’s time for the Internet to grow up. To be sure, this boiling pot of largely unrestrained creativity has generated a vibrant revolution of free expression. The Internet culture currently flourishes with unique creativity and freedom within a chaotic sea of possibility. As an ecologist and follower of complexity theory, I see this as a good thing. But I also see the need for natural succession to occur.

How the Star and other media organizations treat this step in our online evolution may help shape the very freedom that Internet society so values. How we treat anonymity is the key.

Civility Must Start at The Top
Posted by David Nammo at The Washington Times, July 16, 2013

This is not to argue the legal merits of the DOMA. It is, however, voicing a word of warning about using the type of rhetoric the Windsor majority did. In both the short and the long run, it will serve no one’s legitimate purposes to demonize those holding opposing views or to declare those views on marriage “off limits” to debate. It is possible — indeed, essential — for those who support same-sex marriage to respect those who support traditional marriage, and vice versa. Vilifying opponents does not further the “evolution of equality.” Rather, it erodes that evolution and our civil society along with it.

Civility Linkblogging: Feminism, Christianity, Academia, and Government

This is the first in our ongoing series of posts highlighting discourse about civility around the Web. Here, we search out thoughtful, up-to-date articles about civility-related problems and solutions, about conversation and action across the political aisle, about being heard by people who believe differently from ourselves, and especially about listening to people who say things that may be difficult for us to hear.

We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues. And though our ordinary modus operandi is to highlight articles and analysis pertinent to civility in the United States, you will occasionally see links to upcoming events, lists and infographics, and discussions of currents of thought from all around the world.

Do you have a link that you think would be right for this segment? Please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now, onto the list:

Brushes With Civility
Posted by Fannie at Fannie’s Room, June 13, 2013

When I’ve been involved in experiments, so to speak, of civil debate in Internet forums, I’ve often picked up on frustration when the topic of civility is mentioned. Many people believe that civility is a means to “censor” people from telling certain truths, purportedly “politically incorrect” truths that need to be said no matter how brutal they are – even as some of these same folks readily admit that intimidating people out of conversations is the end goal of promoting “anything goes” policies in Internet forums. I question the line of thinking that posits that truth is the enemy of civility. Form and content are, I think, often inseparable.

Why Christians Must Seek Civility in Communication
Posted by Mitch Carnell at Ethicsdaily.com, June 5, 2013

A group of 25 religious leaders met in Washington, D.C., recently to promote civil discourse. They wanted to turn down the harshness of the rhetoric in our nation’s capital. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, told the media, “Faith leaders have a remarkable opportunity to shift the conversation, but it’s very challenging, particularly in a larger society that wants to understand everything as a battle, as engaging the enemy, rather than with someone who might have something to teach us.”

Civility and Cross-Cultural Communication CLE
Posted at Robert’s Fund

Seattle University Law School is offering an all-day continuing legal education program titled Civility and Cross-Cultural Communication, on August 15, 2013. According to the course description: this seminar introduces the fundamentals of civility and key research about cross-cultural understandings, and suggests practical approaches to more effective cross-cultural encounters. A relevant part of the presentation is devoted to building the participants’ own cultural profile, and familiarizing them with the fundamental societal values that shape how people think and act. This understanding will empower them to interact more effectively with people from other cultural groups, well beyond anecdotes and stereotypes.

Civility and Sex Speech
Posted by Carlin Romano at The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2013

Supposed classroom civility that suppresses edgy voices is not civility, but repression with a smooth surface, which can trigger anger and violence (catcalling, gay-bashing, rape, and more). Unbridled conversation and readings change minds. Martha Nussbaum’s precise analytic dissection of prostitution in the context of other traditional women’s work convinced a surprising number of my students that they should support legalized prostitution. Mary Roach’s hilarious, info-packed Bonk turned many of them deeply introspective about the physical preconditions of sex. The dignity and force with which a number of openly gay and transgender students challenged other students and their professor altered and softened, I believe, initial inclinations toward intolerance on the part of some.

Civil Ways to Solve Real Problems
Posted by Robert Rack Jr. at Cincinnati.com, June 17, 2013

Can partisan politicians govern collaboratively? We still hope so. In an Enquirer op-ed last September, a local group of civic leaders calling itself Beyond Civility: Communication for Effective Governance announced its intention to address the disabling problem of political polarization. We noted that in a healthy democracy, as in any healthy relationship, it is critical that people with different views be able to hear and be heard by each other. We reported on communication workshops for elected and civic leaders, and promised a series of Side-by-Side presentations in which pairs of high-profile leaders would tell stories of their early political and social formation. Now, a year later, we’d like to share what we’ve learned from this experience.