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Veterans, Military Families, and the Government Shutdown

In our last post we asserted that, even amid the incivility and intractability of partisan gridlock over the government shutdown, at least both sides had agreed to fund active duty military personnel. But while it is true that American soldiers will continue to be paid, that fact alone does not tell the whole story of how the shutdown is impacting troops, veterans, and military families.

CBS News is reporting today on comments made by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki that if the shutdown continues even until the later part of October, 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation in November, and 315,000 veterans and 202,000 surviving spouses and dependents will see pension payments stopped. And it is reporting that already, the government shutdown has stalled the department’s efforts to reduce the backlog of disability claims pending for longer than 125 days.

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Government Shutdown, and the Consequences of Incivility

In the interest of vivifying the consequences of the current government shutdown, here are some highlights from CNN.com’s list of which federal agencies and services are open, closed, and partially functional.

As a result of bipartisan stopgap legislation, active duty military personnel remain on assignment, and will continue to be paid. But only half of the nation’s 800,000 civilian Defense Department workers remain on the job.

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A Call for Action from the Atlanta Civility Training Workshop

Earlier this month, we announced an upcoming Civility Training Workshop in Atlanta, GA, organized by Institute member and civility activist LaRita Reid. The training was a civility-fostering, community-building success. And Institute co-founders Tomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke have agreed to share some of their thoughts and reactions to what came out of it.

Civility Linkblogging: Campus, Raceway, and Ghana

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 civility linkblogging features stories that focus on the domestic sphere, especially: on the adjustment that college students face as they move out of their parents’ homes, and must negotiate space with roommates who are sometimes all but strangers; and on the fierce world of rivalries between sports fans, where loyalty all too easily slips into ad hominem attacks.

Civility Linkblogging: Canada, Cuba, Buddhism, and Civility In America

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 posts highlight online reactions to Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate’s 2013 study, Civility in America. Conducted in conjunction with KRC Research, it gauges the American public’s attitudes toward civility and self-reported experiences with incivility in a variety of areas of American society and daily life. It measures something of the sentiment among Americans that we suffer from a civility problem, and that it is likely to get worse

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Institute Co-Founders Featured in The Boston Globe

The month of August saw Institute for Civility in Government co-founders Cassandra Dahnke and Tomas Spath each featured independently in articles in The Boston Globe. Early in the month, reporter Peter Schworm sought comment from Cassandra about cases in which discontent has bubbled over into shouting matches and heated exchanges, screaming and table-pounding, at municipal…

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The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Fifty Years of Civility in Civic Action

Yesterday marked the fiftieth anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in which, on August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 marchers converged on Washington D.C. to call for an end to discrimination and a legal pathway forward to racial equality.

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NPR’s Protojournalist Talks With Cassandra Dahnke

In the excitement preceding last month’s Civility Symposium in Washington, D.C., we here at The Civility Blog allowed one key story to slip through the cracks. Linton Weeks, political journalist and NPR correspondent, sat down with Institute co-founder Cassandra Dahnke to talk about the Trayvon Martin verdict, civility, and social protest.

The article, which appeared as part of NPR’s Protojournalist series, features Cassandra’s responses to questions of how to defuse volatile confrontation and how to weave civility into the national fabric.

Civility Linkblogging: Judaism, Lawyers, and Centrist Strategies

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.