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Editorial: For the love of Flayrah; please keep it furry!

Edited by GreenReaper as of 01:32
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Yesterday, Flayrah published the first article tagged as opinion where the topic's relation to the furry fandom was particularly light. Many might even say non-existent. It was a topic of personal interest to the author, who happens to be the main editor at this site.

In the past, when other furry sites made major decisions or policy changes, Flayrah would report on them, and people would give their opinions. In this tradition, I feel it necessary to examine these articles and why they could have been so poorly received, and consider Flayrah's future.

Article 1: "Opinion: Supreme Court decision a good deal for the U.S. furs"

This article started the controversy: written and published by GreenReaper, it relates to a topic you wouldn't know about only if you found yourself completely off the grid for the last month and a half. It was an opinion on the effects of the healthcare bill passed by the Supreme Court, with Roberts being the deciding vote. GreenReaper's reasons for saying this article is relevant to Flayrah follow; I'll go over them point by point:

The law affects a majority of furries who fall within the age demographic of one of the law's key components.

There was a statistic that this affects 70% of adult furs; however there is a problem with even that figure. The survey sourced is a survey of the fandom whose residents come from various parts of the world and not just America. That and the demographics of Flayrah's readership are more than likely significantly different to those of the rest of the fandom.

But nit-picking on the 70% stat aside: what happens if a fur is in bad terms with their parents? Would their parents keep paying for their child's insurance, or would they kick them off the plan like they did their house? If so, is that fur going to have to pay a penalty/tax if they can't afford to insure themselves? These are some questions that come to mind and are based off of other stories I have heard in this fandom. These are not questions answered by the promoters of this plan, and I haven't heard it yet from the defectors either, but it is a very good question that could impact young adult furs. Sadly, we live in times where kids are dependant on their parents later and later. This law is a sad testament to a truth about this change in our culture. As the old get older, the journey to what is considered 'adulthood' seems to be getting longer to compensate. Where people used to be independent by 18, they're now dependant in to their mid-twenties.

However, this is getting into the law itself instead of the meat of the article; the topic's appropriateness for Flayrah. The thing that got me was the statement about it affecting people from 18-26. I'm sure most people, no matter what age group they fall in, think of themselves as a furry as their identity before their age group on this website. Many furries are also interesting in GLBT community events, so why did we leave Anderson Cooper's coming out announcement? (Note: I did, but on FA because ironically I didn't think it was furry enough for Flayrah.)

Our readers are usually information-technology-savvy – they know how to find out about the healthcare law if they cared to. At this point most Americans have read about the law, particularly the individual mandate. Even if they haven't, they've already formed an opinion on it. The main-stream media with all its money and resources is not going to change these opinions; neither is Flayrah. All it does is deviate from the topic people came here to see.

News organizations/papers promote candidates and political candidates.

This is a good thing? I thought that was the problem with the news these days. I mean the media, particularly political media, is supposed to be watching all politicians and keeping them in line and making sure the people are protected in case government oversight doesn't work. They should be sceptical of all laws, not just the ones the other guy wants to pass. Now, the way we have it is that these organizations are just as partisan as the people in there. They support the ideas of one side to counter the other. However, in doing so these organizations become invested in the success of the decision, even if it turns out not to be in the people's best interest.

It's something I don't like seeing news organizations do at all, so for me it's not a good argument for Flayrah to start doing it. All it guarantees is that if you start posting "Editor supports this political position" you'll have some other furries who oppose it making their own news site; a Fox News to our to Flayrah's MSNBC.

Plus, when a paper does this, it puts those who work for the company who don't agree with the outlet's choice in an uncomfortable position. Those who are otherwise good at what they report on could resign if they feel passionately enough about it.

There is a precedent for non-furry news on Flayrah

The examples provided of these non-fur news articles were of a completely different calibre than this one. They were all 9/11 articles, and a majority talked about making sure furries were safe or animals on rescue teams. The one about convention travel being affected by the attacks is so within the bounds I don't know why it was included. The rest were all mainly factual articles. They were talking about 9/11 as it happened – not in great depth, mind you. Most furs were using them to make sure other furs were okay, not to make a political opinion.

The other example provided dealt with laws of mixing cells of human and non-humans... if mixing animal cells into a human isn't an interesting topic to furries, I don't know what is.

The type of story presented in this article is unprecedented, and caught myself as a user for two years and others that have probably been here since the beginning as a surprise. We have had political opinion articles, but typically it's when a fur or furry group gets caught in the middle of the controversy. Not taking a controversy and putting it into a fandom context because of how we feel about it.

Article 2: "Fast and Furious Scandal? Why should furs care?"

Rabbit being more conservative-minded wrote an counter-article about the ATF scandal in which the Republicans have launched a mostly successful offensive against the White House's mismanagement of a gun-trafficking operation. He, like the previous article, included a paragraph stating that the article was important for the age group that consists of the furry demographic. Of course, GreenReaper had to bite the bullet here and publish it because it was just as furry as his. If he didn't publish, one could rest assured that conservative furries would start an all-out campaign against the website, making it another useless casualty in people's political anger.

Unfortunately, by publishing this, GreenReaper unintentionally had me recall a criticism by Xydexx concerning how he handles neutrality: by allowing both sides to argue when the original source of the argument shouldn't have been presented in the first place. This is especially glaring since the context of this complaint was having WikiFur contain information that Xydexx felt was not in scope of the fandom. This is similar to most of the criticism Flayrah users have for these two articles, and was an especially concerning revelation for me, considering I was probably one of Xydexx's most staunch rivals, who spoke up against persistent criticisms. In essence, I'm surprised he wasn't all over this like squeak on an inflatable; it's the kind of the evidence that he was salivating for.

Article 3: "Counterpoint: Health care law threatens U.S. furs"

I was informed on the submission of this article that there was to be a third one. It's more of the same, but instead of a snarky contribution making a separate point, this one is a proper counterpoint. This kind of response to controversial opinions – especially those made by higher level staff – should be expected.

While it is good to see both sides get an article, now with a legitimate counter-article, the one about the ATF scandal now stands out all the more as an oddity. The point of the second article was to show how ridiculous having political articles under the guise of furry was to the function of the site, in it's own snarky and passive-aggressive way. This point was apparently ignored by the fellow on the more right-leaning side of the aisle. In posting this, they accidentally legitimized the very act that Rabbit was so critical of: posting political articles in a place they didn't belong.

Now it seems, once again, I'm setting myself apart from what appears to be a bipartisan agreement by both sides, despite their disagreement on healthcare. They both want to use Flayrah as a place for non-furry discussions. The vocabulary of their articles feels like a cheap fursuit; some fluffy verbiage here and there, but in the end, the story which is definitely human is glaringly showing.

I suspect this article will be buried as the first two have been.

Why am I writing this?

Despite the first two articles having already been extensively down-voted by the readership and outsiders who typically don't vote on articles, I speak because Flayrah is important to me. Before I conclude, I'll review my background, as I think it contains a bit of perspective to dispel that my opinion is simply based upon bias against political discussion.

I typically post non-furry opinion articles on my LiveJournal, and more recently my FA journal. I usually try to create my own talking points that neither party has come up with, just for the fun of it.

I have five ultimate badges on my Google News feed, mostly dealing with Republican politicians as I watched this primary closely. But even for Barack Obama I have a Platinum badge for reading sixty articles tagged with his name at the time of this article. These do not include those read while logged-out, taking a break at work, where I read more then I do at home. In other words, I'm a news junkie in my own way. As much as I try to concentrate on other things: maybe getting into relationships, make a fiction book, sometimes even exercise. I find myself being drawn back to watching the differing opinions as they play out; it gives me other other ideas that I can apply to the real world around me.

That said, reading a political article on Flayrah made me ill. I had to think a long time about why it would cause problems for me on Flayrah if I can read so much about it and converse so freely about it in other mediums, and I came up with an analogy:

Let's say I like whiskey and I like soda. If I really want a soda, I grab a can of Coke out of the fridge and pop it open and take a swig. If the can is filled with whiskey then it's an unpleasant surprise. My brain was prepared for a sweet, carbonated beverage, but the taste buds kick you with a strong and bitter taste. One would probably be so surprised as to do a spit-take. With the Flayrah name I've been wired to expect to see what was going on in the furry or animal community, not read about political topics that are everywhere else.

(As an aside, I comment more on Flayrah then I do on other news sites these days. The furry fandom tends to be very reasonable when talking about things of a controversial nature, even politics. My guess is that they, like myself, were simply unpleasantly surprised by having such a political article on the front page of this site when don't come to it for that.)

Conclusion: Is there a solution?

The problem here is not political. It is, as with most disagreements, a gulf in definition, context, and purpose. Judging by the votes and comments, most furs who come to Flayrah see it as a furry news site. News that pertain to furry works, fandom events, and on a slow day maybe an animal story here and there. GreenReaper and perhaps some others see Flayrah as a news site that has furry contributors.

In the first article I contributed to Flayrah (when FurBuy got angry at Fur Affinity), I commented that a website is like the owner's baby. Well, when you have a baby (or adopt one in this case) sometimes the baby grows up and most of the time the grown up does things you probably didn't intend to raise it to do. If GreenReaper wanted this baby to grow up to be a furry run news site, then the teenager rebelled and decided to be simply a news site about furry things.

One potential way to satisfy both audiences would be to split the feed into two groups, or maybe even two sites or pages; one strictly for furry news, the other for furry perspectives on non-furry news. To do as we did for these three non-fur articles is unfair to the reader and the author. The reader doesn't want it, and so the articles are bound to be negatively-received and voted on accordingly. If we do this split and make a separate page for non-fur news, Lord be with whoever takes up the position of Editor. With how diverse the opinions are in this fandom, they're going to be extremely busy.

I do hope that Flayrah will continue to improve, grow, and be a welcoming place to discuss topics of the day. However, if this new "addition" isn't contained, I worry it will turn from a polyp of political dialogue to a cancer that might undo a good deal of what has been built here.


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For my part, all I ever sought (and all I yet seek) is for Flayrah to remain fur-focused and furry-centric. The point of my article was to illustrate the scope and magnitude of the problems created by political articles in what still seems to me to be an inappropriate venue. I'm hearing there's a new policy coming down, and I hope that it'll resolve the matter to everyone's satisfaction.

As a side-note, I bear no hard feelings towards Greenreaper on this issue-- in my book we've simply had a difference of opinion. I hope he's not ill-disposed towards me, either. I admire many things about him, not least his sense of fair play.

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Yeah, I understand that, Rabbit.. but there seems to be a way in which conservatives and liberals handle problems. Liberals seek to talk and deal and compromise and such. Conservatives seem to prove their case by example. In your case, proving by example meant chasing a bad decision with another bad decision on the fallacy of "fairness and balance."

It may surprise you to know, there aren't two sides to this. Or any, story. Much as the american news media has liked to convince you that it's liberals vs republicans, it's not. The statement you made that you were "seeking balance" could not be further from the truth, and is actually a logical fallacy. If you want "balance", then every single American needs to post here their own story / spin on the political news. Politics is largely a matter of opinion, not fact. Both the cases posted are political footballs, and while the right and left both try to set the narrative for each, there are thousands if not tens of thousands of "edge cases" and "special areas" that simply are not addressed by EITHER narrative the left and right are setting down as "fact."

(And, even then, the stories the left and right are setting down are almost complete adulteration themselves.)

So please.. please... one, recognize that there are not just two sides to every story. Two, please don't chase a bad editorial decision with another bad editorial decision to make a point.. instead, try talking like grown-ups and resolving differences without throwing your users under the bus. Three, please remember that the users here want furry things and definitely know where to find the political things on the internet.

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Couldn't agree more there should be a split if this Flayrah can't keep itself out of political news.

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I haven't seen all that much off topic political news in a long while before this happened, so I think splitting the site won't be an issue.

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My vision for Flayrah is stated on our About page; to be a good source of information for members of furry fandom. I do not seek to turn Flayrah into a news site written by furs. In most cases, it will be, but I consider that largely irrelevant.

What matters to me topic-wise is furry interest, not strict relevance. This focus is not my invention; from the beginning, Flayrah accepted stories about unrelated science fiction, fantasy, technology and eccentricity. Still, if anything, I concentrated our output, partly by introducing Newsbytes soon after I became editor. Many loosely-related stories went away entirely.

Why, then, write such an opinionated piece on a topic clearly not directly related to furry fans? Because, mea culpa, I honestly felt that my argument would be of interest and perhaps even valuable to them. (Hey, we all have our delusions - and at least one person agreed! :-)

When I started writing the piece, it began as an analysis; I am not a political creature, I merely live in the USA and found my mind wandering onto the potential pros and cons of the legislation for furry fandom. However, I quickly realized that it made more sense as a brief essay, ending with a call to action. It seemed the obvious conclusion: "I think X is good for furs; Y has vowed to destroy it, so vote Z."

I had no idea that the response of the community would be so negative. As Sonious notes, there was no real precedent; certainly, when politics came up in discussions, it was divisive, but so were other topics. I expected dissent to my position, not to the act of voicing it.

The point about alienating staff who do not share my view has some validity. I was writing only of my own opinion (and labelled accordingly) but many may have seen it as an attempt to represent the entire Flayrah community. To any I inadvertently offended, I apologize. Had I seriously intended to go down that path, I would have collected the editorial board first. Perhaps once fans can elect convention boards . . .

I am less convinced by the argument that I should have taken work down once it was found to be divisive. Firstly, I am strongly opposed to removing content when you remain confident in it, and I find the concept of removing a post merely because some readers dislike the topic or are unable to control themselves in the discussion particularly offensive. Secondly, many things in this world are contentious. I knew Flayrah would survive twenty-four hours of turbulent discussion; it has handled well over a week before, and emerged stronger as a result.

Some view my preference towards allowing all viewpoints to be aired as a weakness. I see it as a strength. Flayrah is intended to serve the entire furry community; as such I am loath to be the one to decide what is or is not furry, let alone may be of interest to furs. I think this has worked well; contributors making their own decisions about what is relevant have posted many stories resulting in stimulating discussions.

Do these stories portend a change in our regular content? I don't see why. As mentioned above, I have no great interest in politics myself. Consider it a brief experiment from which strong conclusions can be drawn about the appeal of political debate to Flayrah's readership.

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Some view my preference towards allowing all viewpoints to be aired as a weakness.

In the interest of full disclosure, Flayrah readers should be aware GreenReaper believes "all viewpoints" includes completely delusional viewpoints and wacky conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality. Flayrah and WikiFur have suffered from a chronic lack of quality control for years now, and woe to anyone who points it out.
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You are probably my favorite person ever, and I wish I saw more of you.

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Are you saying you've suffered woe since pointing it out? I can say I haven't.

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I think furies should take a more active role in politics, as everything we need to be informed about the things that effect us as a group. To that end I think your article is related to furry, and to say it isn't is just one opinion against another. I get emails every once in awhile telling me about laws or political hopefuls that could have some effect to gaming, I don't see why we couldn't do similar articles about how the effect furry.

just my personal opinion, "keeping it furry" could mean keeping Flayrah's user base in the dark about important issues that they should know about.

^.~ It is the news after all.

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There's no problem with Furs being involved in politics, but there is an issue, at least to me, that I am not American. US politics for me is a sideshow (Yes, I actually laugh at it at times). To be completely honest, it doesn't faze me at all that something like a Healthcare bill passed. I'm surprised it took this long and at the route it took. But to be honest, it doesn't interest me.
And I have a feeling that, like me, there are plenty of people who don't want to hear about it. It's akin to 'Loi 78' (Law 78) here in Quebec, and how it, in conjunction with the City of Montreal's new mask bylaw stopped What The fur from having an outdoor fursuit parade. It is politics, but it is such a small percentage of the population in the fandom that it affects and/or that can action it that it wouldn't make for a good article (my opinion).
Politics is politics. Furry overlaps, sure, but does it all need to be here?

Dark Bunny Sauces -

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I don't think that one would have been ill recieved. I mean, even if a fur doesn't live in Montreal they may want to know about that law if they ever visit, and also it more directs furries directly rather then the healthcare law that effects everyone furry or not.

I mean I think that was the big thing about this. The law in GreenReaper's article didn't effect furries. It effect all humans in the US of that demographic. So in essence talking about that appeals more to their life as a human then as a furry.

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I meant more to the point of "I'm not American, I don't live there, so I don't need to see American political news". In the same veign that I wouldn't post Canadian politics here. It just doesn't impact the fandom as a whole.
And as for Loi 78, I'm still waiting on the court challenges to see if it holds up to the Canadian Constitution or not before writing a piece about it.

Dark Bunny Sauces -

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If it's a law that effects furries in the event of doing their furry thing I don't think it matter what country it's in, I think furries would be interested.

I mean... Anthrocon takes place in America, does that mean it only appeals to an American audience? No.

Determining this is tricky, but I think you're being "Too hard" while GreenReaper was being "too soft". You can't decide to not publish somethign because it doesn't "impact the fandom as a whole" this fandom is too big, nothing would be published. Not every furry is interested in porn, some of our stories cover that. Not every furry is interested in books. Not every furry is interested in suiting or suitters. However there was not an issue because each of them are a subset of the culture.

The healthcare law really isn't.

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They should be, however if furries have interest in gaming there is Gaming Furever, and even then it's not like furries couldn't use actual gaming sites or if they wanted to learn about things like SOPA or ACTA that they couldn't use technology news sites. I mean in my mind SOPA had more implications to furry then the healthcare law. Did we cover it? No. But if you didn't know about it, you didn't use the internet because the news was all over outside of Flayrah. Same with the healthcare law.

This is the argument religious people use all the time when they attempt to convert people. That it's there job to inform people of Jesus, God, Mohammad, etc. that if they weren't doing it how would people ever find Him...

Oh I don't know, by breathing and picking up one of the millions of books lying around or maybe...or if God were to exist and wanted to reach someone then he's going to I mean, he's God. Saying the without one missionary on a mission to convert people then the whole religion would collapse is as silly as saying as without Flayrah covering outside fandom news furries would never know what's going on in the world around him.

I would hope we aren't that dumb.

But as I said, I would be all in fine for having furries cover news things that are not related to the fandom, but if we're going to have those kind of articles that target the furry "demographic" rather then cover the topic of furry things itself we should partition it out. I'd be all for it, I cover lots of other things other then furry in my life, it's just a part of it. Most of my ramblings though don't reach an audience because I'm not one to go out and advertise my musings. Being able to put them somewhere where they could reach a larger audience would be beneficial for me.

Furries talking about human news might also make us appear more... human. So if we made a "Flayrah - Humie edition" I would support that. If we try to force the humie into the current flayrah, it's going to isolate the current audience whose demographic is different then the one that took Nuka's survey.

But I'm not going to go around and knock on a person's feed that doesn't want to hear it, I'd rather they come to me not me go to them.

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Oh dear, Flayrah's gone meta.

It's all over folks.

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To me one the big problem is I don't see a Flayrah as a general news site. Furry is a small segment of the news and so in a general news site will be drowned out by all the other nonsense. To me the entire idea of Flayrah and FNN is to remove all that extraneous news and only share what is specifically about the fandom. To me this site should be a speciality place dealing with furry news. In the same manner I wouldn't expect National Geographic to cover Britney Spears and Brad Pitt having a baby. I'm sure some readers would be interested in that but they go elsewhere for that news.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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>One potential way to satisfy both audiences would be to split the feed into two groups, or maybe even two sites or pages; one strictly for furry news, the other for furry perspectives on non-furry news.

This is nonsense. What does "furry perspective on non-furry news" even mean? Is Flayrah going to run news about Mexican drug cartels because there happen to be a few Mexican furs who have opinions about them? Environment news because some furs are environmentalists? Tech news because many furs work in the tech industry?

Please let's accept reality: the experiment of allowing opinion pieces about RL politics on Flayrah was a failure and needs to be killed off immediately before it does actual damage.

Allowing off-topic news and highly controversial political pamphlets has historically been the beginning of the end for a lot of fanzines and magazines, it feels like a last resort to grab the readers attention when the magazine has nothing on-topic to offer any more. Flayrah does its job very well and doesn't need to play attention whoring like that, nor it needs to be poisoned by even more explicit political rivalry between staff people or writers.

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One of my major issues with going down the route of political news with such tenuous connections to furry fandom is that to a much greater extent than ANY other news I've seen on Flayrah, it makes Flayrah look awfully US-centric.

Now, I don't think I'd mind if someone wrote an article about a recent Swedish supreme court decision freeing a manga translator from a previous possession of child pornography conviction on the basis that the images were unrealistic/clearly fantastic in nature - this has obvious relevance in that it's quite obvious if manga characters aren't realistic enough to be illegal, furry characters obviously should be. It will only affect a very small subset of furry fans, as Sweden is not a huge country, and people who enjoy erotic depiction of underage characters are not a majority subset of furries, but either way it's directly relevant to fandom. I don't mind when people write about furries getting arrested/convicted of crimes, though the vilification of the individuals can sometimes be rather disturbing. But writing about something that affects everyone in a country because furries are a subset of "everyone" is pushing it.

I mean, I find some of the more general animal-related articles to be of arguable interest already - I read Flayrah for furry news, not for feel-good news about a new species of frog being discovered. (Articles about animal intelligence or, say, animals getting normally "human" privileges like being the beneficiaries of testaments or riding the bus are IMO more furry interest than generic "here's some news about animals".) That's obviously my personal opinion and I'll just not read the articles concerned since many fans seem to disagree.

Honestly what strikes me as most irksome in this whole business is that people felt the need to write SEVERAL MORE ARTICLES after deciding they didn't like the first one. I don't care if you're making a point, if you think an article is off-topic, writing another egregiously off-topic article isn't the answer. Can we stop acting like children, please?

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If Mitt Romney announced that all homosexuals should be rounded up and killed, I'd certainly expect Flayrah to cover it.

Unless of course Romney happened to be wearing a derpy fursuit when he made said announcement, in which case furries would be discouraged from mentioning anything for fear of causing teh dramallamas.

On a vaguely related matter, it's a bloody good thing Hitler, mediocre artist that he once was, never drew furry art. Can you imagine how much *MORE* genocide-denyingly insufferable the Nazifurs would be if he had?!

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That's "Mittens Romney" to you, sir!

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The only story I could think of as close to relevant to furry fandom was when Democrats started to claim that Mitt Romney was a Unicorn to counteract the birthers in Arizona:

But even that's kind of a stretch... I mean... unless he really is a unicorn, but then again if he was a unicorn then Republicans would probably get more of the furry votes then they usually do...

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Y'know, "unicorn" in the context of polyamory is a bisexual woman comfortable being "the girlfriend" in a three-partner relationship without eventually causing (often inadvertently) the other two to break up over her. Because such women are "as rare as".

Which would make Mitt Romney actually sort of hilarious, as a Rule 63 sexually and socially inverse image of himself. I'd prefer a funny candidate to the bigot he's thus far proven himself to be, as I'm somewhat disappointed with Obama's failure to realize early enough how little good his offers of compromise have done -- as well as his maintenance of Bush Jr's bad policies.

I want to see a true left-wing socialist get voted into a prominent position in US government, just to watch everyone's brains melt when we turn into Sweden instead of Russia (the fears of conservatives) or China (the fears of everyone else watching conservatives turn the US into China).

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Is this the same Sweden whose average standard of living would be rated just barely over that of Mississippi if it were a US state? Mississippi currently rates #50, by the way...

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I have to agree with some of the comments made above. Not all, but some.
I find Flayrah to be a good source of news for the Furry Fandom, and for things that involve the fandom. The inclusion of political articles makes it a bit US-centric. As a Canadian myself, news about the US passing a bill for a form of universal healthcare is not relevant to me. That would be akin to me posting an article regarding a change to the design on the Loonie (the Canadian one dollar coin, for those unaware).

Though political articles are not bad, and ARE relevant to a segment of the community, it would only be that particular segment that could appropriately comment on them. I do read world news on a regular basis. But this is why I keep Google news on my list of daily sites to visit. Flayrah is a place I go for furry news.

I realize that this is just my opinion. But if I may posit a suggestion for a small solution: if political opinion pieces are going to be posted to Flayrah, create a sub-section of the site. It would keep them out of the main stream of news, but would provide a forum for discussion on those topics for those furs that want it.

Dark Bunny Sauces -

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I'm nobody and I never vote on articles. But I do read Flayrah. When I see non-furry news here, however, I ignore it. I can get all that stuff elsewhere. I come here for furry news; it's the only place I know where to get that.

It's up to you to decide if you want to be an ignorable site for generic news, or an important site for news within your niche. Simple as that.

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The original healthcare post reeks political activism and the responses only to make a point.

I used to and may go back volunteering for various Republican campaigns. I do read the "enemy's" blogs and get on their mailing list to follow their tactics and taking points.
There is a tactic of appealing to various interest groups with the campaign's talking points. There is a valid use for this tactic if it used within a related interest group, or example I would go to a sports shooters or NRA forum and communicate gun rights issue. Where this tactic is abused is when on try to infiltrate unrelated interest groups with the same taking points. For example taking point add "Fur" to it and some how one thinks they created a taking point they think that will appeal to all furries.

There are three huge problem. One we are not dumb sheep and we can see thought the sheepskin to the political wolf. Second it very rude for a person to join a group to exploit and push taking points and not the interest in the group. One there was a guy on the Christan fur forum who had no interest in furry fandom joined to just post the latest Obama taking point. At lest the person could shown second interest in the furry community. Finally it a huge pile of stinking red herring fallacy. The unrelated talking point detracts from the original interest of the group.

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This article is mostly good and thoughtful, but it misses an important point. Sure, it was a little jarring to see normal news on Flayrah. But what pissed people off so much was that it was so unbalanced. It was so rediculously one sided, and not just that, it also literally urged readers to go out and vote along the lines of the author's opinions. This is typically considered in bad taste ANYWHERE. Unless you're posting your rant on a strictly liberal (or conservative) website, you shouldn't write with such disregard and disrespect for your opposed-minded readership. The author wrote the article making assumptions about the furry audience. Of course we must all be liberals! Of course this helps us furries, because we're all poor! It totally disregards any diversity in our fandom.

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I am aware that many furries are not liberals, and many are not poor. What I intended to get across was "because this benefits the average member of furry fandom, especially the most vulnerable ones, we should vote for it."

It was an appeal to the furry sense of community and altruism. I hoped that those on the edge (in particular, those with no good reason to vote either way) would consider this a worthwhile reason to go to the polls.

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The "Global Citizen" questions from this years fandom survey will provide a glimpse into this theory. I said to Neko I suspected it was going to be neutral more then anything. Neko said they were expecting positive results since the charities we do run go so well. While furries tend to be generous it seems to be toward causes that they see in the interest of animals or the furry fandom. I don't think this is exactly a "Global Citizen" thing. A "Global Citizen" would help those even against their way of life, in my mind.

This is kind of charity's evolution. People donate only to causes they see worthy instead of a general offering plate these days. Those causes seem to be in some way aligned with them. For example a social conservative will donate to churches while a Democrat may donate to the Trevor Project and a furry would donate to a local tiger preservation lot.

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I also suspect furries as a group are not global citizens. If anything, the average fur is perhaps more selfish than average because of their age. I just think they like helping out other furries.

I am picky about donating to furry convention charities; I have to actually care for the animals concerned. I would prefer to donate to a charity that supported furries or furry work directly. Unfortunately there are not many of these other than conventions themselves, many of which have a habit of donating excess funds to their chosen animal charities rather than putting it to work in the community. I don't see the need to sponsor those events.

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With that charity donation site up and running it should be easier to donate to causes without a middle man, however getting the word out for these things is important...

However, there is the whole scam thing one needs to be careful about. If furries start to look for people to donate to, people are going to be more aggressive in exaggerating their issues for a piece. Many could already say this already occurs.

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"I am aware that many furries are not liberals, and many are not poor. What I intended to get across was "because this benefits the average member of furry fandom, especially the most vulnerable ones, we should vote for it."

It was an appeal to the furry sense of community and altruism. I hoped that those on the edge (in particular, those with no good reason to vote either way) would consider this a worthwhile reason to go to the polls."

In other words, sir, you suddenly and out of nowhere wished to use "Flayrah" as a forum to promote and seek support for your own personal agenda, and your own personal concept of right and wrong. _This_ is what flipped me out, especially since your views on this issue (and what constitutes right and wrong in regard to it) happen to directly contradict my own. How could you _not_ expect a powerful response of some kind, especially on something this important to the USA as a whole? I tried to head the whole thing off, and still regret that I failed. My subsequent actions constituted what I saw as the best available remaining approach.

On the twenty-fifth or thirtieth anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, I read a column whose author predicted that someday a ninety-year-old nursing home resident will stab his equally elderly room-mate to death in blind rage while arguing the ethics and morality of the Vietnam War. I can but agree, because it's an issue that can't and won't go away for those who lived though it. This issue is much the same. Ten or even twenty years from now this topic will _still_ be too hot to touch without causing pain, much like abortion or gun control. Better to deal with this sort of thing in more appropriate venues.

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In other words, sir, you suddenly and out of nowhere wished to use "Flayrah" as a forum to promote and seek support for your own personal agenda, and your own personal concept of right and wrong.

Other than the "personal agenda" bit - my motive was not personal benefit - yes. One class of opinion pieces consist of essays where an author is arguing for a change in the world, and exhort others to action. Is Yerf all it claims to be? and State of the Fandom spring to mind as prior examples.

I was expecting contrary opinions. I wasn't expecting "this isn't something we should have on Flayrah at all".

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I would submit that "agenda" and "personal benefit" are not synonymous. You sought votes for a cause you wished to see carried forward. That, to me, fits the word "agenda".

BTW, looking forward to sharing another few happy hours with you in Dallas sometime. This is _not_ personal.

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Yes I will go the the poll and vote for Romney and any republican to overturn this travesty.

While you do have a right to you opinion (to which I retort you are wrong), you do not have a right to speak for the rest of us or me.

In fact it why I have a problem with any idea any community as defined, we end up with activist twit telling what position a community should take. What I take issue is taking the furry community as vehicle to push personal political agenda especially there a lot of divergent view in the furry community Christian, cultural conservative to Homosexual, atheist, leftist, yet we we can come together in the enjoyment of anthropomorphism.

While I am furry and do not consent to your idea of a furry community have have no part in it.

(speaking as a person with strong Individualist Capitalist with some objectivist leanings).

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"We can come together in the enjoyment of anthropomorphism."

Speak for yourself.

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Acton: although GreenReaper should not have made those assumptions, and yes, you are not alone in being an individualist and capitalist, i don't really mind the idea of creating a SEPARATE news feed for "furry perspectives on non-furry news," though I would prefer the newsfeed attempt to be as balanced, neutral and professional as possible.

giving an opinion piece is fine, but if you're going to be a Newspaper Editor, please attempt some professionalism, and attempt to do your homework before posting a piece for all of us to read.

I come to Flayrah as a newbie, I've never been here before, though I do know GreenReaper from Dallas and WikiFur.

I prefer not to receive non-furry news when I visit a furry news site, and definitely don't want non-furry news in an RSS newsfeed when i subscribe for highly relevant fandom-centric news.

Please keep on topic, guys.

GreenReaper: I look forward to meeting you again at Addison FurMeet. No hard feelings here.

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

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Speak for yourself. What annoyed _me_ was that it was _politics_.

If I want that, all I have to do is turn on the television or visit any mainstream news site. That's not what I visit Flayrah for.

Like many of the others responding in this thread, the reason I check Flayrah is for _furry-related content_.

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*Are* most furries even liberal? "Liberal" doesn't mean the same thing as "endlessly putting up with homophobes, zoophiles, thieves, fraudsters and junkies", you know.

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No political gibber-jabber on Flayrah please! It boggles my mind that that should even need saying. There are other sites far more appropriate to opine about your personal political views on some issue of the day in your country of residence. And if I'm interested in those topics, I'll no doubt be seeing what you've posted on whatever site that is because it will be pertinent there. Eleven years here and I've never seen any articles as entirely non-pertinent here as those mentioned.

When politicians start talking about furries, furry art, furry culture, furry topics of interest (or start wearing fursuits, picture that Presidential debate!) then it'll be appropriate material to post here.

We all make mistakes, and that's fine - "whoops", but fine - no harm done. Let's just never do it again.

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Like remember when George Bush said during the State of the Union in his 2006 address regarding laws about human/animal hybrids? Classic.

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Hey, at least I am not to blame for all this :D

Well, I'll be...

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Fuck you all, and to hell with Flayrah. I don't go here to be reminded of how everyone in the whole fucking United States thinks I deserve to die because I can't afford health insurance. You are terrible, amoral people, and I hope your love affair with the ghost of Ayn Rand is satisfying enough to make up for the deaths that you're causing.

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Think you meant to put this in this article:

Here is the thing Taryn, before these articles wer published, the people who "have love affairs with the ghost of Ayn Rand" were not members here. They joined because of the political article in all sense of irony the left article attracted a bunch of new members who are right winged.

This is what politics does. If someone says something that is the least bit opposite the other side will swarm it. It's why alot of Fox's watchers work for organizations such as Media Matters and Huffington Post.

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I am currently uninsured.

I hope I don't get sick, or get injured.

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

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No one deserves to die whether they are children or adult or Senior. They do deserve a competitive lower cost healthcare. One that doesn't ruin the country trying.

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Hey, free-market Rand-worshippers:

Remind us of how much the Atlas Shrugged movie made.
Tell us how much the Sarah Palin documentary cleaned up at the box office. I hear they had to schedule extra screenings to meet the demand!


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Seems my Politic articles = Whiskey analogy works on different levels to...

once you drink whiskey on a regular basis, soon that's all you're drinking...

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My solution, as a writer, would be to make the off-topic topic Furry. The simplest way to do this is to have 2 Furry cartoon characters discussing the topic in a comic. Green Reaper and Rabbit could each create a character, or use their personal characters.

But that's one of the big selling points about Furry itself. Any topic you put in the mouths of Furry characters automatically becomes on topic - not as the topic itself, but because the topic becomes an aspect of the characters.

In a sense we already do this, because most of us post our comments beside a Furry avatar. And it is not the common practice of the fandom to ignore those avatars and think of it as a human speaking. It would just make it less controversial if some kind of art was created to coincide with the articles and discussions.

It's all well and good to create Furry characters that just look good, but it's so much nicer if you create characters that also have something interesting and socially relevant to say.

It's a fandom for an allegorical art form. It exists to help you express anything you might want to say. Learn how to use it to your fullest advantage and nothing will be off-topic.

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Clever idea, but if I wanted to read that, I'd read a webcomic that dealt with that.

That said, I wouldn't mind if some enterprising young furs decided to make a furry webcomic that dealt with current events. I'd subscribe.

Heaven is not a place, it's being with people who love you.

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I'd love to incorporate editorial cartoons into Flayrah. Unfortunately it's hard enough to find people who can write the news, let alone draw it in a satirical manner. (eryshe springs to mind, but I get the impression he's a bit busy.)

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