Self rigtheous, smug, pompous and pontificate attitudes - do these help our cause?


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GRB
April 26, 2005, 10:00 AM
Do folks here or on other gun related forums believe that smugly expressing themselves as better than others really help to support our cause toward second amendment rights when the expression of such comes off as smug, self righteous, pontificate, or pompous? Please note that this is a question - this is not an accusation.

I am truly wondering about this because sometimes there seems to be a smug sense of self righteousness that comes across from gun owners who seem to think they are better than others either morally, ethically, intelligently, strength of character wise, religiously and so on. I am not talking about very generally accepted ethics and beliefs along these lines. For example I do not mean a belief such as: We believe murder is bad therefore we are better than those who commit murder. What I mean to say is that it seems to me that some people apparently think they are better than others along the above lines because of their narrower specific belief systems such as religious beliefs, narrow ethical beliefs, ethnicity, nationality, and so forth. Therefore some people (and remember this is specifically about people on gun forums) seemingly become insulting, degrading, scornful, against the other person whenever that other person expresses other beliefs. Those beliefs can be expressed outright or inoffensively by the person with the other belief yet, there seem to be those, on every gun site with forums, who immediately have to go on the offensive and become nasty or scornful in reply and do so with an air of smugness and pomposity. They apparently become so self inflated in their own self satisfaction that is cocooned by their own belief system that they find it needful to ridicule all others even if they only do so in somewhat muted terms.

Is this something that others of you see happening also? If so, is this good for the cause of protecting our constitutional rights, specifically our right to keep and bear arms or; does such an attitude only go to alienate us from our own potential allies and make us a weaker target for our opposition? If it is happening as much as I believe it to be, why is it that we are not more able to become united under our single cause while leaving the degradation at home? Why is it that besides being against the opposition we also apparently have to be against one another? Remember again please, I am not talking about the difference between being supportive of generally accepted taboos such as murder, pedophilia, rape, oppressive tyranny, criminal acts, religious oppression by the state or by a religion and so forth. I am speaking to the fact that many of us have differing belief systems regarding much more benign things that even though practiced still allow the practicioner to be a good person. Yet, it seems evident that some of us have to attack those different beliefs of others when they are not malignant at all and; the attack is quite often along the less than desirable manners described above as opposed to by way of intelligent and respectful opposing debate.

What do you folks think?

All the best,
Glenn B

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logical
April 26, 2005, 10:05 AM
No, it is probably not helpful.

El Rojo
April 26, 2005, 10:19 AM
I don't think it matters. You can only control yourself and your attitude. Be yourself, do what you feel is right, and encourage others to do the same. If some people like to take the better than you road, let them. The anti's really don't care much, they don't believe in anything we do most times and they could care less. We are not all one unified body and I think we would be foolish to ever believe we could be. We are a diverse group with diverse opinions. Lets not be too critical of ourselves, it will only depress you and ruin what you have going.

Speak your peace, be comfortable with your stand, and try to influence those you can. You really can't do anything else about it.

trapperjohn
April 26, 2005, 10:23 AM
as soon as we start sounding like a pompous a$$ people will tend to stop heeding our arguement. in any arguement where you want to persuade someone, you need to at least give the appearance of respecting their opinion and being open minded.
witty sayings and such may get a chuckle out of bystanders, but will do nothing to convince the one being argued with

richyoung
April 26, 2005, 10:49 AM
depends - are we "preaching to the choir", in which case it probably doesn't matter, or are we truly trying to convert the heathen? If so, politeness will go a long way...

Relayer
April 26, 2005, 11:18 AM
Are bad manners helpful?

I guess it would be hard to argue that they are.

This board is not likely to sway many one way or the other.

IMHO, it's mostly by us, for us (gun lovers).

MikeIsaj
April 26, 2005, 12:07 PM
Glenn;

I agree 100%.

Reading your post made me realize what it is about these attitudes that pushes my buttons.

It's called bullying.

As I've stated before, we will not win one mind by bluster and bravado. Calm, rational logic, preferably a discussion that stimulates intelligent thought in the other person will win people over. In my experience anti gun people have generally not thought their position through. That's why liberalism is so popular, it's easy, doesn't require intellectual effort. If you give them cause to consider their view, they generally see it as the illogical stand that it is.

The Rabbi
April 26, 2005, 12:11 PM
Aren't you the same guy who posted that illegal immigrants are maggots, varmints, and sub human scum???
Dont you think referring to human beings that way might reflect badly, esp coming from an LEO?

DSRUPTV
April 26, 2005, 12:57 PM
I think that open minded conversation is the best way to share one's opinions. I really think that many people when presented politely, and respectfully with logic about gun ownership can be swayed. I also know that there are many die-hards out there that will never accept guns. Offering to take someone to the range seems to be a good tactic sometimes as well. Having a chip on your shoulder and acting superior to others will usually push them away, and make them disrespect you and your opinions.

Old Dog
April 26, 2005, 01:03 PM
Aren't you the same guy who posted that illegal immigrants are maggots, varmints, and sub human scum???
Why, yes he was ... "parasitic vermin," "scum of the earth" and the "largest group of criminals" in the U.S. were some of the terms he used, while depicting illegal aliens in this country as "having more rights" than you or I.
the attack is quite often along the less than desirable manners described above as opposed to by way of intelligent and respectful opposing debate.
So, in GB's own words, he is describing some of the very methods of discourse he himself has engaged in ...

Zundfolge
April 26, 2005, 01:04 PM
Self rigtheous, smug, pompous and pontificate attitudes - do these help our cause?

Hmm ... talk about irony defined.

You used the phrase "pompous and pontificate attitudes" when complaining about pompous and pontificate attitudes? :neener:


At any rate, its hard not to be a little self righteous when debating with antis because often their data is just dead wrong yet they (self righteously I might ad) continue to debate even when you've handed them their head on a platter (rhetorically).

In addition, there are just too many people who can't tell the difference between "self righteous, smug and pompous" and "secure in their knowledge/beliefs".


If one is right, there is no reason to appologize or downplay one's "rightness".

gunsmith
April 26, 2005, 01:22 PM
but you see,we gun owners are smarter then "regular" people...
and 100% supior intelek over anti guners.

:neener:

mnrivrat
April 26, 2005, 02:05 PM
(and remember this is specifically about people on gun forums)

The problem of which you speak is a character problem and certainly not unique to gun forums.

Nothing turns me off faster than those that always think and express that they have the high ground - moraly, mentaly, or any other way you care to talk about. Self confidence is different than smugness, and arrogance.

That said, it isn't always the message - sometimes, it's the messenger !

Standing Wolf
April 26, 2005, 02:13 PM
I've never seen any special reason to be polite to people who've openly declared their intention to turn me into a socialist serf.

Zundfolge
April 26, 2005, 02:24 PM
Nothing turns me off faster than those that always think and express that they have the high ground - moraly, mentaly, or any other way you care to talk about. Self confidence is different than smugness, and arrogance.

So you're telling me that you wouldn't come off as condescending when debating the flatness vs. roundness of the Earth with a member of the Flat Earth Society?



When your opponent is demonstrably wrong yet they continue to spout off their discredited beliefs as fact, its hard ... if not impossible to not appear "smug and arrogant" when debating with them.


supporters of gun control as a means to "make the world a better/safer place" are wrong ... this is not an "opinion" but a scientifically verifiable fact.


Anyway, I don't think I'm doing a good job of making my point, which is; It doesn't matter how "nice" we are when arguing with antis, the fact that we are "right" and they are "wrong" means we will be seen as being self righteous, smug, pompous, arrogant and having "pontificate attitudes".

Andrew Rothman
April 26, 2005, 02:54 PM
Glenn, your post is a picture-perfect example of "begging the question." You answer the question in asking it in perjorative terms.

There is a valid argument to be made that those who are not hypocrites, who take personal responsibility for their well-being and that of their families, and who choose to live their lives according to a moral code are superior to those who do not.

While few will argue that pomposity is the way to win friends and influence people, the opposite may be moral relativism.

Gordon Fink
April 26, 2005, 03:31 PM
… this is not an “opinion” but a scientifically verifiable fact.

When has this ever swayed the faithful?

~G. Fink

Sharps Shooter
April 26, 2005, 03:48 PM
I'm always polite and respectful of those who would deny my rights and have my personal, private property confiscated and/or outlawed.

mnrivrat
April 26, 2005, 04:12 PM
So you're telling me that you wouldn't come off as condescending when debating the flatness vs. roundness of the Earth with a member of the Flat Earth Society?

There is a valid argument to be made that those who are not hypocrites, who take personal responsibility for their well-being and that of their families, and who choose to live their lives according to a moral code are superior to those who do not.

When your right - your right . That doesn't change fact into anything else. Arrogance is "an undue degree of self importance , an exorbitant claim to dignity , a lordly contempt of others ". If you think your going to make friends and influence people with just being right - I think you need to think again.

Perfectly sound messages of fact can get lost in presentation.

Zundfolge
April 26, 2005, 04:22 PM
arrogance is "an undue degree of self importance , an exorbitant claim to dignity , a lordly contempt of others ".
Ask a 1000 people what the definition of "an undue degree" of self importance or "exorbitant" claim to dignity are and you'll get 1000 different answers.

To many people, just asserting that you are right is "an undue degree of self importance , an exorbitant claim to dignity , a lordly contempt of others"

If you think your going to make friends and influence people with just being right - I think you need to think again.
Antis don't want to be my friend, they want me disarmed, helpless and probably dead.

The best way to make "friends" is to have no core values, no ideals and no belief in right and wrong ... that way you are as inoffensive to others as possible (even to bad people).

I'd rather be right and disliked then wrong and loved ... the only way antis will love us is if we give them what they want. In other words, they will only like us when we become antis too.


Do we want antis to like us ... to say nice things about us ... to invite us to their parties? Or do we want to defeat them?

logical
April 26, 2005, 04:22 PM
I somehow suspect that things like the ongoing public debate over whether "twenty" or " a five gallon bucket full" is the proper minimum number of AR magazines to keep on hand probably harms the cause as much as the pompous crowd.

whm1974
April 26, 2005, 06:42 PM
If one is right, there is no reason to appologize or downplay one's "rightness"

People DOING the above has cause a lot of problems.

-Bill

another okie
April 26, 2005, 07:06 PM
"Pontificate" is a verb, not an adjective.

Just my contribution to the smugness quotient.

MikeIsaj
April 26, 2005, 07:20 PM
I was just going to ask if anyone knew what Pontificate meant. It is a verb that I've never heard anyone but me and Woody Allen use before. (His was a line in a movie so maye it doesn't count.)

Would the adjective be pontificious or pontifical?

Harry Paget Flashman
April 26, 2005, 07:43 PM
In regards to the subject line of this thread, this old saying comes to mind....

"Follow him who seeks the truth; beware of him who has found it."

thatguy
April 26, 2005, 07:44 PM
Well, for not making accusations, as you say you are not, your comments were fairly accusatory. I'll try to not take them personally. :rolleyes:

If someone is offering opinion I take it for what's worth. If someone is offering fact... I take it for what it's worth. He or she may or may not know what he or she is talking about. :uhoh:

As for attitudes, I have learned that reading typed words on a page often leads to misunderstandings. You can't hear the inflection in the voice or the tone. You can't see the eyes or face of the "speaker." What the writer intended as concise info may be interpreted as pontificating. Again, take it for what it's worth and don't get excited about it. :cool:

Bottom line, it's the Internet. It's strangers on the Internet. I can't worry about it. I have too many real problems in my life to sweat this sort of thing. :banghead:

GRB
April 26, 2005, 07:58 PM
So, in GB's own words, he is describing some of the very methods of discourse he himself has engaged in ... No I am not because in this thread I was specifically questioning how we deal with one another, with our own allies; in this thread I was not discussing how we or I deal with criminals. I would think we would all be in agreement that criminals are for the most part essentially unwanted pests among society. Can you really tell me you want people to be committing crimes and that you7 feel them a blessing to our nation! If you do not agree with this then fine, but that is no reason not to intelligently and respectfully discuss the matter with another board member. Was I being disrespectful to criminals? Yes I was. They have lost my respect (as they should under our laws lose their freedom and certain of their rights) once they have committed the crime and continue to commit others. When they have paid their due to society (and I do not mean amnesty but incarceration or deportation) and then come back into society as a law abiding citizen, or legal nonimmigrant or immigrant alien, I would respect them again. No my logic is not flawed even if you disagree, nor is my use subject for this thread ironic or self-contradictory.

Again though this thread deals with another subject and that is essentially how you treat your allies not how you talk about criminals. I also see many are discussing this in light of how we talk to antis. I am not speaking about that at all. I mean this only as we communicate with one another and how it effects our argument against our opponents. Specifcally and more to the point I was aksing about how we interact with other law abiding gun enthusiasts and second amendment rights advocates. I do not personally fault anyone on these boards in a pompous or pontificate manner when they are wrong about something as I see it. For example this quote from an above post is, in my opinion, dead wrong: Glenn, your post is a picture-perfect example of "begging the question." You answer the question in asking it in pejorative terms.

There is a valid argument to be made that those who are not hypocrites, who take personal responsibility for their well-being and that of their families, and who choose to live their lives according to a moral code are superior to those who do not. ... I was not talking about being in disagreement with others of another belief system concerning guns, I was talking about people who have the same belief as to second amendment rights on these and other forums related to guns AND I WAS BEING VERY SPECIFIC IN THAT REGARD. Furthermore, I was not pejorative at all in my question or my statement above in the first post. If you think such you are very wrong in my opinion. Their was nothing derogatory in what I asked or in what I stated. I said or implied that I do not believe such use of attitude with one another to be right, but I asked others what they thought. I am not putting negative words into your keyboards - you answer as you choose to write.

Aren't you the same guy who posted that illegal immigrants are maggots, varmints, and sub human scum???
Dont you think referring to human beings that way might reflect badly, esp coming from an LEO? I think my words reflect that in my essay I exercised my right to free speech. I think that reflects well upon me and my nation. As for my choice of words, no I do not think it reflects badly, but I have discussed that issue in the earlier thread to which you make reference. As for someone saying, or at least implying by way of a question, I called anyone “sub-human scum”, please show me the citation. I believe this to be a blatant example of exactly what I was asking. It is funny though that such should be pointed out when it was never said - even if it came in the form of a probably sarcastic question. It goes to show exactly of what I am speaking. I do not mind if someone questions me or my beliefs, as others have done in this thread. I do not mind if they say I am wrong. Well maybe I mind, but I do not attack with a pompous attitude and try to make the other guy look really bad by reaming him out because his ideas do not agree with mine. yet others go so far as to freely make it look as if another gun rights advocate is of some morally, ethically, lower position than his or her own by use of blatantly derogatory wordage, and yes this includes misquoting people even if only by way of implication. I do not mind when someone quotes me correctly and tries to say here, look at this, you say this now and said something else then, is that hypocritical or not. Someone above did that, but as I pointed out above I think my point, my specific point regarding this thread was overlooked innhis reply to me. So what, I will intelligently and repectfully discuss the issue even if we vehemently disagree because we are all law abiding gun enthusiasts and all members of these forums.

I do mind, however, when someone makes it a personal attack such as by putting words into my mouth or my pages, or by trying to imply that the issue currently being discussed is the same (or is of the same type) as the earlier issue, the one I was discussing from which my words are now used against me. While many may believe that what I say now is somehow contradicted by what I said earlier, I again point out I am currently discussing how you deal with allies on a forum in whcih you are mutual members, as opposed to how you deal with criminals (the issue of my earlier piece) who are, in essence as I see them, the enemies of a morally sound society. I do not believe I called anyone sub-human and; I just read every word I posted in that other thread and edit checked my posts on MS Word for the words: sub, subhuman, sub human, sub-human - they were not there in any of my words. To imply that I used terminology that I did not actually use is, in my opinion, incorrect at best, and possibly is an example of what I was inquiring about in the intial post of this thread.

Texian Pistolero
April 26, 2005, 08:21 PM
I have been observing the gun control battle for thirty-five years.

At some point, it's not about discussion or argument, it's about assumed positions in the culture wars.

Depending on how it's done, 'diss'in" the opposition is an unavoidable technique. Like the "anti's" aren't doing it in SPADES?

Whether it is an appropriate technique depends entirely on who you are talking to, the specific situation.

P95Carry
April 26, 2005, 08:33 PM
My main observation right now is - this is not a very gun oriented subject - even tho it is aimed at us gunnies. Not much talk of firearms per se. To be honest - this sort of debate would be better placed (IMO) on the APS forum .. Roundtable.

Old Dog
April 26, 2005, 09:15 PM
In an attempt to get back on topic ... and trying to understand the question behind Glen's original post ... if I understand correctly, Glen was referring to attitudes displayed on the internet gun forums -- which, really, as noted before, are all just preaching to the choir. I really don't think self-righteousness, smugness, pomposity or pon ... (no, won't use that word) really turn folks off from our cause, since most of the forum readers are all, in varying degrees and forms, committed to our cause. Of course, most of us are all a little smug at one time or another in our posting ... nature of the forum thing.

It's my theory, though, than RKBA supporters often tend to marshal facts better, and are usually in better command of history, evidence, trends and statistics than anti-gun folks -- whose main arguments are primarily emotional in nature or sensationalistic and don't withstand critical scrutiny. So -- if one is right - as Zundfolge points out -- one may just come across as a bit smug, and is certainly entitled to feel self-righteous.

And Glen, you did refer to illegal aliens as "scum of the earth," etc., and a couple of your postings in response to responses to your essay, did come across (to me, at least) as a bit extreme and well, quite rascist in nature.

The Rabbi
April 26, 2005, 09:44 PM
I have been observing the gun control battle for thirty-five years.

Well, that's longer than I have. But when I was reading Ed McGivern's Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting I noticed in one part where he gives a refutation of an anti gun argument (if you ban guns only criminals will have them) so this was obviously a topic in the 1920s when the book was published--thats 80 years ago!

Byron Quick
April 26, 2005, 10:23 PM
I somehow suspect that things like the ongoing public debate over whether "twenty" or " a five gallon bucket full" is the proper minimum number of AR magazines to keep on hand probably harms the cause as much as the pompous crowd.

What on-going public debate? Where's the people who support having the bed of their pick-up filled up with AR magazines?

I will be very polite when trying to sway fence sitters. I will not be impolite to dyed in the wool antis. However, I will ask them,"Why do you want me dead by criminal violence?" When they reply that they do not want me dead; my reply will be,"Yes you do, under your stated and published policies I would not be able to legally carry a handgun, correct?...I would have been the victim of a lethal criminal assault twenty years ago under your system. You advocate the murder of law abiding people by criminals...Oh yeah, one more thing. I was attacked by a man wielding a hickory sledge hammer handle...are you going to ban trees?" Antis are contemptible and deserve contempt...politely, of course. We need to challenge them at every opportunity. Especially in front of the fence sitters. We also need to do it in a civil manner. And then offer to take the fence sitter to the range.


As far as the charge of feeling better than others. Hey, I'm an American. As an American, I am as good as anyone...and better than most! :neener:

GRB
April 26, 2005, 11:23 PM
And Glen, you did refer to illegal aliens as "scum of the earth," etc., and a couple of your postings in response to responses to your essay, did come across (to me, at least) as a bit extreme and well, quite rascist in nature.Allow me to digress for a brief moment from the original topic. To think that what I said about criminal aliens being scum and to equate that with racism is absolute nonsense. You have absolutely no basis in fact to say such or to imply that I am a racist. I based my indignation in my original piece about illegal aliens on Mexicans simply because President Bush is planning on giving amnesty to them after their first act in our country was to violate the laws of our country. They are, and this is a proven and previously verified fact, the largest national group of illegal aliens within our borders. There is jnothing racuial about that unless you want to make something up about how yopu believe I feel regarding race and ethnicity. You know nothing of my race, nor do you know of how I treat others of races other than my own. Furthermore to assume that all Mexicans are of the same race is rather shallow. Mexican citizens are made up of many races. My rant was not racist, rather it was strongly nationalistic and strongly anticrime. by the way, my feelings about illegal aliens being criminals, and about criminals being the scum of the earth is in no way limited to Mexicans. I have this opinion about virtulally anyone who willingly has in fact committed a felony. If you missed that in my essay, please read it again. I believe white supremists who commit hate crimes to be in the same boat. I believe rapists, pedophiles, bank robbers, wife beaters, husband beaters, embezlers, burglars, welfare cheats, and on and on to all be likewise. As for that opinion being extreme, well there are apprximately 11 million illegal aliens suck us dry right now - so yes it was pretty extreme because it is long overdue for the sleeping giant to awaken once again and take care of his business.

Best regards,
Glenn B

GRB
April 26, 2005, 11:35 PM
Oh before I forget to mention this, or before this topic goes away out of lack of interest, I did want to point out that I do not consioder myself above anything I am asking about. I too have fairly often done what I am talking about. I do not want to give anyone the false impression that I think myself perfect, or that I am preaching to them on this issue. While I do not agree that my illegal alien essay was or is the same thing as one pro-gun person discussing an issue with another pro-gun person, and then one of them going off nastily on the other, I will readily admit to havig been arrogant, nasty, pompous in some of my postings on other boards - especially with regard to some other posters on those boards who were virtually always vile and disgusting. I am trying to overcome such bad habits and, in trying to do so I am quite eager to see what others think about the manners to be used when discussing issues with other law abiding pro-gun people.

Now someone (I think P95) said this topic has little to do with guns. In fact it has a lot to do with guns but in an indirect manner. Yet that indirect connection is one that certainly will effect to some degree, great or little, our ability to enjoy and partake in our second amendment rights in the future. If that is not a topic that is relevant to the issue of General Gun Discussions on this particular site, then maybe I should have placed it in legal or political. I did not choose to place it on another gun related site as was suggested because this is the only gun related forum type site that I regularly frequent. My apologies to the site owners if this was some sort of a forbidden or off topic discussion for this site. It was not my intent to rock the boat but rather to discuss an issue which intrigues me about people who support gun ownership. In this last regard, would it be possible to have a forum on this site wherein the members could discuss gun ownership, gun rights, gun beliefs, and other related issues such as this? That would be a nice addition and, it seems that we can carry on such discussions like responsible adults. What say you the moderators and owners of this site?

best regards,
Glenn B

The Rabbi
April 26, 2005, 11:43 PM
I based my indignation in my original piece about illegal aliens on Mexicans simply because President Bush is planning on giving amnesty to them after their first act in our country was to violate the laws of our country.

I think the British say something similar about our Founding Fathers violating the laws of their country.

I think you should quit while you're behind, Glenn Bartley. This isnt making things any better.

GRB
April 26, 2005, 11:49 PM
Can I ask that the mods shut this one down please. I did not mean for it to become a persoanl back and forth thing but, my guess is it may soon degenerate as someone seems particularly interested in making this some sort of a personal vendetta. I would rather have stuck with the issue I first wrote about, but I see it seems impossible with some and while I tend to answer anyone who goes off on a tangent that in some manner seems indirectly connected, i really don't want this to become a personal wheezing match even though someone else seems intent on just that. Sorry for the bother.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
April 27, 2005, 02:56 AM
Do folks here or on other gun related forums believe that smugly expressing themselves ....

...(a whole boatload of densely packed words ensue)...

...manners described above as opposed to by way of intelligent and respectful opposing debate.

You're taking the internet way too seriously.

Get yourself out to your Statehouse and see how well RKBA advocates conduct themselves before legislative committees before you leap to all these assumptions as to their behavior in the real world (that's offline by the way).

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
April 27, 2005, 03:28 AM
..

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
April 27, 2005, 03:32 AM
..

Gunnutz13
April 27, 2005, 10:30 AM
...sounds like the author.... :neener:

GEM
April 27, 2005, 12:08 PM
Before this is shut down - the basic premise is misguided. What the author is talking about is a personality style that cuts across all political viewpoints. In any discussion, the self-righteous, etc. surface and pontificate.

Go to the Poodledog forum and you will see the same thing. Folks from the left, right and planet Vulcan can act like horses' butts and they do.

It doesn't work when anyone uses such rhetorical techniques or displays such attitudes. Since you only read gun forums, you probably think gun folks are like that. Wrong - everyone is like that.

pax
April 27, 2005, 01:52 PM
I'm closing this because it doesn't appear to be very gun related, and because it does appear to be generating more heat than light.

pax

There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion. -- Lord Acton

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