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Living where the majority political views are not yours

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I live in Fairfax County, VA, which is definitely becoming more liberal. I’m a conservative but respect others point of view. I’m finding that respect only seems to go one way though🙁I’ve been called vile names because of my views on the 1st and 2nd amendment. If the topic of religion comes up, that can go south quickly too. My DH is a retired chaplain/pastor of a confessional church body. Unless I’m with friends, I never discuss politics or religion.😔 

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1 hour ago, sassenach said:

I’m a semi-conservative living in an 80%+ liberal county. You can only imagine after the last election... 

Most people assume that I am liberal so if politics comes up, which it doesn’t really that often, I either have to out myself or let it go. 

Stay off of NextDoor. 

Interesting. I live in a very blue state and when talk on the local NextDoor turns political, it’s almost always from the extreme right. It’s one thing to read such white male Christian nationalist and anti everything else comments in national publications or news stories, but pretty darn frightening to know these kind of people live in your community. This is a recent phenomenon and it still amazes me that people will post such things using their real name and location.

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13 minutes ago, May said:

I’m finding that respect only seems to go one way though🙁

Not singling you out, just using this as a jumping off --

It seems to me that many people--regardless of which "side" they're on--feel that respect only goes one way.

And I think the "why" of that is something worth pondering.

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1 hour ago, sassenach said:

I’m a semi-conservative living in an 80%+ liberal county. You can only imagine after the last election... 

Most people assume that I am liberal so if politics comes up, which it doesn’t really that often, I either have to out myself or let it go. 

Stay off of NextDoor. 

 

I felt the same way when I was a liberal living in red land. People would just assume you felt the same way as they did and would go off on some rant about Obama or whatever, and expect you to agree. Which I suppose makes sense. If you live somewhere and MOST people think like you do, then statistically, you probably do agree. It is frustrating though. I tended to just nod along in the hopes of shortening the conversation.  

NextDoor hasn't been an issue for me though...wherever I've lived, it has been a place to post about lost or found pets. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Frances said:

Interesting. I live in a very blue state and when talk on the local NextDoor turns political, it’s almost always from the extreme right. It’s one thing to read such white male Christian nationalist and anti everything else comments in national publications or news stories, but pretty darn frightening to know these kind of people live in your community. This is a recent phenomenon and it still amazes me that people will post such things using their real name and location.

 

Yep, where I live really couldn’t be more liberal and a goodly portion of the Next Door political conversations are not just right of center but all the way over to right wing conspiracies.  Almost the only exception would be how some people feel about homelessness and race.  On THOSE issues, there’s a broad mix of liberals and conservatives espousing the same fairly extreme and unkind views and a mix of the rest of us who are like “last I checked criminalizing poverty seems like a shitty thing to do, also, BTW you can be politically liberal and racist. Check it out.”

I stay off Next Door because I just don’t need to explain “what was that boom” one.more.time.  I live in suburbs where there has been ONE murder in 7 years but to hear the people on Next Door tell it, we live in a veritable war zone and every car backfiring or idiot kid with a firecracker is someone coming to KILL THEM.  

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26 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Not singling you out, just using this as a jumping off --

It seems to me that many people--regardless of which "side" they're on--feel that respect only goes one way.

And I think the "why" of that is something worth pondering.

That is a REALLY good question. Not for this particular thread, of course, but a really good observation to ponder.  I have noticed the same tendency.

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Not exactly what you're asking.....but if smiling and nodding doesn't work, I respond, "Over the course of my lifetime, I've voted for both parties."  After that most people change the subject.

And a weird story.  I moved to this town as a registered Independent.  I go to vote for the first time.  At the table the poll worker asks my address. She turns the pages in a book and arrives at a page with my street name.  She check me off.   Here's the thing....I could read (upside down) all my neighbors names, their party and see if they've voted that day.  She made no effort to tip or cover the book.

I get to the the tiny, counter height, non-curtained semi-cubicle with my toddler.  Worker lady advises me that toddler should not be in the weird cubicle. Big sigh.  All this in a probably 25'x25' room.

As I turn in my ballot, the other poll worker opens another book and checks me off the list. So, if I didn't get to read it the first time, I got a second chance!

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27 minutes ago, amyx4 said:

Not exactly what you're asking.....but if smiling and nodding doesn't work, I respond, "Over the course of my lifetime, I've voted for both parties."  After that most people change the subject.

And a weird story.  I moved to this town as a registered Independent.  I go to vote for the first time.  At the table the poll worker asks my address. She turns the pages in a book and arrives at a page with my street name.  She check me off.   Here's the thing....I could read (upside down) all my neighbors names, their party and see if they've voted that day.  She made no effort to tip or cover the book.

I get to the the tiny, counter height, non-curtained semi-cubicle with my toddler.  Worker lady advises me that toddler should not be in the weird cubicle. Big sigh.  All this in a probably 25'x25' room.

As I turn in my ballot, the other poll worker opens another book and checks me off the list. So, if I didn't get to read it the first time, I got a second chance!

 

You can look up which elections people voted in in my state online.  It’s all maintained in a voter file. It’s not private information to be registered to vote or to vote or not vote in any given election.  I just checked and my record shows which elections I have voted in back to 2005 so the information is maintained for awhile (I have been voting since 1998).

Edited by LucyStoner
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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

It seems to me that many people--regardless of which "side" they're on--feel that respect only goes one way.

And I think the "why" of that is something worth pondering.

 

I think herd instinct gives the “loud mouth” in my region the “confidence” that they are right  and people who don’t agree are wrong because they are the majority.

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1 hour ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

 

I felt the same way when I was a liberal living in red land. People would just assume you felt the same way as they did and would go off on some rant about Obama or whatever, and expect you to agree. Which I suppose makes sense. If you live somewhere and MOST people think like you do, then statistically, you probably do agree. It is frustrating though. I tended to just nod along in the hopes of shortening the conversation.  

NextDoor hasn't been an issue for me though...wherever I've lived, it has been a place to post about lost or found pets. 

 

That's what it's like where I live, just a couple of counties south of Fairfax.  So different.  My kids have learned in any event (especially things like CYT -- where they are usually the only non-Christian and only liberal) they just avoid anything political.  But when I would be just hanging around I would hear random comments from the kids about Obama or building a wall.  It's just assumed that everyone there feels the same way.  

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7 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Are you aware that in the US, violent and non-violent crimes against Jews have dramatically increased in the past few years? For crying out loud, two synagogues have been attacked in the past seven months!

I can't see how any Jewish person can feel "perfectly safe" with those facts. Indeed, I have many Jewish friends, and *all* of them have spoken extensively about how unsafe they feel right now. (Admittedly, none of them are conservatives, but I don't think that the anti-Semites of the world care about that.)

Pointing out that people who share your religion/ethnicity are increasingly targeted is not the problem.

 

Ahem...

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-lake-view-east-synagogue-arson-attempt-20190519-story.html

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I have accepted that even if I lived in Vatican City, I’d live somewhere that almost no one seems to have my political/social policy/moral views.

That’s okay. I don’t plan to ever run for any office, so popular opinion doesn’t much matter.

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But I’ll add, outside of dh’s work, I’m okay being unpopular. I want to be loved and liked same as everyone else, it’s just not my main concern.

So if someone says something I view as morally objectionable, I’ll contemplate for a few minutes how to phrase myself and then address it as kindly and calmly as possible.

People love to hate on other people.  Doesn’t matter if it’s Obama or Trump or Jews. They just love to feel like best buds in a common basket.  Even if that basket is swiftly going down the river to hell. 

I try not to comment on that aspect and stick to the larger topic.  ESP if they make claims of being Christian DBL ESP zig they are Catholic. 

Because we say:

God, Family, and Country in that order for a reason and I’ll have little patience for nationalism over Catholicism. 

I do not believe in avoiding religion and politics to be polite.  Polite has its place. But we spend too much time caring about how nice people seem instead of how Good they are. 

Give me a good person who gives me pause for thought over the nice person who waves politely as I sink down the river. 

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2 hours ago, May said:

I live in Fairfax County, VA, which is definitely becoming more liberal. I’m a conservative but respect others point of view. I’m finding that respect only seems to go one way though.

I lean conservative, but respect others points of view.  I live one county over from you and have definitely noticed the same thing.  And...people have NO FILTER on social media.  This is true of both sides of the fence.  So ugly....

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

 

You can look up which elections people voted in in my state online.  It’s all maintained in a voter file. It’s not private information to be registered to vote or to vote or not vote in any given election.  I just checked and my record shows which elections I have voted in back to 2005 so the information is maintained for awhile (I have been voting since 1998).

I always learn something new on these boards.

So in my state, you need to enter more personal information than just your name to access voting records.  So, I couldn't just type in my neighbor Susie Smith and find out when she voted and her political party.  

But I can just lean over the table and see if see voted and her political party!!

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We live in a state that is far at the opposite end of the spectrum we believe in. Until late 2016, this was somewhat tolerable. We had our small circle of local allies that we talked politics with, and mostly avoided political discourse with those who we didn't share core values with. 

After the 2016 election, however, we realized that our political beliefs were just the tip of the iceberg, and that our personal moral values were gravely threatened by the politics of the age, that our democracy as a whole was in jeopardy, and thus, we have made a moral choice to take a stand publicly, whatever the personal costs. Since then, actually, I've felt better locally to some degree, as by getting highly involved politically in our state, I have met MANY allies state wide. Even if your state is only 30% "your" side, that's still 1 in 3 folks who can be allies. So, I actually feel much LESS isolated knowing that. So, that's a good thing, I suppose.

That said, if I were to do it over, I wouldn't have settled my family in this state because of the political/moral climate here, so, my personal advice would be to make every reasonable effort to settle in a community and state that reflects your values. I wish we had chosen a state that better reflects our morals and values. Unless you live under a rock and/or simply refuse to take any ownership in your duties as a citizen or our democracy in general, you can't really overstate the impact of living in a state/community/nation that is utterly at odds with your moral/social/political values. So, for me, I believe we'd have been much better off if we'd settled in a state that DID reflect our values. I've learned a lot by living in this environment, but the lessons are painful, and IME, the vast majority of folks simply choose to live under rocks instead of engaging with democracy.

In truth, my ability to engage politically here is a privilege that not many have here, as the risks to employment and even personal physical safety can't be overstated. 

 

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16 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

I lean conservative, but respect others points of view.  I live one county over from you and have definitely noticed the same thing.  And...people have NO FILTER on social media.  This is true of both sides of the fence.  So ugly....

 

I unfriended a lot of people I have acquaintance with at church or in education because of their lack of social media filter. Especially as they only want the filter to go one way.  They want to spew horridness but don't want anyone to call them on it.  Nope.  I don't have to stand in front of someone and let that happen, and I don't have to sit in my home and read it either. But aside from that, it was making it really difficult to view them in a Christian light in person. 

My husband actually closed/deleted all his accounts and now just as FB with like 15 friends in it.  Linkedin is only work and no conversations. Anyone who starts a not professional based message with him gets blocked.

And I swear I need to start a FB page or blog about the stupid lies women are expected to believe.  Discredit all the stupid "inspirational" memes. 😆

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Yes, I grew up in an area that is strongly opposite myself on the political spectrum, as well as having lived in areas like that for 5 1/2 years of my adulthood.  You will wind up paying for things via your taxes that you disagree with, but that will probably happen to some degree everywhere.  Mostly it's not such a big deal in individual interactions with people, as you can always look for the common ground and the good in others whether you disagree or not, generally agree to disagree as needed, and excuse yourself from relationships with the few people who refuse to allow that mutual respect.

The big exception to this was public school.  There kids don't have the option to excuse themselves from a situation, and (at least where I lived) there are some teachers who feel free to use their position to push their own political views, deride students who publicly disagree, and even in one instance lower grades.  On the up side, kids who go through the public school system and come out the other side still holding views differing from the norm will have really deeply explored what they believe and why by that time.

Edited by Michelle Conde

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I know people on both sides of the political spectrum. I tend to be center, but will lean to either side depending on the issue. Anyway, I know far left and far right people who are really loud and obnoxious. I always want to tell them that they are so similar and could be great friends. I'm afraid both would kill me 🙂 

I don't usually say much unless I think what is being said is harmful. My dad is a democrat that likes to call people who disagree with him horrible names and cut off relationships. I will call him out. At church there is a lady who won't ask a Muslim woman who works at Walmart for help because she said she assumes this lady won't help her anyway or might kill her. I had to call her out.  Both of these people  also do similar things outside of politics. My dad will cut off relationships if anyone disagrees with him on any subject. This lady at church is afraid of her shadow I think.

Kelly

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4 hours ago, amyx4 said:

I always learn something new on these boards.

So in my state, you need to enter more personal information than just your name to access voting records.  So, I couldn't just type in my neighbor Susie Smith and find out when she voted and her political party.  

But I can just lean over the table and see if see voted and her political party!!

 

We don’t register by party here.  We actually have a “top two primary” where the top two finishers in the primary proceed to the general even if they are from the same party.  Which has happened.  

The voter file can be obtained by the public as well.  It’s not just sitting on a website for all comers but it’s available.  I get access to a copy because I am a precinct captain.  It has all my neighbors and if they voted in the last few elections + the party layers in information indicating if the voter is “leans R, strong R, leans D, strong D” and other data.  

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8 hours ago, May said:

I’m finding that respect only seems to go one way though

 

7 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Not singling you out, just using this as a jumping off --

It seems to me that many people--regardless of which "side" they're on--feel that respect only goes one way.

 

1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I know people on both sides of the political spectrum. I tend to be center, but will lean to either side depending on the issue. Anyway, I know far left and far right people who are really loud and obnoxious. I always want to tell them that they are so similar and could be great friends. I'm afraid both would kill me 🙂 

 

Yup.  My FB friends are varied.  They will sometimes use the exact same phrases against each other and believe it. “Liberals are all X.”  “Conservatives are all X.”  Each side is convinced that their side is angelic and the other is demonic.

Mostly, I’m in the middle, but the majority of the people I know trend to a single side, some very strongly and some more mildly.  

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I used to live in a place where my friend got yelled at loudly in a public area because she had too many kids and was destroying the earth with her carbon footprint.  So, basically, you just learn not to share your viewpoint and know that if you do, you would be inviting all sorts of people to curse at you (I learned my lesson to not offer differing options even if offered in kindness).  I live in a different part of the country now and didn’t realize how much I altered my speech in public —even if it was at a coffee shop with a friend —until I moved.  I’m saddened that things are like this now.

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7 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

 

You can look up which elections people voted in in my state online.  It’s all maintained in a voter file. It’s not private information to be registered to vote or to vote or not vote in any given election.  I just checked and my record shows which elections I have voted in back to 2005 so the information is maintained for awhile (I have been voting since 1998).

Same here. One year we got postcards reminding us to vote and telling us which of our neighbors had already voted. I guess someone was trying to apply peer pressure? I just thought it was creepy.

Edited by Frances

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10 hours ago, Frances said:

Interesting. I live in a very blue state and when talk on the local NextDoor turns political, it’s almost always from the extreme right. It’s one thing to read such white male Christian nationalist and anti everything else comments in national publications or news stories, but pretty darn frightening to know these kind of people live in your community. This is a recent phenomenon and it still amazes me that people will post such things using their real name and location.

That’s so odd to me! I am on NextDoor for my town and I have NEVER seen a single political post. It actually bores me sometimes because it seems like my NextDoor is always posts about lost and found dogs and cats. 

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How inflammatory politics are tends to go in cycles.  It's very bad at the moment.  That said, it's always better manners to never discuss politics, religion, or disease in polite company. It has a way of alienating people.  Pick a local sports team to root for and default to that if you're backed into a corner.  If someone presses just say you've been too busy to look into it but you're sure you will before the election.

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

That’s so odd to me! I am on NextDoor for my town and I have NEVER seen a single political post. It actually bores me sometimes because it seems like my NextDoor is always posts about lost and found dogs and cats. 

I only read it occasionally because we have our own private neighborhood email group. The first time I saw such extreme posts I was shocked, especially because people use their real names and neighborhoods. Recently there were lots of hateful posts after our legislature unanimously passed a bill to study how to better deal with missing and murdered Native American women.

 

 

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This is what happens when the idealists (Baby Boomers on the whole) are in power.  Idealists aren't known for their sense of degrees-it's all black and white and any opposition is a threat to all existence. It makes them prone to the extremes we're seeing right now.  Gen X is more pragmatic on the whole, so they're prone to live an let live attitudes and trying what actually works.  Think about that when it's time to vote, folks.

Most Americans are building echo chambers for themselves and in the process are becoming hyper-sensitive to opposing points of view. They seem to think of the isolation of their own making as virtuous.  I have about a 40/40 split liberal /conservative of FB friends, many of whom are ridiculously thin skinned and huffy about the other side.  There are snowflakes of all ages and political affiliations, but I have to say older folks are some of the worst.  I unfollow people when they show this trait in themselves, when they post vitriol, and when they beat dead horses.

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I live in a swing state but my particular area never swings. We moved here when I was 15 and as many of you know I'm one of the oldest Hive members. In all my time living here I've always been in both the political and religious minority. Yard signs and bumper stickers from the "other" side are plentiful. Those who agree with me either don't bother putting out signs or have had them stolen. I have one friend who had three Obama signs stolen in 2012. Finally she put a note on her fourth sign that said "Each time you steal my sign you're supporting this candidate because I'll just buy another one." That ended the sign thievery. Most of the time I don't even bother to speak up. 

We almost gave up homeschooling right at the start because the only homeschool group in my city was very religious and very conservative. They had a statement of faith which wasn't required. However, if you didn't sign it you could participate but not be in charge of anything. No classes, no field trips, nothing. Thanks to Yahoogroups (remember those lol) I found a more open and inclusive group but it was based in the southern part of my county. For all of our 10+ hs years I drove 45 minutes to an hour to everything. The friends we made from that group - both ds' old homeschool friends who are now adults and my and dh's old homeschool parent friends - all still live in that area and we have to drive to be able to do anything with them. (If you're wondering why they don't drive up to us. sometimes they do but there are many more choices of things to do where they live. My city in the north end of the county has pretty much nothing to do and few decent restaurants.)

As I said, I mostly keep my mouth shut. The friends I mentioned above share my beliefs and when we get together we discuss/vent about politics and the current situation. Yes, it's an echo chamber but the way things are around here there's no point in arguing with those who have strong opposite beliefs.

As for neighbors, we just don't discuss politics. While my neighborhood had yard signs no one on my small cul de sac did. I think we're such a small street that we don't want to alienate one another.

Edited by Lady Florida.

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14 hours ago, Frances said:

Same here. One year we got postcards reminding us to vote and telling us which of our neighbors had already voted. I guess someone was trying to apply peer pressure? I just thought it was creepy.

We got these one year also. It was creepy, and made me angry. I hate pressure tactics!

Kelly

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I live in a purple area, but I also live in a minority majority area and actually voting tends to follow race/ethnic. People assume all sorts of things about each other.  It seems like no one can discuss an idea simply as an idea, but rather it has to be about who we are and it's a personal attack to have different ideas.  I tend to see a lot of issues as having way more than 2 sides and more like there's so many various points or added in issues to consider. 

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On 5/20/2019 at 8:27 PM, Quill said:

That’s so odd to me! I am on NextDoor for my town and I have NEVER seen a single political post. It actually bores me sometimes because it seems like my NextDoor is always posts about lost and found dogs and cats. 

It’s not usually partisan political around me, but it is way more... reactionary? than I expect. That’s probably not the best way to put it, but I’m in a super liberal area, and the NextDoor posts for my neighborhood are very anti-immigrant, anti-homeless, pro-business, etc. So, not the views, for better or worse, that one would expect of a liberal area. They’re basically a bunch of hardcore nimbys. It’s also very white, which is not a good reflection of my neighborhood. 

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8 hours ago, Farrar said:

It’s not usually partisan political around me, but it is way more... reactionary? than I expect. That’s probably not the best way to put it, but I’m in a super liberal area, and the NextDoor posts for my neighborhood are very anti-immigrant, anti-homeless, pro-business, etc. So, not the views, for better or worse, that one would expect of a liberal area. They’re basically a bunch of hardcore nimbys. It’s also very white, which is not a good reflection of my neighborhood. 

Interesting! 

There has only been a single instance in which someone posted something I thought was inappropriate, but he was immediately called out by other NextDoor members. It was a member speculating on why a police car had visited a particular home. 

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36 minutes ago, Quill said:

Interesting! 

There has only been a single instance in which someone posted something I thought was inappropriate, but he was immediately called out by other NextDoor members. It was a member speculating on why a police car had visited a particular home. 

It’s not inappropriate exactly, but it is sort of jarring. Our old listserv was filled with (and still has sometimes) diatribes against gentrification. The last thing I looked at on NextDoor was a warning against a new population of homeless men that have shown up recently and a general complaint that the city needs to get rid of them somehow, no solutions proposed.

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The community Facebook pages here are as bad as Nextdoor for the Nimbyism.  I had to hide them.  A non-profit built some transitional housing apartments for women and children and you would have thought they were reacting to being told that the feds were going to put death row inmates on work release in our town and that the inmates would all be housed on their lawns.  

There’s also a new DV shelter in an old fire station here.  The Next Door sorts posted about how this would bring in “unsavory” people.  

On the upside the posts do provide a handy dandy cheat sheet to identify neighborhood assholes.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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