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A note to all - please read this through.

I received an email the other day from the fool, telling me that my subscription is due for renewal. Now, to me, political discourse (which is the extent of my exercises here on the fool) is something to participate in but not something that one should have to pay to do. After all, free speech isn't free if you have to pay to talk.

So I replied to the fool, declining the opportunity to take advantage of their generous offer. They replied back and asked me to take an exit survey to "improve" the site. Here is my reply back.

"David and Paul -

There should be no need for a "survey". Here is, in simple language, the essence of the reason why I am declining your offer.

The MF discussion boards that I have accessed have been political in nature except for one which is recreational. I began participating in 1999 at your specific invitation to discuss politics and that has been the only reason I have stayed as long as I have. Simply a way to discuss politics. BTW, I'm sure you have ways to check and verify that statement.

Now to some, discussion of politics is an item that is worth spending money on. I do not ascribe to that. I don't believe that one should have to spend dollars to participate in a free exchange of ideas. Therefore, I have declined spending dollars over the years since I first signed with your discussion groups. You folks have been gracious and extended that membership because, apparently, you believed that my discussion points were worth the bother. I have appreciated that gesture.

I will not say that it would not be nice or appreciated to continue discussing things with my friends and adversaries on the fool. But since I do not use it as a financial site, simple discussions are not worth the money you ask to continue. Even 20$ a year is a 20$ bill that I can donate to my church or, even better, use to purchase food for a friend and her daughter who are in need. That 20$ pays for 80% of an Angel Food package that takes care of about 50% of their needs per month. The 60$ you ask for the membership for 3 years will supply them with food for a solid 6 weeks through Angel Food. I believe that is the more worthwhile contribution and the better way to use my money.

Now, I know that the internet is an impersonal place, one where the human condition is discounted and the anonymous 'person' who is within us all is allowed free reign over all discussions. But I'm not the type of person who can accept being anonymous. I am who I am, whether on the net or in real life. My discussions come from the heart and mind of me and I really don't care to respond to impersonal "surveys" on how to "improve" a product. What I have to say would be utterly meaningless on your survey.

I believe in free speech on the internet and in the public places. Free speech isn't free if one has to pay for it.

Thanks for a long run. I've been here for 6 years now, plus a bit. I've been a charter member for that time - started when it was free - always knew that I would leave if the discussion boards were not free, because there are more important things for me to do with my money.

With great humility and in all sincerity,
D.L. Knox
Total Posts: 2556
Total Recommendations: 10074
How Many Love spikie: 127
Personal Quote: Never Compromise!!

By the way - Spikie is my 10 1/2 year old Chihuahua. He agrees with my positions 110% of the time.

So now, you folks know that for the past six years you've been discussing politics with a Chihuahua. And, bless your little liberal hearts, you've most often lost the discussions! (Smart a$$ little dog!)

To all my friends here on the fool (and there are many) I bid Adieu. To all my enemies, may you encounter massive infestations of bedbugs wherever you sleep until you learn that I was only presenting alternative sides of the issues so you could learn something in addition to that which you are already aware. Then may you become conservatives - not republicans but conservatives - and do good things for our nation.

I'll miss you all. Maybe someday the fool will again be free for discussion and I may come back. Until that time, I've more valuable things to do with the money I earn, as you saw from my letter to the fool that I wrote and attached here.

If any of you have similar inclinations as I for your spare cash, here is the weblink for Angel Food Ministries (yes, they're affiliated with a church, but they are not affiliated with a denomination - yes they're in the south - NO they do NOT profit from this ministry. They help people in need - not themselves. They do not discriminate against anyone. Anyone can benefit from this ministry - it is not ONLY for people who cannot afford food for the table. If it were, the process of donating food to others would be excessively constrained. Read over the "about" information and, if you're interested, search them out and help someone out with your spare money. Here's the link:

May God bless you all. May all liberals and conservatives alike learn the tolerance that we preach but don't practice and may we all take advantage of the opportunity here with this ministry to help someone else out. If you don't do this one, do another one. There are many out there that are helping people with their day to day lives. Take part in the process and make yourselves better people.

I have.


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