No. of Recommendations: 95
I have been quietly reading the posts over the last few weeks and am amazed and embarrassed at what has been going on here.

I think the FC lost more than it could afford to when, in one short period of time we lost: The Admiral, Ro, FoolishCop, and others that were swept away to carry the TMF moniker. While they all proclaim the FC as their “home board” the reality is (apparently) that the time demands are too great for them to do more than occasionally lurk. I see that Tom1000 has recently started posting again and that's a welcome addition!

It used to be that The Admiral would sail into the middle of any and all frays. Reminding one and all that civility and respect were what we wanted to experience from all posters, no matter the subject matter, no matter the poster.

It is a sign of the times that this plea for the return of respect and civility seems to fall on the shoulders of an old redneck (for the newbies…..that's me).

The image of the FC has always been one of a big room with a blazing, warm fire and big overstuffed chairs. A room where old friends would stop by when they had a moment and new friends came to introduce themselves. A magical room where there was always another chair (one with your name on it) by the fire. A room of bright minds, warm hearts, genuine respect and sensitivity for each other, and insatiable curiosity about this thing called investing. A room where differing ideas were spiritedly researched, debated, digested and then put aside for the next idea or aspect to be discovered and challenged. A room where all of this happened with intelligence, warmth, respect, and humor. A room where newcomers to the room and to investing were welcomed, really welcomed. Where questions were given thoughtful and respectful answers. A room where differing investing approaches didn't mean someone was wrong or silly. A room where investing contests were held as learning experiences.

Why have we gone away from that? Why have we adopted the “ignore poster” button? Why do we have the “raspberry face”? Is this what we want of our interactions here? If we all exclude each other, who will be left to extend a hand?

I don't think this has all gone so far yet as to be at (or beyond) the point of no return, at least I hope not.

I wonder if we all can't just commit to leave hostility, sarcasm, cynicism (expressed at each other), and all the other negative displays that serve to offend……let's commit to leaving all of those at the door and let's enter the big FC room committed to something more worthwhile.

Can we all just unclick the “ignore poster” button for those recent additions and give each other another chance (or three) or however many it takes to “work it out”? Talking around each other is somewhat silly, don'tchya think?

Is there a desire here on the part of the participants, old and new to regain the warmth, the friendship, the learning journey?

If not, then it is a sad day for this old redneck. The FC has become my true “haven” on the internet worlds. The special qualities found here, I found nowhere else. I don't want to lose it, but it is already gone unless we all stop and make a decision.

What's it going to be folks? Just another sniping message board or The Collective?

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