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The Civic Experience

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Even in the odd years when politics are supposed to go all dormant – thereby allowing the government to get down to the business of governing, allegedly – rhetoric never sleeps. Florida will be the epicenter of next year’s huge electoral states – even the Republican National Convention will be held in nearby Tampa – meaning that no matter where you try to point your disinterest, you’re bound to get into a heated argument about issues with somebody you’ll never respect again. But it’s not all big Ds and big Rs rumbling in a discontented Tea Party spiral down the drain. Sometimes being civic-minded means surrounding yourself with people and ideas meant to enhance the public good, without all of the pretense of kissing hands and shaking babies. Good luck with that. If the fascism-friendly leanings of the past few months are anything to go by, this fall will almost certainly necessitate a dosage increase for your blood pressure meds. Happy fighting!

Billy Manes

Through Nov. 30

Orlando Food Not Bombs Food Sharing 8:30 am Monday, 5 pm Wednesday; Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave.; free; 407-252-1379; orlandofoodnotbombs.org.

Sept. 29

Muslim Life in the West: Addressing Muslim Integration in the U.S. and Western Europe Mohamed Younis. 3-4:30 pm; UCF Student Union, Pegasus Ballroom, University of Central Florida; free; 407-823-0688; ucfglobalperspectives.org.

Week of Sex Ed. Free condoms and STD prevention. 10 am - 2 pm; UCF, Student Union, 4000 Central Florida Blvd.; free; 407-823-2000; voxucf.org.

Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Vegan Outreach With ARFF. 6 pm Friday, 10 am Saturday-Sunday; Maitland Public Library, 501 S. Maitland Ave., Maitland; free, animalrightsflorida.org

Oct. 1, Nov. 5

Countywatch Monthly Meeting 8 am Saturday; Denny’s, 440 S. Semoran Blvd.; free; countywatch.org.

Oct. 7, Nov. 4

Commute Orlando First Friday - Take it to the Streets 6 pm Friday; Loch Haven Park, 900 E. Princeton St.; free; commuteorlando.com.

Oct. 11

After Osama bin Laden: Terrorism’s Future Prospects 3-4:30 pm; UCF, Student Union, 4000 Central Florida Blvd.; free; 407-823-0688; ucfglobalperspectives.org.

Oct. 12, Nov. 9

Democratic Women’s Club of Greater Orlando6-8 pm Wednesday; Juliana’s Restaurant, 2306 Edgewater Drive; free; 407-425-1801.

Oct. 13

Drinking Liberally 6:30 pm; Red Star Tavern, 3461 E. Colonial Drive; free.

People Power, Politics and Global Change 8:30 am - 2 pm; UCF Student Union, University of Central Florida; free; 407-823-0688; ucfglobalperspectives.org.

Democracy, Islam and Secularism 6 pm; Bush Science Center, Rollins College, Winter Park; free; 407-646-2183; rollins.edu.

Oct. 14-Oct. 15

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