Yesterday Leo raised a good point worth adding to about our forum at this time as we head to elections for a new batch of mods. He mentioned it was the most democratic forum on the web.
Others have used words like most friendly place and many other accolades that could fill pages.
For me this place symbolizes even way more than these two points of which many have made many more so these are not the only merits of our forum.
With the BBC having a Freedom 2014 event i thought perhaps Chris Hatfield makes a incredible point. " Freedom is the absolute ability to choose and you don't really appreciate it until its gone" check out the video below.
For newcomers to our forum its worth noting the history of the forum and how it came to be that this place is setup like it is.
In a world of commercial interests where such interests pervade every facet of our lives in an attempt to influence what we buy and steer our thinking and decisions, having a place where we are free to comment, praise or criticize a manufacturer or vendor is a breath of fresh air. Being able to get help whether being a pro or a newbie and ask questions free of judgement no matter how stupid they may seem is a priceless contribution to freedom inmho.
Having a place where power and authority lies not in the hands of a single autocrat or bureaucrat, but in a revolving group of people elected by the people, with the interests of the people it serves at heart is beyond priceless.
This place proves at the heart of our being we can get on, develop greater understanding and be less judgmental or discriminating if we in ourselves are prepared and willing to try undo some of the brainwashing we have lived through.... ask me.
I have learnt an incredible amount while being on this forum and a great deal of it is not related to woodworking.
So my plea to all of you is step up, register to be voting member, then vote, volunteer and stake your claim to keeping this place alive and well and free. It took a incredible effort on the part of a few to create this place. Do all those that have gone before that made this effort justice by participating please. The biggest threat to freedom in my view is apathy on the part of those who have enjoyed it and never realized its value.