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Tolerance - Some Have it Some Don't

Yesterday I picked up quite a few new subscribers to this blog. It all happened because of a software glitch.

I use a very sophisticated software package to manage all my email subscriber lists. I have a mailing list for my site, this Fire Pit site and other sites.

I started creating the message I sent in the Fire Pit list, and all was well as I continued to save each draft.

But when I saved the last draft, I didn't check to see if I was still sending to the Fire Pit list. Somehow the software switched over to my massive list. I hit the Send button thinking that I was sending to the Fire Pit list.


There was an explosion all right, but it was a good one. Within hours, I had thousands of new friends.

But there was collateral damage. About 20-25 people were bitterly upset. The mean-spirited emails they sent to me were unbelievable.

You can read how upset some were right here on this blog. Just go to the comments under the US Senator Kelly Ayotte post. Wow!

I've spent hours and hours opening well over 1,000 emails from folks who said things like, "Tim, this is why there are erasers on pencils. Mistakes happen."

The vast majority of folks had tolerance. The vast majority were happy the mistake happened. The vast majority agree with much that I've written about here at the Fire Pit.

But there's a small group of people who have a zero, or near-zero, tolerance for mistakes, opinions that don't match their's, etc. You may run into folks like this in your daily life.

I urge you, in this New Year, to have as much tolerance for opinions, mistakes, and points of view as there are grains of sand on my steep New Hampshire driveway this winter. I need the sand for traction. You'll need the tolerance to navigate these turbulent times we find ourselves.

If you're a member of the Zero-Tolerance Club, I wish and pray the people you work for, are married to, are friends with and who you deal with don't apply to join your alliance. Why? Because when you make your next mistake, you'll be kicked to the curb by them just like that group of 25 or so did to me. Not only did they hate many of the posts here at the Fire Pit, but they also immediately unsubscribed from my newsletter.

Can you believe their ideology blinds them so much that they would ignore tens of thousands of dollars of free home-improvement tips just because they don't see eye-to-eye with me? That's just crazy.

I don't agree with the stance of Alec Baldwin on his political beliefs, but that doesn't stop me from watching 30 Rock. I don't particularly enjoy hearing Barbara Streisand talk about issues, but I still listen to her sing There's a Time FoRuss. I'm sure you get my point.


Hi Tim,
well, Im glad I happened to be on the mistake list...boy am I happy this came to me. Im a concerned citizen and well agree with your comments and take on the direction this wonderful nation is taking. Our leaders have separated from the whole and are now rewriting our demise from the constituion and freedoms we all have rights to. I signed up for the email list and will joyfully continue to read and be a part of discussion.
Thank you,
for caring and voicing your opinions and opening this opportunity for all to share and think critically and responsibily.

Robin on January 2, 2011 3:07 PM

Hey Tim,

Thanks for making the big mistake! Count me among your new members of the Fire PIt! I am not happy about the direction our great country is headed. I'm a Centrist who believes that the government should protect us from our enemies, but stay the hell out of our private lives.

Don on January 2, 2011 6:32 PM

Mr. Carter,
As one of your new accidental subscribers I have been playing catch-up by reading your past posts. I find them to be much in tune with my thinking. I have gathered that you have recently relocated to the "Live Free or Die State". I am hoping that you will soon share your reasoning for making the move to New Hampshire.

Robert Bellinger on January 2, 2011 10:48 PM

Thanks you for your slight mistake. I would not have found this blog otherwise. As a former resident of New Hampshire, the Granite state could use many more patriots like yourself. Keep up the good work. I'm playing catchup on your previous entries!

Rob Lee on January 3, 2011 4:42 AM

Having been born,raised and live in the San Francisco Bay Area I have an insiders view of the oh so intolerant tolerance movement. Free speech is only free if you agree with the Pied Pipers of propaganda. A different opinion is not taken lightly, if at all.
I luckily escaped the brain washing by watching what people did instead of said. Listening to different sides of an issue or story before forming an opinion. Asking who "They" are when someone says "They say". I thank my dad for that advise.
Becoming self-employed at 18 years old also helped. I think if everybody had to write a quarterly check to the IRS and actually have their money in hand before they hand it over that there would be thousands more informed taxpayers.
And a lot less tolerance for those who make a mockery the word tolerant.

John Selig on January 4, 2011 12:12 AM

Count me as another who is appreciative of your software glitch. From mistake to have connected with an addendum of followers/fans who would not have otherwise gotten the message. As a recent subscriber to AsktheBuilder, I look forward to your posts. The results of the November election give me reason to be positive about correcting the mess created in both parties. As a former small business owner, I agree completely with Rob Lee about writing quarterly checks to the IRS. The required withholding rules have put the nation to sleep about how much we pay in taxes.

Ed Pease on January 4, 2011 9:39 AM

I hope everyone reads this post, but I'm specifically writing to Skippy.

Skip, I understand where you are coming from. I am one of the people who frequently - though not always, disagrees with Tim. He and I have had "words" in several sets of posts on various past threads here.

While I continue to disagree with some of his political views, I have to say that he has never deleted any of my posts. He allows freedom of expression here.

I will also add, I try to keep the dialog respectful and non-abusive. I never curse and mostly don't use derogatory words about people - although I have once or twice done that, and it's a mistake on my part.

We should all be tolerant of each other's opinions. Tim has given me a couple of tongue lashings here; but that's okay, I can take it. :) If I believe in what I say, and I do, it just gives me more energy to articulate my position as clearly as possible.

If you site factual references to back up your opinions, your opinions have more validity. I try to do that most of the time. If people are honest with themselves and care about knowing the truth, they will check out the references I list and hopefully give the information serious consideration. I do the same for other people who list references for their points of view, even if I disagree with them. I can do no less if I want them to do the same for me.

For those who don't bother reading and considering both sides of an argument, they are doing themselves and this country a disservice. But as the old saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".

It's all about mutual respect, and being honest with oneself.

Here is an example of how I operate. I have stated in several posts here that Fox News in general, and Glenn Beck in particular, gives out a lot of mis-information and gives a distored view of the truth. I have found that many people here watch Fox News, based on what they say. From my experience, people who watch Fox News - watch it exclusively and don't watch any other source of news. It's a mistake, in my opinion.

I can back up that claim by listing this reference to a recent study:

While the article in the above reference is itself opinionated, the article does site the actual study, which is also worth reading:

Lou on January 4, 2011 11:58 AM

Skip, I concur with your position. I just don't want to give our country up to narrow-minded and disingenuous extremists without a fight, so I continue to post here with the hope that some people will be honest with themselves and become open minded to facts and logic.

Lou on January 4, 2011 2:01 PM

I have to amend something I said in my previous comment. I would edit it out and change it, but this blog does not allow you to re-edit a post, which is unfortunate.

I repeated Skip's term - narrow-minded. I shouldn't have said that, because now Tim will pounce on that statement, saying how I'm disrespecting his customers, etc. To some extent, that's true. If someone calls me narrow-minded, I might get defensive as well. So I take it back.

But, it gives Tim an "in" to employ a diversionary tactic used frequently by far-right conservatives, which is to introduce trivial or red-herrings issues that take focus away from the really important information.

So instead of discussing the data on the serious topics, we end up talking about relatively banal issues. Meanwhile, Rome burns.

Good job, conservatives, of helping take everyone's eye off the ball.

Lou on January 4, 2011 2:59 PM

I am glad that you found this blog and it is interesting to read your point of view. I am sad that Stephanie has decided to leave. She also brought a fresh point of view to the table as well.

I agree with a lot of what you have to say but my real passion is getting our national debt and deficit under control and making our elected officials govern and not just posture for the next election. If you are interested in holding our officials accountable to govern you might want to check out

Anyway, I look forward to your further thoughts.
I am sad that Stephanie has decided to leave. She also brought a fresh point of view to the table as well.

John C on January 4, 2011 11:27 PM

Please disregard the duplicate last sentance... It was a software glitch

John C on January 4, 2011 11:30 PM

Stephanie had some lengthy back and forth with Tim in the Aoyette post. She explains her positions very well.

John C on January 5, 2011 9:31 PM

PS: I am going to give Tim the benefit of the doubt on what happened. But "software glitch"?? That's right up there with "wardrobe malfunction" and "I never inhaled".

John C on January 5, 2011 9:36 PM
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