Stop Complaining About Big Government & Embrace It

Bigger government means bigger smiles – but don’t tell that to Republicans. It’s nearly impossible to go a day in Washington without hearing a Republican complain about the horrors of “big government.” That’s because they love to blame “big government” for all of our nation’s problems, big or small.

Just last week in an op-ed for Time Magazine, Senator Rand Paul blamed big government for the chaos that we’re seeing in Ferguson, Missouri, saying that, “Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem.” But somebody needs to tell Senator Paul and the Republicans that, according to solid scientific research, it turns out that a bigger government makes for a happier and more satisfied public. That’s right. Political science researchers with Baylor University’s College of Arts and Sciences found that, “the effect of state intervention into the economy equals or exceeds marriage or employment status -- two traditional predictors of happiness -- when it comes to satisfaction.”

In their study published in the journal Social Forces, the researchers looked at data from 21 OECD nations - the world's most developed countries - in the World Values Survey from 1981 to 2007. They compared the countries based on a variety of factors, including social welfare expenditures as a percentage of GDP, the ease of access to welfare and social service benefits, and overall government spending as a percentage of GDP. The researchers then spoke with nearly 50,000 respondents across the 21 countries about their general well-being, and asked them, “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?”

The respondents were then asked to score their well-being and satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. The U.S. came in eleventh in the rankings, with Americans scoring their well-being and satisfaction at an average of 7.61. That’s not surprising, considering that the U.S. is just one of two OECD countries (South Korea being the other one) that doesn’t spend the highest percentage of its total budget on social services. The most satisfied countries were Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland.

Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland are towards the top of the list when it comes to total government spending on social services as a percentage of GDP. I can personally attest to how much the Danish government cares about the social safety net and the well-being of its people. Five or six years ago, I traveled to Denmark and did my radio show for a week from Copenhagen. During my time in that city, I spoke to a member of Copenhagen’s city council, who told me a remarkable story about a little girl. The young girl was disabled and was living in a 2 or 3 story building, and she had to be carried up and down the stairs everyday by her parents.

When news spread of the girl’s and the family’s struggles, the people of Copenhagen decided that something had to be done to help the family have a better quality of life. So, the Copenhagen city officials decided that it would move the family to a building with an elevator. But then the city realized that would mean the girl would have to change schools, make new friends and go through a lot of adjustments. They decided that would be too much of a burden to put on the girl. So, the city decided that the girl would have the best quality of life if it built an elevator on the outside of her building leading right to her apartment. And that’s exactly what the city did.

If that doesn’t show you how much the Danish government values its people and their well-being, think about this: Even Conservatives in Denmark are in favor of social welfare programs.

During my time in Denmark, I also had the opportunity to speak with conservative Danish lawmakers, who said they were thrilled with their country’s social welfare programs. Actually, the main thing that made them self-identify as "conservative" was their opposition to immigration. Unfortunately, back here in the U.S., conservatives have managed to attach stigmas to increased government spending and “big government.” But we can get rid of those stigmas, by collectively re-learning the lessons our parents and grandparents learned after the Great Depression: government can be a huge force for good. Be it the WPA or the GI Bill, "big government" programs helped build this nation.

When it comes to government, it’s not about how big or small it is. It’s about how effective or ineffective it is. Americans deserve an effective government that works for everyone, one that provides a strong social safety net to help people get back on their feet and defends workers, students, and the working class. Once that happens, America will finally have a shot at true happiness.


johnbest's picture
johnbest 8 years 31 weeks ago

I am sick and tired of these moron libertarians. Screw them all and the horses they rode in on. Rand paul, his father, the Cock Brothers and all the rest of the moron libertarian assholes in this country need to be removed. How dare they presume to know what's best for America. They couldn't find their assholes if they were staring them in the face.

The Cock Brothers and their blood money top my list of asshole libertarians who need to be removed from our country by force if necessary. Separate them from their blood money.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 31 weeks ago

If you read the newspaper archives you will see this is rehashed news at least as old as the eldest readable newspapers. Republicans hate big government, specifically government interference, and Democrats see the need for more regulation. So what else is new under the sun?

My friends in Doctors without Borders were talking about the Danish and Swedish systems 20 years ago.

Everyday this blog starts out with some negative headline and resolves in a few paragraphs that if we do such and such, America will be happy.

Personally, I don't think this does anything to advance the cause of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. It just comes off like a lot of belly-aching followed by profanities and squabbling.

Considering what the Woodstock generation accomplished, this powerful tool, Thom Hartmann's Blog, is as effective as a Tonka Toy for winning the battle.

"Put two under it," the Voice Teacher said to his male students.

That means if you're going to sing, it has to have balls.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 8 years 31 weeks ago

I strongly agree with Mr. Hartmann. The tragedy of this generation is that they disregarded the lessons of our own history, and liberals and Democrats continue to wave the Middle Class Only banner, deeply alienating the poor (working poor and those far worse off). The US shipped out a huge chunk of our working class jobs since the 1980s, and ended welfare aid in the 1990s, creating a poverty crisis. Not a middle class crisis, but a poverty crisis, which the media marketed to middle class libs has largely ignored. Reality is, it's impossible to save (much less, rebuild!) the middle class without shoring up the poor. We won't do that.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 8 years 31 weeks ago

I've always been a fan of big government. The alternative is privatization of services, and we all know how big business likes to run things. Seen enough! No thank you. (Like we have a choice.) Money is speech, and that leaves us pretty much speechless.

nr16020's picture
nr16020 8 years 31 weeks ago

leighmf, you are quite harsh and unkind and........ stupid, really. Here's why....

That's because you don't think about........ the FACT that many people reading Thom's blogs (or listening to him) are "fairly" (pun intended) new to his articles and radio teachings. Also, even if not new, they may have missed some of his articles or radio shows. Also, it is VERY common for people to at least partly forget the details of Right versus Left political minutiae and/or to integrate it into both their subconcious and conciousness. Also, each person has at least a bit of a different "take" on a subject, even if someone with similar political opinions has already written on a subject.

And, last but not least, leighmf, if Thom's writings tick you off, please leave. Who's holding a gun to your head? Thom doesn't deserve this. Rush Limbaugh would be very happy to have you.

Please leave.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 8 years 31 weeks ago

No, we're in this mess because of the middle class. Think about it: We looked at the policies and programs implemented from FDR until Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth and productivity, and chose to reverse course, doing the exact opposite. This isn't the first time we've been in an economic hole. Each time in the past (Great Depression, etc.), the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, ultimately united to push back -- to everyone's benefit. That can't happen this time. Liberals contnuew to wave the Middle Class Only banner, and the middle class told the poor to "go die."

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 8 years 31 weeks ago

Leighmf, Just curious: What is your concept of "truth, justice and the American way"?

dr818dr's picture
dr818dr 8 years 31 weeks ago

I agree with you wholeheartidly about effective government vs large or small. However, I think it is very difficult to make comparisons between European countries and the United States. The problem here when it comes to social services is the Republicans believe that everyone receiving them is cheating the government. The Democrats believe that everyone who gets them needs them. Of course the truth is somewhere in between but neither side will admit to that. And that is where I believe we are different from most of Europe.

The mindset for dependency is much higher in the US (and countries like Greece and Spain) than it is in the Scandanavian countries and Iceland and Switzerland. It's certainly not Romney's 47% but it is certainly higher than the Democrats number of zero. It was interesting that the conservative Danes oppose immigration. Could it be because they know that most immigrants are poor (hence their desire to emigrate) and will be a financial burden to the country. Again we, think (or so the Dems say) that millions of poor, uneducated, low-skilled people, half of whom can't speak the language will be a financial benefit to the country. Of course that is patently absurd and most assuradly will lead to a bigger strain on the social safety net be it direct aid to them or to our workers who will lose their jobs and have to go on unemployment, welfare, food stamps etc.

Thom, I agree with you way more than not and consider myself a pretty far left leaning liberal but when it comes to illegal immigration I know that so many of the things that liberals believe will be hurt and hurt badly by legalizing 11+ million people. I think you believe the same which is why I have never seen you do one column on immigration.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago

Here's one way Big Brother spy's on us all:

Quote truthdig:When large flows of Internet traffic and information remain unencrypted, seemingly harmless activities like watching YouTube videos can allow security and intelligence agencies and well-funded private parties total access to a person’s computer.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago

Seems to me that the only ones that have the balls to push back are the people in Ferguson, MO. I don't entirely agree with their premises, exactly, but when people feel intimidated enough they will push back. And it is going to take such push back in all our cities and towns, by people of all color, in order to really change things. History has proved that unless the people cause the ruling elite enough headaches nothing will change. A rigged "democracy" is not going to change things as we have seen with Obama.

Had it not been for the massive and prolonged push backs of the people, sick of the exploitation of the ruling elite culminating in the crash of 1929 and the following depression and then WWII (where FDR really did need the cannon fodder to unite in harmonious jingoism), he would not have been convinced himself, let alone convinced other wealthy elites, that they had to make changes that would better the lives of the lowly classes....before they got their heads lopped off like the aristocrats did in revolutionary France.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago

You didn't really think that providing the nation's police forces with military grade weapons was all about guarding against Muslim terrorists, did you? It was all about foreseeing how the 3 decades of unfair exploitation of the masses would culminate in mass rioting and disobedience. In other countries, that have overturned their governments, like Egypt and Libya, etc., the masses were far outgunned by government forces yet the people overturned their unpopular governments. And they didn't do it through the ballot box.

Ken Duerksen's picture
Ken Duerksen 8 years 31 weeks ago

leighmf; Thank you for your contribution to the ineffective post-blog "squabbling" you complain about. Cheers.

Ken Duerksen's picture
Ken Duerksen 8 years 31 weeks ago

When the Middle Class grows in numbers, those folks have to come from somewhere. When the economy is regulated properly, a growing Middle Class becomes the attainable goal of the majority of the poor, and the wake-up-call dose of reality for the entitled wealthy. I find that in most credible plans for a smart government geared explicitly toward a healthy middle class, "shoring up the poor" is a big component.

Vegasman56 8 years 31 weeks ago

There’s two books I suggest for you to read, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger By Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson and The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It by Thom Hartmann both these books will help you out

Vegasman56 8 years 31 weeks ago
Vegasman56 8 years 31 weeks ago

This country has increased inequality for the average working American for the past 30 years. The Downward fall started with Pres. Ronald Wilson Reagan tax cuts that he gave to the 1%, the Aristocrats, of this country that gave an advantage over the working American family.

We need a new game in this country, a new game that gives back to the American working family dignity as they once had before. The Aristocrats has seized control of our government to give the power to a limited group of people. We no longer have a Government of the people, by the people and for the people as Abraham Lincoln stated in the Gettysburg Address. In his opening statement, Abraham Lincoln said.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg address

Today that statement all man a good equal, is no longer valid.

One of our founding fathers the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson knew of this concept that he expressed to a friend in a letter that he written that goes by the name of William B. Giles on 12/26/1825, has Jefferson explains to his friend the threat that can be held over the common people by the 1% of their days.

“But this opens with a vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76, now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.”

( plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry)

The Working class

Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson had experience with monarchies and government, he knew of the power of aristocracy of a King and the ruling force that he has, and the threat a monarchy can propose upon our new nation. The main purpose of the Founding fathers was to design this country for the benefit of the common man that works for a living and not a ruling Aristocrat, which can dominate a nation. Another founding father who was George Washington’s first secretary of treasury, Alexander Hamilton also knew of this repressing concept expressed this in his writings of the Federalist Papers Number 17 when he said.

“The barons, or nobles, equally the enemies of the sovereign and the oppressors of the common people, were dreaded and detested by both; till mutual danger and mutual interest effected a union between them fatal to the power of the aristocracy. Had the nobles, by a conduct of clemency and justice, preserved the fidelity and devotion of their retainers and followers, the contests between them and the prince must almost always have ended in their favor, and in the abridgment or subversion of the royal authority.” Alexander Hamilton..

We are now engaged in a great civil war once again, not of armies, but instead of the power of great wealth over the average working American families. I call this great wealth the Aristocrats, which they do believe because of the wealth that they have, they should have control over our government and over you. They believe that the average working American family is not the more than peasants, only to serve the aristocrats for their pleasure, and that there are not created as equals.

Even back during Herbert Hoover administration, Americans knew that the trickle-down economics does not work, here is a quote from a very famous American from that time.

The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.

Will Rogers

The founding fathers truly believe the common people, in which they believe can set up a government by the people and for the people would create an environment for equality instead of a Kings inequality. Little did they know or realize that they left a pathway that would permit a major organization or a corporation to succeed in a Monarch type authority, which would take the power from the common people away, then spread it among the small amount of the elite. That would drive a division that will separate different types of classes of people like the one it was set up in a monarchy. The Republican Party also known as the Conservatives supports this type of divisions of classes among the people of America.

This coming November if we want to take our country back from the rich white man, we have to remember who brought the most freedom, the most prosperity and the most equal rights and equality to our nation, and it’s not Republicans, it was the Liberals/Democrats that did. If you have not registered to vote do it, get active in your community, encourage your neighbors friends and relatives to register to vote as support their community. if we do not take an Active Interest in our lives and our Community, We will lose it To The Aristocrats, The Wealthy The 1%.Go Vote in November. Just one more thing,be aware of the East India Company.

goat-on-a-stick's picture
goat-on-a-stick 8 years 31 weeks ago

Imagine a world where things are done for people not because it's profitable, but because it improves their lives!

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 31 weeks ago

With such a huge difference in racial composition between the population of Ferguson and it's police force, I have to wonder how much of the police personnel lives, and was hired from, outside the city. This would add another dimension of lack of empathy.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago

When you vote for a Republican or a Democrat you are voting for the Aristocrats. The Aristocrats owns both parties.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 31 weeks ago

Michael Brown's head may also have been bowed because he was doubling over in pain from other wounds. There's seems to be very little logic to be had from it.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 31 weeks ago

Rather than say the govenrment has too much power, it would be more accurate to say that the system of incentives in the government (applying to the elected, the appointed and the hired) is not constructed to serve the people properly.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 31 weeks ago

FYI Thom Hartmann does not write this blog.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 31 weeks ago

FYI- Thom Hartmann does not write this blog, Randy Campbell, nr, whatever. You may not realize how many people have been here for years and years and have left and formed a spin-off group of more than 880 liberals and democrats who share the same basic values, who listen to the show, but who cannot stand the PROFANITY (see post #1 above mine), INTOLERANCE, and boredom into which the blog has descended.

Any observer can see how the posts have dwindled to just a few hopeful hangers-on and newcomers, while this blogspot should be the interactive heart of the community.

I have discussed this phenomenon with various persons who were once valuable commenters and contributors to the overall discussion, thus those who get along have moved on.

In the alternate TH Reality, none of us would dare to try and intimidate a poster who has expressed an honest opinion or criticism.

The privilege of having the job writing this blog post I feel demands more research and originality to engage a constructive discussion community. That is my American right to express and a good writer always respects and listens to criticism and suggestion.

The 880 are proof that many a good intellect stay away to avoid hostility and attempted censorship by other members of the TH Community.

I have never listened to Rush Limbaugh in my life, and in fact can't listen to radio at all. I come here because I love and adore Thom and Louise's work as part of a hopeful future.

That still doesn't mean I can't say The Blog is getting Boring.

Truth, Justice, The American Way:

Truth: We Americans have gone on for years and years tolerating unanswered questions about bombings, assassinations, mass terrorism, bombings, and even accepting lies.

My idea is the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth- this we should demand from the Treasury, Congress, and our intelligence agencies. Instead, we are given cover stories to hold us till the next violent act against our People.

Justice: Do Justice in the courts and the heavens will open and rain blessings on the earth. This includes fair measures of law enforcement, punishment that fits the crime (i.e. drug possession vs. massive bank or investment fraud), and an end to the Lawyers and Judges Cartel which diverts ill-gotten wealth to Royalists.

The American Way: I think today's Lincoln poster, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Lone Ranger have defined it. The American Way allows all to prosper without interference from corrupt officials, monopolies, hidden trusts, lawyers, syndicates, 400 year old mortgage bonds, and private insurance companies.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 31 weeks ago

To Ken: (Kens have never liked me)

There is a difference between complaining and constructive criticism. I never complain.
But I do make long term observations and tabulate data in order to present reasonable conclusions.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago

leighmf -- Thanks for coming back and stating some of the problems with the blog. It seems to me the biggest problem you described is the personal attacks on the blog. I hope the bloggers here listen.

I do not know how you can call the discussions with Sven on the 2013 IPCC boring. I do not see how you can call the discussions with Chicago Matt boring. Of course, Chi Matt almost left because of personal attacks.

Also, it is hard not to be boring when Thom has presented what I think is a straightforward solution to all the problems. It becomes boring when you say over and over again to roll back Reaganomics. I think it needs to be said over and over again.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 31 weeks ago

Chuckle8- Well, I ended my today's post with my usual statement about Reaganomics- our problems began with the people who put him in government, and their predecessors and their predecessors.

For instance, there is much harping on banksters, and there is Ring of Fire, but who is actually getting busted?

If you read closely, you'll see I was speaking of the Blog, not the Bloggers when I said it was boring. Everyday my e-mail is flooded with these same headliners from politicians wanting money and various groups wanting a petition signed. Even if it has to be the same old news, I just long for a different recipe. The title " Stop Complaining About Big Government and Embrace It" just threw me over the edge. I don't complain about big government, and I don't like being ordered around in a headline.

I'm afraid I was absent for the Sven and Chi Matt era. I got to a point I couldn't stand anymore name-calling and foul language. Plus in the Community Blog some vicious things were done.

Avoid Stress is the #1 Strategy to stay healthy. Health comes first in my book. And I do get upset to hear people arguing, swearing, calling names in real life, being nasty. It makes me feel ill. I have found in this age of self-publishing that I am just as disturbed by seeing these things on paper.

Facebook works better for filtering and creating a solid discussion group and communicating with graphics, I think.

So keep chuckling, if you can.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago

Leighmf, I question the validity of your assertion. Some "intolerance" - for lack of better word - on an opinionated blog is to be expected and, I think, unavoidable and lefties, so subject to great intolerance everywhere else, can be forgiven for being a little protective and posessive of their little space.

That said, intolerance is not good, contrary to our ostensible values and doesn't serve us well, however, I think the hostility toward conservative posters comes when the lefty home team thinks they are not being honest. Some are obvious, even admitted, shills, others, when they clearly depart from honesty, are highly suspicious. Nevertheless, it may be necessary to be patient with those as well but it gets more than tiresome with some who keep coming at you with the same talking points or blatant lies repeated ad nauseum no matter how much you take pains to inform them or show the fallacies in their talking points.

There is, after all, nothing wrong with a haven for lefties where they can unload and vent. Lord knows, there are more than enough such spaces for righties and prudery about profanity isn't tolerance either.

I don't agree that this blog has become in any way irrelevant. The shills, who themselves can be quite profane, still keep coming - though some may've given up.

I also question your assertion that Thom doesn't write this blog (anyway, if that is true that's a relatively recent development), he sure does read it. He often says so and often repeats language from posted comments almost verbatim on the air.

Anyone who wants to comment on an openly self declared opinionated blog contradicting the the openly self declared opinion should expect to be entering a hornets' nest. It's not for the milque toasty. Not, mind you, that they should encounter "intolerance", as it were, but they should know they're likely going to have to fight for their position and withstand some severe challenge to it.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago

You know, I think this exodus of the "880 liberals", or what, from our blog represents the "wine and cheese", bourgie elite lefties turning their collective nose up at us working class, hard-scrabble, coarse, common, vulgar, street fighting lefties with all our profanity.

They, blind to their own Ivy League class privilege, think they're going to do everything politely. Their main priority is to not upset the cocktail party.

I think we're better off without them and their social and intellectual elitism. They are a great impediment to movement building and cause us to lose the blue collar worker with their missionary attitude to "civilize the savages" of the lower classes and to tell the workers what they are to do and want.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago

Deleted (SIGH)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago

Mark, I really appreciate these last three posts of yours. Excellent points!

This blog has never bored me, nor am I put off by occasional spurts of profanity, given the spirit from which it comes. Sorry Leighmf. I plead guilty to some of that profanity, but with no apologies. We live in profane times.

I have little patience for language prudes. Anyone who dares to chastise me for my language is in for an earful. Like it or not, cussing has its place in the repertoire of human expression. I will not tolerate these obnoxious, sanctimonious control freaks dictating to the rest of us what is and is not acceptable, and frankly, I don't give a rat's ass if children are present. If they don't like it they can leave. Frankly, it irritates me that language used on the air is so heavily restricted, just to accomodate these prudes. It's just a power trip, is all.

Because the Koch brothers are the disgusting parasites that they are, I am not put off by someone calling them the "Cock brothers". And I agree with John Best about libertarians; they are clueless assholes.

We're all entitled to our opinions, Leighmf, and that includes you. I think you've contributed some interesting posts and would hate to see you go. But don't expect anyone to change their behavior here, or modify their choice of language to suit you. - AIW

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago

Damn typos! (SIGH)

One fundamental fraud that the righties perpetrate is the assertion that the democratic government of the United States is tyranny when it's government and its protections of the weak from the strong prevent any partiality from dominating the society. It is not government they oppose but democracy. They object to and seek to remove the democratic protections and safeguards that prevent them from dominating the society unimpeded and effecting their own tyranny that is privatized, small government.

Another, that dovetails with the first, is that "government social programs take away people's freedom" when the opposite is true. Government programs to help people, e.g., that make healthcare, housing, education, food, etc. more affordable - if not entirely cost free - give people, quite obviously, more freedom. They abate the privilege of the wealthy and help prevent the wealthy from dominating tyrannically by "redistributing freedom" more equally to all, which is what righties really object to about democratic government.

Righties don't want democratic government because they, as the strong, don't want to be prevented from abusing, exploiting and dominating the common people, the weak, at will. Like they told you in school, democratic government makes us all free.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago

In the righties' realm of unreality, black is white, down is up and freedom is "tyranny". They just want to be free to keep screwing the rest of us with impunity. - AIW

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 31 weeks ago

Thank you, Alice and Mark, for explaining the Thom Hartmann Blog in such detail. I get it now. Now I know what to expect, and you have refreshed my knowledge of human nature. And I wouldn't dream of asking anyone to change their behavior- I'm not the PoPo. You can swear and blaspheme 24/7 and beat the King's English to a bloody pulp, jump all over people you don't know, whatever. You ARE doing a good job and pretty soon you'll have the place to yourselves.

What the Blog-controllers want is a monoculture, and by natural law, monocultures eventually collapse.

1. Some people will, at the Host's (TH) expense, jump out of their own blog window to try and scare away those who may take up space in the blog that they want for themselves .

2. Others decide to sit in judgment of who is a shill or a troll or a spy and institute their own enforcement tactics, like vigilantes.

3. Others put on the "tough cookie" routine and bring out their bullying tactics.

You have really put the Fear of God into me (oops) and taught me a good lesson.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago

Holy zits, Batman let's go for a ride in your Bat Mobile! Zowie, Zonk, Splat! @#!&* ouchie, I stubbed my toe. (Theory of Everything) By the way, there's a good movie called The Theory of Everything, about Stephen Hawkings coming out in our theaters soon.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago

Leighmf -- I need to read your blogs more carefully (the blog, not the bloggers, very interesting)

I often see the bloggers ignoring Thom's (or whoever's) introductory paragraphs about the 10th comment.

For the very senior citizens amongst us who do not use facebook much, It would be interesting for you to bring summaries of what is happening on facebook to this blog.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago

Mark S -- I save more of your blogs on my local disc (in word format) than anyone else's. Thanks again.

With regards to typos, isn't that ability to edit an already posted blogs new?

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 30 weeks ago

Leighmf, I believe I am a member of at least one Thom Hartmann listeners Facebook communities. I have membership pending in another, "closed" group - has only 100, no doubt impeccably proper, card holders. Very exclusive, like a country club. We'll see if you let this "white trash" in. I dare say your popo is badder than ours.

I try to be patient with people who honestly disagree with us. It's when they're patently dishonest that I lose patience - and even then I usually feel bad about it. This is, however, a place for us to let it all hang down. I certainly don't have problem with someone calling the Koch brothers the "Cock brothers".

I've been part of many online communities and the complaint that the debate gets too acrimonious is ALWAYS present and always proclaimed to be the activator of the impending doom and destruction of the community. Sometimes it's true and other times I think the claim is a bit gratuitous or exagerated. I think some people may have a need to self righteously and priggishly sniff, cast their noses skyward and reject the community, exiting post haste to to preserve their proprietary purity.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 30 weeks ago

Chuckle 8, thanks for the kind words. The "edit" feature isn't as new as that - but I think it is newer than either you or me.

I'd been wishing I'd saved some of my posts. Do you think there's a way we could perhaps arrange that I could get some of them from you?

My email is Tell me what you think.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 30 weeks ago

Chuckle 8, I think any Facebook community would necessarily be much less relevant to the world of affairs than the genuine article, the blog itself on the website itself. Facebook groups, even "open" ones, are, by their very nature and design, exclusive and cliquish - and thus, not impacting the world as much as would a more public forum on a more public website.

Some people like that, however, it helps them to feel distinguished. They don't wanna deal with those filthy masses anyway.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 30 weeks ago

Leighmf, do I detect a bit of sarcasm in your reply?

I don't believe it's anyone's ambition or intent to "have the place to ourselves". Certainly not mine. But like Mark says, you need a certain amount of psychic armor in this kind of environment. Some people can handle it, some can't. Speaking for myself, I have no sense of entitlement to any space occupied by another blogger, nor am I interested in employing "bully tactics", playing the role of "thought police" or putting the "fear of God" in anyone. Like most of the participants here, I have strong opinions and welcome the opportunity to express them. For us lefties & progressives, that's nothing to take for granted.

I get a certain kind of stimulation here that I'd craved for a very long time before stumbling into this forum. I didn't realize how hungry I was for this before I found it. There's lots of people here who are smart, articulate and have interesting perspectives, who I've enjoyed conversing with on a variety of issues and topics, and I've learned a lot from them. I also appreciate the opportunity to answer many of the lame-ass talking points of conservatives who, until I started blogging, always had the podium to themselves while all I could do was yell at the TV.

Anyway Leighmf, it is what it is. A blog, full of opinionated people. Take it or leave it. - Aliceinwonderland

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Aliceinwonderland 8 years 30 weeks ago

P.S. What the hell is "PoPo"?!!!

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leighmf 8 years 30 weeks ago

PoPo is the 'hood's nicname for Police.

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chuckle8 8 years 30 weeks ago

Mark S -- Damn! I was hoping you were saving them. In any case I can send you what I have saved. I am not a very good librarian so it will take a little time.

I think you can search this blog since the beginning of time and find everything you have written.

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Aliceinwonderland 8 years 30 weeks ago

Thanks Leighmf.

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leighmf 8 years 30 weeks ago

Anytime, Alice.

Zenzoe 8 years 27 weeks ago

Leigh, I got curious, after you mentioned on Facebook your having been treated like a troll on this forum, and so I searched and found this thread. — Now I see! — Well, it's clear that nr16020 hadn't a clue about you, nor about much of anything else. He obviously hasn't participated here long enough to have gotten to know your wit, your sensibility, your fine intelligence, to say nothing of your dry and original sense of humor. You and I don't agree on all things, but I've always sensed a good, kind spirit in you and no reason whatsoever to imagine you as a troll!

I also agree with the wide yawn over Thom's post, though I forgive him, because I understand he needs to pound away on certain themes, perhaps because he's developing a following which grows day by day and not every citizen has been listening to him as long as we have. Bernie Sanders does the same thing— repeat himself constantly. It's understandable, yet we snooze.

Just one exception, which I already mentioned to you over at FB: The presentation of the spin-off Facebook group, the one that uses Thom's brand in promoting itself, as some sort of safe place, where "civil" conversations can take place among Thom followers. Um, I don't think so, Leigh. I belonged there for awhile and ultimately had a most damaging experience. It was more like trying to discuss issues with a pack of cultists than with democratic thinkers. I was ganged-up on, mostly by the religionists and "spiritualists" in that group, all because, initially, I dared use the word "BS" in response to the magical thinking going on there, and because I do not subscribe to supernaturalism and magic in the guise of "science." Furthermore, there was always the threat of being banned by the founder of the group, that is, ONE person in control of decisions on membership; and the rules about "no cussing" in a discussion I found to be incredibly stupid.

By contrast, here, on this forum, you have a sense that adults can disagree, that the mere use of a BS here, or an "asshole" there isn't going to get anybody banned, and that the population is diverse enough that one finds simpatico participants to play among. Plus, the powers-that-be appear to be many, not just one authority.

In any case, it's okay, because that experience over at the FB group "inspired" me to originate my "What's the Matter with Supernaturalism" thread here. I found that to be a far more satisfactory experience than anything I might have experienced at the FB group. For one thing, I found like minds and appreciation here, which I did not find sufficiently within that FB group.

I do wonder if Thom would mind that a FB group is using his brand to siphon participants away from here to there.

Oh well, you know I think the world of you and hope my being myself here receives your understanding. It is possible to talk, to be ourselves. :-)

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