December 5, 2020

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 6, 2018

Heading South. Photo by Pieterjan Vandaele at Flickr

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 6, 2018

Settling into Fall…

There is a beauty to autumnal darkness — the softness of the night sounds and the cool air, the way shadow pools in even sparse thickets of urban trees, lending them the gravitas of deep woods. But more than that, there is the respite hidden in them and the way we need it now. “The summer demands and takes away too much,” the poet John Ashbery wrote, “But night, the reserved, the reticent, gives more than it takes.”

Elizabeth Bruenig, Washington Post

Blessing our pets…

People with their pets in Santiago, Chile, wait for a priest’s blessing inside the church of San Francisco on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4, 2018. Tradition holds that St. Francis had a great love for animals and the environment. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

One gracious and delightful occasion in many churches is the Blessing of the Animals service. According to the website, Let All Creation Praise! –“The blessing of pets and animals is often celebrated on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, or on a Sunday near that date.  This is also set to coincide as the culminating conclusion for the Season of Creation.” The site contains liturgies, hymns, and other resources for holding such a service.

Here are some pictures from St Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church, Aiken, South Carolina and their service on Oct. 4.

The dangerous selfie…

From the Detroit Free Press:

A paper, “Selfies: A boon or bane?” published this summer in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care ​​​​​​warned that selfies are increasing leading to injuries and deaths, and the number of deaths, especially among adolescents, is on the rise.

Moreover, the study said, “death by selfie” isn’t an official cause, and so these fatalities are difficult to count. The global study also only looked at reports in English, and at accounts in which a selfie was taken so the true magnitude of the problem, the paper added, is likely higher.

…Causes of death included: getting hit by a moving train, being washed away by waves on a beach, capsizing in a boat while rowing, burning in a fire, being shot, electrocuted, attacked by an animal — and, as in Michigan, falling off the edge of a cliff. The average age of those who died: 23.

RIP Peggy Sue…

Peggy Sue Gerron died this past Monday. Yes, that Peggy Sue. Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue. An article at NPR tells us that she…

…came to her fame honestly. A classmate of Holly’s and his drummer, Jerry Allison, while at Lubbock High School, she began going out with Allison, often double-dating with Holly and his girlfriend. By the time Buddy Holly and The Crickets were in the recording studio, working on a rocker that Holly was planning to name after his niece, Allison suggested that a song about Gerron might further charm her. So after changing the subject and the song’s beat from a cha-cha to a paradiddle, “Cindy Lou” became “Peggy Sue.”

HERE is the full story behind the song.

And here is a performance from 1957 on the Ed Sullivan Show:

Greatest political attack ad ever…

Thanks to Mike the Geologist for passing along this witty political attack ad from a candidate for Congress from Minnesota. Kudos, Dean Phillips! Whaddya know, a politician has a little imagination and a sense of humor.



One man’s junk…

From CNN:

A 22-pound rock that has been propping open a door in Michigan for decades turns out to be a meteorite valued at $100,000, according to Central Michigan University.

Mona Sirbescu, a CMU geology professor, gets asked all the time by people to examine the rocks they bring her — but none ever turn out to be an official space rock.

“For 18 years, the answer has been categorically ‘no’ — meteor wrongs, not meteorites,” Sibescu said in a statement from CMU on Thursday.

But that all changed when she was asked to examine an oddly shaped large rock that a Michigan man, who didn’t want to be named, had had in his possession for the last 30 years.

“I could tell right away that this was something special,” Sibescu said.

After testing, she determined it was a meteorite, made of of 88.5% iron and 11.5% nickel. This isn’t just any space rock, though. Weighing 22 pounds, it’s the sixth-largest recorded find in Michigan — and potentially worth $100,000, according to CMU.

…The rock arrived on Earth sometime in the 1930s, according its owner, who obtained it in 1988 when he bought a farm in Edmore, about 30 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant. While touring the property, the man spotted the rock propping open a door and asked the farmer what it was.

The farmer told him it was a meteorite, that it was part of the property and he could have it.

Questions of the week…

Who do you think will win the World Series this year?

Why is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir changing its name?

Why was this MacArthur Genius Grant Award winner arrested on the same day he won?

What does your snack choice say about you?

I thought Senator Susan Collins made the best case for confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. What did you think of her 43-minute speech? (Of course, I also think that if other Republicans had taken her studious, moderate, reasoned perspective a couple of years ago, then Merrick Garland would be on the Court today.)

Would you take an ethics course from these two profs?

Was Adam really the cause of it all?


  1. Dan from Georgia says

    First. WS=Red Sox vs. Dodgers…Sox win.

    Love to see the blessing of the animals.

    • That Other Jean says

      There’s a Lutheran church near us that holds a Blessing of the Animals every year. I really like that.

  2. I thought Senator Susan Collins made the best case for confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. What did you think of her 43-minute speech?

    I was working when she gave the speech, and I don’t have the time or desire to spend 43-minutes listening to or reading it after the fact. As far as I’m concerned, Kavanaugh’s self-pitying, conspiracy-mongering, histrionic, violently angry and combative, politically partisan performance at his second appearance before the Committee disqualifies him for the position of Supreme Court justice. That such a performance and behavior is considered acceptable and not disqualifying is a testament to just how successful our president has been in degrading any standard of or requirement for decency, rationality, and respect for those seeking political office; this is the new norm. In view of her decision to support judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Senator Collins obviously does not agree with me in this. Her decision to support the confirmation says all I need to know — that we live in alternate poltical realities, she and I. I reject whatever other reasons she may have advanced for her vote to confirm.

    • Robert, you’ve said pretty much everything I could have said. I live in Maine, and Susan is highly respected here, but I couldn’t stand to listen to her reasons for voting to confirm. You’re right, Kavanaugh’s own words should have disqualified him; his tirade against liberals and the Clintons should have told her that he’s non unbiased.

      I’ve been glued to this story for a few weeks and have emailed Susan three times (tried to call her too a few times, but the voicemail was full). Alternate realities is right.

      The Republicans may be sorry for this next month. I understand that the Clarence Thomas / Anita Hill hearings encouraged more women and minorities to run for election—and win.

      • I hope your last two sentences predict the outcome in November, but I fear they do not. The rabidly loyal base that continues to not only support but encourage Trump in his excesses, a kind of radicalized base that didn’t exist at the time of the Thomas confirmation, appears to be energized by the Kavanaugh confirmation. You can be certain that they will be voting in November. There is a good chance that the Republicans, and Trump, will retain control of both House and Senate. They of course would also control the Supremes and many of the higher federal courts, to which Trump has appointed dozens (?) of judges in the last year.

        • Yep. I still find it odd that most people, on either side of the political spectrum, don’t seem to recognize that we really are that close to descending fully into a single party authoritarian kleptocratic state. We already have unbridled, unchecked corruption throughout the executive and all the standard authoritarian actions, most visibly constant absurd lies. Congress is completely subservient to the executive and I find the fact that they have demonstrated little concern about elections since 2016 an alarming sign, though I try not to read too much into it. Although the judicial branch is always the weakest once the rule of law has been abandoned (since they control neither money nor enforcement forces/military), authoritarian regimes always take control of them so their actions obtain the appropriate rubber stamp. That’s clearly the main reason Kavanaugh specifically was so important to the administration. He doesn’t believe the executive can be held accountable for any action whatsoever while in office by the courts. That’s part of his record. And his public rant was not a mistake or some sort of accidental breakdown. Authoritarians flaunt their power and ability to flout norms without consequence. Trump does it all the time.

          I hope the November elections do still matter and some sort of check and even reversal begins. I’m not particularly optimistic. And they are likely the last elections that could halt or slow our plunge into full-blown authoritarianism. That’s always been a danger here. It’s not something new. People seem to forget how much early sympathy there was for the Nazi party and how many ideas (like their eugenics sterilization laws years before the Aktion T4 program or their early versions of laws following our Jim Crow design) the Nazis actually modeled after laws here. It’s not some sort of new threat in our system. It’s a potential weakness in any democracy. But we’ve never been this close to the precipice before. And it’s been simmering and building pretty much over the course of my life. Trump and the current GOP didn’t spring fully formed from nothing in 2016.

          I wish more people paid attention to the scholars who have studied authoritarian regimes. The only time you can really stop them is before they cement power. Once they have, there aren’t many examples of successfully overturning them.

          • I agree with everything you say here, Scott. I think it’s especially important to emphasize that Kavanaugh’s public rant was not a breakdown, just as Trump’s aren’t: it was an intentional performance, modeled on the performances of our POTUS and in response to his request, playing to the irrational, emotive, and political weaknesses, fears, and desires of the intended audience. Trump is not a fool, and what progressives consider his foolish behavior is part of the strategy he uses for communicating with and and keeping in control of his base. Kavanaugh is a fast learner, and has taken an important lesson from the master of dissembling duplicity. This country is in serious danger of dropping off into the authoritarian abyss.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Both a plurality of Millenials and Evangelicals prefer Dictatorship, as long as the Dictator agrees with them.

          • My comment above does not mean that I believe Trump is the one-man-show of what’s currently happening in our polity. The Congressional GOP are learning from him how to manipulate the base they’ve been looking for for twenty years. We can expect the debased political style and radicalized politics that Trump has brought into the full light to continue and expand over the coming years. It’s the new norm, and its success will guarantee that many others will utilize it.

    • Michael Bell says

      The transcript is provided. It took me 5 minutes to read. It was an eye opener that gave the first fair assessment that I have read.

      • I’m a slow reader, just as I’m a slow learner. But even if it took me only a few minutes to read, I wouldn’t. The fact that she decided to vote to confirm tells me that she does not consider Kavanaugh’s behavior before the Committee disqualifying; she accepts the new norm set by our president, not only for candidates for other political office, but for the in many ways unique office of Supreme Court justice. Kavanaugh is on the threshold of being rewarded for his disgusting performance; just like our president, he has learned that no low is too low anymore. He will continue to utilize the outrageous behavior/mindset he displayed before the Committee wherever he thinks it would work, just as our president does; positive reinforcement of it by Senator Collins and the others in the Senate, and presumably the all-but-certain vote to confirm in the House, will guarantee it. Senator Collins has done her part to further normalize and ratify behavior that two years ago would’ve been unthinkable; she has accepted and embraced the new dispensation. God help us all.

      • Ronald Avra says

        i’m grateful Susan Collins brought a little bit of sanity to the whole mess. Hopefully it’s over.

        • It’s far from over. It’s only just begun.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            The Dems are promising to Impeach Kavanaugh as soon as they get back control of Congress.

            This is developing into a Blood Feud, and there’s only one way those end.

        • And for their part, Professor Ford’s lawyers have sent a letter to the Senate saying that neither she nor they think it should be over. Since there is no statute of limitations on this alleged crime in Maryland, she could still go to the police and make a legal complaint against Kavanaugh.

        • Christiane says

          I would feel better about Susan Collins’ decision IF

          1. 90% of needed documents regarding Kavanaugh’s work background had not been held back from examination by those who needed them

          2. The FBI had been permitted to proceed in the way they can do best, with thoroughness.

          3. There was not an idea that everything had to be ‘rushed’ before ‘the elections’ next month.

          As it stands, I think the process was contaminated. If the goal was to get Kavanaugh on the Court at all costs, well I’m not sure it is worth it in the long run for any partisan group. The damage to the Court’s reputation is too big a price to pay for the end determining the means.

          As for Susan Collins, I’ve always respected her diligence, but this time, she failed to see the bigger picture in my opinion.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Don’t you know Kavanaugh on the Court means the repeal of Roe v Wade and the return of Prayer in Schools?

            • And we’ll be allowed to say “Merry Christmas” again.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                For the past 40 years the Republicans have been stringing their Christian base along by promising “We’ll appoint a Supreme Court who’ll overturn Roe v Wade, put Prayer Back in Schools, and Restore Traditional Christian Family Values to America. Just Elect Us.” 40 YEARS.

                One thing Trump has done; he’s actually going through with it. The GOP could have strung Christians along for another 100 years (25-50 election cycles), but he HAD to upset the applecart.

                • It’ll serve them right.

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    My father used to have an expression that applies to the GOP’s 40-year Pro-Life string-along stall:
                    “Shit or get off the pot.”
                    GOP’s been sitting on the pot for 40 years, and Trump just administered the enema.

      • I agree, Mike.
        I wasn’t interested in listening….but she had a great case. Glad I did. Will let my husband listen to your link since he missed it.
        She was articulate and thoughtful. Wish more politicians and, we’ll, people in general.
        Guess listening is a lost art.

    • That Other Jean says

      Thank you, Robert. You said much of what I would have said, if I could have figured out a way to say it without getting banned from this site. Susan Collins, like Jeff Flake, is a Republican who votes with Republicans, but wants to be seen as a moderate. She waffles a bit before she votes the way she was always going to, and that’s supposed to count.

    • They could have submitted anyone else. Any. One. Else. Someone without a past, especially one that they’ve known and tried to hide about since July. It’s not like there is some vast left wing Clinton funded conspiracy that would have said *anything* to destroy the person. That’s horsecock.

      But no. He picked the one person who would turn a blind eye to his criminality and treason.

      There is a criminal in the WH, heavily in debted to foreign powers and interests.

      Bravo. Well done, America.

      • Yes, that’s why they needed Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. It wasn’t just Trump; it was a group effort, and Lindsey Graham did a fine job in that effort. He saved the day for Trumpism, and damned the country. I wonder what the payoff is for him….

        • Christiane says

          Robert, Lindsey Graham may have been ‘pressured’ into behaving as he did. He has never married and has no children. His life has been private. ‘Wiki’ says that he cared for younger siblings when his parents died and had a lot of responsibility very young.

          I hope he is not being black-mailed. People like him and he was always thought to be someone who loved his country, but this is a very dramatic switch in behavior on his part, which confuses us all and makes us wonder ‘why’?


          • Christiane, your comments and others remind me of Malachai Martin’s history of papal elections. When so much political power gets invested in a lifetime appointment, the stakes are raised for all cardinals who make a selection. Some local rulers were known to make death threats against cardinal’s families if they didn’t vote a certain way.

            As a result, selection could take way too long. A local Roman family was put in charge of keeping the cardinals under lock and key (con clave), gradually denying them creature comforts (wine, meat, sometimes threatening to remove the roof over their heads!) until a vote was reached. One of the arguments in favor of celibacy for priests was that it would make them less vulnerable to threats against family.

            I think the whole mess is a manifestation of how much power has shifted to the courts and the administrative state over the years. I really think Ted Kennedy crossed the Rubicon with the Bork nomination process, and it hasn’t been the same since.

          • The Russians have a word for it — Kompromat.

    • I was somewhat on the fence about Kavanaugh until he made his red faced, spittle laced, Clinton blaming tirade. I have known people like him over the years. It’s never their fault, they never meant it, you must be mistaken, I was just kidding, and on and on. Many of us did stupid, foolish things in high school and college but those who never own up to being stupid and foolish have learned nothing from their mistakes. He seems to be one of those.
      I completely agree with you Scott Morizat. This isn’t a Republican v Democrat issue any longer. It’s a quick slide into authorotarianism that the Democrats seem unable to grasp and the Republicans seem 100% on board with. It’s terrifying to me because so few seem to understand or care what is happening.

  3. The Phillips attack add is a killer.

  4. senecagriggs says

    I got concerned when you mentioned a man’s “junk.” But it wasn’t what I feared.

    Dodged a bullet.

  5. Cookies, the universal palliative.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Molasses. the best.

      There is a bakery just down the road, it is Saturday morning. Next stop.

  6. Who do you think will win the World Series this year?

    The Jets!

    • Not the Cubs. That’s all that matters. Apocalypse has been postponed for at least one more year. 😉

    • Don’t be silly. Everyone knows Winnepeg competed for the Stanley Cup! Though they do have a good team this year my money is on my beloved Leafs.

      • My Stars just thrashed said Jets this evening with the help of Polak and Carrick. P. S. Just learned to play Rumours of Glory.

  7. Adam got a bum rap!

    • Augustine was wrong. Faulty translations will do that to a person.

      • Is a faulty translation like this one, which is a far-reaching disaster, like a hurricane or earthquake, an act of God? And if it is, maybe somebody will say it was inspired by God!

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > Augustine was wrong.

        About many things.

    • Thinking along the lines Enns has done was one of the things that led me to EOrthodoxy. We believe that all humans are objects of God’s love, from the foundations of the world; that humans in their natural human state are inclined to good and that evil is a privation resulting from the sickness of soul brought on by trying to be the source of our own life; that each person bears only the guilt of his/her own sin; that God’s plan was to save and deliver us from death and the fear of death that keeps us enslaved to sin (Heb 2); that the Holy Spirit is constantly working to bring everyone to Christ.

      We refer to Adam as our earthly father and ancestor (not pressing too hard for the “historicity” of the person), and his name is also taken to mean the entire human race. He is counted among the saints of the OT. Throughout Lent, we hear in many liturgical hymns and verses that Christ has come to call Adam back to the relationship with the Godhead that was meant to continue in Paradise. In the most common icon of the Resurrection (“The Harrowing of Hell”), Christ is portrayed as grabbing Adam and Eve by the hand and pretty much yanking them out of the prison of Hades.


      • Dana, I do really appreciate how well and concise you explain your EO faith down to the John Barry level of comprehension. It seems you not only know the foundations of your faith but live them , which is great.

  8. In the times ahead, we will need many more people like the winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant Award, Rev. William Barber II, willing to be arrested in resistance to the growing injustice in this country. We will need thousands and millions of them.

    • Robert F. what are the growing injustices in this country? Thanks.

      • In every inner city neighborhood. Ever visited one?

        In a Texas detention camp, where hundreds of undocumented immigrant children have been herded from shelters around the country under cover of darkness in the last weeks. I know you never visited one of those camps, because the government wouldn’t let you even if you wanted to.

        In the growing number of bias attacks against minorities of every kind around this country.

        In the union-busting policies of this administration (didn’t you read the linked article about Rev. William Barber II?), which is part of its war against working class people getting a living wage.

        • Robert F. Grew up in an inner city neighborhood, divided by a road where the poor white people lived.. Do not visit inner city now same reason I do not go to North Pole, no need to and I would be afraid in the true inner city.. Our “inner city” neighborhoods would be middle class in most of the world. Who is keeping the inner city inhabitants in the inner city?

          The Texas” detention” camps are there because of the laws of the United States passed by the lawful legislative branch of the government. Build the wall, enforce our laws, e verify and really address the issue to stop this political football. Stop the Koch brothers from their open borders , cheap labor crusade. Children are being used as pawns by their parents, cartels and the open border people.

          Lower and middle class wages have suffered because of immigration policies and non enforcement. Unions have to be voted in to represent if the workers want a union. For the first time in 20 years working class wages are moving up.

          These are problems, these are obstacles that can be overcome. Race discrimination was an injustice, women not allowed to vote an injustice, property owners only voting, breaking treaties with Native Americans , slavery and many things are injustices, that due to the greatness of America have been overcome in a relative small amount of time.

          • John,

            Low and middle class wage have suffered because of 1) the decline of labor unions (some of this was brought on by corruption within their ranks, but nonetheless there have been other pressures on them as well), 2) changes in tax policies over the years (do you know how high the tax rate was on the wealthy in the 1950’s?) and 3) corporate executives being granted obscene salaries and corporate boards plowing profits into stock options for themselves, rather than wages and benefits for their workers. This is the economic picture of the 1920’s, not the boom days of the ’50s and ’60s. And don’t forget offshoring; I’ve been on the receiving end of that in my former work as a medical transcriptionist.

            The high tax rates of the ’50s gave incentives to the wealthy and corporations to return more of their profit to their workers as wages and benefits. Without labor unions and collective bargaining, workers have to accept whatever wage they are offered or else be out of a job, without provision for cost of living increases. The minimum wage would need to be upwards of $11/hr to have the buying power now that it did in 1970; in a lot of places, it’s still less than that. I personally don’t know anyone who can live on such a wage, even in my rural area.

            Yes, the laws regarding the immigration situation need to be addressed, and the sooner the better (without a pointless and needless wall); and we should do what we can to help certain governments so. of the border to clean up their corruption so that their people can be treated fairly and not have to come here just to be able to make a living. Please don’t blame immigrants for the depression of wages in this country. It just ain’t so.


            P.S. My immigrant grandparents worked hard, like the vast majority of immigrants do. Grandpa was a night watchman in one of the mines in Butte, Montana. He worked in dangerous conditions (which is still the case for many immigrants, legal or not) and contracted silicosis, which made him look 20 years older than he was and killed him before he was 60. I only know him from photos and my mom’s stories. My immigrant family members are within 2 generations, so yes, this is kind of personal to me.

            • Dana, as usual you make some good observations and some valid points. There are many reasons for the stagnation of wages in the middle to lower income bracket. Many of these issues are related to changes that may not seem connected. The “two” income family is now the norm instead of the exception. In the old days , women mostly worked to supplement the family income and wages paid by companies would support a lower or middle income lifestyle with one family member working. For the most part that is not the case. Illegal aliens and legal immigration policies also affected wages. Then the big killer, Nixon going to China and though the years we have allowed China to take advantage of the USA economy with the encouragement of our wealthy elites.
              Alan Greenspan for example , got Americans to think they were better off than they were by encourage the second mortgage borrowing and refinancing to finance a lifestyle they could not afford. Just too many variables that have gotten us where we are but at the core it was an abandonment of our core social, economic and political foundations.
              As the peak of immigration , legal, was 1910, many of us are within 2 generations of our legal immigrant forefathers. However , the immigration policy was based on the needs of the society and for the good of the nations future and it worked. Now, our immigration programs does not require the risk, the hardship, the hard work, the family separation , the stigma and the true real drive to become an “American” that people like your grandfather had. I grew up in Miami in the 1960’s immigrants do have a negative effect on the wages of the working class and benefits offered. Also our “safety” net is so broad and generous that it is not the nation of the 1880 to 1920 timeframe. That is why e verify is not passed for employers.

              Again this is a complicated issue that needs to be addressed. I know most here detest Trump but he is the first President in my lifetime that really is trying to address the concerns of the American middle class and workers. That is why the Republican, Democrat and the elite establishment are allied against Trump.

              • John, you’re right about the various causes. Some were the points I made. The reason wages were depressed in your hometown because of immigrants was not technically because the immigrants were there, but because the employers could get away with paying them less, and they accepted the low wages in order to be able to work at all. If the employers had paid fair wages, it would have been more likely that everyone would have been employed because of their skill, and everyone would have come out ahead. It all comes back to greed on the part of some employers.

                *A lot* of women entered the work force because when wages started to lag behind, one income was simply not enough to keep a family afloat. I made a decision to not work full time so that I could raise my own children, but I *had* to bring in some money to supplement my husband’s salary as a gov’t employee, which was never on par with the private sector. Even with a decent wage in my part time work, and a job that allowed me to work at home, we have never been more than solidly in the middle of the middle class.

                I don’t detest Trump. I think he’s a very clever man with very shady financial connections, delusional lust for women of a certain physical type, and a monumental self-focus (which means, I think, that under everything he probably suffers from a whole lotta fear). I don’t think he cares AT ALL about the concerns of the American middle class and workers – he just talks a good talk in order to get enough ratings to keep himself on TV. I haven’t seen him actually DO anything to address the real needs of the working class. Thank God there are enough principled people around him to have kept the executive branch from imploding, at least so far.

                FYI, I did not vote for Clinton for several reasons, including that she’s a hawk and I have a child in the Army. I will NEVER vote for Trump. Looks like I’ll have to do a lot of writing in on my ballots in the near future.


                • Dana , as usual a good post. In most communities the government jobs are at least equal if not better than the private sector plus good benefits. Five of the ten richest counties in the USA are within driving distance of Washington D.C. Real things Trump has done for working people, lowest unemployment rate since 1969, wages moving up for first time in 20 years, tight labor market leading to wage increases black unemployment lowest in history, women unemployment a record low, getting us out of TPP, NAFTA and redoing terrible trade policies, as well as giving the Americans who do pay taxes a tax break.

                  I agree with your point about the wages but rich people are greedy but the system allows exploitation of illegal aliens and legal ones. Cubans got a lot of gov’t help due to their refugee status in Miami especially in the early years.

                  I agree with you and believe Trump is against the crazy Middle East wars that the incompetent GW Bush got us into and I hope he realizes his non involvement in foreign wars agenda. Our military forces have been neglected and their effectiveness threatened by the lack of funding and incompetence of Bush/Obama decisions.

                  Finally, I agree with some of your analysis of Trump, He is your typical rich guy, big ego, self centered and all the rest. However, I will say this sincerely, Trump other than his ego had no reason to subject himself to what he endures as President. He had power, money , all the trappings of an elite lifestyle and could chase the Playgirls and porn stars with not a lot of publicity. Oddly I compare Trump, in my mind to another rich well actually two politicians from New York Teddy and Franklin R. As far as ego, why would Washington want to be President and maybe the answer is to do good for the country, I think Trump is the same but he may have me fooled.

                  I sense more support for Trump from the working class than the ruling class of upper middle class, status quo progressives in many fields. However we know it will end due to the demographic change in America that is inevitable. Progressives you have won the war, Trump and his voters have just won the battle.

                  • Unemployment isn’t the only story, John. And the trade deals leave a lot of things completely unchanged.

                    Some people who know Trump, including some of his family, have told people that he didn’t expect to do more than throw a couple of rallies in an effort to get back on TV; he had no intention at the start of running for President, and was surprised that he won. I can believe this. What he gets as President that he wouldn’t in a “playboy life” is constant focus on himself, even negative focus. That is not the goal of a normal person, not even a “normal playboy.”

                    And please believe me: the government workers in the DC area are an anomaly. My husband did +30 years as a Federal employee. His salary was 20-40% lower than the private sector for the type of work he did, and he had no COLA increases for some of those years. Benefits were good compared to other laborers, but we still have had to pay our share of certain costs. It’s only now in retirement, with my husband just having enrolled in Medicare, that the benefits mean we get anything “extra”. He has a pension – which a lot of workers in the private sector used to have but don’t anymore – so we don’t have to try to live on Social Security alone – which we could not do without descending into poverty – but again, we’re solidly in the middle of the middle class, not wealthy (at least not in the US). With our health insurance set-up, we won’t be bankrupted by health care costs, unlike so many other seniors in this country, but we will still have to pay several hundred dollars a month in premiums. Ordinary Federal employees are not gaming the system; a few in the top salary ranges have been known to do that, but not folks like my husband, who are the majority.


                    • That Other Jean says

                      Very much this. My husband was also a Federal employee, but in the DC area. We were/are (thanks to a Federal pension) still middle class, but our income has never matched the wealthy folks in the area. Like you, our healthcare (if the current government leaves it alone) will cover more than for the average non-government employee, but it’s not cheap.

              • Immigrants, legal and otherwise are NOT the problem–though in certain locales immigrants may exacerbate the real economic structural problems.

                Part of the 1994 Republican headed “Contract With America” was welfare reform which excluded immigrants from any kind of public assistance that contained Federal funding–which is just about everything. So, immigrants are not gaming our welfare system to any significant degree.

                However, in slaughter and meat processing facilities immigrants make up the vast majority of employees. Prior to the mid to late 80’s meat packing, especially in the mid-West, was unionized and wages were in the $15-22 range–not bad at all for the time. By the late 80’s given changes in union and corporate bankruptcy laws, slaughter plants busted wages and unions by filing Chapter 13 and reorganizing. Wages went to around $7/hr. I toured a John Morrell Co. hog slaughter plant in Sioux City in January of 1983 (rode the truck up with a load of my butcher hogs and it was damn cold) and saw only white Iowans in the plant. Within 5 years no one worked in those plants except Hispanics and other immigrants. The problem wasn’t the immigrants, rather a drastic change in wages made possible by labor laws.

                The middle class has been loosing ground since at least 1979, and that has much more to do with Fed monetary policy and low corporate tax rates.

      • Just ask the families broken up at the border, the women mocked and threatened for reporting abuse, and the husband of one of my wife’s friends who’s pulled over constantly for being a black man driving an expensive car. It’s all around you – you just need to open your eyes and be willing to listen.

        • I worked with a young Black man, a hard-working, law-abiding young man (I shouldn’t have to say that, but because of the dominance of stereotypes in America I must) who was pulled over in his car by police twenty times in the space of a couple years, not because of reckless driving or illicit behavior, but because he was a Black young man in a predominately White area. And the more you are pulled over by police, the more likely you are to be brutalized or killed by them.

      • Clay Crouch says

        jonbarry, if you doubt that there aren’t growing injustices in our country, perhaps you should expand your news reading and viewing. Or better yet, take a drive through the inner cities, the small mill towns, and rural areas of America.

        • Clay Crouch, so the “growing” injustices in the USA are growing more and beyond the historic Jim Crow laws, the discrimination against minorities, the stereotypes about women , the sex abuse by authority figures,, the lack of access to higher education and etc. Injustices are growing compared to ?. Certainly we have not hit utopia yet but in the lifetime of John Barry what a change in the definition of injustice. I guess it is like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

          And as usual you nailed it, I only watch Faux News, did I get it right and listen to Rush. I live in a cocoon of my own views and if anyone disagrees with me I know they only watch CNN and read the Huff Post. Really?

          I have mentioned before I was born in a real mill village in N.C. I know mill villages from talking to my family. I made it a point to take my sons to any mill villages that still remain to show them where we come from. Working in a mill village was better than being a share cropper or picking cotton. The South was the first China. Life experience does count.
          One thing I really respect about President Clinton is that he came from at best a low middle class background and achieved though hard work and individual effort. I agree with President Obama to certain extent, I did not build my success, or what I consider success myself entirely. I used ;public education, GI benefits to go to college and live in a country that has economic and class freedom. This is the same avenue that everyone in America has access.

          The only real injustice in my life is I look more like Rosemary Clooney than George Clooney but even I cannot blame Obama for that.

          • Clay Crouch says

            Whatever helps you make it through the night, John.

            • Clay Crouch, that is your answer? How will you ever penetrate my closed conservative mind or expose me to more than a Faux News outlook? Am I making “crazy” far right, alt right comments, am I delusional ? Why no answer ? You made the statement. Why come here ? or any where else to exchange info or get a new perspective? Just wondering.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says


      This is what Leadership looks like.

      HELLO PASTORS EVERYWHERE!!!! Want me to “follow” – first prove you’ve grown a pair.

  9. senecagriggs says

    About the Supreme Court w/ Kavanaugh as a justice.

    What do my progressive friends at I-monk think will happen? Seriously

    1) I predict Roe V. Wade will NOT be overturned because I think the American public is schizophrenic about the whole thing. On the one hand they detest the killing of babies in the womb but secretly think women may need to do that for a whole parcel of reasons.

    2) Will the Kavanaugh court overturn same sex marriage? Probably not but they may whittle down some of the excesses..

    3) Will the Kavanaugh court now rule for polygamy? No, they will not.

    4) Will the 73 current genders be given protected status? No, they will not.

    5) Will the Kavanaugh court return more power to the individual states? I think they might lessen the power of big government.

    6) Will the Kavanaugh court protect Big Labor. No

    7} Will the Kavanaugh court protect the executive branch? As defined in the Constitution, I would think so. Will they protect President Trump? Not necessarily but Trump is 72, may not be re-elected anyway – he presents his own issues.

    8) Will the Kavanaugh court protect the general status quo? Yeah, that’s what conservatives do.

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says

      “I think the American public is schizophrenic about the whole thing. On the one hand they detest the killing of babies in the womb but secretly think women may need to do that for a whole parcel of reasons.”

      That’s not schizophrenic, it’s realistic. Ideally, every pregnancy would be planned and healthy, but in reality, that will never happen. Sometimes you don’t get to choose between good and evil, but between two evils, and then all you can do is try to make the best choice.

  10. I didn’t get to hear Colllin’s speech, but I’m glad she came to the conclusion she did. Had the Senate voted to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court they would have set the precedent that all it takes to bring down a nomination is a baseless accusation. As for those who think Kavanaugh disqualified himself during his testimony, that is just another excuse to keep a person off the court that you didn’t want on it to begin with. Did Ginsburg disqualify herself when she made disparaging comments about Trump before the election? Calling a spade a spade isn’t being biased. This whole fiasco was brought on by strictly one party; the democrats on the committee. If he hadn’t brought an impassioned defense of himself then the people opposed to him would have used that as “evidence” that he really did it, or doesn’t really care. Quite frankly I think the democrats miscalculated here. Not only will Kavanaugh most likely get on the bench today, they riled up an otherwise slumbering number of voters. They might still take back the house and senate, but it will be tougher now than it was before.

    • There *is* the simple question of character. I would think that nobody expects to see another Ruth Ginsburg nominated under this administration. But if a conservative we must have, is it too much to ask to have one that isn’t a harasser and a liar?

      • Ronald Avra says

        Allegations are not proof of harassment and lying. You could temper your assertion.

        • senecagriggs says

          I find myself agreeing with you Ron? The apocalypse is upon us – smile

        • Allegations are all any abuse victim has typically. A vast majority prove true. Why disbelieve her?

          • Ronald Avra says

            If you are going to assert that the vast majority prove true, you will need to link to a reference for that.

            • Links to specific studies are in the article below.


              • They will reply: I can always find another study or expert to contradict yours. And besides, in the age of Trumpism, everyone knows that experts are just paid liars, right?

              • Ronald Avra says

                As with all other Crime Index offenses, complaints of forcible rape made to law enforcement agencies are sometimes found to be false or baseless. In such cases, law enforcement agencies “unfound” the offenses and exclude them from crime counts. The “unfounded” rate, or percentage of complaints determined through investigation to be false, is higher for forc- ible rape than for any other Index crime. Eight percent of forcible rape complaints in 1996 were “unfounded,” while the average for all Index crimes was 2 percent.

                This is from the FBI report. You can see that the unfounded rate for forcible rape is four times that for all other index crimes.

          • “A vast majority prove true.” And this one didn’t. Why disbelieve her? We went through all that last week. Each case has to be decided on its own merits, not based on a majority, not based on a cultural movement, but on the evidence of that particular case. This one missed by a mile.

            • It missed by a mile because the Senate set the finish line 5000 feet short of the mile marker.

              • That Other Jean says

                Not so much the Senate, but the White House, I think. If the FBI had been allowed to do a proper investigation, we would have had much more reliable evidence of truth than we do now.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            As I understand it, about 5% of rape accusations are false — just enough to discredit the genuine ones. And that they tend to exhibit certain patterns, such as about half of those are teenage girls who got pregnant and are trying to throw blame on the guy. Or there’s a messy divorce proceeding somewhere in the mix. Another pattern is that false accusations are more likely to embellish and exaggerate the claim to tabloid levels for maximum effect. And that these patterns are what investigators look for to gauge the credibility.

    • This whole fiasco was brought on by strictly one party; the democrats on the committee.

      To my knowledge, professor Ford was not a Democrat on the Committee. Although she did not want to go public at first, and her hand may or may not have been forced by Democrats (that is up for dispute, you know? Feinstein says her people did not leak professor Ford’s letter — and it’s possible she’s telling the truth, just as it’s possible that Kavanaugh was), it is certain that once she was in she was all in, so you’ll have to lay some responsibility for the “whole fiasco” at her feet, too. But you probably don’t want to do that; you want the Democrats on the Committee to be solely responsible.

      • The way the democrats handled this was what turned this whole thing into a fiasco, and since it is only democrats who had access to the letter, then yes I feel comfortable laying it all at their feet. As for Ford, I don’t know what to say. I don’t find her nearly as credible as many others state. There are too many holes in her story and other claims which are just plain false (like her supposed fear of flying). I don’t know if she was ever a victim of an assault or not, but I do know democrats have been all to happy to use her for their political purposes.

        • I don’t agree with your assessment of Ford. For one thing, the accusations that her fear of flying was fabricated have already been debunked by psychologists who understand how phobias actually work. In short, a phobia of flying does not mean that the afflicted person never chooses to fly. There are different triggers for having bad flying experiences, and there are also coping mechanisms.

          • If a person flies on a fairly regular basis, which she does, that person cannot then use a fear of flying as an excuse for not going somewhere. And the supposed experts you mentioned could easily be contradicted by supposed experts from the other side.

            • Stress would be a trigger for a bad flying experience, and not much could be more stressful for someone than having to answer the inquiries of a hostile Senate Committee. You are wrong.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      Sen. Collins, of whom we non-New England Republicans are not worthy, but who represents a once-great constituency within the GOP, had this as her money phrase:

      (This mess) is not merely a case of different groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them. In our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as Americans.

      I pray we are not to the point where our passions are so inflamed that we can no longer capable of being governed by those who value reason and compromise but must needs be ruled rude fist in iron glove by those who value victory over all things, and compliance from those who disagree with them. It would be no more palatable for me if it were administered by the Corey Bookers than by the Donald Trumps,

      To be honest, I’m glad the Ward and Barbara Cleaver crowd get first crack rather than the Rainbow Brigade; Sue Sylvester rather than Matt Morrison. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Anglo-American Establishment. As a historical elite go, they’ve done a pretty good job.

      • Like all elites, they do pretty good by their base. Everybody else gets shafted.

        • Burro (Mule) says

          Feature, not bug.

          • Then, as Chistians, we *must* call that out, and NOT excuse or condone it. The Church is called to be egalitarian, pan-ethnic, and radically anti-power and wealth. Period.

            • Instead, they, or some of them, are calling for professor Ford and other accusers to be investigated, and prosecuted. And we have a president who would love to oblige them, all other things being equal.

      • Patriciamc says

        “I pray we are not to the point where our passions are so inflamed that we can no longer capable of being governed by those who value reason and compromise but must needs be ruled rude fist in iron glove by those who value victory over all things, and compliance from those who disagree with them.”

        I’m afraid we’re there. The US has been sliding into extremism for some time now, and many have found out that the more outrageous you are (looking at you, Fox News), the more attention, and dollars, you get. It’s the reality TVing of America.

      • The rhymeswithplague says

        Burro at 8:38 am: Regarding “Ward and Barbara Cleaver”

        You have mixed apples and oranges; that is, actors and their roles. Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley were the actors. Ward and June Cleaver were the roles.

        You’re welcome.

  11. senecagriggs, I think your recap of Kavanaugh influence on the court is fairly accurate. At least Senator Collins stopped the insanity of the Democratic Party attempt stop a qualified person from being appointed to the court for no other reason than who nominated him , which is at the core of the issue. Her speech was excellent.

    The accusers who testified under sworn statement and oath need to be investigated and the motives and outcome of the investigation , good or bad revealed. This guilty until proven innocent mantra that was promoted shakes the foundation of the American judicial system and our society. There is no excuse for the conduct of the Democrat Party in this episode, none.

    Adam was not at fault anyone more than Hoss or Little Joe. He grew up with no Mother and under the influence of Hop Sing, who only served him take out food.

    • Phil Dickens says

      one question, did you call it insanity when Merrick Garland was kept off the court because of who nominated him?

      • Thank you for saying this. It seems many missed this point in the original post. That was a partisan sham of the very worst sort.

        • Mike,
          This is another ridiculous idea that people keep trotting out. What was done to Merrick Garland was entirely partisan and political, no doubt. And if the democrats gain control of the senate, I expect them to do the same with any other potential nominees from Trump and they would certainly be within their rights to do so, as the party in power.. However, it does not compare to, nor does it justify, trying to destroy a person’s life simply because you don’t want him or her on the bench.

          • Jon, excellent point. The Republicans cited the Biden rule from 1991 and made a pure political move on Garland. Susan Collins advocated for a vote on Merrick Garland. It is one thing to use a procedure that is lawfully versus what happened to Kavanaugh . The only way to keep him off the court was this nonsense personal attack. If the Democrats had won in 2016 then the Republicans might have regretted not voting on Garland as HRC might have picked someone worst, which she probably would. BTW, at the time the money was on HRC winning the election.

            I happen to agree with President Obama when he told Senator McCain , elections have consequences. I do not believe Supreme Court appointments should be made in Presidential election years.

          • A similar thing happened with Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill, but 11 Dems voted for him. There was more independent thought in those days and that conflict wasn’t done in the poisonous context of Trump and the strong emotional wave of the MeToo movement.

          • When Lyndon Johnson was president, he wanted to pass Medicare. He had all the votes from Democrats, and could have passed it in an entirely partisan way. But he did not. He refused to allow the bill to go before Congress until he had Republican support for it. That is the kind of bipartisanship and leadership that we need to return to.

    • The accusers who testified under sworn statement and oath need to be investigated and the motives and outcome of the investigation , good or bad revealed.

      So you would like to see professor Ford go to prison? Authoritarianism 101: Use the power of the executive branch to punish whistle blowers and victims, and to protect the powerful, rich, and preferred — i.e., White males of a certain age. This is a constant undercurrent of the vindictive Right in general. Your fascistic tendencies are showing, but you’re not alone, there are lots like you out there, all over social media and the Republic. How loathsome.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Either Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell Jr was calling on Trump to declare martial law and have all his opponents shot.

        And a couple years ago during one of those Federal Government Shutdown scares, who was yelling the loudest for a military coup? (Hint: it was from pulpits.)

  12. Okay, I’ve never been a frequent participant, though I’ve read every post on this site since I first started reading it in the mid-2000s. After I write this, I’ll be removing the RSS feed from my reader and I won’t be back, so I won’t see any subsequent comments. This is clearly not a safe site for survivors and is detrimental to my mental well-being, to which I am barely clinging many days. If there is anyone who cares to communicate with me elsewhere, I’m not especially hard to find.

    Mike Bell — Collins speech was the “first fair assessment”? Seriously?

    Others. No “proof” was offered? There was sworn testimony with corroborating evidence about the events going back years. Moreover, as is normal with any abusive person, that behavior was part of a pattern and it took very little time for that pattern of behavior to begin to emerge publicly. I’m sure it will continue to emerge over time. And be ignored, as it almost always is. “No evidence” is simply a way of saying you believe the incoherent, angry ranting of a white male over the detailed, careful, painful, thorough testimony of a psychology research professor. That’s unsurprising, but stop trying to pretty it up. You are lying to yourselves.

    And yes, anyone’s willingness to do so reveals precisely what sort of human being they are when the layers of the onion are peeled back. Anyone who worries publicly about having any contact with women lest they be similarly accused is publicly signaling they aren’t a safe person and probably should be avoided. Should youthful “indiscretions” like attempted rape follow someone around for life and limit their access to powerful, privileged positions? That doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all to me. It’s not the case today, of course. Rapists are rarely even charged, much less convicted. I think the statistics show only 6 out of 100 are ever convicted. Even the powerful men who were forced out recently on golden parachutes are pretty much all in the process of being rehabilitated publicly. If there’s any real consequence in our society for being an abusive white male, it’s hard for me to find it.

    And make no mistake, besides the authoritarian power flaunting, Kavanaugh’s rant contained all the classic abuser lines. I know them in my bones. And so does every other survivor out there.

    Moreover, Kavanaugh wasn’t on trial. That wasn’t a criminal court, where ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ applies, though I’ve seen prosecutors from places other than one of the most racist counties in Arizona outline the ways they could pursue and develop even the evidence already made public to build a criminal case if it were within the statute of limitations. We demand a high standard in criminal cases, though. It’s ridiculous and simply points to the fact that our society still does not see women and children as fully human that so few criminal convictions are obtained. I think too many men are worried about their own skins if real justice began to be applied.

    It wasn’t even a civil case, where ‘preponderance of the evidence’, a standard that even at this early stage appears highly likely to be met, applies.

    This wasn’t a court case at all. It was job interview for one of the most powerful, privileged positions in our nation. The standard that applies is ‘beyond reproach’ and Kavanaugh utterly failed that standard.

    Don’t bother calling yourself ‘Christian’ if you support and empower human slime like Kavanaugh. You mock the faith.

    • Sorry to see you go, Scott. Every place in America needs the kind of light your comments shine on issues. But I understand why you can’t stay. Frankly, my wife for similar reasons could never be a regular habitue of this blog site, or many others.

      And finally, yes, Kavanaugh’s raging rant was a textbook example of the way accused male abusers deflect. I remember it from my own childhood, and have seen it subsequently in too many places. The saddest thing is that it works, it pays off. Society respects and gives wide credence to male rage.

      Fare well.

    • Scott, I would be sad to see you go. My main take on this affair has been that the extreme partisanship displayed on all sides is the most damaging aspect. If we stop talking and listening to each other, we are only exacerbating the problem further. It seems many have chosen that route already, preferring only to interact with those who agree with them. Please don’t add to that number.

      IM will always, as long as I have anything to say about it, be a safe place for honest discussion, even among those who disagree.

      • He’s not listening, C.M. He said that he wouldn’t be in his first paragraph; I didn’t realize that until after I made my reply. For him, the triggers that certain commenters pull are impossible to endure. This is beyond the ability of rational colloquy to help or fix. His own experience has taught him that what is called rational discussion is usually an exchange in which the dominant and powerful reassert and re-victimize their targets, part of the manipulation that keeps things the way they are rather than facilitating change. This is especially true in the age of Trump and the Trump movement (which is far bigger than Trump). Above there are comments wherein the investigation and prosecution of professor Ford and other accusers is called for; there are comments insinuating that Ford is a liar because her abuse trauma-induced phobia does not fit into popular misconceptions about how phobias work; there are comments lauding the angry way Kavanaugh defended himself as proof that he’s telling the truth: these words make Scott and others relive their own trauma when reading them. It’s proof of how little seemingly even enlightened places have changed, and it’s toxic for them.

    • Although I disagree with basically every point Scott and Robert have made concerning the Kavanaugh case I will concede this; it is time to stop talking about it as only seems to be getting people, including myself, more angry. So while I’m not going anywhere, I’m done talking about this.

      • If the family has to always avoid certain subjects at the holiday dinner table, then it cannot be whole. We have reached that point. Better not to holiday together; that’s the American way.

      • Ronald Avra says

        Very good.

    • AMEN.

    • Patriciamc says

      Thank you Scott. We’re seeing the death of male-entitlement mentality, and it’s not going down without a fight. Plus I love your comment on the men scared to be accused are unsafe and should be avoided. They’re the ones who have something to be accused about.

      We’d love you to stay and voice your perspective, but we respect your decision if you have to go. You have to do what is right for you.

  13. I’ve been looking more and more for historical precedents for our current situations. I have spent much time researching the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire, for example, and have found the parallels disturbing. But watching the Ford/Kavanaugh fight played out, I am reminded of yet another historical parallel – the Dreyfus Affair. I encourage those who still think they are open-minded to look this episode up. Study it, and compare it to the situation we find ourselves in today.

    • Eeyore, , I just reviewed it real quick on History and Wiki, How is this comparable to Dr. Ford, a private citizen , accusing a person of a crime with no supporting evidence? The state framed Dreyfus and the anti Jewish sentiment, convicted him . Dreyfus was guilty unless he could prove his innocence. The evidence provided for his “guilt” was very suspect and not true.

      Are you saying Kavanaugh was being labeled guilty by bad “evidence” like Dreyfus,? If you do , then you are 100 correct and brilliant

      I get the Roman Empire connection with Spartacus aka Brooker and that was a brave moment to stand up to absolutely no one with no risk . I am Brooker.

      • Clay Crouch says

        I thought you were done talking about this.

        • I’m the one who said I’m done talking about it, not john barry.

          • Clay Crouch says

            Sorry, johnbarry, my bad.

            • Clay Crouch, understandable, Johns are lucky , every house has one or wants one , worldwide. Jon’s are usually more intelligent and articulate than Johns and that is affirmed here. I do tell people when they report prostitute crimes arrest in local paper they should use the spelling Jon as a John would not be a John, he would be self reliant and take matters into his own hands, a true self efficient man.

              I often think if John Crapper were Charles Crapper would we be asking where the Charles is?

  14. Chaplin Mike, well said and you walk the talk or talk the walk or whatever the saying is . I do not always agree with you but respect your right to be completely wrong on some issues and disagree with me, joking. Sometimes I am wrong and my wife is keeping notes. I believe in the Constitution and remind my wife she has the right to remain silent.

    I am not a internet person or high tech but this is the only place I know where the moderation is very fair but again I have limited exposure.

    Scott, you have stopped listening and state opinion as fact and that is obvious well at least to me. What is the choice, remain isolated or only visit and communicate with those who agree with you. One reason I like it here is that it is certainly not an echo chamber for me or my thoughts on many topics. I can find many places that would mostly agree with me but what would be the point rather than reinforcement of my views, which is important but not going to lead to close examination.

    You never know in life, never thought I would be a big fan of Senator Collins but today I am because of her detailed , well reasoned explanation of her vote. Keeping an open mind and be willing to change is not easy. I am looking for a site where everyone will agree with me and praise me for my keen intellect, I think google is blocking access to that site or perhaps the Russians or the Chinese or sane people.

    Good luck to you .

  15. Saint Francis please bless
    all the stray creatures out there
    who have no way home

  16. now the year stretches
    into autumn emptiness
    behind the long nights

  17. One of the more unpleasant brunches to have stumbled upon. Not sure I see much of Jesus in any of the threads. I think I’ll pass for today.

  18. Senator Chuck Grassley says maybe there were no women on the Republican side of the Senate Judiciary Committee because it’s so much work, just too much work for them. Can you imagine? Can you imagine? No, that side of the panel wasn’t sexist, no, not in the least! Why of course they could be completely fair to a woman complainant against the fitness of a male nominee! Why of course!

    What a joke.

  19. I think I may join Scott in self-exile. I find myself getting too angry for my own good, or anyone else’s. It’s time to put up or shut up, so I’ll have to shut up for now at least.

    • Robert, remember you are a child of God, And as a child of God in Christ you have already won the battle. All this other stuff matters little. My thoughts are not your thoughts. Prayers for you tonight

    • Clay Crouch says

      Please don’t. At least, not yet. In the immortal words on Van the Man Morrison, “Won’t let the bastards grind you down.”

  20. senecagriggs says

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg vote:

    96 to 3.

    There was never any doubt she was a committed liberal.

    It would be unwise to think that all the Republicans who voted for her were onboard with her liberalism.

    • Christiane says

      The ‘notorious RBG’ was known for her championship of women’s rights and in her legal work, she sought out cases that furthered the cause of those rights. I’m sure glad she’s on the Court now because she is REALLY going to be needed.

      Ginsberg was very fond of quoting one of her heroines, Sally Grimke, who said:

      “I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy.”
      (Sally Grimke, 1837)

  21. Perhaps I’m overreacting, but it seems to me like this Kavanaugh story is the most publicized, non-stop news story in the history of media…it has gotten insane. Over the last month I can’t recall once when the top half dozen news articles weren’t are all in some way related to Kavanaugh.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      All you need are Duck Commander, Kim Kardashian, and Honey Boo-Boo and you’ve got a High Concept Reality Show right there.

  22. I’m more concerned with what it says about evangical leaders, some of whom have said credible accusations of sexual assault are irrelevant, or that it was boys just being boys. Given the smoke- screening to protect high profile pastors iunder similar clouds, it says we don’t care about women so long as the institution is protected. Just scroll through Wartburg Watch, and weep for a proud and unrepentant church.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Eagle & I have a theory as to why Christians are among the most fanatical of Trump fanatics. The working hypothesis is that the Trump type of politician acts just like “evangelical leaders and high-profile pastors”, so to Christians groomed to see their high-profile pastors as God’s Anointed Who Can Do No Wrong, well, Trump must be even more God’s Anointed because he acts more like a high-profile celebrity pastor than a high-profile celebrity pastor so he must be more Anointed. (Like the kid raised in a Holiness church who converted to the Mormons in adulthood because “Mormons don’t drink or smoke”, i.e. they exhibited all the metrics he’d been catechized to see as an indicator of Godliness even more than his Holiness church, so they had to be more Christian.)

  23. It is interesting to look back on the comments on here today and notice what is said in the few comments from women, and the gender of the commentators supporting Kavanaugh’s appointment. I, for one, am too upset and depressed to take on the comments from lots of the men on here. My feeling (and I accept that it’s just my feeling) is that many of you have absolutely no idea how hurtful, at a deep soul-level, this whole Kavanaugh situation is to many, many women around the world (and, no, not just for women who have been assaulted in the past). But I know God understands and listens and does not overlook or close his ears to us.

    • Patriciamc says

      Hi Jenny. There are actually more men here than women, but the vast majority are good guys who support women. Kavanaugh won, but that’s just one battle. Overall, the war for justice, equality, and respect is being won by the good people. This is the last gasp of male-entitlement mentality, white men rule, blah, blah, blah (not bashing guys at all; just stating facts). And we all know where Christ stands in this.

      • flatrocker says

        If the vast majority of men on this site are good guys who support women, that would imply there is a minority here that are not good guys who don’t support women. Would you mind sharing who these individuals might be and what qualifies them as such?

        • If you can’t guess by now, odds are you are part of the problem.

          • flatrocker says

            Let’s say we generate the list and demand CM ban them. That ought to clean it up.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              I once saw a gaming group go from eight players to three that way.

              All the players except one would go to the GM and say (about the one who wasn’t with them) “either He Goes or We Go!” This repeated every couple weeks until the gaming group was down to only three.

          • Patriciamc says

            LOL! You got it!

      • Burro (Mule) says

        I’m part of the Problem, and intend to continue being part of the Problem until extracted.

        How many times has Mule been sexually assaulted? Twice. How many times has Mule sexually assaulted someone? Once. How many times has Mule begged forgiveness? Once. How many times has Mule been asked forgiveness? Zero. How many times has Mule graciously been forgiven? Once.

        How many times has Mule graciously forgiven? I’ll let you know when that happens.

        Wisdom is justified of her children.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Jenny, I was to angry to comment. But I feel like you do. We stand together.

  24. I suppose after 100 + posts there isn’t really any point in weighing in on current events. It is interesting to hear multiple opinions, especially those who live in a alternative universe where Trump is not a despicable lout. In the coming days it will be equally interesting to see if there are any conservatives left who love their country more than they hate liberals.

    A really interesting article from the current online New Republic about so-called “liberal” evangelistic responses to the age of Trump.

  25. Klasie Kraalogies says

    I am still livid. But I would like to state that in this age where politic power trumps decency, and where people would say the most ghastly things because of their political stance, this atheist stands with Human Rights, and the respect of all women, and the disdain of those who would pervert justice for political ends, and with victims.

    I have never been more happier than now, not to be associated with Christianity. But I will stand with those Christians who care for their fellow humans, especially the legions who have suffered abuse.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      For the record, I did read Senator Collins’ speech. But she neglects to mention his dreadful partisan performance on the day of the hearing, which seemed to lift a veil and show the real Brett underneath. His confirmation taints the US Supreme Court.

  26. I-Monk has become a home for liberals and Trump-Haters. I am a retired teacher. Years ago a troubled teenager accused me of doing something inappropriate to her while walking to lunch. My life and career could have been over. Fortunately, there was a camera in the hallway and showed otherwise. Robert F’s and other’s desire to hang someone based on an uncorroborated accusation is repulsive, and shows their lack of intellectual integrity. Google “False Memories” and you may be shocked at what you discover. P.S. Your obvious hate for President Trump (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is not only un-Christlike, but could cause you to stroke-out! #MAGA

    • Vinny, you certainly have a right to your political opinions. But your comment borders on unacceptable personal attack. I would much rather you interact with those with whom you disagree, than simply accuse them of a lack of integrity. And name calling such as liberals and Trump haters is never helpful.

  27. Come on, Mike! You have folks on this thread saying I’m not a Christian if I support Judge Kavanaugh. Anytime you bring up politics, it’s the exactly the same. I apologize if you are offended by my comments, but I think they are pretty darn accurate.

  28. My heart goes out to those who have been sexually assaulted. I have also seen cases of people close to me falsely accused. I wish that the Kavanagh situation could have come to light before the hearings so that this person could have not become the front runner… simply because of the noise. But once we were there I have to go with proof over emotion. I watched some of the hearings. I followed Ms Ford’s story. I believe something happened to her. I also saw that over time her stories had many inconsistencies (which it would after 35 years).

    My view is that it does not help any political party if we neglect facts and rule on emotion. I know it was not a trial, hence it should have been dealt with before the public hearings. I have daughters, I am very sensitive to a$$’s in a high school and college setting. I teach them to be on-guard and to be smart about their surroundings. In the same breath I also believe you need legitimate facts or else one party could use people as pawns to get their way… and this goes for both Democrat and Republican.

    Many of you hear support the noise. I don’t … as it is weakening the country like a cortisone shot in a pain-filled shoulder. Just as the noise of the current style in the oval office is not good for the country for another four years. Jumping up and down to get what one wants is not a good long term solution on either side.