November 25, 2020

For What It’s Worth…


  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    I am so glad we have gun regulations in Australia.

    I have watched the US election since 4am my time.
    It is now 6pm in my home,

    I did have a nap during the day but the US elections results dominate
    Australian TV.

    However, I went into my Spring Garden this afternoon and talked with my beautiful flowers and talked with God, ‘Rather like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden’ although I am not a Bible literalist, but is is a nice connection with the Divine.
    Just to walk in the cool of the evening smell the fragrance of Spring flowers and feel the Breath of God is a great blessing.

    I pray for you all in these disturbing times,

  2. Susan Dumbrell says

    How can Trump speak in this manner, supposedly for the rest of the free world.
    He is such a liar.
    I need a free world. He shows a constricted worlds dialogue.
    I continue to pray for stability. Your elections give such an influence in the other democracies in the free world,.

    • I’m afraid the other democracies in the free world are going to have to stand on their own two feet, because the U.S. is not worth looking to as a model or an influence anymore….if it ever really was.

  3. Wonderful cover, and very pertinent–even 55 yrs later.

    • “There’s something happening here/But what it is ain’t exactly clear…” But some thing is clear: this is clearly not an immense national repudiation of Donald Trump and his leadership, nor of the Republicans for enabling it. Not even close.

      • True. Disappointed in my fellow Americans.

        • Very much. I hoped but hardly expected Trump to be thoroughly repudiated. But we live in a deeply divided nation consisting of not just different geographies and political philosophies but alternative realities.

          If Trump wins he will be a minority President presiding over a majority of Americans who do not share his views. If Biden wins a substantial number of citizens will consider this a “stolen” election.

          Biden will at least acknowledge this dividedness. Trump will consider even a one vote victory to be tantamount to a landslide and a mandate.

          Meanwhile it’s all up to the courts and we’ll see who really believes in democracy.

          • –> “I hoped but hardly expected Trump to be thoroughly repudiated.”

            The fact it is basically 50-50 (regardless of electoral vote) means that Biden was a weak candidate or our nation is more lost than I realized. Probably a bit of both.

            –> “Trump will consider even a one vote victory to be tantamount to a landslide and a mandate.”

            The man doesn’t have a gracious bone in his body. And his attitude is leading his fellow Republicans—many who are evangelicals who SHOULD have a gracious bone in their bodies—to act ungraciously as well.

            • “…means that Biden was a weak candidate or our nation is more lost than I realized.”

              Yes. Both.

            • I have to give the POTUS credit for turning out his vote and for developing a ground game in many places where it seems to have made a difference, for example among the Cuban and Venezuelan folks in S. Florida. And, like how he did it or not, he whipped up a lot of enthusiasm among his loyalists.

              What really baffles me is how little I’ve heard about the pandemic and its role in how people voted. Regardless of the polls about the election, polls about DT’s handling of this have been consistently critical. People must think of it as a lesser issue than some others.

              • They are more concerned with the economy, if they are working class people, and they do not want any kind of lock down that will negatively affect the economy or their ability to earn a living. I see and hear this among the people I work with, blue collar folk of all races and ethnicities who are really afraid of the pandemic but equally afraid of losing their livelihoods and homes.

            • Tom Parker says

              Seems like most of the Christians I knew prior to 2016 who were Republicans were gracious people. The last four years that graciousness has almost vanished. Someone please tell me do they even care about their Christian witness anymore?

              • –> “Someone please tell me do they even care about their Christian witness anymore?”

                A good question to put to prominent Christians such as Franklin Graham.

      • Tom Parker says

        No, it is not close. I’ve been depressed the last four years over what changed in the United States. I am trying very hard to not be depressed today. This is not the United States I grew up in. It is all unexplainable to me.

    • If there had been no coronavirus, Trump would likely have won by something like a landslide.

      • Or even if he had responded with a modicum of rationality. His supporters are rewarding him for his utter stupidity. Go figure.

        • His supporters are literally afraid of the other choices. The demonization has worked well. Aided and abetted by the “we must turn the USA into a progressive country”. folks.

          There’s a non trivial number of people on the left who think Bernie is too moderate and when people who don’t like Trump hear them they head for the other side figuring they will get past Trump a some point.

          • Tom Parker says

            There must be millions on the left that do not like the Democrat candidate and just do not vote. I do not understand how they do not realize this benefits Trump?

          • Yup. I hope in the next primary the people in the middle will get more involved and drown out the more extreme sides of our country, but I don’t expect it. Unfortunately the extremes are where most of the passion is. Most other people just want to live their lives and be left alone.

            • Tom Parker says

              Seriously, what is the cure for our country? I do not consider myself extreme politically and like to think I can work with most people, but I do not even know where to begin where I live. I did not even want to look at the statistics for the county I live in today, I but feel confident 80% of those that voted-voted for Trump.

    • Norma Cenva says

      Indeed it is.
      I wonder if Stephen Stills has seen it?

  4. Looks like the pollsters got it all wrong again. Senate likely not to flip, House likely to stay much as it is, and the presidential race likely to come down to WI, MI, and PA — as it did in 2016, with Clinton losing all three —, with a lot of drama around PA (my state) having to take several days to count its votes, which Trump will surely contest and exploit. No landslide, and lots of uncertainty, and a country in which large numbers of people still support the miscreant–in–chief. And no clear Blue wave that I can see. God help us and the world.

    • Either people were just blowing smoke when they answered those polls, or the pollsters kept asking the wrong people – or more likely a bit of both.

      • Polling doesn’t work the way it used to. Everyone here who has dropped their land line raise their hand?

        OK. Everyone who doesn’t answer unknown numbers on their cell phone raise their hand?

        Now, both parties registered a LOT of people over the last 2 months. But the newbie R’s outnumbered the newbie D’s something like 3 to 2 or 2 to 1.

        Polls don’t catch such things very well if you have lots of people you can’t reach and lots more than you have down as a not likely voter.

        • I read an article today that claimed that most polling firms are having to make do with 3-6% answer rates. That is abysmal, and statistically worthless.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      The Lincoln Project, whose siren song I listened to reluctantly, misled me as well. They told me they had convinced between 6-12% of Republicans to switch their votes. To quote David Byrne, ‘Thought that we’d start over again. I guess I was wrong.’

      Is there any place for /George HW Bush/Bob Dole/John McCain/Mitt Romney Republicans?

      • Burro (Mule) says

        Maybe in Maine. God, it’s cold up there, though.

      • “Is there any place for /George HW Bush/Bob Dole/John McCain/Mitt Romney Republicans?”

        That place would be the Democratic Party of Obama and Biden. The Republican party as currently constituted has sailed off the edge of the flat earth.

        • thatotherjean says

          This seems to be the case. Today’s Republicans are the Party of Trump. Biden is as close as moderate Republicans can get to what used to be their party.

      • David Greene says

        “I like Ike” but I guess that makes me a Democrat now…

    • brianthegrandad says

      I think polling must undergo a change or go away. two consecutive presidential predication failures have shown their model for gathering and processing data is flawed. People and technology have changed. I don’t answer the phone (or text) if I don’t recognize the number. Many people do the same. And if you do answer, who wants to give someone who has your phone number and knows where you live MORE personal information about yourself??? And there’s always the sort who vote to name British ships Boaty McBoatface who outright lie to pollsters and think of it as an opportunity for a grand-scale Dad joke when a pollster calls. Maybe, just maybe, people will have to rely on the actual vote to determine a winner from here on out. my old football coach would say, Don’t matter if people don’t think we’re going to win, the score after 60minutes determines that.

    • I live in southern Arkansas and work for a public health agency. My 31 year old co-worker, his dad and younger brother are Q-anon believers. He claims over the course of the summer that he and his dad were both contacted by polls and both stated they were voting Biden to intentionally mess up the results. I have no idea how prominent this tactic was, but evidently it does occur.

      • And toss yet another of the 10 commandments out the window…

        • Burro (Mule) says

          “Why yes, soldiers, those Hebrew spies went thataway!”

          I don’t see how different that is from voting for the slimiest candidate in the opposing party’s primary in an open primary. I did that in 2004.

          • Well, that’s one more reason why we’re in the mess we’re in now.

            • Another reason for the mess we’re in is inherent in our entire system which sets us up for a political party duopoly. The duopoly benefits from polarization. However, if we had a parliamentary system many parties would have to develop coalitions in order to form a government, and said government could rapidly change with a vote of “no confidence.”

              Also, at the national level, our republic system is purposefully designed with anti-democratic bias–which creates a vacuum which moneyed interest rapidly fill.

              Our “grand experiment” is inherently self-destructive.

        • Tom Parker says

          Do evangelicals even pretend to follow the Bible anymore? What are their Pastor’s sermons about?

      • thatotherjean says

        I’ve heard of that lying to the pollster about the person you intend to vote for in several other places as well.

  5. Pellicano Solitudinis says

    Kyrie eleison.
    Christe eleison.
    Kyrie eleison.

    I’m not even American and I’ve been auto/stream-of-consciousness praying that all day.

  6. Pellicano Solitudinis says

    I’m reading The Silmarillion “Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad”. It seems the proper thing:

    “Then when Fingon heard afar the great trumpet of Turgon his brother, the shadow passed and his heart was uplifted, and he shouted aloud: ‘Utúlie’n aurë! Aiya Eldalië ar Atanatári, utúlie’n aurë! The day has come! Behold, people of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come!’ And all those who heard his great voice echo in the hills answered crying: ‘Auta i lómë! The night is passing!’”

    “At last Fingon stood alone with his guard dead about him; and he fought with Gothmog, until another Balrog came behind and cast a thong of fire about him. Then Gothmog hewed him with his black axe, and a white flame sprang up from the helm of Fingon as it was cloven. Thus fell the High King of the Noldor; and they beat him into the dust with their maces, and his banner, blue and silver, they trod into the mire of his blood.”

    “But Turgon answered: ‘Not long now can Gondolin be hidden; and being discovered it must fall.’ Then Huor spoke and said: ‘Yet if it stands but a little while, then out of your house shall come the hope of Elves and Men. This I say to you, lord, with the eyes of death: though we part here for ever, and I shall not look on your white walls again, from you and from me a new star shall arise. Farewell!’”

    “Last of all Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Húrin cried: ‘Aurë entuluva! Day shall come again!’”

  7. “Day shall come again!”

    Maybe not right now, but it shall come, or our faith is untrue.

    • Tom Parker says

      Yes, we must rely upon our faith. I told my wife just the other day that sadly I am ye of little faith these days.

  8. Susan Dumbrell says

    I am going to bed,
    Fight nicely fellow IMonkers.
    Love you all.

  9. Damn balrogs!!

  10. Mike the Geologist says

    Susan and others: There is a good chance CM worked all night. I’ve just logged in this morning and set Susan’s comment free. I’ll keep an eye on the comments periodically today, but technically I’m at work. Have patience.
    Thanks – Mike the Geologist

    • Everyone, please listen. There is no active moderation of this site unless it’s obviously spam or someone is not following the rules. 99% of comments that don’t appear are being held by the site filter, which we don’t control. It may take awhile for one of us to see that something got held up – we have lives and don’t sit monitoring this site 24/7. You’ll just have to be patient.

      Think of your comment as a mail in ballot.

    • Michael Bell says

      For the record… I can only approve comments on my own posts. So I can’t help on other posts if they are stuck.

  11. balrogs? You could dismantle all day long, as much as you wish, but they are better described as ketman. They can be professional, aesthetic, skeptical, or ethical. And they walk eyes as bright as light before people who consistently don’t get it. And they are actually a representation of diversity in race, gender, politics, and economic status. They are the bulwark against echo chambers of many types.

  12. John Kaess says

    Thank you for this today!

  13. Thanks for the music, CM. What a talented group of musicians. Makes me miss living in Nashville, where on any given night you might wander into the Bluebird Cafe and find 2 or 3 of these folks–or others like them–playing music in a small, intimate setting.

  14. “For What It’s Worth”

    One of my “first” favorite songs, back before I knew what the lyrics were about. I just loved the singing, the melody, the musicianship. Later on—years later—I “got” it on that different level, the level on what the lyrics “meant” and why the song was being sung.

    Remains a favorite.

  15. Burro (Mule) says

    Is this thing going to the House? I can’t believe it!

    • Is what going to the House?

      • Burro (Mule) says

        My bad. I see Biden got another electoral vote in Maine.
        Now he doesn’t need Pennsylvania to win. He can win with Nevada and Arizona


        No mandate, nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

        • Trump may lose, but Trumpism will win even if he doesn’t.

          • I should say, Trumpism has won.

            • Tom Parker says

              Sadly, Trumpism has already won, regardless if Biden wins. Trumpism is like a cancer than has metastasized over the whole United States. Pray tell what does the future of this once great country hold in the days ahead?

              • If it is like a cancer that has metastasized throughout the country, it is because there was already a genetic predisposition toward it in the national character.

                • Tom Parker says

                  Yes, I think the cancer was just waiting for the opportunity to spread or come out from hiding. People who hid their lack of character before Trumpism feel they can not be a part of his club unless they have his character-(that is his lack of character.)

              • What do we do? We learn the painful discipline of living as strangers in a strange land.

                • Tom Parker says

                  Robert, I was already post-evangelical. Now my politics have made me even more of a stranger in this world. I live in an almost exclusively Trump supporting county. Some in my county probably know my political leanings and it has harmed our relationships. If the others knew I believe it would harm those relationships also. I’ve always been an outgoing person, but as the days go by I feel where I live I am not wanted. Seriously, not trying to be whiny. I really love and care about people.

                  • I also live in a big Trump supporting county. Fortunately, I don’t have many friends to alienate and I’m not very outgoing! But I think I understand how you feel. It’s just that I don’t see how there is any alternative to alienation and its intensification for those who experience the current situation as if they had been transported to a strange land. And I think that’s what you are expressing, the sense that somehow, although all the everyday details remain the same, you have been transported to an alien world. It is painful and disorienting, and I wish I knew how to navigate through that state of being, but I don’t. It reminds me of the Tibetan Buddhist belief that upon death, one must travel through the bardo realm, a liminal state of being between incarnations that can be disorienting and in which one can become lost for a time. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a sacred text meant to be read by the living to the dead to help them in their 49 day sojourn through the bardo realm. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have a resource for guidance through the kind of situation people like you and I find ourselves in now.

              • thatotherjean says

                Tom Parker, I’m hoping for a tireless attempt to put the country back together, finding the decency that used to be a part of our national character, finding ways to work together despite our political differences for the good of the country, and ceasing to see each other as enemies to be defeated. It may take a long time and a great deal of effort–but we have to persist, or we will not survive as a democracy.

                • Tom Parker says

                  I agree. Dear Lord please help me to even begin to Love “christians” when either they have changed their definition of being a Christian or I did not get the memo about I can not be a Christian unless I follow the new definition they follow.

                  I truly wish to be a part of the solution.

  16. My wife and I mailed our mail-in ballots in PA about a month ago; about two weeks ago we received email notification that the ballots had been received. Because of stupid Election laws in PA, mail-in votes cannot be counted before Election Day. Right now, Rudy Giuliani at the Trump campaign’s behest is either headed to or already in Philadelphia with a “team of lawyers” suing to prevent the counting of mail-in ballots after Election Day. I cannot begin to tell you how pissed-off it makes me to think of that sycophantic Renfield trying to prevent my and my wife’s ballots from being counted. It makes me angry enough that if he were within reach I think I would punch that louse.

    • Tom Parker says

      Yes, they do not even try to hide the fact that they will try to steal this election.

      • They want to destroy millions of legal ballots. I hope the courts still have enough integrity to reject their demand out of hand; if not, then we have been transferred to a tyranny. A tyranny, plain and simple.

      • Why should they? If their supporters will back them after everything else that has happened and that they’ve already done, why stop at anything?

  17. Maybe I’ve been ;living in DC too long… but I would love to be party (pardon the pun) to some of the conversations that must be going on among the Republican leadership right about now. The Party did much better than expected. Which undercuts Trump’s narrative of a compromised or illegitimate election. These big shots aren’t going to want to undermine the very system that privileges them.

    They got most of what they wanted in Trump’s term, a ridiculous tax cut for their rich masters, three choices on the Supreme Court. Maybe a determination is being made that maybe it’s time for Trump to be sacrificed for the greater good? Maybe the longer he hangs around the more of a liability he becomes? So who gets the job to go over to the WH and break it to Trump?

  18. The majority of polls in this election cycle and 2016 were manipulated by the pollsters to influence and direction public opinion. They could not have been so wrong in two election cycles so they are why many people and I am one who has lost confidence in them, they have become political operatives. I will be interested to see how the news organizations cover and report on the Biden presidency. I predict the pandemic will cease to be a major story as it will recede into the background, WHO has already laid the groundwork. A corrupt, traditional, career , self serving lackluster politician is elected as President which is amazing but that is democracy. I voted for Trump and believe that he was the best choice but he at least had four years . Biden is backed by Wall Street, the tech masters of the universe, a group of leftist who are being used by the very rich and powerful globalist . This is a sea level change in American politics and there is no turning back. The influx of legal and illegal immigrants into the nation will insure the Democrats remain in power. The winners tonight were China, Russia, Europe and rich globalist. I guess working class people will vote against their own self interest. The street people leftist will be thrown a bone to secure their cooperation. The division by race and class will not cease as it is part of the political strategy. Trump supporters will retreat from the political arena and move away from politics and active participation in public affairs and will be more observers than participants. The economy will nose dive. The Trump voters are the horse in Animal Farm. I do not write this with any bad intention, just to vent a little, I accept the results and render unto Caesar what is his. Biden the front man won, the people have spoken. This is our system and it is the best system. So forget Trump and let us all pray that the powers behind Biden are not as selfish and evil as I think. We will have a party in charge of the Presidency and the House who basically do not like America foundational values and will impose an agenda of social change as the uber rich plunder the nation . At least Hunter Biden and the Biden family is safe. So congratulations to all here who hated Trump, which is all here, Biden won, Trump gone and it is the brave new world you want. I am of the age and position in life that I can be a non engaged observer of events. I would not be resting easy if I were a under 50, working class/middle class and small business person. So God Bless , Joe Biden until Harris takes over, God Bless Trump, he tried, God Bless America. God has blessed me he sent Jesus, not just for me but everyone.

    • Tom Parker says

      Roger, Wow, that was a lot of negativity you put in your comment. Hopefully you feel better-how can you know if anyone here hates Trump? But, that is the beauty of the United States, you are free to express your opinion. That is exactly what your comment is no more or less.

      • –> “how can you know if anyone here hates Trump?”

        LOL. That’s one of the lamest comebacks I’ve ever read, Tom. It’s pretty clear that most of us here hate Trump. I know I do. I have a visceral reaction whenever I read his Tweets, hear him speak.

        Oh, I know, I know… as a Christian I shouldn’t hate anyone, but I really feel he’s got most evangelicals fooled, so I can allow myself to hate someone I think has misled so many believers.

    • So, john, the pandemic will recede into the background as a major story, here and around the world, if Biden is elected? Someone should tell Boris Johnson the good news! He can get on with Brexit without pandemic distraction!

      But what I’m really looking forward to is Hunter Biden being given a position as Advisor to the President! Can’t wait for him to usher in World Peace!

      • Tom Parker says

        Robert, yes when the election is finally decided the Pandemic will immediately end. Can you even believe there are people that are that STUPID!!

    • If Biden is elected, Moscow Mitch McConnell will prevent him from enacting his proposed legislation, including coronavirus relief, and that is one reason the economy will go into decline. The Senate will prevent Biden from appointing any judges, after rapid stocking the federal courts with conservatives right up until the last minute of the Trump presidency, so conservative reactionaries will continue to have disproportionate influence on the American politics for a generation. Mitch will prevent Biden addressing the healthcare crisis in this country, he will prevent raising the minimum wage, he will ruin any chances of Biden having any significant policy successes and make him a one term president, and he knows he will pay no political price for his demolition work because the Trump presidency has taught him that he can get away with murder and still keep the base. Trumpism has won, and Mitch and the Republican Party are now Trumpists forever. In fact, the Republican Party should be renamed the Republican Oligarchy.

    • Lastly, Trump’s base will remain energized and politically active because they are fanatics. In four years, after Moscow Mitch has scuttled the Biden presidency, they will seek to elect an effective and politically astute fascist as president, and they will likely succeed.

      • Tom Parker says

        Trump’s base says the H e l l with anyone not like them. They are extremely selfish people.

        • Many of his base realize that they have been getting the dirty end of the stick from Neo-Liberalism and globalization since at least the late 70’s. The reality is that unless you are in the top 10% financially we all have been getting the shitty end of the stick. However, voting for tRump has not improved the situation for the 90%, though the tax bill of 2018 was a boon to the 10%.

        • Burro (Mule) says

          I prefer people who are like me.
          People who say they don’t are either liars or on suicide watch.

    • Setting aside any argument about tRump’s policy–or lack thereof–the over-riding fact is that the man is NOT a DECENT human being nor does he try or apparently want to be. By all normal standards he is despicable. If you don’t agree with my typification of him, then let me ask you one question; would you want or allow your children to behave and speak as does Trump?

      And here is my dilemma; What does it say about the character of people who vote for and support a person such as Trump?? What am I to think of my fellow citizens who are infatuated with a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, sexist, congenitally mendacious, philandering, autocratic narcissist?

      I. Don’t. Get. It.

      • Tom Parker says

        And these include Pastors, folks like Franklin Graham, etc. Do they have any character left?

    • The world is changing around us. More rapidly than many of us like. Which makes it hard to make sense of a lot of things. I.E. Common sense alone fails us as our life experience doesn’t allow us to process the world around us.

      Just because the polls were wrong in a way that made it appear to YOU to be manipulated doesn’t mean they are. At all.

      Please think about this and maybe drop some of your conspiracy theories.

      My mother lived in this universe. She became more and more bitter till she died. And all about things that were not true.

      • –> “She became more and more bitter till she died. And all about things that were not true.”

        Many, many false narratives are being spun, and many are taking root in people’s minds. I see it from friends who watch Fox News 24/7. I see it from friends who watch CNN 24/7. The language, the words used… they’re all the same. People are being hypnotized and fed things that make them a bit crazy in the head with false narratives about others.

        Lord have mercy. None of this is of God.

  19. Tom Parker says


    You said:”And here is my dilemma; What does it say about the character of people who vote for and support a person such as Trump?? What am I to think of my fellow citizens who are infatuated with a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, sexist, congenitally mendacious, philandering, autocratic narcissist?

    I am inclined to believe those infatuated with Trump must also be racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc. I. Do not get it either, Tom. Am, I living in the Twilight Zone?

    Hillary actually used a kind term when she called them Deplorable IMO.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      Do you know how condescending you sound?

      Go here

      A (very civil) Democrat posted this on the /r/conservative subreddit:

      I’m a democrat, and before last night I believed that with all the people coming out to vote who hadn’t before, we would see Biden winning by a significant margin. To my surprise, obviously that didn’t happen and a very significant portion of the country really believes in Trump apparently. I don’t agree with any of his policies, and to put it lightly, I’m not a fan of his character. As a result of that, I genuinely don’t understand what it is about him that compels someone to vote for him.

      But, the thing that I’m most tired of is the massive bipartisan divide in this country that has caused so much hostility from both sides, and I think the first step to improving the situation is to make a real effort to understand each other. So, if some of you would take the time to help me understand why you believe in Trump, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

      Read the responses. Most of them are equally civil, and many of them are very well thought out. If you really want to do what you say you do…

      • Good comment, Mule, and good “pushback.” My wife and I had a similar discussion when I asked “what does it mean about the people of this country when 50% of them vote for Trump?”

        What it means is that half of the population wonders what it means that half the country voted for Biden.

        • I guess to follow up on that, and move into agreement with your post, Mule, is to say, we need to enter into a dialog with those we don’t understand, BOTH sides need to do this.

      • Tom Parker says

        The key is bipartisan. IMO so many Liberals have been much too nice to Republicans over the years–too civil. They (me) have allowed themselves to be run over. I’m not willing to be run over anymore. If that contributes to me being condescending then -as someone “famous” said this last year about all the people dying from the Pandemic-“It is what it is.” There has to be some movement both ways. I have zero confidence those infatuated with Trump would ever be civil.

  20. Fine work there.