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Rumilluminations December 2016
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Fri, December 02 2016 - 12:06 pm

December 31, 2016
Madison IN

It has been a heartbreaker of a year.

Even for those not much touched by celebrity deaths many of which hit too young, this year has meant the ruin of decades of hard work, high hopes, progress and promise.

Maybe "heartbreaker" is too mild a word; this year has been a killer.

My ruminations about this sorry shameful year made me realize the power of the spiritual message of Christianity: in the face of all the worldly evidence that power corrupts, the Christian believes in an all-powerful God who is also all-loving.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that this is not so, the faithful believe.

You can hardly blame them.

The idea that ultimate power can be embodied in complete innocence and love is an attractive one.

In fact, this idea possesses such a divine beauty that we just have to love it in the face of all evidence to the contrary and our own disbelief.

2016, goodbye! 2016, good riddance! You have trampled many of us down too thoroughly to be mourned.

Fast away the old year passes - fear the new, ye lads and lasses - but hold onto that hope for the divine power of love.

Those of us who 2016 has not killed are going to need it.

December 30, 2016
Madison, IN

*Lucky Number Slevin  We really loved this sentimental bloody puzzle, even though I was going, "Wha? Wha? Wha? Wha....? all the way home.

December 29, 2016
Madison IN

E.Y. Harburg had a lovely thought about song. "Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought."

It makes me wonder why a song with words describing a traditional life of Jesus story beautifully sung by a girl was called Leonard Cohen's song. Why would a Jewish guy write a Jesus song - unless he was converted?

I remembered hearing the haunting Hallelujah of Leonard Cohen's song decades ago. I didn't remember the words, but I was pretty sure they weren't the Christmas story.

So I listened to Cohen singing his song. It was not about Christianity, and it was heart-wrenching. It was poetic and real beyond anything in the canned Christmas song sung to his very simple and very lovely melody.

Why did the producers call their version Cohen's song? Unless he wrote them alternative words, and I don't imagine he did, their version is a positive perversion.

It's his music. The words were someone else's.

A travesty, I think.

The music has been used - co-opted, I would say, to add feelings to thoughts that weren't those of its creator.

Hearing his original was a real gift, brought to me, ironically, by Christmas.

December 28, 2016
Madison IN

It's strange that when it is time for us to pay a company by electronic payment it can happen in the twinkling of an eye, but if a company has to stop taking money out of our account, for some reason three weeks notice isn't enough. They take an advance payment weeks after you have quit their service, then take close to a month to credit it back to your account.

That's not even counting the pro-rated refund due us after we cancelled service. Hmmm... how long do you think it took for that money to be returned? Over six weeks. The other day I got a mystery check in the mail. No return address except of a company whose name I didn't recognize. No cover letter from the business we had received service from for over four years. The customer number looked vaguely familiar to me. When I saw the number I finally zapped.

Oh, this is our refund check from the cable company!

How come the electronic age only works in one direction with these folks?

Of course some of this delay could have been prevented by us telling our bank to stop payments before we told the business we were discontinuing service.  Well, we have learned our lesson!

It won't happen again.

*Broken City  Okay but not great movie about murder and corruption in the big city. There were a couple of really good lines, anyway.

*Ball of Fire  1941 movie with Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper that I found out about by reading The Word Detective, about the OED. What a laugh, movie and reference both. About a group of encyclopedists, the film also provided roles for half a dozen old men. Fun flick!

December 26, 2016
Madison IN

The other day I was ruminating about the past and the possible futures, kind of meditating on time and the river, when suddenly I realized that my eyes were making kind of a horizontal figure eight, with the crossing point in front of my nose. Maybe I was doing the kind of mental visualizing NLP talks about, referring mentally to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic imaging and feeling with reference to memory and fantasy.

One could go on like this forever, I thought. Aha! I have just found the source for the symbol for infinity! Cool!

Or - maybe it was just my nystagmus.

December 24, 2016
Madison IN

When I was young I was afraid I wouldn't survive until the turn of the century, when there were bound to be the biggest, best parties ever!

Well, I survived, not to go to a big party on New Year's Eve 1999, but to fall asleep on the couch while my young adult children watched a Michael Myers movie on TV. They probably went out to parties after. Me? I went to bed.

I definitely missed the parties.

But the biggest, best, wildest parties ever? I missed them by a couple of millennia, perhaps!

If we were in ancient Rome, we would be into the first few days of a nine-week* festival called Saturnalia, in which all kinds of drunken disorder prevailed. The social order was turned topsy-turvy, with masters serving their servants, among other prescribed social inversions, all perfectly legal and acceptable for the duration.

Talk about missed parties! Our parties, although too rich for my blood by far, pale by comparison.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and maybe Valentine's Day help us survive the wait until the visible return of the light. Let me count the weeks. My goodness! Nine weeks from December 17 falls on February 4.

That would be a helluva party.

*Except my memory, as usual, glorifies the past. Unless my Latin teacher was mistaken, I have misremembered. My online researches (after my inspired writing, as usual) tell me that Saturnalia, at its longest in the fifth century, was celebrated for only two weeks.

Okay. So my nine weeks is an exaggeration. Still - a two week or even only seven-day festival beats any party I have ever enjoyed.

Saturnalia would still have been the party for the ages.

Except mine. It's only 7:15 p.m. and I'm already nodding.

*The Fugitive Kind  From the Tennessee Williams play Orpheus Descending, this film almost put me off with its initial portrayal of dissipation (which in my decade bores me) but that dissipated (heh) and wow! What a story it tells. Powerful.

December 23, 2016
Madison IN

Eastern sages have talked about the yin/yang nature of light in the calendar year. In the middle of the bounty and light of summer the seeds of cold and darkness lie, and in the cold and long nights of winter the light is beginning to return.

A yin/yang of light occurs on a daily basis, also. In the dark of night gleam little pinpoints of starry light and the fitful moonlight. The daytime sun can be obscured by clouds and the very occasional eclipse.

It occurred to me that this might be a positive way of looking at my patterns of insomnia. I habitually wake up in the middle of the night (often for a couple of hours) then nap in the afternoon. 

Instead of looking at my insomnia as a problem, maybe I should just consider that I'm practicing a little yin/yang of my own. After all, this was not an uncommon sleep pattern in our ancestors. Lacking electricity, they would go to bed when it got dark. When everybody got cold in the middle of the night they would wake up, stoke the fires, and indulge in a little storytelling or whatever else struck their fancy, then get drowsy and go back to sleep until dawn.

Maybe people all over the world did this eons ago.

Yeah, I am just channeling my inner Neanderthal.

December 22, 2016
Madison IN

Since this is Advent I would like to remember some of the story we are celebrating in a different light. Today, that means little or no physical light. More, say, rumillumination.

I don't remember the first time I heard this story about the possibly mythical Jesus of Nazareth, but I remember it brought me up short: Mary had bought some aromatic oil and was bathing Jesus' feet with it, and Judas remonstrated with Mary, telling her that her money would have been better spent on the poor.

Jesus reproved Judas for criticizing Mary, saying "The poor you have always with you, but you won't always have me with you."

I think that is a little callous, don't you? Talk about dehumanizing a whole, very large, class of people, the very poor!

I think that could rival the famous, "Let them eat cake!" falsely attributed to Marie Antoinette.

Hmmm... I wonder how much that body oil would have cost in those days?

Do you think maybe the stories about the wise men's early gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh might've inclined little Jesus to feel more than a little entitled?

"I'm not really a poor boy, I'm a Prince!"

Well, it's a story, anyway. I won't say "only" a story.

After all, the story is everything, in the absence of the charismatic reality. Whatever that was.

December 21, 2016
Madison IN

Celebrating the day with the fewest daylight hours of the year, we actually got to walk in the sun for a while. Do I really feel the loss of light so much as when I lived farther north, had an always cold winter with nine months of constant cloud cover, and experienced each day as being as long as a contemporary decade?

Not really.

Whether it is because of global warming or the fact that we are now in Southern Indiana (or both) winters are just not as onerous as they used to be.

Yeah, I miss the snow, and I also miss the days when I could slip on the ice and fall hard in a snow drift (if I was lucky) and think it was funny. That ice storm we had a couple of years ago was no joke.

We are not getting a white Christmas this year, but maybe we'll get the gift of snow on Epiphany.

*Rust and Bone  Interesting film but it sure seemed long. The protagonist was the most oblivious - well. To tell the truth I wouldn't elect to see it again.

December 20, 2016
Madison IN

Yesterday was one of the darkest days of the year, both literally and figuratively, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. The Electoral College went ahead and elected Trump President. So much for the guard dog of my imagination, defender of his master, the United States of America. Turns out he is an overfed old mutt. A grand old pooch! Not surprising, unfortunately. Nobody has been holding out much hope. The local paper reports the Electors of Indiana stayed very red.

Tomorrow will be the shortest day, I believe - winter solstice, both dreaded for its reality and revered as a turning point of the calendar year. And where is winter? The recent low temperatures don't convince me of anything; no snow, not even on Christmas day, which is expected to be in the high fifties and rainy. Well, shoot.

It's still the darkest of times in Aleppo, Syria, and Berlin, Germany is shrouded in the shadow of a mass murder by truck which barreled into a Christmas market, killing at least twelve.

The holidays need a layer of snow to obscure the red and green colors created by blood and money - not by stained glass or holly.

And at least in Southern Indiana we aren't getting it.

December 17, 2016
Madison IN

This train of thought began when someone started talking about a blended family. "Six people in a house with one bathroom. I don't know how we did it...." then left that hanging and went on to change the subject.

Well, I know what happened. Someone ended up with chronic constipation.

I can't help but wonder: is this a consequence of pecking order, or is it consideration?

Why are considerate people considerate? Did they get that way by being low on the pecking order? Do they know they are going to have to give way to the other person anyway so they might as well be polite about it? "After you."

Or do you run the danger of lowering your position in the pecking order by being considerate of others?

I remember a friend telling me that if you are friendly and polite to rich people they will think you are sucking up and will have no respect for you. Interesting.

I think I just want to try to treat everyone the same. Am I asking to get picked on if I don't peck first?

My partner gets annoyed when people misunderstand his intentions. More than once over the years I have heard him say as if to a third person, "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

It sounds to me like the same issue.

So does consideration come from strength or weakness? I used to think - I would like to think - that it comes from a position of strength.

Maybe, though, if practiced too consistently, it makes a person weak.

December 16, 2016
Madison IN

It doesn't bode well for a rational piece when I write this late in the day, but since I flew into the realm of fancy and nonsense last night I guess I shouldn't go into that mode again.

Somehow the approach to Christmas has not been very exciting this year. I'm frustrated in my giving by the fact that I'm still overspending my income.

Maybe the world is too much with us this year. How can even one's dreams fail to be invaded by what is happening in Syria?

How can we bear what the United States has done to itself this year?

How can we celebrate while shaking our heads?

The only Advents I can think about are the coming of Trump and the coming of whatever horrors will be induced by global warming and the creepy advance of religions - all religions - because when people are poor their hopes become more and more desperately fixed on improbable sources of help.

Come to think of it, tomorrow I'll have to remember to buy a Powerball ticket!

December 15, 2016
Madison IN

Draught and drought are such similar words. How can their meanings be so different? Drought is of course obvious. It is the consequence of way too little moisture.

Draught, on the other hand, is how we describe a big wave of liquid disappearing down someone's gullet. It has other meanings as well including the original one, "to pull." Hence draught horses, which are bred for pulling.

Are draught horses ever useful during a drought? They ought not to be it seems to me, but then I know aught about it.

I've sought everywhere for "saught", but haven't caught it. Neither have I found cought, though it should rightly be past tense for cough. (Ha, ha, I almost spelled writely.) At least they sound the same.

I fought hard for faught but only found fraught. Faugh!

Naught means aught, I think, so it must be a double negative. Nowt means the same thing, I think. Are they linguistically and literarily indistinguishable?

I bought it but I don't know if I baught it. What would that even mean?

Taught works, tought doesn't, though thought does.

No doubt about it, English is tough. Tonight, though it's slaughtered.

*Smashed  What happens when heavy drinking becomes the norm for a married schoolteacher. Seems like an honest portrayal.

December 13, 2016
Madison IN

I've been sending out Christmas cards, and in an attempt to let friends and family see where we live I am sending some cards out with photos of Madison by Stephanie Hellman.

One of my favorites is the Madison Christmas tree. You know, the one by the fountain. Except I take a second look at the tree in the photo, and it looks pretty.

Something whirrs in my head. Wait a minute! This doesn't compute. This tree looks beautiful!

The real Christmas tree by the Broadway fountain is ugly. It isn't the tree's fault that you can't see its loveliness. It is the big plastic ornaments as big as beach balls that are hanging from it. They are ugly. They are grotesque!

For almost the first time in my life I want to steal something. I want to take those horrid "ornaments" and jump up and down on them and throw them in the dumpster.

But I can't do that. I'm too law-abiding. If I weren't a secret Philistine I wouldn't let my respect (no my fear) of the law keep me from civil disobedience. I would cite obedience to a higher law - the law of aesthetics. Why should such offensive decorations be tolerated? But no. I, at age 69, am afraid of getting in trouble for stealing.

Well, then, maybe I could take a magic marker and write "ugly" on their shiny plastic surfaces - those spheres with the overlapping edges like those equally horrible plastic Easter eggs. That defacement would probably only be a misdemeanor. Except would magic markers even work on those water- and beauty-repellent plastic surfaces.

No - I still cannot do it. I really cannot oppose myself to the civil authorities merely because of a visual offense. I just can't.

What to do, what to do? besides chew off my partner's ear every time we drive by?

Oh, yes. know what I can do about that reeking pus-boil on Madison's civic face!

I can write about it!

So I did.

December 11, 2016
Madison, IN

One of many problems with the man whom "we" elected to be President is that he is part of a new world community of wealthy people who are beginning to feel more solidarity with each other, regardless of nationality, than with the citizens of their own country.

This tendency of the extremely wealthy to club with their own kind makes me concerned that a World Oligarchy is forming that, like Ayn Rand's hero, despises the masses and really doesn't care about anyone that they do not personally need.

Supporting the businesses of these individuals and the corporations run by them is ultimately self-defeating for the rest of us.

Having said that, I recently agreed to go to Walgreens for my prescriptions to more than halve my insurance expenses, a saving of $25.00 a month. At the present time I don't have any regular medication that requires a prescription, so this shouldn't hurt my local pharmacy much.

But what about later? If all my attempts at preventive medicine fail, I will not be the only loser because of my cheaper, more restrictive policy. The pharmacy I can walk to will lose also.

In every case of enriching the wealthy to avoid impoverishing myself to an unacceptable level, there comes a point where I will sacrifice the locals. This process is inevitable and pernicious - especially when multiplied by millions.

The rich are not looking down. They are looking across at the other billionaires, their competition, and up at those who have still more than they have.

Our President-elect is one of these people. His win has already helped him financially. His tolerance for opulence is very, very high.

Can he change? Will he allow the highest office in the land to alter his modus vivendi of self-aggrandizement, self-promotion and self-propulsion to even greater heights of wealth and world power to instead increase his sense of responsibility toward his countrymen?

I hope so.

Not sure. I see no sign of it so far.

*Searching for Sugarman  Awe-inspiring, stunning true story of Mike Rodriguez, an obscure rock composer/singer guitarist of Detroit 1970-71. A film like no other.

December 10, 2016
Madison IN

I'm experiencing a lot of disjunct since the election. On the one hand, Facebook conversations and the news tell me very, very bad things are in the offing for the country (which judgment I agree with) but life in this very small quite red town goes on exactly as before - I almost wrote before the revolution.

Maybe it is unfair to call the town very red. It is red with a little blue mixed in. Maybe Madison, IN could be called fuchsia.

Fuchsia has never been a color I have been comfortable with, in spite of my love of the plants by that name. Now that the election is over, being in denial a good percentage of the time, I find myself navigating with my usual jaunty attitude (I like to think) and I feel people looking at me strangely, I imagine.

What?! Do they think I am happy because I voted for Trump? Heaven forbid!

Or is my old lady face beginning to look sour and grouchy no matter how I feel? That would be too bad.

Or are they reading my website and saying nothing about it?


December 9, 2016
Madison IN

Of course as soon as I woke up this morning I had a different take on *Big Fish. It is even more sinister than I thought. It set this country up for thinking that truth doesn't matter, hustlers are really good guys, small American towns (ideal if they are white and middle-class) can be rescued by conmen if they have hedge-fund manipulators for friends, and that truth doesn't matter. Yeah, I know I am repeating that twice in the most important places because it is the MOST IMPORTANT.

The Republicans aren't the only ones who sold their souls to the devil. Tim Burton did it a long time ago, and evidently showed two generations how in this movie.

My partner says it's show business.

In response I echo Plato: it is with regards to music we should build our prison houses.

Of course I am not serious, but it's a good point, no?

December 8, 2016
Madison IN

Lately we have been watching a lot of the TV series, Homicide: Life on the Street. It's set in Baltimore. It's really well done. Maybe even better than Law and Order.

We haven't been watching many movies lately. We saw *Big Fish and quite honestly it seemed aimless. Boring. Silly. Once in a while there was a physically beautiful scene like maybe one near the beginning and one near the end. To tell the truth I've never been a big fan of Tim Burton. No, sorry, dark, grotesque, angular, sinister and ugly has never been my thing. Except all those things mentally.

They are mine, all mine! All mind.

The other entertainment screen stuff we have been doing lately are comedy specials at night. It's what we do to exercise our abdominals. I honestly think we sleep better at night after good comic catharsis. We're all relaxed and happy and giggled out like little kids.

We need it as an escape from multiple murders and the dark, distorted, grotesque, sinister and ugly turn our national life seems to be taking.

I missed the local Christmas parade last week and walking around town afterward it seemed as if people weren't wearing colors as bright as they used to. Some people were acting strangely guilty. I wondered if the KKK was featured or if maybe Donald Trump was whizzed by in an armed motorcade on his way to Indianapolis but not everyone was invited.

Now, I know this is all nonsense but Trump's show of open-mindedness followed by appointees of devastating destructiveness of everything liberals believe in is so sadistic that I no longer have any perspective.

I'm secretly certain that dT is appointing so many generals so he can militarize the whole administrative branch of government. 

Dang! My last dose of comedy special has about worn off talking about the national condition. Maybe if I quit right now and start reading an amusing book it won't be too late to get a good night's sleep.

Surrealism, stand aside! Paranoia, transmute to people-pleasing pronoia!

My eyelids are getting heavy. My mind is conspiring with the rest of the Universe to give me the gift of seven hour's sleep...goodnight...

December 6, 2016
Madison IN

Texan Elector Christopher Suprun is speaking out against voting for Donald Trump for President. He's trying to persuade his fellow Electors to make a different choice.

Good! I hope he succeeds in persuading them. I hope the rest of us put enough pressure on Electors to make them realize this vote is not a mere formality, let alone a rubber stamp for a political party that has - well, made a less than acceptable choice.

But to tell the truth, my partner and I have been noisily arguing about politics more after the November election than we did before.

He has accepted the current result of the fiasco and wants to put it behind us. He's irritated (to say the least) with those responsible for Trump's victory. He doesn't want to think about it any more.

On the other hand, I am not giving up yet. I still have hope that the laird's black mastiff will leap up and defend him from attack. 

(That metaphor refers to a Scottish tale I wrote about in this blahg (that's what this site is) on November 12 last month. It's a great story!)

My partner can hardly wait until December 20th so he won't have to hear any more about the Electoral College. I, on the contrary, hope the Electoral College has a big discussion that, if need be, will go until December 28th when the final decision must be made as to who our next President will be.

Oh, dear. I just heard John Kasich told Electors, don't vote for him!

Not helpful.

December 5, 2016
Madison IN

I have finally figured out what is going on in the U.S. with the "team" thing.

When my children were in school I started noticing that they were doing projects as teams. My second, at least, had the experience of frustration when her teammates wouldn't do their fair share of the work. Everyone on the team would get the same grade, so if she wanted a good grade she had to work harder (if only at persuasion.)

I didn't like it. In my day, I thought, everyone was responsible only for their own work. I did not envy my children.

There was no reason to go to the school and complain, though. For one thing, I felt chronically powerless and knew that my complaints would not really be heard. (Maybe I was wrong, but that was my assumption.)

Another reason I didn't complain was that I thought, well, it might be a good thing to have to learn how to work closely with others. It might teach my children leadership skills that I definitely did not have.

A decade or two later I started hearing about "cross-training" and teams in relation to office staff. This was new to me. Of course it made sense. If someone didn't show up for work it would be helpful if there were someone else around who knew how to do her job.

Someone sick or irresponsible? No big deal. Someone else could be twice as responsible. After all, the individual didn't matter so much as the team.

Except - minor detail - it was already a challenge to get your own job done. The more you accomplished, the more work was piled on to you until you, too got sick.

Fast forward to The Apprentice. I only saw one or two cycles of hiring and firing. There was a big emphasis on teamwork, but in the end only one person was left standing, as I recall. I remember one episode in which one team member was railing against another who refused to do any work. I could totally relate to the complainer. You could see her obnoxious attitude in every line of her tall, statuesque, indolent body.

At a later date I found out she had won. At least that's the way I remember it. (Well, turns out I was wrong. According to an article about her more likely to be correct than I, Trump fired her three times on three seasons of The Apprentice. Whew, many more parts of her life are available if you just Google.!)

Fast forward another couple of decades and there is Omarosa on Trump's campaign team. Wow, she had a career! She was well rewarded - for what?

Admittedly I wasn't there. It sure looks, though, as if someone who was good at manipulating circumstances and other people, perhaps, was the one who got the good out of "team" work. The ones who bitch and whine about the users end up being the losers.

Well, duh. Those guys who helped Zuckerman build Facebook sure aren't of the top five richest guys in the world now, are they?

So beware, members of a team. You may be equal now, but there just might be a nasty game beyond your honest, above-board ken going on.

What set this rant off?

Seeing the hated Omarosa on the right hand of the despised President-elect Trump is what set this rant off.

My lecture really does have a larger purpose, though, than expressing anger at losing elections.

It's a cautionary tale.

December 4, 2016
Madison IN

A while back I mentioned a Georgia Elector who had said he would not vote for Trump. According to the Wikipedia listing, he has resigned.

This does not bode well for an Electoral revolt. I guess the Republicans are just so glad to be back in power that they don't care who represents them.

Still, I will not resign myself to a Trump presidency until I have to. After that I don't know what I will do. I would like to think I would just turn my back on the world and go live in a place where no TV, autos or Internet exist.

I live with someone else, though, who just might have an opinion or two on the subject.

Also, I confess, even I possess a human weakness for the experience known as horrid fascination.

December 3, 2016
Madison IN

Yesterday I saw a list of presidential electors for 2016 on Wikipedia. There are way more than I thought, and I had misunderstood that each party had a completely different set of electors all their own. No wonder people seem so sure that there won't be an electoral upset!

Since the founding fathers did not intend for there to be political parties they obviously were not intending that the Electoral College would work the way it is working (or not working) now. Why bother?

There are both men and women on the list, presumably of all different ages, but who knows? It's just a list of names, except there is a note that one is the name of the youngest Elector - a nineteen-year-old.

No further statistical demographical detail is given except states represented.

New Mexico and North Dakota have no Electors listed. I don't know why.

I still have hope that the Electors will do what I consider is their job to save us from the lesser numbers (if not worse) half of ourselves, especially considering the massive conflicts of interest Donald Trump would have as President. It has been judged that he has already profited hugely by becoming President-elect. If he doesn't use his businesses as a good opportunity to bow out, the Electoral College would certainly have good reason to rule his Presidency potentially too problematical be supportable. I still have trouble believing that he really wants to do the job. (Some maintain Pence will be the de facto President.)

Last word I heard was that Philadelphia is planning a voluntary recount. The Wisconsin results are still out, I guess.

My, what an exciting election year this is!

Suspenseful - like a horror movie. Donald's specialty.

December 2, 2016
Madison IN

I'm hearing less and less talk about the Electoral College. (By this, of course, I mean talk on the TV and written words on Facebook. In real life I hear no talk at all about the Electoral College.)

Are the Electors really so unimportant? Are they really such political or human nonentities that their votes this month are unimportant and assumed?

Who are these people?

In attempting to find out the demographics of the members of the Electoral College, I googled the subject and the first three or so responses (supposedly the most right on relevant) were just about the popular electorate.

I will try again but I just want to put out this question to professional researchers and reporters: who are these people who have so much power that they seem so likely not to exercise?

How much education do they have, in what fields of expertise? How wealthy are they? How many children have they? What are their predominant interests in life? Sure, I could spend hours researching this stuff but there must be someone out there who either knows it or knows how to get it more easily than I.

Before the election I read about a couple of electors who had no intention of voting along party lines - at least not for a particular candidate. How many more feel that way now?

What do they think they owe the country? Are they responding to the current situation with a "Why me? Why did this have to happen to me?"

Or are they just going with the flow, wondering if it will snow and what they are getting their wives (yeah, are they all men? Probably not. I hope.) or husbands for Christmas? Or Hanukkah?

Yeah, it's freaking me out. I keep imagining we the people are going to be saved by a "College" of people who are, in my mind, absolutely faceless.

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