Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Count Down to November 7th

Just when you thought the GOP couldn't possibly sink any deeper into the depths of sleaze, they lower the bar even further. Is there anything this gang of silly, hypocritical, half-witted bastards won't do to get elected? Apparently not. The television ads that are being commissioned by the Republican National Committee in the countdown to November 7th are some of the most disgusting in American political history. At least the infamous Willie Horton commercial of 1988 made an attempt to be subtle - at least that's how it appears in hindsight. With these miserable fools, subtlety has gone right out the window. Given their history, are you surprised? And with only one week to go, the possibility of the White House creating some kind of hideous October surprise in order to divert our attention, even something that gets a handful of American service people killed, is very real. Remember that George W. Bush is already responsible for the murders of at least a half a million people in Iraq. What's three or four more bodies to this murderous little thug? Keep your eyes wide; he and Karl Rove are going to try something.

Ah, we do live in interesting times, do we not?

Imagine what this country will look like in two years with another republican majority controlling both houses of Congress, mindlessly rubber-stamping the demands of the most overtly corrupt administration in the history of human folly. By the time it's all over, you won't even recognize America. In case you missed it at the movies, the original intention of the Founding Fathers - "...just about the smartest sons-of-bitches that ever lived" in the words of the great Molly Ivins - was that the legislative branch of our government provide oversight with respect to the executive - with the judicial acting as sort of a referee. That situation effectively does not exist anymore - it has been rendered inoperative by the majority party. The rumbling you hear is the sound of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin doing somersaults in their graves.

As much damage as the Bush Mob has been able to do since 2001, just imagine what will happen if they are allowed a final two years with the GOP in charge of the House and the Senate? Think about it: For the six long years they've been pounding away at our Constitution, bearing in mind that they always had another re-election or mid-term to face - they were actually being politically expedient! That is why this administration must be placed in check and, if possible, removed from office by means of the constitutionally viable process of impeachment. And the only way that's going to happen is with a democratic victory next week; otherwise you might just as well kiss your once-great nation goodbye. If you think I'm over-reacting then, please, by all means vote republican next week. If you don't believe the situation is as dire as I've portrayed it then, obviously, you haven't been paying attention these past six years. Really, kids, of the one-hundred and ten national elections in our history, 2006 is the biggest no-brainer of them all.

A leader who invades another nation on the pretext of cooked-up evidence which results in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of people is, by definition, a war criminal. That is the very real fact that almost everyone is ignoring. That is the very real fact that we all must come to terms with.

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again
Some sunny day....

George W. Bush was able to commit horrific crimes against humanity because he knew - or, rather, he thought - that he'd never be called to account for his misdeeds because of the existence of a corrupt, incompetent and supposedly undefeatable Republican-controlled Congress. I'll lay it out for you as clearly and concisely as I can: the future of United States prestige and credibility in the world absolutely depends on our insistence that he will indeed be held accountable for what he's done to this country and this planet. Otherwise, all the proclamations about ours being "a nation of laws and not of men" is nothing more than an empty slogan, on par with, "Wheaties is the Breakfast of Champions". Empty, meaningless rhetoric.

Everything rides on 7 November. Vote as if your whole future depends on it because it really does, folks. It really does.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Most Important Election In History

Less than two weeks to go and there's every reason to be optimistic; the polls show that by a margin of fifty-seven to thirty-seven percent (six percent of us couldn't care less), the people want to give the House and Senate back to the Democrats. The GOP is quite literally imploding as one ugly, shameful scandal after another makes itself known....Then why am I full of pessimism? There are a number of reasons for that. First, there is what can only be described as the unexplainable over-confidence of the First Fool. In an interview on Sunday with ABC's George Stephanopolus, when asked if he thought the republicans would be able to hold on to power, he seemed to possess not a shred of a doubt. Why would he portray himself in such a way when all the evidence says that, come Election Day, the results will make him look foolish? Is this just another example of his well known arrogance? Is it merely his obvious and inarguable stupidity? Or is it more than that? Could it be the possibility that he knows he has nothing to worry about because the fix is in? They've already successfully stolen two elections, do you seriously doubt they won't try to do it again? Don't let your guard down.

All of the so-called "October surprises" are in place. The new dialogue out of the White House is that there is now the possibility of massive troop withdrawal by early 2008. They're even implying that Iraqi leaders had better have their act together very soon - or else. This sort of talk is totally at odds with their previous position: "When they stand up, we'll stand down". Press Secretary Tony Snow has just announced that the term, "Stay the course", is no longer operational. What's this all about? Are they serious? Of course they're not. It's just another cynical election year ploy. After November 7th, whatever the outcome, it'll be business as usual. They have been lying to us for six years and that's not going to change - ever.

And here's another very good reason to be concerned about the election next week: the jaw-dropping stupidity of the American public. Although most Americans voted against George W. Bush in 2000, a significant minority of them were dumb enough to actually believe that sending him to the White House was a neat idea. That is the reason they were able to steal the election. When the vote is that close, it's always easy to "adjust" the results in your favor. I'm sure if there's going to be any salvation for the Republican Party, it will be the new, easily hackable electronic voting machines that are manufactured by a major GOP contributor. That's how they were able to steal Ohio and New Mexico in 2004. They're planning on doing the same thing this year. Count on it.

The big question is, will enough democrats and independents make it to the polls next week to make another stolen election virtually impossible? Maybe. But recent polls are starting to give me the jitters. In Tennessee, Harold Ford, Jr., who is the most extraordinary candidate to run for public office in my lifetime (and that includes Jack and Bobby Kennedy) is now running two percentage points behind his opponent, the aptly named, Bob Corker. After a healthy lead in the early stages of the campaign, Ford, who is black, was caught off guard when the GOP began playing the race card which, as we all know, is one of their specialties. In Virginia, inexplicably, Republican incumbent, George Allen - a man who gives mediocrity a bad name, a man so gut-bustingly out-of-touch with reality he actually thinks he is going to be our next president - is running ahead of his challenger, Jim Webb. Yeah. There are good reasons to be worried - a whole lot of reasons .

Of this there is no doubt: if the Democrats screw this one up, our country is finished. We cannot afford this reckless and criminal president to go on for another two years pissing on our Constitution. This administration has committed far too many crimes to even list and must be called to account. In an excellent article called, "Inside The Worst Congress Ever", in this week's Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi writes that during the Clinton years, the Republicans, "issued more than one-thousand subpoenas to investigate alleged administration and Democratic misconduct, reviewing more than two-million pages of government documents. Guess how many subpoenas have been issued to the White House since Gorge W. Bush took office? Zero - that's right, zero...". One of the "investigations" initiated by the republicans during this period was Bubba's mis-use of the White House Christmas card list - I'm serious! Please, if you get a chance, pick up a copy of that issue - It's worth the price of the ticket. As Taibbi's piece makes clear, another two years of a corrupt, sycophantic and rubber stamp Congress will do this country more harm than can be accurately assessed. The damage that the Bush administration has done to this nation and the planet will be with us for generations. They must be placed in check and, most importantly, removed from office by means of impeachment. The Republicans aren't going to do that. The Democrats will.

According to CNN, fifty-eight percent of Americans believe that the Democrats have no plan for the 110th Congress. Sadly, that's probably true. One hopes that, once they take control, they'll be able to gain their footing and set things on a steady course by going back to their wicked liberal ways. But remember this: the Republicans do have a plan - a big plan - and it doesn't bode well for you and me. What they have planned is the ultimate destruction of the middle class in this country and a continuous war of aggression across the globe - the blueprint of which can be found in the pages of the Project For A New American Century (PNAC). When, during the campaign of 2000, Bush claimed that he didn't believe in "nation building" and that he would impose a "humble" foreign policy, he wasn't telling you the truth (Surprise!) The truth is, while Bush was making these statements, the PNAC Mob was already measuring the Situation Room for drapes.

The next thirteen days are riddled with uncertainty. This disgusting, incumbent president has the power to unleash a chain of events that could be devastating to the hopes and aspirations of the minority party. The only thing they have to offer is fear, itself, and part of their plan is to frighten the masses into staying with their murderous agenda. But be absolutely certain of this: If the GOP is allowed another two years of their rape and plunder of our economy, our country and our planet, by the end of the Bush era - whenever the hell that's going to be - you won't recognize America. You might not even recognize yourselves.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Thursday, October 19, 2006


How will history judge the 109th congress? The other day, the president of the United States signed into law a piece of legislation which - quite literally - gave him despotic powers. It all boils down to this: A disgusting, murderous, half-witted little thug named George W. Bush now has the authority to declare anyone he sees fit as an "enemy combatant". That includes American citizens, folks. This means that any one of us can be arrested and detained indefinitely without any charges being made against us. One could, in theory anyway, be grabbed off the street and thrown into Gitmo or where ever without his or her family ever even being notified. A person could just disappear! If that isn't bad enough for you, chew on this unpleasant fact for a minute or two: It is now legal to use the same methods of torture that the government of Harry S Truman prosecuted Japanese war criminals for at the end of World War Two. Now doesn't that just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over?

"Excuse me while I disappear"
Frank Sinatra 1958

Which brings us to this nasty question: Just what in the hell do they mean by the term, "enemy combatant"? It's a tad too vague for comfort, if you ask me. According to people in the know, it can mean anybody who inadvertently made an innocent contribution to an organization with suspected ties to terrorist organizations. Back in 1995, without even knowing it, I made a twenty-five dollar contribution to the Irish Republican Army under the guise of an orphan's charity. Had they been at odds with our government at that particular moment, with George W. Bush at the helm, who knows where I would have ended up! Can you imagine?

Here's another question: Just what, in the mind of the First Fool, constitutes a terrorist organization? Well, heck! That could mean any person or organization whose singular purpose is not only the impeachment but the imprisonment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for the rest of their lives for their crimes against humanity. Uh oh! That means me....That might even very well mean you! Are you an enemy combatant? Am I? Apparently we are, according to these fools.

Welcome to Hitler country.

Twenty-five years ago, I would roll my eyes whenever someone compared Ronald Reagan to Adolf Hitler. As incompetent and feeble-minded as Ronnie no doubt was, the Hitler juxtaposition was a bit of a stretch, I thought. All of that has changed. Is it an extreme example to compare the Bush Mob to the Nazi regime of seventy years ago? Not at all. You must remember that der fuhrer was able to take total control of that government via an entirely legal process. He demanded of the German parliament absolute power and the German parliament caved in absolutely. While all this was happening, the voters of Germany looked away in utter indifference. Before they knew it, all political opposition to Hitler was brutally crushed by means of intimidation and murder; Germany was on the road to catastrophe. Within little more than a decade, his beloved fatherland lay in smoldering ruins. Millions of its people were dead.

Do you doubt, for a minute, that your country is now heading down that same catastrophic road? If you do, then, by all means, vote republican on 7 November. For months I've been "ranting" about the number of Iraqi men, women and little children who have died as a result of the obscenity that you and I, as taxpayers, have been funding in that tormented country. Judging by all I had read (and I've read an awful lot on the subject, so help me, Mitch Miller, I have!) I had previously estimated the death toll at being, at the very least, one-hundred thousand. Stop the presses! According to a recent study by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the actual body count is around six-hundred and sixty-five thousand. My mistake. When pressed with these figures at a press conference on October 11th, Bush summarily dismissed them as nonsense. It's just much more convenient for him to stick to his December 2005 figure of thirty thousand. How does this evil bastard even sleep at night? From this day forward my estimate of the Iraqi dead will be "at least half a million". So sue me.

In the meantime, Dick Cheney's Halliburton is now involved in the construction of two "detainment facilities" that are able to house up to forty-thousand people ("enemy combatants") that your government has commissioned in the event of any "national emergency". Here's another question for you to munch on, kids: Are you naive enough to believe that the hideous little piece of shit in the oval office doesn't plan on using those - let's call a spade a spade - concentration camps to imprison innocent American citizens whose only crime is invoking their right to a "redress of grievances" that is guaranteed to them by the First Amendment? Do you seriously believe that this administration's unparalleled constitutional recklessness is not doing serious damage to the framework of our nation's laws that were put in place by the Founding Fathers over two centuries ago? James Madison once remarked that the system of checks and balances did not have to rely on the "good intentions" of the people in power and that our constitution could even withstand the machinations of the devil. But what happens when the devil, himself, seeks to destroy those very same constitutional foundations with the willing aid of a corrupt and incompetent congress? What happens when the citizens of a country are lulled into inaction, distracted by the celebrity scandal du jour? History has proven that the results are always disastrous. Make no mistake about it, we've arrived at that very point.

The seventh of November will prove to be one of the most fateful - or fatal - election days in American history. The choice is ours. Of this you can be absolutely sure: The administration of George W. Bush will stop at nothing to make sure the republicans take or steal both houses of congress next month. Count on them orchestrating some kind of hideous "October Surprise", even something that gets people killed, that will frighten the masses into staying with the GOP. If you don't think they're capable of pulling off something as despicable as that, you obviously haven't been paying attention.

The election is less than three weeks away and it's up to all of us to get out the vote. Do everything humanly possible: Call your local talk radio programs; Call C-SPAN's Washington Journal! It's easier to get on the air than you might think - Of the thirty or so attempts I've made to get through, I've been successful more than nine out of ten times (The secret is "speed dialing"!); Write a letter to the editor of your local paper - It's not too late to get two or even three pieces published; Volunteer to drive an elderly or handicapped neighbor to the polls; Explain to your less politically astute friends exactly what is at stake. If they are faithful viewers of FOX and Friends, tell them they might do well by tuning into the politically centrist (and registered republican) Don Imus for a week or so; If they are avid Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity listeners, tell them to give Air America a try - if only for a day or so. Hell, they might even learn a thing or two! This could very well be our last chance to have our votes counted. If you think everything I've written here this morning are merely the ramblings of a sick, malcontented fanatic, then please vote republican next month. You'll deserve everything that happens to you. Think I'm kidding?

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Books on Bush

At his press conference last week, George W. Bush, with a smile on his face, noted that there have been so many books written on his administration that it probably qualifies as some kind of world record. He almost seemed proud of this fact - which leads me to conclude that he has not read even one of the books in question, nor has he been advised as to their content. If he had, it's a fairly safe bet that he wouldn't have been smiling! This really doesn't surprise you, does it? He admittedly doesn't read any of the scores of newspapers that are available to him. With the exception of "The Very Busy Caterpillar", why should we expect him to do something as intellectually taxing as reading a book or two every once in a while?

If there is anyone reading this with any connection to the First Fool or the White House staff, I have here a suggested reading list of twenty-six excellent books. If you would kindly e-mail it to them, It would be much appreciated. They are all finely written and are not listed in any particular order of chronology or importance:

"Shrub: The Short, Happy Political Life of George W. Bush" by Molly Ivins and Lou DuBois

"Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America" by Molly Ivins and Lou BuBois (Molly and Lou mention in the intro that had we all read their previous book on Bush, which was written before the 2000 election, they wouldn't have had to write this one!

"The Lies of George W. Bush" by David Corn

"Exception to the Rulers" by Amy and David Goodman

"Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, And the People Who Fight Back" by Amy and Mark Goodman"

"The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" by Greg Palast

"Armed Mad House" by Greg Palast

"The Truth (With Jokes)" by Al Franken

"Fortunate Son" by J.H. Hatfield and Sander Hicks

"The Bush Hater's Handbook: A Guide to the Most Appalling Presidency of the Past 100 Years" by Jack Huberman

"Bush on the Couch" by Dr. Justin Frank

"What's the Matter with Kansas"? by Thomas Frank

"House of Bush. House of Saud" by Craig Unger

"Had Enough? A Handbook for Fighting Back" by James Carville

"Frontier Justice" by Scott Ritter

"The Price of Loyalty" by Ron Susskind

"Against All Enemies" by Richard Clarke

"State of Denial" by Bob Woodward

"The Book on Bush: How George W. Bush (Mis)leads America" by Mark Green and Eric Alterman"

"Worse Than Watergate" by John Dean

"Conservatives Without Conscience" by John Dean

"Thieves in High Places: They've Stolen Our Country and It's Time to Take It Back" by Jim Hightower

"The Impeachment of George W.Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens" by Elizabeth Holtzman

"Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush" by the Center For Constitutional Rights

"The I Hate George W. Bush Reader: Why Dubya Is Wrong About Absolutely Everything" by Clint Wills

"American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush" by Kevin Phillips
Those are but twenty-six of the literally scores of books that have to date been written about the most dangerously extremist administration in American history. Seek out any or all of them. It's well worth the time and effort.

Happy reading, kids!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Iraq For Sale

Robert Greenwald has done it again. You'll be forgiven for not knowing the name of this superb and gifted documentarian; You'll never see any of his work on CBS, NBC, ABC or any other mainstream media outlet, for that matter. That's because Greenwald works independent of all corporate influence. His films, "Out Foxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism", "Uncovered: The War on Iraq" and "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Cost" have the unfortunate tendency of telling obvious and yet uncomfortable truths that the American plutocracy would rather you and I not know. He's that kind of filmmaker.

His latest film, "Iraq For Sale", is probably his best one yet. I really don't have to explain the story behind it, do I? The title says it all. The war in Iraq was a gold mine for the Bush administration and their corporate connections. It explains, in painstaking detail, how these companies, Dick Cheney's Halliburton in particular, were able to make a killing - literally - by overcharging the American taxpayers and stealing billions of dollars in the process. In order to milk as much profit as they possibly could from this massive cash cow, they supplied American soldiers with bad food, tainted water and lethally inferior equipment. Interviews granted to Greenwald and his crew by past and present Halliburton employees, not to mention servicemen who fought in Iraq, tell a story so disturbing and outrageous, if every American could hear it today, Bush and Cheney would be impeached tomorrow.

Halliburton, which is a subsidiary of the Texas-based firm, Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), was given no-bid contacts by the Bush Mob to provide services to the military which in previous conflicts were provided by the military, itself. In short, this is the first war in the history of the world that has been completely privatized!

Do you recall what Mussolini said about fascism being a combination of corporate and state power? Do you, per chance, see a little bit of a trend here? Ah! I thought as much.

Let's explore just a handful of Mr. Greenwald's juicier revelations, shall we?

1. Forty cents out of every dollar controlled by congress now goes to private contractors. There are over one-hundred thousand of them today in the Iraq/Kuwait area alone.

2. Much of the "soldiering" being done in Iraq at the moment has been contracted out to a private security firm called Blackwater which was responsible for much of the abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib. The very existence of this company, a private army for profit, flies in the face of the Geneva Conventions, not to mention the US Constitution.

3. Many of the civilian contractors, doing jobs that were once done by the army, are getting paid six-figure salaries.

4. One of the companies, Titan, which was paid over two billion dollars to provide linguists, sent to Iraq people who were barely proficient in the Arabic language.

5. The uniform code of military justice does not apply to civilian contractors in Iraq.

6. Most of the people doing the menial work for KBR are cheap labor from other middle eastern countries. These jobs could and should have gone to the Iraqi people. This might very well have prevented the dissent that is today making itself known by means of an out-of-control insurgency.

7. Many of the American civilians who were lured to Iraq by the promise of high salaries, have been put into dangerous, combative situations. Scores of them have lost their lives as a result.

8. The water provided by Halliburton for American servicemen and women to drink and bathe in is described by former employee Ben Carter as, "extremely contaminated". He broke down and wept on camera while he was relating this information. "Of the sixty-seven water treatment plants that Halliburton run, sixty-three of them weren't providing safe water", he said.

9. Halliburton has been regularly charging the army forty-five dollars for a six pack of soda manufactured in the middle east and ninety-nine dollars to clean a three dollar bag of laundry.

10. The tents provided by Halliburton for the soldiers to sleep in were, "completely moldy", according to Sgt. Kelly Dougherty of the Colorado National Guard. Many of these kids are getting sick form upper-respiratory infections.

11. Halliburton has been charging the American taxpayer (umm, that would be you and me) over three-hundred thousand dollars for three year leases on SUVs worth less than forty-five thousand that are used by the KBR executives themselves!

12. They are providing brand new trucks without oil filters, "so when the engine blows, what do you do? Buy a new truck and bill the government", according to Ben Carter.

13. Halliburton has routinely sent out convoys of empty trucks across the Iraqi desert in order to charge the military more money, needlessly putting the lives of the drivers at risk. Many have died as a result.

14. The deal that gave Halliburton its no-bid contract was coordinated by its former CEO, vice-president Dick Cheney.

15. Halliburton's stock has quadrupled since the beginning of the war in 2003.

16. All of the companies involved in what will eventually prove to be a trillion dollar rip-off in Iraq have political and financial ties to the Republican National Committee and the Bush White House.

17. Every single amendment that has been introduced to stop this wanton fraud and abuse has been killed by a Republican controlled congress.

Please buy the DVD of Iraq For Sale and show it to as many people as possible. It is the most important documentary to come out in years. We have got to put a stop to this obscenity. But we're only going to do it by making damned sure that both houses of congress are not given back to the Republicans next month. The last line of the film, spoken by Sgt. Geoff Millard, says it better than I can:

"I am a patriot. I love our country and I want our country to survive. And the survival of our country depends on us taking it back".

Amen, Brother Geoff!

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

For more recent postings on this cesspool of LIBERAL propaganda, please go to the following link:




"Iraq For Sale" is still a very valid film five years after it was released. It should be seen by everyone in order to understand what that disgusting administration did to this country. Here is a link to order it off of Amazon.com:


Show it to the world.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Sixty-six years ago this month, on October 15, 1940, Charlie Chaplin released what is, undoubtedly, his most controversial film. "The Great Dictator" depicted the story of two very different people (both played by Chaplin) who could be (but are not) identical twins: A timid little Jewish barber and Adenoid Hinkle, the dictator of a fictional country called Ptomainia. The film was a satirical attack on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Toward the movie's end, the two men are mistaken for one another and the little barber is taken to speak at a massive rally that the dictator had called for on the eve of the invasion of an entire continent. The speech he gives, which is really Chaplin's plea to the world for peace and understanding, still resonates all these decades later:


I'm sorry, but I don't want to be a emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible - Jew, Gentile - black men - white.

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness - not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate - has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. Machinery that gives us abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now, my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say: "Do not despair". The misery that has come upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers!!! Don't give yourselves to these brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle and use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! With the love of humanity in your hearts! Don't hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural!

Soldiers!!! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke it is written that the kingdom of God is within man - not in one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power! The power to create machines! The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful - to make this life a wonderful adventure! Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason - a world where science and progress will lead to the happiness of us all. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us unite!!!
Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up, Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness and into the light! We are coming into a new world - a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed and their brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow - into the light of hope; Into the future, the glorious future, that belongs to you, to me - and to all of us. Look up, Hannah! Look up!

Charles Spencer Chaplin


He spoke to us then. He speaks to us still.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

To watch this incredible oration - the best of the twentieth century - please go to the following YouTube link:

AFTERTHOUGHT, September 3, 2012:

The greatest speech in all recorded human history was not made by a politician. It was not made by a king. It was not made by a queen. It was not made by a prince or a princess. It was not made by a preacher. It was not made by a businessman or woman. It was not made by an old soldier or a young one. It was not made by a billionaire. It was not made by a potentate. It was not made by a senator or a congressman. It was not made by a president....

The greatest speech in all recorded human history was made by a little tramp
Go figure.
For more recent postings on this site, please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Charlie would approve. I just know he would.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Grand Old Pedophiles

This is beautiful!

The republican party is coming apart at the seams. Finally, these lying, hypocritical bastards are being called to task. The party's over; the piper must be paid. For twelve long years these people have raped our country; they have all but destroyed the social and economic infrastructure of our once-great nation. For too many years, the American electorate just sat back in numbed apathy and let it happen. From the day twenty-six years ago, when they foolishly sent a feeble minded, failed "B" movie actor by the name of Ronald Reagan to the White House, they have watched their standard of living slowly but surely disintegrate. They have seen their earning potential dwindle to the point where the middle class is in serious danger of extinction. But finally I think the people (or a significant number of them) are beginning to awaken from the right-wing coma they've been snoring under all these many years. Did you have a nice nap, folks?

Morning in America, indeed.

In terms of pure political theater, the last week and a half has been the gift that just keeps giving. First it was the publication of the Bob Woodward's book, "State of Denial" which stated - How shocking! - that the Bush administration has been lying to us, from day one, about the war in Iraq (WELL, DUH, BOB!) And then along came the strange, weird saga of Mark Foley. The congressman from Florida who has been writing the laws regarding Internet predators is revealed to be, himself, an Internet predator! Isn't that sweet? He might even end up being jailed by the very laws that he wrote! And you think that's bad? Wait! It gets better - I mean, worse: The GOP leaders in the House, including Speaker Denny Hastert, have led a concerted effort to cover it up. The person who knew about the details of Foley's "naughty e-mails" (Tony Snow's own words) longer than anyone, Thomas Reynolds of New York, for some unknown reason (Nudge! Nudge! Wink! Wink!) received an unheard of $100,000 contribution from Foley to the Congressional Campaign Committee of which Reynolds, himself, is the head of. Coincidence? Of course it was!

And now poor old Mark is claiming that the bottle made him do it. Hmm. I've put away some serious amounts of booze in my day and I don't ever recall getting so shit-faced that I became week in the knees for any guy - underaged or otherwise. Maybe I was just too drunk to remember but I really kind of doubt it. And now Foley is claiming that, as a youth, he was molested by a "clergyman". How convenient. His Attorney says he will announce the name of the (Priest? Rabbi? Minister? Mullah?) at a later date. Right. Do a little research beforehand, ay, Marky? Make damn good and sure that the clergyman, in question, is good and dead. Do these assholes even have a clue as to how transparent they are?

I'm loving this! Watching these people literally implode right in before my eyes is too good to be true! The Germans have a word for it, "sschadenfreude" - which means, shameful glee. Should I be ashamed of myself for feeling so joyful at what is, beyond any doubt, a hideous tragedy? Yes. Yes I should - but I'm not. So sue me! Another self righteous, full-of-shit politician has bitten the dust. To give you an example of just what I'm talking about, I was going to print, verbatim, the transcript of the Instant Message that Foley exchanged with the Page in question but I decided against it. They're just too disturbing to read and there is such a thing as "good taste". What? You're surprised to find out that even I have standards of decency? Cut me some slack, Jack!

In the meantime (very mean), the right-wing propaganda machine has gone into overdrive. Faithfully referring to their carefully coordinated "talking points", they were like Pavlov's dogs on the political talk shows last night, constantly bringing up the names of Barney Frank and Gary Studds, two democratic members who were involved in their own sex scandals decades ago. FOX News identified Foley as a democrat and Matt Drudge even stupidly blamed the Pages themselves for "egging him on". As outrageous as that statement is, it didn't surprise me at all. Nothing that comes out of the mouths and minds of these fools shocks me any longer. They have so dumbed down our national political dialogue that in the space of thirty years, we've gone from the sage commentary of Eric Severeid to the daily, half-witted rants of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. As Mort Sahl once speculated in a slightly different context, this just proves that Darwin was wrong!

I cannot emphasize this point too strongly: This is one of the most important elections in American history. If the republicans are allowed to retain control of both houses of congress next month, you might as well kiss your country goodbye. Look at it this way: Think of all the destruction that George W. Bush has inflicted on the nation and the world in the last four years, bearing in mind that all the while he had a re-election or a mid-term to worry about! If the GOP wins next month, there will be no stopping him. Do you want this murderous little thug to carry on with a lap dog, sycophantic congress? Or would you rather that body be controlled by an opposition party that will resist him and, if possible, impeach him? And can you imagine what will happen to our Justice system if he's able to fill another vacancy on the Supreme Court? Those are the very serious questions facing us at the moment. They'll try every "October Surprise" imaginable between now and then - Don't fall for it! They'll conjure up images of terrorists in your home town - Don't buy it! They've been lying to us for the last six years and that's not going to change - ever.

The damage that has already been done to the United States of America by the Republican party is now beyond the point of accurate calculation. The worst mistake the electorate could make at this point in our history would be to consolidate the problem by giving them two more years to pound the final few nails into our national coffin. As things now stand, we are not beyond hope with respect to recovering from the damage done to ourselves and our standing within the community of nations by this nightmare of an administration. But an additional two years of this unchecked madness might very well mean the end of America's grand, two-hundred and thirty year experiment in Representative democracy. We've got a pretty good thing going here. Please, let's not blow it, OK?

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY