Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Politics of Fear 2001-2009


Watching George W. Bush at the funeral of Teddy Kennedy yesterday was, to say the very least, amusing. It's always great fun to witness the members of the vast right wing conspiracy confronted head-on with the theological flaws that are inherent in their philosophy. Watching that event with my pal, Kevin Swanwick, we were both mesmerized and just slightly overjoyed to be reminded yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity - our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked. Oh, how I wish the camera would have cut to Bush's face the moment he was confronted with the most famous line (and justly so) from the Gospel according to Matthew:

"I tell you this: whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me."

Jesus of Nazareth

One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?

"Blessed are the peace makers
For they shall be called Sons of God."


I imagine being confronted with the words of Jesus Christ might make old George just a tad uneasy. The prayers that were offered up by the youngest members of the Kennedy clan, in Teddy's own words, were the most touching part of the entire day:

"That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege. That old policies of race and gender die away. That newcomers be accepted, no matter their color or place of birth. That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord."

Lord hear our prayer.

After the mass had ended, and Kevin and I headed into town to get a cup of coffee, I was almost stunned by the good cheer I felt. Ted Kennedy's funeral was truly a joyous event. Truth be told, it was damned-near therapeutic! The politics of joy as opposed to the politics of fear. There ain't nothin' like it in the world, Baby!

Surely Bush and those like him must realize that the teachings of the Prince of Peace are so diametrically opposed to the agenda of the modern-day Conservative movement, that it has gone beyond parody. Seriously, that entire movement has devolved into a gross spectacle sport - the ultimate reality show.

There must have been an audible sigh of relief emanating from the Bush Mob when Senator Kennedy breathed his last breath. The headlines his death was sure to produce meant that - for one brief, shining moment - the public spotlight would be deflected from what had been the major story prior to early Friday morning - that the Bush administration had politicized national security.

The bad news was broken in the form of advance publicity for the soon-to-be published memoirs of Tom Ridge, Bush's former Director of Homeland Security. The most comical aspect of all this are the expressions of astonishment by so many people by Ridge's revelations: that he was instructed to raise the terror alert level at various moments when the administration was in the midst of - shall we say - a "Bad News Week"? How can it possibly be that someone like me - who did not even finish High School - was able to put two and two together while the so-called "Liberal media elite" missed it entirely? What's wrong with this picture? What is astonishing is the fact that in their efforts to terrorize the Amercian people, Bush and company were aided and abetted by none other than Osama bin Laden!

What everyone with half-a-brain understands by now (but what was then apparent to anyone paying attention) is the fact that it was essential for bin Laden's long-term goals that Bush be reelected in 2004. The guy was a virtual poster boy for al Queda recruitment. It didn't take a master's degree in geopolitical strategy to understand that in the videotape released on the eve of the 2004 election, our man Osama was trying to frighten the electorate into voting for Bush. As history painfully shows, his strategy worked beautifully. It is apparent that bin Laden would agree with the assessment of P.T. Barnum who long ago observed that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

There are some on the left who are trying to portray Ridge as some kind of heroic figure. Let's be as blunt here: his revelation that he was ordered by then Attorney General John Ashcroft to heighten the terror alert color code in the hours leading up to the '04 election is too little, too late. He should have alerted his country at that very moment what these despicable people were up to. Had he done so,m he would have saved us four more years of what was already the most incompetent, corrupt administration in the history of this republic. Five years after the fact, Ridge is merely exploiting the corruption - which he was a willing participant in - in order to sell a book. He's not fooling me for a minute.

This is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. President Obama says America needs to "move on" and has insinuated that an investigation into the crimes of the Bush administration is not in the best interest of the United States. He is as wrong as he has ever been in his life. Were George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney allowed to get away with the crimes they committed against the American people, it would set a precedent too dangerous to even contemplate. It would literally give future corrupt chiefs executive the license to break the law - any law - he or she deemed inconvenient to their particular agenda. As the old, tried and true saying goes, we are a nation of laws - not of men (or of women). Not only is a special prosecutor in order, it is years overdue.

The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing's backwards and greedy ideology were out in public yesterday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

Tom Degan
from Room 203 of the Comfort Inn
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystanders
by Thomas Merton

Speaking of Kevin Swanwick....He has started his own literary blog that you ought to have a look at. Here's a link:


The guy is good!

58 Comments:

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Sue said...

Great post Tom! I too watched Bush yesterday and saw an uncomfortable cowardly look when Predident Obama spoke, especially when he mentioned Iraq. I agree about Tom Ridge too, the man is just trying to sell a book, if he had spoken up would Bush had a second term, would we be the country we are today? The guy is a jerk! We shall see how the Senate works without Ted and how our country will move forward with such a huge loss! RIP Teddy

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Sue said...

I need to correct my comment Tom, It was Bushs face I saw when Pres. Obama spoke of 9/11

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom,
Well said. It is interesting that for all of the blather of being Christian, the occupants of the last administration did not act as Christians. They really exemplified what Ghandi meant when he said "I like your Christ but I do not like your Christians".

It is questionable as to whether or not we will ever discover the true depth of depravity of the Bush administration. And the more important question, if any of them will be held accountable and punished.

As Sue points out, Ridge is just trying to sell a book and I do think that eventually like a sack full of cats, they will all scratch one another to death trying to cover their own ass.

But class? Statesmanship? Wisdom? Integrity? True justice? Sadly lacking from the Bushies.

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

I was actually shocked the first time I saw Bush's face. You know how your mother or grandmother used to say, "One day your face is going to freeze like that," when you made an ugly face? Well, it looks like that's what's happened to GWB. The Smirk is now permanently fixed upon his visage. Or maybe it always was, and I was wrong to assume that he only used it occasionally.

About Ted Kennedy, all I can think of is, "He has fought the good fight. He has finished the race. He has kept the faith." Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone who is poised to, or capable of, picking up the mantle of unashamed Liberalism. I used to think maybe Russ Feingold, but he's been scarce lately. Bernie Sanders has the ideology, but perhaps not the charisma or the legislative skills that Teddy had. It's kind of too bad that neither Obama nor Hillary nor Bill Clinton are in the Senate.

 
At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So whats at the Comfort Inn at 230am???? You get too much pleasure out of a funeral!...Have you ever thought about getting your GED? LOL! Make your MOM a happy woman!

 
At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Tiny said...

Well said, Tom. Ted Kennedy, a true worker in God's vineyard who literally applied and lived the teachings of Jesus. He did not falter; he did not fail; he did not give up.

Contrast this with the last administration and you will find light years of distance between them. Ted Kennedy lived and worked for his fellow human beings. Bush did not. May we be fortunate enough to have more Ted Kennedy-like workers representing masses of people in congress.

Ted Kennedy will be sorely missed by all the people who know how he loved and worked in their behalf. May each of us live accordingly.

My heartfelt sympathy to the entire Kennedy family. Rest in peace, Teddy, a true and faithful servant of the people.

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Hillary or Bust said...

Oh puleez. Ted Kennedy was a sexist jerk who liked to have sex with teenagers. He should not be idolized. I am not Republican but a lot of conservatives this in this country are caring people who simply think that government is not the vehicle for taking care of people. They do that through charity, such as their churches starting up soup kitchens to help the homeless. The Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans. Get your head out of the sand.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Hillary or Bust said...

Oh, and a big PS: If you want to talk politics of "fear," the Democrats are doing a very good job with it...just against our own citizens right now instead of terrorists from without.

If you are a Republican, a conservative, a tea party protestor, or anyone who does not like Obama, you are automatically labeled by the left a racist, redneck, undereducated idiot, or religious nutjob.

If you show up at a town hall meeting to protest a health care bill you don't like, you are an astroturfer, "paid opposition," a racist, a white supremacist, violent, un-American, and out to destroy Obama (instead of having legitimate issues with the health care bill).

Don't tell me that the Democrats are the party of light and love. They most certainly are not. They are the party now of arrogant elitists who are doing their damndest to shut down, intimidate, and ridicule the opposition. Just like you do in your article here.

Please let me make something clear: I did not like Bush. I am not a Republican. But I woke up to the Obama propaganda early on and I know he doesn't actually give a damn about the little people. He cares about paying back his Wall Street donors and whoever else greased his palms to put him in power. Bush and Obama are two sides of the same coin, both backed by the power elite, and they'll say whatever they think they can to the American people to manipulate them.

People were manipulated with the terrorism line, and now "progressives" like you have been manipulated with the "we Democrats are morally superior than those dumb racist Republicans" line of propaganda.

Considering I know a lot of caring and non-white conservatives, you really need to get out of the house more and meet more real people.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

To the person who signed under the name, "Hillary or Bust", a statement and a question:

1. I am not an apologist for the Democrats. I left that silly party eleven years ago.

2. Who are these teenagers that you claim Senator Kennedy liked to have sex with? If you please, I'd like some names.

Cheers!

Tom Degan

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Hi Tom....I don't know how to follow the previous sermon, so I won't try.

Just wanted to say that was a great, thought provoking piece that you wrote.

And thank you for stopping by my blog, and for your comments on it.

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger badlybehaved said...

Reply posted on Freeusnow, The MajorityUnited Blog


A year ago I might have agreed with you but its time that people wake up and stop equating the Democratic Party with goodness. Obama is every bit as arrogant and corrupt as Bush was.
Speaking for myself here Tom ( I’m practically your neighbor when in NY), this is not a pro-Bush site or a Republican site or a Democratic site. This is a site for people of all political backgrounds to work together for the equality of women. So I ask you if you think the letter delivered to the pope by Obama for Senator Kennedy was a confession of his leaving a young girl to suffocate on Martha’s Vineyard. Mary Jo did not drown and could have been saved.
So Tom, do you think Ted is in Purgatory or perhaps one of Dante’s Circles of Hell or did three Hail Marys bring him back to the state of grace?

 
At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom--in response to your sermon to the readers of NoQuarter (just in case you didn't see my response there.)

And, if you want some confirmation of Hillary or Bust's point about Ted's sex with teenagers, do some actual research.

Your post suggests to me that you also do not know the history of the Catholic Church or of any Christian denomination.

I was raised as a strong Christian, and the true message of Christianity is beautiful. But the message is usually sullied by the actions of its institutions and the many people who join them.

The liberals have no right to smirk at the “vast right wing conspiracy.” I abhor the neo-cons’ behaviors as much as I abhor the behavior of the progressives, who use self-righteousness as their cover as much as the neo-cons do/did.

Kennedy’s life, to me, exemplifies in some regard the Catholic Church’s abuses during the Middle Ages which later led to the Reformation.

To oversimplify, one of the major arguments was about the question of the merits of good deeds as opposed to the need for founding one’s belief on faith and praying for God’s grace and on looking inward to find signs that you have that grace. The heavier emphasis on depending on good deeds without worrying so much for your own personal behavior led to corrupt practices, such as that, for instance, of trying to buy your dead relatives’ way out of Purgatory.

For me, it’s a constant battle. Do I have faith and God’s grace? Do I show that I do in the way I lead my life (thus, doing good deeds)?

It appears to me that Ted tended to fall totally on one side: If I do good deeds in my “professional life,” a life he felt he was owed because of his name, I can do what the heck I want in my personal life and it doesn’t matter.

I am not excusing the Bush/Cheney crowd at all. I just plain see the same hypocritical behavior in your precious progressives. So, please, try not to preach to me. I would have preferred a more righteous man personally to do the good deeds you feel have won his redemption in the eyes of God.

I must also end by saying that we humans are pretty unworthy of a God who would and probably will find a way for Ted to be welcomed into the fold. How many parents do the same for their lost, “black sheep”?

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Your site is great, Hugh. I couldn't resist stopping by!

badlybehaved:

I have no idea whether or not Ted Kennedy went to Heaven or Hell. I hope he went to Heaven. Either way, that's not up to me - nor is it up to you. Thank you for making your views know, all the same.

peace....

Tom Degan

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous John Doe said...

Ted Kennedy was an immoral fat drunken murdering pig. If any Republican lead a life anywhere near as abhorrent as Fat Teddy, he or she would have been run out of the Senate years ago.

He lead a life of leisure and privilege, never doing anything for anybody with his own money. He never worked a day in his life except as an employee of the U.S. Government.

He left a young girl to die, slowly, while he went to concoct an alibi. How fitting that liberals and progressives look up to him. Me, I would gladly piss on his corpse before they buried him. He was a sick, sick man, and you people are sick for enabling him for so many years.

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Now! Now! John Doe!

Stop beating around the bush and tell us what you really think!

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

Tom, thank you for your comment over at Sirens Chronicles. It was refreshing to say the least and it was wonderful to actually hear from someone that was there at the church.

I watched it live and participated as if I was there. I too felt a little better after it was over. Teddy’s ideals will be kept alive as well as his dreams.

What he did for MA and for the whole world in general will not be forgotten by those who hold his truths as our truths and work to see them to fruition.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Hello, Dusty and thank you for the kind words. Your site is great. Actually I was not at the church but only watched it on television. Oh, but what I would have given to be there to pay tribute to the great man!

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These "observations" remind me exactly of when Rush Limbaugh ran into the ground some sort of point about Bill Clinton supposedly laughing at Ron Brown's funeral.

Way to politicize a funeral to fit your agenda of hate. Rev Phelps... er Tom Degan.

Charles: The "depravity" of the Bush administration is entirely in the imagination of his left-wing opponents. How deep does it go? It has no dept in reality, but has much dept in imagination.

And I thought we were supposed to keep the church out of the state. And here we have you bashing Bush for not following your preferred religious doctrine.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Hillary or Bust said...

See, this is what disturbs me about you, Tom. Does Mary Jo's death at Chappaquiddick mean nothing to you? Does it not disturb you in the slighest?

I think if GW Bush had left a girl to drown in a car he crashed after drinking all night, you would hardly be calling him a great man. THIS is ample proof of your partisanship.

If you at least had some sort of balanced view of Ted Kennedy, such as, OK, he did a really horrible thing when he was young but it looks like he tried to make up for it...or, yeah, I know he tried to pick up 16 year old girls in his limo but he still tried to do good things, then fine.

But to call him a great man with no reservations? To make his funeral some sort of proof of how much better Democrats are than Republicans? That's a load of BS.

It's a FUNERAL. Of course people are going to be saying nice uplifting things.

But in my view, Kennedy was no great man. He lived off his name for his entire lifetime.

PS And you DO know where to find the information about the 16-year-old girls since you posted your article to No Quarter, which clearly had a link to the information in question, information from a very mainstream magazine.

PPS And I hated Bush while he was in office, but he's GONE NOW so GET OVER IT. I mean, geez, some of you Bush haters are absolutely insane with your obsession. Let it go! He's done! I can't stand Obama but you can bet for damn sure once Obama is out of office I will rejoice and then move on to new things. I will hardly be spending the rest of my life moaning about Obama. Once he's out, he's out. Good riddance and let's move on to the present, thank you.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I came over here via a comment you made on another blog. It was so refreshing to read an intelligent reply.

I welcome different opinions as long as they are polite and in the form of debate, but would differ with John Doe's comment because he was not only impolite, he was factually wrong. I do believe it was an obese Tip O'Neill who went to his wife's hospital room (she was suffering from cancer) to tell her he was divorcing her for another woman. I don't recall him being drummed out of Congress.

Also, an accident is not murder. Ted spent the rest of his life fighting for the little guy to make up for that.

I loved your post and will be back.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

H or B....

You make some excellent points and it is obvious that you are a very intelligent person - unlike a couple of half-witted, illiterate yahoos who have been posting here recently. But in the final analysis, Mary Jo's death was a horrible - albeit preventable - accident.

One night in the early sixties, Laura Bush's reckless driving led to the death of a young man who was really only a kid. No one holds that accident against her all of these decades later - nor should they.

All I am saying is, look at the big picture. Judge the man by his entire life, not a single night forty years ago.

Keep the posts coming. You add nicely to the mix.

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Will Wilson said...

Tom,

You've quoted some things that Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount; things he said to people, exhortations towards virtue. I'm curious why you think his words were aimed rather at the Roman governor of Judea.

Let us take it a step further. Do you think Christ would have agreed to the claim: "Man does not live by bread alone" ? If so, in a manner analogous to the verses out of Matthew that you mentioned, do you think that it is the role of the state to provide spiritual succor to its citizenry? Why or why not?

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Will....

"I'm curious why you think his words were aimed rather at the governor of Judea".

I never said (I DON'T THINK) that our Savior was addressing the governor of Judea. In fact, I never even vaguely implied as much. He was stating his testament for the ages. Don't you think that is what He was doing?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled."

No, I do not believe that it is the role of the state to provide "spiritual succor". That being said, I believe (in fact, I know beyond any doubt) that it is in perfect keeping with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth that the state see to it that the poor not die only because they are poor while the rich live only because they are rich.

"Whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me."

Tell me, Will, what part of that don't you understand? I was just curious.

Respectfully and sincerely,

Tom Degan

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Now, Anonymous, if you re-read my post, I did not mention anything about MY religious beliefs. I simply mentioned that it was the Bushies who were always talking religion and not walking the walk. And, incidentally, unlike the rest of us, are you afraid to sign your name?

H or B, it really sounds as if you might be happier moving to another country.

And finally, Tom thank you for pointing out that Laura Bush killed someone while driving; a fact that got almost no mention during Dubya's time in office. Maybe that comes under the heading of "a youthful indiscretion" which is how the GOP seems to apologize for anything they get caught doing. You must be doing something right as all of the right wing is stirred up and frothing at the mouth.

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Hillary or Bust said...

"H or B, it really sounds as if you might be happier moving to another country."

Charles, you're sounding like the extreme right wing "love it or leave it" people. Yeah, I happen to think both Bush and Obama are bad for America, and I don't buy into this right vs. left mindless nonsense. Therefore, according to your simple logic, I should move somewhere else? Apparently because thinking people who don't tow party lines aren't welcome in America anymore? Puleez.

BTW...I think there's a huge difference between being 17 years old and having an accident (Laura Bush) vs. being a married senator who was dallying with the help, driving drunk, and then leaving the scene of the accident without reporting it, allowing the person in the car to die by drowning.

"An accident" would have been running off the road. The minute you LEAVE the accident without reporting it, it is a crime. Of course, it's a crime except for powerful families like the Kennedys, who can use their influence to get off scott free in these circumstances.

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

vs. being a married senator who was dallying with the help, driving drunk, and then leaving the scene of the accident without reporting it, allowing the person in the car to die by drowning. ~ And you know all this you state to be fact? The only fact you state is that he left the scene of an accident.

Kennedy was convicted of several things regarding the accident @ Chappaquiddick, he also pled guilty to them.

Mary Jo's mother Gwen has never distrusted what Teddy stated happened. Never. She even encouraged him to run for reelection after the accident when he asked the citizens of MA to weigh in on whether he should continue to serve them.

So, your following comment:
Of course, it's a crime except for powerful families like the Kennedys, who can use their influence to get off scott free in these circumstances. ~ Is basically your opinion and your pov..certainly not fact.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Foxwood said...

Watching George W. Bush at the funeral of Teddy Kennedy on Saturday was, to say the very least, amusing. It's always great fun to witness the members of the vast right wing conspiracy confronted head-on with the theological flaws that are inherent in their philosophy.

No such thing as a "vast right wing conspiracy, pal. Just liberal loser philosophy.

Watching that event... the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity, our Catholicism:

So Kennedy killing a woman, and the "waitress sandwich" are fine in the Catholic community? I don't think so. So murdering babies in the womb is Christian? Maybe you need to talk to the Pope, bud.

feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked.

Charity does just that, I hear your guy, Berry Obutthole, is not allowing tax credits for charity. Such an upstanding Christian, isn't he. Now for a word from our founding fathers, who, by the way, where Christian.

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." --James Madison

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." -- Thomas Jefferson

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -- James Madison

One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?

"Blessed are the peace makers For they shall be called Sons of God."

"Peace makers", you know what happens after you win a war? Peace. Does that make George Bush a "peace maker"? I can quote you several instances of war in the bible. Solomon and David come to mind. Read your bible.

"That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege.

Read the Constitution and re-read the founding fathers quotes above again.

That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord."

Lord hear our prayer.

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war; and a time of peace.

Again, read your bible.

BTW, how's that hope and change? Didn't Berry Obutthole quadruple the deficit? I believe that makes this Berry's economy. Aren't we still in Iraq and Afghanistan? Seems I remember better times under Reagan.

The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing's backwards and greedy ideology were out in public Saturday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

Hey, pal! Did you forget that Uncle Teddy inherited his millions, like the greedy you talk about. Did Obutthole steal his millions from the poor, like you claim "greedy Conservatives" do? What about John F'ing Kerry? Or John Edwards? Talk about "greedy ideology" and hypocrisy. It's like liberal loser talk out of their mouth and their ass.

Obutthole removed tax credits from charity, Uncle Teddy killed that woman in Chappaquiddick, invented the "waitress sandwich, and promoted killing babies in the womb. That is very Christian. You've got one sick mind.

 
At 7:19 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Foxwood...

it was an accident.

It Was An Accident.

IT WAS A FUCKING ACCIDENT.

Why can't you accept that?

Let's start picking on Laura Bush!

She killed a man in the early 60's!

Let's start picking on George!

Busted in Maine in 1976 for DWI!

LET'S START PICKING ON TOM DEGAN!

I have been busted for DWI more times than I can count!

have another sip....

With all due respect,

Tom Degan

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Tom: Beautiful, thought-provoking post. Sadly, it also brought the nuts out from behind the woodwork.

I'm not Roman Catholic but Episcopal. I served for years on the advisory board for a private boarding achool I attended. When we were creating the Mission Statement, we voted unanimously not to use "Christian Heritage" but instead to use "Judaic-Christian Heritage." Why? Because 30 or so years ago "Christian" was already beginning to have a bad connotation. The board members consisted of people of all faiths, including some of the most conservative denominations in a very red-neck part of the county.

Over the years my whole system of beliefs has been challenged almost on a daily basis. What happened to love? To forgiveness? What right does anyone have to tell me whether or not I'm saved? Whether or not God is going to forgive me for my sins and allow me into heaven? Where do mere mortals have the right to usurp God's power to claim that they have been saved?

Unless you were in the car that horrible night at Chappa., you simply do not know what happened. Anything you say is mere conjecture, period.

More importantly, if family members of victims of rape/murder can forgive the perpetrator, you should be able to do likewise. If a minister here in this city of mine can deliberately ax a woman to death and then set up a mega church where all is forgiven, you should find a way to forgive someone who was in an accident.

Finally, don't you dare tell me after you throw out some bogus claim similar to the one about EMK and teenage girls that I have to do the research. You threw it out, you back it up. I used to charge $150/hr to do research for people.

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Degan
from Room 203 of the Comfort Inn
Goshen, NY
I knocked you didnt answer! What's up with that?????

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Hillary or Bust writes:

"this is what disturbs me about you, Tom. Does Mary Jo's death at Chappaquiddick mean nothing to you? Does it not disturb you in the slighest?"

And follows with:

"PPS And I hated Bush while he was in office, but he's GONE NOW so GET OVER IT. I mean, geez, some of you Bush haters are absolutely insane with your obsession."

We're obsessed over the last 8 yrs w/ Bush and you're not over Chappaquick which occured 40 yrs ago? And how many people did Bush kill while he was president?

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Fred Poole said...

Beautiful writing. A fresh take in a developed voice.

And your developed Catholicism makes me happy too. Delighted to meet you via your Hudson Valley Writers note and your blog -- which I am bookmarking.

So let us stay in contact!

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Frodo, packin' gelusil said...

Frodo is so disappointed. He figured that Lisa, the Howler Monkey, would've found your post by now and would be tossing feces at everyone she considered to be one of those sheep referenced at Senator Kennedy's funeral (if anyone should see Lisa , wearing antennae made from Saran Wrap, please tell her Frodo is searching under rocks looking for her).
In truth, Frodo enjoys funerals. After the eulogies, he looks among the mourners in order to identify which one is most likely to regret not having brought a packet of Gas-X with him/her. With George, the Moron, in attendance, the suspense was minimal.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

Frodo, you don't have a blog? I love the way you think! ;)

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Lynne said...

My thoughts exactly! Teddy Kennedy's funeral made me burst with pride at being a liberal.

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Frodo, never refuse a lady said...

Frodo is on Tripod. Google "Frodo, Keeper of the Ring" and he is there somewhere on page one. Sometimes relevant.
Pardon the intrusion all others, but the 252 year-old asked.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

Thank you Frodo, I have found your spot on the Intertubes.

I only look 150 btw.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Chimp said...

As God told George Bush (“and he sounded just like Dick Cheney”) right after Bush lost his fight with The Pretzel:

“If you George attack Iraq and kill over a million Muslims ye shall be called a peace maker and the Son of God. Have another beer George and tell them to “Bring ‘em on’”.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger One Ronin said...

Sue: "I agree about Tom Ridge too, the man is just trying to sell a book, if he had spoken up would Bush had a second term, would we be the country we are today?"

It's unlikely that Bush would have appointed anyone who had character or integrity -- but that doesn't mean that Tom was lying.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger One Ronin said...

Tom: "I have no idea whether or not Ted Kennedy went to Heaven or Hell. I hope he went to Heaven."

I'm not a fan of Ted Kennedy, but it would be foolish of me to believe he did no good. No one stays in the Senate that long by being purely evil.

I prefer to judge him not, lest I be judged. (Still seems to happen, though ;-) ...And wish him the same peace that I would any human being.

 
At 1:07 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:13 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

Well - so many comments, so little time.

There is one thing though for all the Chappaquiddick obsessors out there. There was some footage that showed the car in question from several angles I had never seen it from before. If you look at the car straight on -you can see that the windshield was seriously damaged on the DRIVER'S side...okay? This tells me something...that maybe, just maybe, Ted himself was injured in the accident - probably suffered a slight concussion. Therefore, he may have been incapable or even unaware of the situation in those crucial few minutes after the accident where he may have been able to help Mary Jo. Am I a doctor? NO...just someone who had a similar accident over twenty years ago in which some drunken driver threw a "left-hook" at my car.

I know from experience that your immediate knowledge of what is going on at a time like that is sketchy - i still don't remember everything that happened or everybody I encountered in the several hours after the impact of that accident.

I have a feeling it was the same for Ted -and, yes if he had been drinking even moderately, it may have been that much more confused!

I am not defending him...not accusing him...just stating a few simple obvious facts.

Let it go, everybody. No need bringing all the skeletons out of everyone's closet.

And as for Tom Ridge - at least he's stating what happened before he's long dead and gone...I always thought he sort of looked a bit confused when he had the job at Homeland Security. I admire his guts at least for coming out with it. Let's see Cheney get out of this one...that should be fun.

Let's let Senator Kennedy rest now. Love him or hate him - as fellow human beings, we can give him that much. He knew who he had to "answer" to when his time came...the ONLY one he has to answer to now...

And Tom - how did you know what my favorite hymn when I was a little girl?

"Whasoever you do,
to the least of my brothers,
that you do onto me.
When I was hungry,
you gave me to eat,
when I was thirsty
you gave me to drink.

Now enter into the home of my father."

I don't remember all the verses but know the melody which always brings with it sweet memories of my "long-gone" church which burned down in 2000. Thank you for a warm sweet thought to go to sleep with!

Mary

 
At 9:51 AM, Anonymous ronjondoe said...

nice perception...I agree, I don't think Bu$h has a real clue what Jesus is all about, he joined a men's business fellowship that 'talked' about salvation but only in order to 'network' each other...worked, in his case, altho I believe he was an agreeable frontman, willing to get out in front and take the jobs so his cronies could do the real damage behind the scenes and all us credible dopes couldn't understand how such a simple-minded believer in the Lord could let such bad things happen! It didn't make sense but now it does...

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Hellpig said...

enjoy :)

and seeya all very soon

 
At 3:07 AM, Blogger One Ronin said...

Tom -- You mentioned the Google ads about Gingrich in an earlier post, but I haven't found an outcome of your attempt to correct this. However, I have noticed that you aren't the only blogger with a liberal slant that is getting conservative (and ultra-conservative) ads posted on their blog.

If Google will comply with China's censorship, how big a step is it to sell advertising specifically targeted to opponents/competition...?

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how liberal folks love to quote from the Bible when it suits their needs. "you have done unto me that which you have done to the least of these ".......are the 50 million aborted children the least of these ?

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Monique said...

"Five years after the fact, Ridge is merely exploiting the corruption - which he was a willing participant in - in order to sell a book. He's not fooling me for a minute."

I have to agree with you. Did you see him on the Rachel Maddow show the other night? He looked pretty regretful but still didn't seem to have the guts to admit that maybe his decisions during '03 and '04 were wrong based on the facts he must have had at the time. I didn't believe it for one second when he said that he thinks today it impossible that those in government would have decided to invade a country or raise the terror alert for political reasons. I thought Rachel did a good job of calling him out on that.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Marvin said...

You make great points about how modern day "conservatism" (as embodied by the GOP of today) is not consistent with Christian belief.

I mean these people are actively fighting against health care for poor people. Can you think of anything less Christian than that?

 
At 12:28 AM, Anonymous ABS said...

Mr Degan, I beg to advise you that you've attributed the quote "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" incorrectly. P T Barnum certainly left us some colorful observations, however your quote should rightly be attributed to H.L. Mencken.

 
At 5:15 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

ABS -

I made that same mistake about a year ago and was corrected then! Thank you for pointing it out.

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 10:27 AM, OpenID aninformedmind said...

Excellent comment on my blog http://aninformedmind.wordpress.combut you fail to notice the black people in the crowd 'organized' by Glenn Beck. Oh wait, that would destroy your point wouldn't it?

And you mention a 'convention of p*ssed off white people' as though every person in the crowd were somehow descending on D.C. to lynch Obama. How slanderous and moronic. And claiming that on September 12th, 2009 the tea party protesters, who were simply exercising their rights, were full of sh*t is beyond defamatory. I doubt you would ever slander the anti-war people you probably associate with in a likewise manner.

Lastly, you state that Obama has no blame in the mess that the U.S. is in... yeah well the dollar wasn't tanking like it is now under Bush. The Middle Eastern countries weren't discussing getting off the dollar and into a 'basket of currencies' on Bush's watch. You can't blame Bush or the Republicans for the record setting deficit on Obama and congressional Democrats watches. Your comment plays to emotion and nostalgia for MLK while suppressing facts and hiding truth.


Your friend,
An Informed Blog

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Dusty said...

The almighty Dollar has been tanking for years jackass, where have you been, under a rock..spouting bs?

 
At 2:51 PM, OpenID aninformedmind said...

Dusty, I have become politically motivated in the past four years and have only recently had a broadband ISP become available. And for your information, the dollar is at it's weakest point EVER on Obama's watch. There is no profanity that can slime away that truth. If you say I'm spouting BS, prove it with facts of your own rather than profanity and charcater defamation. I'll be waiting.

Purveyor of truth and conservatism, and creator of An Informed Blog,
An Informed Mind

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

Iran has wanted oil to be sold in anything but the buck for years now.

The dollar has been in the shitter since 2002, so blaming it on Obama shows what an asshat you are and..politically motivated.

http://futures.tradingcharts.com/chart/US/M

I know how badly you wish to toot your own horn here..but you really just want to bash the Big O's administration...why don't you just admit it?

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger An Informed Mind said...

Dusty, how nice of you to reply. However, it would really be conducive to a logical debate if you would present facts rather than hyperbole.

I will grant you that Bush did much harm to the dollar. But Obama is doing and will do more bad for it than Bush could ever dream of doing. One, he is printing money to pay for the things he is doing such as health care, bailouts, stimuli etc. When one prints money to pay for things, the dollars already on the market lose value since we no longer back up those dollars with gold. Bush started it, but Obama is bringing it to terrifying fruition.

And Iran wanting to be off the buck is much different than Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Kuwait, Russia, China etc. wanting to be rid of it. When all these countries talk about breaking the buck, we have to listen. And now with Hillary begging China to buy more of our debt, we are more at their mercy than we ever were under Bush.

Lastly, you can't tell that I'm all out to bash Obama? And it's not just him either, it's his liberal cronies in Congress and his idiot VP. This isn't entirely about them though, it's about what they are doing to the country by giving more rights to illegals than sheriffs (See Feds Stab Sheriff Joe in the Back), taking pot-shots at Fox News while soldiers die as he twiddles his thumbs (See Obama Wastes Time Attacking Fox) and his comm. director being a big fan of Mao Tse Tung.


The scintillating transmitter of all things right and just and the purveyor of An Informed Blog,
An Informed Mind

http://aninformedmind.wordpress.com

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Dusty said...

Look uninformed..you really don't know much if your trying to say that Obama is a liberal. He is far from a liberal. Only the rightwing nutjobs call him a liberal, which shows how ignorant they really are.

I lived in Arpaio country and that worthless fuck has cost the state and county more money in lawsuits and fines than he has saved by housing humans in tents in the damn desert.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

Oh, and where are your links to everything you are stating about Obama and his administration? If you do not have any links to back you up, then it's merely your point of view...and not necessarily the truth.

Have a great day,I have better things to do that read your suppositions on The Big O. ;)

 
At 12:33 PM, Blogger An Informed Mind said...

You want links to back up my positions? Well, about the one of the Middle East trashing the dollar: http://drpinna.com/economy/bric-and-the-death-of-the-dollar-1859

What about the one about Obama making the deficit higher than it's been in years?: http://www.moneymorning.com/2009/08/25/obama-deficit/

How about his communications director being a fan of Chairman Mao, known for his slaughter of millions?: http://www.examiner.com/x-17336-Midland-County-Public-Policy-Examiner~y2009m10d19-Obama-communications-director-praises-Chairman-Mao

So the truth is what I say and I say what is the truth. Also on the title of Obama being a liberal, Obama supports everything liberals support ie: government health care, gun control, government control over the markets, globalism, diarmament treaties, and enviromentalism; therefore, he is not only liberal, but socialist as well.

The tantalizing teller of truthfulness, the architect of youth conservatism and purveyor of An Informed Blog,
An Informed Mind

http://aninformedmind.wordpress.com
And now can also be found on Blogger!!
http://aninformedmind.blogger.com

 

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