Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Was a Very Weird Year

When I was fifty-two
It was a very weir
d year
It was a very weird year of Tea party girls
And twisted extremes
With their right wing dreams
They didn't have a clue
When I was fifty-two

Just call me Old Blue Eyes the Second.

Hasn't t
his been the strangest political year of your entire life? It has been for me, that's for damned sure! And to think that 2010 isn't even over yet. As of this moment there are sixty-eight days left until the new year. It staggers the imagination to anticipate the holiday bundles of unintentional humor that await us! While it may be a horrible thing indeed to contemplate the damage that the right wing/plutocracy is doing to our beloved country, it sure is a rib-tickler to behold.

In addition to two brothers, I have severa
l friends who live abroad. Their correspondence with me regarding America's downward spiral cover all range of emotions imaginable - from genuine concern to incredulous amusement to downright horror. But all of them share the same twisted fascination with the national nervous breakdown that the good old USA seems to be undergoing. It really is kind of curious when you think about it. The nation that defeated fascism in 1945 seems hellbent on embracing it sixty-five years later. Does that sound a bit alarmist to you?

"Fascism should more properly be called 'Corporatism' because it is the total merging of corporate and state power."

-Benito Mussolini, father of the fascist state

I'm sure that it's just my imagination though. Pay it no mind.

Then a
gain, maybe it shouldn't surprise us that we are heading in that direction. The generation that defeated Mussolini and Hitler are dying at the rate of over one-thousand per day. One of the heroes of the greatest generation, my uncle Thomas J.V. Cullen, passed from this veil of tears on September 16. Tom Cullen was a turret gunner in World War Two who flew thirty-nine combat missions over Germany. That is him in the photograph on the left. He was, as he liked to say about other men he admired, "one tough old son-of-a-bitch" (If you were a woman he respected, you were "one tough old broad"). Five years after he came home from the war, in September 1950, he married my father's sister, my late aunt Elaine.

He was one of the smartest men I ever knew; the
sort of person who didn't have to wear his extraordinary intellect on his shoulder like a boy scout's merit badge. The guy could recite Shakespeare's Henry V from memory. From my earliest childhood up until the day he died, I was in awe of him. He was also one of the most astute observers of American politics that ever walked this earth. Suffice to say, at the end of his life Uncle Tom was pretty much disgusted with the sorry state of America's national political dialogue. He believed that the country he put his life on the line for all those decades ago could do better than this. He was right.

Tom Cullen was a Liberal Democrat, and - in spite of what people like Sarah Palin would have you believe - a great America
n. He was also the bravest man I ever knew - and one of the funniest. This was the guy who put the "riot" in "patriot".

Hoping that the American people will make an intelligent decision nine days from now when they storm into voting booths all across this troubled land is probably wishful thinking. Frank Rich made an interesting observation in his New York Times column this morning. As pissed off as th
ey are about being taxed by the naughty negro in the White House, recent polling shows that the overwhelming majority of them are unaware of the fact that ninety-five percent of them are actually being taxed less under this president then they were under the previous one (Remember that guy?) They haven't a clue that the economy has actually improved noticeably since he was inaugurated in January of 2009 - and they're not about to give him an ounce of credit for saving three million jobs. Hell, most people who describe themselves as "Conservative" refuse to believe that he is an American citizen! Was this a great country or what?

I feel it my duty to emphasize here, the fact that he is the first African American president has not a thing to do with the people's rage. That's just a coincidence.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:
I just made a twenty dollar bet with mys
elf that I could write those last two sentences and keep a straight face. I lost.

You've gotta hand it to FOX Noise. These hideous bastards and bitches would have done Josef Goebbels proud. They grabbed the BIG LIE and ran with it. Through constant repetition and non-to
o subliminal messages, FOX kept repeating the LIE into the ears and minds of its clueless constituency:

OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST!
OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST!
OBAMA IS A NAZI!
OBAMA IS A RACIST!
OBAMA HATES WHITE PEOPLE!
OBAMA KILLS LITTLE BABY DUCKS!

On November 2, 2010, the American people - or at least those who were stupid enough to swallow this nonsense - will be goin
g to the polls en masse, salivating like Pavlov's dogs at the bells of doom.

But now the days are short
We're in the autumn of the years
And now I think of this place
As Wonder Bread turned green from mold
To rocks from gold
We were gripped by fear
It was a very weird year....

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

AFTERTHOUGHT:

Here is a photograph from my personal
collection that I cherish more than any other. It was taken in October 1992. In it are (from left to right) yours truly; Geraldine Ferraro; my beloved uncle, the aforementioned Tom Cullen; and the late, great Paul O'Dwyer. It was a very good year.
Photo by Abril Adams

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu-rLA4POkI

The singer is the great Nat King Cole. The composer is the equally great Charlie Chaplin. Enjoy the melody. Cherish the sentiment.

"Although a tear may be ever so near."

For more recent postings on this electronic cesspool of commie propaganda, please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

You must really hate America to read this stuff.

Tally ho!!!

30 Comments:

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“ninety-three percent of them are unaware of the fact that ninety-five percent of them are actually being taxed less under this president then they were under the previous one” Tom, I find this sort of odd myself. It is strange that so many people (Tea Partiers) are against allowing the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest among us. The wealthy are laughing all the way to the bank! Somebody has to pay for the mess we’re in. It might as well be those who have seen exponential growth in their net worth in the past twenty to thirty years at the expense of the rest. Taxes will need to go up regardless of who gets in office. We can’t cut our way to a balanced budget at this point. Joel

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might add that the justification against the expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest is rediculous. It has nothing to do with small business. It is actually an incentive to invest in business rather than taking profits in the form of personal income, and having more of it be taxed. If it's invested in the business, it isn't taxed! Joel

 
At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Archie Bunker said...

People,

I just wanted to send out a warm welcome to Maureen "Moe" Tucker, former drummer of the Velvet Underground, to the Tea Party.

Tom, what are your favorite Velvet Underground lyrics? My son-in-law is not taking Moe's defection very well.

Archie


Tea Party to the Rescue WSJ:

Maureen "Moe" Tucker said:
"I have voted Democrat all my life, until I started listening to what Obama was promising and started wondering how the hell will this utopian dream be paid for?"



http://www.lyricsfreak.com/v/velvet+underground/biography.html:

The Velvet Underground was a part of the subcultural New York City art collective surrounding Andy Warhol's Factory and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. The band's music and lyrics challenged conventional societal standards of the time, and broke ground for other musicians to do the same. The band favored experimentation, and also introduced a nihilistic outlook through some of their music. Their outsider attitude and experimentation has since been cited as pivotal to the rise of punk rock and, later, alternative rock.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Will Shirley said...

You think it's possible that the fascists taking over in America have been actively working on this for decades? The "dumbing down" of the people has been going on for decades, but that might just be the idea of "stupid people are easier to control" attitude. Benito explained how the media must be controlled in order to lie enough to the people so that things move more smoothly. Citizens here will argue that we can't be fascists because Hitler is dead, or that there isn't an equivalent to Hitler, but that's disingenuous. Hitler was an aberation, a nutcase. If Carl Rove were a psychotic instead of an asshole we'd have our Hitler, unless Beck wants to wrestle him for the honor. Bottom line is that empires decay and fascists come and go but democracies never happen in large populations so confronting the fascists is almost impossible for the citizens. that's how the Germans were taken over. They had their Glenn Beck, too back then and look how well that turned out. Trouble is, how many countries are going to suggest a "Marshall Plan" for the United States when we belly up from inside? The assholes in the neo-con corner have pretty well wiped out our credibility around the world, so who's going to feel like lending a hand? Britain? hahahah! No, seriously, is there a government on the planet we have not attacked or assaulted? I can't think of one except for them tiny little countries like Iceland... oh wait, our greedy blood sucking Wall Street assholes crashed their economy and took down their government. They won't help. Finland doesn't care for us either. I guess we're on our own. The good news is that since our student loans for our daughter were taken in dollars I'm hoping that with the collapse of the government will come a devaluation of the dollar to wallpaper and we won't have to pay the loans back. If our government is in bankruptcy my disability checks will stop, but that's why I'm hoping the student loans go away too. Next year I plan to till up the back of our property and grow lots of potatoes and acorn squash. Part of our basement is turning into a cold cellar and I want to learn how to grow portabellos. Why not? Beats waiting for the food gangs to march up the street.

 
At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Will Shirley said...

You think it's possible that the fascists taking over in America have been actively working on this for decades? The "dumbing down" of the people has been going on for decades, but that might just be the idea of "stupid people are easier to control" attitude. Benito explained how the media must be controlled in order to lie enough to the people so that things move more smoothly. Citizens here will argue that we can't be fascists because Hitler is dead, or that there isn't an equivalent to Hitler, but that's disingenuous. Hitler was an aberation, a nutcase. If Carl Rove were a psychotic instead of an asshole we'd have our Hitler, unless Beck wants to wrestle him for the honor. Bottom line is that empires decay and fascists come and go but democracies never happen in large populations so confronting the fascists is almost impossible for the citizens. that's how the Germans were taken over. They had their Glenn Beck, too back then and look how well that turned out. Trouble is, how many countries are going to suggest a "Marshall Plan" for the United States when we belly up from inside? The assholes in the neo-con corner have pretty well wiped out our credibility around the world, so who's going to feel like lending a hand? Britain? hahahah! No, seriously, is there a government on the planet we have not attacked or assaulted? I can't think of one except for them tiny little countries like Iceland... oh wait, our greedy blood sucking Wall Street assholes crashed their economy and took down their government. They won't help. Finland doesn't care for us either. I guess we're on our own. The good news is that since our student loans for our daughter were taken in dollars I'm hoping that with the collapse of the government will come a devaluation of the dollar to wallpaper and we won't have to pay the loans back. If our government is in bankruptcy my disability checks will stop, but that's why I'm hoping the student loans go away too. Next year I plan to till up the back of our property and grow lots of potatoes and acorn squash. Part of our basement is turning into a cold cellar and I want to learn how to grow portabellos. Why not? Beats waiting for the food gangs to march up the street.

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Will Shirley said...

You think it's possible that the fascists taking over in America have been actively working on this for decades? The "dumbing down" of the people has been going on for decades, but that might just be the idea of "stupid people are easier to control" attitude. Benito explained how the media must be controlled in order to lie enough to the people so that things move more smoothly. Citizens here will argue that we can't be fascists because Hitler is dead, or that there isn't an equivalent to Hitler, but that's disingenuous. Hitler was an aberation, a nutcase. If Carl Rove were a psychotic instead of an asshole we'd have our Hitler, unless Beck wants to wrestle him for the honor. Bottom line is that empires decay and fascists come and go but democracies never happen in large populations so confronting the fascists is almost impossible for the citizens. that's how the Germans were taken over. They had their Glenn Beck, too back then and look how well that turned out. Trouble is, how many countries are going to suggest a "Marshall Plan" for the United States when we belly up from inside? The assholes in the neo-con corner have pretty well wiped out our credibility around the world, so who's going to feel like lending a hand? Britain? hahahah! No, seriously, is there a government on the planet we have not attacked or assaulted? I can't think of one except for them tiny little countries like Iceland... oh wait, our greedy blood sucking Wall Street assholes crashed their economy and took down their government. They won't help. Finland doesn't care for us either. I guess we're on our own. The good news is that since our student loans for our daughter were taken in dollars I'm hoping that with the collapse of the government will come a devaluation of the dollar to wallpaper and we won't have to pay the loans back. If our government is in bankruptcy my disability checks will stop, but that's why I'm hoping the student loans go away too. Next year I plan to till up the back of our property and grow lots of potatoes and acorn squash. Part of our basement is turning into a cold cellar and I want to learn how to grow portabellos. Why not? Beats waiting for the food gangs to march up the street.

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Will Shirley said...

You think it's possible that the fascists taking over in America have been actively working on this for decades? The "dumbing down" of the people has been going on for decades, but that might just be the idea of "stupid people are easier to control" attitude. Benito explained how the media must be controlled in order to lie enough to the people so that things move more smoothly. Citizens here will argue that we can't be fascists because Hitler is dead, or that there isn't an equivalent to Hitler, but that's disingenuous. Hitler was an aberation, a nutcase. If Carl Rove were a psychotic instead of an asshole we'd have our Hitler, unless Beck wants to wrestle him for the honor. Bottom line is that empires decay and fascists come and go but democracies never happen in large populations so confronting the fascists is almost impossible for the citizens. that's how the Germans were taken over. They had their Glenn Beck, too back then and look how well that turned out. Trouble is, how many countries are going to suggest a "Marshall Plan" for the United States when we belly up from inside? The assholes in the neo-con corner have pretty well wiped out our credibility around the world, so who's going to feel like lending a hand? Britain? hahahah! No, seriously, is there a government on the planet we have not attacked or assaulted? I can't think of one except for them tiny little countries like Iceland... oh wait, our greedy blood sucking Wall Street assholes crashed their economy and took down their government. They won't help. Finland doesn't care for us either. I guess we're on our own. The good news is that since our student loans for our daughter were taken in dollars I'm hoping that with the collapse of the government will come a devaluation of the dollar to wallpaper and we won't have to pay the loans back. If our government is in bankruptcy my disability checks will stop, but that's why I'm hoping the student loans go away too.

 
At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Will Shirley said...

Here's part 2 of my last post:Next year I plan to till up the back of our property and grow lots of potatoes and acorn squash. Part of our basement is turning into a cold cellar and I want to learn how to grow portabellos. Why not? Beats waiting for the food gangs to march up the street.

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Out of the park, Tom.

Perhaps a fool to the end, I am optimistically waiting for a Dewey/Truman moment on Nov. 2.

 
At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I see you posted on Cleveland.com. Please come back and bring a sense of reality to the site.

 
At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Michael Stivic said...

Tom,

I was at the "Disco Sucks!" rally at Chicago's Comiskey park where disco records were collected and blown up in center field.

After hearing of Moe joining the Tea Party, I am asking you Tom to organize a similar event where we blow up a bunch of Velvet Undergroud LPs. I don't care what Lou has to say in the matter. I'm waiting for Lou to make a statement about Moe joining the Tea Party.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger PCS said...

I've notice that over the last 10-15 years, Americans as a whole have become quite fearful of almost anything.

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Just a misunderstanding. She had misinterpreted what kind of “tea” was involved. Lou understands.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Archie Bunker said...

ModusOperandiHere is one about your favorite big spender (as long as it is some elses money): Will someone please shut Krugman up

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Nance said...

Frank Rich made some other interesting comments in that piece, too...not the least of which was the business about PAC money poured into the Republican coffers by investment banks and GM, who got bailout funds that the Republicans and tea party candidates are bashing the Dems for approving. Sister Mercy, we of the working classes are hopeless dupes in the hands of those Neo-Moral Majority Manipulators.

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Please let the polls be wrong. I know the American public are not the brainiest people on the planet, but I can't believe that the majority of them are downright stupid and will vote again against their own best interests.

 
At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Archie Bunker said...

Obama is going out to Virginia to campaign for the Democratic incumbent Rep. Perriello. Let's all hope it helps like his campaigning for Martha Coakley in MA. LOL

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Monique said...

Tom, you are a very sane voice in a sea of madness. Thank you for your cut to the chase writing and insight. It is a bittersweet pleasure to read your posts because I know you're right and it is so sad that it is so.

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you, Monique.

We will weather this storm. Edward R. Murrow once said that he was pessimistic about tomorrow, but optimistic about the day after tomorrow. That's about where I stand.

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom,

My son and I have actually discussed the very real possibility that we may have to sell our farm (that has been in the family for 110 years) and move to another country. I wonder if this is how it felt in Germany in the early 30's. Women getting their heads stepped and the being asked to apologize! OMFG

 
At 3:11 AM, Blogger Aly said...

Hi Tom, I thought I would pass this
along.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dDESF52XEY

"It was a very weird year"

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger Aly said...

above link:

Chalmers Johnson points to the similarities between America Russia & Rome.
1 of 3 videos
1/3:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKHXRqFiwFw&feature=related

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I just want to let folks know that I have been advised as to the " proper " way to not vote. Go to the polling place and sign in, go into the booth but do not cast a vote for any candidate. This will distinguish you from someone too lazy or too apathetic to bother to vote and it sends a message that you are disillusioned with our political system and cannot support any candidate on the ballot.

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

I don't like to argue with Darlene, she is too nice of a person. But, Darlene echos a common sentiment. Tea partiers or non liberals are some how less intelligent. I would argue that the left side of most liberals brains is underdeveloped, so I thought I would provide you with a visual.

A little dated, would have been a good post on 10/10/10.

If we have run up 3 trillion+/- of debt in the last couple years, watch this video to get a sense of magnitude. Its not long, and I'm sure you will find it interesting.

1 trillion = 10 to the 12 power.

The video gives you that perspective at time 2:43. Remember that we are many times further away from the starting point of the film than the perspective at 2:43.


http://www.powersof10.com/film

I will consider you smarter that a tea partier if you can tell me how you would find your way back.

Enjoy.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Blogger should keep his self-indulgent garbage in New York, ever hear how much better the USA would be without California or New York?? And you may want attention but don't be posting your garbage in other states blogs, it should be removed as being spam. Menace.

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous RedStateFred said...

My favorite progressive statement and a true example of an "enlightened intellectual" who stands so much higher than the masses:

"Let's pass the bill so we can find out what's in it."

Does this MORON deserve to hold political office? Tell me Tom Degan.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Does this MORON deserve to hold political office?

Good question, Fred. Which moron would that be? There are a heck of a lot of them out there, pal. Whom might you be quoting?

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger TSVDP said...

Bob Dylan wrote:

"The lamppost stands with folded arms
Its iron claws attached
To curbs 'neath holes where babies wail
Though it shadows metal badge
All and all can only fall
With a crashing but meaningless blow
No sound ever comes from the Gates of Eden."

Now, Obama has not even respected the rights of the born, let alone the unborn.

"They were coming out alive. Born alive. Babies. Vulnerable human beings Obama, in his detached pomposity, might otherwise include among “the least of my brothers.” But of course, an abortion extremist can’t very well be invoking Saint Matthew, can he? So, for Obama, the shunning of these least of our brothers and sisters — millions of them — is somehow not among America’s greatest moral failings."

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/225404/why-obama-really-voted-infanticide/andrew-c-mccarthy

So, what in the world is it that you think someone asking for birth papers for a little league baseball player is such a big deal? The PRez. is exempt? Not that I care myself.

Tom Degan can only throw out the race card....

"Tom Cullen was a Liberal Democrat, and - in spite of what people like Sarah Palin would have you believe - a great American."- Tom Degan

So, you have some source for this? Poor Baby, you really are disenfranchised.

"You've gotta hand it to FOX Noise. These hideous bastards and bitches would have done Josef Goebbels proud. They grabbed the BIG LIE and ran with it. Through constant repetition and non-too subliminal messages, FOX kept repeating the LIE into the ears and minds of its clueless constituency:

OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST!
OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST!
OBAMA IS A NAZI!
OBAMA IS A RACIST!
OBAMA HATES WHITE PEOPLE!
OBAMA KILLS LITTLE BABY DUCKS!"

Snicker, well he did vote for Infanticide... that much is so, but he didn't know what he was doing, valid excuse as he may not know what he is doing now.

Hey, check this out: http://www.wakeupblackamerica.blogspot.com/

You aren't too happy about the election coming up eh?

"Hail to the Redskins, Hail Vic-to-ree,

Braves on the Warpath fight for Old DC...."

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger PCS said...

Actually, to see that conservatives and TEA partiers are lacking a bit of intelligence, all you really have to do is read their comments.

Our friend Boltok proves liberals are stupid with a video about how liberals ran up a 3 trillion dollar deficit. If we are measuring intelligence that way, what does it say about conservatives running up the vast majority of the national debt.

And, look at Redstatefred, he obviously is into conservative blogs and their lies. He can't even get a quote correct (not too intelligent). What Pelosi actually said was "But we have to pass the bill so that you can, uh, find out what is in it". Not very well stated, but she was basically saying to people, you are going to like what is in this bill. And, people do like what is in the bill when they are informed about the specifics of the bill. The proof of that will be when conservatives try to repeal the bill.

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous RedStateFred said...

"Requiem for the Pelosi Democrats" Real Clear Politics Saturday

Veteran Democratic Rep. Brian Baird says that job creation should have been priority 'number one, two and three.'

For some of the shortcomings of financial regulatory reform, Mr. Baird blames the disillusioning battle over ObamaCare. "When the House had to pass the Senate version of health care unchanged, some members asked why should they invest the mental effort in mastering the details" of financial reform. Mr. Baird found parts of the bill mind-numbing.

Although he voted for it, he says he was troubled that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the entities at the heart of the housing meltdown, weren't addressed. They have clearly exercised undue influence on Capitol Hill, he notes. "When I was first elected I was puzzled why they were holding events in my honor as a mere freshman. I asked myself, why is a federal entity so involved in political activity?"

Regarding health care, his specialty, Mr. Baird gave House Democrats real heartburn. He voted against the first version of ObamaCare in November 2009, because the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hadn't yet analyzed the bill's impact on insurance premiums and medical costs.

"What the hell were we doing voting on this? I had labor groups come to me and insist the bill was so important we couldn't wait to know what was in it," he recalls. "I asked them if they were handed a new union contract and told it was so important they had to agree to it without reading it, would they go along?" They continued to insist he vote for the bill and threatened him with a primary challenger.



Tom and PCS, keep living in your fairytale world which will crumble Nov 2.

 

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