Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time to Get Moving

"Now we're in the midst of not just advocating for change, not just calling for change - we're doing the grinding, sometimes frustrating work of delivering change - inch by inch, day by day."

Barack Obama

Yeah, but change I can believe in?

First of all let me emphasize from the outset that this president has been a disappointment in too many areas to count. When Barack Obama was inaugurated as the forty-fourth president on 20 January 2009, what I had envisioned for this troubled country was a radical, progressive firebrand, the likes of which we had not seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's been too long since we've had that kind of leadership in this country. Consider this: When FDR entered the White House in March of 1933, my late father was not quite two-and-a-half years old. Today would have been his eighty-first birthday. Too long indeed.

But we didn't get a liberal. Au contraire, mon frere. What we got instead was a cautious and timid moderate - sound asleep in the middle of the road. Not the place to find oneself in times of national crisis. It soon became apparent that Barack Obama did not have the stomach for the good fight; a key attribute contained within the character of every successful politician in history. That appears to be changing however. I never agreed with Barry Goldwater when he famously said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice", but I totally concur with the next line of that speech: "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." It would seem to me in recent weeks that President Obama's week-kneed moderation is starting to give way to a bit of moxie. This has been welcome news indeed. This guy needs to engage in some serious political ass whupping. We shall see.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Paul Josef Goebbels 1897-1945
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda

Well, now! I have an idea where these people might have gotten their playbook. Call it a hunch. And speaking of the Big Lie....

One of the most incredible things of the last two-and-a-half-years was witnessing the conservative medi
a's scream machine attempting to portray this president as a far-left socialist. What was even more incredible than that was the spectacle of so many Americans stupidly falling for the propaganda. They've heard the Big Lie - repeated over and over. They've swallowed the Kool-Aid. Show me a person who seriously believes Obama to be a left wing radical and I'll show you a person without the most basic, remedial grasp of American history. I can almost hear Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt giggling from beyond the void.

My theory (and I hope I'm right about this) is that Obama has been sailing cautiously with the wind in this first term, paving the way for an easy re-election, and that he's saving his best tunes for Act Two of this silly operetta. Maybe the reason he is not waiting until after Election Day to show some long-overdue chutzpah is due to the pathetic cast of characters that now comprises the Republican contenders for the nomination. It is becoming more clear with each passing day, that defeating any of this group of unintentional comedians will be as easy as shooting a school of half-witted fish in a leaky barrel.

Think abo
ut it for a minute. Jon Huntsman is the most impressive candidate for the GOP nomination to come around in over a century - since that other Roosevelt (Theodore). He's smart, articulate, relatively moderate - and he's barely registering in the polls with these knuckleheads! Although I would never vote for him, he's the only member of this insane clown posse that I wouldn't lose much sleep over if he were to be elected. Huntsman's "problem" is that he's the only one of these nitwits with an IQ higher than room temperature. He also seems to be relatively sane. Intelligence and sanity don't really play too well with the Tea party crowd as I'm sure you've noticed. This is an organization of crazy people - and they now control the same party which one-hundred and fifty-one years ago nominated Abraham Lincoln!

I need a good dose of Demerol.

Needless to say, it is essential that the "base" of the Democratic party not engage in another mass hissy
fit and stay home in a snit as they foolishly did on Election Day 2010. They have nothing to gain by doing so, and everything to lose. We won't be able to save this country if there's nothing left of it to save. It's time to get out there and make damned sure that Obama is re-elected next year.

It seems to me that our Republican friends have lost what was left of their small, incurious minds. It's no surprise that that disgusting party has been bending over backwards to see that the American people suffer in order that they achieve their radical agenda. What IS surprising is the fact that their efforts in the last year have become so overt. They're not even trying to hide it anymore. I guess they assume that as long as so many Americans continue to watch FOX Noise and listen to Rush Limbaugh for their news and information, they can work out in the open.

And as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the one, surefire issue that the Democrats are stupidly ignoring is that of the Supreme Court. If the next president is a Republican and is able to appoint even one more half-witted, right wing extrem
ist to that bench, we might just-as-well blow a fond, farewell kiss to the United States of America. The wounds will be mortal.

But of course if the prez is reelected and the house and the senate wind up in the hands of the Republican party, his success at the polls won't amount to a damned thing. The Democrats need to understand that they have got to stop nominating these pathetic, conse
rvative Blue Dogs. Conservatism is not he way to go if we're to get this once-great nation moving again. That's been proven time and again throughout history. As I've said on this site too many times to count, I left the Democrats in 1998 and never looked back. It became obvious to me then that they had forgotten that they are (or were) the party of FDR. Thirteen years later my opinion has not changed. If America is to be saved it needs to take a hard turn to the left - just as it did in 1932. Otherwise get used to living in a country in ruins.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


As I said, my dad Jack Degan (photo left) was born eighty-one years ago today in Brooklyn, NY. Someone recently said to me that she was sure that he and his dear friend and Notre Dame classmate Bob O'Connor went straight to Heaven. I had to gently disagree with her on this point. Knowing those two, they probably stopped in Purgatory for a drink.

Happy birthday, Dad. A tip of the hat and a raising of the glass to you and the Bobster!


The Roosevelts: An American Saga
by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

I'm right in the middle of this one and can't put the damned thing down. A remarkable book that traces the roots of this more-than-remarkable American family. I cannot recommend it enough.


Today is
also the one-hundred and fifty-third anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt. I'm just sayin'. Here is a link to a piece I wrote nearly four years ago commemorating the life of this extraordinary American:

They just don't make Republicans like that anymore. Come to think about it they don't make Democrats like that anymore either.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Boehner and Cantor and Mitch - Oh, My!

My maternal forebears called Kentucky home. My family is steeped in the history of the Blue Grass State. If you ever get a chance to visit the place, go and see the Lincoln Marriage Cabin. That is where Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks
- old Abe's parents - were married on June 12, 1806. A plaque outside the structure says that it was donated to history by Walter Clements. He was my grandfather! That's a photograph of the two of us taken in the summer of 1971, right around the time of my thirteenth birthday. It was the last time I saw him alive. Today, he and my grandmother Loretta Doran lie beneath the Kentucky earth in a little Catholic cemetery in Hodgenville - Lincoln's home town.

I have spent enough time in Kentucky to know firsthand that it is populated by good, decent, hard working people. So why do they keep sending a despicable, corrupt little thug like Mitch McConnell to Washington? This I'm dying to know.

In fact, the same question would apply to the people of Ohio and Virginia with respect to John Boehner and Eric Cantor. What were they thinking when they chose this axis of reaction to represent them in Washington? Before Barack Obama had a chance to find the location of the White House linen closet, McConnell was telling the world that his main objective would be to ensure that this would be a one-term administration. In fact that has been the policy of the GOP since January 20, 2009. Early this year when the numbers of unemployed people in this country began to go down, Republican governors - in Republican-controlled states - began slashing-to-ribbons public sector jobs in order to make sure that those numbers went right back up.


Folks, that is not a political party. That's an organized criminal enterprise. Those aren't statesmen. Those are the plutocracy's hired goons. This isn't America any longer. This is something else entirely; something dark and ominous. That's why what is happening down on Wall Street - indeed all across the land - is so important. We are now into the second month of the occupation. It won't be going away any time soon. This is only the beginning of something really, really big, baby! A hard rain's a'gonna fall. Forgive me if I seem giddy.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTER THOUGHT, 10/23/11:

The modem on my computer went on the fritz before I was able to finish this piece. I said everything that needed to be said so I'll leave it as it is, what the heck. I am writing this from the adult living center - called "Glen Arden" - where my mother and aunt Audrey live. Long ago and far away it would have been referred to as an "Old Folk's Home". It's a nice place but the computers here are almost as old as the residents. The particular one I am using at this moment is so old it doesn't take CDs. It doesn't even take floppy discs. This one only accepts Edison Wax Cylinders.

Happy birthday to my dear and beloved friend Virginia Roman Casey. You're still the tops with me, kid. As the old Cole Porter tune will testify:

You're the Nile. You're the tower of Pisa.
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa!

It's a smile one could read at midnight by, too. Kelly is awfully lucky to have you as her mom. I'm lucky to have you as a friend. Meeting you was better than winning the lottery.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Contemplating the Supremes

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

Louis Brandeis

That's a photograph of Justice Brandeis to the left of this column. He was a pretty astute guy from everything I've been able to discern. He understood - in a way that five present-day members of the Supreme Court do not - the dangers connected with the concentration wealth. The Democrats have been falling over each other in recent weeks, desperate to come up with reasons why the American people should send President Obama back to the White house next year. Incredibly, they have ignored the most blatantly obvious one. It's time we have a serious discussion regarding the ramifications of a Republican victory in 2012 - and what it would mean for the future of this Republic if even one more right wing extremist is appointed to sit on that court.

First things first: The Roberts Court sucks.

I'm not giving away any state secrets by saying t
his. Corporations are people? Money is free speech? This is the worst collection of guys on that bench (I exclude the women for obvious reasons) since the bunch that gave us Plessy vs. Ferguson - or even the Dred Scott decision of 1856. And I tell you this with no small amount of embarrassment. Incredibly, the Chief Justice who wrote that despicable ruling, Roger Brooke Taney, is an ancestor of mine. I'll be honest with you, this is not a fact we do much bragging about within my family. What an asshole!

There are four whores for the plutocracy who now reside on the Supreme Court (all appointees of either Reagan or the two Bushes). You know who I'm talking about - John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Uncle Thomas. Then there is the "swing vote", Anthony Kennedy, who far-too-often sides with the extremists on the far right. Some of them, like uber-brute Scalia, are not unknown for their political activism. William O. Douglas (photo left) was a Roosevelt appointee and the most liberal justice in the history of that court. He served as a judge from 1939 to 1975. After reading in the papers about the latest progressive crusade, he would wistfully tell his clerks, "Oh, if I could only get involved with this one." But he knew that to do so - while it may not have been illegal - it would have been most decidedly unethical.

In his lifetime Judge Douglas was also viewed as the most controversial Supreme Court justice in history. There was even an attempt made to impeach him that was led by then congressman Gerald R. Ford. Say what you want about William O. Douglas, the man was a class act.

And then there is the justice who is in a class by himself: Uncle Thomas. My knowledge of the history of the Supreme Court is not quite as detailed as I would like it to be (I'm working on that). But from what I do know, Clarence Thomas is the most overtly corrupt member of that body in its two hundred-plus-year history. He has been caught red-handed receiving certain "gifts" from certain billionaires seeking influence. I imagine influencing Clarence Thomas is not that difficult a thing to do. In addition to that, he has so many close ties with conservative groups and causes that it is difficult to catalog them all.

His wife Ginny makes her living and her name as an advocate for a group called "Liberty Ce
ntral". Her half-witted hubby can always be counted on to vote on cases - no matter how insignificant - in a matter that appeases the Mrs. In an article from almost a year ago that appeared on the Huffington Post, Jacob Heilbrunn perceptively wrote:

"For the other members of the Court, however, it must be painful to watch the shenanigans of his wife, who is either witless or gratuitously nasty, or, more likely, both, tarnish the institution, which is already becoming dangerously politicized by its right-wing members, who appear to shrink at nothing when it comes to engaging in judicial activism, as long as it fits their own political predilections."

If I were a Democrat in the congress, I'd be working overtime to get the wheels in motion that would lead to impeachment proceedings bought against Clarence Thomas. He's not only an embarrassment to the judicial branch of our government, he's as contemptible as a person who does not molest small children in his spare time can be. There is a link at the bottom of this piece that details my feelings about Uncle Thomas.

If the next president is a Republican and is able to make one or (God forbid) more appointments to that court, it will ultimately lead to the end of democracy in America. Does that sound a tad paranoid on my part? Maybe it is. Let's all vote Republican next year and see what happens.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

This Mother's Life
by Nina Mohadjer

Well hey there! If you happen to find yourself anywhere near the town of Ridgefield, CT this afternoon (October 15) our friend Nina Mohadjer will be signing copies of her new book "This Mother's Life" - which is a damned fine title if you ask me ("Mommie Dearest" had already been taken).

The place is ca
lled, Books on the Common and it's at 404 Main Street in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The time will be between the hours of 2 and 4 PM EST (or 11 and 1 PM PST if you've just flown in from the coast and you're still on California time). So stop by and say hello to Nina, and maybe purchase a copy of her new book. There will be lots of free food and an open bar!

There will be no free food. There will be no open bar. That was merely a cheap and cynical attempt on my part to get you to come. I'm shameless, I know.


Here are my feelings on Clarence Thomas. This piece was originally published on this site four years ago. I've always considered it to be one of the best things I've ever written:

America's Favorite House Nigger

The man just provides me with so much inspiration. He's a hoot!

The Brethren
by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong

Although it's been quite a number of years since I read it, I do remember that I couldn't put it down. A great read.

For more recent postings on this disgusting site, pleas ego to this link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Panic Sets In

"If you read the newspapers today, I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town, have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans."

Eric Cantor

Damn! I nearly spit out my coffee when I read that one. At that exact same moment, the pot that I had brewed the coffee in called the kettle "black". Aren't these th
e most interesting of times? They are, you know. They really are!

Here is a question that I am hard-pressed to avoid:
Is there a bigger asshole slithering though the halls of congress than Eric Cantor? If there is I'd sure-as-hell would like to know about it. It has always amused me to watch him on the tube trying to defend the morally indefensible. He always has this weird look of cherubic contentment on his clueless face. It really is something to behold. To the credit of Mitch "The Plutocracy's Bitch" McConnell, he at least has the decency to look somewhat ill-at-ease when having to vomit forth their nonsensical talking points . Cantor, on the other hand, is right at home with their delightfully twisted agenda. Too weird!

Consider Eric Cantor's burden if you will. The despicable little freak wants us to swallow his definition of the people down on W
all Street who now hold up a mirror to the plutocracy's face. Eric defines them as a "mob". He actually made a very good point - although I am certain that it was accidental on his part. This IS the pitting of "Americans against Americans". It's the ninety nine percent against the one percent. Cantor and his people are calling this "class warfare". Guess what. It is class warfare! And they've been waging it against us since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

For the f
irst century it was a covert war. On January 20, 1981 (Guess what happened on that day? - photo left) it became completely and unabashedly overt. On 17 September 2011, the sleeping giant of the American Left was awakened from a long and troubled slumber. Cantor and his gang shouldn't even dream about putting an end to what is now happening. This revolution is unstoppable. The line it is drawn; the curse it is cast. The good folks whom at this very hour are occupying Wall Street are bearing witness for all the world to behold, what thirty years of deregulation - and the resulting economic plunder - have done to the working people of this once-great nation. The American people have had-it-up-to-here and they're taking long-overdue action. The old world is rapidly fading. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand.


Yeah, you're absolutely correct, Eric. We are a mob. AND WE'RE FUCKING PISSED, BUSTER.

You can almost feel the panic reverberating from both sides of the aisle in congress this week. They're trying to convince themselves that this is a passing fluke, that we're not yet at the point of no return. If these people know a damned thing about history (and sometimes I wonder if these knuckleheads know anything) they must realize that - if this isn't the end of the right wing's thirty-year-long orgy - it is most definitely the beginning of the end. As the old song says:

It's time to wi
nd up the masquerade
Just make your mind up, the piper must be paid
The party's over
It's all ov
er, my friend

This is the beginning of a new era. We'll either take America back for the middle class - and the poor, so they may once again aspire to be a part of the middle class - or we'll shut it down if we have to. It's as stark and as simple as that. We can do it, too. "Strength in numbers", you know what I'm saying? There are a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them.

And thanks to the technology that was brought to us in part by the late Steve Jobs, the revolution will be televised.

Tom Degan
Goshen. NY


This past Saturday I was in Red Hook, NY visiting my friend Laura Pelosi. As we approached the entrance of a little place called "Taste Bud's Cafe", out of the loudspeaker came the angelic sound of a voice performing the most beautiful rendition of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" that I have ever heard in my life! Once inside, to our utter astonishment and delight, we were gently confronted by the artistry of Sandy Bailey. This might be the first time you have heard her name, but it won't be the last - trust me on this one. Here is a link to a site where you can listen to a few of her songs, and maybe purchase her new CD:

She wrote a tune called "If Only Dreams Were True". Dreams are still being made to come true, folks. Sandy Bailey is all the proof you need.

BREAKING NEWS, 10/14/11:

Tomorrow there will be a global show of solidarity for the brothers and sisters who occupy Wall Street.

Dear Lord, this is so beautiful! Here are a group of musicians and singers from all parts of the world, coming together as one, via the miracle of technology. The song they perform is Stand By Me:

Stand by the protesters all over the world. "No matter who you are. "No matter where you go." Stand by them. And while we're at it, let's all stand by each other. What t
he heck.

pray for peace

Thursday, October 06, 2011

It's Murder, I Tells Ya!

"The executioner's face is always well hidden."

Bob Dylan

See that person in the photograph at the top of the page? His name was George Stinney. On March 23, 1944 he was arrested for the killing of two little girls, Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 8. What evidence did the authorities of Clarendon County South Carolina have for charging George with their murders? That's a no brainer: The victims were white. No white person could possibly have committed such a heinous crime - and young George was the closest available nigger. On June 16, 1944, eighty-one days after the girls' bludgeoned bodies were found in a muddy creek, George Junius Stinney Jr. was strapped into the electric chair and executed by the nice folks of the state of South Carolina.

He was fourteen-years old.

Now listen, folks, I understand that our culture has this positively religious obsession with killing black people, and I've got no problem with that. Honest! I am white. For me, apathy is a cinch! But it would seem to me that we ought to have a second or third look into our sick, dysfunctional love affair with the entire idea of capital punishment....

Okay, I'll level with you. I was just being facetious. I'v
e got a HUGE problem with this.

The recent execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia - for a murder he was more-than-likely innocent of - has me thinking once more about this incredibly nasty topic. It was hammered home once again just a few days before Troy's death, at one of the GOP debates, when certain "Christians" in the audience cheered when NBC's Brian Williams pointed out the fact that Governor Rick Perry has pre
sided over more executions that any other governor since the Civil War. There was a palpable blood lust emanating from this mob.

"Blessed are the merciful
For they sh
all obtain mercy."

Jesus of

It's not as if I speak from a position of ignorance. I've had friends and loved ones who were murdered. Screaming for vengeance - and even getting it - would not have done my soul any good whatsoever. I think Christ was onto something there. We could kill Mark David Chapman tonight at sunset. John Lennon will still be just as dead as he was when the white sheet was placed over his face on December 8, 1980. Chapman might be a murderous psychopath (not to mention a First Class asshole) but killing him would have been pointless. Every public statement John ever made tells me that he would have agreed with me on this point.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Lennon? Can you tell me where he's gone?


Well, yeah! That's the card American society has dealt itself. I'm an American. What the hell; I'm gonna play it to win.

But I'm playing more than the race card - much more. With respect to capital punishment. the more appropriate thing to call it would be the class card. Sure, you're much more likely to get murdered by the state if you're African American. They are killed in higher percentages than whites. Don't deny it. But it's more than race that's involved here. In this country they only kill the poor and the middle class. When was the last time you heard of a rich guy being chauffeured down the Last Mile? Come to think of it, I'm not aware of it ever happening. OJ Simpson viciously killed two people - two white people! Despite his obvious and undeniable blackness, he was never even considered for lethal injection! Simpson - although not born into the white power structure - was a "token" member of it. We can't be setting any precedents now, can we? Say, by the way, what ever became of that guy?

And don't come back with the argument that the wealthy don't kill. They do kill. They kill all the time. They kill every day. They kill for sport. They kill for pleasure. They kill for fun. They kill for shits and giggles. And unlike the poor, whom - when they do kill - usually do it one human being at a time; the wealthy kill in astronomical numbers. Have you visited Iraq lately? Let's hear it for the Halliburton and the Bush Mob! An estimated one million Iraqi men, women and little children are dead at their - our - hands. Whoopee.

And remember this: No poor person in the history of humanity has ever been accused of genocide. Think about it.

It would seem to me that the only time black people are spared the death penalty in this sick country is when they kill other black people. That's different, That's cool. Can you see the murderous hypocrisy here?

Every other country in the western world has done away with this barbaric, medieval practice. (Although there is a cabal of extremists in merrie olde England who have started a movement to bring it back. There are a heck of a lot of brown people living in London, you know!) Why the hell are we the last holdouts? What the hell is the matter with us? You want to cut back on
spending? ELIMINATE THE DEATH PENALTY! By doing so, we would save the states untold billions per decade. How much do you think it cost the state of Georgia to keep Troy Davis on death row between 1989 and 2011? I don't have the numbers in front of me but it had to be a couple of million - maybe even more than a couple. Now multiply that number by twenty-three hundred, which is roughly the current number waiting to be put to death. By doing away with the death penalty we would save a fortune. Cut back on spending? Can we talk???

But maybe there are some things, expensive as they may be, that feel too good for some of us to give up. There is a connection here to be made to certain American "traditions" that are ominous and disturbing. Right up until the middle of the twenti
eth century, lynching was perfectly legal - even honored - in certain regions of this country.

It was no
t uncommon for the "gentlemen" of a community to gather 'round some old oak tree on the outside of town to enjoy the spectacle of some poor bastard being strung up by his neck. The crime often involved the violation of some stupid racial taboo. There were a lot of stupid racial taboos in 1955 - north and south. I am reminded of Emmett Till (Photo left) who on August 28 of that year was brutally beaten to death for allegedly flirting with a white woman. He was visiting cousins in Mississippi at the time of his murder. When his body was bought back to Chicago for his funeral, his mother insisted on an open coffin for her son. She wanted everyone - with the stomach for it - to view her boy's bruised, bloated and bloodied face. She wanted the world to behold what hate had done to her child.

By the way, like George Junius Stinney, Emmett Till was all of fourteen-years-old. Isn't that sweet?

Lynchings are no longer legal. But at least an execution gives certain people the pleasure of gathering outside the death house, awaiting the executioner's light signaling
that the condemned man (or woman - remember Karla Faye Tucker) has been killed. It's not nearly as much fun as watching a fellow human being's eyes bulging out if their sockets, desperate for breath - But hey! - it's all they've got!

But seriously folks....

It's not very likely that the death penalty is going to be abolished any time soon - not with the Roberts Court anyway. If the next president is a Republican and is allowed two or three more appointments to that body, it will be decades before it is gone forever from the American legal system. The recent case of Troy Davis has caused many of us to pause for a moment of reflection. Most of the "eyewitnesses" who testified against him later recanted their testimonies, saying the police coerced them into identif
ying Troy as the man who murdered Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. He was probably innocent - but the state went through with his execution anyway. People of conscience - on both sides of the capital punishment debate - are troubled by what was done to Troy Davis.

Maybe this is the beginning of the end. Maybe.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Sermon on the Mount
by that guy Jesus


In m
emory of Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Not sinc
e Thomas Edison or Henry Ford has another human being changed our world as he did - for good and ill - mostly good. A tip of the hat and a raising of the glass to him.


"The Money Masters"

Special thanks to my friend Jacqueline Janecke for making me aware of this very important - and riveting - documentary. It's a bit long (a little under three-and-a-half hours) but worth every minute of your time - and then some. It's title says it all. No further explanation from me is needed. Here's a link to watch it on You Tube in its entirety:
"You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

William Jennings Brian

BREAKING NEWS, 10/12/11:

Hey everyone in England! On Saturday the fifteenth the people will be occupying the London Stock Exchange. READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Don't even THINK about trying to stop it. This movement is unstoppable. The line it is drawn. The curse it is cast.
For more recent postings on this positively reprehensible, French-loving, lefty-leaning, latte-swirling, cheese-eating, commie-kissing site, please do go to the following link:


Saturday, October 01, 2011


"But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard thirty fucking years ago. You know what they want? Obedient workers - people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork - but dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

"And now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retiremen
t money! They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it! They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the Big Club."

George Carlin

If they ever create a monument to George Carlin, those words should be etched in marble at the base of the statue of him.

You say you want a revolution? Guess what. It's here. Get the fuck out of the way.

Me and my old partner in chaos and confusion, the legendary Don Hickok (photo on the left) will be heading down to merrie olde Manhattan this week to take part in the historic occupation of Wall Street. If life is to gain any meaning through the living of it, generally it's a good rule of thumb to be where history is being made at any given moment. That being the case, where else would you expect to find us? Looking through the window at Rockefeller Center while the Today Show is being broadcast? I've got better things to do and better places to be thank you very much. As Chris Hedges put it so eloquently in a column posted on truthdig this past Thursday:

"There are
no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave."

"Either you are a rebel or a slave." Well put. There is no in-between. Damn! Wish I'd said that!

It would seem that the white noise that has been spewing from the plutocracy's castle-in-the-sky lo these thirty years has finally awakened the sleeping giant of the American Left.
If they think they can put a stop to this revolution - through violence or intimidation - they obviously don't know much about history. Revolutions are unstoppable. Just ask Tzar Nicholas the Second. Just ask King Louis XVI - 0r Momar Khadafi. Putting a halt to a revolution is about as easy as trying to stop the sun from setting in the west this evening. Best of luck to them.

If you haven't heard what is now happening in New York's financial district, you are completely absolved. Although today marks the beginning of the third week of this protest, the so-called "liberal media" has pretty much ignored it. Had this been a hundred-or-so Tea partiers picketing the offices of the ACLU it would have been a different story; the coverage would have been round the clock. But thousands of people have been descending on Wall Street since September 17 and - with the exception of the New York papers, MSNBC and a handful of other outlets - it's like this isn't even happening. But it is happening. The billion dollar shit-hammer has hit the trillion dollar fan.

This should
have happened twenty-five years-ago, but better late than never I suppose. The fact that it's finally happening is good enough for me. What took us so long to get our act together?

Unlike the Tea party spectacle (which was created and financed by FOX Noise and the Koch brothers) this is a real, honest-to-goodness grass roots movement. It's only a matter of hours before the right-wing scream machine puts out a statement blaming the whole thing on a plot cooked up by Rachel Maddow, Barbara Streisand, Ed Asner and the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Company. I can see Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh chartering several busloads of counter-demonstrators - "real Americans" - to come in and bust some commie/hippie he
ads. But in the long run, what is said or done to put this fire out will be akin to fighting an inferno with a bottle of Perrier water. This is for keeps, baby!

Since the voters of this country foolishly handed over the reins of executive power to a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor a generation ago, the rape and plunder of America's financial infrastructure has been going on at full speed. Politicians of both parties rigged the laws in order to make the theft perfectly legal. That mournful chiming that is now emanating from deep within Wall Street is the death knell of the orgy that the plutocrats thought would never end. Americans are taking their country and their economy back. As my gal Rachel said the other night on her exce
llent MSNBC program:

"Rich people are not the reason for a good economy - they are the result."

Dag nap it! Another great quote I wish I had cooked up!

It's times like this that I wish I never left New York City. Still, getting down there is not too tricky. Brother Pete and I own an apartment on the northwest corner of 52nd Street and 8th Avenue and I can stay there for days-at-a-time, at very little expense. If ever there was a time to be in the Big Apple, this is it. Come to think about it, I might just camp out with the protesters - roasting mickeys and singing campfire songs:

A hundred bottle
s of beer on the wall
A hundred bottles of beeeeeer!!!!

Sing around the campfire
Join the Campfire Girrrrrls!

That ought to be fun.

You say you wanna revolution? Well, you know, we all wanna change the world. Get ready for some serious change, friends. Get ready to face the dawn. I'll see you in Manhattan. This is gonna be REALLY cool!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a link to the Chris Hedges piece quoted above. They'll still be reading this thing in civics classes a century from now:


And, finally, here is George Carlin on the mountaintop. It is one of his last performances:


Dammit, I miss George Carlin.

UPDATE, 10/5/11:

It is with deep
regret and sorrow that I have to inform you that a dear friend to many of us and a faithful reader of this site, Melissa Hayes, who went by the pseudonym Ginger Snaps, was killed along with her cousin Robbie DeArmon in an automobile accident late last night.

I am heartbroken by this. She was a candle in the darkness.

Sweet Melissa by The Allman Brothers

Sleep well, sweet Melissa.

For more recent postings on this site please go to the following link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan