Thursday, August 29, 2013

One Summer Dream

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."

Martin Luther King, 28 August 1964

He called that one, didn't he? 

John Lewis in 1963
The March on Washington took place twelve days after my fifth birthday - a little over a week before I started kindergarten. I recall the event but, at that tender age, I didn't have a clue as to its political and cultural significance. In the long ago summer of 1963 I didn't even know what racism was - or as it was called back then, "racial prejudice". It wasn't until years after Dr. King passed into eternity that I finally figured out what the March on Washington was all about. I get it now.

Fifty years ago yesterday they came together in Washington. President Kennedy tried to convince A.Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, the two men who had organized the march, to call the whole thing off. JFK was paranoid about an outbreak of violence. The following year he was up for reelection and he knew that the GOP would find a way to place the blame at his feet if anything went amiss. The president need not have worried. This was a revolution of love. 

Ironically, Kennedy's political worries were all in vain. He wouldn't live to see Election Day 1964. Less than three months after the March on Washington he went to Dallas. Wasn't that a time? It's almost like a dream.

Looking at photographs of the scores of thousands of citizens gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, it's hard to believe that most of the people present on that day no longer walk this earth. Among the many who spoke to the masses on that occasion, only John Lewis survives today. He is the last standing leader of the movement that changed America forever.

And we have changed. I wonder if it would have made the people gathered on that day happy to know that fifty years later there would be an African American living in the White House. I suspect that a whole lot of them would have been pretty angry if they knew then that it would take that long for it to happen. 

Yeah, we have come a helluva long way - no doubt about it - but it makes me nauseous when I realize how far we have to go. In fact (let's face a few harsh realities) in too many ways we've gone backwards. In at least seven southern states hundreds of thousands of black people will be refused the right to cast their precious ballots in the mid-term elections of 2014. That's because the descendants of the racist Dixiecrats of yore have seen the writing on the wall. They understand all-too-well that a natural demographic evolution is occurring and that very soon, this will no longer be a country controlled by white men with beer bellies and bad breath. What to do? Keep them darkies away from the ballot box! In Dixieland they're taking their stand.


God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water 
The fire next time

-James Baldwin

Fifty years ago yesterday, Jim Crow died and went to hell. This year, right around the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers, the United States Supreme Court raised the old bastard from the dead. People are strange.

Our electoral process is being "fixed" and we all know who's doing the fixing. It started thirteen years ago when Florida governor Jeb Bush took nearly sixty thousand black people off the voting rolls in order to get his brother elected president. Then in June of this year, the Supreme Court effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That was all that was needed to bring Jim Crow back to life. Within a week of the court's ruling, a few key swing states that are controlled by the Republican party announced that they had made a few "adjustments" to their voting laws. Now everyone will be forced to purchase an ID card in order to vote. This is a poll tax - pure and simple. They say they're doing it to combat the non-existent "plague" of voter fraud. This is going to get very interesting.

Not only is old Jim back from the dead, he's on a nationwide comeback tour.

The Prez and the King
The amazing thing is that they sincerely believe they're going to be able to get away with this. The arrogance of these nitwits astounds. They're completely blind to the shit storm that is about to descend on them - which is incredible to me because, as Uncle Bobby said, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. If you think the nineteen-sixties were a riot, just you wait. There's going to be some serious dues to be paid, baby! Look out, kid, you're gonna get hit....I'm just sayin'.

And it won't just be people whose skin is a mite shade darker taking it to the streets the next time 'round. This involves a lot more people getting disenfranchised. I hope and pray that this next revolution is also a nonviolent - but I'm really not in a position to make any predictions....There could very well be some fire next time. I hope that's not the case but one never knows. Times have changed.
It's hard to know what Martin Luther King would have made of the America of 2013. Surely he would be in a gentle freakout about the economic injustice that the overwhelming majority of Americans (black and white) face today. I think he would be pleased about the administration of President Obama - for the most part. I know damned well that he would not have approved of Obama's use of those so-called "predatory drones". He was thirty-nine when he was murdered in 1968. The ensuing forty-five years of American foreign policy would have made him weep I think. Nonviolence wasn't merely a political tactic with the good doctor. It was part of the man's core being.
"And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Fifty years is a long, long time any way you slice it or dice it. We've come a long way, baby, with a long way to go. We cannot turn back - and in fact we're not going to. There are certain forces out there who refuse to understand this. They'll understand it soon enough.

Let's put the forces of oppression on notice: There is no way in hell we're going to turn back the clock. They can try to stop the tide from coming in. They can try to stop the moon from rising in the eastern sky at twilight. As a matter of fact, they just might have an easier time of it.
Tom Degan
Overcoming since 1958


Blue mountain high - and valley low
I don't know which way I should go

One summer dream....

The title of this piece was inspired by a recording by Electric Light orchestra - a real beauty!


Here is the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the conclusion of the greatest speech made in the twentieth century:


This is as good as it gets, folks. Stop looking.


Being Raised Without Racism

On August 28, 1963, Dirk was an eight-year-old kid growing up in the Netherlands. He was puzzled by America's "race problem" simply because in Holland the kids aren't taught to hate. It's quite a compelling read. 


The link to the "I Have a Dream" speech was taken down by order of the lawyers for King's descendants.  Dr. King was a great man, but his kids are greedy assholes.

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

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Nasty. liberal propaganda. You should be ashamed of yourselves for reading this stuff!


At 12:51 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

“And now please note that I have raised my right hand. And that means that I'm not kidding, that whatever I say next I believe to be true. So here it goes: The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon of my lifetime wasn't our contribution to the defeat of the Nazis, in which I played such a large part, or Ronald Reagan's overthrow of Godless Communism, in Russia at least.
The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon of my lifetime is how African-American citizens have maintained their dignity and self-respect, despite their having been treated by white Americans, both in and out of government, and simply because of their skin color, as though they were contemptible and loathsome, and even diseased.”
"If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Was Dirk puzzled by South Africa's race problem?

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Sal said...

Tom, I think overall, this is the BEST and most POWERFUL piece you have ever written. Thank you for the promise of revolution, peaceful, or if need be, otherwise.The fire is long overdue to those who at this very minute are systematically working to make sure they take away as many of our civil rights as they can get away with. Best, Sal

At 1:06 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thanks, Sal. That's a good thing to go off to Dreamland on. Much appreciated, pal!

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous James said...

MLK and his followers did well back then, enduring extreme violence and staying non violent anyway.If you ever saw those documentaries on how they organized the bus rides from the northern states into the deep south, you cannot help being impressed with them.
Even after buses were being fire bombed, they still got on the next bus to basically go unarmed in to a war zone where they wanted to burn you alive.

Things have changed in the last couple of decades, the elites now think of the vast middle class, both black and white the same way. We are all niggers now to them.

Forty or fifty years ago the middle class had power and leverage with the corporations, mainly due to wide spread union membership. The withering of the unions resulted in our present condition, low paying, no benefit, no security part time work.

MLK would be astounded that so many white people now live like the blacks in the past.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

This campaign for equality is both winning ground and losing. Positive gains come with more resistance to change.

Contrary to the propagandists of the radical Right, racism is still with us, and it's not "the province of the Left" as Limbaugh tells his cult.

The overwhelming majority of American people are now being economically and politically shunted to the "back of the bus" by the Corporatocracy in Washington DC.

The enemies of democracy and equal rights are not going away willingly.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

By the way, aside from my snarky (yet poignant) comment above, I cannot make the link to the Dutch atheist's article on race in America...

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

make the link work, that is...

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

"Corporatocracy in Washington DC."

The irony of that belief is the shunting to the "back of the bus" is being done with/by a Black President in office and the Senate and House in dead lock. With that dead lock, there is no action accept that which the President performs by Executive order or uses leadership and compromise with BOTH Houses.

The President is not powerless, he just seems to be uncomfortable in a leadership role where compromise might be required, therefore doesn't use his power unless it is an Executive Order IE: unilateral. I'm not arguing with your Corporatocracy point, but pointing out that there is real power available to correct that, if in fact it does exist.

This example supports my belief that Democrat Party and President Obama do not want to fix these problems because, in my belief, it would reduce the need for their party. It seems there is a better bang for your buck in slamming the minority, who have 1/3 of the power to your own 2/3s as it increases the the number of your voters next election. Plus you can make promises that if reelected, this time we will really fix things for you. And when you fail to perform you can blame the other side.

Maybe I'm wrong on that as a reason. Maybe the real reason is the Democrat Party and President Obama are bought and paid for by the Corporatocracy in Washington DC. Maybe they are unable to get free of the Corporate Masters behind the scenes that control those who have 2/3rds of the power?

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The President is not powerless, he just seems to be uncomfortable in a leadership role where compromise might be required

LOL! Yes, to the first half, but the "Publican" House has been SO open to compromise, right?

Besides that little point, You may be on to something with, "Maybe the real reason is the Democrat Party and President Obama are bought and paid for by the Corporatocracy in Washington DC."

Not sure why you would exempt the "Publican Party" though.

Wall Street, Big Oil, Pharma, and the MIC play both sides, and donate to both parties. If corporations are given the same individual rights as citizens they will have more money as free speech, in addition to access to lobbying and outright power to write legislation.

The abuses of power institutionalized by both parties are extremely difficult to reign in after the cat is out of the bag. Reform always takes much longer than originally implementing that what needs reforming.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

"Publican Party" does not own the Oval Office Bully Pulpit. The President has used that Pulpit only for things he feels are important to his poll ratings or will improve his Parties ratings.
I can not think of one "by the end of this decade we will go to the moon" comment from him.

Seriously, can you remember any thing Obama or Harry Reid have compromised on with the GOP that would have done anything to improve the economy, or stopped what you called Corporatocracy? Really, the President has sent budgets to the Senate that his Party controls and it's leadership refuses to even allow a vote on it. If the Democrats really believed as you do, the issue of Corporatocracy, wouldn't they be talking about it at the very top level in an effort to force the minority party (GOP) to join them if for no other reason that the public pressure it would bring on them?

That is not a GOP issue.

I believe reform could very well start with the Senators being again appointed by the State Governor instead of elected by the population. As they were under the Constitution originally. Why, it better reflects the needs and views of the Sovereign State it come from, who by popular vote elected the Governor who they elected and then as Govn selected that States representation of it's interests to the Federal Govt. It makes the State position more powerful and majority of the people of that State better represented in the Federal Govt.

I feel doing this would make the House were more of the Peoples House again.

In short the only reason I give the GOP a pass is currently they do not hold 2/3rds of the power at the Federal level. If that changes, we can talk. And when we do, I will need a definition of what a Corporatocracy is.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Obama Ass kissers here on the Rant,

If you want to watch a Rodeo Clown just watch Obama as he bounces up and down and all around over Syria. Even the British who have always been with us almost since the war of 1812 rejected and humiliated Obama like a clown. Nobody supports what he is doing.

We are watching the weakest, most inept, pathetic Rodeo Clown routine in the world as we watch Obama over Syria.

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Just The Truth said...

MLK would N-E-V-E-R side with a party so hell-bent on killing as many unborn babies as possible. Especially when most of those babies are black!

King was a Christian first and would have stuck to his principles first, unlike the Democrat "party".

At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Friend of Shorty said...

another black on white murder to celebrate MLK's special day in history.
How racist of me to bring this bit of news to your attention.

Lets see in the last two weeks how many is whites have been justifiably murdered using the teaching of MLK?

None! How many of these murders are hate crimes? All of them!

Clearwater Police announced the arrest of 16-year-old Mychal King on Thursday. He is accused in the January murder of Jason Taylor Paul, the city’s first homicide of 2013.

Police said King admitted to killing Paul for no reason other than he had a hard day with his family that night of January 6, and “just wanted to kill the first person he saw.”

Police say 22-year-old Jason Taylor Paul was stabbed multiple times while riding his bike home from work late.

Jason’s parents, John and Renee Langfritz had been distraught since the news of Paul’s death, and desperate for closure, even offering a $10,000 reward for information.

Renee described her son as an intelligent, loving, funny man. She said his sudden loss has left a hole in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

“This coward, truly a coward, who would leave a young innocent man to die alone in the dark in the middle of the street, must be caught,” she said at the time.

King will be charged with 1st Degree Murder. Detectives say he has a long criminal history and was already in jail on other charges.

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Friend of Shorty said...

Little white baby shouldn't have been out where the scum of the earth black murdering thugs could shoot him n the face and kill him.

MARIETTA, Ga. — An 18-year-old man was convicted of murder in the shooting of a baby who was riding in a stroller alongside his mom in a town in coastal Georgia.

Jurors deliberated about two hours before finding De’Marquise Elkins guilty in the March 21 killing of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in Brunswick. The man’s mother, Karimah Elkins, was on trial alongside him and was found guilty of tampering with evidence but acquitted of lying to police.

De’Marquise Elkins’ attorney asked for bond for his client while they appealed, which a judge denied.

Prosecutors said Elkins killed Antonio in an attempted robbery. The baby’s mother, Sherry West, also was shot.

Another teen, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, is also charged with murder in the case and is set to be tried later.

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Dave W said...

Hey Shorty,

You must be a member of the KKK to bring up black on white crime. No doubt you bring posters of Obama with a nose ring to the Tea Party rallies and listen to Reverend Moon and Faux news.

You are a without a doubt a racist like the Rodeo Clown with our Messiah's mask in Missouri.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I didn't take long for Chucky and Anonymous to turn this into an "Obama BAD" rant did it?

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Mozart, my last post on this thread was in response to Dave Dubya at 6:08 p.m.
While telling you this is in most likelihood just a waste of good Band Width, I felt you deserved a reply.

Hey, while I have your attention,
have your read Tom Wolfe's book
"Radical Chic/Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers"?

Let me know your thoughts when you finish the read. Ive included a link below to Amazon where you can order the books.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

There he goes again, unrepentant troll and liar that he is. All his "friends" are coming back.

Not to the Right Wing "My way or the highway" question and answer session.

Seriously, can you remember any thing Obama or Harry Reid have compromised on with the GOP that would have done anything to improve the economy,

The stimulus act that Republican governors expressed gratitude for, while the other GOP'ers called it communism.


Chuckie's math is as simplistic as the rest of his beliefs. The GOP owns the House, despite the fact MORE Americans voted for Democratic representation. The GOP has the Senate in a filibuster lockdown. The Supreme Court is controlled by the Right, (not to mention ALL THE FISA judges are appointed by John Roberts.) and more states are run by Republicans than Democrats.

SO blame the liberals for everything, "Right"?

Chuckie will disregard this answer, but this is the reality he cannot recognize.

Banks’ Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills

In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)

Way to go, Puppets of Wall Street. We know who you really represent.

Some Democrats, the progressive leaning rarity, are at least asking questions.

The Leveraged Buyout of America

Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?
by Ellen Brown

In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dated June 27, 2013, US Representative Alan Grayson and three co-signers expressed concern about the expansion of large banks into what have traditionally been non-financial commercial spheres. Specifically:

[W]e are concerned about how large banks have recently expanded their businesses into such fields as electric power production, oil refining and distribution, owning and operating of public assets such as ports and airports, and even uranium mining.
After listing some disturbing examples, they observed:
According to legal scholar Saule Omarova, over the past five years, there has been a “quiet transformation of U.S. financial holding companies.” These financial services companies have become global merchants that seek to extract rent from any commercial or financial business activity within their reach. They have used legal authority in Graham-Leach-Bliley to subvert the “foundational principle of separation of banking from commerce”. . . .
It seems like there is a significant macro-economic risk in having a massive entity like, say JP Morgan, both issuing credit cards and mortgages, managing municipal bond offerings, selling gasoline and electric power, running large oil tankers, trading derivatives, and owning and operating airports, in multiple countries.

What kink of brainwashed nitwit can't see the problem here?

Ohh..Yes. He'll attack me for this truth as well.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Dave Dubya,

This is what I get from you when I honestly answer your question? This is how you show respect to those who differ in their opinions than you?

I guess if you call my last post an attack on you, you will call this one as well.

Fool me once, ETC.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chuckie Naa Naa!

An answer?? A sincere, thoughtful response and sharing of new information?

This is what I get from you when I honestly answer your question?

LOL!! And just what “honestly answered” question was that, Chuckie Naa Naa?

You mean this question? “but the "Publican" House has been SO open to compromise, right?”

The one with this shocking answer? “I give the GOP a pass”

I'll betcha death panels to donuts we already knew that.

Guess what we can show you?

Seriously, can you remember any thing Obama or Harry Reid have compromised on with the GOP that would have done anything to improve the economy,

An answer to YOUR question, of course.

You’re welcome! Welcome to both the answer; and the stimulus that began to turn back the Bush Recession.

But wait, there’s more! I also even gave you another answer, perfect images of corporatocracy.

You’re welcome, again.

And you reacted accordingly, by ignoring my points and answers.

"This is how you show respect to those who differ in their opinions than you?"

Well done!

Bet you got more questions, don’t you? And sermons, too, just a brewin’ up inside that nice thick head of yours. No wonder there’s not any room in there for answering those loony liberals.

“I give the GOP a pass”

I guess that’s about all we’ll get for answers from you.

Now, how about you and your imaginary friends run along for some more race-baiting, and pluck some black on white crime stories. Someone here really loves that kind of stuff. Don’t you?

This is how you show respect to those who differ in their opinions than you?

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Just The Truth said...

"In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)"

lol on 2 crucial paragraphs Dave Dubya!

But we progressives back the shit for brains central planners that make shitty laws like Dodd Frank, over 2,300 pages:

The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law in July 2010, spans 2,300 pages and directs federal regulators to burden job creators and the economy with more than 400 new rules and mandates. The Act was touted by its supporters as “Wall Street reform” and Washington’s response to the financial crisis of 2008. Yet, Dodd-Frank reaches far beyond Wall Street and does not address the real causes of the crisis. It did nothing to fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and end their taxpayer-funded bailouts. In fact, the Dodd-Frank Act continues the bailouts by enshrining “too big to fail” into law, placing taxpayers at risk for trillions of dollars of future bailouts.

Two independent, nonpartisan agencies – the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office – reported to the Committee that the economy and taxpayers will bear an enormous cost for Dodd-Frank:
•$27 billion will be taken out of the economy because of Dodd-Frank;
•2,600 new full-time Federal employees will need to be hired to implement the Act’s 400-plus regulatory mandates at a cost to taxpayers of $3 billion during just the first five years of implementation.

At 11:22 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Radical Chic(*1) & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers(*2).
*1. Rich white liberals throw party for Black Panthers.
*2. Minorities bully and swindle social workers.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

So Chuckie Naa Naa's argument against my examples of corporatism is...another example of corporatism.

Thank you.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger kootcoot said...

I am always amazed at the class (classless in so many cases) that your blog seems to attract. Is it required reading in some insane asylum or KKK meetings?

Judging from that pic of MLK and Obama, the big O certainly grew up fast. To be that tall and wearing a suit and tie is real maturity when he was at most seven years wonder he became preznit!

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous This was not my dream. said...

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Not a hate crime? said...

The New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a savage attack that took place Wednesday afternoon in Union Square, after witnesses say a man vowed to attack white people before assaulting multiple individuals and leaving one man brain dead.

The black suspect, Lashawn Marten, 31, was playing chess before randomly jumping up and declaring “I hate white people,” according to one witness.

Another eye-witness told WLNY-TV that Marten said “the next white person who walks by I’m going to f**k.”

Marten’s fists then started to fly, allegedly targeting random white individuals as they walked by.

“His fist went in and the man’s head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground,” the unidentified witness added.

That man, Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, has now been declared clinically brain dead. In a video posted to video-sharing website Instagram, Babbitt can be seen on the ground with blood flowing from his head.

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RFK Jr. also kept notes for his journal during his month-long stint in a Puerto Rican prison that July. He, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson’s wife, Jacqueline, were charged with trespassing during protests on Vieques, the Puerto Rican island the US Navy used as a bombing range.

The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton “give me the creeps,” Kennedy writes in a July 5 entry.

“Al Sharpton has done more damage to the black cause than [segregationist Alabama Gov.] George Wallace. He has suffocated the decent black leaders in New York,” he says. “His transparent venal blackmail and extortion schemes taint all black leadership.”

Rev. Al Sharpton gave Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “the creeps,” he wrote in his diary.

He goes on to call Sharpton a “buffoon” who has never escaped the “stench” of his advocacy for Tawana Brawley, the black Dutchess County teen who fabricated a story about six white men raping her in 1987.

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


An attacker pummeled a bus passenger so hard he smashed the bones in his face after calling the victim a “cracker” in Manhattan – marking the second time in two days that people appeared to be randomly targeted in racial tirades against white people, authorities said.

In the latest incident, the suspect passed a 31-year-old rider on the M60 bus riding through Harlem, on West 127th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive, around 2:45 p.m., Friday, when he shouted the racial slur and punched the victim in the face, breaking his nose and eye socket, cops said.
Modal Trigger

The alleged M60 bus attacker

The victim was treated for facial fractures at New York Presbyterian Hospital and released, police said.

The incident occurred as authorities reported that Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, fell into a coma after being punched and knocked to the ground in Union Square Park on Wednesday. He was taken off life support and died Monday, sources said.


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