Sunday, October 25, 2020

Long Night's Journey into the Day


"To those that can hear me I say, Do not despair. The misery that is upon us is but the passing of greed; the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress."

Charlie Chaplin, from The Great Dictator.

Yesterday, at a retirement community in Florida - the largest of its kind in the entire United States - the unhinged psychopath and common pervert currently masquerading as our 45th president held one of the largest rallies thus far in this campaign. At the present moment, the death and infection rates in that state are through the roof. The most vulnerable are the elderly. Most of the crowd attending the festivities yesterday were elderly. The overwhelming majority of the people in that crowd were over sixty-five and not wearing face masks. He currently has planned at least eight more of these kind of rallies between today and the election. Ain't that something?

It is my belief that he is purposely trying to spread the virus so that, when the catastrophic wave of death and disease possibly  hits the nation in less than ten days, he will use the chaos as an excuse to shut down the elections and proclaim, 

"NATIONAL EMERGENCY!!!"

 Donald Trump is guilty of mass murder and mass criminally negligent homicide. If he is not tried for his crimes against the human race when this era of stupidity is mercifully behind us, then there is something seriously wrong with the United States of America.

Idiot Nation

We're not as far away as you might imagine from the worst that can possibly come to the American Experiment. With nine days left until the election of 2020, and with COVID cases skyrocketing across the country (in spite of the pleas from public health officials for people to wear masks and practice social distancing) we find ourselves teetering at the very cliff's-edge of our existence. For those of you who mistakenly find yourselves thinking that the hideous old freak has done as much damage to this republic as is possible for one man to do, and that he cannot possibly do any more, you might want to reassess your position on that point. The disturbing fact is that, in the two months, three weeks and five days left until Inauguration Day, Donald Trump is perfectly capable (and quite willing, I'm sure) of doing a lot more damage to this already thoroughly damaged nation. Does that sound like a stretch? Perhaps it is. I'll tell you what: let's all vote for the silly bastard on November 3 and see what happens.

The fact that, in spite of everything, he still holds a positive approval rating among forty percent of the country is a statistic that is too depressing for rational analyzing. To tell you the truth, I'm no longer even remotely comfortable living in a nation where that many people are so thoroughly brainwashed and undeniably mean-spirited. 

This is the same country that organized scrap metal drives nearly eighty years ago to save the world from the menace of Hitler and the axis powers; it's the same country that rationed petro, butter and coffee for the purpose of having more of these things supplied to the troops doing the fighting and dying on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. Today, we are unable to persuade so huge a number of the grandchildren of those Americans who sacrificed so much eight decades ago to even wear a goddamned face mask to protect their fellow citizens - and themselves - from sickness and death. 

"Disgusting" and "pathetic" are words too polite. If we were living through "The Greatest Generation" and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were the president, the COVID-19 pandemic would barely have made a dent on our national health. 

That was then. This is now.

My hope was that, after the disaster of the Bush 43 White House, the American people would finally wake up and realize what a detrimental thing right wing governance is to their precious lives. Wishful thinking, I know. The first piece I ever wrote on this site fourteen years ago was called "George W. Bush: The Last Republican President". I'm a bit wiser in 2020 than I was in 2006. I'm not naïve enough to believe that the inmates of this doomed nation are bound to change anytime soon - or at least not in my lifetime. These generational periods of extremist lunacy we will have to come to expect as a matter of inevitability every eight or twelve years or so. Not even the disastrous, figurative earthquakes and tsunamis that are routine in the age of Donald Trump are going to change what is an unexplainable quirk in the dark recesses of the American psyche. It's something that we're all going to have to learn to live with, I suppose.

Hi ho, everybody, hi ho.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
ESSENTIAL VIEWING:
 
Keith Olbermann is back doing daily commentary on YouTube, and I couldn't be happier about it.
 
 
His absence from the public forum during this unprecedented age of Donald Trump has been deeply felt. Better late than never, ay? Welcome back to the arena, Keith. You were missed.
 
AFTERTHOUGHT, 11:30 AM:
 
Is stealing ever justified?
If your child is hungry and you need to steal a loaf of bread and a pint of milk in order to feed that child, then, yes, stealing is more than justified. Blessed are the meek - even though they be forced to resort to theft. Even if they be sent to prison for their offense. That is why our prisons are filled with people for whom poverty is almost like an old and dysfunctional friend. Rich people don't go to prison - unless they steal from other rich people.
Breathe in the crisp, Autumn air.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Army for Trump

 
 
 

"President Trump has fought the Radical Democrats and the Fake News Media for the last 4 years."

From the "Army for Trump" website

It's been in the running since May when Junior Trump made a pitch to his demented MAGA-brained followers to join the "Army of Trump". It appears to be what I suspected it of being from Day One: an opportunity for Dad to create his own private S.S. - loyal only to him. This week they are calling on this army of the faithful to make themselves known at polling places throughout the land to serve as "poll watchers" on Election Day. This is going to be interesting.

This is no longer even mildly amusing.

The website encourages people to click on to various things that they might be interested in engaging in:

Become a Digital Activist; Make Calls on Trump Talk; Knock on Doors; Register Voters; Become a Trump Team Leader; Become a Trump Victory Fellow; Election Day Team....

It uncomfortably similar to Nazi recruiting posters from nearly a century ago. What went around seems to be coming around again. It's the last one that is most concerning: "Election Day Team". It is against the law to campaign inside a polling place - and if they go in as members of the "Trump Army" - that is exactly what they're doing. Do any of these dummies even understand this? Or is their plan merely to stand outside of these polling places throughout the land in a show of intimidation toward what they would suspect (in their minds) to be obvious voters for Joe Biden: in other words, people not of the master race.

This is too alarming to even think about. Voter suppression by intimidation is something that only went on in this country in the deep south during the weird old days of Jim Crow. That sort of thing doesn't happen in America anymore, right?

WRONG!

This is the America of Donald J. Trump we're living in now. Anything can happen and probably will. We can no longer depend upon "reasoned discourse" from a political party sick enough to stand by a man who is obviously the most incompetent, blatantly corrupt chief-executive in the history of this country. The days of reasonable Republicans like Everett Dirksen, Margaret Chase Smith and Millicent Fenwick are long gone. This is today the party of Mitch McConnell, Matt Gaetz  and John Kennedy (the jackass from Louisiana, not to be confused with the late president).

Lara Trump informs me on a video link on the website that I can sign up to become a part of the "EDO - Election Day Operation". I'm seriously thinking about doing just that. It might be oodles of fun to spy on them to see what sort of mischief they have in store for us. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
`

AFTERTHOUGHT:

So, there you have it: I've just signed up to become a poll watcher for the Army of Trump. Now if you'll kindly excuse me, I need to take a shower.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett's Problem

 

 

We need to understand some undeniable realities: Barring a miracle, Amy Coney Barrett is going to be the next Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court. There's no more argument about it: she has made a decided impression on many people, myself included. She's articulate, and obviously quite intelligent. She has a lot of love in her heart - so much love that, in addition to her own kids, she and her husband adopted two children. I would choose Amy Coney Barrett as my best friend if I had the opportunity.

I just don't think that she should be on the Supreme Court.

It's amazing to me that anyone would seriously consider her as a justice on the highest court in the land. What is the matter with them?

Here is my prayer:

In 1952 at the Republican National Convention. Dwight D. Eisenhower had almost enough delegates to receive the nomination - almost enough. The one person standing between him and the executive mansion was the conservative governor of California, Earl Warren. Eisenhower told Warren that, if he sent his delegates over to him, he could have anything he wanted when Ike entered the oval office. Warren told the general that he wanted the first available seat that became vacant on the Supreme Court. Eisenhower told him that it was a done deal. He won the nomination and was sworn in on January 20, 1953.

Eight months later, in September, when Chief Justice Fred Vinson died unexpectedly. Warren showed up at the White House waiting to take the job,

"No! No! No!", said Eisenhower, "This is the Chief Justice position - that's different!"

"Ike", said Earl [and I am imagining all of this dialogue], you said 'the first available seat' ".

Eisenhower, being a man of honor and of his word, had to concede that a deal was a deal. On the first Monday of October 1953, Earl Warren was on the highest court in the land.

The problem is, that as conservative as Warren was as the governor of California, he didn't always tow the Republican party line. He turned out to be one of the most progressive jurists in American history. Once when asked by someone how an essentially conservative politician could become such a progressive justice, Warren replied that the view from up there (the bench) is a lot different than the view from down here (meaning, essentially, the political world). All of the great chief and associate justices understand this basic fact.

Near the end of his career, Eisenhower said to a journalist, "Elevating Earl Warren to the Supreme Court was the biggest damn fool mistake of my life".

My biggest prayer is that, in the last interview of his sick career, Donald Trump says: "Elevating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was the biggest damn fool mistake of my life."

Wistful thinking, perhaps, but I can dream, can't I?

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here is a mini-documentary to watch on the life and times of Earl Warren, made at the time he retired in 1969. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kf_tyoABCs 

He was one of the great ones.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Post 978: Random Observations

 


The following are a collection of unconnected observations I've made, peppered here and there in my note book and across the internet. Any similarities to any persons, living or dead, is purely intentional. Have a grand day, folks!

`1. There He Goes Again!

Last night, The Donald had yet another mass campaign rally in the midst of the worst pandemic in over a century, this time in Orlando, Florida. Once again, the event was attended by by many of his half-witted followers, a lot of them not wearing potentially life-saving masks. I am convinced  that Trump is attempting to stir-up a spike in this epidemic that will inflict so much death and disease by Election Day that he will be use the mass chaos as an excuse to shut down polls across the country. When this disgusting administration is finally finished, the hideous old freak should be prosecuted for mass murder - among too many other things to count. 

2. Fly Boy Mike

I am informed this morning that the fly that landed on Mike Pence's head during last week's debate with Kamala Harris has just signed a six-figure book deal with Simon and Schuster. 

I posted this on Facebook last in 2017. I found it early this morning on my "memories" page. It's not bad, I think:

"To be perfectly blunt with you, I don't give a rat's ass about sports. I never have. My opinion is that life is precious - and people (men in particular) waste those precious lives thinking about and obsessing over the topic of sports. Do you want to know what my favorite sport is? Figure Skating. I'm not kidding. I could never understand why so many of my peers found this to be somewhat "unmanly" on my part. What's the big deal? Watching a bunch of guys in tight-fitting uniforms hopping around an AstroTurf field was never my ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But those figure skaters? THEY WERE GORGEOUS! That's just a peculiar personality quirk of mine. I've got loads of 'em. Pay it no mind.
I can't tell you who won the 1932 World Series because, eighty-two years later, it doesn't really matter who won it. I can tell you who won the 1932 campaign for the presidency, though. Eighty-two years later that does matter. Very much so.
I'm not completely indifferent to sports. There is my passion for the New York Yankees. Whenever the Bronx Bombers make it to the World Series, I become very excited. I always get down on my knees and pray - THAT THEY LOSE! A number of years ago, you may recall, they tore down the House That Babe Ruth Built, a historical landmark, in order to build a new stadium that actually has about forty-five hundred fewer seats. One thing it does have, though, are a lot more private sky-boxes for them to cater to their plutocratic clientele. To hell with the Yankees. A few years ago when they got beaten senseless by Boston in the world series, I was the happiest man in New York.
`
FUN FACT: I was born on the tenth anniversary of Babe Ruth's death".
 
4. This is America, right?
`
At the moment, the president of the United States is assertively pressuring the attorney general to send his political enemies to prison - including Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This is the kind of behavior that tinhorn dictators usually exhibit. Trump's heroes, like Vladimir Putin and Kin Jung Un have them murdered. If this psycho is reelected, it's only a matter of a very short time before he does the same to his domestic enemies. Count on it. Keep voting Republican, America. We're on the precipice.
`
5. Stephen Miller Meets Karma
 
"It is the single greatest honor of my life to work for President Trump and to support his incredible agenda.”
Stephen Miller
That Trump's "agenda" is "incredible" is true in that it lacks a shred of creditability. Miller tested positive yesterday for the COVID-19 virus. Is the hideous little thug having second thoughts about going to work for the Common-Pervert-in-Chief? My guess is yes.
`
6. Some Pop Philosophy
`
In my experience I've found that there are two kinds of people in this world....those who believe that there are two kinds of people in this world - and those who don't.
`
7. Amy Coney Barrett
 
While writng this, I have been watching the senate hearings on whether or not Trump's latest judicial nominee will be sent to the Supreme Court. Barring heavenly intervention she will be approved. She is young (48) and will probably be on the bench for many decades. This is a tragedy because she is an ideologically horrible choice. The damage that this president has done to this once-great nation will be with us for generations. If you think we have sunk as low as possible, you ain't seen nothing yet.
`
8. Brace Yourselves for the Second Wave
`
The fact that in the last few days there have been so many high profile COVID-19 diagnoses means that the Autumn spike that was predicted months ago may very well be upon us. Dr. Fauci said that it might be worse than what we experienced in the spring.
 
I cannot emphasize enough that we need to take all the precautions possible.

****************

So there you have it, campers. The American landscape has not looked this dismal in over a century-and-a-half. It's almost become a catchphrase with me in the last four years but, "this is going to end badly". Here's another one:
`
"Get used to living in a nation in ruins."
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
SUGGESTED VIEWING:
 
Lenny Bruce was born on this day in 1925. Here's a link to watch his riotous appearance on Steve Allen's Tonight Show. The date is April 5, 1959.
 
 
He would have made such a hip old man. It's just so sad. He truly was a tragic figure. Happy birthday,  Lenny.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Insane Clown Possies


This has to be the weirdest period of American history in my lifetime. The president of the United States has lost his mind, the White House is an infected pandemic hotspot, and militias of armed and dangerous civilians are threatening a nationwide bloodbath if their beloved psychopath-in-chief is not installed on January 20, 2021. All-in-all it's been an interesting week.

`The insanity was upped a notch yesterday when it was revealed that the feds had busted an armed and dangerous group of halfwits who were conspiring to shoot their way into the Michigan statehouse, kill as many police as possible and, as icing on the cake, kidnap the governor, Gretchen Whitmer, move her to a secure location, try her for treason, and then - presumably - execute her. Back on April 17, a lot of folks in that state were angry at the governor because of her strict lockdown orders to protect the citizens from the COVID-19 virus. On that day, the commander-in-chump tweeted out this message from the comfort of the executive mansion:

"LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"

Apparently these assholes attempted to do just that.

During the atrocious debate with Joe Biden eleven days ago, Trump sent a message to the Proud Boys, another militarized gang of white supremacists:

"STAND BACK AND STAND BY."

Whatever the First Fool meant by this statement, "The Boys" took it as a show of support from our beloved common pervert president. There is a lot of blood currently flowing through the veins of innocent Americans that will be poured onto the streets of America in the days and weeks following the November 3rd election. This is my biggest fear. Donald Trump has purposely destabilized America for his own insane reasons. This is what we have come to - and it's not-at-all certain that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to win this thing. We've come to a very dark place the constitution never meant us to go to. A very dark place indeed.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Who (or what) are the Proud Boys? This Canadian Broadcasting Company report attempts to answer that question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWHkfDSQbNo

Strange days indeed.

AFTERTHOUGHT:

John Lennon would have turned eighty today. Please, allow need a few minutes to process this news.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Kamala Rocks It


As usual these during this period of my life, I was snoozing away when last night's only vice-presidential debate of this campaign season got under way. I was only able to watch it in the wee small hours of this morning on YouTube. Thank goodness for YouTube. I don't know how I managed to survive the first forty-plus years of my life without it.

`It didn't turn out to be the earth-shattering event that I had anticipated it to be. Although he didn't quite come off as the jabbering twit that he normally is, Mike Pence was able to, more-or-less, hold his own - that is, if one discounts the numerous bald-faced lies he spewed throughout the course of the evening. Kamala Harris was poised and prepared during the ninety minute debate. The most memorable thing about last night was when a fly landed on Pence's head and stayed there of a solid two minutes. Since flies are known to be attracted to manure, it seemed all-the-more apropos. Finally the little bugger flew off - either out of embarrassment or disgust. This morning I am told that the fly has signed a six-figure book deal with Simon and Schuster.

`Unfortunately, the matchup will be changing few minds. Biden might receive a barely perceptible jump in the polls from a few undecided voters but not much else. How anyone, at this late date, can be “undecided” about the catastrophic administration of Donald Trump is the mystery of our age. When Pence refused to answer the question of whether-or-not he will concede defeat if (when) Trump loses was yet another red flag - as far as I am concerned - that these bastards have a plan in the works to overthrow the government. They won’t succeed - but that  matters little at this stage. The fact that they think they can do it is alarming enough.
 
The most disturbing thing of all regarding the outcome is Donald Trump. Over dinner with Richard Branson, he once told the founder of Virgin Records and Airlines that, more than anything, his favorite think in the world is "getting even" with anyone and everyone who crosses him. Branson once told an interviewer that he said there words with a passion that was disturbing. When Trump is finally sent packing on Election Day, he'll have nearly two-and-a-half months to get even with the American people. That is when he will be more dangerous than he ever has been.
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Time to Invoke the Twenty-Fifth


"I learned so much about coronavirus, and one thing that's for certain: Don't let it dominate you, don't be afraid of it. You're gonna beat it".

So said Donald Trump on Monday as he attempted to lure thousands of naïve Americans to their deaths. We were all hoping that his own experience being hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus would have humanized him just a little bit and bought the disgusting old geezer down to earth somewhat. But there he was, sending out a video, standing without a mask, with the south lawn of the White House in the background, telling the American people that there was nothing to fear and that they needed to go back out into the world. As if trying to encourage them further, he plans on more rallies between now and the November third election.

It was a curious sight when he arrived back at the Executive Mansion after a three day stay at Walter Reed; instead of walking through the ground level main entrance of the southern portico (as nearly everyone does) Trump proceeded to climb the twenty-two steps that lead to the upper entrance. While obviously struggling to breathe, the man removed his face mask for an extended, Mussolini-like pose, and then gave salute that seemed to last forever. It had to be the strangest behavior I've ever witnessed from a president. Weird.

One of the side effects of the steroids that Donald is taking is generally nutty behavior, and his behavior has been pretty nutty in the last forty-eight hours to be sure. It started out with a series of seventeen unhinged tweets on the morning after the photo-op on the southern portico and has only gotten progressively stranger - like telling the American public that there will be no stimulus package until after the election. In other words:

REELECT ME OR YOU WILL STARVE.

It was the most despicable thing I have ever seen coming out of the White House - and remember, I'm old enough to remember Dick Nixon! You know the time has come to throw in the towel when a president starts to get compared unfavorably to the likes of Nixon.

Since all of the grownups have either resigned of have been fired from this administration, there seems to be no responsible voices whispering into Trump's ear any longer. The entire joint is drenched with political hacks and right-wing extremists. Since the nineties it has been obvious to anyone paying attention that the man is mentally ill; but in the last three days his insanity has gone crashing into full-tilt-boogie mode. And remember, he has the nuclear codes within an arm's reach of his tubby torso. We are past the time when the 25th Amendment should have been invoked and the responsibilities of the presidency handed over to - and I cannot believe that I am even writing these words - Mike Pence. That is how completely extreme things have gotten.

From this moment on until January 20, 2021, the country and the entire planet will be walking on cracked eggshells wondering when or if this lunatic will ignite a third world war. This is going to be the longest three month period in our collective history. Hang in there - and pay attention.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

 

Sunday, October 04, 2020

President Mike Pence?


I have found myself rather unsetled at some of the things I have read on the internet and out there in the Facebooksphere in the last four days that have, quite frankly, alarmed and depressed me. There are a number of people who have stated publically that they either hope or couldn't give a damn if Donald Trump died in the coming weeks after having contracted the COVID-19 virus. The general consensus of opinion seems to be that it would serve the hideous old freak right if he bought the farm. While I'm inclined to agree with the karma aspect of that opinion, I am of a much different opinion with regard to his mortality. 

I am praying that Donald Trump gets though this health crisis he presently finds himself in.

There are two reasons for this. Reason Number One is simply that, as a Christian, I would not wish lethal harm on my worst enemy - and even though he is probably unaware of my very existence, Donald Trump is definitely my worst enemy. And yet I was sincere in the piece I wrote two days ago when I stated that I wish both him and Melania speedy recoveries. They have a fourteen-year-old boy who at the moment is probably beside himself with worry.

Reason Number Two is that I don't want Mike Pence at the helm of our ship of state for one minute - let alone what might prove to be three very long months. While it seems apparent to me that poor old Mike is not as bat-shit crazy as The Donald, he's at least as dumb as him - perhaps even dumber (which would be a feat in itself). With Trump sitting at the Resolute desk, as completely unsettling as that may be, we've gotten to the point where the man is fairly predictable. That simply is not the case where Pence is concerned. I have family and many friends in the state of Indiana - a place my late mother was a native of - and a place where Mike Pence once served as governor. Most of them will assure you that the idea of that guy getting within a mile of the Oval Office is enough to give them the dry heaves, or at least to wake up in the middle of the night screaming and in a cold sweat.

From his idiotic idea for "gay conversion therapy" (pray the gay away) to the monstrous law he signed into being that allowed people to keep guns in their cars on the property of public schools, Mike Pence is not a man that most Hoosiers hold closely to their hearts. And think about this: any guy who disrespects women to such an alarming degree that he does not trust them enough to be alone with them without the presence of his wife ("Mother" he calls her) should not be succeeded to the post of sewer inspector of Fort Wayne - let alone chief-executive of the United States of America. We just don't want to go in that direction, folks. Seriously.

Were Donald Trump to pass away - especially before the November third election, Pence automatically assumes the top of the ticket - even if early voters have already wasted their precious ballots on Donald. I can just imagine the toxic sentimentality of a whiney "LET'S WIN THIS ONE FOR THE DONALD" campaign that get's Pence swept into office with an electoral win (although the silly bastard would never win the popular vote). Our international reputation has already been damaged to such an insane degree that it will take a generation-or-more before we even come close to mending it. Four years of President Mike Pence might very well prove to be the rancid icing on a moldy cake. It's in our national interest that Donald Trump lives out his term to January 20, 2021. Keep your fingers crossed and your hands folded.

I don't buy the faux Christianity of Mike Pence; I never have. I'm not stupid enough to believe that a man who, throughout his career, has promoted so many evil and hateful policies - could ever be a follower of the prophet who admonished us: "Blessed are the meek". As cynical as I've become as I approach my twilight years, I hope and pray that I never become quite as cynical as that. I know stone-cold atheists who are much better Christians than Mike Pence. I can imagine at this moment that he is salivating at the very idea of Donald Trump kicking the bucket any day now.

I'm sure that Pence will have some sort of a future once his days in Washington are at a merciful end. He might be amusing as a talk radio host, and I might even tune in now and again for the unintentional giggles that I am certain he would provide in abundance. But I don't want the odious twit making policy for a period of four years that would further damage this country.

If you believe in the power of prayer, keep Donald Trump "in your thoughts and prayers". His demise would prove disastrous for all of us - even those mean and stupid enough to want to reelect him. We're teetering on the edge, folks.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
SUGGESTED LISTENING:
 
Ball and Chain
by Janis Joplin
 
Janis Joplin died fifty years ago today. I can remember where I was when the news came over my father's car radio. Here's Janis on the mountaintop:
 
 
Speechless....

 

Friday, October 02, 2020

Donald's Not-So-Instant Karma

 


After spending nearly nine solid months downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, the president of the United States - and the first lady - have both tested positive. This is a scenario that might have been written by O Henry.

Early this morning someone named Dennis Hartsfield sent me the news on Facebook. My first thought was to think he had been the victim of a hoax. Less than an hour later it was announced on CNBC that this is, in fact, the case.

"Instant Karma's gonna get you. It's gonna knock you right on the head. Better get yourself together, darlin'...."

-John Lennon

This is not to gloat; I do indeed wish the both of them a safe and speedy recovery. They have, after all, a young son. But, Damn! Ain't this some kind of a plot twist? If this breaking news is true, I do hope that it finally gets his Imbecilic followers to take the precautions that too many of them have thus far been ignoring. See? there are a few silver linings behind these nasty clouds!

First of all, bitter experience has taught me not to believe a damned thing that comes out of this White House - and this latest "news" is no exception. To my mind, Trump gave such an insanely poor and unhinged performance at the debate on the twenty-ninth, that there is a good chance that his team has manufactured this event as a way of ducking out of the two debates scheduled for the rest of October. I'm sorry, but I cannot take seriously a single word that is uttered by a cabal of proven pathological liars. I'd like to know what Dr. Faucci thinks about all of this. Will he be allowed to examine the president? I'd love to know the answer to that one.

His key assistant Hope Hicks, who is with Trump nearly every minute of the day, tested positive for the virus two days ago. Knowing this, he spent several hours yesterday attending an indoor fundraiser at his Jersey golf club. This is the definition of a sociopath, folks. How much more proof do we need?

The fact that this latest spectacle is transpiring before us should come as a surprise to no one who has bothered to pay attention; as a matter of fact it was inevitable. And, again, while I do not wish any harm to come to the man, it is rather amusing to see that karma has come to bite him on his ampule bottom. I get the feeling that he thought that he was immune to the virus for no other reason than the fact that he is, after all, Donald Trump. It was also funny to catch the expressions of smug privilege on the clueless faces of his unmasked kids during the sparsely-attended debate - while nearly everyone else in the hall had their faces covered. I've got a feeling that the entire Trump family will soon find themselves in quarantine - not to mention the entire White House staff. That this is happening during the final month of the most consequential campaign of our lifetimes is an irony wrapped inside an amusement. It's all too weird to even begin to contemplate.

The Age of Donald Trump has been an anxiety-laden period in the life of  America that will take a long time to shake from our consciousness. From Day One it's been akin to a ride through a House of Horrors at any amusement park or county fair; the only difference being that these horrors are very real. Sadly, more horrors appear to be on the horizon. Armed militant groups throughout the country have made no secret of their plans to make potentially lethal trouble if Trump is not reelected on November the third. To make matters worse, The Donald has been encouraging these nitwits to stand vigil at polling places all across the land. This disgusting administration's history to date will be seen as a gentle prologue to what is yet to come. Brace yourselves for the coming shit storm.

The possibilities are grim in every direction. The latest report tells us that the president is now showing symptoms of the virus. As noted on this site yesterday, Trump is seventy-four and is not in particularly good health. If he becomes the ninth president in American history to die in office, the specter of electoral chaos and catastrophe cannot be dismissed lightly.

Since the morning after the election four years ago, I've been saying to everyone who would listen: "This is going to end badly". I think I called that one.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

This article from The Atlantic website by Mike Gigio was published yesterday. He discusses the militia groups across the land who are proving to be a real threat to the peace and security of the United States. It's a bit long but is essential reading:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/right-wing-militias-civil-war/616473/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&fbclid=IwAR17F1HD-Atf5b9CMhfHEvD9o-Ob1Y3NAWshzfA2zQG7Tgn_-WdytoVNyTc

We live in such interesting times, don't we?

AFTERTHOUGHT:

Usually I write on average between 56 and 60 pieces per year. The one you have just finished reading is Number 87 since January 4 - and the year is only three/quarters over with. Donald Trump inspires a good many things. Writers' Block is not one of them.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

The Great American Shit Show

 

 
 
I promised myself many years ago that I would never use an expletive in the title of anything I wrote. Promises sometimes need to be broken.
 
The distinguished and normally articulate CNN journalist Dana Bash put it as perfectly as possible under these extraordinary circumstances. At the conclusion of the travesty of the first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Fuck, she uttered words that should be etched in stone at the base of the statue that will one day (hopefully) be erected to her memory:
`

"That was a Shit Show."

Indeed it was. It had to be the most embarrassing night in the history of Idiot Nation. All one had to do was to look back upon ancient videotapes of the debates between Jack Kennedy and Dick Nixon sixty years ago - almost to the day - to realize how pathetically low this country has fallen. Say what you may about Nixon, at least the guy  had a modicum of substance. Watching this fiasco of a debate between Trump and Biden, one can be forgiven for not liking the event to the Lincoln/Douglas Debates of one-hundred and sixty years ago. 

The former vice-president attempted, valiantly, to inform the voters of this once-great-nation why sending this moron back to the Executive Mansion for another four years would not be a particularly good idea. His message was distorted throughout by the violent ramblings of the common-pervert-in-chief. He is under the impression that he will be sitting in the Oval Office for at least another decade or more. My only advice to you would be to humor the disgusting old motherfucker.

"Motherfucker". That is a word I don't particularly like and that I've used only once in the fourteen years and nine-hundred and seventy two pieces I have written on this site. The only other time I ever used it was in 2016. I was quoting Donald Trump. Just so you know.

FUN FACT:

When given the opportunity to denounce white supremacy in America, the president of the United States just could not do it. I suppose he needed to keep his half-witted base happy. "Stand back and stand by", he said. That is the rallying cry of a group called the "Proud Boys", one of the most vocal, organized group of racist thugs currently in existence. One of their stated purposes is to bring about a race war. Blacks need not apply.

Keep voting Republican.

On the evening of September 29, 2020, we bore witness to Donald Trump in his truest, most undeniable form. If you need anymore proof what a horrible mistake it was to send this half-witted piece-of-shit to the home that was once occupied by Lincoln and the two Roosevelts, then there is little hope left for you. Good luck trying to live a functional life. Last night, the president of the United States became so unglued during his debate with Joe Biden, that it was truly cringe-worthy in a way that is almost impossible to adequately explain. In the life of this country, there will never be a moment as completely weird as the one we are living through at the moment. There will never again be an era as despairing as the one in which we are living through at this time. As the Moody Blues once sang, "Isn't life strange?"

Whatever the outcome of this election, it is inarguable that generations yet-to-be-born will still be living with the fallout from the damage that Donald John Trump has managed to do to the United States of America in so short a time.  That damage was done at the behest of his sponsor, Vladimir Putin.

Trump is now seventy-four years old. He is obese and obviously in bad health. The chances are better than fifty/fifty that he will be dead in less than ten years. Justice depends upon him dying in a federal prison. Justice depends upon his remains being interred - not in some majestic sarcophagus on the grounds of his "presidential library" - but  in a paupers' row on the grounds of that prison. Justice depends upon nothing less.

Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

 Tom Degan

Goshen, NY 

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here is a link to witness (with your very own disbelieving eyes) the obscene travesty that passed as a "debate" between Joe Biden and our esteemed common-pervert-in-chief. If you missed it first time around, I can hardly blame you. It must be seen for no other reason than as a weird and sick lesson in civics. It really must be seen to be believed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX79e-0RiRU

Idiot Nation.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 10/2/20. 2:36 AM:

About an hour ago, someone sent me a message that said Donald and Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus. My first thought was to think that this person has been the victim of a hoax. It was just announced on CNBC that this is, in fact, the case.

"Instant Karma's gonna get you. It's gonna knock you right on the head. Better get yourself together, darlin'...."

-John Lennon

This is not to gloat; I do indeed wish the both of them a safe and speedy recovery. They have, after all, a young son. But, Damn! Ain't this some kind of a plot twist? Or is he merely manufacturing this as a means of avoiding the upcoming debate? By this point, anything is possible.

If this breaking news is true, and it finally gets his Imbecilic followers to take the precautions they have thus far been ignoring, then it will have been worth it. See? There are some silver linings!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

 


I was almost tempted to relay my thoughts uncensored on this fine Autumn morn, but I figured it would not at all be in my best interests at this time to have my intentions misconstrued by the Secret Service. Better to leave some things unsaid if you know what I mean.

In his answer to a question in the White House press room last week as to whether or not he would leave the office of the presidency if Joe Biden were elected by the voters on November the third, Donald Trump responded by saying “We’ll have to see”. Clearly this irresponsible jackass does not understand the Constitution, which says that the winner of the election automatically assumes the office at exactly 12 Noon on inauguration Day. For most of our history, that day fell on March the fourth. Since 1937, it has fallen on the twentieth of January - which is a jolly good thing, too. Can you imagine another one month and twelve additional days of this grotesque fool running the ship of state? No, me neither.

As predicted on this site for almost a year, the last three months of this disgusting administration will prove to be the worst constitutional nightmare in over a century-and-a-half. Come hell or High Noon, Donald Trump is determined to overthrow the United States government via means of a coup d'état that he honestly believes is going to be successful. As dumb as the man obviously is, he could not possibly be stupid enough not to know that any coup is only possible with the assistance of a corrupt and compliant military. Does he honestly believe that the joint chiefs of staff at the Pentagon would possibly go in this direction? He probably does. This is going to get interesting.

The Donald is in the process of what might only be described as a "self crucifixion". This is a man so desperate to expurgate from public knowledge the scope of his crimes that he would go to such insane lengths to cover them up. The key word in that last sentence is "insane". This is a man who is playing with a deck of only four cards - all of them being jokers. Between now and January 20 will be the most dangerous period for the United States in the life on any one of you reading this.

I've lived through some extraordinary times in my life but - I've gotta tell you - this one is the icing on the cake, folks!

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg could not have come at a less fortuitous time in the American saga. Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's nominee to replace her, is a far-right zealot of any thinking person's worst nightmare. If she is approved by the senate (and I suspect that there is a slender chance that she might not be; wishful thinking, I know) she could possibly be on that bench forty years from today. Trump is planning on challenging Biden's victory with the Supreme Court, the lame argument being that all of those mail-in ballots were fraudulent. Would Barrett, Alito, Kavanagh, Gorsuch and Uncle Thomas dare to pervert that highest bench in the land by subverting the will of the American people? As I said before, this is going to get interesting.

All of this is a moot point. Joe Biden will be raising his right hand to take the presidential oath of office at 12 o'clock noon on January 20, 2021. Trump will no doubt be barricaded deep in the basement of the executive mansion at that hour. The moment Joe says, "So help me, God", he should turn to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and order him to get Trump - and everyone associated with his administration out of the building. The chairman, understanding fully well who is the boss, will comply.

Of this I have no doubt.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
AFTERTHOUGHT:
 
Blooger.com has forced all of their customers to switch to a new posting format that is insanely difficult to use. The above piece, which should have taken me less than an hour to write, took over two hours. I have been trying to get in touch with someone there to register my profound anger at being forced to use this new and perfectly awful format, but to no avail. Please, if any of you have the least bit of pull with the people who run this organization, show them this posting.

 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsberg


This has not been a good time for progressive icons. In the space of eleven months we’ve lost Elijah Cummings, John Lewis and - only yesterday - Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She's gone, and I’m afraid she won't be coming back. With her vote being the only solid liberal one on that court, her loss is irreparable. I cannot believe that our luck has gotten this bad.  

This posting has to be aborted. The people who run Blogger.com have developed a new posting format that is next-to-impossible to use. Why on earth would they switch to this new and terrible format when their old one was so easy to use? I've cracked the code. When I went to their "Help" forum and tried to send them a message with my complaint. I was switched to a page that informed me that I could talk to a tech representative for five dollars. Obviously they are being bombarded with complaints at this time. I refuse to take the bait.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY 

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Donald Trump Wants You Dead


I'll be as brief and as subtle as is possible under these unprecedented and  trying circumstances....

Donald Trump wants you dead.

The president of the United States, in spite of the warnings of every health official in the country, in spite of every piece of scientific evidence offered thus far, wants a lot of us to die. There is no other explanation. Why - ON EARTH - would he continue to hold these mass rallies? Why would he continue to gather as many people as he can into these closed quarters? What the hell is going on here?

When asked by a local Nevada reporter if he was worried about spreading the coronavirus by holding a rally in such closed quarters, he replied that he was not worried at all due to the fact that he was a safe distance from the audience. In other words, FUCK EVERYBODY ELSE, I'LL BE FINE. This is the man that the American electorate foolishly chose as commander-in-chief four years ago. We are now the laughingstock of the planet earth. It will take at least a generation before we have anything near the respect we had even under the administration of George W. Bush. This is completely embarrassing.
 
We need to go in this unpleasant direction, folks. The president of the United States wants you dead. He wants me dead - and I am almost certain that he has never even read this blog. Why do so many of the  American people refuse to understand this? What has become of a nation who were at one time the envy of the entire world? The fact that his approval ratings still stand between thirty-five and forty percent (depending upon the day) is embarrassing and appalling.

What he is trying to do is spread the COVID-19 virus as far and as wide as he possibly can. When the proverbial substance hits the fan in November, he'll use the death and chaos as an excuse to shut the United States down - and cancel the national election. He won't be successful in his efforts but he is going to give it the old college try. Trump has always believed that he is above the law. 

MY ADVICE TO THE BIDEN PRESIDENCY:

Trump will probably refuse to remove himself from the Executive Mansion on Inauguration Day. At 12:01, if he has not vacated the residence, inform him that he has exactly twenty-nine minutes to get the hell out of the place. If, by that time, he is still there, send the army in. That's just a friendly suggestion. Pay it no mind.

Before June, it was my belief that Donald Trump was - at best - guilty of mass-criminally-negligent-homicide. I have since revised my opinion. He's guilty of mass murder. The irony is that the overwhelming majority of the nearly two-hundred-thousand dead were his supporters. Ain't that something?

In September of 2016, Michael Moore - the most prescient of men - predicted that Trump would be elected. He also predicted that many innocent Americans would die as a result of his election. We need to pay more attention to this guy. Seriously.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

I originally posted this piece yesterday, the fifteenth of September. I was twelve-and-a-half sheets to the wind when I wrote it. It needed to be re-edited ever so slightly. The original comments - pro and con - were restored intact. Shit happens.

Friday, September 11, 2020

CULT 45

Mother of Jesus, pray for us....
 
Here is my ultimate constitutional crisis/nightmare:
 
It is one minute before 12 Noon on January 20, 2021, three months after Joe Biden wins the election of 2020. Donald Trump has surrounded the nation's capital with several hundred of his "special forces" in order to keep the building from being used for "unauthorized ceremonies". Simultaneously, he and Joe Biden are taking the oath of office - Biden at St. Joseph Cemetery in Greenville Delaware, at the grave of his son, Beau; Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House. The nation braces itself for the trillion dollar shit-hammer that is about to hit the fan....
 
Don't we live in interesting times?
 
As deliciously weird as the times in which we are living are, they're still quite capable of getting even weirder. Fasten your seatbelts, campers! What a long, strange trip this is gonna be.
 
Woodward and Birdbrain
You've really got to hand it to Donald Trump. At the moment you believe the decrepit old psychopath had reached the depth of depravity and incompetence, the dude lowers the bottom of the barrel even further. The latest proof was offered to us the other day by the previews of the new book by Bob Woodward called "Rage". The last book Woodward wrote regarding the Trump Mob was so unflattering to The Donald that he insisted on talking to the writer the next time he came a'knocking. He figured he could charm the guy into writing a tome that would portray them in a more positive light. Can you imagine that? He really believed that he would be able to hoodwink Bob Woodward - of all people.

It has been revealed to us through the magic of recorded sound that Donald Trump has been lying to us throughout this pandemic. He knew from the beginning the severity of the COVID-19 virus and still insisted on downplaying its danger. In the meantime he has held numerous rallies and has continued to expose his clueless cult members to infection. Two weeks after the rally he held in Tulsa, Oklahoma there was an huge outbreak in that city. One of the members of that crowd was former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain - who subsequently died. One can only guess the number of that gathering who are now dead for no other reason than that they were dumb enough to risk their lives to praise Donald Trump. People sure are strange, aren't they?

And the hideous twit held another rally yesterday, this time in Michigan. Again, most of the nitwits in attendance were unmasked. Again, some will die. Expect the number of infections in that state to go through the roof in about two weeks. Why would the president of the United States behave so recklessly during the worst pandemic in over a century? He wants the country to be riddled with as much chaos and fear  as possible come November the third. That's his motive - count on it. 

It's a weird and wonderful thing to behold these right wing politicians trying to dodge commenting on this scandal. When asked about it, John Kennedy of Louisiana said that he didn't believe in "Got'cha books". When told that it was all on tape he repeated that he didn't believe in "Got'cha books". Everyone else has been telling reporters that they haven't read the reports. It's the biggest scandal in U.S. presidential history and none of these assholes have had the time to read about it. Geniuses.

This isn't the last of it. When the dust is finally settled and we're able to have an unobstructed view of the crimes that have been committed against this doomed nation by this president and his enablers, the damage will be nearly insurmountable.

This is as big and as bad as it's ever gotten before. Trump is actively trying to steal the November election by any and all means possible. The next four months are going to be more violent than at any point since the war between the states over  century and a half ago. Donald Trump will be the instigator of that violence. Remember that since George W. Bush stupidly lifted Bill Clinton's ban on assault weapons nearly twenty years ago, a whole lot of not-too-bright Americans have been arming themselves with these dangerous guns. If Trump is defeated on November 3, expect many of these blithering nincompoops to take to the streets.

Oh, yeah, this is going to end badly.
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Revolution of the Heart,
The Dorothy Day Story

Dorothy Day is the most important - albeit unheralded - American of the twentieth century. She personifies what the Catholic Church should be, but, sadly, is not.

https://www.kcet.org/shows/revolution-of-the-heart-the-dorothy-day-story/episodes/revolution-of-the-heart-the-dorothy-day

Dorothy Day was the real deal.

SUGGESTED READING:

Here Is a link to a piece on this site that I wrote fourteen years ago about this remarkable and good woman.

Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker:

https://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2006/07/dorothy-day-and-catholic-w_115254184393075116.html

I love her more than words can say.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Suckers and Losers

"
My Uncle Ed Degan Attending an Antifa Rally in France
Photograph by Brother Jeff Degan
 
 "My brother was captured in Laos in September of 1974 and executed by the North Vietnamese on December 14, 1974.
 
FUCK YOU, DONALD TRUMP."
 
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean 

Above is the grave of my uncle, Edward J. Degan, Jr. at a military cemetery in France. He was killed in the Battle of the Bulge late in the evening of December 15, 1944. He was literally cut in half by a nazi tank shell. It is believed that he was the first soldier to fall in that conflict. He was five days shy of his 24th birthday when he died. This December 20 is the centennial of his birth.
 
The dude was such a loser.

Robert Kelly 1981-2010
The entire nation is reeling over the article by Jeffrey Goldman that appeared the other day in The Atlantic. According to Goldman's reporting, the president of the United States has the habit of referring to Americans who have volunteered for the military as "suckers". Those who have given their lives he refers to as "losers". At one point, he toured Arlington Cemetery with his then chief-of-staff, John Kelly. Over the grave of Kelly's son, Robert Michael, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, age twenty-nine, Trump asked him perplexed, "What was in it for him"? He could not even grasp the concept of one making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. When asked to reply to the story, John Kelly politely declined. Goldman is definitely onto something.


Clement Fluck 1922-1944
Let's take another look at some of Donald Trump's other "losers", shall we?

To the left is Clement Fluck. He was part of Patton's Second Armored Division. Originally trained for the Cavalry, Clement lost his life on August 2, 1944 less than one month after his twenty-second birthday. According to his niece, Mary Fluck, shortly before he was killed, his father, Raymond, died suddenly of a massive heart attack while getting off his night shift job as a taxi driver. When she lost Clement shortly thereafter, his mother Myrtle's world fell apart. He died fighting Adolf Hitler's nazi Germany, the most ideologically sick and racist regime in the history of the troubled human race. No wonder Trump has so much contempt for men like Clement Fluck. Look at that photo to the left. Some loser.
 

Joshua Corral
1991-2011
Here is Joshua "Chachi" Corral. He was blown up by a bomb in Afghanistan on November 18, 2011. He hadn't even reached his nineteenth birthday yet. According to the Los Angeles Times:

"Just after graduating from San Ramon Valley High School, Joshua D. Corral joined the Marine Corps, leaving behind his close-knit Bay Area hometown of Danville [California]. A little more than a year later, he was brought back home to a hero's welcome, with more than 3,000 of his neighbors somberly saluting as a motorcade bearing his casket proceeded  down the flag-draped streets."
 
He died in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Loser indeed.

And while we're on the subject of losers, let's take a merry old stroll through the vineyards of history:


Joe Kennedy 1915-1944
 Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was the son of one of the richest men in America. He enlisted into the military in 1942 and became a fighter pilot. If Joe had bone spurs, he kept it from the recruiter. On August 12, 1944 he volunteered for an extremely hazardous mission. He was to guide a plane that was filled with explosives to an enemy target and parachute out of it. The plane would be operated remotely from there on. He never made it. Early into the flight it exploded with such force, that Joe's body was never recovered. He was twenty-nine. At war's end, he was set on a career in politics. That torch would be passed to his younger brother, Jack. We all know the rest of the story. Joe Kennedy was an imperfect man, but he was no loser.


Quentin Roosevelt
1897-1918
The youngest son of Theodore Roosevelt, Quentin enlisted at the start of America's involvement in the First World War. A fighter pilot, he was shot down over German territory on July 14, 1918. He was twenty. What a loser!

Those were just a few examples of Donald Trump's "losers". How a man of such diseased character and intellect could possibly be calling the White House "home" will be one of the puzzles that will haunt the American imagination for generations.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Here is a link to the Article by Jeffrey Goldman of the Atlantic that has so outraged all people with the IQ higher than a rancid bag of moldy doorknobs:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&fbclid=IwAR0EvELB8HqsGl_eHjgzHzRnQaLunM1ZlXLTUpjApCvZbAn7L1cbp7pXxPc

Happy reading, campers!