Monday, September 23, 2019

Unprecedented Damage



In the hours and days following the catastrophic election of 2016, I was telling anyone and everyone with the patience to listen:
 
"Folks, this is going to end very, very badly."
 
In hindsight that statement has turned out to be the understatement of my entire life.
 
As it turns out, the damage that is being done to this once-great nation by this disgusting and vile administration will be present for the rest of the lives of every man, woman, boy and girl who might happen to be reading this. One hundred years from today, the president of the United States - who probably won't be born until at least the year 2069 - will still be dealing on a daily basis with the damage that Donald J. Trump and his accomplices did to the United States of America so many generations before.

 Zelensky
Now we are learning that The Donald attempted to extort the leader of the Ukraine by holding back billions in aid by  forcing them to lunch an investigation into the business and financial dealings of Hunter Biden, the apparently dug-addled son of the former vice-president. He apparently had eight different conversations on the telephone with the leader of that country, Volodymyr Zelensky. Team Trump is dismissing these allegations by saying it's just another left-wing conspiracy. This story is being simultaneously reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. American Newspapers are in a healthy and vigorous completion with one another. They don't have much of a history of comparing notes our of "professional courtesy". And besides, no one is going to convince me that The Journal is a hotbed of radical lefties. This is a story that is exploding as I write these words.

We now know that Trump is perfectly willing to persecute is political enemies to suit his perverted political whims. This is nothing new; Dick Nixon did that with gay abandon back in his day. What sets Donald Trump apart from The Trickster is that Nixon only went after the ant-establishment types - like Dick Gregory and John Lennon. Trump tends to go after previously respected members of the FBI and the CIA, trying to turn the American people against the institutions that no president has ever dared to go after before. This reminds me of The Night of The Long Knives in 1934, when Adolf Hitler an attack against  the leaders of the Brown Shirts, the very bastards responsible for the Nazis' rise to power. They were executed because of der furor's growing paranoia that any one of them might have their eyes on his position of power. If you don't think that this could happen in America, then, you're not paying attention. Go back to sleep.

I would like to write more about this but, to be frank with you, I'm drunk at the moment and need to go back to bed. The whole affair is too depressing to even contemplate. As disastrous as George W. Bush was for the USA, I never doubted for a micro-second that we would survive him. Now I'm not so sure.

Ain't these extraordinary times?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Orson Welles
by Barbara Leaming

I read this extraordinary biography about thirty-five years ago. I just picked it off of the shelf and read it again. It is every bit as good as I remember it being. Orson was as great as they possibly come. No matter how further he recedes into the midst of history, his accomplishments cannot be challenged or denied.

I really wish he could have lived forever.
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Biden on America's Lingering Cancer

 
 
Joe Biden's speech in Birmingham, Alabama two days ago has got me to thinking about a few things.
 
I think, therefore I rant....
 
His appearance in that historically tainted city was perfect. Birmingham was the scene of the most appalling atrocity of the entire civil rights era, an event that - fifty-six years ago this week - still stuns the senses of anyone with a pulse.
 
On September 15, 1963m a Baptist church in Birmingham was bombed by a group of racist bastards who actually believed they were performing some kind of heroic deed. Four little girls were blown to smithereens by these "heroes". Sadly, their names have been forgotten over the course of fifty years. Their martyrdom was more responsible than anything for the passage the following June of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Let us bow our heads, tip our hats and raise our glasses in loving memory of these four little gals. It may be a bit of a stretch to attempt all three of these things simultaneously, but what the heck, let's at least give it the old college try, ay?
`
The Littlest Martyrs
Addie Mae Collins (age 14)
Denise McNair (age 11)
Carole Robertson (age 14)
Cynthia Wesley (age 14) 

At the time, only one of the four people responsible for this atrocity was brought to justice. He was fined $100 and received a six month sentence for the possession of dynamite - I'm not kidding. In 1977 he would be retried and sent to prison where he died. Two others  were eventually put on trial in 2000 and convicted of murder. Only one of the four escaped justice by conveniently dying. C'est la vie. None of their names are worthy of mention. 

Oh, I wish I was in Dixie
Oy vey! Oy vey!

Biden's very admirable attempt to lance the boil that has infected the USA for generations was something that was needed and long-overdue, particularly in the age of Donald Trump. I have always believed that one's knowledge of American history is lacking if one is unaware of the history of the black experience. If you don't understand the black struggle, you don't understand American history

Me back in the day
On September 15, 1963, I was about a week into Kindergarten. The most traumatic event of that week was my mother insisting that I wear short pants to Mrs. Peavey's class one day. I would not start paying attention to the news for another five years. Although my parents would keep me appraised of momentous events that were happening within the sphere of my consciousness (John Glenn's orbiting of the earth, for example) they mercifully kept this one from me. They probably figured that I would be too terrified to attend church otherwise. I would not become aware of the littlest martyrs of the civil rights movement for another few years.

I have not come out in favor of any Democratic candidate thus far, and I won't until the day after the convention. All I can say is that the Democrats are insane to stay away from the polls on Election Day for no-other-reason that a blind hissy fit regarding who the nominee might turn out to be. I was not crazy about Hillary Clinton in 2016 - but I swallowed my pride and voted for her. We need to vote for whomever the nominee of that party might be. The alternatives are too horrible to even think about. Seriously.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

A Good Life
by Ben Bradlee

This week I re-read this excellent memoir by the legendary editor of the Washington Post. It doesn't get any better than Benji. It really doesn't.




Monday, September 09, 2019

Come, Mr. Taliban....


 
It looked so easy from afar. Donald Trump moved into the executive mansion nearly thirty-two months ago seriously believing that he could effortlessly tackle the toughest job in the world; the spoils on victory would be his for the taking. He must realize today, deep down inside his psyche, what a complete mess he has made of things. Calling his latest blunder a "debacle" is being too kind. Allegedly inviting the Taliban to Camp David for peace negotiations, and then announcing that the offer had been withdrawn before anyone understood that it had been made in the first place....This is statecraft for crazy people. Even John Bolton and Mike Pence thought that concessions to the  very people who attacked the United States eighteen years ago on Wednesday was a spectacularly stupid idea. When the day comes that Bolton and Pence are the most reasonable people in the room, look out your window for flying pigs. Can you even imagine the massive shit-fit the loony right wing in this doomed country would have had if Barack Obama had attempted anything as ludicrous as that? It gives me a serious case of the giggles just thinking about it.

And yet in spite of everything, support for this sociopathic knucklehead continues to dwell at somewhere between thirty-five and forty percent. What does that tell you about us? Two days ago an acquaintance of mine, a forty-three year old woman I've known for many years, said to me in my living room, "Donald Trump is the best president we've ever had. I like him because he speaks his mind". Her willful ignorance alarmed and angered me. It took every bit of self-restraint I could possibly muster to hold my tongue. No amount of persuasion could make her understand that perhaps sending this guy to the White House was not a very good idea. This woman is no backwoods hick from rural Mississippi, this is a supposedly mature person living in New York's Hudson Valley. The conversation so depressed me that after she left, I went back to bed. There are some days when consciousness is not a viable option. I'm serious.

This is going to end badly, but I repeat myself.

There are some talking heads who are reasonably speculating that The Donald called off the whole thing for no other reason than politics. He might have been advised that talks with the Taliban will surely fail, and that waiting until the eve of the 2020 election would be the better part of expediency. Whatever the case, he has surely made a dangerous situation in Afghanistan more perilous for the men and women who are stuck there wearing American military uniforms. It's a cinch that the longest war in American history won't be ending any time soon, and that the bloodshed will continue without pause.

Just when you thought that this disgusting administration could not possibly outdo itself in sheer incompetence, they lower the bar yet again. I want to say that the only good thing that will come of the Trump era will be the eternal eradication of conservatism in America, but that would be wishful thinking on my part. From where I sit on September 9, 2019, I give Trump's chances at re-election next year at about fifty-fifty. In addition to consciousness, optimism is also not much of an option during these dark days in the history of Idiot Nation. Think of what might have been, what we could have been. Look at what we have become.

Fuck it, I'm going back to bed.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Democracy is coming to the USA
by Leonard Cohen
Get the fuck out of the way.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Not Too Sharpie


The title of this piece might very well have been "The President is Mentally Ill Part Two", but I chose to leave well enough alone. You get the idea any way. After another week of bizarre behavior from the commander-in chief, we find ourselves, not at a crossroads (we passed that point nearly three years ago), but at what should be the proverbial end of the line. This administration has over sixteen months until it is supposed to end, and I don't see how it will possibly endure for that length of time. I realize that it is unsettling to picture an extremist dunce like Mike Pence with his finger on the nuclear codes, but Donald Trump is another thing all together. The Donald is what happens when a political party spends over half-a-century panning to a demographic that had previously been ignored by politicians in this country: the clinically insane.
`
You all know the story by now: Trump predicted offhandedly that Hurricane Dorian was going to hit Alabama. When it was pointed out to him that the storm would not move that far inland, he might have just admitted an honest error and let the matter pass. No one would have given it a second thought, all would have been forgotten, and we might have all moved on from there.
`
As John Belushi might have said back in his day,  "BUT NOOOOOOOO!!!!"
`
Remember, this is Donald Trump we're talkin' about here. He has spent the past few days trying to prove that his weather forecast was correct, and that the FAKE NEWS MEDIA has it all wrong and is only attempting to discredit him. He then arranged what has to be the stupidest photo-op that it has been my joy to witness since the days of Dubya. He dragged out a chart that was apparently created by a government weather bureau which charted the hurricane's path. He (or one of his yes-men) then used a Sharpie to extend the course of destruction into Alabama, just above the Florida panhandle. it was such an amateurish attempt at deception that one imagines that his loved-ones (and he does have a few I'm told) are weeping openly at this hour at the man's complete pathos.

This is not the way leaders of the free world are supposed to act. To describe the president's behavior as inappropriate since the day he took office nearly three year ago is an understatement at best. I'll say it again: We should not wait until January 20, 2021. He should be legally removed from office as soon as humanly possible.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTING VIEWING:

The TOO FREAKIN' GOOD TO BE TRUE DEPARTMENT
`
When I was a kid, my late mother's favorite recording artist was a choral group called the Ray Conniff Singers. They're remembered today for taking the pop/rock standards of the time and watering them down to make the music palatable to the ears of the parents of the baby boomers. One would never have expected Ray to make counter culture history - and he never did. But one night, one of the women in his choir most certainly did. Read on....
`
Carole Ferace
January 28, 1972: At a bland event inside the bland Nixon White House, the bland president was honoring the founder of the very bland Readers Digest. The entertainment on this exceedingly bland evening was the fabulously bland Ray Conniff and his chorus of exquisitely bland singers. One of them, a young woman named Carole Ferace, had a message for the president on the nasty subject of the war in Vietnam, which (you'll be kind enough to recall) was raging out of control at that moment in history. She publicly shamed The Trickster for calling himself "a Christian" while allowing the American-funded carnage to continue. As you might imagine, this didn't go over too well with the seriously bland Nixon crowd. Also in the audience on this preposterously bland evening was the hysterically bland Bob Hope and the righteously bland Billy Graham. Apparently neither man was very amused by Ms. Ferace's anything-but-bland remarks. She was thrown out of the festivities.
`
You've got to see this to believe it. Here's a link to watch the incident on YouTube:
`
https://youtu.be/98nhA0JlXII

She showed extraordinary courage. Here's to you, Ms. Ferace!

SUGESSTED READING:

A Good Life
by Ben Bradlee

The legendary editor of the Washington Post was recently depicted by Tom Hanks in the film, The Post. I read his memoirs when they came out over twenty years ago. I'm in the process of reading them again. Bradlee was truly one of the most interesting characters in American journalistic history. A good life indeed. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

THE PRESIDENT IS MENTALLY ILL

 
 
"I am the chosen one."
 
Donald Trump
 
Back in the late winter of this year - or thereabouts - I wrote a piece on this site suggesting that we would have no other choice than to ride out the administration of Donald J. Trump until its merciful end on January 20, 2001. My reasoning at the time was simply that Mike Pence was too much of a right wing extremist to trust with the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. My theory was that Pence was chosen by Trump as impeachment insurance. as was the case forty-six years ago with Spiro Agnew, no one with a smidgeon of sanity would have dared call for Dick Nixon being forced out of office with a wing-nut like Agnew hovering above like  demented vulture. When Spiro was forced to resign in October of 1973 for his longtime involvement in a kickback scheme as Governor of Maryland, Tricky Dick's impeachment became only a matter of time. He was sent packing ten months later.
 
I've since changed my mind as far as the topic of a possible "President Pence" is concerned. The president of the United States of America - the man with his hands near the nuclear codes - is bat-shit crazy.

Other than the quote above, I won't rattle off the litany of examples from the past week alone, The fact that you even bother to read this site at all means that you're probably paying attention to current events so I don't need to remind you of them. I also don't have to remind you that a crazy person with the kind of power that Trump possesses does not bode well for the United States - or the world for that matter. And the people in the Senate and the House (all Republicans) who have been enabling this maniac by doing his bidding? I have a funny feeling that more-than-a-few of them will be mapping out new careers after Election Day 2020. Mitch McConnell comes immediately to mind. It's obvious to me that The gentleman from Kentucky has not an ounce of historical perspective - or does he? Perhaps poor old Mitch is loosing hours of sleep every night knowing how harshly posterity will judge his time on earth. The old bugger has been looking a tad exhausted lately so perhaps I'm onto something. I have a feeling (okay, call it a burning hope) that Mitch McConnell is going to die in prison. You may say I'm a dreamer.

The insanity of Donald Trump is not something that can be denied any longer. If you're a registered Republican you should be twice as alarmed as I am. If enough GOP politicians finally throw up their hands and say "Enough is enough! Country before party!" then I believe that that disgusting party can be saved. Otherwise they will soon disappear into the shit pile of history. Don't forget that nearly all of the heroes of the Watergate scandal were Republicans. So far, there are no GOP heroes in the age of Donald Trump - not one.

They might want to think this through. Just a thought.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Pete Degan, 1978
AFTERTHOUGHT:

Happy birthday to brother Pete Degan who was born sixty years ago today at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Talk about a milestone!

AFTERTHOUGHT II: Forgive the lack of posts lately, folks. August was just one of those months! Perhaps it was the shock of turning sixty-one!


Saturday, August 17, 2019

POST #864: Random Observations

At the FDR Home, Hyde Park, NY
`
The following are a set of disconnected thoughts, in no particular order of importance, regarding the train-wreck that used to be the United States of America.
`
1. Greenand:
`
Apparently, one of his aides jocularly suggested to the president of the United States that he purchase the island nation of Greenland. Apparently he took the aid seriously. When word got out to the government of that beautiful country of the president's intentions, they let it be known that Greenland is not for sale. Anyone not seriously alarmed by the fact that this fucking maniac has access to the nuclear codes ought to get seriously alarmed really fast.

2. Peter Fonda 1940-2019:

The actor and director of Easy Rider passed away yesterday after a long illness. He was seventy-nine. It was a good life, well lived. Now he knows what it's like to be dead. Beatle scholars will understand what I'm talking about. 

3. Jeffrey Epstein:

I'm not going to join in with the howl of the conspiracy theorists - right and left. The fact is, I don't know in what exact manner Jeffrey Epstein died. But his not-quite unexpected demise leaves more-than-a-few questions that have to be answered:

A: After attempting to take his own life less than two weeks before, why the heck was he taken off suicide watch?

B: He didn't fall from the gallows, he died in a small prison cell. Why were so many bones broken in his neck?

C. Why were the video monitors pointed at his cell not operational? At the very least, somebody screwed up monumentally. After all, this was the most high-profile prisoner in the entire system. Something's not right. We'll leave it as that.

4. Woodstock Notion

JIMI!
This weekend is the fiftieth anniversary of the three days of love, peace and music that many believed would change the world. It didn't, but at least they gave it the old college try.

I've spent the time listening to my copy of the soundtrack LP - on vinyl, of course. Somehow, playing a CD of the event just wouldn't seem right. The event took place less than forty miles from where I now sit. Because of this, Woodstock has a special place in the hearts of the folks in these here parts. At the bottom of this little tirade of mine, I'll provide a link to a piece I wrote ten years ago at the time of the fortieth anniversary. Wasn't that a time?

5. Where to Go from Here:

We have another seventeen months and three days to wait out until the demise of the worst administration in presidential history. Even James Buchanan's disastrous four years will pale when placed in comparison of the sick and wretched era of Donald J. Trump. We have no other choice than to ride it out. Be patient - but vigilant.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Woodstock Revisited
from The Rant, 8/13/09

https://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2009/08/woodstock-revisted.html

For all the tumult of the time, America was just a bit sweeter in that long ago summer of 1969. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Moscow Mitch: Vladimer's Bitch


QUESTION:
Is there a slimier bag of dirt infesting the halls of Congress than Mitch McConnell?
`
Asking for a friend.

A naughty title to this piece, I concede; in this age of calumny I am as guilty as anyone, I suppose. God forgive me.
`
Loretta and Walter Clements
`
I just cannot understand the voters in the state of Kentucky. This is kind of a personal thing for me for the simple reason that generations of my maternal forbears all hail from the Bluegrass state. My grandfather, Walter Clements, was a native of Louisville. He and my grandmother, the former Loretta Doran, today sleep side by side in a little Catholic cemetery not far from the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. My aunt Marietta Barris also rests in the same plot. Although I haven't traveled there in a fair number of years, there is a soft spot in my heart for that beautiful state.
`
That being said, the question is literally screaming to be asked: What the hell is the matter with those silly Kentuckians? How is it that a people, so seemingly sensible and decent-minded on the surface, are able to send a corrupt scoundrel like Mitch McConnell to Washington as their representative - for decades now? Has their water been tainted with some weird chemical cooked up in a laboratory in the basement of Tucker Carlson's home? What gives?
`
Six years ago, Mitch's continued insistence on pandering to the demands of the National Rifle Association led me down a very dark corridor of violent fantasy:
`
Since extreme violence seems to be the order of the day, might I share with you this insatiable little fantasy of mine? It involves our boy Mitch. You see, I have this dream of beating the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky to a fucking, bleeding pulp. Confronting him in a dark alley somewhere in the District of You-Know-Where, I can visualize pounding his skull to the very edge of existence. Once he got the message, I might then be seriously tempted to set the decrepit old son-of-a-bitch on fire - just to keep things interesting, you understand. But that kind of treatment would be much too harsh and brutal - even for the likes of Mitch McConnell. Just stuff the bruised and bloodied little bastard into a dumpster behind some third-rate pizzeria on K Street, where he can think things over while he recuperates.

From The Rant, 4/9/13
`
More calumny, I know, and again, I apologize. At least I concluded that little tirade by saying that I didn't mean it, and that we all should follow the teachings of the Prince of Peace. Being so close to Easter, I thought it the right thing to do. But if the good people of the great state of Kentucky are unable to comprehend the complete and total evil that is their senior senator, I'm afraid there's no helping them. Three years ago, America's electoral process was subverted by a hostile foreign power. One would think that any senator who professes to love America as much as Mitch says he does would want to see that something so atrocious never happens again. Not Mitch! He knows the election was corrupted three years ago, and he's dead set on it's being corrupted again in 2020. Three years ago, he tried to move heaven and earth to make sure that the American people were kept in the dark about Russian interference in our elections, and he nearly succeeded. Thank goodness for Fake News.
`
Mitch McConnell is closer to being a Mafia Don then to being a statesman. If this is what the majority of the people of Kentucky consider to be adequate representation, God help them all. He's a walking, talking atrocity.
`
It is my belief that one day Mitch will finally be exposed and punished severely for his crimes against the people of the United States, but waiting for that day is damned-near excruciating.

Mitch McConnell is an example of what happens when a country's political dialogue is dumbed-down to the point of insanity. He is what the people of the state of Kentucky - and We the People as a whole - precisely deserve. Enjoy your stay in Idiot Nation. Don't drink the water.
`
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
`
SUGGESTED READING:
`
Here are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's take on the disgusting phenomenon of Mitch McConnell on a recent installment of CBS's Late Show:
`
It's a keeper!

Jon and Mitch in happier days



Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bad and Getting Worse



Uncle Bill Clements
The first time I ever lived away from home was in 1963 when I found myself living with my uncle, Bill Clements, and his family in Dayton, Ohio. My mother had become quite ill, and us kids were scattered about with various relatives in the Midwest. Although my memories of the place are vague after the passage of over half a century (I returned there only once) what I've managed to retain are those of a pleasant place brimming with nice folks. You can imagine my dismay when I learned that Dayton was where nine human beings became the victims of America's latest mass murder. This was only a day after twenty-two people were gunned down in cold blood in El Paso, Texas. Again, the politicians are sending out their "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families. Again people are demanding that sensible gun laws be passed in this doomed country. Again, in the weeks and months to come it will be mere business as usual.
 
Something to ponder: Nearly seven years ago, some murderous little geek walked into a classroom in a Connecticut elementary school and murdered twenty little boys and girls and the six women whose job it was to educate and protect them. At the time, the general wisdom was that this would be the tipping point. Surely this unspeakable tragedy would wake the lawmakers up enough to finally put an end to this madness. As I predicted on this site on the day after the carnage at Sandy Hook, not a goddamned thing would change. Not a goddamned thing did:
 
"Rivers of blood. Broken bodies. Broken hearts. This is the new reality. Come to think about it, this reality is not very "new" in the least. In fact, it is now as common  as a full moon in the morning sky. It almost amazes me that most of us still are stunned when an event of this magnitude occurs. It barely fazed me. When the news came over the television yesterday morning I did not so-much-as bat an eye. You see, I long ago adjusted to living in  this America. 'Oh', I said out loud, 'it happened again, huh? And so close to the Christmas season. Ho ho fucking ho.' "

December 15, 2012
 
Moscow Mitch
Mass shooting deaths on this scale have become the new "normal" in America, the price we are forced to pay for (WAIT FOR IT!) our "freedom". This is the way it's going to be from now on, and you had better get used to the body count. As long as so many politicians are resting comfy-cozy in the pockets of the National Rifle Association, this dreadful and appalling situation will continue unchanged. We have been stupidly lulled into believing that we have "representatives" in Washington. We don't. The halls of congress are littered with prostitutes for the plutocracy. Nothing is going  to change - nothing. Don't kid yourself into thinking that the violence will never touch your blissful existence. I will. I have had two cousins - one maternal, one paternal - who were murdered by men who had been stalking them. Brace yourself for the inevitable.

One more quote from the piece I wrote on the morning after the Newtown massacre:

"The NRA types love to jabber away - like diseased little myna birds - about 'freedom'. We need to come to grips with some unpleasant realities. A society that lives in dreaded, mortal terror wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will take place may indeed be many things - no argument there. 'Free' they are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?"

"Happiness is a warm gun." John Lennon said that.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

BREAKING NEWS:

Jeffrey Epstein has committed suicide. A dark twist in a dismal plot.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Merrie Olde England's Mistake



In 2004 on the morning after the reelection of George W. Bush, observers all around the world were completely dumbfounded that the American people could be naïve enough to send the incompetent fool back to the Oval Office for what only promised to be four more, excruciatingly long years. One British newspaper asked the following question of the American voters on it's front page:
 
"How Can 59 Million people Be So Dumb?"
 
How indeed? It was a dandy question any way you look at it. I have the same question this afternoon for the nice folks of the United Kingdom. I understand perfectly well that Boris Johnson is not now prime minister because of any electoral majority; he's there because too many of the English people voted for right wing politicians. They should have known better. Her majesty's subjects have today entered the brother-and-sisterhood of Idiot Nations. God save the freakin' queen, baby!

It would almost seem as if some people across the pond were jealous of us yanks and wanted to create their own version of Donald Trump. Johnson has been described by those whose job it is to observe these things as a belligerent, and unstable braggart. The fact that he also sports an incredibly bizarre hairstyle that he believes makes himself more appealing is also interesting. He is determined to yank Britain out of the European Union despite the fact that doing so would cause that country an economic downturn that might be catastrophic - at least according to the "experts".

The president said that he likes Boris and that, since he is often referred to as "the British Trump", this is proof that he will do a fantastic job as prime minister. Of course he will. Prepare yourselves for further amusement.

Our lives have become a black comedy scripted by Paddy Chayefsky. Isn't this amusing?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Samantha Bee
SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here's a YouTube link to watch Samantha Bee's take on yesterday's Robert Mueller hearings. The woman is a treasure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXf8a5BbP90&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2aVAoRSkvAvjPukHfjFCtOvXXwrSQx1m7g8tSjTeKf6eldnOKMm-gagOc

Conservatives everywhere are beside themselves with joy over Mueller's performance. Apparently they missed the show.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Fifty Years On

 
 
"That's one small step for a man...."
 
Aw, hell! You know the rest of it!
`
Armstrong, Collins and Aldren
Although only ten, I can remember that bedtime had been postponed for the evening; my father was not about to have any of his kids miss this milestone event - the most historical moment of the millennium. I can vividly recall looking out the window at the moon, which was a mere crescent in the sky, while simultaneously listening to the transmissions of two human voices that were being relayed from the Sea of Tranquility. The wonder of the entire event was almost too much to comprehend. We all waited, late into the night, for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren to step foot on the surface of the moon. The summer of 1969 was an incredible time to live.

Walter Cronkite once remarked that, five-hundred years into the future, all of the momentous events of the momentous twentieth century will be viewed by historians as mere footnotes to the moon landing  of July 20, 1969, fifty years ago tonight. He probably wasn't too far off the mark. We are as removed from that moment as those who witnessed it were removed from the year 1919. The fact that a half century has gone by between that moment and this defies belief. As divided as America was at that time, the entire country - indeed the entire planet - came together united. It was a very different world.

Despite the volatile times, those were wonderful days to be an American. A very different world indeed.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here's a link to watch CBS News coverage of that historic moment. The anchor is, of course, Cronkite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYnF31el-ik

Wasn't that a time?