Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wake up, America!

My brother, Jeff Degan, is positively un-American. He lives in Frankfurt, Germany. He married a French woman. Need I say more?
Early this morning I received an e-mail from the little commie bastard, with the message that that he was sending me a You Tube video link to "Dennis the Menace at the convention". He was referring to an address to the delegates late yesterday afternoon by the one and only, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, a man whom - in a perfect world - would today be the Democratic nominee. Although I was home at the time, I missed this event because I was watching a film I have seen over a hundred times before and will probably see over a hundred times again; a Charlie Chaplin two-reeler from 1916 called, One A.M. Ninety-two years later and it's still a scream.
Kucinich was imploring the country to wake up:
Up with health care!
Up with education for all!
Up with home ownership!
Up with guaranteed retirement benefits!
Up with peace!
Up with prosperity!
Up with the Democratic party!
Up with Obama-Biden!
Wake up, America!
Wake up, America!
Wake up, America!
I half expected him to start singing:
Up, up with people!
You meet 'em where ever you go!
Up, up with people!
They're the best kind of folks to know!
"Up With People". Remember them? They were Richard Nixon's favorite rock group. That should give you somewhat of an idea how perfectly lame they were. My father once dragged me to one of their concerts at the local high school. For thirty-something years I've been trying to get that awful song out of my head but, try as I might, I just can't seem to do it.
All kidding aside, though, Kucinich delivered a fine speech. It was yet another reminder why he is a flower among the political weeds. His campaign was doomed from the start for no other reason than the fact that he just isn't telegenic. Had Abraham Lincoln today sought the nomination from any party but the Greens, it isn't much of a stretch to conclude that he would not have won a single primary. When people listen to Dennis on the radio they're mesmerized. But for reasons I cannot for the life of me figure out, when they see him speak, they tune him out. In the days before TV he would have been a political superstar. It only proves beyond a doubt that for each step forward we take technologically, we take two steps backwards intellectually.
A tip of the hat to my darling nemesis, Hillary Clinton. During her keynote address to the convention, she seemed to make a sincere effort to heal the wounds that the Democrats sustained during the most brutally fought primaries in forty years. Her behavior during the next two months will prove whether or not she is really being a team player. For the time being, at least, I'm going to give the old gal the benefit of the doubt.
My very vocal disdain toward her candidacy from the beginning seemed to many to be just a case of good, old fashioned sexism on my part. Please understand the reason I was against the very idea of a second Clinton administration. It had not a thing to do with the fact that she is a woman. As I have said on these very pages, had the candidate been Eleanor Holmes Norton or Claire McCaskill, I would have been working overtime for either of their campaigns - the hell with Barack Obama!
My problem with Senator Clinton's candidacy was her October 2002 vote to give George W. Bush the authority to invade the (like it or not) sovereign nation of Iraq. It was the most important vote she will ever make in her life, a virtual political no-brainer - and she blew it. The fact is, she doesn't possess the judgement to be president. She now has the opportunity to redeem herself in the eyes of many by using her considerable influence to ensure that Barack Obama is inaugurated on January 20, 2009 as the forty-fourth president of the United States. Last night she told the cheering convention, "No way. No how. No McCain". Good for her. Her husband is scheduled to speak this evening.
Now you just behave yourself, Bubbah, and don't you be causin' no trouble t'night, boy! Ya' hear?
But the highlight of the Democratic Convention of 2008 (as it also was twenty-eight years ago) was Teddy Kennedy's speech. Were I to try, I would never be able to forget the night of August 12, 1980. I was visiting my old pal, Dan O'Brien, who was then living on Route 57 in Liverpool, NY in a one-room kitchenette (Hey! Times were tough! Cut the man some slack, Jack!) Teddy's words that evening - political poetry - resound across the decades. In front of an audience of millions, he resolved....
" speak for those who have no voice; to remember those who are forgotten; to respond to the frustrations and fulfill the aspirations of all Americans seeking a better life in a better land....for all those whose cares have been our concern, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."
Watching that address on a small, black and white television set, I instinctively knew that I was witnessing an historical political oration so powerful and moving that it would be remembered a century into the future. It truly was a sublime moment. Leave it to O'Brien! He slept through the whole damned thing.
On Monday evening, Edward Moore Kennedy once again addressed the Democratic National Convention for what, sadly, will probably be the last time. His three older brothers, Joe, Jack and Bobby, remain etched in our national memory as the youthful, vigorous men they were, all three violently wrenched from this life at far too young an age. How ironic it is that our final vision of the baby of that family will be that of an old man, frail and mortally ill. But - DAMN! - the fire was still there.
It hasn't really been a good year for the right wing, has it? In addition to the fact that the people are finally starting to wake up to the damage these knuckleheads have done to this country, they now have to deal with the nasty reality that they won't have Teddy to kick around anymore. He'll soon be passed from our midst and attacking him now - for any reason - will merely be viewed as cruel and in bad taste. For decades, nothing made the Republican hardliners donate cash to the cause more than having the words "If Teddy Kennedy has his way...." on a fundraising letter. Those days are gone forever. Behind every dark cloud, there is indeed a silver lining.
When he first campaigned for the nomination to the senate seat he has held for almost forty-six years (the amount of years his brother Jack would spend on this earth), he ran against Eddie McCormick, whose Uncle John was the Speaker of the House of Representitives. McCormick told him in public debate that, but for his name, his candidacy would be viewed as a joke. In fact, looking at film footage of that campaign today, our boy Ted is definitely in way over his head. Had he not been the much younger brother (by fifteen years) of an already young president, he would not even have been considered for the nomination and his name would today be lost to history. The sad fact of the matter is that in 1962, he was the walking, talking definition of a lightweight. Who then would have ever imagined that this punk - this spoiled little rich kid - would in time evolve into the greatest senator ever to walk through those halls? We're a better country because of Teddy Kennedy. God bless him.
The Democratic National Convention of 2008 seems to be going off without a hitch. No one, so far, has thrown a monkey wrench into the proceedings. Hillary Clinton's hard core supporters (most of them anyway) seem to be bowing to reality and are getting with the program. Her candidacy was, no doubt, an historic milestone; but so is Barack Obama's - more so, in fact. In the future, after having elected an African American to the White House, the prospect of sending a woman there won't seem half as daunting. At this moment, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Pat Buchanan is saying that Hillary has more than "supporters", she has a following. They will never desert her for Barack Obama. I hope that's not the case. The devotion of the Clintonistas is impressive, even admirable in a weird way. But they have a chance in this political year to be part of something monumental. Like FDR three quarters of a century ago, Barack Obama promises to be a very new and refreshing kind of president. Before he got involved with politics he was known as a brilliant organizer. Of this we may all be certain: He will organize a brilliant administration.
This can't be emphasized enough: Democrats need to come together. That's all there is to it. As Senator Clinton herself said last night, "We don't need four more years of the last eight years." If John McCain and his appallingly corrupt party are able to once again seize control of the executive branch of our government this November (and it is our government - don't you dare forget it!) the results, I'm afraid, will end up being catastrophic for America.
John McCain is not the leader the times demand. Barack Obama is. Could it possibly be more obvious?
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
The American Experience:
The Kennedys
PBS Video
Here is a link to the video of Congressman Dennis Kucinich mentioned at the top of this piece:
There are one-hundred and forty-five days left until this nightmare of an administration is over.


At 8:13 AM, Blogger JRD said...

Brother Tom -

First, a correction: I no longer live in Frankfurt (from where, it should be noted, many of the planes of the Berlin air-lift took off to keep that city provided with food and medecine during one of the chillier moments of the Cold War, so really not all that un-American when you think about it), but in the land of those people once described by the great political philosopher Bart Simpson as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys". I speak, of course, of France, the nation that was the first to recognize the fledgling American republic and our first ally. If it weren't for France, we would not have all those wonderful white guys on our currency, but the bleeding Queen of England!

Second, the link to the Kucinich speech:

Something you might have mentioned to your legions of readers about the video bears remarking. What I find almost as interesting as Kucinich's speech is the reaction of the people in the convention hall. The speech took place at around a quarter to four in the afternoon, pretty much guaranteeing that no one would actually be watching it live, and the hall is half-full with all those lowly delegates who don't get invited to smoke-filled back rooms to discuss the destiny of the universe and who probably have nowhere else to be. What I found remarkable is the way in which Kucinich effected these people. They are as surprised by his performance for them as they are moved by his message.

Maybe the Democratic Party would not be as moribund as it has been if we listened more to people like Dennis the Red Menace (Note to Rant Readers: Being myself a socialist and drifting steadily leftwards, this is indeed high praise).

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thanks for the info, Jeff. I'll be sure to provide a link to the Kucinich video at the bottome of the piece.

Brother Tom

P.S - You're a creep, you know that?

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Dear,

As most often occurs, your post gives me hope. I have to wonder why you don't run for a political position yourself? I would most certainly vote for you.

I was happy to see your mention of Claire McCaskill. Having had the honor of receiving Claire's numerous years of hawkish monetary oversight in Missouri, I can attest to the fact that this is one politician who represents the people. She set so many hats straight here in Missouri. What she did for the Missouri child support system alone made a tremendous difference in the lives of my children. It was a darn right miracle.

I do fear you may be too optimistic about the Republican's in the area of human decency. I doubt Senator Kennedy's health situation will have any affect on the typical bad taste shock jocks practice on a daily basis. One can hope, but don't expect much from the third reich.

I have to say that I was somewhat dismayed at learning of the "freedom cages" at the DNC. It appears that our constitutional right to freedom of speech is at half-mast and sinking steadily. Soon, we will only be limited to a certain area to voice our opinions so long as no one is listening and we remain within the selected vocabulary provided with our "permit".

I dream of the day we reinstitute the constitution. I pray for the day when resources are available to send my daughter to college (a mere four years away). I hope that we will turn the EPA back into a true protection agency of our greatest assets, the earth, the air, and our water. So many wrongs to be righted, the list is too long to go into here. Our new president will be a busy man indeed.

Thank your brother for me for the link! Take care of yourself and consider running for an office smart guy.


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Dear Wendy,

I actually ran for the NY state senate six years ago on the Green Party ticket. Got creamed at the polls! Thank you for the kind words. They made my day!


At 3:46 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

"Cheese eating surrender monkeys", my ass! The French didn't "Surrender" to the Germans!

They just let them in the back door so they could kill Nazis all day, and still make it home for dinner with a decent wine! The French Underground handed the Nazis the choicest slices of hell on a dirty plate, and got THOUSANDS of downed Allied pilots, and escaped POWs back across enemy lines!

They bled Hitler dry, and provided tactical support, and intelligence to American, and British forces! They didn't "surrender"! They just made a tactical retreat!

The French had already had their misadventures in Algiers, and French Indochina. They knew what "President Pork Pie" was selling! They tried it once before, and they didn't want another slice!

Just because Bart Simpson blew off History class, doesn't mean the rest of us did!

Yea Hillary did real good last night. All I can hope is the "Vaginal Victory Tour" get over themselves and back Obama. New poll numbers point towards the positive!

(By "Vaginal Victory Tour", I mean the ladies who want just ANY woman for president, and are now backing McCain! I have no problem with a woman president. Just not this woman, and not at this time!

Please don't come after me with your cutlery, and garden tools! I know about how things can happen at certain times of the month!)

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Good words, Tom, from you, your brother, from Wendy, and I'm still chuckling over Stoney's "Vaginal Victory Tour". How appropriate.

Dennis's wake-up rant was spectacular, wasn't it? He brought up so many issues that I'm afraid will be forgotten, even with an Obama presidency. Somehow, someway, he maneuvered himself to grab and take advantage of that short 4:30 p.m. timeslot, and he packed as much into the few minutes allowed him. He's a true patriot, in every sense of the word, and although his call for healthcare for all Americans, education for all Americans, pensions for all working Americans, and peace for all Americans will all go unheeded, even under an Obama watch, the spirit and testimony of Congressman Kucinich will live forever in the hearts and minds of all Americans who believe in truth, justice, and fairness for all, no matter their class, their color, or their creed.

As for the "Vaginal Victory Tour", I'm still laughing. Listening to that "other" great album from 1967, of a similar title, will never be the same. ;-)

At 2:01 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

I watched the convention coverage tonight on CPAC, who picked up the coverage from CSpan. It was MUCH better than the talking heads on CNN who keep dividing and parsing every tiny little utterance of everyone from the guy who sold Ice Cream Cones to the hats;

"Oooh! Did you feel the tension in her voice at saying Obama hadn't proven anything to her?"

"Yes! And wasn't it interesting that she pointed out that Hillary Clinton's speech was PRESIDENTIAL? I don't think Obama has proven his case. . .

Hand me the air sickness bag, one mile high and this prairie flatlander is ready to woof at the blatant ignorance of "some people."

They would rather lose the nation than lose the "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit." To hell with them.

I have never, and WILL NEVER own a pantsuit.

I can actually match my pants with my tops and business jackets All by MYSELF. I guess those girls have yet to learn how to dress and need their Barbie-packaged co-ordinated outfits along with their ready to order friends.

Pantsuits over policy, who would have ever thought that that would be the talking-point of a campaign speech let alone the line that garners her supporters to remain PUMA's....Party Unity-->My Ass!

They will lay in wait to pounce on 2012.

Stoney? Ya got any PUMA bait that we can use bait barrels and detain them until after THIS election?

Waif---Canadians on the Streets say, "OBAMA!" but the discussion then switches to who will win; McCain.

I continue to do what I can on keyboard, but?

"The country gets the government they deserve."

I wonder what the PUMA's think they deserve as a government? I hope they are met by a wall of Democrats with a dildos to poke into their "Vaginal Victory Tour."

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Oh, I forgot to mention this to all of you.

Perhaps, if the "Compassionate Evangelical Conservative Republicans" had better sex, they might actually be happy enough to see the world CAN be a better place.

In Monday's, NATIONAL POST, one of Canada's two country-wide papers, on page A3 an article titled:

U.S. evangelicalsmix hot sex at home with repressive political agenda.
Right road to "soulgasm'

I am not sure you can still read the article on the net, but you can drop by the Covenant Spice website and find out how to have "pure" Compassionate Evangelical Conservative Republican sex.

Don't miss the: Eggs and Rings section. WOW! Aren't these names more difficult to say than "NUCLEAR?"
Some options:
**Retractable Heart Massager
**Perfect touch completely waterproof bullet
**Silicone Turtle bullet sleeve
**Screaming "O" Bullet
Compact On-the-Go Size
**Ring of Xtasy Butterfly
**silicone Wireless Enhancer with clitoral stimulator---wireless? So you don't have, ooh, yeck! touch each other????
**Silicone double ring wireless stimulator
This product is the same as above with the addition of another ring to enhance the properties of acting as a penis ring as well as a vibrator.

Oh, and KIDDIES? This is a CHRISTIAN SITE, so you won't have your eyes--invaded by graphic images of body parts, just stuff that attaches to, goes in or on them.

"Play safe, the Covenant Spice Way!"

(don't think that wireless isn't sending only oohs and ahs, given the telecom immunity. . .)

At 5:04 AM, Blogger stoney13 said...

Prairie Waif,

If the Compassionate Evangelical Conservative Republicans were to have decent sex, they would not be Compassionate Evangelical Conservative Republicans!

At 12:43 PM, Blogger dick wagner said...

Wake up America! The perfect call to arms. Truth is purposefully hidden and ignored by the MSM...but then, who could expect any less from those traitorous corporate, right wing mouthpieces. As each day passes, we witness the subjigation and smearing of the voice of the American people by these sick, insane and corporately controled assholes. The raw power the MSM has accrued over the last 25 years is mind boggling. The 24 hour news cycle is polluted by lies and insinuations, leaving the average citizen with a distortion of the reality that is American life. Wake up America...or blindly accept the illusion that is freedom.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Perfectly put, Dick. "Wake up, America". It is the most apt call to arms, isn't it? The so-called "main stream media" is the poison in the well of our democracy. After de-regulating the air waves a quarter of a century agom it is only safe to assume that their next action will be to seriously regulate the internet on order to make blogs such as this one impossible to run.

Tom Degan

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Well, Tom, you'd be proud of me. I've accepted an invitation (hosted by to attend a Nomination Party at a local church in Old Towne Manassas this evening. A big-screen TV will be set-up for all to watch Senator Obama's acceptance speech, along with "refreshments" and ice cream.

I look forward to the event. It should be interesting, and I could use a dose of real-life liberalism, through face-to-face contact, because I'm starting to get those feelings that electronic camaraderie is insufficient and ineffective. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Heck, who knows, after tonight I might even disregard my promise to never vote major party again, and maybe...just one of Senator Obama's most maniacal and ardent supporters. Plus, who knows, I may even run into a former member of the Vaginal Victory Tour. :-0

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I DO remember the "Up With People" shows. At one time, I thought they were really cool. Thank God my life took another path. Now I too have that little ditty bouncing around in my head....Thanks Tom.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Sarah Palin?

America woke-up wide-eyed today. And on their way to the breakfast table they past a dottering old man trying to look as if he has good judgement.

Good judgement? Once again, the Barbie Doll brain-freeze took over on McCain. He shouldn't be drinking ice water on the night stand.

Well, I'm beginning to find hope that we may just pull this out of the never ending carousel ride the Democrats go 'round on; good candidates, bad follow through.

It does prove that McCain's dementia is accelerating beyond being unable to pronounce words, he cannot complete an analytic thought with the follow through.

And when he really loses it to the dementia or the melanoma? If the NRA, Home-schooling parents, evangelical Christians are willing to have a vice-presidential candidate he met ONCE, then it really is true, you get the government you deserve.

Those PUMA's better start thinking about if they want the country handed to a fellow who's sketchy dementia leaves him unable to pronounce words such as "buck/dollar" who will probably be as effective as Wilson after his stroke. Mrs. Wilson ran the country and did a damn fine job, considering the circumstances.

This?! This is too important to turn the country over to someone who ran an "Executive Branch" as city mayor of a town of 7,000 population.

Executive Branch? They are not going to put that over on us. Nope, not this time.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Prarie Wolf....

Yes, she is a strange choice, isn't she? But so was Dan Qualyle. In 2001 the country sent a half=witted piece of shit named George W. Bush to the White House. My only worry is that the Dems would get too over-confident. They should not let their guard down.

All the best,
Tom Degan

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!...I needed a good laugh! Have you thought about doing TV??? Your blogs are quite impressive and fun! Happy Labor Day!

At 10:15 AM, Blogger HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

I was fortunate to stumble upon your blog this morning. I'm enjoying your entries, and still have the old record put out by the UP WITH AMERICA group.

There's one they did that was all about UP WITH PEOPLE; a local group in Kalamazoo, Michigan was very good at touring around and duplicating their music. I used to go down to the practice sessions, and as you did, reacted to Ron Paul's speech in the very same way.

I'm 66 years old, so probably am close to being your parent's age (okay, a young parent at 16, but nevertheless, close).

I'm equally impressed with the comments I found on this particular entry; reading the words of individuals who are obviously intelligent and caring, just adds to my confidence that we will get rid of this Republican party in 2008, and have a chance to return America to the kind of country I knew as a young child.

I appreciate your diligence and patriotism. Regards, Diane

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you for the kind words, Diane. I was thinking that McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as VP nominee would make Barack Obama's chances of victory in November a foregone conclusion. Then I remembered Dan Quayle....

All the best,
Tom Degan


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