Thursday, January 20, 2011

JFK: Fifty Years Later

"Let the word go forth from this time and place - to friend and foe alike - that the torch has been passed to a new generation of American: Born in this century; tempered by war; disciplined by by a hard and bitter peace; proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the small undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."

John F. Kennedy
January 20, 1961
Fifty years ago today

"Bring 'em on!"

-George W. Bush, Summer 2003

"Darwin was wrong."

-Mort Sahl, 1988

The "ask not what your country can do for you" bit I never thought to be one of that speech's strong points. Although it is striking in hindsight for its call to sacrifice (Can you imagine a politician doing that today?), it was never much more than a sound bite I think - a catchy quotation that would sound good on the radio and evening news programs. There is so much more to John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address than the one line that everyone remembers.

"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God."

It is ironic that the death of Sargent Shriver this week should fall on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of his brother-in-law's inauguration. As the decades pass, John Fitzgerald Kennedy recedes further and further into the mists of history. May 16 of last year marked the first day that he has been gone from this life longer than he lived it. Recent months also saw the death of Ted Sorensen, Kennedy's devoted aide and main speechwriter. Indeed, most of the members of that administration - as young and vital as most of them were on January 20, 1961 - have now passed on. "Camelot" was a long, long time ago.

I can go on all night talking about Jack Kennedy. One of the perks of being Irish Catholic is that we get to refer to him as "Jack". Although he's not my favorite president (FDR holds that place in my heart) he was the only chief executive of my lifetime who would qualify as "great". (Sorry, but I never succumbed to Ronniemania). No one who succeeded him has even come close to measuring up to JFK. His greatness lies in his legacy. Although he wasn't able to accomplish a heck-of-a-lot during the less-than three years that fate allowed him, he did set this country on the path toward accomplishing great things - sending human beings to the moon for instance.

"Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction."

Nearly a half century of biographical scholarship has unveiled some unpleasant truths about Jack Kennedy. He was not the model of human perfection that so many in his generation imagined him to be. This was a great man, greatly flawed. I'm willing to cut the guy as much slack as the slack factory can provide. Most of the historians who have spent the last half century digging up the facts of his life - unpleasant and otherwise - agree that he was essentially a good man and that, for the most part, his heart was in the right place. That's good enough for me.

Oh, and did I mention that he was our funniest president? The guy was a scream! I'm sure it had something to do with his being Irish.

"Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, 'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation'—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."

Four years ago on May 29, 2007, the occasion of what would have been his ninetieth birthday, I wrote the following on this site:

"Listening to a recording of his address to the graduating class of 1963 on the campus of American University, one can't help but feel a sense of real sadness - almost despair - at how far we have fallen as a nation in the ensuing forty-four years. It is almost as if, after wandering through the desert for all those decades, we emerged to find out that the shining city on the hill has turned out to be nothing more than a mirage - a cheap and cynical political huckster's vision of a government of the privileged, by the privileged, for the privileged. When JFK took the oath of office on January 20, 1961, America's future was bright and boundless. Today our only glory is in our past. The damage that has been done to the country he loved so well - the country he almost died defending in World War II - will be with us for generations. What would he have thought of the America of 2007?"

Or 2011 for that matter.

My memory of 1961 is only vaguely focused. I was, after all, two-and-a-half years old on the day President Kennedy was inaugurated. President Obama hadn't even been born yet. That blessed little event would take place on August 4 of that year, and (ATTENTION BIRTHERS) it would take place in Hawaii, which (as we all know) is located in the United States of America.

My impression of JFK when I was a very little boy - a toddler really - was as the guy on TV with all that hair. It always seemed so long to me! I wouldn't see a comparable head of hair on any man until the Beatles arrived on our shores in February 1964. Because of this I thought he was much younger than he really was. I remember a few years after his death, the moment I discovered that he was in fact thirteen years older than my father. I was stunned! I had honestly thought him to be about ten years younger - simply because he seemed so youthful!

It's ironic to think that, despite his youth and vitality - "vigah" - his health, we now know, was so fragile. Three times in his life he was given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. It's a safe bet that, had he not gone to Dallas on that dreadful day, he would have died relatively young anyway. Jack Kennedy's stay on the planet earth was never meant to be long.

I can still remember what my father was wearing when he told me, "The president's been shot." He had just pulled in the driveway and had the car radio on. I was arriving home from Mrs. Peevey's kindergarten class. I distinctly recall that, despite it being late into the autumn, it was an unseasonably warm day. Something wonderful ended on November 22, 1963 - not just John F. Kennedy's life - but America's youthful optimism as well. I don't believe this country ever got over the assassination of President Kennedy. Maybe it will one day. Maybe not.

"I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not...."

Aw, hell. You know the rest of it.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address - one of the great orations of the twentieth century. Here's a link:

The Inaugural Address

Unless your name is Martin Luther King, It just doesn't get much better than this.


Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America

by Thurston Clarke

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

"The Rant" by Tom Degan



At 2:16 PM, Blogger TSVDP said...

Yeh, let's hear it for the Irish, Sean Hannity is on the radio every afternoon and has his show on Fox every night. Mike Galagher has a talk show as well. No reason to go back 50 years and talk about JFK, great Irish speakers and politicians remain in the United States today.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Le Grand Lapin said...

I was nine when JFK was inaugurated. Kennedy was the transitional American president - the link between the great iconic statesmen and the accessible president. The news media still consciously sheltered him, but also gave us unprecedented access to the White House and the first family. The media revolution truly began about the same time the telegenic Kennedy was elected, and started to accelerate when he was assassinated, so along with our loss of innocence came the genesis of the always-on news machine, although it took technology another fifteen years to fully enable the media.

I've often wondered how history would have remembered Kennedy if he had lived out his presidency. It's unlikely Johnson would have succeeded him in an open convention in 1968. Vietnam might have ended long before it did, and Nixon would have had no real platform to run on. Interesting contingencies.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Great post, Le Grand Lapin! Thank you!

At 3:43 PM, Blogger nycgirlupstate said...

Hi Tom,
Very nice. I around 9 or 10 when JFK was killed. He was beloved in my house so we were in high mourning, same with Robert Kennedy and Dr. King. I remember all kinds of things about that day clearly...being dissed at school for losing it and crying (there were other kids who didn't seem fazed, except one complained that he knew his TV shows would be pre-empted)being sent home early by a teacher who was fighting tears, running home and accidently slamming my fingers in the door because I was so upset. Those assassinations taught me that grownups cry too, and they also started to teach me what this country is all about.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


I beleive that JFK was on track to be the 2nd greatest conservative president of the century, after Reagan. His position on taxes was the correct one for growing an economy. His stance on big labor unions was one that our economy could use today. His drive for Civil Rights was just starting when he was murdered. What he would have done with Vietnam is just a guess. But while he did not shine during the Bay of Pigs invasion (he didn't plan the mess) he did stand up to the USSR over missiles in Cuba. I beleive he backed the USSR down!
This coming from a conservative, but one who is not tied to an political party.
As I have stated before, your blog is one of the few liberal/progressive, non- conservative blogs where I can post my beliefs without being attacked. My position yes, that is subject to attack or spirited disagreement, but me as a person that doesn't happen here. Give you an example of Ed Schultz has done with this copy of an email I got from one of his staff in response to my asking if I could post on his blog

"you will NEVER be allowed back on that board, idiot. You're a hate monger. You are banned by IP address. Don't even bother responding because I created this email address just to tell you to screw off, XXXX. I won't be back to check it."

Again thanks for allowing me to post.

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet, January 20th, 38th anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade, Oh, gee, we mention President Kennedy was a Catholic here but no word here, all men are not created equal it seems. The proof is in the pudding. This tells us more of the kind of nation we are, this is largely a sacrament of the left, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, first were pro-life but money, politics and fuzzy thinking changed them around and Teddy went to the Vatican in the last years of his life to reconcile his wrong beliefs. Not a word about the 50 million who have lost their lives due to this scourge. I mean, even if we should make some compromises here, at least in Europe they aren't championing partial birth abortion like some on the left do to a baby that is about to be born.

No wonder, all we see from the Left is to call people Nazis or to call people racists. They can't think for themselves. Their rhetoric is inflammatory unto itself.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

Since I'm a Buddhist nee Episcopalian (i.e., Anglican), what do I get to call him?

Thanks for sharing.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our nation has turned into "Ask what free handouts your country can give to you since you are a victim of ...."

We can thank the bleeding heart progressives for this government dependency and where 47% of the people pay no federal income tax.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous grettalulu said...

Tom, I was in ninth grade in NC when JFK was killed and when our principal announced over the school's PA system that the President was dead, many students in the class I was in burst into applause. I was horrified and so ashamed.

At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Beverly Jo Morton-Friedman said...

Re: yes, Dearest Sir Thomas; regarding JFK's Irish heritage as ours is, & FDR was amazing, And, Absolutely My Familys Very Favorite President! It makes me very sad how the morals in this country have dwindled to almost not reachable @ all! You unfortunately have hit the nail directly on the head my friend! I am so sorry to say! Best wishes on the Rant & all your endeavers Sior Thomas my friend! The situation does not look very bright & cheerful amongst the slaughter of the Kennedys & Dr King etc. God Bless & Keep You...
Beverly Jo Morton-Friedman
So sorry computer will not let me see the visual verifications!

At 3:52 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

Thank you for this special post. It is so perfectly constructed that it should be another of your posts that I wish was studied in schools. And I, too, enjoyed Le Grand Lapin's comments. Your blog is always a five-star place to visit.

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

"We can thank the bleeding heart progressives for this government dependency…"
Read Why Americans hate welfare. You'll be stunned at how little social spending goes to things like "cash" welfare and foodstamps.

"...and where 47% of the people pay no federal income tax."
I don't know if you've ever been broke or nearly broke, or better than broke but the only breadwinner in a family, but after such luxuries as food, shelter and a bus pass, there's nothing left to tax. (Note as well that you're essentially saying "Women, blacks and hispanics disproportionately pay no…" as they earn less than the Caucasian male).

At 4:29 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "I mean, even if we should make some compromises here, at least in Europe they aren't championing partial birth abortion like some on the left do to a baby that is about to be born."
I take it you don't, or don't have a loved one with a story like this (which, admittedly, isn't specifically about IDX). Or is the only moral abortion your abortion?
Call me when the pro-life groups are for helping women raise the babies they want to prevent them from aborting.
Call me when those same groups are for comprehensive sex-ed (vice abstinence-only, whose results are dismal or none at all).
Call me when they're for contraception (reliable, subsidized or free, ideally). Call me when they aren't also against the Pill.
Call me when they support policies that raise people up economically, as poverty is a major factor in abortion, in both willingness/ability to raise a child and effectiveness of contraception. Seriously.
Note, lastly, that banning abortion does not reduce the number of abortions.

At 4:38 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Well, that's out of order, but at least it's all there. I'm still having issues with posts disappearing (, for example). Apparently I'm too awesome. Modest, too. Plus I've got this jaunty hat.

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, you are much more patient than I am, I tend to toss off topic rants. Though I’ll go a bit off topic here “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” Since I was born in 1971, I only know the Kennedys from history, though it seems that the killings that started with JFK, and through to RFK tore the soul out of our country,. I remember reading a story about the reporters with RFK, after a speech at a collage, something like “Yes, he can go all the way, but you know and I know, that someone is going to shoot him, they are out there now, and when that happens, we have lost our country, America will no longer exist, it will have become something ugly and evil”

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous HermanCainforPresident said...

Well, the Huffington Post celebrated the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade yesteday, 38 years, so Huffington Post and Tom Degan Rant Leftists and Liberals can raise a glass to the Doctor in Philadelphia named Gosnell for aborting live babies, 7 of them and for killing a woman as well.

Slavery lasted 300 years, no one thought that would ever be overturned using the same logic one might hear ModusOperandi using. Slavery, Abortion, Hey, these ain't real people. Blacks were 3/5ths human beings and what is in a mother's womb is a fetus, both upheld by the Supreme Court.

Yeh, ModusOperandi uses good reasoning, women would get those abortions anyway, 3 out of 5 black kids would be aborted in their mother's womb, the democrat way, Planned Parenthood Clinic's in poor areas. blackgenocide dot org or com . Ain't ModusOperandi intellectual linking up.

Check Herman Cain, Republican, former CEO of Godfather's pizza, this is part of the platform he's running on and oh, I guess, he's an Uncle Tom too by the all knowing Left Genocide Wing because he is black.

And lets pay for it in health bills too. Let's just be irresponsible.

The left wing way, lead in paint in a houston neighborhood, Sherman Williams plans to take the lead out but hold on, Acorn made the big corporation pay instead, kept the money for themselves and poor people lost their houses.

The Black Tea Party has been launched, check it out at emerging corruption dot com , not sure how to format like modus operandi but at least these links aren't just left wing genocidal propaganda.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

HermanCainforPresident "and Liberals can raise a glass to the Doctor in Philadelphia named Gosnell for aborting live babies, 7 of them and for killing a woman as well"
I have to assume that you're so incredibly partisan that you simply can't even approach as discussion in good faith. I see nothing to celebrate in the sordid and terrible tale of Kermit Gosnell

"Ain't ModusOperandi intellectual linking up."
Well, you sure told me. I guess the simple facts of the actual world (as shown in the links you ignore in a remarkable display of partisanship to the point of Tribalism) are hereby refuted.


If factual breakdowns of the actual stances of actual organizations, the BBC, and Guttmacher studies are "left wing genocidal propaganda" then it's time to retire the english language, as words have no meaning anymore. If you're so dug in that actual analysis, actual facts, actual statistics and actual studies are so casually dismissed as propaganda, then your fight isn't with the Nefarious Left, it's with reality itself.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger JOHN O'LEARY said...

Great blog, Tom. Found ya on the Comment thread on the Chris Matthews blog.

JFK, to those who know history, was a traditional Liberal. That included—in that era—being a cold warrior, and he even campaigned as a tougher anti-Communist than Nixon. (I remember debating all this in 7th grade in Arlington, MA at the time!)

But, although he was less liberal than Hubert Humphrey at the time, JFK was strongly in the camp of those who believed government, even big government, could be used as a force for good. And he was moving to the left on social issues like Civil Rights when he was killed. Of course speculating on what his political views might be if he were alive today is a different matter, but judging by the politics of his family, friends, and colleagues I think we can get a pretty good picture.

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous HermanCainforPresident said...

Megan McArdle is a writer at Atlantic, she is pro life and has written about it in Atlantic, I doubt if people would ever accuse Atlantic of being a Right Wing or even religious publication.

Slavery was wrong for the longest time, the Supreme Court legislated from the bench about nothing in the constitution just as they declared black slaves to be less than a total human being.

At a minimum, Planned Parenthood and the like should not be funded by the government which many are speaking about.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

The story of Dr. Gosnell reminds me of the “Picture of Dorian Gray” (Wilde). The beautiful pro-choice crowd killed Basil long ago. Today, they look upon their portrait and it is, indeed, hideous.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

The author and his friends would be foaming at the mouth if JFK was president today. Listen to any of his low tax, small government, or pro defense speeches.

Wait, I may have that wrong. The name Kennedy (or Smith or Skakel), in and of itself, without regard to the person's policies, sobriety, or alleged rapes or murders causes the left to have euphoric discharges.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


True, Kennedy did lower taxes. The ninety percent bracket pretty much ended when he was president. But the wealthy were still paying a larger share in tax revenue than they do today. It is highly doubtful (to put it in as understated a way as possible) that he would have let the situation deteriorate to the point it is at today.

And as far as these supposed "small government" speeches you claim he made; I have listened to probably every recorded and read every written speech Jack Kennedy made in office and cannot recall one. I am sure you will offer us some examples....


Tom Degan

At 1:37 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

With regards to the pro life, anti abortion, all life is sacred groups, let me know when they also begin to protest wars. Or is that not killing?

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

Thank you, Charles. I'm often puzzled by how "pro-sacred-life" folks are so adamant about abortion, yet such big fans of war and capital punishment. "All life is sacred... except people we hate."

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


"Call me when the pro-life groups are for helping women raise the babies they want to prevent them from aborting."

What's your phone number?

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous CainforPrez said...

Last post on this, this thread is about our martyred 35th (?) President.

See but Megan McArdle, editor at Atlantic got it right.

"But in this case, I think the analogy to slavery is important, for two reasons. First of all, it was the last time we had an extended, society-wide debate about personhood. And second of all, as now, there were structural political reasons that it was much harder--nearly impossible--to change slavery through the existing political process.

Listening to the debates about abortion, it seems to me that really broad swathes of the pro-choice movement seem to genuinely not understand that this is a debate about personhood, which is why you get moronic statements like "If you think abortions are wrong, don't have one!" If you think a fetus is a person, it is not useful to be told that you, personally, are not required to commit murder, as long as you leave the neighbors alone while they do it.

Conversely, if Africans are not people, then slavery is not wrong. Or at least it's arguably not wrong--....

And if I look at my own reasoning, well, frankly, it's not even reasoning. I've never sat down and thought, "how do I know that Africans are human beings?" I know. And I'm enough of a Chestertonian to be okay with that way of knowing. But presumably if I'd been raised in 1840 Alabama, I'd know just as certainly that they weren't. "

So, really, we could say Slavery is a moral dilemma too and if I lived in 1840 Alabama I could say why would people in New York or Maine or anywhere else care about what we do in the South, so really this is the same kind of confrontation. I think Science will eventually show us that in fact, fetuses have much consciousness from a very early stage and can feel pain, etc. Then what??

But as for JFK, true story here, when Reagan got shot, I was in a biology building at college and this long hair who worked there actually took some joy at that but a bit later, an ROTC student with uniform on shed tears. So when this happened with Giffords, I was very sad, news junky tried to hear everything but definitely when they showed the next day the little girl Christen Taylor Green I believe, I had to hold back tears on that.

That's all, that above though is from Atlantic magazine of all places.

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous pedegan said...

That's exactly what we have: a government of the privileged,
by the privileged, for the privileged.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


What're you? SOME KIND OF COMMIE???

Thanks for posting - FINALLY!


Brother Tom

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Pro-life groups are not “big fans of war”. I’m not sure where that nonesense comes from. They are supportive of capitol punishment because it maintains the sanctity of human life. Human life is precious - if you take another’s life, you should pay with your own, because life is not cheap. To us anyway.

Charles, you forward both a categorical error and a logical fallacy. Comparing war or capitol punishment to killing unborn babies makes absolutely no sense on several levels. Not room here to explain, but if you can’t see that, then I probably can’t help you. Also, assume that not protesting “war” is an egregious omission. That has no bearing on the rightness or wrongness of their position on abortion. One of the most common logical fallacies in forums like this.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Catharine said...


What're you? SOME KIND OF COMMIE???"

Probably... I mean, this is where they told the Commies to come and post.

No. Really. It's in the handbook. Page 214. Look it up. "True Commies post at 'The Rant'."

So... here we all are.


At 2:59 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I was photographing my 3 year old daughter when my husband, who was managing a radio station, called me to tell me that JFK had been shot and to turn on the TV.

No one who was old enough to remember will every forget what they were doing when they heard the terrible news of his assassination.

JFK was a much loved president because he gave us hope. The Kennedy's were a class act and made us proud to have them represent us. JFK inspired instead of instilling fear like GWB did.

As for the sub-topic of abortion that has been 'off topic' and injected into this blog I can only say that I am old enough to remember when abortion was illegal and when women died due to trying to abort with coat hangers (yes, it happened) or went to back alley doctors. Weren't their lives worth saving, too? Until you know why some women had to abort, please save your judgment and leave your religious prejudices at the door of public discourse.

The medical term for the first trimester is a fetus. Please stop calling it a baby and trying to instill the image of a cute dimpled baby into the minds of people. Abortion is not murder legally or morally.

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harley A,
Your response to Charles is one of the biggest bits of illogical bull shit you have come out with yet.
Killing is killing - abortion or war.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger MichaelStivic said...


I don't know who else to turn to to vent my outrage that Keith Olbermann has been fired. We all know the capitalist pigs, comcast, who are buying NBC are behind it.

We should start a boycott against comcast.

Peace out,

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I'm thinking the same thing, Mike. As soon as I heard about Comcast buying MSNBC my first thought was, "Olbermann's days are numbered". That turned out to be a very easy call.

This is a dreadful development - and that's an understatement.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


Does GE now or in the recent past own NBC, MSNBC?

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Oprah is going to give keith a show

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

You're right, Browns44. GE is merging with Comcast. My mistake.

At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


And the CEO of GE is who?

Jeff Immelt

And does Mr. Immelt have a good or bad relationship with President?

Good, I'd say based on the position he was just given by the White House, and the $ GE gave to the Presidents campaign in 2008.

So was it the "capitalist pigs, comcast, who are buying NBC are behind" the firing of Oblermann, or did he want more money than he was worth in the free market?

And if we boycott Comcast as Michael Stivic called for, are we hurting a friend (GE) of the President?

Large business is always an easy target for progressives, but I would suggest they think twice before acting as they may cut off their nose to spite their face.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

Tom, Meathead

You don't hear much complaining from Keith Olbermann about injustice due to the firing. Why may that be? Could it be that he was paid a very large sum of "hush money?" Looks to me that Keith is a capitalist pig and is laughing all the way to the bank.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Browns44 "So was it the 'capitalist pigs, comcast, who are buying NBC are behind' the firing of Oblermann, or did he want more money than he was worth in the free market?"
Ah, I see: Olbermann wasn't worth the money for the last two years of a four year contract, so to save themselves that money, they're cancelling his show and paying him anyway.

"And if we boycott Comcast as Michael Stivic called for, are we hurting a friend (GE) of the President?"
In protest I'm not watching the show that isn't on anymore. And just how would a boycott of a company that a "friend of the President" doesn't work for do the something that I'm sorry you just broke my mind.

"Large business is always an easy target for progressives, but I would suggest they think twice before acting as they may cut off their nose to spite their face."
Yeah! If a channel has no shows that I watch I should support it anyway for some reason!

ArchieBunkerNYC "You don't hear much complaining from Keith Olbermann about injustice due to the firing. Why may that be? Could it be that he was paid a very large sum of 'hush money?'"
I'd guess some sort of NDA in his contract and avoidance of poisoning his "brand". Badmouthing former bosses is generally a good way to not get hired by new bosses (and he's already got a rep as "difficult", I'm told).

"Looks to me that Keith is a capitalist pig and is laughing all the way to the bank."
Odd. I don't remember us (and, as usual, I speak for all liberals) ever saying he was a commie.
Perhaps you're from some alternate universe where anybody who isn't for laissez faire capitalism is a pinko?

[I should note that I don't like Olbermann's "style" (too much mugging for the camera), don't much like Olbermann (the hatchet job on Scott Brown), and didn't much watch the show]

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

MO said,

"Call me when the pro-life groups are for helping women raise the babies they want to prevent them from aborting."

Still waiting for your number to call
you as you requested.

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

MO said,

"In protest I'm not watching the show that isn't on anymore. And just how would a boycott of a company that a "friend of the President" doesn't work for do the something that I'm sorry you just broke my mind."


At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

NY Times report of Olbermann"s exit
does not support positions taken by MO., MichaelStivic and others who have posted here blaming conservatives can be found by following this link.

If it's from the NY Times,it's gotta be the truth, right?

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Browns44 "Still waiting for your number to call you as you requested."
Why? I'm still waiting for the pro-life groups to be for helping women raise the babies they want to prevent them from aborting, which they tend to either not care about or are against (as analyzed in one of the links that you didn't read).

My point exactly. Your question (""And if we boycott Comcast as Michael Stivic called for, are we hurting a friend (GE) of the President?") made no sense. Comcast ≠ GE.

"NY Times report of Olbermann"s exit does not support positions taken by MO., MichaelStivic and others who have posted here blaming conservatives can be found by following this link."
"...positions taken by MO…"? Re-reading what I wrote, I'm struck by the fact that I'm mostly making fun of you. This is because sometimes you don't make sense (as my reply to "...or did he want more money than he was worth in the free market?" showed), while the rest of the time you don't make sense (as with "And if we boycott Comcast as Michael Stivic called for, are we hurting a friend (GE) of the President?").
If you make a habit of thinking through your questions before you ask them here, and of consistently posting reality-based cites for your declarations, then the amount of fun I will be able to make of you will decrease considerably.
To clear up any confusion, his relationship with the network has apparently always been stormy (hence the "and he's already got a rep as 'difficult', I'm told)" comment), and once he lost his defender (Immelt), he lost his defense. There are other conclusions that could be made from his dismissal, but if I've made them I haven't made them here.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...

I'll explain the obvious to you

1.You are the person who said he wanted a call when Pro lifers took care of the mother who kept her child,I am asking for your number to call you with the info you requested.

2. See Tom's post about GE, mine about the CEO of GE and his relationship wit the Prez. BTW, the boycott was called for the entire network, not the program no longer on the air.

Polite, gentle suggestion, leave the humor to the experts and don't quit your day job.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Browns44 "1.You are the person who said he wanted a call when Pro lifers took care of the mother who kept her child,I am asking for your number to call you with the info you requested."
I’m right here. Post away.

"2. See Tom's post about GE, mine about the CEO of GE and his relationship wit the Prez. BTW, the boycott was called for the entire network, not the program no longer on the air."
Oh, I see now. A googling shows that Comcast and GE's networks/content are merging, not GE selling NBC. My mistake and my apologies.
I still fail to see your point. GE isn't a "friend of the president". GE, being a corporate citizen, is a friend of GE, and of anybody who can make it richer (which, at this point, is pretty much everyone left in federal politics). Boycotting GE (or a subsidiary) won't hurt the president (and a half-assed boycott won't hurt GE, either). The only thing that hurts the president is when people make comments about his ears. That really breaks him up inside. I assume the worst of the Right's Smear Machine get him, too. "Why can't they just call me what I am; a Rockefeller Republican?!" he wails as he cries into his pillow at night.
Besides, GE (though it has a percentage of people who are liberals in it) isn't liberal. Corporate citizens typically aren't ideological like that. At the shareholder's meeting they don't talk about the size of this year's ideological dividend. They're in it for the profit, not the philosophy. If they were in it for the philosophy (and if that philosophy was liberalism) I doubt they'd have fired Olbermann. Since they're in it for the money, I would guess (and this is only a guess) that they're planning on moving, in the very least, "to the center", which means that them losing Olbermann saves more in the long term than it costs in the short term and his removal is a signal of that move (both to the outside world and to the remaining staff). Again, that's only a guess.

"Polite, gentle suggestion, leave the humor to the experts and don't quit your day job."
I think you're starting from faulty assumptions. It's not to amuse you. It's to amuse me. In this I can claim at least moderate success.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Well, Anonymous... I suppose I'll have to explain the blatantly obvious to you. Listen, you might learn something - but I doubt it.

Wars are terrible. No one likes wars. Notwithstanding the unjust wars, at times, war is necessary and just in defending yourself or in defending the defenseless. I that case, killing is of course, killing, but it is not murder as in the case of abortion. We were just in defending Europe and the world from the aggression of the Third Reich. To have allowed Hitler to continue to commit his genocidal plan would have been immoral on our part. We sacrificed our lives to preserve life and to preserve what is right.

Even more ridiculous is the argument that killing a convicted murderer has anything to do with abortion. And convicted murderer has forfeited his life by taking the life of another.

Killing unborn babies is, well, killing babies. It is YOU who are ignorant if you think the two are in any way equivalent. It is a foolish argument and shows the depth to which people will go to justify wrongdoing. Even to the depth of outlandish and silly propositions.

But thanks for the anonymous remarks...

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Browns44 said...


Be glad to give you the call as you requested, just waiting for you to post your phone number.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Browns44, post what you've got. Alternately, continue the literalist douchery.

At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harley it is not a baby until such time as it is born up until that time it is a fetus and all the fluffy words you like to use will never change that fact. As for justifying your stance on captial punishment, well all I can think it is as deluded as your views on a woman's right to choice.

Den from Oz

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon from Australia is real sophisticated, Den from Oz, probably has killed her babies, oh and others are the deluded ones?? Ha Ha, fetus means little one in Latin. US government should not fund abortion, a-holes like teddy kennedy who'd vote for partial birth abortion, letting a baby be half born and then sucking it's brains out of zero-bama has funded abortion, SO here, Tom Degan should see Bush is not a baby killer like these others since Bush is a favorite of Degan to jump on. At a minimum let's not let federal funding go to abortion and we should let states decide it. This is another issue democrats are on that is wrong, like they supported slavery and jim crow, they are the true bigots, they are the true oppressors of humanity and spineless corrupt unions vote for this slaughter of the innocence for their own selfish interests. by the way, on a different note, seems maybe the internet is not always that anonymous.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russ Feingold, the Partial birth abortion advocoate of the Democratic Party was thrown out, Viva The Tea Party, but what do we expect from the Democrat party, KKK, Slavery, Jim Crow and they haven't changed but they may have it couched it favorable terms, "woman's rights to choose", etc. Good that Partial Birth Exponents of abortion like Russ Feingold are gone, good bye!. Darwin was wrong definitely about the likes of people like Russ Feingold.

2ND part here, isn't it great from New Jersey, Rick Santorum, his great comments last week, so great, the civil rights of the unborn should count and President Obama's position is rather counter to that. Great Catholic Italian American politician.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Well, I’ll be quite honest, if my views are seen as deluded by a delusional person – one who believes killing a murderer is wrong and killing an unborn baby is right, I’ll sleep pretty well tonight. I would worry if such a person considered me sound. If yours is a naturalistic humanist construct, then your position on abortion does make sense (as does eugenics, euthanasia, and all sorts of other humanistic horrors). I’ll grant that. Pretty much anything makes sense as Nietzsche, among others, correctly explains in his deconstruction of human ethics absent a basis for moral law.

If you want to continue to believe that the “fetus” is not a human, you can do that. But, it will be willful ignorance in light of modern science that shows indisputably that is not the case.

Let’s look at order of magnitude numbers for the US and maybe that will explain why I’m not quite as worked up about war and capitol punishment.

Wars in past 40 years – maybe tens of thousands Americans killed?
Capital punishment in past 40 years – maybe hundreds or a few thousand at most?
Abortions in past 40 years – 30-40 million based on known figures

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TheDC: I read that you identified yourself as a Marxist in your college days. What prompted your change in ideology?

Thomas Sowell: I was a Marxist I guess for a decade from about the time I was 20 to 30 roughly. What changed my mind was not anything I had read. I was a Marxist when I went into Milton Friedman’s course at [the University of] Chicago and I was a Marxist when I came out of it.

What changed me was working as an economic intern in the government in 1960 and discovering what the government bureaucracies were like in terms of their motivations and how they do their job. I immediately realized government is not the answer. Life taught me. I think that is true for most people.

Most of the leading conservatives were not conservatives when they were young. Milton Friedman was a liberal, he even described himself in his autobiography as Keynesian in his thinking. Friedrich Hayek was a socialist. Ronald Reagan was so far left that the FBI was keeping an eye on him. So you run through the list — of course the whole neoconservative movement was on the left initially. And the same thing happened in Europe and elsewhere.

A lot of the indoctrination that takes place in educational institutions begin to erode when people get into the real world and start thinking for themselves.

Maybe with age Thomas Degan's brain will progess and abandon Marxism.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


I try to be polite to everyone who posts on this blog and you are no exception - tempted as I am to fly off the handle here.

I am not a Marxist and never have identified myself as such. Your handing me that label is just a tad presumptuous - if not more-than-a-little silly.


Tom Degan

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think Anonymous 12:54PM should have been polite and called you a progressive rather than a marxist. I hope this makes you feel better.

P.S. More power, pay, and tenure to the Teacher Unions! lol

At 5:00 AM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Tom mon frere,

Before you shut the door on the JFK assassination, please read Russ Baker's incredibly important book "Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years." I think you will be illuminated. Baker is no "tin hat" wingnut conspiracy maven; he has impeccable journalistic credentials - you'll hear him on NPR, not "Coast To Coast." I can never forget the words of Lee Harvey Oswald at his first "meet the press" moment: "I am a patsy." I fear that we have been an oligarch republic for over a century.

At 5:51 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Hello, Avram....

I am open to the possibility of an organized conspiracy in the murder of President Kennedy. But they always lose me the moment they portray Oswald as an innocent - in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The evidence connecting him to the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository is overwhelming. Why did he flee the building? He was, after all, employed there. The evidence that he killed Officer J.D. Tippit is beyond overwhelming. There were more than one eye-witnesses to that shooting, and he was seen fleeing into the Texas Theater - where he tried to murder one of the officers who apprehended him.

I'm not one-hundred percent convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. But I haven't a sliver of a doubt that he killed John F. Kennedy.


Tom Degan

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Re the Marxist label, I sympathize with Anon 12:24.

If it walks like a duck, and sound like a duck, it's a ...

It can be extremely difficult identifying the genetic differences of the species of the left.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Jif Frommer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Jif Frommer said...

I have done much research on the JFK assassination. At times, people will throw out facts that are impossible to verify: for example, Judith Exner was a girlfriend of Sam Giancana, then we hear JFK had an affair with Exner. I don't know whether we can believe that or not. So I have read perhaps 3 dozen books on the JFK assassination while there may be as many as 200, actually probably more. Through years of research, I think we can conclude that indeed, the perpetrators of the JFK assassination were indeed remnants of the National Socialism Party out of Germany with whom of course, the Patriarch of the Kennedy family, Joe even dealt with.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Carson Lee said...

Where IS this "slack factory"?

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Craig Chereek said...

Love your toddler's-eye view of JFK! I think of all he said, what is most useful today, when the word "liberal" is used intrerchangeably with anything negative, is his definition of a Liberal, found here:

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Tom -

Love your blog. Keep it up. Just wondering though: What's with the all-bold text lately? Harder to see.


At 8:54 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...


My belated response to your original response to my comment. Go here.


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