Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Post #457- Unsolicited Observations

As you know, today is December 12, 2012: 12/12/12. That type of numeric arrangement will not be occurring on the calendar again for nearly a century - a long time any way you slice it or dice it. By that time we'll all be dead and buried. What better occasion for some random  observations that I had written down haphazardly on paper or posted here and there on the internet? They may not be earth-shattering, but what the hell. Let us agitate, shall we?

Memo to the right wing - Fox Noise in particular. There is a dandy reason why nearly every political humorist out there leans decidedly to the left. This may come as a bit of a shock to some of you, but in order for satire to work it has to be based upon at least a kernel of truth. You see where I'm going with this? Good bear with me.
There are political humorists out there who are to the extreme right, no doubt about it. In fact, I've seen a couple of them on CSPAN. Here's the problem: They aren't funny. And if they do happen to make me laugh, the giggles are ALWAYS unintentional. 

Take the knucklehead who does the comic strip "Mallard Fillmore". It runs in my paper the Times Herald-Record of Middletown New York. Every morning I read it - not because I find it funny - not at all. But I'm always giddy with the anticipation of wondering what idiotic thing this nitwit is going to come up with today. It's that bad.
There was a conservative humorist who I thought was very witty, the late, great Lewis Grizzard (Photo on left). But his humor dealt, for the most part, with the cultural aspects of being a "redneck". He had the good sense to stay clear of the subject of politics. Try to pick up a copy of his book, "Elvis is Dead and I Don't Feel Too Good Myself". It's a hoot-and-a-half.
 2.  Stand your ground, baby!
The headline from AlterNet came to my inbox a few very early mornings ago. It was a short blurb that told me that another black teenager had been shot and killed for no apparent reason by a righteously indignant, half-witted, middle-aged white guy. My very first thought was, it's gotta be Florida. Sho 'nuff.

Why was this kid murdered? The guy thought that his music was too loud. I sincerely wish I was making this up. I'm not

Do you know that in Europe, there are travel agencies that warn their clients against traveling to that overrated peninsula? Can you blame them? I sure as hell can't.

By the way, "Stand Your Ground" was signed into law by Jeb Bush - who still maintains that it was just a fine 'n' dandy idea. Sweet. The question is literally screaming to be posed:

Is there anyone amongst us who is still unaware what a mistake it would be to send another member of that disgusting family to 1600 Pennsylvania  Avenue?

Just curious.

3. Don't Let It Be Forgot That Once There Was a Spot....
I know, it's syrupy and sentimental, and I know "Camelot" never really existed, but I can't help it when it comes to President Kennedy. It's an Irish thing; you wouldn't understand. Some of his speeches read like freakin' poetry fifty years later.

Although he was hardly the fightin' Liberal that his admirers remember him as being, it should never be forgotten that he was the last chief executive to take on the Federal Reserve. For all the revisionism that has been visited upon his biography in the nearly half-century since his passing, let's not overlook the fact that - warts and all - Jack Kennedy was a good guy. One of the best.

By the way, one of the perks of being Irish Catholic is that we can refer to the late president as "Jack".

"....for one brief, shining moment...."

I'm sorry, I'll stop.

4. Corporate Carnage

Profits are up to record highs. So what - you may well ask - are the corporations doing? They're decimating the work force. Consider this just for a minute:

When a corporation behaves this irresponsibly, it wrecks havoc on society. This is not merely my opinion in fact it's kind of a no-brainer. Call it Economics 101

A corporation that behaves this irresponsibly should be seized by the people. If you're honest with yourself, that's not such a revolutionary idea. Think about it for a minute or two. What would we do to a lone kook who was causing so much disruption within his community by means of arson, bombings etc. that his actions put hundreds - thousands - of his fellow citizens out of work? Again, this is another no-brainer - we'd throw him in prison. Questions?

Why should we let a corporation take take full advantage of our free enterprise system for a period of years and then be allowed to dump the very workers that allowed it to accumulate its treasure? Especially when the treasure of which I speak comes out of the pockets of regular consumers who are adversely effected when they dump - like trash - their work force. Its very greed causes much disruption and heartache within the the local (and national) community.

And notice that I refer to this proverbial corporation as "it", not "he" or "she". I'm not sick enough to refer to a corporation as "a person". Give me some credit please.

When a corporation does so much damage to society, how come it cannot be legally seized by the state to keep it from committing further economic carnage?

Why is this allowed to occur? Anybody?

5. Mitch

Please, if anyone knows of a more despicable, corrupt and reprehensible piece-of-shit ever to slither 'neath the capital dome than Mitch McConnell, by all means drop me a line. I'd sure as hell would like to know about it. It just doesn't get any creepier than old Mitch.

6. Bah, Humbug!

Christmas comes but once a year
So you'd better make hay while the spirit lingers 
It's slipping through your fingers, boy
Don't you realize?
Christmas can be such a monetary joy!

-Stan Freberg 

I can't remember the last time I was possessed of the "Christmas Spirit". The holiday is ruined for me - for personal as well as societal reasons. Our economic survival depends upon us making a mockery of the birth of the Prince of Peace every year. Maybe my indifference is also based on the fact that so many people I loved dearly are either dead, dying, or out of my life forever. Whatever. 

When I was a little boy I took it for granted that Ebenezer Scrooge was a work of Charles Dickens' imagination. It never occurred that such a person could possibly exist. Now I understand. I can relate to Ebenezer in ways I never thought I was capable. He is becoming one of my heroes of fiction - right up there with Huckleberry Finn, Atticus Finch  and Kilgore Trout.

Although I would definitely have given Bob Cratchit the day off. I'm not that mean. Honest!

7. Unions Died Last Night in Michigan.

Didn't have nothin' to do with the unions themselves, The governor of that state says that the "Right To Work" laws will only "strengthen" the unions. Ain't that a hoot? Get used to living in a country in ruins.


Happy 12/12/12, everyone!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY 


Alice Roosevelt Longworth
by Carol Felsenthal

"Princess Alice", as she was dubbed by the early twentieth century press, was the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt. At a time when most women "knew their place" Alice was something else indeed. Her father once told a friend, "I can be president of the United States or I can control Alice. I can't possibly do both." She was never afraid to do whatever the hell she felt like doing. Although always identified as a staunch conservative, she was perfectly capable of crossing the ideological divide - and she crossed it many times during her long life. Of course by the weird and twisted standards of today, the Tea party would probably label her a screaming lefty. She died in 1980 at the age of ninety-seven. This is a fun biography. Although probably out of print, it's worth a read if you can find it on ebay. This gal's life is a Broadway musical waiting to happen. Seriously.  

BREAKING NEWS, 12/13/12, 4:00 PM:

Susan Rice has just announced that she has taken her name out of consideration to be appointed Secretary of State. In a letter to President Obama she explained:

 "If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities."  

This is an intelligent and capable woman who would have done an outstanding job representing the United States on the international stage. But for the right wing scream machine....

This is pure politics, folks. The GOP knows damned well that Obama's second choice for the position, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, will leave his senate seat open when he is confirmed. They want that seat very badly.  

BOLD PREDICTION: They won't get it.
The Republican party is ruining your country. Are you angry yet?  


Here is a link to a piece I wrote about uber bastard Mitch McConnell two-and-a-half years ago:

Mitch: The Plutocracy's Bitch


At 6:05 PM, Anonymous John said...


I rarely purchase the 'Record' - but can testify as to what a piece of shit it has become in recent years. I do enjoy the 'Bridge' column and 'Dilbert' - but would have to have a puppy to consider a subscription.

Does 'Malllard' really have 3 l's? That is funny...

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Patricia said...

Tom, I totally grew up with Camelot and JFK's portrait in the kitchen, looking down on all 5 of us kids...
I feel you, that Irish Catholic upbringing never leaves you. I knew about "Stand Your Ground" and Jeb Bush, If that dynasty gets into the WH again, shoot me. Dear Lord! What is going on with the Trayvon Martin case, and where did that go? I know Michigan now sadly, is lost, it was the cradle of the union movement. RIP unions. Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot....

At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, if anyone knows of a more despicable, corrupt and reprehensible piece-of-shit ever to slither 'neath the capital dome than Mitch McConnell, please drop me a line. I'd sure as hell would like to know about it. It just doesn't get any creepier than old Mitch.

I vote for Special Ed Schultz, he qualifies for all the listed attributes.

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions members are racists.

Local Lansing Michigan hot dog vendor Clint Tarver was catering for Americans For Prosperity during the right-to-work demonstrations at the State Capitol on Tuesday, when two men rushed into the tent. In a video interview with Breitbart News, Clint claims one of the men wore a "Devil Mask."
When reporter Lee Stranahan describes a Guy Fawkes mask, Tarver indicates that it sounds like that is what the assailant wore. Tarver was shown a photo of a Guy Fawkes mask after the interview and confirmed that it what the attacker who kicked over coffee machines and began attacking the tent with a box cutter, was wearing.

The Guy Fawkes mask is a symbol of both the Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous movements.

Tarver was trapped in the tent as it was knocked down from the outside by an unruly mob of union proponents. He dismissed the conspiracy theory that AFP(Americans for Progress) employees were in any way responsible for the destruction of the tent.

Tarver also says he was called racial epithets by other union attackers, including the "N" word and "Uncle Tom." Tarver says he's never been called such things in his 17 years as a hot dog vendor. His wife expressed her digust that union workers stood around with their hands in their pockets while Tarver attempted to pick up his catering equipment and other items.

Gee, I thought it was the Tea Party that was violent and racist.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Zarathustra said...

Great artile Tom... It's like you're in my head. Except that you say it much better. I feel the way you do about JFK, and I'm not Irish or Catholic. But John Kennedy was my hero. I wasn't old enough to vote for him in 1960, but I worked in his Campaign, As much as a 16 year old could, in 1960.

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

Tom, I always enjoy your work. Stay with it!

RE: "Do you know that in Europe, there are travel agencies . . ."

Florida has been as long as can remember over 60 years - a place that somehow espouses 'wierdness'. When you mention Georgia's Grizzard - I think of Florida's Dave Barry. It really doesn't take a stretch of imagination to find Southern humor.

Miami-Dade has been by far the most socially divided area of the US I have lived in (Boston in the 60s was pretty bad too). Sixty years of the made-up mockery of every ethnic class in Miami has been exploited and separated out from the herd of numbskulls that tolerate this behavior. Jews, Blacks, Latins (Cubans), Catholics, crooks in politics, thugs, doppers - you name it - ridicule and death by 'defending your ground' thrive in that climate. And it lives on . . .

Europeans slowed down their migrations decades ago when they were targeted at the airport - then beat up and robbed by the time they left the parking lot. Now Europeans head torward safer Disney/Orlando. But guess who else has shown up in sunny Orlando?

I moved out of MIA 20 years ago - and have not stepped anywhere near that wretched place - it is tragic to read about . . .

At 11:30 AM, Blogger judyshatir said...

Tom, Just discovered your blog and really enjoyed your 12-12-12 observations, especially your JFK comments. I even got teary eyed wondering if the bastards also took out his son. Keep speaking out against the greedy bastards with humor, you made my day.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should have something called the "Corporate Death Penalty"

If the Penalty doesn't fit the crime, where is the incentive not to commit it again?

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Enlightened Marxist Harry Belafonte was on with pal Al Sharpton this week. His advice for Obama was to imprison opposition like a “third world dictator.”

And DD wants to have honest open debate over ideas on this blog? The truth is the liberals want what Belafonte want, no opposition, no choice, just shut up, sit down, we know what's best for you.

Well, their side won, now they own the results.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

4. Corporate Carnage

Every rich traitor raiding his countries economy, only to abandon the people that helped build his wealth, should be tried for crimes and corruption. They employed their corrupt leverage into public policies in their favor. To flee the country and dodge taxes afterwards should be a crime. That is economic terrorism designed to hurt our nation. They should be treated as such.

Think for a second how many rich people have profited by our, government contracts, by public debt, by our legal system, by our economy, by our infrastructure, by our freedoms, by our people....

Why should they get tax cuts to expand our debt further? Why should we trust those who love wealth more than America run our country?

It’s called Economic Royalty. It is anti-democracy. It is tyranny.

The tyrants and their legions of duped shills fear democracy. They hate unions. They hate fellow Americans with a fascistic zeal. They see the economic royalists as the master race, and liberals and poor as "untermensch".

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Re: Rices

It was ok for Condi to be wrong about everything in Iraq. It is unforgivable Susan kept to cleared intel talking points. Suppose leads to the terrorists identity and capture would be more easily investigated if the killers thought we were on the wrong track. Hmm?

Republicans are such dishonest evil hypocrites. But we knew that already.

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was ok for Condi to be wrong about everything in Iraq."
More racism from DD.

At 2:24 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

what is the problem with the "right to work" laws

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with right to work laws?

Well it means a worker does not have to pay dues to the union in order to work. The reduction of the dues collected means the union will not have the money to spend on liberals running for office.

That's whats wrong with right to work laws.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger edwin_ said...

another great post Tom!

1. conservative talk shows and comedians have never made it because a large part of comedy is the satire & hyprocicy that is far more prevalent on the right. Jon Stewart & Colbert make fun of both sides but there is more material in the right.

Dennis Miller has tried many shows but cannot find much material on the left. He is only funny when he belittles people-which gets old.

Right wing talk talk radio thrives on hate and fear which plays to the conservitave mind

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Truth must be mocked and parodied – there is no other defense against it. Foolishness is mockery and parody unto itself. Example - how can you mock Michael Moore - he is a mockery unto himself. He stands without need for mockery.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger charles moore said...


Anonymous said...
"It was ok for Condi to be wrong about everything in Iraq."
More racism from DD.

As Susan and Condi are both women of color, would you care to explain your charge of racism?

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Good point, Charles. Before you made your posting I was just about to remark that that was one of the silliest comments I ever read on this site.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Tom and Charles,
Don't expect any justification or explanation from that idiot. He never backs his accusations with fact or evidence.

For some reason I arouse his passions.

He seems obsessed with me. Perhaps, in light of his repeated comments about men in showers at my blog, he has suppressed homo-erotic fantasies about me that drive him crazy.

A psychiatrist would note his false accusations as being projection.

Hate and crazy are all he's got.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD only likes women of color who are liberals, other people of color who are not liberals, he detests.

Interesting the liberals are today claiming that Rice stepped down because of racism, not because of skills, calling those who opposed her as having done so only due to her race. There have been statements on this blog that the only reason conservatives do not like Obama is because he is a black man in the White House.
Even thought Rice was never given the offer of the job.
Did DD say the same about the Democratic member's of the Senate and House who voted to support the in Iraq? No he didn't, but now does so against C. Rice. This must be, using liberal logic, because she is of "color". Did DD rail against MS. Clinton when she voted for the War in Iraq, which used Intel from her husbands presidency office as the basis for the war? NO, why not, using liberal logic, it must be because she is not a person of color.
There can only be one reason for such discrimination by DD, and that is he is a racist.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have never listened to Ed Schultz have you.

At 3:46 AM, Blogger South Florida Vending Machines Services said...

They employed their corrupt leverage into public policies in their favor. To flee the country and dodge taxes afterwards should be a crime. That is economic terrorism designed to hurt our nation. They should be treated as such. South Florida Vending Machines Services


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