Thursday, August 29, 2013

One Summer Dream

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."

Martin Luther King, 28 August 1964

He called that one, didn't he? 

John Lewis in 1963
The March on Washington took place twelve days after my fifth birthday - a little over a week before I started kindergarten. I recall the event but, at that tender age, I didn't have a clue as to its political and cultural significance. In the long ago summer of 1963 I didn't even know what racism was - or as it was called back then, "racial prejudice". It wasn't until years after Dr. King passed into eternity that I finally figured out what the March on Washington was all about. I get it now.

Fifty years ago yesterday they came together in Washington. President Kennedy tried to convince A.Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, the two men who had organized the march, to call the whole thing off. JFK was paranoid about an outbreak of violence. The following year he was up for reelection and he knew that the GOP would find a way to place the blame at his feet if anything went amiss. The president need not have worried. This was a revolution of love. 

Ironically, Kennedy's political worries were all in vain. He wouldn't live to see Election Day 1964. Less than three months after the March on Washington he went to Dallas. Wasn't that a time? It's almost like a dream.

Looking at photographs of the scores of thousands of citizens gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, it's hard to believe that most of the people present on that day no longer walk this earth. Among the many who spoke to the masses on that occasion, only John Lewis survives today. He is the last standing leader of the movement that changed America forever.

And we have changed. I wonder if it would have made the people gathered on that day happy to know that fifty years later there would be an African American living in the White House. I suspect that a whole lot of them would have been pretty angry if they knew then that it would take that long for it to happen. 

Yeah, we have come a helluva long way - no doubt about it - but it makes me nauseous when I realize how far we have to go. In fact (let's face a few harsh realities) in too many ways we've gone backwards. In at least seven southern states hundreds of thousands of black people will be refused the right to cast their precious ballots in the mid-term elections of 2014. That's because the descendants of the racist Dixiecrats of yore have seen the writing on the wall. They understand all-too-well that a natural demographic evolution is occurring and that very soon, this will no longer be a country controlled by white men with beer bellies and bad breath. What to do? Keep them darkies away from the ballot box! In Dixieland they're taking their stand.


God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water 
The fire next time

-James Baldwin

Fifty years ago yesterday, Jim Crow died and went to hell. This year, right around the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers, the United States Supreme Court raised the old bastard from the dead. People are strange.

Our electoral process is being "fixed" and we all know who's doing the fixing. It started thirteen years ago when Florida governor Jeb Bush took nearly sixty thousand black people off the voting rolls in order to get his brother elected president. Then in June of this year, the Supreme Court effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That was all that was needed to bring Jim Crow back to life. Within a week of the court's ruling, a few key swing states that are controlled by the Republican party announced that they had made a few "adjustments" to their voting laws. Now everyone will be forced to purchase an ID card in order to vote. This is a poll tax - pure and simple. They say they're doing it to combat the non-existent "plague" of voter fraud. This is going to get very interesting.

Not only is old Jim back from the dead, he's on a nationwide comeback tour.

The Prez and the King
The amazing thing is that they sincerely believe they're going to be able to get away with this. The arrogance of these nitwits astounds. They're completely blind to the shit storm that is about to descend on them - which is incredible to me because, as Uncle Bobby said, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. If you think the nineteen-sixties were a riot, just you wait. There's going to be some serious dues to be paid, baby! Look out, kid, you're gonna get hit....I'm just sayin'.

And it won't just be people whose skin is a mite shade darker taking it to the streets the next time 'round. This involves a lot more people getting disenfranchised. I hope and pray that this next revolution is also a nonviolent - but I'm really not in a position to make any predictions....There could very well be some fire next time. I hope that's not the case but one never knows. Times have changed.
It's hard to know what Martin Luther King would have made of the America of 2013. Surely he would be in a gentle freakout about the economic injustice that the overwhelming majority of Americans (black and white) face today. I think he would be pleased about the administration of President Obama - for the most part. I know damned well that he would not have approved of Obama's use of those so-called "predatory drones". He was thirty-nine when he was murdered in 1968. The ensuing forty-five years of American foreign policy would have made him weep I think. Nonviolence wasn't merely a political tactic with the good doctor. It was part of the man's core being.
"And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Fifty years is a long, long time any way you slice it or dice it. We've come a long way, baby, with a long way to go. We cannot turn back - and in fact we're not going to. There are certain forces out there who refuse to understand this. They'll understand it soon enough.

Let's put the forces of oppression on notice: There is no way in hell we're going to turn back the clock. They can try to stop the tide from coming in. They can try to stop the moon from rising in the eastern sky at twilight. As a matter of fact, they just might have an easier time of it.
Tom Degan
Overcoming since 1958


Blue mountain high - and valley low
I don't know which way I should go

One summer dream....

The title of this piece was inspired by a recording by Electric Light orchestra - a real beauty!


Here is the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the conclusion of the greatest speech made in the twentieth century:


This is as good as it gets, folks. Stop looking.


Being Raised Without Racism

On August 28, 1963, Dirk was an eight-year-old kid growing up in the Netherlands. He was puzzled by America's "race problem" simply because in Holland the kids aren't taught to hate. It's quite a compelling read. 


The link to the "I Have a Dream" speech was taken down by order of the lawyers for King's descendants.  Dr. King was a great man, but his kids are greedy assholes.

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

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Nasty. liberal propaganda. You should be ashamed of yourselves for reading this stuff!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jesus Who?

'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Jesus of Nazareth
From the gospel according to Matthew 25, 31-46


"The Nazz"
A gent by the name of Dr. Rick Lippin left a link on my Facebook page early yesterday evening.  It was an opinion piece from the Forward Progressive website by Allen Clifton. It was titled: "It’s Time to Tell the Truth: Republicans Aren’t Christians". That left me a bit confused. Do you mean to tell me that there are people out there that are only now figuring this out?

Did you ever notice how a lot of these so-called right wing "Christians" are so crazy to have the Ten Commandments engraved into the marble facades of courthouses and government buildings all across this once-great nation? Why is that? The Ten Commandments are from the Old Testament. Jesus isn't even mentioned in that book - not even in passing!

Why has not one of them ever asked that the Sermon on the Mount be engraved on these public buildings instead? Those are Jesus' own words! Straight from the Holy One's mouth, so to speak. I'll tell you why: because Jesus' words in that sermon are anathema to the twisted ideologies of the modern conservative movement, that's why. Think about it....

The meek will inherit the earth? Are you kidding me?

Blessed are the "peacemakers"? Sure, unless that's the name of a guided missile.

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL??? I'm not even gonna comment on that one.

Dick Gregory once remarked that if Jesus Christ (or "The Nazz" as Lord Buckley called him) were to come back to earth today, instead of nailing him to a cross the right wing would tie him to a giant peace sign and roll him off of a cliff. I wonder what the Prince of Peace would have thought of tax cuts for a class of people who already have more money than they'll possibly be able to spend in three lifetimes. I am not a theologian, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Christ would not have approved. Call it a silly hunch on my part.

FOR THE RECORD: Jesus healed people with pre-existing conditions. Did this make him "some kinda damn socialist"??? You gotta wonder. You really do!

I wonder what Jesus would have thought about this blog of mine - or what he thinks of it. The Son of God wasn't a fan of calumny, and I must confess that I can be pretty nasty at times. I'm sure he would not smile upon my referring to the previous president as "a half-witted frat boy" - or worse. I'm certain that he would not have been pleased when a couple of months ago I referred to Sarah Palin as a "brain-damaged bitch". 

My problem is that this site is an outlet for my anger. Anger isn't as good a motivation as sorrow. The problem is that I'm more angry than sorrowful. In fact I'm in a blind freakin' rage. Also I don't claim to be what I'm not. I've never said that I have a hot line to the Almighty. He has never spoken to me (as he seems to "speak" to so many Republicans these days - Have you noticed that?) I'm not a perfect Christian but I will tell you this: If Mitch McConnell showed up at my doorstep one cold and stormy night - hungry and homeless - I would take him in, feed him and give him a warm bed to sleep on. Were the rolls reversed I don't think old Mitch would reciprocate. In fact I'm certain the old bugger would have me arrested - or shot


Go out and purchase yourselves a camel. I'm not too sure what the going rate on camels is these days but, what the hell, you guys can afford it. When you get that camel home, try slipping it through the eye of a needle. Good luck.

If the GOP really is the party of "family values" then that is one twisted, funky and dysfunctional family, baby. If they really are the party of "Christianity" (as so many of them claim to be) they really need a refresher course on what it means to be a true "Christian". Too many of our right wing friends do not worship Jesus. They worship Ayn Rand. Paul Ryan never requires the interns on his staff to read the Beatitudes. Instead he made the reading of Atlas Shrugged manditory. By the way, Ayn Rand was an atheist who thought that religious people, Christians in particular, were nuts. Something to think about, ay?

There is nothing - and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - within the agenda of the modern-day right wing/Tea Party/conservative/Republican movement that has a thing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. But then again, I'm really not giving away any state secrets here, am I?

Have a holy Monday, folks. Seriously.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY 


The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus of Nazareth
From the Gospel According to St. Matthew

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

POST #500: Random Observations

The Thrilling Adventures of
"Just in case you don't know, when you click on Tom Degan links, you are helping put money in his pockets through internet traffic volume, helping him sell advertizing on his site, and or his 'work' lol"

-Anonymous posting, New York City Craigslist, 8/8/13

Well, I never!


Is that a lot or not enough? I'm not too sure. I'm almost certain that Charles M. Blow, Paul Krugman and Gail Collins have each produced a far more voluminous output in that same frame of time. But it should be noted that I don't get paid for writing this stuff (or very little anyway). Think of me as the Mother Theresa of political writers.

Here is as sorry a collection as you're ever going to find of drunken ramblings that I have posted recently on assorted websites and blogs way out yonder in cyberspace or in various newspapers. Happy reading, fellow travelers! 
1. America in Ruins
One of the reasons - and it's the main reason - that America is in decline is because we long ago lost our thirst for knowledge. The people that run this place do not want the masses educated. They want them indoctrinated. In too many American schools, children are not being taught to think. They're being taught to memorize and recite. And if the half-witted right wing has its way, in ten years every public school in this country will be offered up to the highest corporate bidder. Keep voting with the Conservatives. You'll deserve everything that happens to you.
2. Anthony Weiner's Sad Implosion
I have seen more-than-my-share of politicians in complete states of denial - but the case of Anthony Weiner is beyond the realm of pathos. That anyone could throw one career away (and sabotage the possibility of a second one) is too sad for words. Initially my reaction to his mayoral candidacy was, okay, he made a mistake, but there are indeed second acts in American life. Let him have another go at it.

It's all over. The man just simply lacks good judgement. We wouldn't accept this kind of behavior from a fifteen-year-old of below average intelligence. Why should we accept it in a man who wants to be the mayor of one of the most important cities in the world?

Legendary mayor Fiorello LaGuardia once said, "I don't often make a mistake but when I do, it's a beaut." Mike Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkens, Ed Koch, Abe Beame, John Lindsay, Robert Wagner, LaGuardia - all of these New York mayors were capable at times of bad judgement. None of them made a career of it. It's time for Anthony Weiner to quietly fold up the tent and go home. He will still be able to have a very happy life - just not as a public servant. Goodbye and good luck to you, Mr. Weiner. It's been real....sort of.

3. The Uninformed 

Are voters in other countries as pathetically ill-informed as we Americans seem to be on our best days? Every poll conducted says loudly that they are not. This must be a reflection of the quality of leaders we keep sending to Washington - particularly in the South.

Maybe the truth will sink in. Recently It has been looking as if the people of this diseased nation are starting to wake up. Even Mitch McConnell's tenure as the slime of the senate appears to be in serious jeopardy. We can only hope.

Keep your fingers crossed and your hands folded.

4. A Long Overdue Reality Check

"The point, however, is that modern conservatism has moved so far to the right that it no longer has room for even small concessions to reality."
-Paul Krugman, from the New York Times, 12 August 2013
Indeed. Words that should be etched at he foot of Mount Rushmore, Mr. Paul. This is a party that has lost its mind. These are people who should not be handling sharp objects. Assisted living would probably be a tidy solution to what psychologically ails them.
The good news is that the GOP is about to disappear forever. In just a few short years they will be consigned to the trash heap of history where they rightfully belong. They might survive for a number of years in congress, state houses and town and city halls here and there - but none of them will never again be sent to the executive mansion. George W. Bush will be the last Republican president. There will never be another one. Mark my words, campers. Mark my words.

5.  Facebook Follies 2013:

Recently, a local columnist 'round these here parts named Barry Lewis wrote a piece bemoaning the triviality of Facebook. While he made a lot of excellent points, I couldn't help thinking that maybe he's been cultivating the wrong kind of friends.

When I first got on Facebook a few years ago, I had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. I thought it was pretty trivial, too. Unfortunately, a lot of people from my past (particularly those I went to high school with) were trying to get in touch with me — and would only do so through Facebook. In the ensuing years, I found that the site is an excellent forum for getting the message out there — in my case, a progressive political message.

I have since been able to make nearly 4,000 "friends," most of whom are trying — bit by bit — to change America for (we humbly believe) the better. You won't find cute little videos of Tabby or Muffy trying to flush the toilet on my Facebook page.

6.. Waiting for the End of the World

On September 11, 2001, when it became obvious that what was happening was an organized attack, my first thought was the nuclear power plant closest to me (I'll refrain from even naming it). I thought that if they hit that we'd all be up the proverbial creek without the very real paddle. The idea passed the terrorists by. Thank Heaven for these tiny little blessings, ay?

And now we are told that three-hundred tons of contaminated water from the disabled 
Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is leaking into the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis. Sweet.

It's only a matter of time before another major catastrophe occurs, folks. We're fucking bonkers to keep the nuclear power industry going. Can I get a witness?

7. Jebbie in 2016

Jebbie 'n' Dubya
The rumblings for a Jeb Bush candidacy are getting louder by the day. They want us to believe that he is the "savior" of a party that is beyond saving.  There is a part of my mind which tells me that the American people would not be stupid enough to go down this road again. It's the same thought I had in 1999 when Dubya announced that he was running. There is even talk that Jeb's son, George P. Bush, is being groomed to make a run for the White House in 2028 or '32. Can you even fathom the jaw-dropping arrogance of this family? I can't for the life of me. Show me a political party that can't cough up anyone better than Jeb Bush, and I'll show you a political party that is about to disappear.

To paraphrase the great Pete Townsend, I've gotta a feeling 2016's gonna be a weird year. Too weird for words.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY 

Keep you eyes on this young lady:

Rachel Parent is a brilliant, fourteen-year-old activist from Canada who is getting the word out to people about the potentially toxic hazards of genetically modified food. This kid's intellect astounds. Here is a link to view Rachel in a recent appearance on a CBC television program. Watch in glee as she takes the condescending conservative host, Kevin O'Leary, to the intellectual cleaners:

From the mouths of babes....Life is good. When I was her age, I know as a fact that I wasn't even one/tenth as smart as she is. Today, however, I am happy to be able to say that I am one/tenth as smart as Rachel Parent.

Here is a link to Rachel's Facebook page:
Pop in sometime and give the little gal a "Like". This may very well be the first time you've heard the name of Rachel Parent. It won't be the last, I guarantee it. Cheers! 


To sister Susanne for taking the photo at the top of the piece today, and to nephew Pete Dermigny for adding the text for me. Ain't that a scream? 


In 1967 the Walt Disney film company released a film called, "The Happiest Millionaire". I saw it when it came out. The only thing I can clearly remember about the film is this segment, a song sung by Dean Jones called "Detroit". Here is a recording from the soundtrack - with a new and ominous illustration:
Bye bye, America.
UPDATE,, 8/21/13, 3:38 AM:

"Japan will dramatically raise its warning about the severity of a toxic radioactive water leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant, its nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday, its most serious action since the plant was destroyed in 2011. The deepening crisis at the Fukushima plant will be upgraded from a level 1 "anomaly" to a level three "serious incident" on an international scale for radiological releases, a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said. That will mark the first time Japan has issued a warning on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) since the three reactor meltdowns."

Like I said, "Fucking Bonkers". Don't expect regular updates from the so-called "Liberal" media.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bill Clements

Bill Clements interviewing Dr. King, 1966
Has anybody here seen my old friend Bill?

When my uncle Bill Clements died unexpectedly in August of 1983, thirty years ago this week, Gregory E. Favre, the managing editor of the Chicago Sun Times, wrote these words in tribute to his colleague:

"No, there won't be any movies about Bill, but there ought to be. There ought to be a place for a story about a man who inspired others by his actions; a complete professional who loved the truth and honesty; a man whose faith in God and in himself was never shaken; even in the tough times when he was a target because of what he was writing."

Bill Clements was my mother's younger brother. He and Aunt Sheila were vacationing at their summer place at Beaver Island on Lake Michigan on August 7, 1983. He was wading waste-deep in the water when he was stricken with a fatal heart attack. They found his body several hours later. He was only fifty.

I was living and working in Syracuse, NY at the time. Early the next morning I was atop three sections of scaffolding when the superintendent of the building yelled up to me, "Are you Tom Degan?" When I admitted that I was (never an easy thing - then or now) he said he had a call for me. I climbed down to the second level and he reached up and handed me a cordless phone. I knew instinctively that the person on the line had bad tidings to bear. Sure enough, my dad was on the other end. He broke the dreadful news to me as gently as he possibly could. It was almost as if I had been slammed in the gut by a pickup truck going at full speed. I loved the man that much. 

In addition to being a beloved uncle, Bill Clements was known primarily as an "investigative reporter" for the Chicago Daily News and, later, the Sun Times. But as Mr. Favre noted in his tribute, the words "investigative" and "reporter" are kind of redundant. After all, what is a reporter if not an investigator? Whatever term you wish to use, he worked hard at his craft and was better at it than anyone - Woodward and Bernstein be damned. It was his mighty pen that sent former Illinois governor, Otto Kerner, to prison in 1974 in a bribery scandal. Again, in the words of Gregory Favre:

"Bill worked the mean streets of corruption and fraud and lies, but there wasn't a mean streak in his body."

Bill at Sheila's prom, 1954
Oh, and did I mention the fact that he was one of the funniest men who ever lived? In fact, on more than one occasion he was mistaken by strangers as being Tim Conway. For a couple of years in the nineteen-fifties he lived in nearby Chester, NY, at the home of my widowed, paternal grandmother, Anna Degan - exactly seven-hundred miles from his native South Bend, Indiana. One of the summer jobs he held while he lived here was as a Goshen's Good Humor man. It was a job perfectly suited for Bill Clements; the man had good humor to spare. I can just picture him....

When Bill married Sheila in August of 1958, my parents missed their wedding because they were expecting me. That was the first time that I threw a monkey wrench into a family function, It wouldn't be the last.

I bonded with Uncle Billy quite early, spending  the entire summer of 1963 living with him and Sheila at their home in Dayton, Ohio. At that time he was working for the Dayton Daily News. One of his friends, also employed by that paper, was another aspiring journalist named Phil Donahue. I'd like to be able to tell you that living with Bill Clements and his family for so long a period wore off on me (When you're five-years-old, four months is a very long time indeed). I think that it did. I can say with total candor that no person I ever knew made a larger impact on my life. He is the standard against which all others are measured.

In 1981 he and fellow-reporter, Gene Mustain, broke the story that ironically made him and Sheila (who was at the time a beloved fourth grade teacher at a parochial school) pariahs among their fellow Catholics in Chicago. It involved the financial corruption of the late John Cardinal Cody. My cousin, Bill Clements, Jr., is today a reporter in Minneapolis. He remembers all-too-clearly that gut-wrenching time:

Cousin Bill Clements, Jr.
"The Cody series was a jaw-dropper: The stories accused Cody of stealing money from the church to support a woman and her son–and it intimated that Cody was the father of the son. The Sunday after the series first hit, Mom and Dad and my brother, Mike (the youngest and only kid still at home), attended Mass at St. Luke as usual. But this was not a normal Mass. The pastor, our family friend, denounced the stories and my Dad personally from the pulpit that morning."

Immediately after receiving communion, they quietly slipped out of the church. From that day on they  would worship at another parish "where nobody knows us", as he said to his wife and son. During this same period Mike was attending a Catholic high school in River Forest, a suburb of Chicago ten miles to the west of the city. One day he overheard a teacher telling another one that the evil reporter who wrote such a nasty smear-piece about their beloved Cardinal Cody would go straight to the pit of hell. It was that kind of time in the life of the Clements family.

Here is where I must relate a personal story of my devout uncle's relationship with God and his church:

Bill with his father and Bill, Jr.
I lived with Uncle Bill and Aunt Sheila during one more extended period of my life - in the Spring and Summer of 1977. By this time their family was complete - with four, very nice children (Billy, Julie, Katie and Michael - Hi, cousins!). Every Sunday morning it was the same ritual: Attend nine o'clock mass, then come home and sit down for breakfast - and I don't mean hanging out in the kitchen, halfheartedly munching on sausages and toast - I'm talkin' about a grand meal in the dining room, with their best china and silverware. Sunday breakfast at the Clements home was like freakin' Thanksgiving. For the record: Grace was said before every meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

One fine Sunday morn, I skipped out on the family and missed the traditional mass and munchies. At the end of the day he confronted me on my way to bed. The conversation went like this:

"Did you ever get to church today, Tom?" 
"I didn't,  Sorry 'bout that." 
"I dunno, Uncle Bill, I just didn't feel like it."

He almost ran me out of town on a rail. As you might imagine, while I lived under his roof I never missed mass again. 


Bill (right) with my parents and Jack
Goshen, 1957
Bill Clements was the most devout Catholic I ever knew. He once told me that he hated writing the Cody series more than any other of his career - but he wrote it - and you'd better damn-well believe that it's the truth. Case closed. Once again from Mr. Favre's eulogy:

"No, they won't make a movie about Bill Clements. But then they don't make movies about a lot of people who are our real heroes.  And, besides, it would take someone like Spencer Tracy to truly play the role....and we don't have any Spencer Tracys around anymore either."

I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Favre on this one point. The story of the Cody reporting alone would make one heck of a movie! Spencer Tracy has passed into eternity? No problem - George Clooney as Bill Clements; Now that sounds like a plan.

If he heard a statement or an idea that he found preposterous, he had a habit of saying, "That's goofy!" It challenges credulity to think that it's been thirty, very long years, since I've heard that wonderful voice of his - and that I'll never hear it again - at least not in this lifetime. That's pretty goofy, too. I often say that for every person that goes before me I fear it less and less. There must be one fantastic party happening on the other side of that unknowable void. Having a family member like him was better than winning the lottery. I still miss my uncle Bill. This is more-than-likely a permanent condition on my part.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY 


A big thanks and a hug-and-a-half to cousin Bill Clements for the details on the Cardinal Cody series.


Here's a link to read some of the journalism of my cousin, Bill Clements, Jr:
Like father....

Photo of Uncle Bill and Dr. King courtesy of cousin Bill Clements. That's a keeper! 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Pretty Curtains for Mitch

Yurtle the Fascist

Susan Rudd
Weep no more, my lady
Oh, weep no more today
We will sing a song for my old Kentucky home
For my old Kentucky home far away....

-Stephen Foster

A question to ponder for the ages:

It a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if Mitch McConnell is there to deny that a sound was made?

I wonder.... 

"I am descended from generations of Kentuckians on my mother's side. I used to be proud of that fact."

-From My Facebook page, 8/2/13

Stella Louise Crist
The moment I posted that little blurb yesterday afternoon, I knew that I would hear a thing or two from my friend, Stella Louise Crist. A proud native of the Bluegrass State, she and I live less than five miles from one another - although we have yet to meet face to face (Technology is funny that way, you know?). I came across her FB page a couple of years ago quite by accident. When I saw that she was a fan of Eleanor Roosevelt, I had to send her a friend request. Not to my surprise, less than twenty minutes after making the remarks quoted above, she responded, gently taking issue with what I said:

"I am still proud of my KY heritage, still love visiting there, seeing the mountains, talking to the people. Just do not sometimes understand their voting practice."

She makes a good point. I guess I was a little bit harsh in my judgement. It is my experience from visiting there that Kentuckians tend to be good and decent people - the absolute salt of the earth - with a smidgeon of pepper thrown in for variety's sake. It's just that - Jeez Louise! - why would such lovely people keep sending a flaming asshole like Mitch McConnell to represent them in Washington? What's up with that??? 

Alison Lundergan
I was a bit too hasty in criticizing them. It would appear that my Kentucky kin are - FINALLY - coming to their senses, or at least most of them are. They're beginning to wake up. It's curtains for the political career of Mitch McConnell. The man is toast and jelly. He's within fifteen months from being permanently and eternally consigned to the dustbin of history where he rightfully belongs. Not only is a serious challenge being mounted for his seat by Kentucky's Democratic Secretary of state, Alison Lundergan, it is now a certainty that he'll  be challenged in the primaries by some screaming freak from the Tea Party! 

Life is beautiful. 

Yeah (forgive me for gloating but....) as I said on this site well over two years ago, the so-called "Tea Party" was the Frankenstein Monster, created by the Republicans, that would come back to destroy them. It is happening as I write these words. Are you ready for their beef against Mitch McConnell?

"HE'S TOO DAMN LIBERAL! He's just some DAMN Com'nist who goes walkin' 'round dressed like some DAMN, New York JEW lawyer! They oughta put up his statue up in the DAMN  Kremlin!"

You heard it, boys and girls; our boy Mitch is too much of an extreme, bomb throwing Lefty for these nitwits to handle. I'll tell you what: show me a political party that has arrived at the curious notion that Mitch McConnell is not right wing enough for their tastes, and I'll show you a political party that has taken leave of their senses - an understatement if ever there was one.

This is a request I've made before, but I need to make again: 

Please, if anybody out there knows of a more reprehensible snake slithering through the halls of our nation's capital than Mitch McConnell, I'd really like to hear about it. Call me or email me. They just don't get much more corrupt and thoroughly disgusting than good ol' Mitch. The guy is capable of sending my thoughts to places where they don't normally travel - as I related four months ago on this very site:

"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 whilst he recuperates."

Harsh stuff, I know. But it was only a weird daydream of mine. Rest assured, violence has never been my schtick - not even against a reprehensible old bugger like Mitch McConnell. I'm a Gandhi/Jesus kinda dude - not to worry. It's just that the guy brings out the very worst in me - as that little tirade amply demonstrates. I'll be fine, I promise.

I really believed that on Tuesday, Election Day 2008 that Mitch McConnell would be sent packing. Call me a cockeyed optimist. I woke up on Wednesday morning stunned to see that he would be polluting our national political dialogue for another six years. What the hell was I thinking? My Kentucky cousins let me down.

All bet's are off for next year. Mitch is now less popular with his constituency than any politician in recent memory. Rotten mangoes and scarlet fever are polling better these days. He has found himself in one of those unenviable, damned-if-he-does and damned-if-he-don't  predicaments. If he moves too far to the right in order to appease the extremists, he only alienates people with an IQ above room temperature. His dilemma is that  he doesn't dare nudge himself even an inch toward the center. Heaven help him if he even thinks of going in that direction. That is why Mitch McConnell - and the entire Republican party - are within a few short years of disappearing.

These are the good old days.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The photograph near the top of the page is of Kentucky native, Susan Rudd. She was my maternal great-grandmother. She died very young, never even living to see the dawn of the twentieth century. My grandfather, Walter Clements, did not even retain a single memory of her. The photo on the left is of he and I, taken in the summer of 1971, right around the time of my thirteenth birthday. He passed away in August of 1975. That's my heritage, folks! 


The Rachel Maddow Show

This is an essay of Rachel's from last year, calling Mitch on the carpet for his (not "imagined" as he claims) war against women.

I love Rachel Maddow. Just my luck - the girl of my dreams turns out to be a lesbian. I'm having that kind of life. 


Freeda People
by John Lennon

Mind Games (1973) was one of John Lennon's greatest and, inexplicably, most overlooked LP's. At the time it came out in the autumn of that year, most of the critics dismissed it as trash. Pity. It only proves once again (as if any more proof was really needed) that Dr. Winston O'Boogie was decades ahead of his time. THIS ONE CRANKS, BABY!

He's gone - and he's not coming back.

For other recent postings on this dumpster of LEFT WING propaganda, please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan