Thursday, June 02, 2016

2006 - 2016: Ten Years of The Rant

Dancing in the London Rain, May, 2010
Ten years ago today, in the wee, small hours of June 2, 2006, I received an email from a woman in Missouri. She told me that she had been enjoying my nocturnal postings on a delightfully subversive website called "AlterNet", and that she was "a fan" (I could not even imagine such a thing). She said that I wasn't a half-bad writer, and that I should think about starting my own blog. At the time I wasn't terribly computer savvy and was only vaguely aware of what a "blog" even was.

"How do I do "that?", I wrote back.

"Go to", she replied, "They'll walk you through it".

I did as instructed and, within about twenty minutes, I had my first piece up. It was called, "George W. Bush: The Last Republican President". At that moment, I was only half-convinced that this would, indeed, be the case. A decade later I am almost certain of it. In that first piece, I also predicted that Bush would be remembered, primarily, as the first former chief-executive to go to federal prison. On June 2, 2006, I had a bit more faith in the concept of justice than I do today. I've since come to appreciate that blind faith in a "concept" is a complete waste of one's intellectual energy. It's a lesson I should have learned long before.

There are two sets of rules. One for the Ruling Class - and one for the rest of us. The one percent need not adhere to the laws that you and I are obliged to live by. Ted Bundy murdered a score of women and died in the electric chair. George Bush and Dick Cheney murdered hundreds-of-thousands of men, women and little children. Today they dwell in comfy retirement. 

Doesn't life suck sometimes?
May 2016
To my eternal regret, I cannot remember the name of the Missouri gal who started this mess - or at least I think that's where she was from. If she reads this I hope she gets in touch with me. Chances are I would never have been inspired to start this site had it not been for her gentle encouragement. In the early years she would occasionally post in the comments section under the pseudonym, "Prairie Waif", and then she disappeared. Perhaps she has passed away.

Initially it was called, "Tom Degan's Daily Rant". However, after about a week I realized that trying to put these things out on a daily basis was a Herculean task that I was not up to. For reasons of practicality, I changed the title to "The Rant by Tom Degan". For over thirty years Eleanor Roosevelt put out a daily column called, "My Day". With the exception of when her husband died in April of 1945, she never missed a deadline. God bless the old gal. I don't know how the heck she managed to do it.

Four or five months after I started this site, I had an epiphany. "The First Draft" would have been a much better title, and - to this very moment - I'm kicking myself for not having thought of it on that first day. By the time I realized this, I was staring to acquire a bit of a following and decided it would be wise to just stick with "The Rant". I still regret that. Personally, I don't particularly care for the name. I chose it on the spur of the moment and now I'm stuck with it.
Shoppin' with Dubya, 2008
I've been accused at times of being an egotist for the fact that I put my name on the title of this blog. Why I did this is simply because I was dismayed by the fact that so many writers post their opinions on the internet anonymously. We need to hold our heads high, without fear, when we speak out against this inherently corrupt system that has been bequeathed to us - and which we are on the verge of stupidly bequeathing to our children. My opinion is that we haven't yet gotten to the point where we should be afraid for our own personal safety and security for making our rage known. No, we haven't gotten there - yet. That may change someday. 

Hey! I just had the nuttiest idea: Let's all vote for Donald Trump this Autumn and see what happens!

On second thought, let's not....

This is the 643rd piece I've written for this site. Is that a prolific number or not? Is it just about right? Is it not quite enough? To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure. I think I've written more articles than Matt Taibbi has in that time-frame, but his stuff tends to be a little more detailed than mine and - let's be brutally frank here - he's a much better writer than I am. That is not false modesty on my part, that is the stone-cold truth. Read him sometime if you think I'm exaggerating. The guy is on the mountaintop.
Occupying Wall Street, 2012
I guess 643 pieces in ten years is about as it should be. There might have been a few more had fate not intervened. In the summer of 2012, I became thoroughly depressed thinking Mitt Romney was going to win the presidential election, and I posted not a thing for about ten days. On December 17, 2013, a young person whom I loved more than my own life passed away unexpectedly, and I was unable to write a word for over two weeks. Then in February of 2014, I was hospitalized for over ten days and almost died. Near-death experiences tend to put a bit of a cramp in one's literary style - just in case anyone ever asks you.

All-in-all, I think I've called them fairly well. About a year ago I took a merry stroll down Memory Lane to recall the earliest postings and was amused (and in one case horrified) by what I came across. A few of them I would have worded differently had they been written today, no doubt about it. That is probably a sure sign that I have "matured". However, in ten years there are only three pieces that I'm profoundly embarrassed by....

Don't bother looking at the one I wrote on September 18, 2006. I made a bold prediction that I was certain would occur by year's end. It never happened. It hasn't happened still. Pass that one by.

You might also wish to avoid the little ditty I composed three months later, on December 20. I was falling-down-drunk on the night I wrote it. In fact, I had no recollection of writing it the following day. I left it as is - an eternal reminder that I should not drink and write. Hunter Thompson, Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway I'm not.

AND PLEASE, DO NOT - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES - READ WHAT I WROTE ON JANUARY 27, 2008!!! I won't even hint at what that one was all about. I still get the dry-heaves just thinking about it.
With cousin Madeline Degan, 2014
Other than the three exceptions listed above, I think I've done okay. I guess I could delete the clunkers simply to make nice with hindsight, but that wouldn't be very sporting on my part. Stand by your triumphs. Own up to your errors.

As I write these words it is now 3:15 AM. The counter that I had installed a little over four years ago tells me that, in that space of time, we've had 1,269,734 hits. Not too shabby, I suppose - but I'm hoping to make those numbers a bit bigger in the future....That was an understatement. I want EVERYBODY to read this thing. I know that's unrealistic on my part - but hey! You've gotta dream, baby! You've gotta dream. You may say I'm a dreamer....

Thank you for reading!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


George W. Bush: The Last Republican President
June 2, 2006

The first piece I wrote on this site ten years ago today. Nothing particularly earth-shaking; just an introductory salutation. The only extraordinary thing about it is the title. I think I nailed it. 

I thought that the Republican Party hit rock bottom with Ronald Reagan in 1980. I never foresaw George W. Bush. When Dubya came along, I thought that he was a bad as it could get. Sixteen years later, along came Donald Trump. It makes me positively giddy wondering what they're going to puke up in 2020!


by Maurice Ravel

It is impossible (for me anyway) to pinpoint what is the "greatest" piece of music ever composed. All of the milestone compositions stand out for a variety of reasons. Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" belongs up there with the best of them. I love this one so much that I'm barely able to put it into words. As with so many of the classics, my father turned me on to this one.

Just listen to it and let it take you away. Three o'clock in the morning is the perfect hour for this.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 7:20 AM, July 2, 2016:

The woman called "Prairie Waif" got in touch with me this morning.


At 4:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Tom. Job well done.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

Congratulations Tom.

Are you taking time from your real job to participate in the Anti-Hillary 'Occupy DNC' Protest?

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

"Are you taking time from your real job?"

Don't be silly. Tom Degan doesn't have to work. His grandfather invented the Cobb salad.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have nothing but a piece of shit attack blog and you wonder why people post anon. Thanks for proving you are a stupid idiot. You could eliminate anon. responses, but you love your hate blog.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Congrats, Tom.

Here's hoping we make it through the next ten years.

And what a ride it will be.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave Dubya: "Here's hoping we make it through the next ten years."

Congratulations Tom! Here's hoping, in the next ten years, you're not trading your blog for a gulag. ;-)

Best wishes...

p.s. Save your cigarette butts...they may be powerful bartering materials.

At 2:10 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

More peace loving socialists & illegals at work. Don't see conservatives doing this at a Hillary or Bernie rally.

Violence escalated in San Jose Thursday night when a group of at least 100 anti-Trump protesters attacked people leaving a Donald Trump rally. Tom Llamas of ABC News, who Trump called a sleaze on Monday, Tweeted from the scene that tonight was “the most violent demonstration we’ve seen” in this election so far.

Related Video: American Flag Burned Outside San Jose Trump Rally

"Make California Mexico again" chanted in San Jose at #Trump rally
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) June 3, 2016

John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is saying that violence has “no place in this election."

Unprovoked violence:

I called 911 but no one answered. Donald trump protest in San Jose, CA
— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) June 3, 2016

Violence against supporters of any candidate has no place in this election.
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) June 3, 2016

Related Video: Full Speech: Trump Responds To Hillary Clinton At San Jose Rally: "She Has To Go To Jail"

Another woman was assaulted with eggs and bottles:

Watch: The moment a Trump supporter, surrounded by protesters, is egged in the face, hit by other food.
— Jacob Rascon (@Jacobnbc) June 3, 2016

Full live coverage via The Guardian...

Protestors have mostly dispersed. Still pockets of activity around convention center.This was by the most violent demonstrations we've seen.
— Tom Llamas (@TomLlamasABC) June 3, 2016

At 5:09 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Narcissistic personality disorder? I wouldn't agree with that assessment, but you have every right to make your case. Perhaps an argument could be made for that. I don't have a degree in psychiatry and am not in a position to do so.

The only reason I posted photos of myself on this piece is, quite simply, this was a bit of a milestone for me, that's all. I normally don't posts photos of myself here - with the exception being the occasional "random observations" piece.

As I said when writing this one, I do not believe that people who express strong opinions should hide behind anonymity. I think it is cowardly. But I allow people to post in such away on this site because I am, at heart, a First Amendment purist. Call me "a stupid idiot" if you please. It is your right.

And I feel it right to let people know what I look like every once in a while.

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

I just read the clearest and most concise article about Clinton's emails. Without a doubt if the law was followed she would be in prison for the next few years instead of the White House. But she has all the advantages and government officials on her side so the revolting idea of President Hillary Clinton will come to pass.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's cowardly is fueling a fight blog. What's cowardly is never responding to readers questions. What's cowardly is posting something and walking away to watch the fighting. Anon?? All your idiots are anon., but thanks for admitting you have a cowardly blog and coward readers. At least you know you are a coward.

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

Anon, go suck a big one. You have nothing to contribute, go whine some where else.

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Tom says you are a coward! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Harry from Wallingford, CT said...

Congrats Tom on your 10 year anniversary on blogger.

Remember 10 years back when promoting his Oscar-winning "documentary", An Inconvenient Truth — Al Gore declared that unless we took “drastic measures” to reduce greenhouse gasses, the world would reach a “point of no return” in a mere ten years?

He called it a “true planetary emergency.”

Well, the ten years have passed, we’re still here on, and the climate activists have postponed the apocalypse. Again.

How about the current Chicken Little on your blog predicting the ice caps would melt at the end of May 2016? Thank you sooooooooooooooo much Mr. Hansen for postponing the man made global warming apocalypse! What are you going to do with that big boat in your back yard lol lol?

At 1:44 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

Point well made Harry!

At 2:35 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I'm so glad climate specialists, and flat earthers, Harry and Chuck are weighing in. I bet they were experts on tobacco smoking having no link to cancer too, amirite?

I wonder if THEY can figure out why the Pentagon is taking climate change quite seriously.

Maybe it should be de-funded for wasting tax dollars?

Why does the Pentagon accept record high temperatures and record low Arctic Ocean ice as facts?

Who's gonna set the Pentagon straight? Fearless Leader Drumpf says the Chinese are to blame for the global conspiracy of evil climate scientists.

Well, boys?

Who's gonna set the Pentagon straight?


Time for more of that "con" in Con-servatism.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Upchuck More (posing as Harry from Wallingford, CT...again): "...unless we took 'drastic measures' to reduce greenhouse gasses, the world would reach a 'point of no return' in a mere ten years?"


"...the ten years have passed, we’re still here on, and the climate activists have postponed the apocalypse. Again."

Chuck and, er...Harry, obviously don't have a clue what "point of no return" means. What an entertaining display of unabashed ignorance. Again.

It so suits "them". ;-)

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

This is the version of the "new, New Deal", that should be supported. If Jill Stein would team up with Bernie Sanders, this is what we could work toward and succeed in having.

Otherwise, it's busy as usual...or worse.

At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it looks like Jefferson's Guardian is also James Hansen. How is your Noah's Ark project going in preparation for the man made global cooling/warming/climate change apocalypse that is going to happen?

When is that apocalypse supposed to happen?

Maybe we should start calling you Nostradamus.

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Make America Great Again said...

I think we saw enough in San Jose of how the radical left wants America to become, agree with us or get assaulted. Nice. Despite all the high minded folks screaming fascism at Trump, it's the democratic supporters doing their best Brownshirt impersonations.

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

day after day liberals are making America poorer, dumber and its citizens slaves to government.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Make America White Again" ignores the Trump thugs who assaulted people. In the failed Republican state of Kansas one thug chanted "Trump, Trump, Trump" after assaulting a Muslim student. IOKIYAR, amirite?

Still ignored:

"Why does the Pentagon accept record high temperatures and record low Arctic Ocean ice as facts?

Who's gonna set the Pentagon straight? "

Cons seem too stupid, or just plain chicken, to answer this simple question.

Exhibit A: day after day liberals are making America poorer, dumber and its citizens slaves to government.

Can I personally take credit for Mike's stupidity, poverty and slavery?

So the "Great Liberal Conspiracy" is working almost as well as the "Chinese Global Conspiracy of Evil Climate Scientists".

We have the Pentagon!!! It's all over. Bwaaa haa haaa haaa!

The Radical Right Bubble Cult is full of true believers, nuts, and of course, haters.

Meanwhile racists and militia nuts form the core of Herr Drumpf’s SS, er, delegates:

White Nationalist Party Claims More of Its Members Are Now Trump Delegates

Is Trump their ticket into the GOP convention and the mainstream?

Trump Delegate Indicted on Federal Weapons and Child Porn Charges

The Maryland delegate was approved for the GOP convention by the Trump campaign.

Trump Delegate Says Current US Leaders May Need to Be "Killed"

A Patriot Movement supporter, approved by the Trump campaign, talks of violently overthrowing the federal government

Obviously, IOKIYAR.

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration has increased regulation of business, created the most important new federal program in decades, and made the tax code significantly more egalitarian. The assertion that Obama is a “neoliberal” and “neoliberals” have views indistinguishable from “conservatives” is staggeringly untethered to reality.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration implemented a conservative Heritage Foundation plan for "wealth care" program for insurance companies.

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration continued many of Bush's policies. They chose to "look forward".

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration failed to investigate the pre-war in Iraq, selective, cherry picked, and false intelligence, and those who promoted the lies. They chose to "look forward".

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration failed to hold anyone accountable for torture and war crimes. They chose to "look forward".

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration not only failed to halt corporate written trade agreements, they openly supported them.

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration failed to protect Social Security and other safety nets by offering them to be cut in his, thankfully failed, "grand bargain".

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration continues targeted assassination by drones.

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, the Obama administration considers Snowden a traitor and Petraeus a patriot.

Obama supports gender and LGBT equality and a few other items from the progressive social agenda. That is what separates him from the cons. The neo-liberal agenda has no quarrel with that.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you hate and despise Clinton and would rather see every non-white person in the country suffer rather than see Clinton get the Oval Office then OWN THAT HATE! Just admit that you hate Clinton, you don’t care what positions she takes or what she stands for or even what she promises, and that you would prefer to see the world BURN before you’d vote for her.

Number one, it means you’re being more honest with everyone (including yourself) and number two it means you can sort yourself into the right ideology and go join the Republican party. If you don’t care about anyone other than yourself and your hatred of Hillary Clinton then you are a Republican – just like the folks who didn’t care about anyone or anything other than their hatred of Barack Obama were also Republicans.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

Brother, are the liberal liars ever out in force today!!!

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ChuckSoreLoser, you've posted more lies here than anyone.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Harry From Wallingford said...

Despite only two years of Democratic control of Congress, Obama said the following lies:

1. If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Period. (Politico Lie of the Year 2013)

2. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.

3. ObamaCare is going to save you $2500 every year on your health insurance. Period

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chuck "American ISIS propaganda video" Morre knows all about lies.

So does Harry. How many died as a consequence of Obama'a lies again? Got a number? Anyone?

What about the lies about Saddam having ties to al-Qaeda and his "nukular" aluminum tubes?

4 thousand dead Americans, countless dead Iraqis, and the creation of ISIS by the Iraqi army Bush stooges fired.

Better blame the evil black guy, amirite?

Still ignored:

"Why does the Pentagon accept record high temperatures and record low Arctic Ocean ice as facts?

Who's gonna set the Pentagon straight? "

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...


Looks like we may have kicked over an ant nest of lying liberals.

It is going to be a "riot" (starting with Occupy DNC, do you know if Tom is going?) watching them twist and turn as they realize that the Year of Bernie is coming to an end.

I read where President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela supports Bernie claiming Sanders would win if U.S. elections were free and fair. I hope you can see the irony of that man telling us about free and fair elections? Like he would know one if he was in one.

Venezuela, land of the free everything.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Lyin' Chuck forgot to tell us how to set the Pentagon straight on climate change.

Why is that? Is it because he's a liar, and idiot, AND a coward? Just asking, since he's too chicken to engage in fair discussion.

Could it be the same reason he needs to cackle about the troubled oil based economy of Venezuela? Why does he care more about that than the Republican failed state of Kansas?

Kansas, where the state can't even run public schools due to tax cuts for the rich. Better keep those future Republicans illiterate and dumbed down like Lyin' Chuck.

And why doesn't Lyin' Chuck talk about fellow Trump supporters Trumpie Kim Jong Un and Trumpie Vlad Putin? Herr Drumpf's fan club is filling up with dictators, racists, klansmen and thugs.

Better deflect to Venezuela in hopes we forget Lyin' Chuck's lies about ISIS videos and climate change.

You don't have to be liar to be a Republican...well, yes you do.

At 12:09 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...


This is so much fun, I can't wait until the SECRET SERVICE AGENT BOOK ROCKS CLINTON CAMPAIGN comes out!! It's called 'CRISIS OF CHARACTER by Former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne. Comes out 6/28/16.

This is going to be one fun summer. With Uncle Bernie a distant third in the number of votes cast for a single candidate during the primarys (behind Trump and Clinton) it will be RIOT, (there's that word again) watching the socialists claim Bernie was robbed and then do as Tom and support Crooked/Crocked Hillary. Just as Nicolás Maduro the western hemisphere expert on fair and open elections has predicted.

Harry From Wallingford, CT. do you know many yards Hillary had to "sprint" under sniper fire in Bosnia? Love to see that sprint on You Tube!

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous at 12:31 PM: "Just admit that you hate Clinton, you don’t care what positions she takes or what she stands for or even what she promises, and that you would prefer to see the world BURN before you’d vote for her."

I take it that you're for business-as-usual?... ;-)

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

From this day forward, comments that are off topic or obscene and insulting to other commentators will not be accepted. Comment moderation is now a reality on this blog.

The right wing trolls are no longer amusing.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Tom Murphy said...

Bummer, I was hoping Prairie Waif would chime in.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Amolibri said...

I add my praise for your blog...however, Bolero is far from the best piece of music, IMO. The film "10" did not help it in the least. :-) Write on, Tom!!! (Lena S.)

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Jill said...

I suppose you should be flattered that the trolls have found you. I was never as "fortunate." On the other hand, I never missed them either. Congratulations on your 10th blogiversary, Tom. I admire that you have reached that milestone and still want to keep on truckin'. I hit 10 years , limped along for a while after spilling my guts during my own personal annus horribilis of 2013, and decided I just didn't have the energy anymore, so I now spill bile on Facebook, where I think most of my followers ignore me. Maybe when I retire I'll go back to it, but sometimes I think that the fight is over and the demons have won.

Keep fighting that good fight.


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