Monday, June 13, 2016

The American Wasteland

Real Life in America

From this blog, less than three weeks ago, May 24, 2016: 
"This is not "the land of the free". If you are under the delusion that, as an American, you are freer than a citizen of, say, Norway or Ireland or France or England or the Netherlands, you might just as well go back to sleep. We live in a constant state of paranoia and despair, wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will take place - as it surely will, and very soon. Call it what you will, just don't call it "freedom". Don't insult my intelligence, okay? We've been sold down the river to the lowest bidder. Stop kidding yourselves. Just deal with this American wasteland as best you can. 

TIMELY TIP: Vodka helps. Lots 'n' lots of vodka."

Well now! They've had quite the weekend in Orlando, Florida, haven't they! The fact is, that quote at the top of this piece wasn't at all prescient on my part. Are you joking? It was one of the easiest predictions I ever made! It was as simple as predicting that the sun will set in the western sky this evening; a complete no-brainer.

This is the new reality, kids! This is the nation that we are in the process of foolishly bequeathing to our children. Are you possibly delusional enough to believe that the carnage in Orlando this past weekend is going to change a goddamned thing? I am willing to bet you anything that most of the right wing politicians who reside in the pockets of the National Rifle Association are dismissing this latest massacre as "just a bunch of damn dead dykes 'n' faggots 'n' niggers. Good riddance to all of 'em!"
If the corpses of twenty little girls and boys, all barely past infancy - slaughtered inside a Connecticut schoolroom like a barn-full of rabid pigs - wasn't enough to get these sociopathic bitches and bastards in Congress to do what is, after all, the only morally right thing to do, the mutilated bodies of nearly fifty dead homosexuals is not going to get the job done either. Call that "an educated guess" on my part. Don't forget that these nasty little regularities are the price we must pay for - ARE YOU READY FOR THIS? - our "freedom". Ain't that a riot? This has become somewhat of a catchphrase of mine, but I think it needs to be repeated here, please forgive me:

Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

Cut me a little slack, okay? It sure beats: "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" It has a much better ring to it, I think.

As I speculated on May 24, an epidemic of political assassinations of a few fat and corrupt members of the House and Senate would more-than-likely put an end to this madness. Come to think about it, I get the giggles contemplating how fast federal legislation would fly out of the House of Reprehensibles, banning these lethal, rapid-fire, people-killing machines if something that dreadful were to happen. We're talkin' overnight. Can you imagine how many innocent children's lives would be spared in the years to come? Fifty-thousand? One-hundred-thousand? That wouldn't be such a terrible trade-off, come to think about it. Of course, there are today so many of these guns on the street due to the fact that in 2004, the village idiot of Crawford, Texas - stupidly - let the assault weapons ban expire, it would probably take at least a decade before any tangible results were noticed. Keep voting Republican.

And, PUH-LEEZ, before I'm bombarded again with scores of angry emails, I am not advocating violence. That was simply a theoretical speculation on my part. Chill. Nothing like that is ever going to happen....I think....I hope.

Instead of learning a lesson that should have been learned decades ago, Republican politicians have gone into full tilt "I-Told-You-So" mode. The problem, they're already saying, is not the availability of guns - PERISH THE THOUGHT! The problem is all of those naugty Muslims! The shooter (who shall remain nameless) was, apparently, a practitioner of Islam. Donald Trump is already exploiting this latest tragedy by doing a disgusting victory dance.


There were thirty-two mass shootings in the United States last year. Two of them were perpetrated by Muslims. I just thought I'd put that out there.

This is the sort of tragedy the gun lobby and the NRA live for. Since Saturday night's rampage, the sale of firearms across the good ol' USA are through the roof yet again. How secure do you feel? Each time an incident of this magnitude occurs in this doomed country, we become less safe, and the problem only compounds itself. Ruins indeed.


You're out of your minds to come to this country for a vacation. We may not kill you but we're gonna try; so help us, we're gonna try. Watch your step.

Christina Grimmie 1994-2016
Are you ready for the ultimate irony? When I first started putting together my thoughts regarding this latest tirade of mine, the subject I planned on writing about was indeed a shooting in Orlando. The irony is that this was a full day before the mass shooting in a nightclub in that same city that left close to fifty human beings dead. I'm not kidding you. The original subject of this piece was to have been a twenty-two year old singer named Christina Grimmie, an already established talent with a beautiful voice and a remarkable stage presence. She was shot late Friday evening by some deranged punk while sweetly and innocently signing autographs for her fans after a concert. She passed away a couple of hours later.

What I originally intended to emphasize was that, given our insanely permissive gun laws, what happened to Christina could possibly be the start of a new and disturbing national trend. In fact, since John Lennon's murder thirty-six years ago, the only other celebrity-at-random shooting I could recall was that of Rebecca Schaeffer, a twenty-one-year-old actress who was killed on July 18, 1989 by another lunatic who was easily able to gain access to a firearm he never should have owned. I'm stunned that it hasn't happened since. 

It'll happen again; sooner rather than later. Take that to the bank.
Alison Parker
Wayne LaPierre and the NRA will probably, again, make the moronic case (if they have not done so already) that if only Christina had been armed, she would have been able to defend herself. That is complete and utter bullshit. It was the same, idiotic argument they made last August when broadcast journalist, Alison Parker, was shot and killed on live television while conducting an interview in Roanoke, Virginia. She was ambushed. She never stood a chance - not a chance in hell

One lone freak wanted Christina Grimmie dead. His plan was to take his own life after he succeeded in taking hers. That is precisely what happened. If  Christina and the estimated one-hundred people who were witnesses to her killing had been each armed with an AK 47, her killer would still have been able to murder her in cold blood with little or no effort. She was doomed.

When I heard about this latest, totally expected massacre, I barely batted an eye. You see, I anesthetized myself to living in this America a long time ago. I had much the same reaction the moment I got the news of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown nearly four years ago on December 14, 2012. This is the new American reality. folks. Get used to it. This is the way life in this place going to be from now on. Deal with it as best you can.

Was this a great country, or what!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


In case you might have missed it, here is a link to the post from May 24 that is quoted at the top of this piece.

It was a plug for Robert Greenwald's latest film, "Making a Killing: Inside the NRA", something that every thinking American should view.


Here is a YouTube link to listen to the beautiful, forever silent voice of Christina Grimmie. The song's title is a terrible irony: "Hold On, We're Going Home". She's safe in Heaven.

"In Christ Alone"

The gal had some serious talent. She was not merely a great singer, she was an excellent musician. This is so unspeakably sad.

Let's hear it for the gun lobby.


Isn't this campaign season a scream?


At 8:52 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

"And while you're at it. have another sip."

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Just a fact. The hateful murdering bigot in Orlando was also an anti-gay, Second Amendment supporter. His lone wolf loser identification with ISIS separates him from the American far Right. How comforting.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

It's not hard to predict how our gun loving culture and NRA helped set the stage for this recent slaughter in Orlando.

President Obama Spoke at a town hall meeting hosted by PBS News Hour on June 3. “I just came from a meeting today in the situation room, in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, And we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.”

“This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer, and if he wants to walk into a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as many weapons and ammunition as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that even though the FBI knows who he is,” the president said.

The scenario Obama described as a possibility has now come true.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

"The problem is all of those nasty Muslims! The shooter (who shall remain nameless) was, "apparently", a practitioner of Islam." Just how dense are you Tom?

Islamic State To Release Propaganda Video Celebrating Orlando Terror Attack.

Father of Orlando Shooter Expresses Anti-Gay Beliefs: “God Will Punish Those Involved In Homosexuality” ….

Four days before a shooter in Florida killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens others in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, a pro-ISIS organization released a hit list with more than 8,000 people. The list includes more than 600 people who live in Florida.

"Do you feel safer?"

Has ISIS Infiltrated Homeland Security? Orlando Terrorist Worked for Major DHS Contractor.

Tom, do you have any idea how detached from reality your latest post makes you appear? But then you do support lying when you could be "truthing"

At 4:42 PM, Blogger TOM said...

It's been a move script for decades. Society becomes nothing but street beggars and will kill for a glass of water. The after the A-bombs destroy the world scenario. Growing up in a time of duck and cover, I always wondered how long it would take to reach that point. Much of the third world countries are already there. The tipping point will be, when these terrorists get nuclear weapons. I wonder if humans will to survive will outlast humans will to kill? Most religions have the end of the world scenario before they can get to heaven. Now back to Trump on TV where he is telling Americans how his fascist vision will save America.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

This is her audition it is worth watching.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger jonnybullit said...

COMPASSION! A sympathetic awareness of another’s suffering or adversity coupled with a desire to alleviate it.

To the Donald and his gaggle of lemmings,1 John 3:17 reads, But whoever has the material possessions of this world and sees his brother in need and yet refuses to show him compassion, in what way does the love of God remain in him?

It makes me wonder, what Bible do they read?

Proverbs 20: A man with a crooked heart will come to no good,and a man with a reversible tongue will fall into disaster.

What is a deceiver? King Solomon said, “A good-for-nothing man, a man of hurtfulness, is walking with crookedness of speech, winking with his eye, making signs with his foot, making indications with his fingers. Perverseness is in his heart. He is fabricating something bad all the time. He keeps sending out merely contentions.”—Proverbs 6:12-14.

Does this sound familiar? It absolutely positively describes the Donald. His deceptions include facial expressions and certain gestures along with his tone of voice. Behind his lame attempts at humor, lurk a perverted mind and spirit of discord. He's constantly fabricating contentious schemes to mislead the weak minded.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...


Tell that to ISIS.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Dave Dubya says:


It makes me wonder, what Bible do they read?

Tell that to Chuck. He'll listen about as much as any Trumpie, or even ISIS will. (They all like the anti-gay stuff, as they ignore the love your neighbor part.)

Chuck and North Korea like the Donald. I guess we just "don't get it".

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Brick1101 said...

A good friend posted this to his site today.
This has to be the one of the most reasoned explanations I've read on this massacre.

What to say after Pulse

June 14, 2016
This is what I have to say post the Pulse massacre.

The problem is not that this man was a demon, an outsider, some sort of outlier on the continuum of human American experience.

This man was a citizen of this country. He was what is held up as the norm: young, religious, husband, father.

The problems are the systems that surrounded this man, that taught him that the normal reaction to seeing people different from himself was disgust.

The systems that taught him that his disgust was normal.

The systems that taught him to rationalize his disgust as an expression of faith. The systems that cloaked that rationalization in a rhetoric of nobility.

The economic systems that allowed him to weaponize that disgust, to turn that disgust into bullets and mutilation.

At every step he made decisions that he is responsible for, but at every step those decisions were made easier by hundreds of other people whose words and actions told him : Yes, you are right to be disgusted, and the righteous way to deal with your disgust is to deal death to people you don’t know and to crow about it. Here is a gun that lets you do that, here is a system that will laud you for doing that.

When politicians pray after these things, pray after killing bill after bill that would break these systems, pray after taking money from people whose incomes come from making it easy for these men to spray death, I can only think that they are praying that people don’t connect the dots, that people don’t try to say to them, you continue to teach people that their disgust is normal, that their violence is normal and right and good, that their deadly actions are normal. They are praying that people don’t wake up to the fact that you have said to all of those families and lovers of the people who died at Pulse that you would rather have your gun today than to have any of those victims still alive.

The killer was merely the agent of your contempt. When you put your righteousness above those lives, when you put your gun above those lives, you make a sham of the Constitution and the country and the god you claim to serve and revere.

The problem is not that the killer is beyond the pale: The problem is that the killer was an apt pupil for all the teaching that you left for him and which you are still maintaining today.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger aileen said...

Excellent post, accurate too.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

Golly Tom, are you posting Dave's emails for him?

"The economic systems that allowed him to weaponize that disgust"

Yeah, that's it, it's the "system's" fault, no one is responsible for their actions. Just like the thugs outside a Trump rally are not responsible for their action's.

The Islamic murder of Gays in Orlando, was he a Democrat, was he gay, did he pledge allegiance to ISIS? But wait, it's the "economic systems that allowed him to weaponize".

What a load of crap.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

Spain’s once mighty socialists succumb to populist rage

In Germany, the Social Democrats are polling around historic lows, as are the French Socialists under their unpopular president.

With few exceptions — Italy being the most obvious — the European centre-left finds itself in the midst of a long and painful retreat.

And Bernie didn't win the Democrat nomination.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Is Chuck really bright enough to compose full sentences and paragraphs? There is no singular "Democrat nomination". Democratic nomination is the correct term.

I'm not saying he is an ignorant liar and a thief, but apart from the last botched sentence, Chuck’s entire previous comment was plagiarized from this link.

Just the facts.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Note Chuck’s propaganda says “Islamic murder of Gays in Orlando”, but what will he say about the “Christian murder of Americans in Oklahoma City”? How about the “Christian murders at Planned Parenthood in Colorado”, and the “Christian murder of Dr. Tiller in church”?

Well, THAT’s different, of course.

Chuck MUST ignore all the terrorism from his fellow far Right true believers. Those people died from good “Right-to-life-before-birth-only Christian bullets” and a good “Christian patriot truck bomb”.

IOKIYAR and IOKIYAC, amirite?

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Moral relativism on display: Had Chuck ever shown compassion for the LGBT community? No. Never. He hates them.

Note Chuck’s propaganda whines about “Islamic murder of Gays in Orlando”. But what will he say about the “Christian murder of Americans in Oklahoma City”? How about the “Christian murders at Planned Parenthood in Colorado”, and the “Christian murder of Dr. Tiller in church”?

Well, THAT’s different, of course. We can appeal to reason, but that never works with a cult of true believers. Christianity doesn't murder, people do. Islam doesn't murder, people do.

Chuck MUST ignore all the terrorism from his fellow far Right true believers. Those victims died from good “Right-to-life-before-birth-only Christian bullets” and a good “Christian patriot truck bomb”.

IOKIYAR and IOKIYAC, amirite?

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...


In 2015 Islamic terrorists committed 2860 attacks in 153 nations, killing 27596 and injuring a further 26145.

If a man claims he is a woman or if women claims she is a man, liberals take them at their word without any physical evidenced to support either claim, but instead insist the person's word is enough.

When a Muslim pledges allegiance to ISIS while slaughtering infidels and claim they are only following Sharia law and the teachings of their faith Islam, liberals tell us their actions are due to the NRA, Christians, and conservatives.

Why won't liberals take the Islamic terrorists at their word, just as they take the word of a Transgender person? There is after all, much more physical evidence (sadly) to support the claims of the Islamic Terrorists.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chuck wonders, “Why won't liberals take the Islamic terrorists at their word”.

Why does Chuck believe that, and any other, nonsense about liberals?

Not one liberal said, “He didn’t pledge to ISIS”. They did say it was an act of terror AND a hate crime because the killer was a bigot. ISIS didn’t make him do it. He was probably a messed up bigot before there even WAS an ISIS.

No one has done more than the NRA to assure terrorists can buy weapons of war at the local gun store. Just a fact.

Why can’t cons see that?

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Clay said...

I downloaded the pic that accompanied your May 24th rant about the NRA becoming a Domestic Terrorist Organization, and tweeted it several times. It has been seen more than 60,000 times, as it was retweeted by many others. A LOT of people agree with you. Enough is Enough!

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Let me remind everyone that, henceforward, all comments must be on topic.

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

Considering that the U.S. arms and supports terrorist states, and indeed it can be argued that it has become one itself, is it any wonder that the likes of an Omar Mateen doesn't commit this sort of venomous slaughter each weekend of the year? Mateen reportedly posted: "The real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west" and "You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes…now taste the Islamic State vengeance."

United States foreign policy created this mindset. The American empire spawned enemies all around the world and is undoubtedly responsible for creating the power vacuum in Iraq that resulted in the rise of ISIS and other groups eager and able to fill the void left behind. Now we're seeing the results of this interfering; the results of unilaterally attacking sovereign nations in the name of American exceptionalism and hegemony.

It's now coming home to roost. Is it any wonder? (if it still is, you're definitely Hillary Clinton material.)

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

"The real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west"

Does USA's foreign policy oppose abortion? Islam does.
Does USA's foreign policy oppose homosexual? Islam does.
Does USA's foreign policy oppose alcohol? Islam does.
Does USA's foreign policy support freedom of religion? Islam doesn't.
Does USA's foreign policy support transgender rights? Islam doesn't.

Name the foreign policy of France or Belgium which caused Muslims to comment terrorist attacks and create terrorists cells there?

"United States foreign policy created this mindset."

Bull Sh*t, pure "Blame America First" bull sh*t!

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Chuck Morre: "Does USA's foreign policy oppose abortion? Islam does. Does USA's foreign policy oppose homosexual? Islam does. Does USA's foreign policy oppose alcohol? Islam does. Does USA's foreign policy support freedom of religion? Islam doesn't. Does USA's foreign policy support transgender rights? Islam doesn't."

And your point is?...

"Name the foreign policy of France or Belgium which caused Muslims to comment [sic] terrorist attacks and create terrorists cells there?"

For starters, France is another lapdog of the United States when it concerns interventionist policy. Plus, maybe they like their women's accent. ;-) Belgium?...could be because Brussels is the headquarters for NATO? Who knows? I don't know how ISIS operates or what's behind their strategic goals. Obviously, neither do you.

"Bull Sh*t, pure 'Blame America First' bull sh*t!"

Of course! All one needs to do is follow the money. [Disclaimer: I never blamed the people of the United States. Overwhelmingly, the citizens of this country want us out of these permanent meaningless wars. My beef is with the government's foreign policy, which caters to the military-industrial-complex.]

I see you're still your usual articulate self. ;-)


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