Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Out of the Woodwork and Into the Mainstream

"No one mourns the great crimes committed against us. For us it is conquer or die....To be white is to be a crusader, an explorer and a conqueror. We build. We produce. We go upward."
Richard Spencer
Speech to the annual conference of the National Policy Institute
19 November 2016
A woman on Facebook posted an ominous comment yesterday regarding an acquaintance of hers  who is a German exchange student studying in the Los Angeles area. This person received a communication from his parents instructing him to come home immediately. The reason?
"America has fallen." 

The Lovely "Ms. L" of Indiana
Well now! Doesn't that just give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside? The times they certainly are, uh, "changing".
I received a message early this morning from my beloved friend, whom I'll refer to here as "Ms. L", gently urging me to write about this. She lives in Indiana. Although that state has radically shifted to the right in recent years ("Governor Mike Pence"? - I ask you.) she not long ago moved to Indianapolis, an oasis in a desert of craziness. My late mother was born and raised in that state. A lot of my dear cousins, the fabulous Clements Family of South Bend, still call Indiana home. I used to be proud of my connection to the Hoosier state. As the Monkees once sang, "That was then. This is now". 

The quaint little gathering, from where the speech above is quoted, did not take place in a Bavarian beer hall, circa 1933, it took place four days ago - at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Ain't that a hoot? I knew that the National Policy institute was extreme, but even I was dumbfounded by the words emitting from the mouth of Richard Spencer while addressing this mob of racist dingbats. At one point, this asshole even had the chutzpa to cry out: "Hail Trump! Hail our [white] people! Hail victory!"

Seig heil, mein Trumph!

I would love to be able to tell you that when I awoke on this otherwise fine Autumn morning, on a whim, I decided to try my hand as a writer of fiction, and that this was merely a sick and twisted fantasy on my part. Sorry. All of this is very true indeed. The election two weeks ago of Donald J. Trump has brought the fringe into the mainstream of our national political conversation. At one point in his diatribe, Spencer went so far as to depict journalists as somehow being sub-human - an old Nazi ploy. He referred to the press as "Lügenpresse", an epithet that Hitler and his gang once used to attack members of the media who dared to offer even the mildest of criticisms.

"The mainstream is not just that they are leftists and cucks. It's not just that many are genuinely stupid. Indeed one wonders if these people are people at all; or instead soulless Golem, animated by some dark power to repeat whatever talking point John Oliver stated the night before."

A few within this hoard of like-minded nincompoops responded with the arm-raised Nazi salute. One wonders what might have been going on in the minds of the geniuses who manage the Reagan Building when they agreed to allow this spectacle to take place on the premises. Or are they happily complicit in all of the "merriment"? Let's face some nasty facts here, kids: der Gipper was not exactly a champion of all things non-white.
"We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet. We were meant to overcome - overcome all of it - because that is natural and normal for us!"

Gee, I wonder if this moron is available for kids' parties.
These are the people who were instrumental in sending Donald Trump to the White House. These are the people who today rejoice over his ascendance to the presidency in less than two months. It would be redundant for me to say that this country can go straight to hell. We sent ourselves there on Election Day 2016.

Welcome to Donald Trump's America. Watch yer step, Jew Boy; Know yer place, Nigger - Ya hear?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tom Degan
Goshen, New York


Here is a YouTube link to watch a highlight of the speech quoted above. And, please, I don't want to hear any accusations that I have quoted this jackass out-of-context.

This is going to end very badly.


It Can't Happen Here
by Sinclair Lewis


It's fucking happening here.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Donald's New Reality Show

I heard an interesting bit of news this morning that was enough to send me into a Class A funk: They're just one Republican-controlled statehouse away from being able to completely rewrite the Constitution. Isn't that something?
Spending the last nine days adjusting to this to this new and quite nasty American reality has been interesting to say the very least. When I awoke early this morning, for the first time since the day after the election, my first thought wasn't that this electoral catastrophe was just a nightmare. I guess that means I'm somehow coming to terms with what I can only describe as the complete and utter lunacy of the American people. The fact that Hillary actually won the popular vote doesn't make the coping any easier. Thanks to a quaint relic of the eighteenth century called "the electoral college", disasters such as George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump are almost inevitable. The United States seems hell-bent on remaining the laughingstock of the rest of the planet.
So be it. I plan on joining in on the laughter. It can be a very lonely thing when one is an intelligent person living in Idiot Nation. It can be quite amusing, too,
On the morning of Election Day, bitter experience had me nearly resigned to the possibility of a Trump victory by day's end. When Dubya was reelected in 2004, no one paying attention could have doubted that he was the most insanely incompetent chief-executive in the history of the republic. When I received the news early the next morning that John Kerry had gone down to defeat, that was the moment I finally realized that these stupid fucking Americans were capable of just about anything. The star of a reality TV show is now the president-elect of the United States of America. The Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party are this morning celebrating. Think about that.
It serves those moronic Democrats right for nominating one of the worst candidates in their nearly two-hundred-year history. Since George McGovern lost to Dick Nixon in 1972, instead of fine-tuning their progressive message, the Dems have been running from it like frightened little bunny rabbits. Hillary Clinton was not the visionary that they so desperately needed in 2016. She was nothing more than a tired and stale old plutocrat, eager to pander to the whims of the one percent. Why do you think she tried to hide the transcripts of her speeches to the Goldman Sachs mob? At the time of the Democratic convention, every poll had Bernie Sanders wiping the floor with Trump on Election Day - while she was barely neck-and-neck with him. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Democrats to reform themselves. This is no longer the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It hasn't been that for a very long time. They need to be wiped from the face of the earth.
"There's gonna be a lot of dues, Jim!"
Lenny Bruce 

This is bad, folks, as bad as it's ever gotten or is ever going to get - at least in this doomed generation. We need to come to terms with the fact that the damage that is being done to America is on the cusp of being irreparable. A Trump administration might very well prove down the line to be the proverbial point of no return. That might be poetic justice. The people who were naïve enough to send Donald Trump to the White House are going to deserve everything that happens to them.   A few minutes ago I was gently scolded by a young woman on my Facebook page:
"I have to raise my 5 month old daughter in this country. 
 For the sake of generations to come,
is it really helpful to promote further division??"
Mea culpa. Mea culpa. She probably has a point. I hate to find myself as part of the fist-shaking-mob, but at this moment I need to vent. As disastrous as Bush 43 was for the USA, the Donald's term will prove to be infinitely worse. As impossibly bad as Bush was, a year from now we will almost definitely find ourselves nostalgic for the little thug.

I've decided to quit drinking as of today The next four years will require all of us to remain mentally alert and on our toes. Brace yourselves for the storm. This shit is about to hit the fan. This is going to get really interesting.
Tom Degan 
Goshen, NY


John Oliver of HBO's "Last Week" pretty much nailed it:

The bloke is good.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Idiot Nation

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public"
H.L. Mencken

For the last three-and-a-half decades, the United States of America has held the proverbial loaded pistol, pointed at its own collective, clueless head. Last night it pulled the trigger. According to the "experts" who are desperately attempting to put a smiley face on yesterday's electoral catastrophe, the American people were merely trying to send a message. Of course they were. And that message has been received loud and clear:

FUN FACT: On the morning after Election Day 2016, I had to take two showers before the clock struck 12 Noon.

We're currently at eighty-plus months of consecutive job growth. Expect that trend to end by the late summer/early autumn of 2018, a year after Barack Obama's final fiscal year is concluded. You can also expect the economy to tank before New Year's Day 2019. Expect the right wing SCREAM MACHINE to blame Obama for the fiasco. Expect these stupid fucking Americans to swallow the propaganda whole.

The Democratic Party needs to disappear forever. Early in the primaries, it was obvious that they had within their grasp the most visionary candidate in their nearly two-hundred year history in the form of Bernie Sanders - and these idiotic Democrats blew it. At the time of the convention, every poll had him beating the Donald decisively, while Hillary was barely neck-and-neck with the guy. Bernie might have been the nominee but for the Democratic National Committee's sabotage. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton should go into permanent hiding. We want to be reminded of them no more. Go away. Go away. Go the fuck away. 

I left the Democrats eighteen years ago and never looked back. If the parties of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt are unable to puke up anything better than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, this country has had it. Defeating Trump should have been the political equivalent of shooting a school of half-witted fish in a leaky barrel. The Dems need to be wiped from the map.

For the next two years (at least) Donald Trump and the GOP will have complete control of the House and the Senate - not to mention the Supreme Court. If you are unable to understand the ramifications of this nasty fact, then, my only advice to you is: Go back to sleep. You'll understand them soon enough.

I was almost tempted to end this piece by saying that this country can go straight to hell - but that would have been redundant. The American people sent themselves there on Election Day 2016. Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

Stupid fucking Americans.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


I usually knock out pieces much longer than this in less than two hours. It has taken more than twenty-four hours to complete this one. I'm speechless.

For more recent postings on this site, here's a link to the main page:  


 My video commentary on Facebook

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Down to the Wire

It's now coming on two o'clock in the morning. The polls open in a little over four hours. Silent night. I wish I could tell you that all was calm and bright, but that's hardly the case. On the night of the 2004 election I retired for the evening, thoroughly convinced that John Kerry would defeat the halfwit from Crawford, Texas. My nephew was staying with me at the time. When I woke up at around three AM to get a bottle of water out of the fridge, he was still awake. "He won" he said to me. I could tell by the look on his face and the tone of his voice who "he" was.
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
H.L. Mencken
And to think it has come to this. I'm not-at-all certain who is going to be declared victor at the end of what I know will be a very long day. I've so little faith in the civic intelligence of my fellow countrymen and women that a Donald Trump victory late this evening won't phase me in the least. In fact I'll be able to make some tasty lemonade out of those nasty lemons. If the Donald wins this thing, I'm the only person I know of who makes under a million dollars per year that will benefit handsomely.
I have always been somewhat ambivalent whenever comparisons are made between the GOP of today and the Nazi Party of yore. Are they fair comparisons? It all depends upon what year we're talking about. Comparing the Republican Party of 2016 to the Nazis of 1938, the year of Kristallnacht and the opening of the first concentration camps, is not only unfair, it's quite absurd - and I'll be the first to admit it. But how about the Nazis of 1928, when they were just getting their feet off the ground? Not only is the comparison apropos - it's unavoidable. If the American people are stupid enough to go down that road at day's end, it will be a comparable jump from 1928 to 1933, which was the year that Hitler came to power. If the American people are stupid enough to go down that road at day's end, they'll deserve everything that happens to them. EVERYTHING.

I'm not crazy about Hillary Clinton. She was not my first choice to be the nominee - in fact she wasn't even on my list. I believe that she is, at heart, a plutocrat. But when placed in juxtaposition with a sociopathic Neanderthal like Donald Trump, what choice does anyone with an IQ above room temperature have? Jill Stein??? Please. This is not the time for third party experimentation.

Again the comparison to 1933 needs to be made. I've never been a fan of Communism, but if I had been living in Germany then, and been forced to choose between the Nazis and the Communists, the choice would have been a no-brainer. And, no, I'm not implying that Hillary is a commie - Chill!

Everyone needs to get out and vote for Ms. Clinton today. It doesn't matter if you're in a safe "blue state" or a hopeless "red state". Her victory in the popular vote needs to be decisive. If you live in New York and are thinking: She'll win here, why bother? or if you live in Mississippi and are thinking: She'll lose here, why bother? - then you're missing the point entirely. We need to send a clear message to the Tea Partiers that her victory will be the unquestioned will of the people. (By the way, we really do need to get rid of the electoral college - seriously. Without it, more people would vote. Without it, Al Gore would have been elected in 2000. Something to think about).

The message also needs to be heard loud and clear by the far right politicians presently polluting the halls of Congress. These people have become too weird for their own good. Expect at least four more years of obstruction and procedural chaos if they are able  retain control of the House and/or Senate.

Now is not the time for apathy, folks. I don't give a damn who you are or where you live: If you believe that there is a future for progressivism in America, get down to your polls and vote today as if your life depends on it. I am not sure whether or not Hillary Clinton will be a good president. I hope that she will be (that's assuming she wins). All I can tell you with any degree of certainty is that America will survive her administration. The alternative is too horrible to even talk about.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


America The Beautiful
by Ray Charles

A little ditty we all need to hear today.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

A Virtual Tie

"The fact that Donald Trump would encourage the worst aspects of the character of his half-witted groupies is further proof (as if any more were needed) that the man is a dangerous sociopath. Were he to be elected in eighteen days I would have predicted that he would someday be remembered as the champion mass murderer of world history. Fortunately I won't have to make that prediction. Not even the American people are that dumb. Not quite."

I wrote that paragraph on this site less than two weeks ago. All bets are off. It probably would have been wise of me to remember the words of the legendary, muckraking journalist, H.L. Mencken, who once wrote that "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." Smart dude, that Mencken.

Add caption
I won't get into the details regarding the reopening of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails. It's all too bizarre and thoroughly depressing to think about. This time around, the primary focus is - incredibly - the texting scandal of a few months back between Anthony Weiner and a fifteen-year-old girl. What the FBI's James Comey was thinking when he decided to have another peek into this Pandora's box is anyone's guess. Have he and the Donald made some kind of backroom deal? Nothing would surprise me at this late stage. All I know for certain is that enough voters have decided that this latest "scandal" is enough to place Trump in serious contention to be declared "President-elect" in five short days. Isn't that something?

I'm almost at the point where I hope he wins. The American people deserve Donald Trump. What's ironic is the sad fact that the rest of the planet doesn't deserve him. If a Trump administration does indeed come into being, the entire global population will suffer greatly because of American electoral stupidity. Ain't that a riot?
Anthony Weiner
Not only are the latest polls this morning showing Clinton and Trump to be neck-and-neck, a handful are implying that this sociopathic nincompoop could actually end up winning this thing. And to think that this possibility is courtesy of  Anthony Wiener. Should the worst fears of thinking people come to pass on Tuesday night, the guy should go into permanent hiding. It's hard not to feel a strong degree of real pity for a politician who, not so very ago, showed such promise. F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed that there were no second acts in American life. While that is not always the case (Think Elliot Spitzer) it will be in this instance. His show has permanently closed. How pathetic. How sad.
It's impossible to believe that the people of this doomed country (at least the ones that vote) are, quite possibly, within less than a week from electing the most Hitleresque candidate to come along since der fuehrer himself. Don't make the mistake of dismissing that last sentence as a wild exaggeration from an unhinged lefty. The fact of the matter is that for the last half century, the Republican Party has been crawling - ever-so-slowly and ever-so-surely - toward an insanely dark and disturbing place. If you've yet to notice this undeniable phenomenon, you haven't been paying attention. A Trump administration might be just the thing to awaken you from your apathetic slumber.

Dr. Jill Stein
As I have pointed out too many times, Hillary Clinton was never my ideal candidate; I believe she is, at heart, a plutocrat. But I'm not going to make the same mistake in 2016 that I made sixteen years ago when I cast my lot with Ralph Nader. The result of that fiasco was eight years of George W. Bush, a man who is in serious competition with James Buchanan for being remembered as the most insanely incompetent chief-executive in history. Dr. Jill Stein is a decent, intelligent human being - there's no argument about that - but this is not the year for third party experimentation. Even six months of a Trump presidency would mean the end of this country. Think I'm off base? Fine. I just got the wildest idea: Let's all vote for Donald Trump on Tuesday and see what happens!
These might not be the happiest of times to be alive, but they sure ain't boring! Did you ever dream it would get this weird?
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Disarmed and Dangerous
The Radical Lives and Times of Daniel and Phillip Berrigan
by Murray Polner and Jim O'Grady
Fathers Dan and Phil Berrigan are today remembered as "religious extremists", which I think is a misnomer. They merely took the gospel of Jesus Christ literally. For this, they happily paid a heavy price. I'm just now finishing this excellent biography. Here's a link to order it:
"Blessed are the peacemakers."