Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Requiem for the American Dream

"We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear's work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock,
so we come."

Franz Josef Goebbels

Welcome to Idiot Nation. Come to the place where dreams go to die. Don't feel sorry for us when the gazillion dollar shit hammer hits the fan. We stupidly did this to ourselves. In a nation that was once viewed by the world as a beacon of hope, this would be the darkest of comedies were it mere fiction. But this isn't fiction, campers. This is too real and catastrophic for contemplation. If you cannot understand this now, you'll get the picture very soon.

This is going to end badly, folks. Very badly indeed.
Forty-five years ago, the legendary gonzo journalist, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, accompanied by his attorney, Oscar Acosta, went off in search of the American Dream. They didn't find it. What they did find were the sure symptoms that the dream was terminally, mortally ill. They found out in Las Vegas - the city where the game is rigged in favor of the house. Today we awaken to find the game rigged all across the American nation. We find ourselves living in a plutocratic dictatorship. An unhinged sociopath - who lost the last presidential campaign by over two--and-a-half million votes - will be living in the White House in forty-five days. I was tempted to say that the game is over - but it's not over. The house will continue to deal its deck of marked decks. We will be forced to play by their rules - on their corrupt terms.

The American Dream is deader than Hunter Thompson and Oscar Acosta combined.
And so many of these idiotic Americans could not be happier. Just last evening someone I did not know (but who obviously knew who I was) walked up to me at a local convenience store and said, "I know you won't agree with this, Tom, but I was never prouder of my country than I was on the morning after the election". Poor, silly bastard, I thought to myself, he'll understand soon enough.
It has been said that repeating the same mistake - over and over again - expecting a different result every time, is the very definition of insanity. The American electorate has repeated this same mistake - over and over again - going all the way back to the administration of Benjamin Harrison a century-and-a-quarter ago. The lesson has yet to be learned: Right wing form of governance is economically, socially, infrastructurally unworkable. And yet... and yet....and yet....
And yet here we are about to go down this same,  mind-fuckingly stupid road again. I'm almost speechless...."almost" - not quite.

You have to wonder what the historians will be writing about us a century into the future. It's a fairly easy guess that we're going to look awfully foolish. That's okay; we'll all be long dead by then. What a lovely thought.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
by Hunter Thompson

This 1971 book (Thompson's best) is still in print. It's also one of the funniest things ever written. If you liked the film with Johnny Depp, you'll love the book. Buy it and read it. You can find it easily at amazon.com.
Requiem for the American Dream

This interview/documentary with Noam Chomsky is also available at amazon. I can't recommend enough.

"Listen, you motherfuckers...."

For all of you who were foolish enough to cast your precious ballot for Donald Trump last month, I just wanted to send you this gentle reminder of what you have unleashed upon the world. You might have missed this as it wasn't reported on Fox Noise. Please bear in mind that when he made this statement, he was referring to China, which is potentially one of the most dangerous countries on the planet. Buyers remorse is coming. Count on it.

Enjoy your stay in Idiot Nation.


The Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Herbie Mann


Their truth is marching on. It doesn't get any better than this, folks. Stop searching. Stop it.


At 6:06 PM, Blogger Lisa Tolbert said...

R-E-Q-U-I-E-M. Feel free to delete if you correct.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


After Reagan, the Corporate States Of America replaced the United States of America.

Apart from a few social issues, every president from Reagan until now, as well as every congress, took our country further to the Right with expanding militarism and corporatism.

Clinton triangulated us beyond Reagan and Bush 1.

Bush 2 proved he could start a war for crony profit based on lies, AND be reelected. Don't forget that fact. That event taught us what to expect from now on. Americans are easily manipulated and therefor easily frightened. Corporate media abetted his administration and their war crimes.

Obama was an aberration. He only won because of the Great Bush Recession. Then he continued Bush's wars and policies, and held nobody accountable for lies leading to war and torture. That also taught us what we are to expect from now on.

All Obama did was quietly manage a military/corporate empire until the next Republican regime takes us ever into the abyss.

The electoral college has rigged presidential elections in Republicans' favor. The House and Senate are already stacked in favor of Republicans with over-represented rural white conservatives over under-represented Democratic voters everywhere.

Democracy has never been allowed at the national level in this country. This seals our inevitable fate as a nation. We have never had a government of, by and for the people.

Only when the aristocratic rulers like FDR become "traitors to their class" have we seen progress towards Lincoln's vision at Gettysburg.

There are no more FDRs, and Trump, another fine product of corporate media, will never be a traitor to his class.

The Obama years will be a time of relative peace and prosperity soon enough.

And now the Corporate States Of America will be replaced by Trumpistan.

Nothing for us to do now buy sit back and watch, while telling the new legions of disappointed Trump voters, "We told you so".

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...


We are a Democratic Republic, not a Democracy.

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Lisa Tolbert:

hank you for pointing out that major typo in the title!

My bad.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

I blame the party system for how this turned out with a very unlikable woman, with a basket of deplorables herself, stubborn, would not listen to her own husband and who allowed rigging of the primary and even cheating when she got some questions handed to her. Even now, she is all in for recounts that could only be intended to further tear us apart. There were alternatives to her that would have us not facing the unknown with Trump and he is an unknown, a wildcard, with the media purposely tainting everything they write with their own hubris.

Since I first registered to vote, I've been a democrat, but I refused for years to donate to the party as I didn't trust them-- with good reason. So donations went to individuals where I felt they shared my worldview. Now if I change my registration to Independent, I won't be able to vote in primaries in my state. Not sure that matters given how the recent primary was decided before the first debate. Now the Democratic party wants a leader, who as far as I know only has one qualification for the position-- he's Muslim. I'll miss voting in primaries but I don't want to be attached to a party that shows no responsibility where it comes to things like our debt (not that Repubs are much better). That debt, which Congress seems to regard as their own piggy-bank, will eventually have consequences; but by the time it does, it might be too late to do much about it if you look at history for examples.

When I chose not to vote for Trump (and voted for someone who was also flawed), it was based on issues; but I will say this, unlike most politicians, he does seem to be heading toward doing what he ran on. Of course, that doesn't make me happy, but it is different...

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"The electoral college has rigged presidential elections in Republicans' favor."

DD - Democracy "at the national level" was never in the framework. We've never had a national democracy because we WERE NOT FRAMED THAT WAY. In fact, quite the opposite. Democracy at the local and state level with very little "control" at the Federal level was the blueprint.

The creation of the bureaucratic federal agencies as arms of federal control over the states during the past 100 years was never the blueprint and is contra to the founders' intent. That is a simple fact. That the personal politics of the President appear today to be so incredibly significant is symptomatic of the fact that we have jettisoned the established model, and given too much authority over a whole host of affairs to the Federal government. And, frankly, the secondary effect has been a loss of focus, efficiency, and effectiveness in the areas that the Feds SHOULD be owning.

Now, if we want to move towards your model, we need to abolish the façade of any shred of individual state sovereignty and re-write our constitution to establish a democratic nation (get rid of the term "states" and call them districts or something). I say, on the other hand, abolish MOST of the federal agencies as they exist and return sovereignty to the states - returning us to the intended framework. My personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that the latter (original) would be far less prone to take-over by financial interests. Though, history shows us ALL forms of human governance are prone to that - just in the DNA.

But, to couch our electoral system as a modern-day Republican party "rigging" seems far-fetched.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


Democracy "at the national level" was never in the framework. That's my point. Slavery and the electoral college denied the very foundation of the concept “consent of the governed”.

Instead we got an electoral college, an artifact from Southern white conservative slave owners. It has in effect rigged the presidential elections in favor of rural conservatives and Republicans. Just a fact of the matter.

But, to couch our electoral system as a modern-day Republican party "rigging" seems far-fetched.

It is farfetched and not what I said at all.

Abolishing the electoral college (my "model") in no way abolishes individual state sovereignty. That is ludicrous to suggest so.

When cons spout the "founders' intent" what they mean is their projection of the conservative agenda. Whatever happened to the founders' wish for "consent of the governed" and "sovereignty of the people" when the loser has more votes than the winner?

Just as slavery violated the founding principles, so does its vestige in the electoral college. Neither slavery nor the electoral college allow the full consent of the governed. Regarding these two aberrations, we’ve only employed a half measure of remedy.

The founders had no unified intent other than independence from Britain and establishing a self governing democratic republic. When the loser has 2.5 million more votes than the winner, it becomes a gross perversion of "democratic republic". There is no longer consent of the governed. That defeats the concept of a democratic republic. Hold your breath and turn blue if you like, but it is what it is.

If slavery was morally repugnant, so is the electoral college. Both destroy consent of the governed, the intent of a democratic republic. Pure republicanism and unregulated capitalism breed inequality and a tyranny of minority rule. Without sound democratic principles and democratic checks, economic aristocracy at best, and fascism at worst, is loosed upon the land.

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Thursday his family's pet chicken named Hillary died right before the election.

McAuliffe, a Democrat and a top Clinton ally, was asked about his four chickens in an interview with the Atlantic.

"I hate to say this, one chicken died," he said. "About a month before the election, Hillary died."

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Optimism on economy, stocks surges since Trump election: CNBC survey.

"Requiem for the American Dream", really?

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Michael Stivic said...


The Democrat Party has driven their car not into a ditch but right over a cliff!

The Nation describes the state of the Democrats:

"Since Obama’s victory in 2008, Democrats are down seventy seats in the House and fifteen in the Senate, giving an increasingly reactionary Republican Party the power to stymie most if not all of the Democrats’ agenda. But this actually understates the damage. Democrats are now the minority in over two-thirds of the nation’s partisan state legislative chambers, their worst showing in history. In twenty-three of these, Republicans will control the governor’s office, too."

Vox.com says essentially the same thing:

"The presidency is extremely important, of course. But there are also thousands of critically important offices all the way down the ballot. And the vast majority — 70 percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governors, 55 percent of attorneys general and secretaries of state — are in Republicans hands. And, of course, Republicans control both chambers of Congress."

"It has been said that repeating the same mistake - over and over again - expecting a different result every time, is the very definition of insanity." "And yet here we are about to go down this same, mind-fuckingly stupid road again."
How can the Democrats ignore the above and repeat the same mistake by keeping Nancy Pelosi in charge? Remember when she said we just need to pass the bill to find out whats in it? Well that law is going to be repealed Nancy you dingbat. Nancy Pelosi is 76 years old. I don't care how many facelifts and boob jobs she has had as they don't help anymore. Her facelifts are starting to look as bad as Michael Jacksons. She is an old goat who needs to go. amirite?

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Tom. how do you let Major Cluckie post crap like that?

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Sorry, Mozart. Old Chuck is so unintentionally comical, I just can't help myself.


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