Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This Cannot Continue

 "[W]e will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."
Donald-Fucking-Trump at the U.N.
I promise you, this shall be mercifully brief.
It was clear to any thinking person who has bothered to pay attention to the train-wreck that America has become, that when Donald J. Trump stood before the United Nations General Assembly last week and threatened to “destroy” North Korea, it was a blatant attempt to distract the American people from the scandal that is destroying his disgusting administration and has a very real chance of putting him in federal prison. Trump has a pattern of criminal activities that may be easily traced, many of which go all the way back to the swinging seventies. He's never before faced any serious threat to his existence as a free man. What is happening at present is all-too-different. This time his billions (or whatever-the-fuck the real numbers are) will be of no use to him. Reality is closing in on the Donald. It's not quite over for the hideous bastard yet, but the train is nearing the station.

I do hope that you're all enjoying your stay in Idiot Nation.

Are you ready for the scoop? According to the demented little pestilence who rules North Korea, his country and this country are now at war. In an effort to avert our gaze from the worst political scandal in the history of this cluster-fucked republic, Donald Trump - this disgusting and deranged little jackal and common pervert - has brought the planet to the abyss of nuclear catastrophe for the first time in fifty-five years. If what has happened to this country has not put you in a blind rage, you really ought to seek professional help - or perhaps you might strap yourself into a time machine that conveniently sends you back Berlin, circa 1933. This is as weird as it has ever gotten. Five times as weird and ten times as potentially lethal.

This cannot be allowed to continue. It would have been bad enough if the unhinged piece-of-shit had been caught casually waxing idiotic on a hot microphone, threatening to "destroy" a nation of thirty million people. To say such an insane thing at a podium inside of the United Nations - with the entire world watching - is beyond nuts. It is a pretext to genocide.
In this morning's New York Daily News, the columnist, Richard Cohen (who I usually agree with) said that the people who are praying for the impeachment of this asshole should "be careful what they wish for"; that Trump's half-witted "base" might very-well unleash a civil frenzy unparalleled since the war between the states in the 1860's. It's more-than worth the risk. An American shit-storm as compared to international annihilation? That's a pretty easy call. Seriously.
I do hope - IN FACT, I PRAY - that cooler heads are in contact with someone - ANYONE - inside the North Korean hierarchy - assuring them not to panic; that the complete and utter idiocy of the American people in sending this imbecile to the White House is only a temporary and rare snafu in the process of democracy, and that everything will be back to "normal" in a matter of time. I hope that some rouge soul inside of  North Korea is reassuring responsible officers within this government of the same thing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Idiot Nation

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Hero For All Seasons

Alright, everybody, STAND UP AND KNEEL! 
If you happen to read this site with any degree of regularity, you have probably figured out by now that I don't give a rat's rear about sports. Next month when everyone else is watching the World Series, I'll be taking a drive in the country; Or maybe I will be curled up with a good book, or perhaps I'll be watching C-SPAN. I'm not trying to make myself seem like some sort of cultural supremacist - for all anyone knows I might  be passed out drunk somewhere (always a distinct possibility). The point that I'm trying to make is that life is short, and people (American men in particular) waste too much of their precious time on this fragile planet pondering and obsessing over the subject of sports. Because of my indifference when I was growing up, a few of my peers questioned my masculinity. Perhaps some of them still do.  I could never figure this out. Watching a bunch of guys in tight-fitting uniforms jumping around an Astroturf field was never my favorite way of spending a Saturday afternoon. My favorite sport has always been Figure Skating. Some of those gals are gorgeous!
So it may seem out of character for me to inform you that I have a new sports hero - only the second one in my entire life! The other was Babe Ruth - not so much for his prowess as a ball player - but due to the fact that the Bambino could out-party any other player of his age, something I've always admired. (FUN FACT: I was born on the tenth anniversary of the Babe's passing).
My latest (and greatest) sports hero is a guy whom a month ago I could not have identified in a police line-up. His name is Colin Kaepernick!
He conjured up a right wing shit storm of protest in the late summer of 2016 when he refused to stand for the National Anthem at the start of a game. At first he sat it out. Then, after some reflection, he decided to genuflect in prayerful solemnity. He wanted to make a gentle statement about what was happening to African Americans in his country, that too high a percentage of them are being killed for no good reason. He didn't give anyone the finger, he didn't hold his nose or grab his crotch - he merely got down on one knee. 
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Colin Kaepernick
Quite predictably the right wing SCREAM MACHINE went into immediate overdrive. He was disrespecting the flag, some said; he was advocating the murder of policemen, howled others. I imagine everything would have been fine if he hadn't mentioned the reason for the genuflection. Had he told the country that, by getting down on one knee, he was merely doing his impersonation of Al Jolson singing Mammy, these extreme-right-wing nincompoops would have been quite pleased with the gesture. A lot of them would have applauded him, I'm sure, for reminding America of what the good old days were like when these darkies knew their place. That's always an admirable thing to these clowns. No doubt he would have won the heart of Pat Robertson immediately. Pat might have invited him the next day to co-host an edition of The 700 Club. I can envision him obliging poor, senile old Pat with a special rendition of the tune:
"I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles
My Maaaaaaaaammmyyy!"
Of course, our esteemed Common-Pervert-in-Chief just couldn't resist throwing his two cents into the national conversation (and I'm being generous here. Two cents is a vastly inflated price for Trump's word on any day). At a rally a couple of days ago in Nuremberg - I mean Alabama - he publicly referred to Kaepernick as "that son-of-a-bitch", This prompted Colin's mom, Theresa, to offer us, on a silver platter, the best line of the week: She said that she was one "proud bitch" indeed. I wanna party with that woman.

An amazing and beautiful thing is happening this week: other athletes are following suit - and not only the black ones. An entire Little League team even! These kids, of multi-races, got down on their knees in homage to their brother-and-sister Americans who are persecuted for no other reason than the color of their skin. As strange and as hideous as the times in which we live undoubtedly are, something beautiful is emerging from the carnage. It's something to ponder with wonder and awe.
Colin Kaepernick is a hero for all seasons; Not just Football season.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Didn't you just figure?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

This Is No Longer Amusing


"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."
Donald Trump, speech to the U.N., 9/19/17
This will end in one of three ways:
1. The generals who surround Kim Jung Un will become so alarmed by the bombastic language coming out of Donald Trump's mouth at the United Nations today, that they kill the hideous little bastard to save their own country (which would make Trump the most brilliant geo-political chess player in world history - a scenario that I frankly don't anticipate).
2. This escalates into something truly catastrophic and terrifying.
3. The House and Senate move with lightening speed to remove this madman from office before he breaks the world.

About a year ago.  I speculated on this site that Donald Trump could foreseeably become the worst mass murderer in history should the American people be stupid enough to send this sociopath to the White House. Of course, I naively said in the next sentence, but that was never going to happen.

Idiot Nation.

Today, the president of the United States may very well have revealed that he does indeed possess the capacity to murder millions of people. Or is this merely an effort to distract the populous from the scandal that is devouring his presidency, bit by bit, with the passing of each day. If that is indeed the case (as I strongly suspect it is) tomorrow morning the topic on every front page in the nation will not be Russia. If this is the case, the man is completely evil.

Here is what must be understood: In his tirade today, Herr Trumph neglected to mention whether or not he would "destroy North Korea" in a defensive capacity, or in an offensive first strike. Since the USA already has a nasty history of the latter (remember Iraq?) Kim and his henchmen must be in full-tilt freak out at this hour. It is my understanding that, given human nature, it its essential that diplomacy be subtle and nuanced. That's one of the reasons Ambassadors don't give regularly scheduled press conferences. The president (who, after all, is the country's chief diplomat) need not stand like a precocious and bad-tempered third-grader on the schoolhouse playground. It's a little more complicated than that....

Okay, I'll be brutally frank with you: It's a helluva lot more complicated than that. The White House is no place for bad-tempered third graders.

I'm waiting to see what the reaction to all of this will be - both domestically and abroad. Today, as he has done virtually every day since he assumed the office eight months ago tomorrow, Donald Trump revealed to the world that he possesses neither the intellect nor the psychological temperament to be serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the most lethal nation on the planet Earth. Sending this man to the Oval Office was a terrific mistake of indescribable magnitude. If you've yet to understand what I'm talking about, you'll understand it soon enough.

As the title says, this is no longer amusing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Dr. Strangelove
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb

We'll meet again
Don't know where, don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day....

Where is Peter Sellers when we need him?

Monday, September 18, 2017

This Business of Bashing Bernie

The title of Hillary Clinton's new memoir of the ill-fated campaign of 2016 is, "What Went Wrong". Since its release I cannot help but notice a huge trend of Bernie Bashing out there in the Twitter and Facebookspheres. According to these silly people, Bernie Sanders is solely responsible for the sick and disgusting administration of Donald Trump. We'd all have been so much better off last year if only Bernie had minded his own business and stayed at home in Burlington. Of course, they're taking their cue from Ms. Clinton, who puts a great deal of blame on Sanders in the book. It's almost as if the guy had the nerve to crash her coronation.

Please. This doesn't even come close to passing the giggle test.

First of all for the record, I have not read What Went Wrong nor do I have any plans to read it. If anyone out there wants to lend me their copy I might give it a whirl. But other than that, I have more important things to spend my money on. However, I have read enough reviews and transcripts and listened to enough portions from the audiobook that I think I am able to give enough of an opinion on it that merits some discussion. I find it amusing that so many people (liberals and conservatives alike) think of Hillary Clinton as a pillar of progressivism. To Conservatives she is the dictionary definition of the possible rise of socialism in this country. To Liberals she is the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt. She is neither.

I realize that I'm wondering into "cracked eggshells" territory here. On the eighth of this month I made a posting on Facebook advising the Bernie haters to lay off the man, that Hillary was more responsible than anyone else for her defeat. Within one week I was "unfriended" by over one-hundred people. So be it. Here is my opinion - for whatever it's worth:
I didn't support Ms. Clinton in the primaries in 2008; nor did I support her candidacy in the early months of 2016. To my evil, LEFT WING way of looking at things, she has, for much of her public life, been more of a tired and stale old plutocrat than a real, forward looking progressive. As I see it, the sound defeat of her universal health care initiative in the early years of Bill's presidency taught her a lesson in joining them as opposed to beating them. That she is an intelligent and decent woman there can be no denying. Perhaps she would have been a great president; perhaps, having reached the highest level of public office that can be reached in this country, she would have reemerged as the fightin' liberal we once knew her to be. I really do believe that that might very well have been the case. The real tragedy is that we will never know. The pioneering broadcast journalist, Charles Collingswood, put it well. Speculating on historical might-have-beens is as futile as "throwing darts into a fog".

Though we may be beyond the point of speculation, there are a few facts that we need to own up to. Hillary Clinton was an unfortunate choice for the nominee. She was probably the worst Democratic candidate since Mike Dukakis in 1988, possibly in living memory. Most of the polls I read had Senator Sanders defeating Trump handily on Election Day 2016, while Hillary - on her best days - was barely neck-and-neck with him. I know what you're thinking and I agree. There were too many unfair disadvantages thrown in her path: Jim Comey reopening the e-mail investigation just days before the election; Russian espionage with (as is becoming more clear with each passing day) collusion by the Trump campaign; and the very fact that she is a woman running for an office no woman has ever held before - all of these things were a hurdle no man seeking the presidency would have had to overcome.  But we shouldn't miss the much larger point: She was running against a candidate who was terribly unenlightened and extremely mentally ill. She was running against a candidate whose financial corruption was a matter of the public record. In other words, she was running against the worst presidential candidate in all American history. It should have been a landslide in her favor.

2016 should have been a repeat of 1972, when Dick Nixon won every state in the union with the exception of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. On that most consequential of years, Nixon had the good fortune to be running against George McGovern, one of the most decent men to ever seek the office. Americans don't really have a soft spot for decency. Donald Trump's triumph last year over Hillary Clinton is proof enough of that. The fact that Hillary won in the popular vote is another glaring imperfection in the system that worked against her. As long as the electoral college exists, mad men and imbeciles like Donald Trump and George W. Bush will continue to befoul the Executive Mansion.

Idiot Nation.

The tragedy of 2016 is simply that Bernie Sanders was offering the voters of this doomed country the type of a historical vision that they had not been offered since the second campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. Four years earlier, during the '32 campaign, FDR kept his cards close to his vest, revealing very little of the broad and drastic changes he would make in regards to the American peoples' relationship with their government. The difference between then and last year is that Bernie had the courage to represent himself, at the starting gate, as the true progressive he really is. Bernie Sanders is a radical. At a time when radical change is desperately needed, that's not such a bad thing. I'm a radical. If you examined your soul close enough, you'll probably find that you are, too!

The rap that is being made against Bernie Sanders this week (and I find it highly suspicious that it took them a year to come up with this one) is that he never really campaigned hard for Secretary Clinton and that he even sabotaged her campaign....

Where do I begin?

This is complete nonsense. Bernie campaigned like a crazy person for Hillary! I witnessed it in person one year and two days ago exactly - when he came to New Paltz, New York for a campaign rally that I attended. He was all over the country campaigning furiously and passionately for her. To even vaguely imply that he was not a team player throughout the process is slanderous. Look at the historical record. Bernie Sanders was all over the map for Hillary. Her supporters should know better. She should know better, too.

Do you remember the masses of enthusiast people who packed Bernie's campaign events? On the day of the election, many of those same people ended up voting for the Donald - or the third and fourth party candidates. Many of them didn't bother voting at all.

It didn't become clear to me that Trump would win this thing until two days before the election. On that morning I drove down to my local polling place and dutifully voted for her with as much enthusiasm as I could possibly muster. Maybe Bernie might not have been able to get enough votes in the electoral college to take home the big prize. Perhaps he might have. Again, the real tragedy is that we'll never know the answer.
The only thing we know for certain is that - for the time being anyway - we're stuck with the most dangerously unstable and corrupt chief executive in the history of human stupidity. That's something that should give every thinking person pause.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
The next time a mob of these nazi bastards have a rally waving that fucking flag, I'm going to have this made into a giant poster and show up in person.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Not So Sweet Sixteen

As Irma pounds the hell out of the Southeast today, it's a bit hard - no, it's impossible - not to let the memory stray back to the man-made catastrophe of sixteen years ago. Late in the evening of Sunday, September 9, 2001, I gave my brother-in-law, Bob Borski, a ride to his home in Brooklyn. At around ten o'clock we passed just under the Twin Towers. I hadn't been that far downtown at night in a decade-or-so. I remember thinking how beautiful they looked towering over the night sky of Manhattan. Would George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue have sounded any different had those buildings existed in 1924? The 1993 terrorist assaut on the World Trade Center was still a fresh memory. I speculated to Bob the damage a privately-owned D-10, it's aisles racked with 55 gallon drums of gasoline could do. It never occurred to me that a commercial airliner would do the trick quite handily.
Forty-eight hours later, those buildings were gone forever.
The horror of September 11, 2001 has faded like the smoke that lingered over New York City for so many days afterward. I'm lucky in that I didn't lose any loved ones. My cousin, Patricia Cullen, who was working in one of the towers, barely escaped with her life. For about four hours we thought that she didn't make it. She was finally able to get through to us and let us know that she was safe and sound. The relief was palpable. Of course the families of many others wouldn't be as lucky as ours. My other brother-in-law, Jack Dermigny. lost his cousin Dan. The brother of my pal, Joe Stark, was one of the scores of firefighters who went into the towers, never to emerge. September 11, 2001 was that kind of day.
America's luck ran out on that day. Throughout all of our history, whenever we were confronted with a national trauma, the United States had been blessed with a leader at the helm who was able to guide the ship of state through the crisis with wisdom and clarity. Within months, in spite of the mass good will that was directed at him, it became clear what a mistake it had been to elect George W. Bush as president of the United States. His complete incompetence has been foreshadowed only by the corrupt and disastrous administration of Donald Trump. After nearly eight months of Trump, Bush is starting to look like Franklin Roosevelt. Never did I dream that things would get this weird. Did you? 

Hindsight is a funny thing, isn't it?

By noon on the day of the attack, all civilian aircraft were grounded. Late that night, for reasons I cannot remember, I found myself walking a deserted street in front of the commons of the college I had attended over two decades before. It was there that I happened upon an old girlfriend. Of course, we were discussing the atrocity of that day when, from out of nowhere, the sky of Middletown, New York was jolted by the roar of what I assumed (and hoped) to be a military jet. Although invisible to us, it was obvious that it was flying at a low altitude. After a few minutes, we gave each other a hug in the darkened street and went on our separate ways. It was such a surreal ending of what had been a completely surreal day.

Sixteen years after the fact, 9/11 is still too depressing to think about. The fact that the American people have foolishly turned over their government to incompetents who don't believe in government makes a terrorist attack on the scale of what happened on that day (or much worse) almost inevitable. This is the grave that the inmates of Idiot Nation have dug for themselves.

Have a lovely day!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Trump's Assault on 'Dreamers' Might Work Politically
by Matt Taibbi


As is always the case, Taibbi is on top of it.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

POST #734: Random Observationsj

My third selfie in as many years

The following are a compilation of unconnected thoughts that I've recently written down or sent out into the Facebooksphere. Similarities to any persons, living or dead, are purely intentional.
1. The Problem With Blaming Bernie
I find it sad and quite ironic that so many supporters of Hillary Clinton in the last election are blaming Bernie Sanders for her defeat.
Every poll had Sanders defeating Donald Trump decisively, while Clinton - on her best day - was barely neck and neck with the guy. His campaign was sabotaged - not only by the so-called "liberal" media - but by the Democratic National Committee as well.
Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because, as they've done so many times in the past, the Democrats exhibited their positive genius for taking a bottle of finely aged champaign, and turning it - OVERNIGHT - into a jug of worthless donkey piss.
They were handed, on a silver platter, the most visionary candidate in their nearly two-hundred year history, and yet (for reasons I'll never be able to figure out) decided to go with a tired and stale old plutocrat.
Ms. Clinton was the worst candidate that the Democratic party has nominated since at least Mike Dukakis in 1988; maybe even the worst in living memory. And yet in spite of this, I went to the polls on Election Day and voted for her with as much enthusiasm as I could possibly muster. Why? Because she was running against the worst candidate in American history. It was kind of a no-brainer, folks.
Every once in a while I forget why I bolted that utterly worthless party nearly twenty years ago. On Election Day 2016, they cheerfully reminded me.
 Forgive me, but I'm still feeling the Bern.

2. Ronald and Donald

Thirty-seven years ago, on the night this nation naively sent a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor to the White House, the American people effectively pointed the proverbial loaded pistol at their own collective and clueless head. On November 8, 2016 - make no mistake about it - they pulled the trigger.

Then again, compared to what's come along since then, Reagan is starting to look like Abraham Lincoln. Aren't politics amusing?

3. Irony of Ironies:

The fate of humanity tonight depends upon the temperaments of two unhinged sociopaths with really stupid haircuts.

Ain't that a riot?

4. Revisionism:

In Donald Trump's America, we need to rewrite the lyrics of John Lennon's classic anti-war anthem. My contribution to the discussion:

You may say I'm a Dreamer
But I'm not....HONEST, I'M NOT!!!


Every thinking human being is a beautiful dreamer tonight.

5. Twit:

Limited to 143 characters, Twitter is the ideal forum for people with limited attention spans.


Just a thought.

5. To sleep....To sleep....

I have nothing more to say. I must sleep. My plan is to go gently into that good night.

Good night.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


My cousin, Shawn Bliven, is having major issues due to the fact that he is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Here is a link to leave a donation to a fund to assist him with his crushing expenses, I remember the night he was born. It's always been a joy being a part of his biography.

Friday, September 01, 2017

September Tombstone Blues

"Well, now it's time to say 'goodbye' to Donald and his kin."
Mama's in the kitchen, she ain't got no shoes
Daddy's in the alley, he's lookin' for food
I am in the basement with the tombstone blues
Bob Dylan
Darwin was wrong
There is no way this unacceptable situation can possibly continue until New Years Day - let alone January 20, 2021. The damage that this mentally ill knucklehead is doing to this country might be irreparable before we know it. It's almost beyond the point of being unintentionally funny - although it's still a scream. Every morning for the last eight months and twelve days has been like waking up and finding one's self deep within a Paddy Chayefsky satire. However, as amusing as these times are, they're also ominous in a way that's hard to describe. The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump's very presence in the house that was once the home of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, both Roosevelts and Harry S Truman is a fairly accurate reflection of what America has become. It used to amaze me when people would say that they voted for Trump "because he's one of us". Today I understand it perfectly. He really is one of us - in ways that are too unsettling and weird to articulate. Donald Trump is America. If that very fact doesn't depress the bleeding mortal shit out of you, then you might as well go back to sleep. I'll wake you when it's over.
And there are still some true believers out there. Isn't that something? A full third of the inmates of Idiot Nation are so unbelievably civically dense, they are completely in the tank for this walking obscenity who stands today as the Chief-Executive. George W. Bush is starting to look (in in hindsight anyway) as the statesman supreme. Reagan and Nixon are starting to look like they belong enshrined with the Founding Fathers. Up is down. Day is night. I need a drink. On second thought, a good dose of LSD would do the trick right about now. It's been a while.

Every thinking person, I'm sure, lives in a perpetual state of shock and horror knowing that the nuclear codes - which could conceivably end life on this planet -  are in the hands of this sociopath. Myself, I find it all irresistibly funny. One of my favorite films is Dr. Strangelove. If you've never seen it, by all means have a look. It would explain volumes as far as my fatalistic outlook is concerned. Whatever will be will be, as the old Doris Day song told us. And as the classic Monty Python tune advised: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. I'm looking. That one is a tad trickier. Did you ever think that things would get this completely dysfunctional? Is it any wonder that the rest of the planet is looking at the United States aghast? We used to stand for something that was noble and good. What do we stand for now?

Donald Fucking Trump

If this atrocity of an administration is allowed to continue for another year, it's all over. Was this a great country, or what!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY