Saturday, August 17, 2019

POST #864: Random Observations

At the FDR Home, Hyde Park, NY
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The following are a set of disconnected thoughts, in no particular order of importance, regarding the train-wreck that used to be the United States of America.
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1. Greenand:
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Apparently, one of his aides jocularly suggested to the president of the United States that he purchase the island nation of Greenland. Apparently he took the aid seriously. When word got out to the government of that beautiful country of the president's intentions, they let it be known that Greenland is not for sale. Anyone not seriously alarmed by the fact that this fucking maniac has access to the nuclear codes ought to get seriously alarmed really fast.

2. Peter Fonda 1940-2019:

The actor and director of Easy Rider passed away yesterday after a long illness. He was seventy-nine. It was a good life, well lived. Now he knows what it's like to be dead. Beatle scholars will understand what I'm talking about. 

3. Jeffrey Epstein:

I'm not going to join in with the howl of the conspiracy theorists - right and left. The fact is, I don't know in what exact manner Jeffrey Epstein died. But his not-quite unexpected demise leaves more-than-a-few questions that have to be answered:

A: After attempting to take his own life less than two weeks before, why the heck was he taken off suicide watch?

B: He didn't fall from the gallows, he died in a small prison cell. Why were so many bones broken in his neck?

C. Why were the video monitors pointed at his cell not operational? At the very least, somebody screwed up monumentally. After all, this was the most high-profile prisoner in the entire system. Something's not right. We'll leave it as that.

4. Woodstock Notion

JIMI!
This weekend is the fiftieth anniversary of the three days of love, peace and music that many believed would change the world. It didn't, but at least they gave it the old college try.

I've spent the time listening to my copy of the soundtrack LP - on vinyl, of course. Somehow, playing a CD of the event just wouldn't seem right. The event took place less than forty miles from where I now sit. Because of this, Woodstock has a special place in the hearts of the folks in these here parts. At the bottom of this little tirade of mine, I'll provide a link to a piece I wrote ten years ago at the time of the fortieth anniversary. Wasn't that a time?

5. Where to Go from Here:

We have another seventeen months and three days to wait out until the demise of the worst administration in presidential history. Even James Buchanan's disastrous four years will pale when placed in comparison of the sick and wretched era of Donald J. Trump. We have no other choice than to ride it out. Be patient - but vigilant.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Woodstock Revisited
from The Rant, 8/13/09

https://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2009/08/woodstock-revisted.html

For all the tumult of the time, America was just a bit sweeter in that long ago summer of 1969. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Moscow Mitch: Vladimer's Bitch


QUESTION:
Is there a slimier bag of dirt infesting the halls of Congress than Mitch McConnell?
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Asking for a friend.

A naughty title to this piece, I concede; in this age of calumny I am as guilty as anyone, I suppose. God forgive me.
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Loretta and Walter Clements
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I just cannot understand the voters in the state of Kentucky. This is kind of a personal thing for me for the simple reason that generations of my maternal forbears all hail from the Bluegrass state. My grandfather, Walter Clements, was a native of Louisville. He and my grandmother, the former Loretta Doran, today sleep side by side in a little Catholic cemetery not far from the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. My aunt Marietta Barris also rests in the same plot. Although I haven't traveled there in a fair number of years, there is a soft spot in my heart for that beautiful state.
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That being said, the question is literally screaming to be asked: What the hell is the matter with those silly Kentuckians? How is it that a people, so seemingly sensible and decent-minded on the surface, are able to send a corrupt scoundrel like Mitch McConnell to Washington as their representative - for decades now? Has their water been tainted with some weird chemical cooked up in a laboratory in the basement of Tucker Carlson's home? What gives?
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Six years ago, Mitch's continued insistence on pandering to the demands of the National Rifle Association led me down a very dark corridor of violent fantasy:
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Since extreme violence seems to be the order of the day, might I share with you this insatiable little fantasy of mine? It involves our boy Mitch. You see, I have this dream of beating the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky to a fucking, bleeding pulp. Confronting him in a dark alley somewhere in the District of You-Know-Where, I can visualize pounding his skull to the very edge of existence. Once he got the message, I might then be seriously tempted to set the decrepit old son-of-a-bitch on fire - just to keep things interesting, you understand. But that kind of treatment would be much too harsh and brutal - even for the likes of Mitch McConnell. Just stuff the bruised and bloodied little bastard into a dumpster behind some third-rate pizzeria on K Street, where he can think things over while he recuperates.

From The Rant, 4/9/13
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More calumny, I know, and again, I apologize. At least I concluded that little tirade by saying that I didn't mean it, and that we all should follow the teachings of the Prince of Peace. Being so close to Easter, I thought it the right thing to do. But if the good people of the great state of Kentucky are unable to comprehend the complete and total evil that is their senior senator, I'm afraid there's no helping them. Three years ago, America's electoral process was subverted by a hostile foreign power. One would think that any senator who professes to love America as much as Mitch says he does would want to see that something so atrocious never happens again. Not Mitch! He knows the election was corrupted three years ago, and he's dead set on it's being corrupted again in 2020. Three years ago, he tried to move heaven and earth to make sure that the American people were kept in the dark about Russian interference in our elections, and he nearly succeeded. Thank goodness for Fake News.
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Mitch McConnell is closer to being a Mafia Don then to being a statesman. If this is what the majority of the people of Kentucky consider to be adequate representation, God help them all. He's a walking, talking atrocity.
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It is my belief that one day Mitch will finally be exposed and punished severely for his crimes against the people of the United States, but waiting for that day is damned-near excruciating.

Mitch McConnell is an example of what happens when a country's political dialogue is dumbed-down to the point of insanity. He is what the people of the state of Kentucky - and We the People as a whole - precisely deserve. Enjoy your stay in Idiot Nation. Don't drink the water.
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
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SUGGESTED READING:
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Here are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's take on the disgusting phenomenon of Mitch McConnell on a recent installment of CBS's Late Show:
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It's a keeper!

Jon and Mitch in happier days



Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bad and Getting Worse



Uncle Bill Clements
The first time I ever lived away from home was in 1963 when I found myself living with my uncle, Bill Clements, and his family in Dayton, Ohio. My mother had become quite ill, and us kids were scattered about with various relatives in the Midwest. Although my memories of the place are vague after the passage of over half a century (I returned there only once) what I've managed to retain are those of a pleasant place brimming with nice folks. You can imagine my dismay when I learned that Dayton was where nine human beings became the victims of America's latest mass murder. This was only a day after twenty-two people were gunned down in cold blood in El Paso, Texas. Again, the politicians are sending out their "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families. Again people are demanding that sensible gun laws be passed in this doomed country. Again, in the weeks and months to come it will be mere business as usual.
 
Something to ponder: Nearly seven years ago, some murderous little geek walked into a classroom in a Connecticut elementary school and murdered twenty little boys and girls and the six women whose job it was to educate and protect them. At the time, the general wisdom was that this would be the tipping point. Surely this unspeakable tragedy would wake the lawmakers up enough to finally put an end to this madness. As I predicted on this site on the day after the carnage at Sandy Hook, not a goddamned thing would change. Not a goddamned thing did:
 
"Rivers of blood. Broken bodies. Broken hearts. This is the new reality. Come to think about it, this reality is not very "new" in the least. In fact, it is now as common  as a full moon in the morning sky. It almost amazes me that most of us still are stunned when an event of this magnitude occurs. It barely fazed me. When the news came over the television yesterday morning I did not so-much-as bat an eye. You see, I long ago adjusted to living in  this America. 'Oh', I said out loud, 'it happened again, huh? And so close to the Christmas season. Ho ho fucking ho.' "

December 15, 2012
 
Moscow Mitch
Mass shooting deaths on this scale have become the new "normal" in America, the price we are forced to pay for (WAIT FOR IT!) our "freedom". This is the way it's going to be from now on, and you had better get used to the body count. As long as so many politicians are resting comfy-cozy in the pockets of the National Rifle Association, this dreadful and appalling situation will continue unchanged. We have been stupidly lulled into believing that we have "representatives" in Washington. We don't. The halls of congress are littered with prostitutes for the plutocracy. Nothing is going  to change - nothing. Don't kid yourself into thinking that the violence will never touch your blissful existence. I will. I have had two cousins - one maternal, one paternal - who were murdered by men who had been stalking them. Brace yourself for the inevitable.

One more quote from the piece I wrote on the morning after the Newtown massacre:

"The NRA types love to jabber away - like diseased little myna birds - about 'freedom'. We need to come to grips with some unpleasant realities. A society that lives in dreaded, mortal terror wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will take place may indeed be many things - no argument there. 'Free' they are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?"

"Happiness is a warm gun." John Lennon said that.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

BREAKING NEWS:

Jeffrey Epstein has committed suicide. A dark twist in a dismal plot.