Tuesday, February 25, 2020

POST #900: Random Observations

At the Clements Family Homestead - South Bend, Indiana, 2/14/20
623 Park Avenue
Nine-hundred pieces in slightly over thirteen and-a-half years: not bad, I guess. In fact the number should be somewhat higher. There have been a few periods when I was unable to write at all - for reasons trivial and serious. Earlier this month I went nearly three weeks without posting a damned thing; so frustrated was I at the very existence of the current administration (and the acceptance of it by such a huge a percentage of the American people) that I threw up my hands in frustration (as opposed to actually throwing up - always an option) and just said out loud, "to hell with it, what's the point?". Apathy has never been an option with me. Like it or not, I'm back with a vengeance, baby! Here are a series of unconnected observations that I've written down recently in my notebook or on Facebook.
1. A Facebook flashback, 2/24/17:
Is the damage done already irreparable? Possibly. It's difficult to imagine the world ever again looking at America through the same lenses when so huge a segment of the voters were unwise enough to elect the Donald on November 8. And it is not a salve on the national consciousness to attempt to rationalize this electoral catastrophe by reminding ourselves that Hillary Clinton did, in fact, win the popular vote. That doesn't matter. It should have been the biggest landslide in the history of the republic - bigger than Dick Nixon's still inexcusable victory over George McGovern in 1972 when he won every state but Massachusetts and the District of You-Know-Where.
This one should have been a no-brainer, kids.
One of the more heartening turn-of-events during the last month has been the reemergence, after a long and blissful slumber, of the American left en masse. If as many of them had bothered to show up at their polling places on November 8, 2016 as I saw out in the street, I suspect that all we would be dealing with today is a wishy-washy moderate in the form of Hillary Clinton rather than what we have now: an obviously reactionary and disturbed guy with the vocabulary of a fourteen-year-old. I would only remind a lot of them that apathy is not the answer. They might want to jot that down on their things-not-to-do list. Just a suggestion.
Idiot Nation.

2. Black History Month:

I am almost convinced that a white person chose February as black history month. The better choice would have been January which is, after all, the month we honor the birthday of Martin Luther King. No black person in his or her right mind would have chosen the shortest month of the year. Just a thought.

3. Harvey and Aaron and Bill (Oh, My!):

In the last few years we have borne witness to the complete collapse of the careers of three men due to their atrocious, private behavior. I refer to the late NFL star Aaron Hernandez, comedian Bill Cosby and, yesterday, the once powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. This morning Harvey and Bill rot behind bars. Aaron committed suicide in prison in 2017. What causes people (mostly men) at the pinnacle of power and success to behave so destructively (and self-destructively)? Cosby got off relatively easy. He will more-than-likely walk free in September of next year, but his legacy and career in will remain in ruins. Weinstein, on the other hand, faces additional charges in Los Angeles and will certainly die in prison. What the heck were these guys thinking? The "#Me,Too" movement has scored a well-deserved victory. Congrats, ladies.
4. John Bolton's Upcoming Tell-All:

The Donald is freaking out over the scheduled release next month of John Bolton's memoir of the one year, five months, and one excruciating day he spent as Trump's national security advisor. Without even reading the book, several members of Team Trump are putting out the word that it is filled with the lies of an embittered bureaucrat who found himself in over his head. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that his upcoming book as wrought with fabrications. If Bolton is as lying a weasel as they are implying, then why are they insisting that the book is filled with classified information? I don't know exactly how to break this to them, but the corruption and incompetence of this disgusting administration is not really a state secret. I'm just sayin'.

5. The Candidate:

It would seem - at least from the vantage point of 25 February 2020 - that the candidacy of Joe Biden is in free fall. What I have yet to hear mentioned by the taking-heads is that Trump's campaign of smear regarding Joe's "involvement" in the imaginary Ukraine scandal has worked out beautifully for him. He feared running against the former vice-president and now Biden appears to have been taken out of the running. Not to my surprise, those idiotic Democrats fell for the propaganda hook, line and sinker. I am of two minds about this: defeating Donald Trump is the most imperative objective facing the Democrats in 2020, and Biden was the one most likely to have handed him a can of delicious Whupp-Ass. The problem is, quite simply, that I'm not sure if Joe, given his age, is up to the taxing rigors that a campaign for the White House would have brought down on him. It's not over yet for Biden. Let's see what happens in South Carolina. 
6. The Other Candidates:

Watching the Democratic primary debate from Las Vegas on the evening of the nineteenth, it was impressing to see Senator Elizabeth Warren knock them out of the park, one after the other. Mike Bloomberg is a joke, Bernie Sanders is beginning to falter, and South Bend's very own Pete Buttigieg, given his youth and sexual orientation, is too much of a gamble when one takes into consideration the proclivities of middle America (although he is the most intelligent and impressive candidate to come along in my lifetime. I won't be that disappointed if he wins the nomination this summer).  If Biden fails, Liz is the one.

7. Fascism American Style:

" 'Fascism' should more properly be called 'corporatism' because it is the total merging of corporate and state power' ".
Benito Mussolini
If you do not believe that is where were heading (in fact, were damned-near there) then all I can say is, "go back to sleep, children". The most important thing we can do on Election Day is to vote as if our  life depends on it - because it does. Reelecting this idiotic, psycho/man-child is not an option under any circumstances. Another term of a Trump White House will mean the ruination of the American experiment - not to mention the irreparable tarnishing of our image throughout the rest of the world. Not all progressives will be satisfied with the eventual nominee. Sitting home in a vile snit on November 3 is also not an option. A lot of them did that in 2016 and the result was Donald Fucking Trump. I was deeply disappointed when Hillary Rodham Clinton won the nomination that year, but that nasty fact did not deter me from heading down to my polling place on Election Day and casting my precious ballot for her. I had no other choice in 2016. We have no other choice in 2020.
And on a star-spangled night, my love
You can place your rights on the fireplace
And by the dawn's early light, my love
Yours constitution's turned to dust
Fascism American style
Tom Degan
Goshen, New York

Eric and Charlie

Have a look at this meticulously restored print of Charlie Chaplin's 1917 film, The Adventurer. It was one of the funniest of the twelve films he produced for the Mutual Film Corporation in the years 1916 and 17. The man who plays Charlie's bearded Nemesis, Scottish born Eric Campbell, was killed in an automobile accident a couple of weeks after the film's completion. He appeared in eleven of the Mutuals and is considered today one of the silent era's greatest comedic villains. Here is a link to watch it on YouTube:


One-hundred-and-three years later and it's as funny as it ever was.


At 5:17 PM, Blogger The Catharine Chronicles said...

900... wow.... Seems like just yesterday it was... well.... 899... but that's just math. Remember when we both used to blog.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Random question. Since James Clyburn has endorsed Biden, isn't it racist to vote for Sanders?

At 8:30 PM, Blogger woodenman said...

We are all going to get a front row seat to see Trumps leadership in this virus calamity. He is following in Bushes footsteps by appointing the most unqualified screw ups to position of great power and responsibility. This promises to be much more dangerous than Katrina where 1600 died.
What ever happens I am confident that Trump will make this disaster 100 times worse than it could be. I am also confident that no matter how badly he does, Conservatives will never hold him responsible, They are incapable of facing or telling the truth.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger Les Holmes said...

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your content and putting it out there for the world to see. I guess the way the US is right now you're also facing some risk in being so critical of the current administration. And for that thank you also.
I hope that you find the motivation to keep posting. I enjoy your content, and it gives us non USA readers a real insight into US politics that is not reported on in the news. I learn a lot reading your posts.
I also get some comfort that there are some sane people out there, and the world is not entirely crazy.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you, Les!

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...


3 weeks ago Chuck Schumer said "The premature travel ban to and from China by the current administrator is just an excuse to further his ongoing war on immigrants"

Not that Tom will publish this, but Woody do you see how much the fake news has caused you to look like a fool? How your hatred for Trump has caused you to be blind to reality? Stay woke my friend, stay woke.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger TB3 said...


Just so you are aware, what you're quoting is the figment of the imagination of someone or someones intending to deceive and divide. It was a fake tweet. Chuck Schumer never said or tweeted it.

So, JTF, do you see how much the fake news has caused you to look like a fool? How your hatred has caused you to be blind to reality. Stay woke my friend, stay woke.

Also, fact check things, Just the Facts. All you gotta do it cut and paste the quote and, hey, look at that.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Mark Gigs said...

It REALLY saddens me that 38% of the population will not drink Corona beer for fear of the virus. This is the same reason we got Trump. They have succeeded in dumbing down a large sector of the population. An uninformed electorate/populace without critical thinking skills is beyond their wildest dreams. Once FDR left office, they started their revenge and went into high gear with Reagan and we sat back and let it happen. This may be our last chance to take back control, if it's still even possible. THEY will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo, even assassination.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...


Unless Tom publishes this I bet you never hear of it.

WHO Chief Tedros Praises Trump for Leading Coronavirus Response From the Top

Tedros praised President Trump’s approach, noting his appointment of Vice President Mike Pence to lead a broad response to the crisis, and also Chinese President Xi Jinping’s leading from the front in the country where the outbreak began.

“After our visit to Beijing, and seeing China’s approach and President Xi leading that, and also in the U.S., President Trump himself, and also for regular coordination, designating the vice president – these are the approaches we are saying are the right ones.”


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