Sunday, May 31, 2020

Minnesota Burning

I have to concede that African Americans were quite patient and tolerant during the administration of Barack Obama. For eight long years, as some within the white political power structure questioned the man's religion and even his citizenship, black folks, for the most part, shrugged the nonsense off. The camel's back was broken last week in Minnesota. Donald Trump threw another piece of raw meat towards his half-witted, racist base yesterday. He threatened to send the military - not the National Guard, mind you - but the military into the powder-keg that the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota has become in the last six days. This is a terrible idea that is almost certain to make a bad situation untenable. If the president is smart....never mind.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are known as the twin cities. I get the feeling that Minneapolis must be the evil twin. RIM SHOT!
What I find astonishing (and quite hopeful) is the fact that more white people seem to be expressing shock and outrage over what happened to George Floyd than any racial crime before. Here's something that completely blew me away: even Sean Hannity was fit-to-be-tied by this incident! Sean has never been very sensitive to the plight of certain members of the human race. Perhaps the guy isn't a lost cause after all. I hope not.

We've come so far with respect to peace, love and racial understanding since I was born nearly sixty-two years ago, but Lord Knows we've got a long way to go. The tragedy of George Floyd at the hands of one stupid and vicious cop is a punch to the face of every person with a molecule of humanity. This is not something that good and decent people do.

Watching the idiotic bastard drain George's life from his body in such a hideously nonchalant way - with his hands in his pockets - is a disturbing image that generations of people (black and white) will carry with them to their graves. I understand that charging him with first degree murder night be a tricky prospect which could lead to an acquittal, but he should have, at the very least, been charged with second degree. Anything else is unacceptable. Did Derek Chauvin somehow think the was acting heroically when he forcefully jammed his knee onto George Floyd's neck? He must have known that several cellphone cameras were recording his every move! Were the hands-in-the pocket merely some kind of macho pose? What the hell was he thinking? I'd love to know the answer to that one.

I was almost tempted to post a link to the video of the murder of George Floyd at the bottom of this piece but I thought better of it. In fact, I hope I never have to see it again; so awful and disturbing is it. But it is a bleak reminder of the inhumanity towards our African American brothers and sisters that is exhibited on a daily basis in too many parts of this country.

Will it ever go away? I have no answers.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Justice For George Floyd

George Floyd
"This shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America. It can't be 'normal'. If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better."
Barack Obama
Cold-Blooded Murder
In the wake of the pandemic that has thus far killed in excess of one-hundred thousand Americans and the most devastating economic collapse in ninety-one years, the United States is now forced to contend with the most calamitous example of racial unrest since the night Martin Luther King was murdered fifty-two years ago. It all started on Monday when George Floyd, a citizen of Minneapolis, Minnesota stopped into a store to purchase some goods. When Mr. Floyd paid for his items with an allegedly counterfeit twenty dollar bill, the proprietor of the joint phoned the police. As he told the press later, he didn't believe that George intentionally passed along a fake bill - most people who come into possession of them are innocent. He merely wanted them to investigate the matter. When they arrived, George was still in the vicinity of the establishment. The owner says that Floyd wasn't violent or belligerent, and yet, within a minute-or-so, the poor man was face-first on the ground, an officer's knee pressed against his neck, cutting off blood flow and oxygen.
George Floyd pleaded for his life, he said, "I can't breathe". As his consciousness ebbed away he cried for his dead mother - all to no avail. Bystanders begged the idiot cop to show a smidgeon of mercy but he wouldn't budge. He continued to torture George to death, kneeling on his neck with his hands nonchalantly jammed into his pockets. When private citizens tried to intervene, they were threatened by three other officers with pepper spray. This fucking monster continued to dig his knee into George Floyd for nearly ten minutes - even after he had obviously died. Fortunately, more-than-one person had the foresight to capture the entire ugly incident on their cellphone cameras. It was the most atrocious case of police brutality that few of us are able to remember.
Bad Cop
Disgraced police officer Derek Chauvin, the reprehensible thug responsible for the death of George Floyd, has been taken into custody and charged with....
....third degree murder - manslaughter. This is not a positive development. What I witnessed on that video - what ALL OF US witnessed on that video - was an act of premeditated, cold-blooded murder. The city (and many areas of the country) have erupted in justifiable outrage. If the prosecutors of Minneapolis believe that Chauvin's arrest on such a watered-down charge will simmer the situation down, they're a tad "misguided". We'll just leave it at that.

FUN FACT: It took four long days before the authorities in Minneapolis had the wit to even charge this homicidal imbecile with any crime whatsoever.
As we've come to expect when something this horrible occurs on the American landscape, there are those among us (mostly white) who claim that what happened in Minneapolis five days ago is merely a fluke occurrence, and that we're blowing the problem out of proportion. Here's a story I'd like to share with you:
A number of years ago when I lived in New York City, there was a bar on Eighth Avenue (between 34th and 35th Streets) that I used to stop by every day for a beer on my way home from work. One of the patrons that I struck up an acquaintance with was a member of the NYPD who would also stop for a libation after he got off duty. Late one afternoon we were discussing his line of work when he said something that completely floored me. To this day, I've not been able to erase it from my memory:
"I'm not gonna consider my career complete until I've killed at least one nigger."
This conversation did not take place in Shit-For-Brains, Mississippi; it took place in Manhattan, one of the most sophisticated spots on the planet.
The problem exists, and, unless we're not vigilant, will persist.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


I Love Loosies: The Eric Garner Story
from The Rant, 12/11/14

What happened to George Floyd this past Monday took me back to the year 2014. I do hope that it takes you back as well.


Kellie Chauvin, former "Mrs. Minnesota" and the wife of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, has said through her attorney that her "utmost sympathy" lies with the family of George Floyd and that she is divorcing her husband of ten years. She is a non-white native of Thailand. I don't doubt for a minute that something about her husband's reckless sadism struck a chord with her. Do you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Still More Craziness

"Life has a way of confusing us
Mending and bruising us
Drink l'chayim to life!"
From Fiddler On The Roof
"Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives [sic] voices. We will strongly regulate or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen....Just like we can't let large scale Mail-in Ballots take root in our Country."
The Common-Pervert-in-Chief, 27 May 2020
Concentrate very carefully on the quote above. The disgusting piece-of-shit that a significant minority of the American people were naïve enough to elect to the presidency four years ago believes that he possesses the power to shut down internet sites like Facebook or Snap Chat - or The Rant - simply because he doesn't dig the message that is being conveyed. Don't think he's not going to at least seriously ponder the possibility of plunging this already-fragile democracy into utter darkness. And while we're at it, take very seriously a scenario of this unhinged nincompoop refusing to vacate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when his term expires at 12 Noon on January 20, 2021. Take this to the bank, campers: at the very least he's thinking about it. And so it goes. Hi ho.

In the last twenty-four hours the United States has reached the milestone number of 100,000 people dead from the COVID-19 pandemic. That's more human beings than have laid down their lives for this country in every conflict going back to 1956, when the first soldier died in Viet Nam - two years before I was born. This nation and South Korea became aware of the coronavirus outbreak on the very same day in early January of this year. South Korea immediately sprang into action, alerted its people to the danger and put their scientists to work on the problem. Last I checked about two days ago, the total number of dead in that country is 268. Think about that for a minute.

In America on the other hand, Donald Trump decided that the best thing was not to spook the stock market. At first he purposefully ignored the problem against the counsel of more-than-one expert who cautioned him on the danger posed to the people; and the American people - to their utter detriment and peril - cheerfully went about their business with nary a care in the world. Then, when it was obvious to those of us smart enough to pay attention that the virus was working its way through the country, he denied the danger, calling it a Democratic "hoax". Look where we are today as a result. It's safe to say that facemasks, hand sanitizer, social distancing and protective gloves will be with us for the foreseeable future. Now would not be a good time to invest in internet dating sites. Just a thought.

The other day during a news event at the White House, Trump criticized a reporter for wearing face mask, calling him "politically correct". The half-witted little maniac even had the gal to criticize Joe Biden for wearing a mask during Memorial Day ceremonies this past weekend. Because this monumental lamebrain feels that personal protective gear are somehow unmanly, the majority of the lamebrains out there who follow him unquestioningly are libel to follow his example. That is why, in the shit-for-brains regions of the country, the death rates continue to rise daily at an alarming rate. The only silver lining behind this extremely dark cloud is that, once this nightmare is finally - mercifully - behind us, America's collective IQ will be just a tad higher. I needed to leave you today on a positive note. That's the best I can do. Sorry.

Come heck or high water, this president will be out of the White House in just a little under eight months. If he decides to leave voluntarily, fine. If he refuses, send in the fucking Army.

Enjoy this lovely spring day, kiddies!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Elizabeth Mohin

A dear and beloved friend of mine is going through a major crisis with regard to her health. Whatever you can spare will be returned to you, compounded, in unlimited love and gratitude. Liz is the daughter of my late pal Brian Mohin and his wife Alyssa, and is the sister of Bennett. The Marvelous Mohins are the sweetest of families.

Fingers are crossed. Hands are folded.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


Trump on Twitter
Obama on Twitter
You were forewarned - not only on this site - but by scores of other commentators. This corrupt and disgusting imbecile would eventually go after his political enemies. Anyone paying a molecule of attention should have known that something as outrageous as this would eventually happen. Unfortunately not too many of Americans had their eye on the ball. That is why we find ourselves in the situation we're in today. This is something that transpired for no other reason than the complete and utter stupidity of a significant minority of the American electorate. Pat yourselves on the back.

At a press conference earlier this week, Our Piece-of-Shit-in-Chief started to babble on about "Obamagate". When asked what, exactly, he meant by that, as a mentally disturbed twelve-year-old might have done, he told the inquisitive reporter that it was a story that the FAKE NEWS MEDIA was ignoring, but was unable to offer any other details. What is happening is akin to Hitler's Night of the Long Knives in 1934. That was the moment that der fuehrer assassinated scores of people he perceived to be his political enemies. Is Trump going to have his "enemies" murdered in cold blood? I'm waiting to find out the answer to that question. I wouldn't put it past the disgusting old bastard.

Joe and Mika, watch your backs!

This situation wouldn't be so perilous (and I cannot believe I'm saying this) if Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was still in charge of the Department of Justice. For all his flaws as a senator, old Jeff was able to keep Trump's weirder instincts at bay. Not so with Billy Barr. Bill has bowed to Trump's every moronic and illegal whim. Between Roger Stone and Mike Flynn, I never dreamed that I would be looking back on the sick reigns of John Mitchell and Ed Meese with a sense od teary-eyed nostalgia. Things have actually gotten that weird.

I never dreamed that America would fall this low. I am nostalgic for George W. Bush. Somebody shoot me please.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Why We Are Here

Here's a nasty morsel to chew on while you're cooped up in your homes during this quarantine:
The leaders of the governments of the United States and South Korea were made aware of the coronavirus pandemic at the very same moment on the very same day. South Korea immediately sprang into action in order to contain the virus. As of this moment their total death toll is around 250 people. The United States, on the other hand, chose to ignore the obvious. It wasn't for another three crucial months that Donald Trump decided that maybe he should declare a national emergency. The silly bastard then went golfing. Was this a great country or what?

By the end of the weekend our death toll will have exceeded 80,000. Cheers to the "very stable genius".

We know now that Trump was aware of the existence of the virus and the possibility of a pandemic as early as January 4. This is why sending conservatives to control the executive branch of your government is such a nutty idea. They don't believe the government is responsible to anyone for anything. They love to quote the old adage by  Thomas Jefferson which said that the government that governs best governs least. FUN FACT: Jefferson was the most overrated of the Founding Fathers (an opinion shared by Theodore Roosevelt). Sure, he was a great writer and diplomat and he had a first class mind, but here was a man who thought that owning his fellow human beings as slaves was a perfectly sensible thing. A nation of 324 million people need governance. This ain't rocket science, folks. George W. Bush failed so spectacularly during Hurricane Katrina fifteen years ago for the same reason that Trump is failing now. The American voters need to wake up and finally understand some uncomfortable facts.

On January 27 of this year Joe Biden wrote an opinion piece in USA Today accusing Trump of ignoring the potential danger to the public posed by the coronavirus and pleading with him to take the matter more seriously than he had been up to that moment. Instead, Trump called the whole affair a "Democratic hoax". He can attempt to rewrite history all he wants - as he did recently when he claimed that he knew this was a pandemic from the very beginning - a claim belied by miles of video footage to the contrary. The fact of the matter is that the people of the United States are seeing - first hand and in real time - why giving control of our government to this posse of kooks criminals and halfwits was a bad idea at the starting gate. This is a lesson we've learned before. We're learning it yet again. Perhaps someday we'll get with the program. Perhaps not. We'll see.

In one term we went from the most successful president of my lifetime (I was born during the Eisenhower years) to potentially the worst president in history (If the death rate ever surpassed 624,000 he will take the place of James Buchanan for that title). If we are ever naïve enough to go down this road again on Election Day, we'll deserve everything that happens to us. Let's not do this again.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Little Richard passed away this morning. A grim milestone indeed. Here's a link to listen to the recording that so inspired the next generation of rock 'n' rollers:


Thursday, May 07, 2020

Dr. Rick and the Great Unravelling

Dr. Rick Bright

I am speaking out because, to combat this deadly virus, science - not politics or cronyism - has to lead the way."
Dr. Rick Bright

Dr. Rick Bright is (excuse me, WAS) the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, as it is commonly known. He was given the boot recently because of his refusal to go along with this disgusting administration's insistence that contracts to provide medicines and vaccines go only to politically connected companies during what can only be described as the worst national emergency in over a century-and-a-half.

The bone of contention for das Trump Mob was his refusal to sign off on their herculean effort to push the bogus hydroxychloroquine drug on the people, a "medication" which has been proven too many times to count to have no healing effect on the victims of COVID-19; in fact it has many fatal side-effects for patients to whom it has been administered.

One of the people with financial ties to the manufacture of hydroxychloroquine is a close friend of Jared Kushner - but I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

This is worse than any scandal in our history. This makes what went down with the president of the Ukraine - a scandal that Trump was, after all, impeached for - look like a traffic ticket. At a moment when Americans were dying by the scores-of-thousands, these hideous bastards and bitches were looking at nothing more than the fucking bottom line.

Donald Trump is consciously waging viral warfare on the American people. He is trying to reopen the entire country at a moment when it is not even close to being ready. If this happens there will be an explosion of deaths between now and mid August. Most pandemic experts are predicting nothing less.

Two months before the election of 2016, I predicted that if Donald Trump was elected, he would be remembered as the worst mass murderer in the history of this republic. Before finally posting the piece on my blog, I took that line down. I wish I hadn't.

It is my belief that if the death rate is catastrophic enough come November, he will be able to cancel Election Day. Mark my words, kiddies. This is one sick, evil and dangerous son-of-a-bitch.

Dr. Bright, for the good of the American people, wants his job back. That's not gonna happen any day soon. .

Idiot Nation

Tom Degan
Goshen, New York


The other night ago, on Brian William's 11th Hour program on MSNBC, he was interrupted in mid-conversation by  live feed of a teleconference with Dr. Bright. Here's a link to listen to it:

The executive branch of our government is in the hands of fucking gangsters. Did you ever think that things would get this weird? 


Friday, May 01, 2020

My Governor (and yours)

Bust of Dad by Carolyn Palmer
A quick tip of the hat to the governor of New York.
Since he first ran for the office a decade ago, I have cast my ballot for Andrew Cuomo. The first time was one of the easiest calls I ever made. His opponent in that contest (whose name escapes me) seemed like he was about to explode at any second. I have consistently voted for him three times and, if he is again on the ballot in 2022, I'll vote for him again. Although I've disagreed with some of his policies and decisions, I have always thought him to be a fairly decent governor. Recently, however, my admiration for him has gone up several notches. We here in New York are blessed to have him in Albany.

Watching his daily news conferences on YouTube are instructive as to why progressive form of governance is so preferable to conservative. Just look around the country. Most of the right wing governors are content to reopen their states and let things work themselves out. It's attitudes like these that are certain to make this international catastrophe metastasize. It's progressives like Andy Cuomo who are hands on workers, trying to stay on top of things in order to keep numbers down and trying to make this go away. Comparing him to, say, the governor of Mississippi is like comparing Shakespeare to your average Harlequin romance novel. If Hillary Clinton had been elected four years ago, we would not be at the level of mess we find ourselves at today, I'm convinced of that. When this is over, most Americans will be progressives. Of that I am also convinced. If American people don't learn their lesson from this, they never will.

Governor Cuomo's daily press briefings should be watched by all Americans. If you're relying on Donald Trump for your information you're doomed. Cuomo's conferences can be viewed every morning streaming live on YouTube and are highly recommended. He usually comes on late every morning at roughly 11:30 AM. Trump will only keep us all stupid and make a lot of us dead.

As they've done most every presidential primary season for the last fifty-two years, the Democratic voters of this country have made a huge mistake in their nominee - or in this case "presumptive nomine". I love Joe Biden but I'm not sure that he's up to the job. I hope I'm wrong on that score. But there is now serious talk among some Democrats about replacing him on the ticket with Governor Cuomo. The guv has made if clear that he would not be able to abandon his post to pursue higher office at a time like this. That's integrity, baby! Matilda and Mario Cuomo raised that kid right.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to view Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefing from this morning. He comes on at thirty-five seconds into the video. This is Must See TV:

We're talking essential viewing, folks. We ignore this man to our own peril. He's the best governor we've had since FDR.