Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Benedict Donald

The bar has been lowered even further. Just when you get to the point when you start to believe that the truth about this disgusting and incompetent administration couldn't possibly get more vile, they cheerfully disabuse you of any such silly notion.
We now learn that in March of 2019 Trump was issued briefings that explained to him that his bestest buddy, Vladimir Putin, was paying Afghan resistance fighters a bounty to kill American servicemen and women. When Trump was served up this information on a golden platter, he chose to do nothing. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Trump himself have been twisting themselves into rancid pretzels denying that he had any beforehand knowledge of Vladimir's dastardly doings. The Donald is telling us that he was never briefed, while Kayleigh is saying that the intelligence is still being assessed.
Late yesterday it was inadvertently revealed by John Bolton that he personally briefed the president of what Putin was doing in Afghanistan. When asked if he had done so, Bolton refused to comment - which is enough of an admission for me. This was probably one more juicy tidbit that Bill Barr's Justice Department forced Bolton and his publisher to redact from his recent book. Word's out that some website or publication has gotten hold of the uncensored version of Bolton's memoirs. I sure would like to know what else was left out of that book. Since Trump's actions (or lack thereof) are no longer "classified" we ought to be able to read what John Bolton was forced - under penalty of treason - to omit.

I imagine this latest bit of news is not sitting well with the men and women presently stationed in Afghanistan. If I were one of them I would go back to my barracks and sit it out until a new commander-in-chief is inaugurated the 46th president on January 20. Better still, I would walk out of that country all together. Donald Trump is not worth putting one's life on the line - I don't care what country you come from. Anyone wearing a military uniform tonight should feel outraged and betrayed by a man who was committing treason against the country they were risking their lives for. I'd be pretty angry, too. How do you think the parents of combatants who died over there feel right about now? Or their sisters and brothers? How would you feel?

Wasn't sending this corrupt jackass to the White House a perfectly neat idea? Can you imagine what would have happened to Barack Obama had undeniable proof existed that he was a Russian asset? The president of the United States is a traitor. The Republican party have spent the last three and a half years acting as his willing enablers. Wake up and smell the elephant shit, campers. It's later than you think. Anyone still supporting this contemptible moron and common thief is looking more foolish by the day. The first step in conquering a problem is admitting you have a problem in the first place. We have a serious problem, America. We'll just leave it at that.

Be safe folks - and don't forget to wear a mask!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Negro Folk Symphony
by William Dawson


This one is a real beauty.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Memo to the Stones:

Dear, Ron, Mick, Keith and Charlie....Hi, guys!
Brian Jones
I understand that the four of you were not too happy to hear that the Donald Trump campaign has been using your recorded music at his campaign events. I hear you. To tell you the truth, I wasn't so happy about it myself. I imagine that Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman aren't grinning from ear to ear over this news either. Come to think about it, it's not too difficult to believe that, beyond that mysterious and unknowable void, your old mate Brian Jones is royally pissed off as well. When I tuned in for the festivities in Oklahoma and Arizona last week, I was dismayed to hear that the gnarled old freak was using You Can't Always Get What You Want and She's A Rainbow as the soundtrack to these disgusting events - particularly She's A Rainbow! That song has quite a sentimental attachment for me. Not only was it the first 45 RPM I ever purchased with my own money, I still believe it to be one of the best records ever made.
I understand that your legal representatives have issued a cease and desist order to the Trump Mob. I  hate to be the one to break the bad news to you, but that's not going to work. To be honest with you, I'm a little disappointed in you fellows for showing such naiveté. Do you not understand that Donald Trump has, for his entire life, placed himself above the law? Your army of high priced lawyers do not mean a thing to him. You can probably take him to court but that won't work either. I'm sure you've heard that the United States Department of Justice and a lot of the court system have been stacked in the old geezer's favor...."favour"....Sorry, I forgot for a second that you're an English band.   
Nope, there's no way in hell that you'll be able to prevent these silly bastards and bitches from blaring your unforgettable recordings from their loudspeakers at these rallies - no way in Heaven or on Earth. You might as well learn to live with the fact that your records will remain the audio backdrop to Trump's Lethal and Twisted Roadshow from now until Election Day and possibly beyond. There's nothing you can do about it. Nothing.
Well, on second thought, there is one thing you can do....
It's time to make another record - not an album, mind you, just a single. It doesn't even need to be a two-sided single when you put it out on vinyl. Just repeat the song on both sides of the record. And while I would never presume to write lyrics for The Rolling Stones, I do have the perfect title for the recording if you'll be willing to indulge me:
Catchy title, ay? I rather like it myself.

Believe me, gents, if you record that tune it will go through the roof! You will reveal your undeniable talents to an entire new generation of fans, and you can donate part of the proceeds to a good cause - Black Lives Matter for instance. You will once again establish that the Rolling Freakin' Stones are the baddest of the badasses, and that there's no one who comes within a thousand miles  of that unprecedented badassness! This is something that can be easily done in a relatively short period of time. You might recall that your late friend John Lennon wrote, recorded and released his classic Instant Karma in less than a week. You will be able to do the same with the soon-to-be-classic, "FUCK TRUMP!"

And the sweet icing on the cake is the fact that, after this record is released, Donald Trump won't go anywhere near a Stones recording for the for the rest of his miserable life! This is what is known as a win/win proposal!

So there you go, guys. Please get back to work and produce this thing. This horrible man who has been spreading this horrible virus needs to be put in his place - firmly and permanently. A grateful world awaits.

Your biggest fan,

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


She's A Rainbow
by The Rolling Stones

Here's a chance to listen to a rare mono mix of the first record I ever purchased when I was nine-years-old. This is the format I was introduced to it in - glorious, living mono!


Rock on, Ron, Mick, Keith and Charlie!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Wear The Mask


100 years ago, in 1920, H.L. Mencken made this bold prediction:

"On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and a downright moron will adorn the White House."
I was reminded yesterday of the reckless stupidity of this disgusting administration. At a press conference at which the coronavirus task force was present (for the first time in two months) Mike (Dense) Pence was asked about Trump’s rallies during this pandemic - particularly in states like Arizona, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, where fatal infections are rising at an alarming rate. Pence's idiotic response was that even a dangerous epidemic should not get in the way of the people's First Amendment rights.
I have no other comment.

David Cohen is an old friend of mine. When I first moved back to my home town long ago in the naughty nineties, he was an oasis in the desert. I didn't really have many friends left in town, and, while I was away, he had opened up a bookstore in the village called "The Scholar's Tradesman" - a man after my own heart. He was also seriously involved in local theater and I would occasionally help him out as an audio technician. Last night, he made this posting on Facebook that floored me:
David H. Cohen
"There are still too many people out there not wearing masks properly OR AT ALL. So, if you're one of those people, please listen to me very carefully. I suffer from Asthma. My lungs are vulnerable. When I get a head cold, it inevitably goes into my lungs and sits there for awhile. I limit my exposure to the public, however, when I'm am out there. If you're standing near me and not taking precautions, you're literally putting my life at risk. I repeat: you could very well be responsible for killing me. Is your right to NOT wear a mask worth MY life - or the life of anyone else who might be vulnerable? Do you care? Can you live with the burden of knowing you contributed to someone's death? Over 120,000 dead. America has the highest per capita death toll in the world. (Over 300 per Million) WHY? Because we still have people who think more about themselves than the larger community. The next time you're out not wearing a mask, please, think of ME - and all those who rely on your compassion and empathy to DO THE RIGHT THING!"
I could not have put it any better had I given it the old college try. I should add here that, due to the fact that I have Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a touch of emphysema, were I to be exposed to one of these extremist jackasses who are asymptomatic, I would probably be a goner as well. In David Cohen's Facebook posting, he wrote something that jumped out at me and illustrated perfectly the heart of the problem:
"Because, we still have people who think more about themselves than the larger community".
Ah. BINGO! Does that statement remind you of any particular group of people soiling the landscape of this once-great nation? This is the crux of the problem that has been plaguing (no pun intended) WEEDA PEEPOLE for the last forty years - and for the better part of the last one-hundred and thirty. As long as conservatism remains a viable political force in the United States of America, we have no other choice but to get used to living in a nation in ruins. This country will never go forward unless - and until - we take a decided turn to the left. This ain't rocket science, campers. This is common sense. Wake up and smell the elephant shit. It's later than you think.

Trump is setting himself up to be the most prolific mass murderer in the history of the American experiment. His inaction before this week, I believe, entitled him to be charged  with 120,000 cases of criminally negligent homicide. Everything changed this week. When he herded thousands of his half-witted followers into a series of indoor rallies in Oklahoma, Arizona, and a packed outdoor rally in Wisconsin - during a pandemic - the charges could be upped (in my opinion) to cold blooded murder. His objective is to make this pandemic so catastrophic that he thinks he'll be able to use the utter chaos that ensues in the autumn to shut down the national election. He legally cannot do that according to the Constitution. But ask yourselves this question:

Since when does this corrupt jackass and common pervert give a flying fuck about legalities? Seriously.

This is where we find ourselves on June 27, 2020. If you refuse to wear a mask during the most devastating pandemic in over a century, you deserve to die - no argument there. You have no right to take innocent people with you. Case closed.

 Have a lovely day, kiddies!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Wear the mask.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

TR Should Stay Put

The only thing Theodore Roosevelt had to do with the confederacy is the fact that two of his maternal uncles fought for the South during that troubled time in American history. That being said, the decision by the folks at the Museum of Natural History in merrie olde Manhattan to remove the statue of him in front of the building is just a tad misguided. Depicted on either side of the image of TR mounted a horse are two men: one Native the other African American. Is this is what makes the statue politically incorrect to some people? Am I being insensitive? It would seem to me that none of the images are offensive in any way (although that horse does have a weird expression on his face).

Teddy Roosevelt felt early on the foolishness of the whole idea of white  supremacy. Late in his life (although he died relatively young) he said that anyone who believed in the myth of the "superiority" of white people should have gone with him during his journey into the Amazon wilderness where he charted the "River of Doubt" (which is now named in his honor). Most of the twenty-plus men who accompanied Roosevelt and his team of explorers into the most treacherous place on earth were dark skinned. During the three month journey, from which he almost did not come back alive, he got to know those fellows in a way he had never known anyone in his life. As far as he was concerned, those guys were inferior to no one.

In the autumn of 1901, shortly after becoming president when William McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt invited the noted African American educator Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House. A reporter from a southern newspaper found out about the invite after the fact, and within days, indignation throughout Dixie was palpable. The fact that TR would want to express any desire to reach out to America's "negro" community was unacceptable to these fools. It was a controversy that festered for weeks and was slow to fade away. When it was further revealed that Washington had not only dined with the president - but with his wife and daughter - the outrage was compounded.

"I would not lose my self respect by fearing to have a man like Booker T. Washington to dinner if it cost me every political friend I have got."
Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt's only sin with regard to African Americans involved the dishonorable discharge of an entire Army regiment of blacks in Texas on rioting charges that they were probably innocent of. His actions in this particular case, I am certain, were not out of malice, but of mere ignorance of all the facts.

I understand that there is a mass sense of outrage that, in 2020, there are statues standing that honor slave-owning traitors to the Union - and that the call is wide and loud that they be torn down. I get it. As I've written on this site before, I am a descendant of Roger B. Taney, the chief justice who wrote the Dread Scott decision - the worst in the history of the Supreme Court. In 2017, as the state of Maryland was tearing the statue of Taney off its pedestal at the statehouse where it had stood for one century and a third, I wasn't whining that my family's heritage was being erased, I was cheering them on! Statues honoring these treasonous swine should forever be removed. No disagreement.

But Theodore Roosevelt???

And let's not forget two facts: 1. Roosevelt founded the Museum of Natural History, and 2. Other than Dwight Eisenhower, he was the last Republican president worth a damn. I really think that they should reconsider this one. If they want to take down the statues of twentieth century American presidents, they might want to start with Woodrow Wilson, who, other than Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, was the worst racist to ever occupy the White House. That would be a pretty good start.

This monument is probably going to come down whether I like it or not (I don't have much clout with the Museum of Natural History these days) but I would hope that they have the statue relocated to the Roosevelt homestead in Oyster Bay, NY. He was a great man who deserves a place of honor in the history books.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is the actual voice of Theodore Roosevelt during the campaign of 1912. He had left the White House in 1909 but was severely disappointed in the policies of his hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft. Although TR won the primaries, the nomination went to his best old ex-pal Taft. Roosevelt mounted a third party uprising (The Progressive or "Bull Moose" Party as it was popularly known). The result was a split ticket, with the White House Going to Woodrow Wilson.


Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919. He was 60. The man was one in 60 trillion.

Monday, June 22, 2020


Sick, Dejected and Dangerous

Look at the photo above. That is the president of the United States arriving back at the White House after his disastrous visit to Tulsa Oklahoma on Saturday. Look at how sick and dejected he looks! He has the bearings of a man a quarter century older than him. He has a team of physicians on hand at all times that give him two testes a day.  Could he possibly have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on the flight back from Tulsa? Something is not right here. In fact, something is very, very wrong. The United States of America is in the clutches of a Mad King, bent on retaining his throne even at the cost of the lives of his helpless subjects.

They're calling it the Faith In America Tour. I have no doubt that historians fifty years hence will be referring to it as the Death To America Tour. The unhinged, psychopath that the American people stupidly sent to the White House nearly four years ago is taking his weird roadshow to Arizona on Tuesday, a state where the number of COVID-19 infections has been on the upswing in recent weeks. As I have predicted, The Trumpster is trying to spike up the number of infections by holding these public gatherings in order to declare a national emergency and cancel the election in November. This is a man whose calander needs to be checked. This is a man on the brink of an apoplectic breakdown. This is no longer even vaguely amusing. This is serious. 

Every one of us must do everything humanly possible to make damned sure that the attendance at these future rallies are sparse at best. Find out where the rallies are occurring and order as many tickets as humanly possible. Do what the kids on Tik Tok did. They ordered thousands of seats to the Tulsa event - without any intention of attending. The result was a complete and utter blowout for Team Trump. The Donald was pranked by a bunch of kids in their teens. Life is beautiful, thank you very much.

In order for him to retain the office of the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump is perfectly willing to ride over the bodies of hundreds-of-thousands of Americans. Do you really think I'm kidding? Do you really think I'm delusional? Stick around.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Democracy is Coming to the USA
by Leonard Cohen


I love the country but I can't stand the scene. Get the fuck out of the way.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Coming Tulsa Aftermath

Yesterday, just as swiftly as he blew into town, Donald Trump blew out, but not before doing as much damage as he consciously could do - and yes, I do believe that there is a decided method behind der fuhrer's undeniable, clinical and criminal madness. He didn't fill up the convention center much as he would have liked to, much as he predicted. Apparently, the frazzled old geezer had been pranked by a campaign of sabotage conducted by a small army of teenagers who preordered thousands of tickets to an event not one of them had any intention of attending. Those kids, in addition to being brilliant pranksters, saved the lives of many people in that clueless town. Because of what will prove to be the most heroic prank in American history, a lot less people are going to die. I said on this site two weeks ago that it is the generation born in the last decade of the twentieth and the first two decades of the twenty-first centuries who are going to turn this world around. They're already on their way.

The Donald didn't look too well when he arrived back at the White House last night. His shoulders were stooped, his tie was completely undone, and he shuffled along like a man twenty years his senior. There is no doubt about it: the man was severely depressed. Perhaps he had gotten word of the Great Teenaged Prank of 2020; or perhaps he had been examined by his team of ever-present physicians on the flight home and had tested positive for the coronavirus. This is always a distinct possibility. It usually takes roughly two weeks from exposure to COVID-19 until the symptoms begin to appear. Two weeks from yesterday falls conveniently on the Fourth of July. That is when all hell is going to start breaking loose in Tulsa, Oklahoma - and perhaps in the oval office as well.

We do live in interesting times.

As stated yesterday, there can be no rational motivation for Trump to do what he did yesterday - none at all. When Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked the other day if he planned on attending the rally in Tulsa with Team Trump, his answer was, "Of course not." The president has not talked to Fauci in some time according to sources; but he has scores of medical advisors at his disposal, most of whom must have advised him the extreme danger he was putting the people in who foolishly showed up at this rally. According to the televised images I saw, the majority of them were not wearing facial protection. It didn't matter to Donald Trump. Not in the nearly forty-years I've been studying this asshole was I given a better example of what an utter sociopath the man is. A lot of people are going to die in order for him to fulfill his political ambitions. America is starting to enter into Hitler territory. Seig heil, mein Trumpf.

When you get to the point in your national affairs where George W. Bush is starting to look good, you've reached a sorry state indeed. We've gotten to a place where it seems obvious that Trump and the Republican party have every intention of overthrowing the government of the United States by means of illegal electoral tactics. It's obvious in the way they've been limiting the amount of polling places in states and counties that are trending to vote for the Democratic party in November. And it's hideously obvious by the lengths they are going to prevent African Americans from having access to the ballot box.

This is going to get really interesting. We'll just leave it at that.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to view Mike Pence and Donald Trump's Tirade in Tulsa yesterday. It really is an unintentional hoot in more ways than one:



Saturday, June 20, 2020

Message To Tulsa

Okay, this will be mercifully brief.
Are you in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Do you, perchance, have a friend or a loved one who lives in Tulsa that you can forward this to? If that is the case, please send this to them:
Hello to the people of Tulsa, Oklahoma! I know that a lot of you are anxious to see -  LIVE AND IN PERSON! - President Donald J. Trump when he blows into town today for a mass, indoor rally. I know the feeling. My whole life I wanted to meet a president. I didn't care if it was an ex-president, a current president - or even future president. Any one would do! I finally got my wish in 1983 when I met a future president in the lobby of the not-quite-finished Trump Tower in New York City. Ironically, that future president turned out to be - you guessed it - Donald Trump. In a further irony, my life is not any fuller for having had this experience. In fact, it makes me kind of sick to even have to think about it  all these years later - but that's another story for another day, boys and girls.
Some of you might have figured this out by now but, apparently, most of you have not. So please, allow me to lay it on the line for you as bluntly as I possibly can:
Our president is an imbecile.

I have no doubt that the political rally in Tulsa will be, if it's still allowed to happen, well attended. People have been lining up in front of the place for the last few days in the hopes of getting the choicest of seats. I can well imagine that the joint will be packed when The First Fool makes his entrance later on this afternoon. The fact of the matter is that der Donald is luring you into a situation so dangerous that your decision to attend the event may very well prove to be fatal. I understand that Oklahoma is a very red state and that the broadcast news channel most favored there is FOX Noise, but you need to understand that, in the four months since this horrible plague began, the FOX stooges have been downplaying its severity. In fact they have been lying to you since they first came on the air twenty-six years ago. I have a theory why Trump would stage a stunt as criminally reckless as this, but I've already written about that. It's too depressing to rehash here.

The president's SCREAM TEAM is telling us this morning that face masks at this event will be optional. I really do hope that all of you have the good sense to wear one if this is the case. Does Trump even understand the nasty fact that, almost certainly, he will have less ballots cast in his name if most of you attend this rally unprotected? That's right: some of you are going to die if you're naïve enough to be lured into this thing by the Pied Piper of Craziness. And if you're lucky enough to survive this (which, admittedly, most of you will) there is still the very good chance that you will carry the virus home and fatally infect someone that you love dearly. This is not a good idea.

Donald Trump isn't worth it.

Philly - Partying like it's 1918
So be careful and never put out of your mind for an instant the potential consequences of attending a mass, indoor rally during the worst pandemic in a century. In late 1918 during the Spanish Flu outbreak (it actually started at an army camp in Kansas) The city fathers of Philadelphia thought that the worst of that epidemic had blown over and that it would be a perfectly fine and dandy idea to have a large outdoor parade and bond rally for the dough boys who were in the process of retuning home from Europe's "Great War". The result was a second wave of death and infection that killed nearly fifteen thousand innocent men, women and little children in Philly alone. And remember, this event took place out of doors! Many people were wearing masks. It didn't matter. The results were catastrophic and fatal.

Please stay home today, Tulsa. Here's the theory that I was hesitant to repeat in the above paragraph: Donald Trump only cares about retaining the office of the presidency in 2021. I believe that he wants a second wave to hit the population that is so severe, he can use it as an excuse to cancel the national election in November. Does that sound crazy? Perhaps; but please explain to me what possible motivation he could have for doing something as utterly irresponsible as having an indoor rally with thousands of people during a time such as this? He doesn't give a damn about you - or your family.

This is going to end badly, but I repeat myself.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Every credible epidemiologist (including Dr. Anthony Fauci) has stated for the record that attending the Trump Love Fest today in Tulsa, Oklahoma is  terrible idea. Think.


This report on the 1918 flu pandemic appeared on CBS's Sunday Morning three months ago. It's less than seven minutes long and well worth your precious time:


Stay home, Tulsa. Seriously.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Trump's Latest Nightmare

"He is so full of shit."
Pompeo to Bolton on Trump
Don't get me wrong: I am still of the belief that John Bolton is a dangerous dingbat and, whether he was fired by Trump or whether he quit, we're all better off for the fact that he is no longer in government. Here's another reason (of scores of them) to hold Bolton in nothing but utter contempt: during the House Impeachment Inquiry late last year, he refused to testify when called upon to do so. He had a two million dollar book deal in the works and he intended to save all of the juicy tidbits for that. Had he testified then, the public outcry over his revelations would have been so loud that the senate would have been forced to remove the fucking psychopath from office, and the country might have been spared of one more year of a president that Bolton knows full well is incompetent and a danger to his country. Of this we may be of no doubt whatsoever: John Bolton is no patriot.
But I guess we can also be thankful for the fact that, at the very least, John Bolton is an honest dangerous dingbat. Silver linings, you know.
At this moment, Team Trump is scrambling to prevent his tome from seeing the light of day. The fact is that it has already gotten into the hands of the New York Times and the Washington Post. Two nights ago, Stephen Colbert giddily waved a copy of it in front of his television audience. If Trump seriously believes that this publication will never see the light of day, he is more delusional than even I suspected - and I suspected an awful lot!

Open the door for your mystery date.
The United States Constitution willing, I shall be picking up a copy of "The Room Where It Happened" later on this week. Among the other delights that are being revealed are the facts that der Donald was under the illusion that Finland was part of Russia; or that England was not a nuclear power; or that Trump sought the influence of the Chinese government in order to increase his chances at being reelected in November. The basic message of the book is that Donald John Trump is an incompetent imbecile who has no business living in the Executive Mansion. This is not a classified, state secret that they are preventing from becoming public. As I said on this site five years ago, these facts are common  knowledge. HELLO???

Seven months and three days to go before this nightmare is behind us....God willing. Did you ever dream that this country would fall as low as it has? I never did. Twenty years ago I believed that America had reached rock bottom when it stupidly elected George W. Bush. He's starting to look like Abraham Lincoln when placed in juxtaposition with Donald J. Trump. My youngest brother Jeff has just announced that if this moron is reelected he is going to apply for French citizenship. There was a time, not so very long ago, when this knowledge would have depressed me. Now I'm wondering what the hell took him so long. Can you blame him?

Brace yourselves for the next chapter in this ongoing shit show. The next seven months are going to be like no other in American history. Tell your kids to pay close attention, too. There are lessons numerous that they will be able to pass down to their heirs.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


This is a milestone day in American history. Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving offspring of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, passed away last night in her Manhattan apartment. In the 1938 photograph below, she can be seen sitting second from the left. Do you want to talk about the end of an era? Take a number. There is one heck of an Irish wake happening tonight. I wish I were there.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Criminal Recklessness

You really have got to wonder what the hell is going on in the mind of the president of the United States. In the midst of a pandemic that has already ended the lives of over 110,000 Americans, this sociopathic knucklehead is planning an indoor rally of thousands of people in six days at Tulsa, Oklahoma. To make matters worse he is insisting on no social distancing for that event. Wait, it gets better: facemasks are optional.

What could possibly go wrong?
His crew had originally planned on the rally taking place on the nineteenth - Juneteenth - a day when African Americans observe the anniversary of the day where freedom finally came to the last people to be held in bondage in America. The day also coincided with the 99th anniversary of the worst race massacre in American history, which took place in - WAIT FOR IT! -  Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some were accusing Trump of deliberately choosing that day as a slap in the face to the descendants of those slaves, but I don't believe that to be the case. The Trump Mob are mentally impaired when it comes to the subject of American history. I really doubt that any of them were smart enough to make the connection.

There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of those macho fans of der Donald will show up at that Tulsa rally in six days without any masks. This is the kind of stupidity we're dealing with from these folks. Surely because of this criminal recklessness on the part of Trump, there will most certainly be a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in that state. Unlike here in New York where the number of new infections and deaths are in a steep decline in recent days, the southwest has seen a surge in the amount of cases in the past week or so. Trump's ego needs a Nuremburg-style love fest of devout worshipers. That is what the disgusting little thug thrives on. It's apparent that a lot of dead bodies of American citizens mean nothing to him. I don't know if he understands this or not, but this will mean a lot less people casting their ballots for him in November. Or maybe there's a method to this madness.

Why on earth would Donald Trump do something as horribly insane as this during this pandemic?  My theory is that perhaps he's hoping that the expected autumn second wave will be so catastrophic that he'll use it as an excuse to shut down the national elections. Could Donald Trump seriously be that completely evil? Honestly, I'm not certain of the answer to that question. But this I know beyond a doubt: I've studied this guy long enough to know that there is just about nothing he wouldn't be capable of.

Whatever happens it's a given that this is going to turn out badly. The blame for the number of deaths from this virus can be placed squarely at the feet of Donald Trump. He was told by the experts as far back as January of the seriousness and danger of the moment - and he chose to ignore it. Where I come from that is what is known as criminally negligent homicide. On the day after the 2016 election, a lot of us predicted that a Trump presidency would be terrible for the country, but who among us could have predicted that our luck would get this bad?

Be safe.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, June 12, 2020

Celebrating Juneteenth

June 19 is a day that black Americans take note of and, in some cases, celebrate every year. It marks the anniversary of the day in 1865 that the Emancipation Proclamation was read to the slaves of Texas. Although slavery had been officially outlawed on New Year's Day two and a half years before and that the Civil War had ended in April, it took a bit of time for the good news to travel that far west. Ironically, on the day these poor people realized that they were finally free of the lash, the emancipation's author, Abraham Lincoln, had been dead since April 16. Every year on June 19 (Juneteenth) African Americans bow their heads. I think the rest of us should join them. I think June 19 should be made into a national holiday.

You say we have too many holidays as it is? I suppose a reasonable argument could be made for that assertion. Perhaps we could give Columbus Day the old heave ho. It's not generally known, but our modern perception of the story of Christopher Columbus is based on a nineteenth century novel. The fact of the matter is that he and his crew slaughtered tens of thousands of native people upon arriving on the shores of this hemisphere (the exact number will never be known). A few of them were kidnapped and carried back to Europe to be exhibited as living specimens. No, old Chris Columbus might have been a able explorer but he was not a good man. Another thing to remember is that he never once set foot on what is today known as "the continental United States". 

Few of us mention Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day anymore. Fewer, still even think about him. Why are we even setting a day aside for this guy's memory? If you're of Italian descent and you want  celebrate every October the twelfth, do it as we Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day, which is not a legal holiday either - although it should be! Sorry, but being of Irish descent, I just had to say that.

And Election Day should be a national holiday as well. Again, this could be achieved with no problem whatsoever given the fact that both days are so close to each other on the calendar. All we need to do is combine it with Veterans Day! People need to vote, but too many of them don't bother because they need to work. Make it a legal holiday and the voter apathy that this country is noted for will diminish to a great degree. And if you think about it, Election and Veterans Days are the perfect combination. We vote because we're free. We're free because of people who gave their lives in battle for this country - at least that is what they want us to believe; it's a tad more complicated than that. Combining those two days into one merry holiday would solve many problems. It would also give people a dandy excuse to have barbeques and get really intoxicated. Hooray!

In these days of serious reflection on our historical heritage, we need to reorganize our national priorities. All of us need to celebrate the day that "legal" slavery ended in America forever. It still exists in the form of Private Prisons for Profit, but that's another story for another day, boys and girls.

Juneteenth is exactly one week away. Have a happy one!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


If Donald Trump has to sacrifice the lives of tens of thousands of Americans to get reelected he's going to sacrifice them. He's holding a rally next week in Tulsa Oklahoma during a pandemic. He is demanding no social distancing - and  facemasks are optional. He must realize that his core constituency, his "base", are stupid enough to show up at these things by the thousands. Come the autumn, when there is a massive second wave of disease and death, he'll use the catastrophe as an excuse to try to cancel the November election.

Am I paranoid? Perhaps. Perhaps not. On that cheerful note....

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stars and Bars and Scars

Two days ago an African American NASCAR driver I had never heard of before named Bubba Wallace implored the nice folks who run that organization to ban people from bringing confederate flags to their racing events. Much to my surprise, in less that forty-eight hours, NASCAR did just that!  Their reasoning was hat they want everyone to feel welcome at any of their events - and it was damned good reasoning, too! At this moment NASCAR is busting their buttons with pride, I'm sure, at having done the  right thing; Bubba Wallace is a new American Hero. And what a spokesman he is, not just for NASCAR but for the American union. He looks like the freakin' All American Boy, which he is.

Of course not everyone was pleased by this most recent and most welcome turn-of-events. A driver by the name of Ray Ciccarelli has announced that he will be bolting NASCAR when this season is over. He claims that the stars and bars of the confederacy mean nothing to him and  that people should be free to carry the flag of their choice to any racing event in the United States. Possibly he means the Nazi flag as well but I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Ray has also never won a single race, which might also have something to do with his decision. Either way, I do hope that the good old boy has a change of heart - but if not, best of luck to him.

By the way, most of Bubba Wallace's fellow drivers have come out wholeheartedly in favor of banning that awful flag - including the legendary Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This is not a solitary black guy showing up at the party, uninvited, and vomiting into the punch bowl. This movement has momentum.

Last night, in instances that were not coordinated as far as anyone can tell, private citizens all across the south took to the parks to forcibly deface or remove confederate statues. This is what Abraham Lincoln would have referred to as "a new birth of freedom". Donald Trump has been petitioned that the military bases around the country which bear the names of confederate generals be rechristened. I suppose I don't need to tell you what the president's response to that has been. He said, in effect, that he has no intention of erasing history. I suppose he has never heard of something called "history books". I'm almost certain that the old codger has never read one. We will just be forced to live with those bases in our midst until a Democrat is inaugurated on January 20, 2021. I can wait. That's relatively easy. I'm white.

Also recently vandalized were two statues of Christopher Columbus and Robert E. Lee (last night in Boston and Tuesday night in West Virginia). This is something that I support. When Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere in 1492, he and his crew committed genocide on a large scale against the native people. (FUN FACT: He never set foot in what is today called "the continental United States"). My opinion is that they should get rid of that October 12 holiday and combine Election Day with Veterans Day - a holiday where the people have the opportunity to get out and VOTE.  

Please remember this folks: those "gallant rebel generals" were not heroes. They were former officers with the Union, each of whom had sworn had sworn an oath to the constitution of the United States of America. Each of them broke that oath. They were traitors. Not one of those confederate soldiers who died in defense of dear old Dixie were heroes. They were poor fools who were duped into fighting an unjust war for no other reason than to provide a class of amoral slave owners a rationalization for keeping a system intact that forced human beings to live their lives in bondage. Since so many people in the south worked for nothing, that system of slavery, that "peculiar institution", kept those soldiers at an economic disadvantage - only none of the silly bastards were ever smart enough to figure that out for themselves. I have no doubt that most of the heirs of those soldiers will be voting for Donald Trump come November. That's just a silly guess on my part. Pay it no mind.

To my brethren in Dixie:

Most of my maternal ancestors either fought for the confederacy, or - at the very least - supported it. One of my ancestors was Roger Brooke Taney, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1857 he wrote the deciding opinion for the Dred Scott case - the most deplorable and infamous Supreme Court decision in the history of that body. Nearly three years ago the government of Maryland removed his statue from grounds of the State House where it had stood for many generations. What do you think my reaction was? I didn't bitch and moan about my family's history being "erased". My reaction, simply, was this:


No, I wasn't complaining. I was out on the frontline cheering them on. And while we're on the subject of politically incorrect statues, the only statue of Robert E. Lee that deserves to stand in America in 2020 is the statue of his dead body which lies atop the sarcophagus in which his remains are interred in the chapel at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Sweet dreams, Bobby!

What is happening in America at this moment in our history is something that - in a perfect world - would have happened one-hundred and fifty-five years ago. Long overdue, but, "better late than never" as they say. The sheer evil of the flag of the confederate army would only be surpassed in infamy seventy-four years later. Do I have to mention any names? I didn't think so.

Bubba's Wheels
There is a damned good reason why the Nazi flag is not flown anywhere in Germany today. It's a symbol of hate and intolerance (not to mention death and destruction) for so many of the heirs of the soldiers who marched to the beat of Hitler's mad drum. The confederate flag is an evil symbol to our brothers and sisters of African descent. Wouldn't you say the time has come to show them a little respect and decency? Think about that when you're on your way to Dreamland tonight.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


A Message to My Fellow White People
from The Rant, 7/26/12


This one is right on topic and it ain't too shabby.

Monday, June 08, 2020

POST #925: Random Observations

June 8, 2020

The following are a collection of unrelated thoughts that I had peppered about the Facebooksphere and other places.
1. The Bible-toting Demagogue:
Donald Trump had the park across from the White House cleared of protesters by the use of chemicals and rubber bullets - all because he could pose in front of St. John's church holing a bible. It was all for no other reason than a cynical appeal to his "base". If we were to ask him what the first line of that book is, he's probably respond by saying,
"Placed by the Gideons".

2. A Much-Needed History Lesson:
Richard Nixon once complained in his own cranky way, "The problem with the history books is that they are all written by liberals", And he was absolutely correct. Why do you think that is? Because in order to write history, one must have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of history. And once one has obtained that knowledge - you can't be a conservative. It's almost impossible. Once you have obtained that knowledge you start to see a pattern. Conservative causes may look fine to some people when viewed through a contemporary prism, but they always look crazy and foolish when viewed in 20/20 historical hindsight. And if you don't believe me, just check out every conservative cause in American history - going all the way back to slavery.
Right wing form of governance DOES NOT WORK - PERIOD.
Any questions, class?

3. Bolton with a Jolt:

John Bolton's memoirs of his time in the Trump administration are coming out before this month is over - and all reports say that it's a devastating portrayal of the incompetence of The Donald - and everyone he has surrounding him. Trump and his team have been spending all of this year trying to keep the book from being published. They've tied it up for the last three months "assessing" it for any classified material. It would seem to Bolton that three months is more-than-enough time to go over a 400 page book, and his publisher agrees. Come hell or high water the book will be released to the stores at the end of June - regardless of what the Trump Mob thinks. Time for more damage control.

4. The Times Herald Wreckage:

My local newspaper, The Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, completely ignored the gathering that took place on June 5 at the Goshen, NY Presbyterian Church Park (which was peaceful and beautiful) and yet they covered an event that took place yesterday where protesters blocked traffic on Route 211 in Middletown. That newspaper was purchased a few years ago by Rupert Murdoch. No one should ever read it again.

5. A Post-George Floyd World:

We cannot bring George Floyd back to the land of the living. What we can do is keep him at the front of our national consciousness. We have no other choice.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

In this interview with Al Franken from this past February, Malcolm Nance lays out the case, chapter and verse, for the utter corruption of the Trump administration. All of us should be listening to Al's podcast.