Monday, July 27, 2020

POST #950: Random Observations

My seventh shameless selffie  in as many years
As you might imagine, 2020 has been a prolific year for anyone who makes his or her name by commenting on the complete train wreck that is the era of Donald Trump. I've written more pieces since the new year than I do most years combined. Everyone paying attention in 2016 knew that this administration was going to be a rolling catastrophe, but I don't think any of us could have predicted with any degree of accuracy the scope of the disaster without looking like extremist lunatics. And the irony is that the worst is yet to come. Isn't that something?
1. Rethinking the School Openings: 

Is the opening up of American schools in September a safe thing to do? At the moment, no, it is not. What these silly politicians fail to realize is that, sure, a child's chance of dying is far less than an adult's. But many of those children will be exposed to the virus, and they will come home and expose their parents, siblings and grandparents, more than a few of whom will die, not to mention some of the children themselves. And is it fair to put the lives of their teachers at risk? Is it realistic to expect these kids to come home and be isolated from their moms and dads? If this catastrophic pandemic has not improved by September or - Heaven forbid - if it's worse, opening up the schools will be an act of unprecedented irresponsibility.

2. All Lives Matter?

Well, yeah! But the reason for emphasizing "BLACK LIVES MATTER" is that it has been a given for America's entire two-hundred and forty-four history that white lives do, indeed, matter. It has not always been such an obvious thing with regard to people whose skin is a shade darker than mine. When Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he wrote, "all men are created equal". He was referring to white men only. In fact, he wasn't even referring to white women. When James Madison wrote, "We the people" in the preamble to the Constitution in 1789, what he really meant was, "We the white people". When Theodore Roosevelt famously wrote of "the man in the arena", I have a sneaky suspicion that he was referring to some white guy. And call it a silly little hunch on my part, but I don't think that black lives mattered all too much to the sadistic police officer who murdered George Floyd in cold blood on the streets of Minneapolis on May 15. White America has over two centuries of fixing up to do.

Black Lives Matter. Say it.

3. On to Seattle:

Not content with making a bad situation intolerable in Portland, Donald Trump and Bill Barr have decided to send their army of jack-booted Brown Shirts to Seattle, Washington. Where they show up next is anyone's guess, but I will make a bet with anyone who's willing to take it: there is no way those unmarked thugs are going to show their faces in New York City. Can you even imagine a spectacle such as that? The Big Apple is a town not to fucked with. But I have no doubt that what is happening at this moment in the Northwest is merely a harbinger of worse to come. They're planning on an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States. That attempt will fail miserably. The next six months are going to be the weirdest of our lives. Fasten your seat belts, boys and girls!

4. Paraphrasing TR:

"The credit belongs to the man [or woman] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself [or herself] in a worthy cause; who at best, if he [or she] wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he [or she] fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his [or her] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt


His sister Bamie could have said it, too.

5. John Lewis Goes Home:

John Lewis has  had the widest-ranged funeral I think anybody's ever seen: from Washington to Selma, Alabama, back to Washington, then on to Georgia where he will be laid to rest. Yesterday provided the most moving scene I've witnessed in a long while. A simple wagon drawn by two horses, carried his body across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. In the spot where John was nearly beaten to death on Bloody Sunday fifty-five years ago, rose petals were scattered about the road.

The flags of the nation should today be at half mast. They're not, of course. It's one more shame in a litany too vast to count.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Herbie Mann

I dedicate this to the memory of John Lewis. It's impossible to listen to this beautiful recording and not think of him.

His truth is marching on, baby!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

AOC: Kicking Serious Butt in DC

"My mother got to see Mr. Yoho's disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television, and I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter, and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men."
Congresswoman Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez

It amazes me that someone with the serious gravitas and grace of an Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989, the year my father died and two months after my thirty-first birthday. These events in my life seem to have happened only a few weeks ago. I thought that we would have to wait generations for someone like her to come along - but here we are and there she is! She is my hero, or in the parlance of the times in which we live: my she-ro. She could very well be the first woman president of the United States. She is only thirty, and has another five years before she is even eligible for the damned job. But it could happen. She fills me with more hope than I've come to expect from the American Dream in a very long time. I awaken most mornings these days with an optimism that has been deceased in me for years. It's coming back to life, bit by bit. AOC is one of the reasons for that.
She made history the other day - well, sort of  - by being the first person to have the dreaded "F" word read into the congressional record. I only wish that Lenny Bruce might have lived to see that moment. Let me explain:
The Yoho Man
You see, there is this silly little congressman from the state of Florida (SURPRISE!) who I was only vaguely aware of named Ted Yoho. On the steps of the U.S. capitol - and in front of reporters - Yoho pointed his finger into the congresswoman's face and called her "disgusting", "crazy" and "dangerous". I have to admit that he makes a good point with the third characterization. Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez is dangerous; in fact, she's the most dangerous congressperson to come along in my lifetime - and I was born when Eisenhower was president! But there is good danger, and there is bad danger. The type of danger as personified by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is as good as danger can possibly get. She is a danger to the way the system operates  - and she is determined to be one of the people who changes that system forever. Certainly she is a danger to Ted Yoho and other silly little people just like him.
After her initial confrontation with Yoho, she entered the building to cast a vote. When she walked back outside and was confronted again by this blithering twit, she calmly chastised him for being "rude", and he responded by calling her "a fucking bitch". The next day he apologized for the "misunderstanding"  - not to Alexandrea - but to his fellow members of the House of Reprehensibles. That was all she could stand 'cause she couldn't stand no more! When she rose to speak, she related to her colleagues exactly what had transpired between herself and Yoho and quoted him verbatim. I wish I could have been there to witness it. What she had to say at that historic moment should be etched in stone. Someone please find me a chisel:
“When you do that to any woman—what Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters. In using the language in front of the press, he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community, and I am here to say that is not acceptable.”
She pointed out that she was two years younger than the youngest of Ted's two daughters. She then went on:

"And so, what I believe is, having a daughter does not make a man decent; having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up - as we all are bound to do - he tries his best and does apologize, not to save face, not to win a vote; he apologizes, genuinely, to repair and acknowledge the harm done, so that we can all move on".
I was reminded of the moment in 1954 when an obscure New England attorney named Joseph Welsh confronted an unhinged demagogue of another era, Joe McCarthy.
"At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?"
McCarthy's political career was destroyed on that day. Congressman Yoho's career was likely destroyed this past Thursday. As we still watch on film Welsh's condemnation of McCarthy sixty-six years ago, people generations yet-to-be-born will still bear witness to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez standing up for women sixty-six years from now.
To tell you the truth I feel kind of sorry for Ted Yoho. When his miserable life on earth is at its end, all the poor old bastard will be remembered for will be the brief encounter he had on the steps of our nation's capitol with the junior congresswoman from New York City - that's it. That will be the first paragraph of his pitifully short obituary. When they're writing biographies of Alexandrea Ocosio-Cortez, he'll only be a pathetic little footnote in her storySomeday, there will  be a statue erected in her honor. There will be no statue for Ted - nothing. Really, it's all rather sad when you think about it.

As stated earlier, I have no doubt that, if she so desires, she will one day be president. In fact there is a movement under way for her to turn thirty-five so she can get on with it and be nominated at next month's convention. Since that's not bloody likely to happen, we'll have to wait until October 13, 2024, her thirty-fifth birthday. It will come just in the nick of time for the election that year. I mean, how cool is that???

She is truly a historical figure, and she walks among us.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to view Congresswoman Alexandrea Ocosio-Cortez's historic speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, July 23, 2020. It really is something to behold and to savor. She's here to stay and I could not be happier for that fact.



Friday, July 24, 2020

"I Wish Her Well"

Decidedly happier days.
"I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is.”
President Trump on accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell
He hasn't been following the biggest scandal ever? Really? Donald J. Trump's favorite newspaper (probably the only one he reads -  like every other uninformed New Yorker I know) is the New York Post Toasties - which has been covering this story more than any paper in the country. I cannot believe that he has not been "following it too much".
It was his first coronavirus news briefing since April. His staff, I am sure, were behind the scenes, alternately folding their hands and biting their fingernails, praying that the silly twit wouldn't go off script and say something incredibly stupid, as he is prone to doing. Everything seemed to be going well (or as well as one might expect from this idiotic president). Then someone asked him about the ongoing Ghislaine Maxwell/Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Jeffrey, as you know, took his own life - allegedly - last year in a Manhattan jail cell; Ghislaine has survived to bear the brunt of the public's well-placed anger. Think about that: yesterday in the White House press briefing room, the president of the United States of America bid a cheerful salutation to an accused trafficker of underage girls. Can you imagine the shit-storm of far-righteous indignation that would have exploded had Barack Obama done something as reckless and as stupid as that? No, me neither.

Why was the Don Rickles of chiefs-executive so subdued in his comments toward Ms. Maxwell? The guy usually has something insulting to say about anyone who comes into his crosshairs. Why didn't he say something encouraging to her scores of victims? Is he attempting to send her a subtle message? I've heard rumors that Trump might be one of the filthy rich who benefited from Epstein's harem of children that he allegedly supplied over the years to the rich and powerful. I've always taken those rumors with a grain of salt. That's why you never saw it reported on this site - I just could not be sure. Yesterday I became convinced that Trump is up to his ears in this thing. In a 2006 magazine interview he joked how he and Epstein both loved beautiful women and that Jeff liked them "on the younger side". He obviously knew what was happening. In 2016, a woman who went by the name of "Katie Johnson" described in an videotaped statement being violently raped by the future president of the United States at one of Epstein's properties a number of years ago. There will be a link to view that statement at the bottom of this piece. It rings truer now than it ever did.

No sooner had Trump stuck his foot squarely in his mouth than Geraldo Rivera had to join in the festivities. The press conference had barely ended when Geraldo tweeted out this gem of illiterate prose:
“When asked @realDonaldTrump said he wished #GhislaineMaxwell well. With media mob eager to see her lynched it was brave to weigh in. Fact: cases vs her are for crimes allegedly committed more than 25 years ago. She deserved bail & got solitary confinement: woke politics.”
Way back in 1972 (when he was a "liberal"), Geraldo got together with John Lennon to hold a musical benefit for a decrepit mental institution on Long Island called Willowbrook. I imagine if John hadn't been taken from us so young, he would today be ashamed and embarrassed that he was ever associated with this putz. 
What puzzles me is the way Rivera wrote out his tweet. He wrote Maxwell's name with a hashtag attached to it. My understanding is that a hashtag is used when the writer wants the subject to see it. I'm not sure if she has access to the internet in the Brooklyn facility where she is currently incarcerated, but is Geraldo hoping that one of her attorneys will send his message to her? Is it possible that Ghislaine has some dirt on Geraldo? This is going to get a lot more interesting before it gets boring.

And how 'bout Bubba???

By all accounts, Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein were as thick as freakin' thieves. He has flown on Epstein's private plane (dubbed The Lolita Express) twenty-seven times and has visited his private island on several occasions. Is Bill vomiting in his sleep these days? I'd love to know the answer to that one.

The gang's all here!
The possible scope of this scandal promises to be bigger than anything in the history of western civilization. It has already ensnared one of the Royal Family. I'm told that the Duke of York - Prince Andrew - loves spending time in America. The last time he boarded a jet home from these shores, I  do hope he took a long look from the plane's window at the receding American landscape. It's a safe bet that he was seeing the United States for the last time. There is no way on earth that he is ever again going to be able to set foot in this country. Did you happen to check out his sit-down interview with the BBC's News Night back in November? Someone described the spectacle as a freight train crashing into a fuel truck. That's a bit of an understatement, but I'll accept it because I can't come up with a better description at the moment. His alleged victim, Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre) has sat for a number of interviews; she has a story that is lucid and credible. Given his turn, however, Andrew stuttered and stammered like a deranged little schoolboy caught steeling candy.

The one person I feel bad for is his mum, the Queen. I'm not a huge fan of royalty, but I always liked the old gal. Her majesty's a pretty nice girl but she doesn't have a lot to say. I have nothing but compassion for her when I think that she has to live out the final days of her long and distinguished life  witnessing the complete disgrace of a man who is described by all of her intimates as "her favorite son". It's too sad for words.

Keep your eyes on this one, campers. This is going to be devastating. Let's just hope that Ghislaine Maxwell doesn't "commit suicide" while in federal custody. I'm just sayin'.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is the video statement referenced above of "Katie Johnson" telling of her alleged, violent encounter with Donald Trump. I need to warn you; some of her descriptions of our president's behavior are quite graphic.

When I first saw this a couple of years ago, I didn't know what to think. I believe her.


Here is a link to watch the BBC interview with Prince Andrew. To describe it as awkward is being generous.

He's about to disappear forever from public view.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Bill Barr's Department of Injustice


"In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls."
Lenny Bruce 
Michael Cohen is back in solitary confinement. After serving about a year of his sentence for perjury, the president's ex-lawyer and fixer was released from the prison in Otisville, NY (less than ten miles from where I  now sit). Authorities were concerned that he might acquire the coronavirus. He was set free and ordered to confine himself to his residence. When word got out that he was writing his memoirs about his years with The Donald, memoirs that were set to be released before the election, the "justice" department of Bill Barr lured him to the probation officer assigned to his case. Once there, federal agents cuffed him and dragged him back to Otisville, where he sits today in solitary for twenty-three and-a-half hours a day. 

In the meantime, Trump's buddies, Paul Manifort and Roger Stone, both of whom are also guilty of serious offenses, are walking as free as a pair of demented birdies. They remained loyal to Trump, covered up his crimes and didn't sing. That is what justice looks like in the era of Donald Trump and Bill Barr.

This should not come as any surprise. Decades ago Barr, serving as attorney general for George H.W. Bush, made his name by sweeping the misdeeds of that administration's involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal under the rug. The late president's buddies - all of whom could have implicated him in a plea deal - were able to avoid serving time in prison due to Barr's nefarious machinations. I cannot say for certain if Billy Barr is the most corrupt attorney general in history, but he is - without a doubt - the most corrupt one of my lifetime. He makes me nostalgic for John Mitchell and Ed Meese. Please tell me, how sick is that?

We are just two days shy of six months left on the clock until this corrupt and disgusting administration is thrown onto History's shit pile. We have no other choice but to ride it out and hope that the unhinged, orange sociopath in the oval office doesn't blow us all into a bazillion itty bitty pieces.  And not one of us should be complacent enough to think that Joe Biden has got this thing wrapped up like a Christmas present. He doesn't. We need to do everything as humanly possible to ensure that Donald Trump is not reelected on the third of November. If he is able to retain another four years - whether de does it legally or illegally - this country is doomed. Do you really think I'm exaggerating? Stay tuned.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

BREAKING NEWS, 7/23/20, 2:35 PM:

Michael Cohen will be freed from the Otisville slammer tomorrow. A federal judge called the move "retaliatory". Cohen will be free to publish his memoirs before Election Day.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

My Letters from the Trumps

One of the joys of my vocation is the idiotic emails I receive from all over the world. A few months ago, some joker put me on the Trump campaign's mailing list. Whether this was done in a humorous vain or out of pure spite is hard to tell. Whatever the reason, I do get a kick out of reading them. One thing that is revealed is the contempt that these clowns have for the intelligence of their base of supporters. The fact that anyone with an IQ above fifty would fall for such utter nonsense is puzzling. Here are a few choice examples:

From Donald Trump:

I just saw our new Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets and WOW, these coins are beautiful - I took one look and immediately knew that I wanted YOU to have a set.
These aren’t any ordinary coins, Tom. They symbolize an important time in our Nation. This year, in addition to being re-elected as YOUR President, it also marks the 40th anniversary of our Nation’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
Unfortunately, we already sold out of the first batch we had in stock. But I liked these coins so much that I asked my team to rush order another batch for my TOP SUPPORTERS ONLY.
I’ve authorized a very limited production of these iconic coins, which is why I’m ONLY offering them to our top supporters, like YOU.

This offer is NOT available to the general public, so please, do NOT share this email with anyone.
Dear Donald,
It'll be our little secret.
From Junior:

Why haven’t you accepted my Father’s invitation to join the Official Trump VIP Club?
 The Trump VIP Club is a highly exclusive, invite-only group of my father’s most trusted supporters. So, when he asked me who I thought we should invite to join, I immediately thought of Tom from New York.
You’ve always been one of the President’s most loyal allies, which is why, for a short time, when you make your next contribution, you’ll automatically reach VIP Status and cement your name in history as a member of the Trump VIP Club.
This offer is only valid until 11:59 PM TONIGHT. If you fail to join, you might not get another chance.
Donald Trump, Jr.
Dear, Junior,

Honestly, dude, I've got better things to waste my Time on and spend my money on. Nice try, though.

From son Eric:
This is your FINAL NOTICE, Tom.
So far, we've emailed you 4 times inviting you to join the Trump Presidential Honor Roll. Team Trump emailed you, my wife Lara emailed you, my brother Don Jr. emailed you, AND President Trump emailed you.
We’ve done everything we can to get you to join this prestigious group, and now I’m reaching out to let you know that this is your LAST CHANCE.
I’m holding your spot for the NEXT 3 hours. After that, your offer will permanently EXPIRE and you will no longer be considered for a spot on the Honor Roll.
My father is counting on YOU, Tom. Don’t let him down.

Sure, Eric. The check is in the mail.


From Lara Trump (Eric's wife):

Tom, Where have you been?

I just found out that you STILL haven’t accepted your invitation to join the Trump 100 Club and I wanted to reach out to give you one more chance to join.

Because you’ve always been such a loyal Patriot in the past, I’ve been authorized to EXTEND your offer until 11:59 PM TONIGHT.

After tonight, your offer may be given to the next supporter in line who’s ready to fight for their President.

My husband, Eric, joined, Don Jr. joined, and so did Alex from Wisconsin! We’re just waiting on you now, Tom.


Dear Lara,

You have  seriously weird taste in men. Are you aware of that?

I got another, rather testy email from Eric Trump this morning:
This isn't like you, Tom. How do you want to be remembered?
As a Patriot who fought to Keep America Great? Or as an un-American Liberal who stood idly by as Radical Democrats ripped our Nation apart?
Team Trump just informed me that you haven’t accepted my father’s offer to join the Trump 100 Club, and I have to admit, I’m pretty disappointed.
Trump 100 Club Members are going to be the ones President Trump relies on when he needs the advice of REAL Americans. He’ll be counting on YOUR feedback to represent the views of millions of voters.
I will hold your spot open until 11:59 PM TONIGHT before it is PERMANENTLY RESCINDED.
Eric Trump
Dear Eric,
I would prefer to be remembered as an un-American Liberal who stood idly by as Radical Democrats ripped our Nation apart.
Tom Degan


Please bear in mind that all of these emails arrived in my inbox in the last forty-eight hours. Each of them came with a demand for donations. My life has gotten quite interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, July 20, 2020

Donald Trump is a Traitor

We need to come face to face with a few uncomfortable questions: Why is Donald Trump acting at every turn in ways that can only be adequately described as "not in the best interests of the United States"? Why, during the worst pandemic in over a century, is he doing so much to encourage the American people not to wear face masks? Why is he holding mass campaign rallies against the advice of every expert on infectious disease? Why is he keeping Dr. Anthony Fauci under wraps, allowing him to appear only rarely on television? Why is he demanding that America open its school doors in September, in spite of all the health risks that such a move would entail? Why is he doing all of these insane things with an election coming in less than four months?
The president of the United States of America is a traitor. I don't believe that he has any intention of removing himself from the White House six months from today, January 20, 2021. 

It is obvious to a lot of us that Trump is more than a mere ally of Vladimir Putin's; he was put where he is by the machinations of Russian intelligence and is there to do Putin's bidding, which is to destroy the United States as completely and as effectively as possible. Given his purpose, his presidency has not been a failure at all. In fact, he's been wildly successful. Trump has told us, "Nobody's been tougher on Russia than me". That's not even close to being true. Every chance he's had to do damage in service to Putin he's done that damage spectacularly - including making NATO weaker and threatening to pull American troops out of Western Europe, two of the Russian dictator's fondest dreams.

It's going to take the American people a generation or more to repair the horrendous damage that this mad man and common pervert has done to our country. There's also no getting around the fact that, when these idiotic Americans who describe themselves as his "base" finally awaken to the damage that he has done, the Republican party will go spiraling into the garbage heap of history. Conservatism, as a viable political force in the United States, is about to disappear from this country forever. When this nightmare is finally - mercifully - behind us, we will be a progressive nation once again. Remember, you read it here, folks.

It is 11:25 AM as I write these words. In six months, the final half hour of the Trump presidency will be ebbing away. To say that I don't envy the task before Joe Biden is to put it mildly. Hopefully he will have someone strong and intelligent by his side to make the task a bit easier (I'm banking on Kamala Harris). The next president will face burdens not faced by any chief executive since Franklin Roosevelt three-quarters-of-a-century ago. Joe will have his work cut out for him. We'll just leave it at that.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Bahamas has closed its borders to all visitors from the USA. He has not only made us the laughingstock of the world, we are now international pariahs.
A Change is Gonna Come
by Sam Cooke
This song needs no explanation from the likes of me. The change that Sam Cooke longed for in 1963, one year before his untimely death is finally upon us. Get the hell out of the way.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

John Lewis 1940-2020

He was a living icon. I always thought it strange and kind of sad that someone with the qualities and the grace of John Lewis would be forced, day by day, to  associate on the floor of congress with such an assortment of fools, kooks and criminals that comprise so much of the House of Reprehensibles. The man was a flower among the weeds; a king among the knaves. My favorite photograph of him is the mug-shot above, taken in Jackson, Mississippi in May of 1962. There he stood in a hostile land that was not his home. He was within moments of being thrown into a jail notorious for its cruel treatment on African American inmates. Look at his face in that photograph. John Lewis is not afraid. John Lewis is content. John Lewis is at peace with himself and the universe.

Reading his memoirs about two years ago, I was struck by the fact that there was so much of his story that I had been unfamiliar with. Before reading that incredible book, I had always been impressed by him, but I always thought that the dude took everything just a bit too seriously. Why doesn't he ever seem to smile? I used to think. After reading his autobiography, which is called "Walking With the Wind" I understood better the seriousness of John Lewis. His mission in life involved a lot more than fixing potholes for his constituents. His reason for being on this troubled planet was sacred. He was as holy as any American ever born. I'm am not exaggerating.

I understand that he was eighty-years-old and that it's never a complete shock when someone that age passes into eternity, but losing John Lewis is a hard thing to accept on too many levels to count. To call him irreplaceable would be an understatement: It cannot be stated in words what a loss his death means to America - whether the people realize it or not. It makes it all-the-more bitter that we lose him in this time of chaos and confusion, violence and corruption. America needs his wisdom more than ever before, and it's now hard to imagine our public life without his forceful but gentle presence in it.

In March of 1965, John Lewis, along with hundreds of other people, was beaten senseless by the Alabama state police as they tried to march peacefully across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. John suffered a fractured skull on that dark day and almost didn't survive. For the past couple of weeks there has been a petition going around to take the name of the old confederate racist down from that bridge and rename the structure for John Lewis. Humble as always, Lewis objected to the idea. The fact is, he's no longer around to complain. It should be forever known as The John Lewis Bridge. Considering the time we're living through, the symbolism behind such a move would be incalculable. The city fathers and mothers of Selma should know that the time to do this is now.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a YouTube link to view John Lewis' speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963. Bear in mind that he was a mere twenty-three at the time. This was the moment that he was thrust into America' consciousness. He has never left it. He never will. 

He may be gone, but he won't be going away any time soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A Grim Prologue in Portland

Keep your eyes wide on what is in the process of happening in Portland, Oregon. Our psychopathic little half-wit-in-chief has sent a mystery army of unmarked troops into that city in order to stifle the protests that have been going on there since the sadistic murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police on May 25. These "troops" were not requested by Kate Brown, the governor of that state; nor were they requested by Ted Wheeler, the mayor of that city. They just breezed into town, invited by Trump to go on in and knock some heads together - and knock they did. One young protester, who was merely holding a boom-box/radio over his head was shot in the face with a rubber bullet by one of these assholes. His skull was fractured and his face needs to be surgically reconstructed. The city and the state have said that these troops sent in by der Donald are making a bad situation intolerably worse and have been requested to leave. They're not going anywhere.
Here is what I believe is occurring in Portland:

Betsy DeVos
What we are witnessing is a sick dress rehearsal for some serious violence come the autumn. Why has the disgusting little piece-of-shit bunkered down in the White House been so insistent that people go back to work during the worst pandemic since 1918? Why is education secretary Betsy DeVos so crazy to send little children back to school during this dangerous time? Why is Mike Pence so set on people congregating in large crowds? It is laughably obvious to me that they are trying to get as many people infected as is humanly possible. When the shit hits the fan in the autumn (as it inarguably will) they will use the chaos as an excuse to cancel the November elections. When the protests hit the streets nationwide, Trump's personal SS - the same mob of jack-booted twits we are seeing on the streets of Portland today - will take their weird act on tour all over the land. That is Donald Trump's plan. Count on it.

The unmarked, unnamed mystery troops that have invaded Portland are a sick harbinger of what is in store for the rest of the country in the coming months. Trump is planning a series of these incursions in other cities that are run by Democrats. The hideous little thug is planning on using his very own Secret Police to spread chaos and disorder "from California to the New York mountains".

And consider this rancid-tasting little morsel if you will:

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Airlines, once relayed the details of a conversation he once had with Donald Trump. Over a private dinner, Trump told Branson that what he relished more than anything else was getting even with someone who has crossed him. If he loses the election on November the third, he will have two months, two weeks and three days to "get even" with the American people. When one considers that we have a paid agent of Vladimir Putin sitting behind the Resolute Desk at the moment, this is an ominous and terrifying thing to contemplate.

We should not assume that Donald Trump will be defeated on Election Day next - after all, we still live in Idiot Nation, and that depressing fact is not going to change anytime soon. We need to prepare for the assault on democracy that will inevitably come our way in the next half year. This is as bad as it's ever been or is ever going to be. This is four times as bad as anyone dared to predict four years ago - myself included. Donald Trump has effectively done the bidding of his master, Vladimir Putin.

He has done Putin's bidding well. Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

The governor of Oklahoma, who attended Trump's rally in Tulsa three weeks ago, just tested positive for COVID-19. Isn't that a hoot?


John Lewis has died. C.T. Vivian, who attended seminary school with Lewis and was also a superstar of the civil rights movement, has passed away on the same day. They were the last survivors of that historical struggle. Forgive the cliché, but this is, indeed, the end of an era.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

POST #942: Random Observations

What we have today are merely a series of unrelated thoughts that I had posted out in the Facebooksphere or in my notebook. Welcome to a merry romp through the lovely vineyards of Idiot Nation. Any resemblances to any persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.
1. The Good Doctor versus The Great Dictator
I don't like the way der Donald has been treating the only human being connected to this disgusting administration with any credibility. It seems that Dr. Tony Fauci has been moved to the peripherals of the Trump White House. This is just another example of the petulance and immaturity of this idiotic president. The people of the United States need to hear from Dr. Fauci, and they need to hear from him as often as humanly possible. Lives may depend on it. When he speaks, people tend to pay attention; according to more-than - one source, Trump is jealous of the good doctor's popularity with the public. Poll after embarrassing poll  show conclusively that more people trust Fauci's word than the president at whose pleasure he serves. In order to besmirch his character, The press secretary has been issuing statements saying that Fauci has been wrong in the past and that some of his statements just were not true. Right. In the beginning of this mess he did get a few things wrong; it was a confusing and uncertain time - but compare that to Trump - who's gotten everything wrong!
This is going to end badly - but I repeat myself.
 2. School Daze:

Not to the surprise of anyone who has bothered to pay attention during the past two-and-a-half years, Trump is insisting that schools across the nation open their doors in September during the worst pandemic in a century. He even seems to think that he has the power to order  governors across the land to open them up. I'm sure that there are a number of governors in the deep south who will do just that, but in progressive places like here in New York and Massachusetts, the ones who run those states are taking a wait-and-see approach. It is shocking to think that this imbecile sociopath in the oval office would not even care for the welfare of our children during a time as catastrophic and traumatic as this. Why would he be so reckless? I have my own theory....

3. He is Trying to Cancel the National Election

I've said this before on this site but I need to say it again. You have to ask yourselves, if Trump really wants to be reelected on November 3, why would he want to risk the health of millions of Americans? What could possibly be the method to this madness? He is holding these rallies (indoors and outdoors) he is insisting that our children attend classes in September - simply because the obscene old bastard wants the COVID-19 virus to spread as quickly and as fatally as possible. His plan is to have the pandemic so out of control, that by November he will use the national chaos as an excuse to shut down Election Day. Does that sound like a crazy theory to you? Perhaps it is. Stay tuned.


Part of me is not too distressed over the fact that Roger Stone will not be spending any time in prison for lying to congress. Congress lies to the American people all of the time. But the very fact that he produced those lies in service of a criminal thug like Donald Trump sends me into a blind rage. In the months between Election Day and Inauguration Day, expect more-than-a-few more pardons. I strongly suspect that this madman will even pardon himself - and his family. Don't put it past the old pervert.

5. Chuck Woolery - Scientist Extraordinaire:

Donald Trump has retweeted the rantings of Chuck Woolery. Chuck is a washed-up game show host. He believes that the Centers For Disease Control and the World Health Organization have been lying to us throughout this pandemic. Trump has chosen to believe him over people with decades of experience in the field of infectious diseases.

If this country is stupid enough to send this unhinged, psychopathic piece-of-shit back to the White House in January, we will deserve everything that happens to us....Everything.

Have a lovely day, kiddies!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


A number of years ago, a musician named Alexander Kariotis wrote a song about meeting and jamming in Heaven with John Lennon. This is so beautiful it defies description. Seriously.

I wanna play in Heaven with John Lennon!

Tuesday, July 07, 2020


I just want to take a quick breather from the madness of America's political train-wreck to take note of a milestone anniversary: Ringo Starr was born eighty years ago today. In two months it will be said of him that he walked this planet for twice as long as John Lennon. And the amazing thing is that he shows no sign of slowing down. The man is as fit as a freakin' fiddle! Ringo is in it for the long haul. The dude is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Long known for being the clown prince of The Beatles, it's ironic that he is the only one of the four ever to have wept in public. The first time was in 1981 a few months after Lennon was murdered; the second time was nineteen years later, when reminiscing about his old friend, George Harrison. Feelings were decidedly chilled between members of the Fab Four after that band's demise in 1970. It speaks volumes for the man's character that he was the only one of the group who maintained warm relations with the other three. He insisted on being at his ex-wife Maureen's death bed when she passed away from cancer in 1994. This is a standup guy! How could you not love him?

I can remember where I was fifty years ago when my cousin Gene told me that Ringo Starr had just turned thirty.


That seemed so old to eleven-year-old me. And now eighty doesn't seem that old to me - not when those years are being borne by the timeless Sir Richard Starkey. Ten years ago today, on the occasion of his seventieth, I wrote on this site:

"He never was as prolific musically as the other Beatles. While it cannot be denied that he will not be remembered as the greatest composer who ever lived, it is also undeniable that he has written some great songs. It Don't Come Easy, Photograph (co-written with George Harrison) and Oh My My are three of the finest post-Beatles recordings you can name. And while he probably won't be remembered as one of the greatest singers of his era, I have always felt (and I'm not alone here) that he has a beautiful baritone voice. Listen to What Goes On, Honey Don't and With a Little Help from My Friends. Can you imagine anyone else but Ringo Starr singing those tracks? Not me."

Ringo has requested that at twelve noon today, whereever you are in the world, say out loud the words "Peace and Love". That would be the greatest birthday present we could give him.

Peace and Love, Richie!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


by Ringo Starr 

I want you here to have and hold as the years go by
And we grow old and gray....

This is perhaps my favorite solo recording of all four of the Fabulous Fabs. It brings back too many memories to count.


Why the heck does spell check list "Ringo" as being incorrectly spelled? Where have they been for the past fifty years?

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Seig Heil, America!

The Donald and Morticia Feeling the Vibe

There the hideous, incompetent man stood on the White House grounds, while the southern portico sweltered in the background. 

"American heroes defeated the nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles and chased down the terrorists to the very end of the earth." 
Donald J. Trump, Fourth of July 2020
He might have mentioned that it was American heroes that defeated the confederate army in 1865, but that would have been too much to expect from the likes our imbecile president. The Donald blathered on:
"We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they're doing."
I thought it somewhat interesting how this walking embarrassment would use a select choice of military battles before going on a tirade about the "radical left". And while we're on the subject, I think it needs to be pointed out that there are no secret cabals in this country hosting huge numbers of "Marxists" and "anarchists". They don't exist in this country and haven't in many years. That was pure paranoia on the part of the president of the United States. During the entire eight years he served his country as its chief-executive, Barack Obama never once let out a turmoil of invective about right wing extremism being a danger to this country - although that danger is very real. Trump's words yesterday were not extemporaneous as he is prone to doing. They were chosen very carefully. I get a sick feeling that they were a harbinger of even darker and violent days ahead. Hang on to your hats, folks.

The president of the United States is as unstable as any politician in anyone's memory. Seriously, I can't recall in my lifetime anybody elected to public office as stone-cold, bat-shit crazy as Donald Trump. There have been a handful of eccentrics that I recall, but none of them were as certifiable to the best of my memory. What we have here is simply uncharted territory as far as the subject of insanity is concerned. This does not bode well for the coming six months. This is a man on the edge, desperate to retain his office. We can only guess what is in store for the people of the United States between now and January 20, 2021.

He is intent on being reelected by any and all means necessary. Everyone with an average IQ and above should be really worried. This contemptible, psychopathic nitwit has just declared war on everyone who thinks left-of-center. The Chinese blessing is also a curse: May you live in interesting times. We're there.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


A discussion occurred this morning on MSNBC pertaining to what I wrote about yesterday. This is as extreme as this extremist old freak has ever gotten. This must be seen to be believed. This guy plans on spilling a lot of blood not his own.

The shit is going to hit the fan. Be careful.