Tuesday, August 31, 2021

My Problem With Sirhan

In case you haven't heard the latest. a California parole board yesterday recommended that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan be released for the June 1968 murder of New York Senator and candidate for the office of the presidency, Robert Francis Kennedy. The decision is now in the hands of Governor Gavin Newsom whether-or-not Sirhan is to be set free as a bird. This is a horrible idea on too many levels to count. Let me explain:

1. In 1968, as a presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination, Bobby Kennedy was determined to end America's involvement in Viet Nam if inaugurated in January of 1969. Had he lived, he would probably have been elected on Election Day 1968. If not for Sirhan's fatal bullet, there would today be thirty-thousand less names on the wall of the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington D.C. Most of the fatalities of that idiotic conflict occurred under the watch of Dick Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

2. Had RFK been elected in 1968, his term, I am sure, would have lasted until January 20, 1977. The progressive enlightenment that his administration would surely have swept upon the American landscape might very well have prevented the election of Ronald Reagan  three years later, and the decades of right wing lunacy that would come close to destroying this country. It is not-at-all far fetched to lay the blame for Donald Trump at the feet of Sirhan Sirhan.

3.  Had Robert F. Kennedy been allowed the gift of time, we would have been spared the nightmare of Watergate. In short, we would all be better off if Bobby were still walking among us....Sure, he probably would have died a long time ago - he would have turned ninety-six on November 20 of this year - but it's nice to imagine what might have been.

4. Oh, yeah - and it's a pretty safe bet that Henry Kissinger would not have been advising President Robert F. Kennedy on foreign policy. That's just a lucky guess on my part. Americans would still be dying in Viet Nam in the spring of 1975 - nearly seven years after Senator Kennedy stepped so violently into eternity. 

I was just two months and ten days shy of my tenth birthday on June 6, 1968, the day Bobby Kennedy died. He had lingered in a coma all day Wednesday the fifth. I can still remember early Thursday morning when my father came into our room and quietly woke Brother Pete and I with the words, "Senator Kennedy passed away a few minutes ago." I can still clearly hear his voice in my memory all of these decades later. To say that I was completely traumatized would be an understatement.

I loved Bobby Kennedy. I still do.

His two sons, Douglas and Robert Jr.,  have been spending the last two weeks pleading for Sirhan's release. I don't know much about Doug, but I know for certain that young Bobby has spent the last few years stumbling around the country, spouting off some perfectly nutty things; one of those perfectly nutty things is his absurd contention that Sirhan is innocent - despite the testimony of over twenty eye-witnesses. Joseph P. Kennedy II, the late senator's eldest son, has vehemently condemned Sirhan's parole. I imagine that the conversation around the Thanksgiving dinner table in Hyannis Port should be quite lively this November. 

The fact of the matter is that Sirhan Sirhan stabbed democracy in the heart on June 5, 1968. His defence is that he was too young to know any better at the time. REALLY??? He wasn't a child - he was twenty-four years old! When I was twenty-four I certainly was old enough to know the difference between right and wrong! When Bob Dylan was twenty-four he had already recorded six albums! When Buddy Holly was twenty-four years old he had been dead for two years! The defense that he was just a kid doesn't pass the giggle test - Sorry. Robert Kennedy was murdered for no other reason than the fact that he had supported Israel in the Six Day War the year before. His life was taken away because Sirhan Sirhan was an anti-Semite. He probably still is for all we know.

FUN FACT: Lee Harvey Oswald was twenty-four when he murdered Jack Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Do the arithmetic: By the standards of Sirhan, had he lived, Lee should have been paroled in 2016. Really?

Sirhan was originally supposed to receive the death penalty. During his sentencing, the Kennedy family - to their great credit - pleaded for his life, as well they should have. I have never been a proponent of capital punishment, and I'm happy that his life was spared, but he should never again see the light of day. The damage that the silly little bastard did to this once-great nation is incalculable. A pardon for Sirhan Sirhan would also set a sad and dangerous precedent. An assassin should never be allowed to cast the ultimate and fatal ballot. Any potential murderer of any candidate for public office should know that the key to the jail cell door will be thrown away forever once it has been slammed shut behind him.

Governor Newsom was born eight months before Robert F. Kennedy died. He has no recollection of the trauma that RFK's murder put the nation through. I hope he does the wise thing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is ABC News coverage of the assassination of Robert Kennedy late on the night of June 5, 1968. We should never forget what Sirhan's twisted little trigger finger did to America.

Never forget.


I'm sorry I've been off for over two weeks. Lately I've been having balancing issues. I spilled a large cup of vodka and V8 juice on my keyboard and it was rendered  completely useless. I was only able to replace it this afternoon.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Unreasonable Discourse

Not since Joe McCarthy (whom, let me remind you, has been dead for nearly sixty-five years) has a United States politician so befouled the temple of democracy than Jim Jordan. My complete and utter contempt for this disgusting little thug knows no bounds. His state of Ohio (which, thankfully, is not Texas or Mississippi) is packed to the rafters with smart, sensible people. I hope they're smart enough to send him packing in November. I believe they are. Jim Jordan is nothing less than a cancer on Washington. One of the greatest moments of the first quarter of the twenty-fir
st century was recently when he attempted to disgrace Dr. Anthony Fauci. The good doctor made a fool out of the congressman by his simple display of logic, wisdom and grace. I imagine that poor old Jimmy cried himself to sleep that night.

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner recently described Jordan as the type of politician who does not create anything. He is only in Washington to destroy. That's about as good a description of this fool as I've ever read. He was recently disqualified by current Speaker Nancy Pelosi from serving on a house select committee charged with investigating the January 6 insurrection that attempted to overthrow the results of a presidential election. The reason being that Jordan may very well be called as a witness. In fact, he may have had prior knowledge to and may even had taken part in the plot to subvert democracy in America. Nothing would surprise me. The man in despicable.

I don't particularly care for Jim Jordan.  Have I made myself abundantly clear on that point?

Seventy years ago there was, fortunately, only one Joe McCarthy. Today, the halls of congress are polluted with scores of McCarthy wannabes. Jim Jordan is one of the  most obscene of them. The thought that he today walks the same floors that were once walked by Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams is enough to give any thinking person the dry heaves. He is the most vile and disgusting American politician I have seen in my entire lifetime (I'll be sixty-three tomorrow).

The state of Ohio should be internationally shamed if they're stupid enough to send this ruthless putz back to Washington D.C. on the upcoming election day. Forgive me for repeating myself, but I don't particularly care for Jim Jordan.

So there!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a video clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci wiping the floor with Jim Jordan back in April.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

So Far, Pretty Good

I have to be honest with you: I did not support Joe Biden during last year's primary season. My heart and soul were with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. In fact, I was disappointed when he won the nomination last summer/ At the time, my belief was that,
once again, the Democrats had taken a fine bottle of expensive champagne and turned it into a worthless jug of donkey piss (as they've been known to do. Remember Mike Dukakis?) I only voted for Joe Biden last November because he was not Donald Trump. I must admit out loud that I was wrong about Joe - as wrong as I've ever been about anyone. He's not the flaming lefty of my wildest dreams - but he's good enough.

I like Joe Biden and I'm glad that he is my president.

In fact, I've always liked Joe Biden. What's not to like? It must also be said that it's a nice thing to not wake up suddenly in the middle of the night in a cold sweat knowing that the White House is not being occupied by a psychologically deranged, intellectually deficient president who is capable inflicting so much damage on our country. 

Donald Trump made me nostalgic for George W. Bush. Think about that for a minute or two

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT, 4:00 PM, 8/13/21:

Again, I apologize for leaving this one unfinished from the night before - as I did a few days ago. Time to quit the sauce. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021


What follows is merely an assortment of unrelated observations on current events. Similarities to any persons - living or dead - are purely intentional.

 1. Tax Time for The Donald:

The chickens are coming home to roost - with a horrible vengeance - for our esteemed ex-president. The people who look after these things have been legally ordered to hand over Trump's tax returns to the people charged with investigating these things. In other words, Donald wants no one to see what he has been up to as far as his personal finances are concerned. The public knowledge of this might very-well be the billion dollar shit-hammer that he has been fearing since the moment he announced his candidacy six very long years ago. He may be out of power now, but his existence continues to be the train wreck that we can't take our eyes off of. This should prove interesting.r

2. Andrew Cuomo:

It's official. As of two weeks from today, Andrew Cuomo will no longer be the governor of New York State. This is probably a good thing. He can no longer govern the people of the Empire State. It's over. His incredible career, which I believed would eventually lead him to the Oval Office, is as done-a-deal as is possible. He was a pretty good governor. This is tragic on too many levels to count. My sympathies for the women who had to work under him and his staff. I also feel terrible for his daughters and the fact that his poor mother had to live to witness this disgrace. 

3. Britney Spears:

I'm sorry, but I don't spend too much time thinking about Britney Spears. Sorry 'bout that. 

4.  Crazy Marge:

Marjorie Taylor Greene is seriously hinting that she will be a candidate for the presidency in 2024. This is a sort of "good news/bad news" scenario. The good news is the fact that, three years from now, the campaign for the GOP nomination should be packed to the rafters with unintentional humor. The bad news is that we shouldn't put it past the inmates of Idiot Nation to send her to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Good luck, America.

5. What happened to Matt Gaetz?

One would imagine that Florida's embarrassing congressman is grateful to Andy Cuomo for taking the spotlight off of him - if only for a moment. This period of relative calm will soon be over for poor old Matt, of that you can be certain. I always love it when the "Family Values" mob are exposed as the moral hypocrites they are. Keep your eyes on the implosion of Matt Gaetz in the weeks and months to come. Like Donald Trump and Crazy Margie Taylor Greene, the man is a walking-talking train wreck.

6. Raise a Glass to Biden:

Here's to Joe Biden for being able to get his one trillion dollar infrastructure bill passed. I didn't think he would be able to pull it off. Hopefully Republicans are coming around to the idea that, as taxpayers, we need to invest in America in order to keep it healthy. Only good can come of this. He's turning out to be a pretty good president, isn't he? We shouldn't be surprised.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT (8/11/21, 9:34 AM):

For those of you who tuned in early, I apologize for leaving this piece unfinished last night. I'm afraid I had one too many. Time to quit.


Kennedy and King
The President, the Pastor, and the Battle Over  Civil Rights
by Steven Levingston

A very interesting study on the historic, sometimes-contentious relationship between the administration of Jack Kennedy and Martin Luther King. I couldn't put it down.


The Warsaw Concerto
by Richard Addinsell

One of my all time favorite pieces of music. A real beauty!

Friday, August 06, 2021

What A Mess

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

From The Rant, 
May 1, 2020

What a difference fifteen months makes. The astonishing political career of Andrew Cuomo is about as kaput as can be. It is not possible (as is being suggested in some circles) that each of his accusers are part of some vast right wing conspiracy in order to tarnish the governor's reputation and agenda. To even remotely entertain the notion that all of them are lying is beyond insanity. I've heard all that I need to hear on the subject and I'm convinced that, for the good of the people of the Empire State, Andy needs to pack his bags as soon as possible

This is a difficult thing for me to say because I have been a vocal supporter of him from the moment he announced his candidacy a number of years ago, and I never hesitated to cast my ballot for the man. My silly way of thinking was that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, right? How naive of me. In this case, the apple fell off of the tree and rolled into another county.

In the Me, Too consciousness of our time, for him to stay in his position is wrong on too many levels to count. Decency dictates that we believe the accusations of the women who describe as "toxic" the work environment of Governor Cuomo's office. 

As progressives, we don't need to copy the hypocrisy of our right wing counterparts by ignoring the reality of the situation and mindlessly going on with business as usual. The proof that Donald Trump is a pervert and a rapist is vast and voluminous. Although Cuomo's misconduct is not of Trumpian proportions, they are bad enough to be sure. When we are given clear evidence of predatory sexual behavior on our side of the ideological divide, we need to call it out for what it is and move on from there. We can't afford anything less.

This whole mess has me sick to my stomach. I'm Going back to bed.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY


Here is another Cuomo from another time. This is Mario Cuomo's address to the Democratic convention, July 16, 1984 - one of the great speeches of all time....

Mario Cuomo's 1984 Convention Speech - YouTube 

As good as it gets.