Sunday, December 26, 2021

Happy Boxing Day!


For the first time since stating this site nearly sixteen years ago, I didn't have anything to say on Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve). This is not to imply that any of you were waiting with breath (baited or otherwise) for any fruitful words of wisdom from the likes of me. The fact is you might have been better off mining a rerun of Desperate Housewives than seeking any insight from here. The truth is, with the state of America being what it is at this incredibly depressing moment in history, I had no holly jolly optimism to offer you. This season also marked the sudden deaths of two old and beloved friends of mine (Glen Van Cura and Patrick O'Brien). I'm just down in the depths this season. It's getting dark. Forgive me.

That being said, I took the liberty (and, last I checked, we still have liberty in this country) to take it upon myself to observe Boxing Day - which is still a big deal in merrie olde England. It is always celebrated the on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas.

I do hope that you all had a grand 'n' dandy time with your loved ones yesterday. I've nothing more, really, to offer you, except this Ghost of Christmas Past that I wrote on this site on Christmas Day 2006:

"Keep your eyes wide for the miracles all around you, and remember that there is more music to be found I the laughter of a single child than can be found in all of the symphonies ever composed by all of the composers who ever lived".

That works for me.

Tom Degan - Goshen, New York



Saturday, December 18, 2021

Traitor Jim


At one time in my life, the name "Jim Jordan" meant nothing more to me than the name of an old-time radio actor who was one half of Fibber Magee and Molly, one of radio's first situation comedies back in the thirties. The name never had any sick or negative connotations for me - until a perverted little pol from Ohio stepped into the national spotlight. 

According to Jim Jordan, he never said that the election was stolen from Donald Trump - except when he did"I don't know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn't actually win this thing based on all the things you see,"  What exactly "all the things" are he has yet to make clear. On the day of the January 6 insurrection, Jordan forwarded a message he received from a State Department inspector general to Trump's chief-of-staff, Mark Meadows:

"On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all."

What he was implying was "all electoral votes that he says are unconstitutional". In other words, judge enough votes unconstitutional to put Trump over the top. Jordan has been bitching over fact that Nancy Pelosi wouldn't put him on the select committee that has been investigating the insurrection. The reason for this is the simple fact that Jordan was obviously going to be called as a witness. Imagine, if you will, Lee Harvey Oswald on the Warren Commission.

I've been following American politics since before my tenth birthday (I was born in 1958). I am able to honestly tell you that - beyond one tenth of a molecule of doubt - Jim Jordan is the most depressingly disgusting politician I've ever encountered. Think about this: If the GOP is able to recapture the House next year (and most pundits are predicting as much), this corrupt and vile little man is on track to become one of the most powerful people in Washington. The fact that, less than a year ago, he played a part in the coup that attempted to overthrow democracy in this country is too depressing to even think about. I've spent enough time studying this hideous punk to render a few sound conclusions. I've also spent enough time in the state of Ohio to be perplexed. It's not Mississippi. Are its mostly sensible citizens going to be stupid enough to send Jimmy back to Washington next year? Please, tell me no.

Jim Jordan is not the only right wing extremist who committed a blaring act of treason on January 6, 2021. It's almost a given that none of them will be prosecuted for their crimes against democracy - not with sleepy old Merrick Garland running the Department of Justice. But to think that most of them will be rewarded with reelection is unacceptable. What we have now in Washington is multi-layered web of political and financial corruption that, I am certain, is unparalleled in the history of the United States. 

During his stint as a wrestling coach at some Ohio college a number of years ago, Jim Jordan turned a blind eye when the team's doctor was sexually abusing some of the kids. The victims of this abuse pleaded with Coach Jordan to have the man dismissed from the school, but Jim did nothing. This is the man whom the people of Ohio have foolishly chosen as their representative in Washington. Nice

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


CNN's Anderson Cooper had some choice comments on Jim Jordan last night. Here is a link to watch it on YouTube:

Gloria Vandebuilt, you raised that boy right.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

FOX News Needs to Be Abolished

In the eleven months and ten days since the January 6 insurrection that attempted to overthrow democracy in America, the paid stooges at FOX Noise have been downplaying what went on that day. And yet we now know that, at the moment the shit was hitting the fan, some of the most visible hosts on that channel were furiously texting Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, imploring him to have Trump take to twitter with a video telling the rioters to go home. Brian Kilmeade actually telling him that the rioting was in danger of undoing all of the ex-president's "accomplishments". What exactly those "accomplishments" were he didn't make clear.

FOX needs to be completely destroyed. There is a damned good reason we have something called the Federal Communications Commission. One of the reasons it was created was in order to protect the American airwaves (which we own by the way) from dangerous propaganda and misinformation. FOX is responsible for the deaths of untold thousands of people due to the lies that they spread regarding the importance of receiving the COVID vaccine. Most of those folks relied on FOX Noise for their news and information. When FOX shows up to renew their license to broadcast, it should be denied them. Responsible cable TV companies across the land should refuse to carry FOX. This is what is called "a no-brainer", folks.

FOX News has been detrimental to public discourse since it was founded a quarter of a century ago. Those were the good old days. They've now become a danger to the lives and the public health of all Americans foolish enough to take them seriously. For the good of the American people, it needs to be completely dismantled and abolished. Advertisers who fund it should be boycotted. This is a longshot, I know, but it is not-at-all beyond the scope of possibility. Every news entity is protected by the First Amendment, but they all have a responsibility to keep the public informed, Rupert Murdoch's media company long ago discarded that responsibility. 

"This instrument [Television] can teach, it can illuminate, yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is nothing more than wires and lights in a box."

Edward R. Murrow, 1958. 

Murrow died nearly fifty-seven years ago, but the man was prescient in many ways. One of his biggest fears was that television news would become what FOX News undeniably is. A propaganda arm for any political ideology. That in itself is not necessarily a completely bad thing. After all, MSNBC leans notably to the left. But FOX Noise is something else all together: Lights and wires in a box. Not to mention a serious danger to our democracy and the public well being. It needs to disappear forever.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a link to listen to Murrow's October 1958 speech in its entirety:

The man was a prophet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Running Scared


With the passing of each day, we are learning more than we ever wanted to know about the criminality of Donald Trump and everyone within his circle of knaves and perverts. This week, the officers of Trump's former justice department are pleading the Fifth in droves. Isn't that something? As of now we're only at the tip of an exceedingly nasty iceberg. This is the proverbial roller coaster that isn't close to stopping. Fasten your seatbelts, boys and girls. Five years ago - two whole months before the hideous old bugger was even inaugurated - I predicted that The Donald would be remembered as the first former chief executive to be hauled off to federal prison. I'm sticking by that prediction.

The "Grand Old Party" has found itself in a predicament that is both awkward and precarious. They can see the future with clarity - and they're in a blind panic over what that future holds for them.  More and more people are registering to vote who aren't white people - the traditional constituency of the Republican party. To combat this irreversible trend, they've been losing sleep scheming to block minorities from casting their precious ballots to choose their representatives in Washington. Minorities tend not to vote conservatively. That's just a simple, unavoidable fact of life. If these right wing politicians are unable to overtly overthrow the government by sending a mob of stooges to stop the vote inside the House of Reprehensibles, they plan on doing it subtly at the ballot box. Their motives are as clear as glass.

The organized criminal enterprise that used to be the ideological home of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt might very well regain both houses of Congress next year. There is a possibility that Donald Trump will once again be nominated by them in 2024. If both of these unhappy scenarios plays out, you can bet the farm that they will seize the executive branch on January 20 of that year - regardless of who the actual winner is. Is it fair to compare the modern GOP to the Nazis of 1938? Absolutely not. But to compare them to the Nazis of 1933 (the year that saw Hitler's rise to power) is not only fair, it is unavoidable. America has found itself in a very bad place that it needs to get out of - fast.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a YouTube link to watch Seth Meyer's opening monologue last night where he brilliantly lays out the Trump Mob's attempted coup against our country:

We're not making this stuff up, folks.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Requiem for a Conservative with an IQ

Robert Dole has died. This was not unexpected. He was ninety-eight and has been battling Stage IV lung cancer since February. As someone once remarked, "Old people die - that's their job!" And still, it is difficult to let this moment pass without a bit of reflection on a life well lived.

I didn't vote for for Bob Dole when he ran for the presidency in 1996. My feeling at the time was that, after twelve years of Reagan and Bush, another conservative administration would be too much for the senses to take. I voted again for Bill Clinton that year - and I was not always sure if my vote was sound. Clinton was responsible for me leaving the Democrats forever. That was the year that they turned into Republican Lite. I bolted the party in May of 1998 and never looked back. I have never regretted my decision. 

Bob Dole was the last great Republican politician. He was as good as they get and the last of a kind. I can remember an era when conservatives - although a somewhat goofy lot - basically meant well. Sadly, that's no longer the case. They have become a satanic cult, as twisted and corrupt as any party in the history of the world. It is not at all unfair to compare them to the Nazis of the late twenties and early thirties. It has become that twisted and weird. I miss the good ol' days when they were merely a threat to our economic security - and not to life on this planet. The GOP was at one time the ideological home of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Would someone kindly explain to me just what the hell happened?

There used to be a congressman in my district named Ben Gilman (1922-2016). He was a Republican and I always cast my ballot for him. When I once told the chairman of the Orange County Democratic Committee that I had voted for him he asked me why. I told him that as soon as you guys nominate a better candidate, they'll have my vote. They never did. Ben Gilman, like Bob Dole, was the last of the moderate, thoughtful conservatives. They're all gone - and they're not coming back.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


I had a revelation yesterday morning. It's a good thing that I was lying in bed at the time, otherwise it would have knocked me off of my feet.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was my age he had been dead for a month.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

In Support of Dr. Fauci


Matt and Gym
We all need to step up to the plate for Dr. Anthony Fauci. Last night on the Jimmy Kimmel program, Jimmy did just that. He let out a tirade of justified invective against the right-wing junta in congress that spend so much of their taxpayer-funded time in Washington slandering the name of this great and good man. Kimmel only pushed his punches. He stated that he was sick of these "scumbags" (his words - and well chosen) defiling the air of our national political conversation with calumny and misinformation. I speak of the usual suspects: Ted Cruz, Gym Jordan, Ayn Rand Paul, Josh Hawley, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene - and a cast of others too numerous to single out.

Here's something to ponder:

Seventy years after the nasty fact, we have easy access to film clips and newsreels of people like Joe McCarthy waxing idiotic on any subject that might have been relevant in their day -
and a whole lot of subjects that were not. How does old Joe look today when juxtaposed against someone like Edward R. Murrow, whom he infamously clashed with in a March 1954 episode of CBS's See It Now? The fact of the matter is that Murrow stands like a virtual Rock of Gibraltar in history while we perceive McCarthy as a blabbering, incoherent  clown. That's how Ted Cruz and the rest of them will look in comparison to someone like the esteemed Dr. Fauci in the year 2089. It's a sure bet that their unborn descendants will not be pointing with pride to and bragging about their familial connection to the likes of Teddy Boy or Gym. Historians will not be holding up this era in American history as an example of a time to be proud of. The moon landing it ain't.

Do these idiotic people even have a clue how buffoonish they will appear to future generations with only a smidgeon of 20/20 historical hindsight?

There will be no statues erected to honor the memories of Gym Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Josh Hawley or Ayn Rand Paul - I guarantee it. Somewhere there will be a statue honoring Anthony Fauci, probably in Brooklyn, and possibly on the grounds of the Surgeon General's office. The other horrendous bastards (and one hideous bitch) will be remembered alright, but in the same way we remember Joe McCarthy nearly sixty-five years after his death - as cautionary tales of bombastic idealogues gone awry. Every generation of politicians have people like this; but back in the day, there was only one Joe McCarthy. Today the halls of congress and the senate are literally crawling with hundreds of Joe wannabees. It really is quite disgusting when you think about it.

There will be no Gym Jordan Memorial High School - not in this lifetime or the next. There will be an Anthony Fauci High School before his long life on this planet has ended. Anyone care to make a little wager on this?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a link to the opening of the Kimmel program mentioned at the top of this piece:

Cheers and Peace!