Monday, January 30, 2023

Dissing Black History

Frederick Douglass
The little girl in the photograph above in named Ruby Bridges. Over sixty years ago she made history by becoming the first child of African descent to integrate the public schools of New Orleans. The white citizens of that city had such a conniption over this new reality in American life that federal marshals were needed to escort the little girl to and from school every day for months. As of this writing Ruby Bridges is still living and living a good and honorable life.

"Ruby" is a precious stone. "Bridges" are pathways that unite. No child in the history of this country was more aptly named.

African American history is the hinge upon which the door of American history opens. If you do not understand the story behind the 400 year long struggle of African American men, women and children in this country, then you do not understand American history. End of argument.
Harriet Tubman
This quest by the extreme right wing to end Black Studies in United States schools is THE most racist policy that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.
So there.

I cannot get over the fact that Florida governor Ron DeSantis - a guy who aspires to be the next president of the United States - would spend so much time pandering to the racists and loonies that comprise such a significant portion of the GOP by literally outlawing the teaching in the public schools of that hideously overrated state of the history of African Americans. This is the most racist policy endorsed by an American governor since George Wallace and Lester Maddox back in the weird old days. We don't want to go back to that place. Trust me on this one, folks.

The African American experience is as part of the American DNA as the Declaration of Independence; it is essential to our cultural identity that it be taught in our public grade schools and universities. To abolish it outright, even in the south - ESPECIALLY IN THE SOUTH - would be a crime against the minds of children of all races. Most kids today have a fairly good idea of what Martin Luther King was all about, but he is only one part of a much larger story! 

They need to know about Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey and Louis Armstrong and Marian Anderson and Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell and James Meredith and Shirley Chisholm and John Lewis and Ralph Abernathy and Dick Gregory and Sidney Portier and Billie Holiday and....

Those are merely a few drops in a very deep bucket. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a young and obscure candidate for the U.S. Senate named Barack Obama addressing the 2005 Democratic convention:

Whatever happened to that guy?

Sunday, January 22, 2023

POST #1,102: Random Observations

Me 'n' Miss Charlotte, Christmas Day


The following are a collection of unconnected thoughts pertaining to the recent implosion of America's political discourse. Isn't this fun?

1. The Following Two Years:

The 118th Congress is upon us. It is obvious that the new Speaker of the House of Reprehensibles, Kevin McCarthy, is dead-set on appointing to positions of influence, members that have no business being within withing five-hundred miles of the halls that were once walked by the likes of Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams. The plan of the GOP is to do as much damage to the American economy in 2023 and to blame the Biden administration for the economic wreckage just in the nick of time for the campaign of 2024. Mark my words, boys and girls: that is what they are up to.

2. George Santos:

It would have been one thing if George Santos had been from a shit-for-brains state like Mississippi, but this knucklehead is from New York! This doesn't bode well for the people of the Empire State, my friends. Not at all.

3. It Happened [AGAIN] in Monterey Park

Again, last night, there was a mass shooting in America - this time in California, where ten people were murdered in cold blood at a New Year dance. This is the new reality in the United States of America. This is the way it's going to be forever and ever. Get used to living in a nation in ruins. Idiot Nation.

4. They're Keepin' the Niggers Down

The right wing in this diseased nation seems intent upon keeping the study of African American history in this country out of the nation's public-school systems. we need to come to terms with the undeniable fact that American history hinges on the story of the struggle of black Americans. If you are unable to understand this essential fact, you do not understand American history. It's as simple as that.

5. Definitions

They call it "woke" or "wokeism". The fact of the matter is that it is merely an invented word designed for no other reason than to annoy the rest of us. The fact of the matter is merely that "woke" is simply a redefinition of the term, "enlightenment". Wake up and grow up.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Kevin McCarthyism


He finally made it. After the most contentious House Speaker election since about thirty years before the dawn of the war between the states, Kevin McCarthy - after about fifteen tries - holds the gavel that was once held by Sam Rayburn. It was indeed a costly victory. In fact, it was not really a victory at all. In fact he had to deliver so much power to the bat-shit-crazies within his party that he has literally been rendered impotent. He was so desperate to become Speaker of the House of Reprehensibles that he delivered to the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and the Matt Gaetzes the power to remove him on a whim - which they probably will do before too long. Of this you may be absolutely certain: Kevin McCarthy's speakership promises to be among the shortest and most disastrous in the history of this once-great-nation. Fasten your seatbelts, kiddies!

The 118th Congress will be one of the worst, most incompetent bodies of lawmakers to gather in Washington in American history. I'm fairly confident that they will make "that good for nothin' 80th Congress" of 1947-1949 (Harry Truman's description) look like the Founding Fathers. The disaster the United States is headed for in the next two years cannot be downplayed. It's going to be bad, folks. And two very long years from now, when this nightmare is finally a thing of the past, the nation as a whole will rise as one person to ask: "What the fuck were we thinking?" That's probably wishful thinking on my part. Given their history, the voters od Idiot Nation will more than likely be perfectly content to go down this road again in 2024. It only stands to reason. Isn't life strange?

Barry Goldwater

I can't be bothered getting worked up or being angry and upset about this latest turn of events in our national train-wreck. To be honest with you (and I have mentioned this in the past) the lower this country sinks into the ideological cesspool, the higher my stock rises. Watching one's country being imploded by half-wits and crazy people is always an amusing thing to behold. I never dreamed that things would get this weird. Forty-three years ago, when the electorate sent a feeble minded, failed B movie actor to the White House, I thought we had fallen as low as it's possible to fall. That was then. This is now. Compared to what's come along since then, Ronald Reagan is starting to look like George Freakin' Washington. Barry Goldwater - who seemed so extreme when he sought the presidency in 1964 - now seems reasonable. He famously said in his acceptance speech at the GOP convention that summer, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and....moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. In'64, Goldwater could not have imagined the extent of the extremism his party would have reached for. At the end of his life, he was utterly disgusted by the direction the Republican Party was taking. 

FUN FACT: I watched Goldwater's 1964 acceptance speech at my Uncle George's home in Campbell Hall, NY. It's the first political event that I can remember.

So, let us all get used to living in a nation and ruins and hop aboard for what promises to be an interesting two years - to say the least.  As Hunter Thompson used to say, "By the ticket. Take the ride. That works quite well for me.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


by Santo and Johnny

I didn't discover this 1959 recording until I was in my forties - but I love it so much! I'm happy to be able to tell you that both Santo and Johnny are still living. Here is a link to listen to it on YouTube :

Beautiful stuff!

AFTERTHOUGHT, 1/13/23, 6:10 PM:

Tonight would be a grand moment to stop drinking. It's no fun anymore. Seriously.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Crappy Anniversary!


Two years ago today, for the first time in our history, the United States of America did not have a peaceful transition of power. Think about that, kiddies: in 1861, on the verge of a civil war, we somehow managed a peaceful transfer of power. We managed it again four years later in the midst of that same civil war. It was only in the year 2021 that this honored tradition was subverted and perverted by the common pervert from Queens. The dreadful irony is that there are still a significant number of Republican politicians who insist on denying what anyone with a television or an up-to-date cellphone clearly saw happening before their very eyes. For an additional reference check out the photograph above. It happened, folks

Wasn't that a time? I always knew that something as vile as January 6, 2021 was capable of happening in America - but I never dreamed that it would happen in my lifetime. I always envisioned it being some long off futuristic catastrophe that some yet-to-be-born generation would be forced to contend with. I'm always reminded of the novel that Sinclair Lewis wrote in 1937 about a dictatorial overthrow of American democracy. The book was called, "It Can't Happen Here". Gee, Ya think?

Contrary to what some of us may believe, we're still living in the Age of Donald Trump, and this weird era won't be over with until the day Trump is no longer deemed a threat to our national political conversation. I'm speaking of a day that will see the impudent punk locked up for the rest of his life for the crimes he clearly committed against the people of the United States. In an interned article that I happened to catch this morning, it was suggested that Trump's erratic behavior in recent years is the possible result of brain damage from untreated syphilis. Since he wouldn't wear a mask during the worst pandemic in a century, it would only make sense that the silly bastard would recklessly have unprotected sex with whomever. Perhaps when he does face judgement, he should cop an insanity defense. The truth is, he has a very good case.

I have little doubt that the insanely extreme right wing will attempt an additional coup next year. There are enough of them who would be insane enough to give Trump the nomination as their standard bearer in 2024. Thanks to the electoral college, there are enough Americans here in Idiot Nation who would be stupid enough to give him all the votes he needs (popular vote be damned) to send him and his corrupt family back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Don't think that to be far-fetched scenario. It can happen here.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY


The Viola Desmond Story:

(24) Long Road to Justice The Viola Desmond Story Full Documen - YouTube 

Most of us are unfamiliar with the story of Viola Desmond. We shouldn't be. She was Canada's equivalent to Rosa Parks,