Saturday, February 25, 2023

Eternally George


Pre-Fab George

It's nearly impossible to contemplate the fact that, had he lived, George Harrison would be celebrating his eightieth birthday on this day. He might have seen thsi day, too. In 1999 he was being treated for cancer when he was attacked by a maniac who broke into his house and stabbed him several times. He was was saved by the quick thinking of his beloved wife, Olivia, who fought off the brute with the well-placed aim of a fire poker. His wounds were so severe that they had to temporarily call off his chemo treatment in order for him to heal properly. It the interum, the cancer metastasized. This undoubtedly hastened his death less than two years later, on November 28, 2001. Think about that: two of the Beatles - the guys who sang "All You Need is Love" are no longer walking this earth because of the mindless violence inflicted on them by others. There's something seriously wrong with that picture.

He was the "quiet Beatle", but as his friends would say, there was nothing quiet about him. He was the one whom - out of the four of them - was the least comfortable with fame. His solo career was the most disjointed among The Beatles. His 1970 LP, All Things Must Pass, was the best of the lot. His 1981 album, Gone Troppo, was the worst. But at least we should give the man credit for trying. His vision was not always in line with what the public wanted from him, but even on his worst days, his devout faith in God sustained him through the turmoil of existence. 

This piece is only to take notice of the anniversary of this good and decent man's coming into the world. We didn't have him for very long, but were lucky to have him for as long as we did.

Tom Degan 
Goshen, NY


My favorite Harrison track of them all is Isn't It A Pity. Here's a rare mix of it with the vocals turned all the way down, with only the gorgeous instrumental track audible.


As I was putting this one together, I got the word that my long-time friend, Paul Smith, had stepped into eternity. Paul was one of the kindest, sweetest guys that ever walked this good earth. In all the years that I knew him (over fifty) I never heard him say an unkind thing about anyone. Few laughed easier than Paul; few embraced life as enthusiastically as he. Please, give me some time to adjust to this new reality.

Isn't it a pity. Isn't it a shame.....

AFTER$THOUGHT, 3/2/23, 4/20:PM

Ten years ago I wrote this piece about Paul's dad, Ernie Smith. At the time it was published in the Los Angeles Progressive:

Ernie Smith and daughter Stephanie, July 2013

Monday, February 20, 2023

FOX NOISE: Staged Right


It's been revealed from leaked documents that have come out this week, that during the January 6 uprising in Washington two years ago (you know, when Donald Trump attempted to overthrow and trash American democracy?) that the bastards and bitches who host the evening opinion programs knew damned good and well that the claims of election fraud by many of the Trump Mob were untrue and that Joe Biden had won the thing fair and square. When a Fox reporter named Jacqui Heinrich attempted to fact-checked Trump's insane claim that the 2020 election had been stolen frp, him, Tucker Carlson immediately emailed Sean Hannity:

"Please get he fired. Seriously....what the fuck? I'm actually needs to stop immediately. It's measurably hurting the company."

Another e-mail exchange between Hannity and Laura Ingraham caught them mocking Trump's lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, with Laura responding to Sean: "Powell is a complete nut. No One wants to work with her.  Dittro with Rudy."

One would think that Fox has met its journalistic Waterloo, but I'm sure that's merely wishful thinking on my part. They were so terrified of losing their audience to Newsmax (another right wing propaganda SCREAM MACHINE that they were perfectly content to keep the streets of D.C. smothered in chaos and violence in order to save their brand

This is not the way broadcast journalism is supposed to work, folks. This is mot what Edward R. Murrow meant sixty-four years ago when he said:

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

Fox Noise has rendered television nothing more than wires and lights in a box. Ed Murrow, I am certain, is doing somersaults in his grave. I need a drink.

Tom Degan,

Goshen, NY


Here's a documentary on Ed Murrow from PBS's American Masters:

(7) American Masters: Edward R. Murrow - YouTube 

He was the maestro.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

The Louse of Representitives


I am convinced that if Abe Lincoln could somehow have possibly foreseen Marjorie Taylor Green in 1856, he never would have bolted the Whigs. To bear witness to what that once-great party has devolved into is pretty depressing on any level you want to mention. The fact that this moron is walking the the same floors that were once trod upon by the likes of Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams staggers the imagination -
not to mention good old common sense. She is an example of why so many people in the former confederacy are too heart-breakingly dumb to to be trusted with civics. 

Her behavior on Tuesday evening during President Biden's State of the Union message was beyond appalling - even for her. If you want a glimpse into how far that disgusting party has fallen into the ideological sewer, just have a gander at Marjorie Taylor Greene for even a minute. How she and Matt Gaetz and Gym Jordan are able to stomach their reflections in the mirror is a question for the scholars. these are people with a criminal intent to do serious damage to the American nation in the next twenty-three months. The 118th Congress will be remembered as one of the worst in history. Take that to the bank, baby!

As long as people insist on taking the right wing SCREAM machine so seriously, we will have to expect and learn to live with politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene. These people are starting to make a demagogue like old Joe McCarthy seem reasonable by comparison. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


In case you missed the prez's State of the Union address earlier this week, here's a link to watch it in it's entirety:

It wasn't too bad. A jolly good time was had by all. 

Happy Presidents Day Weekend, everybody!

Friday, February 03, 2023

Men are Killing Women


This breaks my heart in a million pieces. 39-year-old mother of three, Ana Walshe, has been missing since January 1. Amid a mountain of circumstantial evidence, her husband has been charged in her murder. This is only the latest example of the brutal treatment that innocent women regularly receive at the hands of the men in their lives. I’m glad I was born a male but I’m not particularly proud to be one.

In a perfect world, only women would be allowed access to firearms. Seriously. 

I don't know the actual statistics, but it seems to me that every day of the year there is another story of a young woman who is murdered in cold blood by some idiotic man either out of rage or lust. In the case of poor Ana, she was an entrepreneur with a talent for making millions. Her greedy husband wanted it all. Her dismembered remains were consigned to a garbage dumpster and her body was incinerated. The idiot she betrothed herself to left a multitude of bloody clues in a dumpster at his mother's apartment complex. He even made a score or more of google searches on his little boy's phone on the best ways to dispose of a body. He thought that he had committed the perfect crime. Genius.

But as bad as things are here in the "Land of the Free" (for men only) what is happening in Iran is an atrocity. The only purpose to this posting today was to introduce to Masih Alinejad. She is an American-based women's activist from Iran. She can no longer work out of her native land simply because there is a price on her head and she is forced to live in hiding here in the states. We have no business having anything to do with the Iranian government until they get their act together. Masih Alinejad is an important woman who needs to be listened to. Here is a YouTube link to view a recent television interview with Tamron Hall.

(1) Exiled Iranian Journalist Masih Alinejad’s Emotional Plea to Help the Women of Iran - YouTube 

She's the real deal - you'd better believe it, Buster.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY


We Have All the Time in the World by Louis Armstrong

This was Louie's last recording, a real thing of beauty! As tired as he was by this late date, Satch even managed to blow a little solo. Here's a link to listen to it on YouTube:

(2) We Have All The Time In The World (Remastered) - YouTube 

He was, beyond a doubt, the most important musical figure of the twentieth century.