Saturday, July 22, 2023

Slavery is Bad: DUH!

It's almost impossible for me to fathom how - 
nearly a quarter of the way into the twenty-first century - we're having this idiotic argument. And it is no surprise that the main stage of the argument is taking place in the Sunshine State - where, as you might have surmised by now - some of the dumbest people in America reside. I once had a good friend who moved to that state in the mid-eighties. Because of my writings, he has not spoken to me in over eight years. That's okay, I'll be fine. He'll be fine, too, I think.

Ron DeSantis is the worst racist to come along in politics since Mississippi's own John Stennis nearly seventy years ago (as vile a creature to come out of dear old Dixie since the Civil War). While a lot of politicians are truly racist, most of them have the good sense to keep that racism to themselves.
Not Ron! His latest cause is watering down African American history in the Florida school system. They now want to teach the kids down there that slavery was an institution that "benefitted" many of the human beings being held in bondage., you see, it allowed many of them to learn a trade. African American history is the hinge on which the doors of American history open. If you do not understand the story of the struggle of African American men, woman and children in this country, you don't understand American history - period. It's as simple as that, campers.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch

The best book ever written about the civil rights era

Monday, July 10, 2023

The Harder They Fall


Fiorello LaGuardia
hese must be tormented times for Rudolph Giuliani. Can you imagine? I know he's thinking to himself: If only I had walked away when my term as mayor of New York City ended in the months following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and stayed the hell away from politics and politicians.

He would today be remembered as a beloved mayor of the greatest city in the world and have a cherished place in the heart of history - much like Fiorello LaGuardia does today. 

As John Belushi liked to say in his day:


As it stands, he will be remembered as a pathetic and comical buffoon and Donald Trump's ultimate stooge. It's a comic-tragedy that I imagine would have been the perfect plot for a Kurt Vonnegut novel. God Bless You, Mr. Giuliani. (Breakfast of Chumps?)

I once met Rudy Giuliani on the corner of  Madison Avenue and 57th street in merrie olde Manhattan back in the eighties. Although our conversation was brief, he struck me as a friendly and intelligent man. That is the reason why what he has done to himself is such a hard thing to figure. Didn't he understand the trend of what happens to people who hitch themselves to the wagon of Donald Trump ambitions? What the hell were you thinking Rudy???

Here's something even sadder: when you do a Google search of Rudy Giuliani's image, the first thing that comes up is the photograph at the top of this piece; with that befuddled look on his face and hair dye streaming down both sides of his face. It's not the kind of image that looks good in the history books. It's probably going to end up at the top of his obituary.

And now there is a very good chance that Rudy will be disbarred from ever practicing law again - all because he put in his lot with Donald Trump. You would think that in forty-plus years, Guiliani might have taken the time to observe Trump's method of operation, ie, his habit of throwing everyone around him under the bus to save his own skin. I knew, early on, how this would end for the poor old bugger. His legacy is pulverized. He should have known better,

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


I started writing this piece two days ago. I took a break and forgot all about it. Sorry 'bout that, campers.

Saturday, July 01, 2023

Dumping on the Supremes


Joe Biden's attempt to redeem the debts of millions of college students this week was torpedoed by the conservative-controlled Supreme Court. This decision may come back to bite them on the bottoms. While the Supremes are supposed to be-ideological, we all know that they're really not. Those same millions of college students are going to head for the polls en masse and cast their ballots for the Democrats. The cancellation of that debt, I'm sure, would have pumped many billions of dollars into Joe Biden's economy, which is a factor that I'm suspicious might have played a factor in their decision, perhaps not all of them, but I wouldn't put it past Uncle Thomas. 

In his memoirs, Clarence Thomas Thomas wrote that when he received his law degree, he slapped a Twenty-five Cents sticker on it and relegated it to the basement of his house. You see, by his reckoning, his degree would have meant so much more were it not for all of those silly and stupid white liberals and their silly and stupid Affirmative Actions. Oh, and speaking of Clarence Thomas, here's a question I've asked on this site before, and current circumstances are forcing me to ask it again:

QUESTION: Where do you think Clarence Thomas would be today if not for Affirmative Action?

ANSWER: He would be mounted on the front lawn of some beer distributor's home in Albany, Georgia wearing a jockey uniform and holding a lamp.

Roger and Me
I've never been an advocate of monetary reparations to the descendants of African American slaves. While an ancestor of mine might have been responsible for writing the Dred Scott decision, I am innocent of the sins of the asshole who penned it (Roger Brooke Taney). But the one of the forms of reparations that I do support is Affirmative Action. For more than two centuries black people have been forced to live at an economic and educational disadvantage in the United States. "As Lenny Bruce once observed, "Education is the answer to everything. World leadership hinges on education."

Affirmative Action with respect to institutions of higher learning was ruled unconstitutional this week by an extreme right leaning Supreme Court that seems hell-bent on sending America back to the not-so-fabulous-fifties. Affirmative Action made possible the viable African American upper class which didn't even exist sixty years ago. The Supremes are turning back the clock of progress. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT, 7/2/23, 6:00 PM:

Just in case you've been paying attention, I need to apologize for taking so long to complete this piece. Apparently, had a bad day yesterday and I was locked out of this site for over twenty-four hours. I was able to get back on this afternoon and all is fine and dandy, thank you very much.