Sigh No More, Students, Sigh No More

March 17, 2013

Sigh No More, Students, Sigh No More.

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A party by any other name….

November 16, 2009

….would whither and die. As Gomez Adams would say, “Capitol idea, Tish!”
So, this is the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, huh? That is (to be polite) a bit of a stretch, wouldn’t you say so? To imply as much is like saying that Beach Blanket Bingo was a remake of Battleship Potemkin; or that Wayne’s World was an adaptation of Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich – a silly proposition any way you slice it or dice it. Why don’t they just rename it “The Tea Party” and be done with it? Or how about (in homage to Monty Python) “The Silly Party”? Anything but the Republican party. It only soils the memory of two great Presidents.

 

Then again, what’s in a name? The damage has already been done and it may very well be irreparable. This was proven yet again on Tuesday in the so-called “New York 23” election, when the extremists from all over the country stormed into town to defeat a woman who was deemed “too moderate” for the half-witted hardliners. They ended up handing a congressional seat over to a Democrat in a district that has not gone Democratic since the nineteenth century. Way to go, assholes!

Who the hell is leading that worthless party anyway? Michael Steele? Please. Mitch McConnell?? Have another sip. Their “leadership” (such as it is) may be found in the form of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann. Is it the goal of these clowns to destroy the GOP in order that it may be rebuilt in their own, hideous image? If that is the case they’re in for quite a surprise. That nutty party is already “in their image”. Are they serious when they imply that they wish to move it even further to the right? How “far right” can one move before one falls off of the face of the earth? Are they serious? Here’s the good news: They are.

When the grand old party was handed over to the lunatic fringe of American politics at their convention in the summer of 1964, it was only a matter of time before it was destroyed from within. Who would have thought it would take forty-five years for that to happen? Better late than ever, I suppose – but DAMN! Did they have to take the rest of us down with them?

In his column in Monday’s New York Times, the usually astute Paul Krugman ended that morning’s piece with this extremely rare (for him) clunker:

“The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here – and it’s very bad for America.”

No, Paul! BAD PAUL! What is happening here is very good for America! Can’t you see? The Republican Party – the party of Strom Thurmond, Jerry Fallwell, Jesse Helms, Spiro Agnew and Ronald Reagan (all mercifully dead) – IS IN THE PROCESS OF COMMITTING SUICIDE! There is no other way to describe what is now happening to them! Professor Krugman, I admire you as much as any writer I can think of – but you must understand that this will not be “very bad for America”. Trust me on this one, okay? Good Paul!

All over the print and electronic media this week, the poobahs and pundits are predicting major Republican gains in next year’s elections. What is their basis for so bold a prediction? Historically, the party of a sitting president always loses in the midterm elections. It is as natural as autumn following summer. However, they fail to take into consideration one crucial factor: this is no ordinary time.

Given their weird behavior in the last year or so – and given the fact that they will only continue to self destruct in coming twelve months – I cannot foresee them gaining any serious ground in either the House or the Senate on Election Day next. In fact I can only see their numbers diminishing even further. By this time next year, Michele Bachmann will be yesterday’s news – count on it.

We can only hope that out of the carnage of the GOP’s destruction will come a third party that is a tad more moderate and thoughtful – and I must emphasize the word “Hope”. That ain’t never gonna happen, baby! It’s easy to predict that the Democrats will be running things for a long time into the future. The problem with that little scenario is, as Machiavelli said, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – and the Democrats already have more-than-their-share of corrupt political hacks. For every Russ Feingold there are about ten Max Baucuses. If the Democratic Party is going to be taken seriously in their self-proclaimed roll as the “the party of the people” (and that’s getting harder to believe by the day) they need to be purged of their dead weight.

Real reform is needed. And it’s not just the GOP of which I speak. The overwhelming majority of our elected representatives – from both parties – need to be challenged in the primaries by reformers intent on taking our country back. That might also mean a challenge to the President in the primary of 2012. It is too early in this administration to give Barack Obama anything but the benefit of the doubt. We’ll see where we stand a year or two from now. I want to believe in this guy – and I do believe in him – but the sad and painful truth is that I am starting to become disillusioned with my president.

In case you haven’t noticed it, the entire American legislative branch has been taken over by organized criminals. But I’m preaching to the choir here. You have noticed, haven’t you! Good for you! The most glaring comparison I can come up with is the mafia. Everybody knows what those worthless sons-of-bitches are all about. Everybody knows they make their living off society as parasites – and yet they operate right out in the open. How much of a no-brainer is it to conclude that lobbying is nothing more than legalized bribery? It’s not free speech – it’s organized crime! Why is it allowed to fester? Why are you and I allowing it to fester? What the hell is wrong with this picture? Any ideas? Any answers? HELLO, AMERICA???

In the mean time the ship of state is only going to continue to sink. That’s alright by me, though. As long as I’ve got material to write about, I am as happy as a clam at high tide, thank you very much. For someone like me who makes his name writing about the catastrophe that the American political system has become in the last thirty years, these hideous fools are the gift that keeps giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving….

As Frank Sinatra once sang, “Don’t worry ’bout me, I’ll get along.”

Tom Degan

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

The Tea Partiers

November 13, 2009

“This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the nineteen years I have been here in Washington”

John Boehner
November 5, 2009

The greatest threat to freedom in nineteen years? Oh, dear!

I derive a great deal of pleasure from doing what I do. But there are a few points of extreme unpleasantness to be sure. One of these is the fact that I am forced to spend a lot of time thinking about people like John Boehner. The greatest threat to freedom in nineteen years? Where was this asshole on September 11, 2001? Or when the Patriot Act was passed for that matter. Where was this fool in 2000 when the Supreme Court put a stop to the vote counting in the state of Florida and installed the Bush Mob in the White House? The greatest threat to freedom in nineteen years? Have another sip, Mr. Faux Tan Man.

 

Another convention of half-witted, pissed-off and clueless white people stormed into Washington, DC yesterday determined to destroy the type of health care reform that – if it goes into effect – will surely save the lives of most of the protesters who were in attendance (or their loved ones). It was the sort of weird, indescribable spectacle that makes the train-wreck of American politics (not to mention the got-busting stupidity of so many Americans) such a perverse delight to behold these days. Let’s face it: crazy people are always loads of fun to watch – and the jackasses who showed up in Washington yesterday didn’t disappoint.

At least one person held up a huge sign that showed a pile of bodies, victims of the European holocaust of the thirties and forties. Above this gruesome reminder of humanity’s capacity for evil were the words:

NATIONAL SOCIALIST HEALTH CARE – DACHAU, GERMANY, 1945

Isn’t that sweet? That seems to be quite a popular thing to do these days – equating anything connected with this administration and this president to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. It kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? But the highlight of the day (for my money anyway) was Congressman John Boehner. He held up a copy of what he claimed was his own personal copy of the Constitution and proceeded to quote from “it”:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident – that all men are created equal.”

That’s not from the Constitution, Johnny. That’s from the Declaration of Independence – which was written thirteen years earlier! Were we able to go back in time to 1966 – when I was in the third grade – I could have told you that then, too. When we’ve gotten to a point where our elected representatives can’t even get basic American history right, we’re in, as Harry Truman liked to say, “one hell of a fix.”

“KILL THE BILL! KILL THE BILL!”

The crowd (which was invited to the event by everyone’s favorite extremist poster girl, Michele Bachmann, during an appearance on FOX Noise) could have been hired form Central Casting for all anyone knows. Although some of the signs they held up were crude, homemade affairs, a number of them were professionally made and more-than-likely distributed by the politicians who planned the event. The size of the crowd was estimated by the police to be between three and four-thousand people. Examining all of the news footage I could, I did not see any African American faces among the protesters. That is not meant to imply that there were none there – I am most certain that there were a handful of token Uncle Toms placed in strategic locations throughout. There always are:

“Hee! Hee! Hee! Oh, Mistah White Folks, you sho’ is sly!!!”

“I would love to have every one of your viewers join me so that we can go up and down through the halls. Find members, look at the whites of their eyes and say, ‘Don’t take away my heath care.'”

Michele Bachmann
October 30, 2009

“The whites of their eyes”??? As in: “Don’t shoot until you see….”??? What the hell is it with this imbecilic woman and her penchant for violent language? This is the same idiot who less than a year ago said on national television that she wanted to keep people “armed and dangerous” on the subject of taxation. Nice!

What is happening (just in case you failed to notice) is that many of the far-right extremists – within Congress and without – are inciting the brainless masses to violence. Does that sound overly alarmist on my part? As Eliza Doolittle said in My Fair Lady, “Just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait.” Given the current explosive atmosphere which certain Republican members of Congress have made possible with their irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric, another domestic terrorist incident akin to what happened in Oklahoma City in 1994 is not only possible – it’s damned-near inevitable.

When that happens – Oh, brother! – watching the Republican spin machine surge into overdrive will be quite amusing to say the least. Mark my words: there will be more-than-a-few sleepless nights at Rupert Murdoch’s media corporation. Trying to pin the blame for something like that on the Liberals is going to be a tad tricky to say the least. But so brazen are these people you can be sure that they’ll give it the old college try. I can see it now….

A small organization of disgruntled Birthers decide that they are going to save their beloved nation from the Big, Black, Bolshevik Bogeyman. They concoct a scheme to blow up a government building in – South Bend, Indiana; Davenport, Iowa; Goshen, NY – take your pick. They make their move just when people are arriving for work. Over one-thousand men, women and children perish in the massive explosion. All of this is done in the name of Jesus Christ, by the way. Go figure.

That night Glenn Beck will look his viewers in the eye and say:

“My friends, can’t you see how the evil left wing is driving the good citizens of our beloved country CRAZY?”

The following afternoon, Rush Limbaugh will literally be foaming at the mouth – a side effect from psychopathic, righteous indignation and habitual narcotics abuse:

“I lay the carnage of yesterday’s massacre at YOUR DOORSTEP, Liberals! You did this to the good people of [South Bend, Davenport, Goshen]! Their blood is on YOUR hands!”

Would something as horrible as another homicidal attack on our government by a Tim McVeigh wannabe spell certain doom for the loony right wing? More than likely. When that happens, the American people will finally have had enough – which once again proves the old adage that behind every dark cloud there is indeed a silver lining.

As Uncle Bobby Zimmerman once said in a slightly different context, a hard rain’s a-gonna fall, baby.

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

AFTERTHOUGHT:

I apologize for the lag between the last posting and this one. I have been in the process of moving to a new location and have been consumed by the effort. Between the years 1989 and 1996, I moved at least once a year. In 1993 I moved twice! I don’t know how I found the strength to do it.

This is my first piece written from my new home – smack dab across the street from an adult book store and a tattoo parlor – a perfectly lovely location. I moved into the place and property values actually went up – that’s how bad the neighborhood is! The house is very nice, though. 2590 Route 17M, Goshen, New York. Stop by sometime.

Rady Ananda on the End of Camelot

August 28, 2009

Posted this morning in “The Rant” by Tom Degan

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Hey there, you lucky RANT readers! Please allow me to introduce you to Rady Ananda. If you haven’t read her work by now, you really should. What can I tell you? The gal takes no prisoners.

I first happened upon Rady (photo left) a little over one year ago and we have since become good friends – in spite of the awkward little fact that we have never actually met. Isn’t technology wonderful?

Below are her thoughts on the legacy of the Kennedy brothers that I wanted to share with you. She is the real deal.

And she makes me wonder….

Tom Degan

**********
The NYTimes writes:

“In a family synonymous with tragedy, Mr. Kennedy had his share of woes, many of which were self-inflicted. The car accident in Chappaquiddick in 1969 in which a young woman drowned permanently stained his reputation for many voters; his only bid for the presidency, a 1980 primary challenge, was easily turned back by President Jimmy Carter. In 1991, with his poll ratings among the lowest in Congress, he issued a public apology for his personal shortcomings. In 1994, after having divorced and remarried, and with a new sense of energy and determination, he bounced back to defeat Mitt Romney and hold onto his Senate seat. He never faced a serious challenge again, and at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, he was cheered and celebrated as the party’s patriarch.”

Read the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights piece “on the Passing of a Human Rights Icon and Founding Board Member, Senator Edward M. Kennedy.”

Kennedy’s Last Goal

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, he said:

“And this is the cause of my life. New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — North, South, East, West, young, old — will have decent, quality healthcare as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”

My own inadequate eulogy

A part of me dies with his passing. My progressive hopes and dreams die as I take a look across a bleak landscape of corporatists holding all the levers of power. Torture, spying on citizens, “bailout” schemes that enrich the wealthy and impoverish the rest of us, coup d’etats, illegal wars and invasions, genetically modified food, RFID tagged humans and animals, exaggerated flu scares, genocides and land grabs… The number of true representatives of the American people is maybe 11% of Congress.

I remember November 22, 1963.

I was in kindergarten. An announcement over the public address system called all teachers to the auditorium. The mean old matriarch told us not to move from where we sat; that she would be back in a few minutes. We were shocked. They never left us alone! But, as promised, in just a few minutes, she returned, quite distraught.

“The President of the United States has been shot.” She announced, looking out the window past us.

I asked, “In the auditorium?”

That wasn’t the first nor the last time she slapped my face.

I remember the wives in the neighborhood talking about it, while sunning. It was a terrible thing, I could feel their pain. Then, a couple years later, I heard about a terrible black man who had been killed (Malcolm X). The neighborhood thought it was a good killing. I remember just three years later, feeling all grown up now that Mother was divorced and I was the oldest daughter, hearing about the “Reverend King” being killed in the South. This time, the killing was not good. And then, just months later, RFK was killed.

When Dick Holler’s Abraham, Martin and John came out, deep inside me, something changed. I have never been the same since. I understood, then, that “assassination politics” was the rule of law, tho I did not yet know that term. As sung by Dion:

Fare thee well, Kennedy Clan.

***********************************

To read more of Rady’s amazing writings please go here:

http://radyananda.wordpress.com/author/radyananda/

June 27, 2009

This may not do me a bit of good. Gather ’round, children, while Mr. Degan commits journalistic suicide. Please forgive me for not participating in the canonization of Michael Jackson.

This is not meant as a condemnation of the man’s private life, his eccentricities or the accusations hurled against him in the last decade and a half of his all-too-short life. A jury found him innocent of the worse charge (other than murder) that can possibly be made against a human being. We can speculate forever but in the final analysis, we have no other choice but to respect their verdict. My problem with Michael Jackson is a bit more complicated.

One day in the Spring of 1971 I heard a song on the radio by a group called the Jackson Five that was called Never Can Say Goodbye. It was (and is to this very day) one of the most beautiful pop songs I have ever heard. A couple of months later I read in the paper that he would be celebrating his thirteenth birthday the following day on August 29. This news piqued my curiosity; I had just turned thirteen less that two weeks before on August 16. Because the two of us were born on the same month in 1958, I would find myself over the years following his triumphs with the pride of a schoolboy watching a favored classmate win the World Series one year after another.

I was also intrigued to find out that, like me, he was a stone-cold fan of Charlie Chaplin and that he had actually met the great man – as had I. Over a span of time, however, the admiration I felt toward Michael Jackson would devolve into bewilderment and, eventually, disgust.

Although I was never a huge fan of his music (my Jackson collection comprises a mere handful of 45 RPMs and two long-playing albums) there was never any denying that the man was possessed of immense talent. It was my belief that, like Sinatra, he’d still be packing them in at eighty years of age. How ironic is that?

Last night in front of the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Al Sharpton was lauding Jackson as a shining example to the Black community. I am sorry but no statement could be further from the truth. At a time in history when young African American males were desperately yearning for a positive role model to look up to, Michael Jackson was running scared from his racial heritage.

This is where I will probably get myself into big trouble. After all, I’m just a middle-aged white guy (assuming I live to be one-hundred-and-one). What right have I to judge Michael Jackson – or anybody else for that matter? Who the hell am I? My “right” (such as it is) is as a casual observer of “American pop culture” and nothing more. I attempt here to be neither psychiatrist nor sociologist.

Watching the slow evolution of his facial features throughout the years – the “Caucasianization”, if you will, of Michael Jackson – could not have been something that would make your average African American kid swell up with any amount of pride. The martyred South African dissident Steve Biko used to tell his people that “Black is Beautiful”. Although Jackson never dared to say it out loud, he spent most of his adult life implying that “Black is Ugly”. There is no other explanation for it – none.

Here’s some irony for you: In his heyday, long before the multitude of “procedures” which would eventually alter his looks to such a horrible, even grotesque degree (procedures he would deny to his dying day) Michael Jackson was an extraordinarily good looking guy.

No one could fault him for his first plastic surgery in the early eighties. In the past many Hollywood legends, for whatever reasons (not all of them bad) have sought to “soften” their features. Actually the result of the first operation was pretty good. Picture him as he appeared in 1983 with Paul McCartney in the Say! Say! Say! video. He looked great, didn’t he? Why couldn’t he have left well enough alone? What the hell was he thinking?

By the turn of the new twenty-first century he no longer looked like a African American male. Do you remember that infamous mug shot after he was arraigned in 2003? He reminded me of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. Google both images if you think I’m exaggerating.

What has amazed me since the news of his demise came over the television yesterday afternoon are the writers who have credited Michael Jackson with being the first “cross-over” African American artist to reach a predominantly white audience. Most of those writers are in their early thirties and may be forgiven for not remembering the names Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr, The Mills Brothers, Josephine Baker, Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Bill Cosby, Diana Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Eartha Kitt, Chuck Berry, The Ink Spots, Little Richard, The Temptations, Sidney Poitier, Richard Pryor, Dick Gregory, Charley Pride, Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Diana Ross and the Supremes – and a score or more other pioneers who were able to chip away the walls of America’s racial divide years before Jackson entered into our collective consciousness. That he was a major influence cannot be argued. But he was not the first – far from it.

One cannot help but wonder what might have happened had this most gifted performer not attempted to hide who he was and made more of an effort to set an example to the desperate children who shared his skin color – or used to share it anyway – the same children who would eventually seek to identify with the faux thugs and jackasses who produce “Gangsta Rap”. Some of these kids – most of whom had no conscious memory of the Jackson Five or even Thriller – believed him to be white. And why shouldn’t they think that? He was white! He was whiter than I – and I’m pretty damned white! (Irish complexion, you know).

To say that he was a good example for African American kids to emulate is – forgive me – one half step shy of insanity.

We have to give the man his due: Michael Jackson was – beyond a shadow of a doubt – a great artist whose recorded legacy will endure for decades, maybe even a century or more. But an examination of his life is riddled with questions of all that might have been; all that should have been. It is more than likely that this was a severely mentally ill human being who never sought the treatment he so desperately needed; surrounded by fawning sycophants who enabled his sickness by constantly reassuring him that he could do no wrong. As John Lennon once said in the same context about Elvis Presley, another victim of the excesses of fame: “It’s always the courtiers that kill the king”.

The sad, inescapable truth is that for reasons we will probably never be able to fully understand, his talent and his career were ultimately wasted. Like Charlie Parker, Montgomery Clift, Judy Garland and Lenny Bruce before him, his brilliance as an artist would be overshadowed by severe, psychological torment and an unexplainable desire for self-destruction. Therein lies the real, unspeakable tragedy of Michael Jackson.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

IT’s THE (stupid) BASE, STUPID!

June 5, 2009

Sarah Palin for President

Let me rephrase that….

Sarah Palin for candidate.

It will never happen, you say? Maybe. Maybe not. But think about it for a minute or two: Just take a good look at the current state of that miserable, moribund party. To whom are they going to turn in three years when they run against an incumbent president? John Boehner? Mitch McConnell? Please. My money is on Sarah Palin. I want her to get that nomination so badly I can taste it. It’ll the equivalent of shooting Alaskan Pollock in the proverbial barrel.

You don’t think that they would be crazy enough to hand over the mantle of standard bearer to such an imbecilic person? You think that such a move would be politically suicidal? “NO WAY”, you scream, in a voice loud enough to be heard in the next county, “THE WOMAN IS AN IDIOT! AN EXTREMIST! IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! NEVER, I TELL YOU!”

Three words: George Walker Bush.

Let’s be brutally frank here, shall we? The I.Q. of the so-called “base” of that party has deteriorated to such an alarming degree in the last thirty years, a Sarah Palin candidacy is not only a very real possibility in 2012, it’s damned near inevitable! She is made-to-order for these fools, are you kidding me? There can no longer be any serious debate that the Republican party has cornered the market on Stupid. In fact, with very few exceptions, judging by the quality of the people they have been sending to Washington in recent years, it is quite apparent that Stupid sells.

Take Michael Steele, for instance. When the American people elected the first African American as President last November, the Republican National Committee decided that the GOP needed a face lift – actually a face dye. It was obvious that, given their history of policies that are utterly hostile to people of color, they couldn’t have just another white guy as their spokesman of opposition to an Obama administration. There are a few (very few) black men who now earn their reputations on the talk show circuit spouting the talking points of the Republican party. A couple of them, I hate to admit, are fairly astute – like Ron Christie, for instance, who regularly appears on MSNBC – a very bright fellow any way you slice it or dice it. You would think that the geniuses who run the RNC would have signed up someone like him as chairman, wouldn’t you? Yeah, me, too – but that would have been out of character for them. No. They just had to hire the dumbest black guy they could possibly find.

Yesterday in a speech before a gathering of party hacks in Maryland, Steele proclaimed that the gloves were about to come off and that the “honeymoon” between President Obama and the grand old party was over:

“We are going to take this president on with class. We are going to take this president on with dignity. This will be a marked contrast to the shabby and classless way that the Democrats and the far left spoke of President Bush.”

Class and dignity, huh? QUESTION: Where the hell was this knucklehead when his party was trying to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about an affair with a half-witted intern – in solitary confinement? By the way, between you and me and the parking meter, Malcolm X had a term for people like Michael Steele: House Nigger. You want to talk about the worst kind of cow towing, Uncle Tom darkie? The guy is a walking, talking stereotype! Somewhere in that eternal void, you may be sure, Stepin Fetchit is laughing his ass off:

“Hee! Hee! Hee! Oh, Mistah White folks you sho’ is sly!!”

Before he was even inaugurated, I predicted two terms for Barack Obama. Although at the time that was somewhat of a daring prophecy, it is no longer bold as it once was. As a matter of a fact, it is a near certainty. Which brings us back to the dilemma facing the “party of Lincoln” (Doesn’t that phrase just make ya wanna giggle?) Three years from now they won’t be able to nominate another bland and boring white guy, that’s for damned sure! What to do? It’s simple! Nominate a minority or a woman. I can just picture the bumper stickers: SARAH PLAIN/BOBBY JINDAL in ’12”. Count on it: Barring a miracle, scandal or tragedy, either one of them – or both of them – will be on the ticket in 2012. Remember, you read it right here on “The Rant”, folks.

Getting back to the subject of Stupid….Are you ready for this? A vote will be held today in the RNC to rename the Democratic party hold on to your sides, kiddies! – the “DEMOCRAT SOCIALIST PARTY”. How’s that for a knee slapper? Is it stupidity or simple arrogance that makes these assholes believe they can actually rename another political party? If this happens, the Dems should forever refer to them as the “Republican Fascist Party”. Does that sound to you like a gross exaggeration? If it does, I would only remind you of how Benito Mussolini – the father of the fascist state – once defined fascism. In a 1927 interview he told a journalist (in English):

“Fascism should more properly be caller ‘Corporatism’ because it is the total merging of corporate and state power.”

‘Nuff said? I thought as much.

The epidemic of right-wing bloviators overdosing on Stupid Pills is disturbing and far-reaching.The other night on FOX Noise, Glenn Beck actually compared the Obama administration’s handling of corrupt corporate executives to the holocaust! (No, I’m not making this up. It’s probably on You Tube – look it up) In a grotesque paraphrasing of Martin Niemoller’s famous poem, he told his studio audience:

“First they came for the bankers, and I did not speak up because I was not a banker.

Then they came for the A.I.G. executives, and I did not speak up because I was not an A.I.G. executive.”

He then looked his viewers dead-square in the eye and told them that “they” (he never really got around to clarifying exactly who “they” were) would eventually be coming for them. Now, intelligent people like you and I can look at something as absurd as that and appreciate it for its entertainment value. Let’s face it: these jackasses are awfully fun to watch. The problem is that there are many people out there, a few of them mentally disturbed, many of them armed to the teeth all of them dumber than dog shit who take this utter nonsense seriously. God forbid, if there ever is another Tim McVeigh-style terrorist attack on our government, Beck – and many others, you may be sure – will have blood on their hands.

A special note of thanks is in order to Keith Olbermann, who every night airs for his viewers choice nuggets of FOX nuttiness. In this way, we can experience the unintentional comedic joy of FOX Land without ever having to go there. But I really do suggest that you tune into them once and a while – if only for the entertainment value.

“The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over.”

Michael Steele
May 19, 2009

Over? Really?? Aw, hell. Mikey! It’s barely begun!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:

Treason by Ann Coulter

(Again, for the entertainment value, of corse)

Cheney’s Tortured Logic

May 30, 2009

“Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?”

Ray McGovern
(No relation to George. Honest!)

Do you want to know why I love Jesse Ventura so much? Because he pisses EVERYBODY off. The other night on Larry King Live, Jesse said, “I’ll tell you what: you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” I can top that one easily. Just give me two hours with the hideous thug and I’ll have him confessing that he was part of the Lincoln Assassination conspiracy. Oh, hell – give me three hours and he’ll be saying that he framed Judas! And speaking of Judas….

NOTE TO THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT: Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. You folks might want to rethink your position on torture. Just a thought.

Ah, Dick Cheney! As the clock was counting down on the final hours of the Bush administration, I have to confess that I was feeling kind of blue. It would never again get half as weird or one tenth as entertaining as it was when Richard Bruce Cheney held center stage. I just assumed that the dirty old dingbat would slither away into that good night of ignoble obscurity and that would be that. But he didn’t go away. Not only that, at a time when the GOP is desperately trying to mend its image and undo the irreparable damage that was done to it by the Bush Mob, the Dickster is in the final stages of pounding the nails into the GOP’s coffin. He knows he’s in big trouble and is looking at a very long stretch in federal prison. He’s out there talking as loudly as he possibly can to as many interviewers he can con into letting him into their studios. It is pitifully obvious that he is trying to contaminate any potential jury pool. You think such a blatantly opportunistic ploy is beneath him? You don’t know Dick.

And he is not the only member of the Cheney Klan spewing the propaganda on the media circuit. Yesterday morning, daughter Liz Cheney could be seen debating Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson on MSNBC’s Morning Joe – if you want to call it a “debate”. Her idea of discourse was to talk loudly over whatever point Robinson tried to make in defense of his piece that had been published earlier in the day in the Washington Post – a piece which was decidedly critical of dear old Dad. That’s the only way people like that know how to operate. It’s the old Josef Goebbels strategy: Just keep repeating the lie over and over and over again. Eventually, the people will start to believe it. In spite of Liz’s subterfuge, Gene held his own quite nicely, thank you very much. And here’s to you, Mr. Robinson!

From my blog  “The Rant”, December 16, 2007:

“For the record: “Waterboarding involves strapping some poor bastard down, taping a piece of cloth over his face, and pouring torrents of water over him. He then gets the overwhelming sensation that he is drowning. When an investigator asked the CIA to perform the procedure on him, even though he knew he was in no danger of dying, he found the duration of the ordeal unbearable and extremely frightening. His conclusion? Waterboarding is torture. PERIOD. Sixty years ago, several Japanese military commanders were sent to prison for many years for committing the same crime. Some were even executed! You see where I’m headed here, don’t you. Okay, I’ll stop.”

And you thought the only thing George W. Bush was torturing all those years was the English language! And do you remember the word Alberto Gonzalez used in describing the international laws against torture? “Quaint“.

“Did you see that, Lester? That there feller’s entire respiratory system just shut down! Aw, sheeeit! Ain’t that quaint?

I hate be a party pooper here, but I have a funny feeling that in an international court of law, none of Cheney’s defenses regarding torture would hold much water (No pun intended). I’ve always had this quaint notion that the United States is bound by tradition – and honor – to abide by the Geneva Conventions. To say that these so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” (Paging Dr. Orwell) were successful is, to put it as politely as I can, disingenuous. Were they able to extract any reliable information from these guys via the use of torture? It depends on whom you ask. But this much may be ascertained beyond a shadow of a doubt: a waterboardee will eventually tell the waterboarder anything and everything he or she wants to hear – anything to stop the extreme pain and terror. Human beings (being human beings) are kind of funny that way, you know?

Under the right (or wrong) conditions, a person in duress will confess to damned near anything. When I was a kid, I once admitted to a guy who was twisting my left index finger, that late at night when no one was watching, I liked to sing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes while dressed in a Coco Chanel negligee. Hey! A guy’s gotta go what a guy’s gotta do! As you can imagine (and has been proven beyond a doubt) most of the information the CIA received during these interrogations was absolutely bogus.

“The United States DOES NOT TORTURE.

George W. Bush

Oh, really? Tell that to ibn al-Sheik al-Libi.

Under conditions of extreme torture, al-Libi agreed in 2002 to provide his interrogators with the political cover the Bush/Cheney cabal needed in order to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq. Libi made a deal with his captors. He would tell them everything they wanted to hear and then some. In exchange, they would stop the torture. At the moment this was happening, the now-infamous “Torture Memos” were being written. If there is a case to be made against that disgusting administration for war crimes (and there is – trust me on this one, campers) Mr. Libi has been described as the “smoking gun” .

Good news: HOORAY! We’ve got an Arab John Dean!

Bad news: Oh, damn. ibn al-Sheik al-Libi is dead.

They found his body last week. He appears to have committed “suicide” even though his family and friends insist there were no warning signs that he was about to kill himself and that such a self-destructive act was not in his nature. That’s okay. I’m sure its all just an innocent coincidence. Never mind.

The ball is now in President Obama’s court. It is disturbingly apparent that he lacks the will – the political courage – to have his Justice Department initiate the prosecutions against these murderous assholes. The only problem is the fact that it’s not just his Department of Justice – it’s ours, too. If the American people aren’t very angry over the plight a bunch of tortured A-Rabs, you can bet your last dollar that when they learn the reason those guys were tortured, they’ll be seething with rage.

Let’s put things in their proper perspective, Shall we?

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (both failed oil men) were desperate to seize control of a country which possessed the second or third largest oil reserves on the entire planet. But before they could do that. they needed to prove to the clueless American people the following little bits of misinformation:

1. The ruler of that country, Saddam Hussein (Remember him?) was harboring dangerous Weapons of Mass Destruction.

2. He was somehow in cahoots with Osama bin Laden in the atrocity that was committed on September 11, 2001,

3. He was an imminent threat to the peace and security of the free world in general and the United States in particular.

The only problem was that they needed one crucial thing to make their case which they were seriously lacking – EVIDENCE. So how would they be able to get the evidence they needed so badly? Extract it from hapless Prisoners of War by any means necessary. Torture was the means they used to achieve their ends. As a result, nearly five-thousand American kids – not to mention as many as a million Iraqi men, women and little children – are dead.

They were determined to invade a country that was a danger to no one but itself. They fabricated the reasons for that invasion out of thin air – much in the same way Adolf Hitler did when he invaded Poland on September 3, 1939. They cherry-picked a mole hill of evidence that claimed Saddam was a threat to America and completely ignored the mountain of evidence which conclusively proved that he was nothing of the sort. They wanted that fucking oil, baby! And they were determined to grab it – come hell or high waterboard.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a funny feeling that when the American people finally figure all of this stuff out, they’re going to be just a tad peeved, don’cha think?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Uncovered: The War on Iraq
A film by Robert Greenwald

May 30, 2009

“Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?”

Ray McGovern
(No relation to George. Honest!)

Do you want to know why I love Jesse Ventura so much? Because he pisses EVERYBODY off. The other night on Larry King Live, Jesse said, “I’ll tell you what: you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” I can top that one easily. Just give me two hours with the hideous thug and I’ll have him confessing that he was part of the Lincoln Assassination conspiracy. Oh, hell – give me three hours and he’ll be saying that he framed Judas! And speaking of Judas….

NOTE TO THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT: Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. You folks might want to rethink your position on torture. Just a thought.

Ah, Dick Cheney! As the clock was counting down on the final hours of the Bush administration, I have to confess that I was feeling kind of blue. It would never again get half as weird or one tenth as entertaining as it was when Richard Bruce Cheney held center stage. I just assumed that the dirty old dingbat would slither away into that good night of ignoble obscurity and that would be that. But he didn’t go away. Not only that, at a time when the GOP is desperately trying to mend its image and undo the irreparable damage that was done to it by the Bush Mob, the Dickster is in the final stages of pounding the nails into the GOP’s coffin. He knows he’s in big trouble and is looking at a very long stretch in federal prison. He’s out there talking as loudly as he possibly can to as many interviewers he can con into letting him into their studios. It is pitifully obvious that he is trying to contaminate any potential jury pool. You think such a blatantly opportunistic ploy is beneath him? You don’t know Dick.

And he is not the only member of the Cheney Klan spewing the propaganda on the media circuit. Yesterday morning, daughter Liz Cheney could be seen debating Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson on MSNBC’s Morning Joe – if you want to call it a “debate”. Her idea of discourse was to talk loudly over whatever point Robinson tried to make in defense of his piece that had been published earlier in the day in the Washington Post – a piece which was decidedly critical of dear old Dad. That’s the only way people like that know how to operate. It’s the old Josef Goebbels strategy: Just keep repeating the lie over and over and over again. Eventually, the people will start to believe it. In spite of Liz’s subterfuge, Gene held his own quite nicely, thank you very much. And here’s to you, Mr. Robinson!

From “The Rant”, December 16, 2007:

“For the record: “Waterboarding involves strapping some poor bastard down, taping a piece of cloth over his face, and pouring torrents of water over him. He then gets the overwhelming sensation that he is drowning. When an investigator asked the CIA to perform the procedure on him, even though he knew he was in no danger of dying, he found the duration of the ordeal unbearable and extremely frightening. His conclusion? Waterboarding is torture. PERIOD. Sixty years ago, several Japanese military commanders were sent to prison for many years for committing the same crime. Some were even executed! You see where I’m headed here, don’t you. Okay, I’ll stop.”

And you thought the only thing George W. Bush was torturing all those years was the English language! And do you remember the word Alberto Gonzalez used in describing the international laws against torture? “Quaint“.

“Did you see that, Lester? That there feller’s entire respiratory system just shut down! Aw, sheeeit! Ain’t that quaint?

I hate be a party pooper here, but I have a funny feeling that in an international court of law, none of Cheney’s defenses regarding torture would hold much water (No pun intended). I’ve always had this quaint notion that the United States is bound by tradition – and honor – to abide by the Geneva Conventions. To say that these so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” (Paging Dr. Orwell) were successful is, to put it as politely as I can, disingenuous. Were they able to extract any reliable information from these guys via the use of torture? It depends on whom you ask. But this much may be ascertained beyond a shadow of a doubt: a waterboardee will eventually tell the waterboarder anything and everything he or she wants to hear – anything to stop the extreme pain and terror. Human beings (being human beings) are kind of funny that way, you know?

Under the right (or wrong) conditions, a person in duress will confess to damned near anything. When I was a kid, I once admitted to a guy who was twisting my left index finger, that late at night when no one was watching, I liked to sing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes while dressed in a Coco Chanel negligee. Hey! A guy’s gotta go what a guy’s gotta do! As you can imagine (and has been proven beyond a doubt) most of the information the CIA received during these interrogations was absolutely bogus.

“The United States DOES NOT TORTURE.

George W. Bush

Oh, really? Tell that to ibn al-Sheik al-Libi.

Under conditions of extreme torture, al-Libi agreed in 2002 to provide his interrogators with the political cover the Bush/Cheney cabal needed in order to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq. Libi made a deal with his captors. He would tell them everything they wanted to hear and then some. In exchange, they would stop the torture. At the moment this was happening, the now-infamous “Torture Memos” were being written. If there is a case to be made against that disgusting administration for war crimes (and there is – trust me on this one, campers) Mr. Libi has been described as the “smoking gun” .

Good news: HOORAY! We’ve got an Arab John Dean!

Bad news: Oh, damn. ibn al-Sheik al-Libi is dead.

They found his body last week. He appears to have committed “suicide” even though his family and friends insist there were no warning signs that he was about to kill himself and that such a self-destructive act was not in his nature. That’s okay. I’m sure its all just an innocent coincidence. Never mind.

The ball is now in President Obama’s court. It is disturbingly apparent that he lacks the will – the political courage – to have his Justice Department initiate the prosecutions against these murderous assholes. The only problem is the fact that it’s not just his Department of Justice – it’s ours, too. If the American people aren’t very angry over the plight a bunch of tortured A-Rabs, you can bet your last dollar that when they learn the reason those guys were tortured, they’ll be seething with rage.

Let’s put things in their proper perspective, Shall we?

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (both failed oil men) were desperate to seize control of a country which possessed the second or third largest oil reserves on the entire planet. But before they could do that. they needed to prove to the clueless American people the following little bits of misinformation:

1. The ruler of that country, Saddam Hussein (Remember him?) was harboring dangerous Weapons of Mass Destruction.

2. He was somehow in cahoots with Osama bin Laden in the atrocity that was committed on September 11, 2001,

3. He was an imminent threat to the peace and security of the free world in general and the United States in particular.

The only problem was that they needed one crucial thing to make their case which they were seriously lacking – EVIDENCE. So how would they be able to get the evidence they needed so badly? Extract it from hapless Prisoners of War by any means necessary. Torture was the means they used to achieve their ends. As a result, nearly five-thousand American kids – not to mention as many as a million Iraqi men, women and little children – are dead.

They were determined to invade a country that was a danger to no one but itself. They fabricated the reasons for that invasion out of thin air – much in the same way Adolf Hitler did when he invaded Poland on September 3, 1939. They cherry-picked a mole hill of evidence that claimed Saddam was a threat to America and completely ignored the mountain of evidence which conclusively proved that he was nothing of the sort. They wanted that fucking oil, baby! And they were determined to grab it – come hell or high waterboard.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a funny feeling that when the American people finally figure all of this stuff out, they’re going to be just a tad peeved, don’cha think?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Uncovered: The War on Iraq
A film by Robert Greenwald

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May 30, 2009

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