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Category: Phil Drucker’s Rant (page 1 of 13)

Phil Drucker Rants for 3-31-20: “Did You Know He Bred Deerhounds Too?”

Sydney Thompson Dobell was a poet who in his day was perhaps of some minor notoriety and merit, but not much. Born on April 5, 1824, Syd was the son of a wine merchant on his father’s side and on his mother’s, the daughter of Samuel Thompson, a London political reformer. He grew up as all good products of Victorian Era middle-class England, a “dandy” of sorts but in his case, with a fierce desire to change the world through political reform, and his poetry.

 As a sentient, somewhat worldly Englishman during the last half of the 19th Century, STD was undoubtedly aware of political and/or artistic events and movements as the Crimean War, Franco-Prussian War, Age of Romanticism and the Belle Époque Era (Golden Era) of French and Western history. During this time, the modernization and attendant carnage of war led to the call for a new type of art, of painting, sculpture and writing to address the pain, suffering and horrors of war previously hidden from public view but now exposed via telegraphed reports from the front and wide access to, at least, for the times, modern photography.

 One of the movements produced by the blending of art, intelligence, pathos and political commentary involved a group of poets often called the Spasmodic school. Reportedly dubbed by no less than Lord Byron, the Spasmodic movement created a kind of realistic, worried about our very existence and heavy (probably too much so) on metaphor style and method to describe the state of enlightened 19th Century thought. I guess you could say it was at the time romantic to live one’s life in vain trying to obtain the unobtainable. Existentialism on steroids I tell you.

 Religion at the time was, for the most part, an internal struggle between the individual and the present-life. Little thought was given to the afterlife. As Plato, most likely quoting Socrates at his trial before he was forced to drink hemlock, said many centuries before,

 “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

 These words, meant to show the banality of living one’s life in a routine dictated by the rules of others, without question, became the rallying cry of enlightened thinkers who, in many ways, wanted nothing more than the ability to make decisions for oneself and to let the chips fall as they may, or may not.

 Writing under the nom de plume Sydney Yendes, Dobell began writing and publishing a series of spasmodic minor poems about life, death, more death, tragedy and political reform including his generally acknowledged masterwork, “The Roman”, to be followed shortly thereafter by “Balder” another dramatic poem of mid-level accomplishment and notoriety.

 T. Dobell was an early and outspoken advocate of Women’s rights and openly championed the cause of the oppressed. He died on August 22, 1874.

 So, why am I writing about this guy? It’s because via his unique blend of metaphor, extravagance, drama, politics, spirituality, unrequited life and death and struggle, he furnished one of my all-time favorite quotes.

 “It is a zealot’s faith that blasts the shrines of the false god, but builds no temple to the true.” – Sydney Thompson Dobell

 True then, perhaps even truer today. Reminds me of Bernie, to be honest. Big Business/Banks suck, yeah, yeah, but what is the alternative? The Solution? Ain’t nothing free. And then there’s Trumpus Unelecticus the fattest of the fatted golden shower manna calves hissself. You are remembered, and admired my friend. Yes, you still are.


More Phil:



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Phil Drucker Rants for 3-24-20: “Meet Henry Cornelius Burnett”

Born in Virginia but raised from an early age in Kentucky, Henry Cornelius Burnett was a lawyer by profession. Some would say a good start. Some not so much. After a stint in public office as a circuit court clerk, he was elected to and eventually served four terms representing Kentucky in the USA House of Representatives. Later he continued to represent Kentucky but as a member of the CSA[1] House of Representatives.

He was your typical mid-nineteenth century knuckle dragger. An all-around first-class racist slave owner. George D. Prentice, a pro-Unionist editor who built the Louisville Journal into a newspaper powerhouse described him as “a big, burly, loud-mouthed fellow who is forever raising points of order and objections, to embarrass the Republicans in the House.”

He was thought of as “passionate” regarding his policies and politics in general by those who, of course, admired the “Southern Cause”. His campaign platform included a promise to arraign Lincoln (and I imagine to “lock him up”) for treason.

Kentucky was officially a neutral state during the war. That didn’t stop Burnett, who represented the pro-secessionist 1st District, from forming a militia unit sympathetic to the Southern cause. Although having no previous military experience, he became a Colonel in the 8th Kentucky Infantry. After the Union occupied the state to prevent further acts of secession, Henry, never one to shy away from violence except when it put him personally at risk (his entire military career consisted of one battle that the Gray Team lost) advocated for actions amounting to what we would call today guerilla warfare against the “Lincoln guns” and their supporters.

In the event Kentucky continued to refuse to secede, he and his fellow rebels began plotting to annex the entire 1st District to and align itself with the runaway state of Tennessee. He was part of a cabal that tried to initiate a Confederate Kentucky government within the already existing Pro-Union Kentucky. Neither of these events ever happened. Eventually, HCB was expelled from Congress for disloyalty to the Union and taking up arms against the United States. As the war dragged on, and the South continued to lose, he became more radical, at one point calling into question Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ loyalty as he was a graduate of the Yankee military academy West Point.

After the war, he asked for clemency from former Vice President, now President and fellow racist Andrew Johnson. Johnson ignored him. Henry was later criminally indicted, but never prosecuted for treason, the reason why unknown. In his remaining years H.C. Burnett, Esq. remained in Kentucky and returned to the practice of law. He died of cholera. He was 40 years old.

HCB, his plain tombstone showing evidence of his Confederate past, did not live to see Kentucky leave the Union. I never thought we would either, but here we are. Too bad Henry didn’t think about asking a Russian oligarch for an investment in an aluminum plant. Seems to have done the trick quite nicely.

Did you get your fill of Phil?

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[1] Confederate States of America

Phil Drucker Rants for 3-17-20: “Mein Tweet”

Imagine if you will, an old, balding man, sitting in a cell. He’s managed to bribe the guards into what looks akin to a somewhat comfortable life albeit of confinement, more or less. There are rumors about seeing him wearing a red hat on the golf course on some weekends. Nobody seems to know for sure. He’s arranged to have KFC, McDonald’s and, every once and awhile, have a steak flown in from his favorite NY restaurant, the 21 Club.

Nobody knows how he did it. His assets, including Trump Tower NY and Mar-a-Lago were liquidated via federal auction long ago to pay for his too numerous to count civil and criminal cases filed against him.

He has a television so he can still watch what’s left of Fox News. It’s not that he is interested in world politics anymore. He just waits until they on occasion drop a kind word or two about the “good old days” of his administration. He is pleased there are still those who remember, at least somewhat fondly, unless a loved one or someone they knew died of the plague, his years in office.

He has several naked pictures of mostly women pinned to his wall. None of Melania. Several of Stormy. He has no photos of his children in his cell. Nobody knows where they are. Out of fear of being discovered, they have never visited him. Without the need for further pretense, he proudly displays several homemade swastika and SS tattoos.

On his best, partially lucid days he dreams of returning to the limelight. He dreams of the rallies, the sea of red hats all chanting in unison their admiration for he who was “beloved leader.” He who is perfect of mind, body, and spirit. The chosen one. On his “off” days, when he refused or forgot to take his meds, he’s in his own mind (at least what’s left of it) greatly maligned and misunderstood. Clearly, the victim of the deep state along with assorted other wholly imaginary, reeking of self-pity and loathing conspiracy theories.  

He’s gained about 50 pounds. He has exercise privileges but refuses to use them. He prefers to sit in his cell, day after day, reminiscing, ruminating, and mostly, planning his perfect, beautiful revenge.

However, this all pales in comparison to his latest, greatest, biggest, possibly last (he’s not in good health), accomplishment. He has procured a cell phone and secretly arranged through a back-channel (Jared?) to send his tweets, sometimes as many as 300 a day, not to the public in general, but directly to a secret Aryan survivalist society of followers hunkered down in the backwoods of Idaho for praise, cataloging, page numbering and most importantly, safekeeping on a secret server hidden in an abandoned ICBM silo until, soon, when the time is right, he/they will release a collection of his rantings (he rants too!) for all eternity. To stand along-side with the greatest works of similarly misbegotten “patriots” and “geniuses” (madmen and murderers) such as Mao, Lenin, Stalin and yes, his all-time favorite psychopath political martyr, Adolph Hitler.  

It will have a plain red cover, published by MAGA Press with the simple, yet poignant, and elegant title embossed in white lettering, “Mein Tweet.” As a final touch to a life he believes should be the envy of most, it will be a New York Times Bestseller for sure. But with an asterisk, just like his presidency as he’s pre-arranged for the racists to buy it in bulk.


Did you get your fill of Phil?




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Phil Drucker Rants for 3-10-2020: “Keeping Up With The Ceaușescus.”

Born January 26, 1918, Nicolae Ceaușescu was the third son of a large proletariat (or peasant, take your pick) family. Having dropped out of elementary school, Nico’s early experiences included an apprenticeship as a shoemaker and at least one job working in a textile factory where he met his revolutionary sweetheart and future wife Elena. Both were members of the Communist Party and active in the “liberation” of Romanian culture and politics.

Together, the power couple moved swiftly up the ranks of the Communist Party. After the end of World War II, during which Romania was allied with Nazi Germany, Nicolae remained active in politics, now working to impose Soviet-style communism in Romania. In a relatively short amount of time, Nicolae became the Minister of Agriculture, Deputy Minister of the Armed Forces, and, the heir apparent to the General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. Upon Gheorghe’s death in 1965, Nicolae became the equivalent of what we in the western world would call the Prime Minister of Romania. He was the most powerful person in Romania. Here is where the story gets interesting.

Upon taking office, PM Ceaușescu began his reign with a promise to help his people in their pursuit of happiness, communist-style, and “elevate the nation to the highest peaks of socialism.”  But there was one problem – stopping the Soviets from raiding the fertile fields of the “breadbasket” of Eastern Europe for their own centralized purposes. Was he the only one who could save Romania from the Russians? He thought so. The Romanians weren’t so sure.

His reputation preceded him. He was a greedy, insensitive egotist who had no problems satisfying his and his wife’s needs for an extravagant lifestyle filled with expensive villas, fast cars and, in the case of his wife Elena, a “sweet tooth” for fashion, furs, and jewels. The burden of their extravagant “pursuit of happiness” had always been placed on the economic backs of the Romanian public. Still, there was something about him…

Nicolae fancied himself,  though he had no formal training, as a master of economics and he often boasted of his skills as a negotiator of the highest caliber. So pervasive was this myth that he became known throughout the world as the “Genius of the Carpathians.” But wait, there’s more.

In 1966, he banned all abortion and contraception. This led to an unprecedented number of children placed in orphanages, often under deplorable situations. And, in 1968 he refused to participate in and condemned the Soviet invasion to quell the uprising in Czechoslovakia This period marked the height of the Ceaușescus’ popularity. It was all downhill from there.

In 1971, Nicolae visited China, North Korea, and VietNam. He was so taken by the highly nationalistic, authoritarian, and militaristic ideology of North Korea’s Kim Il-sung, Juche, and to a lesser extent the ongoing Cultural Revolution madness of Mao Zedong (we don’t know what he thought of Viet Nam) that he vowed to build what he referred to as a European North Korea. The pace quickened.

Upon his return, “Leader” as he was now known, began holding lavish, garish, white dove laden you know the type exorbitant military marching band and all parades in his honor. In 1973, Elena became a member of the party Executive Committee. In 1974, Nicolae was elected (sort of) as President. Elena became a self-proclaimed scientist and began publishing numerous “scholarly” books she did not write. Nicolae began to circulate official photographs of himself holding a silver scepter as a sign of his ascendancy. By this time analysts estimated that no less than 40 members of the Ceaușescu family held positions of authority within the state or party apparatus.

As their cult of personality grew, so did the national debt. After the good times generated by oil embargos ended, Nicolae continued to build Romania’s economic well-being on the belief that the world oil markets would continue to deliver extraordinary returns. They didn’t and with the fall of oil prices, came even harder times for the already deep in debt Romania. Nicolae started blaming the Roma (gypsies) for Romania’s mounting problems. He declared the Romani one of a growing list of “co-inhabiting nationalities” and stripped them of all political power.

To pay down the foreign debt, Nicolae started exporting everyday basic goods, like food, out of Romania without a plan to replenish or replace necessities, like food, for his struggling people. He increasingly placed harsher and harsher austerity measures eventually creating chronic shortages and rationing of virtually everything one might find at their local supermarket. The once so-called Breadbasket of the Balkans was slowly starving to death.

In what could only be described as a “Marie Antoinette” moment, the ever oblivious to her people’s suffering Elena did not blame the “outsiders” she blamed the Romanian people for their own plight, cruelly overheard to have said “The worms never get satisfied, regardless of how much food you give them,” in response to yet another of the many food shortages created by the misguided, to say the least, economic policies of the Regime. Then, things got worse.

During the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Russia, where anti-communist/socialist reforms such perestroika (reconstruction) and glasnost (openness) began to transform Russia into a more “Western” type of government, the Ceaușescus who now resembled in acts and deeds royalty as opposed to the first couple of an iron curtain, Stalinist country, “doubled down” on his despotic, and by now clearly delusional vision to make Romania great again. As the already frayed relationship between Moscow and Bucharest deteriorated, Gorbachev, who was no fan to begin with, routinely referred to Nicolae as the Romanian “führer”. Romania’s isolation from its Warsaw Pact allies continued when, incensed by the Polish government’s inability to prevent the Solidarity union’s imminent takeover, he called for the invasion of Poland while accusing the Warsaw Pact nations of abandoning communism. The alienation would continue, but not for too much longer. He held his last rally on December 21, 1989 until he was booed off the stage by his no longer adoring fan base. The resulting rebellion spread quickly.

On Christmas Day, 1989 after attempting to flee by helicopter, Nicolae and Elena were arrested and turned over to the army for trial, or, at least to be tried before what looked like a court. It was in fact a hastily arranged mock trial that predictably, didn’t end well.  Later that same day, their execution by firing squad was shown on Romanian TV. A reality TV presidential moment if there ever was one.  Now, a tweet from our sponsor.


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