Thursday, January 29, 2009

Change of Tone

Barack Obama appeared on the Al-Arabiya network for his first post-inaugural interview. This interview may have been the most significant action that he has taken since taking office. Coupled with his plans to close Guantanamo and prohibitions on torture, he is signaling a significant change of tone in American foreign policy.

In the interview, simply by stating that America is not an enemy of Islam, he did more to restore relations between the U.S. and the Arab world than all the cowboy diplomacy of the last eight years has accomplished. By emphasizing that he has respect for Muslims and Islam, he demonstrated an awareness and maturity long needed in the office of President. Indicating a willingness to work together he began to lay the groundwork for a meaningful resolution to a great deal of the world's conflict.

Moving beyond the simplistic notions of "evil doers" and "Islamo-fascists" that the previous administration was so found of using, (as a way of throwing gasoline on a fire), Obama demonstrated an understanding of the complexities of the Middle East. He also reversed the course of the American president being the best recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. The fanatics who need a complicit foil must be concerned.

Those who opposed the election of Obama because of his alleged Muslim ties should take note. It is his very awareness of the Islamic world, both through living in Indonesia and through actual contact with Muslims, that has enabled him to do this. His very election has challenged the underlying rationale that many of our most bitter enemies have held to justify their actions. Witness the absurd attack that Ayman al-Zawahiri recently made upon Obama where he tried to pit the words of Malcolm X against him (see Blog Post: Neither God nor Allah on their Side).

Serious discourse appears to be the new direction of foreign policy. For this and this alone I would like to applaud the change in tone that Obama has signaled. The journey of ten thousand miles starts with the first step, not the first bombing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remember the Environment?

Remember the Environment? Global warming, scarcity of energy resources, peak oil, collapsing ice shelves? Any of this sound familiar?

Why aren't we talking about it anymore? Is it because the price of gasoline has fallen a few cents?

The problem did not go away just because the price has dropped. The addiction to cheap oil still exists. The dealer just found that we weren't quite as addicted as believed. The price went up so fast that people actually began to change their habits and wean themselves (if a two percent drop can be called "weaning,"). So the price is back down. The dealers, both the transnational and nationalized oil companies, are trying to make sure the junkies keep feeding their addiction to oil.

Discussion of the crisis in energy supplies seems to have abated. True, there is a focus on so many other things as the economy collapses and the new administration comes to power. However, the fact remains, as I continue to say - Oil is Over! What are we doing about it?

Now is the time to begin to advance alternative energy. The future is clear. An oil based economy is doomed. If we do not change, our carcasses will be the future oil.

For Ann Richards

As Bush's helicopter took him back to his village in Texas, I remembered Ann Richards. Ann Richards was the woman who tried to save us from George Bush, both of them.

Richards famously said about the first Bush, "... he was born with a silver foot in his mouth." The world didn't listen.

Richards is perhaps best remembered as a governor of Texas. Riding a motorcycle with a beehive hairdo she was hard to miss. Unfortunately this colorful figure, was upended in her re-election bid by the second Bush, W. Ann Richards knew what a turkey this guy was, if only the world had listened. For the last years one of the things I have taken solace in is that I contributed to her campaign even though I didn't even live in Texas. Too bad he wasn't stopped back then. Maybe he would have never had the chance to ruin the world.

Thanks for trying Ann. You'll be remembered for trying to stop the rise of the village idiot to ruler of the world.

Obama's First Week

On Inauguration Day I decided not to comment on any decisions, pronouncements or policies until at least one week had passed. I will now join the cacophony with my thoughts on the first week. Before any evaluation of decisions I would first like to note that the sheer volume of work turned out by the Obama Administration in its first week appears to be about six months worth of policy from the previous administration of George number 2. There is so much that I have resorted to a mere listing of the various actions.

The Good:
- Begin the Closing of Guantanamo. Necessary if we are to ever begin the restoration of the moral integrity of our nation and honor our treaty obligations.
- Categorically Prohibit Torture. Adherence to the Army Field Manual and International law is beginning to be restored.
- Restore Transparency to Government. After eight years of a secretive government that classified everything including the lunch menu, this is unbelievable.
- Pay Freeze for Staff. Symbolic, but at least in the right direction. Were they going to get a raise anytime soon? They just started.
- Recognition of the Depth of the Economic Crisis. Compared to the floundering of the Bush Administration which managed to blow another $350 billion in its final days by giving it to banks with no effort at accountability, even acknowledging that the problem is serious and long term was a welcome step forward.
- Advocacy for Green Infrastructure. Needs to push for even more. Solar panels on 100 million houses and building would sure stimulate the economy and provide for a greater degree of energy independence (see previous blogs and link "The Myth of Energy Independence," to see why this won't happen).
- Al- Arabiya interview that set a new tone for American foreign policy. In a complete about face of the previous administration's policy, Obama set the stage for an effort at resolution of the long standing grievances between the rest of the world and the U.S. That's right, the whole world. Bush has turned everyone against us, even putative allies. Obama already possesses greater stature on the international stage than Bush ever had.

The Bad:
- Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner, who will oversee the IRS, did not pay his taxes.
- Bill Lynn, ex-lobbyist for Raytheon, nominated to number two post in the Pentagon. Violating the pledge of no lobbyist in the administration, Lynn requires an exception to the ethics rules outlined by Obama.
- Economic Compromise: his efforts to gain GOP support for the economy recovery will only be weakened by attempting to enlist their support. As a party they have no coherent philosophy and can only result to being in opposition. Mitigating this is his "I won," statement that suggests he may impose his will upon them if they continue to obfuscate.

The Ugly:
- Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the gang at the OK Corral are still walking around free. I can't tell if Obama is just trying to stay clear of the issue and let Congress do the work of investigating the Bush (mis)Administration or if he doesn't have the will to defend the Constitution. If he believes that what they did were crimes and he does anything to prevent their prosecution, he is acting as an accessory.
- Bombing of Pakistan by CIA. Allegedly he was briefed, so it would appear he gave his consent, unless, of course, the CIA is running its own war.

& We'll See:
- Iraq: So far, just talk. When do we leave?

All in all a very good start. Clearly though, this first week, especially Pakistan, shows us that change will not be immediate or complete. However, compared to his predecessor, he is inconceivably better.

I'm sure I've missed many things. As I said it was a busy week. It good to have a President who is not an embarrassment. Above all else, this makes me proud to have Obama in office. Also sad, because I realize how much George W. Bush destroyed this country. We are now proud to simply not be embarrassed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Christmas Deferred

It's January 20th and today I finally find out if I get my Christmas wish. Yes, the excitement of the inauguration of Obama adds a special lustre to the day, but his election was already a done deal by Christmas. For Christmas, I made a wish for the nation.

What I really wanted for Christmas is accountability for the Bush Administration. If I get my wish, as soon as he has taken the oath of office, Obama will order Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and a few others (Gonzalez and Yoo, for two) to be immediately taken into custody and tried for their War Crimes against the world and the American people.

Obama has talked a great deal about "moving forward," but I would argue that it will be impossible to move forward until we deal with the sorry spectacle of the past eight years. The election of Obama stunned the world precisely because we lived up to our ideals. In doing that we regained some of the authority we once had in the world.

However, in order to fully regain our moral authority in the world we must clean our own house. We have committed torture, we have engaged in acts that are direct violations of treaties we have signed. We have also admitted it. Cheney even seemed to brag about it. To let it go without prosecution is to make a mockery of our values.

Imagine the reaction of the world should we prosecute these miscreants who have sullied our reputation and made us a lawless and feared pariah on the world stage. Stating that no one is above the law, especially those in government, would allow the U.S. to once again exhibit the ideals that have drawn countless people to our shores.

Over the past eight years this nation has come as close to fascism as I hope it ever gets. If Bush and the rest of his administration is allowed to fade into history without answering for their crimes, we the people, will be the ultimate victims. Our nation will be permanently damaged and the scars will continue to grow as history begins to realize what happened in our country during the Bush II years.

Okay, so I don't really think that Obama will have Bush taken into custody at the inauguration. I will continue to let this Christmas wish be deferred for a little longer. But if we fail to act as a nation, if we do not address the wrongs, the crimes, the evil that has been committed in our name, we will NEVER be a great nation again.

In order to move forward, we must first address the past. If this is allowed to pass, no matter the success of the Obama Administration, we will forever join the list of nations that have sanctioned torture and rationalized war crimes.

In the next few days I will present the case for war crimes trials against the Bush Administration. Further, I will also establish the case for the rest of the world to act against Bush et. al should the U.S. fail to act.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Nightmare Ends

It seems fitting that the official holiday celebrating the 80th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also marks the final day of the Bush (mis)Administration. While Dr. King famously had a dream, George Bush has given us a nightmare.

An ABC News poll, released today, showed that only 22 % of the nation approves of the job Bush is doing, while 73 % disapproves. My only question - Who are these 22 %.

Inheriting a budget surplus, Bush has driven us to the brink of recession. He took all the goodwill directed towards the country post 9/11 and squandered it with bullying and cowboy diplomacy. Promising peace in the Middle East, his final days saw the Palestinian-Israeli conflict boil over. His efforts in encouraging democracy led to the election of Hezbollah and Hamas. The privatization of the government led to a "heck of a job" during Katrina. The nation that was once the champion of liberty and civil rights opened a torture chamber at Guantanamo.

How is it possible that even 22 % of the country APPROVES of the job Bush has done? I wouldn't think it possible that even 22 % of his immediate family could approve of his work.

As the administration of George W. Bush finally draws to a conclusion and we awake from our national nightmare, the words of the Dr. King seem all to fitting: "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, We Are Free at Last."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ike Was Right

Forty eight years ago today, on January 17th, as his presidency concluded, Dwight Eisenhower sounded an alarm to the world. Ike stated: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwanted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." As a former general, once the highest ranking soldier in history, Eisenhower knew precisely what he was talking about.

His warning has been largely disregarded and those who speak of the influence of the "military industrial complex" are viewed as cranks. Yet, over the past five decades a pantheon of transnational corporations has created a weapons industry that has consumed the wealth of the world. The Soviets went bankrupt trying to keep up, and now we are bogged down in two costly declared wars and several undeclared excursions. Throughout the world, countries point weapons at each other and compete for military superiority.

Corporations such as Halliburton, it's subsidiary Kellogg, Browning & Root, Raytheon, Blackwater (not so much industrial, but certainly military or mercenary), etc. have enriched themselves in the war game. Playing both sides of the fence, many transnationals win either way. The outcome of the wars are immaterial. It is the fact that there is a war that is important.

The abuses of this system and its drain on the resources of this and other nations is incalculable. However, the next time you hear any discussions of the deficit, the national debt or the economy, check out how much we spend on "defense." A military budget greater than the rest of the world - COMBINED - suggests that Ike's fear has become a nightmarish reality.

The Bush years have laid bare any pretense that the military industrial complex is a fictional monster that existed only in Eisenhower's mind. The beast that it has become has mauled us and continues to threaten to devour us.

Isn't it time to defend ourselves against this threat? Does anyone believe these forces are weaker now than they were in Eisenhower's time? Could not his words, "the disastrous rise of misplaced power, ..." serve as the motto of our age?

The full text of Eisenhower's speech may be seen at or you may watch the speech itself on YouTube.

It seems noteworthy that today is also the 115th anniversary that Queen Liliuokalani was forced to abdicate the throne of the sovereign nation of Hawaii.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush: The Legacy

The legacy tour continues, as Bush, Cheney and their minions attempt to manipulate memories and reality. "It all went well, really. History will vindicate us, you'll see." Bush even claimed in his press conference that the response to Katrina was "pretty good." Delusion or lie.

A complete litany of the failures of the Bush Administration is too long to begin. Even the list of major debacles has grown so long that it becomes impossible to recite them without leaving out something obvious. The threats to our rights, and the acts of utter disregard for the Constitution and our ideals, are surely even more numerous.

The legacy of the Bush Presidency though, can be summed up by the intersection of a number of the various domains of failure perfected by this thoroughly incompetent administration. To begin, in the final week of his presidency, Osama bin Laden releases another audiotape, continuing to taunt Bush. The hunt for bin Laden, marked by all the swagger and hubris we have come to expect from the Decider, serves as a symbol of the utter incompetence of this administration.

The inability to capture bin Laden was accompanied, over the years, by an ever frantic effort to ramp up fears of future attacks, and to justify all manner of acts antithetical to the professed ideals of this country. Torture was justified and denied at the same time. The moral authority of the nation was destroyed here and abroad.

Now that Judge Susan J. Crawford, who oversees the military trials at Guantanamo, has stated unequivocally that torture has occurred at that facility, the legacy tour will continue to point out there have been no attacks since 9/11. Forget that 9/11 occurred on their watch and the anthrax attacks occurred soon after. Know that the torture at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib ended serving more as a recruitment tool for al-Qaeda than it made anyone safe.

Finally though, the legacy of the Bush Administration can be seen in the complete lack of regard for which America is now seen in the world community. Rather than making the world or America safer, he has inflamed the very soul of the world. His eight years of dogmatic, ideological imperialism have confirmed the worst suspicions about America for its detractors. His incompetence has compounded the multitude of errors. Here we are, more than seven years after 9/11 and he still hasn't caught a six feet, five inch guy on dialysis who is one of the most recognizable figures in the world.

Bush's narrow minded view of the world fostered an "us vs. them" mentality that ultimately made us all less safe. He had furthered the likelihood of violence and confrontation in the world. A strong case can be made that the current actions in the Gaza Strip are occurring precisely because Bush is about to leave office. And remember, he was going to bring peace to the Middle East.

Incompetence. Torture. World Stature Destroyed. Quite a legacy. Oh, and I forgot the economy.

There is Power in a Union

Republic Windows & Doors of Chicago, the company whose workers refused to leave the premises after their jobs were shifted to a non-union state by a company that then tried to avoid paying them agreed upon severance packages, appear to have won the first major victory by workers in quite some time.

The workers, members of United Electrical Workers Local 1110, uncharacteristically, refused to accept the abuse of management and owners. Now it seems, as reported by Rachel Maddow, that Serious Materials of California is prepared to buy the factory and re-employee the workers. Serious Materials is a company that specializes in "green construction." Makers of energy efficient building supplies, Serious is already an unusual American company in that they actual produce something!

Manufacturers, green AND union friendly. American business has a lot to learn from Serious Materials. American workers also have a lot to learn from the workers of Republic Windows & Doors - There is power in a union.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wounded Knee 2009

When the British and other colonial empires began to stake their claims to the New World (and for that matter, the Old World), they dealt with the problem of indigenous populations by simply assuming a sense of entitlement. Their staunch belief was that their God had given them the right to exercise dominion over all lands.

In the 1800's, the newly formed United States, found itself in a similar position. The new nation, sat squarely on top of several other nations. Native Americans, from whom the system of government for the U.S. was adapted (see note below), comprised many different and competing political groups, or nations. However, the new nation, America, held the self same entitlement towards the land as the colonialists they had defeated. In spite of the fact that many of them had come here fleeing oppression and seeking a better life, the claims of the indigenous population was viewed as illegitimate.

An effort was made to drive those who were already here out of the country. The forced removal of the Cherokee and other tribes was seen as the solution until settlers suddenly "needed" the land to which they were already driven. The "right" to this and all other lands on the continent became enshrined in the legalization of theft known as Manifest Destiny.

Accepting that their destiny was to control everything, the U.S. government established a system of reservations for Native Americans. Those who refused to enter the reservations were called renegades and hunted down. The indigenous population of North America was essentially imprisoned in communal prisons in which their culture was obliterated and their religion was denigrated and prohibited. All the necessary elements of their lives were controlled by the government that took their land.

Surprise of all surprises, those rounded up and forced onto reservations were unhappy about it. Religious fanaticism grew leading to the development of the Ghost Dance religion. Ruthlessly suppressing the religion and the uprisings that followed, the United States proceeded to slaughter thousands and thousands of Native Americans. Massacres at Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, to name just two, saw the murder of countless women and children who had no place left to hide. Disproportional response was seen as appropriate. Those being slaughtered were called savages as slow genocide was committed against them.

Wounded Knee - Gaza Strip. Different year, different weapons. Same story.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Breaking the Chains

Barack Obama has signaled a needed change in direction with his new legal picks and CIA head. Choosing Elena Kagan, Dean of the Harvard Law School, as the new Solicitor General, Dawn Johnsen as head of the Assistant Attorneys General of the Office of Legal Counsel, David Ogden as Deputy Attorneys General, and Tom Perrelli as Associate Attorneys General, he has indicated a new direction for the Department of Justice. Dawn Johnsen, in particular, has been extremely forceful in her critiques of torture and renditions. Notably, she took John Yoo to task for his interpretations of the law that justified such acts.

Restoring the rule of law and the perception of integrity to the Justice Department will be monumental tasks given what has happened for the past eight years under the "unitary executive." These appointments signal a step forward. Instead of seeking to justify torture and breaking the law in the name of security, these individuals promise an effort to restore values and principles to DOJ.

The nomination of Leon Panetta to head the CIA has already drawn fire from within the Democratic Party. Please note that many of these Democrats who are questioning the Panetta nomination are the same Dems who rolled over on the Bush Administration's destruction of the Constitution. When it came to warrantless wiretaps, renditions, the Patriot Act, and torture, the Democratic leadership couldn't roll over fast enough.

Diane Feinstein, for example, apparently is piqued that she wasn't consulted, and has stated that she thinks there needs to be someone in the position who has experience. Too bad Feinstein wasn't as upset about Bush rewriting the Constitution without her consultation as she is about this nomination.

The time when we should have worried about the direction of the CIA should have been ten years ago, or fifty years ago. The damage that has been done to the reputation of this country by our intelligence agencies cannot be underestimated. The fact that Panetta has "no experience" in the intelligence community should be viewed as a necessity, not a drawback. The CIA has clearly become a failed organization that is a shame on the nation. Only a clean break can begin to reverse this tide.


If the Republican Party were half as competent at policy as they are at politics the country would not be in the position that it currently finds itself. After attempting to privatize the federal government (we saw how that worked in the aftermath of Katrina and in the outsourcing of the Iraq War to Halliburton and Blackwater), aiding and abetting the destruction of the Constitution, and dumping money on every crooked banker they could find, the GOP (Gas,Oil & Petroleum) now is demanding a voice in the development of the stimulus package.

Never mind that it was their no-regulation, tax breaks for billionaires, no-bid contract philosophy that must bear the lion's share of blame for the current economic woes. Republicans have shown us by their very actions that their approach to the economy is a failure. Now they demand a say so in how the correction should proceed. This is a little like letting a group of criminals dictate prison policy.

Having had their policies utterly rejected by the American public and their party crushed in the last election, their approach has become one of falling back on formerly successful tactics of threatening to derail all legislation unless they get their way. Remember that this is the same party that threatened it would "go nuclear" in the Senate in order to get around those pesky rules that they will now make their bread and butter.

Already Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are out engaging in political maneuvering surrounding the stimulus in such a way that it will be delayed and/or derailed. Watch as they put their political interests ahead of the nation. Was the bailout just an effort to bleed the Treasury at the time of greatest need? A final rip-off for their cronies before losing power.

The RePUGniCAN'Ts, a party whose time has come - to end.

Monday, January 5, 2009


After being the compliant whipping boy of the Bush Administration for the past eight years, the Democrats finally regain power despite themselves, and now seem intent to prove that they are the most incompetent political party to exist in the nations history.

At a time when the nation is facing the possibility of another Depression, and is bogged down in two wars, the Democratic leadership has managed to bring all of its focus on the appointment of one of its own members to the Senate. Roland Burris, appointed by the Dems other nightmare, Blagojevich, appears to be acceptable under every criteria except that of who appointed him.

The Democratic leadership is trying to portray its refusal to seat Burris as all about principle. It is all about politics. In an effort to appear different than the Republicans, the Democrats immediately threw Blagojevich overboard when his problems became public after his arrest. Give them credit for not trying to hide it like the Republicans or smirking and winking in the Karl
Rove way. But when it comes right down to the Democrats and Blagojevich, any one who was half in the political loop knew he was sketchy. So when Harry Reid had his first discussion with Blago he already knew he was tainted but that didn't stop him from dealing with him then. Senator Reid seems more upset about being outmaneuvered by Blagojevich than any other factor. The reason that Reid and all the others in the Senate and throughout state government in Illinois could be so righteous in their condemnations was that they never thought even Blagojevich would have the gall (or balls) to appoint someone under the circumstances.

Give it up Reid and the rest of the Senate. Burris is just as qualified as any of the blue bloods and fossils in the House of Lords, I mean U.S. Senate.

Not grasping the message of the last election, that the American public wanted to completely repudiate the Bush years and the failings of the right, the Democrats seem to have figured out the only way to revive the Republican party - stupidity. Rather than arguing about the sideshow created by Gov. F-Bomb, they need to get on with dealing with the real problems of this country.

The stimulus package is already being delayed by the "need for cautious deliberation." (Where were the calls for "cautious deliberation" while our rights were being given away in the name of security.) Democrats, weakened already by infighting, are already caving to Republicans on the stimulus package. Republicans, who bear most of the responsibility for this damned mess, should sit down, shut up, and apologize for the next four years. But will they? Hell no! Even though they're wrong and they know it, they will never stop pushing for their goals of ripping off the public for the rich. Why won't they stop? Because no one gives up when fighting against an incompetent opponent.

Rather than dithering about seating Burris, the Democrats should immediately seat him and Al Franken. Then, whatever it takes, committee chair, etc., convince one of the few moderate Republicans (any one of the New England ones who must see the electoral writing on the wall) to switch parties to give the Democrats a 60 vote majority. That's what the Republicans would do if the situation was reversed.

But the Democrats won't, and that's why they're the Dumb-o-crats.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Cuba!

On January 1, 1959, the government of Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by a group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro. Batista, a dictator of the first order, only answered to his masters on the American mainland.

For the past 50 years the American government has attempted to overthrow Castro and subvert the revolution. A choking embargo has caused Cuba to exist on the brink of economic disaster, facing shortage after shortage. Yet the nation has endured.

A testament to the Cuban people, and its leaders, is the simple fact that the nation has endured. The embargo has done nothing but alienate Cubans from the U.S. and provide a focal point for resistance. Now is the time to end the embargo. Let it be a birthday present to the Cuban people. Viva la Revolution!

British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Costs

  • 11 workers killed in initial blast
  • Damage to Ocean Ecosystem
  • 35,000 to 60.000 Barrels of Oil Per Day. That's somewhere between 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 gallons a day or 150 to 300 million gallons already spilled into the ocean as of July 27th by that estimate.
  • Gulf Fisheries Industry
  • Gulf Tourism (ongoing costs)
  • Long Term Health Effects to Humans and Wildlife (to be determined)

Worst Oil Spills

  • Kuwait 1991 - 520 million gallons: Gulf War I
  • Gulf of Mexico 2010 - 206 million gallons: BP Oil
  • Mexico, Bay of Campiche 1979 - 140 million gallons: Pemex Oil
  • Trinidad & Tobago 1979 - 90 million gallons: Greek Oil Tanker Atlantic Empress
  • Russia 1983 - 84 million gallons: Leaky Pipeline collapsed into Kolva River
  • Iran 1983 - 80 million gallons: Tanker collided with Oil Platform
  • South Africa 1983 -79 million gallons:Tanker Castillo de Bellver sank
  • France 1978 - 69 million Gallons: Amoco Cadiz ran aground and broke in half.
  • Angola Coastal Waters (700 miles at sea) 1991 - 51-81 million gallons: ABT Summer exploded at sea.
  • Italy 1991 - 45 million gallons: M/T Haven Oil Tanker exploded.
  • Source: Mother Nature Network. The 13 largest oil spills in history. by Laura Moss. Friday July 16, 2010.

Nuclear Accidents (Under Construction)

  • 1957 Windscale, UK
  • 1961 Idaho Falls, Idaho, US
  • 1979 Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, US
  • 1984 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1985 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1986 Plymouth, Masachusetts, US
  • 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR
  • 1996 Waterford, Connecticut, US
  • 1989 Griefwald, Germany
  • 1999 Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • 2002 Oak Harbor, Ohio, US
  • 2004 Fukui Prefecture, Japan
  • Source: Benjamin Sovacool

Mining Disasters (Under Construction)

  • China 1942 - 1549 deaths
  • France 1906 - 1100 deaths
  • Japan 1963 - 447 deaths
  • Wales 1913 - 438 deaths
  • South Africa 1960 - 437 deaths
  • Source: Epic Disasters Website
  • Note: Do not look at the dates herein and conclue that mining disasters are a things of the past. Every year thousands of miners die worldwide in largely unreported accidents.

OIL IS OVER! - Resources

  • Hibbert's Peak - "The" source that explains why Oil is Over.
  • Tragedy of the Commons -Garrett Hardin
  • The Land Ethic - Aldo Leopold
  • Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight - Thom Hartmann
  • Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching


  • The Dirt People - Ray Bawarchi (yes, that's me)
  • The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham
  • Demian - Herman Hesse
  • Black Elk Speaks - Black Elk (as told to R. Neimur)
  • The Quiet Don - Mikhail Sholokov
  • Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  • Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Delicious Laughter - Jallahudin Rumi
  • The Sybil - Par Lagerksvitz
  • The Fixer - Bernard Malamud
  • Spirits Rebellious - Khalil Gibran
  • The Quiet American - Graham Greene
  • Midaq Alley - Nagib Mafouz
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Farenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  • We - Yevgeny Zamyatin


  • John Coltrane - St. John the Divine
  • Patti Smith
  • The Clash - the only band that matters
  • Billy Bragg
  • Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
  • Art Blakey
  • Death - pre-punk visionaries from Detroit
  • PJ Harvey - Polly Jean, Polly Jean
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Michael Franti (Spearhead)
  • Public Enemy
  • Ray Charles - the Genius
  • Bob Dylan
  • Velvet Underground
  • Flaming Lips
  • John Doe & X
  • The Beatles

opiate of the masses

  • God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. - Voltaire
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and inellect has intended us to forgo their use. - Galileo Galilei
  • The ink of a scholar is worth far more than the blood of a martyr.- Mohammad
  • If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. - Sheldon Kopp
  • No one will be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Louisa Mae Alcott
  • When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.- Voltaire
  • If God were alive today, he'd be an athiest. - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The god I worship is not short of cash, Mister. - Bono
  • Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine. My sins they only belong to me. - Patti Smith
  • God sure baked a lot of fruitcake baby, when Adam met the Eden lady. - Joe Strummer