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.

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