Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where Were Our Leaders?

On the same day that it was revealed that the CIA had destroyed 92 tapes of interrogation of detainees, nine (9) secret legal opinions of the Bush (mis)Administration were revealed by the Justice Department. Taken together, these reveal a culture of lawlessness, and contempt for the Constitution and the basis of common law.

George Bush apparently claimed powers not seen since King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. In addition, his administration's obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence made Nixon's men look like a bunch of schoolgirls.

First the destruction of evidence. The CIA's torture tapes have been the source of numerous lawsuits filed by the ACLU and other groups trying to penetrate the wall of secrecy of the Bush (mis)Administration. At first denied to exist, we now find that 92 of these tapes were destroyed. If the destruction of 92 pieces of evidence is not a sign of knowingly committing wrongdoing, what is?

More frightening than the destruction of evidence, are the purported legal opinions under which the Bush-ites operated. To catalog these rulings here would be prohibitive, but just this one quote is horrifying enough, "First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully." In other words, dissent would be suppressed. Other opinions swept aside the Posse Comitatus Act, suggested that Congress had no power to limit the president, justified warrant-less arrests and domestic spying. In essence, these rulings effectively suspended the U.S. Constitution.

To believe that no one in Congress, that no one in the Justice Department, that no one at all was aware of what was in these memos strains credulity. Everyone was informed. This was official operating policy. Where was the outcry? Members of Congress, such as Nancy Pelosi, are now hiding behind the idea that to have blown the whistle would have been a violation of national security.

Subversion of the Constitution is a violation of national security. Would that politicians were as interested in preserving the principles of our nation as they are at preserving their political careers. All those who knew and did nothing: treason would seem to be the appropriate charge.

And where were the Republicans in all this? Bush, after all, was a member of their own party. It was their duty, especially as the party in power at the time, to stop him. Instead, they acted with complicity. To hear some off them howl now that they are out of power that they are concerned about the Constitution is just sheer hypocrisy. Where were they when the country needed them?

This aggression must not stand. Leaders of this nation have committed crimes against WE, THE PEOPLE. Hearings and commissions are not enough. They must be held accountable. Otherwise, the Constitution must be viewed as it has become, a nice fiction that we once made real. What hath George Bush wrought?

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. mnn.com. 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