Living With It

Almost as a companion piece to my 3,000+ word bloviation posted this last week is this introspection from Esquire:

What the Hell Just Happened? A Look Back at the Last Eight Years

“The ironies of the Bush Years were ironies that exposed the consequences of our assent, guided — missile ironies that were unerringly aimed at point after point of the American creed, which began 2001 as the foundation of our belief and ended 2008 as the scaffolding of our credulity. America does not attack countries that have not attacked us. America does not torture. America takes care of its own. America follows the rule of law. America’s laws are built upon the principle of habeas corpus. America’s distinction is its system of checks and balances. American democracy is the inspiration of the world, and American capitalism the envy. America is better than that, no matter what ‘that’ might be.”


“The irony, then, was irony of a new kind, an irony of incessant exposure, authored by technology that was at once decentralized and corporatist, democratizing without necessarily being democratic. The technology of distributed digitized information — the Internet — became the primary means by which we freed ourselves from the administration’s overarching and overreaching narrative, and at the same time the means by which we were implicated in it.”

It’s an indictment of sorts. And one I take a special care in reading, as a budding entrepreneur who started a couple of businesses during the Bush years.

“Because over the last eight years — since our president rejected the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001 — what we’ve done with global warming is what we’ve done with the war on terror and the war in Iraq and the authorization and outsourcing of torture and the creation of a security state and the creation of an insecurity state, in terms of the marketplace: We’ve lived with it.”

I think this is the reason that while I’m hopeful (probably naively so; there’s another post for another day…), we’ve lived through a few shitstorms these past eight years and we’ll likely see a few more essays and rants from people who need to get it out of their system. Then we can start whining about the mistakes the Obama administration is making.

I’m hoping to be able to make the time to write more this year, with my goal to explain myself and my views better. I’m going to keep the photography going as well. Now that it’s close to February, seems like I need to get cracking.

January 31, 2009 Link

  • faydean

    Did I just read correctly…did you say “we can start whining about the mistakes the Obama administration is making”????

    OMG, I think I just might have had a heart attack.

    Nope, just indigestion…but still, this has rocked my world, LOL.

    Seriously Jon, I’d like to make a request if I could.

    Would you mind doing a post about how you back up your photos. You guys just talked about your organizing and such. I’d like to know exactly how you organize your photos and how many levels of backup you do…do you just write to external drives and burn DVDS (how many, just one or two) and then upload off site too to Flickr or such.

    Any help here would be GREATLY appreciated. I have 10,000 photos that need to be properly backed up…they are somewhat now, but I never feel it’s completely enough. I don’t want to waste my time being too careful though.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you might give on this!

    • blurb

      I’d warn you about being off-topic for the second half of your comment, but I’ve got a workflow post coming up. I’ve been working on it for awhile. Patience.

      • faydean

        I knew you’d call me out for it, LOL.

        Sorry…I sort of thought I was addressing your intention of writing more in the coming year anyway :).

        Can’t wait to read the workflow post.

  • Elaine in the UK

    Re “whining about the mistakes the Obama administration is making”, my only concern at this stage is that the poor guy is only human! So much of the world seems to be looking on him as some sort of superman. What a weight of responsibility to carry!

    I suddenly found myself thinking of the quote from the Monty Python film, ‘Life of Brian’ : “He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

    Of course, I don’t mean Obama is a naughty boy, but please let’s not forget that he isn’t the messiah! – Not that I believe in messiahs. Sheesh! This comment is getting confused! I guess I’ll just leave now … ;-D

  • ikarl67

    Whoa , the President didn’t reject the Kyoto treaty in 2001, Byrd Hagle made it clear we would not accept such treaties in 1997 by a vote of 99-0. Clinton never sent it to the Senate.
    But as the art says , It was Bush’s fault. The guy sucked, but the BDS has got to stop.

    • blurb

      I assume you are referring to this:

      From the wikipedia (

      On 25 July 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98),[68][69] which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations as well as industrialized nations or “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States”. On 12 November 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[70] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

      Bush had a chance to affirm the Kyoto treaty. He did not, citing (again, from the wikipedia link above):

      “This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort; ours, and the rest of the world’s. The world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is the People’s Republic of China. Yet, China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet, India was also exempt from Kyoto … America’s unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary, my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change … Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”

      From a quick google search:

      From conservatives:

      I think it’s fair to say that Bush’s claim in a “leadership role” on climate change was largely window dressing.


      It’s hard not to dismiss conservative viewpoints when something like this is expressed:

      ikarl, name 10 great things Bush did in office. GREAT. Not good. The ledger is against him and the GOP.

      Also, your use of the acronym “BDS” is typical of conservative talking point regurgitation that I mentioned here. You want to play it that way, that’s your prerogative.

      • ikarl67

        I fully admit that Bush was not a good leader and no I can’t name 10 GREAT things he did, very sad since he had 8 years. However, I would also argue that Bush is not representative of a true conservative. As a matter-of -fact, fiscally, he wasn’t a conservative at all. The W administration is what has made me ponder the move from libertarian to Libertarian.
        My point on the “BDS” ( which I prefaced with “he sucked” ) is that I don’t think the same standards are being applied to leaders both pre and post W.
        Conservative viewpoints on climate change ( and these aren’t really a matter of political ideology as they are of science) are hardly reflected in the webpage you cited.
        I know this is your blog and as such everything is your prerogative, but finding the most ridiculous blog available that states an opinion opposite your own and then using it as an example of why conservative viewpoints should be easily dismissed is no exactly an invitation to fair and open dialog.
        Serious, legitimate concerns and questions of the data and the modeling can be found at :
        As far as your post the other day, I started to read it, but when I couldn’t find pictures of Coco, I got sad and went to failblog. (Example of my smartassery. Appreciate the chance for dialog and your views. Thanks )

  • tthomas48

    I can already comment on a mistake. Obama has not made public transit a top priority in the stimulus plan. While no one is for it right now with our cheap gas. When gas hits $4-6/gallon again this summer the public is going to be wondering loudly why he didn’t make the hard decision to build what the public needs, rather than what it wants.
    Of course, while he can only direct congress. He is not congress itself, so only so much fault can rest with him. But he should have made it a bigger priority if only to insulate himself from the whining of the people who are currently buying those great “deals” that GM is offering, when they can no longer afford their gasoline bill.

    • blurb

      I agree that public transit should be a higher priority. Repairing, extending and creating rail would create jobs and be smart, long-term.

      • Josh Ames

        Unfortunately the Republicans are so clueless about this that they are even against relatively inexpensive bike paths. Spending big money on more expensive mass-transit projects would probably make their heads explode.

  • nobody

    all caps rants deleted as inconsiderate.

    please, go read orwell — politics and the english language — very, very important

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