Bob Higgins

The Next Greatest Threat

Posted in Environment by Bob Higgins on February 14, 2009
Photo by Belize.com
Over the last several years as more people, organizations and governments began to take the prospect of global warming and human influenced climate change more seriously there has arisen a kind of 60 cycle background hum over the potential dangers of social unrest, disease, famine and mass movements of populations resulting from such change.

A few days ago while randomly browsing on the web I read an article at the Kansas City Star that sent a quick chill through my bloodstream: “Intelligence director: Worldwide economic crisis top U.S. security threat.
The story, by McClatchy writer Warren Strobel detailed remarks to congress made Monday by National Security Director Dennis Blair, who in a significant break with the Bush administration policy of treating terrorism and weapons proliferation as the greatest threats to national security, gave clues that new focus would center on the potential social unrest resulting from the world financial crisis.

Retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair said the worldwide economic downturn could spawn political instability across the globe, hamper U.S. allies and drain support for the American-led international free-trading system.”Time is probably our greatest threat,” Blair said in prepared remarks before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests.”

A day later the Washington Post’s Walter Pincus and Joby Warrick quoted Blair (in the same remarks to congress) as saying this:

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Centrists, bi partisans, fence sitters, everywhere

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on February 10, 2009

My parents and grandparents were all Democrats; most of the time. In spite of that fact they had their reactionary moments, my grandmother, for instance, never forgave Roosevelt for sending Dad off to “fight a foreign war” and Dad himself, voted for Reagan for which I will never forgive him.

As a seven year old second grader at Ruskin school in Dayton I wore an “I like Ike” button (given to me by my Grandmother) to school. I had no idea who “Ike” was or why I liked him but wearing the button pleased Grandma and kept the cookies flowing so I wore the button. This, I believe, is how lobbyists and other political whores are born.

I wish I still had that button; it’s probably worth a case of good rum on eBay.

That was my last flirtation with Republicanism and I hope that I may be forgiven for it. I still bear the shame of that scarlet “R.”

In general, I don’t like Republicans, their politics, their world view, the way they support capital at the expense of labor. I don’t like their policies whether economic, domestic or foreign, their hypocritical embracing of “family values,” their careful coddling of “Christian” extremists and the upper tiers of our society to whom they lend their allegiance, none of it.

In my life I have seen 36 years of Republican presidencies and 28 years and 1 month of Democratic leadership. I vastly prefer the latter. I hope for more of it.

The battle over the “stimulus bill” and the oft expressed desire of our new president and many on the left of the aisle to be non, or bi, or post-partisan is something that I find disturbing, worse, I find it somewhat cowardly.

Tens, hundreds of thousands of people worked and fought, spoke and scraped up funds for Democratic victory through all the horrible years of the Bush debacle and they deserve Democratic leadership.

They did not sign on to hear “if you give us a few more tuna sandwiches for the poor we’ll give you more tax deductions for the wealthy and federal subsidies for Foie gras and second homes.”

I understand, as well as anyone can who is out of the loop, living, as I do, in a flyover state, the ugly machinations of American politics and the unfortunate need for occasional “compromise” with interests that are antithetical to one’s personal principals, but, there are times when lines must be drawn, make that etched, in the sand and not crossed.

This is such a time.

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