Bob Higgins

Blackwater: Too Much To Hope For Change

Posted in News, Politics by Bob Higgins on August 24, 2010
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Eric "The Shadow" Prince

The suspected criminals at Blackwater or Xe or Rent a Thug or whatever they call themselves these days, settled with the suspected criminals at the state department for 42 million bucks, which after their instant cash register rebate means that for 30 million bucks it’s back to business as usual.

42 million, oops make that 30 million, worth of whitewash and wrist slap.

But hey, a little creative padding in the first few contracts and they’ll be back in the red in no time.

The mere fact that we’re still doing business with these criminals makes it clear, at least to me, that the same criminals are still running the State and Defense as well as various other departments.

So much for change and hope. It was always too much to hope that this bullshit would ever change.

State Department Details Blackwater Violations of US Laws

A Portent in Tafalla?

Posted in Environment, News by Bob Higgins on August 19, 2010

An 1100 pound bull weary at the taunting of spectators attending his performance in a bullring in Tafalla, Spain went on what looks like an indignant rampage. Leaping and climbing two barriers he stormed thirty feet into a frightened, scattering crowd tossing, trampling and goring at will.

The angry bull injured forty people, many of them children before being brought under control.

I can’t help having the feeling that this is a portent that the Earth and many of its creatures have had quite enough of us. Whether it’s tens of thousands of fish swimming ashore to die or bulls leaping into crowds in blind rage at their mistreatment at our hands, we may be witnessing what is only the beginning of a universal expression of dissatisfaction with our performance on this tortured planet.

From NPR: Bull Leaps Into Bullring Stands In Spain, 40 Hurt

The Mosque: Courage, Truth and the Law

Posted in News, Politics, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on August 17, 2010
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The President And Daughter Sasha Swimming Off Alligator Point

Private Beach At Marriot Near Alligator Point

Alligator Point Near Panama City Shown In Relation To Gulf Of Mexico

The current hoo-hah over President Obama’s public statement of the obvious, that Muslims have the same rights as everyone else, to worship, to speak, to petition the government for redress, to get jiggy, and just about whatever, Dude, has had the media, the Republicans and a few chicken shit Democrats obsessing through the weekend and deep into today, with no end in sight.

This is, as usual, being driven by the same gang of Republicans who really don’t give a damn about the siting of this Islamic cultural center but do care deeply about sticking a knife in every vulnerable patch of flesh that the President and his party expose to their efforts.

They hope only to drive a wedge between the electorate, at least the fraction of it that cares about this sort of nonsense and the Prez and Democrats in general.

It is also, of course, being fanned by the completely irresponsible news media whose only concerns are notoriety, ratings, advertising dollars and maintaining a shallow pretext of objectivity.

This sort of behavior is a constant with Republicans, creating a large issue out of nothing, finding a mountain where all that exists is a molehill and wasting the public’s time picking fly shit out of pepper. (more…)

Juggalos,Tila Tequila, Pop Culture, “Understanding The Dynamic?”

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on August 15, 2010
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Some time Saturday while I was engaged in writing a piece about some of the deranged politicians who “walk among us,” in the sleepy little hamlet of Carterville, in southern Illinois, (Pop. 4000) at a gathering of the possibly insane, a celebrity, model, and “actress,” named “Tila Tequila” was attacked by a crowd of hundreds of something called Juggalos, pelted with “huge stone rocks,” beer bottles, and if reports are to be believed, the contents of a nearby latrine.

Downtown Carterville

I’ve never heard of Juggalos, apparently they are followers or fans of a “hip hop” group called “Insane Clown Posse” that records for Psychopathic Records. Honest, I’m not making this up.

Being aware of the facts in the sentence above, (I must assume there were signs, handbills, posters, etc.) I’m forced to wonder why any reasonable person would  mount the stage to “perform” or whatever it is that Ms. Tequila” does.

Voluntarily, that is, I understand that mounting the gallows is usually done under some duress.

What triggered the crowd’s reaction or if this was part of the tradition and on the program, has not been being divulged, but a witness reported that: (more…)

Sharron Angle: Remaking America on the Pinochet Model

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on August 14, 2010
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Sharron Angle, the Tea Bagger running against Harry Reid for the Senate in Nevada says that we should use Augusto Pinochet’s model of privatization as a guide for reforming our social security system.

Yes, Pinochet, the infamous fascist dictator and Nixon/Kissinger ally who engineered the subjugation of Chilean democracy in the 1970s.

Above Sharron Angle On The Unemployed

Pinochet seized power from the democratically elected government of  Salvador Allende in a bloody, US backed military coup d’état in 1973.

Through torture, terror, murder, with the assistance of the CIA and corporate America his brutal regime held power until 1990.

This may be where Angle discovered her admiration for the “Second Amendment Solution” that she has recommended for removing Harry Reid and other people she deems “socialists.”

She wants to privatize Social Security along the Chilean model. This from Oskar Garcia at the Associated Press yesterday:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate says the nation’s Social Security system needs to be privatized, and that it was done before in the South American country of Chile.

Angle referred to Chile at the opening of a campaign office in North Las Vegas while explaining previous statements that the United States should phase out its Social Security system.

“When I said privatize, that’s what I meant,” she said Thursday.

“I thought we would have to go just to the private sector for a template on how this is supposed to be done,” Angle said. “However, I’ve since been studying, and Chile has done this.”

The Angle campaign quite naturally tried to walk her statements back a few paces but this puff of steam ain’t going back in the kettle. (more…)

Thousands of Undocumented Aliens Invade New Jersey

Posted in Environment, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on August 13, 2010

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I don’t know what’s causing tens of thousands of fish to die and wash up on New Jersey beaches. There’s speculation that toxicity is involved but no evidence has been reported to support that, so far.

It’s also possible that exceptionally warm water temperatures are causing low oxygen conditions and the fish are suffocating.

On some level I have a feeling that we’ve poisoned the oceans to a point that the fish, many of them, have said “the hell with it” and simply decided to move on in a kind of reverse “dust bowl” desperation and to try the landlubber’s life. (more…)

10 More Years In Iraq, We Must Stay So We Can Leave

Posted in News, Politics, Veterans News by Bob Higgins on August 12, 2010

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Now That's a General!

Before I had a chance to finish my first cup of coffee this morning I was swatted with the news (from Al Jazeera) that Iraq says we “must stay until 2020.”

This shocking news came from Lieutenant General Babaker Zerbari and therein lies the crux of the problem.  Zerbari is a Lieutenant General and Iraq’s most senior military officer.

We send Lieutenant Generals out for coffee and donuts in the morning. We have Bird Colonels sharpening pencils and Major Generals escorting defense lobbyists to strip clubs.

The Iraqis obviously know nothing about running a military operation and haven’t been paying attention these last seven years.

Why they would expect to get significant results, the record of victories that our military leadership is known for with such junior people running the show is beyond me.

Zerbari says that his forces aren’t ready to take over, this in spite of our years of  rigorous training and the payment of countless billions of dollars to every level of Iraq’s military just to get them to fall in at roll call in the morning. (more…)

Morning Reads in Flyover City

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on August 11, 2010

Imperial Airliner, London 1930s

Light Sweet Crude… and Cookies

Posted in Environment, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on August 10, 2010

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Light Sweet Crude Tastes Just Like These Cookies

I turned on the news this morning and instantly received my first commercial message of the day. You’ve probably seen it, it’s a pitch from Time Warner which offers up well scrubbed “employees” who spend thirty seconds or so reading a script designed to convince us that they are “Moms,” “Dads,” and regular working schleps, just like us… pardon that – just like me.

Not to single out Time Warner here, they are no better or worse than the average avaricious media giant or the other corrupt and abusive corporations that rule our lives and will soon take complete control of our public affairs following the infamous “Citizens United” case.

There is a lot of this, I guess it’s Astroturf marketing, the attempt to convince the rubes that “Citizens for Fair Taxes,” or “Patriots for Freedom,” (two fictional groups that I just made up) were created by, and are composed of, Ma and Pa Kettle “American Gothic” types rather than plutocrats and public relations land sharks with agendas and vested interests completely inimical to the facade created by their homey and benign sounding names, like… “Citizens United.” (more…)

Disappearing Oil and Gulf Seafood: Passing the Sniff Test

Posted in Environment, Labor Health and Safety, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on August 6, 2010

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For the last several days I’ve watched and read a steady stream of media coverage on the miraculous disappearance of more than a hundred million gallons of oil from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank on April 20 killing 11 workers the NOAA estimates that 206 million gallons of “light sweet crude” spewed  from BP’s Macondo well field, fouling the waters of the Gulf,  shutting down much of the commerce of the surrounding region and creating a giant toxic bouillabaisse in which now swim whatever critters managed to survive poisoning, suffocation,  or being roasted alive.

Click on the Image for Full Size and NOAA Report

The Feds now say, as reported by the NYT, that 76% of the mess has either been picked up on the beaches, skimmed from the surface, captured by the containment process or burned off.  (I suppose breathing this stuff in the air as particulates is “perfectly safe.”)

At the risk of seeming a “Chicken Little” I’d like to point out that even if the reports of this “great disappearing” are true what is left  is something on the order of 50 million gallons of crud in the Gulf or about the same as 5 Exxon Valdez spills.

So, while BP, the Government and our happy-go-lucky news media are fighting for places on the “where did all the oil go” bandwagon I see no cause for celebration.

I completely understand that everyone in the area wants to look out their windows and see people thronging to the beaches and fighting for restaurant reservations. They naturally “want their lives back, ” and deservedly so, but because I have long experience (due to my status as a “geezer”) listening to lies from government, lies from business and lies from the media, I’m not buying it just yet. (more…)