Bob Higgins

Sanity Restored? Lace Up the Gloves and Get Back to Work

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Election 2010, Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 31, 2010
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Rally to Restore Sanity

I watched the “Rally to Restore Sanity” without expectation of a political satori or anything other than a good time. I was a little disappointed with the comedy, I expected more but realized that in order to tone it down and balance it out in the spirit of the day they just managed to make it slightly lame.

I’m not a fan of rap or hip hop but Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe turned out a couple of great moments and Bonnie Whitmore, the backup singer and bass player with Hayes Carll was fantastic.

I woke up this morning and cable was filled with campaign ads so I hit the mute button while I made coffee. Thinking to myself that the ads would stop in a couple of days and we could begin suffering from the post election analysis I fired up the computing beast. (more…)

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Vote For The Environment

Posted in Election 2010, Environment, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 29, 2010
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Please vote for the environment and urge your friends to do the same.

EnvironmentForward these 12 Environmental Facts to 5 friends.

Next Tuesday a schoolteacher from Connecticut, an organic farmer from California, and a biologist from Colorado will cast their ballots with at least one thing in common – they will have read this and they will be even more determined to vote to protect our planet.

At my polling station in Dayton, Ohio I will add my voice to theirs and cast my ballot for the environment.

And I will forward this to my friends and family to urge them to vote at least in part on how our candidates will treat our natural world.

Will you join us?

Please pledge to vote for the environment this Tuesday, November 2nd (more…)

Rally to Restore Sanity: Mock On Dudes!

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Election 2010, Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 27, 2010
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Colbert and Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity

Rally to Restore Sanity: Mock On Dudes!

The grousing and bitching, whining and backbiting over the “Rally to Restore Sanity” has begun well in advance of the event itself. Apparently there is a belief in some quarters that comedy and comedians shouldn’t be taken seriously and there is no place for levity in the world of politics or political activism.

Tell that to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl or Aristophanes. There is always time to poke fun at the political world and its pretenders, to deride the arrogance and pomposity that rises like scud to obscure the surface of our public affairs.

Stewart and Colbert are at once being accused of “taking themselves too seriously” and making a “mockery of our political system.” To the first I say, wait for the rally. I’ll bet any seriousness will be found buried in a barrel of fun beneath a heap of laughter. (more…)

Britain’s Largest Red Deer Slaughtered For Sport

Posted in Environment, News by Bob Higgins on October 26, 2010
The Exmoor Emperor Englands Largest Deer, Killed For "Sport"

The Exmoor Emperor - Photo by: me'nthedogs/Creative Commons

[Editor’s note: The magnificent, beautiful animal pictured at left is, or rather was said to be the largest wild animal in all of Britain. The giant red deer was found shot to death recently. The killer is said to have been a licensed hunter.

Two questions: Who would kill a such a creature for “sport?” Who would sell a license to commit such an atrocious and unnecessary act? Bob Higgins]

The story from : Tree Hugger:

The Exmoor Emperor, standing over nine feet tall and weighing over 300 pounds, was thought to be the largest wild animal in all of Britain. That title, however, is up for grabs since the giant red deer was recently found shot dead.

Believed to be the work of a licensed hunter, the kill occurred within the confines of the law but the shooting has raised questions about red deer hunting in England. (more…)

BP’s Bob Dudley and His Latest Big Lying Whine

Posted in Environment, History, Labor Health and Safety, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 25, 2010
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BP's Brown Pelican

The "Brown" Pelican, BP's New Logo

Bob Dudley, the BP head suit who was chosen to replace former BP head suit Tony “Hapless” Hayward is now whining piteously that the media and BP’s oil industry rivals helped to create a “climate of fear” last summer when BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico creating a giant, months long gusher of crude oil, crippling the ecology and the economy of much of the Gulf coast.

I feel his pain, it’s a terrible thing that poor little Bob Dudley was forced to face a climate of fear after the incompetence and negligence of the BP executive suite led to the violent deaths of eleven workers on the ill fated drilling platform and the largest environmental disaster in US history. How awful it must have been for Bob Dudley to face that climate of fear. (more…)

Iraq War Logs: Frago 242 – A License To Torture

Posted in History, News, Politics, Veterans News by Bob Higgins on October 25, 2010
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[Editor’s note: Since the 9/11 attacks on US soil, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, torture has often been the first choice when questioning terror suspects. That sad fact hasn’t changed under a new administration, just kept better hidden. It makes no difference whether we are administering torture ourselves or farming out the task to other brutal regimes through euphemistically named programs like “extraordinary rendition” or simply turning our heads while the Iraqis do the job, we are complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In the video below The Real News pries the lid back a bit and allows a glimpse into the savage and brutal world of state sanctioned torture. Bob Higgins]

Released US military files reveal an instruction to ignore detainee abuse by Iraqi authorities

How the newly released US military files reveal an instruction to ignore detainee abuse and torture by Iraqi authorities; what that meant on the ground; and just how far up the chain of command the order went.

Tea Party: “Is There a Difference Between Cinco de Mayo and Chinese New Year”?

Posted in Election 2010, Financial Crime, History, News, Politics, Religion by Bob Higgins on October 22, 2010
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Political Advertising

Fight Citizens United by Filtering Out False Political Advertising

The mid term elections of 2010 have been memorable for sheer goofiness as well as for the corporate funded blanket of ugly, false and misleading political advertising that has been lowered over the public airwaves. With the addition of a mountainous heap of money provided by greedy plutocrats, election cycles have become national holidays from reason and sanity that fall between their mates, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I have little trouble tuning out most of this detestable crud, knowing as I do that it’s filled with half truths, distortions and bold faced lies. In this sense the supreme court’s licensing of corporate political advertising in campaign ads is little different from the every day advertising for goods and services that absorb a large percentage of air time on nearly every channel.

I’m not a believer, I don’t buy disposable mop heads that promise to revolutionize my life, or small sheets of fabric to place in the dryer to protect myself from static cling. The hundreds of millions that corporate America is spending on this election is wasted on me and on anyone else who doesn’t believe that signing up for a “free” credit report will improve your credit or that tax protection and relief ads which promise to negotiate with the IRS will actually do anything but empty your pockets more efficiently. (more…)

Citizens United: Before, After, What’s Next?

Posted in Election 2010, Guest Columns, Lisa Rosenberg, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 21, 2010

Citizens United: Before, After, What’s Next?

Supreme Court Citizens United

Supreme Court reacts to President Obama's mention of the Citizens United case at the State of the Union Address

By Lisa Rosenberg, Sunlight Foundation Blog

The Citizens United case was a game changer in terms of money being spent by outside groups on the 2010 elections—but the question is, how much? This primer (included below) provides a detailed explanation of the before and after, and also includes Sunlight’s policy recommendations for new disclosures needed to ensure that that the midterms don’t become a practice run for even more massive spending in 2012. It’s complicated, but boiled down to its essentials, the key points are these:
• Before Citizens United, if a corporation or labor union wanted to make an independent expenditure—an ad expressly calling for the election or defeat of a specific candidate—it was prohibited from using money from its general treasury. It had to use limited voluntary contributions from its PAC. (more…)

15 GigaWatts of Solar in US by 2015?

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on October 13, 2010

 

10 Gigs of Solar by 2015

 

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

A new report out by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, the inaugural U.S. Solar Market Insight™ report, finds that solar power is going to continue its growth in the United States and is actually going to increase exponentially in the years to come.

2010 has been the best year ever for solar power in the United States, but much more is expected in the future. “Solar is now the fastest growing energy industry in the U.S., employing nearly 100,000 Americans and generating billions of dollars of economic growth for our economy,”

Read more:  Clean Technica

Open Range? Get Off My Lawn

Posted in Environment, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 12, 2010
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Open Range

Painting: Open Range by Kimball Warren

Open Range

“Open range,” The term conjures images of cowboys and the west, of black and white movies, barbed wire, and cattlemen pitted against sheepherders and homesteaders in black and white struggles.
The wars over open range still rage today, the cattlemen are still there, although they’re more likely to saddle up a pickup truck than an Appaloosa gelding. The fences are there as well, a regular chore in ranching, keeping the cattle where you want them and off the roads where you don’t want them means staying after the fences.

I don’t know what happened to the sheepherders, wearied of the same tired old plot lines I suppose and just moved on. (more…)

Donald Duck Meets Glen Beck

Posted in Financial Crime, Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2010
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By Jonathan McIntosh, Rebellious Pixels

This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed using dozens of classic Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s. Donald’s life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck.

Will Donald’s feelings of disenfranchisement lead him to be persuaded by his radio’s increasingly paranoid and divisive rhetoric? Or will our favorite Disney duck decide that this voice is not actually on his side after all? Watch and find out! (more…)

Marty Kaplin: Waiting for Sanityman: Can Jon Stewart Save America?

Posted in Guest Columns, Marty Kaplan, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2010

Waiting for Sanityman: Can Jon Stewart Save America?

By Marty Kaplin

The fate of our country won’t be decided by a politician. It will be determined by a comedian.

Not long before Jon Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity, he told a New York magazine writer why he and his crew on The Daily Show would never do something like that. “We’re not activists,” he said. “Maybe the nice thing about being a comedian is never having full belief in yourself to know the answer. So you can say all this stuff, but underneath, you’re going, ‘But of course, I’m f—ing idiotic.’ It’s why we don’t lead a lot of marches.”

Read more at Huffington Post

Waiting for Jewman

By Marty Kaplin

Jon Stewart did his show, business as usual, on Rosh Hashanah this year. That night, when his interview guest, Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, greeted him with “Happy New Year,” Stewart looked uncharacteristically nonplussed for a nanosecond, before replying, “What? Huh? See you in Times Square tonight.” (more…)

Yoga, The Enemy of Christianity?

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Religion by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2010
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Letting The Demons In

Christians, at least the fundamentalist or evangelical version, if you listen to them, will likely tell you that they are under attack, in fact suffering from persecution.

These attacks are coming at them from all quarters, the dark world of Islam, the secular humanists, Teletubbies, the fiction of Dan Brown, and now…get ready, Yoga.

In this video Mark Martin and Wendy Griffith of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) inform the audience that Yoga can be dangerous to Christians because it “contains a spiritual component.” (more…)

Rich Idiot Teabagger Enjoys Nazi Drag, Playing At War, Running For Congress

Posted in Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2010
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Click on the Image for a video of these birds playing at war.

 

Each day brings us closer to the mid term election and it seems that as we advance the level of crazy gets cranked ever higher.

The Republican “Young Gun,” Teabagger candidate for Ohio’s 9th congressional district is a millionaire retired grocer from Columbus.  This guy, Rich Iott (irony atop irony) enjoys dressing up as a Nazi soldier and playing  war in the rolling hills of northeast Ohio with a jolly band of fellow lovers of SS drag.

The Waffen SS was notorious for their record of war crimes.  I understand that in Germany merely wearing an SS uniform can get you time in jail.

I wonder, on their Sunday outings, do they reenact the war crimes? (more…)

“Pledge of Allegiance” Not Mandatory, Judge Should Reverse Himself

Posted in News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 9, 2010
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School children reciting pledge while performing the "Bellamy Salute" (circa 1940)"

 

[Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to credit Francis Bellamy as the author of the pledge. I originally credited the eighteenth century pirate Charles Bellamy but he got enough free stuff. Thanks to an alert reader, Ryan H. for spotting the error. My apologies to everyone from the 19th century still among us who may have been offended. Bob Higgins]

Danny Lampley a 42 year old attorney in Tupelo, Mississippi was jailed Wednesday after refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance in court.

Chancellor Talmadge Littlejohn had the attorney hauled off to the slammer after he stood mute during the recital of the pledge.

The 42 year old attorney spent part of the day in jail, an eventuality he hadn’t expected and was released and returned to court by Littlejohn who declined to comment. (more…)

Misdirected Class Warfare? Yeah, We Need To Start At The Top

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on October 8, 2010
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class warfare

Class Warfare ?

President Obama has once again taken his case to the people and around here we’re glad to see it.

He’s attacking the Bush tax cuts, the moneyed class who claim that they would have to close off a few bedrooms without them, thereby putting a chambermaid out of work, and the Republican prison guards who begin fibrillating at the thought of losing that chambermaid they had grown so fond of.

The country is teetering at the precipice of bankruptcy because it has been fleeced by its wealthiest and most powerful people and corporations and now that the working classes are on the ropes, out of work, behind on the rent, the ruling class wants more.

There are torches in the woods carried by folks in evening wear and I’m hearing shouts of “down with the minimum wage,” “privatize social security,” “let them work till eighty,” “the people are spoiled,” and they’re worried abut “class warfare?” (more…)

Justice Stevens Dissent in Citizens United V Federal Election Commission

Posted in Financial Crime, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 7, 2010

Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Ginsburg , Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor join, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

The real issue in this case concerns how, not if, the appellant may finance its electioneering. Citizens United is a wealthy nonprofit corporation that runs a political action committee (PAC) with millions of dollars in assets. Under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), it could have used those assets to televise and promote Hillary: The Movie wherever and whenever it wanted to. It also could have spent unrestricted sums to broadcast Hillary at any time other than the 30 days before the last primary election. Neither Citizens United’s nor any other corporation’s speech has been “banned,” ante , at 1. All that the parties dispute is whether Citizens United had a right to use the funds in its general treasury to pay for broadcasts during the 30-day period. The notion that the First Amendment dictates an affirmative answer to that question is, in my judgment, profoundly misguided. Even more misguided is the notion that the Court must rewrite the law relating to campaign expenditures by for-profit corporations and unions to decide this case. (more…)

A Response to ‘Rennaissance’ in Profiles in Cowardice

Posted in News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 7, 2010

Robert J. Elisberg takes some of the more notorious teabaggers to task for their rabbit like timidity when faced with the press unless the interviewer is a firm supporter or a niece or nephew. A commenter takes issue and complains about Katie couric’s treatment of Palin in that long ago interview.

This is a response to a commenter (rennaissance) to Robert Elisberg’s Profiles in Cowardice at Huff Post this morning.

renaissance comments:

So you can’t seem to understand how “What newspapers do you read?” is a “Gotcha” question..
It is demeaning, and insulting, and disrespectful, to treat an accomplished Governor as if they do not read, or can’t read somehow, and have never picked up a newspaper.

Higgins’ response

She comported herself and spoke in terms that lead people to believe that she was somewhat under-informed. There is nothing demeaning about journalists inquiring into the bona fides of a candidate. “What books or magazines do you read” is a standard question from journalism 101. Unfortunately for Ms Palin the “gotcha” question caused her to flunk “Candidate 101” and she went on to flunk “Governor 101.” (more…)

Tell Teabaggers and Plutocrats Alike: NO! Vote Democratic

Posted in Environment, Financial Crime, Humor, News, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on October 7, 2010
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In an essay at Huff Post yesterday, ” Obama’s Critics Are Dead Wrong” Frank Schaeffer wrote:

“Before he’d served even one year, President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds — are sticking with our president. Why? Because he is succeeding. Obama’s critics from the left and right are going to be proved dead wrong.

We Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.

Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s lefty critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and his critics on the right will be remembered as nothing but shriveled hate mongers.”

I’m wildly ambivalent about Frank’s post. I don’t know what he intends with the use of “lefty” here, but I’m a liberal, I’m disappointed with the rate of progress of the Obama administration, I’m not panicky nor easily distracted and I agree and disagree with Schaeffer at the same time.

Did Obama and the Dems get dealt a bad hand? Yes. They were dealt what Bud Abbot told Lou Costello was a “fliddly diddly” as Bud claimed the pot. “What’s that?” Lou said. “No two cards alike,” said Bud as he raked in the chips. (more…)

In School Outreach, BP and NOAA “Dispel Myths” About Dispersants, Subsurface Oil

Posted in Environment, Marian Wang, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 4, 2010
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Snapper are filleted at Inland Seafood in New Orleans, La. According to reports, BP and the government are giving presentations at local schools showing that "oil floats" and Gulf seafood is safe. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

[Pro Publica’s Marian Wang reports on the spin being provided to middle school students by BP and the NOAA regarding the safety of Gulf Seafood and the contamination of the Guf with 206 million gallons of crude oil and a million gallons of dispersants.  Truthout gives a slightly different picture in Evidence Refutes BP’s and Fed’s Deceptions Bob Higgins]

By Marian Wang,  ProPublica
Even as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls for more research into the long-term effects of the chemical dispersants BP used in the Gulf, representatives of BP and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have reached out to local schools to “dispel myths” about dispersants and subsurface oil, according to recent reports in the Houma Courier and the Tri-Parish Times. (We first noticed the Tri-Parish Times piece via TreeHugger.) (more…)

Review the Minimum Wage? Hey Linda McMahon, Wrestle This!

Posted in Financial Crime, Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 1, 2010
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McMahon Preparing for the Senate

 

Linda McMahon, the billionaire running for a US  Senate seat in Connecticut on the uninformed idiot program initiated this election cycle by the Teabagger wing of the GOP says that the minimum wage should be reviewed.

This woman, who hauls in about 50 million bucks a year from her business of parading large, steroid ridden guys in bikini underwear around a “wrestling” ring, while talking adolescent trash in theatrically loud gravelly voices thinks that $7.75 an hour may be overly generous.

She wasn’t sure what the minimum wage actually is nor could she say whether or not she had any employees who were paid the minimum.

Her level of knowledge of America’s workforce, including her own employees dovetails quite nicely with that of other Teabagger candidates in the race,  some of whom are at this moment staring intently at monkeys, watching for evolutionary change. (more…)