Bob Higgins

Full Text of State of the Union Message of Barack Obama 1/24/12

Posted in History, Politics by Bob Higgins on January 25, 2012

Remarks of President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address — As Prepared for Delivery

State of the Union Address, Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics. (more…)

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Weekly Reading List From Common Dreams

Posted in Citizens United, Environment, History, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on July 30, 2011

Corporate Personhood versus Democracy

[Editor’s note: The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United was the worst decision by the court since those of Dred Scott v. Sandford and Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, the latter of which establishe­d the ridiculous idea of corporate person-hoo­d in US law.  The origins of corporate person-hood are explored in the excellent essay linked below from William Myers.  Bob Higgins]

The Santa Clara Blues: Corporate Personhood versus Democracy

By William Meyers

What Corporate Personhood Is

Corporate Personhood is a legal fiction. The choice of the word “person” arises from the way the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was worded and from earlier legal usage of the word person. A corporation is an artificial entity, created by the granting of a charter by a government that grants such charters. Corporation in this essay will be confined to businesses run for profit that have been granted corporate charters by the States of the United States. The Federal Government of the United States usually does not grant corporate charters to businesses (exceptions include the Post Office and Amtrak).

Corporations are artificial entities owned by stockholders, who may be humans or other corporations. They are required by law to have officers and a board of directors (in small corporations these may all be the same people). In effect the corporation is a collective of individuals with a special legal status and privileges not given to ordinary unincorporated businesses or groups of individuals.

Obviously a corporation is itself no more a person (though it is owned and staffed by persons) than a locomotive or a mob. So why, in the USA, is a corporation considered to be a person under law?

Corporate personhood is the idea (legal fiction, currently with force of law) that corporations have inalienable rights (sometimes called constitutional rights) just like real, natural, human persons.

That this idea has the force of law both resulted from the power and wealth of the class of people who owned corporations, and resulted in their even greater power and wealth. Corporate constitutional rights effectively invert the relationship between the government and the corporations. Recognized as persons, corporations lose much of their status as subjects of the government. Although artificial creations of their owners and the governments, as legal persons they have a degree of immunity to government supervision. Endowed with the court-recognized right to influence both elections and the law-making process, corporations now dominate not just the U. S. economy, but the government itself.

Read more The Santa Clara Blues: Corporate Personhood versus Democracy by William Meyers.

The More You Watch, the Worse You Feel / Marty Kaplan

Victor VasarelyBy Marty Kaplan / Huffington Post

As if the triple whammy of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster weren’t enough to enthrall and terrify us, the war in Libya is now providing cable news viewers a fresh hell to follow 24/7.

But wait, as they say in the infomercials — there’s more. In Bahrain, Saudi tanks and troops are violently cracking down on pro-democracy activists; in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is moving toward power; in Yemen, security forces, firing from the rooftops, have killed scores of demonstrators; in Syria, troops are shooting into crowds of protesting civilians; and last week’s news from Israel and the Palestinian territories was enough to make anyone rage and wail.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? In Madison, Wisc. and other state capitals, Republicans are demonizing public employees, stripping workers of their rights and using deficits as an excuse to transfer wealth from the middle to the top. In Washington, D.C., every Republican on the environment subcommittee says that climate change is a hoax, and every Republican on the financial institutions subcommittee says banks are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the recession. Who has enough spare neurons to cope with that, let alone the defunding of NPR and Planned Parenthood? Do you have some mindshare left for a campaign finance system that’s corrupting both political parties? For the obesity epidemic? For the worst youth unemployment in history?

Read more: Marty Kaplan/The More You Watch, the Worse You Feel. (more…)

Nuclear Power Reactors In The United States And A Few Words On A Way Out

Posted in Environment, History, Nuclear Power, Politics, Science by Bob Higgins on March 17, 2011
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We continue to throw great piles of money down the bottomless pit of energy subsidies for already obscenely flush corporatio­­ns in the oil, gas and nuclear industries­­; are we insane or just stupid?

Why don’t we take at least half of that, say 25 billion annually and start a crash program for the rapid developmen­­t and installati­­on of renewables like solar, wind, tidal, current, wave and other emerging technologi­­es like biofuels from non food and waste sources.

The Manhattan Project was completed in four years for 2 billion. Adjust that number for today’s dollars and take it back from the energy criminals that we’ve allowed to push us around for so long and make them pay for the technology that will put them out of business.

We simply need to stop making excuses for inaction, fossil fuels are killing us, nuclear is showing itself as enormously expensive and unmanageab­­le and likely to kill us even faster and the whole mess is killing the planet on which we should be relaxing and enjoying this little hayride around the Sun.

A Manhattan Project for making a major portion of the shift to clean renewable fuels could probably get us half way home in 5 to 10 years, perhaps faster.

We lack nothing but the will, something we had in 1942.

Bob Higgins

Related stories:
U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Had 14 ‘Near-Miss’ Problems In 2010: UCS Report (PHOTOS)
Questions about reactors in U.S. resonating louder
How vulnerable are U.S. nuclear plants?

The remaining material on this page is from the NRC website

Boiling Water Reactors

In a typical commercial boiling-water reactor, (1) the core inside the reactor vessel creates heat, (2) a steam-water mixture is produced when very pure water (reactor coolant) moves upward through the core, absorbing heat, (3) the steam-water mixture leaves the top of the core and enters the two stages of moisture separation where water droplets are removed before the steam is allowed to enter the steam line, and (4) the steam line directs the steam to the main turbine, causing it to turn the turbine generator, which produces electricity. The unused steam is exhausted in to the condenser where it condensed into water. The resulting water is pumped out of the condenser with a series of pumps, reheated and pumped back to the reactor vessel. The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power. Boiling-water reactor’s contain between 370-800 fuel assemblies. See also our animated diagram and pdf file of generic diagrams that detail elements of the boiling-water reactors.

Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) (more…)

Imagining Argentina

Posted in History, Politics by Bob Higgins on March 13, 2011
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Imagining Argentina

Emma Thompson as Cecilia Rueda about to Disappear.

Click on the image to watch this film at HULU

Streetcar Ride Down Market Street San Francisco 1905 (Video)

Posted in History by Bob Higgins on March 12, 2011
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Take a relaxing seven minute ride down Market St toward the Ferry Building in San Francisco in 1905.

Music from: Air- “Moon Safari”

“The Poor Are Poor Because They Have Nothing To Steal”

Posted in History, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 27, 2011
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The poor are poor because they have nothing to steal

The poor are poor because they have nothing to steal

Responding to an essay by Michael Moore a commenter at Huffington Post yesterday penned the single most asinine comment in my recent memory. Here in all its glory is a gem that I’m going to frame and hang over my hearth:

Michael Moore has spent too much time studying the social sciences and Karl Marx. He knows nothing about economics and very lille [sic] about anything else. Corporatio­ns exist for the benefit of their stockholde­rs. They do provide jobs, pay taxes and produce products and services, however, they are not a social service organizati­on. He thinks the rich get richer by stealing from the poor. The poor are poor because they have nothing to steal. The rich get richer because of basic physics. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, while bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. It’s due to momentum. The big MO! Here is the math: MO1 (money)+MO­2 (momentum)­=MO3 (MO Money).

Wow an equation and everything, 1+2=3, I expect to see this economic breakthrough featured on a Glen Beck blackboard in the near future.

My favorite part and the sweet, creamy icing on the rich, moist cake of wisdom of this gem is this:

The poor are poor because they have nothing to steal

What a keeper. That line needs to be shouted from the steps of every state capitol, placed on a JumboTron on the National Mall and delivered to all the capitols of the world.

The poor are poor because they have nothing to steal

This crucial bit of information may finally be the salvation of poverty stricken people everywhere. This could lead to the poor being left alone, no more predators stalking them to steal their labor, burden them with debt, push them off their native lands or steal the food and resources from the soil and oceans on which they depend.

Who knew that the poor had nothing to steal? Robin Hood, that’s who. That’s why Robin Hood stole from the rich, just like Willie Sutton Robin knew where the money was.

But the rich have preyed on the poor since time immemorial, economically, physically, emotionally if there was something that the rich thought could be gained from the poor, they took it, and because the rich held all the power, the poor had to …well, take it.  Droit du seigneur indeed.

So tragic as it is that the poor are … poor, it’s a relief to know that now that they have nothing to steal and they’re finally out of danger?

Bob Higgins

Could A Small Nuclear War Reverse Global Warming?

Posted in History, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 26, 2011
Could A Small Nuclear War Reverse Global Warming?

Could A Small Nuclear War Reverse Global Warming?

From HuffingtonPost

Nuclear war is a bad thing.

Right?

Scientists from NASA and a number of other institutions have recently been modeling the effects of a war involving a hundred Hiroshima-level bombs, or 0.03 percent of the world’s current nuclear arsenal, according to National Geographic. The research suggests five million metric tons of black carbon would be swept up into the lowest portion of the atmosphere.

The result, according to NASA climate models, could actually be global cooling.”

Lovely, all we need is a “small nuclear war” every two or three years and we can keep global warming at bay forever.

There would be no need to get off of fossil fuels, just burn oil and gas until they run out, then burn coal until there’s a layer of soot a fathom deep.

Another benefit I suppose, would be the job growth created by the need to bury corpses, my god, undertakin­g would be a major growth industry.

It’s warming to know that there are concerned people, smart people, doing all this contingenc­y planning, thinking creatively­, out side the bun and all.

Officials said that “The military will be in overall command of the limited nuclear wars but the devices will be deployed and detonated by drunken civilian contractor­s for purposes of deniabilit­y, the bar will be cash only because, you know, we have to get this deficit under control.”

How was this study paid for? A grant from the oil industry and the defense department­.

Bob Higgins

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Republicans: No Marbles Left to Lose?

Posted in History, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 23, 2011
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This Guy Has A Bright Future With The GOP

This Guy Has A Bright Future With The GOP

Legislation being introduced in the various states leads me to believe that the hallucinogens Qaddafi was raving about yesterday were introduced into our water supply not Libya’s.

With birther bills, and tenther bills, public financing for private militias to protect us from government, the immigration insanity of Arizona, concealed carry of handguns on Texas campuses, and legalizing the killing of abortion providers, the Wisconsin attack on labor begins to look tame in comparison.

The party of Lincoln is losing what’s left of its marbles at an alarming rate and rapidly morphing into the party of Lincoln Rockwell. Every move they make is in favor of corporate control and authoritar­ian rule by the oligarchy.

Between the loony legislation, the nutty signs and colonial costumes, I’m thinking there’s more than a little rocket booster in those tea bags. (more…)

All My Cousins, On Race and Ethnicity

Posted in History, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 16, 2011
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Sicily Castellammare

In his column at the Boston Globe this morning Jeff Jacoby expressed his disdain for “Irrelevant racial criteria” that are asked for on census forms and other places as, somehow, important data.  He points out that many of us have backgrounds that have been graced with multiple ethnicity and that multi-racial marriages are  much more common today than they were a half century ago, making race a largely meaningless criterion.

Thurgood Marshall, he points out, “wrote in a brief for the 1950 Supreme Court case of McLaurin v. Oklahoma: “Racial criteria are irrational, irrelevant, [and] odious to our way of life.’’”

I agree with Marshall and Jacoby that these criteria can be odious and are sometimes irrelevant, yet, as someone who came of age during the civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s, and lived through school integration, busing, the battle over affirmative action, the war on poverty of the “Great Society,” and witnessed  the effects of Jim Crow on society, I understand why the data were necessary at that time and in some cases are still relevant and sometimes necessary today.

But I don’t want to fight that battle today. What Jacoby’s column triggered in my mind was something much simpler than the complex and contentious argument over race. (more…)

Corralling Public Money, Alms for Oil

Posted in Environment, Financial Crime, History, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 12, 2011
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Oil Subsidies, Our Biggest Welfare Program Ever

Alms For Big Oil

The LA Times reported yesterday that former astronaut Harrison Schmitt was forced to step down as New Mexico’s energy “czar” due to his refusal to cooperate with a state mandated background check.

Schmitt who did one term in the Senate (1977-1983) and was placed in charge of the Republican Candy desk, is a staunch denier of ethnocentric climate change and has equated environmentalists with communists.

And you thought both sides of the equation had to balance?

No other information was available on why Schmitt was so shy, maybe he’s hiding more than climate data or maybe he’s just stubborn.

New Mexico’s governor, Susana Martinez, thought that Schmitt would make a great partner in dismantling the forward looking environmental policies pushed through during Bill Richardson’s tenure, but now…. not so much.

Have a climate change problem? Put a solid denier in charge of environmental policy. No more problem. (more…)

Egypt: “When Will US Stand For Freedom?”

Posted in History, News, Politics, Religion by Bob Higgins on January 31, 2011
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Egyption People in the Streets to "Petiton for a Redress of Grievences"

Egyption People in the Streets to "Petiton for a Redress of Grievences"

President Obama delivered a very pretty salad of crowd pleasing palliative­s in Cairo about 19 months ago which contained applause drawing words like “freedom and democracy” “justice and tolerance,­” and the always popular
“human rights.”

The 6000 word address was similar to others he delivered during his 2008 campaign and since, to various audiences composed of disparate groups like labor and business, left and right, wall street and main street. The basic template of this address nearly always brings good reviews.

The intent and effects are the same; to calm the nerves of this or that group, to buy some time or a few points in the polls while hand to hand combat continues behind the scenes in the vaudeville of American politics. These speeches aren’t new, most presidents have hiked the same trail. The words that make up the applause lines are shifted and altered to suit an audience that changes like the antique backdrop of a silent movie. (more…)

Full text of the State of the Union speech 2011

Posted in History, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on January 26, 2011

Full Text State of the Union Address Barack Obama 2011

Barack Obama State of the Union 2011
Full Text as Delivered

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner.

And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference. (more…)

The State of the Union Is On, Pass the Remote

Posted in History, Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on January 25, 2011
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State of th Union Address 2011

Click on the Image for some of SOTU Greatest Hits

“Five Keys to the State of the Union Address,” reads one headline, “What Obama Should Say at State of the Union,” reads another. From cable channels, to the opinion pages and across the tubes of the internet, the dominant babble, today, yesterday and tomorrow is the SOTU.

Provided for in the constitution in article 2, the state of the union address is among our most treasured and enduring annual exercises in political theater and pointless blather.

Article II. Section 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

In my reading of this section I fail to find the words “interminable and boring” but over the years those two terms have come to describe the event that has become a deeply entrenched tradition on the 3rd Wednesday in January.

Steeped in protocol, (the actual Latin word for bullshit) the President enters the great dome of our hallowed national chamber of public corruption, along the way receiving hugs, kisses, and handshakes from dozens of people who despise him. Every movement of all parties  involved is meticulously scripted and choreographed as if the event were a royal wedding directed by the high priests of some obsessively constipated Druidic cult. (more…)

The Middle Way: Government and Business, Partners in Crime

Posted in Financial Crime, History, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on January 22, 2011
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Incoming by Kevin Siers / Charlotte Observer

Barack Obama our “hope and change” guy, elected to return the reins of government to the people, has apparently seen the light. He has discovered that the best way to acquire the billion dollars or whatever he will need to gain a second term is to bring major business contributors into the White House and share office space with them.

Sitting on the opposite side of a giant partners desk just installed in the oval office will be Chief of Staff, former J.P. Morgan Chase executive William Daley and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt who will be Chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

“It may be a bit crowded at first,” said a presidential spokesperson, “but if it becomes uncomfortably cramped the President has agreed to share Joe Biden’s office in the Executive Office Building.” (more…)

Republicans: “They Weren’t Taino, They Were Indians”

Posted in History, Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on January 21, 2011
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Republican Health Care Plan... "Bring out your dead"

With health care ‘repealed,’ GOP turns to climate change is the title of an article By Renee Schoof at McClatchy yesterday, in which She reports:

“Now that the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health care law,  Republicans say they’re likely to move soon to another target — a rewrite of the Clean Air Act so that it can’t be used to fight climate change.”

This falls on the heels of their now stalled attempt to rescind the last congress’ progress on health care, and return to the old Republican, Tea Party and compassionate conservative favored “Bring out your dead” system. (more…)

Look Out History, Jim Bob Discovered “Find And Replace.”

Posted in History, News, Politics, Religion by Bob Higgins on January 14, 2011
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Tennessee makes... up history.

Just Call For A Rewrite

Somewhere in the quiet hollers of Tennessee history is being made…up.

I saw this coming last week when a publishing house decided they would get better sales of Huck Finn if they rewrote it to reflect our modern sensitivit­y to the truth.

Just hit “ctrl f” on the keyboard, enter the word you wish to remove, then enter the word you wish to exchange for the offending word or passage and hit the enter key.

Almost instantly 219 offensive words are replaced with something more appealing to the modern palate, just print it and you’ve changed history, straighten­ed out the present and saved the republic.

This works as well for paragraphs­, passages, even chapters. Bad actors disappear and are replaced with more agreeable characters­, unfortunat­e events, years, decades, entire centuries swapped for happy days. (more…)

“As Good As Christina Imagined It” Has Broader Applications

Posted in History, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on January 13, 2011
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I Want America To Be As Good As She Imagined It

President and Mrs. Obama at Rep Giffords Memorial. AP Photo

The President is a master of rhetoric in situations like this; ‘I Want America To Be As Good As She Imagined It,’ is a phrase that will live long in the recorded history of these tragic murders and criminal assaults.

It’s unfortunat­e that we won’t apply the words to our behavior in areas related directly to this event, as in improving delivery of mental health care, being much more careful about who has access to guns, or taking people to task for incitefull­y violent public commentary­.

It’s even more of a shame that we refuse to listen to this young girl’s voice when we wage war on innocent people all over the globe, when we deprive or abet the deprivatio­n of the availabili­ty of basic human needs, of clean water, food, shelter and dignity.

Shameful too, both here and abroad is our ongoing practice of locking people away indefinite­ly, without charges, submitting them to torture, without legal recourse, without evidence that they have wronged us, under the pretext of keeping America safe.

The difference­s between what our children imagine is America, and what is actual, what is true, should be required study for children in early grades to prepare them for the traumatic shock of the realities that lie in wait just over their horizons of innocence.

Bob Higgins

America And Her God Of Violence

Posted in History, News, Politics, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on January 11, 2011
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Detail from "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso

Detail from "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso

In the pantheon of America’s gods, none is more powerful or worshiped with greater fervor than the god of violence. Its colleagues or brother gods of greed, sex, touchdown, slam dunk and bacon cheeseburg­ers all genuflect and grovel before the god of violence.

We didn’t invent this worship of violence, we carried it with us, packed neatly in our baggage when we arrived on these shores from every corner of the Earth during the long period of accretion of immigrants from the extensive variety of violent cultures that became the USA.

Nearly every new arrival carried with them a genetic history of human conflict and war and written histories of human violence tucked into the pages of their sacred texts.

We are though, among the few to have enshrined violence and its tools in our founding documents, offering to our citizens what some succinctly term a “second amendment solution.”

The state wages violence in our names every day and has for over two centuries and now publicly pretends that violence is an aberration­. I’m sorry but violence is one of the constants in American history and culture.

As they say “politics ain’t beanbag,” in fact it was a violent sport long before Caesar’s senatorial welcome home from Gaul.

Et tu America.

Bob Higgins

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.