Bob Higgins

Weekly Reads from Common Dreams

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on August 6, 2011
  1. John Atcheson: The Beast Is Starved: Welcome to the Next Great Depression
  2. Linda McQuaig: Tycoons Laughing All the Way to the Bank
  3. Sarah Churchwell: The Willful Ignorance That Has Dragged the US to the Brink
  4. Ralph Nader: ‘Retreat, Surrender, Can He at Least Plead?
  5. Amy Goodman: War, Debt and the President
  6. Robert Reich: Ransom Paid
  7. Matthew Norman: The Unmaking of a President
  8. Jim Rigby: Five Scriptures You Won’t Hear at Rick Perry’s Prayer Event
  9. Nick Turse: A Secret War in 120 Countries: The Pentagon’s New Power Elite
  10. Ray McGovern: Obama Blows a Judas Kiss to the Poor

Class Warfare, Coming Soon to a Community Near You

Posted in Environment, Financial Crime, Politics, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on July 31, 2011

Honduran Police Burn Community to the Ground

Homes, churches, schools, and crops all destroyed as the post-coup government continues to side with wealthy plantation owners over the country’s organized farmers. 

Watch this video from: The Real News and know this: If these hideous crimes against working people can be committed in Honduras by police and military units likely trained and supported by US dollars they can be committed here.

Economic collapse, debt crisis, gas and food prices through the roof, no jobs, terror in the streets, endless wars and the destruction of all societal safety mechanisms? These are the gifts being offered by the ever expanding modern industrial society.

But there’s more. After the capitalist class has gambled away the wealth of the country and squandered another generation of our youth in their wars for resources and empire they will force you to pay the bill.

They’re working on it now, night and day wrangling over the republican manufactured debt crisis, they are preparing the complete destruction of the middle class and the total privatization of all government functions where everything will be paid for at the company store at several times the price.

You will be called on to tighten your belt, to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, to make a greater sacrifice for your country except that your country will have become a wholly owned subsidiary of a consortium of stateless and soulless corporations.

They will come for your land, your homes, your meager wealth, using the tools, the police, even the army of the government that they bought, co-opted and finally seized. And finally having taken everything they want they will simply dispose of you, disappeared, dead, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are gone and they have room to ride their horses and cruise their yachts.

They will keep those who are acceptably docile to work in their mills and fields and to guard the remainder who show signs of resistance in their camps and prisons and maintain continued docility among a slave labor class.

Watch the video, prepare for the future.

Bob Higgins

More on the rape of Rigores and related stories:

Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Don’t Forget Bahrain

Posted in News, Politics, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on February 26, 2011
Bahrain Bleeds Too

Bahrain Protests

While all eyes follow the news cycle from Tunis to Cairo to Benghazi the world and the US should not forget Bahrain.

While just a causeway removed from US ally Saudi Arabia and host to the US 5th Fleet, the blood of the people of Bahrain runs the same color and their thirst for freedom and dignity is equally strong.

As the Boston Globe points out in an editorial this morning the violence used against unarmed and peaceful protests is just as reprehensible when committed by our allies as by our foes.

Read more: No free pass for Bahrain – The Boston Globe.

Bob Higgins

Can Giuliani Beat Obama For GOP Nomination?

Posted in News, Politics, Pop Culture, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on January 26, 2011
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Giuliani: GOP Favorite Unless Obama Moves To Right

GOP Favorite Unless Obama Moves To Right

In a recent poll, respondents report that if the republican front runners are suddenly raptured off the planet, Rudy Giuliani would be the only one left on the list who looks good in a little black dress and would become the favorite to win the nomination.

Rudy would be the favorite…that is, unless Barack Obama continues his inexorable creep to the right.

The President’s SOTU speech last night sounded as if he and his wordsmiths had just returned from a long sojourn in some fairyland where full employment and economic justice prevail.

What he offered in his address was more of the same hollow panaceas, noble sounding bromides, continued wars, more tax cuts for business and spending cuts for the rest of us.

His stomach for kowtowing to republicans and the economic power elite may have been the model for the new Starbucks size.

Given another two years of moving toward and through the center, I expect that Obama may win the CPAC straw poll and be elected as a Republican in 2012.

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

What do Snooki, Hugh Hefner and a Chimp Have in Common with the Bush Tax Cuts?

Posted in Guest Columns, Politics, Robert Greenwald, Uncategorized, Veterans News by Bob Higgins on December 1, 2010
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Bush Tax Cuts

Extending the Bush Tax Cuts: Reckless

From Robert Greenwald:

This video highlights some of the craziness around what extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans could mean in terms of spending. The average amount these tax cuts would give is $80,000, which would allow a rich American to hire the entire staff of the Jersey Shore to appear at a party, or it could pay one month of unemployment for 273 Americans. But when you look at the richest of the rich, say, CEOs of big banks on Wall Street, they would stand to gain even more, reaping between $700,000 and 1.6 million each from these tax cuts.

Extending tax cuts to the richest 2% of Americans would cost our country $700 billion in new debt. At a time when nearly 15 million Americans are out of work, and over 2 million are in danger of losing their homes, Congress’ priority needs to be the 98% of Americans who need the most support.

Tell Congress that they must NOT pass a tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

Call Your Representatives now and tell them not to spend $700 billion on the richest among us. In this time of high unemployment and housing lost, we need to have better priorities!

Here’s the number for the House (202) 224-3121

Once you’ve made your call, visit here and share with us how it went and why you oppose tax cuts for the wealthy.

Read more at The Huffington Post

Melanoma, Birth Defects or a Deep Grope, Your Choice, Happy Holidays

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on November 20, 2010
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Cartoon: Marshall Ramsey

One of the more amazing sights in these modern times can be witnessed by taking a walk through any of America’s reasonably sized airports.

Long lines of people removing belts, shoes and other articles of clothing and jewelry, preparing to be scanned by a large radiation emitting machine before they board a deregulated aircraft with a questionable maintenance schedule, flown by a possibly inebriated or at least hung over pilot, to attend a gathering of their dysfunctional family for the holidays.

This is a vision that Norman Rockwell missed and I wish that he were still alive to paint it for Hallmark. It would be my first choice as a Christmas or holiday card. I haven’t sent cards for the holidays for thirty years or so but if I could get hold of a pile of Norman Rockwell Holiday Airport Screening cards, I’d change my ways and get in the spirit of the season, such as it is.

I’m vastly amused by the fact that most of this nonsense is unnecessary, ineffective, and protects no one from the terror monsters. It achieves nothing but to further line the pockets of people who don’t have to stand naked in these lines and have their genitalia massaged by rent a cops because they fly in private jets and live in yachts in the country.

I’ve read up on the issues involved, from health concerns about the radiation emitted by the equipment to the conflicts of interest and outright corruption involved in awarding the contracts to purchase these devices. At $183 mil for the thousand ordered using federal stimulus dollars, I would say that the purpose of the program is the sale of the equipment. Period.

Like cruise missiles, drones, private security forces for diplomats and executives this is just another manifestation of the ever widening security culture we are developing. It’s as if we were building a prison in a bottle for ourselves, constructing it from the inside and being taxed to pay for the privilege of remaining safe within.

Of course we have a choice to fly or not fly and if we choose to board the winged Greyhound we have a choice between melanoma, birth defects or special welcoming attention to our collective crotches. Ah, the free market at work.

Recent polls say that 81% of our citizens welcome these programs if they “keep us safe” as if they have been fenced in the yard by doting parents.

I’m a member, of the 18% who believe that we are being taken for a ride by the airlines, the security companies, the TSA and the national security apparatchiks, literally and figuratively.

The odds against dying in an act of airborne terrorism are far greater than those against dying from a lightning strike. Amazing isn’t it that a small number of people in this world have created such turmoil and fear and incredible financial costs.

I doubt that they could have accomplished this without the valuable assistance of the lovely corporations and institutions that work so tirelessly to keep us safe.

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

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…)

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…)

Raymond J. Learsy: Krugman Takes On The Angry Rich But Misses Their Pompous Pieties

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on September 23, 2010

My reply to Raymond Learsy’s Huff post column this AM:

Yes “it needs fixing now,” but I would suggest that there will be no fix forthcoming when the regulators are chosen from among the rock stars of the industry being regulated.

The choice of Elizabeth Warren to be central to the process is encouraging, the departure of Summers, tardy, but the names being bandied about to replace him offer little hope for reform.

Wall Street or the Banksters, whatever name we choose for this cesspool of crime will not be cleansed with a feather duster and a broom.

We need bulldozers, to start in the middle and push this rancid stink west into the Hudson and east into the old sound. (more…)

Bob Cesca: Despite America’s Temper Tantrum, It’s Still a Center-Left Nation

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on September 22, 2010

Bob Higgins Comment:

For the record I’ve always been proud of my liberal roots and unashamed about proclaiming them in public. To me liberalism is a necessary piece of being a human being.

I think that you’re right about most of this but I disagree that the mid term situation is as dire as you seem to indicate. We need a massive six weeks of old fashioned organizing at the local level to bring out the Democratic vote. I’m old and immobile but I’m talking to everyone I know and buying rounds when I can.

Just keep doin’ it. Good article, good read and I’ll steal everything I can from it. Thanks.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Sally Kohn: An Ideological Intervention: Tax Cuts for the Rich

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Guest Columns, Humor, News, Politics, Sally Kohn, Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on September 22, 2010
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[Editor’s note: Sally Kohn of Movement Vision Labs posted this excellent and hilarious video at Huff Post before lunch. It’s the best, the most concise post I’ve read dealing with ending the Bush tax cuts, and it’s in layman’s language so I totally understood it. I think you will too. I think I have permission to run it, but it’s so good I’m going to take a chance before I hear from her. Bob Higgins]

How stupid is the idea of extending tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans and further draining resources for the average, hard-working Americans?

To find an analogy, you need look no further than your own hand. Check out my latest popular education 101 video about why cutting taxes for the rich in the midst of our economic crisis is bad for you and our overall body politic.  Sally Kohn

Christine O’Donnell Takes Sarah Palin’s Advice, Will Go On Hannity To ‘Speak Through Fox News’

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on September 22, 2010

The shield they carry is the personal ignorance that they treasure like some sort of perverse badge of honor and the shield that they depend on is the completely stubborn ignorance of their followers.

These people can be beaten by old fashioned “get out the vote” Democratic politics.

The polls may be more scientific today, I don’t know, I’m not a political sophisticate, but I do remember Harry Truman and Tom Dewey and the fact that the conventional wisdom is what you get from the weatherman. So take a raincoat and go to the polls.

Tell all your Republican friends that you’re not going to vote, that you’re too depressed, then run to the voting booth as fast as you can and gleefully vote Democratic.
More on 2010 Elections
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Hey BP, Advertise This: Walk Across the Mississippi on BP’s Carpet of Dead Fish

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on September 15, 2010
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BP is reportedly spending more than a million bucks a week on their friendly, sensitive Bubba next door ads in an attempt to repair their brand and convince the public that they are aware of the fact that they might have committed a bit of a faux pas in the Gulf of Mexico but they are doing everything humanly possible to make it right.

Here’s a statement for the tourist and travel brochures in hotel lobbies and airplane seat backs: Mississippi River Brimming with Dead Fish Near Gulf of Mexico. Follow the headline with pictures from Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and you’ve got yourself a certified tourist magnet. (more…)

Privatizing Profit, Socializing Risk – What The Suits Really Want

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on September 14, 2010
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Social programs like Medicare, or Veterans benefits or Social Security itself have caused atrial fibrillation in the “hearts” of the ruling class and the GOP since Moses was last seen skinny dipping in the bullrushes.  (Do we still have bullrushes?)

Programs like these siphon public money away from projects dear to the “hearts” of the ruling class like the one being proposed to the state’s Public Utilities Commission in the wake of the San Bruno explosion and fire.

PG&E reports that it has just under a billion dollars worth of fire insurance with a ten million dollar deductible, (gulp) but if other incidents should arise that out reach their coverage they should be bailed out by their customers or the public at large. (more…)

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…)

Morning Reads in Flyover City

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on August 11, 2010

Imperial Airliner, London 1930s

Steve Miller, American Hero, Dies At 86

Posted in Uncategorized by Bob Higgins on June 29, 2006

I wrote a short piece a week or so ago in response to Tony Snow’s ridiculous comparison of the Iraq war and the Battle of the Bulge in WWll. In that story I mentioned my friend Steve who landed at Normandy and fought through France, Belgium and into Germany.

Steve Miller died this past Saturday the 24th of June 2006.

I lost a friend, his family lost a great treasure and America lost a piece of her soul.

Steve was born in Celina Ohio on September 17, 1919. He grew up in that small town Ohio farming community and came to Dayton as a young man in the thirties seeking work in the local plants which were already gearing up the arsenal of democracy for the gathering storm in Europe and the Pacific.

I’m working from my memories of many conversations with Steve at the local VFW and the details are sketchy but I believe he joined the Army a couple of years before the outbreak of war and trained in Texas where he met Ike, his future bride and the woman he loved and treasured until and beyond her death a few years ago.