Bob Higgins

Like Lincoln, Jefferson, Madison – Americans Fear Corporate Control of Public Policy (Updated)

Posted in Citizens United, Financial Crime, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 13, 2012
The Truth About the Original Tea Party

"The Truth About the Original Tea Party" Thom Hartmann

[Editor’s note: I wrote this piece two years ago just after the terrible SCOTUS decision in Citizens United. I’m re posting it today in order to include the excellent video by Thom Hartmann The Truth About the Original Tea Party” Bob Higgins] Updated (originally posted 2/17/10)

The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen reports this morning on the results of a WaPo/ABC News poll which shows Americans to be “overwhelmingly” opposed to the recent SCOTUS decision to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash in election campaigns.

“Eight in 10 poll respondents say they oppose the high court’s Jan. 21 decision to allow unfettered corporate political spending, with 65 percent “strongly” opposed. Nearly as many backed congressional action to curb the ruling, with 72 percent in favor of reinstating limits. The poll reveals relatively little difference of opinion on the issue among Democrats (85 percent opposed to the ruling), Republicans (76 percent) and independents (81 percent).”

Americans have always been distrustful of corporations and their ability to exercise power and control over public affairs.

Ever since Elizabeth I created the East India Company in 1600, corporations have been a pain in the public neck. Her royal act to protect the monetary interests of wealthy members of her court, parliament and herself created a company that would, over the course of two centuries, grow in power to rival many of the worlds nation states.

A legal fiction, corporations exist solely to protect the oligarchy from the results of their risky behavior in the search for ever greater profit. Incorporate and pass the risk on to someone else, creditors, taxpayers, anyone but those involved in the scheme itself.

Businessmen of the time, as today, were and are, infinitely more comfortable operating in an environment devoid of risk to their profits, unless of course they are operating on someone else’s money, (taxpayers) in which case nearly any risk can be accepted; “it’s public money, double down and toss the dice boys.”

(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

Republican Science: “Make Pi 3 and Round Planck’s Constant To 7 × 10-34 m2 kg / s”

Posted in Humor, News, Politics by Bob Higgins on March 26, 2011
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Rounding pi is close enough.

Max Planck: "Runden die Sache ab?"

Ian Squires has a nice piece of satire up and running at Huffington Post, titled “Conservative Pie: Republicans Introduce Legislation Redefining Pi as Exactly 3.”

Satire can be problematic when posted on the web, due,  I suppose, to the rising gullibility level of the reading public or the willingness by many to latch on to the faintest wisps of conspiracy wafting on the breeze.

Writers on the web often label their work as “satire” or “humor” or “just kidding,” and when they do I usually find their stuff to be lame and generally ineffective. Good satire and humor draws you in, sets the hook and yanks you into the boat laughing. Advance written warnings and disclaimers serve only to scare the fish away.

Squire caught his limit this morning.

Some of the best satirical comedy of our time is being generated unintentionally by republican politician­s and their tea party brethren and…  sistere­n.

Part of the beauty of his piece is that the right has worked so hard presenting nincompoop propositio­ns for public consumptio­n that as absurd as the idea of legislatin­g the value of π may be, when told that it emanates from a republican source it takes on a certain verisimili­tude.

If the scientific community is largely in agreement that anthropoge­nic climate change is at work and a real threat to our future, the view of the right, driven by those who find such an idea financiall­y inconvenie­nt, is to kill the concept with legislatio­n, defunding, false advertisin­g and positively Galilean smear campaigns.

If Boyle’s law, or Planck’s constant or the Pythagorea­n theorem is going to cost the Koch brothers some dough then it’s time to spread some money to introduce legislatio­n against such subversive and expensive ideas.

If you need Fred Flintstone riding a brachiosau­rus to square your belief in a six thousand year old universe with the fossil record, just make the claim and build a megamillio­n dollar museum. Present it as fact, the republican hoi polloi will pay admission.

A large part of the republican base will believe nearly anything, if it is presented as “common sense,” anti intellectu­al and based on conservati­ve values.

It matters not that your moon rockets are now landing in Louisville­, that was probably part of god’s plan anyway.

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Reply to a “Traditional Conservative”

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Environment, Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion by Bob Higgins on September 22, 2010
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This is from a comment thread to Bob Cesca’s post at Huff Post titled “Despite America’s Temper Tantrum, It’s Still a Center-Left Nation”

Fair TV a self proclaimed “traditional conservative” launched an attack on Democrats and Liberals.
FAIRTV Commented:

Ah, the once proud Democratic party. Are there no democrats left who will stand up to the Idiot Left with their frontal assault on American Freedoms?
You Coastal Elite…..watch what the American People can do when they find their freedoms under attack by the Fringe Left.
If this is a center left country, why are the Lefties afraid to even use the term “Liberal” any more instead choosing the more “acceptable” “Progressives?”
Democrats today are held hostage by Thug Union Bosses, Wacko Environmentalists, Pro-Abortionists, the Radical Gay Lobby, Anti-gun zealots, Anti-religious bigots, and dim-witted Hollywood types. It’s a shame to see a once proud Democrat party reduced to a National Joke.


TraceyES Comment in reply to FairTV:Er…can you enumerate your freedoms which are currently under assault by Democrats? Go ahead, make a list for us. Waiting…waiting…


FAIRTV Responded to TraceyES:The right to life
The right to bear arms
The right to live in a country with secure borders
The right to live in a country with laws that are enforced
The right to First Amendment speech, in spite of the language police
The right to believe in God and tell others about that faith
The right to hold conservative, traditional views without being labelled a “racist.”


Bob Higgins Responded to FairTV: (more…)

Morning Reads Here in Flyover-ville

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion, Veterans News by Bob Higgins on September 14, 2010
  • Pepe Escobar, Asia Times: …as a graphic illustration of Islamophobia defeated, nothing beats what happened in Amarillo, Texas, the same day. David Grisham, the wacko director of one Repent Amarillo organization, who had planned his own Koran-burning session in support of Gainesville, Florida, pastor and instant global celebrity Terry Jones, was about to commit the act in front of around 200 people when, out of nowhere comes … ‘Dude, you have no Koran’
  • Bob Egelko, SanFrancisco Chronicle: State regulators will take their first look today at a proposal backed by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that would require customers to pay all costs of catastrophic fires, such as last week’s gas-line explosion in San Bruno, that exceed a utility’s insurance coverage. San Bruno blast: PG&E backs bid to bill public
  • Tomgram, Engelhardt and Turse: Oh, those madcap Pentagon bureaucrats and the zany horde of generals and admirals who go with them! Give them credit: no one on Earth knows how to throw a war like they do — and they never go home. The Wacky World of American War
  • Ted Koppel,Washington Post: The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, succeeded far beyond anything Osama bin Laden could possibly have envisioned. This is not just because they resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, nor only because they struck at the heart of American financial and military power. Those outcomes were only the bait; it would remain for the United States to spring the trap Nine years after 9/11, let’s stop playing into bin Laden’s hands
  • Matt Stopera, BuzzFeed: A wonderful collection of Teabagger drag. The 13 Hottest Fashion Trends At The 9/12 Tea Party Rally
  • David Evans, Bloomberg: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to inform 6 million soldiers and their families of an agreement enabling Prudential Financial Inc. to withhold lump-sum payments of life insurance benefits for survivors of fallen service members, according to records made public through a Freedom of Information request. Veterans Agency Made Secret Deal Over Benefits

Imperial Airliner, London 1930s

Burning Korans and Teabaggers for Jesus

Posted in Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion by Bob Higgins on September 10, 2010
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I’m not a big fan of symbolism, religious or political; the flag waving at the Olympics, hands held over hearts at ball games and auto races, fingers pointed at the sky or genuflection in the end zone strikes me as empty, meaningless, affected behavior. I prefer more tangible substance, facts and deeds over these public “going through the motions” displays of piety and patriotism.  But that’s just me.

If I did care for symbolism this would be the week that I opted for the great symbolic slam dunk, the turducken of religious and nationalistic display. I would get a bunch of “holy books” all the usual stuff “the majors” and all the other “holy” tomes I could find and wrap them in an Israeli flag, then an Iraqi flag, followed by the flag of Iran and the US Stars and Stripes. I would tie the package up in a prayer rug of the kind advertised by late night TV evangelists in exchange for a “love offering” and set fire to the whole silly mess in the nearest place that allows bonfires, sit down, pop open a beer and call the media.

I’d likely become as famous as a rock star in 24 hours.

They call him “pastor,” they call him reverend, they say he is “godly,” a holy man, beloved of and by “god.” “They” as close as I can determine, are the approximately 50 people who are members of his Florida “church,” the Dove World Outreach Center… honest, that’s what they call it and it earns them a federal tax exemption. I’ve seen him. (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…)