Tag Archives: Halliburton

Scalia To Women: Corporations Have Rights, Not You

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Just how ridiculously narrow-minded and oppressive will U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia get?  It boggles the mind when you consider his latest rant.

In an interview with the online publication California Lawyer” this past week, Scalia declared that the 14th Amendment does not protect gays or women from discrimination.

Scalia stated:

Q. In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

A. Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.

If I understand the good Justice, taking into consideration his opinion in the recent Citizens United case, corporations have constitutional rights but women and other minorities are free game for discrimination, at least as far as the 14th Amendment goes.   Do you find it astounding that a jurist sitting on the Nation’s Court of Last Resort thinks that AT&T or Halliburton or BP has more rights than your mom does or your sister?  I do.

We all need to think very seriously about Justice Scalia’s comments.  Think about them in the context of this quote which I am re-printing from an excellent article in U.S. News’ Politics blog:

“…laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

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New Numbers On Lost Gulf Oil: Could BP/Halliburton’s ‘Accident’ Be Their Victory In The Long Run?

Reprinted by Eric G. Young, from “Ampli-Gistics”:

Yesterday, I asked readers of my blog [on Amplify.com] to consider a number:  210,000.  That number supposedly represented the number of gallons that were spilling into the Gulf of Mexico each day, as obtained from the New York Times.  Here’s a link to my Amp article.

Today, however, NPR is reporting that nearly 70,000 barrels are gushing out every day. Here is a link to an article from Huffington Post discussing NPR’s report.

How does NPR’s number compare to the Times’ 210,000 gallon estimate?  Well, let’s see.  According to WikiAnswers, there are 48 U.S. gallons in a single barrel of oil.  Therefore, if NPR’s report is accurate, then 2.94 millions gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf every day.  According to the Huff Po article, “that is at least 10 times the U.S. Coast Guard’s original estimate of the flow, and ‘the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez tanker every four days’.”

By now, many of you have heard of the reckless, if not outright fraudulent, “workmanship” and “guarantees” that led to this environmental and economic catastrophe.  If you have, then you also know that two international companies – BP and Halliburton – are front and center in this debacle.

Both BP and Halliburton rely on oil interests – either directly or tangentially – to keep their profit margins afloat.  This is true regardless of how many feel-good, huggy-feely, alternative energy commercials BP puts on television.  Given BP and Halliburton’s reliance on oil interests, has it occurred to anyone that these two companies will actually benefit in the long run from this disaster through the simple application of the first rule of economics:  The Law of Supply & Demand?

If there are, in fact, 2.94 million gallons of oil lost in the Gulf each day, then at what point are we the consumers going to start subsidizing the screw up by these companies by paying more for gas at the pump?  At what point do we start asking ourselves, was this accidental?  At what point do we start actually giving a damn?

Addendum – There is a guiding principle in Anglo-American law:  One should not profit from his own wrongdoing.  In California, this “common law” principle is codified by statute in our Civil Code at section 3517 [No one can take advantage of his own wrong].  What an absolute travesty and mockery it will be if these companies actually become richer as a result of their misconduct.