Anti-war groups on Thursday dropped in on California Public Employees' Retirement System trustees to deliver a message: dump KBR Inc. Sacramento for Democracy and other groups presented CalPERS with what they said were the names of 20,000 petitioners asking the fund to shed its KBR holdings. CalPERS owns about $27 million in KBR stock. The company is a former unit of Halliburton Co. and a U.S. government contractor in Iraq. It has come under fire for allegedly exposing its employees and U.S. troops to chemical hazards as it repairs Iraq's oil infrastructure. It also has been accused of profiteering through contracts to provide food, housing and other services to the military. CalPERS will take the petition "under advisement," said spokeswoman Pat Macht.
If we start dumping stocks that project Freedom around the globe, where will we stop? Is it the profiteering and chemical hazards that we object to, or the core business model? Global capitalism? Corporate colonialism? The outsourcing of essentially governmental functions to contractors? If KBR was a little more sensitive in its business practices, adding another bottom line by providing Toys for Tots, could we reconcile ourselves to them? We are like children who love hamburger and hate hearing about the stockyards. KBR is helping keep Wealth Bondage Free. Let's get off their back, people.