Wednesday, March 08, 2006

From Ridiculous to Insane

I can’t believe that I am writing yet again on this subject, but I still have even more steam to let off, so here I go again:
A poll question on the GOPUSA website reads “Should American ports be sold to the UAE?” Of course I would answer “absolutely not” to that one. I believe that the ownership and operation of American ports should be retained by their respective cities--or American companies which represent those cities--as they are currently. However, if the question were to read something like “Should DPW be allowed to acquire the port terminal management operations from P&O,” which is much more relevant, since it addresses reality, my answer would be “yes.”

Yes, because I believe the President’s cabinet when they inform him that there is no security threat in the deal. Yes, because I believe Homeland Defense Director Michael Chertoff when he said that the deal would improve port security. Yes, because I believe the President, who is not a politician, but a man of principle and integrity.

An item on the “to do” list of every ambitious politician reads “create hysteria.” It is, in the mind of the politician, the easiest way to get one’s name in the news, and to show the public that the so-called public servant is on the ball and looking out for Dick and Jane America. The news media is more than happy to play along--it is the kind of news that sells. Polls are taken, and based on the information given them, whatever passes for a cross section of the citizenry gets behind the politician on whatever issue it is that is the source of hysteria.

It isn’t that these politicians don’t know any better. They have all the facts, but they hide these facts, or think they hide the facts, wherever facts don’t serve their purpose. In short, they are not public servants at all, but self-serving, self-righteous, money-hungry, power mad buttholes.

If you read the Wallstreet Journal, or watch Fox News, you probably know what I am talking about. I would like to write about something other than the Dubai Ports deal. but every time I turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper I see some legislator talking about Dubai “owning” or “operating” a US port, or the US “selling” a port to Dubai. Even some of the news media use this same language. If it were true that DPW was buying US ports, I would be against it myself. But, according to all the news I have seen, and that means actual news sources whose job it is to report the facts, the Dubai Ports deal is that DPW will be managing certain port terminals at ports in the United States. Terminals that are currently being managed by P&O, as London based company. We don’t hear about Great Britain, or a British company owning or operating US ports, though, do we? The situation will not change with DPW taking over the management. Lufthansa, British Airways, or Air France do not own or operate any cities or airports in the United States, yet they do manage terminals at several international airports in the United States. This is the same thing.

Politicians, citing “security concerns,” are currently attaching an amendment to block the Dubai Ports deal to an important spending bill, which includes financing for hurricane relief, Afghanistan, and Iraq, so as to prevent the President from exercising a threatened veto. They say they are concerned about security, but they are blocking a deal which would allow US Customs agents to inspect cargo at the point of origin. We don’t have that privilege with any other port terminal management company. DPW is the only such company to allow us to inspect cargo at the point of origin. I cannot believe that a politician who is against this is for national security, any more than I can believe that a politician who is against the Patriot Act, which includes provisions for port security, by the way, has any interest in the safety of the American people. I must add here, that though I believe that much of the Patriot Act is necessary and justifiable under the current conditions of war, The Libertarian in me cringes at the idea that an innocent person could be “disappeared” with no legal recourse, under certain provisions.

Since there is no American company with the capital, or even the interest, to buy out all foreign investments in seaport or airport terminals, as the obligation is laid out in the pending legislation, the existing non-American owned port terminals will be shut down. This will quickly result in consumer goods shortages of all types, higher prices, and probably some trade embargoes against the United States, resulting in lower wages and fewer jobs.

The fools on Capitol Hill cannot back down, now. The House Appropriations Committee has voted to block the DPW deal. If the economy tanks because of their actions, they don’t have to take responsibility for it, because everybody blames economic troubles on the President anyway.

I supported the Republican Party in the 2004 elections because I saw a real danger to national security and the economy coming from the opposition party, but usually, I vote a straight Libertarian Party ticket. By November, the damage caused by the crazies I helped elect will be evident, but, once again, I hope to make ammends by voting straight Libertarian. Maybe others, many others, possibly enough others, will give credit to those who caused the damage and join me in voting at least some of the bastards out of office.

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