Thursday, March 09, 2006

Damage Assessment

Don’t say I didn’t tell you. No sooner had DPW ceded it’s ownership of American port terminal management, than mainstream newspapers in Saudi Arabia and UAE, two of our strongest allies in the war on terrorism, printed stories decrying American “Islamophobia.” Though our relationship with these countries remains, tentatively, in good standing, opinions such as that can harm us, and will turn the hearts of many in the Middle East against us, at a time when we need so much help from them in catching the bad guys. Many in the US House of Representatives knew the true facts about the deal, but decided to go along with the results of misleading polls in opposing the deal. One of these is Representative Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a California Republican. “It is not about the deal with DPW,” Duncan explained Thursday, in so many words, “It is about the perception of the deal.”
Hunter was the Congressman who added the DPW blocking amendment to the spending bill.
Many have blamed the President for not presenting and explaining the proposed DPW deal, but Bush and his administration presented plenty of information. The mainstream media just didn’t cover it.
The DPW deal is dead, but ocean transport operations will still be bringing cargo to the United States from foreign port terminals managed by DPW. The Opposition in the US has already announced plans to use the dead deal against the President, and against the Congressional Republicans in the upcoming election campaign.
Unfortunately, you probably haven’t heard the last of this subject from me.

Flip-Flop of the Week:
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton, in speaking out against the House proposal to round up and deport the estimated 10 million illegal immigrants who are currently in the United States,said that to do so, as proposed in the bill, would require "Gestapo-like" tactics.
She said that it was more important to improve the security along the borders to prevent more illegals from entering the country. She added that those illegals who are already here could, perhaps, be allowed to apply for work permits. As much as I hate to, I have to say that I think Hillary is right on this issue. Especially since it sounds remarkably like what President Bush proposed in his State of the Union Address in 2005. She was utterly opposed to the proposal at that time.

About the links on this page:
I have added some links to the sidebar on this blog. The first is Rantings of a Sandmonkey, a Muslim libertarian who lives in Cairo, and is very interesting to read. This is a very widely read blog and worth the visit. Sandmonkey is a graduate of Havard in the United States and is very pro-American and anti-Islamist. He has many articles and links on his site that will disuade the Liberal myth that all Muslims hate America. Second, is Trevor Snyder's blog The Will To Exist. Trevor is very like minded to myself and is much more articulate. And the third, is the National Terror Alert updates, almost a required daily stop. Please give these sites a visit.

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.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Careful What You Ask For, Soviet America May Be Closer Than You Think

“Those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither” - Benjamin Franklin
Are we closer to becoming a Soviet Union than we thought? If Congress has its way, it is only a matter of weeks before the Sovietization of America begins to become evident.
It started about two months ago, when P&O announced that it was selling its holdings to DPW. I have already written extensively on the details of this deal, and what it means to the U.S., so I won’t go into it here. After the Committee for Foreign Investments in the United States (CIFIUS) investigated and approved the deal, finding no security threat in the deal, NY Democratic Senator Charles Schumer decided to politicize it. He lied to the American Public, saying that a foreign government, namely the UAE, was about to “take over” six American ports. Of course the President didn’t know about it; there was no such deal.
Of course politicians from both sides of the Congressional aisle jumped on the bandwagon, and there are now several proposed bills making it illegal for foreign companies to own port operations in the United States. Note that there were no American companies putting in a bid on P&O operations. That would mean that the taxpayers would have to subsidize American companies so they could buy these operations from the foreign companies. What it basically amounts to is that the US would seize and nationalize foreign assets in the United States. That is the Soviet Way, no matter how you look at it.
It is what Russia did in 1917. It is what Chile did in 1980. It is what Castro did in 1960.
Think what it would do to foreign trade. In the world of international trade, the breaking of agreements is not taken lightly. American goods will be priced out of foreign markets. Jobs will be lost, prices will rise and the quality of life will decline. Defeating tyranny through capitalism will become more difficult; if we treat our allies this way, why would anyone else want a trade agreement with the US?
All of this just so politicians can take a stand in upcoming elections.
And it doesn’t stop at port terminal operations. Those who missed being among the first to jump on Schumer’s bandwagon have now turned their sights on the multinational operations of US companies. Dell, IBM, Ford, GM, and Daimler-Chrysler, among many others, have manufacturing and service operations outside of the United States. There will soon be legislative proposals banning the procurement and use of foreign manufactured products of these corporations by the government. The politicians claim to fear that these items may be rigged for sabotage, and that such legislation would eliminate off-shore outsourcing of jobs. If passed, it would also severely limit profits which are so important to our economy.
A Soviet America would have the same problems as the Eurasian Soviet Union had: widespread poverty, food shortages, and government corruption, to name a few. Putting such restrictions on American Capitalism, as these proposals do, is a giant step towards a Soviet America.
The destruction of the American economy and of global capitalism has been a long-time goal of Al Qaeda and other terrorist and subversive organizations. Our legislators are unwittingly helping our enemies achieve these goals.
Of course, no Congressperson will admit to wanting to help the terrorists. They are merely reacting to poll results, which is what politicians do. They hope they can weaken the Executive Branch, and grab more power for Congress. I trust the Commander-in-Chief and his staff to continue to do a good job executing the war on Terror. It is the job of the President and the Executive branch to make the command decisions, and for Congress to try to take over the job, or to try to second guess the CIC, is an act of usurpery.
Once this so-called “anti-terror” legislation passes--in reality it is anti-capitalism--there will be no stopping it. It will end only when the politburo says it will end.