Monday, February 20, 2006

My Brain Hurts ...


For the record, I have not been living under a rock for the past 48 hours. I have spent most of that time on my couch, feeling a little crappy, not wanting my bronchitis to return for an encore performance.

So it is just this evening that I've become hip to the story about Dubai Ports World taking control of ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia after buying the British company previously responsible for said ports.

This isn't so much about an Arab company having control of American ports. We count the United Arab Emirates as one of the chummier Middle Eastern nations.

No, my overarching question - and one that I will put in a letter to my senators in the morning - is why the hell control of U.S. ports was EVER handed over to any other nation?

Britain is our ally. BFF, the U.S. and the U.K., right?

Don't care.

Don't care if "security" is, and will continue to be, handled by us. Our port security sucks. Inspect containers? Why do we need to do that? Oh, maybe for the same reason we should be inspecting the cargo on planes that we're not inspecting either.

I have to take off my shoes to go through airport security, but once on a plane, I'm sitting above tons of cargo that no one's bother to screen, because it doesn't make economic sense.

Oh, well. if you put it that way ...


It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Bush, but I thought, "Well, maybe this is something he adopted with the office." In part, that's true. The deal to give control to the British company happened in 2000. That was still Clinton's watch. So I'll tell Bill it was a bad idea from the get-go.

But I think Congress is right on by saying to this administration, "Whoa there, bub. Maybe this ain't such a good idear, neither."

We're so hell bent on erecting walls, fences, moats, whatever, to prevent Mexicans from crossing into this country, to, let's be honest, do the jobs we don't want to do, we're so hell bent on shipping Cubans found on the open sea back to Fidel where their lives become even shittier than they were before, all because they were trying to make their way to a better life (not that I'm saying our borders should be 100 percent open), but we hand over control of our nation's ports?

What am I missing?


Anonymous Ethan said...

I hear ya, however Katrina prety much exposed that there is no "homeland security" like we were led to believe. You're right, port security should be an "us" thing, but more to the point, regardless of who is tasked with it, it shouldn't "just" be a steady paycheck and a place to store your lunch. Being tasked with port security and actually doing it are two different things, sadly enough.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think it would do you some good to read this article. You are missing alot. We are still handling the security. You have the nerve to knock people for racial profiling, and this is exactly what you are doing. Essentially, what you are saying is that if Arab companies truly cannot be trusted to operate U.S. ports, then shouldn’t they be banned from all involvement with U.S. airports, farming, electrical generation, water works, nuclear power plants, chemical, biomedical, and pharmaceutical production, and tunnel, bridge, stadium, and skyscraper construction? Extending this flawed logic further, perhaps even airlines from Arab countries should be banned from landing at U.S. airports because they might be used in terrorism or bring terrorists into the United States—in spite of the fact that the planes used on 9/11 were U.S. airliners.
Your hypocrisy astounds me.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

No, you're missing my point. I thihk it's a bad idea for ANY country other than us to be in charge of our ports. I don't care if we're still "handling" security, cuz the security sucks. I don't think it made sense to ever let the Brits in on it, either. I'm not slamming an Arab company. I'm suggesting that as a matter of national security, we should, on the most basic of levels, maintain control of the entry points into this country.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

By the way, Anonymous - if that is your real name - it might behoove you, the next time you feel the need to make a passionate point about something, to use your own passion rather than cutting-and-pasting a large part of someone else's argument and making it your own. Comprendé?

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave. Unlike you "writers", I have a real job. I have a life, and have better things to do write a blog. Maybe it's because you have no life or real relationships with real people that you write these things. Occasionally, I do come across a post in my spare time that is reader-worthy and should be commented on, which is what I have done. So sorry to have upset you and cut and pasted from the website. I give the writer of the article 100% credit. I also agree with him. Next time I'll put quotes if that would make you feel better so you don't whine and cry about it. Comprende?

11:17 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow. Anne, that's kinda pissy, don'tcha think? Yes, you should have quoted anything that wasn't your own words. Otherwise you give the impression that it's your own argument. And while you have a "life" and therefore no time to write a blog, I wonder what kind of "life" you have that you're able to post flaming comments at 11:17 a.m.? Or do you live in another time zone? Surely, you wouldn't waste an employer's valuable time by checking to see if anyone was commenting on your comments. As for we "writers" -- it *is* a real job, dear. Who do you think writes all that stuff in newspapers and magazines? A lot of it is by freelance writers like me and Dave. Let's all take a deep, cleansing breath, shall we? None of this is worth the elevated blood pressure I'm sensing in you.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Wow, Anne - which is a much better name than "Anonymous," by the way. Nice to see what you think of writers. Yeah, the world would be a lot simpler if we writers got "real" jobs. For one thing, there would be a lot less things to read, 'cause that can get annoying. And for someone so boastful about having a life, you sure seem to have a lot of time to peruse the blogosphere. But that's just my opinion. Sorry if it, or my existence, bothers you so. Have a nice day!

1:41 PM  

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