Is Foreign Government Ownership Necessarily Bad?

"The ferocity of United States legislators' opposition to a United Arab Emirates company gaining control of a number of key American ports is getting out of control," editorializes Singapore's Straits Times. The editorial asks what might have happened had Singapore's PSA, Dubai Ports World's major competitor for British port operator P&O, won the bidding war. PSA is the world's third-largest port operator, a division of Temasek Holdings.

"Temasek is a state agency," the Straits Times notes. "Singapore yields to no one in the fight against terror. Would being located in a region where terror is active be a certifiable handicap or an endorsement for preparedness?"

An excellent question. Going by the logic of many DPW opponents, it was fine for P&O to operate terminals in U.S. ports because it's British, and there aren't as many terrorists in Britain, so it's not a threat to national security. (We've already mentioned the fatal flaw in that rationale.) In the great mass that is the Middle East, they insist, there are far more terrorists -- and of course more terrorists means it's easier to infiltrate a shipping company and spill all its secrets to the bad guys.

Yet what if, as the Straits Times suggests, being in a region with so much terrorist activity actually makes for better preparation against attacks?

One possible response is that preparation is irrelevant when we're talking about a country that helped finance the 9/11 hijackers. However, contrary to what some (including my dad) may have heard on television, the UAE never gave money to the hijackers.

It is true that 9/11 hijackers passed through the super-swanky Dubai airport -- apparently quite an offense as far as Gov. Jon Corzine (audio) is concerned. Even worse, "more than $100,000 was wired from the UAE account of the hijacker to the German account of the hijacker in a 15-month period," according to Dennis M. Lormel, the FBI's financial crimes section chief who reported to Congress on the dealings back in 2002.

Lormel also noted, "two of the hijackers (pilots/leaders) had credit cards issued by German banks and maintained those after moving to the U.S." And the Wall Street Journal's Michael Gonzales reported a couple years ago that "German banks are North Korea's biggest lenders, and Syria's -- and Libya's."

So if the UAE is to be punished because the 9/11 hijackers used its banks and airports, Germany must be punished, too.

But there's more to it than that, argue those who wish to deny Dubai Ports World its legitimate purchase. It's not just about terrorism; it's about foreign government ownership. Indeed, newly introduced legislation, S. 2334, essentially aims to prevent foreign government-owned entities from assuming any control whatsoever over any part of any American port.

As we've discussed previously, the German government controls Fraport, which operates baggage and ramp services (the rough equivalent of operating a terminal at a port) at Jacksonville International Airport and hopes eventually to expand its presence in the American market. Those who insist that government-owned entities should not be allowed control over port operations have a tough time explaining why it's all right for the very same companies to run airport operations.

If Fraport attempted to acquire another U.S. ground services company, would there be the same mad rush to block it? Seems unlikely. But if a state-owned Middle Eastern firm were to try to get into the American airport services business, I'd be astonished if legislation virtually identical to S. 2334 didn't pop up almost instantaneously (except with "air" inserted in front of every instance of the word "port".)

Among other changes, the proposed legislation would add this to the Defense Production Act of 1950:

The President shall prohibit any merger, acquisition, or takeover described in subsection (a)(1) that will result in any entity that is owned or controlled by a foreign government leasing, operating, managing or owning real property or facilities at a United States port.

"Shall prohibit" seems pretty unambiguous.

Singapore's government-owned port management behemoth PSA is the parent of APC, which operates a terminal at Seattle's port and already manages warehouses and terminals covering a total of 21 million square feet at ports throughout the United States. Under S. 2334 as written, if APC or its parent dared attempt a takeover of a smaller terminal operator that also has U.S. leases, the president would have no choice but to put his foot down.

The only explanation left for opponents of the DPW takeover of terminals in six American ports is that the UAE, in which the spectacular emirate of Dubai happens to sit, has "Arab" in its name. Jim Geraghty, in his blog at the National Review Online, offers a clear picture of where this kind of thinking leads.

C. Fred Bergsten, a former chairman of CFIUS, sees no need to go to such extremes. He recommends a way to resolve concerns over government ownership:

obtain and make public immediately a letter of assurance from the government of the United Arab Emirates committing itself to avoid any involvement in the business operations of Dubai Ports World and to take all steps necessary to guard against security problems. ... Any violation of these commitments, by the UAE government or the company itself, would subject the company to cancellation of its approval to operate in the United States and thus force its immediate divestiture, presumably at a fire-sale price. We obtained a similar statement from the French government in 1979 to resolve concerns about the acquisition of American Motors by Renault, which was then partially government-owned.

Instead of pursuing such a solution, our lawmakers have chosen to spend their time obsessing over good sound bytes at the expense of good policy.

If S. 2334 passes, it will require the president to present to Congress within 30 days a report on all foreign government-owned companies "leasing, operating, managing or owning real property or facilities" at U.S. ports. There's certainly nothing wrong with compiling such a report; I, for one, am curious. After days of trying to unravel the mysteries of who owns what where, I'm eager to see it all laid out, definitively.

We can only hope Congress also uses those 30 days wisely -- to channel this unusual bipartisan momentum into legislation that will genuinely improve our port security.

By Emily Messner |  March 1, 2006; 5:55 AM ET  | Category:  Facts , U.S. Foreign Policy
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UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports

By PAMELA HESS
UPI Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

President George W. Bush on Tuesday threatened to veto any legislation designed to stall the handover.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. said after the briefing she expects swift, bi-partisan approval for a bill to require a national security review before it is allowed to go forward.

At issue is a 1992 amendment to a law that requires a 45-day review if the foreign takeover of a U.S. company "could affect national security." Many members of Congress see that review as mandatory in this case.

But Bush administration officials said Thursday that review is only triggered if a Cabinet official expresses a national security concern during an interagency review of a proposed takeover.

"We have a difference of opinion on the interpretation of your amendment," said Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, comprised of officials from 12 government departments and agencies, including the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security, approved the deal unanimously on January 17.

"The structure of the deal led us to believe there were no national security concerns," said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Michael P. Jackson.

The same day, the White House appointed a DP World executive, David C. Sanborn, to be the administrator for the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. Sanborn had been serving as director of operations for Europe and Latin America at DP World.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R- Va., said he will request from both the U.S. attorney general and the Senate committee's legal counsel a finding on the administration's interpretation of the 1992 amendment.

Adding to the controversy is the fact Congress was not notified of the deal. Kimmitt said Congress is periodically updated on completed CFIUS decisions, but is proscribed from initiating contact with Congress about pending deals. It may respond to congressional inquiries on those cases only.

Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley stated in a letter to Bush on Feb. 21 that he specifically requested to be kept abreast of foreign investments that may have national security implications. He made the request in the wake of a controversial Chinese proposal to purchase an oil company last year.

"Obviously, my request fell on deaf ears. I am disappointed that I was neither briefed nor informed of this sale prior to its approval. Instead, I read about it in the media," he wrote.

According to Kimmitt, the deal was reported on in major newspapers as early as last October. But it did not get critical attention in the press until the Associated Press broke the story Feb. 11 and the Center for Security Policy, a right-leaning organization, wrote about it Feb. 13. CSP posited the sale as the Treasury Department putting commerce interests above national security.

Kimmitt said because the 2005 Chinese proposal had caused such an uproar before it ever got to CFIUS, the lack of reaction to the Dubai deal when it was reported on last fall suggested it would not be controversial enough to require special notification of Congress.

Central to the debate is the fact that the United Arab Emirates, while a key ally of the United States in the Middle East, has had troubling ties to terrorist networks, according to the Sept. 11 Commission report. It was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the al-Qaida-friendly Taliban government in Afghanistan; al-Qaida funneled millions of dollars through the U.A.E. financial sector; and A.Q. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear technology smuggler, used warehouses near the Dubai port as a key transit point for many of his shipments.

Since the terrorist attacks, it has cut ties with the Taliban, frozen just over $1 million in alleged terrorist funding, and given the United States key military basing and over-flight rights. At any given time, there are 77,000 U.S. service members on leave in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Pentagon.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England warned that the uproar about the United Arab Emirates involvement in U.S. ports could risk alienating the very countries in the Middle East the United States is trying to court as allies in the war on terrorism.

"It's very important we strengthen bonds ... especially with friends and allies in the Arab world. It's important that we treat friends and allies equally around the world without discrimination," he said.

The security of port terminal operations is a key concern. More than 7 million cargo containers come through 361 American ports annually, half of the containers through New York-New Jersey, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. Only a small percentage are physically searched and just 37 percent currently screened for radiation, an indication of an attempt to smuggle in nuclear material that could be used for a "dirty bomb."

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the government began a new program that required documentation on all cargo 24 hours before it was loaded on a ship in a foreign port bound for the United States. A "risk analysis" is conducted on every shipment, including a review of the ship's history, the cargo's history and contents and other factors. Each ship must also provide the U.S. government 96 hours notice of its arrival in an American port, along with a crew manifest.

None of the nine administration officials assembled for the briefing could immediately say how many of the more than 3,000 port terminals are currently under foreign control.

Port facility operators have a major security responsibility, and one that could be exploited by terrorists if they infiltrate the company, said Joe Muldoon III. Muldoon is an attorney representing Eller & Co., a port facility operator in Florida partnered with M&O in Miami. Eller opposes the Dubai takeover for security reasons.

"The Coast Guard oversees security, and they have the authority to inspect containers if they want and they can look at manifests, but they are really dependent on facility operators to carry out security issues," Muldoon said.

The Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans including passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

Under the same law, port facility operators may have access to Coast Guard security incident response plans -- that is, they would know how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terrorist attacks.

"The concern is that the UAE may be our friend now ... but who's to say that couldn't change, or they couldn't be infiltrated. Iran was our big buddy," said Muldoon.

In a January report, the Council on Foreign Relations pointed out the vulnerability of the shipping security system to terrorist exploitation.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. customs agency requires shippers to follow supply chain security practices. Provided there are no apparent deviations from those practices or intelligence warnings, the shipment is judged low risk and is therefore unlikely to be inspected.

CFR suggests a terrorist event is likely to be a one-time operation on a trusted carrier "precisely because they can count on these shipments entering the U.S. with negligible or no inspection."

"All a terrorist organization needs to do is find a single weak link within a 'trusted' shipper's complex supply chain, such as a poorly paid truck driver taking a container from a remote factory to a port. They can then gain access to the container in one of the half-dozen ways well known to experienced smugglers," CFR wrote.

Posted by: CHE | March 1, 2006 07:24 AM

George WMD Bush said Wednesday he remains confident Osama bin Laden "will be brought to justice" despite a so-far futile five-year hunt.
http://dailynews.att.net/cgi-bin/news?e=pri&dt=060301&cat=news&st=newsd8g2oee01&src=ap
I hope Bush is "brought to swift justice"!

It's been 1,626 days since GWB said he'd catch ubl 'Dead or Alive!'

Posted by: The 12th Imam | March 1, 2006 07:44 AM

Where does this logic end? What happens when a 'Dubai Power World' proposes to take over some of our nuclear power plants?

Dubai is essentially a dictatorship, comparing it to the current Germany is false analogy.

Posted by: Emily's Dad | March 1, 2006 08:13 AM

The only explanation left for opponents of the DPW takeover of terminals in six American ports is that the UAE, in which the spectacular emirate of Dubai happens to sit, has "Arab" in its name.


You got it girl! And there's nothing wrong with it. It proves we are not xenophobic. We are terrorphobic. Especially rabidly religious-muslim-terror phobic. Actually we are concerned for the citizens of Dubai also. If 9/11 could trigger an invasion of Iraq and cause such misery, imagine what the nutcases in this country would do to Dubai if one of our port is blown up while being run by their company!

Posted by: Emily's Mom | March 1, 2006 08:26 AM


www.wsws.org

Pentagon whitewash for Halliburton corruption in Iraq
By Patrick Martin
1 March 2006

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

In a decision that epitomizes the war profiteering and corruption that have accompanied the American operation in Iraq, US Army officials have decided to override the recommendations of the Pentagon's own internal auditors and pay nearly all of a quarter-billion dollars in disputed billings submitted by a subsidiary of Halliburton, the huge oil services and construction firm headed by Dick Cheney until he became vice president.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) flagged more than $250 million in charges submitted by the subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, as questionable and potentially unjustified. This amounted to more than 10 percent of the $2.41 billion no-bid contract which KBR was awarded in 2003 to deliver fuel and conduct repairs in Iraq's oilfields.

Halliburton and KBR have raked in a total of $11 billion in Pentagon funds for supply, repair and reconstruction projects in Iraq since the US invasion, more than half the total.

Army officials defended the decision in response to questions raised by the New York Times, telling the newspaper, "the contractor is not required to perform perfectly to be entitled to reimbursement."

The DCAA found that in some cases KBR was charging the Army fuel transportation costs nearly three times what competitors were charging. A total of $263 million in costs were questioned, but the Army decided to pay $252.9 million of the disputed amount. As the Times explained in an article February 27, "That means the Army is withholding payment on just 3.8 percent of the charges questioned by the Pentagon audit agency, which is far below the rate at which the agency's recommendation is usually followed or sustained by the military.... Figures provided by the Pentagon audit agency on thousands of military contracts over the past three years show how far the Halliburton decision lies outside the norm. In 2003, the agency's figures show, the military withheld an average of 66.4 percent of what the auditors had recommended, while in 2004 the figure was 75.2 percent and in 2005 it was 56.4 percent."

The Times estimated that Halliburton's profit from the cost-plus contract was about $100 million, meaning that a typical recovery rate for overcharges detected by the auditor would have wiped it out entirely. Instead of such an outcome, an Army official told the newspaper that the company would lose about $7 million in profits because of the auditors' questioning of the costs that were the basis for markups and fees for KBR.

The Iraqi people as well as the American taxpayer will be robbed under this arrangement, since the total of $2.4 billion for Halliburton/KBR will come from $900 million appropriated by the US Congress and $1.5 in Iraqi oil proceeds and funds seized from the ousted government of Saddam Hussein.

A spokesman for the DCAA hinted at the higher-level intervention that influenced--and ultimately decided--the outcome of the case. Lt. Col. Brian Maka told the Times that the settlement with KBR was based on "broader business considerations" than the audit and that the DCAA "has no indication of problems with the audit process." The inference clearly to be drawn is that Cheney's well-publicized role, as well as KBR's longstanding connections with top Pentagon brass, secured the whitewash.

The concern for the political impact of the KBR audit has been evident from the beginning of this case. Pentagon officials tried to keep the auditors' findings secret during the fall of 2004, in an effort to avoid a scandal that would do damage to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign.

The confiscated Iraqi funds have been used for Halliburton contracts under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution which gave after-the-fact authorization for the US occupation. But when UN officials asked to see the audits of money whose disbursement they were responsible for overseeing, they were given copies with most criticism of KBR blacked out. Much of the vitriol directed by congressional Republicans against the UN over the "oil-for-food" scandal has been a preemptive effort to block the international body from exposing the much larger corruption now being practiced by corporate America in Iraq.

The total amounts are staggering. In January 2005, one investigation concluded that $8.8 billion distributed to Iraqi ministries under the Coalition Provisional Authority had little or no oversight or control. Much of this money was simply pocketed by American officials and their Iraqi stooges. Enormous amounts of cash--including the largest single shipment in the history of the US Federal Reserve--flooded Iraq with hundred-dollar bills. From May 2003 to June 2004, for instance, the Federal Reserve shipped $12 billion in cash to Iraq, $4 billion of it in the final month of the CPA, when the orgy of plunder reached its peak.

In January 2006, a more comprehensive audit of thousands of rebuilding contracts found at least $230 million in unjustified payments from some $5.8 billion in Iraqi government funds and oil sales proceeds.

Only the smallest of small fries have been prosecuted for the wholesale looting of Iraq. The vice president of Eagle Global Logistics, a KBR subcontractor, pled guilty to $1.14 million in improper billing for fraudulent "war risk surcharges." Christopher J. Cahill, of Katy, Texas, was named in a sealed plea agreement announced February 16 by a federal district court in Rock Island, Illinois, location of the Army Field Support Command. He will be sentenced May 26.

Another contractor, Robert J. Stein of S&K Technologies, a Montana firm, pled guilty February 2 to charges of conspiracy, money laundering and weapons possession charges. He admitted stealing $2 million in cash and taking additional bribes from businessman Philip H. Bloom, during the period in 2003-2004 when he was a subcontractor for the CPA in the Iraqi city of Hilla. Several middle-ranking Army officers have been charged in the case as well.

Stein was put in charge of distributing over $80 million in reconstruction money in Hilla, despite having a felony fraud conviction. He used his money to buy, among other things, a Lexus, machineguns, a Cessna airplane, expensive watches and jewelry, and two pieces of North Carolina real estate. He also reportedly received sexual favors at a villa in Baghdad which Bloom used to cater to those CPA officials who were involved in the kickback scheme.

As described in press accounts of the case, at one point Stein picked up nearly $60 million in shrink-wrapped $100 bills from CPA headquarters in Baghdad and drove the money back to Hilla, where he had personal control over the vault where it was placed. Of the total of $120 million in Iraqi oil revenues sent to Hilla, only $27 million can be accounted for.

Another corruption case went to trial on February 13, when the two principals of Custer Battles LLC, a security contractor created to cash in on the Iraqi profit bonanza, faced charges of defrauding the US government of $50 million paid to them to provide security for the Iraqi national airline. The major witnesses are whistleblowers inside the company who cited the use of fake invoices to bill for services that were never provided.

A similar case began in Iraq February 5, when the Public Integrity Commission of the US-backed regime in Baghdad filed criminal charges against a member of parliament for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars intended to improve security of a key pipeline.

The scale of the war profiteering in Iraq--which involves such corporate giants as Parsons, Fluor Corporation, Bechtel and Washington Group, as well as Halliburton/KBR--may well increase in the coming year, given Bush's request of another $72.4 billion for the continued war and occupation, on top of a $50 billion special appropriation.

In return for the gargantuan sums already squandered in the occupied country, estimated as high as $500 billion, Iraq's people continue to live under far worse economic and social conditions than under the previous regime. According to a report early this month by the US special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, filed with the Senate Armed Services Committee, two of three Iraqis have no potable water, only 20 percent have sewage service, and Iraq's electricity generating capacity is below prewar levels. Even oil production, the principal goal of the US invasion, has failed to reach prewar levels.

Meanwhile, those at the top of the American military-industrial complex--who move seamlessly between the upper echelons of the officer corps, corporate boardrooms and the government--fatten their bank accounts and stock portfolios.

See Also:

Posted by: che | March 1, 2006 08:30 AM

Yet what if, as the Straits Times suggests, being in a region with so much terrorist activity actually makes for better preparation against attacks?


Surely you joke! Please come to Iraq and argue that point.

Don't forget you can't walk and chew gum in Singapore at the same time. Actually you can't chew gum there at all. Talk about a paranoid dictatorial city state lecturing the rest of us. Singapore is the wrong model to hold up Emily! You forget our lessons on Athens vs. Sparta already.

Posted by: Emily's Tenth Grade Teacher | March 1, 2006 08:36 AM

Che,

Stop cluttering these blogs with other people's writings. You an American? Then show us some original individual thoughts. Just repeating other people's opinions is symptomatic of a brainwashed citizen. A bushbot they say.


And Emily we can go to the 'spectacular emirate' of Dubai for our next vacation if you promise we don't have to see Michael Jackson's hiding place there. You sure they don't have a thriving child sex trade there?

And oh bring your burka also. At least a veil. We may venture outside Dubai into some of these other emirates. It will be a blast.

Posted by: Emily's Boyfriend | March 1, 2006 08:49 AM

Where in S. 2234 does it say 'airport'? It only says ports, as in the sea ports (which we don't call sea ports, but ports). The amount of selective thinking and bait n' switch that Emily has had to partake in during this discussion is laughable. She claims legislation aimed at ports is aimed at airports as well; She claims legislation aimed at foreign-state owned companies is the same as legislation aimed at ALL foreign companies, state-owned or otherwise. Ridiculous. If she was truly in the right on this issue, she wouldn't need such cheap tactics.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 08:57 AM

Emily wrote:
===========================================
"So if the UAE is to be punished because the 9/11 hijackers used its banks and airports, Germany must be punished, too."
===========================================

Fine with me! :)

This is the country of the United States of America. Our native language is American English (with some nice colorful dialects). We have our own customs, traditions and holidays. We have a Constitution that guarantees our rights, with three branches of government to check their power to not abuse such rights. We mostly are a free society (we don't have to carry passports to just travel to another state, for example). Women are regarded if not at equals, very close in our society (they are doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, police officers, firemen, and train for warfare in the military). They can eat at the same table, and pray in the same pews with other non relative men, as well. They can drive, can own businesses, manage their own money, and not required to be married.

We're free people with a very determined pioneer spirit. Unfettered by Old World BS.

If a foreign company comes in to control MAJOR trade/transport routes, and can't appreciate that this country is our own, and respect our way of life, demostrate they are above the crappy religious extremism in their own countries (and especially regarding women as chattel), then they need to be barred from dealing with ANY US based company.

How countries may run itself (as long as they don't spread their hatred/junk/extremism into other countries) is no one else's business. If Japan and Norway want to whale (which is a tradition dating back thousands of years), that's their cultural right. If a US citizen wants to eat the biggest Angus what-a-burger loaded with 5 slices of American cheese, onions, tomato, lettuce, and dripping in a 1000 calorie secret sauce, some toothpick in Germany has zero right to tell that US citizen what they can or can't eat.

My biggest compliant about foreigners buying up plants and controling industry on our shores is how they try to transform them (and their workers) into a model based in their own country. This was notorious when Japanese bought up companies in the US and pushed Japanese worker/management relation styles on workers (it didn't and won't go well, as it's culturally insensitive). It's no different than if Americans went abroad and had to hold up to local customs/traditions as well.

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is the golden rule. That means either accept the local ways and means, assimilate or just go back home.

A country has a right to protect it's identity. This country isn't Mexico, Canada, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Spain or any Middle East country. It's the United State of America.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 09:03 AM

We can only hope Congress also uses those 30 days wisely -- to channel this unusual bipartisan momentum into legislation that will genuinely improve our port security.

We will we will. Congress and wisdom go hand in foot. You remember we passed legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security don't you? Such great accomplishment of ours! The problem is that idiot Michael Brown. Or was that Chertaff? I forget. He just didn't fit in! But don't worry we will pass a separate legislation to create the Department of New Orleans Security to make up to those poor people. DPW will be under such tight scrutiny down there not even a terrorist can escape the next hurricane. We promise.

But on a lighter note forget about Dubai, come down to the Big Easy with your boyfriend. You'll have a blast not even Katrina can compare.

Posted by: Emily's Congressman | March 1, 2006 09:06 AM

Che seems too selfish to do other than what he does. He could easily post links instead of long posts that interfere with the flow of debate here. Apparently, he thinks we're all too stupid to take a link to these articles, and instead need the articles rammed in our faces.
Che, all you have to do is post a link with a brief summary of what the article is you are linking to. It would be a lot more effective in getting your agenda across and a lot less disruptive to the rest of us, who are only trying to debate issues while you completely ignore every topic at hand. You rarely express your individual thoughts on the matters at hand, and instead always hide behind somebody else's words on subjects that are usually off-topic. Think for yourself, please. I'd rather hear your personal perspective than just get a constant regurgitation of articles from people that aren't you.
We debaters are not at war with you, Che, so please stop dropping pamphlets on us. So many people have expressed the same sentiment I am now that you should realize that you are being counterproductive with the way you are putting these articles forth. Insulting people's intelligence and invading their space is not going to get you or your agenda very far. It seems most of us stick to the common rules of debate which you apparently think you are above. Give respect to get respect, Che.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 09:17 AM

DO tread on me!

Posted by: Emily's Flag | March 1, 2006 09:18 AM

Is Michael Jackson babysitting me alone necessarily bad?

Posted by: Emily's Boy | March 1, 2006 09:21 AM

Emily,

By all means come visit Dubai. And our other emirates. Especially our other emirates. They are real and they are spectacular. We welcome all people even women with their own mind. Heck half of our population are now Iranians coming here for a good time they can't have in their own country. Even the mullahs come for a good time. Sure some of them also come to trade in contrabands like centrifuges. But who are we to interfere with free trade? We trade with anybody. Anybody! Ain't unfettered capitalism great? That's why we haven't had any terrorist 'incidents' so far. Unlike the Saudis. We welcome anybody. Anybody.

But you come! I show you a good time. Bring your boyfriend. He can stay with my harem while we go party with the Iranians. Don't be fooled by the mullahs. At home they strict, here they party like animals.

In Dubai even the Talibans party like animals. Actually they're kind of animals. But who are we to judge? Our new tourism motto is 'Dubai where both Michael Jackson and A Q Khan feel at home!'

You come soon.

Posted by: Emily's Emir | March 1, 2006 09:26 AM

Don't make our publicly-traded corporation look bad in the eyes of foreign investors. We've got stock to sell, after all...

Posted by: Emily's Boss | March 1, 2006 09:34 AM

It's a first: I'm agreeing with ErrinF! lol

Come here with your own thoughts. Got evidence, facts and such? Give us the links, but bring to the table your own views. We're here to read, discuss, debate and learn something inbetween -- which is all pointless with just copy and pasting whole articles. We don't care what XYZ thinks, we care about what YOU think (what better way to gauge the real sentiment of the public, not just think tanks and the Elites telling us what they want us to know).

Take a cue on how Emily is writing her articles -- original content, links, pointed questions to engage in debate.

This is afterall, is "The Debate" -- not copyandpaste.com. :)

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 09:35 AM

Actually, Sandy, it's a second, as we were in agreeance on the port deal being un-American, as well as Che needing to up his game if he really expects to have his articles read here. I know, I know, it's tough to comprehend being on the same side. I'll probably end up blanking this out too. Ah, to feud again... : )

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 09:40 AM

This was notorious when Japanese bought up companies in the US and pushed Japanese worker/management relation styles on workers (it didn't and won't go well, as it's culturally insensitive).
Posted by: SandyK | Mar 1, 2006 9:03:59 AM

Imagine... actually referring to the Japanese as the Japanese! If only fupid Chris Ford could grasp such a simple concept.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 09:46 AM

Now now don't compare us to the Talibans. Those guys ARE animals. They make us look like saints. I agree with Emily. Such stoutly reasoned logic. Not even Talmudic scholars can compare. If the Great British can run American ports why can't the UAE? Why can't Iran? We have not invaded another country since Alexander attacked us. Heck the last time we attacked another country was at the battle of Marathon. So why not us? If the Great British and the Jews can have nucular weapons, why can't we? Not that we want any such weapons! We are a peaceful nation.

Like I said we haven't attacked any country in two thousand years. It's that cowboy Bush who attacked both our neighbors! Not that we are not grateful for that. Both of our enemies gone. Imagine that! In three short years.

So Emily tell your American readers not to discriminate against the peaceloving Iranians either.

Let me know if you come to Dubai. I have a Summer home there with a view to kill for. Not that we'd kill anybody whos's not an infidel.

Posted by: Emily's Mullah | March 1, 2006 10:06 AM

Did I say saints? I am very sorry. We are muslims after all. The Emir is my witness. Here's how it should read:

Now now don't compare us to the Talibans. Those guys ARE animals. They make us look like martyrs...


But Emily you argue our case too! We are a peaceful people who just want to do nucular research to benefit our people. Just like the Great British. Just like the Jews.

Posted by: Emily's Mullah | March 1, 2006 10:28 AM

Look. I have made this observation bfore. Most of us who participate in this chest thumping and fingerpointing and huffing and puffing really do not have any clue as to what is going on. Emily has posed a question that gets to the nub of it all: Is it a good thing or a bad thing for a foreign government--say Dubai, a member of a collection of Arab Emirates that have at times engaged in policies and activities that might be deemed antithetical to our interests--to have sole ownership of an important resource that could affect our national security?

I suspect that on balance it is probably a good thing. This is a lucrative enterprise and believe me, where profit is a motivator, business and government will go to great lengths to protect that profitablility. Allowing the national security of the host nation that is providing that profit to decline to a point that threatens future profits seems to me to be counterintuitive. I would assume that the foreign government involved in such an enterprise would want to do all that it can to prevent any threat to that profit making enterprise.

Moreover, the more such financial interaction between international governments, the less likely it is that they would tolerate the sorts of activities that allow terrorism to flourish. Such economic interdependence would seem to foster moderation in political ideologies that in the past have been hostile to us.

But, we are still told we are at war. And that is what unsetteles the American people. Their knowledge of war is historical. They measure their role in terms of their past experiences. But this isn't really like any of those wars notwithstanding the Bush administration's efforts to conflate it with past conflicts.

This war will be won not by military force of arms. I will not be won on a traditional battlefiled in some massive last ditch invasion involving tanks, planes, missiles and bombs. It will be won in terms of which side wins over the hearts and minds of the peoples of those troubled lands in the Middle and Near East and in Asia.

Maybe, just maybe, financial arrangements such as the Dubai deal can aid in that war effort. But only if the American people can look at it in the cold, dispassionate light of reality, and not in the emotionally charged hysteria of stereotypical thinking.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 1, 2006 10:49 AM

Dictators are people too! Let women be treated as second class citizens in the UAE! Inalienable rights only belong to Americans and aren't being denied to the citizens of Dubai by their government! So what if a journalist in the UAE cannot moderate an open debate blog like I can, let alone make a living off of it like I do! Like some jerk that was born and raised in the UAE deserves the same freedom of press and freedom of speech I'm going to get to enjoy my entire life! Americans xenophobic of the citizens of the UAE deserve more chastisement than the emirs that oppress those same citizens! I don't see the word 'arab' in the Declaration Of Independence! What self-evident truths about human rights and human dignity?! What difference between a representative government and a despot that doesn't answer to his own people?! Is a foreign government owning the rights and lives of their own citizens necessarily a bad thing?! I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure a port deal that compromises our national security and profits a repressive regime becomes a reality!

Posted by: Emily's Indifference | March 1, 2006 11:01 AM

Somewhere below Bush's, but above Cheney's.

Posted by: Emily's Approval Rating | March 1, 2006 11:03 AM

It's a good thing to grant lucrative deals to oppressive Middle Eastern regimes, Jaxas? We're not winning the hearts and minds of UAE citizens; We're winning the hearts and minds of the emirs that oppress them.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 11:08 AM

Unfair portrayals of the opposition are okay in this debate, so mock responses like this are appropriate.

Posted by: Emily's Karma | March 1, 2006 11:23 AM

Emily wrote:

"Having seized the opportunity presented to them, members of Congress continue to use the ports issue as a political tool. Hillary Clinton's Web site just sent out an e-mail with this quote from the senator in bold: "Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments," Clinton said. If her push to prohibit foreign management of American ports is successful, that could mean disaster for the 80 percent of American port terminals that are managed by foreign operators -- and the U.S. economy could suffer right along with them."

Karl Rove is responsible for the republican mid-term election. He openly declared national security as key to victory. By doing so it has opened all decisions, by both parties, to extreme scrutiny over national security, whether warranted or not. The administration knew the port deal would be politicized against them, yet could not insult allies in the Middle East. By keeping the port deal suppressed from the public and congress, it was hoped it would not cause political damage. The administration seems to have over-estimated its political clout with in its own party. Perhaps in hind sight the administration could have been more open and willing to negotiate, the port deal would not have become a political "hot potato".

If you like Hillary Clinton or not, she is formidable politician that has been consistently characterized as being weak on Nation Security. The administration has given her an early Christmas Gift. This statement is not meant to be "Bush bashing", but the President is becoming more a known quantity to the general public and his PR is much less effective.

Emily wrote:

"It is true that 9/11 hijackers passed through the super-swanky Dubai airport -- apparently quite an offense as far as Gov. Jon Corzine (audio) is concerned. Even worse, "more than $100,000 was wired from the UAE account of the hijacker to the German account of the hijacker in a 15-month period," according to Dennis M. Lormel, the FBI's financial crimes section chief who reported to Congress on the dealings back in 2002.
Lormel also noted, "two of the hijackers (pilots/leaders) had credit cards issued by German banks and maintained those after moving to the U.S." And the Wall Street Journal's Michael Gonzales reported a couple years ago that "German banks are North Korea's biggest lenders, and Syria's -- and Libya's."
So if the UAE is to be punished because the 9/11 hijackers used its banks and airports, Germany must be punished, too."

The point Emily seems to be making here is that if any country had any association with 911, they are all equal in a security risk. The United States allowed the terrorist to enter and live within its border's. Does this disqualify us from operating our own ports? The answer is no. What is an issue is the increased probability of security risk with what country operates our ports based on who the terrorists are, where the terrorists are from, the political agenda of the country, what religion the terrorists follow, to what extent did the country aid the terrorists, does a country to still openly aid a known terrorist organization...... Since the terrorists have been profiled and have no allegiance to any county, we have to profile countries that directly or indirectly support terrorism to determine where the higher risk is.

Emily wrote:

"Is Foreign Government Ownership Necessarily Bad?"

In some cases it may be good depending on security risk and how the contract is written. A case in point is BNFL, now BNG. The company signed a fixed a price contract with DOE and lost hundreds of millions of dollars, a big savings to American tax payers at the expense of the UK.

Posted by: Jamal | March 1, 2006 11:25 AM

I do not know ErrinF if it is a good deal or not. But, neither do I kneejerk to the conclusion that because Dubai is a Middle Eastern Arab country they are ruled by oppressive madmen. I suspect that they are products of the culture they were raised in.

It is a delicate thing to go about the world preaching to other cultures that they are not as virtuous as we are simply because our culture values liberty, openess and self determination. These people must be allowed to find their own destinies. If the peoples of these cultures are oppressed enough, one would think that they would rise up against their oppressors.

I am no expert. I have no particular insight. But I do believe that the more we cooperate with our international neighbors in mutually profitable enterprises, the more likely it is that we will achieve mutual understanding and tolerance for one another. Try as we may, we will never convert others to our way of life unless they want that way of life. Barring that, we should strive to find ways to coexist on this troublesome little ball in the vastness of the cosmos. Don't you agree?

Posted by: Jaxas | March 1, 2006 11:26 AM

You know, one of the biggest lies I've heard around this port deal was the Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Ports World claim before Congress that they have to go through with the American portion of the deal no matter what, and stand to lose their 6 billion dollar investment otherwise.
Is he really claiming that a 6 billion dollar international port deal that was dependent upon the approval of various governments has NO stipulation whatsoever in it if one of those governmental reviews were to not approve of the deal? Either DPW hired the worst business lawyer ever to write out the business contract for this deal, or the COO is not being honest with the American people about the port deal he signed on to. I refuse to believe that any transaction involving billions of dollars does not include stipulations for each and every complication that may arise to jeopardize the investment in the transaction. There is of course a provision or two within this ports deal that will cover the UAE's financially in this current scenario of not being approved by our government. The COO of DPW is FOS.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 11:42 AM

Errin wrote:
===========================================
"We're not winning the hearts and minds of UAE citizens; We're winning the hearts and minds of the emirs that oppress them."
===========================================

Exactly. It's seems to be about money first, hells bells on security (let alone Americans having jobs to make a decent living). >:(

Not everyone is destined to be college bound (some are techs, who really want to be techs -- it's a profession after all). Are the college bound telling those who goto community college, or learn via apprenticeship, they're valued less because they didn't fork over $50,000+ in tuition fees and want to live away from home to pay for it?

The wonderful benefits of computing is independent contracting and without the need for paper qualifications. What counts is what you have experience in doing, and can meet deadlines. For example with web design: People are shopping for a bargain, not MIT pricing (nice if you graduate from MIT, but folks rarely are going to pay the MIT pricing they demand). If I hussle I can easily make $800/week doing nothing but logo work. Ad a web site template and other tweak work, and I can make $1200/week. No college tuition fees; no corporate attire (nice to work in PJ's); no dealing with bosses who can't think outside the box just bottomlines.

The future isn't outsourcing or corporations owning ports and businesses, it's independent contract work arranged, conducted and commenced via the internet.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 11:45 AM

Oh, I will add: the future will be with teleporting goods -- and via electronic means, as well. Sounds very Star Trekish, but they're already experimenting with it in the labs, so it will become feasible in the future (not for people -- doubt folks will be willing to risk merging into walls and the ground -- but cargo). Instead of moving 10,000 ton crates to some holding facility, individually to people's homes (computing by then will be able to handle such an logistical nightmare). If the power companies can get ultra broadband enabled via powerlines, there's the true broadband potential in moving goods literally electronically.

Welcome to the Digital Age!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 11:57 AM

What you consider a delicate thing is what I consider a fundamental truth, Jaxas. I cannot support this port deal that is so completely un-American in the way it weakens a representative republic such as ours to strengthen a repressive regime such as theirs. When finding their own destiny suddenly involves us, then why not talk about their destiny? Are they to always be an emirate/dictatorship, or will representative democracy be their next step? I don't see how us empowering the status quo over in Dubai is going to be mutually profitable to the non-royal citizens of the UAE; It will perpetuate them living under a monarchy that does not answer to them. I do not agree at all with your assertion that we should strive for ways to co-exist with dictatorships; We should strive for ways the emirs and emirati of the UAE can co-exist in a form of government that recognizes inalienable human rights, with leadership that has to answer to the will of the people and the public good.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 12:03 PM

The current news spasm aside, the big picture is that international corporations buy and sell each other at will and quietly. Rarely do we find out that Mom's Apple Pie Co. is a division of Royal Dutch Shell....And Corporations being amoral and greedy, they will do anything required to please the shareholders.
We need to recognise that this will be the norm from now on, and should concentrate on creating international rules of behavior which create a level playing field for competition and security.

Posted by: Lemon Grover | March 1, 2006 12:08 PM

Hot off the wire discrimination suit against a woman by an Muslim organization...

===========================================
"The ruling is against the Islamic Society of Orange County, which runs the Orange Crescent School in Garden Grove where Zakiyyah Muhammad was principal for five years until she was fired in 2003.

Muhammad, 60, a convert to Islam, was awarded $788,000 in damages by a jury in September after she claimed she was dismissed for challenging her male bosses."
===========================================

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2628&ncid=2628&e=8&u=/ap/20060228/ap_on_re_us/islamic_discrimination_1

Will the same occur with more foreign owners trying to instill their values on US citizens, too? Values that go against our laws and cultural standards?

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 12:10 PM

Ya, Sandy, I wonder how many female counterparts you have over in Dubai making a freelance living supporting themselves, freely expressing themselves on blogs like this whenever they wish. I'm guessing close to none... a country that doesn't let women be independent of men sure as hell isn't going to let them be independent contractors. And just how independent can you be in a state where all citizens are wholly dependent on the oversight of the regime they live under?
As an independent contractor myself (recording engineer; oddly enough sessions pay roughly the same as your web design), I totally relate to what you're saying. I got to where I am through taking a 10-week course that cost $3K and picking up food for rock stars as a runner for about a year, all the while learning how to be the real deal as a professional sound engineer. Hussle and talent is what pays my rent, not some degree. Something tells me that those on their soapboxes chastizing the American people for putting America first in this port affair are of the 'collegiates know best' crowd. Perhaps if they made a living being their own bosses, they might be more enlightened on what they know exactly. As it were, these 9-to-5er lifers don't quite know what they're missing. And they certainly don't know how to design a website or cut an album.
Anyway, I better stop all this agreeance with Sandy before the pigs start flying. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 12:46 PM

Jaxas are you from Texas? Listen your argument can be made to support putting the Sopranos in charge of all our ports. Surely they will see to it that profits are maximized and all entities involved cooperate peacefully for mutual benefits. As long as the family calls the shot.

The Chinese Communist Party is doing exactly that in China. That doesn't make the argument valid or supportable. It's an argument for big brother everywhere as long as there's food on the table.

The same argument pretty much sums up US foreign policy of the last 60 years particularly of the past five years. It's OK to be a thug who oppresses your people as long as you toe our line, as long as you are 'our' thug. Saddam was an ally until he invaded Kuwait. Egypt is an ally but Syria is not. Both are run by repressive dictators. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Pakistan where the current ally is a general who overthrew an elected govt and who until 9/11 was the main sponsor of the Talibans themselves. I'll bet if it were Hugo Chavez buying control of our ports the deal would not have made it out of the basement of the WH. On the other hand you would not see such grassroot opposition to it simply because Americans would not see Chavez as a potential terrorist who would blow us all up. A four decade late Marxist maybe but not a terrorist.

Posted by: A thug's argument | March 1, 2006 01:04 PM

As www.economyincrisis.com notes, US Government statistics indicate the following percentages of foreign ownership of American industry:

· Sound recording industries - 97%
· Commodity contracts dealing and brokerage - 79%
· Motion picture and sound recording industries - 75%
· Metal ore mining - 65%
· Motion picture and video industries - 64%
· Wineries and distilleries - 64%
· Database, directory, and other publishers - 63%
· Book publishers - 63%
· Cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum product - 62%
· Engine, turbine and power transmission equipment - 57%
· Rubber product - 53%
· Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing - 53%
· Plastics and rubber products manufacturing - 52%
· Plastics product - 51%
· Other insurance related activities - 51%
· Boiler, tank, and shipping container - 50%
· Glass and glass product - 48%
· Coal mining - 48%
· Sugar and confectionery product - 48%
· Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying - 47%
· Advertising and related services - 41%
· Pharmaceutical and medicine - 40%
· Clay, refractory, and other nonmetallic mineral products - 40%
· Securities brokerage - 38%
· Other general purpose machinery - 37%
· Audio and video equipment mfg and reproducing magnetic and optical media - 36%
· Support activities for mining - 36%
· Soap, cleaning compound, and toilet preparation - 32%
· Chemical manufacturing - 30%
· Industrial machinery - 30%
· Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities - 30%
· Other food - 29%
· Motor vehicles and parts - 29%
· Machinery manufacturing - 28%
· Other electrical equipment and component - 28%
· Securities and commodity exchanges and other financial investment activities - 27%
· Architectural, engineering, and related services - 26%
· Credit card issuing and other consumer credit - 26%
· Petroleum refineries (including integrated) - 25%
· Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments - 25%
· Petroleum and coal products manufacturing - 25%
· Transportation equipment manufacturing - 25%
· Commercial and service industry machinery - 25%
· Basic chemical - 24%
· Investment banking and securities dealing - 24%
· Semiconductor and other electronic component - 23%
· Paint, coating, and adhesive - 22%
· Printing and related support activities - 21%
· Chemical product and preparation - 20%
· Iron, steel mills, and steel products - 20%
· Agriculture, construction, and mining machinery - 20%
· Publishing industries - 20%
· Medical equipment and supplies - 20%
Thus it shouldn't surprise us that the cons have sold off our ports as well, and will defend it to the bitter end. They truly believe that a "New World Order" with multinational corporations in charge instead of sovereign governments will be the answer to the problem of world instability. And therefore they must do away with quaint things like unions, a healthy middle class, and, ultimately, democracy.

Posted by: The 12th Imam is an American | March 1, 2006 01:26 PM

Don't forget that Osama bin Laden was trained by America to fight the Soviets in the Afghan War. And he and the rest of the mujahideen beat the Russians! Then, as years went on, bin Laden realized the best way to strike at the repressive regimes in the Middle East was not to face the iron fist at home but to take on the US abroad. And look all that has garnered him, at the expense of 3000+ innocent people.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 01:31 PM

I think the reaction to the news of ports management being taken over by a UAE government owned company was a wakeup call to many Americans who did not know that global corporations are not just GE and Ford but included foreign corporations. And these multinational corporations are gobbling up all the large projects around the world and destroying smaller national companies.

The security issue is one issue. If we found that foreigners were running parts of the CIA and FBI, I think you'd see the same reaction. Many peope agree our seaports and borders should run as securely as our airports.

Now this debate is not just about DPW or the UAE, its about any foreign company from running our ports. Well, as an American who has seen jobs outsourced to other countries and other country's corporations causing the shutdown of steel and textile mills, I wonder why Bush is not PROMOTING the American port management companies to run American ports. Where is the Commerce Dept on this? That crony Myers is in there so I guess she's keeping quiet. Why isn't this administration promoting American companies in America?

My gut feeling is not that DPW will sabatoge ports, or smuggle in terrorists or their bombs. I'm mad that Bush WANTS DPW and not an American company to run the ports. I believe it should be an American company for both the security issues but also for the pride. We are a seafaring nation surrounded on three sides by water. We have a huge river system to deliver the bounty of this nation. We should be promoting our skills in the areas of port management and shipping. But try to find a US flagged ship on the high seas. And now we are looking to other countries to manage our ports. Why don't we just give up building ships, building cars? We've already given up making textiles and steel, not because we wanted to but because they were not protected as a national treasure. Now if we need steel we must import it. If we want clothes we must import them. And if we want our ports managed we must bring in a foreign government-owned company and close our eyes to any security risks.

The danger in all of this is the future where we will not have the ability in this country to control our ports or industries because we have given port management up to foreign corporations. Imagine outsourcing the Army or Navy. Its already happening in this administration with the large number of contractors in Iraq. Where will it stop and where will we be when a global corporation can lecture to the US government the conditions to get the corporation to work for them. These multinationals are becomming dangerous not because they are getting bigger and more global, but because the US government is making conscious decisions to rely on them and ignoring the security issues involved and the welfare of local American companies and the local jobs they provide.

So for me the issue is more than DPW or that it is a UAE owned company. Its the attitude of this government that doesn't care that its DPW or a UAE owned company. I think they should be sad that an American company is not able to do the job. I think they should be sad that GM and Ford are in such trouble. They should be sad that many high paying jobs are going overseas. They should be sad that they have to hire Halliburton to provide logistical support to our troops because the military has outsourced that and other functions. And they should be sad that this government is not doing its job to enhance and promote American companies and the American workers they employ, the most productive workers on the planet.

Posted by: Sully | March 1, 2006 01:44 PM

First we'd like to much thank the Emir for his support and diplomatic recognition while we were in power. Only two other leaders showed such courage, wisdom, and love for the purity of Islam. After much agony our Sheik has instructed us to oppose this port deal however. Not that we are ungrateful to the Emir. For we just thanked him. And we thank him again. But this deal is much weakening George W. Bush in America and that troubles us greatly. For we could not have asked for a much cooperative enemy than the American president. We simply do not want to see him removed from office before his term ends. Three more years of Bush and, Allah willing, eight more years of Jeb, and America will be in such deep hock to us and the Chinese we will have won by default. Your default get it?

As another example every time we want to increase our recruitment we just get Al Jazeera to run that Abu Ghraib tape again. And again. Not even your Pentagon has better recruitment tool. And we are aware of their recruitment problems. Iraq has helped us regroup and get back on our feet after much carpet bombing from the Americans that could have knocked us out for good but for Allah's grace and George W. Bush's much much hatred of Saddam, who we agree is an ungodly secularist in our midst. What more can we ask for from an enemy - Iraq, oil price going up and up even our Sheik's oil holdings are increasing in value daily, worldwide opposition to America...

You American journalists make much intellectual arguments. We know better how the people work, by appealing to their gut instincts. That's why we oppose this port deal. We afraid we understand the American people better than you. We don't want them throw the bums out come November. We want Bush to stay in office despite his current folly.

The Sheik will be releasing a tape while your president is in Pakistan, our home port. He needs a bump in the approval rating so to speak. Just like right before the last election. It's OK if he thinks we unwittingly helped him the last time. We want to help him help us again.

Once again we thank the Emir much. And come visit us in Dubai soon Emily. It is truly spectacular and so are you.

Posted by: Emily's Taliban | March 1, 2006 01:52 PM

I wonder what they are qualifying as sound recording industries exactly, as 97% seems a little farfetched to me. Record labels no doubt factor in, but recording artists' profits from their careers are their own. As is publishing... BMI and ASCAP are domestically owned; I know firsthand about ASCAP, having done some activism in 2004 with members of the Jewish family that runs it (in case Chris Ford was interested. LOL). Most recording studios are privately owned and operated. About all musicians, producers, engineers, songwriters, managers, and others on the creative side of things are independent entities, and they are the top paid in the world in their respective fields. I know one thing other countries have struggled with is actually getting their own citizens to have the same level of sound expertise as the American and English recording engineers do, primarily because good engineering revolves around technique that takes time and an established lifestyle/culture to craft. Lastly, digital sound technology in the USA these days mainly revolves around MacIntosh computers and hardware/software for a program called ProTools made by another domestic company named DigiDesign (Part of Avid Inc). Even though Apple and Avid are publicly traded, I doubt if they are so heavily owned by foreign investors. Then again, maybe the 97% foreign investment was all the Sony payola that Elliot Spitzer is now doing away with.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 02:09 PM

Interesting list of foreign onwership percentages. It's worse elsewhere: ALL Irish whisky distilleries are owned by a French comglom.

Posted by: Lemon Grover | March 1, 2006 02:17 PM

Your burka is ready, Ms. Messner. Remember, two steps behind men at all times. You will blog when blogged too, and only then.
Is being part of the Emir's harem necessarily bad? Think of all the princes you might bear that will grow up to operate their very own American port! Just no princesses, please... there is no such thing as a female Emir. Never will be in Dubai, as long as you perpetuate and profiteer for the regime.
Now come! Your eunuch Chris Ford shall attend to you...

Posted by: Emily's Tailor | March 1, 2006 02:22 PM

You seem to be immovable on this subject, consistently buying the administration's frame. Do you really believe that the 78% of Americans who object to this sale are just xenophobes? What would it take to move you? I don't know, but to me, capitalism uber alles is no way to run a country's security. If you don't get that, too bad you have control of this message. And, I don't want Germany, Britain, or the UAE running our ports. Bad idea. Ask a 911 commissioner or the Coast Guard.

Posted by: MaryAnne | March 1, 2006 02:34 PM

The most valuable American commodity that governments like the UAE can invest in is our constitutional form of representative government and our principles of liberty back in their own land. Though there is little I agree on with the neocons (give me a paleocon anyday; the neos squandered Reagan's legacy after riding his coattails to get where they are today), I agree that the best solution to the end of Islamic terrorism is by democratizing the Middle East. Even then, democracy and recognition of inalienable human rights are long overdue to the emirati of the UAE and the rest of the 'Muslim street', with ot without terrorism. Nothing's being forced on the UAE; They are asking to be involved with us with this port deal. Any real long term alliance with the UAE means they will ultimately have to democratize and adopt a constitution that recognizes the truths we as Americans hold self evident. We should do all we can to hasten that evolution, though I am in now way suggesting handing over our port operations to their government to accomplish such. Still, foreign investment is a carrot to use on these people. The stick will always be available for the likes of Saddam Hussein, but some countries can be democratized better with the carrot approach. For instance, should the Clinton-Menendez legislation become law, only legitimate foreign private firms could run ports. DPW could still take part in this ports deal, but only by the Emir privatizing his company (he is the de facto CEO after all, no matter who else might hold that actual title), and he wouldn't even have to privatize all of DPW, just the North America division (conglomerates and corporations can sell off as much or as little of their divisions as they like). I would suggest that additional conditions be added to the law that would only allow purchase by foreign private firms based in countries with representative governments or constitutions that recognize the inalienable rights we Americans hold to be true for all people. Let's start making allies such as the UAE pay to play with something beyond money. The price they should have to pay for doing business in America is political change in Dubai and elsewhere within the emirates. A Bill Of Rights for the Dubai emirati would definitely be a nice start. Ultimately, if a country wants to involve the USA in their shared destiny, they better be prepared to be part of our Manifest Destiny. That's what we should be focussing on rather than the xenophobia of the moment.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 03:11 PM

Sully wrote:
===========================================
"I'm mad that Bush WANTS DPW and not an American company to run the ports."
===========================================

Yep, same here.

I'm upset that foreigners are taking jobs away from citizens all together. It's like locally with highway projects. They get the bids because they're cheaper, but they're not local, so their dollars aren't spent here. Although more expensive to hire local contractors, they live here and spend their dollars in businesses, helping the entire city's bottomline.

Just a cheaper bid doesn't translate into the best deal in the end. Plus, an added benefit in hiring locals: there's local control. If a contractor does subpar work, they can kill their entire business once word gets out on their shoddy practices. Something that doesn't have the same effect with out-of-town contractors.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 03:19 PM

Emily's Emir,
"But you come! I show you a good time. Bring your boyfriend. He can stay with my harem while we go party with the Iranians"

Really? Do you mean it? Do Iranians party all night? How many in the harem? Will I need Viagra or Cialis?

Posted by: Emily's Lover | March 1, 2006 03:19 PM

is too simplistic...


is unregulated ownership bad for the citizens of the United States?


that's a stoopid question....

our regulations regarding ownership of things American by things UnAmerican should be that we benefit from the relationship, not simply the people that broker the sale....


in the dubai ports example, Bush and his father have had an affiliation with the UAE that spans the time back to 1975 when BUSH SR. (George H.W. Bush) was director of the CIA.....


1. under the DUBAI DEAL, there would be less accountability on paper than other port authorities were required....something like this is called, keeping payments off of the book...

2. George W. Bush, the son, said he had no knowledge of the deal, as a way of defending himself....do you really want a presidente' whose knee-jerk response to anything is "I didn't know" even though he can be clearly linked to knowing?

3. Why should we trust anyone who is a liar by prediliction to be telling the people the truth?

4. As far as ownership is concerned, if a company turns it's back on the people of the United States, by taking their jobs overseas, should they be able to sell their products to us without penalty of tarrif?

5. Japan has modeled their foreign investment and ownership laws, so that they can not be taken over by outside forces....shouldn't we examine our own in light of what they have written? And change our laws retroactively?

6. Hello Mr. Gonzales, Shouldn't we penalize employers for hiring illegal aliens as it is not to the benefit of American workers who are already here? Shouldn't we be REQUIRING that MEXICO become a better neighbor to it's people before we do any more business with them...giving U.S. companies 90 days to make other arrangements?


HOW MUCH OF THE UNITED STATES LAND DO OTHER COUNTRIES OWN?

If my ancestors have made this country what it is, as well as valuing my own contribution, why is it that you can sell my country and lay my people off without suffering retribution?


eh!?

Posted by: A simple yes or no.... | March 1, 2006 03:25 PM

Emily's Lover,

You question an Emir's harem? You ain't seen nothing yet cowboy! The Persians are masters of the all nighters at least they used to under the Shah.

And here in Arabia you don't need no Viagra. Just the incense and the jasmine will drive you wild. Why do you think so many Texas conservatives now work for me?

Posted by: Emily's Emir | March 1, 2006 03:28 PM

what happened to the 9 Billion $DOLLARS IN CASH that Saddam "escaped" with, is it in Dubya's family account?

A friggin war loss, that ends up in the "families" hands?

Is that worth starting a "war" over?

Talk about grande friggin larceny.


.

Posted by: another thing... | March 1, 2006 03:28 PM

they were, murdered by the CIA...


you ought to remember that George H.W. Bush, was Director of the CIA from 1975 thru 1977....and Cheney and Rummy both served under him...as well as former wannabe dictator Nixon...


there were also things like Chiles presidente being "hit" in Washington D.C. with full CIA knowledge, witheld from the F.B.I....sound familiar?

like it's happened before


Cocaine for America under Noriega/Hussein?

using your puppet, for an enemy, when you need them...entrapment...

oooo la la...

entangle meant.

Posted by: 3000 plus innocent people were probably, if | March 1, 2006 03:39 PM

By PAMELA HESS
UPI Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

Posted by: The administration isn't talking about this is it? | March 1, 2006 03:53 PM

could he be,


hiding something,


trying to sneak some ting buy?

some ting he already been paid for, eh?


where dee 9 billion?

eh?!

Posted by: Why would the presidente forget to mention that? | March 1, 2006 03:55 PM

"However, contrary to what some (including my dad) may have heard on television, the UAE never gave money to the hijackers. "

Emily, how would you know this? Do you have a secret source in the UAE banking community? Because from what I read, the UAE refused us broad access to follow the money trail into the UAE after 911. They're in hip deep: http://www.iags.org/fuelingterror.html

But even beyond that, this is a giant wake up call to America. We're giving away the store. Our natural resources and security should not be in foreign hands. Period.

The problem isn't limited to America. Nippon TV (Japan) underwrote the restoration of the Sistine Chapel in exchange for photography rights for (I think) 10 years. Imagine "Welcome to the Honda Grand Canyon - no photographs please. Hikers purchase your permits here. Proceeds above park expenses will be sent back to Japan". Or, "Proudly shipped by Sinagpore lines, owner of the monopoly on shipping between NY and Washington. Your shipments don't go through without our say so".

The national security issue goes way beyond Che's post today verifying that the port operators secure the physical port and have intimate access to cargo security plans, while the US secures the cargo. Vital securities like oil, gas, ports, shipping, rails (yes, even CSX), etc should remain in American hands for the good of America. The fact that at least 2 of the ports in question are military seems to have been entirely overlooked on this blog. What does that MRE say? "Brought to you by China - we decide if you eat... or not. Don't ask where your Kevlar went."

Those people who have been telling pollsters that America is on the wrong track really don't understand the half of it!

Posted by: patriot1957 | March 1, 2006 04:12 PM

no company that has origins in the United States, made a profit without the help of the United States PEOPLE....


when they take profits overseas, by taking their companies overseas, they're taking the PEOPLES MONEY overseas....


and the people that still have jobs are the ones that have to pay the bills of the people without jobs...

if a company is overseas, unless it has to be,

then it should be treated as a foreign competitor....


a simple example for morons....


if your teeth, which live in your face, are not taken care of they can kill you...


an infection can move from the teeth, to the brain....


citizens are like teeth, they require maintenance....


the feet can't just decide that they don't need to take care of the teeth...


the affluent, can not steal from the citizens without something falling apart...


it's real effin simple....we are connected...


it is bad engineering to treat the citizens "as if" they were unimportant by using, misleading and stealing from them....

orange jumpsuits, family-style.

Posted by: my point is this... | March 1, 2006 04:20 PM

Last week the golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra was blown apart. Sectarian riots followed, and reprisals and deaths ensued. Thugs and criminals came out of the woodwork to foment further violence. But instead of the apocalypse of an ensuing civil war, a curfew was enforced. Iraqi security forces stepped in with some success. Shaken Sunni and Shiite leaders appeared on television to urge restraint, and there appeared at least the semblance of reconciliation that may soon presage a viable coalition government.

But here at home you would have thought that our own capitol dome had exploded. Indeed, Americans more than the Iraqis needed such advice for calm to quiet our own frenzy. Almost before the golden shards of the mosque hit the pavement, pundits wrote off the war as lost -- as we heard the tired metaphors of "final straw" and "camel's back" mindlessly repeated. The long-anticipated civil strife among Shiites and Sunnis, we were assured, was not merely imminent, but already well upon us. Then the great civil war sort of fizzled out; our own frenzy subsided; and now exhausted we await next week's new prescription of doom -- apparently the hyped-up story of Arabs at our ports. That the Iraqi security forces are becoming bigger and better, that we have witnessed three successful elections, and that hundreds of brave American soldiers have died to get us to the brink of seeing an Iraqi government emerge was forgotten in a 24-hour news cycle.

Few observers suggested that the Samarra bombing of a holy mosque by radical Muslims might be a sign of the terrorists' desperation -- killers who have not, and cannot, defeat the U.S. military. After the furor over Danish cartoons, French rioting and Iranian nuclear perfidy, the entire world is turning on radical Islam and the terrorists feel keenly this rising tide of opposition on the frontline in Iraq.

True, the Sunni Triangle, unlike southern Iraq and Kurdistan, is often inhospitable to the forces of reconstruction -- but hardly lost to jihadists and militias as we are told. There is a disturbing sameness to our acrimony at home, as we recall all the links in this chain of America hysteria from the brouhaha over George Bush's flight suit to purported flushed Korans at Guantanamo Bay. Each time we are lectured that the looting, Abu Ghraib, the embalming of Uday and Qusay, the demeaning oral exam of Saddam, unarmored Humvees, inadequate body armor or the latest catastrophe has squandered our victory, the unimpressed U.S. military simply goes about what it does best -- defeating the terrorists and training the Iraqi military to serve a democratic government. They stay focused in this long war, while our pundits prepare the next controversy.

The second-guessing of 2003 still daily obsesses us: We should have had better intelligence; we could have kept the Iraqi military intact; we would have been better off deploying more troops. Had our forefathers embraced such a suicidal and reactionary wartime mentality, Americans would have still torn each other apart over Valley Forge years later on the eve of Yorktown -- or refought Pearl Harbor even as they steamed out to Okinawa.

There is a more disturbing element to these self-serving, always evolving pronouncements of the "my perfect war, but your disastrous peace" syndrome. Conservatives who insisted that we needed more initial troops are often the same ones who now decry that too much money has been spent in Iraq. Liberals who chant "no blood for oil" lament that we unnecessarily ratcheted up the global price of petroleum. Progressives who charge that we are imperialists also indict us for being naively idealistic in thinking democracy could take root in post-Baathist Iraq and providing aid of a magnitude not seen since the Marshall Plan. For many, Iraq is no longer a war whose prognosis is to be judged empirically. It has instead transmogrified into a powerful symbol that apparently must serve deeply held, but preconceived, beliefs -- the deceptions of Mr. Bush, the folly of a neoconservative cabal, the necessary comeuppance of the American imperium, or the greed of an oil-hungry U.S.

If many are determined to see the Iraqi war as lost without a plan, it hardly seems so to 130,000 U.S. soldiers still over there. They explain to visitors that they have always had a design: defeat the Islamic terrorists; train a competent Iraqi military; and provide requisite time for a democratic Iraqi government to garner public support away from the Islamists.

We point fingers at each other; soldiers under fire point to their achievements: Largely because they fight jihadists over there, there has not been another 9/11 here. Because Saddam is gone, reform is not just confined to Iraq, but taking hold in Lebanon, Egypt and the Gulf. We hear the military is nearly ruined after conducting two wars and staying on to birth two democracies; its soldiers feel that they are more experienced and lethal, and on the verge of pulling off the nearly impossible: offering a people terrorized from nightmarish oppression something other than the false choice of dictatorship or theocracy -- and making the U.S. safer for the effort.

The secretary of defense, like officers in Iraq, did not welcome the war, but felt that it needed to be fought and will be won. Soldiers and civilian planners express confidence in eventual success, but with awareness of often having only difficult and more difficult choices after Sept. 11. Put too many troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we earn the wages of imperialism, or create a costly footprint that is hard to erase, or engender a dependency among the very ones in whom we wish to ensure self-reliance. Yet deploy too few troops, and instability arises in Kabul and Baghdad, as the Islamists lose their fear of American power and turn on the vulnerable we seek to protect.

In sum, after talking to our soldiers in Iraq and our planners in Washington, what seems to me most inexplicable is the war over the war -- not the purported absence of a plan, but that the more we are winning in the field, the more we are losing it at home.

Posted by: | March 1, 2006 04:48 PM


Emily - "So if the UAE is to be punished because the 9/11 hijackers used its banks and airports, Germany must be punished, too."
===========================================

SandyK, in her best Know-nothing jingoist logic says about the above:

"Fine with me! :)

This is the country of the United States of America. Our native language is American English."

SandyK delights in her ignorance of non-English-speaking "furrners". And somehow thinks that she can start an economic war with our allies w/o them retaliating with EU or WTO sanctions because she is equally clueless on International Trade Law and financial covenents America is party to.

All this emenates from a few opportunistic, completely disloyal Democrats like Smarmy Chuck Schumer trying to disguise his visceral hatred of any Muslim with the obvious window dressing they tried to guise their bid for "national security" votes gained through raw bigotry and xenophobia in:

They have nothing against Muslims...no...no...NOT Chuck Schumer, Rahm Emanuel, Dick Durbin!!! No, they are merely against "STATE-OWNED!!!" assets...though all of them were licking China's balls back in Clinton's day to get them seaport assets and put the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (100% Saudi STATE-OWNED!!!) into 8 Ports in 1997.

=====================================
SandyK's ignorance might extend to DHL, the worlds largest air cargo carrier.

It comes from Germany, the land which had 9/11 hijackers planning and the hijackers used banks and credit cards and all the other damning Lefty "guilt by association" smears Emily alludes to.

DHL has 76 terminal leases at US airports and seaports. They are owned by the German Postal System. STATE-OWNED!!! STATE-OWNED!!! They have also been operating in the US since 1935, with the US controlling their assets from 1941-49, with no apparant "security menace".

http://www.dhl-usa.com//home/home.asp

Yet under the Democrat Bush-basher's criteria, the fact that they are State-Owned, like the world's largest Asian shippers...means to hide the xenophobia about Arabs under the mask of "outrage" about STATE-OWNED companies, the ignorant idiots propose launching an economic war with the rest of the world that will not only effectively end Fedex and UPS global business but spread into other industries and financial markets and collapse the US economy as the dollar is abandoned as the world's reserve currency.
===============================
"And, I don't want Germany, Britain, or the UAE running our ports. Bad idea. Ask a 911 commissioner or the Coast Guard.
Posted by: MaryAnne"

Another ignorant xenophobic idiot. THe Coast Guard was asked, as was the Civil Air Administration, DOD, and Customs - about foreign ownership of terminals at 300 International Ports of Entry in the US for generations.

As for the 9/11 Commission, do you accord that group of lawyers and politicians "Oracke" status?? Wait on their every word and hope they can move on to cure cancer and solve world hunger?

Besides, none has any involvement in this. If asked, I think the best you could get is "needs more study" except for Ben-Veniste if you buy his drinks.

=============================
SandyK - "Oh, I will add: the future will be with teleporting goods -- and via electronic means, as well. Sounds very Star Trekish, but they're already experimenting with it in the labs, so it will become feasible in the future (not for people -- doubt folks will be willing to risk merging into walls and the ground -- but cargo). Instead of moving 10,000 ton crates to some holding facility, individually to people's homes."

Not only ignorant, but a fruitcake. 100s of tons of cargo mass will soon be converted into pure energy (at 900 kiloton explosive equivalent per pound mass made into energy) then back to matter all in the convenience of your household mass-energy converter.

Please refer to E=MC^2. Nuclear Binding Energy Curves. Newton's law of Conservation. High school physics. Entropy. Lithium treatments, SandyK.
==========================
Jamal - If you like Hillary Clinton or not, she is formidable politician that has been consistently characterized as being weak on Nation Security. The administration has given her an early Christmas Gift. This statement is not meant to be "Bush bashing", but the President is becoming more a known quantity to the general public and his PR is much less effective.

Short-term, I agree. They can get some cynical milage out of posing as "standing on the ramparts to keep the dang furrners out", despite the fact that Democrats are the original One-Worlders. But the Democrats could really box themselves into a real pickle if they are called out on a vote they really don't want to do which is to start a global economic war with America's best international allies and key trading partners. The stakes would be higher than the Murtha vote they bailed on which went 403-3 against them.

===================================
ErrinF tries getting semantic with Emily and only gets stupid in the process:

"Where in S. 2234 does it say 'airport'? It only says ports, as in the sea ports (which we don't call sea ports, but ports). The amount of selective thinking and bait n' switch that Emily has had to partake in during this discussion is laughable. She claims legislation aimed at ports is aimed at airports as well; She claims legislation aimed at foreign-state owned companies is the same as legislation aimed at ALL foreign companies, state-owned or otherwise."

ErrinF, in your cluelessness, you might wish to see what Customs designates as International Ports of Entry. They are sea, land, and water Ports. Legally, no difference. As for legislation, and security considerations, no difference exists with "bad stuff" smuggled in by air, truck, or sea container.

And your Lefty Party Line of only being concerned about "STATE-OWNED" companies leasing receiving shipping terminals, but not concerned about "private foreign companies doing the same", nor concerned about the overseas seaport, shipping line, air carrier, overseas airport, receiving airport here, or any truck shipping system is ridiculous...as your hyperpartisan Chuck Schumer, Boxer, and Durbin are now realizing.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 1, 2006 04:59 PM

there is no effin war....

there is a concerted effort by an embattled portion of the economy....

to keep the curtain drawn on their OZ SHOW...

the OZ Show is this:


they started an operation to control a region of the world 30 years ago...


the most visible portion of it is George H.W. Bush....he has been in politics since the the 60's as congressman, appointee, Director of the CIA, Vice Presidente and Presidente'

the goal of the "family" is to get richer and maintain BUSHE family connections that have more to do with money than blood...


to them family is the UAE, Kuwiati's, Saudi's and the Bin Ladin familiy as well as several influential druglords and South American and Central American families...

so fellow Americans I urge you to find out whoever is making these posts to the effect that your leaders care about you and spank them

publically, as they are traitors to your human rights cause....


and

quite simply, arrest the presidente and all connected to them,

sell his and his families estates, created from the blood of american workers and smile while you're doing it....

heh heh heh...


.

Posted by: dear shill.... | March 1, 2006 05:14 PM

no company that has origins in the United States, made a profit without the help of the United States PEOPLE....


when they take profits overseas, by taking their companies overseas, they're taking the PEOPLES MONEY overseas....


and the people that still have jobs are the ones that have to pay the bills of the people without jobs...


if a company is overseas, unless it has to be,

then it should be treated as a foreign competitor....


a simple example for morons....


if your teeth, which live in your face, are not taken care of they can kill you...


an infection can move from the teeth, to the brain....


citizens are like teeth, they require maintenance....


the feet can't just decide that they don't need to take care of the teeth...


the affluent, can not steal from the citizens without something falling apart...


it's real effin simple....we are connected...


it is bad engineering to treat the citizens "as if" they were unimportant by using, misleading and stealing from them....

this is my point is this...

purpose full...

boinker.

Posted by: orange jumpsuits, family-style....including the paid disinformationists that post here. | March 1, 2006 05:16 PM

the question

is too simplistic...

the BETTER QUESTION:

is unregulated ownership bad for the citizens of the United States?

our regulations regarding ownership of things American by things UnAmerican should be that we benefit from the relationship,

not simply the people that broker the sale....


which would be the assholes that broker sales and the lobbyists that cater to their hard-ons....the similie is to prostitution/addiction something your presidente has a lot of experience in .

in the dubai ports example, Bush and his father have had an affiliation with the UAE that spans the time back to 1975 when BUSH SR. (George H.W. Bush) was director of the CIA.....


1. under the DUBAI DEAL, there would be less accountability on paper than other port authorities were required....something like this is called, keeping payments off of the book...

2. George W. Bush, the son, said he had no knowledge of the deal, as a way of defending himself....do you really want a presidente' whose knee-jerk response to anything is "I didn't know" even though he can be clearly linked to knowing?

3. Why should we trust anyone who is a liar by prediliction to be telling the people the truth?

4. As far as ownership is concerned, if a company turns it's back on the people of the United States, by taking their jobs overseas, should they be able to sell their products to us without penalty of tarrif?

5. Japan has modeled their foreign investment and ownership laws, so that they can not be taken over by outside forces....shouldn't we examine our own in light of what they have written? And change our laws retroactively?

6. Hello Mr. Gonzales, Shouldn't we penalize employers for hiring illegal aliens as it is not to the benefit of American workers who are already here? Shouldn't we be REQUIRING that MEXICO become a better neighbor to it's people before we do any more business with them...giving U.S. companies 90 days to make other arrangements?


HOW MUCH OF THE UNITED STATES LAND DO OTHER COUNTRIES OWN?


If my ancestors have made this country what it is, as well as valuing my own contribution, why is it that you can sell my country and lay my people off without suffering retribution?


eh!?

Posted by: A simple yes or no.... | Mar 1, 2006 3:25:38 PM | Permalink

Emily's Lover,

You question an Emir's harem? You ain't seen nothing yet cowboy! The Persians are masters of the all nighters at least they used to under the Shah.

And here in Arabia you don't need no Viagra. Just the incense and the jasmine will drive you wild. Why do you think so many Texas conservatives now work for me?


Posted by: Emily's Emir | Mar 1, 2006 3:28:08 PM | Permalink

what happened to the 9 Billion $DOLLARS IN CASH that Saddam "escaped" with, is it in Dubya's family account?

A friggin war loss, that ends up in the "families" hands?

Is that worth starting a "war" over?

Talk about grande friggin larceny.


that's the point, leaders that steal and their people


ought to do time, you would....


and how about this....


former coke head, known alcoholic, how does he rate a clearance? Cheyney either?


could you get one?


I don't think so..

Posted by: unregulated ownership IS BAD for the citizens of the United States | March 1, 2006 05:21 PM

he has no right to be in office except that his father bought him the friggin office so that he could finish the family
estate planning...


sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeple!

Posted by: not only that this guy can call down a nuclear strike on someone.... | March 1, 2006 05:28 PM

Proving even stopped clocks like ErrinF and the hilariously named "Patriot" 1957 can be right twice in all the minutes of a day:

1. "Patriot" - But even beyond that, this is a giant wake up call to America. We're giving away the store. Our natural resources and security should not be in foreign hands. Period. The problem isn't limited to America. Nippon TV (Japan) underwrote the restoration of the Sistine Chapel in exchange for photography rights for (I think) 10 years. Imagine "Welcome to the Honda Grand Canyon - no photographs please. Hikers purchase your permits here. Proceeds above park expenses will be sent back to Japan". Or, "Proudly shipped by Sinagpore lines, owner of the monopoly on shipping between NY and Washington."

And Patriot somehow ably gets to the real big picture, which is globalization is eating our lunch, costing jobs, lowering our standard of living, and crippling our children's future by selling America's most lucrative and important assets to foreigners for the short-term gain of today's "Owner Class". A class defined by the Internationalists with no loyalty to the US, just getting richer.

If all the say, coal in America is owned by the Chinese, the profits all go to China after paying what they can get by with by cheapening wages as low as possible, preferably by using "hard working undocumented workers doing the 2.00 an hour jobs Americans don't want after pay went from 18 an hour to two under China ownership....

It's about the concentration of America's wealth in the hands of a few - a 25-year long process now, and America's failure to educate a competitive workforce and protect critical resources and jobs - a 30 year process. And a 20 year failure to protect industries and domestic markets it took America 200 years to build.

Our kid's future is indeed being squandered.

The DPW flap doesn't have much to do with the bigger macro issues...it is sale of a foreign-owned asset by one allied nation to another allied nation at the London financial market. But the anxiety about being killed in international competition had to come out, and it came out as ugly racist xenophobia against a Muslim target with a ridiculous window dressing that it is only about "STATE-OWNED" sea terminal leasors - not all the hundreds of deals and sales of other assets to foreigners people like Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Peter King, Rahm Emanuel, the Bushies, the fatcat bankers - assented to or ochestrated.

2. ErrinF is correct about CHE. He is a Workers World Socialist or a reader that relentlessly SPAMs whatever Blogs he can find until he is banned, with the same cut 'n paste stuff posted daily on each Blog he still has access to. He has also gone after several other WP Blogs and refuses to just link the copyrighted material he posts. Whoever Emily and other journalists here at WP use on their Blogs is long overdue to ban the guy, as other newspapers and Internet Blogs have for abusing both hospitality and terms of use.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 1, 2006 05:32 PM

Chrissy spewed:
===========================================
Please refer to E=MC^2. Nuclear Binding Energy Curves. Newton's law of Conservation. High school physics. Entropy. Lithium treatments, SandyK.
===========================================

Oh, I love a Neo-Con who thinks he's s-ma-rt. Especially one who like to rattle off "Nuclear Binding Energy Curves" (which don't apply). :rolleyes:

And in case you don't know, Newton's Laws are being challenged at this very moment. See, there's some problems with it applying beyond our own solar system (and watch them --again-- try to force square pegs into round holes [like what Hawking has done with his Black Hole theory with data escaping http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox

Chrissy, you really need to go back to your Darth cave. Let alone pop some more Haldol (in case you don't know neurolyptics are used for treating psychosis, and Lithium isn't a neurolyptic).

Don't know science, let alone medicine. Figures.

SandyK
[Catch you on an evolution debate, Chrissy, especially regarding "The Big Bang" theory and it's fudge factors]

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 05:38 PM

he has facts, not spun opinions in his wallet...


and the fundies that label need to remove the crawford salaami from they assess before dey talk...'cause dems sounds funny specisfy det dere crissy ford texas boy....

Posted by: yeah, if I were bushy I'd want Che banned too... | March 1, 2006 05:38 PM

towelhead terrorists,

shiitie and sunni leaders huddled in quiet tones, discussin motzah balls and the holy qubalah...


talk about a *uckin back flip...


I know they switch names around and can't keep their stories straight....

Posted by: the golden domes of the islamoids... | March 1, 2006 05:41 PM

how about neo thinker and stop with the baby talk...


labels are good for spoofin but not for grown ups..

Posted by: neo cons .... | March 1, 2006 05:43 PM

that's what we need for our leaders


Identification Friend or Foe.

Posted by: IFF.... | March 1, 2006 05:44 PM

Chris Ford-

On one point:

"as your hyperpartisan Chuck Schumer, Boxer, and Durbin are now realizing."

If I may, not that I'm a Boxer supporter, but her position now is consistent with her position in 1997 when a state owned Chinese company was purchasing up terminals in California. She was concerned about the national security implications of a foreign state owned company having access to our ports. If she's being "partisan" at least she is being consistently so.

Posted by: Will | March 1, 2006 05:44 PM

Chris Ford Mindset:
===========================================
"Whoever Emily and other journalists here at WP use on their Blogs is long overdue to ban the guy, as other newspapers and Internet Blogs have for abusing both hospitality and terms of use."
===========================================

Classic example of communist control in action.

What next, Chrissy, Gulags for citizens too?

Chris

Posted by: | March 1, 2006 05:46 PM

ANonymous

"It has instead transmogrified into a powerful symbol that apparently must serve deeply held, but preconceived, beliefs".

American's "preconcieved " beliefs are that we are always the good guys in the white hats who rush into trouble and save the world for democracy. It was dirty Jerry or Charlie etc who tortured, while we were the "shining city on the hill".

Now those preconceive notions have been shattered. We are the ones with the state sanctioned torture and the gulags. The two week initial invasion of Baghdad killed almost twice as many children, women and civilian men as did 9-11.

Such a fundamental change in who we are as a nation and what we stand for is worthy of public debate. Was it worth it? Did it make us safer? I think that if the answer to the second question had been yes, the answer to the first would have been as well. But according to even Donny Rumsfeld the answer is that all we have done thus far is make more terrorists and increase world sympathy for terrorists.

I sense in your post an accusation that it would have been different if we had more steely resolve, more shock and awe. That it is the fault of lilylivered lefties that we didn't just flatten the country and be done with it. But who commanded those troops? A commander in chief who says he doesn't respond to polls, in fact doesn't even watch the news. So really, how could it be the fault of the people who expected to fail if he isn't listening to them?


Its clear the war will not have a good outcome unless the leaders of Iraq wish for it to have a good outcome.

I think it was secretly fun for Iraqi leaders to watch insurgents stick it to the US. I think this time they got the message they were biting off their face to spite us, and that maybe they better rethink their strategery.

Whether those leaders still have sufficient influence to rescue the country from civil war is not yet clear. I hope so. Maybe you should start reading about the brewing disaster in Afghanistan - the Army guys I know stationed there have been telling me for a year that its slowly going sour there.

Many of us believed this war, based in lies and against every preconcieved notion that Americans had about who we were as a nation, would be more than risky. Because the ME was too unstable, because we really didn't know what the hell we were doing, because this admin is incompetent, but mostly that Americans, given a chance to step back and see the fruits of turning their back on everything this nation ever stood for, would turn away from it in disgust.

Posted by: patriot1957 | March 1, 2006 06:02 PM

American President gives okay to attack Kuwiat......causes the death of 200,000 Iraqi's as part of an effort to launch a get-riche quicke scheme for himself and his Kuwiati, UAE, Saudi, Texas, Chilean families......gawdfather makes move


Son follows in footsteppes with a cast of thousands to "close the deal," using the CIA connections...


look for the surprise ending in orange jumpsuits....

at the Hague...

Posted by: How about this headline... | March 1, 2006 06:06 PM

SandyK wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emily wrote:
===========================================
"So if the UAE is to be punished because the 9/11 hijackers used its banks and airports, Germany must be punished, too."
===========================================
Fine with me! :)

This is the country of the United States of America. Our native language is American English (with some nice colorful dialects). We have our own customs, traditions and holidays. We have a Constitution that guarantees our rights, with three branches of government to check their power to not abuse such rights. We mostly are a free society (we don't have to carry passports to just travel to another state, for example). Women are regarded if not at equals, very close in our society (they are doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, police officers, firemen, and train for warfare in the military). They can eat at the same table, and pray in the same pews with other non relative men, as well. They can drive, can own businesses, manage their own money, and not required to be married.

We're free people with a very determined pioneer spirit. Unfettered by Old World BS.

If a foreign company comes in to control MAJOR trade/transport routes, and can't appreciate that this country is our own, and respect our way of life, demostrate they are above the crappy religious extremism in their own countries (and especially regarding women as chattel), then they need to be barred from dealing with ANY US based company.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting concept here. Respect our way of life while here, and oh, by the way, make sure your homeland lives that way of life also; otherwise, bug off.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How countries may run itself (as long as they don't spread their hatred/junk/extremism into other countries) is no one else's business. If Japan and Norway want to whale (which is a tradition dating back thousands of years), that's their cultural right. If a US citizen wants to eat the biggest Angus what-a-burger loaded with 5 slices of American cheese, onions, tomato, lettuce, and dripping in a 1000 calorie secret sauce, some toothpick in Germany has zero right to tell that US citizen what they can or can't eat.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nahhh...I didn't really mean that. What I really meant was you all can have your culture at home as you wish; that's not our business. But don't bring it with you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My biggest compliant about foreigners buying up plants and controling industry on our shores is how they try to transform them (and their workers) into a model based in their own country. This was notorious when Japanese bought up companies in the US and pushed Japanese worker/management relation styles on workers (it didn't and won't go well, as it's culturally insensitive). It's no different than if Americans went abroad and had to hold up to local customs/traditions as well.
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Right on. We like our form of union relations where we get to go out on strike every 3-4 years and work rules make sure our jobs don't change and can't be eliminated. That's why our market share keeps going up and American cars are the best and most reliable on the road. Hmmmmmmm.

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"When in Rome, do as the Romans do" is the golden rule. That means either accept the local ways and means, assimilate or just go back home.

A country has a right to protect it's identity. This country isn't Mexico, Canada, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Spain or any Middle East country. It's the United State of America.
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Well, I should say some countries have a right to protect their identity so long as they conform to our particular principles of religious, political, and human values i.e. no kingdoms, theocracies, dictatorships, communists, or other extreme structures (in our judgment) need apply.


SandyK
Posted by: SandyK | Mar 1, 2006 9:03:59 AM

Posted by: Sandy's Translator | March 1, 2006 06:06 PM

Off topic but this could be potentially even more damaging than the Dubai deal:

"I don't buy the `fog of war' defense," Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."

_Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility -- and Bush was worried too.

White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Brown discussed fears of a levee breach the day the storm hit.

"I talked to the president twice today, once in Crawford and then again on Air Force One," Brown said. "He's obviously watching the television a lot, and he had some questions about the Dome, he's asking questions about reports of breaches."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060301/ap_on_go_pr_wh/katrina_video

Posted by: Katrina Smoking Gun? | March 1, 2006 06:08 PM

Will -

"If I may, not that I'm a Boxer supporter, but her position now is consistent with her position in 1997 when a state owned Chinese company was purchasing up terminals in California. She was concerned about the national security implications of a foreign state owned company having access to our ports. If she's being "partisan" at least she is being consistently so."

Actually, Boxer was lambasted in the LA Times three days ago for her xenophobia and hypocrisy. Boxer is a typical Internationalist Jewish Lefty...who wanted to put El Al (state-owned Israeli airline) in charge of setting up security at US airports after 9/11, supports surrendering US sovereignity to the International Criminal Court, and who regards China as a friend and normally does whatever she can to facilitate them.

She opposed the BRAC recovery that would have China invest in building Port Terminals at the old Naval Base at Long Beach basically because the Pentagon favored it....and anything the military wants...Boxer opposes...though she "Supports the Troops!".

To mollify the Chinese, Boxer ensured they got an additional 6 terminals at Port of Los Angeles and an additional one in the People's Democraatic Paradise of San Francisco.

It was Boxers eager overall facilitation of "her friends the Chinese" (and their affiliates political contributions to her) that likely led the LA Times to call her on her 180.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 1, 2006 06:23 PM

Guessing on Boxer's unmentioned motives on her Long Beach position is like saying Cheney was drunk when he shot Whittington.

From her mouth though, she opposed it because it represented a national security issue.

I am not a Boxer apologist, but she opposed that deal in the same manner that she opposes this one.

Posted by: Will | March 1, 2006 06:42 PM

I think if America continues on this path, within the next 15 to 20 years, we will be a third world country. Any other country or foreign company will own most and any of our assets. The American people will be unemployed and on welfare. Keep letting these a-holes do what they want. It is time for a revolution against these rich bastards. I have two young children. I have no idea what they will be doing 20 years from know. I don't know if anyone has kept up with what this country has been doing for the last 15 years, but, I think it sucks.

Posted by: marcob | March 1, 2006 06:48 PM

Dear Emily:

I think the whole world must read this blog.
Hi Mom!!!!

Regarding the issue at hand. Foreign ownership. In and of itself foreign ownership does not matter, but it depends on what the foreign entity is buying (PORTS ARE VULNERABLE) and the identity of the foreign entity.

I don't really care if the Japanese own our movies and music studios but now I know why all the movies and music sucks.

But I do care if a foreign entity owns vital or vulnerable industries like the ports. Why?

Because 1) we have not properly protected our ports (ooops, hope that did not help the terrorists), 2) a WMD in a contain imported through an improperly protected port will cause too much damage to risk the DUBAI deal and 3) because a SALE as opposed to INVESTMENT grants TITLE to the property to the foreign entity.


title n. 1) ownership of real property or personal property, which stands against the right of anyone else to claim the property


This means they can do whatever they want with their purchased industry. Ship it back home. Reverse engineer the technology. Close the plants and put everyone out of work.

Mr. Bush says we are at WAR. All his powers come from his WAR, so he has to have a WAR to be powerful.

If we are at WAR, and there is immediate threat of attack at anytime (OSAMA'S TAPE SAID THERE WAS) it is against the best interests of this Nation to be so foolish as to permit our ports to be purchased by a foreign entity.

So because of Mr. BUSH and I believe him (this once).

Posted by: Impeach Bush | March 1, 2006 07:01 PM

They used to call me... Chris Ford. Once I fanned the flames of hatred towards Islam, now I fan to cool the prize of the Emir's harem. I have become the perfect guard for Emira Emily. No, the Islamoids didn't cut them off... there was nothing there to begin with. Now you know why I'm so bitter and twisted!

Posted by: Emily's Eunich | March 1, 2006 07:36 PM

Will - "Guessing on Boxer's unmentioned motives on her Long Beach position is like saying Cheney was drunk when he shot Whittington. From her mouth though, she opposed it because it represented a national security issue."

But the point I was making was not that Boxer opposed China getting new Port leases, she opposed them at Long Beach because some environmentalist groups had other ideas for the BRAC site and the Petagon was urging the Long Beach be a Port. Boxer then facilitated China's requested alternate Ports - getting the Chinese 7 Port leases in Los Angeles and SF.

She was not consistent.

She helped the Chinese and opposes the Bush plan...well....simply because it is the Bush Administration supporting Dubai's acquisition, not the Clintons helping China's bid.

Impeach Bush - "2) a WMD in a contain imported through an improperly protected port will cause too much damage to risk the DUBAI deal and 3) because a SALE as opposed to INVESTMENT grants TITLE to the property to the foreign entity."

You are sucked into two common misperceptions and one huge fallacy.

Misperceptions? 1. WMD don't have to pass through a Port - air or sea - in a major city. They are already at Ground Zero and simply have to be set off before the "US-owned" terminal leasing company even touched a container.
2. You confuse owning a terminal company with owning title to Port Land. No ownership, just a lease.

One huge fallacy? --- Somehow not getting that all the authorities at the Coast Guard, Customs say that who operates a container shuffle in America has virtually nill to do with security. All the security is focused on before that ship or plane enters a major city - not with who unpacks what arrives under Customs, Port Police, and Coastie supervision. It's like saying the Key in Israel to stopping suicide bombers is not to bother with other layers, but focus on eliminating Israeli Arab ownership of the discoteques and restaurants the suicide bombers may target.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 1, 2006 08:32 PM

I don't know how much more I can take. There is now video that Bush listened to a briefing about katrina days before it hit warning about the levees breaking, warning about large death tolls. And afterwards he acted as though he had no clue it could happen.

The man is a proven liar. I have never seen such lying in any president save Nixon. Its a disgrace greater than anything Clinton did, and deserves impeachment. Impeachment for lying to the American people, over and over again, and just plain negligence that makes Nixon look good.

As for the port deal ... put it on hold. Its time to clean up the mess the American people made in 2004. Lets see, impeach Bush, jail Cheney for outing Plame, that puts Hastert in the White House. I can live with that for three years. It will take decades to get back to where Clinton put this country in 2000. And 33% of Americans think he's doing a great job. Just who are those 33%?

Posted by: Sully | March 1, 2006 08:36 PM

If only Barbara Boxer had your consistency, Chris Ford. Speaking of, aren't you due back in Bizarro World?

Posted by: ErrinF | March 1, 2006 08:38 PM

Sully,

Yes the tape does seem to indicate unequivocally the guy lied to the public 4 days after the levees broke.

Yeah I guess I can live with Hastert for the next three years too. What other choice do we have? Have SCOTUS void their 2000 decision and give the presidency back to Al Gore?

Michael Brown was doing his job after all.

Posted by: Katrina Smoking Gun | March 1, 2006 08:53 PM

>What other choice do we have?

Only 7 Days in May I guess....

Posted by: Sully | March 1, 2006 09:02 PM

Patriot wrote:
Its clear the war will not have a good outcome unless the leaders of Iraq wish for it to have a good outcome.

I think it was secretly fun for Iraqi leaders to watch insurgents stick it to the US. I think this time they got the message they were biting off their face to spite us, and that maybe they better rethink their strategery.

Whether those leaders still have sufficient influence to rescue the country from civil war is not yet clear. I hope so. Maybe you should start reading about the brewing disaster in Afghanistan - the Army guys I know stationed there have been telling me for a year that its slowly going sour there.

Many of us believed this war, based in lies and against every preconcieved notion that Americans had about who we were as a nation, would be more than risky.
Because the ME was too unstable, because we really didn't know what the hell we were doing, because this admin is incompetent, but mostly that Americans, given a chance to step back and see the fruits of turning their back on everything this nation ever stood for, would turn away from it in disgust.

I'll just make a couple of comments.
First, there appears to be an absence of effective leadership amongst the political "leaders". That kind of makes whatever secret "fun" they might have been having irrelevant. Contrast their behavior with Saddam's performance at trial today. You know, where he stood up and took responsibility for the actions testified to, as President, asserted their legality, and demanded his subordinate co-defendants be released since all they did was follow his lawful orders. Say what you like about this piece of shit, he is a leader. He then goes on to remind the world of that once more by instructing both Shia and Sunni to cease fighting each other as they are all Iraqi's. Implicitly, he is also telling us how stupid we were to take him out, what is necessary to keep a country like Iraq in one piece (i.e. for damn sure not democracy). He just may be right you know.

If anyone can keep this country from civil war it will be Ayatollah Sistani. I don't know if we have a back channel to him but I hope we do.

Muslim states in general and Arab states in particular generally have two institutional power structures, the clergy and the quasi secular government. The effect of our intervention in Iraq was to destroy the stronger of the two in that state, i.e. the secular government. After three years we have yet to replace it. Like it or not, we may have to settle for the institution still standing, or find another Saddam real quick.

I wish you would tell us WHY your friends in Afghanistan think things are going sour. What are the facts as they see them? We need on the scene reports; at least I do.

I don't get your last paragraph. Just what were you trying to say here?

Posted by: Cayambe | March 1, 2006 09:03 PM

Chris Ford-

Now I'm asking, because you either live in California or have an amazing research tool at your disposal. I cannot find any evidence that Boxer facilitated the Chinese takeover of 6 ports. I kind of stubmled by accident on the letter she sent the Pentagon (?) protesting the Long Beach deal.

Help me out if you have the info available. Thanks,

Posted by: Will | March 1, 2006 09:16 PM

I have just checked, and double-checked, and triple-checked, and I still can't believe it. That bastard knew what was happening before Katria hit, and he let all those people die? He let "Brownie" take the fall? Is this man completely without honor? This qualifies as "high crimes and misdemeanors". Where do I sign up for the "Impeach Bush Now" march?

I can live with Hastert, too. He'll know he's on a short leash.

How could Bush let those people die?

Posted by: Average American | March 1, 2006 09:54 PM

Kicking this upstairs (especially for translators)...

The End of Tolerance
Farewell, multiculturalism. A cartoon backlash is pushing Europe to insist upon its values.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11569485/site/newsweek/

Europe is finally understanding that you can't keep immigrants coming over and allow them to NOT assimilate. Because over time they will become a majority and insist the country to become what it isn't (so true with the Hispanic invasion we have in the USA now -- with so many insisting in dual language documents). If they won't learn English they just need to return to their native lands, we can't support 188 language tranlators everywhere in the USA, it's impractical. Besides a nation that can't communicate universally is doomed.

Japan has the right approach. They adopt Western ways that suits them, yet insist upon their own values/customs still be taught and obeyed (best of both worlds approach). They severely limit immigration, and have no trouble monitoring foreigners within their borders. The USA and Europe can learn a lot from them, especially on how to maintain their own national identities in this sea of multi-culturalism. It's fine to eat Chineses/Japanese/Mexican/Italian food anytime, but there's a line when each of those nationalities insist that USA bend to their ancestrorial customs/traditions/ideals on USA soil.

Assimilate and become part of the fabric. Not tear it apart.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 09:59 PM

Foreign ownership when the owner is a sovereign government is problematic.

We don't embrace US governments (fed/state/local) getting into things the private sector can do, unless the private party is trying to shake down taxpayers for money (witness public funding of sports stadiums.) When a sovereign government is involved, you don't have legal redress in their court system that you can count on - what are the courts like in UAE?

And you have intermingling of profit motive with nationalistic stuff - witness problems of labor in PR China having a method to press for better wages that doesn't get the military after them

some countries - PR China I believe, limit foreign investment to minority control of a business - the US used to do this, but apparently everything is for sale now, including our congressional representatives

at some point we of the US will own relatively little, while owing relatively a lot - we're already the biggest debtor nation - that's not a sustainable path, whether the UAE stays friendly or not

why can't a US firm buy those management contracts? we don't know how to do that stuff any more? our capitalists tired of US tax structure? what?

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | March 1, 2006 10:01 PM

There has to be a tape of Richard Clarke's warning them about 9/11 somewhere also!

Posted by: Another tape scandal. | March 1, 2006 10:02 PM

Average American wrote:
===========================================
"He let "Brownie" take the fall?"
===========================================

"Brownie" was expendable since he was trying to resign just days before Katrina hit. He was out of the loop with the Administration, and a quick scapegoat.

I never blamed Brown for the whole mess, because such a failure takes more than just one man bungling the job (especially since FEMA had really gotten proficient in emergency management over the year). It's clear the aftermath tragedy had blame on all the branches involved (local/state/federal).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 10:03 PM

Chris....and America's failure to educate a competitive workforce and protect critical resources and jobs - a 30 year process. And a 20 year failure to protect industries and domestic markets it took America 200 years to build.

Our kid's future is indeed being squandered.


Chris-Patriot,
This is a point upon which all of us might find agreement, certainly those with a thoughtful bent of mind.

I would go beyond just an educated work force. I want an educated citizenry, and not just trained, but educated. To understand what this means one only has to go to a good library and read newspapers and letters to the editor from 150 years ago. Or read some of the compilations of letters written by civil war soldiers to their loved ones back home. It is astonishing how comparatively well-educated ordinary canon fodder was in those days.

What I think you were trying to get at in the paragraph I couldn't quite make sense of Patriot, was your dismay at how the public rejected values you see as basic to Americans. I am quite as dismayed as you if that is what you meant to say. I would argue, and I'm pretty sure Chris would agree, that you cannot look to our politics, our commercial media, or our religions to instill these in us. It is something that best begins at home in the family, and has to be the focus of our public educational institutions. History and the teaching of history matters. The art of speaking and writing well matters. The art of listening, of critical listening, matters. Understanding mathematics and logic matters. American history matters a lot, but so does world history. Later, science matters a lot, real science, not just technical training. If our country is not to be led by the nose by media and politicians its citizens must be capable of recognizing bullshit when they see it. Schools must aspire to something greater than being day-care centers and we must expect greater aspirations from them. It begins in the very first grade of elementary school if not before. Our public educational system was once the envy of the world and justifiably so. Today it sucks, and not for want of money. We did far better with proportionately far less money 50, 60, 100, 150 years ago than we do today. My 84-year-old aunt who got as far as the 10th grade writes far more clearly and lucidly than my daughter, who graduated from law school, ever will. Nothing, but nothing, is more important than fixing our bloody schools. Chris, you are right, it will take 30 years, and we will continue our relative slide through most of it so the short term future is not very bright.

That's my rant for the week.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 1, 2006 10:18 PM

I've got to give it to the guy. He was a very convincing actor on that overflight looking out on N.O. that day. Like he had just found out about it that same day!

More than 1000 dead. More than 2000 still missing. A million out of their home still.

I'm beginning to take the HHS guy seriously about bird flu now. It will be every American for himself when that happens.

Posted by: Smoking Tape | March 1, 2006 10:19 PM

Cayambe:

Re Afghanistan. I care for the kids of soldiers posted there. Often when they are home on leave they come in with the kids. They tell me that we pulled out of Afghanistan before completely securing the country. That we left enough troops in country only to keep control of the major cities, and that much of the countryside has gone back to the Taliban. That our troops are seriously undermanned and the Taliban are firming up their postions in the mountains/caves/etc and firming up their control over the rural populace. They say that in the initial invasion the Taliban were living openly and not that well armed, which is why we swept through so quickly in the open areas. But now that the Taliban have pretty much free reign outside the major cities, they are back and this time they are armed to the teeth, well hidden, and have recreated the likes of the mujahadeen that kept Russia tied up for so long.

Our soldiers tell me that as the Taliban secures their positions, they are mounting an ever increasing number of attacks that are growing in severity and number, testing the defenses and asserting their presence.

The exact quote from one of the soldiers was "its all going to start coming down around our ears soon".

Yet they want to go back - they don't want to fail at their mission and let down their buddies. That's courage.

Their words are backed up by other reports, such as an interview with Doctors without Borders who left Afghanistan in August 2004 when several of their staff were murdered by Taliban. (They were ordered to spy by the US govt and refused, but the Taliban refused to believe they weren't spying and ordered them out...when they refused to go 5 staff were murdered.) When asked why they didn't just retreat to the parts of the country not controlled by the Taliban they said there weren't any.

As far as the last paragraph of my prior post, that was hours ago so I'll have to try to recreate the thought as best I can. I was responding to an anonymous post accusing the left of taking some kind of delight in spinning lies that we are losing the war when in fact we are winning it, that terrorism is in its last throes (my paraphrase), that the world is safer for democracy because of this war, that only us horrible lying lefties could turn this victory into defeat.

It would be terrific if this had an impeccable outcome, terrorism was defeated, we left Iraq a better place than we found it, and true democracy took fire. I think many Americans expected that outcome when we started, and didn't give enough thought to how we were changing everything America had stood for for the last 200+ years to become a first strike nation, state purveyor of torture, credibility worse than an old Soviet press release, etc. I think if it was working to our advantage there would be more voices saying go and only few voices saying no. But it is no longer a few "lefty naysayers" who are calling the neocon policy failed - some of them even wrote the policy. I think Americans are realizing it wasn't worth becoming that whom we despised, especially since even Rummy says we've managed to actually make terrorism worse.

I think even the some of the biggest "bomb 'em back to the stone age" types are turning away from this war in disgust. And since we broke it and and have some responsibility to fix it (see Colin Powell and the Pottery Barn rule), and since the area is not secured and we seem to have no plan for how to secure it other than pray Sistani can do it if we pay the bill, and since we still have troops there, that's a big problem.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 1, 2006 10:20 PM

I think we've all found something we can agree on. The lack of critical thought in American education is shocking.

I went to school in New York State. At the end of the year for major high school courses you take a state "Regents" final, fail the exam you fail the course. There were a few kids who couldn't cut it and had "local" diplomas from their high school without a state "Regents" stamp.

When I graduated over 3/4 of the class had a Regents diploma, the "slow' kids didn't. Twenty years later, a Regents diploma was for honors students. IN the mid 90's NY tried to fix it by forcing everyone to have a Regents diploma (eliminating local diplomas), but they have had to keep the passing grade at 55 to make it work.

Employers are desperate for employees who can think. Our graduate programs in Math and science and technology are filled with foreign students (especially Chinese) - where are the American applicants?

Sputnick and JFK kicked off the last American push into science and math. If Bush could do 2 things in his last 3 years he might still pull some success out of his presidency - engage Americans in a real effort to wean ourselves off our oil addiction, and get our kids educated in critical thinking. So far he backed off the oil addiction thing the second his Saudi friends complained, filling us with more platitudes about hydrogen (which needs oil to make the hydrogen) and other "potential" power, while uttering nary a word about cutting oil use NOW. And trying to pass off Intelligent Design for teaching kis critical analysis of scientific theory.

In WWII AMericans were told it was their patriotic duty to conserve. In the War on Terror Americans are told it is our patriotic duty to buy a bigger truck for commuting and turn over our civil rights. Its shameful.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 1, 2006 10:35 PM

Cayambe -

You don't appear to have had a typical NEA "lowest common denominator" education in your youth in Latin America. Were you part of an American expat family, or part of the SA oligarchy elites?

I always envied people that got international grounding in their education when younger, so they knew there was a world that not only was different, but in many ways far superior in matters like schooling. I has to wait until college, then military, then business time overseas to open my eyes.

"Nothing, but nothing, is more important than fixing our bloody schools. Chris, you are right, it will take 30 years, and we will continue our relative slide through most of it so the short term future is not very bright."

Unfortunately long after the jingoistic talk of LBJ of "schools 2nd to none", Bennett's "Rising Tide of Mediocrity", Bush's "1,000 points of light", Clinton's "My highest objective is to overtake our competitors in education", and Bush's "NO Child Left Behind"....all we have to show for it is the SandyKs and Jamals...

30 years? Reasonable unless a major crisis forces us to abandon the teachers union's lock on control of education and forces us to stop focus on the underperformers and "special" students and focus on the American students that can rise to rival Europe, Asia, and the 3rd World's best..

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 1, 2006 10:47 PM

I believe much of the slide can be correlated with the banishment of corporal punishment. We were beaten regularly, and deserved it most of the time! But the fear kept us in line, the lords of discipline ruled, with the full support of our parents.

Mr. XXXX, your desk is out of line. Minus two quarterly grade points! Turn to look at the offender and whack, an eraser with the white marking on your noggin.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 1, 2006 11:18 PM

It is true that when I was in college there were a few outstanding motivated majors in education, and the rest who went there after they didn't cut it in Business or Pre Med.

But it is not fair to blame this all on the teachers. I've visited classrooms. In my day my dad told me not to tell him if a teacher punished me because he'd double the punishment. Today the parents attack the teacher "how dare you criticize my child". Kids are in charge at home and they expect to be in school too. They come to school not properly rested, and fall asleep at their desks. The TV in their room and their xbox called them all night. Teachers spend all day trying to maintain discipline.

If kids showed up to school rested, with their homework done, with the fear of their parents if they got in trouble in school, even our mediocre NEA teachers could turn out a minimally acceptable product.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 1, 2006 11:36 PM

Cayambe

Wrote my post before I saw this, but it corroborates what I've been hearing from the guys:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/02/international/02taliban.html?hp&ex=1141275600&en=0f6397b13310f82b&ei=5094&partner=homepage

This has been out there since summer of 04. Kind of makes you wonder how they got away with vote for me or die.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 1, 2006 11:47 PM

I disagree there is a problem in the education system. The schools are teaching at a much higher level than 70 years ago and those people became "The greatest generation" and fought the Nazis and other fascists and suffered and supported the government to wage war and left a democratic Europe and Japan that has lasted to this day.

What is different is that their parents, your grand and great-grand parents, valued education and hard work as well as the values of this nation. They were mostly immigrants and were thankful for what they had and a good memory for what they used to have in the old country and during the depression. They enstilled these values in their children who, when this country was attacked, went out and beat the two largest militaries in the world simultaniously in less than four years.

Today's American parents are spoiled. Their children get a great education but they do not challenge them to read the newspaper, write letters to friends, have pen-pals, get a hobby, join a club at school or get involved in politics or their church. Go outside when it gets warm and see how many kids are playing outside, or see how many kids go home to no one after school. Today's parents are the ultimate keep-up-with-the-jones parents. Kids become adults with no care in the world except to make a lot of money and drive a nice car like their parents do or wish they could. They have no worries about the future for themselves or their children because they do not believe it could be worse.

I have constantly been amazed that American universities, which have always been in front of the curve when it comes to the direction of government, are happily attending classes and sipping lattes at Starbucks. No anger, no care, no worries except what their starting salaries will be once they get a job. If Bush had the America of 1968 he'd be facing riots in the streets that would make Baghdad look like a nice neighborhood. This video being shown informing Bush of what he says he had no idea could happen after Katrina would have put so many protestors on Pennsylvania Avenue Bush would have fled to his Nebraska bunker.

So I feel the problem is not just with Bush or Cheney, its with us, with the Americans who voted him in on made-up issues and could care less that his decisions may be ruining the country. Americans have changed and the Bush administration is playing many Americans for the fools they have become. Americans care when the stock market goes up and down but not when the deficit goes up or down. They care when gas prices go up and down but not unemployment or trade deficits. Clinton was right about what Americans care about, it is the economy stupid. Stupid Americans who have no memory of bad times and assume Bush could not lead this nation into anything worse than higher gas prices or mortgage rates. I do not see Americans getting smarter without something catastrophic to make them pay attention and decide the direction needs to change. When it happens I expect to see it at the universities first. I haven't seen anything yet.

Posted by: Sully | March 2, 2006 12:10 AM

Cranky old coot johnnyg's gonna go fetch his hickory switch to teach us whippersnappers a lesson! Beatings are the solution to everything always with johnnyg. He obviously sustained some mental trauma to go with the physical beatings he received as a child back in the 19th century. Why don't we just move back into caves and club each other with bones to solve our disputes, johnnyg? You're little more than an animal with crude, violent tendencies. Yesteryear's over, Pops. Spare us the rod and spare us your longings for a long-dead time that never will be again. Corporal punishment of children went the way of the dodo years ago, you fossil.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 2, 2006 12:16 AM

Patriot,

Thanks for the detail behind Afghanistan. There isn't nearly enough news coming out of there that I can find that is well informed. It is actually a pretty complicated place with two main languages and many different ethnic groups.

I'm not surprised if the Taliban is back along the eastern border and in large areas of the Pashtun south, although Karzai should have something of a support base there. What would surprise me is to find them broadly in control of the north, northwest, and west. It's not for nothing that the "Northern Alliance" was called that. So if you happen to know what part of the country these guys were/are located I'd appreciate knowing it.

Frankly, I've just never seen the Iraq thing as a right/left or Republican/Democrat thing and I still don't; Afghanistan either for that matter. If I had to put a label on it, I would call myself a Howard Dean kind of Republican. :o) In military terms we are a superpower. The open question is do we want to act like one politically? Is that consistent with our values? Can we sustain it? Are we so wise? Do we actually need to? These aren't left/right questions, not Republican/Democrat questions. It's a matter of how we want to behave as a nation among nations, what values we stand for, and how we go about championing those in what way. Pretty basic stuff actually.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 2, 2006 12:20 AM

Upper class twit Gore. Upper class twit Kerry. Upper class twit Bush. I guess at this point in our history, the presidency is little more than a prize for bluebloods born with silver spoons in their mouths. Certainly, it's not about leadership, accountability, competence, or the public good. The two party system is what's running this country into the ground, as the two parties in power are entrenched and thoroughly self-serving, a political class for the rich by the rich, with an unfortunate amount of middle and working class buying into the political class's manipulations. Regardless, the system is broken. Our empire has declined in the last 5 years, primarily because of an emperor with no clothes being in a position of power he lacks the personal fortitude and aptitude to handle, but also because of the blind followers that insist the emperor does indeed have clothes on even though he so glaringly doesn't, as should be obvious by now. Bush is an incompetent rich boy that got into the White House thanks to a political system that rewards the rich and perpetuates the status quo (The fix was in on that loser Kerry from the get-go in 2004, as he least threatened the status quo of the insiders of the Democratic party). The election of 2000 was Al Gore's to lose; He did. The election of 2004 was John Kerry's to lose; He did. Bush didn't so much win those elections as his opponents lost. When presidential elections become a case of which dumb prep school rich fool is the lesser of two evils, all we get is a president that's lesser while still being evil. The complacent American public refuses to reform and fix the two party system, something only they can do, so what else are they too expect when everything goes to hell? We're supposed to be running our country while being served by the politicians, but time, power, and entrenched interests have now put the cart before the horse. Whatever keeps the top on top, an unfortunate aspect of human nature. Oh well, at least we don't answer to repressive regimes like the UAE... we merely have a systemiatic, democratic dysfunction that needs to be remedied before it's too late.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 2, 2006 12:54 AM

Chris Crass Ford wrote:
"Short-term, I agree. They can get some cynical milage out of posing as "standing on the ramparts to keep the dang furrners out", despite the fact that Democrats are the original One-Worlders. But the Democrats could really box themselves into a real pickle if they are called out on a vote they really don't want to do which is to start a global economic war with America's best international allies and key trading partners. The stakes would be higher than the Murtha vote they bailed on which went 403-3 against them."

I disagree, the Democrats may have two push button issues to rival, maybe even surpass the republicans on abortion and gay bashing. The two being:

1. selling out our security against terrorism to the highest bidder, one linked to 911

2. and the overall selling of the United States to foreigners to further globalization on an unfair playing field.

I think the lefty democrats are going to stick these up Karl Rove, grab him by the ears, and say "squeal piggy squeal". The polling on these two issues is better than abortion and gay bashing.


Chris Crass Ford wrote:

"It's about the concentration of America's wealth in the hands of a few - a 25-year long process now, and America's failure to educate a competitive workforce and protect critical resources and jobs - a 30 year process. And a 20 year failure to protect industries and domestic markets it took America 200 years to build.
Our kid's future is indeed being squandered."

You're sounding like liberal lefty Democrat, are the rumors true and you're a eunuch? Without the racism ruining your message or as I like to phrase it "putting both your size 6 feet in your size 12 mouth", I might have to actually debate you.

Posted by: Jamal | March 2, 2006 01:00 AM

The fix was in for Kerry to win the 2004 Democratic nomination, that is. Things 'conveniently' went wrong for outsider and frontrunner Howard Dean in Iowa. I don't think there was a fix to lose to Bush, though. Kerry was just an incompetent rich mama's boy that totally squandered an election that was his to win or lose. Hard to think Kerry would have done much better than Bush when it came to Katrina, Iraq, or this Dubai port deal, what with Kerry not even being able to beat Bush in the political arena.
Looking back, isn't pretty pathetic that our only choices were Bush and Kerry? Those were the best two for the job of president? I don't understand why the American voter settles for second-rate, establishment-shill politicians as their leaders these days. We need a third party to counterbalance the dinosaurs that are the Dems and the GOP, or we need to start being a lot more pickier about the best choices being made during each party's primaries for who the final two candidates will be. Otherwise, our entire nation is circling the drain of history.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 2, 2006 01:19 AM

Short term, says Chris Ford. Was he referring to his current stance AGAINST Islamophobia and xenophobia? His length of employment as Emily's eunich? I guess he doesn't quite get that there's no going back from THAT particular commitment. That's gonna be long term, Chris Ford. Better get back to fanning the Emira.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 2, 2006 01:27 AM

Chris Ford, I did it again. I responded to you on the previous thread.

Posted by: DK | March 2, 2006 03:08 AM

WWW.ONLINEJOURNAL.COM

Senator Feinstein's war profiteering
By Joshua Frank
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Feb 28, 2006, 01:12

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It happens all the time. If the antiwar movement takes on the Democrats for their bitter shortcomings a few liberals are bound to criticize us for not hounding Bush instead. It doesn't even have to be an election year to get the progressives fired up. They just don't seem to get it. "How can you attack the Democrats when we have such a bullet-proof administration ruling the roost in Washington," somebody recently emailed me, "Don't you have something better to do than write this trash?!"

Well, not really. It's too cold in upstate New York right now to do anything other than fume over the liberal villains in Washington. "Why do I write about the putrid Democratic Party?" I responded, "I'll tell you, there's a reason this Republican administration is so damn bullet proof -- nobody from the opposition party is taking aim and pulling the trigger."

And that's why the Dems are just as culpable in all that has transpired since Bush took office in 2000. They aren't just a part of the problem -- the Democrats are the problem.

I mean, who is really all that surprised Bush and his boys wanted to conquer the Middle East, curtail civil liberties and rampage the environment? Not me. That's just what unreasonable neo-cons do: they stomp out the little guy, kill off the weak and suffocate the voiceless. They only care about the girth of their wallets and the number of scalps they can tack above their mantles.

The Democrats aren't just letting the Republicans get away with murder, however, some of them are also reaping the benefits of the Bush wars. We constantly hear about Dick Cheney's ties to Halliburton and how his ex-company is making bundles off US contracts in Iraq. But what we don't hear about is how Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband are also making tons of money off the "war on terror."

The wishy-washy senator now claims Bush misled her leading up to the invasion of Iraq. I don't think she's being honest with us though; there may have been other reasons she helped sell Bush's lies. According to The Center for Public Integrity, Senator Feinstein's husband Richard Blum has raked in millions of dollars from Perini, a civil infrastructure construction company, of which the billionaire investor wheels 75 percent of Perini's voting shares.

In April 2003, the US Army Corps of Engineers paid $500 million to Perini to provide services for Iraq's central command. A month earlier, in March 2003, Perini was awarded $25 million to design and construct a facility to support the Afghan National Army near Kabul. And in March 2004, Perini was awarded a hefty contract worth up to $500 million for "electrical power distribution and transmission" in southern Iraq.

Senator Feinstein, who sits on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband's investments. The Democratic royal family recently purchased a $16.5 million mansion in the flush Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. It's a disgusting display of war profiteering and the leading Democrat, just like Cheney, should be called out for her offense.

And that's exactly why the Bush administration is so darn bulletproof. The Democratic leadership in Washington is just as crooked and just as callous.
Joshua Frank is the author of "Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush," published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted through Josh's radical news blog. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com.

Posted by: CHE | March 2, 2006 03:45 AM

Sully wrote:
I disagree there is a problem in the education system. The schools are teaching at a much higher level than 70 years ago and those people became "The greatest generation" and fought the Nazis and other fascists and suffered and supported the government to wage war and left a democratic Europe and Japan that has lasted to this day.


In a word, Bullshit. I put two daughters through public schools and then university. I used my fathers 9th grade math textbook to help them out with their 11th grade math homework. He belongs to the "greatest generation" born 1914. They never got to his 11th grade math text which covered analytical geometry and calculus. One did finally in college. I also dragged out two of his 10th grade essays (about 40 pages each, one on Darwin's Theory of Evolution applied to rattlesnakes in California) so they could see how to write one in their senior year in high school (required 12 pages). WOW.. I used my own 11th grade physics and chemistry texts to help one of them out with her sophmore college physics and chemistry. I won't go into their pathetic reading lists for English, but I but I had no trouble tripling them out of a few of my boxes in storage.

Teaching at a higher level than 70 years ago? You are either joking or on another planet. Why do you think remedial English and Math are the most popular freshman courses for heaven's sake?

Posted by: Cayambe | March 2, 2006 03:50 AM

Chris ... You don't appear to have had a typical NEA "lowest common denominator" education in your youth in Latin America. Were you part of an American expat family, or part of the SA oligarchy elites?

None of the above actually. Age 4-5 I spent days in the lab at an olive oil factory my dad was partners in with an Italian fellow in Oroville California. My Dad taught me to read, using Time magazine as a text, in the evenings while he drank scotch with the guys. Once I could read he put me to work in the lab, since I could now read the labels on the reagent bottles. At 6 I was enrolled in a one teacher, one room schoolhouse, 2-3 grades per table, out house out back. At grade 3 I finally got into a one class per room school. We then went to Ecuador. The IRS had wanted him to testify against his Italian partner, who suggested that might not be a real good idea; after thinking about it for 5 seconds, Dad agreed. I then enrolled for 4th grade in a private 3-room school, 3 grades per room in Guayaquil Ecuador. Learned Spanish the sink or swim way. Grades 8-9 were solo mail in Calvert courses, took six weeks to find out if I passed the tests. Actually around grade 5 Dad bought a just over four thousand books from a bankrupt library owned by some Gringo idiot that thought he could make money renting out books to the expat community in Guayaquil. I read at least 3 thousand of them and, truth be known, I've been milking that ever since. Grades 10-12 I was shipped off to a fancy prep boarding school in Exeter NH to keep me from going totally native; you're true honest to God elite elites school. 67/250 in my senior class went to Harvard; disgusting isn't it. But it had a superb library; I've been milking that one since also.

I think I was just plain lucky. By one accident after another I just got moved through different cultures and environments in a way that seemed perfectly normal to me until I got to the elites and discovered the true meanings of racism and McCarthyism and other isms of the time. Odd, isn't it?

Actually Chris, I trace a lot of our decline back to the way the courts dealt with the injustices from funding schools out of property taxes. One way or another this got dealt with by pooling the money at the state level and redistributing it back by student attendance days. With that came state level regulation and bureaucracy, followed by mediocrity, consolidation of districts and larger schools. That isn't how you keep parents connected to their kids' schools. There have been all kinds of other forces at work also, mostly negative ones.

One thing I do know. Kids start out pretty much the same way all over the world and, while the intelligence average may differ a bit from place to place or race to race, the distributions are primarily overlapping. What always works is feeding their native curiosity with the right stuff using good teachers as fast as they can take it. I've seen 14 year olds whose parents couldn't read or write learning integral calculus barefoot in split bamboo shacks with thatch roofs and open windows and chickens and pigs running around underneath the floor. In some ways we suffer from too damn much institutionalizing. I rant again. Time for bed.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 2, 2006 03:52 AM

Cayambe: "I used my own 11th grade physics and chemistry texts to help one of them out with her sophmore college physics and chemistry. I won't go into their pathetic reading lists for English, but I but I had no trouble tripling them out of a few of my boxes in storage.

Teaching at a higher level than 70 years ago? You are either joking or on another planet. Why do you think remedial English and Math are the most popular freshman courses for heaven's sake?"

You keep all your old texts too! I have had similar expeiences with my daughter, and it was with calculus, chemistry and physics. The texts are now filled with pictures, which take up valuable space. Don't even get me started on calculators!

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 2, 2006 04:16 AM

WWW.ONLINEJOURNAL.COM

PART II


Partisanship trumps ethics: The Feinstein family of war-profiteers, part two
By Joshua Frank
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Mar 1, 2006, 00:50

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Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, could well be called the Democratic Daddy War Bucks. He's scored bundles from war contracts. He has recently purchased a $16.5 million crib in San Francisco and along with his wife has handed hundreds of thousands of dollars over to fellow Democrats.

Since the 2000 election cycle, Blum has contributed over $75,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee, and thousands more to individual Democratic senatorial campaigns including John Kerry, Robert Byrd, Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer.

Richard Blum's history as an entrepreneur began at the ripe age of 23 when he began working for the San Francisco brokerage firm Sutro & Company. Blum quickly climbed the ranks and became a partner by the age of 30. According the San Francisco Chronicle, "Blum proved that he had an eye for fixer-upper properties when he led a partnership that acquired the struggling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for $8 million -- then sold it to Mattel Inc. four years later for $40 million."

In 1975, Blum went out on his own and formed a brokerage agency. Today Blum's lofty firm, Blum Capital, holds positions is more than 20 companies, including real estate giants, credit bureaus, and yes, even military contractors.

Blum sees himself as an altruistic capitalist. Claims one of his ex-employees, "He likes to go after companies that are down and out, and bring their stock back to life. He thinks he doing good." Blum shares a large stake in Perini, a civil construction company that is happily employed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But not all of Blum's war-profits come from Perini. In 1975, his venture capital firm went after fledging construction and design company URS, when the business was about to be bought out by another corporation.

Since then Blum has increased his stock in URS, capitalizing on its recent military contracts. Unlike Blum's dabbling with Barnum & Bailey, his current profits aren't so safe for child consumption.

Here are the basics to date: Blum currently holds over 111,000 shares of stock in URS Corporation, which is now one of the top defense contractors in the United States. Blum is an acting director of URS, which bought EG&G, a leading provider of technical services and management to the U.S. military, from The Carlyle Group in 2002. Carlyle's trusty advisors include former President George Bush Sr., James Baker III and ex-SEC Commissioner Arthur Levitt, among other prominent neoconservatives and Washington powerbrokers.

URS and Blum have since banked on the Iraq war, scoring a $600 million contract through EG&G. As a result URS has seen its stock price more than triple. Blum has cashed in over $2 million on this venture alone and another $100 million for his investment firm.

"As part of EG&G's sale price," reports the San Francisco Chronicle, "Carlyle acquired a 21.74 percent stake in URS -- second only to the 23.7 percent of shares controlled by Blum Capital."

The Carlyle Group has long been accused of exploiting its political connections to turn a profit. And if Carlyle can come under the microscope for its government ties and war profiteering, as it did in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11, than surely Blum's URS ought to be subject to the same scrutiny.

Owen Blicksilver, Blum's spokesman, claims his boss and Senator Feinstein have never talked shop at home in their gated mansion. "Mr. Blum and Sen. Feinstein have never had any discussions about outsourcing, government contracts or URS," Blicksilver said.

If this were a Republican senator's spouse scoring bundles off the spoils of war and passing it along to fellow Republicans, the liberals would be up in arms. But since Senator Dianne Feinstein is a leading Democrat -- mum's the word.

Partisanship trumps ethics.
Joshua Frank is the author of "Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush," published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted through Josh's radical news blog. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com.

Posted by: CHE | March 2, 2006 04:38 AM

While evryone was posting and Congress was holding hearings; two other investigations were going on. They are investigating Dubai International Capital,a company set to take over plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make precision components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks. They are also investigating an Israeli company planning to buy the Maryland software security firm, Sourcefire, which does business with the Defense Department. How ironic is that? This is in the Wash. Post this morning. Wasn't that cool that the whole time they were holding the hearing, there was an investigation going on about the same country buying two plants and nothing was said about that. Are we supposed to believe they didn't know? It's
no use to discuss it because this is just political show business to make the "hysterical Islamophobes" calm down and convince everyone Dubai is as trustworthy as our Mothers. So, when they tell us (if they ever do) that DUBAI has
been approved for these plants and isn't it wonderful and great for our economy to have our friends and allies taking over our country, we won't make a fuss again.
We "sheeple" will just accept it and
submit.

Posted by: RedRose | March 2, 2006 04:43 AM

While evryone was posting and Congress was holding hearings; two other investigations were going on. They are investigating Dubai International Capital,a company set to take over plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make precision components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks. They are also investigating an Israeli company planning to buy the Maryland software security firm, Sourcefire, which does business with the Defense Department. How ironic is that? This is in the Wash. Post this morning. Wasn't that cool that the whole time they were holding the hearing, there was an investigation going on about the same country buying two plants and nothing was said about that. Are we supposed to believe they didn't know? It's
no use to discuss it because this is just political show business to make the "hysterical Islamophobes" calm down and convince everyone Dubai is as trustworthy as our Mothers. So, when they tell us (if they ever do) that DUBAI has
been approved for these plants and isn't it wonderful and great for our economy to have our friends and allies taking over our country, we won't make a fuss again.
We "sheeple" will just accept it and
submit.

Posted by: RedRose | March 2, 2006 04:45 AM

Globalism along with large corporatism was the deal with the devil. In context, turning over more control of trade is just one of its most reasonable terms.

Americans are attached to their illusions. Buy a bigger house and one will be closer to immortality. Buy a bigger SUV and one will survive anything. Once a single woman has a house, an SUV, and a pet, there is no need for a family commitment. Eat no carbs and one will be slim. Have a society with elected representatives and all decisions will be wise. Votes are best counted as dollars, as havenots are undeserving of influence.

It's hard to pick the most damaging illusion; but Globalism will eventually be the most catastrophic to the greatest number. Ignoring claptrap politics that will hasten negative events, while planning a post-globalist life for our children and nurturing appropriate skills, is the most virtuous path.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 2, 2006 07:13 AM


WWW.WSWS.ORG

With bipartisan support, US Senate agrees to Patriot Act renewal
By Joe Kay
2 March 2006

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

With overwhelming bipartisan support, the USA Patriot Act is set for renewal next week. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 95-4 for a bill that will ensure the act will pass by March 10, with minor modifications of some of its most controversial and repressive measures.

The new agreement will permanently extend most of the Patriot Act's provisions that would otherwise expire, while making only insignificant changes to a law that has become symbolic worldwide of the attack on democratic rights.

When the Patriot Act was originally passed in October 2001, Congress mandated that 16 of its provisions would expire after four years. In the summer of 2005, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly (in the Senate, unanimously) approved slightly different extensions of these provisions. Both versions included the permanent enactment of 14 of the 16 temporary measures.

Passage of new legislation, however, was delayed after a handful of Republicans joined Senate Democrats in opposing a House-Senate compromise (also known as the conference report) that did not include some restraints on government powers included in the Senate version. Among the Republicans who opposed the compromise were John Sununu of New Hampshire, Larry Craig of Idaho, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

From the beginning, the opposition within the Senate was of a largely token character. Everyone agreed that the Patriot Act should and would be extended, but there was some quibbling over details.

In particular, there has been concern within sections of the business community over measures that allow the government to demand records from businesses and other institutions, while preventing any challenge to these orders. This provoked the objections of certain Republicans. Democrats also took the opportunity to posture, briefly, as defenders of civil liberties. However, the legislation is now set to pass with the support of nearly the entire House and Senate, without any substantial changes.

Perhaps inadvertently, Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, summed up well the nature of the proceedings in a comment to reporters on February 15. He called the changes to the conference report "cosmetic," but he noted, "Sometimes cosmetics will make a beauty out of a beast and provide enough cover for senators to change their vote."

For procedural reasons, the "cosmetics"--the amendments to the conference report as agreed to by the House-Senate committee set up to reconcile the versions passed by the two chambers--were voted on first, and passed the Senate on Wednesday by the 95-4 vote. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the amendments next week, and the Senate must still vote on the original conference report, which has already been passed by the House. After this, the measure will be signed into law before March 10.

The original objections to the House-Senate compromise bill focused on some of the new spying powers the Patriot Act gives the federal government. One of the points of contention was Section 215 of the Act, which allows the government to seek approval from a court to require businesses and other institutions to turn over records of an individual if the records are considered relevant in a terrorist investigation.

This data may include such things as bank transactions, purchases, individual Internet records, phone calls and many other forms of personal information. The provision does not require the government to show that there is any reason to believe that the individual whose records are sought is himself engaged in terrorist acts. It therefore allows for what have been described as "fishing expeditions," with an extremely low hurdle to be met by the government in snooping into the most personal and private matters.

Some senators urged that this provision be amended to require that the government prove there was reason to believe the individuals targeted had a direct connection to terrorism. No such measure will be included in the final bill.

The Patriot Act also contains a provision that allows the FBI to obtain records from institutions by issuing a "national security letter." This gives the FBI access to similar information as does Section 215, but it does not require any judicial review. The Washington Post reported in November of last year that since the Patriot Act was passed, records on tens of thousands of Americans have been collected in this way, and that many of the individuals have absolutely no connection with terrorism.

Senators objecting to the compromise measure reported out by the House-Senate committee did not target the use of national security letters as such. Rather, they criticized one aspect of the gag order that is placed on recipients of both Section 215 orders and national security letters. This gag order prevents companies and other institutions from revealing to anyone that they have received an order to turn over records.

The final bill will maintain the gag order for a period of at least one year, which is actually an extension over the original version of the Patriot Act, in which the period was only 90 days. A gag order can be challenged after this one year period, but the hurdle for having the gag lifted is extremely high. Some senators wanted this hurdle to be somewhat lower.

They had also called for placing a four-year sunset on the national security letter provision, and sought the inclusion of a requirement that the government quickly notify individuals targeted for "sneak and peak" searches. The latter provision of the Patriot Act allows the government to search the property of criminal suspects without informing them. The House-Senate compromise bill allows a maximum of 30 days before the individual must be notified of the search, but this cap can be indefinitely extended upon appeal. The critical senators wanted a 7-day cap, with provisions for indefinite extension.

The changes sought by those senators objecting to the House-Senate conference bill were thus extremely minimal. They would not seriously hamper the powers of the government.

The changes that were made to the conference report, however, are even more minimal. In addition to the one-year cap on gag orders, the changes to the conference report include: 1) a statement that libraries cannot be targets of national security letters unless they function as internet service providers; and 2) a provision that recipients of national security letters are not required to inform the FBI if they talk to a lawyer.

The entire anti-democratic framework of the Patriot Act remains in the final compromise. Through national security letters and Section 215, the government will continue to have expansive powers to secretly spy on US residents. This is in addition to the remainder of the provisions of the Patriot Act, which have never been called into question. These include the use of "roving wiretaps," extended for another four years; the greater ability of the government to share information and use information gathered under the Patriot Act in criminal prosecutions; and the very broad definition of "terrorism" to include a wide array of political activities.

The changes to the House-Senate conference report were agreed to earlier this month after discussions between the White House and Senate Republicans. Once the agreement was reached, Senate Democrats seized on the opportunity to abandon their own nominal opposition to the bill.

Dianne Feinstein of California declared that the bill "is a substantial improvement." Richard Durbin of Illinois said it represented progress in "protecting civil liberties at a time when we are dealing with the war on terrorism," while Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called it "a step in the right direction."

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to block efforts by Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin to add additional amendments to the bill before it was passed. On February 16, the Senate voted 96-3 to effectively suppress any new amendments. Then on February 28, a final vote was taken to end debate, and this passed 69-30.

The overwhelming support of the Democrats for the renewal of the Patriot Act comes only a few months after revelations of massive illegal domestic spying through another mechanism: the secret National Security Agency program set up by the Bush administration over four years ago. On Tuesday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales released a letter "clarifying" his testimony before Congress last month. Gonzales said at the time that the NSA program was authorized by Bush "and that is all that he has authorized."

In his letter, however, Gonzales said that he was referring only to the NSA program acknowledged by the President and that he "did not and could not address... any other classified intelligence activities." The meaning of this could hardly be clearer: the NSA program and those powers authorized by the Patriot Act are only part of a more comprehensive program of spying on the American people, unprecedented in the history of the United States.

See Also:

Posted by: CHE | March 2, 2006 08:03 AM

Foreign ownership of some government functions per se is not horrible. But as the saying goes, "there are somethings a man needs to do himself to be a man." Well, there are soemthings a country needs to do on its own to be a country. National security is one of them. Securing our ports is an indispensable component to national security and should not be presided over by any foreign entity: private, government, allie or foe.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | March 2, 2006 08:15 AM

johnnyg in NE DC wrote:

"Don't even get me started on calculators!"

Don't forget spell check and chat rooms.

Posted by: Jamal | March 2, 2006 09:02 AM

Cayambe wrote: "I put two daughters through public schools and then university. I used my fathers 9th grade math textbook to help them out with their 11th grade math homework. He belongs to the "greatest generation" born 1914. They never got to his 11th grade math text which covered analytical geometry and calculus."

Really! I do find that hard to believe.

Maybe our different perspectives are due to where we are living. I live in a suburb of Washington DC in one of the top school districts in the nation. My sister, who was also raised in this school district, now lives in Denver CO where she is amazed at how bad the schools are. She considered moving back here and found that her daughter would have to be placed in the next lower grade. She even tried a Catholic school and found that it was worse than the public schools.

I agree that schools are not what they could be nationwide. It seems they are always on the bleeding edge of getting the job done. I was amazed at the low level of the courses offered to my relative's high school kids in Dallas yet their high school had a football stadium to rival any college stadium.

Posted by: Sully | March 2, 2006 10:16 AM

get it through your heads...


I can tear George W. Bush apart, here or in person....and I'm not a politician....


Kerry cut a deal, I don't know what he got but it was worth it to him....


I mean really, he had the cajones to stand up in Congress and testify about the war from the perspective of having just fought in it....that's a lot of starch for someone in their twenties...

I think the story about Cunning-Ham, that aired a couple of days ago, where one of his people finding him taking bribes asked him to step down. This was some years ago, when Cunning-Ham didn't leave the guy quit and then came back as a lobbyist...


Things change, the idealism can give way to "going along to get along."


We are poised on an abyss though, the country is about to go radically foreign with little or no protections for the citizens who are rapidly being relegated to super peasant status....


Back to the olde days. Feudal lords and peasants, speak up and lose your plot of land that doesn't belong to you..


The thing is _right now_ there is still the semblance of a democratic process _in place_ that is rapidly being eroded with the presidentes' BOGUS WAR POWERS, that allows him to change laws as easily as you change underwear....


someone needs to step in and step on his fingers...


now...

Posted by: Kerry lost on purpose.... | March 2, 2006 10:37 AM

if they understand that being able to see clearly allows them to vote clearly....

when they can't hide the issues from you, then they can be taken down...

Posted by: people can influence the mindset.... | March 2, 2006 10:42 AM

the companies exist because of the wealth of the United States and the strength of the people....


You can even make the argument that slaves created much of the early wealth of the United States....without their labor to work large tracts of land there wouldn't have been a wealthy upper class....

The point is, slavery has never been very far away from the minds of some families and their view of others that are not of their classe...

Those types of people need to be dragged out into the open and deposed, for your sakes...

they are the kind of people that make laws like: it's illegal for slaves to learn to read and write....


a moderne day version would be: it's classified and you don't need to know, classified by a drug addict with multiple addictions that bought his way into office...

there were numerous boxes of documents that were found after the invasion of Iraq, that have no reason not to be released....they're not marked classified, but they don't want you to make any connection between Saddam and George...

we are not a war with the Iraqi's we're at war with the affluent that want to slip a pillow slip over your head while they slip you the crawford salaami so that you can't identify them in the line-up...

Posted by: the companies and the money belong to the people.... | March 2, 2006 10:49 AM

services, outside of DC, are being cut on a regular basis as they spend money on the "war" machine...


most of the people in congress are connected to the beltway industries....

you really need to try and work in another area for awhile, especially if you could work in a factory...that would be good for you....

the people that run the country don't have a clue what the rest of the united states is going through....they don't live in it...

it's isolationism through class...


slavery just ended, sort of about 140 years ago....but really about forty years ago with integration....blacks were kept seperate in WWII to a great extent, thus the Tuskeegee airmen...


the mindset that allows for the seperation at a mental level into races and classes is still fresh...

Posted by: school, healthcare and other community | March 2, 2006 10:55 AM

Chris Ford,

Your education note to Cayambe was first class.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 2, 2006 11:18 AM

Someone writing under the handle "a thug's argument" challenged my post implying that I supported thugs. I do not support thugs and no, my argument isn't simplistic and overgeneralized enough that I would support having the "Sporanos" operate our ports.

Noticeably lacking from the poster's challenge was any concrete evidence that Dubai is run by thugs. Aside from that, if your point is that the state owned company is run by thugs, then they must be Americans, because every spokesman for that company I have seen in the hearings has been an American businessman.

Look. I don't know. I said that. And neither do most of you. I would like to be able to go back to simpler times myself. I loved the black and white simplicities of the 50s, the innocence of that age. But that is not possible. The world is moving on and we have to move with it whether we like it or not.

I am quite certain that the American Indian did not like what was happening to his culture back when the white man invaded his lands and forced upon him an alien culture. It may well be that the innocent days of our sweet little republic in America are gone just as the horse culture of the plains Indians disappeared.

And all of the gnashing of teeth and wailing into the wind will not stop it. Like the native inhabitants of this continent had to learn to adapt to a new national culture--an American culture--we too may now be suffering the same fate: having to adapt to a new global culture.

W ecan either join it and place upon it our own unique American imprimatur, or we can resist and find ourselves a defeated and irrelevant culture.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 2, 2006 11:19 AM

"So I feel the problem is not just with Bush or Cheney, its with us, with the Americans who voted him in on made-up issues and could care less that his decisions may be ruining the country"

Sully, I gotta agree with you on this one. I am truly shocked at the "sheeple" we have become. I think a lot of it is just plain ignorance - not just of book learning but of people sense too.

Before the 96 election I was helping a niece with her social studies, WWII and FAscism. I asked her the obvious question, if Hitler was so bad, why did all those people "Heil" him so enthusiastically? Of course she couldn't answer. So we explored the post WWI history of Germany and how the conditions arose that led to his policies and power grab, and I made her write a speech Hitler might have given exploiting circumstances to his favor.

When we were done I flipped on the TV - Pat Buchannan was on TV giving our speech! It was a big wake up call for me. I watched with abstract fascination as the far right wing of the Republican party drifted into fascism for the next four years, then with outright alarm when it infected the main body of the party since 2000. Yet to speak up about it meant being labelled as an aluminum hat wearing lefty wacko moonbat. To speak up meant being accused of "comparing Bush to Hitler" and being obviously way out lefty wacko. The truth is, if Cayambe is a "Dean Republican", I am a "Snowe/Collins Democrat". I have never voted a straight ticket in my life, and am not really all that "liberal", no matter what names Chris Ford calls me. This business of "either/or" is part of the strategy - either you're with us God fearing decent people or those moonbat wacked out lefties in Hollywood who hate America and want to be attacked by terrorists. That is works is testament to the sorry state of critica thought in this nation.

As far as education is concerned, it is indeed true that 50% of the kids entering community college require remedial English and Math classes. One of my beefs with the educational system is that they are starting abstract learning too soon. Back in the olden days kids learned the three R's and then began abstract learning in fifth or sixth grade. Now they want to teach them the "theory" of multiplication in the second grade. That's well and good but they forgot to teach them their times tables. You can see the result - kids with no foundation on which to based educated abstract thought.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 2, 2006 11:29 AM

What strikes me about the ports debate is that no one has cottoned on to the fact that the failure of CFIUS to review the DPW deal is just the tip of the ICEberg: The Bush Administration is not enforcing the law related to transfer of technology to foreign countries, be it Chinese manufacturers owned by the PLA or to Pakistani engineers working here in the US. Let a US manufacturer export American made goods without an export license, which takes 4 to 6 weeks for the Dept. of Commerce to process through interagency review (e.g., hunting rifle scopes to Canada or drape linings - I'm talking textile products - to Iran), and Customs will come down hard. But if an American company builds state of the art production facilities in China, or emails the designs for a new chip to a PLA owned factory in China to which it outsources production, both Immigration & Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and Commerce's Export Enforcement (which share jurisdiction) are no where to be found. In theory, the regulations covering exports of hardware also cover exports of technology, whether directly or so-called "deemed exports" involving release of US technology to foreign nationals in the US (a work visa alone is insufficient), but the "investigators" in ICE and Export Enforcement have never prosecuted a case that didn't involve exports of hardware.

So unless you're silly enough to send the plans in a paper hardcopy(which is all but useless for modern engineering) via FEDEX, ICE and Export Enforcement will never bother to look.

Posted by: MikeDeal | March 2, 2006 12:01 PM

"I'm beginning to take the HHS guy seriously about bird flu now. It will be every American for himself when that happens."

It doesn't have to be that way. You can call your Congressional Rep/Senator and insist they support funding for alternate vaccine technology. Current vaccine technology requires up to three to six months to grow the vaccine in eggs - by then we'll all be dead. We can start now and stockpile vaccine but once the virus mutates for person to person spread we can't be 100% sure the vaccine will still work. There is active research in molecular and cell culture vaccine technology that could be made in weeks instead of months but the technology is not perfected. Some money thrown in the right places (like a competitive NIH research grant) could solve this problem.

We also have the "right" to lift the patent on antiflu meds so long as we pay royalties on the product. We put our 'order' in so late that it will be years before it is delivered. You can ask your Rep/Senator to make contingency plans to be ready to lift the patent and crank it out at a moment's notice. Of course, we're not sure it will work, but at the moment its all we've got.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 2, 2006 12:18 PM

you've been dealing with the curtain of Oz...


really, during my growing up period, Nixon was seen as plain evil....


Huey Long, from Louisiana, Mayor Daly from Chicago as dinosaurs.....


well it looks like the reptiles are still leading us, only they dress nicer...


the democrat state of the Union rebuttal was horrific....


I felt like I was looking at a Southern Bible salesman for the Christian Happy Hour....coming to sell me cemetary plots....


gawd bless america....


when people sell you slogans instead of give you what you need and you don't know any better.....you're effin trained...

after WWII, no one expected the United States to return to plundering by the riche...we had seen what could happen to a country that turned it's back on it's peoples...


but, yah know


talking about it openly,

destroys the staged media events that passes for congress "in session"


without oversight, you have no friggin idea what is goin on....and there ain't none....


that's why I want "the bushes" arrested....


make an example of a dynasty trying to heartlessly steal their way to financial freedom, it sends a message....


to the other thieves.

Posted by: sheeeple are trained they are not born... | March 2, 2006 12:43 PM

Looks like this thread is coming to it's end. Many thanks to the following for contributing: Emily's Dad, Emily's Mom, Emily's Tenth Grade Teacher, Emily's Boyfriend, Emily's Congressman, Emily's Flag, Emily's Boy, Emily's Emir, Emily's Boss, Emily's Mullah, Emily's Indifference, Emily's Approval Rating, Emily's Karma, Emily's Taliban, Emily's Tailor, Emily's Lover, Emily's Eunich, and, of course, Emira Emily herself for providing the basis for this humorous thread. Good job whomever started it; I had fun jumping in for a handful. LOL! : )

Posted by: ErrinF | March 2, 2006 03:07 PM

You are most welcome, stupid American xenophobe. I'm feeling kinder of late, as my burka fits snugly, my eunich fans me most diligently, and Michael Jackson is babysitting the kid so that I can get a little peace and quiet. All of the others would also like to thank you, but I have decided their freedom of speech and expression is only inalienable to Emiras and Emirs, so they cannot respond themselves, but I can. They all say long live the Emira and may her future be full of a thousand purchased ports.
Now, begone from the presence of my harem, ignorant American xenophobe cur! I am to attend to the Emir now, and you the unwashed are not worthy of his presence. Go! Need I call upon my trusty eunich?!
Ah, my new life as Emira Emily is not necessarily a bad thing...

Posted by: Emira Emily | March 2, 2006 03:45 PM

Sully ... She considered moving back here and found that her daughter would have to be placed in the next lower grade.

Yes, would have been hard on her socially no doubt; but better on her educationally. Not to judge the particular here, but generally we don't stand up to the children on behalf of the children for the right priorities.

I don't know. Its not easy. I wasn't always popular with the daughters; on the other hand, they both emerged from college with honors. Sure wish I could prove I had something to do with it, don't we all? :o)

And yes, your point about who is responsible for the state of our government is exactly right, we should all look in the mirror.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 2, 2006 05:08 PM

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Posted by: wTs5F95HaH | March 12, 2006 06:39 AM

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