04 March 2006

Can I pay you to keep my enemies out?

I have no intention of making this a political blog, nor did I ever intend to address anything political here, but c’mon, I GOTTA get this out of my system.

I cannot believe that George Bush truly believes it is in the US’s best interest to hand over control of 6 of her ports to ANYONE, never mind the birthplace of US-striking terrorists (two of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from UAE) - George Bush’s handholding with the Saudi Crown Prince notwithstanding.

I almost always get my gas at the gas station on the corner. They’re convenient, no other reason. Imagine me giving my house key to whichever attendant is on today and asking him to be responsible for what gets in and out of my house. Even if I pay him big bucks, seriously, what does he care?! Besides, he’s working at the gas station. At most, he’ll pop around the corner once in a while to see if things are okay. If he’s responsible, he’ll hire someone to watch my house, but won’t he hire someone at the cheapest rate possible, to maximize his profit? And I have no say in whoever he hires, so who knows who’s watching my house!

Why on earth would any country, anywhere, hand over that kind of control of their own sovereign border to another country??!

I could get into the whole boycotting Israeli products, and US law that prohibits any company doing business in the US to participate in the Arab boycott, which in and of itself should negate the whole Dubai deal, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant completely.

Oh, and full disclosure: While I live in Canada at the moment, I am an American citizen.

7 Comments:

At 4/3/06 7:38 p.m., Anonymous wessel said...

Yeah, well, I certainly don't like it, and especially don't like the boycott of Israel aspect of the UAE. However . . . I am genuinely confused as to why Democrats would be opposed to it. All we ever hear from MANY in that group (notice I didn't say ALL) is how unjust profiling is, and how we should stop treating all Muslims/Arabs like terrorists, and how it would improve relations with Arab Muslim countries if we did more business with them, etc. Isn't that what Bush is doing now? Yet everyone who hates him is all up in arms about the UAE port deal. It seems to me that only the Conservatives should be squawking.

Also, remember, that many countries have use of various American ports -- it's just how business is done. America still provides the security at the ports, so it's not as if all control has been relinquished.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't like it or support it, but it's just weird to hear criticisms coming from certain sectors. Nicholas Kristof, who is a very liberal columnist, basically says the same thing I just said in his latest column. Of course, he HATES Bush, but he chastises Liberals for criticizing the decision. He also points out that infiltrators would likely enter our ports via another country anyway (um, France comes to mind) rather than through a country that would be so much under scrutiny by American security personnel.

 
At 7/3/06 6:44 p.m., Blogger Just another Jenny said...

All this at the same time as they are changing law so Americans/Canadians need passports to cross the border.
So much for going to the occasional ball game in Detriot!

George Bush scares the crap out of me. I honestly don't understand how he won two terms.

 
At 8/3/06 12:25 a.m., Blogger projgen said...

Wessel, there you go painting all Dems with the same brush again ;) I don't understand what profiling has to do with the ports deal. This has nothing to do with Muslim/Arabs, I (and I assume most Democrats as well - remember, I am not a Democrat) would have the same problem with this deal even if control of the ports was being sold to the ever neutral Swiss.

Use of the ports is also not the issue. My understanding is control and security would be handed over to Dubai Ports World. Now upon further research, I have learned that control of these selected ports was under a British-owned company. DPW purchased the British company, placing them in charge. I guess since Great Britain is a "friend" nobody cared enough about the story before.

Yes, I probably am more leary with DPW in charge than I would have been had I known about the British company. But either way, my issue is with ports control going to a foreign entity, and as I mentioned above, I would feel that way even with the Swiss purchasing control.

And why do all Dems have to all have the same opinions? The Republican platform is anti-abortion (for example), yet there are many Republicans who are not. If these Republicans didn't support a bill to abolish Roe v Wade, would that be an issue? I think representatives have a responsibility to represent their constituency, and if their constituents' views happen to conflict with the party line, they need to support that (within reason and constitutionality, of course - this is far to short a forum to get into all the aspects of that comment!), even if it doesn't toe the party line.

Jenny, unless they've changed things since the last time I looked at the new border crossing regs, it's just Canadians who will need passports to get into the US. As far as I know (and it may have changed; I could be wrong), Americans still won't need a passport to get into Canada.

American retailers close to the border where I live are pitching major fits. It was bad enough they lost so much Canadian business with the dollar dropping, then 9/11...with these changes, they'll have no Canadian business, which used to their major market.

Oh look, I hijacked my own blog! ;)

 
At 10/3/06 2:57 p.m., Anonymous wessel said...

But Projgen, I carefully said "many Dems," not "all Dems." So there. And anyway, this is NOT the first case of allowing foreign countries to purchase use of ports -- it is being done already, as far as my understanding of the situation goes. If the Dems that you speak of would be just as upset by the neutral Swiss (haha, never neutral, those folks) having control of the ports, then why haven't they been complaining all along, since ports are being used by various countries?

And yes, once again, let's review the label issue: of course it should go without saying that not ALL people in any group think the same thing. But it is undeniable that there are GENERAL THEMES of idealogies attributed to various groups.

 
At 10/3/06 3:00 p.m., Anonymous wessel said...

By the way, were you upset to hear that UAE has been boycotting Israel? Funny that not many people mention that -- seems like a pretty important issue to me, but maybe that's just because I'm Jewish?

 
At 14/3/06 12:41 a.m., Blogger projgen said...

Wessel, I mentioned both the ports being previously managed by other countries AND the boycott. I absolutely think the boycott should be an issue, because, aside from the obvious issues (um, Jewish), there is the law that I mention that prohibits any company doing business in the US to participate in the Arab boycott. Just from a legal standpoint, DWP should never have been option.

From a Jewish perspective, I could have done another whole blog entry about that aspect of the boycott.

Knowing that the point is now moot, I think there are a couple of issues that have come out of this.
1 - the media never cared to report that other countries were managing US ports before, because they were benign interests, so US citizens (myself included) never realized the US was not managing its own ports. Once a perceived harbinger of the "enemy" suddenly is going to have control, the media is all over it, and suddenly, US citizens realize that the US does not control its own ports. US citizens should have been complaining all along. Or, better yet, US citzens should become knowledgeable about what port management actually means, who owns the companies that actually do the management, what are their political alliances, and how can the US ensure it upholds its OWN LAWS when dealing with foreign-owned entities.

 
At 14/3/06 8:20 a.m., Anonymous wessel said...

Well, I'll have to agree with you that we should know more about how our ports are managed, that's for sure. The whole port incident does not inspire confidence in our leaders, in any of us (if we are only honest with ourselves), no matter whether our politics allow us to support Bush or oppose him.

 

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