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Thread: Putting foreign companies in charge of our ports

  1. #1
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Putting foreign companies in charge of our ports

    Seems like every day there is something in the news that makes you go "WTF?" Today, for me, it is President Bush defending a deal that would let a United Arab Emirates-based company run some key U.S. seaports, and saying he would veto any bill to hold up the agreement.

    Two things bother me about this:

    1) Our ports are probably the most insecure link in our national security against terrorism, and it is okay with the Administration that we put Moslems in charge? I know the UAE isn't one of our Arab enemies but it still seem ill-advised. Bush says they were investigated and came up clean. Given this Adminstration's past record with making key decisions based on faulty intelligence I am not convinced.

    2) Equally as troubling is the fact that our ports are run by foreign companies. Now a British company and now possibly an Arab company. Granted the Brits are our allies now, but they also burned the White House in the past. Why can't Americans manage our own ports? Are we too stupid, too lazy or what?

    Anyone else have thoughts about this development?
    Last edited by otterpop; 22 Feb 2006 at 4:08 PM.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Man, I can't wait to see how the cheerleaders defend Bush on this one.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Man, I can't wait to see how the cheerleaders defend Bush on this one.
    I am truly at a loss for words here.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Man, I can't wait to see how the cheerleaders defend Bush on this one.
    I will defend Bush. The UAE company is a world-class manager of seaports and is going to make significant improvements to the abysmal quality of U.S. seaports that all Americans will benefit from. In fact it is likely that more competent management will make the ports more secure than if the incompetent Homeland Security Department alone was providing security.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    He claims he was in the dark about the deal until it had already been approved. Why am I not surprised by this? It seems like he's been in the dark on a lot of things during the past several years.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  6. #6
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    I will defend Bush. The UAE company is a world-class manager of seaports and is going to make significant improvements to the abysmal quality of U.S. seaports that all Americans will benefit from. In fact it is likely that more competent management will make the ports more secure than if the incompetent Homeland Security Department alone was providing security.
    Have to disagree.
    It was a man in North Carolina who revolutionized the shipping industry by creating standardized containers that now rule the shipping, logistics and trucking industry world-wide. We have the TOP shipping minds here in the US. It was the US who invented the RFID tags that are the wave of the shipping and logistics industry; we're setting the standard world-wide. It was the US Army who conceived of 'logistics' as a discipline a magnatude beyond mere shipping. Logistics manages every aspect of widget management from warehousing, shipping, ordering, and back to shipping again; tracking your widget from the warehouse to FedEx to the store and through the check-out line and getting real-time locations on not only trucks, but all the widgets in the trucks.

    Bush's family has been friend with this Arab oil-rich powerful family for generations. His dad and grandfather cut deals with them and got wealthy with those deals. He's been giving them specials deals for years. Remember how they were all allowed to leave the country under special escort after 9-11 when Americans couldn't fly? When other Arabs were being scruitinized?

    Old money friends. Old family deals. Money, Power, Money. Oil. Money.
    Bush and his family and this Arab family have it and want to keep it from us.

  7. #7

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    Next Great Idea!

    Seeing that it's folly to stop this trend toward globalization and to expect foresight and leadership with respect to protecting our borders, let's outsource The Secret Service!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    Have to disagree.
    It was a man in North Carolina who revolutionized the shipping industry by creating standardized containers that now rule the shipping, logistics and trucking industry world-wide. We have the TOP shipping minds here in the US.
    These top shipping minds now work for the Dubai company.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Sheesh.. it's just a seaport, it's not the military or something... And it's the UAE not Syria or Iran....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Two of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists came to the U.S. on visas from the UAE. So while the government of the UAE might be friendly to the U.S.A., some of the citizens are not.

    Could a member of a terrorist cell infiltrate the company and help get a dirty bomb into the U.S.?
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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  11. #11
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    This administration gives away govt. contracts and expects zero accountability so why should we believe this arab company is any different than the scumbags that got millions on dollars for Iraqi "reconstruction"?

  12. #12

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    I'm curious, jaws, why you are even commenting on this thread? You don't believe in nationalism, nation states, or anything beyond constellations of atomized individuals and private companies floating freely in space, cemented only by the glorious MARKET. Of course, Bush and his friends would have no concerns. They have plenty of private security, private safe enclaves, etc. etc. They have already taken care of their security privately, as you imagine us all being able to do.

    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    Two of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists came to the U.S. on visas from the UAE. So while the government of the UAE might be friendly to the U.S.A., some of the citizens are not.

    Could a member of a terrorist cell infiltrate the company and help get a dirty bomb into the U.S.?
    Perhaps "Most" of the citizens?

    Few of the despots we are buddies with have much popularity among their populaces. Bush's mythical "democratization" process would lead to more and more Hamas-style takeovers by Islamists.

    I would argue that there is little that would prevent your doomsday scenario from happening right now.

    I am skeptical that Dubai is the only company that can operate ports, If that is so, then it would still behoove national security to redevelop that skill base rather than simply outsourcing yet again.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    Two of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists came to the U.S. on visas from the UAE. So while the government of the UAE might be friendly to the U.S.A., some of the citizens are not.
    The London Underground bombers came from England. Does that mean that the English can no longer trust the English to run their security?
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I'm curious, jaws, why you are even commenting on this thread? You don't believe in nationalism, nation states, or anything beyond constellations of atomized individuals and private companies floating freely in space, cemented only by the glorious MARKET. Of course, Bush and his friends would have no concerns. They have plenty of private security, private safe enclaves, etc. etc. They have already taken care of their security privately, as you imagine us all being able to do.
    I am commenting because as you say I don't believe in nationalism, and there is nothing controversial about this except nationalism. The company may be owned by Dubai but it will still be staffed by Americans (and in fact a good chunk of the administrative staff in Dubai is made up of Americans). Just like Toyota's continental operations are staffed by Americans. Supporting an inferior company just because the guys at the top of the superior company don't have the right passports is ruinous.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    More politics. God, I just need to get out the razor blades...

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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    The London Underground bombers came from England. Does that mean that the English can no longer trust the English to run their security?

    I am commenting because as you say I don't believe in nationalism, and there is nothing controversial about this except nationalism. The company may be owned by Dubai but it will still be staffed by Americans (and in fact a good chunk of the administrative staff in Dubai is made up of Americans). Just like Toyota's continental operations are staffed by Americans. Supporting an inferior company just because the guys at the top of the superior company don't have the right passports is ruinous.
    To a certain extent, I think jaws may be the rational one here. It may pain me to admit it.

    However, the remaining question I have: was this company chosen for this track record you speak of-or because there are Bush Administration aides who will be personally profiting directly from this deal (Snow)?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    However, the remaining question I have: was this company chosen for this track record you speak of-or because there are Bush Administration aides who will be personally profiting directly from this deal (Snow)?
    It would have to be more than money. I sincerely hope that this administration would care for more than just... Oh, who am I kidding.


    There are two major things about this entire situation that I truly do not understand. First off, Why does this mean so much to the President? He is threatening to veto any effort by Congress to block this sale. The man hasn't used the vet in five years. What is it that's so important that he's willing to spend political capital on this?

    And second: Dubai Ports World is not just any company. It's a company owned by the UAE government. Call me nationalistic, or whatever, but I for one am not comfortable with a foreign government controlling an asset as vulnerable, and valuable, as our nation's ports... Even if they are an ally.
    Last edited by biscuit; 22 Feb 2006 at 9:54 PM.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    The London Underground bombers came from England. Does that mean that the English can no longer trust the English to run their security?
    Considering its an British company that is proposing to sell the ports, this might be a good question to have asked before selling the ports ito them n the first place. Plus we saw how good the British were at protecting ports in the "colonies" historically. Anyone want some salty tea?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  18. #18
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Man, I can't wait to see how the cheerleaders defend Bush on this one.
    I originally thought it was a bad move when I first heard about it. But after this morning I'm going to have to go with team Bush on the issue. "Why?" you may ask. Well, because NPR did a bang up job of taking the leftist agenda out of the story and their reporting was top notch. The simply told the story of a firm owned by a supporter nation in the 'war on terrorism.' This nation has been managing these ports of years. They talked about the security precautions taken at the port and they explained that there are Arabs that get up every day with no desire to kill Americans. Yikes, it was almost 'fair and balanced'!!!!!

    Dan I hearby take back my "all NPR stories are from their masters at Pyongyang" position. I stand corrected. At least one story this month has been fair. Frankly, I was stunned. The commies here had me believing W sold us out to his cronies in the oil business. I'll bet they fire that reporter.

    Wouldn't it be great if EVERYTHING wasn't spun any longer? I have a dream, news without an agenda. Let's call them "facts"

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    I originally thought it was a bad move when I first heard about it. But after this morning I'm going to have to go with team Bush on the issue. "Why?" you may ask. Well, because NPR did a bang up job of taking the leftist agenda out of the story and their reporting was top notch. The simply told the story of a firm owned by a supporter nation in the 'war on terrorism.' This nation has been managing these ports of years. They talked about the security precautions taken at the port and they explained that there are Arabs that get up every day with no desire to kill Americans. Yikes, it was almost 'fair and balanced'!!!!!

    Dan I hearby take back my "all NPR stories are from their masters at Pyongyang" position. I stand corrected. At least one story this month has been fair. Frankly, I was stunned. The commies here had me believing W sold us out to his cronies in the oil business. I'll bet they fire that reporter.

    Wouldn't it be great if EVERYTHING wasn't spun any longer? I have a dream, news without an agenda. Let's call them "facts"
    A reasonable response, EG. Even us liberals can see rationality.

    I'm still with biscuit, though as to why it is so important to the President? And, it's not just "liberals" who have been up in arms about this? And, there is the big payday for Snow factor.

    I'll agree it's not so clearly an "Idiot Bush supports terrorist Arabs" story.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5228775

    And one other thing, this is a story because someone thought they could score points and for no other reason. Let's ask ourselves, Do we want our president involved at a mico level where he approves every home loan the FHA processes? This is another bullshit story designed to take our eye off of real issues like, oh I don't know: AIDs in Africa, the pending civil war in Iraq, rampant doping in sports, those damn Canadians, an insolvent social security plan, old people who just won't die without making me pay for every freaking pill and band aid they need, and why aren't email spammers shot in the head until dead, you know...important things.

    BKM Are you feeling OK?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    Come on, everyone knows Bush's veto threat is a bluff. I suspect Clinton thought it would be funny to take the veto stamper with him and everyone in the White House is too embarrassed to admit they can't find the thing.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  22. #22
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    Two of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists came to the U.S. on visas from the UAE. So while the government of the UAE might be friendly to the U.S.A., some of the citizens are not.

    Could a member of a terrorist cell infiltrate the company and help get a dirty bomb into the U.S.?
    So since some also came here from Germany, should we stop all cooperation with Germany?

    What about people from Western New York who happen to be Irish-Catholic. Should we prevent them from doing important things since that was Timothy McVeigh?

    Let’s really get to the bottom of this. Liberals are scared because they are Islamic. I say that is a very racist point of view. Do you not eat at restaurants that have serve middle east cuisine?

    This company is one of the best in the world, Dubai is very different than any other Middle Eastern city in that they embrace many of the forward thinking aspects of the west, and I think that this is getting blown out of the water because of one thing.

    Too many liberals, including Senator Hillary Clinton, are racist when it comes to anyone of Middle Eastern decent. I seriously bet that they get nervous anytime that they are on a plan and someone who appears to be Middle Eastern is also on the plane, or just about anywhere for that matter.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    including Senator Hillary Clinton,
    Off-topic:
    You couldn't get Ted Kennedy's name worked in their somehow

  24. #24
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    Off-topic:
    You couldn't get Ted Kennedy's name worked in their somehow
    Off-topic:
    Nope... I checked on this thoughts, but his liver is still too intoxicated to realize that we have ports in the US
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  25. #25
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Too many liberals, including Senator Hillary Clinton, are racist when it comes to anyone of Middle Eastern decent. I seriously bet that they get nervous anytime that they are on a plan and someone who appears to be Middle Eastern is also on the plane, or just about anywhere for that matter.
    Yes, I agree. Liberals are notorious racists. It never ceases to amaze me how callous/insensitive they can be towards minorities, or far they will go to offend or persecute the same. Fortunately, there are far fewer conservative racists throughout the world. There's hope for us all yet, isn't there?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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