I am sure by now everybody has heard about the storm surrounding the selling of administrative duties to a state run shipping company in the United Arab Emirates. The common argument against this transaction is that giving a foreign nation with questionable ties to terrorism reign over our ports is an invitation to terrorists to use those ports as points of entry.
These six ports, wait noâ€¦ these twenty-one ports serve as major points of entry into our nation. Most of these ports are beside major cities, on rivers, and at major interstate junctions. Any terrorist using these ports to enter our nation would be able to hop from there to nearly anywhere in the country. And because of the Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 operators of port facilities can gain access to Coast Guard security incident response plans. To repeat, the administrators in the UAE would be able to find out how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terror attacks.
But that is not the only reason we should not trust this surrender of our ports, because this deal has an even worse level to it. The UAE, and DP World (the UAE run company) are renowned through out the world as a haven for traffickers. Heroin and opium from Afghanistan are transported through the ports to locations west. Human traffickers use the UAE as a hub for their illicit trade, bringing women and children from Asia and Africa through their ports for sale there and in other nation. And nuclear weapons making materials have been tracked through UAE ports on their way to Iran.
Narcotics, slavery, and nuclear weapons are all illegal to trade through the ports of the UAE. But everybody knows that for the right pass official Emirate entanglements can be waived. The UAE has laws making these activities illegal, they just donâ€™t care to enforce themâ€¦ and do we really want unscrupulous people like this running our ports? Do we want to give people of such attitude access to our security plans around the ports that they administer? I know I sure as hell donâ€™t.
The President stands by his pronouncement that he will veto any attempt to block this transaction. I am seriously wondering if the President is just being doggedly stubborn, or if he has actually gone mad. These are not the kind of people that we need running our ports, I am none to happy that there are foreign companies administering such delicate and poorly protected points of entryâ€¦ but to actually have unprincipled people like this at the reigns is nothing short of insanity.
… Alan Dershowitz, someone who’s views will likely never be confused with those of this columnist’s, has written a bold new work on the nature of societies and law in an Age of Terror. Preemption: A Knife That Cuts Both Ways is an in depth look at serious issues we face including searches, seizures, the use of torture, preventative detention, and other key issues that challenge our grasp of what it means to be free, and live in a society that we may fairly call free.
While there are many points on which I will never agree with Alan Dershowitz upon, this book is extremely thought provoking and badly needed, if we are to engage in a serious dialogue between Left and Right about the future of liberty.
I have been watching the Olympics on and off for the past week, trying to catch the events that I enjoy watching. Specifically I like watching some of the race events, like speed skating, super-G, and bobsled; I also like catching the womenâ€™s curling, but that is mostly just to watch the really attractive Scandinavian women.
Anyhow I hate watching the coverage of these events, because for some reason the media thinks it necessary to make each event into some kind of melodramatic tearjerker, instead of just concentrating on competition, which I am there to see. This brings me to Shani Davis, the world record holder for 1000-meter speed skating; the media has been climbing over themselves to do a story about this guy. Not because he is an American who is the best in his event, but because he is black and because there is drama involving him and the rest of the American speed skaters.
For some reason the media has tried to make Shani Davis into some kind of Jesse Owens of speed skating, talking about how incredible it is for an African American from a poor Chicago neighborhood to become a world class speed skater. I really half expected them to pop over to Wolf Blitzer during his race for a quote like â€œShani is so fast, and so black.â€ Give me a fucking break; it is incredible for anybody to reach the level of competition that Davis has reached, no matter what the color of his or her skin.
Then there is the drama surrounding his decision not to be involved in the one speed skating team competition. The reason he gave sounds perfectly sensible to me, he believes that concentrating on the races that he is best at will better his chances of winning those races. And that is why heâ€™s there, he has spent most of his life working to become the fastest man on a pair of skates and this is his chance to show that all that work has paid off for something in the ultimate test of his abilities.
But does he get questions about how it feels to be in his first Olympics, or if he is excited to race? No he gets hounded constantly about the color of his skin and the drama created by the rest of the American speed skaters. And then when interviewed right after his win the first question is, â€œHow does it feel to be the first African American man to win an individual gold medal at a Winter Olympics?â€ It is no wonder he became surly towards the interviewer and gave only terse answers. The media coverage showed a quiet type of racism by concentrating on the fact that he is a black man instead of the fact that he is a winner.