Monday, February 27, 2006

Port Responsibility

A couple of years ago someone I know said that all white people were racist, because we were white. I was upset by that statement, racist that it was, because I worked hard to make sure that I did not respond to people based on their classification. So it has been with some dismay that my very first response to hearing that an Arab company was about to buy some American ports was one of "you got to be kidding?! Let me read the story..."

So I did, read some stuff about the deal that actually had some facts about what was going to happen and then made a clear headed decision(see post below). Would that more people did what I did.

It is NOT bias, prejudice or racism, if the INITIAL reaction was the same "you got to be kidding". We have seen 9/11, Madrid, London, the Cartoon Riots, the carnage in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, and the ongoing war between Israel and everyone else. We have seen many, many examples where Moslems have responded with bloodshed over the last five years. The concern that we would be welcoming them to come to the US and to control an entry point EVERYONE agrees is a major weak spot in our defense is a GOOD response...initially.

It is prejudice if after hearing that a foreign company has been running the ports for the last decade you continue to insist it is a bad idea for an Arab company to do so.

It is racist if after hearing about Dubai and it's assistance in the GWT and in Iraq that you continue to insist the deal should not go through.

Does this mean that we should allow Dubai or any other company to manage our ports without a thorough review? No. But we also have several other foreign companies/countries in our ports now! The emphasis on this being "yea, well it's Arabs!" clearly introduces racism into the argument.

One commentary suggested that last week we had a Hillary Clinton/George Bush brain transference in the debate. George Bush saying we had to be open to trade and working with Arab nations and companies if we are ever to bridge the cultural divide and Hillary Clinton all but proclaiming "not with THEM". The congresswoman that wrote the President "not only no, BUT HELL NO" portrays herself no less as racist than the KKK.

If Dubai Ports underwent the same review as other foreign owned port managers and was accepted, then I see no reason NOT to allow them to proceed with management of the ports. I do not believe any additional restrictions should be placed on Dubai Ports than existed under P&O. If that makes people concerned, GOOD! Maybe then more people would be pushing for greater security measures being introduced at ALL the ports.

Islam and Western values may never be compatible, but as we have seen with the Cartoon Riots, for Americans to allow Arab culture to dictate our response is to concede the point.

There is NO difference between the Cartoon Riots and our denying Dubai the right to legally purchase a company and operate that company according to our laws, on our soil. If you don't see it, or suggest I am being naive, then YOU have a problem.

Friday, February 24, 2006

What happened to....

Cheney and hunting? This was a big story.....Cheney was hiding something....where is the outrage?


Last Friday almost everything was about Cheney and the accident, by Tuesday there wasn't a word and I have looked for ANYONE to be making any further comment, gone.

So, the question is: was the Cheney story really a non-story, made a story because the press had nothing else to write about? Or was it just a non-story that died appropriately.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Inquiring Me whats to know...

My friend Tom over at Bizzyblog has a regular feature of questions he would like answers to, here are a few of my own:

1. Global warming: what effect has adding 4 billion people to the planet, each generating heat and CO2 over the last 100 years caused to the average temperatures? Related: cities are huge heat generators, what has been the effect of large heat generators(metro-complexes) over the last 100 years? Note: ignore the issue of buildings burning fuels to heat or cool, all the extra cars, focus just on the fact that all that concrete and steel retains heat that would not be retained by prairie or forest; people generate heat and CO2 just by walking around, we have added 4 billion people to the planet in the last 100 years, a 400% increase.

2. Inflation: a long time ago I wrote an essay about the money supply, inflation and drugs. Now that I have received my Bachelors in Economics (as of July 2005, started in 1987) , I will reiterate the question in the essay: People pay cash for drugs, that cash is pooled and eventually transferred to the source of the drugs - namely other countries - resulting in a separate cash economy denominated in dollars in those countries. Some of the cash gets returned via trade (that is accounted for as a deficit on our books) but a lot stays out of our economy. How much is anyone's guess, but it obviously affects the amount of currency in our economy, affecting velocity/money supply indicators, affecting inflation. What would happen if a consistent amount of currency flows changed? Say, by cutting drug trafficing?

3. Regulation: Congress is thinking about creating a law that says certain companies can not own businesses in the United States. Does anyone think this is a good idea? I am against allowing a company (based in another country or wholely or mostly owned by a foreign country) to take over production or service that is part of our national security - ie, I would not allow the takeover the operation of Oakridge, Las Alamos or Lawrence Livermore Labs (to name a few). Do ports rise to the same level of concern? I don't think so.

Related: Self-regulation: the original issue that started the Cartoon Wars was an author's concern that media outlets were self censoring themselves so as not to insult anyone...some in this country are calling for laws similar to European laws banning some speech, those laws are wrong for the US (they probably are wrong for those European countries but that is their problem, not mine).

4. Transportation: With minor changes, the means by which we move people and goods has remained unchanged for 60 years (ship, plane, train, truck and automobile - all combustion engines). The efficiency of the combustion engine is one of the few things unaffected by technological changed (yes, it has gone up...but certainly not as much as other areas of 'productivity'). How much has fuel economy improved when vehicle weight is considered?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

February Rant #2

Olympics: We watch them (we love curling) and have been consistently doing so. One thing that has stood out for us is the lack of ability in American gold medal winners to actually sing the National is quite apparent they don't know the words...what is with that? Can't the Olympic Committee hand out the words to Olympians in their welcome packets?

Ports: Hillary is against it therefore, I am for it. Wait. Carter is for it therefore I am against it. Wait. I am against it because they are Arab? Racist? Me? Never...I am for it. Wait. How about some F.A.C.T.S!?! Until something changes, I am for Dubai getting the contract.

MSM: Is there really any reason to even bother with them anymore? 1) They never get their own information, it is either picked up from the wires or from some small hustling wannabe that actually gets the story; 2) EVERY story has a slant, a bias, a prejudice even if you can't see it right away. All reasonable sounding until someone else points out the fallacies inherent in the reports; 3) Did I really see a show over the weekend where the media was covering the story of the media and how it covers the media? A true result of self-esteem building navel gazing being taught in classrooms from kindergarten to graduate schools; 4) 1/2 of the stories are about MSM non-bias, 1/2 the stories are about other MSM failures to either report or report accurately, 1/2 the stories are about MSM itself, 1/2 the stories are about how bad non-MSM sources really are compared to the MSM, 1/2 the stories are about how America is destroying the world (globalism, imperialism, greenhouse gases), 1/2 the stories are about how American is doing nothing to save the world (hunger, poverty, democracy-opps...democracy is unnecessary); and last but not least, at least 3/4 of the stories are about how America, having done nothing, or everything, or too little or too much, is to blame for tsunami's, hurricanes, earthquakes, war, poverty, hunger, socialism failing, capitalism overpowering, religious strife, cartoons, freedom of the press/speech, killing Hitler... And I think my percentages are understated.

Cynicism: I have decided that I can not believe what anyone writes, reports, televises or tells me anymore unless I have heard it from at least two other completely unrelated sources, with at least two other conflicting opinions about what it means and if at all possible, two separate legal opinions that actually contradict what a reasonable, non-lawyer would think about the topic. If you think that I have too much time on my hands (I do, business sucks), or that I will never actually get all of the above on just about any topic, you are right(both counts). So, what would you do?

I'm thinking about chucking it all and moving to New Orleans to build houses and live in an RV. No actually I am not. (Victoria will read this and be worried). But come on. The world has a billion Moslems that consider my murder to be nothing more than stomping on a bug trying to crawl into their house, (moderate Moslems you say? Where? If they exist, they are hiding from the fanatics). There are a couple tens of millions of Christians that want nothing more than Armageddon, the sooner the better. Socialists (Communists with an inferiority complex) want everyone to pay everything so that everyone else will have everything they don't have but want because the Jones have long as it is not invented, produced, manufactured, marketed or funded by anyone or anything American as that would be globalistic, imperialistic, capitalistic subjugation of impoverished peoples. Oh yea, and anti-union...

Iran wants a nuke, does ANYONE seriously believe that they are just going to let it sit on some well-lit pedestal to be admired? Does anyone seriously believe that if we ignore it and they use it, we will not be blamed for not acting unilaterally? Does anyone seriously believe that if we act unilaterally before they get a nuke and blow the shit out of them, that we will not be shouted down in every city in Europe, many here at home and UNIVERSALLY condemned?

Every single person I have ever known that has driven with me tells me I am a terrible driver, a threat to every decent driver on the road...but EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, wants ME to drive if we are late!

I am tired of whiners and what the hell is a rant but whining?!?

Friday, February 17, 2006

February Rant #1

Inherent in the liberal mindset is the belief that their position is based on compassion and rigorous intellectual effort. Therefore, anyone that does not share those beliefs is either not compassionate, ie evil, or lacking sufficient intelligence to reach a similar conclusion. The idea that most of human existence is nonlinear completely escapes them. (Nonlinear - more than 1 possible solution to 1 set of events)

Some examples:
"War is not the answer"

But is one possible answer. Of course the response to Pearl Harbor was war, but there were people that 1) blamed the US for Japan feeling it necessary to attack (sound familiar?) and 2) felt that we could negotiate with Japan. Chamberlain argued that Hitler could be talked to.

"Iraq is not our enemy"

Of course it was. As long as it was lead by Saddam, it was. North Korea is our enemy, Syria and Iran are. The PEOPLE of those countries may not be. Osama is not our enemy, he is a threat. Osama can not destroy the United States. He might be able to damage a part of it...but the liberals (and their press partners) have done more damage than 9/11...

You know what scared the shit out of the world? An America united and focused in anger. Not a single country (or group of them) could stand against us. The only real threat to the United States right now is being divided internally. And the liberals CLEARLY KNOW THIS.

Look back to 2002. Between the first attack on Afghanistan and the end of the year, the press caught on to the very small minority that blamed us for 9/11. It was our fault...not 19 murderers...not Osama...not the Taliban...we asked for it. Over the year, more and more it was printed that we were at fault...actually, Bush was at fault...

"Not in our name"

The arrogance of such a position. However, it is completely consistent with their idea that Iraq is not our enemy. It is also completely consistent with their "Bush is not my president". It all hinges on the concept that they are better than their countrymen. Understanding this position is simple: look how many of these people responded to 9/11 by demanding Afghanistan be blown 'back' into the dark ages. "How could they attack us...we are was our government...not us!"

The liberal belief is actually based on a conservative ideal (no, really, give me a sec..): personal responsibility. Liberals believe each of us personally have a responsibility to help others less fortunate, lucky, skilled, educated than they (liberals) are. Their focus is on their own behavior...they have to help, they have to be the honorable ones, the ones that turn the other cheek...because the "others" are just not as good as they are...poor souls. And...and...we agree with ONE qualifier: did those "poor souls" arrive in their position as the result of their own choices, or choices out of their control? See, conservatives believe in personal responsibility also...we just expect OTHERS to held accountable too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


If Dick Cheney had accidentally ran over Mr. Whittington with a golf cart resulting in a dangerous back injury would the current frenzy be occurring?

How about Mr. Whittington being hit by a golf ball and suffering a severe concussion?

How about Mr. Whittington tripping while walking down stairs with Cheney and suffering a broken neck?

Or is it only because a gun is involved?

And of the 18 hours. The shooting took place about 5:50pm. Assuming fast action and close proximity to a hospital, Mr. Whittington might have been in the hospital by 6:30 and no doubt Cheney was very worried about his long time friend. Give the doctors some time to determine his condition and call it 7:30pm. Apparently Bush was informed shortly thereafter and I am certain he was told Cheney pulled the trigger even if no one else is going to own up to it. accident occurs, the VP is not injured. Injuries to a private citizen appear non-life threatening. Put out the press release in the morning. Anyone got a problem with this? If Mr. Whittington had fallen off horse while riding and broke his neck, permanently paralyzed...VP issues a press release? How about the family? Any consideration there?

Or is it only because there is a gun involved?

I thought the left liked cowboys right now?

The Jar Jar Binks Award

Yes, I have decided to create an award for people who's sensibilities are harmed by the crassness of everyday life...

The Jar Jar Binks Award will be initially presented to James Risen, New York Times correspondent and author of "State of War". Dean Barnett offered a review of the book and mentioned two episodes that caught my eye:

"You know where you are going. Before you get there, I'm going to find your mother and fuck her." Once again, Risen was so traumatized that he had to resort to putting the quote in italics to fully display his displeasure.
Risen's attitude in both cases shows you where he and his like-minded ilk stand. Note how his concerns here go well beyond the range of Andrew Sullivan-defined torture. While the belligerent CIA agent's comment will no doubt strike some as offensive and unnecessary, perhaps it is for the best that rough men like him are waging the war on terror rather than kindly sensitive types like James Risen.

Of course the Left is concerned with torture, after insuring the guns are unloaded, the interrogator's hands are tied, their response to "What are we going to use...HARSH LANGUAGE?!" is... of course not. As Jar Jar Binks would say, "Hawww ruudde!"

Congratulations James Risen, 1st recipient of the Jar Jar Binks Award.

OFF-TOPIC: Blogrolling

Yesterday I spent some time updating my blogroll. I wanted the list to more clearly represent what I am reading and recommending and my own idea about what blogging should be.

There are blogs that have literally a hundred blogs in their blogrolls. I am happy to appear in a few, however, I believe the best use of a blogroll should be to highlight blogs that you think others would benefit from reading. The blogs listed here I read regularly. Others that I visit only on occasion (either because I strongly disagree with their viewpoint or because like me, they don't post regularly) are omitted.

People like being listed in the blogrolls of popular MIGHT mean a few extra visitors and if the visitor count is important, worth the effort. However, the majority of us do not blog for dollars/visitors. So how about it? Trim your blogrolls, focus on those you would recommend to other busy readers and maybe blogrolls will become as valuable a resource on your page as it's position suggests!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Incitement #2

Newspapers around the US are refraining from printing the editorial cartoons of Mohammad so as to not inflame the situation, insult Moslems, or provoke the wrath of the fanatics. So, tell me...exactly what were they doing with hundreds of pictures of prisoners in Abu Grab? Despite being told and shown, that publishing the pictures would do nothing but inflame the situation, the papers stated it was their duty to inform their readers and that without the pictures the story was incomplete.

John Gibson of FN pissed me off last week with his insistence that a Victorville California newspaper editor would act differently (they published one cartoon with an editorial) if they had a large Muslim population available to threaten their staff. (Note: I lived in outside Victorville while stationed in the Air Force and read the Daily Press most days).

If any media outlet published ONE picture of prisoner abuse from Abu Grab and they do not publish the cartoon(s) they have failed as an institution to live up to their mandate: stand and fight for freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom from religious persecution. Is it any wonder they oppose the war on terror...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Why should papers not publish the Mohammad cartoons now? Because it will further inflame the situation...

Sorry, but if those that want to protect the sensibilities of Moslems were to for a moment THINK about it, they would laugh at the Moslems protesting their poor insulted sensibilities. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but cartoons....please!

The Jordanian editor said it best, "which is more insulting, some cartoons or video of Moslems cutting off people's heads?" Blowing up civilians is ok, political cartoons are not? Why are we even having a discussion? I think every blogger, newspaper and news outlet should publish one editorial cartoon PER DAY for the next month poking fun at Islam and Mohammad. Why? Because if we are going to believe that the pen is mightier that the sword, we had better take them out of the pocket protectors and actually start using them....otherwise, the blood on the sword will soon be ours.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cartoon - Laugh or cry

If one of you, just one of you that supported the publication of the editorial cartoons depicting Mohammad in European newspapers DARES to call Tole on his depiction of Rummy over a soldier's hospital bed, so help me....

Do not dare to marginalize our troops' sacrifice by suggesting anything but support for the editorial don't have to agree with it....but any call that it is over the line is itself over the line.

Bankruptcy...(the new law, not the moral lack)

Judges have been rendering opinions about the new bankruptcy law since before it was passed and signed. The difference now is the opinions are legal....

Judge Frank Moore, Western District of Texas in case #05-20097

"Those responsible for the passing of the Act did all in their power to avoid the proffered input from sitting United States Bankruptcy Judges, various professors of bankruptcy law at distinguished universities, and many professional associations filled with the best of the bankruptcy lawyers in the country as to the perceived flaws in the Act. This is because the parties pushing the passage of the Act had their own agenda. It was apparently an agenda to make more money off the backs of the consumers in this country. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Act has been highly criticized across the country. In this writer's opinion, to call the Act a "consumer protection" Act is the grossest of misnomers. One of the most absurd provisions of the new Act makes an individual ineligible for relief under the Bankruptcy Code unless such individual..."has, during the 180-day period preceding the date of filing of the petition by such individual, received from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency described in 111(a) an individual or gropu briefing (including a briefing conducted by telephone or on the Interent) that outlined the opportunities for available credit counseling and assisted such individual in performing a related budget analysis." See 11 USC 109(h)(1). No doubt this is a truly exhaustive budget analysis"
"Simply stated, if a debtor does not request the required credit counseling services from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling service before the petition is filed, that person is ineligible to be a debtor no matter how dire the circumstances the person finds themselves in at that moment. "
"This Court views this requirement as inane. However, it is a clear and unambiguous provision obviously designed by Congress to protect consumers. "
"The Court's hands are tied. The statute is clear and unambiguous. The Debtors violated the provision of the statute outlined above and are ineligible to be Debtors in this case. It must, therefore, be dismissed. "
"An Order of even date will be entered herewith. Congress must surely be pleased"

I don't know about Congress, but I am sure the mortgage company that has foreclosed and thrown the Sosa family out on the street is!