Archive for February, 2006

To Catch a Thief

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

The increasing furor over the issues surrounding the UAE’s (United Arab Emirates) purchase of a British firm that has management contracts with some US ports renews the discussion of several topics. The uproar may be wholly appropriate but must cause us to assess or re-assess other critical issues.

First among them is Racial Profiling. Are we discriminating against Arabs by not allowing them to participate in the bidding for these contracts? If these firms are legitimate enterprises with a documented track record, what is the reason for denying them? This question must be answered, especially by the critics who normally come down on the side of not permitting racial profiling under other circumstances; like airport security. Watching my 90 year mother-in-law get frisked before being permitted to return to her home was a frustratingly preventable event that can only be justified in politically correct terms. Who is being politically incorrect on the port security issue?

Secondly, I thought the Islamic world despised us for not allowing them to attach themselves to the modern Western economic engine. According to Patty Murray, we have left these people to wither in the dust. Are we not going to allow the Arabs to lift themselves capitalistically by their own bootstraps?

Third, FDR, in appointing Ted Kennedy\’s father, Joseph Kennedy to oversee the SEC, noted that it was necessary to “set a thief to catch a thief”. Is this philosophy no longer a reasonable weapon in our arsenal as we battle the terror that has risen like the acrid black smoke of a suicide bombing from the middle of the Arab Street?

I am not sure that this port management arrangement with the UAE is a good idea. We need to take a closer look, but those who argue against it for political reasons should recognize that their hypocrisy is showing—–again.

Sending Flowers

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

If a couple of Republican members of the US House of Representatives had acted as inappropriately as two Democrat members did on the night of the State of the Union Address, the major media would be incensed. As it is this story will only be aired by Fox and a few internet sites.

We all remember Cindy Sheehan; the poor woman whose son was killed in Iraq. We are all appreciative of the pain generated by his voluntary sacrifice. We should all be grateful that there are still men like him in America. I am troubled, however, by his mother’s decision to sully his sacrifice through her irreverent insistence on banging the drums of “peace at any price” (a concept with which her son would disagree), including a wholesale disregard for the truth.

As we know, Cindy is no friend of President Bush. This is precisely why she was invited by Congresspersons Lee and Woolsely (both from the SF Bay Area) to personally attend the State of the Union Address. Fortunately, Cindy self-destructed again by wearing a shirt displaying the number of US KIA from the Iraq War; by definition, a protest not permitted inside the US Capitol Building. What might have happened had Cindy been allowed inside? We will never know but relying on her past behavior as a guide, we can assume that she would have been confrontational. In view of this likelihood, are Woolsely and Lee guilty of attempting to disrupt the proceedings? And if so, is that acceptable behavior?

Instead of a Bush-hater, what if a Republican had smuggled in a Clinton-lover, like Jennifer Flowers or perhaps the woman who accused him of having raped her, into one of his State of the Union addresses? Would the major media have reacted differently? If you think so, perhaps you should re-consider your sources for news.