Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush on the UAE Port deal

This is what the President had to say about the port deal. A direct excerpt from a doc downloaded here

I don't think its an issue of their security record in other ports. It's ownership of our port. If a foreign power owns it, then we lose some control of it.

Remember, these guys came from the United Arab Emirates:
from Wikipedia:

Hamza al-Ghamdi and Marwan al-Shehhi


U.S. authorities believe that the hijackers were in two groups: six core organizers, who included the four pilots and two others; and the remaining thirteen who entered the United States later in pairs in the spring and summer of 2001 via the United Arab Emirates.

Try to remember, the ports are the gateways to our nation.

Bush's Comments
Q The understatement today, and one of the concerns of lawmakers seems to be that they want more of a briefing, and they want more details about the things that you know, that have given you confidence that there aren't any national security implications with the port deal. Are you willing to either have your staff or to give any kind of briefing to leaders of Congress --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Look at the company's record, Jim, and it's clear for everybody to see. We've looked at the ports in which they've operated. There is a standard process mandated by Congress that we go through, called the CFIUS process. I'm not exactly sure if there's any national security concerns in briefing Congress. I just don't know. I can't answer your question.

Q It seems like -- you've already heard from different administration officials, saying, not in as strong terms as you have today, that there aren't problems with this deal, that the deal should go forward. But they seem to want more of a briefing.

Would you be willing to give any additional briefings, either --

PRESIDENT BUSH: We'll be glad to send --

Q -- either in a classified basis, or --

PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't see why not. Again, you're asking -- I need to make sure I understand exactly what they're asking for.

Yes. Oh, you're not the press.

DAN BARTLETT (counselor to the president): I could ask a question. You showed some strong leadership today -- (laughter.)

Q Why is it so important to you, sir, that you take on this issue as a political fight? Clearly, there's bipartisan --

PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't view it as a political fight. So do you want to start your question over? I view it as a good policy.

Q Why is it -- clearly --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Are you talking about the energy issue?

Q No, I'm sorry, the ports issue.

PRESIDENT BUSH: It's not a political issue.

Q But there clearly are members of your own party who will go to the mat against you on this.

PRESIDENT BUSH: It's not a political issue.

Q Why are you -- to make this, to have this fight?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't view it as a fight. I view it as me saying to people what I think is right, the right policy.

Q What's the larger message that you're conveying by sticking to this UAE contract, by saying that you're not going to budge on this, or you don't want to change policy?

PRESIDENT BUSH: There is a process in place where we analyze -- where the government analyzes many, many business transactions, to make sure they meet national security concerns. And I'm sure if you -- careful review, this process yielded a result that said, yes, a deal should go forward.

One of my concerns, however, is mixed messages. And the message is, it's okay for a British company, but a Middle Eastern company -- maybe we ought not to deal the same way. It's a mixed message. You put interesting words in your question, but I just view -- my job is to do what I think is right for the country. I don't intend to have a fight. If there's a fight, there is one, but nor do I view this as a political issue.

Q I say it because you said you'd be willing to use the veto on it.
PRESIDENT BUSH: I would. That's one of the tools the President has to indicate to the legislative branch his intentions. A veto doesn't mean fight, or politics, it's just one of the tools I've got. I say veto, by the way, quite frequently in messages to Congress.

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Who Owns Our ports?

I think I agree with the Governors, Congressmen, and Senators that are against letting a foreign power that we are "kinda" at war with have control over our ports.
Bush saying:

"the United States is sending "mixed signals" by attacking a Middle Eastern company after the ports were run by a British firm for several years."

Is ridiculous. Britain is on our side, remember?

We are involved in a War on Terror, not a war with England,Not a war with France., But a War on Terror, where 2 of the "enemy soldiers" came from the UAE. Were not at war with the UAE, but they have pretty porous ports to let 2 terrorists though to come blow up our Homeland. And we want to let them take over OUR ports?

The idea is offensive.

Since the War on Terror is this vague war on shadow villains, why do we want to give the keys to our home to a country that has already spawned and shipped 2 notorious Terrorists who helped blow up 3000 people? Sure it's the wrong message. It's not a mixed signal, it's pretty clear:

"NO, we don't want them CONTROLLING OUR PORTS".

This isn't out of bigotry, but out of concern. The owners of the ports don't set security, but they will manage the port operation, and could easily let though anything they wanted. Why do we as a nation insist on selling ourselves out to send a message. So what if the message is considered mixed. Was this a mixed signal?

We need to retain our sovereignty, and stop selling out to other countries or we will become beholden to everyone else, losing our national heritage. What's the next step, contracting out T.S.A. to Iraqi security firms because they are the lowest bidders? We are already sending our tax financial data to India for data processing. And we allow China to own U.S. Dollars in such quantities that they can affect our economy. These are sovereignty issues to me.

We need to stop selling ourselves out. That's not a mixed signal, thats pretty clear.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Boycott Egypt

Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Boycott Egypt
I ran into this one from a friend Dinah Lord.
This is classic. It's a good example of timing. when this published in Egypt in 2005, it was no big deal. Now, its embasy burning time...

From the Sand Monkey:

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Boycott Egypt

Freedom For Egyptians reminded me why the cartoons looked so familiar to me: they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present. Al Fagr isn't a small newspaper either: it has respectable circulation in Egypt, since it's helmed by known Journalist Adel Hamoudah. Looking around in my house I found the copy of the newspaper, so I decided to scan it and present to all of you to see.

This is the original Cartoon printed in egypt:

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Irreverent Political Cartoons

Dr. Seuss, the acclaimed children's book illustrator, also had a career as a political illustrator. His hay-day was early on in World War II and spanned the gamut of war, politics, and American life.

I stumbled on them by accident, looking for something all together different, but was impressed at their satire and wit. This was back in a day when "political correctness" be damned.

I find it admirable that he tackled the "Jim Crow" laws, still rampant then too.

Maybe this is a testament to the power of illustrations, that they can incite people to war, but I would suggest that there needs to be a will before there is a way.

But like comedy, do these cartoons just speak an unsaid truth that collectively we all thought anyways? Is that fair to say? I'm not tryingg to draw any parallels to the Cartoons being rioted about today, but these seem pretty racy to me. It's not a bomb in a turbin, but a message all the same. In many of these instances, it's about American war efforts and the coming Nazi threat.

They make for an interesting examination of W.W.II cartoons.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Probably old news

I know this has been around for a long long time, but I finally managed to find myself there today. The arguments are pretty convincing and make a lot of sense, but I wonder if we (America) even care anymore about this. Have the years since 9/11/2001 blurred into obscurity for why we say were are in Iraq?

I'm no Nostradamus, and I have no crystal ball, but my prediction is that we(our government) wanted Iraq as a foot hold to do what we want in the Middle East. A forward base of sorts to attack Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or whom ever. Why not, we have all our resources there, right?

This same chain made me wonder, if we are building a 100,000+ army of US trained Iraqi's, then we would have an even larger force to walk into Iran, and we lose even fewer US troops.

All of this in the name of oil. I think the US needs to get off the need for oil. Alternative fuels, horseback, hell bicycle or walk. This crack like addiction to oil will be our undoing. We need to find alternatives. Maybe if we put half the $ amount into government research for alternatives that we are for the "war" effort maybe we'd find some.

This really will be our undoing. And were all worried how the Arab world will respond to cartoons. We have an unholy dependance to foreign oil that we are fighting for, pandering to, and paving with bodies. Is that worth the gas in our SUV's?

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Beats the pet rock

I always wanted a pet Dinosaur. I guess now I can get my own! And their reasonably priced too. No isolated island for my little baby Dino.

I just wonder when the rescue shelters will open, maybe I can get one on discount once someone decides they don't want it anymore.

It's only an opinion

Is it really being taken to seriously? I'm not a fan of Ann Coulter, so does that negate the sentament, or is it really an expresison of the reality?

Is it that big of a deal or an excuse to get pissed off?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How not to hide in a crowd

This is a great example of how not to hide in a crowd. I wonder what makes him stand out?

From the Smoking Gun.
"Iowa man accused of assault has guilt written all over face"

Monday, February 06, 2006


"Principles are one thing, sympathies another. In principle I support the right of any newspaper to print cartoons of Mohammed and the right of anyone else to reproduce them. As far as sympathies go, can I just say that if you side with a group of effete right wing pseudo intellectuals in making sport of a decent, inoffensive and hardworking group of people like my Muslim neighbours, then you ought to be fucking well ashamed of yourself. Repeat this statement on your own website. Refusal to do so is equivalent to self-censorship."

Having sympathy for an individual is one thing, but to self censor for sake of not offending an entire peoples? I don't buy it.

Sure, we could not print the image with the accompanying words, but the offense would still be the same. But maybe blowing people up is reason to not print them. Being made to be afraid because someone will riot, is that our cause not to pause?

The guy working at the restaurant isn't the guy the illustrationis drawn for, and would probably not incite him to burn down buildings. Maybe he'd spit in someones food, but I doubt it. Just like anything inflamitory, it's going to affect those who want to be incited by it.

So what. It offends me to think that people will burn a building for an illustration. I say publish it in the New York Times. Why does a religion think they have control over what other countries or religions say about it? Is it insensitive, sure, but so are a lot more things to belly ache about.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Mohammed as a Cartoon

To some people in the world, it's ok to blow people up and kill randomly, but you'll be damned for rendering an ancient founder of religion in a cartoon. Is it me or is this going on a bit to seriously? I'll be the first one to say that there are injustices, but to get pissed off and riot over a cartoon? A cartoon?

Maybe printing and publishing it is a good thing, it takes some of the rub off, or better yet, the American media (who is afraid to re-publish it) should bow to the political pressure to not reprint it. You know, we are so big on the idea of not offending anyone, to keep the riots from being about us. But is that really fair? Are more Muslims blowing themselves up than Christians? At the moment, no. So then why is the imagery not a fair representation? Are they pissed because it's an iconic representation, is that the excuse they want to use to burn flags and shoot guns in the air? Maybe it's the disrespect they feel for the illustration, infering Mohammed as a bomber. But then, if people are bombing in his name, maybe he is.

Is it really a question of media freedom or being bullied buy a radical religious group? Maybe the evangelicals will start burning TV's in front of the office of CNN. Religion cannot be made to dictate to society. This is not the 10th century, we are enlightened. Is this the fight we are approaching?

When will we STOP trying to make everyone think the same way?

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Are you in it 2 win it?

I love winning contests. I just wish I applied to some to actually win them. Usually all I ever win is a free liter of soda pop. Does that count?

Look at this cool site, she knows what she's talking about.