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February 22, 2006

Port This

Portprotectionfrist-2

Portprotectionmenendez

Portprotectionfoley-1

Judges Summary:

When it comes to grandstanding, Frist is hard to beat.  The judges loved the shot of Long Beach, especially the Queen Mary below.  Now that’s a terror target if we ever saw one.  Also, the fly boy theme — reminiscent of President Bush’s Katrina/New Orleans fly over — works brilliantly.  The only thing missing is the Commander-in-Chief bomber jacket.

Compared to the Menendez entry, Frist also earns points for audacity. As a Democrat, Menendez would have given his Capitol parking spot for just about any national security issue to get behind.  As the Republican Senate Majority leader, on the other hand, Frist scores big for turning on the White House and shoving the port security issue right down Bush’s veto threatening throat.  Maybe the Bush family and their friends are in bed with Dubai.  Maybe Bush screwed up by taking Congress for granted.  Either way, Frist and the Repubs seem to have officially kicked Bush into lame duck status as the Prez finds himself in another “Harriet Miers moment.”

Regarding the Menendez shot, the props are just excellent.  It’s brilliant how the detailed port layouts seem like an open invitation to the evil doers.  And why limit threat-mongering just to shipping cargo?  These pix show the physical plant just as ripe for aerial assault.  Loved the plethora of microphones, by the way, indicating Bob is one big mouthpiece.

Finally, we liked the drama in the Foley picture.  Unfortunately, the style is a little dated — say, “Morning In America,” or the “‘01-’04 ‘Keep 9/11 Alive’ Patriotism Orgy.”  Next time, though, would it be so hard to also toss in a crane, a bit of water or even a buoy?



(image 1:Genaro Molina/AP. Pool.  February 21, 2006.  Long Beach, CA.  Via YahooNews.  image 2: Jose F. Moreno/A.P.  February 21, 2006.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,  Newark, N.J.  Via YahooNews. image: Marc Serota/Reuters. February 21, 2006.  Port of Miami.  Miami, Florida  Via YahooNews.)





  • jonst

    Live by the photo opt; ya die by it. I love it. Let them go after the lame duck with all the agression our VP showed going after quail, among other creatures.
    I hope they bring BushCo down like a pack of wild dogs would bring down a drugged lamb. Have at it boys….
    Maybe there is actually a chance to save the Republic yet.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    I love all the microphones with the various news logos on them. How do you arrange a bouquet like that? It adds urgency and credibility to the speaker.
    I think this ports issue is a scam. Many ports are foreign owned. This smacks of jingoism.
    What’s next? Torching kebab houses since terrorists could feed us poison lamb kebabs.
    Please.

  • Asta

    Futurebird, there’s an aspect of this you seem not to understand.
    Twenty percent of our country is owned by foreign entities. That’s one fifth of America. One fifth of our assets, our resources. That’s quite a chunk.
    Secondly, the jobs involved in managing these ports will go to non-Americans. These are jobs our people need.
    Bush accuses everyone who doesn’t agree with him as America Haters, yet what he is doing here is totally anti-America.
    I wonder how long it will be when they start selling off our citizens into slave markets overseas. Don’t laugh. How do you think America got started in the first place?

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    What’s wrong with a foreign company? A corporation is a corporation. It’s not like the people or the workers own these things that we’re selling off.
    The Jobs will not go to non-americans. They will hire from the longshoremen union just like every other foreign own port company. It’s one of the few unions that survived– though shrunk by containerization.. you can’t out-source longshoremen– if only other industries had that kind of built in protection.
    The trouble is the capital is concentrated– it’s immaterial whose hands it’s concentrated in– the point is it’s not yours or mine. Would an american born fat-cat keep your interests at heart?
    At least this way these people from other countries care if our economy descends in to total chaos.

  • marysz

    But when push comes to shove, will the Republican congress cave in to Bush and his Big Money pals? Menendez, the Democratic NJ senator, stands over a murky aerial view of the ports. Unlike Frist and Foley, he’s not casting himself as some top-gun type hero. The Port Authority of NJ has already sued to block the sale. This lawsuit may do more to stop the transition than congressional action (if that ever comes). In the upper left-hand corner of the photograph behind Menendez are the dark swirling undercurrents of the NY harbor. This deal must have been in the making for months (or years) before it became public. What else is being hidden from us?

  • weisseharre

    urlite…just got an email from dr. bill invoking the gip…who…exhumably…never knew jack

  • jt from BC

    futurebird, you’ve hit the bulls eye with your evaluation of the economics of port operations. In Vancouver B.C. anti union forces have harped that a few members are, or maybe from ‘The Hells Angels’ and as union members threaten our national security. Regardless of the means used to try and break this union it has one hell of a record.
    In case your unaware the first Longshoreman’s union was formed in New Brunswick in 1849.
    http://ilalocal273.com/ILA/150/001.htm

  • Asta

    I’m with Marysz on this…what else is being withheld from us?
    The real zinger is how Bush and his brownshirts have mongered fear the last 4+ years, fear of the “Ayrabs”, the terra-ists (Ann Coulter gets a standing ovation last week when she referred to the “enemy” as “ragheads”) and suddenly, we’re turning over 6 major ports to a government-owned company (Dubai Ports) who has known ties with Al-Qaeda. I don’t expect much empathy from our non-resident posters here, but I find this event to be quite disturbing.

  • zatopa

    I’m looking forward to the inevitable PR campaign engineered to convince Bush’s base that the UAE are a model democracy, friend, ally, etc. The visuals should be great. The architecture in Dubai makes Vegas look like community theater.

  • lytom

    The quick look at the middle (Bob Mendez) politician’s background gave the feeling of two towers in a process of collapsing…
    There are two ways to look at it. One, the friendly relationship Bush has with Dubai rulers, not to mention the financial ties. Bush this time embodies so called “true, democratic frienship” to any corporation with lots of money. Maybe there is even a hidden debt that needs to be demonstrated and repayed…
    The second, the fundamentalist view in which all Middle Easterners are enemies and are not to be trusted on the US soil. This clashes with Bush and leaves the rest of US to find which side are they on.
    The politicians smell the tide of anti arab in US public and in the MSM, despite so called fairness to muslims, which is demonstrated in weak speaches and never in deeds. The secret trials of suspected terrorists have already been judged by the public, who still believe the propaganda they read in the MSM.
    So is there a side to be on?
    To appear friendly and fair to arabs you would have to share a stage with Bush. To be against is a patriotic stand, and for politicians an opportunity to jump on.
    I think that there is also a side that recognizes no difference between the two stands, just a little diversion which will be ironed out just like it has been done with other issues like lies, Guanatanamo torture center, Abu Graib, war, dead civilians, and so on… in which Bush will make two steps back and two steps forward.

  • jonst

    Futurebird,
    There was a time, once, long ago, before the elites sold the nation out, that Americans use to think there was such a thing as ‘vital, strategic, industry’ that was thought important to US national security. Certain controls were place on these industries. Now everything goes overseas to entities that have one supreme goal: maximization of shareholder value. And screw our interests if they get in the way of their goal. Now, perhaps, the citizens are waking up and saying “hold on a second….let the fire sale on American assets stop.” We’ll see. I sure hope so.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    Now, perhaps, the citizens are waking up and saying “hold on a second….let the fire sale on American assets stop.” We’ll see. I sure hope so.
    But why is it OK to have the Brits there and not OK to have the UAE? I wish this was the reason– but I think it’s jingoism– plain and simple.
    Also it’s not the country that the corporations comes from that is the problem– it is the freedom that corporations have to cross borders– a freedom that is not extended to all of the people in the world.
    The serfs and vassals must stay put while players who’s “country” is nothing more than a heading used for tax purposes range over the entire planet.

  • jt from BC

    ASRA, I guess I’m the non resident poster so perhaps Economics 101 is an area you might consider in understanding corporations and their global reach.( which is what futurebird I think was pointing out)
    My Country has greater foreign ownership and whether the corporation is local or foreign or some combination makes little difference.
    France regulates 17 % foreign control of its cultural industry we too have a quota to protect and foster local cultural, talent and content, which may explain why proportionally there are so many Canadian entertainers now making big bucks in your country an export which we applaud, especially if they retain Canadian citizenship as their taxes help recoup our earlier subsidation and promotion of them.
    Other than few exceptions your country and mine are up for grabs, which is precisely the mandate of corporations in our global village.
    Walmart if it was a country would rank 19 the in the world. The reality is you either take on the concept of corporations as an entity or try to balance their monopoly with unions.
    Walmart has closed two of its most profitable stores in Canada because of ‘non union interference’ you of course are well aware of those US States which are legally challenging the public subsidizing of Walmart workers medical costs.
    This is not a troublesome area for them here as we have universal health care.
    Foreign ownership has concerned us for over 50 years but now the greatest threat is through NAFTA and US private HMO’s among similar predatory institutions which will mutate Northwards and place our most cherished institution on the endangered or extinct list.
    Privatizing and exporting our water is the number two target where corporations locally and foreign are looking for loopholes. Of course it is argued this would create greater jobs for us which is true, assuming of course we ignored the environmental nightmare which would follow, fortunately many of us Lilliputans here are now better informed and resisting like hell.
    Welcome to the 21 century.

  • jonst

    Futurebird,
    Its not jingoism. First, I don’t want any foreign ownership of the vital national security American assets. British or otherwise. Second…I am unaware of any personal contacts between members of British Royal family and OBL. I am aware of contacts between OBL and SOME members of the royal family of UAE. And so would you, if you googled OBL, UAE royal family and the words “hunting trips” and “Afghanistan”. As well, there are numerous other connections between the two groups. Now, it may be less than politically correct to point this out. I’m sorry about that but there it is. You, are, of course, free to argue that these facts should not lead one to the conclusions that they lead me. Fair enough. Who knows,you may be correct. But I have my doubts, if, and when, you argue that these facts did not take place.

  • Asta

    JT, I took economics in college, thank you. I suggest you read Charles Dickens to get a feel for what our societies will be like with the demise of the Middle Class.
    And it IS a war on the Middle Class in this country, and it’s probably happening in yours, too, particularly with the results of your recent election.
    I am painfully aware of the effects of this New World Order, this global economy, hell, I live in Pittsburgh, for God’s sake, have a little sympathy.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    The stated objections to this deal are terrorism– not, foreign interests owning American capital.
    I guess the last layer of absurdity is the fact that terrorists are from small fundamentalist resistance groups. Terrorist acts are not in the interest of big business. (unless used to prevent revolutions that might otherwise result in people taking real democratic control of their countries)

  • jonst

    Futurebird,
    You wrote….”The stated objections to this deal are terrorism– not, foreign interests owning American capital.”
    Says who? Where do you get your facts to make a blanket asseration like that? That’s not what I see, or hear, at all.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    Jonst
    All of the news articles cite “port security” as the reason people are objecting to this deal.

  • jt from BC

    JONST, I would be more concerned about Saudi Arabia a country where GWB likes holding hands with Sheiks and where his Daddy’s Caryle group enjoy more than great hospitality and friendship.
    “The Saudi agenda extends far beyond policy-makers. In the late 1990s, the privately owned Massachusetts technology company, Ptech, designed software used to develop enterprise blueprints that held every important detail of a given concern. The company was financed with more than $22 million, by Saudi multi-millionaire Yasin al Qadi, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The Saudis thus gained access to strategic information about many major U.S. corporations such as SYSCO, ENRON, and the U.S. Departments of Defense, Treasury, Justice, Energy, and even the White House. The extent of the damage, if it was investigated, remains a mystery.”
    http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060115-103622-3038r.htm Jan 6th 2006
    If you want the comprehensive Arabian Tales of George Walker Bush check this out;
    http://www.bushwatch.com/bushcarlyle.htm
    Perhaps it just runs in the family as Grandaddy Bush had his bank confiscated for doing business with the Nazi up until 1942.
    As a non resident if I had to choose I’d take the United Arab Emirates any day in exchange for eliminating Saudi Arabia’s already established threatening economic holdings and strategic involvement in the intelligence assets of the US.
    Other than greed or getting caught why would corporations be concerned with the national interest. Well represented with former Pentagon and high ranking government officials on their Boards of Directors or as shareholders, its not that they are unaware of whats happening. We must trust they have our interests at heart.
    ASTA, As a fan of Charles Dickens I look to our involvement in third world countries and the consequences of (colonialism) now referred to as neoliberalism when I require a classic poverty update. I credit in great part our Middle Class privileged status to such policies and foreign practises.
    It appears a lot of former friendly paupers are not digging the free enterprise system’ these days and are being lead by democratically elected demigods and populists tyrants as pontificated by Condi.
    Your correct our new government will pick up a lot of this rhetoric but as minority government one major misstep…. for as you may know we are a cautious lot especially after Mulroney and Ronnie serenading us (NAFTA ) with “When Irish Eyes are smiling.”
    I’ve always consider our way of life unsustainable from an economic and environmental perspective. Which will strike the first devastating blow is for me an open question. Terrorism for most Canadians is not a big deal and many thought 911 might better have been handled as a major criminal event and been vigorously pursued with a different strategy than blowing the shit out of two countries and who knows how many more..?
    I don’t feel particularly sorry for you or me its our excesses, debts and illusions we’ve unloaded on our children or grandchildren that is tragic. (the middle class record of tolerating poverty in our respective countries preferring handouts and charity to pursing social justice is not an inspiring one either )Sorry if this sounds lecturing its not intended to be in that vein
    My empathy is for the millions without health care and the potential catastrophes they face, and for those in poverty in our opulent countries.
    We would differ greatly I suspect on dealing with these realities so I will stop here.

  • Asta

    Actually, JT, I happen to agree with almost all the points you just made. We’re really not that far apart in our opinions, we just have a different way of making the presentation. (Again, my motto: Sarcasm does not translate well over the Internet.)
    The world would be a much different place right now had our government handled 9-11 as a crime scene and not as an excuse for a sociopath to prove to his daddy that he was All Man. The World Trade Center bombing in ‘93 was handled in the fashion you speak of, and the perpetrators were apprehended and punished. We didn’t go off bombing innocent bystanding countries.
    I also see very well that our form of government is turning into something very ugly — corporate fascism. Individual rights are being trashed for the good of WalMart (which I view as a cancer on our nation’s landscape), and I choose WalMart as the symbol of all corp. greed because it is, as you said, almost a nation unto itself. It seems our government has granted companies status as human beings. It started with that nasty eminent domain crap passed down by the laughable but dangerous supreme court of ours. Well probably earlier, but that case is major in its far reaching consequences.
    Let’s make a deal — I won’t talk down to you if you won’t talk down to me, okay? I have a college education, I assume you do, too. Let’s assume the best of each other and take it from there, okay, Friend?

  • jonst

    JT,
    You present a false dichotomy. I know about the Bush family history and the Carlyle Group. I think the family are criminals, for the most part. And I hope Bush gets impeached. And tried in criminal court for his actions. That said, thanks to the Bush family et al bounding our future up in the Middle East, I would suggest I am, worried about both Royal Families. I think there are elements in both Royal Families that are virulently hostile to the West in general, and the US in particular. And wish to inflict damage on us. God knows, (if you will pardon the pun) they have their reasons, both real and imagined.
    I think the Royal Families are split. Some are overwhelmingly capitalist and Western oriented and look to the West as their allies, and indeed, their protectors.
    I don’t want to make too much of it. Nor do I want to sweep the reality under the rug.
    Futurebird,
    Look at any newspaper, the letters to the editor section, listen to any call in program on C-Span where it is the subject, engage Americans in conversations and I think you will see that foreign ownership is an issue. Not the only issue. But a big issue.

  • readytoblowagasket

    I make it my own personal policy to oppose anything George W. Bush is for, because I’ve found that I get screwed 100% of the time by his every decision. In this case I don’t know exactly *how* I’ll get screwed — I only know that I’ll get it down the road and that it’ll hurt. I also know it won’t have anything to do with national security, national identity, or job loss. So arguing about those issues among ourselves is academic. GWB is not thinking that hard about it.
    The only momentary gratification I can savor is that Bush periodically makes the Republicans in Congress scramble to do some damage control (like with the Harriet Miers fiasco). It’s always fun to see them work (sweat) a little.
    Frist is clearly taking one of his presidential-run flyovers.

  • ummabdulla

    Dubai Ports has known ties with Al-Qaeda? Dubai is not a model democratic state, nor is it an Islamic state – it’s a model capitalist state. To a degree that’s actually pretty absurd – they have the 7-star hotel, they’re building the highest building, they’ve built huge island developments where they was no land, they’re always trying to make the biggest this or that. If Dubai’s known for anything, it’s shopping, and the biggest tourist draw is the Dubai Shopping Festival. They advertise their resorts and festivals with pictures of women in bikinis and couples having a romantic glass of wine. Anyone who’s been there could only laugh at the idea of Dubai as a terrorist state.

  • jonst

    Look ummabdulla, no one, or I’m not anyway, calling anyplace a ‘terrorist state”. You raise a strawman argument. A false argument. I say this: I say there was a signficant relationship between the OBL and SOME, I repeat, SOME members of the UAE Royal family. See this link below. If you want to say I am lying about this. Or incorrect, fine. If you want to say Google, or the the guy that wrote Ghost Wars, and about 40 other writers are lying, fine. IF you want to say the reports are correct but they prove nothing, fine. Fine fine fine. But one can’t and be rational anyway, deny the reports of these connections. People are not making this stuff up. They might very well be overeacting to it. But they are not making it. http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/viewMedia.php/prmID/4421

  • Asta

    When Ummadulla wrote about how wonderful Dubai is, I thought, Las Vegas.
    And if can one here can argue that Las Vegas isn’t the Mafia’s money laundering center, go for it. I would love to hear the argument. Dubai is the money laundering member of the UAE.
    And, yeah, I heard about the island developments, supposedly to represent the 50 American States. All I could think was, it’s a Memorial to the Late Great United States.

  • jonst

    Yeah, Vegas Asta, its just a place to have great conferences and such. A family place. Lew Wasserman? Whose is that?
    In any event I love watching Bush start backing away from this. Now they are telling us he just heard about this plan a few days ago. Its beautiful! Watch the bums spin this. “Ports? Oh you mean THOSE ports? No,why didn’t ya say so. We’re not letting those ports go. Nah, no way.”
    They are selling the entire country right down the tubes and taking the middle class down while they are at it. And the elites, millionare pundits, are telling us “relax…you can always work at Walmart. Or join the Army”.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    jonst… it’s just I don’t see how transfer from one forign body to another matters– it seems you are talking about a different issue: the consolodation of more and more capitual under fewer corporations– many of these hail from the US.
    If we want diversity and smaller scale economies this issue isn’t offering much a a starting point.
    I’m yet to understand how a corporation being “forign owned” makes this generally disturbing trend any worse.
    Yes, watching Bush is sickening. I doubt he thought about this one way or another. He’s never vetoed anything– did you know that? He signs every bill. I think he’s just lazy.
    Still, I can’t get on the whole “stop the a-rabs” bandwagon– The only reason this move is getting any attention from the american public is due to their vague and nonspecific mistrust of anything arabic, muslim or wearing a turban. I’m surpassed we haven’t switched back to roman numerals! How many Americans know where this country is? How many realise it is a country and not some kind of “UN of the East” –
    It’d be fun to pretend that my people had finely gotten sick of the corporate take over of our country– but that is wishful thinking.

  • Asta

    futurebird, I’m just glad you’re not teaching my kids.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    futurebird, I’m just glad you’re not teaching my kids.
    Huh?

  • jawbone

    I can’t believe Bush was not advised of David C. Sanborn’s position with DPW and what was going on with DPW’s purchase of the British company. Especially since Snow had alread been involved is a sale of a segment of his corporation to DPW.
    Follow the money time, folks.

  • jt from BC

    ASTA
    “I don’t expect much empathy from our non-resident posters here” I thought was directed to me and checking my previous comment could not find any justification, but maybe you meant some one else and my assumption was incorrect.
    Perhaps the Charles Dickens remark was borderline but my remembered image of seeing children picking through garbage in Mexico and other southern countries was a spontaneous response to my childhood images of C.D. and not intended as a put down.
    I hope it was the flippant “Welcome to the 21 century” that you probably found sarcastic instead of flippant, such being the case I can understand, accept and apologize.
    If my other points were interpreted that way this was not my intent, the contents or my impressions were sincere if somewhat unpolished and crude.
    I do ramble but you did note; “Sorry if this sounds lecturing its not intended to be in that vein”
    I enjoy reading your observations, remarks and impressions and it was not my intention to put you or anyone down.
    If there was a comment or other comments you found personally disturbing I would sincerely appreciate you bringing them to my attention, as a friend. ( I am aware that what I intent as irony is sometimes seen as sarcasm so acknowledge this as a literary shortcoming )
    I acknowledge and you may have observed my responding on two or three occasions to remarks which I considered racist, with deliberate sarcasm laced with humour and will do so in similiar cases in the future for trolls or idiots.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    Asta,
    Can I also say that I too am bit confused at why you made your last comment to me?

  • http://bagnewsnotes.typepad.com/bagnews/2006/02/bush_watch_the_.html#comments Hmmm

    Sorry if I’m not in step, I skimmed the comments. I don’t know if the Foreign owned company issue was resolved here but my view would be it is a foreign Government owned company (issue 1). The biggest issue is the one that weaves through everything the Administration is involved with, lack or transparency. Even Grandstander #1 is willing to step back and look at this. The President warns he will veto legislation blocking the deal.
    As far as a viewpoint on the photos…the pictures and analysis must have got things going because the comments have passion. The Frist photo looks like they had a unreleased Katrina shot and sent it out.
    Grandstander #2 reminds me of The Daily Show…the more angry about something the more mikes.
    Grandstander #3 is unoriginal. How many shots in front of the flag gazing skyward toward the heavens must we have?

  • Kevin

    futurebird — I suspect Asta made that comment to you because you can’t spell for shit.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    That’s probably why I teach math.

  • Cactus

    No. 1 = Megalomania + hutzpah
    No. 2 = The microphone olympics
    No. 3 = Patriotic PR photo (generic class)
    Frist is like the frat-boy wanna be jock. He’s seen the war photos/movies where the hero rides an open chopper to save the (fill in victim of choice). By golly he can do that. Note the brown jacket & kahki pants, probably closest he’s gotten to military uniform.
    Menendez’ backdrop probably means little to people outside of NY/NJ. I first thought it was NOLA, but someone said it reminded of the towers going down….it does. Now I assume it’s the NJ port that Menendez represents.
    Foley’s photo-op could be anywhere/anytime. Miami seems less important to him than his patriotic stripes.
    Now, off the subject, but in response to comments above, the FF (founding fathers) had a high degree of suspicion of corporations. Until approximately the time of the civil war, corporations (i.e., businesses having the benefits of personhood) could only exist for a limited time (I think it was 10 years) and had to PROOVE that their existence benefited the community of mankind more than it did the owners. How far we have come . . .
    And on the subject of Dubai – they were the ones who bailed W. out of his first failure (or was it his second?). The friendship is long-standing.

  • jt from BC

    ASTA, your comment, “companies status as human beings” inspired me to dig out my book and video on ‘The Corporation’, a work perhaps familiar to you. Having worked in the field of psychology I found the method of presentation unique as well as ingenious.
    THE PATHOLOGY OF COMMERCE: CASE HISTORIES, an excerpt
    “To more precisely assess the “personality” of the corporate “person,” a checklist is employed, using actual diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the DSM-IV, the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists.”
    http://www.thecorporation.com/index.php?page_id=2
    FUTUREBIRD your blood sugar level must have been low, for earlier you spelled foreign correctly on two occasions then later incorrectly twice + consolodation & capitual occurred during this time as well. I envy you your mathematical ability, I average six + misspelled words per rant, without the ABC spell check I wouldn’t dare venture on this site.

  • ummabdulla

    Asta: “When Ummadulla wrote about how wonderful Dubai is, I thought, Las Vegas.”
    Whoa… back up. Where did I say Dubai was wonderful? I said it was capitalist and I used the word “absurd”. It is like Las Vegas in some ways – like the hotel with fake pyramids and all.
    Actually, I’m not aware of any island project which focuses on the U.S. One of the island developments is called The World, though. And before anyone misinterprets what I’m saying, I don’t think they’re wonderful at all; I think they’re ridiculous. They’re damaging the coral reefs to build them, and they don’t seem like a great idea so close to areas where there are earthquakes.

  • ummabdulla

    Just to clarify, aren’t these ports already run by a British company – and this is the company that’s being acquired by Dubai Ports? And doesn’t Dubai Ports already operate some U.S. ports?
    If so, then let’s state the obvious: the issue isn’t foreign ownership in general; it’s ownership by Dubai in particular.
    It makes no difference to me if the deal goes through or not, but if it cause problems for Bush, then I don’t mind that part of it.

  • ummabdulla

    As for the photos, I agree that Frist’s is definitely the best in this category. You see him and the helicopter; you see instantly that it’s a port below him, and they got the entire ship in.
    The Menendez one is pretty good, but they cut most of the water off, so if you were just seeing the photo and didn’t know already that this was a port, you might not realize that. But knowing that he’s at the Port Authority makes a difference.
    Foley’s is pretty generic – politician with flag in background.

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    If so, then let’s state the obvious: the issue isn’t foreign ownership in general; it’s ownership by Dubai in particular.
    Of course. –And all these guys in the photos are doing is stirring up hate. It’s sad.

  • Asta

    Ummadulla, I guess I thought “wonderful” when I read the word “shopping” in your previous post. Sigh. I fear I have been so well programmed that this word triggered a flood of endorphines. BTW, thank you for the link to The World — a friend was trying to describe to me about the islands, she thought Dubai was building islands to represent our 50 states. Looking at the illustrations at the web site, I can see why she thought that, I’ll tell her the project is much more ambitious. That’s very upsetting news about the coral reefs.
    JT, No, I’m not familiar with “The Corporation” but I will be soon. I’ve always thought that most of the companies I ever worked for were dysfunctional but I had no idea there were diagnostic tools to determine this. Fascinating. In your earlier post, I appreciate your comments and your taking the time to bridge the communications gap. I was in a very snarky mood yesterday — probably a side effect of High Anxiety. If I said something that could be construed as racist and/or condescending, I apologize. In the future, I will issue a Snark Alert.
    Futurebird, your sig is linked to your website so I paid a little visit. After viewing your watercolors and reading some of your poetry, I concluded you have a rather depressing view of the world. Some of the imagery in your poetry reminded me of a Wes Craven movie. If your objective is to make the viewer/reader uncomfortable, you succeeded. And my reaction was I wouldn’t want you teaching my kids. Were you living in New York in September of 2001? Just wondering.
    I still haven’t analyzed these photos — #1 – agree with the “presidential fly-over” aspects. #3 standard Patriot fare. The second one confused me at first — the images behind Menendez looked like his office had been ransacked, total chaos. Second impression was “why does he have a photo of a circuit board on his wall?” Then I realized it was an ariel photo of a harbor. And it occurred to me that much of our world is beginning to look like a circuit board, a microchip. Made me kinda sad.

  • ummabdulla

    Asta: “Ummadulla, I guess I thought ‘wonderful’ when I read the word ’shopping’ in your previous post. Sigh. I fear I have been so well programmed that this word triggered a flood of endorphines.”
    Asta, you might love Dubai then, lol. There are so many malls, and they just keep opening more. Two of the recently opened ones are the Mall of the Emirates, which has ski slopes, and the ibn Battuta mall.
    I do understand that people have concerns about the Dubai ports deal, but I just think it should be put into perspective. One point is that many companies are international now, and this kind of thing will be more and more common. The other is that Dubai really is very business-oriented; their ambitions have more to do with trying to be the next Hong Kong that they do with terrorism.
    I just wanted to make one point about the Islamic bank. Religious Muslims only use Islamic banks, because other banks engage in transactions which are prohibited in Islam (mainly interest-based transactions). There aren’t that many full-service Islamic banks; in Kuwait, for example, there’s one Islamic bank and 6-8 non-Islamic ones; in the United Arab Emirates, there might be a couple of Islamic banks out of dozens. So if someone like bin Laden were going to use a bank, he would most likely choose one of the Islamic ones. That in itself doesn’t mean that it’s a “terrorist” bank.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Wow. This thread has been totally fascinating because it triggered a display of friendly fire (i.e., misreads) rarely seen on this site. I’m not being smug or critical when I say this; I am interested that this issue is so emotionally explosive. I live in New York City (and yes, I was here on 9/11), so I am as acutely concerned as those who live inland or on the opposite coast or beyond U.S. borders.
    As I suspected yesterday, there is backstory beyond the points and prejudices voiced here in the passion of discussion. Today there are more details about the secret deal between the White House and Dubai Ports; for one thing, that Dubai Ports’s business records, including those detailing the “design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment” won’t be required to be kept in the U.S. (and therefore, under U.S. jurisdiction), an apparent departure from normal procedure. Read more here:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060223/ap_on_go_pr_wh/ports_security_57
    The *real* security issue has nothing to do with the Dubai deal; it has to do with the lack of funding for port security *right now.* The San Jose Mercury News ran a story yesterday called “Outcry over port deal obscures real security issues, experts say.” Some frightening quotes from it include these:
    “The American Association of Port Authorities estimates that ports need $5.4 billion over 10 years to upgrade security, but the Bush administration has budgeted $708 million. And this month, the administration took grant money for port security and combined it with other transportation security grants. That means ports will have to compete against mass transit for security funds, said Bernard Groseclose, the organization’s chairman and the president of the South Carolina State Port Authority.”
    And:
    “The federal government also is more than 18 months behind on a background check and identification card program for 6 million port and other transportation workers, such as airport personnel and truck drivers, Groseclose said.”
    If you truly want to be freaked out, stop focusing on Dubai Ports and start reading:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/13936345.htm

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    I moved to NYC two weeks before 9/11. I was fresh out of university. It was my first real job. Presently, I live three blocks from the trade center site. There are no more active ports here in lower Manhattan, but my curiosity has taken me to red hook and to new jersey. I’m a bit of a ports history buff. Many of the ports are foreign owned, but, the guys working there are mostly burly, Brooklyn-bread union stock. Hell, until recently, it was hard for a black person to get a ports job! Now with fewer jobs (due to containerization) it’s really hard for anyone to get a job there. I’ve dreamed of doing it in the summer. But, though there is a program for women in industrial jobs in the city, they aren’t too keen on letting short little intellectuals such as myself “slum it” for a summer. (Even though some of the ports jobs pay better than teaching!)
    In any case: there are a ton of background checks and none of this will change if another company owns a port. End of story.
    You know what scares me? The coming decline in oil production world wide. How will our “nonnegotiable” lifestyle continue without inexpensive oil? How will americans react? Like spoiled children or with stoic resilience?

  • http://areyoudressed.blogspot.com momly

    Dubai has Michael Jackson.

  • Asta

    Yeah, about Michael Jackson…ain’t that a strange story. They hire him as a consultant for kickstarting their entertainment businesses.
    Jon Stewart suggested that the ports deal was a reward for taking Jackson off our hands.

  • Megan

    I’ve been reading this site for a few months now, and have noticed that the comments are increasingly about the broader political context and less and less about the photos. In this thread, for example, perhaps two or three comments deconstruct the pictures. I can get political commentary in lots of places, but I was originally attracted to the analysis of what the picture is conveying.
    I would prefer that commenters return their focus to the use of pictures, with limited discussion of general cultural context and political stances. That may not be what this community is looking for now, but if we have abandoned that purpose, it seems like a loss of a unique analytical perspective.
    Respectfully,
    Megan

  • readytoblowagasket

    Megan, in the case of these particular pictures, is there anything else that needs to be said? Do you have any impressions you would add?

  • ummabdulla

    Michael Jackson lives in Bahrain. He does visit Dubai sometimes (and supposedly was seen putting makeup on in the women’s bathroom at one of the malls).
    I know this is off-topic, but speaking of photos, here’s Michael at a Bahraini mall, wearing a woman’s abaya (outergarment), face veil and gloves. Most Bahraini women don’t even wear these, and it’s not at all appropriate for a man, but they seem to go pretty easy on him in Bahrain.

  • hauksdottir

    Ah, yes, the Queen Mary. A lot of symbolism there since she was used as a troop ship during WW2. I stayed on her for several days during a Game Developer’s Conference.
    A photo over a Liberian-owned oil tanker or a container vessel loaded with sneakers from China wouldn’t be quite as evocative of home-front patriotism, or even preservation of historic vessels. The deliberate tilt of the horizon helps make the image unsettling. However, this museum-hotel-ship doesn’t really represent the matter at hand.
    The second image, with satellite shots, is designed to scare. We assume that since we have air superiority, so does everybody else… and everything is a target. Harbor traffic is barely hinted at. Weaknesses will be exposed if a foreign and less-than-friendly government takes control.
    Foley’s effort is just speechifying. He could be talking about education or gun control or agriculture. The flag is a nice background, but nothing in that image says “ports” or “shipping” or “globalization”, nor is there anything particularly worrisome about such a sunny day on the campaign trail. Bush has spent 5 years telling us to be afraid, but there is no fear in this picture.
    Carolly

  • jt from BC

    RTBAG “The *real* security issue has nothing to do with the Dubai deal…..well there is another interesting take on this from one of my favorites who writes all too infrequently;
    Dubai: Home Base For Cold War by Ira Chernus
    http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0313-35.htm

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