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Re: Dubya on the Dubai Port Deal (and the Constitution)

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I’ve written on the importance of listening to George Bush carefully in the past and have been attacked for doubting his “veracity”, “truthfulness”, and “his way of speaking”.

O.K.

Let’s try an experiment. Yesterday, February 21, 2005, he had this to say about the port deal with the United Arab Emirates (or- if one prefers, DP World, a state – owned company):

“I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction. But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully… Again, I repeat, it’s – if there is any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of the transaction, it wouldn’t go forward.”

Reading that should make clear why he referred to his 2004 “victory” as a “mandate” and his reference to millions of protesters against the Iraq war as “some people” and “focus groups”.

First, he refers to “some in Congress”.

“Some”?

Question, is he:

1) blissfully unaware of the Congressional (and State) reactions;
2) delusional; or is he
3) intentionally “misleading” that portion of the public that doesn’t follow the news but for the times when he speaks (a surprisingly large group for a people supposedly in love with independence).

Second, he refers to the “some” as “raising questions”. The line formed to squash this deal on both sides of the aisle is puzzlingly unnerving even to those whose deepest desire is to see bipartisanship return to Washington.

Third, when he says, “… they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully.”

Really?

How, pray tell, would he know that at the time of making that statement. According to today’s press reports, he didn’t know about it until he heard it from the press. To further cast doubt on “our government” looking at this carefully consider the following response by Scott McClellan:

“He became aware of it over the last several days,” McClellan said. Asked if Bush did not know about it until it was a done deal, McClellan said, “That’s correct.”

So what part of the “government” is George Bush talking about?

He does say, “our government” and, the last time I checked, we still had 3 branches although two have been trimmed to the point of being nubs that may never sprout leaves or bear fruit again.

We know that Congress wasn’t informed and that his spokespeople claim he didn’t know about it until after the “filter” of the press informed him. Maybe Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito were informed.

To his credit, he did clarify his statement:

“The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government, the more they’ll be comforted…”

As Marty Kaplan points out on the Huffington Post, “The founding documents of our nation talk about the government, our government, a government, any government. If my,is used, it’s said on behalf of the citizens, not their rulers. ”

P.S. the Katrina Review made by the Administration came out. It calls for direct military control in the event of a “natural disaster”. Homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, when asked if this would violate the Posse Comitatus law and if it would require new legislation responded that George Bush had been advised by his (presumably) legal staff that he already had the power to do what was recommended in the report.

So, in conclusion, FISA doesn’t apply to this White House, those pesky quaint Geneva Conventions (or just basic prohibitions against torture) didn’t, and don’t, apply to this White House, the recently overwhelmingly passed anti- torture legislation doesn’t apply to this White House, informing Congress that we’re giving the contracts for running our thus- far- still- unsecured ports to a foreign government with a questionable recent history of transferring money to terrorist groups and being the conduit for nuclear information and/or material to members of the “axis of evil” (and others) doesn’t apply to this White House, and the general rule on submitting to a police interview after shooting a guy in the face don’t apply to this White House, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam…

It must be nice to have one of ‘em “my guv’munt” things.

About AmeriPundit

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    the last time I checked, we still had 3 branches although two have been trimmed to the point of being nubs that may never sprout leaves or bear fruit again.

    “The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government, the more they’ll be comforted…”

    As Marty Kaplan points out on the Huffington Post, “The founding documents of our nation talk about the government, our government, a government, any government. If my,is used, it’s said on behalf of the citizens, not their rulers.”

    direct military control in the event of a “natural disaster”.

    Wait for it…

    BUSH IS HITLER!!!

    Now…feel any better?

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Great post, although I’m waiting for the righties to come down on you. The fact is that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives (whatever they are) are growing more concerned about this president’s growing disregard for those two most sacred of documents: The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Up until now, I’d thought calls for impeachment were unjustified, but I’m beginning to think this president is as dangerous as was Nixon. And I don’t say that as a liberal, commie, pinko, left-wing, flag bashing Democrat. I say that as an American.

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • http://www.chancelucky.blogspot.com chancelucky

    You know I thought Nixon was headed to a dangerous place because of his level of paranois and there was the whole burglary cover up thing, but in terms of actual danger I think W is in a different league.

    Nixon secretly spread an existing war to other countries, but Iraq is so different in kind and quality, etc.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    So this is basically just an excuse to bash on Bush without any actual factual backing?

    As for your one substantive point, you’re completly uninformed. The DP World takeover of P&O was extensively examined by the Treasury Department and in addition the Navy and the Coast Guard and several other federal agencies looked at security issues and DP World’s capability to fulfill its obligations if it took over the ports. In fact the investigation was considerably more extensive than would normally have been the case. So when Bush said it had been looked at he wasn’t lying. It means he read or at least saw the report on the deal which the investigating committee had put together.

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Nice try Dave.

    First, once again there is a law in place that deals with the procedure but was apparently too “quaint” to be followed.

    If any concerns (and the controlling language is “could affect”) then the automatic extension period is kicked in and it has to go to the President, and appropriate Committees for review.

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that what the Administration is saying is true (and I gave up on that a few chocolates, flowers being thrown at our feet, and trillions of dollars ago), then the President only found out about it after he learned of it from the press.

    Again, assuming that all of those entities looked at it, they have also said that they “placed additional conditions on the deal”. Now from where I come from, that means that there was a concern.

    After all, why place additional conditions if there’s nothing to worry about?

    Before you make accusations of no factual backing, understand that some people actually pick up the morsels of information that is forthcoming (or leaked by disgusted emplyees of the federal government), assemble it, and look at it critically.

    Unlike love, which can be blind, we don’t want to be blind-sided.

    Now, if you’re happy with the deal, just say so. Oh… and please give us the facts of how you know of how thoroughly vetted this was since the first hearing today was a lot of very weak, non- factual (“I’ll have to get back to you on that Senator”) to pointed questions followed up by a lot of references to “classified material”.

  • rich

    If we cut through the schitzophrenic organization of this article, there remains one point – that Bush might not have investigated the sale himself. The first paragraph of the article is pure self service. The second paragraph is not a paragraph. The third tries to get things moving. But there is no EXPERIMENT to be found here – experiments have data and hypotheses and interpretations. The three questions suck – hmmmmmmmm which would Bush choose to describe himself. Maybe that’s the experiment in the article I don’t know. I’m totally unclear about the ending too. How did we get to Katrina here? What’s going on in the last full paragraph? What in god’s name has happened to intelligent commentary!

    The Dubai deal is probably ill advised, and in some oddball world maybe this article says that, but from here, it’s at best a loose analysis of Bush’s use of “my”. The topic deserves better.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Exactly what I was getting at, Rich. There’s one point here and it’s not a valid one. Who the hell expects the president to investigate or even be aware of a routine approval of a small-scale corporate takeover. That’s why we HAVE bureaucrats. There have been thousands of transactions like this during the Bush administration and we have no reason to believe or expect him to have been informed of any but a few of them.

    And then, of course, there are all the relevant facts ignored here:

    We’re only talking about control of a few freight terminals here, not control of the entire port or ownership of the port as many have suggested.

    The employees will all be locals because Dubai doesn’t have any spare people to send in anything but the highest level supervisory capacity.

    Every other port freight facility in the US is already in foreign hands. Not one private facility is controlled by a US owned company.

    I sure wish I owned shares in P&O, because DP World is offering way more than they ought to be worth.

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Dearest Dave,

    You are sooooooooo right. I apologize for offending your sensibilities.

    I think you may have missed the point, but, more likely than not (post 2000 excuses), the point missed you.

    I bow to your superior “opinion”.

    Lastly, I agree. What in god’s name has happened to intelligent commentary?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Perhaps you should have made your point clearer, since all I caught was ‘bush lied, bush lied, bush is still lying…uh, no I don’t have any actual facts’.

    You need to write an intelligent article to get intelligent commentary.

    Dave

  • rich

    Dearest Dave? bow to your superior opinion? is a link to a definition of “passive aggressive” called for?

    Can we at least have intelligent commentary in the comments? (This is directed at you AmeriPundit so don’t bother turning it around on dave)

    The uproar is about how much Bush should have known about the sale. Dave’s response is clear – that there are lots of sales and Bush can’t be expected to know about all of them. What is the AmeriPundit response beyond “yes he should”?

    Bush is far from the most informed president the US has ever had and you can count me among those who think Iraq was a mistake and Katrina was bungled. This topic, though has been blown way out of what it should be. The really dangerous things happening are still completely under the radar. Been through US customs at an airport lately? JFK? Logan? That’s a walk through the park. That’s dangerous. Forget the red herrings. The 9/11 terrorists didn’t arrive in shipping containers.

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Sorry Dave, I meant Rich.

    First, as to there are all the relevant facts ignored here

    Well, that’s followed up by, few freight terminals here, not control of the entire port or ownership of the port as many have suggested.

    Now, as I recall, it only took a few planes on 9-11 to scare the piss out of people. But the best part is control of the entire port or ownership of the port as many have suggested.

    I don’t think the article says that. Whoever is under that impression is wrong. That may be one of the “many” that you have so “factually” pointed out.

    Then as to, The employees will all be locals. Really? You know that. You read the contract? Are we talking about facts, assumptions, or hopes?

    I do suggest you all look into how port security works.

    The company hired to manage the port is responsible for the hiring and firing of security personnel. The Coast Guard sets standards and then presents them to the company. The company can follow them or not.

    Customs is responsible for the containers when they come in. They check 3-5% of all containers. Once they’re done with that, the company takes over the loading and unloading as well as destinations.

    However, this was not really about all of that. It is about a mindset and attitude. If it doesn’t bother you, then simply say so. Admit that you either aren’t worried about anything happening, in which case why the war and/or the inordinate amount of useless spending on false security for… well, for places like Wyoming or that, in fact, you are so scared, you’re willing to “trust” that it will be taken care of for you by the Administration.

    After all, they have shown complete competence in handling the budget, the war, Katrina, finding Osama, Medicare, etc.

  • rich

    “Sorry Dave, I meant Rich.”

    This is not a petty schoolyard fight.

    At risk of self satisfying, I will ask my question again – if I might quote myself

    “The uproar is about how much Bush should have known about the sale. Dave’s response is clear – that there are lots of sales and Bush can’t be expected to know about all of them. What is the AmeriPundit response beyond “yes he should”?”

    Still waiting on intelligent commentary. Also about the liklihood of terrorists entering the country in shipping containers. While the borders and airports relax security further.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Then as to, The employees will all be locals. Really? You know that. You read the contract? Are we talking about facts, assumptions, or hopes?

    Facts. DP World is taking over existing labor contracts between P&O and the Longshoremans and Stevedores unions. Do you see those groups allowing them to hire any outsiders?

    I do suggest you all look into how port security works.

    The company hired to manage the port is responsible for the hiring and firing of security personnel. The Coast Guard sets standards and then presents them to the company. The company can follow them or not.

    Note that this is security for the terminal itself, not for the port as a whole or for entry or exit from the port, which are handled by the harbor authority and coast guard respectively.

    Customs is responsible for the containers when they come in. They check 3-5% of all containers. Once they’re done with that, the company takes over the loading and unloading as well as destinations.

    This little bit of negligence was going on before DP World got involved. Perhaps the way to address the problem is not to go after the innocent UAE business, but instead to increase customs inspections in those ports.

    However, this was not really about all of that. It is about a mindset and attitude. If it doesn’t bother you, then simply say so.

    Now here you’re right on target. It’s about the racist mindset which wants to exclude a business from a legitimate business transaction solely because of their perceived ethnicity and/or religion. Keeping in mind that we have military bases in the UAE, keep our ships in their ports and they’ve let us fire missiles from their country into other Arab countries and patted us on the back for it. We sold them 60 F-16s a few years ago ferchrissakes. DP World, Dubai and the UAE have never caused us one bit of trouble and have never been associated with terrorism. You’re essentially damning them by association and that’s just not right.

    Admit that you either aren’t worried about anything happening, in which case why the war and/or the inordinate amount of useless spending on false security for… well, for places like Wyoming or that, in fact, you are so scared, you’re willing to “trust” that it will be taken care of for you by the Administration.

    What I’m concerned about is that we operate in a fair and equitable manner as a nation. Passing a law excluding only arabs from doing business in the US in certain capacities is blatantly biased when we have no restrictions on businesses from European countries, China, Japan and Singapore which also operate port facilities in the US. When we do that then the fearmongers have won. More of our ports are run by Chinese Red Army front corporations than any other single group. Does that not concern you a hell of a lot more than the UAE?

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Rich,

    I do not think that Bush should know about every transaction that occurs under his watch. He has enough trouble remembering “Kenny- Boy Lay” or “Jack”.

    What I do think is that this Administration, for all of its heated rhetoric of “keeping Americans safe”, doesn’t seem to have a clue as to how to organize a system whereby information (valuable, at that) is passed on to the appropriate authorities.

    Now, this could be due to complete incompetence or to complete control over a “plausible deniability” design.

    At any rate, you still have missed the point of the article and if I failed to convey it I apologize. But, as you seem to have a problem with recognizing that this should have been sent up the chain of command consider the following (just one example for the sake of brevity) from Clark Ervin, the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department from 2003 to 2004:

    “… Most terrorism experts agree that the likeliest way for a weapon of mass destruction to be smuggled into our country would be through a port. After all, some 95 percent of all goods from abroad arrive in the United States by sea, and yet only about 6 percent of incoming cargo containers are inspected for security threats…

    It is true that at the ports run by the Dubai company, Customs officers would continue to do any inspection of cargo containers and the Coast Guard would remain “in charge” of port security. But, again, very few cargo inspections are conducted. And the Coast Guard merely sets standards that ports are to follow and reviews their security plans. Meeting those standards each day is the job of the port operators: they are responsible for hiring security officers, guarding the cargo and overseeing its unloading…”

    Dave, Yes I am more concerned about Chinese control over a vast part of our economy much more than this. Frankly, I could really give a hoot about this. That was not the point of the post.

    As to racism, well… I don’t think I’d throw that stone. I think the entire matter was so completely mishandled that it goes to show we have amateurs at work or, if you prefer, amateur checkers players in a World Chess Championship representing us.

    This entire event could have been easily avoided had ANYBODY FOLLOWED THE LAW ON THE BOOKS. Hell, the guy who wrote the law said today that he was stunned by this as this was the exact reason the law was drafted in the first place.

    Lastly, doesn’t it strike anybody as odd that this is the only veto (aside from funding for the troops unless Reconstruction Funds were a grant and not a loan- look it up) that Bush is so adamant about?

    All the best.

  • MCH

    “(Dave) This is not a petty schoolyard fight…Still waiting on intelligent commentary.”
    - rich

    Good luck with that, rich, dealing with Blog critics answer to a schoolyard bully.

  • rich

    Well put MCH. Just as schoolyard bullies are the worst fighters, Blog critics bullies are the worst writers.

    I think I’ll go play with the other kids for a while. Thanks to Dave though for some ideas to actually chew on.

  • Sherrie

    From post #5
    “I sure wish I owned shares in P&O, because DP World is offering way more than they ought to be worth.”

    This is interesting. I wonder what makes it so attractive to DP World that they would do something like that.

    and

    “The employees will all be locals because Dubai doesn’t have any spare people to send in anything but the highest level supervisory capacity.”

    Weren’t the 9/11 hi-jackers “locals?” Am I wrong that many, if not all of them, actually lived in this country for some time before that date?

    So, I can understand some caution (paranoia?) and I would have thought people in government would have anticipated this.

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    UPDATE

    For whatever it’s worth, UPI is reporting the following:

    Friday 24 February 2006

    Washington – A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

    The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

    P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company’s Web site.

  • Dave Nalle

    This entire event could have been easily avoided had ANYBODY FOLLOWED THE LAW ON THE BOOKS. Hell, the guy who wrote the law said today that he was stunned by this as this was the exact reason the law was drafted in the first place.

    The law on the books says that there should be a 45-day review if any of the agencies which have already reviewed the plan requested it. All of the more than a dozen agencies involved reviewed it and had no objections, therefore there was no 45-day review. So the law on the books was followed to the letter.

    Your problem here seems to be that you automatically assume that if a company originates in Dubai – a country which has been enormously friendly to the US – it somehow must automatically be sympathetic to terrorists. This appears to be based on the false assumption that they will bring in Arabs to work local jobs in the US, which is certainly not true, plus those workers would still have to go through INS background checks, or that somehow the management of the company would establish pro-terrorist policies, which also makes no sense at all.

    My position is that we live in a country where there are rules and laws and where one of the most basic principles is that everyone be treated fairly and equally. Part of that is the idea that people are innocent until proven guilty and are not automatically subject to suspicion or punishment because of their race, religion or national origin. And that’s what this is all about. It’s a case of taking our closest friends in the Arab world and making them second-class citizens and punishing them just for being Arabs, and that’s fundamenally wrong.

    I’m just glad Bush understands this.

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Part of that is the idea that people are innocent until proven guilty and are not automatically subject to suspicion or punishment because of their race, religion or national origin. And that’s what this is all about. It’s a case of taking our closest friends in the Arab world and making them second-class citizens and punishing them just for being Arabs, and that’s fundamenally wrong.

    I’m just glad Bush understands this.

    That’s the problem with this whole argument. It seems extremely selective (fit your allegiance or money interest here___).

    U.S. citizens known of: Padilla (finally charged after 3 years), and Hamdi, held for 3 years without charges, released and shipped back to Saudi Arabia. No trial or prisoner of war status by order of the President as “enemy combatants”, without Congress passing a statute allowing internment.

    Hundreds of detainees are also imprisoned at US Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba. They have all been denied prisoner of war status and most have yet to be charged with a crime.

    However, if one believes that one man can determine the “enemy combatant” (whatever that is- still not defined) status of another man, then I suppose that very same man should decide, unilaterally, but without knowing he did it, who should manage our ports.

    After all, it would cut back on the deficit if we got rid of Congress and the Supreme Court altogether (pesky salaries, health care, and pensions, etc).

    Incidentally, where does “rendition” (even of Canadian citizens) on a layover in New York back home to Canada fall into “George Bush understanding this”? After all, even the Syrians, the ones we sent him to decided to let him go after extensively torturing him since he seemed to be no threat other than his name sounded “funny” to someone.

    I know, I know, how on earth can I expect Bush to know about every single person that’s “rendered” to a country that conducts “intensive interrogation” by the U.S.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    AP, what on earth are you going on about? The status of Gitmo prisoners or Hamdi or Padilla has absolutely nothing to do with this subject.

    How about answering my points instead of trying to sidetrack the discussion? Or do you acknowledge that there’s no sensible reason not to let DP World go through with the deal?

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Dave,

    FYI:

    The Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans including passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

    Under the same law, port facility operators may have access to Coast Guard security incident response plans — that is, they would know how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terrorist attacks.

    Dave, why don’t you even raise a question or address the fact that this has gone from a “measly” 6 ports to 21? The point here is not about any foreign nation taking over the ports.

    The point is dual in nature:

    1) Since the population has been warned to be “vigilant”, why can’t the people in charge simply turn over the ports (as I earlier suggested through incentives, etc.) to U.S. companies or, in the alternative, take them over; and

    2) Why are you happy with the “drip-drip” nature of information relating to national security coming out of this Administration unless, of course, it’s used to scare the public- in which case it comes in torrents.

    Lastly, speaking of facts, check out the donations given by the UAE to the Bush Library (elder- so far) and the investments it has in the Carlysl… never mind… this is becoming disgustingly tiring.

    The point was that we are not a monarchy, and it is not up to some annointed amateur checkers player that people allowed to cut in line to represent us in a World Chess Tournament to take us to ruin.

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Dave,

    By the way, I think I addressed your last point (on the selective nature of “Bush understanding things”).

    I really hope you don’t cut yourself to deeply with your paper- thin logic as you’re made dizzy by your circular arguments only to be buried by your multiple straw man arguments.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans including passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

    Under the same law, port facility operators may have access to Coast Guard security incident response plans — that is, they would know how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terrorist attacks.

    Sounds good to me. How would any of this not apply with DP World in the picture?

    Dave, why don’t you even raise a question or address the fact that this has gone from a “measly” 6 ports to 21? The point here is not about any foreign nation taking over the ports.

    Because the number of ‘ports’ isn’t relevant. This is an issue of principle, not numbers. And BTW, you keep repeating this misinformation that DP World is gainging ‘control of ports’. They aren’t. They are taking over freight terminals in those ports. In most of the ports where they will have a presence there are dozens of other terminals controlled by other companies. Control of the actual ports is and remains with government in the form of Port Authorities, which have their own security personnel and procedures.

    The point is dual in nature:

    1) Since the population has been warned to be “vigilant”, why can’t the people in charge simply turn over the ports (as I earlier suggested through incentives, etc.) to U.S. companies or, in the alternative, take them over; and

    Because there are no US Companies which are interested and qualified, and because we believe in free and fair competition. DP World isn’t taking business away from anyone here in the US in anycase, they’re taking over a British company and gaining these terminals as part of the deal.

    2) Why are you happy with the “drip-drip” nature of information relating to national security coming out of this Administration unless, of course, it’s used to scare the public- in which case it comes in torrents.

    I have nothing to say to this because it’s utterly fictitious. The administration has never engaged in the scaremongering it’s constantly accused of. That’s all coming from the left as ably demonstrated by this particular issue. Plus many of these security issues are by nature secret, so why should we expect the public to be briefed?

    Lastly, speaking of facts, check out the donations given by the UAE to the Bush Library (elder- so far) and the investments it has in the Carlysl… never mind… this is becoming disgustingly tiring.

    How is this at all relevant? You don’t seem to understand. The president and the administration played no role in this decision. DP World is involved because they chose to outbid a Singaporan company for control of P&O. No one in the Bush family had anything to do with that. As for the approval of the takeover, that’s a routine bureaucratic procedure which the president isn’t even normally made aware of because it happens at such a relatively low level.

    How can you not see that this is an entirely manufactured crisis with nothing behind it but the presidential ambitions of some scumbags on Capitol Hill?

    The point was that we are not a monarchy, and it is not up to some annointed amateur checkers player that people allowed to cut in line to represent us in a World Chess Tournament to take us to ruin.

    This analogy shows perfectly how you completely fail to understand this situation on even the most basic level.

    By the way, I think I addressed your last point (on the selective nature of “Bush understanding things”).

    I really hope you don’t cut yourself to deeply with your paper- thin logic as you’re made dizzy by your circular arguments only to be buried by your multiple straw man arguments.

    LOL, I’m the one with facts on my side here. What few facts you’ve mentioned have been wrong, and you’re apparently just repeating some scaremongering you picked up from other left-wing bloggers. Why don’t you go out and actually read up on this topic and then come to the discussion with an argument which actually takes the facts into consideration.

    Dave

  • rich

    Please first learn what a Straw Man is.

    Dearest Ameripundit,

    I apologize if I misunderstood the point of your “article”. I now realize that it is a collage of phrase-turns about Gitmo, Katrina, Posse Comitatus, FISA, Geneva Conventions, anti- torture legislation, Cheney’s attempt to murder his “friend”, and the detailed inner workings of guv’munt.

    I bow to your superior “opinion”.

    All the best.

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    My dear, dear Rich,

    I am fully aware of what a “straw-man argument” is.

    Nonetheless, I appreciate your concern about my knowledge.

    I also thank you, and couldn’t be happier, that you recognized the “collage”. Not a word I would use (since we’re supposed to hate the French), but appropriate nonetheless.

    Does that mean I can start ordering “french fries” again as opposed to “freedom fries”?

    All the very, very, very best.

  • rich

    Pray tell then, wise one – which of Dave’s arguments was a straw man?

    BTW, my concern is about your ignorance. A thinker of your stature will recognize the difference. Oui?

    I’m very glad that you clearly recognise the frivolity of your condescension by repeating it ad infinitum, ad nauseam…

    Oh, the best is surely coming my way.

  • gonzo marx

    newsflash: in todays NY Times, there’s a nice article on the Coast Guards concerns over security issues if the Dubai corp takes over the ports…

    as i have stated elsewhere, it’s about their employess , the unfettered physical access and the possibility of record tampering that is the concern…among others…

    just sharing…

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    and yet Rear Admiral what’s-his-face from the coastguard was on c-span’s washington journal this am playing down the concerns raised in the report…

    gak – !

    troll

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Rich,

    Thank you for your concern about my what you refer to as my “ignorance”. It’s nice to know someone cares.

    I admit, I was taken aback by your references to me as a “wise one”. I was further stunned when you referred to me as a “thinker”, but that seems somewhat muted since you mentioned “stature”, as that can mean so many things depending on one’s viewpoint.

    I am also very glad that “the best is surely coming [your] way”. I really am.

    Thank you for your comments. It means a lot to me to have someone of your “stature” bothering to take the time to engage, and spend so much time posting comments on, something written by an “ignorant” human such as myself.

    Again, all the best.

  • rich

    Dear AP,
    It amuses me to think of how angry you get at comments that challenge you. You are the most amusing responder around here for this reason.

    It remains to be seen whether you can identify a straw man and whether you can say what made up the “experiment” in your article. My suspicion is that you will never answer these challenges because you can’t learn from the comments on your article. What a shame. This makes me think that you are maybe young or inexperienced in criticism. Maybe you are old and angry. Whatever. It’s a shame for you. And it has been done with words and phrases from your article. What a funny irony.

    Cheer up mate.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Uh, I almost feel like I’m breaking in on such an intimate conversation here – almost a menage a trois.

    Strikes me that your emperor – pardon me! – president – has seen fit to give over the management of a number of ports in your country to a country that has some close ties to the very terrorists your nation says it is fighting. Hmmm… At least he didn’t talk about “our” government instead of “my” government.

    This is the kind of behavior one expects out of a bought out lowlife like Olmert, who is barely able to hide his scandals from when he was mayor.

    Could it be that your president is truly what I have alleging for a long time – a mere head waiter for the oil and banking establishment? Could it be that the pattern of “knowledge” here reflects this fact?

    Just a shekel of so of thoughts from the City of David…

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Rich,

    My dear, dear boy,

    I’m sorry that you feel the need to resort to ad hominem attacks.

    I assure you that I am neither “young” nor am I “inexperienced in criticism”. I am also neither “old” nor an “angry” person. However, I do recognize “projection”.

    As for the challenge on pointing out the straw man arguments and/or statements, I’ve listed a few below. Since you are such an expert on the subject, you’re sure to recognize them:

    … bash on Bush… translation- “bush-basher”

    … racist mindset… translation- “racist”

    … somehow the management of the company would establish pro-terrorist policies… translation- “racist, intolerant, and closed- minded”

    That’s all coming from the left as ably demonstrated by this particular issue. translation- “this issue is a liberal, lefty… (fill in the rest) issue”

    … you picked up from other left-wing bloggers… translation- “see above” (I assume then, that all conservatives are being supportive or holding their tongues on the deal)

    translation- “only those with presidential hopes are raising it” (will make for an interesting race as the poll numbers and the sheer numbers in both the house and Senate oppose it)

    Passing a law excluding only arabs from doing business in the US in certain capacities… translation- “racist” (the law proposed would seek to prevent any country from owning or operating our ports, not COMPANY but rather, COUNTRY)

    That basically adds up to “Leftie loonies on blogs, in cahoots with scumbag presidential hopefuls, are creating an issue based on race to try to pass a law that keeps arab businesses from operating in the country by claiming they’re all terrorists in the hopes of bashing Bush.”

    That was brief but hopefully you see the Hannity-esque nature of the statements.

    I, personally, do not know anybody that fits that description.

    I am, of course assuming that you are using the standard Black’s Law definition of straw man and not referring to the ones used to scare off various birds.

    Another point you may wish to undertake is to check the following for factual accuracy:

    Dubai – a country which has been enormously friendly to the US (See 9-11 report, current State Department reports, CIA Factbook, etc)

    few freight terminals (see newspaper reports since deal was announced as to true number)

    The employees will all be locals because Dubai doesn’t have any spare people to send in anything but the highest level supervisory capacity (see whatever is being relied on to base this fact… oops… opinion/assertion)

    All of the more than a dozen agencies involved reviewed it and had no objections, therefore there was no 45-day review. So the law on the books was followed to the letter.(see hearings on Capitol Hill, statements made by attorney who drafted the law, etc)

    It’s a case of taking our closest friends in the Arab world… (see Jordan, watch Dumb and Dumber)

    Dubai and the UAE have never caused us one bit of trouble and have never been associated with terrorism. (to see, open eyes and read reports).

    What is amazing is that the point is not really Dubai, China, or any other country. In the interests of “free trade” handing over port management to a foreign COUNTRY not COMPANY is considered justifiable and “well- examined” (remember the mantra- “Post 9-11 world! Everything’s changed!”) and not subject to criticism for the cursory review (see Sen. Collins et al) by a certain (albeit very small) segment of the U.S. while engaging in spying, torture, rendition, unprovoked wars, and using the Constitution as toilet paper is deemed proper by those very same people due to “safety’ concerns.

  • rich

    Ameripunk,

    I am sad for you. What do you accomplish with
    “My dear, dear boy” and others besides ad hominem? My contention is that the remarks you complain about are similarly ad hominem and not straw man, because they are comments not arguments. “Straw man” describes an argument so is more complicated than this level of Hannity-esque pettiness.

    You recognise that the questions you raise in your “article” are straw men. Yes? You set Bush up to fail. That is a straw man. Name calling is not straw man, that is ad hominem. “Racist” is ad hominem not straw man. Same for your other “translations” which you’ll admit are not translations but paraphrases.

    Still waiting on answers about the “experiment” that you conducted.

    try to have a laugh today you will feel better.

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Rich,

    Go to law school. Within (better not wait until the end of it or you flunk out) the first semester you’ll find out how to recognize a “straw man” argument.

    I could explain to you that a “straw man argument” is set up by defining some… (one, entity, concept, thought, etc), and relating it to a completely different subject allowing you to easily end up with oxymorons like, “the left is racist”.

    While it’s true that the interpretation of that for the uninitiated could be ad hominem, the truth is that the ad hominem is used as the base for the setting up of the straw man.

    I could explain that to you but, for some reason, I think I would be wasting time and pixels.

    Try law school. That’s where the art is discussed and students are taught to recognize it while distinguishing it from simple personal attacks.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Spend a lot of time in law school did you, AmeriPundit?

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Dave,

    Actually, it took me substantially less time than the requisite 3 years demanded by ABA highly ranked and accredited schools (as was, and is, the school I attended).

    I guess that’s because I’m too ignorant to realize my limitations and therefore didn’t realize how difficult logic, facts, proof, and hearsay were to understand.

    You should try it (law school) if you haven’t already.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Lord protect us, he’s a lawyer.

    I’ve thought about law school occasionally, but I don’t need even more graduate degrees that I’m unlikely to use. I have too many friends that are lawyers and do something else for a living. Plus if I need legal info I can always ask one of them.

    Dave

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Dave,

    re: Lord protect us, he’s a lawyer.

    In order to correct your conclusionary statement apparently based on an assumption:

    “Was” is the operative word; diagnosed with the big “C”; changed to consulting with companies formed in the emerging democracies from Eastern Europe as to American business and labor law due to being advised that litigation would drain me too much to fight, and taught (something I enjoyed very much).

    As you already know, I now work (volunteer) with those who happen not to be as fortunate as me, you, and others.

    I know you were some type of teacher/professor. At least, that’s what you stated and I have no reason to disbelieve you, and for that I thank you for taking the time to make people think.

    All the best.

    P. S. I bet if you really put your mind to it, you could find uses for all those other degrees you have.

  • MCH

    “I know you were some type of teacher/professor. At least, that’s what you stated and I have no reason to disbelieve you, and for that I thank you for taking the time to make people think.”

    Yeah, AP, but can you imagine trying to learn from that kind of bullying, manipulating, control-freak type personality…?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    MCH, I was about the most laid back prof you could imagine. Plenty of funny stories, discussion and digressions. Plus I was nice to my students, because they’re real people – not a bunch of mindless, ideology and cliche spouting zombies like some folks around here.

    But the profession wears you down. It’s a lot more real work than most people imagine and the paper and test grading is unbelievably tedious. Thus, having other options, I moved on.

    Dave

  • rich

    I wonder if I studied law? AP assumes not. Not a good assumption.

    The fact remains that AP has yet to answer two charges. One, that his characterization of Bush is a straw man. Exhibit A: three questions in the “article”. Two, there is no “experiment” conducted in the article.

    Your turn to dodge AP.

  • http://ameripundit.com/ AmeriPundit

    Rich,

    First, I never said Bush is a “straw man”. The reference to “straw man” is related to “straw man argument”.

    Reference the comments above for I will not repeat them.

    Since you do not seem to know that or recognize it on its face, I am going to continue to assume you do not have a legal background and/or have one founded on rather shaky ground.

    I have yet to see any reference to “straw man” unless (as I mentioned) it’s used to describe an invalid argument or a scarecrow.

    Second, if you are offended by the use of the word “experiment” and do not understand that it is being used with literary license, then I apologize and promise you I will never use the term again unless a true “experiment” is being described and/or conducted.

    I, for one, am done with this.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Well hell, even I ‘studied law’ – specifically British common law and maritime law of the 14th and 15th centuries. Doesn’t make ma a lawyer, though I imagine I could hold my own in a Royal Assize or Coroner’s Court.

    Dave

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “a bunch of mindless, ideology and cliche spouting zombies like some folks around here”

    You just won first prize in this week’s “Pot Calling the Kettle Black” award. Congrats

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    yes ignatius, we will now all step aside so as to avoid the GreatLightningBoltOfIrony(tm).

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    AP, if Bush were actually a straw man it would make him a lot easier to burn. I imagine some people would appreciate that.

    And Ignatz. Come up with an intelligent, original thought on any subject and maybe we can have a discussion.

    Dave