What Motivates And Guides Caffeinated Politics?

I was reminded this past week that with over 2,500 posts on this blog, there are some over-riding themes and principles that are repeated over and over.  I thought it might be fun to think of the guiding issues and principles found on this blog, and write them down.

…. The process of governing is more important than the politics of any issue.  In addition a  fair and orderly atmosphere both in electing officals, and creating legislation is required to insure a fair and equal playing field.

….Campaign money, and the ever-consuming need for more and more of it,  pollutes the political process, and undermines the enactment of sound public policy.

…. The Supreme Court (both state and national) requires the highest and most ethical standards applied to applicants.  In the states, it is more appropriate to appoint justices through the merit selection process than to have elections for the judiciary.

…. Drunk driving is a most troubling  problem that will require tough-minded legislators being more interested in doing what is right, than  carrying alcohol for the Tavern League.

…. Tough anti-smoking laws are just common sense.

…. Going with principle (Dubai deal) is more important than following the prevailing political mood.

…. Torture is wrong, and spawns more terrorists while undermining a nation’s moral code.

…. Darfur needs the world.  Sadly, history will severely judge the  majorityfor not caring.

…. Preventive wars are a waste  of a nation’s  treasured resources.

….Israel needs to stop the illegal settlement policy, and Palestinians should have, must have, and will have a homeland to call their own.  When it comes to Israel the tail must stop wagging the dog.

….Polar bears are needing us to care more about them, and to reach an understanding about the need to address climate change.

…. Gun control is needed to insure the safety of the citizenry.  Strict regulations on the manufacture, sale, registration, and usage is the means for a safer nation.

…. Marriage matters, for all.   Period.

…. Cheating on a partner, married or otherwise, is smarmy and wrong.  Getting preachy about this issue is still OK.

…. Books are some of our best friends.

…. Just because a singer is older does not mean that they have less value or creative ability.

…. History is in need of more study and understanding, not only in our schools, but also with the average citizen of this nation.

….Never underestimate the lack of humor from Mormons.

…. Never underestimate the damage one Bishop (Molrino) can cause.

…. When it looks like it is a slow news day check in on the antics of Sarah Palin and the Clampetts of Palinland.

…. Newspapers are the foundation for long-form investigative reporting, and an essential ingredient to democracy.

….Journalists are as vital to the nations democracy and well being as our soldiers, sailors. and air force.

….Radio and TV personalities should be considered guests in our house, and when they offend should be rejected from our premises. 

…. Elvis is still The King.

…. So is Roy Acuff.

…. The Grand Ole Opry is a national treasure, and true slice of Americana.

Recalling When I Agreed With President Bush

I have been thinking back on the past eight years as the hours slip by, and the Bush Administration prepares to depart formally from the White House.  I have written literally tens of thousands of words in various forums and blogs about the politics and policies of President Bush and his time in office.  While I have disagreed with the vast percentage of his policies, there have been times, such as with the Dubai Ports controversy, where I stood solid alongside the words and actions of President Bush.  When President Bush was wrong he was wrong, and I called him on it.  But when he was right he needed to be defended, and I was there to do that when the situation  presented itself.

On February 22, 2006, in another forum than this blog, I wrote the following.

President Bush is not often defended on this blog. But when he deserves support, he should have it. The issue of port security, as it relates to Dubai Ports World, is one where Bush and his Administration are correct in their assessment for this company’s future involvement in six of our nation’s ports.

When I first heard this national uproar I thought back on what I felt most people already should know about our ports. (That was my first mistake.) The Coast Guard and our customs officials are in charge of inspecting incoming cargo. While one can correctly argue that there is not enough funding to adequately inspect the volumes of material that come to our shores, that is not the issue at this time. (I have argued for more such funds but none seems to be in the pipeline.) But to state that just because a company is located in the Middle East makes them hostile to our interests, or means they are a terrorist ridden enterprise, is the most illogical thinking that has poured simultaneously out of the mouths of some Republicans and Democrats. In addition, it should be noted that planning and maintaining for port security is not done by the holding company since that too is a function of the Coast Guard and Customs officials.

Perhaps I should let Bush sum it up for both of us as he (for once) can speak for me as my President.

He said he would veto any legislation to hold up a deal and warned the United States was sending ‘mixed signals’ by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge… Lawmakers, he said, must ‘step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard.’ Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement… ‘I don’t view it as a political fight.’

The next day, February 23, 2006, I added more support for the Bush White House in relation to this matter.

But now the Republicans who so often eat their own in bad times, (Remember Harriot?) are swarming over the White House demanding that Bush bend to their will on the port management issue. The misinformed hordes (which also include some addled Democrats seeking a muscular caricature for themselves on the national security issue) are using the fear factor as their primary weapon. These hyper-politicians have whipped up mass hysteria in the country in a way that I have not seen for many years. Do keep in mind that this public outcry comes from an electorate that until a few days ago did not even realize that over 30% of our ports are already operated by foreign companies. And I am still absolutely perplexed how misinformed the public is on how ports operate. Did the whole nation miss the articles about the New York Port Authority following 9/11? While other countries were managing port operations in various locations around the nation why was there not a national outcry? Could it be there is no rational reason for it??!!

I take no joy in the pummeling that the White House is now experiencing because this issue is too vital for our long term interests in the Middle East. The Commission that oversees these contracts did the job as specified by law, and the outcome is just. This management company from UAE is no more a threat to national security than the Singapore subsidiary is that currently runs part of the LA port.

The fact that experts who know about these issues and deal with them daily do not see a threat to national security while the politicians with a finger in the air see hell on high coming over the horizon should tell us all a great deal about this whole affair!!!!

This is the worst example of  racism aimed at the international community that I have ever witnessed in my life.  History tells me the Japanese experience in World War II would perhaps rival the injustice that Arabs and Muslims face today. But I had hoped that our nation might have learned something from that sad episode.

Will Politicians Be Brighter Over Dubai Business Deal This Year?

It was an embarrassing spectacle to see politicians of all stripes running around the country last year in an effort to stir up dust over a plan to allow a Dubai based company to oversee port operations at several locations in the country.  Both political parties drew strength from the fact that many Americans seemed clueless about international companies already d0ing this port business for many years.  Everyone either saw a terrorist act in the making, or hoped to make others see it.  Whatever the motives or intent the end result was that the United States looked like ninnies to the world community.

I hope we do not again make the same mistake with a new deal that is in the making.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is working on a deal to buy a series of aviation businesses from U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group.  As part of the agreement, the Dubai company would buy Landmark Aviation, an aircraft maintenance provider, and Standard Aero, which provides repair and overhaul services at airport terminals for small-jet aviation and some military transports.

It was a most remarkable sight to see both Democrats and Republicans simultaneously jumping to the most illogical thinking just because a very well-respected company located in the Middle East wanted to do business in the United States.  It was hard to get past all the lather that these politicians created as most of our nation seemed not to be aware how port authorities operated, and what a holding company actually was designed to do.  This is yet another example of why the public needs to be educated on the issues of the day so they can not be led astray by self-serving politicians.

It was bizarre to see politicians argue that a business bridge to the Middle East should not be created just so a few points could be scored for the latest polls here in America.  I trust that those who harbor Potomac fever (or others) do not create an embarrassment over this latest deal with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.  And I trust that my fellow citizens are better informed about international economics.

Technorati Tags: , ,