February 20, 2006

Where is the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa?

Yesterday our local news said that the federal government was planning to hire a company based in the United Arab Emirates to take charge of the ports of New York, New Jersey and various other cities.

Apparently the U.A.E. is the only country in the Middle East (apart from Israel) that is our friend. So, doesn't it make sense to have our one Arab friend guarding our henhouses/ports?

Did I miss something? Here I am, fewer than five miles from Ground Zero, still on terra Manhattan, and some governmental authority thinks it wise to outsource, as they say, what is one of the biggest loopholes in our so-called homeland security. Most containers already arrive without any formal inspection from the U.S. Do I feel protected now?

Call me crazy, call me xenophobic, but I thought it was a good option to employ American dock workers over foreign nationals. Either that, or there's something screwy about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

My take on foreign policy is that our friends are the people we pay to act as such. When they misbehave, we take away their allowance (just as my mother disciplined me, and we know how well that turned out).

The U.A.E. isn't beholden to us or any of its neighbors financially: does that mean we should hire them instead of the folks in the tristate area to guard us? This decision makes the T.S.A. look like a first-rate government agency.

Part of the T.S.A.'s job is to make sure that people don't board planes carrying cigarette lighters. Another is to make sure we have practically stripped down to our underwear (and if that happens to include an underwire bra, say good-bye to that particular piece of lingerie) to pass through our airport metal detectors.

Those folks at homeland security -- you'll notice they are based in Washington, D.C., a city not known for its water ports. And American jobs? How can we say, they count for nothing?

I am not what you would call a flag-waving patriot by any means. When I travel, I say I am Canadian, because it is too damn embarrassing and potentially dangerous in many circles to be an American abroad.

However, the only conclusion I can reach here is, the Gods must be crazy.

And Jimmy Hoffa must be spinning in his grave, wherever that may be.

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Blogger sporksforall said...

Giant stadium? Your post reminds me of The Wire sesason 2. Didn't make we want to be a dockworker, but damn fine television.

4:04 PM  
Blogger scout said...

But Dubai is the Paris of the Middle East—and France isn't our friend at all, what with their stubborn refusal to go along with everything we say. No, wait, Lebanon is the Paris of the Middle East, which must make Dubai the Miami of the Middle East, and Florida's a good red state (with many ports!), so, yes, the UAE must be our friends, our very good friends!

5:15 PM  

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