Monday, March 13, 2006

Racial stereotypes perpetuated by "professional" cartoonists :: MSNBC

May I suggest that Microsoft and the National Broadcast Corporation be alerted that this is offensive:

MSNBC has managed to pull back the hands of time. Remember the Nazis?

Remember the time this was considered acceptable?:

What about the time images were used to stoke racial hatred and the world stood by and watched?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We right wingers have been a little busy. We are not going to take this lying down. From the Free Republic forum
I would be curious on your thoughts

The opponents of the DP World purchase of terminal leases at six US ports owe Sen. Chuck Schumer a bottle of champagne. If not for the Herculean efforts of Sen. Schumer, Arabs would control several terminals at the ports in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Miami, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Without even having to get involved in a bidding war, some US based terminal operator is going to own the leases that DP World is giving up. By using a campaign of complete and total misinformation while under the influence of a jilted US terminal operator and fanning the flames of fear, Sen. Schumer has risen to the level of fairy godfather to the lucky winner of the Portgate Lotto.

The whole port issue was not about national security. At least it did not start out that way. Portgate started out as nothing more than a bitter falling out between P&O and Eller & Co. In 2005, Eller & Co.(1) claimed that P&O was trying to increase control of Continental Stevedoring and Terminals Inc., a subsidiary of Eller & Co. Once word got out the P&O and DP World were in negotiations, Eller started sowing seeds of “endangering port operations” and “national security implications” if the deal went through. Attorney and lobbyist Joe Muldoon began educating lawmakers about the negative implications of DP World buying out P&O in the latter part of January 2006. Another Eller representative, Attorney Michael Kreitzer, tried to educate CFIUS but the confidential nature of CFIUS prevented him from getting through the door.

Representatives of Eller & Co lobbied Democratic members of Congress, specifically Senators Schumer and Clinton and Rep. Bob Menendez. As anyone that has followed any tiny moment of the Portgate drama knows, Sen. Schumer ended up leading the charge against the deal. On February 13, 2006, Schumer issued the first of three press (2) releases about the “port takeover by UAE government-owned firm”. Each press release described the deal as “taking control of operations at six ports”. Schumer reported that the “Port Operator is responsible for securing cargo coming in and out of the port, the port facility itself and the hiring of security personnel.” He claimed that the deal was quietly cleared by a government panel without public scrutiny. The first press release featured Schumer’s concerns about “port operators controlling all cargo not set aside for DHS screening, which could be as much as 95% of cargo at each port, managing access to secure areas and background checking all personnel.” Schumer feared that since “only 5 percent of containers entering our ports are actually inspected” the chances of nuclear, chemical or biological material being delivered right to the ports’ doorstep were increased with UAE in the picture. Muldoon’s arguments (3)against the sale were essentially the same as those cited by Schumer’s press releases.

Once the deal was done, Eller & Co filed two lawsuits – one in London and one in Florida- to stop the sale. The lawsuit in London was filed on Feb. 24. Eller’s representatives cited “a number of grounds for its objection, including a ‘real prospect’ that US authorities would revoke their approval of the deal.” Duncan Roberston,(4) a London-based spokesman for Eller stated, “There is no point in the court approving something that next week might become illegal.” In its petition, Eller argued “There is a real prospect that the arrangement will lead to US port authorities revoking licenses and/or leases held by joint venture companies which will cause severe financial losses.” Paul Downes (5), a lawyer for Eller & Co told Britain’s High Court that “Eller would be affected because some companies have threatened to withdraw business from US ports that would be run by Dubai’s DP World if the deal goes through. He said it was not relevant to Eller’s case that the worries in the United States over the deal were justified or not.” Meanwhile in the USA, the 45 day extension offered by DP World to ease concerns was underway. Martin Moore, a lawyer for P&O said the hearing was “being used for collateral purposes to encourage opposition to the deal in the United States.”

The Florida suit cited Eller & Co being an “involuntary partner with Dubai’s government”. Eller’s subsidiary Continental Stevedoring and Terminals Inc. claimed that the sale was “prohibited under its partnership agreement” with P&O. The lawsuit said the deal “may endanger the national security of the United States.” The company also reported that it may seek more that $10 million in damages should the deal take place.

Attorney Muldoon confirmed that Schumer was ace in the hole for Eller & Co. In “Deal Gives Dubai Firm Control of 23 US Ports” in The Buffalo News (6) on 3/4/06, Muldoon stated “If this hadn’t been for Sen. Schumer this issue would never had gotten any traction”. Schumer said he sensed the public would be outraged if they knew about the deal and heard bipartisan objections. Schumer spokesman Israel Klein (7) said “Eller was really the canary in the mineshaft for many people on the Hill and in the media.” According to the Washington Post (8)on 2/26/06, “it was on Feb. 13 that the Dubai Ports World deal – after simmering unnoticed for months in the federal bureaucracy and the transportation trade press – started to boil, as a result of (Michael) Savage’s blustery on-air alarms and an event by Schumer at the New York harbor with families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001.”

According to media reports on Thursday and Friday, Eller & Co (9) said it was “considering an offer to buy out Peninsular & Oriental’s operations in Miami (10) and possibly at other ports.” Attorney Michael Kreitzer said “This wasn’t on our agenda and not something we had considered. But as Congress started to speak out and say there was a dearth of American companies doing this, we started talking to our board of directors about putting a proposal together. We could move very quickly, and we’re certainly reaching out to see if there is an opportunity for us.” What a great deal for Eller & Co!

Only time will tell if Sen. Schumer’s intervention and massive propaganda campaign will pay off in dividends for Eller & Co. Meanwhile, the Republicans who failed to separate fact from fiction are crossing their fingers that their random and rare display of backbone will help fill their campaign coffers. All this time we have been clamoring for the GOP Congress to stand up and take control, without any results. When they finally do stand up, it is only to place Sen. Schumer on their shoulders and carry him to across the finish line. When the time comes, I hope the GOP Congress has the backbone to investigate what influences advocated on behalf of Eller & Co. I guess that would be impossible because they would be investigating their selves.

(1) "Small Florida Firm Sowed Seed of Port Dispute" - Wall Street Journal. Feb. 28. page A3 (2)"Multi-Billion Dollar Company that Operates NYC Port to be Taken over by United Arab Emirates Government Owned Firm Today" - Press Release Sen. Chuck Schumer. Feb 13 (3)"UAE Terminal takeover extends to 21 ports" - UPI 2/23/06 (4)"US company files petition in London to block DP World takeover of P&O" -The Star Online AP World 2/25/06 (5)"Miami Co. Says Ports Deal Will Hurt Business" - 2/28/06 (6)"Deal gives Dubai Firm control of 23 US ports" - Buffalo News 3/4/06 (7)"Miami firm behind Arab ports deal flap" - Middle East Times. 2/28/06 (8) "Bush's Response to the Ports Deal Faulted as Tardy" - Washington Post. Feb. 26 (9)"Bush: Ports Storm Sends Bad Message" - CBS News. 3/10/06 (10)"Arabs drop ports deal; S. Fla firm in running" - Miami Herald 3/10/06

j hood

6:59 AM  
Blogger Slagothor said...

The very first politician to raise opposition ot the DP World deal was Peter King. King is a Republican.

Why are all you right-wingers so content to give King and Duncan Hunter, the lead author of the bill to ban this sale outright, a free pass?

Both sides of the aisle behaved in a crass and craven manner, and your attempts to make it look like a one-sided deal are undermining your credibility.

11:49 AM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Thank you for the tips slagothor. I will look into it -- probably I need to get out of my echo chamber. A post will be forthcoming.

You know of course that I've blasted just about everyone but Bush and the two of the 62-2 on this.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

I think any reasonable person would find these offensive too.

A precedent has been set, and is being followed.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Slagothor said...


I respecfully disagree. If one were reading only your blog and your postings at the UAE Community blog, one would think that Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton are the only two people guilty in this mess. IMO, King, Schumer, Clinton, Menendez, Hunter and Lindsay Graham all deserve to be singled out for their disgraceful roles in this matter.

Your defense of the deal has been admirable, but your criticism of the principals has been oddly one-sided. It would appear that Clinton is some sort of bete-noire, but your singling out of her does stick out like a sore thumb in this case. Of course, it is your blog and you're free to say what you wish, but I'm just giving you some feedback from an objective (i.e., non-American, non-GOP, non-Dem) observer. While there is nothing implicitly wrong with partisanship, when it interferes with one's objectivity, it undermines that person's credibility to outsiders like me. Just my $0.02 - take it as you will.

Tim: I find the last of those cartoons to be actually quite amusing and insighful: it contains an element of self-criticism (to go along with the trite Israel-bashing) that is rare in the Arab world. IMO, Arabs all across the Middle East will be better off if they can cast off their victim mentality and develop a little bit of self-confidence. And an important element of self-confidence is critical self-examination.

5:13 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...


Your advice is welcome, especially the way you delivered it.

If you disagree that I not blasted all but Bush and the two of 62-2, then I have some pondering to do. What that pondering so far produces is the notion that I have singled out some for special blasting and they are Democrats. My defense of that is
1. Those Democrats are using the racism card for one reason only - to bring down Bush. There is no legitimate reason to use the racism card.
2. Those Democrats are somebody and the others are nobodies.
3. Those Democrats block use of racial profiling which merely a statistical method the makes the best use of resources to defend against terror; since it is not biased it is not inherently racist. Others will disagree with me on that one, but it is a core belief that in me is, I think, unshakeable. For those democrats their position on profiling shifts with whichever position is most effective in promoting themselves.
4. What you see is what you get. If I wanted to hide my distaste with Hillary to promote my other ideas I could. I choose to reveal my prejudices and presume revealing them does more for my credibility than the alternative.
5. Here's where I am somewhat uncertain: Does Bush bear some blame for the racism? Many say he does, but what I know is that he has always talked in such generalities about terrorists that you'd be hard pressed to honestly say he is using racism to stay in power. I'm still pondering that one. It's not Bush's fault that most terrorists happen to be a certain ethinicities or certain religions. Nor is it Bush's fault that if you are of a certain ethnicity or religion then you are more likely to be a terrorist.

So if probabilities are what they are, why was I on the side of Dubai Ports World. Because - as I elaborated in one post - you look at the evidence to make a judgment when you have the time to gather and assess the evidence. The evidence was in Dubai's favor in my opinion.

We use statistical discrimination to decide who has to go through a more elaborate visa process to travel to America, but thereafter it is evidence driven though admittedly time consuming and frustrating.

A bit of a ramble, but those are my thoughts.

5:41 PM  

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