Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port Whine

That title makes it seem like I have an opinion, but no, I just liked the homonym. What's sad about the news sometimes for me is it reveals how little I know. I've never given it one lick of thought before, but I had no idea that foreign powers could run the show at U.S. ports. It never would have occurred to me as a possibility, but I agree that anti-Muslim sentiment is kinda creeping me out with this. But really my (small) problem with this new bit of knowledge is not necessarily that a group of Muslims could run American ports but that any group not the U.S. government, or associated public agencies, can run them. It doesn't matter a whole heckuva lot if it's Dubai or Canada or Exxon or the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce -- it just seems authorities that are accountable to the American electorate are best served to fill the role.

I wasn't able to hone in on this thought any more (four hours of sleep last night -- hey those resume-and-clip packages don't sort themselves!) so I searched for some document that would back up my point. It may be cheating and lazy and lame -- but it is efficient. In any case, The Nation's John Nichols notes, well, what I said earlier. He writes that something as valuable as our ports should be run by a group who cares first and foremost about security and not, as could be argued, making money. I'm no economist, but is there a private sector/public sector efficiency argument here? Nichols also makes a lesser point that I'm sure Jerry would respond to if he weren't at a nude beach in the Carribbean: what about American workers? Is this a form of outsourcing within our borders?


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