22 February 2006

The Hypocrisy of Washington, D.C.

A company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is purchasing ports in the United States. The Bush administration once again screws it all up by not talking to the right people ahead of time to smooth the waters. The administration is once again seen as being “secretive”. When will those clowns learn? All of sudden everyone is in an uproar. They complain of the security risks involved with selling the ports to an Arab company. A company based in UAE. The UAE happens to have had some shady dealings with terrorists in the past, but has cleaned up its act and is now cooperating with the United States. On the whole from the beginning I thought this was a non-issue. I was wrong. Left and right have united in outrage over this deal; another knee-jerk reaction by ill-informed people using this issue as an opportunity to show boat and claim to be tough on national security. Now they want hearings to show boat some more and position themselves for the next election cycle.

Today I was listening to NPR and they were talking to some Senator (does it really matter which one – they are all worthless) about the sale of the ports to this UAE company. A merchant marine called into the show. He has not agreed with a single position of the Bush administration until now. He has worked on cargo ships that have been into U.S. ports and recently a port in UAE. He claims that the UAE port is one of the most modern and efficient ports he has ever seen. He complained that ports in America were substandard. After seeing what he has seen he stated that he would welcome the UAE company to run ports in the U.S. And to add icing to the cake, he stated that the Senator that was on the show did not have a clue. Here is someone who has real experience in this matter and does not feel threatened by an Arab company taking over operation of these ports. Has anyone mentioned that security will still be controlled by the U.S.?

Why would a company spend billions to buy ports only to smuggle something into the U.S. to blow us up? They are trying to make money - that is called capitalism not terrorism. This is the same country that is
investing $15 billion in aerospace. What forward-looking country would risk an investment like that on bombing a has-been, backward-looking country like the U.S.? Am I missing something here? Please let me know where my logic is failing. It would certainly be cheaper to bribe some officials to get the job done or just smuggle the explosives into the country through our porous borders. Which brings me to the hypocrisy of our politicians... Why get your panties in a wad over the purchase of six ports by an Arab country when hundreds of thousands of people and thousands of pounds of contraband are smuggled into our country every year across the U.S.-Mexico border? Because our border security is a politically sensitive issue and these politicians would rather insult the relatively small Arab population than the growing Hispanic population. Border security would require real work, hard decisions, and practical solutions. Our Senators and Representatives are too busy basking in the glow of the media lights than to roll up their sleeves and get real work done. That is the sad truth and that is why more and more people in this country do not have a positive outlook towards the future of the U.S.

11 February 2006

“For hatred can never put an end to hatred. Love alone can.”
~ Passage from The Dhammapada

05 February 2006

The Power of a Cartoon...

Outrage over a cartoon? This is what the world has come to. So some Dane wants to express his opinion that Islam is a religion of violence. Is there any evidence to the contrary? Usama Bin Laden threatens to destroy the United States and even attacks the United States, and continues to threaten the United States in the name of Islam. Moslems seem to have no regard for life and kill other Moslems. Some harebrained idea that by killing people in the name of Islam you get to go to heaven and have your way with some virgins (makes you wonder what is promised the female terrorists). Daily we see images of suicide bombers that appear to have their direction from the Islamic faith. In the name of Islam, innocents are beheaded and the whole grizzly scene is captured on tape to be replayed to the delight of millions on Arabic speaking news stations. A cartoon is published that in the artist's opinion, Islam is a religion of violence and all of sudden riots break out that lead to the destruction of foreign missions in Syria and Lebanon. Why should we believe that Islam is not a religion of violence? I do not see important Islamic figures making important speeches denouncing violence. I do not hear Islamic religious leaders calling for peace. THE CARTOON IS THE WAY THE WORLD SEES ISLAM. Maybe instead of rioting and complaining about how we are constantly offending Moslems, Moslems everywhere should sit back and wonder why exactly the world has this notion that Islam is a religion of violence. Maybe Moslems should realize that actions speak louder than words. Maybe Moslems should be concerned that a minority in their faith have hijacked Islam for destructive purposes. Maybe they should look at the root cause for religious extremism - poverty, lack of opporunities, corrupt governments, and poor education. Where does all that money go that Moslems obediently tithe? Maybe they should take responsibility for their faith. Stop blaming the heathens for the way Islam is portrayed - start looking inward at their own faith.

To top it all off, a contest was held to find some demeaning portrayal of western religion. The best they could do is put a bomb in the arms of Jesus. Last I checked there were no lunatics running around bombing people in the name of Christianity. Bush may be a Christian, but he is not bombing anyone in the name of Jesus, he is just bombing. Then the publishers were surprised that there was no outrage by Christians - no riots, no mass protests. Just goes to show that most extremists just do not get it.

I wish we could just ignore the Middle East. Forget the oil and let the region fall back into the Middle Ages as it desperately wants to and routinely acts like. As far as I am concerned the Middle East has not shown me that they are ready and willing to be part of the 21st century. Now we have a lunatic in Iran that wants nuclear capabilities. A country run by extreme religious fanatics. Wonderful (heavy does of sarcasm added here).

The other thing that bothers me is that once again religion is used to propagate hate. I tire of religion and the people that use it to justify violence, stupidity, laziness, ignorance, and small mindedness. I myself have no need for religion. I used to, but I have come to believe that religion in one form or another has been created to comfort those who need comforting, for those who need to believe in a purpose of life, and most importantly to control people. I believe in a supreme being, but that is as far as I will take it. To think that some all powerful being would give a rat's ass what we do on Earth is ludicrous. A God that picks and chooses who can get into heaven is not the type of God I subscribe to. A God that demeans a sex, a race, or a class is not the type of God I would want anything to do with. I shun religion of any kind that says that I have to believe a certain way to be accepted by a God. You do not need religion to be a good, moral, kind, thoughtful human being. You do not need religion to do good works. You do not need religion to be just. If you live your life well, are kind to those in need and those not in need, I believe that God would be pleased and let you into heaven, even if you were not a devout subscriber. Stop thinking about the afterlife and start thinking about the now. Life is too short to create suffering; it is better spent helping people, building a good life, and doing good works.

To see all the controversial cartoons and decide for yourself, visit Michelle Malkin's website.