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Reality 1, Talking points 0. February 28, 2006

Posted by ultor in politics.
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The talking points seem to be that opposing the Dubai Ports World deal is “racist”, because the opposition is allegedly based purely on the fact that the purchasers are Arabs. I suppose it makes a nice rant, but it ignores a whole bunch of reality, so much so that even some of the people from the current administration can’t ignore it.

Joseph King, who headed the customs agency’s anti-terrorism efforts under the Treasury Department and the new Department of Homeland Security, said national security fears are well grounded.

He said a company the size of Dubai Ports World would be able to get hundreds of visas to relocate managers and other employees to the United States. Using appeals to Muslim solidarity or threats of violence, al-Qaeda operatives could force low-level managers to provide some of those visas to al-Qaeda sympathizers, said King, who for years tracked similar efforts by organized crime to infiltrate ports in New York and New Jersey. Those sympathizers could obtain legitimate driver’s licenses, work permits and mortgages that could then be used by terrorist operatives.

Dubai Ports World could also offer a simple conduit for wire transfers to terrorist operatives in the Middle East. Large wire transfers from individuals would quickly attract federal scrutiny, but such transfers, buried in the dozens of wire transfers a day from Dubai Ports World’s operations in the United States to the Middle East would go undetected, King said.

Listening to the people who know. February 28, 2006

Posted by ultor in Uncategorized.
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Zogby and Lemoyne College have done a poll of 944 service members currently serving in Iraq. The question: “How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?? The answers:

  • 23% said “as long as necessary”.
  • 72% said US troops should be pulled out within one year.
  • of those, 29% said they should “withdraw immediately”

I want to stay in this place. February 28, 2006

Posted by ultor in That's just cool..
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Giraffe Manor in Kenya.

The Giraffe Manor, built in 1932 by Sir David Duncan, is situated on 120 acres of land just a few miles from the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. In 1974 Jock Leslie-Melville, grandson of a Scottish earl, and his wife Betty, who also founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), bought the Manor. They then moved five babies of the highly endangered Rothschild giraffe to their property where they have been successfully reared and they now have their own babies.

If I ever find myself lucky enough to travel to Kenya, this would definitely be on my to-see list.

Guess who's coming to dinner?

The best part is the comments. February 28, 2006

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USA Today quickie about Scottie McLyingbastard saying that Democrats should be after the leaker, not the administration, on the NSA wiretapping business. But what did my heart good was reading the comments blasting the administration for ignoring the law over and over again. People are finally beginning to catch on.

Well, that should settle it. February 26, 2006

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Remember the remarks by the Deputy SecDef that opposition to the Dubai Ports deal was giving “aid and comfort to the enemy”? Guess they’re no longer operational. Karl Rove now says that “lawmakers’ concerns about the deal were legitimate and that a short delay of the transaction, which is due to close on March 2, would give Congress time to be briefed fully.”

When does 6=21? February 26, 2006

Posted by ultor in GWOT, politics.
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When you’re talking about the Dubai Ports deal, apparently. It came out yesterday that the deal would affect 21 ports, not 6. It doesn’t give me warm fuzzies about the due diligience allegedly done by the government that the wrong number was tossed about for so long. Of course, it doesn’t give me warm fuzzies about the Washington media’s ability to find things out and get them right, either.

Bomp. Bomp. Bomp. Bomp. February 26, 2006

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Insert one coin to play....
If you, like me, are of “a certain age” these days, this will bring back some entertaining memories. I don’t think my wife would let me put them on our wall, though. 🙂

…and then there were none. February 26, 2006

Posted by ultor in politics, Uncategorized.
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There isn’t any explanation of “why” to be had, but the number of Iraqi battalions at “Level 1” — able to operate completely independently — has been downgraded from one to zero.