Sunday, February 26, 2006

more dubai Port Deal Causes Protectionism to Rear Its Ugly Head

BALTIMORE, MD - Republicans and Democrats are up in arms, declaring a threat to homeland security after Dubai Ports World acquired London-based Peninsular & Oriental Navigation Company, which manages five U.S. ports. However, one expert asserts that not only are these fears unsubstantiated, but that this wave of protectionism is actually counterproductive for the U.S. economy.

“America’s trade deficit hit an all-time high for 2005, and the country is not in the position to start dictating where foreigners can invest,” says financial expert and Daily Reckoning columnist Chris Mayer. “The only way the United States is able to sustain such a deficit is by getting money from abroad, by attracting investment dollars.”

“It is short-sighted protectionist measures – like the ones being pursued by members of Congress – that helped precipitate the Great Depression,” says Mayer. “The more difficult politicians make it to do business in the United States, the more they risk triggering global depression and economic stagnation.”

Mayer warns that the protectionist measures mean that dollar assets are not going to be as attractive to investors abroad – and that means bad things for the U.S. dollar and the health of the economy.

“For those who say they don’t want a foreign government running our ports; well, here’s an interesting fact,” continued Mayer. “China already runs a terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. Singapore runs terminals in Oakland. The fact is, around the world this is commonplace. If the U.S. government is going to exclude foreign companies (even government-owned ones) from running its ports, it will only slip back further in the global competitive race, isolating it from the biggest and most efficient port operators in the world.”

Among emerging markets, the United Arab Emirates – of which Dubai is a part – was the second largest purchaser of U.S. companies last year, with over $1 billion invested. That’s a small fraction of the Middle East’s buying power. Currently, the Middle East holds over $120 billion in U.S. securities, excluding trillions of dollars held by foreigners in other parts of the world.

“America can either encourage the open markets it so often trumpets,” says Mayer, “or it can retreat into the ugly cocoon of protectionism – with racist overtones to boot.”

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I saw this here and thought it was purty funny!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dubai - Part Deux

ok, so i now know that the company is state owned (by the emirate of Dubai, that is). still not sure that it has to be such a big deal and still very sure that we look really bad in making such a big deal about it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I just don't understand why everyone is freaking out about the company from Dubai (mind you, not the country of) managing a port in the US. I mean, what kind of message are we sending here? What, would we rather have, uh, maybe, Ken Lay managing it or Donald "The Perennial Bankruptee" Trump than to have some people from (not the government of, mind you) a largely Arab nation doing it? I mean, if the point is that we ought to hire Americans, fine, I guess. But the point seems, to me at least, to be that this company is based in an Arab country, and since it's an Arab country, we've got to know that, of course, they're more likely to produce and/or harbor terrorists.

And it's not just one side of the "aisle" that's screeching about this either - it totally baffles me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Smoke in the Bedroom

So, we're finally having our bathroom remodled (THANK THE FREAKIN' STARS) after having lived for almost four years with copious amounts of black mold, an uncleanable shower, a bare concrete floor, walls that were only half hanging onto their studs, and SLUGS!

Yep, slugs in my bathroom. Can you really imagine anything much worse than stepping on a slug in the middle of the night when you've stumbled into the WC for a pee??? Nope, there's not much worse I'll just tell ya. 'Cept for the time a slug slithered up onto the toilet seat.....but, my parole officer and therapist suggest I not talk about that anymore, what with the arrest for streaking down the street naked and screaming my head off at 2pm that followed the episode.

But, here's the actual creepy part: there are people in my bathroom. Several people. And I don't want to talk to them. I want to pretend that they're not there.

So, I'm sitting here trying to study when I get a whiff of cigarette smoke. There's a potbellied man wearing a rebel flag/beer/toby keith or somethin' t-shirt SMOKIN' IN MY BEDROOM! (Did I mention that said bathroom is the master bathroom? Which, of course is a misnomer of gigantic proportions, since the bathroom was once a side porch and measures a whoppin' 4ft. by 8ft - but that's beside the point because it is essentially IN MY BEDROOM.)

I had to do something RIGHT AWAY! So, I called my husband, who was a good 15 miles away, to tell on the guy.

"Well, go tell him to stop," he says, almost as annoyed at me for calling him about the problem (I was whispering into the telephone, also, which really annoys him too - but, ya know, I didn't want the guy to overhear me and get the wrong idea that I might be a little, uh, tooky.) as he was about the guy actually having the balls to SMOKE IN MY BEDROOM.

"Um," I squirmed, my face pressed upon the glass of the front door, "I don't really want to tell him to stop. You're coming home for lunch soon aren't you?" (It was 11:30 - that was a reasonable assumption.

"I may not be home for another hour. You gonna just sit there and suffer until then?"

"Well. Yes. I'll just wait."

Now, if you had ever me, you would know that I am often ridiculously outspoken - about things that do not matter, unlike some rotund redneck SMOKING IN MY BEDROOM. But, I can't, just can't, --cough, cough--, say anything.

Hope K's hungry and will hurry.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Let it Snow, er, Ice. Oh, bah humbug!

So, there's supposed to be an ice storm this weekend. Yuck, yuck, yuck! I really, really hate ice. As a matter of fact, I also hate snow. Now, if I lived somewhere, like, say, Jackson Hole, where snow was not the debilitating demon that it is here in Memphis, I might, maybe, like it. K., on the other hand, is like a kid about it. He cracks me up! We've been married nine years (on Monday) and he is still cracking me up, among other things.

We were going to go to Lafayette or Oxford or Eureka Springs to celebrate the anniversary, but, and now I know we're getting old, we decided that it might just be too much trouble what with the ice and all. Granted, the Oxford forecast mentioned ice pellets. Ice pellets? Sounds awfully violent, doesn't it? And the high in Eureka is going to be 29 - ick! And Lafayette is, perhaps, only halfway recovered from Katrina. So, we're gonna head to Cafe Society like we did after our wedding (hopefully this time I won't pass out on the table); and maybe catch a movie. At least he's promised not to try to drag me to his rock club meeting tonight!

Wednesday, February 8, 2006


He got a little offended when I said that he was obsessed, or maybe I said he was a little bit geeky, about rocks, and especially his NEW ROCK TUMBLER!!!!! Perhaps I shouldn't have said it - I certainly didn't mean it as an insult. Not exactly. He's always really been into rocks, it's one of the things I thought (er, think) was (is) so cool about him. I mean, passion is passion, right? Right. Absolutely. And it's a smart passion too. I have learned so much over the past twelve years about really cool stuff such as quartz and, uh, rocks. But really, he is cracking me up with it lately.

A few weeks ago he made me go to the local rock club meeting. Oh boy! Now that was FUN!!! It is EXACTLY what you would imagine - I think there's probably some cross-membership going on with the Trekkies! I had a hard time not giggling through it.

The funny thing is that Ks not a geek. At least, I don't think he's a geek, and that's really what matters isn't it? He's just reached an apex in his "interest" in the subject lately, and I'm trying to be a good sport about it. The rock hunting is actually a pretty peaceful activity, even if I have no idea what I'm picking up. At least we're outside together.

But I've been laying in bed for five days now (with pneumonia) watching him scurry about every afternoon after work putting the final touches on his new ginormous rock tumbler that will hold something like fifteen pounds of rocks. I'm terrified at the racket that it's gonna make in the basement.

I guess that's all I have to say about that right now.

Oh, wow, Freebird just came on!!!!! (Thanks Bean!!!)