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Friday, February 24, 2006
So in the least surprising news of the night...

DP World has agreed to delay taking over the US ports for a while to allow time to make people comfortable.

In a few weeks the hysteria will have blown over and the deal will be approved. (And as an added bonus it will have flushed the crackpots, the blowhards, the hacks and the willfully ingnorant into the open.)

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:47 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The Arab port sale imbroglio

The level of ignorance and misinformation floating around in the anti-port-deal arguments simply amazes me. The government is not selling these ports to an Arab company. A British company already handles these ports and that British company is being sold to a company run by the UAE. The government is only involved because it has the right to approve or not approve the sale.

And the Arab company won't be running security at these ports. The British company doesn't handle that now and DP World won't handle it after. Security is handled by the Coast Guard and Customs. This deal is mostly a matter of deciding who it is that hires the union longshoremen.

People argue that some 9/11 attackers were UAE citizens... gee, Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber", was born in London. Does that mean that the commercial aspects of the ports currently being run by the British company is a security risk?

There are some valid arguments to be made in opposition to this deal, but they seem to be in the microscopic minority compared to the spurious arguments being made. Far too many of the arguments against this deal seem like nothing more than hysterical xenophobia.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:44 PM in War/Terrorism/Middle East

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Few thoughts on NBC's Olympics coverage

1) Would it kill them to put together a spoiler free web site? If they're not going to show the events on TV until 12 hours later then it would be nice if it were possible to view their site without having the outcomes of events yet-to-be-shown popping up all over the place.

2) They really need to do a better job of explaining how far along in the event each piece of coverage is. The third snowboarder whose run you've shown is in third after her run? Well, that's nice, but is she the 3rd person to go overall or have you skipped 13 other people in the course of showing the 3 Americans? It makes a bit of a difference. I'm not going to get worked up about her being in the bronze medal spot if there are still 30 people to run.

And then for curling they put up what end it is pretty much all the time, but hardly ever how many rocks are left. That's kind of like baseball coverage that only tells you what inning it is but now how many outs there are or whether it's the top or bottom of the inning.

3) A lot of their graphics are far too small. I've got a decent size regular-definition TV and many of the times/standings they throw up there just can't be read. They're cramming the times of 4 different competitors into a square smaller than the little map they put on there for severe weather warnings. You have a lot of unused screen there NBC, use some of it!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 7:28 PM in TV
If you think the national Democratic Party's dysfunctional...

You should take a gander at the Ohio Democratic Party...

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said Monday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.
"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the 2nd District congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Hackett, 43, said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."


Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:05 PM in Politics/Government

Thursday, February 9, 2006


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