Monday, March 06, 2006

Fire Sale!

Do you sometimes get the sense that the Bush administration is slowly yet steadily selling off our country? It’s starting to feel a bit like a rummage sale and everything must go. I swear I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up tomorrow to front page news, oh who am I kidding it would be buried on the bottom of page 20, that Bush has sold Yosemite Park to China. Things have gotten that weird around here.

My first reaction to the news of the Dubai ports deal was, wow, what a political blunder, but I figured that since we’re not spending any money or effort in securing our ports anyway, what difference would it make who owns the operating rights. But the more I think about it, the more it freaks me out. Why in the hell are we not running our own ports? I don't have an MBA, but even I can see that there are piles of money to be made there, so why are we going to let more money leave our shores? What’s next? Crane operators using remote technology to move our cargo around using a joystick in India? Pretty soon America will be nothing but an ant farm, with us running around hopped up on sugar water, digging endless tunnels to nowhere while everything around us is subject to the manipulation and whimsy of outside forces. Our only hope will be some kid knocking the whole thing over releasing us from our flat world.

Bush seems bent on selling our country to the highest bidder. Perhaps he’s attempting to stave off foreclosure and if that’s the case, we should take an inventory of what we’ve got left. At this point, bankruptcy may well be a forgone conclusion.

The following is from Economy In Crisis. The numbers are staggering.

Foreign Ownership Of Specific U.S. Industries

Sound recording industries – 97%
Commodity contracts dealing and brokerage – 79%
Motion picture and sound recording industries - 75%
Metal ore mining - 65%
Motion picture and video industries - 64%
Wineries and distilleries - 64%
Database, directory, and other publishers - 63%
Book publishers - 63%
Cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum product - 62%
Engine, turbine and power transmission equipment - 57%
Rubber product - 53%
Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing - 53%
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing - 52%
Plastics product - 51%
Other insurance related activities - 51%
Boiler, tank, and shipping container - 50%
Glass and glass product - 48%
Coal mining - 48%
Sugar and confectionery product - 48%
Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying - 47%
Advertising and related services - 41%
Pharmaceutical and medicine - 40%
Clay, refractory, and other nonmetallic mineral products - 40%
Securities brokerage - 38%
Other general-purpose machinery - 37%
Audio and video equipment mfg and reproducing magnetic and optical media - 36%
Support activities for mining - 36%
Soap, cleaning compound, and toilet preparation - 32%
Chemical manufacturing - 30%
Industrial machinery - 30%
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments related activities 30%
Other food - 29%
Motor vehicles and parts - 29%
Machinery manufacturing - 28%
Other electrical equipment and component - 28%
Securities and commodity exchanges and other financial investment activities - 27%
Architectural, engineering, and related services - 26%
Credit card issuing and other consumer credit - 26%
Petroleum refineries (including integrated) - 25%
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments - 25%
Petroleum and coal products manufacturing - 25%
Transportation equipment manufacturing - 25%
Commercial and service industry machinery - 25%
Basic chemical - 24%
Investment banking and securities dealing - 24%
Semiconductor and other electronic component - 23%
Paint, coating, and adhesive - 22%
Printing and related support activities - 21%
Chemical product and preparation - 20%
Iron, steel mills, and steel products - 20%
Agriculture, construction, and mining machinery - 20%
Publishing industries – 20%

And the worst part is, these numbers are only going to go up. Now that we have been made aware that our port operations are on this list, we should seriously consider what might be next. Are our national parks, our waterways, our national monuments, our nuclear facilities and our public utilities next on the auction block? It seems absurd, but that’s just what we should expect from the Bush administration. It’s what they’ve given us so far, why shouldn’t we expect more of the same?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this all started in 2000?


3:26 PM  
Anonymous diddythegeek said...

I don't know why, but all this reminds me of Crazy Eddie. Seems like the current admin was cast from the same mold.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

You must go here and read about Pat Robertson and Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey

Congressman McCloskey was the co-author of the Endangered Species Act.

a snipit ~ Paul Brosman, Jr., spoke of rumors during the war that Robertson had been carousing with prostitutes and hassling Korean women.

It's really a fun read. But, I bring it up because this writing LGND, Mollie ~ is by far one of the best pieces on the web today.

You are showing the people just what we need to see and that is, how much of America that is no more.

And this is why 78 year old Congressman McCloskey is running again for Congress. He is watching the BushCo Cabal selling off much of our protected lands in America.

To anonymous ~ I'm not sure whether your comment is actually so retarded that you REALLY don't get it or you're so numb you just REALLY don't care. Time shall tell.

5:15 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

anonymous--Of course it didn't start in 2000, but it certainly has picked up a frightening amount of speed since then. Believe me I don't think Democrats should be let off the hook in any way when it comes to this.

diddythegeek--didn't Crazy Eddie have to flee the country? Perhaps the Bushies can join him.

Roberta--I'm on my way to read it now, I could use a good laugh today.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...


Do you think it is possible that anonymous didn’t even read the article? Nowhere in the article does LGND state when this process started. I think there is an alternative explanation: In a way her comment is a type of quasi ad hominem attack. She is unable to refute the message with either a cogent counter argument or with data that refutes LGND’s data. So she seeks to discredit LGND by belittling a claim that LGND never made in the column.

Thankfully there are few readers of this blog who lack the critical thought processes necessary to see through anonymous’ smoke screen.

The sad truth is that there is actually a republican Congressman who proposed selling off a big chunk of our National Parks. I think his name was Richard Pombo. Who the parks would have been sold to is anyone’s guess but it could just a well have been a foreign investor as a domestic investor.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous larryo said...

According to Wikipedia:

On January 23, 2006, Pete McCloskey announced at a press conference in Lodi, California, that he will return to the political arena by running against Representative Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy) in the Republican Party's Primary election for California's Eleventh Congressional district (map). Pombo, 45, a six-term lawmaker who heads the House Resources Committee, is considered one of the key lawmakers behind efforts to revise McCloskey's original 1973 Endangered Species Act. Pombo is also one of the politicians currently under investigation regarding political donations from lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

7:57 PM  
Blogger The Local Crank said...

No, sadly, the alarming rise of foreign ownership of America has been going on for 30 years or more, aided and abetted by both Democrats and Republicans who profitted alike from the sell-out/off. Bill Clinton's worst sin had nothing to do with interns: it was doing the "only Nixon could go to China" bit with NAFTA.

8:13 PM  
Blogger a rose is a rose said...

come to think of it, i too work for a foreign company.......

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I read the article and I went to the website. The reason I thought Liberal Girl was saying this started in 2000 was this:

" Do you sometimes get the sense that the Bush administration is slowly yet steadily selling off our country? It’s starting to feel a bit like a rummage sale and everything must go. I swear I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up tomorrow to front page news, oh who am I kidding it would be buried on the bottom of page 20, that Bush has sold Yosemite Park to China. Things have gotten that weird around here."

And this:

"Bush seems bent on selling our country to the highest bidder. "

She only linked the current administration with the sell-off. I found that rather odd.

6:11 AM  
Blogger BigNewsDay said...

This may be an issue that has been exploitd by both sides of the fence, but the Bush administration seems hell-bent on privatizing everything. Then, our entire government can be outsourced or sold to the highest bidder.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous diddythegeek said...

The administration does seem like it's on a mission to clear out inventory. Just like Crazy Eddie. Hopefully this cabal will end up just like "Crazy" Eddie Antar, tried and convicted for their crimes.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Skippy said...

On the ports managmment issue, keep in mind that:

(1) Most west coast ports are government-owned by very liberal cities or elected port authorities. but they allow the actual terminals to be run by the shipping lines, including European, Korean, Taiwan and especially these days Chinese ship operators, like governemnt-owned COSCO.

The Port of LA/Long Beach has an amazing amount of Chinese-owned terminal operations.

I think the Chinese-owned terminals (which were opened with full cooperation from these west coast publiclly-owned port authorities) are bigger security threats than Dubai.

China for sure has many nuclear weapons, but these would have to be delivered by oxcart, given the miserable missile technology they have. What better strategy than to preposition weapons here in the USA if ever needed?

(2) Bush didn't do anything to "sell' ports away to foreigners. All the administration did was favorably approve under the national security laws the buyout of the current British-owned ports company by the Dubai operator. Note that the Dubai company also picked up several British ports in the deal and the Brits could care less.

(3) If Americans owned more shipping lines, we wouldn't have this problem. On the Pacific side, both Matson (at least for now American owned) and whatever the CSX/SeaLand group is called now operate several port terminals as lesees from the government owned port authorities, because that's the way the west coast does this.

7:10 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Jonathan—You’re right about Pombo, he loves privatizing public spaces. Hopefully he won’t be a thorn in our side much longer.

Larryo—Thanks for the skinny on Pombo! He is a menace.

Local Crank—Couldn’t agree more.

Rose—Soon, we all will be.

Anonymous—Last time I checked Bush was President. Who better to chastise for the continuing sell off?

BigNewsDay—Too bad we can’t pool our resources and buy it back!

Diddythegeek—Maybe Crazy Eddie and Belfry Bush can share a cell, save the taxpayers some dough.

Skippy—You don’t have to sell me. My concern about Dubai operating terminals is not a security one (it’s mostly Bush supporters who are freaked out about that). The security problem stems from under-funding the Coast Guard and not investing in port security and using modern technology to scan for dangerous cargo. What I find disturbing is the hemorrhaging of money, jobs and industry that this administration seems hell-bent on speeding up rather than stemming.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your article 'Atheism doesn't mean amoral'

I believe that religion breeds disparagement. Religion teaches us that one people is better than another simply because their 'god' is stronger or that they have a god whilst others do not.
Religion as far as I am concerned is a primitive behavior used to explain things that we cannot rationally explain. In days past, eclipses were considered signs from god until we understood planetary motion. Earthquakes as well until we discovered plate tectonics. When I think of religion, the thought that immediately comes to mind is that of a prancing medicine man with a mask and a stick trying to make it rain or someone trying to explain a thunderstorm as a sign from god while cowering under a bearskin. Religion may have been beneficial in ancient times to give the huddled masses a common cause but I for one have outgrown it. If I see something that I cannot explain, I can admit that 'I do not know'. Others who are not willing to admit this fact go to great lengths to explain how and why god did it, however ludicrous the explanation sounds. this has been documented for thousands of years.
Even if there is a god, how dare these people tell others that they alone understand what god is thinking. If there is a god, then no mortal man should have the audacity to claim they know what god's thoughts are. Isn't that what seperates man from god?
Too many peoples have used religion to justify murder and unspeakable acts since the beginning of recorded history and who knows how long before that.
I was raised as a Roman Catholic, I obey the commandments not because I am religious but because they are common sense. Claims that Athiests have no values is simply ridiculous, who knows, maybe next we will be hearing that heathens should be executed, like they did a few hundred years ago. Break out the thumbscrews, it's time to party for god!
How many so called religious leaders are pushing for more war? This sounds like medevalism all over again.
Like the song says, 'Onward Christian soldiers...'
If, as many religions believe their messiah is about to return, how many will proudly stand before him/her/it and say 'I have killed many for you. I have advocated the killing of many non believers, regardless if they were too young to make a decision on what to believe'
How long does religious war in a nuclear age last? How many innocents will perish? Is total eradication of non believers what God is looking for? If so, why doesn't God do it?

9:27 AM  

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