Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, February 24, 2006

America's Ports

During the 2004 campaign John Kerry made the point (not strongly enough) that America's ports are vulnerable to the smuggling in of horrendous weapons, and the Bush Administration's response has been to cut funding for port inspections. He could have made this part of a strong case about the Bush Administration being totally incompetent when it comes to making America safer and stronger. Instead he kept wimping out.

Water over the bridge.

Now, the British company that has had control of America's six most important ports has sold this control to a company owned by the royal family of the United Arab Emirates.

Aside from the question as to why any foreign company should own control of America's ports, especially in these times of trouble over terrorism (they call it a war), the question rises, why this company?

In 1999, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, the CIA failed to take out Osama bin Laden because they didn't want to hit his guests: Members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Later when they contacted the UAE rulers about staying away from bin Laden so they could get bin Laden, the UAE folks tipped him off, instead.

According to the indictment against Zacharias Moussaui, the UAE was the locus of the funding for the 9/11 hijackers.

So, please tell me, why do we want to turn over our vulnerable ports to a company owned by the buddies of bin Laden who financed 9/11?

I a Democratic adminstration did that, wouldn't the talking heads be screaming "treason"?

Monday, February 20, 2006

On Hunting

I used to love to hunt. It was a Thanksgiving ritual where I grew up. My uncle and cousin would come over and we would go hunting with my dad while the women were getting Thanksgiving supper ready. We hunted for rabbits, squirrels, doves, and partridges (a.k.a. quail). Whatever we killed went onto the Thanksgiving table along with the turkey and ham. I still feel warm and fuzzy when the idea of hunting, or even skeet or trap shooting comes up. I'd like to go back out on a fall or winter day with a shotgun and bang out a couple of boxes of shells.

That said, I want to add that in the case of any hunting accident, the proper authorities would be notified right away, not fourteen hours later.

You know I'm referring to the hunting accident in Texas where Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington in the face and chest. The Secret Service wouldn't let the Sheriff get close to Dick Cheney for FOURTEEN HOURS. No wonder there is so much speculation about drinking, and so many conspiracy theories abounding. It is one thing not to tell the media. Big whoop. So they find out twenty hours later, and the first one to break the story is the local rag. I don't care about that. What I get most incensed about is the fact that the administration that makes so many noises about accountability and responsibility when it comes to welfare mothers doesn't take responsibility for its own mistakes.

In his love-fest with Brit Hume following the accident Cheney never once said he accepted responsibility for his actions. The closest he came was saying, "I pulled the trigger." Then the administration apologists in the so-called "liberal" media tout the statement that "Cheney takes responsibility." Bull.

No one who screws up in the Bush Administration is ever held accountable for anything. Instead they get a Medal of Freedom or a promotion or, if the heat is too intense, the opportunity to resign.

It's time to put the grown-ups back in charge of this country.