March 09, 2006

DPW Caves.

This bothers me, because it just isn't right. But no one consulted me, and the consensus out there seems to be that it's okay to have a British company running our ports—as long as there aren't any sand niggers involved. Sigh. What a defeat for liberal ideals.

Now. Is there an American company out there that can even do this? Anyone? Bueller?

Posted by Attila Girl at March 9, 2006 12:34 PM | TrackBack

Yes, there is one American company with the background and resources to handle this job. It's called Halliburton. I suspect Hilary, Schumer, et al have been silent on this point because if Bush had handed the contract to Halliburton they could have beaten him up for that too.

Another candidate would have been Maersk, which is Danish-owned.

Posted by: utron at March 9, 2006 02:29 PM


Posted by: Attila Girl at March 9, 2006 02:33 PM

Assuming the deal is structured such that the current P&O port management staff is retained, and their systems are also made available as part of the deal: anyone could run it as long as they had sufficient general knowledge of the transportation industry to avoid doing too many dumb things. Those actually *interested* in running it would likely be those who have businesses which would have some synergy (as much as I hate the word) with the activity.

FedEx and UPS might be candidates: both are moving beyond package shipping toward being broader logistics providers. A major railroad might be interested: lots of intermodal shipments begin and end at ports, as do commodity shipments such as coal. Or a private equity firm could put together a new company with some seasoned shipping executives to run it.

Posted by: David Foster at March 9, 2006 04:28 PM

Ha! Halliburton!
Oh, the irony.

There's PSA International, but they're from Singapore. I don't know of any American companies that do this, but frankly, I'm embarrassed to be an American today.

NYT: A Ship Already Sailed

Posted by: Matthew T. Armstrong at March 9, 2006 08:59 PM

SSA Marine out of Seattle...maybe with a partner. Maybe this is a good time to clean house at all the US ports and change some union-mandated practices like re-entering shipping orders received electronically, to give a job to a few more union members. And 24-hour operations at every port.

Speaking of Washington State leads me to think about Oregon. And Oregon gets me thinking about Cascade Mountain Gin...Ever try it? They say they are one of the only distillers actually using real juniper berries. I think you should be the official tester for this one. It should sell for around $18.95 or so, if you can find it. I'll organize a fundraiser to recoup your costs once you give us your opinion.

Posted by: Darrell at March 9, 2006 09:02 PM

Wow; what a burden. That's tough.

You know what, though? I'll do it.

I'm actually beginning to think that different gins serve different purposes: the dry ones are great for martinis (which I rarely drink any more--even my micro-mini ones that I make here at home) vs. gin and tonics.

I decided to give Beefeater a try, and it's suprisingly good--dry in the Bombay Sapphire style, rather than the mellower mold of Tanqueray/Tanq 10.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 9, 2006 11:34 PM

The Dubai ports deal was lost in the establishment reaction to the threat to the Danish cartoonist and newspaper, the declining to publish the cartoons, the murder of a Catholic priest in Turkey. Let me argue by analogy. Several years ago some prisoners were taken, literally, on a field trip, out of prison, a little fresh air, countryside. Six used the occasion to find a wrinkle in security and sneak out in a van. They came to Dallas, stole guns in a daylight robbery at a store, and seeing a policeman drive up, a seemingly quiet, passive guy, earlier a security guard at my hospital, shot him several times in the head and neck, kaput. The guys are on the loose. Looking out of my building one day, you could see 3 police cars in tandem scooting down the highway. To me the police had lost control, the 'bad guys' were in charge a little bit. You wouldn't be surprised that at that time the County Commissioners didn't discover a plan to save taxpayer's money and rehabilitate prisoners by saying they were going to let selected prisoners hire out for the day to work at private homes. Yet, the establishment said 'the Muslims are in control here, you can't expect us to speak freely as we usually do, these are they, keep your head down.' And then, shortly thereafter, 'You know what; we've got a business deal, with Muslims, to run a port process on US soil.' If we had just had the requirement that all business deals over 1 milion US had to be closed with gin, this might not have come up. good thread. Thanks for the Beefeaters suggestion.

Posted by: michael at March 10, 2006 06:45 AM

Heavy is her head, she who wears the Crown...

Distillers, and all businesses for that matter, should be filling your mailbox with products for you to try everyday, if they knew what was good for them. Sales would go through the ROOF, assuming the product was tasty or otherwise excellent, of course. The IT world is abuzz right now with tales of pulling out every sort of pharmaceutical imaginable from every opening imaginable in computers all over the world! Forget Faith Popcorn! LMA starts the trends! And I bet a really good distiller would dispatch a bartender to prepare those G&Ts...and tie lemon and lime zest strips into little bows, too. We first "taste" with our eyes, you know!

Posted by: Darrell at March 10, 2006 11:59 AM

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