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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Dec 15, 2004.
Smuggling has gone on through ports since the dawn of commercial sea cargo. Booze, people, dope...
And then there is the problem of some hate-group owning its own vessel. Seemingly innocuous, actually moving cargo from Port A to Port B with break-bulk cargo instead of containers.
What's more innocuous than ten-foot diameter mahogany tree stumps from Central America, shipped as deck cargo? What's inside the one which was hollowed out?
Anybody remember the economic cost of that west-coast strike? Lotsa ways for money to be lost, which is why corruption has long been rife among longshoremen's unions. Bribing a union leader is cheaper than a nuke.
Comparing union members with terrorists. Now there's an analogy that will take your breath away.
Lotsa what-if's 'Rat. Where's any of that money gonna come from? More deficits?
How about we ditch the ten billion-a-year missile defense? Spending that much on a non-working program to counter an expired threat seems a might silly.
I suspect that there are a lot of payoffs involved here, pure speculation of course. But the borders and ports are where the most contraband comes through, and yet remain the least protected. Just a thought.
I know of a now-ex sheriff doing life without parole for a deal involving one metric ton of pure cocaine. I know of a county commissioner doing a long federal term for involvement in smuggling. I've read of busts of customs agents for involvement with drug smugglers. I'd bet that some longshoremen are involved with drug smugglers. Any takers? I dunno as fact, but that's the way I'd bet.
Okay. So some crooked cop type, or crooked longshoreman or equivalent "enabler" thinks it's "merely" drugs in the container or the railroad tank car or in the semi...
Sure, it's all "what if...?" Does that mean the probabilities are zero?
"If" in the year 2000 I'd told you that some Arabs were gonna hit a national symbol with flying bombs, would you have said, "'Rat, that's probability zero."?
I'm not at all saying the probability of these kinds of attacks are low. In fact, I'm saying quite the opposite, that we are in serious danger of an attack coming from one of these sources you name.
I'm wondering where you are suggesting we get the money necessary to harden these targets? Since our government is already running a serious deficit, would you suggest we deficit-spend, raise taxes, or cut existing spending? TANSTAAFL, you know.
Port security of the kind that would guarantee our safety would be so prohibitively expensive as to virtually shut down foreign trade. In most large ports, it's pretty hard for the longshoremen themselves to have any major impact on smuggling. Personally I think the danger is in all the small ports that handle smaller ships and in private boats that show up from abroad. The west coast has lots of little indentations where it would be very easy to dock a ship and unload cargo and begone again before anyone was the wiser and open sea transfers can be pretty effective too.
It's been sometime since I've heard of Chinese immigrants being found inside a container bound for the US, so hopefully the security measures have helped a little bit.
No, they just haven't found them.
Mac, with interest rates rising, I don't see how you can raise taxes that impact the middle economic class. "Tax the Rich" won't do much good, 'cause they just shift from earned income to some form of unearned income or refrain from selling assets. If the not-selling of assets becomes widespread, government income goes down at any tax rate...
I reckon TPTB will continue doing the Deficit Dance...
And you think we have enough deficit spending available to provide this? At some point our huge deficits will have an impact you know...
Aw, sure, they can continue the deficit thing for a good while. Howsomever, it reduces the value of the valuta, as you may have noticed. Our huge deficits are already having a strong negative impact; think "Euro" and "Yen" and other currencies.
This is not the time to go skiing in Europe.
If we cause ourselves great economic pain to protect against another terrorist strike aren't we playing right into their hands? The demise of the USSR comes to mind.
There isn't enough money to adequately protect what needs to be protected in this country to reasonable assure ourselves that we are prepared for all major contingencies. Those kinds of costs would cripple our economy. The alternative is leaving ourselves vulnerable to a crippling terrorist strike. Neither one sounds real good to me.
well at least not when you are from the US
i find it rather amusing that the economy here is already complaining about the weak dollar as well ...
So in other words 'Rat, don't spend money on the ports because it's too expensive for what little you can cover and people are going to smuggle anyway. And don't tax the rich because they'll just find a way to get out of it. Well, it's worked so well so far. As you said, who would have guessed some Arabs would've flown into those towers (cough: Richard Clarke :cough)? And who would've guessed those same terrorists could find a way to smuggle some dangerous stuff into our open ports? I mean, they have a little security right?
Let's throw more money at airlines and Iraq. That seems to be going so well right now, too. I mean, as long as people are getting a couple of hundred dollars back, who cares if the economy is in the toilet and we get blown up or poisoned? Not much you can do about it, I guess.
(don't mean to pick on you 'Rat, but I heard this excuse before, and I'm gonna be pissed if they try to use it again... if they have to use it again... and I'm getting real tired of the excuses at all)