Re: Neil Hrab's Wealth Is Found:
I'd like to add my observations from what I learned during my time spent in Abu Dhabi. The Arabs in the oil rich countries simply don't have to work if they don't want to. Most of them are related by family or tribal ties and as a result the Gulf states have created a "welfare society" that provides stipends to all members of these royal families. Since hundreds of thousands of Gulf state Arabs can claim a relation to the throne(s), they are all entitled to a stipend of some amount. These stipends, paid out of oil revenues, vary in size depending on how closely one is related to the royal families that rule the various sheikdoms.
Since most Arabs don't have to work, the guest workers, as you point out, do all the work for them. I further observed that there is a sort of a "class/nationality" breakdown as to the different kinds of jobs done by the guest workers. For instance, most of the maids in country are from the Philippines. Most of their restaurant workers appeared to be Sri Lankan, the day laborers/construction workers were Pakistani, the British crewed their airlines, the Germans ran their hotels, and finally, the Americans were the engineers who managed their petroleum facilities.
The Arab Gulf states have far more foreigners living in their countries now than native-born inhabitants. It does make for an interesting cultural situation.
-- Paul Doolittle
It is curious that Neil omitted one MAJOR exception to his thesis, which is... DUBAI, the very place he worked and gained the perspective detailed in his article!
That Emirate, at least, is putting a MAJOR emphasis on diversifying their economy. The focus may not be manufacturing per se, and the unbelievable level of development may not affect much the employment of "locals" (all 2% of them in the 98%-expat city!); but again, this entire-city-under-construction stands as a stark counterpoint to "all oil all the time."
If my cab driver on a recent business trip was to be believed, as he pointed out one major construction site after another, Dubai will soon have the world's tallest building, largest mall (with longest indoor artificial ski run, over 700 meters), the first UNDERWATER hotel, and is in-progress on the THIRD major artificial island development, "The World" (islands shaped like continents in a world map, with breakwaters forming Arabic script), after the smashing successes of the earlier Palm and Palm II island complexes. Every major Western corporation seems to have their regional headquarters in the city dubbed "The Business Capital of the Middle East."
And these are merely the highlights, with literally THOUSANDS of more-anonymous office, apartment/condo and hotel towers going up 24x7. Many might chalk up this ostentatious development to mere use of oil's "found wealth" (or the more cynical, to use of laundered Afghan heroin-dollars!), and may question whether this vast investment will indeed be the infrastructure of a self-sustaining economy once the black gold runs dry, or just eventually be buried under the fine dust of the incessant (and HOT!) desert winds.
Yet one living in the U.S. needn't look too far to find a "service economy" that seems to be humming along just fine with a big emphasis on construction counterbalancing a meager manufacturing sector as most of us design, market, move or sell goods made in other countries, or tend to the administration/legal/finance facets of business. Not to mention entire other sectors such as healthcare, hospitality, not-for-profit and -- dare I speak as if it's potentially a good thing? -- government.
Manufacturing may be essential for China/India/Pakistan/Indonesia and other countries with burgeoning populations but little per-capita wealth. For selected parts of the Gulf region, however, skipping the Industrial Revolution may be as successful a strategy as countries that "skipped" directly cellular phone service without first laying down much of a land-line network.
-- Kevin Amaro
Eureka! Now I understand why Senators Kennedy and Kerry are such useless bags of wind. One inherited money and the other married it. Neither of them produced it by the sweat of their brows. So naturally they both think that giving away taxpayers' money is perfectly natural.
But how do they continue to bamboozle the voters in Massachusetts?
-- Bob Johnson
NO PLACE FOR JOE
Re: Paul Beston's The Democrats' Deadly Surrender Chorus:
I would like to see a few benchmarks on the War on Poverty. There is certainly no Democrat cut-and-run strategy on the home front. They are willing to fight on till the last welfare check bounces and beyond.
-- Danny L. Newton
Well, something good may come out of this after all. If Lowell Weicker should actually get the Democratic nomination (he having previously been a RINO) away from Joe Lieberman, then we could see a do-si-do with Lieberman running on the Republican ticket, where he really belongs. Joe is an honest man, which means that while he perhaps doesn't realize it yet, he is a recovering Democrat. Come home, Joe!!
-- Greg Richards
Where are the parents of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan? What medium will let them speak? The Democrats are jeopardizing the soldiers' lives by encouraging throat-slitting Muslims just aching to slice them up. Have the Dems no shame? (That's rhetorical.)
-- David Govett
It is indeed, time to start bringing the troops home. The heavy action has been over for some time and our presence may be creating animosity. So why can't we begin to bring home our military from Germany?
-- Rosalind Huggins
Trailing behind the Ghost of Freedom Lost is a long and ponderous chain with links forged by the dashed hopes of people across the globe. Several links of the chain were forged in the steamy aftermath of America's involvement in Southeast Asia. After the anti-war left prevailed at turning American opinion against the war in Vietnam, communist forces rushed in to fill the void left by the American retreat. The bloodbath that ensued claimed the lives of millions of Cambodian and Vietnamese people who were placed at the mercy of the communist thugs who rushed to power.
More links of the chain were forged behind the Iron Curtain where the desire for freedom of those ensnared by Soviet communism rose and fell with the fortunes of an American president. Whether it was opposing the military buildup that threatened to bankrupt our Cold War adversary or criticizing President Reagan for referring to the Soviet Union as an Evil Empire. The left became a predictable ally of those who were opposed to freedom just as they became an opponent of the policies that would eventually liberate those who were quietly cheering the president on.
Just south of our border the chain grew still longer. When the left wasn't collaborating with communist dictators in Grenada and Nicaragua they were obstructing the forces of liberation by throwing out enough chaff to qualify as treason. But communism was routed from the hemisphere liberating our neighbors -- and some very grateful American medical students -- in the process.
And now the hammer and anvil can be heard in the dusty streets of Mosul, Baghdad, and Fallujah where the fledgling democracy started in Iraq will be snuffed out if the left gets its way. The sacrifice paid by brave American soldiers and Iraqi forces will amount to nothing if the left convinces enough people that we should cut and run from the war on terror. They offer nothing but retreat.
Beyond the sophomoric notion that freedom can be reduced to liberating people from religion and morality, it is hard to point to a time when the left has promoted genuine freedom - the kind that unshackles the soul. Perhaps they don't understand it? How else would you explain why they are so consistently wrong?
-- Thomas M. Beattie
Mt. Vernon, Virginia
Let's review the Democrat players. Senator Kerry is another fabulously wealthy Boston Brahmin who is quite sure he has been anointed by God to tell the rest of us schmucks what we can and cannot do, what doctor we can see and what schools we're allowed to go to. Like Albert Gore Jr., he had an amazingly short tour in Vietnam for his own political purposes and was permitted to write up, apparently authorize, and obtain his own decorations. (When I was wounded in that conflict I was too broken to walk, much less write up heroic self-citations, as were most of my likewise injured comrades. We received our decorations based on the observations of others and their belief that we had done something worthy of note.) So let us dismiss Mr. Kerry as an unprincipled, self-promoting, leftist, elitist, buffoon. For that is in fact what he is.
Mr. Carter is another story entirely. Mr. Carter is the genesis of the Muslim terror movement that threatens civilization today. Mr. Carter has been throughout his public life an appeaser and a coward. Mr. Carter is another Democrat elitist, for he does not believe he was anointed by God to rule over us all, but rather, that he IS God. I would say to Mr. Carter, "If you're knowledgeable enough to predict that in 50 years there will be American troops in Iraq, why didn't you empty the embassy in Iran before your Muslim friends captured and tortured all those poor people?" A base and anti-American coward is Mr. Carter.
Senator Lieberman is the final facet in this diamond of an essay. Mr. Lieberman will be drummed out of the Democrat party in the not distant future. Mr. Lieberman has dignity, honesty, and morality in his genetic code. Those personality traits alone should disgrace him in Democrat circles. But he suffers from a fatal flaw for a Democrat. He thinks before he speaks. When he speaks he always makes a reasoned declamation. Democrats spit venom, hatred and hyperbole. There is no place for a thoughtful person in that nest of vipers. A good and decent man, though enamored of the wrong political philosophy is Mr. Lieberman.
No wonder Democrats miserably fail. They nominate a buffoon; extol the virtues of a coward; and ridicule their only good man.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Thanks to Paul Beston for directly quoting Kerry, Dean, and Carter. It is apparent from recent rants that Democrats are not only in disarray, but delusional as well.
John Kerry's statement, like most of his utterances, is the blithering of an idiot. For any adult to insert the adolescent "sort of" (as in "breaking sort of customs") shows the "depth" of his shallowness. Why does Kerry think "the Iraqis should be doing that" (in reference to terrorizing women and children, violating "sort of" -- you know, I mean, uh, historical, religious customs...)? These acts are despicable, but it's OK for Iraqis to commit them?
As to Dean, has anyone ever considered the ludicrousness of an OB-GYN Governor of a state with a population of about 608,000 having the experience to be president? That anyone gives air time to this pipsqueak amazes me. He makes Terry McAuliffe seem diffident.
On to Jimmeh Cattuh. He's obviously still trying to redeem himself in Rosslyn's eyes. Rosslyn is still mad over not getting re-elected. She was twice the interfering First Lady that Hillary was -- even attending Cabinet meetings. What were the major accomplishments of the Carter years? Long gas lines? Hostages in Iran? His solution to the Energy Crisis was "wear a sweatuh and don't have 'Chrismuss' lights this yeauh." I seem to recall that Jimmy was even-handed in doling out White House Tennis Court time to staff. Did it himself, so it would be fair. He had time for this kind of micro-managing, as Rosslyn was takin' care of bidness! Brother Billy was registered as a foreign agent dealing with Libya and on a trip there, sullied his otherwise pristine reputation by urinating in public at some airport Too much Billy Beer, one assumes. Two years of Hillbillies in the White House was more than enough. And yet, today his opinions matter to some. He thinks we will have a presence in Iraq 20-50 years from now. Hmmmm, sounds like Germany after WWII to me.
If I were a Democrat I would be saying "Just shoot me now."
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
"The worst part is wondering how much more successfully the war might be going if the country had the benefit of two parties, whatever their differences, equally committed to winning it."
Do you really have to wonder how much better the war would be going? The Dems are giving hope to the terrorists: just keep on fighting we are doing every thing here at home to help you win. Every car bomb set has a Dem's name on it, if we were united the terrorist would know they could not defeat up. I don't think they can anyway, but the Dems do give them hope. They make me sick to my stomach. They have no shame. If they hate America so much I would be willing to pitch in for a one way ticket to the EU.
-- Elaine Kyle
I think the administration has been slack in allowing the Democrats and other opponents of the war to frame the Iraq debate. In fact, the President could say (truthfully) that we won the war, and we are now helping the Iraqis to secure their own country from a small band of fanatical ideologues, whose main weapon are bombs strapped to their own bodies, and whose main goal is to indiscriminately kill and maim, no matter if it's innocent men, women, and children. This is not war, it's lunacy! We aren't fighting "guerrillas" or "insurgents" -- we are fighting lunatics, people who would cut our heads off if they had half a chance, while here at home, some "leaders" in high positions in government are seemingly concerned about our troop "torturing" as if new, redundant laws are needed to protect the terrorists from our troops. Unbelievable!
Also, in allowing the political pot-stirrers to use as arguments that we need to "bring the troops home" or "get our troops out of harm's way" prematurely, without rebuttal, is plain negligence, since the troops are not draftees, but (a) all volunteers who deliberately chose to serve their country and (b) are doing what their commander in chief (with the approval of Congress) has deemed to be the place they need to serve, and (c) it goes without saying that we all want them to be as safe as possible, while at the same time, their calling is not to "be safe" at home, but to carry out the mission that they are called to accomplish at any given time.
Has anyone wondered why there are no outcry to "bring the troops home" from Korea, Germany, or Okinawa, all former "war zones" and all having decades of deployment by our troops. Is it "out of sight, out of mind" or could it simply be that Iraq is "Bush's war"? Surely not!
Candler, North Carolina
Memories serve me well. When I think of peanuts, I think of empty gas tanks, burned out planes and choppers in the sand with resulting deaths, poor desperate planning, and hostages -- lots of hostages. I do not get any joy out of speaking of a former President with any degree of disrespect, but facts are facts. In the present time and space in history, the Dems have nothing to contribute to our society, except for Senator Lieberman. This contest between the Democrats and Republicans does much to endanger the security of this nation. Most Dems have roots that extend way back to the days of Vietnam. Much of the Democrat politics today consists of the same failed leftist propaganda of the 60s and 70s. I remember it well. It is very hard to forget it when most of the folks around you still repeat it every time you see them.
Yes, I am angry. Trying to undo 50 years of communist brainwashing is discouraging at times. Some of it is so plain and simple, yet the Dems cannot grasp it. They just never seem to have gotten past "See Spot Run." Iraq is a lot like Vietnam; the South Vietnamese people wanted freedom. Many Iraq folks want freedom. They risked their very lives to VOTE. Over two thousand of our countrymen have given their lives to chase down stinking terrorists, the same terrorists that claimed the lives of over three thousand of our own. They are also fighting to help Iraq become a free nation, and as a consequence, help us defeat terrorism. Like in Vietnam, Iraqis can see the dream of freedom. They can see world markets, freedom to travel, freedom to conduct business in their own communities. In 1968 our military and the South Vietnamese forces, put Charlie on the ground. Our leftist news media reported differently. They have been reporting differently for 40 years. Our elected officials left the South Vietnamese hanging on the vine. Congress cut the funds earmarked and promised at the Paris Peace Table -- those stinking French again.
Those of us who had to climb those hills and walk the valleys, wade through swamps and rivers in search of the hit and run Charlie, those of us who had to watch our boys die, those of us who had to put up with the heat, and the rain and the cold, had to come home and watch our cowardly government grovel and give the North Vietnamese Communist the whole country of South Vietnam. We had to watch the last chopper leave a rooftop in Saigon. To steal a phrase from someone else, we had to watch defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, all the while listening to turncoats like Kerry, Jane Fonda, and the many brilliant minds being upchucked in our American universities.
Now, this is the point where the failed policies of the past can end. America can tune out the leftist media. America can unfurl its flag and march behind it to victory. But in order to do that, they have to acknowledge the God of our fathers that gave us our flag, our nation and our heritage. We do not need to subject our present day veterans of war to the vile burning vomit of the pro-communist left in this country. We do not have to expose the generation that holds the defense of this nation in their hands, to the totally empty notions of the Democrat Party. As our troops stand in harms way, they need to know that America is behind them, under them, over them, and around them. They need to know that their families are being cared for and that America is sacrificing at least a little for their victory. They also need to know that America wants victory, and when they get home, they will be treated with the gratitude of a nation unified behind their victory.
And their leader needs to know that America stands together, ready to stand against those who would seek to destroy this nation and its heritage. Our President needs to see Americans working to defeat the leftist agenda in this country. W. has had a lot of shrapnel sent flying his way. I believe the next 3 years will determine if the U.S. is going to remain a leader in the world, or just another France. This is a slam and a dig, but 38 years is a long time. I haven't forgiven America for dropping the ball in Vietnam. I haven't forgiven you for force feeding us Jane Fonda and not at least trying her for treason. I haven't forgiven you for turning your backs on 59 thousand plus and over ten years of sacrifice, just because you weren't smart enough to turn off the liberal press. I don't give you a passing grade just because you can repeat CBS verbatim. I don't have to forgive you. 7 times 70 has come and gone. The Vietnam Syndrome is alive and well. The beat of defeatism is being nurtured by our media, universities, and places of worship, all of which should know better in the first place.
To my Creator, my president, those of you who are on the side of victory in Iraq, my countrymen that serve in Iraq and around the world, and Americans who stand firm in the God given heritage of this nation, I say Merry Christmas.
To those of you who would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I have two words. They aren't nice, and they won't be printed.
-- Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire
Is it only me or are there others out there who are just absolutely disgusted with and angered at the antics of the Democrat Party, in particular, the Howard, John, and Jimmy show? Some days I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster and it frustrates me to no end to let them get to me like that. Perhaps it does you too. In any case, I have decided to do something about it and turn the negative emotions into an entertainment game at the expense of the Democrats and the Howard, John, and Jimmy show. After all, it is Christmas and I remember as a kid loving to find games under the tree.
Here is how the game is played. First make a list in the left hand column consisting of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Jimmy Carter. Having done that, make a second list in the right hand column. That list, and you can add to it, consists of the following words (note, a dictionary might be useful): Identity crisis, Inept, Machiavellianism, Devoid, Directionally Challenged, Bloated, Botox, Vanity, Vain, Trivial, Irrelevant, Hateful, Moe, Larry, Curley, Shemp, Absurd, Anti Military, Anti Bush, Cut and Run, and finally, Idealess. Now match the words in the right hand column to the names in the left hand column. Note, there are probably no wrong answers and as I said above, if you really want to entertain yourself, add to the lists (left and right).
Isn't it appropriate that the Democratic Party, Howard, John and Jimmy would be listed in the "left" hand column? Enjoy!
-- Jim L
East Sandwich, Massachusetts
Jimmy Carter should be exiled to some island off North Korea. He certainly has been the worst president in my lifetime and most likely the worst president in the history of our country. Some people like to say Jimmy Carter is "our best ex-president" -- which I like to point out is hogwash. Jimmy Carter has meddled in our foreign affairs since he left the White House -- perhaps meddled to the degree of treason.
Jimmy Carter at West Point? Makes sense. That was Benedict Arnold's last command! Jimbo even gives Habitat for Humanity a bad name.
-- Jack Hughes
BACK TO ARNOLD
Re: Carol Platt Liebau's Independent Arnold:
Ms. Liebau writes a good article regarding the Terminator and his alleged Republicanism. I can totally agree that California voters would be better off if Ahhnald ran as an Independent. I just don't understand how he is different from so many liberals that are registered as Republicans.
I have been told over and over that I, a dedicated conservative, must support and vote for a liberal RINO because "elections matter." Strange that it is always the liberals or libertarians telling the Conservatives to abandon their principles and not visa versa.
But back to Ahhnald. How is he any different than Mayor Bloomberg in NYC who was a life-long liberal Dem until he figured out that he could get the nomination as a Repub, but not as a Dem? How is Ahhnald any different than Sen. Specter who hired a rabid Dem activist as an assistant on the Repub majority staff of the Judicial Committee, where the Dem could have access to all Repub strategy moves, etc., to confirm judges and overcome the filibuster? How is Ahhnald any different than Senators Snowe or Chafee, who constantly stymie more conservative agenda items of the POTUS and Frist? How is Ahhnald any different than Rep. Chris Shays, RINO from Connecticut who is determined to unseat Rep. Tom DeLay permanently, because Delay is too mean and too effective and the Dems want him out?
I could continue the list for a very long time, but you get the point, I am sure. I have not even mentioned the elected Repubs that care not a whit for anything other than their own self promotion, like Senators McCain and Graham and others in the Senate and elected offices up and down the political ladder.
As a dedicated conservative, I propose that it is time to return to first principles and tell those that wish to hold elective office that they will be held accountable for their words and deeds, or they shall not get our votes.
-- Ken Shreve
Arnold has already "burned his bridge" with conservatives in California as seen in his failure to pass even one of his initiatives in recent elections because he had already been labeled a RINO for his lack of action on illegal immigration. Many, who would have supported him simply "stayed home" on Election Day. As for a suitable candidate representing "conservative" values, only one, Tom McClintock, comes to mind. He most likely can't win the governorship but he is articulate and we will vote (again) for him if he runs because he is "the real thing". Our mantra is simple; "no borders, no votes". That is all we care about as we are sick and tired of being preyed on and colonized by criminal insurgent illegal aliens.
When Arnold announces "clemency" for the mass-murderer Tookie to appease his Hollywood crowd and the Kennedy Family (his wife), he will be finished not only as a politician, but as the maker of some really bad movies. Like the Terminator, he will self-destruct and no "special effects" can put him back together again.
-- Dave Hagopian
Re: Lawrence Henry's Press Releases, One More Time:
Is the story that the U.S. Army in Iraq paying to get its message out true? I can only say... I certainly hope so.
-- Greg Richards
The military wouldn't have to pay for publication if the U.S. media would allow them to speak the truth.
-- David Govett
SPEAKING WORDS OF WISDOM
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Christmas, Let It Be:
Thank you, Jackie!
-- Eustacio Rodriguez, Jr.
Not in reference to anything special, but, while reading the various comments, I am listening to a CD of Vince Guaraldi's "Charlie Brown's Christmas" recorded 41 years ago, and the thought came to mind -- would the Petaluma School Board even allow the 4th graders to sing on a Christmas album in today's politically correct world?
OLD TIME APPRECIATION
Re: Lawrence Henry's 1948 Ford:
Thanks for the great article. As a lifelong FORD fanatic, it made my day. Viewing the old print advertisements was very enjoyable.
-- Gordon R. Heck
Richmond, British Columbia
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