Letters for Monday — February 27, 2006

• Port deal a threat to Americans

• What’s the big deal with the port deal?

• Sexes have always battled

• Clinton letter troubling

Port deal a threat to Americans

Now Bush wants to hand over our security to an Arab nation.

First the Bush administration allowed 9/11 to happen, even though they were warned a month before it happened.

What did Bush do? He sat there waiting for Cheney to call him, staring off into space.

Then Katrina came and went.

What did Bush do? He played the guitar.

Bush wants to hand over to an Arab nation some of our biggest ports.

The company in question is out of the U.A.E., which had two of the 19 hijackers, and the hijackers drew funds from the U.A.E.

Homeland (In)Security already admitted that less than 10 percent of all the containers arriving in the U.S. are checked. Less than 10 percent of the thousands coming in every day.

An Arab company could be easier to infiltrate by terrorists.

Now Bush is saying he will veto any attempt, by both parties, to stop his handing over our security to an Arab nation.

I always said Bush was the smartest Republican in America, but now I am not so sure.

What I am sure of is that Bush is a threat to all Americans.

  • Dennis Chaquette

What’s the big deal with the port deal?

In the eyes of many contributors to the Forum, President Bush is wrong no matter what he does. Much of the past criticism has centered on the charge that he acts unilaterally, without regard for world opinion or the sensibilities of our allies. Now we have a spate of letters criticizing him for not unilaterally demanding that a sales agreement between a company from our ally Dubai and a company from another ally, Great Britain, be canceled.

In reality, the sale involves port management contracts in 18 countries including Canada, Britain, France, In-dia and China as well as the USA. No-where else in the world has there been any such outcry as has arisen in the U.S. As a matter of fact most international commentators think that we are rather daft in our reactions — the port operation contracts have nothing to do with security.

It is obvious that all the blustering in the Congress is merely xenophobic politics at its worst. And, as usual, all of the Bush haters are adamantly against anything that President Bush proposes. This type of rhetoric precludes the possibility of any rational discussion to ascertain if indeed there is any potential security danger in the sale.

  • Stan Godes

Sexes have always battled

I would like to add my take on this sexual harassment debate that is going around. I have extremely strong feelings on the subject, and for the very good reasons that follow.

In 1978, I was hired on as one of the first 10 women on the 300-man security force that guarded the Nevada nuclear test site. Let’s see, 1978, affirmative action rearing its head, yes, that is why I had the opportunity to be considered for the job. The job was physically demanding and a bit unique, as we worked a minimum 12-hour shift, with most going 13 to 14 hours due to travel time to the area needing security (often meaning spending many isolated hours alone, or more often on a two-person post) somewhere on a site as large as Rhode Island.

For the most part, there was great resistance on the part of the men at allowing women into their world. We women felt it, and were left with a choice — pack it in and go home, or do our job the best we could. Hopefully even better than some of the men, and show that we had a right to be there. (By the way folks, THAT is what equal opportunity is supposed to be, giving a woman the opportunity to prove herself in a male-dominated profession — NOT guaranteeing she keeps the job if she is not physically or emotionally suited — especially at the expense of a man just doing HIS job.)

Some made it, but some were just not suited to the job (just as many men were not). Did we have to go to supervisors occasionally when things were becoming out of control? Yes, of course. And problems were solved, without lawsuits, government interference, or tons of ridiculous publicity.

It was common sense (anybody remember that word?). Did I have to say NO a lot? You bet. LEAVE ME ALONE worked really well. And after a very rocky ‘honeymoon’ phase, the men came to respect and stand up for the women who took steps to stand up for themselves.

Skip to 10 years later, when a new phenomenon arose among the younger ladies being hired, those with more education about the ‘horrors’ of sexual harassment. Somewhere along the line, someone forgot to tell them how to stand up for themselves and just say NO, I am not interested.

Eventually, by the early ’90s, I found myself again in a hostile work environment, but the hostility arose from a ‘them against us’ attitude that eroded the morale of the force and made the men actually fearful of spending the night (or day) alone with a female security specialist.

When nuclear testing ceased in 1994, I was more than glad to take early retirement from a job I once enjoyed, very much for the reasons above.

Do people (not men, not women, but people) need protection against true sexual harassment? You bet.

But until we get rid of the ‘them against us’ attitude, until women are taught to address the issue head on, and instead go crying foul to anyone who will listen when a man compliments them on their hairstyle, (or even, God forbid, tell them they have a cute caboose) then men and women are going to be more and more forced into living life in a hostile, distrustful and alienating society.

  • Susan Straight

Clinton letter troubling

In response to the letter “Clintons in the news” (The Garden Island, Feb. 23), I was appalled to see the letter writer say that former President Clinton’s lying to the people was a form of amusement. To quote, “to most of us it’s an amusing distraction. …”

Normally I try to avoid the political letters as I believe we all have a right to think what we think.

To think a grown woman would call this amusement. He had a position of power, and he abused it, and then he lied about it. Set up for perjury? He did not have to be set up, he did it himself.

Am I a Republican? No, but I am not an idiot either.

  • Shannon Davis

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