Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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February 22, 2006
How safe are the U.S.A.'s ports?

Given the controversy over Dubai Ports World, politicians from across the entire mainstream American spectrum of center-right to extreme-right momentarily seem to be concerned about the risks of turning a blind eye to how the U.S.A.'s ports are run, and port safety.

Their concern suggests fear for a future in which safety might be reduced as control of the USA's ports increasingly is turned over to faceless multinational corporations whose interest in profits might come at the expense of injury or death to the locals, especially if the latter have a diminished counterbalancing, collective voice in matters of daily operations.

Could such a future really come to pass? Surely, that future could not have already begun to creep upon us, could it? In such an environment, might safety really be at risk? If control is not given to corporations like DP World, what other entities or organizations might possibly already exist in the USA, that might be entrusted or strengthened to help ensure that the ports are run with the proper oversight, vigilance and concern for safety? Before the current wave of concerned public officials, who, if anyone, has cared about port safety?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but found some interesting links about the dangers already lurking in the ports --- here, here, here, here (from last autumn, claiming that some American ports are "more dangerous than they were back in 1934"), here and here.

The links suggest that, if the politicians take a holistic view of how operation of the USA's ports affects their "safety," and genuinely start to act on it, they will have their work cut out for them.