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Ports of Politics (take a deep breath and read the Wall Street Journal's take on this one folks)
The Wall Street Journal ^ | February 22, 2006

Posted on 02/21/2006 11:21:25 PM PST by presidio9

-snip-

the notion that the Bush Administration is farming out port "security" to hostile Arab nations is alarmist nonsense. Dubai Ports World would be managing the commercial activities of these U.S. ports, not securing them. There's a difference. Port security falls to Coast Guard and U.S. Customs officials. "Nothing changes with respect to security under the contract," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday. "The Coast Guard is in charge of security, not the corporation."

In a telephone interview yesterday, Kristie Clemens of U.S. Customs and Border Protection elaborated that "Customs and Border Protection has the sole responsibility for the cargo processing and cargo security, incoming and outgoing. The port authority sets the guidelines for the entire port, and port operators have to follow those guidelines."

The timing of this sudden uproar is also a tad suspicious. A bidding war for the British-owned P&O has been going on since last autumn, and the P&O board accepted Dubai's latest offer last month. The story only blew up last week, as a Florida firm that is a partner with P&O in Miami, Continental Stevedoring and Terminals Inc., filed a suit to block the purchase. Miami's mayor also sent a letter of protest to Mr. Bush. It wouldn't be the first time if certain politicians were acting here on behalf of private American commercial interests.

-snip-

As for the Democrats, we suppose this is a two-fer: They have a rare opportunity to get to the right of the GOP on national security, and they can play to their union, anti-foreign investment base as well. At a news conference in front of New York harbor, Senator Chuck Schumer said allowing the Arab company to manage ports "is a homeland security accident waiting to happen." Hillary Clinton is also along for this political ride.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: New York; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bds; dubaiportsworld; iran; israel; liberaltalkingpoints; newworldorder; uae; wsj
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Email me for the rest of this article. Things are not exactly as they might seem to a lot of people around here. Wouldn't be the first time unsuspecting people with their hearts in the right place got played by Hillary & Co.
1 posted on 02/21/2006 11:21:28 PM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9
As I have said elsewhere, this has been a tempest in a teapot. If you were to believe wingnuts like Michael Savage, the Port Authority of NY/NJ was being turned over to the Taliban.

Look, various foreign companies are involved in managing terminals throughout the country. Most of the employees will be Americans, and all must pass DOHS screening. They will not be "running" the ports. Get a grip people!

2 posted on 02/21/2006 11:23:40 PM PST by Clemenza (I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked...)
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To: presidio9

I think EVERYONE on FR should be forced to read this. Then retake the FR poll. :)


3 posted on 02/21/2006 11:26:59 PM PST by Echo Talon
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To: Clemenza

It shows that ignorance and emotion sells, and those are the two best "qualities" the democrats have.


4 posted on 02/21/2006 11:29:35 PM PST by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: presidio9
"Customs and Border Protection has the sole responsibility for the cargo processing and cargo security, incoming and outgoing

I feel much better now since the same people protecting our southern border will be securing the ports..nothing will get through unless it has two legs and speaks Spanish...

5 posted on 02/21/2006 11:30:47 PM PST by rolling_stone (Question Authority!)
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To: Echo Talon; Clemenza

I posted my first article on this a few days ago, and I said then that we were missing a lot of parts to this story. On the surface, yes, the Bush Administration looked INCREDIBLY stupid. They may be stupid (I am not a mindless Bush defender). They are not THAT stupid. The people who were making judgements did not have all the information. This article does not exhonerate them. The Journal's politics tend to run towards libertarian free-market live and let live. That being said, everyone here would be well-advised to hold off on their judgements. I now think Bush was EXACTLY right in the way he played this today, threatening to veto. If he's right, he needs to make a strong point so there is no middle ground on this.

That being said, wouldn't it just have been easier to make sure no arab country had anything to do with our ports in the first place?


6 posted on 02/21/2006 11:33:48 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: rolling_stone
I feel much better now since the same people protecting our southern border will be securing the ports..nothing will get through unless it has two legs and speaks Spanish...

The people protecting our southern border are very competant. They are grossly understaffed for the area they have to cover. The problems facing ports customs are entirely different.

7 posted on 02/21/2006 11:37:33 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: Clemenza

BTW, Michael Savage is our Morford. The man is an embarassment.


8 posted on 02/21/2006 11:38:12 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9
That being said, wouldn't it just have been easier to make sure no arab country had anything to do with our ports in the first place?

The Brits should have never had our ports, Singapore runs a port in California, this should have never happened, but we have precident, the brits and singapore.
But what are we to do now, alienate and P*SS off one our best allies in the WOT? We need them folks.

9 posted on 02/21/2006 11:43:55 PM PST by Echo Talon
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To: presidio9
BTW, Michael Savage is our Morford. The man is an embarassment.

Savage is a tool

10 posted on 02/21/2006 11:45:41 PM PST by Echo Talon
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To: presidio9

I know nothing about Port Security and Port Operations.

But, I won't let the damn friggin loser media tell me what opinion I should form. If these bastards are piling on Bush one more time right after the Cheney story fizzled, I can only think it is not as simple as the lame media is making it out to be.

I trust Bush on National Security. Nobody can say he does not have National Security interests foremost in whatever decisions he makes.


11 posted on 02/21/2006 11:46:12 PM PST by indianrightwinger
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To: Echo Talon

Interesting that if you look at the "editorial" sidebar, this article is currently bracketed by two otherwise levle-headed conservatives who are in a panic over this one. Mark Levin, whom I probably respect most after Thomas Sowell was having a conniption on his radio program tonight.


12 posted on 02/21/2006 11:47:38 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9

How much truth is there to the liberal accusations that the Bush family is heavily involved in Saudi and Mideast Oil?

I, too, want to know more about this issue. One question that bothers me is who is in charge of hiring, paying and negotiating contracts with the longshoremen. If you recall, not too long ago there was a major tie-up at West Coast ports before Christmas that had economic repercussions across the country as shipments from the Far East could not be unloaded. It was not only Christmas items, it was also parts for manufacturing businesses. I don't know if it affected military suppliers. Even if the security aspects were not vulnerable to a foreign management, would the unloading be vulnerable.

I seem to recall that certain associates of Osama bin Laden made a killing on Wall Street because they knew how to invest prior to 9/11. Could the same thing happen with a major port tie-up, and could it be engineered by a foreign government?

Of course, containers will continue to be a problem. When traveling out of New York through the Holland Tunnel and across the Pulaski Skyway, I noticed that there was a major container depot almost directly under the bridge over the Jersey marshes. One large bomb could destroy a major exit from New York and Jersey City.


13 posted on 02/21/2006 11:48:22 PM PST by gleeaikin (Question Authority)
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To: presidio9

I am well aware of the situation on the southern border, its problem is with the top not the bottom. The same President oversees both areas of responsibility, so forgive me if I don't jump on the bandwagon and accept his "this is a secure deal" as well as his "guest worker" shamnesty deception.


14 posted on 02/21/2006 11:48:46 PM PST by rolling_stone (Question Authority!)
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To: presidio9
The port authority sets the guidelines for the entire port, and port operators have to follow those guidelines.

OK, I'm satisfied. After all, "port operators have to follow those guidelines".

15 posted on 02/21/2006 11:50:27 PM PST by opinionator
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To: rolling_stone

There is no call to bring immigration into this. The guest worker issue has NOTHING to do with national security.


16 posted on 02/21/2006 11:51:28 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: opinionator

Again, don't be satisfied. Just understand that you, me and the rest of the world doesn't know enough about this story yet to be making such rash generalizations. This story is starting to remind me of Katrina. The press is desperate for something new to attack Bush with, and they are finding a warm audience with this one.


17 posted on 02/21/2006 11:53:37 PM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9

I wonder if any of these people who have shot off their mouths will change their mind when they learn all the facts. or will they just be stubborn and make up some other reason to be against it?


18 posted on 02/21/2006 11:56:19 PM PST by Echo Talon
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To: opinionator
OK, I'm satisfied. After all, "port operators have to follow those guidelines".

And the crates, are inspected by US Customs NOT some arab outfit. And the same union workers that are working the ports now are going to be the same ones that will be working there in a few months.

19 posted on 02/21/2006 11:57:56 PM PST by Echo Talon
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To: presidio9
As for the Democrats, we suppose this is a two-fer: They have a rare opportunity to get to the right of the GOP on national security, and they can play to their union, anti-foreign investment base as well. At a news conference in front of New York harbor, Senator Chuck Schumer said allowing the Arab company to manage ports "is a homeland security accident waiting to happen." Hillary Clinton is also along for this political ride.

So the same Democrats who lecture that the war on terror is really a battle for "hearts and minds" now apparently favor bald discrimination against even friendly Arabs investing in the U.S.? Guantanamo must be closed because it's terrible PR, wiretapping al Qaeda in the U.S. is illegal, and the U.S. needs to withdraw from Iraq, but these Democratic superhawks simply will not allow Arabs to be put in charge of American longshoremen. That's all sure to play well on al Jazeera.


This sums up the DUMBOCRAPs!
20 posted on 02/21/2006 11:58:41 PM PST by indianrightwinger
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To: indianrightwinger
What Bush is subjected to in the msm is equal at least to the hail of criticism LBJ and Nixon had to weather every day. Well, I ain't piling on.

Two things seems certain (after reading the article): this has nothing to do with security operations; and this has nothing to do with foreigners working in our ports (particularly, unscreened Wahabbi types).

This is just another typical leftist media canard.

21 posted on 02/21/2006 11:59:40 PM PST by ARepublicanForAllReasons (A "democratic socialist" is just a communist who happens to be outgunned!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4; Constantine XIII; Once-Ler; Mr. Mojo; Terpfen; MJY1288; John Valentine

ping


22 posted on 02/22/2006 12:02:49 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: Echo Talon
And the same union workers that are working the ports now are going to be the same ones that will be working there in a few months.

So, are the new owners barred from breaking that contract? I've been following this story to some extent, and haven't seen (although I'm sure it must have been asked) an answer to that question.

23 posted on 02/22/2006 12:04:33 AM PST by garandgal
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To: Dane

Emotions are the domain of the liberals. Emotions are easy, logic and thinking are difficult and they don't like to do things that are hard.

It takes a great human being to be able to logically look at something and not have a knee jerk reaction. That is why Conservatives are the greatest of ideologies....it actually requires thinking....lol


24 posted on 02/22/2006 12:04:48 AM PST by MissouriConservative (I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code)
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To: presidio9

Thanks


25 posted on 02/22/2006 12:06:46 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: indianrightwinger
I trust Bush on National Security. Nobody can say he does not have National Security interests foremost in whatever decisions he makes.

Exactly right. I am in NYC every day. There are no guarantees. I'll take my chances with Bush calling the shots for me on national security over Hillary's naked grandstanding.

Did I just use the words "Hillary" and "naked" in the same sentence?

26 posted on 02/22/2006 12:08:29 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9
"That being said, wouldn't it just have been easier to make sure no arab country had anything to do with our ports in the first place?"

In a word, yes.

27 posted on 02/22/2006 12:09:03 AM PST by TAdams8591 (Small is the key!)
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To: garandgal
So, are the new owners barred from breaking that contract? I've been following this story to some extent, and haven't seen (although I'm sure it must have been asked) an answer to that question.

read this

28 posted on 02/22/2006 12:09:29 AM PST by Echo Talon
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To: presidio9

"A bidding war for the British-owned P&O has been going on since last autumn, and the P&O board accepted Dubai's latest offer last month. The story only blew up last week, as a Florida firm that is a partner with P&O in Miami, Continental Stevedoring and Terminals Inc., filed a suit to block the purchase."

That is the most telling part of the article. The partners of the British firm running the port are raising a stink..and it is blown (pardon the pun) out of proportion.

I don't think that this is anything like what it is being made out to be...mainly because this is an election year and there is a lot of peacock posturing going on to raise profiles during an election by people who might not give a fiddler's da*n about security during a non-election year.


29 posted on 02/22/2006 12:11:17 AM PST by MissouriConservative (I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code)
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To: TAdams8591

Too late. So now we move on to "get lost raghead, your money's no good here"?


30 posted on 02/22/2006 12:11:31 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: Dane
Excuse this ignorant, emotional outburst. The ports should be controlled by american companies. If a war or national security issue emerges it can best be handled between an american company and the US government, regardless which other country may be involved.

Secondly, The government must be responsive to the mood of the country. We don't want an arab country running the port so sooin after 9-11 and during the war on terrorism when there are so many idiots running around arab countries. Bush made an idiotic decision. There's your emotional comment.

Third. The money and jobs should have been kept with an amercian comapny em0ploying americans. The government has no business awarding contracts to foreign countries.

31 posted on 02/22/2006 12:11:32 AM PST by bigsigh
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To: bigsigh

sorry I said idiots, I meant suicidal/homocidal fanatics


32 posted on 02/22/2006 12:12:51 AM PST by bigsigh
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To: bigsigh
Secondly, The government must be responsive to the mood of the country. We don't want an arab country running the port so sooin after 9-11 and during the war on terrorism when there are so many idiots running around arab countries. Bush made an idiotic decision. There's your emotional comment.

Actually, the article points out that the London Subway bombings last year were carried out by British citizens, so unless we want to create internment camps for arabs in this country, we need to accept the fact that the same such idiots can just as easily be running around here.

Third. The money and jobs should have been kept with an amercian comapny em0ploying americans. The government has no business awarding contracts to foreign countries.

That boat left a long time ago. All of the companies you think of as American have outsourced and vice-versa. It's not as if DPW were planning on bringing arab workers to New Jersey.

33 posted on 02/22/2006 12:17:09 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: bigsigh
Third. The money and jobs should have been kept with an amercian comapny em0ploying americans. The government has no business awarding contracts to foreign countries.

Problem is it was a British company that was bought by the UAE. And the Brits "had control of the ports" I take issue with that phrasing because the Coast Guard has control of the ports.

34 posted on 02/22/2006 12:17:30 AM PST by Echo Talon
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To: presidio9

I can't believe even FReepers could be gamed by Schumer!


35 posted on 02/22/2006 12:18:25 AM PST by JennysCool (Do not needlessly endanger your lives until I give you the signal. - Ike)
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To: JennysCool

Believe it.


36 posted on 02/22/2006 12:20:34 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: bigsigh
Third. The money and jobs should have been kept with an amercian comapny em0ploying americans. The government has no business awarding contracts to foreign countries

And how are you going to achieve this? Twitch your nose and voila a new huge American shipping company.

Or do you want a govt. takeover where union goons can gorge on more graft.

Face it, it ain't a perfect world and maybe one way to get more American companies is to get rid of the onerous taxes and regulations, but that will take time, but at the moment we have a world economy and goods American consumers desire and demand have to be loaded off ships and you can't bring the economy to a halt just to make sure that the companies pass a nationality purity test, what you can do is add security features, which I believe theis administartion has.

An administration that has killed more islamofascists than any other administration combined.

37 posted on 02/22/2006 12:20:45 AM PST by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: presidio9

BTTT


38 posted on 02/22/2006 12:22:28 AM PST by nopardons
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To: rolling_stone
Or speaks Arabic. There, I feel much better now.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

39 posted on 02/22/2006 12:23:35 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: JennysCool
What are they afraid the terrorist are gonna do get ahold of a crane and drop a load of ipods in the ocean? OH THE HUMANITY!

reminds me of the Patriot Act and their "hide the judge" scheme. This time its "hide The Coast Guard, Homeland Security and US Customs"

40 posted on 02/22/2006 12:25:01 AM PST by Echo Talon
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To: presidio9
The guest worker issue has NOTHING to do with national security.

And there you have it.

It's over.

41 posted on 02/22/2006 12:25:24 AM PST by Penner
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To: presidio9
The politics of this have been very badly handled by the Administration. They stonewalled on explaining the deal to the American people until the damage was done and allowed the Democrats to pose as champions of national sovereignty. Like Rush Limbaugh said yesterday, making the UAE our commercial partners gives them an incentive not to harbor people who want to hurt us. But there's a political tsunami building and you can't stop it. Usually, the Administration gets its ducks in a row and its beyond me how they didn't see this one coming.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

42 posted on 02/22/2006 12:28:09 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: gleeaikin
Since you seem to not know much about the longshoremen, they were "mobbed-up" and probably still are. It is one of THE most corrupt unions ever, and I doubt that much has changed, since the movie "ON THE WATERFRONT". Yes, yes, I know it's just a movie and fiction...they had to clean up the TRUTH, for the movie.

If you think that OBL and al Qaeda tell the longshoremen what to do, you need help.:-)

No, no, nooooooooooooooo, there was ONE trader, who shorted OPTIONS, on 9/10; the SEC and the FBI was all over it it on 9/12!

If you, for one N.Y. minute, don't think/know that all of N.Y.C.'s bridges and tunnels and such, have been watch, since 9/12, the you haven't been reading N.Y.C. papers.

43 posted on 02/22/2006 12:39:12 AM PST by nopardons
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To: garandgal

ROTFLOL......you EVER hear what happens when a company wants to break a UNION contract? :-)


44 posted on 02/22/2006 12:41:35 AM PST by nopardons
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To: presidio9
I think we will have to say it a bit more politely, of course, but to save Republicans and the Bush Administration from a political fallout, yes.

I know little about ports and the way they are operated which is why I have thus far avoided commenting, but even if, arabs "managing" our top six major ports poses almost NO threat, it's not a good idea to hire them while we are at war with arab terrorists if only for reasons of appearance.

I know little about ports and the way they are operated which is why I have

45 posted on 02/22/2006 12:44:19 AM PST by TAdams8591 (Small is the key!)
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To: JennysCool

Why not? Haven't you read enough moronic/silly/uneducated posts here, in the past?


46 posted on 02/22/2006 12:45:09 AM PST by nopardons
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To: TAdams8591

Please ignore the last line. I forgot to erase it.


47 posted on 02/22/2006 12:46:53 AM PST by TAdams8591 (Small is the key!)
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To: presidio9

Planes from Muslim countries land in the U.S. every day. Personally I find that more worrisome than an ally's state-owned company managing the berthing of ships. Cargo and passengers will still be subject to U.S. security. Do I prefer each country managing its own ports? Yes, but for some reason, U.S. companies run other countries' ports and non-U.S. companies run some of ours.


48 posted on 02/22/2006 12:56:49 AM PST by skr (We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.--Ronald Reagan)
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To: bigsigh
Excuse this ignorant, emotional outburst. The ports should be controlled by american companies.

Ignorant is right. The ports in question haven't been run by American companies for years. In fact, no American companies even bid on this.

The present situation has arisen because P&O, a British company, is being sold to Dubai Ports World. P&O already has the contracts for these ports, and the question is; what happens now?

The government position seems to be, nothing happens. The new owner takes over from the old, and thigs go on as before.

If we wanted only US companies to own port operations, we need legislation on ths issue, which, incidentally, would probably violate our trade treaty obligations.

49 posted on 02/22/2006 1:00:27 AM PST by John Valentine
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To: presidio9

I think the Bush administration is doing politics with the involved arab countries to back the ongoing reorganisation of the middle east. Maybe he needs something from them they don't like to cough up.

But I don't guess it's not about security of the Port - at least not immediately.


50 posted on 02/22/2006 1:04:37 AM PST by globalheater (There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare - Sun Tzu)
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