More Hype and Entertainment than Substance.

© 2006 Chuck Klein


Recently, I attended the "Battle of the Talk Show Hosts" at the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana - and was thoroughly entertained by TV/Talk Show host Jerry Springer (for the liberals) and Nationally syndicated talk show host, Sean Hannity (for the conservatives).

Circa 1957 front 2ndJerry was, as usual, articulate, very bright , entertaining and – like his fellow liberals more interested in faulting the Republicans than tendering ideas and methods of what he/they (the Democrats) would do to fix what they don’t like about the present administration. For instance, Jerry blasted Homeland Security and FEMA’s reaction to Katrina. Of course, we’ll never know how FEMA would have reacted under Clinton, but we can extrapolate - it wasn’t set up much different back then. As to Homeland Security – it didn’t exist then – however, we do know that the 9/11 terrorists were planning and training under Clinton’s watch and were not detected by his administration.

There was one exception to Jerry’s idea-less assault: He did push the Democrat’s concept on how to secure our ports. He suggested that we place our troops at every port in the world to inspect all ships/containers bound for the USA. He reasoned, correctly, that detecting a nuclear/bio device once it reaches our ports would be of little use because it would already be at a major city’s destination and detection would be of little value at that point. He failed to address the logistics and downside of such a plan, to wit:

* The 24/7 cost of staffing ALL the world’s ports would be astronomical;

* Suppose some rogue nation wishes to smuggle a nuclear/bio bomb in via containerized freight, they could easily get around the "inspection" by having a ship NOT bound for the USA meet – in mid-ocean – an "inspected" ship (one bound for our shores) where the transfer of deadly cargo would occur;

* The foreign ports might not cooperate to the full extent of any agreement;

* Loss of American jobs. 

MY SOLUTION: Set up two inspection points, one off the east coast and one off the west coast to inspect all foreign owned cargo ships BEFORE they reach our ports. For those countries that might find this detour expensive, let them ship THEIR goods on OUR ships (with trained crews).

THE BEST OF CHUCK KLEINAmong Mr. Springer’s attack on GWB was a strongly urged curtailment of the Bush administration’s practice of conducting wire taps without securing a warrant. His point is well taken – That which GWB is doing today might be okay, but this precedent - if allowed - will in-turn permit a future President – one maybe not so honorable, to conduct surveillance on – who knows. In other words, if there is no record (paper trail) of who ordered the tap, then there is no way of knowing who was tapped and what was done with that information. That's scary.

Sean, and local talk show host Bill Cunningham (who joined the fray at midpoint), were, of course, in full support of the status-quo surreptitious method, but all parties failed to address the issue of SECRECY. If a covert agency is required to secure permission (even 72 hours after the fact, as the law allows) from a non-member of this covert group (independent judge – and his/her staff), then there is an opportunity for leaks. When dealing with international issues of extreme high risk, any leak is unacceptable. And, that's scarier.

On the Conservative front, Sean and Bill didn’t offer anything other than the same old Republican dogma of Keep doin’ what we doin’ – and success is difficult to argue with:
* The economy is improving;

* There have been no attacks on our soil since 9/11;

* We are engaging our enemy on the battle field of our choice rather than OVER HERE where our innocents would be in harms way;

There was one point of agreement between all parties: Turning over the control of our ports to the UAE is NOT a good idea. What was obvious - the huge divide between the Republicans and Democrats - and how it is pulling us apart.