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Challengers and dominant players in the U.S. political field

"[T]he choice of the moment and sites of battle is left to the initiative of the challengers, who break the silence...and call into question the unproblemeatic, taken-for-granted world of the dominant groups."

Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL): "Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the House's attention a transaction that is being contemplated on five of our major ports, five important ports of entry in the United States...[I]t has always been well known and documented that a number of the terrorist activity planning and financing was taking place in these very countries that would now have control of our ports." (Congressional Record, Feb. 16, 2006) Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC): "In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab Emirates, not just NO — but HELL NO." (in a letter to the president; quoted in Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2006) Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY): "Approving this contract in the dark of night and ignoring all of the many questions asked about this takeover is an affront to anybody who cares about our nation's security." (Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 22, 2006)
"Those in dominant positions operate essentially defensive strategies, designed to perpetuate the status quo...since they are on top and clearly deserve to be there; excellence therefore consists in being what one is, with reserve and understatement, urbanely hinting at the immensity of one's means...The dominant are drawn towards silence, discretion and secrecy, and their orthodox discourse, which is only ever wrung from them by the need to rectify the heresies of the newcomers, is never more than the explicit affirmation of self-evident principles which go without saying and would go better unsaid."
The Morning Call Online: "The president's decision to hold an impromptu question-and-answer session...was an unusual departure for a president who likes to appear far above the fray of Capitol Hill politics." (The Morning Call, Feb. 22, 2006) George W. Bush: "[L]ook, I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction. But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully." (Comments to reporters, Feb. 21, 2006). "This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America." (quoted at CNN.com, Feb. 23, 2006) Scott McClelland, White House Press Secretary: "First of all, there is a congressionally mandated review process...that oversees such transactions. And you have some 12 departments and agencies that are involved and thoroughly reviewing such transactions and closely scrutinizing such transactions to make sure that it meets all national security concerns, to make sure that there is no national security threat." (Press briefing, Feb. 22, 2006) Condoleezza Rice: "The UAE is a good partner in the war on terrorism...It has been a stalwart partner. And we believe that this is a deal, a port deal, that serves the interests of the United States, serves our security interests and serves the commercial interest as well." (Salon, Feb. 23, 2006) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "The President's leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror, and surely his administration deserves the presumption that they would not sell our security short." (MSNBC, Feb. 24, 2006)
"[Challengers] have to resort to subversive strategies which will eventually bring them...[economic] profits only if they succeed in overturning the hierarchy of the field without disturbing the principles on which the field is based...The strategy of beating the dominant groups at their own game by demanding that they respect the fundamental law of the field, a denial of the 'economy', can only work if it manifests exemplary sincerity in its own denial."
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN): "There can't be a choice between profits and protecting the American people...We have to do what it takes to protect America. When in doubt, if it costs us a little more money, well, that's the price of freedom." (Fox News Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006) Bruce Bartlett, former exec. dir. of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress: "Mr. Bartlett...sees Mr. Bush as a 'pretend conservative' — 'a partisan Republican, anxious to improve the fortunes of his party' but 'perfectly willing to jettison conservative principles at a moment's notice to achieve that goal.' He writes that the current White House is 'obsessive about secrecy'...." (New York Times, Feb. 21, 2006) CNN report: "President Bush's family and members of the Bush administration have long-standing business connections with the United Arab Emirates...The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group where President Bush's father once served as senior adviser...Neil Bush, has reportedly received funding for his educational software company from the UAE investors...Treasury Secretary John Snow was chairman of railroad company CSX/. After he left the company for the White House, CSX sold its international port operations to Dubai Ports World for more than a billion dollars...President Bush chose a Dubai Ports World executive to head the U.S. Maritime Administration. David Sanborn, the former director of Dubai Ports' European and Latin American operations, he was tapped just last month to lead the agency that oversees U.S. port operations." (Lou Dobbs Tonight, Feb. 22, 2006) Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): "We should really test the resolve of the president on this one because what we're really doing is securing the safety of our people." (Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2006)
* All quotes not otherwise attributed come from Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production (1993), pp. 84-85.

“Challengers and dominant players in the U.S. political field”

  1. Blogger Safe Cruise Blog Says:

    46 people have gone overboard on Cruise ships since the year 2000.

    Royal Caribbean Incorporated in Liberia - Is that safer than United Arab Emirates?

    Only 17% of Americans believe that control of 6 major American ports should be given to the United Arab Emirates. Perhaps Americans should think twice before becoming sharholders or customers of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) since they are incorporated in Liberia and controlled by families form Norway and a partnership in the Bahamas. Would you entrust the safety and security of your loved ones to a Liberian Corporation?

    The folowing statements appear in the Form 10-K filed by RCCL with the Security and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2006:

    We are not a United States corporation and our shareholders may be subject to the uncertainties of a foreign legal system in protecting their interests.

    Our corporate affairs are governed by our Restated Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and by the Business Corporation Act of Liberia. The provisions of the Business Corporation Act of Liberia resemble provisions of the corporation laws of a number of states in the United States. However, while most states have a fairly well developed body of case law interpreting their respective corporate statutes, there are very few judicial cases in Liberia interpreting the Business Corporation Act of Liberia. For example, the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under Liberian law are not as clearly established as the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in certain United States jurisdictions. Thus, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests with respect to actions by management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a United States jurisdiction.

    We are controlled by principal shareholders that have the power to determine our policies, management and actions requiring shareholder approval.

    As of February 10, 2006, A. Wilhelmsen AS., a Norwegian corporation indirectly owned by members of the Wilhelmsen family of Norway, owned approximately 20.4% of our common stock and Cruise Associates, a Bahamian general partnership indirectly owned by various trusts primarily for the benefit of certain members of the Pritzker family and various trusts primarily for the benefit of certain members of the Ofer family, owned approximately 15.8% of our common stock.