You can find Maritime Monday 127 here. (Published 15 September 2008).
As linked below or click on the label ‘MaritimeMonday’:
First, the Russian Navy sends half a fleet thousands of miles to rescue the crew of the Maltese-Flag cargo ship ARCTIC SEA despite having no obvious reason to do so.
Next, the Russian Government has to deny accusations that the ship was carrying secret cargo on behalf of the Russian Government.
Then, the Russian Government has imprisoned not only the hijackers but also the crew which still have yet to call home to their families.
The crew members were not allowed to go home on Thursday: like the hijackers they were taken to the Lefortovo remand prison for questioning. In Arkhangelsk the families of the crew waited for their loved ones with their eyes glued to their televisions. However, there was no indication of when the men would get home. “I only know what was said on television. I hope that I can see my husband as soon as possible”, said mechanic Vladimir Kazhinin’s wife Olga to Helsingin Sanomat by telephone.
Vazir Fazylov, the father of seaman Dmitri Fazylov was surprised that his son was not even allowed to call home. “Nobody is saying anything. We’re just watching TV. This is stupid.” – Helsingin Sanomat
And now, the Russian Navy plans to tow the ship over 4,000 miles to Russia for ‘further investigation’. (Bypassing the ship’s flag-state of Malta.)
One more thing. Why are the Russians towing the ship all the way back to Russia? It would be much faster and safer to sail it under its own power. The Ship operator had stated last week that it was planning to send out a replacement crew to the ship. Maybe the Russians don’t want more prying eyes around?
It is almost as if the Russians have hijacked the ship themselves.
OSCE condemnes both Nazism and Stalinism05.07.2009 - On Friday the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly passed a resolution that equates the Nazi regime with Soviet Stalinism. The resolution, titled “Reunification of divided Europe” and put forward by Lithuania and Slovenia, states that Europe has suffered from two totalitarian regimes: the Nazi and the Stalinist. Both brought about genocide and crimes against humanity. For a final and Europe-wide condemnation of totalitarianism, the OSCE resolution offered to set a Nazism/Stalinism remembrance day on August 23 . On 23. August 1939 Europe-dividing Molotov-Ribbentrop was signed by Germany and Soviet Union, dividing Europe between two dictators and paving way to the start of II World War. The resolution states so that both Stalin and Hitler were responsible for the start of this most devastating war. I can only agree to this point of view. - CommunistCrimes.Org
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian lawmakers threatened the OSCE with "harsh" consequences on Saturday after the European security body's parliamentary arm condemned both Stalinism and fascism for starting World War Two.
Russia's delegates stormed out of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's annual parliamentary meeting after members passed the resolution, drafted by a delegate from the host nation Lithuania, a former Soviet satellite.
"This is nothing but an attempt to re-write the history of World War Two," Konstantin Kosachyov, who heads the foreign relations committee of Russia's lower house of parliament, told Interfax news agency.
"The reaction of the parliament to this document will be immediate and it will be harsh." - CommunistCrimes.Org
In 1939 a wonderful opportunity for world peace came from the most unexpected source. Although the Soviets opposed Fascist dictatorship and imperialism, they saw a means which could be used to further the ultimate triumph of the Communist brand of Socialism. A mutual non-aggression agreement was made with Hitler.Hitler invaded Poland and the Soviets moved in to prevent the Nazis from taking over the whole country. The Soviets murdered some 11,000 Polish officers and intellectuals at Katyn Forest and peace and order were established in Poland, for a while. - Link
These Flexible Savings Accounts have some major problems:A flexible spending arrangement (FSA), or Flexible Spending Account, as they are commonly called, is one of a number of tax-advantaged financial accounts that can be set up through a cafeteria plan of an employer in the United States. An FSA allows an employee to set aside a portion of his or her earnings to pay for qualified expenses as established in the cafeteria plan, most commonly for medical expenses but often for dependent care or other expenses. Money deducted from an employee's pay into an FSA is not subject to payroll taxes, resulting in a substantial payroll tax savings.The most common FSA, the medical expense FSA (also medical FSA or health FSA), is similar to a health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement account (HRA). However, while HSAs and HRAs are almost exclusively used as components of a consumer driven health care plan, medical FSAs are commonly offered with more traditional health plans as well. An FSA may be utilized by paper claims or an FSA debit card also known as a Flexcard. - Wikipedia
Use it or lose it - One major drawback is that the money must be spent within the coverage period as defined by the benefits cafeteria plan coverage definition. This coverage period is usually defined as the period that you are covered under the cafeteria plan during the "plan year". The "plan year" is commonly defined as the calendar year.Any money that is left unspent at the end of the coverage period is forfeited back to the company; this is commonly known as the "use it or lose it" rule. It should be noted and called out for emphasis that under most plans your "coverage period" generally ceases upon termination of your employment whether initiated by you or your employer unless you continue coverage with the company under COBRA or other arrangement. An unfortunate possibility, especially in the case of unexpected, immediate layoff, is that should you have unused contributions in your FSA and no additional qualifying claims during your coverage period you will have the added insult of "losing" these funds.A second requirement is that all applications for refunds must be made by a date defined by the plan. If funds are forfeited, this does not eliminate the requirement to pay taxes on these funds if such taxes are required. For example, if a single person elects to withhold $5000 for child care expenses and gets married to a non-working spouse, the $5000 would become taxable. If this person did not submit claims by the required date, the $5000 would be forfeited but taxes would still be owed on the amount.Also, the annual contribution amount must remain the same throughout the year unless certain qualifying events occur, such as the birth of a child or death of a spouse. - Wikipedia