Wednesday, May 30

"The message could not be delivered because the recipient's mailbox is full"

Oh, the problems of IT professionals everywhere. Nothing is their fault. It is always the fault of those inconsiderate fingers touching their equipment and sending emails with viruses or even the fault of some anonymous service provider. Now, I would think that storage is cheap. That is what everyone, including IT types keep telling me. That is, as long as your not using it to store email:
The message could not be delivered because the recipient's mailbox is full.
This is the most annoying message that I have been receiving lately.

Answering my email is truly frustrating already. The last thing I need to deal with is whether or not someone has received the message that I am sending to them. So I have taken the approach that the message has been dealt with, despite the annoying message telling me otherwise, and upon follow-up by the concerned party, complaining that they are still waiting for a reply from me, I can then resend the message. (Often the messages are sent to others, which in itself clogs up way too many email boxes.)

Now that I see what they are up to, I better understand why they are so eager to get my mailbox under 2 gigs. This is so that they can cap me as well. There is no way that I am going to let them do that now. Hopefully these caps prevent people from sending emails as well. I get too many as it is.

Monday, May 28

Maritime Monday 61

Welcome to this Memorial Day edition of Maritime Monday.

(Careless Talk hurts as much now as then)

You can find Maritime Monday 11 here. (Published 29 May, 2006)

This Weeks Photos:
Here are some photos from Fleet Week in New York:

New York (May 21, 2007) A Sailor hoists the National Ensign aboard USS San Jacinto (CG 56) as the guided missile cruiser docks at Staten Island’s Stapleton Pier on the first day of Fleet Week New York 2007. This year’s Fleet Week marks the 20th anniversary of the event, which provides an opportunity for citizens of New York City to meet Sailors and Marines, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's Navy and Marine Corps team. Fleet Week includes dozens of military demonstrations, displays and public tours of participating ships.

U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason B. Trevett

New York (May 21, 2007) Sailors head out on liberty after their ships moored at Staten Island’s Stapleton Pier during Fleet Week New York 2007. Participating Navy vessels include USS San Jacinto (CG 56), USS Hue City (CG 66), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), and USS Wasp (LHD 1) in Manhattan. This year’s Fleet Week marks the 20th anniversary of the event, which provides an opportunity for citizens of New York City to meet Sailors and Marines, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's Navy and Marine Corps team. Fleet Week includes dozens of military demonstrations, displays and public tours of participating ships.

U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason B. Trevett

This Weeks Items:

EagleSpeak has the refusal of aid ships to sail into Somalia without protection. Be sure to also check out "Sunday Ship History: The Navy Hymn and a little more".

The Stupid Shall be Punished has "SecNav Memorial Day Message To The Fleet"

EU Referendum continues their great and almost exclusive coverage of the EU's White Elephant, the Galileo GPS System. Do you live in Europe and use the free GPS signal provided by the US? Then you should care, because the EU is looking at forcing you to license your GPS receiver in order to fund this project. (Just don't call it a tax.)

The White House has President Bush's Commencement Address at the US Coast Guard Academy's Class of 2007 graduation.

The Navy NewsStand has the graduation of the US Naval Academy's Class of 2007.

Actress Rebecca Edmonston takes a break from blogging at her Red's World to enjoy New York's Fleet Week.
It is my duty as a true American, and a dedicated tart, to do my part to support our boys. - Red
Libertylondongirl has "How to attract the boys this summer: wear blue"

The official Fleet Week website can be found here.

The Pilot Boat (at sea) has an explanation of Cardinal Buoys. (They are not so common in the US, but you better know what to do if you come across one!)

Life at Sea has "Is the Career at sea the same today as yesterday?"

Lets Be Serious Now! has video and photos of the Great Lakes coal bulker WALTER J. McCarthy JR.

Fred G posted some pictures of the USS INTREPID in Drydock as well as some photos of the China Shipping Line CSCL SYDNEY

Captain Albert's Weblog (at sea) has a post about entering the Port of Livorno. Appears to be a true view from the Bridge of Holland America Line's VEENDAM

International Marine Consultancy has the start of construction of one of Europe's largest offshore wind farms, located off Zeebrugge, Belgium.

Boating Spectator has the news that satellite radio subscriptions are a more-popular option for new boats than new cars.

Colin's Place has the 25th anniversary of the attack on the ATLANTIC CONVEYOR during the Falklands war.

Monsters & Critics has Spain's claim that Odyssey Marine Expeditions amazing find of a half million silver and gold coins actually belongs to the Government of Spain. Odyssey claims that the wreck is located outside of all territorial waters.

Cruise Ship Law Blog has "Thirteen injured as wave pounds ship in France" (rogue wave perhaps?)

gCaptain has "Alaska Cruise Ship - New Mate, Wrong Turn" concerning the EMPRESS OF THE NORTH grounding.

Mac's Macrocosm has the band Celtae's music video 'The Merchant Marine'

Wikipedia has a "List of merchant marine capacity by country"

Haight's Maritime Items has:
UK – seafarer statistics - The UK Department for Transport issued its annual report Seafarer Statistics 2006. The report indicates that, during the year, there were about 28,100 UK seafarers working regularly at sea, of which 13,600 were deck and engine officers. This latter number is expected to decline by more than half by 2022 if present trends continue. (5/24/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:
Red Sea crackdown hits pilgrims - JEDDAH - 23 May – Saudi Arabia and Egypt have launched a crackdown on Red Sea ferries that fail to comply with international safety standards. Lack of coherence to safety standards was the cause of the Al Salam Boccaccio 98 tragedy in February 2006, say Saudi port authority officials quoted in Arab News. The move comes as the Haj and Umrah pilgrims plan their journeys from Egypt to the Kingdom; since the sinking the number of pilgrims crossing has fallen by 40%, said an employee of one of the transport companies. Some pilgrims have switched to flying instead, or have dropped travel plans because of the price difference. Some new vessels have been brought in to carry Red Sea pilgrims, including the Honduras-registered former Finnish ferry Jamaa II, which can accommodate 960 passengers. But travel companies say these are not enough, suggesting that 20 vessels are needed to serve the Jeddah-Safaga route alone. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

Submissions for future editions:

Please submit articles for inclusion in next week' edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email photos for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest area of coverage.

** Sponsorship **
Send me an email (address in the sidebar) if you would like to sponsor an edition of Maritime Monday. I accept money and gear.

Previous Editions:
Here or click on the label below 'MaritimeMonday'.


Memorial Day 2007 - Remember

This Monday is Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. - Wikipedia
Take a moment to remember all the veterans who have died while protecting and preserving the United States of America.

(My daughter - Arlington Cemetery - Memorial Day 2006)

Larry Thorne is one who died while serving the United States. Major Thorne was an American who immigrated from Finland after World War II. He is famous for "fighting communism under three Flags"; as a soldier for Nazi Germany, Finland and finally for the US in Vietnam. His remains were recovered in Laos in 1999 and was buried in Arlington Cemetery in 2003.
In the book The Green Berets by Robin Moore, the main character was based on Larry Thorne. The book was later made into a movie by the same name starring John Wayne. - Wikipedia
Arlington Cemetery is full of countless other heroes whose stories will never be told.

(Rear Admiral Onni Lattu. Another Finnish-American buried in Arlington Cemetery.)

Not all of their bodies made it back to the US. Over 93,000 remained buried around the world in American Cemeteries. Many others went down with their ships and planes.

There are those among us who would prefer that we as a country do nothing to remember the past. These are the same people who would prefer to discard honor and traditions that have been built over the centuries as this country has grown and developed. However, it is this honor, traditions and way of life that makes America what it is and instills a desire in all sorts of American Citizens and Residents to protect our country.

Video Tributes can be found at Cat is my co-pilot.


Friday, May 25

Mexico and the US Governments are the Immigration Problem

10 to 20 percent of all Mexicans live in the US. (Some state that half of them live here legally.)

With Mexico at the Southern US border, it is no surprise that 86% of all illegal aliens captured in the US are Mexican Nationals. In 2005 there were over one million apprehensions of Mexican nationals either at the borders or within the country itself.

Mexico does nothing to stop this mass exodus from their country. Worse, they actively work to assist illegal alien Mexicans to get into the US. They have explained to the US Government that a Mexican has a right to roam wherever they please within Mexico, including right up to the border. They have also vigorously fought any US attempts to build a border fence to restrict Mexicans from roaming outside their national border into the US.

Once the illegal alien Mexicans get here, the Mexican Consulates provide them with identity documents in the form of “Matricular Consular” ID cards.

Roberto González, 20, a construction worker living here illegally, waited recently in the lobby for the identification card the Mexican government issues known as the “matrícula consular.” The card is honored in the United States by many police agencies, employers and — most important — by banks, which are used by countless immigrants to send billions of dollars home every year. But it is a lightning rod for critics of illegal immigration, who see it as a demonstration of the Mexican government’s helping its citizens live in the United States illegally.

“I will be able to open bank accounts, pay water and light bills, have an easier life here with the consulate and the documents they give,” said Mr. González, one of more than 200 people who have received a card since the consulate opened. - NY Times

Does anyone see a problem with this? Why is it that Americans are hassled to death to ensure they follow the rules and illegal aliens are given all sorts of ways to get around them.

Here is where the US Congress steps in. Not to fight illegal immigration, but to assist it. It is illegal to accept Matricular Consular Identity cards in the US as a form of identification, but congress has prevented this law from being put into action. These identity documents are used as an excuse to permit service to illegal aliens, such as opening bank accounts, even though it is well known that these documents are completely unreliable according to the FBI, and Congress.

Regulation in the federal budget prohibited U.S. businesses from accepting these cards, but an amendment passed September 14, 2004, which Congressman Miller opposed, that pulls this requirement. - Congressman Gary Miller

In the example above, you have proof that the US Government is colluding with the Mexican Government to facilitate illegal immigration. Really, do you think we would have 12 million illegal aliens here if they had a hard time doing things once they got here?

Just to show how reckless the allowance of these IDs are, note that Mexican Matricular Consular ID cards are such a weak form of Identity documents that they are not currently accepted as a valid ID IN MEXICO or even valid for entry into Mexico.

This is a clear exemption from strict identity rules. Also, since the law prohibiting acceptance of these IDs is not in place, they completely subvert other laws that require proper identification.

The Federal Government is not the only ones to blame. The states are also making life easier for illegal aliens once they get here. Virginia learned it's lesson after 9/11 when many of the hijackers were found to have been issued Virginia Drivers licenses. So illegal aliens know not to apply for a drivers license there. They know that they should go to Maryland to apply for one. I know this because my illegal alien friends moved to Maryland and once they had an apartment, they went and obtained Maryland Drivers licenses. They are not the only ones:

Local immigrants say illegal aliens are contributing to Maryland's surge in license applications by flocking to the state when their visas expire or by using the Maryland addresses of relatives.

"I heard that it's easier [to get licenses] here because in other states you need documents, but here it's not required," said 16-year-old Marcela, a Salvadoran immigrant who lives in Silver Spring and did not want to give her last name.

Antonio Lopez, a Guatemalan immigrant living in Hyattsville, said it is common for illegals to come to Maryland to apply for a license because a green card or Social Security card isn't required. - Washington Times

Imagine this, not only are illegal aliens obtaining drivers licenses illegally, they are also giving their names to the press to publish. Seems like they have no fear in Immigration going into Maryland's database to look these illegal aliens up. (Although doing that would surely reduce the number of illegals going to Maryland for licenses.)

Now can you imagine how you would be treated if you went to open up a bank account or apply for a drivers license without proper ID and a Social Security card?

Now with that drivers license, they can get a bank account, credit card and Could probably even apply for social services, which legal alien immigrants are not able to do. In my case, I had to agree to fully support my foreign wife and I am criminally liable if she applies for any Government program such as unemployment or welfare, even if we get divorced! (I am responsible for her until she either works full time for ten years, permanently moves back to her home country or I die.)

There is currently a bill in Congress that, if made into law, will legalize many of the 12 million illegal aliens living in the US. This will do nothing to stop the flow of Mexicans into the US. It however will surely increase the amount of illegal aliens trying to get here for the next declaration of amnesty. (My illegal alien friends moved here a couple years ago when Amnesty was first being talked about in the hopes of getting amnesty.)

If Congress is going to pass this sort of amnesy, they should also offer a Greencard to all Mexicans still living in Mexico (and Canadians too just to be fair) because illegal immigration will continue to be a problem until all Mexicans are here, as long as our Government continues to fight illegal immigration the way they do now.


Matricular Consular Myths and Facts - Congressman Gary Miller
FBI Testimony to Congress concerning Mexican IDs

Immigration Statistics - Department of Homeland Security
Illegal immigration to the United States - Wikipedia
More aliens seek driver's licenses in Maryland - Washington Times

Thursday, May 24

The Star-Spangled Banner Sung in Chinese from 'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo'

OK, this is a year late but I only got the video recently. The issue last year was the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner in Spanish. One question was whether it was acceptable to sing the National Anthem in a language other than English. I believe that it is in some cases, such as in this video clip from Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.


Google Video Link

In this scene, the children are honoring the crews of the American Bombers that had just bombed Japan by singing the American National Anthem in their language.

As far as the controversy over last year's Spanish language Nuestro Himno, it was wrong for them to alter the words and spirit of the Spanish version which disrespects the meaning conveyed by the original words.

If an immigrant, illegal or otherwise, wants to honor America by singing the Star-Spangled Banner, then they should learn how to sing the official version in English.

The Star-Spangled Banner - Wikipedia

Nuestro Himno - Wikipedia

Wednesday, May 23

Lebanon Pleads for US Aid While Protecting TWA-847 Hijacker Hamadei

Lebanon all of a sudden realizes that it has a problem with militant Muslims hiding out in Palestinian refugee camps, so they have been busy shelling the camp where some are hiding.

They are shelling the camp with artillery because they are prohibited from actually entering the camps by some clearly idiotic law.

The result has been fierce fighting between the Lebanese army and Islamic terrorists who are now popping out of the woodwork. The press has been claiming that the poor Palestinian camps are full of veteran foreign fighters from the Iraq war inferring that the US is somehow to blame while ignoring the meddling and support from Syria for Muslim radicals. Then of course there is support from Hezbollah, which is part of the Government there and almost has complete control of the southern part of the country.

Fighting these terrorists is expensive, so Lebanon is asking the US for more military aid:

The United States said it was considering an urgent request from Lebanon for more US military aid to battle Islamist fighters and warned Syria against meddling in its neighbor's affairs.

State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said Lebanon's government had asked for additional funds as fighting intensified, but declined to name an amount or predict when a decision would be made on the request. - Newswire New Zealand

There is a quick way for Lebanon to collect at least $5 million. All they need to do is hand over wanted TWA Flight 847 hijacker Mohammed Ali Hamadei who is living in Lebanon.

June 13, 1985: Terrorists hijack TWA Flight 847, killing Navy Diver Robert Stethem and dumping his body onto the tarmac.

To bring these murderers to justice, the United States Government is offering a reward of up to $5 million. The money is available under a program to obtain information that helps punish those responsible for past international terrorist acts against U.S. persons or property and prevent future such acts. - RFJ

This is the terrorist that (our 'friends') the Germans had caught and refused to hand over to the US. Instead, when they decided to release him, they sent him back to a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the US.

Current and former American officials said they had pushed for two decades to gain custody of Hammadi and try him in a U.S. courtroom, but they ran into political and legal resistance from Germany. U.S. prosecutors originally sought Hammadi's extradition after he was arrested at the Frankfurt airport in 1987, but Germany denied the request and put him on trial locally instead.

Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who oversaw efforts to extradite Hammadi in 1987, said German authorities threw obstacles in the way of U.S. prosecutors at that time and only reluctantly cooperated.

"They were not open at all," she recalled. "We knew he would be released early, way back then." - Washington Post

Somehow, Germany was able to get away with not handing over a captured terrorist. Most likely by playing the US for fools, which sadly is not a difficult thing to do. Lebanon, with its hat-in-hand, should not be let off so easy.

Anyway, look at its current situation, their handing over a hero of those who they are fighting against will demonstrate that they mean business. At any rate, since we are getting ready to assist Lebanon, now is the perfect time to get our hands on this one terrorist.

To do so, we need to tell the Lebanese Government that they will not see a dime of aid money until Hamadei is handed over to face American justice. Nobody is forcing Lebanon to take US Aid. However, if they do, they should do it on our terms. We should have at least this one precondition.

(If this were true Mohammed Ali Hamadei would be sitting in a jail cell)

Here is a letter explaining why it is important to get this terrorist:

Date: January 8, 2006 4:15:57 PM PST




Mr. President, I would like to provide you with an explanation as to why Muhammed Ali Hammadi's recent release by Germany, and your Administration's lack of any attempt to prevent it, is so upsetting to our family and to Americans everywhere. I am not writing you out of grief or anger but out of a hope that his example will inspire you to follow act on your own words and the dictates of your conscious in this War on Terror.

Robert Dean Stethem was singled out, beaten beyond recognition and tortured in order to make him scream into a transmitter (so that the tower would send a fuel truck). Not a cry was heard to come from him, despite the brutal beating he endured. Instead he chose to remain silent and endure the beatings because he knew that the only way a rescue attempt could be conducted by U.S. forces was if the aircraft remained on the ground.

After Robert was beaten and tortured and bleeding from puncture wounds all over his body, he was placed next to a 16-year old Australian girl. As bad as Robert was beaten, he had the courage and strength to comfort and console her. He told her that, "She would be okay and that she would get out of here alive." When she tried to return the comfort, he said, "No, I don't think so. I am the only one in my group that is not married and some of the guys have children, too." Some time later, Robert was again taken up to the cockpit and tortured in order to get the fuel. But it didn't work, he would not give in to them.

One of the hijackers, Muhammed Ali Hammadi, was so enraged that he dragged Robert to the door, pulled a trigger and shot Robert in the head. Then he dumped Robert's body onto the tarmac.

While Robert was being dragged to the door, he knew that all he had to do in order to live was to cry into that transmitter, but he wouldn't do it. He would not give in to the demands of the terrorists. He would not allow the honor and dignity of America to be intimidated by the fear and pain that Hammadi and terrorists everywhere represent. Robert sacrificed his life in order to protect our liberty and defend our way of life.

You have rightly said, "Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done." You have truly said that "We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them." Robert lived by them. Robert also died by them. The motto of the USS SSTETHEM (DDG-63), named in Robert's honor, is "Steadfast and Courageous." I hope that his example, and the example of other heroes like him can inspire you to understand why allowing Germany to release Hammadi was a wrong. Justice was not done, Robert was not honored and Americans are not safer by allowing Hammadi to return to Lebanon and Hezbollah. You know this, we know this and the American people know this.

The Stethem family - NRO

Our Government owes it to US Navy Sailor Robert Stethem and his family to bring his killer to justice.

Part of the current problem in Lebanon is directly related to the failure of the US to put this terrorist behind bars. As recent news out of Lebanon indicates, Hamadei has been joined by many terrorists who are taking advantage of the safe-haven that Lebanon has provided.

The US does not give aid to Palestine because a terrorist organization, HAMAS, is in charge of the Government there. Before we continue to 'help' Lebanon, perhaps we should determine who exactly we are helping there.

Updated from this original Post:
Make Lebanon 'Aid' Conditional to Turnover of TWA-847 Hijacker Hamadei - 2 February 2007

U.S. mulls military funding plea from Lebanon - Reuters

US 'seeks justice' for hijacker - BBC

(aka "Mohammed Ali Hammadi")

Tuesday, May 22

Happy Maritime Day!

Today is Maritime Day in the US.

To get into the maritime mood, go and take a look at the latest edition of Maritime Monday here.

(Merchant Marine Memorial, NY)

National Maritime Day, 2007
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

America has a proud maritime history, and the United States Merchant Marine has played a vital role in helping meet our country's economic and national security needs. On National Maritime Day, we honor merchant mariners for their dedication to promoting commerce and protecting our freedom.

During times of peace, the U.S. Merchant Marine helps ensure our economic security by keeping the oceans open to trade. Ships operated by merchant mariners transport goods across our Nation's waterways and on the high seas around the world to connect American businesses and consumers with valuable foreign markets and commodities. The skill and expertise of merchant mariners facilitates trade and helps to strengthen our economy.

In times of war, the Merchant Marine is the lifeline of our troops overseas. By carrying critical supplies, equipment, and personnel, merchant mariners provide essential support to our Armed Forces and help advance the cause of freedom. Today, merchant mariners are supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their devotion to duty is a tribute to the generations of men and women who have served our Nation with courage and determination in every conflict in America's history. On this day, and throughout the year, America is grateful for their service.

In recognition of the importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Congress, by joint resolution approved on May 20, 1933, as amended, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day," and has authorized and requested that the President issue an annual proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2007, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance by honoring the service of merchant mariners and by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


(White House Proclamation link)

National Maritime Day and Other Resolutions, Proclamations, Speeches and Commemorations - USMM.Org

Maritime Day 2006 - FFI

Monday, May 21

Maritime Monday 60

Welcome to this weeks edition of Maritime Monday.

Note: This Tuesday, 22 May, is Maritime Day in the US.

You can find Maritime Monday 10 here. (Published 22 May, 2006)

This Weeks Photos:

Siba Ships owns the youngest fleet in the world of livestock carriers; the average age of the world’s livestock fleets is more than 25 years. The average age of Siba Ship’s livestock fleet is five years.

Siba Ships is also home to the world’s biggest and most technically advanced livestock carrier, the Becrux, capable of carrying both cattle and sheep at the same time.

The construction of the Becrux was the result of a policy aimed at achieving maximum quality and efficiency while obtaining the best results regarding animal welfare and mortality.

The company remains committed to an ambitious construction project that in 2007 will see the launch of the world’s first livestock carrier with its own independent double propulsion system (IPS Independent Propulsion System). - Siba Ships



Take a good look at the layout of the DENEB PRIMA. It used to be a containership. That is why the 'house' is back at the stern and the bridge was relocated forward.

This Weeks Items:
Eagle Speak has the launch of the armed Nuclear Fuel ship PACIFIC HERON. Once you have read that, be sure to go to his home page and scan the plethora of other maritime stories he has posted over the last week, including "Sunday Ship History: International Ice Patrol"

The New York Post has the sudden death of a SUNY Maritime Cadet on the TS EMPIRE STATE IV just days after it departed for its summer training cruise.

CBS News 60 Minutes covers the US Coast Guard's seriously botched modernization Program in "The Troubled Waters Of “Deepwater”". Sadly, this is well-earned exposure.

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has the ammunition ship USNS SHASTA's rescue of the crew from the MV HAUROSI after it suffered a major engine room fire.

New York's Newsday has (South) Korea's welcome of the first cargo ship from the North in over 50 years. (Meanwhile other countries like Japan, Australia and the US maintain UN sanctions against the North.)

Tims Times (at sea) has his experience with today's Soviet port security in St. Petersburg. (I have a post here of an image of a USSR passport issued in 2000.)

gCaptain points to NATO's investigation of how to provide protection to oil and gas facilities in Nigeria. (This is a bad idea. Only Nigeria can fix the problem. If NATO moves in, it has the same effect as relieving Nigeria of its responsibility to solve the situation and even gives them the opportunity to permit NATO to do its dirty for for them.)

The Pilot Boat (at sea) has photos of a Brazilian sunset.

Life at Sea has a great post about pirates including a list of famous pirates and modern victims.

American Shipper has China's effort to build a fleet of at least 90 supertankers to increase the percentage of oil imported by China carried on Chinese-flag vessels.

The BBC has the EU's decision to build its Galileo GPS System using public funds after the attempt to build the system using a public-private partnership has failed.

EU Referendum has his two cents about the current developments in the Galileo disaster, including the possibility of taxing or licensing your GPS receivers.

Shipping Times (UK) has the sale of Scotland's Viking Offshore to Vroon of the Netherlands.

The Yankee Sailor has a serious police raid at the Japanese Naval Academy.

CDR Salamander has the USS EARNEST G SMALL and the story about how it lost its bow at sea and lived to sail again.

Navy NewsStand has the christening and launch of Military Sealift Command's auxiliary dry cargo carrier USNS Richard E. Byrd.

From the Back Nine has Cruise tips from a frequent cruiser.

The Space Review has a story on the post-war second life of the WWII Liberty Ship AMERICAN MARINER.

Mr. Boat Blog has the amazing 1/8th scale model of the MAJESTY OF THE SEAS. (Don't let the word model five you a false impression about its size. The damn thing is huge!)

The May Edition of Marine Log is available on the Internet. (Click on the image to open it.)

Helsingin Sanomat has"WWF: Finland falls short of target in protecting Baltic Sea"

Snow Tiger's Blog has Ship art.

Times Union has a great piece about being on time. While not exactly a maritime post, other than their title for the piece, it does apply. (A ship will only wait for its captain)

Haight's Maritime Items has:

President Bush seeks US accession to UNCLOS - The White House released a statement from President Bush urging the Senate to act favorably on United States accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The US will also seek to have the IMO designate the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). (5/15/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

European owners shun EU umbrella - LIVERPOOL 16 May – Alfons Guinier, secretary-general of European Community Shipowners’ Association, stood firm against protectionism at an EU level yesterday, alleging that the Jones Act had been responsible for the severe reduction in US-registered shipping. He further warned that protectionist measures would lead to flagging out from European registers and, more significantly, to similar measures from India, China and Japan. He outlined the EC’s Green Paper on maritime policy to members of the seafaring union Nautilus UK at their biennial general meeting in Liverpool. Explaining why he felt it would be unhelpful for the EU to speak on behalf of member states at IMO and ILO, Guinier opined that maritime expertise in individual states would be lost if the single maritime voice came from Brussels. Similarly, a single European ship register would mean issues such as competency, taxation and social security would need to be harmonised by law, whereas they are now moving closer through commercial imperatives. Lamenting the decline in maritime expertise across Europe, Guinier called for some of the EU funding currently going into research to go into training instead. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

Submissions for future editions:
Please submit articles for inclusion in next week' edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email photos for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest area of coverage.

** Sponsorship **
Send me an email (address in the sidebar) if you would like to sponsor an edition of Maritime Monday. I accept money and gear.

Previous Editions:
Here or click on the label below 'MaritimeMonday'.


One Little Baby Boy (And the Rush Hour Traffic that Really Made his Arrival Interesting!)

I was awoken an hour early one moring late last week and told that it appears that we would be off to the hospital and if I wanted to take a shower, I should probably do it now.

After taking a quick shower we went for a short walk to time contractions and then call the doctor. There were no real signs of labor yet and nothing 'hurt'. The doctor was not very interested in us coming to the hospital yet as they were full. My wife told her that we were coming anyway as the labor for our first kid was less than 7 hours and this one was sure to be quicker. There was also the issue of DC rush hour traffic and she wanted to get to the hospital before one of the roads when from two lanes to one in the direction we needed to go in.

It was a good thing we left when we did. While waiting in traffic her real labor started, her water broke and I started running through my head what I needed to do to deliver the baby right in the car. The whole thing was like a horror movie, only worse because in the movie you are not the victim. Sure things were a little bit worse for my wife but I was the one trapped in the car next to her with very little options other than to get her to the hospital ASAP.

Luckily, we made it with just under an hour to spare.

Both Mom and baby are doing well.

Wednesday, May 16

Kayaker at Great Falls Park - Photos

Photos taken over the weekend while Visiting Great Falls Park:

Great Falls Park, a site that is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, is an 800 acre park located along the Potomac River 14 miles upriver from Washington D.C. The park is known for two things, its scenic beauty at the head of Potomac River fall line and the historic Patowmack Canal. - National Park Service

Great Falls - National Park Service

Tuesday, May 15

Sure 'Sign' that DC's Gun Ban is a Joke

Bullet-riddled traffic sign in Washington, DC's Rock Creek Park.

Clearly, the gun owner is not too concerned about the gun ban.

Monday, May 14

Maritime Monday 59

Welcome to this weeks edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 9 here. (Posted 15 May 2006)

This Weeks Photos:
Here are some photos from the website of the Netherlands Shipping Company Anthony Veder.

Anthony Veder offers you a modern high quality fleet of gas tankers for the transportation of LPG, petrochemical gases, CO2 and LNG. The fleet is continuously modernized, renewed and adjusted to comply with new regulations, customer requirements, and the high standards of the gas industry. The Rotterdam based company has a strong customer focus and offers a reliable and flexible service with a wide range of high quality modern gas tankers. - Company website

LPG, liquified petrolium gas, in addition to being transported in little tanks that are attached to barbeques, is also transported by ship. (And people are afraid of LNG ships.)

This Weeks Items:

Wikipedia has a summary of the last voyage and sinking of the RMS LUSITANIA on May 7, 1915 with the loss of 1,198 passengers and crew.

Eagle Speak covers a news report that sailors at sea work around the clock. You can find this week's edition of Sunday Ship History here: "Sunday Ship History: Breakaway music" covering one aspect of underway replenishment.

Cargo Law has photos of a $3 million Sunseeker Predator yacht heavy lift off the Wallenius Lines car carrier M/V MADAME BUTTERFLY that has gone wrong, very wrong.

Tims Times covers language issues sailors face while in foreign ports.

USA Today has a Q & A with Captain Karin Stahre Janson, the first woman to become captain of a major cruiseship, the MONARCH OF THE SEAS.

The Seattle Times has anti-war protesters at the Port of Grays Harbor against the loading of the MV CAPE HENRY. The vessel's MSC page can be found here. (Yes, they support the troops. The question is, which troops?)

Sailors, Mariners & Warriors League has the lost story of the HMS CORNWALL, the vessel whose boarding party was taken by the Iranians. It involves two lesbian crewmembers, 9 pints of lager, a fist and a court martial.

The Pilot Boat has the soon to be christened M/V CORVO and gives a summary on load lines.

Scandinavian Shipping Gazette has a warning about a fake pilot station in Nigeria.

Shipping Times (UK) has "Aberdeen Harbour urges radical rethink on fishing industry"

Life at Sea has an introduction to Merchant Marine-Marine Engineering. (As opposed to Naval Marine Engineering.)

The Monitor has "Engineers and Accountants".

MarketWatch has "North American rig count rises 0.4%"

California Photos has pictures of the SS RED OAK VICTORY.

Balita (Philippines) has the arrival of two of South Korea's Maritime Training Ships in Subic Bay to take advantage of local navigational training.

EU Referendum has an update on the EU's Galileo GPS Systems growing money problems.

The United States Halocaust Museum has the sad voyage of the SS ST. LOUIS which sailed from Germany on 13 May, 1939 carrying Jewish refugess to Cuba. They were eventually refused entry in Cuba, the US, and Canada before returning to Europe where passengers were eventually admitted to Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. A short summary is also at Wikipedia.

Ocra Marine Services has Cyprus's intended veto of Turkey's application to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control. The Paris MOU Port State Control Website is here.

Project Disaster has a summary on the TWIC Program.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has coverage of the accident report for the deadly USS FRANK CABLE steam rupture accident.

Dark Roasted Blend has a photo showcase of Ekranoplans.

Confessions of a Train Geek has photos of an oversize transport by NB Southern Rail shipment. (Posted in recognition that this stuff needs to get to a port somehow.)

Never Sea Land has "Crew of the Week". (Warning: Do not click the link if you are offended by women in bikinis.) This blog also does a 'Mermaid of the day'. So go to the homepage and scroll through the posts. Same warning applies. Not like I should have to give one given the subject of the post.

Never Sea Land also points to Captain Bligh's logbook, which is now available online.

The Two Malcontents covers the EU's 'Operation Diablo' which targeted counterfeit cigarettes and products coming from Asia.

Haight's Maritime Items has:

EU – new funding needed for transportation infrastructure - The European Parliament issued a news release stating that continued financial inaction on the transport infrastructure may put economic growth at risk. New and alternative ways of funding, particularly for short sea shipping and the Galileo project, should be identified. (5/7/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Here is an extract from the News Release:

In Etelka Barsy-Partaki's (EPP-ED, HU) own-initiative report on the mid-term review of the Commission's 2001 Transport White Paper, there was general support for the Commission's stance, but MEPs in the committee stressed that the rapid completion of the TEN-T network was the best way to create conditions for a making best use of all the different mode of transport in a complementary fashion, an approach known as co-modality. A shift in the balance of modes of transport ("modal shift") was essential for reducing the environmental impact of transport. Shifts to rail, bus and coach, maritime transport or inland waterways should be achieved and emphasis should be put on those transport modes whose level of participation is still low. - Full Press Release

If the EU was concerned about the environmental impact of transport, then it would not be preparing to launch dozens of rockets into space to create a duplicate of the US's Global Positioning System. I have seen no mention anywhere of plans to offset the CO2 emissions from that project.


Under Attack? – Global business and the threat of political violence - Lloyd’s issued a report entitled Under Attack? – Global Business and the Threat of Political Violence. The report, which is not focused on any specific industry, finds that the threat of political violence is rising, that supply chain risk is an increasingly important consideration, and that home-grown terrorism is forcing companies to tighten procedures, such as employee vetting. Unfortunately, companies often do not rigorously analyze the risks that they face. The report is important reading for business executives and those engaged in safety and security. (5/9/07).x - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Report here. (PDF document)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Mystery surrounds Sinegorsk master fate - ST PETERSBURG 08 May – The apparent arrest and detention in Finland of the master and chief engineer of the Sinegorsk, a timber carrier in the Fesco fleet, remain a mystery this week, as Finnish officials at Turku port claim to know nothing about the jailed mariners, or the pollution charges said to have been lodged against them. The two men are believed to have been detained by the Finnish authorities at Turku, according to Leonid Belov, a duty official at the St Petersburg sea-rescue centre. However, Fesco spokesman Tatiana Kozina told Fairplay the Sinegorsk was released from Turku port on 30 April, manned by a substitute master and chief engineer flown in by the company from Russia. "The Sinegorsk captain and chief engineer remain in the port," Kozina said, "to assist the representatives of the Finnish sea authorities in their review of this incident." She added that there might have been a fuel spill during bunker loading at Turku, but denied there had been any pollution while the vessel was underway between Naantali and Tallinn. Kozina claims Fesco cannot confirm the arrests. However, Belov and Russian newswires have reported that the jailing was sought by the Finnish authorities, and ordered by a court. The two seamen, whose names have not been disclosed, will remain in detention until mid-June, when their case comes up in court. Russian maritime sources say this is "ünprecedented". Belov told Fairplay that tests of the oil slick, spotted in the waters off Turku, will be compared to fuel samples taken by the Sinegorsk, and should be definitive on whether it or another vessel was the source. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

Submissions for future editions:
Please submit articles for inclusion in next week' edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email photos for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest area of coverage.

** Sponsorship **
Send me an email (address in the sidebar) if you would like to sponsor an edition of Maritime Monday. I accept money and gear.

Previous Editions:
Here or click on the label below 'MaritimeMonday'.


Friday, May 11

Swedish Government Concealing the Crimes of Communism

I have stated a couple of times the ongoing need to investigate and publicize the crimes of the Soviet Union and Communism in general. A recent survey out of Sweden confirms this need:
Of the 1004 young Swedes involved in the nationwide poll, 43 percent believed that communist regimes had claimed less than one million lives. A fifth of those surveyed put the death toll at under ten thousand. The actual figure is estimated at around 100 million.

The poll also found that 40 percent of young Swedes believed that communism contributed to increased prosperity in the world; 22 percent considered communism a democratic form of government; 82 percent did not regard Belarus as a dictatorship. - The Local, Sweden

Of course they believe this as nobody has told them otherwise. The initial title I had for this post was 'Young Swedes Ignorant when it comes to Communism' but I quickly realized that the title was unfair as this is not the children's/young Swede's fault. It is the fault of their parents, the socialists/Social Democrats and the Government itself.
This information gap has roots that date back many years, according to Anders Hjemdahl.

"There were strategic reasons. For example, I think the Social Democrats only won one absolute majority in the post-war years. Therefore they had to rely on the support of smaller parties, one of which was the communist party.

"Another reason is that a large majority of Swedish journalists are left-wingers, many of them quite far left," he said. - The Local, Sweden
This is what happens when you introduce communists into your government. Any sane person will tell you that it is a really stupid thing to do. After all, it's not like they are going to need your help if they gain power. With an honest schooling, covering communism, the facts about the crimes of communism would have been known to the general population. Then there would not be a need to depend on communists in your government, because there would not be any in the government to ally with. Makes you wonder which political groups the Swedish Social Democrats passed over when they chose to collaborate with Communists. This in itself says volumes about 'Social Democrats'.

As for the quite far left Swedish journalists, at least one is taking the side of Russia in the current Russian aggression against Estonia. Journalist (and I use the term loosely) Yrsa Stenius of Sweden's Aftonbladet has written recently in support of the Russians "and calls the communist statue in Tallinn a glorious monument over the victory over Nazism. She also tells all the people in Europe to be proud of the Russians and Soviet Union and this statue". (Ms. Stenius may be a Finn, not a Swede, but has lived in Sweden since 1979 according to her Wikipedia entry. No matter, Finland is infected with the same disease, despite being attacked by the Soviets. As it so happens, she also writes for the Finnish Social Democrat magazine Uutispäivä Demari)

Of course, many Socialists are communist sympathizers, so it was not like they needed the support of the Communists, but wanted their support. After all Communism is a form of Socialism, not that the Socialists are going to admit that to anyone:
Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownership of the means of production. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement - Wikipedia - Communism
As I said before (here) 'The main difference in the two ideologies is to the level that one should go in order to attain the goals. So if you attack the ideals of one, then you are in fact attacking the ideals of the other. And if there is a serious investigation of the crimes of the Soviet Union, a number of current members of Socialist parties in Europe may be implicated in those crimes as well as some of the Communist and Socialist parties currently active in European Politics.'

That statement above certainly holds true for Sweden, which, as it so happens, also has unanswered questions about its activities during WWII in support of Nazi Germany.

You can also place a good portion of the blame on the European Union, which still has yet to address this issue, other than to bring it up and have the Socialist Members vote against any such investigation. Swedish Parliament Member, Mr. Goran Lindblad plainly states the problem thus:
... many politicians still active today have supported, in one way or another, former communist regimes. For obvious reasons they would prefer not to deal with the question of responsibility. In many European countries there are communist parties which have not formally condemned the crimes of communism. Last but not least, different elements of communist ideology such as equality or social justice still seduce many politicians. - Goran Lindblad, Swedish Parliament
So even though the Soviet Union took over half of Europe and threatened the other half, the EU is just going to ignore the crimes of the Soviet Union. This is exactly the type of behavior that Russia needs from the greater EU as it resorts back to its old Soviet tactics of bullying its neighbors. You can even say that the EU Parliament is aiding Russia as it chastises the US over a couple hundred detainees in Guantanamo (many of which were caught violating the laws of war) while Russia abuses the human rights of thousands while members of the press, not in line with the official line from Moscow, continue to die of mysterious curcumstances. (And the press accuse the US of targeting them in Iraq!) Even the assassination of a Kremlin critic by radioactive polonium poisoning has barely stirred any European response outside the UK where the attack took place. This lack of any condemnation will do nothing to stop Russia from taking care of more critics. They will just be more careful next time.

The article also mentions that the Swedish Government recognized the Communist takeover of Estonia and the other Baltic States unlike most of the rest of the Western World. The Swedes should be ashamed for that act alone. Maybe this act could be used as the path for educating the Swedish public. Perhaps through an apology to the Baltic States for recognizing the illegitimate Governments imposed on them by the Soviets, noting the crimes that were committed by the Soviets during their occupation.

Sweden has traditionally been a neutral country. However, neutrality benefits evil as neutral states do not speak out against their actions. This makes the job of other states who are trying to fight the renegade states that much harder. The real joke in all of this is that while Sweden was publicly neutral, they were secretly allied with the US.
During the cold war Sweden maintained a dual approach, publicly the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were kept with the U.S. and it was hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons to strike at Soviet staging areas in the occupied Baltic states in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. Over time and due to the official neutrality dogma, fewer and fewer Swedish military officials were aware of the military cooperation with the west, making such cooperation in the event of war increasingly difficult. At the same time Swedish defensive planning was completely based on help from abroad in the event of war. - Wikipedia
Not exactly neutral isn't it? Too bad it was secret as Sweden would have been less likely to suffer an attack if it was known that the US was prepared to defend them.

While the Soviet Union has fallen apart years ago, Communism still has a strong grip on many parts of Europe. Ironically, it is in the parts of Europe that did not suffer a Soviet Occupation who are their biggest supporters. When will Europe learn to stop protecting those who threaten all of us the most?

See Also:

Europe's Lingering Scar of Communism - FFI - 23 January 2007

Wednesday, May 9

Denial of Service Attacks - Estonian Embassies Worldwide

Gee, this is pretty impressive. Go and try to find an Estonian Embassy website that is not under a denial of service attack.

Now the blame might be directed at Russian hackers, but I suspect that it is the Russian Government behind this. After all, there is nothing in it for hackers to waste resources to do this, unless someone is paying them to do it.

(Washington, DC)

(UN Consulate, NY)














(St. Petersburg)




And yes, there are no problems with my Internet service. (Posting this is proof of that.....)