22 April 2005

Our brethern shield in danger's hour...

MARAD - Welcome to U.S. Maritime Administration
From John Jamian, Acting Maritime Administrator:
Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance

As Acting Maritime Administrator, I encourage you to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance, taking one minute at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, to remember the sacrifices of America’s fallen, from the Revolutionary War to the present. This honors not only members of the Armed Services, but also the U.S. Merchant Marine and other civilians whose devotion has preserved and defended our heritage of freedom. Yes, I emphasized "Merchant Marine."

To which we append, amen.

What the hell's the ITF

MarEx Newsletter: "
ITF Gains Ten Percent Pay Increase for Seamen
On January 1, 2006, 'able seamen' will receive a rate increase of $1,550 per month, which equates to a ten percent increase. The concept of this benchmark increase was opposed by many shipowners who argue that there should not be a globally applied wage because of the socio-economic conditions in their home countries, most of whom come from developing areas. "
"ITF" is International Trade Federation, a critter of the United Nations. This wage raise has the effect of forcing 'just-barely-satisfactory' shipowners into the ranks of the unsatisfactory shipowners. Further, like all minimum wage schemes, it reduces hiring -- especially from the desparately improverished areas of the world.
BUT, this action completely fulfils the bureaucratic imperative: it's much more important to be seen doing something than it is to do something effective.