31 August 2012

Son of Satan?

The Weekly Standard is complaining about the front page picture the Noo Yawk Times ran after Congresscritter Ryan gave his speech. I have to admit, it's a trifle eerie! But, Weekly Standard, why the hell are you surprised? When the media stalwarts are a-talkin' about POTUS44, they could give Monica Lewinsky lessons.

30 August 2012

If a Donk's lost Huffington....

From the Huffington Post. Moneyquote:
The Democratic brand has thus suffered more (down 39%) under Obama than the Republican brand suffered under either of George W. Bush's two terms (-16%, then -31%). Though George W. Bush did major harm to the Republican brand, Barack Obama is out-doing him, hurting even steeper the Democratic brand, which historically (until now) has always been higher-valued than the Republican brand, not just in these pre-convention polls, but for decades in Party-allegiance.

Kulaks raising their banners high

Yikes!  I approve of the concept; however, Dr Jacobsen, "The banners high" rings a really horrible 20th century bell!  N.B., "Die fahne hoch!" has been translated as both "The flag on high" and "The banner high."
Kulaks raising their banners high

“Criminalization” of Mariners Is Worrying Trend

from the August MM&P magazine. Wisdom from a very experience Maritime Lawyer: don't talk to the Coast Guard until you've talked to an attorney. Note how the Coast Guard has effectively squandered their reputation as waterfront professionals.
Criminalization” of Mariners Is Worrying Trend Twenty-four percent of ship masters have faced criminal charges for incidents involving their work, according to a survey conducted by Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), a legal research group. The results were reported in the most recent edition of Nautilus Telegraph, the magazine of the UK-Dutch officers’ union. “That’s almost one in four, and it’s probably one of the highest rates of criminalization in any profession,” Nautilus says. SRI based its findings on a survey of almost 3,500 seafarers of 68 nationalities. “Criminalization of the maritime profession is not just an incidental issue, as evidenced by these survey results,” Nautilus points out. “It is a problem on an immense scale throughout the world, and it is on the rise.” Among unlicensed seafarers, almost 10 percent said they had faced criminal charges related to their jobs. Of that number, 90 percent reported that they had not been provided with legal representation by the authorities. Ninety-one percent said they had not been given needed interpretation services. What’s more, 89 percent of the original 10 percent said that no one had explained their rights to them, which might explain why 46 percent said they would be reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the future for fear of self-incrimination. Eighty percent of seafarers who faced criminal charges said they had been intimidated or threatened. Overall, more than four out of five seafarers who faced criminal charges said they felt that they had not been treated fairly. SRI conducted additional research to put the results into perspective, reviewing the reports of all criminal charges against professional mariners as published in Lloyd’s List, TradeWinds and Fairplay for the 12-year period from 2000 to 2011. The analysis showed that the criminalization trend is on the rise. There were 415 reports of “crimes” involving 1,580 seafarers during this period. The number of incidents deemed by authorities to be “crimes,” as well as the number of seafarers detained, increased every year during the period surveyed. Nautilus is calling on world governments to take action. “We hope that the results of this survey will provide momentum for increased efforts to ensure fair treatment of seafarers, whether innocent or guilty of a criminal charge,” said SRI Executive Director Deirdre Fitzpatrick, “and that from this survey, the faces and voices of the seafarers will be seen clearly and heard loudly.” – Article by Ashley Morrow, MM&P Communications Department

American Flagship Project Challenges Obama Administration | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

Title 11, for them what're fortunate enough not to know, provides U.S.-taxpayer backing for maritime-related construction, usually ships.   If the ship makes money, the money is never expended.  If the ship (or company) goes bankrupt, the U.S. taxpayer loses money. It is the same concept as a VA mortgage guarantee. In both cases, the projects are those which private lenders deem too risky.
Query: why should the taxpayer, making something like $50k/year, be underwriting a loan which the finance professionals won't touch?
American Flagship Project Challenges Obama Administration | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

And I'd be enthusiastically cheering this decision if this was an indication that POTUS44 was trying to lead the US out of these dunderheaded concepts.  Unfortunately, this just means the administration doesn't like this particular concept; not the whole idea.

Interesting side-note: these jobs would almost certainly be unionized, so you'd think the administration would be anxious to play to an important part of its base.  But nah...

28 August 2012

Leadership to change at Masters, Mates & Pilots

Courtesy of the SUP newsletter. I can remember the "Tim Brown Newsletter" circulating around the MMP-contracted fleet back in the late 70s. Fair winds, Captain Brown!
Captain Tim Brown, President of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) since 1991, announced in July that he had decided not to run for a seventh term. Prior to being elected to lead MM&P, Brown was a skipper with SeaLand Service Inc. Brown brought stability to a badly fractured Union and was a leader of maritime labor. Nominated and unopposed to succeed Brown is Don Marcus, the current MM&P Secretary-Treasurer. Other MM&P candidates are Steve Werse, Secretary-Treasurer; Don Josberger, Atlantic Ports Vice President; Wayne Farthing and Michael Welch, Gulf Ports Vice President; Dave Boatner, Pacific Ports, Vice President; George Quick, Pilots Group, Vice President; Mike Murray, Vice President United Inland Group; and Randall Rockwood, Federal Employees Vice President. The Masters, Mates & Pilots 90-day balloting will be mailed to members on September 14, and counted on December 13. The new administration will take office January 1, 2013.

New York Maritime College's Inaugural STEM Academy - with Baltimore & NYC Maritime Focused High Schools | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

BZ, Admiral Carpenter, Dr Hoffman, and Captain Fink!
SUNY Maritime College's Inaugural STEM Academy - with Baltimore & NYC Maritime Focused High Schools | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine