28 February 2013

Administration to Dismantle U.S. Merchant Marine?

It would be, I suppose, in bad taste to point out that ALL of the unions endorsed POTUS 44.  I presume dues-paying members are satisfied that the campaign donations were worth it....

just saying.

Coasties publish an Interim rule to enforce MARPOL. but they still want comments

So a revision of the international agreement on marine pollution -- a/k/a/ MARPOL -- went into effect on 1 January 2013.  The Coasties either knew this was coming but couldn't get their act together to allow comments  before this shtuff became international law* or they figured that the industry would make their lives complicated if they knew what was coming (because the light-blue-suiters can be relied upon to make the standards tougher for the US industry than is required for the international industry.

Nonetheless, comments are invited. 

* Of  note, international law is legal in the US because we decide it is.  Vide: STCW.  The original convention was ratified by the Senate.  Since then (STCW 95 and STCW 2010) they've been an adjustment in code which is a subterfuge that allows USCG to enforce what are essentially new conventions without paying attention to that Pesky ConstitutionAnd, for good or for ill, the Senate hasn't the intestinal fortitude to tell them that decision isn't theirs. 

26 February 2013

Women & Children first

Sinking of the HMS Birkenhead - 26 February 1852 On February 26, 1852, the troopship HMS BIRKENHEAD grounded at Danger Point, near Cape Town, South Africa. It was carrying about 400 British soldiers to fight in the Kaffir War in South Africa. Also on board were about 200 civilians, mostly women and children. There were not sufficient lifeboats for everyone. The senior British Army officer onboard ordered the troops to stand fast as the women and children boarded the lifeboats. None of the soldiers broke ranks. The BIRKENHEAD sank soon afterwards. Only 193 of the approximately 643 people originally on board survived. From this event, the maritime tradition of "women and children first" is derived.