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FRIDAY REPORT - JUNE 10, 2011

Well we have good stuff and not so good stuff this morning for this weeks NAUTICAL LOG Friday Report.  Let us write about the good stuff first because in the state of the World at the present time it is quite hard to find.

USPS Merchant Marine stamps issue
The U.S. Postal Service, which is a quasi-government operation here, is issuing a set of four (4) stamps to commemorate the U.S. Merchant Marine as the Merchant Navy is called over here.  They can be seen on line at the USPS website, nice selection of ships from different periods.


Next up is a fascinating look at the 'Ghost Ship Fleet' if one goes to Scott Haefner Photography superb shots and there is a link to his website in 'My Link List'.  Really well worth a visit.


Now for the not so good stuff.  We wrote a Post this week "SUBSTANCE AND SEMANTICS" in which we mentioned about the U.S. Police Department daily "forced to fire behaviour".  We though that there would be a rush by U.S. law enforcement agencies to defend themselves - not so far.  What we did receive so far was a comment from a prominent law firm in Houston, TX and an e-mail from one of our correspondents in Europe.  The comment you can read for yourselves and here is part of that e-mail, we quote: 


"Read your Blog this morning mentioning the US cops and I have watched the U.S. series COPS and the same British version and God what a difference!  The US cops scare the xxxx out of you and the UK are peaceful, friendly, helpful and tough as hell if anyone gets out of line.  The yanks intimidate, bully and hurt their clients whilst the limies maintain composure and above all a great sense of humour."


Having lived here over 40 years NAUTICAL LOG agrees and while in UK the first person to ask is a 'bobby' for directions, in Chile the Carabinero Officer walked me to the restaurant asked about as it was downstairs on a side street in Arica, Chile and he was concerned NAUTICAL LOG might miss it. This was in the days of Pinochet mind you - the restaurant was excellent by the by.  Here in the United States one keeps clear of law enforcement as much as possible.


We wrote "NOW AVAILABLE AT IKEA" yesterday and this morning from the same source comes news of Vietnam and China at loggerheads over territorial waters, this has been an ongoing issue.  The Peoples Republic of China is flexing its political muscle, using the PLA Navy to enforce it, in the China Sea.  Besides Vietnam it has disputes with Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines over the same issue.  Once the Shi Lang gets operational and later those other aircraft-carriers the PLA Navy has under construction one can expect regular sea patrols with overflights.  Inevitably there will be confrontations and the escalation those can all too easily result in.

Area of territorial dispute

PLA Navy vessel launches missile

Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Frankly we are now deeply concerned there seems no real effort to free them.  It is a humanitarian issue which effects hundreds of families all over the world.  Both the UN and IMO should be ashamed of themselves.

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