Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Harrrr... Pirates!

Happy to see that the remaining grinning pirate is being tried as an adult.

The way the international shipping companies have handled piracy over the past decade is a disgrace. By treating it as a mere business transaction they have actually created a thriving pirate industry. Small bands of armed pirates zoom up to a cargo ship and are allowed -- allowed!! -- to hold the crew hostage until a payment is delivered. The insurance actuaries actually calculate this hostage "fee" into their policy price, which shipper's accountants have actually determined to be cheaper than providing security detail for their vessels. The whole thing is just batshit crazy.

I couldn't have been more proud that it was an American crew that refused to go along with the scheme, and I couldn't have been more proud of the way the Navy handled the confrontation. They used restraint, rescued their hostage, and left two very strong messages. First one for the pirates: Don't fuck with American ships. Second one for the rest of the world: This is how you do it.

Of course I couldn't end the post without saying that the media -- and especially the right wing talking heads -- behaved atrociously during the whole episode and have proven once again that they're worthy of my mocking disgust.



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