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Old 02-01-2007, 13:06   #16
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"Incidentally, has anyone else motored through Hell's Gate and the East River lately? Talk about knowing who is on the boat... They have "undercover" boats stationed all over the place."
I was there 2-3 weeks ago, and can tell you that over the course of maybe 4 hours there was NO USCG presence on the river, except for one RIB that flew up the HG side and then ten minutes later flew back down and around up the East River side, and disappeared. No picket vessels, nothing on station, damned little traffic too. (A Sunday.)

They might have been responding to a particular threat, or been posted because something in particular was making a transit that day.

Random sobriety checkpoint stations?<G>

The rec boating license thing seems like the real point will be to soak boaters for a $50 license fee, which could then be used to pump up the USCG general funds budget. Reaganomics, all over again.

I can't help thinking how much simpler and cheaper it would be to just compile a list of the top ten Moslem Holy Places (we could start with Mecca and the Golden Dome) and then say, "listen, this is a Moslem problem, not a US problem. YOU deal with it. Because every time one of your extremists blows something up, we're gonna cross one of those sites off the list--and the face of the earth."

I doubt we'd have to do it more than twice. Even the Sun God, the Emperor of Japan, got the message after "twice". (Although interestingly enough, the Japanese Army actually set up a coupe to overthrow him and refuse to surrender, and his surrender only occurred because of luck, the coupe failed because of a coincidental air raid upsetting it.)
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Old 02-01-2007, 13:54   #17
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Could be worse folks.......could require a Licence to watch TV
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Old 02-01-2007, 14:03   #18
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You mean like in the UK, Dave?<G> Got some friends there. They moved rural and got into a "he said she said" with your telly police there, wound up burying the rabbit ears in the garden with just the tips showing, so the nice inspectors would be able to "find" the television in question.<G>

Of course, your TV was a government postal and telecom service, unlike ours from the start. Need some of us to come over and slap around that monarch again, do you?<G>
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Old 02-01-2007, 14:28   #19
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Hmmm.. no security recently, Hellosailor? I guess it's because we came through in October, when there were still a lot of boats out. I guess they packed it up for the winter. Not a great strategy for defending an area from attack. ??
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Old 02-01-2007, 17:22   #20
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Kai Nui: I think that attack on the US warship was carried out with a small inflatable, if I remember correctly. They just zoomed up, blew off a bomb and that was it. Pretty weak on the part of the military to not have someone on constant watch.
I think your evaluation is unjustified. There were guys on watch, but they were not authorized to kill civilians in a friendly nation on their own initiative.

Now we have the formally defined exclusion zones around navy ships. I expect that they have changed the rules of engagement so that the somebody on watch IS authorized to kill civilians on approaching vessels under some circumstances.
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Old 02-01-2007, 22:24   #21
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I stand corrected on the fishing boat. It was right there in the text, but it might have been in red, so I wouldn't have seen it <G>
I wouldn't blame the victim here. Just making the point that the "Small boat terror attacks" being referenced, had nothing to do with the need for such a proposal.
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Old 02-01-2007, 22:43   #22
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Sean, AFAIK the Romans wrote the book on security against attackers. And what they wrote and practiced, hasn't changed since. All the texts on strategy and tactics, all the works on insurrection (including the ones published by our own government in the cold war days to encourage the overthrow of Communist states), all the lessons carefully learned by students like Ho Chi Minh and Che and Castro...

According to all the books, we're doing it all wrong. Of course anyone who attended any of the service academies already KNOWS that, and one can presume some of them have, ah, leaked that information to the pols (some of whom claim to have attended the same courses at the same academies) so the real question is...

Why is our government intentionally spending massive amounts of money on activities which it *knows* will fail? You'd think that with two thousand years of fine writing on defensive strategy and tactics, someone would remind the pols that no matter how much they believe in faeries, you can't eat soup with a fork.

Although, as the Romans also proved, you CAN distract the masses with circuses. And then while they're distracted...pretend that taxing "rich" boaters with licensing is gonna help their lives too. Keep 'em busy, keep 'em poor, they won't have time to run any pols out of town on a rail. (An outstanding American tradition which they never really explained properly in grade school. The rail was always a split rail, with the pointy side up. A landlubber's version of keelhauling, and equally fatal.)
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:07   #23
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Originally Posted by hellosailor
Sean, AFAIK the Romans wrote the book on security against attackers.
They also did a good line in wiping out the opposition, which worked well and may well in the long run have caused less deaths. (By "wiping out" I mean killing every last man, woman and child they could get their hands on). It does sound rather brutal, but was also very effective. The Romans (and other folk from the same era) recognised that they were never fighting an army, they were fighting a whole people (Civilians, men woman, children, a culture and their ideas and values. and probably a God as well). An army is just the representative of the people you are fighting.

The problem with the modern world is that no one is allowed to really win a war by inflicting sufficient pain and suffering and death on the WHOLE population. (A win is when all the opposition agrees to surrender. or is all dead - otherwise the conflict just goes quiet for a while (years or generations).

When fighting a war sending your Army (whether this Army have F15's or towels round their heads) into battle is not like sending out your football team - if they lose the supporters should not expect to return home safely and then have another go next week.

None of the Nation states in the "Civilised" world were exactly created by mutual consent - but "we" seem to have forgotten this and kid ourselves that cos' we have the most celebrities and flavours of Ice cream that somehow this means "we" are entitled to carry on winning conflicts.........I think the last Romans had the same thoughts.

Probably not exactly a PC view
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:09   #24
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Gee...
I dunno. It might be about as effective as building a 700-mile fence (no, actually about half that, and an "electronic one" at that) in a country with 5,000 miles of land borders and 3,000 miles of coastline.
Bill

Go easy on the fence... I may decide to bid on building that thing. Just where can I get he labor... hmmm.

I might be inclined to agree with a serious, voluntary license that is recognized by mariners and maritime organizations worlwide as proof of proficiency. While I believe I could pass the 6 pack without too much trouble getting together the "days on the water" portion will require some "flexibility in recorkeeping." I believe that the UK has a Yachtmaster rating but I could be wrong. This is not to suggest that making every one with a boat pay $100 and attend a 1 hour course on tying life jacket knots is a good idea.

Finally take a look at "A World Lit Only By Fire." It has an interesting take on Rome and the fall...
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:25   #25
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David-
That's why I didn't comment on Roman politics of *conquest*, just on military strategy and tactics. Whether used for defense, conquest, or war...their military science often was best-of-breed.

Which I guess takes us back to boat licensing. Our US system of "let's tax the rubes to death, one nickel and dime at a time, and keep 'em too busy to run their own country" also may be best-of-breed. (sigh). I just can't see this boat licensing program, as discussed or as it might be implemented, really doing anything for safety. After all, we license auto drivers--and we do an incredibly poor job at that. Possibly the laxest and poorest job of licensing anywhere in the world, aside from some garden spots [sic] in Africa.

It sadly would probably make more sense to migrate to a federal "motor vehicle" license (either replacing state license or as an alternative to them) and just as we now have endorsements for different vehicles classes (motorcylce, car, truck, heavy truck) just add the endorsements for boats. Making it all that much simpler to confiscate the *whole* license for drunk operators.

Something else we're equally lax on, and not doing a good job with.

Actually, pitching that concept might stop the boating license concept. The states would never let the USCG take away that pile of income.<G>
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:09   #26
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Which I guess takes us back to boat licensing.
ok

In response to someone else, the UK "Yachtmaster" is a voluntary training course run by the RYA. And they are probably the best known UK based training organisation, with operations / franchises in both the UK and Europe. They have various levels of courses for both sail and power, with Yachtmaster being the "Highest" (non commercial) level. Fortunately you can take the course and obtain the sea mileage at a conveniant school down in the Med within a few weeks. Think PADI and "Dive Master", and you would be about right.

In the UK no one needs any form of licence to own or use a boat. Their is even no need to register the boat or declare to anyone that you are heading off on a voyage. (of course I think anyone who has never even seen the sea before jumping into a yacht for a circumnavigation is a donut - but in my book it is called having personal responsibility / Evolution in action )

Of course this situation will not last



(NB: RYA = Royal Yachting Association - a non commercial organisation that represents the interests of folk with boats in the UK, although in practice it is really a self sustaining organisation run for the benefit of.............those employed by it - but that is another thread!).
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Old 03-01-2007, 16:26   #27
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I guess I'll stick my neck out and say that I don't see anything wrong with this idea. Feel free to consider this as just "its his ox getting gored, not mine" opinion as I don't (yet) have a boat, and maybe that also explains why I am somewhat surprised at the level of animus directed against this idea by the above posters.

As an above poster mentioned, it seems very similar to automobile licensing. I do have a car, and I do like the fact that you have to have a license to drive, and in order to get a license, you gotta demonstrate that you're not a complete idiot. If this makes boaters have a basic knowledge of boating law and safety rules, all the better.

I don't see how this will cause the US to go bankrupt; I see the licensee paying a fee for the license, which will probably be a net revenue gain. Plus, add to that the potential fine for boating without a license and the dollars increase.

More and more boats on the water, this was bound to happen sometime.
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Old 03-01-2007, 16:46   #28
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Its about personal empire building by bureaucrats, like so many government ideas.Look up Parkinson's law.
When a politician gets elected, they may see the people who campaigned for them a few times a year. The bureaucrats are in their faces many times a day. Who has the most influence? Bureaucrats . When they want advice who do they ask first? The Bureaucrats . What will the bureaucrats advise them? Whatever is in the best interest of the personal empire bulding efforts of the bureaucrats . Whatever employs the most bureaucrats.
That is why most governemnts become government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats. Politicians need to be frequently reminded that bureaucrats are a tiny portion of the people they need to get re elected. That is why idealists repeatedly have their dreams shattered .
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Old 03-01-2007, 17:01   #29
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So what (respectfully) if this is the brainchild of a bureaucrat? If it's a good idea, does it really matter from where the idea sprang?
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Old 03-01-2007, 17:36   #30
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N.M.I.K.E., It is not as much the idea of a boating license, as the reasoning behins it. This is not something being proposed to improve boater safety, but in the name of "National Security". The claims to support it are unfound, and the whole idea stinks of a power grab IMHO. As for auto licensing, so you really believe that being able to pass a state driving test makes you a competent driver? These tests are designed as a shill so that any moron can get a driver license, but the state can claim some regulation. It also takes advantage of linking something people want (the privelidge of driving a car) with something the government wants (A national data base identifying every person in the country over 16.)
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