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Old 20-05-2006, 15:11   #16
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The "war on terror" has brought a lot of things that are all new and not well understood by almost everyone. The people charged with the duties are still figuring it all out and the politicians want to put on a big show just to prove they are on top of it.

So on the one hand we build giant fences and call out the National Guard along the border with Mexico and at the same time we expect a few no tresspassing signs to handle the Canadians on a bigger border that is far easier to cross. It's all about the show. I'm afraid boaters are in for a a whole lot more hassles from a whole lot more corners of the globe as well as at home. I expect it to be more from the small time police more than anything.

The US Navy has actually been pretty good during all this. They issue the security calls on Ch 16 and they warn a few folks off from time to time but so far no shots fired and I don't recall anyone even being arrested yet. I also live 1/2 mile from the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station and so far they have not shot anyone either. They do come out if you get too close to thier pier pretty much day or night.
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Old 20-05-2006, 17:09   #17
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I generally have a problem with ununiformed police authorities. I see very little need for them especially with the threat posed by misuse.

For example: There was a whacko stopping women in the Philadelphia suburbs about 10 years ago. They were found sexually assaulted and very dead. He was operating as a cop in an unmarked car.

Road cops do not need unmarked cars to police the highways. This is especially true for marine patrols. Just where are you going to hide.
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Old 20-05-2006, 17:19   #18
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I agree, Wukong.

I believe all police officers should be uniformed.

EXCEPT: the undercover police. For their undercover work on drug smuggling. Or people smuggling. Or anything smuggling? And only just for that purpose.

But nothing else, they should be in uniform.
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Old 21-05-2006, 07:32   #19
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Bob, back to your original question. The author IMO is exercising a great deal of hyperbole along with a small amount of legtimate concern. I especially found him hyper-inflating the episode when he busily itemized all the bad things that didn't happen. Weeding through the huff 'n puff, the data seems to suggest he was visited by a single young group of not-well-trained or led customs boys who were were not abusive, just lacking in professionalism. Cause for concern? Perhaps a bit. Evidence that the entire system is shifting into a New Age of Totalitarianism, as your title and post suggests? Hardly.

You know I'm one of your fans so perhaps it's okay if I urge you not to overreact too much with these 'govt. running amok' stories. This would tend to water down the credibility you do have and pre-empt gaining more, I would think.

Jack
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Old 21-05-2006, 17:23   #20
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Greetings Jack and all you guys...

I didn't want to add my input to the story. I wanted to allow the author his say. To put in local context however, this confrontation was not isolated at all, sadly has become common. (daily in some cases) what was interesting about this one was the gentlemanís legal background. BTW, he did get an official apology from the minister because the group in question was breaking Australian law by the manner in which they made contact. Another big point is why are they contacting Australian vessels anyway? The author was in a popular cruising area that only a real idiot of a smuggler would attempt to penetrate. Just a couple weeks before this edition went to press TV and news papers were full of the story of a large tanker that was found deep in Australian waters, drifting with name and registration painted over, in the gulf of Carpentaria near the Torres straits. It was surmised by authorities that the vessel may have been a tanker for a fleet of illegal fishing vessels that had been working there. The next day they were on the news again admitting that it wasn't their find as reported the day before but rather was from a report from a skipper of a commercial vessel in the area... but it gets worse. A friend of mine runs a pilot boat service out of Thursday Island in the straits. He reported to me that everyone that worked the area had known about the abandon vessel for well over a week before it was "discovered" by customs. This is an area of coast that is very vulnerable. On a good day you could cross the strait from PNG or Indonesia in a runabout but yet apparently poor coverage from customs. It begs the question of motivation and actual goal of the authorities involved.

But mostly I want to understand how/if people would accept this change in the actions of the customs service. My feeling on this is that it is a dangerous precedent to allow, rights are a very hard thing to get back once lost but... It isn't smart to stick your neck out without the support of the community. This is a brilliant forum and I'm happy to be a part of it.

Had a great visit with Andy R yesterday. We had a productive talk.

Cheers to all

Bob
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Old 21-05-2006, 17:31   #21
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That was never true. What is true they will become involved when there is seriuous risk to human life and to some degree private property. They have always had the mandate that they do not perfom the duties that can be provided by commercial services.
You know not of what you speak. It has been the mandate of the U. S. Lifeboat Service, better known in later years as the U.S. Coast Guard, to assist all boaters. They towed all manner of vessel to safe ports before Sea Tow and Tow Boat U.S. existed.

I served on several Lifeboat Stations in the Coast Guard and our duties were to patrol our area of coverage, assist boaters, tow disabled boats, run logistics to offshore facilities and be a general help on the water. The Lifeboat Stations have all but vanished and have been replaced with stations whose prime duty is to guard our shores as was their original charger as the Revenue Cutter Service.
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Old 21-05-2006, 18:41   #22
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Quote:
They have always had the mandate that they do not perfom the duties that can be provided by commercial services.
In fact I do know. You for some reason ignored the rest of my sentence that said so. In matters life threatening you won't find Seatow or Tow Boat US risking anything. They are generally one man operations in small power boats I'll equiped for heavy weather. They would be stupid to make such attempts.

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The Lifeboat Stations have all but vanished and have been replaced with stations whose prime duty is to guard our shores as was their original charger as the Revenue Cutter Service.
There is a nice resotaration of one in Northern NC called Sanderling (Coralla, NC) that has made a great restaurant of the orginal Lifeboat station and also added rooms and made a nice reesort.
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Old 21-05-2006, 19:57   #23
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While I agree that the incident, in itself, was not a big deal - and that the author did blow it up a bit, I think that if we let an abuse of power go unchallanged, that we will allow that incident to stand as OK. This would then be the basis on which other abuses could take place.

We need to understand that when power gets out of control, it is not abruptly nor without previous incidents. It is a gradual decline that we allow; as each egress into our rights is so minor that we don't feel it is worth it to object. *I* don't want to wake up some day and find that we 'allowed' things to transgress so far that we find ourselves, as many did in WWII Germany, without support, because our support has already been incarcerated or 'removed'.
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Old 21-05-2006, 20:05   #24
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Well Elusive.

I won't argue about that.

I totally agree with you on the abuse of power.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely!!
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Old 26-05-2006, 19:47   #25
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One One Should Consider Political Bias In Evaluating This Story

The following quote from Mr. Ayers should be considered when determining the credibility of his story:

"People seem to have rejected the Welfare state that once looked after us in time of need. In place we now have, if not a police state yet, an extremely authoritarian state."

This sounds like a pretty radical (anti-government) statement to me.

I think that Paul Blais' opinions on this story are right on the money.

Respecfully,

Fritz
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