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Old 29-04-2008, 02:48   #16
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The Plan

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) press release:
DHS: DHS Unveils Small Vessel Security Strategy

Small Vessel Security Strategy:
http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s...y-strategy.pdf

America's Waterway Watch (AWW)
is a public outreach program, encouraging participants to simply report suspicious activity to the Coast Guard and/or other law enforcement agencies.
AMERICA'S WATERWAY WATCH HOME PAGE
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Old 29-04-2008, 03:12   #17
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Securite, Securite, Securite, ........Coast Watch

"I would like to report some strange banging noises and a rocking motion on the pleasure craft at anchor near me.


Do I have your permision to investigate?.........."
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Old 29-04-2008, 03:50   #18
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Interesting, in a local NZ paper the Mangawhai Focus there is an article from the NZ Customs Quote "It is our job to protect the Community from illegal border crossings and from people bringing in illegal or dangerous items" "things to look for included smuggled plants and animals, unusual aircraft movements or activity on remote or disused airfields, attempts to land in isolated areas, ships signalling to the beach or shore or 2 vessels meeting at sea." No matter how small or apparently insignificant it may appear they want to be told and if it is not of interest to Customs it may be to the Fisheries dept or the Police. All topdressing pilots and fishermen would have to be immediately suspect. It seems that NZ authorities are following the agenda being set by the Homeland security types in the US and Aus, They have an 0800 number and all calls are confidential. With NZ being 1200 miles from anywhere we could be perhaps have become a little complacent, but I would think the airplane landing would be more relevant in either of those countries rather than NZ, and boats meeting at sea, well with one of the largest boat ownerships per head of population in the world they will have to expand the Navy / customs from its present few vessels to attempt to answer a fraction of the boats meeting on any weekend. Sad to see this train of thought being propogated here.
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:02   #19
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I'm not sure why posters to this thread are so negative about the government asking small boat operators to help protect the country from terrorist attack.

All they want you to do is carry your wallet (with a piece of personal ID in it), get a bit educated on the potential threats, and call a phone number if you see someone anchoring his boat near the end of an airport runway and unpacking a RPG.

Sarcastic overstatements like "spying on neighbors" and allusions to "police states" aren't very helpful. Are you really saying that the threat is "nonexistant"? Are you saying that you'd stand by and do nothing if you saw truly suspicious activities, because the government is "intruding on our rights as boaters to boat without restrictions"?
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:52   #20
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Hud from an outsiders point of view I would be greatfull if you would respond to my post.
It is important that you realize that it is a confusing "culture" that you live in, compared to other western countries. From an outsiders point of view,the idea of having heavily armed "protectors" in the nearby vicinity , would mean that there is a immanent danger, and that one should be careful and quiet until the danger has passed. If that is normal in your situation you should be up front. because it is not normal for most western countries. Quite the contrary. The display as discussed , elsewhere would
provoke fear. This is the point that other people have posted. If you re read my post, you will see that almost verbatim, I have said what you have posted. That is not the problem. The overt and I say it again from an outsiders point of view. Display of aggression makes normal people uncomfortable;. Unless you except that you are living in a war zone with a constant threat of attack/ If that is where you live I am sorry I will not put it on my visiting list. And I will restate a Bright orange RIB with a large machine gun is a very foolish statement. It may make some people secure but to outsiders it is threatening and to all intents and purposes silly.
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:58   #21
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Do you really think an American watching people unload RPGs near an airport wouldnt call some authorities on it, without the government instituting a complete layer of beaurocracy in order to FORCE him to do so? People will do the right thing. Governments rarely do. So now we are down to "You better report that RPG guy or we are going to put you in jail"?? What has happened to Americans? Why does every act of every day have to be under some kind of legislation and control?
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:58   #22
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Gee, I'm old enough that I can remember when the US gov't. used to denigrate the Chinese "Neighborhood Watch" for "spying" on neighbors.

Pres. Eisenhower once said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". The current leaders are all saying things like "be very afraid". The more fear the security types can generate in the general population the more power they have. I think that is why people are a little skeptical.
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:07   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
I'm not sure why posters to this thread are so negative about the government asking small boat operators to help protect the country from terrorist attack.

All they want you to do is carry your wallet (with a piece of personal ID in it), get a bit educated on the potential threats, and call a phone number if you see someone anchoring his boat near the end of an airport runway and unpacking a RPG.

Sarcastic overstatements like "spying on neighbors" and allusions to "police states" aren't very helpful. Are you really saying that the threat is "nonexistant"? Are you saying that you'd stand by and do nothing if you saw truly suspicious activities, because the government is "intruding on our rights as boaters to boat without restrictions"?
Gosh Hud, sounds like you are fighting the war on terror all by yourself

I agree with Cooper and he probably says it better that me.

Maybe it is a cultural thing but a lot of Aussie's (and probably Poms) use derogatory / sarcastic comments to highlight the excessivily stupid (to us) beaucratic reasoning.

I suspect most Aussie / Kiwi / Pommy boaters already well ahead of the goverment when it comes to keeping a weather eye to suspicious activities. We do it naturally 'cause we are curious and want to know what is happening in our local patch. We actually laugh when some goverment outfit suggests this is a new thing that we should do. Down under, it is a case of goverments should stay in Canberra and the rest of us should stay outside Canberra (USA readers - insert Washington DC for Canberra). Maybe North American boaters are the same - I just don't know enough of them to really comment.

Perhaps we are a bit insular and suspicious of strangers but I think we sum up a situation pretty quick and we don't need public servants racing around in camo gear, heavy boots and armed RIB's to make us feel safe - in fact, such activitly makes us feel unsafe - especially when we know that these guys are just following some training manual on how to do their job and mostly have no local knowledge whatsover on which to make intelligent decisions. Remember the oxymoron - military intelligence.

Opps - this is starting to sound like a rant - must get back to the refit and get on the water again.
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:30   #24
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The subject of this thread is the proposal to institute a "Small Vessel Security Strategy". Gord posted three very helpful links, in case anyone wants to actually read what the government is proposing. See Post No. 16.

All the blathering about jackbooted, camo dressed, machine gun toting, armed RIB driving Coasties doesn't have anything to do with the topic. Somehow the initial post triggered a wave of anti-government sentiment, and visions of the US as a military police state. You guys have been watching WAY too much television!

Can we agree on what the question is before discussing it?
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:51   #25
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Hud, the intent of my original question, was to ask if others felt this type of formalization was contributing to a paranoid police state or was a good idea?

No one I think would argue that vigilance is a good idea in any situation but joking aside, it is an uncomfortable ethical shift for me, when my government advocates that I “spy on my neighbour”, as part of my civic duty.

After 9/11 and Bali, we all have heightened awareness, but should that fear dominate ones right to privacy and respect for yourself and others?

Before and in the future, if I happen to see a problem, I will simply call the police and stand by to assist.
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:56   #26
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Wotname, you've got it all wrong. Obviously you've never been boating in US domestic waters, and you haven't been watching our movies about boating, either. (Some Hollywood types will be visiting you shortly to discuss that failure, you're in big trouble now.[g])

We don't let Coasties wear heavy boots, much less jackboots. (Hud, you've confused the Coasties with the FBI, who were branded "jackbooted thugs" after Ruby Ridge. Nazis wore jackboots, US forces don't. The reference was an implication that the FBI were Nazi Stormtroopers.)

And we don't let Coasties wear camo, regardless of mismatching footwear.

The primary US coastal security program requires that all motor boaters imbibe massive quantities of alcohol before leaving the dock. Since most international terrorists of concern to the DHI are Moslem and Moslems are banned from strong spirit (and thus unfamiliar with it even if they are willing to break their bans) that pretty much ensures that any terrorists trying to use small go-fast boats in US coastal waters, will fall down drunk before they can complete their missions.

Getting liquored up every time you step into a motor boat is a hard job--but SOMEone's got to do it. For the national security.

Cheers!
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Old 29-04-2008, 09:24   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Hud, the intent of my original question, was to ask if others felt this type of formalization was contributing to a paranoid police state or was a good idea?

No one I think would argue that vigilance is a good idea in any situation but joking aside, it is an uncomfortable ethical shift for me, when my government advocates that I “spy on my neighbour”, as part of my civic duty.

After 9/11 and Bali, we all have heightened awareness, but should that fear dominate ones right to privacy and respect for yourself and others?

Before and in the future, if I happen to see a problem, I will simply call the police and stand by to assist.
Did you read the proposal in the links provided by Gord?

We are not being asked to "spy on our neighbors" at all, just be on the lookout for suspicious activities. And if I'm being asked to learn a bit more about how small boats could be used to a terrorist's advantage, I don't translate that into being "dominated by fear". And I can't see how any of this 'threatens privacy and respect for myself and others". Can you explain?

Pelagic, the way your phrased your original question leads me to believe you've already made up your mind on the subject:

"Is this a good idea or will it encourage the nation to become a home for paranoia and eventual military rule?"

Paranoia and military rule? Come on! Who's the paranoid one?
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Old 29-04-2008, 10:57   #28
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I particularly liked No. 8 "Control the Press". Control the Press???? Can't be done--it's out of control for years.
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:13   #29
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"Fascist America"?

From History - nothing is impossible.

Of course the next time that Facism / Nazism comes back into power (America / UK or elsewhere) it won't be called by the same name......for obvious PR reasons .......and remember that Hitler and Mussolini were voted into power because what they said and even did was attractive to many and not everything they did was "bad".........no fundamental reason why it would not become attractive again to many......

Does it bother me? To be honest. Not really.....no kids and no plans for.
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Old 29-04-2008, 14:59   #30
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Well Hud, I think this is one of the rare occasions where we might disagree.

I must admit to being out of touch with the US from living overseas for so long….. so when I read about this formalization of a coast watch, some warning bells went off and I asked this question with an open mind.

History does remind us when public concerns brought us the hysteria of McCarthyism and other excesses. Some still argue today that these were necessary counterbalances to the real dangers that existed. I don’t know, I guess you can rationalise anything, but my question still remains…..Is this a good idea?

If this is just a public awareness campaign that goes no further than giving every boater a “number” to call, then I am comfortable with that intent. But if it is a first step in leveraging control of the freedom to release dock lines without receiving government permission, then that would make me paranoid.
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