Monthly Archives: April 2011

Going on the Account: Returning Our Attention To…

As I discussed a little while ago, I wanted to revisit the characters from Raging Gail for a bit.

And you can get one more look at them by clicking here…

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Going on the Account: How Not To, and Maybe How To

With the situation in Somalia showing very little progress, with twenty four ships as of this post still held by pirates, word came in recently of a private security armada forming to take out the pirates.

While I can fully appreciate the effort to try and make things better, this seems more like frustration with things as they now stand, with a major commitment of ships on station producing few tangible results.  Reacting in this way, though, feels like pouring gasoline on a raging fire; a private navy doing convoy duty might be more tempted to go live with their ammo to impress their bosses and lose a client the hard way, rather than adding to the ships seized.

So what’s the answer, if not sending private vessels to sea better armed?  Before we get cries of “The market doesn’t solve every problem,” there is a piece out there about anecdotal evidence suggesting that Netflix is cutting into BitTorrent’s business.  If ever there was proof that the best way to address piracy is to remove the biggest encouragements to it, price and access, this is it.

Could a Netflix-like solution work here?  Is it possible to re-work trade and the flow of capital in such a way that piracy, not only inSomaliabut worldwide, suddenly becomes unattractive?

Until we get some serious consideration of a radical solution, we may not find out before the first mercenary vessel sinks a tanker while trying to save it…

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Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Nine

Part Nine of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

And stand by for an announcement concerning some further adventures set on the decks of the Raging Gale

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Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Eight

Part Eight of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

 

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Going on the Account: Rough Seas Ahead

If you are a pirate, as in an actual pirate, things are not looking so good these days:

  • Mohammad Saaili Shibin has been indicted for his role in the S/V Quest debacle.  A negotiator for Somali pirates and a go-between to arrange ransoms, he faces charges of piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence, and is the highest-ranking pirate (as far as structure can be applied to the organization) to go before a US judge.
  • Pirate actions have recently been broken up by the HMAS Stuart, capturing 15, and Denmark’s Esbern Snare, capturing a further 15.

Even with two successful ransom drops and a doubling in activity off Somalia over the same quarter last year, these aren’t what you’d call carefree days over there.  The pressure’s on, with more money flowing through the captors’ hands drawing in a new breed of pirates (see: “The brutality escalates”)  who are behaving down to the worst level expected, while an increased armed presence may actually be making matters worse as more hot fire incidents make the pirates more likely to make reckless choices as they did when they seized the S/V Quest.

Things are going to get a lot messier, especially as the best remedy for addressing the issue, rebuilding society inSomalia, takes a back seat again to other concerns around the world.

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It’s hard to find something to laugh at in the face of such depressing prospects.  Case in point: Russell, the Internet Pirate that was created by YouTube to educate users on IP issues.

Russell:  Worst.  Pirate.  Ever.

I’ll let the little barnacle-brain do his own hempen jig; nothing I could say could really add/alleviate that anyway…

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As far as pirate creations go, before I got my kit packed to go the Buffalo, I did put the final touches on that revisit I’d mentioned earlier.  Soon, very soon…

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Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Seven

Part Seven of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

 

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Going on the Account: Afield, Offshore, But Not Too Far

Just a heads-up that I’m going to be on the road next week.  I’m going to more likely than not be incommunicado as we’re not bringing that much hardware with us on this family vacation; not totally shut off from the world, but less likely to be on the spot immediately.  The most likely effect of this is going to be that RED JENNY’s next chapter goes up on automatic, but some linking between chapters may have to wait until I return.

 

I’m going to be among family in Buffalo, with a few days in Toronto.  Ironic, no…?

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