The coolest job in the world- being a PIRATE! 50 million plus a year
The coolest job in the world- being a PIRATE! 50 million plus a year
I don’t know if CM’s readers will agree, but come on, these guys have balls and they get paid big time.
JIDDA: A hijacked Saudi-owned supertanker carrying more than $100 million worth of crude oil is approaching Somali waters, where it is expected to anchor so that negotiations can begin on the release of the vessel and its 25 crew members, U.S. Navy officials said Tuesday.
The 330-meter, or 1,100-foot, vessel, the Sirius Star, is the largest ship ever seized by pirates – about the size of an aircraft carrier, by U.S. estimates. It was captured off the coast of Kenya.
"At this time, we believe the ship is just off the Somali coast," said Commander Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, stationed in Bahrain. "We don’t have a specific indication that the ship is at anchor, but if it follows the pattern of previous attacks, that’s what will happen, and negotiations will begin between the pirates and the owners of ship."
Although the supertanker’s exact location near the Somali coast is not clear, in the past most pirates have brought hijacked vessels to a stretch of coastline between Eyl in northern Somalia and the Harradera region to the south, Campbell said in an interview by telephone.
The hijacking follows a string of increasingly brazen attacks by Somali pirates in recent months, but this appeared to be the first time that pirates had seized a loaded oil tanker.
Asked about a possible naval intervention, Campbell said: "Once the attack takes place, this is a hostage situation, and there are 25 crew members on board that ship. As with any hostage situation, there has to be concern for those individuals."
Negotiations with pirates have often taken weeks or even months. A Ukrainian vessel hijacked in September, loaded with tanks and other heavy weapons, is still being held at Hobyo on the Somali coast, where the ship’s crew remain captive, Campbell said.
Noel Choong, at the International Maritime Bureau, the global clearinghouse for piracy reporting, in Kuala Lumpur, said Tuesday that 88 ships had been attacked in the Gulf of Aden alone this year. And 14 hijacked ships remain in the gulf – the heavily armed hijackers still on board, with the crews, cargo and the vessels themselves being held for ransom, he said.
"They’re still at sea and still negotiating," said Choong, the head of the piracy reporting center at the bureau, noting that as ransom payoffs had risen, pirates had raised their demands. "They know the going rate."
Only a few years ago, the average ransom was in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now payments can range from $500,000 to $2 million.
The pirates’ profits are expected to reach a record $50 million in 2008, Somali officials say. Shipping firms are usually prepared to pay, because the sums are low compared with the value of the ships.
The attack on the Sirius Star took place despite an increased multinational naval presence off the Somali coast, where most of the recent hijackings have taken place. The pirates, often armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, travel in speedboats equipped with satellite phones and global positioning system, or GPS, equipment.
The supertanker was hijacked more than 830 kilometers, or 520 miles, southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, U.S. Navy officials said. That is far to the south of most recent attacks, suggesting that the pirates may be expanding their range in an effort to avoid the multinational naval patrols now plying the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.
"I’m stunned by the range of it," said Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a news conference in Washington. The ship’s distance from the coast was "the longest distance I’ve seen for any of these incidents," he said.
The vessel was headed for the United States when it was seized, Reuters reported.
Maritime experts recently have noticed a new development in the gulf – the pirates’ use of "mother ships," large oceangoing trawlers carrying fleets of speedboats that are then deployed when a new prize is encountered.
"They launch these boats, and they’re like wild dogs," said Choong in Kuala Lumpur. "They attack the ship from the port, from starboard, from all points, shooting, scaring the captain, firing RPGs," or rocket-propelled grenades, "and forcing the ship to stop."
There are some countermeasures the merchant ships can use when approaching pirates are spotted. Fire-retardant foam or huge blasts of water can be sprayed from the ship to douse the would-be hijackers.
Once pirates are aboard, however, the ship is theirs, because crews on commercial vessels are rarely armed, according to Choong and other maritime experts. "They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons," he said.
Nor do many ship owners use armed contractors – seagoing mercenaries – to fight or ward off approaching pirates. Experts said crew safety and insurance liability were overriding concerns of captains and owners.
"We do not advocate this, having armed escorts on board," said Lee Yin Mui, assistant director of research at the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships at Sea, a 16-nation network is based in Singapore.
"Armed escorts could only escalate the situation," she said, "and perhaps trigger off heavy cross-fire."
The Sirius Star is owned by Vela International, a subsidiary of the oil giant Saudi Aramco. Its 25-member crew includes citizens of Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Navy said.
Robert F. Worth reported from Jidda, Mark McDonald reported from Hong Kong and Alan Cowell contributed from Paris.
Too bad I don’t look good in hats!
Hey, anybody that sticks it to a Saudi owned ship in my book is a hero, Pirate or not.
Thought this was great!!
JUST THE TRUTH
I have had it!! Done!! Finished!! Over!!
What does it take for a species, such as ours, with all our newest technological advances in science, medicine, astronomy and humanity, to finally come full circle and realize we are never going to progress any further than we are right now, unless we come to grips with the one and only “standard” that holds its’ own thru every single civilization that has ever lived on this planet?
Why is it so hard for this wonderful species of ours to just take a deep breath and say, “Enough is Enough”, and succumb to the “one and only axiom” that has held sway from the very beginning?
How can we continue to watch, in horror, lives snuffed out in front of our eyes for unknown transgressions and how is it even possible that we can look, unconscionably, upon the daily killing of 1000’s of lives that crossed an “imaginary” boundary that was laid down in the sand by unknowing, unfeeling, unintelligent beings that have only ONE agenda in mind?
Where are all those “tuff patriots”, that so endlessly spit out their meaningless diatribe on endless forums, telling us all how, “I think…..” and “I would do…..”, and acting as if they actually KNOW something about fighting for their freedom from an aspect other than their keyboard or game controller?
When do the ‘REAL AMERICANS’ stand up and say, “This is NOT what I put my life on the line for and THIS is NOT what I worked so hard for all my life, dammit! I will NOT let a bunch of impromptu politicians walk in and take away my very existence. Regardless of what everyone thinks, this is NOT a DEMOCRACY and I will not stand by and let the democratic majority take away my rights! I will do my “CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY” and my DUTY, not JOB, but DUTY, and I will stand up and OVERTHROW this government that has gotten out of control and is only in office for the single purpose of self preservation and personal profit”!
How can a man of widely unknown origins circumvent the system and end up running for President of the U.S., without having to answer to ANY of the many requests for his live birth records, college records, etc., while at the same time, I will go to jail, for 8 hours in my county, if I cannot provide proof of a drivers license “on my person”?. How is it this man is so well versed when on a teleprompter and can’t hold a tune with answering unrehearsed questions? Exactly, when did the United States let people “just running for office” go over to other countries (Israel) and dictate foreign policy? Since when, did a man that has not even made it through the Electoral College process, start dictating Executive Orders and picking his cabinet members?
I keep hearing the words “Unprecedented Times” over and over as people talk about today’s lifestyle and the “changes” this new President is going to bring. Well, I have news for all you folks that have not done your homework or have not read any news other than Yahoo and MSNBC.
YOU are about to experience the biggest change you have ever seen in your life.
I don’t care if you lived thru Katrina AND a tsunami AND a tornado. You are going to be so overwhelmed in 1 year you won’t even know what hit you. You don’t chop down a huge tree with one big chop. You cut it down with a bunch of little cuts. Most people cannot see the “little cuts” that have been occurring over the last 10-15 years. They were all so gradual that we never felt their effects until now. They are now culminating at such an exponential pace that it’s almost frightening. We are literally going to go to bed on a Friday night feeling a little trepidation and wake up on Monday morn saying, “WTF just happened”? It will be THAT quick.
It is wild to think that only a mere 15 years ago, the stock market started rising at such an incredible pace that you were a fool NOT to get into it. Every Monday morning, someone else was introduced that would tell us how “this market is different”. They would be an “expert” by that Friday, because the market went up just like they said. To make it look and sound good, they would throw in numbers and P/E ratios and a pretty chart of the projections that their “supersoftware” had made for them. Ahhhh, the days of trading AMZN and YHOO options everyday. Sometimes making 30k before 10:30 and celebrating at the golf course with martinis by 11:30. If a stock DIDN’T split every couple of months, something was wrong. It was considered a laggard!! Imagine telling someone back then that we would be seeing the banks getting bailed out and they would have had you committed! Everyone was a lush with their $20.00 cigars and their pearl inlaid cigar cutters and their $200.00 bottles of Pinot Noir at dinner.
Cars couldn’t get big enough to haul all our “stuff” around in. But then came a threat that was laughed at by some and dreaded by others. The threat of Y2K. What a wonderful time to be alive. The speculation that went on for that New Years’ was just shy of “Unprecedented”. Most of us remember where we were on that New Years’ cause we thought it might be our last.
We had just gotten over the hangover of that event, when all of a sudden…BAAAMMMM!..We have the WTC’s fiasco. I call this a fiasco because we have come to realize that it “most likely” wasn’t perpetrated by a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan. I think it is safe to say that 911 was easily the “beginning of the end”.
Now here we are on the cusp of the most volatile time in our countrys’ history and we can’t, or won’t, face the inevitable facts before us. Somehow though, this we must do. We have no other choice. We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend that there is nothing wrong, or we can stand up as one nation and say, “I want to hear the truth. I want to LIVE the TRUTH”!!!!
Why is it so hard for us to just present the truth? Mr. Obama…excuse me..Barrack, or Barry or whatever name you go by, We the people have the right for you to answer our questions “truthfully” and in full. For you to hide behind injunctions and delay tactics is probably a very noble thing to do in the corporate/legal/political world that YOU live in, but, guess what, THAT is NOT the world that the majority of people in the U.S.A. live in. Most of us don’t make it a common occurrence to lie and cover up everything we do. Some decent Americans are still of the belief that it is WRONG to lie about taxes and marriages and affairs and even their upbringing. We all know the values that you talked about on the campaign trail and we have already seen that those are NOT, in fact, what you are doing as of yet.
I approached a friend of mine and said, “We need to do something to help set this country back on the straight and narrow. Something that will get not only Washington’s attention, but something that will make every politician in the land remember that THEY work for US”.
We batted the idea around for awhile and came up with this. We call it “One Shot”. The name has a lot of different connotations involved but we will get to that later. On a particular date, at a particular time, an unknown number of law abiding citizens (500k plus) are going to show up in Washington, D.C. with our “legal” weapons, legal handguns, BB guns, Pellet Rifles and slingshots with metal pellets, and we are going to all get hotel/motel rooms within a 1 mile radius of the Whitehouse. At the predesignated time, we are all gonna take our weapons and aim them in the general vicinity of the Whitehouse and when the clock strikes, you are going to hear “The shot heard round the world”. Now I’m not sure where all that lead is going to come down, but I’m sure Dick Cheney could fill you in on that one since you don’t seem to like, or know much about weapons. Oopps!!! I almost forgot. Dick’s not too good with a weapon either.
Did you ever see those propaganda videos,that your cronies in Washington put out,showing Saddam Hussein shooting a pistol or machine gun into the air? How many people do you think he may have hurt because of his stupidity? Think about it.
After a couple of beers, my buddy said that my plan would never work. I asked him why he felt that way and he said the way America is these days, the idiots would close the whole city down for 2 weeks if they thought we were on the way! I have to wonder though, about the resolve of the REAL American in this scenario. I think they would actually show up in bigger numbers with bigger bullets. I heard Joe Biden adamantly saying there was going to be an “EVENT” on Jan. 20 or 21 that was going to test the resolve of Mr. Obamamama. I wonder if it involves slingshots?
Because of you and the forces that have manipulated the road that you came in on, it is not too hard to imagine that your name is going to go down in the history books in one way or another.
I, for one, think that it may not be the legacy that you would have preferred though. You are definitely going to be remembered and it will not be anything racial or hateful, but….
I am of the feeling, no, feeling is not a strong enough word…”premonition”…that sounds good…that the Holiday season of the end of 2008 will forever go down in history as…..
“BLACK CHRISTMAS”. In 50 years they will still talk about it just like the “CRASH of 29" and all the other historical events. And YOU will be able to take all the credit for it.
Make us proud Barry!
scene; pentagon office of adm mike mullen chairman joint chiefs of staff
mullen; this is admiral mullen can i help you
ali al naimi: yes admiral this is ali al naimi oil minister of saudi arabia
mullen; yes ali this is quite a surprise and an honor what can i do to help you ?
naimi; well admiral we have had one of our tankers hijacked at sea.
mullen; i see well what is it we can do to help.
naimi; king abdullah would like the return of his ship. and he would like you to know that
the oil on that tanker was on its way to the u.s. and he fully expects to be paid for the oil.
mullen; of course i understand we will do whatever we can.
naimi; the ship is being held for ransom. the king expects the u.s. to pay that ransom on top of the price of the oil. he expects this as part of our quid pro quo agreement to provide security to our country in exchange for our willingness to supply the u.s. with oil and to continue to accept your uh…….. excuse me currency.
mullen; yes i understand completely ali. i will contact those in charge to resolve this.
naimi; yes i understand there is a transition going on now so who will you contact obama or bush?
mullen; oh neither one. the real people in charge are secretary of treasury paulson and chairman of the fed bernanke. whatever these lowlife pirates are asking i am sure that these two men wil be able to deal with them. compared to what they have been negotiating i am quite sure this will amount to chump change. these are the toughest negotiators in washington they have given away the equivalent of a hundred of your tankers.why they were able to come up with the ransom for the entire u.s economy. so ali tell the king not to worry.
naimi; thank you admiral
mullen; not at all ali . my best to the king good bye.
naimi; oh by the way admiral the king would be most disappointed if the tanker suffered any damage.
mullen; of course ali i understand. our people understand. and should your ship need a bailout we will be in a position to handle it
mullen then dials a number.
phone rings in office of chief of naval operations gary roughead.
roughead; hello this is gary roughead.
mullen; just what the f*&** is going on. i just got call from this arrogant raghead telling me one of his boats is awol.
roughead; yes sir it seems some pirates just hijacked one of the saudi tankers.
mullen; well take care of it gary and not one scrape of any paint on that damn tanker you understand.
roughead; yes sir
scene a palace in the desert near riyadh saudi arabia.
phone rings, servant answers and informs king abdullah that oil minister naimi is on the phone.
king; yes ali
naimi; it is handled your highness. the americans will take care of any financial issues with the pirates,
king; that is good i knew they would but it is such an unseemly thing we have to do to remind them of their obligations. they are fools but they do serve our purposes so i suppose we must endure their failings.
naimi; yes your highness. by the way your highness i think i have found away to increase the price of our oil.
king; yes ali please tell me, our profits have been declining, i would be open to hearing your suggestions.
naimi; well perhaps we might go into partnership with the pirates. if we can create an atmosphere of fear of supply disruptions we can then raise prices. the pirates will not require much to buy off and we can then raise the cost of our oil.
king; i think it has possibilities ali get to work on it, run the numbers and get back to me.
naimi; yes your highness
great photoshop job
Not as glamourous as it may seem. Parrot keeps dropping "pirates gold" on me.
How the end game is played out hardly seems to matter. Which greedy leader did what to whom continues to draw even more attention than the soaps that make more sense. When will people understand that their attention feeds these arogant bufoons.
With nearly 7 billion of us where 1 billion or so can be (without extracted carbon) only one thing can happen. Our numbers have to drop drastically. The mechanism may be of more than technical interest.
WOW Don, heavy..
"Truth" is able to be expressed in very few words. Seems just common sense to me. The worst is that for every one of us (carbon fed westeners) dead many others can live (sustainably).
All my life I have been fed by a store. What happens when the store stops feeding me (or you unless you are one of the very few living truly sustainably)?
Our greatest strength is our diversity our greatest weakness our complacency.