Monday, September 30, 2013

THE ENDURING PRINCIPALS OF MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW , PART 2


File:Berner Iustitia.jpg Hans Gieng's statute of "lady Justice", Bern Switzerland 15 1543

SO WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL LAW ANYWAY?

  Glad you asked! International law is the system of rules generally observed and considered binding in the relations between nation states. It is sometimes referred to as the "law of nations". This system of rules and principles is well organized and can often be effectively cited as to sources much like national domestic law. It is based on treaty, custom, precedent and "...consensus of opinion as to justice and moral obligation , which civilized nations recognize as binding upon them in mutual dealings and relations."  (Source: Black's Law Dictionary)
The Oar Mace of Admiralty

INTERNATIONAL LAW MAY BE SUBDIVIDED INTO AT LEAST THREE DISTINCT AREAS OF STUDY:

 For convenience in this review we will subdivide International Law into three subdivisions. These are:
  • Public International Law (Law of Nations)
  • Private International Law ( Law of relations between commercial organizations and individuals contracted across international borders)
  • International Law of Utilities ( International regulation of postal activities, air and seaways, telecommunications, etc.) What we refer to as "International Utility Law impacts greatly on maritime activity. For example shipboard communications are heavily impacted by international telecommunications law, shipboard waste disposal is affected by international pollution accords. Mineral exploitation on the Outer Continental Shelves and deep seabed mining are subjects of such law.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         All three of these areas are of great importance in maritime activity. Maritime professionals must be concerned with the Public Law of Nations as these spell out such concepts as privileges and immunities of naval and merchant marine personnel, the law of armed conflict, boundaries between the high seas and the territorial seas, and many other issues of daily concern in maritime activity.                                                                                                                                                                                         The commercial shipping and naval communities are also impacted by Private International Law which governs the flow of international cargoes, contracts, and insurance. Shipboard communications as noted earlier are affected greatly by international telecommunications law. Shipboard waste disposal is affected by international pollution accords. Mineral exploitation on the Outer Continental shelves and the deep sea beds are subjects of international convention.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SOME HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:                                                                                                                                                                      The concept of International Law is not recent. The communications, transport, and weaponry advances of modern times have added immensely to the system's perceived importance, growth, and codification. The continuing developments in these areas in the twenty first century will continue to generate further growth in the system. However, the system has been around since ancient times.     The Early Egyptians had treaties recognizing the soverignity of neighboring states. These agreements contained detailed arrangements for immigration, refugees, diplomatic exchanges, and some trade matters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   One of the earliest examples of a "Law of armed Conflict" was the Code of Manu on the Indian subcontinent which may have been written as early as 500 B.C..  The Greek city states operated in close proximity to each other and were economically interdependent. Consequently, they devised a rather detailed system of formal rules governing their many mutual interests. Many modern ideas of International Law originated with these city states. The Greeks appear to be the first to embrace concise and codified methods of treaty interpretation. They provided for arbitration, and for the exchange and immunity of ambassadors. Much of what we call Public International Law evolved from the early Greek city state practices.                                                                                                                                                                         By the early twentieth century International Law had expanded to government, public, and private international concerns. Freedom of the seas became an established concept after years of enforcement largely by English speaking navies. Postal, and later submarine cable agreements were established. Extradition treaties became widespread. By the early twentieth century people and products moved in a predictable and orderly manner across national borders, in times of peace.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately , issues related to war and peace such as sovereignty, national self determination, and national self defense were insufficiently developed to prevent two world wars and almost a half century of "Cold War". The emerging post cold war era and its attendant, but as yet unclear "New World Order" will of necessity spur development in these areas. One area that we see emerging is actually very old. China simply does not accept the existing World legal system for the high seas which establishes a relatively narrow band of 12 miles off of adjacent coastal states as the territorial sea of the coastal state. Adjacent coastal states also exercise certain limited rights and responsibilities subject to the innocent passage of world shipping in coastal bands that extend rarely more than 200 miles from a base line associated with the mainland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In these areas the adjacent coastal state is recognized as having the exclusive right to erect fixed platforms and permanently moored vessels for the exploitation of minerals and benthic (bottom dwelling) fisheries. The adjacent coastal state is also expected to assume responsibility for the enforcement of migratory ocean fish species treaties in that zone. But China claims a "closed sea", usurping islands and recognized water territories of its neighbors. Their position is little different from that of Spain in the 1400s through the early portions of the 1700s. Spain was at war with England and various allies for over 50 years at one point whole fleets were sunk and thousands of naval personnel killed on both sides before Spain agreed to the current legal regime. Will China have to be brought to alignment with accepted international law the same way? So far their only response to world pressure has been to shift most of their aggressive naval activity to its new super sized Coast Guard. Their Coast Guard muscles their neighbors aside instead of their Navy and now they point at the activity and tell anyone who will listen that they are "effectively administering" the areas. This would signal that china while aggressively attempting to steal territory from neighbors is more interested in perverting the existing law than making a stand on a long ago defeated concept.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow we'll examine the sources of International Law. Let us have your comments on this series please. Are you finding this of interest or should we switch it over our legal pages?                                                                                                                         

NAMAZU GETS E_MAIL FROM TRUSTED SOURCES



NAMAZU ON TRUSTED SOURCES, TWO OF WHICH ARE SPONSORING AN IMPORTANT SEMINAR




NAMAZU, GIANT JAPANESE CATFISH AND FORMER DEMIGOD NOW AAB ANALYST

Hello my biped friends around the world. I want to thank one of my Buddies in the Houston area for alerting me to this learning opportunity for some of you about to take place in Washington DC. I'd love top to be able to credit my buddy by name but like so many of the bipeds associated with the AAIS and the AAB his employers take a dim view of organizations that make a habit of speaking truth to power.  Being in the truth business we are constantly on the look out for "reliable sources", those individuals and organizations that can be relied on to check their facts before publishing anything as facts, those individuals and organizations with some serious subject matter expertise who are willing to admit to the occasional mistake, those that avoid spin doctoring. So it pretty well goes without saying that we trust nothing that comes from any political party, either house of Congress or legislators generally, the white House, or most of America's specialized media. We've introduced you to some of our reliable sources in the past and carried gratis their seminar advertisements. By now, if you have been visiting for a few weeks at least you've no doubt noticed the trust we place in the U.S. Naval Institute, WORKBOAT MAGAZINE, THE WATERWAYS JOURNAL. and the National Mariner's Association, particularly their numbered report system. Two groups that we normally ascribe reliable source status to are the Reserve Officer's Association, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. On Tuesday October 8, 2013 these two reliable sources will be sponsoring a free seminar in Washington DC on economic integration within Asia and between Asia and other nations especially the United States. China as an exception to the observable norms will be examined. If you are anywhere near the DC area this would be well worth your while to attend. While the seminar is free reservations are required. All of the necessary information and contact information is below:

Namazu 


Announcing a Conference and Webcast on
The Great Divergence? 
Economic Integration and Political Conflict in Asia

Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Research Institute
And the Reserve Officers Association

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Reserve Officers Association 
One Constitution Avenue, NE Washington D.C. 20002-5618

Featuring

Free and Open to the Public
Reservations required
Luncheon included
Also available via video webcast

Register to attend in person: events@fpri.org
Register for the webcast: webcast@fpri.org
or telephone: (215) 732-3774 x303
Please provide name, affiliation and contact info.
If attending in person please indicate if you will be staying for lunch.

Economic integration has become extensive within Asia and between
Asia and other regions, including the United States. But the
political-security side of the story has been very different. PRC trade
initiatives have faced skepticism for their possibly political motives,
including cultivating economic dependence that can be used for
political leverage on many issues. The United States has pursued
the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a means to promote trade
agreements among a group that includes mostly market
democracies. China has been excluded, in large part on “values”
grounds and views the TPP as potentially a U.S.-led device for
containment and a means to counter China’s growing dominance in
an economically integrated East Asian Region. 

More broadly, expanding economic ties between many Asian
states—and even the United States—and China have coexisted with
growing frictions and expectations that more serious conflict was
possible, likely or inevitable in relations with China.  Reflecting and
contributing to this pattern have been: disputes in the South China,
East China and Yellow Seas, uncertainty in Taiwan about what
would happen if cross-Strait negotiations turned to political issues
and sovereignty, “hedging” strategies by many Asian states that
have sought closer security ties with the U.S. in response to a more
powerful and assertive China, and the much-discussed U.S.
“strategic pivot” or “rebalancing” toward Asia.

This conference will address: whether the apparent disjunction in
economic and political-security affairs is real, significant and likely
to endure; what the pattern portends for international relations in
Asia; and how the U.S. and regional states could respond to protect
and advance their interests.

Complete Agenda
All times Eastern time

8:30 a.m.  Registration and Refreshments 

8:50 a.m.  Welcoming Remarks 

9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.  

Panel: Japan, China and the East Asian Region

Panelists:
    June Teufel Dreyer
    Senior Fellow, FPRI
    Professor of Political Science, University of Miami/Coral Gables

    Gilbert Rozman
    Senior Fellow, FPRI
    Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Princeton University 

10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m.  Break

10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.  

Panel: Beyond the Great Powers: Southeast Asia and Taiwan

Panelists:
    Felix Chang
    Senior Fellow, FPRI

    Scott Kastner
    Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Maryland 

    Vincent Wang
    Senior Fellow, FPRI
    and Professor of Political Science, University of Richmond

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.  Luncheon

    Remarks by Harry Harding
    Dean, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
    University of Virginia 

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.  

Panel: U.S.-China Relations and U.S. Policy

Panelists:
    Robert Sutter
    Professor of Practice of International Affairs, George Washington University

    Harry Harding
    Dean, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
    University of Virginia  

    Jacques deLisle
    Director, FPRI Asia Program
    Stephen Cozen Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania 

1:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m.  

Panel: India and South Asia

Panelists:
    Sumit Ganguly
    Senior Fellow, FPRI
    Rabindranath Tagore Professor of Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University 

    Deepa Ollapally
    Research Professor of International Affairs the Sigur Center for Asian Studies
    George Washington University 

3:00 p.m.  Adjournment

For additional event information and updates:
http://www.fpri.org/events/2013/10/great-divergence-economic-integration-and-political-conflict-asia

For more information, contact:
Harry Richlin
Tel: (215) 732-3774 x102
Email: hr@fpri.org.

Foreign Policy Research Institute
1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610
Philadelphia, PA 19102-3684
www.fpri.org.

.


 
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WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING TEN TRENDS IN THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE

TEN TRENDS TO WATCH IN THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE  PD

 During the first week of the new year we posted this Wall Street Journal article lead in and link. When the first quarter of the year ended we  observed that both the Wall Street Journal and our own giant catfish, Namazu were proving correct on their predictions for China.  2013 in China is the YEAR OF THE SNAKE and as we start the final quarter of the year ,things are certainly slithering along as predicted.

"The Wall Street Journal published a highly interesting article  on January 4, 2013, for those of you who follow our continuing series How Far Will The Dragon Swim. In the article, the writer describes ten trends to watch for in China during 2013.

                                                               
   

                                                         Dragon Vector Art 1 by samuraiagency - Free Dragon Tattoo Picture from       Interestingly , our own giant catfish turned maritime political guru NAMAZU described most of those trends earlier in 2012. But many of you have only been following us since June, so this Wall Street Journal article will help bring you up to speed in just a couple of pages and nicely summarize some of our earlier maritime concerns and observations about China in a neat listing of ten trends. Number 8 of the Wall Street Journal  feature; "China will continue to be the number one builder of war ships in the world." .  As the year's final quarter opens this prediction is holding true. The Journal also recognized that China will take an "even more aggressive stance against its coastal neighbors in its drive to turn the East , South China and Yellow Seas into Chinese lakes."  This prediction held true throughout the first three quarters of the year and now in the final days seems to be about holding steady. One prediction appears now to have been a bit too conservative. The Wall Street Journal predicted that during 2013 details of China's proposed aircraft carrier would become known. Indeed the air craft carrier was completed and is in operation with more to follow. The link below will take you to all ten predictions:

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/01/04/key-trends-to-watch-in-the-year-of-the-snake/tab/p





                                           



 
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

AN INTRODUCTION TO MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW

SYMBOLS OF MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW

File:USCG Eagle.jpg



 Depicted above are a judge's gavel, the port side view of the USCGC EAGLE, training ship of the U.S. Coast Guard one of the oldest dedicated maritime law enforcement agencies in the world, and an example of the "Oar Mace of Admiralty" The Oar Mace, symbol of admiralty law was once carried held aloft as the English Courts of Admiralty entered in solemn procession into the court room. The same oar mace sadly led the procession of the execution party for condemned pirates to the special gallows established for such displays off the beach just beyond the high tide mark. Of course admiralty was not the first contributor to the growing body of international law. The early Greek city states had codes between and among themselves that amounted to "international law" that dealt with things more mundane and land based than the subjects of admiralty law. But as early as the Roman empire we find maritime subjects being addressed in the context of more than one nation state.

 Once as a Coast Guard reservist I was assigned to deliver the annual training lecture on international law for our junior officers. I started the class by asking if anyone could define "international law". I was amazed by the responses coming from young college educated men which included some lawyers. Most simply didn't believe there was any such thing as international law. Korea wasn't that far behind us and Vietnam had just come to a regrettable conclusion. Everyone was focused on the the refusal of the various communists regimes to follow the Geneva Convention's Rules for the treatment of Prisoners of War. Yes everyone in the class had heard of "International Conventions" but their focus had been on the violation of the POW conventions. The group thinking was basically, what kind of a law is it that no one follows and breaks with total immunity? Personally I found that response from officers holding naval rank quite surprising despite the recent history of Communists abuses of the Geneva Conventions.

 I reminded the class as mariners that in our harbor, outside of the class room door that week end ships of every nation showed exactly the same red, green and white navigation lights, with the same screening for arc of visibility, and the same nominal ranges as every other. Why was that? Coincidence? Hardly, the world's maritime nations have long agreed on ship lighting, sound signals, right of way rules, and rules to avoid collision in international waters via strictly enforced international conventions (treaties designed to be signed by multiple nations). Even a few nations that never signed the conventions none the less carried identical "running lights" because once enough nations had signed the conventions most national and international tribunals would accept the convention provisions as the 'traditional rule of international law." I asked the class why it is that airplanes fly in and out of airports all around the world and communicate with the towers in English, how did one language become accepted as the international language of commercial aviation?  Once again via international convention. Why does your letter to friends in Europe , Africa, Asia , or Australia get right to their mailbox despite being mailed from the United States with postage purchased here; the international postal conventions.

 Murder and burglary are against the law in every jurisdiction in the world. None the less these laws are ignored and murders and burglaries are happening in virtually every jurisdiction in the world  all of the time. In some big American cities not one in five of such crimes ever results in a prosecution. Yet no one would argue that murder and burglary are not crimes having been decriminalized due to weak enforcement efforts. And so it is with the public law of nations. Some times it is clear that the violators are one jump ahead of enforcement efforts but the law still exists, it is sometimes formally codified as in the case of the international conventions, it exists as searchable precedent for many questions where there is no convention. Enforcement is most efficient in those cases such as the international rules to avoid ship collisions where the nations that signed the conventions then incorporate the rules into their own national legal systems. In other areas such as the Prisoner of War Conventions , and Rules of Armed Conflict Conventions the enforcement apparatus is not that clear cut or universally available.  But it exists, war criminals were executed by international tribunals at the end of World War II. There have been some successful prosecutions of war criminals by international and national tribunals ever since.

 We so often invoke "international law" in our opinion posts that we felt we should take some pains to inform our readers both naval and maritime professionals and general readers and water sportsmen alike of some of the basic and enduring principals of maritime international law. We thought we'd start with a series of posts. We will appreciate your comments as these proceed. If the majority are enjoying the posts and looking forward to them we will continue, if not we may move the discussion to one of our special interest pages, probably admiralty law after we've published a sufficient amount of material to constitute an effective introduction to the subject.

 If you would like to read up on the subject we recommend :

AMERICAN ADMIRALTY BUREAU'S GUIDE TO THE ENDURING PRINCIPLES OF MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW by R.F. Bollinger ISBN 1-8799778-28-9. 

 This short paper back book is available at a very reasonable print on demand price from the original publisher MARINE EDUCATION TEXT BOOKS Ph: 985-879-3866, Fax 985-879-3911, website www.marineeducationtextbooks.com. The MET price is probably under $35 dollars we checked Amazon and they had only one used text in stock and were asking over $300. We have found this often to be the case with all of the publications of the American Admiralty Bureau Guides and Commentators. They are out of copyright and thus thought to be out of print. Some university presses have republished them as hard bound volumes for rather expensive prices. However every volume ever published is still available as a spiral bound soft cover print on demand book from the original distributor MET, generally for under $40. Some of the Commentators are being updated by the original editor on line here in our AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE section and may be read free on line.

 Next installment, we will explore the definition and subdivisions of international law. Please watch for, read and comment on this series as it evolves.

Johnas Presbyter, Editor

                                              


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BEFORE THERE WERE BOAT SHOWS BOATS AND SAILORS SHOWED US A GREAT DEAL

THE ON LINE BOAT SHOW OPENS THIS WEEK AND WHILE WE WILL BE SHOWING YOU INNOVATIVE SAIL AND PADDLE PROPELLED BOATS THE FOCUS IS ON CUTTING EDGE DESIGN WHICH LONG AGO MOVED AWAY FROM SAIL. 

Sunset Docks by Fr Antunes


We thought Monday before the opening might be a good time to again share this post on the pivotal role that the sail concept played in the development of commerce and rapid transportation. If you haven't read this essay before the pivotal role of the airfoil (the basic idea behind all forms of sail.....and wings) may surprise you.

Editors note: This essay published in the first months of the blog led to the collection of essays on "Space as an Ocean". That anthology of essays is now in our Maritime Literature Section where you may read it free of charge as it is evolved and is being edited into the E-book PROTOCOLS

SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION...THE AIR FOIL AND THE ASCENT OF MAN




File:Airfoil.svg                          Sailboat Clip Art It is a bit unusual for a ship's master, but I once  taught  in a high school. I taught nautical arts and sciences so it wasn't that much of a stretch, and the high school system owned a 65 foot training vessel that I also served as Captain on. So even if my presence in the high school didn't seem that mysterious to me, the maritime world was a near complete mystery for my "merchant marine cadets" in the first weeks of class. The early weeks of class were a lot like the early weeks at the Harry Lundburg School of Seamanship, which is to say these weeks were a lot like a sort of civilian version of boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center but done on the installment plan.  My goal was to instill paramilitary discipline while inspiring and motivating the all volunteer vocational / technical career path students to really want to become mariners.  So after the basic introduction I began with a question.


 I asked the class, called "the ship's company", "what single invention has had the most significant impact on man kind?"  I received some of the usual answers like the wheel, fire (hardly an "invention"), the printing press, while a few figured that the answer, given the nature of the course had to be maritime in character so I also was offered the steam ship, the steam engine, and the screw propeller. "No", I answered," none of those" then I went to the chalk board and drew two triangular shapes . "What's this" I asked? "A pair of triangles?"," A sail!', "A wing!'. No I'd say "think generic there is one name for both shapes, indeed you are simply looking at the same shape displayed vertically and horizontally, what is it?" Silence. "It's an airfoil", I'd say.  "Deployed vertically this shape is used as a sail and horizontally as a wing. "  


 More so than any other single invention this simple shape changed and shaped the world. In its' earliest manifestation, the square sail, it gave rowers in the ancient galleys a break when the wind was astern. But once the wing like lanteen sail was invented by the Arabs, rowers were no longer needed. Hard to carry food calories could now be used to support a smaller crew and not to provide direct propulsive power for the ship through a virtual army of rowers. The range of ships and their cargo capacity increased continually and dramatically. Long before the zenith of the age of sail Columbus was crossing the ocean sea on basically a mix of square and lanteen sails.  As navigational arts developed in the wake of the physical capacity to sail out of sight of land, long ocean voyages could be repeated at will and  trade began to expand into a global enterprise.


File:1893 Nina Pinta Santa Maria replicas.jpg
Replica of Columbus Fleet constructed in 1893 note that the yards are both horizontal ( for square sails) and slanted for lanteen sails. These vessels were still most efficient sailing with the wind but could tack and thus could return from the far corners of the globe even if the inbound winds were not as favorable as those that bore them out . As more of the world was discovered  the demand for more speed efficiency and carrying capacity evolved.

 As global commerce began to take shape and Europe began to plant colonies the demand for higher speed, more efficient sailing, and more cargo capacity began to drive the technological development of sail. The zenith of the age of sail would culminate in the development of the famous "clipper ships" with their global reach and complex rigs. 

An American "Clipper" as advanced compared to the ships of Columbus as a modern jumbo jet is compared to a Wright Flyer

Commercial sailing technology would reach its zenith in the late nineteenth century  about the same time that steam engines would mature driving railroads and river boats to a point where commercial ship operators were prepared to use them at sea. Man had taken the air foil in vertical deployment about as far as it would go for commercial transport , and the air foil or sail had taken man around the world and back again many times over. 

 As mariners, ship wrights, naval architects and sail makers studied the function of sail , or the air foil in vertical deployment, it was very early on realized that the sail functions by channeling wind  towards the "Luff" which is a fairly narrow area near the mast. High pressure forms on the windward side of the sail and low pressure on the leeward or opposite side. Air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. But the sail prevents the high pressure from infilling the low pressure area and a force known as "drive" is created. The mast is set in the hull which is set afloat in the low resistance medium of water. The "drive" exerted near the mast propels the boat forward. Notice that even the square sails on the clipper ship above can be rotated around the mast almost 180 degrees producing  at least some drive on all points of sail. In between the square sails are numerous triangular sails which are more efficient sailing closer to the wind. The sail plan was based on a law of averages but consistently produced excellent speeds on all points of sale.


Now every sailor who ever had to furl sail knew that an air foil if it got into a horizontal plane could exert a force  known as "Lift".  A wing is simply an airfoil deployed in the horizontal mode. But lift and drive were very well understood by 1903. In 1903 the steamship was  dominant in maritime  commerce but there were still plenty of square riggers working when the Wright Brothers turned their airfoils into the horizontal position , attached power for a constant source of air flow for the creation of "lift". The Wright Brothers soon learned that control after lift off was the most difficult. At first they tried "wing warping" or changing the shape of the wing to control direction and altitude which was pretty much what sailors did with sails by use of the running rigging such as sheet lines.  Soon they opted to change only a portion of the wing's basic shape through the use of ailerons, stabilizers,  and the ship's rudder's cousin, the tail rudder. The world began to shrink at a much faster pace. Only 66 years after man's first heavier than air flight we landed on the moon. Truly sometimes a great notion is as simple as a mere shape and may come from someone as simple as an ancient sailor. 


I would tell my students after leading them through this exercise that mariners are part of an ancient and learned profession. Our profession's discoveries gave the world, the world; sewed it together and then gave it flight. Then I'd give them this little known fact. When the Wright Brothers made their first  flight at Kitty Hawk the hands that gave their flyer its initial push off were those of sailors of the nearby U.S. Life Saving Service Station, one of the ancestral organizations  of the U.S. Coast Guard. Once the ''Wright Flyers" became controllable in flight one of the first purchasers was the United States Navy. If you visit Dalghren Hall on the grounds of the Naval Academy you can see the Navy's original Wright Flyer: suspended from the ceiling. 


                                              
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

WEEKEND EDITION-SUNDAY 9/29/2013

WELCOME TO AMERICAN ADMIRALTY BOOKS  

                         YOUR PORTAL TO THE MARITIME WORLD

Small Yacht Photo  

To reach the regular weekend features or any of the posts of last week or beyond just scroll down.  Be sure to catch  today's Sunday Funnies and "Beastie's Epic Fishing Videos" this weekend. The big fish thinks he has found the perfect woman;"looks good while catching, cleaning , and cooking fish!" The Dragon is swimming again, and we have a boat show reminder for you.

 LOCATED ADJACENT TO MARITIME AND WATER SPORTS SHOPS, Click on the hyper link below to go shopping

American Admiralty Shopping Mall


 YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT THE STATION IDENTIFICATION AND NOTICE BOARD

To view a Brief Video about the contents and mission of this site click on the link below to YouTube and then the back arrow to return here after viewing. For additional information about the site click on INTRODUCTION or SITE GUIDE AND INDEXES in the column to your right. 

Thumbnail  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFw32RRJY98


THIS SITE WAS CONSTRUCTED IN GOOGLE CHROME BUT THE FOLLOWING SEEMS TO WORK FOR MOST BROWSERS: THERE IS A "BACK ARROW" IN THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER OF THIS WINDOW. YOU MAY RETURN HERE OR TO ANY OTHER POINT IN THE SITE FROM ANY PLACE YOU REACH FROM A SITE LINK BY CLICKING ON THE"BACK BUTTON" UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR DESIRED RETURN POINT.


THE BIG LINKS LOCKER:  

UNLOCKING THE MARITIME WORLD: Our mission is literally to  unlock the maritime world by making all English language maritime data easy to find,  available, evaluated when possible, and affordable. We suggest checking our subject pages to your right first, by clicking on the subject section most like your particular interest.  Or if you are strictly looking for links to specialized subject sites in the maritime realm click here and scroll down to the BIG LINKS LOCKER

VISIT OUR SHOPPING MALL :http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_13.html

There you will find fishing, sailing, surfing, boat building, and diving equipment as well as books that we have not yet reviewed in our special interest pages to your right.


OUR BUSINESS DAY STARTS WHENEVER YOU ENTER. WE ALWAYS START OUR BUSINESS DAY THE SAME WAY WITH THE NATIONAL ANTHEM:
                               



                                                        
         Star Spangled Banner                                                      GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPKp29Luryc       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnuoGOo3Bew                                                                

OH CANADA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRPGPAnPNa8


                                                                                                             

British Bulldog with Canadian Bear and American Eagle
Rugby Tour Shirt Badge. Cartoon Logo Design available from Electric Easel Cartoons: http://www.electriceasel.co.uk/  have  shirts made up and wear them often

 The Great Nanazu says: English Speaking Bipeds unite! Form an English speaking naval union before it is too late!

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NOTICE BOARD: News items and other information may appear in this spot at any time during the week end, or daily during the week.

PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION UPDATE

THE EXPANSION OF THE PANAMA CANAL IS MAKING PROGRESS THOUGH COMPLETION COULD HARDLY BE CALLED ON TRACK FOR BEING ON TIME OR UNDER BUDGET.

Old Panama Canal Under Construction, Photo Wikipedia Commons
 The Panama Canal expansion is making serious progress. It probably will be completed early in 2015 though the Panama Canal Authority has set a completion date of October 2014. It seems highly unlikely that real completion will make that mark, but the expansion which will double the Canal's capacity is on track for completion and the costs over runs are not crippling. When completed the canal will not only be able to handle more ship transits but also larger ships. This is having an impact on United States ports already. U.S. ports to remain competitive are engaged in dredging and other infrastructure projects to handle the new "post Panamax "ships, up to 160% larger than the largest ships presently able to transit the Panama Canal. The financing for these port projects is not easy to come by.

 The biggest problem is federal financial assistance. The United States hasn't had an actual budget in 4 years. Sequestration certainly doesn't make money available for such activity. Certain customs revenues are supposed to be set aside for such port infrastructure improvements and maintenance but without a budget it is extremely difficult to free up funds. Like most such designated trust funds set aside for specific purposes , including even the Social Security Fund voracious Congresses have raided the funds to finance pet projects focused mostly on getting certain members reelected. Some ports like New Orleans with channel depths and bridge clearances already sufficient for the these larger ships will scrape by without much improvement in infrastructure. Others like New York are spending millions, indeed in the case of New York, about $750 on increased bridge clearances. Some ports like Boston simply can't raise the money, and see a continuing trade conducted by smaller ships and so have deferred on dealing with the situation at all. West Coast Ports generally were already in decent shape in terms of channel depths and bridge clearances . The new expanded canal is going to bring a lot of changes to a lot of U.S. Port economies starting in 2015. Winners will include New York, Baltimore, Miami and Norfolk on the East Coast and on the West Coast Long Beach, Oakland, Los Angeles and Seattle. How big time ports like Boston, Savanna, Mobile, or Houston will fare is hard to predict. New Orleans will probably retain its position as the number one bulk commodity port many of the bulkers already calling there are already larger than Panamax. There will be losers. There always are but we will have to wonder as the losers emerge what their fate would have been if we had a responsible federal Government in place as this situation evolved.


 
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THE BOATS SHOW IS NEXT WEEKEND

THE ON LINE BOAT SHOW IS COMING SOON

COMING ATTRACTION: THE AAB VIRTUAL BOAT SHOW    Sunset Docks by Fr Antunes
 OCTOBER 2013

All you need is a mouse to get in. The theme is the cutting edge, designs you're not likely to see in Annapolis, with looks into the nautical past and future. 

Progress Report: This audio visual treat is growing on our dashboard as we write.  The boats selected for display are on videos and we have not found any problems with the videos across the various browsers. The Boat show is being constructed in Google Chrome on our "Dashboard." Like most complex Internet audio visual sites, performance is no doubt highest when viewed via the same browser that the show was constructed in.  The Hyperlinks to videos appear to be working across all browser systems and videos are the main exhibits, so if you can't use Google come on in anyway when it opens, you'll see all the boats, just the "aisles" may look a little plain.  Hey, admission is free, if you have a mouse, you're admitted to the wildest boat show this year.  

CUBA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE WORKING ON MARITIME ISSUES

 SATURDAY, A WEEK AGO, IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT CUBA AND THE UNITED STATES HAD REACHED A MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE AGREEMENT OTHER MARITIME ISSUES ARE ON THE TABLE.. 
Editorial Note:12/30/2014 The United States and Cuba have reestablished diplomatic relations. The issues described here in may start to move a bit faster....for better or worse. (updated 2/20/2015)
    Cuba, US reach maritime rescue agreement


  On Saturday September 21,2013 the Castro government in Havana reported that  Cuba and the United States have reached a rare preliminary agreement on working together.  This time in the field of air and sea rescue in the region known as the "Straits of Florida". , Havana's state newspaper Granma reported some details last Saturday. Annualy thousands of Cubans leave the country illegally aboard fragile boats to try to reach Florida, which is 90 mile across the Florida Straits. 

 The provisional agreement was reached Friday and must now be approved by the governments of each nation. Cuba and the United States have not had diplomatic relations since 1961, two years after Fidel Castro came to power in the Cuban revolution.

 Under current policy, Cubans caught on the high seas illegally bound for the U.S.are repatriated. But if they make it to US shores they are admitted, allowed to stay and in approximately a year may acquire residence papers.

 Additional U.S. Cuban talks are scheduled. Cuban and US postal officials held talks last Monday (9/16/2013) on resuming direct postal service between the two countries.Postal issues are still being discussed.  Back in  July they resumed discussions on migratory issues. These had been on hold since 2011.




Friday, September 27, 2013

HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM? This in from Channel News Asia

Four China Coast Guard Ships In Disputed Waters: Japan

 
Disputed Senkaku /Diayous PD             Chinese Coast Guard vessel Photo by Japanese Coast Guard                                                                                                                              

"Chinese ships were in disputed waters on Friday, Japan's coastguard said, a week after Beijing said talks were possible if Tokyo was prepared to acknowledge the existence of a disagreement. The four Chinese coastguard vessels sailed into 12-nautical-mile territorial waters off one of the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands -- which Beijing calls the Diaoyus -- at around 3:00pm (0600 GMT), the Japanese coastguard said.
It was the first such incident reported in eight days." 
EDITOR'S NOTE: Japan has owned the Senkaku since at least 1895. Prior to that time the islands were largely considered undiscovered though they are a short distance from both mainland China and the southern islands of Japan. few are larger than an acre and there is no fresh water so they have been uninhabited throughout history. China showed no interest in the islands which were administered by Japan from 1895 until 1950 when Japan was technically occupied by the United States. In the final "peace treaty" with Japan which also constituted a formal military defense treaty between the United States and Japan the United States formally recognized the Senkaku islands as the southern most territory of Japan. China, a `U.S. ally in WWII was absent from this treaty process because it was engaged in the Communist Revolution in 1950. China never really showed any interest in the islands until the 1960s when oil was first discovered in the vicinity. Because of our defense treaty with Japan, as written,  if China invades we are treaty bound to help repel them militarily. In no uncertain terms that means war , at least localized naval war, between the United States and China. This would be very disruptive for economies of all involved, but might actually present the United States with an unprecedented opportunity. No sensible nation expects a belligerent party nation to fund the war making of another nation fighting opposite in an armed conflict. Without damage to its international credit rating the United States could repudiate or suspend all debt payments to China. This would of course destroy China's economy and possibly cause the conflict to spread beyond China Sea naval engagements. But it is a real possibility.
 China on its part has de-escalated  just a bit by using coast guard forces to routinely violate Japan's sovereignty instead of their war ships. China claims it is "administering" its "territory". Under international law Japan's sovereignty over the islands is just about iron clad. China now says it is willing to "negotiate" if Japan will acknowledge that there is a dispute. Japan isn't about to do this because it would simply reward China for its aggression. But perhaps Japan should consider calling China's bluff by filing suit in the UN Sea Tribunal for a dispute of their own definition. Here its is.
 China has no claim to the surface or immediate adjacent (12 mile) waters of the Senkakus. However in such a situation where two nations are so physically close to a set of islands the usual 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) described in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is recognized as unworkable. Japan and China are almost at blows over the region, its time for binding arbitration over the local EEZ boundaries. China is establishing offshore rigs almost within site of Japanese territorial waters. These may be in what is ultimately decided to be Japan's EEZ or China's. Regardless, geological oil reservoirs  pay no attention to boundaries drawn on maps depicting the ocean's surface. It would be in the best interest of both Japan and China to engage in joint mineral licensing in a negotiated region around the islands. China says it will negotiate if Japan admits there is a dispute. There is a dispute not over surface rights to these rocks which in fact no one really cares about but relative to the mineral rights beneath the nearby seas. There is no way Japan can license mineral extraction leases, or China do the same without a high probability of pulling oil with out compensation from common formations. Negotiated joint mineral licensing will get the dispute off of square one, and get oil flowing to both oil starved nations. If China can't live with the judgement of history that the islands are Japan's, there will be war and it will be the ruin of many, but if it is any time soon it will be the total destruction of China. The Chinese Navy / Coast Guard team is not ready for a U.S. /Japan naval team which may be joined by several other major players. The U.S. economy would lose much in the down fall of China but also gain by lawfully leaving behind a lot of its debt. China simply will collapse. The dragon's trading partners will find new suppliers less interested in military adventure and China goes back to being a back water. If Japan calls China's bluff on negotiations and defines the case in terms of mineral rights, EEZ boundaries ,and offers joint mineral leasing arrangements as a partial cure and China engages constructively everybody wins by preservation of the status quo. The United States will eventually pay its debts out of the vast energy reserves that it has but can't fully exploit while Obama is in the White House. China's continuing rise is raising a lot of boats besides China's and Japan's economy is engaged with and interlocking with China's even as their Coast Guards fire water cannon at each other off the Senkakus. If everybody just starts to act like adults the New World Order" could continue to evolve peacefully, peacefully means the spread of prosperity. The U.S. would pay a heavy price in blood and steel if this escalates but in the end walks away the big winner, richer than ever, more powerful than ever, but more resented than ever with the seeds of some future WWIII already planted,  This is not the "New World Order" the United States had in mind. The United States has always been willing to let the New World Order evolve. We have no interest in expending any more of the blood of our youth. But in the end when thug states engage in thug tactics against our real friends and that certainly includes Japan and the Philippines we reluctantly , but great efficiency come in shooting. 
 The ball is totally in China's court. Japan has not set one foot outside of its internationally recognized territory. Either China continues to pursue its reckless course or not. The dragon holds the keys to peace and war, and to its own future. We hope they opt for peace and prosperity. Japan can help by acknowledging that there is indeed a dispute, but the one China claims. deal with the reality of close proximity EEZs and subterranean oil deposits that cross EEZ boundaries. 

                                           



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