According to a recent article in the U.S. Military News Paper "THE STARS AND STRIPES "The U.S. Navy needs to build up the fleet to 325 to 350 combat vessels based on an analysis by retired Adm. Timothy J. Keating,USN (Ret.) . This would be a fleet of about 50 to 75 more combatant ships than we presently have, and what we presently have is shrinking to budget cut after budget cut. We have said this for a long time but Admiral Keating's analysis prepared in cooperation with Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst with American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, goes beyond our usual defense and security focused analysis. Keating and Mackenzie make the case that under funding and overextending the Navy will have a direct impact on U.S. consumers, aside from national and international security.
We think the thoughts of Admiral Keating and Mr. Mackenzie warrant the attention of naval and merchant marine professionals and indeed the attention of the American general public. We urge our visitors to read this article in STARS and STRIPES. You won't find anything like it the U.S. general media.
Map ,U.S.Department of Energy The Dragon (China) and the Rising Sun (Japan) have been having a naval tension filled dispute over the Senkaku Islands , or Diaoyu Islands as they are known in China. The dispute concerns conflicting territorial claims over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in the People's Republic of China(PRC),and Tiaoyutai Islands in the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan).Japan has administered the islands since at least the 1890s except during the U.S. occupation of Japan after WWII. When the final peace treaty was signed the Senkaku were described in the treaty as an intergral part of southernmost Japan and part of the territory that the United States was committed to defending. China never said a word in protest nor appeared to have any historical interest in the islands until oil was discovered in the area. Now the Dragon claims ownership and is posturing to test U.S. and Japanese will to defend the uninhabited area, should China decide to take the islands by force of arms. To advance the Japanese perception of the Dragon's posturing as militarily ready to assert ownership, the Chinese navy has scheduled a naval exercise within the sea of Japan for August with the Russians who are still holding northern islands belonging to Japan and never returned after WWII. The exercise is believed to involve 20 war ships and support vessels and air craft from both China and Russia. Russia and China have signed a protocol to conduct joint exercises in the Sea of Japan according to a recent announcement by the Russian Defense Ministry's Eastern Military District. Most ominous is the announcement that the exercise will include marine landings, clearly a signal that China wants to leave the impression that they are ready willing and able to invade the islands whenever they deem it expedient. Clearly the Cold War is back featuring again a tentative alliance between the those strange bed fellows the Dragon and the Bear. They are strange bed fellows simply because it is inevitable after they are finished cooperating to intimidate everyone else in their respective regions they will have a go at each other over their long and disputed Siberian Border.
21st Century Essential Guide to South and East China Sea Territorial Disputes Involving China and Japan - Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands, Oil and Hydrocarbon Resources, East Asia and Pacific DisputesKindle Edition
RUSSIA HAS TEN WAR SHIPS "PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED" TO THE MEDITERRANEAN. THE U.S. HAS ONLY ONE WAR SHIP PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED. THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW TO DEFINE "PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED WHEN BOTH ARE INVOLVED IN A SHELL GAME.
The Russian navy has maintained a permanent detachment of about 10 warships in the Mediterranean Sea since late 2012. The United States has had a permanent "Sixth Fleet" in the Mediterranean Sea since before the Cold War. During the time it took for Republican administrations to extract the post Cold War "peace dividend "and democratic administrations to deliberately undermine our naval defenses, our so called "Sixth Fleet" shrank to a shore side command and control element in Italy, and one command and control ship. All other U.S. war ships of the "Sixth Fleet" are on temporary rotation out of what is left of our "Atlantic Fleet". The entire U.S. Navy which was nearing 600 war ships as the Berlin Wall fell, is now down to about 200 ships deployed around the world.
But Russia is playing a bit of a shell game as well. Russia’s has three main naval fleets and each have contributed ships to the standing Mediterranean force since it was first deployed, There is no standing command and control element in the Mediterranean. The Russian Black Sea Fleet commands the vessels. The Russians refer to their ten ship fleet as a "standing force" indicating its semi permanent status, it could expand or contract depending on future circumstances. The U.S. refers to its constantly fluctuating standing force as the "Sixth Fleet" because at one time it actually was a duly constituted fleet and still has an admiral and a flag ship. Referring to our rotating standing force in the Mediterranean as a "fleet" is a bit like a lingering image from a long ago dream. But of course if our government ever regains its sanity with an admiral and flag ship in place a real fleet could be restored with some permanent vessels, assuming the democrats don't quietly reduce the U.S Navy to a few destroyers to participate in the coming Muslim NATO fleet and some harbor tugs. The democrats would of course still call it the U.S. Navy and the lap dog media would assure that there would be no net work discussion of the shrinkage. The U.S. and Russia are both a bit pinched for funds and that helps drive the shell game approach to naval one up man-ship. Russia is waiting for the price of oil to go up since they seem to have a one trick pony economy. The U.S. could benefit from such a rise also if it were to eliminate its oil export band. But basically assuming that the Democrats hold on to the White House and the mixed bag of nuts that is the Congress continues on without adult supervision, naval shrinkage is the order of the day.
Russia’s permanent naval force in the Mediterranean is the latest example of Moscow’s ongoing attempt to expand its military presence or at least the perception of its presence around the world. In 2012 the Kremlin announced plans to spend trillions of rubles on upgrades to Russia’s armed forces by the end of 2020. Fat chance ,if the oil market doesn't improve. Recently, Russia has flown sporadic long-range bomber patrols to reach as far as the Gulf of Mexico, and touted these flights as "patrol expansions." The Bear has also conducted training exercises in the High Arctic where the U.S. has virtually no military presence but great economic interests . Earlier this year, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet conducted joint exercises with the Chinese navy in the Aegean Sea. The Aegean connects to the Mediterranean Sea between between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. Turkey is at least nominally a NATO member and will probably lead the alliance once Britain, the Netherlands , and Germany become Islamic Republics in the next 12 years. China certainly has no real interest in the area but the Dragon and the Bear are all about showing strength and reach right now while the U.S. and the Western Alliance are clearly on the ropes over their own foolishness. Only a resurgent West could reverse this trend and that is perfectly possible given the U.S. recent status as a large energy producer. But Europe and the United States are abominably governed and thoroughly invaded by fifth columns of Islamic terror cells and in the case of the U.S. ,Reconquestia political operatives. U.S. leadership is badly needed but highly unlikely to be forth coming. The chance of getting a Republican into the White House next election is vastly complicated by the real possibility of a Trump third party candidacy that could draw off 20% of the vote.
Map courtesy CIA Worl Fact Book
Our lead analysts Namazu has written about a second American century that could be shaping up. He bases it largely on the American oil boom and anticipation of the continuance of a free enterprise economic system within the United States. Now, three years since Namazu's optimistic predictions the minority of analysts here at American Admiralty Information Services see a much more pessimistic future unless somehow Hillary Clinton can be defeated and the Islamification of America marching lock step with the Reconquestia cease, followed by a return to sound monetary, budget, and naval / maritime policies. What we see on the horizon frankly is civil war unless the U.S.Democratic party is reduced to irrelevancy.Should that occur our confidence in the Republican party is such that we believe the decline of the U.S. will be significantly slowed but all indicators are that the Republicans while less proactively harmful than the Democrats are basically clueless. The U.S. is in bad need of a pragmatic administration and congress restricted in their pragmatism by only moral and humanitarian considerations determined by Christian principles, not progressive liberalism.Only massive deportations could accomplish that now.
Libya has become the preferred and most used jumping off spot for illegal migransts from all over North Africa.The coast guard forces of the beleaguered and civil war torn nation can not keep up with the task of preventing attempted migration or rescuing those who flounder while still in Libyan waters. The bulk of the task has fallen to Italy and their very excellent Coast Guard which is also becoming overwhelmed. As we point out in one of our related stories linked above this overwhelming of European forces is by design. All of the emigrants which include many legitimate refugees from ISIS terror play a part in the ISIS design on Europe. The game is to use the humanitarian institutions and instincts of Western democracies to overwhelm them and conquer. The emigrants themselves will tax the governments, churches, and humanitarian organizations of Europe to support such a sustained migration. Heavily mixed in among the "victims" created by ISIS are ISIS agents. Western Europe is already past the point where these societies can not tolerate any more Islamic immigration legal or illegal. They should have made the choice to inter all such refugees and repatriated as soon as humainly possible long ago. Islamic legal immigration should have ceased long ago. Muslims in Western Europe who are citizens should be stripped of citizenship and deported on any felony conviction, and all non nationals deported now. Wake up people its a war and the West is losing. Read any or preferably all of the linked features above for greater detail. Read the book below for an opposing opinion.
The Securitization of Humanitarian Migration: Digging moats and sinking boats
NAVAL INTERESTS: BILATERAL INDIA_JAPAN NAVAL EXERCISE MAY BE CALLED OFF. JAPAN MAY PARTICIPATE IN INDO/U.S. "MALABAR EXERCISE" INSTEAD
Japan has been invited to join the Indo-US naval exercise 'Malabar' this year. For reasons of economy, similar activity between the Indian and Japanese Navies scheduled for later this year is likely to be cancelled. Joint exercises between Japan and India have made sense for a number of years but previous Japanese administrations had interpreted the Japanese constitution as severely limiting such exercises , though in fact they were never specifically mentioned. Japan last participated in these exercises in 2007. Japan is now interested in joint and cooperative defense, though still sees constitutional hurdles for much of the activities involved and in entering into such arrangements by formal treaty. Despite the tentative nature of all such cooperative endeavors by Japan, the Rising Sun is finding more willingness to cooperate defensively even extending to the Philippines once horrifically militarily occupied by Imperial Japan in WWII. Fear of an aggressive Chinese navy has been fueling the interest along with on going watery territorial disputes with China in the region which have been the occasion of some ruthless Chinese muscle flexing.
No decision has been made as yet, but Japanese defence sources have publicly stated that there was no point in doing a repeat exercise given the time and cost involved. The Malabar exercise is scheduled for October in the Bay of Bengal. "Malabar" is an annual training exercise conducted by Indian and American naval forces, which includes combat operations from aircraft carriers with escorts , replenishment at sea, and other skills possessed by all three navies. Japan took part in the Malabar hosted by India in 2007. However, China reacted strongly to inclusion of Japan and Australia in the exercise back in 2007 and the Chinese objections led to the exercises being kept largely bilateral until now. Now Chinese naval aggression in the South and East China Seas and their "String of Pearls" plan for the Indian Ocean has her neighbors more concerned with the Dragon's intentions than her impressions concerning their cooperation. This is indeed a defensive cooperation. A China that would adhere to the International Convention of the Law of the Sea would have nothing to fear from a regional naval coalition. The decision to hold a trilateral exercise came s after the three countries held their first-ever high-level trilateral dialogue last month. This discussion was attended by foreign secretary S Jaishankar, Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki, and Australian secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Varghese.
While the participants discussed a range of issues, including freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,and maritime security; it was trilateral maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean topped the agenda. Japanese officials have said that India, Japan and Australia are on the "same page" over increasing assertiveness of China in the disputed South and East China Seas. The growing cooperation between regional navies and the Japanese Maritime Self defense Force will be interesting to watch, but real cooperative regional defense will require some adjustments to the Japanese constitution, the Japanese people are very cautious on that issue.
See our St. Simons Island Fishing Charters Photos of the week attached to this post to see what all the fuss is about with Tarpon fishing on the Georgia Coast!
HOT WEATHER AND A HOT TARPON BITE - Although July is one of the hottest months of the fishing season in Coastal Georgia, the nearshore/sound fishing is just as hot this year.
The baitfish (menhaden/pogies) situation went from zero (or too small) to insane amounts in all sizes found off Jekyll Island to Sapelo Island. You'll find bait close to the beach and in the sounds on high water and moon tides. On lower water stages, you'll find bait further offshore from 1-3 miles and sometimes slightly further off.
BLACK TIP ACTION --
I think everyone knows about the Black Tip and Spinner Shark action that is available in our area offering anglers a great fight on medium fishing tackle. Hooking up with these acrobats is nearly a guarantee on most days with the average size blacks weighing around 40-50 pounds, with some bruisers up to 90 pounds mixed in nearly every trip. The largest we have seen this season was in the 65-70 inch range and was pushing maybe 90-95 pounds, which is a huge black and a TON of fun to tangle with!
TARPON ACTION --
The first wave of Tarpon have started to show up from Jekyll to St. Cats. The Tarpon we've been catching and seeing are averaging between 50-100 pounds with a few slightly larger fish mixed in. We have caught quite a few so far and have seen hundreds. As of this writing, we haven't seen many, if any Tarpon over 150 pounds as of yet. The largest we've landed so far this season was a fish in the 70-75 inch range that probably weighed around 100 pounds or a shade over. They're a lot of fun no matter the size!
Most of the Tarpon we're seeing and catching are in the 15-20 ft. depth range striking baits fished on the bottom and surface, and during incoming and falling tide stages.
I haven't been offshore in a few weeks, but I hear a few Cobia are still around as well as some nearshore Kings as well.
Bottom line... It's about time the bite turned on! We waited out horrible fishing conditions, fresh water/rain run off for months and crazy spring weather. This has been a long time coming. Glad it's here!
Feel free to reply with questions. Good luck, be safe on the water and take a kid fishing today, right now!
American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies Mr. Putkin has again ordered the formation of new military reserve units. He has done this in the recent past but budgetary requirements kept the units from forming. Russia already has a large reserve force consisting of ex active duty military , they are obligated for service under particular scenarios but not much in the way of training, reporting, or participation is required of them. Mr. Putkin's current proposal would see the formation of regularly drilling, training, paid reserves similar to the ready reserve forces of the United States. The present tensions with the WEST over the Ukraine seem to be the motivating factor. The proposal for paid, organized reserves has been around since 2012. Defence Ministry officials have previously stated that the new reserve force was envisaged at roughly 5,000 men to begin with. That would be a rather small reserve for a nation with approximately 750,000 active duty military members. The actual start of the new reserve force had been delayed by a lack of funding, Putin's executive order requests the government to find financing for the new force within the existing defense ministry budget. Our analysis is that things will have to be cut from the active duty wish list in the current budget but that the reserve will be formed, and this is just the start of Russian reserve forces. The return of "normal oil prices" will allow Russia to increase its forces and reserve forces on the American model can be very cost effective.
Presently Australia has eight ANZAC frigates, and three air warfare destroyers in its fleet of naval surface combatants. It should be noted that Australia has no unified coast guard service and those it does have are unarmed and non military. Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently signaled the government was close to embarking on a new shipbuilding plan featuring a rolling build program, most likely to replace Anzac frigates. The ANZAC frigates start to reach retirement age in about 2025. The nature of this rolling build plan could give Australia a surface warfare fleet of 13 to 15 vessels in the foreseeable future. A most welcome improvement in Australian naval power being so close to China and its growing giant of a navy, coast guard team, now joined by a "naval militia" virtually militarizing portions of China's merchant marine. The new editions may be a bit cheaper than the retiring frigates and may remain in service for a shorter period than the previous models, about 20 years vice the present service life expectancy of 30 years.
Australia's shipbuilding industry suffers from a mixed record. The project to build ten new Anzac frigates was delivered on budget and close to schedule.The current project to build three air warfare destroyers is now more than two years late and as much as $1 billion over budget.Australia's planned new submarines are to be foreign built. Building the subs foreign isn't sitting well with Australian shipbuilding labor consideringsignificant job layoffs in shipyards in Melbourne and Newcastle. At least as far as surface combatants are concerned the Australian government appears to be taking the approach that history has shown that privately owned shipyards perform well in combattant construction but that the traditional boom and bust approach undermined performance. The Aussies are starting to build a navy and given their proximity to the Dragon, none too soon.
< The Roots and Evolution of the Australian Navy
Kindle Edition book
Tiger Territory: The Untold Story of the Royal Australian Navy from 1948 to 1971
Everyone has probably heard of the stories of fake military vets who attempted to gain admiration or even win public office based on false claims of military service or military valor. That abuse of the military awards and decorations system resulted in a new federal law " The Stolen Valor Act". (Public Law No: 113-12.).It is being enforced now and more than a few active duty members, some quite senior and legitimately decorated have been caught up in it. Recently MILITARY.COM published an article about active duty members being embarassed by deliberate false displays, and accidental inaccurate displays. You can read about it by clicking on this link MILITARY.COM . Some of the stories of active duty members claiming awards they were not entitled to are outrageous. Others are tragic. Admiral Mike Boorda committed suicide in part over an erroneous display of not medals, but the miniature ribbon devices that one attaches to the suspension ribbons of medals. Two of his legitimately awarded ribbons ( which are worn on the service dress uniforms in lieu of the actual medals) displayed miniature "V" devices ("V" for valor). In his suicide note the admiral maintained that these two miniature devices were displayed in honest error. Personally I could easily see how. I have a wide variety of awards and some require "miniature devices" such as bronze stars to indicate subsequent awards, or bronze hour glass symbols to denote lengthy service. or "O" devices on achievement awards to denote "operational" services vice "administrative" services, since many "achievement awards" are bestowed for either administrative or operational achievement. I'm not an admiral and certainly not the Chief of Naval Operations. But I am old (67) and have vision problems. I'm also crusty and if I had ever been called out for wearing the wrong miniature device on a ribbon I probably would have plead simple vision issues. But the concept of "stolen valor" was so embarassing to some one like Admiral Mike Boorda that it was a mentioned factor in his taking his own life.
Being Old and retired I don't wear the uniform often, mostly to funerals of old shipmates. I do serve with the uniformed volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary and we are privileged to wear our military decorations on our Auxiliary service dress and dress uniforms. I am admittedly excessively leery of decoration errors since passage of the Stolen Valor Act. In recent months I have taken advantage of a custom that seems to be allowed and was followed by Douglas McArthur I wear only three ribbons , my top three that I have very clear memories of and first rate documentation for. The other five rows of ribbons and their associated medals stay in a box.
I'm not only concerned that my failing eye sight may lead me to make a mistake in identity or precedence , or any required associated miniature device , I'm concerned that I could be challenged on any of the several poorly documented awards, or that some may have been rescinded. You've never heard of a rescinded award where there was no disciplinary action involved? Actually I haven't either, but consider just this one example of a potential rescission. Since it was first issued the Coast Guard's "Sea Service Ribbon" and the somewhat related "Cutterman's Pin" have had their criteria for award changed perhaps more than once. The Cutterman's pin originally, if memory serves, was awarded for two years of continuous sea service. The original sea service ribbon was awarded for any permanent change of station orders to a sea going cutter. Later the Cutterman's pin was associated with specific seamanship skills demonstrated while assigned to a cutter on permanent change of station orders. The criteria for the Sea Service Ribbon was changed to signify two years of continuous attachment to a sea going cutter. I never heard or read anything directing those who were awarded the combination under earlier criteria were to return or cease and desist displaying the ribbons. But just because I never heard anything does that mean I'm definitely entitled to still wear them? Who wants to risk it? In the box they went.
In that box of mine there are some awards like that, where I don't know if the government decided at some point to revoke them. But even if award criteria over the years changed and earlier awards were allowed to stand, I feel very hesitant to wear anything doubtful in a typical active duty crowd with few people over 40 who would have any memory of the earlier situation. I have some unit and group action awards that are well documented and for which I have distinct memories, and some individual medals that I know very well what they were for and for which I have excellent documentation. But they all stay in the box. Why, because the "rule"or tradition is that you either wear your "top three" or all awards , there is no provision for self selected in between displays. So awards other than the "top three" no matter how well documented or deserved stay in the box with the lesser awards never to be on my uniform again, or in a shadow box, or anywhere else where changing awards criteria, or poor documentation, or poor vision may bring my integrity into question. The real problem has always been that the Congress and the senior officer corps have long made a mess of the awards system. Its time for real reform. Any valor or achievement that I was officially thanked for by the United States in the form of one of these ribbons or medals I would rather see uncommemorated than to have my integrity impugned by accident of misguided "enforcement" or changed award criteria. My medals now stay in a box hidden away, and unless there is real reform in the system soon, I'll be buried in my top three only and the box and its contents eventually will be thrown out. Most of the symbols of valor and achievement associated with my decades of service have been effectively taken from me. I'm not nearly as offended by some faker stealing credit for things he in fact didn't do, as I am by my seniors mishandling of the awards system. Awards that must be kept in a box out of sight are meaningless.
Its time to use some common sense. That has become a scarce commodity in government, the military being no exception. I suppose that compared to dealing with ISIS this is all pretty trivial, but for the sake of the young people currently serving , especially those who have been crippled or died in service, military awards shouldn't be trivialized, or so complicated that the highly "decorated" just as soon "box'em and forget 'em". The immediate "solution " is fairly simple, allow individuals to select and wear whatever they are certain they have been awarded whether its 3, 5, 9 or more decorations. Allow possession of anything a member has received for display in a shadow box,or frame, Limit enforcement of the Stolen Valor Act to wearing unauthorized decorations. Military awards should not be a cause for new record keeping chores for those to whom they are awarded, or anxiety when wearing them. With one stroke of the pen such a general order would reduce the negative effects of the other problems that the brass have allowed into the awards system. With that out of the way, attention can be paid to reforming the system by reducing the number of awards with an eye to being more meaningful, using more care in determining award criteria to avoid later changes, making less use of miniature devices, preferably by establishing separate medals/ribbons for "achievement" in operations, administration, or combat.
Just how common is it for highly decorated military personnel to simply box their awards? A lot more common than the brass imagines. Most are more anxious to protect their reputations and integrity than to display mementos of their valor, achievements, or participations in historic operations. Awards that can't be displayed without anxiety are are also valor stolen.
A Complete Guide to United States Military Medals, 1939 to Present: All Decorations, Service Medals, Ribbons and Commonly Awarded Allied Medals of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard
Traditional American "Wedding cake" luxury steamers built in modern times to modern standards have successfully carried overnight passengers on the Mississippi / Ohio River Systems since the 1970s. Now the Scandinavian and Dutch consortium Viking Cruises intend to run European style cruises on the American rivers systems. We presume that despite foreign ownership, Viking will form some sort of American corporation and build their boats in America and staff at tleast the navigation personnel with Americans. This is clearly a Jones Act protected trade. Or, maybe Senator John McCain will finally get his way and the Jones Act will be rescinded and we'll let anyone pilot in American waters with vessels built anywhere. That will be an immediate 126,000 American jobs lost just when the count starts, but who's counting? If Viking complies with American cabotage law, and doesn't start lobbying for its abolition this could actually be a bit of a boon for U.S. second tier shipyards and U.S. inland merchant mariners.
Viking operates around the world specializing in river cruises with purpose built river vessels the basic design being long common in Europe , but Viking now operates also in Egypt, China, Southeast Asia, and even Russia. The company has announced that it will home port vessels in New Orleans in 2017. The announcement indicated that the service would open with new boats, so we presume construction in American yards has already begun or waivers extended by Congressional back channels (which would anger us no end) have been conceded.
The CHINA EMERALD A Typical Viking River Boat operating in China
The company states that the new boats will operate on the Mississippi out of New Orleans to points north such as Memphis, St. Louis, or even farther north in summer perhaps to St. Paul Minnesota.
There is nothing that makes the old merchant men here at the AAB happier than seeing brand new big American passenger vessels coming on line. We don't believe the traditional "wedding cake" paddle wheelers have saturated the market yet. Clearly there are some potential river cruisers who aren't looking for a faux 19th century experience. But we are leery of foreign owned shipping operating in U.S. cabotage waters. If Viking forms an American corporation , builds in America, and mans their vessels with American citizens more power to them, they will get friendly and enthusiastic journalistic coverage from us. But if they start to lobby for the abolition or modification of our Jones Act we will be the first to let our readers know and to lobby for their exclusion from the trade. So good luck and smooth sailing Viking we'll be watching with great interest.
UPDATE 9/29/2017: From: THE ADVOCATE WEB SITE: "Early last year, luxury liner Viking River Cruisesunveiled plans to make New Orleansthe home port for its first North American itineraries, an ambitious venture that would create hundreds of new jobs and ferry passengers along the Mississippi River as far north as Minnesota.
But more than a 1½ years later, Viking — a major provider of high-end river cruises on other continents — has faced unexpected regulatory hurdles that have caused significant delays.
Editor's Note: A major issue for Viking to over come is the Jones Act restrictions on such domestic trades. Vessels that operate between US ports must be built in America and crewed by American citizens. Viking won't be able to shift any of its existing 59 vessels into this market. If the market expands or contracts Viking can only respond with American built and manned vessels. There are already a number of American cruise lines operating on the rivers employing Americans at American wage levels and bringing visitors from all over America and the world to American river destinations. These trips are affordable and the trade is expanding increasing American employment and improving the economy of a number of river port cities. We see no reason for Viking to receive any Jones Act exemptions. If required to operate under the same rules as the American operators they are a welcome addition. Otherwise they just cost American jobs.
As we write this President Trump just signed an executive order waiving the Jones Act requirements for relief cargoes to Puerto Rico. We accept this as necessary while resisting the demands by Hawaii and Puerto Rico the repeal the Jones act either totally or in part in so far as these US islands are concerned. The Jones Act insures the existence of the American Merchant Marine. Years ago we repealed the operational and construction differential subsidies that kept the American Merchant Marine alive in the face of foreign competition with crews that would work for a daily rice bowl after WWII. Our international fleet has suffered ever since. We don't suggest a general return to subsidies but we think Hawaii and Puerto Rico , the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and perhaps Alaska pay a dear price for this element of US security. We suggest that the Federal government should consider subsidized liner services under the American flag for our over seas states and territories. This would be a very limited and targeted use of subsidies and simply represents a sharing by all of us who benefit on the mainland economically as well as security wise in the extraordinary costs imposed on our outlying areas at a time when our ocean fleet has been allowed to shrink to a point where it can't support those areas adequately. If we consider emergency naval logistics, our own economy, national security, and fairness to our out lying communities; subsidy of adequate US flagged liner services is the only answer.
http://tucohutta.org/fly-tying-tutorials/ This link will take you to links to a number of fly tying tutorials by Trout Unlimited ( image courtesy Trout Unlimited) But before you seriously undertake the art of fly tying for the sheer joy of the activity you have to see this video by our Google Plus pal Ruben Martin of THE FLY FISHING GROUP. An astounding Stonefly Nymph created while you listen to exciting upbeat classical music. This video by Ruben Martin is a classic instruction that will introduce you to most of the tools needed for fly tying, the most common methods and materials, and the sheer joy of the activity when winter days set in without a single word being said. The classic fishing music video. Fly tying is the perfect activity when winter days keep you off of................................