I'm not really...really here to judge other people, but have any of you ever walked the docks of an international fishing industry, or international cruise line. If so, you'd recall how ugly the waters were and the kind of debris floating about that would soon enough sink to the bottom for our halibut and cod to feast upon. Our Alaska Marine Highway did its fare share with those massive engines and the pollution it pumped out. In Dillingham we'd have international fishing trade come in and in Seward we had the Polish fishing fleet docking, this made for a lot of asylum seekers- more on that some other day. But the docks were filthy with oil, guts, blood and unidentified liquids pouring down into the waters. All kinds of waste products, even those from the sickly sailors, went overboard. This never made me happy.
In Skagway I was presented with the rare opportunity to visit the true underworld of the famous cruise liners. This first happened when I was involved in a foot pursuit of a bicycle thief. They'd steel them from some yard, ride them back to their ship and toss them off the dock. This left some kid without a $120 bike and a parent demanding action. We once sent a diver down and he spotted a dozen or so bikes, but rust damage made them nearly useless. Some of them were nearly sunk in the silt and the suction was too much for our little winch. But I went way down below the tourist decks chasing this Oriental young man, who was probably afraid I was going to shoot him. But I'd also picked up a couple ship's officers along the way who apparently did not want me down there. Then I could see why. I'd stumbled into the cruise-line's poverty row. Oh, the stench of cook fires-unprotected ones with woks a-going and rice a-cooking, of laundry being done by hand because they apparently couldn't use the ship's washer and dryer for personal clothing ( ship washed their uniforms). Here lived the maids, porters, cooks, helpers and whatever from a dozen different third world country and because the ships were under international flags they did not have to comply to American laws...(except the gambling regulations that had the slot machines locked up until outside the 3-mile or was it 12-mile limit? they were not under American minimum wage laws. I found out most of them were paid less or just above $1 an hour. While the white, black and people from other primary countries -like India or Japan, lived up above on an upper employee deck, had much more privileges and would eat in the employees dining area. The had much better employee contracts and these were the people most of the passengers noticed. The invisible crew members who got the ship to work, went there way and no one noticed them unless they tripped over them and most often it was the crew member's fault.
It was a foul place to live and yes, I caught my thief. But instead of arresting him and taking the chance he would miss his ship, knowing the cruise ship would disown him once I removed him, I simply gave him a good tongue lashing and sent him back to his family. I followed the ship's mate up above to the deck, I do not recall what ship-speak is, but the deck tied to the dock for walking on and off via a heavy ramp. He tried to give me a dressing down about going below deck without notifying the deck officer, but I was angry. I recalled seeing such poverty and stink in Vietnam. My wife had lived in such ugliness when we first met. She was French Vietnamese. Another story, but I was widowed on the last day of the war, for the curious.
I demanded to see the ship's captain and after a 10-minute wait, which was understandable on a busy ship and I had a chance to chat with passengers about how they enjoyed their visit to Skagway. Most of them did, others found the prices a bit high and one or two others asked to why there wasn't a mall to visit like they had in Seattle. I couldn't answer them and just smiled for all 900 summer residents who would probably be wondering why these few people would think our small town, maintaining its historical look to 1890 gold rush, would want a mall.
When these ships come in I try to meet them and I come to realize a lot of some of these people have forgotten their history. I am often asked why the American flag is being waved over a Canadian town, or why did I have an American flag on my police uniform. Still, some expected me to be wearing a Mounted Police Uniform and I explained. But my best questions were the ones who came from a few right off the ships and stood on the dock to admire our sheer faced mountains that dropped straight down into the Lynn Canal. "Officer, what's the elevation here?" I'd walk to the dock edge, look down and say, "About 18-feet right now, be a little less with high tide finishing up." Then they'd look at me for a moment and then bust out with a smile. Those were the ones who caught on, while a few walked off shaking their heads.
Back to the ship- When the Captain did arrive I was no longer mad and I asked the deck officer to join me at the Captain's side. I asked him to advise his deck officer that while tied up to the city dock, this boat was under city, state and federal law. Based on this and me being in hot pursuit, words used to cover my butt in such a chase, I need not have a warrant to enter the boat and I was not about to lose the man while I waited around for a deck officer. The Captain
glared at his deck officer and then apologized to me. The next day, hours before leaving our Police Chief was invited aboard for dinner. Years later, I would experience such an experience of having dinner with the captain, when Mona and I were invited aboard. I was Public Safety Director for City of Whittier. We also took a brief tour of the boat, but I so much wanted to show my wife the bottom decks, but didn't. This ship had Iranian registration and was part of a Denmark line. The captain, he was middle eastern, but as to where I would be lost. Now I became pretty good at Southeast Asian countries and some of the Cambodians could confuse you by their red hair. Made me believe they had a tie in with the Irish or Scots. Beautiful boat above Stench-ville, still the meal was a good $200 one on the menu. They never gave us an ounce of trouble, except we often dealt with their dead bodies. Too many elderly people taking the tour and not finishing it. The line would be responsible for the spouse and they did do a good job in this area. Now, today, the Princess line is going into Whittier, which has increased the amount of funds coming in.
Seems like I always worked in a port town as a civilian cop; Dillingham, Skagway, Seward and Whittier. As a Senior State Investigator, I was back into the Interior-Fairbanks with an area of responsibility the size of Texas. This felt strange. I came on board as an Investigator III and after finishing a very difficult investigation, I was honored with the title of Senior Investigator and it was placed on my business cards, my badge and whatever else I signed. I felt extremely honored by it. I mostly worked alone, unless a certain Alcohol-Beverage- Control officer worked with me or I worked with him. The Fairbanks P.D. appreciated us as they were undermanned and we often backed them up. At one call we were called Batman and Robin- so we spent the rest of the evening deciding who was who. I won't mention him by name, but I miss his friendship and that of his wife. He was one of the bravest men I had ever worked with, the most honest and every once in awhile could pull a serious practical joke. I still owe him for a couple of those.
NEW BRIEFS FOR TODAY: 15 newspapers from around the world I read every morning and write out items I find of interest. Please, read your own papers to find supporting news, do not take my stories to heart, as I could be false, mislead and leaning a certain direction. I am a Christian non-partisan conservative. Enough said.
During a massive climate change demonstration in New York City, protestors carried signs advocating Socialism, while militants were on hand wearing t-shirts displaying foul language against the police officers and fire fighters. Just over 13 years ago, the crowds lined the streets and were applauding and saluting the police and fire fighters of New York and visiting departments who helped fight the 9-11 tragedy. 3 years ago, on the 10-year anniversary, people were still honoring the police and fire fighters of New York City. But then came Ferguson and everybody- black or white, all knew what happened. During the climate change demonstration, where booths were set up, a Socialist newspaper called "The Militant" was on hand to sell newspapers. Occupy Wall Street was also selling T-shirts. People by the hundreds were shouting for justice for the Ferguson shooting. One t-shirt read"Capitalism is Destroying the Planet...We Need Revolution-Nothing-less." ( Now I agree a lot of changes have to be made to keep our government working and our country to remain standing as a true democracy for the freeworld to see. At one point in my life I thought revolution might be the right move to make. I am still hoping Alaska to secede from the U.S.A. if our country fails to right itself and clean up its act. The two parties in office are forcing too many taxes and laws on the people. States need to have control more often, not the feds and this was one of the reasons the Civil War was fought. But seriously, we, America, have lost our integrity as a country. The world no longer wishes to follow us, except if we can promise them more arms and food. But right now, a revolution is wrong, because during such an act, where massive mistrust would destroy our Department of Defense and our military isn't sure who is supporting them or selling them out, our enemy or enemies will be moving in on us. We would be in a weakened state. The British saw this after our Revolution and they came back for the War of 1812. Washington was burned by the British troops, but then they were surprised and we still speak American.)
India has it own Mars Orbiter and today it has entered an orbit around the Planet of Mars. (Going to start getting crowded up there and property values will begin going up. First McDonald's probably already planned and a Mars Big Mac.)
A Billion Private Eyes: ( Read this carefully and check it out in your own papers- see if they even reported on it- hopefully they did.) "Human Flesh Search Engine", an Internet Phenomenon in China. Armed with mobile phones and their computers, net users across China can track down personal information of any person- simply out of pure curiosity, or in the name of Justice- "Cyber Vigilantes". At 632 million users, China has the largest internet population. ( Okay, yes, this makes me somewhat nervous, especially for the systems military usage and how it might work over our country from a Chinese satellite, overhead. How many of the games being offered over the internet could be coming through Chinese or Russian satellites and how much info are they gathering from our personal computers? With such a device, transformed to a handheld size, a platoon commander near the front line could be shown his next week's worth of battle plans and possibly even up to regimental movements over the same time period. We will have to develop anti-devices to block theirs and so on.)
Sierra Leone lock-down has ended, which results will soon be posted. But docotrs and healthcare workers reported finding scores of dead bodies- first guess to be 70 dead, and 150 new infected cases of Ebola. But experts are still concerned with people living out the the towns and villages. Now they have to deal with Ebola infected animals, including zoo animals that were abandoned and now infected. Most of them will have to be destroyed but they're unaware how many have escape and monkeys are the worst carriers of the Ebola virus.
Meeting between China and India foreign ministers was canceled. One of the RUMORED reasons going around was due to the People Liberation Army Troops seen coming across the Indian Border with China and into Indian Territory.
Egypt has decided to send 105 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to include their leader, to criminal court for the charges of inciting violence and killings last year.
Islamic State Has now issued a call worldwide to all Muslims to kill citizens of all countries taking part in U.S.- led anti-Jihadist Coalition by any available means. (Possible, what terrorist in Canada, U.S. and Mexico in the way of an order to begin. Americans need to be vigilant, but not crazy. Not all Middle East people are terrorists and our current Islamic State is made up of all colors. We don't want these terrorists to make us afraid- only watchful for the dangerous militants.)
I just had to go outside, our hounds were scraping with something we couldn't see. One of them came back wounded, with a pretty good sized bite. But whatever it was it's gone now and I've treated our Nessy- Miniature Poodle with loud bark and guards me while in the house. Now back to the news.
Iraqi Government rejects the presence of foreign U.S. Led- Coalition "ground forces" in their country to fight the Islamic State. ( We do not want to put our grand troops in there and they now don't want us, why don't we pack up all our toys and go home. This adventure is doing serious harm to the U.S. taxpayer.)
Republican Party fears Secretary of State Kerry is going to give Iran "Nuke Concessions" in their Islamic State bargaining, while at the same time Iran is reportedly using the Islamic State issue to gain nuke concessions. ( In the end it will probably come out the Islamic State troops were Iranian Army, because they've been pretty quiet in all this. )
Islamic State has captured 60-villages in Syria over recent days, 39- of the villages last Friday. This has sent 200,000 Syrian refugees into Turkey mostly, but some have gone to Jordan, also into Israel. Now news has come in that Turkey has closed its borders to Syria and was forced to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse refugees on the Syrian side.
WHO announces death toll to rise in West Africa, hitting 2,803. Bodies are being found lying about outside closed clinics, their beds all full and no more rooms for patients. People now becoming infected from the dead and spreading the Ebola due to lack of medical help and treatment centers. Outside one church, a pastor has installed a large contained filled with bleach water- teaching his flock to be responsible and to clean thoroughly. He demonstrated a medical style washing and they now do this for coming in and for leaving. A lot of hugging and laying on of hands has increased with the people knowing of the bleach wash outside.
Center for Disease Control's Dr. Mark Pallansch, a Virologist , Director of CDC's Prevention-Division of Viral Diseases, reports Enterovirus EV-D68, which has now hit 16-states with confirmed cases and sent hundreds of Asthma patients, infected now with the edition of D68, to the hospital, could be "Just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases."
Kremlin once again denies Putin ever discussed cutting Russia off from Internet. ( I suspect Putin's drinking buddies are now undergoing a thorough and intense interrogation- the type with the bare feet are a top a very hot wood stove. For the former Commander of the KGB, this man is possible of anything and everything. So much for the Thursday night poker game.)
Oddly enough, France is going ahead with training of Russian sailors on the French Mistral Warships, despite threats to nix the sale to Russia and promises France made, in how they would stop the sale of the warships to Russia. (After Indochina, France has been of a double-mind. They allow us to have our thousands of American Graves remain on their shores from the D-Day Invasion at Normandy. But our military forces left France long ago, when our bases were kicked out.)
German-operated cruise liner has traveled to the Crimean Port of Yalta in apparent defiance of the Ukraine Government, which has prohibited ships from calling at the Black Sea Peninsula.
45% of Russians believe a shadowy group control the world's governments, an overarching entity who pulls all the strings. Based on a state poll in Russia and reported in the Moscow Times.
Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into gaining a federal law passed to prohibit or ban passengers on all-terrain vehicles (ATV). They may also seek a requirement for ATVs to be redesigned so no additional passengers can ride on them.
Recent Pew Research Poll shows that 72% of the public thinks religion is losing influence in American life. ( I wonder where they took the Poll?)
Ukraine and Pro-Russian Rebels/militants is a cease fire in name only, according to USAF General Breedlove, NATO top general. Violence levels in Ukraine are as high as before the ceasefire. ( But where are the other reporters and their stories of this
Earthquakes for today above 4.0
9 earthquakes today above 4.0 and nothing above a 5.7 at Viso Koi Island. Chile had another 5.1, New Zealand a 5.4, Japan came up with a 4.7, Tonga a 5,0 and Russia claimed a 4.4.
A new study prepared for Home Builders concludes that 414,000 home sales will not happen this year because of the high level of student loan debts. These home sales amount to 8% of all home sales and enough to dent the housing home sales will not happen this year because of high level of student-loan debt. These house sales amount to 8% of all home sales by $83 million billion a year. An estimated 5,9 million households play this tune for an estimated $1.1 trillion dollars. ( With such a high student loan debt, it will have an effect on all of the U.S. budget areas. Control over this loan debt needs to be done in a similar way as bankers handle their loans. Transfer locally situated student loans to the a bank in the area of the student, taking the loan for a closer control between banker and loan owner. Bank can work to help the person, or if need be, foreclose and resell home faster than what the feds are doing now. )
Pentagon announces a delay in US- Led Coalition attacks until more Arab governments contribute to the operation. ( We stopped the war for lack of cooperation. This is definitely not World War II. Maybe we can make a comedy movie about President Obama's War and the battle he couldn't start. Please make your own movie titles. Maybe the Arabs just united to embarrass President Obama and now they're back counting their oil profits. Think about it, Syria is getting rid of their riff-raft - meaning Christians and Kurds. There's been little attention on Iran, Jordan, Qatar or Saudi Arabia, while these masked demons of the IS carry out mayhem. I still believe its possible these masked fighters, who behave as if they have had military training, are a Secret Division of of Iran or mixed Iran and Russian troops. But it's only my guess and right now Obama should be wiping the pie of his face. Both him and Putin are suffering real problems with their civil attraction points. Godzilla did better in his new movie, when he killed the bugs for Japan and left.
With all the radioactive waste pouring into the pacific, I'm halfway expecting a menacing 200 foot shrimp or the halibut from Hell.
Clouds moving in again, but it has been a great day. We have two extra families here right now as they joined together to make canned food for the supply pantry. Nice smells, but I am staying up here. Too many noisy kids.
Blessing to all of you. May the Lord watch over you all. BILL