Saturday, April 11, 2009

Money Problems/Piracy Problems

Budgets and Pirates

A budget: Go without to stay within: These days everybody seems to need to find ways to save their Benjamin’s. A few quick tips include eating at home more often; meaning eating out less, and when you eat out, bring home the “doggie bag.” Make your own coffee instead of buying a $ 5.00 latte, although the chain that made a living on that latte now offers a coffee and oats breakfast for under $ 4.00. If you still have a job, at least a few days per week, pack your lunch instead of going out. When grocery shopping, first make a list, never shop when you’re hungry, and always shop when you’re in a hurry. Also, buy generic.

Look at your monthly budget. I’ll bet you’re giving money to banks or credit cards in the form of fees and interest. Find a bank that has no fee checking, use their debit card, and don’t overdraw. Pay down your credit cards and don’t pay late. Those two tips alone can save you hundreds per month. Reduce your cable offerings and ask your company fur “bundled” packages that include internet, cable and even phone at a substantial savings. Use the library instead of the bookstore. If you’re a student buy used. Not only are used books cheaper, somebody has already underlined for you. Some schools are now leasing books. Many bottled water companies use tap water so you’re paying for the bottle! And bottled water costs more than gas for your car. Bottle your own water and try using regular gas in your tank. Sign up for every “Rewards” program available, even if you shop at a place occasionally. You’ll hear about bargains that others don’t. Rent CDs for the family instead of going to movies. They’re cheaper and you’ll save a ton on popcorn alone. And remember the saver’s mantra: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.”

Somali hijackings: At this writing there is an American sea captain being held by four thugs. Nobody asked me but I will offer several plans to retrieve him and a plan to end the hijackings. First it is important to note that the ship owners have found it a better investment to pay ransoms to the thugs rather than end the problem. The cowards are those who hold human cargo for ransom but the bigger cowards are the ones who allow the continued escalation of the problem by paying millions in ransom to thugs and bullies. But I digress. A U.S. flagged ship was boarded by the pirates. The thugs were overpowered by the unarmed American crew and their pissant boat was sunk. The thugs somehow got one of the ship’s lifeboats and the ship captain, while the crew held one of the thugs. A deal was made. Send down the thug and the captain will be released. They lied. They now have their thug and the captain. Here are my solutions to retrieve him:

Solution 1: Send a couple of Navy Seals into the water and station four sharpshooters on the Navy ship’s deck. Have a Helicopter or two stir up the water to flip the boat and eject the occupants. Seals rescue hostage Captain and sharpshooters take out any of the thugs who threaten him or the ship, although chances are their weapons will be swamped overboard.

Solution 2: Navy Seals puncture holes in the lifeboat causing it to sink. Seals rescue hostage Captain. Sharpshooters take out any resisters.

Solution 3: Since the thugs and the hostage Captain are dependent on food from the Navy ship, lace the food with sedatives and wait for it to take effect. Seals board the boat, secure the bad guys, and rescue the hostage Captain. Now that the Navy has my plans for hostage rescue let me offer a plan to end the ship hijackings.


This will NOT be a U.S. operation: Phase 1 - This must be a multinational effort. Every country who has ships sailing under their flag or has crewmen of their country on board or either sends or receives goods on ships that pass through these waters must participate. The costs of the operation will be borne proportionately by the companies who use the shipping lanes.

First, all ships that pass through the Red Sea from the Suez Canal to the Gulf of Aden will be stopped during this operation. No cargo ships will pass into the Indian Ocean until the operation is over.

Phase 2: Warships from all participating countries will take part in a joint operation just as allied countries did during World War II. They will form a blockade off the Somalia coast. Troops from participating countries will be dispatched into Somalia and seek out the warlords who are directing the piracy and hijacking. They are well known to the victims of previous ship hijackings and are easily identifiable by the trappings gained from their thievery. Trappings include luxury homes, SUV autos, jewelry, drugs, fine art, and other items typically owned by despots throughout the world who prey on the less fortunate and those living in poverty. Monies will be confiscated as will any item that appears to have been purchased with ill gotten gains. Houses built with the fruits of the ransom will be destroyed. Known ringleaders will be captured and taken to an international court to be tried. Any monies confiscated will be used to develop the country. The above plan will cut off the head of the snake and as an ancient Arab proverb purports, “When you kill the head the body will die.”

Humanitarian Aid may follow: Once the perpetrators of the piracy are rounded up and sent to trial, the same coalition that brought an end to the hijackings should supplement humanitarian aid to a country that has not had a government for many years. Weapons must be confiscated, laws put into place, and a government elected by the Somali people. Schools should be build and food provided until the Somali land is replanted. But I emphasize, this must not be a U.S. Government operation but that of a coalition of all affected countries.

That is my plan and I offer it to any government official from any affected country.

A little blogging music Maestro… “We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and sung by (alphabetically) Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Hall and Oates, James Ingram, Jackie Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Al Jarreau, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis and the News, Kenny Logins, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, Jeffery Osborne, Steve Perry, The Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder.

Dr. Forgot

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