Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Droppin' Some WSJ Knowledge

This morning when I walked outside, I almost came inside like Steve Martin did in "The Jerk" -- "the new phone books are here!" Instead, I was feeling that way about the Wall Street Journal.

I love the Wall Street Journal; I try to read it every morning on the recumbent bike at the gym, and it helps the time go by quite fast. But I let my subscription expire (gasp!), because it costs $299 to renew for a year and only $120 a year for new subscribers. Last week I congratulated Jessica on her involuntary decision to subscribe to the paper for me.

Although I know I'm not alone in reading the Journal every day, there aren't many of us left. So in celebration of my (er, Jessica's) subscription renewal, I decided I'll share something I learned every once in a while. Today: PIRATES.

Have any of us stopped and really thought about the news lately? Almost daily we are regaled with stories of pirates off the Horn of Africa taking control of ships. PIRATES! In 2008! How are these pirates getting on board a ship, let alone taking control? Do these pirate ships drive up next to a big cargo ship and gesture with a rotating arm to the captain to roll his window down, and then jump in? Are there random ropes hanging off these cargo ships that said pirates climb up with a rusty dagger in their collective mouths?

If you're loving this Renaissance of Pirates nearly as much as I am, perhaps you'll enjoy this Op-Ed piece in the Journal today, titled: Why Don't We Hang Pirates Anymore?

My favorite part of this piece is that the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Convention states that ships aren't allow to FIRE on pirate ships... legally they are required to, and I quote, "first to send over a boarding party to inquire of the pirates whether they are, in fact, pirates." Whaaaa? Who does this? And how is this "boarding party" chosen? Do these unfortunate souls negotiate to avoid cleaning the toilets on board for the rest of the trip if they participate?

I personally prefer the 18th Century legal code laid out in the piece: "A piracy attempted on the Ocean, if the Pirates are overcome, the Takers may immediately inflict a Punishment by hanging them up at the Mainyard End; though this is understood where no legal judgment may be obtained."

Now, I don't know where the Main-yard End is, but if you're hanging someone does it really matter where?

Anyway, more to come -- on pirates, and so much more.


McKeehan's said...

Dave -- it is like you read my mind on all this hoopla about pirates lately. I was just joking around with someone about this the other day. But as for the WSJ, I like to gaze the front page, but with no sports section, I lose interest. To each his own. Now USA Today -- that is the paper for me. Just the right balance of news and a very solid sports section.

Todd Hillyard said...

You are so random. Seriously, Pirates. The book is a must for our next pregnancy.... sweet.