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Thursday, 1 October 2009

SUNshine in the Brighton bunker

Harriet hoisted with her own Petard

Harriet Harman says she has asked California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to shut down a website containing reviews of prostitutes.

Here is the letter from the site owners:

Dear Mrs. Harman,

I have a few points to make regarding your recent remarks regarding my website and your fantastic demand that the Governor of California close it down.

Firstly, PunterNet is not violating any laws. If it were, then surely the many websites catering to the US prostitution scene (where sex for pay is almost completely illegal) would already have been closed down.

In the USA, there is a concept called "freedom of speech" which is considered the most important personal right guaranteed by the Constitution. It exists specifically to prevent the sort of abuse of power that you are attempting. The Governor (indeed, even the President) has no authority with which to shut down a perfectly lawful enterprise such as PunterNet.

PunterNet was not the first, and is certainly not the only, website in the UK with the same subject matter. Rather than creating the demand for commercial sex, sites like PunterNet are a response to that demand, which has existed since the dawn of mankind and certainly long before the advent of the Internet!

One of the missions of PunterNet is education - to provide information and guidance in hopes that the commercial sex scene is limited to consenting adults and those who choose of their own free will to engage in it.

If sites like this one did not exist, and if prostitution were outlawed, then it would effectively be handed to organised crime on a platter - just as happened with liquor during Prohibition. If, on the other hand, sexwork is recognised as a legitimate, honourable profession, then there will be no market for the criminal elements, and the truly despicable aspects of the scene such as sex slavery and trafficking will die out. Surely that is a far more desirable goal than driving it back underground where it will then consist only of criminals and victims?

In closing, I would like to thank you for the huge influx of traffic to my website which your actions have caused. I am sure that the ladies who are a part of the PunterNet community thank you as well, as they will no doubt benefit financially from the many new clients who might otherwise never have found them.

Stupid Po faced cow got her comeuppance.

H/T to Manwiddicombe

Marine Engineering 101

You may or may not have read a previous post, where I jokingly described part of my day as a marine engineer.

I'll now tell you the true tale


FE.......................Filthy Engineer (Me)
Bow....................Pointy bit at the front end of the ship.
Stern..................Blunt bit at the back of the ship.
Poop Deck.........At the back, and the only place to have a fag.
MCR...................Machinery Control Room.
HQ1....................Part of the MCR where firefighting and DC incidents are controlled from
DC.......................Damage control.
R.O. Plant..........Magical fresh water making equipment.
Down below.......Nautical term for Downstairs.
Up Top...............Nautical term for upstairs.
Smokoe..............Strange name meaning Tea break.
Bilge....................A sort of drain trap for fluids.
UMS....................Unmanned space.

0645. Alarm goes of and theFilthy Engineer leaps out of bed. (That bit was utter twaddle).

0700. Make a cup of tea.

0715. Down to the poop deck for a fag or two.

All true so far

0745. Down below to the MCR to get ahead by accessing the planned maintenance programme.

0800. Bugger, I'm duty Engineer today.

0815. Handover from yesterday's duty Engineer complete.
a) One of my diesel generators had to be shut down during the night as the intercooler was about to fall off.
b) The running RO plant also stopped mysteriously.

0830. Off for a fag

0832. Start of a set of rounds. This consists of going to all spaces on the ship that contains machinery, and believe you me, that is a lot of distance to cover. I'll just give you a small sample of typical spaces.

Steering gear compartment.
Main machinery space.
Port generator room. (Port is left when looking towards the bow)
Starboard generator room.
Shaft tunnel.
Refrigeration machinery room.
Air conditioning machinery room.
cargo pump room.
Forward pumproom.
Forward stabiliser compartment

etc, etc.

When you consider the vessel is 350 ft long and ten stories high, then you may appreciate how long this can take. About an hour and a half if you don't find anything wrong.

1000. Smokoe at last. Time for a cuppa and a fag.

1005. Pager goes off. Dash to the MCR, look at the alarm panel and note that the fuel pressure to the Port main engine is low.

1015 Finished changing over the fuel filter, old cartridge in the ultra sonic cleaning plant.

1030. Down to the RO plant to see why it stopped. Ah Ha, the SW supply pump has seized up. However we have no spare, so will have to remove the one off the other RO plant, ( That plant doesn't work as a pipe has split and we are awaiting a new one.) and fit it.

1300. Finished changing pumps over and the RO plant is at last making water. What no lunch you say? An engineer's life. At least it keeps me slim.

1310. Commence paperwork that should have been done before lunch. (Yes even marine engineers have paperwork)

1400. Pump out the bilges.(See glossary if you haven't already done so)

1430. commence afternoon rounds. Quick cuppa and a fag first.

1630. Completed afternoon rounds.


End of part one.

Next episode: "What went bump in the night"

Eire. Say no to Lisbon

H/T to Subrosa