Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homeland Insecurity: Because F*ck you

It's been a good while since I last got buttshanked by an oil terminal over "Homeland Security" access issues. This morning, after arriving at our discharging terminal in Delaware 36 hours late because of a foreign ship's dawdling, we were informed that we are to depart for VA on completion of cargo discharge. This is a pain because we had crew change yesterday and no time for my oncoming mate, Cowboy D, to get his groceries and toiletries and other dunnage at the store. Well, Cowboy D is going to have to wait because Magellan's Wilmington terminal doesn't comply with current Coast Guard port access regulations.
      During the whole security scam that our ports have been victim to since 9/11, the Ministry of Peace (Homeland Security) decreed that all ports had to regulate access into and out of their marine docks. Many oil refiners took this opportunity to illegally deny access to crew who needed to get ashore. This became so prevalent that the Coast Guard had to issue a directive ordering that all port security plans for marine companies (all waterfront companies have to have a port security plan, which helps fund maritime security planning companies, which are made up entirely off out of work carnies who can no longer find work picking peanuts out of elephant poop) when renewing their port inspection licenses. Unfortunately, Magellan terminals hasn't yet had to renew their security plan, I guess.

 Here's where I get pissed off: in order to renew my captain's license and merchant mariner's credentials, I have to present proof that I have paid into the welfare system in the form of a TWIC card, a certificate from the Secret Police Department of Homeland Security that announces that I have paid $260 and passed a background check. This is in addition to my merchant mariners' credential, which requires that I pay $125 to be subjected to the exact fucking same background check, since DHS and the Coast Guard don't share data. So I have to have a DHS background check so that the Coast Guard will also have me given the same background check. And I have both complete, but can't walk 50 ft to a parking lot from the oil dock platform.
    So, Magellan terminals wanted me to hire a launch (a small boat) conveniently located 25 feet from me, to bring Cowboy D around the 10-foot section of walkway that the oil dock shares with the launch company. For this we would pay $900. $900 to buy maybe $200 worth of vegetables and meat and avoid walking across 10 feet of steel walkway.
 My response was a no. More accurately, my employers response was to laugh at me and say no. "Homeland Security" the dockman said with a "screw you" grin.
 Reminds me of another dock in Louisiana, when a similar looking dude made a bunch of guys miss their flights home on Christmas Day, and refused to allow mail to be delivered to or from the ship, ensuring that Christmas sucked that year for 25 families.
 I really hate these gestapo high school dropout motherfuckers, but it's our fault for allowing them to seize power.


Bartender Cabbie said...

Ministry of Peach? LOl! I like that.

Anonymous said...

One has to get thru the main gate in The Port of Wilmington , check ID , TWIC and all that. But on their "property" down river is a gate that is only pad locked with chain. That the USACE dudes use that have no TWIC card. They , the port of Wilmington can't even really secure their own port. Its a joke.

Paul, Dammit! said...

Anonymous, no one is going to blow up anything by land in the port. It's too much work to carry explosives over the road when a perfectly good rowboat will allow a determined terrorist to blow up a ship anywhere on the river, or, even more likely, on one of the many bridges crossing the Delaware river.
Security Theatre at its worst.

Anonymous said...

fact remains its not a closed secure port area. As with many port facilities not totally secure , talk the talk but fail to walk the walk.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Ministry of Peace? Good one.

BrianH said...

Sounds like a buddy buddy with the tenants next door. Aka Wilmington Tug. Kinda like the buddy system at GIANT Yorktown (or whatever its new name is) with the Wormley Creek launch. Yet you can go upriver a mile or two and walk FREELY on a military installation, visit the PX, crewchange with only the flash of a MMD. Every dock ive been on from Portland ME, to Corpus TX seems to have a different policy. Not one has same "can i run up the street" Guidline. When I was in Tampa last, they told us that the TWIC card was not accepted and would have to aquire a Port of Tampa card to be let through the pearly gates. No consistency!.....That will be all...Carry on