Literally Pirated Goods


In this piece last month, I noted the inefficiency of shipping tons of U.S. grain to Africa rather than buying cheap food locally and saving millions in shipping costs. But I failed to mention another downside of shipping:

A hulking UN-chartered cargo ship, docked at a port in Somalia this week, was halfway finished unloading its 850 tons of corn and rice when a band of gun-toting bandits stormed aboard and forced the crew to take the ship to sea.

It was the second hijacking of a UN food-aid ship in four months in Somalia.

NEXT: Maggie Goes Wobbly

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  1. lemme guess the crew belonged to a different union than the dockworkers or what?

    (just imagine how much bourbon-sake you can make with that booty)

  2. However, pirates are probably less common, and less of a risk, than corrupt officials who will divert funds transferred for use in buying things locally.

  3. I’m amazed that no one here has made any Ragnar Danneskjold speculations yet. Maybe those Somalians were just looting the looters…

  4. But just think, this increase in piracy will reduce the number or earthquakes, global warming, and other natural disasters!

  5. Akira:
    shame on you. that’s not science. you don’t know what science is. Bo knows science. froth froth froth. OH WAIT. SOME OF THIS SHOULD BE IN ALLCAPS TOO.

    REFERENCES TO VIKINGS ARE FROM JERKS. NAYAH. YOU INSULTED ME FIRST. (probably the Happy Tree Friend, “Russell the pirate” helped, too!)

    gotta love the friday ­čÖé

  6. This is the corniest story I have read today.

  7. Arrrrr ! Mission Accomplished!

  8. Wasn’t piracy one of the UNs big causes back in the 70s? I’m certain thier reaction to this incident will be swift and relentless discussion, followed by another demand that the US turn over control of the internet.

  9. Akira:

    I read your claim before about more pirates = less global warming, and am curious what your hypothesis is.

    I would argue that increased piracy is good for the rainforests, since it would encourage the growth of the parrot population.

  10. I nominate Alan Tudyk to be the UN representative on Pirates.

  11. I note that an increasing number of the experiences Magic Kingdom visitors pay to simulate can be had in a more visceral context in sub Saharan Africa.

  12. coolest. tee shirts. ever.

  13. the truth about Pirates & global warming is here. It’s gotta be true. I read it on the internet

  14. Mr. Nice Guy:

    Why, the evidence is right here: The numbers don’t lie here. I have STUDIED this issue! YOU’RE GLIB, MATT!


    I nominate Alan Tudyk to be the UN representative on Pirates.

    Well, I suppose he has to do something now that Wash [deleted for Serenity spoilers!]

  15. awesome!

    greetings from Lincoln Square…

  16. How ’bout the UN shipping some of FEMA’s leftover ice to Africa? That would have to reduce global warming, wouldn’t it?

  17. Akira:

    Surely, you jest. This graph of pirate/global warming isn’t going to cut it, because it would only take about 10 minutes of instruction time. In order for it to be cromulant teaching material, there needs to be a ton of supporting information for the little ones to memorize and regurgitate on command. Fortunately, with the advent of intelligent design, this supporting information needn’t be bogged down with irritating facts and measurable/observable evidence.

    I think there needs to be a study on the relationship of pirates and volcanic activity, the key contributor of greenhouse gasses. I’m guessing that since there are fewer pirates appeasing the volcanic gods with virginal offerings, there are increased emissions.

  18. dread pirate roberts,
    You must really be a pirate because you misspelled “arrgh.”
    (Pirates don’t spell good.)

  19. Mr. Nice Guy–

    Considering your obvious familiarity with Intelligent Design, how could you not realize that the pirate/global warming link is caused by Intelligent Weather? God (who is a New Englander) feels sorry for us because our winter heating bills are so high, so he cranks up the temperature which not only makes houses cheaper to heat, but also reduces piracy because once the ocean gets hot enough to evaporate the pirate-boats will be useless. See how it all fits together?

    The proper application of knowledge embiggens the smallest mind.

  20. Mistah Niceguy,

    Aaaargh! Yer volcanoes ‘aven’t been increasin’ o’er the past ‘hundred yeers, ‘ave they, matey?

  21. joe,
    Maybe volcanoes are just passing gas these days, instead of Number 2.
    I hear those undersea ones are lettin’ some real eekers.

    And should have know you would nail the spelling of “aaaargh.”

  22. No good deed goes unpunished. And I think “arrr” and “aargh” are two different words.

  23. I always thought pirates said something like “yar”.

  24. They weren’t Tampa Bay Pirates, they were Minnesota
    Vikings comandeering a vessel for their “Taste of Africa” sex cruise.

  25. “And I think “arrr” and “aargh” are two different words.”

    poco and Lowdog,
    Onomatopoeia and examples thereof ain’t easy to spell.

    (As a precaution against avian flu, it’s okay now to go ahead and choke your chicken.)

  26. Solution to Africa? Give ’em all guns and let them kill eachother. Then we won’t have to be so sad when aid is diverted by armed bullies.

  27. And as a qualifier to any knee-jerk race-mongerers who may stumble upon this site, I propose the same solution to all problems. I hate everyone equally, partially because it is no longer proper to make unqualified criticisms of anyone outside one’s own special interest group.

  28. I’m amazed that no one here has made any Ragnar Danneskjold speculations yet. Maybe those Somalians were just looting the looters…

  29. One of the few times I didn’t preview and just look at what happens. The noodly appendage smote me!

  30. There are clearly more modern pirates than the Noodly chart indicates, which leads me to think that he is referring strictly to pirates who wear eye-patches, use wooden sailing ships, and have parrots on their shoulders.

  31. But shouldn’t the hot new Johnny Depp movies be causing things to be better now than they were before?

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