Captain Nemo, Hagbard Celine, Kathy Lee Gifford…


The House Subcommittee on National Security is probing a dangerous fleet of lawless vessels called "cruise ships." Andrew Fischer comes to their defense.

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  1. So, 25 million people took cruises. 28 disappeared. Almost literally a one in a million chance of disappearing. And they think this is an urgent matter.

    Maybe Dave W. can explain why these risks need to be regulated.

  2. I’m sure that will come out in disclosure.

  3. And they worry about this when there are literally still pirate ships out there causing trouble.

  4. “I’ve never known statistics that are voluntary to be accurate.”

    Let me take it upon myself to point out that coerced statistics are only 8% more accurate.

  5. Maybe Dave W. can explain why these risks need to be regulated

    Because some of them where PWG’s. (Pretty White Girls)

  6. preview is my friend

  7. Shays is an imbecile. Let me be the first to point out that the only reason they care about this now is because of the Smith case. There’s a certain class of people who are supposed to immune from one in 25 million events and when they aren’t, there political slaves start investigating.

  8. Mine, too.

    political slaves

  9. It does seem pretty ridiculous to start putting tons of laws on these ships. I mean-in general, people are on the ships to have a vacation-not to throw people overboard, or to steal, or to cause mayhem-usually it’s families or friends having a good time! I know that when I was on top of a cruise ship once, I did feel kind of scared about falling overboard…but like you said-I chose to be there! If I didn’t like it…I shouldn’t go on a cruise!

  10. “Because some of them where PWG’s. (Pretty White Girls)”

    I was on a machine @ the gym the other day, and Faux news happened to be what the previous user was watching (our machines have individual TV’s). They were in full-on “URGENT ALERT” mode, going on and on about some girl who got murdered in NYC. I was trying to figure out why a national news outlet would be in such a tussle over one isolated murder—then they showed her picture, and I knew.

    Wow, look, a really cute white teen. What a fucking surprise. It’s so obvious, it’s not even funny anymore. It’s just sad. They should change the ‘Amber Alert’ to the ‘PWG Alert’.

  11. Eight in the morning and congress has already managed to irritate me…

  12. Maybe some congressional oversight of the cruise line industry would be a good thing?

  13. “Let me be the first to point out that the only reason they care about this now is because of the Smith case. There’s a certain class of people who are supposed to immune from one in 25 million events and when they aren’t, there political slaves start investigating.”

    Yeah, anytime anyone with a ‘The Fourth’ after his name dies, there’s bound to be some heads rolling. I really hate to play the race/class card here, but would Shays give a rats ass about this shit if the missing drunkard was named Tyrone Smith, and didn’t have a ‘IV’ after his name?

  14. Maybe some congressional oversight of the cruise line industry would be a good thing?

    About as usefull as cruise industry oversight of congress.

  15. About as usefull as cruise industry oversight of congress

    Nah, this I’d like to see. Maybe if someone is scheduling recreational activities for Congress, they’d be causing a lot less trouble.

  16. People who go on cruises are only one step above people who go to Disney World. They’re suckers who get herded into cheesy souvenir ports and feel compelled to purchase crappy merchandise to commemorate their dream vacation to nowhere. If a few of them become crab food it’s ok by me.

  17. The Smith story is semi-local news where I am, so even though I don’t really care a few facts have sunk into my brain via osmosis. I vaguely remember that a few weeks ago they were studying a possible “absinthe connection”–I guess the guy drank some absinthe before he vanished, and we all know that if you do anything which the government says is illegal, anything bad which happens later is because of said illegal activity.

    Sorry. I didn’t sleep well last night so I’m in a vile mood today.

  18. Absinthe?

    OH NOES!

  19. As an avid absinthe drinker who constantly lectures people that “what you drank in Prague wasn’t really absinthe,” I am happy to see an air of menace drift back into the drink.

  20. David Friedman has pointed out that anarchy reigns on the high seas.
    Ruthless is now pointing out that anarchy is why cruising is such a popular way to vacation.

  21. Keith: so where would a person-a bad person who fails to cooperate with his Nanny Sam? find real absinthe?

  22. As a pilot, it warms my heart that there are still two places where one has a modicum of control over one’s affairs, the cockpit of an aircraft, and the bridge of a ship. It’s too bad that doesn’t oft convey to passengers on either type of craft.

    I just wish that cruise ship captains weren’t so grumpy about passengers carrying legal firearms. I am willing to take responsibility for my own safety, and don’t relish the idea of having to forswear that while travelling internationally. Between that and viruses, I’ve been put off of cruising for a while.

    I do figure that some corporate behemoth may possibly do a better job of preventing loss before the fact than a government, if only because the former can be sued in the event of loss.

    Besides, I hear that some cruise lines covertly search passenger quarters, which seems creepy.

  23. FYI – As a reminder, here’s Jacob’s article from last year about absinthe.

  24. A drunk guy disappears at sea. Hmmm.

    Having been a sailor, I’m kind of thinking he fell overboard. Really not hard to do if you don’t watch yourself, one little roll this way or that and there you’d be screaming at the fantail lights, assuming you don’t drown first.

  25. Maybe some congressional oversight of the cruise line industry would be a good thing?

    Sorry, Jack, but I’m pretty sure they’d ban standing on the prow of a ship, leaning out over the water, and shouting stuff.

  26. Well, I won’t feel safe about cruise ships anymore (even though I’ve never been on one) until there are undercover federal marshals aboard who can shoot anybody acting weird. That way the crazy drunks won’t disappear anymore. They’ll be dead, but…y’know, laying right there. Everybody’ll know where they are.

  27. My wife and I liked the cruise that we took. It was very comfortable and relaxing. You have all the amenities of a fancy hotel (except big rooms), and just about everything except drinks and gifts is already included in the price so you don’t have to worry about the cost when you feel like doing something. The food is good and abundant. The weather and scenery are nice. Really, we’d love to do it again.

  28. Maybe it’s just high time that Jack Bauer took a cruise.

  29. Jack Bauer on a cruise ship….


    “Let’s get one thing straight: The only reason you’re still conscious is that I don’t feel like carrying you in the buffet line.”

    “Chloe, I need you to hack into the slot machine. Don’t ask why, just do it.”

    “Right now, frat boys are plotting mischief on the upper deck. My attractive daughter has been targeted. And people that I work with forgot to pack my scuba gear. I’m Federal Agent Jack Bauer, and this is the longest vacation of my life.”

  30. What’s so bad about Disney Land?

    grouchy old sourpuss

  31. DF:
    A drunk guy disappears at sea. Hmmm.

    But if he were required to wear a life safety vest he might have sufferred longer before dying. We do live in the “Culture of Life”, you know, and every moment is sacred.

  32. Jadagul: They’d only ban that because he was claiming earthwide royal sovereignty and therefore implicitly attacking the U.S.

  33. Thoreau, which cruise line did you go on? I reluctantly accepted an invite to a weekend Royal Caribbean (the line of the Turkey murder) cruise in November and thought it pretty tacky and lame, with fairly crummy food. I hear good things about the expensive lines like Celebrity and Seabourn, but for that much vacation moolah I’d probably rather go shopping in London or something.

  34. Carnival. We thought it was fine. Then again, mostly we just look for something relaxing in a vacation, and we got that.

  35. Some folks I play hockey against were telling me about a good cruise line for younger, single types, like me, over some beers, but I can’t remember which line it was.

    I think it’d be hella fun if it wasn’t mostly little kids, married couples, and old people.

    I understand that the ports o’ call aren’t always the greatest and you don’t get much time in each one, anyway, but I think it’d be sweet to be staggering around the ship at all hours of the night and day, laying about in the sun, dancing, eating, etc.

  36. Given yesterday’s “evils of foreign spring break” story and efforts to regulate the Internet it appears that Congress has grown bored messing up the U.S. and is ready to move on to international screw-ups.

  37. Lowdog, if you’re young, not married and without little kids EVERY DAY can be like a Carnival cruise!

  38. He added: “I think the fact they don’t want us to know how many security people they have is kind of curious.”


    Mr. Shays, how many security people does Congress have?

  39. EVERY DAY can be like a Carnival cruise!

    Just don’t eat the crab meat.

  40. And they think this is an urgent matter.

    Not quite as urgent, apparently, as baseball players using steroids.

  41. has anybody considered this may be congress’
    political retribution for the cruiseships “bailing out” the housing crisis in New Orleans

  42. thoreau said:
    “Really, we’d love to do it again.”

    The Little Woman likes to plan ahead.
    When did you say the next prime calendar year would be?

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