Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Relevance Of The Ship Which Has Sunk In The Yangtze To National Justice System Upgrades?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

1 International role in sea safety

Regarding the ship which just sank in the Yangtze River with a probable 400-plus deaths, and its relevance to justice systems everywhere?

Well, small inland ships (which are those most prone to a high death-rate) and their rules and regulations are outside the scope of the international body which sets rules and upgrades systems for seagoing vessels.

That is the United Nations agency in London called the International Maritime Organization or IMO. Small inland ships are unregulated unless the relevant government has unilaterally acted.

The IMO sets safety rules including design elements and it advances better rules and systems through conferences and training. It runs a big school in Sweden.

The IMO is NOT part of a world government, or a top down organization; like all of the UN development agencies it is a horizontal network, in its case of all the national maritime agencies in the world.

Their administrators and experts are incessantly heading to London to advance maritime matters in working groups. (The US is a big and enthusiastic player in all of the UN agencies via the relevant Federal departments - agriculture, health, transport, and so on.)

So in China, watch out for a bunch of systems changes with regard to those small vessels.  But watch out also for a bunch of systems changes via the IMO at the global level, to try to head off more such catastrophes and to get the best possible rescue efforts going much faster.

2 The relevancy here?

In justice systems also, many lives are in the balance.

But as mentioned in previous posts, the UN doesnt have a freestanding agency for justice systems upgrades, or for a static thumbnail view of each one.

Currently it has a public administration development division within the “United Nations proper” in New York and a global network of training and reserach bodies.

Not nothing, but also not everything, if the world is not to be overwhelmed by lawlessness..

There is no way that that unit is appropriate to resolving the huge and complex problems in the videos in the post below.

A lesson learned maybe above all others in the UN is that major system change should never be attempted in national or local isolation. It is simply too costly, too remote from global expertise and opinion, and way too inefficient, and participants soon tire themselves out or loose interest.

Ideally a few or many countries all set about systems upgrades in parallel processes and they watch and share with one another.

The justice-systems problems in the videos below have many things in common. They seem very ripe for a global effort on the lines of maritime systems. Maybe Italy and the US could each contribute greatly to getting that alive.

Its not beyond us to explain this and to try to push for it.  This would kinda trump calling top justice officials of this or that national system corrupt or bungling or criminal.

That is the Amanda Knox thugs’ supposed contribution to a better world - apparently their only one.

Below: the International Maritime Organization headquarters in London

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters on 06/03/15 at 02:38 PM in Justice systemsItalian systemUS etc systems


Could the European Community and other such communities tackle this sort of thing?  Dont hold your breath waiting for it. Ask poor Greece right now.

In the New York Times the economist Paul Krugman has for several years lamented how the “top countries” simply roar at Greece (and Italy, Spain and Ireland) - and now Greece is pretty well a basket case.

Its exit from the EC could spark a great unwinding - of what are ill-aligned systems and vast over-regulation. How NOT to do it, for sure!

Mind you, economists (and lawyers) are not those best suited to the leadership of such change processes - their own (fine) science and training is more suited to fine-tuning the steady state.

We can still be friends with them, but please keep them locked in the back rooms, until light appears at the end of the tunnel. Then they have their roles.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/03/15 at 03:30 PM | #

Looking at the design, it looks like the above deck cabins were added later, making it top heavy and causing stability problems. It could easily be swamped by a wave. Very similar to the Korean ferry disaster, where unsafe modifications (to carry cargo) resulted in tragedy.

Posted by Ergon on 06/03/15 at 06:08 PM | #

Hi Ergon

Good point. The Korean shipmaster has just been sent to prison for life - after he had first been found guilty on lesser charges and the prosecution appealed and he was retried.

Do you see him as having ignored mandated rules - not adhered to systems? I havent read enough yet on that, but he certainly did himself immense harm in public eyes by scampering off the boat without revealing who he was while leaving hundreds (mainly children) still aboard and facing a watery fate.

See his escape photographed below here. The Italian captain of the beached Concordia was sentenced for similar desertion of those he was trusted to look after, though how the owners (Carnaval) were weakly riding herd on systems had serious faults too..

In the forefront of nations whose populations mostly “see” systems are in fact those two: South Korea and China. Historically both followed the lead of Japan (as did Taiwan, Singapore, etc) which in the 1950’s through 1980’s imported any systems they fancied mostly from the United States and then set about installing and tweaking them. So the follow-through to this catastrophe should teach us something.

Right now, Italy is bearing the brunt of massive systems weakness and failure - directly to its south in north Africa, where all those desperate migrants are coming from, many of them too drowning.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/03/15 at 06:53 PM | #

OT, because justice system overhaul and global lessons from maritime disasters are way beyond me (prisons aren’t the chain and poorhouse of Victorian England. There has been progress.) Add to that the internet explosion. It could disseminate more knowledge for best practice.

I learn a lot from “think big” people on this site, such as the point in above post that even a single nation is in isolation and cannot succeed at systems change quickly without world input. That’s an amazing concept when many of us tend to think that anything beyond the county, state or regional level is vast. Yes, best to think big.

OT, the song “All You Need Is Love” on Amanda’s tee shirt in court was probably a shout-out to Raffaele to keep loving her with his alibi. She should have had more love for Meredith. The lack of love she showed for Meredith was visible in the cottage and the courtroom. But it is Amanda’s Achilles heel of indiscreet attention-seeking that will soon be exposed.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/03/15 at 08:18 PM | #

Hi, Peter, “the ROK Coast Guard concluded that an “unreasonably sudden turn” to starboard, made between 8:48 and 8:49 a.m. (KST), was the cause of the capsizing.According to the Coast Guard, the sudden turn caused the cargo to shift to port, causing the ship to list and to eventually become unmanageable for the crew. The crew of the ferry agreed that the main cause was the sudden turn.

Overloading and not properly securing cargo are also being seen as direct causes. The MV Sewol was carrying 3,608 tons of cargo, more than three times the limit of 987 tons. The overloading was also previously noted by an off-duty captain and the first mate. According to them, the ship owners ignored their warning that the ship should not carry so much cargo because she would not be stable.

The Sewol was carrying only 580 tons of ballast water, much less than the recommended 2,030 tons; this would make the vessel more prone to list and capsize. South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo argued that the discharging of ballast water was a cause of the incident. The crew had reportedly pumped out hundreds of tons of ballast water from the bottom of the ship in order to accommodate the additional cargo.

Renovations which added extra passenger cabins have been proposed as a main secondary cause by Kim Gill-soo, a professor in the maritime transport technological department at the Korea Maritime University”.

The owner of the marine company went into hiding, and eventually was found dead in a field, apparently a suicide.

Posted by Ergon on 06/04/15 at 05:09 AM | #

There was nothing wrong with the system or perhaps the person, but sometimes the culture deteriorates or deteriorates us, be it Confucianism, Communism, Capitalism. It is all, somewhat human..

Posted by Ergon on 06/04/15 at 02:05 PM | #

Hi Hopeful

Re Knox. There was a system in place which could have saved Meredith - the University of Washington requirements including some supervision for students under its wing studying abroad, in exchange for which funding would have been available.

Knox knew about it but deliberately flouted it and maybe lied to her parents about it and left Seattle underfunded and with no restraints. She did not even enroll in the main university, her time was divided between the language school, doing drugs, and ticking people off. And worse.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/04/15 at 03:53 PM | #

Pete - the Central FACT of your Post, the Korean Ferry Disaster, evokes a profound Parallel with the Central Subject of TJMK; Ergon’s amplification furthers the Parallel.

The Psychology of the Ferry Owner, leading-up to the disaster, is in the same spectrum as the Psychology of Knox and Sollecito.
Being a worse-case example doesn’t diminish its relevance.

As a Psychological-Subset, it and it’s enablers, may need their own Glossary: PsychoApologists (The Foakers, Led by The Hellmann-Zanettis, and Reporting Judge Antonio Paolo Bruno)?

How will Bruno’s Motivazione wangle its way out of its PsychoApologist Denial of The Facts?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 06/04/15 at 04:47 PM | #

Hi Ergon

On the first comment on the Korean ship the Sewol, good catch. With regard to that sharp turn that overturned the boat:

It has been suggested that the accident occurred as a result of a sharp turn made by an inexperienced crew member. A 26-year-old, identified only by her surname, Park, was steering the Sewol when it listed and capsized. She had little more than one year’s experience as third mate and had spent less than five months on Sewol. It was also her first time steering the ferry through the Maenggol Channel, where the accident happened. The woman is one of the three crew arrested on suspicion of negligence, abandoning people in need, and violating maritime law.

Violating maritime law… From the same article it looks like the IMO rules (systems adhered to by member nations) that constitute that law are too lax. The Secretary General himself said this:

Lives were lost - but how many more down the road if there were no such mechanisms to learn and upgrade and share?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/04/15 at 04:50 PM | #

Hi Ergon

On the second comment “There was nothing wrong with the system or perhaps the person, but sometimes the culture deteriorates or deteriorates us, be it Confucianism, Communism, Capitalism. It is all, somewhat human.. “.

Usually there are firm rules and to disobey them is made a crime. Usually also there are bodies for independent checks (think airline safety, which comes under the UN’s agency ICAO in Montreal), but at some point the discretion of the captain and the owners cuts in.

The captain of the Concordia was not known to be a confucian or communist - he was seemingly merely a reckless showoff with a “nice chick” at his side who was partly drunk.

Carnaval Cruise Lines trusted and liked him (he brought one ship here to New York) because he was competent and gave the passengers a good time. They knowingly let him swoop repeatedly close to that island - then one night he went one rock too far.

Again the IMO had a role to tighten up the systems, these were recommended interim measures worldwide:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/04/15 at 05:00 PM | #

Hi Hopeful

On your interesting first two paras about large systems.

The main point of these two posts of course was merely to underline that Italy’s justice system is not a unique basket case as Knox PR would have us believe, in fact by global comparison it is not a basket case at all, it is one from which all the world can learn.

The internet is indeed sharing info and applying pressure from the public as the links in the posts just above show. Everybody can and should have a role in the systems that define their work and lives. With the right tools and steps of a process none of this is hard - in fact most find it fun.

Built into US federal departmental planning is a requirement that such planning should be bottom-up from the grassroots and a way was explained (in part because I helped to put it there) in the legislation, but that is still stuck at square one. The implementation at community and city and state levels is still on hold.

Example of a US sector which follows international best practice: aviation, and of course the US largely helped to write the rules.

Example of a US sector where the US has always tried to go it alone, and to learn nothing from highly successful models elsewhere: healthcare.

Despite the Affordable Care Act of 2010 the US still has the costliest healthcare in the world (per-capita GDP) and its healthcare indicators still lag behind most advanced countries.

Grappling with big systems is quite simple - if the folks involved go about it right. The UN does not have ALL the answers, which is why I left.

Many of the best systems are developed in the US - but then kept guarded and not shared. Europe has a more comprehensive international network system but smart systems upgrade is nowhere Job One (well, except Greece, which is flying blind).

Big systems are merely the sum of a lot of little systems, think Russian dolls.

Again, none of this is beyond most people and certainly not beyond you. In a day or two you could easily pick up some of the principles and gather a bunch of people from your community to get to work.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/04/15 at 05:27 PM | #

Hi Cardiol

Thanks for the smart comment on the psychology. SeekingUnderstanding has been updating us on what the psychology world is seeing now.

It sees a LOT but not all of it is good news - things that are beyond current treatments etc - and the systems to recognize and especially to contend with psychopathic behavior are still very weak, that is for sure.

Luckily Knox had no big boat under her control or she’d be bleating on for the rest of her life like the captain of the Concordia who still sees himself as Victim #1.

The quality of support these psychological types increasingly attract is a real downside of the web. In a sense, we are in a kind of race to head them down.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/04/15 at 05:49 PM | #

Interesting piece.

This is off topic, but a thought just came up: All this talk has been made about Knox being jealous, but what about Sollecito being jealous?  That would explain so much of their behaviour.

-Knox speaks English better than Sollecito could ever hope to (except when she is butchering the language trying to be evasive).  Most likely, she speaks Italian (his native tongue), her 2nd? 3rd? 4th? better as well.

-Knox probably will never have a fulfilling career, but unlike RS, she actually has worked various jobs in her life—he never has.  Knox was working at the bar when they met.

-Knox was the ‘‘star’’ of the trial, and all the attention focused on her.

-Even in the books, in was the AK show.  WTBH was ‘‘her’’ story, while HB ‘‘his journey with Amanda Knox’‘.

-While not directly caused by Knox, Sollecito has also been a shadow of his sister Vanessa, who accomplished much, and put her career in jeopardy to help him.

-Knox can actually claim she wrote her book, while Sollecito’s interviews make it clear he never could have.

-Knox has American citizenship (which can’t be revoked), and a built in barrier to extradition.

-Sollecito is very likely still bitter that Knox didn’t use her ‘‘advantage’’ for a marriage so he could flee (as unlikely as it ever was to happen).

-As Sollecito had to stay in Italy for the Florence Appeal, Bongiorno did separate the defenses, weakening his, just to make the claim that the evidence is stronger against Amanda.

Contrary to the media claims, I don’t see any love whatsoever between them.  Doubtful there ever was.  All I see is bitterness, spite and resentment.  It would also explain all their public attempts to shove each other towards the fire.  If they truly were innocent, it wouldn’t make sense to hate each other.  But they blame each other (each with justification).

(a) Knox brought Sollecito along for something (Meredith’s murder), that he would not have done himself.

(b) Sollecito broke when the police showed him inconsistencies in his stories.

(c) Everything else came as a result of (a) and (b)

Posted by Chimera on 06/05/15 at 09:59 PM | #


Excellent observations. From the beginning, it has been her show and she has been the producer, director and the actor. Rest are all supporting casts. There is no story without her. She used and abused both RS and RG. I would even say that she used the other guy in the train- what is his name I forget- Frederico??- to her advantage. Sex sells.

The thing you did not mention- and I only suspect- that the recent supreme court judgment was the result of the due diligence of papa Sollecito. That the heroine too got away is just a- should I say side-effect, or unintended consequence- price for the freedom of the Prince.

Here again she wins- there is no way papa can free the son without “liberating” the queen!

The play is NOT badly cast!

Posted by chami on 06/06/15 at 10:03 AM | #


Interesting theory, Papa springing Raffy, and Knox being the side-effect.

Initially there were theories here, and in the press of the exact opposite:  Italy sprung Knox due to American pressure, and Sollecito was just a forced side effect. 

Even the American media, when Sollecito did his book tour would introduce her as: ‘‘Amanda Knox’‘; him as ‘‘Amanda Knox’s Italian ex-boyfriend’‘.

Yes, Knox tried to pin in on Federico Martini, the drug dealer she met on the train.

I still wonder why Knox kept the ‘‘see you later’’  message, but not Patrick’s telling her not to come in to work.  If she was worried he might want her to come in later, it would make far more sense to keep ‘‘his’’ message, as proof she got the night off.  When did she delete the one: was it in the police station or days before?  Was Patrick pre-designed to be a potential patsy?

Knox is a bit like the Joker in ‘‘The Dark Knight’‘, smirking as she leaves a trail of destruction behind.

Posted by Chimera on 06/06/15 at 10:32 AM | #

Apologies to the several waiting to see their main posts go up. I came back from the conference with a pesky virus, but they never trouble me for long, sun or mon we should move on.

If you are prone to flu-type attacks, perhaps check out elderberry, its one of several herbs which beats any non-prescription drug hands down.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/06/15 at 06:04 PM | #

Hope you get well soon Pete. I’ve noted elderberry, thanks.

If I can throw in my two penn’orth, Vitamin D3 is great. I’ve been taking it for about 7 years in megadoses (7-10,000 I.U. per day) and I’ve not had a cough, cold or flu (nor any other illness) in that time.

I would definitely never have a flu jab again - I reckon they are positively dangerous.

Posted by Odysseus on 06/06/15 at 06:38 PM | #


I too, in the beginning, thought so (that the last supreme court judgement was a result of the US pressure). But then I revised my estimates and I now think that the US does not trust Italy enough that it (Italy, I mean) shall keep any sensitive matter confidential.

I also think that we give AK too much credit with intelligence. She really does not think more than a couple of steps ahead. The message you mentioned was just accidental- she was simply confident that she will get away just like that…

Many thing fall in place nicely if you allow a bit of noise.  For example, she could have chosen a stone with a reasonable shape and size.

Posted by chami on 06/06/15 at 09:45 PM | #

@Peter, get well soon. Most of these will bother you for seven days but can go in a week if you take the medicines!

Posted by chami on 06/06/15 at 09:49 PM | #

This was recently posted:

One big error stands out: while Knox ‘‘is’’ a convicted felon for aggravated calunnia against Lumumba, that charge was finalised March 2013.  Cassation in 2015 did not address it.

Is Sollecito’s trial really starting a year from now, or is it another ‘‘error’’ by the press?  Anyone?

Posted by Chimera on 06/07/15 at 08:47 AM | #

A cure for any cold or flu or whateveailsyaz

(1) Eat nothing all day
(2) Have a hot bath
(3) Drink about 12 ounces of straight alcohol of your choice (You won’t be able to taste it because of the cold)
(4) Go to bed

The next morning you will have a hangover but no cold. Hangovers can be cured so by lunchtime you will be well.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 06/07/15 at 02:56 PM | #

@Peter, get well soon.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/08/15 at 01:59 AM | #

Not sure if this site had anything to do with it, but it seems Knox finally understands what Cassation did in March 2013.  She stops calling it a ‘‘new trial’‘, or saying Cassation ‘‘forced her back’‘.

Just when Amanda thought her legal nightmare had ended, it began all over again. In March 2013, Italy’s highest court annulled the 2011 acquittal and sent the case to the lower courts for further proceedings. Even though no new evidence was introduced against her, Amanda was found guilty and sentenced to 28½ years in prison in January, 2014.  This decision was overturned just over a year later by the Italian Supreme Court, which exonerated her of the murder charge.

Originally, on her blog, she stated that the I.S.C. ‘‘annulled all previous decisions’‘, ordering a new trial.  Not true, as it left the trial verdict (Massei 2009) intact.

Later, she said that the I.S.C. ‘‘ordered a review of the findings’‘.  Not true, as no one ‘‘forced’’ her to file another appeal.

So, is this progress?

Posted by Chimera on 06/08/15 at 05:46 AM | #

Glug. Gee thanks Grahame…! Elderberry worked its usual magic and I’m close to okay.

Working so often in places where up-to-speed doctors are scarce, these nutrition tricks sure help a lot. Around NYC doctors are now very savvy about them and health insurance will pay for “alternative medicine” keeping medical bills down.

Seriously interesting what Odysseus said about vitamin D3. Thats a high dose, will try it. I knew deficiency can cause depression, weak bones, sore lower back, etc etc.

Deficiencies in that and folic acid are rampant (and in some places zinc etc etc - we are what we eat and if zinc is not in the soil… problemo). Folic acid is an unusual problem, caused because it is sharply limited in the US by decree because it can mask a rare kind of anemia, this use of a cannon to kill a gnat means B-vitamin imbalance wrecks substantially more havoc. System problem!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/08/15 at 03:29 PM | #

Hi Chimera
Knox is just fishing for contributions as per usual. Never underestimate greed in place of stupidity. She will play the poor little me until the end just like Jody Arias and all murderers she sees herself as the ultimate victim. This is just nothing indication of Knox as sociopath since she sees herself as being the central character in a play where all others are just there for supporting roles.

lastly: It is my take that the final report from the supreme court will take forever in the hopes that all the hoopla will die down. This is indicative of the fact that the supreme court was bribed and got at in order to return the verdict they did.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 06/08/15 at 03:42 PM | #

Hi Grahame and Chimera

Well in Italy theres no hoopla, its all watching and waiting, to see how the Fifth Chambers get out of this one. Any prolonged wait really will cause increasing hoopla.

The judges must really be sweating this one. We dont think it was a bribe, it was the same murky elements keen to take the Florence court (and all courts in Italy) down a peg with this case merely a vehicle.

The change on Knox’s site could have been insisted upon by her Italian lawyers. She is not yet charged with vilipendio but it is expected she will be and any false claims about the process will not help her. The biggie is the Interrogation Hoax. What does she do about that one, given she already served 3 years for the self-same claims?

Update follows soon on the book trials, after several other posts.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/08/15 at 05:04 PM | #

Pete, hope you’re getting better.

Any word yet on who (if anyone) will be Knox’s lawyer for calunnia part II?

Trial starts tomorrow, as does the release of her new book, which apparently is a New York Times bestseller.  Must say ... looking at the 2 cover pictures, she seems to have aged 20+ years, not just 2 or 3.

Not sure if the funds she’s back to solliciting on her blog are for the calunnia II, or for the anticipation of problems with the Cassation acquittal.

Posted by Chimera on 06/08/15 at 07:15 PM | #

Yeh Sure! The trick is to put aside a couple of thousand copies thereby claiming it’s a best seller in the hopes that the gullible will fork out dollars, but $5’95 will not get you much. look for copies in the Wallmart bin @ $1.00 a hit.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 06/08/15 at 08:24 PM | #

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