Archive for the ‘Pirates’ Category

An Unlikely Route to an Immigrant Visa

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

If I’m reading this New York Times article correctly, the young pirate whose three cobrigands were all killed by Navy SEAL snipers may eventually live freely here in the United States. Talk about winning the immigration lottery!

Just how swiftly a trial would be held is uncertain, and much would depend on the defense strategy, which almost certainly would involve an investigation into the man’s background and the circumstances under which he became involved in the hostage-taking.

The suspect has been identified in news reports as Abduhl Wal-i-Musi, and is described as being in his late teens.

“We don’t know a thing about him,” said Joshua L. Dratel, a lawyer who has handled terrorism cases in federal court and Guantánamo Bay. “He may have been a conscripted child soldier. There may be a whole back story to his motivation that’s very different than just criminal behavior and criminal intent.”

The defense could also seek to have him cooperate with prosecutors in return for being placed in a protected prison program, and even later relocated in the United States, if he could provide truly useful information about how the pirate networks operate, who runs them and who pays for them.

If he ever ends up living in America’s largest Somali community in Minneapolis-St. Paul, then I propose turning his life into a movie titled: “Abduhl, Abduhl: A young man’s strange journey from Mogadishu to Minneapolis.”

In Which We Update You on the Adventures of a Young Pirate

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

When we last heard from our diminutive pirate friend, he had set a northerly course and promised to stay in touch. True to his word, a bottle washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay a few days ago, with some tidings of his exploits.

He hung out in Portland, Oregon for a while and did some sightseeing in the area, including a trip to Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge:

Multnomah Falls

And he didn’t offer any details, but it seems that he got in some trouble with the authorities (he is a pirate, after all), and had to appear in front of the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem, where he mounted a pro se defense:

Oregon Supreme Court

Oral Argument

It’s rarely wise to represent oneself, but apparently his arguments were persuasive, because soon enough he was on the move again, going to see the Space Needle in Seattle before heading to the familiar waters of the South Pacific, where he quickly settled back into his old swashbuckling ways:

Hula Girls

We’re not sure where the little fellow is now—rumors suggest Hawaii—but we’ll keep you posted if we hear any further news.

A Pirate in the City

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” — Bill Bryson

I had a visitor late last week, and I thought I would show him around town. The fact that my visitor was a pirate, and under 6 inches tall, did not hinder us in the least. After the pirate passed my dog’s smell test, we headed into San Francisco for some sightseeing.

The Smell Test

First we stopped by a pirate supply store in case my little friend needed any equipment. He wasn’t very impressed, so instead of buying supplies, we sat in the park for a while.


Then we stopped by Mission Dolores.


My pirate friend was hungry for lunch, so we went to the oldest Taqueria in San Francisco and ate a burrito that was bigger than the pirate. A lot bigger. (more…)