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Old 03-01-2007, 04:22 PM
Alan Bates Alan Bates is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 841

The Coast Guard isw protected against suit by a rule of Illigitimus Rex, or somesuch. In English law, copied by the United States, "The king can do no wrong."
If the Belle of Louisville had had the temerity to sue the inspector, the boat would have been condemned in short order and would be gone, gone, gone today.
The boilers were old, even second-hand. The inspector knew that if he persevered he would find a weak place.
He showed up at New Orleans when the Natchez was being built. I warned the owners and the boatyard to be very careful with this man - no cards, no racetrack, nothing beyond a hamburger in the way of a free meal.
Now, I want you to understand that, by and large, the Coast Guard and its people are decent people, who are selected for intelligence and are exquisitely trained. I have met only one venal member and only two inept (even incompetent) ones in years of experience dealing with them. Even the best of them can make mistakes and the ones I've encountered are willing to admit them. This guy was the venal one.
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