Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Creationist Dirty Tricks: Censorship on YouTube

20 June 2009

For the past year or so, various YouTube channels have been the target of a campaign of censorship by Creationists. THis campaign has consisted of the following:

  • filing false DMCA claims. Filing a false DMCA -wherein an person oo organization claims ownership of a video that they do not really own – is considered perjury and is illegal and the filer can face civil and criminal charges in a court of law;
  • False flagging. YouTube has a flagging feature which allows users to mark a video as potentially unsuitable for minors to watch or could be a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. In theory, a YT moderator is supposed to actually look at the video to confirm this, but due to the large number of videos on the site, it appears that YT simply takes the flaggers’ word for it and marks the video without confirming its content. This has become common knowledge and is an often-used tactic;
  • Down-rating comments. ThHis involves marking a videos comments with a “thumbs-down”. This used to involve marking only the comments that supported the video, but it is far easier to simply mark them all, so the person doing this doesn’t have to read the hundreds or thousands of comments that are posted;
  • Marking comments as Spam. If comment rating is disabled, in order to protect them from the previous tactic, then a user can mark a comment as Spam. With enough marks, the comment is hidden from view, unless some one clicks on Reply. Due to the amount of time it takes to do this, many people might not take that step;
  • Votebotting. This involves using a computer program to rate a video with One Star ratings, in order to prevent the video from appearing in search engines on YouTube. You simply run the program and it goes to each video several times, each time giving it a One Star rating. Supposedly, only registered users can rate a video, but there seems to be a glitch in YT’s system that does allow such programs to function without hinderance. As a result, even though a video may have only a few hundred views, it could still have thousands of One Star ratings. This has become the favored tactic of creationists in their fight against the pro-science (i.e. the side that explains the Theory of Evolution and debunks creationists’ claims) due to the total lack of legal consequences and YouTube’s lack of self-policing, as well as YouTube’s apparent lack of concern that this is even happening.

When YT users, such as Thunderf00t, posted videos calling for viewers to directyl contact YT to complain about the above tactics being used against their channels, YouTube would either ignore the complaints or would retaliate against the channel by suspending them or even closing their account permanently.

As such, the pro-science and atheist channels on YouTube have been censored and harassed with little or nothing they could do in response.

Few Christians have publicly condemned the above tactics being used, as it seeems to make their propagandizing on YT easier by eliminating the opposing side.

As pointed-out by YouTube user cdk007, this camapign of censorship only proves that creationists have no argument against evolution that can stand-up to scientific scrutiny and they must resort to dirty tricks in order to try to win the argument.

However, instead of “winning”, the usage of the above tactics and the failure of the general Christian community on YouTube to condemn them only shows that they have lost the debate and have nothing to bring to the table.

Here is a list of some of the hardest-hit channels on YouTube. feel free to watch their videos and subscribe, if you like:

Thunderf00t
AronRa
Potholer54

DonExodus2
ExtantDodo
AndromedasWake

dprjones
FFreeThinker
djarm67
ThetaOmega
JaguarJ0nes
ZOMGitsCriss
C0ct0pusPrime

These are just a few of the many channels hit by the censorship campaign. You will find links to other channels through them. You can also find a more complete list at the League of Reason webforum.

It seems that creationists have realized that they have no argument against science. So, they have decided to try to silence the opposing side through a cowardly censorship campaign.

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PETA and President Obama

19 June 2009

After President Barack Obama killed a fly during a TV interview, some media outlets contacted PETA to get their reaction. It wasn’t like somebody at PETA’s offices saw Obama kill the fly and said “OMFG!!!!”. No, several media companies actually thought that there was a story there and contacted PETA.

You can read PETA’s side of the issue here and here.

I immediately smelled a rat when I read those blogposts from PETA. It’s almost as if somebody – or a group of somebodies – is looking for anything and everything that they can use against Barack Obama and the fly-killing was just convenient. I’m guessing that if they can get PETA and other animal rights groups pissed-off enough at Obama, then they can look forward to Obama facing some kind of backlash from animal rights advocates.

But, seriously, who the fuck is going to march a picket line in support of flies’ right to life? Who the flying fuck is going to call Barack Obama “the Fly-Killer in-Chief”?

Honestly, who cares about flies? Not me and I doubt if most people do. I will grant that there are some Buddhists and Jains who do value all life, even that of insects. So, I could see if they might be upset. But, to most people on Planet Earth, flies are an annoying, disease-carrying pest that most of us kill at every opportunity that presents itself.

You could improve the standard of living in much of the Third World by passing-out free bug-zappers. Flies carry numerous diseases and, with more flies being killed, fewer people would get contract the diseases that those things carry.

This whole thing is Much Ado About Nothing. PETA isn’t going to picket the President or stage mass rallies in support of insect rights. It was most likely a bunch of right-wing media types trying to stir-up some shit that didn’t deserve being stirred-up.

However, I would like to piss-off Insect Rights supporters by publicly calling for everyone who reads this to vow to kill, at least, one fly everyday. You may also substitute a cockroach or similar insect. Please do not kill ladybugs, because they eat various insects that pester humans, so ladybugs are our friends.

In lieu of flies or cockroaches or for extra points, you may also slaughter centipedes, milipedes, venomous spiders (not the daddy longlegs) and scorpions. These are not insects, but they can be considered targets of opportunity.

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The Healthcare Public Option: Truth vs Lies

17 June 2009

TheYoungTurks is a liberal-leaning news channel on YouTube. They report on a lot of stories that are relevent to political discourse in the USA and around the world. They also report on Hollywood and celebrity news, along with a few stories that feature “who’s more attractive”-type stories. Altogether, it is a very enetertaining channel to subscribe to, although I think that conservative may not like them too much.

Their main website can be found here

http://www.theyoungturks.com/

Here are two of their most recent reports on a national healthvare system being proposed for the USA

The Truth

The Lies

Overall, I think the Young Turks channel is one of the most fun and informative channels that I subscribe to on YouTube.

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Canadian National Healthcare System: Fact vs Fiction

17 June 2009

TheRealNews is a valuable YouTube channel that reports news stories that may not get much exposure in the American mainstram media. I find most of their reports to be very informative and valuable for me to know about.

Here is a recent video debunking some of the myths about the Canadian healthcare system.

and another video on the same topic from October 2008.

You can visit their website here and even make a donation to help support their work of independent reporting.

http://therealnews.com/t/

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Desertphile Debunking HHO Scammers

14 June 2009

YouTube user Desertphile has devoted considerable time to debunking the claims of people who claim that they can use HHO/water-power to run their cars.

If you do a search of “HHO” in his videos, you’ll find more than 40 videos of him debunking the claims of people who claim to be able to run their cars on water, HHO or who use some sort of phony “gasoline-saving” device, which really don’t work. He has even put out a challenge for anyone who claims to be able to get increased miles per gallon with their homemade device. Few such people have accepted his challenge and those who do usually include additional requirements that he fulfill. However, since it was Desertphile who issued the challenge, anyone who accepts has to adhere to the rules he has setdown. Additionally, he has challnged any of these inventors to have their devices tested by a US government-run facility or even by the James Randi Educational Foundation. So far, none have taken him up on it.

In these hard economic times, it isn’t surprising that some unscrupulous people will come out of the woodwork with inventions thay claim to have designed and built, offering people the chance to save precious dollars on gasoline. What people who fall for this scam often fail to realize is that  even if the device works, which they don’t – they will have to drive for weeks or months, expending hundreds of gallons of gasoline, before they device pays for itself and they can finally begin saving money.

I’m no engineer, so I have a hard time understanding much of what Desertphile explains in his videos debunking these scammers. However, he does his best to explain it to such an extent that I can see the points he is bringing-up and understand, basically, what he is talking about.

Essentially, his points boildown to this: if these devices really worked, then trucking firms and local governments would be buying them up in order to save what little money they have. This is especially true of truckers, who have to save as much money as possible in shipping goods across the states and across the country. This is one reason why truckers drive for extended periods of time, often at the risk of their own lives. If truckers could save money by using these devices, then truckers could get more sleep and the safety of the job would be increased.

All these inventors would have to do is take their devices to a government testing facility, get the results and show them to anyone and everyone who is looking into saving money on gasoline. SInce they refuse to have their devices tested, they usually settle for selling their junk on late-night infomercials or via a YouTube video.

Desertphile is one of my favorite YouTubers. He pulls no punches in his condemnation of frauds and scams. This includes his comments regarding Scientology, creationism, HHO, censorship issues and other things.

Four of my favorite videos are of him cooking various things with chilli peppers.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Four

12 June 2009

I received several replies to previous entries from “Terry Conspiracy” -who I suspect of being Alex Jones or some one who knows him, since he keeps trying to plug Jones’ website in his replies, even though I delete that part – and his replies consist of a mixture of personal insults directed at me, as well as repeats of previous 9/11 Truther misinformation.

Rather than allow him to dominate the reply section of my blog, much the same way as Colloidal Silver proponents tried to do when I wrote about that, I’m going to reply to some of his points here.

It is obvious to me that Terry has never taken the time to watch any of the videos I have linked to in previous entries. It is apparent that he is fully convinced of a conspiracy and will not entertain even the possibility that he is wrong.

 

    Thermite and Thermate 

 

Nano Thermite: the “scientific paper” which is mentioned by 9/11 conspiracists is actually a Open Access website, which bills itself as a scientific journal. The very fact that this “scientific paper” has not been quoted in any other science journal doesn’t bode well for its accuracy. The OA journal, mentioned in a previous blog, is never quoted by other science journals. In the scientific community, if your paper doesn’t get read, it has no value. If it doesn’t get quoted by other researchers, it is pointless to publish there in the first place. The big hue and cry over this paper is that it tells conspiracists what they want to hear. Never mind all the scientists and engineers who present findings to the contrary, this one paper is all they want to hear about. Thermite was used by the cleanup crews to remove the large metal pieces of the structures that could not be removed as a whole pice. The claim that thermite brought the towers down is not backed-up by survivors, who would have seen thermite burning, as well as the large amount of smoke.

Thermate residue: okay, thermite-theorists say that residue from thermite was found on-site, ergo thermite was used. It goes like this: if A, B, C, and D are all components of X, then X was definitely present. This may be true only if A,B,C and D could come from no other source. Let’s go through what the components of thermite would be and see if there could have been other sources from the WTC site.

Thermate ingrediants and their likely sources from WTC:

  1. iron: found in paint and electronic devices;
  2. sulphur: the third most common construction material in the WTC was gypsum-based drywall, which is 18.62% sulphur.
  3. aluminum: WTC facade, the 767s and vehicles;
  4. potassium: used in concrete;
  5. manganese: used in structural steel, paint, batteries and ceramics;
  6. flourine: used in Freon and 200,000 lbs of Freon cooled the WTC complex, which was the largest air-conditioning system in the USA;
  7. titanium: used in paper and paint, which were very common at the WTC. Both 767s used in the attacks were 2% titanium and WTC7 was clad in polished steel and titanium;

So, all seven items from this list were already common at the WTC site prior to the attacks.

About 2 billion pounds of dust covered Lower Manhatten after 9/11. Steven Jones, one of the authors of the “study” estimated that it would have taken 1000 pounds of thermate to bring down each tower, for a total of 3000 pounds of thermate. Since thermate is 2% sulphur. that means 60 pounds of sulphur would be used. Based on Jones’ estimates, the WTC dust would have consisted of 0.000003% sulphur. But, USGC tests showed that the dust consisted of 5.4% sulphur. Where did all that extra sulphur come from?

Okay, if you assume that thermate was used to bring down the towers, then a good way to make that conclusion would be to find the residue of thermate in the WTC dust. This residue is only caused by the use of thermate and there would be no other way to explain its presence. The two main byproducts of thermate use are:

  1. aluminum oxide (41%)
  2. barium nitrate (29%)

What shootsdown the idea that thermate was used to bring down the towers is that neither of these elements was found either by the USGS or by Steven Jones himself. Finding aluminum is not the same as finding aluminum oxide, which has three oxygen atoms.

So, while we can find all seven component elements of thermate at the WTC site, we can easily explain their presence. However, 9/11 Truthers cannot explain the absence of the residue of thermate use at the site. If they could not find aluminum oxide and barium nitrate at the WTC site, then no thermate use occurred. It would be impossible to use thermate to bringdown the WTC towers without leaving traces of these two elements.

Lack of aluminum oxide + lack of barium nitrate = no thermate used at WTC.

Attack on the Pentagon on 9/11

I know I’m wasting my time expecting Terry to watch a video, since he obviously never has. But, you can see the actual damage caused by the 757 as it made its way to the Pentagon, which included:

  1. knocking down a lamp post, which damaged a taxi cab;
  2. knocked down another lamp pole, which fell near some trees;
  3. a third lamp pole being struck caused the light fixture to enter starboard engine intake;
  4. a fourth lightpole was struck, which caused the engine to billow smoke;
  5. a fifth lampost was struck and knocked-down; and
  6. a generator and ground structure were struck and damaged right before the plane hit the building.

All of these are outlined, along with photographs in the following video

If the Pentagon were hit by a missle, as conspiracists like to claim, then how did a missle knockdown all those lamposts, the generator and the ground structure? A missle would have bypassed all of these and simply hit the building.

Despite what 9/11 Truthers claim, there was a lot of  wreckage found at the site of the attack, including airplane debris and personal items of the passengers. Pieces of the 75 fouund after the attack included portions of the fuselage, landing gear, doors, engine parts, and the cockpit.

As far as the damage to the building, as compared to the actual size of the jet, the body of a 757 measures 12 feet, four inches wide. Measurements of the hole indicate that it is about 18 feet wide. Considering how the plane entered the building at an angle, the proportions match-up pretty well. Damage from the wings impacting the Pentagon can be seen in the video linked above.

Despite claims that the building wall is 9 feet of reinforced concrete, the exterior wall is actually only 18 inches thick at the impact site.

Conclusion

You know, I could go on all day with this. But, I don’t have the inclination or time.

Conspiracy theorists believe what they want anmd will not accept any evidence to the contrary. I would like to respond to this statement from Terry Conspiracy

spyderblog, you should retract & apologize or lose all credibility in my eyes.

Terry, in my eyes, you don’t have any credibility of any kind. You refused to watch any of the videos whose links I have provided and I think you were simply looking for a new convert to your cause. You people cherry-pick isolated items and tout them as evidence, when they really aren’t evidence.

I will not retract and I have nothing to apologize for, to you or anyone else.

Believe what you want, but I think the 9/11 “Truth” movement is losing steam and will hopefully soon be relegated along with the conspiracy theories of reptile men and fake moon landings.

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Right-Wing Violence In the News

11 June 2009

A few days ago, Dr George Tiller was killed. Just yesterday, a white supremicist went on a shooting rampage at the Holocaust Museum and killed one of the guards. According to a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security, they saw three kinds of right-wing violence likey to occur in the near future, all of which have come to pass:

  1. Anti-abortion (killing doctors who perform abortions and destroying clinics);
  2. Anti-Semitic (targeting of Jews both as individuals and their establishments, as well as anything connected to the Jewish people); and
  3. Anti-government (including the murder of police officers).

All three have occured in the past weeks and months. I also want to mention the recent murders of police officers, including one incident caused by some nutcase who was afraid that the government was going to take his guns away and he ended-up killing some cops after they tried to arrest him.

After the election of Barack Obama, reports surfaced that white supremicist and white nationalist groups increased both in numbers and enrollments. Even during the election, it was reported that Obama had been the target of more death threats than any other Presidential candidate in recent history.

What makes this so much more unbelievable is that, years ago, the right-wing was usually defined as the “more patriotic” part of the polictical spectrum, with the left-wing perceived as anti-government. However, most left-wing violence abated in the 1970s, with the exception of parts of the environmental movement, such as the ELF and ALF.

Doctors who perform abortions have to wear bulletproof vests and be escorted by armed guards, while the leaders of the anti-abortion movement walk-around freely. For the most part, Christian churches seldom have to worry about being targeted by shootings or bombings, while synagogues and some mosques have to keep their minds on  being safe from such things.

Right wing ideologues can speak-out in favor of killing doctors and bombing clinics, fully protected by the First Amendment, as long as they exercise care in not specifically saying that a certain person or place should be targeted, but fully embracing the idea that such attacks are justifiable.

Not that the left-wing is much better, at times. While most environmentalists are nonviolent, I have seen and heard many fully supporting the actions of Sea Shepherd, the ELF and ALF. The major difference is that environmentalist violence hasn’t resulted in the death of a single person. Left-wing radicals aren’t known to stockpile guns and bombs, while right-wing radicals are known for this.

I have placed myself on certain peoples’ enemies list by condemning both sides when they use violence.

It isn’t only wrong when “the other side” uses violence. In a civilized society, violence has no place in deciding which side is right and should prevail.

This isn’t like 100 years ago, when radicals with plans of violence had to meet in basements and back rooms. Now, they can network over the Internet in relative safety. Most of them are aware of being monitored by the Federal and State authorities, so they are far more careful than their predeccesors were in earlier times.

The 9/11 conspiracies serve a role in all this too. They can be used by both sides to “prove” that the government is evil and that secret cabals are in control of the world. Strange how you hear both sides using this issue to support their respective causes. After my previous blogs on the 9/11 issue, when I posted links to videos, people who believe in these conspiracies sent links to movies for me to watch. While I watched their films, they chose not to watch mine. As a result, I got the distinct impression that some of them are so into their beliefs that they will not even begin to entertain the notion that they might be wrong. For my part, I’ve watch a lot of movies put-out by conspiracists, including Loose Change and Zeitgeist. I’m not afraid to watch a movie, but I think the 9/11 Truthers are afraid to do the same. The same goes for animal rights supporters who refuse to see the real value of animal research. I compare them all to Flat Earthers who refuse to even consider that the Earth might be round, despite all the evidence to that effect.

Some people just don’t want to be convinced and prefer to believe what they want.

I got a bit of amusement when I heard the heated exchange between Alex Jones of infowars, screaming at Mike Delaney from prothink. Delaney wants to blame the Jews for everything, while Jones wants to blame the Arabs. As a result, Delaney thinks Jones is a Jew or, at least, a Zionist. Personally, I think both sides of that argument need some serious psychological help. I even watched the movie Missing Links that Delaney put-out. Good production of the film, though the audio sucked. Well, at least they can make movies that don’t look like they were done on the family camcorder.

All these conspiracy movies I’ve watched and yet, I still haven’t seen the new Star Trek or Terminator Salvation. How pathetic is that?

While healthy discussion is always good for a democracy. It doesn’t bode well when either side begins to either use violence or excuse its use.

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Kelly McGillis Comes Out of the Closet

4 May 2009

Recent news reports that Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis has come out as a lesbian, finally confirming long-held rumors that have followed her for years.

By itself, this wouldn’t be so shocking to me. However, I only recently learned that Ms McGillis had been the victim of a rape back in 1982. Her attacker had been an escaped serial rapist who had gone on to commit more rapes in the years after the attack.

Curious to see if her attacker had received serious jailtime for the attack – he and an accomplise had raped McGillis and her roommate in McGillis’ apartment – I did a quick Internet search and discovered that he had recently received a 50 year sentence for raping two other women in 1996, fourteen years after his attack on McGillis. He was convicted of that rape, but since he was 15 when he committed the crime, he first was sent to a juvenile detention facility and then went to prison where he was released in 1991.

I couldn’t think of a defendant doing more harm to his own case than this one did in his most recent trial. He argued with the judge, accused the jury of having already found him guilty in the middle of the trial and even injected racism in the trial by comparing the trial to a lynching (the defendant is black) and that they would hang him if they could.

Yes, I would hang him, if I could. But, I’d hang him for being a serial rapist and not for any other reason. Notice that I didn’t mention his name in this blog, since he’s such a piece of shit that I didn’t want to include it here.

A common fear among rape victims is that their attacker will return and attack them again. Given that his received a sentence of 50 years this time, I hope that all of his previous victims can finally have some peace of mind.

As far as Kelly McGillis, I wish her the best now that she has admitted to herself her real identity. I understand that her movie career hasn’t taken-off as much as had been expected when she co-starred in Top Gun with Tom Cruise, even having to go back to waiting tables when her career foundered at one point. She also starred in The Accused with Jodie Foster and Witness with Harrison Ford, but no other big films that I know about and I don’t see her as having any lead roles in movies, with most of her work being done onstage.

The saddest thing I read in her bios is that Kelly actually believed that all the bad things that had happened to her during her life was G-d punishing her for being a lesbian. I wonder how many people live tortured lives because they believe something like that.

There was a series on Showtime, called “Queer As Folk” which I didn’t like very much and I only watched a few episodes. Overall, I thought the series was all about sex and I got very bored with it very quickly. However, there was one line that was said in the movie that I felt was very profound and I am going to repeat it here, since I think it is most appropriate:

” I think God appreciates it even more. Because He created you in His image. At least that’s what I was always taught. And since God is love and God doesn’t make mistakes, then you must be exactly the way He wants you to be. And that goes for every person, every planet, every mountain, every grain of sand, every song, every tear… and every faggot. We’re all His, Emmett. He loves us all.

Ted Schmidt, as played by actor Scott Lowell from first season episode #13,

My best wishes to Kelly McGillis in her future life and career.

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Miss California Has Fake Boobies?

4 May 2009

So, Miss California has had breast implants?

Please say it ain’t so, Joe. Say it ain’t so.

Apparently, breast implants are supposedly common in beauty contests, according to Shanna Moaklar co-executive Vice President. In fact, the Miss California organization even paid for them.

Never mind that Miss California has lent her voice to a California campaign to prevent homosexuals from ever getting the right to marry in that State, but Carrie Prejean has put the lie to the old-fashioned idea that everyone is good enough just as they are.

I could understand if a woman just wanted a boob job to feel good about herself or to attract men or is a stripper or porn star. But, a beauty contestant having a boob job and her state organization paying to have it done just seems like cheating to me.

Alright, maybe I am old-fashioned on this topic. But, I think it should be against the pageant rules for a contestant to have had certain kinds of cosmetic surgery done prior to to signing-up. Dental work would be okay, eliminating scar tissue, etc. Things like that.

But, if all the contestants in a Miss USA pageant are going to be allowed to have whatever cosmetic work done that they want before the contest, then it’s less a competition between natural beauty and more a contest between whoever had the better plastic surgeon.

I really have no hostility to Carrie Prejean, despite her opposition to same-sex marriage. What I object to is her use of the title to further a cause that is working to deny rights to a very important section of the population of her State. I also object to the cheapening of an already cheap title of Miss California – and by extension, Miss USA – by allowing contestants to artificially enhance their appearance through cosmetic surgery and State organizations paying for the work to be done.

Young people all over this country, especially young women, often feel that they aren’t beautiful enough. Now, Miss California and the California organization is telling them that even Miss California wasn’t attractive enough and had to have surgery so that she would be good-looking enough.

This sends a bad message to young women.

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Extremism in the Anti-Whaling Movement

3 May 2009

Sea Shepherd is one of the two best-known anti-whaling organizations in the world, the other being Greenpeace.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has appointed itself the guardian of the world’s oceans, often undertaking direct actions that include the ramming of whaling ships at sea and the sinking of whaling ships while they are in harbor. They have also been seen throwing objects onto the decks of Japanese whaling ships, including small rockets and butyric acid, which can irritate the skin and damage the eyes.

As an American, I grew-up hearing the message of the anti-whaling movement and, until recently, supported it. However, in light of recent events, I have to part company with Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace.

Let me be clear: I am appalled at how closely many species of whales came to extintion due to overwhaling. Some whales (e.g. Humpback, minke) have come back strongly and have healthy populations again, while others (e.g. Blue, Sperm) are still in trouble. But, with protections given them by the international community – due, in large part, by extensive lobbying by Greenpeace – many whale species have come back from the brink and are now thriving. Personally, I don’t think I could eat whale meat. Yet, there are some groups of people for whom eating whale meat is a part of their culture and history.

The Makah Indians of Washington State are one such group who have a treaty with the United States government that allows them to harvest whales. This treaty goes back to 1855 and, according to federal law, the Makah are entitled to hunt and kill one baleen whale, typically a gray whale, each year. However, archaeological records and oral history indicates that humpback whales were hunted as well. Unfortunately for the Makah, Sea Shepherd doesn’t want anyone to hunt whales for any reason, even if it’s only one whale a year and worked very hard to interrupt the whale hunt. Despite that, the Makah did succeed in killing a single whale back in 1999 and the meat was distributed among the tribe and neighboring tribes. Sea Shepherd accused the Makah, without justification, of wanting to sell the whale meat on the open market, but this would have been a violation of the law and the Makah disputed this claim. As it was, the meat was distributed freely, to much celebration within the tribe. SInce the year 2000, the Makah have faced numerous obsticales in their quest to resum whaling, even though an indigenous tribe in Russia is allowed to whale and the International Whaling Commission does allow for indigenous tribes with a history of whaling to take a certain number of whales per year. Unfortunately for the Makah, the USA is a nation overwhelmingly opposed to whaling and the US government will not go out of its way to allow a small tribe in the Pacific Northwest to start killing even one whale a year, even if the species of whale they will be hunting is not endangered or even threatened.

That’s just one example, but I think it shows that a small tribe of Indians found itself on the losing end of a battle with a group of overwhelmingly Caucasian people who think they knew better than a bunch of Indians.

Now, Sea Shepherd faces-off against Japan, a nation that has managed to attain an exemption to the global whaling ban by stating that its whaling is done for the purposes of scientific research. A common accusation is that the research is merely a smokescreen for commercial whaling. However, Japanese marine scientists have assembled a sizable body of research and forwarded it to the International Whaling Commission, who has admitted that the information obtained by the Japanese was, in fact, valuable.

Japan has a long history of whaling, as do Russia, Greenland, Norway and Iceland. Japan has found itself in the crosshairs of Sea Shepherd in their “Operation Musashi” named after the 17th-century Japanese strategist Miyamoto Musashi, where the Sea Shepherd’s flagship, the Steve Irwin, purposely rammed Japanese whaling ships and a ship belonging to Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research. The damage to the Japanese ships was considerable, as was the damage to the Steve Irwin. I also read that Greenpeace has engaged in the ramming of Japanese whalers in the past few years, though whether that was an official Greenpeace action or just that of a zealous ship captain, I am not sure.

So, it seems that both Greenpeace  – which has historically disavowed aggressive and violent acts for the pupose of defending whales from hunting, even expelling Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd, from its ranks when he directly intervened in the Canada seal hunt by getting into a physical altercation with seal hunters – and Sea Shepherd have taken to using their ships to ram Japanese whaling ships. Sea Shepherd makes it a regular practise, though.

I have a serious problem with this. It seems that Sea Shepherd has decided that Japan is some kind of “Bad Guy Nation” that Sea Shepherd needs to teach a lesson by ramming their ships and endangering their crews. The idea that a sovereign country, like Japan, must somehow answer to a private organization with no law enforcement authority whatsoever is beyond laughable.

Let me tell you something about Japan: they have an ancient culture of which they are very proud. They may have a reputation for being polite to the extreme, but even the most polite person in the world has limits to their endurance and I think we could be seeing that limit being reached very soon. In recent years, Japanese whalers have attempted to fend-off Sea Shepherd’s attacks by spraying water at the deck of the Steve Irwin and trying to flood the inflatable Zodiacs that Sea Shepherd uses to harass the whalers. Also, the use of LRAD has been employed, using concentrated soundwaves to disorient the Steve Irwin‘s crew and try to hold them back. Given the fact that Japanese ships were rammed anyway shows the lack of success of these methods against a determined enemy.

When word got out that the Japanese whaling fleet would include a Japanese military vessel, Sea Shepherd was understandably worried. It seemed that the normally passive Japanese were going to up the ante. Instead of taking abuse, they were getting ready to dish it out. That did not turnout to be the case, however.

In case you’re wondering if Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace coordinate with each other, they have exchanged jibes in the past with Watson referring to Greenpeace as “the Avon ladies of the environmental movement”.

While Paul Watson might think that he has a free hand in dealing with the Japanese, he seems to forget that Japan is a sovereign country. While the international community is overwhelming against commercial whaling, no nation is going to impose sanctions against Japan or cutoff diplomatic ties with them in protest of their whaling activites. They can send verbal protests, but that’s about it. On top of it all, the Japanese government has a legal right under international law to protect its citizens from attack in international waters, especially since no other nation seems to be willing to do so. As with every government, the people of Japan expect theirs to protect them from harm, especially from terrorism.

Furthermore, Japan has shown a great deal of restraint so far. Given that more extreme measure could have been employed by them and still could be, means that Sea Shepherd is on borrowed time. While the Japanese public is not overwhelmingly against whaling so far with less than one-fourth opposing whaling in recent polls, their news media makes no bones about calling Sea Shepherd terrorists, which is what they seem to be acting like. They are using violence in an attempt to coerce another group of people to act a certain way. In this case, Japan to give-up whaling. The fact that no one has been killed yet or seriously injured is beside the point. Groups like the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) have, like Sea Shepherd, damaged or destroyed private property. The United States government has labelled both the ELF and ALF as domestic terrorists, even though neither group has ever killed anyone. So, why does Sea Shepherd get a pass? Is it because they are trying to “save the whales”?

Is this how it works: you burn down a building where animals are experimented on or are being raised for food or their fur and you are a terrorist; but, damage a ship at sea or sink a ship in harbor to stop them from killing whales and you’re not a terrorist? Even if nobody is killed or even hurt, you cannot burndown a building for either the ELF or ALF without having the FBI track you down, but sink a ship to protest whaling and you can travel the world in full view of the media and you’re a hero to millions?

Most Americans are against cruelty to animals in any way. A lot of us try to buy products that have not been tested on animals and wearing fur has become a social stigma. Even so, most of us don’t like the idea of people going-around and torching buildings for any reason. But, as long as these whaling ships are rammed or sunk in waters far away, we seem to be very tolerant of groups like Sea Shepherd. I wonder how people would feel if a whaling ship stopped in an American harbor for some reason and got sunk by Sea Shepherd supporters. I wonder how tolerant our government would be when the terrorism that has been aimed at Japan and Norway suddenly found its way into an American harbor. I think Sea Shepherd’s fortunes would change overnight. That’s why it will never happen. I think Paul Watson isn’t stupid enough to take a chance on the American public seeing what he really does happening in their own waters. That’s why he’ll keep it out of our eyesight.

I understand that people like whales. They’re smart and cute (sort of) and we like seeing them swimming in the ocean. While the world may cringe at Japan killing these animals, one of Sea Shepherd’s most fervent supporters, Australia, seems to be getting a pass beyond passes for killing another animal that we all think is cute: kangaroos. In Australia, kangaroos are being killed in the most inhumane fashion, even baby kangaroos are being yanked from their mother’s pouch and stomped to death. But, that’s okay with Australia, it seems. Kill the ‘roos. Aussies also seem to be going-about the killing of the Dingos, wild dogs indigenous to Australia. By the way, dingos are an endangered species. But, adult dingos aren’t very cute, though the puppies are.

Oh, I know, Australians are our friends, right? After all, we were at war with Japan about sixty years ago. So, even after all this time, the West seems to think we can still treat the Japanese as The Enemy. In the comments section of YouTube videos related to Sea Shepherd, I have seen numerous comments where the Japanese are referred to as “Japs”. Ah yes, a little racism to save the whales, eh boys and girls? Does it make you feel good to call them “Japs” when your only excuse is that they are killing whales?

Anybody who wants to hate the Japanese for killing whales and call them “Japs” for it, must now be true to their racism and throw away anything that was either made or designed in Japan. That means no TVs, CD/DVD players, computers, etc. Yeah, toss ’em out or be a hypocrite you racist fucks.

Yeah, I’m calling you racists and FUCK YOU if you don’t like it.

Japan has every right to expect nations with which they have treaties with to make every effort to protect Japanese nationals abroad and on the open sea. The fact that the USA and Australia have dragged their feet on this, due entirely to popular opposition to whaling and no other reason, shows the lingering feeling in the West that we know everything and our way is the best and only way. Anyone who disagrees with us is a barbarian who has to be beaten into submission. That’s how we’ve dealt with the East in the past, like the Opium Wars where the United Kingdom forced China to allow the importation of opium, which resulted in millions of Chinese becoming addicted and the nation falling into ruin. But, by G-d in Heaven, the Britsh East India Company needed the money and wasn’t going to let national sovereignty get in the way. This is simply more of the same with Japan and whaling.

I hope Paul Watson and his army of followers and supporters can realize before it’s too late that Japan has shown remarkable restraint so far. But, history shows that you can push the Japanese so far and you can publicly shame them only so many times before they strike back in ways you won’t like very much. If the international community won’t do anything, then Japan may have to do it themselves.

What seems to be lacking in this whole equation is that Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd seem to have done little to try convincing the Japanese people to give-up whaling once and for all. Simply citing the high mercury content in whale meat should be enough to start with. Telling people that whales are cute and intelligent won’t work, since a lot of animals we eat are cute sometimes, especially when they’re young. Little baby chicks come to mind, as do calves. So cute when young, so delicious when grownup. I don’t eat veal. Not on any moral grounds, I just don’t like it. Color me contradictory, if you wish.

I understand that onboard Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace ships, only vegetarian or vegan food is served to the crew. So, a little militant veganism is at play here, don’t you think? Historically, Japanese cuisine contains a lot of vegetable and seaweed, with most of the meat being fish, so giving-up meat might not be too much of a stretch for some in Japan, especially with its strong Buddhist tradition.

But, if anyone is going to try to convince Japan to give-up whaling, it cannot be either Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd. Once they started ramming Japanese ships, that was all over. It would have to be some other organization that hasn’t attacked Japanese ships or fishermen.

Anyway, I’m going to take a nap. When I log back in, I anticipate some nutcase calling me names or threatening me in the comments section.

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