Politics From the Bayside and Whale Wars

I really like the band RISE AGAINST. However, I hate their support of PETA, and since they’ve enjoined their music, and their profits to PETA, I’m glad I have the ability to not pay for their music via the magic of the internet while still enjoying it.

PROTIP to punk bands out there – also METALLICA – don’t make political statements and then cry foul when people download your music instead of supporting your politics with your money. LOL, CAPITOLISMS!

Speaking of PETA, I at least respect the guy on WHALE WARS. First time he runs across a Russian whaling ship though, expect him to catch an RPG with his face. The fact that he only attacks the Japanese speaks volumes. The worst part about it is he’s taking food off the Japs plates. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sympathetic to responsible management of wildlife, but they fail it quite badly. It’s not like you go to Black Market McDonalds over in Japland and buy a whale burger. This is a land where fishing is like farming to Americans, and the Sea Sheppards really are taking food off the plates of the Japanese.

Now, I do believe they have a point where they accuse the Japanese of writing “RESEARCH” on the side of their boats instead of WHALING. However, I take this as the Japanese meme of avoiding confrontation. On that note, the captain getting shot isn’t nearly as likely as one of their “stink grenades” going off and tagging him. The fact that he’s like “OH MAH BADGE SAVED ME” just lends credence to the idea.

Furthermore the show isn’t forthright with what munitions the Steve Irwin has on board. The crew has tried to create RPGs on their own (photo gallery of expended munitions) and failed. Which is more likely: The Japanese, who are forbidden from owning firearms, shot the captain and somehow missed, or the crew of the Steve Irwin, which is a revolving door of idiots, screwed up an improvised rocket?

More on the point – which is an inappropriate show of force? The Japanese use a “sound gun” against the Steve Irwin (also embarrassing Engrish) or the Steve Irwin uses rockets and hazardous material (acid) against the Japs?

So the next bit to consider is why doesn’t the program show the whales being processed? Why doesn’t it show the rockets? The program wants to perpetuate this myth that somehow “stink bombs” are going to foul up Japanese whaling. (I would speculate if this worked, there would be footage of the Japs dumping the fouled whale meat into the sea). However, you never see the rockets, nor do you ever see whales being processed. Why? Because whales are processed below deck. While it might be unpleasant to work on a whale that stinks, any episode of Dirty Jobs is going to convince you that all dead animals stink, and there’s not much more to be done about it. Since the skin of a whale is pressure cooked to get the oil out, it’s probably thoroughly washed in seawater. A stink bomb might slow them down, but it doesn’t really hurt the Japanese. Hence the rockets.

If you wanted to make the environmental protection argument, ask the crew of the Steve Irwin why they blew the engines (and all the fuel, and all the oil and killed a sailor) into the ocean back in 1997 when they attacked the Nisshin Maru.

3 thoughts on “Politics From the Bayside and Whale Wars

  1. I don’t know anything about Whale Wars, but your argument that “taking food off the Japs plates” doesn’t seem to be a very persuasive. Many whales are an endangered species who play a vital role in our ocean ecosystem. Note that I am not saying, Japan’s ecosystem, they don’t have the right to decide the fate of our planet’s oceans. There has to be some restrictions on what a person can do to make a buck, don’t you think?

    Oh yeah, and PETA is very obnoxious, but I’m at least happy that a band is willing to be involved in some form of civics.

    • There has to be some restrictions on what a person can do to make a buck, don’t you think?

      Well, you hit the nail on the head, but I didn’t want to get into the topic because I don’t have any authoritative links. Part of the problem is that I simply don’t speak Japanese, and the other part of the problem is the issue is so politically charged I’m not sure I trust what I found on the internet.

      This assumes that the Japanese are answerable to whatever nebulous authority governs whatever waters they happen to be in. I’ve never seen a map on the show, I’ve only seen nautical diagrams saying “we’re about this far from the pole”. Which is great, but Russia currently claims it has jurisdiction over the north pole, so simply given a distance doesn’t establish what waters they’re in.

      This is important because the oceans themselves are governed by the UN, while the whalers are governed by JARPAII, which establishes quotas. If the whalers are claiming Japanese authority the way I might claim I want to be tried under American law in some other country, then they have a permit and they are legal. The problem is the Sea Sheppard doesn’t want to play ball (notice it doesn’t fly any flags). If we want to operate on the “international waters” assumption, then the Japanese are legal under international law and the Sea Sheppard, while annoying, isn’t culpable under the UN Convention since it flies no flags. Again, maps are important, and we’re never afforded one to see who has authority.

      However, there’s a problem here, the Sea Sheppard has Dutch registry. This means that the Sea Sheppard is (if they’re lucky) violating dutch law regarding whaling or piracy. In a twist of irony, the Dutch sold their last ship to the Japanese, but never made whaling de-facto illegal. On the other hand, piracy is illegal everywhere, and this has spawned an investigation into the Sea Sheppard.

  2. Umm, last time I checked this is happening in international waters. Any aggressive act from one ship towards another is Piracy, don’t believe me check the international maritime laws. under the law the whaling ship has the full authority and right to defend themselves. hell the maritime community would pin a medal on them for it.

    What suprises me is that some whaling ship hasn’t turned the giant harpoon cannon on the Peta ship.

    Lets face it I got an artillery piece on my ship, you got what some banners that say whaling is bad.

    Can’t wait until they stumble across someone a little more confrontational than the Japanese.

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