My Favorite New Picture

Death Star

Whales Wars Season 2, Episode 11: Overlooking a Forlorn Shore

I’ll have to admit that the Whale Wars season is dragging me under as it drags along.  The episodes seem to plod, and only deliver about five minutes actual excitement toward the end.  Even that is usually anticlimactic.  I don’t know how much more of this I will put up with, and making the same arguments to a bunch of irrational, shallow thinking tween-agers every week who do little more than throw out ad hominem attacks is also tiring.  I just hope the season is over soon. 

The new plan to interfere with the Japanese involves sailing the Steve Irwin directly between the Japanese harpoon vessel and the factory ship in order to sever the line transferring the dead whale to the factory ship.  This seems incredibly dangerous, but possibly effective.

For some reason, they moved ahead of the factory ship.  Paul decided to pull across its bow, and barely missed being crushed by it.  Make no mistake about it.  That would have been the end of the Steve Irwin.  I don’t understand what the point of the move was, but they then looped back around behind the factory ship, and forced the harpoon ship to back off.  This is the first successful thing that they have done all season, and they wasted no time patting themselves on the back.

The harpoon ship circled and pulled back into position, and Paul decided to try to sever the line.  They succeeded in throwing several bottles of the stinky acid on the stern desk of the harpoon ship, and then Paul, the great skipper, rammed the Japanese harpoon ship.  For all of you guys who keep defending the Sea Shepherds by asking what laws they have broken, here’s one: the purposeful or careless ramming of another ship on the high seas.  I think that’s illegal.

After determining that they weren’t sinking, the Sea Shepherds praised themselves for what they had done although they did not even stop it from transferring the whale to the other ship.  In the end, even they finally saw their own ineffectiveness.

After looking below decks, they found out that the bucket of bolts known as the Steve Irwin was leaking.  The holes were repaired.  I wonder if they even know how lucky they were.

When the issue blew up in the press, Paul Watson took the only tact he could.  He lied.

On the way back, a couple of the crew were married by Paul on a desolate little piece of rock in the middle of nowhere.  It was actually pretty cool, and almost made me like Paul and the Sea Shepherds, but not really.

In the end, they accomplished nothing.  Not one whale was saved, and the lives of many people were put at risk.  What a waste.

As they docked, the police were waiting for them, and a warrant was issued in conjunction with an investigation involving the collision.  In the end, I think it is the sad Australian government that will bare the responsibility for not prosecuting the Sea Shepherds over political reasons.  I would throw the book at them.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 10: The Stuff of Nightmares

The beginning of the show recapped the Sea Shepherds’ incredulity at having seen the Japanese whalers actually whaling while they are still in the area.  Get ready folks.  These people are going to be sad when they are faced with the obvious reality of their own ineptitude.  Once that’s over, they are going to really be dangerous.

Their first answer was to throw more stinky acid bombs at the Japan factory ship.  This has not worked one single time in ten episodes from the small boats.  So, they are going to throw them from the deck of the Steve Irwin which will be a direct violation of the edict given to them earlier in the season by the Dutch under whose flag the Steve Irwin flies.  For all of you guys who can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that eco-terrorism is still terrorism, and because of this the Sea Shepherds are breaking innumerable international laws, here we have a direct example of them violating the rules of the very nation that is allowing them to sail under its flag.  This is known as piracy.  For a good example, see how the British dealt with Captain Kidd, a man who was sailing under their flag, until he went against their wishes.  I still pray that the Dutch refuse to allow them to fly their flag after this.

Of course, all of this may be moot because, the Japanese, once again, showed their effectiveness by using their water canons to keep the Sea Shepherds from launching even one bottle, and the Sea Shepherds only further exhibited their ineptitude.

Then, they see another whale being dragged up to the ship.  Paul Watson’s next move is to put his ship in the Japanese harpoon ship’s way.  In the end, the Steve Irwin could not go fast enough to get there, and the whale was hauled up to be processed.

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, whale is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, whale-kabobs, whale creole, whale gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple whale, lemon whale, coconut whale, pepper whale, whale soup, whale stew, whale salad, whale and potatoes, whale burger, whale sandwich. That- that’s about it.”  Just kidding….

Once again, I’m going to criticize Animal Planet.  The morose piano music was a bit much.  The scene did not need it, and it was distracting.

Then the Sea Shepherds saw another harpoon ship with a dead whale.  It seems that the Japanese have also accepted the reality of the Sea shepherds’ ineffectiveness.  After they failed to keep the third Japanese harpoon ship from transferring a whale, the Sea Shepherds went back to the ineffective acid bottles for the umpteenth time.  The Boson, Dan Bebawi, who is obviously one of the less intelligent people on the ship, justified this action by saying, “It was the only thing left for us to do, was to stand our ground and show them that we wouldn’t back down no matter what, and that they weren’t just going to whale in front of us.”  But, you see Dan, that’s exactly what they are doing.  Come back to reality.

It looked as if a couple of the bottles actually hit the ship on the next run, but the helicopter confirmed the ineffectual nature of the attack as the sailors on the Japanese began to process the whale.  One of the Sea Shepherds’ crew referred to the Japanese casting the whale offal overboard as a slap in the face.  The people have an over-inflated sense of themselves.  The Japanese sailors are just doing their jobs.  They simply do not care about the Sea Shepherds, and only wish that they would go away.  They whale.  It’s their job.  There is no intent toward the Sea Shepherds in it.

The helicopter pilot then actually sees one of the harpoon ships kill a whale.  Let me stop here to say, once again, that I like whales, and I root for the whales.  However, I do not have a moral problem with the whalers are doing.  I am a carnivore, and I eat meat- chicken, beef, pork, and fish.  I am not hypocritical enough to judge the Japanese on what foods they like to eat.  I do have a big problem with almost everything the Sea Shepherds do.

The whale was shot, and it died.  It made me a little sad, but of course, I probably would not like to see cows killed for beef.  I have cleaned fish, and even then, it bothers me a little because I like animals in general, but I also eat meat.  I think that I can live in both worlds.  At least I am self-actualized.

All of the Sea Shepherds were very sad, and as the episode ended, Paul Watson needed some alone-time, except for the cameras.  Kind of silly.

Then Paul returned to the bridge.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 9: Crazy Ivan

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

This episode began with the Steve Irwin being chased by one of the harpoon ships which was towing a prop fouler of its own.  Paul Watson, the hypocrite, claimed that he would ram them with his ship rather than allow them to do foul his prop.  What if the Japanese had taken this tact up to this point?  There would have been dead Sea Shepherds if that had happened.  Also, I believe the Japanese ships are bigger, faster, and I am sure better, than the bucket of bolt known as the Steve Irwin.

Paul Watson then starts firing ‘warning shots’ with flares in the general direction of the Japanese.  My question is, “How are they supposed to know that these are warning shots, and not some crazy man shooting hot bits of fire at them and simply missing?”

The helicopter pilot was unhappy when these flares started flying past him, and when he asked if Watson would stop, Watson’s reply was I don’t know what he means.  What an ass.  I hate that guy.

He then fired a rocket propelled safety line at the Japanese.  Oh, if the Japanese just had a canon….  Watson looked like a petulant child.  How does anyone support this guy?  Also, I hope the Sea Shepherds do not end up needing all of that rescue equipment that he is wasting.

Another Japanese harpoon ship then approached with its LRAD mounted on the front of its ship.  Go… Japanese!  The Sea Shepherds’ defense was, of course to deploy another prop fouler, and miracle of miracles, this one looked like it worked.

The Japanese released a statement later saying that these acts were illegal, which they were.  The first mate, Peter Hammarstedt, referred to it as a war in response, and once again referred to the whales as casualties.  I really wish these guys would drop the hypocrisy.  Why is it a war when they do the attacking, and when the Japanese do anything to defend themselves, suddenly the Sea Shepherds go into victim mode and whine how out of bounds it is?  I hate these guys too.

The Sea Shepherds were feeling their oats, and proclaiming their own importance, and the fact that the Japanese could not hunt while they are messing with the Sea Shepherds (foreshadowing?).

The small boats were now in need of recovery, and they decided to recover the small boats at speed.  So… dangerous.  In the mean time, they discovered that their last prop fouler was working as well as the others had (meaning it did not work at all).  The first boat was recovered with a lot of danger, and then the Japanese turned their LRAD on the second boat.  Then, the second boat was recovered.

The geniuses on the Sea Shepherd then held up an old satellite dish in order to make the Japanese think that they had one also.  I think the Japanese will figure it out as soon as they don’t hear anything, unless they are deaf.

Later, after the Japanese Harpoon vessels were lost, and returned.  The Sea Shepherds were incredibly surprised when they found out that the whalers had actually been… (wait for it…)… Whaling!  Hammarstedt said, “I knew then that things were not the way they were supposed to be…. The one thing we were not suspecting was for them to kill a whale in front of us.”  Let me take a minute her to explain.  Whalers whale, it is what they are supposed to do, and it is the one thing that should not surprise you coming from them.  In fact, it would be surprising to me if they did not whale.  I was amazed by their continued incredulity.  What did they expect?

You watch, these people are about to become really dangerous.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 8: Bait and Switch

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

It is nice to see the Sea Shepherds acknowledging that their tactics are not working.  I thought  it was funny that the leaders of the ship had ‘decided’ to reevaluate the grappling hook idea after the small boat crews had informed them that they were not going to use it.  Funnier yet was when the leaders of the Steve Irwin informed the small boat crews that the ship is not a democracy in an attempt to restore their authority after the small boat leaders had already stripped them of it.  I guess Paul will have to make the next person who refuses to obey one of his ridiculous orders walk the plank, or else they will begin to truly see that he has no real authority over them or even the right to tell them what to do.

I was amazed at the next idea which some fool (Richard Roberts) suggested to Paul Watson, the captain.  He actually thought that they should pull their ship alongside the Japanese ship, and jump aboard it.  Paul, who may be the dumbest person in charge of any operation this large on the planet thought it sounded like a good idea.  Roberts said, “What are they going to do, kill me?”  Stop and take the last statement in for a minute.  Amazing.

There are a host of reasons why attempting something like this would be ill advised.  I’m not going to waste my time detailing them all here, because it would take too long, and I think that if you have the ability to read, you should have the intelligence to come up with at least half a dozen of them yourself without really even trying.  However, I will say this, if that joker actually attempts to jump from one ship to another, I hope he does not live through it.  We should respect ourselves, nature and the brains that God has given us enough to know that we should not do these things.  Every now and then, however, it takes the death of an idiot to remind us of who we are and how fragile life is.  It is these deterrents that keep us from doing even dumber things that put the lives of even more people at risk.  Also, I do not have one problem with the Japanese either throwing him right off their ship or putting him in irons to stand trial in Japan for terrorism.  In fact, give me the latter.

After telling us for the last several episodes that in order to be effective, they need to be attacking the Japanese factory ship, I found it amusing that after they had decided that attacking it was impossible, they were justifying now that attacking the harpoon ships is better because of the symbolism of attacking the harpoon.  I wonder what they will attack when they become ineffectual at attacking these ships also. 

I found another comment by one of the crew odd.  He said of the Japanese, “They threw their best at us, but the still did not stop us.”  Really?  As far as I understand it, it is the Sea Shepherds who are out their trying to stop the Japanese, and to this point they have deployed every weapon that they have against the Japanese with no result, but a waste of money, and their ‘prop fouler.’  The Japanese on the other hand have restrained themselves to this point and have still not even employed their LRAD which they obviously have installed for this express purpose.

They attacked the factory ship which they could not affect with the small boats in order to draw in the harpoon ships which they feel that they can be more effectual against.  This seems like a good plan for now.

The small boats were as ineffectual as usual.  The next great idea was to drive one of the small boats directly at the factory ship (head on) in order to try to fling the acid bottles on its deck.  The gravity of the narrator’s statement put it all into perspective when he said, “The Sea Shepherds have never tried something this dangerous before.”  Wow!  That is saying something.  It is an understatement, but the closest thing I can think of to equate this to would be a game of chicken between a unicycle and a Mack truck.  However, they were able to avoid being killed by the behemoth of a ship that was coming at them, but once again, when they threw the acid, they missed it.  I believe this ship is bigger than the broadside of a barn.  How do you miss it?

The harpoon ships also did not take the bait, and stayed out of the range of the small boats.  Once again, the Sea Shepherds had only succeeded in widening their mammoth carbon footprint.

With nothing else to do, they decided to do the same thing.  Then, the helicopter pilot noticed that they are pointing the LRAD at him.

As the show went to commercial break, Animal Planet made itself look foolish by posing the question, “Which of the following countries currently hunt whales?”  The choices were: United States, South Korea and China.  The incredibly spun answer was, of course the U.S.  This is due to the fact that the U.S, respects the culture of the Inuit and Eskimos.  The U.S. does not, however, ‘hunt whales.’  We do respect Native American cultures, and allow these peoples to honor their cultural heritage by taking a manageable number of whales every year.  I understand that this series is a little tilted toward the cause of ‘saving the whales,’ but up to now I have been complimentary of Animal Planet’s presentation.  However, in this case of an undeniable spin of the facts I say, “Shame on you Animal Planet.”

For two week, the producers of the show have attempted to make it look as if the helicopter were going to suffer a catastrophic attack.  Of course, it did not.  The pilot simply left the area, but the Sea Shepherds once again, do not miss an opportunity to try to make themselves look like victims.  If you do not want to have the Japanese shoot LRAD at your helicopter, then don’t use it to attack them.  It’s not like the Japanese have not warned the Sea Shepherds, and no one is forcing the Sea Shepherds to keep attacking the Japanese but themselves.  It does, however, look like the Japanese are the only ones having any affect out there.

One of the small boat crew members was once again bashed up by a wave during an attack attempt.  Paul Watson then tried to steer the Steve Irwin close to the factory ship.  This caused the desired effect as the Japanese Harpoon vessels turned around to intercept the Steve Irwin except that instead of protecting the factory ship, they seem to be going after the Sea Shepherds themselves.  They attacked the harpoon ship with the acid bottles until the Japanese used the LRAD on them, and then they backed away again.

The Sea Shepherds have decided to deploy a prop fouler again.  This one is a bigger rope.  They, of course, failed again, and this time, it’s the Japanese who are towing ropes in order to foul the Steve Irwin. …and this is how the episode ended.

Please read all of my Whale Wars posts and commentary.  A lot of questions have already been answered, especially in the comments section.

Whale Wars Season 2 Episode 7: The Desire to Fling Things

Though there is good commentary in all my Whale Wars posts,  you can find my newest post on the subject here.

Sorry I am a little late this week.  I had to attend a family reunion with my in-laws out of state.

This episode picked up with the Steve Irwin tracking behind the Japanese factory ship.  Their small boat is still lost in the fog…again.  The concern of the captain for the members of his crew that could have been lost at sea led him to do absolutely nothing.  The Sea Shepherds blamed the Japanese for blocking their transmissions, but I say it’s an even bet that their equipment was broken (again), or, in their continued incompetence, they simply did not know how to use it.  This, of course was confirmed when the sat-phone would not work.  Oddly, the communications officer was able to come up with a work-around that allowed them to communicate and find out where they were.  Captain Paul Watson showed his true concern when he said, “They should never have gotten that far away.”

The small boat finally got free of the ice, and made its way back to the Steve Irwin.  We got to hear a recap of last week’s events as soon as they got back onboard.

The Sea Shepherds claim that as long as they hound the factory ship, the Japanese cannot kill whales.  While this makes some sense, I have heard them make bold claims of their effectiveness before, see the ‘pro-fouler’ from last week’s episode.

They follow the factory ship into an ice field, and once again, we are subjected to they fragile Steve Irwin making its way precariously through it.  The first mate emphasized the importance of following the factory ship when he wisely said, “…whether it meant a breach in the hull, we were going to be stuck to them like glue.”  Obviously, he is the only person who missed the movie Titanic a few years ago.  At some point they figured out that if they followed in the wake of the other ship, they would not have problems with the ice.  geniuses.

Later, the Japanese surround the Sea Shepherds with three other ships.  The members of the Sea Shepherds seemed to recoil at the aggressiveness of the Japanese, and the potential for collision.  How quickly the Sea Shepherds forgot that they were the ones who actually hit one of the Japanese ships while attempting to intimidate them.

They then decided to violate the orders of the Dutch government, and ‘defend’ themselves by throwing things at the Japanese ships.  I hope they lose their flag over this, and are branded true pirates.  I keep finding myself saying this.  The Sea Shepherds are the aggressors here.  All they have to do to stop the Japanese from attacking them is to stop attacking the Japanese in the first place.

The first mate, whose idiot-factor is quickly rising decides that making a grappling hook to tear away the Japanese nets would be a good idea.  I see a little boat being dragged behind the Japanese ship while it is tethered to the net of the harpoon ship by a rope and grappling hook.  Oh, please make it so.

Rightly, the small boat crew was having none of this nonsense.  One of them actually said, “There is just so much potential for tragedy.”  The boson is simply a moron.  He said that he was disappointed that they thought it was dangerous, and this great quote, “Any new tactic is worth trying out.”  Really?  Any tactic?

This most anticlimactic of episodes ended in this manner.  What a waste of time.  Get to the point Animal Planet!  At least the previews from next week’s episode look good.

Obama the Micromanager

After seeing Obama’s comments about the police in Cambridge. Massachusetts this week, I’ve decided I’m going to call him and let him handle it the next time the city fails to pick up my trash.  I thought it was ‘stupid’ the last time they left it at the curb, and I’m sure he will also.

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