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.

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6 Responses

  1. I get really pissed off with armchair critics like bonafide. What have you ever done to support a cause.
    SSCS have a long record of action- and without hurting anyone.
    But I maybe unkind -maybe you are stuck in a wheelchair?

    • I see. My favorite part of all of these attacks is that they never come with any cogent atgument. They are generally filled only with personal
      attacks and anger. You people think that just because you disagree with what is being said, you have a license to say anything, like the odd wheelchair remark that you made above (I guess I should just be glad that you did not call me a Nazi or invoke the Holocaust in your attack). Were you wishing I was in a wheelchair or simply trying to make some sort of clever remark at the expense of handicapped people? In any case, it was a pretty weak non sequitur, and you should be ashamed. I do thank you for not forcing me to redact all of the foul language that others do.
      For your information, I have a well thought out argument against the Sea Shepherds. I not only think they are a bunch of bumbling fools, I think they are dangerous and evil, especially Paul Watson.
      I support causes that are worth supporting, not a bunch of shallow-thinking, dangerous zealots who have no talent for the job that they are trying to do.
      The trouble with all of you liberal types is that you approach your political beliefs like other people do a faith-based religion. In your view, it is all about intent, and has little to do with the actual consequences of your actions. Unfortuantely, this does not work in the real world, and only tends to point out your ineffectiveness as you ‘support’ your causes.
      You said, “SSCS have a long record of action- and without hurting anyone.” I would counter that the Sea Shepherds have a long record of failure, and illegal activities, and they are just lucky no one has died up to this point.

  2. O I hit a nerve did I. So tell me this : If SSCS were carrying out illegal activities why have they not been convicted -even though some of them have been arrested. In fact over the years they have been highly effective in many campaigns- but you probably were not paying attention. Like getting rid of wall of death nets, like getting illegal shark fin fishermen arrested by authorities, like holding government contracts to protect marine parks, like sinking [without inuries] numerous illegal whaling boats. But more importantly the only reason that many people know about Japans illegal whaling operations is becuase of SSCS and a few others. But they have hindered Japanese whaling in ‘our’ southern ocean whale sanctuary to the point where the japanese did not ‘murder’ as many whales as they planned to.
    By the way I look after handcapped people -the wheelchair crack was to assume you were not handicapped but simply not an activist – apart from of course sitting behind a screen pontificating without much real knowledge of your subject.

    While you do very little [or nothing] of a positive nature to help with the campaign to stop illegal whaling at least SSCS and others get off their fannies and at least attempt to change things.

    • I always like a civil argument.
      The problem we have here is one that involves a basic difference in life-philosophies. Your acusations that I do ‘very little [or nothing]… to help with the campaign to stop illegal whaling’ are simply correct, except for the ‘illegal’ part. The Sea Shepherds are definitely under indictment in Japan, and would be prosecuted if they ever went there. The only reason they are not prosecuted in Western countries is because it is not politically expedient to do so, these countries do not have jurisdiction, and/or no one cares. Why would a prosecutor in America put his political life on the line for a bunch of Japanese whalers who can have no possible positive effect on his career?
      Having you and Sea Shepherds call the whaling activities that the Japanese are participating in ‘illegal’ is at best mistaken, and at worse a lie. The Sea Shepherds hang this point on a decision by an Australian judge which banned whaling in the Southern Sea. It is debatable as to whether this decision is binding even to Australians, but it is definitely not to Japanese, because these waters are not recognized as part of any country’s territorial waters, and are far beyond the traditional 12 mile limit (the longest recognized territorial boundary). This would be the same as a judge in America outlawing the mining of diamonds, and expecting the South Africans to abide by the decision. The truth is that the Japanese are at least operating under an international treaty, which legally allows them to take a quota of Minke whales, a species that is not, nor has been endangered because whalers in the past thought that they were too small to mess with.
      I think you may be giving the Sea Shepherds a little undue credit for all of the successes that you have listed. Shouldn’t Greenpeace, an organization that condemns the Sea Shepherds and voted to kick out Paul Watson, one of their founders, be getting a lot of that credit?
      My personal belief is that whales are animals, not people, and as such, by definition cannot be murdered. I like whales and believe that they are beautiful creatures (I also like rabbits, but don’t have a problem eating them). I also believe whales can be a managed specie that is hunted by certain people of certain cultures who find their meat to their liking. I respect these cultures, and think that as long as whales are being appropraitele managed, that the Sea Shepherds should respect them as well. I do not see a moral difference between me eating fish, chicken, pork or beef and the Japanese eating whales. It is my desire that there be as many cows as possible so that beef prices are low. Besides, I like cows. I assume that the Japanese share a similar philosophy. Why can’t we respect their tastes as well our own?
      Once again, it’s my blog. I can pontificate about whatever I wish, and I will. There is a whole internet full of people who may or may not agree with you. I still find it telling that the #1 search criterion for people comming to this site in the past month has been the phrase ‘whale wars idiots.’ I must not be the only one who feels the way I do.

  3. If you cared to do some research you will find that in fact what the Japanese are doing is in violation of a number of legal instruments. They include the ATS [Antarctic Treaty system] and its various treaties, of which Japan is a signatory. The regulations of the IWC. CITES [ the trade in endangered species] and UN law. The legal opinions [from Australia and the US] I could cite turn to about 12 pages. The only reason you claim that Japanese whaling is not illegal is the fact no Government has had the intestinal fortitude [or balls] to take legal action against Japan. The so-called research whaling the Japanese carry out under IWC regulations they are in breach of by “a breach of rights”. In other words they have exceeded the intent and wording of that particular regulation. They are also in breach of other IWC regulations in that they use a factory ship to take part in the killing [ Well I still think its murder – unlawful killing] of species other than minkies.
    Now I don’t expect you have had either the time or inclination tio check your facts. Well I have spent the last 7 years doing just that. Maybe when I have the time and inclination I may post a detailed summary of just what exactely the Japanese are in breach of.
    [ but I don’t expect you are actually interested in facts].
    As for your comment that Paul Watson would get arrested and charged if he ever went to Japan means nothing. Two Greenpeace supporters got arrested for provinding Japanese Police with evidence of illegal meat stealing by Japanese whaling crew members.
    As a right wing government the Japanese system is corrupt.
    You have a lot of words -but you don’t have a lot of substance.

    • I have looked up the facts, and I know the difference between them and spin. I also know that there is a difference between Greenpeace, which I do not agree with, but have some respect for, and the Sea Shepherds who are a group of dangerous, inept idiots. Don’t you think you could find a better group to represent your cause than these imbeciles? There is a reason Watson was kicked out of Greenpeace.
      I will assume that you are a vegetarian, and are pro-life due to your strong feeling about life and sovereignty. I know a person as smart and well researched as yourself would never be so hypocritical as to find himself eating a hamburger while voting for a pro-choice candidate, but unfortunately, it is very difficult to control those pesky vegetable farmers and the millions of mice and insects they kill all so a few vegans can eat their ratatouille with a clear conscience. Oh, the humanity! Oh, I’m sorry, we never were talking about humans were we.
      I did notice that you failed to comment on my charges that the Sea Shepherds are failing to respect the Japanese (Inuit, etc.) culture, and therefore the things which they do are tantamount to racism.
      Also, the Japanese are a lawful, peaceful nation. They believe in the rule of law and feel that the Sea Shepherds are terrorists, which they are. To paint them with the broad brush that you choose to use, only shows your true, sad beliefs, the same Machiavellian beliefs that many liberals use when on the attack.

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