sea shepherd

sea shepherd update

The Shonan Maru No. 2 comes into view around an iceberg:

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More pictures here:

There was a new confrontation between the Shonan Maru and the Steve Irwin on Tuesday. Here’s two sides of the story:

The Ady Gil finally caught up with the Steve Irwin just after midnight Wednesday morning (yes, it’s still Tuesday night here.) Looks like they switched the green laser thing to the Ady Gil, or else each ship is equipped with one. It’s apparently a handheld device of some sort. I suppose it explains what they mean by “The Ady Gil crew defended their ship utilizing photonic disrupters in an effort to get the Shonan Maru No. 2 to back off to a safe distance.”

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I do appreciate, by the way, how many of my best pictures are coming from the whalers.

And here’s another take on the Sea Shepherd visit to French researchers at Commonwealth Bay, from the researchers’ side. Sounds like they’re a bunch of enviros, as you’d have to be to work there, but also like they’re happy to see almost anyone visit. No one else was expected there until sometime next month.

piracy this week, b/w a sea shepherd update

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Meanwhile, a funny thing happened on the way to Antarctica…. tl;dr the Steve Irwin visited some nice Frenchies for a couple of days while they tried to shake the Japanese whalers off their tail, and the Ady Gil is underway after its third try.

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And since we’re on naval matters:

omg sonic beams and lasers

Giant waterfights too:

First encounter of the season, and it turns into a water cannon battle:

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A couple of days later, the Japanese deploy their Long Range Acoustical Device, and Sea Shepherd busts out a laser on them. Oh, and tries to foul their propeller too:

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Judging from that picture, the Steve Irwin’s got some new anti-boarding measures- the yellow spiky things along the side. You can see it better in some other pictures here. Looks like maybe a new hangar for their helicopter, too.

And where’s the Ady Gil during all of this?

Back in port again, it seems. This time their new radar got wiped out by a big wave. That was a couple of days ago, and I can’t find any indication that they’ve sailed yet.

sea shepherd

Did I tell you this ship was delicate or what?

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At 1300 hours at a position 240 miles south of Albany in Western Australia, the crew of the Steve Irwin spotted a white vessel tailing in their wake at a distance of eight miles. Captain Paul Watson ordered a “Crazy Ivan” and the Steve Irwin did a 180 degree turn to head directly at the trailing vessel. The target responded by changing course due North. The Steve Irwin then changed course due South. The target followed with a course change to the South. The Steve Irwin then changed course to the West and the target followed suit. Another course change to South by Southeast put the target directly on the tail of the Steve Irwin again. The Japanese are keeping eight miles to the stern of the Steve Irwin.

“It looks like we have an escort to Antarctica,” said Captain Watson.

sea and space

Sea Shepherd vs. Japan, round 3- now under way:

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And looking up a bit, Burt Rutan & co. unveiled their second generation space ship yesterday. This one is supposed to carry actual paying passengers in the next couple of years:

sea shepherd pre-season roundup

The Japanese whaling fleet has set out for the Antarctic for another year of hunting disguised as research. Not surprisingly, Sea Shepherd is not far behind. Operation Waltzing Matilda sails from Australia next week, and they’ve got an awesome new ship this time:

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The Ady Gil (formerly known as the Earthrace) is faster than anything either fleet has ever had, and it’s got Kevlar armor and a coat of stealth paint as well. Paul Watson says they’ll use it to get between Japanese harpoons and the whales.

If anyone’s going to get killed this year, this is how it’ll happen. The Ady Gil was built for a world speed record at circumnavigating the globe, not for frigid waters and icebergs. That kevlar armor may help, but the ship seems a mite delicate, and Antarctica is a long way from any real repairs.

But hey, Sea Shepherd crew say they’re willing to risk their lives, and they’ve certainly pushed their luck in the past. Sooner or later we’ll find out just how much they mean it.

Is it worth the risk, though? One measure is whether they can actually stop the whaling. They’ve cut into it in the past, depriving the Japanese fleet of its profits. This year, the heavily subsidized whaling program is under the scrutiny of budget-balancers. A combination of bad press and financial failure could be enough to scuttle the program.

Japan has fought back in a variety of ways. Last year they got Interpol in on the act, and more recently they’ve tried to get the Netherlands to yank the registration of Sea Shepherd’s other ship, the Steve Irwin. The Japanese wouldn’t cooperate with the Dutch investigation, however, so the Dutch refused this week to take action.

And Animal Planet is tagging along again for a third season of Whale Wars. I have to admit I’ve only watched a little of the first season so far, because hey, who can be bothered with TV? But it’s getting them more exposure than any direct action campaign I can think of on the enviro side of things, so I’m glad it’s still going strong.

The action is due to start sometime in December, so I’ll be sure to keep you up to date.

roma under attack, kosovo mayhem and political trials

Europe may be your liberal utopia, but if you want to see its true colors, ask the Roma.

Jozsef Bencze, Hungary’s national police chief, said in an interview on Friday with the daily newspaper Nepszabadsag that the perpetrators, believed to be a group of four or more men in their 40s, were killing “with hands that are too confident.” Military counterintelligence is taking part in the investigation, Hungarian radio reported, and Mr. Bencze said the pool of suspects included veterans of the Balkan wars and Hungarian members of the French Foreign Legion.

Experts on Roma issues describe an ever more aggressive atmosphere toward Roma in Hungary and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe, led by extreme right-wing parties, whose leaders are playing on old stereotypes of Roma as petty criminals and drains on social welfare systems at a time of rising economic and political turmoil. As unemployment rises, officials and Roma experts fear the attacks will only intensify.

Kosovo has never fully settled down after declaring independence, and unrest seems to be increasing again. No comprehensive roundup for today, but just a snapshot:

And assorted treehuggers facing The Man:

(Typical lousy Earth First! photo. Can’t tell what’s going on, can’t read the banners. They’re treesitting, if that helps.)

failure and mayhem

Piracy fail:

In the attack on the German ship, pirates apparently mistook German FGS Spessart supply vessel for a commercial ship when they opened fire on it on Sunday afternoon, U.S. Navy 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Nate Christensen said.

The German sailors returned fire and pursued the skiff while also calling in for support. Several naval ships — including a Greek and a Dutch frigate, a Spanish warship and the USS Boxer — sped to the area while a Spanish marine aircraft and two U.S. Marine Cobra helicopters joined the pursuit.

Robbery fail:

Assassination fail:

Bomb threat fail:

Kenneth James Archer admitted to calling in the threat because of a “dispute” with the crew members of Sea Shepherd. Police tracked him down because he made the call to the police from his cell phone.

Archer had been drinking at the time and was embarrassed by the whole ordeal. In court, the judge recognized this and issued a fine of $1,500 as the only punishment.

More animal mayhem:

“We had 15 missing kangaroos — it was complete panic,” she told AFP.

Firefighters, police and gendarmes were mobilised to track down the animals as they bounded through the woods.

Another cannibal:

stoned shepherds and sea shepherds

While a shepherd watched his flock by night…

The 45-year-old shepherd was caught with marijuana in his car as he was setting off for an extended period with his flock in the mountains of Alto Adige, in the far north of the country. Police found 38 grams (about 1.3 ounces) in the car, and the shepherd, identified only as Giorgio D., was convicted of possession. But upholding an appeal against the verdict, the Court of Cassation ruled that the shepherd was justified in possessing this small quantity of the drug on account of “the long and solitary period” he was about to spend “in the countryside and the mountains, due to the migration of his flock of sheep”.

Feds looking to sell arrested anti-sealing ship

However, a release posted earlier this month on the society’s website had Watson saying any potential buyer should note the society does not recognize the validity of the sale. “Whoever buys the ship should be aware that we retain the registry and the original bill of sale and we will take back what is ours at the first opportunity. You don’t steal a ship from a pirate without repercussions,” Watson is quoted as saying.

crime and mayhem

Let’s get right to the crime and mayhem:

Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California’s biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said Japan’s complaint about the Steve Irwin reached his organisation last week by way of the Japanese embassy in Canberra, and through the Australian embassy in Tokyo.

The official complaint stemmed from the director-general of the Japanese fishing agency.

Police confiscated the ship’s logbook and video footage of dramatic whale-killing scenes.

I’ve posted about the big civil disobedience at the US Capitol’s power plant before, but here’s more about it. All the contact people on their website seems to have Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network emails. It’d be nice if this was the beginning of Greenpeace USA getting serious again. This here is the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:

And finally:

Geronimo died a prisoner of war at Fort Sill, , in 1909. A longstanding tradition among members of Skull and Bones holds that Prescott Bush — father of President George Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush — broke into the grave with some classmates during World War I and made off with the skull, two bones, a bridle and some stirrups, all of which were put on display at the group’s clubhouse in New Haven, known as the Tomb.

Here’s where he’s supposed to be buried at Fort Sill, OK: