magnavox_23: (RDAfinger)
There's an election tomorrow, maybe you've heard. I cannot urge strongly enough to any Aussies on my flist, please vote below the line - keep the power of preferences in your hands. There have been so many dodgy deals done for this election - the Animal Justice party have preferenced One Nation, and Wikileaks have preferenced the Shooters & Fishers party, it's one big WTF. Check out for an easy way to figure out *your* preferences below the line for the Senate and preferences for the House of Reps. This site provides links to all of the party's websites where you can read up on their policies. As you can imagine, I am all for not only having everyone as informed as possible, but preventing Tony Abbott from holding power in both houses.

It will come as no surprise of course that I will be supporting the Greens tomorrow, and have to share the blooper video of Queensland's top candidate, Adam Stone, for shits and giggles because everything else about this election is depressing as all hell.

magnavox_23: (RDAfinger)
No one, however smart, however well-educated, however experienced, is the suppository of all wisdom." - Tony Abbott, 12.8.2013

That shrub wants to run my country. :P
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From last night's Yes We Canberra - Andrew takes on both of Australia's major parties' discriminating policies on gay marriage in the form of an Old Spice ad:

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It's the phrase "as it currently stands" that has me the most worried...
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So the government's come out of left field and actually announced they're taking Japan to the International Court of Justice over their illegal commercial whaling. I'd like to say I was ecstatic about this - I could have even used my LJ mood theme thingie and everything! But at this point in time, I don't think the outcomes are looking all that favourable.

Without a doubt this is a political ploy to distract away from the government's debacles over the last few months with the insulation and school halls stuff. Not to mention Rudd's rapidly free-falling approval ratings.

I worry because it was only a few short months ago Rudd resigned the notion of suing Japan until December this year - AFTER the election and a few weeks after that announced they were shelving the issue indefinitely. Now suddenly they're pushing ahead next week - hardly enough time to build a proper case - this is yet another issue they seem to be tackling half arsed that will probably either blow up in their faces or wilt under any kind of proper scrutiny.

It's also quite telling that the announcement was handled largely by Stephen Smith, not Peter Garrett who's appeared quite the fool recently, and is now relegated to pretty much keeping his mouth shut. Yes he is the foreign affairs minister, but whaling falls squarely under Garrett's portfolio.

There's also the International Whaling Commission's Obama spear-headed proposal to legalise commercial whaling which if approved would severely weaken Australia's position and force them to rely solely upon the laws of the Antarctic treaty. But then again, Japan is already ignoring the bits and pieces of that treaty they find unfavourable too.

I will post all of the news, videos and what not over at [ profile] whale_sanctuary if you're interested in learning more.
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Upon the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel the Steve Irwin's return to port in Hobart this morning, the Australian federal police once again raided the ship on the request of Japanese authorities. The Bob Barker was also boarded when it came into port this afternoon to be welcomed by supporters and Senator Bob Brown.

"``The spineless Rudd Government has laid charges, including throwing of rancid butter, but the Shonan Maru's sinking of the the whale-protection boat Ady Gil, threatening the lives of six crew members, is not mentioned,'' Senator Brown said.

``Tokyo has taken over Australia's Antarctic seas and whales and now it controls events in Hobart.''

An AFP spokesman confirmed that it conducted a search warrant on board the Steve Irwin as a result of a formal referral from Japanese authorities

Australian Federal Police raid anti-whaling ship after Japanese complaint

AFP search second anti-whaling boat
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A few more updates on the Ady Gil:

Interview with Chuck Swift - American Captain of the Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker - this includes footage of the ramming for those of you who haven't seen it. Reports on the physical and emotion well being of those involved who are currently aboard the Bob Barker, and what the probable results of this encounter will be.

Australian Government urged to take action on whaling - short little news video report in there, along with the Australian government's official stance on whaling, giving Japan 6 months to stop whaling before Australia will even entertain legal action *sigh*.

"We won't be stopped" says Sea Shepherd - Paul Watson talks about the lack of action from both the Australian and New Zealand governments over their 'concerns' about Japanese whaling. And why Sea Shepherd will not be restrained when defending whales against illegal slaughter.

Video of the ramming from on board the Ady Gil:

A big thankyou to [ profile] secretbutterfly for helping find links and footage over the last few days. *hugs*
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Sae Shepherd's Ady Gil has been rammed by the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2.

Whalers sink Sea Shepherd boat

Japanese Whalers Ram Sea Shepherd Ship Ady Gil

Protest Ship Holed in Whaling Crash

Whaling War: Protesters Vow to Fight On

Japanese cut in half anti-whaling ship Ady Gil *VIDEO FOOTAGE*

Gillard Orders Whaling Clash Probe

This is insane, an unprovoked, cowardly attack on a ship much much smaller than itself. Thankfully there were no casualties. I will post updates here as they come in as this is all over the media here.

Do human lives need to be lost before the Australian government sends a ship (better yet, adhere to the damn law and send a Navy vessel) to monitor and protect anti-whaling conservationists that include Australian citizens?

I don't even know what to say right now.

UPDATE: One crew member of the Ady Gil suffered 2 broken ribs.
UPDATE II: Paul Watson reports Injured crewmate is a New Zealand citizen and Ady Gil is not salvageable. Bob Brown will propose new laws to prevent Japanese from sending spy planes to track Sea Shepherd from Australian airspace.
UPDATE III: Ady Gil was still in the water at time of collision, Shonan Maru 2 aimed to ram middle of the ship, but Captain threw the ship into reverse to minimilise damage and possible loss of life.

UPDATE IV: Video footage of the Shonan Maru 2 ramming and slicing the Ady Gil in half.
UPDATE V: Ady Gil Captain Peter Bethune breaks down on Australia's The Today show, calling on Kevin Rudd to adhere to his election promise from 2007 to take Japan to the international court over whaling and yesterday's attacks on Australian citizens in Australian waters.
UPDATE VI: Australian government refuses calls to send Navy vessels to the Southern Whale Sanctuary to protect anti-whaling conservationists.
UPDATE VII: Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard orders an Australian Maritime Safety Authority investigation into the ramming of the Ady Gil, and Senator Bob Brown demands the Australian government compensate Sea Shepherd 1.5 million dollars for the loss of the Ady Gil due to their inaction.
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Next month scientists from Australia's Department of Conservation and New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research are heading down to the Ross Sea to participate in the first non-lethal whale research program in the area. This has been in the works for some time as a deterrent to Japanese whaling which is done under the guise of scientific research.

The information collected through photographic evidence, satellite tagging and biopsy will be used to determine migration patterns as well as research on genetics.

While I wish the 18 scientists on board all the best and am all for non-lethal research, using this as a whaling deterrent seems a little soft-cocked given the multitude of other options available to the government. The laws are already in place to give the Australian government the power to escort the Japanese whaling vessels from our territorial waters and now that the Japanese have sent military vessels the last 2 seasons gives the Australian government even more provocation to take action under international maritime laws -  laws recognised outside of our own sovereignty.

The opposition has also given the government an ultimatum to either send a ship to the Southern Whale Sanctuary to monitor the Japanese whaling and protect the Sea Shepherd conservation ship Steve Irwin by the end of January, or be prepared to take the Japanese government to international court over their illegal whaling by June 30 as per their pre-election promise in 2007 to rid our waters of whaling for good.

More information:
Media release for the joint Australian/New Zealand whale research expedition
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research website
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I laughed when I read that more Americans were planning to boycott the new Harry Potter film now that Daniel Radcliffe has come out as an Atheist. Gee, I wonder where they got that information - their tv from China, their computer from Microsoft?

Better be careful, those godless vibes will be projected quite strongly from cinema screens, showering the audience with heathenish thoughts and rays of pure evil!

Good on him anyway, I only wish politicians had the balls to do the same thing, then we wouldn't have all that religious bias weighing down on equal rights, health and freedoms issues.

I should be going to see the film next week. I didn't read the books (a little long winded (not Stephanie Meyer long winded, but still :P)) but I have enjoyed the films. And Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint did some excellent interviews on Rove last night.

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Well this almost made me chuck my cookies. The Canadian Governor General, in support of the seal hunt staged a media conference, surrounding herself with Inuit peoples, and sliced open a seal carcass to remove and eat a piece of it's heart...raw.

Firstly - That's pretty sick, Chubs.

Secondly - What a DUMB ASS!

The bill passed by the European Union a few weeks ago, which blocks the import of seal products from the hunt actually exempts the Inuit's traditional hunts, (and hey, they saw the furry fuckers first, right?). She is deliberately exploiting them in a futile attempt to gain sympathy for the slaughter. She said the heart tasted like sushi, and mentioned how it was high in protein. - Never mind the sealers most often than not throw the carcasses, stripped of their skins back into the ice or in the water - rarely consumed, or that the meat is contaminated with mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls - a result of improper disposal of chemicals in the 70's. What an absolutely disgusting and stupid thing to do.
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I have been sitting on this for the better part of 2 weeks now, but I think today is an excellent day to spread the news that the European Union has finally placed an import ban on all Canadian seal products. It was announced officially today after the European parliament voted in Strasbourg, 550 to 49. This is practically the final nail in the coffin for the seal hunt.

I know I've been fairly quiet regarding my usual ranting and wailing regarding the hunt (and damn, I've taken my blows for it too), but we knew this was coming this year - economically, it has just gotten to the point where even the sealers aren't bothering to go out and kill the seals, because the money for the pelts does not cover their expenses. One can only hope the Canadian government might want to think ahead instead of wallowing in the mistaken self righteousness of archaic and barbaric practices, and educate these fisherman, so that they like the seals can have a better future.

I am also incredibly humbled to have participated in 3 of these campaigns in the last 4 years with some of the most amazing people in the world. Rebecca Aldworth is a goddess, she had been at the forefront of the anti-sealing movement for the last 11 years with the Humane Society, her contributions are without doubt one of the biggest reasons why we are where we are today. Captain Paul Watson from Sea Shepherd who is one of the most thoughtful, yet scariest mofos I have ever met. He's been involved since the 70's in a more hands on approach, witnessing the slaughter, documenting and collecting evidence of the inhumane practices, and generally being a pest to the Canadian government, until they finally confiscated his ship illegally last year. And lastly, Diana Marmorstein and everyone at who are continuing to run the Canadian seafood boycott with HSUS/HSI and monitoring the situation with the WTO below.

This news doesn't spell the end of the issue at hand, Canada is threatening legal action against the EU and are planning to take their case to the World Trade Organisation, and seal pelts can still be sold to Russia, Norway and China, because they do not come under the EU.

More info here, here, here & here.
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The Anglican Church of Australia and Atheists agree on blasphemy no longer being a criminal offence

This is a great step forward in our secular society, especially when it comes to media content. I for one look forward to a more evenly spread debate, and freedom of expression and ideas on television.


Taking on the Goliaths of Doom and The Contradictions of International Conservation Law by Paul Watson

A great take on the state of affairs regarding illegal whaling and the fallout of what is to come from both an ecological and economic standpoint.


Sir David Attenborough gets hate mail from creationists because he doesn't credit 'god'

This one just made me laugh. :P

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So the Vatican is bitching about Obama removing the ban on state-funding for overseas family planning groups.

One particular quote caught my eye, and I had to laugh. Archbishop Rino Fisichella says "What is important is to know how to listen... without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death".

What the hell does he think Bush has been doing the last 8 years when he sent soldiers to die in his oil wars? When his wars killed thousands of innocent civilians? Because blowing a child up for oil and money is ok?

And why is the Vatican getting a say on US policy?

"More than 250 health and human rights organisations from around the world sent Obama a letter, thanking him for ending a policy "which has contributed to the deaths and injuries of countless women and girls.""

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"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, of Jews and Hindus, and non-believers."

Awe hell yeah!

Congratulations America! :)

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Just a few updates as to the Japanese whaling in our Australian whale sanctuary/Australian Antarctic territory:

Dec 19th - The Japanese whaling ship The Yushin Maru #2 found by Sea Shepherd's ship Steve Irwin inside the Australian economic exclusion zone in contempt of The Humane Society's Australian federal court order prohibiting whaling in Australian waters.

Jan 4th - The Japanese government calls on the Australian government to ban the Steve Irwin from docking in an Australian port for refueling. Environment minister Peter Garrett takes the request into consideration, despite there being no illegal act committed by SSCS or the Steve Irwin. Greens senator Bob Brown convinces acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard to back down and allow Sea Shepherd entrance, securing a dock in Hobart.

Jan 5th - Hajime Shirasaki of the Kyoshin Maru #2 goes missing in the middle of the night. Japanese media report this as a suicide. Capt. Paul Watson offers assistance and ceases to engage the whaling fleet to help find the body. The Japanese refuse. *footage* (right click and save).

Jan 15th - After damaging it's propeller in ice packs on Dec 20th, the Yushin Maru #2 travells to Indonesia for repairs. (Australian and New Zealand ports are closed to Japanese whaling ships.) Protests are held by Jakarta Animal Aid and support given from Senator Bob Brown of the Australian Greens party, Peter Tagliaferri, the mayor of Fremantle, Ian Cambell, ex environment minister, The Earth Island Institute, The Indonesian Forestry Department, HSI and SSCS, which result in the harpoon ship being ordered out of the Port of Surabaya in East Java.

It is also one year to the day since the Humane Society International won an Australian federal court ruling against the Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Ltd that prohibits them from killing whales in Australian waters.

Jan 17th - The Steve Irwin will arrive in Hobart at midday for refueling.

Sorry there are no pretty pictures of slaughtered whales, Greenpeace didn't show up to take them.
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The stuff of nightmares, eh? :P (the door and the phone are the scariest mofos)

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"Sarah Palin has come out saying that she believes that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time, and it says so in the bible, under Ludicrous 3:16!"


Also, Adam Hills was on tonight and as always, the topic turned to his prosthetic leg. He talked about some of the crazy shit he got up to at the Leeds festival in the UK, including taking his leg off at a gig and crowd surfing it! Man, I love you tube! XD
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"I love that by ordering Chinese once a week, I have more foreign policy experience than Sarah Palin."


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