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Crossposted from European Tribune and my blog.

It's that time again. Today the International Whaling Commission (IWC) opens its annual session on St. Kitts. Among the close to 70 member states whose delegates fill the halls, only 3 -- Norway, Iceland, and Japan -- have whalers in their ranks. Yet the so-called pro-whaling wing will for the first time in decades match the anti-whaling wing this year; the English-language press has for weeks been fretting about the prospect of a narrow pro-whaling majority. The Washington Post recently intoned under the stirring headline 'Save the Whales':

LIKE MANY Americans, you might think the world had already saved the whales. The cause that galvanized so many people's environmental consciences, after all, produced an international ban on whaling fully two decades ago.

A couple of facts about this "ban" might be helpful right off the bat. First, the IWC passed the "ban" without the recommendation of its own Scientific Committee, which did not consider it necessary. Second, said "ban" was a temporary moratorium, to be reviewed in 1990 "at the latest" with an eye to fixing new, sustainable quotas. The treaty document states:

This provision will be kept under review, based upon the best scientific advice, and by 1990 at the latest the Commission will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effects of this decision on whale stocks and consider modification of this provision and the establishment of other catch limits.

This "comprehensive assessment" has been stubbornly blocked by the anti-whalers, even though, as the Economist noted in a well-balanced article of 2003:

In the years since the moratorium was imposed, the IWC's scientists have determined that in certain waters minke, fin, Gray and Bryde's whales are now abundant enough to be hunted commercially. They have also devised a conservative method for calculating catch limits. At first, the IWC's politically appointed commissioners refused to accept their findings, prompting the resignation of the scientific committee's British chairman, Philip Hammond, in 1993. Since then, the discussions have become bogged down over non-scientific issues, as the anti-whalers have frustrated all attempts to lift the moratorium. As justification for this behaviour, some anti-whaling governments talk about the IWC's "evolving" mandate.

The IWC's actual mandate is not to suppress the hunt. It is to implement the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, whose "explicit objectives were, and remain, to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and the orderly development of the whaling industry." Source: the IWC.

Iceland, taking this at face value, was lured into accepting the moratorium; when it got the wiser, it left the IWC in 1992. Ten years hence it rejoined with an objection to the moratorium, exempting it from the latter under the Convention. Japan and Norway both reserved themselves at the outset by filing objections and so were entitled to commercial whaling seasons.

For Norway's part this remains the case. It nonetheless voluntarily suspended hunting until 1993, when it was clear that the anti-whaling majority would not allow the overdue assessment to take place. (From a legal point of view it can, in fact, be argued that the moratorium expired wholesale in 1990, but let's leave that aside.) Norway's whaling season is openly commercial -- though by no means industrial or large-scale -- so it is incorrect when the Observer, in a not exactly unbiased article entitled 'The shadow of slaughter hangs over whales', accuses Norway of hiding behind a scientific pretext.

Japan, on the other hand, withdrew its reservation under US pressure. The Japanese side of this story deserves a hearing:

The U.S. placed pressure on Japan using the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment to make Japan accept the moratorium. This domestic Law prohibits fisheries within the U.S. 200-mile coastal zone in case any country diminishes the effectiveness of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Japan withdrew the objection from the IWC and terminated the whaling operations under the agreement between the U.S. and Japan. Japan was concerned about its own $650 million fishing industry and its $40 billion trade surplus toward the U.S. at that time.... In spite of the U.S.'s promise to refrain from imposing sanctions on Japan, the U.S. executed the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment on Japan in 1988....

It's a fair guess that this sense of having been double-crossed helps explain Japan's insistence on exploiting a loophole permitting whaling for research.

Returning to the WaPo:

Yet whaling continues. In fact, it's increasing. Japan, Norway and Iceland never stopped hunting whales.... Lately those numbers have been creeping up, and this year they are almost doubling to nearly 2,400 whales. What's more, Japan is no longer limiting itself to relatively plentiful minke whales but is once again hunting the decimated populations of fin and sperm whales and plans to begin killing humpback whales as well. In 2008, Japan and Norway plan to kill 3,215 cetaceans.

The reemergence of whaling could get a considerable boost this month at, of all places, the meeting of the International Whaling Commission - the body that supervises the supposed ban on commercial hunting.

Norway and Iceland never stopped hunting? For Norway's case, see above. As to Iceland, it suspended activity from 1989 to 1993, when it reintroduced a scientific quoata of 38 minke in order to "have a better understanding of all the factors that might impact fish stocks - including whales."

As to the meeting in St. Kitts, the WaPo is concerned:

Japan has aggressively sought pro-whaling allies, and it now has close to a majority of votes. While it would take more than a majority to undo the ban, it would significantly relieve pressure on those countries that flout the ban if a majority of the commission didn't care.

Not so fast. First, noone is 'flouting the ban'. The hunting carried out today is unquestionably legal, however else one feels about it, and implying otherwise is simply dishonest. It is not, however, uncommon: Reuters claims that Norway "openly defies the ban." The Independent called Norway's hunt 'illegal' on June 11, demonstrating that it's not above a "noble" lie, much like veracity-challenged organizations such as Greenpeace.

Second, Japan has indeed been recruiting allies, even using foreign aid as an incentive. However, the strategy of involving countries with no horse in the race is one that leading anti-whaling members have pursued for a generation. The IWC was established in 1946 by the world's 14 main whaling nations. Between 1979 and 1982, 19 new countries joined; ten attended their first IWC-meeting in 1982. Thus, for instance, landlocked Switzerland helped pass the moratorium. This April, Israel, which has hitherto had bigger fish to fry than whaling, saw fit to join. Since when has one the few countries rejecting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty favored multilateral regimes? According to the Haaretz, since the US ambassador made a personal appeal to the Israeli Foreign Minister on the matter.

Third, the pro-whaling High North Alliance notes that the theoretical pro-whaling majority may not manifest itself in votes in the chaotic bargaining circus that is an IWC session. In any case, the pro-whalers will not be able to raise the 3/4 majority required to scrap the moratorium. The "considerable boost," which the Independent decries as a "Great Betrayal," is unlikely to amount to much in practice.

But the bullying of the anti-whaling countries, spurred by organizations like Greenpeace for which the issue is an effective fundraiser, isn't doing so either. If anything, the Economist notes, this Ahab-like zeal is prone to backfire:

Their mixture of propaganda, insults, distorted scientific half-truths and lies tends to stir up nationalist sentiment among the pro-whaling countries, who consider themselves victims of sanctimonious foreigners practising cultural and culinary imperialism.

[snip]

How might this bizarre war of attrition come to an end? For a start, those opposed to whaling could look themselves in the eye and ask why a multinational organisation, reflecting the views of just one group, should claim for itself the right to deny other countries the freedom to kill their own animals, which are in plentiful supply, as they see fit? Should those who disapprove of the killing of animals according to kosher or halal practice set the universal slaughtering standards for Jews and Muslims? Should Hindus be allowed to impose their views about cow-killing on the world's hamburger-eaters? Should militant vegetarians have the right to forbid anyone anywhere to kill an animal?

In fact, less moralising from the anti-whalers might even serve their purpose better, if that purpose is indeed to save whales from the harpoon. The economics of whaling is unlikely ever to attract much hunting, and certainly nothing on a large scale. It is the politics that excites: politicians champion whaling in Japan, Iceland and Norway because it is popular to stand up to foreign bullying.

Can someone please explain this to, say, the ambassadors from 12 countries who recently, in an unusual diplomatic move reminiscent of the Muhammed madness, saw fit to impugn the integrity of Norway's marine researchers? These researchers are independent, leading in their field, and applying the method devised by the IWC Scientific Committee to set sustainable catch quotas for the North Atlantic minke whale.

And what will it take to make anti-whaling governments realize that, if they doubt the resource management of whaling nations, they should let the IWC itself perform that role in accordance with its mandate?

If demand for whale meat is indeed dwindling in the whaling countries, as they claim, then surely that is the way to let the whaling business die a natural death, while in the meantime making whaling nations more receptive to legitimate questions of animal welfare?

Or is the endless whaling brouhaha just too convenient as a diversion from truly grave environmental challenges like global warming, the depletion of fish stocks, and the pollution of the seas?

For more on the facts and ethics of Norwegian minke whale hunting, see my blogpost, Why I had whale steak for dinner today.

Originally posted to Sirocco on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Disclaimer (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red moon dog, Hatu, cookiebear, lgmcp, Kingsmeg

    I'm not hard-core or dogmatic pro-whaling. There are legit issues concerning animal welfare as well as the sustainability of Japan's hunt of certain species. All the more reason to restore the multilateral regime designed to regulate this -- the IWC -- as a forum for scientifically based cooperation and rational debate.

  •  Noble lie (5+ / 0-)

    a "noble" lie, much like veracity-challenged organizations such as Greenpeace.

    Whaling is legal in the same sense that torture is for the US.  The whole world condemns it, but we do it anyway.

    Well constructed diary, but your conclusions are bogus.  There need be no sustainable whaling industry.  Whales are a keystone species for the entire planet, which very few other species can claim.

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell. SmokeyMonkey.org

    by smokeymonkey on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:57:00 AM PDT

  •  I don’t get you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    Or people like you.  You’re so enamored with the human race, that you assume as a given than it’s only correct that we decide what’s in the best interests of other species.

    1. Counting whales isn’t an exact science.  Are you really willing to risk a whole species based on fuzzy or suspect numbers?
    1. The idea that the solution to feeding people is to cull whale populations so they don’t eat all our fish makes me want to puke.  Do you seriously think that we have an inherent right to every last scrap of protein on the planet?
    1. At some point, the human race might understand everything there is to know about how Mother Nature keeps house, but that’s a very distant future.  What we do know now is that Mother Nature is light-years ahead of us in knowing what’s best for life on this planet.  Yet, you propose to know that minke aren’t endangered?  And endangered from what?  Last I checked, there’s a big scare that a flue pandemic is not a matter of if, but when, and it’s going to kill millions of people.  But, there are billions of us, so chances are we won’t suffer extinction as a consequence.  But I guess minke whales don’t suffer from disease?  They’re only vulnerability is humans, so as long as we don’t kill them off, nothing else will.  Don’t be stupid.

    I could go on, but the long and short of it is this.  The only animals we know what’s best for are those we’ve domesticated.  Build a corral, start raising whales, and it becomes nobody’s business but yours what you do with them.  Until then, I object to your slaughter of these beautiful and magnificent creatures to satisfy your pallet on no greater grounds than I like them more than I like you!

    •  If you could keep it civil (0+ / 0-)

      and not personal, you might get a reply,

      •  What's not civil about my post? (0+ / 0-)

        The parts that you can’t contest?  Sorry guy, but sophomoric evasions aren’t going to win you any hearts and minds in this debate.

        •  You go out of your way (0+ / 0-)

          to inform me that you don't like me (or at least, less so than you like cetaceans). Not an ice-breaker either.

          •  Nice try, but again... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poemless

            not a substantive response to my original comment.  Perhaps your true objection is to an honest dialogue given you can’t help but see I’ve laid your patriarchal reasoning bear.  Sorry to have inconvenienced you.

            •  Since you insist (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hatu
              1. Counting whales isn’t an exact science. Are you really willing to risk a whole species based on fuzzy or suspect numbers?

              Counting fish isn't an exact science either, yet I'm not aware of a global moratorium on fishery.

              1. The idea that the solution to feeding people is to cull whale populations so they don’t eat all our fish makes me want to puke.  Do you seriously think that we have an inherent right to every last scrap of protein on the planet?

              That's an argument I haven't made.

              1. At some point, the human race might understand everything there is to know about how Mother Nature keeps house, but that’s a very distant future.  What we do know now is that Mother Nature is light-years ahead of us in knowing what’s best for life on this planet.  Yet, you propose to know that minke aren’t endangered?  And endangered from what?  Last I checked, there’s a big scare that a flue pandemic is not a matter of if, but when, and it’s going to kill millions of people.  But, there are billions of us, so chances are we won’t suffer extinction as a consequence.  But I guess minke whales don’t suffer from disease?  They’re only vulnerability is humans, so as long as we don’t kill them off, nothing else will.  Don’t be stupid.

              If you're aware of any minke whale pandemic, please report this to the IWC Scientific Commission without delay. I have never heard of any such phenomenon.

              Your general argument would apply to any species that humans prey on, so that's an argument for starvation. "Mother Nature knows best"? We were part of nature, last I looked, whether we like it or no. There is no alternative save death.

              The only animals we know what’s best for are those we’ve domesticated.  Build a corral, start raising whales, and it becomes nobody’s business but yours what you do with them.

              I respectfully disagree.

              Is factory farming -- the standard way to produce meat in much of the industrialized world, certainly including North America -- "what's best" for the animals? I think not. Industrial meat production strikes me as far more ethically problematic than hunting, where the animals roam free until some few of them meet a hunter.

              Until then, I object to your slaughter of these beautiful and magnificent creatures to satisfy your pallet on no greater grounds than I like them more than I like you!

              No greater grounds indeed.

              •  Well, I certainly don't insist. (0+ / 0-)

                You were free to hide behind niceties for as long as it suited you.  

                1. Are you seriously arguing that two wrongs make a right?  Well, you’re certainly a lost cause if that’s the case.  But I’ll repeat, counting whales is not an exact science, and you’ve done nothing to refute that.
                1. You’re arguing for a lift on the ban on whaling.  If you’re not arguing for this on the grounds that it’s a great sport, then you’re left with the premise that we need the meat to feed ourselves.  Or was it that you just like the taste of whale steak?  Regardless, whether it’s the fish they eat, or eating the whales themselves, you fail to question your most basic premise, whether or not we even have the right to slaughter whales for any purpose.
                1. No, I’m aware of no minke whale pandemic.  Nor am I aware of a human pandemic.  Nevertheless, ask an expert on pandemics this question: If the human population was reduced to the numbers just above those we regard as sustainable for animals, would they consider humanity more or less safe from the threat of a pandemic?  I don’t think you have to be an expert to conclude we’d be less safe.  Which was my point.  Which you understood perfectly well.  So please recognize that playing dumb is not a debate winner.  I do resent having to baby talk you through it.

                Factory farming is a monstrosity.  Did I say build a factory farm?  No.  What I did say was build a coral, and raise whales.  The idea that you find in that the suggestion you do it inhumanely says more about your moral predisposition than mine.

                Lastly, welcome to the democratic system, and it is that simple.  I do like whales more than I like you.  There’s really no need to even entertain your wants or desires, as the whales life easily trumps any taste for their meat you might have.  I vote that you don’t get to kill whales.  But, as a concession, I will invite you to eat me.

                •  First of all (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hatu

                  Thanks but no thanks. I'm pretty sure I like whale more than I would like you.

                  (1) No, I'm arguing for simple consistency, as in the absence of double standards.

                  Should I take it you endorse a global moratorium on fishery, applying across the board to all species, on the grounds that counting fish is not an exact science? That's radical.

                  My implicit point, which eluded you, is that estimates of animal populations don't have to be perfect. They just have to be adequate, in the sense that their margins of error are roughly known, so these can be baked into the recommendations. That's how marine biologists go about prescribing cod catch quotas in the North Sea, say. One errs on the side of caution.

                  That their recommendations are often ignored by politicians is another matter, and a troubling one.

                  But in Norway at least, the recommendations of their colleagues down the hall are not ignored. No, they are made the premise of the minke quote fixed by Parliament. And they are based on a conservative method devised by the Scientific Commission of the IWC, which ironically has been ignored by politicians there for more than twenty years.

                  Now there's some irony for you.

                  (2)

                  You’re arguing for a lift on the ban on whaling. If you’re not arguing for this on the grounds that it’s a great sport, then you’re left with the premise that we need the meat to feed ourselves.

                  Crap.

                  As I acknowledged above, we don't need to kill whales for meat, just like we don't have to kill any mammal for nourishment. My question, which is addressed to the meat-eating majority and anyone who isn't vegan on ethical grounds, is why the whales should be made a special case. Lots of vegans have agreed with me:

                  Why should sustainable whaling be prohibited but not sustainable moose, elk, or reindeer hunting?

                  How is sustainable whaling worse than the standard ways of producing meat, say, by keeping pigs locked up in cages all their lives?

                  You see, I'm far more anti-hypocrisy than I am pro-whaling. I am pleading for consistency, and I do not have a problem with those who object to the killing of animals for food, on ethical grounds. I might disagree even with those at the end of the say, but I respect their view; it's another matter.

                  you fail to question your most basic premise, whether or not we even have the right to slaughter whales for any purpose.

                  My diary entry was long enough already, which is why I linked to this previous post of mine that explores that at length, though again I only seek to show that slaughtering whales is on a par with other generally accepted ways to put meat on the table:

                  http://sirocco.blogsome.com/...

                  (3) I don't even know if cetaceans are susceptible to epidemics, and you have done nothing to show that they are, or that Norwegian researchers are wrong to conclude that the North Atlantic minke whale is abundant enough to sustain limited harvest, all things considered. (If there is a general pandemic issue, I'd think they are aware of it.)

                  Instead you mumbled something about "Mother Nature knowing best," as if humans aren't part of the global ecosystem. To which I remarked:

                  our general argument would apply to any species that humans prey on, so that's an argument for starvation. "Mother Nature knows best"? We were part of nature, last I looked, whether we like it or no. There is no alternative save death.

                  Understood, or is more baby talking needed?

                  1. Factory farming is a monstrosity.  Did I say build a factory farm?  No.  What I did say was build a coral, and raise whales.  The idea that you find in that the suggestion you do it inhumanely says more about your moral predisposition than mine.

                  Umm, whales are highly mobile, migratory creatures. They don't hang around corals like goldfish, unless you cage them in. So either you have no idea what you are talking about or you propose to cage them in, in which case it says a lot about your moral predisposition.

                  Lastly, welcome to the system of sovereign states. Until a democratic world government is created, you don't get to vote on what the citizens of other sovereign states can do, any more than I get to vote against US factory farming or refusal to sign the damn Kyoto Agreement.

                  I do get to argue for why it should sign it. Similarly, you do get to argue for why Norway should sign on the moratorium on whaling, as you are doing in the rest of your comment.

                  And if your arguments weren't so feeble, they might even convince me.

                  •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

                    I interpreted your 'coral' as 'coral reef', but someone is pointing out that you probably meant 'corral' -- a term I didn't know, not being a native anglophone.

                    So you do suggest building a huge cage to raise whales in, and you think this could be done in a way that satisfies your criteria of 'humaneness'. Well, my point still holds: you're either ignorant or else your criteria of humaneness suck.

                  •  Clearly we're talking past one another. (0+ / 0-)

                    You seem to think your arguments matter.  I’m sure they do to you.  But your mistake is in assuming they matter to people who don’t agree with you.  They don’t.  To people who don’t agree with you, you appear to be a guy pulling out all the stops to justify is lust for whale steak.  Your post isn’t about fisheries, so why are we supposed to talk about them?  Because you imagine a double standard?  But what you’re missing is people who don’t agree with you don’t have a problem eating fish.  And even to address your double standard, you’re not working towards better regulation of fisheries; you’re working towards lifting the ban on whaling.  You understand, many fisheries are is dire trouble due to over fishing and pollution.  That problem dwarfs your desire to eat whales.  Yet, you’re not writing a diary about fisheries.  You don’t care.  So I’m supposed to care about your double standard just because you find it convenient in this debate to bring it up?  Sorry guy, but you’re wasting your breath.

                    Whales are a special case.  Why?  Well, they’re unique and important to the heath of the oceans, but mostly people just love them.  Same deal with those baby seals.  

                    You sound so funny.  You’re more anti-hypocrisy than you are pro-whaling?  Dude, if that were the case you can find many more pressing issues rife with hypocrisy to sink your teeth into.  The fact that you choose whaling says it all.

                    So anyway, in spite of your long-windedness and willful idiocy (“I don't even know if cetaceans are susceptible to epidemics...” – try using that thing called the internet that you’re on to find out goofball), I see you haven’t inspired anyone else to hang around.  You see, we’re alone on your diary.  So I ask myself, why am I wasting time with you?

                    •  I'm only replying to your BS out of politeness (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hatu

                      this being my diary entry.

                      You seem to think your arguments matter.  I’m sure they do to you.

                      I apologize for the unwarranted assumption that you would respond to reason.

                      you appear to be a guy pulling out all the stops to justify is lust for whale steak.

                      While you appear to be a guy, or gal, satisfied to make insinuations rather than sense.

                      If all I cared about was whale steak, I'd be eating instead of posting, wouldn't I? It's not like posts at Daily Kos are going to affect the availability of whale steak to me.

                      Your post isn’t about fisheries, so why are we supposed to talk about them?

                      It's called analogy.

                      you’re not working towards better regulation of fisheries; you’re working towards lifting the ban on whaling.

                      I submit you don't know whether I am working towards better regulation of fisheries on the 364 days of the year that aren't the opening day of an IWC session -- the prime occassion for imbeciles like you to rant about how my country and I are despicable for not caving in to your cultural pieties.

                      You understand, many fisheries are is dire trouble due to over fishing and pollution.

                      Wow, I had no idea! Thank heavens for your enlightenment.

                      That problem dwarfs your desire to eat whales.  Yet, you’re not writing a diary about fisheries.  You don’t care.

                      And this from someone who has just affirmed that these have nothing to do with each other, even by analogy.

                      So I’m supposed to care about your double standard just because you find it convenient in this debate to bring it up?  Sorry guy, but you’re wasting your breath.

                      Whereas, again, I am sorry for engaging you in rational debate, which you're temperamentally unsuited for and evidently find annoying.

                      Whales are a special case.  Why?  Well, they’re unique and important to the heath of the oceans, but mostly people just love them.  Same deal with those baby seals.

                      See above about rational argument.

                      You sound so funny.  You’re more anti-hypocrisy than you are pro-whaling?  Dude, if that were the case you can find many more pressing issues rife with hypocrisy to sink your teeth into.  The fact that you choose whaling says it all.

                      Do an experiment. Peruse my diary page or comments history. You'll find that 99 percent of the hypocrisy I have attacked has as little to do with whaling as you have with honest, reasoned debate.

                      So anyway, in spite of your long-windedness and willful idiocy (“I don't even know if cetaceans are susceptible to epidemics...” – try using that thing called the internet that you’re on to find out goofball), I see you haven’t inspired anyone else to hang around.  You see, we’re alone on your diary.  So I ask myself, why am I wasting time with you?

                      It's willful idiocy to expect you to find the evidence to bolster the claims that you are making?

                      I suppose you got it right for once.

                      By the way, my present comment will be the 39th on this diary entry -- far above average on DKos. Not that this has any relevance to the quality of the post, such as it is. But expecting relevance from a poor schmuck who, after his/her lame remarks have been substantively rebutted, can only bleat about "long-windedness" is another case of willful idiocy, hereby duly ended.

                    •  I see you had all of four comments (0+ / 0-)

                      and no diary before the present flamewar.

                      By contrast, I have more than a thousand comments since 2004, and this flamewar is my first.

                      Nuff said, I think.

                      •  You're dishonest. (0+ / 0-)

                        You’re not replying to my post out of politeness, you’re replying because as a last word, you couldn’t let it stand.  You really do underestimate the reading audience.  Do you really think casting skepticism on whether whales are full fledged members of earth’s ecosystem (to paraphrase, “Do whales get diseases? Gee, I don’t know.”), isn’t an obvious effort to get me to waste my time digging up a reputable website with which to educate you on the particulars of mammalian existence and how [gasp] it applies to whales too?  Come on dude!  You have a wealth of information at your fingertips.  If you seriously doubted whales were vulnerable to pandemics, you’d have looked it up and made an ass out of me.  But you didn’t, because deep down you figure I’m right.  You’re obtuse and obstinate, so why would I put forth any kind of effort?  Do you really expect anyone takes you at face value when you quip that you’re amenable to changing your position?  Well, no one is buying it.  No need to be polite.  Please, I’m wasting your time.  If you believe your version of this exchange, truly believe it, surely you needn’t continue replying to me.

                        p.s. if you qualify this as a flame war, you're truely wet behind the ears.

                        •  Or I have higher standards of civility (0+ / 0-)

                          than you. Or maybe just a better sense of what passes as a flamewar at dKos than user 90553.

                          By the way, I did google 'whale pandemic', with this result:

                          http://www.google.no/...

                          So I was awaiting input from you to back up your claims. Which was as futile as expecting a serious reply to my rebuttals, as opposed to almost comical ad hominem attacks about my "lust for whale steak."

                          Yes, I was responding out of politeness, but I couldn't give a shit about that now. It's just funny to expose you as the clueless clown that you are.

                          •  But it's too easy (0+ / 0-)

                            since you obviously don't know that pandemics are a very special class of disease:

                            (to paraphrase, “Do whales get diseases? Gee, I don’t know.”),

                            Whales get diseases. Whether they're susceptible to pandemics is another question entirely, which I no more know the answer to than you do, and which presumably depends on a lot of facts about social interaction patterns, which again are extremely species-dependent. The minke whale, for instance, is a solitary species, so it does not seem plausible that has pandemics.

                            Ignorant moron.

                          •  There you are. (0+ / 0-)

                            I suppose we could go on into infinity.  A couple things: 1. You need to learn how to use google; 2. You did write, if I’m not mistaken, an article about eating whale.  I didn’t read but the opening, so perhaps you could tell us how much you hated it; 3. You’re still being dishonest, politeness has nothing to do with why you replied to me then, and certainly not now; 4. I’m new here, but I’m not new to the internet.  I task you with following my progress here at dKos.  You’ve formed an unflattering opinion of me.  One which if confirmed, should foretell a dismal dKos showing for me.  Because it seems important to you that you’ve met with some success here, you should enjoy watching this clueless clown crash and burn.  

                          •  Attention-seeking aren't we? (0+ / 0-)

                            Dream on pal. I couldn't care less about your "progress" or lack thereof at dKos or anywhere else. But if you continue slinging insults around unprovoked, expect me or other trusted users to trollrate you (look it up in the FAQ).

                            You didn't read beyond the opening yet proceed to draw conclusions from that? Clueless clown is right.

                            It's also amusing that you can't reply to my arguments but presume yourself capable of knowing mental states such as my presise motivation for replying to your stupid drivel.

                          •  Threats? (0+ / 0-)

                            I guess if you can’t beat them, troll rate them eh?  Look, you’re obviously upset.  If it makes you feel better, I’m not emotionally invested in our little disagreement.  I like whales, you like to eat them.  Nuff said.

                            So anyway, having been around, I’m certain I’m not saying anything new, but from my perspective you resorted first to touting you dKos history to try show that you matter more than me, and now you’re threatening to troll rate me because, I guess, you’re feeling your rhetoric isn’t keeping pace.  You’re a Tireless Rebutter, a Royal and budding Admin.

                            Now can we take a deep breath, try an enjoy our inability to communicate and you do me.  

                            http://redwing.hutman.net/...
                            http://redwing.hutman.net/...
                            http://redwing.hutman.net/...

                          •  No threats (0+ / 0-)

                            Just some pertinent advice to a newbie, unless of course you're a resurfacing banned troll.

                            The Tireless Rebutter thingy cuts both ways, though your inability to rebut your way out of a paper bag is painfully apparent.

                            and you do me.

                            First you want me to eat you, now this. I decline once again.

                            Do yourself instead.

      •  Oh come on.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poemless

        You post a provocative diary, where you basically claim that a lot of people who are anti-whaling are liars. Someone goes against you, in a strong but civil way, and you start whining?

        If you can't take that, don't post diaries like this.

        I do not have my own blog.

        by Frank on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 12:02:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  recommended (0+ / 0-)

    in the hopes of a lively debate.

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 11:45:43 AM PDT

  •  Interesting issue of limiting government (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sirocco, European Nomad

    I am posting a comment, mostly to say 'Thanks for the post!'  Well written and provocative.  
    I also wanted to comment in support of Sirocco's argument for greater awareness of cultural bias that often tends to prolong the problem, not reduce it.  I agree that the attempt to outlaw all whaling is counter-productive.  We can also tie in resistance to whale hunts by indigenous peoples in the North.  
    It's interesting to me that this post strikes a chord for me with other discussions about Libertarian Democrats.  Government can only go so far and prohibition rarely works.

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