It's been some time since I was really up to anything good in Second Life but the combination of a generous friend and the sale of my own land means that Whalecall now has a beautiful and roomy location from which to attempt to educate fans of secondlife about whaling.
The plan is to again pursue the construction of a replica of the whaler Charles Morgan to serve as a traveling education platform. Other educational opportunities and activities are also in the works on the island at Hermes. If you have a secondlife account, please stop in for a visit
I stumbled across this piece in a site that I would not have necessarily expected it, Speaking of Faith. There are LOTS of other great articles here too but thought my whale and ele friends would really want to listen to this. It is an audio recording/interview with the accoustic biologist, Katy Payne which plays for @ 1 hour. It's a discussion about elephants and whales ...and humans....with lots of great audio of all three
Voice on the Radio Katy Payne Payne is an acoustic biologist and founder of The Elephant Listening Project. She is the author of two books, including Silent Thunder.
SoundSeen: Slideshow » "Life in the Dzanga Clearing" Researchers at the Elephant Listening Project assembled a dozen of their favorite images taken during their time in central Africa. See what Katy Payne describes as "Grand Central Station for elephants."
My attempts to establish a stronghold for Whalecall in Secondlife - and thus to raise awareness of whaling to a population that might otherwise be seemingly clueless, have been struggling to keep afloat as of late. The efforts I've made to 'network' with others hasn't gained any new members and donations have been minimal - certainly less than I myself have donated to other 'worthy causes'.
I believe the mistake I made was the selection of the current location. Most of the traffic has been 'neighborly' or passers-by from local adult-entertainment sites (which are rampant in SL) However, as a newcomer to SL, Getting a piece of land for so cheap is a celebratory event in itself, it's not until the month after that you realize you could have done better.
So, here I sit with enough land to build the anti-whaling Charles Morgan but no blueprints of the ship, no assistance in research, marketing and publicity - and still splitting time with SecondLife and RealLife.
It may be time for a shift in plans....something off the wall.... something from out of the closet.
The recent protests concerning copybot in SL - and the publicity that aroused - reminded me that civic action does still get noticed - even in SL so I'm considering launching a one-virtual-person protest with a very public display to grace the heaviest populated sites of SL.
The details are still being pondered but I have a very good idea (I think, anyway). If you'd like to know more or even help out, please contact me or visit the secondlife@care2 group or both.
As long as you're here, if you haven't already, please consider signing these whalecall sponsored petitions.
The deal took longer than expected but it was finally closed and I now have enough property in secondlife to give whalecall a home.
Construction has begun for Whalecall's office/store/boatyard.
The second floor will host an office and lounging area for members of whalecall while the ground floor will provide items for purchase, news articles, petitions and streaming video for all.
Just outside are the concrete slab and scaffolding beams necessary to begin construction of a replica of the whaling ship Charles Morgan. Whalecall's replica will attempt to hack away at the damage done by the original Charles Morgan.
Of course, assistance in this effort is always appreciated. What is really needed at the moment are photos and diagrams of the Charles Morgan currently berthed at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. If you have any that I might not have found on the internet (I REALLY need more ) please contact me. And if you're in secondlife, please stop by for a visit
If you don't have secondlife but would like to learn more about this effort, please stop by the secondlife@care2 group
It is being reported that Japan has succeeded in buying enough friendly votes to make radical changes within the Internation Whaling Commission - which is already nearly impotent. Please contact your representatives to voice your objection. This year's annual meeting will happen very shortly.
The U.S. is sending a new face to the IWC this year, Dr. William Hogarth. I've gathered some information about him that you can view here. Whether you are a US citizen or not, please contact him to encourage him to use the the leadership of the US to stop Japan's aggression. Here is a copy of my letter for ideas. Thanks
International Whaling Commission Commissioner William T. Hogarth
Congratulations on your recent appointment to represent the United States as Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. Your long and impressive resume indicates that you are very capable of meeting the challenges that you will face in this post.
As you are certainly aware, whalers from Japan, with the blessing and support of their government, have involved themselves in quite controversial activities over the years and are now prepared to increase their take of whales, including endangered species, once again. They claim to be operating within the auspices of the IWC by citing 'scientific research' as their justification. The international scientific community disputes these claims and points out that although none of the research performed by Japanese scientists has revealed anything that could not be learned by non-lethal means, Japan has succeeded in launching a growing industry dependent upon the consumption of whale meat.
Japan is now feeding mercury ladened whale meat to school aged children who are most susceptible to the all of the ills that accumulations of mercury can bring. In addition, DNA tests have proved that pet food sold around the world and in the United States contains whale meat that was obtained by these policies and activities of Japan and it's whalers. There is little doubt in any body's mind that Japan's whaling activities are not at all about science but truly industrial whaling in disguise.
It is because of this growing international recognition of Japan's abuse of the IWC that the Japanese government has overtly paid for the dues of other countries, many of which are land-locked and have no true interest in whaling, so that they might join the IWC and vote in Japan's favor on future agendas. Japan has ensured the favorable votes of these countries by promising economic paybacks in various forms. The denial of this connection by the countries involved is quite similar to Japan's denial that it is involved in illegal, industrial whaling - they have done little to hide or dispute the fact but insist on merely denying it.
As it appears that Japan may have succeeded in buying enough votes to make radical changes within the IWC, I implore you to seek ways to derail their apparent determination to complete the lobotomy of the IWC. Japan is the creator of this conspiracy and should be brought to defend this reality and to cease it's activities. If it is not, the IWC is certainly doomed and can be seen as nothing more than a huge distraction to conservation.
Dr. Hogarth, these diplomatic challenges are difficult but without success, many of the other achievements if the IWC are meaningless. I believe you are capable of joining with your colleagues who represent nations that are truly concerned about conservation and not exploitation, to meet these challenges. I hope you recognize the urgency of this matter and that you receive the support you need.
Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Exercise Training Events Within the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area (OpArea)
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS ), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice; receipt of application and proposed incidental take authorization; request for comments.
SUMMARY: NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting RIMPAC ASW training events, in which submarines, surface ships, and aircraft from the United States and multiple foreign nations participate in ASW training exercises, utilizing mid-frequency sonar (1 kilohertz (kHz) to 10 kHz), in the U.S. Navy’s Hawaiian Operating Area (OpArea) in the summer of 2006.
Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to the Navy to incidentally harass several species of marine mammals during the training exercises.
DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than May 24, 2006.
ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to
Steve Leathery, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910–3225.
NMFS is not responsible for e-mail comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here.
Comments sent via e-mail, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10–megabyte file size. A copy of the application containing a list of the references used in this document may be obtained by writing to the address specified above, telephoning the contact listed below (see
Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. In March, 2006, the Navy prepared a revised 2006 Supplement on the 2002 Programmatic Environmental Assessment on RIMPAC. That document will be posted on the Navy’s website (http://www.smdcen.us/rimpac06/) concurrently with this notice and the Navy will be accepting public comments. The Navy has also prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS ) for its Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR), which contains detailed supporting information for some of the issues discussed in this document and may be viewed at: http://projects.earthtech.com.
Over the last few decades, technology has in one fell swoop, both simplified and complicated our lives. We have become more enlightened about the cultures of others while simultaneously witnessing the impact of a burgeoning, intertwined human population and it's affect on life all around it.
Nearly 30 years ago, many of us old enough to remember, were first introduced to the travesties of whale and seal hunting among others abuses of animals by humans. We were made aware that many whales had been hunted to near extinction - maybe some were. At the same time, we saw the tragedy of seal pups being bludgeoned to death while their blood tainted the innocence that the snow and ice seemed to represent. Multitudes of people demanded and fought to have atrocities such as these halted and many improvements were made. However, to the surprise of many of us, It was not ended.
Already this year we have witnessed Japanese whalers, who have continued their whaling under the cover of 'scientific research', expand their self-declared quotas while claiming a cultural right to whale. They are even trying to re-create culture by serving whale meat to children in schools that have never before tasted it.
This year's barbarous seal hunt in Canada will be starting again very shortly - perhaps it already has by the time you are reading this. Beneath the disputed scientific claims and market incentives - whether for products made of the seals, or claims of attempts to protect fish stocks, there is also a demand that the cultural rights of indigenous peoples be honored.
Many of us are sincerely aware of and sensitive to the similar barbarous and unfair treatment of indigenous people throughout the world, but especially throughout the Americas that were over-run by Europeans. Before the Europeans arrived, many Native Americans lived much more harmonious lives - fully recognizing their reliance upon nature. They gave thanks for what they had and lived a much closer life to mother earth than the invading Europeans had known for centuries. There is no repayment that can ever be made to justify historic wrong-doings by people of one culture to another. There will always be an echo of guilt in my heart when I read of the tragedies that are a part of all of our histories as humans.
Later this year, Norway will also commence it's annual whale season. As a red herring, Norway has suggested that they should not face any repercussions from the international community because they have a long tradition of whaling. It is a cultural issue for them.
The Makah tribe of the Northwestern US resumed whaling in 1999 with a lot of visibility. They had not hunted whales in decades but now claimed it was their cultural and contractual right. Since so much was stolen from native Americans, there are huge mounds of guilt to be shoveled out here, but in the interim, the Makah tribe is actively working to expand their whaling efforts and within the next week, could make it more difficult to contest their efforts. *
Culture is important and there are likely some cultures that are superior to others though you would always find someone to contest which might be best. Who could pick one of likely millions of cultures to say which is better and what are the marks we use to make these decisions? Must we respect all cultures purely for historical reasons? Do we really need a cannibalistic culture flourishing in today's world or one that is willing to destroy a human life because of the sex of the child? There are likely wonderful things about all cultures but I doubt everything about any particular culture is what we all value.
The reality is that we are all living on one, interconnected planet. Canadian seals are not being killed by Inuits with spears, knives or rocks. Traditional Japanese and Norwegian whalers did not go to sea in mammoth, sail-less ships to perform on-board processing and then ship the diced and packaged bodies of the whales they killed - while continuing their hunt. Traditional native Americans, including Inuit did not hunt in motorized boats with explosive warheads, did not leave huge amounts of the dead whale to trash or sell trinkets of whale bone in gift shops.
Traditional, cultural hunting of these animals implies that the very life of these people depends upon the skills passed down to them by their ancestors. This is very seldom the case.
It is unfortunate that the world and all of it's creatures have been pressured to evolve as it has, that some species thrive and flourish while others struggle and eventually die, but it has. Certainly, some would say that nature has always worked that way but we have disrupted that balance. Humans of today are putting so much pressure on the planet that there is no room for 'cultural' or 'traditional' killing of it's inhabitants - especially when what is happening in reality, is organized, industrial raping and profiteering of what is beautiful in exchange for profit and the desire of a few to 'feel good'.
Culture can be beautiful and ugly. The beautiful things belong in our hearts, our memories, our photographs and stories to our grandchildren. The ugly things should not be thrown away but learned from.
Reality is both beautiful and ugly also. The beautiful things belong in our hearts, our memories, our photographs and stories to our grandchildren. The ugly things should not be thrown away but learned from. They are not different but in fact are the same. They merely coexist at different levels.
We may use culture to try and guide us though the whims and choices of everyday life but in the end it is reality that always wins and we are all but one.
May our great spirit forgive us all and let our hearts become one as people to heal our mother earth aho all my relations unity, unity, unity
The National Marine Fisheries Service will broaden its study of the Makah request to resume whaling by including the tribe's proposed whale quotas under the Whaling Convention Act.. Makah Tribal Councilman Micah McCarty said this move would ``strengthen the study against scrutiny by the opposition.''
As for the expanded environmental study, interested parties may make written or electronic comments untill March 29.
Comments can be mailed to:
Kassandra Brown, NMFS Northwest Region, Building 1, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle Wa. 98115.
--- Fax: 206-526-6426 Attention: Makah Whale Hunt EIS. or emailed to: MakahEIS.email@example.com
Some groups with links and support to help stop the madness...
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