Thursday, March 18, 2010

Was the Waihopai attack justified?

Back in April 2008 three men launched a raid on the so called "spy base" or Government Communications Security Bureau installation at Waihopai, near Blenheim. They broke into the facility, cutting their way in, then used sickles to slash open the plastic cover protecting one of the dishes used to receive information.
Yesterday, a jury of 11 men and women in Wellington exonerated the men, finding them not guilty of the attack to which they had confessed, nor liable for the million dollars in damage.
Apparently, the jury were convinced that the men were acting according to their consciences, and doing what they believed was right.

Here's the NZ Herald articles:

At first glance the last article may not appear to fit with the other two, but think about it. The anti-abortionist who killed the late term abortion doctor was also acting according to his conscience. Therefore, if he happened to get this jury, he'd been not guilty.

I'll bet the Nazi Party are wondering where this jury was during the Nuremberg trials!

What kind of weak, pathetic excuse is this for finding people not guilty? Does this mean I can blow up a McDonalds because I genuinely believe it is killing our kids by encouraging obesity, and get off scot free? Can a Maori now legitimately steal property from a non-Maori on the argument that they genuinely believe they are owed restitution from some Treaty grievance? Can I shoot Keith Locke in the head because I genuinely believe that he is evil incarnate and the longer he spends spouting his drivel in parliament, the more irreperable damage he does to New Zealand's security?

These three traitors are guilty, guilty as sin. They have attacked a key installation which serves to defend our nation's interests as a Western power. They have cost the taxpayers of NZ more than one million dollars in property damage, not to mention their legal aid fees and the cost of the trial. They have shown no remorse for their actions, and simply provided encouragement to the liberal lunatic fringe of pacifist soft-cocks who will be the first ones to throw their arms up in surrender and offer to collaborate if NZ ever gets invaded. They need to be locked up for their actions, not freed. If this is the kind of farce we get from a jury system, then maybe it is time to look at reducing the public involvement in trial by jury, and creating a number of professional jurors. The interests of the state as a whole, and the security of its people, should never be set aside for the agenda of the few who happen to live some where in cloud cuckoo land where everyone hugs each other all day and no one is trying to kill them just because they come from a Western country.

Better yet, could we please send these three to Afghanistan? If they care so much about the people there, they'll do a much better job if they're actually living in the country, and we'll be much better off without them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wailing about Whaling

Illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean has been a topic of much discussion in New Zealand for some time, and especially so in the past few months.

According to the International Whaling Convention's foundation document (retrieved from this morning, 13/3/10), the objective of the IWC is to protect all whale species from overhunting, establish "a system of international regulation for the whale fisheries to ensure proper conservation and development of whale stocks", through the supervision of the International Whaling Commission. The Convention's aim is to allow whale numbers to increase, but it also gives the governments of signatory powers the right to carry out scientific research which involves the killing of whales - in 1986, the IWC completely banned all commercial whaling in order to allow whale stocks to replenish themselves. (Interestingly, this was the same year in which the fourth Star Trek feature film, The Voyage Home, was released, featuring a ship of unknown origin which, it turned out, was piloted by whales searching for their interstellar brethren on Earth! Thus saving the whales became an issue of intergalactic importance.) Originally signed by 15 nations, including NZ, the IWC now has 43 members.

The problem is that the loophole allowing for scientific research has been exploited to the point of insanity. According to figures presented by the NZ Prime Minister in his address on whaling,
During the previous 20 years, whaling quotas have increased ten fold, from 300 in 1990 to 3,000 for 2010 (
Clearly this is not sustainable. Clearly, the current system is not working. Clearly, something needs to be done.

Some environmentalists, concerned that nothing was being done to stop the slaughter, decided to protest on the high seas against whaling in all its forms. Greenpeace and other associated organisations which oppose whaling completely (ie even if there were 100 million whales in the sea they would still oppose hunting) launched a small fleet to tail the Japanese 'scientific expeditions' on their annual whale hunts. We're used to seeing this on the news. What we were not used to, until recently, was the increasingly dangerous activity pursued by groups such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. This group has been blatantly ignoring the rules of the sea and putting its own crews and vessels, not to mention those of the Japanese, in danger. This culminated in a collision between the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil and the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru No 2 in the Southern Ocean on Wednesday 6 January 2010. Following this, the Ady Gil's captain, Pete Bethune, illegally boarded the Shonan Maru in an attempt to present a bill for the damages to his ship, which sank as a result of the collision, and to place the Japanese captain under citizen's arrest. When that failed, he then demanded to be put ashore in NZ. Yesterday, on his arrival in Japan, he was arrested by Japanese authorities.

Make no mistake, Sea Shepherd has its heart in the right place. But what the organisation is condoning is basically the 21st century equivalent of piracy on the high seas. They are nothing more than eco-terrorists. For those who would say that my use of this term is biased and clearly indicates an opposition towards the SSCS, take a look at these pictures: - boasting about how many ships this society has sunk. - the Jolly Roger derivative used by the SSCS vessels.

Prime Minister John Key has copped a lot of flak from environmentalists and their brainwashed adherents in the past week or so, simply because he suggested a diplomatic solution to the problem. His intention is that at the next meeting of the IWC NZ propose that the scientific research loophole be completely closed, in return for an annual quota set by the IWC for Japan to legitimately hunt. The loony liberal fringe immediately leapt to its feet and accused the National government of wanting to legalise commercial whaling again, but, as usual, they completely missed the point. Diplomatic discussion and compromise are the only way forward. Japan already feels that it is being unneccesarily picked on by the Antipodean nations, and without diplomatic negotiations the official attitude between the nations will harden. Japan is a major export and import partner for NZ, and many Japanese tourists come here every year, providing a huge cash injection for the NZ economy. While it would be wrong to put profits ahead of the survival of a species, it would also be wrong to not try and ensure a healthy relationship between our nations.

The NZ Herald and Dominion Post both contributed some interesting articles on the plan for negotiation in the past few days:

Over recent years the loony "liberal" left has become increasingly hostile to debate and compromise. It is their way or the highway. They reject democratic dialogue, and while they demand that they should have the right to speak and be heard, they often deny others that same right. This is not democracy. This is not even liberal. The hijacking of the Green movement worldwide by the remnants of various Western socialist and communist parties has been well documented, and is clearly obvious here in NZ when one examines the credentials and track records of the current leadership of the Green Party. It is no longer an environmental group, it is simply a new guise for an old foe - Comintern has reinvented itself and gone deep under cover. Perhaps the colourblind have an advantage over the rest of us - to them, red and green appear the same...

Done and Dusted :)

Last week I handed my masters thesis in for marking. It proved to be a mammoth undertaking, trying to combine research with a full time job which often demands close to double the 40 hour working week we commemorate on Labour Day every year. With part time study and deferring it for a year, there were times when I feared it would never be finished. But now it is, yay!

The official title of my thesis is "Down the Toilet: The Flushing Incident and the Decline of the Anglo-German Relationship, 1890-1914". I've reprinted the abstract below if anyone happens to be interested.

The Flushing Incident of 1910-11 provides an intriguing insight into the state of diplomatic relations in north-western Europe prior to the outbreak of the First World War, and contributes to the body of evidence detailing the deterioration of Anglo-German relations during the first decade of the twentieth century. There is a gap in the existing historiography of the origins of the 1914-18 war, an absence caused perhaps by many previous historians’ lack of interest in the role played by neutral powers such as the Netherlands in the strategic planning of Britain, Germany, and France.
The public interest shown by newspapers in Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium towards the Dutch government’s decision to upgrade its coastal defences in late 1910 was immense. The Netherlands tried to remain aloof from Great Power politics in the early 1900s, but could not avoid being entangled in the web of intrigue, suspicion, and distrust which had ensnared its three powerful neighbours by 1910. The debate over the Dutch right to fortify the coastal approaches to a river within their own territory was more than an attack on the sovereign right of a nation to defend its own land. It cut to the heart of British, French, and Belgian suspicions of Germany’s future intentions. In so doing, the Flushing Incident cast a cat among the pigeons at the British Foreign Office, tasked with maintaining the balance of power in Europe and, above all, keeping the Channel ports free from any Great Power. Considered in this context, the Flushing Incident assumes a significance hitherto denied it by the historiography of this period.
This thesis aims to demonstrate the importance of the Flushing Incident in portraying the tensions that existed between Britain and Germany in 1910-11, to position it within the context of the Anglo-German relationship, and to use the incident to examine the influence played by the neutral Netherlands and Belgium on British and German strategists before 1914. The Flushing Incident has been undeservedly neglected by past historians, and deserves to be considered alongside the other crises and events which contributed to the First World War.

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