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Scoop Feedback and Letters To The Editor

Scoop Feedback and Letters To The Editor

Scoop Feedback and Letters to the Editor: Issues discussed include Suzan Mazur's article 'Altenberg! The Woodstock of Evolution?' - NZ's property crash speculation - COHA column on Greece and the Balkans - Japan Whaling and Sea Shepherd activities...


Suzan Mazur's article was very well done. I appreciate the way she presented the opinions.

Paul Rudolph - University of Iowa


  • Re: Numerous items on property crash speculation

Based on advice received from Treasury, Prime Minister Helen Clark states that "the Government is not expecting a property crash". Come again? Auction clearing rates are now below 30% and falling; speculative development has dried up; interest rates are heading skyward; a multi-national credit crunch has reached our financial shores; the time taken to sell a property is now heading towards 50 days; apartments are now selling at 50% of original value; a rapidly falling national sales median is occurring; we have had a 1/3rd increase in "housing to sell" inventory in just two months; we have a nett loss in migration; and people are experiencing increased costs of living across multiple commodities and staples. "No property crash?" Sounds like Helen Clark is once again exhaling one of Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen's "ideological burps". Steve Taylor – Auckland.


Bahahahahahahaha! I am sure this comment will not be published but here goes anyway... I have just finished reading one of the most comical articles ever, regarding the ever-aggressive Greece causing all the Balkans' troubles and how Latin America (?) is the key to solving them. I love the liberal use of imagination, the wild historical inaccuracies and the amazing misinterpretation of historical evidence.

I have not seen such brilliant historical revisionism since oooooh, David Irving and his holocaust denial. Since your author and Mr. Irving both play with and discard 'difficult' historical truths I put them very much in the same league. Does your 'news' organisation do any background research on the articles published or do you allow anyone with a few dubious letters following their name free reign to do as they please?

In fact an idea for you Mr./Ms. Editor would be to read the book 'Scoop'(your site's namesake!) by Evelyn Waugh a wonderful journalism farce written in the 30s about mistaken identities, false claims, and sensationalist media - and how quickly these lies get unravelled and cause the irretrievable loss of credibility to those who don't bother to take their responsibilities seriously.

Just because you are 'independent' does not negate the need for factual unbiased reporting. And if you are going to present an article about the 'former yugoslav republic of deep identity crisis' reaching out for the love of latin america, what is the need of adding whole tracts of text full of heresay, conjecture, clear falsities and not even a hint of rebuttal for the Greek stance on the issue.

And while you did not write the article, as editor you should not have allowed this piece of unbalanced propoganda to have been put up. While I am angry at this deluded author, I am rather more upset at your unconscionable lack of journalistic integrity. Better luck next time hey...

Name: Antonios Hrysafis


Your article regarding Sea Shepherd is full of lies and mistruths. Go to and read the truth. THERE HAS BEEN NO RESEARCH BY THE JAPANESE AT ALL, WHATSOEVER, NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE.


Why would you publish a press release from lying bastards? You didn't even check out the claims in it. It's pure crap. They same old crap they've been handing out for years.

THIS IS ABOUT COMMERCIAL WHALING AHD THE YAKUSA WHO IS BEHIND THE MONEY. JAPAN HAS NO REASON TO KILL 1000 WHALES A YEAR EXCEPT FOR MONEY. THEY FEED THE TOXIN LADEN FOOD TO SCHOOL CHILDREN AND DOGS. Whale flesh is full of mercury, but that doesn't stop the government from wanting to brutally and barbarically shoot flat ended harpoons into whales so they explode and shred their inner organs and then drag them through the sea while they choke on their own blood and sea water.

How dare you write an article that has no merit is full of lies that you don't even check out and assert that it is factual news.

The Japanese are the terrorists. They are no different than the toothfish poachers who are thrown in jail upon capture and their boats confiscated, or elephant poachers who are shot on sight. As a matter of fact they are worse, because they lie through their teeth about what they are doing.

Sea Shepherd has never caused harm to a human or animal in 30 years of protecting the marine environment that we should hold dear. Captain Watson puts his life on the line every time he enters those cold and forbidding waters.

All facts on the Sea Shepherd are verifiable. When it's an opinion that's being stated, it says so. There are links to all sorts of information to confirm statements. DID YOU USE THEM? No, you just wrote whatever you wanted to fictionalize.

The Japanese are ILLEGALLY WHALING ENDANGERED SPECIES, IN A SANCTUARY, with blatant disregard for the U.N. Charter for Conservation and the court order of Australia that prohibits them from whaling in the Australian Economic Zone.

Apparently you have blatant disregard for the facts as well. Sea Shepherd annoys and harasses, nothing more. They save the lives of The Great Whales by preventing this travesty simply by their presence. The rancid butter smell was to prevent people from going out on deck and the methyl cellulose, food grade by the way, was to make it very difficult to chop whales into little pieces, put them in cellophane packages and ship them to markets.

They don't do research, how can you be so stupid? You didn't do any checking of facts. The IWC is furious with Japan for this bullshit charade. AND, Japan already has 3000 tons of whale flesh in their freezers that no one wants.

Again, it is Japan who are terrorists. When the two men boarded the killer ship, the crew tried to throw one of them overboard into the frigid Antarctic Sea, colder than Alaskan waters to be sure and you know how life can't last in those waters don't you? When Benjamin Potts was able to prevent his being thrown overboard, the crew then tied them to the rail where they were subjected to the icy waters from the waist down. For hours. Then they were taken to the upper deck and tied to the mast. Then... Japan, the terrorists and poachers, made demands for the release of the men. Ummm, that's what terrorists do ...

The men had only boarded to deliver a letter requesting that the Japanese cease and desist their illegal and lethal slaughtering of whales.

The World Wide Whale Wars Commentary by Captain Paul Watson On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin The fight to protect whalekind from the greed of humankind is being fought all over the globe.

The Sea Shepherd's Operation Migaloo is presently opposing illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean.

Norway has just announced they intend to slaughter 1,052 Minke whales this year.

The Danish Faeroe Islands continue to kill some 3,000 Pilot whales on their beaches and more than 22,000 dolphins are viciously butchered on the shores of Japan each year.

The United States Navy keeps trying to test weapons that kill whales and their destructive low frequency sonar devices have already killed hundreds of cetaceans, large and small.

Whales are dying and their killers are constantly attempting to escalate their numbers in their quest to profit from one of the most vicious and merciless forms of hunting in the world.

For hundreds of years, humans have waged bloody war on the whales and their numbers are less than 10% of what they once were. A few species have fallen to less than 1% and some like the Biscayan right whale and the Atlantic Grey have been driven to extinction.

And the killing goes on.

But no longer unopposed. People all over the world are now fighting for the whales and on many fronts.

And there is no doubt that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the leading opponent to the slaughter and certainly the most aggressive and uncompromising opponent of whaling. In fact Sea Shepherd ships are the only thing that whalers seem to fear and when they see us they run like the cruel cowards they are.

Last August another whaler was sunk in Norway - a total write off and a four million dollar loss. That's a total of five Norwegian whalers sunk since 1992 when myself and two other Sea Shepherd crew sent the pirate Norwegian whaler Nybraena to the bottom of the harbor in the Lofoten Islands.

This week a U.S. Federal judge struck down a waiver issued by the White House that would have exempted the U.S. Navy from obeying a court order banning sonar training exercises that endanger whales.

Last month the Japanese whaling fleet was blocked for over three weeks from killing whales and Sea Shepherd will be returning next week to attempt to intervene to stop the harpoons for another three to four weeks.

Last summer, Sea Shepherd's Operation Ragnarok helped to end Icelandic whaling and no whales were killed.

In October, Sea Shepherd joined other activists and surfers led by world class free surfer Dave Rastovich in interfering with the barbaric slaughter of dolphins in Japan.

All over the world Japanese embassies and consulates are being picketed and petitioned by people deeply offended by Japanese whaling policies.

People are writing letters, signing petitions, boycotting Japanese and Norwegian goods and services. Musicians, artists, business people, teachers, lawyers, politicians, and children are standing up and saying that this slaughter is not to be tolerated any longer.

We have a powerful global movement and it is speaking in one voice - STOP THE BLOODY WHALING!

I think back to that day in June 1975 when I was at the helm of the first boat to ever intervene against whaling when Robert Hunter and I put our bodies on the line to protect a pod of Sperm whales from a Soviet harpoon vessel.

Little did I realize then just how powerful the movement would be that we launched that day. Little did I dream that I would be fighting the whale wars for the next thirty-three years.

And we are still at it. After more than 250 voyages, I can look back on a history of interventions that have saved the lives of thousands of whales and tens of thousands of dolphins. Sometimes I am amazed that I am still alive and even more amazed that in all these years we have never had anyone seriously injured or killed and we have never injured or killed any of our opposition.

Next week we return to the battle in the Southern Ocean and once again into the breach as we search out and go head to head with the Japanese whaling fleet. It will be our one ship against their seven vessels, our unarmed volunteer crew against their paid killers with their armed Japanese Coast Guard bodyguards, our passion against their ruthlessness, and our courage against their craven cowardice.

And despite the inequality of our numbers we will win because we now have an international movement to back up our interventions and to continuously hammer the message that whaling by anyone, anywhere, for any reason must be abolished.

We have these vicious killers on the run and we intend to keep them on the run, for the rest of this year and again next year. We will never retreat from this mission and we will never surrender and I swear that we will end this atrocity.

I have a fair ship and a courageous crew and once again we will sail into harm's way and once again we will save the lives of whales.

And for the person standing in front of an Embassy with a protest sign, and the person writing a letter to the editor to oppose whaling and the person writing out a check to finance our interventions and the person standing before the judge pleading for the whales and the person writing for the newspapers or hosting a television news program, I say to you - thank-you.

Movements are built on diversity both in strategies and tactics and the strength of a movement lies in that diversity. We have that diversity.

And we will win, for the whales and for the honour of humanity, because we will be the people that future generations will look back and thank for having the courage, the dedication and the passion to ensure that whales will survive and that they will not live in a future where the whales will be viewed the same way that we now view dinosaurs - as large fantastic wondrous creatures that went extinct.

What have you done to help protect the whales except send out blatant lies?

The Sea Down Under Where Stephen Smith Condemns and Whalers Chunder Commentary by Captain Paul Watson On Board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin The funny thing about opposing the outlaw Japanese whalers every year is seeing to just what depths of absurdity they will stoop when it comes to putting a sympathetic spin on their vicious and illegal poaching of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Every time we have a confrontation with the whalers, they claim that some of their crew were injured. Last year it was three. This year it was four. Last year it took them a day to discover we had 'injured' the three. This year, they had the media release ready to go for four.

It's as if the whalers are saying, 'My God, these whale defenders have no respect for human life; look at what they are prepared to do to stop us, why they actually tossed a 'stink bomb' onto our decks. Oh the horror, the inhumanity, blah, blah!

No one on the Sea Shepherd crew hurt a single one of those cowardly whale killers. I swear, if you were to hold up a banner saying 'stop killing whales' they would claim an injury from one of the crew who allegedly tripped while trying read it.

The biggest crybabies are bullies, and bullies don't come meaner than the bully whalers who prey upon the defenseless and gentle whales.

In East Africa, the rangers have a shoot-to-kill policy on elephant poachers. In India, kill a tiger, and you may also get shot. Yet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, if you poach a whale, the world does--nothing!

And when a group of volunteer whale defenders travel south to actually save some whales, they get criticized by that ultimate group of do-nothing posers--the politicians.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has apparently condemned Sea Shepherd for 'injuring' four Japanese whalers based solely on the 'evidence' that they told him they were injured.

The Japanese had a slew of video cameras on their ship. Sea Shepherd had three video cameras on our ship, and with all those cameras running there was not any footage of anyone getting injured. Every container of rotten butter acid that Sea Shepherd crewmembers threw onto the deck was recorded on impact, and not one landed anywhere near a Japanese crewmember.

Apparently, the so-called injuries have come down to four crewmembers becoming nauseated by the stench of the rotten butter--as it tends to make people seasick.

But Mr. Smith was quick to condemn Sea Shepherd based solely on the whining spin-doctoring of the Japanese whalers in their pathetic attempt to get public sympathy.

Let me see, we have the Japanese firing blunt-tipped explosive harpoons into the fleeing backsides of gentle whales, violently shredding their internal organs, causing them to thrash in mortal agony on the surface of the sea as their blood spurts out in gallons in the cold briny ocean. The killing of the whales is one of the most barbarically prolonged and horrifically painful slaughters that man has ever directed at any other species. Yet Mr. Stephen Smith condemns Sea Shepherd as violent because a few weak-stomached whalers got sea-sick and hurled?

Not once has Mr. Smith contacted anyone on the Steve Irwin to speak to us directly.

Not once has he condemned the whalers for being violent and for blatantly being in contempt of an Australian Federal Court order specifically prohibiting Japanese whalers from killing whales.

The government should be enforcing this court order with the Australian Navy if need be. Instead, there is not a single government representative in these Australian waters upholding the law.

What we have are armed Japanese Coast Guard officers making threats against Australian citizens opposing Japan's violation of the court order in Australian waters. Japan insisted that Australian Customs not have firearms on board the Australian Customs ship the Oceanic Viking, and Australia was quick to say 'yes sir, anything you say sir.' Yet we now have an armed foreign military presence in Australian waters.

Australia claims the Antarctic Territory and the waters within 200 miles of the coast, yet it allows foreign fishing boats to pilfer the sea for toothfish and the Japanese to violate the Australian Whale Sanctuary, and it does nothing except to say, 'we really, really don't like whaling and would you guys in Japan please, please stop killing the whales, because we kind-of-sort-of-promised before the election that we would stop you, but if you don't want to then, well, I guess we can agree to disagree.'

Why is Sea Shepherd down in these waters protecting whales with stink bombs, pie filling, and banana peels? The answer is because Australia is not down here upholding its own laws and court rulings.

And the only thanks we get from Mr. Smith is to unquestionably condemn us for making a couple of whale-killing blokes chunder from the smell of rotten butter.

Name: Bonnie Starbird


The gap between poor and rich in India is wide and is ruining the nation. Social injustice shown on screen puts many of us to shame but it also encourages many to portray it publicily and earn global sympathy and money.

Name: Nisha Bala Tyagi


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