The Cove, Japan’s Dirty Dolphin Killing Secret (entire documentary)

Each September to February, a nasty dolphin hunt takes place off the coast of Japan in a little village called Taiji (tai-jee), where most of the 20,000 dolphins and porpoises killed off Japan are done annually. The Cove, winner of multiple international film festival awards including Oscar for Best Documentary in 2009, exposes what goes on in Taiji and how Japan manipulates little bankrupt countries to support its whaling cause and empire through the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Courageous to film undercover, inspiring and shocking to watch, this film is having some effect on public awareness of the issues, from brutal senseless killings to mercury poisoning in the food and fraud by selling worthless dolphin meat as expensive whale meat. You might also learn a thing about being coy and manipulative in empire building, as well as dedication and heart in pursuit of a cause through Ric O’Barry and others’ efforts to expose this annual massacre.

Despite all the public praise and awareness this film has been getting, the issues raised could always use a little more attention because they’re still killing dolphins in Taiji as I write in October. Well, this little site of mine gets some decent attention, so here is the movie in case you haven’t seen it. Thanks to whoever uploaded the entire thing on Tudou in high quality, and even added English and Japanese subtitles, where it needs to be known!

Synopsis
Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action. THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.

Please come back later if you’re not catching news of this at a time when you have 90 minutes to spare and watch. You can spend 90 minutes doing a lot of worse things in life.

The Cove’s website for more information on the film and cause.

Take part in helping save the dolphins as promoted by The Cove.

Combining Robotics and Religion to Justify Our Wars

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This post is about my view on religion justified as a reason to fight wars, with robots facilitating the process to depersonify killing that is now easier than before with the revolution going on in robotics used in war. It is based on the video below from the 2009 Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference of military analyst P.W. Singer, in his talk about the revolution quietly going on in war of using robots to fight them. By quiet, I don’t mean anything like top secret, but to the degree that’s going on and some of the details you really don’t hear about. The revolution is hugely eye-opening and, more importantly, morally challenging since it really depersonifies war the way guns have depersonified murder and war where it’s become so easy to kill. With robots, we don’t even have to be on the same continent to do the same. It’s all like a video game.

Military Analyst, P.W. Singer

Military Analyst and Wired for War author, P.W. Singer

One point P.W. Singer brings up in his talk is how this is perceived in the Arab world, that Americans are cowards to fight with robots instead of people. Trust me. If they had access to these robots, they would, too. It’d be a lot more efficient, economical and easy than trying to convince potential recruits of the 70 virgins waiting for them in the afterlife if they become terrorist bombers. Besides, how long could 70 virgins occupy one’s interest for eternity, anyway? It’s hypocrisy to take the stance Americans are cowards for not fighting man to man. They should be appreciative there’s some compassion in modern society, despite the lack of compassion that seems to exist in war. In the good old days, if you had the weaponry to wipe out the enemy, you’d put them all down, or at least down to their knees, mercilessly so they would know there were consequences to petty acts of war like terrorist bombings. You know, they’d take on the kill one of us and we’ll kill 10 of you policy. No exceptions.

The scary thing about P.W. Singer’s talk, though, is that all this robotic technology could easily belong to the enemy. Considering all the manufacturing going on outside the US. Think about all the software writing done outside the US. Don’t forget that US science and engineering graduates becoming smaller and smaller compared to other countries. Then there’s the ease of duplication from learning by capturing one of these things. Put it all together and I think you can see how it would not take long before the enemy can play at the same level, or slightly less but in greater numbers. That was the old Soviet Union’s war technology approach with how many of their war machines looking like US ones, only not as good. They didn’t lose the Cold War on that strategy though, but economics. And don’t forget, this time around, there are no humans to die with loss of inferior machines but that bundles of them could outdo the fewer better ones.

P.W. Singer ends his talk with a great question of who is really wired for war, humans or robots? I think the answer to that question is easy, though hard for a lot of humans to admit. However, my additional take on it is if in depersonifying the killing for wars, and having to morally debate how responsible for it all, if we would not fall back on the most convenient excuse for killing we have ever had, which is in the name of religion.

In the past and present, we have used religion to remove responsibility from ourselves for killing in wars, but we still had to do it ourselves.

In the future, we will be able to use religion to justify our killing, and claim our innocence as the robots do the killing.

Both will make it more convenient to kill, which will only lead to more killing.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.8