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Whale hunting in the Faroe Islands has received a bad reputation. But here’s what social media is getting wrong.

WHALING IS CURRENTLY AN ISSUE OF HOT INTERNATIONAL DEBATE, and the whale hunts in the Faroe Islands are at the center of the controversy. (The Faroe Islands are a small archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway).

The Faroese hunt pilot whales in a tradition known as the Grindadrap, (a.k.a the Grind); a non commercial whale hunt which occurs annually to provide a source of local food. However the international attention the nation has received has largely misrepresented the Faroese way of life, and many arguments made by protestors are often both incorrect and misleading.

Whale hunting in the Faroe Islands has received a bad reputation. But here’s what social media is getting wrong:

1. The Faore Islands are Danish and thus must abide by European Union laws.

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing country within the Danish Realm. They act independently of Denmark in all areas of self government, which includes the conservation and management of fish and whale stocks.

It is important to understand that an essential feature of the Faroese foreign policy is the fact that they chose to remain outside the European Union when Denmark chose to enter as a member state. So while Denmark is a member of the EU where whale hunting for commercial purposes has been prohibited through international treaties, the Faroe Islands are not.

The only thing that Denmark does in the Faroe Islands is to protect the island’s rights. The Faroese do not have a military force, so therefore the police are Danish. When people say the Danish military has become involved with the grind, the police have asked them for help. They are patrolling the sea area of the Faroe Islands protecting Danish Authority over Danish ground.

2. Whaling in the Faroe Islands is illegal.

Whaling in the Faroe Islands continues because it is legal. Whether or not you believe that it should be, these hunts are not against the law. There’s no room for opinion to try and claim otherwise even though many on social media do.

The grind is a non-commercial practice. The meat is not exported, but kept for the local community and distributed as free food (similar to whaling in Greenland or Alaska where the meat and blubber is harvested for their own consumption). Since there is no international trading, the islands are not in violation of international law.

As mentioned above, despite ties to Denmark, the islands do not form part of the European Union, and are therefore not party to international treaties which outlaw whaling.

3. The pilot whale hunted in the Faroe Islands is an endangered species.

Pilot whales are not an endangered species. They are not listed on the WWF endangered species list nor are they listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

With an average of around 1,000 animals killed each year in the Faroe Islands, the practice is internationally considered sustainable. This represents less than 1% of the total estimated pilot whale stock.

4. The hunts are not humane.

Animal welfare is taken very seriously in the Faroe Islands. Legislation requires that all animals slaughtered for meat are killed as quickly and humanely as possible, and this law is strictly enforced. Claims that whales are bludgeoned and hacked to death are completely incorrect.

Whales are killed with a spinal lance called the grindaknivur. This is used to sever the spinal cord and cut off blood supply to the brain, resulting in a loss of consciousness and death within seconds. Only approved weapons and techniques are used, and these are constantly reviewed and developed to keep up with technological and academic advances.

The hunts are opportunistic — they only occur when whales are sighted by chance, and close enough to land to drive into the shores of shallow bays and beach. There is no disputing that they are killed in the sea, though the blood loss in the bays makes for a very dramatic sight. Images of this scene are captured and circulated online to provoke strong reactions, especially from those who have never witnessed the slaughter of animals from which the meat they consume derives.

No animal killed on the Faroe Islands is ever kept in an enclosure. Pilot whales are free right up until the point at which they are killed; the ultimate definition of free range and organic. They are never interfered with until the hunt.

5. The hunts are a cultural ritual.

The hunts are a tradition, not a ritual. And this is an important distinction. A tradition is a cultural element passed through generations. The Faroese have been hunting pilot whale for the past 1,200 years as a means of providing the local community with food.

A ritual, on the other hand, is a procedure or collection of processes relating to a rite or ceremony. And there is no ceremony or rite attached to the hunts. False statements on social media include that young people kill as a rite of passage into adulthood, that whales are hunted for fun, and that the this is a ritual blood sport. But this is completely incorrect.

The sole purpose of hunting pilot whales in the Faroe Islands has always been to provide the local community with food. And this will always continue to be.

6. Eating Pilot Whale is no longer necessary — there is plenty of food.

This one is open for argument. The mountainous islands and harsh conditions of the Faroes are largely unfit for agriculture, and as such, the islanders have historically depended on fishing, livestock…and whales. Severely isolated from the rest of the world, it was once vital that the Faroese were able to provide their own food, and pilot whales were instrumental to survival.

Though this no longer the case, it is important to note that whale meat does still represent about a quarter of the meat consumption in the Faroes, and as such remains economically significant. If the Faroese were to stop hunting whales, they would need to catch a lot more fish or kill other animals within their environment as replacement.

In an article focused on setting the record straight, Maria Jacobsen says “if the argument is specifically against the use of pilot whales as meat over the use of other animals as meat, then the argument seems redundant in itself. The use of pilot whales for meat allows for free range, organic and sustainable food production that is humanely and ethically sourced, heavily monitored and regulated, and locally produced, eliminating environmental transportation costs. When this meat source is compared with the industrial farming practices of large-scale meat producers that would likely replace it, the environmental and ethical issues are hugely overshadowed.”

7. The best way to protest is through provocative anti-whaling campaigns.

The problem with provocative anti-whaling campaigns such as those mounted by the Sea Shepherd is that they are unfair in their approach, and highly counterproductive. Hate speech plagues social media, propaganda quickly spreads, and myth and misinformation is intentionally circulated online. Though this only strengthens the desire of Faroese nationalists to hold onto their cultural heritage, and the result is more polarization on the issue.

Activists insist that whalers are morally wrong to slaughter pilot whales, though whalers stand firm in that they refuse to be bullied by outsiders trying to impose their own world view.

The willingness of activists in the Faroe Islands to break the law by interfering with the hunts has resulted in imprisonment, deportation, and the discussion of a ban of members of the Sea Shepherd organization. And this is a shame, as these stories overshadow and frustrate the efforts of peaceful organizations who are protesting on the islands with valid points and respectful methods.

Those who become swept up in a war of words and desire to attack the character of the Faroese as a society have lost sight of their cause and forgotten about the whales they should be fighting to save. Name calling has never saved a whale. The only way to make a positive impact through protesting in this scenario is a willingness to engage in reasoned, diplomatic discourse.

Categories: Uncategorized

Er de israelske bosættelserne illegale?

22 December, 2016 Leave a comment

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Det er der mange, der ganske fejlagtigt mener. Hvilket er meget forståeligt, når selv FN synes at have glemt, at international ret stadig garanterer jøder retten til at bosætte sig overalt på Vestbredden.

Det er sjældent, at medierne beretter om problemerne i Mellemøsten, uden at de samtidig hævder, at det er de jødiske bosættelser på Vestbredden, der er årsagen til hele miseren. Hvis ikke de var der, ville freden sænke sig over hele området, og alle ville blive glade. Denne pointe blev igen bøjet i neon den 23. maj i DR 2s program om de franske jøders flugt fra Europa, hvor det blev kraftigt understreget at flugten i virkeligheden skyldtes bosættelserne.

Ja, bare disse grimme torne blev trukket ud af det ømfindtlige arabisk/muslimske legeme, ville alt blive fred og fordragelighed. Er det sandt? Ja, måske hvis man kun ser på sagen med ahistoriske briller. Men det giver næppe det korrekte perspektiv, og for at forstå sagens rette sammenhæng er man nødt til at dreje tiden tilbage til Palæstinas opståen i kølvandet på Første Verdenskrig. Dengang verden så anderledes ud.

Da krigen begyndte i 1914, var der intet Palæstina. Det eksisterede kun som et ikke særlig præcist geografisk begreb i Vesten, men i Mellemøsten var navnet ukendt. Der var ingen region ved navn Palæstina i det enorme osmanniske rige, og nyskabelsen Palæstina blev til – ganske vilkårligt – ved at de sejrende vestmagter sammenlagde tre osmanniske provinser: Akko, Jerusalem og Nablus.

Det begyndte ved San Remo-konferencen i 1920, hvor stormagterne under anførsel af Storbritannien og Frankrig skabte en politisk enhed, som under højlydte protester fra den arabiske verden blev døbt ”Palæstina”. Det var et område, der i 1000 år havde været kendt i Mellemøsten som Sydsyrien. Og nu skulle det samles under et for araberne så godt som ukendt navn –  og foreløbig være under britisk overhøjhed (mandat).

Men det var kun en del af det. Der blev samtidig oprettet to andre mandatområder i Mellemøsten: Syrien/Libanon under fransk overhøjhed og Mesopotamien (senere Irak) under britisk overhøjhed. Men nyskabelsen ”Palæstina” havde dog en anden status end dem. Og her begynder tingene at blive indviklede.

Men først det historiske. Der har aldrig i områdets lange historie været noget, der bare minder om et palæstinensisk folk eller en palæstinensisk stat. Ordet Palæstina forekommer hverken i den danske udgave af Ny Testamente eller Gammelt Testamente –og heller ikke i Koranen. Men ikke nok med det, forhandlingerne mellem Storbritannien og araberne om Mellemøstens fremtid (briternes berømte ”løfte til araberne” i 1915) nævnte ikke ordet ”Palæstina” en eneste gang. Og vel af den gode grund, at det ikke fandtes – og araberne kendte heller ikke til det.

Hvad var der før ”Palæstina”?
Men hvad var der så i et område, som bibelen omtaler som Kana’ens land, og som i kraft af de mange besættelser (grækernes, romernes, babylonernes osv) havde fået adskillige andre navne i historiens løb?

Derboende “palæstinensere” opfattede sig selv blot som arabere, indtil bl.a. PLO fandt det opportunt at tale om”palæstinenserne”. Ikke fordi man ville have en palæstinensisk stat, hvilket araberne udtrykkelig afviste i 1947 (FN’s delingsplan); nej det var kun en taktisk manøvre, indrømmede bl.a. PLO¬lederen, Zohair Mohsein.

I virkeligheden var deres mål genforening med det Syrien, inkl. det område der i dag udgøres af staten Jordan, de derboende arabere altid havde ment de var en del af (interview i det nederlandske blad Trouw 31. marts 1977).

”Palæstina” var med andre ord et begreb, araberne var meget sene om at tage til sig.

Men tilbage til de skæbnesvangre år lige efter Første Verdenskrig, hvor det nuværende
Mellemøsten tog form og Palæstina blev til som britisk mandatområde under Folkeforbundet. I dag er der ikke mange der ved, at det nuværende kongerige Jordan var en del af det britiske mandatområde Palæstina helt op til 1946. Men et område med særstatus, for i det østlige Palæstina blev jødisk bosætning i praksis forbudt allerede i 1922. Hvilket betød, at der side om side med det jødiske Palæstina vest for Jordanfloden også lå Transjordan, et arabisk Palæstina. Men begge under midlertidig britisk overhøjhed.

Denne ordning var oprindeligt resultatet af en aftale mellem Transjordans nye uofficielle statholder, emir – senere konge – Abdullah, og Storbritanniens koloniminister Winston Churchill. Denne aftale var jøderne godt tilfredse med. De troede ligesom Churchill, at ordningen ville løse den gordiske knude, fordi araberne ville være tilfredse med det meget de fik – 78 pct. af mandatområdet Palæstina samt hele resten af Mellemøsten og Arabien – og derfor ville unde jøderne det lidt, de fik: ca. én procent af Mellemøsten.

Churchill og Abdullah deler Palæstina
Hvad “Palæstina” angik gav Churchill/Abdullah-aftalen altså hele Transjordan til araberne, mens jøderne fik ret til at bo hvor som helst vest for Jordanfloden i ”jødisk Palæstina”, også kaldet Cisjordan. Denne ret blev nedfældet i mandatområdets Covenant (Grundlov, højtidelig aftale) og vedtaget af Folkeforbundet den 24. juli 1922. Medunderskriverne var samtlige medlemmer af Folkeforbundet (dengang bestående af 51 lande) og Covenant trådte i kraft den 29. september året efter.

Der stod ikke noget i mandatbestemmelserne om, at jøderne ikke måtte bo i det område man i dag kalder Vestbredden, og eftersom denne ret var garanteret af Folkeforbundet – og senere bekræftet af FN – var det et udtryk for international ret. Men det var dengang.

Hvordan er områdets juridiske status i dag?  Har udviklingen ikke gjort disse aftaler forældede? Briterne opgav deres Palæstina-mandat i forbindelse med oprettelsen af staten Jordanien i 1946 og staten Israel den 14.maj 1948, og jøderne selv accepterede FN’s forslag i 1947 om at dele det resterende Palæstina op i to stater, en jødisk og arabisk, inkl. en økonomisk union mellem disse to stater.

Havde jøderne herved ikke givet afkald på deres ret til at bosætte sig hvor som helst på Vestbredden?

Svaret er nej. I princippet var der ikke noget i vejen for, at jøderne stadigvæk kunne bosætte sig hvor som helst vest for Jordanfloden, og Jordans ulovlige besættelse af Vestbredden i 1948 ville ikke nødvendigvis udelukke, at jordanerne ikke ville respektere denne ret. Men i praksis gjorde de det ikke. Tværtimod. Jordanerne smed alle jøder ud af Vestbredden og overtrådte derved bl.a. FN-pagtens artikel 80.

Den jordanske besættelse varede dog kun 19 år, for i forbindelse med seksdageskrigen i 1967 fordrev israelerne jordanerne fra Vestbredden. Samtidig blev egypterne fordrevet fra Gazastriben, som de også holdt besat i 19 år, så nu var lov og ret genetableret og International Court of Justice (ICJ) har bekræftet artikel 80′s gyldighed i tre forskellige andre tilfælde. Den nu afdøde juraprofessor Eugene Rostow har citeret tre eksempler, der alle kan ses på nettet:

Rådgivende udtalelse af 11. juli 1950 vedrørende tysk Sydvestafrika, idag staten Namibia.

Rådgivende udtalelse af 21. juni 1971 vedr. FN’s videreførelse af det opløsteFolkeforbunds forpligtelser, herunder forpligtelser angående overtagne mandatområder (FN¬pagtens artikel 80).

Rådgivende udtalelse af 9. juli 2004 vedr. Israels sikkerhedsbarriere på Vestbredden.

Professor Rostow påpegede, at hverken ICJ eller FN’s generalforsamling kan ændre den ret, jøderne fik til at bosætte sig overalt vest for Jordanfloden, som Folkeforbundets Palæstina-mandat havde givet dem ret til, og som bekræftedes af FN-pagtens artikel 80.

Denne ret er aldrig trukket tilbage. Den gælder stadig.

Derfor er FN’s påstand om, at de israelske bosættelser er illegale selv i strid med international ret, en ret som FN nu – under indflydelse af 56 islamiske stater og deres olieafhængige klientstater – fortolker yderst selektivt. Se blot på FN’s stiltiende anerkendelse af Kinas indlemmelse af Tibet, Tyrkiets besættelse af Nordcypern og Marokkos besættelse af Vestsahara.

Alt sammen hændelser FN sjældent taler højt om, men snarere accepterer som et fait accompli i håb om, at de bliver glemt og at problemet derved ville blive “løst”. Men for Israels vedkommende gælder åbenbart andre regler. Her puster FN sig op med en bølge af fordømmelser og indirekte sanktioner. Og karakteristisk nok overfor et af de få lande, hvis eksistens har et retligt grundlag.

Begrundelsen for at bosættelserne kaldes ”illegale”
Men FN har vel en begrundelse for at udpege de israelske bosættelser som roden til alt ondt? Ja, den består i en henvisning til Genèvekonventionen af 12. august 1949 – dog uden at forholde sig til, at denne konvention taler om besættelse af andre staters område i forbindelse med krigshandlinger.

Og eftersom Vestbredden ikke er en stat og aldrig har været det, er Vestbreddens og Gazastribens folkeretlige status stadig uafklaret, indtil der er indgået en fredsaftale mellem Israel og PLO. Eller en aftale mellem Israel og Jordan om disse områders fremtid, sådan som f.eks. israelske arbejderparti Mapai forslog i 1970′erne.

Ifølge Mapais formand – Israels daværende premierminister Yitzhak Rabin – er der ingen saglige og folkeretlige grunde til at have to palæstinensiske stater i området! Men Rabins fredsaftale blev forkastet. Så hvad nu? Måske vil der aldrig komme en løsning – udover en stiltiende accept af status quo, eftersom også fredsplanen fra 2003 (Road Map to Peace) synes at have lidt skibbrud, primært på grund af PLO’s stædige fastholdelse af gamle, ultimative krav angående bl.a. grænser, flygtninge og spørgsmålet om Østjerusalems status. Hvortil kommer den mangeårige magtkamp mellem de to største palæstinensiske organisationer al-Fatah og Hamas, som har forhindret dannelsen af en stabil og repræsentativ regering under selvstyret.

Det er der fortsat ikke udsigt til, og det er selvfølgelig heller ikke holdbart, at selvstyrets overlevelse er stærkt afhængig af økonomisk støtte fra bl.a. EU og USA. Derfor burde bl.a. udenrigsminister Kristian Jensen undersøge alternativer til fredsplanen fra 2003, f.eks. den nævnte Rabin/Mapai-plan.

Indtil da kan de israelske bosættelser på Vestbredden ikke anses for ulovlige efter folkeretten, hvis de i øvrigt ikke er i strid med de foreløbige aftaler, der er indgået mellem Israel og PLO som opfølgning på Oslo-aftalen fra september 1993 – og hvis arabiske grundejere på Vestbredden får sædvanlig kompensation (efter israelsk lovgivning), hvis deres ejendomme eksproprieres af Israel af f.eks. sikkerhedsgrunde.

Så bolden ligger på arabernes banehalvdel. Tiden vil vise, hvordan de spiller den tilbage. Med vold – eller med dialog og vilje til kompromis. Vi må håbe på det sidste.

Kilde: Dem Korte Avis

Categories: Uncategorized

Kvinden tager et billede af sin mand og 1-årige søn, mens de tager et brusebad. Sandheden bag billedet får hele nettet til at koge over.

22 August, 2016 Leave a comment

Vi mennesker kan være meget hurtige til at dømme hinanden, ofte på forhånd og uden at kende hele historien bag. Selvom det måske ikke er muligt at “vaske” denne adfærd væk, så syntes jeg, at vi skal gøre alt der står i vores magt og forsøge at ændre denne adfærd. Jeg håber, at denne historie fra det virkelige liv kan bidrage til, at vi tænker os om, før vi vælger at dømme andre mennesker. Måske kan vi ved at dele denne histories budskab i fremtiden stoppe nogen med at komme med grimme, forudindtagede kommentarer, uden at de har fået en fuld forståelse af situationen. Det hele startede for at par uger siden, da fotografen Heather Whitten lagde et billede på Facebook af hendes og 1-årige gamle søn og sin mand, Thomas. Faren og sønnen sidder på billedet nøgne sammen i brusebadet, hvilket vagte stor vrede hos mange.

Billedet blev mødt med hadefulde kommentarer, og blev efter et stykke tid fjernet fra Facebook. Der var ingen der interesserede sig for den historie, der lå bag billedet, og derfor valgte Heather i et følelsesmæssigt brev at fortælle, hvorfor hun i første omgang valgte at lægge billedet op på Facebook.

heather1
Heather Whitten Photography


“Da jeg sad i brusebadet sammen med dem, blev jeg overvældet af scenen foran mig. Denne mand. Denne mand, partner og far. Han var så tålmodig, kærlig og stærk med vores lille søn i hans skøn. Han hviskede trøstende til Fox, at han nok skulle få det godt igen, og at Thomas skulle tage sig af ham”
, skriver Heather Whitten på Facebook og fortsætter:
“Jeg blev forbløffet over, hvor mange mennesker der gik glip af den bagvedliggende historie, og som ikke kunne se forbi nøgenheden på billedet for at finde historien. De fokuserede kun på, at de begge var nøgne, i brusebadet. Jeg havde overskredet en grænse. Det var for intimt. Det skulle ikke have været delt i offentligheden.

Men jeg er uenig. Det kan godt være, at du ikke deler billeder af din familie, som jeg gør. Men det giver dig ikke retten til at lukke munden på mig. At fratage mig retten til ucensureret at dele vores erfaringer. Der er hverken noget seksuelt eller udnyttende ved dette billede. Det viser ikke engang “private dele””.

I skrivende stund er Heathers indlæg blevet delt 35.000 gange, og 150.000 har syntes godt om det.

Article Link
Categories: Uncategorized

WHALE HUNTING IN THE FAROE ISLANDS HAS RECEIVED A BAD REPUTATION. BUT HERE’S WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS GETTING WRONG.

1 August, 2016 Leave a comment

WHALING IS CURRENTLY AN ISSUE OF HOT INTERNATIONAL DEBATE, and the whale hunts in the Faroe Islands are at the center of the controversy. (The Faroe Islands are a small archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway).

The Faroese hunt pilot whales in a tradition known as the Grindadrap, (a.k.a the Grind); a non commercial whale hunt which occurs annually to provide a source of local food. However the international attention the nation has received has largely misrepresented the Faroese way of life, and many arguments made by protestors are often both incorrect and misleading.

Whale hunting in the Faroe Islands has received a bad reputation. But here’s what social media is getting wrong:

1. The Faore Islands are Danish and thus must abide by European Union laws.

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing country within the Danish Realm. They act independently of Denmark in all areas of self government, which includes the conservation and management of fish and whale stocks.

It is important to understand that an essential feature of the Faroese foreign policy is the fact that they chose to remain outside the European Union when Denmark chose to enter as a member state. So while Denmark is a member of the EU where whale hunting for commercial purposes has been prohibited through international treaties, the Faroe Islands are not.

The only thing that Denmark does in the Faroe Islands is to protect the island’s rights. The Faroese do not have a military force, so therefore the police are Danish. When people say the Danish military has become involved with the grind, the police have asked them for help. They are patrolling the sea area of the Faroe Islands protecting Danish Authority over Danish ground.

2. Whaling in the Faroe Islands is illegal.

Whaling in the Faroe Islands continues because it is legal. Whether or not you believe that it should be, these hunts are not against the law. There’s no room for opinion to try and claim otherwise even though many on social media do.

The grind is a non-commercial practice. The meat is not exported, but kept for the local community and distributed as free food (similar to whaling in Greenland or Alaska where the meat and blubber is harvested for their own consumption). Since there is no international trading, the islands are not in violation of international law.

As mentioned above, despite ties to Denmark, the islands do not form part of the European Union, and are therefore not party to international treaties which outlaw whaling.

3. The pilot whale hunted in the Faroe Islands is an endangered species.

Pilot whales are not an endangered species. They are not listed on the WWF endangered species list nor are they listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

With an average of around 1,000 animals killed each year in the Faroe Islands, the practice is internationally considered sustainable. This represents less than 1% of the total estimated pilot whale stock.

4. The hunts are not humane.

Animal welfare is taken very seriously in the Faroe Islands. Legislation requires that all animals slaughtered for meat are killed as quickly and humanely as possible, and this law is strictly enforced. Claims that whales are bludgeoned and hacked to death are completely incorrect.

Whales are killed with a spinal lance called the grindaknivur. This is used to sever the spinal cord and cut off blood supply to the brain, resulting in a loss of consciousness and death within seconds. Only approved weapons and techniques are used, and these are constantly reviewed and developed to keep up with technological and academic advances.

The hunts are opportunistic — they only occur when whales are sighted by chance, and close enough to land to drive into the shores of shallow bays and beach. There is no disputing that they are killed in the sea, though the blood loss in the bays makes for a very dramatic sight. Images of this scene are captured and circulated online to provoke strong reactions, especially from those who have never witnessed the slaughter of animals from which the meat they consume derives.

No animal killed on the Faroe Islands is ever kept in an enclosure. Pilot whales are free right up until the point at which they are killed; the ultimate definition of free range and organic. They are never interfered with until the hunt.

5. The hunts are a cultural ritual.

The hunts are a tradition, not a ritual. And this is an important distinction. A tradition is a cultural element passed through generations. The Faroese have been hunting pilot whale for the past 1,200 years as a means of providing the local community with food.

A ritual, on the other hand, is a procedure or collection of processes relating to a rite or ceremony. And there is no ceremony or rite attached to the hunts. False statements on social media include that young people kill as a rite of passage into adulthood, that whales are hunted for fun, and that the this is a ritual blood sport. But this is completely incorrect.

The sole purpose of hunting pilot whales in the Faroe Islands has always been to provide the local community with food. And this will always continue to be.

6. Eating Pilot Whale is no longer necessary — there is plenty of food.

This one is open for argument. The mountainous islands and harsh conditions of the Faroes are largely unfit for agriculture, and as such, the islanders have historically depended on fishing, livestock…and whales. Severely isolated from the rest of the world, it was once vital that the Faroese were able to provide their own food, and pilot whales were instrumental to survival.

Though this no longer the case, it is important to note that whale meat does still represent about a quarter of the meat consumption in the Faroes, and as such remains economically significant. If the Faroese were to stop hunting whales, they would need to catch a lot more fish or kill other animals within their environment as replacement.

In an article focused on setting the record straight, Maria Jacobsen says “if the argument is specifically against the use of pilot whales as meat over the use of other animals as meat, then the argument seems redundant in itself. The use of pilot whales for meat allows for free range, organic and sustainable food production that is humanely and ethically sourced, heavily monitored and regulated, and locally produced, eliminating environmental transportation costs. When this meat source is compared with the industrial farming practices of large-scale meat producers that would likely replace it, the environmental and ethical issues are hugely overshadowed.”

7. The best way to protest is through provocative anti-whaling campaigns.

The problem with provocative anti-whaling campaigns such as those mounted by the Sea Shepherd is that they are unfair in their approach, and highly counterproductive. Hate speech plagues social media, propaganda quickly spreads, and myth and misinformation is intentionally circulated online. Though this only strengthens the desire of Faroese nationalists to hold onto their cultural heritage, and the result is more polarization on the issue.

Activists insist that whalers are morally wrong to slaughter pilot whales, though whalers stand firm in that they refuse to be bullied by outsiders trying to impose their own world view.

The willingness of activists in the Faroe Islands to break the law by interfering with the hunts has resulted in imprisonment, deportation, and the discussion of a ban of members of the Sea Shepherd organization. And this is a shame, as these stories overshadow and frustrate the efforts of peaceful organizations who are protesting on the islands with valid points and respectful methods.

Those who become swept up in a war of words and desire to attack the character of the Faroese as a society have lost sight of their cause and forgotten about the whales they should be fighting to save. Name calling has never saved a whale. The only way to make a positive impact through protesting in this scenario is a willingness to engage in reasoned, diplomatic discourse. 

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Categories: Grind, Uncategorized

How studying science led this atheist to God

24 May, 2016 Leave a comment
May 2016

Douglas Ell was shocked to discover overwhelming evidence for God in an unlikely place

Plenty of people enjoy treating God like a joke. One of them was Douglas Ell. Sure, Ell had grown up in a church, but as he matured, he shed his faith. By the time he was a teenager, he was comfortable labelling himself an atheist – and was courteous enough to mail his pastor to tell him so. The minister sent Ell a book to read, but Ell was beyond doing any additional homework on God: he had far too much homework ahead of him on the topic of science.

Ell grew up a self-described nerdy kid, writing out long numbers for entertainment and devouring books on complex, intellectual topics. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he achieved undergraduate degrees in maths and chemistry, then trotted down to the University of Maryland to obtain an MA in theoretical mathematics.

Despite his great talent for such subjects in an abstract field, the jobs were much like the numbers: theoretical.

Ell obtained work for a few years as a computer programmer before figured out what he really wanted to do for a job, and went to law school, graduating with honours.

Ell’s rise in the legal field was rapid and prominent. He became a sought-after attorney to nationally recognised corporations, unions and pension plans. He litigated before Congress for the rights of employee benefit laws. If God ever figured in his thinking, the idea was dimissed with disdain.

The turning point

But there was a small inconvenience for Ell’s atheism: his newborn son. After having a child, the decision was made that the family should go to church. And so, despite his disbelief, Ell and his wife attended a local congregation for the sake of their son.

Ell decided to treat the church like a social club. This was, after all, simply a community of friendly and supportive families meant to create a nourishing environment for his child’s development. No sense letting the little matter of supernatural belief get in the way of cordiality.

However, Ell was confounded by the easy inner peace that the Christians around him seemed to have. It wasn’t something he seemed to have access to, and it wasn’t something he could easily explain away either.

As time went by, Ell’s career led to further travel, and he fell back into his boyhood pattern of reading up on the sciences during lengthy trips. However, this time he added the topic he had specifically ignored in his youth: religion.

He initially expected science and Christianity to be like oil and water: strictly refusing to cohere. But Ell was surprised to find the opposite. After much reading on the topic between airport terminals and crowded train compartments, Ell found that Christianity drew the sciences together for him in seven distinct ways:

  • Evidence for the beginning of the universe
  • The apparent ‘fine tuning’ of the universe
  • The specified complexity of life, and the lack of any reasonable explanation for its origin
  • The futuristic ‘technological’ nature of life
  • Evidence against unguided Neo-Darwinian evolution
  • The unique and special nature of Earth
  • The universal language of Mathematics

Ell’s training in law had educated him in how to construct cogent and considerate arguments, and the more he considered it, the more science pointed towards God’s existence and the truth of Christianity. Finally, Ell accepted that Christianity must be true, and joined the community of the church he attended in earnest.

Proving God

More than just joining them, however, Ell was excited to share how the existence of God – and truth of the Christian worldview – had brought together the sciences for him. Ell began speaking at his church and others about his developing arguments for the truth of Christianity, based on science and maths. As his message caught on, Ell sat down to work properly on his arguments. The conclusions he came to were astounding.

Using his advanced knowledge of mathematical analysis, combined with the latest science, Ell came up with probability calculations which were incredible: practical proof, he concluded, of a designed and ordered universe. Sitting with his friend Peter Fisher one evening, Ell told him, ‘You know, someone should write a book about this, because I’m finding modern science strongly supports belief in God.’ Fisher, who is now head of the physics department at MIT, responded, ‘Maybe that someone could be you.’

Thus inspired, Ell poured out his findings into his book, Counting to God, which takes the more theoretical elements and breaks them down to an understandable level, by which Ell hoped to convey the beauty he saw in science and maths to the eyes of the reader.

Ell now travels across America speaking on his seven-point theory of God and the sciences; and giving lectures on probability theory and how it points to God. To Ell, God was no longer disdained as a delusion but became the very centre to which the universe and his own life pointed.

This blog was originally published on examiner.com by Joel Furches  

Click here to request a free copy of Premier Christianity magazine

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The Man Who Refused To Launch Nuclear Missiles During The Cuban Missile Crisis – Saving The World!

10 May, 2016 Leave a comment

Oct 29, 2015

Kennedy and Kruschev bring the world close to nuclear war over Cuba.

The fact that you can read this is because of a man who said “no” due to an accident. In doing so, he literally saved the world. And his reward? To be insulted.

On 15 October 1962, President Kennedy went ballistic at the discovery that the Soviets were trying to balance out NATO by building a nuclear missile site in Cuba. The Cuban Missile Crisis began the next day, ending 13 days later to a collective sigh of relief. Everyone believed that nuclear annihilation had been averted through diplomatic means.

But it’s actually Deputy Commander Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov we have to thank.

Captain Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky
Captain Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky

It all started on 4 July 1961. Arkhipov was aboard a new Hotel-class ballistic missile submarine K-19, when its radiant cooling system developed a leak. To prevent a nuclear catastrophe, the captain ordered the crew to contain the reactor.

A Soviet Hotel II class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine
A Soviet Hotel II class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine

Eight sailors died within days from radiation sickness, causing a near mutiny, but Arkhipov backed his captain and the disaster was contained. For his loyalty, bravery, and calm, he was given a medal.

Fast forward to 1 October 1962. Four Foxtrot submarines armed with nuclear missiles are ordered to leave their Arctic base and head to Cuba. Each has its own captain, but all submit to the authority of their flotilla commander, Arkhipov.

He’s on the flagship B-59 acting as its second-in-command to Captain Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky. Trailing him are a B-4, a B-36, and a B-130. All are diesel-powered because of the K-19 disaster. While fine in the Arctic, they become saunas in the tropical waters of the Caribbean which they reach on October 14, the day Tropical Storm Ella hits.

The next day, Moscow orders them to leave Cuban waters and head east to the Sargasso Sea. That same day, Kennedy announces the quarantine of Cuba and raises the country’s defense readiness condition (DEFCON) from 4 to 3 (in readiness for war), a first in its history.

Since no more messages arrive from Moscow, the submarine fleet relies on American radio broadcasts for information. They hear about an US invasion of Cuba, the launch of US warships and planes, and the possibility of Soviet submarines in the area.

By October 24, America is on DEFCON 2 – the final step before nuclear war. Arkhipov and his men are also feeling the heat as the air-conditioning fails and temperatures rise to 65°F. In the diesel section, it’s over 70°. Since average temperatures in the Sargasso Sea are in the 80s, it would only get worse.

Not able to stock up in Cuba, the men are on water rations limited to one glass per man a day. The coolest part of their submarine is in the front and rear, so each man is allotted some time in those sections to keep from fainting.

The USS Navy Destroyer Cony in 1957 at Hampton Roads, Virginia
The USS Navy Destroyer Cony in 1957 at Hampton Roads, Virginia

Though in international waters, the fleet stays hidden just below the surface to charge their batteries. But their luck runs out on October 27 when they’re finally spotted.

The fleet dives, hoping to hide from sonar by using the ocean’s isothermal layers – different underwater temperature layers which confuse detection. But the weather has settled down and unfortunately for the submarines, the isothermal layers are gone. Even more unfortunate, Vasili’s B-59 hasn’t fully charged its batteries.

Between 4 and 5 PM, the USS Cony finds them. More US planes and ships make their way to the area, but are under strict orders not to attack.

To ease tensions, Kennedy calls Kruschev and tells him about the discovery. He assures the Soviet Premier that the US military will only force the fleet to the surface and will not engage them. He falsely assumes that Moscow has been in regular contact with them.

President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy

Ships begin bombarding the submarines with sonar. It’s like bashing a metal barrel with a sledgehammer while someone’s in it. Vasili and his men now have more to worry about than the increasing heat, the smell of diesel, the acrid stench of battery oil, and their dwindling water supplies.

And still no word from Moscow.

Getting impatient, the US Navy begins dumping practice grenades into the water, hoping that this more persuasive approach will work. They’re expecting a flare being fired from the Soviet submarine, because that’s what American subs do to signal an enemy of their desire to surface.

According to Soviet protocol, however, they must drop three charges and wait for a response to prove they’re willing to accept a peaceful surrender. And since the US Navy is dropping far more than that and without pause, Savitsky believes that outright war has begun.

By now, temperatures in the sub exceed 120° and the batteries are about to go out. If they don’t act soon, they’ll suffocate.

On the right is Arkhipov with his wife, Olga, in 1957. The picture on the right was taken in 1998 with his daughter, Yelena
On the right is Arkhipov with his wife, Olga, in 1957. The picture on the right was taken in 1998 with his daughter, Yelena

What neither Kennedy nor his military advisers realize is that each of the submarine captains have the authority to unleash their nuclear arsenal – but only if their political officer and the fleet commander agrees. Savitsky gives the order to fire the missiles. His political officer, Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, agrees. Arkhipov does not, ordering them to wait for instructions from Moscow.

But Moscow remains silent.

Arkhipov and Savitsky get into an argument. Arkhipov considers the possibility that the Americans only want them to surface. Savitsky is convinced that war has begun and that Russia’s honor depends on him firing back.

But Arkhipov is still haunted by the deaths aboard the K-19. He saw first-hand the horrors that nuclear radiation can unleash. And he has a family back in Russia.

He stands his ground, Savitsky eventually backs off, and they contact the Americans who give them permission to surface.

Vasili's B-59 surfacing upon his surrender
Vasili’s B-59 surfacing upon his surrender

No Americans board the submarine. The Soviets are allowed to get a breath of fresh air, then ordered back in to head home. Once there, one of Arkhipov’s superiors tells him that it would have been better had he died.

In the 13 October 2002 edition of the Boston Globe, Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, was quoted as saying that some “guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world.”

And that’s why you’re able to read this.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ingen visste at han reddet 669 barn fra Holocaust. Men her får han sitt livs vakreste overraskelse.

Sir Nicholas Winton organiserte mellom 1938 og 1939 en redningsoperasjon som reddet livene til totalt 669 jødiske barn fra Tsjekkoslovakia, som opprinnelig skulle bli sendt til konsentrasjonsleire. Takket være Nicholas ble barna smuglet ut fra nazistenes hender, og brakt i trygghet i Storbritannia.

Etter at krigen var over, gikk denne heltedåden i glemmeboken. Det var helt til Nicholas kone, Grete, fant en notisbok i 1988 som inneholdt navnene og adressene på alle barna. Takket være denne klarte hun å komme i kontakt med 80 av disse barna.

I dette klippet møter vi Nicholas i “That’s Life”, et TV-program sendt på BBC senere samme år. Med hovedpersonen selv som tilskuer i salen, ble notisboken hans presentert og historien om redningsaksjonen gjort kjent.

Forbered deg på å se Nicholas oppleve det som garantert må være et av hans mest overraskende og rørende øyeblikk noensinne. Jeg sitter fortsatt med frysninger nedover ryggen.

Nicholas ble senere adlet av dronning Elizabeth II for sin innsats for de jødiske barna. Han døde 1. juli 2015 – 106 år gammel.

Personer som Sir Nicholas Winton fortjener all den anerkjennelse de kan få. Slikt heltemot ser man sjeldent maken til i dag. Del gjerne videre om du er enig.

viralomania.com
Categories: Uncategorized
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