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Sorry, but Elvis was a JERK.

From National Archives, Nixon White House (1970) memorandum:

"Presley indicated that he thought The Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit. He said that The Beatles came to this country, made their money, and then returned to England where they promoted an anti-American theme. The President nodded in agreement and expressed some surprise."

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I had a big long diatribe to spew about the 'Up and Coming' final US leg, but never mind.... I will add: I wouldn't have done SNL; congrats on the Kennedy Centre (after rightfully snubbing Bush for years, which nobody believed me back then when I said you wouldn't go as long as he was president); and I concur that Australia/New Zealand and YVR should go to the head of the list. . .

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Love to see Paul buy Sea Shepherd another vessel (the Linda McCartney?) for the fleet.

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in case you wondered what one looks like:

Trigger-happy Ohio....

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From Captain Paul Watson:

The United Kingdom threw every bureaucratic roadblock they had to prevent the Steve Irwin from returning to the Southern Ocean. The MCA ran us through the rule books on safety, pollution, manning, insurance, and inspected every little nook and cranny of the ship looking for a way to detain us from departing. I think they were disappointed when we passed every hurdle, obstacle and roadblock they put in our way. The Steve Irwin is now enroute to Australia and then onto the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. We have a great crew and a sound ship and as Captain John Paul Jones once said, "Give me a fair ship so that I may sail her into harms way."

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Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Brigitte Bardot realesed an open letter to the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, demanding that Japan stop whaling in Antarctica and affirming her full support to her friend, Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd.

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Update From Captain Paul Watson/26 Oct.:

The Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot are at sea. The Steve Irwin is in the North Atlantic and the Brigitte Bardot is in the Indian Ocean. The Cove Guardians are in Taiji, Japan and the Bob Barker is in Sydney, Australia.

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Via Captain Paul Watson

It amazes me that Japan, an economic superpower with a population of more than a hundred million people is treating the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society like we are a nation they are at war with. The Japanese Prime Minister has allocated the equivalent of $27 million (Aust) dollars for the purpose of stopping Sea Shepherd from obstructing their illegal whaling operations because according to the Prime Minister, "Japan will not surrender to Sea Shepherd." Operation Divine Wind will be an extremely challenging campaign BUT Sea Shepherd will not be deterred by this display of power. The Japanese whaling fleet is desperate, they are bankrupt, and we will defeat them and drive them out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary as long as we do not back down. I have a passionate and courageous crew, and the ships to take them into harm's way to defend the whales, and we will do so aggressively and directly no matter how strong the opposition is, no matter how dangerous the situation, because this insanity, the horrific mass murder of these wonderfully intelligent, socially complex, magnificent, sentient beings must be ended, for they are worth every risk we take, every death threat we receive, every condemnation posted against, every bureaucratic harassment we endure, and every sacrifice we must make. The winds of compassion are beginning to blow and we intend to smash the Japanese whaling fleet on the rocks of world opinion.

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November 9, 2011
Amazing Disgrace
HOW JAPAN HAS USED TSUNAMI AND EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUNDS TO SUBSIDIZE ILLEGAL WHALING

COMMENTARY BY CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON

After the horrific tragedy of March 11th, hundreds of thousands of Japanese people had their lives permanently altered by the triple blow of the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear horror of Fukushima.

People from around the world responded generously and millions of dollars poured into Japan to help the many families who lost their children, parents, homes, and worldly possessions.

The world responded and demonstrated that they cared; yet seven months later, thousands of Japanese families remain homeless as a devastated infrastructure continues to be slowly rebuilt.

When people the world over sent their donations to Japan, it was with the innocent understanding that their contributions would be used by the Japanese government for the purpose of actually helping the Japanese victims of the disasters.

What they did not anticipate or imagine is that some of these funds would be used to subsidize the illegal slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. But that is what the Japanese Fisheries Agency has done with a large amount of the relief funds. It is a complete disgrace and the Japanese government is displaying blatant contempt in response to the world?s generosity by this shameful behavior.

On October 21st, 2011, the Japanese cabinet agreed to set aside 2.28 billion yen (over $29 million USD) in tax revenue to help those in the worst affected regions. Since then, it has been discovered that the Japanese Fisheries Agency submitted a request entitled ?measures to stabilize the scientific whaling research programme? that actually requested and received this full amount for security to defend the so-called Japanese scientific whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.

The justification is that some of the whalers working on the Antarctic whaling fleet?s vessels were from communities damaged by the earthquake and tsunami.

This request comes at a time when the whaling program in Japan is suffering from debts of over $60 million USD. What this actually means is that donations from around the world sent by well-meaning generous people to help victims of the earthquake will now be used to attempt to stop Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from defending whales in the Southern Ocean.

Japan has actually allocated nearly $30 million USD specifically to oppose Sea Shepherd?s efforts to defend the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

It is ludicrous that this wealthy economic superpower is treating Sea Shepherd like an actual nation that they are at war with. The Prime Minister of Japan has actually stated that Japan will not surrender to Sea Shepherd.

It appears that this will be a very different and more challenging campaign this season.

Despite this incredible war chest of rechanneled relief funds, the international crew of volunteers on our three Sea Shepherd ships will continue to defend whales against overwhelming odds.

Japan has political power, tens of millions of dollars, faster and larger ships, and four whalers for every whale defender, but we have something they do not ? a passionate and courageous crew of international volunteers, willing to risk our lives to defend the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Operation Divine Wind, our eighth campaign to defend whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, will begin in early December.

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