A few things have jumped out at me lately, like the letter to the editor from the president of the Kalihiwai Ridge Community Association, crying that a proposed amphitheater next to Banana Joe’s in Kilauea:
[I]s nothing more than an “entertainment and amusement” facility that should only be found in town or in a location that is zoned for this type of use.
Meanwhile, that “ag” subdivision is choke with expensive and illegal vacation rentals that “should only be found in town or in a location that is zoned for this type of use.”
Then there was the troubling article about the “chunky soup of plastic” now floating in the Atlantic — and coming soon to an ocean near you:
But the most nettlesome trash is nearly invisible: countless specks of plastic, often smaller than pencil erasers, suspended near the surface of the deep blue Atlantic.
"It's shocking to see it firsthand," [scientist Anna] Cummins said. "Nothing compares to being out there. We've managed to leave our footprint really everywhere."
“[P]plastics are devastating the environment across the world, said [Charles] Moore, whose Algalita Marine Research Foundation based in Long Beach, Calif., was among the sponsors for Cummins and Eriksen.
"Humanity's plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint," he said.
Now that's saying something.
And here's my favorite quote of the month, uttered by Dr.Gene-Jack Wang, M.D., the chair of the medical department at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, New York:
"We make our food very similar to cocaine now," he says.
The ingredients in purified modern food cause people to "eat unconsciously and unnecessarily," and will also prompt an animal to "eat like a drug abuser [uses drugs]," says Wang.
Which leads us to the news that Hawaii Food Bank, after leaving Kauai 16 years ago, now plans to come in — and set up a whole new food bank to compete with the Kauai Food Bank. Do we have so many hungry that we warrant two food banks?
I especially liked the report on how two more “top militants” were killed in a “devasting blow” to the heart of al-Qaeda. Except:
[T]here is uncertainty around the identity of the second militant, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. The Iraqi government has already claimed to have killed or captured him on previous occasions, and US officials have questioned whether he is even a real person or a fictionalized persona invented by Iraqi militants.
Don't ask too many questions. Just keep the money coming.
Then there were the comments by Noam Chomsky likening present-day U.S. to “late Weimar Germany:”
”The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.
The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”
To leave you on a high note, California is inching its way toward marijuana legalization:
The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, the first trade show in the United States to allow on-site pot smoking, attracted an estimated 15,000 enthusiasts to Daly City over the weekend.
Clearly, some things are more addictive and deadly than pot.