Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Musings: Controlled Opposition

Now that statewide media (except The Garden Island) are picking up a story I broke Saturday on the creation of a Kauai pesticide/GMO study group, it's already becoming clear that facts aren't a core issue for some folks.

Take Ashley Lukens, head of the mainland-based Center for Food Safety office in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now reported her as saying:

I only think the joint fact finding process makes sense if it's a part of a much larger process that includes modest regulations for pesticide use.

In other words, it doesn't matter what the facts actually are in terms of pesticide drift and exposure, she and her pals — including Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser — already have their minds made up that more regulations are needed.

But curiously, only modest ones, and only to be imposed on the seed companies, not other pesticide users. They're laying out certain outcomes, even before the “meta question” is answered: Are people actually being harmed from pesticides being sprayed by GMO companies? And if they are, shouldn't there be more than “modest” regulations imposed?

Fortunately, however, the panel is going to look beyond just agriculture, to pesticide use in termite treatment, golf courses and other uses.

Ashley told reporter Keoki Kerr that her group wants buffer zones around schools — which the Kauai seed companies already have created voluntarily — and that a year is too long to wait for the panel's results. Well then gee, maybe you should've started with the studies, Ashley, instead of going straight for the legislation, which is falling like dominoes.

Unless, of course, that was the goal all along.

Meanwhile, some folks are trying to discredit federal Judge Barry Kurren, who is ruling on the GMO litigation because back in 2011 his wife was a trustee of The Nature Conservancy, which received contributions from DOW and Monsanto, along with many other groups and individuals. Many of them are also donors to the Center for Food Safety, including Goldman Sachs and oil heiress Anne Getty Earhart, who has a house on Kauai.

The anti-GMO groups tend to use two strategies: spread false information while resisting efforts to obtain the facts; and claiming that anyone who disagrees with them is a paid shill for biotech

But it's OK for them to be paid shills, like Ashley Lukens. Or her boss, Andrew Kimbrell, who made nearly $279,000 in 2012. Yet they'll keep asking you for more dough, ostensibly to fight the bad guys.

Still, they keep losing — because they're “controlled opposition.” A comment was left on a previous post that underscores what I've been saying for over a year now about how the whole BS anti-GMO movement played out in Hawaii:

there can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement.

There never was any big swell of resistance in Hawaii. The election results proved that. It was all made-up, manufactured, to pass crappy bills and achieve a result that never would have been obtained in the Legislature: statewide pre-emption.

In other words, ya'll been snookered — especially those of you who gave your money and votes to Gary Hooser, who is a major player in this charade.

Which brings me back to the inaugural County Council meeting, where members were immediately forced to pick sides over both the Council chair and its rules. A friend said he left the meeting feeling disgusted with both sides, characterizing it as “a reality TV show with artificial drama for the benefit of the audience.”

I don't think any of us want to return to the days when Kaipo Asing ruled the Council with an iron fist, stifling dissent and preventing bills from getting on the agenda. But it was bad form for Gary to start the session by accusing Chair Mel Rapozo of planned totalitarianism. Instead he should've waited until he actually couldn't get a bill introduced, and then gone public. Now that Mel is on the record as saying he won't squelch legal bills, there shouldn't be a problem.

Hopefully the Council will find ways to mend fences — Arryl Kaneshiro and Mason Chock were particularly diplomatic — and focus on true county business.

And finally, HECO just got purchased by a huge mainland outfit known as NextEra, which owns Florida Power and Light. Which should you make you glad that Kauai has its own little cooperative.

Meanwhile, oil and gas prices keep falling, which is great when you're filling up your tank or paying your KIUC electric bill.

But how is that going to encourage people to conserve, convert from fossil fuels, in order to address climate change?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joan.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of the silent majority woke up and voted this past election.

Anonymous said...

The Center for Food Safety and the KKK have much in common. They both actively hate, spread lies and seek to destroy with no good reason other than their own hate.

Ed Coll said...

Joan said - "Still, they keep losing — because they're “controlled opposition. A comment was left on a previous post that underscores what I've been saying for over a year now about how the whole BS anti-GMO movement played out in Hawaii:"

commenter said- "there can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement." and Joan said "In other words, ya'll been snookered"

So is the reader to understand that the "controlled opposition" are the "snookered" duped into working on behalf of "corporate interests"? Are we watching a corporate funded pro wrestling performance funded by corporations using snookered citizens to obtain statewide pre emption? Sounds like the classic long con where the snookered are the marks and con artists are the corporations, but there may also be other shills posing as marks that also work for these corporate deceivers in this steaming pile of conspiracy.

Joan Conrow said...

The "snookered" are those who did not realize the opposition was controlled.

Ed Coll said...

Joaan said "The "snookered" are those who did not realize the opposition was controlled."

When you say "the opposition was controlled" do you mean controlled by the corporations? Was the opposition itself snookered by the corporations?


Joan Conrow said...

Yes, I mean that many nonprofit advocacy/opposition groups are controlled by corporations. I think some individuals in the Hawaii anti-GMO opposition may have been snookered, while groups like Center for Food Safety know exactly what's going on and willingly play their part because that's how their bread is buttered.

Ed Coll said...

Are there any legitimate advocacy/opposition groups not controlled by corporations or are the corporations buttering everybody's bread?

Joan Conrow said...

There are few absolutes in this world, so no doubt there are some that are not controlled by corporate money.

Ed Coll said...

Sounds like you are describing a corporatocracy in which all resistance is futile and the best we can hope for is voluntary compliance and corporate good will, but since they are funding their own opposition as a ruse to negate effective opposition how can one trust their good will or their voluntary compliance?

Joan Conrow said...

One can't trust corporations, only individuals who have proven themselves trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

With oil and gas prices falling, its looks like not so great time for KIUC to have signed all these Solar Farms up based on the then peak price of oil.

Anonymous said...

C'mon. You think Monsanto and Co are funding CFS to gain preemption? It already existed. All Judge Kurren did was tell everyone what was there. He doesn't make the law. He interprets it. That's an enormous leap and the mother of all conspiracy theories. Frankly, Joan, I think you're off base on this one. No one, not even a corporation wants to flush millions down the drain. Better produce some evidence for that assertion lest you become like the ones you're criticizing. That would be an awful shame because I love your blog so much.

Anonymous said...

More duck and cover by Ed Coll!!
He puts out statements that start out being against the anti-GMO movement, then clouds it with ambiguity so as to build deniability among his anti-GMO pals. Keep up up the hilarious work Ed!

Pete Antonson

Joan Conrow said...

No, I don't think Monsanto & Co. is funding CFS. It gets its money from big oil. Yes. pre-emption already existed. All that was needed was an interpretation, which you get by presenting flawed laws, which was done. And all the money that's given to these groups by corps and the 1%, or spent in litigation and on advertising, isn't "wasted." It's a tax write off.

Anonymous said...

I think they largely get their $ from the heirs and heiresses of wealthy industrialists- that made their fortunes in capitalism. Now they use these fortunes to rail against the very system that made them millions-or billions, often without having to do any real work of their own. Members of the lucky sperm club.

Imbedded in this self-loathing is a form of schizophrenia. When this mental illness is imposed on our society via their donations, we are all sickened by it. That is what we are witnessing now, with flawed legislation, puppet-like activist legislators proposing laws so extreme they are unwittingly punting responsible decision-making to the judiciary.

Introducing and passing illegal laws so extreme erodes the role of legislators themselves. Sad, costly and counterproductive. It will continue until we get a better crop of legislators. I think the changeover has begun, but more work to do.

Anonymous said...

It's not a conspiracy it's the way of the world: war by proxy.

Anonymous said...

Not on Maui.

Ed Coll said...

Joan said, "One can't trust corporations, only individuals who have proven themselves trustworthy."

True enough Joan, however trustworthiness does not provide immunization against being snookered or duped. Many true believers, regardless of the belief, cannot stand the cognitive dissonance of ambiguity and thus become easy marks for propaganda that reinforces their worldview.

Jan T said...

With regards to the comment of Anonymous at 7:38 p.m., KIUC's solar farms are not priced to the cost of oil-fired power. Power from KIUC's Koloa solar array continues to produce electricity for KIUC members at far, far less than the cost of fossil fuel power.

Anonymous said...

It is nothing new for the opposition of anything to fund an organization against whatever is the issue of the times.It keeps people thinking there is an effective group doing something. In modern times, you are often asked to sign a petition or somehing that makes you feel like you participated.

Anonymous said...

There are stupid pseudo intellectuals among us who believe that trying to be on both sides at the same time constitutes the serene "middle ground." In actuality, the middle is populated by those who are on neither side!
I'm not sure Ed Coll has enough time left to figure this out!

Pete Antonson

Anonymous said...

This from National Geographic

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141106-gmo-food-labels-laws-election-colorado-oregon-ngfood/

"A GOP-led Congress could add momentum to the incongruously named Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The food industry-authored bill would institute voluntary GMO labeling nationwide and would preclude states from adopting their own mandatory labeling laws."

https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4432