Continuing with yesterday's “con job” theme, I wanted to draw attention to Ian Lind's commentary on Civil Beat, where he skewers the “kingdom defense” being used by some of the anti-TMT protestors.
It caught my attention because I have a young friend who has been similarly conned into believing that Dayne Aipoalani and the Kingdom of Atooi can protect him from the recurring charges of driving without a Hawaii license or license plates that recently landed him in jail.
Ian cites State of Hawaii v. Harry Fergerstrom, in which the court ruled the state “has lawful jurisdiction over all persons operating motor vehicles on public roads or highways within the State of Hawai`i. Persons claiming to be citizens of the Kingdom of Hawai`i and not of the State of Hawai`i are not exempt from the laws of the State of Hawaii applicable to all persons (citizens and non-citizens) operating motor vehicles on public roads and highways within the State of Hawaii.”
Ian goes on to write:
[T]here have been 41 cases brought before Hawaii’s Intermediate Court of Appeals and six cases before the Hawaii Supreme Court over the last two decades in which the courts rejected the argument that the state lacks jurisdiction because the Kingdom still exists.
Asserting the jurisdiction of the Kingdom may make for lively political theater, but as a legal argument, it’s clearly a loser.
And there’s a hidden benefit here for attorneys who pursue this line of argument. When the legal argument fails in court, those enthralled by its “obvious” validity can blame the bias of the courts, the power of the occupiers, and a continuing non-native conspiracy for the outcome while keeping their beliefs, and the reputations of their attorneys, intact.
Meanwhile, Hector Valenzuela, a College of Tropical Ag professor, and The Hawaii Independent are perpetuating another con job, one in which they agree that poor Hector has been hectored by the University of Hawaii for his anti-biotech stance.
As proof, they reference an article written by Paul Koberstein — one of those paid by the Media Consortium to write anti-GMO articles in Hawaii — and printed in the misnamed Independent, whose publisher, Ikaika Hussey, is on the board of Gary Hooser's anti-GMO HAPA group.
Koberstein quotes Hector as saying:
I am not an anti-GMO person, and I have never served as a spokesman for any anti-GMO group.
Yeah, I guess it's just a coincidence that for years Hector has been a prominent presence at just about every anti-GMO rally, meeting and march in the state; never missed an opportunity to utter anti-GMO quotes to the media, and offered “expert” testimony against biotech to both the Hawaii County Council and as a witness for SHAKA's anti-GMO moratorium.
The real problem with Hector is he has a tendency to play fast and loose with the truth, which doesn't endear to him to colleagues who value objectivity and scientific credibility. As a recent article in Slate reported:
Hector Valenzuela, a University of Hawaii crop specialist who also testified as an expert, said the same thing [as anti-GMO activist Jeffrey Smith]: that scientists hadn’t “conducted a single study” to assess the safety of GE papaya. Neither man mentioned the Chinese papaya feeding study in rats—published two months before the theoretical paper Smith had cited—which had found none of the harms Smith alleged.
As for Japan’s approval of the papaya, Valenzuela advised the council to look at U.S. government cables released by WikiLeaks. He said the cables showed “the lengths that the State Department goes to twist arms behind the scenes.” This was a clear insinuation that U.S. officials had coerced Japan’s decision. Smith mentioned the cables, too. But the cables showed no conspiracy. Nearly 6,000 of the leaked cables had been sent from U.S. embassies and consulates in Japan. They covered the years 2005 to 2010, during which Japanese regulators had debated and approved the GE papaya. Food & Water Watch, an environmental group, had searched the cables for references to pressure or lobbying by U.S. officials on behalf of GMOs. The group’s report, issued in May 2013, cited no cables that indicated any such activity in Japan.
Sadly, some 60 faculty members have bought into Hector's claim that his academic freedoms are being violated. After reading Koberstein's obviously biased article, they penned a letter to UH administrators, condemning the "academic freedom violations." Let's hope they employ a bit more discernment and critical thinking in their own classrooms, research and publications. I mean, really, you guys. Serious con.
And finally, I recently linked to a Facebook post with a video clip of baby sloths being bathed in an animal sanctuary. But the adorable clip soon drew fire from a spate of no-nothing know-it-alls:
I read elsewhere that sloths do not need baths unless it is for medical reasons. Please confirm
I also heard that they should not be rubbed, it scares them...but idk for sure.
I lived in Panama a few years and I was told sloths have a natural oily skin and they stink to make them less prone to predator attacks since they can't defend themselves.
Which therefore suggests that they shouldn't be bathed "clean" right? This video makes sloths "pet-like" but instead National Geographic should be educating us on how they naturally live and survive. Stinky and oily and all!
When I saw the green solution she was putting them in I thought great she's gonna "re-stink" them! But she said a herbal mixture of tea and leaves?!? Wow was I wrong...I just shook my head!
I think they're wild animals and need to be left alone.
A sanctuary is fine to rehabilitate them but they should try to let them live as naturally as possible.
It wasn't "necessary" for them to bathe the sloths clean, surely their natural oils protect them from parasites in the wild.
Sloth's grow algae on their bodies that protect them in the wild by way of camouflage. These baths are making them more susceptible to predators.
Finally, someone from the sloth sanctuary weighed in:
Hi all, these sloths were bathed because they had a skin condition. It's generally not good for their natural pH balance unless it's absolutely necessary. Sloths do not smell. Or have any kind of odor to protect them against predators. The male Bradypus secret an oily substance from their patch only. This is musky smelling but certainly not bad in anyway. Hope this helps
I couldn't resist adding my own two cents:
This comment thread is a great example of how people make assumptions and pass judgment w/o knowing anything about what they've just seen! And next thing you know they're all fired up about Natl Geo mistreating sloths! The serious downside of FB and social media!
Because how many times has this same stupid scenario been repeated on just about every topic under the sun, breeding ever more ignorance and tilling fertile soil for the next con job.