Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Musings: Dumb and Dumber

While driving home from the airport today, I happened to catch an old Pink Floyd song on the radio: “We don't need no education....”

And I thought, wow, here we are, 33 years later, and that's exactly what we've got: folks who eschew education, science, critical thinking and facts in favor of beliefs, feelings, ideology, dogma, propaganda and social media memes.

But sadly, the thought control continues. 

Case in point: Puukumu School, which employs science kook Terry Lilley as a teacher.

Who in their right mind would allow their child to be educated by someone who repeatedly makes outrageous, undocumented, unverified claims? Someone who sent a letter to President Obama, Gov. Ige and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard saying:

Your military is totally dissolving our reefs here in Kauai and now blowing off the legs of our sea turtles! Today I saw one of my very special friends, named after my grand daughter, in shock with her feet blown away! She is dying right now and I am having a hard time explaining to her why you and others want to kill her in the name of protecting her! On top of the turtles being blown apart, the fish are also going crazy. I have video of VERY unusual behavior to share with the world.

Today's article in The Garden Island also featured pictures of kids holding a sea cucumber and a sea horse that they collected while snorkeling with Terry. What ever happened to the maxim “look but don't touch?” What kind of conservationist allows kids to maul living creatures? And why in the world are Terry and the two kids standing on the reef?

Though these kids are getting a dubious education, Terry gets an “A” for unabashed, unrelenting self-promotion. And TGI gets an “F” for functioning as Terry's personal PR firm while failing to follow the guidance of its own headline and dig “beneath the surface.”

Speaking of super sketchy schools, HAPA — the group led by intermittent Kauai Councilman, fulltime anti-GMO activist and frequent spreader of mistruths Gary Hooser — has launched the Kuleana Academy. Its aim is to help people learn how to campaign and run for office, which is actually kind of funny, considering how many times Gary's been defeated — a losing pattern his son, Dylan, is now repeating.

Since HAPA tries to pretend it's a nonprofit 501(c)(3) instead of a political advocacy group, its website claims “H.A.P.A.'s Kuleana Academy is not an electoral activity; it is a non-partisan educational program.”

So why are participants required to attend six “progressive values retreats” with a decidedly partisan emphasis? As in:

• Environmental (Development)
• Labor (Diversified Economy) • Hawaiian/Cultural (Sovereignty)
• GMO/Pesticides/Agriculture (Food Security)
• Civil Rights/Equality (Healthcare, Education) • Economic Justice (Cost of Living, Affordable Housing)

You just know the Republicans are going to sign up....

Check out its partners: Center for Food Safety, Hawaii SEED, Maui Tomorrow, KAHEA, Life of the Land and Local 5, among others. Nope, no partisanship there.

And who do you suppose is the contact person for this non-partisan (wink, wink) training program? None other than Aria Juliet Castillo, communications director for the Young Democrats of Kauai.

Some of the other requirements:

Participant shall participate in political party caucus and conventions on county/ state level; participant shall fundraise a minimum of $1000 to contribute to the program (cannot contribute personal funds); participant shall write and submit to any Hawaii news publications one letter to the editor or oped piece on any topic each month of program.

HAPA, as an alleged 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is prohibited from participating in political campaigns. So it's signing up lackeys to do that work instead, while pretending its offerings are non-partisan and a-political. 

It's yet another example of Gary's questionable ethics, and the way he loves to fudge.

Just think: For a mere $9,000 — plus another grand in fundraising — you, too, can be personally indoctrinated by Gary Hooser, Ashley Lukens, Walter Ritte and the rest of the demagogues.

All in all, it's just another brick in the wall…

To paraphrase Pink Floyd: 

Demagogues, leave them kids alone!

But don't worry. Gary guys promise they won't endorse you. And that alone is worth far more than ten grand for a candidate who wants to win.

Update: As this Facebook post by Babes Against Biotech — an anti-GMO lobbying group — indicates, the Kuleana Academy is indeed a blatant political animal, in direct violation of IRS regulations: 
Because "Hawaii hero" Gary Hooser has repeatedly shown that he believes he is above the law, and rules — like the truth — don't apply to him.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shoot the messenger-ignore the message.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to take anyone seriously who writes such a melodramatic letter.

Anonymous said...

Wow! $9,000 for 5 months? Why don't people just attend classes at an accredited college or university, like KCC or UH? I wonder who's teaching these classes? Hopefully someone with a real education, although I doubt it.

Yep, I was amazed by yet another TGI article stating that Terry Lilley is a marine biologist. TGI never bothers to check his credentials, although you would think by now the editor would be wise to the fact and spot check each time a new reporter comes out with an article comes out that references TL, marine biologist. I also wondered why the students were handling a pregnant seahorse... bizarre.

We don't need no education seems to be a mantra for many here... from political hopefuls to parents who pull their students out of Hanalei elementary and think they can do better by homeschooling.

Keith said...

Joan
Why does that surprise you. Gary is trying to kill 2 birds with one stone. You pay him big $ to indoctrinate you into his thinking and he gets a fresh face on his battlefront. Because as you know his face and others of the bash GMO crowd is starting to get tired and losing ground. It was so clear at the last election and will be even more clear at the next. He knows he will lose the next election and needs to have someone in there to push his agenda, if they get elected. Don't be fooled. He is not protecting our lifestyle, just the opposite.

Nick said...

Terry Lilley does way more harm than good. Everyone should be concerned for the health of the ocean but his accusations against the military are not supported by any facts at all. Why does the Garden Island keep going to him?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm. A thousand dollars from my family and friends to learn how to run for office? Topics include "how to hold a sign without causing a pileup", "GMO free beef stew", "door to door campaigning in Princeville and Poipu: discerning the resident from the tourist without being offensive", "bon dancing as a political act" and "how to shop for the Terno Ball".

Anonymous said...

How does Gary get away with this? He and Joann challenged Arryl's voting because he was employed by Grove Farm. What the hell is the difference? Shouldn't Gary be held to the same standard? HAPAs initiatives are intertwined with the council's business. Should he be recused as well?

Anonymous said...

Yawn. BFD. Candidate training programs are commonplace tools of both the right and the left. Will be interesting to see if HAPA and the fistees can pull it off. $1,000 is chump change and any candidate wanna be that doesn't have 20 friends who will cough up a $50 donation has no business even trying to run for office.

Anonymous said...

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Lobbying


http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/The-Restriction-of-Political-Campaign-Intervention-by-Section-501(c)(3)-Tax-Exempt-Organizations

Anonymous said...

Someone will feed money for Gary's school. There are some heavy hitters that like to be involved in Kauai politics.
Gary is on to something. With the exception of Atta Brun, Felicia and Gary's boy Dylan there are not many candidates.
The NS rich guys and the Poipu anti-Dairy folks can make a powerful Haole coalition.
Every day more people move here and they will vote. There is no attachment to the people, history, land or economics of the island. They want their new found paradise to stay the way it is. Raise the drawbridge and let me eat organic.
Take a look at our present Council. We have 3 members that could give a sh*t about local people. JoAnn with her whiny ways pushing for expensive buses and bike paths. Gary with his arrogance taking property rights away and killing Ag. And Mason, poor thing, stupid as an old slipper follows like a lost dog.
If the next Council gets another Bynum/Hooser/Chock/JoAnn type...the local kids are doomed.
We need politicians who care about the welfare of the people. JoAnn and Gary are out for their own ideals and these ideals do not provide more opportunity for the younger folks or housing for the elderly.
Great juggling jowls Hooserman, can't we just get our roads fixed, some zoning for local housing and maybe a new dump? And yet you push for a school that has dubious intentions. Just tell your f*cking shill students to go to public meeting, join community groups and participate. The real school is free. Just do it.
And then Gary, I hope you do NOT use Baby Hoos Dylan as an example of your educational prowess or accomplishment...Dylan ain't no Einstein and he gots bad manners too. Real bad manners.

Anonymous said...

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Lobbying


http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/The-Restriction-of-Political-Campaign-Intervention-by-Section-501(c)(3)-Tax-Exempt-Organizations

Anonymous said...

Yea right on 4:16pm. Let's keep Ross barely speak English two government jobs (county and state doe) Kagawa and Mel I used to be a cop and always will be a cop Rapozo in there serving our local people. Those two are real role models for our local youth. Betcha given a a few more years they could maybe, just maybe get Puhi Road paved!

Anonymous said...

Joan, there are many problems with a what Terry is doing (he is not really a marine biologist and most of his theories are crazy talk). However, there's no harm in touching sea cucumbers & sea horses, as long as it's done gently. The photos in the newspaper don't show the students handling the animals in a way that would hurt them. Sea cucumbers especially are very hardy and are difficult to kill unless you leave them out of the water - many species even "self-eviscerate" as a defense mechanism. Getting kids outdoors and into nature is a positive thing and I don't think it's reasonable to fault him for it.

Anonymous said...

You'd think that Lilley, of all people, would know that taking or possessing sea cucumbers is illegal and punishable by a fine and/or jail time: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/29417244/emergency-sea-cucumber-ban-expected-to-pass-today

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gary, Joann and Mason for your pure-hearted and tireless efforts to care for the land and water now and for future generations.

Anonymous said...

they taste like tako , a bit tough so u got to boil them w/ salt then garnish w/ limu kohu... its called kotani if i remember rite

Anonymous said...

so 4:57

what say you to the fact that the two council guys you so sarcastically put down were the top 2 vote getters and will for sure be again. the majority stands by these guys because they support the values of the people who live and work here. They are wise to the ways of the imports, who are mainly interested in enriching themselves, without regard to how they do it or what effect is has on the rest of us. GO GETTUM ROSS, GO GETTUM MEL.

Anonymous said...

Call out the guy taking kids snorkeling and teaching them something while you praise the companies who are poisoning them. You are the real kook Joan

Joan Conrow said...

Even if the companies were "poisoning" people, it'd be a pretty big stretch to think kids in Kilauea would be affected. And I've never "praised" the companies. I've just been factual about their operations.

Anonymous said...

I think the anti-GMO followers and Councilmembers supporting them prefer the other Pink Floyd song ... Money. It's all about the realtors being able to sell the island to the wealthy mainlanders while us working locals can barely afford to rent a room somewhere in Puhi, Hanamaulu, or Kekaha.

Anonymous said...

Now if those two guys could actually do something besides flexing their muscles each Wednesday by beating up the only woman at the table. Repealing the barking dog law was just that - flexing their muscles and hurting JY. They contro the counc and yet do nothing productive. You would think they could at least fix Puhi Road. They only talk and make big body.

Anonymous said...

And JoAnn is such a helpless little thing who never swings at anyone...

Anonymous said...

Somehow I think the council member of choice for development interests would be Kaneshiro who is the Grove Farm guy. He will be they guy who never says no to any request from developers.

Anonymous said...

9:01 yes sir. Ross is a sly mongoose, behind his pidgeon there lurks a mind and heart that cares for the people. He is smart guy.
Kauai has had enough of JoAnn (and 6:17, she is the beater, not the beaten), Hooser and Mason.
These 3 consistently are against housing and roads. They cater to the ever increasing population of new comers. It feels good to be part of the new-age thinking, but Kauai needs some basic-age thinking, like Roads and Housing.
Where else on the planet do you have a local government that works against economic prosperity? Most places invite qualified businesses to provide more money and a better life for their citizens.
The council plays with 'feel good' resolutions on minimum wage etc. total BS...if the council wanted to improve our lives, they would fix the roads, allow some housing, tell the planning director to stop his iron grip on all decisions, get the building department some one who can actually read a plan and lower taxes, fees etc.
This island is fast becoming a land of the rich...and after Felicia gets elected and unicorns and micro-waves are part of the Council discussions all is lost.
Beam me up Scotty, I gotta go ride my bike on one of JoAnn's bikepaths...every bikepath and other BS from the "form based" planning that is embraced by our leaders will deprive many homes from the people...get to basics.
We need houses, not unicorn dreams. Da Hoos and JoAnn seem to still be coming out of Purple Haze or a resurgence of the late 60s guilt. Get off your acid trip people, govern and get to basics. And don't teach Mason that the lost ideals of the pot-smoking 60s are a good thing. No houses were built by Timothy Leary.

Anonymous said...

And what has Ross or Mel done to increase housing and fix roads? They control a majority on the council and have done nothing except repeal the barking dog law and pander to Friday night football crowd. NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodie! We now have the spectre of a Hooserian putsch to capture the Democratic Party on Kauai led by some unaccomplished partisans of his fevered and antic crusade, including his genotype, Mini Hoose. Talk about GMO pollution. And Hooser, presumably backed by his arriviste nouveau riche supporters on the North Shore, is creating a Green Corps -like trade school to created agitprop spouting activists like Nomi Momona, Ashley Lukens, Little Jenni Ruggles, Mark Sheehan of Shaka, Jeri DiPietro and the whole screeching choir who have riven this and other communities with their fabricated and false messages. At some point, the heirs to the 100th Battalion and 442nd are going to have to stomp out this scourge and force it into a marginal role as a third party- perhaps a White Party like the much advertised “50% of the people” -actually 25% of the registered voters- supporting SHAKA's court-overturned Maui “moratorium” in the past election. The mere thought of these dingbats at the throttle threatens to bring up my breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Hapa = Half
HAPA = Half Truth's

Anonymous said...

Oh shucks, i have taught my children and grandchildren to touch and pick up sea cucumber---if we ever come across a seahorse I would try as hard as hell to catch it so we can have a close up look at it-----we always put the creatures back with the intent not to hurt them. It's educational to be able to see, touch, feel such creatures! Oh, we walk on the reef at low tide to check out the tide pools---damn us locals who do all these bad things! Well, i really thought i was teaching some good lessons when we did all these things . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

8:42 -- Did you also teach them to set net overnight and use bleach?

Anonymous said...

7:40 Ross and Mel have done more than Gary Joann and Mason period. Let the election results speak for itself. Fact not fiction.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance is demonstrated by walking on the reef and crushing coral heads in the process. Sure we used to do it years ago not understanding the damage we were doing, but we know now! Great example of how ill-informed, or just plain stupid and self-centered, some of you eco-fanatics really are. And we worry about black band coral disease? It's the Terry Lilly's, the "white disease", we need to worry about.

Anonymous said...

For an uninformed voter, what specifically have Mel and Ross done, or what has the council accomplished this year?
Also, @9:01, how does form based code reduce the availability of housing? Wouldn't increasing density in "urban" areas do the opposite?

Anonymous said...

9:11am. There is more to service than getting elected. Ross especially has no class and does not understand the process. Has he ever even introduced any Bill or proposal to increase housing or fix our roads? He is all talk and bluster. He will drop in 2016. People are over is low class and thinly veiled racism

Anonymous said...

Ross introduced Puhi rd repair bill. No one has introduced housing bill. He's going to be #1 again. Count on it

Anonymous said...

10:43 if only we could make a bet, Kagawa will smoke Hooser Chock and Yukimura. Typical transplant waha only talk shit about the locals but what look at the results

Anonymous said...

Mel and Ross have continually blasted Hooser and his stupid bunch of redshirts to protect our local way of life. Opposing bill 2491 and smoke bills to name a few. All you transplants and rich know it alls don't like it, tough shit, move back to where you came from.

Anonymous said...

3:22. Whoa! I think some anger management counseling is in order.

Anonymous said...

To 4:02:

I'm not 3:22 PM but I disagree with you regarding the need for anger management. What, you want us all to just take it lying down like we've been doing for the past several years here and on Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island?

These absurd clowns with their melodramatic behavior and irrational claims have wasted too much of our government's time and our money on nonsense, and maybe irreparably turned our community into a fearful, paranoid, angry mass of confusion whose livelihoods and way of life are seriously threatened.

Maybe you feel you know better than the rest of us and want to protect us from the boogey man but we were okay before you arrived to take over and we don't need your help.

So please do leave and start your own kombucha drinking, land-grabbing, local people -displacing, mansion-building, holier-than-thou disrespectful attitude, b. s.-spewing community somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

For progressives, the ends always justifies their insidious means...

Anonymous said...

I always thought of Joan as a progressive, just one who values truth. I've been reading this blog since Joan started writing it and she calls it like she sees it. I've seen her praise in one post and criticize the same person in another. Don't always agree with what you write, but thank you, Joan.

Anonymous said...

Ever think to go swim with a mask @ high tide to see these same places on the reef?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the more you research him, the worse it gets.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you, Joan, for calling out Terry Lilley for what he really is. Being a north shore resident who has been exposing him for years now, it is good to see a blog of your caliber doing the same.

Anonymous said...

Poor Terry Lilley, guess every town needs an official clown. if those desperate crunchy munchy reactionary ecomoms he tries scam on would stop with their "…but he's trying to save the reefs" mumbojumno for a minute & use their brain… ah fuggetit. TGI is so in on the sheehan-lilley scam (they dive together) it's embarrassing they still call themselves a NEWSpaper. In the meantime let's continue allowing lilley to demolish reefs, threaten sea life, drink and drive, attack women, beg for money for his "nonprofit", exploit kauai for his own self-promotion, take photos of surfers & surf spots that no one wants shown all over the internet, ride his boat in surf zones dangerously close to surfers, spread lies about anyone who doesn't agree with what he's doing, etc. Free reign for the stupid bumbling drunkard haole who played a whole town (the fake marine biologist has no clothes!).