Friday, February 29, 2008

Musings: Bring on the Clowns

Koko and I were blanketed by a celestial patchwork of stars, white clouds and waning moon when we went walking, then dawn stirred and the quilt was reversed to a pattern of gray clouds and blue sky.

Ran into farmer Jerry along the road, who told me, when I asked why the Upper Kapahi Reservoir is so low, that the East Kauai Water Users Cooperative is draining it for repairs. It’s just one of many reservoirs on the island that need fixing, and fortunately some state monies came through to help the Coop — which actually provides water for farming — with the cost.

I asked him about Councilman Ron Kouchi’s comment, in killing the ag subdivision moratorium bill, that we don’t even know how much ag land is needed to feed the island.

“Every bit of it,” was Jerry’s reply.

However, Grove Farm apparently thinks it can be done with 1,000 acres it’s putting into orchards and taro. I had to wonder, if they think they can feed the island with that amount of land, does that mean they’ll be seeking the go-ahead to develop the rest of the 40,000 acres — much of it ag land — they own on Kauai?

It seems Rodney Haraguchi, the largest taro grower on Kauai, will be cultivating the Grove Farm taro lands. He already depleted the land he leases in Hanalei Valley land through intensive cultivation. Now he dumps chemical fertilizer on his fields five times over the 14-month growing period — with the excess flowing into the Hanalei River — and imports Micronesians to do the field work.

You know, just the kind of farming model we want to perpetuate elsewhere on the island.

Why can’t we get small farmers back on the land with long-term leases or better yet, affordable farm lots where they can also build a home?

A friend called yesterday to say she was disappointed to see Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Tim Bynum getting praise for supporting the ag subdivision moratorium, when they were such obstructionists in the vacation rental bill, especially as it related to vacation rentals on ag land.

It’s true. Those two were a total washout on the vacation rental bill, while Councilmembers Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and Mel Rapozo, performed well on that issue, then helped kill the ag subdivision moratorium.

What do these guys actually stand for?

What bothered me most about Shaylene’s and Mel’s stance on the moratorium is they thought it was an important issue, but didn’t like what the mayor had introduced. But rather than try and fix it, they killed it entirely.

"Maybe we could challenge them to come up with a really good bill,” suggested my friend, ever hopeful, even after decades in the land use political trenches.

Maybe. But earlier, I’d run into another friend who had what is perhaps a better solution.

“Let’s get rid of all seven of those clowns,” he said. “We need a new circus.”


Anonymous said...

I'm just coming up to speed on the ag issues. What is this about growing all the food we need on the island? Is that actually some sort of official mandate? It strikes me as absurdly anachronistic and pointless. Is it based on some fear of a distopian future in which the rest of the world declines or is unable to trade with us?

Andy Parx said...

I don’t know why you can’t see the dystopia is not in some science fiction future but is now Charley.

What part of peak oil don’t you get? Growing the food and fuel we need out here in the middle of the ocean is not some feel good seminar session to occupy a bunch of rich-hippies’ minds but an economic necessity. Kaua`i still has the ag land to insure that $1000 a barrel oil ten years from now doesn’t devastate us directly proportionally to the distance we are from food and fuel by making that part of the economic equation zero. And if we don’t plan for that now and instead squander that ag land for your precious American –style strip-mall, subdivision overdevelopment economic cul-de-sac we will be the worst off of the worst off and then even you will bemoan that no one could have anticipated the need for any degree of self sufficiency..

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with many of the malthusian distopian theories, including "peak oil." They universally misapprehend basic economic realities (for instance, if $1000 oil in ten years were a foregone conclusion then, I got news for you, oil right now would cost $1000. What peak oil theorists are trying to sell us is the absurd notion that they somehow know something that all the buyers and sellers of oil in all the wide world somehow don't know. If you believe peak oil, you ought to put your money where your mouth is and invest in oil futures. If you're right then that would make you rich). Of course I don't mind so long as they don't actually hijack real policy.

If it was 1820 you would be just as convinced of Thomas Malthus's then popular theories of inevitable near term mass starvation from overpopulation and our inability to feed ourselves. Examples of doomsday theories throughout human history are too numerous to catalog.

Anyway, back to my original question - are you telling me there's an official mandate to grow all our own food, and that it's based on a theory of peak oil?

Larry said...

We'll need some oil for the bulldozers that will dig up the srip malls to make way for the gardens and farms.

Anonymous said...

Let me be clear, it's not the reality that oil will not last forever that I disbelieve. It's the catastrophist doomsday prophecies that I find laughable.

Anyway, it's not my desire to argue with people who believe the inevitable eventual cessation of our reliance on oil will cause worldwide economic collapse.

My question really is about the policy here. Is it true? Is it state-wide or limited to the county? And if it is official policy, where is it documented?

Anonymous said...

isn't there a little extremism going on w/this discussion? surely the economics point to self sufficiency(fuel/food)being a good thing. andy's point about the isolation of kauai adds to urgency/relevancy. whether you subscribe to peak oil, overpopulation,climate change or whatever our planet will cease to be the hospitable host that it is unless we radically readjust our consumption and perspectives.

Anonymous said...

Well, no. I don't think the economic good of self sufficiency speaks for itself at all. It's a bizarre and wasteful throwback. That's my point - economic self sufficency seems extremist, expecially if inspired by the theories of a neo-malthusian doomsday cult. But still, what I want to know is, how official is the policy? And if it is a real policy, what is it based on?

Anonymous said...

According to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, roughly 600,000 visitors spent roughly $1.1 billion in January, 2008, alone.

Business. Economic development. Tourism. $1,100,000,000.

You want to give that up??

Apparently the folks who run this place, state and county, don't. Neither do the folks who visit here. Some moving here. Most of them wanting the conveniences they left behind combined with a tropical setting. Very few move here to "downgrade" to a third-world personal agronomy lifestyle without their "toys".

What is and isn't "right, nor what will or will not happen in 10, 20, 30, 50 years isn't the issue.

The issue is people are going to do what they've always doomsday preching will change that.

The forces for the continuation of present life as we know it outweigh in numbers, money and power the forces of doomsday prep.

Take it easy, but take it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you that really terrific blog this morning. In defence of Rodney, a lot has to do with rules set up by the Feds who control that land. For instance they do not allow crop rotation because of the bird habitat. A rule that makes no sense to me.

Joan Conrow said...

No, Charley, it's not government policy. But common sense dictates we make a greater effort to produce our own food locally.

If you want to put your faith in the ever--lasting abundance of Costco, that's fine.

But I and a number of others think it prudent that we address the fact that we're living in the most isolated inhabited land mass on Earth, and we have only a 3-5 day supply of food that could be disrupted by any number of conditions, including tsunami, hurricanes, dock strikes, airline strikes, earthquakes on the West Coast, terrorist attacks (if you believe George Bush guys) and yes, the cost/availability of oil.

And how do you get the idea that economic self-sufficiency is a bizarre and wasteful throwback?

Anonymous said...

the state or county mandate to grow your own food is years away. i think you're reading into something that's not there. there is an action that the state is requiring county governments to identify prime ag lands. somehow the proposed county ag land moritorium is tied to that effort; nothing that requires food production for self consumption. not a bad idea though. maybe whatever is left could be for sale at costco for the gadflies still lingering around.

ps what's with pete a taking over your site? why not let andy p get a little bit of that action?

Anonymous said...

Well, that's good to hear. When you wrote that Ron Kouchi said we don’t know how much ag land is needed to feed the island I got worried.

To understand why economic self sufficiency is bizarre and wasteful, contemplate why you as an individual don't grow and prepare all your own food, and don't make all your own clothes and produce all the material from which you make them, and don't build your own residence out of materials you have produced by your own labor. We don't because to do so would be bizarre and wasteful. And that's also why economies don't make themselves insular and self sufficient.

I'm not persuaded by the reasons you list why we should be self sufficient, but look, my intent isn't to argue with people over their personal beliefs. I'm satisfied learning that self sufficiency isn't an official mandate. If there ever seems to be danger that it would be officially adopted I would argue against it then.

As for Pete, I always liked Pete's sense of skepticism and his feistiness. Also, I always liked the way he honestly engages people in comment sections of blogs. He always struck me as someone who would really enjoy blogging and so I invited him to get into on my site. Also, I get bored with my own stuff sometimes. I wanted my blog to surprise me from time to time.

Andy P already has a blog and I was glad to see him fire it up the other day. I was always puzzled why he didn't have one before. Besides, Andy's pretty stongly progressive and, while I have nothing against the progressive point of view and enjoy reading the local progressive blogs, the progressive p.o.v. is hardly underrepresented in the Hawaii blogosphere or, especially, here on Kauai. That's another thing I liked about Pete's voice and point of view - it's different than mine and certainly different than the other local blogs I read.

Anonymous said...

andy parx has a blog? hallelujah! what's address?

Anonymous said...

Andy Parx said...

Wow- a lot since yesterday a.m.

The problem with Charley and Gadfly’s criticisms are that they presume an all or nothing scenario and decide it should be nothing as an answer to the straw man of “all” and so deny any planning process could possibly be valid.

If we assume it is economically beneficial to the community to grow any of our own food or fuel- and by saying “grow fuel” I can also see “growing” including using the land to produce energy without actual planting in the ground through things like solar and wind- then more is better economically.

No body is taking away your gas station or Costco- all we’d like to do is plan for the time when true costs are calculated into the cost of energy as they are across the rest of the world while we in the US hide the cost through huge subsides and use of the planet as a cesspool with a bottomless pit. It doesn’t need to be a disaster or some Armageddon event to get to the point where we will be benefiting ourselves by making sure that when it is more cost effective to make our ag land productive that the land is still there.

But I can see where the libertarian ideal is anti-planning to begin with so I doubt you’d accept even the simple plan to increase our self reliance even from a planned economic model standpoint.

Joan Conrow said...

Good point, Andy.

How do you even deal with people like Charley and Gadfly who are obviously intellectually bright, but so lacking in common sense that they don't even recognize the value of planning ahead, and think it's not wasteful to ship stuff all over the world rather than try to meet our own needs locally as best we can — especially with food and energy?

Anonymous said...

Oops, Andy, you've completely missed my point. I'm puzzled where you get the notion I'm against all planning whatsoever. Nothing I said here can reasonably be taken to mean that. I'm just opposed to basing public policy on fringy predictions about what the future will look like, whether millennialist in nature or not.

Anonymous said...

But Joan, you're confusing mandating island self sufficiency with common sense. The idea is certainly simplistic, but it's not common sensical.

Joan Conrow said...

Charley, you're the only been talking about mandating here.

Anonymous said...

And to the extent nobody wants to impose their view of common sense on the community then I have no argument whatsoever. I actually prefer local produce and shop at farmers markets quite a bit.

Andy Parx said...

If planning is good, then do you disagree that the economic benefit of growing food and fuel locally becomes more pronounced and important as the prices of the products themselves- and more so transporting them- skyrockets?

This isn’t from some survivalist perspective- it just makes good economic planning sense to yes, even mandate that we keep ag lands available solely for production and even subsidize the practical implementation of sustained utilization. And until we put ag land off limits for residential and commercial development we will be perpetually chasing an affordable use of the land through speculative price increases.

Anonymous said...

(Ha. See Joan, I knew someone besides me was talking about mandating).

Andy, you're putting words in my mouth again. I never said planning was good. Planning in and of itself is neither unequivocally good nor unequivocally bad.

And you present a false premise. The speculation that transportation and food prices are going to be precipitously higher at some point in time is precicely the sort of malthusian prediction that I assert we should be on guard against and that we should definitely not form economic policy around - Especially if the land you're referring to belongs to someone other than the government. If you're telling, say, me what I can do on my land, then for sure I'm against basing policy on your speculations.

Anonymous said...

charley, i'm glad you're getting up to speed. as joan and andy well know our local government(state and county)has enjoyed years of unfettered rule over it's placated and decimated inhabitants. the phenomenal growth due to the military, tourism and real estate related industry this place has overwhelmed locals, infrastructure and natural resources. a return to a more practical and locally based form of community is being advocated by many(think ahupua'a)
sustainability is an ancient concept but because of the strains that overpopulation and a greed based system of resource extraction
has had on our planet we must readjust our vision for the future.
the world is not flat, genocide is falling out of fashion(slowly), empire building is being phased out and yet we still struggle with the basics. hopefully we're still evolving and moving forward and not hung up in the past or operating on premises that have been proven erroneous, faulty or just outdated. sometime we got to back to things that worked before and try to relocate that which was lost. like not have to be dependent on going to the store for everything.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that, but I'm instinctively wary when people advocate that we must readjust our vision for the future, especially when they claim to know how we must do so, and doubly especially when such readjustments involve coercion.

Anonymous said...

Like the man said: "Don't tell me how hard you worked. Tell me what you've accomplished."

Why, and more importantly, how do you think you will execute a plan to overcome the status-quo?

Why, you say, we'll put forth right-thinking political candidates who will get elected and "make things better".

So, where are they? Where is the funding to help them get elected? How are you going to overcome the substantial lobbyist's, etc, whose vested interests lie in the status quo?

I've made a fortune banking on what will happen, not what ought to happen because it is "good". I side with the probable winner, not the underdog, being the amoral, avericious, yet fun-loving, beer-brewing guy I am.

If I win and things go bad in a while, I move on. I'm not committed to living here forever, just living well (as I define it)...maybe my next stop is the Carib. If I lived in a desert clime and the water availability was becoming dangerously limited, I wouldn't tilt against windmills to change things...I'd move on.

Like Sam Kinnison said about starving people living in the desert: "THEY LIVE IN A q@#$ DESERT!!! LET THEM MOVE TO WHERE TO FOOD IS!!!!! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!"

You can blog youself to death about this...or until your shift key breaks and you can't do capital letters anymore...doesn't change anything.

The whole system of things world-wide is circling the drain anyhow....get a good seat, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Anonymous said...

"Wary when we readjust our vision for the future"? Yes, let us not look future, but to the past with rose tinted glasses.

Anonymous said...

"If you're telling, say, me what I can do on my land, then for sure I'm against basing policy on your speculations."

Yeah, if I want to put up a mini hotel on land that I paid ag zoned prices, who are you to tell me otherwise?

Anonymous said...

""Wary when we readjust our vision for the future"? Yes, let us not look future, but to the past with rose tinted glasses." -Anon.

To fail to adjust to your vision of the future is the same as looking to the past with rose tinted glasses? You sound like an evangelist. I can't even begin to how much I mistrust those.

Anonymous said...

or to tell you how much, even, I mistrust them. Evangelists, I mean.

Anonymous said...

If I find out, before I buy the ag land, that the planing comish will allow a mini-hotel, or golf course, or strip mall, etc to be constructed and I go ahead and do so, I am within my rights.

The law is whatever the lawmakers, and those paid to interpret it such as the planning comish, say it is.

Don't like it? Change the lawmakers. Can't do that and get a deck stacked with your "right thinkers"? Live with it or move out.

Take it easy, but take it.

BTW - my English Bitters has just started ferementing while my Irish Stout, Blueberry Ale and Wheat are wonderfully drinkable.

Moving slowly but surely towards my 5-tap draft system behind the bar in my rec room.

Life is good.

Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobomoty.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Andy's attempts here to demonstarte the practicality of a sustainable approach, but isn't it really a question of ethics?

Is it ethical to treat the earth as a "bottomless cesspool"? Is it ethical to support policies that keep the people of the third world impoverished so that we may enjoy our luxuries? Is it ethical to over-use resources now at the expense of future generations? (We know that Gadfly thinks it's okay, ethics be damned, so I'm not interested in his answer to this.)

Finally, is it important to base our actions on ethics before we base them on practicality? It is to me...

(I forgot my password!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Katy,

I think what you've presented is a loaded question. I like Wikipedia's definition of it: It is committed when someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner's agenda.

I think you also commit the fallacy of the false choice. It is not as though failing to adhere to a policy of self sufficiency is tantamount to causing the parade of horrors presented in your comment. At least not obviously so. At the very least you would have to make the case.

Andy Parx said...

Well Charlie if you really believe that there will be no further global warming and we will never run out of fossil fuel then you and “W” can delude yourselves all you want- as you say it’s a free country. But if you think you can do whatever you want with your land without an ok from your neighbors perhaps you have the wrong country and might want to live in Charleyland... or McCloskeyville. You grasshoppers can play ostrich while we ants plan for a scientifically predictable future in a world where we can tell you what to do with your land. I know better than to tell libertarians what to do.

Anonymous said...

"I'm instinctively wary when people advocate that we must readjust our vision for the future"

"To fail to adjust to your vision of the future is the same as looking to the past with rose tinted glasses?"

Hmmm . . .

Anonymous said...

Andy, I'm recognizing a pattern to your rhetorical tactics. It's called the straw man argument. You put words in your opponent's mouth that they neither said nor that follow of logical necessity from what they really did say. (In fact, you've put words in my mouth that I have explicitely disavowed).
You then proceed to waive away the caricature you have created that you pretend is a fair representation of your opponent's arguments.

I notice you also try to paint and dismiss your opponents as recognizeable and easily pidgeon-holed stereotypes. Twice now you've tried to stereotype me as a libertarian and now you've absurdly evoked W to discredit me.

I never said I believed there would be no further global warming, I never said we'd never run out of fossil fuel (indeed, I exlicitely said quite the opposite), I never even said it was a free country (again, nice flourish trying to tie me to W). What I said was, and what you have avoided confronting, is that I think your predictions about the future prices of commodities (energy, and food) are idle speculation.

Finally, calling those of us who do not accept your dire speculations about the future the grasshoppers as contrasted with your forward looking ant is another page right out of Malthus. All dire prophets have always presented themselves as the wise voices of reason fighting the ignorance of the rest of us.

Anyway, if you want to argue with me, argue with what I really do say, not what you wish I would say.

Anonymous said...

OK...that's Charlie 2, Andy 0, Katy 0.

Never argue, mince words or try to out-clever with semantics an experienced lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Or as my mama would say never get in a pissing match with a skunk.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually not in it to "win" at all. I'm actually much more satisfied when I come away from a discussion or debate with my mind changed. I've enjoyed my discussions with Katy, for instance. By the end of our argument about Ward Churchill I came to get past the fact of his dick-headed, dumb fuck, close-minded lying ass white guy pretending to be an indian pose and see the larger implications she was getting at regarding government attention to unpopular speech. And it often takes some time and even a little anger to get to the point of glimpsing other people's points of view. However, being tactical and willfully misconstruing other peoples' points and arguments makes such little bridges of understanding completely impossible.

Anonymous said...

"What I said was, and what you have avoided confronting, is that I think your predictions about the future prices of commodities (energy, and food) are idle speculation."

Yeah, why bother speculating about such minor details like food and energy. Sheesh, get a life Andy.

Anonymous said...

Ok, um, see. It's not speculation alone that is actually the problem that we're talking about here. I do it all the time. In front of my children even. There's nothing wrong with it. It's healthy.

But I don't, you know, try to impose my speculative effluvium on the rest of the community. That's the part of Andy's argument I object to - that his speculations ought to have coercive force over people's lives.

Anonymous said...


Charlie 3, Andy -1, Anon 0, Katy 0

"True Believers", aka Zealots, always react in a predictable manner.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, the ag moratorium would probably be unconstitutional anyway on 5th Amendment grounds, and so passing it would have been an empty but costly gesture. Better to find ways of controlling growth that don't run up legal bills only to be prohibited by the courts.

I never understand it when critics blast council members for declining to take these sorts of blunt instrument and nearly certainly illegal approaches to public policy. As though it is somehow cowardly to recognize the idiocy of writing laws that will be struck down after a bunch of lawyers on both sides have made several hundred thousand dollars from us.

Controlling growth, if that's what you want to do, takes smarts. Passing laws to please pitchfork weilding mobs is stupid and costly.

Anonymous said...

"But I don't, you know, try to impose my speculative effluvium on the rest of the community. That's the part of Andy's argument I object to - that his speculations ought to have coercive force over people's lives."

What are laws but the coercive force resulting from some legislator's speculative effluvium? Zoning, civil rights, environmental protection, fire codes, child labor laws, etc. all resulted from someone's "speculative effluvium".

Anonymous said...

So, are you anti-law

Andy wants to return us to the good ole' days of Chairman Mau with his "plan for a scientifically predictable future in a world where we can tell you what to do with your land."

The whole communist experiment failed...didn't you get the memo?

And Anon wants to substute the coercive force resulting from his chosen legislator's speculative effluvium for that which prevails now. If not, as I read between his lines, he might desire a more anarchistic model.

Apparently his coercive forces (for "good", of course) give the moral right to trample existing personal property rights, as Andy dreams of.

"Dreams" being the operative word. "Reality" will never enter that equastion.

Charlie's "Passing laws to please pitchfork weilding mobs is stupid and costly." comment earns him another 1/2 point.

Everyone espousing any form of socialism/communism where personal rights are eroded or anarchism where personal rights are not protected now lose 3 points.

Anonymous said...

Charley uses tools from Rhetoric 101 to avoid my question about ethics. I'm not interested in dire predictions, but I am interested in the clear and measureable effects and ethical implications of our dependence on the exploitation of the labor and resources of the global south ("third world".)

Should we change our behavior to curb our exploitation of those resources, not because we need to, but because it is ethical?


Anonymous said...

Come on now...the next round is the Bonus Round. Anyone can win. Bonus Points will be awarded!

This is for the washer-dryer now...

Give it your best shot.

Decisions by the Judge (me) will be final.

Joan Conrow said...

I agree, Katy. Charley, in resorting first to Rhetoric 101 and then to insults, completely sidesteps the issue of ethics.

Of course, Gadfly has already made it clear he has none. Nor does he have any understanding of true anarchy which does not in any way jeopardize personal rights. In fact, it's a celebration of the rights of the individual and the concept that human beings in their highest form can govern themselves.

Anonymous said...

Katy gives a well-stated repositioning of her ititial arguement plus a fair retort to Charlie's attempt to defend the neutral stand...overall 2.5 points to Katy.

I'm going to have to put together a spreadsheet soon to keep this going, especiall over different "Musing" comments.

Personally, separating myself from my "Judge" role in this "contest", I believe that we should not curb our current behavior as a country for any reason other than necessity.

I don't care that Cathy Lee produces apparel in sweatshops. I own a few blood diamonds as a hedge. If my Nikes were produced by baby-eating satanists, I would be conserned only about the fit and durability (the shoes, not the babies).

Anonymous said...

"a celebration of the rights of the individual and the concept that human beings in their highest form can govern themselves."

OK...then the rights of the individual(s) owning ag land upon which they desire to build a resort rather than plant taro (to make further Hawaiian babies) and about which the planning dept has no issue should be fine with you, then.

The owenrs of those monkeypod trees going down to put up a strip mall are totally within their rights and should not be harassed, then.

The fundimental concept that man can govern himself is totally opposite of mine: "It does not belong to mortal man even to direct his step".

We're all bozos on this bus....the world system of things is circling the drain....mankind cannot possibly attain a safe, healthy world via its own efforts whatever they are.

BTW...oil's at $103.40 as I write. Dabbling in oil futures can be profitable though, if you like to do on-line stock and commodity trading. We've found it profitable over the years.

Anonymous said...

Nice try, dogfly:

And Anon wants to substute the coercive force resulting from his chosen legislator's speculative effluvium for that which prevails now. If not, as I read between his lines, he might desire a more anarchistic model.

Environmental and child labor laws already exist. In America, unlike the communistic countries you appear to despise, we at least attempt to protect the environment, workers, children, etc. I seriously doubt Mao gave a rat's okole about zoning in China.

Anonymous said...

This sums up horsefly:

"I don't care that Cathy Lee produces apparel in sweatshops. I own a few blood diamonds as a hedge. If my Nikes were produced by baby-eating satanists, I would be conserned only about the fit and durability (the shoes, not the babies)."

Nice. Horsefly probably has a child porn stash, too, because, hey, what's the harm and he likes it.

Anonymous said...


I don't think I avoided your point at all. My response was that failing to coerce self-sufficiency as island-wide public policy does not lead to the parade of horribles you listed in your post.

And in response to you more recent comment, I disagree with you that coerced self-sufficiency is any sort of moral imperative or enjoys any presumption of being more moral than not being economically self sufficient.

I don't know what Joan means by saying I resorted to insults. I certainly had no intention whatsoever to insult you and if my response to you came off as insulting I apologize.

Anonymous said...

I'm not advocating the abandonment of child labor laws, etc, in THIS country....I just don't care about the manner in which the goods we buy from OTHER countries are made.

It's their country...they can do whatever they want. They are not my problem. My problem extends only the the quality of the goods bought here and the laws in effect in this country.

Anonymous said...

No need to apologize, Charlie. You only refered to "pitchfork wielding mobs" in a general, hypothetical sense.

If they somehow felt that they belonged to such mobs, the fault is their own.

Similar to myself, you have proven yourself to be a "cunning linguist" of my fav hobbies.

My parents said I should have been a lawyer.

Andy Parx said...

Boy you’ve all been busy on tangents.

Unless I missed something your argument Charley is that one should be able to do anything they want with their land and that’s essentially a libertarian view. All I’ve argued for is that in this country it is established law that the community can control land use with recompensatory and due process caveats. You could call it a socialist argument and I wouldn’t profoundly disagree although I think the current characterization would be better expressed as Green. But it is profoundly American. I certainly wasn’t being pejorative in my use of the term libertarians- some of my best foils are such.

So first Charley you make classic libertarian statements regarding land use and then deny the argument is libertarian but fail to deny support your prior statement- that’s a real straw man- attacking the label not the argument And I still can’t figure out if “Planning”- as those local bodies that govern every jurisdiction in the country do– is ok or not in your philosophy because you went ad hominum on me when I asked. And I get a mixed message as to whether you see the end of cheap oil- which is already severely under priced and government subsidized- and global climate change as challenges that it may be best to plan for and around or whether we should disregard them and wait until it is too late because instead of clarifying whether you believe those things are myths you attack the intentionally silly comparison to another person who doesn’t believe in peak oil or global warming.

All I ask is that you say what you believe and believe what you say- when someone characterizes your position and extrapolates don’t attack the characterization but clarify the position. Who’s playing straw man here?

Anonymous said...

bonus round to mr parx- RUFF!

Anonymous said...

I would say you missed something with my argument. I never, ever, said one should be able to do anything they want with their land. And nothing I said leads of any necessity to that conclusion. It's an unwarranted extrapolation. You still appear to be trying to argue with some version of me that you've conjurred up. I have no clue where your whole libertarian tangent came from, or why it is in any way relevant.

I have stated what I believe - over and over again - and that is that your claims about the future economic impact of an eventual cessation of our reliance on oil are too remote and speculative to warrant a coercive policy of island-wide self sufficiency.

And that's it. That's what I believe and that's my argument. No reason to extrapolate any further than that. It's all right there.

Anonymous said...

Is it reasonable to point out that there is a coercive element to our current lack of sustainability? Are our choices about how we live, use transportation, and buy goods determined to a large extent by corporate powers over which our limited amount of control is shrinking? This is only a "free" market under a limited definition which favors those with great wealth, after all.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if I agree with you there or not Katy. I acknowledge the powerful seduction of All the Conveniences and Modern Life and all that. But I've had friends - you've probably known such people - who have lived to varying degrees pretty much "off line" - yknow, no tv or car, huge garden, bake a lot of bread, do a lot of co-opy type stuff pooling labor and its results and all that. I've had a couple of good friends who have lived that way in the past. It's hard, for sure. But no harder than it was before all the modern conveniences came along. So while I again admit that modern conveniences are extremely extremely seductive, so much so that it takes a very special kind of person with a very special kind of commitment to resist, it still doesn't really meet the definition of coercion and nobody is preventing anyone from growing their own or making them get a 9 to 5 job.

Maybe that's not what you meant by your comment at all. If not, my bad. If I've completely misread your comment, disregard the foregoing.

Anonymous said...

So far, Charlie has come across like Caine on Kung Fu...always able to knock away any arrow or spear thrown with great style.

Andy has come up in points due to a good rebuttal and attempted repositioning of Charlie's arguements, it seems he hasn't quite pulled it off since these comments read like the court steno's one can "forget" what was said before. Plus, Andy refuted his own strong claim apparently favoring socialism.

And nobody bothered to chide me on my "Hawaiian babies" comment, nor has Joan deleted the post opining that I have a stash of child porn...certainly a personal attack, which we do not do here...-2 points for Joan.

All in all, Charlie leads the entire pack by 1.75 points and wins the washer-dryer.

The washer is a rock to pound his clothes on by the river. The dryer is two sticks and a rope.

Next round...a fuel-sucking car guaranteed to turn heads.

Joan Conrow said...

Well, Gadfly, I would have deleted the child porn post but I know the comment was made rhetorically and wasn't an outright accusation.

Plus nobody has written anything thus far that portrays you in a worse light than your own words.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just because he's ok with baby eating satanists doesn't necessarily mean he's a pedophile.

Anonymous said...

Hawaiian baby back ribs are the best in that devilish sauce!! Has the faint taste suggestion of....TARO!!

-5 points for rhetorical bludgening of the anti-capitalists compared to Charlie's rapier-like style.

Game over...Charlie lose...he has successfully and elequently defended the side of neutrality (or is that the middle?)in the face of rabid opposition by the peasants storming the castle of the status quo.

Unless you get enough people elected with the power to make a difference, it don't make a difference....but a fun past time for me to observe life's grand pageant from the sidelines and throw cudos or tomatos as I see fit.

Maybe there'll be a youtube video on the monkeypods coming down.

Anonymous said...

There are 9 Maui county council members, 3 voted against development at Wailea 670 and 6 voted in favor.

Oahu is getting its rail system.

The BI is getting the 2nd largest shopping center in the state, plus various residential developments totalling thousands more dwelling units.

Kauai is getting a new shopping mall and probably more residential development.

Stop it all if you can...I wouldn't put money on your chances.

I'm amused hearing about what's right/wrong, good/bad, consequences of various current and near-future actions. I can't change them, but I can see which way the wind's blowing and see that the prevailing breezes arn't likely to change. I act accordingly, not to piss into the wind, but use it to fill my sails.

Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

he who descends from maggots, tallying the points, is morally bankrupt. as it swirls around the drain, enjoy yourself. this has nothing to do with ethics or the lack of; it has everything to do with morals. zero for sadfly-GAME OVER!

Anonymous said...

I have to object to what you are saying about the Haraguchi's in Hanalei Joan. You say that Rodney has depleted his farming soil thru "intense chemical fertilization". I have talked to Rodney myself and he has proven it to me that he is a strong believer in organic farming. However, since he is on fish and wild life land which is controlled by the federal government, he is not allowe to do sustainable practices like cover cropping, crop rotation, etc. This is not Rodney's fault but the people that own the land he is on. I bet you have heard about sunnhemp which is a plant that can be used to fix nitrogen and add organic matter back into the soil. Rodney has wanted to do this for a while, yet the fish and wildlife does not allow this. So who is the bad guy? I believe Rodney is not at fault and the finger shoul not be pointed at him. As for expanding to grove farm, who are you to object to him farming over there? i dont see anyone else making the effort and taking on the hard work of working two places at once, let alone doing TARO FARMING which is extremely hard work. As for the micronesians, Rodney is not illegally employing them. He has employed many local people over his farming lifetime from Hawaiians to Haoles. Rodney has giving back to the community is so many ways like by putting on the Taro Festival, giving informative tours and talks, and being the President of the Taro Growers Association which is a huge responsibility. As for you Joan, who are you to criticize people without knowing, or leaving out the real, positive important detail of the character of people. Maybe you should do better research before spreading rumors.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear Anonymous, I worked with Rodney for about six years, so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. I like Rodney personally and he's not a "bad guy." I agree he has done a lot for agriculture and I know he is interested in organic farming. But economic concerns as much as Fish and Wildlife restrictions (and they are not so onerous as Rodney likes to claim) have kept him from actually implementing such practices. The fact remains that his soil is depleted and he does use extensive chemical fertilizers in order to achieve the kind of yields he desires. That's what happens when taro is treated as a commodity and commercial crop, rather than a subsistence crop, as it evolved in Hawaii.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joan, I am really interested with this taro issue. I have gone to school in the mainland and i am curious about the issue of taro, the community, farming and hawaii's way of life. I have relatives in the midwest that farm various crops like corn and wheat. However, this wetland taro farming is quite new to me and i have some questions. I have done some reading on the web and it appears that the beautiful valley of hanalei is farmed by multiple farmers, not just this Rodney. Thus, do these other farmers use chemical fertilizers as well? It seems that taro farming is very laborous and hard work; not fully mechanized like corn. I can understand that these farmers have to use chemical fertilizers because they are cheaper and fast acting compared to organic fertilizer. It is a shame that the fish and wildlife does not allow cover cropping and crop rotation. So, in actuality, its not the farmers fault but the fish and wildlife. and since the fish and wildlife aren't so onerous as you claim, then it would be not a bad idea to convince them to change their policy of cover crops and such. Seems like the fish and wildlife have to get on things.

Anonymous said...

i was wondering how you know that the soil in Hanalei Valley is depleted? Have you done any nutrient tests? Also, people have to make a living whether it is growing taro or anything else. you can say to contruction workers, which is a large part of the employment in hawaii that what their doing is wrong because their helping developers urbanize hawaii. Would u tell them to quit their jobs? i dont think so. it seems that u have something against any taro farmer that uses chemical fertilizer. do u know how expensive organic fertilizer is? do u know how hard farmers are struggling? Have u actually farmed any crop for a living and not just small garden kine? seems like you're shitty on the little man (farmer).