Driving down Kawaihau Road, near the busy intersection at St. Catherine's, a big, un-neutered pitbull crosses the street behind me. I watch in my rearview mirror as he stops in the middle of the road and just stands there, looking confused. He is obviously lost, but I know my dogs, already barking, will never let him into my car.
On the outskirts of Anahola, a shirtless young man walks into the opposite lane as I pass and begins waving his arms wildly to induce an oncoming motorist to stop. I watch in my rearview mirror as the approaching vehicle slows, veers tentatively to the center of the highway, a string of cars stacking up behind.
At the beach parking lot, a guy sitting in his truck, American Bull Terrier beside him on the passenger seat— “my baby,” he says — strikes up a conversation as Paele pisses on his tire, tells me they leave the house so rarely that the dog does all his business in the bathtub. They are both blinking in the pale sunlight. “This is all kind of new and different for us,” he says, in a trembling voice, as I smile in reassurance and head for the trail.
An hour later, returning home, they are all gone, and I can't help but wonder what happened to them, how they are.
Just as I wonder how the 3,000 residents of Lanai will fare when I read that Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison — America's third richest citizen, a man the Wall Street Journal described as “one of the nation's most voracious consumers of trophy real estate” — is their new owner. It seems so bizarrely feudal that their fate is tied to the whims of the uber-wealthy. But then, when you stop to think about it, isn't that true for all of us 99 percenters?
And it strikes me, as I think of Pierre Omidyar, Steve Case, and now Larry Ellison, how the techies are becoming the new colonialists in Hawaii, wielding vast power and influence by virtue of their wealth alone.
Also wielding vast power is the American Medical Association, which decided at its annual meeting this week that there is no scientific justification for labeling bioengineered — as in genetically modified — food.
Never mind that a majority of Americans want it. Big medicine, which is controlled by big pharm and big insurance, has joined big chem in saying consumers shouldn't have information that will allow us to make a choice. And not just a choice about what we want to put into our bodies, but a choice about a pesticide-intensive farming method that many of us find questionable.
Though the AMA report dismissed concerns about eating modified foods — “The review of peer-reviewed literature revealed no reported and/or substantiated overt consequences to human health” — it couldn't say the same about ecological impacts:
During the testimony, it was acknowledged that there are concerns about the environmental effects of bioengineered foods. As Mario Motta, MD, a representative from the AMA Council on Science and Public Health, explained, "there are potential problems, but they aren't so much in the eating of the food."
The adopted report, entitled "Labeling of Bioengineered Foods," calls for continued research into the potential consequences to the environment of bioengineered crops. It also urged the government, industry, and consumer-advocacy groups to educate the public and provide unbiased information and research activities on bioengineered foods.
There are currently 80 transgenic crops that have undergone regulatory clearance in the United States. Approximately a dozen of these are marketed for human consumption.
And I can't help but wonder what will happen to us, and the planet, from this grand open air GMO experiment, which is not unlike the decision to introduce dozens of chemicals before we really understood — or admitted — that they are terribly harmful to human and environmental health. But once they're out there — and now they are — there's no turning back.
In college courses about eight years ago, sociologists were saying that technocrats will rule the Western world in 10-15 years. Looks like they were spot-on.
What about the billionaires buying property on Kauai e.g., Michele Hughes property?
The State of Hawaii should have bought Lanai instead of it becoming the play thing of the ultra wealthy.
Ellison Island, sounding so much better than "Lanai", and it's 3000+ surfs.
It's good to be King.
Now, if only some rich guy, maybe that Russian billionaire or the Mexican one (#1 richest man) would only buy Kauai...
So hard to wrap my brain around your comment. I can only shake my head and hope you don't live here. Ego-centric, arrogant comments like yours make me fear for the future of Kauai. If more and more people like you move here, we're doomed! Why the hell do assholes like that move here when they obviously care squat about the place and the people?
Regarding GMO labeling, there has to be an uprising by the people. A refusal to buy gmo food. Hit food manufactures where it hurts, the bottom line. A movement back to the garden....something happening on Kauai already. Its real simple, any and all processed foods contain gmo. Go for whole foods. Better yet grow your own organic food! It requires a real lifestyle change back to the way our grandparents lived. A garden in every yard, sharing with our neighbors. Bartering fish for fruits & veggies. Buying local grass-fed beef. The industrial food system is making us sick and fat! American obesity is at an all time high. Cancers, diabetes, allergies, super bugs resistant to medicine, all a result of the food we eat and the chemicals we are polluting the land and sea with. When is the complacent American public going to wake up, rise up and take back the power?
yah...let's go back 3 generations...
Me? I'm staying with Costco, etc. I DO NOT want to live like my grandparents did!
Too damn hard!!
No need to go back 3 generations, this kind of lifestyle still exists for many of us. Costco is a recent arrival here and big box stores will be unstainable over the lonbg haul. If you don't care about the health implications of gmo, that's your choice, but I and many others do care but we're not given the same right to choose as you! Thats bullshit!!!
When you grand daughter is born with three arms or a diminished cerebral cortex and a lack of impulse control, and you finally hear from your geneticist that the cause was the parents' exposure to pesticides from eating pesticide resistant GMO from your beloved Costco - and then you research that they knew about these risks for 3 decades, you'll then probably blame the government for letting them get away with it.
GMO is the new asbestos. Mark these words. Just like asbestos, the government will protect the industry until too too many people get sick. Then everyone will complain that the government that let it happen.
Yes, keep spouting your short-sighted pro corporate dogma Mr. wonder bread. You can't see the genetic damage, so it must not be happening.
no kids...25 +/- years left to live...i just really don't give a fuck.
I truly believe that Costco, or some store similar to it, plus the others will be around FOREVER, even if their supply ships are nuke powered.
Only a full out nuke war or the zombie apocalypse would impact that. And in either case, nothing would matter anymore anyway.
I truly do not believe in this "sustainable or we're doomed" bullshit.
and what if, 3 generations down the road, NOTHING is proven wrong????
i'll take that bet.
Like I said, you take that gamble. I on the other hand choose not to gamble on the well being of my moopuna and future generations. Don't yah just love that "me, myself and I" attitude, born and bred American individualistic attitude that doesn't give a fuck about anything other than personal comfort and convenience!
And isn't it always the case that 20-30 years down the road the public finds out the truth about the dangers of things deemed safe by AMA, FDA, Pharmaceutical companies, Monsanto, Tobacco companies, etc? GMO research (non-tainted) has already shown health risk. Animals have died eating gmo. I don't need to wait for government to tell me its unsafe. I can think/decide for myself.
As people are dependent upon Costco to survive......others depend upon our government.
we are a nation that is addicted to consuming, and our consumption is controlled by those who make all the money from our "addictions" of "buying stuff".
If we went back 3 generations, we might be eating at the table with our families instead of sitting in a line of cars at the McDonalds.
3 generations ago, People had more respect for the land, and depended less on stuff to buy to live on.......
We think that everything in life will only get better and better....as long as we have money, but as our lifestyle pollutes the land, air and water, we will slowly die in our shit.
Ownership: such an American thing.Just like obesity, chronic diseases, bad food, hypocrisy and that vaunted individualism! Wow, what a legacy! Take (or buy), destroy, then move on. Better yet: move out!
Ahmen my brothers and sisters... Wake Up
Three generations ago most of us hadn't planted roots here yet. Kauai was a better place.
Don't wait for gov't to make changes!!! Don't buy the following~~~~~Aunt Jemima, Quaker, Betty Crocker, General Mills, Bisquik, Duncan Hines, Hungry Jack, Jiffy, Miz Butterworth, Pepperidge Farms, Campbells, Airora Foods, Kraft/Philip Morris, P, Hershey's Nestle, Carnation, Holsum, Interstate Bakeries, Best Foods, Knorr, Ore-ida, Smart ONes, Power Bars, Chef Boyardee, Hormel, Lipton, Unlever, Uncle Ben's, Rice-a-roni, Tombstone Pizza, Totinos, Orville Redenbacher, Pap Secret, Pringles, Procter and Gamble, Coca Cola, Minute Maid, Pepsi, Kelloggs, Nature Valley, Nabisco, Pillsbury, Hienz, Hellmans, Frito Lay, Delicious Brand Cookies, Famous Amos, Keebler, Banquet, Green Giant, Healthy Choice, Stouffers, Lean Cuisine, Marie Callenders, Cadbury, CapriSun, Kool-Aid, Ocean Spray, V-8 Prego, Ragu Sauce....ALL USE MONSANTO PRODUCTS....Past time to wake up...I've been avoiding these products for over 30 years before GMO was heard of....
Gmo's in our food supply began in the mid 90's under the first President Bush. Trans fats, artificial flavors, dyes, preservatives are in all the products listed above, good reason to avoid them as well. General rule of thumb, avoid processed food. Think whole foods.
10 facts you should know about Monsanto by Bestmeal.info
Monsanto high level connections to the Bushs by sourcewatch.org
Pepsico, quaker oats and GMO: you're on your own by corporategreedchronicles
I'm 65 and, according to my most recent complete physical incl bloodwork, I'm healthy as a 50 yr old.
My secret? 99% of everything I put in my body is process foods. 50 years of eating at McDonald's...from when they first opened the first store.
Beer (lots of it!) booze, Cheetos, pizza, bacon double cheeseburgers, etc.
Didn't smoke, though.
I'll stay with my plan, thank you. It's working just fine for me.
ps - natural selection being what it is, maybe myself and folks like me (btw - i'm a "2 percenter" who only has envious respect for the future Ellison Island) will end up taking over "planet processed GMO foods".
We won't miss you.
Saturated fat and calories are what God put into food to make it taste good. And alcohol.
"If more and more people like you move here, we're doomed!"
You're already doomed. You just don't know it yet.
Ya'll are all brave as "Anonymous" but I will identify!!!
Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono
The life of the land is perpetuated by righteousness...and Lanai is no longer that...GMO is certainly NOT that either.
Mahalo Joan for your bravery!!!
Identify??? My name is Richard but you can call me DICK
More likely a Jane or a Sheila.
More like TROLL...
Guess who? Was a dirty Kauai cop that was kicked out of KPD and is a current Council member. Oh receives check from the OPA, so dont let him near your chips and dip cause he likes to double dip.
Guess who?? Would trade beer for votes and watches OPRAH
Guess who?? Has no neck and a napoleonic complex
Guess who?? Dresses in star trek costumes and says beam me up scottie.
Guess who?? Attacks rice cookers, ex boyfriends, human society, other lawyers, blames others for her incompetence, and anything she feels she needs to control. She also created a program that did not create
Got all of them except this one:
Dresses in star trek costumes and says beam me up scottie.
Who is that?
1st mate in a sinking ship, probably plays dungeons and dragons in front of the county building.
The life of the land is perpetuated by money.
Join the real world.
The Feudal Lord of Ellison Island says so, and he's my new hero!
Oprah owns this much...XXXX owns that much, etc. Meh.
But NOBODY (Robinson's excluded, with their tiny patch of land) except Larry Ellison owns a major island in the state!!!
The stupidity of this commenter is off the charts. Put the crack pipe down and seek help immediately.
You don't like Larry Ellison???
DICK when all the greedy 2 percenters go to hell, we won't miss you!!! Based on your diet, you must be a fat, balding white guy w/ hardened arteries, a beer belly, high blood pressure and diabetes, a result of your typical American diet. Good luck with that.
I've none of those things. I'm livin' off superior genes. My doctor is amazed at how abnormally well I process cholesterol.
Happy to me 'Merican...pass the beer and another cheeseburger!
As opposed to the Statue of Liberty by Ellis Island, the immigration gateway of earlier centuries...."Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore...."
Here at Ellison Island:
"Give me your wealthy, your lore, Your upper classes yearning to collect fees, The wretched excess of your gleaming hoard..."
It would bring a tear to a glass eye...
That's carved on the Statue of Larry at the airport.
Hey, that was pretty damn funny.
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