Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Musings: Little Nuggets

If folks wonder why the chemical/seed industry has been allowed to operate pretty much unchecked in Hawaii, consider this: Laurie Yoshida, formerly Gov. Linda Lingle's rep on Kauai, is now the island spokeswoman for DuPont Pioneer.

In other words, they're all in bed together.

The Garden Island included an interesting comment from Laurie in its article on the pesticide bill coming before the County Council today:

Yoshida also questions the county’s liability should it pass a bill it can’t enforce.

I'd actually love to hear more about that, since the county passed a vacation rental bill it obviously can't enforce and has adopted new zoning rules that define a carport with a refrigerator as a kitchen, which it most certainly can't enforce.

No doubt there are more examples. But where exactly does the liability come in?

In both that TGI article and a piece that ran yesterday in the Star-Advertiser, industry reps never actually came out and said their operations were safe, or that citizens had no cause for concern. No, all their comments were focused on legalities, costs and whether the county should enter a regulatory arena dominated by the state and feds:

Tom Matsuda, pesticides program manager of the state Department of Agriculture, questioned how Kauai County will regulate pesticide use. "We're talking about overregulation," he said.

The Council meeting will most certainly draw a large crowd, but there's one important thing to keep in mind: a great many people will be paid to attend and defend the status quo, while the citizens, as usual, will be present on their own dime, their own time, to advocate for change.  However, my prediction is that the bill will be deferred, no matter how many people show up.

Though the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today likely won't change anyone's mind about the definition of marriage, it did strike down a discriminatory provision in federal law that prevented legally married same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits. It's another step forward in equal rights for all, much to the dismay of some conservatives. I was interested to read this in the Associated Press coverage:

The rulings came 10 years to the day after the court's Lawrence v. Texas decision that struck down state bans on gay sex. In his dissent at the time, [Justice Antonin] Scalia predicted the ruling would lead to same-sex marriage.

As the old saying goes, you can't stop progress.

new study conducted by Friends of the Earth International tested the shishi of 182 city-dwellers living in 18 different European cities and found glyphosate — Roundup — in 44% of the samples. As reported by a Wall Street Journal blog:

This weed killer is being widely overused,” said Adrian Bebb, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth International. And that’s even though hardly any genetically modified crops are grown in Europe. Doing so on a grand scale would increase the use of Roundup around eight-fold, according to Greenpeace.

I wonder what we might find if we tested American pee — especially farm workers and people living in agricultural areas.

Just when you despair that women are losing their right to choose, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, backed by the "boisterous chanting" of a crowd mobilized in part by social media, managed to filibuster a bill aimed at restricting access to abortion in that state.  The Republican Lt. Governor blamed "an unruly mob...using Occupy Wall Street tactics" for his losing control of proceedings.

As the not-so-old saying goes: You can't keep a good woman down.

And finally, I loved this little nugget: Hong Kong didn't send whistle-blower/leaker Edward Snowden back to America because there were errors in the extradition paperwork, as in a wrong middle name and no inclusion of his passport number. So much for the intelligence service....


Anonymous said...

So if someone is threatening your job you shouldn't go and stand up for yourself? hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Public hearing on pesticide bill July 31

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it was some sort of toxic effect from all the years of pesticide abuse on the west side that drove those fellas to such madness out at Polihale last weekend ?

Anonymous said...

People working for these Big Ag/Chem companies are "threatened to lose their jobs". What does that mean?

There is no way these companies are going to leave with their "tales (and tails) between their legs". They are too big, and our government needs them for campaign contributions.

The issue is pollution of the land,water, air......exposure to toxic chemicals i.e. the workers, the community.

If we can put a "harness" on the Big Elephant on the Island, the workers will have PLENTY clean up their company's "act".

The "Fear" is what the company uses to control their employees. The fear should be placed upon future health problems due to long term exposure to pesticides.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

Typical Texas. Protect the unborn but execute prisoners. That's pro-life?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for explaining how all of the corruption conspirousy theories get going. Since Yoshida worked for Lingle when she was governor, then was unemployed for years and now has a new job, even though Lingle is no longer governor or even in office, the new employer must be corrupt. Fantastic logic.

Joan Conrow said...

I never said her new employer was corrupt.

I was merely pointing out the political network that's in place here. You don't lose your political connections just because your former boss is no longer governor.

Anonymous said...

"...the political network that's in place here." and just about everywhere else politicians ply their craft.

Anonymous said...

Very smooth Joan. Don’t get your hands dirty by calling anyone “evil” directly since that would be far too low-class. Just lead your readers there so they do that on their own. How can we hope to have a rational and civil discussion when everyone with an alternative viewpoint is slandered as corrupt?

Exhibit A in this would be Michael Taylor, who was mentioned yesterday at the council meeting.