Sunday, August 17, 2014

Musings: Without a Clue

The sun had barely risen on Kauai when I started getting texts and emails from people appalled at The Garden Island's 40-inch tribute to Terry Lilley — described so aptly by one as “a dangerous goofball.”

Ordinarily it would be shocking to see such an unwarranted puff piece coming from the paper's editor, but Bill Buley has already proven that each time we think TGI has reached a new low, he can drop it another notch.

It's unfortunate that TGI has already given so much print to Terry's hysterical hyperbolic self-promotion — a search found 86 separate entries for Terry Lilley, many of them by his dive buddy, reporter Chris D'Angelo. Terry's a “man on a mission” alright — a mission to draw as much attention to himself as he can.

Remember Terry's whopper about how the North Shore waters were “contaminated” with heavy metals, prompting state officials to explain to Terry (and the public that TGI had needlessly alarmed) that these are naturally occurring elements in Hawaii's volcanic soil and tightly bound to minerals, making them unavailable — and thus nontoxic — to humans or wildlife?

Then there was his totally unsubstantiated Facebook smear against Waipa for supposedly polluting that reef, his equally unsubstantiated attack on Mina Morita and Lance Laney for supposedly causing a breach in the Hanalei River, his threats to sue Carl Berg — a real marine biologist — for exposing Terry's bullshit, and most recently, his claim that the whale that washed up in Hanalei Bay had “gaff marks” even as he simultaneously said it was killed by sonar.

Meanwhile, I've gotten numerous reports from people about Terry camping at Kalalau without a permit, sexually harassing wahine who were working with him and, after he fell down the stairs while drunk, claiming he'd been way-laid and beaten by his critics. And come on, Terry, you haven't gotten even a penny from your pal Mike Sheehan?

Truly, is this the kind of guy who should be heralded in the daily paper?

What's even more disturbing is that Buley runs this crap just days after TGI printed a calm, reasoned piece about the Hanalei coral disease, in which the woman who is actually studying it said it appears to have slowed.

I agree with Terry's contention that we need to minimize soil and pesticide runoff for the health of the reefs, and I've got my own concerns about the military activities. But Terry, like so many in the anti-GMO/pesticide movement, are undermining the viability of their cause by repeatedly serving up exaggerations and outright lies.

It doesn't matter if their hearts are in the right place if they're talking out of their asses.

Like this comment from “Anonymous” left on Friday's post:

I know Andrea [Brower] is not against agriculture, she is against the tons of pesticides being dumped by these chemical companies. They are not in agriculture, they are into pesticides, which have been outlawed in Europe, but are being sprayed by the hundreds of lbs each week into our ground water. If Pioneer or Dow were into agriculture they would be looking into organic growing of vegetables, like ranchers are looking into grass fed beef. This has nothing at all to do with *brown* skins versus *white* skins, or the classes on on how to grow the Hawaiian way would not be packed. This is about living on the aina in harmony. To attack Andrea for supporting a clean environment is ridiculous, or her parents economic status. Do you have something against people who work for a her parents? Because they earned what they have. Andrea has scholarships that pay for her college, because she is an intelligent,young woman with strong values. King of sounds like what you were. Jealous? By the way, many of the workers have had to quit or were fired due to health problems brought on by spraying the pesticides these companies use. Do the companies care that they hurt their workers health? NOPE.

Really? "Many of the workers had to quit or were fired" due to pesticide-related health problems? I talked with the state epidemiologist not long ago, and she told me there hadn't been ONE case of pesticide-related illness among the seed company workers. Surely if this were true the Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety lawyers would be all over it like stink on shit.

Spraying "hundreds of lbs" of pesticides "each week into our groundwater"? First, you can't spray stuff into the groundwater, it leaches in. Second, all the water department reports show no groundwater contamination.

Seeds aren't agriculture? How the hell do you think they grow all that corn and soybeans in the Midwest without seeds, some of which are, indeed, raised on Kauai?

Nothing to do with "*brown* skins versus *white* skins"? Try look at the pictures of the hearings on Bill 2491. The pro-2491 crowd was solidly white, while the farm worker crowd was solidly brown.

Btw, I never “attacked” Andrea for wanting a clean environment or her parent's economic status, just as I never “attacked” her for attending graduate school. I was merely making a point about her hypocrisy in writing about the evils of a system that creates privilege and poverty. At least one reader got it, commenting:

Nobody has a problem with Andrea (or anyone else) going to grad school. It's the breathtaking failure to acknowledge her vast privilege that is offensive to those who DON'T have it.

Kind of like the privilege expressed in Ed Coll's cavalier comment about how if the farm workers lose their jobs they can always join the military. [Correction: Ed was being sarcastic and did not mean for that comment to be taken literally.]

Gee, so progressive. Sort of like the anti-GMO "leaders" Dustin Barca and Nomi Carmona who tried to make a living fist-fighting and showing their tits, respectively. I got news for ya, kiddies. Sex and violence ain't new and it sure ain't progressive.

Still, I did have to laugh that Buley actually quoted Fern Rosenstiel, another “leader” of the anti-GMO movement who is lacking in credibility. Yeah, she "works on the North Shore" — at Tahiti Nui, last I heard. WTF does she know about the reefs?

Curiously, she made this comment:

It’s easy to speculate the causes, as there could be many, like any major ecological and toxicological issue we face today, Rosenstiel said.

But just ask Fern and she'll tell you there's only one cause for every single westside woe — real or imagined — and that's the seed companies.

She goes on to say, about the coral reef disease:

The short-term solutions to this problem are going to require a comprehensive understanding of what we are dealing with and it’s my understanding that researchers are in the process of trying to do this now.”

But such comprehensive understandings are not to be extended to the seed companies. No, no research was needed in that case — just convict and execute in the “red-shirt” court of social media.

I guess it's fitting that clueless folks are repeatedly given coverage by clueless reporters and editors in a totally clueless newspaper. Still, it's incredibly sad, because clueless people believe it.

Oh, and uh, Bill, it's Makua, not “Tunnels.” At least make an effort to use Hawaiian place names, even if you can't pronounce them.


Anonymous said...

Joan - I was with you until your last paragraph. You come off as a condescending pug. Everyone knows that area as Tunnels. That's a cheap dig at Bill and it doesn't nothing more than put you beneath Bill. I agree with you that his piece was crap and a complete disregard for true journalism. I would expect more from a daily newspaper.

Anonymous said...

No everyone doesn't know it as Tunnels. Only the misinformed. Don't slam Joan for trying to keep place names alive.

Anonymous said...

Tunnels is the name of the surf break, not the beach. thanks for the correction as it is important to call it by its real name.

Anonymous said...

Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace and its leader for 15 years, said this in 2008 on why he left Greenpeace: "I could see that my fellow directors, none of whom had any formal science education, were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs and were starting to deal with issues around chemicals and biology and genetics, which they had no formal training in. They were taking the organization into what I call "pop environmentalism," which uses sensationalism, misinformation, fear tactics, etc., to deal with people on an emotional level rather than an intellectual level.”
His breaking point was the 1986 Greenpeace decision for a worldwide ban on chlorine despite the science that adding chlorine to drinking water eradicated water-borne diseases such as cholera.
Although Lilley and Rosenstiel have some "formal" education, they were undergrads who merely had to pass tests. Grad schools students and actual professionals are put on the spot for all they say. They have to learn to support or prove their opinions. Grad School seems to be the last bastion for learning critical thinking skills! Undergrads know just enough to be dangerous.

Pete Antonson

Anonymous said...

sharing the love, joan!
you go girrrl!

Anonymous said...

You can turn even a piece of shit like Terry Lilly into more press for the anti-gmo thing huh Joan? Cant wait for you to let it go, and and start on some new material.

Anonymous said...

I know Dustin likes to show his tits, but I did not know Nomi was a fighter.

Anonymous said...

The garden Island paper has sunk to new lows under the current editor and writers. It reflects a basic lack of knowledge about all things Kauai. Thanks for your great writing. Lilley has no credibility except with the writers of our paper. Maybe he is spreading the coral disease.

Anonymous said...

the gmo thing is the big thing.
divide the people. bankrupt the county and turn all ag lands into estates and golf courses

Anonymous said...

'Tunnels Beach (Mauka)' may have been a better way to refer to the spot. Nevertheless, Joan's last paragraph had the feel of a condescending British person instructing someone speaking English how to speak proper English. It's smug and detracts from her solid points made early in the blog.

Anonymous said...

5:56, Don't forget the west side hotels that will take AGS place when the OMGGMO crowd get the land out of agriculture.

Anonymous said...

It is not smug to call a place by its real name. It's totally screwed up that the newspaper of record can't call places by the correct names. It's Makua

Anonymous said...

Leave Joan alone. She is as Hawaiian as anyone on this Island!

Anonymous said...

T.L. "calls himself a marine biologist". Come on GI, do some reporting, if he is not, say it, call him on it. Don't get caught in his verbal web. You did such a good piece a few days earlier about scientists.

Anonymous said...

Joan at 10:11 quoted anon "Nobody has a problem with Andrea (or anyone else) going to grad school. It's the breathtaking failure to acknowledge her vast privilege that is offensive to those who DON'T have it.

....and Joan then wrote-

"Kind of like the privilege expressed in Ed Coll's cavalier comment about how if the farm workers lose their jobs they can always join the military.

"Gee, so progressive. Sort of like the anti-GMO 'leaders' Dustin Barca and Nomi Carmona who tried to make a living fist-fighting and showing their tits, respectively. I got news for ya, kiddies. Sex and violence ain't new and it sure ain't progressive."

"Kind of like (Andera)" and "sort of like (Dustin Barca and Nomi Carmona)" and then using the diminutive "kiddies" before informing the lot of us that sex and violence "sure ain't progressive".

Guilt by association? Problem is I have met Andrea only a few times, have never met Dustin or Nomi, and don’t associate with any of them.

If being raised in a lower middle class military family is "vast privilege" I freely acknowledge my "vast privilege". If working your way through college bailing hay and digging chicken shit out of three foot deep trenches on industrial scale chicken factory farms is "vast privilege" I freely admit I am a child of privilege.

My "cavalier" comment was sarcasm in response to an anon commenter which was why I put the word "volunteer" in quotes (just like you did Joan by putting quotes around “leaders” to indicate sarcasm and that you don’t really consider them real leaders.

I would never seriously advocate anyone join the military because, and this may come as a shock to many but the military's primary mission is to protect us by killing other people that the US government deems a threat. Talk about violence!

Joan also uses sarcasm when she writes “Gee. so progressive” and “Sex and violence ain't new and it sure ain't progressive” as if being progressive is a worthy goal.

Joan might have considered the blatant sexism inherent in a culture where males (Barca) fight to try and make a living and females (Nomi) show their tits (she claims).

Everybody knows real men play football and the girls can be cheerleaders.

What if the social norms were reversed? Would Dustin be going topless? Would Nomi be an MMA fighter? Wait! Dustin does go topless. He even fights topless. The beaches are awash with topless men and nobody is shocked yet a women breastfeeds an infant in public it is cause for controversy. Why? Could it be mazophilia of the female breast? Calling Dr. Freud we have a patriarchal sexist society that needs liberating.

Joan Conrow said...

Gee, Ed, you 're kinda overthinking all this. I wasn't drawing any actual parallels between you and the three or Andrea's privilege. And sorry I missed your sarcasm. Maybe your quotes were in the wrong place? But glad I 've given you something to think about!!

Anonymous said...

Joan 2:51 pm

"But glad I 've given you something to think about!!"

Awwww shucky duckey! I think about these things all the time. Thinking is the best way to travel*.
I thought with the "Kind of like the privilege expressed in Ed Coll's cavalier comment" and "kinda like"/"sorta like" Andrea/Dustin/Nomi you were knitting together an ilk or perhaps a cabal. Mahalo for providing the forum with content worthy of a response.

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, I know you are a deep thinker, without any impetus from my blog!
And that's one of all-time favorite songs! Mahalo for sharing!

Chuck Lasker said...

I'll never understand how the owners of The Garden Island felt it was a good idea to bring someone from the mainland to be editor-in-chief of our local paper, especially when there's qualified people here. Maybe it's because his previous job was with a paper in a community of 44,000, they thought, "small towns are the same everywhere?"

For whatever reason, Buley has not tried one bit to become part of Kauai, to learn local ways, to learn what people outside his little clique are interested in. Instead, he pushes his mainland-grown agenda and uses TGI as a personal blog. From instructing reporters not to take photos of the active mayor (or simply showing Barca instead, like this, to allowing D'Angelo to print debunked lies repeatedly, and even printing an anti-GMO opinion piece on election day, Buley has turned TGI into a worthless rag. It's sad, because I believe a print newspaper could be done well here.

Maybe Oahu Publications got so into the habit of destroying TGI so they could buy it cheap, they forgot to stop.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Lasker, never thought I'd find myself agreeing with you, but your comments about The Garden Island and Bill Buley are spot on. My sentiments exactly. Worthless rag, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Terry Lilley keeps saying that someone attacked him because of his work. Delusions of grandeur. This narcissist got drunk and attacked a guy who was working at a surf shop, because he warned a girl to be careful of Terry Lilley, as he is known to sexually harass women and grope them. The attack failed, Terry got hurt and humiliated, called the cops saying he got attacked, while he faked a broken arm, several broken ribs, ruptured spleen, broken vertebrae etc... The end result is Terry ended up getting a 3 year restraining order against him because he perjured himself in court, got himself 86'd from Hanalei Center for life. But he continues to use his mistake as "they're out to get me"!

Anonymous said...

Terry Lilley has a gnarly history of scams and shady activity. In California he was a failed herpatologist, Who got arrested for illegally poaching endangered species. Google searches liike "terry lilley scam" or terry lilley reptile will paint an ugly picture of the "man" we are dealing with.

Anonymous said...

If I go in the banana patch behind me, and start taking pretty pictures of mildew and mold, and just focus on that, nevermind the beautiful racks of fruit and pretty leaves, i can say there is an epidemic of mold. That is exactly what this charlatan is doing. All while asking for money, getting more sober individuals to write grants for his fake unregistered "nonprofit". Nevermind that decay is decomposition is food for regrowth. Duh! By the way, how the hell are these reef passes and channels made anyways? For millions of years or more, freshwater has been flowing out into reefs, with contaminants that kill and inhibit coral growth. This is just part of the process. Uh manoa marine biology funding got budget cuts, so the doctors that work there need to jump on this to emcourage $$ into their department.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, the suppossed attacker, has a 3 year tro placed upon dipshit lilley, because dipshit ey was the aggressor and perjured himself in court.

Anonymous said...

Google "terry lilley tried selling me my own animal" good times!