The Maui GMO moratorium vote wasn't 24 hours old before mainland-based Center for Food Safety took credit for “our victory” — with a fundraising appeal soon to follow — and Monsanto announced it will sue to block the measure.
It's almost like it's scripted....
Just like the testimony at yesterday's Kauai County Council meeting, where Mel Rapozo — despite being the top vote-getter by a mile — had to pay serious penance.
His sin? Introducing a bill to repeal Ordinance 960 — the pesticide/GMO regulatory law overturned by federal Judge Barry Kurren, and now on appeal — on the common sense grounds that since it's invalid, it shouldn't be on the books.
His punishment? Listening, for more than two hours, to a woman talking about her intermittent vomiting, another sharing her profound disappointment at encountering a McDonald's when she came to “find” herself on Kauai, a guy telling about his brother on the mainland who has Parkinson's, etc., etc., etc. Meanwhile, Nomi “Babes” Carmona admonished him to “listen to his constituents.”
“What makes you think I didn't listen to my constituents?” asked an incredulous Mel, who picked up 13,147 votes, while 2491 sponsor Gary Hooser got just 8,257. “Did you see the election results? I am listening to my constituents.”
As I listened, I was struck, as always, by this observation: How, exactly, do you deal with people who utter complete nonsense as fact?
Like GMO-Free Kauai president Jeri DiPietro: “There is no life in those fields”
Mmm, what about all the crops?
Or Mahana Mari: “Yes, I do live on the North Shore, and they say they don't spray there, but how can you know for sure?”
Mmm, because there are no crops?
Or Nomi, who has finally begun identifying herself as the paid lobbyist she's always been: “Judge Kurren's opinion doesn't have the weight on the appeal that you might think it has.”
Mmm, isn't that the purpose of an appeal, to review a lower court's ruling?
Or The Hoos, on regulating pesticides: “It's our responsibility. It's nobody else's.”
Mmm, so why stop there? Why not take on pharmaceutical drugs, or automobiles, which actually do kill people on Kauai?
I mean, how, exactly, do you work on resolving an issue, finding common ground, talking things out, with people who are so misinformed, dogmatic, grandiose?
How do you compromise with people who won't take one step forward, who can't be bothered to even jot their own alleged pesticide-poisoning symptom on a calendar, yet demand to know everything the seed companies are doing in real time?
“We're not good record-keepers,” sniffed a woman who is a plaintiff in the dust suit against Pioneer, and who scarily identified herself as some sort of health practitioner.
How do you sit down at a table with someone like Gary, who made it clear he's all about hyperbole, posturing and pandering, telling woefully ignorant people he's proud of their testimony, calling the chem/seed company executives murderers, claiming “they are spraying massive amounts of glyphosate” right after he admitted that haven't disclosed their use of that product, so how could he possibly know if it's massive or minimal?
Gary, who accused Mel of lying and political grandstanding, also showed us that he has no humility, no desire to be a team player, no plans to stop beating this one-note drum: “I am certainly not done and our community is not done with this, either.”
Mmm, I think the election results scream otherwise.
Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, meanwhile, prolonged the misery by questioning people who clearly had no grasp of what Ordinance 960 actually says, or would do, even if it is upheld. And though JoAnn admitted that the bill has less than a 40% chance of prevailing on appeal, she relayed the Patsy Mink story — not that anybody in that audience of newbies had a clue who that is — to justify why the county “must leave no stone unturned” in determining the legality of the bill.
Fortunately, we won't have to deal with tone deaf Councilman Tim Bynum much longer, though he made it clear he will use every second allotted him to blather on, proving he still has no clue why he was soundly defeated: we're sick of his whiny yammering.
In the end, JoAnn, Gary, Tim and Mason Chock voted to reject the repeal bill. After all, they reason, the county's legal fees on appeal are capped at $12,000. Chump change.
Except if you lose, and are ordered to pay the other parties' costs.
So the saga continues, with Kauai, Hawaii Island and soon Maui spending piles of taxpayer money to wage a “David vs Goliath” fight on behalf of a mainland-based political advocacy group, Center for Food Safety, that is positioning itself to grab control of land and water — and thus power — in the Islands.
As I said, it's almost like it's scripted.
Because it is.