Watching the evening sky, I see Jupiter is moving ever closer toward Venus.
And watching the latest piece of anti-GMO propaganda, I see that Kauai is moving ever closer toward apocalypse — unless we let folks like Don Heacock save us.
I'm talking about the trailer for “Aina,” described by one promoter "as an "amazing fact-based film." It will hold its July 26 premiere on Kauai, which an unidentified man on camera unequivocally proclaims as "the hot spot on the planet for pesticide exposures."
Really? Hotter than Indian farmers applying paraquat with backpack sprayers and no protective gear? Hotter than the migrant camps of California's Central Valley? Hotter than the South American farms where folks use empty pesticide containers to carry water?
So much for those “amazing” facts.
The film was brought to my attention first by Anonymous, and then by Jason Donovan, posting under the misnomer "just the facts." Jason followed up with a repeat of his first comment, and then a third comment, inquiring, "are you going to post my comments?” 'cause I guess I hadn't been snappy enough in letting him use my blog to promote the movie.
Who is Jason Donovan? I wondered, as my fingers typed his name into Google. Oh, Lordy, what a surprise. He's a Realtor with Kauai Tropical Properties, "an eco-brokerage" in Hanalei. And not just any Realtor, mind you, but one who has "closed on more than $40 Million worth of Kauai real estate transactions" and is also "responsible for creation of Sustain Kauai brand of eco-friendly real estate.”
Eco-friendly real estate? WTF is that? Though I get how real estate sales sustain Jason — and the anti-GMO movement — I can't quite see how they sustain Kauai. And how, exactly, can the Tropical Paradise website claim "the environment on Kauai is pristine" if it's also the world hot spot for pesticide exposures?
I think we need some of those "amazing" facts to reconcile that one.
With an ominous score, sweeping visuals and artsy close-ups, the “Aina” trailer includes the title card, “one small island in the Pacific is at the mercy of the world's largest chemical companies.” Victimhood, sadly, still sells.
Previously published pap — “Students evacuated from Waimea school and about 60 were hospitalized,” though the incident had no link to pesticides, and the speculation that “this could be one of the most toxic chemical environments in all of U.S. ag” or, it could not — is presented as fact in other title cards.
Btw, this is how that works, folks. The anti-GMO movement, via the Media Consortium, paid “reporters” like Paul Koberstein to write one-sided, inaccurate articles for sympathetic publications like Earth Island Journal and The Cascadian Times. Then those articles grew legs and became gospel, reprinted and repeated without question elsewhere, even as their contents were disproved by real facts.
Clever how propagandists build the foundation for more propaganda. And you thought this wasn't a well-funded, well-orchestrated campaign!
One of my favorite bits was Heacock's quote, delivered in a scathing tone: “They're not farming. They're doing research.”
Gee, I thought Heacock used to be a scientist. Since when is research a dirty word? And why are research and farming mutually incompatible, or somehow scary when paired?
Still, I don't disagree with every point made in the trailer. David Sproat is right when he says land is a resource, not a commodity, though that won't earn many commissions for Jason and his pals. And who can argue with Sabra Kauka that “many of us feel the need to do our share to malama” Kauai — including seed company workers?
Sadly, the teachings of these wise kupuna lose value when conveyed in the context of a film that is pure political propaganda. And they lose credibility when used out of context to promote the film through sensationalism.
The capper was Heacock saying,” We need to teach a whole new generation about holistic thinking, critical thinking, the truth. The truth will prevail.”
One can only hope. But neither critical thinking nor the truth will be found in either the anti-GMO movement or this film, if the trailer is any indication.
Or as Sabra intoned: “It's very important that we know and be aware of all that is going on around us.”
Yes, and that includes the promotion of propaganda and efforts to demonize the very real people — many of them kanaka or lifelong residents — who work for the seed companies. Because though they're owned by multinational corporations, they're staffed by local people who also love and cherish Kauai, and are very much concerned about stewardship and sustainability.
They are not “the other,” and they do not deserve to be characterized or treated as such by people who hold no claim to moral superiority much less "the truth."
Meanwhile, Gary Hooser is moving ever closer toward desperation. Hawaii interest has been so lackluster that he's now recruiting for HAPA among “Deadheads” — the cult-like followers of The Grateful Dead. Which actually makes them ideal candidates for the lockstep anti-GMO movement.
Gary and his wife spent the weekend manning the HAPA table at two of the Dead's “final” shows in California, offering Deadheads “limited edition postcards,” in exchange for vowing allegiance to a single action: “Protest the impact of pesticide & GMO research with social media.”
Because it's all about numbers, the perception of support, even if those protesting don't know WTF they're talking about and have been fed a bunch of baloney.
Gosh, if only Gary would put half that energy into working for Kauai, and the taxpayers who pay his benefits and salary....
Agree. If Gary wanted to do so much work for the "State" he should have stayed at the State Legislature. His focus is not Kauai at all. Ask him about housing, infrastructure, roads, etc., about Kauai and he'll be like a deer in headlights. I hope Kauai residents see this and do not reelect him. I'd rather see Felicia Cowden on the Council, at least she's concerned about all issues about Kauai and not just the seed companies.
free trip to see tgd. put up display and enjoy the concert. maybe enjoy gmo dubie. thats right gmo dubie. that is how potent the dubie has become. the thc content has increased since i last saw elton john in the hic arena. and they grumble about corn being too sweeet. gary knows how to spend my dime. free99.
I saw this trailer after it was posted breathlessly to Facebook by several people who have no clue about the importance of legitimate science in protecting the environment. This new film is this month's Vandana Shiva nonsense, or whatever completely absurd propaganda emerges from the anti-GMO fringe. I, too, was taken with how very much like the work of Joseph Goebbels this trailer is. Sweeping statements by people who aren't identified by name, much less credentials, and pretty panoramic pictures that mean.....what? I did find myself wondering if all the music had been cleared for artist and composer rights. If anyone involved with creating this music hears it, he or she should check and see that royalties have been paid. But, of course, there are those on the crazy side of this issue who will argue that royalties aren't relevant when the "work" is so important..... From the trailer (which, after all, is how the producers would like us to perceive this production), this film appears to be unapologetic propaganda taken to an extreme that even Nazis would find amusing.
It's a hand me down, the thoughts are broken.
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
thank god, another white realtor here to tell us about how to save the 'aina
You have to wonder if Councilmember Hooser charged the costs of flying to this concert and his lodging, meals, transportation and incidentals to his nonprofit "policy" organization and, hence, created a tax deductible opportunity to return to his Dead Head roots. I mean, you really do have to wonder about that. Clever dodge, Mr. Hooser. I think your constituents deserve to know how this trip was paid for. The "shame on you for suing Kauai) sign is one of the most absurdly pathetic displays I've seen in years and yet we keep seeing it again and again. What did the anti-science fringe expect, that an obviously illegal gambit to limit agriculture and set a precedent that could be used against all farming would simply be ignored because it's "little Kauai?"
The good thing about these videos and Gary's actions is Kauaians are waking up (yes, I said it) to the reality of the anti-GMO lies and misinformation. I left the movement when I saw the crazy conspiracy roots that spawn "the ends justify the means" extremism. The more the people of Kauai see the crazy, the more they will realize all the "sky is falling" garbage has been made up.
ChemTrails, anti-GMO, anti-vaxx, moon landing denial - all based on the same thing - money-making charlatans pumping up fear of the unknown. Gary saw the gravy train, but too late. He'll never be the Food Babe or Vandava Shiva he always wanted to be. Because people will believe lies for a while, but in the days of the Internet, not for long.
get a better price for the land that is pure, no pesticides. which way to go? the land had too much pesticide use, no can farm um now. hard to sell um too. we don't want farmers using the good land because we like sell um at a higher market value. but save the land $$$$.
Gary's wife works for United, so more then likely he's flying for little or no costs.
This is dangerous because so many people who do not think for themselves and are just followers.......talk about jumping over the cliff....that is what they do...they all follow and end up in one big heap at the bottom...meanwhile many others suffer because of their actions....We the people need to wake up..............
Here is a good question for all of you gmo supporters out there- How do gmos and gmo technology help restore and maintain our rapidly deteriorating eco-system; how do they contribute to healthier soil, water and air?
Bt crops reduce the use of broad-spectrum pesticides, which is good for land, soil, birds, water and beneficial insects.
Roundup ready crops allow farmers to till less, which helps prevent erosion and benefits soil microorganisms.
GM crops, like other plant hybrids, typically produce higher yield, which can lessen the pressure to convert wild land into agriculture.
I don't work for any company. That's just stuff I learned doing my own research, which you could also do.
@10:25- So if we did some random samplings of midwest farms using gmo monocropping, how would they compare to organic farms in the same region if we compare soil nutrients, worms and microorganisms and also soil erosion? How would soil here on Kauaʻi compare (gmo vs organic)?
@10:58 am, why don't you do the damn testing yourself?
I wonder who bankrolled the movie.
Has anyone actually tried to farm this land that supposidly is poisoned? Or is this chicken little logic?
Pretty cool opportunity if you ask me. Attend a killer Dead concert while expanding the awareness of the corporate bullies on Kauai. The big fist was probably also in San Fran networking and raising the big money to continue the fight.
all kauai soil is contaminated. there is no 100% pure dirt. work with what you have. this seperates the farmers and the wannabees. the farmer makes things grow and produce food for us. the wannabees only grumble and play follow the leader and buy canned corn and canned peas. hohoho
Actually if you tested the soil from the organic farms from Moloaa, you would find an alarming toxicity. The lands of Moloaa were intensively used for pineapple production which used heptachlor, a persistent pesticide. The land was cheap with no housing rights, was bought by new age farmers and Voila, an organic farm. Now the land has housing rights, farm worker housing rights,and its called organic. After 3 years of fallow, technically one can call land organic, but actually the pesticides that were used last alot longer than that.
There is at least one farmer in Moloaa who has tested and remediates the soil, most don't look at the history.
The Dead ain't the Dead without Jerry!!!
After all San Francisco is the original home of the million little fistees.
In addition to the valid points made by 10:37 am, check Dr. Miller's letter to the editor in last weekend's WSJ entitled "Genetic Engineering Can Decrease Crops' Water Needs." Research (sorry Don Heacock) on GMO plants has led to drought tolerant crops as well as those that can grow in brackish or salty soils. "Under drought conditions, these sorts of genetic changes can mean the difference between having a harvest and crop failure."
You mean expanding the awareness (by others) of the Kauai Council bully, right?
One of the best books I've read about food production is Michael Pollan's, "The Omnivore's Dilemma- A Natural History of Four Meals". The first section is titled "Industrial Corn". It examines the main source of our mass produced fast food meals. Ever wonder why Syngenta and Monsanto grow corn in their experimental fields? Because more of the average American's calorie consumption comes from corn than any other source. This includes everything from high fructose corn syrup to corn fed cattle. Corn is the largest monoculture crop in America, covering 97 million acres, roughly the size of California. King Corn, as the the corn lobby is known in Washington, is the most powerful agricultural industry lobby in the U.S. and corn farmers receive over five billion dollars a year in direct subsidies. The production of corn uses vast amounts of our precious and increasingly scarce water resources and requires millions of tons of nitrogen in the form of chemical fertilizers for production.
For an informed view check out "It's Time to Rethink America's Corn System" by Jonathan Foley
Joan, your instant coverage of this trailer contradicts your claim of lackluster support. How many blogs have you written about this topic so far?
Killer Dead concert? Without Jerry Garcia?
DDT is also present in pineapple soils in at least one site in Kapaa. The organic farmer told me that many years ago. That site is currently not being farmed. It used to be that a farm could be certified organic with DDT present in soils but are restricted from selling root crops as organic. I don't know if this is true under current standards.
It's a cost benefit decision that farmers and consumers need to make. Zero risk tolerance would keeps you from leaving the house for fear of an accident.
It would be a very expensive life to live your life chemical free. Not many people can afford to live in a chemical free environment.
KatieH - some things are so obscenely wrong that they demand an instant response.
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James Cave James Cave is an associate editor at HuffPost Hawaii.
Allan Parachini - Gary is an expert at Taxes. It is old news, but always worth a rehash. Gary collected over 80,000 in GET from his customers and did not pay these to the State. He was way out of compliance in political double talk, but in reality it is ILLEGAL. He did not even file.
The State historically has treated General Excise Taxes as a holy orifice, not to be touched, not to be compromised. Great Fistifier or not, the State never makes a deal on GET. But somehow, and the answer has never been given, the State forgave Gary. In a mystical tryst Gary and the State climaxed and a huge portion of the money he took was forgiven. Just like magic? Or maybe just being being a powerful political person gives you special treatment.
There are hundreds of people on Kauai right now who are paying their delinquent GET with full penalty and interest, no special deals. Gary could really help out many of his constituents if he made a tutorial on how to not pay taxes and get a real good deal from the State.
But, seeing a picture of Gary's Charity desk at a concert? How embarrassing for this island. Probably half of the zoned out deadheads praying to see Jerry Garcia's ghost appear have been on Kauai. Munching Honey Infused Cowpie Mushrooms and Schmoking the Kauai Electric bedazzled by the island...and now to see the Big Fistifier of Kauai broadcasting a bad image of their Eden? Now these psychedelic, nostalgic, organic, gluten-free music lovers have another perception of the island. C'mon, a desk at a concert? How f^ckin' pathetic is that? Really? Gag me with Jerry Garcia's former Coke shovel.
But I guess, a Big Fistee in San Francisco can take on several painful insinuations.
And here I just made a resolution to only show peace and love. F*ck that.
The island is being failed by its politicians....Gary is just one of the BoZos.
Sorry to harp on Da Hoos' taxes, but a liar is liar and we get what we deserve. We elected him.
Joan why do you have so much aggression and angst? Try getting in the ocean and maybe some meditation. Life's too short for such animosity, it'll make you sick. Aloha
20 years ago before he was in politics Garys business got behind in their taxes, the State compromised on the penalties and interest same as they did with lots of others in a similar situation at the time following the hurricane. His business paid 100% of the taxes they owed. It's old news and public record. Get over it. People been trying to use this against the big fist for years.
Joan is sick Jason. We should all pray for her recovery. She used to be a beautiful soul and a kindred spirit. Now she has something dark and twisted inside her that manifests itself in vitriol and venom. It is sad really.
Joan is smart, not sick.
Joan is wonderful Jason. We should all hope she continues her research about Kauai. She is a beautiful soul and a kindred spirit. Something bright and brilliant shines inside her that manifests itself in truth and justice. It is superlative really.
Jason Donovan wrote:
"Joan why do you have so much aggression and angst? Try getting in the ocean and maybe some meditation. Life's too short for such animosity, it'll make you sick. Aloha"
What makes me sick is watching that trailer -- some of the slickest propaganda techniques you'll see outside of political candidate ads. Skillfully executed and utterly sleazy, it truly takes fear-mongering to new lows.
The good news is the more this self-serving collection of realtors, tourism industry mavens and local politicians play the Big Lie card, the more obvious their motive becomes.
Unfortunately, Kauai is no longer what it used to be Mr. Anonymous (easy to criticize). And if you're looking for vitriol and venom, you need look no further than the gleefully spewed fabrications and spin on every activist page. Joan, on the other hand, exposes truth with intelligence and wit. We look forward to every post.
6:17 - what's also "old news" are the Waimea Canyon School incidents...which were never found to be connected to pesticides. There have been no incidents since 2008, and yet Gary CONSTANTLY brings this up as if it was still relevant. In fact, unlike his tax issues, it was NEVER relevant unless you're worried about stink weed. So when Gary shuts up about Waimea Canyon maybe we'll shut up about his unpaid tax bill. Maybe.
I am utterly baffled and quite frankly disgusted at Sabra Kauka's witchcraft-esque performance in this video. Please spare us the flickering, flame-like effects and doomsday drivel. Your credibility is seriously compromised. Sad for such a well-respected Kumu.
Maui moratorium ruled invalid. Jeeze, what a surprise! (If someone failed to research that state and federal laws preempted it.) Maui County doesn't plan to appeal a loser case, saving it money that Kauai is willing to spend - while yelling about county spending.
Maui initiative shot down. End of story. LOL science haters.
@ 6:17 PM - It's hard to "get over it" when it clearly demonstrates how Gary thinks and how he reasons....his moral character. It shows that Gary would collect money for the State and then put it in his own pocket. That is the type of person Gary is. A cheat. Only another cheat would think that's OK. Ant it wasn't because of the hurricane; it was about Gary being a failure at business and misappropriating State tax revenue.
Stan Fichtman said…
Although I understand that you agree with the statement, in the trailer, that "....land is a resource, not a commodity...", I have to point out here that the debate of whether land in Hawaii is a commodity or not got almost unilaterally settled in this state around 1959-1960. That was when the Territorial, and then State Legislature, under the control of the newly-empowered Democratic party, put forward bills that literally made land here in Hawaii all a commodity. The bill specifically put the onus on the counties to develop lands under the guise of "highest and best use". Since that was determined, you see how lands in Hawaii have changed hands, changed designations and changed use. Simply put, while it is noble to think that land is a resource and not a commodity, our laws and business practices in this state don't look at land as a resource. Now if you go back and change the way the state looks at land (fat chance, too many now are raking in the Kala because of this designation, but lets get hypothetical) than we can have a better discussion on what we should use land for, and bring together the thoughts brought up in the Carlton Ching/DLNR Director hearings at the Senate.
Hitler's famous statement was you create a lie as big as you can, and keep repeating it and the people will believe it as true. It's the 21st century and people are not as stupid. We do our research and base our judgement on facts and facts alone.
Are you being facetious?
It's the 21st century and people ARE as stupid. Look at Maui. SHAKA convinced tens of thousands of residents to vote for an absurd ag ban using that method and now the same crowd is effectively using the same tactics to put HC&S out of business. End game? 36,000 acres of sugarcane into urban sprawl. If we don't put a stop to these liars.
Quite a show! Some awesome footage of Kauai, even if some of it was taken by low altitude drone flyovers of private property without the owners knowledge or specific permission. Hmmm. Also, interesting that some who were listed in the credits had no actual knowledge of the "movie" and did not contribute in any way to the making or promotion of this film. How does that work when you use others credibility to further your cause (again) without knowledge or permission? Peculiar.
Won't change what I have for dinner tonight.
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