Friday, July 31, 2015

Musings: Funnies and Follies

It's been kind of a goofy, crazy month here in the Islands.

First we had a wacky, error-ridden LeMonde article by hack writer Corine Lesnes, who described a nonexistent "agrochemicals factory" in Waimea before interviewing Klayton Kubo on biotech:

“I have no qualifications. I don’t speak like their engineers," he says. "But I do know that they’re spreading massive quantities of poison.” The activist raises his black glasses to show his reddened eyes. “And I don’t consume marijuana!” he says.

All together, the companies spray a total of 18 tons of pesticides every year in Kauai. “It’s more than a farmer [sprays] in his entire life!,” Klayton says.

Yeah, and more than all the Kauai seed companies spray, too. But why let facts intrude? Still, surely even Klayton recognizes this as fiction:

Since the 1990s, seed companies have been forcing sugar cane and pineapple plantations out of business. When they arrived, they were welcomed as they saved thousands of farm workers their jobs. But the indulgence was short-lived and turned into uproar in an archipelago where “Aloha Aina,” the love of the land, is deeply rooted in each inhabitant.

The reporter does offer a pretty good assessment of who is behind the anti-GMO movement:

From Kauai to Molokai and Maui, complaints have multiplied at the initiative of a small group of farmers, organic retailers, educators, “Moms against GMOs,” and Europeans who came to this natural paradise to establish their yoga and meditation centers.

Don't forget the high-end Realtors slathering over that vacant westside land. Corine Lesnes continues:

Kauai, also known as the “Garden Isle,” is the most rural of the archipelago, and the cradle of Hawaii’s demand of “food sovereignty” (85% of fruits and vegetables are imported) and of the right to teach again in Hawaiian to prevent the native language from disappearing.

Huh? Are you sure you're in the right archipelago, Corine? The article goes on to discuss both Bill 2491, which was overturned by a federal court, and the lawsuit that Waimea residents filed against Pioneer:

Anti-GMOs activists believe there’s little hope the federal justice system will validate a local decision that goes in the face of national legislation —especially since companies have a cast-iron defense: they don’t plant or spread anything that isn’t approved and authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Agriculture.

As is often the case in this sort of situation, nobody could prove any irrefutable scientific correlation between the inhabitants health issues (37 cancers in a neighborhood of 800 inhabitants) and the pesticides.

Uh, so what does that tell you?

Then we had the release of “Aina: That Which Feeds Us,” a film that uses footage from who knows where to portray Kauai as having open pit mining, skyscrapers, a packed Chinatown, clear-cut forests, massive cargo container ports, traffic-choked freeways, aerial pesticide spraying, dense suburbs, toxic farm soil, wheat fields, massive chemical plants and Hawaiians who arrived in six-man outriggers. 

It ends by giving special thanks to the Donovan family and Hawaiian Volcanic Beverages, a water source mined "from deep within the sacred island of Hawaii" by “green” (as in big kala) Kauai Realtor Jason Donovan. He was also a proponent of Kauai Springs, and an early investor in that company.
Oh, yeah. Aloha aina, baby. Hooponopono and malama aina, too.. Now gimme all your money.

Then I got a text from a friend: "Fern calling you out!"

Flashback to seventh grade, when Becky Covarubius wanted to beat me up because she thought, mistakenly, that I'd flipped her the bird on the bus. Only this time, it's a different tita: anti-GMO activist Fern Rosensteil. And she's looking for my home address because she doesn't like what I've written about her.  
Hmmm. I always suspected Chris D'Angelo was embedded with the anti-GMO movement when he was working for The Garden Island. And now he's doing the same thing over on the Big Island.
Sorry, Fern, but somebody already beat you to it. 
Yeah, just another uppity haole who never learned her place. Still, I'm not gonna tangle with Fern. She's way bigger. And as my dear departed Mama used to say, "Never get in a pissing match with a skunk."

I'm not sure which of these comments amused me more:

Besides laughs, the comment thread served another purpose: I became thoroughly convinced that none of these people master-minded the anti-GMO/anti-ag strategy unfolding in Hawaii. They're not bright enough. But they are chumps, with egos big enough to make them easy marks.

Meanwhile, their colleagues, the chem trail conspirators, are gearing up. Alarmingly, their ranks include Dr. Lorrin Pang, the state health officer for Maui County, as captured in this eye-popping video. Though Pang was giving an anti-GMO talk, the topic drifted to chem trails, with Pang paranoiacally speaking of tapped phones and how when “they catch wind of you monitoring, they spray the seawater” to cover their tracks.

Those devious buggahs. But he did hear of one pilot who “forgot to turn off the chem trail emitter and landed. Wow, talk about the smoking gun.” Sadly, it's tough to convince others because “it's so easy to disprove everything.”

Yeah, there's that.

“They” aren't gonna fool failed mayoral candidate Dustin Barca, though. He's way too smart for that:
Still, you'll be relieved to learn that, according to Pang, “they” are using chem trails to “cool the Earth”  and not for “mind control.”

Actually, it's not needed for that purpose, which has already been achieved through social media.

The month wrapped up with a giant pu fest that, as predicted, successfully stopped the secret TPP talks at Kaanapali, thus saving activists from being forced to buy more cheap crap from China: 
As one friend noted, "And what about the hundreds of conch shells they they think they just washed up on the beach, in perfect condition, with no animal inside?" Which was similar to an observation by another friend, “I'm sure they were all sustainably harvested.”
Yup. Nothing like a red shirt with a pu in his/her fist to make the world's corporate leaders tremble in fear.

Even Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser got in the act. Though he couldn't make it to Lihue for the premiere of “Aina,” he managed to fly to Maui for a global photo op meaningful social protest. Hmm. Has he changed his mantra from “bite me” to "blow me"?
As a friend commented, "You can't make this shit up."

Nope. But you can laugh!


Anonymous said...

Keep it up, Joan. If Fern is acting and talking this way it means that she and her ilk don't like the truth about them being publicized.

Anonymous said...

And I am laughing so hard!!!! Thanks Joan.

So much better than crying about it like I usually do.

Think of all the wasted time, money, and energy that these people could have put to good use attacking real problems and working cooperatively towards practical solutions.

Anonymous said...

They think you can just walk into the post office and ask for the physical address of someone? The post masters won't even tape up a box for me! It's gotta be more than grace carrying Fern's heavy load! That photo of Gary, red in the face blowing pu is priceless too.

Anonymous said...

Loved the 'you didn't go to school there, she would have learned ya'.. What an idiot.

Allan Parachini said...

In terms of this absurd film, "Aina That Which Feeds Us," Joan is right that it's very difficult to know what was actually shot on Kauai. For example, we see (two or three times, I think) a fixed wing agricultural spraying aircraft coming down low and unloading something through the nozzles in the wings. Only problem is no one on Kauai used aircraft for spraying pesticides, so the pictures must be fake. Then there's the issue of the whole section that talks about how Hawaii was self-sustaining for food when it had 1.5 million inhabitants. Only problem is that even the highest and most suspect estimate of the population of Hawaii pre-contact is 1 million and the credible range of the number actually here is between 250,000 and 400,000. I also saw shots of fields being sprayed by ground machinery which I strongly suspect are also not Kauai in origin. In other words, a lot about this film's alleged authenticity stinks. And that doesn't even speak to the real failing of this production, which is that it doesn't really have a specific message, much less any solid information to back it up. I do find myself wondering how it was financed. To the producers of the film, a challenge: Please release a shot list, by time code, identifying when and where everything we see was shot and release sources for the alleged factual assertions, like population and the sweeping remarks about the seed companies "experimenting." Also, since the figures for the amounts of pesticides sprayed are obviously fake, please come clean about the actual amounts, which are available in public records in any number of places.

Anonymous said...

Good one Joan. Once again you called out still another journalist who has been snookered by the ignorant red shirts who could not possibly have designed this complex strategy. Two questions: 1) Why are so many national and international journalists so interested and seemingly so sympathetic to the red shirts cause and claims? 2) Who is the mastermind behind all this manipulation of the press? So glad we have you willing to stand up for the truth and de snookering all the bull shit.

Anonymous said...

Not even a token local.,

Joan Conrow said...

I'm sorry you don't appreciate my efforts, 8:04. Perhaps you'd be happier following Dustin, Fern and Gary?

But to answer your questions:

1) Because they've been pitched by propagandists (see #2) who are pushing one side of the story, and the reporters are either too lazy or too biased — like Chris D'Angelo -- to do even the most basic homework, which is why they get so many facts and details wrong, as I pointed out, but which you do not care to see. It's easy to get reporters to come to Hawaii to write about the evil multinationals, especially when you pay them, like Paul Koberstein. Didn't you see the posts where I wrote about the "media initiative" that was funding reporters to come to Hawaii to write anti-GMO stories?

2) Mainland and international groups like Center for Food Safety and Greenpeace that use local yokels to do their bidding.

Anonymous said...

Very funny, Ms Joan.
An den, if want me to pick up your mail let me know. I'll get it. I have a face that even a Mother couldn't love.
So the Big Fistee was a blowin' the Big Pu? Pretty good idea for Guinness, now those drunken Irish will have a whole new category to laugh at.

I don't mind the water thing this greenie realtor do. But Jason as a realtor was a greedy little piece of shit. At least he was when he a real "green" realtor as in NEW to the land pimping business. Greedy and none too bright. But still ya gotta admire these guys for their hypocrisy.
Bite Me to Blow me? Maui Beach Blowing made easy by the Big Fistee from Kauai.
How many realtors are in this anti-Ag anti-Local agenda? We got Gary (A real flim-flam realtorman at heart), Hawaii Life Realty and now this Jason Guy. gee whiz.
Most of the relators I know personally mind their own business and support Agriculture.

Anonymous said...

Cool. Thank you! I wasn't aware until now that GreenPeace was behind the Hawaii anti GMO movement. This is important new information. And sorry but yes I missed your earlier media expose. I will read back through. Thank you!

Joan Conrow said...

Greenpeace is behind the anti-GMO movement in India, Thailand, the Philippines and South America. Why would you think they wouldn't also be trying to influence things here in the Islands? But glad to know I'm educating you, even against your will.

Anonymous said...

pu fisters....ew, real bad imagery...another good piece ms. joan.

Manuahi said...

Joan! I think 8:04 AM was supportive of your work; not critical. Or did I miss something?

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, the sarcasm!

Anonymous said...

Joan, the truth is you have hurt a lot of local people on island. You rant and rave about certain individuals, it may be truth, but you are not Akamai if you think you can do it and not cause anger, hatred and injustice. Most of us locals don't do what you do----we know the truth, speak it, but don't try to convince others that we are all knowing. You have created a lot of anger, discord and divide. If you feel that the biotech companies, chemtrails are doing good, then tell us how, when, where! Don't simply discredit the people who rise up and disagree with you---isn't it part of our democratic society that has the right to do what you feel the antis are doing?! Your blog also brings out the bad in people, usage of bad language, anger and back biting are so evident. Can you focus on the big picture and not on individuals who you tend to disagree with?

Joan Conrow said...

9:37. There are no such thing as chem trails so I won't be telling you how good they are. As for the rest, if you don't like my blog, please stop reading it! I wouldn't want you to suffer unnecessarily.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:37, what local people are you talking about that Joan has hurt? The anger, discord and divide was caused by one person, Gary Hooser and his 2491 initiative. If YOU cannot see that, then YOU are not the akamai one.

Anonymous said...

yup 9:37 is very credible "... if you feel... chemtrails are doing good..." At least its easy to spot these people in person... watch out for the folks near your PO Box wearing tin foil hats on their heads.

Fern is insane.

Joan - She better hope you stay safe and don't trip and fall or find scratches on your car... she's in print threatening you. What a fool.

Anonymous said...

Joan, although I disagree with you sometimes and agree others, I would never ever want you to stop. Maybe bring back the lovely prose you used to write about morning walks and your dog. I miss those....... I digress.

As an attorney, I do believe you have presented enough evidence, in this post alone, to secure a civil restraining order against fern. (In case you were wondering). However you would have to list your po box and face her in court to do so. You would also have to pay the filing fee.


Anonymous said...

10:26 Oh God- I am glad you are not my attorney. This is absolutely the worst f*ckin' advice possible. You must work for the County or another group of nudniks.

(Nudnik- A person who makes the situation or circumstance far better by their ABSENCE)

kulturetattoo said...

What damage was caused by Gary? Gary just wasn't just acting out of his own interest. Have not operations continued to expand with the AG companies despite Pioneer closing a small part of their operation? Just curious for the sake of factual info here.

kulturetattoo said...

Joan. What do you make of the work of former head scientist at the EPA, Ramon J. Seidler, Phd. His research points out that there is an increase in glyphosate and massive amounts of other pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Do you think this the wisest path for such an sensitive environment as Kauai. Do you think is in the best long term interest of the environment here?
What about the U.S. Geological Survey "Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with neonicotinoid concentrations" showing that correlations between environmental neonics and loss of birds?
Should we continue this path here?

Anonymous said...

Chemtrails. Sheesh. Right up there with GMO and Anthropogenic Catastrophic Global Warming, fake moon landings and Bush Blew Up The Trade Center..

Joan Conrow said...

Dear kulturetattoo:

In general, I think pesticides and herbicides should be used as sparingly as possible, by persons who are trained in their applications, with priority given to agricultural and health and safety uses.

No, I don't believe seed operations have continued to expand. They've contracted, with the closing of operations and the return of unused leased land.

Yes, Gary was acting in his own interest. If he was acting in the public interest, he would've sought to provide people with factual information, rather than continue to make stuff up to frighten people and gain media attention. He also would've taken a different, more politically collaborative approach, one that didn't create so much polarization. Heck, he might even have visited a seed farm, to educate himself about their operations, before he did anything.

kulturetattoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kulturetattoo said...

As in expanding, there seems to be growth in other areas not seen before. Specifically near Salt Pond. This may account for AG lands being unused in other places.
I would like to see a decline in all chemical use on Kauai from all major players in and out of the AG industry. Surely in this day and age it's a positive step. The future generations would greatly benefit.
If you haven't I would check out the reports mentioned above. If there is an increase, then the option might be to move in an opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

thank you Joan for this entertaining information. everyone is old enough to read or not read the blog. if you read you may get angry, sad or happy. which ever becomes the case we react in a certain manner. it is all up to the individual... we are all different from each other. some people like to use profane language, some not. "local" is just a word like "fish", get plenty different types of fish...some good eating some not. some look really nice some not. get plenty different types of local...some nice some not...some smart some not... some are leaders some not..some are afraid of the dark some not. anyways thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

Why does Chris D'Angelo continue to work for a the Hawaii Tribune-Herald? Until now, I thought they only hired journalists. With his tweet as evidence, the Trib's publisher should send him packing.

Anonymous said...

Selling real estate and bottled water. That's green?

Anonymous said...

Corn prices in general are falling due to the economic failure of initiatives to make ethanol a primary automotive fuel source. That's what caused corn prices to rise in the first place. So with corn prices dropping, some farmers are turning to other crops. This is the reason for the apparent shrinkage in local corn farming.

Anonymous said...

The poser is bad enough but what's with the cretins urging her on or complimenting her behavior? Grace and intelligence? Yeah, others tend to listen more when you're gracefully and intelligently stalking them at the post office.

Anonymous said...

Oh- be still, my heart! Gary and the PoohBrahs who shade towards "Maui Local" -just another posturing blowhard. He should move and run for the Maui Council. Rosenstiel seems to be another one of those underemployed and under talented people who feel they are being denied the natural station and authority in life they deserve by their inferiors (those who don't agree with her). What a shame that someone whose main talent seems to be to rant doesn't get to grab the rest of us by the throat. Her buddies, at least the ones in the excerpt quoted, must have graduated at the top of the class at Harpy School. They would give Madame Defarge and her knitting circle a run for the money.

Dawson said...

The image of Gary Hooser blowing a conch shell made me throw up in my mouth.

There's disgusting, and there's disgusting!

Anonymous said...

...are your posts and resultant threads getting funnier Joan? Kudos to 7:06, 7:13am and others for starting my day with a good chuckle.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't trust the EPA to tell me the time. They are political nut cases, not scientists.

Anonymous said...

I could barely type this comment as I am laughing hysterically!
Fern, your insecurity is showing. If Joan is just "talking shit" that isn't true, why let it bother you? People talk shit all the time. It's really up to you if you choose to let it bother you. You don't see Joan threatening to stake out people's houses and kick their asses, and she gets tons of shit from people all the time! If you put yourself in a position of being in the public eye, you're gonna get shit on. Put on your big girl panties and take the higher road.

Anonymous said...

Not that long ago, the protest would be about the resort in the background of that pu photo.

Anonymous said...

Joan, While I agree that people tend to believe in the bogey man, chem trails etc., there is huge evidence on Kauai that the use of chemicals by agribusiness is affecting people and the environment. Dupont just paid out a lawsuit for damage to peoples health from the spray and also there are confirmed cases of children sent to the hospital from Waimea elementary after a heavy spraying near the school. There is a need for regulation of pesticide/herbicide use and also the state needs to implement new regulations and testing of ag lands. We cannot ignore the reviews of new research showing the harm to bees, soil and people etc. And I feel that home gardeners, golf courses and resorts etc. should also have no or restricted use of chemicals like 2-4 D, glyphosate and the neonicotinoids.

So to quote you in the above comment to Kulturetattoo "In general, I think pesticides and herbicides should be used as sparingly as possible, by persons who are trained in their applications, with priority given to agricultural and health and safety uses. "

Glad to know that you feel like the rest of us...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 8-8 10:34. Dupont-Pioneer paid for the inconvenience (loss of enjoyment of property) caused by dust arising from Pioneer land for a limited and specified duration. It was a nuisance suit so yours is not a minor misstatement of the facts ("for damage to people's health". There are in fact cases of Middle School kids being referred to the ER at KVMH where they were discharged without any finding of pesticide related health issues reported to the Department of Health that we know of (required by law if suspected by medical personnel in Hawaii). DOH has, in fact published a report covering this; it's not a surprise someone like you missed it. If you are going to comment here, kindly get a grip on the facts you put forward or stay on the BAB facebook page or wherever it is that gets you all confused. Don't drag the tedious falsehoods in here. Not too many people care what you feel given your mediocre grip on the details.

Anonymous said...

Right on for pointing out the Kauai westside anti movement peoples. They really are trouble makers! They go to people's homes and threaten them or beat them up in parking lots. Just like in high school, because they literally never left it.