Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Musings: Doomed to Repeat

It's story time.

And as certain folks try to re-tell the tale of Bill 2491 — the GMO/pesticide regulatory measure passed by the Kauai County Council, vetoed by the mayor, overridden by the Council and overturned in court — we're getting some revisionist history.

First up is Jennifer Ruggles, a Big Island wahine (paid by the California-based Pesticide Action Network) who was on Kauai for all of four months while the shit was going down. Yet she's now positioned herself to give a talk at the University of Hawaii-Hilo, where she promises to tell “the riveting story of the movement that lead [sic] to the 2013 largest march in Kauai history in the struggle against GMO pesticide poisoning.” 
Jennifer is seriously truth-challenged. In a youtube video that she posted, Jennifer makes numerous wild claims, including:

The seed companies use 72 tons of pesticides annually; they're taking up all the land so farmers who want to grow food can't get any; westside residents filed a class action suit against DuPont Pioneer over two cases of pesticide poisoning at Waimea Canyon School; the westside has 10 times the national average of a certain heart birth defect; and DDT is "used by GMO companies.” 

Not one of those claims is accurate. But like Center for Food Safety's Ashley Lukens, Jennifer sure knows how to spin for dollars: Send more donations, please, and we'll tell you more BS.

Meanwhile — and such curious timing! — Councilman Gary Hooser has also come out with his own version of events surrounding 2491, in which he not surprisingly tries to position him in the best possible light. In a recent blog post that he has titled "an almost complete history of Bill Nov. 2491," he links to various videos featuring himself pontificating and politicking, as well as Chris D'Angelo's crappy reporting on the issue.

Gary also links to minutes and videos of Council meetings that led to passage of the bill in less than four months, in the wee hours of the morning, after a marathon 18-hour session, as a mob threatened to overrun the Council and a group led by former Councilwoman Lani Kawahara and others screamed outside the chambers.

It's all here, on video. Go back and look at the section of that meeting that begins at 17:49:00, just in case you're forgotten how very ugly things got — with Gary's encouragement and endorsement.  Why, he even went so far as to say:

I don't blame the audience for getting riled up. I really don't.

Yeah, because that's precisely the sort of fistee action that Gary has promoted throughout this process.

Gary also said, after the vote was taken to pass Bill 2491:

I'm not happy with a lot of the bill, but we got two things the industry fought: the right to know... and the empowerment of our community. We have set an example here for other communities.

And what kind of an example was that? That bullies prevail? That ignorance rules? That special interest groups can disrupt small communities to achieve their own political ends? That a poorly written and hastily passed bill won't pass the legal sniff test? As for the right to know, that was achieved through a voluntary agreement between the companies and the state, not Bill 2491.

Yet his self-serving post won praise from someone named Sharry Douglas, who left this comment:

Wow! It’s insane when you see just how long there has been- not just stalling- but blatant sabotaging of a bill that wants to be passed, so it can do what it was created to do: allow us to be informed, so we can make healthy choices. Gary thank you for ALL that you do and for summarizing your long and challenging journey on our behalf!

Gag. Of course, those of us who lived it know this movement has never been about information, much less allowing people to be informed, which is why it's achieved neither. Rather, it's been almost entirely about blatant, intentional disinformation and fear-mongering, where it has excelled.

As the adage goes, those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. 

And those who learn it wrong, or spin it to achieve their own ends, doom the rest of us to a re-enactment of their stupidity — unless we speak up and tell it like it is.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Just looked at his blog piece on the history of Bill 2491. The fact that it includes all the official minutes of each Council meeting and all the official video record of each meeting is impressive as a resource. He should have left out the Switzerland video and video of the mana march though as it detracts from the official record.

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, I also found the compilation of minutes quite handy.

Anonymous said...

"....unless we speak up and tell it like it is."

jaja, ms. Joan! that's rich! you crak me up!

Anonymous said...

And just when things have started to settle down.
Da Hoos knows that the the BS, mob action and frenzy that he created has left a large residue that is unrelated to GMOs or pesticides.
This residue is the hard fact that when any Haole Type gets up in front of the Council they completely tune out. The somewhat simmering fluttering Haole/Local divide was thrown into the forefront by Da Hoos' and his many Fistee's actions.
Many Locals just re-enforced their feelings that Da Haoles were nothing but a bunch of loudmouth, know-it-alls that just love to tell the Locals what to do.
The irony of the mess, is that Jay Furfaro allowed everything to develop into the chaotic and scary midnight mob scenes. And then there is Jay and Gary's questionable insertion of Mason as a the defining vote. Jay is forever blemished.
So Gary, go start the free for all again. Nothing will happen.
And as the B&Bs fell and as you look at the subtle grimace every time a person of the Haole persuasion gets up to speak at the Council meetings...The Council doth not hear- for them thar Haoles are yes indeed, just a bunch of loud mouthed liars who have no respect for the cultural history of Ag, the people who worked Ag nor do they have the common regard that most folks have when in conversation.
There are plenny good Haoles out there, but the die is cast....With Da hoos as your leader, this grandstanding, headline seeking, lying sack of questionable substance...you are in his shadow, your words will be unheard and it would be best if you just stayed home and watched Jerry Springer.
Leave Ag alone.

Anonymous said...

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that 60 million people are on the move, seeking refuge in Europe, the U.S., and refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Half of them are children. The scope of this tragedy is hard to fathom. Knowing observers say the human tide desperately seeking sanctuary has not subsided.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, we see a new spike in homelessness. On Oahu, median housing prices have hit a new high. Recent surveys rate Honolulu as one of the worst cities for young people seeking a start in their professional lives. Our smaller cities -- Hilo, Kaneohe, etc. -- also rate in the bottom tier.

And yet the furor over GMOs and pesticides in Hawaii continues unabated. We are trapped in an echo chamber of a manufactured argument culture, in large part due to offshore NGOs and their benefactors. Sadly, this protest culture is not focused on real problems. We're overdue for a reset. Joan has set the table for serious folks to articulate an agenda. Let's get on with it.

Anonymous said...

And the Garden Island newspaper focused on homelessness - - - on O'ahu! They couldn't even be bothered to do even a little bit of investigative journalism on homelessness here on Kaua'i.

Anonymous said...

You ever wonder who or what are they doing to speed up the reset button?

Anonymous said...

Keep on eating fish and especially Pok'e and you will personally find out that processed meats and GMO are the least of your concerns.

Fukushima impacts are ongoing

SUBHEAD: There will be at least 100,000 and as many as one million more cancers in Japan because of Fukushima disaster.

By Arne Gundersen on 4 November 2015 for Fairewinds Assoc.


Read blog post on Island Breath

Anonymous said...

The GMO debate just obscures the fact that the real people ripping off local people, masquerade as local people. The people responsible for the affordable housing shortage are the Grove Farms and A&B's of the world. They sit on the land waiting for values to increase so they can make even more millions. The Council shout go after them! Wait Councilmember Kaneshiro works for them. Well then the Councik should go after the State! Wait, Councilmember Kagawa works for them. Oh well, must be nice to have two cushy jobs and do nothing at either.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan, for articulating the shocking truth. And to 3:46 PM and 5 PM, yes! With these arrogant, lying, self-righteous haoles taking over, it's embarrassing to be a haole these days.

Why are we allowing these people to come here and make a living lying to our community and tearing it apart? We need to hold our policy and lawmakers accountable for pandering to these fear-mongerers who are not at all interested in the health and well-being of the community. More and more local families are being forced to move to the mainland because of the cost of living here and the lack of decent jobs. That is the grim reality.

We are focused on issues that have no basis in scientific fact or reality, while our community suffers from drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and lack of educational and occupational opportunities.

Send these lying, bullying manipulators packing and bring back the aloha for each other that we once had.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those local braddahs are full of plenty hate against people of the Caucasian persuasion.

Anonymous said...

8:14 no the affordable housing crisis was not caused in the past 2 or 3 years by the Council. Your boy Hooser, Bynum, and Yukimura had a lot more time in office to get things done than Ross or Arryl so cut your bullshit. Again you just show yourself to be another arrogant redshirt wearing transplant who thinks you are so much smarter than the locals. Go back to where you came from and go buy your affordable house.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! I think a little anger management and race relations training is in order. Sounds like 9:07am has some serious issues going on.

Anonymous said...

@9:47. It's called frustration.

Anonymous said...

@9:47 it's called the truth something you and Hooser don't understand, that's why he paid his buddy Tim Bynum a $300,000 settlement over a trespassing issue when no one was home. You have no problems with that in government? Transplant!

Manuahi said...

The lack of affordable housing is a direct result of government red tape which can delay a development for over a decade just to get the approvals. With all this up front cost and uncertainty as to what the government will extract from the developer, there's no way a developer will risk his money and time building houses on which he can barely break even. Government regulations and sluggish processing, not to mention the NIMBY's who protest and delay any new housing initiatives and cry about preserving ag lands, all cause the price of housing to be higher than it would otherwise if supply was closer to meeting demand. We already have a problem with the high cost of everything here so why do we throw additional hurdles in from of such a needed cause? Affordable housing advocates need to talk to and change the minds of their NIMBY drawbridge raising neighbors and our elected officials. Sad because it's a problem that could be solved. But then...maybe the majority of voters really don't want to do what is necessary to solve it. Hmmmm...

Anonymous said...

I'm a local born and raised and it doesn't matter if you are a local or transplant.

What matters is that these councilmen and woman are held accountable for their actions or inactions.

Ross has almost 2 terms under his belt and Arryl has nearly completed his first without any introduction or discussions on the housing crisis and other important things that is plaguing out inefficient county government.

The local people are having the hardest time finding affordable homes on island and on Maui and Oahu.

This is a serious issue that needs to be tended to and not placed upon the next council body or the council body that will be in place 20 years from now.

The people who don't want affordable house are the people who already got there's and want the value to skyrocket so they can pocket the insane rent prices as well as selling a termite infested 800 sq ft 2 bedroom 1 bath home for 400K-500K.

Anonymous said...

These Uncle Tom sell outs are the exact reason to why Kauai's government will never progress pass the plantation mentality.

Anonymous said...

11;33. There is an election every two years for county coucilmembers, what more do you expect? They are accountable If you're not happy, jump in the race. You sure seem confident in yourself. Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

Empty homes held as vacation/investment property and the feds monetary policy lowering interest rates to practically nothing both push prices up. They need to levy taxes on those holding empty homes so they will rent or sell.

Manuahi said...

9:12 AM - Your comment shows you have little concept of market principals. Kauai property prices are rising because of three factors: 1) Kauai's desirability as a place to visit/live which attracts newcomers, 2) the lack of residential-zoned land along with the tremendous amount of wasted time and red tape the government heaps on developers due to and reflecting the popular antipathy towards all development, and 3) the growing resident population. Kauai's traffic issues are a perfect example of these factors at work. Too many people being born or coming here and served (?) by an inefficient County government unable to address the needs and issues of a growing population.