It's hard to believe Donald Trump's candidacy endures. But as we've seen time and again, never underestimate the stupidity — and gullibility — of the easily led.
While on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Trump blamed Mexicans — such a convenient scapegoat — for the heroin problem there. Never mind that health officials say most people get started with over-prescribed, ready available painkillers like Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin, then move on to junk. As the CDC reports:
Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills. The Northeast, especially Maine and New Hampshire, had the most prescriptions per person for long-acting and high-dose painkillers.
But that reality interferes with Trump's brilliant plan to wall off the border with Mexico, so he just ignores it. I wonder, is he planning a similar approach to end the ice epidemic in Hawaii? But if the Islands are sealed off, how will the food get in?
Speaking of walls, and bordering nations, Canada has again declared its candidacy for POTUS. My favorite part of its platform:
We'll open one free day care for every closed Planned Parenthood clinic.
Shoots, they got my vote.
Though Trump won't shut up, the state Department of Health is all mum. As in, it won't tell us who is awarding those lucrative medical marijuana licenses or even who picked the power-wielding panelists.
Civil Beat quotes Gov. Ige as saying it's important to keep it all secret “to ensure they can properly do their jobs.” Ya mean like award licenses to their friends before folks can cry foul?
Yet in the perverse world of politics, Ige's spokeswoman actually sees the secrecy as ensuring that the process “is perceived to be fair and objective.”
Oh, yes, I've always found secrecy, and the inability to scrutinize the qualifications of those doling out valuable contracts, as part and parcel of “fair and objective.”
From where I sit, it's all kinda stinky, especially when you see folks who are well-connected politically, like Charles Kawakami, Sen. Kalani English and former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, submitting applications as principles or investors. It's really hard to believe it's going to be solely merit-based, especially given the minimalist application process.
Speaking of stinky, The Garden Island reports there was a fish kill at Sunrise Capital, the Kauai shrimp farm. It reports, too, that Carl Berg of Surfrider was out there, gagging at the smell. But also salivating at the prospect of being able to shut them down. Seems Surfrider fought the company's permit, just like it's fighting the proposed dairy at Mahaulepu. the seed fields on the westside, cattle most anywhere and Roundup everywhere.
But no, they aren't anti-ag. They fully support gentlemanly farms and the odd “yarden” or two, where bees are kept not for honey, but meditative purposes.
Meanwhile, Surfrider is running an anti-pesticide radio spot, and one of its members (and former Kauai mayoral candidate), Diana LaBedz, is doing the voice-over for GMO-Free Kauai's latest fear-fest.
Apparently, they aren't getting enough traction in the free echo chamber at KKCR, so they're actually buying 30-second ad spots to take their message of “Be afraid. Be very very very afraid, so fucking afraid you can't sleep at night” out to the rest of the island.
In one spot, she tells farm, landscape and government workers they should be “very concerned” about their health. “Your illness could be caused by the pesticides you are spraying.”
In another spot, she claims we're being “poisoned by Roundup” and then goes on to state, as it it were fact, that Alzheimers, Parkinsons, autism, miscarriages and brain, breast, lung and prostate cancer “are illnesses tied to Roundup.”
Curiously, this particular anti-Roundup propaganda campaign was preceded by the Surfrider-funded and directed study that found glyphosate (Roundup ) in honey. And it will be followed by release of the Joint Fact Finding Group's report on pesticides, which has a special section on glyphosate. My, what a set of coincidences!
As the liberal website Alternet reports:
What’s going on is Americans are endlessly being bombarded with media messages that are fearful and deceitful. The result not only affects our politics and policies, as we are insistently told to fear and respond to exaggerated or fake threats. But, going deeper, this onslaught literally shapes how brains work and what people end up believing, [linguist and author George] Lakoff and other astute observers have said. The result is many small problems get undue attention while widespread problems go unacknowledged and unanswered.
You know, like focusing on Roundup while ignoring the very real threats of meth, hunger, homelessness and poverty. But hey, “GMO-Free Kauai cares about your health.” That's why it feeds you a steady diet of fear. Because it's so good for you.
The article continues:
Repetition of fear-based messaging—without a steady counterpoint or context to stop that drumbeat—has been shown to affect the brain patterns that determine how people think.
Indeed. As I've pointed out repeatedly, the anti-GMO movement in Hawaii is predicated on fear-mongering. And in that, they have an ally in Donald Trump.
[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. —Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513