The Guardian has posted a new bit of fantasy about Hawaii, this time efforts to secure land redistribution through agricultural utopianism.
As I've been saying all along, this “aloha aina” movement is a thinly disguised attempt to wrest control of land, and thus power, from those who currently have it.
Problem is, those orchestrating the movement are characterized by a striking ignorance of agriculture, no moral compass or both. And it's still unclear who is putting up the dough, and what they expect in return.
In the category of striking ignorance, we have Tiare Lawrence, a Maui fashion designer who fancies herself an “activist for farmers,” even though a piece she wrote for Civil Beat shows she knows nothing about ag.
Tiare's featured prominently in The Guardian piece, first whining about mono-cropping — uh, hello, what do you think the Hawaiians were doing with taro? — before casting out this laughable gem:
A lot of families want to return home and farm but they need water to do that, and HC&S still keep most of the water for themselves.
Does anyone actually believe that the folks who fled the high cost of living in the Islands for Las Vegas, Portland, Cali and points beyond are really waiting to give up their mainland homes, jobs and lives so they can come back and eke out a marginal existence farming in Hawaii? Dream on.
The article then quotes Rep. Kaniela Ing, who also disses mono-cropping, while simultaneously promoting hemp, which only has a prayer economically if it's grown on an “industrial” scale, and even then, it's questionable.
The article goes on to report that “Monsanto is thought to be casting an avaricious eye on the 36,000 acres about to come up for grabs.”
First, the land isn't “coming up for grabs.” It still belongs to A&B. And second, the seed companies are shrinking, not expanding, their footprint in the Islands. But hey, nothing works to rally the fearful and ignorant like the big Monsanto demon.
The Guardian piece is filled with the same sort of one-side fabrication and revisionism hat characterized Chris Pala's Guardian piece on how GMO agriculture had supposedly caused a “spike in birth defects” — a claim that even the biased Joint Fact-Finding report put to rest.
But it is revealing to see the true motives finally laid out there, instead of hidden behind the veneer of "saving" taro farmers, the keiki and Maui itself. The article ends with this quote from Ing:
This is is an opportunity for these historically greedy missionary families who created the sugar industry to … give back what is owed to the people of Maui.
If that's the end goal, better find another approach. Because neither the Maui Tomorrow "Malama Aina" plan nor the "Maui Community Organic Farmland" ag land condemnation initiative will achieve it.
Speaking of condemnation, it's good that people reacted so strongly against the Salt Pond monk seal attack, resulting in a speedy arrest.
Still, it's not helpful when people like Sabra Kauka offer opinions without knowing the situation:
She said sometimes this kind of aggression toward the Hawaiian Monk Seals stems from the commercial fishing community and the mindset that the seals are stealing the fish from their nets.
That's quite an aspersion to cast upon commercial fishers, especially when the perp isn't one.
I hope this incident does encourage everyone to look at the real cause for these actions: the culture of violence and substance abuse in which we live. People who abuse animals tend to abuse people, and often they have been abused, too. Drugs and alcohol make it all worse. These things don't happen in a vacuum, and they won't end unless we all decide violence simply isn't acceptable.