Monday, March 13, 2017

Musings: Toxic Dump

We've been hearing a lot recently about the “poisoning” of “paradise,” by which is meant Hawaii, using a term typically employed in tourism marketing.

After witnessing a slew of videos, “fake news” articles, misinformed “infographics,” inflammatory social media memes, biased workshops, poorly written legislative bills, demonstrations, media commentaries and Facebook rants, I'm beginning to think it's true.

Except the cause isn't, as has been claimed, agricultural pesticides. It's the mainland-based movement that is orchestrating this fear-mongering charade with the sole goal of destroying GMO seed production in Hawaii.

This movement is led in the Islands by the Center for Food Safety, which spends nearly $1 million per year on its Hawaii office. With lobbyist Ashley Lukens at the helm, it pumps out a stready stream of propaganda aimed primarily at spreading misinformation and fear:
Just this past weekend, Ashley crowed about her success in shifting the discussion away from biotechnology, which was losing traction, and into pesticides – but ONLY ag pesticides:
Not surprisingly, the symposium featured people who toe the CFS party line, like Asa Bradman, an organic ag advocate.

Sadly, as Lukens and CFS bully Islanders to advance their national agenda, they are creating a toxic environment that is sickening personal relationships, civil debate, the legislative process and communities.

We saw it most recently with the Hawaii House deliberations on HB 790, a broad and vaguely worded bill that would require agricultural pesticide disclosure, give counties authority over pesticide regulations and allow citizens to sue farms over pesticide applications.

After much jubilation as the bill moved through committees, the antis realized it was going to fall. That's when they turned vicious.

Kauai Rep. Dee Morikawa, whose district includes seed farms and the people who work for them, was honest about the bill's shortcomings. In a recent comment on this blog, she spoke of the attacks she suffered when she “spearheaded the death of this bill:”

I have just exposed myself to the Public about my position on HB790, through the local newspaper and wouldn't you know, I get ridiculed through comments and social media, not to mention the terrible phone calls and threats. Elected officials don't want to expose their positions, on this issue, because of this. I don't even look at Facebook anymore, because it hurts. After working for the County for 35 plus years, I chose this path because I wanted to help my community with policy and funding that would make for a better lifestyle. When I first introduced the disclosure bill in 2013, I was the hero, except that it wasn't good enough to this group. I'm glad that the good neighbor program was developed and that the study came out and I felt that here forward we could start to establish policy that would be workable by the Departments involved. I, unlike Mr. Hooser, do not believe in shoving policy at entities that cannot accomplish it. I dig deep within myself and ask, do I want to do this...then I realize that if I don't, who will fight against these fear-mongering people.

Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey tried catering to the antis, yet he still suffered their wrath, prompting people like Center for Food Safety lobbyist Ashley Lukens to trash him in the newspaper and social media:
This effort, replete with lies, was joined by the SAFE action fund and Maui Councilmembers Alika Atay and Elle Cochran:

Their mob quickly piled on:

And now it appears his efforts to avoid the fury of the antis, by burning his colleagues, could cost McKelvey the chairmanship of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee.

Others, like Gary Hooser and his HAPA group, denounced the House for sending the bill back to committee, which effectively killed it for the session, rather than taking a voice vote:
Which part of the democracy and transparency says its OK to threaten, badger and harass legislators simply because they don't agree with you? Isn't that the sort of behavior that got "progressives" all huhu about the Tea Party — even as they know adopt those same tactics?

Meanwhile, they promote events like this, with no trace of irony:
Where, pray tell, is the positivity in a movement that is built entirely on lies, fear, shaming and bullying?

Not to mention threats — leveled by those who are benefitting financially from this war on ag:
And that includes Hooser, who authored this:

The word circulating in activist circles now is that many are fed up with being shut down first by the courts and now the State legislature. Soon the so-called "nuclear option" (picketing of hotels and resorts) could be triggered. Already posts are showing up in Yelp and in other travel oriented comment sections warning pregnant women to avoid west Kauai, Moloka'i and parts of Maui.

Sadly, Civil Beat and the Star-Advertiser, in their coverage of HB 790, focused solely on the legislative maneuver used to kill the bill. In the process, they failed to discuss why legislators feared the fury of the activists, or the ramifications to civil society of allowing activists to push policy through toddler-like temper tantrums.

This is the discussion that Hawaii needs to have. Do we want to allow demagogues and ideologues who are not concerned about the health of our people, but advancing their own political agenda, to erode aloha, poison our communities and conversations?

The anti-GMO activists represent a tiny, loud-mouthed minority. It's time to start treating them that way and denounce their attempts to turn Hawaii into a toxic dump.


Allan Parachini said...

As usual, Joan, you have this right.

Anonymous said...

These activists have taken over Hawaii and we're letting them by not standing up, not countering their propaganda, and by not voting. Nothing is sacred or off limits for them and their nasty, disrespectful behavior. And as Rep.McKelvey's pandering to them shows, nothing will ever be good enough for them.

They've effectively changed the conversation from the critically pressing issues that affect each of us in Hawaii to the utter nonsense being spewed by their mainland anti-GMO lobbyist bosses.

If we want to take back our Aloha and our sense of civility, we need to stop them from further infiltrating politics and government. They are a like a disease, sickening our communities.

Anonymous said...

"Free Money" vs. "Earned Money". Use some "Free Money" on the homeless. Buy them the organic fruits and vegetables.

"VOG" vs. "PESTICIDES". How bad is "vog" to your health?

My wife did not want to spray the gnats in our kitchen the other night. She took out her chopsticks and picked them off in mid air. She got it all. It took her 6 hours and 39 minutes, she got all cramps in her fingers. She had to eat Saimin with the Told her next time just spray the gnats......

Anonymous said...

"Threats leveled by those benefitting financially... That includes Hooser..." How is he benefitting financially? He always says he is just a volunteer. Do you know otherwise Joan?

Joan Conrow said...

@10:54 Given Hooser's history of lying, I wouldn't trust anything he says.

But at any rate, I was referencing HAPA. Every time HAPA gets money, Hooser benefits because he started and leads that organization, and it reflects his own personal ideology and is being used to push his own political agenda (and previously to advance his own campaign).

Anonymous said...

"Given Hooser's history of lying, I wouldn't trust anything he says. "

And given your hatred and willingness to make up stuff about Hooser, why should anyone believe anything you say? You just can't make up stuff and blame then other person.

You realize that you are as uneducated and as intellectually dishonest as those "antis" you despise, right?

Joan Conrow said...

Except I don't hate Gary, I haven't made up anything about him, ever, and we all know I have a lot of credibility. That's why you keep trying (unsuccessfully) to undermine it.

Thanks, though, for making me laugh out loud with your claim that I'm "as uneducated and intellectually dishonest" as the antis.

Per usual, when you can't actually counter what I say, you just go for the personal attack.

Anonymous said...

"The anti-GMO activists represent a tiny, loud-mouthed minority. It's time to start treating them that way and denounce their attempts to turn Hawaii into a toxic dump." I have yet to meet an anti-gmo activist who was trying to turn Hawai'i into a toxic dump. Everyone so far has actually been interested in decreasing toxicity in our environment. Who are these activists you are talking about, Joan? How does wanting to decrease the amount of toxic poisons in our environment equate with a desire to turn Hawai'i into a "toxic dump?" I am completely bewildered by this seemingly contradictory statement of yours.

Joan Conrow said...

@2:39 -- If you're bewildered, then I suggest you go back and actually read the post. I make it quite clear that the tactics adopted by the regressive anti-GMO movement, and "leaders" like Ashley Lukens, Gary Hooser, Walter Ritte, Lauryn Rego, Nomi Carmona, Jeri DiPietro, etc., are creating the toxicity.

But you make a good observation in pointing out that some of the more deluded actually think they are trying to decrease toxicity in even as they create it. Unfortunately, others know exactly what they're doing, as these same tactics have been used with the same toxic effects elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

March 13, 2017 at 2:27 PM, Do you honestly believe Hooser got his ass booted out of office by cultivating rectitude? He'd sacrifice his "fistees" on the altar of his self interest in a microsecond. No one has to "make up stuff" about Hooser. Simply look at what he says and writes and does. His malevolent disregard of facts and bombastic casual dismissal of the record of pesticide regulation in Hawaii make the case he's a disingenuous, self serving jerk- not to be trusted. Anything he puts his hands to is tainted goods whether it's the gospel 3.0 of CFS or some boot camp for bootlickers. Give me the old time liberals any day and not the assholes cultivated in some place like UV's Environmental Law Hatchery for Carpetbaggers like Lukens.

Anonymous said...

Rep. McKelvey just learned what happens when you flout the rules to benefit your corporate friends.

Anonymous said...

@2:44- How do tactics which seek to remove or lessen poisons in our environment create toxicity? What specific actions of the people you mention reflect their "attempts to turn Hawai'i into a toxic dump"? I thought they are attempting to do the opposite- to decrease the toxicity of our environment? And by the way, it is very possible to reduce toxicity while creating it- this is not a delusion. Pretty much all of us are guilty of producing toxicity, and more of us are changing our lifestyles in order to reduce it. (if I give up roundup and pull weeds, I have decreased toxicity, even though I am still guilty of creating it elsewhere). So the goal is to decrease it at all levels and in all ways which we possibly can. No delusions here.

Joan Conrow said...

@4:10. I can only presume that you're being either deliberately obtuse or have a problem with reading comprehension because the specific actions are clearly laid out in the post. But thank you for the opportunity to recount those tactics again: stready stream of propaganda aimed primarily at spreading misinformation and fear;, “fake news” articles, misinformed “infographics,” inflammatory social media memes, biased workshops, poorly written legislative bills, Facebook rants; orchestrating a fear-mongering charade with the sole goal of destroying GMO seed production in Hawaii (while pretending it's about pesticides and health); bullying Islanders to advance their national agenda; terrible phone calls and threats; threaten, badger and harass legislators simply because they don't agree with you; smear campaigns based on lies.

By creating and supporting a movement that is built entirely on lies, fear, shaming, intimidation, money-grubbing, demagoguery and bullying, they are creating a toxic environment that is sickening personal relationships, civil debate, the legislative process and communities.

But then, I don't expect you to get it because you're under the delusion that you aren't deluded.

Anonymous said...

Actually he just learned what happens when you try to play both sides. Pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Are we still talking about Da Hoos?
His first Kauai job as a Carpet Shampooer and he threw his partner, Steve under the bus at the first chance.
As a realator he was a suck-ass to John Furry at Bali hai. If John farted Gary had to be taken to Wilcox for gas poisoning. Maybe the Fistee came from these days as a supreme brown-noser.
Then his escapade into development of hi-end home-sites....again, not one of his former partners support him. He took as much as he could, did the least work ....history repeats.
Problem is, a slick talker can get out of many the fact that most of the Fistees are new-comers and care NOT for the locals.
He will always go where money, power and fame do flow.
Locals need not apply.

But, he will be elected to Council again....the demographics have changed.

Joan Conrow said...

Gee, I must have touched a nerve with this one as it attracted no fewer than a dozen hateful attack comments! All that does is serve to prove my point about the mentality and tactics of this corrupt movement.

Anonymous said...

Actually Hoosers first job was managing the Fun Factory in Waipouli Shopping Center. It took him a few years to go from there to Senate Majority Leader. He probably should have stopped there but if so, we would never have had Bill2491. You can bet we have not seen the last of the big fist.

Anonymous said...

Gary Holder has been silent about the impacts of tourism, including jet travel, on Hawaii's environment. Nothing to do with his wife's job, right?

Anonymous said...

"a dozen hateful attack comments" and you don't print them and that's why you only have 17 comments. Without the people who hate you this blog is just like your Facebook page, nonexistent.

Joan Conrow said...

Don't flatter yourself. You and the other haters are just the chaff blowing in my wind.

Anonymous said...

Joan, what is it about your blog that makes commenting feel like rattling a mongoose cage?

Joan Conrow said...

Perhaps it's the nature of the commenter(s).

Anonymous said...

Angus kicked out of Consumer Protection Chair. For allowing the anti-pesticide Bill out, it is said.

Anonymous said...

Only a cruel sick-o rattles the mongoose cage.

Unknown said...

From Hawaii News Now:

House Speaker Joe Souki told Hawaii News Now that the committee reshuffle was by mutual agreement and not meant to punish anyone.

“This is a mutually agreeable change in committee chairmanships and all the representatives are looking forward to their new responsibilities,” Souki said, in a news release. “In their new roles the chairs will continue to do the business of the people.”

McKelvey apparently left the state Capitol building and was not on the House floor for the vote and afterward. His office was locked

Doesn't sound like punishment to me....

Unknown said...

I find it strange than little has been mentioned about the already stringent pesticide application records farmer are required to keep. If a gift issue arises, it usually isn't too hard to track down. However, this legislation only serves to put a target on farmers backs.

Anonymous said...

Oh the 80's such a great and simple era.

Anonymous said...

March 14, 2017 at 7:12 AM
So it is something Oclock on Pi night(3.14), AKA Tuesday night and I am all fucked up.
But, Da Hoos first foray into Kauai Bidnizz was a carpet company. Kauai Surf, after the semi-Hurricane that some remember as Iwa. It might have been around 1982 or so. A while back.
It doth not matter from whence Da Hoos sprung. This douchbag has no remorse. Ask the guy who made the souls of the Nike shoes. You know, the Pake, who Da Hoos fleeeeeced at Waioli Gardens. Of course there was that other well known Aussie, who got a little rear greased end as well. The Aussie is still here, the multi-bucks Chinee is gone. The Aussie is mellow...but he never forget. (Waioli Garden, Alii Garden, .....what the fuck is the name of all these real estae developmints Da Hoos did? Quite a few.
We are all a little older now. And as the fine clean wind strokes us, we, for the most part are fine. Some of us us even have beaucoup bucks, kids, grandkids and God.
So why is it dat Da Hoos provokes such a somber and sublime individual such as my own self to write a frolic of anonymous words?
Welp. Jealousy? He gots a good lookin' wife? He has a fine gold State enshrouded Pension?
Nope. Nada. Those of the few, the folks that really know this piece of dogshit. The folks frome the past,,,,,,,like me. Do not like to see horseshit continue.
Yep. Gary has has (in his own mind) extreme success. There are several of us old Haoles that have really made money and have big land. So why is it that a liar and successful politician insinuates my brain cells to write this to Ms Joan/.
Truth is the great leveler.
Ms Joan, seed companies or no seed companies...Der Hoos has lied before they were here and he will lie long after they have gone. Justice and Virtue> From a carpet Guy to a Big Shot men we walk, huevos dangling. And Gary? Why have you turned out to be such a fucking liar? we were just 20 something, and yur friend Steve got fucked over by you in 1982.
Howz my spelling and grammar says a really fUcked up, pot smoking, pill popping Alikie?
Surprised if Ms Joan prints this. But history, memory and justice should be part of us all.
Kauai is upside down when we allow influence from a person that has no integrity, no soul, no care and is only out for kala and glory. Pilau, kolohe pilikia mana.

Anonymous said...

Oh Ms Joan, Sorry for the diatribe about Gary.
As I said, I am really fucked up. Pills, booze, a liitle Acid and Hard Music\ Plus I am alone.
Why has Kauai been so kind to me? As I wait for the moon.
Shucks Ma'am, I appreciate your intellect, literary style and influenced.
Who gots the Shrooms?

Anonymous said...

Lurking in the wings, waiting for LtGuv to declare for Maui Mayor,a seat she's already announced for, councilmember Elle Cochran. Likely will change races and run against McKelvey. No chance in either race.

Marjorie Ziegler said...

What is the source of the $1M spent on CFS's Hawai'i office?

Joan Conrow said...

Marjorie, the most recent (an abysmal 2014) tax returns for CFS show an annual operating budget of $738,569 for its Hawaii field office. This does not include money spent on lobbying in Hawaii, increases in the Hawaii CFS operating budget since 2014 or "in-kind" support provided by its D.C. office.

And Anonymous @8:50 and 8:55, your comments were humorous, though pointed. It appears Hooser has burned many. Why, I even heard recently that Klayton Kubo was feeling used by the Hoos.

Anonymous said...

And that budget doesn't even come close to rhat of the Chem Companies money spend on their own propaganda machine. And their lobbying budget is second to none.

Joan Conrow said...

@6:37 I challenge you to document those claims. It's easy to talk, but let's see you cite some actual sources.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to Monsanto funds for education grants: Hmmm... The content and application processes all look scientifically accurate and well vetted. I challenge anyone to find equivalent rigor to CFS grants and funds allocation.