The Peace from Food


Two things happened the other day that has really struck me.  In my GMO debate class, Dr. Tony Shelton, an entomologist, put this quote up on one of his lecture slides.

There can be no peace in the world so long as a large proportion of the population lacks the necessities of life.

–Lord John Boyd Orr

I left the class pondering this quote for some time.  It’s really similar to what Norman Borlaug stated about there being no peace on an empty stomach.  It made me also think of my husband who gets “hangry” when he is hungry.

After my classes were done, I was talking to one of my Alliance for Science fellows, Peter Wamboga, who is from Uganda.  I wanted to learn more about the situation in his country and what was happening to the people there.

Uganda is one of the leading countries growing bananas, which is their staple crop.  It’s getting hit by all kinds of diseases that are destroying plantations.  A single plantation could yield crops for some 25 years but diseases are wiping them out.

The Ugandans other staple crop is cassava which is also being hit with diseases.  He explained to me how a farmer would plant these tubers and wait for six months to dig it up only to find it rotten.  The disease striking the cassava yields it inedible that even the wild pigs won’t even touch at all.

Farmers don’t know what to do and have complete loss of crops and no incomes.  Their children see the devastation of farming and decide to not farm.  With no crops there is no income.  Some 70% of the population relies on agriculture and crop failures hits entire communities.

With no crops, there is no income and plantations are abandoned.  New lines of work must be found and many head for the capital, Kampala, for opportunities which is already hard to come by.  A cycle of poverty starts.  Some 48% of people in Uganda live in poverty.  Peter said that many people are food insecure and live on a single meal a day if they are lucky.  Quite a few don’t eat most of the time.  The very young and old are hit the hardest.

With rampant poverty and few economic opportunities, the youth turn to crime and join terrorist or crime groups.  It’s a bad situation when the primary economic driver is impacted and there is little to do to combat these problems.

The hope that the Ugandans have exists but they can’t access it.  There has been a lot of cutting edge research on biotech solutions developed by the government itself but due to the first world politics in Europe and the U.S., their parliament has stalled the biosafety bill for nearly 20 years.

The papaya farmers in Hawaii know firsthand that crops can be saved by science.  Despite the success of it, outside radical environmentalists are ready to demonize this technology and create fear mongering campaigns.  They made claims that there is GMO contamination but don’t tell the truth that there would be no industry it it weren’t for biotech.  They told other countries that the GMOs would bring worse diseases and viruses and scared them, yet provided no options for solving the real problem of plant diseases.

These same radicals are creating the fear campaigns against GMO cassava by telling farmers to reject it because of the contamination and the virus will get worse because of this technology.  Greenpeace launched an eerily similar campaign against the papayas yet gave no solution to saving this crop.  They created a barrage of fear of in farmers around the world but still gave nothing back to them. They will go so far as to tell them that GMOs make people overweight or gay.  They take advantage of the uneducated population by manipulating emotions.

The events unfolding in front of me became too clear yesterday.  While activists are trying to portray the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation as bad for working with Monsanto, the kind of actions they are taking is way worse than I can fathom.  These people cannot see the consequences of their actions around the world.  By keeping the developing world from producing their own food and using technology to do so, the elitists foodies and activists promote more hopelessness and destitution right at the heart of the farmers.  The farmers are what supports these communities and their work feeds people.  Without food, there can be no peace.

Hungry, desperate people leads to an unstable society that is easily manipulated by unsavory interests.  That’s the real threat that makes this a huge global issue.  Global instability can hurt all of us.  

The most seemingly benign issue such as the “Right to Know” GMO label is even more dangerous.  Greenpeace and ilk tell the people in the poorest countries that biotech products are dangerous which is why it’s labeled.  They are deceitful with what they tell the public here but then craft a different story to others.  They claim that they are being kept in the dark and have named the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act the “Dark Act.” This act is correctly named by the activists as passing this law means less darkness and despair for the developing world who wants this technology.  I can just see it that by giving into the GMO label will be miscommunicated as warning to the poor that they should reject that’s crops.  That’s how these activists will likely spin the stories.

I’m terrified to think of all the consequences of this global GMO debate.  It may mean that one day, my little boy may be called up to fight in a war to protect our country from global instability.  My children may not be able to live in times of peace and prosperity because of an angry, hungry world.

I cannot sit back and let misinformation, dishonest tactics, and willful ignorance deny others the right to food.  The decisions we make now and the global impacts indeed are real.  I want a peaceful world for my children and we all should support those innovations that will lead us in that direction.

The Pay It Forward Shill

The Pay It Forward Shill

  
My time here in Cornell has been somewhat of an emotional roller coaster ride, but not in a bad way.  I came really excited to meet fellow allies who have been affected by the anti-GMO activism across the globe.  As I learned about their stories and experiences in Kenya, Ghana, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Nigeria, I felt very sad.  They had firsthand experiences of knowing farmers’ who have lost their crops and livelihoods to disease and pests.  My dad’s farm also has had the same experiences but thanks to technology, he still can grow his papayas.

My dad worked two jobs for the majority of his life.  He had a full time day job at the BYU-Hawaii physical plant to provider our family with a steady income and health insurance.  After he finished work there, he went to work on the farm.  When the farm failed over the years to disease, his day job was the backup.  My siblings and I also had to take on part time jobs once we were of age to work to support the family.

For farmers in developing countries, farming is the main economic driver for their communities as I’m learning.  Some 80% of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods.  If crops fail, it spells utter devastation for many and the consequences go far beyond just the farm.

I’ll readily admit that I was somewhat ignorant to realizing how important agriculture is to the people of Africa.  I was really saddened when I saw this meme of the Hawaii anti-GMO movement on a slide in a Kenyan farmer advocate’s presentation.

  
It included many Hawaii politicians and activists that were behind the furor of the movement back in 2012.  Here were well fed and clothed people using misinformation to demand the labeling of GMO under the disingenuous “Right to Know” campaign.  The Hawaii movement was indeed affecting many countries in Africa the right for farmers to use a technology, all of which are public sector developed, to help grow their crops and sustain their families.  I feel ashamed that we, the people of the Aloha State, were using misinformation to keep farmers from these tools that could offer better ways of farming.

The activists were quick to demand their rights but think nothing about the rights of others to have access basics.  Not only do these people promote a selfish message but they also told people that they’d turned gay or impotent by consuming GM foods! They used the battle cry of home rule but knew explicitly that Hawaii’s wins would dictate the issue in far off countries.  I can now clearly see how we as a state is truly being used as a pawn by radical extremists like Greenpeace and the seemingly legitimate Center for Food Safety.

I felt the bleeding of aloha early on in the social media and can now pinpoint the source of it.  The Greenpeace attitudes of using intimidation, threats, and ecoterrorism have taken root in my home state.  Their manipulative fear campaigns take full advantage of otherwise normal folks and get them to reject the science permeating our lives.  It’s mean to take advantage of peoples’ ignorance and turn them into raging bullies on the Internet.  This is a clear reflection of radical environmentalists dictating policy which is wrong but accepted by the activists who defend bad behavior.

I was truly disappointed when the state attorney general, Doug Chin, signed on to the Vermont labeling case.  Leaders of our state still haven’t figured out the true motives of the manipulation.  We are food secure and can demand all kinds of rights about our foods and use it as a means to scare other countries on why it’s bad.  It sets a bad precedent to the world who truly needs these tools.

My heart breaks knowing that my home state is the center of this global battle that shouldn’t be.  How can we call ourselves the aloha state when we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this? We have no aloha if our actions deny others a better quality of life.  

I want others to have a better quality of life and truly believe in using evidence not emotion to guide our policies.  The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association generously gave me $2000 to help further my knowledge about agriculture globally.  I thank them for investing in me but I realize that I am able bodied and can work to earn income for years to come.  

There are people at home who need help and after much thought, I selected the best use for their generosity.  I decided to donate $1000 each to the Hawaii Food Bank and the Meals on Wheels program.  I get peace knowing that 117 meals can go to seniors through Meals on Wheels and some 250 meals can be given out by the Food Bank.  Why should I deny others food when I have plenty?

So, yes, it is first time I can truly call myself a shill for taking money from the industry.  I’m officially the pay it forward shill. It’s not in my pocket but in the hands of those who need it the most.  Will my home state do the same by setting an example to the world by supporting policies that helped our papaya farmers help global farmers? 

Lead by example and let’s start today by giving to others with evidence based policies.

  
  

 

When Science is Silenced

Last week was science week at the Cornell Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellowship Program.  I had a chance to get some great education on entomology, crop science, animal science, and plant breeding.  I’ll admit that I am very much uninformed about many of these areas of agriculture and it’s nice to have a good basic understanding of these topics to start good fact based discussions.  It’s amazing to me how the average social media person can state that they know more than scientists after sitting in on so many of these great lectures.

The other day, I had a chance to hear Dr. Kevin Folta speak about his topic and what’s happening with the Freedom of Information Act abuses by Gary Ruskin’s U.S. Right to Know group.  This group has used the FOIA law to obtain the emails of Dr. Folta in an attempt to connect him to the evil empire of the anti-GMO movement, Monsanto.  (You can read more on this attack on him and some 40 other scientists who have chosen to speak out for science.)

I’m very saddened by the kind of tactics that the organic industry has leveled against people who have chosen to speak out for science.  The leaders of this industry take advantage of people’s fears and bombard them with lots of misinformation.  Their entire marketing scheme relies of maintaining fear.  It’s a very precarious state to maintain when people start to question it.  This industry in threatened by education because once someone is provided some inkling of knowledge and facts are challenged, the truth comes out loud and clear.


Humans are curious brings from the time we are born.  My son reminds me of that everyday.  As soon as he gets up, he’s crawling around searching his environment and exploring his world.  Everything is new to him and interesting.  He has an innate ability to want to touch things, stand up on different objects, crawl or scoot, or just roll around.  Every single one of us is born with that fascination.

I find it very dangerous that the USRTK has taken the liberty to use a law to stifle that curiousity.  When people are no longer encouraged to explore their environments or ask questions, we literally become imprisoned in our own minds.  It’s the same tactic that the Hawaii anti-GMO activists do when they create catchy slogans like the “poisoning of paradise” and “destroying the sins” and so on.  Their slogans are very cleverly framed also so that if one does support GMOs, they back you into a corner that one must be pro-pesticide.

It is no different when people like the Food Babe pre-bans people on her page to avoid criticism.  It’s the same tactic the Babes Against Biotech did to me when I pointed out that some pesticides in organic agriculture are toxic to bees.  A movement based in fear and misinformation can’t tolerate any questioning and relies on repeated slogans and catchphrases.  True education and critical thinking is dangerous to their movement.

The heart of innovation comes from curiousity and always figuring out ways to do things better.  We don’t like doing things the same old way every time and look to be more efficient and improve upon ourselves.  Science is a process that helps us look at things differently to figure things out.  It gives us the base knowledge to ask questions and figure out a plan and process to solve a problem.  When farmers have problems with their crops, it is the scientists who work with them to help provide solutions to sustain their work.  I know because I’ve seen how papayas were saved by research and technology.

The world needs more curiousity and innovative thinkers.  It relies upon leaders like Dr. Folta to challenge, engage, educate, and inspire.  It’s what I do for my children to prepare them for the future.  My dream is for them to become leaders in their fields of choice guided by evidence based reasoning.  I hope that great scientists like Kevin Folta and others light that flame in the youth of the world.  Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know but go out and learn about it and figure out how to solve a problem.   We as a country need to restore respect for work of any scientist who actually do work to help people through educating others to do the same.  When their students leave their classes, they will go on to work some place and develop their skills to make things better for each of us.  That is what we all want for the world we live in.

The Personal Price of the Anti-GMO to Me: $1695

I’ve known for some time that the Babes Against Biotech ring leader, Nomi Carmona, bought my domain name some time ago.  She created an anti-Monsanto screed calling me the GMO papaya princess.  I didn’t bother to fight it since it only shows how the anti-GMO activists use personal attacks instead of facts to base this entire movement upon.  

I happened be talking to a colleague about this website today and found out that it doesn’t exist anymore.  

  
Looks like I have to spend $1695 to buy my domain name back from the cyber squatters.  I’ll just let this remain as it to reiterate the fact that the anti-GMO activism in Hawaii must rely on personal attacks against those who refuse to give an alternative to what they wish to take away.  Aloha is a concept that apparently is hard to demonstrate when you don’t have any facts to support your cause.

Think About It: Harvard School of Public Health and GMOs

Someone recently posted a link from a website called the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University School of Public Health.


I cannot believe that such a prestigious medical school would ever take a position against the scientific consensus, so I decided to dig further into this.

The first thing I noticed off the bat is the odd way the domain name looks.  This domain name is chgeharvard.org.  The majority of school sites are all .edu ending.  That already raises a red flag to me.

Not only does the domain itself look weird but the questionable site also has an odd header alignment.


The actual School of Public Health’ site at hsph.harvard.edu has a different look all together. Take a closer look at the T. H. Chan part.


The biggest kicker is when you look up the domain a name itself.  The questionable site was started in January 2014 and registered to the woman pictured above.

When you actually look up the real Harvard School of Public Health’s domain registration, it’s clear that this anti-GMO site is not touting evidence based information.  All of the Harvard domains are linked to the IT department there.

What’s even more interstingis the address of the actual school.


Then the address listed in the domain registration is completely different.

The questionable site claims it was founded in 1996 but if that was the case, why was the domain started in January 2014?

Here’s the Global Health Institute on Harvard too. Note the website.


Before you start sharing links, it’s best to cross check your information.  Also remember that just because one site touts a stance, it doesn’t mean the world wants it.  Think before you believe!

Read: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/11/theres-no-woo-like-harvard-woo/

***

Some have told me that this is a real website at Harvard.  If it is, I stand corrected.  The problem that it promotes a lot of fear and some cherry picking.  It doesn’t provide much evidence based information to base much of its claims for organic agriculture.  It’s also interesting that it doesn’t even mention that the latest studies can’t find any significant difference on nutrition either.

And remember that you just can’t claim evidence with a single website either.  Get a collection of others and vet the evidence.

It would be great if this “program” would consider all types of agriculture for a cleaner and better world for all farmers and the public.  That’s good public health practice for the global environment.  Biotech is a means of achieving this for people around the world.

**

The Future of Hawaii Can’t Rest in a Protest

  
Once again, the anti-TMT, anti-GMO, anti-everything folks are going to protest yet again.  This time, their groups have united to “protect” Hawaii.  They have decided to “malama the aina” and “protect the mauna” and save agricultural lands.  These folks can stay really busy doing all three.

I can’t help but remember the pleading cries of mothers and others who testified at multiple hearings over the last several years.  They accused the seed farms and farmers of “poisoning” their children and making them sick.  They pleaded with the legislators to protect them by enacting disclosure laws, buffer zones, and bans of biotech farms.  Many of these folks still claim that they are sick and attribute it to farms despite the fact that the evidence doesn’t support it.  The campaign by the anti-groups indeed were successful even without data.

If the “protectors” really care about these folks, why are they so busy fundraising for plane tickets and bail money?  I’ve seen so many gofundme accounts set up to raise money but not a single dime is going towards the alleged sicknesses that they claim of over and over.  They aren’t even funding testing of people either to confirm the source of their health claims.  

This activism also has its roots in anti-corporate attitudes but they actively make use of those services only provided by the very people they distrust.  The activists decry money and greed but then go out and seek money themselves to fund their cause.

   

 
The activists talk about not wanting outside influences having a say in Hawaii but then join with the Washington, DC based Center for Food Safety group.  This group is nothing close to being local at all and has created more wasting of our resources in the name of the malama the aina battle cries.  They can fund plane tickets but sure can’t pay back the counties for the costs of court proceedings on badly written laws.  

  

Can no one see the inconsistencies of these groups’ messages here?  They talk about this concept of “malama,” which means to care but then their actions show the complete opposite!  Imagine how much jet fuel and gas is used to bring people to Waikiki for a day of protest.  Couldn’t that time and money be better spent by cleaning a beach or helping the homeless?

If they want to keep the Mauna sacred, how about throwing the bail money and plane ticket fares towards the education fund instead? Replace what you plan to take away.  Create a realistic business plan to help stimulate the economy there with all the opportunities that will be lost.  The thousands of dollars used could feed the hungry or buy school books for those needy schools.

Last year, a Hawaiian civic group raised money and used it to purchase school planners for my daughter’s 4th grade class.  That indeed is a worthwhile cause to help educate children and helps the schools out so much.  Why aren’t these groups marching to raise funds for those underserved areas on the Big Island? Where’s the giving spirit for the keiki? Teach them how to care for the aina with education and not transient protests.

If people are really sick from farms, stop paying Vandana Shiva $40k per talk or ask her to donate it to care for these illnesses.  The Center for Food Safety paid a nice sum of money for the misinformation manual they sent out but didn’t donate anything back to the county for any court costs.  If they care so much for people, they’d spend our resources wisely.  

  
Our leader in Washington can’t even grasp the technology being adopted to help farmers grow food.  Representative Gabbard doesn’t even realize that by bring anti-GMO means she wants farmers around the world to use old, more toxic crop protection products.  She actually is supporting the pesticide companies in developing countries by blocking the adoption of biotech crops as they are separate entities there from the agribusiness companies.  Nor does she even bother to tell her constituents the real name of the law or disclose her political funding from the organic industry.  She fails to educate others that the regulation around GE crops was in the federal level after 3 county laws were invalidated.  Like former State Representative Jessica Wooley, who said there were no regulations on biotech crops, Representative Gabbard also has a hard time with the truth.    

So once again, the battle cries will start up in Waikiki, the center of the Hawaii they don’t want.  Little do they realize that by blocking farms, the land will be paved over and forever changed.  By blocking a telescope, they send a message to the youth that you can’t come back to Hawaii to pursue a careers in science and technology because the loudest minority will squash your dreams.  Our leaders too can’t see the unintended consequences of caving to all of their demands.  

As a parent, I don’t give in to my kids’ hissy fits.  By giving in to these fits, it only encourages more of it and encourages bad behavior.  Kids are prone to bad behavior and have to learn what is and isn’t appropriate.  The issues in Hawaii must be dealt with using a realistic vision and high expectations.  Using emotions to guide policy harms all of us and lowers the expectations.  It’s time for our leaders to demand this of those who want to be an integral part of policymaking.  If our leaders don’t stick to that vision, we stand to all lose.  My kids will never be able to have that bright future in Hawaii if we can’t even have leaders leading us on that path.  

I did notice that they used the Hawaiian proverb, “Pupukahi I Holomua.” It literally means to move together in one direction.  These groups are moving together backwards and not even making an attempt to work with anyone else in any issue which is clear.  It’s about what they want and not about working with anyone else.  They refuse to come to the table unless they get exactly what they want.  

I want our leaders to stick with a vision to make Hawaii better and be brave to make hard decisions in the best interest of everyone. Listening to the squeakiest wheel is distracting us from  becoming a better place.  We need those leaders now to stand up for our island state if we want a real future for our kids.  I’m a mom and that’s what I want.  Who’s listening to me?

You Can’t Get on a Canoe Without a Real Plan

You Can’t Get on a Canoe Without a Real Plan

  
As I was looking at my dad’s papaya seedlings the other day, it really made me realize how things in nature are a reflection of our own lives in many ways.  

  
Every single papaya came from a single seed that was carefully bred and planted with care.  My dad crossed his Kamiya line with the Rainbow papayas to get his customer favorite, Kamiya Gold.  This little seed was carefully dried up and stored until it was time for planting.  

The papaya seeds were then placed into vermiculite to help sprout them in the protection of his greenhouse.  If it weren’t for this, the seeds would be attacked by slugs, snails, birds, and the elements at this early stage.  As these seedlings grow larger and stronger, they are transplanted into larger pots, and eventually grow large enough to be field ready.  Daily care is needed daily to ensure strong and healthy plants.

  
In addition to preparing the seedlings, the field must also be readied for planting.  This in itself takes months to prepare. Cover crops are grown after each field is plowed back when the trees get too tall to pick.  The crop itself takes months to grow. The soil must be plowed after cover crops have matured to encourage breakdown of the organic matter.  It will take sometime for the bacteria to fully compost the cover crop to replenish the soil.  Drip lines are also put in and the field is marked to set the proper row widths. Once the field prep is done, small holes are dug to place the foot tall seedlings into.

  
Once that field is planted, the trees will need fertilizer, pest control, and watering.  Dead leaves are picked off the trees to prevent damage to the fruits and some are even thinned out to ensure enough space for each one to grow.  After about a year, those trees will be ready for harvest.  

  
I realized that our lives are very much lIke these plants.  Everyone has the potential to develop and give back to others, just like the trees nurtured from the seed to plant.  We all start off on the same but the experiences we have and the inputs we are provided or denied, shape us throughout our lives.

Like seedlings, people have some set basic needs to even start off right.  Plants need medium, air, water, and sunlight to even start growing.  Once it uses its own food store and grows larger, it needs other elements to grow and produce fruits.  People are no different as they need the basics of food, water, and nurturing.  Without these to start with, neither plant nor people will be able to thrive.  The plants that don’t have the basic needs met will likely never be able to reach its fullest potential or will need extra care to make up for the effects not provided early on.  It’s the same for people.

As the person matures, just like a plant, their needs change but they will still need the basics and even more to become productive.  The trees will need more nutrients from fertilizers and some pest control to decrease the stressors on the plants.  By providing added nurturing, the trunks and roots become hardier to withstand the harsh elements.  People will need to learn skills via education and parental guidance and good role models to instill values that will keep them on the right path.  There will be constant distractors that can eventually stunt the tree and hindering its growth.   The added inputs set the foundation on which that person can excel upon just like the trees being able to provide delicious and nutritious fruits for years to come.

When living things aren’t given the basics early on and don’t have the right foundation to start from, these organisms can’t fulfill its maximal potential to become productive beings.  As a farmer’s kid, I had everything I needed in life and learned the value of hard work, perseverance, and striving to always to do a good job.  It is our nature to thrive, seek opportunities, do things better than before, and develop relationships. We as humans are always seeking to nurture each other as it comes from our instincts.  Like my dad’s trees that had all the inputs needed early on and cared for throughout its life, they provide the sweetest and most quality fruits around as a result of using tried and true lessons learned over the years.  

Hawaii is a hot bed for anti-everything activism.  We have lots to be against here.  If you live on the Big Island, you can be against geothermal energy, the Thirty Meter Telescope, and open ocean fish farming.  Go to Maui and you can be against GMOs and sugar cane burning.  After that, you can head to Kauai and join the anti-dairy and anti-GMO folks too.  No matter what your interest, you’ll find something to be against.  It gets pretty tiring that everything new is being blocked. Simply being staunchly against progress isn’t human nature.

The act of blockading things and denying our own instincts are counterintuitive.  Many of us have a desire to help others in some form or fashion and to do things better.  It’s in us to strive for that.  However, like a plant being denied nutrients or a baby denied human touch and love, neither can ever fully meet its full potential if the basics aren’t provided.  The nature of blocking biotechnology to farmers who are poor or use old chemicals to protect their crops keeps everyone else who depend on that farmer from having a productive and reliable food source.  Halting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea delays the funding of scholarships and revenue for education in the poorest county in our state.  Using a nebulous term like sacredness to fight a battle shows they fight a war based in ideology and not one with a working and living vision for the future.

Without access to education, we all stand to lose when the children aren’t able to overcome the fearfulness of their parents.  They won’t be able gain opportunities to rise out of poverty and the cycle continues in the next generation.  Shutting down the sugar cane or biotech industry on Maui takes away from opportunities of hundreds of people who keep the lands in agriculture and erases a key link to our local roots.  Relying on misinformation to achieve such goals is also against people who have a conscience and sense of caring of others.  The anti-everything people accept misinformation, acts of vandalism, and threats against others who speak in support of advancement.  They can only see a world of black and white and in concrete, literal terms because they have never been exposed to the world beyond their own eyes.  Progress is frightening to those who live life through only what they read and see on the Internet or what their fellow family member tells them.  The world is scary when you haven’t fully opened your eyes and actually learned about what’s happening with technology and research.

We are always learning lessons throughout our lives of what works and what doesn’t.  We have learned to be more efficient and do much more with less.  We use technology to achieve this.  It is in our nature to continually ask questions and find answers to them.  Those who choose to be willfully ignorant and don’t truly research what’s happening around us are like stunted plants who never fully produce anything tangible for others.   We also desire knowledge and value education as a society where everyone has equal opportunity to achieve a higher goal and give back to our communities.  

It’s time to stop and think about the anti-everything mentality.  It is totally opposite of what the human spirit wants to become.  In societies where this was crushed and it was not considered a value, have people flourished and led the world in helping others? Have these societies nurtured their people to willing give back and care for others? The truth is that the anti way of thinking has crushed the human spirit and by doing so, has people forgetting that those who live with freedom should use it for the betterment of others in this world.  There is plenty of suffering around us and why should those with everything be the ones adding more to it.  The sad thing is Hawaii is turning into a place where a loud minority are willingly crushing spirits and dreams of the few who have that desire. 

We need people who are willing to go up and beyond what is the norm here in Hawaii.  We can’t let naysayers with no strong vision for the future dictate policy here in Hawaii.  They take away dreams and aspirations of our young people and close off minds with fear and unsubstantiated beliefs. Nor do these people ever offer facts since that will cause people to question their movement.  

My dad said that we talk about the crabs in the bucket mentality thinking it’s the lowest ones pulling people down.  He said it really is the top ones, the leaders, who are not fighting to get out of that bucket and lead people over and out beyond the comfort of that bucket.  The mentality that science is propaganda and progress can be denied is what’s going to sink Hawaii’s ability to get anywhere in the future.  How can we ever grow our base of innovators, problem solvers, and community contributors to make Hawaii better when being anti-everything is gloryfied? It’s just ain’t cool to protest and not have a real plan for everyone.

Even the early Hawaiian canoe voyagers knew that they just couldn’t jump in a canoe and paddle out aimlessnessly into the vast ocean.  They studied the stars, weather, and ocean to gather knowledge and developed a plan.  They even figured out the best design of a vessel to take them on this adventure.  They planned this voyage with the intent of living in a new place by bringing along animals, plants, and other supplies to sustain them when they get there.  A lot of thought and effort went into this plan before it was ever launched.  As a result of good planning, cooperation, and leadership, the Hawaiians managed to make it here and establish their unique culture.

Humans are always striving to be at their best and get somewhere in life.  My ancestors had that same idea which is what brought them to Hawaii.  The ancient Hawaiians also did the same things when they headed out in their canoes.  No one would have ever been here if our ancestors sat around protesting and never coming up with a real plan.  The journey of getting to our destination and striving towards a vision didn’t start with protesting the thing of the moment.  We are here because of a lot of thinking, nurturing each other, and leaders with the guts to inspire us to get somewhere.  That’s the culture needed now.