The Schatz Shaft

In yesterday’s Star Advertiser, Senator Brian Schatz came out in support of the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.  It’s interesting that he’s claiming to support Native Hawaiian rights.  It’s good and dandy that he is supporting the Hawaiians, however, he is a United States senator, elected by the people of Hawaii.  Should he not be representing the entire state of Hawaii, not just one class of people?

What’s even more disturbing is how many activists have stated that the expansion would not affect the fishermen.  Even Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice had replied to one of my comments on Civil Beat claiming that the monument expansion would not affect the fishermen.  Now the latest announcement is that the Kauai longliners will be able to access the area they use.  Now wait a second, wasn’t the environmentalists claiming that no fishermen were going to be affected and now they’re saying something else? Where does that leave the Oahu longline fishermen? High and dry?

As I look closer at the funders behind this monument, it’s clear that this is yet another well funded, outside organization attempting to influence our ways of living here in Hawaii.  The Pew Trusts are a huge proponent of the closure of these areas.

Just who is the Pew Trust? It’s big money to the tune of $800M and it’s once again corporate made money that has turned to saving the earth.  The money that funds the trust is from oil.  Yes, it’s the environmentalists’ biggest enemy, oil, that is funding these ocean closures worldwide.  The activists conveniently don’t disclose these facts about it.

Should we be surprised that a person voted by the people is using big oil money to deny local people the right to fish the oceans? Nope.  Senator Schatz has taken to rejecting evidence based policy before when he had a press release on the bogus Monsanto Protection Act.

Schatz’s Monsanto Protection Act from Facebook.

The link touting the conspriracy theory is gone from his page.

My husband and I had a discussion about environmentalism the other day.  He donates to a group and I refuse to.  He said who is going to protect the earth?  He, like so many others, is operating under the false assumption that any industry is guilty of not being environmentally friendly and that one must pay someone to protect it.

Environmentalism sprouted in the late 60’s as a protector of the earth.  The reality is that industry, like farming or fishing, are under very strict regulations that are science based.  I’m surmising that once these regulations became strengthened, these non-governmental organizations risked losing their sustainability.  Their next move was to form legal defense funds to use the courts and loopholes to fund themselves.

After seeing the tactics being used, this industry is unregulated, not transparent, and not accountable for what they do.  When I see the Sierra Club jumping on anti-GMO events, big money is at play here.  Instead of supporting access to technology that can create a cleaner world, they want to take it away.  

There needs to be educated environmentalism here in Hawaii and globally.  Is taking the very technology that can reduce inputs an educated stance? Is taking away ocean access from the very people who know it best a good thing while allowing foreign fleets access the wisest way to manage the area? Why does modern day environmentalism focused on extracting humans out of the lands and water?

When Washington, DC and California elites come to Hawaii, they don’t understand how much we are intertwined into our environment.  The local people love the beaches, the mountains, and forests.  Saving the environment by taking us out of it isn’t reflective of even the ahupuaa system.  The Hawaiian people even understood this but mainland groups don’t.  What we are in dire need of is educated environmentalism that every person understands their place in this system.  

Environmentalism isn’t about creating work for people and helping locals make a living.  Its focus is on shutting down farmers and fishermen and yet they talk about sustainability and self sufficiency. They very people they attack are doing that work but are becoming more and more impeded by the aloha aina attitude.  

As an elected official voted in by the people of Hawaii, Senator Schatz owes everyone in Hawaii fair policies based in evidence.  President Obama also needs to include the people’s voice in his decision.  America was the land of opportunity where we have liberty to live freely.  Oppressing those who feed us and tying their hands without good reason, is the very thing we fought against.  

When saving the environment becomes intent on stripping access to resources and tools from people, we are losing our freedoms as American.  A democracy was formed by many people working together to address issues.  The anti-GMO, anti-TMT, anti-fishing and other anti movements are clearly anti-democratic.  

A vote for anyone who celebrates progress as taking away livelihoods, is launching a greater attack against the local people.  The fishermen and farmers do more than just bring in food or grow Hawaii.  They provide local food for everyone.  They rely on others for supplies to do their work.  That’s more people put to work.  The fish turns to poke and helps chefs and restaurants showcase Hawaii’s unique flair.  Simply closing one industry does not come without affecting others.

The trickle down effect isn’t obvious but it’s there.  Even more people are provided work through a fish or farm with their own employees having incomes to use at other businesses.  Families will be affected without doubt.

Hawaii families are already struggling here with the rising of living.  Nearly 50% of people here live paycheck to paycheck and we are one of the worse states to do business in.  Should we be surprised that we have so many homeless and one of the highest rates of poverty at 1 in 5? Should we be shocked to learn that meth use is rampant and having stuff stolen is common? The lack of funding for education will continue when there’s no taxpayers providing that income.  No income means less tax funding for social service programs to help the elderly and homeless.

Not caring for the people is not indicative of a progressive society. Being dishonest and unfair is not progress.  Outsiders tend to mock “plantation mentality” but it was that mentality that helped get people cared for with medical benefits before it was a thing.  However, that same mentality is keeping the local people from wanting to speak up.

Let our Senator know that taking away jobs and local food is not okay.  Every time you eat that poke bowl, just remember who helped make it for you.  One day, you might only talk about eating it because no one will be fishing anymore and it won’t be because of no fish.

Tell Senator Schatz now that we want fair access to resources and fact based policies.  The local folks deserve it!





A Farmer’s Say Doesn’t Matter in Hawaii

It is so easy to sit back on a computer and have your opinion about how you  want your food grown.  You have a comfy chair to sit on, a nice computer with a quick internet connection, a fan to keep you cool, and a well stocked refrigerator to sustain you as you comment away on the social media.  That is how you are going to change the world to get farmers to grow food your way.  No. Never.

It is so easy for Jessica Wooley, Russell Ruderman, Mike Gabbard, Tulsi Gabbard, Gary Hooser, Billy Kenoi, and Brian Schatz to dictate the policies that they want done for agriculture because they have nice cushy offices and are guaranteed a paycheck, courtesy of the taxpayers.  They would rather stay in those positions then be on a farm any day.  Why do you think they are in office to begin with?  Farming is just too laborious and risky, while political office is a clean, stable position for life.

As much as these politicians are the listening to the public’s opinions, they have no qualms in ignoring the farmers, ranchers, and scientists testimonies on the future of agriculture.  We’ve seen that what is found on the internet and repeated as truths is much more valuable then the experiences of people who tend and till the land.  They have no say in the issue and are at the mercy of an uninformed public fear mongered beyond belief.  That is the direction that Hawaii is heading when we only consider public opinions for laws.

Our leaders talk about how they want to grow our ag industry in Hawaii but their actions speak otherwise.  Laws upon laws have become huge burdens on our farmers.  From business regulations, taxes, federal food safety laws, labor laws, county laws, and state laws all weigh upon these farmers who are growing food and cultivating the land.  We also can’t forget the outside factors that affect farmers too including energy costs, shipping costs, and being at the mercy of the weather.  These regulations may seem helpful on the outside but make the business and practice of farming less and less attractive.  With all the anti-technology laws being placed upon them also by Kauai and Hawaii county, how much more can these farmers take when potential tools are being kept from them?  What can our farmers do when their hands become tied by the wishes of ignorant politicians and an ignorant public?

As we see more and more farms closing down because of the regulations that our leaders have placed upon them, we get to thank each politician for being responsible for the demise of these farms.  The younger generations do not want to continue family farms because it just is too burdensome.  Would you take a job where your income isn’t guaranteed and bad weather can wipe out your entire crop?  What if the bugs eat up all of your crops and you can’t even use a tool that could help it because some politician said that you can’t?  Imagine having a job where you have to know everything about the tax, labor, and food safety laws to a tee to stay in business.  Not only do you have to manage those issues but you also have to physically work hard to get your product out to your consumers also.  Lastly, you are subject to criticism, thievery and even threats of crop destruction as part of your job description.  That sure doesn’t sound like a very attractive job to me at all. Our politicians have decided that this is the route they want to take with agriculture with their recent actions.  That’s the Hawaii that our leaders apparently want for our future of farming in our islands.

An Open Letter to Hawaii Politicians about Agricultural Technology

Dear Governor, Legislators, Senators, Representatives, County Council Members, City Council Members,

I am writing to you as a daughter of a long time farmer, Kenneth Kamiya.  Our family has been long time farmers for over 4 decades on the Windward side on Oahu.  My grandfather farmed the land with beans, Okinawan potatoes, cucumbers and finally papaya, which my dad and brother continue to this day.  I am asking for your support in these contentious times of dealing with the issue of agricultural technology, specifically GMOs.

The First Kamiya Farmers

I speak out not only for our family but for all other families in our islands who use this technology to run the farms that they do.  Our state cannot afford to be left behind because of the maligned fears of the public of this technology.  You as a leader also have to be able to separate fears created by the black marketing strategies and consider the evidence that is presented.  That is your responsibility to us as your constituents, even though the farmers and ranchers make up 1-2% of the public.  Those are the voices that should ring loud and clear in your minds.

What does the evidence show us?  Worldwide, there is a consensus that biotechnology is safe.  Read below for the worldwide organizations that have made statements about biotechnology in food:


Given this evidence, will you accept what the worldwide scientific community states?  Or will you fall prey to the fear mongering of the environmentalists and the organic industry’s tactics like this:

facemaskScreen shot 2013-06-29 at 9.45.24 PMscaremongering

The public sure has become beleaguered with fear which is evident when you see these kind of events happening across our islands:

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 6.04.11 PM protest

The same people that join in these protests are so fear mongered that they have even done this to farmers or anyone who speaks out for biotechnology:

KB crop destructor  DF fertilizer momi LM


namastestpeh MV RGV tw2 tw TC manaai agroterrorism

Activist groups too are guilty of promoting hate and crop destruction as in this meme from the Babes Against Biotech with Roseanne Barr’s quote:

babs crop destruction

Notice how much hate there is because fear has made many people irrational already.  Ignorance is evident here in many of these comments.  And it’s not pretty to be at the receiving end of it.

We know that many of you have become the receiving end of these activists, especially the Babes Against Biotech who went after Senator Nishihara last year.  We know that many of you have also been portrayed as targets too.

nishihara target

As a result, not many people want to speak out for agricultural technology here and when you do, many times, you get threats like this sent to you.  Here’s one I personally received a few days ago:

Screen shot 2013-09-28 at 2.49.19 PMmike strange

Or you might get called a name or something, but it doesn’t bother me for I know what the truth is:

tokyo rose

So when leaders like you decide to reject the evidence presented, you are feeding and fueling fear.  This same fear happens because so many people have little to no knowledge about agriculture or the technology around it.  They may be loud and demanding but you must also listen to the quiet ones who toil in the fields every day.  My family like so many others are just regular people who want to have access to the tools to do the job we have at hand, which is to feed people the best way possible.

Kenneth Kamiya, my dad

Kenneth Kamiya, my dad

When it comes time to listening to your constituents, all I ask is that you listen to your most valuable ones.  The farmers!


Joni Rose

The Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter