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.

  
  

 

A Cautionary Saga: Judge Kurren Invalidates the Anti-GMO Ordinance 960

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It’s breaking news that the Kauai anti-GMO law has been invalidated by Judge Kurren today.  The law is pre-empted by the state law and cannot be enforced at the county level.  Joan Conrow and Richard Ha both did great blogs today on the news.

As I followed some of the news links posted on the various Facebook pages from Hawaii News Now, Civil Beat, KITV4, and KHON2, the commentaries are so disheartening once again.  I don’t consider this ruling a win in any case.  The damage has been done towards Hawaii agriculture, farmers, scientists, and our communities.  Our communities are not healed by this ruling that was started with a huge disinformation campaign by mainland based activists.  We are still divided and people are still not well informed about the issues revolving around agriculture here.

There has been so much fear mongering and misinformation that the public has been made to be so afraid of things they just don’t understand.  Bringing up they issue of biotechnology or even mentioning genetics or basic science turns people off as they have been indoctrinated to the belief that it’s “propaganda.”  How can we move forward when the largest and loudest voices are the least informed and still trying to dictate law? These are the same people who don’t understand how laws are made with to begin with or how the legal system works and now are asking for the judge to be impeached or even harmed?!

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Screenshot from the Babes Against Biotech Facebook page. Note the disturbing commentary below.

These activists aren’t about working together towards a common goal unfortunately.  Just last week at a farmer’s rally on the Big Island, a long time GMO Free activist named Courtney Larson, was arrested and is being charged for disorderly conduct and other various charges.  When farmers are trying to figure out how to move forward after this devastation, and are at their most vulnerable state, the activists show their true colors and it isn’t pretty or full of aloha.  Is that what we need in Hawaii at a time when we have so many other issues to deal with and work through?

The activists politicians are also another group of people who are feeding this unaloha spirit in our islands.  From the likes of Russell Ruderman and his fear mongering GMO articles, to Mike Gabbard sending me links to the debunked Seralini study, to Kaniela Ing and his associations with “home rule” and the SHAKA Movement, to Gary Hooser and his alliances with environmental activists, our leadership is failing us as a state.  I’ve always been taught as a leader to check out your sources and do your research about the issue to base your decisions up and that you must use facts and evidence to move forward, not emotions or trends of the moment.  The leaders’ jobs are to keep the community together and cohesive so that it can operate properly.  When leaders like these choose to side with the loudest of the bunch but refuse to use facts or come to the table to discuss issues, it does no one any favors.  They should also be doing the work of educating others with good information so fear doesn’t dominate the conversations.  It’s pretty clear poor leadership has done a lot of damage in these recent years.

Judge Kurren has made his ruling and that has set the law today.  Do we choose to accept this decision or continue fighting and completely wasting our time and energy on this issue that further divides the communities? Or do we move on and work on the actual problems that we face like our high poverty rate, education, traffic, the increasing elderly population, homelessness, food security, and so on?  I hope that we move forward and actually set out to do something meaningful for the people in our communities and use our resources wisely to make it happen.  That’s my hope and expectation!

How Hawaii Will Achieve Food Sustainability: Jail a Farmer!

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Breaking News on GMOs: It made front page news today of the Star Advertiser that people want to have their genetically modified labeled.  Well, a majority of some 642 people apparently do.  So how are legislators attempting to satisfy what 487 people want?

They are going to do GE food labeling at the STATE level by the Department of Health!  (Of course the anti-GMO crowd will say that 62 countries label their GMOs!  So we should too!  When did Hawaii become a country?!)

Of course we can’t quite figure out why this law is needed in the first place, other than people like Nomi Carmona, who believes that lilikois grow on trees and that there are GMO melons in Kunia.  She apparently has an inherent “right to know.”  She and others can’t figure out that foods without the organic label isn’t GMO and it’s a travesty.  The others clamoring for this right to know also think that snowballs don’t melt because of chemtrails, since they apparently skipped out on science class to learn about something called sublimation.

And if you read SB2521 carefully, it is all spelled out there on how they are going to enforce such a law.  No one has yet to die of GMOs, but when and if it happens, our politicians will be there to save us from it with this label.  Just in case it doesn’t kills us, they were trying to make raw milk more available to help address that issue.

If one does not comply with this law after January 1, 2015, the penalties are as follows:

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Yes, if that locally grown biotech food and other products aren’t labeled, you can get fined, jailed, and sued.  Since the anti-GMO people can’t get it banned, the alternative is to jail the farmers and others who feed us.

Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety is also ready to work for some dough to sue food producers and farmers if this benign food is not labeled.  These two groups apparently had too many GMOs shoved down their throats laced with swigs of RoundUp unwittingly from being on Kauai several months ago, which caused them to develop a severe case of dementia as a result.  That’s why they never went back to defend the county as promised.  But hey, they had their colons cleansed back on the mainland with their organic food and are ready to jump back into the muck of Hawaii politics for the rubbah slippah folks!

Hawaii politicians who put their name to this kind of bill should be highly commended for their skillfulness to craft laws that really look towards the future.  The way to achieving affordable, local, and sustainable food supply is really simple.  Jail and fine those farmers for growing food for us.  That’s how our leaders do their best to support agriculture here.

It’s a really proud day in Hawaii when the politicians show their thanks to the farmers!  Welcome to your cold cell Mr. Farmer!

**If you agree with this way of achieving their goal, please thank them by sending this quick email .  The farmers really look forward to spending time in jail over a label.**

The Hate Towards Farmers Must Stop

Today there were two articles featured in Civil Beat.  One was on Senator Nishihara’s introduction to the SB110, with the Right to Farm Act provision, and the second one was one done by Ross Sibucao, a papaya farmer and Hawaii Papaya Industry Association President.

I had thought that the hateful comments would stop, boy was I wrong.  The hate and nastiness is coming out in full force against the farmers.  It’s just despicable that our leaders can’t see this or choose to ignore it.  Read on below to see what heinous things are being said.

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This is not what Hawaii agriculture needs right now.  We need leaders who will foster its growth and development.  It’s amazing to me how so many people believe the earth is changing, but then reject the same technology that can give farmers the tools to overcome this.  A recent news article shows that this is indeed a real problem that will eventually affect us.  The farmers and scientists all know this but somehow the news has missed our government leaders.

It will be more important than ever to have the latest tools available to maintain our food supplies.  When there is a drought or some other extreme weather, we’re going to have to choose what works and in many cases, it may not be organic.  Whatever the case, the most efficient and highest yielding methods must be used.  Why limit the tools now with popular opinion vs. what the data says?

As legislators, you have a responsibility to all of us to do what is right, not just to the loudest shouters and conspiracy thinkers.  Many of you were able to make that same hard decision when it was the issue of gay marriage.  You chose to look at the evidence and support the minority that needed their rights protected.  I still can’t understand why you as leaders, can’t step up and do the same for the rights of farmers.  When there are no tools available to the farmers and too many burdensome laws, will you leave that as your legacy to our islands?

Why We Need the Hawaii Right to Farm Bill

Some thoughts about Hawaii Right to Farm Bill… It’s not just about the Monsantos, Syngentas, Dows, BASFs, or Pioneers. It’s about the family farms like Hamakua Country Spring Farms, Tropical Flowers Express, Kahuku Farms, Kamiya Farms, Ho Farms, Fat Law Farms, Sugarland Farms, Aloun Farms, Ska Tropicals, Nalo Farms, Kuahiwi Ranch, Parker Ranch, Ponohono Ranch, Belmes Farms, and so many more.

The farms are all a part of a system that works and runs together. The big farm companies lease lands and maintain the ditches and dams that bring water over the mountains. They pay to maintain this infrastructure that was built upon the cane and pineapple days. (You know the industries that brought us local folks together?) On those lands that they lease, they sublease it, ready to farm, to the small farmers that grow the bulk of the produce here. These small farmers could never afford to pay to maintain these lands and get rates subsidized to start their farms. That’s where our food is grown.  (Not many people actually want to do that unfortunately.)

The big farms use a lot of supplies and equipment that other farms can use. With more people needing farm stuff, the companies that bring it in can offer it at lower prices since there is a greater demand for it. Other farmers can get their fertilizers, potting soils, and other supplies much more affordably as a result.  This puts equipment dealers and other farm suppliers in business.

Not only does the big farms and small farms need supplies but they also need many other businesses. That includes construction workers to build sheds and processing places for their produce. Drivers and delivery workers to get their goods out to the market. Mechanics might be needed too for fixing equipment. Even plumbers, pipe layers, and an engineer or architect for designing a new building. Fence and iron workers might be needed for putting up fences and gates. A mason worker would be needed for building that foundation for the sheds and driveways. The farmers also need health care companies to work on providing insurance to their workers.  Doctors and dentists are needed to care for their workers to also.  Accountants are needed to help keep the books in order also.  Produce and seeds need to be shipped places by shippers, whether it be by air or cargo.  These are things that farmers need others for, which create more jobs in our communities. No farmer could do this alone.
What legislators like Wooley, Gabbard, Green, Ruderman, and Thielen are attempting to do is tear apart this system that covers more than just the farms itself. They want their Californian utopia of small little farmers growing food. Who’s gonna pay for maintaining the infrastructures in place? The state? No. They need companies that can absorb those costs and be reliable tenants to the state and other landowners.  This in turn creates jobs for the displaced ag workers, who relied on the plantations, which includes skilled workers to scientists.  If you tear out this component of the system, the entire system would collapse.  Do you think that is a good alternative for Hawaii? Hawaii was built on this system and relies on interdependence of all the parts.
So when you sit on the fence and don’t know whether or not to support the Right to Farm bill, you might want to think about it more, because it may spell the end of those nice little farmers’ markets across the islands, as well as impact others who don’t even farm.  Who would want to farm anymore when more and more laws are added on your back to make your business even harder? No one.
Support the farmers and it means all of them!

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.

Hooser’s Regime has a Semantics Problem

Hooser’s Regime has a Semantics Problem

I’ve been called a shill already by politicians like Mike Gabbard and Russell Ruderman.  Mike Gabbard is the state senator who sent me his proof of GMO dangers with the debunked Seralini link and Russell Ruderman is another state senator who owns 4 natural food stores and proudly boasts that the led the charge to ban fracking in Hawaii.  Yes, we have some stellar folks in office here.  Today, officially, I’ve been called a shill by none other than Gary Hooser for speaking out about biotech and farmers.  The shill gambit is just another ad hominen attack at the person when you don’t have facts or evidence to support your claim. Here’s his quote on his blog and guest column on the Star Advertiser:

They hired prominent community leaders, conducted unethical “push polls”, and employ an army of industry bloggers and social media experts that attack the credibility and integrity of their opponents at every step.

Gary Hooser is so dumbfounded and blinded by his broken record statements that he can’t fathom that anyone would speak out for farmers could actually do it for free! Yes, Mr. Hooser and your fellow anti-GMO followers, I have not received a cent let alone any kind of payment to write this blog let alone pay for its existence.  None.  What is true is that I’m sick and tired of you and your activists doing nasty stuff towards anyone who speaks up for agriculture in Hawaii and acting as if you speak for the local people.  No, you are just taking advantage of local people not speaking up, plain and simple.  I find it pretty amazing that your title for today’s blog mentions bullying because you seem to have chosen the wrong word.

Let’s see what the definition of what a bullying actually is:

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Who decided to enact this kind of legislation in the first place Mr. Hooser? Let’s meet the folks that have asked for this kind of laws to be made.  Note some key terms in the definition of bullying: intimidation, harassment, threat, imbalance, coercion, repeated acts, mobbing, targets.  **Note parental discretion due to threats of harm and foul language or gestures.**

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If you read these kinds of comments, would you actually feel safe trying to testify for your cause? Common sense tells you no way.  Does it look like a mob targeting people? Are there forms of intimidation in the comments? Do you actually think that real homeless people would stay there and risk their own safety against people who say and think stuff like this?  I’d have to say I don’t think so.  Real people know the truth of what happened and why.

He himself doesn’t like to see the disrespect, rather any criticism, on his own page also but it must be fine for his mob to do it towards others.

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Hooser’s statement shows the total denial that he’s in and says a lot about the blind eye about what his mob does:

Residents supporting the Bill slept overnight on the hard and wet cement in front of the County building in order to garner a coveted seat inside the Council chambers, while the chemical companies hired the homeless and down-and-out to hold seats for their executives.

Then there is that supposedly “clueless” guy Tyler who claims to no nothing of the issue wearing a Hui O Kauai hat and taking $100 right on camera.  The anti-GMO mob taped the whole thing themselves.  Then there is the admission by Mr. Hooser himself that Tyler is his son’s friend.  Who’s telling the truth?

The biggest discrepancy in his latest blog is this statement:

Bill 2491 does not ban pesticides nor does it ban GMO’s, it simply requires disclosure.

If that really is the case, then why are you a part of this:

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Then there is yet another claim in his blog too about the meeting that the County Council was to vote on the bill.  Had they outright voted on the bill as intended with the 6 members, according to the Sunshine Law, the meeting would have ended.  The had polled for the vote and discovered that there would not be a quorum that set off the motion to get that 7th person in to reach quorum to finally pass the law.

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And Mr. Hooser, as well as Mr. Atchitoff, if you are so determined to be aligned with these GMO Free groups, why were you eating it products that your mob members love to hate at a restaurant that isn’t GMO Free?! Did you thank a GMO farmer that day?

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Of course people are going to say that Mr. Hooser was being spied upon at his dinner but the plain truth is he walked in after this person was having dinner that night. Get your facts straight.  Never mind, there are no straight facts with followers of his regime.

And one last thing Gary and mob members…  Are you trying to bully me for my petition to speak up for the farmers that you have disparaged and been disrespectful too?  You may have the numbers but that doesn’t equal up to the hard work and knowledge that any farmer has any day.  I’m standing with the farmers!

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**Note if you’re an anti-GMO activist trying to post on here, I’m tired of your threats and vile comments.  You can send them and I’ll repost it as a new blog.  All posts found were publicly available on the social media also that were sent in by someone or captured in public forums.  All comments are my own and do not reflect anyone else’s.**