Akaka Bill & PLDC back door play?

SUBHEAD: Senator Brian Schatz is proving to be as destructive of Hawaiian lands and people as Governor Abercrombie.

By Andrew Walden on 25 June 2013 for Hawaii Free Press -

Image above: Over 3,000 acres of land DHHL manages for Hawaiian people. The Kekaka Hawaiian Homelands Association is proposing to grow food here above the Mana Plain where Syngenta grows GMOs. Wouldn't you think the US government would rather have the chemical corporations here. Photo by Juan Wilson.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, the U.S. government may soon have formal rules for the federal law designed to put eligible Native Hawaiians onto homestead lots.

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday notified the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of its intent to establish rules related to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, which set up a trust comprising roughly 200,000 acres throughout the islands for homesteading purposes....

Masagatani said in a statement to the Star-Advertiser that "DHHL looks forward to continuing its ongoing discussions and productive working relationship with U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh and her staff.

"In the next few days, we will transmit our formal response to the assistant secretary's letter to address her specific issues related to our loan portfolio, revocable permits and federal rule-making."

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, whose office provided the Star-Advertiser with a copy of Suh's letter, said he has been meeting with her to discuss how the federal government can best deal with issues at DHHL, and "we are off to a good start." The Hawaii Demo­crat said the Interior Department is moving forward on several measures to provide more aggressive oversight and assistance to DHHL.

"We understand that these problems are long-standing and challenging," Schatz said in a statement to the newspaper. "However, these are the first steps forward toward providing transparency and accountability on behalf of Hawaiian families."...

In a May meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, Danner, representing the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, asked him to authorize the Interior Department to start the process for rule-making.

The council for the past two years has identified the establishment of federal rules as a top public policy priority and specifically called for regulations in the two areas Suh mentioned in her letter.

Interior's request for information and the move to establish rules indicates that the Obama administration — unlike previous ones — intends to become more engaged with oversight of the trust, Danner said.

"This is fantastic," she said. "I couldn't be happier. Who is in the White House really does matter."

An Interior spokes­woman said the specific process for initiating rules has yet to be defined but that the public will have an opportunity — usually 60 to 90 days — to comment on any proposals. She said the process likely will begin in the next couple of months.

Letter to DHHL from Dept. of Interior. Alrernatively,  use this link for better contrast in image of letter (http://www.islandbreath.org/2013Year/06/130630interior.jpg).


Don't Hold the Anchoves

SUBHEAD: A day or two earlier, I would have looked right past the Spanish mackerel. The clams, too, most likely.

By Jicelyn C. Zuckerman on 27 June 2013 for OneEarth.org -

Image above: A can of anchoves, garlic, bread and wine. From (http://66squarefeet.blogspot.com/2010/12/anchovy-spread.html).

A day or two earlier, I would have looked right past the Spanish mackerel. The clams, too, most likely.

Usually, when I stop by the fish counter to pick up something for dinner, I go for halibut, or maybe some sort of cod or bass. If we’re grilling, I might grab a few whole branzino or splurge on tuna steaks or wild salmon. But on my last trip to the store, I had just finished reading The Perfect Protein, a slim little manifesto written by Andy Sharpless, the CEO of the Washington, D.C.–based conservation organization Oceana. In the book, Sharpless and his co-writer, Suzannah Evans, make a compelling argument for eating some of the smaller, less sexy offerings from the seafood case -- not just to maintain the health of our oceans, but to help feed our ever-growing ranks.

In the past few decades, greatly expanding middle-class populations all over the world have been transitioning to diets heavier in protein. In 1978, annual consumption of meat in China was 8 million tons, according to the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank. Today that number is 71 million, and showing no signs of slowing down. As this transition has taken place, we’ve become aware of the many environmental ills that cascade from so much meat-eating, namely the deforestation, loss of biodiversity, water depletion, fertilizer run-off, and greenhouse gases that come with growing all the grain required to fatten all those billions of beasts. (Fully half of the grain grown in the world today ends up in the stomachs of animals.)

Compare that scenario with the manner in which wild seafood reaches our plates: without “draining the life from the soil, without drying up our rivers, without polluting the air and the water, without causing our planet to warm even more, without plaguing communities with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,” as Sharpless writes. All of which sounds great -- until we stop to consider the fact that we’ve already radically overfished our seas, and collapsed several of the world’s fisheries in the process.

Which is why Sharpless’s exhortation to eat more fish comes as something of a surprise. The glimmering sardine on the book’s cover hints at the crux of his argument: by eating lower on the marine food chain -- think sardines, herrings, mackerel, and anchovies, sometimes grouped collectively under the name “forage fish” -- we can sustain this supply of healthy protein not just for the relatively well-off Whole Foods shoppers of the world, but for everyone. The trick, as paradoxical as it may sound at first, is to raise the culinary profile of these fish.

Because we seem to have reached a point in this culture where no conversation about food is complete without a mention of Michael Pollan, Sharpless offers his own variation on that writer’s now-famous dictum. “Eat wild seafood,” begins Sharpless’s version. “Not too much of the big fish. Mostly local.” Though they’re not wild, farmed oysters, clams, and mussels also figure into this equation, since these shellfish actually behave like ecosystem cleaners, improving their habitats by “scrubbing” the water as they feed. Both forage fish and shellfish have the added benefit of being relatively easy to recognize; a report released in February found that one-third of fish sold in this country today are labeled as something other than what they actually are.

Forage fish are key. They feed on algae and plankton -- which derive their energy from the sun -- and are then consumed by larger fish, birds, and marine mammals. In other words, these little dynamos undergird the entire marine ecosystem, converting the boundless resource that is solar energy into edible protein. Alas, because Western populations have traditionally had little appetite for these oily outcasts, the market has had to find other uses for them: namely as fodder for the stuff we do like to eat, such as cows, pigs, chickens, and farmed salmon and other large fish. Today, no less than 90 percent of the worldwide catch of forage fish gets processed into fishmeal and oil used for growing fish, pigs, and chickens. (The oil -- which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and has been proven to benefit heart health and brain development and function -- also goes, increasingly, into nutritional supplements and infant formula.)

Over the past several years, and unbeknownst to many of us, aquaculture has gone on a tear. Global production of farmed fish recently overtook the production of beef, according to a report from the Earth Policy Institute. That same expansion has meant that we’re now in danger of removing from our seas too many of the forage fish that drive the industry. Ellen Pikitch, the executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, chaired a task force that issued a report last year on the state of forage fisheries.

Over a lunch of local summer flounder at a restaurant near her home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (that day’s menu was devoid of forage fish, in case you’re wondering), Pikitch explained that these fisheries have suffered from a chronic lack of management. “They’re kind of small and ugly,” she said, fondly, of forage fish, “and they tend to be abundant. And because they occur in large schools, people have this attitude of, ‘Ah, we don’t really need to worry about those fish.’” If we continue to extract so many of them, however, “we’re basically pulling the rug out from under the ocean ecosystem.”

Here’s where you’re probably asking yourself why Sharpless and others (including a group of California-based pro-forage-fish chefs and environmentalists who call themselves the “Sardinistas”) are then advising us to choose forage fish more often when grocery shopping or dining out. It comes down to simple math. “Let’s say you’re faced with a dead anchovy,” Pikitch offered. “What’s the best use of this dead anchovy? I would say that it’s better for people to eat it than to feed it to pigs or chickens or farm-raised salmon.” By feeding it to salmon, she explained, you’re essentially converting more fish into fewer fish, because even the most efficient aquaculture operations require four or five pounds of wild fish in order to create a single pound of salmon.

“In my mind,” said Pikitch, “an anchovy is perfectly delicious to eat. It’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s got all the things that make fish a good thing.” If more people were to develop a similar appreciation for them, demand might begin shifting away from the feedlot and the net-pen, and toward the plate. (Eating more quick-reproducing forage fish in place of the bigger ones would also give marine apex predators a chance to recover -- and would even benefit our own health in at least one significant way, since smaller fish accumulate fewer toxins, such as mercury.)

More importantly, this shift would direct more protein to the folks who really need it. Possibly the most scandalous part of the current state of forage-fish affairs is that all those dead anchovies are mostly coming from the waters of the world’s poor. The continued transfer of fishmeal and oil from the developing world to the plates of the rich threatens to exacerbate global food insecurity; Oceana’s scientists have found that if we were to take all of the world’s fishmeal-bound fish and feed it directly to people instead, we could provide an additional 400 million fish dinners a day.

Consumers, as we all know, can play a pivotal role. In June of 2011, some 400 Sainsbury grocery stores in the United Kingdom began offering their customers the opportunity to “try out” such humble forage-fish species as coley, pouting, megrim, and mackerel, at no cost whatsoever. No doubt promotional help from celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall contributed to the program’s success, but sales of what are known there as the big five species -- cod, haddock, tuna, salmon, and prawns -- dipped during the campaign, while shoppers took home an extra 50 tons of the species featured in the promotion.

In an aim toward inspiring readers to broaden their kitchen horizons and re-align our collective fish-eating culture, Sharpless has included 20 recipes showcasing mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and other sustainable fish in his book. I couldn’t find any sardines or herring on the ice at Whole Foods the day I stopped by, but The Perfect Protein also features a couple of interesting-looking recipes (from this-side-of-the-pond celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Eric Ripert, respectively) built around Spanish mackerel and littleneck clams. I had the fishmonger at the store wrap up two mackerel -- caught locally in the waters off of New Jersey -- and I grabbed a mesh bag of farmed littlenecks. Earlier, I had emailed a few friends and summoned them to dinner.

The clams, aromatic with curry and cilantro, were a huge hit, every drop of their golden broth sopped up with the hunks of baguette that I served on the side. And the mackerel, which had been baked under a russet cloak of tomato sauce, felt luxuriant in the mouth, and had none of the fishy flavor we often associate with it. I’ll confess to having found its accompanying salad a little over-exuberant (Emeril might take a tack from fashion icon Coco Chanel, who famously advised women to always remove one accessory before leaving the house), but the playful jumble of onions, bell peppers, chickpeas, and olives didn’t seem to bother anyone else at the table. They all went home happy, and well schooled in the intricacies -- and importance -- of forage fish.

President Bill Clinton, who signed the Sustainable Fisheries Act into law while in office, writes in the foreword to The Perfect Protein that he is optimistic about our global fisheries moving toward sustainability based on efforts being made at the policy level. Just 25 nations currently control 76 percent of the world’s coastal oceans, and 10 of these nations control 51 percent of them. Like the book’s author, President Clinton believes that if these nations were to take three steps -- protecting their ocean habitats; reducing bycatch (the unwanted marine life that gets swept up by the industry’s giant nets and trawlers); and setting quotas based on science, rather than on the fishing industry’s bottom line -- we’d have an excellent chance of managing our ocean stocks for generations to come.

Pikitch thinks it’s a little more complicated than that. “What we have to do is really change attitudes, and certain cultures that aren’t necessarily limited to individual countries,” she says. But she acknowledges there are grounds for optimism. For starters, the state of California last November adopted a new forage fish policy -- based largely on the findings of Pikitch’s task force -- that will place new expansion limits on forage fisheries in an effort to slow down their activity and make them more sustainable.

While the wheels turn (however gradually) at the highest levels, the rest of us can do our part to shore up the world’s seafood supplies -- and ultimately, one hopes, help nourish more people -- by following a lower-on-the-marine-food-chain eating strategy. I plan to experiment with some of the smaller, homelier fish I’ve come across at the store but avoided taking home with me, and I’ll be choosing them more often from restaurant menus. (This Seafood Watch pocket guide and app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium are great resources for those wondering what’s best to eat, from a sustainability standpoint.) My dinner guests all said they’d be glad to come back whenever I feel like getting creative with the world’s less-fashionable fish. Next time I may go really radical on them and turn for inspiration to page 136: Mario Batali’s outré jellyfish salad.

Eric Ripert’s Clams with Spicy Sausage
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ pound andouille sausage, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
4 dozen littleneck clams, well-scrubbed
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Lemon wedges, for serving
Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, curry powder, and lemon zest. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onion has softened and turned translucent. Add the sausage and cook for about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the clams, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan a few times, until the clams open.

Using a slotted spoon, place the clams in shallow serving bowls, discarding any clams that don’t open. Stir the cilantro into the broth and pour it over the clams. Serve with lemon wedges.
Emeril Lagasse’s Spanish Mackerel with Spinach and Chickpea Salad & Tomato Vinaigrette
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves 6
2¼ cups tomato sauce, slightly warmed and divided
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 small garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
6 cups (6 ounces) baby spinach
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup julienned red bell pepper
¼ cup pitted and sliced black olives
6 (4- to 6-ounce) Spanish mackerel fillets, cleaned and pin bones removed
2 cups cooked (15-ounce can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Make the vinaigrette: place ¼ cup tomato sauce, vinegar, garlic, and one pinch each of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Continue to whisk vigorously while slowly adding ¾ cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Place spinach, red onion, bell pepper, black olives, and one pinch each of salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Brush both sides of mackerel with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a roasting pan, add 2 cups warmed tomato sauce. Place mackerel in the tomato sauce and place in the oven. Cook until mackerel is firm to the touch, opaque and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place the mackerel on a plate.

While the mackerel is cooking, place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup tomato vinaigrette, chickpeas, and one pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

Pour chickpeas over spinach mixture. Using a spatula, scrape any residual vinaigrette from the pan into the bowl. Drizzle another 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette over salad, as needed. Gently toss the salad, making sure all spinach leaves are coated well.

Divide spinach and chickpea salad among 6 serving plates. Top with mackerel fillets, drizzle with extra tomato vinaigrette as desired, and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
(This recipe originally appeared on “Emeril’s Table” on Hallmark Channel, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.)

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: The Seafood Watch Pocket Guide 7/15/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The Whole Fish  10/26/12


Targeted Occupy Leaders

SUBHEAD: Redacted FBI documents show plot to kill Occupy leaders in Texas if ‘Deemed Necessary’.

By Alexander Reed Keiiy on 29 June 2013 in ThruthDig -

Image above:Occupy Houston Participants on October 6, 2011.  From (http://socialmediacorrespondents.net/?p=366).

“Did the FBI ignore, or even abet, a plot to assassinate Occupy Houston leaders?” asks investigative reporter Dave Lindorff at WhoWhatWhy. “What did the Feds know? Whom did they warn? And what did the Houston Police know?”

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Washington, D.C.-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund yielded an FBI document containing knowledge of a plot by an unnamed group or individual to kill “leaders” of the Houston chapter of the nonviolent Occupy Wall Street movement.

Here’s what the document said, according to WhoWhatWhy:
An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000 persons in NYC. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland (10/6-8/11) at Willard Park which was initially attended by hundreds of protesters.)
Paul Kennedy of the National Lawyers Guild in Houston and an attorney for a number of Occupy Houston activists arrested during the protests said he did not hear of the sniper plot and expressed discontent with the FBI’s failure to share knowledge of the plan with the public. He believed that the bureau would have acted if a “right-wing group” plotted the assassinations, implying that the plan could have originated with law enforcement.

“[I]f it is something law enforcement was planning,” Kennedy said, “then nothing would have been done. It might seem hard to believe that a law enforcement agency would do such a thing, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”

He added that the phrase “if deemed necessary,” which appeared in the bureau’s report, further suggests the possibility that some kind of official organization was involved in the plan.

Texas law officials have a history of extreme and inappropriate violence. “Last October,” Lindorff writes, “a border patrol officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety, riding in a helicopter, used a sniper rifle to fire at a fast-moving pickup truck carrying nine illegal immigrants into the state from Mexico, killing two and wounding a third, and causing the vehicle to crash and overturn.”

Kennedy has seen law enforcement forces attempt to secretly entrap Occupy activists and disrupt their activities in the city. He represented seven people who were charged with felonies stemming from a protest whose organizing group had been infiltrated by undercover officers from the Austin Police department. The felony charges were dropped when police involvement with a crucial part of that action was discovered.

A second document obtained in the same FOIA request suggested the assassination plans might be on the plotters’ back burner in case Occupy re-emerges in the area.

When WhoWhatWhy sent an inquiry to FBI headquarters in Washington, officials confirmed that the first document is genuine and that it originated in the Houston FBI office. Asked why solid evidence of a plot never led to exposure of the perpetrators’ identity or arrest, Paul Bresson, head of the FBI media office, deflected the question. According to WHoWhatWhy, he said:
The FOIA documents that you reference are redacted in several places pursuant to FOIA and privacy laws that govern the release of such information so therefore I am unable to help fill in the blanks that you are seeking. Exemptions are cited in each place where a redaction is made. As far as the question about the murder plot, I am unable to comment further, but rest assured if the FBI was aware of credible and specific information involving a murder plot, law enforcement would have responded with appropriate action.Lindorff wants us to note that “the privacy being ‘protected’ in this instance (by a government that we now know has so little respect for our privacy) was of someone or some organization that was actively contemplating violating other people’s Constitutional rights—by murdering them.” He says “[t]hat should leave us less than confident about Bresson’s assertion that law enforcement would have responded appropriately to a ‘credible’ threat.”
When the Houston Police department was asked about its knowledge of the plot, public affairs officer Keith Smith said it “hadn’t heard about it” and directed future questions to the Houston FBI office.

The obvious question to ask in attempting to determine the identities of the planners is this: Who has sniper training? A number of Texas law enforcement organizations received special training from Dallas-based mercenary company Craft International, which has a contract for training services with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The company was founded by a celebrated Army sniper who was killed by a combat veteran he accompanied to a shooting range.

Remington Alessi, an Occupy Houston activist who played a prominent role in the protests and hails from a law enforcement family, agrees with attorney Kennedy that the plot likely did not originate with a right-wing group. “If it had been that, the FBI would have acted on it,” he said. “I believe the sniper attack was one strategy being discussed for dealing with the occupation.”

The grotesque irony here, Lindoff writes, is that “while the Occupy Movement was actually peaceful, the FBI, at best, was simply standing aside while some organization plotted to assassinate the movement’s prominent activists.”

Lindorff concludes: “The FBI’s stonewalling response to inquiries about this story, and the agency’s evident failure to take any action regarding a known deadly threat to Occupy protesters in Houston, will likely make protesters at future demonstrations look differently at the sniper-rifle equipped law-enforcement personnel often seen on rooftops during such events. What are they there for? Who are the threats they are looking for and potentially targeting? Who are they protecting? And are they using ‘suppressed’ sniper rifles? Would this indicate they have no plans to take responsibility for any shots silently fired? Or that they plan to frame someone else?”

GMO beets destroyed in Oregon

SUBHEAD: Forty tons of GMO beet crop burned in Oregon. Response is a media blackout.

By Staff on 23 June 2013 for Political Blind Spot -

Image above: Gasolene in a GMO beet field. From original article.

Though the controlled corporate media apparatus is suppressing the story, 40 tons of GMO crops were torched, prompting an FBI investigation. There has been a COMPLETE MEDIA BLACKOUT, outside of local circles has dared to mention it, perhaps because government fears that if the public learns that other people are getting fighting mad (literally), they might join in, and become an actual revolution. It was only reported locally live on KXL Radio and echoed by the Oregonian, where the ONLY web mention exists, hard to find because the headline wording is carefully avoids the most likely keywords for a search.

Here’s what happened — 40 Tons of GMO Sugar Beets were set ablaze in Oregon, yesterday. FORTY TONS — the entire acreage of two full fields of crops IN THE GROUND were set ablaze over a THREE NIGHT PERIOD OF TIME. That means ARSON.

Since the initial reports, the news said instead that 6,500 plants were destroyed BY HAND, ONE PLANT AT A TIME. That would indicate that A LOT OF PEOPLE were involved. If the reports of the uprooting of this many plants are true, then WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A MOVEMENT, a kind of ORGANIZED REVOLT — and this is exactly the kind of retribution that many have warned was coming; when lawmakers and corporations refuse to honor the Constitution and instead engage in ‘legalized’ criminal acts such as enabled by the ‘Monsanto Protection Act.’

If, however, the initial reports of uprooting along with arson are true, then this certainly makes more sense, both in terms of the nature of the direct action, and the logic behind how it could be pulled off on a practical level. This would also explain why the FBI is involved, as uprooting plants would not likely interest the Bureau as much as this case is.

More than decade ago, environmental saboteurs vandalized experimental crops across the country in a revolt against high-tech agriculture. Foes of genetic engineering also struck in 2000, when members of the Earth Liberation Front, with roots in Oregon, set fire to agriculture offices at Michigan State University. ELF’s position was that genetic engineering was “one of the many threats to the natural world as we know it.”

But ELF cells normally come forward immediately to claim responsibility, because to them, its all about publicity to educate the public. Since there has been no statement about the recent arson this may have simply been Oregon Farmers who have said, ‘Enough!’ Another clue that may be the case is that this comes on the heels (two weeks) of Japan’s rejection of the entire Oregon Wheat crop for the year (a tremendous financial blow because over 80% of Oregon Wheat is exported) because ONE report said ONE field was contaminated with at least ONE GMO plant.

The rightful fear is, because of pollination processes, once you introduce a GMO crop of a given variety ANYWHERE, the wind and insects will spread its genetic contamination to non GMO fields, and thereby ruin the ENTIRE INDUSTRY for a region. In fact, Oregon farmers have tendered a multi-billion dollar class action law suite against Monsanto, joining a long list of states doing so. Monsanto has experimented with GMO crops before they were approved in 16 states. They were supposedly all destroyed, but state after state is finding out the hard way, that Pandora’s box has been deliberately left open.

But while other governments in Europe and elsewhere are passing laws to ban GMO crops, and burning entire crops themselves, in America, our government is passing laws protecting Monsanto from legal repercussions, and therefore, it seems, farmers are forced to burn the crops, themselves. This means that where in other countries, citizens are being protected from corporate crimes, in America, citizens are forced to become ‘terrorists’ to survive. That’s how blatantly corrupt our corporate police state has become, I’m afraid.

Can GMO spark an armed revolution? Recall our report on the Putin’s comments about how the protection of Monsanto (through things like the “Monsanto Protection Act”) could lead to armed revolt and war. This story was reported on by Political Blind Spot after verifying the claims we had seen circulating, and omitting those which we had heard but could not verify. Still, Monsanto public relations employees were literally paid to track down articles such as ours and try to argue that they should be taken down (we may publish these exchanges with them from official Monsanto email addresses).

In this case, both fields belonged to the same Corporate Agricultural giant known for embracing GMO, though trying to do so quietly, another reason perhaps big media has kept the story from reaching the Internet. We are talking about Syngenta. Nowhere on their US web site will you find mention of GMO, but that is exactly what the company is about. They have even lied publicly in writing on this issue with a public declaration. Yet their very corporate name shouts GMO.

But the FBI, and local media knows better (and now, you)… because apparently someone from the Syngenta operated farms mentioned the fact as a possible motive for the arson. This is a serious matter in many respects. It throws down the gauntlet and says, WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND ARE NOT GOING TO LET YOU GET AWAY WITH THIS BULLSHIT ANYMORE! But it also raises the stakes and put lives and property at risk, and if it goes wrong, could indeed end up sparking an armed revolution, just as Putin indicated to President Obama.

FBI calls it Economic Sabotage
SUBHEAD: FBI vague press release calls the Oregon GMO direct action “Economic Sabotage”

By Staff on 27 June 2013 for Political Blind Spot -
In a breaking development, the FBI confirms that 1,500 GM Sugar Beet plants were destroyed this month in Oregon, in what they are calling an act of “Economic Sabotage.” We broke this story after we were contacted, shortly after the direct action, and informed that there were two methods used, both uprooting the plants, and arson as well, and that after the initial local reports, the media had more or less scrubbed the story, and kept mum about additional methods of scorching the fields, as well as the crops.

The FBI statement seems deliberately vague, speaking only of the destruction not only of the crops, but also ”significant damage to two plots of land used to grow genetically engineered sugar beets.” Presumably this indicates some destruction beyond the crops themselves, but with Haitian farmers vowing to burn Monsanto seeds sent to them, and Hungary now having torched Monsanto crops, it would seem that there is a fear of copy-cat arsons. After all, pulling up 6,500 plants by hand is a lot harder than dumping some gasoline and lighting a match.

We, of course, are just reporting on this story. We are certainly not encouraging the commission of any criminal activity. Our job is to report, not to encourage or discourage people to follow the laws put in place to govern them.

The FBI said in a statement we obtained Wednesday that about 1,000 sugar beet plants were destroyed on June 8, and more than 5,000 plants were destroyed on a different plot three nights later.

The plants were owned by the Swiss-based biotech company Sygenta. FBI spokewoman, Beth Anne Steele, would not comment on the manner in which the crops were destroyed “…because we don’t want to encourage copycats.”

This only seems to confirm what our sources told us from the beginning. See the FBI Press Release below…

Image above: FBI Press Release cropped. From original article here.

Perhaps the oddest part of the FBI Press Release is what seems like a sales pitch for GMO beets, at the end, as they relate to Oregon’s economy.

Anahola biofuel proposal rejected

SOURCE: Hope Kallai (lokahipath2@live.com)
SUBHEAD: Hawaiian Homes Commission rejects Anahola Green Energy Project because of  overwhelming opposition by community.

By Darrell T. Young on 28 June 2013 for DHHL in Island Breath -

Image above: Detail of photo of Anahola mountains looking north. From (http://www.hawaiianphotos.net/kauai_tour_photos_2.htm).

The Hawaiian Homes Commission rejected a proposal today by Green Energy Team, LLC, to lease 2,134 acres of Hawaiian home lands in Anahola for its proposed Anahola Renewable Energy Project.The 3-5 vote comes after two days of public feedback on the project, with 80 percent of testimony in opposition.

"While there were merits to the project, there were also a number of concerns that remained unresolved. I am encouraged that several in the Anahola community wanted a chance to be a part of the ultimate goal of getting these lands ready for homesteading. They want a chance to have their voices heard," said Jobie Masagatani, Chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, and Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), "We look forward to working closely with the people of Anahola to explore ideas on the future use of these lands."

As proposed, the 20-year lease would have allowed Green Energy to clear existing albizia trees from DHHL's Anahola lands and establish a tree plantation to fuel Green Energy's $90-million biomass-to-energy facility in Kōloa.

In return, DHHL would have received monetary and other benefits, including improvements to Anahola lands.

Voting for the majority were Commissioners Perry Artates, Leimana DaMate, Gene Ross Davis, Renwick "Uncle Joe" Tassill, and Chair Masagatani.Commissioners Jeremy "Kama" Hopkins, Ian Lee Loy, and Michael Kahikina voted in support of the project.

Darrell T. Young
Deputy to the Chair
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
(808) 620-9510

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Anahola Biofuel Plan back again 6/19/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaiians spurn "Green" Energy 3/11/13


Imperfect Storms

SUBHEAD: History councils that we are not facing either Heaven or Hell but a gnarly combination of both.

By John Michael Greer on 26 June 2013 for the Archdruid Report -

Image above: "Heaven and Hell" by Jay-Peg. From (http://jay-peg.deviantart.com/art/Heaven-and-Hell-28596560).

Last week’s post on the need to check our narratives against the evidence of history turned out to be rather more timely than I expected. Over the weekend, following hints and nods from the Fed that the current orgy of quantitative easing may not continue, stock and bond markets around the globe did a swan dive. In response, with the predictability of a well-oiled cuckoo clock, the usual claims that total economic collapse is imminent have begun to spread across the peak oil blogosphere.

As I write these words, the slump seems to have stabilized, but it’s a safe bet that if it resumes—and there’s reason to think that it will—the same claims will get plenty of air time, as they did during the last half dozen market slumps If that happens, it’s an equally safe bet that a year from now, those who made and circulated those predictions will once again have egg on their faces, and the peak oil movement will have suffered another own goal, inflicted by those who have forgotten that the ability to offer accurate predictions about an otherwise baffling future is one of the few things that gives the peak oil movement any claim on the attention of the rest of the world.

Mind you, worries about the state of the world economy are far from misplaced just now. In the wake of the 2008 crash, financial authorities in the US—first the Department of the Treasury, backed by Congressional appropriations, and then the Federal Reserve, backed by nothing but its own insistence that it had the right to spin the presses as enthusiastically as it wished—flooded markets in the US and overseas with a tsunami of money, in an attempt to forestall the contraction of the money supply that usually follows a market crash and ushers in a recession or worse.

The theory behind that exercise was outlined by Ben Bernanke in his famous “helicopter speech” in 2002: keep the money supply from contracting in the wake of a market crash, if necessary by dumping money out of helicopters, and the economy will recover from the effects of the crash and return to robust growth in short order.

That theory was put to the test, and it failed. Five years after the 2008 crash, the global economy has not returned to robust growth. Across America and Europe, in the teeth of quantitative easing, hard times of a kind rarely seen since the Great Depression have become widespread. Official claims that happy days will be here again just as soon as everybody but the rich accepts one more round of belt-tightening (also a feature of the Great Depression, by the way) are increasingly hard to sustain in the face of the flat failure of current policies to bring anything but more poverty.

Meanwhile, the form taken by quantitative easing in the present case—massive purchases of worthless securities by central banks—has national governments drowning in debt, central banks burdened with mountains of the kind of financial paper that makes junk bonds look secure, and no one better off except a financial industry that has become increasingly disconnected from political and economic realities.

Thus the boom is coming down. On the 18th of this month, Obama commented in a media interview that Bernanke had been at the Fed’s helm “longer than he wanted,” an unsubtle way of announcing that the chairman would not be appointed to a third term in 2014.

Shortly thereafter, the Fed let it be known that the ongoing quantitative easing program would be tapered off toward the end of the year, and the general manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), one of the core institutions of global finance, gave a speech noting that central banks had gone too far in spinning the presses, and risked problems as bad as the ones quantitative easing was supposed to cure.

Markets around the world panicked, and for good reason. Most of the cash from quantitative easing in the US and elsewhere got paid out to large banks, on the theory that it would go to borrowers and drive another round of economic growth. That didn’t happen, because borrowing at interest only makes sense when growth can be expected to exceed the interest rate.

Whether it’s 18-year-olds taking out student loans to go to college, business owners issuing corporate paper to finance expansion, or what have you, the assumption is that the return on investment will be high enough to cover the cost of interest and still yield a profit.

In the stagnant economy of the last five years, that assumption has not fared well, and where government guarantees didn’t distort the process—as happened with student loans in the US, for example—the result was a dearth of new loans, and thus a dearth of new economic activity.

Unused money in a bank’s coffers these days is about as secure as it is in the pocket of your average eight-year-old, though, and for most of the last five years, the world’s speculative markets were among the standard places for banks to go and spend it. That helped drive a series of boomlets in various kinds of speculative paper, and pushed some market indices to all-time highs. The end of the quantitative easing gravy train very likely means the end of that process, and for an assortment of other fiscal gimmicks that have been surfing the waves of cheap money pouring out of the Fed and other central banks in recent years. A prolonged bear market is thus likely.

Could that bear market trigger a run on the investment banks that, under the cozy illusion that they’re still too big to fail, have become too arrogant to survive? Very possibly. The twilight of “Helicopter Ben” and his spin-the-presses policies also marks the end of the line for a coterie of economists and bankers, most of them associated with Goldman Sachs, who came to power after the 2008 crisis insisting that they knew how to fix the broken economy. They didn’t, and they are now in the process of discovering—as the neoconservatives found out before them—that while the American political class has almost limitless patience with corruption and venality, it has no tolerance at all for failure.

 I expect to see a fair number of prominent figures in the nation’s financial bureaucracies headed back to the same genteel obscurity that swallowed the neocons, and it’s by no means unlikely that Goldman Sachs or some other big financial firm may be allowed to crash and burn as part of the payback.

And beyond that? One way or another, the end of quantitative easing bids fair to trigger a wave of harsh economic readjustments, government defaults, corporate bankruptcies, and misery for all. An immense overhang of unpayable debt is going to have to be liquidated in one way or another, and there’s no way for that to happen without a lot of pain. That may well involve a recession harsh enough that the D-word will probably need to be pulled out of cold storage and used instead.

Will the remaining scraps of democratic governance in Europe and America, and the increasingly fragile peace among the world’s military powers, survive several years of that? That’s a good question, to which history offers mostly unencouraging answers.

Still, these deeply troubling possibilities aren’t the things you’ll hear aired across the more apocalyptic end of the peak oil scene, if recent declines in global stock markets continue. Rather, if experience is any guide, we can expect a rehash of the claims that the next big economic crisis will cause a total implosion of global financial systems, leading to a credit collapse that will prevent farmers from buying seed for next year’s crops, groceries from stocking their shelves, factories from producing anything at all, and thus land us all plop in the middle of the Dark Ages in short order.

It’s here that the issue discussed in last week’s post becomes particularly relevant, because there’s a difference—a big one—between the imaginary cataclysms that fill so much space on the doomward end of the blogosphere and what actually happens. Financial history is full of markets that imploded, economies that plunged into recession and depression, currencies that became worthless, and all the other stage properties of current speculations concerning total economic collapse, and it also has quite detailed things to say about what followed each of these crises.

Without too much trouble, given access to the internet or a decently stocked library, you can find out what happens when a highly centralized economic system comes apart at the seams, no matter what combination of factors do the deed. The difference between what actually happens and the whole range of current fantasies about instant doom can be summed up in a single phrase: negative feedback.

That’s the process by which a thermostat works: when the house gets cold, the furnace turns on and heats it back up; when the house gets too warm, the furnace shuts down and lets it cool off. Negative feedback is one of the basic properties of whole systems, and the more complex the system, the more subtle, powerful, and multilayered the negative feedback loops tend to be.

The opposite process is positive feedback, and it’s extremely rare in the real world, because systems with positive feedback promptly destroy themselves—imagine a thermostat that responded to rising temperatures by heating things up further until the house burns down. Negative feedback, by contrast, is everywhere.

That’s not something you’ll see referenced in any of the current crop of fast-crash theories, whether those fixate on financial markets, global climate, or what have you. Nearly all those theories make sweeping claims about some set of hypothetical positive feedback loops, while systematically ignoring the existence of well-documented negative feedback loops, and dismissing the evidence of history.

The traditional cry of “But it’s different this time!” serves its usual function as an obstacle to understanding: no matter how many times a claim has failed in the past, and no matter how many times matters have failed to follow the predicted course, believers can always find some reason or other to insist that this time isn’t like all the others.

It happens that I’ve been doing plenty of thinking about negative feedback recently, because I’ve fielded yet another flurry of claims that my theory of catabolic collapse must be false because it doesn’t allow for the large-scale crises that we’re evidently about to experience.

Mind you, I have no objection to having my theory critiqued, but it would be helpful if those who did so took the time to learn a little about the theory they think they’re critiquing. In point of fact—I encourage doubters to read a PDF of the original essay—the theory of catabolic collapse not only assumes but requires large-scale crises. What it explains is why those crises aren’t followed by a plunge into oblivion but by stabilization and partial recovery.

The reason is negative feedback. A civilization on the way down normally has much more capital—buildings, infrastructure, knowledge, population, and everything else a macroeconomist would put under this label—than it can afford to maintain. Crisis solves this problem by wrecking a great deal of excess capital, so that it no longer requires maintenance, and resources that had been maintaining it can be put to more immediate needs. In addition, much of the wrecked capital can be stripped for raw materials, cutting expenditures further.

Since civilizations in decline are by and large desperately short of uncommitted resources, and are also normally squeezed by rising costs for resource extraction, both these windfalls make it possible for a crumbling society to buy time and stave off collapse for at least a little longer; that’s what drives the stairstep process of crisis, stabilization, partial recovery, and renewed crisis that shows up in the last centuries of every historically documented civilization.

That sequence is so reliable that Arnold Toynbee could argue, with no shortage of evidence, that there are usually three and a half rounds of it in the fall of any civilization—the last half-cycle being the final crisis from which the recovery is somebody else’s business. Our civilization, by the way, has already been through its first cycle, the global crisis of 1914-1954 that saw Europe stripped of its once-vast colonial empires and turned into a battleground between American and Russian successor states.

We’re just about due for the second, which will likely be at least as traumatic as the first; the third, if our civilization follows the usual pattern, should hit a battered and impoverished industrial world sometime in the 22nd century, and the final collapse will follow maybe fifty to a hundred years after that.

Now of course there are plenty of people these days insisting that industrial civilization can’t possibly take that long to fall, just as there are plenty of people who insist that it can’t fall at all. In both cases, the arguments normally rest on the blindness to negative feedback discussed above.

Consider the currently popular notion, critiqued in one of last month’s posts, that humanity will go extinct by 2030 due to runaway climate change. The logic here follows the pattern I sketched out earlier—extreme claims about hypothetical positive feedback loops, combined with selective blindness to well-documented negative feedback loops that have put an end to greenhouse events in the past, propped up with the inevitable claim that the modest details that distinguish the present situation from similar events in the past mean that the lessons of the past don’t count.

Current rhetoric aside, greenhouse events driven by extremely rapid CO2 releases are anything but rare in Earth’s history. The usual culprits are large-scale volcanic releases of greenhouse gases, which boosted CO2 levels in the atmosphere up above 1200 ppm—that’s four times current levels—and thus drove what geologists, not normally an excitable bunch, call “super-greenhouse events.”

 If massive CO2 releases into the atmosphere were going to exterminate life on Earth, these would have done the trick—and super-greenhouse events have happened many times already, just within the small share of the planet’s history that geologists have enough evidence to study.

What stops it? Negative feedback. The most important of the many negative feedback loops that counter greenhouse events is the shutdown of the thermohaline circulation, the engine that drives the world’s ocean currents. The thermohaline circulation also puts oxygen into the deep oceans, and when it shuts down, you get an oceanic anoxic event.

Ocean waters below 50 meters or so run out of oxygen and become incapable of supporting life, and the rain of carbon-rich organic materials from the sunlit levels of the ocean, which normally supports a galaxy of deepwater ecosystems, falls instead to the bottom of the sea, taking all its carbon with it.

It’s an extremely effective way of sucking excess carbon out of the biosphere: around 70% of all known petroleum reserves, along with thick belts of carbon-rich black shale found over much of the world, were laid down in a handful of oceanic anoxic events in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Oceanographers aren’t sure yet of the mechanism that shuts off the thermohaline circulation, but it doesn’t require the steamy temperatures of the Mesozoic to do it. At least one massive oceanic anoxic event happened in the Ordovician period, in the middle of a glaciation, and there’s tolerably good evidence that a brief shutdown was responsible for the thousand-year-long Younger Dryas cold period at the end of the last ice age.

Not that long ago, global warming researchers were warning about the possibility of a shutdown of the thermohaline circulation in the near future, and measurements of deepwater formation have not been encouraging to believers in business as usual.

Meanwhile, other patterns of negative feedback are already under way. Across much of the tropical world, increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere are helping to drive bush encroachment—the rapid spread of thorny shrubs and trees across former grasslands.

Western media coverage so far has fixated on the plight of cheetahs—is there any environmental issue we can’t reduce to sentimentality about cute animals?—but the other side of the picture is that shrubs and trees soak up much more carbon than grasslands, and in many areas, the shrubs involved in bush encroachment make cattle raising impossible, cutting into another source of greenhouse gases.

Meanwhile, the depletion of fossil fuels imposes its own form of negative feedback; as petroleum geologists have been pointing out for quite a while now, there aren’t enough economically recoverable fossil fuels in the world to justify even the IPCC’s relatively unapocalyptic predictions of climate change.

Apply the same logic to the economic convulsions I mentioned earlier and the same results follow. The reason a financial collapse won’t result in bare grocery shelves, deserted factories, fallow fields, and mass death is, again, negative feedback.

The world’s political, economic, and military officials have plenty of options for preventing such an outcome, most of them thoroughly tested in previous economic breakdowns, and so these officials aren’t exactly likely to respond to crisis by wringing their hands and saying, “Oh, whatever shall we do?”

 For that matter, ordinary people caught in previous periods of extreme economic crisis have proven perfectly able to jerry-rig whatever arrangements might be necessary to stay fed and provided with other necessities.

Whether the crisis is contained by federal loan guarantees and bank nationalizations that keep farms, factories, and stores supplied with the credit they need, by the repudiation of debts and the issuance of a new currency, by martial law and the government seizure of unused acreage, or by ordinary citizens cobbling together new systems of exchange in a hurry, as happened in Argentina, Russia, and other places where the economy suddenly went to pieces, the crisis will be contained.

The negative feedback here is provided by the simple facts that people are willing to do almost anything to put food on the table, governments are willing to do even more to stay in power, and in hundreds of previous crises, their actions have proven more than sufficient to stop the positive feedback loops of economic crisis in their tracks, and stabilize the situation at some level.

None of this means the crisis will be easy to get through, nor does it mean that the world that emerges once the rubble stops bouncing and the dust settles will be anything like as prosperous, as comfortable, or as familiar as the one we have today. That’s true of all three of the situations I’ve sketched out in this post.

While the next round of crisis along the arc of industrial civilization’s decline and fall will likely be over by 2070 of so, living through the interval between then and now will probably have more than a little in common with living through the First World War, the waves of political and social crises that followed it, the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism, followed by the Second World War and its aftermath—and this time the United States is unlikely to be sheltered from the worst impacts of crisis, as it was between 1914 and 1954.

In the same way, the negative feedback loops that counter greenhouse events in the Earth’s biosphere don’t prevent drastic climate swings, with all the agricultural problems and extreme weather events that those imply; they simply prevent those swings from going indefinitely, and impose reverse swings that could be just as damaging.

If the thermohaline circulation shuts down, in particular, there’s a very real possibility that the world could be whipsawed by extreme weather in both directions—too hot for a few more decades, and then too cold for the next millennium—as happened around the beginning of the Younger Dryas period 12,800 years ago.

Our species survived then, and on several other similar occasions, and the Earth as a whole has been through even more drastic climate shifts many times; still, it’s a sufficiently harsh prospect for those of us who may have to live through it that anything that can be done to prevent it is well worth doing.

It’s only the contemporary fixation on “perfect storms” of various imaginary kinds that leads so many people to forget that imperfect storms can cause quite a bit of damage all by themselves.

Yet it’s the imperfect storms, the ones we can actually expect to get in the real world, that ought to feature in predictions of the future—if those predictions are meant to predict the future, that is, rather than serving as inkblots onto which to project emotionally charged fantasies, excuses for not abandoning unsustainable but comfortable lifestyles, or what have you.


Stop Poisoning Paradise Fundraising

SOURCE:Taylor Ken (taylork021@hawaii.rr.com)
SUBHEAD: Your action now will have a lasting impact on the future of Kauai agriculture and the health of the people.

By Elijah Frank on 28 June 2013 for Ohana O Kauai -

Image above: Preparing for GMO corn open field test KEO-31301 with an application of unidentified pesticides adjacent Polihale State Park (at left) on the Mana Plain. Visitors to the state park camping overnight were unaware of this pesticide application and the inherent danger it posed. From (http://grassrootzv.com/home/kauai-gmo-article/).

The people of Kauai have 60 days to pass a vital ordinance, Bill 2491 Related to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms, that will regulate the production of genetically modified organisms and the pesticides used to grow those organisms on our island.

Five commercial agriculture companies, four of them growing genetically modified crops account for 99% of the 3.5 tons of restricted use pesticides that are used annually on Kaua’i (Source: Restricted Use Pesticides Sold on Kauai 2010-2012, Department of Agriculture).

The people of Kauai have the right to know what pesticides and what genetically modified organisms are being used and the potential impacts that these substances are likely to have on our health and the environment.

Image above: Detail of pesticide warning label from photograph above indicating that application of poison was made at 6:20pm on 1/24/13 and that the field should not be enbtered until 6:20am the next morning. 
Ohana O Kaua’i will be campaigning for 60 days to “Pass the Bill” and we are asking for donations to fund this historic campaign. Our goal is $18,000 to fund the hard costs of outreach through media outlets and organizing our communities.

All funds raised will go to the hard costs of these efforts. No one on our team is being paid for this - it's a labor of love for our children, for the aina and for the future of our precious island.

Your action now will have a lasting impact on the future of Kauai agriculture and the health of the people of Kauai and our environment. Donations can be made through our non-profit Hawaii Seed by clicking the donate button on the following link: http://www.stoppoisoningparadise.org/#!donate/c1ghi or go directtly to Paypal.

Please contact me directly any time.


Elijah Frank
Ohana O Kauai
(808) 391-1407

Visit also:

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Big Island Anti GMO Bill 6/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Regulation of GMOs & Pesticides 6/27/13


Big Island Anti GMO Bill

SUBHEAD: Bill 79 would restrict GMO crops, trees, seafood, and algae in Hawaii County.  

By Shannon Rudolph on 27 June 2013 in Island Breath -

Image above: Parker Ranch on the Big Island. What was once forest in barely grassland. Will it become GMO fields? From (http://www.waimeavilla.com/Views.html).

The Pro Bill 79 Rally
There will be a hearing on Big Island Anti-GMO Bill 79 on Tuesday 9:00am, July 2, 2013.

Councilperson Margaret Wille has written a GMO bill that needs your support. The bill would restrict GMO crops, trees, seafood, algae and toxic and invasive GMOs on the Big Island. 

We need to turn out LOTS of testifiers this time. The Industry showed up BIG TIME at the May 29th hearing, and we'll need everyone's kokua to see this through. Please wear GREEN in solidarity and support of Bill 79.

Council meets in Kona, but people are encouraged to use ALL the satellite sites in Hilo, Pahoa, Ka'u or Waimea. Seating will be limited, and be prepared for a long day.
To view the Bill 79 click here: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/WebLink8/0/doc/789300/Page1.aspx

You can help this bill by signing this petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/hawaii-council-members-vote-to-approve-bill-79-to-prohibit-gmo-crops-on-hawaii-island

Supporters of Bill 79 are planning a pro-bill rally on Tuesday, July 2nd 2013 at 9:00am, but please come early (8:00am). I can't emphases enough, YOUR WARM BODY NEEDED on JULY 2nd to support Hawaii County Council Bill 79 sat the West Hawaii Civic Center & ALL the satellite sites.
Pro Bill 79 Rally 8:00am
Hearing on Bill 79 at 9:00am
Public Safety & Mass Transit Committee
Tuesday, July 2nd 2013 at 8:00am

West Hawaii Civic Center
Kona, Big Island
Your warm body needed, AND those of your friends! You are needed IN PERSON!! If you REALLY can't make it in person, please send an email! counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us
The Anti Bill 79 Rally
Tomorrow, Friday at 2:00pm, there will be a pro GMO rally in opposition in front of  County building in Hilo. See http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2013/06/27/farmers-ranchers-plan-to-rally-against-gmo-prohibition-bill/ for more.

Hawaii Island farmers and ranchers plan to unite in opposition of bill 79, which would prohibit genetically modified organisms on the Big Island if passed by the Hawaii County Council.

Participating organizations against Bill 79 include the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Dairy, and Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council.

The release also quotes prominent Hawaii Island farmer Richard Ha, who opposes bill 79.
Richard HaRichard Ha
“The bill contains no rhyme or reason. We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm”
- See more at: http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2013/06/27/farmers-ranchers-plan-to-rally-against-gmo-prohibition-bill/#sthash.eiRqOHth.dpuf
The release also quotes prominent Hawaii Island farmer Richard Ha, who opposes bill 79.
Richard HaRichard Ha
“The bill contains no rhyme or reason. We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm”
- See more at: http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2013/06/27/farmers-ranchers-plan-to-rally-against-gmo-prohibition-bill/#sthash.eiRqOHth.dpuf
The release also quotes prominent Hawaii Island farmer Richard Ha, who opposes bill 79.
Richard HaRichard Ha
“The bill contains no rhyme or reason. We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm”
- See more at: http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2013/06/27/farmers-ranchers-plan-to-rally-against-gmo-prohibition-bill/#sthash.eiRqOHth.dpu
All of these groups are EXEMPT from Bill 79 yet they support the big GMO chemical coprorations.

Richard Ha, a prominent Hawaii Island farmer, who opposes bill 79 is quoted as saying:
“The bill contains no rhyme or reason. We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm”
 Yesterday on Kauai several hundred workers were given a paid day off, catered lunch, and got bused to the Kauai County Council meeting. They came very early and got most of the chairs - many pro 'Real Food' guys were left outside.

PLEASE SHOW UP to keep the biotech mega corporations from gobbling up Hawaii Island like they have on other islands.

PLEASE forward this message to Hawaii Island & Kauai friends!

Kauai GMO / Pesticide Regulation Bill
Kauai County Council Bill # 2491 will be continued with more public testimony on July 31st at 1:30 If you have friends on Kauai please forward, if you are, or know of, visitors to Kauai - please ask them to email the council, Here: counciltestimony@kauai.gov

Text of Bill 2491: (pdf download) http://kauai.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=27&meta_id=46503

Please take a moment to sign our petition in favor of the Kauai County Bill 2491 which calls for a ban on open air GMO testing and mandatory reporting of quantities and types of agrochemicals and pesticides used by large farms. Here  http://dolphriends.com/kauai-gmo-news-bill-2491-public-hearing-set-july-31/

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina Regulation of GMO & Pesticides 6/27/13
Monsanto lobbies EPA
SAY NO TO HIGHER GLYPHOSATE LIMITS! Monsanto wants the EPA to RAISE the allowable levels of glyphosate.

Comment directly to the EPA today! Deadline is July 1st. 
Put your name in the “Organization Name” field, then write your comment into the “Comment” field. No other information is needed.



Regulation of GMOs & Pesticides

SUBHEAD: The County Council unanimously passed the first reading of Bill 2491 regulating GMOs and restricted pesticides.

By Juan Wilson on 27 June 2013 for Island Breath -  

Image above: Four of the more than half-dozen Pioneer bus/vans parked at Hisoric County Building parking lot before Council Meeting on GMO Bill. Photo by Juan Wilson.

July 26, 2013: On arriving at the Historic County Building on Rice Street in Lihue to be present for the presentation of Gary Hooser's GMO-Pesticide Regulation Bill 2491 my wife, Linda Pascatore, and I waded through a parking lot with more than a half dozen Dupont/Pioneer bus-vans. They had come in force.

Between 500 and a 1,000 people had come out for the event. They are about evenly split between GMO employees supporting their companies and members of the general public.

The way you could tell was that many of the GMO employees wore company tee-shirts or jackets. Pioneer predominated with bright green, DowAgro wore lime-green and Syngenta wore gray.

Some of those who supported the bill and were organized by GMO-Free Kauai wore red or yellow.

Image above: Crowd in front of Historic County Building. Many in foreground are BASF Syngenta employees, with a paid day-off.  Photo by Juan Wilson.

Besides local employees there were corporate executives. They remained quiet and made no testimony. All testimony against the bill was from local westside employees of the GMO corporations.

Image above: Dow AgroScience (now DowAgroGenetics) exec watches monitor in lobby of Historic County Building in overflow crowd. Photo by Juan Wilson.

Image above: Panoramic view of Council Chamber before GMO Bill 2491 reading. Click to enlarge. Note Kauai's State Aquatic Biologist Don Heacock left. Photo by Juan Wilson.

The GMO employees were disciplined, choosing to sit in blocks. The Pioneer employees took up the last four or five rows of the Council Chamber.

Image above: DuPont Pioneer exec surrounded by employees in Council Chamber. Photo by Juan Wilson.

County Council Chairman Jay Furfaro explained that two hours would be devoted to presenting the substance of the bill and receiving public testimony; then there would be a recess to take up other business.

Image above: Gary Hooser before his presentation of GMO Bill 2491to the Kauai County Council. Photo by Juan Wilson.

Image above: Gary Hooser (left) makes a presentation of GMO Bill to Kauai County Council. Left to right Gary Hooser,  JoAnn Yukimura Tim Bynum, Jay Furfaro, Nadine Nakamura, Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa. Photo by Juan Wilson.

For a PDF of Gary Hooser's proposed bill 2491 click here:

The substance of the bill is as follows:

 2491 Sec. 22-­22.4   
Mandatory Disclosure of Pesticides & GMOs
It shall be mandatory for all commercial agricultural entities that annually purchase or use in excess of five (5) pounds or fifteen (15) gallons of restricted use pesticides, any amount of any experimental pesticides, or both, during any calendar year to disclose the use of all pesticides (restricted use, general use, and experimental) during that same calendar year.

(b) It shall be mandatory for all commercial agricultural entities that intentionally or knowingly possess any genetically modified organism to disclose the presence of said genetically modified organism, or organisms.

Sec. 22-­22.5
Pesticide Buffer Zones
Effective January 1, 2014 it shall be mandatory for all commercial agricultural entities that annually purchase or use in excess of five (5) pounds or fifteen (15) gallons of restricted use pesticides, any amount of any experimental pesticides, or both, during any calendar year to restrict the application of all pesticides (restricted use, general use, and experimental) in the following areas:

No pesticide of any kind (restricted use, general use, or experimental) may be used within 500 feet of any school, hospital, residential area, or public roadway.

No pesticide of any kind (restricted use, general use, or experimental) may be used within 500 feet of any stream, river, or shoreline.

Sec. 22-­22.6   
Prohibition of Open Air Testing of Experimental Pesticides
Effective January 1, 2014, it shall be unlawful to test or use any experimental pesticide, except for those fully contained within a laboratory, contained greenhouse, fermenter, or other contained structure.

Sec. 22-­22.7
Moratorium on GMO production until EIS comppeted

There shall be a temporary moratorium on the experimental use and commercial production of genetically modified organisms until such time as the County of Kauai has conducted a complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the health, environmental, and other effects of the production, propagation, or development of genetically modified organisms within the County. The moratorium will further continue until the County has developed and put into place a permitting process sufficient to protect the residents and environment of the County of Kauai from any significant effects that may be identified in the Environmental Impact Statement.

(b) The moratorium shall not apply to landowners, lessees, or licensees engaging in experimental use and commercial production of genetically modified organisms prior to the date that this proposed ordinance was first publicly noticed as a new agenda item for consideration by the Kauai County Council, provided that this exception shall not allow an increase of such use or production. To meet this exception, landowners, lessees, or licensees may be required to provide to the Department convincing proof of having been engaged in such use or production prior to the date that this proposed ordinance was first publicly noticed as a new agenda item for consideration by the Kauai County Council. Proof shall include explanation of the scope and scale of such use and production.

(c) No new permits, amendments to permits, or exemptions to permit requirements shall be issued by the Department during the moratorium period for any activity that will allow for new or expanded use or cultivation of any genetically modified organism after the date that this proposed ordinance was first publicly noticed as a new agenda item for consideration by the Kauai County Council, including but not limited to provisions contained within Kauai County Ordinance No. 808 pertaining to Grading, Grubbing, and Stockpiling.

Sec. 22-­22.8
Environmental Impact Statement

The County of Kauai shall complete an Environmental Impact Statement in order to determine and evaluate significant effects of the production, propagation, or development of genetically modified organisms within the County of Kauai, and the use of all pesticides (restricted use, general use, and experimental) associated with the production, propagation, or development of genetically modified organisms within the County of Kauai.

Sec. 22-­22.11   
Penalties of violating provisions

Any person, firm, or corporation, whether as principal, agent, employee, or otherwise, violating or causing or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this Article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one-­thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisoned not more than one (1) year, or both, for each offense. The continuance of any violation after conviction shall be deemed a new criminal offense for each day that the violation or violations continue.

After his presentation Gary had two experts testify in support of the bill. They were William Steiner, the former dean of the College of Agriculture at UH, Hilo and William Freese, science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety.

Image above: Panoramic view of expert testimony to Council Council on GMO Bill 2491 reading. Click to enlarge. Note Walter Ritte at left, Hector Venezuela (left of monitor) who testified for the Bill. In the reserved seats were experts William Steiner (left) and Bill Freese (right). Photo by Juan Wilson.

Only about a dozen members of the public testified before Chairman Jay Furfaro interrupted to recess the public meeting until 5:30pm. Testimony was about evenly split on the issue of the bill.

Most testifying against the bill claimed the benefit of the GMO companies on Kauai was that they provided jobs.

Most testifying for the bill were interested in the health impacts to people and the environment.

The County Council later in the day unanimously passed the first reading of the bill. That means it will be taken up by the Council's Environmental Subcommittee on 31 July 2013. This meeting is open to the public and more testimony will be taken then.

Council member Gary Hooser has done us a great service with his work on this bill. He has taken the bull by the horns. We need to get behind him with whatever we can do to help this process along.

If this bill passes the County Council intact it will transform the GMO industry on the island. The big chemical companies (and Kauai Coffee) would have to choose changing their business model or moving somewhere else.

I understand the fear of joblessness on the westside if the chemical companies were not here. But when they are gone there will be many more jobs needed to provide healthy food on Kauai. Let's move on.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Big Island Anti GMO Bill 6/27/13


A World Without Tigers?

SUBHEAD: Embrace empathy for all sentient beings, re-imagine your relationship with the natural world.

By Micky Z om 23 June 2013 for World News Trust -

Image above: Grafitti painting o tiger on building wall. From original article.

“A world without huge regions of total wilderness would be a cage; a world without lions and tigers and vultures and snakes and elk and bison would be -- will be -- a human zoo. A high-tech slum.”

- Edward Abbey
The name “tiger” -- assigned by humans to the largest species of the cat family -- is derived from the Greek word tigris, which in turn, is a derivative of the Persian word for arrow.

Since a running tiger can reach velocities of 35-40 mph, “arrow” most likely refers to such speed.
Will knowing any of this make you appreciate tigers more?

What if I told you how most tigers have over 100 stripes and the stripe patterns are unique to each animal -- like a human's fingerprints?

Would it make you less likely to spend your money at a roadside zoo?

How about if I wowed you with the fact that a tiger’s striped pattern is also found on its skin? All you’d have to do is shave a tiger to find out.

Will such info inspire you to take action to protect this majestic creature? Protect? 

A beast that weighs up to 720 pounds, stretches to six feet in length, can swim up to four miles, leap a distance of 10 meters, and has night vision six times stronger than that of a human -- and it needs us to protect it?

Maybe this factoid will explain -- and provoke: There are currently more tigers living in captivity in the United States (mostly in roadside zoos) than tigers existing in the wild across the entire globe.

The Animal-Prison/Industrial Complex
For context, here’s a little of what typically is ignored about zoos:
  • Zoos are mostly focused on "cute babies" and ultimately create unwanted animals.
  • They can reduce genetic diversity and do not contribute to increasing robust animal populations in the wild.
  • They do little to nothing to seriously address the underlying causes of habitat loss and thereby let the perpetrators off the hook.
  • Warehousing endangered species sends the frightening subliminal message that it's acceptable to spend money to view animals in enclosures while, for example, forests are being clear cut to make way for doomed livestock -- depriving many of those same animals the freedom to live in their own habitats.
  • Captive breeding can create a false sense that the battle to save endangered species and habitats is being won.
  • Animals are obviously not meant to live in captivity and, as a result, often display stress and/or psychological dysfunction and just as often, these animals are abused.
  • Encountering animals in a zoo setting teaches the wrong lessons about how our eco-systems work. Wrong lessons only serve to sustain a system that should be dismantled.
On the road…
As nightmarish as large zoos and “wildlife centers” inherently are, America’s ubiquitous roadside zoos aren’t even accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

There are roughly 200 or so roadside zoos in the United States -- attracting some 135 million humans per year. When you factor in safari parks, circuses, breeders, dealers, and other exhibitors technically "licensed and inspected" by the USDA, the number reaches about 2,500. But, as the ALF explains, "weak federal regulations and a crazy-quilt pattern of local and state wildlife laws" make it possible for "virtually anyone can obtain a permit to exhibit, breed, and sell exotics; no qualifications are required."

One illustrative example is the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari in Gentry, Ariz., which, as environmental writer Sara Wittenberg explains, “reportedly feeds its animals expired Little Debbie snack cakes it receives for free from a nearby plant; additionally, visitors may bring whatever snacks they would like to feed the animals. Monkeys throw dead cage-mates around while visitors watch, some in horror, some more amused; many residents are housed in wire-bottom cages whose mesh is too large to accommodate their feet so that they fall through the bottom just moving around their enclosures.”

The folks at Tigers in America add: “A roadside zoo can be 20 animals in adjacent pens or a single tiger in a cage. What these facilities have in common are barren cages, inadequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. The animals are often crowded into conflict-prone groupings. A declawed tiger in a cage with tigers with claws cannot fight for food or defend itself.”

Consider the tiger commonly known as “Tony the Truck Stop Tiger.” One of the many large cats born over the past 20 years at the Tiger Truck Stop on Interstate 10 in Louisiana, Tony “has spent his entire life in this cell breathing diesel fumes 24 hours a day for the amusement of customers that stop for fuel.”

An extremely wide range of captive “exotic” species are abused and exploited in these specious establishments and such abuse is funded by those of us who visit roadside zoos.
Temporary solution: Tiger sanctuaries

Serious solution: A collective dismantling and re-imagining of all aspects of the dominant human culture.

Extinction is forever
Humans are just one of 8.7 million species sharing (sic) a planet. Whether you call it a cage, a cell, a jail, a pen, a ward, a prison, a wildlife center, or an enclosure, captivity is captivity. A culture that confines and abuses animals for profit is highly likely to regularly promote and engage in other forms of violence and exploitation.

With all that in mind, two more tiger factoids to consider:
  • The oldest known tiger-like cat is the Panthera palaeosinesis, which lived about 2 million years ago.
  • In just the last century, humans have wiped out 97 percent of the world’s wild tigers.
I don’t wanna live on a planet without tigers. Do you?

Surrender the privilege of speciesism, embrace empathy for all sentient beings, re-imagine your relationship with the natural world, and allow revolutionary compassion to guide your choices. 

Do it for the tigers…