Letters for Saturday, July 19, 2008

• Fortunate to have powwow

• McCain’s experience should not be met with levity

• Should we count our blessings for GMOs, or not?

Fortunate to have powwow

We, some of the original founders of the Kauai Powwow Council in 1997, were so fortunate to have the powwow event included in its first years as a part of Aloha Festivals under Island Manager Kehaulani Kekua. She not only listed the early powwow but provided Aloha Court appearances and Native Hawaiian welcoming ceremonies for the people of many tribes who came to Kaua‘i.

We never forget our friends and arranged with the Eastern Band of Cherokee (in Cherokee, N.C.) to have Kehaulani and her halau invited to perform this weekend at the “Festival of Native Peoples” in Cherokee, N.C., as special guests. Please check it out at www.cherokee-nc.com

We just wanted to share this cultural exchange experience with all the folks on Kaua‘i.

Pamela Bennett & Mel Atcitty

Chatsworth, Ga.

McCain’s experience should not be met with levity

Help me understand the authors remarks in “A war nobody wants” (Letters, July 19). Mr. Nichols states that hiring John McCain to be president is bad because he’s a “military” person and we’re in economic distress.

Hmmm, let’s look at this a little more closely. We shouldn’t hire a war hero who has spent decades in the Senate, authored many extremely important, approved pieces of economic legislation and who has served with honor, bringing together both Republicans and Democrats by co-authoring this legislation with his Democratic friends. Most would agree that John McCain has more “economic” knowledge and experience in his little finger than Barack Obama has in his whole body. Track record alone confirms that!

Nichols, on the other hand, would like to propose we hire an unknown and unproven junior senator who rose through the corrupt Chicago political system with obvious anti-American beliefs, who has never sponsored a bill, run a company, accomplished anything as a senator and who hasn’t had any significant experience in economic matters, except using a convicted criminal to help him buy his house/mansion because he couldn’t afford it on his own.

Oh well, there is hope. Perhaps your Obama hero will be “enlightened” to the harsh realities of the very real war on terror during his “maiden” voyage to Iraq and Afghanistan? Even though this “No. 1 most liberal senator based on actual voting records” has never served his country outside of the corrupt Chicago political feeding trough, has no experience with either Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, and the war on terror can erupt on our own shores at any moment — let’s hire him. I think not!

Unfortunately, the vast majority of voters have never been in an important real-life situation to hire others for critical positions. If they had, the choice would be clear and letters such as this would be met with much levity.

Gordon Oswald


Should we count our blessings for GMOs, or not?

Genetically modified organism’s on Kaua‘i are a blessing, according to Pioneer spokesmen at their open house last week. Looking a little deeper, the truth just bleaches out before our eyes.

Genetically engineered crops result in more pesticide spraying, says a study by the Center for Food Safety. USDA statistics show that herbicide-tolerant soy, corn and cotton have lead to a 122 million-pound increase in pesticide use since 1996.

Because herbicide-tolerant crops are designed to withstand applications of weed killers, farmers can apply large amounts of pesticides. The U.S. has seen more than 15 fold increase in the use of glyphosate, or Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, on major crops from 1994 to 2005. Several new species of glyphosate-resistant weeds have sprung up in recent years, so farmers now find it necessary to apply other, often more potent, herbicides in addition to glyphosate. Applications of atrazine — a chemical herbicide banned in the European Union in 2006 due to it’s link to endocrine disruption, breast cancer, and prostate cancer — rose by 17 percent in the U.S. between 2002 and 2005.

Bow your head and put your hands together. Supporters of genetically engineered foods argue that they hold the key to feeding the hungry all over the world because hardier plants mean higher crop yields. However, according to the Friends of the Earth International, “a compelling number of studies by independent scientists demonstrate that GE crops yields are lower than or at best equivalent to yields for non GE varieties.”

So, do we count our blessings, or not?

Diana LaBedz



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