Letters for Saturday, June 20, 2009

•Local land for local food

• Rush Limbaugh is a danger to America

•How far the reaches

Local land for local food

Genetically modified organism opponents are divided; there is no middle ground.

One side claims genetically engineered food is safe and poses no threat to consumers, farmers or the ecosystem. They are deeply conflicted by their interest in profiting from transgenic life forms (synthetic plants created in the lab with DNA from plants, animals, and viruses).

The other side wants to maintain their right to eat pure food, avoid ingesting agricultural chemicals, as well as insure a growers right to save seed and replant huli. The lovers of whole food go out of their way to avoid genetically engineered food, and will pay a higher price for locally grown food.

When a group known as the Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association says don’t worry, trust us — don’t swallow it. It is no secret they are a lobbying group made up of Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and DuPont/Pioneer.

Check it out at hciaonline.com. Their idea of crop improvement is making a crop that uses more of their chemicals. The industrial chemical ag model is so 20th Century.

Humanity should always reach for the stars of new invention but within the realms of balance. It is dangerous when science fails to be impartial, when profit outweighs precaution. Science used to be above politics.

Some concerned scientists are waving red flags of caution to say, “We believe pesticide producing plants and their pollen are harming non target insects, we think high fructose corn syrup interacts differently with our blood sugar chemistry, we are concerned about the chemical cocktails sprayed onto herbicide resistant soybean, we are exposing children to hormonal disrupting chemicals, we are losing biodiversity among our commodity food crops, what we do on our land affects our air, drinking water, fish and ocean.”

Historically, observation of truth goes like this: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed and finally it is accepted as self-evident.

It is not unusual for a technology like GMO to make giant leaps in science and outpace regulation and moral ethics. However, regulations and oversight done poorly are worse than no oversight at all, because it leads to a false sense of security.

Local food production is a metaphor for balance.


Jeri Di Pietro, Koloa

Rush Limbaugh is a danger to America

The other day I happened upon Rush Lmbaugh’s talk radio show — I am not a Rush fan but was interested in listening to what he had to say.

The whole show is basically Obama bashing, Rush going on to say that Obama needs to take responsibility and quit blaming everything on the previous administration.

No matter what Obama does, Rush plays the devil’s advocate. Rush does this for ratings, I actually believe Rush doesn’t believe half of what he says.

Rush is a showman in there for ratings and a big paycheck, but many Americans believe what Rush makes up on the radio for ratings. Rush is an entertainer, and although I disagree with almost everything he says, he has a charismatic manner about his talk that is fun and easy to listen to.

During these days of recession, the country needs to stand together as one, and Rush needs to stop his propaganda before he destroys America.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

How far the reaches

I would like to extend my heart-felt gratitude to a stranger who helped me when in need. Like so many people on Kaua‘i, these days I have been forced to budget even tighter and in some uncomfortable ways.

Recently, while running errands, a person was kind enough to mention a problem with my power steering. Due to low power steering oil, my car’s steering was making some obvious noise.

I expressed my thanks, and mentioned that I am experiencing some “financial challenges” and hoped to take care of the auto maintenance very soon. This person’s genuine concern was apparent in his words and expression.

When I returned to my car, this kind person approached me, handing me a bit of money and expressed that he would like to offer this bit of help so that I could purchase power steering oil. I would come to find this person’s name to be Howard.

Thank you, Howard, for lightening my burden. St. Francis de Sales wrote, “It is said that those who walk on flat ground need not hold hands. But we who climb a steep and slippery road must hold onto each other to make our way securely.”

My deepest heart-felt gratitude to you for reaching out to me — a person you did not know.

In conversation, it was expressed that Howard had served many years as a police officer — now retired. My family lost my fiance in the line of duty as a firefighter several years ago. This officer’s kindness — extended to this stranger — I am certain reached to a “brother” who has gone before.

Power steering oil was purchased; power steering good as new; remaining oil passed onto another person in need of power steering oil and who I just happened across. How far the reaches of one compassionate gesture.

Deborah Morel, Koloa


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