Letters for Sunday, July 3, 2011

• Genetically Modified Organisms • AARP and the rich • God taken

out of military funerals

Genetically Modified Organisms

Did you know that over 100 plaintiffs have filed a law suit against Pioneer?

I am not a plaintiff so I am free to speak. The plaintiffs are bound to the secret and won’t speak to the press.

At their last meeting they showed a map of the fields covering Waimea. It was said that many people and their organic gardens are being sprayed, (over spray) by the chemicals daily and get 100 percent of the spray, some 50% and some less.

They showed graphs that explained great damage to the bee population. It will knock you over. It was said that the chemicals are legal, but not in the combinations used and tested.

The current policy for the Westside chemical/seed companies has evolved into the most successful cover-up and disinformation campaign of all time. Nothing else even comes close. Even when their lies are punctured with the facts coming from experts, books and film, the GMO cover-up continues to perpetuate the devastation of human health, the poisoning of our soil and killing of Kaua‘i’s bee population where ever they are.

The chemical companies, the largest in the world, are very proficient at concealing information from the public and even better at the art of disinformation. Why would our fellow citizens, people elected to represent us, or appointed to protect us, (county, state and federal) perpetuate this level of deceit? Or worse, look the other way.

Will the seeds of the future health of Kaua‘i ever be planted? Who will plant these seeds? Will these seeds stand a chance against the seemingly endless attack on the soil by dangerous ever-lasting chemicals? How long will the fields remained poisoned? When will it be safe to plant healthy food?

Are we safe from the most destructive war of all time, the war against our food?

Diana LaBedz, Waimea

AARP and the rich

Ms. Stanton, the Hawai‘i state director of AARP, claimed on these pages that AARP’s position on Social Security has not changed. This is probably true, but misses the point.

AARP’s national web page includes this quote from CEO A. Barry Rand, “It has also been a long held position that any changes would be phased in slowly, over time, and would not affect any current or near term beneficiaries.”

So what changes is AARP willing to accept?

Firedog Lake (action.firedoglake.com) has compiled several quotes from AARP executives that indicate the changes AARP is willing to make include reduction in benefits and another increase in the retirement age. AARP does not include any revenue enhancement options, such as elimination of the $106,000 income cap on FICA taxes, or an increase in the corporate contribution.

Consider that total Federal Tax Revenues collected through payroll taxes (FICA/Social Security) have risen to from 10 percent in 1950 to 40+ percent today. During the same time the corporate share of total revenue has dropped from about 30 percent to a mere six percent now.

Our government has been borrowing from Social Security, using the money owed to the lower and middle class, to pursue policies that allow corporations massive profits. Profits which flow to the super-rich. Not you. The super-rich do not want the government to redeem the Social Security bonds (which amounts to over $1 trillion surplus) because it can only be done by raising corporate taxes and closing tax loopholes on the super-rich.

In other words, AARP is putting up a front that makes you, the average American citizen, believe they are ‘fighting for you’, while at the same time they are going behind your back to protect the richest one percent of Americans who own over 34 percent of America’s wealth. That is why AARP is willing to accept a cut in benefits and an increase in the retirement age.

If money is speech, imagine how much money the richest one percent have. They can, and do, buy anything they want. That includes AARP.

Mr. Rand (who is paid over $500,000 salary by AARP and receives another $500,000 as a member of several corporate boards) established a $1.5 million scholarship at Howard University. While this is a “good thing”, can you imagine how much money you would have to have to give that much away? Why would you believe Mr. Rand is on your side?

AARP’s position is understandable. They want to associate with the winners. That isn’t you.

John Zwiebel, Kalaheo

God taken out of military funerals

At military cemeteries, during funeral services the new directive is: God or Jesus cannot be mentioned.

Just when the dead soldiers can’t defend themselves?

Some government Czar decides what he/she died for, and it was not for freedom of religion. While our soldiers are fighting for freedom over there; our soldiers lost their rights over here.

Ed Smetana, Arlington Heights, Ill.

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