Hawaii Reporter, February 21, 2006
[Rachel's introduction: Andrew Walden, a newspaper editor in Hawaii, has grown alarmed because 9000 residents of rural Hamakua, Hawaii (on the big island) propose to adopt the "precautionary principle" and reduce the use of pesticides and genetically modified seeds in agriculture. They also propose to "be mindful of the 7th generation" - -perhaps indicating an unAmerican concern for the future. As Mr. Walden sees it, this all adds up to a communist plot to establish a new Soviet outpost in the Pacific.]
By Andrew Walden
About 30 Hamakua and rural Hilo residents gathered in late January at the Kalanianaole School for the first of a series of meetings of the Hamakua Coast's Community Development Corporation (HCDC). HCDC, mandated by the County General Plan adopted in 2005, is intended to garner community input to draw up a community development plan which will be submitted to the County Council for a vote. The Community Development Corporation process is beginning in Kona under the chairmanship of former County Councilman Curtis Tyler and will beginning in the Puna District with a meeting at the Nanawale Community Center, Feb. 23.
In the case of the Hamakua District, Big Island leftists have been working -- outside the CDC process -- with Representative Dwight Takamine (D-Hamakua, Kohala) since August, 2004 to draw up a 132- point plan which clearly spells out their goals. As Rory Flynn a former employee of the Hawaii County Legislative Auditor's office describes it, the so-called "Hamakua Agricultural Plan" is a blueprint for, "...construction of a New Age socialist republic in Hamakua." Asked about this for a Hawaii Island Journal article Bill Beach, who along with his wife Lori leads the drafting of the Plan, does not deny the characterization. He tells the Journal, "I've talked to some people who call it a 'New-Age Socialist Plan On Golden Pond." But my response to that is, 'Well, where do you start? Don't you start with ideals and then work the details out?'"
The community plan drafting process will likely be completed in all three districts after a newly elected County Council is seated in January, 2007. The progress and direction of the CDCs is likely to closely mirror the Council races. Beach's socialist "ideals" are similar to what leftists will be pushing for in the CDC meetings islandwide.
As described in the November 2005 issue of Hawaii Business, "... the Ag Plan began as modest discussions to decide how to distribute 1,050 acres of county-owned agricultural land in Paauilo. County, state and federal officials drafted a three-page document, which addressed the needs and concerns of the new farmers. Takamine took the document to the community in a series of meetings, where the Ag Plan caught on like a sugar-cane wildfire. "'It [the Ag Plan] mushroomed into a much bigger project, larger than anyone expected," says Lori Beach... the unofficial Ag Plan coordinator." That could be the understatement of the year.
Takamine's Ag Plan calls for no less than four tax increases. It foresees the establishment of five "community action committees" and "community boards." All in a rural area with a population of about 9000 residents.
While claiming to promote agriculture the "Ag Plan" attacks agriculture as it is practiced in the real world. It calls for a program to "... monitor the selection and application of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer; and... develop incentives to reduce dependency on such chemicals." Insect and weed control are necessary to any export-oriented agricultural production. The Hilo- Hamakua Coast includes commercial farms which grow much of Hawaii's locally produced bananas.
Takamine's plan also calls for, "... educational meetings to inform farmers regarding the potential legal liability they may face if they plant GMO crops." The threat to sue farmers growing papaya, corn or other of the GM crops which make up a sizeable percentage of American (and Hawaii) agriculture is odd given the fact that no individual farmer in the US has ever been successfully sued for planting legally- obtained GM seeds.
This threat is one of five anti-GM proposals which should be alarming to every papaya farmer on this island. GM foods have been in the daily diet of Americans for several years now and not one single person anywhere on Earth has ever been shown to have been harmed due to the genetic modification of plants. Such common foods as corn and soybeans -- as well as papaya -- are genetically modified. Diabetics now can use human insulin -- instead of bovine insulin -- only because organisms have been genetically modified to produce it. Hawaii's year-round growing season makes GM plant trials one of the most important high-value agricultural businesses in these isles. Moreover, Hawaii-based research contributes mightily to the world's ability to increase agricultural production and reduce the use of pesticides with GM plant varieties.
The Hamakua Ag Plan calls for the County to adopt the so-called "precautionary principle" in an ordinance modeled after one adopted by the City of San Francisco, CA. The San Francisco ordinance reads, "...precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." This would help activists greatly by relieving them of the need to actually prove anything. To assert their power under the ordinance, they merely need to claim there is a threat. The opportunities for graft and blackmail abound.
The Plan also contains the odd phrase, "Be mindful of the seventh generation." As is typical of leftists, the most radical proposals of all are introduced on the sly in the hope that nobody will know exactly what they mean. This is no different.
There are several possible meanings, but the one which enters into political discourse is the "Seventh Generation Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution proposed by the Green Party starting in the mid 1990s. It reads:
"The rights of the people to use and enjoy air, water, sunlight, and other renewable resources determined by Congress to be common property, shall not be impaired, nor shall such use impair their availability for the future generations."
Renewable resources including: soil, trees, crops and livestock could be made common (i.e. state) property. Anyone familiar with the disastrous environmental record of the former socialist bloc countries knows where this leads. In essence, your property from the grassroots down would be no longer yours, nor the air you breathe, nor the water you drink. That which is not owned is not cared for.
Fortunately, even in Hawaii, this is beyond the power of governments operating under the US Constitution. But Takamine and Beach's Ag Plan contains proposals to buy up "important Ag lands" for "preservation" by "County land bank(s)... and... non-profit land trusts ...." These lands would then be leased out to "bona fide" farmers.
The Ag Plan also calls for "... enforce(ment of) Ag Use on Ag zoned lands." Penalties for homeowners judged insufficiently agricultural by the "community action board" are not specified. This follows the pattern set by Judge Ronald Ibarra's Hokulia decision, which threatens the property of all landowners on ag lands subdivided since 1976. They also call for a "moratorium" on further subdivision of ag lands.
In addition to calling for the confiscation with compensation of "Important Ag Lands" the Ag Plan also calls for the State and Kamehameha Schools to, "... approve requests by farmers leasing agricultural land... to construct on the leased land dwellings for the farmer's family and farm workers and other agriculture-related structures and improvements."
In short, private property would be eliminated to the greatest degree possible. Land would be transferred to the government and the large trusts. Agricultural estates with large houses built on land bought from the sugar plantations would be replaced by "bona-fide" sharecroppers with tiny shacks on leased land. After driving the entire population into poverty, the "Plan" has a solution for that as well: "... an affordable housing 'village' that resembles the existing sugar worker camps in Paauhau and Paauilo."
In essence, the Hamakua Ag Plan is a one way trip back -- not to the sugar plantation with its' union rules and regular paydays -- but to something more akin to the Jim Crow South with most of us taking the role of black sharecroppers while the elected officials and their politically correct cronies take the place of the privileged white elites. While most of us live in poverty in the "village," or tend to leasehold farms, the elites would prosper in the "pristine, quiet environment" they created by driving us out. They would make millions as proprietors of New Age retreat centers for mainland yuppies that pay $1000 a night to rediscover their 7th chakra.
The Hamakua Ag Plan is a blueprint for an entire region where the majority are dependent on the whims of government officials and land trustees. Forced back under this kind of domination, people would be ready-made for control by "the old-boy network" or "the machine." No wonder Dwight is happy.
Big Island residents should not be deceived. This is a plan leftists have for all of us. It may take different forms in different areas, but the intent is the same.
Knowledge is power. This plan can be defeated if Hawaii County residents step forward and make their voices heard in the Community Planning meetings being held across this island. The solutions for Hawaii will come from diversified economic opportunity, individual liberty, and free enterprise -- not big government, big trusts, and the confiscation of private property.
Andrew Walden is the publisher and editor of Hawaii Free Press, a Big Island-based newspaper. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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