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Comment: Re:Prefer support (Score 1) 252

The TMT people do want the support of the community. They have gone far out of their way to do so, to invest in local education, to invest in cultural affairs, to be respectful of cultural and environmental concerns, ect. The protesters conveniently ignore how much they have done, and misinformation and rumors can be found all over social media.

Comment: Re:No guilt for you (Score 1) 252

Poi is, um, an acquired taste.

Throw some Thai curry on top of it, taro and coconut go great together. Or just mix it up into some kulolo. I really can't see the whole 'tastes like paste' thing, but that's just my opinion. It's just like any other staple foodstuff, the flavor is somewhat mild so as to complement that which it is served with. That's a feature, not a bug. Now, pa'i'ai, if that was served up more, I'll bet that'd be a much more popular way of serving taro. Pa'i'ai kicks ass.

They were there because the Hawaiian Studies faculty told their students to go.

And could you just imagine the outrage if a science department told their students to go to a counter-protest.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 252

That could be part of it. Anyone following the project knows that these protests have been going on for a while at low levels, but didn't really kick up until last month at about exactly the same time as when Canada chipped in $240 million.

There is another part though; the Hawaiian sovereignty issue. Of course, that's a bullshit line of reasoning in a lot of ways (as I discuss here). Is this a shakedown for money by activist leaders or way of inciting anger for their own political gains? Probably both, though the latter seems to be more of a clear goal. Then again, if its the former, that's not something one would openly admit.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 4, Informative) 252

Those are all good points, but the sovereignty activists don't care. Each of them envisions themselves the new king or queen; this is about petty attempts at grabbing power, nothing more. They really don't care if they are wrong about the telescope as long as it gives them something to rally around (Hawai'i resident here; I have actually heard this said by an anti-TMT activist).

They don't want the economic or educational benefits the telescope would bring; poor and uneducated are good for the leaders. They want racial discontent more than then want tolerance; perceptions of persecution are good for the leaders. You can point out to these activist leaders out that Hawaiian sovereignty is an inherently racist idea (it's no better than the scumbag white nationalist groups, not in my book; all race based nationalism is immoral bronze age bullshit). You can point out that everyone born in Hawai'i is an American citizen equal under the law. You can point out the economic problems that would occur the instant Hawai'i left the US, if that were to happen, and that life for their supporters would become much harder. They do not care, and they don't care if Hawai'i goes to shit, as long as they are the rulers of shit mountain.

That's what this is really about. They want people poor, uneducated, angry, and easy to manipulate for their own benefit. None of the benefits the TMT would provide to Hawai'i County's public education system (like the high school robotics program they fund) and economy? That's great to them. They sure as hell don't want other people educating kids. And they do want people to say stupid shit like 'Hawaiians are anti-science' because it creates an us vs them environment (DO NOT SAY 'Hawaiians are anti-science' as some people have; that's racist and not true. Hawaiian does not equal anti-TMT activist). So we are not talking about a benevolent group here. Keep in mind, every year people do off road racing and snow boarding and other things on Maunakea, and leave all sorts of garbage, and no one cares about that. The Mauna is only sacred in so far as a political point can be made, in other words, they don't really give two shits about mountain or the telescope or the supposed sacredness, only what they can gain from it. Or course, if they really cared, they wouldn't be doing shit like introducing invasive ants.

Additionally, I'd like to point out that if they were really all about ancient Hawaiian traditions, they would realize that there was nothing prohibiting building things on Maunakea and that ancient Hawaiians were active stargazers. There is nothing at all suggesting that this would be offensive. The protestors also seem to be ignoring the fact that their presence on the Mauna would, in contrast, be offense; only the ali'i and kahuna were allowed on the Mauna, not commoners like them (of course, in the modern State of Hawai'i, we are all equals and Maunakea is open to all; there are no castes of people). It's no different than the Christian groups that make up their religion as they go along and pick and choose what parts of the Bible they like in order to justify their current inane actions. It's just like a lot of stuff that seems anti-science on the outside; it's all about someone's power or wealth, you just have to find out who, and in this case it is the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

Hope that clear up some of the situation here. And the thing is, all of their legal, cultural, economic, scientific, and environmental arguments are complete fabricated bullshit. So whenever the telescope is built (because there is literally no good reason to block it) they are just going to use it as more 'proof' that they are being repressed, and that no one listens to or cares about Hawaiian voices (not true). The activists picked a target that gets them a win either way.

Comment: Re:We... (Score 4, Informative) 27

by ChromeAeonium (#49590033) Attached to: Second Ever Super-rare Pocket Shark Discovered

Well duh. It might have been packing a concealed laser in that pocket.

But really now, that's in TFA. It was collected and frozen five years ago as part of a study on sperm whale food, and was only later found among the frozen catch. So yeah, it's dead and people killed it, and that really sucks, but it wasn't intentionally and specifically targeted to be killed.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 341

by ChromeAeonium (#49524641) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

That's something I've also noticed. Internet conspiracies have very mobile goalposts, so while their conclusions are always the same, they frequently manage to adapt and change to continuously counter facts. If you hit on last years version of the conspiracy (in this case, autism as opposed to 'too many too soon' or some other such excuse) then you're the one they call a dummy because they're totally over that and on to something else now. Completely countering them (not that many will accept being demonstrated to be wrong anyway) requires that you stay up to date on the latest misinformation.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49502001) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

I like how you're not even trying to counter my points, just saying that more people agree with you, therefore you're right. Fortunately, regulations are not decided by majority vote, and for good reason. Do you really think the opposite should be the case, that regulations should be decided by majority vote?

and they overwhelmingly want to know if there are GMOs in them.

Depends on how you ask them. Ask what they want, few say GE labels. Ask if they want GE labels, then they say yes. Of course, labeled products are already available, and consumers can already tell if something is GE or not as I explained in my previous post; that they either do not buy the former or do not educate themselves is no justification for a new law.

Don't you think that's an interesting development?

Not really; look at your own loaded questions for the reason. Even independent biotech information organizations are accused of being corporate propaganda.

Personally, I wan organic food labeled as having been grown in 400-700 nm radiation. What's wrong with letting the consumer know that?

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49501855) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You know what would really help consumers a lot? If there were LABELS to tell which were GE crops and which weren't. Why are you so anti-consumer on this issue?

There are; they're called ingredient labels. Corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, summer squash, papaya. Know that, and a few details behind them, and you can tel if something is GE or not. Why do you need a label to replace educating yourself?

Great idea! LABEL ALL THE THINGS!

Yeah, that's practical. You offering to pay for all the tracking necessary to do that?

No let's talk "all the safety data that shows no problems" instead. Citation please?

Pick

one. There's plenty of information if you are willing to search through the scientific literature and not just random blogs and activist rants. Can't say the same for the supposed dangers though.
Now how about you point me to a single person who has gotten so much as a headache from GE crops? I notice you surprisingly ignored my request to elucidate the biochemistry behind how or why GE is intrinsically dangerous. Given how much genetic engineering is used in basic research, if you're right then there's a lot more than food that needs re-evaluation; step forward and claim your worldwide recognition, please.

But of course we would never find out about the linkage given the industry's fear of "Killer GE Crop" headlines...

Oh look, it's the old 'industry controls everything' conspiracy card. Didn't take that one long to come out.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49501783) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Are you saying that genetically modified food products are exactly the same as non genetically modified food products?

No. I am, however, saying that GE crops are no more different than those derived from hybridization, mutagenesis, bud sports, somaclonal variation, induced polyploidy, ect. all of which you eat unlabeled all the time, and you probably don't even know about them. I'm saying that unless there is a difference to the end consumer which is significantly different than what could otherwise be expected from the crop, then it should not matter for the purpose of labeling.

Why are you irrationally singling out one aspect of crop improvement, one that just so happens to be controversial (but not scientifically controversial [and yes, as a plant scientists, this stuff is about as controversial in my field as vaccines or the validity of evolution]), without demanding anything else be labeled (like other aspects of crop improvement and production, including but not limited to the other crop improvement techniques I mentioned, rootstock, PGR use, biocide use, fertilizer use [where's my poo label on organic foods?] date and location of harvest, ect) , without telling the details (such as gene inserted or what it does, ex NPTII, Bt, EPSPS, bar, CSPb, various cp genes, ect), without telling the benefits (ex. reduction in mycotoxins, reduction in insecticides, shift away from harsher herbicides such as atrazine, saving crops from viral infection, ect.).

You seem to want to be very specific and selective in what you tell the consumer, which is very fishy when we are talking about a thing that can be identified simply by knowing what you are looking for (corn, soybean, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beet, summer squash, and papaya are all the GE crops out there). I can always tell if something I'm eating is likely to contain GE ingredients; why can't you educate yourself enough to do the same? Millions of vegans, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus with religious or personal dietary restrictions do the same, and they don't deserve a special law catering to their beliefs. You don't either.

If so, how can they be patented?

The same way non-GE crop varieties such as Clearfield wheat, Beneforté broccoli, and Snowsweet apples can be patented. You do realize that non-GE crops can also be patented, yeah? My question is why you're trying to use a legal argument on a topic that should be decided on the scientific basis of the things; if they are scientifically different, th

Comment: Re:Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499549) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

There's noting wrong with truth in labeling. A lie of omission, however, is still a lie. If you tell consumers just enough about a single, arbitrarily selected manufactured controversy for them to be afraid, and don't give them any context whatsoever, then you're not really being honest, are you?

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499533) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Modifying it so that it can withstand being soaked with ever-increasing quantities and varieties of synthetic pesticides is another.

Let's think about this economically; do you really think farmers would have adopted this technology so rapidly if the only use for them was to spend more costly herbicides on crops, which detract from the farmer's bottom lines? Be real; your 'soaking' rhetoric is extremely misleading. The reality is that farmers apply what them need after the seeds come up, thus avoiding the need for pre- and post-emergent applications of herbicide cocktails. It's not ideal, but I don't here any anti-GMO groups coming up with better weed management strategies.

As for your point about weed evolution, yep, that's been going on for a long time, before GE crops were a thing. Saying we shouldn't use that technology because of it is pretty off base though. Better resistance mitigation strategies, yes, but not completely forging the technology simply because it exists within a biotic system. If that's your stance, I hope you never get something that requires any anti-viral medication, because by your logic, that viruses evolve means we just shouldn't treat them. Pretty bad reasoning, no?

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 3, Insightful) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499521) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the technology. Glyphosate use hasn't just go up; it has displaced other herbicides (including some harsh alternatives like atrazine, or just soil eroding tillage) and allowed farmers to hit the field with a single post emergent application of one of what is actually one of the more beneign herbicides out there. I wouldn't go drinking it, but glyphosate is hardly one of the scarier agrochemicals.

So yeah, glyphosate use is up, but so what? That's better than the alternative. Do you have a better weed management solution? Because if you do the farmers of the world would love to hear it; it isn't like they spend all that money on glyphosate for nothing. What you are saying is like saying that a line of cocaine is better than a glass of wine because the cocaine weighs less; you neglect to take into consideration that not all herbicides are equal. Furthermore, you consider only the one option against an ideal, when in reality, it is one of several options, and the ideal is not one of them.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499499) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

I stand against genetically modified crops because I don't want fucking multinationals to own the intellectual property rights over basic foodstuffs.

First off, you are against a technique because of how some people use it? Do I really have to point out how bad that logic is? Second, no one forces anyone to use Monsanto/Syngenta/Pioneer/ect.'s seed. They don't 'own' basic foodstuffs, they own the IP on very specific strains of crops. Don't like it? Fine, don't use them. Problem solved.

And this is what you represent:

You're claims that supporting genetic engineering equate to supporting all the things various companies have done in the past is like saying that supporting vaccination equates to supporting all the nasty things pharmaceutical companies have done. Your logic is again completely off base.

And they're the people saying GMOs will feed the hungry when GMOs are mainly targeted to countries where there are no hungry people.

Yes, things like Golden Rice and BioCassava and..oh wait, anti-GMO activists have worked to get such things blocked so that only large corporations have the money to get through the regulatory hurdles. That's a pretty key detail you conveniently neglected.

And, I'm also more than a little offended by people who say that consumers don't have a right to know the provenance of the food they eat. As if you've become some new arbiter of what information consumers may be allowed to base their purchasing decisions on.

If it objectively matters, it gets labeled, if not, no label. Same reason why there is no mandatory labeling on Halal/Haram, Kosher/non-Kosher, vegan, ect. Don't want to eat GE crops? There are only 8 species of food crop that are GE; if doing five minutes of research are so hard then perhaps you don't care that much anyway.

What I hate is when people use a lie of omission to imply a falsehood. Labeling GE foods is like labeling evolution teaching textbooks with 'Evolution is just a theory.' Technically true, but also misleading politically motivated garbage and everyone knows it. I'll believe you care about 'knowing what's in your food' and not just fearmongering when you demand all other methods of crop improvement (which most people outside of plant & agricultural science [that's you] don't even know about) be labeled and demand labeling for the hows, whys, and benefits of what has been genetically engineered.

Also, the studies on GMO safety have been extremely narrow, looking for toxicity and certain types of cancer-causing effects. There have been no studies at all on people who've eaten GMOs for 20 years, because they've only been selling GMOs to people for 20 years.

And there haven't been any 20 plus years on the effects of Wifi either, and yet, I don't see you panicking about that. Maybe when you give me a reason to suspect genetic engineering, instead of arbitrarily singling it out, I'll ignore all the safety data that shows no problems. So, lets talk biochemistry; what is it you find uniquely suspicious about genetic engineering, and be as specific as possible.

If you're so ashamed of where that food comes from, well that tells me something, too.

So you write a post slandering the flawless safety record of GE crops, reflecting the multitude of misinformation on the internet, then wonder why farmers and seed companies don't want them labeled? Gee, I can't imagine why.

Comment: Re:'Sacred' is the magic word... (Score 1) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49435265) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Yeah, actually that was the motivation. The varieties of local importance are somewhat unique, and pretty minor on the global scale. Consequently, methods which minimize the amount of genetic change are desirable, because just like how a seeding of a Pinot noir and some other grape is not the same as the actual Pinot Noir, a hybrid between a poi taro like the Maui Lehua variety and a Chinese one like Bun Long will have the unique properties of the Hawaiian parent damaged. Is there something otherwise that you wish to imply? I'm sure you'll have proof of your statements if you do.

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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