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President Obama, Donald Trump, Hawaii, and Hydroponics

President Obama flexed his comedic chops at Donald Trump’s expense. President Obama flexed his comedic chops at Donald Trump’s expense.

You were probably surprised last Wednesday when the White House released the long form version of President Obama's birth certificate. Sure, a group of conspiracy theorists known as “birthers” have been making claims against the president's legitimacy since his inauguration based on empty allegations that his birth certificate is fake, but certainly those who promote such theories should be given as much credence as your town drunk. Obama himself illustrated just how silly the issue was during Monday's White House Correspondents' Dinner, sarcastically numbering United States officials with ethnic names, showing his live birth video (which consisted of a clip from Disney's Lion King), and also an image of what the White House would look like with a Donald Trump makeover.

Irrelevant national distractions such as the birther movement prevent us as a nation from focusing on the important issues

Trump, a potential presidential candidate in the 2012 election, has openly taken credit for keeping the birther movement alive, insisting that the issue is of national importance. According to birthers, Obama was not born in the United States, and no legitimate copy of his birth certificate exists in Hawaii, the actual state of his birth, or anywhere else in the country. Following the release of the complete document, Trump said that the certificate should still be tested for authenticity, but was proud of his efforts in contributing to the release.

The Island State is important for its role in the release of the document, but birth certificates aren't the only thing produced in Hawaii. Beautiful flowers and bountiful crops are grown hydroponically on the island in controlled gardens that allow for massive crops. Hawaiians benefit from hydroponics gardening in multiple ways. The volcanic soil is typically very acidic, making it hard to grow plants and vegetables in the native earth. Hydroponics systems protect plants from the threat of rot and disease, common in Hawaii's humid climate.

Dr. Bernie Kratky, a horticulture professor at the University of Hawaii, specializes in hydroponic growing systems, specifically his own non-circulating hydroponic method. Non-circulating hydroponics systems are inexpensive and require virtually nothing but water and buckets. The bottom half of roots are suspended in water, while the top half are exposed to air with a high relative humidity. Dr. Kratky has been involved with the hydroponics growing industry for over 30 years.

Hydroponics innovator Alan Kuwahara expanded on Kratky's system. Kuwahara and his wife use hydroponics gardening to produce Hawaiian tropical flowers that they ship around the world. Among their most popular flower is the anthurium because of its exotic appeal.

Irrelevant national distractions such as the birther movement prevent us as a nation from focusing on the important issues, such as environmental awareness, green and sustainable living, and the role hydroponics plays in helping to achieve those ends.

Maybe you see the White House release of Obama's long form birth certificate as catering to the absurdities of a ludicrous group or figurehead, or maybe as a demonstration of the administration's total transparency in light of ridiculous allegations. Maybe it’s a sign of Obama's strength in his ability to diffuse national tension while finding humor in the situation. Conspiracy theorists will always ask why it took so long to release the document, or why it appears “layered” in Adobe Illustrator, and the reasonable answer will never be accepted. However, we can learn something from Obama's choice in handling the situation. Whether Donald Trump is a passionate birther, or is simply trying to attract votes, it seems most likely the case that Obama's humor and maturity will attract an even greater constituency, while Trump's movement begins to dissolve. The priceless look on Trump's face during the White House Correspondents's Dinner suggested that dissolution may be well on its way.

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The famous moment when President Obama put Donald Trump in his place.
Last modified on Friday, 31 August 2012 12:33

Cameron Handley is a left-handed English major who grew up spreading Holly-tone and hunting for morels in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He recently found himself relocated to the concrete jungle, but plans to make his way West in the future. Cameron hopes to one day make a living combining his love for gardening with his passion for writing and philosophy.

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/cameron-handley

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