Thursday, July 24, 2008

Musings: Issues Great and Small

It’s a cool, windy, dark morning, following a night of rain. It’s more the sort of day one would expect in November, than July, but I’m not complaining. After our super dry winter and spring, it’s been a blessing to have a nice wet summer.

A friend from the North Shore called to say that all the waterfalls up there are pounding, due to heavy rains, and another called to say he’d been by the burials at Naue, where construction has already begun on Joe Brescia’s latest oceanfront home.

He said it was very disturbing to see that some concrete footings had already been poured and heavy equipment was working on the lot, which has been enclosed by a large screen and is monitored by security guards. He and a number of his friends, all Native Hawaiians, have been involved in the issue for some time, and he said it was yet another example of Hawaiians trying to figure out the pono way to respond to actions that are decidedly not pono.

It seems that the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. has determined the best approach is to seek a temporary restraining order to halt construction, according to Kai Markel, director of native rights, land and culture at Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who was on Ka`iulani Huff’s radio show yesterday.

Markel said the motion could be filed as soon as today, likely against the state Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, whose Historic Preservation Office signed off on the project, as well as others.

He said the excavation and concrete work had been done “without any oversight by people who are not vested in the system. This is really unacceptable.”

Markel also noted that Ka`iulani had gotten a tattoo when construction began — an action that traditionally was taken to express deep grief. Ka`iulani said the tattoo had been done on her spine, and “it was painful, but not as painful as watching this happen.”

After maintaining a four-month vigil at the site, she said she’d also needed to “take some time out to grieve” when it turned out the cops couldn’t stop Brescia from building, and so the project moved ahead.

I know that some people have expressed derision toward Ka`iulani and claimed that concern about burials was merely a ploy to stop development. But when you talk to the folks who are deeply concerned about the disruption of burials at Naue and elsewhere, you come to realize that those kinds of comments merely reflect the ignorance and cultural insensitivity of the folks who make them.

As Kauai Police Chief Darrly Perry noted in his statement on the matter:

Without a doubt our kupunas and those who have come before us are an important part of who we are as individuals and who we are as a culture because they are the foundation of our existence.

This respect does not only hold true in Hawaii but also in every culture throughout the world—they are our guiding light. And I have yet to speak to one kupuna who believes that it is “pono” to build this house over the graves of our Hawaiian ancestors, even if it is “authorized.”

I hope that somewhere down the line, a leader of great vision will take up this cause and correct the unconscionable decisions by some of our appointed public officials who authorized/permitted the building of this home, and future homes under similar circumstances.


In the absence of such a leader, I'm glad NHLC is stepping into the fight.

On a lighter note, I got a little giggle from Nathan Eagle’s opening sentence in today’s Garden Island story on Wednesday’s Council meeting:

Daryl Kaneshiro, clad in lei and with his nameplate back on the table, took the oath of office yesterday morning at the Historic County Building to start his 18-week stint on the Kaua‘i County Council.

Wow, all he was wearing was lei?

I also found it interesting that as the Council was reorganizing — making Jay Furfaro its chair now that Kaipo Asing has moved on to mayor — Mel Rapozo asked to get back on the Parks and Recreation Committee, apparently because he doesn’t like the bills that Committee Chairman Tim Bynum drafted regarding dogs on the path.

Yes, that burning issue is still stuck in committee, with the Council dithering endlessly over amendments, including one that Kaipo wanted introduced.

Ah, priorities. As the world ponders war, global warming and famine, and the American economy enters meltdown, Kauai fusses over where dogs should be walked, and on what length leash.

85 comments:

charley foster said...

It's about time, though maybe too late. I've been arguing it seems like forever that in order to halt construction interested parties ought to look to the burial law. I pointed out a couple of weeks ago that the burial law gives standing to ANYONE to file for an injunction.

But invariably the counter argument was, "no way, man. Direct action is where it's at." If Ka`iulani had spent the time she did camping out on the beach instead pursuing legal avenues and talking to lawyers with, say, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp, maybe weeks and weeks and weeks of valuable time wouldn't have blown past. (If she has been talking with the NHLC all this time and they nevertheless just now decided to file an injunction, then maybe she should sue them for malpractice).

The problem with waiting so long to pursue injunctive relief is that harm to the developer is part of the calculus the court considers. And the farther along into the process the builder is, the greater the harm to him of an injunction. Courts often look unkindly when an aggrieved party sits on her rights until the last gasping second.

In the end, if a motion for an injuction is granted, preserving the burial site will still require paying the developer for the property.

Anonymous said...

Plus improvements/out-of-pocket development expense up to that time.

Joan said...

Sometimes, Charley, direct action helps get the attention of Oahu-based groups like NHLC and OHA that have the money to pursue legal action. While anyone may have standing to file an injunction, that doesn't mean they have the money to do it.

And contrary to your assertion, Ka`iulani wasn't just camping and twiddling her thumbs. She was constantly contacting people statewide for help.

Katy Rose said...

Thank you, Joan. It's easy for those on the sidelines to make all kinds of wild assumptions about the nature of the campaign to save Naue, which has been nothing if not a multi-pronged effort involving many people at many different levels.

I also recall many a sniping and ignorant post and comment about Ka'iu and her motives and personality over at a certain blog that shall remain nameless....some people's idea of helpful advice, I guess.

charley foster said...

The late and largely ineffectual response by native groups with the funding, the expertise, and the appropriate job descriptions to pursue preservation of this site points up the fact that the issue simply isn't as morally black and white as you tend to present it. There really isn't a unanimity of opinion even among native Hawaiians regarding the appropriate treatment of burials.

Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against people trying to preserve such sites. It's a valid and well settled prerogative of the government to step in and do just that. I'd just point out that cultural sensitivity does not require one to come down on the side of only the native Hawaiians who quite genuinely feel very very strongly that burials are sacrosanct.

Larry said...

Charley, how would you feel about someone building on top of your ancestor's graves and others in an obvious graveyard?

This developer didn't care, but I hope more than Native Hawaiians among us would see that this construction should not go forward.

charley foster said...

Larry,

If it was an 800 year old, long forgotten, recently rediscovered burial site that might or might not contain the remains of some of my ancestors, I would not feel all that strongly one way or another about it.

But I think these sorts of "what if they were your ancestors" comparisons completely miss the point. The issue isn't familial. Nobody knows whose ansestors are buried there. It is entirely possible that nobody buried there has any living descendants.

Rather, the issue is cultural. How do native Hawaiians want burials to be treated? There appears to be no consensus among natives Hawaiians on the issue.

I have nothing against native Hawaiians, or anyone else, who believe burials ought to be sacrosanct, pursuing their preferences. But, I don't think it's the only valid point of view.

Joan said...

Charley, just how did you arrive at this conclusion?

The late and largely ineffectual response by native groups with the funding, the expertise, and the appropriate job descriptions to pursue preservation of this site points up the fact that the issue simply isn't as morally black and white as you tend to present it.

Anonymous said...

I would like nothing better over my ancient and recent ancestors than a nice big beautiful house.

Best use of the otherwise wasted land there is, in my opinion.

Katy Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katy Rose said...

I'm not sure how Charley has arrived at the conclusion that there is much controversy within the Kanaka Maoli community about how burials should be treated.

I'd be interested in checking out his sources for this claim.

I'm not assuming that every single person of Hawaiian descent thinks alike on this issue, but I think it's safe to say that there is widespread, almost universal support from Kanaka Maoli for protecting the site.

This is a matter of which cultural norms take center stage here. Saying that property rights outweigh the survival of Kanaka Maoli people and their culture contributes to cultural genocide, which, after all, has a tendency to work in a creeping, piecemeal fashion - one burial or other sacred site at a time.

charley foster said...

When the issue is thousands of burials at a single site then I believe you would get near unanimity among natives. When the issue is a single, relatively unremarkable burial or a fragment, I think opinion is quite varied among natives over whether it can be moved or build over or ought to be roped off and left entirely undisturbed forever.

With thirty burials at a single site such as this one, there might be strong support for preserving it. It's definetly getting along the sliding scale toward "culturally significant." And I think that's the measure the act contemplates will be used when making the call as to the treatment of various burial sites.

The burial act creates a regime under which culturally interested parties have a say as to how a site is treated and it contemplates a variety of treatments. The fact that the law itself is relatively uncontroversial among native groups weighs against your contention that every single burial is sacred to the vast majority of native Hawaiians. On the contrary, passage of the act was quite uncontroversial and the OHA, Kamehameha Schools, Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., and others have weighed in commented positively on various amendments to the act.

Larry said...

"There appears to be no consensus among natives Hawaiians on the issue. "

There is consensus enough that our state has anti-desecration laws.

Besides, it seems any time people are about to stomp on yet another aspect of Native Hawaiian culture, it's ok to offer that "there is no consensus among Native Hawaiians" as an excuse to go ahead and stomp. Guess what -- there's no consensus among any other grouping either on a variety of subjects.

charley foster said...

I disagree, Larry. The lack of unanimity does not create an excuse to do anything. The burial act takes into account the cultural significance of a site, and culturally interested peoples' opinions about that significance, in the process of deciding how it should be treated.

There is a range from thousands of burials at a site that would almost certainly be preserved to a bone fragment sticking out of a sand dune that few would insist must prevent a house from being built on the spot.

Obviously the Brescia site falls somewhere between. In any case, my point is the question is not morally black and white.

Joan said...

Charley, you still haven't answered my question.

Nor have you provided us with any evidence to back up your claim that there appears to be no consensus among natives Hawaiians on the issue.

charley foster said...

Joan,

As I said, When the issue is thousands of burials at a single site then I believe you would get near unanimity among natives. When the issue is a single, relatively unremarkable burial or a fragment, I think opinion is quite varied among natives over whether it can be moved or build over or ought to be roped off and left entirely undisturbed forever.

I think this is borne out by the public actions of the various Hawaiian groups in response to different burial issues. They are not shy about speaking out when burial sites of great cultural significance are at issue. A specific example of this was the wide reaction to the resort development at Honokahua. Likewise, the burial site of a major leader or cutltural figure would likely garner a great deal of consensus as to its importance and inviolability.

Other burials on the other hand are frequently encountered and often do not raise much controversy.

As I said to Larry, I think this indicates a sort of sliding scale in which there is huge consensus that it would be morally repugnent to destroy a burial site of great cultural significance, but there is much less consensus about the morality of the treatment of other "lesser" burials. The treatment of a bone fragment sticking out of a sand dune would probably have the least consensus as to its inviolability. That is, more natives would probably allow that the less significant a burial site is, the more morally defensible it is that the site be relocated. And there are definitely native Hawaiians who believe it is okay to relocate some remains under some conditions.

I hope that answers your question.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, priorities. As the world ponders war, global warming and famine, and the American economy enters meltdown, Kauai fusses over where dogs should be walked, and on what length leash."

Isn't that unbelievable? But not to worry, because soon we'll be eating the dogs.

Anonymous said...

I for one think that the county government should continue to conduct county business despite some peoples' dire predictions about the end of the world as we know it. Think of it as an application of the precautionary principle.

Joan said...

Actually, Charley, my question was: just how did you arrive at this conclusion?

The late and largely ineffectual response by native groups with the funding, the expertise, and the appropriate job descriptions to pursue preservation of this site points up the fact that the issue simply isn't as morally black and white as you tend to present it.

Anonymous said...

True conversation from travels in Haiti:

me: How do you cook dog?

lady: Same as cat.

Anonymous said...

County business (sewers, roads, police, fire, water, etc.) should be the priority. But dogs on a bike path? How much council time, money and manpower has been spent debating the bike path?

Anonymous said...

> There really isn't a unanimity of opinion even among native Hawaiians regarding the appropriate treatment of burials. <

So sufficient majority means morality?

> If it was an 800 year old, long forgotten, recently rediscovered burial site... <

So sufficient recency means morality?

> ...that might or might not contain the remains of some of my ancestors, I would not feel all that strongly one way or another about it. <

So sufficiently close familial relationship means morality?

> When the issue is thousands of burials at a single site then I believe you would get near unanimity among natives. When the issue is a single, relatively unremarkable burial or a fragment, I think opinion is quite varied among natives over whether it can be moved or build over or ought to be roped off and left entirely undisturbed forever. <

So sufficient numbers means morality?

An interesting suite of qualifications -- or rather, quantifications -- that you use as the basis of arguing that the Joe Brescias of the world should be allowed to do what they want, where they want, to whom they want -- and that if native culture doesn't like it, the burden is on them to get the Western law to stop him!

Anonymous said...

Morality is subjective. There certainly is no absolute moral imperative regarding ancient burial sites of, apparently, little archelogical importance.

Take, for example, the custom of eating of dogs in various parts of the world.

So, yes, the morality of the ones in charge is the governing morality.

Move 'em or lose 'em.

charley foster said...

Joan,

That is the question I answered. I'm happy though to connect the last dot and point out that the tepid response in this instance from the native Hawaiian groups points up - is further evidence of - the complicated - not black and white - moral issues surrounding the proper treatment of ancient burials that I discuss in my answer to you at 4:24. Hope that helps.

Anonymous 2:33, you draw a false conclusion. The fact that the moral issues surrounding the treatment of ancient burials are not black and white but instead even among native Hawaiians are complicated and nuanced, does not at all mean that anyone can "do what they want, where they want, to whom they want." That doesn't follow at all, nor is it at all what I've argued. Quite the contrary, I argued from the beginning that I had nothing against anyone endeavoring to preserve this site.

Joan said...

Thank you for connecting the dots because your answers didn't seem at all related to my question. And with the dots connected, I have to say that I disagree with your characterization of a "tepid" response from OHA and NHLC and also that the response is evidence of the "complicated moral issues" surrounding this matter. Did you stop to think it could have been due to such practical matters as the existing case load of NHLC, its ability to take on another off-island case, the legalities of the issue, the likelihood of prevailing in court, the prospects of purchasing the land and other such considerations that go into taking legal action?

charley foster said...

I disagree. Cases in which inviolability is essentially morally imperative get full throated attention from the community. A case in which the proper method of treatment is much more ambiguous - a bone fragment on a beach, for instance, or any of the remains that are relocated with the assistance of cultural practitioners as required by the statute - don't recieve that sort of outcry or attention. This case falls somewhere in between.

Do you deny that there is a great deal of moral consensus in cases involving thousands of burials at a site, or burials of known, notable persons, that such sites are inviolable, and that there is much less consensus as to the morality of relocating remains that are "less culturally significant"?

Larry said...

I don't think we'll ever convince Charley of anything, nor will OHA or the NHLC lawyers. He's always right, and I don't know what will be achieved by saying "yes" when he just says "no" or saying "1" when he will say "2".

I looked at his first post, blasting Ka`iulani for her actions. I suppose he'd object to Rosa Parks on the bus or to anyone else who took action in their own way.

It's easy (for him and for us) to argue behind the safety of a computer keyboard. More power to those who actually show up to protest in person and make the difference. Good that the police chief, OHA, NHLC and others have chosen to take their stands publicly.

I'll just lump Charley with those who support grave desecration and get on to more important things I can do with a keyboard today.

charley foster said...

That's silly, Larry. Nothing I've said advocates for the desecration of grave sites. Read carefully, nothing I've written here ought to be even particularly controversial among supporters of saving the burial site.

On the contrary, I've been saying for weeks if not months that the burial statute contains remedies for just this situation and that somebody ought to be pursuing those avenues. In response were sneers about 'white man's law' and "direct action gets it done." Well, here we are. Direct action didn't get it done. Construction has commenced, and now, after literally months of wasted time, somebody is tentatively going to the court with a motion that should have been filed weeks ago. Two weeks ago I said that somebody should file this motion.

Your ire toward me is completely misplaced, Larry. Over the past months I've painted a roadmap of what ought to be done legally to achieve saving the burial site. The fact that somebody is now doing what I said weeks ago ought to be done shows I wasn't blowing smoke.

I'm personally ambivalent about this particular site. I certainly see arguments that it is culturally important. I believe there is some moral ambiguity even among natives on this point.

But I am frustrated to watch those who do want to save the site spinning their wheels the way they have.

Maybe this can be a learning experience. If you're an activist interested in saving burial sites then read the damn statute and the rules, study the damn statute and the rules, learn the damn statute and the rules and find out how to make a difference in the process outlined in the statute and the rules. Don't wait around for a white knight to show up at the eleventh hour to bail your butt out when you've ineffectually ignored the legal remedies until it's all but too late.

Joan said...

You can save your self-righteous advice, Charley. You know absolutely nothing about what has really been going on behind the scenes all these months to resolve this issue and you're simply making yourself look ignorant with your claims about "white knights" and "spinning wheels." It's all so simple to you in your black and white world of law, but things just don't always work out quite that way when you're a native seeking justice in a colonial system.

Perhaps your "roadmap" would have been taken more seriously if you had come across as sincere instead of ridiculing Kaiulani all the while.

And hey, maybe if you actually got licensed to practice law in Hawaii you could do something to help rather than just serve as a know it all back seat driver who is, ultimately, totally ineffectual.

charley foster said...

Not to piss you off further, but it just seems that whatever has been going on behind the scenes has not been particularly effective and now, finally, somebody is resorting to the courts.

Certainly the law does not provide any black or white or simple answers. But it is ultimately the only way the burial site can be saved.

gadfly said...

So what do you think is going to happen once Bresca's house is build, as it ultimately will be?

The feeding frenzy of native anti-colonialism will move on to the next target of opportunity?

It makes for entertaining viewing in any case.

I think Bresca should throw a big block party once he moves in. Serve ribs. Throw the bones anywhere.

Anonymous said...

> I'm personally ambivalent about this particular site. <

That's very clear. As is (to everyone but yourself) the dichotomy of your ambivalence and your arguments.

See, these days even we Western haoles are getting sick of the slick chicane that is at the heart of Western law.

charley foster said...

My argument has been that the burial law provides a way to preserve the site and that, practically speaking, it's probably the only way to save the burial site. I haven't at all ridiculed the idea of saving the site. So I'm really not sure what I've said that ought to cause anyone who wants to preserve the sight to be so upset, except that I have been dismissive of the idea that 'direct action' can accomplish the task.

Certainly my arguments haven't revealed any animosity toward preserving the site, nor do I have any such animosity.

It's fine if you want to feel the law is stacked against preserving burial sites, but the statute does contain a method to preserve them. It seems to me to be counter productive to turn your back on the only practical way to achieve what you want. But I guess that explains a lot about the way things end up working around here.

Anonymous said...

I know it's hard to run constantly into the hard wall of reality and law. It's so much more fun to go to Papayas and state opinions as fact...such as the fantasy that there are natives seeking justice in a colonial system...and have everyone with dreadlocks nod knowingly. However, you're running an open blog, Joan, and you should show some respect to people who debate with a level of dignity. When you demean their choice to have a "distance" law practise, and "live" in wonderful Kauai, you sound like an angry, druck teenager...like Larry.

Anonymous said...

> It's so much more fun to go to Papayas and state opinions as fact...such as the fantasy that there are natives seeking justice in a colonial system...and have everyone with dreadlocks nod knowingly. <

With a sad shake of my non-dreadlocked head, I see there are still practitioners of the comfortable fantasy that colonialism is dead -- along with the racism that spawned it and the commerce that rewarded it.

Anonymous said...

Kaiulani Huff is hardly an oppressed victim of colonial oppression...she comes from a comfortable middle class home...and why would anyone get a local law license just to do the heavy lifting for joan conrow's favorite political causes? As if that would be a public service. lol.

Joan said...

No, Anonymous 7:24 AM, I didn't actually think Charley would get licensed here or do any sort of meaningful advocacy legal work on any side of any issue. It's so much easier to play Monday morning quarterback and tell others what they should have done, even though he doesn't know the full story.

Btw, cultural oppression has nothing to do with whether one comes from a "comfortable middle class home."

As for Anon. 10:26 pm, I treat Charley with all the respect he deserves. And who are you — literally —to be telling me what I "should" do my own blog as you meanwhile make sarcastic, critical, facetious and disrespectful comments under the cloak of Anonymity? At least Larry and I use our names.

charley foster said...

I don't think it's properly called Monday morning quarterbacking - which connotes hindsight. Sideline quarterbacking might be more accurate when I'm standing on the sideline in real time yelling "File a motion! File a motion!" Monday morning is when they finally got around to filing the motion.

You keep mentioning all this behind-the-scenes activity. It might be helpful if you revealed some of that. This situation will doubtless occur again and it would be very helpful for future interested parties to know what worked here and what didn't.

Anonymous said...

How do you know if Charley does any sort of meaningful advocacy legal work or not...or are you just doing your usual spewing hateful uninformed opinion as fact?

Anonymous said...

> How do you know if Charley does any sort of meaningful advocacy legal work or not...or are you just doing your usual spewing hateful uninformed opinion as fact?

Speaking of spew, hope you didn't get any chunks on yourself there. "Cleanup on Aisle Seven" aside, the 10:10 a.m. horker brings up an interesting question for Charley: he has made it obvious where his head is on this issue, but where's his heart?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter where his heart is. As a lawyer interested in a case intellectually but not hired to support either side, he's like a judge.

A judge isn't supposed to care who wins...just that the laws are applied appropriately based on the merits of the case posed by each side and existing case law.

If 2 statutes appear to contridict each other in this case, the judge must render an opinion that, hopefully, will reflect the predominant "spirit" of the 2 laws and, hopefully, survive appeal.

Beyond that, judges and sideline lawyers need not have an bias towards one side or the other.

It may not be what some consider fair, just or equal, but it's how things work until supplanted by different laws.

If you don't like it, work to change the law or move to where the laws are more to yoru liking.

Katy Rose said...

Charley, it's kind of naive to assume that grassroots organizers involved in a campaign would broadcast their specific strategies and tactics to all the world on blogs.

Most of us know that this kind of planning is best done face-to-face among trusted allies.

Having said that, anyone can research tried-and-true tactics of organizing and direct action. Did you know, for example, that Rosa Parks was a trained organizer, not just a lady who got tired one day? She attended the highly respected Highlander Institute, as did Dr. King and many, many others. This accumulated knowledge is passed on to anyone who cares to follow in this great tradition of people's movements.

It's also a little presumptuous of you to to assume that the core organizers around Naue haven't been meeting and talking over what has worked and what hasn't so they can improve their abilities. I've never been involved in an organizing effort where this wasn't a key component of the work.

The Naue struggle is far from over, even if there is a legal strategy moving forward. Those of us who work at the grassroots know that the legalistic part of the campaign is only a part of it and not the end-all and be-all of social change.

Anonymous said...

Nice try at the self importance perspective. What you really are is a bunch of screwups who don't like it when someone pulls your pants down in front of all.

Katy Rose said...

Like the self-important lawyers, you mean?

Charley doesn't know what he's talking about when he comments on the Naue situation, plain and simple. He bases his comments largely on a set of assumptions that have little or nothing to do with the facts on the ground.

The public was welcomed by organizers to visit the site and learn about what was going on. As far as I know, Charley didn't bother to see for himself.

Again, the legal strategy is not the only one that counts, though lawyers are usually the last ones to acknowledge this.

For real change, the conscience of a society needs to be moved. The laws (and the lawyers) eventually follow.

Using the laws already in place as a part of a strategy to create that shift in conscience is one of many tactics, but it isn't necessarily the most important.

Why? Because many times the penalties in place for breaking the relevant laws are not enough of a deterrent, for one thing....or the law itself has but a faint relationship to real justice. Consider labor laws and the National Labor Relations Board. The "penalty" for many unfair labor practices during union organizing drives is a joke and doesn't deter most employers from breaking the law to defeat workers' organizing efforts. We know that relying on the NLRB is a waste of time, resources and energy, and that we are much better off building community -and economic - pressure on unfair employers to act fairly. All the same, we normally file charges in order to have one more thing to pressure the company with, but it is usually by far the weakest weapon in an organizer's stockpile.

charley foster said...

Well yes, clearly I'm critiquing the situation from a purely legal standpoint. From a purely legal standpoint, the whole affair appears to me to have been royally screwed up. When I talk about the lack of activity and wasted time I'm not referring to all the organizing and the direct actioning and the changing consciousnesses. I'm talking about the failure to file a motion in court until several weeks after it ought to have been filed.

All the consciousness raising stuff is fine. I have no problem with it. What I'm saying is, in addition to all that, somebody ought to have timely filed an injunction.

Joan said...

How do you know if Charley does any sort of meaningful advocacy legal work or not...or are you just doing your usual spewing hateful uninformed opinion as fact?

I never said whether he does or doesn't, because I don't know. If you read carefully before spewing and projecting, you'd see I wrote: "No, Anonymous 7:24 AM, I didn't actually think Charley would get licensed here or do any sort of meaningful advocacy legal work on any side of any issue."

Because no, I do not have that expectation.

As for that bit about Charley "being like a judge," the big difference is that judges are familiar with all aspects of a case. As Katy pointed out, Charley doesn't really know what he's talking about here and his comments are based on speculation and assumptions.

As a result, his legal opines on the matter are inherently flawed by a lack of information.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: or are you just doing your usual spewing hateful uninformed opinion as fact?

Joan: spewing hateful uninformed opinion.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't let them off the hook so easy, Charley. For all Joan's anger and Katy's pie in the sky optimism, they still can't get around the fact that the footings are being poured as they speak. Seems they have been spinning their wheels, regardless of how they want to spin it.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of backhoes in the morning...smells like Victory!

Katy Rose said...

Yes, the backhoes are there. No one is saying that isn't a tremendous setback. But who is responsible for that? Isn't it Brescia?

It's odd how some want to blame the people protecting the site for the fact that the backhoes are there.

It seems like your motive is to insult and laugh at the Hawaiians who have been leading this effort, because if you actually cared, you would have bothered to go meet them and see the site. So I can only conclude that you don't really care about them and their concerns at all. On the contrary, your actions seem to indicate a deep antipathy for people you don't even know as individuals but just as "Hawaiians" - where's that at?

So what is it that you care about here? Why do you even bother spending your time thinking or writing about that little sliver of land which you claim has little or no significance?

I understand why Joan writes about it. She cares, she has compassion and empathy, and yes, maybe she gets angry when you insult the people and causes she cares about, because she has character.

But I don't get what motivates you "player haters" at all.

Why DO you bother?

Anonymous said...

dem bones, dem bones,dem iwi bones...


come on someone else...second verse!

Anonymous said...

Hawaii is now part of the western world, USA specifically. Actions must be judged in light of western sensibilities and laws because they are the new reality, the ones in charge.

You don't have to like it but that's just the way it is.

150 years ago it was the "go west, young man" population movement across the US. I'm sure some folks didn't like it either, but it happened anyway.

The law provides for the movement of graves to a site that can be reserved for such purpose if they present an impedement to otherwise lawful activity. Happens all the time in the USA (we're the USA here, too, ineffectual radical opinions notwithstanding).

The burial council didn't opt for that, so end of story.

Katy Rose said...

No, not end of story. In case you haven't noticed the tide is turning against the "manifest destiny" minset you subscribe to.

People are fighting back and it's time for you to check your conscience.

It sounds like you watch a lot of cowboys and Indians movies, and I suggest you read some history from the point of view of the Indians and the the Africans and the Hawaiians for a change. Funny thing happens when you do that - you find out that they are just as human as you are, and just as real to themselves as you are to you!

Unfortunately, one of the grand justifications created by white folk is the idea that it was a fair battle and one side just happened to win - the white folk's side.

But would you feel that way if Russia or China arrived on the US continent with some kind of weapon we'd never even heard of and plowed people down en masse and took over the territory? Would that just be "all's fair in war"?
No - it would be a crime against humanity - which is exactly what we're pointing at when we resist genocide, displacement, and slavery.

Anonymous said...

I'd learn Russian, figure out how to trade in Rubles and tie into a product or service that they would buy!

I don't care who's winning as long as I can make a profit.

Anonymous said...

No tide is turning that I can tell.

The people with more power and wealth will always, always, always get first choice of where to live and how much land they want to live on.

Only way to change that is to replace them with other people with more power and wealth with, maybe, different ideas.

But, know what? Given enough time these new people will develop the old ideas and you will be back where you started.

The world never ever changes..just the players.

Anonymous said...

Katy: It's odd how some want to blame the people protecting the site for the fact that the backhoes are there.

Who's doing the blaming? Charley pointed out the obvious: whatever the people protecting the site have been doing has been ineffective. You and Joan seem to be taking out your frustrations on the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Acknowledging the humanity or depth of committment to a cause isn't my problem. I don't subscribe to "the only good indian is a dead indian" theory.

I merely look at who's been winning and losing in the past, present and probable future and allign myself accordingly.

I'm not for or against anything beyond my abillity to maintain a good lifestyle for me and mine.

Katy Rose said...

Well, that seems to indicate that you are a person without empathy. Why bother interacting, then, with those of us who have it? No better things to do for you and yours?

Joan said...

Katy wrote:
But I don't get what motivates you "player haters" at all.

Why DO you bother?


Because deep down they're unhappy with their vacuous, self-serving, self-absorbed lives, but that's too threatening for them to look at, because it might require them to change. So instead they try to discredit and destroy those who are otherwise. It's painful for those who live in darkness to be confronted with such bright lights.

Anonymous said...

It's true that I am without empathy, but that doesn't cloud my vision of what likely outcomes will be. In fact, it improves vision.

I don't "have a dog in this fight", as the saying goes. I don't live on your island. But I read, observe, via blogs and other internet sources and traditional media, and form opinions...not of who is "right" or "wrong" or "legal" or "illegal"...just who will probably prevail.

Things are going against the "true believers of Kauai". I'd give it another 15-20 years before what you yearn for passes into memory.

watchdog said...

I'd give it another 15-20 years before what you yearn for passes into memory.

Gadfly's anonymous alter-ego forgot to check the mirror again. And if you say you don't care about the future, just so long as you get yours now, then you can't fault any of the protestors or their methods one iota.

QED

Anonymous said...

> Because deep down they're unhappy with their vacuous, self-serving, self-absorbed lives, but that's too threatening for them to look at, because it might require them to change. So instead they try to discredit and destroy those who are otherwise. It's painful for those who live in darkness to be confronted with such bright lights. <

Bingo. It is ever the rhetoric of the self-satisfied elite, in those days when the wind inevitably turns and blows the stink of their own smugness back into their noses, that the only problems are the people who complain about the status quo.


> It's true that I am without empathy, but that doesn't cloud my vision of what likely outcomes will be. In fact, it improves vision. <

That is so sad that it's almost enough to make me feel sympathy for those who believe thus.

Almost.


> Acknowledging the humanity or depth of committment to a cause isn't my problem. <

"Isn't it sir?"
"No, it is not, sir! It is enough that a man be concerned with his own business. Mine occupies me constantly. Good day!"
-- C. Dickens, 1843

gadfly said...

Sure I can fault them. Just because I can profit in any environment doesn't mean that I do not prefer some over others.

And besides, i don't have to be internally consistant unless I want to.

watchdog said...

Aha, gadfly has preferences, but nobody else can; gadfly doesn't have to be internally consistent, but will lambast anyone who isn't either.

No wonder you stopped using the handle, it had no more credibility.

Smack.

Anonymous said...

So, Charlie cannot be impartial as a judge because he doesn't know all aspects of the case.

A judge rendering a ruling, knowing all aspects of the case, which is in Bresca's favor would now turn your ire not towards the impartial judge but toward the law you do not favor.

gadfly said...

My preferences are well-known to my constant readers. I always prefer the rich and powerful and distain the lower classes. I believe in the eternal existance of a class-based society and have demonstrated the ability to be in any one that is on top at any point in time.

I don't care what other people's preferences are, but if they are not consistant with mine, they are pukes.

In the long run, it doesn't matter anyway. I have my paradise, and you have your bleeding heart causes. Maybe we're both happy, but I think I am more happy since I don't share any of your angst.

Katy Rose said...

We should all be happy that gadfly is so willing to expose the odious philosophy of the right for what it really is.

Thanks, gadfly, for being such a discredit to your allies.

gadfly said...

Bleeting from the sheep is all that the last msg convayed.

Anonymous said...

"I always prefer the rich and powerful and distain the lower classes."

That's why he eats at Olive Garden and shops at Costco.

gadfly said...

All my rich friends shop there and eat there.

No "Needless Markup" or Kings Shops, etc for us.

Value. It's not what you make, it's what you keep.

Anonymous said...

A native hawaiian opinion from the comments section of SB on Obama's talk in Chicago:


Kauai Guy wrote:

"Had the American haoles not stolen Hawaii in the 19th century and used it to their advantage in the 20th century, do you really think the world would have "left us alone?" I imagine around December 1941 the attack would still have happened, only the attackers would have stayed. Just like on so many other Pacific islands, many would have been slaughtered or enslaved. The Americans would have had to take Hawaii before they could work their way across the Pacific, and there would have been that many more casualties.
Native Hawai'ians behave like time should have stood still when it came to our little piece of paradise. Well, if America hadn't stolen us, some other empire would have. Of one thing I am sure; We will never get paid for it!
Not all true native Hawaiians support the so-called modern day, "sovereignty movement."

These born-again "Native Hawaiians" are mostly folks who have more non-Hawaiian blood than native Hawaiian blood, but go around masquerading as "Native Hawaiian." Look at OHA for example.

Anyway, as a native Hawaiian, I am happy we are under the rule of law of the United States, instead of Japan or the european copy-cat version of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

So, no, not all true native Hawaiians are anti-American.

Only the toe-nails (only have Hawaiian blood in their toe-nail) that are vocal, are anti-American.

God Bless America!

Anonymous said...

"All my rich friends shop there and eat there.

No "Needless Markup" or Kings Shops, etc for us.

Value. It's not what you make, it's what you keep."

If you do your own shopping at Costco and eat at chain restaurants, you aren't as rich as you think. I like to send the hired help to do my shopping and have my meals cooked by my chef at home. Please, dogfly, do not aspire to be something that you are not and never will be.

Katy Rose said...

It's silly to assume that all people of any society or ethnicity would think alike. That's nuts, and doesn't even need to be refuted.

Having said that, I have to say it's equally nuts to claim that the imperialism of the US is justified by the imperialism of other nations.

Anonymous said...

As if all rich people have good taste, or none of them like to shop. Wrong on both counts, anonymous 10:02.

Anonymous said...

"Markel said the motion could be filed as soon as today"

So, follow up. Was that done?

Anonymous said...

she doesn't know

gadfly said...

anon 10:02, you mistake what one makes or has with what one spends. Like I said before, it's not what you make, it's what you keep.

A number of years ago a survey was taken of the number of millionaires in each state. The surprise was that WI has most! Everyone thouthe CA, CT, NY, TX, CO...nope, WI.

Many many farmers were socking it away while living modestly.

Although we were not WI farmers, we never spent at the level my income would allow, socking it away. This allowed us to retire debt free to HI at age 50 with enough in the bank(s)...no speculation here...to live out our lives very comfortably.

We love Costco, Wal-Mart, and the chain restaurants, etc. We lothe the stupid high-dollar places where you don't get value, in our opinion.

We do spend money on other things, such as travel throughout the south pacific for diving, plus regular trips to the UK for the pubs and plays.

It all depends on what you want to spend money on. But don't confuse our shopping patterns, or those of many others, with their income or financial reserves.

PS - activists are, for the most part, pukes. I like things just like they are and the direction they are going. Works for us...your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

"I like things just like they are and the direction they are going."

That sums it up.

Anonymous said...

Of course it sums it up, idiot! That's why he put it at the end.

Master of the obvious!

poster boy said...

I think you all have a point and shouldn't use blog comments to shout across "police lines" at one another like protesters and anti-protesters at some function.

Besides, I wanted to be the 80th poster! Could be a record for this blog!

Anonymous said...

How can anyone like the direction things are going? Oil prices trend upward and our economy is tanking. Who in their right mind would be in favor of the direction things are going?

Anonymous said...

because those are just cycles, not the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Brad Parsons posted videos of Matt Simmons on his blog. If he's right, this is more than a cycle.

http://hisuperferry.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

"Of course it sums it up, idiot! That's why he put it at the end.

Master of the obvious!"

The sentence does not sum up his post, which refers to for the most part to saving and spending. Remedial reading courses may help you with your comprehension.

Anonymous said...

But don't get your hopes up.