Saturday, December 27, 2008

Musings: Cracks in the Facade

Portland, like much of the Northwest, has been pretty much paralyzed by the unusually high amount of snowfall it experienced over the past week. Some of the busier city streets were plowed, but badly, and many residents lack snow shovels to dig their way out. Big snow like this (and I'm talking about 10 inches in the city) apparently doesn’t happen all that often.

I’ve enjoyed walking through a winter wonderland, seeing sights like holly with vibrant red berries and red cedar frosted with snow and icicles dripping from eaves. But I think a lot of folks here are sick of what they view as a major inconvenience.

And then I checked my email and saw several references to last night’s lighting strike-induced black out on Oahu. It left most everyone on the island without power, including President-elect Obama, who apparently is staying in a beach-front rental home. Hmmm. I wonder if it’s one permitted for vacation rental use. At any rate, it seems HECO had similar problems following the Big Island earthquake, and they weren’t the only ones. The Honolulu Airport, Waikiki hotels and the water department also stumbled last night, leaving one to wonder why they haven’t worked out some sort of coordinated response to such situations.

It got me thinking that we don’t need to worry about terrorist strikes destabilizing the nation. A little bit of unusual weather, any disruption to electrical service or the transportation infrastructure, and the whole system just falls apart. Kind of makes you realize just how vulnerable and tenuous “modern civilization” really is. It’s all about power and mobility, and if either are restricted, it fails to function.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s demonstration at the state Capitol to protest the sale of the so-called "ceded lands" was relegated to B Section coverage in the Advertiser, which had to post its paper on-line because the power outage kept its printing presses from functioning. But a rally held in solidarity on Kauai got front page coverage in today’s The Garden Island.

The Advertiser article spoke of the “newly formed Hawaiian Independence Alliance” joining with Hui Pu, a pro-independence umbrella group, to stage the protest. I keep thinking that maybe this U.S. Supreme Court case may be the catalyst to mobilize and unify Hawaiians — and hopefully it will happen before it’s too late, or the Akaka Bill is pushed down their throats as an option to losing everything in an unfavorable high court decision.

The Hawaiian situation came up last night when one of my sisters mentioned Tibet, and how tragic and difficult it would be to live in or visit a place where a nation’s culture is being annihilated, And I said, well, that’s what’s happening in Hawaii.

It struck me that many Americans know more about what’s going in Tibet than one of their own states. We talked about the oppression of kanaka maoli in Hawaii and how Native Americans had suffered a similar fate, with miserable consequences, as exemplified by the two men we'd met on the MAX, Portland's light-rail system. We were coming back from the airport my first night in the city, and it was after midnight and bitter cold when the men hopped on to warm up for a while. I smiled at them and they struck up a conversation, quickly divulging that they were Native Americans, and homeless in their own land. My thoughts immediately flashed to all the homeless kanaka in the Islands.

The next day I briefed my brother-in-law on the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and “seized, not ceded,” lands issue, and his immediate response was: “that’s not right.” I think a lot of other folks living in the contiguous 48 would agree, if they only knew the facts, but they just aren't getting out.

Instead, Hawaii is presented repeatedly as a paradise where all is lovely and devoid of trouble and strife — until lightning strikes and the kanaka maoli rise up and the cracks in the facade are once again revealed.

52 comments:

Katy Rose said...

Nice post, Joan.

Anonymous said...

those cracks you mention remind me of the cracks in the superferry's hull. covered by a thin veneer, vulnerable to a little bump or protrusion, allowing the flow of the sea to inundate and swamp the vessel.
the thin veneer of modern day living are showing signs of stress and weakness. the cracks are getting larger and longer and the seams are failing as well. calamity,catastrophy and cataclysmic events are signs of the times. the material world is being shaken to its core. the spiritual world will emerge through the cracks like the sun does after the storm. a new day dawns and the meek shall inherit the earth. peace and blessings for the new year.

Anonymous said...

so the 48/49 other states to hawaii is like chinese gov to tibet?

Anonymous said...

> It struck me that many Americans know more about what’s going in Tibet than one of their own states. <

They don't want to believe it. Real estate pushers and travel dealers and Gimme My Goodtimes tourists do not want to believe what happened in the past, much less what is happening now. Not on Hawai'i. Not in the Black Hills. Not anywhere in America where cash is extracted from native lands.

Anonymous said...

It's not like we don't know or believe...we just don't care.

Anonymous said...

> It's not like we don't know or believe...we just don't care. <

Then study history if you dare. It's not the caring. It's the ignorance. The smirking, self serving, short-sighted selfishness born of base ignorance.

"This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom..."
- Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol

Anonymous said...

Charles Dickens...savior thinker of the 21st century...or dreamer of a "better way" that has yet (if ever) to emerge.

Not bloody likely!

I'll keep my position on this issue. It will last a lifetime...mine anyway.

Anonymous said...

In a nation-wide poll for the most famous Russian, one who best reflects Russa, Joeseph Stalin made it into the top 12 and has a great chance of winning.

How's that for a reflection of the general public in that country?

And you "native hawaiian supporters" think you have a chance?? In this day and age??

I know you won't stop, but I also know you won't win, except in your hearts and minds for doing what you feel is "the right thing".

Everyone who did anything important thought they were doing "the right thing". The difference was the power they had behind their actions. And you have virtually no power.

You'll be lucky if you get whatever the Akaka bill grants you.

Anonymous said...

to December 27, 2008 5:44 PM, that sounded kinda mean there towards the end. just fyi (and you prob want to define "power" too)

otherwise, the December 27, 2008 12:47 PM offer still stands. any response appreciated, thanks

Aaron Stene said...

Actually 32 states have submitted
briefs in support of the State of Hawaii in the ceded land case.

The link to the briefs is located here

http://www.inversecondemnation.com/inversecondemnation/cededlands.html

Anonymous said...

But the feds have submitted an opinion against. And this is dealt with in the highest fed court in the land.

Anonymous said...

"to December 27, 2008 5:44 PM, that sounded kinda mean there towards the end."

It was meant to be.

Aaron Stene said...

Actually the federal government has submitted a brief in support (not against) the State of Hawaii in this case.

http://www.inversecondemnation.com/inversecondemnation/2008/12/federal-government-in-ceded-lands-case-sorry-seems-to-be-the-hardest-word.html

Anonymous said...

No...the feds are against it.

From Charlie Foster's blog:

Saturday, December 13, 2008
The United States has filed an amicus brief in the ceded lands case
The brief is here (PDF). The html version is here.

Here is an outline of the arguments -


Congress’s apology left untouched the governing federal law, which precludes any injunction against sale of trust lands based on putative unrelinquished claims to those lands.

I. The governing federal statutes accepted absolute title at annexation and authorized Hawaii to sell or transfer lands as trustee, consistent with the trust requirements.

A. In annexing Hawaii, the united states acquired absolute title to the ceded lands.

1. The Newlands resolution and Organic Act precluded future challenges to the United States’ title.

2. Congress acted within its authority when it precluded further challenges to the United States’ title.

B. The admissions act granted Hawaii title to some of the ceded lands, with the express requirement that those lands be managed and disposed of only in furtherance of five statutory purposes.

II. The apology resolution did not change the law or cloud the state’s title.

A. The apology resolution’s text demonstrates that Congress’s apology was hortatory, not substantive, and the state court’s reliance on the preamble was erroneous.

B. The sponsors of the apology resolution disavowed any substantive revision of federal law.

C. Construing the apology resolution to have substantive effect would discourage congress from re-examining historical injustices.

III. The injunction ordered by the supreme court ofHawaii should be reversed.

nunya said...

"A. The apology resolution’s text demonstrates that Congress’s apology was hortatory, not substantive, and the state court’s reliance on the preamble was erroneous."

Either way, you seem to be saying that the Apology Bill has teeth. Please clarify. I donʻt understand.

"C. Construing the apology resolution to have substantive effect would discourage congress from re-examining historical injustices."

Again, please clarify. How would the substantive effect discourage re-examination? Wouldnʻt it be the opposite?

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying anything, just quoting the US Gov official legal opinion. It's not for me, nor for you, to legally interpret their words, but their bottom line was:

"The injunction ordered by the supreme court ofHawaii should be reversed."

Looking up the word "horatory", it means "giving strong encouragement". I believe the US Gov means to say that the Bill "encouraged" but, in itself, did not become a law ("substantive") or any other legally binding statement.

So they "encourage" some undefined form of "I'm sorry" actions, but far short of what the Hawaiian court ruled.

Legal opinions and interpretations from bloggers who arn't actual lawyers, myself included, aren't worth the pixels used to represent them.

I also am for the USA opinion and against the Hawaiian court injunction.

nunya said...

"..but, in itself, did not become a law ("substantive") or any other legally binding statement."
You see, that statement right there is wrong: the Apology Bill is also known as Public LAW 103-150.

I understand my, or your interpretations mean diddly squat. But, we are all trying to understand what is taking place to be informed and understand the additional frauds being perpetrated against the Hawaiian people.

I realize you donʻt see it that way but whatever we do, itʻs best not to try to put misinterpreted jargon out there...it does no one any good.

Also, many times itʻs the little things that a layman notices and brings to the attention of attorneys so engrossed in strategy that they understandably get missed.

Anonymous said...

Calling that a "law", which they had to in the loosest of terms because they didn't have anything else to call it, is like equating an earned degree with an honorary degree. Both are "degrees", but only one is "substantive".

At any rate, I've always been a firm capitalist, anti-"bleeding heart" liberal, and never lets the past drag down the future. Never apologize (too bad the USA did that!).

Having a too-hard time being Hawaiian? Then abandon it and join capitalist America! My grandparents and millions of others did just that vis-a-vis Europe and their culture.

nunya said...

"Calling that a "law", which they had to in the loosest of terms.."

Well there you go again...applying your interpretation and attempting to diminish the Apology Billʻs significance. (Which, by the way, it is significant)

"At any rate, I've always been a firm capitalist, anti-"bleeding heart" liberal, and never lets the past drag down the future. Never apologize (too bad the USA did that!)."

Good for you that you never let the past drag down the future. Except, whose future are we talking about here? Yours or Hawaiians. Iʻd say they have one-upped your status in priority as these happen to be ʻThe Hawaiian Islandsʻ.

I am not having a too hard time being Hawaiian because I am not Hawaiian. What I do have a hard time with is living here knowing what we have done to them whereas Americans are so avaricious and ugly they even try to steal back an apology.

You donʻt need to offer me an option on what kind of life to choose. My parents instilled that in me. America was supposedly founded on good ideals and beliefs. But, apples do eventually get rotten. What can I say?

Anonymous said...

Significant, but not "substantive". Aparently, "substantive" is the legally operative word defining legal weight, and this apparently has none, according the the US Gov opinion.

That's the Gov's opinion, not mine.

It think Charlie has it right. If OHA bases its argurment on the Apoligy Resolution they will lose, but if they base it on Hawaiian State Law, they may win.

That's a legal opinion from a apellate lawyer in the Hawaiian State Bar.

nunya said...

"Significant, but not "substantive". Aparently, "substantive" is the legally operative word defining legal weight, and this apparently has none, according the the US Gov opinion."

My my my...I think you should be issuing a press release at this time: I hadnʻt realized this had already been decided, especially since the case hasnʻt been heard yet.

Anonymous said...

I said "according to the US Gov opinion", not the US Supreme Court.

Nothing's over till it's over, but my money is not on the Hawaiians in the long run.

If this case fails (the Hawaiian court ruling is upheld), then there's always the Akaka Bill ready to pass, thus effectively neutering "the movement" and properly assigning control the the US Dept of the Interior.

nunya said...

LOL. I donʻt know where you get your information but, besides jumping all the guns and wrapping things up in clearly labeled boxes, it seems much of your conjectures are fueled by wishful thinking...and thereʻs nothing ʻsubstantiveʻ about that. Is there?

Anonymous said...

“Reading comprehension”...it’s a good thing - give it a try!

Anyways, certainly part of the problem here in Hawaii is that a good number of people had a pretty inaccurate understanding of the legal significance of the Apology Bill.

Anonymous said...

Nunya's reading comprehension is clouded by her rose-colored glasses, as is the comprehensability, and defensability, of her argurments.

She's like the rubber ball in "paddle ball"...keep hitting and it always comes back for more!

Anonymous said...

Man..that could apply to lots of wives in this state, the leader in domestic abuse.

Anonymous said...

The opinion of one of our esteemed senators:

"Sen. Daniel Inouye told colleagues at the time [the resulation was put forward] that the measure was "a simple resolution of apology" and had "nothing to do" with Hawaiian land claims."

In my readings on the issue, the Hawaiian court may have made a mistake basing its ruling in large part on the apology resolution. That opened the door for a potentially successful dispute.

Had they stayed within Hawaiian statute as the basis, the feds would not have standing to refute.

Wouldn't it be something of the Hawaiian court actually, and accidently through misunderstanding of the apology resolution, cause the whole ceded land issue to be lost?

Anonymous said...

Well, it seems all the cards are on the table. The US Supreme Court will make a decision and provide legal support for it. Obviously, it will make some happy and some not. Some will think the legal support is faulty, some will not.

But it is the court of last appeal.

No one left to complain to that has power to "fix it".

No matter what happens, everyone will at last have to move on.

nunya said...

Yes, reading comprehension is rather difficult when a statement is rewritten by one with, possibly a southern white 2nd grade education. Next time when you quote something to make your point, try the cut and paste so we get the real deal.

Since the petty perps are out again resorting to personal attacks I guess you deserve this one: I canʻt converse any more with a bunch of old white bubba men.

Lastly, you are wrong about the finality of this case and Akaka bill.......I wonʻt even give you any hints.

Ta Ta.

Anonymous said...

says the GED

Katy Rose said...

Not sure how to post this as a link, but this opinion piece in yesterday's Advertiser, "State Court Correct in Protecting Ceded Lands" has some valid things to say about the "ceded" lands appeal and the Apology Resolution:

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20081228/OPINION03/812280309/1110/opinionfront?GID=F0QX9O44zu3TRAykvDKg8LcEvxB0WU/YUyVeG792PHA%3D

Anonymous said...

"at the heart of plaintiffs' claims, before the trial court and on appeal, is the apology resolution" p 20, hi sup ct ruling

Anonymous said...

I wonder what position the Hawaiian nation folks will take when the US Supreme Court upholds the state's position that lands can be sold AND later when the Akaka Bill passes, effectively putting whatever form the "Hawaiian nation" takes under the thumb of the Dept of the Interior?

Where will they feel their legal leverage comes from then? Some international court? That's a laugh. Name one adverse judgement any international court gave to the US. Answer: none. Give your honest opinion of the US's reaction to any such judgement in the future. My opinion as to what will happen: ignore it..no one tells America what to do.

Hawaiians taking to the streets?? Are there that many willing to do that and face martial law, real bullets, etc? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

"Name one adverse judgement any international court gave to the US. Answer: none. "

-- i guess you are not counting, among other things, losses RE trade disputes

(and just fyi, there are some "intl courts" sure, ya, but also some more "final, binding arbitration/mediation" type bodies too <-- you might want to count them as well)

Anonymous said...

Trade disputes don't count in this analysis. It's not the same as some external body making an enforcable judgement regarding internal affairs.

And what are those other "bodies" you refer to?

Anonymous said...

"Trade disputes don't count in this analysis."

Why? Because you said so?

Anonymous said...

Yes, because I said so. And because of the reason I've given...external bodies making enforcable decisions on the internal affairs of the USA.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Find one of those, if you can.

Now, if you're saying that restraint of trade, or a trade embargo, could be used as leverage to enforce an adverse external ruling on the internal affairs of the USA, I'd say that this is the only leverage that exists. Short of some form of shooting war, I suppose there's restraint of travel by passport/visa requirements much harder.

But that's not the same as "trade disputes" which deal with balanceing inbound and outbound dollars overall.

I'VE GOT IT!!!

China threatens a total embargo of all goods to the USA if Hawaii isn't allowed to become independent.

Wal-Mart would face bankruptcy. The American way of life would be threatened! We would capitulate in a heartbeat!

Anonymous said...

Just wait a few more decades. China will end up the sole world superpower.

Now there's a new slant on things!

Anonymous said...

I canʻt converse any more with a bunch of old white bubba men.

Whatever gave you the idea they were adults?


China will end up the sole world superpower. Now there's a new slant on things!

Q.E.D.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has refuted the various rather compelling comments made by one or more anons in the last few posts, though. The conversation just fell apart into dumb stuff.

I, for one, would like to hear an intelligent counterpoint to the issues raised by anon(s).

You can't really think that "justice will be served" merely because a wrong was done, do you? How? By whose authority or power?

Or is it just a dream, after all?

Anonymous said...

"Trade disputes don't count in this analysis. It's not the same as some external body making an enforcable judgement regarding internal affairs.

And what are those other "bodies" you refer to?"

1) your original premise was that we could not "[n]ame one adverse judgement any international court gave to the US."

2) having surmised that premise is false (which it is; or quickly and poorly worded at the least), you are now trying to define your parameters to be far more narrow, almost to the point of absurdity (almost)

3) of course it is understood that no "outside" finding / ruling / judgment (by a court, tribunal, administrative body etc) has any real "force of law" in the US UNLESS the president / congress has signed off on it, right? that clarification might help a bit

4) anyways, your best bet it to claim that "internal" US industries (dairy, steel, internet gambling etc..many of which are concentrated in specific regions of the US) do not really relate to US "internal affairs" (yet i could find you thousands of workers who disagree)

id go on to other stuff (the workings of interpol come to mind) but im sleepy

but ya, the intl courts in holland have about 0 to do with disputes in hawaii

Anonymous said...

oh pleeeease donʻt go on and dooooooo go to sleep.

Ed Coll said...

Law is not morality, but the rule of force by the oppressor regardless of what is moral.

The apology bill is like saying, "sorry I stole from you. I hope my apology is some comfort to you, because that's all your going to get! What you also expect me to return what I stole from you? You must be insane!"

Anonymous said...

Right on! Move on!

Welcome to "tribal America". It's the only viable option you have left.

Anonymous said...

Can tell this is really bothering some of you.
Scared eh?
Good. Time you end up on the receiving end of your own crap.

Anonymous said...

who is scared? explain pls

Anonymous said...

Scared stolen property will be returned.

Anonymous said...

i think the bulk of that talk are from people who just want it to be true (that want to think there are even a few people that are "really scared") as opposed to an accurate survey or review of how people really feel

Anonymous said...

Soon it may not matter:

http://raisingislands.blogspot.com/2009/01/sea-level-threat-worsens-will-hawaii.html

Anonymous said...

Not to me. I'm at 950 or so with unobstructed 180 degree view of ocean with lots of acres. Maybe I'll become oceanfront property!

No prob here!

Anonymous said...

Yep. Just buy a boat when the coastal roads are being slammed by waves.