The sky was a smattering of stars, with the Big Dipper’s handle pointing down toward my house, when Koko and I went walking on this dark, cool morning. We ran into farmer Jerry, who alerted us to a fog bank up ahead, and though I never saw it, I felt its cool embrace.
Dawn approached, revealing streaks of cirrus clouds, which it tinted pink, until they were overwhelmed by masses of dark that rolled over Nounou ridge. Down the road a piece, the neighbor’s inflatable turkey-Pilgrim has been replaced by Santa and his sleigh being pulled by a team of two, the other six reindeer apparently MIA, or in this case, left uninflated on the shelves of Wal-mart.
Ah yes, tis the season of the deeply ingrained myth that once a year an omnipotent being will overlook the previous months of bad behavior and grant all the wishes we’ve detailed on a cleverly crafted list.
That seems to be the myth that’s driving Gov. Lingle and her AG, Mark Bennett, in their attempt to convince the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that the State of Hawaii should have control over some 1.2 million acres of land appropriated from the Kingdom of Hawaii following the 1893 illegal overthrow.
In a brief filed Friday,, the state took the stunning new position that Native Hawaiians have no claim to the land at all.
In taking this approach, the state is seeking not only to overturn the Hawaii Supreme Court injunction that bars it from selling the so-called “ceded lands” until Hawaiian land claims are settled, but to ace kanaka maoli out of their land entitlement altogether.
If the high court buys in, it would effectively scuttle the restoration of a sovereign nation, casting Lingle and Bennett in the roles of those who not only conducted a second coup, but extinguished the last flame of hope that keeps many kanaka maoli going.
Wow, that’s a great legacy you’re building, Linda. Seems like just the dirty deed that's needed to firmly cement your standing among the other imperialists in the Grand Ole Party.
Needless to say, the Lingle-Bennett position has a lot of folks justifiably up in arms, as Gordon Pang reported this weekend in The Honolulu Advertiser. The article generated well over 200 readers’ comments and prompted calls for Lingle’s impeachment.
The sentiment of many was summed up in this statement:
It's a pretty immoral position for the governor to take," said Bill Meheula, an attorney representing OHA [Office of Hawaiian Affairs] in the case.
Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, a professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, also nailed it:
"This is against all the agreements that we've had with Gov. Lingle about ceded lands and this is a way to undercut our rights to ceded lands," Kame'eleihiwa said.
The New York Times ran an article yesterday on the demise of Molokai Ranch in the face of community opposition to its development plans. It ended with a line that contained language and sentiment not often expressed in mainland publications:
And beyond matters of fair market value, there is another challenge: achieving this elusive thing called pono.
It is difficult indeed to achieve a state of pono in a place where the power structure has been built upon actions and practices that represent the antithesis of righteousness and balance.
The Lingle-orchestrated land grab offers not a correction, but more of the same.