Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Musings: Spontaneous Combustion

It’s a clear, blustery morning in Colorado, with the temperature edging toward 60 and the snow covered peaks of the Rockies visible since the first time I got here.

Took a walk with my sister around McIntosh Lake yesterday, and while the honking Canada geese and gliding hawk of the day before were gone, the sun had tempted a colony of prairie dogs to emerge from their burrows, where they squeaked loudly to sound the alarm of our approach before ducking for cover into their holes. Crossing a stream, what on first glance appeared to be a rock turned out to be a muskrat, which swam gracefully toward its den in the brush that lined the bank.

Then last night, the crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus formed a triangle in a sky streaked by the deep red of a western sunset. Can anything be more soothing, more satisfying, more restorative, than to recognize and appreciate the existence of the natural world?

That connection is part of our DNA, because for all the time that humans have been alive we’ve needed to interact with nature — know it intimately — in order to survive. And in that sort of mindset, all land, all creation, is sacred, because it’s part of the great web, as are we.

It’s only been relatively recently in mankind’s short tenure on Earth that we’ve forgotten that cooperative relationship and adopted the belief system that domination and destruction is progress, and the best course of action is to bully our way over and through.

And that, of course, is the stuff of genocide, racism, intolerance and colonialism, and it remains alive and well, as expressed in all its sordidness in the comments left on ”Driving Over the Remains.”

But many of us still remember a different way of being, and we can and do say, “wait, this isn’t pono,” because there’s absolutely no way that it is. We also know that those of us who don’t want to clamber after the gold aren’t “losers,” but have simply chosen a way of being that has other rewards.

I often wonder, as I read the almost hysterical comments left by some, just why it is that they’re so deeply threatened by the idea of sovereignty or independence in Hawaii, or the cultural and traditional beliefs of others.

I know that their views won't be changed, but it's important to keep an alternative voice out there, which is why I write this blog. As for some of those who comment, my brother-in-law, a computer wiz who had a blog before people even knew what they were, said a lot of folks just go searching for "flame wars."

So who knows. Maybe the flamers will spontaneously combust, much like America's capitalist system, which is now officially in a recession. And predictably, the stock market tumbled once folks were jolted out of their mass denial.

Now the talk is: how long will it last? What more can be done to save the wealth and privilege of a few, while pretending it’s all for the benefit of “Main Street?” It’s no coincidence that the phrase “bail out” is used repeatedly; it fits the sinking ship metaphor aptly.

I’ve mentioned the desirability of passing the reins over to the citizenry. While it’s unlikely government is going to make that move, Richard Cook, a contributor to Global Research, is advocating another approach to give consumers some relief: stop paying credit card bills.

He writes:

So until real relief is forthcoming, citizens who are in distress should simply destroy their credit cards and stop paying the monthly bills. People are already doing this. Arrearages and defaults are climbing, and credit card debt is starting to be viewed as the next bubble to burst. But so what? If people have to use a credit card, that means they can’t really afford to buy whatever it is they think they want. If they can afford it, they should use a debit card instead.

Then tell the credit card company you cannot pay. Ask them to write off some or all of the debt, and if they want to take you to court, go on your own and defend yourself. You don’t need a lawyer, and you don’t need anyone’s permission. You also don’t need to go through the horrendous “reformed” bankruptcy system the credit card companies got Congress to pass in 2005. Failure to pay credit card debt is not, thank God, a crime in this country, and there are no debtors’ prisons—yet.

Besides, if people do not pay credit card debt, that money remains in circulation. So default is actually a form of patriotism in today’s trying circumstances.


Hmmm. Maybe cutting up credit cards and opting out of the consumer frenzy will become the 21st Century's symbol of a new form of liberation, much like burning draft cards and bras back in the '60s. Just don't torch 'em, because burning plastic is toxic, sorta like the system that worships them.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Short sighted advice by Richard Cook. If you stop paying your creditors, it's true you won't get thrown into debtor's prison, but if they get judgments against you they can garnish your income and attach your property. Also, it could destroy your ability to obtain credit in the future. Most of us can't purchase cars or houses with cash. And while credit cards are a terrible idea for carrying long term consumer debt, they are excellent to have for occasions when you experience a short term cash flow problem due, say, to an unexpected or unusual expense. Better to keep the option for yourself than to go out in a blaze of glory. It could also interfere with your ability to co-sign a loan for your kid to buy a car or go to college. And if you do need to borrow money in the future, you'll pay a lot more for it in the form of higher interest.

On balance, the gain from simply stopping payment on your credit cards is short term and short sighted. The downside, on the other hand, will last at least 7 years before the default comes off your credit rating.

Anonymous said...

1) RE "the stuff of genocide, racism, intolerance and colonialism, and it remains alive and well, as expressed in all its sordidness in the comments left on ”Driving Over the Remains.”

..."genocide, racism, intolerance and colonialism"...such descriptors are as weak and inaccurate as many of the comments from the ideological opposite end of the political spectrum.

2) not good advice RE credit cards. credit ratings matter. and more than one employer will ask if the applicant has ever declared bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

Also, if you willfully stop paying credit card debt while having the means to do so, it is a criminal offense..."theft of service". Just like sneaking out of a restaurant without paying.

Anonymous said...

"Also, if you willfully stop paying credit card debt while having the means to do so, it is a criminal offense..."theft of service".

Thats BS, along with card companies getting judgments to attach your property and wages. It's all unsecured debt, so they can't do anything. Not paying will affect your credit but that's it. they can't go after anything you own.

Anonymous said...

> I often wonder, as I read the almost hysterical comments left by some, just why it is that they’re so deeply threatened by the idea of sovereignty or independence in Hawaii, or the cultural and traditional beliefs of others. <

The anger is a cover for the fear of cultural extinction, as they see their cultural values, icons and heroes crashing in the financial markets, voted out of office, reviled abroad, lampooned on Saturday Night Live, and increasingly (and worst of all) ignored.

People who will never believe that George Bush, Sarah Palin and the government/corporate complex are expressions of a deadly toxicity in our culture can nonetheless sense there's a change in the wind, and they don't like the smell. It rouses them to rage and motivates them to blame The Other -- from flaming liberal bloggers to spewing hate on radio talk shows to fascist-like chants at conservative political rallies.

After half a millennium of Western White cultural supremacy so pervasive that it's as common as the shared air we breathe, the idea that unpedigreed brown folks could take over the plantation is terrifying.

Anonymous said...

"Thats BS, along with card companies getting judgments to attach your property and wages. It's all unsecured debt, so they can't do anything. Not paying will affect your credit but that's it. they can't go after anything you own."

If they get a judgment against you, they can garnish your wages, attach your property and generally f- you up.

Anonymous said...

Thats BS, along with card companies getting judgments to attach your property and wages. It's all unsecured debt, so they can't do anything. Not paying will affect your credit but that's it. they can't go after anything you own.

Don't be ignorant. Attaching your property to satisfy a judgment against you is totally different from repossessing property securing debt. When you purchase something on credit and the merchant retains a security interest in the property (car, furniture, etc) and you stop making payments, then the merchant can repossess the property.

By contrast, if an unsecured creditor (i.e., your credit card company) goes to court and gets a judgment against you for the amount you owe it, the creditor then has a variety of legal ways to collect from you, including garnishing your income or forcing the liquidation of your nonexempt property (called a sheriff's sale).

Anonymous said...

You can tell from the comments of Anon 4:37, that he/she is part of the "opposition culture" and is so full of self loathing that he/she has preferred to pick the "noble redskin myth" side over the self loathing "privledged white settler interloper" side they can't stand to see in the mirror.
I see the real agenda not as a peaceful coexistence advocacy. I see it as one culture becoming dominant and in power over the other.
That makes the choice easy for me since I suffer not from self loathing or guilt over what I myself did not do in 1893. I pick the side of my own culture to remain dominant and indeed even increase it's power.
When my posts are characterized as hysterical by you; it only results in smug laughter because I know that I have hit home and been anything but hysterical, and that you know it.
As long as the cultural self loathing continues and the mythical noble redskin view is applied in Hawaii, to Hawaiians, I will continue to:
mock you
disorient you
oppose you in many ways
work to undermine you
inflame others against you
expose you
and loathe you in return
signed,
The ultimately privledged, very white, very settled, Resident American on American Soil.

Anonymous said...

Yeow.

Angry Aryans, anyone?

Anonymous said...

"Thats BS, along with card companies getting judgments to attach your property and wages. It's all unsecured debt, so they can't do anything. Not paying will affect your credit but that's it. they can't go after anything you own"

wow. dude...where are you getting that information? post here much?

fair debt collection practices act (FDCPA)...get to know it, make it your friend. it would be a good place for you to start


"The anger is a cover for the fear of cultural extinction"

...funny, significant groups of muslims feel the same way

Anonymous said...

"As long as the cultural self loathing continues and the mythical noble redskin view is applied in Hawaii, to Hawaiians, I will continue to:
mock you
disorient you
oppose you in many ways
work to undermine you
inflame others against you
expose you
and loathe you in return
signed,
The ultimately privledged, very white, very settled, Resident American on American Soil."

so glad your daze are numbered and your numbers are dwindling w/each successive generation that embraces a new way of relating. as jim morrison once sang,'your ballroom daze are over'. glad that time is on our side. a hui hou friend, malama pono!

Anonymous said...

I will continue to:
mock you-Please, don't do that!
disorient you-I'm dizzy!
oppose you in many ways-Can't take it, stop!
work to undermine you-my footing, it's unstable!
inflame others against you-Not my mom!
expose you-You pervert, enough!
and loathe you in return-Come on people now, smile on your brother, give peace a chance, Jesus wouldn't loathe me.

Signed, your poor, colored, underprivileged, unsettled illegal immigrant living off the dole.

Katy Rose said...

All distractions aside, the inconvenient truth for all settlers who uphold and benefit from US interests in Hawai'i is that "under international law, Native Hawaiians have the right of self-determination because their nation was invaded and annexed by a colonial country, the United States" (Yoshinaga and Kosasa in "Asian Settler Colonialism," Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2008.)

Whether or not the US or we citizens of the empire recognize that, it is a fact of international law.

Self-determination means self-government, control over land base and resources, and so forth. Native Hawaiians have been systematically prevented from exercising basic self-determination by the United States.

The question of whether or not the balance of power can be shifted in order to bring this into fruition is one we must all claim a stake in.

Those of us who support justice for the Hawaiian nation should base our activities in a strong political and strategic analysis; in particular we should keep in mind that it is not up to us non-Native allies to guide the struggles of Native peoples. Our role as allies is specific.

I would argue that endless round-robins with internet trolls is no more than a tragic dereliction of our duties to effectively support the restoration of Hawai'i to its people.

Anonymous said...

But many, possibly the majority, do not want it restored.

And international law in this case is powerless.

Anonymous said...

"As long as the cultural self loathing continues and the mythical noble redskin view is applied in Hawaii, to Hawaiians, I will continue to:
mock you
disorient you
oppose you in many ways
work to undermine you
inflame others against you
expose you
and loathe you in return
signed,
The ultimately privledged, very white, very settled, Resident American on American Soil."

CIA, FBI or KKK?

Anonymous said...

"under international law"

--nafta, gatt, wto, warsaw convention? pls cite the binding intl law (the one a pres and cong signed off on)

MauiBrad said...

"Hmmm. Maybe cutting up credit cards and opting out of the consumer frenzy will become the 21st Century's symbol of a new form of liberation..."

Yep.

Aloha, Brad

Anonymous said...

If by cutting up and opting out means paying them off and stopping using them, I'd agree. I would not agree with simply electing not to pay outstanding debt, which is illegal.

It seems a forgotten art to live within one's means.

We use credit, but pay the bill in full every month. The cards become merely a no-cost convenience.

Since the avg card debt is over $9K, usually for non-necessary items, people are doing this harm to themselves.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

For $2000 I'll sell you a bond that says you don't have to pay your credit card bills any more.

Joan said...

Anon. 9:39 -- You were deleted because of a personal attack on Katy.

No personal attacks.

nunya said...

"As long as the cultural self loathing continues and the mythical noble redskin view is applied in Hawaii, to Hawaiians, I will continue to:
mock you
disorient you
oppose you in many ways
work to undermine you
inflame others against you
expose you
and loathe you in return
signed,
The ultimately privledged, very white, very settled, Resident American on American Soil."

CIA, FBI or KKK?

December 3, 2008 12:15 PM


There is no way that individual (with his 8th grade education) is CIA or FBI. I believe CIA & FBI act under orders of the administration they serve or the current foreign affairs directives. And at least they are educated and trained.

As far as him being KKK, very possible. And, in the majority of cases here or elsewhere, probably is a poorly educated, untraveled caucasian subjected to generational indoctrination. Something like Bush.

Even coming from their destitute or poor white roots, they believe that just being white is superior over a person of color, even a person of color with royal lineage. Thus the term ʻwhite supremacist. ONLY qualifications to belong to this club are skin color and hatred of other skin colors.

Supreme Court hearing ceded lands case starting today...so a lot of tension in the air and on the blogs.

nunya said...

Iʻd like to correct my last post:
In no way do I think being poor and/or white in itself warrants criticism as that was a hasty generalization; but in most instances of hate crimes, usually perpetrated by KKK mindsets, it is that class that are members and they have been manipulated by their higher ups with power and money, such as the Bush family or Hitler.

I did not mean to insinuate that race/poverty are crimes in and of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Supreme Court hearing ceded lands case starting today...

No it's not.

Anonymous said...

cia is intl

fbi is domestic (save for a couple/few very new intl field offices)

-- pls shoot for accurate commentary and information, its more interesting

thanks,
December 2, 2008 2:01 PM
December 2, 2008 10:32 PM
December 3, 2008 1:31 PM (any takers to my Q?)

nunya said...

"And international law in this case is powerless."

December 3, 2008 10:09 AM

Where do you get your info from?

Anonymous said...

I got it from the history of the USA bending to any international decision or recommendation contrary to what the USA wants to do.

Might makes right. It may not be just, but it is the operative system of things.

I always go with what works.

Anonymous said...

"And international law in this case is powerless."

December 3, 2008 10:09 AM

Where do you get your info from?"

..ok, not my post, but let me posit an answer: the information comes from the fact that for an "international law" (however vaguely defined at the moment) to have power, or authority, or legitimacy in the US two (2) things need to happen: it needs to be signed of on by the president and congress. if those two (2) things do not happen, then it is not binding law in any US state. so sure, one can say "hey, we should adopt this and that 'international law'" but if it has not been signed off on by those two (2) groups then it pretty much has no effect

Anonymous said...

That's correct. Submission to international law is totally voluntary for any country. Even if the pres and congress signed up, they could not submit to specific cases with no real sanctions applied...not to "big countries" anyway.

nunya said...

Maybe this will help clear up any misconceptions of international law.

The Law of Nations,
Applied to the Conduct and to the Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns.

Emer De Vattel

Anonymous said...

Um, Emer De Vattel's The Law of Nations was published in 1758.

When you say that the US is subject to international law, could you maybe at least give us a source that exists AFTER the US is formed?

nunya said...

Your answer was provided.
Maybe you just canʻt see it.

Anonymous said...

"Um, Emer De Vattel's The Law of Nations was published in 1758.

When you say that the US is subject to international law, could you maybe at least give us a source that exists AFTER the US is formed?"

- ok, that was pretty funny. my compliments

"Your answer was provided.
Maybe you just canʻt see it."

- hey, everybody has their areas where they know a thing or two. id suggest not broaching this topic again. if that is the best citation, sorry...it is not binding in the least. but it is certainly an influential work, upon which many subsequent agreements were based. does it provide a "cause of action?" nope. could it be rightfully used in a footnote in a legal brief? sure (heck even cites to the magma carta pop up here and there...but if you cite the magma carta as your primary basis for relief/recovery in some fed court, you should expect some snickering - and a dismissal of your case)

Anonymous said...

Like I said: "Your answer was provided. Maybe you just canʻt see it."

Sorry but nobodyʻs going to read the book FOR you. You have to do that by yourself and it takes a little longer than googling for insta answers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but nobodyʻs going to read the book FOR you. You have to do that by yourself

That's the weakest thing I ever heard. Sorry, but nobody's going to make your arguments for you.

Anonymous said...

"magma carta" ....ha, i meant "magna" of course

but im still dying to hear more about the "intl law" arguments

Anonymous said...

Nunya, the only one's impressed with your references are the ignorant you seek to manipulate

Anonymous said...

"Nunya, the only one's impressed with your references are the ignorant you seek to manipulate"

-- well i dont think its that so much (manipulation), rather just that she does not know very much

Anonymous said...

Wasnt the Magma Carta the document establishing worship to Pele?

Anonymous said...

"Wasnt the Magma Carta the document establishing worship to Pele?"

--- oh nice one!!