Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Musings: True Believers

The sky was thick with stars, two of them falling, when Koko and I went walking this morning, my eyes trained upwards, feet left to find their own way along the street. Makalii was preparing to set, the Big Dipper dominated the north and Triangle pointed the way to Waialeale, invisible in the darkness.

And then the Giant was outlined in orange and all the blackness and stars drained from the sky, save for Orion’s bright belt, and then it was gone, too, and Lihue began to glow pink and all the mountains appeared, with each and every notch, nook and cranny exposed and ready to absorb the rosy hue of the rising sun.

Just about then I ran into my neighbor Andy, which got Koko squealing, and as we walked we discussed paddling and dentistry and global warming. I told Andy that I’d shared his solution to the world’s ills — develop a pathogen that kills all true believers — with one of the climate change conference scientists, who found it greatly amusing.

“Look at it this way,” I said. “It would force people to engage in deep self-examination to determine if they were, indeed, prepared to die for their beliefs.”

As opposed to, say, killing others for your beliefs, which, when you think about it, is pretty much what’s happening in regard to climate change and modern life. We believe we’ve got to have tons of stuff and unequivocal convenience, even if it means eliminating scores of other species and making the earth uninhabitable for legions of our own.

I was thinking about that yesterday as I drove through an agricultural subdivision dominated by vacation rentals, nearly all of which stood empty, and thought, OK, so we’ve sacrificed our ag land to the vagaries of tourism, and where has that gotten us?

Then I was waiting behind a car with a bumper sticker that read: “Quit bitching. Start a revolution.” And it appealed to me until I looked closer and saw the little trademark sign and thought, how revolutionary can an idea be if it’s trademarked? Besides, people get hung up on the idea that they have to start a revolution when really, it’s about just live a revolution, because it all starts with us, and the choices we make each day.

Meanwhile, two miles above sea level, atop Mauna Kea, record levels of carbon dioxide have been recorded — levels that match scientists’ worst case scenarios for global climate change, according to an Associated Press article.

Stephen Schneider, a Stanford University climatologist, said the world faces a huge risk.

"I think meters of sea-level rise are virtually inevitable, unless we can stop this. But I'm not such an optimist," he told journalists on a fellowship program with the Honolulu-based East-West Center. "The main message is we're in risk management. We do not know the science well enough to know exactly what the temperature is at when a tipping point will occur."


The article was followed by comments from deniers quoting the right-wing Washington Times.

Seems there’s another downside to climate change. According to a report on Democracy Now! researchers published a paper predicting a 50 percent increase in civil wars in Africa for every one degree increase in global temperature. David Lobell, assistant professor at the Woods Institute at Stanford, is quoted as saying:

”Sort of a rough calculation is that about 400,000 people, additional, would die because of the climate change increase in civil war conflict.”

How convenient.

Back on Kauai, Mayor Carvalho yesterday went through the motions of meeting with “stakeholders” in the Wailua bike path issue before announcing what he’d already decided, anyway: keep the path on the sand.

So now there’s likely to be more resistance, perhaps legal action, certainly bad feelings and huhu. And I can’t help but wonder why path proponents like Thomas Noyes and Randy Blake are so wedded to their desired alignment that they’re willing to blow off Hawaiians’ cultural concerns and piss off a lot of folks in the process.

To make matters worse, they came out with this statement:

“Our board members expressed appreciation for the mayor’s diligence in bringing all concerned parties to the table, and moving forward with respect on this sensitive matter.”

Exactly how does doing something that one group finds totally disrespectful become “moving forward with respect?”

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I told Andy that I’d shared his solution to the world’s ills — develop a pathogen that kills all true believers — with one of the climate change conference scientists, who found it greatly amusing."

-- great link. compelling mass movement thesis. thanks


"right-wing Washington Times."

-- owned by the moonies....i kid not. sun myung moon's cult. total freaks


"[...]more resistance, perhaps legal action[...]willing to blow off Hawaiians’ cultural concerns and piss off a lot of folks in the process."

-- whatever. watch it be successful and as well liked and used as the existing sections


dwps

Anonymous said...

1. Go to school and get a degree
2. Start working at the bottom in your field
3. Learn what you are talking about
4. Work for a few years and get promoted to a position of power.
5. then YOU will be making the important decisions.

So easy to complain about how everyone in power is doing everything wrong

So hard to get ones self into a position to change things.

Anonymous said...

“Kaua‘i Path endorses the alignment of Ke Ala Hele Makalae in Wailua Beach Park as specified in the environmental assessment that was completed in 2007,” Kaua‘i Path Secretary Thomas Noyes and Vice President Randy Blake said in a prepared statement Monday evening. “Our board members expressed appreciation for the mayor’s diligence in bringing all concerned parties to the table, and moving forward with respect on this sensitive matter.”

They appreciate the Mayor moving forward because they don't give a shit about local values and the host culture. They are selfish people with selfish goals. I'm very surprised that Bernard fell for their bullshit.

Anonymous said...

kahakai wrote on Nov 24, 2009 9:16 AM:

"Has anyone seen a highway being constructed? What part of that area do you think has not already been disturbed when the highway originally went in or when the cane haul bridge was installed?"

Anonymous said...

Mayor's committee made some interesting arguments that there are no Hawaiian sites, per se, on the beach, but if they go behind Coco Palms, they will hit many Hawaiian sites. So, what makes more sense? If there are no hawaiian sites on the beach, is it still sacred? Is the sand itself sacred or ? Just trying to learn, pardon the neophyte questions... t thank you

Anonymous said...

Human habitability is greatly overrated. This planet will be better off when mankind is no longer around.

L Gerlingburg said...

How convenient that the Mayor chooses to play dumb about what is proper and pono in this issue. Wailuanuiaho`ano translates as, "The Great Sacred Wailua." Hello! It is sad, in fact pitiful that he has turned his back on his own people, heritage and ancestors. Even if someone of his position may not know for himself because he lacks the wisdom and knowledge of his Hawaiian ancestors, there are masters and experts right here on our own island that he/they could've easily consulted for advice and balance. Guess who the experts are that are advising him? Non-Hawaiian archealogists, planners, attorneys - most who live on O`ahu...and proponents for constructing the path on the beach. I observed the Mayor appear at the vigil on 11/13, decked out with his lei as if he was going to a lu`au. No ho`okupu, no kihei, no nothing. A coconut is he!

For a haole who appreciates and loves the host culture, its traditions and values on Kaua`i, I can attest that it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to learn how to respect and perpetuate the things that are most special and yes, sacred to this island. Afterall, it is the host people, culture and history that made me want to come back and live here.

L. Gerlinburg

Anonymous said...

folks forget or don't care that the continued assault of development is culimative and another example of the cultural genocide that takes place daily. the host culture can only take so much. it is no surprise that mayor BC caved into another haole special interest group. but the bike path folks are special and have organized well over the years and have become a political force of sorts. too bad tim and bernard have become spineless in their old age

Anonymous said...

Healthy boundaries and respect are essential, and most important between one human and another. That is where the true sacred aspect of our Divine Nature exists.

ALL is sacred, though we see that some project more sacredness onto some parts of the world more than others.

When people stop projecting on each other via the filters of guilt and judgements, then consensualocracy* can guide us to the best decision for all.

E ola pono.

*see appendix in
The Lemurian Scrolls

Anonymous said...

"mayor BC caved into another haole special interest group."

The bike path was a local project begun by Councilman Baptise.
The mayor has heard the silent majority and they want a path...

Anonymous said...

So it would be better to construct a retaining wall along Kuamoo Rd.
Route people close to Holoholoku, the most special place in Wailua.

The path is a light footprint compared to the undergrounding of the electric lines along Kuhio Hwy.
Keep the infrastructure within the corridor...

Anonymous said...

Why is this not an opportunity to provide education about the sacredness of the area - anyone seen the signage at the Place of Refuge lately - - - put up some fantastic informational cultural interpretive signage along the path.

Preserve your heritage, stop whining about how it was desecrated (back when the highway and cane haul bridge were installed along with the underground utilities - because that's when the desecration really occurred).

Anonymous said...

put up some fantastic informational cultural interpretive signage along the path

That was already in the works. The selfish people have been working on that as well.

Anonymous said...

"The selfish people have been working on that as well. "

spare us your sanctimony

Anonymous said...

from the kauai blog -straight from the heart-by mel rapozo:

I heard some disturbing news today. I heard that Mayor Carvalho has decided to move forward with the plan to construct the bike/pedestrian path along the Wailua Beach. This is disturbing because Wailua Beach is a sacred Hawaiian burial ground. This is not a disputed fact. This is common knowledge. It seems quite unreasonable to move forward. I am anxious to hear his reasons for taking this course.

The route through Wailua Beach is simply disrespectful. Many people may not see the cultural significance of this issue, but I believe that the majority of Kauai residents do. Kauai is different. We are unique. I could go on and on about how we differ from the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, but I won't. If you don't know that by now, something is definitely wrong.

Being different is not a bad thing. We have survived many disasters because we are different. We have maintained a somewhat traditional lifestyle because we are different. We continue to enjoy many cultural traditions because we are different. For this, we should be thankful. For this, we should be grateful. For this, we should display the ultimate show of respect to the host culture. We owe this to the ancestors of this very unique place.

Many native Hawaiians have spoken out. Many non-Hawaiians have spoken out. Our leaders have not listened. For those that continue the push to desecrate the Hawaiian burial grounds at Wailua Beach, shame on you. We are only temporary visitors of this sacred place called Kauai. We are only passing by. While we are here, we must honor the host culture. We must respect the past and the present. We must not allow our personal agendas to get in the way of this wonderful culture. The Hawaiian culture is so very special. Please honor them. Please do not disturb those that have left us. Building a recreational path over known, sacred burial grounds is unacceptable. It is not pono. It is disrespectful. It is NOT the Kauai way.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. no one will answer the question thrown out there earlier: Are there sacred Hawaiian sites on the beach? What are they? Is it the sand? The air? What?

If the kanaka want to be taken seriously, they should bring some actual evidence to the table. I would tend to believe them if they had some evidence, something concrete, tangible, etc. Please try!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the mayor for requiring a sane thought process to guide our continuing evoultion as a community.
Tring to understand the hystrical logic (See below)that is being used as an argument against the path is to much to bear.

From the GI, Letters...

" Further, since the gigantic recent storm, the Wailua Beach area is a total mess with large trees and branches strewn over the entire area, especially at the mouth of the river. Common sense tells anyone that these projectiles swept into a plastic bike path, will cause it to snap apart, slamming into endangered monk seals and turtles. According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, “The Wailua beach area along with its sacred designation truly warrants the preservation of the open space there, now unencumbered by manmade structures, no matter how seemingly ephemeral.” Strangely, in the rush to build bike paths, an archeological inventory of sacred sites requiring protection has been precluded.

Historical records show that Wailua Beach and neighboring areas contain a multitude of ancient graves and other sacred archeological places. If these revered areas are swallowed up by bike path construction, Kaua‘i will have lost forever its rich base of cultural and religious practices amounting to another genocidal dagger in the heart of Hawaiian culture."
From the GI 11-25-09

L Gerlinburg said...

In response to anonymous: "Thanks to the mayor for requiring a sane thought process to guide our continuing evoultion as a ommunity.
Tring to understand the hystrical logic (See below)that is being used as an argument against the path is to much to bear."

There is nothing sane about the Mayor's decision. He is uninformed and disconnected from his own culture and knowledge of Wailua's traditional places.

"...Our continuing evolution as a community" - That mindset is evident in the overdevelopment of our coastal areas throughout the island with multi-million dollar vacation rentals and homes, timeshares and resorts, gated communities, etc. that have edged out the native Hawaiian people from their birth sands.

All that is being asked for is to NOT construct the path on the beach! The ma uka alternate route along the drainage canal already has an existing road. At least there is that option.

Or perhaps, maybe this stretch of the bike path should be eliminated period.

Casey said...

I think this path must be welcome by everyone to be a true success. Judging from how people use other parts of the path, that may come in time. However, it may not make it that far if the path proponents do not convince the Hawaiian community.

Is there some way other than altering the location to give something to the Hawaiian community? Cultural signage is a start. What else can be done?

Lehua said...

"Cultural" signage is already part of the bike path plan as part of the mitigation measures that have been implemented. Mitigate in an intransitive verb meaning: to lessen or minimize the severity of one's losses or damage.

Joan's blog today speaks loud and clear to the continued oppresion of the native Hawaiian people. Signage cannot even come close to correcting the wrongs of the past and the wrongs that are continuing to this day.

So you ask about giving something to the Hawaiian community? What about simply respecting the cultural beliefs and traditions instead of trying to add insult to injury? Signs in exchange of thousands of years of mana? I think not.

Anonymous said...

""Cultural" signage is already part of the bike path plan as part of the mitigation measures"

"as part of the mitigation measures"

Not correct. "As part" of it simply making sense to do so, and as can be found on like pathways across the country and around the world. It was not part of some sort of penance.

Anonymous said...

Oh give me a break Lehua, did anyone say that signage was "...correcting the wrongs of the past and the wrongs that are continuing to this day." Not even close.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a bit of a double standard to disrespect the beliefs of Christians in the same post that you advocate not disrespecting the beliefs of those considering Wailua to be sacred?

Anonymous said...

REPLY TO: Oh give me a break Lehua, did anyone say that signage was "...correcting the wrongs of the past and the wrongs that are continuing to this day." Not even close.

Read again, that was not was said. The previous post said, "Is there some way other than altering the location to give something to the Hawaiian community? Cultural signage is a start. What else can be done?"

To me, this translates as: Perhaps we can convince the Hawaiian community to allow us to keep the path on the beach by giving them cultural signage for starters.

Mahalo Lehua, point taken.

GLM

Anonymous said...

obviously the Hawaiians themselves are split on the idea of the path. Of course Joan and other path opposers side up with the (probably minority of) Hawaiians who claim that a path somehow (how?) offends their culture.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing sane about the Mayor's decision. He is uninformed and disconnected from his own culture

Of course any Hawaiian who disagrees with you must be "uninformed and disconnected from his own culture." Give us a break. Maybe YOU are the one who is uninformed and disconnected from your own culture. Maybe you and your Hawaiianess are being used by cynical haoles to lend support to their political opposition to the path.

Anonymous said...

Way to let your reasoning follow your bias GLM. You have the makings of a fine FOX NEWS "journalist."

Anonymous said...

One more time, how does the path desecrate more than the highway?

I've missed how letting people walk, on a path, near the shoreline is desecration.

Anonymous said...

"The Lemurian Scrolls"


Lemuria (pronounced /lɨˈmjʊəriə/)[1] is the name of a hypothetical "lost land" variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The concept's 19th century origins lie in attempts to account for discontinuities in biogeography -- however, the scientific concept of Lemuria has been rendered obsolete by modern understanding of plate tectonics. Although sunken continents do exist — like Zealandia in the Pacific and the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean — there is no known geological formation under the Indian or Pacific Oceans that corresponds to the hypothetical Lemuria.

Though Lemuria is no longer considered a valid scientific hypothesis, it has been adopted by writers involved in the occult, as well as some Tamil writers of India. Accounts of Lemuria differ, but all share a common belief that a continent existed in ancient times and sank beneath the ocean as a result of a geological, often cataclysmic, change. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

---------

Another wingnut

Anonymous said...

I believe the Wailua area to be a wonderful, culturally rich area full of history. I believe it should be treated with respect. That being said today this area is full of modern day activities including surfing lessons and beach volleyball. The "sacred sands" are currently a parking lot with trucks, cars and motor cycles cruising over the place where the proposed bike path is supposed to be. How is having a path for walking/pedestrian or bike traffic disrespectful when the other activities in their current form are taking place in this area every day? Drinking, bon fires, day camps whatever....all modern day and all not sacred or respectful when looking at your definition. What is the difference?
The issue for me is that if a place is open for public use and any of the above mentioned activities are allowed, today's laws must protect and include all persons. Visitors and locals of all ages and physical well being should be able to take advantage of the open space. It is not right that there is no safe place to walk for a mother with a stoller or elderly person in a wheel chair.
As we move forward, we must consider those things as well.
If one agrees that the sacred sands of Wailua are to be protected then laws should be passed banning all the parking, partying, surf lessons and whatever else recreational in nature should cease immediately.

Anonymous said...

If one agrees that the sacred sands of Wailua are to be protected then laws should be passed banning all the parking, partying, surf lessons and whatever else recreational in nature should cease immediately.

Rather than scoff at native Hawaiian kupuna and cultural practitioners who revere the sands of Wailua and elsewhere sacred because they are known burial sites of their ancestors, point the finger at the politicians and county and state officials who approve all kinds of things without proper community imput and consideration to the host culture. Wailua is reputed as one of the most sacred land divisions in all of Hawai`i. The high number of heiau, the stories, the royal birthplace of chiefs, and many documented records of its importance. Don't hold the native Hawaiian kupuna and cultural practitioners responsible for others' bad behaviors and offensive actions. We do not condone negative activities such as those you mention WITH or WITHOUT a path on the beach! I'm not asking for people to stay off the beach. I just cannot stand the thought of a 2ft wide auger drilling 8ft down and hitting the iwi kupuna. The State Historic Preservation Division and the procedures that are followed by County and State officials are insensitive, inappropriate and unhelpful in protecting the ancient burial sites of Hawaiian ancestors. We know they're there.

Anonymous said...

Visitors and locals of all ages and physical well being should be able to take advantage of the open space. It is not right that there is no safe place to walk for a mother with a stoller or elderly person in a wheel chair.
Funny, Do you really think putting a path too far seaward makes a safe place for the elderly? Safe?? Did you see all the logs there?Disabled people cannot run fast to get out of harms way...safe, the proposed boardwalk is made of plastic trex, and will be slippery, moldy, or need to be scrubbed and bleached on a regular basis, Wailua's high rainfall makes plastic a poor choice , and concrete in the end will be busted up, littered in the ocean
ADA laws come into play when new construction occurs.There is no ADA requirement until you propose to construct something new. A disabled person can get to the beach in Wailua, so don't blame the need for this path on the ADA. Why would you put them at risk? Are you using that as a lame excuse? Keep construction and development off our beaches.

Anonymous said...

So many wrong assumptions in the last comment simply delete.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you and your Hawaiianess are being used by cynical haoles to lend support to their political opposition to the path.
wrong, many, probably most of the haoles are actually in favor of a bikepath, just not one that desecrates, not one friggin stupidly planned to be on the beach. Development and the beach do not go together. . Move the path and you will find support for this part of the bikepath too.
Strange the mayor is digging his heels into this, bad decision.
he actually could have shown leadership skills. We'll still hope he comes to a better decision.

Anonymous said...

Nice tactic Mayor, schedule a hearing on the subject, but first announce you have made up your mind to build the path on the beach.
Even if that was your decision, it would of been polite to wait until after the hearing. Still no archaeology inventory survey done or required by the state, incredible . Now some of you supporters are writing for us to 'prove it ", if the state was doing its job correctly, an AIS would have been required.

Anonymous said...

Don't re elect Tim Bynam