The moon has been the source of so much pleasure lately, from watching it rise big and orange through the clouds to seeing it slip, pale yellow, behind Waialeale. Last night I awoke to find it staring at me through the skylight, so Koko and I went out to take a broader look and found shiny Jupiter holding its own in a 4 a.m. sky made day-like by the moonlight.
One of the best things about having a dog is the way they tell you things you really need to know. Like the other day, I was off from my regular job, which meant time to work on writing assignments, but my heart wasn’t in it, so I was restless and edgy, as was Koko, and when I finally posed the question — should we go beach? — and she responded with the tail-thrashing, wild, crazy, spin-dance of yes, well, I knew it was advice that should be heeded.
I was reading an online piece by Time magazine that reported, as if it were new news, that Native Hawaiians are at greater risk than whites of dying early. While they don’t know for sure why, the study’s authors speculate that high obesity rates, diabetes, mental illness, substance abuse and poor pre-natal care may be factors.
Yet more evidence of the ongoing genocide that stems directly from colonization and the imposition of a Western diet, values and culture. And I got to thinking, what would it take to distribute fish and poi to Hawaiians through the food pantries?
In response to my last post, several people in comments offered their thoughts on what separates humans from animals, aside from time and money. In thinking about it further, it seems one of the primary differences is that we’ve lost our ability to survive in self-contained habitats. A kolea stakes out a patch of grass that’s big enough to provide the food it needs, and it stays there, minding its own business unless another bird intrudes on its territory (or it gets developed).
We, on the other hand, wage wars for oil that we can burn to bring us grapes from Chile and vacuum cleaners from China, destroying other humans, animals and quite possibly the environmental conditions that allow us to survive on Earth in the process.
Ran into my neighbor Andy while walking this morning and we got to talking about the elections. He said he remains supportive of JoAnn Yukimura because she’s done so much for Kauai, particularly on environmental issues. “At least she got people thinking about the issue of development,” he said. “Before it was never even questioned, and now it’s at least made an impression on all the other candidates.”
“Yeah, remember when Ron re-branded himself as the “green” candidate?” I asked, pointing to a green Kouchi for senate sign. “Now they all talk about keeping Kauai Kauai and balancing growth with progress, whatever any of that means. They’ve all jumped on the slow-growth bandwagon, at least rhetorically.”
“And if you say something enough times, people start to believe it,” Andy noted.
So what are we to think of Duke Aiona, based on the glossy, eight-page brochure that arrived in my mailbox this week? Titled “Rise & Shine Hawaii,” it pushed for alternative energy, support for small businesses and education reform — all issues with broad appeal.
Still, a few things jumped out at me. One was his assertion that “it starts with keeping our families safe.” Huh? The other was his pledge to “foster a business friendly environment.” It's easy to crack that code. And under the heading of “protect the beauty of our land and natural resources,” well, there weren’t actually any references to any sort of protection.
But what got me most was the very first quote attributed to him, a sentence that doesn’t make any sense:
”I’ve learned as a judge, even as an advocate, as an attorney, whether I advocated for or against a particular issue, is to be as impartial and objective as I can be...to listen and then make a decision.”
Of course, it does lend credence to his argument that the DOE needs to be upgraded…..