Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Musings: Disturbing

You don’t have to get up very early to see the stars at this day-dwindling, night-lengthening time of the year, and there were plenty to be viewed when Koko and I went out walking this morning. A patchwork of clouds made it hard to discern some of the constellations, which, like incomplete jigsaw puzzles, were missing pieces, but there was no mistaking the twinkling light of Venus in the east.

And there’s no mistaking that the holiday season is now upon us. It’s the time of the year when Americans are urged to consume, consume, consume, be it stuff, food, sports or alcohol, so for more than a week the mainstream media have been carrying “news” stories about all the huge sales planned for “Black Friday,” even though it’s not yet even Thanksgiving. As a result of all this pump priming, a phone survey shows that 49 percent of all Americans plan to shop that day, up from 40 percent last year.

“It’ll be a madhouse, like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” [C. Britt Beemer, founder of America’s Research Group] said.

Oh, joy. To the world, of course….

Meanwhile, the number of Americans seeking emergency food aid more than doubled between 2007 and 2009, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, and the number of households experiencing food insecurity is at its highest since statistics were first kept in 1995. And that’s despite getting more folks on SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

That disturbing story got little mainstream media coverage in the U.S. — I picked it up from Democracy Now! and Times of India — because we like to pretend that hunger is something that happens in Third World nations.

I’ve seen the shortages at the Food Bank, where every month our food pantry’s allotment of the free staples provided by USDA shrinks a little more, even though the number of folks coming in for food steadily expands. In fact, it doubled in just the last month.

“What do you think’s gonna happen when people can't get food?” I asked a friend, after telling him that even the government can't kick down enough food to meet demand.

“Revolution,” he said.

Yeah, this is America, damn it. We’ve got a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of Happy Meals. Besides, haven’t you heard? The recession is over so get out there and shop.

If you keep telling people stuff long enough, they believe it — until something smacks them into reality. Or not. Like the way we kept hearing “there are no burials at Wailua” from the folks who want to jam The Path, a wider road and a bigger bridge through there without doing a full archaeological inventory. Until the state ran into some burials while fixing the bathrooms by the river in Wailua State Park.

The state also disturbed burials at Kalalau and other locales in Napali Coast State Wilderness Park while doing work in there.

But since those burials were discovered “inadvertently,” the state decides what to do with them and the Kauai-Niihau Island Burial Council just gets an update at its meeting tomorrow. Yes, that's how the system has been working under the Lingle Administration. You avoid doing an archaeological survey, so when you run into the burials, you don't have to bother with those pesky Burial Council consultations.

It's bad enough when private developers pull that stunt, but the state really has no excuse for disturbing burials. Other than it just doesn't give a rip about preserving and protecting the Hawaiian culture.

For some strange reason, the Burial Council agenda is not posted on the State Historic Preservation Division website, even though agendas for other island meetings are.

But thanks to the professional services generously donated by Roger of DataSpace Industries, I am now able to post PDF documents, like the Burial Council agenda.

Mahalo nui, Roger, for helping me to make primary documents more available to my readers.


Anonymous said...

Mahalo Joan for your great blog!

See the link below. Shocking that 81 percent of stocks owned by 1% of people. 61% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The bottom 50% of income earners own less than 1% of of the nation's wealth. 40 million Americans on food stamps.


Anonymous said...

You are confusing the burials at Wailua State Park versus the bike path. Everyone knows there are burials at the park and through Coco Palms. There are not burials near the original path because it was too close to the beach. Burials in the area occur more inland. Call it micro-zones where there's a greater chance of burials than others.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo no au (I indeed appreciate) your mana'o on these important issues as well as providing valuable links that you do. Is this info about burials found provided to the general public elsewhere say by TGI? How are lineal descendants informed?

Democracy Now is a great alternative news program. I must have missed that segment. The whole Black Friday deal is a retail scam to get consumers in the store. The complete takeover of Christmas by retailers detract from the reason for the season in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Well you need to go back and check the paper work. For Wailua river State Park, State Parks did an Inventory Survey, data recovery, a burial treatment plan and a monitoring plan.
All the steps required.
So please do a little more research before pointing fingers!!!

Anonymous said...

If they did survey and BTP, how did they end up with inadvertent discoveries? Was the survey done too shallow?

Anonymous said...

"There are not burials near the original path because it was too close to the beach. Burials in the area occur more inland. "

Youhave no proof of that.

Anonymous said...

"There are not burials near the original path because it was too close to the beach. Burials in the area occur more inland. "

Youhave no proof of that.

Is that the standard? If you can't prove there aren't burials, then you can't build. How convenient for the anti-development crowd.

Anonymous said...

Youhave no proof of that.

November 16, 2010 11:40 AM

actually - just check the historical aerial photographs - it is clear to even the dense mindset - a picture is worth a thousand words - - check the 1927, 1950's, 1960's and, of course after the tsunamis that can be seen here, along with other good, FACTUAL, information...


Anonymous said...

"How are lineal descendants informed?"

do you think that there is a law requiring this?

cute! try reading HRS 6E

not unless it is a court order - which did occur for one particular area and the lady failed after an appropriate amount of time to produce lineal descedants.

Anonymous said...

Joan, for the life of me I can't figure out why some people who obviously disagree with you choose to come here and disparage you and your supporters in an effort to push forth their own agendas? And with such hostility while under the cover of anonymity. Such balls!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a good blog and I think those writing comments may be providing some accuracy/corrections if something printed was wrong. There is nothing inherently wrong in that.

The question then is: What is the purpose of the blog and should it be "accurate" like most news stories?

Dissension should be allowed if it clarified or corrects an inaccuracy. Perjorative words have no place though.

Joan Conrow said...

I just look at a lot of it as graffiti, but w/o the artistry.

I encourage people to make corrections and provide useful information, but please keep the tone civil.

Anonymous said...

"Is that the standard? If you can't prove there aren't burials, then you can't build. How convenient for the anti-development crowd."

How much development is warrented? Better to stay away from the ocean. The next hurricane will wipe out the current path anyway...the way it did the asphalt road by Poipu Kapili after Iwa. We have finite resources including open spaces and coastlines...leave it alone. Build in designated urban areas.

Most of the current development on island is benefitting few at the expense of many. The Poipu area specifically Kukui'ula is one example of building communities for the wealthy who have yet to reside here. Anti-development? No. More like smart development. Planned development. Not development for the sake of...

Anonymous said...

clarification/correction is one thing. That can be done without attacking the messenger and those who comment.

And you have to be kidding about the "accuracy" of news stories especially in our newspaper TGI. Mainstream media feed us the agenda of corporate America and government. Not necessarily the truth.

Anonymous said...

Joan did you attend the Burial Council Meeting yesterday? If so can you update us on that? Mahalo Nui!

Anonymous said...

Was the Burial Council or police notified of the child's skull found on the golf course recently?