Monday, October 21, 2013

Musings: Monday Mulling

White feathers fan from a scarlet sphere and are themselves caught up in the flush of rosy pink that reaches out and touches Makaleha, Waialeale, Nounou, all beautifully clear on this cool October day.

What was it Council Chair Jay Furfaro said in the midst of the uproar at last week's Council meeting on Bill 2491? Oh yes: 

Even our worst day on Kauai is better than anywhere else.

He also said this, as quoted in today's edition of The Garden Island:

But operational costs related to the visitor industry are $10 million beyond what the council receives from the TAT, he said. And then there are monies spent on capital improvement projects which also address visitors.

In other words, the county is subsidizing tourism to the tune of more than $10 million per year. And that's not even counting wear and tear on roads and parks, and the need for more water, sewage treatment and landfill capacity to serve them.

Or in other, other words, property owners on Kauai are helping to support businesses that could not survive without tourism. Why do these "businesses of aloha" (as if there can be such a thing) get a handout when others get nothing?

What if we used that $10 million to support programs that directly benefitted our own citizens? What if we really took a close look at whether the continued expansion of tourism actually does make good economic sense?

Here's something else to mull on a Monday, from Peruvian shaman don Oscar Miro-Quesada:

Consciousness begets matter, language begets reality and ritual begets relationships.

And finally, what if, as scholar Joseph Atwill argues, Jesus was invented by the Romans as a form of psychological warfare?

When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system.”

“That's when the 'peaceful' Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to 'give onto Caesar' and pay their taxes to Rome,” the scholar further details. 

The scholar says he does not expect that his theory, that the story of Jesus is merely a product of some people's imagination, will cause Christianity to crash and burn. 

However, he stresses that, “this is very important for out culture” and that “Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods.”

Or as John Lennon would say:

Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too.....


Anonymous said...

"What if we really took a close look at whether the continued expansion of tourism actually does make good economic sense?"

Decades old studies have taken a close look. Sadly, money in the pocket usually beats a long term perspective.

Andy Parx said...

True or not, the premise of "Jewish missionary activity" is an oxymoron. I don't know if there was some kind of anomaly at the time but Jews are not evangelical- they don't seek "converts"- it's basic to their tenets.

Anonymous said...

Jesus is real and he HATES Obama care! :)

Anonymous said...

"UH scientist's study sees much higher temperatures in 30 years

By Seth Borenstein

AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot -- permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043.

And eventually the whole world in 2047.

A new study on global warming pinpoints the probable dates for when cities and ecosystems around the world will regularly experience hotter environments the likes of which they have never seen before."

We just gotta wait 'em out. The tourists will stop coming when it's hotter than hell. We'll all be toast as well, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. Ironic that the jets that bring the tourists here will eventually be a part of the "solution" that stops them from coming. How's your carbon footprint?

Anonymous said...

Atwill proves Aquinas quote "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." Turning the other cheek has been part of many beliefs pre-Roman.
The State may begrudgingly give a couple more shekels from the TAT, but the State has always maintained that the outer islands cost more than they bring in. The contribution of tourism is mind-boggling, it is in virtually every aspect of life on Kauai. There is one rising segment of Kauai which does not rely on Tourism and that is the retirees, of whom many have the "I am here now, this is paradise, raise the drawbridge." even though they themselves came to Kauai as tourists. If tourism dies or is taxed out of existence, all you have to do is look at other island communities and see the mind boggling poverty, crime and disease. There are more tips swept off the tables in a week than all of the income from ag in a year.
A real issue is HOUSING for the locals. The last subdivision on the eastside affordable to locals was Waialeale Estates, about 25 years ago. Kids need houses too.
Kauai needs money, the State needs money (Rail system) we all need dough, but until government stops spending approx 70 to 80 percent (and more) of what they bring in purely for government employee wages and benefits, it will be a never ending story..20 to 30 percent for debt service and actual improvements....and always the Big Ag Condos get approved over and over again and again, and the local kid lives with his family, no house of his own.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for moderating Joan.

Now maybe we can keep comments to a constructive nature, if there is such a thing.

The only thing that will keep us from suffering a long, slow, painful death would be to turn government totally upsidedown and start over.

We'll see if that ever happens.