I had the pleasure yesterday of visiting Limahuli, a journey that took me through some of the most beautiful scenery on Kauai, which is saying a lot, on a lovely day with sunshine and brief rains and aqua-colored water with a nice little swell.
Yet even as I passed dramatic mountain ranges and dropped into verdant valleys, skirted taro fields and crossed rivers and streams, drove narrow roads that hugged the coast, I couldn’t help but feel that I was traveling through a corridor of death.
Why? Because the entire route had been sprayed with herbicides, leaving a swath of dead, brown vegetation on both sides of the road. When is the state going to end this barbaric practice? Not only is it harmful to all life, it looks like hell, which just doesn’t make sense when tourists are spending large to come and look at our pretty scenery.
The practice seemed all the more ludicrous following my interview at Limahuli with garden director Kawika Winter, who was telling me about the garden’s ahupua`a project, which is built around the ancient understanding that the land, the people and the sea are all inter-related and connected.
As I drove home, I recalled Kawika's words and thought, yes, and we wonder why the reefs are trashed when we habitually spray poison on the land, right up to the edge of the Hanalei River, and along all the guardrails of the bridges that cross numerous streams.
There’s so much in Hawaii’s past that could help us solve today’s problems. I only hope we start to tap into it before it’s too late.
Heard on Free Speech Radio news yesterday that the Bush Administration has begun tapping the military
to patrol U.S. streets. In what was the creepiest and most alarming news I’d heard in a while, the report stated:
Beginning today, October 1st, a U.S. military brigade will start its first permanent domestic tour of duty. The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will be employed by the US Northern Command to patrol US streets and provide security for convoys during man-made or natural disasters.
The report goes on to state that several U.S. cities have been subjected to “urban guerilla training exercises” in recent months, including one in downtown Portland (of all places) where the mayor granted the military permission to conduct exercises on downtown streets, including one that involved live ammunition.
The troops — fresh from active duty in Iraq — are under the Northern Command, which was created by Bush in 2002 to “defend the homeland in times in terror.” And while Title 10 of the U.S. code prohibits the military from making arrests or carrying out policing activities except in times of national emergencies, it seems a “national emergency” has been in effect since just after 9-11 — and renewed each year by Bush.
According to the broadcast, the idea of using military troops in domestic situations actually dates back to 1999, two years before the World Trade Center went down, when a Department of Defense report called for developing “an offensive and defensive domestic military plan” in which it takes the lead.
Although civil liberties groups have objected, the military’s response is that it’s not their concern to consider the constitutional issues involved in these activities. They’re “just following orders.”
A Portland resident, however, said it seems like “another creeping step toward facism," and I must say, I agree.