The moon — full and eclipsing today — had long since moseyed into the mounds of black that pressed heavily on the mountains when Koko and I went walking this morning. Puddles had formed in the road and rain still dripped from the eaves as a refreshingly cool wind tugged at my tee-shirt and ruffled through Koko’s fur.
A strip of pink ran along the horizon, reminding me of last evening at the beach, where a trio of big iwa floated effortlessly into the rosy streaks of sunset as a golden moon climbed into the boughs of an ironwood tree.
Those are the images and experiences that keep me grounded, and sane, when confronted with the incessant, emerging insanities of modern life. A few recent ones come to mind, such the the study that found such previously benign activities as digging or being buried in the sand are linked to gastrointestinal ailments. It’s a bacteria thing, but whether it’s caused by sewage treatment discharges, urban runoff or other animals (yeah, blame the four-legged kind) remains unclear, or at least, unproven.
Then there’s the issue of whether Andrew J. Hall should get a $100 million bonus. In case you’re not familiar with the man and his deeds, his speculations in the energy markets helped drive up gas prices last summer, while earning Citigroup $2 billion over the past five years. Thing is, we taxpayers bailed out Citigroup to the tune of $45 billion, prompting The New York Times to express this bit of modern day angst:
Whatever the answer, the case of Mr. Hall highlights the hazards of mixing the public interest with capitalism at its most unbridled, and it raises basic questions of fairness.
It fails, unfortunately, to address the key issue: is capitalism at its most unbridled ever compatible with the public interest?
Don’t forget the rush to build the $68 million “bunker buster” — the largest conventional bomb to date and part of America’s ongoing contribution to peace on the planet. Oh, but don’t worry. We’re the good guys, remember? Besides, it’s mostly for show:
It's very possible that the Pentagon wants to send a signal to various countries, particularly Iran and North Korea, that the United States is developing a viable military option against their nuclear programs," [Kenneth Katzman, an expert on Iran at the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of CongressKatzman] said.
But he cautioned against concluding there was any specific mission in mind at this time.
Meanwhile, Obama receives some 30 death threats daily — an increase of 400 percent over his predecessors — for having the audacity to be the nation’s first African American president. Yup, ain’t nothin’ scarier than a smart, caring, charismatic and powerful black man.
And even as 1.02 billion people hover on the brink of starvation, Americans are literally eating themselves to sickness and death because of their addiction to the crap that now commonly passes as food. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the direct medical costs of obesity total about $147 billion a year — nine percent of all US medical spending — and it’s getting worse.
Much closer to home, the county is permitting oceanfront vacation rentals, and the state and county are pressing forward to build a bike path on Wailua Beach, even as other places, such as California, are rethinking development in low-lying coastal areas in anticipation of rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.
To minimize the potential damage from climate change, the report recommends that cities and counties offer incentives to encourage property owners in high-risk areas to relocate and limit future development in places that might be affected by flooding, coastal erosion and sea level rise.
You can sign a petition against the Wailua Beach route for the bike path here. Why build on the beach when it could go behind Coco Palms?
If you’d like to learn more about the issue, including cultural concerns, you can check out this video.
Me, I just remember the peacefulness of the wedgetail shearwaters I saw on Tuesday afternoon. They were snug in their burrows, which blended seamlessly into the coastal hillside, patently sitting on the eggs that will hatch into the chicks that will continue the cycle that began well before we humans walked the earth, and hopeful will continue, despite our global crazy-making.