The roar of the surf woke me in the night, and again this morning, and it accompanied us a far ways mauka when Koko and I went walking, skirting puddles and gazing upon Orion, Triangle and Makalii, all lined up on a diagonal.
The moon was thin and white and chased by dark clouds that approached from the east, and on all sides we were surrounded by the flash of lightning in the sky and even at that early hour, the flash of TV sets in homes.
But how better to indoctrinate the masses, get them with the program, and then keep them on track? And if that doesn’t fully do the trick, there’s always the encroachment of advertising into every aspect of our daily lives.
I noticed that when I went to the doctor’s office the other day, a primary care physician who is nearly on par with God in the world of HMOs, which I joined when my part-time job offered me the health insurance that we’re all supposed to covet, even if it doesn’t fund the kind of care I really want.
I hadn’t been in a traditional doctor’s office for about 10 years, and it was with a little bit of a shock that I saw how thoroughly medicine has been co-opted by the pharmaceutical industry. Even the cardboard of the Kleenex box had been claimed by its advertising. And as I left, I saw the high-heeled, short-skirted drug saleswoman pulling her carry-on bag of wares through the parking lot.
Sex and drugs are still a winning combination, apparently.
Speaking of the latter, a friend took the day off yesterday, telling his boss he was a veteran of the war on drugs, an assessment with which his boss agreed.
And Breckenride, Colo., became the latest town to opt out of that crazy, wasteful war — as all wars are — when a proposal to legalize marijuana passed with 73 percent of the vote. Now folks in that popular ski town can possess up to an ounce, as well as paraphernalia.
"This votes demonstrates that Breckenridge citizens overwhelmingly believe that adults should not be punished for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol," said Sean McAllister, Breckenridge attorney and chair of Sensible Breckenridge, a local project of the statewide marijuana law reform group Sensible Colorado.
I’d like to see Hawaii move in a similar direction, and not just because it would boost tourism and the economy, while refocusing police attention on really dangerous things, like speed and speeding. Making it possible for people to grow their own, or legally grow for others, would also cut down on some of the back country trashing associated with marijuana cultivation.
It seems growers living in Kalalau and elsewhere along Na Pali Coast are responsible for a lot of the opala that piles up there, and according to some of the folks who malama that region, they also damage ancient rock walls when creating their plots and steal irrigation intended to nurture native plant seedlings.
When I interviewed Sabra Kauka of Na Pali Coast `Ohana the other day, she said the group had given up on Kalalau because the problems there were so overwhelming, and each time they returned, all their work had been undone. So now they focus on Nualolo Kai, which has a chance to recover because it can only be accessed by boat.
I find it ironic that so many of those who choose to live outside “the system” and are dismissive of its private property rights think nothing of exploiting and mistreating public lands for their own economic purposes.
I also chuckled just a little bit when I read the closing paragraph in Juan Wilson’s screed about the Larsen’s Beach access issue on his website, Island Breath:
These attitudes and strategies are typical of property owners that see the land as a commodity with which to make money, and not the very source of our lives. It's time to take that attitude about "private property" behind the barn and put it down.
Funny, I distinctly remember interviewing Juan in the house he owns — and uses for his business — in Hanapepe. So how come Waioli Corp.’s private property is “the very source of our lives,” but his isn’t?
Getting back to the topic of access, I couldn’t help but wonder why Mayor Carvalho decided to schedule a “stakeholder’s meeting” for the Wailua Beach bike path project for Friday afternoon, which just so happens to fall within the 24-hour vigil that Native Hawaiians have planned to draw attention to the sacred aspects of that place.
This issue has been simmering for quite a while, and it’s been a good six weeks since OHA came out against building a boardwalk for the bike path on the beach. The vigil was announced more than a week ago.
So why do you suppose Carvalho, who claims he’s culturally sensitive, scheduled the meeting for a time when some of the most ardent opponents couldn’t attend? This is the kind of thing that makes people feel angry and dismissed.
As one person involved in the issue observed:
Classic, and shows exactly how they have done their job so far, in name only. If they plan it for a time we can't attend, oh well, they held the meeting. … too bad we didn't show up. We'll see if the mayor is full of crap, or has the ability to lead, or shall we say, choose the right path.