Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Musings: On Various Things

I awoke in the night to a chill breeze that felt like winter and the welcome sound of heavy rain, which stopped about the time the sky began to lighten. The dogs and I had only walked about half our usual distance when I looked back to see a massive black cloud on the approach. Turning around, I heard a roar that I knew couldn’t be the ocean, and we broke into a run, racing the rain, which won, but barely, leaving us damp and energized.

Though the Akaka bill is fortunately dead, state lawmakers have re-energized its most loathsome aspects with Senate Bill 1520, which appears likely to be sent to the governor for his signature. By loathsome, I am referring to its objective of creating a state-sanctioned process to do what Hawaiians can and should do on their own: establish — or more accurately, re-establish — their own government.

Unfortunately, the process the bill sets forth is to be orchestrated by OHA, a state agency, which taints it from the get-go. Further, to use a paragraph from an AP story, it’s based on a premise that grates:

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous people in the United States who have not been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and American Indian tribes.

None of the independence advocates I’ve ever talked to believe they need to be granted a right to establish their own government, both because their nation was illegally overthrown and the Queen never relinquished her country's sovereignty.

In other news of the U.S. having its way in sovereign nations — in this case, Pakistan, which has criticized the raid as an "unauthorized unilateral action," — Administration officials are now claiming that killing Usama bin Laden was an act of ”national self defense.” Ummm hmmm. Right.

Meanwhile, they continue to “correct key details from earlier accounts,” according to a report from Associated Press. You know, just minor stuff, like not only didn’t bin Laden engage in a firefight, he wasn’t even armed. And it wasn’t his wife who was killed, but that of an aide, and she wasn’t used as a human shield, but got caught in the crossfire.

I mean, surely White House officials were fully briefed on what actually went down, so there’s absolutely no excuse for initially releasing false accounts of the raid. Unless, of course, it’s intended to — in the words of Glenn Greenwald — “produce deliberately misleading accounts of the most significant news items -- falsehoods which endure no matter how decisively they are debunked in subsequent days.”

Meanwhile, as The New York Times reports, Obama’s approval rating jumped 11 percent after the raid, which is more than the 8 percent bump Bush got after Saddam Hussein was captured. "My guy's badder than your guy, my guy's badder by far..."

Returning to local news, The Garden Island, which is usually quick to print KIUC press releases, has made no mention of the petition that was presented to the utility, even though the cooperative issued a press release that included this statement from CEO David Bissell:

“Regardless of the outcome of the petition verification process, KIUC welcomes every opportunity it is afforded to meet with members of the cooperative to discuss the potential development of small hydroelectric projects on Kaua‘i. We are at the very beginning of a multi-year stakeholder engagement process, so it is understandable that there is some misinformation and confusion at this early stage.”

In other words, those poor petitioners are woefully misinformed, but we’ll set ‘em straight.

Instead of covering an issue of substance, like this one, the paper devoted many inches to a Humane Society puff piece about a family reunited with its supposedly “accident prone” dog, though it sounded more like human negligence.

Anyway, I was skimming it when I saw a reference to my neighbor Andy Bushnell and his daughter — the ones who own the dogs that killed my cat and attacked Paele. Seems the dog showed up at their place. As I read further, I saw this and had one of those “aha” moments:

The organization sent out Humane Officer Jessica Venneman, who happens to be Bushnell’s former history student.

Oh, now I understand why nothing ever came of my complaint to KHS about the attack on Paele. The case was referred to Jessica, who called me for more details. But even though I called her back four times, she never responded. When I finally got ahold of her, she said she had given Andy a warning because she never heard back from me so she assumed it wasn't serious.

And then I recalled how Andy had previously told me that KHS came out one time to cite him for a leash law violation, but the officer turned out to be his former student, and so she let him off.

This is the kind of thing that is so discouraging about living on Kauai.

And it brought to mind a scene I encountered yesterday, as I moved through a seat belt trap set up on Haleko Street and saw all the shaka-flashing going on between the four cops and local motorists. I couldn’t help but wonder how many tickets they were likely to write for their friends.


Anonymous said...

"the last remaining indigenous people in the United States who have not been allowed to establish their own government"

Who has NOT allowed Hawaiians to do this?

You guessed it. And now they want the Hawaiians to do it THEIR way if it is to be done at all.

Interesting about your ʻfriendʻ Andy. Typical haole attitude. Everything fine in Hawaii as long as it goes his way.

Anonymous said...

Interesting update on Bin Laden's death pics: they will not be released because they're "too gruesome"...

hmmmm now there's no evidence except the alleged DNA evidence which has not been made public. The lack of evidence & the dumping of the body in the ocean makes this case very fishy ;-)

Anonymous said...

It would seem that now Pakistan has authority to attack on U.S. soil.

Unless the U.S. writes itʻs own exclusive International Law rules that donʻt apply to anyone else.

Has anyone given a secondʻs thought about what would happen if Pakistan had done this first on U.S. soil to capture a terrorist?

Anonymous said...

Andy Bushnell rocks! The best history teacher. WKNA member! Down with annoying cats and lap dogs!

Anonymous said...

down with annoying cats and lap dogs? it doesn't look too good for andy if people like you come to his defense.

Anonymous said...

SB1520 is incredibly divisive. Wasteful OHA will grab more money for the rich Hawaiians while those who really need help will lose out. Remember also that it was the Hawaiian alii who sold out on the islands of Niihau and Lanai & vast tracks of land all over the state.

Anonymous said...

Well Pakistan is not sending billions in aid every year to the USA like we do to them. When they do, I might have sympathy when special operations are carried out in thier contry. By the way, Bin Laden's own people are saying he's dead so there is your evidence. The USA doesn't need to prove to anyone he is dead...take it for what it is worth and move on.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to kill someone who has been dead for almost a decade.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of thing that is so discouraging about living on Kauai.
No, this is the kinda of thing we live here for.
Family and friends taking care of one another.
Come on in, join the club the water's fine.

Anonymous said...

Soory but the Paki's signed an agreement to allow the US to cross their borders if they were in "hot pursuit."
Don't like the wording, either did UBL.

Anonymous said...

They actually do have the right to form a nation now.... Most just are not doing it right. The US signed the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people in December. Here is a link to the declaration.

excerpt from "Article 9
Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimination
of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right."

Anonymous said...

If that SB1520 was so bad, why did every single Senator of Hawaiian descent (6 out of 25 total) vote and speak in favor of it? Are they all "Uncle Toms"?

According to DePledge of the HSBA:

"The most heartfelt discussion in the state Senate floor session on Tuesday was over the bill for the state to recognize native Hawaiians as an indigenous people.

Senators of native Hawaiian descent – state Sen. Gilbert Kahele, state Sen. Malama Solomon, state Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria, state Sen. Pohai Ryan, state Sen. J. Kalani English, and state Sen. Clayton Hee – spoke movingly about what the bill could mean for Hawaiians who have fought to preserve their language and culture in their home land. They spoke of the importance of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation."

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe this crap?
When one of our Hawaiian senators (I better not say which one) isnʻt busy sticking his hand up someoneʻs skirt heʻll put on the good act.

If they are so honorable, why did HR 107 calling for an investigation of Liliuokalaniʻs letter die in the first round.
REASON: Because it might put them out on the street where they belong with no welfare from their state position.

watchdog said...

Anonymous 3:34: They should also have the right to decolonization, seeing as how they were an sovereign, diplomatically recognized nation before. Actually, those indigenous peoples rights are great, but they are essentially for natives within another country (aka tribes and first nations), not colonies.

Anonymous 5:04: Do you expect a minority within the system to vote against the system?

Anonymous said...

Good column and blog but....

The theme all the time is: don't trust no one or what they say.

That's a hard tack to take through life, must be hard on the mind all the time.

Give us something you DO trust and believe in :)