Tuesday, April 14, 2015


More than forty years ago Kanaka Maoli and those in allegiance began to dream of reclaiming political and cultural sovereignty over Hawai`i nei.

In the 1970's after more than a century and a half of an often brutal repression of spirit, culture and language- with a US military overthrow and occupation thrown in- what's been called a "renaissance" emerged in not just direct actions like the reclamation of the bombed-out yet still sacred island of Kaho`olawe, but the resurrection of the language, culture and very soul of a great people which had been viciously repressed.

As with black families in the Jim Crowe south, or the native people in British colonial India, parents felt they had to have "the talk" with their children... "give up your dignity, give up your language, don't rebel against the white man- it's a losing battle."

The culture and spiritual identity was literally beaten out of the children. Much like aboriginal children across the globe, they were taken from their homes to indoctrination camps where they were "de-educated" and forced to be white in everything but skin color.

The political arm of the renaissance blossomed into what's been loosely called the "sovereignty" movement and, as scholars documented the illegality and brutality of the overthrow and yes the genocide, kanaka and allied kanaka-at-heart realized that the key was "education."

Surely once the colonizers in America and across the world understood what happened, the wrongs would be righted- although how it should happen and what a resulting model would look like was and still is fodder for extensive debate.

Yet as the years passed it began to seem like despite successes in that effort to educate ourselves and the "outside" world, kanaka lands were still held "in trust" in the hands of the state which, US courts have ruled, "owns" what are now called "ceded lands" even though no such ceding ever took place.

Those lands have continued to be stolen in new and innovative ways as, despite protections built into the State constitution. western money and paradigms are moving to "steal the land one last time- fair and square" via things like the Akaka Bill and the increasingly cash-conscious Hawai`i State Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Some of us who were in our 20's then and are now getting used to being called "uncle" have wondered of late what to make of it. Were we wrong? Was "education" always going to be an exercise in futility because there are many who just don't care or don't want to be "educated?"

But on April 4 something extraordinary happened. Following a seven year "legal" process that just ignored the long-standing, oft-stated opposition to development of the place where the kanaka creation story took place, 31 people were arrested for blocking the beginning of earth moving for a new multi-billion-dollar Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

There are 13 other telescopes at the top of the mountain but the 14th desecration of Mauna a Wakea (commonly called Mauna Kea) has since proven to be one slight too many.

As Moloka`i kupuna Walter Ritte has said, people are saying "enough is enough."

Many of those with vested or even casual interest in the TMT have tried to characterize those engaging in the astonishing uprising of not just kanaka and kama`aina but legions of the now apparently "educated" across the US and the world, as being misguided, some going as far as to say it's about "science vs superstition." They say it's all about astronomy and discovery, some even attempting to twist the story of pre-western-contact voyaging Polynesians using celestial navigation in traveling to Hawai`i (something pooh-poohed by the self-same academics just a couple of generations back) to claim we are misguided in protecting the sacred mountain "because Hawaiians were always 'about' science."

But this has nothing to do with "discovery of the beginning of time and space." There are plenty of other mountains in the world for that.

While the precipitating incident has occurred surrounding the occupation and physical degradation and desecration of Mauna a Wakea, this isn't simply about one battle to stop one telescope any more.

It's about how, as Uncle Walter told the TMT corporation, "you got greedy. You had 13 other telescopes but it wasn't enough. Now we want them all gone. And we're not going away"

People will ask if the project is really about astronomy or whether "science," as it is many times, is being used as a smokescreen for a cash-cow that has been projected by some to potentially garner anywhere up to a million dollars a night for its use, were it to be constructed.

Others will argue about the wisdom of TMT's unnecessary "in your face" attempt to bulldoze around some dirt even before funding is in place- years before actual construction is set begin. They will question trying to do so while legal cases are still on appeal.

But this is about the fruits of education that many still dream will lead to demilitarization, deoccupation and decolonization. It may not happen in the lifetimes of those of us who had the vision in the 70's. But the protection action on Mauna a Wakea gives us what a dream always needs to survive... hope.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Reefer Madness is coming to Wednesday's Kaua`i County Council meeting when long-time pot-foe, Chair Mel Rapozo, will introduce Resolution 2015-37 demanding the state legislature kill bills that would set up "compassion centers" to provide medicinal cannabis patients in Hawai`i with a place to purchase their medicine.

Most other states with medical marijuana programs provide for "stores" where patients can buy their medicine and the programs have generally been a great success. Some states- Colorado and Washington and the District of Columbia- and some local jurisdictions have also approved the recreational use of marijuana and the US congress is considering a bill to remove it from it's ":Schedule 1" classification which falsely states that it has no medicinal value.

Resolution 2015-37 appears to be solely the brain-child of long-time pot-fear-mongerer Rapozo with no other "introducers" listed. The resolution notes that the police departments of Honolulu, Maui and Hawai`i Island and the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney have submitted testimony opposing House Bill 321 with Kaua`i PD and Prosecuting Attorney notable for their absence from the list.

Apparently Rapozo didn't properly research his resolution because the companion bill to HB321 is SB 1029 not Senate Bill 879 (as the resolution says) which is a decriminalization bill that passed the senate and is currently in the house.

The resolution asks that if the legislature doesn't abandon HB321- which appears poised for passage this year after Hawai`i became the first state legislature to okay medical marijuana more than a decade ago- a long list of draconian restrictions be added to the bill including one allowing the "counties to... restrict or (even) prohibit growing or selling" what many patients call "the blessed herb."

The resolution claims that "marijuana trafficking remains a source of violence, crime and social degradation" much as the now-ridiculed 1936 film "Reefer Madness" claimed.

The resolution also asks that "should the legislature choose to adopt the bill(s)" that they:

1) establish a two-year residency requirement, presumably even for those who only have months or even weeks to live or have just found out they need chemotherapy (the latter being one of the qualifying uses cited in current state law);

2) ban "home grown cultivation and production" phasing out the current grow-your-own program;

3) establish a "closed system that ties a specific cardholder and proscribed limitation to a specific grower/retailer;"

4) allow only for a "pilot program" and

5) "explicitly prohibit... reciprocity provisions between Hawai`i and other states and counties."

Long time council observers and medical marijuana advocates anticipate the presence of Rapozo's ally in the tiny, cult-like and assuredly-anachronistic pot-prohibition cabal in Hawai`i, Keith Kamita- the the zealously anti-weed Deputy Director of the Department of Public Safety who has notably traveled the state ranting about the dubious so-called dangers of marijuana use, speaking to any group that will listen... including, in the past at Rapozo's behest, the Kaua`i County Council.

Some even predict the presence of bible-thumping union-boss Tenari Maafala. The President of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) has long-joined Kamita and Rapozo in their fanaticism and SHOPO opposition is also cited in the resolution. As an example of Maafala's other world-views he once said "you would have to kill me" to get him to enforce a ban on gay marriage because, according to multiple media reports, it would be "contrary to his religious views."

A crowd is anticipated for the meeting that begins at 9 a.m at the Historic County Building by the Royal Palm park on Rice St. But Council Chair Rapozo has been infamous for manipulating the order of disposition of items on the agenda in order to either stultify or enhance the numbers of those giving testimony... often dependent on his own stance on an issue

If taken in order, the resolution itself may not come up until the afternoon. However those who want to testify on the matter at the beginning of the meeting can testify on Communication C2015-113- a technical agenda item asking to have the resolution itself placed on the agenda. It appears on something called the "Consent Calendar" (CC) and that is always voted upon at the very beginning of a meeting. It is listed under "#7" of the CC and you must request it be reassigned from the CC for public testimony. Ask the clerk before the meeting starts or raise your hand when the consent calendar is announced.

Medical Marijuana reform activists are asking for anyone- especially current or prospective patients and/or those who have not been able to obtain their medicine under the current program- to come and testify. If you cannot attend the meeting you can email testimony to counciltestimony@kauai.gov with "Oppose Resolution 2015-37- Support current HB 321" in the subject line.

The meeting will be live streamed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


(From 2009)

(PNN)-- April 1— LIHU`E--
More than ten thousand people on island of Kaua`i were indicted and arrested on racketeering charges today as a result of what the FBI called “the biggest corruption and fraud investigation in the bureau’s history.”

“We finally pulled the trigger and busted em all” said Special Agent Richard Stauber. “We were going to arrest just the mayor, his department heads, the county council and most business leaders but after extensive investigation we found complicity from almost every citizen on Kaua`i. most of whom knew about it all but “nevah like say nahting” .

“We busted the whole lot of ‘em with the exception of a few radical activists who turned in the rest and a handful of hippies living in Kalalau Valley and on Secret Beach along with some organic farmers who were blissfully ignorant of anything political.”

“I told ya so,” said news commentator and blogger Andy Parx who, in his daily on-line column, ratted out his neighbors and what he called “my good friends down at the county offices”.

“I knew the corruption ran deep but even I never knew the depth of the entrenched good old boy’s and girls network who either turned a blind eye or actively perpetuated the multitudinous revolving-door, pay-to-play scams, extortion rackets and kickback schemes” said Parx whose reports also served as grand jury evidence.

Standing before a 50 foot by fifty foot chart diagramming the connections between those arrested, Stauber, who spent years undercover disguised as “that funny foreign guy who harasses the county council”, explained how he “disappeared” a few years back after he had gathered enough evidence to start putting together the cases.

“I can’t believe they all fell for the German accent and the slightly off-kilter persona” he said. “It just goes to show the arrogance that made the case so easy.”

Since only one local attorney, Daniel Hempey wasn’t arrested he was appointed to defend those who are currently being held at Vidinha Stadium awaiting processing.

“I have little hope for the higher-ups but am considering pleading “plantation mentality” on the part of the regular working people who didn’t benefit from the system but who knew and were silent” he said.

The cases will be tried in federal court because there were no Kaua`i judges that escaped arrest either.

“Why me” asked Mayor Bernard Carvalho from the federal detention center in Honolulu where he and Council Chair Kaipo Asing are sharing a cell.

“I just got here and was just doing what mayors have done for years- hiring my friends and big campaign contributors for county jobs and looking the other way while everybody took their cut... as long as I got mine” said the 300 pound behemoth while downing a box of malasadas.

Also indicted but not arrested were former Mayor Bryan Baptiste who, it was revealed in the indictments, faked his death last year and escaped to somewhere in South America, shortly after being interrogated by the FBI.

Parx said he’s not surprised but is dismayed because now he won’t have endless daily material for his column.

“With all these guys finally off the streets, I got nothin’ in the immediate future. But I am confident that Kaua`i people will do what they’ve always done- elect some equally or even more corrupt politicians to take their places” he said.

Former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka and Police Chief Darryl Perry escaped arrest and are believed to be hold up in a secret love-nest/fortress in Koke`e where they are reportedly intent on setting up a government-in-exile.

State Department of Conservation and Enforcement officers are said to be closing in on them after the pair stumbled into DLNR’s meth lab in the Alaka`i swamp.

In other news today paramedics rushed to the offices of Governor Linda Lingle where she and Attorney General Mark Bennett were working on legal strategies for the ceded lands and Superferry cases. Efforts to remove their heads from their butts were as yet unsuccessful at press time.