Archive for February, 2016

MAKE KAUAI GREAT AGAIN
February 28, 2016

…again?

Doesn’t this imply  once it was great and now it’s not?

If  so, then wouldn’t it  be true, only one who lived on Kauai during its great period could respond? I mean,  what changed? To go from greatness to not so great must mean something changed.

My husband and I sailed to Kauai in 1969. We tied up at the sea wall in Nawilili, just around the corner, as it were, from one of the hottest hot spot saloons on the island. The first person we met was Walter Brian–Head of the Water Department–we’d known  him on Oahu–and my husband was headed towards a job as Engineering Department Head of McBryde Sugar.

Sugar was King.  Actually, managers of sugar plantations were Kings. Department Heads and their wives were Lords and Ladies. There was an inside joke:  haolis lived in the haoli camps;  field hands lived in Japanese camps, Filipino camps,  Portuguese camps. But– by our time– racism was floundering. There were lots of  shanties.  Warm. Dry. It was a feudal state,  but McBryde was  benevolent.  Mules–Brownie, Blackie and Caliban– wore saddles filled with seed cane to replant at planting season. It was a great life, for most of us. Bill loved the men he worked with, they loved him. Bobby Pfeifer was President, Ceo, and  Chairman of the Board of Alexander and Baldwin of which McBryde was a totally owned subsidiary.  There couldn’t have been a better man at the helm.

Cane was a dollar crop. Grown to maturity for almost two years.  Burned to harvest. Cane fires flared in  splendor in the still winds of early morning sky. Then milled and shipped to California to be refined and packaged and sent back home.  Alexander and Baldwin is Matson, remember?  Those guys didn’t go to school to carry their lunch. Sugar kept their ships full going out and full coming back.

This glorious field of long tall grass worked with grace and beauty to keep our air fresh. The air on Kauai,  clean and invigorating,  filled our lungs with the essence of life. Of health. Breathing is the most important thing we do on this planet.  Breath bad air, breath illness and misery and death.

I see more cars–spewing stink and CO2 and sporting angry drivers–driving to Lihue  then there were on the island when we arrived. Today, on Kauai, there are places where you should wear a little white mask to keep your lungs working.

We’d little crime. Few homeless.  Few unemployed.  We weren’t rich, but, for the most part, we were happy. Put a dollar sign on that.

Recently someone suggested we contact young Mark Zukerberg–philanthropist– to get us back on track.

May I humbly suggest we contact Ted Turner? He’s a philanthropist. He owns over two million acres of land. “The sad thing about destroying the environment is that we’re going to take the rest of life with us…” I think Bobby and Bill would have loved him. I do.

 

 

 

 

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TRANSPORT, BUSES, SUCH A BORE
February 22, 2016

 

When I first arrived on Kauai some forty years ago, Kauai was a feudal state. The plantation managers were the kings and their department heads were  lords and ladies. Field workers lived simply, but, for the most part, peacefully together. Outside this circle were the big land holders, small business and services, schools and hospitals, a few quaint island style hotels and a rich rash of city and county workers. It was a benevolent state. All of us, at our different levels, lived in peace with each other and the extraordinary beauty of the island and its surroundings. I think of the great and glorious fields of waving green cane,  a cash crop, which contributed to clean fresh air and extraordinary beauty.

I think of Iniki.  Troubled times, and how we all came together…visitors, too, some of them…as a family and worked towards restoration. I think these times are gone.

Today the island is a third world country. Treated with much indifference and malignancies by the rich.  The powerful.  The greedy.  The military  And a most fragile industry, the tourist industry. Today we are a hard hit, rapidly disappearing middle class, with a steadily increasing number of unhappy islanders.

How dare I  express this?

Because it’s true.  We live at  the end of a long line of destructive influences. Some people, mostly newcomers, question why we didn’t protest over-development. We did! But the big land holders, the rich and the greedy and their bought off political cronies, held all the cards. Look at the mess they’ve created on the highways.  None of us can afford the million dollar  needed to build more roads.

All of us on this island, rich and poor, brown, black, yellow and white, young and old will be catastrophically impacted by this ignored insult left unanswered. This monstrosity is always in the headlines.

We all have to transport ourselves to somewhere. Some people must commute.  And you can’t even write that  expense off your taxes. Buy a car, buy some gas, some oil, tires, batteries–whatever–go broke in the process.  Working people  have to get to jobs so they can pay for the commute. They have no choice. The rush to work, the rush home, causing road jams that just won’t quit.  We have constant, disgusting, frustrating  traffic jams. Bumper to bumper fore and aft. Any hour. Any day.  Coming or going.  Where or why. To satellites overhead we must look like ants on a senseless journey to and fro.

Add to that visitors who fly in and  rent a car. Off to their destination. Off to see the sights.  Which they can’t see, they’re driving so fast. Or grumped miserably in a lump of exhaust that takes the breath away.

Then we have locals who love their cars, trucks–four-wheeled noise makers–like Americans, a few years, back loved their horses. “I’ll die before I’ll let you take these reins from my hand.”

Horses were prettier, but history repeats itself. Such a bother. Such a bore.

 

 

 

 

Sarah and Trump and Chattel
February 3, 2016

Chattel. What a word. it does not roll trippingly off the tongue. There’s a darkness about it. It means possession of something. Cars, cattle, women…

Today is a wonderful time for Western women. I wouldn’t care to be a Muslim woman in a long black veil–in which she can vote with a green thumb–if she can see through the slits. Sharia law?  Her hair must be covered and you shouldn’t see her feet. Allah commands. What’s the guy got against feet and hair?

In America women are speaking out. Seems to me they’re more concerned about the future–the children, the environment, the health of the planet–than men.

Women on Kauai are vocal in complaining about GMO’s, air-born toxins, over-crowded, wrongly sited milk factories, more cars, more highways, more suburban sprawl, tourist, global warming, CO2.

I love articulate, intelligent, out-spoken women. I love their involvement in the goings-on. “The world crisis came about without women having anything to do with it. If the women of the world had not been excluded from affairs, things today might have been different.” That’s Alice Paul before the passage of the 18th Amendment. I suggest you find the film, Iron Jawed Angels. Watch it. Share it. We owe so much to this courageous young woman. We need more like her. If you must identify with a female figure, identify with Alice.

Today, of course, women often play an important role in politics and law. Think of Sarah Palin. An example of female evangelism gone sick.  Tried her hand in politics. Darling of the religious right. Well, she’s baaacckk. Slithered in with Trump. What a pair. Hope you watched her exorcism on youtube. Bishop Thomas Muthee, Word of Faith Churches in Kenya. It’s an insult to human intelligence.

Which brings us back to chattel

Biblical quotes work here. Ecclesiasticus 15:18, 19 & 33. “And a man will choose–any wickedness but the wickedness of a woman…Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die.”

The history of women as chattel is woven into many legal codes and cultures. In the Old and the New Testament as well as the Quran. Women are property. There’s a world-wide dominion over women. In fundamental patriarchal religious societies, that live by the word, women are valued as objects. A husband owns his wife…

…so she better shut up and do as told.

A quote from Augustine Aquinas is enlightening. In Summa Theologica he wrote, “As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex, while the production of a woman comes from the defect in the active power…”

Augustine is a Catholic Saint so I assume he resides in a Catholic heaven. As a devout non believer, who does not believe in heaven or hell, I pen a brief note.

“Dear Auggie, to spend all eternity with you would be hell.”

What do you think?

 

 

 

Deniers, liars, and believers
February 1, 2016

Another rant?  Rants are never out of style. And a rant about my favorite subject is a cure- all for insipidity and distraction. Today, it seems, the world is overwhelmed with sweetness and goodness and light. Think cuteseewootsey thoughts, never waver, and all your dreams and hopes will bear  ruby-red strawberries ripe  for picking…

…and the moon is made of green cheese.

To bury your head like an ostrich in the sand will not  solve the problems humankind, and planet  earth, faces.

Join me, flatten  your ears in your brachia and dive headfirst into the frey.

I think I can build a case-and  win it–that deniers, liars, ands believers are a brew  of insane and stupid broth for empty heads and aching bellies.

I’m quite sure many of you will agree to teach a toddler that Mohammad rose up to heaven on a white-winged horse–Al-Baraq–is true, is an insult to a child’s intelligence and great wrong- doing by a loving and caring parent. But it comes in handy as we shall see.To teach a child to believe lies is a marvelous tool of control. Governments use it all the time. If one is taught to believe nonsense, it’s easy to lie and expect him to believe anything he’s told by an authoritative figure is true.The President. The Pope. A dictator. Or pastor, or  priest, or rabbi, or minister, or Insoc Party Slogan of love.  Love is hate, doncha know?

Truth.  A belief is something that is not true. If it were true, it would not be a belief, it would be a fact.

In science one has a theory. Other scientists often attempt  to prove or disprove it. Make a liar out of a man of reason’s theory–a true scientist– and he will drop his false theory like a chunk of red hot charcoal.

This is not true of true believers. Fact is, the more insane the belief you believe, the better believer you are.

Once Zeus came down to earth in the form of a swan, had sex with Leda, who bore him two kids. Helen and Clyemnestra.

The last god who came down to earth–2000 years ago–  had sex with a virgin who bore him a son. Gods don’t do this so much anymore.

Occasionally one  hears that this god has no sex, but doesn’t that conflict with the story? He’s a father. The great father.  And  fathers are usually male. It’s so confusing. How does one  keep the facts straight?

Easy, deny they exist. Fly over the top of the fact  and believe as a true believer believes.

Denies, lies, and beliefs are one extraordinarily dysfunctional family. Linked together  with a chain as strong as the strongest. As weighty as heaviest. As silly–with an evil bent– as any nasty creature in a Grimm’s fairy tale.

This god has rules. Break’em and spend all eternity in the fires of hall he created. I find this an insult to my intelligence. How about you?