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?

 

 

 

TURK’S CAP
January 11, 2016

Two roads lead to the national Tropical Botanical Garden’s main office, one of them is mine. At the top of the hill, from the office to the library, to the visitor’s center, is a view of a magnificent valley that descends to Lawai Bay.

Once upon a time, Queen Emma lived there and rode her horse there. Years ago, I used to sneak in on my leopard, Beauregard. I always got caught, but I seldom got scolded. John called me a ‘siren’–I think he meant the noisy kind.–and I responded, “John, if you walked about four  miles up hill and I walked about ten thousand feet up hill, we could fight over the back fence.”

I loved the old guy.

Anyway, along my brief stretch of land in a valley on the other side of the hill, old Hawaii, wild, natural, surrounded by cows and sheep and goats and horses, and gorgeous feral chickens, and birds that sing me to sleep and crow me awake, rain or shine,  grew a wondrous natural beauty, a Turk’s Cap. Malvaviscus penduliflorus.

So beautiful, people in cars, on foot, on bikes,  on horses–still–would stop blissfully  enthralled with wonder. Pictures were snapped. Some sent back, and I do want to thank those that sent them. Respectful requests for cuttings were cheerfully responded to.

Did you know the entire plant was edible? Herbal tea could be made and grocked  to  fullness. Snip off the green tip and suck a delicious  syrupy sweetness that put the delicious syrupy sweetness of the honeysuckle to shame.

A grim crew, an army of death and destruction, in county trucks armed with  many powerful expensive new weapons of life- denying machines, mowed it down. Butchered it. It wasn’t pruned, it wasn’t cut back, it was  hacked to death. It cost me one day, one worker, two, maybe three, handheld and powered tools, to prune it properly. All that remains are naked brown stems, reaching upward, hungering for their large green leaves, their brilliant red flowers, Turk’s Caps, sleeping hibiscus, Cardinal’s Hats, that bloomed throughout the year offering a vivid  eyeful of playful bobbing  jewels displayed against  a hedge, a tall, rich green- leafed backdrop, a curtain of life that never need open to an artificial set. An entire enactment of life. It loved to grow. it loved to please. It did no harm.

I plan to live to witness it’s return. Hope you do, too.

The war we have going on here–on Kauai, in the world–exists of  war trumpets instead of song birds. Ugly, noisy, stinking machines–the epitome of power and ugliness and sacrilege– consuming all in its wretched outreach.

Today, on my road, we stand  witness to a love for concrete, cars, credit cards and childish hi-tech toys. What, for goodness sake, is an iPad? I’ve managed, for 85 years, to have lived with out one.

My hope?  You’ll learn to live without one, too.

In 2016, drink a toast to life and living things.

 

The Winter Solstice
November 30, 2015

The winter solstice is an astrological  event visible in the Northern hemisphere in December.  It’s the shortest day of the year. It’s been noted  in the sky and celebrated by our ancestors for thousands of  years. A long long time ago the night sky was a wondrous, mysterious celestial map, studied and wondered and worried and talked about.

Today, sadly, with so many lights on earth, so many cities lit up like a jillion, multi-colored  jittery light bulbs, there are people in those cities who’ve never seen the stars. I think those ancients–certainly the great Hawaiian navigators– would think them ignorant,  I’ll bet they’d love the Observatories on Mauna Kea.  I’ll bet they’d embrace astronomy. There’s much to be learned from the past, but billions and billions more  to be learned from the present.

Remember, in the past, most men  feared  darkness–fear came  in as handy yesterday as it comes in handy today–and ancient wise men knew, because they’d measured this event for centuries, that the days would grow longer as the sun seemingly changed its direction. In three days the dark–the night sky–  would begin growing shorter.

Today we’ve advanced our scientific knowledge of what goes on–in our solar system as well as the cosmos–so vastly we make them look ignorant.  Today we are all,  potentially, brilliant human beings. A ll of us wise men capable of taking  a voyage of discovery as far back into the past and forward into the future as our curiosity sends us. Do you know,  with your fingers on the keyboard of a computer, you have more access to knowledge than Cleopatra had stored in  the Library in Alexandria?   Wowwowwow. I hope  parents and teachers share these exciting times  with the kids. Telescopes are wonderful Christmas presents.

We’re so lucky on Kauai, there are many places where the night sky is visible in all its splendor.  So take your kid to one of these places  on December  21st’ .   Step outside. For three nights  you’ll experience  the longest nights of the year. For three days, the Sun which had been traveling south, descends until it reaches a point where it stops–solstice actually mean ‘sun standing still’– and  on Kauai this event  begins on December 21st at 6:49PM.

Of course we now know the Sun doesn’t stand still.  Neither is it colder or hotter because of our distance from the sun. The tilt–and wobble– of the Earth’s axis in our hemisphere, the Northern Hemisphere, is leaning furthest away from the sun,  so the Sun is low in the sky and the rays strike the Earth at a shallow angle.  These rays are longer and therefore colder.   The entire planet has seasons because of the tilt and wobble, and we in Hawaii will begin the journey back to spring and  summer.  Spring and summer on Kauai is No Ka Oi. Sorry Maui.

Whatever you call it–Christmas, Yule, Chanukah, Saturnalia or Chaomos–enjoy.

Have a super solstice.

The Greening of Lihue
November 17, 2015

Don’t you sometimes feel sorry for politicians?

I know they’re not our favorite servants, public or otherwise. I’ve known bedmakers who would serve their office better. Certainly we all know they should have a  better grasp managing money. If we managed our budget  as they manage theirs, we’d all be broke. Sadly, many  are, but I don’t think they should blame  politicians for that. I know who–or what–they should blame but I don’t want to start a fight.

Think about this? No matter what our politicians do, seems like  half the people in the country, in the state, in the county, disapprove. Bad.  Can we assume  fifty percent  approve? Good.

We rarely hear from they who approve, but we hear a constant stream of invective from those who disapprove. Some people like bike paths. Some people don’t. Some people want super ferries. Some people don’t. Most people don’t want higher taxes but everybody wants more, better, and faster public services. Fancy new high-tech garbage trucks? Oh boy! Where to dump the stuff? Not in my backyard? That’s  a 100% downer.

Everyone complains about the roads. Repair mine. Don’t repair his. Then we complain about the inconvenience we experience when the roads are under repair. Lihue is a maze most of us rats get lost in. Noise. Detours. Traffic jam ups and, quite often, a wrong turn–arrows, flag offs–sends us skittering off a hundred and eighty degrees south of that place we wanted to reach.

A restaurant? The Mall? A public potty?  A parking spot within walking distance of it? (That’s any place less than ten steps from  the spot on which we wanted to land.)

Some  answers: bring a book. You can read it in  stopped up traffic jams. A sandwich. Munch. Munch. A bottle of water. Slurp. Slurp. A road map.  Note paper and a pen. Write a letter to TGI about stupid politicians who do  stupid things and inconvenience the hell out of us. Complain. Stomp your feet. Cross your arms. Scowl. Got cell phone? Yell at the innocent in a government office who answers the phone.

So what’s this got to do with greening?

Well, I love  the green roundabouts. I love all the greened up strips beside the road. I love to see work men planting something. Watering something. ‘Course all this green stuff costs green stuff. Some guys want to spend it. Some guys don’t.

I got a’idea. Plant citrus. Local oranges are delicious–and the scent of orange blossoms!! –everybody loves good smells. Beats carbon dioxide.   Picking them when ripe would create government jobs and income. Buy homegrown food–good food, healthy food–from government road side stands.

Maybe we could plant some long green stuff. Sugar cane. Tall grass. So gorgeous. So generously, sweetly,  cleansing the air we breath. Such a marvelous living historical reminder of the wonderful island we once were. Don’t recommend burning.  Machete it–more jobs– let it grow back all by itself.

Thank you Mayor Carvalho.

 

SCOTT SIMS WRITES
August 25, 2015

…”Eating Horses Don’t Die.” The title of a book Scott was writing. Wish he’d lived to finish it. Would love to read the manuscript. My interest? I hope there are many horse and Scott lovers reading this because I’d like to write about an ‘eating horse’–my beloved Aristotle–who Scott operated on  several years ago. I could write about that time, that incredible surgery, that experience–Ari’s life and times– but I’ll try to stick to the subject.

Ari was bon on Kauai in September, 1987, which makes him 88 and a half horse years old in people years, three years older than I. As a colt he was sent to Honolulu where he was badly abused.  A very proud horse, but spooky, he hated everyone. He was rescued by a lady and her family who loved horses–Scott would’ve loved that story–and I first met him, bought him for a song,  at her barn in May, 1993. There was something about that big roan– the way we looked at each other–that touched my heart.  I brought him home.

The first ‘eating horse’ story: he came at me striking. A big horse coming at you, walking on his hind legs, forelegs boxing the air, is a formidable sight. Taught by a Canadian Mountie, ‘always ‘leave ’em laughing’,  I calmed him down, fixed him a bucket of food and walked over the hill. Sadly.  My horses always have  full run of the land and I could not live with a horse that might attack me.  Several minutes later–I’d left Ari with a full bucket–I heard hooves clopping behind me. I didn’t know what to expect. I turned.  We met eye ball to eye ball. Face to face,

The look in his eyes  said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” We bonded.

Fast forward to his homecoming after the surgery. Scott had put him on  antibiotics, which Ari hated. He fought me.  Came at me striking. I took him off the drug and offered him Vitamin C. He loved it and healed quickly. I gave Scott  the drugs and told him the story. “He even ate oranges,” I said.

“Horses don’t eat oranges.”

“Don’t tell Ari,” I replied, “he hasn’t read that part of the book.”

Today my long- in- the- tooth beloved friend, eats like a horse. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I cook for him in the barn. He watches, making sure I do it right. No skimping. He counts: one large measuring bowl of oat alfalfa soaked in warm water, sprinkled with salt and tossed in his bucket. Another bowl of same dimpled with raw carrots. And one more bowl flavored with bran and laced with molasses on the top.  He licks the bucket. Scott would have loved the sight, but he would have said, as he always did, “Horses have no sense of taste.”

And, once again, I’d have replied, “Don’t tell Ari.”

I hope Scott’s right and Ari never dies.

.

 

Slavery in America
June 22, 2015

In a recent Forum letter, a frequent  writer wrote,  “…the Confederate flag flying high over the state Capitol of Charleston, South Carolina…” And quoted a legislature  endorsed  resolution about white supremacy. The writer commented, “Makes you proud to call yourself an American, doesn’t it?”

No. But it makes me proud to be a citizen of the state of Hawaii.

According to a Wikipedia demographic on South Carolina, 93% of its citizens are Christian. Perhaps they were just quoting the Bible? For an example…

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.” Exodus 21:7-11

“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.” (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

These are Biblical values? Seems a man can buy as many sex slaves as he wants.

In the most recent Voice of Reason journal of Americans for Religious Liberty, Edd Doerr writes Is the Wall Crumbling? Scary! An American theocracy? Oh, my goodness! My beloved editor, the good Jewainian, and my favorite Hebrew black dog, Obama, and I could end up in the same pot. Or shower. Bring your own soap.

All kidding aside, I think all of us, left sane and even halfway intelligent, need to take these religious lunatics seriously.

We had, for a while, a thriving bigoted, morally foul-mouthed,vicious, cut throat, obsessive fundamentalist gang of thugs who quoted the Bible, Chapter and Verse. Not the goodie-goodie-two-shoes passages that everyone loves to quote, but the extreme nasties. Including rape, sodomy and bashing baby’s head against the rocks.

If there are any left on Kauai–goodness forbid–may they hurry back to wherever they came from. Soonest.

Stay out of Hawaii, guys–they’re always men, have you noticed? Too many non Christians–of any, all, or no religious persuasion–carry big sticks. Poisoned pens? You betcha.

A personal aside, I was labeled a ‘spawn of satan’, a 666, and sent to hell so often I was a prized and welcome resident. All the good guys are in hell, you know. They’ve got it air-conditioned, and everybody is sitting around playing strip poker with Marilyn Monroe.

 

 

 

 

WILD HURRICANES I HAVE KNOWN
June 2, 2015

I’ve weathered four.  My husband and I escaped the ravages of Typhoon Jean, dodging caribou and ballistic teak logs the size of a Kauai bus shooting by us in a Philippine Airline jet taking off from a beach in Aparri, a primitive village in the province of Cagayan, Luzon-one bar, one outdoor movie, one hotel- on the banks of the South China Sea.  Aparri survived. Today it’s a first class municipality.

We made the fastest flight- ever- back to Manila that day. Jean was the biggest typhoon of the season.

A typhoon is a hurricane that swirls and whirls and rips around in another neighborhood.

The Aparri memory is a cute storyI tell often.

But hurricanes are not cute. No one can ever say ‘been there, done that’ or ‘seen one seen ’em all’ . Platitudes don’t apply. Each storm’s different. They’ve personalities all their own, and always a very human side.

In 1970 we were in Mississippi a year after Hurricane Camille demolished Gulfport and were amazed at the mess. A tug boat still  balanced  on its keel in the middle of a forest. It looked as though it’d just been planted. Along millionaire’s row, all a two story mansion had to show for itself were water pipes standing upright indicating bathrooms on a vanished second floor.

Hurricane Iwa-November 22, 1982-sent our beloved boat, Warpath in Kukuiula Harbor, over the top of a swimming pool and broke her back. She was headed for safe port in the red barn across the street.  We’d built the barn for $900.00. All by myself I tar- papered the roof. Not a corner  lifted. On Kauai’s millionaire’s row, it looked as though a war had gone through.

I’d spent a terrifying night in the barn with my horses in the lava rock house up the Alexander Dam Road. All I was was the howl of that wind

Bill-who was needed at the power plant in Wainiha- and I, coming home that  night, had a most incredible surprise in store for us.. On the north shore at Tahiti Nui, Louise Marston  prepared-on the beach-a Thanksgiving dinner to end all Thanksgiving dinners-the works-to those who could find their way to her open door. A generous, marvelous, wonderful woman, I miss her. We sat at a savory table with locals, hippies, surfers, tourists from everywhere, survivors, and indulged. I’ve never felt so thankful. I didn’t say grace but I thought it.

Back home, we’d just put the roof on our new house. Not a shingle lifted.

September 6, 1992, Iniki- the strongest storm to hit Hawaii-barreled through. I was alone. I spent the night here.  Three horses locked in stalls. Me and the dogs and cats hunkered down in my old Buick. I had carrots for the horses, nibbles for the dog and cats, and a bottle of wine for me. Before the night was over, the horses were eating dog food while the dogs and cats munched carrots. I didn’t share the wine.

My experienced advice during hurricane season? Be prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST
May 27, 2015

It was November 8, 1932. FDR was elected President. I campaigned for him in front of the Fire Station-the only Fire Station in town-in new black Mary Janes, with white socks and a pretty new dress my mother made for the occasion. I was 2. “Wote for Wosevelt” I lisped and shook my curls. I’m a born and bred dyed- in- the- wool Democrat. Over the years- and over the radio- my father and I listened to the Fire Side Chats. These were depression years.  I was impressed with “. . . the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I was little and scared. My father said, I remember, “Everyone’s afraid, it’s how you handle fear that matters.”

My father and I listened to FDR’s eloquence all through the 30’s.  I remember one vividly. On Sunday. Sept. 6, 1936, he spoke  about Drought Conditions. I loved his voice. Afterwards I asked my father, “How can he know so much? He’s just one man,” and my father said, ” He’s advised by the best and brightest. You can be, too. That’s what books are for.”

My father gave me Bertrand Russell’s An Essay on the Foundation of Geometry- of which I understood nothing-but when a course in Geometry was offered I ate it up. I loved Geometry. I also liked, “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Russell was the first non-believer I encountered. He also said, “Beware the man who cannot say it simply.”

It’s 2015. Recently I received a letter from someone I admire very much.  He lives on Kauai. Not a politician. Not a celebrity. A great human being. This person asked me not to reveal his name but he did send me this, AMIDA’S GOLDEN CHAIN OF LOVE… We are all links in Buddha’s chain of love. Keep your link bright and strong. Try to be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect they who are weaker than yourself. Think pure and beautiful thoughts…make every link in Amida’s Chain of Love bright so we may we all attain perfect peace…. I shortened the piece. Five hundred words, remember? My friend and his philosophy are surely the best and brightest. Who’s going to argue with Buddha?

Another incredible human being, Steve Saylor, a visitor on Kauai-with a very different point of view- is  writer and star, educator and entertainer, of  several  brilliant videos. I met Steve’s mother, Joellen at a Quaker Meeting at my house and she remembered me. His work and advice is different from the Buddha’s. Look for Steve Saylor: Eulogy: the death of Monsanto.

These two  found me.  So different. So important to my life and style today. They came along, wired back- to- back, and filled a need. Just as FDR, my father, and Russell did. And do. Read and watch a variety of varieties and be best and brightest, too. Maybe human kind can make it.

Bettejo’s Cat House
November 20, 2014

Cat’s are really getting a bad rap. Not only on Kauai-the largest and most infamous extermination island in Hawaii-where we want to extinct parakeets, feral chickens- ‘specially crowing roosters-coqui frogs, cats and other living things. (Not tourists, or rich guys in gated communities, or military personnel who shoot off rockets and stuff at Barking Sands.} But lately, cat surfing around, I’ve discovered they don’t make  good pets. Too independent, won’t come when called, hate to be petted, undomesticated, night prowling predators, and-for goodness sake- a health hazard.

Cat poop causes dread disease and possible death! Horrors!! Why didn’t somebody tell me? I’ve been around cats and cat poop for 84 years. My first cat, Helen, a yellow tiger, slept with me in my crib. When she and I outgrew the  crib, she slept in an overhead light fixture in my bedroom and once I put her in a flour bin, which startled my mother when she opened it to bake a cake and a white flash of angry feline fur flew out in her face. My mother screamed. My father, busy chopping the head off a fat rooster in the back yard, yelled, “What now?”

“Helen just jumped out of the flour bin.”

“How’d she get in there?”

Neither Helen nor I ever told. When Helen went to cat heaven, my father bought me a Siamese cat.  At that time we lived in an apartment in San Francisco  and she walked around a six-story ledge every night-rain or shine- red eyes scaring the neighbors. We named her Wishee.  We also had a Collie, named Lady,  who chased cable cars. My next cat was a black cat named Moses, who lived with us in Montclair, then Pleasanton, then Marin County. Mose would only enter the house on Wolf’s Grade through a living room window, and exit from my parents bedroom in the middle of the night. He’d put a paw under their closed-door and shake it.  It had a wrought iron handle that rattled down the hallway like an angry wraith. I don’t know that it awakened the dead, but it certainly wakened me and my parents. I guarantee you, one of us got out of bed and let the cat out.

Someone, in the cat bad- rapping scene, asked when and why we domesticated the damn things to begin with and, indeed, it is somewhat of a mystery.

What we know is by the Middle Egyptian Empire the cat as a fisher, hunter, and ratter was known and appreciated. Later on it was worshipped as a god.

So? Well, my two new kittens, Reba and Rosa, love to be petted. Come when called. Purr in harmony. Live in a three-story cat palace that probably cost more than most kid’s cribs. My house is a cat house. They romp in the rafters. Climb the walls. Jump up and down on counters and tables. Sleep in a lump in my water-bed. Eat like horses.

And, dare I ask? Why do you think they call it pussy?

 

FANTASY AND THE FUTURE
July 26, 2014

Bob Woodruff said, “If you want to change the future, first you must imagine it.”

Not all writers of fiction write about the future, but all fiction writers imagine a world that isn’t true. It’s a story created in their minds.  Characters who do not really exist.  Situations that did not happen. Conversations never put to voice. Struggles that are fantasies.

All readers of classic literature will think of George Orwell’s 1984. Orwell was a prolific writer, and liberal  socialist,  who wrote about a future where the rulers controlled everything. Actions and thoughts  were monitored and manipulated.  Passion, truth, and individualism were a danger to the  members of this  state. His vision of the world has come to an almost eerie pass today.

The American journalist and prolific writer, Chris Hedges, writes in Death of the Liberal Class (2010) “….magical thinking, the idea that human and personal progress is somehow inevitable, leads to political passivity….It has turned whole nations, such as the United States, into self-consuming machines of death.”

To bring us current on Kauai’s machine of death, all we need do is turn to the daily newspaper, The Garden Island. Almost every day we read about a living creature on the island who must be eliminated. Feral cats-according to some-responsible for the extinction of wild bird life . Crowing roosters and all wandering free range chickens-practically our island bird, they’re so beautiful-must be killed. Parakeets? Out with them. Coqui frogs? Noise polluters more annoying than helicopters, jets, drones, boom boxes, motorcycles or grumbling, rumbling over-size trucks carrying who- knows what, roaring up and down the highways day and night.  Ubiquitous traffic jams.  Horns honk, brakes squeal, humans and sirens scream.

Our super active military might,  RimPac and a ‘Naval Battle Gun Rodeo’ , with a 28 death quota allowed on mammals of the sea, wage visible war fare off shore.  This morning, Saturday, July 26, 2014, a whale beached itself and died in Hanalei. Coral reefs are dying. Ground water, fresh air, the very earth we walk and grow food on, are fouled by unlimited toxic herbicides and pesticides  sprayed everywhere without disclosure of quantity or brand. We know these toxins kill bees.

Truth, our planet is presently engaged in the sixth extinction and there are many who cheer and some who profit.

So how does a writer of fiction, with a passionate concern for life and living things, tell a story about Kauai that brings all this  madness into perspective?

Pare it down. In Children of the Extinction, I had to, as a friend said, bump off a lot of guys. Our number one problem: too many people? Solved.  Kauai cannot support the existing population and land speculators and tax collectors  want to bring in more. That had  to stop. Our economic system is a disaster. Out. Money is worthless. Power? Lights, water, communication, computers,  sewage and modern appliances out. Traffic problems solved. Can’t pump gas.

To me, as a writer of fiction, it was better  to do the above problems in than living things.