Archive for the ‘Hawaii Independence’ Category

Down Size the Military: End War & Save the Planet!

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Time to Down Size the Military

Meetings have been taking place on Oahu about possible troop reductions in Hawaii. Many of Hawaii politicians have been groveling for the military to stay at full strength. Honolulu Mayor Kurt Caldwell said: “We love what you do.” U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, State Senator Gil Kahele, etc. echoed similar concerns. Little or nothing from the politicians about the military mess of polluted lands and unexploded ordnance that needs to be cleaned up, nor the burden placed on affordable housing and schools, etc. due to the large presence of U.S. military troops in Hawaii. The groveling politicians were pathetic and disgusting. Only sovereignty activists and grass roots community people spoke in support of military down sizing; about the ongoing illegal U.S. military occupation of Hawaii and the military involvement in the illegal overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893 to benefit the sugar interests, and the continuing down side costs of the U.S. military presence in Hawaii.

The Army has decided to remove hundreds of Stryker Vehicles (19-ton wheeled tanks) from Hawaii. That’s a good thing. These Strykers destroyed aina at Schofield, Makua, Pohakuloa, etc. Good riddance to them, but there is a lot more to go. Below is just one example.

F-35 costs

The U.S. military is the world’s largest consumer of oil and largest emitter of CO2 causing climate change. It’s time we put an end to war and redirect funds from destroying people and the planet to more positive pursuits. I’m sure you can add to the list above where tax dollars could be used more wisely. All Hawaii and the world stand together!

End War!  Save the Planet!

  1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.
    4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
    5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world. Contact:
    Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
    Phone
    (808) 966-7622. Email:ja@malu-aina.org http://www.malu-aina.org/

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (July 24, 2015 – 722nd week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Army wants categorical exclusion from all DU monitoring requirements at PTA, etc

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

If you agree this makes no sense, send in your statement of objection to the NRC.  My statement is below.  Mahalo.

Jim

Army wants categorical exclusion from all DU monitoring requirements at PTA, etc

July 15, 2015
To:  Ms. Amy M. Snyder

NRC

Senior Project Manager

Materials Decommissioning Branch

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

Amy.Snyder@nrc.gov

Re:  Comments on the June 1, 2015 CATX request by the US Army for license SUC-1593.

Aloha Ms. Snyder,
I recall the Army not wanting to have to acquire a license to possess DU in Hawaii and the more than a dozen other states and 3 foreign countries where it used it with the Davy Crockett (DC) spotting rounds. I suspect since the Army was not prohibited from using DU in training until 1996, there is a lot more DU around live fire training areas in the U.S. and abroad than just DU from the DC spotting rounds of the 1960s.  Will the NRC look, ask the Army and independent contractors to look, especially in light of the NRC’s chief priorities:  “protection of public health and safety and the environment.”    Now I see they want a categorical exclusion (CATX) to NEPA requirements for the license SUC-1593.  In essence no license requirements, hence no license.  Such arrogance is hard to top. In simple language, the Army has no idea how much DU was used at these sites, where exactly it was fired.  They cannot account for it, so they will continue business as usual –conducting high explosives in an area likely contaminated with DU and spread it in the wind upon troops and surrounding civilian communities.  And the NRC made the suggestions of categorical exclusions?  This in my judgment is completely irresponsible behavior for the NRC.  The NRC should be the REGULATOR, not the anything goes rubber stamp for the Army.

It would seem to me that monitoring and testing to determine the full extent of DU contamination is the first order of business. The monitoring should include air, soil, water (including new water wells in the area), plants and animals.  Hunting of wild pigs, goats, and sheep around  PTA is very common.  I have received reports of unusual tumors in some animals.  A prohibition against any explosives that may disperse, instead of contain, the contamination makes common sense.  The first indication of radiation contamination at Pohakuloa training Area (PTA) came from civilian radiation monitors on May 29, 2007, months before the Army confirmed DU use at PTA.  The radiation was detected OUTSIDE the base perimeter at Mauna Kea State park, now a county park.

I think a full EIS should be done at PTA and all other Army sites known to have DU to determine the full extent of the contamination and a plan what should be done.  This should be taken out of Army hands because it is clear they want nothing to be done.  In fact they want to be able to use high explosives in the areas that they know contain DU contamination.  Talk about having no regard for health and safety.

At a minimum, I urge you to reject the Army’s request for a categorical exclusion to its DU license to possess at Pohakuloa and all other Army sites.  Require independent testing, monitoring and clean up of the DU present as called for in an 8-1 Hawaii County Council vote on July 2, 2008.  But more should be done — I call for a full EIS on the issue of radiation contamination to include more than just DU from Davy Crockett spotting round.  If DU wasn’t prohibited in training until 1996, it was likely used in training.  That includes 34 years since DU was first used in DC spotting round at PTA.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jim Albertini
President


Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org

Racism in Hawaii and the U.S.

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

I think racism applies in Hawaii to the Mauna Kea issue of the Hawaiian sacred Temple, other issues of justice and the ongoing illegal U.S. occupation of Hawaii.   Hawaiian religion and calls for justice get little or no respect.

Jim Albertini

This deserves wide circulation, especially to whites – extra especially to whites who don’t think of themselves as racist.

I, Racist

John Metta Headshot
Posted: Updated:
RACISM INTELLIGENCE

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What follows is the text of a “sermon” that I gave as a “congregational reflection” to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28th. The sermon was begun with a reading of The Good Samaritan story, and this wonderful quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.

A couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.

Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

You see, I don’t talk about race with White people. To illustrate why, I’ll tell a story:

It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. This conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister:

“The only difference between people in The North and people in The South is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”

There was a lot more to that conversation, obviously, but I suggest that it can be distilled into that one sentence because it has been, by my White aunt. Over a decade later, this sentence is still what she talks about. It has become the single most important aspect of my aunt’s relationship with my Black family. She is still hurt by the suggestion that people in New York, that she, a northerner, a liberal, a good person who has Black family members, is a racist.

This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people. Even- or rather, especially- my own family.

I love my aunt. She’s actually my favorite aunt, and believe me, I have a lot of awesome aunts to choose from. But the facts are actually quite in my sister’s favor on this one.

New York State is one of the most segregated states in the country. Buffalo, New York where my aunt lives is one of the 10 most segregated school systems in the country. The racial inequality of the area she inhabits is so bad that it has been the subject of reports by the Civil Rights Action Network and the NAACP.

Those, however, are facts that my aunt does not need to know. She does not need to live with the racial segregation and oppression of her home. As a white person with upward mobility, she has continued to improve her situation. She moved out of the area I grew up in- she moved to an area with better schools. She doesn’t have to experience racism, and so it is not real to her.

Nor does it dawn on her that the very fact that she moved away from an increasingly Black neighborhood to live in a White suburb might itself be a aspect of racism. She doesn’t need to realize that “better schools” exclusively means “whiter schools.”

I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere. When I was younger, I thought it was because all white people are racist. Recently, I’ve begun to understand that it’s more nuanced than that.

To understand, you have to know that Black people think in terms of Black people. We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.

The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston resonated with me because Walter Scott was portrayed in the media as a deadbeat and a criminal- but when you look at the facts about the actual man, he was nearly indistinguishable from my own father.

Racism affects us directly because the fact that it happened at a geographically remote location or to another Black person is only a coincidence, an accident. It could just as easily happen to us- right here, right now.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.

What they are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my aunt, the suggestion that “people in The North are racist” is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.” My aunt’s immediate response is not “that is wrong, we should do better.” No, her response is self-protection: “That’s not my fault, I didn’t do anything. You are wrong.”

Racism is not slavery. As President Obama said, it’s not avoiding the use of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism. Racism is a cop severing the spine of an innocent man. It is a 12 year old child being shot for playing with a toy gun in a state where it is legal to openly carry firearms.

But racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced. Racism is the fact that “White” means “normal” and that anything else is different. Racism is our acceptance of an all white Lord of the Rings cast because of historical accuracy, ignoring the fact that this is a world with an entirely fictionalized history.

Even when we make shit up, we want it to be white.

And racism is the fact that we all accept that it is white. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in Star Trek. Khan, who is from India. Is there anyone Whiter than Benedict fucking Cumberbatch? What? They needed a “less racial” cast because they already had the Black Uhura character?
That is racism. Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.

Black children learn this when their parents give them “The Talk.” When they are sat down at the age of five or so and told that their best friend’s father is not sick, and not in a bad mood- he just doesn’t want his son playing with you. Black children grow up early to life in The Matrix. We’re not given a choice of the red or blue pill. Most white people, like my aunt, never have to choose. The system was made for White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.

But we can’t point this out.

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or- playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.

This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.

White people and Black people are not having a discussion about race. Black people, thinking as a group, are talking about living in a racist system. White people, thinking as individuals, refuse to talk about “I, racist” and instead protect their own individual and personal goodness. In doing so, they reject the existence of racism.

But arguing about personal non-racism is missing the point.

Despite what the Charleston Massacre makes things look like, people are dying not because individuals are racist, but because individuals are helping support a racist system by wanting to protect their own non-racist self beliefs.

People are dying because we are supporting a racist system that justifies White people killing Black people.

We see this in the way that one Muslim killer is a sign of Islamic terror; in the way one Mexican thief is a pointer to the importance of border security; in one innocent, unarmed Black man is shot in the back by a cop, then sullied in the media as a thug and criminal.

And in the way a white racist in a state that still flies the confederate flag is seen as “troubling” and “unnerving.” In the way people “can’t understand why he would do such a thing.”

A white person smoking pot is a “Hippie” and a Black person doing it is a “criminal.” It’s evident in the school to prison pipeline and the fact that there are close to 20 people of color in prison for every white person.

There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

I’m gonna read that again: “Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

Did you catch that? It’s beautifully subtle. This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article’s headline, the white people are “shooters” and the Black and Muslim people are “killers.”

Even when we’re talking about racism, we’re using racist language to make people of color look dangerous and make White people come out as not so bad.

Just let that sink in for a minute, then ask yourself why Black people are angry when they talk about race.

The reality of America is that White people are fundamentally good, and so when a white person commits a crime, it is a sign that they, as an individual, are bad. Their actions as a person are not indicative of any broader social construct. Even the fact that America has a growing number of violent hate groups, populated mostly by white men, and that nearly *all* serial killers are white men can not shadow the fundamental truth of white male goodness. In fact, we like White serial killers so much, we make mini-series about them.

All Hawaii Stand Together! We Are Mauna Kea!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Stop the 2015 Hawaii

“Committee of Safety”

     In 1893 the Hawaii Committee of Safety, a 13-member group, acted in a treasonous manner on behalf of big money sugar interests, with the assistance of the U.S. Marines, to illegally overthrow the independent Kingdom of Hawaii led by Queen Lili’uokalani. Today in 2015, another Hawaii Committee of Safety, made up of Hawaii Governor David Ige, Attorney General Douglass Chin, The State Dept. of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) under the University of Hawaii, acting on behalf of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) corporation are preparing “Emergency” Rules against Native Hawaiians and others acting to protect Hawaii’s most sacred temple –Mauna a Wakea or Mauna Kea from further desecration by the $1.5 billion, 18 story TMT.

     The 2015 Hawaii Committee of Safety (HCS), like the 1893 Hawaii Committee of Safety, is using the phony claim of “Public safety” and the “threat of imminent harm” to rationalize its unjust, and blatantly, illegal actions. The HCS already blocked summit road access, shut off water and closed restroom to residents and visitors at the Mauna Kea Visitors Center in an attempt to force an end to protectors of Mauna Kea from continuing their 100 plus day vigil near the visitor center. The HCS also removed portable restrooms brought in by Mauna Kea protectors for sanitary use by visitors and protectors after the Visitor’s center restrooms were locked. Now, the HCS wants to create further civil and human rights violations and restrictions in the phony interest of “an imminent peril to the public health, safety,…” Such proposed rules would further restrict public access to Mauna Kea and impose penalties for violations. The proposed area for restricting constitutional rights to free speech and assembly, Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, as well as public access and recreation amounts to 28 square miles, or 18,000 acres. The area covered by this emergency rule is described as any lands within one mile of the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road.

     Please don’t let this happen. Act to affirm rights to free speech and assembly, rights of native Hawaiian cultural and traditional practices, including spiritual practices on Mauna Kea. For more information see http://kahea.org/blog/testify-against-proposed-emergency-rules-for-mauna-kea-on-july-10 Submit testimony by email opposing the proposed “Emergency” rules Item C.2 on the BLNR agenda Email testimony to kuulei.n.moses@hawaii.gov. Call or email Governor Ige’s office 1-808-586-0034 gov.contact@hawaii.gov Mahalo for your solidarity and aloha.

We Are Mauna Kea!

Sacred Over Money! NO TMT

  1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.
    4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
    5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world. Contact:
    Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
    Phone
    (808) 966-7622. Email:ja@malu-aina.org http://www.malu-aina.org/

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (July 10, 2015 – 720th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Testify AGAINST Mauna Kea “emergency rules

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Please submit email testimony by Thursday.  See below.

Mahalo.

Jim Albertini

KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance is working in communities around our islands to protect Hawaii’s native landscapes, sacred places and unique way of life. www.kahea.org

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Aloha e,

Testify against proposed “emergency” rules for Mauna Kea. First, there is no emergency – no one has placed natural resources in “imminent peril.” Second, but more importantly, the “emergency rules” are pretextual. Their aim is rather to stifle legitimate, political speech to protect Mauna Kea against the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT).
WHO: We need to tell the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) NOT to approve “emergency” rules for Mauna Kea.
WHAT: “Emergency” rules proposed for Mauna Kea could authorize DLNR to severely restrict public access to the mauna and impose severe penalties for violations. These emergency rules are separate from the Office of Mauna Kea Management’s rules, which they held “open houses” on in late June 2015.
WHEN: July 10, 2015, 1:00PM (or later). Testimony signups from 8:45am-1:00pm.
WHY! To support the Kū Kia‘i Mauna, constitutional rights to assembly and political free speech, Hawaiian cultural practitioners in their vital practices, and public access, recreation, and enjoyment of the pristine environs of Mauna Kea.
DLNR’s proposed “emergency” rule follows:
Hawaii Administrative Rule (HAR) §13-123-21.2 Prohibited activities.
(a) The area covered by this rule is described as any lands within one mile of the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road and referred to in this rule as the “restricted area.”
(b) No person shall at any time bring in to the restricted area or possess or control in the restricted area any of the following items: backpack, tents, blankets, tarpaulins, or other obvious camping paraphernalia.
(c) No person shall enter or remain in the restricted area during the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., except to the extent the person is transiting through the restricted area in a motor vehicle on the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road.
Impacts of the Rule
The Access Road is 14 miles long, which means 28 square miles or 18,000 acres will be “restricted areas.” No one will be able to “camp” or even have a backpack in this 18,000 acre area. This area would cover 13,500 football fields.
Most troubling are the enforceable penalties for violating this emergency rule, which include: $2,500 civil fine (first offense) to $10,000 civil fine (third offense) (HRS §171-6.4), petty misdemeanor criminal liability (HRS §171-31.6), minimum $500 criminal fine (first offense) to $2,000 (third offense within 5 years) (HRS §171-31.6), up to 30 days jail (HRS §171-31.6), asset forfeiture of cars, etc. used in violation of the prohibitions (HAR §13-123-22 and HRS §171-31.5), and the loss of your hunting license.
How could this happen?
Agencies can do “emergency rulemaking” if it finds “an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or morals, to livestock and poultry health, or to natural resources” and that rule could only be effective for a maximum of 120 days, but BLNR could renew it. HRS §91-3(b). DLNR offered the vague rationale that the rules are proposed “to address impacts to natural resources that are occurring [in [areas within one mile of the Access Road] due to the presence of permanent encampments and their associated structures, facilities, activities, and impacts, as well as to eliminate the risks posed to public safety that result from the presence of numerous individuals that remain in those areas after dark[.]”
What do you think of DLNR’s reasons? Well, this is what we think:
Talking points:
We need to press BLNR to scrutinize the necessity of proposed rules and to assess the real impacts of these rules and the procedures through which these “emergency rules” gained traction.
  1. What evidence does DLNR have of “imminent peril” consequent to encampments near roads to Mauna Kea? Kū Kia‘i Mauna camps have remained by Hale Pōkahu, far from sensitive summit environments – how is their presence more of a threat than the 100,000 visitors and over 32,000 vehicles every year (i.e. over 270 people per day)? Kū Kia‘i Mauna have provided their own portable sanitation facilities, trashbags, and transported their waste away from the Mauna. How can DLNR justify a need for “emergency” rules when there is a long history of actual natural resource threats and concerns from the lack of management and enforcement in the summit area that continue to remain unaddressed?
  2. The state’s attempts to limit Kānaka Maoli rights to care for (un)ceded lands or to observe cultural practices in a sacred space violate the spirit of the 1993 Apology Resolution and rights guaranteed to Native Hawaiians under article XII, section 7 of the Hawai’i constitution. Protecting Mauna Kea and holding it in reverence as a sacred, spiritual realm are traditional and customary practices that are constitutionally protected.
  3. Would prohibiting and penalizing any activity near the Access Way prevent peril to “natural resources”? DLNR failed to identify the “peril” to natural resources that initiated their proposed emergency rule.
  4. The Kū Kia‘i Mauna have been an excellent conduit for the many and varied political and spiritual protective energies that have been brought to the mauna. How would forcibly removing this peaceful, organized force ensure the protection of public safety and natural resources?
  5. DLNR lacks documentation of imminent and serious threats to public safety and natural resources consequent to “camping” alongside the summit access road. “Campers” have rather sought to exercise significant constitutional and due process rights relating to the First Amendment and the right to assembly. DLNR’s proposed arbitrary declaration of “public safety” is a thin and illegal veil for its primary purpose in dispersing people working to protect a place sacred to Kanaka Maoli, in accordance with HRS 711-1107 on desecration and U.S. Public Law 95-341, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which includes Native Hawaiians.
  6. DLNR’s submittal did not explain how existing laws were not sufficient to address the alleged threats to public safety or natural resources.
What’s Next
We submit testimony on Item C.2 on the BLNR agenda, at least by Thursday 7/9 at 9am (needs to be 24 hours in advance). You can email DLNR administrator Ku`ulei Moses at: kuulei.n.moses@hawaii.gov. And we show up at the Honolulu BLNR meeting as early as 1:00 PM (or earlier if you want to sign up for public testimony). See you there!
Me ke aloha,
KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Alliance, Sacred Summits Committee
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 37368
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96837

Our phone number:
808-524-8220