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2019 Women’s March – Maui

We were back at UHMC for the third time – for many of the same issues. Again, the spirit was mainly up-beat with the knowledge that there is much to be done – and we can unite – and we will not wait for others to speak and act for us.

The third Woman’s March – Jan. 19, 2019 at the UHMC campu

Women and men, old and young gathered for a few hours of music, inspiring speakers, socializing, learning about new issues, and just generally being re-inspired to keep working for the values we support.

Nursing professor Kathleen brought her daughter. Paddling sister Gail brought her 90-year-old mother and two sisters from the U.S. Mainland.
Flags and banners added color and declared interests

According to “The Maui News,” about 2,000 people participated in our Women’s March in Kahului. One participant expressed what many felt: “he came out to support women’s rights and to support the planet’s rights and to try to have solidarity with everyone who’s turning to the positive side instead of the negative side” (A 1).

One of our Maui event organizers, Robin Pilus, noted, “At the very beginning, we felt we could make a difference; it seemed like we could sprint, with all that energy. Now we realized it will be a long-distance run.” (A 3).

I thought this sign was from an environmental group – but no. Many signs were fun and funny!

The guy with the bullhorn from last year was back. As we marched off campus, he screamed at us, “You are going to hell!!” One of his signs noted, “Feminism makes women hate men!” Most of us just ignored him since he showed no interest in actually talking with anyone. He might actually want to check his sources. 🙂 Science is good.

Many groups came: Moms Demand Action – for sane gun laws; http://www.KeepYour Power.org – because of carcinogen components involved, this group is against 5G cell antennas and “Smart Meters”; Pro-Choice – for a woman’s rights over her body; LGBT groups for human rights; immigrants – for just treatment; people concerned about the U.S. Navy plans to have training missions in our beautiful waters and near shores; environmental groups – for protection of our marine life and shores. . . .

Other signs said, “Build Houses, Not Walls,” “Compassion for All”. . .

This was on my T-shirt – getting new voters to sign up is what I like to do.

I carried this sign. The back declared, “We Stand Against Oppression! Flo, who I know from water testing and the Humpback Whale Sanctuary, made my sign and others. Mahalo 🙂
Helping and supporting one another is what our community does.

Many people came to the march, and we know that many more were with us in spirit.

We have much hope for the future.

There is much for everyone to do. Let’s keep working. Blessings and hope to you wherever you are.

Aloha, Renée

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U.S. Navy Plans for Special Operations Training in Maui County (and beyond)

The U.S. Navy in its practice for war has a history in Maui County. Among other actions, Navy used our eighth largest Hawaiian island, Kaho’olawe, a place sacred to Hawaiians, for target practice. Starting in 1941. Kaho’olawe was transformed into a bombing range with ship-to-shore bombardment and later with American submarines testing torpedoes by firing them at shoreline cliffs.  They even simulated the blast effects of nuclear weapons on shipboard weapon systems.  Although Kaho’olawe is about six miles from Maui, our island windows shook at the bombing impacts.  During the Navy testing and practice, a few of the torpedoes missed  – and landed on Maui!  

Despite decades of protest, the Navy continued the bombings until 1990! The results: a dead island where although over 9 million tons of debris and un-exploded ordinances have been removed, no one can live, no one can even visit without getting special permission because it is still too dangerous to be there.  I can see Kaho’olawe from the deck of my house. The Navy spent millions to clean it up, but there are still un-exploded Navy bombs there; I’m not likely ever to go there.  

The U.S. Navy has a new plan. According to the January 4, 2019 edition of “The Maui News,” the Navy says, “[T]here will be no live-fire or amphibious assault craft and aircraft landings as part of their proposed exercises around Maui County . . .The Navy is proposing nearshore water training in the county, which will include naval special operation personnel diving and swimming and launching and recovering small vehicles designed to operate underwater” (A 1).

Also, the Navy had said they would accept public comment until today (January 7) – but before the deadline, they announced they had decided to go ahead with their proposals!

What the Navy says in its plan to go ahead with training exercises is much more limited than what it puts forth as possibilities in the four huge volumes of its Hawaii-Southern California plan.

A Navy training area site on Maui looks close to the Kihei Canoe Club, Maui Canoe Club, the Pinks, the Kihei Youth Center, many homes, townhouses, vacation condos, and the longest uninterrupted white sand beach in our state.  Also nearby are Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (the only U.S. sanctuary dedicated to the protection of humpback whales and their marine environment); the critically endangered hawksbill turtles nest along these beaches.

Images below are from the Navy’s proposal on display at our Kahului Public Library:



Report and images from <http://go.usa.gov/xUnDC>

Please join me and many others in Hawaii (and beyond); say NO to U.S. Navy practice for war — above, on, and below our beautiful ocean waters, off shore, near shore, and on land! 

Instead, the U.S. Navy could practice peace.  Because of the changing climate and the resulting weather related impacts, the Navy could be sending out forces for training and rescue and rebuilding.  They could do more missions of real search and rescue:  people need help in Indonesia, Saipan . . . California.  Flint, Michigan could have all its corroded water pipes replaced.  The infrastructure needs in the U.S. are endless.  Our military personnel could be learning useful and welcomed skills. 

If you live on Maui, have visited here, or want to come some day, let your voice be heard. If you care about humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, endangered marine life, coral, let your voice be heard. Our U.S. military could be instruments of peace.

If it is still January 7, 2019, where you are, please let the U.S. Navy know how you feel by sending an email to <NFPAC-RECEIVE@navy.mil>.

Then, any time, please email Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige at <https://governor.hawaii.gov/>. Whether you live here or not, he needs to know what you think.

We live in a very special place of Hawaiian aloha and beauty. We hope you find it that way when you come to visit.

In Peace & Aloha, Renée

The New Poor Peoples’ Campaign

America’s Moral Malady

The nation’s problem isn’t that we don’t have enough money. It’s that we don’t have the moral capacity to face what ails society.

Jill Freedman / Getty

Image above: Americans, young and old, dwell in Resurrection City, made of tents and wooden shanties, during the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, in Washington, D.C.

In the summer of 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. visited homes in the hamlet of Marks, Mississippi. Later he remembered the hundreds of children who lacked shoes. A mother told King that her children had no clothes for school. The Nobel laureate wept openly. “They didn’t even have any blankets to cover their children up on a cold night,” he recalled. “And I said to myself, God does not like this.” Then he vowed, “We are going to say in no uncertain terms that we aren’t going to accept it any longer. We’ve got to go to Washington in big numbers.”

In March 1968, King brought together a group of more than 50 leaders representing Black Belt sharecroppers, Appalachian coal miners, Chicano farmworkers, and American Indians, among others, to join the Poor People’s Campaign. The poor, “both white and Negro, live in a cruelly unjust society,” he said. “If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.”

America’s sickness was spiritual—and would be terminal, King insisted, unless we experienced a “radical revolution of values.” A shift to the left or the right could not save us; only a movement that changed the moral narrative could refocus our priorities on building a society that honored the dignity of every person. This country had to be born again—not only in budgets and policy decisions, but in spirit.

The preacher in King knew that such a moral revival could not simply be spoken into existence. Poor people, who are so often pitted against one another, needed to unite in a national campaign of direct action to save America’s soul, King told the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Today we face a national crisis that is in many ways an intensifying of the storm that rocked America in 1968. But too often, our attempts to diagnose what ails us cannot get past the tired debates of left-versus-right politics. King’s analysis was that interlocking systems of violence, literal and metaphorical—which he called racism, poverty, and militarism—blinded most Americans to the lives of people in places like Marks. Until a Poor People’s Campaign compelled Americans to see “them” as “us,” the ideal of America would remain beyond reach.In the richest society in human history, nearly half of the population lives in poverty or is struggling to make ends meet.

Four diseases, all connected, now threaten the nation’s social and moral health: racism, poverty, environmental devastation, and the war economy—sanctified by the heresy of Christian nationalism. Since the 2016 presidential election, when white rage propelled a candidate endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan into the White House, racism has been more prominent in public life. Nearly every politician in the United States condemned “hate” after the violence by anti-black, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer. Racism and white supremacy, however, are not about hate. They are about power.

The question is not whether politicians condemn hate, but whether they promote the policy agenda of white supremacy. Since 2010, we have seen an assault on voting rights in numerous state legislatures, which the Supreme Court exacerbated in 2013 by gutting a crucial provision of the Voting Rights Act. The states that attack voting rights by using partisan gerrymandering, discriminatory voter-identification requirements, or a rollback of early voting and same-day registration are also home to the lowest wages, the severest poverty, the greatest hostility toward immigrants and the LGBT community, and the deepest cuts in education funding. Politicians who try to suppress voting are using their power to hurt the poor and the working class—white, brown, and black.

In the richest society in human history, nearly half of the population lives in poverty or is struggling to make ends meet. More than half of African American workers and nearly 60 percent of Latino workers are paid less than $15 an hour. In the South, half of all jobs pay less than $15 an hour. During the past five years, state legislatures have stepped in to override many of the municipalities where the “Fight for $15” has succeeded.

Meanwhile, the nation’s economic growth, especially since the Great Recession, has overwhelmingly benefited the wealthiest among us. Wall Street got bailouts while working Americans saw their jobs shipped overseas or outsourced to contractors. The top 400 taxpayers earn an average of $97,000 an hour, while people are arrested for protesting because they can’t survive on $7.25 an hour, the minimum that Washington requires.

Environmental dangers also disproportionately hurt the poor. In Flint, Michigan, poor people can buy unleaded gasoline but can’t get unleaded water from the tap. Oil companies are drilling for natural gas on Apache lands, penetrating the aquifers. Coal ash has spilled into rivers, and pipelines are being built through sacred territory. Federal deregulation is opening the door to new fossil-fuel exploration and mining in Alaska, contributing to climate change and scarring native lands.There’s only one way out: for people directly harmed by the economic and political system to fight as one against the few who benefit from it.

The unending war economy has made everything worse. Out of each discretionary federal dollar spent, 54 cents goes to the military. This is money that is not spent on health care, education, affordable housing, or infrastructure. We’ve paid more than $4 trillion since 2001 to fight the War on Terror while claiming that we lack the resources to furnish decent medical care for every American.

Our problem isn’t that we don’t have enough money. It’s that we don’t have the moral capacity to face what ails our society.

While a thorough analysis of America’s moral malady may tempt us to despair, it also brings us face-to-face with the ethical challenge that inspired the first Poor People’s Campaign. The children in Marks made King weep, just as pictures of children burned by napalm in Vietnam had brought him to tears, because he knew that their cruel reality wasn’t inevitable. As James Baldwin wrote: “We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over.” To King, the Poor People’s Campaign was about America’s need for another Reconstruction—for an acknowledgment that a system of race-based slavery had created the inequality that had been passed down to the present day.

This confluence of troubles may seem overwhelming. It suggests, however, that the only way out is for people directly harmed by the economic and political system to fight as one against the few who benefit from it.

In 1968, the idea—a Poor People’s Campaign to unite activists from across the nation and bring them to Washington to shut down the government, to bring the issue of poverty compellingly to the fore—looked impossible. Except there was no other way. The tent city in Washington was snuffed out after six weeks by riot police and tear gas. Even so, the campaign had a lasting influence on national policies, as seen in the additional spending for Head Start, subsidized school lunches and food programs in poverty-stricken counties, and the creation of the Children’s Defense Fund, which has pushed legislation to help poor children and families for the past half century.

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Still, we have never completed the Reconstruction that our federal government admitted was necessary after the Civil War. Just as the Poor People’s Campaign proposed, the Reconstruction we need now must arise from the efforts of people harmed directly by racism, poverty, environmental degradation, and the war economy. That is the inspiration for the new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which is coordinating direct actions across the country that will begin in May. Activists in at least 32 states and Washington, D.C., will join in 40 days of civil disobedience, including an encampment in the nation’s capital, in hopes of building the power of the poor and the working class to reset the national agenda.

Only by joining together and asserting our authority as children of God can we shift the moral narrative in this nation and create a movement that will challenge those in power to form the “more perfect union” to which we aspire. Now as in 1968, this notion looks impossible. Except, again, there is no other way.


This article appears in the special MLK issue print edition with the headline “A New Poor People’s Campaign.”  Atlantic Monthly

Let’s support what needs – and must – be done.  Aloha,
Renée

Quotation: “People can debate . . .”

“People can debate how big a factor straight-up racism was in Trump’s victory.  But his yearlong drumbeat of remarks and tweets and retweets, [up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election – and beyond] giving voice to white resentment toward people of color and religious minorities, offending millions and pulling scabs off old American wounds–all of that was not too much for the 62,984,825 people who colored in the bubble next to Trump’s name” 

– John Biewen (from the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies.  Biewen teaches and produces/hosts the podcast Scene on Radio).

From: “Sunbeams,” The Sun, September 2018, issue 513, p. 48.

In stark contrast,  Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries says in wonder of God’s ways that President Trump, although a flawed man, promotes Biblical values.  She notes the Bible says that when the righteous rule, the evil moan.  

From: https://olivetreeviews.org/

Jan Markell  – Image from https://i2.wp.com/soaringeagleradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Jan-Markell.png

Since Donald Trump and his friends have been in control, I’ve been moaning every day about the undermining of basic human decency and our democracy.   And I certainly don’t consider myself evil. 

How can we listen to each other and move forward together if each position feels the other is evil?  

Gandhi said, “It is no nonviolence if we merely love those that love us.  It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us.  I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love.  But are not all great and good things difficult to do?  Love of the hater is the most difficult of all.  But by the grace of God even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it” (Gandhi the Man, Eknath Easwaran, p. 108). 

http://Photo by Ishant Mishra on Unsplash

Although a struggle, we must find ways to listen and talk and work – together. 

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Let’s talk, even – perhaps especially – to people we don’t understand – yet.

Aloha, Renee 

Banner photo: http://Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Quotation: “What we need in the United States . . .”

“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black ” [or Latino, or LGBTQ, or old, or disabled . . .]. – Robert F. Kennedy

kathy's-30-bird4

Aloha, Renee

Thought for the Day: Racism

“[I]n 1860  only around ‘5 percent of the Southern population owned even one slave, and a significantly smaller percentage owned more than twenty.’ . . .

Millions of human beings were held in bondage.  It’s mind-boggling to me [says author Camille T. Dungy]  that such a small number of people controlled so much of the wealth back then — and much of that wealth was accrued through the bodies of other human beings.  A black human being was a commodity, an object, not particularly different in value from a piece of jewelry, a few head of livestock, or several bolts of fabric.  My point is that most white people didn’t have the kind of wealth that the institution of slavery was protecting, just like most people today don’t have the kind of wealth protected by tax codes that allow a billionaire to write off a private jet but don’t allow schoolteachers to write off $250 worth of school supplies. . . .

America would not be the wealthy country it is without slave labor.  We would not have our power or wealth if we had not, for a very long time, depended on the unpaid labor of millions  of human beings . . . Cotton wasn’t king just in the South.  Many of the most productive cotton mills were in the North, as were the insurance companies and other industries that profited off those mills.  Without a lot of unpaid labor, those profits would have been significantly less.  And we are still depending on the unpaid or underpaid labor of millions of human beings — from prison workers to immigrants to foreign labor.  The question of slavery is still with us [my emphasis].  America has a legacy of harming other human beings and justifying that harm by glorifying the wealth it brings to a few.  Thankfully America also has a legacy of resisting that impulse. . . .

It’s sometimes difficult to accept the fact that whole portions of our society were built up–are still built up– to support the wealth of just a few.  Why don’t more people object to that?  Perhaps because so many Americans think maybe one day they will be the billionaire with access to the unchecked power to acquire wealth at the expense of other human beings.  When the focus is on the glorification of wealth rather than on an honest examination of how that wealth might have been accrued, we routinely ignore brutalities visited upon our fellow human beings (7). . . .

“Racism – and resistance to racism – is part of the fabric of this country.  When our twenty-dollar bill celebrates a man who is connected to the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of black people, I can’t see how I can say, ‘Let’s just focus on this one area.’ We are part of an ecosystem.  We can’t just worry about the whales, so to speak.  We need to address what’s happening to our oceans.

But, as individuals, I know we sometimes have to choose the battles that matter most to us” (9).

There is much to do to make our world more just and equitable for all. Let’s get working.

Aloha, Renee

From:  “Poetic Justice: Camille T. Dungy on Racism, Writing, and Radical Empathy” by Airica Parker – The Sun, June 2018, p. 4-12.

Banner photo:  Andrew Jackson – Popular General in the United States Army and from 1829 to 1837, seventh President of the United States.

Quotation: Thank you, President Trump

Garth-Lenz_Camp-family

Mekasi Camp Horinek and Pipeline Fighters

On March 23, 2017,  President Trump signed the permit approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline – where Native American led protests, says Wikipedia, have united environmental groups, citizens, and politicians over the potential negative impacts of the Keystone XL project.[92] The main issues are the risk of oil spills along the pipeline, which would traverse highly sensitive terrain, and 17% higher greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of oil sands compared to extraction of conventional oil.[93][94]

On that day, Mekasi Camp Horinek, a member of the Ponca Nation, told reporter Alleen Brown:

“I want to say thank you to the president for all the bad decisions that he’s making — for the bad cabinet appointments that he’s made and for awakening a sleeping giant.  People that have never stood up for themselves, people that have never had their voices heard, that have never put their bodies on the line are now outraged.  I would like to say thank you to President Trump for his bigotry, for his sexism,

[for his attacks on our environment, for his support of gun rights over the rights of our children to be safe in schools, for his attacks on immigrants – in this country that is filled with people whose ancestors came as immigrants, for snubbing our Allies and becoming cozy with ruthless dictators, for celebrating hate and disrespect, for filling the pockets of the richest from the suffering of the poorest,  . . .]

for bringing all of us in this nation together to stand up and unite

From: Naomi Klein’s NO IS NOT ENOUGH: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, p. 190-191.

Let’s stand together and VOTE on November 6th.

Aloha, in light and action, Renée

 

Banner source: https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/08/listen-mekasi-camp-horinek-on-standing.html

Stand Up! Speak Up! Listen! And Act!

Stand UP

I don’t know Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who has accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but I do know that even before I’d started school,  I knew to my bones that good girls were quiet, didn’t complain, shouldn’t tattle, and that if something bad happened, it was probably my own fault.

In my Decatur, Illinois, kindergarten class, I was the youngest and smallest student.  My classmate Jeffery was the biggest.  He liked to come running and jump on my back. It hurt. A good girl, I didn’t tattle.   Finally when my teacher, an otherwise nice woman, saw Jeffery in action, she just laughed and said that he probably liked me.   I tried to stay away from Jeffery.  One recess  as I was waiting in line for the slide, Jeffery ran over and kicked my shin, hard.  Of course, I didn’t tell, but a very colorful, huge bruise grew on my leg.   When my mother saw it, she asked me what had happened, and I told her about Jeffery.  Mom went to see my teacher, and I don’t remember Jeffery picking on me much after that.

Several times in my life, there have been reasons for me to speak up.  But as a good girl who didn’t want to get anyone in trouble,  I usually haven’t said anything.  Even when I have protested, usually nothing changes.

When I first moved to Hawaii, for instance, I went to a doctor on Oahu. When his nurse was outside the examining room, the doctor’s language to me and his physically touching me were really inappropriate! I wasn’t some young thing. I was almost 40 years old, a well-educated professional.   I was shocked. I wrote a letter to the head of the Hawaii Medical Association describing in detail what had happened. That association head, another male doctor, thanked me for my letter, said he was glad that I had sent a copy to the offending doctor, and noted that Hawaii has many fine doctors. I should just choose another one.  Nothing came of my complaint  –  and I just gave up.

Several years ago, five female students came to me as their English teacher and the advisor to Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society at the college where I taught. The students complained about one male student who had been stalking some, behaving very inappropriately to others. These young women were all excellent students, one a returning adult; I knew them. And I knew the guy. So, I called the Dean of Students, told him the problem, and made an appointment so the young women could tell the Dean what the male student had been doing to them and ask that the student be given consequences by our college. I went to the meeting with the students. The Dean had invited the male student too, which was okay, but a bit of a surprise. The Dean listened to each of the young women and then heard out the male who basically said that they had all misunderstood his actions (like forcibly entering one girl’s apartment).   The Dean asked if any of the five young women had filed a police report. None had. So the Dean dismissed the women’s complaints.  Nothing came of the complaints – and I gave up.

My pattern has continued: don’t complain, be quiet, be nice— just stay away from those people. It’s my fault somehow if something bad happens to me.  And the offending person gets away with bad behavior.

It’s not just guys in our society that often get away with bad behavior.   Institutions can too.

On August 14, 2016, my husband and I showed up a few minutes late–perhaps the second time in about 10 years–to volunteer as ushers at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s production of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” As we reached the glass doors to the Castle Theater with all the “good” MACC volunteers watching, we were informed for the first time that now the MACC had a zero tolerance policy for tardiness. Barry and I were ordered to leave!  At the time, we thought we were the first ever MACC volunteers to be treated in such a way. That turns out not to be quite true, but it didn’t reduce the shock at the time.   We are both well-educated professionals, white, relatively affluent — (I know I live in a protected bubble); we had volunteered hundreds of hours to the MACC  and without any warning, we were publicly humiliated!  I was hurt and angry.

Loving the MACC for its varied events and experiences and with our teaching and counseling backgrounds, I thought we could help the MACC staff develop positive ways to encourage prompt arrival, good training, and improved treatment of  volunteers and event attendees.   Barry, as the supportive husband and good idea man that he is, came with me as I asked for one and then after no results , a second meeting,  as we went up through the MACC hierarchy.

The MACC Administrators said that they weren’t interested in our ideas, weren’t responsible for other specific incidents I considered  unprofessional and unnecessary – including an event manager ramming from behind a man who was walking out the front MACC gates.   MACC administrators said that publicly humiliating us had worked. The habitually late volunteers hadn’t been late a single time since our dismissal.  Besides the MACC had plenty of other volunteers.  The event manager had just done as she had been instructed. The MACC Administration supported her.  One woman from the MACC executive office did say she was sorry for the way I felt, but neither she nor the event manager knew why I had been eliminated from the approved MACC volunteer notices.

Not wanting to be shamed by telling other people or somehow hurting the MACC’s reputation and blaming myself for being those few minutes late, I gave up – still humiliated, hurt and angry.  I told only a few really close friends and my sister about what had happened.  Nothing changed.   Barry moved on; I’m still angry.

But I’m telling now what happened to us at the MACC.  Some people get kicked out of bars; Barry and I got kicked out of being volunteers at the MACC – the institution in our community that brings art and culture to our lives.  The whole thing was ridiculous really.  Behind the scenes, the MACC isn’t so wonderful to some people.

Do you believe me?  If you don’t, I don’t really care.  It’s the truth.

And if you’ve read this far, I thank you for listening.

And –

I’m really tired of being “nice.”

I feel terrible that I wasn’t the advocate that I should have been for the young women college students.  I could have gone on to the college chancellor with the five young women and told. If that didn’t work, we could have kept talking until someone listened and acted.   I could have written to the head of the medical licensing board for Hawaii about the sleazy doctor and continued talking if that didn’t work.  I could have taken our experience at the MACC outside its walls.

For women, shame and the idea that whatever happens is our own fault is deeply embedded in our culture and starts at birth.

Why do some women wait – maybe years, maybe decades later to tell or perhaps never?  One woman I know recently revealed that starting when she was 11 years old, she and her sister were raped by their father for years.   Today the woman is 75 years old and only now is she telling!

Covering up the bad behavior of others doesn’t really help anyone.

Some of those U.S. Senators who  smeared and humiliated Anita Hill 27 years ago when she testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas will be judging Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford  & Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Image from www.cnn.com/2018/09/23/politics/christine-blase-ford-senate/index.html

Is Dr. Ford telling the truth?   A resounding YES is my opinion – even if she has waited years to tell and didn’t tell her “loving parents”  – as our president disparagingly called them.  Of course, she wouldn’t have told.  I had loving parents too.

It would be just and reasonable to have an actual investigation – not the “he says,”  “she says” grilling by a Republican prosecuting attorney with no witnesses in front of the 21-member (17 of them white males) Senate Judiciary Committee that is now scheduled to happen Thursday – and no matter what happens in that Senate committee, the vote to confirm Kavanaugh is already scheduled for Friday.  I hope this makes you mad.

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat, one of only four women on that Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Thursday, September 20th, “I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up.  Do the right thing, for a change” (“The Maui News, 9/21/18, A 1).

01-Senator-Mazie-Hirono.w700.h467U.S. Senator, Mazie Hirono, Democrat, Hawaii

I wonder what kind of man Jeffery, my kindergarten classmate, grew up to be.  That creepy  doctor is unlikely have stopped his actions because he just got a letter from me. What about the male college student?  Do you think he learned anything from being called in to the Dean’s office and having the young women’s complaints dismissed?

Thank you to the #MeToo Movement, Anita Hill, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and all the women and men in the world who speak out and speak up — and don’t give up.  And thanks to all the people who are listening and asking for justice.

We are flawed human beings.  We all make mistakes, but covering up for others, excusing with “boys will be boys” attitudes,  or pushing someone around because you can are not evolved ways to be and don’t help anyone grow or change.

We can together create a better world, but not if people feel they must stay quiet and can’t tell the truth – and when others don’t show respect or listen.

Good luck,  Dr. Ford. I’m wishing you strength.  Thank you for standing up.

But it is hard to change things alone.

The really frightening aspect of Brett Kavanaugh becoming a U.S. Supreme Court Justice is that he is only 54 years old, the appointment is for life, and his record is of an extremely conservative judge: against women’s rights, immigrant rights, environmental protection, gun restrictions .  . .

On this U.S. National Voter Registration Day, September 25, please

  • Make sure you are registered to vote,
  • Become an informed citizen on local, state, and national issues, and then
  • Vote on November 6, 2018.

Michael Moore’s new movie Fahrenheit 11/9 notes that 100 million Americans did not vote in the 2016 Presidential Election! Get informed — and make your voice heard!

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Let’s stand up, speak up, listen, and join others to make our voices heard — and create change that’s desperately needed.
And the idea behind telling need not be to catch someone doing something wrong so we can crucify the person, but to show the harm that has been done — and to come up with other ways to be and do.   Let our voices be the yardsticks to measure what is — and what could be.
In my MACC example, mainly I got my feelings hurt.  I’m sure to get over it especially now that others know, and I don’t feel isolated.  Perhaps the MACC Administration will consider other ways – more evolved ways – to act.  And I will move on – and forgive.
Also we must make space for people to tell the truth about misconduct.  We hope to learn and evolve.  What if, for instance, Bill Clinton had told the truth at the beginning of Monica Lewinsky’s allegations?  What if he said that he had made a mistake and that he was sorry?  We must provide space for people to tell the truth.
In the U.S, the environment is under attack; children are ripped from their parents; our taxes go to the military machine; our public education system is stressed.  Even at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (where I now volunteer most happily), we have lost two wonderful full-time staff members in the last few months because of budget cuts.  We have many issues to support.  Let’s put our energies together and work for good causes.  Be an informed voter – and see where you are most needed.  Your vote and your energy are needed.  What we each do matters, now and for the future.
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Aloha – in love and action, Renée

Banner photo:  Maui Arts and Cultural Center – photo mauiarts.org

Barry’s Gleanings: “Free California of Fossil Fuels” By Bill McKibben

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In a recent New York Times Opinion piece, environmentalist Bill McKibben,  founder of 350.org, a group seeking to build clean solutions for the world’s energy needs, notes the possibility and importance of California state legislation.

“The State Senate passed a measure last year that would commit California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, to running on 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Now it is up to the Assembly to provide crucial leadership by passing that legislation, S.B. 100. If any place on earth can handle this transition, it’s California, home to some of the planet’s strongest sunshine and many of its finest clean-tech entrepreneurs.

Already, thanks to strong efforts at efficiency and conservation and the falling price of solar power, the average California household spends almost 50 percent less on energy than the average family in, say, Louisiana. But unless the Assembly passes S.B. 100 before the current session ends, much of that momentum will evaporate. After great organizing (including from my colleagues at 350.org chapters across the state), 72 percent of Californians back the bill; it’s now a test of confidence versus cravenness for members of the Assembly.

The governor, Jerry Brown, has been strangely quiet on S.B. 100, which is odd since it should be the no-brainer capstone to his clean-energy endeavors. After the governor’s years of leading efforts to deal with the demand side of the energy equation, activists are now also demanding he show equal attention to the supply side. His administration routinely grants new permits for oil and gas drilling, leading not only to more carbon emissions but also to drill rigs and derricks next to the houses, schools and hospitals of the state’s poorest residents: From rural Kern County to south-central Los Angeles, nearly 70 percent of the people living near wells are minorities. . . “

See the complete article at –

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/opinion/fires-california-fossil-fuels.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-

Aloha, Barry (and Renee)

P.S. Thanks, Sue for sending this article to us.

Image by: Mikey Burton

 

March for Our Lives – Maui

March 24, 2018 – March and Concert – on Maui – wonderful, hopeful:

The people, the signs, the unity –

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The T-shirt says: “go Vegan & No one gets HURT”

 

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The volunteers –

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A great way to live: “Respect, Empower, Include, Organize”

 

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Volunteer Lucy to the left; Maui Council Woman (and sunflower queen), Kelly King, to the right

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Linette with other voter registration volunteers

After the March for our Lives, we had the Concert for our Lives, Maui style:

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Rachel Zisk, King Kekaulike High School freshman, was one of several articulate, passionate voices that called for us not to forget all the victims of gun violence.  “It is time to come together and demand change.”

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Where’s Barry?  Can you find him?

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U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono

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Maui sent students to Parkland, Florida to bring aloha – and a three-mile ti leaf lei of love and solidarity.

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Following the documentary, “Lei of Aloha,” Kihei Charter School students held up photos of the 17 killed at the Florida school;  Anthony Pfluke sang, “We will rise” and then the Hawaiian chant “E Ala E”

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Maui students including Gita Tucker, Tori Teoh, Skylar Masuda, and ‘Oiwi Gormley spoke powerful messages calling for action.

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With the clipboard, Diana, my student about 15 years ago, was one of those getting people to registered to vote – near the food booths under “mackerel” clouds (Diana taught me that description) at Maui’s Concert for our Lives.

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard – has earned an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association; we are proud of her!

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Uncle Willie K – despite fighting cancer was there to sing and play for us.

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Jack Johnson!  After earlier mass shootings, Jack said he was embarrassed to watch T.V. and see leaders with just “words on their lips.”  This time there is real energy and resolve with the students leading the way.

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Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Lily Meola, Pat Simmons Jr. were other entertainers in this alcohol/drug-free event

This being Maui, we also saw famous surfers and water people and Hawaiian cultural practitioners.  Ram Dass was there!  Students came to the concert for free.  Adults paid $10 for the fabulous concert.  All the proceeds from the sold-out event will help promote sensible gun- control laws.

Not everyone attending the concert wanted stricter gun laws.  In going around offering forms for voter registration,  I met a man from Alaska who has his assault rifle in his locked gun safe.  He explained that he needed the high-power weapon because of bears and moose.  Wouldn’t a regular rifle offer protection in the unlikely event of an animal attack?  (And then you would be able to eat the meat).   He also tried to explain why he didn’t vote – so he wouldn’t be responsible for voting someone into office that he later found didn’t make good choices.

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Steven Tyler of Aerosmith closed the show with all the performers singing the Beatles” Come Together.   The 5,500 of us in the audience joined in on the chorus: joyful, hope filled.

Why do we desperately need gun change in the U.S.?

Mom’s Demand Action (for gun sense in America) notes a few of those excellent reasons we need change:

  • Every day, 9 3 Americans die from gun violence.
  •  Since Newtown, [the Sandy Hook Elementary School 2012 shooting that killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members] there have been over 200 school shootings – one almost every week.
  • American women are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed than women in other developed countries.

The goals:

  • Close the deadly loopholes in our background check system that allow dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers easy access to guns
  • Support reasonable limits on where, when and how loaded guns are carried and used in public
  • Promote gun safety so that America’s children will no longer be exposed to unacceptable level of risk
  • Mobilize popular support for policies that respect Second Amendment rights and protect people

Go to: www.momsdemandaction.org

If you live in the U.S., please Register, Educate Yourself, and then Vote.  If you live in Hawaii, you can check your registration status and/or update your information, by going to: https://olvr.hawaii.gov/.

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The only arms we need – are for hugging.

We can at least get rid of the assault weapons and keep mentally ill and domestic abusers from getting guns legally.  It’s time for positive action.

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Our children are asking for help.  Guns cause senseless killings every day in the U.S. – including “too easy” suicides, too easy  disagreements and domestic abuse incidents  that turn deadly . . .  Even the hate-filled, mentally-ill men who see killing others as an option – need help.

We must take action to stop gun violence in the U.S.

In Peace and Aloha, Renée

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