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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

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Quotation: from Hawaii Queen Lili’ uokalani

Some Hawaiians here in our state don’t vote because our U.S. government overthrew the legal monarchy  of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 when businessmen (children of U.S. missionaries) garnered the help of a U.S. warship in the Honolulu harbor threatening mass killing of the Hawaiians.  Queen Lili’uokalani, the royal monarch,  acquiesced, to prevent the deaths of her people.  She hoped the United States President would right the situation. Though President Cleveland and his special commissioner James Blount supported the return of the Queen’s sovereignty, the Provisional Government refused to step down. They quickly proclaimed themselves the Republic of Hawai’i and by 1898 they’d received status as a U.S. Territory.  Nothing was done to reinstate the islands to the Hawaiian people.

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U.S. plantation owners and businessmen worried about the influence of the popular Queen Lili’uokalani and overthrew the legal monarchy

Image from: http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=312

So it is very understandable that some Hawaiians today don’t want to be part of this system.

However, when you don’t vote and make your voice heard, the ones who do vote win for their ideas, their way of life, their benefit.

Besides, Queen Lili’uokalani saw that having a vote was important!

Queen-Lili'uokalani

Photo from Ki’ope Raymond, Hawaiian Language Professor, University of Hawaii Maui College

“We have no other direction left to pursue, except this unrestricted right to vote. Given by the U.S. to you the Lahui [the Hawaiian Nation], grasp it and hold on to it.  It is up to you to make things right for all of us in the Future.”  Queen Lili’uokalani

So if you are Hawaiian, please make choices that will be the best for you, your family, your community.

And for those of us who aren’t Native Hawaiians, I’ve learned that it is important to vote for the candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Until this last Primary Election in August, I left those three spots unchecked each election – because I’m not Hawaiian and didn’t think I had a real right to be making those choices.  However, I’ve learned that the Hawaiian community can use our  votes if they are well informed.  The mission of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs includes protecting the ‘aina and Hawaiians.  What is good for the land and the Hawaiian people is likely good for all of us.

It’s not too late in Hawaii to register to vote (although official early registration ended last Tuesday, October 9th).  The Maui County Clerk’s Office is relaxing deadlines, so if you have valid identification with you, you can register to vote on the day you vote.

Early walk-in voting here on Maui is October 23-November 3, Monday – Saturday, 8am- 4pm at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.

The General Election is November 6, 7am-6pm at your designated polling place.

Watch for the various candidate forums.  Kihei Community Center has another one this Tuesday, Oct. 16  at St. Theresa Church.  Go to <olvr.hawaii.gov>, put in your address, and see the ballot for you.  UHMC will be having a “Teach In.”  Get informed.

Then VOTE.  Queen Lili’uokalani knew it was important.  Our future depends on it.

Aloha, Renée

Banner photo: https://www.biography.com/people/liliuokalani-39552

 

 

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

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

Absentee Voting

A Disappointed VoterI didn’t vote. Barry didn’t vote.  We wanted to vote and had applied in August for absentee ballots before we left Maui.  According to the postmark, our absentee ballots were mailed to us on Oct. 19, 2010, at 3pm from Honolulu.  The ballot was posted with a 39cent stamp!  “Ballots must be received before 6p.m. Election Day to be counted” warns the absentee balloting material.  We are living in what is considered rural China.  My absentee ballot did arrive, but it was the day after our U.S. election. Now a week after the election, Barry’s absentee ballot has yet to arrive.  It is a good thing that none of our candidates such as Ray Hart lost by more than two votes or we would be even more upset.  How many other US citizens are denied the privilege of voting each election because the absentee ballots are mailed out too late and with too little postage?

 

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