The righteous indignation being spouted by TMT supporters, about following “the rule of law”, is ridiculous. Gag me with a fork.
The state and in fact all government entities exercise discretion on which laws they enforce, every single day of the week.
Today, at this very moment the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC), a state agency, is dumping literally millions of gallons of water polluted with pesticides and heavy metals into near-shore waters (ie – at the beach), on the west side of Kauai. The court has ruled that it is illegal to do so without an NPDS permit. The ADC is breaking federal and state law, yet our government looks the other way and lets it continue.
Where is the righteous indignation here? Oh, forgot to mention – If the state makes their own agency, the ADC, follow the law then corporations doing the polluting will be shut down.
The protection of profits takes precedence over the protection of people and the planet – and to hell with the rule of law in this case.
But of course on Maunakea it is different (#not).
The pro-TMT forces whine about the government not enforcing the law, demanding that the troops be called in to protect the billions of dollars that will supposedly flow to the University, and then theoretically trickle down to the rest of us.
They complain about an un-permitted structure and demand its removal. But of course, no one is demanding that all un-permitted structures be removed from around the state, only this one particular structure. What a joke. There are zillions of un-permitted structures located in communities on all islands and government chooses to look the other way, except of course on Maunakea.
Today, we read the protectors on the Mauna are possibly trampling upon and damaging endangered plants, and so the state must take action!
DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case is quoted in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser as saying. “Intentional or not, this damage is happening and it’s very concerning…There’s really just no way to have hundreds of people every day, often thousands, in sensitive natural areas…without this kind of harm resulting.” Please. Give me a break. On my island and on every island the state allows and in fact encourages not thousands, but millions of tourists to trample our reefs, mountain trails, and sensitive areas DAILY. The state’s selective enforcement tells us that it is not here to protect our reefs, mountains, or wildlife habitat. The state’s highest priority is to protect the investments of large landowners and foreign corporations.
Our state government allows and in fact grants permission to for-profit corporations via massive water diversions to literally kill countless streams and their related eco-systems. Yet they shout out with righteous indignation and threaten enforcement over the possibility of Native Hawaiians accidentally or inadvertently stepping on endangered plants while seeking to protect the Mauna. Give me a break.
If our state government is sincere about resolving the Maunakea issue, then they need to stop the BS righteous indignation act. Sending in the troops (complete with black masks) to shred our flag and tear down one lonely un-permitted structure, and now rattling the saber about Hawaiians trampling on vines – is not the way to build goodwill and better friendships (mahalo to Rotary).
Dialogue begins with respect.
And respect starts with acknowledging that Maunakea is indeed sacred, deserving of the attention and protections being demanded by those who now occupy the ground at its base.
All who wish to come to the table must first agree to the sacredness of the Mauna. No good-faith conversations, let alone “negotiations” – can possibly be conducted until everyone at the table acknowledges that yes Maunakea is indeed a sacred place.
I encourage all who question the sacredness of the Mauna to read and study the Kumulipo which is the ancient Hawaiian “creation chant”. You can find more information and translated text HERE http://www.ulukau.org/elib/cgi-bin/library?e=d-0beckwit2-000Sec–11haw-50-20-frameset-book–1-010escapewin&a=d&d=D0&toc=0
Please also read this excellent article “What Makes A Volcano Sacred?” in the Atlantic Monthly:
“In the Kumulipo, the ancient chant that tells the story of how the Hawaiian Islands and the Hawaiian people came to be, the volcano is considered kino lau, the physical form of the gods. Mauna Kea is the son of Wākea, the sky father, and of Papahānaumoku, the Earth mother.” https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/10/what-makes-a-volcano-sacred/413203/
It is of course past time for our government leaders, to begin leading.
The situation at Maunakea will not be resolved by force, nor by the conventional western notion of negotiation.
The use of force will only intensify and magnify the opposition, with negative repercussions that will last far into the future. Western-style negotiation of “I will give you this if you give me that.” is also a non-starter, and will lead nowhere.
The leaders on the Mauna cannot be bought with the promise of jobs, a learning center/museum, scholarships for the keiki, nor any other bright and shiny objects. Theirs is a position of principle. Theirs is a position of a righteous and just cause – the sacredness of the Mauna.
To move forward, this is the context upon which all discussions must be grounded. The TMT developers must acknowledge this and our government must acknowledge this, AND until this happens there will be no respect and consequently no progress toward any resolution.
The Mauna is sacred. Say the words – and then hopefully talks can begin.
Footnote and Disclosure: I am certainly no scholar of Hawaiian history and culture. However, many other scholars in many different publications – have referred to Mauna Kea as being sacred. Many point to the Kumulipo to justify the sacredness statement, as I did in the piece written above. However, others have informed me that the kumulipo does not expressly refer to Mauna Kea.
The Kumulipo does contain a specific reference to a body of water that is on Mauna Kea, by the name of “Waiau” – And from hours of reading/research…it seems clear that Waiau is considered also sacred in a historical context. Because Waiau is located on Mauna Kea and referenced in the Kumulipo, and because Mauna Kea is included in many other historical recounts, references, and chants, may be some of the reasons why so many “sources” scholarly, mainstream credible press and otherwise, say that Mauna Kea is referred to in the kumulipo.
In any case, I have no doubt as to the sacred nature of the Mauna – this conclusion is further supported by the following.
The intercourse between Wākea and Papa gave birth to the islands of Hawai’i—the solid foundation for life. The Big Island is their haipo or eldest child. Mauna Kea is the child’s piko, which is translated to umbilical cord, navel, or belly button (Puhipau 2006). The reference to Mauna Kea being the first-born is seen in mele hānau (birth chants) like this one for Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III):
The below thesis contains much information, and also refers to Mauna Kea being part of the Kumulipo…and also has this information as to other chants referencing the Mauna
O hānau ka mauna a Kea, (Born of Kea was the mountain,)
‘Ōpu‘u a‘e ka mauna a Kea. (The mountain of Kea budded forth.)
‘O Wākea ke kāne, ‘o Papa, (Wākea was the husband, Papa)
‘O Walinu‘u ka wahine, (Walinu‘u was the wife.)
Hānau Ho ‘ohoku he wahine, (Born was Ho‘ohoku, a daughter,)
Hānau Hāloa he ali‘i, (Born was Hāloa, a chief,)
Hānau ka mauna, he keiki mauna na Kea… (Born was the mountain, a mountain-son of Kea…) (Korn 1979)
I continue to read, to learn and to research…gh