Wind-Word Side: Pono Choices
Dear Editor, March 25, 2014
I met with a dear friend today that I have not seen or spoken to in a few years. She is a teacher, a Kumu as we call them here in Hawai'i nei. Four of my children were students of hers, nearly ten years ago. Five of us actually, if you count myself as one of her haumana, (students), of which I do consider myself to be.
She taught hula to my hanai children. "Foster children" the system calls them. Hanai is the Hawaiian term I prefer. It is a term that means that I take you as you are, into my home, as my own. As if we were of the same koko, of the same blood, as my own child. A child that is hanai, can expect the same love, instruction, security, and discipline of one of my own children. Just as if they were gifted or placed with us by birth. The gift that these children are to me, is the same as if they were born to me, regardless of the circumstance that brought them into my home and my life. The challenge and responsibility to parent these is also the same.
This Kumu taught them, Inupiat children from Alaska, of things Hawaiian. She taught them of things that were similar in both cultures, Inupiat and Hawaiian that were easily understood by them. She taught them of things which were new to them, of things that were quite different from what they had ever known or experienced.
She taught them about struggle, and about commitment. She taught them about love, Aloha, and how to remain in that Aloha, that Love, regardless of what words are being spoken of you, or what actions are being taken against you. She taught them how to remain strong and steadfast even when these words and actions might be described as hateful. I am one that believes that usually, the people speaking these types of words and taking such action, are not operating out of hate, which is probably much too strong a word, rather these words and actions may instead be born of ignorance.
She taught them how to be human beings, and how to interact with other human beings in a way that is Pono (righteous). How to live as a "two-legged" as we refer to human beings back on the Rez on Turtle Island. She taught them about strength and about weakness. She taught them of when to continue forward in the fight, and when to surrender for a time, not in defeat, but in the wisdom that is required if you are to live to fight another day.
One of the topics we discussed was the issue of "Pono Choices" and how it is an issue regarding sex education within the public schools here in these islands presently.
There is a school of thought that believes it is the responsibility of the public school system to teach children, all children, my children, about sex, and sexual relationships, and sexual orientation. I am not of that school of thought.
"Pono Choices" as it is called and promoted in my mind is neither pono, nor choice.
It is a curriculum that I neither agree with, nor would I choose to have my children instructed in it by others than myself, the parent of my children. It is my responsibility as that parent to teach my children of these things, not the public school system.
There is what they call an "Opt Out Option" for parents who feel strongly enough about the curriculum that they can use to keep their child from participating. The "Opt Out" in my view is opposite of what should be in place, and that is an "Opt In Option". This option should be available to a parent who is in agreement with the curriculum and the values that are part of the instruction. A parent should be given the opportunity to "Opt In" when that parent is willing to hand over the responsibility of teaching of these matters and values to their children, to the public school system.
For myself, I prefer that the public schools stick to the teaching of "Reading, Writing and (A)rithmetic". And leave to me, the parent, of my children, the responsibility of teaching them of these other things that are molded by my values, my priorities, my culture, my life experience, and my faith. Why because we are all different, in all these ways. What is "pono" for me, may not be for you.
It is said that "It takes a village to raise a child". That is a cool sounding cliché. The problem with it however, is that sometimes your children may encounter the "village idiot".
Surrendering the personal responsibility that I have as a parent, of my children to teach them to make "Choices" of things "Pono", that I alone or those that I delegate to teach of these matters is something that I am not willing to do.
I learned a lot in the two hours my dear friend and I shared together today. But of course that is to be expected, as my friend is a Kumu (Teacher), and I try to be haumana (student).
Kilomana Michael Danner
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Political Corruption, an Open Letter to Hawaii State Representative Creagan
Dear Dr. Creagan, March 22, 2014
I present an issue that should be important to everyone trying to live amicably in a philosophically “democratic" society such as the U.S.A. I have heard politicians of every stripe including the Democratic majority in Hawaii repeatedly claim that every voting citizen should have “equal opportunity”. Some even declare that every U.S. resident, whether legal or “undocumented”, should have taxpayer-financed housing, food and medical care. Frankly Sir, I would be happy with just equal access to my supposed representative.
THE ISSUE OF CORRUPTION
How can a Representative Republic work if politicians ignore the people they are supposed to represent? As just one example, in a previous open letter I challenged your lack of stated scientific evidence in favor of legalizing Marijuana. There are arguments for legalizing Marijuana readily available on the Internet which you could have pointed out to me. Instead, you chose to ignore me altogether as if I did not exist. Many of my friends and relatives have complained of the same problem. I contend that “we the people” are no longer heard by those that purport to represent us because the special interests of big money and “toeing the Party Line” interfere. That is a plain and simple distortion of the original idea of self-government by representation that all Americans supposedly believe in.
OUR CURRENT CRISIS
It is an historical truism that where there is a lack of corruption there is prosperity for all. But ever since the early 1930's America has been slipping away from the unique experiment devised by our Constitution into the utter corruption of a giant "Nanny" State with giant arrogant government, giant arrogant bureaucracies, and giant dangerous debt. The political habit of buying votes with "free ice cream" has become rampant. This has happened through a runaway freight train of corruption. Never since the Civil War have Americans been so manipulated into division as now. Our nation is now engaged in a cultural war. The situation has resulted in a crisis of burgeoning domestic and foreign problems that are not even being properly addressed, let alone solved.
HOW WE CAN FIX THE CORRUPTION
Regardless of political party, --- politicians’ blogs using direct polling of constituents could provide a way around the corruption of special interests. That way politicians can keep in direct touch with their constituents, know what the consensus is, and vote accordingly. If the results of a poll go against a particular constituent's private view, then that individual must accept the majority decision because that is the basis of democratic people power. Likewise, representatives who put themselves and their own opinions above those they are supposed to serve would be recognized and eliminated in the next election. In short --- Democrats have to vote for truly representative Democrat candidates, and Republicans and Independents have to vote for truly representative candidates of their choice. Then we voters must collectively hold newly elected feet to the fire all during their tenure. The people’s interests first! Special Groups interests not at all! We have to get this message out with a giant roar! Take it to our representatives! Take it to the major news media, take it to the Internet, take it to the streets!
The government at large has become so corrupted by money and power mania that it is not going to fix itself. Only the public can fix it by literally boycotting corruption. In short --- Democrats and Republicans and Independents have to work from the ground up by selecting “incorruptible candidates” or incumbents who promise not to be influenced by anything but the consensus of their constituents. The public can force the issue by ignoring TV debates and the major news media --- and paying attention only to the Internet Blogs of candidates and incumbents who refuse useless public debates and instead lay out on the Internet only their genuine proof of serving the true interests of their constituents rather than their own personal interests or the interests of lobbyists. That way, it is individual voters who judge for themselves and not the other candidates, party hierarchies, or the major news media who influence judgment. Newly elected candidates can be truly representative by ignoring lobbyists (except of course their own legitimate constituents), and refusing special interest money donations and refusing to let any corrupted “Old Guard" of their respective parties lead them by the nose. Because the Internet is so cheap and so ubiquitous, the approach outlined above literally takes the corruption of special interest money out of the picture. That, in turn, takes away the influence of lobbying.
NO AMENDMENTS NEEDED
Best of all, no new laws or amendments have to be passed. Polling software is available. Politicians can present the issues at hand on their blogs and using the same blogs poll their constituents to discover a consensus. “We the People” can start and carry through such a process anytime and anywhere. If we the people find our supposed representatives and senators unresponsive, we can expose proof of it on the Internet and in the press. For only pennies, the Internet gives us a vast bully pulpit readily available to all of us. Lets get going!
Hope you will join in this effort.
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Airline Employees Hit With Layoffs
Dear Editor, March 22, 2014
Now that we got our 2 week notice from go! Airlines. I thought maybe United would announce after 60 years of service to Hawaii they would fill the vacancy with inter-island flights. Must be a bad idea. Instead United announced possible employee layoff’s - replaced with cheap labor hires - so profits can be restored.
I’m all for making a profit, but not at the expense of people lives. This scenario is all too familiar. Management will claim it is up to the employees to keep their jobs by accepting the offer on the table; serious pay cuts, benefits slashed and nothing promising on the horizon. United has already dissolved employee pensions. This reads like a scene out of the movie Wall Street. First the merger with Continental then bam – “Our way or the highway.”
What’s next a strike? I wouldn’t blame the employees. Employer abuse is going on everywhere. People are overworked, underpaid and if there are benefits they are being taken away. Yes, most people are thankful to have a job, but having dignity that’s another story. If United and other companies following suit think they can conduct business this way and walk away clean – think again. I don’t have the answer, but let’s all dig deep and find a better one.
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Council Candidate Iwasa Speaks out Against Sign-Waving
Dear Editor, March 6, 2014
Sign waving. It’s a tradition in Hawaii that goes back decades and has already started up again. We know political candidates do it because “it works,” or so the thought goes. Over the past few years, I’ve watched as people lined the streets, sometimes two and three abreast on narrow sidewalks or crammed onto shoulders blocking access to pedestrians and bicyclists.
“Here I am!” “Look at me!” “Over here!”
Some people have expressed concern and even disdain for the practice:
One candidate acknowledged in 2010: “While sign-waving for another candidate one day, he made eye contact with a driver who, moments later, plowed his black pickup into the rear of a small car.”
We have enough distractions on the roadway without creating more. Paying attention should be the number-one priority for motorists.
I therefore will not ask family and friends to get up at the crack of dawn or take time off work to stand along the roadway trying to distract drivers. I encourage others to do the same.
Candidate for Honolulu Council District 4 East Oahu
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GMO Protests Could Save DoE Money
Dear Editor, March 1, 2014
Interesting to note that the assumed experts, with various job titles, always mention they are not utilizing their job titles in supporting their anti-GMO pesticide efforts. Is this because they are ignoring the volumes of published scientific evidence on the subject?
The initiative appears to replace valid peer reviewed scientific evidence with propaganda.
The qualifications of most anti-GMO pesticide supporters is like me being an authority on football coaching strategy because I watch the game.
This must be the new methodology in developing or analyzing the safety of new drugs, foods, etc, Propaganda vs. science. It worked for Al Gore, so why not GMO’s. We can do away with the FDA and the USDA. No need to utilize scientific research and time consuming peer reviewed studies. According to the anti-GMO’s, propaganda is a more valid form of research.
Website propaganda, that is rarely questioned, is the new replacement for scientific studies. We can save millions in education, by eliminating science departments, teachers, science books, laboratories, etc. Wonder if the DOE is aware of this potential savings?
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