The Hail Mary Pass

SUBHEAD: In the meantime tend your garden, collect your rainwater, repair a bicycle, build a beehive and make some music.

By Juan Wilson on 27 August 2014 for Island Breath -

Image above: President Obama makes a Hail Mary pass at Soldier's Field, in Chicago, during a break in a NATO working dinner in 2012. From (

You might have thought that democracy, fair play and environmental concern would have a place in our society, but then you read the news. Here in Hawaii, and specifically on Kauai there is plenty of crap to worry about.

There is constant pressure for over-development with plenty of bad ideas that provide a constant background of battles to be fought: The scam of solar powered of Coco Palms Resort; the unsustainable Hawaii Dairy Farms project; the eco-unfriendly Hanalei River condo development by Ohana Real Estate Investors; etc... Note, the last two "moneymakers" are the work of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay who has his telescopic sights set on Kauai.

These kind of woes have been with us for decades. In the past it was usually the big property owners whose failing cane operations were pushing them into new ways to make money. Now it seems self-rule, self-determination and self-reliance are all under attack from multi-national corporations in partnership with our own government representatives. Here's three recent emerging stories:
  1. Judge overturns Pesticide Ordinance 960 (The hard won GMO regulation Bill 2491)
  2. Hawaiian SuperFerry talks Resurface (Again the plan for an Oahu invasion)
  3. Governor sells out Hawaiians on recognition (No surprise. Remember the PLDC)
It is obvious that democratic processes have broken down here on Kauai as they have in many other places. The Kauai ohana's hard-fought pushback on corporate and military intrusion is denied by "decision makers" somewhere else with eyes on converting our island to a suburb of San Diego, California.

Jobs Jobs Jobs
They always frame their case with the catch-phrase "It'll provide more jobs!" No thanks!

People are perfectly able to live a good life on Kauai without a "job". That's why the plantations had to bring in laborers from Japan, China, the Philippines, etc. Hawaiians did not want or need to work at a job like cane cutting to make a living. There was work all right: hunting, fishing, gathering fruit, planting taro -  but that wasn't a "job".

A person needs a "job" if , for example, they are paying high rent, have a new extended 4x4 truck, have a $200 a month phone bill, and can't keep their credit cards out of trouble... maybe two jobs.

What the "bad guys" mean when they say "It'll provide more jobs!"isn't that you will make more money at your job, so much as they mean new arrivals here will have new jobs so they can settle down on a new cul-de-sac and make the "bad guys" richer.

Popping Bubbles
It is beginning to look like the house of cards built over the gaping economic collapse in 2008 is teetering. Yesterday two surprising items popped. The Standard & Poors 500 Index closed over 2,000 for the first time in history. That same day former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke finally admitted that the economic collapse in 2008 was worse than the Great Depression of the 1930's. He said:
“September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression. Of the 13 “most important financial institutions in the United States, 12 were at risk of failure within a period of a week or two.”
So what foundation is the record value of the S&P built on? Is it the interest free loans to those worth trillions of to those failed financial institutions. It would seem so.
  • The rally is certainly not based on a future of secured energy for the USA based on shale oil and gas fracking activities that are evaporating like spit on a griddle.
  • The rally is not based on a solid future of food independence for the Big Ag corporations facing global warming, soil loss, drought and pesticide contamination.
  • The rally is not based on the export of American manufactured goods to the rest of the world (other than our weapons)
  • The rally is not based on the health of small town, Main Street, middle class businesses throughout the land.
The S&P rally is likely the last successful cattle-call to nervous investors looking for a safe place to put their money. Best to follow the insiders to the barn... and get milked. Oops! Another Ponzi Scheme! Who knew?

The Hail Mary Pass
As the economy slides further south we are likely to see the "bad guys" going after the few successful progressives with a vengeance. "It's their fault!" I fear that Gary Hooser, and Tim Bynum, the best elected representatives we have will be replaced by corporate shills and/or ignorant fools.

And as things go south we will see extraordinary and desperate efforts to keep the consumer economy going.  But the seasons change. It will never again be like it was. The energy and resources have been spent and we are facing a new climate as the dust and smoke settles.

A last second Hail Mary pass of "Smart Green Growth" won't win this game. The time for that was 1980 when we chose instead Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America". Such a play will only add to the mindlessness and shame we face as a species. 

Any efforts the "bad guys" with the big money do now should be aimed at mitigating the environmental catastrophes we have created and avoiding the ones that are on the way (like safely shutting down the world's 500 or so nuclear power plants while we can).

In the meantime tend your garden, collect your rainwater, repair a bicycle, build a beehive and make some music.


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