Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spirituality as a means to Religion

BEFORE, you say anything...

I realize that it probably isn't the best political move for me to post my viewpoint regarding such a sensitive subject on a public forum. I do not, however, intend to give off any of my personal beliefs nor aim to influence any persons to a particular set of beliefs (If you would like to spark that conversation, send me an email!). In this post, I only intend to encourage critical thinking and open-mindedness -- not to be skeptical of any particular belief-set, or a lack of one, but to question the motives behind why people become involved in a religion, and whether being born into one is a sufficient reason to stick with a doctrine.

Besides, this blog isn't in fact a purely political one, as its theme is rather universal as long as it's focus is on leadership within the up-and-coming generation. Admittedly though, this post IS far from the "here is the issue, and this is what I am doing about it, or this is what I think what ought to be done" structure of most of my posts. It also deviates from my usual musings of Hawaii politics and higher education. And honestly, I am not even sure if my haphazard rant, that is this post, will make any sense to you readers out there in the blogosphere!

Last month, a friend updated his Facebook status to read:
"Religion tends to be something that divides us to the point where we can't fix the bigger problems."

This was a provocative statement to say the least, and it quickly elicited quite a few responses. Of course, as the skeptic, but more importantly as the spiritual being that I am, I was obliged to add my two cents (...or dollars) as well:

"Agreeing with *the Facebook User above*, religion at least somewhat aids in alleviating our bigg'est' problems that empiricism and humans in general cannot possibly explain.

But I must also assert that organized religion poses the same problems as any other large institution: the group becomes greater than the individuals it consists of when people begin to seek identity through conformity. Individuals within the religion are then motivated to remain faithful to their institution by confounding reasons such as shame or acceptance rather than the reason stated in the doctrine.

Moreover, organized religion creates an in-group/out-group ("them and us") mentality that may undermine the crux of the purpose and doctrine of the religion or religious sect, which usually consists of positive messages of harmony among people.

The key, regardless of the basis of your belief system, is spirituality and faith at an intimate and very personal, individual level. While deciding if a religion is suited for his or herself, one should first seek out a general, spiritual, and personal connection before following any specific doctrine or even becoming too involved with any religious fellowship. Spirituality ought to remain a tool that could eventually lead a person into a particular religion, but not visa-versa. Let the religion grab you. Religion can suffice as a director of an existing spiritual journey, but not as the means to achieve spirituality. The latter instance is where the problems associated with religion, as an institution, usually occurs.

BELIEVE! we are so small."

All I am asking you to do is to think about the initial italicized statement and formulate your own response, as did I:

Yes, religion does seem to keep problems from being remedied and often causes greater ones. But is it the existence of religion that divides and disillusions us from finding solutions to our "bigger problems", or is it the obscure and often confounding motivation behind followers' devotion to each institution?

Words Worth a Thousand Pictures

In a changing society of rapidly advancing technologies, where even television sometimes doesn't provide a conveniently direct enough relayer of information, it is easy for some of us to lose interest in the MOST revolutionary, pervasive, and thus-far effective method of learning and retrieving important information: reading.

Given, we live in a fast-paced world and lead extremely busy lives. And if you are anything like me, you don't have the time to flip through and thoroughly read every page of your local morning paper. Nor will you make use of the investment of numerous magazine or national daily news subscriptions that may only be utilized as packing material or a rag for cleaning windows in future (in case you don't know, newspapers are great at minimizing streaks!)

Here's what I do:
1) Subscribe to a weekly periodical
(my favorite is "The Economist") - most offer ridiculous student discounts and allow you to receive all of your important current events for the week in a single sitting.

2) Utilize a weblog feed reader
(my favorite is Google Reader) - syndicate RSS feeds from daily news websites (,,, etc.), where you can usually specify which section or topic. At the same time, you can subscribe to blog feeds as well to cater more to your specific interests or to get a more juicy, opinionate take on current events. When using a feed reader, you can give up checking every site individually for updates. Instead, updates will come to you all at one place, where you choose what to read and what to leave.

3) Don't rely on television for national news; LOCAL is fine, especially in Hawai‘i!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption=""Allow this to be the last consumer decision you will ever need to make!""]Allow this to be the last consumer decision you will ever need to make![/caption]

So, besides the believed hypnotic, manipulative, and additive qualities that are the usual concern over its excessive usage...
Why not television?

At 30 fps, an hour long television program broadcasts a total of 108,000 still pictures! So, if a "picture is (really) worth a thousand words," then an hour long television show should provide us with an equivalent to 108 millions words, or 432,000 pages...yeah, i don't think so.

Of course, I don't mean to be that wag that points flaws in idioms that are obviously not created to be taken completely literally! The only point I'm trying to make is that maybe pictures are only valuable when being completely absorbed or read with focused attention not characteristic of watching TV. Perhaps, what is needed is a sort of brain activity similar to reading a book, or even better, surfing the web! Even non-educational, "leisure" reading can stimulate and encourage new connections of neurons to increase intelligence, maybe even more effectively than "educational" television broadcasts.

Furthermore, news broadcasts on television are so full of celebrity gossip, inter-network politics and biases, that it takes a substantial effort to filter any substance through all of the shenanigans. So, make the right choice, and don't forget to use a Reader if you don't already!:

Wow Terry, a little much?!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aloha, President Greenwood!

Yesterday, a "Hawaiian Protocol" ceremony was held at Kanewai Lo‘i with a reception that followed at Hawai‘inuiākea to welcome a new president,M.R.C. Greenwood, to our 10-campus University system. It was a rather intimate gathering consisting primarily of college deans and administrators from around the Mānoa campus, along with some kūpuna and other event hosts from the Native Hawaiian community at UH Mānoa.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Kanewai Lo‘i-- the primary portion of the ceremony was held within this hale. It was such a beautiful location!"]Kanewai Lo‘i-- the primary portion of the ceremony was held within this hale.  It was such a beautiful location![/caption]

I was invited as a member of Greenwood's immediate "entourage" and as one of the four speakers of the afternoon. Leading up to the event, I barely had time to sit down and craft out a speech. But even if I did, I doubt it would've came along.

To be completely honest, during the presidential search process and after the withdrawal of the only other finalist Robert Jones, I wrote a statement to the Board of Regents requesting that an interim-president be appointed while the search continues.

In regards to the ethics controversy which got her released from her last position and the fact that we already have a chancellor from the University of California System (I didn't want our premiere public University for the State of Hawai‘i transforming into a "UC Hawaii" satellite campus!), I didn't feel that Greenwood was quite right for the job.

I also didn't agree with the idea of offering extremely high salary incentives and spending over a million to conduct a nation-wide search would find the most competent leader.

For one, the University of Hawai‘i is situated in one of the most unique and diverse places in the world and experience from other University systems doesn't necessarily carry over. There are so many 30-40 year veterans within the UH system who would've took a lower salary and wouldn't have had to admit to having "a lot of learning to do" and adjust to getting situated within the culture of our wonderful state.

Secondly, the whole idea of having a separate system President and flagship campus Chancellor seems fruitless. Streamlined bureaucracy was more efficient during the pre-autonomy days of UH Mānoa back when the Chancellor of Mānoa and the system president was combined into a single position--especially since the State had a stake in controlling the exuberant salaries of UH administrative executives.

[caption id="attachment_527" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="University of Hawai‘i System President M.R.C. Greenwood"]University of Hawai‘i System President M.R.C. Greenwood[/caption]

However, I do realize that besides the ethics allegations and lack of experience, none of these concerns fall upon Greenwood herself. And I was actually very surprised and delighted by the humility Greenwood exhibited throughout her appointment, by not holding a sort of "big fish, small pond" mentality that many out-of-state leaders hold when transferring to Hawai‘i.

She seemed very genuine and open to embrace both Local and Native Hawaiian culture here in Hawai‘i. It wasn't hard to see that she was completely overwhelmed by the amount of Aloha she has received throughout her first week on the job.

So the task was this: make use of this opportunity as a speaker to get my point across, among the many witnesses, without coming off as a whiny student or angsty Hawaiian. I wanted my 3-5 minutes to be memorable and tried to avoid cliche as much as possible.

Other speakers had well-written speeches which they read straight off a paper; these speeches were beautiful but quick to be forgotten. I also had a few talking points written down on a small card. But once I was off and going, 30 seconds into my speech, I decided to tuck it away in my pocket and speak straight from the na‘au.

From what I remember, I spoke on UH's commitment to its host culture and the purpose of the newly established Hawai‘inuiākea, primarily regarding its importance and contribution to education as the greatest means to preserving and advancing Native Hawaiian culture.

I asserted how I like to think that I represent many students not because of my position on student government, (or because I am 50% "Asian", 25% "Pacific Islander", and 25% Caucasian/Hispanic!) but because of my story. After mentioning how UH is the only university that I seen myself happy at, the most realistic option financially, and how it had transformed me to who I am today, I was sure to note that it is important not to overlook UH's purpose of fostering future leaders and competent workers for the State of Hawai‘i.

Whether or not I stepped over the line as a student, or even as a speaker at a welcome ceremony, my words seemed to be well-received. I was fortunate to have been able to later carry a heart-felt conversation with President Greenwood during the reception that followed where she mentioned to me that the warmth in welcoming she has been receiving from students has been amazing.

The event was a wonderful one, and just the vibe alone was unlike no other. I met a lot of amazing people and won't soon forget it. I'm sure that neither will the new president.

President Greenwood's openness and humility was greatly appreciated, and I hope she continues to embrace both the Native Hawaiian and local communities here in Hawaii. I look forward to working along side this new leader in the spirit of progress and benefit for the students of the University of Hawai‘i.

I hope she can prove herself and live up to her nearly $1,000,000/yr Salary (including living allowances)! E kipa mai e Greenwood.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

50/50th Statehood Confusion celebrate 50 years of the 50th "state".

In a recent post in his blog "Volcanic Ash", David Shapiro quipped away:
"The rest of the country took note of our muted observance of the 50th anniversary of statehood. Only in Hawai'i do we celebrate statehood in a state of confusion about whether we want to be one."

[caption id="attachment_463" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="From the, Saturday 8/22"]From the, Saturday 8/22[/caption]

Well, only in Hawaii is statehood still being challenged. With concern leading up to this day spread across an abundance of political organizations and at virtually every level of government, it is pono that the commemoration should at least have representatives from as many sides of the issue as possible and present each with an ample time to express their point of views.

That almost happened.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Even the commemorative stamp was contraversial; check out the weightedness of the ‘okina."]Even the commemorative stamp was contraversial; check out the weightedness of the ‘okina.[/caption]

The evening before the conference, I was reading a metaphoric, "Peanuts" video clip blog post regarding the Akaka Bill on He Hawai‘i Au, a very well-inspired and qualified local blog. I decided to leave a comment stating how much I enjoyed the post and included a link to my stance on the Akaka Bill.

Just a few hours later, I received an email and was invited by Dr. Trisha Kehaulani Watson, the author of He Hawai‘i Au, to attend the 50th Statehood conference really at the very last minute. She offered to pay for my entry expenses and also contacted the moderator Keahi Tucker and organizer Kippen De Alba Chu from KGMB for a chance for me to sit on stage as a panelist to discuss the Akaka Bill along side with herself and other prominent Hawaiian leaders of her generation and even those from one or two before!

I used to think I was born at least 30 years too late (my twenties in the 80's), but it's really amazing what the magic of blogging (21st century technology) can do a young person trying to get connected! This opportunity would put me somewhere that I would like to be 10-15 years from now. Not only would i have been the youngest panelist, but also the only steadfast proponent of the bill: the pressure was on.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="578" caption="The stage on the 4th floor of the Convention Center where the panelists were featured."]The stage on the 4th floor of the Convention Center where the panelists were featured.[/caption]

I arrived early, although a little later than expected, after a should have been planned for delay with The Bus. Before the event began, I wanted a chance to establish connections with and really just to talk story with many of the leaders who have been an inspiration for me since my time in Kamehameha Schools. I also got to catch the ending of a large anti-Akaka Bill/Statehood protest happening outside of the convention center, and enjoyed some of the kī hōʻalu entertainment downstairs.

Then for the actual panel discussion and televised event. First, the Ceded Land video wouldn't play, even after an attempt to stall and second attempt: is this a sign? Further complications in technical difficulties resulted in the program being truncated from an hour and a half to an hour, cutting off any chance of further input from planned speakers in the audience such as myself! To make matters worse, as soon as the discussion started picking up, Governor Lingle steps up, walks over to Keahi Tucker, and improvidently speaks for a few minutes thus cutting short the entire segment. Censorship?

Despite not being able to be heard on such an effective public forum during a once in a lifetime milestone, the awesome pupus, hearing so many different points of views on issues I am passionate about, and getting to meet many of my heroes made the event well worth it. In future, I'm sure there will be many other chances to step up, now just wasn't the time. Mahalo, Kehau!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Google Offers Free Campus Email.

A TIME magazine article from last Friday 8/14:
"Google and Microsoft: The Battle Over College E-Mail"

"When Notre Dame hired out their e-mail to Google last year, the school saved $1.5 million in storage and other tech costs"

I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled upon this article while searching for a distraction from studying for a summer final. I had no idea Google offered this free service and am especially excited for its potential to actually save our University some operating funds! I already forward my UHmail to Gmail and love every aspect of it--especially the "Labels" (the automatic filters are very convenient) and "Calender" (along with "tasks", saves my life)...and "Themes" are always fun!

Google "Labs" is also constantly coming up with improvements. Recent features include an improved Gtalk Instant messaging function connected to your automatically updated address book, and an "undo send" option!

[caption id="attachment_343" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="The color scheme and "sky" actually changes with the time of day and weather...I check my email at least 30 times a day, I just want to be comfortable when I do!"][/caption]

I requested for an UHmail increase in my personal bandwidth allowance, from 100mb-250mb but even that is still not nearly enough for myself and many college students. Google, on the other hand, offers close to 74gb (7,359mb).

For UHM student readers, I'm scheduling a meeting with ITS next week to discuss this initiative.

Monday, August 17, 2009

B-Cycle® Bikesharing in Honolulu

First, watch this video or check out this awesome website! Learn what bike-sharing is all about and why its popularity has already took off around various European cities and Universities across America.

A few months ago I stumbled upon this article from last December while inquiring about whether or not bike-sharing is appropriate for UHM:
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="CLICK PICTURE FOR ARTICLE
The initial layout of the proposed bike-sharing system in Honolulu"]The initial lay-out of a European-style bike-sharing system in Honolulu[/caption]

Yes, this article is outdated. Unfortunately, after receiving the "go ahead" and funding for most of the Downtown area and Waikiki, this project got held up at tangle of bureaucracy on our campus.

I begun a dialog in the beginning of the summer with the B-cycle's Hawaii affiliate, Momentum Multisports Hawai'i and the various relevant departments around campus to discuss stations being set-up in UHM. As of then, the pilot has been moved to Kailua.

Momentum Multisports Hawaii CEO Nguyen Le came to speak to our executive committee and our Chairperson for Student Affairs, Eve Millet. Her committee has decided to take spearhead this initiative and are currently in the process of gathering student support/opposition for this project.

For UH Students, their are additional benefits to convenience and health. My thinking is that this system in conjunction with the Rail Transit System, the $20 U-pass and Zipcar, incoming students will be discouraged to bring personal automobiles to campus. This will, in turn, help alleviate parking and reduce our University's carbon footprint for a more sustainable Honolulu. Ideally, I would like to see this system include FREE access for students, 3 stations on campus, and an integration of UH ID cards.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="497" caption="Solar-powered stations take up the area of one parking space and feature a dozen heavy-duty, theft and damage deterrent, bicycles for immediate check out."]Solar-powered stations take up the space of one parking space and feature six heavy-duty, theft and damage deterrent, bicycles for check out.[/caption]

Let me know any suggestions you may have! If any funding is needed by Administration, we would need to see strong student support in order for this initiative to move forward.

Fortunately, after attending a meeting with Le, a few of his colleagues, and UHM Auxiliary Services, an agreement was made stating that if Momentum Multisports secures funding ($40,000/station) for a station on UH, a pilot project from Lower Campus to Waikiki will be given the go-ahead. If successful, this project could be extended throughout the city as initially intended.

I also floated this project by Chancellor Hinshaw during a meeting, and she surprisingly said that she would've supported the use of UHM as a pilot project if it was presented directly to her: she had no idea about it. Her main concern was the City of Honolulu's street safety for cyclists (Hawaii is currently ranked 22nd out of 50 states), but which fortunately is being taken seriously by both the city and the state and huge steps are being made.

Click here for more details on the City's planned bike-friendly improvements.

I'll keep you updated on this initiative as progress is made. In the meantime, feel free to shoot out any ideas or testimony you may have! (

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Zipcar® Carsharing in Honolulu

As a student of a very large, though mostly commuter university, I have always wondered if a car-sharing system would be a suitable here at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. I have read success stories on "Zipcar" implementation at hundreds of Universities nation-wide, but wasn't completely sure if it would be an appropriate initiative for our campus and its current fiscal situation.

Can we at least afford a small pilot program? If the service is successfully established here on campus, it could be expanded into the city and eventually across the island!

In the 90's, car-sharing started off as a rather far-fetched idea, but quickly grew into a world-wide success over the past decade. Zipcar is the leader of the industry and currently has 6,500 vehicles in operation worldwide.


Basically, Zipcar is a membership, car-rental service which charges users either per hour ($8) or per day ($66) for use of a vehicle--gas and maintenance included. It is a rather high-tech and convenient system that could really help alleviate parking problems, create a more sustainable environment, and promote student freedom here at UHM. With over 30,000 University members to date, Zipcar estimates they have taken about 12,000 personally owned vehicles off of University campuses.

Faculty and surrounding community members could utilize the service in addition to our 20,000+ students. As a replacement of our current fleet of state automobiles, Zipcar could help alleviate the current budget crisis our campus is facing. Members may also enjoy their membership while visiting any of the other 26 states or 120+ college campus with Zipcar.

More information can be found at:

After Chancellor Hinshaw let me know that car sharing was something that she has thought about supporting for our University, I decided to look into it and contacted Zipcar.

Last month, I received a call from the national account executive or Zipcar, Robert Lynch. After speaking for a half hour or so to lay out the groundwork of the scale and purpose of the type of program that would be appropriate for our campus, he drafted a proposal which the ASUH has been reviewing over the summer.

[caption id="attachment_326" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles. "]Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles [/caption]

Personally, I feel as though this is something that may work out during our current financial situation since Zipcar, as a private company is liable for most risks of the program. But I would also like to see a pickup truck included in the proposal and not JUST the uber-gas-efficient small cars; they are awesome to be included, but not definitely not sufficient for North Shore weekend ventures!

Once our University is established as a successful pilot, Zipcar could also be expanded into the community of Honolulu and help de-congest our streets. We could start a movement here, just let me know how you feel about this initiative. With student support and unity, we'll make this happen!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Akaka Bill: A Needed Step

Recently, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 S1011/HR2314 (commonly known as the "Akaka Bill") has been receiving some revitalized attention from the media because of a certain supporter in the White House and an awakening of the bill in congress. The bill has been around for nearly a decade in numerous forms but has never exhausted the legislative process.

Unlike Former President Bush, who strongly opposed the bill and claimed that, if passed, it "would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege," President Barack Obama, a proven civil rights leader who truly understands diversity, has promised to sign the Akaka Bill if it reached his desk.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="Longtime Senator Daniel Akaka, one of TIME Magazine"] Daniel Akaka, Voted into the worse 5 senators of all time...maybe, but not if this bill passes.[/caption]

From the Rice-vs.-Cayetano case of 2000 to the John Doe-vs.-Kamehameha Schools case that ended on a sour, high-tension settlement, legal attacks on cultural-based programs in Hawaii are becoming increasingly apparent. One negative precedent established by any of these anti-native rights court cases could bring an abrupt end to the limited programs in Hawaii that protect these rights.

Native Hawaiian rights include, but are not limited to living on the native land, living by its people’s own law, and receiving reimbursement for what was wrongfully taken upon “discovery”. Hawaiians had most of these rights stripped from them when their kingdom was illegally overthrown over 100 years ago.

As a people, Hawaiians now struggle with alarming rates of disease, poverty, incarceration, drug-addiction, and homelessness. In order to receive compensation in the future for America’s past transgressions—whether it be absolute independence or goals set on a smaller scale—Hawaiians must protect what is existing today; the Akaka Bill is the most feasible means of achieving this.

There is no question in whether or not America’s participation in the events of 1893 relating to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom was wrongful. In 1993, a joint resolution known as the Apology Bill was passed through the United States legislative and executive systems. In this resolution, President Bill Clinton admits and apologizes on behalf of the American people for its alleged role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

So, Americans recognized its wrongdoings but did nothing to right their mistreatment of the Hawaiian people. Nonetheless, the Apology Resolution did create a pathway for future acts of compensation.

The Akaka Bill was created by Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye to step up to the next stone. The bill seeks to achieve for Native Hawaiians the same federal recognition and right to self-governance that many Native American tribes possess. Additionally, the bill was set up to establish the groundwork (cooperating with OHA's "Kau Inoa") for a “nation-within-a-nation”—separate from the State of Hawaii.

There are both Hawaiian and Non-Hawaiian opposition to the Akaka Bill.

Non-Hawaiian Akaka Bill detractors typically believe that the bill is unconstitutionally race-based because of the blood-quantum requirement as an element of becoming a citizen of the nation. To counter this opposition, if the Akaka Bill is based on the precedent of the cases of Native-American tribes in the past, then how can it be labeled unconstitutional? If it was constitutional in the cases of American-Indian tribes, then it should be constitutional now; it’s virtually the same case.

The Hawaiian detractors of the bill address numerous arguments: blood-quantum is an American originated system (unjustifiably presuming that the new government will be established in an oppressive blood-quantum system similar to the Hawaiian Homesteads Act); the Akaka Bill doesn’t grant ideal governing power; the February revision is missing the restrictions and limitations such as a prohibition on gambling casinos, a prohibition on taking land into trust to create "Indian country", and a prohibition on claims against military lands; and above everything else, the bill doesn’t at all increase independence from America.

Although in many ways valid, these arguments aren’t arguments against the bill at all. The Akaka bill doesn’t necessarily defy or even weaken either or any of future possibilities of reconciliation from being realized, but what it can do is create a nice starting foundation and gathering point to unite and to based a movement off of. It grants a backend and frame work of power and recognition. Without that, we can only complain.

Senator Daniel Akaka clarifies this idea himself and clears up any misconceptions of the bill possessing an anti-independence essence:
“The bill would give them a kind of legal parity with tribal governments on the mainland...This sovereignty could eventually go further, perhaps even leading to outright independence. As far as what's going to happen at the other end, I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren”

Akaka’s grandchildren? that’s me. Not literally, but that’s us: Gen Y, the Millennials, Nā ‘Ōpio--the future leaders of Hawaii. Attend the Hawaiinuiākea graduation and realize that UH is producing leaders like a factory; semi-disenfranchised Hawaiian boys and girls coming in, kanaka maoli men and women alaka‘i coming out--by the tens, by the hundreds. Along with upward-mobility, some may see the bill as also allowing for a harder fall, but detractors need to have faith that our generation will bring the change, and that we, as a people, will prosper.

Other Hawaiian detractors (the "Keanuites") believe that the native rights issue should be taken beyond a national level and addressed to the United Nations. Since the overthrow took place illegally, Statehood couldn't have happened either. But how fruitful will this effort be? When has the U.N. ever trumped the power of the U.S., especially an issue with so little to gain from but so much to lose. The United States holds so much leverage in the United Nations, and the U.N. knows to tread lightly when acting against the best interests of the United States.

But I do agree with many of the points made by Hawaiian Kingdom supporters, especially the idea of Hawaii being nothing more than an "occupied" nation (as currently is Iraq). I recognize and support all steps being made under this paradigm, and would also like to help find a more pono plan of action. However, we shouldn't shoot for the stars of independence without a parachute; it's a long way down--especially when we haven't worked out the science as a solid foundation on how to get there. If anything at all, the Akaka Bill may not give us the stars, nor the rocket, but it will grant us with a parachute and possibly the launch pad as well.
The current Hawaiian Kingdom movement is led by Indigenous Law Expert Keanu Sai
The current Hawaiian Kingdom movement is led by Indigenous Law Expert Keanu Sai.
...But this route seems to be a lost cause

Before anything else we must realize that the Akaka Bill may be by all means needed! If the United States doesn't recognize Native Hawaiians as indigenous people, law-suits will inevitably continue to arise and may eventually destroy Hawaiian programs such as the Kamehameha Schools and The Hawaiian Homesteads. Currently, only a few Native Hawaiian programs are chiefly responsible for bringing the vast majority of rehabilitation and revitalization of our culture and people hence far and thereby should be of the first and foremost priority to keep these programs up and running—even if it requires the process to be done within the American system at first.

Although the Akaka Bill may not result in the ideal governing power desired by the native people of Hawaii, it is the most realistic approach in receiving back native rights from the United States. Any arguments against the approach or elements of the Akaka Bill may be rendered meaningless under the grounds that the bill is necessary and the only current method that will preserve what little rights Hawaiians possess today and possibly open doors to further compensation. "Little" (with the possibility to grow into much more) or "Nothing" (and possibly losing it all): you choose.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

McMackin's McMorals

Is anyone else completely appalled by Coach Mack? His remarks were deplorable, especially as a leader at a University where we pride ourselves on our lōkahi and aloha spirit among our incredibly diverse population.

HEAR HIS COMMENTS (may be offensive to many):
McMackin Slur

As Honolulu Advertiser Columnist David Shapiro elegantly put it:

"McMackin stepped way over the line when he tried to entertain reporters at a WAC media day by gratuitously insulting one of the university's constituencies with a vulgar epithet.

Beyond being crude and offensive, it was more than a little thick of McMackin to pointlessly malign a highly vocal group that is in the middle of a national battle to gain equality and respect.

Not to mention the poor sportsmanship he displayed in his clumsy attempt to disparage the manliness of a Notre Dame football team that had kicked his butt up and down the field in the Hawai‘i Bowl."

Perhaps McMacken was intoxicated at the time, otherwise I cannot fathom any possible justification for why he would repeatedly use a slur against gay people as an insult to a bunch of kids a third his age! It's decadent enough behind closed doors; but AT A PRESS CONFERENCE, his comments were just idiotic! During our University's daunting fiscal situation, will we continue to dish out 1.2million dollars a year for a common scene lacking, hateful football coach who hasn't yet proven himself on the sideline?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Unfortunately, our manly dance didn't win us the game: 49-21."]Unfortunately, our manly dance didnt win us the game: 49-21.[/caption]

I'm also concerned by ignorant comments readers are posting on blogs stating that McMacken remarks "weren't a big deal". There is NO place in any society for such degrading and hateful slander. But at a leadership capacity, the effect is tenfold. Whether heard from politicians or overpaid football coaches, these types of "light-hearted" slurs are what condition up-and-coming generations to behave similarly, add to a culture of discrimination, and ultimately prime non-tolerant attitudes and ignite hate crimes across our nation.

CHANCELLOR HINSHAW*: Fire this clown and save the students at least a half million a year. We can save at least a few classes, lecturers, and our university's national reputation.

*Refer to the question asked on PBS Insights last month concerning Coach Mack's Salary