May 28, 2001
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A near continual scattering of events: a teachers' strike in Hawaii,
anesthesiologists break away from major insurer in Hawaii, the Supreme Court
marijuana decision, Red Cross workers hacked to death in Congo, FBI and so
on and so forth across and around the planet.
As long as I can remember, twenty six years now, succeeding state legislatures and governors of Hawaii have prattled about the overweaning value of education to the state while consistently denying funds. Finally, after years of working without contract protections, teachers from kindergarten through university strike. Three weeks later a pittance is settled upon them. The current nominally Democrat governor raved and ranted about how any more money for teachers would bankrupt the state.
Estimates are that police protection and security for the Asian Development Bank meeting in Honolulu cost more than $1,000,000. To say nothing of hacked assurances of Constitutionally protected rights. Demonstrations, especially by Hawaiian sovereignty people, were more than just peaceful, they were loving. According to the Financial Times, US officials are peeved that Asian Development Bank at its Honolulu meeting lurched off track by taking up an emphasis on dealing with poverty.
Anesthesiologists have worked a strategy as a profession to become the highest paid specialists within allopathic medicine. Perhaps inspired by a possibly sympathetic monarchy in Washington, the Hawaii anesthesiologists dropped out of the HMSA Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical system recently. Their staggering bills for even relatively minor surgeries are passed directly to patients now who are hounded by bill collectors should they fail to cough up their financial life blood to these medical vampires.
The Supreme Court of the USA, final recourse under the Constitution, voting 8-0 ruled that Congress was right in passing a law declaring that there is no medical efficacy (meaning allopathic interpretation thereof) to marijuana. Recently a quadraplegic who has used marijuana to alleviate pain was sentenced to prison. Apparently, we will now add a significant new population to our burgeoning prison system.
Hawaii County with a population under 150,000 will shortly build an eighteen cell holding facility at a cost of $4.9 million, $272,000 per holding cell. Heavy state pressure is being applied to force construction of a new 2,400 inmate prison on Hawaii island, too. Construction costs are estimated at roughly $65,000 per inmate with annual maintenance costs per prisoner approximately the same. The most obscenely luxurious resorts are built at up to $1,000,000 per guest room. Prisons are relatively inexpensive accomodations.
Until very recently the International Red Cross has maintained a rigid neutrality while providing essential services in disaster areas. The respect and restraints resulting now appear to be less compelling to some as six Red Cross workers are hacked to death in the Congo while two, I think, were done to death in Sudan. In other areas around the world, aid agencies are withdrawing under severe threats, too often carried out.
The once-vaunted Federal Bureau of Investigation is, once again, caught out.
Outrage? What seems to link these and other such events is a grand stink of fear and desperation. Terror at the other. Circling the wagons and such. Getting what can be had as fast as it can be had. So much is simply beyond comprehension.
Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from a Birmingham jail"
"An unjust law is a law not rooted in eternal and natural law. . . . that uplifts the personality. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. . . . An unjust law is a code that a majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal . . . . A just law is sameness made legal. . . One who beaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty . . . the individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty. . . is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."
In 1963, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, District of Columbia, USA, King grasped the metaphors of power with grand irony. "So we've come here to the nation's capital to cash a check. . . when the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note.
. . . .
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given her . . . people a bad check -- a check that has come back marked 'insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults . . . of this nation."
Ronald Reagan with the tax cuts and military excesses of his time building national debt exponentially guaranteed that the excuse of "insufficient funds" would cripple any impulses of government, Republican or Democrat led, to honor the promissory notes of hope, succor and relief offered to others as defined by the holders of power. Maginot-minded Bush II is eager to carry out the Reagan legacy.
How deeply fear corrodes possibilities of compassion. How desperate the power people must feel. How infecting this human perversity. How enduring.
Charles Hampden-Turner writes: "The motives of those who murdered King were basically those of the people who poisoned Socrates, crucified Christ, beheaded Thomas More and shot Gandhi. We are tortured by the ambiguity of those who employ encompassing reason, who embrace not just the value we prefer but its negation, and, maddened by anxiety, we kill those who stretch themselves between our fanaticisms to heal us."
"Blessed be the meek for they shall inherit. . . ."
Milo Clark, a founding member of Swans, had it all: Harvard MBA, big house, three-car garage, top management... Yet, once he had seemingly achieved the famed American dream he felt something was missing somewhere. As any good executive he decided to investigate. Since then, he has become a curmudgeon and, after living in Berkeley, California, where he was growing bamboos, making water gardens, listening to muses, writing, cogitating and pondering, he has moved on to the Big Island in Hawaii where he creates thought forms about sunshine. Milo can be reached at Swans
Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Milo G. Clark 2001. All rights reserved.
This Week's Internal Links
Macedonia The Last Act - by Stevan Konstantinović
Kerrey to Thanh Phong Villagers: Shit Happens! - by Matt Taibbi
Substance Abuse - by Deck Deckert
Debunking the Myth Behind the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - by Michael W. Stowell
Escape - A Poem by Sandy Lulay
Some of Milo Clark's Commentaries on Swans
Perspective and Perspectives - 05/14/01
Project Re-Think Thinking: Serendipity and Sparks of Genius - 04/30/01
Croatan - 04/2/01
Barbaric Silence - 03/5/01
The Resource Base - 02/5/01
Addendum to ...Dream - 01/8/01
...Dream - 01/8/01