When Truth is Defamatory






“Defamation” generally means using words to hurt the fame of a person (de bona fama aliquid detrahere: “to hurt his good fame.”) A person’s fame is his common or widespread reputation.

Spoken words may be easily forgotten, whereas writings may be preserved and referred to indefinitely. Defamatory words when spoken are slanderous, and, when written, libelous, although that legal distinction has been rendered obsolete in jurisdictions such as Australia. Indeed, the legal definition of defamation varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Presently, in the United States, the scandalous words must be false, or, if true, must have false implications. So it is said that the perfect defense against a defamation suit is truth. Elsewhere, depending on time and place, hailing back even to ancient Rome, statements injurious to reputation may be either true or false. That is, true statements can be defamatory, sometimes with the exception that they are allowed if justified as necessary to protect the public.

Some persons are more famous than others. The public order may depend on the good reputation or majesty of its leaders, especially when the leader happens to be a virtual god, say, a Roman emperor, or a king, say, of England, who rules by divine right, notwithstanding that any singular god is apparently both good and evil despite theodical caviling that attempts to explain how a presumably absolutely good and omnipotent god can countenance evil.

To publish a detraction of a majestic sovereign who claims to be the supreme or divine representative of the people would be a seditious libel whether its propositions were true or false, providing that the sovereign powers deemed it threatening to the peace of the state.

Some sovereigns have thinner skins than others, especially when envious nobles i.e. “known” or famous persons including “equals” are vying against one another and their ruler for fortune and power. Today, where the people are sovereign, seditious libel involves the publication of words designed to incite the violent overthrow of government.

Tiberius Claudius Nero, the emperor who ruled the Roman Empire as a virtual dictator from 14 AD to 37 AD, allowed that almost any offense against the law was an offense against his majesty and therefore treasonous. That allowed common informers known as “delators” to aid and abet rivalries and thus obtain wealth and titles by accusing or informing on people against whom they or advocates would bring action in the Senate, ostensibly presided over by the emperor.  Tacitus relates (or delates) in his Annals that:

“If anyone impaired the majesty of the Roman people by betraying an army, by exciting sedition among the commons, in short, by any maladministration of the public affairs, the actions were matter of trial, but words were free. Augustus was the first who used to take cognizance of libels under pretence of this law, incensed by the insolence of Cassius Severus, which had prompted him to asperse distinguished persons of both sexes by coarse lampoons. Soon after, Tiberius, when Pompeius Macer, the praetor, consulted him ‘whether trials should be had under this law’ answered,’ said ‘that the laws must be executed.’ He also was exasperated by the publication of satirical verses written by unknown authors, exposing his cruelty, his pride, and dissensions with his mother.”

Of course experienced advocates or lawyers were more likely to be successful in taking a denunciation to trial, and senators disgraced themselves by acting as delators, exposing even one another and their own families to depredation, banishment, and death.

“This was the most pestilent calamity of those times, that the first men of the senate performed the office of the meanest informers: some openly, many in secrecy; nor could you observe any distinction between kinsmen and aliens, friends and strangers,—whether the acts imputed were recent, or fetched from the obscurity of past times : equally for words spoken in the forum,—at entertainments,—upon whatsoever subject,—the speakers were accused, according as everyone hastened to get the start and point out the culprit : some did it for their own protection, but the generality infected, as it were, with the malady and contagion  of the times. “(ibid)

A prominent, reputable person and his family might be defamed and ruined by a charge that would be considered trivial today, such as consulting with an astrologist or palm reader for advice as to what a judge will decide in a pending case. They were banished or executed and their estates confiscated. Suicide prior to judgement was for a time a way to save family and fortune. Tacitus tells us of a case brought under the imperium of Nero:

“A charge of recent date involved the daughter in her father’s (Soranus) peril: it was, ‘that she had distributed sums of money among the magi.” Such was the fact, it must be admitted; but it arose from the filial piety of Servilia, for that was her name, who out of affection for her parent, and with the simplicity natural to so young a creature, had merely consulted them “on the safety of the family: whether Nero would be disposed to mercy, and whether the investigation before the senate would issue in anything of a formidable nature”….  The accuser then questioned her, “whether she had not sold her bridal ornaments, and even the chain off her neck, to raise money for the performance of magic rites?” At first she fell prostrate upon the floor, and continued for a long time bathed in tears and speechless; afterwards, embracing the altar and its appendages, she said, ” I have prayed to no malignant deities: I have used no spells: nor did I seek aught by my unhappy prayers than that you, Caesar, and you, fathers, would preserve this best of fathers unharmed. With this view I gave up my jewels, my raiment, and the ornaments belonging to my station; as I would have given up my blood and life, had they required them. To those men, till then unknown to me, it belongs to declare whose ministers they are, and what mysteries they use; the prince’s name was never uttered by me except among the gods. Yet to all this proceeding of mine, whatever it were, my most unhappy father is a stranger; and if it is a crime, I alone am the delinquent.’ …. Thrasea, Soranus, and Servilia were indulged with the choice of their mode of death….” (ibid)

The reader should keep in mind when reading Tacitus that he tended to repeat what amounted to gossip, that his accounts of Tiberius were frequently contradictory and at variance with other historical narratives. The reader may consult The History of that Inimitable Monarch Tiberius (1811) by Reverend John Rendle for a scholarly exposé of Tacitus’ history and the elevation of Caesar Tiberius into virtual sainthood.  Of one thing we can be sure, the empire was pestered and plagued by common informers.

Anyone who reads the law at length today might notice that the law especially case law or casuistry is irrational, and he might therefore resort to an astrologer for advice on cases. Americans prefer their laws in writing, but then lawyers i.e. licensed delators plead cases for fees, judges interpret it for salaries. The adjudications add to the vagaries of the “unwritten” or common law, which they all are wont to say is perfectly reasonable, protecting a profession that virtually rules every walk of life.

The more sophisticated Roman delators developed some rather absurd but winning arguments at trial to prove their cases. One interesting plea, a charge of defamation, is related by Tacitus, who as a historian is a sort of common informer or denunciator since his every writing constitutes an indictment of the ruling elite of the age. He certainly was interested in defaming emperors, who were creatures of their time and culture, some of which seems to persist to this day as the Cosa Nostra or what is popularly called the Mafioso.

Here is the legal tactic: Good can be found without evil in every man and the gods he projects. When prosecuting someone for slander, testify that he pronounced all the known faults of a person, not mentioning the virtues. People who know the person will believe those things were said about him because they are true.

“Granius Marcellus, praetor of Bithynia, was prosecuted for high treason by his own quaestor, Cepio Crispinus; Romanus Hispo supporting the charge. This Cepio began a species of avocation, which through the miserable times and the daring wickedness of men afterwards became very common and notorious; for, at first needy and obscure but of a restless spirit, by creeping into the good graces of the prince, who was naturally cruel, by secret informations, and thus imperiling the life of all the most distinguished citizens, he acquired influence with one, but the hatred of all, and thus exhibited an example, by following which men from being poor became rich, from being contemptible became formidable. and, after bringing destruction on others, would perish by their own arts. He accused Marcellus of “holding defamatory discourses concerning Tiberius,” a charge which it was impossible to repel, when the accuser collected all the most detestable parts of the prince’s character, and framed his accusation with reference to them; for because they were true they were believed to have been spoken. To this Hispo added,” that the statue of Marcellus was by him placed higher than those of the Caesars, and that having cut off the head of an Augustus, he had in the room of it set the head of a Tiberius.” At this (Tiberius) flew into such a rage, that breaking silence he cried out, that “he would himself, in this cause, give his vote openly, and upon oath,” that the rest might be under the necessity of doing the same. There remained even then some faint traces of expiring liberty. Hence Cneius Piso asked him, “In what place, Caesar, will you give your opinion? If first, I shall have your example to follow; if last, I fear I may unwittingly dissent from you.” Deeply affected by these words, and by how much the more indiscreetly he had let his passion boil over, by so much the more submissive now from regret that he should have committed himself, he suffered the accused to be acquitted of high treason. “(ibid)

So Tiberius shamed himself, and the truth set Marcellus free. But that did not have to occur. If the sovereign had not acted so shamefully as a person at the trial, Marcellus might have been convicted of insulting the sovereignty itself, strangled and hurled down the infamous steps to rot; and likewise anyone who begged askance or who loved him enough to shed tears. By the way, the other charge, that of peculation, was referred to a court of justice with jurisdiction.


How To Be Hawaiian





A man from Hawaii who lives in Oregon misses Hawaii dearly because he has for some reason not returned for a dozen years. He believes he is no more than fifteen-percent native Hawaiian, yet that percentage is tugging at his heart. To that I said his home is where his heart is wherever he may be, and if his heart is in Hawaii, then so is he, just as Zion is wherever a Jew might be.

I myself am not descended from the Polynesians who originally inhabited the Sandwich Islands, now called Hawaii, the name of the biggest island, an island I grew to love most of all when I lived there.

There is something about Hawaii, its Aloha or loving spirit, its Ea or rising spirit, constantly chanting for our return wherever we may be. My father said he met people from Hawaii during and after the WWII, and that every one of them longed to return. Some not killed in the war stayed on the Mainland afterwards because they found work there and married, but “they always longed for Hawaii with tears in their eyes,” he said.

If you have had the real Hawaii experience, you can leave Hawaii, but Hawaii will never leave you. Part of you is always Hawaiian whether or not Polynesian blood runs in your veins.

The being of Hawaii is heartfelt although it is not clearly defined. It does need to be clarified because Hawaii, despite its reputation for happy-go-lucky natives strumming ukuleles and tolerant multiculturalism, is troubled by underlying historical issues evident in the current politics of resentment.

Suffice it to say that history is a mistake, for otherwise improvement would be impossible. The people who love Hawaii suffer an identity crisis, a special occasion of the underlying crisis or hypocrisis between actual existence and ideal being. The islands await the return of Lono to reconcile the differences, in Being Hawaiian.

“Don’t ever leave Hawaii,” a tourist at Kealakekua warned me. But I left Kona and the woman I loved and I flew to Manhattan because I thought my life was almost over and that there was something crucial that I was supposed to do on the Mainland. I learned that I was a fool for leaving Hawaii to suffer a new beginning in New York, and I have no regrets for the lessons learned. One day I passed by a temple on West 86th Street, and noticed a sign announcing regular classes: HOW TO BE JEWISH.

Now there should be a regular class starting in Hawaii: HOW TO BE HAWAIIAN. We would find the usual cultural courses, but something besides the regular offerings to tourists, although tourists would be welcome to participate in learning, for example, how to make two hundred leis for the luau, chant a positive affirmation with a hula, grow kalo and make poi, speak some pidgin, deconstruct and reconstruct a heiau, unload frozen tuna at the docks, and learn the real reason why one should not forget to put an `okina in front of the word `okina, and so on.

Yes, something even higher is needed, a ritual that ascends to the spirituality of being Hawaiian, and even to mystical unification with Being-in-itself in a nondenominational, climactic reconciliation of all organic differences.

Needless to say, everyone regardless of race, gender, creed, and national origin would be eligible for Being Hawaiian. Kahunas would provide the requisite courses and issue certificates throughout the world. There would be no Hawaii residency requirement, especially since it would be impossible for all Hawaiians to fit into Hawaii at any one time. Yet one pilgrimage to Hawaii every five years, or such time period that would not result in overcrowding, would be recommended if not required to maintain Being Hawaii status.

Being Hawaiian is a state of mind grounded in our feeling for Hawaii. We shall never forget Hawaii, wherever we may be, because Hawaii is with us, wherever we are.



Ea as sovereign political principle of Hawai`i






What in the world did the Polynesian word “Ea” mean before it was politicized by “native Hawaiians” to mean the sovereignty of their kings? The dictionary definition claims that, first of all, the word means “sovereignty,” in the context of “the (Ea) of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

Only after that, may Ea mean “life,” “air,” “breath,” “spirit,” and so on.  Nonetheless, the typical native Hawaiian identity of “life” with their own, racially biased rule of the islands naturally predominates, regardless of the fact that some of the most vigorous proponents of racial independence from “haoles,” a pejorative for white foreigners, are themselves “hapa haoles,” that is, of mixed race, hence are plagued by personal insecurity, which is, of course, naturally blamed on foreigners.

As a result of the prevalent identity crisis, which is by no means unique within a Westernized society besieged by rampant egoism, the assimilated “natives” sorely lack political solidarity and cultural unity, as is evident in perpetual cycles of recrimination and self-denigration within their councils and by malicious gossip on social media such a Facebook.

Wherefore Ea, interpreted as the struggle for independence from others, rather than aloha, the spirit of love for others, wins out, even among mutual admiration groups engaged in the worship of their “beautiful genealogies.”  And the spirits of aloha as well as Ea, those words being Hawaiian, are naturally considered as the private property of anyone with native blood as well as would-be natives.

The phrase “the (Ea) of the land is perpetuated in righteousness” became the motto of the English-style monarchy which self-righteous missionaries helped the original Hawaiian aristocracy fashion as the missionaries helped themselves to the land and impoverished the ordinary natives who would be decimated time and again by foreign diseases and habits because, according to the missionary charters back East, missionaries wanted to save ignorant “savages” or “heathen” from material and spiritual poverty. The motto was retained by the American territorial republic after Ea was “stolen” from the original Hawaiians by “thieving whites,” and is presently the motto of the American State of Hawaii.

The United States became more than willing to assist with that task, with easy access to sugar and the strategic value of Pearl Harbor in mind. The British were interested, but given the unprofitable venture in the American colony and the complete loss of sovereignty to the revolution there, they were not willing to invest in sovereignty over the Sandwich Islands. When a renegade English captain by the name of Paulet seized the sovereignty of the king, England handed it back with an apology, and the king of Hawaii said, according to the interpretation of today’s sovereignty activists, “The (EA) of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

Sovereignty activists who harken back to the defunct kingdom tend to overlook the fact that the chiefs and paramount chief of the biggest island, after which the Sandwich Islands are now named, being fearful for the maintenance of their rule, once gave their sovereignty over the island to Britain; upon which sailors planted the British flag on shore as the chiefs chanted Hail Britannia. Nor do they fain recall that King Kamehameha the Great, having all the islands under his sway after waging brutal warfare and pushing opposed troops off a cliff to pacify them, wrote a letter to King George of England subjecting Hawaiians to British sovereignty.

Think again. England was not about to protect Hawaii from other nations without substantial rewards for doing so in the form of taxes, trade, and conquest, and the chiefs certainly would not appreciate British rule.

Time does not stand still. Things change. What was then was then, and what is now is now. We would forgive our fathers for their wrongs and celebrate their righteousness even though progress is somewhat impeded by the fact that the son is the father of the man, and that, regardless of liberal political theories, fathers rule families hence to some degree chiefs rule tribes and clans, kings countries, governors states, presidents corporations, dictators soviet unions, so on and so forth. In other words, humankind naturally organizes itself hierarchically from simple to complex; fathers, paters are the foundation of patriotism.

Hawaii is now a state, so get used to it, for it is the best of all possible states notwithstanding silent racism and internal bickering. If the interpretation of the motto is true, that sovereignty over a land by the ultimate landlord depends on the righteousness of the sovereign, then the fact that the United States has power over Hawaii is right until its leaders are by revolution overthrown for abuses of power; and then the successors can keep the same motto to assert their own form of righteousness.

Native Hawaiians, who may call themselves kanaka maoli, real men, meaning native people, sometimes politically defined as those people who have a certain quota of blood of the people who lived on the islands before the arrival of Captain Cook, and who lived there for some time thereafter, are divided among themselves as to what to do about the fact that their king’s kingdom along with the land they worked, the very basis of their wealth in common, was taken from them with the help of kings who helped themselves.

A few pure-blooded kanakas remain. The hapas or “half” breeds are many; but the hapas may not be “half,” anymore; they are perhaps from the stock of several “races” or cultures. They are exceedingly beautiful, but they have been discriminated against, and they discriminate among themselves. Still, elements of the Hawaiian culture survive, so they are not yet hopelessly mixed up. Many of them are patriotic citizens and are relatively happy with the way things are now, as if being Hawaiian in the State of Hawaii were the optimal state at the moment. Others are catching up with the haoles (foreigners, whites) but are not so happy. They are in two camps.

We have natives who want at least parity in terms of the benefits received by the original people on the mainland, the Native Americans or American Indians; that would be the self-government or sovereignty, of a so-called nation-within-a-nation status, with land reserved for their exclusive use. They believe they deserve something “extra” as compensation for the suffering of their ancestors, a certain percentage of whose blood flows in their veins according to genealogical studies, at the hands of the whites, whose culture the old chiefs admired and adopted for their own uses because its power appeared to be superior to their own at the time.

On the other hand we have locals including whites who desire absolute sovereignty. They want the kingdom back, or rather they have formed an ideal Kingdom of Hawaii on paper; it appears to have established sovereignty over a website named after the old name of Kauai, Atooi; the island that voluntarily submitted to King Kamehameha the Great after he conquered Oahu. The virtual Kingdom of Hawaii has detailed plans for its monarchy.

At issue, of course, for all those concerned, is what sort of government would in reality be constituted if its proponents have their way. Would it be government be one, a few, or many? Would it be an absolute or a limited monarchy, or a representative republic, or a democracy, or a mixed government?

The last monarch was Liliuokalani, who became queen when her brother, King Kalakaua, died. He was a member of aristocracy, elected king after King William Lunalilo died without an heir and without naming a successor, and was considered by nobility to be of lower caste than his predecessors.  The royal government was basically managed by white foreigners. King Kalakaua was coerced into approving a change from absolute to limited monarchy. Queen Liliuokalani proposed to restore the form of the old regime and therefore sovereignty to the native elite; wherefore, even though she desisted with that plan, thirteen whites associated with the cane sugar business boom, with troops standing conveniently by, with plans to cede the islands to the United States, got her to resign her sovereignty in trust to the United States, and she never got it back despite the sympathy of President Grover Cleveland.

Members of the sovereignty movement will not submit to any status subordinate to the United States, and so have been a stumbling block for those who want “extra” rights under the wing of Uncle Sam; that is, benefits not had by other citizens of the United States. Those others may love the Hawaiian culture very much, but they have their culture too, and do not believe they should be trumped by the principle of seniority.

I asked several leaders of the sovereignty movement what unique quality of spirit the native Hawaiian culture has to contribute to the world, and what the meaning of Ea was before or besides sovereignty.  I thought the Aloha Spirit, the Hawaiian version of Love, might be their contribution, but I was greeted with utter silence.

The camp struggling for an entity to be recognized by the United States as a self-governing nation within the American nation greeted me with “Aloha” and “Mahalo” for asking. Wherefore it occurred to me that the divide between the camps may be between arrogance and humility, between would-be kings and nobles, and ordinary people destined to suffer the leaders they suffer.

But then a leading member of the nativity camp, who is of mixed descent, grew weary of my several polite questions about the historical basis of her circles’ version of culture and the form of government it desired for its “self-governed” nation within the United States, whereupon she publicly denounced me, declaring that I was a “flippant and insulting” person, and withdrew her version of aloha because she doubted that I would contribute anything to her cause.

As for the future of a Hawaiian monarchy, it is highly improbable short of a nuclear apocalypse that there will ever be a Kingdom of Hawaii reigning over the Hawaiian Islands. What good is a paper kingdom or a website kingdom?

Well, an ideal or spiritual kingdom as opposed to a real and material kingdom may come to rule minds and thus have an impact on the behavior of bodies. Sovereignty itself implies the rule of mind over body.

A beautiful woman, by the way, has posed in a national publication to celebrate personal “Ea” as a most powerful word to be enjoyed by all. She is sovereign over her body, and let no man think he owns it. Groups or corporations including nations considered as persons have their Ea as well.

Ea considered as sovereignty asserts independence. Alas for egoism that independence depends on the cooperation of other independents, and that bodies are subject to mechanical laws; and minds as well if bodies and minds are really one. Free will, if there be such a thing, is a limited monarchy. Nothing and only Nothing is absolutely free from something.

The “I” and the “We” are inseparable. No individual or group is entirely independent. Sovereignty is slipping away from interdependent nations to a globalism without a definite sovereign, despite regressions along the spiral such as that we are now seeing, for example, in England, and in the United States, which has fallen into the twenties on the scale of democracy.

Despite the clash between native nationalism and cosmopolitan modernity, the postmodern devolution into tribalism, international corporations rule the globe, and their internal rule is not democratic. National borders are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Sovereignty depends on information, and the information business rules minds.  As it is on the World Wide Web, so it is on Earth.

So the virtual Kingdom of Hawaii may somehow wash brains and establish sovereignty over minds in Hawaii with real effects, but their vision of those effects seems to be influenced by the status quo and appears in images to be somewhat like business as usual under a change of the guard. I shall inquire further into their propaganda and make further attempts to break through the wall of silence raised against “dumb haoles” who do not know what is going on.

What many people are naturally interested in is ground to stand on, that is, real estate for the virtual or ideal state we imagine. That is, land usage.

Original Hawaiians were commonly accustomed to communal land usage, managed by extended families, in which the king, nobles, and commoners had a mutual interest under a sort of feudal arrangement. They once petitioned their king not to relinquish to whites the sovereignty over the land entrusted to real Hawaiians by the gods. If the land were divided up, they believed, with quitclaims given to the chiefs, and foreigners as well as natives were allowed to own plots as private property, sovereignty would be lost to everyone concerned save the whites who had infiltrated the islands and government. Private ownership would allow foreigners to take advantage of many “pukas” or points of entry, and grab everything for themselves. There were indeed hundreds of pukas; the deeds were done; and thus we have today government by mixed races over a system of private property dominated largely by who got there first and capitalized on the opportunities.

The whites with money and Christianity wound up with most of the land. The king and nobles liked the religion and the civilizing effect of money. But the supervisors and commoners had difficulty getting their minds around the concept of private land ownership. Only a few “tenants” filed their claims in time for their portions and had them proven in time under misunderstood rules. Some had no money to pay the commission for the deeds. Others associated to obtain common interest in parcels where they carried on traditional agricultural pursuits such as kalo (taro) farming in remote areas, that is, places not overrun by enterprising whites.

Is all that the work of Ea? Has Ea always meant sovereignty, and, if so, over what by whom? What did Ea mean when the Polynesians had sole possession of the islands?

I shall take up that subject in a future essay, after asking a few more “dumb haole,” purportedly “flippant and insulting” questions. Being ignorant, after all, is precedent to getting really smart, and perhaps worming one’s way into the group of those who know it all. As things stand now, what Hiram Bingham said of the natives may well be said of me, in which case I may be reincarnated to appear as the white god Lono once I am enlightened about my Origin.

“But great as was the darkness of their minds, and pitiable as was the confusion or grossness of their ideas of the divine attributes, still, every one of them was created with conscience and freedom of thought and will, which made them accountable to their Creator and Moral Governor.”


Dead Babies and The Ivanka Trump Venue






Suffocated babies and Ivanka with a darling live baby




The televised news feature of a weeping woman being handed her baby, after it had suffocated to death in its incubator because the hospital had been bombed by Russian and Syrian planes, was especially depressing.

I turned to my Facebook news feed and the first thing I saw was an unsolicited advertisement from the “Editorial Team @IVANKATRUMPHQ” with a pretty picture of Ivanka Trump holding a baby. Ivanka Trump informed the public that “as of today, Ivanka Trump is becoming my personal feed. Follow Ivanka Trump HQ to keep up with $TeamIVanka….”

Well, everyone knew that Ivanka was on her dad’s transition team and that she was sitting in on important conferences with political leaders. Naturally there were many questions about mixing politics with business. Her business is about women and children. Although the Russians are bombing women and children in Syria, her dad said he likes Vladimir Putin, and apparently wants America to be friendly with Russia. Her dad loves to communicate on social media. And now the juxtaposition of a healthy live baby with a dead baby on social media moved me to pose a question to Ivanka on her Facebook post, where I identified myself as a member of the press.

“I just saw the tape of the bombing of an Aleppo hospital. Babies were being taken from incubators and handed to their mothers to die. Other babies not in incubators were left behind. Is it true that your father supports the Russians who support and participate in bombings in Syria? If so, do you agree with him?” It turned out that the baby was already dead.

“There’s probably a different venue to ask this,” responded one gentleman. “Write her father a letter, not her.”

“This is her personal business website. It is not a Donald J. Trump website. It is not a Republican Party website. It is not a White House or any other government website. I don’t know how you got on this beautiful, pink, feminine website which sells products for women, but it’s time for you to open the war room window and climb out!” responded a woman.

Hypocrisy, or the underlying crisis of our kind, the gap between our ideals and reality, cannot be resolved by simply changing hats for pretty bonnets.

Chris Isadore @CNNMoney on Nov. 23, 2016, referring to a blog posted by Ivanka’s company, reported that “Ivanka Trump is trying to put a little space between her company and her father,” and that the “company” said, “Our company’s mission is not political – it never was and it never will be, and that Ivanka now as “an increased opportunity to advocate for women and be a positive force for change.” Chris reported that “Ivanka Trump is on her father’s White House transition team and helped craft his policy on child care and maternity leave. She also sat in on Donald Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his first with a foreign head of state as president-elect.” Some unidentified person at the Ivanka Trump company, simply named Ivanka Trump, said that, “As a private citizen, with full awareness of her heightened visibility, she will broaden her efforts to take a stance on issues of critical importance to American women and families,” meanwhile, the company will keep working to “inspire and empower women to create the lives they want to live.”

“Don’t waste your time,” advised a self-styled brand ambassador to Ivanka’s sycophants in response to my question to Ivanka. “David wishes Ivanka knew he existed.”

Well, I do not fawn on celebrities or suck up to powerful people, so I considered that comment to be his self-portrait.

And there was more. To which I answered that I figured the venue was appropriate given the circumstances, and that my intention was not to start a forum on the issue, but to get a direct response from Ivanka.

I am not by any means hostile to Ivanka, because I do not know much about her. I do have reports from New York City that many New Yorkers despise the whole family, and curse family members on the streets. And I heard about the man who got himself seated on an airplane close to Ivanka and her kids so he could publicly admonish her. In my opinion, streets and airplanes are not proper venues to insult people, because I have been so insulted in public that I was glad I do not carry a gun.

My question was certainly not loaded with an insult. I simply wanted an answer, and I expected it to be a sincere denial, which I would report. I do not believe that Ivanka or her dad condones war crimes howsoever defined, or appreciates the death of civilians.

Millions of women and children are killed in wars and as a result of related sanctions. The killers on both sides who invariably believe they are on the right side do not consider such killings to be murders or war crimes. The civilian casualties are called “collateral damage.” The brutal criterion of “civilization” is power. The more powerful one side is, the more the civilizing effect, and the more the collateral damage, by far exceeding the number of military casualties. Another argument we see is that people deserve the leaders they have, and the deadly consequences of that leadership.

Neither “Ivanka Trump” responded by deadline; that is, neither she nor her company with the same name answered. Maybe she needs a new brand consultant.

If she had responded with a denial as expected, I would have had an open door to follow up with questions as to what she and her dad intended to do to help save women and children from horrors such as those perpetrated in Syria.

Perhaps I shall have a reply after she puts the baby down, changes hats, and looks at the dead babies.



DIaCrItiCal ReMaRkS by Kawika “Dumb” Haole


DIaCrItiCal ReMaRkS


Kawika “Dumb” Haole

Aloha people of Hawaii, this is Kawika Haole here on the Mainland, dumber than ever for leaving Hawaii nei.

I was thinking about diacritical marks before I got up this morning, and want to remark on them, but first I have a two or three criticals about who really owns the Hawaii motto, which the haoles say means “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness of the people.”

What people? Who is right? Am I dumb or what? Okay, I admit it. I am dumber than dumb to ask these questions. I hope native Hawaiians will not be offended and will forgive me because I am so dumb.

The motto is on the seal of the State of Hawaii, but the saying has been around before Hawaii became a state, before Hawaii was annexed, and even before haoles overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii and ran it as a temporary republic pending annexation in 1898. So what’s up with that?

The sacred Hawaiian motto was adopted by the Kingdom 1843 and appears on his coat of arms. It was spoken by King Kamehameha III in an address celebrating the return of the Kingdom of Hawaii to its people after a British captain named Lord George Paulet took it upon himself to cede it to Great Britain because British citizens were complaining they were being abused. The king surrendered under protest and complained to London, and Admiral Richard Darton Thomas sailed in and gave sovereignty back to the king, mentioning that he would, nevertheless, protect British citizens whenever necessary.

Queen Liliuokalani likewise surrendered sovereignty in protest, in 1893, to a so-called Committee of Safety, thirteen whites representing major property interests, especially the sugar industry, who claimed that American lives and property were threatened by the Queen’s intention to promulgate a new constitution taking power away from the House of Nobles controlled by the whites. Her brother King Kalakaua had that control taken away when he signed the Bayonet Constitution under coercion.

The U.S. foreign minister, John L. Stevens, without prior authorization from Washington, took it upon himself to recognize the revolutionaries as the government in fact. Marines had been landed from the U.S.S. Boston; whether that was a gun to the head of the Queen is still debatable. She expected she would get the sovereignty back, and President Cleveland figured that should be done, but he had to hand off the issue to Congress, where conflicting stories were told, and the outbreak of the Spanish-American conflict made complete control over Hawaii, where the U.S. had possession of Pearl Harbor thanks to a reciprocity treaty made with King David Kalakaua, Liliuokalani’s brother, that was convenient to imperialist aims.

Poor Queen Liliuokalani did not get sovereignty back. There was a sincere but feeble counter-revolution. Some guns were found buried in her garden. She was arrested and confined, then put on probation, and, when the coast was clear, her civil rights as a private citizen of the new Republic were bestowed upon her after she signed an abdication of no effect, because she signed it as a private person with her married name, and then she left to Washington to protest annexation, there being a petition of protest signed by over half her native Hawaiian people.  Nice try, she was one smart lady; forget about it: that was, and what is is is, at least according to President Clinton, right?

So what does “The life of the land is perpetuated in the righteousness of the people” mean to this dumb haole? Well, excuse me for being so dumb, which is the fault of Western libraries, but I think it means that whatever group of people can get possession of the land by any means whatsoever including force governs it as long as the people on it do not revolt and overthrow that government.  The principle is, sad to say, might makes right.

But try wait! Something is strange about “life of the land.” Since when does the thing we call the “land” actually “live,” as if it were animated? How superstitious can we be? Madam Pele is alive, of course, but not her creation, not unless we are pantheists who wish to burn in the forever volcano.  The missionaries like to say, while they scoop up property, that all is vanity because the world passes, but it looks like we pass and the real estate stays. What’s up with that, anyway?

I think what the King meant when he pronounced the motto in Hawaiian was that the life of his people as an identifiable people was rooted in the land, that the land was their birthright, and therefore their kingdom, or whatever form of government they prefer, is their right in the island lands perpetuated for all time.

Surely he spoke in the context of how it was seized by the British captain, but was given back to the right people, the Hawaiians, and surely that is exactly what Queen Liliuokalani expected to happen again. But history will not repeat itself here, that is, unless there is some apocalypse resulting in the restoration of the Kingdom of Hawaii to its natives having some blood from back then.

Okay then, until then, the people of Hawaii of all races can mix and make love and babies and money together, but make sure all the time that the virtues of the traditional Hawaiian culture are cultivated in homes and schools and maintained, right? And make sure all people with native blood receive a guaranteed minimum income for life, amounting to a proportion of 150% of the local poverty level, that portion to be determined according to the percentage of native blood running in their veins, from the time that they learn to speak Hawaiian fluently.

Okay, I wanted to say something dumb, as far as native Hawaiians are concerned, about diacritical marks, with apologies here that I have not used them for Hawaiian words written phonetically because I definitely have technical issues. I suppose that one can be certified in diacritalism somewhere if he has the latest word processing program and guidebook.

The state seal that I have a picture of needs to be updated because the motto it bears, “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono,” does not have diacritical marks! All such seals need to be somehow destroyed and replaced with the right ones, eh? The absence of diacritical marks goes to show just how dumb if not disrespectful haoles are, so what they say should be ignored.

For instance, I came across a review of a novel, entitled The Last Aloha, about the “mercenaries” who overthrew the monarchs of Kingdom of Hawaii. Celeste Noelani, who has native Hawaiian blood, said she took it out from the library, read some of it, thought the author was pretty accomplished, but put it down and would not buy a copy, although she usually loves everything about Hawaii, because the author, Gaellen Quinn, did not use proper diacritical markings. How critical is that?

“The detail that made me return this book to the library rather than renew it or purchase it to add to my collection was the absence of two critical parts of Olelo Hawaii (Hawaiian language). The kahako (macron) is placed above vowels to lengthen the sound of the vowel, which can completely change the meaning of a word. The okina is a Hawaiian language consonant that looks like a backwards apostrophe (sort of) and indicates a glottal stop. This also completely changed the pronunciation, and there the meaning, of a word.” (kahakos and okinas omitted)

Forgive me for being so critical, like the insecure haole that I am, but “diacritical” is not a Hawaiian word; it is the English version, using the Roman alphabet introduced by Christian missionaries, of the Greek word “diacritikos,” meaning “to separate one thing from another,” derived from “diskrinein,” meaning “to judge.” The Greeks, of course, use the Greek alphabet, which comes from the Phoenician alphabet the Greeks adopted in the 8th century before the missionaries’ Christ.

The ancient Greeks, by the way, did not need punctuation, sentences and paragraphs, and wrote in one case:


“Celeste,” by the way, which is derived from the Latin caelestis, meaning “heavenly,” is also not a Hawaiian word. The French version is “Celeste,” with a diacritical mark over the “e” i.e. Céleste. The diacritical marks indicate how words are pronounced, other than according to the manner of pronunciation of the normal Latin alphabet. I am pretty dumb, and I do not want to offend Italians, but I think the Italians have a different way or pronouncing “Celeste” than the English and French, but diacritical marks are not used.

The Hawaiian language was traditionally oral, and was not written down until Protestant missionaries, most of them from New England, arrived, shortly after Kamehameha the Great died, and used the Latin alphabet to transcribe the language.

Excuse me for being judgmental, but Celeste, who thinks of herself as a kanaka maoli, or proud, indigenous Polynesian, is, like so many of us including moi, having identity issues. Like, who am I anyway? Am not part of you and you part of me? Did we not start out in Africa? Did not some get to the Caucasus and go on from there to Asia and then to the Pacific Islands? Don’t worry, be happy. Celeste was moved to Seattle, which is understandably depressing given the weather and the number of annual suicides, so, like many writers, she writes to belay the gloom, and wishes she was that little hula girl back in Hawaii. I recommend she visit Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. As for me, I wish I was a dumb haole back in Hawaii.

By the way, Celeste does not provide a diacritical mark over the first “a” in “kanaka.” What’s up with that? Isn’t it supposed to have one there?

“I am Kanaka Maoli and grew up in Hawaii. I learned a lot about the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and some of my family members are active in the Sovereignty movement. What I am trying to say is that I wanted so much to love this book and am disappointed that I did not.” (sic)

No problem.  People identify with their languages, and when they speak the same language, they are jealous of their regional pronunciations and inflections.

Hawaiian natives, of course, just like haoles, know how a word is pronounced to have the meaning within the context in which it appears. Like some English words, a Hawaiian word with the same Roman spelling may have different meanings depending on context. Those words, called homographs, may be pronounced differently although they are spelled the same way. They are really different words when spoken, and native Hawaiians, unlike the English, may like to indicate that with diacritical marks, which in effect produces a different spelling. After all, the haoles at one time banished their language from schools, so for many natives it lost its second nature, and these diacritical marks are more than helpful, and only two are used, but who really owns them?

Celeste said she “rolled” with laughter yet also impatiently “rolled” her eyeballs because the author of The Last Aloha gave the protagonist the name Malolo without using a diacritical mark, which can have the meaning “flying fish,” or maybe a “low tide” or a dirty person who does not take baths, and so on. I always thought it meant “crazy mama” who smoked to much pakalolo. I recall some such distinctions with my favorite word in Hawaii, “pau.”

Okay, Celeste, I am not rolling my eyeballs at you, really, because I know what you mean. Like some words in the Hawaiian language, you have a hidden meaning that only you can know, so Aloha to you. The blacks in my New York City neighborhood called me “gray boy,” and said I could never fully understand anything they said because I am not black.

Anyway, since my word processor does not have a backwards (“sort of”) apostrophe, I sometimes use a regular apostrophe simply make the spelling of words with double vowels easier for me, although that way of indicating glottal stops is not recommended by the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

I practically lived on the UH campus for a few years while I resided in a neighborhood on its edge called Moiliili. My eyes are bad. That is too many small “i”s for this Big I to easily distinguish, and writing it as Mo’ili’ili, meaning “lizard,” which is the shape of the mountain I looked at every day, made the writing and pronunciation much easier. Yet, using that apostrophe proved to the kanaka maoli people that I was just a dumb haole.

Now I am sure that the kanaka maoli are wondering where all this is going to lead since it is going over like a lead balloon because I am a dumb haole, meaning a foreigner who is ignorant of their culture. They may believe I am so dumb that I do not know the difference between flour and a flower. If they are homophonic, they may pray that I do not prey on them like my ancestors from Scotland. That is okay, because if I were a smart okole, they would hate me.

Now I do not mean to be too diacritical, but there is one thing I do know: Hawaii and Hawai’i are two different places if you put the right okina in Hawaii.


The Mainland 2016

Quranic Retaliation and the Frankenstein Monster



The Quranic position on retaliation is natural to humankind and traditional to most existing cultures although their sacred doctrines might be ambigous or self-contradictory on the issue. To wit: an individual or a people should retaliate if attacked, but they should not start a fight.One might reasonably presume that retaliation includes immediate self-defense. Self-defense abrogates guilt for murder and mayhem; as for organized, mass murder, theories of just war are based on the principle of self defense.

Proponents of war may argue that life not worth fighting for is not worth living, and that the end result of war is the moral progress of the human race, particularly when it is waged in the name of God. The regulation of murder and the division of spoils is at the foundation of many religious intuitions. Religion worships absolute power, while politics divides the spoils.

“Believers, retaliation is decreed for you in bloodshed; a free man for a free man, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female…. Men of understanding! In retaliation you have a safeguard for your lives; perchance you will guard yourselves against evil.” (Quran, 2:178)

“Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors.”  (2:190)

There lived among the ancients certain persons who professed love for all humankind and who life one must kill for is not worth living. Hence they were foolish for love’s sake and sacrificed their lives instead of defending them. They were roundly condemned by the warlords and their ministers, who often justified their own seemingly absurd logic by reference to “God’s mysteries.”

“Fighting is obligatory to you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you. God knows, but you do  not.”  (2:216)

Woe on the pacifists who will not fight for Islam’s one-god; are they not traitors hence infidels?

“Believers, do not follow the example of the infidels, who say of their brothers when they meet death abroad or in battle: ‘Had they stayed with us they would not have died nor would they have been killed.’ God will cause them to regret their words…. If you should die or be slain in the cause of God, His forgiveness and His mercy would surely be better than all the riches they amass….” (3:156)

Furthermore, “Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord.”

The impious infidels – “God bears no love for the impious and sinful.” (2:276) – however, shall have no reward in paradise:

“He that chooses a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost.” (5:84)

Of course seeking revenge for the sake of God is tantamount to following God’s good example:

“Those that deny God’s revelations shall be sternly punished; God is mighty and capable of revenge.” (3:4)

Infidels can only hope that the principle of self-defense by retaliation is based on actual physical attacks and not on the usual trifles indignant human beings are all too willing to stake their lives on. St. Louis warned men not to kill people over words; of course, if they are infidels, he said, they should be run through with a sword.

“We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. They serve other deities besides God for whom He has revealed no sanction. The Fire shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling of the unbelievers.” (3:147)

We find similar rhetoric repeated by Christian fundamentalists; but of course, for both faiths are rooted in Judaism, and the conservative fundamentalists of both persuasions are naturally frustrated Jews; or, rather, Hebrews, for Judaism is far more liberal than the tribe that practices lex taliones. Islam, however, is far more monotheistic than Christianity, and even more so than Judaism itself. A word from the wise: religious uniforms are not to blame for the strife.

We might wonder where the retaliation will end – only God knows when. No doubt it will forever cease in paradise. In which paradise, we cannot say for sure, at least not until the fat lady sings her last aria, or until Dr. Frankenstein’s  monster takes up exile on his ice floe.

Hell frozen over

“Farewell!  I leave you, and in you the last of humankind whom these eyes will ever behold. Farewell, Frankenstein! If thou wert yet alive and yet cherished a desire of revenge against me, it would be better satiated in my life than in my destruction. But it was not so; thou didst seek my extinction, that I might not cause greater wretchedness; and if yet, in some mode unknown to me, thou hadst not ceased to think and feel, thou wouldst not desire against me a vengeance greater than that which I feel. Blasted as thou wert, my agony was still superior to thine, for the bitter sting of remorse will not cease to rankle in my wounds until death shall close them forever.

“But soon,” he cried with sad and solemn enthusiasm, “I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt.  Soon these burning miseries will be extinct.  I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds.  My spirit will sleep in peace, or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus.

He sprang from the cabin window as he said this, upon the ice raft which lay close to the vessel.  He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.



(1) Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley.