Thursday, November 17, 2011


Where are the voices of passion and justice?

By Henry Curtis

Where are the voices of passion and justice?

The financial meltdown was caused by the recklessness of large banks. The taxpayers bailed out the banks, saved them from financial ruin. These banks terminated millions of credit cards, used taxpayer funds to buy other companies, handed out lavish bonuses to their elite, worked the backrooms of Congress to rewrite tax codes to decrease their future taxes and put large numbers of people out of work. The number of homeless increased and became more visible on the streets. The homeless were blamed for their visibility. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

Minorities from Eastern Europe, China, Thailand and other places are being scammed to take agricultural jobs that Americans will not do. Those targeted speak dialects that largely do not exist in the places they are imported to. A few who go into debt to pay for this opportunity are immediately shipped back  causing those who stay to be fearful and not to protest. In California the Legislature passed a law that says there is no overtime for agricultural field hands. In Hawai`i those who plead guilty in federal court receive praise for saving agricultural land. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

We tested atomic weapons on the atolls of Micronesia. The residents of these atolls got sick. We told them they would always be able to get medical treatment here. Now we say that the money has run out. They should go home. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

Pedophiles and other sexual deviants have been able to take jobs as priests, minimum wage guards at private prisons, and in school football programs. Numerous lives are being destroyed. People are hurting. There is pain. Priests are relocated so they can commit crimes elsewhere. Prison guards can continue because Hawai`i is “saving money” by exporting inmates to other states where inmate conditions are no longer our concern. Football coaches are defended. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

Hawaiian Electric Company proposed to import tropical palm oil grown in recently destroyed rainforests. HECO says they will get the palm oil from companies that are “working towards” no child labor and are “working towards” free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities, at the specific farms where the biofuel will come from. How these plantations treat workers at their other plantations are irrelevant. Earlier this year, in the middle of a recession/depression, HEI significantly increases pay, short-term bonuses, long-term bonuses and incentives to their 5 highest paid employees, paid for by struggling ratepayers. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

According to the U.S. Census and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there were 46,000,000 people in poverty in the U.S. in 2010, up 7,000,000 in two years. There were 656,000 people homeless in the U.S. in 2009. There are a lack of drug treatment centers in Hawai`i. There are inadequate mental health services in Hawai`i. There are inadequate number of homeless shelters, and some of them are unsafe. The homeless are becoming more visible. The Hawai`i solution: rouse them from where they are, take away their possessions, move them out, prevent them from forming camps, and arrest them for being poor. Abercrombie called it a "happy coincidence" that his homeless plans would be in place before the start of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.  Governor Abercrombie said “we’re in paradise. Hawaii has an honorable and ancient tradition of caring for everyone. Among Hawaiians, no one is orphaned.” Where are the voices of passion and justice?

On the continent occupy movements are infiltrated by undercover law enforcement. Criminals are dropped off at the encampments by the police. The police are seeking to create conditions that then can be used to blame the occupation residents. In Hawai`i, the encampments are continually monitored by police cameras originally set up to monitor traffic. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has bought large numbers of hand-held video cameras to film the encampments. Police officers regularly stop by. What is the crime of the occupation? Is it raising questions about cozy public private partnerships whereby the top 1% get richer and politicians get campaign donations. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

During APEC the Interfaith Alliance of Hawai`i (IFAH) and the Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) held a religious interfaith gathering in Waikiki. Members of large number of different faiths gathered for prayer, song, reflection and thought. Multiple law enforcement officers held cameras and filmed the religious event. Some officers specifically aimed their cameras at the religious leaders. Where are the voices of passion and justice?

The Bible speaks of the poor: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3) "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."  (Luke 6:20); “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

Buddha said: “Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little,” and Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed.

Judaism: God is the Compassionate and is invoked as the Father of Compassion.

Islam: Each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception, begins with the verse, "In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful."

Where are the voices of passion and justice?

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Thanks, Henry.

Security was so tight at the APEC, but somehow the prostitutes still made it to the 7th floor of the convention center where the Russians were housed. Very interesting.

The Bible also says:

"But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride..."

“For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress."

"...and then the end will come."

These kind of events are inevitable, unstoppable and incurable by mankind. It's strange that most people who quote parts of the Bible in a rally cry for "social justice" through human efforts ignore the main thrust of the Bible which indicates that "It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step."

"We're all Bozos on this bus" (Firesign Theatre, but reflective of the Bible).

It will all be sorted out soon, but not by people.

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