Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Admonition from afar

by Larry Geller

There are many good comments on the two Lanai articles (here and here). I wanted to promote this particular comment since not everyone will see it.

I’m guessing that it was written by someone living outside of Hawaii. I find resonance with it because I often wonder why (as I’ve written occasionally) there is not more action on the ground here. Sometimes there is, but mostly… well, please read the comment:

How can the people of Hawaii allow their land to be plundered by a modern day Robber Baron colonial capitalist like Larry Ellison? He has no geneological roots on this island. How can the leaders of Hawaii be so weak? It's incredulous that there aren't riots in the streets over this issue?

Do the corporations have so much sway that the residents of Hawaii are themselves powerless to act in their own best interests? Ideally, the land should be seized or bought by the state, a series of national parks established, Lanai be declared a UNESCO heritage site and then divided and sold to several if not thousands of investors. That 1 individual can buy up most of the island in this day and age is absurd. Does it not count for anything that there were Native Hawaiians living there long before Ellison's predecessor, Cook Castle/Dole & the Mormon missionaries who claimed it as their very own?

C'mon, people of Hawaii, you should wake up. This is your land. It belongs to you. You should take a stand, block this sale and claim it for yourselves. It doesn't belong to Ellison or Murdock. It belongs to you.

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : June 26, 2012 5:41:00 PM HST


"Does it not count for anything that there were Native Hawaiians living there long before Ellison's predecessor, Cook Castle/Dole & the Mormon missionaries who claimed it as their very own?"

No, it doesn't. May as well apply that same logic to North America (CAN, USA, MEX) and the various "tribes" that were there before.

And, besides, a Hawaiian King legally transferred the land to the Mormons, thus neutralizing any future "native" claim.

Further, if the state wanted to acquire the land through eminent domain, they would have to come up with fair market value as a payment ($500-600 million), plus most likely other monies in compensation. Do you think the state has that kind of money for such a project?

And what about the lost benefit to Oahu of the Ellison Island windfarm that is proposed by it's new owner? Think the lawmakers will turn that down?

Time to join the real world of the 21st century and stop crying over split milk of previous generations.

Hi Larry, I wish you would have printed my comment from yesterday in response to the $1 comment. It has bearing. But I didnʻt save it before I posted so I donʻt have time to redo at this point.

Regarding these recent views, people just donʻt get it. And the problem is too many outsiders already have a grip on Hawaii (through the weak knee legislators).

This is a particularly bad solution and it is easy to see the writer does not understand UNESCO or they would not have offered it:
"Ideally, the land should be seized or bought by the state, a series of national parks established, Lanai be declared a UNESCO heritage site and then divided and sold to several if not thousands of investors."

UNESCO is part of the United Nations. UNESCO is resource bank, collecting from everywhere on earth. China will eventually have all this. Thousands of investors? Thatʻs not how UNESCO works. Which is worse? Ellison is looking better after reading this. The ʻgovernmentʻ can seize it without giving it to UNESCO and can declare it public lands.

Not one of these ʻfixersʻ ever once suggested that the lands be returned to the rightful jurisdiction: the sovereign power, the wonderfully perfect ahupuaʻa system of land management where everyone benefits. The americans are greed driven and thatʻs why there is conflict.

Regarding the Mahele, I keep reading people using this as their badge of righteousness and defense for theft, when in fact the Mahele ʻversionʻ they tout is completely wrong; a rewrite of what really happened.

Spilt milk? Get real. If your land in the states was taken over by China-illegally by overthrowing the US government...YOU WOULD NEVER LET IT BE FORGOTTEN. Knowing the greed that seeps from your writing, I know this to be true; just suggesting that Lanaʻi be the cow for Oahu is point of fact.

Yes, that land was ʻpurchasedʻ for $1. The provisional government came in, overthrew a lawful government, seized the 99 year leases that were for the benefit of the people to survive, converted them into ownerships (for $1 to all friends & conspirators) and burned all the records in the Bureau of Conveyances.

The milkheads would be crying if this happened to them. Unbelievably, the Hawaiians have been pretty gracious about it and I donʻt know how they do it.

Evidence of the ill will there is for Hawaiians:
Rather than turn the lands back to Hawaiians who have the most sophisticated methods for caring for land and resources, who will not retain the land for personal enrichment but for all to prosper from...these are the solutions offered first:

1. Eminent domain
3. Unpredictable wealthy owner

What I observe is how easy it is for someone to make determinations about someone elseʻs rights.
And how much contempt exists deep down in the hearts of non-Hawaiians towards a people that have extended everything to them... with Aloha. Although on the outside and in public their words and actions are saccharin sweet.

Again, any purported ʻtransfersʻ of land during the Kingdom time were forced under the Bayonet constitution.

You canʻt just throw a comment out there and say it over and over hoping to make it come true, Wendy.


Comments aren't the best place for debate, and often they express ideas that, while not fully formed or researched, have great value. Perfection of the argument isn't a requirement. We're talking things over.

The land sale is controversial, and there are various facets to it. Ian Lind discovered, for example, that Ellison will be paying no conveyance taxes. It isn't actually a land sale, he seems to be buying corporations that own the land, hence no tax is to be paid. The state gets nothing. Yet if any of us sell a house, we pay.

I'm happy to see those who know more than I do explain what's going on. Also, I certainly am not well versed on Hawaiian history.

By the way, if a comment includes an ad hominem attack or personal slur, that doesn't contribute to understanding of the issue and the whole comment gets deleted. Some end up flagged as spam if they are only a line and a link. Gotta keep order here somehow.

Are there any other UNESCO-owned lands in the USA? I personally don't know, but would imagine that the last thing the feds would want to do is turn over a significant piece of property to the UN.

Americans are already very leery of UN-attempted take-overs of things.

This could be tacit acknowledgement that the state really doesnʻt own the land according to Public Law 103-150: "It isn't actually a land sale, he seems to be buying corporations that own the land, hence no tax is to be paid." And Iʻd guess thereʻs more beneath the surface on this...a lot more.

No, there isn't.

Conveyance tax avoidance is commonplace among the rich, as Ian said...

"Rep. Isaac Choy, a Democrat who represents the Manoa-University area, said other large real estate deals have also avoided conveyance tax, including the sale of Ala Moana Center and the Victoria Ward Centers."

" “This isn’t brain surgery,” Choy said. “To avoid conveyance tax, you just put the land in a corporation, then you transfer the stock of the corporation.”

Choy said several other states, including Connecticut and Washington, tax the transfer of controlling interests in business entities involved in similar transactions."

Ellison has merely found a way to avoid a $6 mil tax bill. As Ian said:

"Lanai is apparently set up as a sale of corporate stock in the Murdock-controlled entities THAT HAVE HELD TITLE TO THE LAND , with control of the land following
indirectly." (caps added)

Buy land...pay tax. Buy all the stock in a corp that owns the land...don't pay tax.


Nothing beneath the surface other than smart and legal tax maneuvering.

Welcome to Ellison Island, aka Larryland.

I've been rich and I've been poor. I'm here to tell you, rich is better. But to be rich like Larry...wow...

Larry, most arenʻt well versed on Hawaiian history but at least you are open and neutral to allow some discussion from both sides. And that is equally important.
Thank you.

Thanks for that explanation but if he doesnʻt pay tax on the land does he also get excluded from permits that run with the land, I wonder?

I know Yellowstone National Park is owned by UNESCO. Several historic sites in Hawaii are too or very near to being included in UNESCO.
When you see the ʻPreserve Americaʻ signs start going up, thatʻs an indication.
Not only are many historic sites and parks under UNESCO control but trails and other various places of interest which are revenue gathering assets. China has a lot of interest in these as well to send their citizens to these places because they get a cut of the action.
UNESCO is an Executive Order signed by bush 2.

Sorry - mistake- Preserve America is an Executive Order by bush.
PA kind of like a subsidiary of UNESCO.
It was to collateralize all the assets to be used against the debt and to borrow more money from China.

I thought UNESCO merely kept a list of World Heritage sites, and that they checked up on those from time to time and tried to have countries keep their sites in good condition. If a country didn't do whatever UNESCO thought necessary, the site might just get off the list.

Do you know anything about UNESCO ownership? Please post a link. I just did a quick Google and couldn't immediately locate anything more than the list. And that they want Bulgaria to stop offering winter sports in one of their parks because it damages the environment.


That link doesn't work... it's to a file on your computer only.

Hi Larry, Iʻm real sorry about that. Was in a hurry-out the door.

Better yet try this google page as thereʻs a lot of different links to choose from and it wasnʻt like that a few years ago, had to really dig. If you just google UNESCO most links are all touting the wonders of UNESCO.

Hope I got it right this time.


It's one thing for the UN (UNESCO) to place certain US sites on a list...it's totally different for them to OWN them or have a real management say in their operation.

I have a real problem with that.

America can and should place various sites in protected status from development and control access. Such sites are owned by the fed govnt or state and are administrated appropriately. Think fed and state parks and historical sites. But ownership of the land still belongs within the US.

I have no problem with that.

I am totally against any UN intervention in our country and am opposed to any concept of "world government" that we would subscribe to.

America should always maintain it's status of master of its own destiny.

The UK didn't join the EU...we shouldn't join ANY international governing body.

Yellowstone National Park is owned by the people of the United States and managed by the National Park Service. The Park Service's budget, part of the Federal budget, partially subsidizes fees for use of the park.

In 1972, our government signed the United Nations' World Heritage Treaty, a treaty that creates "World Heritage Sites" and Biosphere Reserves." Selected for their cultural, historical or natural significance, national governments are obligated to protect these landmarks under U.N. mandate.1 Since 1972, 68 percent of all U.S. national parks, monuments and preserves have been designated as World Heritage Sites.2

However, contrary to what some may say, this does not mean that the United Nations owns Yellowstone National Park. In fact, the government went through an application process to have Yellowstone designated as a UNESCO site in order to further guarantee protection of the beautiful scenery and diverse and charismatic fauna that are, in the whole world, unique to that region of the United States.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_owns_Yellowstone_national_park#ixzz1zD12r5Me

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