Class Cruelty in the Land of Aloha

Heavily-reliant on tourism, Hawai’i leads the nation along with Nevada and Michigan in unemployment. Nearly 250,000 Hawaii residents filed for unemployment in less than two months. Official estimates peg job losses around 25%, which is Great Depression era suffering.

Maui has highest rate at 36.1%; Kauai, 34.4%; Hawaii island, 24.0%; and Honolulu at 20.0%. Food lines are miles long; pantries empty; small businesses failing; households are unable to meet rent or essential expenses. Tremendous despair throughout the islands.


Hawai’i is dominated by an oligarchy of wealthy, privileged “plantation owners” who profit on the backs of poor people. Most employees who lost their jobs are low-wage service workers with little in savings.

State lawmakers propose stashing more than $1.6 billion in state and federal funding in the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund when Hawai’i residents suffer the highest economic collapse in generations.

Hawai’i is also “among the worst if not worst state in the nation at getting people their entitled unemployment benefits,” said Laura Thielen speaking to reporters. When it comes to taking care of workers, Hawaii’s Democrats are more stingy and self-righteous than the most callous national Republicans and powerful corporate CEOs. Donald Trump seems like a compassionate grandfather compared to the Wolves In Sheep Clothing here.

In tears and choked by emotion, “I am ashamed that we did nothing with the money that we had.”
Hawai’i State Senator Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua)

Sen. Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua)

Facing the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover defended laissez-faire economic policies. Many believe his dogmatic commitment to small government led him to do little while the economy collapsed in the wake of the 1929 market crash. Although the reality of Hoover’s reaction is more complicated, Senator Thielen excoriated her political colleagues for a similar response to the current depression in the islands.

“My point is the crisis is now, and it’s urgent, and soon we’re going to have a lot more homeless, a lot more hungry, a lot more people in permanent need of expensive social services. We should be putting aside our power struggles, our desire to stash and control money, and we should be helping our people as much as possible.”
Hawai’i State Senator Russell Ruderman (D-Puna)

Senator Russell Ruderman carbon tax debate
Sen. Russell Ruderman, “We need to be the government that helps the people.”

State lawmakers propose stashing more than $1.6 billion in state and federal funding in the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund when Hawai’i residents suffer the highest economic collapse in generations.

“This is the perfect storm. It’s the highest cost-of-living state. It’s workers with the lowest wages and the least amount of savings, and it’s the state that’s among the slowest to deliver unemployment payments to them,”
Hawai’i State Senator Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua)

Kevin Dayton reported union leaders and economists claim cutting pay of public workers does even more damage to the state economy and might make the downturn worse. Yet Senate Bill 75 shifts $636 million in CARES Act money to the rainy day budget reserve fund; Senate Bill 3139 transfers $452 million in other state funds into the rainy day fund; SB 3139 authorizes the FrankenIGE administration to transfer an additional $258 million to the rainy day reserve fund.

Hawaii lawmakers meet in House chamber at State Capitol to address SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and economic disaster. Media and public have been locked out of all lawmakers’ hearings since start of session. [CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / MAY 11]
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz showed lawmakers were unprepared, as they must return to the Capitol next month. Dela Cruz believes it will take five years or more for the state’s tourism economy to recover and wants “to think and act responsibly and prudently with the federal resources that are being provided us.”

They’ve been receiving paychecks throughout this crisis, had the luxury to shelter at home or in safe locations, have plenty of food and essential supplies — but were unable to assist needy people in a crisis. Tar & Feather these heartless and incompetent deadbeats.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz SAVES money while your family starves.

Hundreds of thousands struggling human beings are drowning in Hawai’i. Rich, wealthy and privileged lawmakers deny media and public participation by shutting the doors to all hearings, while they propose to save the money for a real emergency. Cruel, merciless people!

Illusion of Aloha

When people think of Hawai’i, they have visions of tropical beaches, swaying palm trees, gentle Pacific breezes, gorgeous hikes and waterfalls, and flower lei. Visitors come here to make memories they hope will last a lifetime. Hawai’i is paradise.


For most locals, Hawai’i is hell. The islands were born from volcanic rock that pushed up from the bottom of the ocean. Everything else came from somewhere else. Seeds, blades of grass, flowers, fruits, trees, animals and humanoid creatures — all are “haole” or foreign.

Popular local musician, Ana Vee, sings in her hit song, Hawai’i: “There ain’t no other place like these islands” and highlights underlying discrimination as many consider themselves superior to newer arrivals, “Best to be born and raised local grown.” All came from somewhere else — some just later than others. We all agree “this place is something special and you know you won’t forget.”

Turbulent History

Kamehameha “The Great” waged civil war against peaceful Polynesian villagers between 1782-1810. He offered nothing and took everything. Turned canons and heavy weapons on people who had wooden spears and only aloha in their hearts. His fierce warriors pushed those who opposed him off cliffs to their death. Bow before The Great One or die.

Kamehameha “The Great” took what wasn’t his. Brought greed, envy and corruption to islands. [Pinterest]
Local inhabitants who paddled or sailed from Marquesas or Tahitians islands had it all. Didn’t need a greedy king anymore than did U.S. founders in 1776. King Kamehameha I, II, III and IV set a tradition of not working, following the example of Europeans monarchs, while traveling the world, building fancy palaces and sending their keiki to the finest universities funded by peasants who worked and died in the fields.

‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S. and remains an enduring symbol of Kanaka Maoli rule and oppression. How many human being died to pamper kings and queens?

Kamehameha’s people — considered Kanaka Maoli — didn’t like to work. They traded/leased/sold land to haole contractors and authorized the importation of hundreds of thousands of cheap haole laborers from Japan, China, Philippines and other destitute locations — just as Maui and O’ahu hotel owners do today.

Ordinary Polynesian families didn’t want to work traditional European style. Their days were busy fishing, hunting, weaving mats, managing small plots of kala or harvesting a variety of fruits and Ke Akua’s natural delights. Why punch a time clock for Da Haole Man when nature provided all they needed?

Kanaka monarchy and foreign contractors sought profit — not aloha for people. On the backs of exploited human beings, the kings, queens and contractors made billions. Peasants today suffer $10.10 minimum wage in the most expensive state in America. Top 1% live in luxury mansions, renovated plantation homes or multi-million-dollar beach front condos. They’re contemporary kings and queens.

Hawaiian Plantation Mentality Culture

As a business intelligence analyst studying Hawai’i for over ten years, management and political systems in the Hawaiian islands are broken beyond foreseeable repair. Energy costs remain highest in the nation. Public services are rated some of the worst. Pollution and human feces infect the ‘aina, rivers and oceans.


When it rains, and it rains almost every day, the Department of Health posts advisories warning people not to enter the water. One is more at risk of dangerous environmental pathogens than sharks. Tourism authorities and promoters hide this information. They continue an illusion, as they want your money.

Locals did an excellent job battling SARS-CoV-2, as we are used to #MaskingUp and sheltering from human-caused threats along with natural disasters. Only small presence of COVID19 here now. Four new cases today (see Chart below). If our islands followed Hong Kong protocols, for example, everything could open. Gov FrankenIGE allows arrivals to continue without proper controls. Dangerous Dave they call him.

Gov FrankenIGE refuses to properly isolate arrivals and threatened the local ‘Ohana.

It’s not unusual for people to work 2-3 jobs here. It’s a harsh life and locals are both resilient and strong. Have to be. Elected officials and business executives are savage and lacking compassion. Seems our politicians prefer people to die.

Ghosts of plantation owners still exist, although most large-scale commercial interests have fled to less-costly locations. Names such as Dole, Bishop, Kamehameha Schools, Alexander & Baldwin, Parker Ranch, Ellison, Zuckerberg, Oprah, Bette Midler, Molokai Ranch, Robinson family, Grove Farm, Maui Land & Pineapple still champion the flag of exploitation. They hold disproportional land and wealth. Others serve their interests.

Hawaiian Electric, considered the state’s most prestigious company, and led by the highest paid employee in the state, Constance Hee Lau, promises ‘imi pono — to pursue righteousness. Apparently only a marketing slogan. Never observed this from company executives.

Constance Hee Lau make more in one year than most employees make in 100 years.

The professionals who served with me at Hawaiian Electric are awesome, competent and proficient. ValueAct CEO Jeff Ubben alarmed shareholders writing about extraordinarily bad management. HECO removed CEO Alan Oshima, added numerous fresh faces to their corporate board, and appointed Admiral Tom Fargo to replace Jeff Watanabe as chair of Hawaiian Electric Industries.

Continuing plantation paternalism, Governor FrankenIGE appointed disgraced Oshima to lead the COVID19 recovery. First action by the former CEO was to allocate $10 million to hire out-of-state consultants from Boston. Didn’t matter to him east coast professionals knew little about Hawai’i or local culture. Political pressure seems to have forced Oshima to drop his proposal.

Hawai’i is something special and hope you won’t forget; since 1800 this ‘Ohana has been unrighteously upset. 

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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”


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