Lā Ho‘iho‘i Ea Observed at Maunakea

The demonstration started 18 days ago by various groups who believe that Maunakea is sacred and say construction atop the mountain will further desecrate the site.  On Tuesday, the governor rescinded an emergency proclamation at Maunakea and the state issued a two-year extension to Sept. 26, 2021 on the deadline to initiate construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope project atop the mountain.

Maui Now : Lā Ho‘iho‘i Ea Observed at Maunakea, Jason Momoa Visits



ThinkProgress: Steve Bannon knows how often you go to church

Steve Bannon and the conservative group CatholicVote used cell-phone location data for people who had been inside Roman Catholic churches in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2018 to target them with get-out-the-vote ads, ThinkProgress has learned.

…“If your phone’s ever been in a Catholic church, it’s amazing, they got this data,” Bannon told director Alison Klayman as they sat in his Washington, D.C., home on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.

“Literally, they can tell who’s been in a Catholic church and how frequently,” Bannon added. “And they got it triaged.”

…CatholicVote planned to use the data to send targeted get-out-the-vote ads on election day telling Catholics that it was their duty “to support President Trump,” according to Bannon.

…CatholicVote would not say more about how the group collected and used data in 2018.

The technology Bannon was alluding to is called “geofencing” or “ring-fencing.” It’s become popular over the last several years with advertisers, campaigns, and advocacy groups that want to find people who may be receptive to their message.

When Klayman asked Bannon, on-camera, where he got his data from, he answered, simply, “the phone companies.”

“And the data guys sell it,” Bannon added.

…Geofencing creates a virtual fence around a geographic location, allowing data brokers and digital marketing firms to either serve ads to people while they are inside the fence or capture their phones’ unique IDs for later use. The ads themselves appear in apps or on websites as the person uses their phone, whether they’re served up while the user is in the geofenced area or at a later date.

…Here’s how geofencing information is collected: Our phones constantly give up our locations. Experts who spoke with ThinkProgress said there are several ways that brokers can collect that data. One method estimates the location of a phone based on the cell towers it pings as it looks for a signal. In other methods, some of a smart phone’s apps collect location data from its GPS chip or the wifi networks it connects to. Many of the biggest app makers then monetize that data, selling it to brokers and digital ad firms.

…In 2017, Copley Advertising settled with the Massachusetts attorney general’s office after it used geofencing to help anti-abortion groups target ads to women who visited Planned Parenthood clinics.

…The New York Times reviewed some of the location data that app makers sold to a broker, the paper was able to identify individual users and track them to a Planned Parenthood clinic, a middle school, an emergency room, and to their homes and offices.

The technology news site Motherboard went a step further, paying a bounty hunter to locate a specific phone in Queens, New York, after T-Mobile sold the user’s location data, gleaned from cell towers, to a broker who then re-sold it to third-party dealers.

Exclusive: Steve Bannon knows how often you go to church


U of Hawaii pursues controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea

Hawaiians’ protests have attracted the support of many across academe, who see the TMT — in the words of geneticist Keolu Fox of UC San Diego and physicist Chandra Prescod-Weinstein of the University of New Hampshire — as colonial science.

“Far from some replay of an ancient clash between tradition and modernity, this is a battle between the old ways of doing science, which rely on forceful extraction (whether of natural resources or data), and a new scientific method, which privileges the dignity and humanity of indigenous peoples, including Hawaiians and the black diaspora,” they wrote in The Nation. “It is a clash between colonial science — the one which, under the guise of progress, has all too often helped justify conquest and human rights violations — and a science that respects indigenous autonomy.”

Hulali Kau, a writer and advocate working in Native Hawaiian and environmental law, said, “To anyone that continues to try to frame TMT as a science versus culture argument, I would say that this struggle over the future of Mauna Kea is actually about how we manage resources and align our laws and values of Hawaii to connect a past where the state has subjected its indigenous people to continued mismanagement of it lands with its uncertain future.”

Among many concerns, including the university’s past management of the observation space, Kau said she worries that the TMT will include two 5,000 gallon tanks installed two stories below ground level for chemical and human waste. 

Mauna Kea, a conservation district, is home to the largest aquifer in Hawaii, she said. “There are still questions as to the environmental consequences.”

Kau noted that the university was previously embroiled in an indigenous space dispute, when it attempted to patent three strains of taro, or “kalo,” a popular food source. It finally dropped the patents several years later, in 2006. 

U of Hawaii pursues controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea and is leading indigenous institution


Montana removes 27 children from youth treatment ranch, alleging ‘egregious’ abuse

The Ranch for Kids, a nonprofit organization founded in 2004, describes itself as a respite care program for at-risk adopted children and their families, particularly children suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome and reactive attachment disorder, which is a condition found in children who have been mistreated by previous primary caregivers.

….The Health Department said tips and reports of “egregious abuse” had been rising “in both frequency and severity in recent months,” including allegations that:

  • Children were hit, kicked, body slammed and spit on by staff members.
  • Staff members inflicted “persistent psychological abuse” on children, including prolonged isolation.
  • Children were forced to go on 15- to 20-mile “disciplinary walks” on remote Forest Service roads in harsh conditions.
  • Food was withheld from children.
  • A nail gun was shot at a child.

Montana removes 27 children from youth treatment ranch, alleging ‘egregious’ abuse


Mauna Kea protests: what’s at stake for Native Hawaiians – Vox

After statehood, the lands were turned over to Hawaii, and it was required to hold these lands in trust for specific purposes, including “betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians,” under the 1959 Statehood Act.

In 1964, the state issued a lease to the University of Hawaii for 13,321 acres of ceded lands at the summit of Maunakea for $1 per year. The university was authorized to build “an observatory” but proceeded to build multiple observatories without prior approval, a violation of the lease.

…Environmental groups like the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, along with Native Hawaiians, continually fought to stop the development of observatories and require the state and university to better manage the area’s resources. In 1995, the Sierra Club forced the university to airlift large amounts of accumulated waste from the mountain. In 1998, the first of numerous state audits was released documenting the poor management of the area’s natural resources by the state and university.

…Hawaii had long been a tinderbox of colonial tensions; Maunakea simply lit the flame. Hawaiians began organizing in the 1970s to combat the institutionalized racism and prejudice they had been subjected to for generations. The movement to regain control of their lands and resources only grew from there, as Hawaiians retaught themselves their language and restored their cultural practices on a mass level, which had been largely outlawed and condemned by the provisional and territorial governments after the overthrow.

The result of the modern Hawaiian rights movement is a population of Hawaiians and allies who are educated, conscious of, and combating settler colonialism and its influence in Hawaii, and ready to regain control of their lands, their resources, and their government.

…Maunakea is considered an origin of Hawaiian cosmology, a Hawaiian equivalent to Christianity’s Garden of Eden. It is the meeting place of Earth Mother, Papahānaumoku, and Sky Father, Wākea.

…When asked, the protectors will quickly explain they are not against science and have little opposition to the TMT project itself — they just firmly believe it does not belong on the sacred lands of Maunakea. 

…TMT proponents claim that because there are no historic structures within the project area, cultural resources will not be as severely affected. Yet they fail to understand that built historic structures are not a prerequisite for cultural significance. 

…Inseparable from Hawaiian culture is a love of the land, ’āina. For Hawaiians — who thrived in the islands before foreigners arrived at the end of the 18th century — care and attachment to the land is central to their identities. The term “aloha ’āina,” literally meaning love of the land, has long been a rallying cry for Hawaiians.

..A line of elders, known as kūpuna, positioned themselves in the roadway leading up to the summit of Maunakea. Each elder was assigned a caretaker to tend to their health and nutritional needs while they awaited and blocked access to the construction trucks. Farther up the road, a group of seven Native Hawaiian protectors chained themselves to a cattle guard as a second line of defense in case law enforcement arrested the kūpuna.

…Despite pleas from younger activists to protect the kūpuna, the elders insisted on remaining on the front line and being the first arrested, asking the younger protectors to stand down and remain silent while they were taken.

Some elders forced officers to physically remove them, and they were picked up and carried down the road. Some were wheeled off in their wheelchairs. Others walked, sometimes with the help of walkers, if they could. Many of the 35 arrested were in their 70s or 80s.

The younger protectors openly wept and prayed as the kūpuna were taken in custody. Law enforcement, most of them Hawaiians themselves, moved slowly and respectfully, looking pained and conflicted as they arrested the kūpuna. The interaction remained peaceful, but the heartbreak was palpable.

…Based on footage released by the state, law enforcement officers, many Hawaiians and some related to kia’i, continue to struggle emotionally with being forced to stand opposite to the Hawaiian community gathered at the mountain. The use of Native Hawaiian law enforcement has been met with harsh criticism. Many consider it an intentional decision by government leaders, who are primarily non-Hawaiian, to create division and trauma within the Hawaiian community.

…It is estimated that the camp area now includes 2 miles of highway along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, locally known as Saddle Road. The pu’uhonua is highly organized, with each new occupant undergoing an orientation upon arrival. Among the rules are no drugs, no smoking of any kind, no alcohol, and no weapons. Occupants are also required to hold themselves in “kapu aloha,” a spiritual edict of restraint and self-control where one acts only with compassion, love, and care for others.

Security, organized and run by the kia’i and the Royal Order of Kamehameha, is present 24 hours a day. There are 32 portable toilets that are pumped twice daily. All materials are sorted and recycled when possible. Trash is removed daily. There is a highly organized food service that feeds all present.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the safety and order present in the refuge, including photos and video footage widely circulated on social media and local news, the state and project proponents continue a well-funded campaign of misinformation that aims to undermine the credibility of the protectors.

…Ige and his administration are also quickly losing support among local elected officials. His own lieutenant governor, Josh Green, a Big Island physician seen as a champion of humanitarian causes, has publicly cautioned the governor against the use of the National Guard and even visited the pu’uhonua on July 22, meeting with leaders and taking medical supplies to the camp. Similar statements, appearing to back away from the governor’s position, were issued by federal, state, and county leaders.

…University of Hawaii faculty are also calling for the removal of university president David Lassner, unhappy with his leadership throughout this ordeal.

With more and more supporters arriving at the camp daily, it is becoming clear that construction on Maunakea will not take place short of a significant and aggressive police action against the peaceful demonstrators. Yet with each step toward increased militarized force, the resistance to the state and the project grows.

For a project that claims to be for the benefit of mankind, TMT is quickly becoming synonymous with human rights violations, excessive police force, and a misinformation campaign that embodies all the worst acts of trauma against indigenous peoples. The protectors, bearing only aloha and compassion, are becoming a symbol of peaceful resistance and steadfast commitment to restoring indigenous self-determination.

Mauna Kea protests: what’s at stake for Native Hawaiians – Vox

Mahalo Kia’i, Aloha to all of you