Hawaiian royal societies and addressing fears

The Star-Bulletin reports on the 2006 'Aha hipu'u Conference of the four Hawaiian royal societies.
[Bill] Souza [chief protocol officer of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and an event organizer] said he hopes the societies can unite and share their separate and secret protocols as "keepers of our culture." The societies had to remain low key because of the political climate following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, Souza said.

I offered some thoughts Thursday on the role of the royal societies in international protocol.

OHA chair Haunani Apoliona was there pitching OHA's draft proposal for a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, but according to Souza, the articles says, "She did not represent the societies' official position on sovereignty, which will be among the issues discussed at the convention."

The article concludes with this:
Mililani Kaina, a member of 'Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, said there is a "fear factor" with the word "sovereignty," based on lack of understanding or misinformation.

She said many older Hawaiians "are living comfortably on Social Security" and enjoying the rights of U.S. citizenship. They are wondering if "sovereignty" would mean secession from the United States and giving up these rights. Kaina said there is a need for more, simplified information, and another speaker concurred that a "more comfortable" word should be used.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o acknowledged that people do feel threatened by the word "sovereignty," as well as "Hawaiian nation," so OHA has begun using the term "governing entity."

First, I encourage folks to read Prof. Boyle's mana'o on the Akaka bill to learn more about the meaning of the term "governing entity." Short version: internationally it is used to degrade and insult.

Second, regarding Social Security, it is an individual contract between a person and the U.S. federal government, and the government's obligation to fulfill this contract is not dependent on what country you are residing in, or even what your citizenship is. I posted this information some time ago, and it is worth repeating. From the SSA website:

Citizenship: "Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, permits payment of Social Security benefits to noncitizens living in the United States (U.S.) only if they are lawfully present in this country."
Residence: "If you are a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the U.S. as long as you are eligible for them."

Both: "If you are not a United States citizen, the law requires us to stop your payments after you have been outside the United States for six calendar months unless you meet one of several exceptions in the law which will permit you to continue receiving benefits abroad. These exceptions are based, for the most part, on your citizenship. For example, if you are entitled to worker’s benefits and are a citizen of one of the many countries with which the United States has a reciprocal arrangement to pay each other’s citizens in another country, your Social Security benefits may continue after you leave the United States..."

And of course the larger question is: How reliable is social security anyway, with the current fiscal state of the U.S. federal government and the Republican's continuing efforts to "privatize" the system? From a post a couple weeks ago at Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo blog, excerpted from a press release sent out from Senate Finance Committee ranking member, Sen. Max Baucus:
The Mid-Session Budget Review released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today included a proposal that would spend $721 billion – nearly $10 billion more than originally planned in the President's original Fiscal Year 2007 budget – to turn Social Security into a system of private accounts with lower guaranteed benefits to Americans. The President's proposal to privatize Social Security includes significant cuts in guaranteed benefits for the vast majority of Social Security recipients through the indexing of initial benefits to prices, rather than wages.

Perhaps to help address understandable fears, instead of just changing terminology, we could have some real discussion and education on the full range of issues and options before us, including addressing those fears from a factual, informed basis.

Posted: Sun - July 23, 2006 at 09:15 AM    
World Court Case DVD
Larsen Case on DVD
Larsen DVD
Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom at the
Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Hague, 2001
DVD Mini-Documentary & Booklet
Order your copy
Free Hawaii
Over at the Free Hawaii blog, Koani Foundation is giving away "Free Hawaii" stickers and pins, and will post photos of them displayed in interesting places. Spread them far and wide!
TV Worth Watching
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
NOW with David Brancaccio
Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria
Countdown with Keith Olbermann
Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry
Real Time with Bill Maher
Washington Journal on C-Span
PBN Friday with Howard Dicus
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Browse archives by date
Support Organ Donation
Comments powered by
Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com
If you find this weblog valuable, please consider making a secure donation via PayPal to support its ongoing maintenance:

Or contact me about sponsoring this blog in exchange for space in the Sponsored Links area above.
Total entries in this blog:
Total entries in this category:
Published On: Jul 24, 2006 05:35 PM
Powered by