Native Forests

Trees are elegantly simple, and, absent human intervention, net positives.

A tree turns light energy in chemical energy, earthly receptor for the power of the universe. A divine energy conversion, He, the tree, produces the oxygen necessary for our animal lives.

Water fuels the conversion. Minerals, transported through water, build the processor and scaffolding. Roots draw spiritual minerals from the soil using the natural law of densities– high always moves to low. Trees then exhale excess water in the same or better condition from beneath their leaves through green nostrils that inhale Carbon, the foundational element of organic matter.

The big picture processes and ingredients of trees are simple. Sun. Water. Soil. Leaf. Trunk. Root. But, at the granular level, photosynthesis is a concept not grasped simply. Behold! the sophisticated simplicity of hidden complexity.

Each tree branch supports itself and sends surplus chemical energy to the trunk and roots. Tiny fungi digest minerals from soil and rock and make them available for the roots to soak up. These systems function together in harmony, as does the larger native natural system.

A group of trees, among other plants, is a forest. The most balanced of these groupings are the native groupings, adapted to the local climate, exposure, and soil. The members of the native forest live together in balance, forging a comfortable home for themselves and other locals. Invasive species, opportunistic and selfish, disrupt the balance of this community.

Undoubtedly, we’re all immigrants at some point and native isn’t always easy to demarcate. A good local, however, embraces the regional exposures and joins the native symphony.

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how to represent yourself in district court

Landlord suing you?  Tennant not paying rent?  Here are some tips for navigating the situation well.

1. Protect yourself while being a reasonable human-being living on planet earth.

The situation can be challenging or simple and is likely a mixture of the two.  The key to making it as simple as possible is acting promptly and maintaining thorough records.  Do everything in your power not to be a dick because its a better way to live and often proves favorable if a legal action develops.  Judges have a lot of discretion to decide certain issues and can always consider “fairness,” which is sometimes called equity.

2. Consider the costs of various actions, inactions, and reactions.

Outcomes are never certain in the beginning and in the end, are certain.  You need to balance the prospect of costs with the prospect of a favorable and unfavorable court determination.

The Court charges a fee to file the paperwork opening a case against a person or entity.  Then to actually begin the case you must have, and often must pay, a person to physically deliver the paperwork to the person or agent of the entity.  If you cannot find the person or cannot find out where that person resides, you must get permission from a judge to give that person notice that you are suing them by putting an add in the newspaper–costing $2k at minimum.  While you have the calculator out, add in gas and parking to physically get to the courthouse on likely 2-5 separate occasions, then subtract your wages if taking off work.  And, in some situations you have to pay for the other side’s attorney’s fee if you lose.

The list of costs keeps growing.  Time must be considered. Consider the time aways from work, family, or anything else you’d rather be doing.  Consider the time you are taking from the court, which is already over-busy at the expense of a few cases that truly require judicial determinations.

Inaction may cost you because you may be sleeping on rights that cannot be enforce after a certain time.  If being sued, a judge will rule against you if you don’t show up.

Reactions also have costs and varies widely with the situation.  You might impair or destroy a relationship you later wish you still had in good standing.  You might get a bad reputation, which in addition to the possibility of traditional media attention, it could now get picked up by social media and go viral.  People have lost friends, careers and opportunities from negative social media attention.  A final judgment against you drains most the negotiating power you had before a final decision.

Unfortunately, you might be wrongfully sued, which is a form of senseless terrorism.  And, unfortunately, you may have to sue, because, and they say, war is for peace.

3) Take a moment to understand court rules

In addition to taking your hat off and silencing your phone in court, there are rules that govern how you interact with the judge and your adversary.  Google “Hawaii” + [the court you are in, for example, Oahu district court] + [the thing you are trying to do, like “serving a complaint”]. Look for an official website with the court rules.  Read and try to understand them.  Sometimes their written poorly and you’ll need to read more than once.  You can lose opportunities simply by not following the rules.

4) Summary judgment can be both bitch and lover.

The purpose of trial is to ascertain a set of facts, both sides present their version of the story.  But, if both sides agree on the important facts (this is our contract, here is how shit hit the fan), then a judge can rule without a trial.  This is summary judgment, meaning there is no need for trial to establish facts.  Summary judgment can save you money and time, or it can beat you for not being organized and prepared.

There’s a lot more to know.  Drop a comment if you have specific question.  Otherwise, good luck and represent yourself well.

Dispute Resolution: Boundaries

Okay, you’re pissed at me and I’m pissed at you.  You destroyed my ten-thousand dollar Chihuahua.  The damages caused by your actions extend beyond the destruction of something with a certain value.  You’ve also damaged a thing of which value is uncertain.  Ahhh, the intangibles.  Since I see the world through the filter of my inherent and personal biases, your actions were malicious and the damage to my peace of mind has been grave.  I should know.  It’s my peace of mind.  Since you likewise see the world through a subjective filter, that Chihuahua was ugly, worthless, and if the chihuahua’s absence does not bother you a bit, the fact that it bothers me means I am beyond comprehension.

We arrived at this dispute because of our subjective, and divergent, interpretations of reality.  So, the best way to resolve this dispute is to find an objective third party to view the same reality and tell us whose conduct is less reasonable.  Certainly, a vague objective for the objective observer, but, living together with other humans beings in a fluid and ever-changing reality demands no more.  To be reasonable is to follow the terms of the social contract you entered into with me, your neighbor with the chihuahua.

You were born and then chose to stick around, here, with the rest of us who made the same decision.  Time, experience, and the wild west shootouts have taught us humans that a few simple boundaries, when respected, help everyone enjoy their earthly lives to a degree not truly appreciable unless such boundaries are absent.

In short: quit being a dick, you don’t know what comes next existentially.  Our remaining time here is finite.  So we both benefit from an expedient resolution, unless you simply engage in disputes to distract yourself from this truth, in which case I understand your weakness but I also must ensure I am fully compensated for the time you have robbed me of.

Now, to the matter of my ten-thousand dollar chihuahua.  I’m not here to justify the concept of private property.  That’s better left for the philosophers.  But what we can say, today, objectively, is that this this land right here is my land, and that land is your land.  The social compact we entered included the mutual stipulation to not enter onto another’s property, or fuck with their shit, in such a way as to harm the other’s enjoyment of it.  Why?  Because in exchange, they’ll do the same for you.

I’ll close with one final thought.  Dispute resolution, in this reality, is typically a misnomer.  Few genuine disputes between members of this society are actually “resolved.”  Rather, the consequences of such disputes are mitigated, and that’s it.  Then the world goes on as if nothing happened.