Land of the rich, home of the rich.
The United States is made up of three men. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle and worth some 96.8 billion dollars, might be considered part of the “qualifying series” along with Mike Bloomberg, Jim Walton, Mark Zuckerberg and the ghost of Warren Buffett.
All fine and good, I suppose, except not assuaging the growing fear that the land of the free, home of the brave is actually just a plutocracy ruled for, and by, rich men.
Dumping gas on the fire, Ellison recently flaunted Hawaiian law by shuttering public access to a beach on the isle of Lanai. The New Yorker, with suspiciously tiny eyes, purchased 98% of the “pineapple island” in 2012 and his reign has not been without controversy. He has been accused of forcing families who have called the Lanai home for generations to pack their bags and vamoose and also wants to turn it into a “wellness utopia.”
More immediately, though, the beach closure. According to San Francisco Gate:
In Hawaii, public access to beaches and shorelines is required by law, but exceptions were made for Lanai Resorts at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company received permission from the County of Maui to add a metal gate at the entry to the beach park, which it owns, at a time when the governor ordered the closure of all beaches.
Conditions of this agreement included that the gate be open at all times, day and night, and it should only be closed during “severe weather emergencies or emergency proclamations.”
The gate was shut from July 16, according to community Facebook posts, through July 28, after a historic swell flooded the park. A Lanai Resorts spokesperson told Civil Beat that pedestrians could walk around the gate when it was closed, but large boulders scattered to the sides of the road prevented vehicles from going around.
Covid closures, man. How do you think they are aging?
A great idea that kept us all safe or… not?
More as the story develops.