Entries Tagged as 'Legal and Social Issues'

STRIKE! Perhaps this will send a message…

… if enough people participate.  You might be surprised at how many people/sites that will be participating.  Here is the scoop:

January 18th is going to be amazing. Sites are striking in all different ways, but they are united by this: do the biggest thing you possibly can, and drive contacts to Congress. Put this on your site or automate it by putting this JS into your header, which will start the blackout at 8AM EST and end at 8PM EST.

Websites: How to Strike


  1. Black out your website for 12 hours with this page’s HTML, or by putting this Javascript into your site’s theme. Tucows is doing this and so is BoingBoing.
  2. Other people have made tools to strike. Some other ways to strike:
  3. Don’t be silent that day. Tweet all day from your official company account (#SOPASTRIKE) and share news on sites like reddit. You will get much love in return from your users, and the bigger the action you do, the more love you will be feeling 🙂 – You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. If you are really feeling shy, you can blackout your site logo / add STOP SOPA messages wherever you can.

Everyone: Prepare to Strike


  1. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about the #SOPASTRIKE and ask your followers to get ready. You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. Go to Blackout SOPA to add ‘STOP SOPA’ to your Twitter image.
  2. Post this SOPA Strike page to your Facebook account by clicking here.
  3. Get ready for January 18th! Email and tweet at your friends, tell them to tell everyone about the strike. When the day comes, call Congress, tweet like crazy (#SOPASTRIKE), and help the strike appear everywhere!

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need internet companies to follow Reddit’s lead and stand up for the web, as we internet users are doing every day.

Um, that’s tomorrow gang.  So, if your favorite site is down, now you know why!  Follow the links and send your protests!  Tell Congress NOT to mess with OUR Internet!   

Politics and Vog are Equally Cloudy

I can’t help but be confused when I listen to and watch some of the strange things that our Country’s administrators, or potential administrators, are doing and saying.  Forgive me but I just have to shake my head at some of this stuff.

Who Makes These Rules? 

My indignation all started just before New Years when a potential walking disaster boarded an airplane on one of our airlines.  It’s safe to say that many of us were left wondering how that happened.

Howard Dicus has always seemed to have a great amount of aloha for airplanes and the airlines.  I love his ability to always put an intelligent yet un-lofty spin on things.  This article about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the aforementioned walking disaster) was no exception.

I wrote this post a couple of years ago and at the end of it you can see that I really do have a great respect and admiration for our Department of Homeland Security but, who is this woman?!? Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, said,

“…putting him on the list required specific derogatory information that was not available.”

What the *BLEEP*?!?  Hello?!?  Woman, information like you received has got to be enough to issue at least a warning and put this person on the watch list, or something!  Were you on vacation in September, 2001?  One would like to think that it is a better thing to er on the side of security overkill!  Don’t ya think? We can stop Joan Rivers from boarding a plane, but not a potential loose cannon?  Oh, wait, that was a Costa Rican airport.  Sigh.

Oh well, I guess that the Department of Homeland Security will not be hiring me anytime soon — scratch that Federal job!

This next news story made me wonder.  Sarah Palin must like the camera.  Instead of running for office, she is moving from politics to the media.  I’m sure she’ll be very good at this job with Fox and I’m actually looking forward to seeing what she does with it!  I guess that takes her out of the Presidential pool.  Doesn’t it?

It was not my intention to give so much link love to Yahoo! but they just happened to have some good write-ups that helped me make my points. Thanks, Yahoo!, for the good content.

Things are equally foggy voggy here at home.  On Sunday we couldn’t really tell if we had rain clouds, vog, or a little bit of both.  It has been that way for quite a while as you will see below.

Last, and probably the least of my cloudy curiosity, I have to share this picture and warn readers that what follows is purely speculation on my part.  Hey, I’m a blogger who must have pictures and this one was worth a thousand words!  (Okay, so maybe it only gets about a hundred words.)

Low flying helicopter obviously looking for… something.

Keep in mind that my paranoid brain was working overtime.  Taken on the west side of O’ahu, this picture shows some rather strange behavior going on several days before the First Family even arrived in Honolulu (yes, that thought did cross my mind).  It just seemed odd to me that a helicopter would hover so low to the ground (I was sitting in my car when I took this).  Looking for hit men?  Snipers?  Escapees?  Drug dealers?  The area was curiously void of homeless people so it got me thinking that maybe they cleared the area.  I don’t even know if that was a military ‘copter, there was too much vog as you can see.  It was just weird.

Maybe I need Sudafed to uncloud my brain.

It’s World Press Freedom Day!

I didn’t know it had a special day.  I just always thought it was a fundamental right that was established many, many years ago.  But then, I’m spoiled-rotten.  I’m an American and for us it is a rudimentary kind of ingredient, or the foundation even, of our media as we know it today — both written and televised. 

Bloggers Unite!  So, why are we talking about it?  We want all journalists to have that same spoiled-rotten, power-of-the-pen that we have, no matter where they are in the World!

Here’s the goal:

Objective:
World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental

The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day[1][2] to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

Did you guys know that this was celebrated every May 3rd?  I didn’t know that.  We’re supposed to know this stuff.  I wasn’t paying attention.  The rest of the World is supposed to know it too!  Freedom of the press and freedom of expression is a human rights issue — we’ve got it and we’re not giving it up!

I wouldn’t want it any other way and I want to “feel” what journalists, bloggers, and the literary wizards of the World are trying to share.  To clip a writer’s wings is just wrong.  Happy World Press Freedom Day!  Let’s keep it that way.

“Taking Back the Streets!”

UPDATE:  This evening, April 10th, KHON2 News reported that the City, Mayor Hannemann and the Honolulu Police Department, have started “Operation Chinatown.”  They have “tripled the number of police officers” and they’re “taking back the streets!”

It’s not going to be easy, we know that.  We just need to keep our eyes open and share the responsibility of keeping our home a happy place.  Our job is to let them know when we see bad things happening.  Hey, it’s a Neighborhood Watch!

Anyway, write this number down, 768-6800.  This is the Chinatown Alert Hotline — if you see something going on, call and let them know!  (If it’s an emergency, call 911 like you always would.)

Let’s help the City take back the streets!  Store that number in your cell phone — I did! Mahalo to the Mayor and the Chief of Police for taking action!

Criminal Element Too Close for Comfort!

Excuse me, Mr. Mayor?  I thought we were cleaning up Honolulu’s Chinatown.  How much are we expected to pussyfoot around crap like this?  I’m sorry guys but this has got to stop!  I work only five or so blocks away from these areas and I live only about a mile away.  I walk these streets and I run passed those areas.  My friends, family and loved ones do too. 

We all, at one time or another, shop in the vicinity of this drama — during the day time.  Something happens around here when the sun goes down.  The rule of thumb that I generally follow is to not travel west of Nuuanu after sunset.  There’s already blood on the street between Fort and Smith Streets because of the raunchy clientele over there; you don’t even have to get to Nuuanu. This is ridiculous.  Sometimes you even have to get mauka of Vineyard Blvd before it’s safe.    

Since other cities have no problem giving one-way tickets to homeless people (yes, we all know about it), why don’t we do the same for the non-resident homeless and the drug pushers?  Send them back!  

Send the drug lords skanks in a separate boat, a leaking one.  Vicious?  Perhaps.  But, Chief Correa of the Honolulu Police Department is right, they have no business here!  They have no right to shed blood on our streets and we have no desire to lose any of our officers to their shenanigans either!  

This is our home and they’re tarnishing all the beauty and camaraderie that we have tried so hard to create and propagate.  I’m not making this up.  The Honolulu Advertiser stated that both the residents and the merchants are concerned that the increase in crime will “undo years of revitalization efforts.”

It’s cool when our own local newspapers and media take these things to task but it’s a little troubling when blogs and media outlets elsewhere pick this stuff up.  I am pleased that The Snitch (I like that name) was kind enough to actually accept the ownership of this particular gang element.  Thanks, Joe.

Even the kama’aina homeless are afraid.  They don’t admit to their fear but when they talk among themselves you can hear it in their voices. Hello, Mr. Mayor?  We’re supposed to be focused on making our home green, not blood red. 

With tears in my eyes I ask you why.  Why is it that I, my friends, and my neighbors have to be afraid to take the dog for a walk or to go buy a damn soda?  Tell me!

Does Mended Trust Still Have Hairline Cracks?

Hawaiian yarn lei with koa embellishments Sometimes, patience is a virtue.  Sometimes falling behind in your blogging can be a blessing.  Check this out, back in January I started to write this post and then, for some reason, I thought better of it, saved it, and held off publishing it.

This is how I started:

“You have GOT to be kidding me!  What kind of a court master would recommend such a thing?  No, I’m not the only one who is reacting this way.   You’ve got to love the Honolulu Advertiser for letting people leave comments and share their opinion!

“For those who don’t know what all of the hollering is about, you might want to check out Samuel King and Randall Roth’s book, Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, And Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust.  See, the corruption that all of us remember so vividly resurfaces whenever something as preposterous as this makes the headlines.  This horrible story made headlines across the Nation about ten or eleven years ago. 

“Let’s put it this way, Bernice Pauahi would have thrown up her hands in horror if she had witnessed these now-historical events.  Of course, she also would have thrown up her hands in horror when they removed the Bishop name from the name of the school.  So great a love should not have been dealt such a horrible blow.  Perhaps we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

As luck would have it, my blogger muse held off pursuing this story, right at that moment.  Part of what held me back was a secret hope that the trustees would do something exactly like what they’ve done!

After the courts approved their raise, the trustees opted to take a 10% cut instead.  I’m serious — they cut their own pay!

In short, the answer to the question in the title of this post is, “No, there are no hairline cracks.  The Trust was mended some time ago and the trust of the people was restored.”

What did they say about it?

“The trustees are committed to the keiki our trust exists to serve, and to the careful management of resources that will allow Kamehameha Schools to educate native Hawaiians in perpetuity.”

A historical resource like this one needs to be protected and it sounds like the trustees are taking their fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities seriously.  Mahalo and kudos to the Kamehameha Schools trustees.  🙂

Kamehameha Schools is a fine institution that produces some very fine graduates.  The students learn the subjects that all the schools teach, of course, but they also learn the history and culture of Hawai’i to a greater degree than most.  The trustees protect and preserve the trust and its ability to educate while the students leave with the benefit and ability to protect and preserve the culture.

I have other stories that I’ve held back on and I’ll share my initial, knee-jerk reaction with you guys and then tell you why I’m glad that I held back.  Yeah, this one could have been two blog posts but I have no desire to cut people down — until I find out that I’m justified in doing so.  I did not say that I would stop being a b*tch if I’m pretty darn sure that I’m right.  🙂

Do We Have Cabin Fever?

Dove of Peace

Normally I would just ignore a story like this but I decided to read it.  I’m still angry about the so-called “hunter” who killed someone’s pet not too long ago.  This time is different.  An officer, charged with keeping the peace and protecting the environment for the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, overstepped his bounds. I need to side with the hunters and their families on this one. 

I used italics and quotes around the word hunters at the beginning of this post because the idiot who killed someone’s pet was anything but!  He was stupid, obnoxious, on private property, and a slew of other things I could say.  I grew up around people who hunted regularly and  something like that was unheard of! 

I never liked the sport because I tend to hate anything that involves the killing of animals.  But, we really need to look at the big picture.  The goal is to catch the animal, not to torture it.  The animal is not discarded, it is used to feed those who are lucky enough to benefit from such a catch.   I speak from experience when I tell you that wild boar blows away the fatty pork you buy in the grocery store! It makes the best laulau. 

Okay, all of that aside, we need to remember that the wild pigs on Oahu are not indigenous to our islands, they are destructive to our rain forests, and they probably have a huge hand in all those leptospirosis warning signs we see posted near many of our rivers.  In short, the hunters (the real ones) are doing us a favor.   

I will say that, yes, on one reported occassion, there were youngsters who broke the rules and were trespassing.  Those rules are there to protect our property and safety.  Agreed.  But, I’m sorry, you don’t pull a gun on a bunch of minors because they were being stupid.  What was he thinking?!?  I am also of like opinion with those sharing the details that a loose canon like that should not be carrying a gun, nevermind any other kind of weapon.   

Let’s see, I do believe that the Honolulu Police Department would classify that as assault and terroristic threatening.  Even HPD would not hire an abusive person like that.  In the real world, we all know that you don’t uphold the law by behaving like a criminal yourself! 

If the DLNR officer in question is that caustic and confrontational, he should join the Army and go to Afghanistan.  This is not a war zone, it’s a community — a crowded one where tempers do flare, but it is a community nonetheless.  

Sending out a special aloha to Ollie Lunasco, the current President of the Oahu Pig Hunters Association, and to the community on the North Shore that I don’t write nearly enough about.  I have to admire you guys for standing up for what’s right and for following up and not just letting it slide — that’s a Neighborhood Watch at its best!   

My Country Lied To Me!

Remember when they covered the news with all of those stories about the ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo? Remember we bombed the heck out of what was once Yugoslavia because of those claims?

Pure fiction! They lied to us! There was no such ethnic cleansing. It was all propaganda and false media reporting. How can we now look away and ignore this? Has our entire country become so parochial that we’re comfortably oblivious to the atrocities that are done with (and sometimes without) our citizen’s oblivious stamp of approval?

I know the newsies are laughing at me. Yeah, I know, you news experts are chuckling and wondering why I’m so surprised. You’re thinking, “They always lie to us, didn’t you know that?” Yeah, okay, I know. But this, for me anyway, is way beyond anything I have experienced in the way of deception by my own government.

If our government officials had said to us that we needed to protect our interest in the oil, we would have understood that. The problem is, they know we would have NOT understood, or tolerated, our country backing drug-trafficking terrorists! That’s what they were doing.

Are you mad yet? Believe me, it took me a while to cool down enough so that this post wouldn’t sound like raving lunacy. So, why am I writing about this? What does this have to do with me? What does this have to do with Honolulu? Read on…

The United States is not without its share of Serbian Americans. Serbian Orthodox churches all over the United States held big demonstrations about our (the United States of America’s) condoning of the Kosovar Albanians claiming Kosovo as their own — declaring independence in a land that is not and never was theirs.

My friends and members of my Church family are deeply hurt by this — hurt from personal, historic, religious and ethnic standpoints. Comparatively speaking, the declaration of disgust expressed in Honolulu was very small, but just as sincere and heartfelt nonetheless.

Local Serbians Taking a Stand

They gathered a concerned few together and met in front of the Federal Building just outside of downtown Honolulu. What America has done, without the knowledge of its citizenry, is to create a stage for this mess to play out where the outcry is too soft to be heard. Nobody is talking about it. The media is disinterested because there is no mob and there is no violence in the street. The feeble cry of, “but Kosovo is Serbia!” falls on deaf ears.

Answering Questions

Yes, people were more than willing to talk it through — more than willing to explain their position and why it hurts them. I was able to get the full impact of those explanations. But, where do I go for a disinterested party?

At this point of discovery I am angry. I needed more information to make a case for seeing the Serbian side of this Kosovo conflict. I needed more to disagree so vehemently with my own government — the government that is supposed to be doing good throughout the World.

Increasingly frustrated and still in denial that my country could be so deceitfully secretive, and leave us with no access to news from the other side, I kept searching. You see, it’s not that we don’t care, it’s that we just don’t know and we don’t fully understand the degree of our involvement.

Other countries think our calm is because we’re wimps. That is not the case. We are seeking knowledge and trying to ascertain the truth. I don’t want to hear governmental rhetoric that is laced with “creative” truths, aka lies, that are designed to sway public opinion. Give me the facts and let me make my own decisions on the movements of the people we voted into office!

Bosa holds a sign kept in the family since WWIDo we have culture clashes going on here? Definitely. Hawaii, of all places, should be used to it! Well, for the bulk of the population, the Slavic nations haven’t made a large enough impact on Hawaii to keep us all paying attention to what’s going on with their cultures and their homelands. We keep track of China, Japan and the Philippines, but, for the most part, the European Union seems to be kind of off our radar.

The media (I refer here to mainland media — our local stations are exempt on this topic) is obviously hell-bent on lying to us. Either that or they’re being strong-armed or paid huge sums to rewrite the facts. So, we need news sources that come directly from the people — people who are in the middle of it all and know the truth. Fox News is already on my list of places not to listen to because they shoot their mouths off before verifying their information — anything for headlines and to be first with breaking news — even if it’s false!

I really don’t want to add CNN to that ugly place of distrust. Sigh. This is a classic reason why we need something like the blogosphere if we expect to get the truth. We’ll get particles of truth, but at least they’ll be just that — the truth! When I say blogosphere I mean real people, not spin-off blogs from the news channels — those are just the same thing we already get from the media with some added editorial comment. They’re not bad, they’re just not reliable when the honesty of their station(s) is being questioned.

The blogosphere I’m talking about is the actual people living in the neighborhoods they’re talking about. The real people that understand the culture and current events and are living and sharing their lives with the world through their blogs.

While our local media and blogs are quiet about the topic of Kosovo, the blogosphere as a whole is not without its opinion and voice on this matter. Nothing Against Serbia tells us about how Zurich has heard the pleas of its Serbian population.

So, Now What?

Where do you think the United States stands with Serbia now? Our applauding this illegal drama has made Russia mad at us too. Have we made enemies out of our friends?

The damage has been done, so what will Washington do now to keep the peace? Anything? Hmmm… I wonder what Barack Obama would do to fix the situation? I don’t know. Perhaps he will open the lines of communication and help mend the rift and discuss options with all involved. What would Hillary Clinton do? NOTHING! Her husband was president when it started! What will McCain do? Nothing — he and his party want to continue it all in their “business as usual” manner.

What can we do? Not much. As citizens we can acknowledge the injustice done to our brethren so far across the globe, we can send venom-filled letters to our representatives in Congress, or we can pray for them as seen here.

Prayers for Kosovo

Why does our Russian Orthodox Priest see this as important? Aside from the fact that Serbia gave refuge to the Russian Orthodox so many, many years ago, when so many were threatened by the communists, Father Anatole justifies his prayerful support in this way:

First of all, ANY immoral act, whether committed by an individual or by a government, must be condemned in no uncertain words. Let me just cite a few undisputed facts connected with the Kosovo debacle:

1. Kosovo is not only a territory which formed the heartland of Medieval Serbia, but by long standing tradition it is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate. In addition, there are (or were) many historically important churches and monasteries in Kosovo.

2. When NATO, led by the United States, was threatening to bomb Serbia and Kosovo, the Kosovar Terrorists (a.k.a. ‘freedom fighters’ in the United States) were demanding full independence from Yugoslavia. At that time Clinton’s girdle saleswoman, Madeline Albright, told the Kosovar Albanians that ‘unless you only ask for autonomy, NATO cannot bomb the Serbs.’ Well, since the Albanians wanted Serbs to be bombed they changed their demand to ‘autonomy’.

3. NATO was originally formed to defend Western Europe from aggression from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries. Yugoslavia, at the time of the bombing was not allied with the Soviet Union, and the Warsaw Pact had disappeared. Thus, the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO was not an act mandated to it – it was interference in the internal affairs of a country that had not attacked anyone.

4. During Miloshevich’s crackdown against the Albanian separatists in Kosovo it was the Serbian Orthodox Church that did its best to shelter and defend innocent Albanian civilians. And what thanks did it get after the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo? Churches, monasteries were burned and desecrated, and the NATO peacekeepers did little to stop the Kosovars from doing their ‘ethnic cleansing’.

5. There is so little law and order in Kosovo now that after NATO eventually pulls out, the remainder of the Serbs in Kosovo can only expect genocidal attacks against them. (And the Kosovars can be sure that they will be in no way punished by NATO and the United States for that.)

6. Finally, the Israelis, if not the United States government, have spotted the precedent, a very unfavorable precedent for them, in the Kosovo situation. If NATO can bomb a sovereign state because that state refuses to grant independence to one of its territories where a particular ethnic group is in the majority and even engages in terrorist acts against it, what is preventing the Palestinians from declaring independence in Gaza and the West Bank? After all, logically, NATO should be protecting them against Israel by bombing the Israelis. One may also add to this, the Kurdish separatists in Eastern Turkey, the Basque separatists in Spain, etc., etc.

Saint Lazar of SerbiaDoes he know what he’s talking about? You bet. A now retired linguistics professor from the University of Hawaii, Father Anatole has had his own ethnic reasons to follow the news of the Slavic regions all these years. He is Russian and he was born in Yugoslavia where his mother, like many other Russian people fleeing the Russian communist regime, was given sanctuary.

Peaceful by nature, with a strong and passionate Christian Faith, prayers over the icon of the Serbian saint, Saint Lazar, offer some peace to the distressed Serbs who continue to watch their ethnic homeland and the holy places of its national Church being desecrated. This is all the more hurtful when the land they now call home applauds these visual and mental horrors.

Why is America Being So Disagreeable?

Caution: The following is my paranoid opinion section based only on my own thoughts and observations.

Could all of this be the reason for the rise in the cost of gas? The new pipeline to transport the ever-coveted oil from one country to the next is an ongoing project. That pipeline runs right through Kosovo! Hello?!?

Okay, maybe that’s being just a little too paranoid but, $9 billion of oil revenue has suddenly vanished? (I was listening to Dianne Feinstein on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and had to go get the transcript just to confirm what I thought I heard.) Was that to fund the sending of more soldiers to “help” the citizens of Iraq or are we going there to distract the American public from the travesty in Kosovo? What ever they’re doing, it’s working.

Let’s think about it:

Tibetan Monks being persecuted by China, we say nothing. There’s no oil involved.

Darfur abuses are running rampant and we verbally condemn them, but nothing more. There’s no oil involved.

Yet phony genocide is retaliated with war with a country over it’s own property. That would be like Mexico taking over California or Cuba taking of Florida and calling it their own, with the help of the army from yet another country. What were we thinking? It’s all about the oil.

Okay, that’s the end of my paranoid opinion section.

I was almost ready to wrap this up and then I ran into this article about Russia, China, and India looking to revisit this very issue with Kosovo. The article opens with:

“The US administration rejected with derision Thursday’s joint call by Russia, China and India to resume talks on the future status of Kosovo.”

With “derision?” Who the hell do we think we are?!? I swear we have no diplomacy or shred of decency left! We have GOT to change what’s going on in the White House.

Still hungry for more? There are articles galore but here is just a bit more reading if you care to absorb more information about this fiasco. I just can’t stand this oil-based hypocrisy.

Honolulu Citizens Start Another Grassroots Movement

We’ve all been distracted by what’s going on in the political arena at the national level and the ability of candidates to ignite a country behind them and their campaigns. Honolulu has its own political drama going on over here. This is not as glamorous by any stretch of the imagination yet, suddenly, it’s another one that is winning the support of the people.

Supporters Gather at Honolulu Hale

These are the real people! They’re taking this seriously and the media, at least for now, is taking it seriously too. I saw KGMB, KHNL, and K-5. The others may have been there too but I’m not sure. I love the sign, “If You Build it, They Won’t Come.” We’ve been saying that from the start but only in conversations among friends and co-workers.

Dennis Callan, co-Chair of Stop Rail NowDr Michael Uechi, co-Chair of Stop Rail Now

You have to wonder why we weren’t consulted. How can someone, even if he is the Mayor, have this kind of unilateral control over our land, our skyline and our money?!? Because we let him. Dennis Callan (above left), a photographer for the Hawaii Geographic Society, and Dr. Michael Uechi (above right), a physician, are looking to change all of that. The purpose of this “grassroots” movement is to get 40,000 signatures in the next 90 days so that we can get this question on the November ballot — as it should have been from the start! What will it say?

“Honolulu mass transit shall not include trains or rail transit.”

We should have been asked, we should have been the ones to make this decision and we’re going to try to take this decision making back! The Stop Rail Now! campaign was just ignited yesterday at Honolulu Hale. Of course I just had to be there because my feathers have been ruffled for a long time and I needed to flock with the birds of the same feather! In addition, there are so many ideas out there and there have been studies going on to work through the traffic problem without ruining our home.

Hanging the Banner

Quite obviously, this whole transit thing has become a very volatile topic of discussion. I knew I had a lot of angst about it but I thought everyone had just thrown up their hands and walked away from the whole thing. Uh, no they haven’t! Someone did say that a couple of the Mayor’s secretaries were out there taking notes. As I walked by I snidely remarked, “Oh, let me give them a pen!” Attitude? You bet — it’s all about “By the People, For the People!” Darn! I forgot my t-shirt! Still in doubt? Check out this video!

Technorati Tags: , ,

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

There’s nothing that ignites a keyboard better than things that ruffle your feathers, make your hair stand up or just plain make you furious!

The Good…

…started out bad. The State of Hawaii’s Department of Health actually had the audacity to try to push through a Bill that would allow any moron to put tattoos on people without being licensed and without having any sanitary procedures or other requirements in place. What?!? What were they thinking?!?

Somebody decided that it was okay to loosen the rules on the Tattoo industry because we hadn’t had any disease outbreaks from tattooing. Hello?!? No, duh! That’s because those regulations were in place to protect the consumers and the public at large! They can’t be that dumb!

Associated Press Writer, Mark Niesse, has a nice write up about the issue. There is also a quote contained in that piece from Anna Paige. Ms. Paige was a spokesperson for the Artists on a news clip that I saw a few days ago. She gets it, the other artists get it, what’s wrong with everyone else? How did it even get this far? Senator Rosalyn Baker said that the Bill, “needs more work before becoming a law.” I’ll say! Is that ever an understatement!
This is a much bigger issue than people seem to realize. These are needles we’re talking about. Hello?!? Think about it, friends, family members and anyone who comes in contact with those seeking and acquiring tattoos are at risk by this kind of deregulation. I’m sorry, I just cannot believe that the Board of Health would have even considered such a thing! It’s just so damn irresponsible!

Anyway, that stupid Bill was killed by the Senate yesterday after the Tattoo artists themselves made a stink about it on Monday. I heard about it on Friday and I went ballistic! Then I saw a news clip where several tattoo companies had gotten together to share their concerns. So, I waited. Their businesses and their clients both need protection from this kind of legislative nonsense!

I will restate, once again, that the image of the Tattoo industry, one that seems to be held by the general populace, is not necessarily an accurate one. This is a wonderful example — it was the artists themselves who yelled about this crazy idea and I say “hats off” and a huge “Mahalo!” to Honolulu’s Tattoo Artists! Thanks gang, for keeping us safe! You stood up, you came forward and you made a good thing happen!

So, what’s Bad?

The weather. Well, not really… Kilauea is bad. Our friends and families on the Big Island of Hawaii are choking on the sulphuric fumes from the volcano, Volcano National Park has been closed yet again, and the American Red Cross is standing by in case there is a need to evacuate some people.

Meanwhile, Oahu residents are suffering from extreme headaches, nasal problems and throat irritation. We can only venture a guess as to how they are feeling on the Big Island. So, while Kilauea is just being a volcano and doing what they do, we’re just breathing some bad air. It has not become a medical issue, yet.

Ugly!

There was a meeting Monday night (last Monday) about the rail system. Did you know about it? Yeah, I didn’t either. But, there was a notice about it from the City and County of Honolulu’s News and Events email. The notice said that, “Monday’s meeting on rail transit will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Radford High School.” When did I get the email? At 8:51 p.m. Monday evening –twenty or so minutes after the meeting was over. Yes, I confirmed it; it was this past Monday night.

Is the Mayor trying to avoid confrontation? Perhaps. I will talk more about my thoughts on TheRail later, I promise. It has become an even bigger issue than simply transportation.

Was this late notice intentional? Maybe, maybe not. At the very least it was negligent and it sure looked ugly. Even more flagrant is the other part of that notice. The rest of the notice is all about the curbside recycling program. There will be meetings for that all over Oahu. There’s even a schedule for those meetings. But, there’s no schedule for rail meetings. Looks very sneaky. Ugly.