Entries Tagged as 'Government'

City & County Department Protects Our Home

Where do I go?  Where do we all go?  Did anybody else know that the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services (the ENV) does and is doing smoke testing?  Does anybody else even know what smoke testing is?!?  Am I the only clueless one?  Maybe I am, I don’t know.  Anyway, I checked into it and now I’m sharing it with anyone else who did not know the City and County of Honolulu is working hard for all of us and for our home!

Dump No Waste signed carved into sidewalkYou know how we’re always concerned about our ocean and water supplies?

Smoke testing is a proactive, preventative approach to protecting our environment from any more dreaded sewage spills.  The ENV (Department of Environmental Services) pumps smoke into the sewage lines and checks the lines for leaking smoke.  What a great idea!  They use smoke to find leakages and/or breaks rather than using some kind of liquid to further complicate matters.

Wait, wait, wait — relax, don’t get all nervous.  The smoke “is non-toxic, harmless and has minimal odor.  The smoke is not a fire hazard and does not pose a health hazard to humans or pets.”  This smoke will lead the workers to any breaks in the lines that may allow the runoff from heavy rains to infiltrate the sewage lines, further inundate the treatment plants, and ultimately create an overflow situation.   This kind of testing has apparently been going on for about four years.  Where was I?

Canal Drain

I couldn’t really find many appropriate pictures except ones that show how we need to pump up our care of our water — both fresh and ocean.

Trash in water of canal

Pretty yucky, huh?  These are just to prove a point about just how important the protection of our environment has become.

Since my pictures don’t help much with the explanation of the sewage project I’m talking about, let’s be sure we understand this clearly.  It’s not just the leaks where things can get out of the lines; it’s for the prevention of things liCurbside Drainke excessive rain water from getting in to these lines.  If there are places with illegal hook-ups to the sewer system or places where excessive rainwater can get into the line, we could end up with a sewage system finding itself overloaded beyond its capacity.

Remember the Ala Wai?  Something like that. I was not happy and I know a lot of others were even worse.  Was there really an alternative?  Probably not.  The Public Communications Officer over at the Department of Environmental Services pointed that out to me and, while I’ve finally resigned myself to accepting the fact that there were few or no other options, I’m still not happy about it.  Let’s set up a way to avoid having the same thing happen again!

That Public Communications Officer actually returned my call.  He probably thought I was crazy but then he’s just as crazy as I am because he was checking his voice mail on a Sunday!

I just think that this is some of the coolest news I’ve heard in quite some time.  There are places that are “broken” so let’s fix them before they create another sewage fiasco!

They were working in Wahiawa when I read about them.  I guess they’ll be making the rounds.  There are an awful lot of pipelines on this island and this is quite a project!  There are a lot of things that I disapprove of but this is a project that I am happy to spend my tax dollar on!

Working on the sewers and the sewage system has got to be a thankless job.  I’m here to say that I am both very proud and so very grateful for all they’re doing.  Hats off to our protectors over and the City & County of Honolulu’s ENV — “Mahalo!” you guys for caring about our home!

If I’ve missed something or not stated something correctly, please feel free to correct me in the comments below.  Please?  I’m more than happy to receive those corrections.  That way, everyone can benefit from the knowledge you have to share and we can all better understand all of what you guys are doing for us.  Seriously!

Terroristic Weather Report

Why am I writing this?  I have no idea.  Well, I had all of these pictures to start a blog post or two and I just have to talk about things that annoy me.  I have to admit, this all took some thinking on my part because the series and sequence of events all blended together at some point.  Let’s go back a few weeks and take it from the start.  Back on December 26th, Oahu’s power lines were hit by lightening.  They say lightening doesn’t strike twice but Hawaiian Electric Company took it in the electrical wires five (5), yes five times that day.

Kahe Point Power Plant

HECO Finds the Cause

I’m glad that Hawaiian Electric Company was able to pinpoint just how this calamity happened.  I will agree that nobody likes a company that sends them bills in the mail.  But, oddly enough, I’ve felt the need to jump in and back HECO up on this.  Mother Nature does what Mother Nature wants and I’m afraid HECO was outflanked this time.  Most people were out of power for something over 12 hours — it was 20+ hours for us.  I have no problem being without power for a while but I really hate throwing away all of that food.  Ugh!  In spite of it all, HECO still offered to provide financial restitution to those who apply for it.

Mother Nature the Terrorist

We’ve been through a sufficient amount of natural disasters recently that have left some areas a little shell-shocked.  there have been heavy rains causing some very damaging flooding, we’ve had high winds taking the roofs off houses, and there have been combination storms that have kept us in the dark for several hours.  Now that these events are over and we’re sufficiently on edge, what happens when the weather service warns of a windy storm on its way?  State officials and the Department of Education decide to close all public schools.  “They what?!?” They never did that when I was in school!  We always braved the wind, rain, waves, mud, etc.  It did not take long for the private and charter schools to follow suit.  Fine, whatever.

Wait, it gets better.  All State and City & County offices are closed!  “You have GOT to be kidding me!”  Let’s see, Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so the general consensus was that they all wanted a four-day weekend.  Fine, whatever. What happened on that Friday?  Nothing.  No hurricane.  Maybe a drizzle, maybe not.  Traffic was a lot lighter.

A Trashy Day Off

Road Work Ahead sign

Absolutely amazing.  Road work?  It’s a holiday; what are they talking about?  Who put that sign there?  I’m nosy, I need to know.  I don’t see any road work, they must have forgotten to pick the sign up during the week — maybe they left in there on Friday when they were suddenly closed for the day.

Surprise!  They were indeed on the road side, on a holiday, picking up somebody’s opala (trash) that was dumped unceremoniously on the side of the road.

This stuff fries me!  It’s bad enough when people dump garbage and abandon vehicles in obscure locations, but when they dump it on the side of the road in a residential area, especially a rural relief area (that’s what I call them) that exists so very close to the city but is still so very peaceful and simple, it absolutely makes my blood boil!  Dump it in your own damn yard, you slobs!  Grrrr!

When I saw what was going on and successfully checked my temper, I realized that I needed to talk about this.  It took me all of about thirty seconds to turn my car around and head back to take these photos.  Doing so rattled the City & County workers.  Does that make me the terrorist?  🙂  I think I’ve mentioned before that people are afraid of cameras.  But, when they heard my snarky reaction to the whole thing, they happily joined my rant and understood the intent.

City & County of Honolulu truck

This is what was left after they filled their trucks the first time.  They reassured me they would be back for the rest but this gives you some idea of just what a big pile it was.  A comment was also made that citizens like us hire people to do a job, pay to have the trash hauled away, and this is where it ends up.  It’s hauled away alright but I’m sure the homeowner did not have this kind of disposal in mind!

Opala tossed on the side of the street

You know, if you’re doing a job that requires this kind of heavy hauling and disposal and you do not want to pay the fees at the dump, I suggest that you find some other line of work.  Those fees are part of the cost of doing business.  They are a legitimate, tax-deductible, business expense.  But then again, maybe you don’t pay your taxes either?  There was something else that troubled me — there seemed to be more than one line of business here.  There was a lot of flooring debris making up this pile but there were also several cans of paint.  Those paint cans do look old.  Alright, I suppose a homeowner could have done this themselves.  Auwe!

Opala sliding down towards the river

The City & County workers were the ones who pointed out that I “should see what’s over the wall.”  The river is right below this and we wonder why there are so many signs about dumping and cautions about contaminated water?

For the record, later that same day I saw a State employee leaving the Capitol and I said, “Don’t tell me you guys are working?”

“Yep, only half-day though. Since we had Friday off we came in to work half-day.”

Aha!  So they guilted themselves into working on the Monday holiday to make up for what didn’t happen on Friday.  Okay, you guys are forgiven.

Shore breaks off Maile

There may have been a storm but this is where it really went.  The only real evidence of any storm that I saw was the kicking shore breaks on the west side of Oahu, a nice 30+ miles away from where the City & County was taking away all of that trash.  The water looked so inviting but the warning signs and little orange flags kept everyone out of the water.  Just watching the water and smelling the salt air is enough to make us forget the problems and focus on the beauty that is our home. Why did I write this?  I don’t remember.

Hawaii Well Represented At 2009 Inauguration

I knew I was crazy about this shining light that left me in tears one Sunday morning a little over a year ago but I had no idea that so many Americans had their eye on Barack Obama quite some time before I even knew he existed.  Having never heard of him, or about his speech in 2004, I was, much like the rest of the Nation, taken by storm.  The polls would confirm this time and time again as we moved through 2008.  Hawaii’s vote count during the Primary Election was a resounding 76% for Obama.

Make no mistake about it, we will be well represented tomorrow at the inauguration.  Our media is there, Punahou School, of course, is there, Le Jardin Academy is there, citizens, friends, family, I could go on all day.  Anyone who could figure out a way to be there is there!

Punahou High School sign align=

It’s a proud moment for the students and staff at Punahou and it’s a proud moment for all of us here in Honolulu.  The Punahou High School Band will be participating in the festivities.  Accustomed to tropical weather and sunny beaches, the students are having fun but they’re doing so with the shivers.  They’re freezing, but they’re there!

2009 InaugurationHawaii is excited and so very proud to be even a small part of this historic event and I’m glad I was around to witness this important part of history in the making.  While we’re excited and a little giddy, we’re certainly not alone. There’s no surprise that so many across the Nation have something to say or a story to share about the 2009 Inauguration.  Thank you, Examiner.com, for such a fun and multifaceted compilation.

Farewell to a Memorable Woman

We want to bid a heart-felt aloha to Madelyn Dunham who passed away just one day before the election of her grandson to the highest office in the Nation and across the globe.  We were all devastated that it happened just one day too soon.  Sigh. 

She was a heck of a lady and one that no one ever forgot.  She left her mark on people she worked with and on people, like me, who only heard about her.  Apparently, from what I’ve read and followed (thank you, CNN); she left her mark on her grandson as well.  He will carry on her drive and determination — we’re counting on it!  I’ve read about things he has done in the past and I don’t doubt it! 


I don’t know who to give credit to for this photo.  I have seen it everywhere.  I have to send a huge mahalo out to whomever it was that took this picture.  I chose to include it here because it shows, not only her maternal adoration of her grandson, but it also confirms that she really was the support that Barack has always claimed her to be.  Most significantly, it shows how very proud she was. 

Many of us, me included, were devastated when she passed away the day before his election.  But, I took comfort in Obama’s acceptance speech when he stated that he knew she was watching.  He’s a strong man but that had to hurt.   

To the likes of Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, I hope you guys are pleased with yourselves.  Here is what Limbaugh said:

“Who announces days in advance they’re rushing to the side of a loved one who is deathly ill, but keeps campaigning in a race that’s said to be over, only to go to the loved one’s side days later? See, I think this is about something else… This birth certificate business, this lawsuit that a guy named Phillip Berg filed in Philadelphia in August for Obama to produce his genuine birth certificate, and he still hasn’t replied, he hasn’t done so.” 

As much as I hate to admit it, I used to listen to Limbaugh because I thought he was an informed and gifted speaker.  I don’t know what happened but he’s become nothing more than a no-class loser!  To compound the felony, I actually bought Michael Savage’s book because I thought he was intelligent.  Again, what happened?  

Personally, I hope Barack Obama makes them all eat crow! 

You raised a heck of a man, Mrs. Dunham!  I personally thank you for your accomplishment in that regard.  I also thank you for the example of leadership you set for those in your line of business.   Quality leaders one and all!  Yours is one bloodline that I am very happy to have leading my country!

Aloha, Madelyn, may your memory stay with us always!   

Tax Season Reaches Drop-Dead Deadline

The 2008 tax season is quickly approaching the absolute deadline for all of those who have put their returns on extension.  If you have not completed your filing, you’ve got ten (10) days left!

If you’re scared and a little worried about what to do at this point,Turbo Tax, the one I always depend on, is still standing by to assist.  I left their little logo on the upper right-hand corner of my blog since April but here’s their article about dealing with the upcoming October 15th deadline.

TurboTax - Do your Taxes for Free - It's EasyTurboTax has come forward again to assist — knowing that people like us are still sitting on things until the last minute.   The best part is that when using TurboTax Online, the eFiling is included for free!

If you’re late or on extension, hurry up! Don’t miss this deadline — nobody needs to be stuck with penalties and interest on top of all the other financial problems we’re trying to deal with!

Everyone’s Aunty Runs for Office!

Honolulu Hale

Honolulu Hale is a busy place these days. I think the clerk’s office, for those looking to register and run for office, needed a revolving door for a while there! The mayor’s race for the City of Honolulu suddenly has 12 candidates (maybe more) running for mayor come November. We’ll talk about that later.

Politics has been, for me, more exciting this year than ever. There is so much going on this year, at both the local and the national level, that it’s hard to keep track!

Aunty Lynn

I must say, it was quite a pleasant surprise to see someone I’ve come to know, to actually grace those same doors of the Clerk’s Office at Honolulu Hale. Lynn Vasquez-Dela Cerna is running for office! To be more specific, Honolulu City Council, District 7.

You know, most of us only think about taking that leap. We contemplate such things and toy with the idea of running for an office such as this but we never go any further. Lynn took hold of the idea and has moved forward. For District 7, this would be a great addition. I’m excited for Lynn and I’m excited for District 7!

This is not someone who sits on their haunches — if there is something that needs fixing, this is one lady who will stick with it until it’s fixed. My comment was that she’s like a “dog with a bone!” She’s not letting go until what needs to be done, is done. This is a lady who will take an issue to whatever level needs it needs to be taken to until it’s resolved!

For more information about this candidate, check our her site! Donations for this campaign can be given at any branch of First Hawaiian Bank with a reference made to Liliha Branch. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Lynn Vasquez-Dela Cerna.”

So, what is District 7? The city defines this district as, “a portion of upper Kalihi, Kapalama, Palama, Iwilei, Sand Island, Mapunapuna, Airport, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Aliamanu, Salt Lake, Foster Village, Stadium and Halawa Valley Estates.” Unfortunately for me, the district that will appear on my ballot is District 6. So, my vote won’t help Mrs. Dela Cerna. But, if you’re in District 7, yours will! 🙂

Register to Vote

If you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for?!? Get registered and we’ll see you at the polls! This is an exciting year in many ways, gang. I can’t wait to see what comes out of it all! Politics exciting? No way! Way!

“Stop Rail Now” Opens Office

Before zoning out and letting my mind wander off on Monday, I did manage to focus for just a bit so that I could check in on the grand opening of the Stop Rail Now office.

Petition Sign

Stop Rail Now Co-Chairs

Some people seem to think that the rail will be a good addition to our landscape and that it will help alleviate the problems with transportation and traffic. I don’t think so.

I’m sorry but I am inclined to be more supportive of the research done by the staff at the University of Hawaii and I will go with those who are in the know rather than those looking to make a name for themselves. I will even go so far as to say that if you work downtown, or nearby, and if you’re a registered voter, go ahead and print out the petition, send me a message or leave a comment here so that I can contact you. I will collect them from you and deliver them to the Stop Rail Now office myself!

We have the right to vote on this project! Get your co-workers to sign it too! As long as this is what people want to do and as long as they’re registered to vote, then go for it!

Supporters milling around after grand opening

This movement is not without its supporters, as you can see. If you have questions or need assistance, contact the office at (808) 536-4384.

627 South StreetWe have to maintain the beauty of our island! Honolulu has just been rated as the “greenest city in the nation.” I think we should focus more on keeping it that way and focus on keeping our skyline free of rail tracks and other mechanical paraphernalia.

At the very least it is a decision that should be made by the citizens as a whole, not unilaterally by a hired official.

Stop Rail Now
627 South Street, Suite 4
Honolulu, HI 96813

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.

Homespun Honolulu Endorses Barack Obama!

That makes my blog sound important, don’t you think? Okay, I know it’s a silly title, but it’s true. Don’t worry, if you don’t support Obama, I am cool with that and I am very open to hear about it! Honest! I don’t vote by political party, never have. I vote for people.

This article has been pending on the drawing board for quite some time. Every day something else happens that I have an opinion about; something else is said that fuels my desire to talk about this man. Each time that has happened over the past few weeks, I have just continued to add more comments to the draft of this post. After the Rev. Wright fiasco yesterday, now seems like the best time!

At this point, I realize that it is only going to continue to grow so I will try to summarize my compilations and talk about some of them and just keep talking in other posts as things happen. I need to just post this as a start to my political observations. If I let it go any longer, it’s going to end up being a novel-length series of observations. Oh, wait, that’s what a blog is, isn’t it? 🙂

I’m hanging on every word I hear and every word the political pundits are saying, to the best of my ability. I’m agreeing, disagreeing and wanting so much to tell someone what I’m thinking and then hear what you guys are thinking. I know what the media is thinking, or spinning.

It started pretty tame, fun and exciting, with things like this…

I actually appreciated the YouTube video that equated Obama’s campaign to the opening scenes of the Wizard of Oz. While I don’t think they intended it to be complimentary, I do think that it was intended to say we’re living in a fairytale. I actually loved the analogy because I could only think of the hope this new Presidential candidate has brought to the table. A fairytale? No, hope and a positive direction!

My focus is on Obama’s ability to unite all of us, the way we were here in Honolulu at the time of the caucus. His ability to spur people into action is like nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime. I’m amazed at my own reaction but even more amazed that so many people have had the same reaction. I was so drawn to his sincerity and to his genuine desire to work with us as a team. Obama’s down home communication is so very real and, consequently, so very effective.

I don’t understand the Congressman, Steve King, who said that they (al-Qaida) will be dancing in the streets if Obama wins. Huh? I can see why Iraq would be, but al-Qaida? Because of Obama’s middle name? How infantile is that?!? We’re done in Iraq and should have been gone a long time ago. It is obvious that if McCain, or any Republican, gets into office, they will keep us in the war trampling on Iraq’s turf. None of us want that. Of course, if Hillary wins they’ll probably be laughing in the street. Does anyone remember that women are not very popular over there? Uh, just how much respect do you think she’s going to get?

Let’s see, Obama says he’s going to get us out of their space and he’s going to talk story with their leaders, and others, even if they hate us. Iraq actually may be dancing in the street, and well it should! I think I would be dancing in the street too! Most of the people I talk to, think we should have brought our troops home a long time ago and should not have been there in the first place. I also read that someone said that Iraq would like to be left to their own devices. Of course, that may have been just opinion, but I would guess it’s not too far off the mark.

Here I will insert a note about Hamas. Why are they happy to see Obama get in? Because they want the lines of communication open without the constant threat of violence hanging over their heads. Are the problematic? Yes. But, I’m not really sure how problematic. Are you? Please share! Make not mistake, any real threat would be answered, but if it can be avoided and resolved without violence, that would be my foreign policy of choice.

Obama and his grandparents

If the terrorists (any of them) knew what was coming their way, and if they’re not looking for peaceful resolution, they should be looking for a place to hide. I’m quite familiar with some of the bloodline behind Senator Obama. His maternal grandmother was a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done kind of lady. This woman had a direct hand in raising Mr. Obama.

I have to be honest and confess that I have thanked my lucky stars over the years that I did not have to work under Madelyn Dunham. I never met her but, from what I have heard over the years, she had a commanding presence in the work place. I have heard from people who did work under her that she, “made sure you knew what you were doing!” She was focused and determined to get the job done and done correctly. Hmmm… I certainly don’t mind having that kind of bloodline in the Whitehouse! Mrs. Dunham retired before I got there. I now wish, more than ever, that I did make it there before she retired — so I would have known her instead of just knowing about her.

Perhaps Mr King’s dancing-in-the-street comment was another reference to Obama’s religion? I’ll admit that Fox News got me on that one too. Our local newsies know I don’t always follow the news… until recently. People were believing what Fox wrongly reported: that Obama was a Muslim. No, he is not. They did not have the decency to confirm or authenticate their information before letting it loose. They were wrong.

Sensational journalism is one thing (annoying as it is), but slanderous journalism is quite another. [NOTE: I have seen the objections elsewhere and I anticipate this thought going through the minds of readers so I will address it before it goes there — no, there is NOTHING wrong with being Muslim! That is your choice. However, it becomes a problem for voters if you are wanting to be the President of the United States — a country that is currently not on the best-friends list of Muslim-controlled countries and/or territories.]

The media can keep spinning it and I will continue to spin it in the right direction! See, this is the benefit of being a blogger — no network is going to tell me to shut my mouth. They may say it, but it won’t work. Does that make me a crazy blogger, Mr. O’Reilly? I will say that Mr. O’Reilly is one of the few things that keeps me tuning into Fox… even if he does irk me sometimes. Bloggers are not crazy, we’re passionate and sometimes artistic personalities. So, you might as well get over it!

What is it that Americans are looking to move away from?

Easy answer — Bush.

I voted for Gore. I often wonder where we would be right now if Gore had gotten in. I think that we would be trying to fix the environment and global warming. Not very interesting you say? Well, we would have gotten a head start on cutting back on our need for oil. Finally we’ve started looking for other ways to produce energy — to help decrease our huge reliance on that crude oil, but just think how much better off we would be if we had started this seven years ago!

Now, about being bitter… some people really need to get over those statements — Obama was simply making an observation. We are all bitter at any given time. Maybe we’re not bitter about the government all the time but even if things don’t impact us directly, we’re still bitter. How much of the news do you have to watch before you are troubled? How many accidents do you need to see, how much crime do you need to witness and how many tears do you have to dry before you feel a twinge?

Every time we see one of our friends weep as they say goodbye to their child being deployed, yet AGAIN, to Iraq, we feel the pangs of that with mixed emotion. These parents are so very proud, but so fearful for their children. You’re damn right we’re bitter. We’re fighting someone else’s war to protect our interest in oil? How much do you need to make you bitter?

I’m not living is squalor but I know people who are. I have financial difficulties but I haven’t lost my home. Yet, I understand the anguish and ire created by all of this. I have food, I have shelter, and I have ,a job. If I have all these things and I still feel frustrated and angry quite often, why is it so hard to believe that everyone has moments of bitterness?!? This is not an insult, in any way — it’s an astute observation. Anyone who doesn’t see that, in my opinion, is really out of touch!

We are frustrated, we are bitter and we’re angry! We’re watching our society crumble with drugs and crime as more of our citizens are sent off to fix other people’s governments instead of their own. You tell me why we shouldn’t be angry! The other candidates need to pick another topic to make up stories about because they’ve worked that one into the ground.

Most of my friends, and I myself, have trouble making ends meet. That’s just how our economy is. Is it frustrating? You bet! Are we bitter? At times. I didn’t find anything incorrect or belittling in Obama’s comments at all. He’s right, so stop trying to make something more out of a simple and accurate observation.

Wait, I’m not done yet… we also have people like Hillary Rosen on MSNBC saying that the Obama campaign is being divisive by stating that the super delegates are going against the popular vote, i.e. what the people want and have voted for. Uh, another true statement — they are! Maybe not all of them but the last I heard, ours is. We say Obama, our delegate says no. That is what’s divisive! The accusation in cases like that (that our votes are being stolen) is not “outrageous,” Ms. Rosen, it’s quite accurate and, like it or not, that’s how we see it — we put them where they are, how dare they go against us!

I do think that everyone will agree we need a President who will step up to the plate and be our country’s salvation. After the disaster that has been made of our economy and our fiscal budget, we need some heavy-duty restoration. As for our image around the globe, we need restitution. My mind returns again and again to Obama’s comments about how we need to talk to other World Leaders, even the ones who don’t like us. If you’re the President, Barrack, I’m looking to you to make it happen. I’m looking to you to be our President and our Ambassador!

Obama is representative of us. Of course we cry when we hear him talk. I thought I was the only one. I’m not. He speaks what’s in our hearts so it brings the passion forward. He’s the Coca Cola of politicians — he’s the Real Thing!

David Brooks from the New York Times cracks me up! I’m an Obama supporter and I’m not ashamed to say so. But, sorry Mr. Brooks, I’m not going to be selling flowers at the airport anytime soon. I may be there to give my favorite candidate a lei, but I don’t think that opportunity will ever present itself. If it does, I can only hope he will be surrounded by too many secret service for me to even get close!

Another person I would love to get close to is Michelle Obama. What a gem! If you say nothing else positive about this man, he’s got some damn good taste! She’s a natural! I saw her interview with Stephen Colbert and was very impressed with her candor and her comfort with public speaking. Michelle calls it as she sees it. Period.

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Whether you agree with me or not, your comments are very welcome here. Don’t worry about being heated… talking about politics seems to have that effect on people. Ahem. Do watch your language though, please.

Now, about that Ayers thing… my first reaction was, “Who?” He’s a teacher now. He was a hippy activist back in the 60’s. He’s not part of the picture.

As for McCain’s stance that Obama should apologize to the American people… sorry Mr. McCain but that’s a stretch. I mean, do we all walk into a room and ask everyone there what they were doing 30 or 40 years ago? Most of us ask a new acquaintance what they do now.

Ayers lived through an ugly time in our history. It was during the “hippy days” — a time when drugs were the newest fad, sexual awareness was set free, and political activists were on every corner. Some, like Ayers and his cohorts, were extremists. Should he have been given some time behind bars to humble his a** a bit? Definitely. He got off because of a technicality, a slip-up on the part of FBI investigators. Don’t wait for me to say I’ll talk about that later. I won’t. It’s a waste of bandwidth and I’m not going to chastise an organization for which I have an uncanny amount of aloha and respect. It’s over, it’s done, move on.

Politico.com talked somewhat extensively about the relationship between Obama and Ayers. They posted the following quote from Senator Obama’s press secretary, “Sen. Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence,” said Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton. “But he was an 8-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost 40 years ago is ridiculous.”

Aside from being cordial acquaintances that can communicate with each other, there is no relationship to talk about. Are they avoiding the questions from nosy newsies? Of course! Why can’t Rev. Wright do the same?

Reverend Wright, now there’s a problem! I need to point out that people who are saying so are NOT attacking the “black church” or anything else for that matter! The audacity of this person to take on the role of speaking for all black Christians and for everyone who has ever gone to his church. It’s inexcusable! The people who are hoping Wright will shut up are indeed against Wright. I personally am feeling embarrassment for the UCC parish in Chicago. I hope we will get to meet Reverend Moss who has replaced Wright.

Another black pastor, Reverend Eugene Rivers, on MSNBC’s Hardball said that Wright has done nothing but benefit Clinton and McCain with his rhetoric. My question is, how can a man (Wright) who has had so much education behave in such a moronic fashion? For every step we take to get rid of racism, idiots like that just mess it all up again. Does Wright have the right to keep talking? Of course! He’s an American! Should he keep talking? I think I can speak for most Obama supporters when I say, absolutely not! Go clean the church or polish the pews or plant a garden to calm your crazy self. Decaf only for you!

Going forward, I want to talk about what’s important, just like all Americans want to hear about what’s important — the issues that face our country. I’m going to tune in and research the answers to the questions that bother me and that bother the people around me most of all. Let’s look at the positions candidates are taking on the important things rather than coming down on them for the past and present indiscretions of others, over which they have no control.

There, I spit it out. Like I said, it’s a conglomeration of thoughts and reactions to what has gone on over the past several weeks. The time stamp on this post says March 8th. It started even before that. I am reading books about Barack Obama and ones written by him. There is much I want to share about what I am learning. Going forward I will share what I see and how I see how it can help the American people to benefit from what this man has to offer! That’s what I want to share! I just had to get these things off my chest first.

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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!

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