Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Musings: Ramblings

As the year winds down, and Bush’s remaining days in office dwindle, there’s still time to thank him for protecting us from terrorism through the use of torture, illegal wiretapping and military prisons where people who have never been charged with a crime are held in solitary confinement. Yes, you can join the other 1,049 who have already signed on to express their gratitude.

I bet Sen. Gary Hooser is grateful to his parents for leaving Weedpatch, Calif., where “The Grapes of Wrath” was filmed, and heading for Hawaii — even if he did end up at Radford High. That little nugget, and more, is revealed in “The Hooser Story,” a video posted on his website.

Gary also offers his graphic take on Hawaii’s economic troubles:

The governor, like the department heads and legislators, faces her own budget conundrum. After all, when the economy was good and the budget flush with the now disappeared surplus, it was the governor who pushed to the head of the parade to preen and crow with pride at the great job she had done. Now, faced with the perplexing problem of no one to blame except perhaps the nefarious "global conditions", it is the governor who has ordered the meat cleaver taken to the school budgets.

What else can she do? She has signed on long ago to the "no new tax pledge", so raising additional revenue is out of the question. She has decried the transferring of "special funds" and beat up relentlessly on the legislature for using this tactic to balance past budgets. And she has dissed the next President of the United States.

Thus it is the governor who finds herself now in a box, pursuing the only solution put before her - which is actually no solution at all. For it is not possible to simply cut nearly a billion dollars from the state budget without getting blood all over the floor, and all over your hands.


Sounds like the next session of the Lege is going to be messy. Best put your boots on, Gary.

Speaking of the Lege, the Hawaii Supreme Court is set to decide next week whether Act 2, the law that Lingle and the Lege passed so the Superferry could run without an EIS, violated the state Constitution.

According to an article in today’s Honolulu Advertiser:

Many political observers thought the legal challenges were largely over, but the court's willingness to hear the appeal so soon raises the possibility that Superferry may again be stopped.
"This case is now a case of even greater public importance," Isaac Hall, the Wailuku attorney representing the environmental groups, said in court filings.


Seeing Isaac’s name there in print got me wondering if the state and Hawaii Superferry have ever paid the legal fees that were awarded to him in the last go-round of court proceedings. And just how much were they?

The article goes on to report:

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, D-21st (Nanakuli, Makaha), said she believes the Legislature acted properly. She wishes, however, that the state House, Lingle and Superferry had agreed with the Senate and supported an environmental review of the project before the court ruled that such a review was required.

"If the Supreme Court comes back and says that we don't have the right to make exceptions to the law, for whatever reason, then we're going to have a major problem," Hanabusa said.


I know that in theory, the Court is supposed to be neutral and weigh each case solely on its merits, but do you suppose the Justices might be a little pissed off that they issued a clear ruling about the ferry, and then the Lege and guv thumbed their noses and passed Act 2?

All I can say is it sure would be great to see the Court smack down the Lingle Administration on this issue again.

And finally, even though some of my posts irritate him to no end, John Powell over at Hiking in Kona blog kindly sent over a link to a Scientific American article on GMO crops that offers this chilling assessment:

To date, Hawaii's fertile soil has nourished more than 2,230 field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, including corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, wheat, alfalfa, beets, rice, safflower, and sorghum—more than any other state. A total of 4,800 acres (1,940 hectares) of such crops now grow throughout the state, some 3,500 (1,415) of which are corn and soybeans, 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of which yield genetically engineered papaya, and the remaining 10 percent are field trials for new potential GM crops.

It ends with this apt observation:

The bottom line: Hawaii may be the GM crop test capital of the world, but the debate over biotech foods is far from over.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re: "Seeing Isaac’s name there in print got me wondering if the state and Hawaii Superferry have ever paid the legal fees that were awarded to hin in the last go-round of court proceedings. And just how much were they?"

No, I think the state has still not paid Isaac Hall. It's a few hundred thousand. This has been part of the Lingle Admin.'s tactic on this to try to deny the financial resources that the Maui Tomorrow people needed to continue appealing the case.

Anonymous said...

id suggest alotta people in HI/kauai could use a science 101 refresher (would help them make better SF/GMO arguments)

Anonymous said...

> ...when the economy was good and the budget flush with the now disappeared surplus, it was the governor who pushed to the head of the parade to preen and crow with pride at the great job she had done. Now, faced with the perplexing problem of no one to blame except perhaps the nefarious "global conditions", it is the governor who has ordered the meat cleaver taken to the school budgets.

What else can she do? She has signed on long ago to the "no new tax pledge", so raising additional revenue is out of the question. She has decried the transferring of "special funds" and beat up relentlessly on the legislature for using this tactic to balance past budgets. And she has dissed the next President of the United States. <


Tell me Lingle doesn't believe it's still 2003.

Anonymous said...

Gary wants to raise taxes in a recession?? Good lord.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget for a single moment that the U. S. Supreme Court can and will lock Hawaii's Supremes up in their playpen on appeal.
That not only applies to the Superferry, it applies to ceded land revenue for the treasonous.

God said...

God to Anonymous 9:35: time for an ego-check.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the person who thinks they're God is talking about the egos of others. Four of the five voices in my head say that's crazy.

Anonymous said...

Lingle, who inherited the lawsuit from the Cayetano administration, recognizes that Hawaiians have "strong moral claims" to compensation for lands taken after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, but disputes the state Supreme Court's view that the state's title to ceded lands granted by the Admissions Act was effectively nullified by a 1993 congressional resolution apologizing for the overthrow.

Sen. Daniel Inouye told colleagues at the time that the measure was "a simple resolution of apology" and had "nothing to do" with Hawaiian land claims.

Lingle believes land claims must be sorted out via the Akaka bill in Congress and has made several trips to Washington to lobby for the measure despite opposition from conservatives in her Republican Party.

The Hawai'i Supreme Court ruling was extraordinary in the way it interpreted federal laws to strip the state of sovereign rights.

It's little wonder that 29 other states worried about their own sovereign rights joined Hawai'i in seeking a U.S. Supreme Court review, and that the court considered it of sufficient national interest to hear the case.

Hawaiians are worried the court might erode their rights beyond the ceded lands issue, and it's a shame the dispute has gotten this far.

Reasonable people should have been able to reach a settlement that allowed the state to sell lands when necessary to meet the purposes of the Admissions Act, but with the understanding that it would do so with restraint until Hawaiian claims were resolved.

It's not as though the state planned a fire sale of ceded lands; the 1994 OHA lawsuit now before the Supreme Court involved a sale of 1,500 acres on Maui and the Big Island for affordable housing — one of the mandates of the act — with OHA getting one-fifth of the proceeds.

The case poses huge practical implications for the state, and Lingle isn't in a position to stand down now; even if the Akaka bill passes next year, it could take decades to reconcile Hawaiian land and sovereignty claims.

Hawaiians have no recognized leadership to negotiate with the federal government and objected to setting a 20-year deadline for settling the issues in the Akaka bill. Many Hawaiians oppose the Akaka bill altogether.

No state can operate effectively with its ability to manage its resources in indefinite limbo.

Joan said...

No state can operate effectively with its ability to manage its resources in indefinite limbo.

But that's exactly the point. The so-called ceded lands are NOT "its resources." They belong to the kanaka maoli. Making Hawaii part of the union doesn't legitimize the theft.

And whether a fire sale was planned or not is irrelevant. Slowly chipping away at the land base is a serious concern.

Anonymous said...

The so-called ceded lands are NOT "its resources." They belong to the kanaka maoli.

Where on earth do you get that idea? The Admissions Act says the ceded lands belong to the state and that the state is supposed to use the lands or income or proceeds from them for the support of the public schools and other public educational institutions, for the betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians, for the development of farm and home ownership on as widespread a basis as possible for the making of public improvements, and for the provision of lands for public use.

The lands belong to the state. The kanaka maoli get benefits from them. That's fair.

Mr. Moto said...

Yes, if the Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants to win this, it must do better than claim that the Apology Resolution revoked the Admissions Act.

Anonymous said...

"the Apology Resolution revoked the Admissions Act."

wow. is that the argument? boy thats doomed to failure. they must be praying the whereas clauses mean a lot....cuz that "Section 3. Disclaimer. Nothing in this Joint Resolution is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the United States" kinda stares ya in the face

Anonymous said...

That's a great argument to ask the supreme court to buy: The apology resolution accidentally revoked the admission of Hawaii as a state! Oh, brother.