Sunday, February 1, 2009

Musings: Standard Expectations

The sunrise is sort of like the Super Bowl — there’s the pre-pregame show, which in this case was all soft pink, followed by the pre-game show, which was streaks of fiery orange, and then the game itself, which this morning was rendered gray and colorless by clouds.

Happily, unlike the game the sunrise is devoid of the incessant, annoying, largely meaningless patter-chatter of the announcers, although some might put roosters in that category. I noticed the on-line edition of The Garden Island is carrying a large ad for rooster traps, with a link to a website that chastised the state and county governments for offering “no help for responsible control in this area.”

Fine, except I didn’t see any mention of what happens to the roosters once they’re caught. Are the trappers supposed to dispatch the birds themselves, or release them in some other neighborhood? Or are the cages equipped with some secret offing mechanism?

The promoters were careful to distinguish between the wild roosters and the fighting kind:

We understand that some people love and care for these wonderfully made creatures as pets. Pet owners need to be sure that during night time hours that their critters shelters are covered to block any light from entering until morning, to cut down on the level of noise for their neighbors. This should become the standard expectation.

Uh, yeah, right. Go tell that to the guys raising them and see if your “standard expectations” are met. It seems a lot of trouble between newcomers and locals are those vastly differing ideas about what constitutes “standard expectations.”

Still, most us share the standard expectation that politicians continually seek higher office, and in this regard, Kauai Sen. Gary Hooser does not disappoint. I had an email in my inbox yesterday advising me that Gary is planning a run for Lt. Gov in 2010, and launching his fundraising drive now. The Advertiser picked up the story, but The Garden Island, in its usual “not quite on it” approach to reporting local breaking news, did not.

That means he could be playing second fiddle to Mufi Hanneman, Colleen Hanabusa, Ed Case and Neil Abercrombie, all of whom are reportedly eyeing the governor’s seat, along with Duke Aiona. But first he has to beat possible contenders Robert Bunda, Donovan Dela Cruz and Rod Tam.

I’d rather see Gary go to Washington, but who can blame him for wanting to stay in the Islands?

At least we don’t have killer cold snaps, like the one in the Midwest that left 1.5 million people with power and prompted blogger Rick Moran to use the eye-catching headline: “Obama hates white people and wants them to die.” It was intended to be a take-off on allegations made about Bush when FEMA was non-responsive after Katrina, and includes whining about the lack of chain saws to cut away fallen limbs and trees in Kentucky.

Seems to me a chain saw would be a reasonable thing to own if you’re living in a wooded, rural place like Kentucky. Shoots, after Iniki, folks were out clearing debris from the roads alongside, or ahead of, the county and state crews. Yeah, government’s got a role to play, but there’s no substitute for being able to meet at least some of your own needs.

A local friend yesterday was bemoaning the shift away from self-sufficiency that he’s seen just in his own middle-aged lifetime on Kauai. His advice for folks feeling the pinch of the recent economic downturn: “Sell that big truck, get rid of your credit cards and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Remember your roots, man. You used to eat fish for breakfast, and we’re not talking ahi, we’re talking manini and nenue.”

A friend emailed to report that the Obama stimulus package might actually turn out to be a good thing. It apparently includes $400 million for habitat restoration, of which $20 million is for coral reef work. He was even contacted for his ideas on "shovel ready" projects that would help the reefs, create new jobs and bring money to Kauai. Now that's pretty amazing, both the money for restoration work, and that he was even asked.

Meanwhile, the economic slowdown isn’t just helping military recruiters meet their enlistment quotas. Tough times, and the election of a black man, reportedly are boosting the ranks of the KKK. On-line registration is up, and it’s even recruiting in New Zealand:

"They don't go where people are happy with money in their pocket," [former Imperial Wizardand now born again Christian pastor Johnny] Clary said.

"They pick on the poor, the miserable, the down and out."


The down and out locally now includes — aw, what a shame — the helicopter industry, what with Air Kauai losing its fleet to the bank. Meanwhile, those who are still operating have launched a “help line” aimed at making disgruntled residents think someone really gives a rip about their concerns about noise and overflights.

Of course, even the industry admits “some of the worst offenders” are not participating, and members of STOP DAT (Disrespectful Air Traffic) are also underwhelmed by the effort:

[Carl] Imparato said the help line is more about the companies “managing their PR rather than dealing with the root of the problem.”

“We suspended our campaign in response to county requests to hold off given the current economy,” he said. “We had hoped in the interim that the problem would be resolved.”


Well, Carl, if tourism stays in its current nosedive, the problem very well may be resolved, Air Kauai-style.

And just in case the recent swelling of patriotic pride caused you to forget, here’s a little youtube clip to remind just how lame your fellow countrymen are. It seems you'd best lower your standard expectations.

5 comments:

Dawson said...

> And just in case the recent swelling of patriotic pride caused you to forget, here’s a little youtube clip to remind just how lame your fellow countrymen are. It seems you'd best lower your standard expectations. <

*shudder*

But if you really want to see fear and dismay, ask college English teachers about their freshman students' writing and critical thinking skills.

Anonymous said...

too bad Gary keeps trying to leap frog to much higher levels without spending time doing a hard job like Mayor. He keeps p--ing away money running for jobs he's got little hope of winning given his power base being this small island.

It will be interesting to see if he can raise a big enough piece of cash to make an impression so soon after his poor showing in the 2nd District free for all.

Anonymous said...

prediction - that guys SF views hurt him statewide

Anonymous said...

Responding to - "Uh, yeah, right. Go tell that to the guys raising them and see if your “standard expectations” are met. It seems a lot of trouble between newcomers and locals are those vastly differing ideas about what constitutes “standard expectations.”"

- Respecting everyone may not be a standard, but it should be, that is all that is being conveyed. Also, www.RoosterTraps.com does recommend how to deal with their customers catch contrary to your post. You should read the website in it's entirety prior to raising silly suspicions. Thanks

Joan said...

I'm a big advocate of respect, but my point is, it does go both ways. Is it respectful to move into an ag district and then ask someone who has been raising chickens there for years to make or buy covers for perhaps a hundred cages and put them on each night and take them off each morning just so his animals won't disturb you?

Btw, I did see the recommendation that folks contact the Humane Society about what to do with their trapped roosters, but thought it fell so short of a reasonable solution that it didn't even merit comment.