Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Musings: Same Old New Bosses

Brilliant stars filled large patches of the night sky, offering a celestialscape that’s been decidedly rare in these months of wet weather, but it, too, soon succumbed to the thick clouds that delivered rain up until the crack of dawn, when Koko and I went walking on streets that glistened in the flashing orange lights of the garbage truck.

The wind was chill, making me glad for long pants and a sweatshirt, and it gusted through the trees, spattering us with large drops that mixed with a fresh new shower and sent us heading quickly for home.

Koko is not fond of getting wet, unlike, I’m assuming from its breed name only, the Portuguese water dog that has taken up residence at the White House. I’m sure it was just a bit of media hyperbole that prompted this caption on a Yahoo slide show of the pup last night:

The news all Washington is bracing for will break on Tuesday -- the debut of the new White House dog Bo.

Despite all the talk about getting a shelter dog, the First Family ended up with a purebred from a breeder that is likely, given Americans’ penchant for copycat behavior, to spawn a run on Portuguese water dogs, as happens every time a particular breed gains celebrity. And since they tend to be hyper, with coats that are hard to maintain, it’s likely a good many of them will end up in shelters months or years down the road, where they’ll add to the legions of unwanted dogs that are euthanized.

The dog, just six months old, is now in its third home, having passed through what appears to be a highly contrived scheme to give it the appearance of a “rescue dog.”

Bo reportedly was adopted from Texas breeder Martha Stern by someone who then “gave it up” and from there it went to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s trainer, who kept it for a month before the Senator presented the dog as a gift to the Obama girls. Uh huh. Likely story. Who thinks this stuff up?

It's too bad they didn't adopt a shelter dog, because the actions of the Obamas bear a lot of weight. Just consider the shuddering reaction from the chem ag MidAmerica CropLife Assn. to the organic garden.

But organic gardens aside, Noam Chomsky pretty much summed it up in a Democracy Now! yesterday when he said:

As far as policy is concerned, unless [Obama] is under a lot of pressure from activist sectors, he’s not going to go beyond what he’s presented himself as in actual policy statements or cabinet choices and so on: a centrist Democrat [who’s] going to basically continue Bush’s polices, maybe in a more modulated way,” says Chomsky.

In other words, he’ll close down Guantanamo and the secret CIA black sites — while still allowing the agency to retain the power to detain suspects "on a short-term transitory basis."

You know, just long enough to get them to a black site operated by somebody else.

Meanwhile, it seems there’s another side to the piracy story, one that tells of Western nations poaching in Somali fishing grounds and dumping barrels of nuclear and toxic waste off the coast there. Nevertheless, Obama is promising not a full investigation, but a crack down only on the Somali rogues, with some war mongers even calling for a land invasion.

As my accountant observed yesterday, noting the prescient quality of so much music from the ‘60s: “meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

That holds true for our planning department, too, where Ian Costa, the junk old boss, was chosen to continue on as the junk new boss by a mayor identified, in what can only be described as a Freudian slip by KONG DJ Ron Wiley, as Bryan Carvalho.

It seems the County Council, like the rest of us that aren’t brain dead, is wondering why the department has failed to do so many of the planning projects it’s supposed to do, while remaining largely unaccountable for its actions.

Well, at least some on the Council were wondering. According to The Garden Island Darryl Kaneshiro “tried to rein in the line of questioning,” while Planning Committee Chair Jay Furfaro urged the others “to trust him in his new position, saying he has had conversations with Costa about setting realistic and attainable deadlines for the reports.”

Ummm, shouldn’t “Bryan” Carvalho be having those kinds of conversations with his appointee? (Clarification: As Andy Parx helpfully pointed out, technically, the Planning Commission appoints the director.)

Former Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who certainly would have axed Ian if she’d been elected mayor, was sufficiently disturbed to show up at the Council and complain:

“The planning process in the director’s head is extremely worrisome. ... We are treading in very dangerous waters,” Yukimura said. “It’s important to have good plans in place and regulations to back up the plans. If regulations mean a draft ordinance, that’s fine. ... Otherwise it’s a constant ‘I need more money’ and you’re never where you need to be.”

But JoAnn, you don’t understand. When it comes to planning on Kauai, it’s not about needs, it’s about wants, and the planning department, under Ian, is exactly where it wants to be. And that's in bed with big landowners like Grove Farm and the other developers who benefit from having all the long range planning and updates left undone.

In short, we're looking at a continuation of the same old planning policies set by the last two do-nothing administrations — Kusaka and Baptiste — which is what happens when you keep the old bosses instead of finding someone new.


Anonymous said...

am beginning to think kauai has the gov it deserves

Anonymous said...

Technically, Won't Get Fooled Again is a 70s song. And really it's about how revolutionaries (not winners of elections but overthrowers of regimes) end up being just as bad as the regime they overthrow; like the revolutionary leader in Woody Allen's Bananas who goes mad with power.

Anonymous said...

It could be hauntingly appropriate to the alternate future wherein the New Age anti-everything-that-is-now would be in charge in our little island family.

They would most likely find that the interactions between 21st century people, counties, states and countries eventually lead to the same situation we currently enjoy.

Human nature is what it is. The Golden Rule means he who has the gold makes the rules.

Anonymous said...

Revolutionaries discover that their theories simply don't work in the physical universe. The left can't even get along with itself without fractioning into dozens of factions and fighting among themeselves. What makes them think they can keep it together to rule the rest of us?

Dawson said...

> The left can't even get along with itself without fractioning into dozens of factions and fighting among themeselves. <And the right isn't doing the same?

> What makes them think they can keep it together to rule the rest of us? <Left or right, what makes you think any of us want to be ruled?

Anonymous said...

"Revolutionaries discover that their theories simply don't work in the physical universe."

So THAT'S what's wrong with Amerika!!

Anonymous said...

"Revolutionaries discover that their theories simply don't work in the physical universe."

-- eh, well i can think of a few that worked out pretty well (and so can you)

April 14, 2009 10:34 AM

Anonymous said...

democratic revolutions have been successful against statist systems. Left wing revolutions don't work because they are regressive, taking freedom back from the people and giving more control to a central command authority.