Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Musings: Mud Slinging and Sound Bites

It was just getting light enough to navigate the rocks and ruts on the mountain trail when Koko and I went walking this morning. The thick haze had diminished a bit, allowing the mountains to emerge for a breath of fresh air, and Venus was shining in the east.

As I walked and Koko raced, scampered, sniffed, marked, chewed and did all the other things that bring her delight, the sun announced its presence by first gilding the clouds — and a heart shaped puka within them — in hot pink. Next came long, broad beams of blue light that shot upwards and pierced the heavens, then a smear of brilliant yellow and orange that cast Makaleha’s summit in purple hues.

By that time I was high enough to see the rosy path the cloud-encased sun blazed on the silvery sea, and it was silent, save for singing birds, the rush of a stream way down in the valley and Koko’s panting as she whooshed past me, immersed in the sheer joy of running.

When we returned, two men who work at the end of the road were standing by the gate and we exchanged greetings and smiles.

“Ahh, the grabber,” exclaimed one, in reference to Koko’s role in a pig dog pack. And he didn’t seem to mind at all when she left muddy paw prints on his jeans.

Upon being confronted in this legislative session with the irrefutable evidence that she is a lame duck who recklessly squandered any political capital she may have had on the Superferry, Gov. Lingle has come out swinging — and slinging mud at Kauai’s own Rep. Mina Morita. As AP reports:

Lingle also identified Rep. Hermina Morita, D-Hanalei-Kapaa, as the lawmaker who killed a proposal to ban new fossil-fueled electrical generating plants. Morita did so at the behest of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the governor claimed.

"Everyone thought it was the right way to go," Lingle said. "Because one person in the Legislature (and) one special interest was able to stop this ban."


Those of us who know Mina recognize the guv’s words as pure trash talk. Mina is the least likely of all politicians to cater to special interests, especially KIUC. I can’t help but wonder if the guv’s attack has anything to do with Mina’s strong ethical stance against Lingle etc.’s smarmy dealings in the Superferry.

Mina sees right through Linda, and she’s not into playing her games:

And Morita said Lingle's ire was misplaced because a ban on new fossil fuel plants could force the state to burn more biodiesel fuel, which she said is more expensive and has larger carbon footprint.

"They were proposing an entire ban now," Morita said. "It's not something you need this year, unless you want a sound bite. And I don't operate by sound bites."


Now why should Lingle be crying this year that the Lege didn't do her bidding when last year it bent over backwards in a special session to give her and her HSF cronies exactly what they wanted? And since when has the guv been a greenie, anyway?

In fact, Lingle’s true Republican colors can be seen with her stated intention to veto a tax hike for those earning more than $150,000 per year. When you figure the state’s per capita income is just $28,287, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask those earning more than five times that amount to pay a little extra.

Unless, of course, you’re just looking to bank a few sound bites for a future GOP race.

Now that the swine flu has maybe-but-not-officially hit Hawaii, the Advertiser is racing to do what the mass media do best: create mass hysteria. In today’s on-line edition it has no less than five stories and a “what you need to know” special report replete with an alarmingly-colored world map.

Meanwhile, the state is stockpiling what is erroneously called “anti-flu medicine.” In fact, Tamiflu and the other anti-virals don’t actually cure the flu, they simply ease its symptoms. But hey, things are lookin’ good for the drug companies. You can’t buy this kind of advertising.

Not often mentioned in the swine flu media feeding frenzy is the fact that some 13,000 people in the U.S. have died so far this year from seasonal flu, compared to just one of swine flu. But because regular flu hasn’t been hyped, you weren’t worried about it, now were you?

Remember the last time we were threatened with a swine flu epidemic, and the government was hyping a “shot of protection”?

Maybe all this flu talk will encourage people to exercise some common sense and courtesy by staying home when they’re sick and washing their hands so they don’t spread their germs of any kind to others. Or, maybe not. That kind of stuff just doesn't make for a very sexy sound bite.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

"ban new fossil-fueled electrical generating plants"

-- dont see at all why a ban is not a good idea, or why it could not have been per/for kiuc


"biodiesel fuel"

-- if there are hawaii-specific studies on this, that account for the fuel transport / distance dynamic, then lets see them....b/ if bio makes sense anywhere in the US, it is prob in HI


"swine flu"

-- take out the term "swine flu" and replace it with "GMO" and its about the same thing, in kauai/HI at least (cept for GMOs aint killed nobody)

Andy Parx said...

“Tamiflu and the other anti-virals don’t actually cure the flu, they simply ease its symptoms”.

Actually it’s somewhere in-between. It does actually reduce the viral load by killing virus’ after they have infected. That decreases the symptoms but not the way a cold pill does by only treating the runny nose or headache. Instead the symptoms decrease due to less virus’ making the flu less severe and lengthy.

Anonymous said...

Where do you think Tamiflu comes from, by the way? It's extracted from the Traditional Chinese Medicine herb called Star Anise. http://linkbee.com/H1N1

Anonymous said...

Hey, I use star anise in one of my homebrew ale recipes!

A pleasant cure for the flu!!!

Time for another dose right now.

Take one pint every hour.

Anonymous said...

Lingle does not comprehend the whole energy thing. As a matter of fact she doesnʻt understand a lot of stuff. Not the sharpest tool in the shed. The glaring lack of education speaks for itself.

Tamiflu actually creates symptoms far worse than the flu it is supposed cure.

Stocks are up on vaccines. That tell anybody anything at all?

Anonymous said...

Buy on the rumors - sell on the news

Same ole' story.

MauiBrad said...

As far as I can tell it's been almost all downhill for Linda since Aug-Sept 2007 when she tried to steamroll the goodwill of the people.

She's a washed up lame duck. She and the party that followed her over the abyss have nothing to run on.

Dawson said...

Dollars to donuts, by this time next year you'll start hearing her mentioned by mainland RNC movers and shakers.

Anonymous said...

"Tamiflu actually creates symptoms far worse than the flu it is supposed cure."

You mean like death? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Stocks are up on vaccines. That tell anybody anything at all?

If you're peddling a conspiracy theory, you might have "less" brain cells that a flu virus.

Katy Rose said...

That's not "conspiracy theory." It's a comment on the nature of capitalism.

Anonymous said...

"You mean like death? I don't think so."
May 6, 2009 7:13 AM

Actually yes, death. Where the hell have you been?

US soldiers included have DIED from VACCINES.

Anonymous said...

"If you're peddling a conspiracy theory, you might have "less" brain cells that a flu virus."
May 6, 2009 7:15 AM

You must be Mr. Saniflush. Keepin it down, keepin it clean and donʻt let any fingers point to exactly how corrupt and amoral the US government can be.

Or....youʻre the winner, with less brain cells than bush! Because, even brainless bush would know about this.

Anonymous said...

"Actually yes, death. Where the hell have you been?

US soldiers included have DIED from VACCINES."


"donʻt let any fingers point to exactly how corrupt and amoral the US government can be"

...the brain trust speaks!

Anonymous said...

you'r saying that soldiers have died from vaccines and that that proves tamiflu has caused deaths?

You probably never took any logic classes in school.

Anonymous said...

conspiracy theorists always rely on vague meaningless generally untrue but sound-good claims. "Stocks are up on vaccines." What a goof.

Anonymous said...

Well, I own pharma stock and I'm all for any news/rumor that scares the bejesus out of the great unwashed public and makes them buy tons of the product my invested companies make.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much all stocks are up here lately. It's a good sign for the economy as the stock market is a leading indicator. Recovery is right around the corner... much to the lefties' consternation.