Did anyone else raise an eyebrow over yesterday's article in The Garden Island about Judge Randal Valenciano doubling the sentence of a man who made an attempt at humor by saying "give me liberty or give me death" in his written plea to avoid jail time?
“This is not fun and games here,” Valenciano said. “You bought yourself more time” with the “disrespectful” display, said Valenciano, adding that by putting pen to paper Kodama dug himself a deeper hole.
The written statement was Kodama’s chance to impress Valenciano, and Kodama told jokes, Valenciano said. “We’re in court.”
So a judge can just invent a new crime -- "saying something stupid that triggers the judge" – then find the defendant guilty, with no trial, and summarily impose a 90-day sentence? Hmmm.
Far less troubling, but still annoying, is reporter Paul Curtis’ persistence in editorializing his stories:
When given the right to remain silent, sometimes accused people should exercise that right.
Speaking of editorializing, I thought The Garden Island’s recent opinion piece on the possible departure of Police Chief Darryl Perry was right on the mark.
Like the paper, I’m also disheartened to hear Perry has applied for the chief’s spot at the Honolulu Police Department. Running KPD is one of the least coveted jobs in the state, and the likelihood of us getting another chief of Perry's caliber is slim. As the editorial noted, Perry has made some significant contributions to KPD in the time he's been here.
Of course, nothing gets Rabid Reporter Andy Parx slathering more than seeing a bone tossed to the chief, and yesterday he used his blog to launch yet another attack on Perry. This time he also called out the newspaper for failing to promote his own doggedly revisionist view that a revenge-driven Perry worked behind the scenes to dethrone former Chief K.C. Lum. Mmmm hmmm. Yeah, right.
Andy seems to take Perry’s application to HPD as a personal affront to the people of Kauai, and has repeatedly claimed that Perry made like he was gonna be here forever. Apparently Andy's forgotten, or perhaps he never knew, that the Police Commission only gave Perry a three-year employment contract, which began Oct. 1, 2007. Who in their right mind would pledge to keep that thankless job indefinitely?
Let’s be realistic about the situation. Perry has two choices. He can stay here and continue his efforts to rehab a rinky-dink department burdened with decades of baggage, buffoonery and backstabbing as a snarling dog snaps at his heels. Or, he can take a shot at earning more money as the top cop in the state, leading a bigger, far more professional department that he personally helped build. Which would you choose?
Getting back to the topic of editorializing, I noticed this on the Star-Bulletin’s home page:
No state fought harder than Hawaii to become a full-fledged member of the United States, and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin beat the drum for the movement from the beginning.
Kinda makes you wonder how fair and objective the paper was in reporting the statehood vote when it was going down, and how fair and objective it's been in covering the ongoing opposition to the fake state.
Finally, a very progressive friend got an email from the GOP asking for a contribution to “help protect us from universal health care” that provoked this response:
Let me see if I got this right. You want me to help you prevent people from getting routine access to medical care? But that would make me complicit in your plan. Then I would be as evil as you are. Why don’t I give you money to help keep the gas prices high, too?”
Seems his brother got a similar email, which he described as “a real WTF moment.”
Come to think of it, there's a lot of that going around.