I awoke in the night to a chill breeze that felt like winter and the welcome sound of heavy rain, which stopped about the time the sky began to lighten. The dogs and I had only walked about half our usual distance when I looked back to see a massive black cloud on the approach. Turning around, I heard a roar that I knew couldn’t be the ocean, and we broke into a run, racing the rain, which won, but barely, leaving us damp and energized.
Though the Akaka bill is fortunately dead, state lawmakers have re-energized its most loathsome aspects with Senate Bill 1520, which appears likely to be sent to the governor for his signature. By loathsome, I am referring to its objective of creating a state-sanctioned process to do what Hawaiians can and should do on their own: establish — or more accurately, re-establish — their own government.
Unfortunately, the process the bill sets forth is to be orchestrated by OHA, a state agency, which taints it from the get-go. Further, to use a paragraph from an AP story, it’s based on a premise that grates:
Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous people in the United States who have not been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and American Indian tribes.
None of the independence advocates I’ve ever talked to believe they need to be granted a right to establish their own government, both because their nation was illegally overthrown and the Queen never relinquished her country's sovereignty.
In other news of the U.S. having its way in sovereign nations — in this case, Pakistan, which has criticized the raid as an "unauthorized unilateral action," — Administration officials are now claiming that killing Usama bin Laden was an act of ”national self defense.” Ummm hmmm. Right.
Meanwhile, they continue to “correct key details from earlier accounts,” according to a report from Associated Press. You know, just minor stuff, like not only didn’t bin Laden engage in a firefight, he wasn’t even armed. And it wasn’t his wife who was killed, but that of an aide, and she wasn’t used as a human shield, but got caught in the crossfire.
I mean, surely White House officials were fully briefed on what actually went down, so there’s absolutely no excuse for initially releasing false accounts of the raid. Unless, of course, it’s intended to — in the words of Glenn Greenwald — “produce deliberately misleading accounts of the most significant news items -- falsehoods which endure no matter how decisively they are debunked in subsequent days.”
Meanwhile, as The New York Times reports, Obama’s approval rating jumped 11 percent after the raid, which is more than the 8 percent bump Bush got after Saddam Hussein was captured. "My guy's badder than your guy, my guy's badder by far..."
Returning to local news, The Garden Island, which is usually quick to print KIUC press releases, has made no mention of the petition that was presented to the utility, even though the cooperative issued a press release that included this statement from CEO David Bissell:
“Regardless of the outcome of the petition verification process, KIUC welcomes every opportunity it is afforded to meet with members of the cooperative to discuss the potential development of small hydroelectric projects on Kaua‘i. We are at the very beginning of a multi-year stakeholder engagement process, so it is understandable that there is some misinformation and confusion at this early stage.”
In other words, those poor petitioners are woefully misinformed, but we’ll set ‘em straight.
Instead of covering an issue of substance, like this one, the paper devoted many inches to a Humane Society puff piece about a family reunited with its supposedly “accident prone” dog, though it sounded more like human negligence.
Anyway, I was skimming it when I saw a reference to my neighbor Andy Bushnell and his daughter — the ones who own the dogs that killed my cat and attacked Paele. Seems the dog showed up at their place. As I read further, I saw this and had one of those “aha” moments:
The organization sent out Humane Officer Jessica Venneman, who happens to be Bushnell’s former history student.
Oh, now I understand why nothing ever came of my complaint to KHS about the attack on Paele. The case was referred to Jessica, who called me for more details. But even though I called her back four times, she never responded. When I finally got ahold of her, she said she had given Andy a warning because she never heard back from me so she assumed it wasn't serious.
And then I recalled how Andy had previously told me that KHS came out one time to cite him for a leash law violation, but the officer turned out to be his former student, and so she let him off.
This is the kind of thing that is so discouraging about living on Kauai.
And it brought to mind a scene I encountered yesterday, as I moved through a seat belt trap set up on Haleko Street and saw all the shaka-flashing going on between the four cops and local motorists. I couldn’t help but wonder how many tickets they were likely to write for their friends.