The silver-green light exuded by a big moon that is headed toward full — and a partial eclipse just after midnight tonight — gave way to the faint first light of dawn, which gave way to bold shafts of light from the rising sun that pierced a bank of gray-white clouds, setting them afire and turning the sea into a shimmery mass of sparkle.
An awful lot happens before 6 a.m. these days.
I've been reflecting on the nature of perceptions, a frequent musing that has found new expression since I became a beekeeper. For example, I was never happy to see the horribly invasive albezzia trees come into bloom — until I began viewing them as a welcome food source for hungry bees, some of which are trying to mob and rob my bees of their own scant honey supply. Suddenly, my thinking shifted from all bees are marvelous to there are good bees and bad bees. Problem is, it's hard to tell them apart in the heat of battle, so I can't wage war against bees that would in all likelihood be good if they weren't so ravenous, possibly because humans are screwing up the climate.
Now extrapolate that to global economies and politics and it's easy to see how we get involved in all sorts of murky, ill-conceived wars and policies.
Interestingly, just as I was writing about perceptions, someone left a comment on the last post with a link to a film from North Korea — currently America's most reviled enemy, aside perhaps from Iran — that uses propaganda to expose Western propaganda. As it notes, public relations professionals now greatly outnumber journalists in the West, which means that our “news” is:
“Written by professional liars, whose job it is to keep people in front of their televisions, reading gossip magazines, eating vast amounts of toxic foods and shopping, always shopping.”
Sounds about right. Seriously, check it out when you're done reading this post. Who really can argue that advertising doesn't turn us into consumer debt slaves working to benefit our owners, the 1 percent? Who can truly claim that the new word for empire-building isn't “globalization” — the acquisition of other's people's resources at any cost and the procurement of unlimited slave labor to produce stuff we don't really need? Who can pretend that our endless wars don't use the poorest people's children to solidify wealth and power for the 1 percent?
The film keeps asking, “Is this democracy?” before it answers, “no, democracy is when the majority of people make a decision and it's upheld.”
So when, really, was the last time you saw that happen? I mean, we've got polls that show a majority of Americans want to end the war in Afghanistan, legalize marijuana, enact term limits on Congress, reduce corporate funding of elections, reverse the Supreme Court decision that made corporations people, have universal health insurance — the list goes on and on.
Yet we accept less, because that's what we're given, along with endless opportunities to shop and distract ourselves, and all the while we claim we're free, the luckiest people in the world, because we can watch youtube videos like this one and vote in elections where we don't really want any of the candidates, but no one else is running.
Which leads to a comment that someone else left about Justin Kollar, wondering how people can support him for prosecutor, since he's inexperienced and — my favorite — “has no cultural comprehension of Hawaii/Kauai.”
True, his level of cultural comprehension may not compare with that of Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalo, who reportedly advised a young female haole attorney that she wouldn't get far unless she dumped her haole boyfriend and took up with a local guy. Yes, he lacks the political acumen so evident in Shaynanigans like going after Councilman Tim Bynum for a now-dismissed offense that has already wasted a shitload of taxpayer time and money, and is likely to consume much more when Tim sues over her vendetta. Granted, Justin may not be any match for her fine managerial skills, which resulted in hordes of talented attorneys fleeing her clutches, chronic OPA understaffing and at least one successful EEOC claim — more on that in days to come.
And I'm quite sure he doesn't have her penchant for self-promotion and drama. No, you likely won't see Justin asking for special counsel, shouting from the audience in Council meetings or being scolded by Circuit Court judges for having a first deputy who conspired to secretly tape record crime victims so as to gather dirt for a bogus prosecution.
So no, Justin is not all that Shay is, and frankly, I'm glad.
Though I'm sure some folks have personal axes to grind against Shay, perhaps because they've suffered at her hands, I don't believe the so-called “attacks” against her are driven by personal hatred, a desire to replace her with a haole or resentment toward a powerful woman. They stem from legitimate concerns about a politician who has given every indication that she has abused the power of her office, is costing the county significant sums of money and is frankly not up to the job.
Yes, Shay has every right to claim the fifth and ask for a county-funded special attorney to cover her ass. But ya know, that's just not something I want to see in a prosecutor. The person who holds that position should be totally above reproach and held to an even higher standard than the cops.
I'm sure Justin has his warts and his foibles, like everyone else, and initially, I didn't think I liked the guy. But after getting to know him a bit more, and watching his opponent in action, my perception of him has changed. I believe he'll at least bring fairness and integrity to the position, and given where the OPA is right now, that's saying a lot.
Meanwhile, a friend sent this email:
I got a call the other day requesting I do a political survey with options to press 1 if I thought Jimmy Tokioka was a dirt bag, and 2 if I thought he should be king. It also asked about Derek [Kawakami] and Ron [Kouchi], but not Dee Morikawa.
The call started at the top asking my feelings of the Guv, then the Mufi [Hanneman Congressional] race... but then quickly started asking about Gary H. [Hooser] and [former County Councilwoman] Lani [Kawahara], and how I felt about Tim.
I just read your post on free ride, and I thought there might be a last minute run to the elections office (Tuesday at 4). I could see Gary and Tim, arm and arm (as I heard Tim did not pull council papers yet).
Hmmm, who knows? Maybe it will be a more interesting race than we thought....