It's summertime, which means hunting for yellow lilikoi as if they were Easter eggs amid the fallen branches and monstera vines, drying thick slices of papaya because I've got more fresh than I can handle, watching the bees in their frantic, yet orderly, quest to bring in the nectar.
And since it's an election year, it means political fundraisers, forums and fliers. Though the tendency is to toss the literature unread in the recycling bin, you can sometimes glean information about where their pointed little heads are really at. Take Mufi Hanneman's most recent flyer, for example.
First thing that struck me was, where are the haoles? The big Muff's got photos of nine people endorsing him and only one looks possibly like a haole. So I immediately think, OK, he's decided to pander to the local vote, which tells me he doesn't give a shit about a big chunk of the state's population. Just the kind of guy I want to have as my representative in Congress.
I look at some of those faces supporting him — Phil Tacbian, the biggest dud on KIUC; Mike Tresler, the guy who coldly evicted folks at Koloa Camp on behalf of Grove Farm, Sen. Ron Kouchi, nuff said. Further solid proof that he's not my candidate. Then I see that former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka is co-chair of his statewide campaign. This is the woman who actually said to me, in front of my former husband and his parents, all local Japanese, “I didn't know you had local connections. I'll have to be nicer to you.”
Oh, and let's not forget the way she pulled off the county inspector who was trying to crack down on Jimmy Pflueger's illegal grading at Kaloko.
When you've got someone like Maryanne chairing your campaign, it speaks volumes about your values — or lack thereof.
Let's face it: Mufi is a good old boy to da max.
So yeah, Tulsi Gabbard is gonna get my vote. Some people don't like her because of her dad, Mike Gabbard, and his homophobia, but I'm not gonna hold that against her. I certainly didn't share my father's political views, and besides, Tulsi has come out strongly in favor of equal rights for all. I didn't know much about Tulsi until I heard her on KKCR, where she said she had become strongly anti-war after serving two combat deployments in the National Guard and wants to immediately end the war in Afghanistan.
Plus she's an environmentalist, and we need more women in Congress. I know some people like Esther Kiaaina, but she ain't gonna win, so you gotta face reality and recognize that a vote for her is essentially a vote for Mufi.
In other matters, I noticed that attorney Dan Hempey got the Intermediate Court of Appeals to overturn a drug possession conviction that Judge Randal Valenciano presided over. Way to go, Dan. Looks like the 95% conviction rate that Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho hypes — and I'll be looking at some of those bogus crime stats in an upcoming post — just took another hit. Kinda makes you wonder how many more convictions could be overturned if attorneys had the time and compassion to follow through.
What blew my mind, though, was the guy supposedly had .009 grams of methamphetamine, yet Randal sentenced him to five years in prison for third degree promotion of a dangerous drug. Do you know what a teeny tiny amount that is?
So the state is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars — actually, probably millions — to convict and incarcerate people for possessing essentially crumbs, yet virtually nothing on rehab. As a friend noted the other day, if the Mayor can seize Mike Sheehan's boatyard, surely he can find a location for an adolescent drug treatment center on this island.
Madness. Fricking madness.
And finally, it seems that Kauai tourism isn't the only business that's booming. Yeah, the U.S. is looking at a 70 percent increase in weapons sales to foreign nations this year. Some $50 billion have already been sold this year. When you consider the kind of carnage we're supporting around the world, the Aurora massacre is small potatoes — and no surprise.