A million little fists waving in unison can have a huge impact. Keep it waving. When you get tired of waving, pound it against governments door. Pound it in the face of corporate greed and abuse. A million fists pounding on governments door and in the face of corporate greed and abuse can perhaps change the world.
Of course, a million little fists marking their ballots, or better yet, holding on to the cash they would otherwise fork over to those greedy, abusive corporations, would probably have a much greater impact. But that's not nearly so exciting.
The waving fists are part of a “we the people” rally that will be calling on lawmakers to “increase citizen involvement in decisions about agriculture and food systems, land use and genetic engineering,” according to a press release. I can get behind the call to abolish the PLDC, and more citizen involvement is always great, though most citizens don't participate as fully as they could right now.
But what, exactly, is the point of the proposed bill to label whole (unprocessed) foods that are genetically engineered? Yes, let's all waste time on meaningless legislation that will distract people from the real issues in agriculture. [Update 1-17-13: After hearing Walter Ritte and others speak at the Vandana Shiva lecture tonight, I realize I may have spoken prematurely. I will wait to reserve judgment until I read and consider the full bill.]
One of the rally speakers will be newly elected Sen. Laura Thielen, the former DLNR director under Republican Gov. Lingle who has become a darling of certain progressives because she spoke out against the PLDC. How quickly people forget Thielen was behind the plan to exploit state parks, including a hotel at Kokee.
In other news, the fire that knocked out phone service to many Kauai and Oahu offices and businesses — including KPD — shows how easy it would be for terrorists to bring America to its knees without firing a shot. Because if we can't use the phone or shop, we're good as dead.
As a friend recounted, another friend's wife was trying to shop at Costco, but they couldn't accept credit cards, so she was asked to write a check.
“Who writes checks anymore?” he asked.
“Or has their checkbook regularly with them?” I replied.
And finally, I stopped in at the Office of Prosecuting Attorney yesterday, where I was amused to see our new Prosector, Justin Kollar, at his desk in a KPD hoodie. Though to be fair, the hood was not up, and he had a nice aloha shirt on underneath. And rest assured, he has the requisite jackets and ties hanging on the back of his door for those emergency court appearances.
I'll cover our discussion in subsequent posts, but when Justin mentioned they were planning to start meeting with community groups to hear their concerns, I just had to ask, “So are you going to hand out tote bags?”
Which was a reference to the $9,500 worth of give-aways that former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho bought to promote her signature (and now demised) POHAKU program — stuff that just so happens to all be orange and black, her former campaign colors.
He took me to a storage closet, and sure enough, there it all was: tote bags, tee-shirts, power clips, Zumba pens, wrist bands and my personal favorite: the stupid little rally fans that cost $1,354.16. I mean, really. WTF was she thinking?
It might actually be humorous, except our tax money bought it.
Shortly after I reported on these questionable expenditures, Councilman Mel Rapozo ranted in public session about the “trashy blogs” highlighting the OPA purchases when most of the other county offices were also buying promotional gimcracks. He then showed off some of the crap he'd had Council staff collect from various county departments. It was pretty nauseating.
Mel's point was, what's the big deal when everybody else is doing it? My point is this: the Council controls the money, so perhaps instead of contemplating raising property taxes on the elderly and Hawaiian homesteaders, they could cut costs by eliminating this kind of junk, none of which is needed, and much of which will end up in the landfill.
Maybe that message would be made more clear if we all showed up during budget hearings clutching POHAKU rally fans in our little fists.