It's even harder to buy the claim that allowing same-sex marriage will expose public school students to graphic depictions of homosexual sexual practices. Mmmm, they aren't being exposed to graphic depictions of heterosexual sexual practices, are they?
And it's really hard to see how state Sen. Ron Kouchi, elected to represent the entire island of Kauai, can justify his opposition to same-sex marriage by saying he's "invoking my constitutional rights to express my freedom of religion."
Yes, Ron has the right to express his religious freedom in terms of where he chooses to worship on his down time. But when he's in the Legislature, he needs to set his religious beliefs aside and consider the interests of all Kauai, not just the beliefs and doctrine of his church. Because last time I looked, the Lege was a secular body.
Legislators also will be considering a number of Gov. Abercrombie's proposed appointees, including developer Shawn Smith as the Kauai representative to a term on the Board of Land and Natural Resources that runs through 2016.
As I've previously reported, Shawn is part of Kahuaina Plantation, the uber upscale gentleman's estates at Waipake being passed off as an “agricultural subdivision.” And we're supposed to believe he'll be a conscientious caretaker of the state's natural resources?
Abercrombie is also asking the Lege to approve Genevieve Salmonson as director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control. Gary Hooser held the post prior to his election to the Kauai County Council. As The Hawaii Independent reports:
Salmonson previously held this position under the Lingle administration, during which time she controversially agreed that the Superferry project was exempt from having to provide the State with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), leading to a long and bitter fight between the State and environmental groups that eventually ended in 2009 when the Supreme Court ruled that the law allowing the Superferry to operate without an EIS was unconstitutional.
In other news, for the first time ever a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. A Gallup poll shows 58 percent support — up 10 points in just the last year and a whopping 46 points since 1969. Americans 65 and older are the only age group that still opposes legalizing marijuana, while 67% of Americans aged 18 to 29 back legalization.
We need to seriously consider legalization and decriminalization because let's face it: the war on drugs has utterly failed. Or as Esquire reports:
Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they're also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
Both the legal and illegal alteration of consciousness is at an all-time high.
In 2010 the CDC found that 48 percent of Americans used prescription drugs, 31 percent were taking two or more, and 11 percent were taking five or more. Two of the most common prescription drugs were stimulants, for adolescents, and anti-depressants, for middle-aged Americans.
And finally, I urge anyone who loves the ocean and cares about the planet to read “the ocean is broken,” a haunting article in the Newcastle Herald. A friend described it as an “astonishingly captivating piece” recounting the shocking change in ocean conditions that Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen encountered while recently sailing the same same course from Melbourne to Osaka that he'd taken 10 years earlier:
It was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it.
No fish. No birds. Hardly a sign of life at all.
Spooky, scary and sad.