For today, I'd like to direct you to Luke Evslin's wonderful blog, Ka Wae, where he discusses the challenges of fulfilling Gandhi's admonition to “be the change that you wish to see in the world” and gets real about “Off-grid hypocrisy” and “The journey to sustainability. Whatever that means.”
His post does a beautiful job of skewering the sanctimony that so frequently accompanies discussions about sustainability and environmental degradation, as if we aren't all — every single one of us, and don't pretend otherwise — contributing to the decline.
I especially liked this:
As I wait for my coffee to boil, I give one last glance at my completed absentee ballot, and then stuff it in its envelope. Voting for change, but knowing none is possible.
Sorry, folks, but no real change is possible through the ballot box or our perverted, dysfunctional political system, though I don't want to dissuade anyone from voting against Abercrombie and for candidates who have a chance of ousting a few Council incumbents who really should not be returned for yet another term.
What made far more sense to me was a saying I spotted somewhere, and will paraphrase here:
If you want to change the world, find something about yourself that needs fixing and start there.
The world is the sum of its many parts, the product of our imagination. We can change it, but only by changing ourselves, and most especially what we believe and think. Because thoughts become actions, and it all goes from there.
Speaking of dysfunctional political systems, I was finally able to get on the campaign spending website and check out Rep. Jimmy Tokioka's delayed contributions report for the first half of this year. Interestingly, most of his donations came from off-island sources.
His biggest donors were Sen. Ron Kouchi and G.A. Morris Inc., who each gave $2,000. Peter Antonio of Honolulu contributed $1,750, Ironworkers for Better Government gave him $1,200, Hawaii Carpenters Council of Carpenters PAC Fund gave $1,100, Same Time Next Year kicked down $1,000 and DuPont donated $800. Overall, he took in $26,925 cash, with Altria Client Services, Inc. of Richmond, VA, donating $2,000 in the non-monetary category.
And finally, since someone asked, I did a public records request and learned that Councilmen Tim Bynum and Gary Hooser billed the county for $206.20 and $200.20, respectively, for airfare so they could attend the July 26 court hearing on Ordinance 960 in Honolulu.
They were the only Councilmembers to attend, missing part of a Council meeting — including a vote on a bill that Tim introduced — to be there.
What do you think? Should the taxpayers foot the bill for this clearly non-essential travel?