Friday, February 15, 2008

Musings: Put on a Happy Face

I slept in this morning, and aside from a quick walk around the yard for Koko’s sake, barely ventured out into the natural world before doing a quick scan of the cyber world.

Yikes. Makes me want to pull the covers over my head.

For starters, there’s the troubling news that the Army has completed an Environmental Impact Statement that identifies Hawaii as the preferred site to base the Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Of course, both Senators Inouye and Akaka praised the announcement. And of course the Army identified impacts associated with construction and training, but states confidently: “Each of the impacts can be mitigated.”

Tell me, how do you mitigate the impacts of depleted uranium? I’ve been researching this issue and it’s alarming. But I’ll save the gory details for another post, just to give you something to look forward to. Heh

On a brighter note, HB 2076, which requires the state health department to establish air sampling stations to monitor depleted uranium at Makua, Schofield and Pohakuloa, is moving forward and yesterday was sent on to the Finance committee. Kauai Reps. Jimmy Tokioka and Mina Morita voted yes.

Since we’re talking about the Stryker Brigade, might as well mention I also got two emails related to the Superferry. One provides a schedule of upcoming “public information meetings” that run March 11 through the 31 on all the islands, although there’s no mention of why or what for. Hmmm. That's curious.

And if you’re into the rudder thing, you can go to Lee Tepley’s blog and click on Superferry Rudder Problems - New data.

Then there’s the news that the state is proceeding with its plans to auction the Kokee cabins to the highest bidder.

The final master plan for Waimea and Kokee parks is also due to come before the Land Board in a couple months. The draft plan was hotly contested because many residents felt it would both commercialize and change the rural character of these upcountry parks.

It’s still unclear just how many of the public’s concerns are being addressed in the revised plan.

After telling The Garden Island that activists “decided to pick a fight on the [master plan] issue and it actually got ugly,” our land board member, Ron Agor, goes on to say that “I am optimistic that most of Kauai will be satisfied with the final outcome.”

Is he now? So why do I have such an uneasy feeling?

My uneasiness grew after reading Larry Geller’s blog post about a San Francisco Chronicle article that notes “the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and non-citizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of 'an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.'"

Apparently Kellog, Brown and Root — a Halliburton subsidiary — has gotten contracts to build detention camps within the U.S. and “the government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees,” the article reports.

As I’ve noted before in this blog, Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act gives the Prez broad power to invoke martial law.

The Chronicle article notes: “For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to ‘a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.’"

Call me paranoid, but I just don’t see this particular Administration, which has gone to such great lengths to cement its power, gracefully handing over the reins to Obama or Hillary.

Gee, after reading through all that cheery stuff, the pile of work on my desk suddenly seems appealing. Or maybe I’ll take Koko for a walk on the trail. Garans, it’ll put a smile back on my face. You know. No worry, be happy. And all that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

be happy
enjoy happiness w/others
create a world of happiness

mahalo joan for shining some light into the dark. scary things out there some of it close by some it far but still in our world. wouldn't want to go it alone or with out a flash light.

happiness the brightest of lights
share it others