Friday, October 15, 2010

Musings: Don't Ask

It started out as a gray kind of morning, but that state of affairs didn’t last long. As soon as the sun began cresting the horizon, the world turned lavender and then the eastern sky blazed in a fiery red-orange that cast everything — the jagged green ridges of Makaleha, the moist air, the pastures — in an ethereal rosy glow.

The Garden Island today has a story about the not so rosy statistic that a quarter of all Kauai real property transactions over the last 20 months are distress sales. Auwe, I thought. Must be some local families hurting.

But the reporter instead relayed the sob story of a couple whose plans to retire here on the income from their Haena vacation rentals — a place that was never even supposed to have such uses — went awry when tourism tanked. So in the end, they had to cut the price of their overbuilt Kalaheo “dream house” from $2.2 million to $750,000 to dump it in a short sale. Now they've moved on to Oregon.

Oh, poor tings, dem. I know the writer is new to Kauai, but really, can she be so clueless as to feature a couple whose situation elicits so little sympathy? One can only hope that more of the `aina exploiters and speculators are taking it in the shorts.

Curiously, the paper did not report the full story behind Councilwoman Lani Kawahara’s harassment claim today, as promised. However, I provided an update to yesterday’s post that gave the details of the July 2009 episode that prompted her to call the cops on Council Chair Kaipo Asing for a gesture he allegedly made that could be interpreted in many different ways.

Moving on to the issue of true harassment, it’s really hard to see how the Obama Administration can justify its plans to appeal the ruling that put an end to the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” That is, until you read the comments by Defense Secretary Robert Gates that make it clear the Pentagon still hasn’t gotten the message that homosexuals have the same Constitutional rights as heterosexuals:

Gates said the Pentagon needs until Dec. 1 to resolve questions such as whether heterosexual troops would be required to share housing with gays and whether the military would be required to provide benefits for same-sex partners of service members.

Huh? The answer to both is, of course!

Continuing on the topic of just how screwed up the military is, reported that Martin Seligman, the same psychologist who helped develop torture techniques, just got a $31 million no-bid contract to teach soldiers how to better cope with the psychological strain of multiple combat tours.

Seligman is most famous for his work in the 1960s in which he was able to psychologically destroy caged dogs by subjecting them to repeated electric shocks with no hope of escape. The dogs broke down completely and ultimately would not attempt to escape through an open cage door when given the opportunity to avoid more pain. Seligman called the phenomenon "learned helplessness."

Government documents say that the goal of Bush-era torture was to drive prisoners into the same psychologically devastated state through abuse. "The express goal of the CIA interrogation program was to induce a state of 'learned helplessness,'" according to a July 2009 report by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Gee, what a guy. Psychologically destroying caged dogs to figure out how to do the same for caged humans. And those are the kind of fucked up people getting ahead in the fucked up world of DOD. Kinda makes ya wonder how they all sleep at night.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of psychos, like Seligman and the folks who came up with the idea of using toxic, radioactive depleted uranium in weapons and tank armoring, a recent article and radio program delve into new research that shows DU can travel up the nerves in the nose right into the soldiers’ brains:

There is no cure and no treatment. The VA knows it and is stonewalling. They fired the only doc who stood up to them on DU. Word travels fast among the cowed medical staffs. So, the Vets get slapped with some fake diagnosis and sent to the shrink or told there is nothing wrong with them.

Major Doug Rokke, Ph.D, Ret., former Director of the Pentagon’s Depleted Uranium Project, puts it succinctly “It [DU] is killing our own troops.”

But hey, don’t ask. Cuz even if you do, they ain’t gonna tell.

Which brings us, finally, to a story in Navy News about how the feds bought the two Superferries real cheap. It states, emphasis added:

The ships are the largest commercial vessels built by Austal USA which is one of two competitors bidding for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program. Austal USA already is building as many as 10 Fortitude-class Joint High Speed Vessels, which are similar to the Superferries, for the Army and Navy.

Meanwhile, Austal USA’s JHSV program got a boost Oct. 12, when the Navy announced a total of $204.6 million in construction orders for the fourth and fifth ships. The yet-to-be-named JHSV 4 will be built for the Navy, while JHSV 5 is intended for Army use. Both ships should be delivered by the end of 2013.

Gee, I remember how I asked the Superferry folks if the big boats were prototypes for military craft and they chuckled and said that was so far-fetched, ha ha, hee hee, guffaw, chortle.

So really, when it comes to military stuffs, don't bother to ask. Cuz even if you do, they'll lie.


Anonymous said...

Hope the details of Kaipo's contempt and disrespect of other elected officials does get out. The old bastard does not deserve re-election. The voters of Kaua'i have given an indication that they recognize we need follow-through.

sarcasm detector said...

Moving on to the issue of true harassment???

Wow. snar-ky! I don't know if you realize how blatant your personal swipes at people you you obvious don't like are.

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! Joan, you are so right on! Keep up the great work. Your writing is informative, entertaining, and the suject matter can be shocking at times. You tell it like it is. Mahalo!

Anonymous said...

i as a woman, feel like throwing up after reading you...
i wish all these writers that approved the disgusting behavior of a male councilperson against the only
female councilwoman took the time to pay attention
and put themselves in a woman's position in this
male dominated world.
So, from their words, it looks like they would do
the same if the situation appeared... shame on you all.
Enough is enough... in which century are we living?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who suggested that the Superferry was a military rototpe was ridiculed as a lefty conspiracy theorist.

Funny it turns out to be true. It certainly does give some insight as to how the war machine operates. Lingle got duped easier than a bunch of surfers and hippes.

Anonymous said...

"i wish all these writers that approved the disgusting behavior of a male councilperson against the only female councilwoman took the time to pay attention and put themselves in a woman's position in this male dominated world."

No doubt Kaipo behaved badly but why make it into a man against woman thing? He was mean to Tim too. Btw, I am a woman.

Anonymous said...

sexual harassment stopped being a big deal among lefty women when Bill Clinton copped to getting a bj from an intern.

Anonymous said...

"sexual harassment stopped being a big deal among lefty women when Bill Clinton copped to getting a bj from an intern."

you wouldn't happen to be a 'righty man'?

Anonymous said...

backwards on the Superferry.

Austal had already built/leased a similar ship to the military constructed in Australia.

For this particular paranoid fantasy to be true, you have to believe there was a need for the military under Bush/Cheney and after 9/11 needed cover to build a troop/materials ship. How silly. They got anything they wanted to the tune of $5 trillion+.

These ships were pork for Trent Lott's home town shipyard for the most part.

Anonymous said...

PS -- the feds didn't buy the ferries cheap. They merely bid as the holders of the notes ($140 million loan). They could have bid up to $140 million without it costing one dime over the existing loan value.

Horrific waste of money to build these ships, but nothing was "sold" cheap.

Anonymous said...

"the feds didn't buy the ferries cheap"

Actual $210,000,000 and they didn't buy it - they LOANED the money to a private company. OMB data source

-Homer says duh.

Anonymous said...

I wish Lani had the backbone to deal with the bullies w/out falling a part. Kaipo was condescending but I happen to think Daryl was worse. There were many times that her questioning/commenting at council meetings were more like babbling and she couldn't articulate her point clearly. It was sometimes painful to watch. Not holding it together no matter how hard set her up for more patronizing treatment.

Timmy boy is playing on people's sympathy for Lani to boost his chances at the polls. Too bad she aligned herself with him.

Anonymous said...

So , Since Kaipo treats Tim and Lani the same way, we can deduce
1. Tim is a girl?
@.being female has nothing to do with anything

Anonymous said...

JoAnn did fine, Shayleen did fine... stop using the hurt female card

Anonymous said...

Core beliefs come out when the temperature rises. No respect for women on the county council!

These men are an example to children..i.e. role models? Duh?!

Women should be seen but not heard, horses whipped when they no go, and dogs chained to cry lonely in the night. It runs deep in the culture of the good ole boys.

Lucky we live Kauai?
Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

there are no legal condos in Haena except the Hanalei Colony Resort, he has been engaging in multi family TVR rentals, an illegality on the NS. He advertises sleeps 14 on a badly eroding location . The county permitted him about liabilities

Anonymous said...

Ehhhh! Wrong Senator, wrong state.

Anon: "These ships were pork for Trent Lott's home town shipyard for the most part."

Trent Lott is not Alabama's Senator.

I love it when people try to talk about the Superferry and invariably say something wrong.

Anonymous said...

Austal's shipyard is in Mobile AL -- True.

Trent Lott's home town is Pascagoula MS which is just over the line. Half the people that work in Pascagoula at the refinery and Ingalls shipyard live in Mobile.

While you are technically correct, you are dead wrong in the real world.