Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Musings: Upside Down

As always, nature restores when humanity disappoints.

Up and out as the sun peeks over the soft, blue curve of the New Mexico mountains, desert lavender in the distance, golden rays lighting up the coppery leaves of cottonwood trees. Infused with joy, and beauty, I forget, for a moment, that Trump was elected president.

Until a murder of jet black crows joins me in walking through the silvery-white sparkle of the season's first frost, and in unison, they scream. Chicken skin.

Back at the house, eyes burning from too little sleep, too much time staring at a screen filled with disturbing news and equally troubling responses — “Mr. President, string up the elitists, and Obama, from the Twin Towers memorial!” — I fill my biggest mug with coffee.

“The world just turned upside down,” a Kauai friend texted me late last night.

Yes. And now we'll watch all the unforeseen — and foreseen — consequences rain down like change falling from the pockets of those riding the Tilt-a-Wheel.

A 1987 song, with its eerily prescient/perennially relevant lyrics, keeps playing through my mind:
How many times have we been in this place, watching the unfolding of choices that stem from disaffection, alienation, intolerance, fear?

A Facebook friend, and Trump supporter, had posted, hours earlier:

The liberal media just can't admit that Trump's message resonated with the voters.

It's not that, so much, as the difficulty of comprehending that a mad man's message of racism, sexism and denialism resonated with so many.

But then, I've never been good at taking the public pulse, being far too inclined to optimism, to believing in the best of human nature, even when repeatedly confronted with the worst.

So the die is cast. And all we can do is wait, and watch, to see how it all unfolds. Still, it's hard to be hopeful. When you start with junk ingredients, you can't expect a tasty result.

My Facebook feed, populated primarily with people I do not actually know, offered some interesting insights into the public psyche.

There were the dreamers: “We must restore our nation now!” As in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Uh, good luck with that.

There were the idiots: “Bernie would've kicked his ass.” Ya, an old white guy is always the solution. Like a nation that embraced Trump would have accepted a socialist, if only they'd been given the chance.

There were those who, blessedly, elicited laughter: “For all of you intending to move to Canada this evening, my phone lines are overwhelmed at this time. However, I'll be listing your property in a timely manner. Your patience is appreciated.”

And: “Btw, (in closing) just remember: none of us is panicking as bad as trump is right now.”

And: “Did somebody slip me acid?”

And: "Hey trump: wanna hire me? I'm a white male. And now I'm angry."

There were the laments of the once smug “Hillary's not good enough for me” crowd: “Let's be honest, tonight we have seen solid proof of the racism, sexism and xenophobia that so many of us have been privileged enough to live blindly to – at a scale one can no longer deny.” Oh, so now you finally get it.

There was the utter dispair: “I want to die right now.”

There were the gloaters: "The prols have said FUck the system." And themselves, while they're at it.

There was the overseas view: “Brexit 2.0.”

And from the state elections office, there was this glimmer of good news:
YES!!!! Hooser is finally OUT! Hallelujah! And don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Though I haven't supported her for years, I'm actually glad that JoAnn's long political career didn't end in defeat. Now she can serve out her final term and move on. I am sorry that KipuKai lost to Mason, but apparently some folks still believe Mason deserves (yet another) chance. Redemption, anyone?

Unfortunately, Maui didn't learn from Kauai's mistakes. The dolts there elected Hawaii Center for Food Safety puppets Alika Atay, Kelly King, Elle Cochran and Don Guzman to their County Council. It wasn't a full CFS sweep, but they've got enough antis on board to muck things up for a while.

The Big Island, too, elected another anti-GMO zealot — Eileen Ohara.

And so the Medusa of fear, denialism, deliberate misinformation, wishful thinking and intolerance continues to rear its ugly head in the deep blue Aloha State. These dynamics know no political boundaries.

In closing, I'll leave you with the words of a friend who, though sick at heart, found inspiration to go on. Because what else, really, can you do?

Today, let’s rededicate ourselves to kindness, to generosity, to difference, to complexity, to respect, and to reason. We rededicate ourselves to hard work, to vision, and most of all, to love.

Or something like that.


Anonymous said...

I am not happy Trump won, but I am not all melodramatic about it. If Hilary or Trump or green Martian won, we are all old enough to know that it does not change that much. Change will come, yes, but not much.

Head down keep on grinding.

Everyone needs to stop being so melodramatic.

My two cents

Anonymous said...

If you think Trump winning is bad, just wait until you look at all you lost with Obama...

Anonymous said...

To 6:37 AM:

Ask our soldiers in war zones if they think anything has changed. You best open your wasn't a dream.

Anonymous said...

Trump voters are going to find out what Trump University students already know.

Anonymous said...

Fire Ant lover Alika Atay. The dumbing down of Maui in full force.

Thanks, Center for Food Safety.

Anonymous said...

As social media buzzes with the news that Donald Trump will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years, Canadians have had an uncharacteristically abrupt reaction to the crashing of their country’s immigration website.

Canadians responded online to the website’s crash by announcing plans to build their own wall to block unwanted immigrants – “and guess who’ll be paying for it.”

Anonymous said...

At least Trump can't claim a mandate since Clinton won the popular vote.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Gary can move to Maui and try his luck there.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't so much that Trump won, as a mandate that most hard working Americans and small business owners are sick and tired of over reaching Government rules.
Hopefully Kauai will learn a little. Our Mayor, Council and agencies insidiously make more rules that intrude on every citizen. Every day.
Take our County back. Make Kauai great again.
Hooser is out. So what. Our Council follows the Departments as they squander tax money with little oversight.
County officials and Department big wigs are the true elites on this island.
Try getting a water meter? Try getting Planning to sign off on anything?
Roads in disrepair. No housing, no leadership.....a bunch of guys spending 200 million per year with out one thought of what is good for the citizens.
Name one ideal any "Leader" has put forth.
No ideals, no goals...just the sameo sameo "tax and spend"
At least the tire dealers are happy.
And the expensive bikepaths remain empty as the cars back up from Lihue to Kealia- Lihue to Omao and not a road improvement or expansion in sight.
2 million bucks turns into 15 million to beautify Lihue.....a town that the Rice Street property owners haven't spent a cent on maintenance or upkeep and now our County gifts these wealthy owners with a free tax-payer funded property value increase.
Good that we Trump. The communists Hirano and Schatz had better start begging.....Hawaii will see no more of the Inouye's fine Legacy of big Fed Bucks.
But still remember Hooser can land multi jobs with a myriad of Mainland anti groups. Then he will be at home in the warm armchairs of the elite as they plan their next attack on Kauai Ag from their Ocean front Ag estates behind strong gates.
It is never over.
“Rise and rise again until lambs become lions”
― Robin Hood

Anonymous said...

Joan "So the die is cast. And all we can do is wait, and watch, to see how it all unfolds."

Typical attitude of a professional spectator. We can do a lot more than that!

Joan Conrow said...

@8:20 am

It's always a challenge to write for those who take everything absolutely literally.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Clinton's coalition is just that- a grab bag of disparate interests.Trump unearthed a truly scary undercurrent of solidified disaffection that toppled the vaunted Blue Wall in the Midwest. Now Trump and the Republican House and Senate are riding that tiger, and good luck to them and us. They better deliver something besides the conservative constipation they forced on Obama to make "America Great"- all the time remembering half the electorate did not sign on to that crock.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the point of the electorate: Hillary was, is and always will be unwelcome in the WH. Yes, Trump has his die-hard zealot supporters but the voters spoke LOUDLY stating that the status quo and more of it is unacceptable. Talk about old white men angry white men all you want but you're sorely missing the point and exposing your naivety by doing so.

Anonymous said...

Technically I voted for Trump but my intent was to vote against Clinton.

John Kauai said...

I was relieved Clinton lost -- Crushed that Trump won.

Joan Conrow said...

And therein lies the indigestion of this election: two unpalatable picks.

Anonymous said...

Joan, please get out of the group thinking drama wagon and think critically about what happened last night. You are above that.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan all voted for Obama two times. Did they suddenly become racist, mysogenistic, foreign hating, meanies over the last 4 years? Most of the people I know who voted for Trump weren't white, and half were women.

They weren't necessarily voting for Trump. They were voting against the crime ridden establishment that destroyed their lives and then called them deplorable for having the audacity to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, it is time the council can take one thing on hand. The county could withdraw its support of the 2491 appeal now sitting in the Federal Ninth Court of Appeals. Think that majority of the public now think that it did not stand on solid ground and have spoken by the removal of the co-author of the measure. Unlike before when 2491 was passed, there are responsible councilmembers in majority who can now do this action.

Joan Conrow said...

I totally understand that, 11:02.

What I don't understand is how they possibly could think Trump isn't part and parcel of "the crime ridden establishment that destroyed their lives and then called them deplorable for having the audacity to disagree."

It's just more snookering.

Anonymous said...

"It's just more snookering. "

There was only two horrible options.
Clinton was the crime ridden establishment and Trump has never served office.

People took a chance on the unknown rather than be stuck with what they already knew.

John Kauai said...

Re: 11:02

Or, perhaps they have always been racist, mysogenistic, foreign hating, meanies so it wasn't a problem voting for Trump.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a bit of spin- "but the voters spoke LOUDLY". Slightly less than half voted for Trump, and while they certainly were loud, incivil and threatening, there is an equal number of voters opposed; but geographical distribution and the Electoral College that took care of the work. Always be wary of someone who asserts things like "the people have spoken" since it usually greatly overstates reality. This campaign will deservedly go down as representative of the worst destructive excesses against the commonweal of the last 100 years. And I'd have to say that the House and Senate to which we can add the presidency are mostly a collection of old angry white men from whom little good can be expected as demonstrated by the last eight years. But as Joan observed, the sun will nevertheless rise, and I'm sure the pollsters will give you odds on it.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and i'll say it again.

The only people wins in any elections are the advertising companies (printers, newspaper, radio) / caterer's. Here on Kauai $377,860.97 was spent on this elections (as reported only on Joan's blog). That's a lot of money.

Nationally! WOW!!!

And now, we go. BACK TO WORK! You all should know what I mean. at least for the next 2 / 4 years.

Ms. Joan, don't stop watching / reporting on those anti / hypocrites until they are out of Hawaii.

Hump day, feels sooooooo "hapa" gone haole GOOD!

Anonymous said...

No matter how you might have voted yesterday we should all recognize that we have a common enemy - corrupt corporate elites who don't give a damn about working people in the US or around the world. This election is a call for everyone to get engaged in order to take our nation back from those on Wall Street who only live for their own power and enrichment.

Anonymous said...

Curious about OHara. Is there evidence that she is an anti-GMO zealot? Can you point to any statements? I watched her in the debates on Big Island Video News, and I don't recall her making that type of statement. But that is only one venue, so there might be evidence out there.

Anonymous said...

Ding dong the dick is dead! The shitty tricky Gary dick is dead (politically)!!!

Anonymous said...

"...those on Wall Street who only live for their own power and enrichment."

It's not limited to corporations or businesses. You can say that about A LOT of individuals even here in this island. Generalizing about any one group only reveals the author's bias and ignorance.

I wonder if Hillary really wanted to be close to all those "deplorables"? "Unify?" I think not. The thing about Hillary is that she actually dislikes everyone but herself. Ask her Secret Service team. She'd yell at them when they tried to say Good Morning to her. What a shit!

Anonymous said...

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." Henry Louis Mencken, Baltimore Sun July 26, 1920. Mencken was a cynic, but a forthright one.

Anonymous said...

Kiss freedom goodbye.

Anonymous said...

There's hope! Washington DC approved recreational marijuana!

Anonymous said...

"Change", a lot of people dislike this word. They do not like to "change" and get out of their comfort zone. Things will definitely "change". Accept it and adapt to it. Human Beings are the only warm blooded creatures that can "change" their environment.

Anonymous said...

People are all for change, its just changing themselves that they cant handle.

Anonymous said...

How did it go so wrong? I had to think about it for a while and came to the conclusion that the pollsters wasn't getting truthful responses from people. They were ashamed, afraid and confused at Trump's attitude, abrasiveness and holier than thou stance, but underlining it all was the message of change and make America great again. That is what people want and held on to and that is why he got the vote. But we all know it's political rhetoric. He has no business being President. He will be eaten alive as an inexperienced political baby. He knows no compromise, he's at odds with his own Republican Party and will have a tough time as his Republican legislature will take the edge off of all his proposals. But hey the Republicans have control so we will see what happens. It will be unlike Obama who did not have a friendly legislature working for him. In any case we should see a lot of turmoil. He may be the first President in recent history who will only go one term. But I've been wrong before. America has to get strong again, the whole world and odds are against us.

Anonymous said...

Trump laid out his plan. Deregulate, oppose global warming initiatives, unravel healthcare for the poor, block immigration of refugees, build a wall with Mexico.

Let me rephrase that: Make "Corporate" America great again. "Let the middle class pay for it, never mind I said I was going to reduce their taxes". Us rich guys will get richer! I'm sorry you are poor, that's your fault. Crotch grabbing is now legal.

Anonymous said...

Here's the basis of the Trump tax plan:

o Reduce taxes across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction.
o Ensure the rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability to compete.
o Eliminate special interest loopholes, make our business tax rate more competitive to keep jobs in America, create new opportunities and revitalize our economy.
o Reduce the cost of childcare by allowing families to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxes, including stay-at-home parents.

John Kauai said...


After reading your "Trump tax plan" after just the first outline point, I gotta tell you, I haven't laughed so hard on weeks.

If we were in the same room I would feel obligated to apologize to you for being so rude. But here, you remain anonymous and unwilling to even declare a screen name. (FWIW: I'm pretty sure that it has been proven that I am hardly as "anonymous" as these other posts.)

Anyway, I'm really curious what your definition of a "massive tax cut" is. And what is your definition of "middle class".

Trump hasn't paid taxes since his Atlantic City Casinos went bankrupt. That was over 20 years ago. So the "fair share" for the rich is "NOTHING"? Is that your point?

Do you seriously think that Trump (or any Republican or "corporate Democrat") is going to "eliminate" the oil depletion allowance? LMAO!

As to your last point about child care, have you ever heard of "Earned Income Credit"? You might want to check it out. And you need to understand what a tax credit is. I received a "huge" tax credit when I installed Solar on my home. Guess what, my tax bill hasn't been high enough to use that tax credit! At the rate I've been using it, I'll be about 150 years old before it is finally gone. Of course, Trump is making noises about eliminating such credits so believe me, I won't hold my breath.

You have swallowed the Trump lies.

Now, PLEASE don't think that I'm in any way trying to say Clinton was better. She lies about "other stuff".

I apologize if you think I was laughing at you. OK, I guess I was, I am very sorry for that. You and I, I believe, have much more in common than we realize. We are being screwed by the political elite (I can't list all the "elites" I can think of here and the more appropriate term should be "scam artists" or "fraudsters" or "charlatans")

Here's the bottom line. You are being scammed. Just as those who drank the Clinton Kool-ade were being scammed.

Now, truly, how can you and I, who appear to be on totally opposite sides, come to an agreement (any agreement) on something that will help us both?

Anonymous said...

Obama had a totally Democratic legislature working for him. That resulted in Obamacare and the destruction of small business hiring everywhere. Our premiums went from $270/month to $720 under Obama. In one year. HMSA
It was that that caused the rejections of Americans to vote for the halfwit.
And I am glad we do not have the most politically corrupt family in America in the WH.

Anonymous said...

Trump's got a plan to make us competitive with China. Who needs environmental, labor, product safety, financial or any kind of regulation? Put the kids to work making sneakers and iphones. Why waste productive years on an education?

Anonymous said...

Hell, I 'member when they warn't no racism in this country. Ever'one knew their place. That's all our new preseedent is gonna do! Make 'merica great again! Yee haa! Oh, by the way, you hapa kids, if yer confused about yer ethnicity, you just ask the folks that endorsed Mr. Trump this election. They'll set you straight.

Anonymous said...

Here's how Trump voters rationalized their choice: We've had vulgar racists and sexists in office before, he's just open about it. He'll be a riot on the diplomatic circuit. All class, baby.

Anonymous said...

F_ck Trump.

Anonymous said...

Joan--I found this article interesting with several parallels to the "anti-movement."

From the article: "There is no middle ground anymore. Extremist “social justice” activists, whatever you call them, have picked up the “with us or against us” mantra, and there is no place for the moderates. They cry wolf and then are surprised when nobody takes them seriously. The people who dare to offend someone else, even accidentally, are called out, and then those defend them, or fail to also shun them, are also called out.

The space of acceptability becomes smaller and smaller, an exclusive elite club, and crucifixions feel better than actually trying to make some kind of peaceful workable solution for people to agree to disagree."

Kiss Freedom Goodbye said...

Mile Pence - cretin VP - wanted to force women who have miscarriage by law to hold a 'funeral'. This when he was Indiana governor. Look it up. JFC if Trump quits, dies or is impeached for his ties to Putin. Mike Pence. Why does he hate freedom and hate America?

Anonymous said...

I am watching the Arlington wreath laying as I write this. A Vietnam veteran, I can hardly keep from puking at the thought that Donald "5 Deferments and Heel Spurs" Trump will be laying that wreath in our name next year. He hasn't a single virtue demanded of our troops.

Anonymous said...


You helped us get rid of Hooser------and thanks for your importaint role in that-----Got to admit you were impressively ruthless!

Now you just sound like every other self importaint (although very pretty)commie wannabe talkin forked tounged old white-man!

Thanks for being our Rook in this chess game. Bishop would be more accurate I suppose. With respect I will say that you are a player not a Pawn!

Now the problem is that Gary has time and influence and will be a silent player in this one party state. And as much as I dislike the guy, he will maneuver like a Queen behind closed doors, eating Pawns,Rooks and Bishops for breakfast! So your blog should be fun for many more years.

Anonymous said...

Correction, John Zwieble far outranks Joan as far as "forked tounged old commie white guys go.

Anonymous said...

6:52 Yeah, because only commies would oppose Trump. You're an idiot.

Joan Conrow said...

To 6:52 Your comment brought to mind one my favorite songs by Poe:

Don't you mess with a little girl's dream
'Cause she's liable to grow up mean

Surprised you to find that I'm laughing?
You thought that you'd find me in tears
You thought I'd be crawling the walls
Like a tiny mosquito and trembling in fear

Well you may be king for the moment
But I am a queen understand
And I've got your pawns and your bishops
And castles
All inside the palm of my hand

Anonymous said...

It wasn't one man's plan. Look who profited and who still profits till this day. Drug and insurance companies are the culprits. The same way the new min wage is going to create automation. It's all about profits and corporate Americas greed.

Anonymous said...

The thought occurs to me, with California counting 4 million absentee ballots 2/3 of which are likely Clinton votes, the Clinton share of the popular vote will widen markedly. That said, with protests mounting, Wikileaks may not be the gift that stops giving. If they can hack the DNC, they can probably hack the RNC, and a Trump dump may prove even more destabilizing given Trump's unpopularity and the ugliness during the campaign, unless of course, Trump's bromance buddy Putin shuts Wikileaks down. Ain't conspiracy theory wunnerful? Let's take up a collection to send Trump a sign to hang over the door of his Cabinet Room- "Welcome to Our Swamp".

Anonymous said...

Wait a second!! Robots are just what we want!! Remember the liberal vision of the future nirvana where robots do ALL the work so humans can sit around on the government dole doing nothing and being stoned all the time.

Anonymous said...

11:52. You just wasted four exclamation points on that load of codswallop. You sound like a halfwit Hannity if something like that doesn't do serious violence to Darwinism.

Anonymous said...

i like Mason and am glad he made it----can you explain why he isn't good for Kauai (to be on the council). Mahalo---you might be a wake up call. By the way, don't tell me that he beckoned to Mr. Hooser, that is old stuff.

Kiss Freedom Goodbye said...

They say Arlington is running out of space.

Perhaps Trump will solve this problem by disinterring the "loser" (his words paraphrased, not mine) POWs who "got caught" that are buried there.

How Trump got away with these outrageous statements during the campaign is unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Mason supported Bill 2491 and ignored a detailed County Attorney opinion advising the Council to kill the Bill because it would be ruled invalid. 3 of them have been voted off, there's 2 more to go.

Anonymous said...

Chock doesn't keep his word when it suits him. He can be sneaky.

Anonymous said...

Just cuz of 2491?
For me, he is inclusive and attempts to bring people together, with calm and integrity.

Anonymous said...

An ugly woman, inside and out, lost Nov. 8. Ugly women everywhere lost. Dont examine the rampant criminality of your ideology, dont blame the patriarchy, dont look into the mirror psychologically (or physically for that matter - dont want to break another one!). Just keep believing the lies, hating the very foundations of western civilization that you have no grasp of. Keep collecting worthless degrees from intellectually and morally bankrupt colleges so you can "liberate" yourself into living in a studio apartment the rest of your sad, pathetic lives with a bunch of cats (and that SMELL) - and thats if youre lucky and dont end up a crazy homeless hag!

Joan Conrow said...

@7:18 Thank you for reminding us that misogyny is alive and well and very, very ugly in the truest sense of the word.