Saturday, October 28, 2017

FAHK DA DADGAHS

After the October 1954 New York Giants World Series victory ,drilling on the proper playground fan etiquette for the winners began in earnest- especially for we two-year-olds. The assumption was that this of course would be a yearly occurrence.

Schooling came from my best friend Barry Dubin's much older four-year-old brother who sat on the side of the bed deeply crowing "Fahk da dahgahs." in his four-year-old basso-profundo which rattled the walls and scared the neighbors as I remember it.


Barry and I, while Jew and a Gentile, seated on the floor at his feet, were united in squeaking out our response- "Fahk da dahgahs"


Each of Barry's brother's "Fahk da dahgahs" brought a "Fahk da dahgahs" from the peanut gallery.
"Fahk da dahgahs." begat "Fahk da dahgahs." begat "Fahk da dahgahs." beget "Fahk da dahgahs."... back and forth, call and response until we were fully indoctrinated life-long Giants fans.


Raspy throats took occasioanl breaks for some girl scout cookies and milk and, all right in the Giants' world, we proudly carried on the black and orange on high, high, high, high...


Over and over, all night, the cadence shook the plastered walls of the lower east side of Manhattan apartment, our colors matching those of our borough. The Trolley Dahgahs meanwhile were denizens of some other crazy hell hole called, among all things, Brooklyn, where they'd sell your liver for the price of an egg cream, where they played Ring-A-Leav-i-o instead of Johnny-On-The-Pony... oh the incivility of it all. I knew this because Donny Jackson, who would go on to Columbia University Quarterback Ignominy had visited his grandma in Brooklyn for three weeks that very summer and saw it all.


Who's a thunk it but the my Giants didn't win the World Series again until 2010, years after they had moved away to San Francisco. And the Dahgahs, now in LA, haven't won since 1988.


So once more for old time sake: Fahk Da Dahgahs Fahk Da Dahgahs Fahk Da Dahgahs Fahk Da Dahgahs... eternally....

Friday, October 27, 2017

Keeping Up With The Kealohas


Yes it's local TV's Latest Hit Show HNN's "Keeping Up With The Kealohas." Last night's special featured a blast of foul smelling stinkerino from the past in the name of Jake Delaplane. For newbies or those with short memories he was disgraced former Kaua`i Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri's second-alcoholic-and-respondent-in-command who is now apparently, they say, representing a couple of the "co-conspirators" in HPD's spin-off "Pimp My Mail Box."
Does sleaze know no bottom rung? We'll see.
But do read up on Jake's involvement in the Kaua`i "Rice-Cooker-Gate" in a few investigative pieces I penned in 2012 and thereabouts... and look for Judge Watenabe's from-the-bench chiding of self same Delaplane.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A HITLER MOMENT



Last November after the 2016 election many questioned those of us who drew the obvious parallels between the rise of Trumpism in America to that of Naziism in Hitler's Germany in 1933.

After hearing Trump double-down on white supremacy today as the guiding policy lynchpin he established Saturday, it's time to abandon this aversion to Godwin's law and dare to routinely refer to Hitler and Nazi Germany in rhetorical argument when it's appropriate.

It seems to be some kind of "exception that proves the rule" allowing for one bizarre corner of dialectic where ignorance of history doesn't doom one to repeat it.


Act as if Hitler and the Nazis never happened and they'll never happen again? No- it's time to treat events like they actually happened and stop whistling in the genocidal graveyard.

Let's remember that it was less than 100 years ago that privileged European white supremacists elected and politically nurtured a man and government that used xenophobia and general fear and hate-mongering to perpetrate the mass murder of millions while the rest stood back and remained silent because they benefited from that privilege.

It's time to reopen the dialogue and examine the relationship between our current political milieu and what happened less than 85 years ago.


Hint: As much as we'd like to think it's a whole new world, nothing has changed. The maxim about turning our heads in horror and simply going about our business causing us to be doomed to repeat that horror applies in all cases, not just the ones we choose to acknowledge.

Monday, January 2, 2017

SOOOOLD, AMERICAN


"Since minimum wage is so low I think I'll hire more people than I absolutely need to run my business," said NO BUSINESS OWNER EVER.

Yet the predicable crocodile tears shed by employers large and small over the $15/hr minimum wage State Senator Josh Green will introduce during the upcoming Hawai`i legislative session are already flooding over the rail at the Capitol.

The truth is that all business owners hire not one more nor one less worker than they need, because, as you can hear even the most curmudgeonly sarcastic among them routinely remind their workers, "I ain't runnin' no charity here, ya know."

So where is this magical world they seem to be living in, where a hike to the minimum wage – or even a living remuneration – will cause them to lay off some of their staff? Probably shouting from the same post-truth delusional universe where they alone are the "job creators" who "pay way too much in taxes" because "I built this business without any government help," while standing on a public sidewalk beside a public highway, all of which were built with taxpayers’ money and are patrolled by municipal police and fire departments.
And I guess they must use some kind of barter system or maybe Bit-coin so as not to have to depend on the government to print the money they grub.

The worst ones even have the temerity to complain about "the bums" who sit on the pavement outside their establishments – you know, the ones we, at best, call "homeless" so we don't have to acknowledge that they work full time but, at the current minimum wage level, can't afford both rent and food.

As you might have guessed by now, I don't have much respect for western capitalism, although there's nothing wrong with "cottage industry." The problem comes not when you make and sell those cute little $20 hand-made hats that are oh-so popular and take you an hour to make. Rather, it's when you can't keep up with the demand for them, so you hire staff at $10 an hour to make more hats than you and your family can make, and keep the other $10 a piece so you can live in your penthouse and send your kids to private school while your employees live not just down the street but on the street, and their kids have to drop out of school so maybe all of them together can afford to rent a one-room tenement apartment – that's when we've got a problem.

Sen. Green's bill would make a $15-an-hour minimum the law by 2018 and $22 over time. And, no matter what kind of faulty reasoning – or faulty economic system – the Chamber of Commerce wants to sell you, once you have a taste of it, it's not hard to recognize that it's just another turd sandwich they want you to chew on.

Just don't swallow.

Friday, December 16, 2016

HOW SHOULD I KNOW? JUST MAKE SOMETHING UP.



I've been obsessed with the story of "fake news"- the actual made-up-of-whole-cloth stuff that dominated Facebook and Twitter during this election season.


But perhaps even worse has been the stilted corporate press coverage of this supposed "Russian hacking the elections" story which, while not actually counterfeit has been presented as factual despite the fact that it is almost almost 100% conjecture without any real evidence produced by the so-called US "intelligence community."


I've spent weeks trying to blow a hole in reactions to- to re-coin a term- "faux-info" by, shall we say, the less astute among us who have been insisting that it's the traditional media that's "the real fake news." And that's led to a dispute about the very definition of fake news.


But after watching the morning news I feel like giving up.


First up on CBS' a.m. news today was the pounding of the Russian hacking story with pronouncements of various degrees of evidence-free, speculative certitude. The use of the terms "possible," "maybe," and other such qualifiers is routinely and progressively abandoned by each successive pontificating pundit and definitive statements about what one partisan or another is saying about the matter becoming more important that any actual evidence for it.


The next story was Facebook's promise to rid peoples' "newsfeeds" of "fake" or completely fabricated news while remaining an information distributor instead of a media company (a very important legal distinction) by using some convoluted filter through which other media outlets will tag these kinds of posts without much attention to the issue of what is fake and what is just opinionated or slanted.


"What is reality?" we ask. The question of who can we we trust seems to have become more important that what.


So after varying degrees of fakeness we got to the third story this morning- the cold weather.
Ah... time for some accurate- if useless to us in Hawai`i- non-fake, accuracy.


And there stood the weather guy in front of his map of the continental US with what appeared to be the latest measurable numbers- the temperatures from around the nation. Can't fake that- the mercury (or at least your iPhone) never lies.


But there, on the top of the map, are the words telling us that these are simply "Feels Like" temperatures- not the actual thermometer readings but something someone made up to tell us, as the overly-sensationalized, mainstream media is wont to do, it's worse than it actually is.


Yes- that's right- IT'S THE FAKE WEATHER.


What's next? "This snow is so deep that, even though it's six inches, when you step in it it "feels like" it's a foot deep."


Wait- what? Did I hear right?: "Alien Dolphins Have Taken Over Congress." Film at 10.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

ANOTHER TOUR TO "SECRET (ULUWEHI) FALLS" IN BAD WEATHER REQUIRES AIR RESCUE.




(PNN) -- Kaua`i-- Although a county press release doesn't say which tour company took tourists to Secret Falls in bad weather when rain was apparently so bad that a woman required air rescue.


Last week a woman died and nine others had to be rescued when Kayak Wailua took a tour to the same falls during a flash flood warning prompting owner Peter Fisher to sya that in the future he would not run tours during flash flood watches or warnings.


According to the Kaua`i Fire Department release "(r)escuers were prepared to hike the woman out of the area using a Stokes litter, but requested Air 1 assistance due to the hazardous condition of the trail."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

(PNN) KAYAK WAILUA OWNER FISHER SAYS HE WILL 'CLOSE BARN DOOR'; LOOSE HORSES SAY 'LOL'


[PNN] (Kaua`i) -- Kayak Wailua owner Peter Fisher reportedly says he will no longer conduct kayak tours of Wailua River when a flash flood watch or warning is in effect after a tourist drowned in a flash flood Sunday while taking one of his kayak tours.

A flash flood warning was in effect for all of Kaua`i at the time and had been, on and off, for three days .Fisher has reportedly claimed it was a "calm... sunny day" on Sunday.

Flooding had been occurring on the North and East sides of Kaua`i all weekend.

During a flash flood, flooding happens suddenly and during a "warning" flooding is imminent or currently occurring.

Another of Fisher's customers died in 2010 when one of Fisher's tour guides reportedly told a man it was okay to swing from some long vines "like Tarzan," according to a lawsuit filed in Utah where the tourist was from. He apparently fell and hit his head on a rock and wandered off after first landing on hos mother-in-law and braking her leg His body was found six days later.

Calls for Fisher's arrest and prosecution have permeated social media this week. So far there has been no comment from the Kaua`i PD on possible charges. There have also been numerous, but thus far unverified, claims on social media saying that his employees had told people before the incident that they are pressured never to cancel tours no matter what the weather.