Saturday, May 31, 2008


NO, SEE YOU THROW THE STICK AND I GO GET IT: In 1962 veteran NY Yankees Manager Casey Stengel took over the brand new NY Mets, a collection of washed up old stars and players plucked from the minors.

They were arguably the most awful team in any sport, any time, any where.

Stengel finally threw up his hands and uttered the now famous words “Can’t anyone here play this game?”

Never have those words been more applicable than in the case of Kauai County government.

Today’s regular column from Walter Lewis is a somber, sober, erudite and detailed assessment of our Ethics Board’s inability to do their job or even know what it is. And though Walter meant no humor it had us laughing out loud like one of those Tom Wolfe descriptive passages that, while they contain no real jokes and go on forever, eventually evoke an image that’s side-splitting.

This week in the name of professionalism and community relations the top people in the police department wrote tomes that sounded more like wise guys than wise men. And then we learned that it was part of some plan.

This week we also saw the Council approve a budget including 20 more employees to take care of problems the Council perceives with the administration without any guarantee the positions will be filled. And rather than actually pass laws to require the positions be filled then included money to hire someone to insure they fill the other positions.

This week we saw the Planning Commission zero-in on passing yet another resort and commercial center because they have somehow decided that they have to approve everything before them, not because the County lost a lawsuit but because someone who cannot be identified in the County refused to fight a lawsuit to maintain our right to make traditionally legal local planning decisions. We now apparently have no ability to reject any project even if we want to.

This week we saw a Councilman complaining to the papers that he has to keep secret County Attorneys’ opinions given to him despite his position as “client” – the one who has the privilege in any attorney-client privilege.

This week we saw our electric “co-op”- where members are supposed to vote on the rules- make up a policy in opposition to their bylaws to thwart the community’s vote for directors. .

This week we saw blatant TV electioneering on the taxpayer nickel and no one filing any complaints- because they would have to complain to the dysfunctional ethics board.

We now see that the cream of the crop of candidates to enter the race for council is a perennial candidate who picks up trash along the road, has as his top priority wants to rid the island of mosquitoes and once said he was running so his wife would come back to him. He’s joined by a man of the people- a political bosses’ skein who owns the biggest supermarket chain on the island campaigning as a man of the people... and people expect him to win.

And we've reelected the town idiot Mayor a couple of years ago, because he hadn’t done enough damage yet and his best quality is his lack of involvement in any of this.

And it isn’t just government. We have activists circulating a ballot measure that is guaranteed to monkey wrench the process but doesn’t really even accomplish their own goals- which could have been addressed if they had understood the laws and governance set-up before going to a land-use lawyer in Georgia to draft the petitions and measures for them.

We have citizens spending hours days weeks ad months bitterly criticizing the way the Council acts who have never bothered to attend a Council meeting much less investigate how things got so bad to begin with.

And of course we’ve got the silent majority who see all the above all too clearly, want it to change, but tell themselves and us they would like to go to a government meeting but they’re too busy watching TV and surfing in their off time.

Can’t anyone here play this game? Maybe if it were pinball we’d all see the big “tilt”.

Friday, May 30, 2008


PUREBRED + MUTT=MUTT: Joan Conrow’s entry today certainly tries to shed a different light on the bizarre rants from Police Chief Darryl Perry and Police Commission Chair Tom Iannucci with the jaw dropping news that, according to a very reliable source, Perry didn’t write his own letter and that the letters were intentionally written and submitted to the paper to lift morale and unite the police force against Juan Wilson, whose column spurred the letters to the editor.

And the brainiac behind this politically suicidal “plan” was Deputy Chief Mark Begley who allegedly wrote the letter for the Chief.

The theory goes that it’s so bad internally at KPD that they chose to unify the department through Machiavellian distractions- a virtual bombing the Reichstag.

Joan also notes that her source says that two cops were fired by Perry. We’d sure like to know more about that knowing that if they were indeed terminated that should, by law, be public information upon that termination. And if their offences were serious enough for firing, if they are being prosecuted and if not why not. Is there a cover-up in the Chief’s office too?

She also tells us Perry isn’t thinking about Tasers all day although that may be problematic in and of itself. He still apparently buys the “no one has ever died due to police taser use” corporate line despite hundreds of documented and reported cases (including documentations personally presented to him as we recently reported ) including many occurring because the protocol for use has moved off the original “in lieu of deadly force” to condoning use to restrain combative and even uncooperative individuals..

But the question is whether this is the way to unite the department- around defending the reported abuses of power by ridiculing anyone who wants to point out the emperor has no clothes?

Is this the best they can come up with? Let’s act like a bunch of battling bloods and crips who come together to “take care of” those who question the way we “conduct business”? By aping the adolescent abusive attitude and locker-room bluster and swagger that characterizes “bad cops” virtually telling us that our worst fears are true? By intimating that the cop who does the “toughest job in the world” while maintaining his or her cool and treating even the dregs of society with all due respect for them and their rights is a not welcome at KPD? What’s next- calling them “pussies” or “girlie-men”?

Unless a whole bunch of professionals- from defense lawyers, to prosecutors, to councilors and other friends of the courts and force- are lying, there is a rogue faction at KPD that acts like Gestapo storm troopers and routinely abuses their inherent power we grant them to deny people their rights?.

And now, in the name of “morale” they are trying to seek a straw man to unite the good cops with the bad ones? Have they heard the one about the rotten apples? If, as Joan’s source says, 20% of officers’ time is spent with presumably good cops complaining about abusive cops, is the answer to stop the complaining or stop the abuses?

The factionalism in KPD has been going on since before statehood. It was structured originally around the Hawaiian-Japanese Democrat-Republican rifts (and probably something else before that) but evolved to where the feuding factions are still there but no one remembers why they started feuding.

If now it’s “good cops vs. bad cops” it sounds like a step in the right direction.

Are the ones who do their “impossible job” with tact and aplomb being asked to unite behind the creeping militarization and resulting power abuses when the community questions them?

So let’s get this straight. They’re using the excuse of this factionalism to say that the conscientious and corrupted have to co-exist?

You don’t root out corruption by postponing the day of reckoning in the name of unity. Neither ever happens. All you do in that is to tell the good cops that you are asking them to come together with the crooked ones. That’s how this situation got to be the way it is- suborning abuses of power.

The fact that this wasn’t a mistake and some unwise public venting but a refined coordinated strategy makes the situation all the worse- it doesn’t say much for those involved.

Who thought it was a good idea to unite behind sending a “screw the public” attitude?

I can just hear the politicians now, even those who are minimally politically astute. Tom and Darryl and now Mark must be holding the phone a foot away as even dullards like Bryan yells “what were you thinking, you dumb f---?” for making the molehill of Juan’s column- which was a one day story (if people even read it buried in the paper as it always is)- into mountain of the headline news playing itself out every day in the paper the blogs and living rooms across the island.

We’re more troubled than ever if this is what the KPD leadership thinks is proper- sacrificing all “community relations” for a juvenile “enemy of my enemy is my friend” gambit?

Good thing there’s a new KPD “community relations specialist” in this year’s budget right in keeping with the administration’s famous “PR before service” motto.

We’ve heard some of the right wing yahoos praising the dangling of this raw meat saying that it’s ok because it’s the hardest job there is. But it’s not the hardest job just because they put their lives on the line every morning. Firemen do that too in being “Kauai’s Bravest” It’s because we have a bill of rights and freedoms that make the jobs of “Kauai’s Finest” the most difficult- we ask them to respect everyone’s rights, even- make that especially- those they arrest, at all times when others hurl not just abuse but objects and even bullets at them.

Those are the kinds of cops the community wants. And those are the ones leadership has chosen to disrespect telling the good cops “why bother”- let’s just unite at the lowest common denominator.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


IF WE PUT WHISKERS ON HIM HE’LL BE A CAT: We’ve used a lot of bandwidth ridiculing the proposed Charter amendment seeking to use a convoluted scheme to limit the insane visitor accommodation expansion on Kaua`i and stop the Planning Commission from having the authority to just leave the gate open.

While the goal is great we’ve used words like "designed by Rube Goldberg" and "a nightmare of implementation" and "insanely structured” to describe the well-intentioned spanner-in-the-works measure.

But upon reading that the “stop me before I approve again” Commission is poised to plop yet another sprawling condo and commercial complex smack in the middle of the worst intersection in Po`ipu- the poster boy for lack of infrastructure on the island- may have just been enough to change our minds.

Nothing can change our mind about the fact that the ballot measure is something that would cost millions, throw the county government into a nightmare of compliance, and in the end be ineffectual- nor that it might be the hardest way to accomplish the goal.

Our problem has been that we were looking at it from the perspective that anything changing the structure of government should be done via responsible, well-planned and specific measures designed to elicit the desired result when actually the opposite may be true.

We’ve spent years suggesting things like simply electing the Planning Commission or laws to restrict growth to sane levels with proper infrastructure in place before zoning of project approval... all to no avail. Even when passed most measures are either ignored or designed so Max Graham and Walton Hong can turn them on their heads to actually perpetuate the opposite of the original intent to occur and flourish.

So now it apparently time- it’s The Year of the Monkey Wrenchers.

We need to drag out the most absurd of ridiculous proposals, put them on the ballot, pass them and let the bozos we elect sort it out. The worse the better.

Too many hotels?- change the CZO to require they be made of cardboard and sit on their sides.

Dumb decision makers? Let’s require that elected officials have no more than a sixth grade education and make the inauguration ceremony into a lobotomy session.

Too much liability? Require bubble wrapping of all tourist as they disembark the plane (ooo- and think of all those jobs).

Traffic too much? Require every tenth car on the road go directly to the junk yard in Puhi for crushing. Or just remove all the signs and traffic lights and let the insurance companies sort it out.

Overpopulation- Require birth control pills be put in our water... or perhaps keep the people in the cars when you crush them.

Homeless problem? Use the County offices to house people. (they apparently aren’t using them for anything important anyway). Or require the Planning Commissioners take them in.

Governmental process not working? Assign all the Council functions to the Planning Commission, all the planning functions to the Council and keep the prohibitions against interference between administrative and legislative branches, ensuring nothing will – or can- ever happen in government

Actually this last one might have the most merit of all. As obtuse, ridiculous and unenforceable as it is, that’s all the better. We’ll have the County so busy trying to deal with all this they won’t have time to approve or disapprove of anything.

Then we won’t have to worry about secret County Attorney opinions- there won’t be any because they’ll be spending all their time sorting out the messes we cause at the ballot box.

And don’t feel left out all you activists. We re-born “bad governance” advocates can’t do it alone. If you’ve been able to design these ineffective, unenforceable, deck-chair-shifting proposals without even trying you can certainly do better- or worse as the case may be- if you put your minds to it.

Perhaps we’ve been a bit too concerned with seeking a responsible and responsive community-based structure for the County based on changes that would actually accomplish something.

How foolish of us It’s all too clear now. Bring on the petition and pen. Invest in bubble wrap futures now Charley. Perhaps now there can be enough madness to the method that we can bring the whole shebang to a screeching halt.

Then we can be what all the developers and their minions and sycophants call us anyway. We are: The People Against Everything.. and we mean everything.... matches?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


FROTH AND FOAM: Miss Malaprop was at it again making a speculum of herself in using the Council TV cameras to aid her run for Kaua`i Prosecutor during last week’s Council committee meetings.

In a typical spittle-splattering performance, replete with the mandatory repetition of the term “ludicrous”, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho proved again to be the exception that proves the rule when people say that you can’t get a job much less be successful if you speak Hawaiian-pidgin instead of standard English.

She quite rightly used her righteous indignation to skewer both the man she seeks to replace and new-old Director of Finance Wally Rezentes Jr. for misappropriation of funds.

The matter was covered sans the vivid imagery last week by pinch-hitter Blake Jones in an article in the local paper but as a malahini he probably couldn’t really understand what all the hubbub was about.

Rezentes- who formed a one-two lazy-punch with his dad the Administrative Assistant sleeping under the Council Chambers’ air conditioner through the Kusaka administration- okayed allowing the County to pay for fines allegedly incurred by an unnamed deputy prosecutor who apparently either forgot or blew off a court appearance leaving jurors, witnesses and other special guest stars thumb-twiddling in court.

The judge fined the office, not the attorney but since there is no budget line item for fines Rezentes approved Prosecutor Craig De Costa’s use of money originally appropriated for court costs, witness travel and other specified miscellany including “other commodities”.

Both Iseri and Councilman Mel Rapozo were livid and expressed disbelief at the action. But then this is their first foray into “little Wally-World”.

But Rezentes is a champion- or was at Kusaka’s behest- of “program-based” budgeting which allows department heads to get lump slush fund with general instructions from the Council at budget time... until she used them to lease a luxury red Chrysler from her campaign manager at an exorbitant price for personal use.

This led the Council at the time to rue the day they gave her administration the proverbial blank check and they went back to “line item” budgeting where every nickel spent has to fit into a specifically defined and delineated grouping.

And if an expense comes up that is not covered or if they want to shift funds from one line item to another and spend it differently than appropriated, they are supposed to simply send a “communication for Council approval” for the switch.

It’s something you see on almost every council meeting agenda and most are routinely approved without debate or discussion. Sometimes they must draw up a “money bill” to amend the budget if a needed item exceeds their departmental budget or an unexpected big ticket item breaks down and needs replacing. Those ordinances are also routinely approved without debate.

But this was not the case- no one asked the Council and the money was paid, treating the line item as a slush fund... and this was the third time, according to Iseri and Councilman Mel Rapozo, that it had happened to pay a court sanction.

But Wally’s Department of Finance was always known for it’s fanciful explanations of Kusaka’s staff’s manipulations. “Close enough is good enough” was and again is their motto now that everything old is new again. And, according to Rezentes, since the term “court costs” was “rolled up” into “other commodities” it was used for the fines despite the facts that court costs are routine expenses and court fines follow misconduct by the office or one of it’s attorneys.

Iseri’s ferocity is legendary- and not only in a good way- as she has badgered and belittled people testifying before the council- citizens and county personnel alike- when they disagreed with her positions, especially during the council’s witch hunts against Police Commission Chair Mike Ching and Police Chief KC Lum.

One of the most bizarre moments came when Rezentes was explaining why he did what he did and started a sentence by saying “And I asked the County attorney if...” when Iseri cut him off screaming “are you about to violate attorney-client privilege?” with an incredulous look on her face.

As also detailed last week in the paper the Council has taken to hiding public policy decision making by calling every function of the CA part of “attorney client privilege”, a privilege which doesn’t even exist in Hawai`i Sunshine Law governing county councils’ activities. But even if the Council wants to hide their own actions behind such an alleged privilege, to say that another “client” of the CA- and one from the administration, with which the Council is forbidden from interfering- can’t exercise his right as a client to waive that privilege is, well, ludicrous.

In her unabashed play for the cameras Iseri brought her campaign into the living rooms of all those who watch the County funded cablecasts of council meetings and was one of those “only on Kaua`i” moments when the abuse of resources and power for personal political gain is commonly greeted with shrugs of “well everyone does it” especially from the corrupt Ethics Board..

And of course no councilmember suggested sending this “misappropriation of funds” case- a potentially serious charge- to the Ethics Board possibly because they were afraid of people literally busting a gut laughing if the suggestion were to be articulated.

One wonders what Shaylene will do if asked to prosecute someone for a severe ethics violation. Judging by her past performances in punishing those she personally despises and looking the other way at abuses of her political allies and friends one has to keep asking “and you want to be my Prosecutor?”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


AS THE FUR FLIES: The dish continues and the dishes continue to fly in the local paper and in the blogosphere today over Juan Wilson’s weekend column and yesterday’s flippant response from Kaua`i Police Chief Darryl Perry.

This morning found a report by Wilson at his Island Breath web site purporting that it was not actually the “Mission Statement” of KPD that the Chief changed without going through proper state procedures as we detailed yesterday but rather the “Chief’s Message” which is right below the mission statement at the KPD web site but is not really worth the bandwidth it’s written on as an official document.

The “message” now includes the words “Aloha Spirit” and “integrity” according to Wilson, who posted Perry’s letter and a link to the new “Chief’s Message” and original “Mission Statement”

So essentially it seems that, if not guilty of illegally changing the Mission Statement of the Department, Chief Perry misrepresented what had changed as a response to Wilson’s critique of what’s wrong with KPD’s Mission Statement especially when compared with those on other islands.

But a quick look at the local paper also found another glib straw-man tirade this time from Police Commission Chair and ex-marine Tom Iannucci saying it indeed was the Mission Statement that was formulated in an insular manner without public input.

Iannucci said

The mission statement is just one of many works in progress. Before your attack on our department and its mission statement, the updated statement was being handed out. Myself, as a police commissioner, along with all the other commissioners present and the leaders of the department were handed the updated mission statement that has been worked on for months with the input from various members of KPD. Among other things, the revised mission statement included a section on the “aloha spirit” and its inclusion in Hawai‘i state law.

But with words like “verbal buffoonery at its finest”, “what planet Wilson (is) writing from”, “trash talk” and “the right to bash our department” Iannucci accuses Wilson of wanting to disarm the force and take away their patrol cars, all the while fear mongering and raising the specter of the “Oklahoma City bombing or the destruction of the World Trade Center towers”, waving the militarization-of-the-police-force flag with such aplomb as to make any Homeland Security nut and Patriot Act-loving Chaneyac’s crotch swell with a testosterone-fueled pride and fury.

But blogger Larry Geller of Disappeared News wonders what article Iannucci and Perry read. He wrote us an email saying:

Judging from the reaction, Juan must have hit some sensitive points.

They are getting better at raising straw men. Now we've got the
fire department on skateboards?? Patrolling in electric carts is quite common, security guards use those and even Segways, as do some police I understand. Unless I missed something, Juan didn't suggest trading in their SUVs for these things, nor turning in their weapons.

The dialog is going. You have a newspaper that seems willing to take these things up. The Honolulu Advertiser here is quite different.

We’ve hear word that Wilson and Perry are tentatively scheduled to appear on a KKCR radio talk show on Thursday at 4 p.m. but whether their will both be live or whether the Chief will only sit for a pre-taped interview with programmer Jonathan Jay remains to be seen.

And evidently Darryl and Tom weren’t the only ones who read Juan’s column as an ill-considered, wild and fanciful rant.

This morning found Koko’s human, numero-uno Kaua`i news-blogger Joan Conrow assailing not just Wilson’s column but his future viability to speak on the issue saying:

Juan has already blown his wad with the cops, and he’s not going to get anywhere with them from here. He has lost all effectiveness, if he ever had any, as a spokesman on this issue.

She prefaced this by saying:

Juan lost credibility, at least with me, and most likely many others, when he started out by saying the cops should give up their guns and cars and use “sporty electric golf carts,” bicycles and horse patrols. That was before he morphed into a conspiracy bit about the cops “providing speculators security for unwanted development” and “protecting the pesticide spraying of GMO corporations on the Westside.” Huh?

When you come from an extreme premise like that, it’s easy to be discredited and dismissed, which both the chief and Iannucci did in their responses. And in the process, the legitimate concerns about the further militarization of police that Juan also raised go unexamined.

We’re not going to defend everything Juan had to say or how he said it but Tom Iannucci’s tome is certainly more indefensible in ostensibly denying there are any governance and oversight problems and giving the impression that everything’s hunky-dory at the “just doing our job” KPD.

Iannucci said

Unlike your conspiracy theory, our police officers have to go out and provide protection for both the Superferry and those who protest against it. They don’t arrest protesters, but those who violate those laws that allow us all free speech

If Iannucci is going to deny the harassment of dissidents then how about getting Perry to talk about the Apioalina and Mawae incidents instead of just stonewalling.

Iannucci says that

“to even insinuate that the chief and our officers are in some way ‘suppressing’ Hawaiian Sovereignty groups or ‘protecting’ the pesticide spraying by our children in schools is just shameful”.

If Tom is denying KPD’s complicity in any “cover-up” of what really happened in the west side spraying incidents then where is the police investigation of Sygenta and even the DOH? Perhaps it would clear them, perhaps it would collar them. But if there’s “no comment” and apparently no investigation how can the people think there isn’t something wrong?

Perhaps the lack of any substantive investigation in the light of overwhelming evidence Sygenta lied and tried to mislead and cover up their complicity and place kids in the way of harm is what’s “shameful”.

If KPD doesn’t know what everyone in town knows it may be because they didn’t try to find out.

Or are all the parent, teachers and community leaders and members in Waimea who allege a crime, a cover-up and a lack of police investigation all a bunch of liars and nuts, to be ignored and ridiculed too?

For Tom and Darryl’s information getting officers out of their cars and onto bikes, horses, electric carts and even on foot is a national trend in policing and is a part and parcel of a movement called “Community Policing”. Try googleing it. Thousands of jurisdictions throughout the country practice it. Our last two chiefs were outspoken proponents.

We would turn it around on Tom- is there never a circumstance where an officer getting out of his or her car and going sans six-shooter appropriate? It sounds like your answer is no.- never. That’s just as absurd as saying police should never drive cars or carry guns which we never head Juan say in the first place, only hearing this straw man from you and Darryl.

It isn’t about taking away all the cars and guns but it is about, where appropriate, putting policing on the ground in the community and making the officers part of that community.

But possibly Iannucci and Perry, if they have heard of this national trend in policing, see it as a challenge to the “us and them” mentality that people legitimately fear is the growing local trend under their tutelage.

That is what the problem is and why people like Juan see conspiracy everywhere. Whether they agree with him or not the Chief’s and Chair’s job is to understand, acknowledge and deal with the “reality” that Wilson isn’t alone and not to concoct their own fantasies to counter with an equally fanciful hyped-up, paranoiac “reality”.

Iannucci and Perry owe it to us and themselves to figure out why there are these “conspiracy theories”. Perhaps it is the dots they are unintentionally drawing that people are connecting.

Wilson is apparently judging KPD by it’s words and deeds and lately it has been dismal on both accounts. The fact that Iannucci and Perry don’t understand and in fact ridicule Wilson’s reaction to some of the Department’s recent alleged abusive words and deeds and refusal to discuss them is more telling than Wilson’s apprehension of and at a conspiracy.

Monday, May 26, 2008


STEPPING ON HIS TONGUE: Kaua`i Police Department Chief Darryl Perry’s letter in today’s local paper may be his last due to his admission that he has illegally changed KPD’s Mission Statement without adhering to the State Administrative Procedure Act (HRS §91).

Following the publication this weekend of an article by TGI columnist, Island Breath's Juan Wilson criticizing KPD’s “mission statement” Perry announced the following:

While I did not read Juan Wilson’s entire commentary about the Kauai Police Department, the part about our mission statement did catch my eye (“Toward a Kaua‘i police mission statement,” Island Breath, May 24).Perhaps this is as good a time as any to mention that we have revised our mission statement for the exact reasons that Wilson mentioned.We included the aloha spirit and pono as our guiding principles. It was months in the making and was unveiled to our employees only this past Wednesday.

Input was gathered from all levels of the department, both sworn and civilian. We will be making a public announcement

The problem is that according to law all rules and regulations of any governmental department in the State must go through a public procedure including posting the rules 30 days in advance and holding public hearings and allowing for public input.

HRS§91-1(4) defines the “rules” as including the mission statement in saying:

"Rule" means each agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy, or describes the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of any agency.

And the process of promulgating “Administrative Rules” must be open and transparent according to the next section §91-2(a)3-4 regarding public information which says:

(a) In addition to other rulemaking requirements imposed by law,
each agency shall:
(3) Make available for
public inspection all rules and written statements of policy or interpretation
formulated, adopted, or used by the agency in the discharge of its
(4) Make available for public inspection all final opinions and orders.
(b) No agency rule, order, or opinion shall be valid or effective against any person or party, nor may it be invoked by the agency for any purpose, until it has been published or made available for public inspection as herein required, except where a person has actual knowledge thereof.

The Chief did not comply with §91-2.6 regarding “(p)roposed rulemaking actions and rules; posting on the lieutenant governor's internet website”. It says:

(a) Beginning January 1, 2000, all state agencies, through the office of the lieutenant governor, shall make available on the website of the office of the lieutenant governor each proposed rulemaking action of the agency and the full text of the agency's proposed rules or changes to existing rules. The internet website shall provide instructions regarding how to download the information regarding proposed rulemaking actions and the full text of the agency's proposed rules.
(b) Each state agency, to the greatest extent feasible, shall:

(1) Ensure that all information pertaining to that agency that is
contained on the lieutenant governor's website is current and accurate; and
(2) Advise individuals contacting the state agency of the availability of the proposed rulemaking actions and the full
text of the agency's proposed rules on the lieutenant governor's website.

In HRS§91-1 agencies are defined saying

“'Agency’ means each state or county board, commission, department, or officer authorized by law to make rules or to adjudicate contested cases, except those in the legislative or judicial branches.”

Chief Perry has sworn to uphold the law and an illegal act such as this would seem to be grounds for removal from office, especially given that, as, any chief of police knows, ignorance of the law is no excuse. It seems unfathomable that he would be ignorant of this provision after decades of police work, including administrative positions.

But the most troubling part of this is that it comes at a time when the chief is under fire for his lack of openness and transparency.

In a recent article in Kaua`i People reporter Joan Conrow reported that:

“Perry is also striving to make the department’s activities and operations more open. ”’The term transparency is overused, but we want to make sure the public knows we have nothing to hide,” he said. “We want to communicate with the community to make sure we’re in synch with what they want.’”

Nothing to hide? Then why has he routinely refused to comment on alleged abuses and over reactions of his department?

In the past few weeks the island has been abuzz with three incidents – the 20 member swat team’s descent upon Dayne Apioalina for a missed, purportedly excused, court appearance when a telephone call would have sufficed, the 30 man operation to essentially harass fisher(wo)men at Black Pot beach and the three to one ratio of officers to demonstrators - replete with Coast Guard and harbor police presence- protesting the cruise ship practices of burning bunker fuel while in port

This all comes at a time when Perry has asked for riot gear and tasers. That has been roundly criticized by a great number of Kauaiians many testifying before the Council and responding to newspaper reports with letter to the editor.

There have also been numerous email discussion including many prominent community members talking about how to maintain civilian control of a community-based police force and discussing the public development of protocols to restrain the militarization and resulting mentality that could cause officers and citizens to have unnecessary confrontations.

The People article talks of how Perry has - again without promulgating Chapter 91 rules-

“formed an Internal Affairs Unit to investigate allegations of misconduct among officers and department employees, with a trained administrative review board that metes out discipline. ‘Those were some big changes internally right there,’ he said.”

But an extremely reliable source with great familiarity with the courts and KPD says that the problem is lack of record keeping.- a compilation of citizen complaints against officers- and the lack of the requirement at some level of officer reporting on all use of force (guns/tasers) in the field.

The source says that although (s)he knows the new chief says that implementing an Internal Affairs (IA) unit is a priority it should be done before additional weapons are purchased and distributed.

Our source says that last year in an extensive deposition a former police chief testified that putting in an IA division was one of his top priorities - yet it didn't happen.

“Promises, promises” (s)he says.

The deposed former chief also basically said that citizen complaints to the chief often just get filed away in the chief's file cabinet. Some get investigated, some don't. Many just apparently disappear.

“I'm not really swayed by promises of an IA They have been a long-time coming and have not manifested. Real action is needed. Record keeping is also essential to the KPD accreditation that Chief Perry wants” says the source who asked not to be identified so that (s)he can keep working on the problem from the inside and might not be as effective if these comments were publicly attributed.

“Such record keeping also goes a long way in reaching the recent promise of officer accountability.”

Normally police departments have extensive record keeping on complaints against officers for excessive force and dishonest conduct. Without such record keeping, it is difficult to objectively decide which officer should be trusted with lethal force and which one might be considered a little trigger happy - and assigned to a less-stressful duty.

And according to the source- who is in a position to know- at least five KPD officers have been the subject of numerous citizen complaints, ranging from false reports to basic brutality.

When KC Lum was chief, according to newspaper accounts and multiple sources there were numerous instances of masked, armed police, storming into houses on smallish dope cases. One vice officer is repeatedly quoted as screaming "You don't have any rights. You're a drug dealer" as he arrested innocent until proven guilty suspects.

“Do we want this guy to have a taser or a gun?. It appears there isn’t anyone keeping a record of citizen complaints of these types of things, let alone complaints of dishonesty or excessive force.” says our source.

Increased accountability should be required before new weapons are issued. In fact, the failure to keep such records alone, can create municipal liability - and perhaps that is how mandating KPD record-keeping needs to be “sold” to County officials. Its cheaper for the county in the long run.

In Delgado v. Rosemont (Illinois 2004), the court allowed a complaint against the city to go forward, where the complaint alleged "(1) the failure to properly investigate allegations of police misconduct, including excessive force; (2) the failure to properly discipline sustained allegations of police misconduct, including excessive force; (3) the failure to properly maintain records of police misconduct and allegations of police misconduct, including the use of excessive force; (4) the failure to properly hire, train, monitor and supervise police officers; and (5) permitting a “code of silence” to exist concerning police conduct."

It presents an opportunity to keep Kauai out of such lawsuits but only if the Chief recognizes and acts upon the issues raised here in an open and transparent manner.

Perhaps the most distressing of things in his letter today is that Perry becomes flippant and cutsy-pooh in responding to the suggestion that being armed to the teeth isn’t the best way to send a community-policing message to the community presenting an absurd straw man by saying:

Some people have suggested we do away with all of our weapons. Let’s see what would happen if we left our weapons in the station house.

If a victim — perhaps your wife, sister, mother, son or daughter — were getting the snot kicked out of them by someone drunk or under the influence of drugs, we could try to talk them down.If that fails, then perhaps I could have my officers hold hands and sing a hymn. Maybe that would calm him down, then we could politely ask him to comply by placing his hands behind his back as we place him under arrest. If that fails, then we’ll just wait till he gets tired.

Or better yet, I could contact one of our community experts who deplore the use of any type of weapon and ask him to resolve the situation.

In hundreds of emails letter articles and public testimony we’ve reviewed recently no one has suggested all officers always leaving weapons at the station house, although some have said that it might be wise to establish a protocol saying that, when not in use, perhaps KPD officers should leave their guns behind or in the trunk of their patrol car under certain circumstances.

The Chief quite obviously doesn’t get it and prefers to insult the intelligence of the civilians who, on paper, control his military unit.

Many have in the past week or so, suggested that the Chief is a reasonable man and that perhaps the best course of action regarding the use of tasers, riot gear and any use of deadly force should be to approach him and the police commission- our legal civilian oversight for KPD- and review the protocols and chapter 91 administrative rules for use of force, especially deadly force.

But when some corresponded with him directly regarding the lethality of tasers, despite voluminous documentation of deaths directly attributable to police use of tasers he continued to maintain no deaths have occurred, parroting the taser manufacturers laughable contentions.

When combined with his blatant and most likely willful illegal activity regarding KPD rules and this “you stupid naive people” rant in today’s paper an intolerable situation exists.

This is not the level of sensitivity to the notorious problems at KPD nor the behavior we should expect from the chief law enforcement officer on Kaua`i.

We see no alternative but to call for the resignation of Chief Perry.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


WHERE HAVE ALL THE COLLIE FLOWERS GONE: It’s dead soldier day again. People are honoring those who took the lives of others for no reason other than that they were young and stupid and were told to do so by demented old men who sought to plunder, rape and pillage.

Not us. Today we honor the veterans of anti-war movements throughout history.

In our lifetime every war in which our country has engaged has been an invasive, imperialistic debacle waged at the behest of profiteers and in the name of raw power.

And the one thing they have in common is that when we all “wake up” afterward we are left with a generation of cripples- both physical and mental- and a bunch of tombstones.

Every dead soldier died in vain. There never was a noble cause or even a valid one. The soldiers died protecting nothing but greed and avarice.

The notion that soldiers protected our right to say this is ludicrous. Every war has been accompanied by a diminution of our constitutional rights. Those that fought against the war are the ones who kept free speech alive in the face of depraved and often felonious attempts of the war mongers to stifle it.

Only a true coward kills because they are told to do so. But there have been a few truly courageous young men and women that have been there to say no- we will not go and kill for your plunder. We will not demonize and dehumanize to enable those without the guts to stand up and say no to that which they know to be wrong to pull a trigger and delay the remorse until they get home- if they get home.

Recently someone we know wrote of how he was duped into fighting in Viet Nam- the most common of all excuses for homecoming soldiers for why they went and “fought for their country”. He claimed he had no way of knowing that fighting against communism, domino theories and the Asian menace wasn’t the right thing to do because “no one told me”.

Bullcrap- you just weren’t listening. The writer claimed that there weren’t even any real anti-war activates until 1967 when the fact is that there were major anti-war demonstrations in all major cities in 1965 and many going back to 1961... and some earlier.

No one can tell us it wasn’t a choice made. If by the time you were 18 you hadn’t heard people say that sending young people to die for the demented politics and overflowing wallets of so-called “leaders” you just weren’t listening... to us or even Republican Ike when he spoke of the danger of the military-industrial complex.

Starting in 1965 when this mangy mutt was but a 13 year old pup, many afternoons were spent at the American Friends’ Service committee offices advising young men on how to get out of the draft.

In those days you had two choices- kill or go to jail unless you could show your particular religious upbringing forbade you from fighting and killing in a war. And you had to have a note from your religious leader stating this was true and you, uniquely and individually, were a conscientious objector... in which case you still had to serve the war effort, they just didn’t give you a gun but instead a bed pan.

But there was a book called 4F that listed all of the physical anomalies and illnesses that would enable you to move your 1A designation - aka “cannon fodder”- to the medically excused 4F classification.

This draft-counseling dingo-coyote never lost a client. College deferments were very popular. But if frat life wasn’t your cup o’ tea and you couldn’t find a physical deferment on your own, we’d find one for you- or even make one up. And if that was too hard in those days they “asked” and the right answer could get you out.

If all else failed it was the old licking-the-peanut-butter-off-your-butt-in-front-of-the-sergeant dodge or a similarly bizarre act... we even held rehearsals. And there was always Canada where AFSC had a network set up to welcome you and find you a place to live and even a job.

But you’d be surprised at how many honest kids there were who wanted out of the draft. So finally, along with a fellow draft-counselor who himself was approaching draft age, we wrote and filed the first successful “conscientious objector” filing for someone without a religious background.

And we couldn’t help but notice what was going on in the next office where the walking wounded coming back from the war congregated to bemoan their prior fate.

They didn’t always show physical scars. The trick was to allow them to use their mental anguish to express their anger at a system that had robbed them of their youth, health and integrity.

They organized against the nonsense and told others- like the ones who really didn’t know any better- why despite what their parents and the politicians told them there was no “just cause” or “noble service”, just the depraved ravings of lunatics and fearful little minds who waged war for peace, forced servitude for justice, imprisoned for freedom and killed for life.

We say this not to just tell a story but to show that like most, it was nobody’s fault if you were ignorant in the early 60’s but had a revelation in 1969 just as it was if you believed the 2003 lies and finally had a revelation in 2006 or 2007.

If a 13-year-old knew better, why didn’t you?

They say it’s different now that the draft has been temporarily suspended- even though it is still mandatory to register- but the rhetoric remains the same.

Returning Iraq vets still say “you never told us they were lying before the war. All of us believed the lies.”

Bullcrap. Millions screamed from the rooftops about blood for oil and a lying maniac and his butchers in the White House and serving in Congress. You just didn’t listen.

Meanwhile some obviously tortured souls now, as then, continue to want us to actually honor those that should have known better... and in many cases did but signed up anyway.

Some may say we are being cruel to those who lost sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts and fathers and mothers. But the real cruelty is that the Dead Soldier Day rhetoric gives aggrieved people a lie to believe in to fool and delude themselves and eventually to tell to their kids and grandkids fooling generations into thinking that it is, was or will ever be in any way an honorable thing to be a soldier- alive or dead.

It is not that all those that grieve on Memorial Day are perpetuating the myths Cindy Sheehan grieves for her son Casey. But as to those that must accept and repeat the lies to rationalize the waste of their dead relatives’ lives it is even sadder still to see them cling to the notion that their kin did not die in vain and served and died honorably.

For that they should be ashamed of themselves because by perpetuating that myth they prospectively kill again. They’ve now become the ones the kids wrongly believe before marching off to kill someone else they never met.

And so we honor those who did not serve, those who tried to warn others, those that resisted the draft and later those that didn’t fall for the “army with the condos” scam, those who didn’t sell their soul for a college education, from those who were harassed beaten and jailed in Washington and Chicago in the 60’s to those harassed, beaten and jailed in NYC at the Republican Convention in 2004 to everyone who participated in every demonstration, organizing meeting, puppet show, pentagon levitating, and letter writing session in between.

Those are the honorable- those are the ones whose service to their country we should remember and honor today.

Those who listened in the early 60’s- no matter what their age- had a lot to listen do kids today, as will kids tomorrow.

As long as people speak out, kids will see through the charade of honorable war and they won’t go and fight and kill and die for nothing.

We’ll leave you with three examples of the information available to those considering the murderous life from way back when- the first in some words written by a lady that lives down the street that were popular in 1965 about who’s really to blame, the second by a kid we saw at Gertie’s Folk City in ’61 who wrote words in 1964 about taking sides, the third by an unfortunate son who survived the 60’s to write again in 2007 telling us not to take it any more.


Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie

( “I wrote "Universal Soldier" in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It's about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all. Donovan had a hit with it in 1965.”)

He's five feet two and he's six feet fourHe fights with missiles and with spearsHe's all of 31 and he's only 17He's been a soldier for a thousand yearsHe's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jewand he knows he shouldn't kill and he knows he always willkill you for me my friend and me for youAnd he's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France,he's fighting for the USA,and he's fighting for the Russians and he's fighting for Japan, and he thinks we'll put an end to war this wayAnd he's fighting for Democracyand fighting for the RedsHe says it's for the peace of allHe's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to dieand he never sees the writing on the wallsBut without him how would Hitler have condemned him at DachauWithout him Caesar would have stood aloneHe's the one who gives his body as a weapon to a warand without him all this killing can't go onHe's the universal soldier and he really is to blameHis orders come from far away no moreThey come from him, and you, and meand brothers can't you seethis is not the way we put an end to war


With God on Our Side

by Bob Dylan

Oh my name it is nothin'My age it means lessThe country I come fromIs called the MidwestI's taught and brought up thereThe laws to abideAnd that land that I live inHas God on its side.Oh the history books tell itThey tell it so wellThe cavalries chargedThe Indians fellThe cavalries chargedThe Indians diedOh the country was youngWith God on its side.Oh the Spanish-AmericanWar had its dayAnd the Civil War tooWas soon laid awayAnd the names of the heroesI's made to memorizeWith guns in their handsAnd God on their side.Oh the First World War, boysIt closed out its fateThe reason for fightingI never got straightBut I learned to accept itAccept it with prideFor you don't count the deadWhen God's on your side.When the Second World WarCame to an endWe forgave the GermansAnd we were friendsThough they murdered six millionIn the ovens they friedThe Germans now tooHave God on their side.I've learned to hate RussiansAll through my whole lifeIf another war startsIt's them we must fightTo hate them and fear themTo run and to hideAnd accept it all bravelyWith God on my side.But now we got weaponsOf the chemical dust If fire them we're forced toThen fire them we mustOne push of the buttonAnd a shot the world wideAnd you never ask questionsWhen God's on your side.In a many dark hourI've been thinkin' about thisThat Jesus ChristWas betrayed by a kissBut I can't think for youYou'll have to decideWhether Judas IscariotHad God on his side.So now as I'm leavin'I'm weary as HellThe confusion I'm feelin'Ain't no tongue can tellThe words fill my headAnd fall to the floorIf God's on our sideHe'll stop the next war.


I Can't Take It No More

by John Fogerty (2007)I Can't Take It No MoreI Can't Take It No MoreI'm sick and tired of your dirty little warI Can't Take It No MoreYou know you lied about the casualtiesYou know you lied about the WMD'sYou know you lied about the detaineesAll over this worldStop talking about staying the courseYou keep a-beating that old dead horseYou know you lied about how we went to warI Can't Take It No MoreI can't take itI can't take itI bet you never saw the old school yardI bet you never saw the national guardYour daddy wrote a check and there you areAnother fortunate sonI can't take it no moreI can't take it no moreI'm sick and tired of your dirty little warI can't take it no moreI can't take it no moreI can't take it no moreI'm sick and tired of your dirty little warI can't take it no more

Saturday, May 24, 2008


BITING THE HAND: Though a headline in the local Kaua`i paper today trumpeted “Choppers do heavy lifting” in a fluff piece on an air-lift of air conditioning units, on the Big Island there’s real news regarding helicopters- they will no longer be swooping down to harass medical marijuana patients or anyone else over there as their council rejected $441,000 the feds offered for their “Green Harvest” marijuana eradication program.

But if anyone thinks the cops are taking it lying down journalist-blogger Hunter Bishop has news that they are threatening that if they don’t do it, the feds may..

In a piece entitled “Scare tactics used for pot eradication” he writes
“A DEA spokesman and Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna... threatened that if the
County refuses the money, then a more heavy-handed DEA would arrive on our
shores with violence in mind. Here's the DEA's Garrison Courtney:
dealers and people responsible for growing illegal marijuana crops are ’not
going to greet you with a smile and a handshake’ he said."’The unfortunate part
about drug enforcement is the violence,’ Courtney said.

“When law enforcement authorities show up at a home of a person responsible for growing large quantities of marijuana, because there's usually a lot of cash at stake and the notion the person will end up in jail for a long time, ‘there's going to be violence,’ he said.”

But Bishop begs to differ and documents how in nine pot arrests in the past 14 months in Puna:

“(i)n each case all the elements Courtney cited were there except violence. Perusing the Police Department's Web site, I couldn't find one reported incident of violence in connection with the arrest of any marijuana growers on the island in the past 14 months. Now the DEA sees violence where none now exists if the Council doesn't kowtow to the feds and take the marijuana eradication money.

“Chief Mahuna plays into the argument that if our police
officers aren't funded for the task then the DEA will move in, so he can get more funding for his department.”

Well, at least the politicians on the Big Island have the guts to stop the operation that is actually causing the methamhetamine epidemic as we discussed recently.

Though the money is routinely accepted by the Kaua`i Council, with the exception of one year when some members of the public questioned the activity. That gives the macho men of the Council and KPD a flag to wave and lets them act like chest pounding apes. But routinely, the question of accepting the money is never broached.

Rather than seeing the epidemic of methamhetamine abuse with all its intricacies as a social problem the first reaction of the Baptiste Administration was to call for more interdiction and introduce a measure to house our wayward kids in the old dog pound- the latter the brainchild of the local crony who was hired to be his “drug czar” a few years back..

There are limited numbers of dollars to spend on the problem and to put almost all of them into law enforcement and few if any into treatment and especially aftercare is like the proverbial pulling the bodies out of the river rather than sending someone upstream to find out who’s throwing them in.

The term “harm reduction” is a concept that clear seeing and thinking people use to actually do something about their problems like giving birth control to sexually active kids or needles to heroin addicts. But people who care more about their political reputation and pushy religious delusions look to “send a message”, as if these people were listening to anyone about anything they say in the first place.

Anyone can figure it out. Some kids are going to do things we’d rather they didn’t. If all you do is tell them how terrible whatever the activity is and how you’ll be sooooo disappointed- not to mention angry enough to kick them out of the house or beat them silly as many parents threaten- you’re not stopping them just making sure they won’t let you find out until it’s too late.

The effects of marijuana are fairly innocuous. There are no long term effects whatsoever. No one has ever died from using pot. There certainly are, and they do, from using alcohol and pharmaceuticals.

So the question is would you rather your kid smoke a little pot or have them drinking booze and smoking ice. It’s not gonna be your favorite question to have to answer but it is a valid either/or choice nonetheless.... because “just say no” and D.A.R.E. are well-known, counterintuitive, ineffective jokes.

It isn’t encouraging anything to acknowledge the reality involved.

Next year look to this space for the announcement of the agenda item when it comes up before the Council for the same funds that the Big Island Council have rejected. And if you want to do something show up because this conversation isn’t going to hold itself.

It’s not a matter of giving kids pot or encouraging them to use any drug. If it’s out there, they will get it. And if it’s not out there they will get something else- deal with it. Otherwise there are two choices left- money for treatment-on-demand and after-care or more money to build jails for our kids who make bad decisions.

And if you’re one of those people who are actually causing everything from huffing to pill-popping by living in a state of denial at least get out of the way of those who have a workable solution that reduces the harm you are causing our kids through your shortsightedness.

Friday, May 23, 2008


'TIL THE LAST YELLOW DOG DIES: The bullets continue to fly over the disastrous Republicans’ Convention last weekend but you wouldn’t know it to read the Honolulu newspapers.

In addition to the scathing back and forth between party activist and bosses we reported on the other day, new ballistic bombardments and sieve-like shields are still being posted at the Republican’s best and worst friend Malia Zimmerman’s Hawai`i Reporter news service.

Now there’s some new and improved coverage of the debacle with even a video of some of the scripted authoritarian event where the Ron Paul supporters were shut out of the process causing even some of the McCainiac party regulars to swear to never participate again after their leadership ran rough-shod over everyone, abusing not just the process but apparently the delegates themselves.

But the Honolulu Advertiser’s purveyor of the politically obvious Jerry Burris either doesn’t read or research very much- or maybe he wrote the piece before the convention. He certainly didn’t ask anyone who was there in writing in his regular Wednesday column:

“The Republicans ended their convention upbeat and enthused. That's what conventions are for. But the reality is that despite the sparkling individual success of Gov. Linda Lingle, the Hawai'i GOP has yet to find its voice or its home in contemporary local politics.”

And, from those we’ve talked to and what we’ve read , it sure sounds like a similar meltdown might be in store as the Democrats turn to self-destruct in its normal manner at their State Convention this weekend.

It remains to be seen whether the Obamanics will smother dissents from Shrillary Hillary supporters who see misogyny in everyone that doesn’t live in their sound=-proof booth.

According to reports there are still three party bosses- er, Superdelegates- at stake and their appointment goes along with newly elected party leadership positions.

The only question is whether the Dems will allow a battle royale and thus disintegrate into the usual melee they have been famous for or will take a repressive page out of the Republican Convention Playbook thus disillusioning all those wide-eyed new members that came in on Obama’s caucus coattails.

And, surprise- this year there are also some platform issues for Democrats to “discuss”, always a fun time for observers from the other party. This year they come replete with a contentious plank on the one issue that is bound to piss everyone off – Israel and Palestine- with AIPAC throwing their weight around in try to defeat a popular resolution that is none too complementary to the Zionists.

Even nationally pundits seem to have their heads so far up the butts of party leadership that when Howard Dean speaks you can see Richard Cohen’s face between his teeth. They are never talking to the rank and file or even the lower level activists yielding the kind of drivel that drives the horse race coverage and the conventional wisdom- a catch all meaning lazy insular analysis.

Nowhere do you hear the realities of the Democratic race- things like how if there is even a race with the Republican in the fall it is the turnout of new voters and people motivated to vote that will decide the race and that the Obama campaign has done the most incredible grassroots job of precinct by precinct bottom up organizing ever seen.

They brought in community organizers and Democratic Party wannabes last summer and fall and sent them to campaign schools, teaching the basics of “do it on your own” neighborhood organizing.

Then, months later found that, in many states, there were Obama campaign headquarters springing up unbeknownst to the national campaign. The locals were already there when they came to town to campaign in the primaries and caucuses.

That more than anything explains his successes where the corporate pundits had eliminated him early on- something they still haven’t caught onto.

No one sees how the right-wing-despised Hillary Clinton came into the race with electability inside the base of the Democratic constituency.

And, because they only talk to the insiders, none of them talk about how she destroyed any advantage she might have had by creating more hatred on the left than existed for her and Bill on the right by copying Rovian-Atwater-style campaign tactics when she fell behind after Iowa.

It has nothing to do with her being a woman. And as a matter of fact the desirability of tempering the usual masculine aspect guiding our war mongering, male-dominated, power-as-an-aphrodesiac Congress with the feminist aspect and viewpoint is one of the strongest arguments for electing females. . and it’s one that Clinton quite apparently fought hard to dissipate by trying to out-macho the men with her votes in the Senate.

We don’t believe Obama is any different than Clinton- or McCain for that matter- with his opposition of single payer, non corporate, universal health care, his votes for every war funding bill and the new Patriot act, his opposition to impeachment, his support for coal and innumerable untenable positions for true progressives.

But elections are not decided on issues- they are decided on who you’d rather have dinner or a beer with. And Hillary has sickened many on the left, especially among the young and previously disenfranchised, via the campaigning style she has adopted over the past few months.

Will there be a free for all this weekend or can the Hawai`i Democratic “leadership” head it off? And if they head it off will there be acrimony over the process? The one thing that could cut those new 37,000 membership numbers down to a new handful of activists and cause 36,500 that don’t even remember they joined the party would be to make them feel like the “old boys” didn’t give everyone there a fair hearing.

Whatever happens, will it be reported in the newspapers rather than just light up the on-line alternative press and blogs? Doubt it.

The bland penchant-for-the-obvious for political columnists at the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin and their lack of understanding of politics notwithstanding not pissing off the losers is the art of insider party politics.

And it ain’t as easy as it sounds in both cases – last week with the R’s and this week with the D’s- you have a forgone winner and a doomed loser. And a platform debate that will be bound to turn people away if it is allowed but will probably be a lot worse if it’s stifled.

Whatever happens the big question is, if something happens in Hawai`i politics and neither Jerry Burris or the equally lackluster and pedestrianly-mediocre Richard Borroca report it in the corporate newspapers does it make a policy sound?

Thursday, May 22, 2008


SNIFFING THE RIGHT BUTT: The illegitimacy of the Belt Collins Environmental Impact Statement for the Hawai`i Superferry became all too apparent today with the announcement in the local Kauai newspaper that:

“A private firm wants residents to share their knowledge of Nawiliwili so it can assess the potential cultural impacts from a large-capacity ferry operating at the island’s main harbor.

"Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i will be interviewing community members in the next two months. The public input will be incorporated into a comprehensive environmental study conducted by Belt Collins Hawaii that includes secondary and
cumulative impacts.”

What a sham. It would be bad enough if, as expected, the Superferry EIS examined only the environmental impacts on the immediate geographic area of the ferry landing.

That is a scam tried before for example when the State DOT sought to extend the runway at Lihu`e airport in the late 80’s in order to land jumbo jets before people demanded they look at the whole island and the impacts of an economic, social and cultural nature for all Kaua`i.

And now they’re trying it again. Examining the cultural impacts in Nawiliwili is the proverbial examination of the arboreal specifics without any regard for the collection of flora.

Are they expecting us to swallow this?

The purpose of an EIS is to discover ALL the impacts of those cars off-loading. And guess what- the cars are not going to remain in Nawiliwili.

How they will “mitigate” it is anybody’s guess because guess what- the reason people demanded an EIS is because they could not imagine a plan for mitigation that would really mitigate anything island-wide.

But if you want to scam the process of mitigation it’s a lot easier if you limit it to the most polluted, overcrowded area- down by the docks.

Do they think we’re frickin’ idiots? The answer is quite obviously yes. But that makes the real question “what are we a bunch of frickin’ idiots?”

They sure hope so.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


THROW SOME WATER ON ‘EM: There’s an issue that’s tearing Kaua`i apart. It has spurred dozens of letters to the editor. County Council battle lines are drawn with no less than three bills on the table to deal with it.

And there are 61 (and counting) comments posted at Councilman Mel Rapozo’s blog on the subject since he wrote about his view there last Friday.

We decided to compile and reproduce some of the responses elicited here to give a taste of the emotional, often bitter, certainly wide ranging opinions on the subject.

To paraphrase our childhood hero, names have been left out to avoid a punch in the mouth. All comments are “sic”... as apparently are the commenters.

We have laws for a reason

People... who talk about (this) being
allowed everywhere else maybe should move there. you really
want to open this can of worms? would be

Mel, you are not an opponent of our rural
lifesyle, you passionalty fight for our keiki and our way of life. Mahalo to

Don't believe the spin.

If you want to talk about
spin, I think you will discover the work of masters by reviewing the history of
this issue over the last 18 months. Then you can talk about

Does Kauai really need another layer of notoriety as an
unfriendly place to live and to work?... Responsible people pay huge taxes
(because they go to work like responsible people do), buy all sorts of things
from our local businesses (because it is pono to buy local), and support our
charitable organizations (of which there are many here).... We want to support
responsible people in this world and on this island---we need them to pay taxes
for us and keep bloated government offices flush with cash.

world is watching us and we look like fools.... Set the rules and get on with

...instead of spending funds in this, as you say, tough
economic time. Isn't that one of your main tenets held in explaining your

Obviously you haven't been, or you would already know
that the... issue is a moot point, meaning of little or no practical value in
the argument... You would know that if you had been READING and understanding
the flow of information involved in this process.

It is clear that
anyone that suggests that is totally ignorant... Who are you trying to kid?
Please consider the children when you make stupid comments like

...why are we not surprised that you are also pro
superferry! I guess you think it is ok to change any laws that will benefit
yourself. You are a very pilau individual. Thank God for people like Andy Parx.
He is 100% right on!

You have said what many others are thinking.
It is funny how some people feel that their opinion is the only right one for
the people of Kauai. And most of these yahoos haven't been here very long. They
come to beautiful Kauai and try to change the way we live. If you are so unhappy
with the way things are here, go back to where you came from. This goes for you
too, Bynum.

The posts that are so worried about what other people
and areas think of us are not relevant.This is Kaua'i not the mainland.. Keep it
away from the rest of us who have the laws to protect us.

How fast
you all turn this into "Haole Go Home".

We want "our way of life"
back. We want it like the way is was insread of being punished for what we
haven't done.

It seems crazy to punish a large group... for the bad
behavior of a few. It's like forbidding everyone from driving because a few
people drive drunk. ...Let's show our aloha for one another.

Settle this matter soon so we can get back to enjoying what's left
of the simple pleasures in life.

The comment made recently about
"yahoos who haven't been here very long trying to change the way we live" is
upside down and whacked out... It's not the Yahoos doing the changing, it's the
Who's Who's.

...this issue has compromise written all over it...
why penalize tax paying law abiding citizenz? WTF would we want to make this
complicated and devisive; that's what the superferry is for! look for a
solution. it's right infront of us.

This is not the mainland. We
have laws in place for protection. Whoever is writing this crap needs to stop
thinking "me me me" and "I want, I want, I want" That is not the local way that
is the mainland way. You are disrespecting other people...

makes you think that people who bring up examples of how things are in other
places are not from here? Some of us travel.

It's a negative
change, and we need to turn it around.

What's all this shibai about
where people come from? The narrow-mindedness is

Stating "its da law" is a bunch of BS. Whose law are we
talking about? Put your efforts with law enforcement towards fighting ICE on the

Vacation Rentals? The Superferry? Unbridled development? Drugs? Rape of farmlands? GMO seed companies poisoning our kids? Tasers and police corruption? Chemtrails? Crop Circles?

All those issues apparently pale in comparison. If you still don’t know what it’s all about Alfie either go to Mel’s blog, re-read some of our past posts or thank your stars you’re not part of the discussion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A DIFFERENT BREED?: Though we weren’t invited, from all reports the Republican Convention this weekend was a clash between the true wing-nuts and the Lingle-Wingles and the blogs have exploded with details.

But the irony may be that the “we’re not Republican enough” crowd that is accusing the Cunning Linguists and McCainiacs of being too much like Democrats-Lite have accomplished turning their confab into an affair steeped in the kind of backbiting, infighting and generalize disunity that usually reserved for meetings of the Democrats.

Poinograhper Doug White does a pretty good wrap up with some good links but for some real red meat you need to check out the lengthy post from Republican State Senator Sam Sloam’s main squeeze, “Hawai`i Reporter” Malia Zimmerman.

Zimmy’s a pretty good reporter and doesn’t hide her biases. And though many of them are personally repugnant to this pug-nose she makes it easy to find the facts all the better to judge her presentations in light of full disclosure of her views.... as opposed to many who present news but lie to us using the preposterous “I’m totally objective” laugh line.

At her web site she posts some tomes from both sides with depictions of the depravity of the obviously staged and scripted process where dissidents- mostly .Ron Paul supporters and Akaka bill opponents- and defenses and justifications by the Party establishment for the iron-fisted way the convention was run- into the ground

But she fails to do what Doug did- give us a link to the spot at Republican blog Mel’s (Ah Ching) Internet Universe where a purloined copy of the actual script is posted along with chief dissident Eric Ryan’s description of events.

The script is tight- every action, word and of course outcome of votes is included, although in an attempt at humor it is noted that the pledge of Allegiance might not go according to script because Sam “shoot-from-the-hip” Sloam was the introducer.

Every actual vote was fully scripted as to outcome including the ones for national committee members and the convention delegates described by having the speaker at the podium say “Raise your right hand for yes. put them down. Raise your left hand for no. Put them down. The ayes have it and the motion is passed. “

The only sort-of vote that wasn’t fully scripted with a forgone conclusion was a call for the question that needed a 2/3 majority. Although the script mentions the possibility of not getting the 2/3 needed to cut off debate it continues as if the no-discussion vote had been “yea”.

Malia’s lengthy piece is priceless- she sure lets her long hair down and let’s it all hang out in a piece headlined “Not A Happy Party”.

Here’s her lead:

“This weekend’s state convention was possibly the lowest point of the Hawaii
Republican Party. I have attended many conventions in the past but this was the
first time I have ever witnessed such large scales of impropriety and
malfeasance on the part of the party leadership. While the party leaders
continued to espouse “unity” throughout the convention weekend, there was none
to be found.

“It was also the first time I have seen delegates
weep in regards to the conduct of the party leadership. Many of these delegates
were there to have a wonderful time and enjoy the convention process. The
guerilla tactics used by the McCain campaign and the GOP leadership represent
reprehensible behavior. “

She goes into detail on the scripted votes and other tactics that tortured poor Roberts Rules, questioning the ethics of party leaders and saying “(t)he outcome of this convention clearly demonstrates that a change in party leadership must take place at the next convention in 2009”.

She also announces her new Co-Chair position on the “Reform Republican Victory Caucus (RRVC) that has been recently established”

She goes on at length with some interviews with long time and new Republicans who were "appalled”- one couple being 41 year veterans of these events- and bemoans the dearth of Republican legislative candidates this year, even denigrating Lingle heir-apparent Lt. Governor Duke Aiona and his presumed run in 2010.

But buried deep in the story is a story that has perplexed Hawai`i bloggers and even mainstream press for a while now- the identity of the ZeroShibai cartoonist. According to Zimmerman, who has run the cartoons, despite his past denials dissident-in-chief Ryan is the penman- or at least one of them.

As political junkies may already know ZeroShibai appeared on the radar screen a while back with it’s “Cow Inoa” cartoon which lampooned- or a least attempted to - the rights of those of Hawaiian descent. That was followed by a scathing condemnation from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Haunani Apoliona- the very thing the author was apparently looking for- causing the whole matter to wind up on the pages of the Honolulu newspapers.

Although Zimmerman leaves a little wiggle room by saying Ryan only “contributed to,/ where various artists take shots at elected Republicans and party leaders” all the cartoons seem exceptionally similar in artistic style and humor... and Ryan is a graphic artist.

Zimmerman did not name any other possible artists but one must wonder if this “outing” of Ryan was with his knowledge since it is essentially calling him a liar for his earlier public denial of involvement.

Zimmerman is perhaps best known for protecting sources as a reporter working with ABC-TV’s 20/20 in their account of the misdeeds of Jimmy Pflueger which allegedly caused the Ka Loko dam break on Kaua`i “murdering” 7 people, as has been accused.

She has more recently been credited with spurring the successful efforts this year to enact a Reporters’ Shield Law which also covers bloggers who engage in reporting.

Did Malia burn a source to whom she had previously granted anonymity? We’ll have to await a response from Ryan.

But for now it’s exceptionally gratifying to know that with the newly reinvigorated transplantation of mainlanders came a crew seemingly dedicated to the destruction of the Republican party, who are now seemingly joining the Democrats in reflecting the famous Will Rogers statements- “I’m not a member of any organized Party- I’m a Democrat.”

What more could a Green growler ask for- the Circular Firing Squad is apparently bipartisan now.

Monday, May 19, 2008


FIDO ATE MY STASH... ER, I MEAN, HOMEWORK: The local paper’s three part series essentially about prescription drug abuse on Kaua`i wasn’t accompanied by a picture of an elephant most likely because they didn’t notice the one in the room.

The article seeks to find someone to blame for the way kids use everything from pain pills to hormone replacement and over-the counter-cough syrup to escape the mind-numbing tedium of school and the associated horrors of the mortifying “I’ve got zits on my pimples!” daily adolescent drama.

But a mirror would come in handy in identifying the criminal masterminds who are actually convincing them that all the authorities are a bunch of liars and all drugs are of the same lethality.

Oh, we could talk about the famous hypocrisy of pill-popping parents telling their kids to “just say no” as they sit in front of the tube that’s advertising pills for diseases that they didn’t even know they had because the ailment was just invented to sell the drug.

Or we could talk about buxom bouffant-laden rock stars saying “no, no, no” to rehab.

But we need look no farther than the current rebirth of “Reefer Madness” to see the reason why Johnny’s too long at the medicine show.

For a while there when the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (DARE) indoctrination program was seemingly and thankfully on it’s way out, people finally woke up to the fact that it was actually encouraging kids to turn to the really bad drugs because they told them that marijuana was the same as all drugs- deadly killers that will turn you into a vicious and violent maniac.

So of course kids tried pot and guess what- they giggled, got hungry and fell asleep. And when they woke up they “realized”- in their own rebellious, adolescent, parents-are-idiots way that the whole DARE program was a lie- and if they lied about pakalolo, they lied about crystal meth and everything else.

But nowadays with the rebirth of post hoc proctor hoc “gateway” nonsense and phony studies that the DEA and big-money anti-drug organizations paid for, it’s like it’s the 50’s- or even the 30’s- all over again.

Only now in addition to the big money there is for quasi-governmental groups and treatment centers for the scourge of “marijuana addiction” there’s also big money in it for law enforcement’s eradication programs.

Now the one drug that is fairly innocuous and is secretly used by half the country is unavailable too. If there is any truth to the “ pot leads to other drugs” claim it’s because people have tried it, liked it, didn’t see any monsters and didn’t die but now they can’t get any more.

“Drugs Are Really Expensive” as the alternative DARE states. And pot is the most expensive of all now that there isn’t any around

So where to go? The medicine cabinet. Or a bag of glue... or if that’s too expensive gasoline. Or for drug connoisseurs there’s that dirt cheap “ice”- one $5 toke and you’re high for days.

It isn’t a matter of advocating drug use for kids. It’s a matter of harm reduction which is the real way to deal with substance abuse.

It isn’t the substance that is the problem- it’s the person with the addictive behavior. No matter what we do there are going to be people who have that problem. While most people will recreationally smoke pot, drink alcohol or even sometimes use other drugs they can take or leave them. But a certain number of people with addictive personalities can’t and they will abuse whatever they get into whether drugs or sex or Oprah.

Here’s some shocking news- teenagers are people. And they’re not dumb-and certainly not nearly as dumb as those of us who think we know everything. But then again they may be smart but they are not always wise.

A certain number will try drugs and a small number will abuse them. But by trying to essentially brainwash the “take it or leave it” section of the kid population by telling them what their own experience tells them is a lie causes them to hop onto the same slippery slope we all use.

Someone lies to me so that person is a liar- that’s being smart. It isn’t that much of a leap then to say that everything that person says is a lie. Even the “wise” among us do that every day. Kids party with that “knowledge”- we adults build political parties and religions out of it.

To take a traditional, medicinal herb that is probably the greatest natural, palliative cure for more general symptoms than any other and make it out to be something it’s not is possibly the second greatest crime in modern history. Putting people in prison for it is the first.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


CIRQUE DE SHAR PEI: Not to flog a deceased stallion (they apparently remain eqis-non-grata) but the circus continued with today’s report in the local paper from Nathan Eagle that has some choice quotes on the whatever-the-heck-it-is path, this time from councilperson Tim Bynum.

Bynum- whom many suspect might have taken the little bus to school based on his seeming inability to process information at a speed one would expect from a competent public official- got his start in politics due to his devotion to the bike path yet seems to have little critical thinking skills on the resulting issues other than those required to drive the bandwagon of support for the do-your-own-thing east-side, no west-side, sidewalks of Makai.

Bynum has appeared fixed-gazed and bewildered when anyone brings up the dozens of “questions” people have asked about the 60 to as much as $100 million project over and over for 10 years without answers from the administration- although he suddenly proclaimed in desperation “they’ve all been answered” beginning one day a year or so.

And despite the #1 illegality- the lack of the federally required personal sign-off by the U.S. Sectary of Transportation (i.e. not that of a functionary or subordinate)- Bynum takes a “you gonna believe me or your lyin’ eyes” attitude, reportedly saying “(f)ederal highways has assessed it and feels it meets the criteria.” according to the article.

But even more perplexing is Eagle’s seeming lack of interest in perusing the issue he told us he would look into last week after reporting last Sunday (as we reported he reported ) that the path is “‘considered’ to be a linear park”.

Eagle’s coverage of the Council is a god-send, especially after the markedly dis-jointed “what-the-heck-does-that-mean” alleged writing that government “reporter” Lester Chang routinely provided for many years at the local fish-wrap.

Why, Nathan actually seems to attend the meetings... or at least shows up for a little while, as was the case for the testimony he got second hand from Councilwoman Iseri-Carvalho for today’s tome.

But despite a promise to us to do some homework and verify that there is no official designation of the path as a county park- the basis for the dog ban being that it is indeed, a park- he again repeats the “considered a linear park” myth.

Now laziness is the stock on trade of the modern corporate journalist- get a quote from two nut-jobs who disagree, google up a fact or two and presto- a modern “objective” news story. It doesn’t have to have any relevant facts as long as there some kind of fact and two people willing to say something really dumb.

So maybe we’ll excuse the normally informative malahini Eagle for how he did chose to ask about the pesky lack of a law to enforce, which is forcing the council to try to pass laws to negate the law that doesn’t exist.

Problem is, he asked Bynum.

If you thought Shaylene’s response we quoted yesterday was irking- especially for an attorney that is running for Prosecutor- Bynum’s was, well, vintage Bynum.
Eagle writes: “In response to residents (sic) questioning whether the path should be classified as a county park, Bynum said it seemed ‘wiser to address the issue straightforward rather than fight a technical battle over what constitutes a park’.”

Is that circus calliope music coming from the council Chambers?... and how did the little poodle get up on that unicycle much less get it up on that little testimony table?

You can’t make this stuff up. But it couldn’t be any more bizarre if you did.


DISCUSSION IN THE DOGHOUSE: You also have to wonder what Eagle reads for background but it couldn’t be the alternative press where the consumers of the red meat of politics go for sustenance- especially if you judge it by his article on the Republican Convention in O`ahu he didn’t attend and wrote about before it happened for publication after it did.

For anyone who eats political affairs with their Wheaties the lead-up to their State Convention has seen a bitter battle between the alleged sell-out-to-the-liberals Lingle faction and the more radical Republicans in Hawai`i, most of the latter “cRyan” over their pro platform stance on the Akaka bill and from intrepid Ron Paul supporters.

We’ve read about it for weeks in various Honolulu based blogs and Republican-leaning news sites and even about the aftermath today and it is fascinating how such a small group can generate such cross-loathing and spur tactical missile exchanges and procedural roadblocks to their Party’s unity.

Not being a Democrat but certainly not being a Republican has it’s advantages. And one may be the ability to see the abject lack of principle on the part of both. But that doesn’t make their machinations any less amusing- and certainly more interesting that the steaming heap of muck from Kaua`i GOP mucky-muck Ron Agor that Eagle rotely regurgitated today.

Guess a little background is a dangerous thing for a reporter at the only daily on Kaua`i, especially when real Kaua`i Republican party bosses – like your lifelong friend Charlie King of King Auto Center - is the paper’s biggest Advertiser.

Eric who?


KRAPUS K-9US: And to round out our critique of the laugh-test failing Sunday paper, the weekly preposterous posturing has “da Chief”, KPD’s Daryl Perry , is still apparently refusing to recognize the potential lethality of tasers despite UN and Amnesty international studies showing the hundreds of deaths of recipients of 50,000 volts, in yet another of his denials of reality. Seems Darly is a quick read- he’s apparently got the Kaua`i-style-statement down pat after only a few months on the job.

Maybe it’s all of us who went to school in the little bus. We’re the ones who don’t have the sense to complain or vote for anyone who will.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


BUT WHAT IF THE DOG IS RIDING A BICYCLE? Sometimes it feels like half the people of Kaua`i have gone insane.

The biggest issue on Kaua`i drawing a hydrophobically hysterical teeth-baring crowd at this week’s Council meeting wasn’t vacation rentals, protecting ag land, the budget or even runaway development and the resultant hour it takes to get through Kapa`a.

No it’s dog lovers vs. dog haters.

At least this time the subject of discussion rather than the discussion itself was dog droppings as the first reading of the various dog path bills drew the gamut of emotional appeals and rational statistical prevarications and pontifications from a slew of people, most of whom have probably never seen the inside of the Council Chambers before.

And in response Councilpersons Mel Rapozo and Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho have written their own somewhat schizophrenic defenses of their personal activities in both supporting and opposing the bike path depending on the momentarily functional side of their mouths and faces.

But we must admit that at one of those moments a momentous event has taken place. On his blog today Rapozo becomes the first elected official to mention that the bike path was actually supposed to be- gasp- for bikes to get from point A to point B.

He starts a pertinent paragraph by saying: “the original intent of the path was for traffic enhancement. In fact, the Federal government provided funds for this County to provide an alternate route for transportation, not a recreational path.”

But then he ends it with what you would expect to hear from a politician in an election year.

“Don’t get me wrong. I fully support the bike path and the recreational use that it provides. This was not the original intent and we need to remember that.”

And what do we do with that remembrance? With that and four bucks you can get a gallon of gas.

Shaylene is, as usual, totally off her rocker again giving a slightly different blow-off to the question of whether our sea-side sidewalk is a park and therefore “no dogs allowed” in a letter to the editor.

“The law prohibits dogs in parks, the bike path is located on ‘park property,’ therefore, dogs are prohibited from being on the bike path.” she maintains although what the heck park property- as it seems distinct from “a park”- is we are still in the dark.

But then she goes on to say since it is a law, even though she apparently can’t cite a specific one, she is going to be vigilant in upholding it.
“I’m sure the rest of the community would take offense if I decided unilaterally to pick and choose which laws I wanted to enforce or not.”

And this woman wants to be our prosecutor? I’m sure we all want somebody enforcing laws they made up.

How did we get to the point where the argument against dogs on the BIKE path is not that it would endanger bicycling commuters-that for which we extracted $40 million in federal funds with a guarantee it would be for “transportation, not recreation”- but that the dogs might reach into the baby carriages and devour a keiki.

How did we get to the point where asking “what the heck is anything but a bicycle doing on the bike path in the first place” elicit a response of “why do you hate dogs so much?”

It’s a damn good thing we are the farthest you can get from Washington D.C. because if they got wind of what’s going on with their transportation money they could very well ask for it back.

Will we ever be able to actually ride a bike on the bike path? When is that U.S. General Accounting Office audit/report due anyway?

The real question may be whether your dog and pony path is worth $40 million. Because the dog and pony show is for a Kaua`i audience only and the feds may well say “we are not amused.”