Thursday, August 21, 2008


DID I SAY WOOF?- I MEANT ARF: If yesterday’s “whither the Superferry” so-called poll on the local paper’s web site isn’t the most poorly designed survey ever devised it’s certainly in contention for the title

Laughably asking five non-mutually exclusive options and using wording that seems to have been measuring the pulse of last year they asked.

A year after the the (sic) Hawaii Superferry was turned away from the harbor at Nawiliwili in late-August 2007, I strongly believe:

It should return to Kauai and resume service.

An EIS should be completed before it returns to service on Kauai.

It should never return.

It should return to service on Kauai while an EIS is conducted.

Superferry officials should reach out to the people of Kauai to determine if a return to Kauai will occur

“I strongly believe”? Is that supposed to be a question? Are we talking about UFO’s landing on the Sleeping Giant or Bigfoot living in Kalalau? Might just as well ask if you believe the earth is flat or if global warming is going to kill us all.

Are we being asked if we “believe in” the Superferry? The tooth fairy wants equal time.

But the choices themselves are mind bogglingly inane and biased toward approval- some kind of approval- any kind of approval....pu-leeeeze approve of me..

We get the feeling some sleaze-ball salesman is asking us “Whadda I gotta do to sell you this boat?”

The push-poll shows at best a true misunderstanding of the issues if not malintent on the part of Editor Adam Harju or, more likely, Publisher Mark Lewis.

The first problem is that there are five answers possible and most people would not be satisfied with only one answer.

Pollsters know- and crooked pollsters count on the fact that- when confused by that kind “pick only one” type of question people will choose something in the middle. Give people four ways to give a qualified answer and one to say give an absolute answer, their response is much more likely to be one of the qualified ones.

In this case since there is only one “no” and it’s an “absolutely no, never, nunca, don’t talk tome anymore about it” answer, people are more likely to pick on of the other softer alternatives even if it doesn’t really express their opinion.

And the EIS statements don’t even ask the relevant question- will the EIS be an honest one and even if it is will the mitigations cited actually mitigate anything?.

How about asking “if the Superferry contributes $100 million to improve the infrastructure needed on Kaua`i to support it would you consider allowing it?” Now there’s a question.

But rather they “ask” “An EIS should be completed before it returns to service on Kauai”.

It’s an option that is completely inappropriate. It might have been a question that was valid a year ago but now is really ridiculous since there’s an EIS being done right now. It just gives people another chance to give a qualified “yes”.

Same with “It should return to service on Kauai while an EIS is conducted.” It’s almost done. Again it’s a question that might have been relevant a year ago.

The fact is that the EIS is almost done. At least ask if you trust the current EIS.. If one is following the issues- as you’d presume people at the local newspaper were doing- you’d think they’d be able to ask the right questions about the EIS.

But there will be an EIS done pretty soon so the issue is really idiotic to ask about. All it does is to provide more ways for people to give a qualified yes.

And what is this “resume service” and “return” business?. They actually came once, over a year ago and were kicked out. That may technically qualify as a “resumption of service” but somehow the concept doesn’t quite seem applicable here. Should we invite that guy who broke in to our house last year to return and resume robbing us?

Then there’s the most ridiculous choice of all “Superferry officials should reach out to the people of Kauai to determine if a return to Kauai will occur”.

It presumes that there’s someone to talk to that will somehow “determine” something. Are they searching for someone to join the Lingle’s “Unified command”?...or maybe someone who, when they say “come on in”, will cause us all to head slap ourselves and say “what were we thinking- now that you’re talked to Keone we’re all for it”.

At best any answer like this is useless information . Garbage in garbage out. At worst it gives people a way to say yes while they think they’re saying no.

A real poll would quite obviously have had two choices Do you favor Superferry service to Kaua`i after the EIS- Yes or No.

Only someone with an ulterior motive would run a slap-in-the-face poll like this, “unscientific” as it is.

Let’s get real here- this reeks of some kind of whishy-washy if not duplicitous poll most likely dictated by what the newspaper thinks it needs to do to get more of that Superferry advertising money..

Oh, no one is saying Harju got a call from Fargo or Lehman dangling dollars in exchange for a push-poll like this although a call from someone from Lingle’s United Command might not be too far fetched. But the paper certainly know who’s been buttering the bread of the Honolulu papers and don’t need dance instructions to march to the beat of that drummer.

What’s astonishing is that they think that no one will notice as they try to split the “yes” vote into four categories providing four ways for people to say yes even if they really want to say no.

It’s like asking someone “do you hate broccoli?” and then when the person- who really does hate broccoli- says “well, no, I don’t actually HATE broccoli” the pollster say “oh good- another person who loves broccoli”

And the Superferry people will take it- anything even mimicking a positive direction is good enough for them considering no one wants the boat or the issue over here except the few who will get to stuff even more money in their pockets at our expense... “any port in a storm” so to speak.

Most of the rest of us on Kaua`i “strongly believe” that the Superferry “should return to Kauai and resume service” to Kaua`i as soon as we can ice skate on the plains of Mana.

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