Thursday, April 15, 2010


AND WE ALL KNOW HOW PAINFUL THAT CAN BE: We mentioned in passing the other day the local trend in the courtroom of 5th Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe (we’ll try to continue to spell her name right) to deny the community it’s right to plan its development future by seeing absurdly bogus “property rights” everywhere she looks citing the latest “anything goes” trend in land (ab)use law.

But although Watanabe has established this warped phenomena on Kaua`i it certainly isn’t unique to the island.

And it’s not just a trend in the courtroom.

Our hurry-up-and-wait-and-screw-the-public-at-3-a.m.-behind-closed-doors-at-the-last-minute Hawai`i state legislative process briefly coughed back up the idiotic “flag” bill yesterday before putting it to rest again according to a blog post from Honolulu Advertiser capitol reported Derrick DePledge.

In case you missed it, earlier in the sessions a bunch of jingoistic vets- ones who survived despite their willingness to die for a piece of cloth- wanted the lege to override their “planned community” rules for displaying flags and allow their gaudy any-kine erections to fly in everyone’s face.

But really this business is nothing new and Kaua`i lives with a reminder of a 5th Circuit Court decision made decades ago that continues to violate both the community’s right to plan and the eyes of anyone who travels from Lihu`e to Kalaheo.

Some may wonder how the heck that huge neon “Jesus Coming Soon” sign just past O`mao is allowed to so blatantly flout the local sign ordinance.

Back almost thirty some odd years ago the church just put the sign up without a permit and claimed that it was their religious belief that they had to proclaim the second coming “from the rooftops”... and this was their way of doing just that.

The issue was pursued by then retired local newspaper editor Jean Holmes who was offended enough by the sign that she threatened to start her own “Church of the Hearing Ear” and erect a 100 foot tall auditory appendage on her roof in Lawa’i.

The matter wound up in the court of Judge Cliff Nakea who surprised everyone by accepting the church’s argument based on the first amendment and dismissing the case.

The sign continues to despoil the viewplane to this day because the county declined to appeal the case.

But even if they run the flag pole bill up the flag poll again perhaps it won’t matter if this report in today’s Onion is accurate:

U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths

WASHINGTON—Citing a series of fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets.

Representatives from the nation's leading flag producer claimed that as many as 143 million deaths in the past two centuries can be attributed directly to the faulty U.S. models, which have been utilized extensively since the 18th century in sectors as diverse as government, the military, and public education.

Now that’s justice- if not actual then poetic.

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