Thursday, January 5, 2012


YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE: "Math is hard" as the talking Barbie told us a decade or so ago to maker Mattel’s chagrin after the backlash by those concerned that the message that it sent to young girls was that it's okay to throw their math homework under the bus if they found it a little difficult- that and the fact that it's expected they would find it too arduous because, well, they are "only girls."

But when it comes to not following the law because it is "too hard" it's not usually an excuse for non-compliance. The defendant who claims it was tough not to kill his next-door neighbor because "he needed killin'" doesn't usually stand much of a chance in court.

But then those who think difficulty in following the law makes flouting it a bad idea have probably never been to Hawai`i where, more often than not, even the judges find degree of difficulty an excuse for being lenient.

So it was that, baffling to almost everyone, the Hawai`i state Reapportionment Commission came back with a plan last year that said that, despite the fact the Article IV Sect 4 of the Hawai`i State Constitution explicitly banned the use of non-residents in setting the boundaries of state legislative districts, they would include them because to exclude them was just way too hard.

When the Hawai`i Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday that the commission needed to redraw the districts with the constitution in mind it was indeed stunning when, according to the pay-walled Honolulu Star Advertiser "former state Judge Victoria Marks, the commission's chairwoman, said the panel will come up with a new plan, but said it is unclear how many non-permanent residents will be excluded."

Uh Virginia, apparently the number is... um, carry the seven... er, divide by negative eleven...ALL OF THEM.

But the quote that followed was, if possible more "in your face, Supreme Court." The article says that:

(Marks) said if the commission follows two proposals eliminating about 73,000 and 80,000 non-permanent residents, it could come up with a new plan quickly.

But if the commission cannot adopt those numbers or must consider the figure of 120,000 non-permanent residents the challengers request, it would be like "starting completely anew" and could pose problems meeting deadlines for this year's election.

Stunning indeed. Not only has the former judge decided that it would take a supreme court ruling to get her to follow the law but that she still apparently will be taking on the disgraced Barbie persona by trying to finagle non-compliance with a "math is hard" excuse.

For those who have failed to follow the issue, it's not a differentiation without a difference. O`ahu has enough military and students to give them an extra senate district that, if the constitution were to be respected, would otherwise go to the Big Island.

The deadline for commission action is February 1 when, by law, pols are supposed to be able to "pull papers" for office... assuming there is a list of offices for which they may run.

Sometime you've got to wonder. Unless you've lived in the islands long enough to just throw up your hands and decide that wondering itself is just too damn hard.

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