Thursday, November 29, 2018


I haven't seen so much naivety since Little Red Riding Hood, in people's reactions to the Kaua`i County Council preliminary leadership vote, including- or especially?- Luke Evslin's on Facebook (best go to his page- there's a few).

The original Perot's fairy tale ends after the infamous penultimate line, “Oh Grandma, what big teeth you have,.” then unequivocally stating “And with that he opened his mouth and A T E   H E R  U P.

No hunters with butcher knives stumbling by outside to save the day by cutting open the wolf's belly and removing The Notorious LRRH.

In case there are some out there that haven't heard the secret, policy IS politics, unlike Luke's Facebook essay last night portended. If you care about policy you will have to pay attention to those paying attention to politics because otherwise you will find yourself like the guy standing in front of the boss's desk readying himself to ask for a raise and instead finding himself dropping precipitously through the trap door.

The Chairperson of most bodies- or whatever they're calling the boss of your legislative “board,” sets the agenda, I'll say that again.

The Chair of the Board sets the agenda. The rest of the board may put up a fight to change that de facto rule but it isn't likely to pass and you'll be playing more politics to accomplish that than you would to have if you just sat down and shut up and kept your powder dry for the battles to come over the next 2,4,6 or 8 years.

Whether the Chair wins by one vote or all but one vote he or she will be keeping a close eye on his or her friends and a closer one on their enemies. You, as one of the rabble, don't need to grab an inordinate share of the chair's attention while you work on the politics that will allow you to execute the policy. If you're worried about climate change there's no need to remind the chair every day that he works for the most dispoiling business (Grove Farm) on the island until you're ready- and have enough allies- to execute a political shift, which is after all the only way to execute that policy shift.

Best not to get caught with you pants down; if you go at the king, best not miss... and all that Machiavellian clap trap.

I've watched the Kaua`i County Council at work for 40 years and have never seen anyone go along and give their vote and not get stabbed in the back for it unless they join the right prison gang and then they'll support you with their political life. It's really a simple- and simplistic way to play politics but no one around here is any smarter than knight takes pawn, bishop takes knight, etc. and they all figure they'll find out when they get a year or so under their belts. And once they do, they've been sucked in and there's no getting out.

Maybe you're smarter than the av-er-age bear. Luke You seem to be. Or maybe, as they say “you're goin' places boy.”

I fear young Mr. Evslin will slip down that slope if he doesn't have more of a plan than “forget about politics, concentrate on policy and assume others will be doing the same. Otherwise, gnaw, slurp, lick lips... yum-yum-yum.

Others have made the same mistake.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


I really lead a sheltered existence. Although I spend half my life reading about the current generation of FOX-News MAGA-heads and the kind of conspiratorial substitute news that has apparently taken hold across the country, it actually walked up my stairs in the form of a large middle-aged southern-accented appliance repairman yesterday about 6:45 p.m.
As Judy Woodruff began to introduce a PBS NewsHour piece on the American atrocities at the Mexican-American border I hear “They're all ISIS, you know.”
“Excuse me?” I said. After all I have had trouble getting enough oxygen to the brain lately. Maybe it's the ears too.
But no. The deluge was about to begin. In shock, I caught maybe every third word or concept because I had apparently stumbled into the belly-of-the-beast- and that belly was my own living room.
“They're all young men- no women or children.... notice, they're all under 30. It's all paid for and staged.” he said, pointing at the refugees seeking asylum which he no doubt saw as the invading Caravan chock-full-of “bad hombres.”
Still not being quite ready to push my reporting brethren under the bus, I had to ask. “You mean they're all making it up? PBS, CBS. CNN, NY Ti...”
“Of course they are.”
I was unable to formulate the words quickly enough to ask if he, thought maybe there was some secret corner closet in the US Capitol where they and Adam Sorkin gather to write today's script- i.e. the mainstream media news.
The pundits say that the country is divided and tell stories about “unfriending” 25-year acquaintances. Funny- I've never had any actual “friends” I needed to ditch like that. Apparently we picked each other well at the time
And I'm not likely to come across one unless it's a friend of a friend, usually of someone I don't even really know. And I intend to keep it that way- by ignoring them.
I've apparently unconsciously- or maybe super-consciously, spent 66 years weeding these people out of my life as, not just traditional “friends” but new “social media friend” as well.
Something in the back of my click-clacking lizard brain I know I should have friends with differing political bents. And I have “true conservative” friends I've loved and still do.
But I've begun to realize this is not just another political view. This is a whole new brand of troglodyte and it's the job of his or her friends and family that helped them achieve such a stunning lack of media literacy in the first place to help ease them back to reality.
It's not mine if I want to maintain the bones in my nose in their current alignment .