Civil Rights Economy Environment HI Politics National Issues

How Progressives Can Effect Change with Obama as President

Originally written for the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii blog on July 25, 2011

It has been suggested that the previous post should have been geared more along the lines of this topic. After thinking about, it, I decided that instead of rewriting it, I should simply write a follow-up post. For starters, I think it is important to say, again, and with no equivocation, that Obama isn’t progressive, even though there are those who believe he is, “in his heart of hearts.” Using this notion as a starting point for action is, in my opinion, a mistake and progressives will serve their causes much better if they first abandon it.

I’ll be referring to PDH for my examples, but the concepts will obviously apply to other organizations, as well as individuals.

2010 Civil Rights Economy Elections Environment HI Politics

The Race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I should say right up front  that I do not and will not support Ed Case in his bid for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional seat in 2010. I didn’t support him when he ran against Senator Akaka in 2006 and I in fact worked on Akaka’s campaign. I feel I should say, however, that politically, he’s not totally bad. As a self-proclaimed progressive, I will say that he’s generally good on social justice issues, such as same-sex marriage, as well as on environmental issues.

Seeing as he’s started campaigning so early and seeing as how I’ve already received a flier from his campaign in my mailbox, I thought I’d start laying out the reasons for voting for someone else. Let’s start with the aforementioned flier.

Economy Environment General Topics Health Care Impeachment National Issues

Strong, Well-Crafted Words from Bill Maher

I came across an article today that one which I feel the need to comment. Bill Maher, talk show host and progressive guest blogger on, put to words much better than I could, the things I’ve been thinking and feeling at least since the health care debate started heating up this summer, if not since Obama took office.

Its also been my major complaint with the Democratic Party since they took back control of the U.S. House in 2006; right off the bat, House leadership proclaimed impeachment was ‘off the table.’

Economy Environment General Topics HI Politics

Development and Local Awareness

I’ve always been impressed with the quality of events Kanu Hawaii puts on to help the community and raise awareness about important issues.

The Eat Local Challenge is no exception. In fact, it strikes at the heart of possibly one of the most immediate and important questions for our islands. Eating local is beneficial on both an economic and environmental level. And the light the Challenge shines on food channels couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin featured on Wednesday, August 12, an article discussing plans to develop 1,500 acres of some of ‘the best ag land’ on Oahu for a 12,000 home community. The loss of this prime agricultural land to tract housing, shopping centers, and business parks will be a significant loss of our ability to grow food for ourselves.


bush, protecting the environment… sort of

there’s an article from the associated press today that is reporting that bush is taking steps to protect three separate island chains in the pacific.

Bush is considering conserving parts of the Northern Mariana islands in the western Pacific, as well as eight islands and coral reef atolls and their surrounding waters in the central Pacific that are part of the Line Islands and American Samoa.

hurray! needless to say, i was a bit surprised when i read this. granted, he did help create the NWHI refuge, but in much the same manner, i question to just what extent is the president truly willing to protect these marine environments. and then the answer comes:

While an assortment of activities including commercial fishing, oil and gas exploration and deep sea mining could be allowed, barring extractive activities “would be one of the most significant environmental achievements” of any president, said Joshua S. Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group.

not being an expert on such matters, i can’t help but be a little confused by this. “an assortment of activities” will be excluded, including deep sea mining and military training exercises, extractive activities would be barred? extractive? oil and gas exploration, mining and commercial fishing, to me would be described as “extractive.” are there additional, more harmful extractive activities that would excluded? i certainly can’t think of any.

just to be clear, bush wants to protect these areas from everything except oil and coal speculators, commercial fisherman, and military bombardment. what’s left to protect these island chains from?

Environment Media

liberal media?

while flipping channels this evening, looking for something worth watching (i found nothing), i came across the glenn beck show on cnn headline news. i enjoy the news, so i watched for a minute or two. what i heard was quite disturbing.

mr. beck (ass) was interviewing someone about global warming and the report that ipcc has (will be?) publishing. like i said, i only watched for a minute and caught the end of the interview, but the gist of it was that the ipcc report could not be considered accurate given the manner in which it was produced. the guest suggested that the ipcc directed the authors with regard to the contents of the report. his evidence for this is that the summary was released before the final version. i didn’t hear the whole interview and don’t know enough about the ipcc or its process to comment, in the short time i was tuned in i got the very clear impression that the implication was the report was ‘doctored’ to present results that support the notion of global warming, which it seemed the guess believed to be at best inconclusive, at worst a hoax.

as the glenn beck show led out to a commercial, mr. beck (ass) previewed the next section by saying something along the lines of ‘innovation, not regulation is the solution to the environmental question.’ something like that. i’d like to talk to the conservative jackass that says this is ‘liberal media bias.’ in the three minutes that i watched (which i admit isn’t very long) i didn’t hear one shred of discussion or commentary that led me to think anything other than i already do; the major news media, whether it be fox, cnn, or msnbc, is nothing more than the mouth piece for big business. i don’t say the administration, because the bush administration (as well as congress) is little more than a mechanism functioning for the benefit of big business.

liberal media bias? please! if either mr. beck (ass) or his guest has suggested raising cafe standards, placing higher carbon regulations on manufacturers, or replacing the spr with renewable fuels (like biodiesel), maybe they could be called liberal. that didn’t happen and i don’t expect any major media outlet to do so anytime soon. in the meantime, we’ll continue to be told that things aren’t that bad, or that all the evidence isn’t in yet, or that we can continue to live the way we do. that’s the role of major media. does that sound liberal to you?