The Death of Osama bin Laden
Posted in General Topics, Media, National Issues, War May 8th, 2011 by admin

It’s been a week, now, since I picked up my phone to see a message saying President Obama was going to be announcing that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, had been killed.

My first reaction was one of disbelief, so I immediately reached for the remote and turned on MSNBC. While listening to the coverage as the nation, and the world, waited for Obama to address the nation, my disbelief changed to disgust as the news coverage was showing the breakout of spontaneous celebrations, chants of “USA,” and singing of the national anthem. I wondered if I was the only one who found the celebration of the death of another person as distasteful. Thankfully, I quickly found others expressing similar feelings on Facebook. (more…)

Crash?
Posted in General Topics May 20th, 2010 by admin

I’m testing whether the tables in myphp have crashed….

Who’s To Blame?
Posted in Economy, General Topics, National Issues February 22nd, 2010 by admin

I received an email a while back from my stepfather with an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune. The basic thrust of the piece was that the President, and public at large, were pointing the finger of blame for the financial meltdown in the wrong direction. Instead of pointing them at the banks and large financial firms, we should be directing the blame toward all those selfish, unaccountable individuals who bought homes with adjustable rate mortgages. Those stupid, self-interested bastards!

Just like it was the unions and workers who should be blamed for the ruin of General Motors and the other American car companies, not the companies themselves selling gas-guzzling cars no one wanted.

The opinion piece has a whining tone, it seems to me. Oh, those poor banks and financial giants are always being picked on. (more…)

From a Demoralized Activist, Part 2
Posted in Elections, General Topics, National Issues February 12th, 2010 by admin

Some time before the indefinite deferral of HB444 SD1, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a devastating ruling on corporate financing of campaigns. The ruling confers rights to corporations under the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

and 14th Amendment, Section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (more…)

Afghanistan: A ‘Just War?’
Posted in Afghanistan, General Topics, Iraq, National Issues, War December 15th, 2009 by admin

President Obama, in his address accepting his Nobel Peace Price, referred to the notion of ‘just war.’ Early in his remarks, he says:

The concept of a “just war” emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence. Of course, we know that for most of history, this concept of “just war” was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different G[-]d. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations — total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. And while it’s hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.

Here he refers to basic principles, a checklist of sorts, that helps define what constitutes a ‘just war.’ As a country in the midst of two wars, the President makes no apologies for either the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, only states that one of them is drawing to a close. If a war is illegal, it follows naturally that the war is also unjust. One might conclude from statements Obama made during his campaign, that he would agree the Iraq war was not only ill advised, but illegal, and therefore unjust. As our nation’s focus has slowly shifted, since Obama took office, from Iraq back to Afghanistan, his administration has done nothing to punish, or even investigate, those responsible for the illegal war in Iraq. (more…)

Strong, Well-Crafted Words from Bill Maher
Posted in Economy, Environment, General Topics, Health Care, Impeachment, National Issues September 13th, 2009 by admin

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 HuffingtonPost.com, 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.’ (more…)

Prejudice in Paradise?
Posted in Civil Rights, General Topics, HI Politics, National Issues September 2nd, 2009 by admin

An article came to my attention yesterday on which I would like to comment. In this year’s fall issue of the Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) there is an article titled ‘Prejudice in Paradise,’  which discusses racism against whites by Native Hawaiians. It refers to and discusses racial slurs, like ‘haole,’ both verbal and physical harassment, and the State’s response, or lack thereof.

As is suggested in comments on the story at both iLind.net and Volcanic Ash, I think the SPLC article is awkwardly one-sided. Does prejudice exist in Hawaii? Certainly. Do I need the SPLC to tell me that? No. The matter is far more complicated than a native culture breading violence against white people. (more…)

Development and Local Awareness
Posted in Economy, Environment, General Topics, HI Politics August 30th, 2009 by admin

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. (more…)

Astroturf Activists
Posted in General Topics, Health Care, National Issues August 10th, 2009 by admin

This is an absolutely brilliant term for the outspoken and occasionally violent movement that’s begun to spring up in opposition to health care reform. It, of course, refers to ‘grassroots’ activists by making a conscious distinction between the organized tea parties, angry mobs at town hall meetings (astroturf organizing), and true grassroots movements.

Mainstream media has begun to pick up on the differences. I’ve seen both CNN and MSNBC make references to astroturf organizing and while I doubt FOX News would call it that, I have to admit to not knowing for sure, seeing as watching a minute of FOX News creates a growing desire in me to stick sharp, pointy objects in my eyes and ears. (more…)

My Political Orientation
Posted in General Topics August 5th, 2009 by admin

You might have been able to guess my political orientation from reading regularly this blog, but just in case you aren’t sure:

My Political Views
I am a far-left social libertarian
Left: 7.79, Libertarian: 4.71


My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -7.21


My Culture War Stance
Score: -7.56

If you’d like to take the quiz that gave me these results, here it is: Political Spectrum Quiz

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