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?

Economy Education HI Politics War

in response to a GOP mailer

I recently was forwarded an email being circulated by the Hawai. I have mixed feelings about posting the email, however here’s my response:

Education HI Politics

lingle, the BOE, and disney world

after reading poinography!’s post on the apparent clash between the lingle administration and the DOE over the $1.5 million spent to send 652 employees to a conference in florida for the second year in a row, i was immediately skeptical of the governor’s position.

several points are raised by the BOE, in defense. first, the decision to send people to the conference was made at the individual school level, not by the BOE. while the BOE, at least to me, seems to be deflecting decision making blame to the schools, they are ultimately justified.

lingle has been pushing for the individual schools to have more authority on decision making and spending, so this attempt by the governor to oversee and reign in spending at the school level may seem, well, a bit hypocritical. the schools should have greater control, so long as they make decisions of which she approves?

again, the BOE may be deflecting some of the blame here and make reference to federal grants helping to cover some of the costs of the big conference bill. to silence the governor and maybe gain some support from a community hurting economically, it might be prudent for the BOE to share just how much of that $1.5 tab was covered by the federal grants.

lastly, the trips, and more relevant, the plans for the trips were made when the state budget and economy didn’t look so grim. should the governor really chastise, in hindsight,  the schools and BOE over budgetary decisions made months ago?

should someone be looking into trips, possibly frivilous trips, the governor as made at the state’s expense?

General Topics

On Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

(written for a talk on 8/6/08 to the Interfaith Alliance)

Alan asked that I join him today in talking to you on the topic of marriage for same-sex couples and I thank you for having me.

To start, I’ll share with you a bit of information that caught Alan by surprise and may surprise you as well; I’m not a member of the GLBT community. I am a heterosexual, single man. What’s more, there is no one in my family, as far as I know, who is a member of the GLBT community.

A few months back I, along with a few other members from the FEC (Family Equality Coalition), met with Senator Hooser to discuss legislation relating to the issue of marriage for same-sex couples. To open the meeting, each member introduced him or herself and gave a brief statement as to why they felt strongly about the issue. When my turn came, I told the Senator that the issue didn’t affect me directly, but I was interested in the the issue as a matter of social justice.