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

“Obama’s Birth Certificate”
Posted in General Topics, National Issues July 30th, 2009 by admin

Any reasonably sane person will admit this ‘birther’ movement is comprised entirely of nut jobs. I understand in any number of circumstances, calling activists ‘nut jobs’ does quite a bit to damage the activist voice, from either side of the isle, in a country dominated by a sensationalist new media which picks and chooses its message.

Still, it seems everyone but the very, very far right group of insane people can agree that this claim that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii is distracting responsible people, as well as the news media, from more important issues… like health care reform!

Admittedly, I haven’t paid real close attention to the ‘birther’ news cycle simply because its a stupid argument to make. Its been proven. Its been proven more than once. And don’t even get me started on self-proclaimed ‘Mr. Independent.’ Lou Dobbs is a right-wing groupie posing as a responsible journalist. You think I’m wrong? Hell, even FOX’s Bill O’Reilly lends no credence to the ‘birther’s’ claims.

Here’s a pretty entertaining mash-up, of sorts, from Media Matters:

Here’s a hilarious comic by Matt Wuerker sent to me as my daily cartoon from the Center for American Progress. Its just priceless:

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There’s a small part of me that just feels sorry for these ‘birther’ people who can’t seem to find a better outlet for the frustration. Or for their insanity.

Regarding the Reprimand of Senator Gabbard
Posted in Civil Rights, HI Politics July 29th, 2009 by admin

On Saturday, July 25, the Oahu County Committee (OCC) of the Oahu Democratic Party voted to set aside the recommendation of its Rules Committee to dismiss a complaint against State Senator Mike Gabbard and instead passed a resolution to reprimand the Senator.

Senator Gabbard is not a good Democrat, despite what some might say. In fact, before August 2007, he was a Republican; one reviled by most, if not all, Democrats. He was brought into the Party as part of a deal struck by State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa. She agreed to support his membership in the Party, if he’d agree to join her faction in the Senate. At the time, the idea of allowing Gabbard into the Party made just about everyone I know sick and some long-time Party members even quit the Party in disgust. Despite the foul taste the whole thing left in our mouths, Democrats couldn’t keep him out. (more…)

Only Single-Payer Can Save Us
Posted in General Topics, Health Care June 20th, 2009 by admin

Here’s some statistics for you to chew on:

  • Currently, health care costs account for approximately 20 percent of our GDP. It is estimated that by 2025 that number will increase to 25 percent. By 2040, it will be 34 percent.
  • By 2040, the number of uninsured will jump from 42 million today to 76 million.
  • From 1996 to 2006, the cost of health care in this country has doubled.
  • Today there are more than 1,300 insurance companies operating in the US.
  • A recent study found that insured families are paying a “hidden tax of more than $1,000″ a year to help cover the cost of treating the uninsured.

These are stark figures and they only begin to paint a picture of just how much trouble we’re in with our current health care system.

Among the industrialized world, patients in the US pay more for their health care than any other. Among the industrialized world, the US is home to more uninsured than any other. And, according to studies conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Commonwealth Fund, not only do we pay more for health care than any other first world country, but that high cost doesn’t necessarily translate to better care. (more…)

Furloughs Not Layoffs
Posted in Economy, HI Politics June 8th, 2009 by admin

Its been a while since I posted anything on this blog, so my commentary and critical thinking skills (not to mention research) might be a little shabby. I’m going to try to start write to this blog at least as often as my other, so hopefully I’ll improve….

There seems to have been two major topics of discussion at the Capitol this past session: Civil Unions and the state budget. By the close of session, neither, it seems, was sufficiently addressed. So, at least for the later, a special session will have to be called. One major topic to be addressed? Lingle’s attempt to cut the salaries of state workers.

Oh, wait. Sorry. I meant to say furlough.

Lingle is claiming, with the legal back up from her AG, that she can furlough state workers without having to negotiate under collective bargaining. I need to read the AG’s letters to the House Speaker’s office (after which I should be able to write a follow up!), but my initial understanding of the Governor’s argument is that since collective bargaining is a function for salaries and benefits, and since furloughs don’t fall under those categories, there’s not requirement for her to sit down across a table from the state employee’s union.

What I find odd about this particular argument is that she’s selling it to the public as an alternative to lay-offs, which wouldn’t fall under collective bargaining either. It seems to me her suggested furloughs are much, much closer to pay cuts than they are to lay-offs, it should fall under the requirements pertaining to collective bargaining. 

It makes sense. At least to me. No one will be losing their job, but they’ll be working less, thus making less. I don’t know about you, but that sounds suspiciously similar to a pay cut to me.

It sounds like both the Governor’s Office and the majority at the legislature are gearing up for a battle, not to mention those preparing to file a lawsuit against the State should Lingle move forward with her plan.

The ledge may not be in session, but its shaping up to be an interesting summer, nonetheless.

Stay tuned.

Civil Unions May be Coming to Hawaii…. Soon
Posted in Civil Rights, HI Politics February 6th, 2009 by admin

Yesterday was a good day.  i left work early and made my way to the capitol to take part in and be witness to the house judiciary committee’s hearing on civil unions, hb444.

Since the end of 2007, I’ve been working with the Family Equality Coalition. The FEC is the brainchild of a number of activists who were disappointed and disillusioned after the 2007 hearing on civil unions. The FEC, while now part of a broader coalition that includes some unions, faith groups, college and community organization, was instrumental in the early stages of this process.

In December PDH officially became a member organization of the FEC…. (more…)

Civil Unions May Be Coming to Hawaii
Posted in Civil Rights, HI Politics January 27th, 2009 by admin

In the next few days, House Bill 444 will be introduced in the Hawaii State House. It is a bill which would create for same-sex couples a legal partnership equivalent to marriage in almost every way conceivable.  For those couples living in Hawaii, the passage of this law would be an enormous step forward in leveling the field regarding marriage rights. It is, of course, not marriage, but it is a strong first step toward marriage and full equality in the law AND in society.

House Bill 444 will be introduced with an unprecedented 32 co-signers. Since the fight for equal rights for same-sex couples began here in the early 90′s, never has such a bill had such seeming broad support in the State House. While I remain ever-so-slightly skeptical of the bill’s eventual passage out of the House (a first here), I am extremely optimistic that is exactly what will happen. Call it what you will, fate, destiny, luck, hard work… whatever, House Bill 444 is poised to be the first bill of its kind to come out of either the House or Senate of the Hawaii State Legislature. (more…)

congress: no friend to blue-collar workers
Posted in General Topics December 4th, 2008 by admin

so i’ve become a big fan of podcasts. i know they’ve been around a while, but i’m just now getting on the bandwagon, so to speak. i listen (or try to) everyday to a handful of various news podcasts, including the bbc, democracy now, the economist, and the rachel maddow show. its this last one that has, over the last week or so, repeatedly covered or commented on the auto industry bailout… or lack thereof.

admittedly, i was against the bailout of the mortgage industry, big banks, and wall street. there is no doubt in my mind that they, with the help of lax regulation and oversight, have put us in this mess. it was their blind gluttony at the expense of everyone else that has pretty much tanked the US and world economy. (more…)

bush, protecting the environment… sort of
Posted in Environment August 26th, 2008 by admin

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?

in response to a GOP mailer
Posted in Economy, Education, HI Politics, War August 19th, 2008 by admin

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

please sign my guest book