Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Whither the Superferry

I’m amazed but not surprised we’re even debating the proposed inter-island ferry service in Hawaii because every other community would recognized how fortunate they are to be given such an opportunity -- so I can understand why the ferry operators are perplexed by the carefully orchestrated opposition to it. I just hope they are not successful in inciting the hysteria and fear in our elected officials, bad conditioning/education Hawaii is infamous for -- and which keeps the great riches and talent of the world from offering their services here. We can be the most blessed people in the world -- if we would allow it, rather than fighting off every new and great idea, while clinging tightly to our age-old problems -- mainly of a mentality and culture that refuses to accept any solutions.

With every great venture, including cures and solutions, there are always risks, and so the question is not whether there are risks, but whether the rewards outweigh the risks. What is to be gained by the Superferry service, is greater access to all the parts and resources of every part of our state -- as though it is everyone’s, and not just the few who have mostly moved in and not want to preserve the remote islands as exclusively their own. That was a major problem when Hawaii was originally appropriated by self-proclaimed more “self-righteous” people -- who then claimed they owned it exclusively for their own use, what used to belong to everybody.

The same thing is happening in places where some want to put up gates to prevent access to the public beaches here on Oahu. There are others who claim the right to control inter-island transportation -- because they always have, and now it is their exclusive, divine birthright. And the outer islands have become a mecca for anti-progress protestors, who still think the ideal is for the indigenous peoples of the world to continue to live in grass huts and caves as God’s intended ideal for them -- and they should reflexively fight off every good for humans that give an advantage over every other species -- and that the ideal is for humans to be in fair competition with every species for only their allotted fair share, which they insist is when the human population no longer exists -- so that the other animals can reign.

That’s what I’m hearing of the arguments against the Superferry -- and why I haven’t been at these Hearings (demonstrations) like most other sane and rational people -- thinking that government decisions will be by those who can scream the loudest and bully and intimidate those who are uncertain what they think. And that is a great problem in Hawaii, and so I ask in these deliberations, that our elected officials, merely resist all the deceptions and manipulations, and make a courageous decision based on their own intelligent thought processes, which is all that one can ask of another.

If we value intelligence, the intelligent and productive people of the world will know they are welcome here, and then, that intelligence will solve all the problems of our times and place -- rather than insisting that those age-old problems are who were are and must be forevermore. Life is too short and precious, not to explore the wonderful world -- that can begin at home, in these Islands, with the addition of the Superferry.

2 Comments:

At October 26, 2007 7:36 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

It takes a calamity to turn the tide:
http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10024699

Louisiana
Bucking a trend

Oct 25th 2007 | NEW ORLEANS
From The Economist print edition
Some rare good news for Republicans in the shape of a governor

WHEN it comes to the business of elections, Louisiana likes to confound conventional wisdom. While most of its Southern neighbours were busy electing Republicans during the early 2000s, Louisiana stubbornly returned a Democrat, Mary Landrieu, to the Senate in 2002, and put another one, Kathleen Blanco, in the governor's mansion in 2003. Now, as Republican fortunes have sagged across the nation—in no small part because of the Bush administration's failure to cope with Hurricane Katrina's devastation of Louisiana's coast in 2005—the party is having a banner year in the state.

Atop the scorecard is the Republicans' reclamation of the governorship, in a rare primary-election victory by the 36-year-old Bobby Jindal on October 20th. Unusually, Louisiana holds a combined primary for all candidates, Democrat and Republican, with the top two vote-winners going forward to a run-off. Even more unusual is for a candidate to win outright on the first round, which is what Mr Jindal managed, polling an impressive 54% of the primary vote. Perhaps most remarkable of all is that Mr Jindal, who is Indian-American as well as very young, has overturned what had been supposed to be deep-seated prejudice. Four years ago, his defeat by Ms Blanco was widely viewed as proof that the state's “Bubbas”—rednecks uncomfortable with politicians who don't look like them—had not evolved.

But just four years later, Bubba seems to have granted Mr Jindal, whose given name is Piyush, honorary redneck status. (Four years ago, bumper stickers appeared with the slogan “Bubbas for Bobby”, but the message has taken a long time to sink in.)

Mr Jindal is something of a paradox. He is the first non-white governor since Reconstruction; he is a Rhodes scholar; he is the nation's youngest governor. In other words, he's a breath of fresh air, a sign of progress who promises to eradicate corruption in what many say is America's worst-governed state. On the other hand, he is a religious conservative who was as reliable a rubber-stamp as George Bush had in Congress, refusing to make a fuss even when Republicans there were blaming New Orleans for Katrina. Not all of the air is fresh.

Mr Jindal's victory is only the icing on the cake. The Republicans are expected to take five of the six elected state offices in Louisiana when the run-off votes are counted next month.

And next year the Democrats' top officeholder, Ms Landrieu, looks like facing an uphill battle. When she was last elected, in 2002, she won in large part thanks to a landslide in her home city, heavily Democratic New Orleans. Whereas the city's predilections haven't changed dramatically, its size has, and its electoral significance along with it. In 2002 almost 133,000 New Orleanians voted in the Senate race. On October 20th less than 60% of that number turned up at the polls, a sign of the city's post-Katrina shrinkage. Ms Landrieu won New Orleans by almost 80,000 votes in 2002, twice her overall margin of victory. This time, that was more votes than all the candidates got combined in the city that was once the alpha and the omega of Louisiana politics.

 
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