Cities: January 2008 Archives

| | TrackBacks (0)

fake_pay-to-play_ad.jpg Via Michelle Malkin, I came across this Hawaiian political satire website called It may be the closest thing I've seen in the US to the quality of satire, tone, and wit you get in Britain's Private Eye. The humor is backed by what appears to be serious research on the issues. The website's perspective is anti-government-corruption, anti-racial-preferences, and anti-insider-deals. (Shibai is a local political term borrowed from Japanese and is used to mean lies.)

One of the biggest issues at the moment is a plan to create a Hawaiian native government, somewhat akin to tribal governments here in Oklahoma, which would control a large amount of Hawaiian land. According to the website, this new government would be funded by all taxpayers but would exist for the benefit of those with native Hawaiian heritage, and would duplicate services already provided by state and local governments. The lead article on January 31 (sorry, they don't seem to have permalinks for individual stories) suggests that the whole point is to leverage Haole guilt to create a bunch more phony-baloney jobs for political insiders.

The site got some heat from the state government over a satire of the "Kau Inoa" program that is enrolling native Hawaiians for eligibility to participate in the new tribal government. is worth visiting for a couple of reasons:

(1) The fake ads in the sidebar which skewer both political parties, the governor, Honolulu city government, developers, the teachers' union, and just about every other major interest group. A copy of one is on the right; I picked it because it's relevant to another story I hope to post later this evening.

(2) It's a great example of what local political satire could and should be. Imagine the sturdy research of OCPA or the Heritage Foundation, but delivered with biting wit. Maybe someone here in Tulsa could learn to do as well.

(3) If you're interested in sustainability, you'll want to read their front page item about agriculture in Hawaii by
David Wethington. What happens to Hawaii's food supply if there's a terrorist-related disruption on the mainland? As state government encourages more development at the expense of local agriculture, the situation is not self-sustaining.

Why all this chaos over a dock closing 2500 miles away? Because Hawaii has at best a 6 day supply of food in the wholesaler's warehouses - if there is no panic! Hawaii's governments at both county and state levels, have for decades stood by and watched local agriculture whither and die. Too many government officials, like many residents, have become addicted to the lifeline from the mainland. Now that the lifeline is cut, panic ensues and people die.

This does not need to happen! There is enough open land on Oahu, Molokai and Lanai that if turned to agricultural use, in time could supply the people of Hawaii with all the food they need. However, growing food takes time. Starting something the day of the West Coast dock closings is obviously far too late.

This author has said for decades that Hawaii is making several grave mistakes in our food management: The shackling of local agriculture; the conversion of huge tracts of ag land to residential; the ever growing dependence upon container ships to bring food to Hawaii; and the lack of any plan whatsoever of what to do in an emergency. We have no vast storehouses of food, just a few very vulnerable warehouses that will be exhausted in hours.

In combination, these actions have put Hawaii residents in danger. Only a very few understand this danger, the rest will find out only when their stomachs growl.

Oklahoma isn't as vulnerable as Hawaii, surrounded as it is by thousands of miles of ocean, but it's worth asking the question: If disaster or skyrocketing fuel prices made importing food into the state impossible, could we feed ourselves? For how long?

James Lileks asks a reasonable question:

But what if we could move the same number of people for 25% of the cost? Would it be acceptable if the ride took 25% longer? I'm talking about buses. (Again.) Light rail is much nicer than buses, of course, and that's why people want the state to spend huge sums of money on the project. It's simply cool to see a light rail train sliding up to the new high-tech station; it's not cool to see a bus lumber up to the curb chuffing and sighing, disgorging passengers by a busted bench and a bent sign. Light rail makes people feel modern and urban and part of a smart, well-managed community, and that's why we're willing to spend billions on these lines, even at the expense of other transit options. It's all emotional.

Via Dustbury. You can read my recent UTW column about rail transit here.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Cities category from January 2008.

Cities: December 2007 is the previous archive.

Cities: February 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]