It has been suggested that the previous post should have been geared more along the lines of this topic. After thinking about it, I decided that instead of rewriting it, I should simply write a follow-up post. For starters, I think it is important to say, again, and with no equivocation, that Obama isn’t progressive, even though there are those who believe he is, “in his heart of hearts.” Using this notion as a starting point for action is, in my opinion a mistake, and progressives will serve their causes much better if they first abandon it.
I’ll be referring to PDH for my examples, but the concepts will obviously apply to other organizations, as well as individuals.
It is my experience that the progressive movement has long been disorganized and fractured along various lines. If we are to have any hope of forcing, or empowering (whichever you’d prefer to call it) Obama to be more supportive of progressive ideals and policy initiatives, we’re going to have to come together as a more cohesive movement. (more…)
Thinking or hoping otherwise will not make this statement any less true. Barack Obama is not progressive. For my part, I never believed he was and one only need look at his time in office thus far for evidence.
Let’s start with health care, if only because the issue is at, or near, the top of my priority list. While it’s true there are some good things in the Affordable Health Care Act, like extending to 26 the age under which parents can choose to continue to cover their children, or eliminating the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition, there’s no denying that when it’s all said and done, it is little more than a massive handout to health insurance companies. (more…)
On this coming Monday, April 4th, at 4:30pm there will be at the Capitol a rally to support working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and dozens of other states where those working people are fighting to keep their rights.
Progressive Democrats of Hawaii is supporting this rally and calling on its members, supporters and allies to “Stand in Solidarity” at this rally and has signed a statement of support:
As I was leaving the ACLU office earlier this week, after a meeting, they mentioned an issue they’re working on with some folks on Maui regarding the restrictions on dancing in establishments that serve alcohol.
According to the Maui Department of Liquor Control, restaurants or bars must have special permission, or a permit, in order to allow dancing in the establishment and in order to receive a permit, the establishment must meet special conditions:
§08-101-23 Special Conditions:
(a) Any dancing or entertainment shall be in areas designated and approved by the director.
(b) An approved area for dancing shall have, when utilized, a minimum area of one hundred square feet, be a non-consumption area, and shall be clearly designated for dancing.
(c) No obscene public or exhibition dancing either with or without partners,or obscene language, songs, or entertainment shall be permitted.
(d) Entertainers shall not expose to view any portion of the pubic hair, anus cleft of the buttocks, vulva, or genitals, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.
(e) Any entertainment such as burlesque or strip tease shall be conducted upon a stage or platform which is at least twenty-four inches above the level of the floor and removed at least six feet from the nearest patron and shall be limited to class 5, category B, dispenser licensees, and to class 12, hotel licensees.
(f) No licensee shall permit any person to perform acts of or acts which simulates:
Sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, or flagellation.
The touching, caressing or fondling of the breast, buttocks, anus or genitals.
The displaying of any portion of the pubic hair, cleft of the buttocks, anus, vulva, genitals, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.
While I knew the Governor’s Office was in considerable disarray, I didn’t fully grasp the extent to which they’re short staffed until I attended the G Force Meeting this past Thursday night.
Andrew Aoki, the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, the office is running with less than half the necessary paid staff. As I understand it, they have filled only 24 positions, compared to the 68 Lingle had when she left office. While I’m not sure this can be used completely as an excuse to some of Neil’s budget proposals, it would explain why they’ve maybe been slow to respond to criticism and develop alternative proposals.
I think part of the problem, at least so far, has been the Office of the Governor has had no funds to hire the staff required. The Legislature very recently passed the emergency appropriation for the Governor’s Office, so hopefully at least that part of the problem will be eliminated. I also think, given that we’re now just about half-way through the session, they may simply not have the time required to go through a thorough hiring process.
As a stop-gap solution, they’ve been calling for volunteers to work in the office doing various simple jobs; answering phones, sorting mail or files, data entry, etc. If you’re interested in and have time to volunteer, please consider doing so. You can contact Amy Monk at 396-5959 or you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 371-9334.
Many of us may not agree with all the things Neil is doing or has proposed, but I see this as an opportunity to help him and his staff and in doing so hopefully develop an open dialogue with his administration.
I got the annual “simplify the holidays” email from Kanu Hawaii today. I have been *trying* really hard to simplify my holidays for several years now, but it never quite works out as I would like it to.
Kanu’s description states:
The Holidays are supposed to be a time of reflection, generosity, and charity, but it’s easy to get wrapped up (literally) in waste and excess instead. Americans produce 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than at other times of the year – about 25 million tons in all, most of it paper and food. The Holidays are not only hard on the environment, they can take a toll on our pocketbooks and our patience: we’re likely to see more over-spending than holiday spirit on trips to the mall.
I couldn’t agree more! For those of us with large families, buying Christmas gifts can be an overwhelming and expensive task. Even when you try to simplify them. For the past few years, I continue to plead with my family to alter our tradition. Everyone seems to agree that we don’t need elaborate gifts, yet most seem hesitant to get rid of the tradition all together. How has this expensive, wasteful tradition become so ingrained in most of us? I admit that it can be a lot of fun to sit around on Christmas morning surrounded by colorful paper and ribbons watching our loved ones open something special that we picked out just for them. Yet, how often do we really find that perfect something that they really wanted/needed? In my experience, the vast majority of the time our carefully picked out gifts (or last minute rushed purchases, as they may be) turn into wasteful clutter that our loved ones don’t use but are hesitant to throw away or recycle.
So, how do we break out of this manufactured corporate-driven tradition? We have tried pulling a name out of a hat and getting something for just one person. For some reason that has never stuck with my family and it takes away some of the gift opening magic that we are all so used to. We have tried putting a maximum dollar amount on gifts. That just succeeds in increasing the chance that our gift is really just useless crap. We have tried making the rule that all gifts are home-made and/or tasks/chores we offer to do for each other. That usually falls apart due to lack of time or ideas. Two years ago, we even tried eliminating gifts altogether except for the young children… or so I thought. Until I discovered on Christmas morning that I was nearly the only one that kept that pledge. As I opened gifts from others, rather than joy at what I received all I felt was increasing guilt that I didn’t have anything to give them in return.
In my mind, Christmas is a time to spend with family. To sit around and read books and enjoy each others company. To eat good food and have stimulating conversations. Can we keep that spirit, while reducing the consumerism?
In our sub-group at the LG speed dating event on Saturday, one of the topics we asked most candidates about was supporting quality agriculture land. In that group, the focus was largely about the Hoâ€˜opili development that may displace an existing farm if allowed to go forward. The concept of “food sustainability” has come up in conversations a lot lately. It seems to be on off-shoot of the standard “sustainability” buzz word that many people profess to support, yet few seem to take many tangible steps to make it a way of life.
Along those lines, for many months (years?) I have been thinking about signing up for one of those weekly vegetable boxes that some local farms offer. It is an idea that I have always liked, but never got around to implementing in my own life. Until now. A friend of mine recently used his status post on facebook to comment about his CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegie box that he just got from MAâ€˜O organic farms. Since I had been thinking about it already, that prompted to me to look into it once again. This time I followed through and purchased a subscription, so will now be receiving weekly boxes of fresh produce. 😀
According to CSAfarming.com, “At its heart Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) connects local farmers with local consumers.Â These consumers help cover the farmerâ€™s operating expenses in exchange for shares of produce grown or raised.Â Shares are usually purchased via varying types of memberships or subscriptions.” I chose to go with MAâ€˜O, partly because of the facebook-friend connection, but also because I know about their work in the community and have always admired what they do. There are other local farms that have this type of set up as well. Some are listed at this link, http://csafarming.com/hawaii-csa
If each of us does our part to support local agriculture, perhaps food sustainability can become more than just a concept in Hawaiâ€˜i. We need to push our elected officials to support saving quality agriculture land, but we also need to support those farmers ourselves as directly as possible.
This past Saturday, a number of progressive activists, including a number of PDHers come out to Kailua to urge President Obama to do more, to do better.
A number of us have been disappointed by his position on a number of issues, including the health care reform bill that could be much, much better, and has provisions that don’t solve the problem, but rather serve as a boondoggle for private insurance companies. While many of us strongly support a Single-Payer system of health insurance, given the political realities we’re today faced with, we were happy to settle with a ‘strong’ public option, which is in danger of being excluded from the final language.
We’re also unhappy about Obama’s decision to send more troops into Afghanistan, escalating a war that’s been waging for the better part of a decade, with no end in sight.
We also haven’t seen the financial reform he promised during the campaign. Instead, its been more of the same complicit favoritism toward the same financial firms and banks who’s irresponsible practices caused the worldwide financial meltdown and current economic crisis.
its been suggested that we use this blog as a forum for brainstorming the future of progressive democrats of hawaii. seeing as i seem to have an abundance of free time during the evenings these days, i thought i’d start.
first let me tell you about my history with and dedication to PDH.
i happened to come along just as the organization was getting started and it seemed like a great opportunity for me to get involved. i jumped in with both feet, helped draft the organization’s by-laws and ran for the steering committee as soon as i had the chance. i didn’t get elected the first time around, but continued to work. (more…)