Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finally it's Franken!

After eight months, the people of Minnesota have, at long last, equal representation in the United States Senate. The Minnesota Supreme Court has once and for all ruled that Al Franken won the U.S. Senate seat fair and square. Never fear, however, you can count on the conservative bloviators -- on radio, TV and elsewhere -- to cry foul.

Sheer, utter, worthless, predictable crap! Every unbiased account attests to the fact that the Minnesota authorities reviewing the election proceeded carefully, methodically and fairly. In fact, the state's Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, says he will formally certify Franken's victory.

Now ... let's go! We've got the votes, so let's start really reforming health care. Imu'a!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is it with these randy Republican politicians?

First there was Congressman Mark Foley, who was hitting on teenage pages ... male pages. Then there was Senator Larry Craig, who tried to pick up a plainclothes cop in a men's room. A week ago Senator John Ensign admitted to having an affair with a staffer.

But today comes the latest and, if the bizarre element is factored in, the greatest: Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina confesses to running off to Argentina over Fathers Day weekend (!!) to continue an ongoing affair with some babe there. And all the while, his staff was saying he was off hiking the Appalachian Trail.

And yes, I am well aware that Democrats have also waded in these same waters -- John Edwards and Bill Clinton are the more obvious -- but it is the Republicans who are forever and ad nauseum shoving "family values" at us, the implication being that they are the keepers of the faith while we liberals knowingly choose to live on the seamy side of the street.

But American voters are far more tolerant and forgiving of sinners than they are of hypocrites. And today I take great comfort in that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It’s Such A Simple Question …

As the debate on health care reform rages, we would do well to consider one essential and very relevant fact:

Health care in this country costs much more per capita than it does in every other so-called industrialized nation around the world … and yet we’re dying at an earlier age.

If we’re so damn great, why is that?

And if we’re so damn smart, why aren’t we fixing the problem?


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Not Even an ‘Ounce of Prevention’ … And No Cure.

I was just forwarded one of those clever messages circulating on the internet. The point of this one is that life as we know it is being ruined by too much government interference and regulation.

Perhaps … but the next time we find ourselves exasperated by government regulation –building codes, for example – we might do well to remember the terrible tragedy that occurred some days ago in Mexico when 44 little kids died in a fire at their day care center.

The building housing those kids had just one unlocked exit and was located in an industrial area next door to a tire factory … something that our restrictive, intrusive, burdensome building codes would never have allowed.


Monday, June 8, 2009

One More Insight Into Human Nature

Here’s an interesting tidbit of information:

In the United States, where marijuana is illegal, 40% of people over age 16 have tried it.

In the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal, 25% of people over age 16 have tried it.

Draw your own conclusions.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo

The guy with the automatic pistol is Ken Pagano, pastor of the New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

He’s invited people to celebrate the Fourth of July by bringing guns to church on the prior Sunday, June 27th.

He says, "We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation. And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here."

Sometimes all you can do is shake your head and move on.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sometimes “cheap” really means "expensive."

Our trusty 2001 Toyota Avalon needed a new set of tires, so I took it to Tire Warehouse in Kahului and got four new ones put on. I went there because our neighborhood gas station and repair shop here in Ha’iku, Toma Garage, doesn’t sell tires. And, besides, a tire is a tire and Tire Warehouse = cheap, right?

When I went to pick up the car, I was told that the brakes were in bad shape and I should have new brake pads right away. Fortunately, they had someone available to do the job right at that very moment. Their estimate was $712, including tax.

But something told me to run, not walk, to the nearest exit.

The next day, I took the Avalon and the Tire Warehouse estimate to Ralph Toma. He and his son Darryl do all the safety checks and other repair and maintenance work on our vehicles. Good folks. Salt of the earth. Completely trustworthy.

When I went back to pick up the car, their bill was $334, including tax.

Ralph looked at me and said, “Boy, I wish I coulda charged you what those guys were gonna charge!”

The thing is, because I trust him, he could have. Except that he couldn’t. Know what I mean?


Monday, June 1, 2009

How About a Day to Honor Bigots?

One of our State Reps, Lyla Berg, has introduced a resolution that would designate September 24th as Islam Day in Hawaii. There are, by the way, an estimated 4,000 Muslims here.

In doing so, Rep. Berg points out that we already have several other official “days” that recognize other religions: March 21 is the Baha’i New Years, April 8 is Buddha Day, and Dec. 8 is Bodhi Day, honoring Siddhartha Gautama, Buddhism’s founder. On the two formal Christian days, Christmas and Good Friday, the government actually shuts down. But Islam Day? Horrors! Can’t do that!

And, as sure as Allah made little green apples, the far-right bigots have gone ballistic. The governor’s office reports receiving 315 emails and 40 phone calls objecting to the measure, most from mainland people … some saying they will no longer consider vacationing here in Hawaii.

Good! Stay home! You’re ignorant fools and we already have more than enough of those here already … to wit, Republican State Senators Sam Slom and Fred Hemmings, both of whom have objected to the resolution.

Good grief! How about proclaiming a Narrow Minded Fools Day here! There appear to be a lot more of them than there are Muslims.