Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hawaii OK With "Da Kine"

It appears that, here in Hawaii, what would be illogical and unacceptable anywhere else is just consiedered to be normal.

Consider the so-called "Akaka Bill" that the state is trying to get approved by the U.S. Senate. The bill would grant native Hawaiians rights similar to those "enjoyed" my Native American and Eskimo peoples under the "Indiginous People's Act."

The effect would be to sort of give native Hawaiians some Federal recognition as a "sovereign people."

Unfortunately, no one, even Senator Akaka, can actually explain what effects this bill will have on the people of Hawaii, whether native Hawaiian or not.

Part of the bill gives the "details" of its implementation over to future decisions by the Native Hawaiians themselves. What would this mean? No one knows.

Could Native Hawaiians set up separate courts, oversee hundreds of millions of property and investments once "owned" by the Hawaiian monarchs? Yes.....or No....maybe....or maybe not.

But none of this matters. It is a good bill that will really, really, really be very, very good for the Native Hawaiian people. It must be true because everyone says so...the governor, the senators, the representatives and the newspaper editorial boards. Of course none of these really know what the actual effects of this bill will be, either.

But folks in Hawaii seem to be OK with this sort of vagueness. Particularly in legislation.

Consider this gem for a moment.

Our Honolulu excise tax has been increased to raise funds for a future commuter rail system. Of course no one has any idea what the system will consist of, what route it will cover, where it might stop, how eminent domain will be enforced, whether it would be electric or powered by some other method, whether it will go all the way into the downtown Honolulu area or stop somewhere short of that, leaving the final mile or so to be handled by various shuttle buses.

No one has any idea how much this thing will cost, either. Or whether it will even ease the traffic congestion we have out here.

But it is a "good idea" and we will "need to have it" someday so we might as well begin taxing everybody to raise money for whatever we'll one day decide to do with it.

Or maybe they will just change their minds and use the money for something else. Why not? Nothing else about it makes sense!