Guest Viewpoint for Sunday — November 20, 2005

• Just ‘vote the bums out’

Just ‘vote the bums out’

By Billy Whelan

I agree with Gordon Oswald’s recent letter. And I believe the main problem is Kaua’i has a third-world mentality. Forget that it’s a county in Hawai’i, a state of the United States, applicable in name only. Have you ever been to Mexico? I don’t mean the posh resorts. I mean the Mexico Mexicans live with every day. Their roads in ruin, and corruption runs rampant. Sound familiar? The last time I was there, sitting at a red light, a police officer came up to me and told me I ran the red light. I replied: “I haven’t moved yet.” He answered in broken English: “Twenty dollars or come with me.” Well, I thought, twenty bucks has to be better than wherever the hell he was going to take me, soooo… At least we have an honorable police force.

And Oswald states: “This group of clowns still wants to be rewarded by being re-elected.” Gordon, get a grip; most of them will be. They usually are. This “group of clowns” actually believes that people will vote for them because they wave at them prior to elections. Now I need to get a grip.

Unfortunately, the plantation mentality on our island is alive and well. Look at the constant reelection of the Democratic party over the last 50 years. (I’m not a Republican, I’m an independent who votes “who I think will do the best job”).

Do those with the plantation mentality realize that our state is at the bottom of the elementary reading and math barrel? Dictated and controlled by all the Democrats you’ve elected? How embarrassing to be lower than Mississippi.

Of course they’re all afraid of the powerful teachers’ union. I’m sure we all know wonderful teachers whose hands are tied by and from teachers’ unions and politicians. And in defense of the many teachers I know, many are appalled at the only language some of their students know — pidgin. Good luck competing in the world.

And in reference to our illustrious county council, I wouldn’t call them corrupt, as Webster states: “Corruption: lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptible to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.” That’s a pretty heavy accusation.

Using tax money to sue the people who pay the taxes, for voting for tax relief, well, I’ve often thought I might be from another planet and now at 70, I’m beginning to believe I really am.

It’s obvious to me what the problem is. The blessings of being raised on this tiny island are obviously many — the problem is the blinders of not having any other point of reference. Just the ones raised here. This is the way it is, as there are no other reference points.

I understand the responsibility the county council has to increase the tax base. Is this a bottomless well? Is there no end? Build, tax, build, tax, ad nauseum.

And look at the way many locals drive, the way they cut off an intersection when they make left-hand turns. When you blink your headlights to ask them to turn down high beams at night, many have no idea why you’re blinking, etc. This isn’t an indictment of locals, most are good people, but many have never been any further than Kekaha. It’s like self-perpetuation.

Possibly the same with our local council. Perhaps members need more of a renaissance education as to what ethics, honor and integrity are. Constant perpetuation of what doesn’t work is one of the definitions of mental illness.

As for the traffic, we’ve almost surpassed Maui and with all the resorts, condos, etc. being built here, many with no additional infrastructure, think third-world. Money, greed, money, greed, money, greed, greed, greed. The Waipouli complex comes to mind. The owners of that property have every right to attempt to do whatever is legal with that land. Will this county council ever say NO?

Try to get out of the Safeway parking lot some evening, just wait when the additional 500 or so cars that will hit that intersection across the street, with no additional infrastructure. Road rage comes to mind.

So, Gordon, keep driving carefully, avoiding all the potholes that will ruin your front end, bring a book for the all the times it take 40 minutes to drive from Kapa’a to Lihu’e, tutor your kids, as obviously our schools aren’t capable of educating them to compete in the world at large, and hope that the majority of voters will get their heads out of their… out of the sand and vote the bums out.

  • Billy Whelan is a Kapa’a resident

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