HOOSER: Answer to national craziness is to think global, act local

On Oct. 11, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or customers.

President Joe Biden, however, has requested that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration develop rules requiring all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly.

Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are based in Texas. They will now have to choose to either follow United Airlines and other major air carriers in compliance with the proposed federal rules, or answer to the governor of their home state of Texas.

Biden’s plans also require health-care employers to mandate worker vaccinations at facilities that treat patients with public health insurance. Facilities that don’t comply risk losing federal reimbursement — a sticky wicket to say the least.

So far, 21 states, all with Republican governors, have enacted laws or issued executive orders banning proof-of-vaccination requirements.

A state order prohibiting a private business from complying with the federal government’s rules puts those businesses between a rock and a very hard place.

With no consistent rule of law, these businesses face the ire and wrath from a very-passionate public that will no doubt come at them from all sides of the argument.

To be clear, this is an argument and not a debate. COVID is real. Vaccines greatly reduce the negative health impacts of COVID. States with higher vaccination rates have lower COVID infection and death rates. These are the facts, and no YouTube video is qualified to dispute them.

Ultimately the courts will decide that federal law, rules and executive orders will preempt any conflicting state law or executive order. Trust me on this one. I’ve some experience with preemption law.

Whether the various governors, state legislators, members of Congress or the general public will choose to respect, honor and trust the court’s decision is another matter.

It’s all very unsettling, and some would say downright destabilizing. Still others would say it’s all part of a grand plan that will result in a “strong man” (read “oligarch,” “narcissist,” “compulsive liar” who denies losing his most-recent election) stepping up to lead (read “control”) the country, crackdown on the craziness and bring order, peace, and safety (read “fascism”) to America.

I prefer to believe that rather than some complex plan being orchestrated by smart, rich people somehow connected to the illuminati, what’s going on today is simply politics on steroids. Like an out-of-control car hurtling down a mountain road without brakes. The speed of the car just continues to increase, and no one knows what’s around the next corner.

As simple and basic as it sounds, the answer here in the islands is to think global and act local. Focusing here locally to increase affordable housing, protect our natural environment, grow local food production, become energy self-sufficient, and in general support local residents, is our answer.

Fortunately, we have the Pacific Ocean to protect us from the madness occurring now on the continent. We should be thankful as well that our government leaders have, so far anyway, not drank the Kool-Aid offered by the far-right, and operate from a space that is calm and thoughtful.

We might not always agree with our mayor and governor, but it’s clear their decisions are based on what they truly believe is best for our community, and not driven by ego, arrogance or concerns about the next election.

Yes. Lucky we live Hawai‘i. Let’s keep it that way.


Gary Hooser is the former vice-chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council, and was the former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action and is executive director of the Pono Hawai‘i Initiative.

  1. Zchechuan October 13, 2021 5:33 am Reply

    Some states are not for the pandemic. They are for the employers/employees paying their share of taxes. They do not care about any restrictions set by the CDC. California is back to full force. The athletics there are almost to full force. It seems to many that COVID-19 has become a thing of the past. Ready to move forward and really beat this thing out. The disease. That is the way I view it. The people have become more towards athletics and accepted is athletics because people view the games as a step in the right direction towards recovery. So the games now become an acceptable thing. Back to normal. I don’t know how the airports are handling this though,

  2. Richard October 13, 2021 6:23 am Reply

    Wow, what a hateful rant against anyone who Doesn’t’t follow your Leftist manttra. You have a lot of nerve talking about affordable housing When it’s Democrats like you who have been in control of this island foreverCausing the price of housing to Skyrocket from $760,000 last year to Over 1 millionThis year And you’re hateful rant About any conservative who doesn’t toe your line of all of yourMarxist Plans for the island goes beyond disgusting. And thenYour effort to Disrespect The former president who had our country on such A good track Proves what a partisan hack you are. Why don’t you give us some indication of what Joe Biden has done that is so good as he’s destroying our country piece-by-piece hour by hour day by day? You can’t can you because there’s nothing you can say that says he’s done anything good for this country after destroying all the Progress the country made the last 4 years. Your support of a mayor whoSpent the last 18 months telling us things that would happen that none of them happenedShows what a partisan hack you are.The mayor didn’t do one thing to prepare the island for This Disaster he said would happen as soon as people started coming hereBut instead he could take a lot of the cares act money for his social justice programs instead of paying it out to the people of the island. The cares act money was not for social justice programs that was to help people with unemployment and keep their businesses from closingBut the mayor stole half the money.So it was safe to keep open places like Costco and Walmart with massive crowds of people inside but someone with a small business had to close downUntil the mayor Followed his unscientificApproach to supposedly controlling something that he did nothing to control.

    1. Please October 13, 2021 9:46 am Reply

      Please point out the specifics of what was hateful and/or ranting, support it with a reasonable argument about why you feel it was

      1. manawai October 14, 2021 8:19 am Reply

        Here’s a good example:
        “Still others would say it’s all part of a grand plan that will result in a ‘strong man’ (read ‘oligarch,’ ‘narcissist,’ ‘compulsive liar’ who denies losing his most-recent election) stepping up to lead (read “control”) the country, crackdown on the craziness and bring order, peace, and safety (read “fascism”) to America.”
        Hooser artfully blames a strawman so he thinks he can’t be blamed for being the author of these words. Nice try Hooser. We know who and what you are.

        1. Please October 14, 2021 6:26 pm Reply

          OK, I don’t read that as a rant or hateful, but thanks for the reply.

    2. Yes. October 13, 2021 10:51 am Reply

      Amen brother.

  3. Jay Franklin October 13, 2021 7:04 am Reply

    Let the Governors and state legislatures call the shots. We need to reduce the power and control from the Feds. If Texans don’t like the new rules, they have the option to move to another state. Biden is barely coherent when speaking in public which leads me to think he is not actually the one making policy. We live in scary times because of sinister actors controlling Biden….

    1. Blue October 13, 2021 9:48 am Reply

      Things pertaining to interstate commerce are solely the purview of the federal government. Additionally, anyone doing business with (getting federal $) the US government must comply with rules for that.

      So where is the state in this?

  4. Wow October 13, 2021 7:24 am Reply

    One world order mind!!

  5. hold on... October 13, 2021 8:01 am Reply

    No one should be forced to receive the vaccine. What could have been done to successfully encourage folks to get vaccinated was thrown out the window the very minute the pandemic was politicized by the Trump Administration, especially with the toxic polarization extant in the U.S. politics.

    Nations where the pandemic was not politicized have favored much better in their vaccination rates than in this nation. The federal and state mandates for vaccination just lead to even more polarization. It may sound as if I don’t favor vaccinations for Covid, I do, and yet it should be a choice encouraged not something demanded or else.

    1. holding tight October 13, 2021 9:49 am Reply

      Who was forced to get the vaccination? They were presented with a choice.

      No one is forcing you to wear clothes, but if you want to walk freely in public…

      1. Peke October 13, 2021 9:23 pm Reply

        Holding tight do you watch the news at all? Many people are being forced to get the shot or lose there jobs.
        Delta airlines
        the list goes on and on, know one in America should be forced to get the shot holding there livelihood over there head, This is just wrong, so before you make statements make sure you know what your talking about.

        1. holding tight October 14, 2021 6:25 pm Reply

          Ah, so they are given the choice, not being forced.

          Perhaps it is not I who needs to be sure what is being talked about.

  6. KauaiFarmMan October 13, 2021 9:57 am Reply

    More rubbish by Gary. Why is this political operative allowed to write articles? Once again you are categorically wrong in your claims. Look around the world at Israel and Singapore. They have the highest vaccination rates coupled with the highest death and hospitalization rates. New data from Taiwan shows more people have died from the vaccine then Covid. This is not YouTube news but mainstream reporting. Please stop letting Gary spread his false propaganda in our local news. It’s dirty politicians like him that have ruined our country and island.

  7. Sam G October 13, 2021 10:18 am Reply

    Absent some state restriction on who can own property on an island with limited land, and almost unlimited demand affordable housing is a pipe dream. No matter how cheaply it is built mainlanders will bid up those homes because they want a piece of the Hawaii dream.

    Gary, you have done nothing with your letter except create more hate. You could have asked people to practice tolerance and build bridges but with your rant against your political opposition you have made the walls between us even higher. Shame on you!

  8. Barry Dittler October 13, 2021 1:52 pm Reply

    We should wonder why every Wednesday we are subjected to the left wing, socialist rantings of this has been political hack without another equal opportunity to hear from more sane people. How about a weekly article by a more moderate middle of the road voice ? But, his articles do make good liners for the cats litter box !

  9. James Kuroiwa, Jr. October 14, 2021 7:45 am Reply

    “Answer to national craziness is to think global, act local”. Gary, you have it backwards and it’s a big problem for you and your followers. Our United States Constitution has it, “Think local and act global”. Individual rights and freedom come from thinking local and acting global. Also, we are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

  10. LTEreader October 14, 2021 11:18 am Reply

    RE: Jay Franklin…
    “Biden is barely coherent when speaking in public”

    He’s had a severe stutter since he was a child. Have you ever known anyone with a stutter? Often their brain thinks faster than they can produce the words, which can make them appear incoherent. Shame on anyone who overlooks that stuttering IS a disability, and especially those who have the audacity to make cruel, uneducated comments about it. SMH.

    “Stuttering can manifest itself in a thousand different ways and will be more noticeable on some days or some sounds than others. Some stutterers experience weeks, months, or even years of seeming fluency, only to have those periods of relative ease unexpectedly be replaced with bouts of real verbal struggle.”

    1. KauaiFarmMan October 18, 2021 9:11 am Reply

      What a futile attempt to cover up the fact that Biden is senile and incompetent. There is countless videos of him going off on incoherent rants and trailing off with thoughts that make no sense and don’t pertain to what he was speaking of. The fact that Democrats would try to mask the fact the Biden is clearly unfit for office is a clear representation of how misguided and unaware their base is.

  11. David October 14, 2021 2:15 pm Reply

    My understanding is that FOX news has required masks for their workers too. Nobody has to get a vaccine, they may have to find other work or stay home.

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