For Sunday, November 7, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 7, 2010
As I drove home from work on Wednesday afternoon in somewhat of a post-election fog (my guys fell short of the mark), I passed a group of Abercrombie supporters gleefully waving at passing traffic in appreciation. Being no stranger to occasional loss, and aware of the relief from the accompanying sting that at least acknowledgment of the victor's success brings, I honked and waved back, completely undeserving of their gratitude. Good for them.
A bit further down was another group, the members of which were energetically waving Aiona/Finnegan signs. A small girl held a large white sign with the words "Thank You" painted on it. Their broad smiles served as a reminder that we, too, were winners, in that we were lucky enough to have folks of the caliber of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and Lynn Finnegan to champion our cause during the election.
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Now that the mid-term elections are over, the spinning continues.
Based on the overwhelming victory of so many Republicans and tea partiers, their leaders are calling for President Barack Obama and the Democrats to adopt the conservative agenda. Is that what the electorate was saying?
Two years ago, Obama received an overwhelming mandate to change from the Republican-controlled White House. Did the GOP recognize the mandate and join the Democrats to fix the problems they created? Obama extended his hand to work with the Republicans to create a bipartisan government. What did GOP leaders do? They openly declared that they would obstruct everything that Obama and the Democrats would try to do to fix the problems left by the GOP. Their primary objective, as declared by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during this election campaign, is to defeat Obama in 2012 -- not to fix the economy, not to end the Wall Street corruption and meltdown that occurred under the Bush administration, not to create jobs and sustainable energy resources, not to clean up the environment to avoid climate change.
I was one of the 40,000 former University of Hawaii students to receive a letter informing me that my personal information was on publicly accessible UH servers.
Unfortunately, UH left a few things out: Why were its researchers accessing my information without my permission? Apparently, they were accessing names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and "other education information" for a study without our knowledge.
Poor security aside, does UH not bother to get consent from research subjects -- or even tell them?
The letter also directed us to a website. Neither the website nor the letter bothered with another important topic: "We're sorry." No apology or remorse at all. Just, here's what happened, your information may be compromised, here's what to do if you have a problem (which is all my responsibility, none of UH's). The arrogance and lack of concern shown by UH is distressing. A better explanation is owed to the people of Hawaii, especially the former students affected by this.
Mahalo, Neil Abercrombie, for recognizing the importance of releasing funds appropriated in Act 191 to health and human service agencies that provide needed services to help our keiki, kupuna, disabled and homeless weather these tough economic times. The rainy day fund was established to do precisely that. What more compelling reason does the governor need?
Gov. Linda Lingle wrongly emphasizes the need to wait for the December Council on Revenues forecast. There is $62 million already available in the rainy day fund and it must be used "to maintain levels of programs determined to be essential to public health, safety, welfare, and education" (HRS 328L-3). Act 191 appropriates $23.7 million, or one-third of what is in the fund, to help thousands of our vulnerable citizens now who are struggling to make it through this storm.