Lee Cataluna: The rules of logic no longer apply in the state Legislature
We fret over a divided nation and yet right here at home there doesn’t seem to be agreement on what needs to be done to make Hawaii better.
Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser!
You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription.
Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story.
At the same time the state Legislature is discussing bills to ban the sale of cigarettes, ban the sale of liquor to anyone with a DUI conviction and ban tobacco products that come in candy flavors, the same lawmaking body is looking at legalizing recreational marijuana.
Does this seem a little odd? Confused? Working at cross-purposes?
Even if legalizing recreational marijuana doesn’t happen this session, the fact it has gained traction to now be discussed seriously is an indication of the growing acceptance of the idea.
Meanwhile, there are campaigns to keep Hawaii’s population sober,
inhalant-free and able to safely operate a propelled motor vehicle without damage to life and public property.
What are we to make of this? That smoking is bad, but smoking marijuana is different? That drinking and driving is bad but driving while on marijuana is a problem to worry about farther down the road — after the traffic crash statistics come in and it’s too late to un-legalize pakalolo?
We fret over a divided nation and yet right here at home there doesn’t seem to be agreement on what needs to be done to make Hawaii better. There is even discussion of using part of the tax revenues from the sale of legal recreational marijuana to fund anti-marijuana campaigns for kids. What the heck is going on?
While it may be the sign of a free country and a healthy democracy that there are competing ideas circulating in the community, that’s not what is happening here. Hawaii leaders lack a strong sense of priorities. Are we trying to keep the streets safe or not? Is smoking bad or should there be more things to smoke?
Or are we just living in a time when things don’t have to make sense anymore?
The hardcore homeless people who have all but ruined the Kakaako Waterfront Park hold a press conference to say they’re willing to negotiate with the city to stay where they want, how they want, lawless and unbothered. What kind of upside-down world is this? It takes “squatters’ rights” to an extreme level. The people who have ripped open electrical fixtures, broken water pipes, pooped in doorways and scared away the public now are organized and saying they’re a positive force in the community?
Don’t you bend, Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Hold your ground.
Examples of sudden lack of logic abound.
A City Council committee voted to recommend that city taxpayers cover the cost of private attorneys to represent city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro in his defense against impeachment. So Kaneshiro, an attorney, who is being investigated by the FBI, gets to use city-funded lawyers (but not city lawyers) to try to keep his elected job from the voters who want him out.
Wait, wait: Kaneshiro’s lawyers aren’t just any low-rent JDs or his cousin Vinny who is willing to give a discount. Kaneshiro has retained the top flight law firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon. Just speaking the firm’s name out loud could cost serious bucks.
The biggest danger when things stop making sense in such grand fashion is that the public gets weary and tunes out, which means the insanity goes unchecked and unchallenged. Now is the time for steady voices of reason, clear eyes and a commitment to paying attention. We should expect government to make sense, at least some of the time.
Reach Lee Cataluna at 529-4315 or email@example.com.