Off My Desk

August 2008


August 11, 2008

Three Dirty Words--Vacationing in Hawaii

Illinois Sen. Barak Obama’s family visit to the Islands has taught us a valuable lesson: The Mainland, if it remembers us at all, thinks Hawaii is a joke. Well, not a joke exactly, but something frivolous, something one should not be associated with if one is trying to be taken seriously. Read more »

Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)


August 6, 2008

When Rail Gets Old

Remembering Mayor Hannemann’s wisdom of approaching any civic infrastructure project with three questions—Do we need it? Can we afford it? Can we maintain it?—this piece from The New York Times caught my eye. It seems that even New York, one of the nation’s wealthiest, most densely populated cities, can barely afford to maintain what is one of the nation’s oldest, most successful, most heavily used rail systems. Read more »

Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)


August 6, 2008

How Many Environmentalists Does it Take to Screw Up the Light Bulb?

The incandescent light bulb was such a brilliant, inspired idea that the light bulb itself became the symbol for brilliant, inspired ideas. Lately, a combination of green movement idealism, HECO discount coupons and energy-conscious legislation has been moving people toward the Compact Fluorescent Light bulb, or CFL. Read more »

Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 in City Life | Permalink | Comments (1)


August 6, 2008

The SinuousThread

Currently reading Steven Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought, Language as a Window into Human Nature, and came across this stunning paragraph in the chapter, “What’s in a Name?” Read more »

Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 in Media | Permalink | Comments (0)


August 5, 2008

Who Pays for Rail?

While the city and county of Honolulu pushes on with its plan for taxpayer-funded rail, it’s worth noting that other countries, with rail systems we’re told we’re ought to admire and emulate, have found other ways to pay for it. Namely, private investment. Read more »

Posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)


August 5, 2008

Hannemann's Ace Up His Sleeve—The Race Card!

There was time when Mufi Hannemann used to assail then Mayor Jeremy Harris for spending money on parks and neighborhood markers beyond the city’s means. If Harris had said, “Well, you’re just criticizing me because I’m haole,” we would have all joined Hannemann in laughing Harris out of office. Read more »

Posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)