Sunday, December 2, 2012

On a Clear Day, You Can See Gov. Neil Abercrombie

As you can see in the pic, today was not a clear day. Variable winds drove in the vog that always lingers in the atmosphere south of the islands. Vog is volcanic haze. Or at least, as I endear it, The Veil of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano godness.

Now back to our story du jour. As usual it's a rant. Rant or Rave. I try to keep a healthy balance between the two, but know what when was the last you remembered I raved about something? Anything at all. Alrighty, then, from now on I'll rave hysterically about this or that like someone overdosed on their happy pills. Won't we like that? Just trying to be humorous. Seriously, though, it's not sane to rant with every keystroke. Fyi, there is a Bloggers AA. They meet every Friday night 6 o'clock at Kapiolani Park under the two coconut trees. Free refreshments. Be there. Unfortunately there isn't a Rant-ers AA chapter on the entire island. "Hello everbody, my name is Ronw Waikiki, of the clan Waikiki. I have been sober have not ranted for 5 weeks and 2 days and 6 hours and 7 minutes." Applauds. "Mahalo."

Hawaii teachers supported Gov. Neil Abercrombie in his campaign bid for Hawaii's governor. So what's a Governor to do for people who supported his acendency? Why, simply relegate their status to an inconvenient liability. The gaul of the teachers trying to collect on a bygone favor with something more substantial than a hearty thankyou, my friends. "Just sign the freakin contract, already!" Never mind the terms are so lopsided that the teachers at 40 schools are rallying en masse that the Governor draft a revision.

Before Neil was governor he was a professor at the University of Hawaii. You'd tunk that public teachers are his comrades-in-arms insofar as the issue of pay. Yes, the contract dispute is all about money. Specifically, less money for the teachers. In the lastest and greatest proposal, the State with Gov. Neil Abercrombie presiding sought to restore teachers' pay back to the 2007 level. Now it makes dollars and cents that kids taught proficiently in grade school are more likely to past entrance exams to enroll at the university level where Abercrombie, himself, formerly earned his livelihood.

True, the state has just semi-recovered from a brush with near bankruptcy and money is tight. Part of the recovery was made possible by furoughing teachers 2 days a month without pay. Oh never mind about the kids roaming the streets who no longer had a classroom on those furlough days. However, inexplicably, Gov. Abercrombie earlier this year proposed the incredulous idea of building new prisons so prisoners that Hawaii shipped off to mainland private prisons can return home and those prisoners could be repatriated in body and soul with their families on local prison visits.

By Gov. Abercrombie's metric, the mainland method is cruel and unusual punishment even though the average citizen would suspect that the Governor is ante-ing up to the terms of a blood oath he tendered behind the campaign curtains between himself and the prison guards industry as such offshoring Hawaii prisoners is cruel and unusual punishment to the livelihoods of the prison guards. Thus it must follow that it is unconscionable to let Hawaii prisoners be locked up in Gitmo and the humane cover is they be brought back home albeit shackled to the ulterior motive disguised in this instance as thinly as the vog in today's air with islanders rubbing their eyeballs. The state already has in place a prisoner program for readjustment back into society where Hawaii prisoners are shipped back to the islands to serve the final year of their sentences so they may acclimatize themselves to the warmer weather and tradewinds to foster an orderly transition leading up to their release.

I don't how many prison guards actually vote. However, I have a strong hunch that almost every teacher does vote. Thusly, Gov. Abercrombie's odd behavior defies political logic. At any rate Abercrombie isn't catering to the teachers behalf. Instead he's read them the riot act that there is no money, period. But there is money to build brand new prisons with humongous price tags. Btw, the current prison guards are set for life. They don't need new prisons to insure the future of their livelihoods or necessarily give a hoot about newbies entering their profession with the prospectus of new prisons. The last student dormatory built a year or two ago at the University was the first new dorm building the state built in three decades on the university campus.

From the very beginning of time and I don't meant time served it's been a fact that new prison eventually become old prisons and old prisons need refurbishing. The state can barely keep up with the backlog of school repairs and potholes how do they reckon to fix even more. It's also a fact of life that spacious new prisons become overflowing prisons in a matter of years. Then it'll be the revolving door scenario where there'll be law suits and the state will ship the overflow off to mainland private prisons. Then there's the legacy costs of the prison guard retirement and health insurance benefits for the pensioners that will come back to haunt Gov. Abercrombie. Obviously, he won't be still in office by then. So no skin off his oklole.


Cloudia said...

Thanks for the viewpoint, neighbor. Do you listen to Carroll Cox's show? See my blog roll for the link.

Wishing YOU a sweet week,
with Aloha from up da block
Comfort Spiral

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RONW said...

Cloudia- Neil had been away too long and it seems that he's out of touch with the lay of the land. Remember the issue with the prison guards falsifying their hours big time. And when Lingle closed Kulani prison, the guards contract said that they were entitled to show up and get paid for manning an empty prison.

Neil lamented that his biggest regret in Congress was sponsoring the Compact of Free Association which is responsible for the influx of Micronesians to Hawaii and the $100 million a year health price tag we have to pay. It'll be a repeat situation with new prisons when they age and the guards & housekeeping crew retire.

"Do you listen to Carroll Cox's show?"

well, only the audio clip you posted when you were a guest on his show. Actually, I was unaware that he had a radio show. Up to then, I thought he was some type of environmental crackpot when he occasionally popped up on the 6 o'clock news. Glad to realize that he's deeper than that. Nice voice, btw.

Kay said...

Abercrombie's public rating couldn't get much lower right now. What the heck is going on with him? I'm having such fun with your good kine pidgin.

RONW said...

Kay- Abercrombie having been a teacher too, albeit, in his past life, it defies his stance against the teachers. I don't generally speak pidgin as much mainly becuz all the commercializing on pidgin has turned it into ghetto speak. They simply miss the point. Speaking pidgin was a hospitable practice to include everyone in the conversation.