Friday, December 17, 2010

Why NOT Earmarks!?

Hawaii lost $321 million of earmarked federal funding yesterday after the U.S. Senate abandoned a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill, leaving 141 projects left to forge for funding elsewhere. This is a big deal.

As my last post focused on, Senator John McCain led a charge against the bill and dissed many meaningful projects across the nation while doing so, including $300,000 funding for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

But funding for these projects are comparatively frugal as the Economist points out in an article posted on Wednesday,

"YESTERDAY John McCain, or one of his aides, informed the world via Twitter of his intention to make a speech calling for cutting the federal deficit by eliminating earmarks.

SenJohnMcCain 6:25am via Web

Heading 2 the floor 2 talk about the $1.1 Trillion 1924 page omnibus spending bill that includes 6488 earmarks totaling nearly $8.3 billion

The mathematically literate reader will note that $8.3 billion is less than 1% of $1.1 trillion."

The republicans slam this bill as wasteful spending by the government counteractive to their goal of reducing the federal deficit. On the flip-side, the republicans ironically led the passage of a major tax-cut extension, primarily for the wealthy, that will cost the nation approximately $858 billion, over 100 times more than the earmarks. They were successful at this and Obama is signing it as I type. See some hypocracy here?

Sure, some might argue that with an extension of these cuts, Reagonomics may EVENTUALLY come into play and benefit workers and the economy as a whole. But supply-side economics has never been shown to be more reliable, or better able to foster a robust, national economy, than thriving State economies--and by subsidizing sustainable fishing initiatives, farming productivity improvement research, and other means of intellectual capitol, the humble earmarks in the Senate Appropriations Bill did just this. If my reasoning seems sketchy to you, I'm open to comments and criticism.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Leadership for the Honolulu Zoo!

I turned on Hawaii News Now tonight and was enthralled to see Carlisle's appointment of a new director for the Honolulu Zoo. Under the leadership of Redman, to Quintal, then to his assistant Higashino, recent improvement of the Honolulu Zoo has been marginal at best for the past half decade or so.  Manuel Mollinedo, from the San Francisco Zoo has just taken charge of the post. Despite a single unfortunate event, Mollinedo has a track record of success in attracting visitors and improving revenue. Finally; what a great surprise! I'll tell you why I say finally:

Video of elephant stress-exhibiting behavior at Honolulu Zoo. Last year, this exhibit ranked among the world's 10 worst for elephants. A new exhibit is in the works with 27,000 square feet of room to run around in as well as have pools big enough for swimming.

Last week, my girlfriend and I took a spontaneous weekend visit to the zoo after surfing and was taken back--actually, she was appalled--by the condition of the zoo facilities and the apparent health of the animals. We witnessed hundreds of exhausted, almost sick-looking, lethargic, mammals and reptiles alike in the worst condition that I have seen them since I first visited the zoo over a decade ago.

A poor orangutan, for examples, had her face stamped flat against the viewing glass and wept silently while trying to tend to a 4 inch long, 3 inch thick, major, salmon-meat-looking laceration on her left shoulder. Her friend looked like he was starving and was keeping busy by eating a large piece of thick, plastic wrapping!

We were a little stunned so I gave the zoo-keeper a call from the number listed on a nearby sign. On the other end was an aide who told me that the plastic was left in there on purpose because the apes apparently like to hide under the plastic for fun. I told her it didn't look like that's what they are using it for and I am sure that they are eating it. She said she would send the zoo keeper notice to check-in but didn't seemed more annoyed than alarmed. Hey, but what do I know: maybe plastic helps regulate the digestion of the orangutan's high-potassium diet?

The "watering hole" where the Savannah animals gather and the lake display near the entry were disgustingly overrun by algae and molds. Flamingos were being overcrowded by mynas and Honolulu flying rats--a.k.a. rock doves or pigeons. Displays with grass were usually under-watered while displays with water (i.e. hippos and alligators)typically had glass displays blurred by algae and debris.

The gibbons, however, were as active as ever. You got to love those guys!

And one last thing: believe it or not, we witnessed a peacock stalk a family getting burgers and fries from the food bar, sneaked up to the table, JUMPED ON, and started pecking away swallowing a fry at a time. It was the table right next to us, I got up and tried to shoo it away but it wouldn't budge even when I gave it a little nudge. The elderly woman and her grandchildren had to move their food!

I love the zoo. It is a wonderful attraction for the City and I believe it could also be revamped to being quite economical. But every year it was seeming to get worse. This visit pushed me over the edge. My girlfriend and I left disconcerted, and wanting to take action. Upon leaving we actually vowed to take a stand.  First, we planned to look into the zoo's success and animal standards to be sure we weren't overreacting or wasting our time, then if our hunches had any truth, start a campaign to get the community involved and help save the animals and the attraction as a whole. After Carlisle's announcement, all I have to say is "Phew...!"

John McCain v. Polynesian Voyaging Society

A couple days ago, John McCain obtusely bashed the Polynesian Voyaging Society for being the "#1 pork-barrel-funding project in America".

First, in an ill-researched speech attacking earmarks in a senate spending bill, the Arizona uber-conservative singled out dollars designated for the the maker and keeper of the history-shaping sailing canoe Hokulea.
"One of my all-time favorites that is always on here every year -- $300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii. Now some people are watching and thinking I'm making this up. I'm not making it up,$300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society."

Then the Senator, or some intern, tweeted a list of the most wasteful earmarks with PVS TOPPING the list for the day. My conscience conscripted me to retweet and respond to the arguably most ignorant tweet of the year--right up there with the worst of Kanye's.

We are talking a measly $300,000. With the trillions being spent by the federal government yearly, as compared to Hawaii's State Budget, $300,000 would be a proportional equivalent to less than a cent allocated by the State to a worthwhile project. Through another lens, FIM-9 Stinger Missiles for the Stinger anti-aircraft system costs $13,800 EACH. just 8 of these would overtake the funding of PVS. Currently, about 13,400 of these missiles are available in the Army and Marine Corps partly due to McCain's voice and votes.

Thankfully, The Economist, a popular and respected cenrist-positioned, national-weekly publication, has taken the side of the Polynesian Voyaging society in an online article posted yesterday morning:
"So why did John McCain pick this item as his "#1 pork barrel project"? In five seconds, I found an earmark for a historical-archaeological project that is equally expensive and obviously less valuable than the work performed by PVS: The Alamo Heroes Cemetery and Spanish Colonial Hacienda Preservation project...
But projects with the word "Alamo" in them don't attract the ire and ridicule of people like Mr McCain, while projects with the word "Polynesian" in them do. I wonder why that might be."

The publication correctly describes the purpose and value of the organization, which can be extended to the national level by the research and history revisions the society accomplished.

Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson also responded publicly:

"If he's questioning the quality of our work, I'll fiercely defend the sacredness of that canoe, the work of thousands and thousands in our communities here in the Pacific for 35 years of taking care of her, sailing with purpose, and doing our very best to create educational opportunities that help our children in Hawaii,' -- in an interview with Jim Mendoza of Hawaii News Now.

Thompson continues in an article by By Leila Fujimori of the Star Advertiser: "McCain said we take rich people on sails outside Waikiki," Thompson said, inviting the senator to Hawaii to see for himself what the society is about.
"I think it's disrespectful, and I don't think it's appropriate ... to attack the integrity of our organization," he said. By doing so, he attacks "both the symbolism and the reality to not just the people in Hawaii, but people in society. When he attacks the PVS, he attacks the canoe and attacks a whole race of people."

Nainoa Thompson is an intelligent modern Hawaiian hero, and an incredibly effective leader who almost single-handedly sparked my social-awareness, which led me to figure out how to most meaningful dictate my future, with a speech he gave our Senior class in High School a mere week before graduation (Kamehameha Maui 2006). John McCain is an unbranded range animal (a "maverick").

Monday, December 13, 2010

Progressive Christmas.

I stumbled across this ornament at Hallmark and couldn't resist snapping a photo and sharing it (via Android) with my Facebook friends--intriguing and provocative huh?  You tell me: does this come across as a reflection of progress towards a more harmonious society, raw ignorance, or something else?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Really Safeway, Right Next to Times!?

In January, when the national grocery mega-chain, Safeway, revealed that it would construct an excessive, large-scale supermarket directly adjacent to the Beretania Times Supermarket, my instincts instructed me to immediately get hold of my contact lists, organize a coalition of sign waivers and outspoken protesters, get the local media on my side, and kill this behemoth before it even gets off the ground.

But I restrained myself and vowed not to take action at least until I was able to adequately research the economic/community implications of such a project.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The $65 million, 61,000 sqaure foot mega-store is just about shovel-ready."][/caption]

As a localvore-in-training, I have dictated a personal regimine to buy local whenever possible, and have been shopping exclusively at Foodland and Times for my supermarket needs (you can't always make it out to farmer's markets, and it's always nice to support local businesses) for the past couple of years.

1) Local supermarkets have a greater communitarian value: they foster personal and business relations between local growers and packages, wholesalers, retailers etc; and they are not subject to corporate regulations and customer-service standards that may not necessarily be accustomed or compatible with the Kama'aina way of life.

2) Local supermarkets have a greater economic value: they buy a greater proportion of local produce to their total stock as does their mainland counterpart; and consumers' money spent in local supermarkets have a much greater chance of being spent and circulated within the local economy.

Above all else, I just feel as though both the service and the products I receive from Foodland and Times are just plain out superior to that of Safeway.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption=""Foodland Farms" attempt to appeal to the buy-local movement here in Hawaii. --from Martha Cheng's March 3, 2010 Article in The Honolulu Weeekly"][/caption]

But I fully understand and do not condemn those who shop at national chain super-markets, as I myself may be seen at Wal-mart (arguably the most notorious chain retailer) from time to time. There are economic benefits of doing so:

- the convenience of not having to drive to numerous locations--the sureness and comfort of your entire shopping list being in one location--means time saved traveling and remember what local shops carry which goods.

- lower prices means more money in the pockets of local consumers which in turn could spur economic growth with increased spending in other local industries.

So will local shoppers migrate over from Times to this giant neighbor who will most likely carry Time's entire selection and more?

Derek Kurisu, executive VP of KTA, a Big Island based retailer, clearly points out the threat to his business:

“The enemy is not other local vendors or other supermarkets, because we’re all just trying to make a living here,” he says. “It’s the Mainland sellers that are hurting us.” Buying cheaper goods from the Mainland or overseas put local suppliers out of business, he says. - SHARA ENAY Hawaii Business July 2010

With no change in population or consumption in Honolulu, there does seem to be a zero-sum grocery market whereas the only way to increase business is to take business from competitors.

But the president of Times Supermarkets does not seem to worried about this particular opening. Times, the quasi-local grocery chain (sold to a California chain in 2002), acquired rival Star Markets last year and has lived for years with Safeway operating across the street from its Beretania Street store, said Bob Stout, who was recently named president of Times Supermarkets. “Competition is a good thing, it’s great for the consumers,” he said. - Janis L. Magin, April 2, 2010 Pacific Business News

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Can Times Supermarkets really compete with this? Owner and President Bob Stout thinks so."][/caption]

This intense competition means consumers get more places to shop, more selection and generally lower prices.
The outlook for growers may not be too grim either. Even though Safeway may carry a relatively low proportion of local goods, increasing the size its Beretania store three-fold will increase its stock of local produce three-fold as well, assuming that the proportion of local-imported produce remains the same. This means more business for growers.

All-in-all, I'm hoping for the best turnout and the greatest welfare for local consumers, retail businesses, and growers alike upon the opening of this new store, and I am optimistic that it could work out for all parties. But I am concerned about further crowding out of local retailers by Safeway, which to me is a large, soul-less giant that is continually proving to hold minimal ethical constraints to their business methods:

Monday, December 6, 2010

LSAC's Implicit Response to Economic Stimulus Criticism?


In reality, each of the above statements are indeed true, and thus the United States' current ~10% unemployment rate is not a sufficient indicator of U.S.'s current economic state, policy critics.

I stumbled across this logic-based question while studying for the LSAT.  I would suggest the question reveals the testwriters' biases towards the politics surrounding our current economic state, but to be fair, this particular question is from the June 1996 LSAT. But what a great question!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hawaii Elections 2010: The Morning After

I look forward to the next 4 years in Hawaii.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Tip of the hat to the Democratic Party of Hawaii for their spectacularly trend-defying success."][/caption]

Aiona: great campaign, very classy post-election interview; you truly are a man of integrity and deep-rooted values. Despite our differences in stances on certain issues (actually most), I stand by my vote for someone with strong values, who has a real sence of 'Ohana, who I feel I can trust, and who could have brought accoutability to our lopsided legislature.  Have a great time with the family!

Djou: I could be wrong, but right after the results came in, you almost sounded like a human being for a minute.

Abercrombie: your plan and policies are fine, that was never the issue, but are they only contingient on your political success (as was your fickle support/discontent of the military), or are they based on our shared values? You still have some work to do to earn my trust.

Hanabusa: Congratulations! You deserve the win and some much needed R&R.

Last but not least, I'd like to send a special congratulations to our newly elected young leaders: Stanley Chang, Linda Ichiyama, Brittany Smart, Tulsi Tamayo, and to any one else who stepped up to represent an intregral generation in sharping Hawaii's future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Congressional Debate: My Reaction

Hanabusa speaks to and for her voters.

On the other hand, Djou uses the pronoun "we" too much in reference to either the US population or the US congressmembers: I cannot distinguish which.

Regarding Hanabusa being a "rubber stamp":

Having followed hundreds of bills over the pass few legislative sessions, I will attest that  Hanabusa's comment about only a small percentage of the bills going through is true. As senate president, her word (with all of its influence) DENIES hundreds of bills from even getting to the floor. "No" votes are not needed. It's relatively common knowledge how bills die in Hawaii.

Charles Djou's independence (not to mention values), on the other hand, is questionable.

I wish Hanabusa would of straight up asked Djou:
"You claim that you want to advocate for the best interests of the people of Hawaii, the people of whom you are a representative for. And I assume that you agree representing your constituency should be primary job as a congressman, and should take precedent over pushing forward your parties federal agenda.

Do you honestly feel that the people of Hawaii (the voters) are better off without HR 1516, a bill you voted against that would bring tens of millions to Hawaii's education system?"

Djou's vote against HR 1516 just does not make sense to me.  Sure "fiscal responsibility" on a federal level is important, but not nearly as important as increased resources in Hawaii's schools, investing in Hawaii's future.

Finally, Djou used an analogy in his closing remarks about a congressman's ID/credit card, and asks the public if they would trust Hanabusa with spending their money. Ironically, Djou was one of the top spenders in his brief "experience" as a congressman , and sent out (as Hanabusa mentioned) four full color brochures in 23 days, estimated to cost around half a million dollars.  Informing a constituency or using constituents' money to campaign?


Of course, as you most likely already know, I am not  partisan by any means, and I actually once considered that Djou could make a good representative for our State, but the more I see him in debates and commercials, the more I realize he is conservative drone who memorizes, word for word, an "answer" for any topic that he may be asked about.

Someone please remove his batteries.

At least in this debate, someone in his campaign finally advised Djou against the incredibly cheesy head snap, smile, and creepy stare into the TV camera.


On a side note, I'm sick of the ads.

Djou's negative, mud-slinging ads against Colleen Hanabusa reveals his lack of  aloha.  You've seen the one Sure, their are a few ads out there that are critical of Mr. Djou but compared with the smear campaign that Djou is running against Hanabusa, they are as classy as kings, merely stating facts, without any low-ball gimmicks or propaganda.

An ad rumored to have drove Senator Hanabusa to tears:


Nuff already.

Friday, September 10, 2010

College Students: Look Out for Marketing Scams!

I felt necessitated to post this article on modernized, classic marketing scams by the fact that three of my friends have each attempted to recruit me within the pass month to promote one of three completely different, yet equally "ground-breaking", health supplements. 

My hope is for this article to serve as a straight-forward and relevant "heads-up" for ambitious, young, and aspiring business people in Hawaii. 


As information continues to flow more freely across the globe, novel business models are formulated to adapt. In turn, it is often difficult for a consumer or young entrepreneur to distinguish between legitimate business models and unsustainable ones amidst the 21st century's myriad of adaptive business models. 

The classic pyramid scheme may very well be the most well-known and looked-out-for marketing scam. But despite its notoriety, pyramid schemes continue to exploit young entrepreneur today due to clever disguises and references to pop-culture or technological trends. 

How does a modern pyramid scheme work?
- Money earned and gaining promotion within the scheme comes primarily from recruiting new people to the scheme (resell of product is secondary)
- Those new people are conscripted to recruit more people into the scheme, and these new people must recruit more people, etc., and so on
- The pyramid (illegitimate multi-level marketing) scheme will ultimately, inevitably collapse, due to mathematic infeasibility of profits (not enough people in world to meet recruiting requirements after a certain number of levels) or economic improbability (even after 3 or 4 levels, only the members on top of the pyramid will most likely profit) 


As an undergraduate, I admit to being at least intrigued by some of the pitches pyramid con-artists presented me, which led to me to understand how vulnerable, starving college students could be sucked in.
Here are some red flags that I picked up of the classic pyramid (illegal multi-level marketing) schemes as adapted to today's society: 

Beware of unsustainable business plans: 

- Some sort of buy-in or "investment" is required to get started 

- The incentive for recruitment is greater than the incentive for sales 

- "Investors" receive benefits later from "investments" made by others. 

- You earn or are promised to earn more compensation than the revenue you bring in 

Other red flags: 

- Younger business people are the primary demographic 

- The target is encouraged to sell to and recruit friends and family 

- You will be promoting a "revolutionary" product or service that you haven't hard of 

- The use of celebrities or corporate identities that you haven't before seen associated with the product or service 

There are a number of actions you can take to prevent being exploited:

First, study the company’s track record; ask questions when you are unclear about restrictions, duties, or compensation; and learn about the product. Asking your recruiter how much money he makes and how often does he work is often a great start. 

You already know that this model is different than the majority of successful businesses; ask yourself: WHY? And be sure to talk to a friend before getting involved and take your time with any decisions or investments. 

Googling "Is X company a scam?" is NOT sufficient research since the internet review sites and forums are flooded with paid marketers posing as unbiased consumers. On the other hand, the Better Business Bureau ( is a great resource for information on scams and how to prevent being exploited. 

Keep in mind that some multi-level marketing businesses are legitimate, such as "Primerica Financial Services", (which received an “A+” in the BBB’s 2009 report). Use this checklist to distinguish between a legitimate MLM business and a pyramid scam: 

[caption id="attachment_912" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A legitimate multi-level-marketing company. Recieved an "A+" on the BBB's 2009 annual ethics report."][/caption]

A basic rule of thumb is to ensure that your recruiter has a vested interest in your success and that no more than three levels are above you. 

Finally, consider the reason why you were approached. Unless you are not an all-star salesperson with 15 years of experience, ask yourself why your recruiter isn't looking for that guy. Why is recruiting you so important? Does this business match your talents, skills, or interest? If not, don't do it!


Possible scams in Hawaii:

Acai Health Supplements -

Blastoff Network -

Black Diamond Builder (MonaVie)- -

Pre-paid legal services, inc. -

Monday, September 6, 2010

Honolulu Civil Beat - New Website

Congratulations Civil Beat on the beautiful website revamp! I guess it's time for me to shell up the $20 a month for the content. At this point I just cannot deny the value, and I'm sick of my Blackberry Civil Beat RSS feeds getting cut short.

And right in time for the half off, 3-month election special.  I'll see you on the discussion boards!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why Hawaii Needs a Republican Governor

I am not the fervent Republican zealot who will support any candidate in his party regardless of the candidate’s values. In fact, I am quite the opposite. But although I hold ideals and political philosophies that are of a traditional accordance to those of the Democratic Party, I appreciate the checks and balances that a republican governorship brings to our lopsided State Legislature.

Throughout the past eight years under Republican Gubernatorial leadership, legislation may have not moved as quickly as it could have, but at least our State leaders were forced to be more responsible in the construction of legislation—knowing that vetoes would require a two-thirds vote over-ride.

A democratic majority in the State House and Senate is a great thing for progress in Hawaii, but a republican governorship will help both cabinets produce more responsible legislation. In turn, synthesized designs of bi-partisan, centrist legislation will benefit the greatest amount of people in Hawaii and help create a more harmonious and efficient society.

-- A Letter to the Editor, Published in the Maui News - July 7th 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Advertiser Had Better Website

As a critical component of Hawaii's leading newspaper at the time, was a model example of an effective, accessible, active, user-friendly, and aesthetically-pleasing online news source.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="Sadly, the best doesn't always win."][/caption]

With constantly updated late- breaking news stories, quality reporting, meaningful connections throughout the isle news scene, and a variety of popular columns and blogs, truly set a national example for what an online news source should be.

It seems as though the design of the Star Advertiser website was meant to be a synthesis of the Honolulu Advertiser’s and Star-Bulletin’s website designs. Indeed it was—an unfortunate compromise between the Honolulu Advertiser’s website’s efficiency and Star-bulletin’s awkward and cluttered website layout.

Although was a good attempt at a new website, it should be scrapped for a design similar to the late and great

A Letter to the Editor of Star Advertiser printed June 6, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Congressional Race

My fun little centrist reaction to a rather djouicy debate:

The debut of djou being subdued by the dude to pursue an overdue vote through, anewed: term number 2.

Djou: blew worthless ado, to the camera askewed, viewed in the hue of accruing a flu. Questions eschewed; no answers construed.

Please ensue, this party be imbued; but blue, don’t stoop to the taboo of an untrue slew. In lieu, like ballyhoo in your full canoe, let the voters come to you.

Be cool, unlike djou's coo with no shew, in his final adieu, before he ran out and flew to the loo.

Bless you djou, and all the djoudoo you spew!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Am I the only Hawaiian Offended?

By now, the chances are that you have seen the "Defend Hawaii" clothing brand either on the backs of young people around Honolulu or on the shelves of a shop at your local mall.

Pretty interesting logo, right? My first impression, as I seen this logo as a sticker on a pickup truck on the highway, was a sudden a feeling of uneasiness. But at the time, I wasn't aware of what the underlying purpose of this campaign was. However, I knew that the message "Defend Hawaii" circumventing a AK-47, the weapon of choice for many gangsters and terrorists wasn't going to sit well with me if I was to continue seeing it around.

Well I did...and a selection of new designs were causing the brand's popularity to grow exponentially.

[caption id="attachment_864" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hmmm..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_856" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Apparently, Defend Hawaii supposes that if Kamehameha was alive today, he would be a member of the bloods."][/caption]

Yes, this is actually one of their designs: kind of takes it a step further doesn't it.

Is putting a Crip rag over an ali‘i's face, who resembles the widely used depiction of Kamehameha The Great, and an AK in his hand meant to belittle his recognition as a Hawaiian icon and leader? Is this campaign a political satire in which "Aloha Family" is labeling him as a gangster, or outlaw because of the fact that he used European firearms during the unification of the Hawaiian Islands?

...are they even savvy enough to intend for such a message, or are these vacuous designs merely a product of plain ignorance and unintentional exploitation and denigration of our culture? ...after reading the "about us" section on the brands website, I'm beginning to lean towards the latter.


"DEFEND HAWAII is a clothing company representing the lifestyle of our young Hawaiian generation. We combine the old traditions of Hawaii with a new urban twist."
(i bet that second sentence could make any Kupuna cringe...)

iKill represents the lifestyle of our young Hawaiian generation? wow. Really, what does an Mac ad parody with a wangster twist have anything to do with "old traditions of Hawaii"?

The "About Us" section continues:
"Being born and raised in Hawaii, our way of life is something that we are proud of. We hold on to the values of our ancestors and hope to keep the ALOHA alive…"

Yea?...aloha? At first, one (especially one from a less politically apathetic time) may assume that the company may be attempting to start a violent, political movement of young people. As much as I am opposed such measures, at least the campaign may be credited with having at least some purpose for it's usage of visual irony and pop-culture design trends to appeal to the young masses.

However, the paradox that arises when the statement "We hold on to the values of...ALOHA..." is considered along with these designs, allows for the conclusion to be drawn that the brand is clearly, purposely exploiting Hawaiian culture and "values" for no reason other than the bottom line.

The sad part is this isn't the only case, and whether it arises from ignorance or greed, this type of exploitation and manipulation of our culture will continue. Perhaps, Defend Hawaii may not intend to be offensive, but they sure are not being responsible enough to prevent offense from being taken.

Caveat Emptor: it is our duty to make informed decisions, and although the color schemes may be eye-catching and clever, please keep your cash (or credit) to yourself, and don't support such negligence.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Rage 4 Haiti"

Under the surface of the "dedicated to my lubby-dubby girl" up-beat Jawaiian reggae sounds, that have been dominating Hawaii airwaves fort he past couple of decades, exists an eclectic music scene that ought to tickle any music lover's fancy. If you were to ask me, and a few of my friends from around the Mainland, the variety of downtown Honolulu's music scene is comparable to that of any major city in America; you just need to know where to listen.

Rage 4 Haiti

Tonight, SoHo, Manifest, and Next Door will be hosting a stellar lineup from everything Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop, to Heavy Rock. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $15 at the door, awesome price for a nine hour event! All the locations will be open from 7pm-4am and will feature live music or a mix of various DJ's throughout the night.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="The Beautiful and Talented Singer/Songwriter Anuhea"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="456" caption="The also Beautiful and Talented Singer/Songwriter Kimie Miner."][/caption]

I actually had the pleasure of jamming for a few hours with singer/ songwriters Kimie Miner and Anuhea at a party a few years back and let me tell you, these girls not only have talent and beautiful voices, but an endless passion for their music. I also have checked out The Deadbeats a few times, who perform Wednesday nights at Jazz Minds, and it is clear that they value the artistic merit of their music at least to the same regard as its entertainment value. They have a fresh, catchy, yet sophisticated sound of Jazz infused hip-hop and are definitely worth the $10 cover alone.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="the Deadbeats at Jazzminds."][/caption]

But along with the great line-up is a great cause. All proceeds will go to the Clinton Bush Haiti fund to help aid survivors and help the nation of Haiti recover from last weeks natural disaster. So head down and Rage 4 Haiti tonight, hear great music, have a blast, and support your fellow humans.