26 May 2006

Louis Erteschik's Short Term Wake Up Call

Your friendly local Hawaiian god thinks this article by Louis Erteschik is as short-sighted as his agenda, and possibly his experience.

With regard to Hawai'i's natural beauty, Erteschik argues that "we are killing off Hawaii's best asset in favor of short-term profit."

Short-term? It's been a long short-term since 1959*, and much, much earlier.

*Dats when statehood, air travel and tourism all converged in a "perfect storm" of economic growth, population and money started flowing into my islands.

Erteschik, apparently a lawyer, is apparently the "hearings officer for the state Department of Health." And on "Neighborhood Board Number 9," wherever that is. I never recognized neighborhoods, much less their boards. Me, who can properly appeal to Pele, among others, don't need no Numbah Nine to solve my problems.

Erteschik worries about high-rises, tourists and encroachment on the beaches of Waikiki and elsewhere. He should have been worried in 1959.

He thinks "the unthinkable has come to pass," with my islands awash in tourists and their money and their brokers' interests in building on every stinking piece of land on the islands.

What he don't know: Waikiki was a swamp befoah anyway, except for a couple pieces. The royals went upcountry whenever possible, to avoid the heat and stink. Now the tourists go down to the water, away from royals' memory and away from me, Thank Me.

Anyway, I think, Erteschik's perspective is skewed into ridicule -- if he has any perspective at all. Wonder when he flew here?

Because that overdevelopment stuff is OVER now.

Waikiki is SETTLED.

If Erteschik were a history major, instead of pre-law, he would possibly have had a better understanding of Hawai'i, tourism, and statehood.

He writes about "complacency" because we're all goo-goo'ing at our islands' beauty -- what the heck? Have da kine been complacent? I don't think so. The overthrow, the annexation, the statehood vote, the movements of the 1960s-70s (still going today among aging ethnocentrists and a few who got pakalolo into their brains) -- all speak to the political dynamic of Hawaiians. Complacent? Maybe to a haole's breathless self.

After reading Erteschik's words, I don't think he has a competent comprehension of what "short-term" or "mid-term" or "long-term" mean.

Unlike me. I've seen it all. Seen what came and went, and what stayed. Seen the past, Maybe friendly local Hawaiian god should run for memba of "Neighborhood Board Numbah Nine." Wherever that is. I bet I'm a shoo-in with the natives.

US Border Patrol Sleaze -- Surely A One-Time Event

Now we got this over on the Mainland. Pulling the whole article because it's dated.

This article, and the preceding news about the El Paso FBI, speak to a larger issue that concerns me even more than immigration and border security. That is, the co-optation of Americans near the border by illicit groups in Mexico. My fear is that rather than Mexicans being inspired by the relative safety and economic freedoms of the US, some Americans will sink to the level of corrupt Mexicans. This will diffuse the notable differences between the US and Mexico on the border, those being integrity, respect for law, economic confidence, and quality.


Ex-agent is accusedof stealing from wallet
By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

The former lead intelligence agent at the El Paso Border Patrol station was charged with theft in federal court for allegedly stealing from a co-worker's wallet at work, court documents showed. A criminal complaint said that on Dec. 12, 2005, Eva Martinez took the wallet from an unsecured briefcase laid on a file cabinet in the cubicle she shared with the victim. Martinez allegedly took a driver's license, an ATM card and a personal check for $170 from the wallet.

Officials with the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security, who investigated the matter, said that later the same day Martinez forged the victim's name on the check, cashed it and used it to make a car payment.

She allegedly used the ATM card at Auto Zone,

Martinez allegedly sold some of the items she purchased with the card at a bar and others were found during a search at her home on Dec. 16, officials said.

Officials said Martinez admitted to the theft orally and in writing. She faces up to two years in prison if convicted, according to court documents. She has a court hearing next month.

Border Patrol officials said Martinez no longer works for the agency.

21 May 2006

FBI Sleaze -- Surely A One-Time Event

The FBI, which does not stand for Female Body Inspector, despite all the T-Shirts sold in Hawai'i, remains as intent on investigating its lawbreaking employees as it does on bank robbers, kidnappers and terrorists. Too bad public money has to be spent on chasing down this crap:

From the El Paso Times, 13 April 2006:

Former El Paso FBI chief Hardrick Crawford Jr. was indicted by a U.S. District Court grand jury Wednesday on accusations of making a false statement about his relationship with a Juárez racetrack owner suspected of drug trafficking.

Crawford is facing five counts of making false statements or concealing material facts from federal officials, said Daryl Fields, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office for the Western District of Texas. Each count is a felony and punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Crawford could not be reached for comment. He was the special agent in charge of the El Paso FBI office from July 2001 through November 2003, a court document states.

Most recently, Crawford has been homeland security director for METI, a government technology contractor on Boeing Drive.

Mary Stillinger, Crawford's lawyer, said late Wednesday, "Mr. Crawford looks forward to finally being able to defend himself against these allegations that have been hanging over his head for two and a half years. There is a great deal of history behind the allegations in the indictment. When the all the facts are heard in court, we expect Mr. Crawford will be vindicated."

Fields said the indictment is a result of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, an extension of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Count one alleges Crawford made a false statement on June 6, 2003, in an FBI electronic communication regarding his association with Juárez Racetrack and Gaming Center owner Jose Maria Guardia.

Count two alleges Crawford concealed material facts from the FBI on June 6, 2003, regarding his association with Guardia.

Counts three and five allege Crawford made false statements in Office of Government Ethics Public Financial Disclosure Reports submitted to the FBI for calendar years 2002 and 2003 regarding gifts allegedly received.

Count four alleges Crawford made a false statement on Nov. 5, 2003, to the Office of the Inspector General during an agency investigation.

Court documents state Crawford met Guardia in February 2002, a few days after Guardia became an FBI informant. Guardia served as an FBI informant for about six months in 2002, the documents state.

"Thereafter, defendant Crawford socialized with Guardia, introduced his family to him, and engaged in a pattern of accepting gifts and favors from him," according to the grand jury charges.

Court records state that the alleged gifts included trips to Las Vegas and Mexico City, a membership to the Coronado Country Club, weekly lawn service at Crawford's home and a $5,000-a-month salaried position for Crawford's wife at the racetrack.

The grand jury charges allege Crawford socialized with Guardia despite FBI agents advising him that "reliable FBI sources in Mexico were reporting Guardia's involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering activity."

The document states that on May 22, 2003, Guardia took a FBI polygraph examination sought by Crawford. Crawford was notified that Guardia failed the examination, according to the grand jury charges.

The document further states that on May 27, 2003, Crawford attended a press conference at the Juárez racetrack and said he was not aware of Guardia's involvement in any criminal activity.

On June 6, 2003, Crawford in an electronic communication to the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, the Security Division, and the Criminal Investigative Division made a statement that was "materially false, fictitious and fraudulent," according to grand jury charges.

"As an aside, database checks, source reporting, and agents with long tenure in the division advised no negative information existed (regarding) Guardia, who resides in El Paso," Crawford wrote according to the grand jury charges.

The grand jury charges state Crawford's statement in the electronic communication was "false" because he knew "negative information regarding Guardia did exist."

Guardia could not be reached comment.

In November 2003, the Times reported that the Justice Department was conducting an ethics investigation into Crawford's relationship with Guardia and the employment of Crawford's wife as Guardia's consultant.

Crawford, 54, retired abruptly as the top FBI official in El Paso on Nov. 7 after Jose de Maria y Campos, of the Mexican Foreign Ministry, accused Crawford of meddling in Mexico's internal affairs.

At the time, Stillinger said nothing was illegal or improper about Linda Crawford's employment by Guardia or about the former FBI official's relationship with Guardia.

In December 2003, the Mexican federal attorney general's office announced it had no evidence linking Guardia to money laundering.

Immigration, Language and Identify

Overloaded vehicles.

Quickly followed up by Dangerous Work Environments.

And to think, this is what we can expect from any new immigration bill. What group in the history of the world has risen to the standards of immigrants' hosts? And what countries have fallen to immigrants' low-brow standards? The answer, in my two necks of the woods are exampled as follows: try speaking Hawaiian on Kuhio Ave and try speaking English on Santa Fe in El Paso.

15 May 2006

APAH Month -- What a Mouthful!

Here's an article on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (going on right now, in case you missed it), and what he feels it means to be Asian today, by Jeff Yang. Ignore the obnoxious media outlet and just read it.

Bet Jeff doesn't know that the US military celebrates Ah-Pah Month rather robustly by most American standards.

Why a mouthful? Because of the rather crude interjection of "Pacific Heritage" into the celebration. Gotta cover all bases, with those 100/442 boys and those Samoans in uniform, I guess.

13 May 2006

Howdy Haole

Your friendly local Hawaiian god would like to comment on this article by Red Star Bulletin writer Bob Jones.

That's Bob Jones, breathless haole at large.

In a simply written and mildly interesting article about his trip to Guizhou Province, China, Jones refers to a group of "27 haole, Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian" people on tour.

Why they haole in China? What's the cultural context there? What does the word haole mean to Chinese? Seems to me it means -- if those Guizhou locals are still relating to people as "us" and "them" -- that Hawaiians, Chinese and Japanese are just as haole as a salmon in the Sahara Desert. Or Bob Jones in Guizhou.

Jones is too casual with that word haole. A haole referring to his own kind as haoles is like a chicken-killing fox referring to his relatives as murderers. In fact, a haole referring to any category of ethnicity in a money-making article, whether technically right or wrong, leaves me as uncomfortable as a hungry shark in an empty sea.

And as you know, TikiPundit sometimes assumes the appearance of a shark. That's how I know what it means to be lonely. Never gonna go salmon-hunting in an empty sea again.

Unless I mistake: and Bob Jones is as Hawaiian as laulau. Maybe Kamehameha boy, if not maybe just "kama'aina haole." Maybe UH Manoa grad in Hawaiian Studies. Maybe native speaker. OHA benefits recipient. Grew up in Halawa Valley. Best test: has a sneaking suspicion of where I was born (but doesn't know, of course -- that's a mythical secret guarded by friendly patriotic locals on Molokai).

Was Jones trying to ingratiate himself to Hawaiians? Or his Hawaiian paymasters? Or worse, to me?

Bonus: Someday I get off my butt and down from my heiau and talk about brethren in Tonga and Samoa and their version of haole, palangi or papalangi. BTW, those words and concepts seem to come from Southeast Asia and maybe even trace back to India.

Which brings around to another point. Everyone's a haole, sooner or later.

10 May 2006

You Bet I Am!

That's why my islands ran so well before frappuchinos and whatnot showed up.

TikiPundit one Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 33%
Lifer: 46%
Mandarin: 56%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.