Demand democracy in the U.S. Senate
Let’s be honest, no matter what happens in this coming election, nothing will change in Washington unless the two culprits who have ruined the place are dethroned. The two main culprits are Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader for the Democrats, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader for the Republicans.
Reid puts together so-called “Super Committees” comprised of equal number Republicans to Democrats to decide major policy issues behind closed doors. He has no authority to undermine our democracy. Democracy is about majority rule, after successfully fighting for and winning elections. It is not about giving the losers of an election an equal say-so. Reid has undermined our Democracy by not fighting the Senate rules that require 60 votes, instead of 51 votes to stop Filibuster grid-lock.
The reason the House and the Senate have not been able to get anything done in the last two years is not because the Republicans are playing hardball. It is because, Harry Reid is simply incompetent. He does not stand up for majority rule. He does not have the personality, leadership qualities, or communication skills that are required.
When Republican Minority Leader Sen. McConnell declared in 2009 and 2011 that his “single-most important” goal is to “take President Obama out” of office—these declarations were something new and stronger than partisanship. What McConnell was really saying was that he has no respect for “the peoples’ choice” when he’s on the losing side. And his disgust is so great he can’t even do his job. He can’t work to fix the economy, raise opportunities for all, defend the country, create a more equitable tax system — nothing matters to him more than defeating Obama and regaining power for himself and his party.
Both parties need to shake the Senate this summer and return our democracy. We must demand it now.
Problem for everyone
Axis deer are a threat to everyone on the Big Island, not just to ranchers, farmers, gardeners and conservationists.
Little-publicized is the threat deer pose to motorists. Deer are mainly nocturnal. They move around and feed at night, and this activity brings them onto roads and into the path of oncoming vehicles.
State Farm Insurance recently reported that “1.09 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.” That means approximately 1 in every 300 persons on the mainland was in a car that hit a deer last year. In some states, the annual likelihood was as high as 1 motorist in 53. These accidents typically result in damage to the vehicle. All too often, the accidents cause injury and sometimes death to the driver or passenger. Apparently, the nation spends more than $1 billion on abating the problem. The report also notes, “The state in which deer-vehicle collisions are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 6,267).” With the introduction of axis deer to the Big Island, how long will that safety record last? What will it do to our insurance rates?
Having deer to hunt is not worth increasing our driving costs and risking injury or death on the road at night.