Beating a drum & tidbits from the week

This last week in Hawaii a number of different events happened at the government and society that leads me to do a “week in review” type post for today (4/18)

DON A MASK OR ELSE. So, on Tuesday the 14th Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu came out with a new proclamation requiring people put masks on in public places. I was afraid he was going to go down this road, but was still livid when he did. I even sent a text to select friends in my political circles, saying “Caldwell can now go to hell”, upon hearing of this.

Yeah, I was triggered.

Some responded back to me saying “[i]sn’t he already?”, with others chiding me for my attitude toward the new order. Some asked me where this anger was coming from while others, quoting from the press conference: “My mask is aloha to you and your mask is aloha to me – Derek Kawakami”. Lets just say in seeing this, I had some choice words to send back, but I cooled down.

Unfortunately, the way the government is playing all these proclamations up, its feeling a lot like “do this or else”. In the case of Mayor Caldwell, his tone reminds me of Miss Honey from “Despicable Me” in her chiding of the kids for not selling enough choco cookies. Meanwhile the Governor, lock step with the Mayor, made the same rules effective immediately statewide.

HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN AMERICA IS IN HAWAII. Thursday headlines came out with an alarming statistic – 37% of Hawaii residents are now unemployed. A month and one-half before, the rate was at 2% and change. To equivocate that to real numbers, that day before the number stood at 244,330…and still rising.

Its been said that this representation of a breadline from the depression could be a reality in our future very soon. God help is if true.
“Breadline” by Aaron Webb is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Combining this shocking statistic was the tone deafness of Hawaii’s leaders. Instead of sounding upbeat about re-starting, they sounded a level of caution that made it sound like we are never going to go out again. Headlines started coming out saying “Honolulu Lockdown To Last For Months”. This ticked me off – the same people that got us into this mess are now going to turn around, ignore this statistic and continue to tell us that we haven’t reached some prescribed data goals so we all have to still stay in time out.

Well, sorry, whether the leaders like it or not, the statistic is there, with all the negatives that come with it.

So, as a person who works in workforce development and know first hand what the effects of this are on people, I think its high time that these leaders are reminded of what they have wrought. Starting on Friday, and going on until they address it, every day that they post something about the statistics (which come out at 12 noon every day), I will be posting in the comments of their posts:

“*Beating a drum* So what is your plan to address 200,000 plus residents who are unemployed and need to hear some hope?”.

I’ll post this to both the Governor and Mayor. To me, they are the ones that got us into this problem, as I mentioned in my previous posts. They should own this problem, and find a way to fix it. Ignoring it is not the answer.

GOVERNORS CHIEF OF STAFF GETS A DRESSING DOWN. Finally, you may have heard about how the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Linda Chu Takayama, was dressed down by a Senate Panel overseeing the COVID-19 response on Friday April 18th.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Review
Yeah, the session kinda felt like this
“Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Review” by BagoGames is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

For a person that has watched the machinations of the majority party in Hawaii – the Democrats – the fiery exchange between Takayama and Senators Donna Mercado Kim and Donovan Dela Cruz was truly unique. Typically, people who represent interests that are part of the same party don’t air their dirty laundry in public, let alone talk back to each other in the way Friday’s exchange went.

But I would not put hope that this exchange is the start of the breakup of the party’s grip in Hawaii. As I write this I am sure that there are people in the party talking to both sides, telling them “eh, whatever beef you got, take it off camera…we have an election to win in November.” Now if this style of exchange continues in future meetings, then maybe my prediction was wrong.

But most likely things will calm down from here.