Our problems in Hawaii are, as one may expect, different. At this point, by holding to shelter in place with most everything shut down we may be able to keep COVID-19 cases under control. But people are getting antsy and the face cover law isn’t being enforced well at all.

With pandemics, there is no ‘overreacting’. We are too small and or isolation works for us if we stay closed but there is the slight problem of being a tourist center at the end of the last great age of tourism. This is a case of complexity and being, suddenly, very poorly positioned.

We are an Asian-Pacific culture with greater similarity to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or New Zealand than to the aging western civilization. That just means that we tend to be one political group rather than two or more with a traditional level of corruption designed for taking care of everyone plus a little extra for family and friends. I’ve long called it, in memory of Frank Fasi, the honest crook style of government.

This cultural tradition is what allows us to have the best state healthcare system but with unhappy docs. Part of that is because so many want to live here but it isn’t easy because the market is small and the cost of living is like San Francisco. There is just not a lot of room for traditional western-style capitalism except as imported by mainland and Japanese chains.

Incompetence is ok as long as it doesn’t get stupid and start costing us real money. Ige is following in the long line of mildly incompetent governors who learn to keep the Department of Education happy, his wife will let him no if they are not, and let the other state agencies appoint their cousins and pad their expense accounts.

I was pro-rail when it started but, as every large project here, it becomes bigger and bigger as the crowd wanting slices shows up from around the planet. We just don’t have the people to stand up to the big guys.

Tourism was, until March, king but the underpinnings have really been military spending and the real estate hustle over the last forty years as the US went slowly down. We let Japan build huge condos and hotels in the ’80s and ’90s and have been slowly reselling them to China ever since.

We are in trouble because we didn’t diversify but, having been part of that effort for forty-some years, it is very hard, see above, and tourism is easy money if you are a tropical paradise. Too easy.

We always think we can stay out of US disasters and ugliness because we’re 2,400 miles from LA and many people forget we are part of the US. Hell the US forgets we are part of the US. That's usually to our benefit. But we are the Pacific Command center for the American Empire. Luckily that is falling but it will be messy when it crashes.

I’ve long thought we should have gotten out when the getting was good and became independent or, maybe made an alliance with British Columbia, but I guess we are going to have to ride this thing down to the ground, now. We stay very close to California so when they break away we can go with them.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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