Pick a Good One
I have chosen NOT to publicly express my personal political preferences since the shooting of John F. Kennedy.
My reasons are many, the biggest being the limited choices we have had and the poor choices we have made.
I have enjoyed watching the “show” however and for sanity reasons have looked at it more as entertaintment than serious business.
I have strong, yet unspoken views about our current choices for President and Vice President. That extends to all of the tactics I have seen from both sides. If forced to take a stand I would opt to do away with the two party system where people feel obliged to go along with one of the two people their delegates put up there. I would prefer to see a literal “free for all” system, with no primary, where we didn’t have to take sides, and instead pick the best person for the job. Doing this would eliminate the candidates talking more about their opponent’s faults and their history than their own plans if elected.
I hope to see some comments in here.
What do YOU think about these choices put before us in 2008?
Archive for August, 2008
Pick a Good One
Done Right - Top to Bottom
When Pam Chambers told me that I should check out the new Forever 21 store at Ala Moana, I had to admit that I never heard of them. I guess that I don’t spend enough time on the mainland, because they are well known there. They will be well known here too if they continue doing things the way they are.
When Pam said that people are lined up at the register to buy, I had to go check it out. I was greeted warmly at the door, the store was very busy and the prices were extremely reasonable. And just as Pam said, people were lining up at the register to buy. It’s good to see success when so many people are talking about tough times.
Maui Bans Plastic Bags
Read the complete story in today’s Honolulu Advertiser. The only bothersome part of this is that the ban won’t take effect until January 11, 2011. The reason given was to give businesses time to use up their plastic bag supplies. Considering the deadly impact that these bags have on our ocean wildlife, perhaps the $200,000 spent annually for a contractor to pick up stray bags blowing around the Central Maui Landfill could be used to buy them up. Or, possibly those merchants still using plastic bags could be enlightened about their danger and they would voluntarily stop handing them out.
They Are Deadly
Ignorant behavior is tolerable until enlightenment occurs; after that it becomes stupidity or selfishness. I can remember a time when cigarette smoking was fashionable and even allowed in hospitals. Everyone had ash trays in their homes, even the rare non-smokers. But once it became known that cigarette smoking and second hand smoke kills, things changed. Imagine a doctor telling a patient, “You have lung cancer and should stop smoking, but go ahead and finish up the carton you have on hand first.”
The yet to be enenlightened will no doubt fight this law as they did the smoking ban. For example, the president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii was quoted as saying, “There is good reason to resist the call for a ban on plastic bags.” She said, “It will have unintended consequences for consumers, including higher costs at the checkout stand as businesses pass along higher shipping costs for bulkier paper bags.” She claimed that it takes seven truckloads of paper bags to carry the same number of plastic bags in a single truckload. I ask, “How much are the lives of our turtles and whales worth?” “Consumer acceptance is another issue,” she said. “It’s going to take quite some time to get everyone to use (reusable bags), and to expect people to leave the house and remember to bring five to six of those bags is just not practical.”
I stopped by Foodland on the way home from my walk this morning to buy some fruit juice. I simply purchased a cloth bag. As I did, I shuddered as I watched the checkers stuffing things into plastic bags for the uninformed.
Some other justifications offered for continuing the use of plastic were “the ease of carrying leaky plate lunches, dry cleaning, potting soil, hardware items and other goods.” She even said, “People use it to pick up dog poop — what’s your alternative, newspaper? That’s just gross. Plastic bags are very practical in our busy lives.”
I am sensing a big opportunity here for someone to come along with a solution to that problem. Some actually have already. Here’s one bag that feels kind of like plastic, but it is actually made from corn!
Assuming that dog lovers may feel some empathy for other animals, if not the environment itself, I think they will buy in to better solutions once they are made aware of the consequences of the convienece of plastic. There are not very many people fighting for asbestos anymore.
The story said that violators of the bag ban will face administrative fines of up to $1,000. That’s a great deterrant, but let’s hope that the enfocement of the law is done better that the smoking law has been.
Headlines Get Attention
Unfortunately all that some people read are the headlines, and if you get into the meat of the story the facts are rarely as sensational as the headlines. For example, this headline appeared in Pacific Business News today:
Hawaii Hotel Occupancy Down, Room Rates Up
The article goes on to say that statewide occupancy is down 4.6 percentage points from 2007 to 78.4 percent, and room rates, climbed 1.2 percent to $231 a night.
Digging a little deeper we see that the Oahu occupancy fell a mere 1.9 percentage points to 83.1 percent. The big drops were on Kauai (10.5%) and the Big Island (8.1%), where the visitor numbers are the smallest anyway.
When talking percentages we need to remember that the huge majority of visitors are on Oahu, where occupancy was off a tiny 1.9%, and 81.1% of the rooms are full. In my book that is nothing to get so hysterical about, especially when you take into account that these people are spending more money than the missing 1.9% would have spent if they were here.
I read that people are concerned about the economy. I think that much of that is a state of mind, and the press could do us all a big favor by spinning the facts in a positive manner. Think about a headline saying:
Oahu Barely Feels the Impact of a Supposed Recession - Lucky We Live Hawaii
Then go on and print the factual details.
44 Year Habit Broken
When I read this CBS News story about 84 year old Joseph Macko continuing his 53 year habit of buying or leasing a new Cadillac every year since 1955, I felt like a real lightweight.
I tell the complete story in Success Made Easy, but the short version is that I made a deal with Marvin K. Brown in 1964 that if he would not reposess my 1962 Cadillac, and deliver me a new 1965, that I would get a new Cadillac every two years for the rest of my life.
Well I have lived up to that promise until now. This year I wrote a check for my new STS “black beauty” and plan to keep it from now on. We’ll see!
It’s Called Opportunism
Cnet News reported that an Alabama woman has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the iPhone 3G’s network is slower than advertised.The basis of the suit is misleading advertising where Apple claimed that the new iPhone was going to be “twice as fast at half the price” and it has not lived up to that claim.
Unless some sensible judge tosses this out soon, it will most likely become a major class action suit with thousands of otherwise happy customers jumping on the bandwagon and claiming problems with their 3G iPhone.
Here They Go Again
A few months ago I complained about a photo on the front page of Pacific Business News showing an empty Honolulu Airport along with the shocking quote; “It’s worse than after 911.” The photo was obviously taken when the airport was closed.
Well, the front page of this week’s PBN shows an empty Waikiki Beach. The long shadows of the palm trees are a dead giveaway as to how early in the morning this photo was taken. It motivated me to go to that same spot this afternoon and shoot the one below:
A Different Spin
In this issue PBN reports that we have a 13% drop in visitors. What if the headline were to read:
87% Still Coming To Hawaii
And the subsequent article was to say something like;
“In spite of the doom and gloom projections about the mainland economy we are still enjoying a tourism count equal to 87% of last years record number of visitors to Hawaii. Even more exciting is the fact that these are people who are not concerned about the price of gasoline, hotel rooms or airline tikets. We are seeing the cream of the crop, and yes they are spending money.”
I say, “Knock off the negative sensationalism.” That’s how to make things better.
Even More People
There was no let up in shopping as the Made In Hawaii Festival went into its second day. People came early and stayed late. It was a chore to work your way up or down any of the aisles in either of the two Blaisdale buildings.
Is Traffic All You Need?
If traffic was all that’s needed to insure success, no one could fail in this environment. However, traffic isn’t enough all by itself. The behavior of the person seen by those making up the traffic is an even bigger factor.
“It’s So Slow”
When asked how the show was, I assure you that some will say, “It was so slow.” This “salesperson” sitting and reading something while in the midst of this heavy traffic may as well have been out in the desert all alone. People will not stop and interupt someone that is engrossed in something else. To get busy, get busy.
Day One of Three
The opening day of this year’s Made in Hawaii Festival attracted huge numbers of people there for one reason, and one reason alone; to buy stuff!
Pictures Worth 1,000 Words
It was elbow to elbow today at both Blaisdale buildings today.
Honolulu Star Bulletin Headline
The front page of the business section of today’s Honolulu Star Bulletin quoted Macy’s Inc. as saying that their second-quarter earnings show a slight decline from a year ago as they face a challenging economic environment.
The photo used said more than that to me. This shopper in New York leaving a Macy’s store highlights the fact that they haven’t got the message yet about plastic bags and what they do to our environment and wild life. I couldn’t help but think, “KARMA” as I saw the photo and read the headline.
Nordstrom and other planet friendly department stores have moved to paper, and while it is not as “green” as cloth, it’s a lot better than plastic. Yes, plastic kills and Karma is real!