Front Page

Here’s an item-by-item response to articles on the front page of today’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

HGEA wins 10% State Pay Raise. The governor’s right. A pay increase like this will “diminish the state’s ability to provide for its people as a whole.” On the other hand, that’s what gigantic state bureaucracies do. People don’t even have to be good at their jobs anymore to get raises. They just have to keep showing up, and we all know a bunch of government employees who do exactly that.

Punahou to Unveil New Dress Code. It’s about time. I can’t believe some of the things Punahou students wear to school. I’m no prude, but I am a serious educator, and there’s just no denying that there is such a thing as appropriate for a serious learning environment and inappropriate for a serious learning environment. Parents who argue that a dress code leaves no room for their children’s self-expression think they get it, but they don’t. Even with restrictions against plunging necklines and overly-exposed midriffs, there’s infinite possibility for self-expression. Don’t teach your kids that they should be allowed to do whatever they want, people. That’s what’s messing us up and creating this ridiculous culture of entitlement that we’ve got going on. Teach your kids to express their individuality within the confines of socially appropriate expectations. Yes, I know high school isn’t the boardroom, but neither is it the beach. If you want your kids to be edgy and line-crossing, that’s up to you, but don’t blame society for putting the lines there. Without the lines, there’s no such thing as line-crossing, and that’s really it, isn’t it? You want your kids to be unique and forge new trails, but you want the uniqueness and new-trail-forging to be institutionalized. Screw that. You want Good Charlotte, not the Sex Pistols, don’t you? Well have you heard Good Charlotte? Good Charlotte sucks. One parent quoted in the article thinks it’s the faculty who has a problem with what the students are wearing. Hello! They’re being paid to create and maintain an environment conducive to learning! Wouldn’t you say part of that is understanding social expectations? I would.

Mayor Calls Just-Planted Trees a Hazard to Safety. I am on the new mayor’s side, at least until he does something to piss me off. I haven’t seen the new trees, but I am completely in favor of more trees in places like Kuhio Avenue, and I need to see for myself whether or not they’re any kind of serious detriment to emergency vehicles. I suspect that the mayor’s getting some pressure from commercial groups who want their delivery trucks to have an easier time of it. Oh, and I don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to make out of this: “I don’t think we’re going to lose any of the aesthetic quality or the beauty that the trees bring to Kuhio Avenue.” Look, I know the Mayor’s not the brightest guy we’ve got in office, but does he even listen to himself? If the trees bring aesthetic value and beauty, and then they are removed, how does Kuhio Avenue not lose any of the aesthetic value and beauty that they brought? Does the mere memory of the trees increase Kuhio’s beauty? Iolani grads!

Bankoh Workers Fired for Cheating. Good for them.

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