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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
February 25, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 10:02 AM :: 5709 Views

1,400 Testify on Gay Civil Unions: Senate Committee deadlocks 3-3

Advertiser:  In one of the few dramatic exchanges, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, D-19th (Kapolei, Makakilo, Waikele), who opposes civil unions, held up children's books such as "Daddy's Wedding" and "Heather Has Two Mommies" and asked state Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto whether homosexuality should be taught equally with heterosexuality in public schools.

Iwamoto, who is transgendered, responded: "I don't know if we teach heterosexuality in our schools. I'm sorry, senator, I don't mean to be antagonistic. But I don't know if there is a course on heterosexuality."  (So only homosexuality is being taught....) 

Linda Hamilton Krieger, a law professor at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa who is a lesbian, told the committee that it is the Legislature's responsibility, not the electorate, to "protect the civil and human rights of Hawai'i's lesbian, gay and transgendered people from discrimination by enacting civil-union legislation or its equivalent."

State Sen. Sam Slom, R-8th (Kahala, Hawai'i Kai), who opposes civil unions, said Krieger was marginalizing the electorate. "Is there any time or any issue that you think the electorate is smart enough to vote on?" he said.

Kyla Ozoa, a women's studies student at UH-Manoa who is from Kalihi, told senators she does not want special treatment but only wants the same rights as everyone else.  "I'm basically just asking for equality," Ozoa said, "the same rights as you folks have."  (Of course Ms. Ozoa already has exactly the same right to marry a member of the opposite sex that everybody else does....)

SB: The six-person committee vote was reported to still be three for the bill and three against it, with Sens. Brian Taniguchi, Dwight Takamine and Clarence Nishihara supporting it and Sens. Robert Bunda, Sam Slom and Mike Gabbard opposed.

KGMB: "If this bill goes forward, the children in the next generation will not know what a family resembles and their psychological state will be slanted and totally out of place," said Kenny Cochran, civil unions opponent.

(And as if to prove his point...)

"More than 25 years ago, my parent Dana completed the transition from male to female. You know when people sit there and ask me about being moral and children are better of being raised in a traditional family, well I wasn't raised in a traditional family and I'm way better off," said Laurie Cicotello, civil unions supporter.

Other Coverage: KITV, KHON, more KHON

SB Editorial attempts to steer gays to better arguments: "Both sides in the emotional argument about allowing civil unions for same-sex couples in Hawaii seem to agree on one thing: It would lead to legalization of gay marriage."   In Vermont "nothing significant changed...."  This is the Honolulu media at its clearest: acting as political leadership for Democrat activists.

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Oral Argument in "Ceded Lands" Case - Transcript And Summary

The Supreme Court's courtroom reporter has provided the raw transcript of today's oral arguments in the "ceded lands" case, Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, No. 07-1372 (cert. granted Oct. 1, 2008.  The transcript is posted here.  For a primer/FAQ on appellate oral arguments and what they entail, go here.

Advertiser: OHA protests the coming to bear of the US Constitution 

Rumblings that some elements were interested in storming nearby 'Iolani Palace as a symbolic gesture, have led the Friends of 'Iolani Palace to close the historic building to the public for the day. And both the Friends group and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is in charge of the grounds of the palace, have agreed to bolster security today.

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No need doctors: Legislators defer Medical Tort Reform

Doctors say a cap on noneconomic damages will lower malpractice insurance premiums and reduce some of the uncertainty about malpractice lawsuits, which could help persuade more doctors to practice in rural areas or work on-call and emergency room shifts.

Attorneys who often represent plaintiffs in medical malpractice suits oppose the caps, saying that the chance for a large payday is needed for the small percentage of victims who suffer catastrophic, life-altering injuries.  (And the legislators are mostly lawyers)

(Meanwhile Democrats are demanding spending on a taxpayer subsidy for medical salaries to recruit rural MDs.  In essence we are being asked to pay the lawyers via the doctors.) 

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Island members of Congress praise Obama’s address, other Dems differ

“...when you appear to speak to a joint session of Congress, you’re in charge."--Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) talking about power

Robert Byrd (D-WV): Obama in power grab

CNA: Archbishop warns against spirit of adulation of Obama

AP Fact Check: Obama's words on home aid ring hollow

Gov Phil Bredesen (D-TN) : May reject part of 'stimulus' aid... "concerns that it would force the state to raise taxes on businesses in the future...."

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VP Biden's family linked to $8B rogue financier Stanford

A fund of hedge funds run by two members of Vice President Joe Biden's family was marketed exclusively by companies controlled by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, who is facing Securities and Exchange Commission accusations of engaging in an $8 billion fraud. ...  The fund has offered to turn over the $2.7 million investment it received from Mr. Stanford's firm in 2007 to a court-appointed receiver in the SEC's civil fraud case involving Mr. Stanford....

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Filipino WW2 vets to get compensation for their service

The stimulus bill sets aside nearly 200 million dollars for Filipino veterans. With a pen stroke, President Obama not only signed a multi-billion dollar stimulus package, he also kept a promise made by a president long ago. "After more than 65 year of fighting for our rights, it has finally materialized," said Hawaii Filipino Veteran, Art Caleda.  Filipino veterans that became US residents after the war will get a lump sum of $15,000. Non US citizen veterans will get $9,000.

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ML&P cuts 100 jobs

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. said Tuesday that it will eliminate 100 jobs at Kapalua resort and its corporate headquarters in Kahului.  The remainder of its 795 employees will have their pay cut by 10 percent.

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