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OPINION: This Week in ‘Stupid’

April 30, 2013, 4:36 PM HST
* Updated April 30, 4:38 PM
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The following is a healthy dose of snark covering a few events that happened recently…

Congress Ends FAA Furloughs

Apparently if you scream at them loud enough, they’ll listen.

Federal lawmakers moved at their own version of light speed this week to end FAA furloughs tied to $85 billion in automatic budget cuts.

The furloughs had already caused well over 800 flight delays, enraged the traveling public, and threatened unnecessary turbulence for Hawaii’s visitor industry.

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The FAA cuts were but one example of deficit reduction gone wrong, where a few dollars less in federal spending actually ends up kneecapping the private sector.

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Congress proved two things in ending the furloughs. First, they are capable of action. Second, unless avoiding said action would invite a hail of rotten grapefruits, they really don’t give a damn.

If only the public could stay this angry.

State Legislature Agrees: Bloggers, New Media Aren’t “Journalists”

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Hee and the A.G. want to party like it’s 1989.

As we mentioned in an earlier piece, Sen. Clayton Hee has been fielding a bill at the behest of the attorney general to poke holes in what was previously the most comprehensive media shield law in the nation.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Clayton Hee.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Clayton Hee.

Although protections for journalists won’t be gutted as thoroughly as Hee and pals would have liked, they’ve still managed to convince fellow legislators that bloggers and other online news gatherers don’t deserve to have their sources protected under the law.

Never mind the fact that many traditional news outlets are busy becoming obsolete (or going bankrupt), or that digital media is obviously the future of news reporting if any measure of news consumption patterns is to be believed.

The public is best served when lawmakers are easily held accountable, and the Legislature apparently wants to make that job as difficult as possible.

Our old shield law wasn’t broken, and attempts to “fix” it just raise questions of what meddlers may have to hide.

American Lung Association Gives Big Island “F” for Air Quality

Thanks to our constantly belching Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii County has flunked out on the 2013 American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report card.

Geologist in mask overlooking Halemaumau_property of Ben Gaddis

A geologist overlooks Halemaumau. Photo by Ben Gaddis, USGS.

Despite being home to an ever-increasing number of environmental activists, the Big Isle still manages to have the kind of carbon footprint that keeps Al Gore up at night.

But anyone feeling down in the dumps over our gassy reputation should take the “State of the Air” report with a hefty grain of salt.

According to the American Lung Association, it would be much healthier to hyperventilate in Times Square, New York (which got a “pass” grade) than it would be to stroll through Liliuokalani Park.

What on earth have they been smoking?

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