‘Rail or Nothing’ is for Hostages, Not Citizens of Honolulu


BY GEORGE BERISH- Honest discussion of Hawaii’s biggest problems is difficult, because the honest explanation for most is that those controlling the discussion are ignorant of most everything except political tactics, reason-free squabbling, and lying (they label “spinning”).  While saying that aloud elicits the “I’m offended” card that in Hawaii today trumps honest reasoning.

Rail’s a good example.  People who honor the rule of reason know only the dishonest would propose “Rail or Nothing”.  The honest questions are:

Can Honolulu afford to lay $5 billion more debt on its citizens’ backs given their already heavy debt load (even before counting their Train-sized debt (over $8 billion) owed to a State Retirement System that was fully funded in 2000)?

Yes? Then will Rail result in more, or less, future traffic congestion than spending an equal amount on something else — say improving roads and parking?  Only the dishonest would compare traffic w/Rail to traffic if we DO NOTHING, as Rail proponents do, or ignore that the “free” $1.5 billion obligates Hawaii to spend twice that much elsewhere for rail cars, computers, “Experts”, etc., unneeded by other solutions, or that improving roads is faster than building Rail.  “Honestly”, isn’t “Rail or Nothing” for hostages, not citizens?

George L. Berish is a resident of Honolulu