Cayetano Was Right, But Still …

Many of us are asking the same question over the dinner table: “Does Ben Cayetano have a real campaign strategy or is he playing it by gut instinct?”

It makes some sense for him to focus his attacks on fellow Oahu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell. Peter Carlisle is in deep doo-doo over roads, his travel, the money spent on the proposed beachfront lifeguard headquarters in Kapiolani Park and a sense that he is not up to the job.

(Maybe nobody is and we need to switch to a Council-City Manager system, a thought for some other week.)

But for Ben to say Caldwell – longtime law-maker and former acting mayor – “never made a hard decision in your life”? Then the slap at Sen. Dan Inouye. OK, maybe Dan is a bit out of touch with local politics. His candidates Caldwell and Mufi Hannemann got creamed in 2010. But you don’t say that in public while Inouye’s still breathing.

Then Ben said the train will cost $7 billion, not $5 billion. How’s that?

Is he a sly fox or over the hill like a mammoth?

Yes, I’m a supporter of the train but I’d never say – as some politicians have – that its aim is to create jobs and to lower vehicle emissions.

If I only wanted to make jobs I’d use our transit-tax revenue to make our roadways first class, install new sewer lines and disposal systems, and halt water-main breaks.

If I only wanted to curb emissions I’d mandate electric cars or that you cannot buy a new gasoline car until you get one old one off the island.

For neither of those reasons would I build something as plug-ugly as an overhead train through the heart of our fair city.

Ah, but let me tell you what real ugly is. It’s the no-train year 2035. We have 200,000 more people on Oahu, most with cars because all those added buses are stalled in traffic.

The purpose of the train is to move large numbers of people above the crowded roadways. It’s about encouraging high-rise housing near stations and halting sprawl. The jobs are adjunct.

I’m not sure I can find words to convey how horribly bad that movie The Avengers is.

The late Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart wrote about pornography that “I know it when I see it.” I know a horribly bad movie when I see one.

The prologue was so confusing that I thought maybe the projectionist had loaded the wrong reel. Samuel L. Jackson mumbles about discrete, indivisible units of quanta energy and a prism that is to the cube as the cube is to the square. It creates a portal in the sky that brings Thor and his adopted brother Loki to Earth from Asgard along with mechanical animals like Slinkies on growth hormones. Are you following this?

We never see any dead people in the Manhattan carnage. Just a bruise on Robert Downey Jr.’s forehead and Scarlett Johansson having a good redhead hair day.

The movie plays to the theme that America needs heroes. I guess it does. But a developer in a metal suit, an angry Green Man and a guy frozen in ice since World War II?

I’d rather have Fareed Zakaria, a smart columnist for this newspaper. Those others are always out-argued by the evil Loki. Zakaria would have nailed him with one of his quotes like “Two things are very expensive in international life: promises when they succeed and threats when they fail.”

Oh, take that, Loki, and die like a failed-threat dog!