Sunday, July 16, 2017


We had a small group for dinner once –not quite 100 people- and I overheard a guest say “Everyone knows that we choose our own parents.” I interrupted him to say “That’s funny not everyone, because I didn’t and still don’t “but he ignored me and continued his new-age-astrolo-babble.  I have to admit that some famously rich and powerful people had the good sense to pick parents who left them an inexhaustible money machine:  William Randolph Hearst, (all the silver in Nevada) and Howard Hughes, (Hughes tool, drills for all the oil wells in the world) come to mind.  You can probably know half a dozen more. They don’t advertise their silver spoon birth, but wind up in politics or Hollywood. This is not as exclusive a company as it might sound. Ivanka and Jared had the good sense pick wealthy parents, as did the Golfer-In-Chief.  What could you have accomplished if you had inherited $40 million?  
What a sideshow, much sound and fury accomplishing nothing but a shoo-in nomination to the Supreme Court. Repeal Obamcare, repeal Obamcare, repeal Obamc….. Executive Orders displayed with the pride of an eight year old coloring inside the lines.  A list of things promised to accomplish immediately, well maybe soon: completed zero.  Attempts to unring the bell, repeal other orders or regulations, but are more like vague permission to not fully comply. Poorly written new regulations quickly deemed illegal. This method is like setting fire to the house to get rid of the fleas.  Drain the swamp, but only enough to give the alligators a bigger advantage over the sucker-fish.  Be careful: while you watch the sideshow someone is picking your pocket, then they max out your credit cards or steal your car.
Fortunately most bureaucrats did their job, and obeyed the law.  Obeying orders is not a defense, but doing the right thing usually is. It also lets you sleep. Unsurprisingly a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific, that happens to be in a State, this little State, can block an illegal order;  that’s how it’s supposed to work. We have a complex system of checks and balances, not only with three branches of government, but 50 State governments, each with three branches.  The branches have branches, House and Senate, Grand Juries and Special Prosecutors, U.S. Marshalls and the CBO.  There are NGOs like the ACLU, NRA, PTA and a free press.  The beauty of a free press is that they compete for attention try to expose fakes.   
“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”  HL Mencken 1926
The Emperor-new-clothes has lived by this advice.  Surprises every day, seemingly random picks for high posts have started to backfire. There are some good ones, and some, well let’s hope. It’s just a matter of who, like James ‘Watergate’ McCord, spills the beans first to avoid jail, and how many henchmen go to Club Fed.  Does Mr. Ratings Machine declare “mission accomplished” and retire before the GOP finds the fortitude to impeach? I don’t know if they will do it to save the country, but probably will to protect Party-unity.  You would think repealing Obamacare was the nation’s highest priority, like “Get Osama bin Laden” was; well after Party-unity. No wait, the highest priority was making Obama a one term President. Crime rate peaked around 1991 so Sessions wants to take justice back to 1973. If you are not confused you have not been paying attention.  Mind your pockets the main event is yet to come.

Ken Obenski is a forensic engineer, now safety and freedom advocate in South Kona. He writes a semi-monthly column for West Hawaii Today. E-mail

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