Hawaii is the most isolated population center on Earth. We're 2,400 miles from California, nearly 3,900 miles from Japan and 5,000 miles from China. We are the widest state in the US and the only one to grow coffee.
We are also one of only two states that you must fly to (I can't swim that far.. sorry guys).
We are dependent on tourism.. all of us - because even if we are funded by external dollars, any decline in local industry will impact services and our neighbours - which impacts all of us. Tourism is close to 20% of our economy and employs 150,000 people. That means even a 10% drop in tourism revenues is a 2% drop in our economy... which I realize doesn't sound like much.. but it really is. When those industries are threatened, the state and county will start looking elsewhere to squeeze pennies - which includes reducing high tech industry breaks and infrastructure funding. That squeezes education, healthcare.. all the things we need to attract quality knowledge workers and get us off the tourism teat.
This is a unique vulnerability for Hawaii and we need to act.
96% said Yes - they would change their plans. It doesn't get much clearer than that.
This is really bad for us, because guess what? If you're thinking of coming to Hawaii for a convention.. too bad. Maybe driving to Florida instead of flying out here for vacation is looking better now? Don't want a $10/hr TSA rentacop feeling up your screaming 3 year old
? Hey.. the kids like Disneyworld anyway, right?
And I'm with them, I've already written my senators
as well as Hawaiian Airlines to tell them what I think of this. I urge you to review the facts and consider doing the same - if not just for civil liberties, but for the economic impact on our state.
Since 9/11, TSA has not stopped a single terrorist act that I'm aware of - all subsequent events have been intercepted and foiled by people like you and me - ordinary passengers. They are not making us safer, they are stripping our rights and wasting money while reducing tourism/travel revenue. Don't let misinformation and fearmongering cloud the truth. Transportation Security is important - but security theatre is not what we need. We need real security, not just a sense of wellbeing - and if we lose our rights in the process - what's the point? There is an acceptable breakpoint for everything. We've passed it here.
DHS' budget for 2011 is $56.3 billion dollars. Not a single person died from terrorism in the US in 2010 (so far anyway). The CPSC estimates 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords every year killing 50 people. Their 2011 budget is $107 million dollars - that's nearly 600 times less than DHS'. I'm not saying give CPSC more money - I'm saying we need common sense and some perspective.