- - Monday, September 15, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Watch out. When liberals control paradise, welcome to Paradise Lost.

Case in point: Hawaii, the deep-blue home state of President Obama. The City Council for Honolulu, on Hawaii’s most populous island of Oahu, has decided to send its homeless population to another island, just outside of Honolulu Harbor.

An official state park, Sand Island, as it’s now known, used to be called Quarantine Island in the 19th century as it served as the waypoint for ships carrying passengers whom were thought to carry contagion. Then, during World War II, it was the home to Japanese, German and Italian internment camps.

It’s obviously not just President Obama who has “optics” issues. After fielding complaints from the tourist bureau, Fox News reported the Honolulu City Council took up “a slew of proposals to ban sitting, lying down, defecating and urinating on sidewalks in Waikiki and other public places.” Last week, most measures passed, including the proposal to “allow” its homeless population to live on Sand Island.

How nice. Besides its rather ignominious history, it’s also home to a wastewater-treatment plant (aka a sewage plant) and it’s a former dump. But with the population of Honolulu under the protection of the beneficent representatives of social justice and compassion, Sand Island will become another sort of dump, this time of the human kind.

All genuinely compassionate people know any governmental solution to the issue of poverty would focus on making it easier for businesses to prosper, which leads to higher, gainful employment. But no, that’s not the sort of Hawaiian “hope and change” liberals apparently have in mind for anyone.

Instead, Oahu’s politicians have opted for the preferred liberal approach to the visual confirmation of their failed policies: Hide it. In a gulch. On an island.

For Hawaii, shipping the homeless off to an internment-camp island is a rather ironic choice for the ruling liberals. The 2012 Hawaii Democratic Party platform self-righteously declares in its preamble, “The abiding values of the Democratic Party are liberty, social justice, compassion, and respect for the dignity and worth of the individual.” Oh, yes, they also pledge in the platform to “support strong labor practices, good jobs and fair pay.”

One City Council member had the courage to be honest about the intent of this action to hide the scourge liberalism is creating all around the country. Honolulu Councilman Breene Harimoto told the Associated Press, “We’re helping the public to view the homeless as faceless people — not even people, but objects to sweep away,” said Councilman Harimoto, who voted against all the proposals except the ban on urinating and defecating in Waikiki. “I’m very disturbed by this.”

As he should be. But his city isn’t the only urban area run by liberals now having to face the growing impact of “hope and change” on city residents.

Just last week, San Francisco authorities uprooted a homeless camp right outside a fundraiser for — the homeless. According to RedEye Chicago, some of the estimated 138,575 homeless people in Chicago are now setting up their own tent cities. Who knows, maybe Mayor Rahm Emanuel will create an island on Lake Michigan to deal with that problem.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles city officials crowed about their “cleanup” of large homeless tent cities. The Los Angeles Register reports, “Los Angeles sanitation workers are nearly finished clearing out a large stretch of homeless shelters [which] began in February. Last week, the Bureau of Sanitation began removing an estimated 50 to 60 tons of refuse, discarded belongings and makeshift homes left behind.”

Where did these homeless Los Angelenos go? According to The Register, they were encouraged to “seek counseling and temporary housing.” Isn’t that what a tent is? But at least the eyesore of a gigantic homeless encampment will no longer be a visual reminder of the reality of those with no hope for change.

Interestingly enough, Honolulu’s “ship-them-off-to-an-island” decision wasn’t Hawaii’s first choice. Last year, the state announced the “Return to Home” program, designed to fly out-of-state homeless back to wherever their original home was — when they had one. At Hawaiian state expense.

According to Forbes, this program was modeled after a New York project, which also sends homeless people in New York back to whatever their original home state was. Welcome to the new liberal game of homeless ping-pong. Just send them from state to state to state.

“One big difference from New York’s program, though: From Hawaii, ‘[y]ou simply cannot jump on a Greyhound bus and go to the next state for $30,’ noted [a Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce official].”

Indeed, and what a bummer. Ultimately, Hawaii’s program was shelved, as it was determined to be “too costly and burdensome.”

It seems cities around the country are finding massive regulation on businesses and the “redistribution” of wealth via high taxes actually exacerbate the division between the rich and poor, and condemn individuals who would normally be working toward their spot in the middle class to fighting for the right spot for their tent.

Who wants to ruin the fabulously false narrative that the capitalist system ruins people’s lives, and government micromanagement makes everything equal and fair — especially when you can hide your failure on an internment-camp island?

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, author and Fox News contributor.

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