Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Intelligentsia defend Kauai’s IQ

Honolulu Lite
Charles Memminger

Intelligentsia defend Kauai's IQ

I knew one specific line in my Sunday column was going to be a show-stopper: "Granted, if a lot of the (anti-Superferry) protesters go to prison, the overall IQ on Kauai will go up dramatically."

And I haven't been disappointed in the flood of choreographed hate mail I've received from the thin-skinned pseudo-intellectuals and self-appointed protectors of that island's honor, who predictably chose not only to ignore my exceedingly cogent point, but the fact that it was a really funny line.

A typical response came from John Tyler, director of boycottsuperferry.org: "I'd simply like to point out that my IQ was rated at 135 and I have a master's degree and graduated from UCLA. I don't know what your educational background is, but making such a comment as a columnist for your paper does a major disservice."

Another correspondent, Karlos deTreaux, the host of a political radio show, said "Your quote about the average IQ on Kauai going up if protesters were to be arrested was mocking and childish. ... To say that the intelligence level of the protesters is substandard is certainly going to come back to haunt you. I hope to be part of that haunting."

For some reason, many of the writers told me how smart they were, what their IQ was and how many degrees they had. And, in doing so, they inadvertently made my point: Anyone dumb enough to risk going to federal prison for 10 years for protesting a mode of interisland transportation is, well, dumb.

My point was that the sophisticated and "smart" activists, like Jim Albertini and attorney Lanny Sinkin (and presumably Mssrs. Tyler and deTreaux), would not be the ones going to prison. Albertini wrote me himself saying he had no plans to take part in Kauai protests that could result in 10-year prison terms. The point was that only protesters too dumb to understand today's federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines and the fact that there is no longer federal parole -- THOSE guys would be going to prison. And, trust me, if the dummies go to prison while Albertini et al. stand on the sidelines, the overall IQ of Kauai WILL go up. Anyone with an IQ of 135 would have to concede that point. (I actually was trying to protect the intellectually challenged from being sacrificed by their IQ-engorged brethren.)

What I find strange, however, is being scolded for expressing my opinion by people who make their living under the First Amendment, people like radio host deTreaux and Honolulu Advertiser correspondent Joan Conrow. Conrow took time from reporting on the Superferry story for the 'Tiser to warn me against making insulting statements that "portray Kauai in a negative light" and "display your ignorance." She adds helpfully, "Next time stick to the superficial stuff you know, like mayonnaise."

Curiously, Conrow -- reporter-turned-self-appointed Kauai image booster -- apparently has taken to giving journalistic tips to the competition.