Anti-war movement has shifted its focus
A Universiyy of Hawaii peace educator claims that the peace movementhas shifted from anti-war ideals to a more New Age perspective ("Ukulele champions dubbed peacemakers," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 22).
Perhaps this explains why we are still in Afghanistan, our longest war, and are now bombing Syria.The direct-action, nonviolent resistance that helped shorten the Vietnam War has been co-opted by a "feel-good" brand of peacemaking that blurs the link between peace and justice.
Unfortunately, the media missed the Queen Liliuokalani International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, at Iolani Palace, in which participants from all 50 statespledged to practice nonviolence and join the global movement to abolish war, end poverty and stop environmental destruction.
We cannot create world peace without first embracing nonviolence at the personal level.But only direct action will effect the change envisioned by Martin Luther King Jr., who said that "it is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence."
Water board must provide billing proof
In your editorial, "Hasten reforms at water board," (Star-Advertiser, Our View, Sept. 22), you stated that the city auditor "has a year to give his follow-up report to the Council" regarding the progress of the Board of Water Supply in addressing problem areas.
As the introducer of the resolution that requested the audit of the board, we simply cannot wait a year for it to justify its monthly charges and to implement badly needed improvements to its inefficient meter-reading system.
During the informational briefing held by the City Council’s Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee, which I chair, I asked the Board of Water Supply to provide additional financial information to substantiate its charges, together with the results of a consultant’s study to improve the automatic meter-reading process.
The Council will hold follow-up hearings on this matter in the coming months.
The Board should refund water customers’ accounts if it is unable to justify its charges or demonstrate that the billings were based on accurate meter readings.
Council member, Council District 9
Citizens need to take back their nation
After reading the Star-Advertiser’s series on Lanai ("Reinventing Lanai," Sept. 21-23), I am left wondering: Why do we permit an obscenely wealthy man like Larry Ellison to dictate the future of one of our islands?
Isn’t this just one more example of the power possessed by billionaires such as Ellison, the Koch Brothers and others to mold our lives according to their wishes?
These plutocrats would use their limitless dollars to smother political democracy and individual liberties.
What is happening on Lanai is a dire warning that we citizens need to begin building movements to regain control of our islands and our nation.
School gains not due to Race to the Top
Your article on "Race to the Top" was highly misleading, since all the money was spent in preparing for two great areas of reform: the new teacher evaluation system (EES) and Common Core, which are in their first year of implementation ("Grant set path for isle schools," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 21).
Thus all the gains you cite in Hawaii State Assessment, National Assessment of Educational Progress, absenteeism and graduation rate from 2009-1013, are from years preceding implementation of these reforms.
In order to judge the impact of the reforms, it will be necessary to look at changes from 2014 on, and not to mix these changes, whatever they turn out to be, with the significant advances Hawaii has made in the last decade before implementation of Race to the Top.
Look for the NAEP and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium changes this and next year instead.
Starting a draft might silence calls for war
Here are some rules for boots on the ground in Iraq.
First, start a draft, but unlike the Civil War or Vietnam, no buying your way out with cash or college deferments for the people with means.
At least 25 percent of our ground troops should be draftees, so our troops will no longer have to do more than three combat tours if they choose.
It is the duty of all Americans to serve our country. No one should get special status with college deferments while the few serve multiple combat tours.
When this has been accomplished, let’s see how anxious the chicken hawks like Dick Cheney (five deferments during Vietnam) are for boots on the ground when it is their children in harm’s way.
FROM THE FORUM
Readers of the Star-Advertiser’s online edition can respond to stories posted there. The following are some of those. Instead of names, pseudonyms are generally used online. They have been removed.
“Episcopal Church buys Queen Emma Square road,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 22:
>> Since no parking will be available for the public, limited use of the park by the public is anticipated, and the school and church will be able to have full access and use of the park. What a deal.
>> Essentially the church is stepping up to do what the city should have been doing all along. So long as public access is maintained, this is a win-win for all.
“His Island, His Vision,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 22:
>> There will never be full agreement with what is going on with Lanai. Some people want it the way it was, some don’t. But the fact remains, it will never be the way it was. Unemployment is the lowest ever, so is crime. The media needs to be more clear. I think Larry Ellison is creating a 100 percent sustainable island. It’s what a lot of people want for Oahu but will never ever happen. But here’s one single human being that will make it happen. I think we need to appreciate what is going on here.
>> I think he should also resurrect the Superferry to Oahu and Maui from Lanai.
“Human rights hui fights homeless camp,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 23:
>> If this group PASS (Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery) has any good ideas to house the homeless, then it should start coming up with them and money instead of just being negative. The city and state are trying to house these people the best they can.
>> Every time they have a solution, somebody grumbles. In the meantime, these homeless are being herded around like cattle since nobody wants to deal with this mess.
>> This site chosen is not far from the beach where the city bulldozed a camp of Hawaiians and made them homeless. Another issue is that when government sets up a temporary program, it eventually become permanent.
>> If PASS want to help the homeless, they should invite them into their homes and let them camp on their land.
“Inouye ID’d as mystery cad in memoir,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 23:
>> I’m surprised and pleased that the Star-Advertiser had the courage to publish this article in the hometown of Hawaii’s “favorite son.”
>> Sounds like he (U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye) was just trying to make friendly conversation and thought it would make her (U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York) feel better. Most people who are overweight are very self conscious, especially when they overhear people making unflattering remarks about them.
>> The real issue here is the blatant hypocrisy. If a Republican is accused of making inappropriate comments, committing indiscretions or sexual harassment, they are figuratively crucified. If you’re a Democrat, you get a pass, just like Bill Clinton did, or a slap on the wrist. I hope the women’s rights advocates feel good about all the buildings named after Inouye, who will probably get a pass as well.
“7 female lawmakers meet with police chief,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 24:
>> It’s amazing what pressure does to a person. You know he got it from every direction after last week’s statement.
>> Even if they think all of their police officers are perfect citizens, you are going to have a few bad apples. The faster they root these guys out, the better, since bad apples tend to spoil the whole barrel, if you don’t pull them out early enough.
“A soldier’s honor,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 24:
>> Who would have thought Hawaiians would be connected to the Civil War, let alone go to battle? At rest now.
>> Interesting that he was classified as “US Colored Troops.” God bless him and his family and the folks that have done the right thing with his gravestone. J.R Kealoha, PVT 41st Infantry Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, Civil War, Died March 5, 1877, He Koa Hanohano, A brave and honorable soldier.
“Task force implored to set up medical marijuana dispensaries,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 25:
>> They’re opening a can of worms that they won’t be able to fix or control. This country won’t have a reliable work force and is going to ship our jobs out of country cause everyone won’t pass their drug tests. People with marijuana use are a liability, period, so they’ll be on Social Security. What a sad nation.
>> The result of our drug laws is prisons filled to the brim for possession of small amounts of weed. It’s time we stop using the can-of-worms excuse and face up to the fact that we are a prisoner nation.
>> Well, I guess it’s great to be No. 1 in something.
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