The Trump administration is once again showing its Scrooge-like traits by pushing through rules that will remove 700,000 low-income people from the food stamp program (“Some 700,000 to lose access to food stamps,” Star-Advertiser, Dec, 5). Those among us who have few resources, the homeless and indigent, can only be pushed so far before they push back.
Riots in Chile were instigated when its government increased the fare of Santiago Chile’s subway system by just a few pesos. This unrest resulted in the cancellation of the 2019 United Nations Climate Change conference to be hosted there.
This is a season for giving and charity to all, but the Trump administration just wants to take more away from those in need of help. As in Chile, the penny-wise and pound-foolish administrators will lose more than they gain from their unkind actions.
Watchful voters needed to constrain gut-replace
Regarding Richard Borreca’s Sunday column on Jeff Portnoy’s complaint — that the inner workings of our legislative process dictate the necessity of the “gut-and-replace” method — I submit that I have personally observed this process while working as a legislative aide to the executive manager of the Hawaii Bankers Association (my dad) many, many summers ago.
My brief real-world submersion taught me that statutes — being ideal proscriptions and prohibitions (do’s and don’ts) — are only as valid as the resultant societal behavior engendered.
That being said, my conclusion is that I agree with Borreca that what ensures the translation of statute into ideal societal behavior, that each proper cog/socket connection is accomplished, is the watchful eye of the voting public.
Stuart N. Taba
Audits on OHA fell short, if they had been done
Is anyone surprised to hear that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has $7.8 million in possible fraud (“OHA investigation identifies $7.8M of possible fraud,” Star Advertiser, Dec. 9). I, for one, am not, what with all the turmoil and in-house fighting that’s been in the news.
OHA board Chairwoman Colette Machado and trustee Dan Ahuna state that for the past eight years, OHA has received regular state audits with clean annual independent financial audits. Either the state auditor is incompetent, or turned a blind eye for not noticing huge questionable discrepancies with no receipts, no documentation and no invoices. That’s clean auditing?
Progress seems to churn more monied contracts
The artificial-inteliigence age is supposed to give humans more free time for leisure and other positive pursuits.
I don’t agree. I think humans will be bored and revert to dredging up devilish things to occupy them and make themselves feel useful.
Lots of questionable pursuits will have enough of a grain of truth to be believable by the masses, but will be pirated by dubious characters who are smart and understand human nature, needs and weaknesses.
I think global warming is a prime example — and the rush to throw billions at questionable solutions is a tragedy. There is probably global warming, but the source is questionable.
Its value seems to be providing employment for lots of people who otherwise contribute nothing to society or production and who have been otherwise idled by “progress.” Not to mention the politically connected corporations that get sweetheart “green” contracts.
Stephen Foster Williams
Counter fossil fuels with vote, greener spending
From world leaders to the average Joe, we all want economic growth. Economic growth can lift people out of poverty and provide jobs to create better lives for everyone.
But the current economic growth model depends on fossil fuels, which fuels climate change. Ironically, experts warn that GDP (gross domestic product) will take hits due to climate change. Morgan Stanley, the financial services/investment firm, stated that climate disasters have cost North America $415 billion in the last three years.
According to a recent U.N. report, the world’s current plan for coal, oil and gas production will double within the next decade. If the world’s current plan was for doubling renewables, we can combat climate change and shift to a more sustainable economic growth model.
Consumer spending makes up 70% of the global economy — so cast your green vote not only at the ballot box, but also with our dollars.
SHARE YOUR RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
“Pay it forward”: a situation in which the recipient of an unexpected good deed pays forward a kindness to someone else.
In this season of goodwill, think about it: Have you ever benefited from a “pay it forward” gesture, which in turn inspired you to bestow a random act of kindness?
If so, let us know in a 150-word letter to the editor, or in a well-written essay (500-600 words) — and submit it by Dec. 16 via email to email@example.com, or via snail mail to 500 Ala Moana Blvd., #7-210, Honolulu, HI, 96813, c/o Letters. A collection of these will run on Dec. 22.