After New Year’s Eve 2019, I wrote that malfeasance by the thousands burst into dazzling colors in the skyline of the City and County of Honolulu on New Year’s Eve. Each of the many thousands of aerial fireworks that greeted the new year represented the middle finger to lawmakers, not just by the people who lit the fuses, but by the many more who aided and abetted them, not to mention the many tens of thousands of appreciative onlookers who encouraged the act by applauding it from their front porches.
It was, perhaps, the best impromptu poll of the people’s opinion regarding fireworks laws. Laws that are openly flaunted by the people are not laws at all. Lawmakers should pass laws that the people want and respect unless we endure the spectacle of prosecuting the people in the name of the people.
The laws currently in effect are, conspicuously and unquestionably, ineffective. Sometimes we must accept that there are wrongs and ills that cannot be solved by passing a law.
Nelson S.W. Chang
Killing of general better than appeasement
Like the retired colonel (“Trump’s attack on Iran based on more lies,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 7), I served in the military. Ergo, I too am an expert.
The unadorned fact is that one of the world’s terrible terrorists was recently exterminated. Untold numbers of Americans and other innocent lives have been spared by his removal.
There was no invasion of Iran, and none is anticipated. More likely, in view of Iran’s “attack” on our soldiers in Iraq, the promise looms of fruitful negotiation between Iran and the U.S. and its allies.
Appeasement kills, as history has shown. Assertive policy to reach fair and friendly relations almost always saves lives.
Trump acts like tyrant in drive toward war
President Donald Trump just drove a stake into America’s heart by killing Iran’s top general. Americans abroad and at home are at risk and in harm’s way. We may enter into a war that could have been avoided.
Now we are stuck with our military and the U.S. possibly headed toward another possible conflict in the Middle East that Trump so insanely is determined to pursue without congressional approval. Only a tyrant — an absolute ruler — does not need approval.
The consequences will be deadly and horrific. Trump need not worry, as he has the military to fight his battles for him. Trump’s mind is spinning out of control and he is determined to do everything in his power to resort to tyranny.
Now we may be engaged in a war, testing whether the U.S. can stand up to Iran and a probable nuclear threat. I’m hoping American casualties are held to a minimum if war is inevitable.
Declining population should affect lawmakers
Two interesting items appeared in Saturday’s edition. State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim questioned the wisdom of salary increases for some University of Hawaii vice presidents, using the measurement of decreased enrollment as a reason to not grant such increases (“UH grilled on salary funding details,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 4).
The editorial on decreasing population in Hawaii for the third consecutive year also was highlighted by the paper (“Hawaii’s population drops,” Our View, Jan. 4).
Why not apply the same measurement to legislators’ pay? If UH enrollment decreases, decrease or withhold salary increases for UH administration. If the state’s population decreases, decrease or withhold salary increases for the Legislature, since they have fewer constituents.
Population decline numbers don’t add up
“Hawaii population decline could have big economic effects” (Star-Advertiser, Jan. 5), is an interesting and important story. Unfortunately the numbers adduced do not add up.
First, the story says 70,000 persons moved to Hawaii, including 54,000 from the mainland. It also said “an additional 15,000 people moved to Hawaii from foreign countries.” In addition to what?
Second, “the same analysis found that over the same period nearly 62,000 people moved away from the state.” Why is this a population decline? Obviously 70,000 in is more that 62,000. In fact, it is impossible to know if there is a decline without also considering births and deaths. This isn’t mentioned other than to say that the birth rate is “declining.”
Gabbard may be angling for top appointed job
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii’s non-present, non-voting congresswoman, is not hoping to win the Democratic nomination for president. Neither is she running as a potential third-party candidate. She is more calculating and smarter than people believe.
Gabbard is, I believe, currying favor with President Donald Trump and his disciples as a token “Democrat” who is jockeying for a high-level opening within his administration, counting on her belief that he will prevail in November and that he will be looking for a “frenemy” to demonstrate an attempt at diversity within his lineup of yes- people.
I’m thinking an appointment to one (or more) of the literally hundreds of positions within government departments, agencies, committees and offices that are filled by the president with confirmation by the president’s Senate.
My bet: U.S. special envoy (formerly ambassador) to Syria.