The critical question about the governor’s Intermediate Court of Appeals nomination did not come from the governor. It was forced forward by communities who were outraged that, yet again, qualified kanaka maoli and Filipinos were shut out of a job that came gift-wrapped to a white settler (“Gluck withdraws his nomination,” Star-Advertiser, July 30).
Contrary to what some understood, these communities did not ask whether voting against the nominee would fix systemic racism for all time. They did not ask whether any Hawaiian woman with trial court experience — no matter the content of her character — would qualify for the position.
The question was whether the terribly usual practice of giving elite white and Japanese settlers a free pass to corridors of state power is wrong. At least 17 senators agreed. That their voices are being heard now is historic and hopeful for all of us in Hawaii.
Normal, rational folks are behaving strangely
During the previous presidency and during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve all seen friends and family members reacting differently, often in ways that seem way out of character.
We are stunned when they express beliefs or exhibit behaviors that are so different from what we’d normally expect. Sweet, kind, gentle people suddenly find nothing abhorrent at all with brashness, bullying and lying.
Totally rational folks so easily buy in to concocted conspiracy theories. While reasonable and intelligent people can disagree, the strange behavior we’ve been witnessing seems so way out of the norm, defying logic.
For months, I’ve been racking my brain for an explanation. Something in the back of my mind kept nagging, then it hit me. It couldn’t possibly be like in the classic horror film, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” where alien pods arrive, taking over normal people, turning them into folks we hardly recognize? Just bizarre!
COVID clearance should be similar to TB rules
As soon as the COVID-19 vaccine transitions from emergency-use status to fully approved status, vaccinations should be required for the following groups in Hawaii, similar to health requirements for tuberculosis, a highly transmissible and infectious illness spread through the air:
>> Annual clearance for health care workers;
>> Annual clearance for patients in long-term care facilities;
>> Food handlers;
>> Children entering childcare, preschool or school (K-12th grade);
>> Post-secondary school students and employees.
It’s imperative to get the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the COVID-19 vaccine and that it become mandatory for the same groups as for TB clearance.
Move foward with hope and cooperation, caring
As we try to survive this pandemic, it’s sad that many don’t seem to care about the welfare of others. COVID-19 and its variants hopefully will be the worst pandemic that man faces.
If not, then mankind may not fare well if we continue on this trend of “me-ness,” i.e., I, me, mine, myself. I don’t believe that mankind came this far in history with “me-ness,” but thrived with the spirit of cooperation and caring.
Do we blame stress, politics or modern technology, or is the evolution of mankind headed for a natural reversal to maintain the balance of nature and heal the Earth?
Hopefully the worst thing that we will have to deal with won’t be ourselves and that we all find our way to do our part and care for each other. Let’s move forward with hope.
Democrats’ proposals a recipe for disaster
We are now in a dismal state of affairs. Our personal freedoms and rights are under siege, restrictions and mandates are imposed without debate and legislative approval, and faulty messaging used to justify restrictions and mandates seem to lack scientific basis. And this is only related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Concurrently, our country is facing a crime wave pandemic due to ill-conceived notions supporting defunding the police and opening our southern border. Our self-inflicted crises punish our hard-working law-abiding citizens.
The Democrats claim that issues such as climate change, white supremacy, use of fossil fuel power and systemic racism pose an existential threat to our country.
Their solution is to force everyone to buy an electric car, provide free college education, forgive student loans, provide free medical care, give parents monthly child tax credits and regular government-funded income subsidies. There is no work requirement for any of these benefits.
What a recipe for economic disaster.
Tourism businesses create clean local jobs
Tourism generates more local jobs and taxes than any other economic opportunity available to Hawaii.
At Waikiki Beach Activities, we conduct 100% of our surfing, catamaran tours, water rentals and visitor events all within Waikiki and only in areas zoned for these visitor activities.
We never enter our communities, beaches or roadways. Never ever.
Besides no (zero) impact on our communities, other than job creation and generation of taxes, we have only a very small carbon footprint.
All of our activities are either human-powered, wind-powered or surf-powered. Our 80-passenger catamaran has a small diesel-powered auxiliary motor used when it is docking. That is our only carbon footprint.
We serve thousands of visitors a day and have a zero physical impact on our communities.
Vacation rentals in our communities are the problem, not tourism.
Chairman, Waikiki Beach Activities
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.
>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.
>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813
>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax), email@example.com, staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter