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LETTERS for April 5, 2012

By Staff | Apr 5, 2012

Leave Honolua Bay untouched

For ages it’s been the same issue in different forms: material greed over nature preservation.

It cannot be allowed, under absolutely any circumstances, that Honolua Bay turns into a Concrete Bay.

Is “democracy” not clearly defined in the numerous letters sent to Lahaina News, where even teenagers behest the issues at Honolua Bay?

If companies want to convert their greed into more dollars, let them rent out all the barren locations on the West Side for low rent. Then you’ll see the positive affects: more tourism, more entrepreneurism, more dollars (for all).

Leave untouched what always has been untouched!

Respect the sacred land of the Hawaiians, or of ancestors in general!



Free speech! Free markets!

I love free speech, and I love free markets!

I don’t want censorship – the government defining what is offensive and prohibiting it.

As an individual, I have choices about how I react to offensive speech.

If I decide someone’s speech is offensive, I will not punch them out.

That is both because of my nonviolent principles, and because I am old, weak and not able to punch out even a fat, middle-aged idiot.

“Free markets” means that as a consumer, I am free to buy or not buy as I choose, based on my own criteria. If a local business chooses to advertise on a talk show run by a fat, middle-aged idiot whose speech is remarkably offensive, I am free to choose not to patronize that business and to urge others not to patronize that business.

I am also free to urge the county government not to place paid ads on the Rush Limbaugh show. Follow my efforts on my Facebook page.

Limbaugh has already lost almost all of his national advertisers, and local advertisers are getting very thin on the ground. Onward and upward!



Learn about Maui’s Faulkes Telescope

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a viewing of the Faulkes Telescope at Science City on Haleakala with Dr. J.D. Armstrong with the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the Maui Astronomy Club.

The Faulkes Telescope was developed to specifically track and study such objects as asteroids, comets and exoplanets; but just as important, it provides outreach in education for students here in Hawaii. Students are welcome and encouraged to use this Faulkes Telescope to further their research and education.

Anyone is welcome to attend the monthly talks held at the Institute for Astronomy in Pukalani to learn about distant stars, exoplanets, dark holes, other universes and beyond the cosmos, which, in turn, can expand our understand of life on Earth.

Contact the Institute for Astronomy for more information at www.ifa.hawaii.edu/haleakalanew/.



DOT acts on parking issue

I would like to thank the state Department of Transportation for responding to a means to help eliminate the serious consequences of illegal parking along the shoulder of Honoapiilani Highway between Napili Park and the Office Road intersection in Kapalua.

This is where parked buses presented a danger to pedestrian, bicycle, moped and vehicle traffic for many years. The problem recently got worse with all kinds of parked vehicles. The new signs can only help curb this problem.



Iraq takes it personally

Iraq is a gift that keeps on giving.

We kicked out their murderous dictator for them, helped them institute democracy, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into their recovery and tried our best to interrupt their civil war. Then we left – or at least our combat troops did.

You would think they’d be grateful, wouldn’t you? I’m not talking about an end-of-World War II scene with young women throwing flowers at our soldiers as they departed. Not necessarily.

But maybe a thank you would be appropriate. A salute or two wouldn’t hurt.

What do we get instead? Snarls. Insults. Cries of “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” (which is terrifying in Arabic).

Now word comes that we’re being forced to cut our planned diplomatic presence in postwar Iraq by some 50 percent and counting. It turns out that the Iraqis don’t want us there.

After all we did for them. Why, just the bombing of their cities alone would have cost them billions if they’d had to do it themselves.

Admittedly, it’s a very large presence that we envisioned. There are some 16,000 at our embassy compound there now, 2,000 of them diplomats. To house them, the United States built a grandiose $750 million palace on a 104-acre campus in the Green Zone.

That didn’t go down too well with the Iraqis.

In any case, the Iraqi government isn’t making it easy for us. They’ve been delaying our supply convoys at the border, making it difficult to get food to our employees. Why, the Times says that supplies at the dining hall ran so low the other day that they had to ration the chicken wings.

Then there are those anonymous gunmen who keep shooting at Americans randomly.

Our security personnel – often bearded, tattooed contractors – resemble the bad guys in a Brad Pitt movie and act that way. In 2007, remember, 17 Iraqi civilians were gunned down by private contractors – an incident Iraqis seemed to take personally (even though we apologized nicely).

It reminds me a little of the early days of Iran’s regime. I was in Washington when Iranian students stormed our embassy in Tehran and took the staff hostage.

It was an intolerable insult, and all patriotic Americans were pretty incensed about it. But were the Iranian students studying in this country contrite? Not on your life.

When we let the deposed Shah of Iran into United States to receive treatment for the disease that would soon kill him, Iranian exchange students took to the streets and marched to the White House.

We were outraged. These people were in the country at our sufferance (and perhaps even with our aid), and they had the nerve to march on our streets.

I found myself waving a fist at them (one finger at a time) and yelling obscenities. So much for journalistic objectivity.

But the passage of years has convinced me that those students had justice on their side. The Shah actually was a crook, as were Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak and all the other brigands we supported at the expense of their people.

The New York Times says that we’re not merely cutting the Iraq embassy staff. We’re abandoning our $500 million program to train Iraqi police (for the semi-hilarious reason that it’s too risky for our police advisers to leave the embassy compound).

Mission accomplished all right.