homepage logo

LETTERS for July 23 issue

By Staff | Jul 23, 2015

Use reclaimed water to support agriculture

Our county taxes are not working toward a better tomorrow. It would be nice if the $2.25 million was going toward the remedy of the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility rather than to attorney fees.

Growing our own food and becoming self-sustainable is becoming more evident. Do you see what is happening globally, economically and politically? How about the drought in California and elsewhere that will affect our food resources? We need to act now!

Hawaii governs like a state but should live like a kingdom. We are strategically located, and in any type of situation should be prepared with food, water and power. We have the resources to do this and the leadership to make it happen.

Bio-fuels will be a thing of the past before we can transition to the use. Instead, solar, wind, hydro and thermal solutions should be considered. The giant wind generators are already obsolete, being replaced with more efficient and less obtrusive (ugly), ecology-minded alternatives.

Please advocate for agriculture with the treated, reclaimed wastewater used to grow food. The existing ditch system from the Pioneer Mill sugar industry is still operational. With collective resources, the Wahikuli Reservoir can be made operational again to provide a reliable source of agriculture water for the Lahaina District.

The Lahaina community should benefit from the county negligence in regards to the violation. Providing jobs, food security and a beautiful environment while protecting the ocean seems like the right thing to do.



Balance is the key to peace

Humans are like two dogs, good and evil, always fighting each other. Both are taught by morals and wars self-discipline and revenge, turning the other cheek or getting even, giving life or killing, the way of give or get, love or hate.

Balance is the key to peace and happiness. It is part of all of us.

Monitor the power of the airwaves sent to us by the force that rules the world today. Be aware and watch world events closely. Stay sober and keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.



Licenses should be required for all guns

Cars are so dangerous they can kill. That’s why we require a license – not to own one, but to use one. Training by parents, relatives and friends isn’t enough; we require state-certified instructors whose jobs are on the line if they fail, as are those of the elected representatives in charge of drivers’ education. You must be age 16, get training, pass a written test, pass a road test and get re-tested every so often for life. And if you want to drive anything bigger (trucks, buses, bulldozers, etc.), that requires a higher license, again from a state-certified system. Everyone knows all this, and no one has a problem with it.

So why doesn’t all this apply to guns? Cars kill by accident, but guns kill by design! That’s why cops have to have very serious background checks, practice, testing and re-testing, all by a state-certified system, before using even the smallest gun. And they can’t use bigger ones without further training and higher licenses.

ALL gun users should have to get a cops’ training and then a license first. It’s called logic! There should be small and huge gun licenses and everything in between. Ammunition should be limited and appropriate to the purpose at hand; for shooting deer, if you think you need a 100-round magazine, you really need more practice!

Furthermore, like alcohol and tobacco, all firearms (and explosives) should be heavily taxed, but all gun safety devices should be tax-free. And most important of all, no mentally deranged person should either drive or shoot.

J. ANDREW SMITH, Bloomfield, N.J.


Stop sending arms to the Middle East

The U.S. has delivered the first batch of F16 fighter jets to Iraq. How long until ISIS grabs them? How long before Iraq’s “BFF” Iran reverse engineers them from nose to tail? How exactly is this even remotely in the interest of the security of the U.S. citizens whose government approved this deal?

In the field in which I teach and write, conflict transformation, we refer to the conflict industry. The concept is simple. If a person or group stands to gain by the initiation or prolongation of destructive conflict, that person or group is part of the conflict industry. The gain may be financial, in status, in power, or in some combination. And the conflict industry is almost always a small group, while the destruction tends to happen to larger groups.

The Iraq conflict is a textbook case, from the 2003 invasion and for the 12 years since. It was undertaken by choice, not necessity, and it has cost Iraqis and Americans dearly, but profited a small group of powerful, rich elites. Those war profiteers include high-ranking military, war-promoting politicians and the corporate recipients of massive Pentagon contracts.

ISIS furthers the aims of this wing of the conflict industry perfectly, and indeed there is some evidence the U.S. promoted the idea of a caliphate in a portion of Syria. Now that the caliphate includes part of Iraq and threatening to metastasize around the gulf and south to Africa, are these U.S. conflict industry strategists excited, or are they saying “Oops?”

How many hundreds of billions in weapons have been given to various Iraqi military commanders? Some of those killing machines have been siphoned off to private parties, some is in the hands of Iraqi military leaders whose loyalties are much stronger to Iran, and some was seized by ISIS as they rout the Iraqi military – that same Iraqi military created, funded, trained and equipped by the U.S. for a dozen years. The Iranian Shiite militia is realistically going to end up controlling at least some of the planned 36 F16s. Their “Popular Mobilization” outflanks, outfights and on the ground outranks the U.S. Iraq mock army.

In the end, the U.S. citizenry is made less secure by arms transfers. Our Congress must approve these transfers, and they should end it. The region is flooded with U.S. weapons, forever falling into the wrong hands. Hawkish politicians and “Responsibility to Protect” officials alike are simply proven wrong again and again.

Arms to the Middle East and North Africa represents gasoline pumped onto a fire. Stop it.