LETTERS for December 17 issue
Aloha ‘Oe, Capt. Tom Warren
Our dear friend, Tom, passed away in his sleep; no longer to be in pain.
It’s not often we get to know someone that we connect with and share many good times with. I met Tom surfing at Breakwall in the 1970s. He was always cool with the keiki in the lineup and would tow us out the channel on the way to a charter – sometimes, one or two kids on each rudder with Normal Dog making sure we were all safe.
A highlight during a Front Street cruise would be seeing Tom on his bike with Normal in tow, headed down for a charter. He would say, “HOWZIT MIGUEL?!” while flashing a shaka. Tom always made you feel like he hadn’t seen you in years and was so stoked to see you again.
A fixture “pau hana” time stop was a talk story session with he and Amanda (RIP) down at the boat. A fisherman would bring some sashimi, and we’d all go home feeling like life was as it was meant to be: PERFECT.
Between college semesters, I had the privilege of working for Tom and Normal Dog aboard their beloved Kamehameha. We spent many days on the water sharing mana’o and aloha with those aboard. Whether it was blasting in the channel or relaxing off the roadstead, we always had fun. One thing cool about Capt. Tom: celebrity or not, he treated everybody the same, with respect and aloha. I once ran into Robert Cazimero in Waikiki, and he made a point to say how much he missed those times with Tom.
When my father passed away in 1984, Tom and Kamehameha were there. When Mom passed in 2005, there was the sail I loved to see. When my step-dad, Phil, passed just a couple years ago, though in pain, Tom again brought her out to pay his respects to a fellow lover of the sea.
The last we spoke (late summer), he shared his heart with me about why his tailspin had lasted so long. The only thing that could be said was that we all love him very much and only wanted the best for him. That was hard to accept for an old school tough guy, but he knew it was from the heart and that we all meant well. We said our alohas, and it felt good, as always, to have talked story.
To his daughter, Emma, may you take comfort in knowing that your dad was one of the good guys that made a difference in the lives of so many he knew. He loved you beyond the heavens, and I want you to know that we are all here for you, should you need anything.
Skipper, fair seas and the stars to sail them by, my friend.
A hui hou, my bruddah, and be sure to give Amanda a kiss for me, yeah?! Aloha!!!
God-given resources are mismanaged
We’re accountable for Hawaii. “Ha” is the breath of life, “wai” is living water, and “‘I” is created by God. Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as “Living Water.” The name alone invokes a response: “To whom much has been given; much is required.”
Stewardship begins with acknowledging the Creator; receiving the breath of God – the true meaning of aloha. Our hearts and minds should be aligned with God, for God is always right! Pray humbly and sincerely for our leaders, commissioners, planning departments and landowners.
The state motto was first spoken by Queen Keopuolani: “The Life of the Land is perpetuated in righteousness of Jesus Christ.” When King Kamehameha III made it the Kingdom motto, omitting “Jesus Christ,” the results were disastrous. We suffer man exercising his rights and self-righteousness. Ultimately, we’re mismanaging God-given resources.
Though Hawaii is geographically isolated, God’s provided all we need. Reclaimed potable water could be used for agriculture rather than injection wells. Hydro, thermal, solar and wind are abundant for energy sources. We have ideal growing conditions yet import 90 percent of our food. Affordable housing in perpetuity is necessary and viable.
God’s Sovereignty! “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” When restoration occurs in our hearts, it will be manifested in the land. The choice is ours; the consequences are eternal.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus; God in a bod. God is love. Love is a choice. Choose Jesus Christ… the “Life of the Land” depends on it.
MICHELE LINCOLN, Lahaina
Free speech is social justice
A recent Pew Research Survey found 40 percent of Americans from ages 18 to 34 support the notion that the government should limit speech that is offensive to minorities. Older Americans were less favorable to the idea, while Democratic voters were twice as likely to support the idea than Republicans.
As a member of the American left’s Libertarian wing, and a vocal proponent of free speech, I find any support for state censorship disturbing, especially coming from the political left.
I have long sympathized with younger generations and find their support for equal and fair treatment for racial, religious and sexual minorities to be a positive thing. Furthermore, I have long associated desires to censor free speech with the religious right, older generations and the reactionary and authoritarian wings of conservatism.
To see people who are traditionally sympathetic to causes I support now expressing support of government censorship is frustrating and saddening.
State censorship is not only morally repugnant, it is counterproductive. In the age of the Internet, one does not have to search far to find bigots, xenophobes, homophobes, reactionaries, neo-nazis, raging anti-feminists, and countless other species of hateful characters. The desire to silence them is understandable, but ill-founded. The best way to de-legitimize bigots and reactionaries is to let them speak and allow the world to see how genuinely evil and stupid they are.
Censoring bigots only legitimizes their claims that they are the ones being persecuted and victimized. It also implies that we are afraid to deal with their rhetoric openly and honestly. Thus, it allows social justice advocates to be painted as authoritarians.
Furthermore, it makes it possible for the bigots of the world to blur the distinction between those who wish to criticize what they have to say and those who wish to silence them through force. Reactionaries are already arguing this, and will continue to do so until we vocally disavow such tactics. Many on the political right are happy to conflate criticism of their position with censorship. Let’s not make such conflation easier.
Instead of censorship, let’s demonstrate the superiority of our ideas via free exchange and debate. In a free and open market of ideas, truth ultimately wins out. When censorship is used, those on its receiving end understandably double down and become more righteous in their indignation, in which case, they have a point.
There is no reason why society cannot be pushed in a more just and compassionate direction through voluntary means. The use of authoritarian means contradicts and compromises a just and accepting society.
When sticking up for the systematically disadvantaged, let’s not turn ourselves into the bad guys by denying the rights of others. Free speech is meaningless if it only applies to those we agree with.
Let our commitment to justice complement our commitment to freedom and opposition to arbitrary authority. There is no social justice without free speech. They are one and the same.
JAMES C. WILSON, Center for a Stateless Society
A three-hoot salute
On the first night, I wasn’t sure what I saw was real. On the next night, I was a little more sure but still thought that perhaps it had more to do with the holiday season. But tonight… tonight, I am certain.
The Hyatt Timeshare is dimming its lights. The wattage is lowered. The amount of amperage is more in line with all the other resorts nearby.
How incredible it is that management has responded so readily to the pleas of Oct. 14 and Sept. 24, 2015 (Lahaina News). In return, surrounding residents thank you, the night sky thanks you, and of course, the local pueo flap their wings in praise.
You, the management of the Hyatt Timeshare, deserve a three-hoot salute for your acceptance, quick positive reaction and unquestionable consideration. You set a fine example for civic responsibility.
So hoot, hoot, hoot to those who made it happen at the Hyatt Timeshare. We are all grateful.
ELAINE GALLANT, Lahaina