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LETTERS for the January 25 issue

By Staff | Jan 25, 2018

Thermonuclear missile could destroy Hawaii

I’m watching the Monday 5 p.m. news parade of excuses about what went wrong on Saturday morning when we were told a missile was inbound to Hawaii. The most outrageous statement made was by Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi. He claims there would be a 90 percent survival rate if a thermonuclear device was detonated. Is he kidding?!?!

The first thermonuclear device dropped on Japan was a uranium bomb yielding approximately 15 kilotons. The second, a plutonium implosion bomb, yielded approximately 20 kilotons. Those two bombs killed 226,000 people. Half were killed during the initial explosions. The rest died from burns, radiation sickness and other injuries.

It is currently projected North Korea can launch a 120-kiloton thermonuclear device. If they figure out targeting, and how to keep the warhead from burning up on reentry, then Hawaii would be toast. From what was shown on TV, the only survivor would be the little girl being lowered into a storm drain.

The erroneous alert has shown the State of Hawaii has no clue on what do if a thermonuclear warhead is launched in our direction. Ninety percent survival rate indeed.

MIKE SOWERS, Kaanapali


Lahaina facing a disaster in flawed bypass plans

In vascular surgery, we never construct a bypass to carry the blood down a leg unless there is adequate “runoff” – a place for the blood to go. Otherwise, the blood will clot in the bypass and the leg may be lost – a disaster.

It is that kind of disaster that is facing Lahaina because the northbound traffic is to be forced onto the new bypass south of Lahaina and exit at Keawe Street, which is already congested and does not provide adequate “runoff.”

The massive increase in traffic – and the resultant killing effect on businesses that are needed by us all – will be a disaster. Is that one of the reasons that we are just learning of the loss of Barnes & Noble? If so, more will follow.

Not only will the existing northern approach to Lahaina from the south on the Honoapiilani (shoreline) Highway be blocked, but the southern-directed portion of it will be dead-ended. Thus, we will lose our two-lane shoreline highway and replace it with the new two-lane bypass highway mauka with stoplights. Worse, not better. The public will lose the beautiful, world-known shoreline drive where they can beach, surf, fish, paint, view, etc.

I have been to many meetings on this that the DOT is required to hold, and the people’s comments are really ignored, while the landowners and developers who are there in mass have obtained, by one means or another, what will be removal of the shoreline drive, allowing their development to the ocean and making it like from Lahaina to Kapalua with no or limited access to the public.

Although well-meant, the “cure” of Representative McKelvey of changing the right turn at Keawe at Honoapiilani to a dedicated one with loss of a right lane on Honoapiilani falls far short preventing this disaster. What should happen are two things:

1. Construction of a northern extension of the existing bypass from Keawe to the Kaanapali/Honokowai area ASAP, so that the traffic to and from those sites and Kahana, Napili and Kapalua can truly bypass Lahaina, in both directions, the original plan. This would also reduce the increasing congestion in Lahaina, with cars backed up over preceding cross streets with our increased population and developments. Funds for this are surely warranted by our high revenue-producing area.

2. Maintaining and keeping open the Honoapiilani shoreline highway, so that when the new mauka-located southern bypass is opened, there are four lanes of traffic. A roundabout, over/under pass or signal light at the southern end could provide choice of lane.

Like the leg that that was lost by a clogged bypass, Lahaina could be lost if this new bypass is allowed to proceed now – a real disaster.



Write the governor to oppose bypass plans

Please, people of West Maui, do not allow them to close the coast road. If they do – and they plan to – we will still have only two lanes in and out of West Maui. NO IMPROVEMENT!

Please, make it clear to every government official and every DOT employee you can reach that this is wrong! West Maui needs and deserves four lanes. Anything less is just too dangerous. Businesses will die for lack of workers. People will die from car accidents. Tourists will miss their flights home. Please write Gov. David Ige.



Hanabusa running for yet another job?

I would like to make two comments.

First, I saw that Colleen Hanabusa is now running for governor. I am not sure on the correct count, but that makes four or five jobs that she started. She has yet to finish any of them, SO WHY give her my valuable vote?

My other question is for the woman who keeps writing letters and puts Jesus, God and a bunch of her not accurate beliefs.

Didn’t the Hawaiian people GIVE their land to the missionaries? Look how that worked out. The Hawaiian people got cheated by these religious idiots and lost everything.

All I can say is fool me once, then shame on you. Fool me twice, then shame on me. I think religion is up to each individual, and people don’t need to be preached to in the newspaper.



Trump’s comments recall a racist past in immigration policy

The condemnation of Trump’s remarks on immigration has been swift and widespread. Most of the denunciations cast his ideas as seriously out of line with American ideals on immigration. The problem is that they aren’t really. From the very beginning of our nation, there has been a white nationalist core driving our immigration priorities. Even as we struggled to be a “nation of immigrants,” most of the people we allowed in were chosen on the basis of national origin from the “whitest” parts of Europe.

The first U.S. naturalization law of 1790 required that anyone who wanted to become a citizen had to be a “free white person.” At its start, the Framers envisioned the U.S. as a political society for members of a specific racial caste. This requirement stayed in place until the mid-20th century.

In 1924, the U.S. passed the Johnson Reed Act, one of the most significant, comprehensive immigration reform bills in our history. It limited the number of immigrants each year, and those allowed were selected on the basis of their country of origin. Immigrants from North and Western Europe (such as Norway) had almost no restrictions on entering, while Southern and Eastern European immigrants were severely controlled. Immigration from Asia had been almost completely prohibited for several decades by this point.

The shocking issue with the act is its little known origin story. The law was the brainchild of a notorious white supremacist named Madison Grant. In 1916, Grant wrote a book, “The Passing of the Great Race,” which argued that the truly white people in the U.S., the Nordics, were at risk of going extinct because of the massive influx of Poles, Italians, Greeks and Jews who Grant did not consider white. Grant’s book became a bestseller, and reading groups were formed among members of Congress. Grant chaired the committee to advise Congress on immigration. The result was Johnson Reed. Grant went on to inspire the Racial Integrity Act for the State of Virginia that prohibited interracial marriage. It was widely copied throughout the U.S. So, for almost 40 years of the 20th century, U.S. immigration policy and marriage law was specifically designed to create a white majority population.

Congress didn’t remove this system until 1965, replacing it with one that shifted the demographic makeup of most immigrants. Since 1965, the large bulk of immigrants have been from Asia and Latin America. The new policies today favor creating a diverse pool of immigrants rather than one based on national origins, and they encourage immigrants, once here, to bring their family members from their former home countries in a process called “chain migration.”

Trump’s remarks, and the policy proposals on immigration that he has released in the past year, indicate that he wishes to return U.S. immigration policy to the way it was under Grant. Clearly, his preference for individuals from Scandinavia versus Africa or Latin America would have pleased Grant immensely.

Trump’s advisors have also proposed to reduce the total number of immigrants that can enter each year, and those allowed would be selected by a merit system. Those immigrants demonstrating English proficiency and the right job skills would have a preference. This obviously will favor immigrants from those countries with the educational systems that can give people experience with the American way of life. Such a system will drastically limit immigration from Latin America, Asia and Africa by eliminating chain migration.

About a century ago, Americans struggled to find a language to describe what a multicultural, racially diverse and democratic society would look like. One group of progressive thinkers, led by figures such as John Dewey, Alain Locke and Jane Addams, urged us to imagine a nation where immigrants were not forced to assimilate to a single mold, but encouraged to keep their traditions and enlarge the possibilities of what it means to be an American.

This theme is missing from public discussions on immigration today. But if we are looking to the past for hints today about what to do with our immigration policy that do not involve reinventing a white nationalist vision, then perhaps this is a conversation we need to remember.