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LETTERS for the June 7 issue

By Staff | Jun 7, 2018

Traffic light needed to slow cars on Keawe Street

The latest leg of the Lahaina Bypass has generated many comments about the convenience/inconvenience of the new arrangement into our town. I’m not going to comment on this or the businesses that are losing commerce.

What dumbfounds me is how you can think that traffic coming off of a mountain – after a high speed limit on a relatively steep and straight grade – will slow down as it enters a very congested area on Keawe Street.

Speeding is not occasional; it is constant. Considering most of these vehicles are tourists and not local, they have no idea about the death trap they are careening into. It is not if someone will be killed, it is when.

In general, I don’t like stoplights, but our new downhill race necessitates it. All it takes is a few minutes, any time if the day, for it to be painfully obvious.

A light is needed at Kupuohi Street to ease this flow before traffic entering and exiting at Ho’onanea, Lahaina Gateway, Walgreens, Starbucks and Panda is encountered.

Yes, it will back up the bypass, but you were the people who cut off all other access to the West Side without much public comment. Otherwise, the blood is on your hands. I pray it’s not mine.



President protected by obstruction of justice

It is obvious to many of us that a conspiracy to commit a widespread obstruction of justice, to protect and keep a president from being indicted or impeached, is being done right out in open sight.

Those involved in the conspiracy are members of a network (talk show hosts who are willing to lie), members of Congress (especially many of the Republican House members), many who voted for Trump (they don’t care whether he is a dictator or not), and many of the evangelicals, who show a pretend concern about the right to life of an unborn but no empathy for kids being split from their immigrant parents.

If this continues, America will become a Banana Republic. It might be time for Mueller to have a showdown and indict the president. At least the American people with fair minds will be alerted to take a stand for the rule of law against tyranny.



Conservatives want term limits, Citizen’s Congress

Conservatives are overwhelmingly in favor of replacing the professional politicians in Congress with a citizen’s legislature through term limits, according to a poll conducted by The Conservative Caucus. This change had the support of 99 percent of those who responded to the poll. There was 97 percent agreement that both greed and a thirst for power motivate members of Congress to keep running for reelection. Members are paid $174,000 per year, with benefits estimated to bring the full value up to more than $200,000.

PETER THOMAS, Americans for Constitutional Liberty


ReFormers Caucus making progress

I wrote you in March about our ReFormers Caucus, former U.S. senators and representatives, cabinet officials and governors serving as the largest bipartisan coalition ever to focus on making our democracy strong again.

We are closing in on 200 strong, now including fellow former Hawaii Congressman Charles Djou. I’m grateful to Charles for adding his energy and voice to our effort.

We have all been there, know what is broken and believe we can contribute our experience to fixing it. We advocate for:

Disclosure and Transparency – Real-time full disclosure of money and influence in politics.

Effective Enforcement – Full accountability for candidates, elected officials, organizations and individuals.

Ethics and Lobbying – Strengthened ethics and lobbying rules and enforcement.

Citizen Participation – Support for state and local innovations to improve inclusion.

Integrity and Accountability – Fully responsible and responsive government playing by the same rules.

Perhaps the most corrosive influence on our democracy today is dark money – often very large sums paid to influence elections and decisions while completely disguising the true source. One of the clearest examples has been carefully concealed foreign interference in our national elections through dark money-financed advertising on the largest Internet platforms such as Facebook.

Unfortunately, this issue has been cast as yes it happened by those who oppose the winners, and no it didn’t by those who support them. But take a step back from all that noise and look to the big picture and long-term. Should we allow any foreign government or player to influence our democratic right to elect our leaders in any election, especially by deceptive and secret means?

We agree with the vast majority of Americans that we must safeguard our elections at all cost.

As just one fix, we support the Honest Ads Act, which has been introduced in Congress by legislators of both parties. This critical measure would require large online platforms to identify and publicly disclose the purchasers of such advertising, the same as now required for political TV and radio ads. It is supported by the platforms themselves.

We are collectively urging our Congress to pass the Honest Ads Act, and I have signed on to our letter to all members of Congress as part of that effort.

We need your help.

Please contact your members of Congress (Senators Schatz and Hirono, and Congresswomen Gabbard and Hanabusa) and ask them to sign on to S. 1989 (in the Senate) and H.R. 4077 (in the House) and pass the Honest Ads Act.

But equally important, make fixing our democracy through this and other means your top priority with the candidates who want your vote in the critical elections just weeks away.

Real solutions to all our other challenges depend on it.

ED CASE. Hawaii


Overcoming bias

While many people are familiar with the concept of bias, having a deeper understanding of what it is and how it manifests is often the first step in circumventing negative ramifications. Bias can limit potential for growth, innovation and success on individual and community-wide levels.

Conformity bias is best described as an individual going along with the opinion of a group, even if it directly contradicts what that individual believes. This can result in a group of people agreeing to something because they feel that’s what the overall group believes.

Confirmation bias means looking for evidence to back up already held beliefs or opinions. For example, if you’re a hiring manager, and believe people who attended “school X” are hard workers, you might not question their other qualifications as closely as someone who attended a school you’re not familiar with.

Attribution bias is often seen in conjunction with conformity bias. We see members of our “in-group” (those we see as part of our own cultural group) in a favorable and forgiving light. If someone from our own in-group makes a mistake, we’re more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. Conversely, we’re likely to be more critical of members of other groups, attributing mistakes as personal shortcomings or failures.

While all three types of biases have potential negative consequences, they can be avoided by recognizing common situations and hallmarks. By understanding how biases work and manifest, we can limit the impact they have on our decision making.

JORDAN FEYERHERM, Center for Rural Affairs