LETTERS for the May 23 issue
Nice to see an exchange of ideas
We have seen many changes over the years since being involved in Maui issues good and incompetent over the years. To see the community write about concerns in Lahaina News is great. This is how things get done. Talk, complain and be consistent. Don’t give in to the corrupt system.
As the author of Term Limits for San Francisco and the State of California impetus – both that passed with 68 percent of the electorate in 1990 – I loved reading Peter Thomas’s letter about term limits here in Maui. He is right on target Congress is pilfering whilst doing little or nothing. They are not putting standard education into practice – reading, writing, history and math – into the educational system, but rather filling the scholastic system with useless classes that should be taught in the homes of our lovely Hawaiian community. Playing financial games with infrastructure projects? Uh who gets the pockets lined when nothing gets done?
Reminds me about property owners that struggle to pay taxes when government institutes, the assessors, manufacture our property assessments well above values just to rip us off on the annual tax – a fraudulent process that should be investigated.
Then there is Mr. Mel Gurtov from Peace Voice. He doesn’t like President Trump. I do but it is nice to see Lahaina News put forth important issues, conversation and civil exchange. Free press and honest press is the ultimate American need.
In San Francisco, believe it or not, people’s letters are not published unless they conform to extreme left wing, liberal, politically correct dribble.
Congratulations to the Lahaina News!
RICHARD BODISCO, West Maui
How Wall Street drives gender and racial inequality
The people who sell fancy sports cars and high-end Swiss watches look forward to the time of year when the big Wall Street banks hand out their annual cash bonuses.
According to new figures, those bonuses added up a whopping $27.5 billion last year. That’s a lot of Rolexes.
Unfortunately, this huge payout also means the reckless bonus culture that crashed our economy in 2008 is still flourishing.
And there’s another reason we should be disturbed: these Wall Street payouts drive racial and gender inequality.
That’s because the people pocketing Wall Street bonuses are overwhelmingly white and male, while the people stuck with stagnating wages at the bottom of the pay scale are disproportionately women and people of color.
A new Institute for Policy Studies report I co-authored found that if the minimum wage had increased at the same rate as the average Wall Street bonus since 1985, it would be worth $33 today, instead of just $7.25.
Women make up 63 percent of those minimum wage workers, but as little as 20 percent of senior executives and managers at big investment banks like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Reining in Wall Street pay would make our economy more equitable and secure.
In 2010, Congress recognized that fat banker bonuses had encouraged the high-risk behavior that caused the 2008 crash, costing millions of Americans their homes and livelihoods.
As part of a broad financial reform, lawmakers adopted new restrictions on Wall Street bonuses and ordered regulators to implement these rules within nine months. Instead, regulators bowed to pressure from powerful Wall Street lobbyists and never put the law into force.
Meanwhile, members of Congress have been dragging their feet on raising the federal minimum wage. Low-wage workers haven’t gotten a raise for nearly a decade.
Let’s face it: for too long, Wall Street has had too much power in Washington, while advocates for the working poor have had too little.
If you’re in the business of selling yachts or Ferraris, the Wall Street bonus bonanza might be a good thing. For the rest of us, not so much.
SARAH ANDERSON, Institute for Policy Studies
Seeing life through death – honoring Vietnam soldiers
Christians claim at Easter that not only is Jesus Risen, but in our humanness, a Christ-power is Arisen in us all; a unique ability to see life through, of all things, death. To Iive with a beingness/attitude… faith… that light cannot be overcome by darkness. As a matter of fact, darkness increases light! (Science and faith agree!)
This “reality,” whether recognized or not, has clearly been a renewed experience for me in how U.S. Veterans, especially those killed in service, have become this new light of awareness and validation; an ability to bring a light to the darkness of their unforgotten lives and deaths in battle.
Last summer, 2018, I was asked to assist with a service (I’m a retired Catholic priest) for the remains of a deceased 35-ish-year-old man who died 68 years before in the Korean War. The experience was surreal for me in so many ways. I knew little of the Korean conflict. I know little of what it means to serve in our Armed Forces. I ashamedly knew little of the many skirmishes our U.S. troops had been involved in, as represented by U.S. Veterans present at his grave along with a 95-year-old South Korean soldier in full uniform saluting as this 35-year-old man in a coffin was laid in the ground.
The deceased solider would have been 95 – the same age as the South Korean who came to honor him. I obviously don’t know what it’s like to be killed and, unfortunately, the only experience I’ve had with Veterans has been with the troubled ones – those who returned as “forgotten-though-living,” who couldn’t adjust to the loss of their own brothers-in-action, as well as in death, and those who experienced a growing list of their harsh realities in returning unwelcome and misunderstood.
Last night I was privileged to offer a reflection at the sixth annual Maui Veteran’s Vietnam Memorial remembrance.
Therein, over 40 Mauians were recalled who had lost their lives in Vietnam. At one point someone from their ohana was to light a candle for them.
Sadly, as is life, there were many who had no one there to recall them. I, with some other attendees, were asked to volunteer to “hold a light of remembrance” for those forgotten/not represented at the ceremony. As I waited my turn to hold a candle for two deceased Mauians, I was awed to have the opportunity to be chosen to keep alive these two men in our present reality and in my curious mind.
NOW, THAT’S EASTER! I WILL REMEMBER THEM AS ASSIGNED TO ME AND BRING THEIR MEMORIES TO MY OWN GRAVE.
I also pray they will meet me at the Pearly Gates when it’s my turn… and sneak me in through the Service Door in the back, maybe out to the Canteen where we will hoist one together!
Please remember SSG William Storch Jr and SP4 Charles Kalani, both U.S. Army.
Gentleman, what an honor… what a privilege… what an assignment! An EASTER WOW!
FR. KEN DEASY