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LETTERS for the August 22 issue

By Staff | Aug 22, 2019

Mueller is not a clown

I was taken aback by the political cartoon in the Aug. 8 edition of your newspaper.

I have heard and read Mr Mueller called many things in the past two years, but never a clown. On what are you basing that unsupported assertion?

Surely, you, the editor of the paper, must have read the 448-page report. I am assuming that you have watched both of Mr Mueller’s TV appearances. Based on which of these public appearances do you conclude he ran a clown show?

In the estimation of most, excluding current day Republicans, Mr Mueller is a man of the most personal integrity. During past years when he held public office, members of both parties expressed their admiration for his work.

Perhaps you chose the wrong current public official to portray as a clown. Washington, D.C., has many of them these days, starting from the top down.



Reports call for shift to plant-based eating

“Climate Change Threatens World Food Supply” was the lead story in yesterday’s leading newspapers. It was prompted by the release of a summary report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), staffed by more than 100 experts from 52 countries.

The report details how climate change is threatening our world’s food and water supplies – turning arable land to desert, degrading soil and raising the frequency of devastating weather conditions. It concludes that avoiding wholesale starvation and mass migrations requires fundamental changes in current animal agriculture and land management practices, which account for 23 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

The conclusions of the IPCC report match closely those by Oxford University in 2017 and by Chatham House in 2015. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 70 percent of freshwater use and 38 percent of land use. All reports recommend a massive shift to plant-based eating.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.

Our next visit to the supermarket provides a superb starting point.



Come together and open the road to Mauna Kea

Those opposing and blocking placement of the 30-meter telescope on Mauna Kea have made their point, but they should now step aside for all of us. Mauna Kea is high, clear and the best site for the new telescope in the world. It will the largest in the world and will be able to see back to nearly the beginning of time, search for other planets and provide information for problems here on Earth and Hawaii directly.

Like our astronomers, Hawaiian ancestors were explorers who found Hawaii to seek a better life, and we now need to do the same for our lives and the over 7 billion people on Earth. Having the telescope is truly a responsibility and an honor for Hawaii and Hawaiians, but one that can be lost. Spiritual and sacred designations from the past can be honored and enrich our lives, but they should not prevent us from improving the lot of mankind. It didn’t for the early Hawaiians navigating by the stars, and it should not now. The astronauts of Apollo 8, on looking back at the Earth at Christmas in 1968, saw this blue dot in a sea of black and considered it spiritual – perhaps the whole Earth should be thought of as sacred and be preserved for all of mankind. As an aside, at that Christmas, I was a combat surgeon near the Iron Triangle in Vietnam, where things were not constructive but rather destructive .

I am afraid that this protest is proving destructive also and impeding something very constructive for the world and Hawaii. It is far easier to incite, support and participate in a protest than to direct it to a more constructive endeavor. There are legitimate Hawaiian concerns, and some have resentment, but I believe these can be best addressed in constructive ways by us all. So, I call on our leaders in the Hawaiian culture, in education and in politics to step back, come together, open the road to Mauna Kea and ensure that Hawaii can make this important contribution to the world.



The protection of Mauna Kea as a means to improve Kanaka Maoli health

The mission of the Hawaii Psychological Association (HPA) is to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaii by encouraging, integrating, applying and communicating the contributions of psychology in all its branches. As a professional organization comprised of scientists and advocates of social justice, we stand in support of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) who are standing as kia’i (protectors) of Mauna Kea against the construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) on this sacred site.

While this issue is new to many, the truth of the matter is that there has been over 50 years of documented mismanagement and broken promises with regard to telescopes being built on Mauna Kea. Kanaka Maoli have been actively working to protect the mauna (mountain) and its sacred sites from desecration since the 1960s, when the first telescope was built without a permit.

Cultural protection and revitalization of historical and sacred places are important social and cultural determinants of health for Kanaka Maoli. They are as important to health as access to safe and well-resourced neighborhoods, excellent education, healthy food options, physical activity opportunities and quality health care.

HPA is standing in opposition to this oppression and in support of Kanaka Maoli to finally have the justice they deserve. Construction of the TMT on Mauna Kea will have a devastating effect on Kanaka Maoli health, not to mention ecological health with regard to the permanent damage to the winds, climate and water aquifers of the area.

HPA is advocating for Kanaka Maoli to identify the practices and places they deem sacred. The way in which they have organized and maintained Kapu Aloha is inspiring and has already changed the course of Kanaka Maoli self-determination as well as the power they hold within the Hawaii political scene.

ROBIN E. S. MIYAMOTO, Hawaii Psychological Association