LETTERS for the October 3 issue
Let’s give farm animals a break
As a bit of an animal lover, I have been scouring the Internet for some special occasion celebrating animals. I came across an international observance called a “day for animals,” but it wasn’t quite what I expected.
I was shocked to learn that nearly 99 percent of all domesticated animals are bred and raised for food. That, unlike our cats and dogs, they get no compassion or respect from the meat and dairy industries.
Male baby chicks are suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive because they lay no eggs. Groups of laying hens are packed into small wire cages that tear out their feathers.
Breeding sows spend their entire lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cows are artificially impregnated each year, and their babies are snatched from them at birth so people can drink their milk.
Like many others, I always thought of cows, pigs and chickens as simply “food on the hoof.” Now, I realize that each dollar I spend on meat and dairy products at the checkout counter subsidizes animal atrocities.
I will be replacing animal products in my diet with the new healthful, cruelty-free, plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my supermarket.
LESTER NAITO, Lahaina
University of Hawaii Board chair calls for peaceful Mauna Kea resolution
As I stated in my personal message on Sept. 2, “there are important perspectives on all sides of the current conflict at Mauna Kea, and the way we deal with this issue is likely to define who we truly are as Hawaii for years to come.”
I also called upon the president of our university to pursue the resolution of this conflict as his top priority. I urged forces on all sides of this issue not to escalate matters, but to work in the spirit of ALOHA to find solutions that move Hawaii forward. Imbedded in the meaning of my words is that any resolution sought should call for the abstention of violence.
On the ground, the conflict at Mauna Kea involves people on all sides of the issue who must make individual judgements of right and wrong. Each side shares in this personal responsibility to do what they can to prevent violence which may cause injury or harm to their fellow citizens. My hope is that this personal responsibility is taken to heart and carried out by those involved.
It is my understanding that early attempts at ho’oponopono to resolve this situation failed. We ask that all sides renew these efforts. The elements of repentance, forgiveness, gratitude and love need to be revisited.
As I stated previously, “In some ways, the merits of both sides of this conflict are contributing to the stalemate. Neither side wishes to ?give up’ the good their position produces. The lines are drawn and positions fixed unyielding to what must come next. A classic ‘no win’ situation.”
The ramifications of victory on either side of this conflict will be a larger defeat for all of us in this community we call Hawaii.
There are no more words that matter as we approach the abyss. I call for movement on both sides to reach a peaceful resolution. I call for courage to seek peace rather than what awaits. I call for seeing beyond the horizon to reach your goals. I call for a better Hawaii, not a worse one.
BEN KUDO, UH Board of Regents Chair
A victory for homesteaders
The Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly (SCHHA) received news from Washington, D.C., that the SCHHA nonprofit arm was awarded $150,000 in funding from the U.S. Treasury Department to support the Homestead Loan Fund, a priority that SCHHA leaders called for last year. Highly competitive, and homesteaders won!
The main reason all islands came together to focus on creating a Homestead Loan Fund was to increase access to capital for homesteading, whether housing, farming or ranching, as well as mercantile businesses (all HHCA priorities).
With this award notice, we have now raised just under $800,000 this year for homestead loan fund services – all from non-DHHL funding. We have also hired the necessary loan fund staff and will soon install specialized software.
Our team will not only be making loans for a variety of purposes to Native Hawaiians but also grants to families to support housing and rental unit occupancy, to stabilize employment and to prevent foreclosures. If you are interested in any of our loan fund programs, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mahalo to the SCHHA leaders, SCHHA Vice Chair Sybil Lopez and the homestead housing authority nonprofit leaders, especially Iwalani McBrayer, our nonprofit board chairman. Mostly, mahalo Creator for the unity at SCHHA that makes the work together possible. No one is coming to save us, but yes, we can save ourselves! Kanaka forward.
ROBIN PUANANI DANNER, SCHHA Chair & Homestead Housing Authority CEO
Conservatives want term limits and a citizen’s Congress
Conservatives are strongly 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 78 percent of those who responded to the poll.
There was 82 percent support for extending to seven years the time during which a former member is prohibited from lobbying his former colleagues.
The poll revealed a strong feeling that Congress and the federal government have become too expensive, with 79 percent saying that the federal government has become “too big and too rich” and 67 percent that Congressmen are paid too much.
PETER THOMAS, Chairman, Americans for Constitutional Liberty