LETTERS for the January 30 issue
Time for taxpayers to protest
What is it going to take for our government, state and local representatives to do their jobs that we pay them for? The State of Hawaii is paying and supporting organizations that benefit a small group of people, but it doesn’t benefit us all equally or fairly.
Who is representing the rest of the community on how our tax dollars are being spent? Who is looking after our constitutional and civil rights? Who is implementing and enforcing the laws in Hawaii? Who exactly is running this show? Well, I say it’s the people.
This is not the wild-wild West, where anything goes. We do have laws and we are supposed to have civil and obedient order. Even King Kamehameha I knew this was necessary when he made the first laws of the land. He was very strict about those laws. You broke those laws, it resulted in death. There was no ho’oponopono or a trial in court. You died if you didn’t follow those laws, and that was it.
If our state representatives don’t want to comply with our U.S. Constitution, then they need to change the Constitution. This is the United States of America, even if they are in denial of this. We are a free nation. Wake up, get your head out of the sand and do something about it. I served. I did my time in the military to secure all your freedoms, including the protesting, but the rule of law must be followed.
We could look at this another way. We could be a communist country like Russia, China or North Korea, where we don’t have a say in anything.
Taxpayers, take a stand. Take this injustice to your local representatives. If you want your message to remain anonymous, then write the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. Express to them how you feel on what is happening here in Hawaii. And call them out on their corruption. How are our tax dollars really being spent? Why do they ask for more money when it’s not managed properly? Why is it so easy to throw away our money away and not account for it?
They forget who they represent. And that is all of us, because we pay them their salaries. No more arm-chair activism should be tolerated. We do have a say in this, believe it or not. Native Hawaiians are not exempt from the U.S. laws. We need to let them and our representatives know that we are paying attention and we are watching them. No more milking the system. Milking is for cows.
MIKE NATHANIEL, Mountain View, Hawaii
Mahalo to Maui County for passing resolution
How quickly people forget the national mortgage crisis of 2008. Know what nearly took down the banks? Everyone says bad loans, which were created by a lack of good policies and procedures on the front end (making the loans) and on the back end (servicing delinquencies).
Remember what the fix was after the feds bailed out the banks? Upgraded written loan policies for the front end and the back end; getting predatory lenders and servicers out of the game; and implementing loan loss mitigations to keep families in their homes by modifying loans to keep them performing (paying amounts they could afford).
Mahalo to Maui County for passing a sensible resolution to encourage state legislators to make technical amendments that do the same for an $80 million loan portfolio at DHHL. Written and clear policies, get for-profit consultants out of the process, and start modifying loans by conducting financial assessments (not the same as counseling) of delinquent borrowers. Good government. Common sense government? Can!
Hawaiians are just like everyone else – run into a reduction of income and need a loan modification. It’s prudent lending policy, too!
ROBIN DANNER, Homestead Community Development Corporation CEO
Join women’s marches
It’s not too late for a Men’s New Year’s Resolution: to show up in even greater numbers at this year’s women’s marches. Let’s encourage men to march for gender equity and to transform manhood.
The struggle for women’s equality is a struggle for dignity, justice and freedom in all aspects of women’s lives -from home to work, from bedroom to boardroom. Too many men are slow as molasses to acknowledge the injustices women face. If we can get out of our own way, breathe through our fear of empowered women, there’s a new world awaiting where men will live richer, more emotionally expressive lives.
With the climate crisis threatening everything, let’s honor Greta Thunberg and a growing youth force rebellion; they are demanding we do more than pay lip service to a planet on fire because of the reckless disregard of the privileged.
Consider that women (including transwomen) are the principal survivors of gender-based violence; women earn four-fifths of what men earn; women (and children) face the greatest risk from climate catastrophes; and it’s women whose reproductive rights are under attack. (Nine states now ban abortion before most women know they’re pregnant.)
Unwavering in their determination to right these wrongs, women are leading a social revolution, from the streets to the ballot box, from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements to women elected to office in 2018 and 2019 in unprecedented numbers. Central to their vision is achieving gender justice in a movement many men consider our cause, too. For two generations, men of all races and ethnicities in the U.S. and around the world have been working to prevent domestic and sexual violence, and to redefine and transform traditional ideas about manhood, fatherhood and brotherhood.
What can men do? First, take stock. Women’s marches can spur men to examine our lives, each step a chance to do some soul-searching, asking ourselves how we have contributed to prejudice, discrimination and abuse of women. With the insights we gain, we can help transform masculinity – and ourselves.
Let’s march as fathers, caregivers, grandfathers and mentors, raising boys to value compassion over competition, collaboration over isolation. Let’s march as sons and brothers, uncles and nephews, who recognize that “standard issue” manhood constricts our emotional lives, blinds us from seeing how we can be whole human beings. Let’s march as husbands and partners who recognize that when women are respected and empowered, they are happier – and so is everyone around them.
We don’t have to man up, but we do have to stand up.
ROB OKUN, PeaceVoice