Letters for Tuesday — February 28, 2006

• Along for the ride

• The problem with pain

• The county’s hot potato

• Clarifying definitions

• What’s happening, Kaua’i?

Along for the ride

What is it with all the windbags?! I have to read about or hear from the same group of self-righteous morons, day in and day out. The constant stream of letters from the same people. Our city council, and the mayor should be forced to take a vote of “no confidence” and what with the police commission. Are they really gonna let that wetback vote on the future of our police chief? Was that racial? I’m sorry, but political uncorrectness seems to be the flavor as of late and lord knows my self-esteem is dependent upon being trendy.

This island seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, but I live here, so I guess I’m along for the ride.

  • Joseph Lavery

The problem with pain

I have been a critic of our justice system for several years. I see things that force me to write again.

A case in California comes to mind. A man names Morales killed a beautiful 17- year-old girl by bashing her head in 23 times with a rock, stabbing her 16 or so times and then drug her body into a orchard and had sex with her dead body. To touch it off properly he ran over her with his car. This was 25 years ago.

Now his defense lawyers and some judges are deeply concerned that when he is executed he might feel some pain!!!!! They have stayed his execution until they can be sure he will feel no pain at all.

Their concern for this poor misunderstood man is commendable. I’m sure we should try harder to relate to how important it is that this brutal monster not feel pain when he dies. I certainly wouldn’t recommend he be put on a rack and pulled apart. (Though that is an idea.) No hanging either because again he would feel pain. A bullet to the brain? He would know it was coming and that would probably cause him some expectation of pain, not good either.

No wonder other countries think we are nuts, and Muslims are convinced we are weak. They just whack their heads off. Will we ever return to a justice system where we have more concern for the victim’s family than the criminal. I hope so.

  • Bob Yount

The county’s hot potato

A wise man once said that a successful politician is one smart enough not to do something dumb enough to make the voters decide they’ve had enough. If that theory is true then a number of elected officials may have cause for concern this year.

Voters need look no further than our esteemed county council when it comes time to say ‘enough already.’

It’s not an easy task to measure the effectiveness of our elected officials until they do something so boneheaded that it adversely affects the entire community. Just such a breach of the public’s trust took place last year when the council failed to act on the mayor’s request to remove a controversial police commissioner.

If the council had exercised its authority and removed Leon Gonsalves from his seat on the commission, it is unlikely things would have ever gotten this ugly. It’s also fair to say — by replacing Gonsalves with someone untainted by scandal — that the case (if indeed one ever materialized) against Lum would be devoid of the obvious prejudice that has spawned a federal lawsuit with the potential of costing the county so much it may scare the council into permanent executive session!

It’s plain that while the council had the power to defuse an explosive situation; it lacked the courage to act swiftly and decisively in the public’s best interest. It also left open the argument that the county is unwilling to take action against racial stereotyping even when most everyone agrees the incident was too blatant to ignore.

While the council is poised to rebuke the administration for even the slightest misstep, it should strive to cooperate with the mayor on issues that require solidarity on the part of our elected officials.

Instead of disposing of this hot potato, the council dropped it squarely in a pot of boiling water and when the smoke clears, an incumbent county legislator or two might not have a chair to sit on.

  • Fred Von Wiegen

Clarifying definitions

Notwithstanding the fact that sexual harassment exists and its motives are many, so too is the use of making false charges for the sole profit of the accuser.

Sexual harassment was partially defined in a letter to the editor on 02-24-06. One element to the definition was inexplicably missing however. The author failed to include the requirement that the sexual harassment must continue after the “harasser” has been told to stop the unwelcome behaviour. So when did Sheryl Sunia notify the “harasser” or her supervisor about the unwelcome and offensive action? Only then can one determine whether there was sexual harassment or not. To say that Sheryl Sunia was the victim of sexual harassment without knowing this is mere conjecture and based in one form of sexism or another. It is dis-ingenuous to accuse someone of the very serious charge of sexual harassment by offering only partial information. Let’s not lose our principles of “innocent until proven guilty”.

The writer also waves the flag of “feminism,” its lofty “theories” of “men and women being equals in all spheres of life — equals in standing, possibility, freedom and range of choice.” This is great rhetoric but it doesn’t reflect the perceptions of contemporary feminist attitudes. Today’s feminism is predominantly represented by NOW (National Organization of Women), the primary provocateur of the abortion agenda. It is a long stretch to equate it with the suffragettes of Rebecca West’s era.

  • Michael L Smith

What’s happening, Kaua’i?

I am getting more and more concerned at what is happening on Kaua’i with all of the development, tree removal, bypass roads, building, box stores, etc.

As an observer who lived 12 years on Kaua’i and visits as often as possible, I am disturbed that the very thing that has always been an attraction is being rapidly destroyed. The beauty and history of Kaua’i cannot be replaced.

Once it is gone it is gone forever. Please be very careful with your collective decisions so as not to destroy the very essence of your lovely island.

  • Suzanne M.M. Warner
    Joliet, Mont

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