Letters for Thursday, June 21, 2007

• Man’s nature violent

• Mixed Martial Arts doesn’t deserve blanket of blame

• Mortgage scams abound

• Prisoners in our own homes

• Graffiti makes lighthouse an eyesore

In her letter to the editor, “Our hoodlum culture,” Betsy Rivers states her belief that a correlation exists between televised Mixed Martial Arts matches and the hostility we are experiencing in these islands. Sad to say, she is among the many who are ignorant to the fact that mankind’s very history is filled with acts of violence dating back to the days of Cain and Able.

Out of all animals on earth, man is the only one with the ability to reason yet chooses to react in violence. The rest of the animal kingdom only reacts to the need for survival. Violence is mans’ very nature.

If Mixed Martial Arts is to blame for the hostility in these islands over the past few years, then what are you going to blame the hostility in these islands for the past few hundred years on? Televised Mixed Martial Arts, too? Give me a break.

Dominic Acain


While I agree that it is sad that people can’t go out and enjoy themselves without the threat of random violence as mentioned in the letter “Our hoodlum culture,” I must say that the letter writer’s knee jerk reaction blaming Mixed Martial Arts (or, as she called it, “Ultimate Fighting”) is a bit over the top. While it is true that a recent incident did involve an individual who is involved in Mixed Martial Arts, I think it a gross over-generalization to blame the sport and industry that is MMA for any and all violence that occurs within our society.

I think it would be far more accurate to point your finger at the individuals involved in violent acts rather than throw the blanket of blame over a group of people who are not just fine, upstanding citizens, but who also happen to be dedicated to upholding the principles of propriety and courtesy.

Yes, there are bad apples in all groups of society — even the martial arts — but the great majority of people who have the dedication and fortitude to pursue the discipline and enrichment that is found in the martial arts are humble and unassuming individuals. Those who have reached a level of mastery can often be found passing their knowledge and humility on to other, many times, youthful students, thus perpetuating a cycle of quiet strength and confidence.

As far as the notion that there is a “correlation” between MMA and societal violence, let me pose this question: Seeing that MMA is a relatively new phenomenon here in the U.S., how would the writer explain societal violence prior to the advent of “Ultimate Fighting”? Would she blame it on boxing or hockey? How about football? Maybe we can point the finger of blame at certain movies or TV shows, music and video games.

It sure seems as though there is no shortage of things to blame. Where does the buck really stop? I think it stops with every one of us as individuals and parents. As an example I give you my own children, ages 19 and 12.

They diligently study Jujitsu and are big fans of Mixed Marital Arts, but they are far from being troublemakers. In fact, they are the first to sadly shake their heads in disappointment when they hear of fights and assaults perpetuated here on Kaua‘i. Of course, my wife and I would like to take a bit of credit for their upbringing, but no small thanks goes to their senseis at Kamole Jujitsu for the fine examples they set for their students.

My final point goes more toward the letter writer’s seeming appeal for censorship on our public airways.

If you don’t like what you see on TV, exercise your right as an American citizen. Change the channel!

Stan Koga


Mortgage scams abound

Yes, indeed, there are a lot of scam mortgage solicitors on the phone.

Like the Cardinez family, I, too, was offered a similar 1 percent offer on my mortgage. It sounded too good to be true. Then they did a credit check and changed their story to, “ Your credit score doesn’t meet the qualified rating.”

Now comes the killer part — they then offered me a creative borrowing plan. It consists of a high mortgage payment at a 9.7 percent a year.

Than, after a year, the loan would be refinanced again and if I met the qualifications, my loan would be cut down to a low mortgage payment at 1 percent for the duration of the loan (30 years).

Luckily, I could sense it was a scam. So, I refused the offer.

Beware of mortgage scams, as there are a lot going around these days.

Howard Tolbe


Prisoners in our own homes

I write today to take exception with the viewpoint expressed that it must be wonderful to be held in detention in KCCC (“Homeless housing,” Letters, June 20).

“Imagine free room, free air-conditioned facility, free hot showers, free medical, free meals, free counseling … with a beautiful uniform from KCCC.”

What is the point of such frivolous comments? Why do you say such things when you obviously do not feel that way? If you actually did feel that way, you might list your home address as KCCC, instead of the “Princeville Prison,” where you are issued citations if you: have a lawn more than 2 inches tall, or if you try to install a cat door for your cat, or if you hang up laundry to dry in the sunshine and tradewinds, or even hang a towel over the deck railing.

Homelessness is not a “crime.” It is the result of a market-driven economic system that “elects” not to provide affordable housing to select market segments. Sure, there are individual exceptions but the fact remains that, as a whole, the market has not provided a full-spectrum of affordable housing to meet the full spectrum of housing needs for those who desire an affordable place to live.

This is not the failure of any individual; this is a generalized market failure. Ms. Hooten, you should be pleased the market has “elected” to meet your needs. Please try to be less disparaging of those to whom the market has been less favorable. We are all in this together.

Jonathan Jay


Graffiti makes lighthouse an eyesore

Another eyesore! My girlfriend and I like to walk to the Lihu‘e lighthouse in the morning. We were happy to see the lighthouse has been repaired, but within two weeks there was graffiti around the entire light house.

Maybe the hours of access should be limited and it should be patrolled on weekends.

Daniel Renaud



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