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Letters for Monday, June 9, 2008

• Democrats’ obvious choice

• The wealth of a nation

• Flawed energy policy

• Help stop desecration


Democrats’ obvious choice

When is my beloved Democratic Party going to wake up and smell the coffee?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi put impeachment of the George W. Bush administration off the table. Party Chairman Howard Dean promulgated a rule that disenfranchised millions of Democrat voters in Michigan and Florida. Senate leader Harry Reid just wants to be loved by everybody. This is why the Democratic primary and the votes are so screwed up. The Republicans finally did something right for a change. They went with winner take all in their presidential primaries. The dumb Democrats got over-democratic and went for proportional distribution of the votes for the presidential nominee.

If they had gone winner take all, Hillary would have been the obvious nominee. This does not take away from Obama, who scored a fabulous victory both for him and our country.

My question is: Why stop now?

Obama and Clinton came in one and two after a tremendous effort by both candidates. If you apply proportional distribution to the final vote, it seems not only logical, but extremely fair that Clinton should be the vice presidential candidate. The combined strength of these two superb Democrats can almost guarantee victory for the Democratic Party in November. To consider anyone who was not involved in that strenuous race that Obama and Clinton were in would be a disastrous mistake for the Democrats to make.

Harry Boranian

Lihu‘e


The wealth of a nation

The health of a nation, any nation, is determined by two absolutely irrefutable truths: 1. A gainfully employed working class with the glimmering hopes of economic and social advancement. 2. A healthy secure middle class, many of whom worked hard to get there.

Today, in this country, we see a serious decline … if not the demise … of the middle class. We are an endangered species. And a depressing pool of miserable working people who, many of them, work two or three jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table.

We also find a very sick situation at the top where the wealth of the nation rests in fewer and fewer hands. The figure as I recall is that 1 percent of the people now control nearly 99 percent of the wealth. We have a person in the White House, the most powerful man in the world, who, because of his fortunate birth, has never worked an honest day in his life; who says he does not understand poor people; who considers as his base of power a greedy, materialistic bunch who count their wealth in big cars, bigger homes and so much food on their table and goods and clothes in their closets they need more and more cheap labor to cook and keep track of their possessions.

Something to consider: when working people are not gainfully employed many of them resort to crime, alcohol or drugs. This accounts for the gearing up of the police force all over the country. Those in the know see all too clearly the future.

Another frightening aspect: the poor fall easy prey to contagious diseases to which all of us can be exposed. Are you sure, dear, your maid is not a carrier of the dreadful new tuberculosis for which there is no cure? Maybe, by the time you find out she is, it’ll be too late.

Further, with the death of the middle class, there goes the real estate market, the automobile industry, the construction industry, the tourist industry and fewer and fewer unnecessary items end up ringing bells at check-out counters. Most of what’s left of the middle class is so deeply in debt they’re sinking into a pit of social and economic despair. Many of these are senior citizens, retired folks who’ve worked hard all their lives, now find themselves in a situation not of their making, where they can’t pay the taxes on their property or buy medical care or insurance.

The collapse of the nation’s economic structure starts at the bottom and works its way up. Wealth trickles down slowly. Poverty, on the other hand, causes as much fast and brutal destruction as a building brought down by an earthquake or a terrorist in a 707 airplane.

I could go on, but what’s the point? You either see it, or you don’t. But this I will tell you, trust me, more of you than you might think will feel it. Sooner than you think.

Bettejo Dux

Kalaheo


Flawed energy policy

The article printed “KIUC reaches net metering limit” exposes a flawed energy policy here on Kaua‘i and in Hawai‘i. It states that KIUC only accepts a tiny 1 percent of electricity produced by renewable sources to add to the grid. I’m very curious to know the reasons for why it is capped at such a low number and even capped at all. Since it was signed into a law maybe the current administration of our county and state as well as KIUC can address this. We have a vast amount of natural resources here in Hawai‘i to create inexpensive, clean, renewable energy yet we depend almost solely on diesel generators. Diesel fuel is skyrocketing in price and the more expensive it gets so will our already incredibly high electric costs rise. We would be best in modeling our energy policy after Germany. Germany credits people with renewable energy with retail rates and does not cap the amount of people adding to the grid. With that type of incentive cloudy, rainy Germany produces 30 percent of its electricity by solar energy today.

Is there any reason why sunny Hawai‘i couldn’t do that?

Ryan Smith

Kapa‘a


Help stop desecration

The June 6 letter to the editor “Homeowner’s rights” ignores the rights of Hawaiians not to have their burial grounds desecrated. Irrespective of whether or not the previous owner (or current owner) was aware that this Ha‘ena property had 40 grave sites on it when the transaction was made, it does not alter the fact that it was morally reprehensible for the Planning Commission to grant the building permits. If it were the commissioner’s ancestors buried on that property, does anyone doubt that the permits would have been denied?

The ineffable frustration of the Hawaiians is not so much over what happened 100 years ago, it is what is happening today.

With the exception of this site, all the Hawaiian burial grounds on the North Shore of Kaua‘i have been built over. It is time for the malahini to stop paying lip service in support of Hawaiians, but to actually do something practical to help them. If nothing else, write a letter to your congressman, buy the land to preserve it, or go out to the burial site to support the Hawaiians who have been camping there for the last three weeks. It is not too late to stop this desecration.

Terence Moeller

Hanalei

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