Letters for Thursday, August 7, 2008

• No means no

• The audacity of bribery

• The newest is best

• Chopper noise

No means no

The Garden Island’s leading front page headline July 6, “An amendment to end all amendments,” elicits this response: A vote should be counted as cast. Yes means yes. No means no. Abstain can have a number of meanings including: “I don’t know;” “I don’t care;” “I am not ready to respond;” “I am confused;” “I need time to think this over,” etc., etc., etc.

While it may be “unjust” to have decisions made that do not reflect the will of the majority of the people, we must remember: Voting is participating voluntarily at the polls (absentee voting included). In a democracy, the people are not “forced” to vote. The people have a choice. Consequently, decisions could theoretically be made by a “majority of one.” That’s the way the cookie crumbles. In the meantime, voters should be continually encouraged to take a stand. Voters should get to know the issues and concerns. Voters should be encouraged to familiarize themselves with the qualifications of those running for office.

Sometimes, in the desire to do things right, perspectives are presented which are, in the final analysis, “rationalizations to justify” one’s point of view. When the dust settles, however, the questions remain: Is it fair to tamper with the voluntarily participatory process of votes being cast? Is it fair to declare a blank vote has the weight of an affirmative or negative value?

Jose Bulatao Jr.


The audacity of bribery

Senator Barack Obama is leading American politics to new lows by offering to bribe every American with $1,000 if he is elected President. Pandering to voters is nothing new, but the audacity and boldness of this bribe breaks new ground in corrupt politics.

Obama claims he will pay for it with special taxes on the oil companies for their windfall profits. This would only make matters worse. What we desperately need right now is more companies to find energy sources for us. The huge profits of the oil companies are the free market’s way of attracting other companies to find energy for us. To take away these profits is to discourage all companies from solving our problem. Essentially, we are drowning, but Obama wants to fire the lifeguards and give us their paychecks.

Alexis de Tocqueville’s words from the early American period seem more appropriate now than ever: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” If this analysis is correct, Obama’s bribe is taking us right to the end of democracy. Failed democracies are normally followed by dictatorships. Maybe this is what Obama has in mind for his future and ours.

Mark Beeksma


The newest is best

Rolf Bieber, the newest candidate for mayor on the cosmic island of Kaua‘i, seems to be the best candidate. I read in astonishment and awe if elected mayor he will donate his salary of $111,370 to Kaua‘i programs and charities and get this — he’s asking in lieu of making a donation to his campaign, use that money to donate to the charity of your choice.

Rolf says, “We have more than enough sun, wind and water to create the energies needed on the islands and that oil is a dead end road.”

I have never met Rolf Bieber but given the choices of two good ‘ol boys (Bernard Carvalho and Mel Rapozo) and one good ‘ol girl (JoAnn Yukimura) also running for mayor on Kaua‘i, I have decided to support Rolf by making a donation to my favorite nonprofit.

It’s a no-brainer voting for Rolf. It is like voting for Obama in the essence; our country needs change as does our cosmic island.

My only disappoinent is that all mayoral and County Council candidates are unanimous on the Superferry decision.

Kimo Rosen


Chopper noise

Greetings from Southern California. I own property on Kaua‘i and am always disgusted at the amount of helicopter/airplane noise over my condo when I visit. I am a retired LAPD Command helicopter pilot. I have 20,000 hours in police helicopters and airplanes. I will tell you from experience that helicopters and business can work together. However, the burden rests with the operator, not the resident. Pilots are human and they work for tips, therefore, they will deviate from established routes to give a tour a good time, no matter what management says.

As an LAPD pilot, I would fly as high as possible until it was necessary to get lower. If I deviated, I would have to answer to my boss as to why I broke the established rules. On Kaua‘i, rules are broken on an hourly basis. If this continues, with residents and professionals stating their facts, the FAA will ban all flights except military and rescue. You’ll notice the military does not “buzz” canyons and beaches and over people’s houses.

They won’t fly a second flight if they do. I’ll be on the island Aug. 7 and would be happy to meet with any of the operators to professionally discuss their responsibilities to the public. They fly part 135 and not part 91 of the FARs. They have to obey the rules.

John Harrell

Upland, Calif.


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