Letters for Tuesday, May 24, 2011

• Right or wrong • Signs of the times

Isn’t it ironic

Right or wrong

John Zwiebel seems to be utterly confused when it comes to the definition of a right.

If rights are granted by “the group,” as he declares, then we are in deep trouble indeed.

Why? Well, if rights are granted by “the group” (however defined or whomever included) then these rights can be withdrawn by “the group” just as easily. Real rights are inalienable and not subject to the whim of a majority.

In the case he argues healthcare, Zwiebel in fact has confused rights with goods. Rights are granted by God, natural law and by virtue of our birth as human individuals. Our rights which are conferred by a power far higher than Zwiebel’s imagined “group” do not cost others anything … except to the extent that each of us must respect the rights of all others. The government does not pay for our rights and cannot take them away.

Our rights include but are not limited to our right to life, liberty, the use of our property as we desire, our right to defend ourselves and the right to pursue that which makes us happy (as long as it doesn’t violate others’ rights). Zwiebel’s contention that healthcare is a right is just plain wrong.

Goods, such as healthcare, are things that we need or want and most importantly things which we must earn. Healthcare is a good and is no different than cars, clothing, food, gas, houses and all the other things for which we must pay. Making the claim that healthcare is somehow a right is analogous to asking that the provision of cars, food, TVs or any other goods we might need or desire be made a right.

Remember, Mr. Zwiebel, your real rights do not cost the rest of us anything; providing you and thirty million others with the “right” to “free” healthcare costs the rest of us a lot.

Randy Weir, Kapa‘a

Signs of the times

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion regarding signs. For some, the signs portend the end of the world as we know it today. As I write this, the recently announced rapture day is occurring with eternal lives perhaps being won or lost, and for others it is the end of another tradition, with equally great laments.

It is a sad reflection of aloha on Kaua‘i when the adults breaking signage code, who were not cited for their various violations, are more interested in the names of who reported them than taking personal responsibility for their violations.

Since the early 1960s, state law has regulated signage, and relegated aspects of signage design and enforcement to the counties; specifically regarding billboards, and other signage not attached to commercial buildings.

I hope the mayor has sufficient control over his personnel to protect the civil rights and the privacy of the complainant. Any acts of revenge would likely be major criminal civil rights violations, even on Kaua‘i.

What a great civics lesson for the children of Kaua‘i, that they can chose which laws to comply with, and if someone reports violations that they should find out who they are to exact some type of revenge.

It is one of the mayor’s departments which has signage jurisdiction, and they either chose for decades to ignore the signage codes, or they were ignorant of the county codes until the recent complaints. Like in so many other areas, this issue is a reflection of decades of county failure to self-audit and modernize.

Either way, the mayor has a civil responsibility to enforce codes, and has had years of opportunity to effect code changes and make this popular activity legal. 

One couldn’t pick a worse place to put a sign than in the middle of the Kapa‘a roundabout. Drivers are intentionally distracted near a skate park with four feeder roads and multiple pedestrian crosswalks to observe simultaneously.

I personally like the signs, but the placers of the signs do a disservice for public safety, drivers, and pedestrians by creating “attractive nuisances” on county or state property.

Rather than dreaming of revenge against the complainant(s), the sign posters and graduates might be better served expending their efforts on the mayor and council requesting a signage code modification that would allow for regulated, thus legal, graduation signs.

Think big for the kids. Forget who complained, be grateful you were allowed to violate code for decades. Use this opportunity to reward the graduates with a civics’ lesson in making traditions legal.


 Lonnie Sykos, Kapa‘a

Isn’t it ironic

If the United states is a so-called “Christian Nation,” how ironic is it that many of the so-called Christians are cheering and celebrating the death of Bin Laden?

Shooting thy enemy is not exactly what Jesus would do.

Calling yourselves a Christian and rejoicing in killing, according to Bill Maher, is like “joining Green Peace and hating whales.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am elated Bin Laden is finally officially dead (what year he died is another story).

But I find it ironic that so many calling themselves Christians elate in killing.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a


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