Letters for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don’t hate the haters •

Student accountability • Push and pull

Don’t lose hope

Don’t hate the haters

Gordon Oswald is right regarding the blessing at PMRF, with one exception: equating “minority groups of Muslims and Christians” and related acts of violence is often a tactic of the Christian bashers Mr. Oswald so ably refutes.

Muslims are subjected to over 100 calls to violence against non-believers in the Koran, while Christianity condemns violence against non-believers. Islam is on record in calling for the destruction of Israel and those western societies who refuse to submit — “Islam” is Arabic for “submission.”

Secular Western Europe is now in agreement that multi-culturalism (tolerance of Muslims) is a failure. While still a small minority in France, 60 percent of their prison population is Muslim. And 40 percent of Imams there are on welfare. Whole sections of urban areas in Britain and elsewhere are de facto off limits to non-Muslims.

Islam is more a political movement than a religion and reserves the right to use any tactic, no matter how vile, including mass murder, to dominate “infidel” societies. The fact that Muslim immigration to the U.S. is higher now than before Sept. 11 shows we’ve learned next to nothing about this mortal threat.

It is the poisonous non-judgmental, politically correct moral relativism of the secular West that has allowed this violent cult to proliferate outside their original sand-blown hell-holes.

John Burns, Princeville

Student accountability

For a very long time we have all been hearing or reading about the pros and cons of No Child Left Behind.

 Yes; culture, race, geographic location, primary language spoken as well as student intellect level and/or learning disabilities affect test score which in turn affect each schools ability to meet their benchmarks and Annual Yearly Progress.

But none of this matters until the powers-at-be (government officials) make students accountable for these mandated tests – in our state the Hawai‘i State Assessment exams.

Currently students can just show up during this testing period, write their name, answer in good faith or not, fail/do poorly on the test and have no consequences toward themselves.

But when reports show inadequate results, schools lose funding and teachers and catch a lot of flack from public saying that its solely the teachers’ fault for not meeting AYP.

Put accountability on students (i.e. failure to meet appropriate benchmark for that years’ testing results in no grade promotion or graduation) and I guarantee you scores will improve not just statewide but nationwide as well.

To improve our test scores and education in general we need to all work together – administration, teachers, parents and students. But blame can’t solely be on the teachers.

That’s unfair and grossly inaccurate.

Tonson Bernoises, Lawa‘i

Push and pull

A martial artist once said, “when someone pushes you, you pull and when someone pulls you, you push.”

In TGI letter, “Healing is forbidden,” author Janos Samu stated that the message we are teaching our youths is, “we were hurt and be prepared to be hurt again.”

Mr. Samu is putting words in our mouths. All we are saying is, “to be prepared not to be hurt and defend yourself” — by using the technique from the martial artist mentioned above.

Let the aggressor hurt himself by using his energy to your defense. When he pushes, you pull. When he pulls, you push. There is nothing wrong by defending yourself without using force.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Don’t lose hope

One of the first lessons I learned in college was that statistics could be used to “prove” almost anything, especially in poorly designed studies.

As I read the article on the presidential candidate debates, and the editorial by Gene Lyons I was painfully reminded of how “facts” and opinions can be used in this manner, to the detriment of all of us.

In observing politics over the couple of decades I prefer to trust my “gut” and ask myself: “Are we better off now than we were then?” The answer is a resounding “no!”

I believe the “truth” is that the common good of everyone is actually of very little importance compared to the greed of “the bankers” and their servants, the politicians. I fear that an undereducated and easily confused public is to blame and that continued apathy may result in the ruin of what once was a great nation, built on solid values and not rhetoric.

Our government may mean well, but their actions (or lack of actions) have put us individually, and as a nation, deep in debt and lacking any hope for salvation. It is not the common man who is represented, but many vocal special interests, and many citizens do not even bother to vote any more.

Perhaps we deserve what we get, but I wonder what it will take to wake us up to the reality of our irresponsibility.

I hope we will not lose all hope and let pride and greed reign!

John Owens, Lihu‘e

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