• Bad recipe for the future • A veteran for peace • Regarding same-sex marriage
Bad recipe for the future
Apathy, indifference, unconcern — an unfortunate recipe for the future of Kaua’i — our island, its past, our present, and especially the future of our children. It is a common formula that has been used, and is being used, throughout history to bring down many a promising answer to human misery.
Fortunately, for these past 236 years the world has witnessed a phenomenon never before experienced in the history of this world and may never be repeated: the American Experiment. Many people see it in a negative way; many see it in a positive way. Whichever, with the numbers of individuals attempting to join this experiment compared to those willing to abandon the experiment, I would venture a conclusion that this “experimental venture” has succeeded.
Those wishing to manipulate the system are ever present, both in the private sector and the public sectors. No matter which label one places upon them, it’s human nature reacting to survival without a sense of accountability and consequences to those who follow us — our children.
This is an election year. Please register, vote, and demonstrate responsibility to our younger generation. Begin fighting for their futures. Beginning efforts include a complete independent evaluation of the Dept. of Education, not the teachers for now; demanding accountability from our present crop of incumbent elected officials to accomplish this and a major “kicking out of office” for professional politicians. Aloha.
John Hoff, Lawa‘i
A veteran for peace
This is an open letter to Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. On May 23, you emailed me a request to sign on to a petition in support of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. Who do you represent? Is this your idea of a joke? You (and Rep. Hirono) recently voted for more endless war (the National Defense Authorization Act), cultural genocide, murder, torture and economic doom for millions, including Americans (See politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/112 /house/2/291).
How dare you talk of violence against women? Your votes will help to ensure that women, children and other innocents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, probably Iran and many other places will be drone-bombed, blown up, raped, murdered, maimed and otherwise exploited.
By your voting for war, you support the rape of 33 percent of women in the U.S. military, by U.S. military men. America’s military is a barbaric and brutal institution, and has created nothing but more terror, death and destruction than there ever was before. Take me off your list. You are the enemy of the people. You supported the Superferry, endless war and who knows what other atrocities? I never voted for you, and you don’t represent me. You and Mazie Hirono are a disgrace to real women, to the legacy of Rep. Patsy Mink, and to all of us. You have no aloha. If you have a conscience at all, your heartless career moves will haunt you the rest of your life.
Fred Dente, Kapa‘a
Regarding same-sex marriage
The volatile nature of the current debate regarding same-sex marriage in many ways is similar to the debate surrounding the slave-free issue prior to, during, and following our American Civil War.
At a time when it was becoming increasingly clear that one group of people enslaving another was neither a workable nor an acceptable option, the general public avoided the real underlying issue by engaging in a debate regarding the surface issue. The decision to abolish slavery and guarantee freedom for all citizens did very little to correct the underlying problem. Similarly, a decision to legalize same-sex marriage, or to ban it, is a surface matter that, when settled, will contribute little or nothing to correcting the underlying problem.
In both situations, it appears that the underlying problem is an outmoded way of thinking, an outmoded set of fundamental assumptions and intentions. In the computer world this is called an outmoded operating system and application software. Our task is to upgrade the software, shut down, and restart.
The “software” underlying slavery is a way of thinking based on an assumption that the world can be divided into superiors, inferiors, and equals, and the intention of one group to exercise their “right” to subjugate another. That way of thinking persists to this day, despite the bloody war that led to the decision to outlaw slavery.
The “software” underlying the current marriage debate is a bit more complicated, but is also being exposed as outmoded. The popular, socially sanctioned fundamental assumption is that one’s identity is defined and dictated by one’s body, with its particular plumbing, mannerisms, and appearance, and one’s preferences regarding intimate, personal, and sexual relationships. The popular and socially sanctioned fundamental intention is to seek and find fulfillment in the “right” special relationship.
This set of assumptions and intentions will persist, whether same-sex marriage is legalized or banned, and, as happened following the Civil War, will continue to generate confusion and conflict until they are upgraded. Effective and productive debate will focus on the search for discovering the fundamental essentials of identity and fulfillment, and our fundamental unity as a human race.
Robert P. Merkle, Koloa