Letters for Friday, November 8, 2013

• Question of ID • Chickens not guilty • Same-sex is natural • Listen to the people • Live by Golden Rule • Let’s think about it again

Question of ID

In regards to getting a driver’s license here on Kauai, I tried to get one last year.

I went to the DMV with my Hawaii state ID card. They would not let me take the test because I did not have my Social Security card with me. I pointed out that I had presented my Social Security card (which says on it “Not To Be Used For Identification”) in order to get the state ID, but that was not good enough.

It seems that the Hawaii state ID is accepted as proper identification by everyone except for Hawaii governmental bodies.

Henri Carnal, Kekaha

Chickens not guilty

Oh my, it appears Mr. Burns from Princeville has gotten himself all in a tizzie over misinformation about our feathered friends. Hopefully, this will clear up some of those fuzzy thoughts.

Eating Shearwater eggs and babies: Most Shearwaters nest on steep, inaccessible cliffs — there are a few burrowing on the ground. Those eggs and babies are being eaten by cats, dogs, rats and maybe egrets. Chickens are not predators of other animals or their eggs. I suppose a centipede or cockroach would disagree with that, but not other birds or mammals.

Carriers of Avian Malaria; That distinction would go to Culex Quinquefasciatus, commonly known as the mosquito. It is a voracious feeder and will bite anything with red blood cells. It was introduced to Hawaii around 1826 and single-handedly nearly wiped out the native honeycreeper, Hawaiian crow and all other low-laying, perching birds, including chickens.

Avian Flu; Avian, as in bird, thus any and all birds, including mynas, finches, cardinals, etc., can carry and spread bird flu. The above mentioned flying species would spread it faster and further than flocking chickens.

Specious stories about their arrival; It is a documented historical fact that the Red Jungle Fowl came to the Hawaiian islands via Polynesian voyaging canoes, thousands of years ago.

Invasive species; That’s a bit of a stumper. About the only living thing that would consider chickens invasive would be uninformed humans who don’t want to share their newly acquired habitat with anything else.

They were here before you, learn to coexist.

Stop picken on da chickens.

Stuart and Mika Hollinger, Kilauea

Same-sex is natural

Apropos the letter from Dan O’Flaherty (TGI, Oct. 28), I agree with you. It would indeed be, as you say, “rude to compare gay people to animals.” I did not, however, do so. That was done in the guest editorial by Alfred Laureta (TGI, Oct 23) that I was refuting.

In that editorial, Laureta declared homosexuality to be a “natural wrong” that is somehow out of line with the function of mating in the animal kingdom. As a biologist, I was asked by some to set the record straight about the naturalness of same-sex sexuality among animals. For more about the biology of sexuality and gender expression in the natural world, please consult my book, “Evolution’s Rainbow,” published now in a 10th anniversary edition by the University of California Press.

Furthermore, I explicitly stated in my letter that whatever animals do is irrelevant to assessing the morality of what people should do. That is, a comparison between gay people and animals should not be made, and in this regard I agree with O’Flaherty. To do such a comparison is to commit the naturalistic fallacy, as Laureta did.

Joan Roughgarden, Kapaa

Listen to the people

I live in Kauai and recently participated in the democratic process for the first time. I sat through over 65 hours of testimony and deliberation. Moms, doctors, surfers, kupuna, keiki, teachers, hunters, the mix all came out to testify.

For all you elected officials out there, I hope that one day you will remember what it’s like to be a citizen engaged in the democratic process for the first time. Do you remember thinking the public’s testimony actually affected your representative’s decision?

More people participated in support of this bill than any other bill the island has faced, and for many, it was their first time, too. I got to see the look of real trauma on everyone’s face when they thought the bill would fail and their relief when the council acknowledged their overwhelming support and passed it.

Uphold the people’s faith in the democratic process.

Jennifer Ruggles, Lihue

Live by Golden Rule

Discrimination, because of sex, color, or what is unfair to anyone, is a selfish human tendency that is neither Godly nor close to the best we can or should be, especially in the way we treat those who are “different.”

That was forbidden 50 years ago, by the Vatican II Pastoral Constitution, yet not ended by those who feel more comfortable with keeping the prejudices they’ve known, such as the “idolatry” of creating gods from their own human image.

Yet, a god worthy of worship is a god of equal justice and mercy for all people, not a god who favors some over others.

The Golden Rule, universally found naturally in the hearts of both believers and nonbelievers, of treating others with equal fairness can confirm where your heart is or where it needs to be.

Carol Dudney, Lihue

Let’s think about it again

Several years ago, Mayor Kusaka floated a trial balloon about building a Hawaii prison on Kauai and the reaction was negative. Let’s think about it again.

Location north of the airport would allow prisoners to come and go directly from airport without even entering the roadways of Kauai.

Our tax dollars would not be going to a Mainland state.

Most importantly, the draconian practice of shipping our Hawaiian prisoners/people to Mainland with no chance for their families to visit would be diminished.

Also important: Construction jobs to build the state correctional facility, very well paying and stable income/jobs for Kauai residents to run it.

Purchases for local Kauai businesses for food, supplies, etc. Mayoral team and council, please think outside the box for Kauai.

John Glover, Kalaheo

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