Letters for Friday, May 26, 2017

• Bill Daley a good man, teacher • Don’t censor free speech

Bill Daley a good man, teacher

As another school year ends, Bill Daley comes to mind. Bill has been a substitute teacher on Kauai for over 10 years. I have had the pleasure of working with Bill in a few classrooms, and admire how the kids seems to enjoy him. His positive, smile, and friendly demeanor are his trademark. Unfortunately, Bill has seen his last day as a sub.

We all have our stories, and Bill’s is special. For those who are familiar with the harrowing rescue of the Apollo 13 mission, depicted in a movie with Tom Hanks, the entire NASA mission control team in Houston, combined their genius and creativity to bring the crew home safely. Bill was on that team. His job was to ensure that his project, the filming of the dark side of the moon, was successful. But when trouble began, they all jumped in to help. He then tells of going out that night with Neil Armstrong and a few others to celebrate the return of their colleagues.

I asked Bill one day what he will take away from his experience in teaching. He offered a lot of positives, mostly about the kids. There were a few tough days, but very few. He did say the one thing he would change, if he could, would be that substitutes are thought of as being invisible by those in charge of the school, as well as many of the teachers they serve. Even the HSTA union recently referred to substitutes as “fake teachers”. But he adds that the thanks he gets is from the students themselves.

As our society is focusing on the negative a lot these days, it feels good to know folks like Bill are around. Now In his late 70s, Bill is moving back to Houston in June to be with his family, as some medical issues have caught up to him. For me, I consider it an honor to have met Bill, and to have enjoyed his friendship. He will be missed.

George Finefrock, Lihue

Don’t censor free speech

In response to the letter in The Garden Island (May 22) by Bob Bartolo.

Bob, you object to cartoons that you view as “liberal.” Stop right there.

As Americans, we are all committed to free speech.

Freedom of expression is a foundation of our democracy. This includes freedom of the press.

Perhaps as a conservative you do not agree with this ?

Or perhaps, if you think this all the way through, you might come to the conclusion that since the Constitution protects free speech (including cartoons) encountering opposing points of view might actually be a good thing.

Speaking from a progressive point of view, I do not object to cartoons with a “right-wing” point of view — no matter how hateful they are or how objectionable they might be — because at all times we must keep in mind that we are all free to speak our minds. Cartoons or comments that we disagree with help keep us aware of opposing points of view.

To me, our current president’s comments about “grabbing” women’s private parts were objectionable.

The key is that those were “comments.”

The words made his thinking clear. His words were freely his to speak, and obviously did not offend those who voted for him. He is absolutely free to openly say what he thinks. Also to “tweet” whatever he chooses.

And that’s a good thing. How else would we know what he thinks?

Actual assault is prosecutable. Words are not.

Cartoons should not be censored. Free speech should not be censored.

You have the right to say what you want, but not the right to suppress the expression of opposite views.

Mary Mulhall (Patriotic Progressive), Kapaa

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