Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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May 06, 2009 - MidWeek
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Call it treason

During the entire eight years of President George W. Bush’s disastrous leadership, I can’t recall a time when media pundits advocated armed resistance to the government. But that is exactly what is happening now. Conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh are saying it is OK for private individuals to stockpile military-grade weapons for possible use against their own government. Is this not treason?

Judging from what is appearing on the Internet, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others like them are successfully whipping their followers into a hysterical state of fear and hate. If this continues, it seems only a matter of time before we have armed political groups clashing in our streets. If so, gang warfare will be nothing by comparison. It will be the conservatives vs. the liberals.


 

While our Constitution guarantees the right of peaceful dissent, I don’t believe it allows advocating violent overthrow of legal, democratically elected authority. That needs to be made clear to media programmers, their onair hosts, and their sponsors, either through public outrage or legal action.

America’s leniency with (dare I say"liberalization of”) gun ownership is coming back to bite it in the butt. Not only are assault weapons, legally purchased in the U.S., being traded to the Mexican drug cartels for drugs, the weapons also are being used by these cartels to fight U.S. and Mexican police. Pity the poor police.

The notion that we can defend ourselves from all this by purchasing our own weapons sounds appealing and is very macho, but it is more fantasy than reality. People trained for combat say they have to continually practice under simulated combat conditions to be effective with their weapons. No, target shooting does not qualify. Without proper combat training, a weapon can be more a liability than an asset.

J. B. Young
Honolulu

Vocabulary lesson

I have just learned that “teabagging” refers to a sexual act. Two headlines in your paper last week used that offensive word to describe people who attended the April 15 Tea Party Rally at the state capitol.

How dare you use such a derogatory term to characterize law-abiding, hard-working, tax-paying Hawaii citizens, including families with children, that way? You owe all of us a sincere apology.

Janice Pechauer
Honolulu

Editor’s note: MidWeek’s editor, who thinks of himself as a fairly “with-it” guy, regrets that he - like the national organizers of the tax protest - was not aware of that connotation prior to publication. The term was actually borrowed from event organizers who used that same term.


It’s not about kids

The letter from Susan Oh (April 22) argues against allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions because marriage should be reserved for those who can procreate. But this makes no sense. Plenty of men and women marry today who either cannot bear children, or choose not to. Should those marriages be prohibited? Should marriage licenses be revoked if no children are produced by their union?

At the same time, many children are being raised by same-sex couples. By denying these couples the right to marry or enter into civil unions, their children are being denied the important benefits offered to other children, such as health insurance. Is this a pro-family position?

The arguments against marriage equality look more thread-bare all the time. No wonder a recent CBS/New York Times poll showed that 67 percent of those surveyed believe same-sex couples should either be allowed to marry or enter into civil unions, while only 28 percent oppose any legal recognition. The tide has turned, and marriage equality will come to Hawaii, sooner or later.

Robert Ristelhueber
Honolulu

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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