Letters To The Editor
September 08, 2010 - MidWeek
Knows it all
According to my dictionary, “omniscience” is the capacity to know everything. After reading this week’s MidWeek (I never miss it), I thought how lucky our community is to have omniscient folks among us right here on Oahu.
Take Jerry Coffee, who states infallibly of our local-born president “he is not of America.” President Obama was raised by a World War II veteran grandpa who apparently taught him the same civic values that my WWII vet father taught me: Vote, play fair and respect public service.
I also was taught to pray for the president whoever it may be (not easy for anyone!) and that partisanship stopped at the border of our country. Quaint ideas today, I suppose, but many have fought for them.
At UH they taught me about something called an “ad hominem attack.” That is when you attack some-one’s character instead of answering their argument. Dictionary.com defines it as: “Appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions or special interests, rather than to one’s intellect and reason.” There seems to be a lot of this kind of shibai crowding out real conversation these days.
When we have local ministers who confidently declare certain candidates “unrighteous” and others “righteous,” when some claim our Hawaii for Jesus, rather than respecting the freedom and pluralism that make our Hawaii No Ka Oi and unique in the world, I wonder what bible they are smoking.
I call on my neighbors of all faiths and those of none, those honestly seeking the truth, to join our majority of citizen patriots!
Let’s vote for the ones who will play nice with everybody. Isn’t that what you learned in Sunday school (or Buddhist camp, or synagogue, mosque or temple)?
Rev. Cloudia Charters
Obama ‘of’ USA
So Jerry Coffee thinks “the president of the United States is not of America”? If Mr. Coffee knows anything about “propriety,” he sure fails to show it in his Islamophobic, anti-Obama tirade about the building of a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan.
Several hundred of the victims of 9/11 were Muslim and American. Most were born, educated and worshiped here. My guess is that they felt they were “of” America. We may be at war, but not against Islam. And you don’t have to be a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant to be “of” America, but you do have to believe in religious freedom - for all.
I resent Bob Jones’ comparison of Hawaii’s Shinto shrine to that currently of the NYC mosque. The entire issue with the mosque is its location - two blocks from Ground Zero. How can Mr. Jones compare a distance of two blocks with a distance of five miles? In this case, distance is the issue.
Let’s do away with the coverup. The mosque controversy is solely about its location on hallowed ground. The Shinto shrine was never located on hallowed ground.
Larry Price’s column “NYC Mosque Will Aid Terrorists” seemed to run dry of wisdom after the opening words, “I don’t really know why I’m upset ...” The following paragraphs only contribute to religious prejudices fueling this controversy.
Probably the greatest flaw in Mr. Price’s logic lies in a misperceived connection between the Islamic religion as a whole and the minority of Muslim extremists who have orchestrated terrorist attacks. The conclusion that opening another mosque will allow “terrorist organizations to flourish” is completely unfounded.
Price contradicts his own logic by applying the popular World War II analogy of a theoretical Shinto shrine on Ford Island, as Shinto beliefs had nothing to do with Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. He would have been better off to simply play the insensitivity card, but, hey, that’s freedom of the press - same amendment, right?
No ocean grab
I read MidWeek almost cover to cover and really appreciate all the information, especially local.
But the weekly column by Michelle Malkin usually churns my innards with its over-the-top, biting, shrill, aggressive and fully one-sided political opinions. Her energy would be appropriate as the point on an Army or Marine Corps patrol. I was relieved to find out she is based in Washington because I feel that the spirit of aloha we so take for granted here in the Islands is wholly lacking in her columns.
Last week she complained bitterly about President Obama’s “take over of the oceans.” I hap-pend to have just read an article in this month’s The Atlantic magazine on the possible extinction of the right whale. A survival recovery plan for the northern right whales was issued in 1991.
Under pressure from the maritime industry, the Bush administration launched what the Union of Concerned Scientists called “unprecedented assaults” on the work of government scientists who wanted to protect the whales.
Though the scientists prevailed, the final restrictions were substantially watered down. Even though the measures have somewhat stabilized the number of whales at around 400, the Bush people had it effective to expire in 2013.
We reallly need to pay attention to our seas. Obama’s plan allows that.
Rev. Dr. (Lt. Col.)
Terrance Andrew Robinson
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