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LETTERS for August 31 issue

August 31, 2017
Lahaina News

Honor Gregory's legacy by working for animals' rights

Whether he was marching beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or calling out circuses for chaining and beating animals, Dick Gregory opposed subjugation in any form.

"When I look at animals held captive by circuses, I think of slavery," the civil rights activist, comedian and animal advocate wrote nearly 20 years ago in a powerful op-ed for PETA.

"Animals in circuses represent the domination and oppression we have fought against for so long. They wear the same chains and shackles."

Gregory, who died recently at age 84, always had a keen eye for injustice.

As a teenager in St. Louis, Missouri, he led a march against school segregation; helped bridge the racial divide as a stand-up comedian in 1950s Chicago; and in a PETA video, decried the abuse of animals on factory farms.

"Chicken, fish, pigs and cows all feel pain, just like you and I do," he said. "Please help end this injustice."

To honor Gregory's legacy, we hope others will be inspired to work for animals' rights.

To learn about ways to help animals, visit www.PETA.org.

CRAIG SHAPIRO, PETA Foundation

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Farewell, Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon's rise to fame and (some) power was at least as much the product of the media as of his intellect.

He proffered various cockamamie ideas about the Deep State and the enemies in media, and he certainly helped shape Trump's biases against immigrants, women, minorities, Jews, and... well, you name it.

Unfortunately, Bannon's departure is highly unlikely to alter Trump's nastiness, his longstanding biases or his administration's hostility toward mainstream news, Muslims, liberals, environmentalists, educators and everyone else who gets in its way.

This wide-ranging hostility, so evident from the very outset of Trump's campaign, is too deeply structured in the administration to suddenly disappear just because one hateful man is gone.

Yet the media cannot resist mythmaking. From the moment Bannon left, the question that keeps being asked is: will Bannon be more or less powerful now that he's outside the government?

Bannon's baby, Breitbart News, is treated like a giant in the news business, as though where it goes, so goes the alt-right and conservatism in general.

All this is nonsense, it seems to me; Bannon is nothing more than an agitator, and agit-prop is Breitbart's only claim to fame.

Bannon and Breitbart will have all they can handle simply competing for "most outrageous" with other alt-right outlets.

Is it really necessary to buy into Bannon's self-description as a "barbarian" or his promise to "crush the opposition?" The more attention he gets, the more empowered he becomes.

Politically, the most important thing about Bannon's removal from the scene is that, coming on the heels of so many other resignations and firings - and now Breitbart's blistering assault on Trump's just-announced Afghanistan policy, and a NY Times report that Trump's relationship with Senate leader Mitch McConnell has disintegrated - Donald Trump's ability to govern has been seriously weakened.

Such internecine warfare points us to the central issue: electing more progressives to Congress, recapturing the presidency, and thus putting science, empathy, tolerance and social justice back where they belong.

MEL GURTOV, PeaceVoice

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Live according to God's commandments

America needs God more than ever. Ungodliness is actually the biggest problem in America. America needs to return to the Living God of Abraham and live according to His just commandments. Hate must be replaced by Godly love.

The defeated Satan and his followers are still afflicting humanity in terrible ways. Their goal is to lead humanity to eternal damnation. It is working!

It is working because too many humans, in the past and present, willingly help stir humanity away from God and the Word of God.

Mankind is still denying there is a God, or has substituted a manmade god, an idea, such as evolution, time, tolerance... or whatever meets their fancy.

We live in an extremely corrupt world that gets worse every day. Mankind chooses rebellion against God instead of obedience to God.

Mankind is so blinded by Satan that they think it's okay to kill the unborn and those who have been born.

Islam thinks the way to heaven is by killing innocent people, and we see the carnage too often on TV.

Our children are injecting themselves with deadly drugs and dying instead of subjecting themselves to the Word of God.

Yes judges - God's word belongs everywhere, especially in your heart!

Today, America will murder 2,000-3,000 precious unborn babies. You can stop this abomination! Obey God.

MANUEL YBARRA JR.

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Implement a simple flat tax

It appears that Congress will soon take up the matter of tax reform, and the economic health of our nation may be determined by the outcome.

The current complex system requires many Americans to use a professional preparer - a waste of resources that could be ended by a simpler and fairer system.

What we need is a flat rate income tax and the elimination of most deductions.

This would not only make filing taxes easier and quicker, it would give Americans greater confidence that the system is fair, with everyone paying his or her share.

The economy would also benefit from such a tax reform. Instead of making spending and investment decisions based on the incentives in the tax code, those decisions would be made according to the incentives of the market.

Economic growth would receive a much-needed stimulus, producing more jobs.

Replacing our current system with a simple flat tax will not be easy. The well-connected special interests will fight hard to preserve their special privileges.

President Reagan had to compromise and accept a more modest reform in 1986.

Let's get it right this time.

PETER J. THOMAS, Americans for Constitutional Liberty

 
 
 

 

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