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LETTERS for December 14 issue

December 14, 2017
Lahaina News

Support the arts in Hawaii

As the arts in the Hawaiian Islands continue to flourish through our community educational awareness, so does Hawaii's Congressional appreciation for the arts in America.

The National Endowment for the Arts lost federal funding by Trump's Executive Order 30 days after he took office.

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We fired back at the Trump White House as a national arts community, not watching but reacting as a community. Through this action, we bring even more higher awareness of not only the arts in Hawaii but America, building bridges politically and with the art community throughout the world.

Again, through Hawaii's Congressional support of the arts, federal funding has again been appropriated to the National Endowment for the Arts with a proposed budget increase of $2 million.

Again, we ask that you continue e-mailing our Hawaii U.S. senators in Washington for awareness of the arts in Hawaii. Tell the story in your personal testimony of how important the arts are in your own art community and your life in Hawaii.



Veterans challenge Trump's 'Islamophobia'

Donald Trump revealed his inner nature again recently when he retweeted a series of anti-Muslim propaganda videos from the deputy leader of an ultranationalist, neo-fascist hate group in the UK.

Trump sank to a new low in terms of the blatant falsehoods and myths he will invoke and propagate to incite enmity against Muslims. He has demonstrated repeatedly that white nationalism and the demonization of Islam is something that he wholeheartedly embraces and intends to advance at every opportunity. The encouraging news is that Trump's fear and hate mongering against Islam and Muslims is increasingly being denounced by a wider spectrum of individuals and groups, including many staunch conservatives, both in the U.S. and abroad. The groundswell of resistance is steadily growing.

Generations of immigrants have molded the U.S. into the most pluralistic, multi-cultural country in the world. The nation prides itself on this distinction. Most of its citizens and residents uphold the tenets of freedom of religion, tolerance and diversity, and apply the Golden Rule principle in their daily lives.

Tragically, however, there are those in our society, like Donald Trump and many on the far-right, who hold deep contempt for Islam, maliciously distorting the teachings and traditions of the faith to foment irrational fear among the public. Oftentimes, they dehumanize Muslims for the purposes of advancing an anti-immigrant, jingoistic agenda. Hate crimes have been an outcome, and increased substantially in the months following the 9/11 attacks. While this violence decreased and leveled off in most years since 9/11 (though remained higher than in the pre-9/11 era), the number of crimes rose back to 9/11-era levels during Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The international anti-war organization Veterans For Peace (VFP), which has been exposing the true costs of war and militarism since 1985, launched a campaign last year called Veterans Challenge Islamophobia (VCI). The campaign aims to build support and solidarity among veterans and allies to stop anti-Muslim rhetoric and the discrimination, marginalization and oppression of Muslim Americans, as well as Muslims abroad, especially asylum-seekers and refugees. The campaign also educates on why war - most notably the so-called "War on Terror" - is fundamentally rooted in racism and xenophobia. The statement concludes with an appeal to all veterans in the U.S. "to let their voices be heard and to stand up for the values of tolerance, respect and love."

In addition, the VCI campaign seeks to end the discriminatory, unconstitutional and inhumane Muslim travel bans issued by the Trump Administration earlier this year. To enhance the effectiveness of this aspect of the campaign, VFP partnered with various peace and human rights groups working to stop the bans, such as the No Muslim Ban Ever campaign, which was organized and led by several groups, including the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and MPower Change.

This critical work for peace and justice must continue at all levels. Peace at home is unattainable until peace abroad is realized, and vice versa. Peace is possible when justice prevails.

It is incumbent upon all Americans to condemn and confront hate, counter Islamophobia and peaceably struggle to block and end attempts by members of our society to induce and incite religious and racial animosity. Commit to speaking out against anti-Muslim propaganda and other forms of prejudice, racism and hatred. Stand against anyone who threatens the human dignity and safety of our Muslim neighbors, who, like all fellow human beings, deserve to be treated with respect and love. Hate is the enemy, not Islam.

BRIAN TRAUTMAN, Veterans For Peace


Councilwoman Cochran asked to help the residents of Hui Road F

Hui Road F in Napili is home to hundreds of West Maui families. Since 1933, the County of Maui has refused to accept ownership of the road. As a result, the road surface is not maintained, and parking rules and speed limits are not enforced.

The safety of our residents is at risk; cars speed indiscriminately, zigging and zagging on a road riddled with potholes and crumbling asphalt. Fire truck access is blocked by cars parked on both sides of this densely populated residential street.

Despite our repeated efforts for relief and resolution, the County of Maui continues to hide behind a decades-old legal technicality.

The County of Maui has collected millions of dollars in property tax revenue from the Hui Road F homeowners, but none of this money is used to maintain our road. We ask the County of Maui to do the right thing and support and protect its taxpaying citizens.

Councilwoman Cochran, your constituents in Napili need your help. Please be our voice and work with the county to get Hui Road F out of legal limbo.



Day of Infamy: The lessons and legacy of Pearl Harbor Day

On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, 76 years ago, planes of the Imperial Japanese Navy streaked over Pearl Harbor bombing and torpedoing the American fleet at anchor. More than 2,400 Americans were killed that day. President Roosevelt quickly called it a "Day of Infamy."

Pearl Harbor Day beckons us to step back and reflect not only on the "Day of Infamy," but also on the many other incidents in which attacks have occurred on U.S. soil.

The "Day of Infamy" was followed by several months of fear - particularly on the West Coast of the United States. Japanese submarines prowled off the West Coast. The 1942 Rose Bowl was initially cancelled but then moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Oregon State beat Duke 20-16.

In February of 1942, a Japanese submarine shelled the Ellwood oil refinery near Santa Barbara with its 140mm deck guns. In June of that year, Fort Stephens in Oregon was bombarded by the deck guns of a Japanese submarine. That same month, two remote Aleutian islands, Attu and Kiska, were invaded and occupied by Japanese troops. Dutch Harbor in Alaska was bombed.

Panic swept the West Coast. Japanese-Americans were shipped to internment camps and denied their constitutional rights. This was a gross overreaction by the U.S. government, but the threat and the danger from Japan were real.

In the last two years of World War II, Japan launched thousands of balloon bombs carrying incendiary explosives. They hoped to set American forests ablaze. The jet stream transported these devices to at least 15 American states, including Wyoming and Iowa. In May 1945, six people were killed in Oregon by a Japanese balloon bomb.

We Americans often forget this, and assume that we are invulnerable to invasion and attack. Are we not protected by the great moats of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans? We tend to forget that these "moats" have also been highways for invasion and attack.

Even as we look back, Pearl Harbor Day is an apt time to look ahead to the future and consider potential threats to our homeland we currently face.

Seventy-six years ago, the threat came from Imperial Japan. Today, the threat comes from a blustering dictator in North Korea.

Seventy-six years have changed the tempo and potential devastation of modern warfare. Kim Jung Un's grandfather launched the Korean War in 1950 with a devastating invasion of the south. His grandson has the capacity to launch multiple Hiroshimas.

Surveying the political landscape today, our nation seems more divided than ever. Will we have the wisdom to recognize the threats that face us, to remain vigilant and to preserve peace in a world troubled by murderous dictators? Will our leaders have the wisdom to meet bluster... not with more bluster but with strength?



A message to fast drivers

I wrote to this paper before about you fast drivers. Why you people continue to speed at places, at shopping areas, on the road. I'm old; I can't cross the places as fast as I used to. There are people with kids, people with health conditions, old people.

Then, on my way home, I was watching in my mirror. You sped up to my bumper; I was following the speed limit. You had NO patience, went around me and cut back in front of me. How ironic you had a sticker on your car that said "Baby on Board."


You people are going to hurt someone. Hopefully it's NOT going to be an innocent person, family member. You guys really piss me OFF!

To all others, I hope you all have a very safe and Happy, Merry Christmas!




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