Your Views for January 26
Fix the real problem
Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura sentenced a 61-year-old “pot grower and distributor” to 20 years in prison, in a high-profile case, brought to trial at warp speed (which, in itself is very unusual for the noticeably slow wheels of justice)!
Admittedly, this man committed a Class A felony. Yet the judiciary is relatively lenient when judging promoters and distributors of socially deadly and dangerous substances like cocaine and methamphetamine, many of whom roam free (on bail or otherwise) and continue to be a menace to our society.
Judge Greg Nakamura has petitioned the Judicial Selection Commission for (yet) another 10-year term.
What a travesty!
Protect the people
A recent Hawaii News Now report on Randy Honebrink’s alleged consumption of child pornography showed video of Toronto Police Service Chief Bill Blair boasting how law enforcement comes together to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
Well, wouldn’t it be nice if law enforcement also came together for the others among us who so often can’t protect themselves?
For instance, wouldn’t Hawaii’s women, elderly, and homeless, appreciate it if each county’s chief of police advocated for legal handgun carry by publicly supporting Sen. Mike Gabbard’s SB2353 so we wouldn’t so frequently have to hear of those vulnerable suffering rape, assault or murder? Come to think of it, shouldn’t law enforcement advocate for us all having the right to bear arms if we so choose so we can protect ourselves from the predators among us; from whom law enforcement can not protect us; from whom the Supreme Court has determined law enforcement has no legal obligation to protect us?
… Isn’t that the very right our federal and state constitutions protect; the right to “bear” arms?
Why don’t those of us who know someone who’d prefer not to be raped, assaulted or murdered call or email their state representatives and senators, and demand they show they care for us by passing SB2353.
While our legislators are so vigilantly protecting the planet from plastic bags, acid rain and global warming; us from our SUV’s, second-hand smoke, second-hand water vapor, carbon footprints, GMOs, poor diets and sedentary lives; monk seals and turtles from photographers, whales from sonar, and dolphins from fisherman; why don’t we demand they allow us to just this once protect ourselves from what they can not protect us: the yet-to-be-processed and recidivist predators that our nanny state’s lenient judicial system forces upon us? Hmmm?
It is welcome news that Rep. Richard Onishi has introduced a bill to allow farmers across the state unfettered access to agricultural technologies including genetically-modified organisms.
In general, I feel that the less regulation in which the state legislature indulges, the more safe are our liberties. However, in cases where injustices have occurred, such as the recently enacted Wille-Ford anti-GMO ordinance, it is not only appreciated, it is expected that the state Legislature will step in to restore the liberties of citizens, in this case free-market farmers.
Though highly controversial, the issue of GMO must be dealt with on the basis of sound science and the general welfare of the community, and not on the backyard gardening experience of Brenda Ford.
I support this bill, and will eagerly await its passage.
Better use of money
I hope our senators, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, will work in the next two years to support further cuts in the Pentagon budget and additional investments to meet the needs of our struggling communities at home.
I’m glad to see our elected leaders in Washington have approved a plan to allow the federal government to spend money through 2014. I was particularly pleased to see that Congress has restored some money for Head Start and other investments in the health of our communities and has refused to give the Pentagon all the money that it was asking for.
Congress now has an opportunity to use the regular legislative process enshrined in our constitution to debate and pass a budget that reflects the moral priorities of our nation. Although the U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan is winding down, our country is still spending almost as much on war as we spent at the height of the Cold War or Vietnam.
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