Your Views for July 16


Check the figures

Lon Hocker is exactly correct (Tribune-Herald, Your Views). The government uses “voodoo” figures to compute the Consumer Price Index, or inflation rate.

Neither Paul Krugman nor Ed Comstock have apparently visited their local grocery store lately. Some everyday goods, such as some food items, have gone up as much as 26 percent in the past year or two. Their numbers are not real numbers. Check the figures.

Bob Dukat

Pahoa

Lesson in democracy

During the Vietnam War, at age 22, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and spent four years of my life serving my country.

I did not like the military. I got out as soon as I could, but I believe that my military service helped to uphold the freedom of expression Mr. James Borden (Tribune-Herald, July 13, Your Views) enjoys when he expresses his beliefs — regardless of the opinions of others.

We live in a democracy, and there will be dissent and disagreement, as there should be. Some of the beliefs and opinions of some are bound to make others feel uncomfortable. We’ll even find some of these opinions to be appalling and wretched. But who is to say Mr. Borden’s signs (in front of Lincoln Park in Hilo) have to come down because we find their message to be detestable?

And, so what if children see these signs? For the parents of these children, there are lessons to be taught.

On display are the convictions of an individual who has strongly held beliefs. He dares to face public condemnation and takes a stand on what he holds to be true. Isn’t that how our county was founded: framers taking a stand on what they held to be true? What his signs reflect might cause many to feel deeply troubled, but the Constitution grants him the freedom to display his signs.

Children can be taught a lesson to tolerate the rights of a splinter minority that is taking a stand involving issues about which many others strongly disagree. Parents should discuss this point with their children and encourage them to stand up for what they hold to be true, no matter the opposition or cost. Go with your convictions.

The tension at play here is not bad. Protecting this discourse is why I wore a uniform during wartime. Because I did so, people such as Mr. Borden are at liberty to display their signs.

Mr. Borden accepts that he will have to tolerate the jeers and scorn of those who drive by his truck each day. He is aware that his name will be seen frequently in the letters to the editor column. He is willing to pay the price of his beliefs.

Think it over. In an odd sort of way, Mr. Borden is not such a bad guy after all.

Richard Dinges

Hilo

 

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