Your Views for May 25
Bad move, HTH
It is commonplace these days for people to get tried in the newspapers or television prior to the results of investigations or legal proceedings. The Tribune-Herald story about the investigation of a Waiakea High School teacher for possibly having an affair with a 17-year-old student brings this journalism to a new low, with publication of schoolyard gossip comments from students.
These are children not yet mature enough to understand the vicious nature of gossip, and newspaper reporters should know better than to exploit these kids to make a lascivious story. If the newspaper does not learn a lesson from this, hopefully the high school students will learn to be more careful about what they say, especially to reporters.
Avoid smear tactics
In his letter (Your Views, May 15) critiquing my complaints about Paul Krugman’s essay on the federal administration of public lands, Dan Lindsay attributed statements and positions to me that were not made by me, and his accusations should be corrected lest they reflect poorly on my credibility.
First, Lindsay accused me of claiming that I am “smarter” than Paul Krugman. I did not write this in my letter. Certainly, a Nobel Prize is an impressive credential, but should not entitle one to cow others into not expressing their opinions on political issues of concern. If only Nobel Prize winners were allowed to write public essays, it would severely suppress citizen debate!
I did, however, complain specifically that Paul Krugman was using the racist comments of Clive Bundy in order to discredit the entire citizen movement to push back against federal agencies that are tightening federal control of public lands at the expense of states’ rights.
Lindsay also claimed that I wrote that “the federal government regularly uses guns to enforce its decisions,” calling this statement “simply a lie.” What I actually wrote was that the use of snipers in the roadblock confrontation was an example of excessive force against American citizens by the federal agents. I thought it unnecessary, thug-ish and un-American, as emphasized by my comparison to the Russians who used this technique recently in the Ukraine.
Finally, Lindsay accused me of agreeing with Bundy to not “recognize the authority of the federal government.” In fact, I wrote no such thing; my letter was clearly about the over-reach of federal authority, and not the supremacy of federal laws nor its legitimate authority.
This is America, and in America we can express our sincerely held opinions and disagree with each other while avoiding smear tactics. I call on Lindsay and others to illuminate the issues with facts and their thoughtful comments, and to not attribute false statements to those with whom they disagree.
As a spectator, myself and hundreds of others enjoyed the Merrie Monarch Festival parade last month in Hilo. All good, so far, right?
As a large flat-bed vehicle passed, I noticed that its safety check had expired in November, 2013. Now, that’s not so good. But now it gets real bad: The vehicle belongs to the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
It seems UH-Hilo has two sets of standards — one set restricts “expressive” speech on campus; another raises eyebrows because the new $19 million student services center never opened last year as promised; and another set of standards says it’s OK to charge Hawaii Community College students fees for services they do not receive.
UH-Hilo needs to get its own house in order and pay for a safety check. Maybe the safety check money can come from the HCC account they are “holding” until they can determine what to do with it.
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