‘Free’ vs. unions
With reference to Ms. Elaine Partlow’s June 22 missive (Tribune-Herald, Your Views) about the feral cats at the Keaau Transfer Station and the many volunteers helping out, I believe she misses the point.
Though her intentions are admirable, citizens working “free” for the community good goes against the interests of unionized government employee groups. The watch word here is “free.”
During the Clinton administration, opposition to “welfare reform” came from government employee unions. Why have welfare people doing simple jobs to qualify for their benefits if one can have unionized government employees doing the same job for a high five-figure salary, plus benefits?
Here is an opportunity for Hawaii County to start a new agency, “The Feral Animal Control Board” — complete with a six-figure-salaried administrator, along with several deputies and support staff, all unionized of course. They would collect a generous wage and benefits package to do the same task now done by numerous citizen volunteers working free.
Many do not understand that in the union lexicon, “free” is a most despised four letter word that begins with “F.”
As for the Shipman corporation, I believe their position is merely defensive, protecting themselves from any liability while walking the fine line of what is more important: the nene goose or an out-of-control rat population. There are answers that can satisfy both sides of this situation.
Ms. Partlow and her friends do a tremendous good, and their efforts are and should be appreciated. Work out a solution with Shipman and allow them to continue their work and keep government and the trial-law lawyers out of it.
Snowden was right
The undeserved but vicious witch-hunt for Eric Snowden — the ex-NSA spook who spilled the beans on the U.S. government’s offensive cyber dragnet — has now turned from a tragedy (the deceitful and nefarious spying on millions of law-abiding citizens) to a farce, in which the entire bipartisan political elite in Washington has joined hands to slander and persecute the 30-year-old whistleblower. And, in the process, Washington has even threatened half a dozen or more sovereign governments around the globe to blackmail them into turning over the young political refugee.
The closest analogy I can think off is that, after a criminal bank heist by the Mafia, one of the subordinates finally discovered his conscience and decided to give a few tokens of the massive loot back to some victimized depositors. For that belated act of courage, the entire Mafia family is now aggressively trying to “rendition” the young turncoat and bring him to justice!
Let’s be perfectly clear on this escapade: The real felons are the perpetrators of secret and massive spying on ordinary citizens, not the principled whistleblower who wants to inform the public on these costly, paranoid and, more than likely, illegal invasions of our individual privacy.
No wonder a large majority of citizens polled agreed that Snowden was right to reveal Washington’s malfeasance.
Danny H.C. Li