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Letters for Friday, December 3, 2021

She appreciates newspaper carriers

I understand that there has been some trouble retaining people to deliver our daily newspaper. I just wanted to send out a thank you to our fantastic delivery person, Litto, here in Princeville and the North Shore. He has never failed us, even when there were problems at the airport or production issues.

I know that many people are getting their news online, and that is fine, but some of us still appreciate receiving the actual thing.

I just want to share my thanks, and even encourage others to show appreciation for this service by maybe remembering to slip them a tip during this holiday season!

Annette Surles, Princeville

Clearly marked homes a must

Recently, I have been involved in free food giveaways at kupunas’ homes in both Lihu‘e and Hanama‘ulu.

I have been the driver with a navigator/co-pilot. The organizations gave us phone numbers: THANK GOODNESS.

The addresses were so very difficult to find!

There are lots of mailboxes without numbers, lots of houses without numbers, lots of houses without either!

Isn’t there a law that says homes should be clearly marked for emergency services? Seems to me that this law needs to be enforced.

We were driving around in broad daylight, and it was still so very difficult. OMG, I can imagine the problems at night!

Everyone knows where they and their close friends live, but the rest of us don’t.

Helena Cooney, Kapa‘a

On some upcoming Supreme Court decisions

With Supreme Court opinions soon forthcoming, GOP justices will preen themselves on their devotion to “original intent,” bragging that it prevents them from being partisan or activist. They’ll style themselves the keepers of the true Constitution.

Yet, when the doctrine was asserted in the 1970s, Justice Brennan called it “little more than arrogance cloaked as humility.”

Why? Activist justices must explain in detail how and why they reached their outcome. Original-intent justices assert their decision was forced by the “original intent” they divined.

The inability to be partisan is a chimera.

The justice frames the question. Compare: “How often must a militia train to protect private ownership of guns?” to “Was a right of self-defense recognized?”

Current “original-intent” theory rejects consulting the expressed intent of the writers, the minutes of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers, or even the debates in the ratifying states. Instead, the understanding of a “reasonable person living at the time” controls. Any contemporary document becomes authority; newspapers then were as partisan as media now. How simple to project their 21st-century view of “reasonable” into the 18th century. No one from 1787 is likely to protest.

Often, debates were protracted and divisions evident; uneasy compromises meant there was no shared meaning. For some provisions now relevant, a dearth of discussion: no basis to state an “original intent.”

If original intent truly were unbiased, machine algorithms couldn’t do so well predicting their votes, using as criteria: the GOP position on the issue; the Catholic Church’s and evangelical Christians’ position on the issue; the nature of the dispute; and the type of parties.

Some knowledge of American history, or familiarity with English, would be required for prediction. Worse, our founders were iconoclasts, revolutionaries and innovators in nation-building. They appreciated that they walked an untried path, willing to make mistakes to attempt a unique democracy; no monarchy or theocracy. How horrified they’d be to become icons themselves, and have their naive efforts enshrined as the last word, infallible. How saddened to learn that their Constitution was deemed static, with its meaning in a time dead and gone rigidly controlling.

It is the very adaptability of the Constitution’s general principles to cope with future problems, of types unimaginable when drafted, that makes it great and enables it to endure.

Jed Somit, Kapa‘a
Source: The Garden Island

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