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Letters for Friday, March 25, 2022

Prosecutors have better things to do than hassle slaughterhouse

I respond to the March 18, 2022, front-page article as to PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) efforts to harass a local slaughterhouse through the Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

These local slaughterhouses are very carefully monitored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They provide a valuable service to our community. I know the Prosecutor’s Office has better things to do. PETA asserts that it opposes “speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.”

I oppose people with nothing better to do than claim everyone else is a “supremacist” of some kind while others are working their okole off to run their lives/businesses.

Please get a real job, like farming.

Kurt Bosshard, Lihu‘e

Another non-tech person

I read the letter Judy Xenofos wrote, “Mot all kupuna are tech-savvy.” I called her, actually looking her up her phone number in the phone book, and told her that I totally agree with her. I am a really, really non-tech person. And I am proud of it.

I can just barely handle my 10-year-old flip cell phone. That’s the only high-tech thing I have.

I don’t want a smartphone, iPhone or computer. I don’t want to text, email or Google. I want to talk to people, write letters and receive letters.

I am totally old school, and I like it like that.

And just because most everyone does the tech thing doesn’t mean the rest of us want to.

It will probably say, “She proudly never had a computer” on my tombstone.

Brigid McBride, Kapa‘a

Tiny home better than no home

Let’s address the housing crises on Kaua‘i.

When we hear stories of four generations of a family, some with 20 people living under one roof, we know that will only get worse over time. I’ve read that we need somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000 units just to satisfy today’s need. We’ve heard a lot of talk and planning, but where are the results?

Here is just a suggestion: In some areas on the mainland, they have trailer parks. You drive your trailer home into the park and they provide all the “hookups” for sewer, electricity, water, internet, etc. Why not apply this same concept with tiny home parks? The County Housing Agency could arrange, through a nonprofit organization, to develop the infrastructure and lease small parcels so people can purchase homes that they will own.

These prefabricated homes would cost anywhere from $30,000 for a one-bedroom to $60,000 for a two-bedroom unit. With a 15-year mortgage, folks would pay around $600 a month for a one-bedroom to $800 a month for a two-bedroom. That would include mortgage, taxes, lease of property and insurance. This way they are building equity for themselves. Must be owner/occupant; no landlords, no private developers.

Funding should be through the county — funded by floating a bond. Mortgages should be handled through a local credit union. Choose one to be exclusive, no commercial banks with their corporate mentality. Every community should have one “village,” and the larger ones should have more.

Each will have a park with pathways, a recreational center, areas designated for senior housing in a quiet area tucked away in the back. All should be managed and overlooked by a homeowners’ association with elected board members. All designing and permitting should be streamlined and fast-tracked. All structures should be prefabricated and easily assembled and bought from an approved manufacturer. Each unit would be sold turnkey, complete with appliances and furniture.

We could have 5,000 homes occupied in the next five years. BOOM KANANI!! Kaua‘i could be a model for the rest of the state. The bottom line is “a tiny home is better than no home.”

But what do I know? I’m just a humble fisherman.

Aloha.

Darrell Horner, Lihu‘e

The Soviet Union, Gorbachev, Ukraine

The Hitler-Stalin war was brutal to people. Stalin ordered “scorched earth,” a policy of burning land so it becomes worthless. Stalin commanded the destruction or removal of all factories in Ukraine (hereinafter UK). Collective farms, their crops and animals were ordered destroyed. Four million skilled UK people were moved a thousand miles to the east. Stalin developed a great industrial complex in the Ural Mountains. Stalin disregarded the lives of civilians who remained in the UK.

Hitler proved to be no better. He impressed two million UK people into slave labor in Germany. Most of the fighting in the east in 1942-1943 occurred in the south of Russia, especially in the UK. The German army that had driven hundreds of miles to the east, retreated and practiced scorched earth. 28,000 villages in UK were torched by the withdrawing Nazis. The death toll from these scorched earth practices was huge.

Stalin would drive his armies to the west stopping at a demarcation line set by the Allies at the Yalta conference. A Cold War ensued between East and West. Communism/Stalin’s economic system was/is a command economy. The state, Moscow, owns/controls the means of production and distribution of goods. This system produced a bureaucracy of administrators. Its weakness: it destroys individual initiative and prevents a free market from emerging.

By 1986 the command economy was collapsing. Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Communist party. To correct the decline, he introduced glasnost: openness, transparency in government; and perestroika: reformation of the government towards more individual freedom. An upsurge of nationalism and freedom were the unintended consequences of Gorbachev’s attempt to grapple with Soviet economic problems.

A “breakaway” from the Soviet control system occurred, starting in the Baltic States. The desire for freedom from autocracy spread across Europe. By 1991, nations in Europe grasped onto democracy and the free market system. The hallmark of democracy is government by the rule of law, individual freedom, and the right to vote. The driving force of a free-market system is individual initiative.

The primary Slavic/Russian states: old Russia, Belarus, and UK, entered into an agreement in December of 1991 called the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Russia looked on this agreement as a device to maintain some form of regional integration under Moscow domination.

Oligarchy, meaning rule by a few, is a term first coined by the Greek philosopher Plato to describe his ideal government. A division of soldiers, workers, and a few benign wise men to govern, the oligarchs.

Europe moved to democracy, the European Union, and NATO. CIS countries developed oligarchs. The command economy of nationalization of enterprises allowed the movement by CIS countries toward privatization, to become a means for unscrupulous governments to transfer to individuals, oligarchs, control of segments of the economy: banking, communications, resources.

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William J. Fernandez is a retired judge and Kapa‘a resident.
Source: The Garden Island

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