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Letters for Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Gabbard ‘present’ vote, TGI editorial, astonishing

I appreciate all efforts to come to peaceful resolutions whenever possible. But, as my years of experience as a litigator taught me about people: you cannot compromise when one party is a bully demanding complete surrender of one’s own position/values. When that party insults, laughs at, sneers at your legal position, evidence, and even your identity (whether female, minority, etc.), it is fatal to appear to be weak.

As a litigator, I learned to evaluate the cause of those attacks and considered these reasons:

1. Power play over the opposition.

2. Power play over a female attorney especially.

3. Bluster to confuse my defense and distract from facts bad for the bully’s case.

4. The bully’s anxiety over having done a bad job on the case and/or need to hide evidence.

When I read the column praising our Representative Gabbard for failing to vote one way or another and, instead, merely said “present,” I was astonished. First, because her absence from Congress during these historical hearings was a failure of her oath.

But the main reason I was astonished is that she shirked her Constitutional duty to protect the Constitution by failing to conclude that the evidence required that she protect our Constitution.

Her “present” vote no doubt is being viewed by those more interested in power than Constitutional rights as a sign of weakness (Did she even listen to the testimony or just news reports?) giving the green light to more personal self-dealing and election interference. A fair trial with witnesses and evidence should not be prevented which would have happened if a majority had joined in her type of vote).

Her vote brought to mind the image of the British Prime Minister Chamberlain returning from a conference to try to convince Hitler to stop invasions: he waved a paper and said: “Peace in our time!”

That over-eager comment was viewed by Hitler as a joke as he continued his invasions. If, instead, Europe and America had responded to the bully with armed might, millions of lives would have been saved. It is a lesson I have never forgotten: Bullies take advantage of weakness.

Tulsi’s vote was nothing more than a signal to bullies to continue abusing the Constitution.

Judith Fernandez, Kapaa

‘Golden Rule’ sharies invaluable lesson

Pretty remarkable. The story of this small four-man sailboat now on tour of the islands of the Pacific Ocean once again draws our attention to matters of great concern to survival of life on Earth the only home we know.

When this sailboat first sailed the waters of the Pacific Ocean the year was 1958. The boat sailed into the Honolulu Harbor with its sails unfurled bearing the peace sign. At the time, the US was conducting above ground atomic bomb experiments on an island in the Pacific where native islanders had been evacuated for the experiments.

The sailboat story reminds me of the biblical story of David and Goliath. The boat named the “Golden Rule” (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) was held up by the US Coast Guard, the crew were arrested, the press reported the news and a worldwide outcry against above ground testing and development of the bomb grew out of it.

The boat sails again to alert the people of new rounds of atomic bomb development. The press hasn’t got hold of its significance as yet. Our government has started growing atomic bombs, ones to replace the old ones though there is no known way to dispose of the old ones of their contaminants.

The showing of a short film and discussion of the present day story of this boat that drew the attention of the world back in 1958 is alerting us to the present day danger of again attempting to solve pressing world problems with threat of atomic war.

Linda Harmon, Hanapepe
Source: The Garden Island

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