Letters to the Editor: January 7, 2021

Pray for peace

As we near Jan. 20, the American process of peaceful transfer of leadership is for the first time in my life time been put in question by a deranged president. In his attempt to subvert the will of 84 million American voters, he has been aided by a political element of the Republican Party to do his bidding.

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Where has my party lost it’s way? Who have we put into political leadership that have sold their ambition’s of power to a grifter like Donald J. Trump. Why would The Republican Party sell itself so short? Where has the party of value and fiscal responsibility been so dubbed to believe that a man like Trump is to be followed to the cliff’s end when all rational points say otherwise. We have allowed this man and his administration to be complaisant while 352,000 Americans died because of his desire to keep his ego in tack. Now, a dog whistle pack of spineless Republican Congressional elected leaders have sown their lot with this grifter. I can only surmise it is only for future gains of the vote of a populous that still hold true to a belief of radical white supremacy. Why else would any rational American want to associate themselves with this man? Are we still such a backwater nation that we still see the United States of America in only two colors “White and everything else?” In Hawaii, I know “not.” It’s unfortunate that our other fellow 49 states are not cut from the same cloth.

As I reach my twilight years, I have realized why after cruising this glorious world I continue to live in Hawaii. We’re not perfect by a long shot. Do we have major problems? Yes. Can we do so much better? To be sure, ask yourself why? Then, look up. Is the sky blue? Is the ocean water turquoise? Is the water warm? Do I need a snow blower to get my mail? “Do I know my neighbor? It might go a long way to say “yes.” Pray for peace on Jan. 21, 2021. God knows we need his help.

Barry Christian

Kailua-Kona

Murder by any other name

Watching a cadre of elected officials walk through fire for a narcissistic autocrat is something to which we can only hope Americans have not become completely accustomed. In the last four years, Republican officials have thrown off any appearances of representing We the People, nor the party of faith as they proclaim. Instead, they have solidly become the party of Trump.

Now in the death throes of what will hopefully be the end of one of the darkest periods of our democracy, the Republican right (the scraps of the Grand Old Party) continues to follow Trump’s indecent decrees. The latest is to put more people to death by execution by the end of 2020 than in over 130 years. In this darkest of ages, Republicans have even asked that firing squads and electrocution be allowed as methods to carry out their deeds. The murder (also known as killing a human being in cold blood) of a young man who committed a heinous crime while a teenager shows the depths to which far too many people will sink if the executioner in chief deems it necessary.

Beside statistically not deterring crime or saving lives through prevention of repeat offenses, capital punishment’s faults include that: two-thirds of the death penalty cases from 1973 to 1995 were overturned, the most common reasons being incompetent counsel, inadequate investigative services, or the police and prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence; modern DNA technology has resulted in significant post-conviction determinations of innocence; determinations and prosecution are often racially biased; there are strong inconsistencies in prosecutors’ decisions to seek the death penalty based on factors other than the severity of the crime (i.e., the prosecutor is more likely to ask for a death sentence when the victim is European-American, of high social status, a stranger to the offender, and when counsel is appointed); and improper prosecutions are made against people with serious mental illness.

There’s no sanctity, morality, or sensibility in kowtowing to an angry, hateful madman who demands public execution as a way to fulfill his fantasies of supreme power. To come out of the Dark Ages, the United States must replace capital punishment with responses to crime that are more moral, rehabilitative, and beneficial to society.

Janice Palma-Glennie

Kailua-Kona

Kudos for content

Thanks and kudos to Stephanie Salmons for the impressive Pandemic report and Dennis Gregory for his always funny and uplifting column, and to Chelsea Jensen for publishing more letters on this last day of the year. Wishing you all a better 2021 with much aloha.

Christa Wagner

Kailua-Kona

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