My Turn: Just say ‘yes’ to democracy

House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan gave me hope in our nation and the chances of democracy surviving around the world; and this isn’t Pelosi’s first China-bucking rodeo. In 1989, she stood with brave, pro-democracy protesters who were being barbarically gunned down by the Chinese government at Tiananmen Square.

My Turn: Project will diminish quality of life for residents

In 2018 Zendo Kern, the then-paid consultant for the developers of “Royal Vistas,” made a pitch to homeowners in Kona Vistas, the subdivision adjacent to his proposed project. He attempted to “sell the idea” by covering up the damage that his firm would do to an entire ecosystem, by grubbing the land of all trees and vegetation, so he and his partners could build 450 high-density, high-rise housing units in a flood plain.

As I See It: When it comes to firearms, we need to spend more on police training

I grew up on cowboy Westerns, “The Lone Ranger,” “The Cisco Kid,” “Gunsmoke,” “Wyatt Earp,” “Paladin,” “Maverick,” in many ways there seemed to be only one immutable law of the old West. Never shoot anyone in the back, that was a worse sin than lynching. The goodies could shoot a gun out of the baddies hand. In the cowboy movies, almost everyone had a six shooter, and we kept track of how many they had left. In contemporary action movies it’s hard, was that a .357 with 5, a 1911 with 8, or a nine-millimeter with 17 or more. Now in the movies everyone has automatic weapons that seem to never run out, even if it’s World War II. The old .45 Tommy Gun of prohibition gangster movies had a 100 round ammunition and a firing rate of up to 1,300 a minute! No one but the mafia could afford that much ammo. It did not often hit where it was aimed, but knocked down anything it hit. Even in the prohibition movies shooting in the back was disgraceful, but the FBI did it.

My Turn: Why a water bottling plant on our island is a bad idea

I applaud the Windward Planning Commission’s decision to say “no” to a water bottling plant with coffee roasting facility on this island. (See article: Water Bottling Plant Proposed for Parcel in Hilo published July 21). The proposal is environmentally harmful on four issues: 1) water extraction of our community’s water for private profit, 2) potential for ocean pollution, 3) increased plastic bottles in our landfills and 4) impact of increased traffic for manufacturing and drive through cafe, causing more greenhouse gas emissions.

As I See It: We had a functioning republic

We had a functioning republic until March 16, 2016. A date you probably don’t think mattered. That date Barack Obama nominated highly qualified Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court and Sen. Mitch McConnell; the Senate Majority Leader effectively vetoed it. He promptly refused to hold a hearing or vote on the nomination, as he had threatened.

As I See It: Catch 23

Catch 23, Putin’s implied threat of nuclear weapons against Ukraine. This is a ploy to protect his unlawful, unethical, unconscionable assault on free democracy, from retaliation. He presumably thinks that the threat of an unthinkable catastrophe: a nuclear exchange, will deter retribution.