Press Vs. Trump

Applause for Civil Beat

To quote Gilbert & Sullivan in one of their political satires: “It’s a topsy turvy world” and we helped create it.  We are in the midst of a budding dictatorship abetted by a cowardly Republican Party and their blind devotees. Good show that Civil Beat has joined their associates in assertively responding to the “real enemy of the people.” Elect a clown, expect a circus. Go for broke!

— Tony Locascio, Honolulu

Get over yourselves

Our brave cops are routinely called “pigs” and “racists,” the profession of law has been the butt of nasty jokes for centuries, deeply faithful evangelicals are regularly tarred and feathered as xenophobic and bigoted racists, politicians are often seen as blood-sucking leeches who seek office to engross themselves in power, and at times, even our military heroes who willingly risk and sacrifice their life to protect our flag and our freedom have been spit on, called “baby killers” and worse.

Now, the only profession that controls a bully pulpit equal to the office of the presidency is “offended” by the president calling them out as “Enemy of the People?” Journalistic integrity? Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t. Do you think your profession is a “higher calling?” Well, I’ve got some news for you, it’s not.

Get over yourselves, people. Individual journalists are no better or worse than individual cops, evangelicals, attorneys, politicians or military personnel. Your profession is not a higher calling than policing our community, serving a god, practicing law, running our government, and it sure as heck ain’t higher than laying your life on the line to protect this country.

Stop playing victim, “man up” and just do your job without whining. By the way, I can’t say it enough, but I love Civil Beat. I read it every morning and try to attend as many functions as I can. That’s why I’d rather have you report the news rather than whine.

— David Jung, Honolulu

Speaking truth to power

Liked your manifesto; however, I would drop the words “need to,” and replace with the word “will.” (“The ‘Enemy Of The People’ Is Actually Doing Its Job,” Aug. 16)

Trump and his dictator personalitie(s) will not be the new normal. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” It always was, and it always “will” be.

— Nancy Manali-Leonardo, Waikiki

You went right off the cliff

I honestly thought Civil Beat was above being a lemming.

Why are you so thin-skinned about being challenged vigorously (or, poor baby, unfairly)? The president isn’t telling you he doesn’t want you to have a voice (in your words, denying you freedom of the press). Spare us, put on big girl/boy pants.

The greatest weapon against untruth is truth, well-written, thoroughly-researched, convincing. Make your case resolutely, powerfully and succinctly. Advice: if he calls you out as Fake News, do him one better — not only point out the flaws in his thoughts or facts but also be bold: make a reasonable case for his perspective. FYI, be ready if you do for the periodic self-awareness that “your” side has given less than a full perspective. If you can’t, I’m sorry to say you’re just part of the cliff-jumping hoard. Your hubris is showing.

Be also aware of what droppings you leave behind. There’s no mention of Hirono’s naivete that illegal aliens are illegal or that Schatz strongly supported a New York Times editor with a history of racist rantings. I expect the Star-Advertiser to omit embarrassing left sins, not you.

— Hale Akamine, Ewa Beach

Election Aftermath

Dig deeper

On a day when newspaper articles are running articles about a free press, the article “Worrying About Voter Turnout is a Waste of Time” (Aug. 16) and the editorials are frankly a sad sign of the times and for the most part the result of the press failing to research and do its job of reporting on various issues. For example, how many stories do you see that actually research, question and show “why” voter turnout is so poor and the press encouraging voters to exercise their right to vote? How many researched and reports do you see as to why Hawaii has such a dominant Democratic Party and the Hawaii Republican Party is almost non-existent?

How many times do you see a Republican who switches to the Democratic Party challenged vs. a Democrat switching to the Republican Party? How many times have you ever seen an opposing view to Hawaii News Now’s Rick Blangiardi’s almost nightly editorial?  Shouldn’t there be an opposing viewpoint? How many times do you ever see a reporter ask follow up questions of a politician’s talking points? How many articles do you see that have been researched and report on the booming American or local economy?

— John Riggins, Kapolei

We should be concerned with voter turnout

Albert Lanier (“Worrying About Voter Turnout Is A Waste Of Time“) writes a perplexing column about voter turnout where he slides between the perspective of the voter and of a campaign, and as a result the article contains many illogical statements. Prominent among them is his contention that if 500 people visit your store, and only 50 buy something, you should ignore the 450.

That is not good business (or campaign) practice. What if lowering the price by $1 would induce 200 more people to buy? What if they felt your sales staff wasn’t knowledgeable? What if they felt the warranty was too short? A campaign should absolutely concern itself with voter turnout, not the people that already voted for their candidate.

Now, I agree with Albert that having uninformed people cast a ballot is a bad thing for society, since it doesn’t lead to better group choices. But that is a totally different discussion.

— Bryan Mick, Honolulu

Super PAC

Good reporting

Denby Fawcett’s piece on the Carpenters’ PAC was 100 percent on target. (“Denby Fawcett: Has Carpenters Union Lost Some Of Its Political Muscle,” Aug. 14) Another good job from a journalist we’ve really come to rely on in this era of mindless attacks on the integrity of the media. A free press is as important as a free election and you can’t have the latter without the former.

— Steve O’Harrow, Saint Louis Heights

Young Students

It may be time for funding private preschools

Thank you for the article “Why Early Childhood Education Must be Done Right,” Aug. 13)  by Lauren Morigouchi. While the writer is clearly correct, somehow I remain conflicted with the need for this program and several elements articulated in the article. I realize questioning the need for early childhood education runs counter to prevailing theory and political spin but I recall a presentation by an educator from Finland where formal education begins at age 7 and Finland ranks well ahead of the U.S. in results.

We are inundated with the pros of this program but there are cons as well: Lack of one-on-one time; learning too early (are they ready?); separation anxiety; less social opportunities; too rigid; ineffective and the ever-present need for funding.

Given the need for finding teachers isn’t it time for Hawaii to reconsider use of private and religious preschool programs? They have effective and accredited preschool curriculum, certified teachers/aids/facilities and many have a path to elementary school programs. Common sense would ask: Why reinvent the wheel? But this is Hawaii where dogma rules, funding of private and religious schools is verboten and government knows best.

— Jim McDiarmid, Mililani