Letters to the Editor – 3/12/14


In his letter “OHA not pono,” Gerhard C. Hamm writes, “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono – the Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness … That has been the motto of Hawaii for more than 160 years.”

According to the Elbert-Pukui Hawaiian Dictionary, Revised and Enlarged edition, the word ea means “sovereignty; rule; independence,” while the word pono means “correct; just; fair.” Meanwhile, the word aina, as it was taught to me by my grandmother Minnie Bailey Brede (1881-1961), means “land; nation.”

In 1843, British Consul Richard Charlton (1791-1852) and Lord George Paulet (1803-1879), commander of the British frigate Carysfort, demanded “provisional cession” of the Kingdom of Hawaii to Great Britain in order to settle land claims made by Charlton against the monarchy. On Feb. 25, 1843, the Hawaiian flag was lowered and replaced by the British flag.

On July 26 of that year, Rear Adm. Richard Darton Thomas, R.N. (1777-1851), arrived in Hawaii on HMS flagship Dublin to rescind cession under Paulet and to restore the monarchy to Kamehameha III (Kalanikauikeaouli, 1813-1854). On July 31, the Hawaiian flag replaced the British flag, and Kamehameha III in one sentence spoke words of thanks at Kawaiahao Church, words that described relief from the five-month rule of Lord George Paulet. Taken in context with the events of 1843, the monarch’s words stated succinctly, “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono” – the Sovereignty of the Nation is preserved in Justice.

Wayne Brumaghim

Coffee questions

After reading his column “Obama Wasting Troops’ Sacrifice,” in which he argues for a seemingly endless U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, I have a question or two for Jerry Coffee:

What, exactly, would the “victory” he refers to look like? And how many more Americans is he willing to see killed or crippled to accomplish that? And does he actually believe this wild and ancient land is even governable in any western sense?

Perhaps if Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al., hadn’t been so hot to get us into Iraq and grab some oil – a total failure – the U.S. might have devoted its efforts to Afghanistan. That obviously didn’t happen. The British could not subdue Afghanistan, neither could the Soviet Union, nor has the U.S.

The gravest fault still lies with Bush and the neocons, and their arrogance. Afghanistan has been a waste of our troops since Bush changed the focus to Saddam Hussein and his oil.

Steve Matsumoto

Not a good sport

Bobby Curran’s “A Cold Winter For Russian Hockey” deliberately failed to mention the 5-0 shutout suffered by the U.S. team from the very same Finnish team that defeated Russia 3-1. Such an omission indicates a total lack of sportsmanship from Mr. Curran.

Boris Netupsky

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by e-mail to dchapman@midweek.com.

Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print.

Letters may be edited for clarity and space.