Elections office mess calls for correction
The messy situation surrounding the elections office has cast doubts on our electoral process. The flaws in the system and the poor management by those responsible should be investigated and corrected.
One simple correction to the process might be to require incumbents for whatever office to file to run for re-election with a deadline 24-72 hours, or even one week, before nonincumbents. If incumbents choose not to run for re-election, this fact would be known to all, not just insiders. This would allow any citizen interested in running for an open office a reasonable time to gather the signatures needed to file without the frantic rush seen this time around.
This change would not solve the management issues, but would at least reduce the confusion and haste currently caused by last-minute decisions by incumbents to jump to other contests.
3 easy changes will close loopholes
Duke Bainum is back on the City Council. The disqualification of Kirk Caldwell's candidacy on a technicality is not in the public interest as it denies voters the power to choose who will represent them.
Although Bainum is respected and experienced, the way in which he has acquired this seat reveals electoral loopholes that need to be addressed. Suppose some clearly unqualified person had been left as the only candidate.
Suggested rule changes:
» No one can take out papers to run for office less than five days prior to the filing deadline.
» Exception only in cases where there are fewer than two qualified candidates as of five days before the filing deadline.
» No one can withdraw from a race they have filed for less than five days before the filing deadline except in cases of medical or other personal circumstances that might prevent them from proceeding with their campaign.
» No one who withdraws for medical or other personal reasons may run for any other office during that election cycle.
There are already rules in place to allow political parties to replace a qualified candidate of their party's who does withdraw for personal reasons.
Civilians' lives are as valuable as officers'
Whose life is more important, that of a police officer or that of a law-abiding citizen? Most of us would say that both are equally important, but in the Orwellian world of states such as Hawaii, all lives are equal but some are more equal than others. At least that is the conclusion that can be drawn from our anti-gun laws that allow police officers to bear arms while the rest of the law-abiding citizens are forbidden to carry concealed firearms for protection.
The police are armed with handguns, rifles and shotguns, but the rest of us must walk our violent streets and beaches unarmed. And who decides which people can protect themselves? The chief of police -- someone who denies us our natural right to protect ourselves. Many more citizens are criminally attacked than are police officers; yet we are denied our right to arm ourselves. We must change our discretionary concealed-carry laws to nondiscretionary laws so that all lives are truly equal.
Batteries a problem for electric vehicles
I share Hans Rosendal's enthusiasm for electric vehicles ("Transit Matters," Star Bulletin, Aug. 3).
However, I am not optimistic that they can become widespread as soon as he and I would like. The reason is the lack of a viable and sustainable battery technology.
As Rosendal mentions, the technology of lithium-ion batteries is promising, but it is not sustainable because the demand for lithium is slowly outstripping supply. Widespread use of lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications will worsen this imbalance. The situation becomes intuitive when one considers the size difference between an automobile and the various personal electronic devices (laptop computers, cell phones) that dominate current demand for lithium-ion batteries.
The bottom line is that we must transition our transportation sector to electricity, if only because to do so would allow the U.S. to cease importation of approximately the amount of petroleum that we currently obtain from unfriendly sources. To achieve this we must also enthusiastically support research and development into all renewable fuel sources and energy storage devices.
Ease tax burden on energy innovators
The fastest way to get off fossil fuels and onto clean energy: It's really very simple and uncomplicated. Our government would just have to adopt the idea contained in the following 20-word sentence, and it would just happen.
Anyone making a profit in clean energy doesn't have to pay taxes on their profits for the next 10 years.
It's as simple as that.