Don’t be afraid to stand up for what is right even when you think you are a lone voice.
Below is an email exchange I had with Council Member Ernie Martin last week. (Mr. Martin did not reply to my last email.) He and all who voted for this nonsense should be ashamed.
And forgive me for not testifying on this and every item that’s needs it in front of the Council. Part of the reason is that the venue makes it problematical to testify, parking is lousy and some of us who care actually need to work for a living and occasionally live something that resembles an apolitical life. It appears that Mr. Martin did not make the Council aware of my comments. IMHO, unless the correspondent requests otherwise, Council members should provide all constituent correspondence on all items to all their Council colleagues as well as the mayor.
Oh, and BTW, the Council should concentrate on fixing our roads, stopping the rail transit rip-off and desist in silliness such as discussing what Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow say or don’t say.
You are welcome to share this with other Council members and with the mayor.
Thanks for your service.
Aloha, Mike Rethman
7 Feb 2011
Dear Mr. Martin,
I rarely listen to Limbaugh but I’m deeply disappointed that you and your colleagues voted for this resolution.
Paramount Leader Hu Jintao is a Communist dictator who, for one thing, imprisoned his countryman Liu Xiaobo, to keep him from collecting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo just weeks ago. Second, any motivation on your part or that of your colleagues that would barter American freedoms — however distasteful Limbaugh’s or anyone’s mocking may seem to you, Hu or anyone — to purportedly encourage tourism from the PRC suggests a metaphor regarding the biblical Judas’s thirty pieces of silver. Third, and we can respectfully disagree on this although I don’t see how you could if you had actually heard the broadcast, that what Limbaugh said about a Hu had everything to do with him being a Communist dictator and had nothing to do with insulting Chinese-Americans. Finally and most important, is that free political speech is an absolute right in the United States (of which Hawai‘i is one) and it’s my opinion that you and your colleagues should avoid innuendo suggesting otherwise and instead roundly condemn any attempts to suppress it, either before or after the fact.
I hope the Council will henceforth spend its time on more important matters. For example, you may want to take an updated and hard look at the ballooning bureaucracy and escalating costs of Mufi Hannemann’s rail transit system and better understand how Honolulu will be hard-pressed pay-off the cost of building it and and pay the hundreds of millions of dollars each year it will require — just like every other rail transit system in America — to operate. And what will be genuinely ironic is when you or your successors are flitting about ten years from now trying to figure out how to pay for this expensive white elephant despite the abounding evidence of its fiscal foolishness before the first dirt was turned. You could do the City and County of Honolulu a huge service by reconsidering rail transit in a full context of transportation-improvement alternatives — which has not been done.
Thanks for your prompt response and for your service.
Michael P Rethman DDS, MS
Translational Research and Marketing Consulting
Diplomate: American Board of Periodontology
Vice-president (Scientific Research), American Dental Association Foundation
Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, University of Maryland
Former Chair: Council on Scientific Affairs, American Dental Association
Past-President: American Academy of Periodontology
Past-Director: U.S. Army Institute of Dental Research
Former Chair: The Columbia Association
Subject: RE: Council Resolution 11-34
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 16:43:13 -1000
Aloha Dr. Rethman:
Ironically, this Resolution was discussed and unanimously adopted by the Council’s Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee earlier today. I voted in favor of the Resolution primarily to express disappointment with Mr. Limbaugh’s remarks that were insensitive to our Chinese-American community.
Mahalo for your email and Good Luck with the snow in Chicago.
ERNEST Y. MARTIN
Honolulu City Council
From: Mike Rethman [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2011 4:04 PM
To: Martin, Ernie
Subject: Council Resolution 11-34
Dear Mr. Martin,
Could you tell me how you stand on Council Resolution 11-34 — and why? It’s attached, fyi.
Aloha from snowy Chicago,
Michael P Rethman DDS, MS