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Opinion editor errs

by Carol White

It is profoundly disappointing that David J. Raymond (Opinion Editor Emeritus) could get so far educationally and have so little to show for it when writing his opinion columns. Perhaps it is symptomatic of his generation that they depend on the Internet for ideas rather than engaging in critical thinking. The Sept.29 article “And the Devil went down to Alabama,” could have been lifted directly from the Democratic National Committee Web site,,, or any other left-wing Web site available to computer-savvy, high school students.

Raymond’s litany of G.W. Bush’s sins are listed as “givens” with no attempt to justify his claims. For example, Raymond derides “increased commercial logging as the solution to summer wildfires” without attempting to prove why judicious logging and cutting of undergrowth would not reduce the incidence and seriousness of wildfires. In the rest of the article, he uses the Alabama Ten Commandments controversy to “prove” that Christian “fundamentalism” is as dangerous as Islamic “fundamentalism,” citing the Oklahoma federal building bombing. Someone who depends on myths rampant on leftist Web sites would not, of course, be aware that McVeigh and Nichols were politically, not religiously motivated.

If we need more proof of an unfortunate dependence on the Internet for resource material, Raymond’s byline appears on the humor article, Having Cows, which is directly lifted from an Internet source: Raymond merely rearranged some titles and added a few words. Yet there was no credit given to Wikipedia (or to the other sites where this piece appeared). This raises a serious question about journalistic ethics. Kalamalama’s opinion editor should have caught this as it has been widely circulated via e-mail and various humor sites.

A newspaper representing Hawai‘i Pacific University must encourage good critical writing and discourage writers from rehashing material from the Internet.

Carol White is an HPU Audio Visual librarian working in the Learning Assistance Center at 1188 Fort St. Suite 139. She can be reached at 544-0852,


Editor's note: Kalamalama may have been responsible for the David Raymond byline on the "Two Cows" article. It was one of a half-dozen articles sent to us at the same time. Mr. Raymond has explained that it was forwarded to him, and he apologizes for not checking and crediting its on-line source.


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