Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Letters to the Editor

To our readers

Tomorrow will be the last day The Advertiser will run letters on Saturday's election to fill the vacant seat in the 2nd Congressional District.

Case should live in district he represents

During the Kane'ohe Christmas Parade, I yelled at Ed Case, who was in the parade, asking when he was going to move to or live in the 2nd District — since he is the "incumbent" congressman in the 2nd District. I got a smile and a finger pointed straight at me — but no answer.

I continually read about what a good job he has done in Manoa. Seems as if he wants to or should stay there. Perhaps whatshisname in the 1st District can get a Democrat who lives in Washington, D.C., to run in the 2nd District. Then we wouldn't even have to pay air fare to have this congressman represent us.

By the way, I am a life-long Democrat "tired of all the political rhetoric." And if you still believe Patsy Mink was recovering in the hospital until she died, maybe whatshisname in the 1st District can sell you some land in the ocean between O'ahu and Kaua'i.

Henry Pundyke Jr.

Candidate Case has broken moral compass

I was not surprised by your Dec. 29 endorsement of Ed Case for Congress. However, the public has a right to know that Ed supports same-sex marriage and homosexual adoptions, and voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions.

That is the real Ed Case. A fiscal moderate with a broken moral compass.

Bob McDermott

Ed Case 'presidential' in looks and behavior

Matt Matsunaga, Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case are possible winners to fill the seat of the late Patsy Mink.

One is a pure candidate who is not beholden to any union bosses or any of the "good ol' boys" of the Democratic Party and who is "presidential" in looks and behavior, with an excellent political record close to the center of the political spectrum. I sincerely invite those who vote on Jan. 4 to vote for the future president of the United States — Ed Case.

We have had enough under the yoke of Democrats who were way to the left of the political spectrum. We cannot live all of our lives as recipients of Robin Hood's generosity. We have to take care of the goose that lays the golden eggs. That's the mainstream of America.

Bernardo P. Benigno

Matsunaga is up to speed on fair trade

In Saturday's 2nd Congressional District election, one key issue exists that the media and candidates have failed to discuss: the issue of fair trade.

Congress has the responsibility to ensure that treaties and agreements on international trade negotiated by the president's administration meet U.S. standards for treatment of workers and protection of the environment. Hawai'i citizens can be proud that our congressional delegation was united in 2002 against the effort to weaken human rights, safety and environmental regulations through granting "fast track" trade approval authority to the president.

Now, however, that unity could be threatened by the outcome of Saturday's vote. Of the three leading candidates, state Sens. Colleen Hanabusa and Matt Matsunaga join Rep. Neil Abercrombie and U.S. Sens. Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye in the fight to maintain strong environmental and labor standards to protect the public. Only state Rep. Ed Case joins with corporate lobbyists in backing fast track, while viewing these protections as an unnecessary restraint on trade.

But, while Hanabusa expressed only a rudimentary understanding of the issue on questionnaires, Matsunaga was thoroughly knowledgeable — not just on global trade policy, but on specific legislation, and stated his support for the House Rangel-Levin bill, which would have increased congressional oversight of U.S. trade agreements.

Fair trade is the most important economic, environmental and social justice issue in our world today, and knowing the positions of the candidates, I can strongly endorse Matt Matsunaga for Congress.

Richard Weigel

Vote for a Republican to get more influence

Voters of the 2nd Congressional District are being taken for granted by the Hawai'i Government Employees Association leaders and other members of the "old-boy network." The "old boys" have assumed that only a Democrat should represent the district.

The union leaders summoned what they considered to be the top three Democratic candidates to audition for the job. No Republicans need apply! They picked the one they liked best, and it is apparent that this anointed candidate is now receiving substantial support. A television debate among these three Democrats was organized; again, no Republicans need apply. Oddly enough, the anointed candidate found it inconvenient to participate in the debate.

It would be to Hawai'i's practical political advantage to elect a Republican. The Republican Party will control both Congress and the White House for at least the next two years. These years are critical to this state and the district.

Experience has shown us that our all-Democratic delegation has less influence during a Republican administration. Two examples stand out:

  • Congresswoman Pat Saiki, the lone Republican in our delegation, persuaded the first President Bush to halt the bombing of Kaho'olawe.
  • In 1984, a strong nonpartisan task force of community leaders lobbied the Reagan administration for more large ships to be homeported in Hawai'i. The effort failed. Why? Because competing states had bipartisan congressional delegations with an inside track to the president and the administration.

Raymond Engle

It's time for a change: Elect Bob McDermott

I have observed throughout past elections that most people vote according to a candidate's party or popularity. Not many voters actually take the time to look carefully at each candidate and figure out what he or she stands for.

For example, Ed Case's popularity has drawn many supporters from the gay community — as you can see in any of the gay newspapers at the public libraries. He is also an advocate of abortion.

The most popular candidate will not necessarily do the very best job for us. So, have you decided yet on your candidate for the Jan. 4 election?

Well, in my opinion, Bob McDermott is the most qualified candidate for this job. For one thing, he is against abortion. Every life counts. He also supports a strong military for our safety. He is an excellent politician and, I believe, he will bring back moral values to our state.

For many decades, a Democrat has held this seat. I think it's time for a change. Vote Republican, so everyone will benefit, not just a few. Vote for Bob McDermott.

Becky Fischer

Bush did denounce Lott for comments

Regarding Lorraine H. Akiba's Dec. 26 letter: Akiba is extremely uninformed about current events. President Bush publicly denounced Sen. Trent Lott's comments regarding Sen. Strom Thurmond to the surprise of all network television commentators, both liberal and conservative, who were quite shocked by Bush's choice of words in signaling his unqualified rejection of Lott's comments.

According to Akiba, Lott was not "appropriately chastised." Is that the standard? Is it really necessary to belittle and chastise someone after publicly denouncing and rejecting their comments? I don't think so.

Michael D. Formby

Prove that money isn't primary motivation

It is reassuring to read recent letters from the "flying nurses" that they care more for Hawai'i patients and that they are not motivated by huge amounts of pay. Our Hawai'i nurses, on the other hand, have mortgages to pay and families to feed. They are our 'ohana, neighbors and friends — much like their patients are to them.

The flying nurses are not. One is reminded of the kolea. They arrive out of nowhere, feed upon the resources of the 'aina until they are so fat that to eat more would mean that they cannot fly; then they go away, leaving nothing good behind.

The kolea sing about how they know more about our problems, people and history than we who live here and how they have all the answers. So let them answer by donating the excess of triple the pay that they are making to some local good cause to prove that money is not their motivation. Otherwise all they sing is just so much namu.

Baron K.F. Ching

Fast track to being 'local boy' derailed

Randal Sexton, in his Dec. 25 letter, admits he only "recently moved" to Honolulu but says he's already on the fast track to being a "local boy." How did he get onto this fast track? He signed on with a traveling nurses agency so he could show the nurses that it was time for them to "pack your bags and leave."

Although I have lived here for more than 20 years, I don't consider myself a "local boy," but I know one thing: Being local doesn't mean packing your bags and leaving every time you run into a problem the Legislature can't solve.

Perhaps if Sexton weren't so busy working "12-hour shifts for six or more days in a row," including his "15th wedding anniversary" to make scab wages, he'd find time to acquaint himself with Hawai'i's history and how organized labor has helped local workers spend more time with their families.

Sexton might consider himself on the fast track to being a "local boy," but until he accepts responsibility for his actions, he will never be on the fast track to being a "local man."

Lou Zitnik

Branding UH students holds a certain appeal

In 1963, I received an invitation to join the University of Hawai'i faculty in its English as a Second Language program. My first act, needless to say, was to check out the university's logo. Pretty nice, I thought. I gathered my professional colleagues together to announce the news.

The gathering went like this: "So you're considering an offer from UH?"

"Yup, I really think I'm going to take it."

"What about the logo?" said one.

"Right," the others chimed in, except for one, shy intellectual type, who asked, "Have you inquired about the faculty and their qualifications? What's the story on the library? How's the collection of serials and other research material? What are the prospects for research, including getting funding? What's the situation with the laboratories? What's the physical plant like? What's the travel policy of the university — after all, you'll be stuck out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? What's the teaching load? What are the opportunities for promotion? What's the student body like?"

There was a stunned silence from the rest. Then, almost with one voice, they shouted at him, "It's the logo, stupid!"

They were right, of course. It's the logo that's paramount in ascertaining the quality of a university. So, having saved the best for last, I showed them the logo. There were murmurs of approval. The die was cast and I came to Honolulu in 1964.

So, now the university is spending $62,000 for a "brand statement." And another $82,000 for a new logo. That adds up to $144,000.

Let's see ... at $30 a book, that amount would purchase 4,800 library books. Which is more important: a well-stocked library or a new logo? I rather doubt anybody will pay serious attention to a new logo and a brand statement — whatever that is — that precious few will read.

But perhaps I'm wrong. Branding sort of appeals to me. I can envision branding the students with some kind of a brand that could be applied without too much pain. The UH students could be readily identified. This would be surely met with approval from the U.S. attorney general and would assist greatly in identifying any possible terrorists lurking in the student body.

I wonder what our new governor's take on this would be. Maybe she's already called the president on the subject. Nah.

Ted Plaister
Retired UH faculty