Letters to the Editor
Draft dodgers are back with same ethic
Isn't it stunning how the same people who invaded academia like a corrupting horde of worms in the '60s to avoid the draft are the very same ones now attempting to relive their glory days by leading so-called "anti-war" campus protests?
Like the hero of their counterculture generation, Bill Clinton, they writhed, squirmed and convulsed themselves like pretzels to avoid the ghastly possibility their comfy, cozy college life might be interrupted by the call to arms.
When less affluent members of their own generation returned from combat, these privileged, pretentious members of the Cry Baby Boom generation cursed at and spat upon them and even burned the American flag.
And no wonder. Those with quiet courage, compassion, honor, patriotism and decency stood then and stand now as a rebuke to the wanton excesses of the vast majority of the pampered, post-WWII generation.
Thomas E. Stuart
A case of bankruptcy
Here is what George W. Bush is forcing on the United States: bankruptcy. Because he is morally bankrupt today, the nation could be financially bankrupt in no time.
Anti-war activists are making matters worse
A simple message for anti-war activists: Stop it.
You've had your fun. You've had your marches, Lysistrata performances and nude-ins. But it is time to give it up. The war is on, your side lost, and now you are not helping matters. Actually, you are making things worse.
Before the fighting began, your activities were mostly just irritating. But now, your continued loud, vulgar protests will have a negative effect on the morale of our fighting men and women, and thus put them at risk.
Don't give me any tortuous, contradictory statements about "opposing the war but supporting the troops." Sorry, it doesn't work that way. As George Orwell and more recently, Michael Kelly observed, by weakening your own nation's side in a conflict, you of course end up strengthening the enemy. And, like the Soviet-funded protesters of the Vietnam era, that is precisely what your continued activities will accomplish.
Which would you prefer to see? The United States toppling Saddam and liberating the Iraqi people? Or the U.S. pulling out of the region after suffering heavy casualties?
Yes, you do have the right to protest the war. That doesn't mean you should. Unless, of course, you are not so much anti-war as anti-American.
Private use of public lands must not be OK'd
I am deeply disappointed with Gov. Lingle's appointment of Dan Davis as deputy director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. His role as executive director of a pro-development lobbying organization the Land Use Research Foundation is clearly a conflict of interest, particularly in conjunction with mandates set forth by the DLNR.
The most alarming aspect of Mr. Davis' history with the foundation was his assertion that the public trust doctrine of which, as deputy, he must adhere to encompassed "private" use of resources for economic development. Fortunately, a judge strongly disagreed with this interpretation.
Unfortunately, Mr. Davis will not have to undergo confirmation, as DLNR chairman appointee Peter Young must.
However, any exploit as deputy director must remain unfaltering, confined to the legal boundaries set forth by the public trust doctrine. His fiduciary duty as DLNR deputy requires that his first and foremost obligation is to ensure that our public lands are held in perpetuity for future generations.
Public trust lands, including biological, water and ocean resources, must be unfettered for the general public, and under no circumstance should exclusive use by any one group be allowed.
Private use for economic gain on public lands amounts to nothing more than "sacred cows at the public trough" syndrome. This was not the intention of our public trust doctrine.
Does Rep. Oshiro grasp his own bill?
In his Island Voices column in the March 13 Advertiser, Rep. Marcus Oshiro writes of HB 550, "I, too, strongly support excluding any residential housing and non-healthcare facilities from its application."
Yet HB 550, which he introduced, read in part as follows: "... all projects to develop a master-planned healthcare center and retirement community that generally includes ... medical-related residential areas, and general residential and commercial areas and appropriate infrastructure ... shall be exempt from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions and rules of any governmental agency relating to planning, zoning, construction standards for subdivisions, development and improvement of land, and the construction of units thereon ..."
Unless I have lost my ability to comprehend English, this means that residential housing and non-healthcare facilities would indeed have been exempted from the rules and ordinances of governmental agencies if this bill passes.
Are we to infer from this discrepancy between the bill and his article that Rep. Oshiro may not understand the meaning of the bill he introduced?
Blocking intersection by Queen's is risky
Every day after work, I drive up Punchbowl by Queen's Hospital, and nearly every day I see people ignoring the sign governing the intersection into the ambulance bay, "DO NOT BLOCK INTERSECTION."
Just a friendly reminder to motorists driving up Punchbowl by Queen's in rush-hour traffic: Please heed the sign.
In particular, to the insolent man who repeatedly honked his horn and hung out his window to yell obscenities at me because I would not move forward, thereby blocking this intersection: You had better hope that if you're the one fighting for your life while en route to Queen's there's an attentive driver such as me obeying this very important sign.
Private insurance should be bought now
Regarding the March 15 "CarePlus deserves to be kept moving" editorial: I disagree with the writer's assertion that insurance provides "rarely any immediate gratification" in response to Gov. Lingle's objection to CarePlus. Does a homeowner's or car insurance policy wait an ordinary number of years to provide the benefits?
The writer further asserts that private insurance is out of the reach of many. It is if they wait until they are in their '70s or '80s and in poor health. The tax credit provides for incentives for people to consider long-term-care insurance now when the premiums are reasonable and they are in good health. According to the writer's example one in four residents will be 65 or older in the year 2020 the youngest of those would be 48 years old today.
If a person age 48 purchased private insurance, that person's premium would be about $1,300, which is a third of the writer's estimate of what the average premium costs today. A tax credit would reduce that premium in half.
It is unfortunate that in some cases, it's a matter of too little, too late. But aren't we advocating that we learn from mistakes of yesterday so that today's and future generations benefit? Educate people today about long-term care and the options provided. Preparing for the sunset years of life begins now, not when you are faced with it in the future. Overcome denial and face responsibility for the future.
Airport experience sours a return trip
My sister visited us for a week in Kailua. She just wrote of her experience getting out of Honolulu:
"Getting on the plane was tough! Had to stand in line to get bag through the agricultural station check-in. Then stand in line to get ticket. Then follow man who grabbed my bag to take it to its security check, only he was so fast he lost me. I waited and waited until a man finally asked me the color of my bag nope, not there, must have gone through on the other side. Then I waited to go through security check myself and new security gal forgot to stamp my ticket. So as I was ready to board the plane at the gate, I was hauled out of the line and had to have a guard come check me out thoroughly, shoes off, etc."
No more flying for Peggy for a while.
Plan to decentralize our schools is sound
Gov. Lingle's plan to decentralize schools is sound, and the UCLA study should give teachers the "soft landing" they need in order to put their trust in this wonderful, insightful governor.
Teachers: At least read the full UCLA study before you decide to come out against such a change.
And if you feel that the students would be better served by giving change a chance, tell others.
State should make fair offer to teachers
I teach eighth-grade English and video production at Washington Middle School. This is my 10th year of teaching. I have a bachelor's degree in secondary education with an emphasis in English. I am also currently a graduate student at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, working on a master's degree in creative writing.
As you can see, I am a certified teacher, I have a degree and am working to continue to improve my education. I am a part of an interdisciplinary team of teachers at my school, and we are developing curriculum that will enable students to meet standards. I believe the majority of teachers are like me. We are educated, motivated professionals.
I am very disappointed and disheartened by the "offer" that the state has made to teachers. I understand that in tough economic times, public employees cannot expect large pay raises. However, teachers are people, too. We have families to support, we pay taxes and we support the local economy. Please also remember that teachers spend on average $2,000 per year out of their own pockets on their students for supplies, books, classroom resources and professional development.
No raise in each of the first two years of the proposed contract is like asking teachers to take a pay cut. Inflation is 1.7 percent. The bare minimum that the state should be offering is 1.7 percent in the first year and 1.7 percent in the second.
Please do what is fair and right. Encourage the state negotiator to make a fair offer to teachers.
Jolyn M. Lee
The ACLU is needed now more than ever
The cartoon mocking the American Civil Liberties Union on your March 13 op-ed page was especially maddening at this time when our basic civil liberties are being taken from us under the guidance of John Ashcroft's misnamed Justice Department.
The U.S.A. Patriot Act, which strips us of some of our most basic freedoms, was in Ashcroft's pipeline long before 9/11, and that tragedy was used as the emotional pretext to push it through Congress with almost no serious examination, much less publicity.
Now the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, informally known as Patriot II, is before Congress and poses even more shocking elimination of our constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as citizenship. Yes, citizenship. Section 501 of the bill, deceptively titled "Expatriation of Terrorists," would allow the stripping of one's American citizenship if one were to donate to a charity that, perhaps unknown to the giver, had been labeled by Ashcroft's forces as "terrorist."
While it is already illegal to provide material support to such groups, even for their lawful activities, such support is grounds only for criminal prosecution, not for the loss of citizenship.
For us old-timers, this takes us back to the fully condemned and frightening McCarthy era of the '50s and the widely used guilt by association. I remember the Hawai'i ACLU's wise and respected founder, the late Allan Saunders, saying that the ACLU is at root a conservative organization because it seeks to conserve the Constitution.
I'm glad that under the leadership of attorney Brent White, our local ACLU is still on the job.
Larry S. Jones
DFS rent situation must be resolved
Hawai'i taxpayers and voters should be outraged at the way the state is handling the DFS rent situation. I agree with The Honolulu Advertiser editorial that the governor should look into this.
I question the legislators who are trying to pass a bill to give DFS "further breaks on DFS' payment schedule." Concerned voters should be outraged at this. Why raise the general excise tax or reduce the state budget if the state cannot collect DFS rent monies in the amount of $40 million-plus? The money for education is sitting right there in the form of DFS rent owing to the state.
There is one thing I disagree with in the editorial: DFS claims that there is competition out there. So why not kill the goose? There are other geese out there.
C'mon, taxpayers and voters, contact your lawmakers on this.
Miles A.P. Kahaloa