WHY DOES ARMY HAVE TO MAKE CASE?
In regards to the editorial on Mäkua (Jan. 13), the following questions come to mind: Wasn't Mäkua Valley used during WWII, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts when heavy munitions firing from battle ships, aircraft, artillery, etc. was used in the valley? Therefore isn't it a little late to be concerned about cultural sites? And what about the cattle in the 1930s? After all that's taken place there, isn't Mäkua Valley the best-kept and best-maintained valley on this coast?
Another thing, isn't it idiotic to ask taxpayers to pay millions for off-island training when it can be done here in Mäkua Valley? And isn't Mäkua Valley federal property just like Schofield Barracks and Pearl Harbor? That being so, why does the Army have to make a case with anyone in order to train there?
Regarding communicating with the community, the Military Munitions Response Program Waianae Community Information Council meets regularly as a way to keep those interested informed.
BILL PRESCOTT | Nänäkuli
EXCEPTION BECOMING RULE WITH RIGHT WING
Former Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani claimed that no attacks happened on U.S. soil "except" for 9/11. And I realized that I was witnessing the birth of a new form of political discourse from the right wing in this country: The Exceptional Exception — the exception that proves the rule or disproves the rule, as the case may be.
I'm expecting that we'll hear from the right wing the claim that no cities drowned under the Bush administration - except for New Orleans. And that there were no wars that were started by mistake under the Bush administration - except for the war in Iraq. And that the Bush administration added nothing to the federal debt - except for a half-trillion dollars, which works out to $15,000 for every man, woman and child in this country. And that they respected all of our constitutional rights as Americans - except when they didn't.
I think we'll hear Republicans claim that the Bush administration managed the economy quite well - except when they brought it to the brink of national bankruptcy.
In fact, what we learned in Washington for eight years is that the reason why Republicans hate government so much is because they're so bad at it.
JUSTIN HUGHEY | Lahaina, Maui
HSTA JUST DOING ITS JOB; POLITICIANS KEY
Toshio Chinen (Letters, Jan. 14) blames the teachers union for the furlough turmoil in Hawaii public schools. The Hawai'i State Teachers' Association is really not responsible.
The HSTA's mission is to support teachers, not to improve schools or improve education. Therefore, politicians who support the HSTA, and vice versa, do not necessarily stand for better education.
If people want better public education, they need to wise up and not vote for those politicians. Private schools are not hampered by such politicians. That's one reason why private schools do well for the students.
RUSSEL NOGUCHI | Pearl City
BANNING ALCOHOL A LOGICAL SAFEGUARD
With the two recent Hawaiian Airlines disputes and an AirTran flight, shouldn't the airlines maybe consider not serving alcohol on flights? Seems that some who drink and become a risk to other passengers ruin it for everybody else. If we can ban smoking on flights, why not alcohol as well? Let's keep everyone safe. Also in an emergency situation, who wants a drunk passenger helping out?
CHRISTOPHER SANTOS | Honolulu
BEST OF LUCK TO CASE IN FIGHTING SYSTEM
Mahalo to David Shapiro (Jan. 13) for speaking the truth about politics in Hawaii. Patsy Mink gave her all for Hawaii and came up through Hawaii politics the hard way - the same way Ed Case is now destined to.
I wish him the best of luck in fighting the old system and trying to give Hawaii a new, independent voice in Washington.
MARGARET BINGHAM | Mililani
DECLARATION HOLDS ANSWER TO DEBATE
H.B. 444 is back in the news. I feel compelled to share an epiphany I had on the subject. I started out ambivalent about gay marriage. After all, the sight of two men or two women marrying is a bit of a shock. I tripped over the answer in these beautiful words from the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
Can you think of anything more inherent in the pursuit of happiness than a loving, committed, stable relationship recognized by society - in other words, marriage? Well, neither could I. The Declaration of Independence tells us that the God-given right for all, not just heterosexuals, to marry has been there all along. Furthermore, that right is unalienable, meaning that it cannot be taken away by voters in a voting booth. That we have done so in 31 states including Hawaii is a travesty.
The Declaration of Independence demands that H.B. 444 be passed.
RICK LLOYD | Honolulu