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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rod Tam


What kind of "math error" caused the befuddled Council person to count family members as business constituents? Is it ethical to take constituents for meals? Sounds like bribery for votes.

How much of the tab went to alcoholic beverages and not food? Is "I'll buy you a drink if you remember me on election day" a politician's typical way to campaign?

My take is blatant misuse of public funds when the rest of us have had to tighten belts. Arrogance! Remember the Greek plays, Mr. Tam: Hubris gets you in the last act.

John D. Burke | Wai'anae


Politics in the various branches of government, within the private sector, for-profit and nonprofit entities are often dirty. When one person engages in unethical actions and spreads accusations against another with the aim to remove or destroy their political opponent, he/she/they are devious.

Now, the charges are against Councilman Rod Tam for alleged intentional misuse of his allowance. Tam admitted that he had made unintentional mathematical errors, that his recall of the many lunches and dinners concerning government business had been faulty and that he will keep better track in the future.

Recall over the years that various government departments have made accounting errors, either intentional or unintentional, involving millions or billions of dollars.

In most cases, the government employees who failed their fiduciary duty were never publicly identified, fired, or lost their positions.

Tam's opponents have succeeded in their goal and are causing mental injury to his innocent wife, parents and children. Reporting on the millions in non-bid contracts in our state that have caused more serious financial harm to taxpayers instead of spending so much time on Tam's expense account would be time more wisely spent.

Wilbert w.w. wong sR. | Käne'ohe


Thank you, Councilman Charles Djou, for calling for the removal and possible prosecution of fellow Councilman Rod Tam.

Over the years Mr. Tam has shown poor judgment in his actions (his current situation), speech (his "unknowingly" racial slurs) and proposals (naps for state workers).

Mr. Tam, please take a good look at yourself and show that you are remorseful by resigning; maybe then you'll gain the respect of the public.

matt hee | Honolulu



In Thursday's Advertiser you had a letter from an irate reader claiming that you were part of the liberal left-leaning media. And, on the facing page you had an editorial from that ultra right-wing bomb thrower, Victor Davis Hanson.

I laughed until I hurt. The question I have is; did you do that on purpose; or, was it just an incredibly delightful coincidence?

BOB Lloyd | 'Ewa Beach



Don't be fooled by the Obama administration and secretary of defense's survey about repealing the 17-year-old "Don't ask, don't tell" policy dealing with homosexuals in the military.

The decision has already been made and all the panels and surveys are just fluff. Obama promised the homosexual voting blocs he would repeal the law. He needed those votes then and he will need them again to make a run for a second term.

Besides, when did the opinion of the military ever make a difference to Washington? Eighteen years ago, when the last group of do-gooders came around and asked us in the military about homosexuals, they were told in no uncertain terms not to allow them to serve. That is when the current "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was rammed down our throats.

Those of us with a military background know that a Congress and president without military experience look at the nation's services as a test-bed for social change. Whether that change enhances or detracts from combat effectiveness does not matter a hoot to them.

Officers who bend with the political wind instead of speaking out have no honor and should be removed from positions of trust.

Robert W. HoluB | Sergeant major, USMC (ret.),'Ewa Beach



Hawai'i failed to be selected as a finalist in the Race to the Top competition for $4.35 billion in federal funds to support education reform. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia beat out Hawai'i in meeting the following criteria:

• Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy.

• Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction.

• Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals.

• Turning around lowest-achieving schools.

Hawai'i's education leaders often talk about education reform, but reform is happening more slowly in Hawai'i than in many other states.

Furthermore, Hawai'i recently became the state with the shortest school year in the nation. Sometimes it seems as if Hawai'i is in a Race to the Bottom.

john kawamoto | Honolulu


I see that Hawai'i is not being considered for money from the federal government for the Race to the Top for education.

I think the state should apply for money for the Race to the Bottom for education, which we would undoubtedly win.

We have:

1. An inflexible teachers' union unwilling to give up anything to benefit anyone but themselves.

2. A dysfunctional Board of Education overseeing a department with more employees than teachers.

3. A state Legislature that has no clue on how to solve the education problem.

4. A governor who is between the devil and the deep blue Pacific Ocean.

5. A public that sits on its collective hands and allows this tragedy to continue year after year without demanding changes in the Legislature, or just gives up and sends the kids to private schools.

With these qualifications, I believe that our state would win the Race to the Bottom, hands down.

joseph alexander | Waipahu