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Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Tapa


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There's no need to lower DUI blood-alcohol level

Senate Bill 31, if it becomes state law, would declare a person to be legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of 0.04. If caught driving, that person can be arrested for driving under the influence.

A person with an average build could get a blood level reading of 0.04 after consuming a single glass of wine or a 12-ounce bottle of beer. It appears that every customer exiting a drinking establishment should be arrested after a few minutes of driving. Will there be enough police officers to enforce such a law?

Hawaii is one of only two states in 50 that prohibit gambling, and now we want to be the first to circumscribe drinking and driving to the lowest blood alcohol level. Why is the Legislature so interested in restricting our individual freedoms?

Toshio Chinen
Pearl City

Monica 'stalked' president despite Secret Service

Anyone know how we can get rid of the Secret Service? Why, you ask, aren't they supposed to protect our president?

The Secret Service couldn't have been doing a good job. Clinton and his lawyers claim that he got in all this trouble because Monica was a "stalker." You'd think the big boss would have all sorts of protection right there in the White House.

Those dudes should have been fired if they couldn't keep him from being hassled like he was.

Ray Thiele

Integrity isn't important to this country anymore

Soon our senators will vote on whether President Clinton is guilty of perjury and/or obstruction of justice. How they will vote reflects both their values and those of the majority of the American people, who have said they want Clinton to remain in office.

Each of us has our own system of values, i.e. beliefs that drive our behavior. Let's look at three as they pertain to this case: integrity, expediency and loyalty to a political party:

bullet The importance of integrity (both that of the president and our own) compared to the other values determines our feelings concerning the outcome of the senate trial.

bullet If expediency ("Let's get this thing over with because I'm tired of it" or "The economy's good, so let's not rock the boat") is more important than integrity, acquittal is the desired outcome.

bullet If loyalty to the Democratic Party is mo re important than integrity, once again acquittal is preferable.

But if integrity is most important, the president should be convicted and removed if the evidence warrants.

Based on the evidence presented, the results of national polls, how Hawaii's representatives voted, and how our senators have said they will vote, integrity apparently isn't very important to most of us anymore.

Doug Thomas
Mililani

Clinton should leave at the peak of popularity

I see President Clinton as a typically questionable stock company manager operating under delicate circumstances. I suggest that he be relieved of his duties while his stocks are doing well.

Mikio Izuka
Mililani


QUOTABLE

Tapa

Bullet "The economy is stable and moving along. Why mess with it? If you close a base, that's final, and these bases play a major role in communities all over the United States."

-- Sen. Daniel Inouye, opposed to closing more military bases.

Bullet "Nobody wins if the public freaks out. If the public reacts badly, you could take a potentially minor situation and make it a nightmare."

-- Cathy Hotka, information technology specialist at the National Retail Federation, on overreaction to the Y2K problem.

Bullet "Today I hope we can agree first and foremost that government has no place in the personal decisions a woman makes about whether to bring a child into the world."

-- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a speech to delegates at The Hague Forum, saying all women should have access to family planning programs, including safe abortion.


Internet competition should be encouraged

I am so sick of people crying to Mother Government. Latest example: "We don't want to pay more for Internet access; make those big bad phone companies stop!"

Government shouldn't have anything to do with a decision like this. The phone companies are old enough to know what they're doing. If they need to add charges somewhere to make up for the new phone lines they must install due to triple phone usage from Internet access, so be it. I would rather have them figure out the best way to do it and keep fair competition among companies.

If Congress declares, "They shall not charge more!," legislators will be merely trying to score points with ignorant constituents and dealing another regulatory blow to business and free enterprise.

If consumers don't like "unfair" charges that GTE might add for Internet usage, they have every right to sign up with Oceanic's Roadrunner service!

Cynthia Powell
Kahaluu
(Via the Internet)

Gambling will only hurt this wonderful state

As a retired math teacher and annual visitor to the islands, I strongly advise that Hawaii never legalize any form of wagering.

Lotteries are a tax on the poor. The odds of winning "big" are about 14 million to one, yet you often see poor people lining up to spend $20-$50 a week on gambling.

Slot machines are called the "crack cocaine" of gambling. If these were legal, you'd see paychecks blown, Social Security checks gambled away, and a huge increase in domestic violence as money intended for food, clothing and rent went into these machines.

Crime would increase as both tourists and locals would steal after they have lost all their money. Restaurants, tourist attractions, stores, etc. would lose money, as that money will have been lost on gambling.

High-stakes gambling brings organized crime. Just check how many people have gone to jail since gambling has increased on the mainland.

Why should tourists come to Hawaii to gamble? They can do so at home. Gambling wouldn't bring tourists. In fact, the opposite may happen as crime becomes a concern.

Economic problems are not solved by easy fixes. And there's no such thing as "soft" gambling. It's all the same.

Josef Segal
Winnipeg, Canada





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