Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Let's pass some laws that we really can useI see the Legislature passed a law capping the price of gas (Star-Bulletin, May 3). That will show those greedy oil companies.
Now if they would only pass a law capping the price of food and drink, we would not have a worry in the world here.
Hey! How about a law making "pi" equal to 3, instead of 3.1416? The kids would have a much easier time in math.
Hawaii needs new, anti-business sloganIt is ironic that while state government is contemplating a campaign to promote a business-friendly Hawaii, it passes a gasoline price cap. Perhaps an apt slogan for the new Hawaii campaign could be: "Freeze Enterprise."
Fix obstacle course before raising limitsFirst we get harassed with traffic van cams -- allegedly to keep us safe -- forcing motorists to drive more slowly. Then I am told that we are driving too slowly, that speed limits will be set higher. My analyst says I'm in a state of confusion. "No," I explained, "I'm in the state of Hawaii."
I went on to explain, "I was cruising down the H-1 freeway, with someone in a Miata sports car tailgating so close I thought he was going up my exhaust pipe. To make the situation more interesting, a double tractor-trailer rig was barreling down behind the Miata. But what really had me concerned was having to swerve to miss one of the many pot holes in our roadways. When I looked back in my rearview mirror, the Miata was gone."
We may want to fill in those pot holes with something other than Miatas before raising the speed limit. Not to add to the confusion, but doesn't it seem that traffic accidents have increased since the traffic camera vans have been pulled off the freeways?
U.S. should stop pandering to IsraelThe resolutions passed last week by both chambers of the U.S. Congress giving blanket support to Israel are simplistic and misguided. While the suicide bombers are obviously demented and doing the work of hate-filled fascists, Israel must take some responsibility for the cycle of violence in the Mideast.
The occupation continues into its 35th year as unemployment and poverty in the territories rage. The settlements continue unabatedly; 3.3 million Palestinians living as second-class citizens under these foul circumstances are guaranteed to cause serious trouble.
Congress should stop pandering to certain groups, in this case the Jewish American and Israeli lobbies, in search of support in their next political campaigns, and begin to act with integrity by speaking the truth.
Injustices are heaped on the disabled, dyingThe alive (and obviously mobile) physically challenged persons are crying foul to the legislators who, in a last-minute move, reduced the minimum fine for parking in disabled-driver stalls to $100 from $250.
Another injustice was to the terminally ill, suffering and dying persons in our islands who are unable to even get out of their beds but are being forced to die a lingering, living death ("Senate kill death-with-dignity bill," Star-Bulletin, May 2.)
Now, that's a real slap in the face.
'Andi' van der Voort, R.N.
Public funding would bring true reformActual corruption sends politicians to jail. The appearance of corruption keeps citizens sour on government, less and less likely to vote. Campaign reform needs something more than Band-Aids and patches to the existing system that allows campaign contributions to influence the people who get them.
Real campaign finance reform is public funding. It is genuinely new and, make no mistake, it will make real changes.
What do we get for our money? Quite a lot. First, those candidates letting the public fund their campaigns acknowledge they are willing to sever the connection between themselves and private donors (corporations, unions and wealthy individuals) during their term of office. When these folks listen to their supporters, they will be listening to us, the taxpayers.
What else? The playing field is leveled. More community leaders are able to run for office. Their ties are to their home bases, not to power players with their own agendas. To get elected, candidates must listen to their constituents and meet their concerns. Freed from fund raising, candidates have the time to listen, elections get less expensive and, best of all, people begin to believe in their government again.
I vote for publicly funded campaigns. We need to give it a try.
Hawaii Clean Elections
UH fans show class with post-win behaviorMy wife, who didn't know the difference between a quarterback and "the guy carrying the stick" (baseball) a couple of years ago, has become an avid University of Hawaii Warriors fan who now yells at the referee with hand signals for "holding," "illegal procedure" and so on.
After the Warrior men won the national championship in volleyball ("Champs!" Star-Bulletin, May 5), she commented, "Hmmm, how come we don't go around Honolulu burning cars and destroying property like some of the fans on the mainland do when their teams win championships?"
I think that says it all.
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