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Thursday, May 9, 2002

GOP platform will help anti-choice candidates

This letter is in response to the article concerning the GOP's removal of any reference to abortion from its party platform (Star-Bulletin, May 6).

I wonder if anyone is as deeply disturbed about this evolution within the Hawaii Republican Party as I am, especially when a fair chunk of the GOP doesn't even believe in evolution. To delete any reference to women's reproductive rights from their platform is setting the stage for Republican candidates to be "stealth" candidates against a woman's freedom of choice.

I strongly urge all voters who support women's reproductive rights to question all candidates, Democrat or Republican, especially if a candidate offers no up-front insight as to his or her own position on the matter.

Richard Palmer

Bush protects cronies, at Earth's expense

During Earth Day speeches recently, President Bush proclaimed his plan to help reduce air pollution. His "clear skies" proposal asks industries to voluntarily limit the emission of pollutants. They would receive trading credits to do so. Bush claims that by the year 2018, we can achieve 70 percent reductions in three of the worst pollutants emitted by coal-burning energy plants.

This plan would sell out America's future. Companies would not have enough incentive to comply. Mandatory reduction of the emission from industries is the only way to reduce sulphur dioxide and other pollutants responsible for acid rain. In fact, to reduce the effects of global warming, 170 countries have signed an agreement in Kyoto, Japan that sets limits on air pollution. The United States is the only industrialized country that refuses to sign.

It seems Bush is protecting his friends in the oil business, instead of protecting the environment.

Lei Ding

Restroom workers deny men their dignity

Men who try to use public restrooms frequently find them closed while a cleaning lady tidies up. If one is open, a cleaning lady comes in while men are inside. It happens everywhere -- in hotels, shopping malls, department stores, theaters and government buildings.

Have we become so unisexed that no one is embarrassed or self-conscious? Are men and women entitled to some privacy? Am I sexist? Do I encourage unequal opportunity? Will it violate our Constitution if males clean men's restrooms, and females clean women's restrooms?

I dare say businesses would find themselves in trouble if they allowed their male employees to walk into their occupied women's restrooms.

Kenneth L. Barker

Isle reef ecosystem must be protected

I am a foreign student taking a class for which I wrote a research paper on coral reefs. Coral reefs all over the world have been reduced by 25 percent from pollution, coral poachers and global warming. I was surprised to discover that Hawaii is home to the world's largest intact coral reef ecosystem. Located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, this reef system is home to various creatures that are found only there.

The main problem facing the reef system now is that the Western Pacific Regional Fishing Management Council (Wespac) has complained that this area does not deserve so much protection. This is the same organization that over-harvested the lobster population in that area by about 300 percent in the past, which was devastating. We must continue to protect the NWHI and not allow Wespac to get its way.

Ayumi Honda

Distasteful speech needs protection, too

I have three small children, and I would be furious if someone tried to sexually exploit them. But I must take issue with Kevin Doll's letter ("Where is the outrage over virtual porn?" Star-Bulletin, May 7).

He fulminates against those who produce videos that appear to depict children sexually, even though those "children" actually are portrayed by adults or cartoon characters. But to imprison people for any virtual depiction of child pornography would have serious unintended consequences.

Do we really want to jail any man in a strip bar who blurts out to his buddies that the exotic dancers look nubile and rather young? Do we want to jail people who publish a copy of Nabokov's classic novel "Lolita"? Do we want to jail people for posting photographs of Michelangelo's "David" on the Internet? In short, do we want to jail people for their thoughts?

You can't selectively trash the First Amendment. If you deny it to reprehensible people, you deny it to everyone.

Jim Henshaw

Hok Get rescue made us all feel better

In a world where humans seem to do more harm than good, the rescue of Hok Get from the stranded fuel tanker Insiko 1907 made most of us feel a little better about ourselves. Humans placed the dog on the tanker, and it was right that humans removed her.

Lois Raynor

Hawaii doesn't want a Christmas bowl game

The Hawaii Bowl was one of three new bowl games announced by the NCAA Football Certification Subcommittee last week. The game, which fills a void left by the departure of the Aloha and Oahu bowls after the 2000 season, will be played at 3 p.m. on Christmas Day at Aloha Stadium. It will be televised by ESPN.

Haven't they learned that people in Hawaii want to spend Christmas Day with their families? If they want to sell tickets, they should schedule the game the day after Christmas or during the weekend after.

Clayton Young

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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