to the Editor

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Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Keep them sleepless in Baghdad and we win

Here's my solution for ending the war in Iraq:

1) Have the U.S. military map out open, unoccupied areas that closely surround Iraqi troops.

2) Bomb these open fields once every 10 minutes.

3) Continue this 10-minute interval bombing for 54 hours.

At the end of 54 hours, the sleep-deprived Iraqi soldiers would be unable to function mentally or physically and would likely offer to surrender.

Result: The war would successfully end for the United States and its coalition forces and, more important, there would be no casualties.

I once stayed up 54 hours because of working three jobs and having to meet deadlines. I remember being in a room at the end of that time and not knowing how I got there. The brain needs sleep to function properly.

Ending a war without casualties is an ideal solution and one worth implementing.

Carlino Giampolo

'Get prepared' plan will help protect Hawaii

War is hell on the battlefield and on the home front, too. While we support the men and women of our armed forces, let's also get prepared to support the families and children at home.

House Speaker Calvin Say and Rep. Sylvia Luke seem to be on the right track with a war preparedness plan. They are right to look at the most effective steps we can take locally, but also make sure the federal government takes on its appropriate share of the burden.

If airlines go out of business, if jet fuel and gasoline prices double, if tourists stay at home, we must be ready to take care of increased unemployment, declining tax revenues and increased security costs. Meanwhile, money for critical public services is likely to dry up, as well.

Let's make sure the federal Homeland Security Department doesn't just build up a bureaucracy, but specifically helps take care of the costs and needs here in Hawaii.

Patrick Stanley

Protesters remind us of democratic tenets

The war protesters are carrying out a democratic tradition; disagreeing with the government is pro-American! It's one of the cornerstones on which this country was founded. People from England unhappy without personal freedoms, including speech, fought to win their independence from British tyranny.

Now there are some in America who want to go back to the old ways -- no talking back, just pay your taxes and support the king's forays into foreign countries. Problem is, the king's supporters own most of the broadcast media and repeatedly reiterate the bogus phrase, "Anyone who doesn't support the war is anti-American." The villagers are starting to believe it.

War protesters understand that violence begets violence. Just review the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 1940s; nobody wins. The United States has supported Israel, and finally Palestinian-supporting Muslim radicals, mostly from Saudi Arabia, attacked us on 9/11. Iraq wasn't involved in that attack. There are at least a dozen other countries with leaders of questionable character that are a greater threat to us.

Will the United States hold Iraqi oil in a trust? Sure, like you'd keep a steak in a trust ... in your tummy.

Ron Rhetrik

Splitting up BOE won't fix the root problem

The governor is intent on splitting the existing Board of Education into seven school boards in an effort to improve the public school system. Why? She should look at the root causes of the problem, correct those flaws and then continually improve upon those changes. Anybody who knows anything about improving the quality of any process knows that minimizing variation is key to improving quality. By creating more school boards, variation will be increased. Will quality improve? Not likely.

The current system already has a BOE that includes representation from different districts within the state as well as local districts headed by district superintendents. Those people are supposed to address and satisfy local needs. They failed in their responsibility; therefore, their performance must be reviewed and their shortcomings addressed. Creating more school boards avoids solving the problem.

Melvin T. Minakami

Schools should get renovated first

Every day when I drive by the Department of Education's administrative building on Miller Street, I am incensed. Who decided to spend my tax dollars on renovating the DOE's office building instead of fixing our schools where improvements are long overdue? They gave themselves new windows and a freshly painted interior. It's inexcusable and an outright slap in the faces of our public school teachers and students.

The DOE's budget is projected to rise to $1.418 billion next year.

That's billion, folks! So there is absolutely no need to pull scare tactics by saying, "We have no money, so we're taking your desks away." There is money; it's just misallocated.

I prefer that my tax money go toward renovating a school, not an office building. If we had local school boards, then schools would receive repair and maintenance money first.

To those public officials who decided to renovate the DOE building: I believe all public school teachers and students deserve to hear your logic behind giving an administrative building higher priority than schools. Please explain.

Lacene Terri


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