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Monday, December 1, 2003





Bush's Iraq trip showed leadership

President Bush deserves our thanks for his choice of Thanksgiving dinner companions. His willingness to go the distance for the troops he commands is a mark of much-needed wartime leadership.

Responsible journalists privy to advance knowledge of the plan also merit heartfelt thanks for embargoing this electrifying news until the president was able to complete his surprise visit to Baghdad without compromising his security.

What a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving! Well done, Mr. President! Attaboy, news reporters!

Thomas E. Stuart
Kapaau, Hawaii

Visit gave soldiers needed morale boost

President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq was most meaningful for our troops. It was a courageous move on his part to visit the troops especially on Thanksgiving. I am sure it was uplifting and a morale boost for the troops. Seeing him on TV coming out from behind the scene actually gave me "chicken skin" and it brought tears to my eyes to know he took the time out to be with our troops. Who could be better than our president to visit them. I am sure it meant a lot to our soldiers being away from home.

Thank you so much President Bush. I, being a military dependent, understand the precious moments you shared with our troops.

Lehua McColgan
Honolulu

Wal-Mart plans should cause more outcry

The New York Times in a lead editorial last week, "The Wal-Martization of America," described how the world's largest corporation destroys good-paying jobs, lowers living standards, kills local businesses, reduces tax revenues, unloads health and welfare benefits onto taxpayers and smothers neighborhoods, all in the cause of cheap underwear.

The Los Angeles Times this week carried a three-part, front-page series making the same powerful points, adding that Wal-Mart is the leader in driving jobs overseas and is wrecking Asian economies.

The Wall Street Journal recently carried a lengthy front-page article detailing how Wal-Mart is cutting its already inadequate health package and eliminating retirement benefits. The (Portland) Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune and Prevention Magazine, among many others, have carried similar stories based on solid reporting.

The Sierra Club issued a national press release giving facts and figures on the devastating impact Wal-Mart has on American communities.

Yet in Honolulu, where Wal-Mart plans to embed the world's largest wholesale/retail superstore in a midtown residential neighborhood, nary a word of this has appeared. Just happy talk.

Am I missing something? Or are you?

Jim Becker
Honolulu

U.S., not terrorists, is Hawaii's enemy

Regarding Ronald L. Edmiston's letter "Preventing training helps our enemies" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29): The invasion of Hawaii, the Native Americans, Guam, Philippines, Micronesia, Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Palestine, Chile, Columbia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Japan, Okinawa, etc. is no different from what the United States is doing in Afghanistan and Iraq today. They're illegally occupying independent nations under international law and U.S. constitutional law.

In 1893 the United States illegally invaded the peaceful independent nation of Hawaii and in 1993 the U.S. confessed to the illegal invasion by a congressional act, the Hawaiian Apology Law.

Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are not the enemy of the Hawaiian people and the Hawaiian nation. The United States is the No. 1 enemy of the Hawaiian people and the Hawaiian nation. Before you newcomers to these islands give your public opinion on Hawaiian issues do some research.

Eric Poohina
Honolulu

Airport needs more screeners, not fewer

I have just read with horror the article about cutting airport screeners (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29). When I was returning to the mainland from Hawaii last February, I stood in the security line for two hours, almost missing my flight. I was told there were only four security lines for all mainland and interisland flights. For a tourist destination, this is ridiculous. In Portland we have at least eight lines in each concourse.

If Honolulu wants tourists to come, the airport is going to have to do something about the security process, and letting screeners go is not the answer.

Stephanie McDougal
Portland, Ore.

Gay weddings defy ancestral tradition

Your Nov. 20 editorial sets forth the idea that legalizing gay marriage is an innocuous proposition. How do you know that? Can we study some society in recorded history that has given equal legal status to same-sex unions? On the contrary, redefining marriage as something other than a commitment between a man and a women flies in the face of thousands of years of historical precedence.

Are we so much smarter than those who came before us? Should we not give credence and careful deliberation to the position of our forefathers?

To preserve marriage as a union between only a man and a woman is to preserve marriage in its true sense and purpose, in addition to protecting our culture from the consequences of altering this vital institution. To legalize same-sex marriage is to open a Pandora's box that once opened will be nigh impossible to close.

Steve Klein
Kailua

Giving time to needy is most fulfilling

What a wonderful experience to be involved in the annual River of Life Mission Thanksgiving Day event. As a volunteer I was blessed to take part and see the true aloha spirit of giving and showing thanks for all of what we have each day.

The staff at the River of Life Mission were remarkable. Their spirit and friendly attitude in providing meals and a warm sense of family was a sight to behold, as were the many volunteers who gave their time, love and efforts to the homeless and needy.

As I remind myself that Thanksgiving is and should be expressed every day, I ask that all others who may not see it this way please reconsider and not only be thankful for what we have but also give freely each day to the less fortunate.

I commend all the agencies on island that offer this life service daily, and I will make every effort to continue to volunteer myself to help others. Not only for the holidays, but for every day that we are fortunate enough to be blessed with another day on Earth. Mahalo.

Efrem Williams
Ewa Beach


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[ BRAINSTORM! ]


Dirty gutter talk

Those orange rolls that highway engineers have been shoving into storm drain openings -- there must be a more efficient or practical or attractive way to filter out road debris. These things are about as useful and pleasing to the eye as huge, discarded cigarette butts.


Send your ideas, drawings and solutions by Thursday, Dec. 17 to:

brainstorm@starbulletin.com

Or mail them to:
Brainstorm!
c/o Burl Burlingame
Star-Bulletin
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Fax:
Brainstorm!
c/o Burl Burlingame
529-4750


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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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813




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