Letters to the Editor

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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Americans need to put aside differences

I read Cynthia Oi's Nov. 10 column and I just have to comment. I enjoy reading her columns not because I always agree with her, although I do this time, but because she is interesting reading and thought provoking. And so, regarding "People like us vs. people like them," I've been wondering the same thing lately. Remember the old days when Republicans and Democrats would sometimes show up at each other's luaus? The exceptions were union events but even then civility was the accepted behavior. What's happened since then? Are the candidates responsible? The media? Society? I think Americans need to reflect on this. Divisiveness is not the real problem but the meanness that comes with it is.

I'm a Democrat and my daughter and her husband are Republicans, but I absolutely refuse to allow any differences to interfere with my aloha for them, which is unconditional. I also value my friendships and attend to them similarly. Am I a minority? I fearfully hope not as America needs more aloha, especially in these times.

Ken Low Jr.
Fremont, Calif.
Former Hawaii resident

Many helped to get federal impact aid

I would like to thank Susan Essoyan for her coverage of the Department of Education receiving an additional $3.7 million in federal impact aid (Newswatch, Star-Bulletin, Nov. 10).

This effort took many months of hard work by everyone involved. I am pleased to have been able to assist in this two-year effort, which now amounts to more than $7.2 million. Although I found this "obscure provision" in U.S. law, it was because of the efforts of our military partners that made these additional funds possible.

To secure the funds, the state needed to document military housing units that were vacant because of necessary and major renovations. Our military partners assisted in this effort.

Although too numerous to mention, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to a few hard-working people who made this all possible. Please join me in thanking Kyle Fairbairn from the Military Impacted Schools Association, Capt. Sharon Giletti, Allen Awaya, Evelyn Almaraz, Kevin McGee, Nanette Baker, William Morris, MAJ Doug Kuhn, Mari Lynn Dilullo, Keith Nishioka, Brad Davis, Wayne Canfield and Claire Bele.

The state of Hawaii is truly grateful to have such a special relationship with our military. It is true -- together, we can do much.

State Rep. K. Mark Takai
D, Pearl City

Movie's realism needed in wartime

KITV's censorship of the film "Saving Private Ryan" is nothing but shameful ("Private Ryan victim of indecency war," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 12). This realistic portrayal of the murderous horror and sickness of war should be seen by every American.

In 2002, the FCC defended "Private Ryan" as neither profane nor indecent when a conservative group complained about its broadcast. Why then did KITV find it necessary to self-censor this film? Parents who don't want their children to see the realistic portrayal of the horrors of war could change the channel or simply tune out. Ironically, on the same day as the KITV censorship occurred, a man named Muhammad Abbud, a teacher, watched as his 9-year-old son bled to death at their home, unable to take him to a hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down on the Iraqi city.

The horrors of war are very real and perhaps if children here in the U.S. could see this for themselves then this endless cycle of government-sponsored murder would someday cease to exist.

Michael Lauck

War photos give comfort to enemy

Regarding your front-page photo of Nov. 9: A great man once said, "We are creatures of our thinking. We can talk ourselves into defeat, or we can talk ourselves into victory."

Negative pictures, articles or headlines do not contribute positively to our United States. There is no doubt that war is bringing home empty boxes or leaving children fatherless or motherless. Regardless of whether your negative media sells or whether you are for or against the decision to be in the Middle East, at least have a little respect for those who are praying that their loved ones will return home alive and well.

At this point in time your negative pictures bring neither comfort nor closeness to our country, they are only ripping us further apart. Where is the hope, the optimism, the positive? These virtues are the very legs that we as a nation have stood upon for hundreds of years. Your negativism clouds our view and instills fear in the hearts of its people providing a misleading picture of the facts. Such pictures as these only give aid and comfort to the enemy.

Julie Holland



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