Letters to the Editor

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Build a rail system or new road? No contest

Ask yourself: How is it possible that folks can say with a straight face that a potential two-lane, elevated toll road providing capacity of at most 2,000 vehicles per hour, per lane (with perhaps a total of 6,000 people) solve congestion, and then contend that a rail system with a capacity of more than 25,000 passengers per hour will not?

Linda Frysztacki

We need to have pride in our surroundings

Whatever happened to pride in Hawaii? Not pride in the sense of arrogance or self-importance, but rather a feeling of self-respect, high expectations and values relating to oneself.

I look about Hawaii with sadness. I see walls and public places smeared with graffiti, lovely beachfronts littered with trash, and debris-strewn streets and sidewalks. Our public parks and recreation areas are falling victim to decay and look more like garbage dumps. The sad part is that children are being raised without a sense of pride, thus they grow to accept and perpetuate the situation.

We need to keep our island home clean and beautiful -- not to impress tourists, but for our own sakes and those of future generations.

(This letter was written on paper found on the grounds of a public beach park.)

Joseph Harris

Lingle should explain support for Akaka bill

A short article about Governor Lingle's support for the Akaka bill (Star-Bulletin, July 6) related that she had called U.S. senators from several other states of this union lobbying its passage.

Is there something wrong with this picture? The Akaka bill proposes to impose a new governing entity on Hawaii with enormous potential ramifications on every Hawaii resident. It would appear that she should be educating and lobbying the people of Hawaii. Instead, she calls a whole bunch of "honorables" who have no aloha for any of us.

When Hawaii entered the union there was a vote; some 94 percent said "yes" to statehood.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii telephone survey on the Akaka bill, released July 5, revealed that two out of three respondents opposed the bill. It appears that our governor needs a reality check when it comes to priorities.

We say the people of Hawaii come first. Otherwise we are -- politically -- upside down.

Richard O. Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Meaning of 'Hawaiian' shouldn't be diluted

When Governor Lingle took the oath of office, she swore to uphold the laws and Constitution of Hawaii, including defending the rights of native Hawaiians as defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act 1920. That is, persons one-half to full-blooded Hawaiian under the HHCA, 1920, and Sections 4 and 5(f) of the Admission Act, 1959.

However, after assuming office, Lingle has advocated for passage of the Akaka bill with its diluted definition of "native Hawaiian," including people with as little as 1/64th Hawaiian blood or with as few as one Hawaiian ancestor out of 500.

The Akaka bill is yet another attempt to expand the beneficial class of about 50,000 native Hawaiians under the HHCA, 1920, to more than 400,000 Hawaiians under the Akaka bill.

By pushing for passage of the Akaka bill, Lingle has breached her fiduciary duties toward the native Hawaiians as defined in the HHCA, 1920, as set out in the federal-state compact of Sections 4 and 5(f) of the Admission Act, 1959.

Emmett E. Lee Loy

Bush never claimed victory in Iraq

Ron Martin posed this questions as part of an anti-Bush rant (Letters, July 9): "How long ago was it that our president stood aboard that aircraft carrier and announced that the war had ended and we were victorious?"

For the record, 1) President Bush has never said any such thing, and 2) the "Mission Accomplished" banner was made and hung by the officers and men of the carrier.

These facts were established long ago, but those blinded by emotion won't listen, repeating falsehoods in hopes that some day they might come true.

John Corboy

Terrorists have faith, not disenchantment

I agreed with your main point about visa-exempt jihadists (Editorial, July 14), but was bothered by a recurring sub-theme. You described European Muslim terrorists as "immigrants who have not melted into their countries ... and have become alienated and bitter."

You continued to describe them as "alienated Muslims" and then implied that the killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh might have been influenced by "drawing unemployment pay." That killer has been very clear that he was following his faith, which he understands to command that he "cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his prophet."

As long as we create excuses for these horrible acts by wrapping them in soft concepts like "alienated," we then take pressure off the one group who can stop this -- Muslim clerics and leaders. They are the ones who can effect change by forcefully condemning these acts, and they have been woefully silent.

James B. Mullis

Talk-show hostess panders to emotions

Matt Zoller Seitz is right when he says that CNN's Nancy Grace has a gimmick (Star-Bulletin, July 10). He says her gimmick is anger. It's not; it's histrionics.

Even before getting her own show, Grace spoke in a shrill, exaggerated, emotional voice as though every word she uttered was! followed! by! an! exclamation! mark! I found it laughable. Her employers and viewers evidently did not.

Her shtick has evolved into the style of fellow windbags: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Michelle Malkin. She employs the same irrational tactics: taking an extreme stand, reducing all complex issues to black-and-white positions, caricaturing and ridiculing anyone who has a reasoned opinion and allowing for no subtle analysis. She panders to people's worst fears.

It is unfortunate that these self-appointed spokesmen of the Apocalypse are so popular. However, their ratings and sales would be poor were it not for the masses of viewers and readers who live in fear of the barbarians at their psychological gates.

Leon Pereira

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