Pedestrian safety is a two-way street
Regarding "Pedestrians' deaths raise alarm" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 14
): Ever since the law was passed about vehicles stopping completely if the pedestrian is on the vehicle's side of the crosswalk, I've noticed that the attitudes the pedestrians now have is that no matter what, they are protected. Wrong! I've seen a lot more of pedestrians just crossing the street without looking for cars, crossing against a red light or just jaywalking, thinking that the car is just going to stop for them.
I think pedestrians need more education to further protect them from getting hit. It looks like in most cases that if a car hits a pedestrian, it's always the driver's fault, but this is not always true. It's a two-way street when it comes to learning traffic/pedestrian safety.
Letter used veterans to make political point
James Roller is right about Veterans Day (Letters, Nov. 11
): "Using this solemn holiday in order to advance one's agenda ... is a disservice to every veteran -- past, present and future." I left out Roller's phrase "against this effort" and his tirade of platitudes about the current military situation because that nine-tenths of his letter was doing exactly what he urged us not to do -- deflecting attention away from the honorable men and women who have served this country and continue to offer their lives for all of us.
Last Friday, I was flying the Stars and Stripes and thinking about my parents, who served during World War II, and my friends who served in Vietnam, and all the men and women now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then I opened my newspaper and was dragged back into the world of people who can't see beyond their own narrow political focus.
Our veterans might have believed in the cause or doubted it, might have been young or old, man or woman, Christian or Muslim, Democrat or Republican. No matter what, they did their duty. For all of us. Period.
Eject rowdy drunks from stadium instead
I do not support the restriction of alcohol consumption
by tailgating patrons at the Aloha Stadium prior to University of Hawaii events. By banning tailgate drinking, the Stadium Authority will be penalizing everyone for the errors of a few; restricting and eliminating another "local" way of life; and, during a football season of declining attendance, it sends a message to "stay away, you're not welcome here."
A better solution would be to show zero tolerance to inebriated rowdies. Have the police quickly eject them off the stadium grounds and/or arrest them for disorderly conduct. Have beer dispensers restrict sales to obviously inebriated patrons. Curtail all alcohol sales after halftime. As always, any outside beer would be restricted from entering the stadium.
Selling scrip might avert alcohol problems
How about selling scrip that would permit a football fan three or four beers during a game? A limit should be set because the fans have to drive home.
Is our fate mere luck or the hand of God?
Pat Robertson recently stated that communities that "turn their backs on God," by not accepting creationism or God as the creator of all life, will be punished by natural disasters. Does that mean that all of the Gulf states, historically damaged by annual hurricanes, are being punished?
In the aftermath of so many natural disasters, it is not uncommon for survivors to thank God for their survival. I have been thinking about what that means. Are they saying that God chose to spare them and their homes while allowing their neighbors, who did not survive, to die? If so, what was the basis for that selection? Wealth, color, nationality, religion, occupation, location of house, sinfulness?
Then, at the funerals, the eulogy will usually include that God has called the dead to join him in heaven. Assuming that only the good are allowed into heaven, what does that say about the ones who were not selected to die? And if the selection was random and not based on any of the factors mentioned, what is the point of thanking God for sparing them? We will all die, sooner or later, with or without God's intervention.
Democrats' comments show their desperation
I have been reading with interest the numerous letters to the editor and various columns from Democrats lamenting their inability to find a viable candidate for the next gubernatorial election. I also notice the desperation in their comments. Just about every article and letter includes the words "... someone who can defeat Lingle," or a similar statement with at least the same context.
Why have the Democrats not been looking for someone who will be a benefit to Hawaii and all its citizens, and not one who will benefit just the party by returning the state to their complete control?
They seem to be merely looking for any winner, not necessarily a seasoned politician or dedicated public servant.
Biotech firms should be liable for crops
Now that we know that seeds of traditional crops are becoming contaminated with the DNA from genetically engineered crops, isn't it time for biotech corporations to take the liability for any mishaps? Initially, biotech corporations said contamination was impossible. A Union of Concerned Scientists' 2004 report shows contamination is indeed happening to soybeans, corn and canola. Even worse, it's possible that some contaminants could be from genes engineered to produce drugs, plastics and vaccines.
If biotech companies want to experiment with our crops, our health, our environment, our economy, they should bear the responsibility if something goes wrong. In Hawaii, biotech companies have been given the red-carpet treatment: permits granted with ease, huge tax credits, the cooperation of the University of Hawaii, the Department of Agriculture, and more. They should make public the types and whereabouts of all test sites here; do independent, public studies of the health effects of ingesting GMOs; use their power to insist that food companies like Kraft, who use GE products, label them so consumers can choose; and release farmers from the liability that should be their own.
Muslim leaders must speak against terror
Last Friday I grieved for the people of Jordan as I grieved for the people of America, Spain and Britain. The bombers are giving us more and more reasons to hate. We must try not to hate. I taught English to Muslim men (in Jordan, Indonesia and Sudan) and came to hate the way they twisted Islam to justify the oppression of women and cruelty to animals. I realized that these men were brutalized and humiliated by corrupt regimes, which did nothing (despite oil wealth) to improve the conditions of the people.
I saw poverty-stricken people converted to Islam by promises of financial aid. I saw young girls and women forced to wear suffocating cover-ups in stifling heat. I heard the cheers as hands, feet and legs were chopped. I heard about the honor rapes and killings of women. I saw movie houses and alcohol banned. I saw the Islamic schools used to close minds and recruit terrorists. I heard the clerics whip up hatred at Friday prayers. I was stoned and called a whore, despite my modest clothes. I left.
I do not want to hate. These angry men who hate enough to kill and maim ordinary people must be stopped. They do not represent Islam. True Islamic leaders and clerics must condemn the terrorists, the people who finance them, the people who shelter them; and hand them over to justice before the web of hatred blinds us all.